Friday, August 24, 2007

The Third Option

You know what does not take courage? Sitting in comfortable homes in Madison Wisconsin and calling our government oppressive. I doubt many of our UW Madison intellectuals would be as vocal if America actually applies torture and inhuman punishments in public on domestic critics. Going on record as a domestic opponent of an truly oppressive regime - that takes courage.

Iranian Rights Activists, Intellectuals Decry Arrests: More than 650 Iran-based human rights activists and intellectuals have issued an open letter to condemn what they describe as increasing pressure on students, journalists, and workers, Radio Farda reported. The statement claims an increasing number of students and political activists are facing "false" accusations of disrupting public order, insulting sacred values, or involvement in what officials have called a "creeping coup."

The creeping coup is the term the Ministry of Culture expresses when justifying shutting down hundreds of media organizations reporting the increasing unrest and resistance of the Iranian people. Ayatollah Khomeini captured power with a very specific Shia Islam based view of how the world should live, but it is a narrow interpretation and one not shared even by other Shi’ite clerics in the country.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard: For a quarter of a century, the regime established by Khomeini has been labeled a “mullahrchy”, a theocracy dominated by the Shi’ite clergy. Now, however, those familiar with the Iranian situation know that a majority of Shi’ite clerics never converted to Khomeinism and did not endorse the Islamic Republic. Today, it is safe to say that the dominant force within the ruling establishment in Tehran is the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The Bush Administration is attempting to designate Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization. This is a creative attempt to stigmatize the enforcement arm of the Iranian government simultaneously with the peaking of public sentiment against the increasingly heavy hand of Mullahs.

A Third Option (neither appeasement nor war): The potential for bringing about a change in government resides with the Iranian people, indeed. Commenting on prior anti-government protests, a Tehran-based European diplomat explained, "The pent-up anger is still there, beneath the surface. But for it to seriously take off you need a catalyst, you need a cause, you need organization and leadership. It's a big task," Support for Iran’s largest, most organized, secular, and democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the National Council of Resistance of Iran led by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi is instrumental in solving the Iran riddle.

Maybe the Bush Administration finally understands the importance of winning the propaganda war with radical Islam. The People’s Mojahedin of Iran was placed on the terrorist organization list by the Clinton Administration in an appeasement move tied to Hillary and Bill’s desire to open dialog with Tehran. By all accounts the people of Iran understand their situation relative to the rest of the world, and it is certainly in American interests that regime change movements in their country continue to receive information and support.