Roger L. Simon

Referendum in Iran - A Proposal for Bloggers

My friend Michael is telling us that the Battle of Fallujah was more important than we have been led to believe by the media.

Our victory in Fallujah has had enormous consequences, first of all because the information we gathered there has made it possible to capture or kill considerable numbers of terrorists and their leaders. It also sent a chill through the spinal column of the terror network, because it exposed the lie at the heart of their global recruitment campaign. As captured terrorists have told the region on Iraqi television and radio, they signed up for jihad because they had been told that the anti-American crusade in Iraq was a great success, and they wanted to participate in the slaughter of the Jews, crusaders, and infidels. But when they got to Iraq – and discovered that the terrorist leaders immediately confiscated their travel documents so that they could not escape their terrible destiny – they saw that the opposite was true. The slaughter – of which Fallujah was the inescapable proof – was that of the jihadists at the hands of the joint coalition and Iraqi forces.

Thirdly, the brilliant maneuvers of the Army and Marine forces in Fallujah produced strategic surprise. The terrorists expected an attack from the south, and when we suddenly smashed into the heart of the city from the north, they panicked and ran, leaving behind a treasure trove of information, subsequently augmented by newly cooperative would-be martyrs. Above all, the intelligence from Fallujah – and I have this from military people recently returned from the city – documented in enormous detail the massive involvement of the governments of Syria and Iran in the terror war in Iraq. And the high proportion of Saudi “recruits” among the jihadists leaves little doubt that the folks in Riyadh are, at a minimum, not doing much to stop the flow of fanatical Wahhabis from the south.

Thus, the great force of the democratic revolution is now in collision with the firmly rooted tyrannical objects in Tehran, Damascus, and Riyadh. In one of history’s fine little ironies, the “Arab street,” long considered our mortal enemy, now threatens Muslim tyrants, and yearns for support from us. That is our immediate task.

What Brother Ledeen calls for in this article is a national referendum in Iran that asks a simple question: “Do you want an Islamic republic?” Fair enough. But how can such a thing be accomplished? Michael makes the following suggestions:

Send Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel to supervise the vote. Let the contending parties compete openly and freely, let newspapers publish, let radios and televisions broadcast, fully supported by the free nations. If the mullahs accept this gauntlet, I have every confidence that Iran will be on the path to freedom within months. If, fearing a massive rejection from their own people, the tyrants of Tehran reject a free referendum and reassert their repression, then the free nations will know it is time to deploy the full panoply of pressure to enable the Iranians to gain their freedom.

I will add one of my own. I think the blogosphere should devote itself to this, make the call for a democratic referendum in Iran one of our top priorities. We have been accused of late (falsely, I believe) of being a destructive force, of tearing things down like a mob. Surely, the call for a referendum in Iran is not that. It is the promotion of democracy at its purest. Bloggers on all sides of our political spectrum should be able to get behind that. I’m in.

UPDATE: I just appeared on Hugh’s Show regarding the Iran Referendum question. (Yes, Dr. Firoozmand, I am going to get some rest.) Let’s hope other bloggers will heed this call. Of course, it’s delusional to think the blogosphere by itself has the power to overthrow the mullahs, but spreading the word for a democratic referendum in Iran across the Internet could be tremendously powerful at this point in time.

MORE: Gary Metz logs in on the referendum and other issues concerng Iran.