What Fresh Hell Is This?

June 22, 2009

President Obama Speaks Out About Iran

From Whitehouse.gov:
The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.
And to those who wonder why he hasn't spoken out more forcefully, there's this from CBS:
Harry Smith: People in this country say you haven't said enough, that you haven't been forceful enough in your support for those people in the street, and which you say?

President Obama: To which I say the last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States. That's what they do. That's what we've already seen. We shouldn't be playing into that. There should be no distractions from the fact that the Iranian people are seeking to let their voices be heard.
And he was right. Here's something from Yahoo.com on Wednesday:
Iran directly accused the United States of meddling in the deepening crisis over a disputed presidential election and broadened its media clampdown Wednesday to include blogs and news Web sites.
It's a volatile situation over there. No need to make it worse by pouring gasoline on it. No matter what the neocons (and they were so right about Iraq!) say.


EdHeath said...

I think it is fair to say that it is a problem. If we don't say anything (or don't say much) about it, then we are not supporting freedom for all people, and although Obama has no slave ancestors that I know of, surely that has to be harder for him as an African American. The sort of “what does America stand for?” argument. At the same time, if our words have little or nothing behind them, then why say them and then look weak? What are we willing to do? Send troops? Bomb Iran? If we did those things, do we have any guarantee that we would be treated as liberators, or would we be verifying everything the Iranian President and the Ayatolloah’s (spelling?) had said about us.

I still remember when the Serbian President Slobadan Milosavic (again, spelling?) was voted out of office around the time we were bombing Serbia because of Kosovo. Milosavic’s replacement was Western leaning and something of a democracy advocate, willing to let Kosovo go. But almost immediately he condemned the US in the strongest terms. He may have disagreed with his country’s previous policies, but he didn’t want other people to tell his country what to do. David Brooks talked on PBS about the US being a beacon of hope for dissidents in Poland and other places in the past and in Iran now. Maybe, but they probably don’t want us telling them, at gunpoint, what kind of government they should have. So Iran is a problem for us.

Heir to the Throne said...

(and they were so right about Iraq!)
"I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything, as is shown by the extreme violence in Iraq this week"
My mistake that was progressives and Harry Reid.

reaganiterepublicanresistance said...

Obviously -although it’s the last thing Team Obama wants to hear- Ronald Reagan’s support of Poland’s Solidarity in the dark days of the Soviet-ordered crackdown is the model here- not the preposterous straw-man argument of “what are you going to do, invade?” disingenuously presented by the do-nothing, Obamapologist left.

And isn’t this what George W Bush told you was going to happen in the Middle East in the wake of Iraq’s liberation?

Maybe that’s why Barack Obama has so little apparent interest in finishing the job in Iran… no matter how much it benefits the US and free world.

That, and the fact that he’s already piled all his chips on legitimizing this vile regime- and a democratic revolution at this point would be downright embarrassing for him.


EdHeath said...

HTTT - a quote from 2007 by Harry Reid? How relevant. And, by the way, I don't think it is clear to anyone what will happen to the Iraqi government when our troops are withdrawn. And if we can't withdraw our troop because the country might fall into anarchy, then the Iraq (which had nothing to do with 9/11) war is hardly won.

Reaganite, perhaps the model is not Poland in the waning days of the cold war. After all, we did not install a puppet dictator in Poland in 1953, we did not arm that puppet and support his repressive regime and we did not send an airborne military force into Poland in 1979. I think the history might be a little different; as I said previously, I think a better model might be recent Serbia, which has elected more democratic leaders who have never the less have condemned us (we were bombing them then).

Yet Obama has said some things about the situation in Iran, and in turn the current repressive government in Iran is trying to use those statements as proof the United States is poised to invade Iran, remove the Islamic Republic and install a secular government. The Iranians are protesting the election by standing on roof tops and yelling Allah Akbar (I believe it is): God is great. This is not a country ready to turn instantly into a western style democracy, but Iran's citizens do want less repression and particularly a better economy.

Heir to the Throne said...

Anyone in the USA defending the Iranian protesters is meddling and will not help Michelle's kids.
Iranian leaders will always believe Anglo-Saxons are plotting against them.
All right, then, take a noninterventionist position. This would mean not referring to Khamenei in fawning tones as the supreme leader and not calling Iran itself by the tyrannical title of "the Islamic republic." But be aware that nothing will stop the theocrats from slandering you for interfering anyway

EdHeath said...

The thing that pisses me off about conservatives is that from day one of the Obama administration they have criticized Obama … and never offered an alternative. “Obama’s got a stimulus plan. That’s wrong” What should we be doing? “Cut taxes on the rich, that will solve our economic problems.” We already did that, that’s how we got into this mess. “No, no, it was Chris Dodd, taking money from Countrywide and blocking all of Bush’s reforms” How did that work when the Democrats were in the minority from January 2003 to December 2006, and then were filibustered by the Republicans at record levels from January 2007 to January 2009? “He took money from Countrywide, why aren’t you prosecuting him?”

So anyway, if you don’t like Obama’s current Iranian policy, what would you do? And don’t tell me about Harry Reid in 2007 or Teddy Roosevelt in 1902. Specifically, what would you guys do about Iran? And by the way, work out what you would do to keep health care costs from increasing as a percentage of GNP, fix the recession, and satisfactorily deal with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Which, if you mess up Iran, will suffer for it, by the way.

But Republicans aren’t doing any of that. They criticize, but they won’t actually risk saying what they would do. Because their party leaders are actually entertainers, like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly.

Eric Williams said...

I must admit that Obama's cautious approach to the Iran protests has pleasantly surprised me. If only he had some support from Congress in that.

TPM: Ron Paul Is Sole Dissenter From Resolution Supporting Iranian Protests