Thursday, December 23, 2004

Richard Perle keynote Address to Ultra-Violent Terror Group

Iran Solidarity: "Thank you. Thank you my old friend Ray Tanter. We worked together in the Regan administration. We worked together at a time when almost everyone believed that the Soviet Union was a permanent feature of the international community, that we would see them for ever, that the people of that Soviet Union would never be free, never be liberated and you know what? They’re free.

What does one say after the two inspiring videos you’ve just seen and after that wonderful introduction? First thing I want to express, is my sympathy to the victims of the earthquake. That earthquake may have been unavoidable but the response to it was pathetic. The people of Bam, the people of Iran deserved a government that would do everything in its power to alleviate the suffering. But regime that is dedicated first, second and third to its own survival in power seldom does what needs to be done for its own people.

I want to begin with a story. Story told me by a French scholar of Islam, a man named Gil Kapel. He was in Tehran a few months ago and he gave a lecture, a lecture to 400 students in Tehran University. He was introduced by the rector of the University. Several of the mullahs in the structure of that university were on the platform with him. At the end of his lecture, he took questions from the student audience and one young woman stood up and she said “professor Kapel, we Iranians have only one friend”. To be a Frenchman, a French professor, professor Kapel thought he was about to hear some words of praise to the government of France, maybe for French president Chirac and this young student continued, ”and that one friend is the United States of America, the United States liberated you French in 1945, why won’t you let them liberate us today?”

Ladies and Gentlemen when a young woman stands up in those circumstances and says those words, you can be proud and you can be confident that the fear that once script all the people of Iran is losing its grip and that to the dictators is the beginning of the end.

This country has a problem with the mullahs in Iran, In fact has several problems. First of all, we don’t like dictatorships. There have been times in our history, when we tolerated dictatorships. When we looked at conflict situations and decided that we reluctantly support the lesser of the evils but deep in our spirit we don’t like dictatorships and that’s what you have sadly in Tehran today. But this is not run of the mill dictatorships. This is a dictatorship that dictates every aspect of people’s lives. There is no scope, there is no opportunity. Even for those private and individual expressions of individualism and personality and creativity. But more than that, this is a regime that without a question most single mindedly devoted to the propagation of terror in today’s world. It is a terrorist regime second to none.

It created and it sustains Hezbollah, an organization that aims to kill civilians, children if they possibly can. One the things that moved me when I came here this evening was, how many children how many young people there are, how many families there are. A state, a regime that supports terrorists, who kills children has got to be of all the terror regimes in the world the most loathed. Not only does this regime support terror, it is inflicted massive suffering on the people of Iran, it is devastated the economy of Iran.

When it came to power, Iran enjoyed the standard of living significantly higher than that of South Korea. Today the South Koreans enjoy the standard of living 3 to 4 times that the people of Iran and there is no prospect for improvement in Iran and immense growth in Korea and Iran has all the benefit of all the resources that could have fueled of the well being of the Iranian people. But you will not get well being, you will not get economic growth, you will not get progress in a regime that is so single mindedly devoted to the benefit of the small group of dictators who run the show.

There are people who believe that the key to American policy with respect to Iran is to work with the moderates. Have any of you seen any moderates lately in the government of Iran? (Audience: no)

If there were moderates in the government of Iran, would the mullahs allow them to bring about reforms? (Audience: no)

Every effort, that to be called an effort to reform, has been crushed. The newspapers that inched toward reform have been shut down. The political personalities who have called for reforms have been marginalized or sidelined or imprisoned, scorn into spies. There is no question where the power lies in Iran today. It isn’t through the electoral process, it isn’t through those people who stand through elections, it is a handful of self appointed dictators and to believe that we can do business with them is to fail completely to understand what we are up against.

Today after struggle many years in making Iraq is free. there are problems in Iraq to be sure and those people who were part of saddam’s regime, ran the prison and torture chambers, the secret police, the Mokhaberat, they were set off road side bombs and they will encourage suicide bombers to do what damage they can and they don’t much care who they destroy in the process, red cross, the United Nations, American forces, Polish forces, Italian forces. Because they are engaged in a desperate effort to save themselves for standing trial for crimes against humanity and they know, it’s all over and their only hope is to drive United States and its friends and allies from Iraq. But the people in Iraq are finding their way to a descent future, to the development of representative institutions And you know there is something about democracy in Iraq? It’s infectious, it’s infectious and that is why the mullahs in Tehran live in dread fear that Iranians look at their neighbor and they say if they can be free after the years of Saddam Hussein, if they can build their economy, if they can vote, why can’t we?

So success in Iraq and there will be success in Iraq. It gets better by the day. As schools are open as the courts start to function, as businesses reestablish themselves, real state prices go up, people are voting for the future that they see coming. As we succeed in Iraq the winds will blow and the mullahs know in what direction they will blow and so they will do whatever they can, try to prevent the success in Iraq and no one should under any illusions about it, they will feed terrorists within Iraq to accomplish that purpose. I don’t understand how under those circumstances we can seriously contemplate negotiations with the mullahs in Iran.

What the mullahs fear most is the expression of the people of Iran. That is why they will do everything they can to resist a referendum and that’s why there must be a referendum.

You should know and I think you have seen….here tonight that all over the world there are people who see what is going on in Iran and sympathize with the ambitions of the people of Iran to live in freedom.

So let me conclude where I began, when Ray Tanter and I were working in the Regan administration, was impossible to imagine that we would see in the space of a few years the liberation of the people of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe who were so dominated by what seemed to be an invincible machine, but it happened. Few years ago, those who desired only freedom for the people of Iraq despaired; they doubted that it would ever happen. And now of course, the people who once were slaved in the Soviet Union are free, the people of Iraq are free and the people of Iran will be free.