My letter to the Wall Street Journal (below) was printed today in response to a column stating that Iran was not technically a tyranny, which, of course, it is.
Francis Fukuyama misunderstands “kind” and “degree” in considering whether Iran is a tyranny (“Iran, Islam and the Rule of Law,” op-ed, July 28).
A free country is determined by two things: a constitution that honors individual rights, and an electoral process that honors citizens’ rights to choose who will govern strictly by that constitution. Iran has neither. It has a constitution that does not define and/or outline individual rights, and its elections have nothing to do with who actually enacts power—and are not subject to critical review by a free press or free courts. As a result, Iranian citizens are subjected to imprisonment and outright murder without habeas corpus or objective judicial review, and they “vote” in farcical elections whose results are simply ignored or fabricated by fanatics.
Mr. Fukuyama’s mincing on the kind of government in Iran is shared by the current occupant of the Oval Office, and that kind of moral cowardice is responsible for the current dancing with dictators. Iran may not be a tyranny to the degree that North Korea is, but it kills its own and exports its death squads across its borders just like all tyrannies of history have done and must do.