Can Any Good Come from the Iranian Election?

There’s reason to believe that our national security in the United States will be stronger if Ahmadinejad emerges, as expected, the “victor” of Iran’s recent “election.” It doesn’t matter that Ahmadinejad’s opponent may be more “moderate.”

I believe this for one reason only. The United States president, Barack Obama, is too easily anesthetized by sweet-sounding shibboleths uttered by the most sinister of “world leaders.” We’ve seen his bizarre deference to Ahmadinejad already. That’s bad news for America. But with all the talk of the moderate politics of Ahmadinejad’s opponent (whoever he is), the presidential slumber factor would increase and things would be worse.

We have to wonder, what does “moderate” mean in comparison with Ahmadinejad? If Obama is asleep at the wheel with Ahmadinejad as the international face and presumptive leader of Iran, what sweet dreams will dance in Obama’s head if the “moderate” fellow “wins”?

Since becoming president in January, Obama’s conduct in relation to Iran has compromised the chances for democracy to grow in Iran.

Consider:

  1. Obama is flattered by the cajoling he imagines he receives from the current Iranian president. The freedom-craving people of Iran know this president to be friendly with Ahmadinejad, yet they despise Ahmadinejad. What will they think of America if their democratic revolution currently underway is not at least verbally supported by “the supreme leader” of the Free World?
  2. Obama has set a dangerous precedent for his dealings with Iran. He may have naively imagined that Ahmadinejad would fail in this election and believed that a more peace-loving, freedom-embracing regime would take over, thus leaving him the option of cajoling Ahmadinejad during an interim of temporary defiance from Iran. If so, Obama is pretty bad at reading the tea leaves. He will now be compelled to follow his previous course in dealing with a blowhard and a thug.
  3. We have taken one step back in our own affirmation of democracy by the representation we have received from our president in this desperate but opportune situation. If he doesn’t say so at times like this, how do we know that he believes in democracy?
  4. Obama has sedulously separated himself from a long-standing tradition of affirming freedom for Iran and called it “meddling.” In his infinite wisdom he thus condemns the policies of all past presidents, Republican and Democrat. Is that the kind of change “the people” really want?

In the transcript of yesterday’s Fox News “Special Report”, with panelists discussing Obama’s public comments about the Iranian election, Charles Krauthammer made this point:

He [Obama] is using an honorific [i.e., “the supreme leader] to apply to a man [Ahmadinejad] whose minions out there are breaking heads, shooting demonstrators, arresting students, shutting the press down, and basically trying to suppress a popular democratic revolution.

So he uses that honorific, and then says that this supreme leader — it indicates that he understand[s] that the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election. Deep concerns? There is a revolution in the street.

I believe Krauthammer was too gentle in his reproach when he said earlier in his comments, “I find the president’s reaction bordering on the bizarre.”

Many Americans believe that the president has passed on an opportunity to do great good in the pursuit of democracy where it is so desired. They believe this because they believe that Obama has mis-read the signals and intentions of the state of Iran. What should the same Americans think of the signals we are now receiving from our president? How should they respond?

If the American people conclude that the American president has been seduced by signs of obvious exploitation by Ahmadinejad, and has cratered to a heartless regime, then, by parity of reasoning, the American people should wonder what the president’s behavior signals. If his calculated action seems obviously naive and reckless, it makes sense to raise our voices loudly in support of a different policy.

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About Doug Geivett
University Professor; PhD in philosophy; author; conference speaker. Hobbies include motorcycling, travel, kayaking, sailing.

3 Responses to Can Any Good Come from the Iranian Election?

  1. Doug Geivett says:

    Hi, Raymond. Please define “right wing politics.” Please present evidence that the politics you define as right wing “has caused so much harm to America’s standing in the world in recent years.” Please explain what standing in the world you think America should have.

    “Kiss of death” for whom, Raymond?

    Raymond, you entertain only two options: Obama’s style of passivity, and Bush’s “in-your-face confrontational approach.” What evidence do you have that this was Bush’s style. Suppose it was; why do you think it’s the only alternative to Obama’s, and why do you conclude that I favor that approach? It doesn’t follow from anything I’ve written in my post.

    What do you think is the proper Christian perspective on geopolitical conflict that threatens the God-given rights of humanity?

    Just askin’.

    -Doug

    Like

  2. Raymond Chiu says:

    Professor Geivett seem to advocate more of the right wing politics that has caused so much harm to America’s standing in the world in recent years. We can argue for what is right and moral – that the Iranian people’s choice not be stolen through fraudulent means and even here there are effective ways and ineffective ways to do so. Professor Geivett seemed ignorant of the fact that any sign of American support for any politician or political interest in many foreign countries (especially in Muslim dominated ones) is the kiss of death. Professor Geivett seemed upset that President Obama had not taken the kind of former President Bush-like in-your-face confrontational approach to any foreign leader or political interest deemed not friendly or subservient to America’s interests as perceived by right wing politicians. Is this how Christians would deal with people who disagree with them or are Christian values only for family and friends and certainly not in political or secular affairs?

    Like

  3. Rich Bordner says:

    Good stuff…I’m tweeting this.

    Like

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