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The “Green” Velvet Revolution?

Posted by on Jun 18, 2009 in Ahmadinejad, Iran, Mousavi, President Obama, U.S. | 0 comments

Where is the western response to the election results protesters in Iran? President Obama indicated that the policies of Mousavi, the opponent to current President Ahmadinejad, may not be much different from the status quo. Is the intended inference that America, as the beacon of hope and democracy for the world, should not support protesters seeking democracy, if their candidate has similar policies to the current leader?

The next purported rationale for a response of deafening silence is that we (the U.S.) should not volunteer to be the scapegoat for Pres. Ahmadinejad. Meaning that if the U.S. makes a bold statement calling for an election recount or other acknowledgement of the protesters, Pres. Ahmadinejad will draw nationalistic support from his constituency, and possibly from some of the protesters themselves.
The latter rationale does have some merit, while the first rationale is devoid of America’s true role in the world. Waiting a few days to avoid becoming a scapegoat for the unrest makes sense. But the time has come to proclaim that America supports democracy and freedom in all forms and by all peoples. If France had taken a similar stance to President Obama during the American Revolution, history may have been different. Of course, I do not suggest providing the protesters with arms, but I do support making it known that we in the U.S. stand with the protesters in Iran that seek to be heard.
If we remain silent now and the Iranian government decides to end the protests by force, we become not only a witness, but an accomplice to tyranny. If we shout to the world that we stand with those who seek and support democracy, we become a patron to that ideal.
The words and images of the tens of thousands of protesters in Iran from the past few days are nothing short of inspiring, dramatic and invigorating. I hope the world response is of equal effect.
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