Few can forget President Bush's State of the Union speech in 2002 where he bluntly labeled the Iranian government alongside Iraq and North Korea as the world's leading advocates of terrorism. Not surprisingly immediately following the controversial speech Mideast experts, journalists, and politicians spewed forth an anchorage of viewpoints regarding its effects on the battle for the soul of Iran.
Predominately all leftist liberals contented support for democratic movements within the country aided the hard-line Islamists establishment while American conservatives strongly dissented arguing the exact opposite. Contrary to various propaganda polls inside of Iran drastically sided with the latter.
In polls stationed by reformists within the country, 75 percent of Iranians favor relations with the United States, 58 percent favor a separation of Mosque and State, 74 percent favor a referendum supporting a change of regime, and perhaps most importantly 52 percent of Iranians feel that Bush administration policy on Iran is 'somewhat correct'.
In 2003, President Bush once again renewed his support for the Iranian people. This time with a deeper sense of urgency and depth. “The government of Iran represses its people. Iranian citizens are risking intimidation and death to speak out for liberty, human rights, and democracy. Iranians have a right to choose their own government, and determine their own destiny — and the United States supports their aspirations to live in freedom.”
In a message separating the good natured people of Iran with the government, the President won the hearts and minds of many Iranians demonstrating for human rights, democracy, and freedom against a ruthless dictatorship.
According to several publications several months before departing, a group of 127 Iranian reformist MPs launched a blistering attack on their powerful hard-line rivals, warning supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that the political deadlock was threatening the very survival of the Islamic republic.
The letter stated that “Perhaps there has been no period in the recent history of Iran that was as sensitive as this one,” warned the strongly-worded letter, citing “political and social gaps coupled with a clear US plan to change the geopolitical map of the region.”
Furthermore, “If this is a glass of poison, it should be drunk before our country's independence and territorial integrity are put in danger,” the letter said in its call for “fundamental changes in methods, attitudes and figures”.
It also highlighted the Iranian people's desire for fundamental changes within the regime including calls for democracy and human rights. “Most people are dissatisfied and disappointed. Most of the intellectuals are either silent or leaving (and) foreign forces have surrounded the country from all sides.”
According to the Iran Press Service, “perhaps one of the most striking sections of the letter spoke of the possibility of either internal revolution or foreign invasion if massive reforms aren't implemented. The unprecedented direct and uncompromising tone of the warnings to Mr. Khamenei reminded the last days of the deposed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979, when many nationalist personalities, forecasting the dangers ahead, would advise him to return to democratic rules, but he would not accept.”
The President's support for freedom fighters inside of Iran has fueled virus debate at home. While Pentagon officials have been pressing hard for public and private actions that they believe could lead to the toppling of the government through a popular uprising, State Department officials are advocating supporting the lamed reformers surrounding President Khatami inside of Iran. But then again when has the State Department ever been correct regarding International Politics. They were predicting horrible consequences following our War on the Baathist party in Iraq, consequences which never came to be.
While no one believes that the current status quo can survive inside of Iran there is a lively discussion regarding the possibility of either an internal revolution or possibility of hard-liners relinquishing their power. Whichever the outcome of the mounting debate on US policy towards Iran President Bush' unrelenting support for the demonstrators in Iran has had an immensely positive effect.
The majority of Iranians inside Iran stand strongly behind President Bush while those ungrateful and those organizations with questionable ties with the Iranian government stand with the oppressors of the Iranian populace and John Kerry.
One young Iranian female in Shiraz eagerly told me to inform President Bush that “those who had visited Iran and spoken to the Iranian populace had consistently quoted our desire to support George W. Bush's efforts and show our solidarity with his unrelentess efforts for a free, democratic, Iran. We're quite aware, mainly due to the Internet and Satellite television that John Kerry and his supporters are apologists of the Iranian government and working to cut deals with the Iranian dictatorship.
Speaking for Iran's youth population, she addressed Mr. Kerry: “We refuse to be your paid-off pawns and we refuse to allow you to allow our slaughter for your selfish intentions in Iraq and Afghanistan.: We know the truth and the truth is that you, Mr. Kerry, are a great oppressor to our people and an enemy to a free Iran. Please let everyone know that most every young Iranian supports George Bush.”
Indeed the devoutly pro-Bush young populace in Iran do, but how about the ungrateful pro-Kerry Iranian young populace in United States?