As the biggest protest since the 2009 Green Revolution rages on in Iran, American feminists have been AWOL. And one-time aides to former President Barack Obama say President Trump shouldn’t say a word, either.
Since the upheaval broke out last month, we’ve heard not a peep from the women who gathered for the anti-Trump Women’s March in Washington, D.C., or those who wore “pussy hats” to protest the so-called sexist president. Not even after an Iranian woman who bravely waved her hijab in Tehran was reportedly detained. With her required head cover tied to a stick like a battle flag, the unknown woman last week stood at a busy intersection and waved the cloth in front of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.
She’s now the face of the new uprising — yet no one knows where she is. She has disappeared.
In a bizarre twist, critics of Mr. Trump and former aides to Mr. Obama — who handed billions to the despotic rulers in Iran and allowed them to continue work developing nuclear weapons — are urging Trump to remain quiet. He isn’t.
On Sunday, Mr. Obama’s former National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweeted out a New York Times op-ed by another former Obama aide, Philip Gordon, who was an assistant Secretary of State, headlined “How Can Trump Help Iran’s Protesters? Be Quiet.”
Ms. Rice offered no support to the protesters sick and tired of Iran’s iron fist rule, just an edict to the sitting president to “be quiet.”
How Can Trump Help Iran’s Protesters? Be Quiet. https://t.co/w0MNlWMkxG
— Susan Rice (@AmbassadorRice) December 31, 2017
And Mr. Obama’s former Secretary of State John Kerry, the milquetoast who took over after Hillary Clinton, said tweeted Sunday: “With humility about how little we know about what’s happening inside Iran, this much is clear: it’s an Iranian moment and not anyone else’s.”
The talking point had clearly been passed around on Sunday, because Ben Rhodes, a deputy under Ms. Rice, said: ” … it seems lost on too many that this is about what Iranians want for Iran, and not about us.”
For her part, Clinton on Sunday said “I hope their government responds peacefully and supports their hopes.” Ah, there’s that “hope” for “change” again.
Feminists, meanwhile, are doing even less for their sisters in Iran. The National Organization of Women wasn’t talking about the crackdown on women in Iran, but rather moaning about Mr. Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos.
Famed feminist Gloria Steinem hasn’t addressed the women’s movement in Iran. Not a word, either, from the Women’s Marchers. On Twitter, @womensmarch is instead hyping another gathering, this time in Las Vegas, for January 21 (warmer than D.C. and they can get some gambling in, to boot).
This wasn’t lost on those who frequent Twitter.
“Iranian women are literally risking their lives, fighting against an oppressive Islamic theocracy, and not a single tweet of support from the @womensmarch,” Scott Presler tweeted. “You aren’t for women at all. #IranianProtests”
With dozens dead and hundreds detained in Iran, you’d expect American feminists to get their sisters’ back — especially in such a repressive regime, where women can’t leave the house alone and must remain covered head to toe at all times. But not so — some American feminists actually argue that the hijab is empowering.
It’s worth remembering the 2009 uprising, when Obama turned tail and fled, even after Iranian freedom fighters begged for his help.
“So now, at this pivotal point in time, it is up to the countries of the free world to make up their mind,” Iranian opposition leaders told the Obama administration in an eight-page memo. “Will they continue on the track of wishful thinking and push every decision to the future until it is too late, or will they reward the brave people of Iran and simultaneously advance the Western interests and world peace.”
Mr. Obama didn’t lift a finger and the uprising failed — hundreds or even thousands (no one knows for sure) were killed as a result.
As 2018 begins, it’s the height of irony that feminists are silent and the players in the failed Iran policy of the past urge Trump to be quiet. Thankfully, Mr. Trump will do no such thing.
“The people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime. All of the money that President Obama so foolishly gave them went into terrorism and into their ‘pockets.’ The people have little food, big inflation and no human rights. The U.S. is watching!” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
What a difference a year makes.
• Joseph Curl has covered politics for 25 years, including 12 years as White House correspondent at The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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