Thursday, June 25, 2009
After years of longing for war against Iran, Sean Hannity and Fox News contributor John Bolton have developed a sudden affinity for the Iranian people. I'm sure it was just a coincidence that this newfound sensitivity dovetailed neatly into new opportunities to criticize President Obama, this time for not standing up forcefully enough on their behalf. Then, in an irony that seemed to be lost on the two chickenhawks, beat their chests with further bellicosity. Then, revealing an astounding arrogance, Bolton admitted the U.S. is not able to provide much assistance to the dissidents anyway. With video.
After calling Obama "timid" (a term that just happened to echo the GOP party line), Hannity said, "This president needs to learn a lesson from one of his predecessors." He played a clip of former President Reagan speaking out on behalf of dissidents in Poland.
Of course, there are huge differences between Iran and Poland. For one thing, the Polish government was a Soviet puppet regime, unlike the home-grown Iranian government. As Anonymous Liberal writes in a cogent blog post, "The puppet regime in Poland couldn't very well accuse the reformers of being the stooges of a foreign power because that's exactly what they themselves were." Furthermore, A.L. goes on to say, "Poland and the United States did not have the sort of antagonistic history that Iran and the United States have. Therefore, when Reagan expressed solidarity with the Polish reformers, it didn't undermine them politically. Iran is a totally different story. Iranians still resent the U.S. (and justifiably so) for its role in orchestrating the 1953 coup that removed Iran's democratically elected leader. In the 1980s, the United States actively supported Saddam Hussein's Iraq regime in the Iran-Iraq war, a war in which millions of Iranians were slaughtered. And our last president labeled Iran a charter member of the Axis of Evil. Suffice it to say, politicians in Iran aren't exactly tripping over themselves to secure the coveted United States endorsement. The last thing Mousavi and his supporters want is for the President of the United States to express his solidarity with their cause. That would play right in to Ahmadinejad's hands."
Indeed, one of Iran's most high-profile opposition clerics, Mohsen Kadivar, told The Daily Beast, "What Obama has done so far is about perfect... We don't need any special support from (the U.S.). The green movement for democracy and liberty in Iran is independent and we don't need anything from the foreigners. We should get democracy ourselves."
But that view was shut out on Hannity last night (6/22/09). I didn't see it on any other show on Fox News, either....(Remainder.)