Dear Secretary Straw,
Your expressed reservations about President Bush's vocal support for the Iranian students, although well intentioned, are totally unfounded. America's public support for the students is not counterproductive. To the contrary, it is vital in both ensuring the student's success and minimizing the loss of life in the process.
President Bush's praise of the students helps focus the world's media on their cries for freedom. The more media coverage the students receive, the less likely the theocracy could harshly crack down on them while the world is preoccupied elsewhere (although not impossible), and the more of a moral boost they students would get. That is why the theocracy is actively preventing the foreign media from visiting the provincial cities and is limiting their coverage area in Tehran. They do not want the images of the brave students risking life and limb to be beamed back to Iran via satellite TVs.
By making it more difficult for the regime to turn violent, media coverage can also embolden the general public to join the students and, eventually, to strike. Media coverage can be an extremely powerful virtuous circle: the more coverage, the weaker the regime gets and the stronger the students get. President Bush's consistent, visible, and vocal support for the students is the only way to ensure this kind of media coverage.
Media coverage is to civil disobedience what air coverage is to war. It substantially limits the offensive options of the enemy. President Bush is providing the students with air coverage, if you will.
In any case, for the past 24 years, the mullahs have cracked down on anyone that has opposed them, regardless of America's support - as they did with the Mujaheddin-e Khalq, the Kurdish separatists, the communists, etc... All groups America did not support. If a group threatens them, they will try to crush it period. No external support is required.
The mullahs want the West to feel as you do, sir. This is their con game to throw the West off. They want the West to have this hesitation so it will not put its full and 100% active and visible effort behind the students. They have managed to play this game for over two decades. Finally, President Bush is calling their bluff. Who are they fooling? Everyone in Iran knows that the students' demands are not an American creation, but a true expression of an oppressed people yearning for freedom and economic opportunity.
Furthermore, the students, themselves, at numerous times have chanted "President Bush Help Us". Their slogans and actions have shown their overwhelming desire for American moral support - in no way a military one.
Their cause is one that all freedom-loving people should embrace. The Iranian students' triumph will reveal the fallacy of Islamic fundamentalism as a political and economic ideology. Such a victory would substantially help in stabilizing Iraq, promoting peace between the Israelis-Palestinians, and defeating global terrorism.
A Supporter of the Iranian Students
... Payvand News - 6/23/03 ... --