Natural disasters often have enormous cultural and political consequences along with their economic and human costs. I believe the horror of the December earthquakes in Iran is an example because it helped further demonstrate to the Iranian people the huge void that exists between their tyrannized society and the developed West in terms of wealth, capital, the capability to care for human needs, and the values that make these things possible. Recent Iranian elections were disappointing to the reform elements there as well as in the U. S., and the Bush administration vowed to keep “hoping” for additional reform. In my opinion, simply hoping is not enough. France, of course, has already suggested a “wait and see” approach, and, no doubt, the “stability over all” crowd in some corners of our State Department will agree and will urge President Bush to seek additional promises from the mullahs. Radio talk show host Glenn Beck made a profound comment recently when he said that Iran is to the war on terror today what Poland was to the Cold War in 1980. I believe he is correct, and that a popular uprising against this evil regime deserves the support and encouragement of the West, led by the U. S.
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