From the indispensable Michael Ledeen at NRO. The Washington Post has been reporting that regimen change in Iran is impossible, based largely on the reporting of their man in Tehran, Karl Vick. Ledeen illustrates how Vick and the Post--following the Walter Duranty model of foreign reporting--got it all wrong on the issue regime change in Iran, and whether the U.S. should support Iranian dissidents.
"Faster, please." In the words of Mr. Ledeen, that should be the pace and urgency associated with U.S. support for pro-democratic groups in Iran. And he's right on target. Regime change in Iran may be our best hope for lasting peace and stability in the Middle East, but we'll never get there listening to reporters like Vick. Ledeen notes that MSM types offered similar advice in the late 70s and early 80s, when it was considered unwise to support Russian dissidents like Natan Sharansky and Andrei Sakharov, or label the Soviet Union as the "evil empire."
History tells a different story. Sharansky--who spent years in the Soviet gulag--says copies of Reagan's speeches were smuggled into the prisons, where they helped galvanize and energize democratic activists. While the experts in the MSM and the CIA postulated that the Soviet Union was here to stay, Sharansky and his fellow dissidents held a different vision. They gladly welcomed Reagan's efforts, and understood that America--or at least, the American president--stood ready to support their cause.
Today, we need to accelerate our efforts to support and lend hope to those who want a free, democratic Iran. The task is daunting; the regime is well-entrenched, and elements of the opposition are disorganized and demoralized. But there are thousands of brave Iranians who are willing to fight for democracy and liberty, and they deserve our expanded support, despite what Karl Vick might think.
Hat tip: Roger L. Simon.