“All states have the right to urge Iran to respect human rights”

posted at 3:55 pm on June 18, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama faces growing criticism, even within his administration, over the weak response offered thus far to the Iranian protestors filling the streets and demanding democracy and accountability:

Even while supporting the president’s approach, senior members of the administration, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would like to strike a stronger tone in support of the protesters, administration officials said.

Other White House officials have counseled a more cautious approach, saying harsh criticism of the government or endorsement of the protests could have the paradoxical effect of discrediting the protesters and making them seem as if they were led by Americans. So far, Mr. Obama has largely followed that script, criticizing violence against the protesters, but saying that he does not want to be seen as meddling in Iranian domestic politics. …

But several administration officials acknowledged that Mr. Obama might run the risk of coming across on the wrong side of history at a potentially transformative moment in Iran.

Obama worries about alienating the oppressors while Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others worry about alienating the next generation of Iranian leadership:

The political unrest in Iran presents the Obama administration with a dilemma: keep quiet to pursue a nuclear deal with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, or heed calls to respond more supportively to the protesters there — and risk alienating the Shiite cleric.

President Obama and his advisers have struggled to strike the right tone, carefully calibrating positive messages about the protests in an effort to avoid giving the government in Tehran an excuse to portray the demonstrators as pro-American. Nevertheless, the Iranian Foreign Ministry yesterday summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents American interests in Tehran, to complain of “interventionist” comments by U.S. officials, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Even the Europeans appear to be frustrated by this pose of neutrality at a moment of opportunity.  Guess who wrote the following:

“However different the motivations are for the hundreds of thousands of people ignoring Iran’s ban on protests, one point is clear: The mass protests hinge on the accusation of electoral fraud, and that, in turn, is related to basic human rights. The Mullah regime’s retort that outsiders are meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state simply does not hold. Rather, all states have the right — and the responsibility — to urge Iran to respect human rights. That’s the theory, at least. …

[I]t is essential that governments of democratic states comment in the case of Iran. Experience shows that even regimes which appear to have cut themselves off internationally, are still affected by intervention regarding human rights. It is possible to trade with a country and retain an effective stance on human rights. The all-or-nothing point of view is not fruitful.”

Hint: It wasn’t the Right-leaning Telegraph in Britain.  Der Spiegel reprinted it from the left-leaning Tageszeitung in Germany.  The newspaper rips Chancellor Angela Merkel for the naiveté of her response, despite taking a much stronger stand than Obama:

“However, it can’t be said that the German government intervened diplomatically early-on in regards to Iran. The reaction of the security forces towards the demonstrators was, quite rightly, criticized in the international press. But the German chancellor’s reaction revealed an amusing degree of naivety when she demanded that the charges will be dealt with by the ‘relevant authorities,’ quickly and thoroughly. German Chancellor Angela Merkel clearly doesn’t want to know who is responsible within these ‘relevant authorities,’ namely the Iranian Guardian Council.”

That’s the same Guardian Council and Supreme Leader with whom Obama wants to maintain “credibility”.


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The wheels on the bus go round and round.

So much for the USA being the defender of the oppressed.

davidk on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Nube, doesn’t begin to describe this guy.

BobH on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

President Obama and his advisers have struggled to strike the right tone,

Reagan he ain’t.

Maquis on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

of course, why come out against something you’re not against?

BobH on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

In the presidents mind who are we to judge the evil of Iran hence the lame response as college students are massacred.

rob verdi on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Sooo… if Democrats don’t care about civil liberties and human rights as they claim (which is their only saving grace)

What do we have in power right now? People that aren’t conservative, hold right wing views, nor left wing views..

Yeesh… I’m in agreement with Maher on this point.

The White House is full of nothing more than Milquetoast robber barons…

Skywise on June 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Obama is a moral coward.

Maquis on June 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

That’s the same Guardian Council and Supreme Leader with whom Obama wants to maintain “credibility”.

If this guy has any credibility overseas at this point, we are really dealing with some stupid people.

Unfortunately, you don’t get to be a dictator or a tyrant, by being dumb or soft.

Even more unfortunately, you can become President of the US by being both.

NoDonkey on June 18, 2009 at 4:01 PM

Mama Obama..the first female president who stands for nothing.

Itchee Dryback on June 18, 2009 at 4:01 PM

The Obama “worm tongue” doctrine at work.

On one level its going to be amusing watching it blow up in his face.

elduende on June 18, 2009 at 4:02 PM

A regime that time and again has brutally cracked down on demonstrators, supports terrorism and calls for eleimination of a recognized nation can be expected to want to negotiate in good faith over its nuclear program. . . how, exactly?

Dear Leader’s narcissism knows no bounds if He thinks He can do what the Europeans haven’t been able to do for the last two administrations. And The One is perfectly willing to sell out a nascent democratic movement for such talks. Wouldn’t it be better to replace such a corrupt regime?

rbj on June 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM

What’s missing in that picture? Oh, right – moral compass.

Vashta.Nerada on June 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM

So much for the USA being the defender of the oppressed.

davidk on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Was thinking the other day how we have become a ‘follower nation’.

Health Care

Banking

Communism

If it’s been proven not to work elsewhere, well, it’s good for America!

cntrlfrk on June 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM

The tone being set by oboobie and his ilk is a death knell for hundreds, if not thousands, of Iranians

Ris4victory on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

The morally bankrupt will always suffer this way. He has no clue what the right thing to do is.

Patrick S on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Obama is a post-modern.

He rejects as absolute truth, that there is no Absolute Truth. as stupid as that is, its a popular view though in western culture, and contradictory.

Under this view of truth, it leads to relativism and in Obama’s case not wanting to “Judge” Iran

jp on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

The World: Mr. President, we await your words.

The President: Uh.

OhEssYouCowboys on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Our president is a wuss…

ladyingray on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

Barack Obama doesn’t care about other people.

bluelightbrigade on June 18, 2009 at 4:06 PM

Our president is a pwuss…

ladyingray on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

OhEssYouCowboys on June 18, 2009 at 4:08 PM

What could possibly be wrong with stealing an election?

How would that make a difference?

Isn’t that how it should be done?

Cinematicfilm on June 18, 2009 at 4:08 PM

Six months in and we’re on our knees.

I can’t wait to see what the next three and a half years hold.

myrenovations on June 18, 2009 at 4:09 PM

The only history that the “0″ wishes to make is to replace Neville Chamberlain in the books as the most foolish pacifist leader in the history of the western world.

chemman on June 18, 2009 at 4:10 PM

Perhaps Obama would speak up if an abortion doctor was killed in the riots…

revolutionismyname on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM

That’s the same Guardian Council and Supreme Leader with whom Obama wants to maintain “credibility”.

Obama is hoping to grab that title for himself. President just doesn’t sound powerful enough.

UltimateBob on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM

We don’t have a real president leading our country. We have a weak, junior senator who’s priorities are based only in celebrity ideals.

StockOption on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM

You haters, Ogabe has his popularity to think about, you know.

One wrong word and his standing in the minds of self-appointed, dictatorial, murderous, Islamic nutcases would suffer.

Bishop on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM

I’d like to hear where the teleprompter weighs in on this.

John the Libertarian on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Wow. Now leftists are for freedom for the Middle East!

kcluva on June 18, 2009 at 4:12 PM

I hear rumblings that Obama is letting the people Iran work out their revolution for themselves so Iranian leaders can’t come back saying that it was just fueled by the U.S.

Of course, condemning is a bit different than aiding and supplying.

I’m sick of this “We’ll just see how it turns out” attitude adopted by he and Biden (and Clinton for that matter) – like we’re waiting for a ref to call the pass an interception…

DrewbieDoo on June 18, 2009 at 4:13 PM

When is Obama going to get out and check the air in the tires of his DaBus before he gets caught under his own wheels?

CynicalOptimist on June 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Even while supporting the president’s approach, senior members of the administration, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would like to strike a stronger tone in support of the protesters, administration officials said.

Obama has made a blunder so great and so offensive that even Joe and Hillary have let the NYT know they disagree with him.

I bet Cabinet meetings will be interesting.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Obama worries about alienating the oppressors while Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and others worry about alienating the next generation of Iranian leadership:

Yes, let’s alienate the oppressors. I really don’t think it occurs to them that maybe they should try not to alienate the people of the country they claim to represent. Instead of Sleepless in Seattle, we get Clueless in Washington.

Beaglemom on June 18, 2009 at 4:14 PM

Obama, having been the recipient of an office due to a fraudulent election because of media and A.C.O.R.N., et. al., might not be too comfortable criticizing someone else’s fraudulent election?

Just thinking/typing out loud.

Branch Rickey on June 18, 2009 at 4:17 PM

I smell a Neville Chamberlain whenever an Obamama quote walks by. Why is that?

Branch Rickey on June 18, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Perhaps Obama would speak up if an abortion doctor was killed in the riots…

revolutionismyname on June 18, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Or if the mullahs were rabbis.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Or if the mullahs were rabbis.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:19 PM

That’s kinda funny.

JiangxiDad on June 18, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Just thinking/typing out loud.
Branch Rickey on June 18, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Enjoy it while you can, before Ogabe decides that the Fairness Doctrine will also apply to individual citizens.

Bishop on June 18, 2009 at 4:20 PM

At least we know where our rights come from…dictates from Ogabe.

daesleeper on June 18, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Or if the mullahs were rabbis.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Because the mullahs do look like rabbis :)

JiangxiDad on June 18, 2009 at 4:21 PM

The World: Mr. President, we await your words.

The President: Uh.

OhEssYouCowboys on June 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM

That’s it in a nutshell. :)

Tuning Spork on June 18, 2009 at 4:22 PM

So are you guys proud to be on the side of Biden and not Kissinger and Luger?

orange on June 18, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Barack Obama faces growing criticism

“Is it, uh, too late for another burger &, uh, fries photo op with my good buddy Joe?

Er, date night in New Yawk City anyone?

Anyone? Uh. Hello? Uh…

Oh, I know! If we, uh, inflate our tires, we can save just as much!

Come on guys! You, uh, loved that one on the, uh, campaign trail!”

Mr_Magoo on June 18, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Obama, having been the recipient of an office due to a fraudulent election because of media and A.C.O.R.N., et. al., might not be too comfortable criticizing someone else’s fraudulent election?

Just thinking/typing out loud.

Branch Rickey on June 18, 2009 at 4:17 PM

Nah. He has no trouble lying. He does it constantly.

I think he’s just being his natural self, an evil piece of sh*t attracting flies.

Daggett on June 18, 2009 at 4:24 PM

when will people wake up and finally realize this ass-clown and his cronies are a total joke of an admin!?

moonbatkiller on June 18, 2009 at 4:25 PM

He’s betting against freedom in Iran, is what he’s doing. Therefore, either way he loses.

B. Hussein Olooooser.

Akzed on June 18, 2009 at 4:25 PM

Ed, is THIS the crisis Joe was talking about where it would look at first like “he was doing the wrong thing”? (There are so many, I’m losing track.)

Mr_Magoo on June 18, 2009 at 4:26 PM

Because the mullahs do look like rabbis :)

JiangxiDad on June 18, 2009 at 4:21 PM

Well then, Obama is clearly not discriminating on outward appearances. Wonder what else it could be.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:26 PM

“My fellow Americans, and people around the world. The United States of America stands alongside the Iranian people who are raising their voices for freedom. We look forward to the day when Americans and Iranians can meet together as free men and women to negotiate and work with one another with mutual respect and admiration. We will continue to work in any way possible to help the Iranian people realize the dream of a free Iran. May God bless the Iranian people and may he continue to richly bless the United States of America.”

The statement that should be, but will not be, heard from the Oval Office.

jimmy2shoes on June 18, 2009 at 4:27 PM

President’s prescience = precident: present.

pfamis on June 18, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Or if the mullahs were rabbis.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Oh Rabbis – I thought you said Rabbits and then he would go all Jimmy Carter on their Arses!

batterup on June 18, 2009 at 4:29 PM

What’s missing in that picture? Oh, right – moral compass.

Vashta.Nerada on June 18, 2009 at 4:04 PM

Obama has wet his finger to feel the wind, and will go with the flow.

A smart, moral, gutsy President would sense a tipping point, and help push Iran over it.

The difference between a leader and a weathervane.

May God bless Iran and its people. They need it right now.

Steve Z on June 18, 2009 at 4:30 PM

So are you guys proud to be on the side of Biden and not Kissinger and Luger?

orange on June 18, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Unlike liberals, I’m proud to be on the side of Liberty and not Obama who appeases brutal tyrants and bows to foreign potentates.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 4:30 PM

President Obama and his advisers have struggled to strike the right tone,

Reagan he ain’t.

Maquis on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

I’m sorry but,don’t you EVER, EVER mention that limp wristed traitor in the same thread with a REAL patriot like Reagan!

Jeff from WI on June 18, 2009 at 4:36 PM

This neutral kindness and encouragement is reviled as weakness and is what will get us attacked. Remember Robert Steetham.

Reality Check on June 18, 2009 at 4:36 PM

It is becoming clearer everyday and now even some voters of Obama are seeing it too…………..

The One is WAY over his head, OR purposely destroying America.

kthomas8268 on June 18, 2009 at 4:42 PM

President Mamby Pamby…

Geo Soros must be on vacation, he hasn’t gotten his marching orders on how to handle the Iran situation…

reshas1 on June 18, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Nube, doesn’t begin to describe this guy.

BobH on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

…and empty.

The emperor has no clothes and no brain, not to mention his missing gonads.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Branch Rickey on June 18, 2009 at 4:17 PM

It’s also hard to condemn something that you are planning!

shamik on June 18, 2009 at 4:48 PM

I smell a Neville Chamberlain whenever an Obamama quote walks by. Why is that?

Branch Rickey on June 18, 2009 at 4:18 PM

It’s a sad state when the French are more churchillian than the Americans. The TOTUS is tongue-tied, when othertimes he can’t shut up, except to kill a fly, now and then, and even then he talks.

Schadenfreude on June 18, 2009 at 4:51 PM

OK Remind me again how this naive huckster got elected?

marklmail on June 18, 2009 at 5:08 PM

President Obama and his advisers have struggled to strike the right tone,

Reagan he ain’t.

Maquis on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

I’m sorry but,don’t you EVER, EVER mention that limp wristed traitor in the same thread with a REAL patriot like Reagan!

Jeff from WI on June 18, 2009 at 4:36 PM

Dear Jeff, as Maquis does, please remember that some of our Leftist readers are still at the Sesame Street level. So, for educational purposes, it’s important to do compare and contrast: Obama and Reagan.

One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn’t belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?

Did you guess which thing was not like the others?
Did you guess which thing just doesn’t belong?
If you guessed this one is not like the others,
Then you’re absolutely…right!

You see how easy it is?

When it comes to supporting Liberty, Obama doesn’t belong and Reagan is absolutely right.

Loxodonta on June 18, 2009 at 5:14 PM

Here’s a novel idea. How about speaking from the heart? Of course, maybe above his pay grade.

bloggless on June 18, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Silence is legally interpreted as acceptance.

Obama WANTS Iran to remain as it was during his POTUS campaign mainly because he believes in the Supreme Leader Khameini and Ahmadinejad, that he can sell the USA to them for what he wants to be, Der Weltkaiser; but also because he absolutely has no CONTINGENCY diplomatic plan regarding a liberated Iran. A liberated Iran might resemble something of Iran during the 1960s, friendly with the West, destabilizing Obama’s owner’s power manipulation plots. That may be unlikely, the more likely scenario being that a liberated Iran wouldn’t need any arrangements with Obama pro or con the USA.

maverick muse on June 18, 2009 at 5:19 PM

Just saw the 2009 version of Fred Garvin, Jeanne-Claude Kerri, on Wolfie’s daily O’bama love fest. He defended Dear Leader.

BTW, I understand Jeanne-Claude served in Cambodia under President-elect Dick Nixon.

For our clueless college kid readers, Fred Garvin was a character created by the great Dan Aykroyd back when Saturday Night Live was actually funny…

http://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/video/clips/fred-garvin-male-prostitute/278766/

Del Dolemonte on June 18, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Someone better tell John Kerry’s foreign policy team about this. They’re quite upset about “Conservatives” speaking out in favor of free and fair elections in Iran.

Les Gelb, Rand Beers, and Friends

These guys are also known as Council on Foreign Relations bigwigs.

The “realist” FP camp seems like a lonely bunch of nobodys right now.

gabriel sutherland on June 18, 2009 at 5:26 PM

“All states have the right to urge Iran to respect human rights”

Versus:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Methinks this is why the Iranian mullahs and islamofascists hate us.

Chaz706 on June 18, 2009 at 5:29 PM

For two terms Ronald Reagan fought communism and in the first year of his successors term the Soviet Union fell because those policies were continued. For two terms George Bush fought the Axis of evil in in the first year of his successors term Iran fell into crisis but so far his successor has failed to show any will to continue those policies. Will Iran’s theocracy fall or be allowed to strengthen it’s hold? What could history have been!

LifeTrek on June 18, 2009 at 5:37 PM

bloggless on June 18, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Without the TOTUS? Are you Crazy?

PappaMac on June 18, 2009 at 5:38 PM

Some of the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who remain neutral in a time of moral crisis.

fpenza on June 18, 2009 at 6:15 PM

We capture a lot of AK-47s and ammo in various places. What if we smuggled some of it into Iran?

njcommuter on June 18, 2009 at 6:29 PM

the POS has more to say about fox news than he does about iran.

homesickamerican on June 18, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Hey, but the O takes a hard line on house flies! Doesn’t that count for something?
/

Disturb the Universe on June 18, 2009 at 6:59 PM

Robert Gibbs discusses the issue with reporters.

Mr Snuggle Bunny on June 18, 2009 at 7:19 PM

the POS has more to say about fox news than he does about iran.

How utterly sad is that? Remember when America was a shining beacon of hope?

Pablo on June 18, 2009 at 7:19 PM

But several administration officials acknowledged that Mr. Obama might run the risk of coming across on the wrong side of history at a potentially transformative moment in Iran.

I basically said the same thing in a thread the other day…surely if I can understand the importance of this moment in history and the need for our president to do something (like lead!) then one would think Obambi would understand as well, however he won’t as his ego is too big for him to change tact because after all image is everything and he has to keep up the persona of being the all knowing, the end all, THE ONE!!

History will not be kind to Obambi on this matter for sure.

Liberty or Death on June 18, 2009 at 7:23 PM

Like the rest of his ilk, so far as Obama is concerned, the peace symbol is the footprint of the American chicken.

Speakup on June 18, 2009 at 8:00 PM

I strongly recommend the president spend more time watching Fox and less time with NBC, ABC, CBS. Perhaps he will be much more informed about current international events.

This is, after all, not a game of political “I Won”. This is for keeps. For real.

On a brighter note: Barack Obama can’t say he inherited this from George Bush…

TN Mom on June 18, 2009 at 9:14 PM

President TelePrompter didn’t have a problem standing up for the Union firefighters the other day; He dissed the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors because a UNION set a picket line at the conference. NO ONE from the White House showed up. Imagine, during the worst financial crisis since the 1930′s, the mayors got nothing.

Unless the people of Iran join a UNION or ACORN, they just don’t warrant a response from obama.

TN Mom on June 18, 2009 at 9:20 PM

of course, why come out against something you’re not against?

BobH on June 18, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Bingo!

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 18, 2009 at 9:35 PM

How dare they stand up to a fellow evil dictator. – Obama

darktood on June 18, 2009 at 11:18 PM

Unless the people of Iran join a UNION or ACORN, they just don’t warrant a response from obama.

TN Mom on June 18, 2009 at 9:20 PM

But, remember Lech Walesa and the Solidarity labor movement in Poland.

To say that all unions are corrupt is like saying all police take the billy club to those they apprehend because a few do.

Still, I agree with your assertion. A lot of these unions got too big for their britches long ago. Hopefully the rank and file will decide which they want more-jobs or to support highly paid union officials. Come to think of it, we as a population face a similar situation with our political leaders.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 18, 2009 at 11:55 PM

His mettle has been tested and found wanting.

shick on June 19, 2009 at 8:14 AM

Well , at the risk of sounding like a NUTBAR.
Obummer cannot call into quesion the Iranian elections.
He has no standing, if he opens that can of worms,
that will reopen the birth certificate issue all over again.

yea yea yea I know I am a NUTBAR , but it still makes me wonder if that is the reason.

ColdWarrior57 on June 19, 2009 at 11:41 AM