Weenie diplomacy now out?

posted at 12:57 pm on June 24, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Less than 24 hours after Barack Obama insisted that an invite to America’s July 4th celebrations remained open to Iranian diplomats, the State Department has begun to realize what a bad idea it truly is.  According to CNN, “senior administration officials” will rethink the invite, which has been widely derided as “hot dog” or — even better and more descriptively — “weenie diplomacy” (via Jim Geraghty, Yid with Lid):

The Obama administration is seriously considering not extending invitations to Iranian diplomats for July 4 celebrations overseas, senior administration officials tell CNN.

The officials said intense discussions on the issue were taking place, but the final decision had not been made.

Late last month the State Department sent a cable to its embassies and consulates worldwide informing them they “may invite representatives from the government of Iran” to their July 4th celebrations. …

But officials said the violence against protesters that has ensued since the June 12 election has caused the administration to rethink the timing of such engagement.

One senior administration official said Wednesday the reconsideration of the July 4th invitations is consistent with Obama’s comments Tuesday, in which he said he was “shocked and appalled” at the violence against demonstrators.

What took State and the White House so long?  Perhaps the widespread disgust over Obama’s answer on weenie diplomacy yesterday had something to do with it:

Q    Are Iranian diplomats still welcome at the embassy on the Fourth of July, sir?

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think as you’re aware, Major, we don’t have formal diplomatic relations with — we don’t have formal diplomatic relations with Iran. I think that we have said that if Iran chooses a path that abides by international norms and principles, then we are interested in healing some of the wounds of 30 years, in terms of U.S.-Iranian relations. But that is a choice that the Iranians are going to have to make.

Besides, what Independence Day values would the Iranian regime want to celebrate with us?  Freedom of speech?  Freedom of religion?  The freedom to peaceably assemble or petition government for a redress of grievances?  Obama himself insists that he’s supporting these, while inviting the same regime that explicitly opposes them to celebrate our freedoms.

That’s not a choice that Iranians make, Mr. President, but a choice the oppressive regime makes for them.  We should be ashamed of ourselves for inviting them to celebrate those freedoms while they deny them to their own people.  The fact that it’s taken this long to just get it reconsidered is simply shameful.


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