Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani's imminent execution in Iran -- by being stoned or hangied - has elicited protests across the globe. Ms. Ashtiani has been found guilty of adultery; tortured by women-hating prison guards, and has become a symbol of Sharia inspired laws that mistreat women.
Ironically and poignantly, Iran is on the United Nations Committee for Women's Rights and will soon join the Executive Committee for the Asian region. Yet remarkably Ambassador Susan Rice has not uttered a word on behalf of Ms. Ashtiani, or said anything about Iran's representation on the UN committee, a silence that is once again telling about the moral collapse and indifference to human rights of this administration.
It is unacceptable that Iran is in a position to negotiate women's rights when the government routinely violates these rights -- a condition comparable to having Nazis investigate the human rights violations of Jews. To make matters worse, the Obama administration through its silence is thereby complicit in the crime against fundamental rights.
Even the New York Times and the Washington Post have covered the story. Mina Ahadi, a spokesman for the International Committee Against Stoning and Execution, has been engaged in non-stop demonstrations against the Iranian government and its perverse judicial decision.
Remarkably, Ms. Ashtiani probably has no idea that there is vocal support for her cause. Iranian mullahs do not react to appeals of reason and fairness: Only when their positions are watched and challenged with condemnation, do the mullahs pay attention.
This explains why the United States' official inattention to this matter is tragic. As we have not offered a diplomatic protest -- have not uttered a word about Iran's role on the Committee for Women's Rights, the United States has abandoned its moral leadership in matters affecting all women.
Where is our leadership on this matter? And where are the feminists who should be at the barricades over this issue?
This is not the first time, and probably will not be the last time, hypocrisy is on display. But it is morally repugnant for a nation that is willing to consider stoning for an alleged legal infraction -- with no evidence other than the judges "feelings" - is in the position of defining rights for women.
This bizarre set of conditions demonstrates an Iran and its byzantine policies on the ascendency and the United States in decline. And that can only mean turning the clock back several centuries to when women did not have legal rights and were considered "half a man" in a court of justice.
My suspicion is that if former Ambassador John Bolton were representing American interests at the United Nations, a protest voice would be heard. Unfortunately Ms. Rice, his successor, and President Obama, have chosen appeasement as their strategy, perhaps believing that if we offend the Iranian mullahs, negotiations with them on nuclear weapons and other matters would be impossible.
This is a fool's errand. Our silence on human rights matters is interpreted as acceptance. Every gesture of compliance is a victory for barbarism.
Iranian feminists know what the Obama administration does not: a global campaign against the imminent execution of Sakineh Ashtiani can make a difference. It can both cause the mullahs to pause, and raise questions about the strategy adopted by the U.S. government.
It is time to let the world know Iran's policies belong to an era long gone.