Viva la (Nonviolent) Revolución
“As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King’s life work,” President Obama said in his Nobel acceptance speech, “I am living testimony to the moral force of nonviolence.”
So, he might have added, are the Germans and Eastern Europeans who came out a couple of months ago to celebrate the anniversary of the fall of the Wall. And so are the brave Iranians who continue to take to the streets despite the certainty of brutal repression. Like Neda Agha Soltan, they are living (and bleeding and dying) testimony.
The start of the decade ought to be a time for a little bit of hope — not the wispy stuff, but battle-hardened hope, forged in the grim, purposeful spirit of the times. So I’ll place my hopes on the possibility — however remote at the moment — that the regimes in North Korea, Myanmar and elsewhere are taking note of the trouble an aroused citizenry can give to tyrants, and that people in places filled with rage and despair, places like the Palestinian territories, will in the days ahead find among them their Gandhi, their King, their Aung San Suu Kyi.
But, I add, the next Gandhi doesn't need to be Muslim. It's a role any of us could assume, and should assume, every single day.