News coverage of the large and growing anti-regime protests in Iran this week has included warnings by Iran “experts” insisting that the vocal support the protesters are receiving on social media from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is counterproductive.
Israeli and US statements of support for the Iranian people and their desire to rid themselves of the regime that oppresses them will only weaken them, experts warn. But several counter-indications make clear that these warnings should be disregarded.
In 2009, when millions of Iranians took to the streets in the Green Revolution, then-US president Barack Obama refused to support them. Like today’s experts, Obama argued that it would be counterproductive for the US to support the protesters as they demanded the overthrow of the regime that had just stolen the presidential election. Obama claimed that the US is so hated that the regime would use its support of the protesters to discredit the demonstrations.
In the event, Obama’s silence demoralized the revolutionaries who asked again and again why he refused to stand with them. Perhaps more importantly, by refusing to stand for the men and women of Iran who risked death to stand up to America’s bitter enemy, Obama gave Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his henchmen a green light to brutally repress the revolution. Which is exactly what they proceeded to do with nary a whimper of protest from the Obama White House.