16 June 2009

Right wing rubbish on Obama’s Iran silence

I am not familiar with Nile Gardiner but the Heritage Foundation website shows him to be the: Director, Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, The Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies (D, MTCFF, TKASCDIFIS... A set of initials that don’t make the best of scrabble hands!). Given his credentials it is perhaps unsurprising that he casts a less than benevolent gaze on President Obama

That said his blog piece in yesterday’s Telegraph which accuses the Obama administration's response to the Iran election of being “cowardly, lily-livered and wrong” seems to be little more than a crass rant

Gardiner states that The White House's refusal (as at the time of writing at 18.36 on 15 June) to “question officially the result or even condemn the brutal suppression of opposition protestors, is undermining America's standing as a global power...., and is little more than a... cynical exercise in appeasement....As blood flows on the streets of Tehran, the United States government remains as silent as a Trappist Monk...”

In Gardiner’s view “It's about time the Obama administration... started focusing on halting the rise of a nuclear-armed Iran, as well as building up America's defences in the face of a highly dangerous rogue regime. That includes moving forward with a global missile defence system as well as actually increasing defence spending instead of cutting it."

His final sentence is “ It's a sad day when the greatest power in the world withholds criticism of a brutal, tyrannical and illegitimate regime for fear of upsetting its rulers.”

Well blow me! As if the USA has never withheld criticism from brutal regimes before!

From what I have seen of his writings since reading the above post Gardiner would probably indict Obama for the murder of Cock Robin. His words seem to have gone down well especially among those who would condemn Obama for breathing

Any hawkish words from the US at this juncture would be counterproductive at best - and at worst an utter disaster for the Iranian opposition. The USA has a less than glorious track record in Iranian affairs (just think of two names: Mossadeq and Pahlavi to underline) this point and Iranians have a long memory (or at least one that is frequently jogged). Strong American condemnation of Ahmadinejad and the Iranian regime, however justifiable, would inflame the situation while at the same time undermining the protestors

Or is this what the hawks want? After all it is better to have a bogeyman to aim at than someone who may just pay a little lip service to reform.


Kevin Hamel said...

Aaaanndd let's not forget that the U.S. backed and armed Saddam Hussein and Iraq in the war between Iraq and Iran. So U.S. traction in this issue would seem to be limited...

Bryan said...

The same people who are calling for an energetic response to the situation, have also called for bombing Iran over the nuclear program.

They really need to decide whether they are for or against Iran.

jams o donnell said...

Kevin it is a matter of record that the US did provide support to Saddam but that is not the issue here. Anything the US does to support would subvert teh protestors, not help them

Agreed Bryan

Kevin Hamel said...


I cited the Iran/Iraq war issue as just another in the several missteps in U.S. policy toward Iran. And so, I agree, the position in which the U.S. currently finds itself WRT Iranian politics leaves it without leverage or ability to give support to any opposition to the current regime.

jams o donnell said...

Agreed Kevin. Although teh State Departmen has been working with Twitter and other social sites to facilitate communication. This is the best thing the US Government can do at the moment