Presidents Bush and Obama both had several clear opportunities to support the Iranian people against the regime, most recently during the mass uprisings after the infamous electoral fraud in 2009 that kept President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office. Each time, we walked away, either because we had been gulled into believing we could reach a modus vivendi with Khamenei, or because we feared terrible consequences if we called for an end to the theocratic regime and supported democratic revolution.
The kind of covert action reportedly under White House consideration will not defuse the Iranian time bomb. Only regime change can accomplish that. No matter how many Iranian terror masters and their Arab and Afghan proxies we may kill or capture, the Iranians will continue their war against us; “death to America” is their motto and their mission.
We know how to bring down totalitarian regimes like Khamenei’s and Assad’s. We should do to them what we did to Gorbachev: build a strike fund for Syrian and Iranian workers, demand the release of political prisoners (by name), broadcast the real news about their countries to the people, get communications technology and—if they need it—funding to the dissidents. It doesn’t require bombs or bullets, just the will to bring down the tyrants and a combination of common sense and wit.
The president finally brought himself to say “Qaddafi must go” and “Assad must go.” It is now time to say “Khamenei must go” and act accordingly.
And it’s time for some of the would-be presidents to do the same. Any American revolutionaries among that crowd?