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  • Senate Moves to Bolster Freedom in Iran

    Congress has become increasingly restive about the Obama Administration’s lack of leadership on supporting opposition forces that seek to advance freedom and human rights in Iran. On Thursday Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) sought to make up for the administration’s lack of initiative by introducing the “Iran Democratic Transition Act of 2010.”

    The bill details the Iranian regime’s human rights abuses, cites Iran as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism and notes Iran’s troublesome pursuit of nuclear weapons. It states that U.S. policy should be to support the Iranian people in their efforts to oppose and remove the current regime and replace it with a freely elected democratic government in Iran. The bill provides four primary means towards these policy ends:

    • It would authorize support for democratic opposition groups by providing them non-military assistance, as well as humanitarian assistance to victims of the current regime.
    • It would create a Special Envoy for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran with the rank of ambassador to coordinate the U.S. government’s efforts.
    • It proposes that the Obama Administration should explore the concept of a regional framework on human rights, modeled on the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Helsinki process.
    • And it would require two reports to Congress from the White House: 1) a clear plan for implementation of this act, and 2) once a transitional government is in place, a comprehensive plan for U.S. support of the Iranian people as they move towards democracy.

    Congress has limited latitude in pushing for a specific foreign policy if the White House does not share the same priorities. But there can be no more important a cause than to show unflagging commitment to political and individual freedoms, which will certainly win more hearts and minds in Iran than the Obama Administration’s out stretched hand to Iran’s oppressive rulers.

    The long term success of Iran’s “Green Movement” opposition could well depend on the support it is given from aboard. In the case of both Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution, action by the United States and its allies was critical to ensure open elections. Last year the United States again had the opportunity to support a freedom and democracy movement supported by millions of Iranians, but the Obama Administration failed the test.

    Congress appears to be increasingly motivated to undertake principled leadership on Iran that the Obama Administration has neglected to provide. Both the Senate and the House have voted to impose new sanctions on Iran’s dictators in the last two months over the objections of the White House.

    If Iran’s Green Movement is ever to join the ranks of the successful “color revolutions”, it may have to look to the U.S. Congress, not the White House.

    This post was co-authored by James Philips

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    16 Responses to Senate Moves to Bolster Freedom in Iran

    1. Armchair Firebrand says:

      At last weekend’s inaugural Tea Party Convention, there was much bloviating about “oppressed” Americans “suffering” under the Obama Administration’s “tyranny.” Judge Roy More, former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, even delivered a rousing sermon comparing our President to King George III, the British ruler overthrown in the American Revolution.

      Nothing better illustrates the utter absurdity of these delusions than contrasting the Tea Party with an actual, grassroots, democratic movement created to confront real, rather than imagined, tyranny.

      Armed with camera phones, laptops and an iron will, these courageous individuals communicate their message to the world even without the journalists imprisoned by Ahmadinejad’s repressive regime.

      Moreover, while Americans generally use Facebook and Twitter to pour over the excruciating minutae of modern life, the Greens employ these social networking websites to disseminate information, plan operations and mobilize their organization.

      Armed with camera phones, laptops and an iron will, these courageous individuals communicate their message to the world even without the journalists imprisoned by Ahmadinejad’s repressive regime.

      Censorship, harassment, intimidation, coercion, mass arrests, public beatings and de-facto executions by government-sponsored death squads. These are the harsh realities of living under tyranny. If the Tea Party movement’s petulant populists want to witness its horrors first-hand, I implore them to purchase a one-way ticket to Tehran. I suspect they’ll be in for a rude awakening.

      Read more @ http://armchairfirebrand.wordpress.com/

    2. Tristan, New York says:

      I didn't seen anywhere in Article 1, Section 8 the power "monitor and police world government to ensure they conform to the guidelines set by the Congress".

      Maybe the American government, both executive and legislative, should concern itself less with the political happenings in other sovereign nations and more with the scope of its power as detailed in and by the Constitution.

    3. John B. San Diego says:

      Not since Former President Carter has the United States been afforded such an opportunity, in dealing with Iran's corrupt, sadistic, manipulative leadership, and I use the term leadership loosely.

      This IS "HOLY WAR" Supporters of “THE JIHAD KNOWS THIS.”

      If the United States is going to be successful in a political solution to the problem;

      "Defusing Middle Eastern Tensions", we need to seize the moment.

      GOD doesn't provide many opportune moments in history, we must ask "HIM"

      And pray to "HIM" for guidance. "HE" will answer our prayers!

      If we turn away from "GOD" ….as promised "HE" will deliver us unto our enemies!

    4. ca says:

      thank you for this great piece!

      the people of iran are yearning to be free of this vicious and brutal government.

      please help us topple this thieves so that iran can once again join the world community as a proud, free nation.

      god bless

    5. Randy Sa Tx says:

      America 1st has to worry about are own human right violations. We are the leading state for terror. We to worry about our own country 1st not a 3rd world country.Lets worry about USA and what we have done in the past not pointing the finger at every one else and not look at ourself!

    6. Mike, TX says:

      Why do we continue to attempt to help these arabs. They hate americans. We said the Iraqi people needed our help and look at the mess we got into. W's staff said kill Hussain and the people will flock to support the american troops. Didn't happen. They hate us. They have no appreciation for life. Think nothing of killing women, children and other innocents. Our senators need to turn their attention to making American better.

    7. Michelle Montezeri says:

      I Dedicate My Original Song "Change" To The Iranian Green Movement. Michelle Montezeri. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4cp66J_LxA

    8. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Yes Armchair Firebrand when compared to Iran our problems seem minor. However, remember we are the targets of Jihad and if we can help defeat radical Islam we will be that much safer. When Iran gets a nuclear bomb (months, not years) the rules will change and all the 'talking" will simply add more CO2 to the air. If the population if Iran actually votes for the current government then so be it. But I doubt this will happen. When Akdemijad (spelling?) visited Columbia University for his speech the wives of his entourage were shopping at Macy's and elsewhere. Something about Animal Farm and "more equal than others" comes to mind. But isn't this what the Tea Party Movement is also about?

    9. Daverino Ft. Worth says:

      Kudo's to Cornyn and Brownback!

      We are still the lone Superpower and voice of Democracy in the world and leadership isn't always convenient or easy but that doesn't mean it isn't necessary!

      This could be the simplest, safest way to positively impact Iran's dangerous pursuit of nuclear weapons–why would that ever be a bad thing?

      Wake up america!! Waiting till you fall off the bicycle and break a bone and then complaining about medical care is a lot more difficult than simply avoiding the bike accident to begin with!

      Your Nanny adviser,

    10. Drew Page, IL says:

      Unfortunately, there is no easy answer when it comes to dealing with Iran. The U.N. is truly impotent when it comes to halting nuclear proliferation. Yes, they can issue their pathetic resolutions, but that's about all they can do. When it comes to developing its own nuclear capability, Iran is not going to be disuaded by talk from the U.N. or the U.S. Diplomacy can work, but only when the potential of force is a real possibility.

      The rest of the world can see that the U.S. is in a weakened position. We are engaged in a war against terrorism in two countries. The American people are weary of war and its costs in terms of American lives and treasure. No one wants to see America engage in another war. We are already in serious debt and the debt keeps growing. The President's popularity has plummeted from its election day high. High unemployment, with no end in sight, plagues our country. As opposed to uniting the country, President Obama's policies and Democrat majority have done just the opposite. The people of the country are more distrustful of their representatives than ever before, with good reason.

      Yet in our weakened condition, America must realize that Isreal will defend its right to exist, which Iran, Iraq and many of its muslim neighbors refuse to accept.

      There exists in the country a core of experienced people such as Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher, Madelyn Albright and Colin Powell who have the experience and wisdom with which to deal with this crisis. Unfortunately, none of this talent is being employed by the current administration. I would urge President Obama to call upon such as these. This is no slam against Hillary Clinton, because there are very few in American that have what it takes to deal with this, including the President. I know that Colin Powell has served the country as Secretary of State previously, but we need him again. I believe that he has the ability, experience and wisdom to deal with the current Iranian situation effectively.

    11. Lloyd Scallan - New says:

      How does someone compare The Tea Party movement with The Green Movemnet in Iran? Since "Armchair" brought it up, I suggest he take a close

      look at why the Tea Party has reached and is supported by so many. Could it be that the people reconize what Obama strives for. I also suggest "Armchair" look up the real meaning of "a grassroots, democratic movement". It's The Tea Party

      Movement and it is intented to "confront real tyranny, in this country!

    12. Judith MacNeill says:

      Congress works backward…as they posture about human rights in Iran, (not China) they slowly erode American citizens' rights every day.

    13. Rick, NM says:

      "Henry Kissinger, Warren Christopher, Madelyn Albright and Colin Powell"? Come on Drew, these clowns couldn't negotiate their way out of a paper bag. My gosh, Man, I thought you were going to include Jimmy Carter too.

      What we need is a strong POTUS who will stand up, unilaterally if need be, and impose the sanctions that are necessary, namely blockade of gasoline to Iran. And we must support the uprising in a meaningful way.

    14. fridz, california says:

      Anyone who thinks the United States' a state sponsor of terrorism, will do good to stay away from Heritage Foundation which' a powerful forum for freedom. As for Iran, my family lived those horrific days when the Shah was toppled, we didn't know what hit the country, a mere fraction of people took to the streets to protest & even then, not for an Islamic Republic & we were all swept away by this hideous storm, coming to fruitation in the 1983 bombing of Lebannon, 1985 hijacking of TWA, 198(?) Achille Laurea, nearly all of the terror attacks of the 1990s under President Bill Clinton who later called Islamic Republic, a democracy, & Islamic Republic's wretched campaign to masacre our men & women in the "Global War on Terror", etc, etc….. Do you think this monsterous regime in Iran is just Antisemitic? They hate the west all together, Islamic Caliphate's their objective.

    15. fridz, california says:

      p.s. Not a teapartier, haven't been to one, but all I can say is GOD BLESS THEM for all their patriotic endevours!

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