Obama's "Reset" Video for Iran
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."
Just last week, reports emerged of the cargo impounded in Cyprus from a ship originating in Iran and bound for Syria, carrying (this is just the partial list produced by the Cypriot government and reported by the Wall Street Journal): 1,980 wooden cases of powder for 130 mm guns and 1,320 cases of powder and powder pellets for 125 mm guns, 60 barrels of 39 mm shells, 810 cases of propellant for 125 mm guns and eight cases of 120 mm mortar components ... plus three containers too heavy to move, which had not yet been searched. As Obama should know, since his own ambassador pointed it out to the UN Security Council last week, that's a slice of what's going on in the real world.
As for Iran's nuclear program -- Iran's regime is currently in breach of a stack of UN resolutions calling for Tehran to desist, and has spent years pursuing the wherewithal for nuclear weapon, despite U.S. sanctions, and more recently, U.N. sanctions. A report has now surfaced in Germany claiming that an Iranian defector, who in 2007 tipped off the West about Syria's secret nuclear reactor, asserted that Iran was financing the project. If true, that is huge news -- would Obama care to tell us more?
Obama in his message to the mullahs, mentions, delicately, that "For nearly three decades relations between our nations have been strained." ... Well, yes. Years of Iranian-backed terrorist guns and bombs killing Americans and our allies have put a strain on the relationship.
Will Iran's top tyrant Ali Khameini and his crew call off their secret police, international terrorist operations, missile projects, nuclear program, thug-state alliances and messianic Islamist campaign because Khamenei tunes in to Twitter and discovers that Obama has just wished him a happy new year?
More likely they will conclude that Obama's "Reset" is working neatly in their favor, and they may with greater impunity proceed on their course of "Death to Israel! Death to America!"
Obama in his video had a lot to say about our "common humanity," and -- as if he were addressing, say, the government of Finland -- dismissed "those who insist we be defined by our differences." There were echoes there of another statesman's remarks: "We are determined to continue our efforts to remove possible sources of difference, and thus to contribute to assure the peace... " That statesman, of course, was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, upon his return from Munich in 1938 -- and it can be found in the same statement in which Chamberlain promised "peace for our time."