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Politics & Power

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Should America Offer More Than Words Of Encouragement To The Protesters In Iran?

Historically, America has been a country that backs revolutionaries when it is in our interests to do so. With the recent upheaval in Iran stirring emotions around the world and popular support for the opposition to the current anti-American regime is it time for America to get off the sidelines and offer support to the reformist movement?

Prior to 1979 Americans had an ally in Iran with well established diplomatic ties. The Shah of Iran was a regular visitor to America and even came here for medical treatment while in power. In 1979 the Islamic Revolution removed the Shah from power and brought the current government structure into being. The Shah went into exile and was replaced by the Ayatollah Khomeini who replaced the previous government with one based on Islamic law.

During the 1979 revolution 66 hostages were taken at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran essentially ending the diplomatic relationship between Iran and the United States. Those hostages would not be freed until 1981. Since then relations have ranged from tepid to tense between the U.S. and Iran. The current Ayatollah and President of Iran have publicly called the U.S. an enemy and rejected calls by governments from around the world to abandon the development of nuclear weapons.

Now, 30 years after the Islamic Revolution, questions about the legitimacy of election results have sparked demonstrations in defiance of the government and religious leaders. Despite violent backlash from government forces including lethal force the proponents of change in Iran are seemingly determined to stand up for the right to have their voices heard. It seems that the people of Iran may be ready for another change which could lead to improved relations with our former ally in the region.

Given the current situation, should American intelligence agencies work to send aid to the people challenging the rule of the Ayatollah and President Ahmadinejad? Do we have an obligation to support the people of Iran in the name of democracy and human rights or should this be left to the Iranian people to resolve? What should America’s role be?

President Obama has publicly condemned the violence against peaceful protesters but has stopped far short of calling for regime change. Some within Republican ranks have questioned his actions as being too timid. Others including former Nixon administration Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and conservative Pat Buchanan have applauded the measured response of the current administration to a situation that could escalate out of control if pushed in the wrong direction.

As events unfold in Iran decisions of leaders in America and around the world may have a significant impact on the future of international relations with that fractured nation. As to what the right course of action may be, only time will tell. It will likely be years before the consequences of the current situation in Iran will be fully understood. One thing is certain; the crackdown on peaceful demonstrators including the beating and killing of women young and old has shown the world how far the Iranian government will go to retain power.

A woman named Neda whose killing by government forces was posted on the web for the world to see has become a symbol of the senselessness of the violence against the protesters. Those like Neda who have been killed are being considered martyrs by the people of Iran. In a Shiah nation that reveres martyrs those who caused their deaths will be forever seen as agents of evil. Whether the Iranian government retains power or not they will never again know the blind allegiance of the people who have lived through these events. There is also little doubt that how America responds to these events will impact how the Iranian people feel about America for many years to come.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article



Get Involved

Do you sit and yell at the TV when politicians come on? Do you shake your head sadly whenever you see a homeless veteran? Is that all you tend to do?

It's time to put up or shut up America. We all love to talk about how we could do things better or how we would do it if we were in charge. Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is. If you can think of it, you can write it down. If you can write it down, you can type it. If you can type it, you can e-mail it and if you can e-mail it, you can send it here.

We at Reform America are committed to giving voice to anyone who wants to put their ideas out there to make our nation a better place. As the readership grows, we are able to take those views to a wider and wider audience. Grassroots campaigns begin with voices speaking out. You have opinions. Voice them. We aren't about conservative or liberal. We aren't about pro-this or anti-that. We're about Americans and the First Amendment. Reform America is about politics by, for and of the people. You are the people. You only need to speak up. America is listening. Send your article to: stories@reform-america.net



Have You Been Downsized Due to Outsourcing?

For several years now we have listened to some within the business community tell us that America can't compete on a global scale unless they send our jobs overseas where they can be done cheaper. The question becomes, if we don't have good paying jobs here, how can we sustain our own economy? We want to hear from you. Have you lost your job? Have you been forced into a lower wage job due to outsourcing? Has outsourcing been a success for you? Did you end up in a better job?

Tell us your story so we can make sure the politicians see how outsourcing really impacts the workers who are backbone of America. Send your story to stories@reform-america.net





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