Fiddling as Tehran burns.

[UPDATE] Welcome, Instapundit readers. Not to be crass, but I’m doing a pledge drive. On the bright side, that link leads to the Riddler singing, so at least you’ll get your recommended daily dose of surrealism out of it.

Charles Krauthammer, a man who is apparently constitutionally incapable of suffering fools at all (and never mind ‘gladly’), waxed wroth on the implication that the President’s response to the ongoing Iranian crisis was in any way similar to Pope John Paul II’s response to the Solidarity strikers:

The president is also speaking in code. The Pope spoke in a code which was implicit and understood support for the forces of freedom.

The code the administration is using is implicit to support for this repressive, tyrannical regime.

We watched Gibbs say that what’s going on is vigorous debate. The shooting of eight demonstrators is not debate. The knocking of heads, bloodying of demonstrators by the Revolutionary Guards is not debate. The arbitrary arrest of journalists, political opposition, and students is not debate.

And to call it a debate and to use this neutral and denatured language is disgraceful.

Yes. It is.  And if it’s also a surprise, then you haven’t been paying attention to the last six months’ worth of current events. This administration… does not risk its reputation.  It particularly does not risk its reputation on something like the Iranian crisis, which is currently precisely the sort of confused mess that would make any cautious person blanch and hesitate to become involved in.  We have a mass of young, angry people coalescing around a symbol that few in the West want to really look at too closely; and opposing them are aging revolutionaries from a revolution that wasn’t really all that nice to begin with.  It could end very badly.  It probably will, in fact: these things usually do.  In other words, there is no safe answer… which is frightening to any entity as dull and prosaic as this administration actually is.

When it comes down to it, I pity the President right now: he doesn’t have the right personal mindset to handle this mess.  His predecessor the idealist would have picked an answer consistent with his personal moral code and regulated his actions accordingly; and his predecessor’s predecessor the cynic would have at least done something useful.  Instead, we’re going to get detachment.  And no matter what the result is, we will be told that it was for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.

Personally, I won’t need it to sleep at night – I voted for the other guy – but I suppose that some people out there are going to really want that sop to their conscience.

Moe Lane

Crossposted to RedState.

13 thoughts on “Fiddling as Tehran burns.”

  1. Wonder if Obama has a “personal moral code”? Really don’t think he does which is terrifying to me.

  2. It’s apparent, looking at the string of Presidents from the 90’s forward, that they don’t get to the level of National Politician, let alone “President” unless they mostly LACK any morality or personal moral code. It’s all about Power and the attainment thereof. Morality be damned. Nice, huh? I didn’t vote for him either, and I had to hold my nose while I pulled the lever for the other guy. Welcome to the New Millenium.

  3. Obama has never taken a risky stand in his entire political career. He always plays it safe, picking the option least likely to damage his career.

    He wants to ignore foreign policy. He put his primary Democratic opponent in charge of the State Department and left Bush’s guy in at Defense. This sends a very clear message that he believes that foreign policy and military affairs are not core interest of his administration. If they were, he would take pains to put someone he trust in those positions.

    He’s just going to close his eyes and hope the entire Iran mess goes away.

  4. hope the entire Iran mess goes away

    It’s not, however, going to go away, at least not permanently. Nor is the NORK missile mess going to go away. And others are going to spring up to join them. The rest of the world has taken Mr. Obama’s number and now they want to play…

  5. I think the Iranians are going to have to work this out for themselves. I don’t think yet another American engineered coup will go down well. In fact, I think the wisest course for our government is not to provide any material support to the protesters lest they be branded US puppets.

    However, our government should not be cheering on and excusing the Iranian thugs.

  6. Obama doesn’t want to be distracted by any of this international stuff. His agenda is primarily domestic, and the only thing he wants to do abroad is speak and be adored. Iran, North Korea and the rest of global reality is just inconvenient for him.

  7. So, in other words, our President has decided to vote “present” on the Iranian crises. Surely, there is something in his past that could have predicted this, right?

  8. The protesters have already been branded US puppets by the regime, so President Obama has nothing to lose by affirming American support for a truly (as opposed to “Islamic”) republican government in Iran. The most damning criticism I have read is that the past week of prevarication has been a repeat of Bush 41’s overcautious approach when the Berlin Wall came down.

  9. Mr. Macker,

    We don’t have to send in U.S. troops or weapons to be in one voice in support of the Iranians fighting for freedom and democracy.

    Words matter. They mattered when Reagan uttered the phrase “tear down this wall.” They mattered when the Pope John Paul (and Reagan and Thatcher) gave speeches in solidarity with Polish protesters led by Lech Waleska. Those speeches and broadcasts on Air America matter in the outcome.

    When Iranians are desperately shouting the words “HELP!” with the specific request not to recognize the current government, that is a plea we must acknowledge and support. That is NOT too much to ask of us.

    Oh, and if you have a Twitter account, you can help the protesters by changing your timezone to GMT +3:30 and your location as “Tehran.” It helps by making it more difficult for the security police in Iran to track down and close IPs of the protesters, by saturating the database with thousands of “Iranians”: “We’re all Iranians now.”

  10. Those 3 AM phone calls are starting to come thick and fast. Hillary was right that Obama would not be ready for them. That’s about the only thing she was right about, but it’s more than Obama was. Obama wanted the job of making decisions about the foreign and defense policies of the USA. Now that he has it, he cannot vote “Present” and get away with it. Those are his most importatn tasks in that job, not trying to erect an unaffordable welfare state in which the Nanny State does for everybody what they ought to do for themselves.

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