By Alan Caruba
There are ample reasons why the predominantly young population of Iran has risen up to denounce “the Dictator” otherwise known as the “Supreme Leader”, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his thuggish, incompetent regime.
The one, though, that the Obama administration and the whole of the nation’s mainstream media have overlooked or ignored is the fact that Iran’s neighbor, Iraq, is a functioning democratic state that has held elections safely and without strife for some time now.
Iraq’s citizens, who suffered grievously for three decades under the rule of Saddam Hussein, have now joined much of the rest of the world by virtue of George W. Bush’s conscious decision to transform that nation and, by extension, the Middle East by force of arms.
President Obama campaigned successfully by attacking the Iraq War and promising to remove U.S. troops as quickly as possible. By some strange contortion of foreign policy, he announced that Afghanistan was “the new front” in a war on global Islamic terrorism whose name he will not speak. Most people understand that the real front is now in Pakistan, long a place of refuge for al Qaeda and the Taliban that are threatening its fragile government.
President Obama has finally articulated a more vigorous response to the Iranian effort to cast off the rule of the mullahs, but his first tepid instinct failed not only the courageous Iranians in the streets, but the history of our nation that has always supported freedom in the face of tyranny.
It is the democratic example of Iraq that is transforming the Middle East in ways we cannot begin to predict, but surely the revolution taking place in Iran is a sign of its success.
The era of the Middle East’s oppressive regimes, of ayatollahs and monarchies, of juntas, and of Palestinian militias armed by the Iranian regime, is on shaky ground in this new century.
The world has made impressive strides toward freedom since the cataclysm of World War Two. Two major nations, Russia and China, are being forced by globalization to extend greater freedom to their people. Africa, however, is likely to remain mired in oppression and poverty for the foreseeable future.
Europe has expanded its membership of free nations since the fall of the Soviet Union. With the exception of Cuba and Venezuela, Central and South America remains free.
It is not too soon to examine President Obama’s Middle East policy.
President Obama has virtually surrendered America’s traditional role of opposing tyranny. At a time when Islamo-fascism is the greatest threat to Western civilization, Obama went to Turkey and to Cairo to apologize for America’s effort to spread and support democracy, claiming an Islamic heritage in America that never existed.
His first six months in office have been a succession of criticisms of America.
His initial response to the Iranian street protests of a rigged election was a promise that America would not “meddle” in Iran’s affairs. It took him a few days to offer a carefully-worded criticism of the mullah’s brutal efforts to suppress the will of the people.
Obama is seeking to set free the worst enemies of the nation and the world from Guantanamo. Few other nations want to participate in this effort. He has halted military tribunals. He ordered overseas interrogation centers be closed. He withdrew charges against the mastermind of the attack on the USS Cole.
On June 21, H.R. 1388 was passed in the House of Representatives; an Obama administration plan to allocate $20.3 million in “migration assistance” to Hamas “refugees”, Palestinians who would be assisted to resettle in the United States!
He has facilitated this with an earlier executive order, opening the doors to Gaza’s “conflict victims.” And he has publicly rebuked Israel for building settlements to house its own growing population.
The Palestinians are not “conflict victims.” For sixty years they have been the initiators of conflict with Israel. Do we really want Hamas in the United States? This legislation must be defeated in the Senate.
While Americans are distracted by our economic troubles, we cannot give President Obama a free pass to ignore the freedom movement in Iran, to ease restrictions on Cuba, or to do nothing to stop the flow of illegal aliens across our southern border.
There are things he could be doing if he wanted to support freedom in Iran. He could authorize a clandestine program to assist the dissidents. He could lead a coalition of nations in demanding that the mullahs step aside, and to support a call that Iran’s constitution be re-written to rid it of its seventh century chokehold on democracy. He could offer leadership, but he has not and he will not.
He is shaming America while insisting on a new “crisis” every week for which he insists only the borrowing, taxing, and spending of untold trillions is the answer. He is doing everything in his power to impoverish Americans for decades to come.
Obama can no longer blame George W. Bush because the history unfolding before our eyes demonstrates that our former President was right.