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April 29, 2002

MICHAEL LEDEEN — who to the disgrace of just about everyone else who ought to be covering it, owns this story — has another interesting article on what’s going on in Iran. Here’s his conclusion:

Our leaders need to say, over and over again, that it is time for the mullahs to submit to the just desires of their own people. As the Iranian people have been chanting for many months in the streets of the country, there should be a referendum on the Iranian government. Let the people decide if they want to continue the Islamic republic, or if they prefer a secular republic or a constitutional monarchy. We have no horse in that race, and our leaders must stress that we are not supporting any individual or any group; we support an Iranian government chosen in a free and fair election.

The stakes are very high. The fall of the mullahs in Tehran would send a devastating message to the entire Islamic world: Theocracy has been tried, and it has failed. Osama bin Laden’s vision has been rejected by the people of Afghanistan and the people of Iran, by Sunnis and Shia alike. We must help the Iranian democrats. We must give money, urgently and immediately, to Iranian National TV, now struggling to stay afloat in Los Angeles. We must assist the student and labor leaders, who are often forced to choose between feeding their children and heating their homes. We must help them communicate with one another. Can’t we provide some wireless PCs to the Iranian opposition?

The most important thing is our leaders’ words to the Iranians. We want the fall of the regime. That is what the war on terrorism is all about. To remain silent is to be complicit in the repression of Iran. There is no diplomatic “solution.” We want a free Iran. Don’t we?

Yes, we do.

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