Sunday, June 21, 2009

Obama on courageous Iranian protestors … weak and vacillating

George Bush has been unequivocal in his support of freedom in Iran. Twice in his State of the Union addresses he spoke to the Iranian people. 

And to the Iranian people, I say tonight: As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you. --- State of the Union address February 2, 2005

And tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran. --- State of the Union address, January 31, 2006

Contrast that to Barack Obama’s tepid support.

I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television…. --- Obama, June 15, 2009

I'm very concerned based on some of the tenor -- and tone of the statements that have been made -- that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching --- Obama, June 19, 2009

We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people…. --- Obama, June 20, 2009

Not exactly Ronald Reagan at the Berlin Wall. There are events in history when great leaders seize the moment. It was Hungary in 1956, Prague in 1968. It was Yeltsin standing atop a tank outside of the Blue House in Moscow. Obama seems more interested in keeping himself in Ahmadinejad’s good graces than standing on principle. He is letting the courageous people of Iran down. If Ahmadinejad wants to have talks with Obama, he will find a way. Criticism won’t queer the deal. It didn’t with Reagan and the Soviet leaders on arms talks. It seems Obama has established a mindset of realpolitik, accepting as legitimate any regime, no matter how brutal or corrupt. By playing up to the dictatorial leadership of Iran, he comes across as weak and vacillating.

Herschel Smith, writing in The Captain’s Journal hits the nail on the head on the misplaced mindset of the administration.

As Netanyahu was recently told by an American official, “We are going to change the world. Please, don’t interfere.” But as we are beginning to see, situations that contradict the world view don’t result in amending that world view. They simply stupefy the administration. Thus they stare in disbelief and silence as Iran goes up in flames.

1 comment:

Samba said...

Well written and on target.

I have hopes for the Obama administration and realize the difficulties of balancing politics with diplomacy.

But this a case where a little less diplomacy is in order.

If the Iranians can put themselves on the line, I think we should as well.