Today is the 31st anniversary of the overthrow of Shah Reza Pahlavi and the beginning of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Pro and anti government demonstrations and protests are expected nationwide. In the run-up to this day, the government has been arresting and detaining potential opposition leaders, shutting down internet access, tapping phones, and closing down opposition news outlets.
Unrest has been building over the years to the strict police state control exerted by a government run ultimately by a small group of unelected religious figures and executed by layers of military, police, and paid street thugs. They are directed by a cabal of officials “elected” under questionable circumstances and a rubber stamp parliament likewise put in office. In the aftermath of a hotly contested presidential election last June, increasing numbers of the populace are rising up in protest.
The bravery of these protesters and their leaders is breathtaking. They have no rights to own firearms, and are thusly forced to oppose armed Revolutionary Guards, police, and Basiji militia with nothing but stones, matches, and strength of numbers. They face batons, tear gas, rubber and lead bullets, along with potential arrest and disappearances in vile black hole torture chambers. These people are every bit as brave as the American colonists who stood their ground at Concord Bridge. They should be praised and supported by all freedom loving people in the world.
Our government leaders however are keeping mostly silent on the issue leaving the opponents of the Iranian government with no hope of external support. In a misguided effort to engage the ruthless mullahs and their figurehead president, our president seeks to distance himself and the US by proxy from any demonstration of sympathy with the protesters. In impotent fear of offending the Iranian government, our leaders dismiss and discard what may a golden opportunity to speed its much deserved demise.
France stood with the Thirteen Colonies during the American Revolution. Ronald Reagan vigorously supported the green shoots of democracy in Poland and Eastern Europe in fearless defiance of the Soviet Union. President Obama refuses to lend the helping hand of the only global super power to the nascent beginning of the end of the Islamic republic. Leaving these courageous unarmed seekers of freedom to the horrific maw of medieval dungeons, fatal torture sessions, public hangings, and brutal suppression goes against any concept of human decency. As US citizens, we should hang our heads in shame.