Iran: The Invisible Revolution
By Andrew L. Jaffee, October 1, 2004
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Watching ABC, CBS, or NBC news, you would never know that Iranian civilians are now being killed while protesting against their country’s Islamist dictators. You probably wouldn’t know that Iran is considered to be the “world's ‘most active state sponsor of terrorism.’” You most surely haven’t heard that between 10,000 and 15,000 Iranians risk life and liberty to run web logs (“blogs”) opposing their government. Maybe you’ve heard that Iran’s rulers are secretly building nuclear weapons, but did you know that Britain, France, Germany, and Russia have sold nuclear technologies to Iran? Have you heard that Iran now has ballistic missiles with a range of 1,250 miles? You’ve been shielded from knowing that a government-commissioned poll of Iranians showed that:
On the other hand, you might have been conned into believing that Iran’s Islamist dictators, including President Mohammad Khatami, are “encouraging democratic reforms.” Far be it from the truth. Things have gotten much worse for the Iranian people since the “reform” process started: “elections” have been rigged, newspapers shut down, dissidents arrested, and human rights abuses are at the worst level since 1997.
Europe is squandering a great opportunity in Iran. Because of its fear, the continent is convinced that Islamist terrorists can be contained and/or placated – the euphemism here is “engagement.” And why stand up to Iran’s terror-masters when there is money to be made? Forget the fact the most Iranians hold dear values like freedom and democracy. Don’t look to Europe for much help in toppling Iran’s rulers, look to the U.S.
President Bush has and will implement the best policies in dealing with Iran’s mullahs. The invasion of Iraq will have long-term positive effects on the Middle East, as long as the U.S. and its allies are steadfast in supporting Iraq’s nascent democracy. Most of the criticism of the Iraq war was bad hype (see also here). I will concede we need more troops in Iraq. But Saddam Hussein’s tyranny was the Middle East’s soft underbelly – a perfect weak spot to exploit in a long-term plan to change the region’s dynamics. Iran is now sandwiched between two budding democracies, Afghanistan and Iraq. How could anyone miss this simple geopolitical equation? What more could scare the hell out of Iran’s mullahs? During last week’s presidential debates, Bush was correct in stating,
A free Iraq will enforce the hopes and aspirations of the reformers in places like Iran.
Senator John Kerry would not be a force for bringing democracy to Iran. He has says he would seek to “thaw” relations with Iran’s terror-masters – that “engagement” word again. One of Mr. Kerry’s supporters is trying to silence the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI), a group who ardently supports democracy in Iran. Whose side are Kerry et. al. on?
Don’t you think they have a modicum of desire for self-preservation? Iran’s government is building nuclear weapons, harboring al-Qaeda operatives, and funding Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists. This is the same government that executes 16-year-old girls, closes down newspapers, rigs elections, and tries to ban Internet access from its own people. Kerry wants to “thaw” relations with terror-masters?
The Bush Administration, along with Israel, is seeking to refer the issue of Iranian nuclear weapons development to the U.N. Security Council, while Europe and John Kerry desire more “engagement.” To these appeasers, the Iranian democracy revolution is indeed invisible and unimportant; they would placate evil to allay their own fears and support their capricious political aspirations.