“Death to dictators, death to Khamenei.” This is what the young Iranians under 30 years of age shout in the streets of cities of Iran, these days. Not “Death to America”: Death to their own regime that they call dictators.
This is not the first time that Iranian elections have been undemocratic; it is the constitution of this regime that calls for this kind of elections. The people inside Iran call it (s)elections. That is why they have only participated in one other, Khatami’s election, in 1997 and regretted it later.
Mir-Hosein Mousavi is not a pro democracy man; he has been a member of this regime since day one. Khomeini appointed him as his own Prime Minister because he was a loyal and obedient follower of the revolution. During his term as Prime Minister, thousands of people were killed, and unlike his predecessors he did not resign or protest. Mr. Mousavi announced his absolute approval of the Islamic regime’s constitution, as recently as two weeks ago.
No matter if it is Ahmadinejad or Mousavi: neither one has anything to say about the issues that the United States is concerned about: the nuclear program, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism. Both men must follow the decisions of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khameinei who will never be up for election. Iranians know that there will be no difference with Mousavi in charge: they tried it with the other reformist, Khatami, and life got even worse. One of these young people told me this morning that they are ready for either sending the regime to the grave or ending up in the grave themselves.
This uprising is not about Mousavi or the election -- it is about human rights, democracy and freedom. Iranians used this occasion to rise up against the regime. This was a window of opportunity for the Iranian people who have been fed up by oppression, corruption, economic bankruptcy, joblessness and the nuclear bomb that is putting their country on the verge of another war. The young Iranians want to be members of the international community, they want to be friends with the United States and to be respected around the world.
In the days leading to the elections of Iran, orders to the programmers and producers of the Persian Language Voice of America came down instructing them to refrain from any and all criticism against the elections in Iran. All persons who might speak about the illegitimacy of the elections were to be barred from all programs. The Iranian regime was to be accommodated by only favorable programming, comments and analysis about the elections in to Iran.
President Obama has not been supportive of the people of Iran, reasoning that if he does, the regime of Iran will accuse United States of meddling in their internal affairs. But Iran accused United States of meddling in their elections anyway, and will continue with its propaganda campaign against America. The people of Iran do not believe anything the regime says, the world cares even less, but it does go to prove that this regime will continue accusing the United States no matter what the United Sates does or doesn’t do. The goal of the regime is the intimidation of America -- it has worked so far.
America has a reputation for the respect of freedom, democracy and prosperity for all people around the world, as seen in the cases of Japan, Korea, and Iraq. Befriending oppressors of innocent people will cost America all credibility and respect. America cannot adopt the European, business-style, foreign policy and abandon America’s principles and heart.