A Blogger Teleconference with Natan Sharansky
Earlier today a teleconference was set up by the Heritage Foundation with famed Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky and several conservative bloggers. I was very fortunate to sit in on the call with the author of the Bush Doctrine, and The Case for Democracy, Natan Sharansky.
“Natan Sharansky believes that the truest expression of democracy is the ability to stand in the middle of a town square and express one’s views without fear of imprisonment.”
Natan Sharansky and President Bush at the White House on November 11, 2004.
During the call today, Sharansky spoke briefly on the topic of the Western strategy of engaging the Iranian regime as well as the systematic destruction of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim artifacts on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by the Muslim authority that has jurisdiction over the area.
The bloggers on the conference call included:
Atlas Shrugs (Pamela)
Boker Tov, Boulder! (Anne Lieberman)
Hugh Hewitt (Mary Katharine Ham)
Powerline (Scott Johnson)
Publius Pundit (Robert Mayer)
Regime Change Iran (Dr. Zin)
Right Wing News (John Hawkins)
Here are a few of the remarks that I was able to get down during the talk. I will update this as I listen to the recording of the event:
Sharansky: Dissidents must be your partners. The Free World must support the dissidents. The world is much different today than back when there was a Soviet Union. How different things would have been if there had been an internet back then. Today, dissidents can get their message out much more easily via the internet.
The US is being blackmailed by nuclear weapons development by the Iranian regime. There are trade unions and student unions that are very powerful in Iran. We must support them.
As an example: Poland- The union Solidarity was praised and watched by the whole world. We need to support with strong statements and not come in agreement with the Ayatollahs like the current administration is doing.
The Bush Administration is using the policy of the Clinton administration.
It did not work with North Korea. It will not work with Iran. You must never make deals with brutal regimes.
It is much better to bring help to the people who want the change.
** Today Iran reminds him of the Soviet Union right before its collapse! The leaders hate America, but the people in Iran love America.
Also… Sharansky talked about the systematic destruction of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim artifacts on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem by the Muslim authority that has jurisdiction over this holy area that once was the site of King Solomon’s temple and Christian Churches.
(Scott Johnson adds… Sharansky invited us to visit his One Jerusalem site and sign the related petition there.)
The world is doing almost nothing about this destruction. It is not accidental that Arafat said to Clinton at Camp David that the history of the Temple Mount is something made up by the Jews.
Dr. Zin- Regime Change Iran: The US backtracking on Iran and how do we help the US to refocus on democracy in Iran?
Sharansky: Again, support the dissident groups. Help the Left to know that it is necessary that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. We can wait for massive destruction or we can act now.
Pamela at Atlas Shrugs: Was he (Sharansky) familiar with the Muslim conception of “hurriyya”, “freedom”, which is “freedom as perfect slavery”…
Sharansky: believes that people want to live free. He cited Muslims that he knows that pray five times a day and live in free societies and are happy. He said we should not “create demons, we have enough demons.” He has complete faith in the individual’s desire to be free. (more at Atlas)
GP: Rarely do we hear the Left in this country speaking up for freedom and democracy of those being persecuted in the world today. Madeleine Albright recently spoke out about helping to build a country’s infrastructure before haveing a free and democratic election. What are your thoughts?
Sharansky: What the Clinton Administration did in Korea was wrong and did not work. You can see what it resulted in. The North Koreans have nuclear weapons today. Likewise, when President Clinton refused to demand democratic change from Arafat for Palestine, fearing it would cause instability, he did not help the peace process at all.
What an honor this was. Thank you Heritage Foundation!
Pamela at Atlas Shruggs has the audio.