When American college students get ticked, they know what to do: stage a protest, get loud, make signs and be persistant. This was the sentiment during the Vietnam War that has continued to grace the current political climate. But, what happens in Iran when college students find themselves disenchanted?
About 100 students staged a rare protest Monday against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, calling him a "dictator" as he gave a speech at Tehran University marking the beginning of the academic year.
While the demonstrators and hard-line students loyal to Ahmadinejad scuffled in the auditorium, the president ignored chants of "Death to the dictator" and gave his speech on the merits of science and the pitfalls of Western-style democracy, witnesses said.
This is a reminder of Ahmadinejad’s Columbia speech, no? I have to say, these students (like those at Columbia) are right. Ahmadinejah is a petty, little dictator. What’s so offsetting is that untra-liberals continue to ignore the restrictions on rights and other abormalities that are present in Iran; these individuals tout this ridiculous notion that George W. Bush has invented these issues that they apparently claim do not exist — or do not matter (I’m not sure which is worse: Denying that this oppression exists or acting as though it is unimportant).
In recent months, dissenters have witnessed an increasing crackdown, with hundreds detained on accusations of threatening the Iranian system. Numerous pro-reform newspapers have been shut down and those that remain have muted their criticism.
At universities, pro-government student groups have gained strength and reformist students have been marginalized, left to hold only low-level meetings and occasional demonstrations, usually to demand better school facilities or the release of detained colleagues.
It was encouraging to see young Iranians, many of whom favor beter Iranian relations with the U.S., making their voices heard.
Conservatives who once supported the president have increasingly joined in the criticism, saying that he needs to pay more attention to domestic issues and that his inflammatory rhetoric has needlessly stoked tensions with the West.
See, ultra-liberals. He’s not only insane when it comes to dealing with the West, but he’s also totally and utterly out of touch with the reality present in his own country.