“To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect … we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”Â — Barack Obama, Inaugural Address
Poor Barack Obama. Having come to expect an almost blind adulation by the biased, left-leaning U.S. mediaÂ (to say nothing of his worshipful supporters), he must be profoundly puzzled Â by his complete failure thus far to unclench the fist of Iran’s theocratic despots. In fact, if he has achieved anything at all, it has been the hardening of theÂ Mullahs’ resolve to oppose any warming of relations. By groveling to the Iranians, he has merely succeeded in clenching Iran’s other fist.
Mistake #1:Â First, prior to the June 12 election farce, Obama sent a letter to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali KhameneiÂ (the receipt of which was acknowledged by Khamenei himself), calling for an improvement in relations. When this was ignored and the subsequent election debacle began to unfold, Obama remained virtually silent when those clenched fists of the Mullahs were used, in the form of Iran’s ubiquitous security apparatus, against defenseless demonstrators who were appalled at the government’s blatant manipulation of the election results.
The Mullahs have a different worldview, and Obama’s sanctimonious overtures are only perceived as attempts to meddle in Iran’s internal affairs. The MullahsÂ do not share our vision of democracy, freedom or tolerance. AndÂ they never will. Repeat: they never will.
Mistake #2:Â Next, following the lead that was quickly taken by the Europeans, Obama belatedly issued a series of weak, ambiguous statementsÂ in response to the Mullahs’ post-election crackdown.Â
But theÂ Mullahs do not respect weakness and ambiguity.
Obama’s statementsÂ led toÂ a less-than-cordial response from the “winner” of the Iranian election, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: “I tell [the United States] that all those people who voted and all the Iranian nation will stand against them.” AddedÂ Ahmadinejad: “Mr. Obama made a mistake to say those things … our question is why he fell into this trap and said things that previously Bush used to say….Â Do you want to speak with this tone? If that is your stance then what is left to talk about?… I hope you avoid interfering in Iran’s affairs and express your regret in a way that the Iranian nation is informed of it.”
It is, by any measure,Â poetic justice. The President who, at every opportunity, has taken such pains to distinguish himself from his predecessor George W. Bush, is publicly and sneeringly likened to Bush by the President of Iran.
Apparently the theocratic despots of the Middle East are considerably more difficult to bamboozle with “soaring rhetoric” and engaging smiles than are those credulous American voters who continue to maintain, against all evidence, that Obama is some sort of intellectual titan.