- By Michael SinghMichael Singh is a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the U.S. National Security Council.
On Sept. 22, I testified to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs regarding the abuse of human rights in Iran and Syria. The wide-scale human rights abuses we are witnessing in these countries are atrocious, but they are certainly not new. The abuses perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and Ali Khamenei’s Iran stretch back for years and are a key element in those regimes’ system of authoritarian control over their people. The Iranian and Syrian regimes have, in an effort to establish and maintain this control, cultivated illusions of democracy, prosperity, and stability which are belied by the underlying realities of these countries. The great achievement of both the Iranian and Syrian opposition is to have shattered these illusions, which neither regime will easily be able to reconstruct. Looking ahead, the U.S. should do all it can to assist opposition activists in both Iran and Syria to break the control exerted by their regimes. Whether in Iran or in Syria, preventing human rights abuses necessarily means supporting democracy.
You can read my entire written testimony here.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |