Defending the virtues of liberty, free markets, and civilization... plus some commentary on the passing scene.

Freedom's Fidelity

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

More crackdowns from the Iranian regime:
TEHRAN, IRAN -- Iran is blocking access to Web sites containing pornographic material and opposition-driven dissent against the country's Islamic establishment, an official said Tuesday.

More than 140 Web sites promoting dissent, dancing and sex have been blocked since the crackdown began last month, said Farhad Sepahram, an official at the Telecommunications Ministry.

Religious hard-liners are increasingly concerned about Iranians' access to information from the outside world, a sign of worry such communications may stir pro-reform sentiment, such as the recent anti-government demonstrations.

Sepahram said most of the blocked Web sites belong to opposition groups. One is run by Reza Pahlavi, son of the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

There is a fair number of pro-reform bloggers in Iran and, some have been arrested, some have been beaten, but the internet is obviously proving valuable in giving them a louder voice in their fight for freedom, seems much more effective than say... suicide bombing.

Jeff Jarvis has a roundup of thoughts from some Iranian bloggers as well as this excerpt from an open letter from an expatriate:

. . . In my opinion, the United States has a much more serious preoccupation these days than just money and financial rewards of a free and unhampered trade with Iran. This is not to say that the American capitalists care little about substantially lucrative opportunities that a democratic Iran under a free market system can offer them. But after the events of September 11 and the realization of its vulnerability to terrorism, the United States was painfully faced with two essential and very basic facts: first that money has no value when you're dead; and second that as long as the two issues of international terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons are not effectively dealt with being dead is a very real possibility. Also, as the sole remaining superpower in the world, the United States does not only have the responsibility to deal with this problem, but is the only power with sufficient means and international reach to solve a problem of this magnitude. And solve it, it must. So, in my opinion, America's desire to eliminate the theocracy in Iran is based on much more fundamental motivations than money and financial rewards, and therefore, makes a much more dependable ally for our democratic forces than the European Union. Where Europeans are our tactical allies, the Americans can be considered our strategic allies in establishing a secular democracy in our country and propagating it throughout the region.
Am I claiming that the United States will never, under any circumstance abandon our secular democratic forces and make a deal with the Islamic Republic? No, not at all. We should not be naïve about this, either. The United States is driven by nothing more than its own national security objectives. But that's just fine, because at this historical juncture the United States indeed "has no better friend" than a secular democratic Iran. Our success in establishing a secular democracy in Iran would eliminate one of the most potent sources of anti-American sentiments in the Middle East and one of the major forces of international terrorism, as well as one of the most significant obstacles to peace between Palestine and Israel.
So, given that the United States -like any other sane country- is driven by its own interests, would it still make a good ally for our democratic forces? The answer is, of course it would. We should not fear taking a helping hand from the United States, if offered. The Americans do not have any hidden agenda. They are crystal clear about their objectives and are not after our independence. A peaceful, free, and democratic Iran is big enough of a prize for them.

Yes, it is. The spread of democracy really is the best weapon against organized terror groups. Are the dictators in the region fearing the democracy domino effect?

For more blogs from Iran start here, scroll down and up, lots of good stuff!


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