At this moment, Iran is experiencing its "Tiananman Square" moment as millions of its citizens take to the streets, enraged by the recent fraudulent election that left President Ahmadinejad in office.
To most Americans, the face of Iran is that of the Ayatollahs and other hard-line Islamic clerics that enforce a thuggish, repressive rule over its people. But beneath that facade is a citizenry that would like to see the country step out of the 19th century and embrace western values like democracy and human rights. The ruling Mullahs - and their puppet, Ahmadinejad - want no part of that, and they are responding to the street protests in the same way the Chinese did to the students at Tiananan, with brutality, bullets and death. (Below is the picture of the "Goddess of Democracy" statue built by the students at Tiananman Square.)
In the past, people who found the courage to rise up against dictators have usually experienced support from the United States. But sadly, the Obama administration seems determined to sit this one out.
When the Communist Polish government imposed martial law in 1981, trying to crush the Solidarity movement, here's what President Reagan had to say:
"As I speak to you tonight, the fate of a proud and ancient nation hangs in the balance. For a thousand years, Christmas has been celebrated in Poland, a land of deep religious faith, but this Christmas brings little joy to the courageous Polish people. They have been betrayed by their own government.
The men who rule them and their totalitarian allies fear the very freedom that the Polish people cherish. They have answered the stirrings of liberty with brute force, killings, mass arrests, and the setting up of concentration camps....By persecuting Solidarity the Polish Government wages war against its own people.
I urge the Polish Government and its allies to consider the consequences of their actions. How can they possibly justify using naked force to crush a people who ask for nothing more than the right to lead their own lives in freedom and dignity? Brute force may intimidate, but it cannot form the basis of an enduring society, and the ailing Polish economy cannot be rebuilt with terror tactics."
In his 2nd innaugural, President Bush again stated our commitment to those fighting tyranny:
"And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born, know that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity. And we are ready to lead once more."
From the current White House, however, we only get things like "My understanding is, is that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place."
Oh, well then...as long as the dictators are going to look into things, I guess it's okay for the United States to just look the other way.
For an even better take on this whole matter, take a moment to read Jonah Golberg here.