June 15, 2009

"The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave"

Andrew wrote yesterday:
In situations like these, peer-to-peer media is essential. Send all you've got to me. We'll do our best to assess, edit, and post. There is no neutrality in this. Every blogger is now an honorary member of the resistance. We are at war too - for peace and democracy.
Which seems very dramatic — except that today his site may be under some sort of digital attack and yesterday this site, this little dog-and-whatnot site, was getting hits from Iran.

So the world really is watching. It's nightfall now in Tehran, and there are reports of gunfire, but the crowds earlier today, marching for democracy — just incredible.

The title of this post is from a familiar speech, and it was no trouble to cut and paste the last two paragraphs into this post here in the peace and quiet of my California home. Yes, I'm very lucky. Would I be brave enough to join the protesters, if I were in Iran? I hope so. I don't know.

They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house? Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance, by lying supinely on our backs, and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations; and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable - and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come.

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. It brought tears to my eyes.

Anonymous said...

Events in support of the Iranian reformists:


Luisa said...

Thanks! More U.S.-based rallies here, via HuffPo.

Here's the homepage for WHERE IS MY VOTE.ORG.