Great column by Victor Davis Hanson yesterday, in which he explains why Obama should speak out louder about Iran, and why he has not. He goes much further in depth than what I’ll post here, but here’s a synopsis of his five points for each.
First, why he should:
1.) It is the moral and right thing to do
2.) The theocracy is a fiendish regime that hides behind third-world victimhood while it murders and promotes terror abroad
3.) Of the three ways to stop a nuclear theocracy-(regime change, preemption, embargo), supporting the opponents of the regime is the most logical, peaceful, and cost-effective-and has the best chance of success.
4.) There is a long bipartisan American history of supporting dissidents who were fighting for election fairness abroad in Poland, Serbia, Latin America, and South Africa.
5.) Obama’s realpolitik is flawed: 1) if the mullahs win, they will have greater contempt for our timidity; 2) if the dissidents win, they will not forget our realistic fence-sitting; 3) you can never believe (ever) anything the mullahs say or do. Negotiating with them is like signing a pact with Hitler.
Next, why he has not:
1.) Our President has always been a trimmer-voting present serially in Illinois; proclaiming broad new positions on the campaign trail only to disown them while President; rhetorically always splitting the difference with ‘on the one hand, on the other’, ’some, they, others say’, ‘I don’t accept false choices…’ etc. So now he waits to see who wins. And then will provide the soaring rhetoric postfacto to suggest that he was either the careful realist all along who foresaw the dissidents’ failure-or the enthusiastic moralist who always really did cheer on the mullahs’ demise.
2.) It’s a personal thing that interferes with Obama’s ego, and messianic personal diplomacy.
3.) Obama is clueless.
4.) He’s addicted to the ossified Iraqi paradigm of “Bush intervened and caused a mess” (Free Iraq is apparently still equivalent to Saddam’s Iraq), so “I don’t want to follow his lead.”
5.) His entire anti-Bush foreign policy is then in trouble. The new liberal realpolitik insisted that we don’t offer moral judgment, and was framed instead by winning the hearts and minds of tyrants through humbling ourselves and meae culpae. But if these democracies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and an Iran (?) were to succeed, then what?