June 27, 2009

‘The less we protest, the more people will die.’

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:38 am

This is why the difference between Reagan’s response to Poland and Obama’s response to Iran is so stark, and in Obama’s case, so tragic, as Spain’s former prime minister tells us in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today:

Silence Has Consequences for Iran

If there hadn’t been dissidents in the Soviet Union, the Communist regime never would have crumbled. And if the West hadn’t been concerned about their fate, Soviet leaders would have ruthlessly done away with them. They didn’t because the Kremlin feared the response of the Free World.

Just like the Soviet dissidents who resisted communism, those who dare to march through the streets of Tehran and stand up against the Islamic regime founded by the Ayatollah Khomeini 30 years ago represent the greatest hope for change in a country built on the repression of its people. At stake is nothing less than the legitimacy of a system incompatible with respect for individual rights. Also at stake is the survival of a theocratic regime that seeks to be the dominant power in the region, the indisputable spiritual leader of the Muslim world, and the enemy of the West.

The Islamic Republic that the ayatollahs have created is not just any power. To defend a strict interpretation of the Quran, Khomeini created the Pasdaran, the Revolutionary Guard, which today is a true army. To expand its ideology and influence Iran has not hesitated to create, sustain and use proxy terrorist groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. And to impose its fundamentalist vision beyond its borders, Iran is working frantically to obtain nuclear weapons.

Those who protest against the blatant electoral fraud that handed victory to the fanatical Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are in reality demanding a change of regime. Thus, the regime has resorted to beating and shooting its citizens in a desperate attempt to squash the pro-democracy movement.

This is no time for hesitation on the part of the West. If, as part of an attempt to reach an agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, the leaders of democratic nations turn their backs on the dissidents they will be making a terrible mistake.

….. …. Delayed public displays of indignation may be good for internal political consumption. But the consequences of Western inaction have already materialized. Watching videos of innocent Iranians being brutalized, it’s hard to defend silence.

My guess is that it’s already too late, and even if it somehow isn’t, that our President is only too relieved (or is it glad?) to let a celebrity-obsessed and personal scandal-obsessed media culture wallows in its addictions for a few days while Khamenei and his Revolutionary Guard do their mop-up.

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Related: At the New York Times, which to its credit has the story near the top on its home page —

Iranian Leaders Gaining the Edge Over Protesters

TEHRAN — The direct confrontation over Iran’s presidential election was effectively silenced Friday when the main opposition leader said he would seek permits for any future protests, an influential cleric suggested that leaders of the demonstrations could be executed, and the council responsible for validating the election repeated its declaration that there were no major irregularities.

Also Related: Sorry Neda ….

Also related: At NewsBusters — “Friday night’s broadcast network evening newscasts …. spent 95 percent of their air time on Michael Jackson — all but 1:03 of ABC’s approximate 22 minutes was devoted to Jackson, all but 34 seconds of CBS and all but 1:22 of NBC, for 2:59, less than three minutes in total for all news beyond Jackson.”

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