Saturday, June 20, 2009

Obama and Iran

Obama has stepped carefully in how he has dealt with the events in Iran.  I think that the approach he has taken is the correct one.  Here's his latest statement:

"The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples' belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness."

He may have taken several steps backwards on his stance towards LGBT issues, but in this instance he is most assuredly the right man for the job.  Can you imagine how McCain might have screwed things up?  If the Conservative calls for stronger support and language are any indication, it would have been ugly.

We cannot be seen as interfering.  Obama's approach thus far has been right on target.  
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Chris said...


Dr. Jay SW said...

The last time there was a major reform movement in Iran, George W. managed to unite the country (against the U.S.) by labeling it part of the "Axis of Evil." Apparently, Republicans want Obama to do the same....

I've certainly been disappointed by Obama on LGBT issues--it seems, as Gail Collins pointed out in the NY Times he's only willing to spend political capital at this point on health care, energy, and the economy. While a strategic mind is certainly one of Obama's strengths (and certainly an improvement over the impulsiveness of our last Democratic president), at this point, at this point he seems to be strategic to a fault....

Vigilante said...

President Obama is spot-on. We elected him more for real results than blood-red rhetoric.

Ahmadinejad is the main and immediate issue. His early departure would be just the first step in untying the knot in the Middle East. We must understand that Iranians want his ouster for reasons different than ours. (I am not especially hopeful.) With him gone, nuclear energy in Iran assumes a different profile.

The optimal official American position is on the sidelines. Our new president has started the rebuilding of United States' moral and political leadership after its demise during the Busheney years. But we have not yet restored that credibility. President Obama is a mature student of statesmanship who understands that his grasp should not exceed the reach of American foreign policy.

But as Americans, we do not and should not remain on the sidelines. We need to demonstrate our active vigil and witness, together with the rest of the world, on a people to people basis. The technology of the "social network" permits and encourages that now, more than ever before.