Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Thursday, June 18, 2009


John McCain thinks President Obama should send a stronger message to the Iranian people concerning the contested election results. However, John McCain doesn't say what he bases his opinion on.

Did he ask Mr. Moussavi himself if this interference would help his cause? Has he gone to Iran recently to see what the Iranian people want America to do? Does he explain why it is a good foreign policy idea to interfere in a sovereign country's elections? Just because we've done so in the past--to disastersous results--doesn't mean we should continue making that mistake.

This suggestion is coming from the guy who sang that idiotic "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" ditty while on the campaing trail last summer.

You can't get any more reckless than that. I guess McCain feels the need to inject himself in this very tricky matter so that it appears that the GOP is giving the situation thoughtful consideration. Instead he comes off sounding like a rash and thoughtless buffoon.

America chose correctly when it chose Mr. Obama.

John McCain told FOX News that he didn't think President Obama was doing enough to show his support for fair elections in Iran and civil rights for Iranians after a presidential election there that "everybody knows" was corrupt.

Sen. McCain, Obama's Republican challenger in the 2008 election, suggested Wednesday in an interview with FOX News that Obama wasn't standing up for American principles.

"I'm disappointed, it is an American principle ever since our founding that we are dedicated to the principle that all are created equal and the fact is they have the right to free elections and to select their leadership," McCain said.

[John McCain forgets a speech by Founding Father, George Washington, where he warned that we should not involve America in foreign entanglements. There's nothing in the Constitution that compels the US to meddle in other countries' elections. He also is apparently unaware of how Iran's political system works. The Ayatollahs are in charge of the country. Iran is a theocracy. The will of the people doesn't count, only the will of God. I thank Darwin that McCain is NOT the president, because he seems appallingly uninformed on this.]

But Iranian leaders have accused the United States of "intolerable" meddling in its internal affairs after the country's disputed election late last week led to allegations of fraud, street protests and a government crackdown on news outlets and Web communications.

Mr. Obama said Tuesday he shared the world's "deep concerns about the election" but asserted that it was "not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling."

And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that it is up to Iranians to choose their own leader, though she didn't cast judgment on the validity of the outcome, in which incumbent President Mamoud Ahmadinejad was declared the winner.

"The people of Iran reserve the right to have their voices heard and their voices counted," Clinton said. "The result of any election should be the will of the people."

McCain argued that treading softly isn't the right approach.

[Well thank you for your concern, Sen. McCain, now you can go back to the Senate and serenade your peers with "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."]

Roger Cohen writing in today's NYTimes:

In greater numbers than ever before, Iranians had bought in to the sliver of democracy offered by an autocratic system whose ultimate loyalty is to the will of God rather than the will of the people. Almost 40 million voted. Now, their votes flouted, many have crossed over from reluctant acquiescence to the Islamic Republic into opposition. That’s a fundamental shift.

The Islamic Republic has lost legitimacy. It is fissured. It will not be the same again. It has always played on the ambiguity of its nature, a theocracy where people vote. For a whole new generation, there’s no longer room for ambiguity. [...]

The core issue is whether, given the dimension of protests, internal and international, Khamenei will come to view Ahmadinejad as a liability. In Moussavi he has a credible vehicle for a reform of the regime that serves to preserve it — an acceptable compromise to most Iranians.

Shiism is a malleable branch of Islam. The supreme leader can find the means to reverse course. He is an arbiter beholden to the safeguarding of the Islamic Republic. Arbitration now requires bringing God and the people into a different, more sustainable balance.

My friend over at IE has some links for what people can do to support the Iranian people.


Dave Miller said...

I was thinking, in the case of Mr. Marcos and the Philippines, when Reagan was President, he quietly sent Senator Paul Laxalt over there to talk privately to government leaders.

Those talks, done with little fanfare, formed the basis for real transformation in that country.

I guess McCain and others clamoring for a public rebuke of the regime in Iran do not believe in that style of diplomacy and longer.

Arthurstone said...

Our assistance in 1953 remains the gift that keeps on giving.

Boy I wish John would take up golf, retire and join a couple community-based non-profits. Or even get out of D.C. And spend his wife's money.

Dave Miller said...

Arthur, there are not many who are really aware of our sordid past in this region of the world.

Is it any wonder people are upset with us?

Christopher said...

The Old Coot couldn't win the American presidency so now he wants to meddle in what looks like another Iranian revolution.

Butt out, Old Coot. Go spend the heiress' coin.

Erics Eyes said...

Christopher said...
The Old Coot couldn't win the American presidency so now he wants to meddle in what looks like another Iranian revolution.
Butt out, Old Coot. Go spend the heiress' coin.

Are you referring to Jimmie Carter?

Shaw Kenawe said...

What puzzles me is the fact that a great many GOPers were adamantly against the US having ANY contact with Iran because it was part of the Axis of Evil, and they did not support ANY talks with its leaders--something Mr. Obama talked about engaging in when he was campaigning.

Now the big guys in the GOP are falling all over themselves criticising Mr. Obama for not inserting America into Iranian politics.

It is all political posturing. It's all about be opposed to anything this president is for.

dmarks said...

Arthurstone: It did. It kept Iran from being a Soviet colony.

Simon Baddeley said...

Came to your blog and will now link it, while researching Gladstone. Thanks so much for the quote.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Simon Baddeley,

Thanks for stopping by. I'll link to your site. I very much enjoyed reading about the British Museum, since I spent a wonderful day there when I visited London.