As Iranians took to the streets to protest a fraudulent election last month, braving tear gas, batons and bullets, pressure mounted on President Obama to take a tougher stand against the Islamic Republic's repression of peaceful dissent. Some said the president's statements were too soft. Others argued that Obama should refrain from picking sides, lest he present a pretext for hard-liners to label the protesters American stooges.
People began to argue: What should Obama do? I'd like them to ask another question: What should ordinary Americans do?
Today, America's Independence Day, it's important to recognize the Iranian struggle for what it is: a grass-roots, vital movement for greater liberty enriched by more than a century of struggle against foreign powers, autocratic kings and repressive theocrats. Iran's rulers would have the world believe that the protesters are a minority inspired by foreigners, but this denies a fundamental piece of Iranian history.>>>
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