Students protesting at a university in Iran, defacing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's picture, demanding changes and denouncing the current government, became an interesting news bite for a day or two. Likely those students are now in jail facing long-term incarceration.
An implosion in Iran? If so, what caused that and how did these students dare, knowing full well the consequences of their acts of bravery? Is this Iran's Tiananmen Square, the beginning of their revolution? Were these students, as well as others, encouraged by U.S. government agencies and their propaganda, promising we would back them? If so, we had better be prepared to do exactly that, since our history in such matters is not good.
Shortly after World War I, President Woodrow Wilson encouraged nations to practice "national self-determination," yet we did nothing when Czechoslovakia and Poland were overrun by the Nazis. We did little to prevent Eastern Europe from a takeover by the Soviet Union.
We urged "captive" people behind the Iron Curtain to seek their freedom, but when in 1953 the East Germans staged an uprising we did nothing. A repeat of a similar uprising by the Czechs in 1968 provided no help to them.
Had we been willing to supply at least air cover during the CIA-arranged Cuban Bay of Pigs invasion, the outcome might have been different. President Kennedy needed to hide U.S. complicity.
We started a massive war in South Vietnam to stop a communist takeover. By 1973 we grew weary of it and left them in the lurch.
There are several other examples, such as Nicaragua and the Iraqi Kurds. Pray there is no repeat of that in Iran if we indeed encouraged them to rebel against their oppressive government and they listened to us.
Bob Groothand, Augusta
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