"On this issue, I do not believe that the president is taking a leadership (role) that is incumbent upon an American president, which we have throughout modern history, and that is to advocate for human rights and freedom — and free elections are one of those fundamentals," the Arizona Republican McCain told CNN's "American Morning."Even Hillary Clinton and Biden favored a firmer tone in support of the protesters.
There have been many Iranians with differing points of views as well. Some think Obama should stay out of it, others not so much.
"His (Obama) lack of response will not be regarded lightly. We will watch for how much his response will help the people or the regime. We will know more this week... Obama can hold talks with the regime in Iran if he wants. Is it morally correct for Obama to support the regime? Does he actually believe the people of Iran will appreciate that? The social movement requires support. If the world really wants the advent of terrorism to disappear in the Middle East, if they want peace with the Palestinians and Israel, if they want nuclear techhology to be developed for peaceful things and not nuclear weapons... They only need to support the people of Iran right now. This regime has the most dangerous of ideologies. They're killing the opposition.After viewing the video from the Daily Show that Larry posted this past weekend, I had an idea about what I wanted to write. I held off though, still unsure, but after seeing Morning Joe this morning, I figured it out.
And, people need to know that if they do not stand by the Iranian people shoulder to shoulder right now, that they themselves will come face to face with this very regime. And if this regime is allowed to have a nuclear weapon it will do the exact same thing with the entire world. This regime does not represent the people of Iran. And, morally the people of the world need to support the people of Iran and not what the regime wants."
Obama made this statement the other day:
"We are excited to see what appears to be a robust debate taking place in Iran and obviously, after the speech that I made in Cairo, we tried to send a clear message that we think there's a possibility of change. And ultimately, the election is for the Iranians to decide. But just as what has been true in Lebanon, what can be true in Iran as well, is that you're seeing people looking at new possiblities. And whoever ends up winning the election in Iran, the fact that there's been a robust debate hopefully will help advance our ability to engage them in new ways.''And then I saw this segment from Morning Joe:
Chuck Todd said in this video that the Obama administration is disturbed that the Cairo speech, which had resonance isn't getting enough credit. He said they felt that Cairo speech "helped stiffen the backbone of the folks in Iran"....
So, what Chuck is saying, and Joe reiterates, and what Obama believes, is that his speech made a difference - that the speech inspired the youth in Lebanon and Tehran.
And the media, as witnessed in the Jon Stewart video, was more than happy to tie Obama's speech to the uprising of *hope and change* in Iran. The "Obama Effect" they called it.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Indecision 2009 - Everywhere but Here Edition|
So, it seems pretty clear the media and the Obama White House all support the belief that Obama's Cairo speech was a catalyst in the revolution that is now happening in Iran.
Personally, I doubt Obama's speech is responsible, or perhaps even a factor, for the massive uprising in Iran, but for the sake of argument, let's say it is. What if the election of Obama, and the outreach to Muslim countries, and the idea that the US wants to mend the relationships with countries like Iran, and his Cairo speech did inspire them (as Obama and the media believe)? What if it was the final push they needed to rise up?
What kind of message are we now sending them?
“America’s position in the world is one of moral leadership. It’s not about what takes place in the streets of Iran. It is about what takes place in America’s conscience.”In Cairo, Obama spoke of freedom and liberty, and change and hope, but when the youth of Iran rose up and stood up for Democracy and change, and fair elections, Obama seemingly bails on them. Isn’t that a bit like lighting a fire then running away once the fire starts to burn? Where is the follow through? Doesn't this seem like a typical Obama move?
I understand the opinions from the Left, that the US can't be seen as influencing the election, or meddling in their affairs. I get that point. And as Larry said here, he believes Obama is doing the right thing. I said before I'm sure Obama is listening to many experts, advising him to stay out of it. There are many who disagree, but that always seems to be the case.
"The worst thing we could do at this moment for these reformers, these protesters, these courageous people in Tehran, is allow the government there to claim that this is a U.S.-led opposition, a U.S.-led demonstration," said Dodd, emphasizing Obama's longer-term goal of engaging Iran over its nuclear program."But, wasn't the media, and the WH, just about a week ago, touting the Obama Effect, and crediting Obama for starting these movements for change? Isn't that like going around to factory after factory, and getting the union workers all riled up for a strike, and then not showing up for the strike?
They wanted to sell the idea that Obama had an effect on the movement, even Obama tried to point to his Cairo speech as a catalyst. But, when the revolution began, Obama said he couldn't meddle...?
By not taking sides, isn't Obama letting down hundreds of thousands (millions?) of young people who are literally dying for change in Iran? If he did indeed set in motion this call for change, what message is he sending to them now?
That it doesn't matter, we're fine with whoever wins, because there is no difference between Ahmadinijad and Mousavi?
"It also followed a wrong note from Obama last week, when he said he saw little difference between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the hard-liner who claims a landslide re-election mandate, and his conservative but pro-reform challenger. That left the impression that Obama discounted the votes of Mir Hossein Mousavi's supporters or the bravery of protesters who marched to say their votes were stolen."Yes, the "Supreme Leader" still dominates areas of the political landscape in Iran, but isn't the election of/revolution for Mousavi a good thing? The fact that millions of Iranians are voting for change, and fighting for a new leader seems to be a very positive step, for the future of Iran, I would think. Even if the policies are not drastically different, it is a move in the right direction, no?
So, how can we not stand with the protesters, and the young people of Iran, who are the future (and 70%)of that country? How can we as a country not take their side? The Left seems to think that Obama's speech in Cairo is partly responsible for this uprising - so shouldn't he now be responsible for standing beside them?
I would think if the Iranians who support change look for reaction from the White House, (and around the world) and perceive the support as weak, that would damage our relationship moving forward. If we are seen as willing to work with just anyone, even someone who steals elections, and kills those who oppose the results, won't the new generation of Iranians turn against us, too?
How can we heal the divide if we bail on them in their most crucial hour? They are taking a stand, and dying for change. Don't we owe it to them to show the world that we stand beside them? (Especially if, as the media said, it was the Obama Effect that ignited them....)
Iran is already blaming us for interfering.
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the United States and Britain on Sunday to stop interfering in the Islamic Republic's internal affairs, the ISNA news agency was cited by Reuters.Obama hasn't even said anything, and yet is blamed for interfering. (There's just no reasoning with some people...)
"Definitely by hasty remarks you will not be placed in the circle of friendship with the Iranian nation. Therefore I advise you to correct your interfering stances," Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying in a meeting with clerics and scholars."
Do we really still plan to just sit down, and have some tea with Ahmadinejad, obviously a madman, if at the end of this, he is still in power? Won't that breed a new generation that distrusts/hates America? Do we ignore who we are, and what we stand for because we want to sit down with one mad man? Won't we damage our relationship with Iran, for the long term? And doesn't sitting down with him, after this is over, if he is still in power, legitimize his (stolen) power?
If the media wants to believe that Obama sparked this revolution, shouldn't he be responsible for supporting their cause?
Don't we owe it to the young people of Iran to show them that we are with them, that we stand with them, that we support Democracy, and that we are there for them? That we are more than just rhetoric, and pretty speeches.
Like I said in the beginning of this post, Obama is taking the advice of experts, and they certainly know a lot more than I. But, if Obama wants credit for his speech in Cairo, if the media wants to claim Obama had an Effect on this election, and the uprising, then shouldn't Obama take a firmer stand? Not just offer his usual line of being saddened, troubled, or disappointed.
Obama said Monday he was "deeply troubled" by the violent protests that followed Friday's vote, which official results show resulted in the re-election of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But he avoided siding with Ahmadinejad's opponents, telling reporters that "It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran's leaders will be."I don't know, I just feel like, in this crucial fight for *change* we should offer the Iranians some *hope*.
Tuesday, he added, "It's not productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations, to be seen as meddling, the U.S. president meddling in Iranian elections."
"America has a moral responsibility to stand up for these brave people, to defend human rights, and to condemn the violence and abuses by the regime in Tehran."
Bottom line, Obama is probably doing the right thing, as recommended by the experts. I'm sure he has been advised on what to say, and the best approach to take. (I do think he made a massive gaffe by saying there was no difference between the two leaders.) But, if the WH and the media want to play the *Obama Effect* game then they shouldn't walk it back when the going gets tough.
"It is an Iranian moment, spurred on by Iranians, thoroughly supported by Iranians to the degree that the supreme ayatollah has now backed off his own support for the elections (and) called for an investigation," John Kerry said.My personal wish is that we were stronger in our support of the *revolution* and that we reached out more to the protestors. I wish we would have showed them our solidarity in their quest for change, and supported their right for fair elections. I wish we could have done more. I only hope that they know we are behind them, and we hope for a better tomorrow.