Should President Bush “respond”to the 18-page rant sent to him through the media by the jihadistpresident in Tehran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
The Party of Appeasers – which includes the Senator fromFrance, Chuck Hagel – believes the answer is yes. They believethe United States should be offering concessions to a regime thatmurders its own young, that cheats on its international obligations,and that threatens to obliterate another member of the UnitedNations.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who has nowacknowledged publicly that she and her political masters completelymissed the rise of political Islam during the 1990s because of theirideological rejection of religion in any form whatsoever, had aslightly more interesting suggestion. She has said the presidentshould respond to the message he wants to receive, not necessarilythe one that was sent.
That is a constructive suggestion, seeing as there is nothing –absolutely nothing – in the bearded boy wonder’s screedthat deserves serious attention by anyone other than a rapid consumerof urban legend. (Which is why Cindy Sheehan thinks it’s amasterpiece, no doubt).
Just to sum up, for those of who haven’t the patience to trollthe gutter, Ahmadinejad makes the case why he believes why America isan evil empire. I guess that is what explains the letter’sunending torrent of torrid prose. It’s a long and often amusingcase if you buy into it.
He complains that the United States has tried to overthrow his regime(millions of Iranian patriots wish that were true).
He criticizes the US for holding prisoners at Guantanamo who get “threehots and a cot,” as well as a prayer rug, exercise, and visitsby the Red Cross. Gee, I know thousands of political prisoners inIran who would much prefer GTMO to Evin prison in Tehran orGohardasht prison in Karaj.
In calling on the president to change his ways, he counsels him toadopt “the values outlined in the beginning of this letter,i.e. the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH), human rights and liberalvalues."
My favorite is the way he phrased the allegation – whichMichael Moore and the Cindy camp know is absolute, rock-solid truth –that elements within the U.S. government carried out the September 11attacks. "Reportedly your government employs extensive security,protection and intelligence systems – and even hunts itsopponents abroad,” he says.
This is what psychologists call “projection.” SinceAhmadinejad and his government have systematically hunted down andmurdered opponents of their regime in France, Germany, Austria,Turkey, Dubai, Iraq, and elsewhere, ergo the United Statesmust be gunning for Michael Moore and Saint Cindy as they hip-hopfrom gay gala to gala at the Cannes Film Festival. You wish.
I guess no one gave him the brief on the support his owngovernment provided the al Qaeda hijackers, an extremely truncatedversion of which appears on pp241-242 of the 9/11 Commissionreport.
But seriously, President Bush should respond to the letter. Heshould treat it as an opportunity to address the Iranian people,doing in foreign policy what he occasionally has done so well here athome, talking over the heads of the media and taking his casedirectly to the people.
His address should be carried on Voice of America and Radio Farda inFarsi, as well as in the original English – if for no otherreason than to ensure that pro-Tehran staffers at these radios do notdeform the message when they translate it into Persian. The president’sspeech should be re-broadcast again and again and again. And itshould be followed up by action.
Here’s what the president should say and do.
First, he should restate his support for the right of the Iranianpeople “to choose your own future and win your own freedom.”He first said this, to great effect, in the 2002 State of the Unionand restated it again this year. Presidential pronouncements thatreaffirm the right of the Iranian people to pursue freedom in theface of tyranny are important, especially if the president follows upwith clear actions.
Next, he should designate Vice President Dick Cheney as his Emissaryto the Free People of Iran. (That will get the boy president’sattention, I assure you. Cheney = serious business). Cheney’sjob will be to conduct a loya jirga of the Iranian opposition,and to help them designate a leadership council capable of takingtheir case to the world, as well as to the Iranian people.
(Note to skeptics: the Iran Referendum Movement has already taken amajor step in this direction, bringing together political opponentsfrom the National Front on the left to the Constitutionalists on theright. They have established 38 chapters in cities around the world,who designated 250 delegates to a founding conference in Brussels inDecember 2005. The conferees elected a 15 member Central committee,who then selected a 7-member executive board. That is a good exampleof democracy in action.)
Third, the President should ask Congress to fully fund programs insupport of the Free People of Iran. These programs should includemassive support for exile broadcasting out of Los Angeles, as opposedto expanding the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe’spro-Iranian regime broadcasting in Persian.
VOA showed once again on May 11 just how opposed it is to the agendaof President Bush by inviting lobbyist Housang Amirahmadi onto theirpremier TV show broadcasting into Iran. (Amirahmadi is one of thelegion of VOA guests who has called for lifting sanctions againstTehran and opening trade with the Islamic Republic, instead ofconfronting them.) What kind of message does that send to thepeople of Iran? Where are the pro-freedom advocates on U.S.-taxpayerfunded broadcasts into Iran? Where are the president’s speechesin favor of freedom?
Finally, the Vice President’s office should work behind thescenes with non-profit organizations and with the leadership councilthat emerges from the loya jirga to get money and technicalsupport items to opposition forces inside Iran. Not weapons –as the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (aka the MEK)want – but secure communications equipment and the like to beused to help organize a massive, nation-wide movement. We need tohelp the Iranian people to master the weapons of non-violence againsta regime that owns all the guns. This is war by other means.
Mr. President: bringing freedom to Iran is far too important toAmerica’s national security to entrust it to the StateDepartment, and especially not to the CIA. Go to the folks who cando, not to those who whine and leak.
How much will this cost? $300 million? $500 million? Perhaps more?Assuredly. And how much will it cost in blood and treasure if we haveto send an armada of B2 bombers and F-22 and F-117 stealth fightersand U.S. special forces to take out Iran’s nuclear and missilesites? (And don’t forget that nasty little “tax”when oil tops $200/barril after a U.S. or Israeli military strike onIran).
If we do not help the people of Iran to overthrow this radicalregime, the military option will be all that we have left –unless, of course, as the Party of Appeasement would have it, we areto get used to the idea of a nuclear-armed regime of radical Islamicfundamentalists who openly espouse the thrill it would give them tomurder millions of Americans and Jews.
This is the only option between Appeasement and War. It’s timewe took it seriously. There is much to do.
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