Dear Ira­ni­ans: Don’t count on Amer­ica

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

The ad­min­is­tra­tion has re­mained as quiet as pos­si­ble dur­ing the Ira­nian elec­tion sea­son and in the days of street protests since Fri­day’s vote.” — Wash­ing­ton Post , Mon­day June 15, 2009

“We’re go­ing to with­hold com­ment. I mean we’re just wait­ing to see.” — Vice-Pres­i­dent Joe Bi­den

“We are mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion as it un­folds in Iran but we, like the rest of the world, are wait­ing and watch­ing to see what the Ira­nian peo­ple de­cide.” — Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton

“Most coun­tries ap­peared to be tak­ing a wait-and-see ap­proach, in­clud­ing the Euro­pean Union and China, Ger­many, Italy and Ja­pan — na­tions with strong eco­nomic ties to Iran. France said it was closely fol­low­ing the sit­u­a­tion.” — As­so­ci­ated Press, June 13, 2009

For those who look to “world opin­ion,” “the opin­ion of mankind,” or to the United Na­tions for moral guid­ance or for com­ing to the aid of vic­tims of op­pres­sion, the past few days and pre­sum­ably the next few days in Iran, pro­vide yet an­other ex­am­ple of their use­less­ness.

A mil­lion or more Ira­ni­ans are demon­strat­ing against the ob­vi­ously stolen elec­tion on June 12 of Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad, and the world — ex­cept for the lowlifes who rule places like Venezuela and Syria and who im­me­di­ately sent their ef­fu­sive con­grat­u­la­tions to Ah­madine­jad — is quiet. The world is “closely fol­low­ing the sit­u­a­tion,” just as it fol­lowed the sit­u­a­tions of the Jews dur­ing the Holo­caust, the Ukraini­ans, the Chi­nese un­der Mao, the Rwan­dans, the Cam­bo­di­ans, Ti­betans, and so many oth­ers.

I have long be­lieved that the cit­i­zens of most free coun­tries do not de­serve the gift of free­dom that they have. Few have any in­ter­est in pro­mot­ing free­dom, only in hav­ing it for them­selves. In­so­far as other coun­tries are con­cerned what mat­ters to most free coun­tries, as to dic­ta­tor­ships, is power.

That is what Amer­ica and Europe are watch­ing — where the power in Iran will go. Who­ever wins will get free Amer­ica and free Europe’s re­spect.

Now it may be ar­gued that if the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent speaks out in sup­port of those de­mon- strat­ing for free elec­tions in Iran, it will be coun­ter­pro­duc­tive.

How ex­actly? What will the un­elected Pres­i­dent Ah­madine­jad and the un­elected Supreme Ruler, Grand Ay­a­tol­lah, the pre­me­dieval Ali Khamenei do? Get an­gry at Amer­ica? Threaten to an­ni­hi­late an­other coun­try? Start build­ing nu­clear arms? Stone women who com­mit sex­ual sins? Hey, wait, haven’t they done all that al­ready?

As bad as most of the world’s coun­tries are, those led by left­wing gov­ern­ments are even worse when it comes to de­fend­ing democ­racy.

A pri­mary rea­son Amer­ica is “wait­ing” and “watch­ing” and “mon­i­tor­ing” while Ira­ni­ans are beaten in the streets of Tehran is that the coun­try is led by the left.

Com­pare the Cana­dian re­ac­tion, now that it has a con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment:

On the very next day af­ter the Ira­nian elec­tions, ac­cord­ing to CNN, “Cana­dian For­eign Af­fairs Min­is­ter Lawrence Can­non told re­porters in Ni­a­gara Falls, On­tario, Satur­day, that Canada was ‘deeply con­cerned’ about al­le­ga­tions of vot­ing ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties. ‘We’re trou­bled by re­ports of in­tim­i­da­tion of op­po­si­tion candidates’ offices by se­cu­rity forces.’”

Even usu­ally ap­peas­ing Ger­many, now led by a more con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment, had a sharper re­sponse than Amer­ica:

As re­ported by CNN, “Ger­man For­eign Min­is­ter FrankWal­ter Stein­meier told ARD Sun­day that the Ira­nian am­bas­sador in Berlin would be sum­moned to ex­plain the treat­ment of pro­test­ers against the re­sult. ‘I have al­ready prompted Iran, to­gether with Euro­pean col­leagues to­day, to quickly shed light on what has hap­pened there — if one can take the an­nounced elec­tion re­sults there se­ri­ously or not,” he added.

And Ger­many’s Deutsche Welle re­ported on Mon­day, June 15:

“Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel says she is very con­cerned and con­demns the wave of ar­rests fol­low­ing the Ira­nian elec­tion.”

Now com­pare La­bor-led Bri­tain’s re­sponse:

As re­ported by CNN: “U.K. For­eign Sec­re­tary David Miliband said Satur­day that the U.K. gov­ern­ment had ‘fol- lowed care­fully, and ad­mired, the pas­sion and de­bate dur­ing the Ira­nian elec­tion cam­paign. We have also heard the con­cerns about the count­ing of bal­lots ex­pressed by two of the candidates. This is a mat­ter for the Ira­nian au­thor­i­ties to ad­dress. We will con­tinue to fol­low de­vel­op­ments.’”

“This is a mat­ter for the Ira­nian au­thor­i­ties to ad­dress.” Surely a proud mo­ment for Bri­tain.

The best ex­am­ple comes, as it of­ten does, from that quin­tes­sen­tial man of the left, for­mer Pres­i­dent of the United States Jimmy Carter, speak­ing from — where else? the Pales­tinian City of Ra­mal­lah: “I think this elec­tion has brought out a lot of op­po­si­tion to (Ah­madine­jad’s} poli­cies in Iran, and I’m sure he’ll lis­ten to those opin­ions and hope­fully moderate his po­si­tion.”

Not every­one on the left is “sure” that Ah­madine­jad will “lis­ten” to his op­po­nents’ opin­ions. But that level of naivete re­gard­ing evil is al­most exclusive to the left.

Den­nis Prager is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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