“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” – Nelson Mandela, proof that the final form of love is forgiveness.
It is rare that one soul can impact all of ours – and make us more patient, more powerful and more human. Mandela was such a soul. And he will never leave us.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
EVERYONE'S A FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT--ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO IRAN
John McCain: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." Where were these freedom-loving rightwingers when McCain suggested that light-hearted little joke? Did they think is was a riot for him to suggest that we deal with Iran and the people who are now marching in the streets by bombing them back to the Stone Age?
The rightwingers' concern for the oppressed, freedom loving Iranians is duly noted--especially for its rank hypocrisy.
And this from Bush former man in Iran, courtesy of Greg Sargent:
The Plum LineGreg Sargent's blog
Bush’s Man In Iran Lauds Obama’s Handling Of Iran Crisis
John McCain and other Republicans and conservatives have been hammering away at Obama’s handling of the Iran crisis, saying that it has been insufficiently aggressive. This morning, McCain demanded that Obama “condemn the sham, corrupt election,” in order to “make sure that the world knows that America leads.”
But guess who is praising Obama’s approach and saying Obama’s right to refrain from McCainian chest-thumping: George W. Bush’s top negotiator with Iran, Ambassador Nicholas Burns.
In an interview today with NPR, Burns praised Obama’s handling of the crisis, and said that a more aggressive response would actually play into the hands of President Ahmadinejad.
“President Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to see a very aggressive series of statements by the United States that would try to put the U.S. in the center of this,” Burns said.
“And I think President Obama is avoiding that quite rightly.”
“This is not a dispute for the U.S. to be the center of,” Burns said at another point. “It’s up to
Iranians to decide who Iran’s future leaders will be. He said he respects Iran’s sovereignty. I think it was important to do that.”
Burns said that Obama was right to refrain from throwing the U.S.’s weight around while giving props to reformers. He praised Obama for being “low-key” while saying he’s concerned about the plight of reformers and inspired by them, which Burns called a “balancing act.” Audio here.
It’s worth recalling that this is, in a sense, a replay of the 2008 election. McCain repeatedly suggested that Obama couldn’t be trusted to respond to bad actors or crises with aggressive enough displays of American force and will-power. Obama responded that chest-thumping could sometimes prove less productive than a lighter diplomatic touch. On this one, at least, Obama has the support of Bush’s Man in Iran.