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June 23, 2009

Obama: I Don't Want to Meddle, and I Certainly Still Respect the Islamic Regime and Supreme Leader, and the Hot Dog Invitation is Still On, But Oh, By the Way? All the Protests? You're Welcome

Not to claim credit for doing nothing or anything, but by the way, I deserve all the credit for doing nothing.

bama's approach to Iran, including his assertion that the unrest there represents a debate among Iranians unrelated to the United States, is an acknowledgment that a U.S. president's words have a limited ability to alter foreign events in real time and could do more harm than good. But privately Obama advisers are crediting his Cairo speech for inspiring the protesters, especially the young ones, who are now posing the most direct challenge to the republic's Islamic authority in its 30-year history.

One senior administration official with experience in the Middle East said, "There clearly is in the region a sense of new possibilities," adding that "I was struck in the aftermath of the president's speech that there was a connection. It was very sweeping in terms of its reach."

In related news, a protester tore the mask off the "U-Boat Ghost" that had been haunting Iran, revealing it to be none other than Old Man Khamenei, who wanted to drive down the property value of Iran so he could turn it into a ghost-themed amusement park.

Old Man Khamenei then said, "And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for that meddling administration."

By the Way: Here is what Obama specifically said about Iran in the Cairo speech:

This issue has been a source of tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. For many years, Iran has defined itself in part by its opposition to my country, and there is in fact a tumultuous history between us. In the middle of the Cold War, the United States played a role in the overthrow of a democratically elected Iranian government. Since the Islamic Revolution, Iran has played a role in acts of hostage-taking and violence against U.S. troops and civilians. This history is well known. Rather than remain trapped in the past, I've made it clear to Iran's leaders and people that my country is prepared to move forward. The question now is not what Iran is against, but rather what future it wants to build.

I recognize it will be hard to overcome decades of mistrust, but we will proceed with courage, rectitude, and resolve. There will be many issues to discuss between our two countries, and we are willing to move forward without preconditions on the basis of mutual respect. But it is clear to all concerned that when it comes to nuclear weapons, we have reached a decisive point. This is not simply about America's interests. It's about preventing a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could lead this region and the world down a hugely dangerous path.

I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nation holds nuclear weapons. And that's why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. (Applause.) And any nation -- including Iran -- should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That commitment is at the core of the treaty, and it must be kept for all who fully abide by it. And I'm hopeful that all countries in the region can share in this goal.

The only reference to democracy concerns apologizing for the US' role in overthrowing a "democratically elected" government. Other references include multiple affirmations that Iran's "leaders" are in fact its leaders, pledges of "mutual respect," and a commitment to working with Iran's "leaders" without "preconditions" of any sort. Preconditions that a democratically-minded president might insist upon, like reform of the corrupt, fixed system and a system of actual representative government.

Everything Obama said about Iran actually flattered and legitimized its "leaders," as he termed them. And yet, we are supposed to believe, he actually inspired the protests.

He did, of course, address democracy broadly (see the "fourth point"). But when specifically discussing Iraq, he supported the regime and buttressed its legitimacy. Further, every president -- including George Bush, and yeah, Bill Clinton too -- speaks broadly about the need for democracy in the Islamic world. I am a bit perplexed at Obama's curious belief that he alone put the right words together to inspire change.

Even AP Notices: Comparing Obama's heavily-caveated "condemnations" as "hands on" and "hands off" in alternating sentences.

It's not just that Obama is tepid, feckless, anti-democratic, appeasing, cowardly, and weak. That's his, well, that's his foreign policy. He has chosen this foreign policy, deliberately, pre-meditatedly, and with malice aforethought.

The galling thing is that, having chosen this path, he also wants credit for Reaganite boldness and unwavering moral conviction in the face of evil.



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posted by Ace at 04:01 PM

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