Obama Should Support Iran's Reformers

Let Mousavi know the US is there for them, ex-Bush officials advise
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2009 8:00 AM CDT
In this frame grab taken from amateur video, supporters of Iranian reformist opposition leader Mir Hossien Mousavi demonstrate in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday June 16, 2009.    (AP Photo/APTN, Amateur Video)
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(Newser) – Whether or not Iran’s protests coalesce into a full-scale revolt, it seems clear that the Iranian people would like to change their totalitarian government. Barack Obama should help them do it, Bush administration officials Dan Senor and Christian Whiton write in the Wall Street Journal. He could start by calling Mir Hossein Mousavi and expressing his support, and issuing another video to the people, this time offering reformers whatever help they request.

Obama should also take steps to give reformers a voice. He should increase funding for Radio Farda, a Persian version of Radio Free Europe, and work with his friends in Silicon Valley to bust the mullahs’ firewalls. “Helping the Iranian people change a government they appear to loathe will not reduce American standing in the world,” Senor and Whiton argue. Indeed, failing to engage the reformers “would not only be a travesty, but tactically foolish.” (Read more Barack Obama stories.)