Saint Michael Traveler
Do we bear some responsibility for election and re-election of Ahmadinejad? Yes we do!
Paul Findley in his article “ Cool Clinton Response to Khatami Initiative Shows Israel-Inspired Dual Containment Policy Not Yet Dead”, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, April 1998, Pages 32, 101,
“If President Clinton does not quickly come up with a generous, cooperative response he will leave a sorely embarrassed Khatami hanging, twisting in the wind—an easy target for the radical religious leadership within Iran that opposes any rapprochement with the United States and seems to have control over most foreign policy questions. The hard-liners in the Iranian government will have a field day and may well be able to discredit the new president, despite the 70 percent vote he received.”
Progressive Iranian Movement
Our past political mistakes, and financial burdens we have placed on the Iranian people will not advance our long term American interests. To assist the Progressive movement in Iran, allow a greater exchange between the two societies, remove the burdens placed on the Iranian people by economic sanctions and restrictions. It is foolish to punish the people for our disagreements with their government. By removing the burden, we allow change in demographics of Iran toward a larger middle class; thus, it will shift the internal Iranian policy from Traditionalists toward the Progressives. We must support the Iranian Progressives. The Progressives are young, better educated and often the middle class segment of the Iranian population. Iranian Traditionalist (religious, very nationalistic, often poor, and under educated) voted for re-election of Ahmadinejad.
We will not advance our American interests, or the Progressive Iranian movement, by listening to those who advocate a more aggressive policy toward Iran.