This Time We Must Support the Brave Protesters In Iran Seeking Democracy
It has been 8 years since the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran have protested against their government. Then, the USA, Europe, and other world powers did nothing to support the people in their quest for a fair and democratic society in a nation that has experienced decades of oppression under the Ayatollahs and centuries of oppression under the Shahs. As history has shown, that is a gross error that should not be repeated, particularly in light of the imminent nuclear capabilities of Iran. We don’t need another North Korea, especially in the Middle East and in a nation whose government is a major sponsor of international terrorism.
From 1951 to 1953, Iran enjoyed a promising democracy under the populist-socialist Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. But when Mr. Mosaddegh decided that oil exports to the USA and Europe should come at a premium price in order to raise the standard of living of all the Iranian people, the USA helped to depose Mr. Mosaddegh via a staged internal uprising in Iran, replacing him with the unpopular monarchy of Shah Reza Pahlavi – a greedy and oppressive monarch who filled his personal coffers and let oil flow to the West at bargain prices. Without this kind of meddling by the USA and the UK, among other major Western and Middle Eastern powers, all the rulers of 20th Century Iran would never have come to power.
As revealed in USA documents declassified in 2016 and covered by articles by the BBC, Ayatollah Khomeini — the despotic ruler of Iran for the latter half of the 20th Century and the powerful internal moving force behind the so-called Islamic Revolution that changed the flow of Middle Eastern politics towards a landscape fertile to Islamist terrorism and oppression — was brought to power through secret and duplicitous talks with the USA’s Kennedy and Carter Administrations, the UK, and France in a short-sighted effort to combat Soviet influence in the Middle East and insure continued oil-flow from Iran as Shah Pahlavi became unpopular with everyday Iranians and more relevantly became bold, greedy, and powerful enough to decide to push back against foreign cheap-oil demands. In short, we played regime change because we naively and ignorantly believed our economy would benefit under Ayatollah Khomeini who would shortly become one of the most violent and oppressive dictators the world has ever seen and a sworn enemy of the United States which he called “the Great Satan”.
The USA has been and continues to be involved in foreign wars, regime change, and military and political turmoil in every region around the globe. We are the dominant power-player in the world, the most aggressive political and economic game-changer, or perhaps as it would have been stated prior to the 20th Century before that word became too dangerous, the world’s most aggressive colonial power. Yet after the 2009 and 2011 public protests in Iran, President Obama did nothing but utter a few palliative words of muted approval of the unbelievable courage of millions of Iranians who risked their lives to rise up against a regime more oppressive than that of any Stalin or Pol Pot – a regime that has so silenced its populace that people in the USA literally believe that all is well with the Iranian people.
All is not well in Iran. Quite the contrary, life in Iran for the people there is fear, poverty, dirt, disease, and corruption. Its pathetic statistical standing in world rankings in all such areas are facts. The voice of the people in the so-called Islamic Republic of Iran is rising again. We who fight with drones and missiles, we whose primary military-political export is regime change allegedly in the name of Democracy, must offer this linchpin nation in the Middle East far more than President Trump’s words that “the world is watching”. If we are serious about making the world a safer place, about peace in the Middle East, about ending Islamist terrorism and ending the threat of ISIS and its ilk, then now is the time for us all and especially our local, state, and federal leaders to raise their voices and their fists in support of true Democracy at work. Through social media, letters to our political leaders, and the power of your vote, support the peaceful and vocal revolution of the Persian people, before its too late.
– Ali Shahrestani