In late December 2017, Iranian protesters began gathering in Mashhad and other towns to protest Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. By the next day, much larger protests flared as demonstrators began to demand freedom for political prisoners.
It did not take long for President Donald Trump to take a bold stand for the rights of the Iranian protestors, tweeting that Iran has failed at every level despite former President Obama’s much-maligned Iranian nuclear deal. Trump went on to support the protests that were inspired by Iranian citizens who were tired of the nation’s corruption and waste of wealth in the pursuit of funding international terrorism.
Days later, Trump followed those initial tweets with an early morning tweet January 3rd stating that he had “such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government.” Trump then promised that the Iranian people will see “great support” from the United States at an appropriate time in the future.
The president’s strong words in support of the Iranian protestors seemed to resonate with the Iranian people, thanking Trump for his words of support against the mullah-run corruption.
At a time when Iranian protesters are bravely risking their life as 21 have died and hundreds more have been arrested, Trump’s bold words are sharply contrasted by America’s political left shrinking like wilting violets.
Why Is the Feminist Left Silent?
Anyone expecting the pussy-hat wearing feminists of the Women’s March to boldly highlight their feminist credentials in display of support for Iran’s protesters may be surprised to know that the organization remains silent.
This silence exists despite days of national news coverage and the fact that the Women’s March is led by supposed Muslim feminist Linda Sarsour, a woman who has shown a propensity for supporting Islamic extremism.
Perhaps Sarsour should leave feminism to the Iranian women fighting for equal rights, like the Iranian protester who removed her government-mandated hijab and waved it like a flag during the protests. In the meantime, Sarsour and similar so-called equality advocates can continue making vile claims against Muslim reformers like genital mutilation survivor Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Where Are the Left’s Political Leaders?
If progressive leaders are saying anything on Iran at all, it is mealy-mouthed drivel at best. Take failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s tweet saying that the Iranian people are protesting for the freedom and future they deserve. Clinton went on to say that she hopes the government responds peacefully to the protesters.
Clinton has yet to update those words in light of the known deaths that have already occurred. Yet Hillary’s contributions seem positively bold in comparison to the complete and utter silence of former President Obama. This, despite left-leaning allies like CNN’s Jake Tapper and others pushing a change.org petition begging President Obama to speak in support of the Iranian people.
Those on the left hoping for a show of support should not hold their breath for boldness from the former president. After all, this is the same person who helped contribute to the current issues in Iran by way of a failed nuclear deal delivering billions via pallets of cash to Tehran.
Worse, however, there is a precedent for the left’s inexcusable weakness on Iran human rights abuses previously. In 2009, protests also erupted in Iran, at which point it took Obama days to respond at all. When he finally did, it was with the usual reticence that became a practical trademark of the administration’s foreign policy failure.
Obama’s justification for his meek words and reticence was that he did not want to meddle. After all, Obama argued, Iranians should decide who their leaders should be (as if the Iranian people would willingly install a tyrannical regime that abuses its citizens).
During those tumultuous days in 2009, however, Obama did find the time to back Manuel Zelaya’s attempt to overthrow the Honduran constitution. For her part, Clinton has admitted her role in the Honduran coup aftermath as well.
Counting on the left to stand up for human rights when it really matters in the Muslim world, then, appears to be a fool’s errand. At least conservatives can take some solace in the fact that the current administration repudiates the failed approach of the Obama-era foreign policy, instead choosing to strengthen ties with Israel and standing up for the abused and downtrodden Iranian citizens.
~ Liberty Planet