June 18th, 2009
10:29 AM ET

Salute the 'bravehearts' of Iran

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/meast/06/17/iran.eyewitnesses/art.iran.police.amateur.jpg caption="Anti-riot police form a barrier against protesters in Iran Tuesday."]
Ed Rollins
CNN Contributor

One of my favorite movies is the Academy Award-winning best picture "Braveheart," a fictionalized retelling of the story of William Wallace, the Scots knight and resistance leader during the Scottish independence wars of the 13th century.

Who can forget the closing scene when Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, is tortured and about to be beheaded?

He is offered mercy and a quick death if he pleads allegiance to King Edward. Instead he yells out the words: "Freedom!"

Two events last week reminded me of that cry for freedom.

The first was remembering 22 years ago last week, June 12, 1987, when President Reagan gave his speech at the Brandenburg Gate. He challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev with these words: "We welcome change and openness; for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. ... Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

Two years later when the wall did come down, freedom spread across Eastern Europe.

The second event was seeing hundreds of thousands march in the streets across Iran in protest after the alleged re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many of us Americans who love democracy and cherish the rights we enjoy daily watched with fascination. We thought something must be happening beyond disgruntled voters whose candidate had lost the election.

And something was happening. What we saw was a cry for freedom!

Keep reading...

Filed under: 360° Radar • Iran
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Tyler Triezenberg

    I agree with Joe McBride although the people of Iran do not like our government and neither we or our government like their government the people of Iran do not hate us, in fact they do like the American people, but will the American people return their friendship? I hope we do Iran could be an important friend and ally in the region if they get the chance to have a government and freedoms like ours, they deserve better than what they have now. Although at first they rallied behind Mousavi they deserve a better leader than that, Mousavi will most likely not bring the change they deserve, the Iranians need a Gandhi or a Martin Luther King Jr., the question is whether someone like that will step forward or not.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  2. Joe McBride

    I like what you had to say... I believe, with enough man power, political backing and prayer support that Iran can be changed through non violent resistance… Also, the government of Iran might not be our friend…But…the people of Iran are all our Brothers and Sisters..

    June 18, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  3. Dulce

    We need t keep standing by them. freedom is priceless n will change Iran!we need to have faith!!!

    June 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  4. Angie

    I am deeply moved for the courage of this people! !i will am awed!

    June 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  5. Michael C. McHugh

    I hope they are successful in in their democratic revolution, and pray to God that there is no crackdown like we say in China in 1898. I remember that all too well, and if it happens in Iran, I think we should really turn the screws on that regime, even cutting off its oil exports if necessary.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  6. robyn caffrey keyser wv 26726

    att anderson "
    u know this might be a good rule of thumb.)
    for a few years, when the iran police do something good, when it comes to defending, maybe u could tell president obama to take the air force one over there ' to aword them in someway

    June 18, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  7. Mel Brooks

    the people of Iran and Lebonan are beging to realize that the extremests are not going to improve their lives. They know this is the chance of a life time against the real rulers of Iran. Lets hope this works!

    June 18, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  8. Iran Lover

    Do NOT forget…

    Mousavi was the prime minister in Iran from 1981 till 1989, one of the darkest times and saddest times in Iran. He shut down the voices of people in that time, was very close to Khomeini!! He went after the students who were against the regime and him!! A lot of people sent to prison and killed on his watch…

    I can’t believe some people, still don’t know what Mousavi did to people when he was prime minister!!!

    June 18, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  9. Puddytat

    Noble words are easy to speak by those who would never offer THEIR OWN life to defend them .

    June 18, 2009 at 11:42 am |