Yes we can….maybe
Once upon a time when I was in grad school, I was given the nickname “Fred the Red”. My ideological roots were on the far left. Over the years I drifted to the center, and parted ways with many of my friends who continued to hold steadfastly and often blindly to the leftist inclinations of their youth.
I still favor the Liberals (the Democrats if I were an American citizen), although I have opted out in the past few elections. I found the Liberals, like their Democrat counterparts in the U.S., to suffer two serious flaws. They seek power (who doesn’t in politics) largely for the sake of power. They have not come up with any good reason to vote for them. Second, despite not having any vision and meaningful policy platform, the Liberals, like all who are on the left, believe they are morally superior and smarter than everyone else. Whatever policies dribble out from them are generally paternalistic — liberals/lefties know what is best for everyone.
The Democrats are no better! I was apprehensive therefore when Barack Obama became president. As a life long supporter of civil rights and human rights in general, I was thrilled with his ascendancy to the top. However, I had no idea, and still do not, what he really stands for. Even though he likely will win the 2012 election because of the fortuitous timing of the recovery — much like Bill Clinton in the 1990s — he might end up with a legacy similar to that of Clinton: Paradise Lost. Both are brilliant men with enormous potential, but they appear to have stood for little and accomplished even less.
Let’s consider the president’s actions thus far with respect to Iran. He has given several wonderful speeches on human rights and freedoms. Yet, thus far he has followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and done nothing in support of these (with the possible exception of Bush and Iraq). Yes these are superb ideals, but not necessarily for others, especially where the strategic interests of the U.S. (whatever these might be — the State Department always has been quite obtuse in defining these interests) conflict with a change in regime elsewhere and the promotion of these rights and freedoms.
The president had the opportunity to stand up for these ideals, and show his commitment. But he failed. Instead of taking on the regime in Iran by unequivocally standing with the pro-democracy groups, he chose to stand on the sidelines (as did most other liberals and lefties of high principles). Even today he suffers from the delusion that the Government of Iran will ever negotiate in good faith. Obviously, the White House has sided with the State bureaucrats and overruled Secretary of State Clinton. Ironically, George Bush (number 43) likely would have stood up to the regime and sided with the pro-democracy groups.
Obama should have stood up to the regime and emphatically given his support to the Iranians who are tired of corruption, zealotry and a totalitarian state ( a legacy on Jimmy Carter and the State Department of his day). He should have backed his support with unilateral sanctions. No U.S. company or any foreign company doing any type of business in the U.S. or with any U.S. companies should be permitted to have any dealings, directly or indirectly, with Iran. The threat and the ability to act upon it, especially with foreign companies operating in the U.S., would put dramatic pressure not only on Iran, and encourage the protesters, but also on the weak-kneed and hypocritical “allies” of the United States.
Yes, he could, but he alas, he didn’t!