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Talk to the Hand

June 24, 2009

Although President Obama for the first time used the word “condemn” in his statement on Iran yesterday, his position towards the Iranian regime is one that even fails a simple test of logic. Never mind that ‘bearing witness’ to the atrocities going on in Tehran’s streets is nothing more than a euphemism for ‘standing idly by’, Obama’s pseudo-threat about how ‘isolated’ Iran’s government is going to be if they continue being the way they are is obviously empty.

First of all Iran’s government doesn’t appear to be particularly concerned about not being liked by the ‘international community’. But even if that were a false impression Obama doesn’t give them reason to believe that there is anything they could do that would make him not seek diplomatic engagement with them. Consider Obama’s shameful reluctance to back the pro-democracy protests by the Iranian people precisely because he hoped to preserve the possibility for talks. And then there is the fact that the Obama administration has sent a letter to Khamenei (albeit before the election) seeking warmer relations. (Funny how that didn’t make the ayatollah let Moussavi win the election – or at least make Ahmadinejad win by a thinner margin as a sign of goodwill to Obama.) We also know that the invitation of Iranian diplomats to 4th of July celebrations in US embassies is still standing – even if no one from the administration dares to clearly speak this out.

To summarise, Obama wants to “bear witness” to the assassination of peaceful demonstrators demanding fair elections, sends “Let’s meet” letters to Ali “The protests are staged by Westerners and Zionists” Khamenei and invites Iranian government officials to barbecue while Moussavi supporters are pulled out of their beds at night to vanish in prison. But what is your problem?, you ask, evidently Obama was aware of the real nature of the Iranian Republic even long before the “election” and his wanting to build diplomatic relationships with such a monstrous regime wearing a mask as well as after it has lost the mask is reasonably consistent. Oh oui, the French Cowboy says, that is correct. It is like the broken watch that shows the right time twice a day – only that this watch’s hands manage to never show the right time at all.

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