Saturday, June 27, 2009

On Obama's criticism of Iran,0,4316322.story

The above is an L.A. Times article posted 6-27-09 by Borzou Daragahi which he entitled “Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says criticism of Tehran's crackdown on dissenters was 'abnormal and discourteous.' I’ll quote a few passages and provide comments below:

“. . . President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, emerging from a period of relative quiet, criticized Obama for making "unconventional, abnormal and discourteous comments" in condemning the violence and political repression.”

“ . . . The Obama administration hoped to broach talks with Iran this year to resolve a long-standing dispute over Iran's nuclear program. The post-election violence against Mousavi's green-clad movement makes it politically difficult for U.S. officials to have contact with Iranian officials. After welcoming Iranian diplomats to join in Fourth of July celebrations at U.S. embassies, the Obama administration rescinded the invitations.

"”They constantly say that they want to talk with Iran," Ahmadinejad said in a meeting with judiciary officials. "OK. We have announced our readiness. But do they expect us to talk with such comments? He made a mistake.’"

“Ahmadinejad again repeated his warning that Obama avoid following in the footsteps of former President George W. Bush. ‘He also used to speak to the world from a position of arrogance and egotism, but you saw how God brought him down to abjectness and buried him in the dustbin of history,’ he said in comments broadcast on state radio.

"’We do not expect much from those few European countries because they do not enjoy any particular status in the world," he said. "However, we are surprised at Mr. Obama.’"


I had a debate the other day with a right-wing partisan. She was criticizing Obama for not speaking out against the savage treatment of the Iranian Protestors by the current regime there. No, no, I said. You don’t understand about diplomacy. Obama can’t speak out, at least not in any serious way. He must endure whatever occurs there so that he will have his chance to be diplomatic. He can’t follow in Bush’s footsteps, for that would ultimately lead to some military action (if he hoped to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions). He can’t side with the Protestors unless he wants to engage in military action; which he obviously doesn’t. So it is good, from the standpoint of diplomacy, that he doesn’t criticize what is going on there.

In the meantime right-wingers such as Sean Hannity lambasted Obama for not having the courage to criticize the poor treatment of the Protestors. And when Obama did speak out, Hannity said it was much too late and that he spoke out only because Republicans forced him into it.

Gad! Has Obama abandoned his hope of dealing with Iran diplomatically because of right-wing accusations of weakness? I am disappointed. I hoped to see him cleverly keep his mouth shut until he had a chance to meet Ahmadinejad face to face. I hoped to see the wonders of his diplomacy.

Did he give up the diplomatic approach, as it seems, because he was forced to do so by critics? Or did he give up the idea of diplomacy after learning more about Ahmadinejad and the current regime? I commented about Ahmadinejad saying he didn’t seem open to reason and that military action seemed to be demanded if we were serious about stopping Iran’s nuclear ambitions, but when Obama was elected, I was perfectly willing to give him his chance to try diplomacy. I’m sure I said some place that I didn’t think diplomacy would work, but I was open to his trying it. I hoped it would work. I was very willing to “suspend disbelief” while Obama had his chance. But as Ahmadinejad says above, “He made a mistake.”

Is it time for a new “Operation Opera”? Are you up for that, President Obama?

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