President Barack Obama said yesterday concerning the Iranian election that he shared the world’s "deep concerns about the election" but yet he asserts that it was "not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling." I’m still amazed that he has yet to have this statement on his website for posterity.
Obama doesn’t want to meddle, but yet Iran accuses us not just meddling, but intolerable meddling. For shame! I don’t know what it is that the Iranian government feels this particular administration has done to meddle. Maybe it was the State Department asking Twitter to delay their maintenance. The internet is a powerful communication tool, but come on. This administration? Obama said himself that he doesn’t want to meddle.
Actually Obama doesn’t even think there’s much of a difference between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Jake Tapper reports:
“It’s important to understand that although there is amazing ferment taking place in Iran, that the difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised… Either way, we were going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States, that has caused some problems in the neighborhood and is pursuing nuclear weapons. And so we’ve got long-term interests in having them not weaponize nuclear power and stop funding organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas. And that would be true whoever came out on top in this election.”
The primary difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi is that one is insane and the other is not.
Well it appears that Hamas has picked a side, so shouldn’t we? They know who their sugar daddy is. Oh, I forgot, they are playing nice and should be taken off our terror watch list… but I digress. He’s right that whoever ends up as President we have to work with, but isn’t this missing the point? Shouldn’t we be promoting free and fair elections? What does it say to those who are dissenting when we can’t even offer a strongly worded statement. Quite frankly what kind of dialogue does President Obama feel he can have with Ahmadinejad?
Pie in the sky mentality, I mean I know he has a silver tongue, but come on. What we need in Iran is regime change, preferably one that the Iranian people initiate. And we should be the ones who champion democratically elected governments, not ones that commit fraud.
Senator John McCain (R-AZ), the one who would have been infinitely better at handling this situation, says that Obama needs to get tougher on Iran. He doesn’t have a problem stating the obvious:
The Arizona senator says President Barack Obama needs to speak out about what McCain calls Iran’s "corrupt, flawed, sham of an election."
Obama’s 2008 Republican opponent also tells NBC’s TODAY show that the U.S. needs to support the Iranian people in their struggle against "an oppressive, repressive regime." McCain adds that Iran’s people should not have to face four more years under Iran’s hardline leader and the country’s radical Muslim clerics.
Now Obama is faced with a conundrum, being a leader of the free world, but in many ways due to his desire to work with the current regime, appears to be siding with the regime. The disturbing thing is that not only will he have snubbed those protesting, but that this approach will ultimately fail as Robert Kagan of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes:
One of the great innovations in the Obama administration’s approach to Iran, after all, was supposed to be its deliberate embrace of the Tehran rulers’ legitimacy. In his opening diplomatic gambit, his statement to Iran on the Persian new year in March, Obama went out of his way to speak directly to Iran’s rulers, a notable departure from George W. Bush’s habit of speaking to the Iranian people over their leaders’ heads. As former Clinton official Martin Indyk put it at the time, the wording was carefully designed "to demonstrate acceptance of the government of Iran."
This approach had always been a key element of a "grand bargain" with Iran. The United States had to provide some guarantee to the regime that it would no longer support opposition forces or in any way seek its removal. The idea was that the United States could hardly expect the Iranian regime to negotiate on core issues of national security, such as its nuclear program, so long as Washington gave any encouragement to the government’s opponents. Obama had to make a choice, and he made it. This was widely applauded as a "realist" departure from the Bush administration’s quixotic and counterproductive idealism…
…The worst thing is that this approach will probably not prevent the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon. But this is what "realism" is all about.
Idealism and hope is what the Iranian people need right now. Good for our country, but not for theirs?