The president’s response to the sentencing of Roxana Saberi—eight years in prison—is a testament to the power of Iranian blackmail and Obama’s own pigheaded refusal to understand the nature of our enemies. His “disappointment” in the mullahs’ action (echoed almost to the letter by Secretary of State Clinton) suggests that he hoped, maybe even expected, something better from them. And that, in turn, demonstrates a refusal to see Iran for what it is.
If I were Saberi’s Iranian-American father, I would be furious, and I would be inclined to call a press conference to say that, while it may be interesting to know the President’s state of mind, and even a bit sad that he is disappointed, American presidents are not paid to share their emotions with us. Among other things, they are paid to defend us from our enemies. He has manifestly failed to do this in the case of Roxana. I would ask the president very publicly, “are you going to do anything for my daughter or not? Never mind ‘I’m disappointed.’ What will you do for her, and for the other Americans in the grips of the mullahs? Or are you going to wait until there are dozens of American hostages in Iranian hands?”
I think it’s a bit inconsistent for the president to take credit for the liberation of Captain Phillips—through the use of overwhelming military power—and then limit himself to expressing disappointment at the brutal treatment of an American journalist. Why is Captain Phillips worth the deployment of the U.S. Navy, while Ms Saberi is barely worth a sigh of disappointment?
The answer seems to be: because the pirates weren’t Iranians. If they had been, the entire crew would be facing years in prison.
Obama is committed to the “talking cure” with Iran, and he seems destined to live through the humiliation to which his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, was subjected. He might go back and watch some of the old “Nightline” shows, beginning with a count of the number of days America was “held hostage.” That’s exactly where Obama is headed.
The president may well feel that this is all very unfair. He didn’t ask for this. Indeed, he thinks he has given Iran every reason to behave nicely towards him (he seems disinclined to think in terms of the nation, it’s all about him). He doesn’t seem to realize that all his sweet talk is very provocative, it plays into the mullahs’ fantasy world in which they are routing us all over the world (they know it’s all about us, not about him), and soon the American president will kneel to the Supreme Leader. He actually seems to believe that it is possible to convince the Iranian leaders to give up their nuclear program, when every major figure in the Islamic Republic has said that Iran will never, ever, abandon that program. The only thing they are willing to discuss is how we will accommodate to the fact of a nuclear Iran.
Meanwhile, their agents and proxies are killing Americans from Egypt and Saudi Arabia to Iraq and Afghanistan. And Obama does nothing in response, except to make gesture after gesture demonstrating his lack of will to confront those who have been killing Americans for thirty years.