October 27, 2008

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE BLOT YOU CAN SEE WHATEVER YOU WANT:

Obama And Iran (Reihan Salam 10.27.08, Forbes)

So what can the next president do? The most important step would be to launch a comprehensive campaign on behalf of Iranian political prisoners and independent labor unions and student groups.

For John McCain, who is seen as too eager to go for the military option first, this would be a good way to present a kinder and gentler face to the world. Because Barack Obama has been critical of the Bush Administration for being too hawkish, there is a danger that he might be seen as too accommodating. What better way to disabuse Tehran of the notion that an Obama White House will be weak than to use his bully pulpit and extraordinary international popularity to stand up for human rights in Iran? Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union could champion Iranian workers just as Lane Kirkland championed Solidarity in Poland. Obama could turn the pro-democracy intellectual Akbar Ganji, who refused to meet George W. Bush as an act of protest against the Iraq War, into a figure as celebrated as Lech Walesa and Nelson Mandela, and a rallying point for Iran's democratic opposition.

Many Obamaphiles think of their man as the left's answer to Ronald Reagan, a charismatic figure who can change the direction of the country for the better. What better way for Obama to take up the Reagan mantle than to help sweep Iran's evil regime into the dustbin of history? That would be an accomplishment even die-hard conservatives couldn't help but admire.


Instead he's offered to meet their crazy president without any pre-conditions.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 27, 2008 10:17 PM
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