Majeed Mohades: It’s time for America to take action
With the advent of cutting edge technology, electronic commerce has undergone drastic changes in the past several years. A slew of popular and user-friendly payment systems are making consumers less dependent on cash. Large and small retailers are offering these new technologies to their customers. In the end, some currencies have seen their value diminish as new forms of commerce rise in prominence.
The domain of politics has seen changes, too. Specifically, one currency in international relations has seen its value plummet: human life. The price of politics, especially failed politics, is being paid with the lives of innocent people, and political actors are being quite generous with their purses – or better put, other people’s purses.
The current botched U.S. policy toward iran and the broader middle east seems to be totally funded with human lives. U.S. inaction, timidity and outright appeasement of dictators have had great repercussions on the people living in this region. Washington’s decision to take a back seat and watch from afar as dark forces of fundamentalism and terrorism sink the region into the abyss, is costing scores of people their lives on a daily basis, and it is threatening global stability and peace. I am experiencing this grim picture first hand, because as a resident of Camp Liberty, I have personally lost dear friends to Tehran’s terrorism.
The inexplicable hope placed on Hassan Rouhani, the new and supposedly moderate president of the Iranian theocracy, has caused Washington to turn a blind eye on growing human rights violations in iran. Western governments did manage to sign a nuclear accord with iran – the benefits of which are disputable and ambiguous at best in the eyes of many observers. But in exchange, the U.S. has deliberately decided to ignore the 400-plus executions that have been carried out under Rouhani’s watch.
Taking advantage of a weak, shaky and trivial U.S. policy best described as appeasement, the mullahs have become emboldened to continue to spread their plague of terrorism with renewed fervor, seeking to save their crisis-ridden regime from collapse by instigating strife and mayhem in other countries in the region, including syria and iraq.
Assad, the dictator of syria and acolyte of the mullahs in Tehran, has already taken the lives of more than 100,000 Syrians, including thousands of innocent children, whose heartrending images shook the world. Bolstered by arms, supplies and reinforcements flowing from Iran, and encouraged by the dithering of the U.S.-led international strategy, Assad continues to slaughter his own people at a horrifying rate without fearing the consequences.
In iraq too, the mullahs’ proxies have killed several thousand civilians this year, making 2013 the most violent year of the past decade. And the violence continues to escalate. One of the most high-profile issues that the U.S. has miserably failed to deal with in iraq as a result of its conciliatory approach to dictators is the safety and security of the residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, where three thousand Iranian political refugees reside under the constant threat of attacks by the Iraqi government.
The mullahs see the residents as the main threat to their faltering regime, and therefore view their annihilation as being of paramount importance. The dissidents at Camp Liberty had been given official promises of protection by the U.S. government, but in the past year alone, 65 of them were brutally killed during massacres carried out by Iraqi security forces under the command of the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki, who is a close ally of the Iranian regime.
The last instance of such attacks saw a vicious barrage of rockets against Camp Liberty during Christmas, which left four of my dear friends dead and seventy wounded in its wake. The camp is completely defenseless and vulnerable to terrorist attacks by the regime in Tehran and its proxies in iraq.
Prior to that, on September 1, Iraqi security forces stormed Camp Ashraf, brutally murdering 52 residents – even killing sick patients at the clinic and firing coup de grace shots to people with their hands tied behind their back – and abducting seven others, including six women. In both cases, the U.S. government completely abandoned the people to whom it had given written pledges of protection. This disgraceful and immoral shirking of responsibility has outraged members of Congress and prominent former officials. Does the solemn promises of the U.S. have any credibility anymore?
For four months, Camp Liberty residents have been urging President Obama to take immediate action and secure the release of the seven hostages abducted from Camp Ashraf on September 1st. They’ve been calling on him to honor the U.S. commitments and to take concrete steps to protect them from further attacks. But the White House’s only response has been to counsel the Iraqi government – the perpetrator of all crimes against the camps’ residents – to remedy the situation. That is like asking the fox to continue to guard the henhouse.
The result of U.S. inaction and weakness has been consecutive humanitarian catastrophes, all coming at the cost of innocent lives. The lives of thousands of Iranian dissidents, who are defenseless and whose only crime is to pursue dreams of a democratic non-nuclear Iran, is at stake.
Emboldened by the U.S. administration’s pathetic and disgraceful response, the dictators in iran continue to cause carnage and take innocent lives to prevent their approaching downfall. Human life seems almost worthless in the context of Washington’s weak policies toward the Iranian regime. How many more lives is the U.S. government willing to sacrifice? That is for President Obama to answer.
Majeed Mohades, 30, an IT expert, is a resident of Camp Liberty in Iraq, where 3,000 Iranian dissidents reside.