President Obama understandably focused the vast majority of the State of the Union on domestic issues. As a national security specialist, though, I listened and waited to hear about the threats facing us as they are what I am best educated in. To my disappointment, President Obama again referred to the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” an unofficial recognition of the unelected government and a way of disavowing regime change as a goal. A few minutes later, he briefly said the U.S. stood alongside the female demonstrators in Iran, mentioning them alongside others fighting for freedom and prosperity in the world.
Iranians will appreciate being mentioned, but in this time of crisis, their struggle deserves special emphasis in speeches like this. And they need more than a simple statement of sympathy. Recognizing them in the same breath as mentioning the “Islamic Republic of Iran,” the very definition of the country they are bleeding and dying to change, surely countered any minor morale boost they would have gotten.
The only positive thing Obama said about Iran was that there would be consequences for the Iranian government, but he did not specify what those are. If he wanted to really play hard ball with the regime, supporting the people, calling on Americans to invest in Terror-Free Mutual Funds, and threatening to enforce sanctions targeting the regime’s petroleum imports would do the trick. If only he could recognize the power and opportunity that lies with the demonstrators he gave brief verbal support to in the speech.
Ryan Mauro is the founder of WorldThreats.com and a regular contributor to FrontPage Magazine.