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Support the Protests in Iran
National Review ^ | Jan 02, 2018 | National Review Editors

Posted on 01/02/2018 10:00:43 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom

Protests have erupted across Iran. From the country’s relatively modern cities to its more remote, fervently religious areas, Iranian citizens are challenging the despotic theocracy that rules over them. The protests began as dissatisfaction with a faltering economy bubbled over. They have since mushroomed into large-scale demonstrations for political freedom, demands for the removal of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s head of state, and even expressions of nostalgia for Reza Shah, the founder of the old secular Pahlavi dynasty.

The protests are different in origin from the Green Movement in 2009, which broke out when, after the systematic election-fixing the regime engages in proved insufficient, the mullahs took the added step of throwing the election to then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Yet they present the most significant challenge to the regime since — and just as it did then, the clerical tyranny is cracking down. At least 21 people have been killed, and hundreds more have been detained.

The United States government should zealously support the protests against the tyranny of this regime. That would be a pointed departure from the approach of Barack Obama, who remained shamefully inert at the beginning of his term, despite the regime’s brutal crackdown on its people and the subsequent discovery of its secret nuclear facilities. Thus far, President Trump’s remarks are a good start. He has publicly criticized the regime ever since the protests gained steam, and tweeted that “the US is watching.” The Left has chided Trump on the grounds that his supporting the protesters will undermine their cause by allowing the regime to claim that the hated United States is fomenting their movement. But Khamenei is viciously anti-American, and he will blame the protests on the U.S. no matter what.

Indeed, he already has. On Twitter, Khamenei accused “enemies of Iran” — a thinly veiled reference to the U.S. — of using “the various means they possess” to “infiltrate and strike the Iranian nation,” despite the fact that these protests are local in origin. Opposition to the United States is a first principle of the Iranian regime, and it uses it to justify their grip on power.

To be sure, the United States has a limited ability to influence the ultimate outcome of the protests. It is difficult to glean accurate information from within Iran, thanks in part to the regime’s long-standing practice of shielding itself from journalistic scrutiny. Many of the political reformers that were instrumental in the Green Movement have been killed, detained, or placed under house arrest, making it difficult to identify an organized faction that the U.S. could easily assist. To the extent that we can, however, we should work to tilt the scales against the regime. In this case, American foreign-policy interests are aligned with the interests of Iranian civilians: In addition to being an authoritarian menace that denies its citizens human rights, Iran’s regime has been sponsoring terrorism across the Middle East and killing Americans for decades. If the regime is swept away, Iran has a chance to be a normal country that tends to its own interests instead of exporting jihad. That would be a boon for U.S. and global security.

Accordingly, we should take robust diplomatic actions. Along with Trump’s initial comments, the State Department issued a statement denouncing the regime and noting our support for the protesters. United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley has called for meetings of the U.N. Human Rights Council and the Security Council in order to draw attention to the regime’s ongoing and brutal repression. We should also urge our allies in Europe to speak out, and given the economic origins of these protests, tighten sanctions on Iran. The regime is unpopular in part because Iranian president Hassan Rouhani isn’t delivering the economic benefits to citizens that he campaigned on. We should make it impossible for him to paper over his regime’s brutal nature with promises of prosperity; the need to withdraw from the ill-conceived Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is as clear as ever. In keeping with Trump’s renunciation of Obama’s Iran deal, the White House and Congress should rebuild the sanctions regimen against Iran — and punish those that, by engaging in commerce with the regime, enable it to promote terror, arm up, and terrorize its people.

In 2009, the regime tried to jam radio stations such as Voice of America and Radio Farda, a Farsi iteration of Radio Free Europe. Radio Farda in particular has not lived up to its potential, and Trump should focus on making sure Iranians can listen to its broadcasts. We should also take actions to prevent the regime from blocking civilian access to the Internet. Social media proved instrumental in 2009, until the government placed constraints on Internet speeds. This time around, apps such as Telegram and WhatsApp are allowing protesters to coordinate, and the Trump administration should make every effort to ensure that the protesters can continue to use these services.

Just as we can help demonstrators today in visible ways, we should undertake covert actions that might help undermine the regime over the long term. The United States should identify viable factions and provide assistance to them. This will be a delicate task; some groups will not want our help. We should make a concerted effort to support the ones that do.

Dictatorships fall when the repressive apparatus of the ruling regime buckles, and there is no way to know when, or even whether, it will in Iran. Nonetheless, we commend these protesters who are risking their lives and hope the United States does everything it can to help them.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
I'm sure the NR's preferred candidate, Hillary Clinton, would be doing a much better job than Trump will. I hope the editors use 2018 to reflect on how stupid they were.
1 posted on 01/02/2018 10:00:43 PM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

Well at the very least, we should be sending pussy hats to Iranian women protesters.

2 posted on 01/02/2018 10:05:27 PM PST by The Fop (God Bless Donald Trump, Frank Sinatra, Joan Rivers, and the Fightin' Rat Pack Wing of the GOP)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

Yes, let’s support yet another potential meltdown in the Middle East. Say what you want about the regime there (there are many sore points), but at least it is intrinsically stable in the region. They came into power in the first place as a reaction to our meddling, and they have used regional resentment to start a cold war with one of our principal partners in the region to keep things balanced.

Now that Saudi is trying to gracefully bow out of playing hardball since the US has found its mojo again, Trump should get all the prisoners back from Iran, try to calm down Syria and Iraq, prevent any other Sunni shenanigans, and establish a status quo in the region under a modified balance of power.

If the protests were spontaneous, as they may be, let’s sit it out like 2009. It should not be not our place or covert ops’ place to sponsor any more “color revolutions”. Trump is not the Clinton’s, and neocons are dangerous for our foreign policy.

3 posted on 01/02/2018 11:10:14 PM PST by Ulmius
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To: Ulmius

The current regime in Iran is a terroristic Shi’a Islamacist theocracy (now well funded by Obama’s and his Iranian puppet-master Valerie Jarret.

Cut your tripe ...

4 posted on 01/03/2018 12:15:35 AM PST by dodger
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To: Ulmius

“Intrinsically stable”?


If that’s a short resume for “stable”, who, in your opinion, is is “unstable”?

5 posted on 01/03/2018 12:38:09 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Government: Another Gang that steals your money for "Protection".)
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To: The Fop

The country should stay out of any Arabic Muslim mess.

I’m telling you there is only one reason we even deal with that region - oil.

Let’s hold our nose, buy the oil and get the hell out. Leave them to their self determined misery.

6 posted on 01/03/2018 2:07:49 AM PST by Conservatron
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To: The Fop

????? The Iranian women protestors are the antithesis of those who wear pussy hats....

7 posted on 01/03/2018 4:41:36 AM PST by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone? I think Trump may give it back...)
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To: Oshkalaboomboom

——that tends to its own interests instead of exporting jihad.——

That fragment illustrates complete misunderstanding of Iran.

The export of Jihad is in the Interest of the Iranian theocracy. The theocracy intends to spread it’s version of Islam and to control the Haj by controlling Meca.

Regional hegemony is the Iranian interest and it will be accomplished by Jihad

8 posted on 01/03/2018 4:51:18 AM PST by Thibodeaux (2018 is looking good)
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To: Ulmius

Kumbayaist drivel

9 posted on 01/03/2018 4:52:56 AM PST by Thibodeaux (2018 is looking good)
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To: dodger

The current regime in Saudi Arabia is a terror supporting, head cutting Sunni Wahhabi theocracy (which has been well funded by the Bushes, the Clinton’s, and other Western benefactors), and Trump is supporting them now, though he is playing them wonderfully in my opinion.

Cut your tripe, it’s politics...

10 posted on 01/03/2018 6:56:01 AM PST by Ulmius
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To: Uncle Miltie

How could you think I called Iraq, Syria, Yemen, or Afghanistan stable? Oh well...

Iran has been largely stable even after the 1979 revolution. The Persians have no significant ethnic strife with the Balochis, the Lurs, the Mazanderanians, the Kurds, the Azeris (the Supreme Leader is Azeri), the nomadic tribes, or Iranian Arabs. It trains the largest military presence in the area, and it has had a historical influence on their part of the Middle East (including Iraq) since the dawn of civilization. Despite our sanctions, they have stayed together, improved their nuclear program, and they even sent living beings into space and back with completely homegrown technology. Aside from the occasional protests since ‘79 and the the Iran Iraq war, what has come close to compromising Iran’s stability?

That being said, if the people want to change the regime, let them do it according to their own ability and to their own framework, and with no outside influences, especially ones we try to sic on them. There are too many nefarious agendas in place who have an interest in destabilizing the Middle East.

11 posted on 01/03/2018 7:35:19 AM PST by Ulmius
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To: Ulmius

Because you said so, and I quote,

“at least it is intrinsically stable in the region.”

I stand by for you to walk back your key assertion.

12 posted on 01/03/2018 8:04:39 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Government: Another Gang that steals your money for "Protection".)
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To: Uncle Miltie

The antecedent of “it” in this case is “Iran”. “Intrinsically stable” refers to a continuous Persian political and cultural presence that has been relatively undisturbed, even through Alexander, the Arabs, the Turks, the Mongols, and the Western colonialists.

I’m honestly not certain where I mentioned any of the other countries you listed.

13 posted on 01/03/2018 8:15:58 AM PST by Ulmius
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To: Ulmius


“Say what you want about the regime there (there are many sore points), but at least it is intrinsically stable in the region.”

The countries I pointed to are well known to have been destabilized by, or are destabilizing forces supported, promoted, armed and funded by Iran.

Do you follow the news any?

When America documents that Iran is the #1 world state sponsor of terrorism, do you disbelieve?

Dude. The Iranian regime is exactly not:

“intrinsically stable in the region.”

If you don’t get that, we’re done.

14 posted on 01/03/2018 8:33:44 AM PST by Uncle Miltie (Government: Another Gang that steals your money for "Protection".)
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To: Uncle Miltie

Did I disagree with you that Iran is destabilizing other regimes? Of course they are; they’re trying to encircle Saudi Arabia in Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi’s Shia minority, Syria, abd Iraq.

Destabilizing does not mean intrinsically unstable.

“Disbelieve”... It sounds like some sort of catechism, my goodness. Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that. 9/11 itself was carried out by the same people our government trained, and a NATO member harbored ISIS extremists crossing from Syria.

Again, answer me this: aside from a few protests and the Iran Iraq war, what event has posed a serious threat to the essential workings of the Islamic regime in Iran? When have IEDs gone off there? When have you seen scores dead there except for the aforementioned few protests and earthquakes?

Be done if you like.

15 posted on 01/03/2018 8:48:44 AM PST by Ulmius
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To: Ulmius

OK, so you like the Mullahs. Got it.

Ta ta.

16 posted on 01/03/2018 3:36:55 PM PST by dodger
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To: dodger

If bifurcation is valid in geopolitics like you think, then you like the headchoppers. Congratulations

17 posted on 01/03/2018 3:47:32 PM PST by Ulmius
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