MCCOTTER: A missed opportunity

Obama should have condemned Iran in front of the world

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Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly this week. This despot wields power because of blood and fraud, for as every Iranian and honest observer knows, his “election” was corrupted. In fact, on June 24, 2009, CNN recorded a telephone call from a terrified Iranian girl, who told of democracy demonstrators being hacked with axes, shot and 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, but her pleas fell on the Obama administration’s deaf ears.

Then insult was added to her injury. In April, the amoral U.N. selected Iran to serve on the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. The most vehement rebuke mustered by an Obama administration official was that of the senior State Department aide who said: “We’re not going to stand up and cheer.” Our ambassador to the U.N. should have denounced the morally rancid U.N. for its decision to salt the wounds of the Iranian freedom movement’s regime-murdered martyrs by electing the Tehran butchers to the commission.

Indeed, Iran continues to be the leading state sponsor of terror, practitioner of executing women by stoning and hater of our ally Israel. This month, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported that its inspectors are being denied access to Iran’s nuclear facilities (including one in Qom discovered last year deep inside a mountain within a military base operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard). The IAEA reported that the Iranian regime’s intransigence continues regarding its advanced technologies intended for advanced missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads.

Clear minds know we heirs of liberty cannot barter with butchers. To prevent an Iran possessed of nuclear weapons, America must promote this inhumane regime’s peaceful implosion beneath its own citizens’ aspirations for liberty while peaceful freedom seekers such as Neda Soltan and Taraneh Mousavi are being imprisoned, tortured and murdered by the mullahs. A naive administration’s appeasement of this brutal regime must be replaced with the adoption of a constructive quarantine policy.

Only hours before the lunatic Mr. Ahmadinejad took the stage Thursday and accused the United States of perpetrating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks upon itself, President Obama addressed the U.N. General Assembly from the same dais. With the eyes of the world upon him, Mr. Obama should have issued a new manifesto that declared: (1) Iran will not be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon; (2) Mr. Ahmadinejad and other members of his illegitimate regime will be barred from entering the United States; (3) the United States will not pay its U.N. dues unless and until the U.N. removes Iran from its Commission on the Status of Women; (4) funding for Radio Farda and other democracy-building programs will be doubled; (5) sanctions to deter companies from investing in Iran’s energy sector will be enforced vigorously and higher tariff rates will be placed on Iran’s remaining exports to the United States; and, (6) the Global Online Freedom Act will be enacted to prevent American companies from assisting the Iranian regime’s efforts to monitor and censor its people on the Internet.

Forgetting the lessons of past appeasement, some Americans claim that human rights abuses, while tragic, are not our responsibility or a matter of vital national interest. They are wrong. May they remember the lessons offered us by the victims of another evil regime’s brutal repression of its fellow human beings’ God-given right to liberty. 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.” The Ahmadinejad regime’s treatment of Iranian citizens is what the world can expect if Iran wields a nuclear weapon and America forgets that in bringing freedom to the oppressed, we ensure freedom for ourselves.

Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter of Michigan is chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee.

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