In the following video with Neil Cavuto of Fox News, John McCain (of Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran fame) admonishes President Obama for not being encouraging enough to the protestors in Iran.  Congress has passed a resolution condemning violence against the protestors. 

On the other hand, senior statemen like Henry Kissinger have come out praising President Obama and praising for his stance regarding Iran.  Kissinger and like-minded others feel that the United States is in no position to be meddling in the affairs of other sovereign nations. 

The Iran portion of the video goes from 00:00-5:10. (Then the topic changes to health care.)

Both the House and Senate Resolutions:

The House went first, voting 401-5 to adopt a measure (H Res 560) expressing “support for all Iranian citizens who struggle for freedom … condem[nation] of ongoing violence against demonstrators by the government of Iran … and affir[mation] of the universality of individual rights.”

The Senate later adopted by voice vote two measures (S Res 193; S Res 196) backing the protests and calling for free speech in Iran, respectively.

“The time has come for the United States Congress to speak out unequivocally in support of the fundamental right of the Iranian people to determine their future for themselves in freedom,” Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., in a joint statement. “With this resolution, the Senate joined with our colleagues in the House of Representatives to affirm our shared commitment to the universal values of democracy, human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law, and to condemn the unacceptable violence against the peaceful demonstrators taking place in Iran.”

How do you feel? Should Obama have been more forceful from the beginning in defense of the protestors, especially with strong evidence that the democratic process had been tampered with?

Is Senator McCain right about the U.S. showing more support for the protesting Iranians? Should the President speak only about the civil rights issue of peaceful protest and the human rights issue of allowing protest without violence from the government?


26 Thoughts to “Is Obama on the Right Track About Iran?”

  1. Witness Too

    I respect McCain but I don’t know what he’s trying to do there. The defining moment in 20th century Iran was a coup secretly engineered by the US CIA. The politics over there are such that the theocratic dictator would be only too happy to have definitive proof that the US is meddling again, and the protesters are being spurred on by “foreign governments!” You know how that phrase can cause people to lose their heads in this country.

    Far be it from me to agree with Kissinger, but he’s right on this one. I liked Obama’s statement, which was speaking on behalf of the international community, urging the theocrat to respect the human rights of his people.

  2. Rebecca

    Considering we are engaged in war with 2 of Iran’s neighbors and have called the country part of the Axis of Evil, it makes sense to just sit back and let Iran handle its own rebellion at this point. I think Obama is spot on!

  3. Poor Richard

    I agree with Witness Too. Think what would have “support” from Iran’s
    rulers just prior to the 2008 election meant for Obama? It
    might have cost him the presidency. They loath us even more
    than we loath them. Most of the action/words in Congress have
    been self-serving blather for domestic political consumption

    We must remember this is primarily about Iran, not us.
    It would be wise to ask what the opposition leaders want us to do
    – what would be most helpful for THEM?

    May the God of Abraham give them joy and peace.

  4. Moon-howler

    Well put, Poor Richard.

    I feel certain that Pres. Obama is also getting information we aren’t and he is doing what he thinks is best. And right now, the human rights are the most important thing.

  5. Second-Alamo

    As far as not meddling in the affairs of a sovereign nation, perhaps he should tell Mexico where to go. Besides that it is a commendable stance………unless. Consider your neighbor’s kids want to be gang members, and are trying to by a bunch of guns. Should you not meddle in your neighbor’s affairs? If a sovereign nation (the old Soviet Union comes to mind) is preparing to do something that may threaten the safety of our nation, then by all means we should meddle in their affairs. We sort of ‘meddled’ in the affairs of Germany and Japan during WWII, and that seemed to work to our advantage!

  6. Marie

    I think President Obama made it perfectly clear where the US stood when he gave his speech in Egypt. Poor Richard said it well when he said “We must remember this is primarily about Iran, not us.”

  7. Poor Richard

    “… it’s true that if the United States government embraced the
    courageous partisans of Iran’s opposition too warmly, it could
    discredit them and create a rationale for the repression their
    foes hoped to unleash anyway. … Obama’s initial caution served
    the interest of freedom by making clear that the revolt against
    Iran’s flawed election is homegrown (but) as the struggle
    continues, we cannot pretend that we are indifferent to the
    E.J. Dionne
    (WaPo op/ed 6-22-2009)

    When they have been part of the “Axis of Evil” to us and we the
    “Great Satan” to them, it is hard to have any positive impact
    and we must use great care, skill and understanding of their
    needs – not just ours. It is a time for John “Bomb, Bomb Iran”
    McCain and his right-wing GOP pals to stand down on this one.

  8. rod2155

    Here’s a question to reflect on…

    Are Americans to only people in the world with the power to bring freedom through revolution, or is that ability in the hands of all humans?

    I’m not a full expert on Persian culture (you could study them for a lifetime and still never understand them) but I do know enough to say that Yes the Iranians want a free country and all the prosperity that comes with it and NO they do not want or need any help from the West.

    Obama is doing about all he can and should on thsi issue. Iranians calling for Democracy and Freedom on their own, without the pandering of the U.S. in the background, will drive home the point to the devided leadership of Iran that freedom is the will of the Persian people, not of the west. Military leaders may switch sides giving Rafsanjani the force needed to oust Khamenei and ultimatly Achmadenijad.

    The best thing for America to do is to let human nature take it’s course…it’s not like we are in a position to fight on a 3rd front right now and believe me, nothing will unite Iran behind fascisism faster than American airstrikes.

  9. Poor Richard

    Good points, but note that America eventually needed the
    help of France to win independence. Of course, at the start
    of our war, almost all colonial leaders considered themselves
    loyal subjects of England and felt they were only asserting their
    rights as English citizens, not seeking rebellion. Plus
    we disliked and feared France from the French and Indian wars.
    Early on, any French “fishing in troubled waters” would have
    horrified most colonials. It was only later, when we asked them
    for help, did they come to our aid. (Not sure how germane this
    is to Iran in 2009, but FYI anyway).
    And you are 100% right, we don’t need a 3rd front – and
    even if that spot comes up, North Korea has staked a claim on it.

  10. Moon-howler

    SA, we get a lot of oil from Mexico as well as Canada. I think we need to evaluate Mexico in terms other than just immigration.

    I agree with Poor Richard in general about the right wingers standing down.

    Let’s try it someone else’s way for a way. Whatever has been happening the past 8 years isn’t working out so well.

  11. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Honestly, I think Obama’s doing fine with this one. I’m hearing a log about what Reagan did with the iron curtain, but if we’re all honest with each other, Obama is not Reagan and I wouldn’t expect him to have the same approach. I guess I’m with Ron Paul on this one…I don’t know enough about what is really going on in Iran to stick my nose in. I’ve heard just as many good reasons from interviewed Iranians to butt out as to butt in. So I wish Republicans would leave this issue alone to bash Obama. There are so many good reasons to fight Obama, and this just isn’t one that most folks are going to relate to. But as always, I could be wrong!

  12. rod2155

    @Poor Richard
    The French factor was on my mind, but the circumstances of today are not the same. Iran in not occupied, the people are rebelling against the current regime. It even appears the majority of the protestors do not want a new constitution, they want the government to return to the principals set fourth in their currently existing constitution which was founded after the 1979 revolution.

    I see now the Shah’s son is now trying to intervene which will cause problems. Iran is a troubled place.

    1. There is a contingent of people who want to go back to the Shah’s ultra secular style of Government which they contend was less opressive than the Islamic Republic and more prosperious.

    2. There are many people who believe in the Islamic Republic, but claim the President and Supreme leader are corrupt and need to be replaced.

    3. There are people who are satisfied with the current government that see this as social instability funded by the West to gain control over Iran’s Resources.

    4. There are bunches of splinter groups in exile who say Islam is the occupier of Iran and it should revert to a secular, communist or zoroastrian based society.

    Not to mention that indeed Russia, China and the U.S. would love to sink their teeth into that huge stockpile of oil and Natural Gas. The U.S. and the U.K. through their past efforts to gain control of the country, forced the abdication of one Shah in 1941 and the covert overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister by the C.I.A in 1953 in order to keep the Dictator in power. This resulted ultimatly in the Iranian revolution of 1979…out of vengence the U.S. backed Saddam Hussein in an effort to overthrow the government of Iran and take control of it’s oil resources again.

    It took a lot of ground at Arlington Cemetery to clean up that mess, and were still not done…how much are we willing to expand the cemetery more in order to fulfill corporate oil-lust?

    There are better things to die for than Iran, let nature take it’s course.

  13. Moon-howler

    And Slowpoke, what you just said above is one reason I have always liked and defended you, even in your darkest moments. You aren’t totally partisan. More importantly, you admit you are not an expert in foreign policy. (nor am I)

  14. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Well, I try to give the man credit where it’s due….I thought his Stem Cell policy was a rational one, too. Most of what I’ve heard from Iranians falls into two categories. One side says their signs are in English and not Farsi because they’re talking to us, looking to us for support. I’ve also heard Iranians interviewed who said this is not our business, and sticking our nose in would only give the mullahs (or the 1/3 of them) the excuse to blame the whole thing on us. I don’t get the feeling that this is a defining moment for Iran, and if it truly is, it’s gotta come from them, not from us. And this tendency of Republicans to take a non-issue and make it something huge really turns me off (and I bet I’m not the only one). I’m still mad about the fact that the American people made it clear (through polls) that we didn’t want our time and money wasted on Clinton’s impeachment, and they did it anyway. That was still on my mind when I voted for Jim Webb. And I have to say, I still like the guy, and will probably vote for him again!

  15. Moon-howler

    I can’t disagree with one think you have said Slowpoke. You are making me glad I put up a cartoon for you today. 😉

  16. kelly3406

    One can hardly criticize Obama for being prudent and cautious, but his failure to take a strong stand could be a missed opportunity. Obama is perhaps the only President since Ronald Reagan who can inspire the world with his outstanding communications skills. If he had spoken early on, Obama may have been able to force change in Iran with a “Mr Gorbachov, tear down this wall” moment.

  17. kelly3406

    Several have referred to CIA “meddling” in Iran nearly 60 years ago as a reason that the U.S. should not express strong support for the current uprising. I say that we should “meddle” because it is in the U.S. interest to do so. Since the Shah fell, the Iranians have taken Americans hostage, killed over 400 marines in Lebanon, supplied sophisticated IEDs that have killed 100s of GIs in Iraq, and continued development of a nuclear bomb. We should do everything possible to take down the Iranian regime, including financial support to the protesters, weapons to the Iranian Kurds, and overflight for the Israelis to take out Iranian nuclear facilities. Even if these measures fail, we will have bloodied the hands of the mullahs and shown them to be illegitimate rulers. Regardless of what action (or inaction) Obama chooses, the U.S. will likely have to go to war against the Iranians in the next 10 years.

  18. Moon-howler

    Clinton was also a great orator.

    Kelly I hope you are wrong about going to war with Iran. People have thought that for the past 30 years though.

    I am satisfied with how Obama is handling things now. This really is an internal matter. Nuclear weapons, IEDs etc are external matters and should be dealt with differently.

  19. rod2155

    So you fully supported Regan’s backing of the fascist dictator Saddam Hussein in 1980 in an effort to overthrow the popular revolution of the Iranian people against the dictator we had imposed on them in the first place?

  20. michael

    Not to take the thread in a different direction by what others want to talk about, but I listened to McCain’s entire interview in both Iran and Health care, and they are both highly related to the same fundamental problem.

    1. Groups aligning along political boundaries in the last 20 years in the US and throughout the world have caused two HUGE fundamental problems, A. Poverty B. Increased health care costs on the majority, by the minority group actions.

    2. Just in the US, a 28% increase in wealth, did not correspond to a decrease in poverty. WHY? A 28% increase in wealth, did not correspond to a decrease in health care costs. WHY? A 28% increase in wealth did not correspond to a decrease in terrorism. WHY?

    3. The answer is the same. The US has lost its ethics, lost its understanding of democracy and has increasingly divided into ethnic factions from around the world that advocate politically for their “fair share” and ethnic, religious, gender or racial dominance while oppressing all others. The result is the same, instability, poverty increase, and political turmoil.

    4. When people band together as a ethnic group, and as an “illegal” group, they undermine individual rights, individual freedoms and individual prosperity in favor of wealth re-distribution to the lowest income racial, illegal, or ethnic group. This was the root cause of the Bolshevik revolution, Maoism, Facism and all other “isims” of political ideology that undermined basic democratic principles and outcomes (destruction of nations).


    The rapid rise in health care costs is due to the rapid influx, increased poverty, and socialist political belief systems of “illegal” immigrants into this nation, 12 million now, 45 million over the past 25 years, have rapidly and without compensation to others (a sucking hole) used a resource for “free” that gives free health care to 12 million illegal immigrants, and some 45 million former illegal immigrants, that politically demand even more social services to be re-distributed wealth taken from 250 million people who pay large sums for health care, and whose insurance companies must pass the cost on to the people who pay their health premiums and companies who pay health premiums.

    IF THAT WAS NOT ENOUGH REASON TO DEPORT 12 million people who are here illegally, who are also undermining our democracy and replacing it with the “socialism or autocratic” ideologies of the rest of the world, we are going to pay 3 trillion dollars in health care government programs to reform “medicare and medicaid”, that will only help 30% of the currently 45 million (15 million people) un-insured people of POVERTY, who are mostly also working for small businesses, and are mostly here in the US illegally. We are going to give $5000.00 per person (75 billion dollars) to help 12 million “illegal” immigrants obtain government health care, medicare and medicaid, and 225 billion dollars to 45 million formerly illegal immigrants who are still low income because of their initial poveerty they entered the nation with, and pay 3.5 Trillion in debt to FINANCE it (by borrowing from China while they economically dominate us and take over the world in 15 years), ALL WHILE not giving a single dime of that $5000.000 of the 20,000 per year average cost of health care insurance to the 250 million people who currently are happy with their quality of health care, but upset at the cost of covering others who do not pay for insurance, because it costs too much to cover ALL 250 million people who have health care ($5 TRILLION dollars!), while lowering the QUALITY OF CARE to ALL, and COST OF CARE to only 12 million illegal immigrants who get health care for free in the US now.

    This is why democracy has been undermined, the “illegal” immigration and “ethnic group” political activists are forcing the government to do what is not in the best interests of ALL people, only the best interests of the “ruling socialist minority” political factions running the democratic party. This is why we have war in IRAN and IRAN and Afganistan, and POVERTY here in the US and an economic ruin of the US, that will only help China to become the next greatest world economic and military power.

  21. michael

    12 million illegal people and 45 miliion formerly illegal people can economically ruin a nation by saying “yes we can”.

  22. Emma

    I applaud Obama’s consistency. As long as we continue to overlook human-rights violations in China so that we can become further entrenched in debt to them, we should also turn a blind eye to abuses everywhere else. We don’t have a leg to stand on if we ignore some outrages while condemning others.

    I’ll give credit where it is due in this case: He’s doing exactly the right thing.

  23. Kelly3406

    Moon-howler :Clinton was also a great orator.
    Kelly I hope you are wrong about going to war with Iran. People have thought that for the past 30 years though.

    Clinton was a good speaker, but he never had the ability to change people’s minds. Reagan was able to convince Democrats to side with him on some important issues. Obama may also have that ability.

    I hope I am wrong going to war with Iran also. But our skirmishes with Iran appear to be increasingly frequent and deadly.

  24. Kelly3406

    rod2155 :@kelly3406 So you fully supported Regan’s backing of the fascist dictator Saddam Hussein in 1980 in an effort to overthrow the popular revolution of the Iranian people against the dictator we had imposed on them in the first place?

    At the time of Iraq’s initial invasion, I was not old enough to vote and was completely oblivious to what was going on. My primary interests were football and cheerleaders, not necessarily in that order.

    Having studied the history, it was Carter that basically okayed Saddam’s invasion. When the Iraqis looked like they were about to be overrun, Reagan decided that the Iranians could not be allowed to dominate the Middle East. As Iran has become ever more threatening during the last 20 years, it is hard to argue with that logic. In addition, it kept two brutal regimes engaged in a ferocious war of survival for eight years — in my book, that was not a bad outcome.

  25. Moon-howler

    kelly, I think you are underrating Clinton’s powers of persuassion. He had the ability to reach many people, both leaders and average joes internationally. That skill cannot be overlooked.

    I think Ronald Reagan has been put on too high of a pedestal. As long as the Democrats continue to drag out JFK and the Republicans drag out Ronald Reagan, we are too locked in the past. Both were flawed men with flawed adminstrations. Both have been credited with accomplishments that neither …accomplished.

  26. kelly3406

    I am not sure how relevant it is that Clinton could persuade foreigners to go along with him if he could not do the same for the American people.

    I agree that Reagan and his administration were flawed. Although I agreed with him at the time, one of his biggest mistakes was granting amnesty to illegal aliens.

    But Reagan has real accomplishments that cannot be discounted. He finished off the Soviet Union without firing a shot. He inspired many people to join the military as it was being rebuilt following Jimmy Carter and the Vietnam War.

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