A battle for freedom is being fought half-way around the world in Iran, and on every communication medium in existence from cell phone videos on You Tube, to Twitter, to Facebook, and beyond. The rebellion for freedom and fair elections rages and blood flows in their streets. Highly visible personages risk their lives by openly opposing tyranny. The parallels to our own American Revolution are not lost … except here in America.
Where are our voices in support of the fight for freedom, in Iran and elsewhere? Is it not ironic that the American Revolution was bred, fostered, fought and won by “radicals” — by people whose social and political agenda was not unlike liberals of recent years? The liberal factions in the U.S. for decades have touted themselves as the real freedom-fighters. I don’t agree that they’ve had any exclusive right to claim that badge, indeed they have not (witness our civil rights legislation passed by the conservative party), but the liberal faction has indeed claimed it.
So where are “they” now? Where is our President’s voice? That of our usually-quite-vocal Secretary of State Clinton? Why do we (the corporate “we”) not learn the lessons of the past, the lesson that you can’t play footsie with regimes such as that in Iran and North Korea?
This morning on Bill Bennett’s show, he had a marvelous guest who spoke with great knowledge about the Middle East and the Obama administration’s lack of understanding of that part of the world and the utter failings of it to address the Iran crisis intelligently. Fouad Ajami is the Director of the Middle East Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University and he argued persuasively against the hedging approach of pretending to be with the current Iranian regime in case it prevails, and our failing to openly support the dissidents. Good reading includes the following piece by Professor Ajami in the Wall Street Journal online:
President Barack Obama did not “lose” Iran. This is not a Jimmy Carter moment. But the foreign-policy education of America’s 44th president has just begun. Hitherto, he had been cavalier about other lands, he had trusted in his own biography as a bridge to distant peoples, he had believed he could talk rogues and ideologues out of deeply held beliefs. His predecessor had drawn lines in the sand. He would look past them.
The article is a good education about Iran and the naïveté of our current diplomacy there. His most salient point is:
The president has to choose between the regime and the people in the streets.
I agree, do you? America stands for something — individual freedom. We need to speak out for freedom and liberty whereever the battle is being waged. Perhaps we need to start at home.