AMERICANS ENGAGE [IRAN] I
IRANIAN BEHAVIORAL TRIGGER FOR THIS ISSUE OF AMERICANS ENGAGE [IRAN] Vol. I
SOURCE: Iran’s hard-line president Mahmood Ahamdinejad said Saturday [27 November] the Bush administration should be tried on war crimes charges, and he denounced the West for pressuring Iran to curb its controversial nuclear program.
Iran is a habitual violator of human rights and this latest statement from Iran’s President is an affront to American and our coalition partner’s efforts to facilitate security and pluralistic democracy in Iraq. Interestingly the timing of Iranian President Mahmood Ahmadinejad’s speech is no accident. This latest Iranian maneuver is a new effort to blur a recent and legitimate call for Iranian officials to go before special tribunals for their crimes against humanity. This is the latest attempt to shift the Iranian people’s focus from the failures of their own leaders onto the President of the United States and is also indicative of Tehran’s long standing propaganda effort to disparage and criminalize its enemies with baseless accusations. The call for tribunals for Iranian officials was most recently proposed by Newt Gingritch.
Announce Formation of Special Tribunals for Members of the [IRGC] and the Basij: Active public discussion and planning for the trials of the worst of Iran’s human rights violators or its leaders might restrain some or compel a few to provide evidence of what goes on in the political prisons across the country. Could we not start a program here in the U.S. to collect evidence of human rights violations among the Iranian expatriates? Could we facilitate legal activities against the violators by making it easier to sue the current Iranian regime just as we have done with terrorism cases?
Hard evidence of human rights abuse exists to indict a significant number of Iran’s sitting leadership. The 1988 massacre of political prisoners took the lives of tens of thousands of Iranians. The locations of mass-graves that hold the bodies are currently in the hands of organizations like Amnesty International. Proof of torture could be found to corroborate witness accounts by exhuming and examining the remains of political dissidents in these mass graves. American-Iranians who survived the massacre are readily available to international investigators to testify, in morbid detail, against the responsible individuals. But like everything else, these calls for justice in Iran have a shelf life. Within the last month Iranian officials announced their plan to erase evidence of at least one grave under the cover story of commercially developing the location. Mr. Gingritch’s call for tribunals became available to the public among other policy suggestions all of which support regime change in Iran as the ultimate goal:
SOURCE: The following are a set of additional thoughts on how to bring about regime change in Iran:
Mr. Ginritch is not alone in his thinking. Michael Ledeen, an ardent advocate for regime in Iran for many years recently argued that the American people must Engage! so that we may achieve our goals in Iraq and elsewhere. It makes sense that American Iranians who have suffered under the ruling dictatorship in Tehran come forward and engage in the debate he is referring to. Upon close inspection, Dr. Ledeen’s article reveals the following suggestions.
The Iranian regime has escalated its propaganda war against the United States by maligning America’s war record and the Presidency of the United States. This behavior is fully consistent with maintaining an American “state of emergency” with respect to Iran. A plausible explanation for the timing of this escalation is that recent policy suggestions in Washington have played an important role in increasing pressure on the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime’s response to this increased pressure is only slightly more destabilizing than its behavior while not subjected to international pressure. Regardless, Tehran’s drive for regional domination must be aggressively checked or the United States and its allies will be able to fulfill the most basic acts in the Middle East. It is reasonable to assume that Iranian officials are revealing a significant weakness by escalating their propaganda efforts in this way and at this time. While the United States and its allies continue to push for a fully verifiable cessation of Iran’s nuclear weapons program the U.S. should take advantage of the weakness exposed by the Iranian regime and begin compiling evidence to indict Iranian officials in an international forum. Doing so may play an important role in increasing pressure to precipitate a positive behavioral change in the Iranian regime. Under the current international relations architecture, the Iranian government still believes that it has more to gain by “behaving badly” in both word and deed.
“STATE OF EMERGENCY” REQUEST FOR ACTION
Americans should begin the process of helping all Americans become fully aware, by both mainstream and alternative media that Iranian officials in power today stand accused of crimes against humanity and there are many evidentiary leads an international tribunal could follow to indict current and former members of the IRGC and the Basij. To establish and maintain the essential knowledge base among fellow Americans is necessary because the more seriously Americans consider regime change in Iran, the more likely Tehran will modify its behavior for the positive. If Iran’s leadership chooses not to modify its behavior in this way, the American people will be prepared to facilitate the departure of the current regime in Iran. Paramount to this phase of pressuring the Iranian government to modify their behavior are American-Iranians and European-Iranians who have been subjected to the domestic suppression tactics of the Iranian regime. The Iranian regime’s campaign of oppression is so vast that there are many Iranian expatriates now living in free societies with first hand experience of torture and execution at the hands of Iranian officials. They should begin preparing themselves to provide detailed accounts of their experiences to an international tribunal so that the government of Iran.