Friday, June 19, 2009

Obama fiddles, Iran burns, MSM applauds his "calm"

Obama should buy himself a fiddle. At least he'd have something to play with while the whole world burns down around his shoulders and he stays "calm." That's how the so-called mainstream media terms his nonengagement during the so-far biggest international crisis of his young administration. Sad note is his policy of hiding under the bed when the brown stuff hits the fan has worked out pretty well for him. When during the presidential campaign the economy suddenly collapsed into the continuing credit crisis, what did Obama do? Absolutely nothing.

He just continued on campaigning as if nothing had changed. What did John McCain do? Stopped campaigning and went to Washington to try to lead an effort to solve the crisis. And what did McCain get for his efforts? Ridicule by the MSM when the crisis wasn't solved and MSM praise for Obama's "calm" in the midst of the storm. Calm hell! He was "voting present" like he's always done when there's any small threat to his "political viability," just like President Bill Clinton.

Hey, I think I see a pattern here. President Jimmy Carter yanked U.S. support from the Shah of Iran and backed Khomeni's return to Iran for the revolution that put the mullahs in power. And what did President Clinton do when he had a chance to blow away Osama? Voted "present."

So President Obama is just following in the footsteps of the two most recent Democrat "leaders." Which certainly explains why this run-on-at-the-mouth-about-anything-and-everything president was so strangely quiet about the crisis in Iran for three long days before finally coming forth with his plan: to keep "dialogue" going with the mullahs who stole the Iranian election.

Hey, that's Obama's only executive experience, as Jesse Jackson said, because he's never run nothing but his mouth. So don't expect him to do anything but keep talking while Iran burns.

Sir Charles Krauthammer, as usual, sees through the crisis to its two inevitable conclusions, one good to very good to fantastic for freedom in the Middle East and one bad, very bad to worse.

This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.

The latter is improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible. Imagine the repercussions. It would mark a decisive blow to Islamist radicalism, of which Iran today is not just standard-bearer and model, but financier and arms supplier. It would do to Islamism what the collapse of the Soviet Union did to communism -- leave it forever spent and discredited.

In the region, it would launch a second Arab spring. The first in 2005 -- the expulsion of Syria from Lebanon, first elections in Iraq and early liberalization in the Gulf states and Egypt -- was aborted by a fierce counterattack from the forces of repression and reaction, led and funded by Iran.

Now, with Hezbollah having lost elections in Lebanon and with Iraq establishing the institutions of a young democracy, the fall of the Islamist dictatorship in Iran would have an electric and contagious effect. The exception -- Iraq and Lebanon -- becomes the rule. Democracy becomes the wave. Syria becomes isolated; Hezbollah and Hamas, patronless. The entire trajectory of the region is reversed.

All hangs in the balance. The Khamenei regime is deciding whether to do a Tiananmen. And what side is the Obama administration taking? None. Except for the desire that this "vigorous debate" (press secretary Robert Gibbs' disgraceful euphemism) over election "irregularities" not stand in the way of U.S.-Iranian engagement on nuclear weapons.

Even from the narrow perspective of the nuclear issue, the administration's geopolitical calculus is absurd. There is zero chance that any such talks will denuclearize Iran. On Monday, Ahmadinejad declared yet again that the nuclear "file is shut, forever." The only hope for a resolution of the nuclear question is regime change, which (if the successor regime were as moderate as pre-Khomeini Iran) might either stop the program, or make it manageable and nonthreatening.

That's our fundamental interest. And our fundamental values demand that America stand with demonstrators opposing a regime that is the antithesis of all we believe.

And where is our president? Afraid of "meddling." Afraid to take sides between the head-breaking, women-shackling exporters of terror -- and the people in the street yearning to breathe free. This from a president who fancies himself the restorer of America's moral standing in the world.

God save America and the world from the "I vote present" leader in power in Washington.

Ralph Peters at The New York Post (yes, Virginia, there is a real newspaper left in NYC) likens the current crisis in Iran to one of the most shameful incidents in recent history, 1956 in Hungary.

Of all our foreign-policy failures in my lifetime, our current shunning of those demanding free elections and expanded civil rights in Iran reminds me most of Hungary in 1956.

For years, we encouraged the Hungarians to rise up against oppression. When they did, we watched from the sidelines as Russian tanks drove over them.

For decades, Washington policymakers from both parties have prodded Iranians to throw off their shackles. Last Friday, millions of Iranians stood up. And we're standing down.

That isn't diplomacy. It's treachery...

And Obama's treachery, Peter says, is giving the green light to the mullahs to do to the Iranian people what the Russians did to the Hungarians in 1956: send in the tanks and crush heads.

Obama's ignorance of history is on naked display -- no sense of the brutality of Iran's Islamist regime, of the years of mass imprisonments, diabolical torture, prison rapes, wholesale executions and secret graves that made the shah's reign seem idyllic. Our president seems to regard the Iranian protesters as spoiled brats.

Facts? Who cares? In his Cairo sermon -- a speech that will live in infamy -- our president compared the plight of the Palestinians, the aggressors in 1948, with the Holocaust. He didn't mention the million Jews dispossessed and driven from Muslim lands since 1948, nor the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinian Christians from the West Bank.

Now our president's attempt to vote "present" yet again green-lights the Iranian regime's determination to face down the demonstrators -- and the mullahs understand it as such.

If we see greater violence in Tehran, the blood of those freedom marchers will be on our president's hands.

Actions have consequences. Obama's vote "present" could have deadly consquences in Iran.

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