Friday, June 17, 2005

Iran's phony election

How often do George W. Bush's statements get echoed the next day by the New York Times editorial? I'm just pleased to see this high-level criticism of Iran's rigged elections. So, what next? The NYT editors have the right goal:
Some European leaders have been quietly rooting for Mr. Rafsanjani, who is close to the top ayatollahs, in the hope that he would be most able to reach an acceptable nuclear deal and then sell it to the clerical establishment. There is little in his record to justify such hopes. The world would be better off if Western leaders used their little influence to press for more authentic democracy in Iran.
As for the means, this sounds good to me:
How can the United States help?

First, by recognizing the struggle of Iranians for freedom. The administration should denounce the murderers of dissidents, and applaud the freedom fighters, and we should call both heroes and villains by name. In facing tyranny, we must demonstrate clarity of purpose and identify evil where we see it.

Second, the U.S. should encourage other democratic nations to join in refusing to recognize a new government in Iran issued from undemocratic elections.

Third, as Farahanipour and others have suggested, we should massively fund the pro-democracy movement inside Iran.
So far, so good regarding step one. Time for step two, and especially step three.

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