AS US officials grapple with Iran’s drive to acquire nuclear weapons, they also need to address its human rights abuses against its own people as well as the regime’s meddling in Iraqi affairs.
Soldiers don’t concern themselves with politics; we leave that to the politicians. There are times, though, when a soldier makes an exception. Like all American troops who have been deployed to Iraq, I went to serve my country and to help bring peace and democracy to the Middle East. I’m a doctor from Kansas and a colonel in the Army Reserve, and I served for a year in Ashraf, about 60 miles north of Baghdad.
Of all the places I’ve been in Iraq, Ashraf was probably the most peaceful. It was established 23 years ago by a group of Iranian dissidents, all members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, who want to see democracy return to their homeland. They fled Iran shortly after the 1979 revolution because they opposed the theocratic state that had been established. Thousands of their friends had been slaughtered by the ruling ayatollahs’ henchmen.