Finally, President Obama, after a week of trying to remain neutral in the conflict in Iran, summoned some testicular fortitude and stood up for freedom yesterday. The Washington Post called it a “cautious response”;
[T]he president called on the Iranian government “to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people.”
U.S. officials say Obama is intent on calibrating his comments to the mood of the hour. They say he is seeking to avoid having the demonstrators accused of being American stooges and is trying to preserve the possibility of negotiating directly with the Iranian government over its nuclear program, links to terrorism, Afghanistan and other issues.
I’d agree, if Obama made that statement after the first death in Tehran, but amid unsubstantiated reports of hundreds of casualties, the wording sounds weak. From the Washington Times;
An Iranian who asked to be identified only by his first name, Ali, told The Washington Times that he saw security forces near Azadi (Freedom) Square dropping tear-gas canisters into buildings sheltering demonstrators, driving motorcycles into crowds of people and firing tear gas into demonstrators’ eyes. As he spoke, continuous shooting could be heard in the background, along with cries and shouts.
A graphic video posted on Facebook by Goli Fassihian, a spokeswoman for the National Iranian American Council, showed the body of a young woman whose face was covered in blood. Another video showed a young man with blood on his chest lying on the street, with gunshots ringing out around him.
Here’s some video from yesterday. Sporadic gunfire breaks out at about 3:00 into the video;
Actually, if Obama’s intent is to avoid being blamed for the riots, that ship has sailed. Last week, the mullahs had already blamed the US, the UK and the west in general for the protests. This morning, the Malaysian Insider published Ahmadinejad’s warning to the west;
Iranian authorities today blamed “terrorists” for clashes in which at least 10 people were killed and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told the United States and Britain to stay out of unrest sparked by his disputed re-election.
Iran state television said 10 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in protests held in Tehran yesterday in defiance of a stern warning by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A separate report put the number of deaths at 13.
State television said the violence included the torching of a mosque, which it blamed on “rioters”.
“In the unrest leading to clashes 10 people were killed and more than 100 wounded,” it said. “The presence of terrorists … in yesterday’s event in Enghelab and Azadi avenues was tangible.”
The harshness of the language suggested the authorities could be preparing for a crackdown to end more than a week of protests.
Obama’s reliance on words to resolve the problem is fairly naive (Fox News link);
And Obama cited the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, famous quote: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
“I believe that,” Obama said. “The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.”
In other words, if we just wait long enough, everything will shake out in the end. Unfortunately, Martin Luther King was talking about rational governments and rational societies. A rational government in Iran wouldn’t have let the current conditions there get this far. The mullahs would have suggested a power-sharing agreement with the opposition by now, if they were indeed committed to peace in the streets instead of the line about an 11 million-vote gap in the elections.
The Iranian government knows, after years of dealing with the pussy-footing West over their nuclear ambitions, their is little chance of a Gordon Brown/Barrack Obama insurgency into Iran. The mullahs can get away with anything, so the Iranian people are pretty much on their. Bullets against voices.
The blame for that can rest on the forlorn wailing of the anti-war crowd who have been protesting direct action against Iran for at least three years that I know of. As recently as this Spring, Code Pink has been praising the Ahmadinejad government and advocating for further suppression of women and minorities in Iran.
The American Left consistently comes down on the wrong side of history. Proof? How about the Code Pink press release from Friday;
CODEPINK calls on the Obama Administration to fulfill its commitment to pursue diplomacy with Iran through face-to-face talks without preconditions; as Obama promised during his campaign, “We should not just talk to our friends, we should be willing to engage our enemies as well. That is what diplomacy is all about.” CODEPINK also affirms the Obama administration’s decision to withhold comment on the Iranian election and its government’s decisions around conducting a recount or reelection.
Furthermore, CODEPINK calls on the United States to cease threats of new economic sanctions, remove existing sanctions, and end threats of war.
These affirmations will lend much needed credibility and legitimacy to Obama’s commitment to improve relations with Iran and the Arab-Muslim world, and uphold his campaign promise to meet with Iranian officials without preconditions.
Emphasis is mine. In other words, Code Pink supports the mullahs on their continued murder of gays and stoning of women as well as the current atrocities on the streets of Iranian cities. Peace at any cost.
In truth, it’s a repeat of the 1979 revolution – Jimmy Carter supported the Shah’s government and we became The Great Satan for three decades. Obama is tacitly supporting the Mullahs, so we’ll get another few decades of being The Great Satan to the rest of Iran.
For more information:
More and better coverage of the riots at Gateway Pundit. At Ms. Malkin’s place “They killed Neda but not her voice.” At Pajamas Media, Michael Ledeen’s A Letter From Mousavi’s Office. More video at Reihl World View. Paul Craig Roberts at Infowars finds a way to blame Bush and thinks his CIA holdovers are behind the popular uprising.