Will U.S. become involved in nation-building in Iran? Should it?

Will U.S. become involved in nation-building in Iran? Should it?
The Ayatollah Khameini crying at the funeral of Qasem Soleimani (Image: YouTube screen grab)

On Saturday student protesters at Sharif University and elsewhere in Tehran congregated to chant what is being reported as “Death to the dictator.” To my untrained ear, it sounds like they’re shouting, “Rye, rye, pizza dough,” but you can write that off to my lack of Farsi or whatever language it is they’re speaking.

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What shouldn’t be so readily dismissed is the message of the vox populi, which is once again clamoring for regime change and independence from the tyrannical rule imposed by the theocracy. Confronted with a similar opportunity in his first year in office, then-Pres. Barack Obama famously hid under his desk as Iranian civilians were gunned down in the streets.

The two-part question that arises now is whether Pres. Donald Trump will — and should — choose to back the protesters. According to a tweet he posted in both Farsi and English, the answer to the first part is “yes.”

Image: Twitter screen grab

As for whether he should, there are several points to keep in mind. First, becoming involved in a nation’s struggle for independence, even in this technologically driven age, requires manpower and money. Second, such an involvement would run counter to Trump’s campaign promise to get the U.S. out of endless wars in the Middle East. Third, yesterday’s demonstrations were not the Iranian people’s first rodeo. They have staged other protests, the most recent being in November, when hundreds took to the streets to protest rising fuel prices and calling for the country’s leaders to step down.

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer and regular contributor to "Liberty Unyielding."