After thirty years of brutal repression under a theocratic dictatorship, the Iranian people are finally taking to the streets to protest what many of them have always known – that their votes, like their lives, never mattered at all to their government. Millions of people are bravely ignoring threats from the regime to march in the streets vowing “Death to the Dictator” and asking “Where Is My Vote?” – and for every person in the street, there are many more just as angry, but too afraid to march. People around the world have taken to the streets in solidarity with the Iranian people. Both Houses of Congress have voted to condemn the Iranian government for their crackdown on protesters. And what do we hear from our precious, “historic” President? Some empty words. A quote from Martin Luther King.
Obama’s silence on this matter is the most shameful action (or, in this case, inaction) by the supposed Leader of the Free World since Jimmy Carter twiddled his thumbs while 52 Americans were held hostage for 444 days 30 years ago by the same group of terrorists now running Iran. “The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost,” Obama finally said. What kind of weak-kneed spineless platitude is that to offer people struggling to throw off not just a stolen election, but three decades of totalitarian rule? What would Obama have said at the Berlin Wall in Reagan’s place? I can only imagine it might have been “Mr. Gorbachev, some say that walls don’t always make good neighbors, but it’s not our place to meddle.”
The Iranian people are finally awake and demanding their rights, and the US government – once the greatest force for liberty and freedom in the world – is hitting the snooze button and rolling over for another ten minutes of sleep. Obama claims he is waiting to see what happens in Iran before “meddling.” In essence, Obama is still voting “present,” as he did during most of his short stint in the US Senate. Why is it acceptable to “meddle” with the inner politics of a democratic government like that of Israel, but not a dictatorship like Iran?
We’ve come a long way down from “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty” to “the last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States.” In counterpoint to Michelle Obama’s infamous statement during her husband’s campaign, for the first time in my adult life I think I am actually ashamed of my country. Or at least our President.
Joe Mariani is a computer consultant born and raised in New Jersey. He now lives in Pennsylvania, where the gun laws are less restrictive and taxes are lower. Joe always thought of himself as politically neutral until he saw how far left the left had really gone after 9/11. His essays and links to articles are available at https://guardianwatchblog.com