Monday, December 28, 2009

Why the Silence on Iranian Protests?

Sunday, December 27 was the day of Ashura in Iran. This is a day of mourning marking the death of Imam Hussain. Imam Hussain was martyred by Caliph Yazid and this is the basis of the Islamic Republic's fighting against what Iran views as global arrogance.

According to an article in Time online, during the protests in the streets of Tehran the crowds shouted, "This month is a month of blood. Yazid will fall!" Those fighting for freedom against the repression of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei now equate him with Yazid.

The crowds of protesters on Revolution Street in Tehran swell into the hundreds of thousands, yet our president, the leader of the free world, remains silent. Why is it so difficult for President Obama to express support for those dying for freedom in Iran? Why has he turned his back on an uprising of hope for a better future for those under the thumb of Islamic totalitarianism?

Reports coming out of Iran claim that five were killed yesterday from gunshots fired into the crowd by police. Teargas was fired as well. One woman was run over by a car and many of the opposition were arrested. Opposition leader Mousavi's nephew is one of the dead. many of the senior aides to Mousavi have been arrested.

Our president craves the camera, to be sure. We are subjected to daily photo ops and snippets of continued campaign style speeches as he sells his agenda to the American public. Why is he a shrinking violet when it comes to embracing the concept that oppressed people exposed to Western ideas are willing to die for freedom?

The Iranian people's protests are a sign of hope for the country's future. Earlier in the year a young woman, an innocent victim of being at the wrong place at the wrong time, was brutally and deliberately shot to death by thugs of the regime and this was caught on camera. The video flew around the world sparking compassion from all. Her name was Neda and she is a symbol of the sacrifice of those fighting for the freedom of the Iranian people today.

In past administrations, our presidents have been enthusiastic and consistent about supporting freedom for the oppressed around the globe. Today, however, we have a president who is known to speak to foreign audiences and apologize for past mistakes made by the United States - at least perceived mistakes by the far left and their blame America agenda. President Obama campaigned on wishing to speak one on one with Iranian leaders without conditions, on declaring that by offering up such meetings the brutal thugs would love us. That by extending a hand in friendship the dictators would magically transform into peace loving lambs.

Our president is dangerously naive and stubborn in his world views. During the presidential campaign candidate Obama was late to stand up and support Georgia as it was threatened by Russia. As president, Obama denied the Dalai Lama a one on one visit before his trip overseas to China, not wanting to offend the China leader. This is precedent setting in reverse. This is not the way forward for the world's leader in carrying the torch of freedom. Obama has been silent for a year now on the continued growth of the Iranian street's pursuit of freedom.

It is past time for the President of the United States to give the Iranians the platform they deserve. It is past time for ending the kid glove treatment of brutal dictators. It is past time for the execution of a kumbiya foreign policy.

Speak up, Mr. President. The people of Iran are waiting.

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