Bipartisan Resolution to Stand With Iranian Dissidents
Congressmen Go Where Presidents Fear To Tread
The unrest in Iran continues apace, and while the media coverage remains sparse, word nevertheless gets out of Iran thanks to our modern age and, in particular, to Twitter. As Moe notes, the situation is complex. The cast of key figures holds few heroes. But then, it’s not really about Mousavi, is it?
It’s about the thousands of individual Iranians, from citizen reporters on Twitter to underground hip-hop stars, who believe their vote, and voice, should matter. It’s about the fact that they are taking to the streets in protest for that right. It’s about their belief that they ought to have a say in their destiny and their government. It’s about a Muslim nation with a rogue government being stalled and thwarted by thousands of citizens demanding their individual rights be honored.
On both the right and the left, on the blogs, at twitter, among the pundits, this is largely a shared sentiment. Sure there are some who cynically object – ignorant celebrities or Obama loyalists. But for the most part, the web has seen a sea of green in support of the people of Iran exercising their right to self-determination. And now we see some in Congress standing up.
U.S. Congressman Mike Pence (R-Ind.), Chairman of the House Republican Conference, and Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, have introduced a resolution that goes where the President fears to tread: explicit support for the Iranian dissidents. Said Congressman Pence:
“This is an important moment for the Congress, our country and the people of Iran. For days hundreds of thousands of dissidents have taken to the streets of Iran in support of freedom and democracy. The American cause is freedom and in that cause the American people will not be silent. I am honored to join Chairman Berman in offering this important resolution. The joint resolution I and Chairman Berman introduced will give voice to countless Americans who stand with the Iranian dissidents as they stand up for freedom. I urge Members on both side of the aisle to support this important resolution and I hope for its immediate consideration.”
So far, support for the dissidents in Iran from America has been largely from inviduals, bloggers, twitterers, and pundits. Congressman Pence’s resolution will be the strongest official response to date.
Click through for the reported text of the resolution:
Expressing support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law, and for other purposes.
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1) expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;
(2) condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones; and
(3) affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections.
Congressman Pence adds:
“I really believe we may have an opportunity for a fresh start here, not with the tyrants in Tehran, not with Ahmadinejad, who even looks at what this administration is doing and accuses them of meddling, but rather with the good and decent and courageous people of Iran who are stepping forward and risking their liberty and their lives for principles that we as Americans cherish.”
Ace of Spades and Allahpundit fear the day dawning in Tehran may bring a new Tianamen, and maybe it will. But one thing we’ll know from now on is that the people of Iran, like the people here in the United States, can and will demand their voices are heard, whether an oppressive or overly-expansive government wants to hear them or not. And that’s something we can and should support.