Vittert: Blinken isn’t doing enough for Iranian protesters

Antony Blinken

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks after a meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida at the prime minister’s official residence Monday, July 11, 2022, in Tokyo. Blinken pays a brief condolence visit to Japan following the assassination of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

(NewsNation) — “This is grass roots. This is bottom up. This is a reflection of huge frustration and huge anger that so many in Iranian society have toward the direction of their country, and toward their leadership.”

Evidently, that quote is the best Secretary of State Anthony Blinken can do to show the women of Iran, and in a larger sense the people of Iran, we have their backs. In reality, he doesn’t have their backs.

We’ve noted few people in Washington bother to stand up for the Iranian protesters, not just tweet or lecture, but actually do something to support the hundreds of thousands of women risking their lives, and sometimes dying, for a chance at freedom.

The regime has a new target. An Iranian rock climber competed internationally this week without her headscarf. She explained why on Instagram, saying “due to bad timing and unexpectedly being called to climb the wall, I inadvertently created a problem with my head covering, apologizing for the worries that I caused.”

The ayatollah cares a lot about headscarves these days. Women protesting headscarves and other repressive religious laws take to the streets nightly. They chant “death to the dictator.”

The rock climber allegedly disappeared after landing back in Tehran. She’ll probably end up in prison where she may be tortured.

Just this week, at least eight people died in a prison fire in Iran. Some reports say guards unleashed tear gas on the prisoners right after they stopped the fire.

Earlier today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi gave her thoughts when asked what America can do to help.

“We can make sure everyone is paying attention to it,” Pelosi said.

When you see women dragged away in the middle of the street, it’s hard to pay attention to anything else. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s an American issue. Standing up for freedom is something Republicans, Democrats and independents should all support.

Just following what’s happening in Iran may not be enough. No, that’s not our opinion. Listen to former President Barack Obama this weekend talking about his administration’s response to the 2009 Iranian protests.

“When I think back to 2009 and 2010, you guys will recall there was a big debate inside the White House about whether I should publicly affirm what was going on with the Green Movement, because a lot of the activists were being accused of being tools of the west and there was some thought we were somehow going to undermine their street cred in Iran if I supported what they were doing,” Obama said on a podcast. “In retrospect, I think that was a mistake.”

Back then, Obama followed the advice of his national security team. They said do nothing; he did nothing. The Iranian regime killed thousands and stayed in power only to sponsor more terrorism and kill more Americans.

Their theory went something like this: If we as America say too much, the ayatollah will blame America for the protests. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. The ayatollah and his regime will always blame America.

Back to Antony Blinken, our secretary of state, the man who should lead the fight against the ayatollah. He cut his teeth during the Obama administration but evidently didn’t learn the same lesson as the last president.

Back in 2017, small protests broke out in Iran. The Trump administration vocally supported the protests.

Blinken tweeted: “Good advice from Phil Gordon: How can Trump help Iran’s protesters? Be quiet.”

It appears the Biden disciples are using the same playbook this time around. It’s unclear why they think there will be a different result.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.

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