Barack Obama’s message is infuriating the left and right neoconnery, and that’s good for America. “The basic message is: We support the Iranian people and their democracy. Any change in how Iran is governed is their decision, not America’s. … What we’re seeing in Tehran is a reminder that millions of Muslims hunger for change — but they want to make it themselves.”
Now, let us hope the president sticks to this tack.
Update: “Foreign Policy as Social Work: The Obama foreign policy must now come down to Earth,” Mona Charin screeched. It’s satisfying to witness the neocons wander in the political wilderness. However, I worry that Obama’s own people are natural-born meddlers. I fear he’s on his own in leaving Iran to its own devices.
Mark Steyn writes equally predictably: “This election was stolen for reasons of internal survival and long-term regional strategy by a regime confident enough to snub not just a U.S. government promoting impotence as moral virtue but those allies in Europe who regularly jet in to offer cooing paeans to the vibracy [sic] of Iranian democracy.”
Don’t they sound ridiculous? The Megaphones of a crumbling empire…
McMussolini chimed in: “‘[Obama] should speak out that this is a corrupt, flawed sham of an election,’ Mr. McCain said in an interview Tuesday on NBC’s ‘Today’ show. ‘The Iranian people have been deprived of their rights.’” I have news for the senator from Arizona (whom another Arizonian, Barry Goldwater, disdained): Look in your own political plate! The rights of Americans are also imperiled.
Good for Senator Richard G. Lugar of Indiana. “[T]he ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee said he agreed with the approach that Mr. Obama and his advisers had taken since the Iranian elections on Friday, which Iranian leaders have said Mr. Ahmadinejad won in a landslide against three challengers, including his nearest rival, Mir Hussein Moussavi.”
“For us to become heavily involved in the election at this point is to give the clergy an opportunity to have an enemy and to use us, really, to retain their power,” Mr. Lugar said in an interview Tuesday on the CBS News program ‘The Early Show.’”
In case you missed it, here’s PRESIDENT OBAMA statement in full: “Obviously all of us have been watching the news from Iran. And I want to start off by being very clear that it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be; that we respect Iranian sovereignty and want to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran, which sometimes the United States can be a handy political football — or discussions with the United States.
Having said all that, I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television. I think that the democratic process — free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected. And whenever I see violence perpetrated on people who are peacefully dissenting, and whenever the American people see that, I think they’re, rightfully, troubled.
My understanding is, is that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place. We weren’t on the ground, we did not have observers there, we did not have international observers on hand, so I can’t state definitively one way or another what happened with respect to the election. But what I can say is that there appears to be a sense on the part of people who were so hopeful and so engaged and so committed to democracy who now feel betrayed. And I think it’s important that, moving forward, whatever investigations take place are done in a way that is not resulting in bloodshed and is not resulting in people being stifled in expressing their views.
Now, with respect to the United States and our interactions with Iran, I’ve always believed that as odious as I consider some of President Ahmadinejad’s statements, as deep as the differences that exist between the United States and Iran on a range of core issues, that the use of tough, hard-headed diplomacy — diplomacy with no illusions about Iran and the nature of the differences between our two countries — is critical when it comes to pursuing a core set of our national security interests, specifically, making sure that we are not seeing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East triggered by Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon; making sure that Iran is not exporting terrorist activity. Those are core interests not just to the United States but I think to a peaceful world in general.”
We will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us. But even as we do so, I think it would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days. And what I would say to those people who put so much hope and energy and optimism into the political process, I would say to them that the world is watching and inspired by their participation, regardless of what the ultimate outcome of the election was. And they should know that the world is watching.
And particularly to the youth of Iran, I want them to know that we in the United States do not want to make any decisions for the Iranians, but we do believe that the Iranian people and their voices should be heard and respected.”
The Heritage Foundation’s laments are THE ULTIMATE endorsement for the Obama stance: “President Obama has shown little interest in continuing President George Bush’s push for democracy in the Middle East.”
Yippee! Let’s hope Obama’s “disinterest” in democratic evangelism persists.