Friday, June 26, 2009
Power Line's Paul Mirengoff is not impressed with Obama's handling of the Iranian uprising:
Obama, as he often does, basically stringed together a series of cliches and talking points in the hope that he would come up with something pleasing to the ear, if short on substance or even coherence.That is where the rubber hits the road:
More likely than not, and particularly if the U.S. adopts the passive posture Obama describes, the Iranians for the foreseeable future will judge their regime in a sullen, repressed whisper, fearful of arrest and persecution for any judgment uttered more loudly. The U.S., by contrast, will be a free agent -- free to negotiate with the regime, or to take measures against it, or to do nothing. If we negotiate with the murderous mullahs, or if we do nothing, the Iranian people will take no comfort from our role as witness and occasional lecturer.I concur. Obama may have a bitchin' blueprint for turning the U.S. into a socialist paradise, but his weakness on the international stage will undo him- Americans don't re-elect weak loser presidents.
To answer the question that appears at the top of this post, great powers are not limited to "bearing witness" and offering occasional lectures. Nor does Obama think they (we) are. For example, he is not content merely to bear witness to what he calls the "stalemate" on the West Bank, or even to the construction of some housing there by some Israeli settlers.
Like any leader of a great power, Obama picks and chooses which matters he wishes to interfere in. The rest of us bear witness and judge his choices.
He is on the verge of choosing very badly in Iran.