The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, June 22, 2009
Obama's Leadership Vaccum could not be more Glaring
... [traditional examples of mistrust of the West by Iranians] sound mild when compared with the ravings and gibberings that are now issued from the Khamenei pulpit. Here is a man who hasn't even heard that his favorite conspiracy theory is a long-standing joke among his own people. And these ravings and gibberings have real-world consequences of which at least three may be mentioned:
- There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran's foreign affairs. The deep belief that everything—especially anything in English—is already and by definition an intervention is part of the very identity and ideology of the theocracy.
- It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally. They are frequently in the grip of archaic beliefs and fears that would make a stupefied medieval European peasant seem mentally sturdy and resourceful by comparison.
- The tendency of outside media to check the temperature of the clerics, rather than consult the writers and poets of the country, shows our own cultural backwardness in regrettably sharp relief. Anyone who had been reading Pezeshkzad and Nafisi, or talking to their students and readers in Tabriz and Esfahan and Mashad, would have been able to avoid the awful embarrassment by which everything that has occurred on the streets of Iran during recent days has come as one surprise after another to most of our uncultured "experts."
That last observation also applies to the Obama administration. Want to take a noninterventionist position? 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. Also try to bear in mind that one day you will have to face the young Iranian democrats who risked their all in the battle and explain to them just what you were doing when they were being beaten and gassed. (Hint: Don't make your sole reference to Iranian dictatorship an allusion to a British-organized coup in 1953; the mullahs think that it proves their main point, and this generation has more immediate enemies to confront.)
There is then the larger question of the Iranian theocracy and its continual, arrogant intervention in our affairs: its export of violence and cruelty and lies to Lebanon and Palestine and Iraq and its unashamed defiance of the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the nontrivial matter of nuclear weapons. I am sure that I was as impressed as anybody by our president's decision to quote Martin Luther King—rather late in the week—on the arc of justice and the way in which it eventually bends. It was just that in a time of crisis and urgency he was citing the wrong King text (the right one is to be found in the "Letter From a Birmingham Jail"), and it was also as if he were speaking as the president of Iceland or Uruguay rather than as president of these United States. Coexistence with a nuclearized, fascistic theocracy in Iran is impossible even in the short run. The mullahs understand this with perfect clarity. Why can't we?
On so many levels Obama is little more than an inexperienced version of Jimmy Carter--albeit with a deeper voice, a more telegenic presence, more savvy (almost Albert Speer-like) propagandists handling him, and a
But all of his handlers' pre-planned, orchestrated message-management notwithstanding, Obama thus far has easily been as indecisive and hesitant to lead as the inept Carter was handling whenever unexpected "challenges" confronted him, e.g. the Iran Hostage crisis.
Obama has thus far been unwilling to project America's influence for anything other than prostrating his country before the world begging for forgiveness. Besides being ABSURD (does saving the West in two World Wars and staring down the Soviet menace, freeing hundreds of millions of Eastern Europeans, and liberating millions of MUSLIMS in Bosnia and Kuwait and Iraq count for nothing??), he is supposed to be the leader of our country; besmirching our country abroad at every opportunity to score points with his leftist base is not leadership--it is cowardice.
Many Americans who voted for Obama refused to believe that he was a hard-left ideologue; indeed he ran most of his fall campaign tacking to the Right of McCain--and a lot of fools actually bought it (of course Obama immediately distanced from these "promises" upon assuming office). Many of us saw what was coming, but many more were fooled by the smooth talk and the
And now we are seeing the result: a President whose pronouncements--including that abortion of a speech in Cairo, in which he apologized to the "Islamic Republic" for the CIA's role 55 years ago in the installation of the Shah--gave the evil Iranian regime legitimacy at exactly the wrong place and wrong time. Rather than standing up to despots, dictators and tyranny, he chose instead to go cap in hand begging for forgiveness and telling the whole world how horrible the US had been. (Except compared to every other corner of the planet...)
The same week, Obama also invited representatives of this murderous regime to a 4th of July Bar-B-Que, which of course now is a complete embarassment, in light of what these totalitarian thugs have done since. And--as Jake Tapper reports--when Obama was asked today if he was rethinking his invitation to these murderous tyrants, he acted as if he was more anxious than ever to knock back some Hummus and Chicken with people who have just been complicit in murdering and beating its own college students to a pulp:
Note the phrasing. "There's no thought" to rescinding the invites. Not even a thought! Not even "under review."Well we would not want to piss off our good friends Ahmadinejad and Khamenei. Who cares about the will of the Iranian people when we can have Bar-B-Que and a good photo op, right?
If ever there were an exception to American exceptionalism, it has been the disgraceful inaction of this deer-in-the-headlights President in facing down our sworn enemies. Besides his blowing golden opportunities in the Iran uprising, he continues to show weakness elsewhere: so far we have refused to confront and board a North Korean ship that is likely carrying WMD technology to our enemies. And I'm betting that he will not even attempt to take down the upcoming NK IRBM (unless it is heading directly for Hawaii). If I were Japanese, I might be thinking about an Australian vacation right about now.
All in all, Obama's primary mission seems to be to take a 180 degree about face from the examples of prior Presidents and to CODDLE these tyrants while simultaneously enraging our traditional friends (see: Merkel, Sarkozy, Netanyahu, Brown et. al.)
Meanwhile his mad scientist approach to our economy is causing the World to second-guess whether the Dollar is where they should be parking their dwindling earnings; and it is hard to blame them.
President Obama is a far, far cry from a President with REAL courage: one facing down a country with thousands of nuclear missiles pointed at his country, supporting Polish Solidarity and daring his adversary to "Tear Down This Wall". Or even one who blockaded Cuba and forced the Soviets to turn their ships around.
He might get lucky and get some good satellite images of that rogue NK ship (or its cargo) that the Navy is tracking. But it is near-impossible for me to picture BHO having the cojones to let the Navy board that ship, even as the NK blow-hards continue their 57 year diatribe of empty threats and bluster. If "The One" can't even stand up to
So never fear, America's Pontious Pilate is on the job! In between Broadway shows, Ice cream photo ops and golf outings, that is... Pass the Ambien, please.
How far we have come.