How 'Iranic': Koreans Protest at Iranian Embassy
I must admit to an error in judgement. On Tuesday the 23rd, I had lunch with my friend Dan Ernst, who teaches philosophy and international relations at Ewha Womans University, and we discussed the demonstrations that were even then going on in Iran. Dan asked me if South Koreans were protesting against the violent and even murderous repression being used by the Iranian government. I laughed and replied:
"Are you kidding? Koreans aren't interested in protesting against Iran. Protests against anything that America does, yes -- for that, Koreans would protest. But this? No, because it has nothing to do with America."Well, I eat my words. Only two days later, on June 25, South Koreans protested, as the photo above and the passage below make clear:
Activists chant slogans at a rally denouncing what they say is the Iranian government's repression on the people in front of the Iranian embassy in Seoul June 25, 2009. Iranian police and militia have largely succeeded in regaining control of the streets after the biggest anti-government protests since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, touched off by the disputed June 12 presidential election. Some 20 people are reported to have been killed in the demonstrations.I was touched at this display of Korean solidarity with oppressed Iranians yearning for democracy, and I nearly shed a tear . . . until I looked more closely at a protest sign in English:
The US and Western Governments, the Butchers of Iraqis and Afghans, You Don't Have a Right to Talk About Iran's DemocracyMy daughter and wife then looked at a sign in Korean:
With their help, that translates as:
이라크 아프간의 학살자: 미국과 서방정부는 이란 민주주의 말할 자격 없다!
Butchers of Iraqis and Afghans: America and Western Governments Don't Have the Right to Talk About Iran's Democracy!The writing is far more clear in this JoongAng Daily copy of the photo if you click on it to enlarge:
This clearer copy of the photo (in an even more distinct black and white) appeared in the JoongAng's June 26th issue; otherwise, I might have missed the actual significance of this image showing Koreans demonstrating against the Iranian government, namely, that even this protest is really against the United States . . . well, and against 'Western Governments', too, but since "Western" includes the US, then why does America get such top billing as to be especially singled out? Oh, right, because anything wrong in the world must somehow be America's fault.
Perhaps I need not eat my words just yet . . .