Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Give Iran Dissidents More U.S. Support

A pretty well done article written by The Intelligencer about the support for the Iranian dissidents from the US government
    President Bush’s diplomatic gambit to open talks with Iran regarding its nuclear ambitions is either brilliant or foolish, but it is in the nature of such gambits that the outcome can’t be certain. The nature of the Iranian regime, which sponsors terror groups and openly talks of using nuclear weapons to vaporize Israel, suggests pessimism is in order.

    The hard reality of the situation is that the Iranians are not constrained by such quaint ideas as acceptable civilized behavior. The Iranian government is a radical theocracy bent, apparently, on regional domination. It is perhaps a different side of the same coin of Saddam Hussein’s one-time ambitions. Add to that the fact that the ever-reliable old European powers, China and Russia, all seem apt, for their own reasons, to do business with Iran and that U.S. forces are tied down in Iraq, and U.S. options appear fairly limited.

    Given that the Iranian government already has stated that it won’t renounce nuclear weapons as a precondition of talks, perhaps the best outcome one can hope for in the near term is that the U.S. move will expose the haplessness of ordinary diplomacy and thereby make it harder for European governments to block sanctions or other action at the United Nations Security Council.

    The downside of Bush’s move is that talks of any sort lend legitimacy to an illegitimate, unpopular dictatorship. The regime surely will use its new standing for domestic propaganda purposes. Bush’s recent public statements on Iran sadly are absent any substantive mention of pro-democracy Iranian dissidents.

    The Bush initiative could well bear fruit. But the strategy might inspire more confidence if it were accompanied by more vocal — and substantive — long-term support for dissidents, much as the United States supported pro-democracy activists within the old Soviet bloc even as the U.S. government negotiated arms treaties with Moscow.
These are almost my points [here] as well, now that the damage is done and many pro-Bush Iranians are unhappy with this decision to talk to the Iranian mullahs over the nukes. But we'll see if mullahs really want peaceful nukes or they just seek more WMDs.


E J Hosdil said...

As soon as the United States helps Iran, Europe and Canada will start crying that America does not have International support. We got no thanks for liberating Iraq. So it is time that you guys (the rest of the world) start getting involved in world affairs and defending human rights.

a Duoist said...

You've made a good point, Winston, of how disappointing it is that Mr. Bush chose to not mention, by name, any incarcerated Iranian democracy activists. Perhaps he is presently deferring to the Canadian Prime Minister's somewhat oblique remarks about the arrest and holding of Dr. Jahanbegloo in Evin prison.

From speeches and remarks made by the Iranian ayatollahs and mullahs over the past several years, they perceive internal Iranian nationalism to be as much of a threat to their rule as external 'foreign influences.' If that is so--and it is very astute of them to realize their true enemy is Iranian patriotism--why are there not any Iranian flags flying at any Iranian labor, student, or womens' demonstrations?

Why hasn't 'Persian Blue' caught on as a symbol of Iranian desire for freedom, as millions of citizens wearing 'Orange' and 'Purple' did for Eastern Europeans' "velvet revolutions"?

'Be free.'

Rosemary said...

I have despised this idea from the beginning. Where is money for the radio free Iran? Where is money for weapons to the pro-democracy groups? Where is the money for any darn thing? I am so frustrated.

However, I do know GWB is calling his bluff. He's an American and a Texan. Put the both of them together, and you'll find that we don't play.

Let's hope that's the strategy.