As brave Iranians have taken to the street in the aftermath of the announced election results in Iran, Barack Obama maintained his silence. One might have thought some expression of support for the brave young people expressing their contempt for the Iranian regime would come naturally from the heart of an American president.
He opened his remarks with the statement that he was “very clear that it is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be.” He apparently doesn’t understand that the Iranian people have no say in who their leaders will be.
He affirmed his belief in Iranian sovereignty. But does sovereignty reside in the people or the mullahs? If it resides in the people, now is the time for him to say so, but Obama didn’t say so.
Instead, Obama followed his avowal of Iranian sovereignty with the assertion that he was “deeply troubled by the violence I’ve been seeing on television.” I believe that “deeply troubled” is about five notches more acceptable than “unacceptable,” which is how Obama described the Iranian nuclear program he has come to accept. He should be able to overcome the disturbance of being “deeply troubled” in the next few days.
Obama proceeded to speak up on behalf of the “universal values” somehow at issue in the events in Iran. Obama doesn’t much understand the Iranian regime if he believes that “the democratic process — free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected.” The Iranan regime is at best an authoritarian despotism ruled by sectarian theocrats. It has never respected free speech or peaceful dissent.
Obama is comforted by his “understanding…that the Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place.” Yes, they can be relied on to look into the irregularities. Of that much we can be sure.
And Obama reaffirmed his intention to meet with Iran’s president and kidnapper-in-chief or his mullahcratic patrons. Obama “will continue to pursue a tough, direct dialogue between our two countries, and we’ll see where it takes us.” If you are paying attention, you can discern that the mullahs really don’t need to respect free speech or peaceful dissent. The president is just flapping his gums when he implies that they do.
And you can discern that the pursuit of “direct dialogue between our two countries” will take us where it has already taken us. It will take us to an intense longing for silence on the part of him who removes all doubt that he is a fool when he opens his mouth.