David B.




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June 18, 2009

Iran: Let’s Mind Our Own Business. For Once.


It is, without a doubt, an inspiring sight: Tens, hundreds of thousands of Iranians in the streets of Tehran, raising their voices against a sham election and the thuggish, retrograde regime that ran it. It is a radiant, glorious eruption of the true spirit of democracy, writ large for all the world to see.


Naturally, this has drawn would-be political opportunists out of the woodwork, ever eager to advance their own agendas through linkage to a morally righteous and universally popular cause. It’s a particularly irresistible target for a Republican Party down on its luck and lacking a meaningful reason to exist, especially since the underpinning themes of democracy and individual liberty dovetail so nicely with Republican rhetoric, if not practice.


Sensing an opportunity to exploit the plight of the Iranian people for purposes of gaining a Gallup poll point or two on Barack Obama, a succession of Republicans, newly concerned about the welfare of everyday Iranians, have inveighed against the Obama Administration for its supposed failure to lend moral, political and possibly logistical or military support to the Iranian opposition.


This is, of course, the same Republican Party whose standard bearer during the 2008 elections joyously sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran” to a roomful of journalists, a gesture which the Iranian citizenry might be inclined to look at somewhat askance. When not advocating their wholesale slaughter, the Republican Party has largely ignored them. After all, since the Ayatollah Khomeini bounced Amoco out of the country on its ass in the 1970s, they aren’t even enriching Republicans’ dividend checks, so what good are they?


It is difficult in this light to take the Republicans’ newfound Sotomayor-esque empathy for Iranian democracy seriously. Seen within the context of the history of U.S./Iranian relations, the pretense seems positively repulsive.


It was with the endorsement of a Republican administration, after all, that the Central Intelligence Agency destroyed the once fully functioning Iranian democracy through the violent overthrow of the legitimately-elected Mohammed Mossadeq in 1953 and the subsequent forced installation of his brutal, tyrannical, bought-and-paid-for successor, Shah Reza Pahlavi. An odious, sociopathic stooge on the order of Cuba’s Batista or Nicaragua’s Samoza, Pahlavi’s barbaric regime distinguished itself only by virtue of its supplication to American interests, governmental and financial, and its vicious treatment of its own citizens. Pahlavi’s dreaded secret police, the Savak, engaged in capricious cruelties that would make Stalin blush. Apart from the routine torture, murder, imprisonment and disappearance of suspected dissidents and undesirables, the Savak engaged in warped, perverse tactics such as using trained dogs to rape prisoners, both male and female, as a means of extracting information or forcing subjugation.


Ever Washington’s pal, Pahlavi was buffered from a rising tide of domestic discontent in the early 1970s by the active intervention of the CIA and U.S. military advisors, acting on the behest of Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Dying of cancer and disdained by the Carter Administration, he was finally dumped in a broad popular uprising – thus legitimizing Khomeini, and not incidentally, providing Islamic fundamentalism with its first platform on the international stage.


It is an unavoidable and irrefutable fact that the current Iranian despot-in-chief Ahmadinejad and the tyranny he represents are the direct result of decades of idiotic, self-serving, Republican-initiated American policies and practices. Of all the world’s nations, there is no voice more illegitimate or deservedly hated within the nation of Iran.


Barack Obama has the good sense to understand that America has no role in determining the outcome of current events within this tortured nation. It would be nice, however unlikely, if Republicans would have the decency to follow his lead and shut the hell up.


© 2009 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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