Scarcely did we have time to absorb the full import of Barack Obama becoming — in the portentous phrase that has been all over the news — “the first sitting president to appear on the Jay Leno show.” And now here he is in a White House video wishing happy new year to “the people and leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Maybe President Obama should have put the two together, and wished Iran happy new year, or Nowruz, from the set of the Jay Leno show instead of the White House. At least that might have left the mullahs wondering if this was just some oddball American attempt at humor.
As it is, Obama has just presented himself as the personification of Hillary’s toy “Reset” button, given to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier this month. That has almost certainly provided the Russians with a few chuckles — and not just because of the mistranslation that went with it.
Seriously, as foreign policy, Obama’s latest is not only nuts, but dangerous. Obama speaks as if he were campaigning in Peoria. The cadences are those of the Hope-and-Change stump: “The promise of a new day, the promise of opportunity for our children, security for our families, progress for our communities, and peace between nations…shared hopes… common dreams.”
Had Obama limited his salutation to the people of Iran, fair enough. But he blew right past them when he also addressed “the leaders” — who are apparently to be included in the new Iranian happy land he envisions. How does that compute? The folks ruling Iran are not exactly leaders. They are messianic and ruthless rulers. They are subscribers to a totalitarian system that leads the world in juvenile executions. They train and support terrorist groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which teach children to aspire to the “opportunity” to become suicide bombers. Their idea of peace and community progress does not extend to a world in which anyone disagrees with their edicts.
The leaders of Iran punish dissent among their people with methods heavy on imprisonment, torture and death. On Wednesday, a day before Obama launched his Nowruz video, a 29-year-old Iranian blogger reportedly died in Iran’s notorious Evin prison. His name was Omid Mirsayafi, and the BBC reports that he was jailed for the act of “insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other clerics.”