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Congress Condemns Iranian Labor Crackdown
NRO ^ | October 04, 2007 | Michael Rubin

Posted on 10/04/2007 5:10:33 PM PDT by nuconvert

October 04, 2007

Congress condemns Iranian labor crackdown

[Michael Rubin]

October 04, 2007

Kudos to the House for passing, 418-1, a bipartisan measure condemning Iran's persecution of labor union organizers and activists. Hopefully, there can be hearings soon on the same issue.

There's a certain irony in the silence, especially among self-described progressives, on the Iranian crackdown. I don't know of any serious policymaker who thinks that military strikes are a good thing, or that a nuclear-armed Iran wouldn't bring us into real crisis. An active union movement in Iran would strengthen civil society there. If the Iranian regime were more accountable to its people and their demands for better living conditions, more schools, hospitals, etc., the leadership would likely not be able to invest so much in terrorist groups and nuclear adventurism. A real union movement might help the U.S. avoid the worst-case scenarios and, at the same time, be embraced by Iranians.

Some progressives may honestly believe that U.S. support would backfire; they counsel doing nothing and often cite not dissidents but rather the so-called reformists who remain committed to theocracy, just not when it's guided by their factional rivals. It is telling now, though, that the family members of imprisoned labor leaders are seeking international support. Congress listened; but neither the White House nor major presidential contenders have.

Likewise, while a crackdown did come after the bipartisan embrace of Lech Walesa and Solidarity in Poland, Walesa subsequently won the Nobel Peace Prize and, upon the crumbling of the dictatorship, became Poland's president. I had the pleasure of meeting him a few years back on the 25th anniversary of Solidarity's founding; neither he nor his colleagues at the time complained of U.S. support, even if the Soviet authorities and their Polish clients might have sought to tarnish them as compromised.

As an aside, it's all well and good for someone to complain about the mainstream media whenever they don't cover a topic of interest to that person, but I am curious whether we're experiencing another Eason Jordan moment with The New York Times and Washington Post for six months or so ignoring the ongoing roundup and imprisonment of Iranian labor organizers. Perhaps the Iran beat reporters fear that they could lose their access.

(Yes, there is an irony in linking to the above piece with Franklin Foer discussing ethics, but his Wall Street Journal piece was a good one, before ambition, pride, or partisanship got the best of him).


TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 110th; congress; iran; laborunion; michaelrubin; rubin

1 posted on 10/04/2007 5:10:42 PM PDT by nuconvert
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To: nuconvert

Are we kidding? A resolution of condemnation? Is Congress for real?

WHy are they wasting time with stupid nonsense like this, and like the condemnations of radio talk show hosts?

We need to cut the length of Congress’ term so they stay focused. They have WAY too much time on their hands.


2 posted on 10/04/2007 5:16:39 PM PDT by Maceman
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To: nuconvert

WHOOPEE!


3 posted on 10/04/2007 5:25:31 PM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (THE SECOND AMENDMENT, A MATTER OF FACT, NOT A MATTER OF OPINION)
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To: nuconvert

Was Ellison (D, MN) the lone nay vote?


4 posted on 10/04/2007 5:26:38 PM PDT by econjack ("You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.")
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To: nuconvert

Gag me with a fork.


5 posted on 10/04/2007 5:26:53 PM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: Maceman

TERM LIMITS


6 posted on 10/04/2007 5:34:02 PM PDT by sure_fine ( " not one to over kill the thought process " )
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To: Maceman; indylindy

Condemning radio talk show hosts is a stupid watse of time.
This is sending a message against the regime and a message of solidarity to the Iranian people. This is not stupid.


7 posted on 10/04/2007 5:34:06 PM PDT by nuconvert ("Terrorism is not the enemy. It is a means to the ends of militant Islamism." MZJ)
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To: econjack

Probably Conyers (D MI).


8 posted on 10/04/2007 5:47:28 PM PDT by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: nuconvert

A message of solidarity to the Iranian people against the current regime in Iran is fine.

If they hear it. Will do no good though. They will not rise up if they have no real backup.

I am afraid Congress of the US has no clout. Poll numbers in the the US show Congress have no clout even with US citizens.

Iraq will not be won until the US conquers Iran. Iranians will not rise up without backup and military support.

This is a case that will have no real meaning. Congress of the US is seen as nincompoops.

Its seems like the way it is.


9 posted on 10/04/2007 5:48:16 PM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: indylindy

Yes, they need backup. They also need to know that we hear them.
The regime wants the world to ignore human rights violations and protests and opposition groups in Iran.
Let’s not.


10 posted on 10/04/2007 5:57:23 PM PDT by nuconvert ("Terrorism is not the enemy. It is a means to the ends of militant Islamism." MZJ)
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To: nuconvert

Hearing and doing are totally different things. People need to know we are to be trusted to put our money where our big mouths are.

Polls say, US citizens do not have much faith in our Congress, how the hell do we expect opposition all the way over in Iran to believe, trust, and put the lives of their families on the line for what US citizens have no faith in?

Lipservice means nothing. Faith and integrity does. If the US wants to bring about change in Iran, we will have to bring about change in the US.

No one wants to cast their lot with losers, or those that want to be losers.

Congress of the US has no integrity anymore. The polls reflect the sorry attitude. They are more worried about Rush Limbaugh and keeping power for personal gain.

The US has marginalized itself. No wonder we can no longer have an effect.


11 posted on 10/04/2007 6:12:14 PM PDT by dforest (Duncan Hunter is the best hope we have on both fronts.)
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To: econjack

—— NAYS 1 -—

Paul

http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll929.xml

Whoda Thunk? Ron Paul supports Iranian Labor Abuse.


12 posted on 10/04/2007 6:39:18 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Mitt bit the apple. Hillary will stuff it down your throat!)
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To: econjack

—— NAYS 1 -—

Paul

—— ANSWERED “PRESENT” 1 -—

Kucinich

—— NOT VOTING 12 -—

Carson
Cubin
Davis, Jo Ann
Hastert
Higgins
Jindal
Kilpatrick
Lee
Maloney (NY)
Perlmutter
Rangel
Rush


13 posted on 10/04/2007 6:40:42 PM PDT by Uncle Miltie (Mitt bit the apple. Hillary will stuff it down your throat!)
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To: nuconvert

They’d be naïve to think we’d “back them up.” In 1991, people living in southern Iraq thought we’d sent a message of solidarity only to see Schwarzkopf fly away in a helicopter. Unless the House approves several permanent military bases along the Iraq/Iran border where the CIA could arm resistance groups, this is nothing but a bunch of impotent D.C. bureaucrats shuffling their paper work.


14 posted on 10/04/2007 7:04:04 PM PDT by neefer (Bad spellers of the world, untie!)
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To: neefer

Backing them up would have to be part of a coordinated plan


15 posted on 10/04/2007 7:07:23 PM PDT by nuconvert ("Terrorism is not the enemy. It is a means to the ends of militant Islamism." MZJ)
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To: Uncle Miltie

Julia Carson’s from my area and she’s a very, very bad joke. She’s mentally lost it and has no business voting on anything. She actually ran for office on a campaign that said the way to solve crime is to get rid of lead-based paint. She thinks that’s the cause of all crime...I kid you not!


16 posted on 10/04/2007 8:06:00 PM PDT by econjack ("You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.")
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