In the realm of foreign affairs, the first ten days of Barack Obama’s administration were a disaster. It’s hard to believe that even a foreign policy neophyte like Obama could blunder so badly, on so many fronts, in such a short time. We spent the better part of an hour of today’s radio show talking about Obama’s serial missteps, which I wrote about here, here and here. If I get time, I’ll try to podcast that hour.
Among other things, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and the mullahs are beating Obama like a drum. Obama’s misguided criticisms of America’s policies toward Muslim countries, broadcast throughout the Arab world in his interview with the al Arabiya television network, were music to the mullahs’ ears. Ahmadinejad, who unlike Obama is no babe in the woods, says that he would be willing to consider an improvement in relations with the U.S. if Obama will apologize for America’s many offenses against Iran. Actually, this demand is quite reasonable: how can Obama refuse after his own public condemnation of his country’s past policies?
Oh, just one more thing: Ahmadinejad also wants “fundamental changes” in American foreign policy before he will be willing to engage with our new President. Obama was foolish enough to say that he would be willing to meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions, apparently failing to understand, in his inexperience, that Ahmadinejad would not be so open-minded.
The Iranians continue to pile on the insults. Now government spokesman Gholam Hossein Elham is ridiculing Obama’s willingness to talk with Iran’s leaders as a sign of weakness:
US President Barack Obama’s offer to talk to Iran shows that America’s policy of “domination” has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday. “This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed,” Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.
“Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change,” he added.
The mullahs do not share Obama’s naive confidence in the efficacy of talk.
All of this is occurring as Iran hosts terrorist Samir Kantar as an honored guest on the 30th anniversary of that country’s Islamic revolution. (That would be the golden era of American-Muslim relations, “20 or 30 years ago,” to which Obama says he longs to return!) Kantar’s name is not widely recognized in the West, but he is viewed by some in the Muslim world as a hero as a result of a terrorist attack in which he murdered five Israelis, most notoriously by smashing a four-year-old girl’s head with a rifle butt. Here, the “hero” Kantar addresses a group in Tehran:
Kantar has publicly praised Iran’s ongoing patronage of Middle Eastern terrorism, making a mockery of Obama’s painfully stupid reference in his al Arabiya interview to Iran’s “support of terrorist organizations in the past.” As though they had stopped!
So far, the mullahs are making Obama look like a fool. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been very difficult.
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