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Iranian dissident Akbar Ganji continues hunger strike ... Is anyone watching?

Iranian dissident journalist Akbar Ganji is nearing the 70th day of his hunger strike. President Bush spoke out in support, but the world acts as if nobody really cares. Ganji should be achieving the international fame of a Nelson Mandela, a Andrei Sakharov, or a Vaclav Havel. Even President Bush has spoken out to support Ganji, but the story is shut out of the headlines.

The mainstream media has no interest in an Iranian who is dying to tell the world that the mullahs ruling Iran are dangerous terrorists. The story should be headlines in the New York Times and the Washington Post, but it is not. Peter Jennings dying of cancer had special after special run on television making his news anchor career into the stuff of legends. But Akbar Ganji gets no such acclaim.

Yet, the mullahs know how important Ganji is. Tehran prosecutor Saeed Mortazavi did his best this week to discredit the hunger strike. He called Ganji’s hunger strike a lie. “He eats for a couple of days and stops eating for another five,” Mortazavi told Iran’s official IRNA news agency. “He accepts expensive serums being injected into his veins for a few days and refuses them for another few.”

Mortazavi’s point is clear – Ganji to him is not only a fraud, he’s an expensive fraud. Even worse, Ganji is a nuisance. The undertone in Mortazavi’s statement almost screams at us in anger that Ganji doesn’t have the good manners to just die quietly so the mullahs can bury yet another human-rights activist. After all, dead dissidents don’t give speeches.

The mullahs are enjoying an unusual kind of protection from the world. Everybody knows they are back at work making atomic bombs. The IAEA is going to have to strain even harder to get the world to believe their surveillance cameras at Isfahan will detect anything the Iranians don’t want the United Nations and the world to see. Russia and China are about to begin joint military exercises in which they are going to test launch ICBMs. The only interruption here will be if Russia or China feels compelled one more time to tell us they will do nothing if Iran is brought to the Security Council. Russia built a nuclear reactor for Iran and China has done everything possible to compete with India to make sure they and not the Indians get the best oil deals from the mullahs.

In the 1930s, Hitler played the world for a fool. Repeatedly he claimed his only goal was defense, that all he wanted to do was protect Germany. This was while he built a huge army and set his designs on his neighbors. Yet the mainstream media of the day keep “Mein Kampf” off the front pages. Sure, Hitler ranted a bit, but everybody knew he didn’t really mean it, right? That is just about how the mullahs are being treated today by the world. We should be very concerned that the mullahs have chanted “Death to Israel, death to America” for a quarter of a century. They mean their hatred every bit as much as Hitler did. Like Hitler, the mullahs will use their weapons once they have them.

When the mullahs have nuclear weapons, we will enter a new, less brave world – one where hunger strikes are ignored while oil deals are inked. The mullahs have the money and they are in power. This is a very hard formula for the world to resist, regardless how criminal the mullahs may be. We should never forget that the mission of the mullahs has never changed. Their goal is to spread their radical Islamic revolution across the globe. They have created Hezbollah and funded terrorism to advance this goal. Right now, they are fueling the terrorists trying to disrupt Iraq. The mullahs take the world’s oil money and they buy weapons – weapons which they are all too happy to turn against the very countries who bought their oil.

Will the mullahs be stopped? If Ganji dies, we will have to see if anyone notices. President Bush has said that the mullahs will never be permitted to have nuclear weapons, but the mullahs have a lot of protectors. The Left here in America is willing to come to their aid. Get ready for the arguments that Iran has a sovereign right to have nuclear weapons – that is what the Left in America truly believes. Anyone who hates America is good enough for the American Left and the mullahs hate America almost more than anybody.

Stopping Hitler took a world war and millions of deaths. Every day, I see happening more and more of what I predicted in writing “Atomic Iran” and I pray that the world will not have to pay for the mullahs the type of horrible price we had to pay for tolerating Hitler when in the 1930s he could have been stopped.