Sunday, June 14, 2009

Iran on the brink? All Americans should be united in supporting the Iranian people's demands for freedom and democracy

Moderates, reformers and liberals (yes, there are a few) in Iran are on the receiving end of a police-state crackdown in Iran, as huge numbers of Iranians continue to protest against the almost certainly rigged election outcome. Even some ayatollahs are disturbed and have lodged a complaint with the "Supreme Guide," Grand Ayotallah Khamenei.

Memeorandum has a constantly updated round-up of news and commentary. And Michael J. Totten has a must-read running account of what he now calls an "insurrection."

Nothing even remotely like this has happened in Iran in the 30 years of the ayatollahs' rule. Whatever the real numbers of votes cast for the Presidential candidates -- and we may never know the true tally -- the current popular outpouring of protest against the regime is more significant in many ways than a formal recognition by the regime of victory by reformist candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi would have been. Popular unrest can force Khamenei, Ahmadinejad and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards to make concessions to freedom and democracy that go far beyond what Mousavi, as President, might have squeezed out of the senior clerics who rule Iran.

So it is critically important that America, Europe and the rest of the world's free nations give maximum support to the Iranian people. The international community should demand an open, fair and impartial review of the election results and the protests made by Mousavi and others. The world should not recognize or accept Ahmadinejad's "victory." Americans should stand together -- left, right and center, Democrats and Republicans -- in pressing for this approach. Unless the world -- and that must mean with the United States in the lead -- comes to the aid of the Iranian people at this momentous and critical juncture, there may never be another opportunity in our lifetimes for the Iranian people to take their rightful place in the modern world.

This is not a matter that should be submerged in the all-too-typical left vs. right political quarreling in Washington. We all oppose the reactionary theocracy that runs Iran with an iron fist. It should be a no-brainer for liberals and conservatives to unite on this issue.

What do you think? Post a comment.


  1. How would you evaluate the President's remarks on all of this?