There is a large photo on the front page of today’s Washington Post of an Iranian dissenter on the ground covering his head while government thugs beat him with their clubs. For years, analysts have told us that there are millions of Iranians like this man who want freedom and better relations with the United States. This weekend we saw evidence they exist as hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Tehran and other major cities against the Ahmadinejad regime, chanting “death to the dictator.” Any chance for good relations between Iran and the U.S. and between Iran and Israel depends on the people who are being oppressed in Iran right now eventually regaining power in their own country. But at this critical moment for liberty, Obama, Biden and Clinton are shamefully AWOL.
The explanation for their silence is simple – and disgusting. The Obama Administration has spent the last 5 months reaching out to Ahmadinejad. The president publicly stated that he is not interested in regime change in Tehran and promised a policy toward Iran based on “mutual respect.” The thirst for freedom in Iran is a complication for an administration that has already committed itself to appeasing the tyrants in the current Iranian regime. As a result the United States’ moral authority has been absent during the Iranian election and the protests that have followed. Surely even this administration will eventually become embarrassed as they fail to find any words to defend the only people in Iran with whom we may have “shared values.” At a bare minimum we should immediately increase radio and satellite broadcasts into Iran and use whatever internet tools we have to reach its people."
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