Barack Obama says he doesn’t want to “meddle” in Iranian affairs, and he revives the memory of the CIA’s role in the 1953 coup against Iranian leader Mohammad Mossadeq to explain his unwillingness to meddle.
Okay. Then how about a simple Reaganesque statement. One that says: “The United States government and the American people stand with those who want democracy in Iran.” Period!
Would that be too much “meddling”?
The president did manage to say that “”When I see violence directed at peaceful protestors, when I see peaceful dissent being suppressed, wherever that takes place, it is of concern to me and it’s of concern to the American people.”
This is not enough. The brave souls who protest for democracy — whether it was in the old Soviet Union or in Iran today — need to know that they are not alone. They need to know they have friends who will speak up for them in strong no-nonsense language. They need to know that they have American friends.
President Obama is fond of talking about American values. Here is his chance to send a clear message to both the demonstrators and the mullahs who oppress them: There is no higher American value than the right to live as free people. If the mullahs see that as meddling, that’s a problem the mullahs will have to live with. If President Obama sees that as meddling, then that’s our problem.
What we need now from our president is not soft words of “concern.” We need moral clarity.