1/11/2005

Regime Change Redux

I don't usually cite or quote the Washington Times because their reporting is often shoddy. I'm making an exception for "Risks of appeasing Iran's mullahs" by Struan Stevenson. Stevenson is a Scottish Conservative member of the European Parliament and co-chairman of the Friends of Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament.

Stevenson makes no bones about the fact that he looks at Europe's current stances towards Iran as "spineless", and goes so far as to use the "A" word and risk invoking the spirit of Neville Chamberlain.

Appeasement is not the way to contain or change this evil regime. Nor is it the path to avoid another war. A nuclear-armed fundamentalist regime will not spare the EU, either. Iran's missiles already can reach southern Europe. The mullahs are now rushing to develop a third-generation missile system able to reach Paris, London and Brussels.
What Stevenson is not advocating is a sequel to Operation Iraqi Freedom (which would be disastrous). Rather, Stephenson calls on Europe to support the growing freedom movement inside Iran.
For once, we should side with the millions in Iran whose cry is for freedom and regime change. A modern, secular and democratic Iran would not only be the key to regional peace and security, but also a long-term ally as we try to spread democracy across the Middle East and the world.
I can't agree enough that we should be aiding the people of Iran as much as possible in their struggle to rid themselves of the yoke of the mullahs. I'd even go so far to say that it'd be acceptable to arm and train them. At the very least, we should be funding them and giving them things like communications gear. Nothing is more dangerous to a dictatorship than the free flow of information and ideas.