From Trita Parsi who is president and cofounder of the National Iranian American Council, What Obama must do now on Iran – Condemn violence, without picking sides.
Accusing President Obama of weakness may generate some headlines, but it misses the point. A closer look reveals that the president’s approach has paved the way for the current stand-off in Iran and that he is supported by those seeking their rights in Iran.
Many have argued that the president shouldn’t side with any particular faction in Iran since doing so could backfire. Having the US on your side is not necessarily a good thing in Iran. Washington neither wants to make itself the issue in Iran, nor is it eager to help Mr. Ahmadinejad stage a comeback.
Not all, but most Republicans do not want the world or the American public to listen to what Iranians want, but to listen to Osama Bin Forgotten’s party, the necons. Do the Iranians in the street or Mir-Hossein Mousavi want a little shock and awe. One does not have to be hip deep in foreign policy credentials to know, given a choice between dealing neocon chickenhawk fantasies and the riot police, Iranians would probably prefer the later. I hope no one was holding their breath hoping the last two elections would revive the realpolitik sensibilities of those Eisenhower Republicans of years gone by. Thankfully Obama has resisted the kind of antagonistic empty saber rattling of the Bush years which served the interests of Iranian hardliners like Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“The last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States,” Obama said in an interview broadcast Monday on CBS’s “The Early Show.”
The Iranians want to make sure that the world knows and sees what is happening on the streets of Tehran and other cities. And they want the US to stay out of the fight – at least for now.
But here is one legitimate criticism , the Iranians are missing two words from Obama: “I condemn.” Protesters and political leaders I’ve spoken to in Iran want the US to speak out forcefully against the government’s human rights abuses and condemn the violence.
President Obama has a news conference scheduled for tonight and while his recent statements have been clear enough in their condemnation of the violence perpetrated against protesters, he will probably reiterate his human rights stance tonight. The Right’s continued insistence that Obama ratchet up the rhetoric, knowing that such talk gives more legitimacy to the Iranians hardliners is one of the reasons there it is easy to suspect the Right is enjoying the blood shed. The Right’s feigned concern about students shot down in the streets is more of that compassionate conservatism kabuki theater left over from the late 90s, still shrill and empty as usual. The Right is latching on to this moving interview from an Iranian protester, Iranian protester pleads for U.S., world to intervene
Mohammad: Americans, European Union, international community, this government is not definitely — is definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it’s illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them. Impose much more sanctions against them. My message…to the international community, especially I’m addressing President Obama directly – how can a government that doesn’t recognize its people’s rights and represses them brutally and mercilessly have nuclear activities? This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man give a sharp dagger to an insane person? We need your help international community. Don’t leave us alone.
Obama has sworn that he will not let Iran become a nuclear power. New sanctions are not likely to have anymore effect then the old ones. Its a frustrating situation, but would the Right truly have more of our families and friends die on yet another battlefield, this time based on the words of one protester. One part of the interview that the Weakly Standard and other conservative sites are not excerpting is this,
Mohammad: Yes. Let me tell you something. For about three decades our nation has been humiliated and insulted by this regime. Now Iranians are united again one more time after 1979 Revolution. We are a peaceful nation. We don’t hate anybody. We want to be an active member of the international community. We don’t want to be isolated. Is this much of a demand for a country with more than 2,500 years of civilization? We don’t deny the Holocaust. We do accept Israel’s rights. And actually, we want — we want severe reform on this structure. This structure is not going to be tolerated by the majority of Iranians. We need severe reform, as much as possible.
Remember that the neocons were recently pleading for the bombing of Iran because they were an America/Israel hating nation, full of Islamic radicals and Holocaust deniers. Those bombs might have hit the radical mullahs, but they would hit people like Mohammad. The current situation is not cause for the Right to becoming unhinged they’re just continuing their derangement when it comes to talking in sensible terms about life and death decisions, Andrew McCarthy at the National Review,
“The fact is that, as a man of the hard Left, Obama is more comfortable with a totalitarian Islamic regime than he would be with a free Iranian society. In this he is no different from his allies like the Congressional Black Caucus and Bill Ayers, who have shown themselves perfectly comfortable with Castro and Chàvez. Indeed, he is the product of a hard-Left tradition that apologized for Stalin and was more comfortable with the Soviets than the anti-Communists (and that, in Soros parlance, saw George Bush as a bigger terrorist than bin Laden).
As we all know conservatives like McCarthy do not ever listen to or portray moderate centrists like Obama as they really are much less actual liberals. The “hard left” McCarthy refers to is actually the blow-up doll he keeps under his bed. It a thing, he can make it say and do and believe in any straw man argument that McCarthy feels up to wrestling with. hilzoy’s suggestion that Andy might be off his meds is incredibly polite considering the bottom of the political gutter from which McCarthy draws.
And Spencer Ackerman’s take on the Trita Parsi article, ‘Ordinary Tehrani’ Praises Obama’s Response to the Uprising