SUBSCRIBE:
Claude Cartaginese

Obama's Deafening Silence on Iran

by
Posted on June 23 2009 1:58 am
Be Sociable, Share!
Print This Post Print This Post

When the east Europeans were trying to free themselves from the shackles of Soviet rule two decades ago, President Ronald Reagan minced no words, daring Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” in his famous 1987 speech given in West Berlin. Indeed, Reagan and his successors made sure that the United States was unequivocal in its support of pro-democracy advocates in countries all over the world: Poland, the former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania, Myanmar, Venezuela — the list goes on and on.

This historical backdrop offers a stark contrast to Barack Obama’s weak response to Iran’s fraudulent June 12 election — and to Tehran’s subsequent brutal crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. Immediately after the election, when he had a chance to unambiguously set a tone as a defender of free elections, Obama could only bring himself to bleat:

“It’s not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling. I do believe that something has happened in Iran where there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures towards the international community. How that plays out over the next several days and several weeks is something ultimately for the Iranian people to decide.”

It was a weak, wishy-washy statement that only an Ayatollah could love.

The White House followed up by pathetically expressing admiration for the “vigorous debate” that was taking place among Iranians.

Then, when things really started getting ugly, with the Ayatollahs dispatching militias and Revolutionary Guard troops to deal with  dissenters, Obama strengthened his previous mealy-mouthed remarks, but only slightly:

“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.”

Too little, too late. For fear of offending the Mullahs, Obama had missed his moment to lead, and now was following the lead — of the Europeans.  Unlike Obama, they were strong and swift in condemning Ahmadinejad’s “victory” and the Iranian government’s violent response to the subsequent street protests.

On June 16, just four days after the election, French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that “the extent of the fraud is proportional to the violent reaction.” That same day, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Iran’s government thuggery was utterly “unacceptable.” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown bluntly condemned “the repression and the brutality” in Iran. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Iran’s leaders to “allow peaceful demonstrations, allow free reporting of events, stop the use of violence against demonstrators, and free imprisoned people.”

It is a remarkable spectacle indeed: The people in Iran demonstrating for democracy, holding up their English signs hoping for the leader of the free world to notice them and support them, are stunned to find that a president known for his oratory — albeit as read from a teleprompter — is suddenly at a loss for words.

Be Sociable, Share!
7 Responses leave one →

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

Copyright 2018 NewsReal Blog

The Theme Foundry