As I watch Phase Two of the Iranian Revolution unfold on television, a poignant thought occurs to me: this is the first struggle for freedom in history where the revolutionaries can not look to the United States for support.
I am sad for the people of Iran, but I am sadder still for our own country.
America is supposed to be an oasis of freedom in a world of war, oppression, poverty, and tyranny. As such, our leaders have a special burden to encourage freedom whenever it happens. In years past, our leaders overtly signaled to the hell holes of the world that we would support them as the green shoots of freedom burst through the oppression.
This summer, six months in office, President Obama went out to have ice cream while beautiful Neda was shot down in the streets of Tehran by Basij, the brutal paramilitary force that was beating back civilians protesting the outright fraud of the Iranian elections. He said that we would “bear witness” as those protesters risked their lives to send information via Twitter and Facebook and texts and pictures uploaded from mobile phones to show the West what was happening. Yes, we did bear witness, but President Obama waited nearly two weeks to utter even the most lukewarm statement in favor of the protesters.
The crowds settled down. At night, reports said, one could hear plaintive chants of “Death to the Dictator” shouted from rooftops. But America, bearing witness, simply turned off the channel.
Now the protests are gaining force again, and again the Basij is killing people in the streets.
In response to the attempted terror attack on Christmas Day flight, President Obama, from his vacation in Hawaii, tells us that we will not rest in the terror fight. Then he went back to his bodysurfing and mojitos. He has not said anything at all about Iran in days, even as the protests heat up.
President Obama is content to encourage stupid security measures, such as forbidding passengers from having anything in their laps the last hour of the flight. Fine, blow the plane out of the sky in the middle of the flight. Or in the beginning of the flight. Don’t use a blanket, use a big shirt – or even better, a burqua.
The stupidity of these tiny security theater gestures is matched only by the president’s belief that by “engaging” Iran, he will sway the mullahs to his point of view. What arrogance. What Obama will not do, the young people of Iran are doing themselves. Without America.
This is a huge loss for us. It is a quantum leap in the way America sees its role in the world. But it is exactly what President Obama wants. He wants us to not be seen as a beacon of light in a dark and dangerous world. He wants to bow to these tyrants and show them that we’re as humble as the people they rule.
If Iran overthrows its government, I will cheer from my living room.
If America overthrows its government, I will cheer from my living room.
Unlike our president, I am always, unconditionally, in favor of freedom.