The impression the Obama Administration gives is that of a hesitant traveler tip-toeing around the world seeking to avoid dark corners while at the same time searching for respect and, ultimately, advantage. This would be a workable image if the traveler weren't the world's most powerful -- and armed to the teeth.
Attempting to convince the rest of the world that the United States is a kindly, gentle giant may appeal to some who fear American involvement in any and all political military conflict, but it hardly equates with reality. Whether the U.S. likes it or not, since World War II this country has inherited the role of world leader.
This position requires that whoever inhabits the White House must assume the responsibility of forthright decision-making expected of any leader of the self-proclaimed "greatest nation on earth." The luxury of clever but unclear positions that pass for sophisticated foreign policy with other nations is just not available to Washington. The situation in Iran requires the President of the United States to set forth an unambiguous position in support of the yearning for democracy of the Iranian people.
This was the basis for the "sitrep" on Iran outlined to Barack Obama the morning of June 20 by his national security advisory team. President Obama agreed to the release of a stronger statement than that of the previous day calling for the Iranian Government "to stop all violent and unjust acts against its own people." He lectured, "The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights." He then took his daughters off to get some ice cream.
It is obvious that President Obama is thinking like the law lecturer he once was. "Don't insult the opposing counsel. You might want to come to an agreement with them on a later occasion." For some peculiar reason Obama still believes he can talk Ayatollah Khamenei and his snarling pit bull, Ahmadinejad, into agreeing to halt their nuclear weapon development. The president of the United States is acting as if he were negotiating a deal with a southside community group.
While that analogy might hold if one were to add a collection of dope-dealing, motor-cycling gang bangers, its doubtful if Barry Obama ever dirtied his hands with that sort. Well. Mr. President, that's the real world you are facing in Tehran and throughout Iran today. The students and ordinary folks in the streets have to face down these thugs in the form of Basiji -- Ahmadinejad's old outfit.
Whether he likes it or not, any chance President Obama may have had to play nice-nice with Ahmadinejad exploded beyond repair by the statement of the Supreme Leader to the effect that the U.S. and the West is behind the people's uprising. Does President Obama really think he can ignore the crushing of hundreds of thousands of unarmed Iranian freedom fighters by the Nazi-like government of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad?
Barack Obama may want to be perceived as the "Great Conciliator," but time, blood, and Persian political ruthlessness toward its own have made such jejune expectations null and void.
There is a route open for Obama as a "world traveler." He can and should show that he leads what is still "the greatest nation on the face of this earth" and denounce the leadership of Iran in perhaps a special meeting of the United Nations -- just to show once again where America stands. He should charge the Iranian government with crimes against its own people and demand new free and fair elections with international monitors.
And then just to show we mean business, he should declare that any continuance of nuclear weapon development will be considered an act in preparation for war and will be dealt with accordingly: first by heavy economic sanctions and subsequently with military action if necessary. Most likely the UN will be frozen by inaction, but America and its friends will be able to hold their heads high in support of the disenfranchised on the Iranian streets.
Legitimate toughness is the only language understood by the Persian pseudo-Islamic leadership. If President Obama and his left-liberal backers do not want to take on the dictator bad guys of the world, why have we and the West been fighting totalitarianism for the last seventy years?
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