Conservative writer Bill Kristol has a wise take on how those of us outside Iran should be reacting to the current uprising against the corrupt and oppressive regime of the Islamic Republic.
Here's a crazy idea: The foreign policy/Middle East/Iran experts who are taking shots at each other for alleged past Iran policy mistakes might spend just a little of their time helping figure out what the U.S.–the administration, Congress, others–could usefully do now.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 30, 2017
The operative word here is usefully.
Kristol offers one idea that makes a lot of sense: namely, help the Iranian protesters get around the regime’s efforts to shut down their means of communication.
Aren't there things the U.S. can do to un-block Instagram in Iran? Or to make access to other communications channels easier for Iranian citizens? Or to hamper Iranian regime communications? Or at least to block in return, e.g., access by Iranian leaders to foreign money?
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) December 31, 2017
Perhaps this is an area where tech-savvy individuals as well as governments can help.
I appreciate President Trump’s tweets supporting the protests. One useful thing he might do is revise the blanket ban against Iranians traveling to the US– a signal to the Iranian people that he recognizes the difference between the regime and the people risking their lives to overthrow it.
Despite the efforts of some to suggest that “the Left” (whatever than means) is unsympathetic to the protesters, I’ve seen little sign of that here in the US. Here’s a tweet from Bernie Sanders:
It is the right of all people to speak out against their government. The government of Iran should respect this right and heed the voices of thousands of Iranians who are demonstrating across the country for better opportunities and a better future.
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) December 31, 2017
Surely those of us on the democratic Left and the democratic Right can put aside the blame game long enough to express solidarity with the demonstrators and try to find useful ways to support them.