It's amazing to read about and listen to all the criticism the rightwingers have seen fit to throw at President Obama's handling of the Iranian crisis. This criticism comes from the very people who only months ago were calling him a traitor and/or appeaser for hinting that he would sit down and talk to the Iranian government. These are the same people who had no qualms about labeling Iran as part of the Axis of Evil. Apparently these same rightwingers were unaware that the now democracy-loving Iranians were the same people living in Iran at the time that the rightwingers thought it was cool to call them the Axis of Evil. Spare me. Watching them fall over their two right feet trying to out-democracy the president is rather amusing. Where were these people when President Obama was trying to soften the sabre-rattling rhetoric the rightwingers so eagerly embrace when it comes to dealing with countries in the Middle East?
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.