Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Does Iran = USSR?

Recently, a number of GOP leaders, most significantly Senator John McCain, have argued that Obama has been too quiet in his support of the Iranian protesters. A common meme is that Obama should speak out against the Iranian regime and for the protesters in the way that Ronald Reagan spoke out against the Soviets and for revolutionaries in Poland. [Note - McCain also credited Reagan with speaking out against the USSR and for the revolutionaries in Czechoslovakia during the Prague Spring in 1968. Of course, Reagan was still early in his first term as California governor in 1968. Clearly the solution to the Iranian crisis is for Arnold Schwarzenegger to say something]. Do these people not understand the difference between foreign occupation and internal revolution? Oh wait. Well, anyway, in case it needs to be spelled for them: The Soviet Union dominated Eastern Europe from without (regardless of what Gerald Ford said). The Iranians were originally not fighting for the ouster of a regime. They were originally fighting for a "fair" vote (to the extent a vote can be fair when hundreds of potential candidates cannot run because of an oligarchical decision). They only started yelling "Down with Khameni" after it became clear the regime was engaging in a coup. Obama then came out for the safety of the people, and a fair resolution, and against the regime's actions.

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