President Pantywaist latest: Iran unclenches its fist - to slap Barack Obama's face
Posted By: Gerald Warner at Jun 19, 2009 Telegraph
"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist." That piece of classic Obamaguff, unloaded during his presidential inauguration, has come home to haunt President Pantywaist, as a consequence of the Iranian election.
Today Iran unclenched its fist - to slap President Pantywaist on the face. It seems, despite the chiding from Barack Obama, that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad feel quite comfortable on the wrong side of history. At Friday prayers - accompanied by encouragingly reformist shouts of "Death to America!" - the Supreme Leader (Khamenei, not Obama) delivered the most intransigently authoritarian speech heard in Iran since the reign of Cyrus the Great.
From behind the stage set on which Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mir-Hossein Mousavi have been acting as surrogates for the real power struggle between Khamemei and Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the Supreme Leader injected a note of politically incorrect reality into the fantasy conjured by Obama and the Western media. The Basij militia will be unleashed on protesters. "If there is any bloodshed, leaders of the protests will be held directly responsible," announced the Ayatollah.
"Make my day!" is the American translation of this uncompromising challenge, to America as well as to the youthful protesters, by a regime emboldened by the patent weakness of President Pantywaist. Americans should realise, having undergone the Vietnam experience, that in the final analysis power does not depend on military hardware but on political will. The Islamic republic is not short of political will.
It could be, of course, that the threat of the Basij militia will turn out to be no more potent than the parading of the Shah's 'Immortals' of the Imperial Guard, shortly before they were annihilated and that a revolution will sweep aside the mullahs. But it does not seem likely. The auguries are not of revolution, but of either civil war or acquiescence by the reformers. Regime change will not be uncontested.
For America and the rest of the world, Iranian nuclear development is the supreme consideration. How many of those superficially Americanised young Iranians, so active on Twitter, does Obama think want to see their country stripped of the prestige of being a potential nuclear power, especially when Pakistan is already in the club?
This is a lose/lose situation for Obama. He is as flaky on Iran as on everything else. In 2004 he favoured "surgical" missile strikes against Iran. In 2007 he did not rule out force, but preferred "aggressive diplomacy combined with tough sanctions" - but that was for the ears of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Since he moved address from Chicago to Washington, his stance has become more nuanced (ie he hasn't a clue what to do).
He is trying to steer a course between appeasement and rhetoric about the Iranian "threat", while knowing he may eventually have to knuckle down and accept a nuclear Islamic republic, since Barack doesn't do war. If the Israelis do the job for him, that will be ten times more provocative in Middle Eastern terms. Look forward to change you'd better believe in.