The Iranian uprising and Europe’s silence In all the years of anxiety over what to do about the greatest sponsor of global terrorism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the hope has been that the Iranian people would overthrow the brutal theocracy that has subjugated them.
The past week has seen the most significant popular uprising in Iran since the regime took power in 1979. Mass demonstrations erupted in an unprecedented spread across the country. At least 22 demonstrators have been killed and more than 1000 arrested.
Now the head of the regime’s Revolutionary Guards says the protests are over. Given the viciousness and brutality of the Guards and the Basij security militia, this is certainly possible; but even if so, this is unlikely to be the end of the resistance.
For the revolt is more important even than the last big protest, the so-called Green Revolution in 2009. That was against voting irregularities and president Ahmadinejad. This time it has been against the regime itself.
The people have been calling for “Death to Khamenei,” Iran’s supreme leader, “Death to Rouhani,” Iran’s supposedly moderate president, and to “End the clerical regime!” Revolutions against tyrannical oppressors require extraordinary levels of courage and determination. We know from Soviet Union dissidents how desperately such people need to know the world is with them and to hear their oppressors put on notice that their behavior is being watched.
The very worst thing for those pitting their lives against tyranny is silence from the rest of the world. That’s what tyrants depend upon to stamp out the sparks of freedom.
President Trump stepped up to the plate by repeatedly tweeting support and encouragement to the protesters and issuing warnings designed to undermine and weaken the regime.
But from all those progressive folk in the West who never stop parading their anti-fascist credentials and signaling their support for the persecuted and for human rights there has been… silence.
The media tried to dismiss the uprising as merely an economic protest. Instead of condemning the regime for killing and jailing protesters, the media condemned Trump for supporting them.
The British and EU governments, with their vast and sordid financial ties to the regime, have given zero support to the revolt, offering merely bromides about the need to avoid loss of life. In the US, former Obama administration staffers have been desperately playing down the uprising.
Obama’s Middle East coordinator Philip Gordon called on Trump “to keep quiet and do nothing” in response to the protests.
The Iranians, he claimed, wouldn’t want Trump’s support. His threat to end the nuclear deal, his unconditional support for “Iran’s biggest adversaries, Saudi Arabia and Israel” and his recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would give the Iranians reasons to unite against him.
Gordon thus stupidly conflated the Iranian people with the Iranian regime. It’s the regime that is against America on all these issues. The Iranian people, by contrast, have no intrinsic prejudice against Israel, have no reason to reject the recognition of Jerusalem and are unlikely to lose sleep over the ending of the nuclear deal, nor America’s alliance with the regime’s foes in Saudi Arabia.
For the protesters were also shouting: “No to Gaza, no to Lebanon! Our life only for Iran!” They don’t support the regime’s aim of regional and global domination. They want Iran to be run for the benefit of Iranians.
For this, they desperately need Trump’s support. They want to know that the US won’t support the regime. Obama did that, and it hurt the Iranian people.
Obama believed the only reason Muslims attacked the West was that it had oppressed them. If the West offered Iran the hand of friendship, he suggested, it would turn into a model global citizen.
So he was determined to empower Iran, and Britain and the EU – driven as ever by a combination of greed and funk – fell into line behind him.
Obama thus bent over backward to give Iran a free pass. According to Politico, his administration stymied an FBI-led operation to shut down Hezbollah’s drug-running, terrorism- financing racket.
In the 2016 prisoner swap deal with Iran, he released several men who his own law enforcement agencies believed posed a danger to national security.
And in the 2009 Green Revolution, Obama abandoned the Iranian people by refusing to give the protesters support.
All of this was to secure the nuclear deal – which has merely empowered Iran to use the money released by sanctions relief to strengthen its terrorist infrastructure and step up its malign and aggressive meddling in the rest of the region.
The Iranian protesters offer the one hope that a catastrophic conflagration can be averted by regime change from within.
But the Western Left doesn’t want them to succeed – because that would shine the harshest possible light on the moral bankruptcy of the Obama administration that the Left supported to the hilt.
More unthinkable still, it would mean giving some credit to Donald Trump. But the Left’s unhinged hatred of the US president will allow nothing – not even the liberation of an oppressed people and the safety of the world – to challenge their unshakable conviction that he can never do a single thing that is good.
If the Iranian uprising is stamped out, it will be because of the absence of support from Britain and Europe. Their silence makes them complicit with a genocidal regime at war with the West and has caused them shamefully to betray a brave people fighting for its freedom.