Liberty Expose: America Must Not Be Silent on Iran
The question of how nations respond to evil has once again ascended to the national conscience. In the culture, the rhetoric of Winston Churchill has remerged on the silver screen due to films such as Dunkirk and Darkest Hour. Now is an appropriate time to rediscover Churchill and his moral resolve in the face of silence and opposition. In recent years, the moral resolve of the West, and particularly the nation that leads it, has come into question. Nowhere has this been more apparent that the West’s dealings with the regime in Iran.
When Iranians bravely protested the regime in 2009, the world failed to hear their calls for justice. In response to the potential underpinnings of the nation that might pose the gravest threat to world peace, the Obama administration decided to put their “leading by behind” theory of leadership into practice. In response to the 2009 uprising, which originated from protests regarding electoral corruption, then-President Obama stated that while “troubled” by the events in Iran, it was ultimately “up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be." Meanwhile, Iranian citizens were being slaughtered in the streets for trying to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be.
This brand of moral relativism would define the Obama administration’s foreign policy towards Iran for the next eight years. The administration would repeatedly undermine Israeli attempts to take a strategic advantage of Iran. Cyber-attacks on Iranian nuclear infrastructure would be terminated, and potential aerospace deals with other nations fearing Iran’s expanding hegemony would be exposed.
Too often, when Iran’s strategic assets needed to be saved, the Obama administration was waiting with the bell. The actions taken by the administration are still being revealed; a recent report alleges that the Obama administration warned Iran about an impending Israeli attempt to assassinate Qasem Soleimani, the Quads Force leader responsible for killing American servicemen during the Iraq War.
Presumably, all of this was to set the stage for the Iran nuclear deal, which gave the Iranian regime billions of dollars under the time-limited promise that Iran would delay their nuclear program for a few years. All of this is done while Iran is persecuting religious minorities, hanging gay men from cranes, suppressing the basic rights of women, executing dissidents, and is being the number one state-sponsor of terror in the world.
It would seem the future of Iran was void of hope. The regime sponsors terror throughout the Middle East, neighboring states prepare for war and the Iranian people seemed crushed under the heel of the regime. A repeat of the 2009 protests seemed almost impossible.
However, almost a decade after the 2009 protests, Iranians are protesting the regime again. Though beginning as grievances against the economy, the protests have evolved into opposition into the nature of the regime itself. The Iranian regime has responded in their typical fashion: killing protests and jailing other dissidents. The recent events provide the world with another opportunity to speak out against the Iranian regime. To use a favorite phrase of former-President Obama; the protests allow the West to be on the “right side of history."
Despite this opportunity, former Obama administration officials are responding the same way they did in 2009. John Kerry, Obama's second Secretary of State, stated that this was an Iranian moment, and not the concern of others. Ben Rhodes, the fiction writer-turned-foreign policy advisor who openly lied about the Iran Deal, made similar statements, suggesting that Americans are too concerned with the happenings of Iran.
Both of them, along with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, have voiced that the Iranian people deserve more dignity – but none have acknowledged the banality of the regime itself. Not everyone is morally blinded to the events in Iran. The most notable example being the statements made by President Trump in which he called the regime “brutal and corrupt” and warned that the United States was watching.
One can speculate as to why the criticism of the regime in Iran has been so soft from the officials of the Obama administration. Maybe it is because they do not want to call the regime evil due to the administration’s payout via the Iran Deal. Maybe it is because they do not believe America has a moral leg to stand on in the world. Perhaps it is both. But whatever it may be, the protests in Iran present an opportunity for the future peace and prosperity of the Middle East.
John Kerry tweeted that Americans should check their hubris because we know “little” of what is going on in Iran, which may be true, in regards to specifics, but there are a couple certainties that Americans can be sure of. Americans can be sure that there is a large number of people brave enough to protest a regime that executes dissidents, and of the protesters, a majority are young.
This presents an opportunity to the United States because it shows that the Iranian regime does not have the complete support of the Iranian people, and the Islamic Republic is not the invincible and popular Goliath it is often depicted to be. The United States and our allies must continually voice opposition to the regime and expose the crimes the Iranian government commits. It must show the people in Iran that the world is watching them, and they will not be left in the dark as they have been before.