I know my country has not perfected itself. At times, we've struggled to keep the promise of liberty and equality for all of our people. We've made our share of mistakes, and there are times when our actions around the world have not lived up to our best intentions.
- Barack Obama
Will this become the excuse used by the current administration to fail to support the Green Movement in Iran? One would hope not. Ever since the results of the most recent Iranian presidential election were announced, the Iranian Green Movement has come out in force to protest against the tyranny and oppression the people of Iran face every day under its theocratic-ruled government. The protestors have been imprisoned, tortured, raped and even killed with impunity by the Ahmadinejad / Khameini regime. The support for these people from the United States has been largely silent.
It is incredible that the candidates that had been so vocal in protest of our own practices in Guantanomo Bay would turn a blind eye to a situation that is thousands of times worse than what was seen in America's Cuban prison, and on an order of magnitude that is tens of thousands of times worse because of the number of people that are suffering under it. Even if you were to point to the torture that took place in the cells of Abu Gharab as an American low point, the previous administration didn't sit idly by and allow it to continue, but instead prosecuted those responsible to the fullest extent of the law. Will the current administration have the same moral courage to challenge these practices abroad?
Keep in mind that today is a significant anniversary in Iran; it's the 30 year anniversary of the taking of American hostages in Iran. This is usually a time when anti-American sentiment reaches its crescendo in Iran, but this year is different than many of the previous ones. Right now, there are protesters in Iran looking to end the current animosity between our nations and instead want to move away from the past, into a brighter future. Where is our support for this? How can we stand by and ignore this chance to reengage the Iranian people by helping to put them back in power? Why is there not even a single word of encouragement for them from our leadership?
Our government already missed one great opportunity under the Bush administration when he labeled Iran as part of an "Axis of Evil" while it was under the rule of moderate president Khatami. Had overtures towards peace been made then, the Green movement could have likely come to the surface sooner and we might find ourselves in constructive dialogue with a fellow nation rather than in the situation we are now, trying to talk down a hostile regime from further development of nuclear weapons. Unfortunately, that opportunity was passed up under the Bush administration; the question now becomes whether or not we will allow ourselves to miss this opportunity too.
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