Hossein Khorram was born in Iran and escaped with his family during the radical Islamic takeover of the country. He spoke the following speech at the King County Washington Republican Convention Liberty Day Dinner, November 21, 2009.
I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to Chairman Sotelo, and the rest of the King County Republican Party for providing me with this opportunity to speak to you tonight about a subject very dear to my heart - the value of Liberty and Freedom.
You see, I know all about losing liberty and freedom. 30 years ago my family was forced to leave Iran or risk our lives. We had little more than pocket change. But this great country accepted us with open arms and treated us as one of her own.
With Government financial help, I attended college and obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I then worked for a local consulting firm before joining the Boeing Company. Today, thanks to America, and the many Americans who’ve helped me along the way, I’m a successful local businessman and proud to call myself an American citizen.
But I’m not here to tell you about myself. I’m here to tell you about something much bigger than me. I want to talk to you tonight about all the “Hossein’s” of this world who need your help to replace Tyranny and Oppression with Freedom and Liberty.
Sadly the extremist Muslims who are a small minority get all the headlines, and you never hear about the peaceful majority who want to live their lives and bring up their families.
Today many Iranians are fighting for freedom, something many of us in the West take for granted. They’re dying in the streets of Iran, and in its prisons suffering from the most horrific tortures.
The United States has a special place in the world. The freedom and liberty we enjoy, and the constitution that protects such rights, has become an inspiration. Not just for Iranians but for all those across the globe who fight those who have taken away their freedom and rule them by fear and violence. I know because I was one of the oppressed.
With the advent of air travel and the internet we have become a more global community, and just as we affect others with the message of Freedom and Liberty, we are also affected by tyranny and hate. 9/11, a date celebrated by some in countries run by Islamic extremists, is an example of how a terrible act of such hatred and violence can affect our lives. Terrorism breeds fear. But we didn’t cower. We, as a nation, countered that violence by sending our troops, together with troops from around the world, to Iraq and Afghanistan to overthrow regimes protecting Islamic extremists and tyrannizing their people.
I admire, and I’m sure all of you here admire, the courage of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and believe in them, but we also need to believe in the reasons they are there.
You see, Freedom and Liberty are worth fighting for and are not the sole property of Western nationals, but the right of all mankind.
The United States as the leader of the “Free World” has been the target of those who embrace tyranny and violence, not just because of who we are but because of the fundamental rights we believe in and are willing to fight for. There are many people and nations around the world who wrap themselves in the cloak of Islam, Socialism or Communism and find Freedom and Liberty for all as a direct challenge to their goals of domination.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, by supporting various terrorist organizations, has become a major threat to the security of the United States and jeopardizes our right to enjoy Freedom and Liberty. Having lived in Iran, I can assure you that if the current Tehran Regime acquires a nuclear capability people around the world, including the United States, will live in fear, and some may lose their Freedom and Liberties as my family once did. Unlike North Korea, the Mullahs won’t use nuclear weapons as a negotiating tool; they’ll use them against people they perceive to be their enemies.
At a time when Islamic extremists have only conventional weapons, our media already has refrained from publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as a direct result of extremist pressure. This is just a small way in which our right to freedom of speech has been limited. Just imagine how many ways our Freedoms and Liberties could be compromised if the Mullahs had nuclear weapons in their arsenal to back up their demands.
President Obama needs to learn from history. History has shown that his current policy, one of appeasement, will sooner or later fail as it has always failed.
In Hopes of normalizing relations with the Iranian regime we looked the other way when Iran provided material support for the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon killing 220 Marines.
We again looked the other way in 1996 when Iranian backed suicide bombers killed 19 U.S. Servicemen at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.
Appeasement doesn’t work!
Instead, we should be investing our time and efforts in the many “Hossein’s” who are braving imprisonment, torture and death at the hands of the Iranian regime.
This week alone 5 demonstrators were sentenced to death.
Tonight I have a message for you, a message from my heart on behalf of the people of Iran - and that message is that they desperately need the United States, the leader of the “Free World” to start acting as one.
Our President needs to stand up for the ideals we hold so dear, those of Freedom and Liberty. The people of Iran are entitled, as are all people, to those rights. They do not deserve the fate they currently suffer at the hands of their tormentors.
All of you here are key to ending the policies of appeasement currently being pursued by the US government. Please tell your elected officials that we don’t want our Liberties and Freedoms threatened by Rogue States. Urge them to do all that they can to bring pressure to bear on the current Iranian Regime to yield to its people’s cries for democracy.
In doing so you not only help those seeking freedom, but you also help retain and strengthen our own.
“For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.”