Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made his annual address to the United Nations General Assembly late last week. He reminded America and the free world just what a crazed worldview he holds when he called for an investigation into whether the United States government was behind the attack on the World Trade Centers on 9/11. It was brilliant theater and a classic distraction technique to be sure. What he didn’t want you and I to focus on was what his brutal, menacing regime is doing to its own people, to its neighbors, and to the world.
Firstly, I do not call Ahmadinejad “president” because that would confer on him an honor he did not earn and does not deserve. He was not elected. He stole his position in what every Iranian knows to be a fraudulent election. He is not the duly elected president, but the puppet of the mullahs who have put him in place.
Secondly, we must remember what happened after he stole the election and the process was exposed as a massive fraud against the Iranian people. Outraged Iranians took to the streets. These brave protests became known throughout the world as the Green Revolution or the Persian Awakening. The protestors were brave because they knew the nature of the regime they were protesting, and which they had voted to remove. They knew the ruthlessness and brutality of the mullahs and the man they had placed in power.
On June 24th, CNN recorded a call from a terrified Iranian girl, who told of democracy demonstrators being hacked with axes, shot, or thrown from bridges. She pleaded: “You should stop this…you should help the people of Iran who demand freedom…you should help us…it’s time to act.” She was pleading to America…she was pleading to us.
There are many Americans who may say that human rights abuses, while tragic, are not our responsibility, and not a matter of our vital national interests. I remind my fellow Americans of the brutal actions of the Iranian regime because in another instance their actions most definitely affect our vital national interests. Just this month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) — a UN chartered organization not known to exaggerate — reported that Iran is denying its inspectors access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, including one in Qum, discovered last year inside a mountain, deep inside a military base operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Let there be no mistake. This is not a peaceful project. This is a nuclear military facility producing a nuclear weapon for the brutal Iranian regime. According to the IAEA, Iran continues to refuse to report on its advanced technologies aimed at developing advanced missiles with nuclear payloads.
Iran is the leading state sponsor of terror. It repeatedly threatens our ally Israel, denies the Holocaust, and openly calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.
In another time and place, but facing the same brutal repression of freedom and human dignity, Soviet dissident and gulag prisoner Natan Sharansky warned: “How a government treats its own people cannot be separated from how that government could be expected to treat other countries.”
This is why I link Iran’s human rights abuses to it nuclear weapons program. This is not the government of Britain or France. It is a regime built on terror. And it is very, very close to possessing nuclear weapons.
We dismiss the actions of the mullahs and Ahmadinejad at our peril. Every day we fail to act, every day we are distracted, this brutal regime is one day closer to the most dangerous weapon in the world.
As Ahmadinejad takes the stage of the General Assembly, President Obama and every leader of the free world must remember the words of Sharansky: “How a government treats its own people cannot be separated from how that government could be expected to treat other countries.” And they must remember the words of that frightened Iranian girl watching her countrymen being butchered by Ahmadinejad’s henchmen: “You should help us…it’s time to act.”
Deal Hudson the Director of Operations at InsideCatholic.com and director of the Morley Institute for Church & Culture.His most recent book is Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States was published in 2008.