May 26, 2008

Iranians' Open Letter to Obama

In case you missed this open letter to Barack Obama by two Iranian democracy activists...well, don't. A sample...

On September 24, 2004, while a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate from Illinois, you suggested that “surgical missile strikes” on Iran may become necessary. “Launching some missile strikes into Iran is not the optimal position for us to be in” given the ongoing war in Iraq, you told the Chicago Tribune. You continued: “On the other hand, having a radical Muslim theocracy in possession of nuclear weapons is worse”.

Your change in approach is now stunning for many Iranians. It is not that we want our country to be bombed, but the point is, why did you so suddenly and without explanation go from that extreme to the extreme of “unconditional dialogue”?

Senator, since 1979 the Mullahs of Iran have killed upwards of one million Iranians, not to mention the nearly one million sacrificed to the 8-year-long Iran/Iraq war. And what the Iranian people have withstood in terms of outrageous human rights violations is shocking; public hangings, stoning, flogging, cutting off limbs, tongues and plucking out eyeballs are an everyday occurrence across Iran. All are meant to strike fear of the ruling Mullahs into people’s hearts.

Since you began talking about unconditionally dialoguing with the Islamic regime of Iran, you too have struck absolute fear in the hearts of the Iranian people, both inside and outside Iran. The few Iranian-Americans who support you are well-intentioned individuals who have been swept up in the excitement and fervor of your campaign. But we can wholeheartedly assure you that your comments have landslide opposition within the much greater Iranian heart both inside and outside Iran.

Iranians believe that the only country who has the moral authority and is able to support them is the United States of America, a country whose foundation as a melting pot mirrors the true character of the once great Persian Empire. But the fact is, as John Bolton so aptly puts it: “Negotiation is a tactic, not policy.” Your policy of direct and unconditional negotiation will give the Mullahs of Iran the legitimacy that they need for more oppression. The real losers will be the already weary people of Iran, whose dreams of freedom and democracy will be dashed for a long time to come. If you empower that regime, the mullahs will continue to harm a country that is already totally economically devastated, as well as socially and politically oppressed.


More documentary evidence surfaces, this time from the Telegraph that Iran is directly involved in killing coalition soldiers in Iraq.

MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) reports that the mullahs have shut down a women's magazine for publishing an investigative report on the martyrdom movement in Iran. (via Jules Crittenden)

And Andy McCarthy says Obama shouldn't feel he has to backtrack and dissemble about his offer to negotiate, without preconditions, with Ahmadinejad, when that suggestion "is only marginally more vapid than what has passed for the Bush Iran policy."

Here's an exhaustive Iran News Roundup, as posted by Michael Rubin at The Corner.

UPDATE 5/28: Amir Taheri on the problem of talking to Iran. "Is it a country or a cause?"

Posted by dan at May 26, 2008 11:19 AM