I Don’t Ask Congress To Applaud Iranian Protesters, But I’ll Do It Myself
I rise in reluctant opposition to H Res 560, which condemns the Iranian government for its recent actions during the unrest in that country. While I never condone violence, much less the violence that governments are only too willing to mete out to their own citizens, I am always very cautious about “condemning” the actions of governments overseas. As an elected member of the United States House of Representatives, I have always questioned our constitutional authority to sit in judgment of the actions of foreign governments of which we are not representatives. I have always hesitated when my colleagues rush to pronounce final judgment on events thousands of miles away about which we know very little. And we know very little beyond limited press reports about what is happening in Iran.
I applaud Ron Paul for taking his usual principled stand. Our Congress does not need to be spending their time issuing
Resolutions toothless moralistic statements about America, much less other countries. Even if I were to retreat from my cautious anarchist tendencies and accept that Congress actually deserves real responsibilities, that responsibility is to legislate, not preach.
But a part of those anarchist tendencies is Heinlein’s rational anarchy. All actions are ultimately morally within the hands of individuals. Immaterial of laws or society, it is the individual who is morally responsible for acting rightly or wrongly.
So I don’t ask Congress to speak on Iran. Taking a chance to personalize H Res 560, let me do it myself:
Resolved, That Brad Warbiany —
- expresses his support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law;
- condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones; and
- affirms the universality of individual rights and considers any government which infringes upon those individual rights to be illegitimate.
Iran is at a very important point. In a mere matter of hours, this may come to a head. The mullahs have signaled that they will resort to violence with a call that any who continue protesting “will be held responsible for the consequences and chaos.” Many people in Iran have said that they’re going to protest anyway.
As I write this in California, it is 10:15 AM in Iran. Much will happen in the next few hours. To those Iranians who are not sure what will happen next, I can only wish you safety and success. I’m not sure you’ll have the former, but if you don’t I at least hope you achieve the latter.