Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It’s Just his Thesaurus Talking

Following a link supplied by Rich Lowry of National Review Online, led me to this op-ed by Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post. Rich quotes and comments as follows:

“But the president and his advisers still have not adjusted policies and tactics being overtaken by events. This is clear both from the initial "caught in the headlights" reaction by Obama as he temporized — albeit with steely skill— and from accounts of diplomatic and other official sources here."

He goes on to make this point:

"The administration's words suggest Obama is caught in a political version of the theory of relativity — that he moves along a predetermined course that prevents him from seeing the new situation in Tehran exactly as it occurs. He clings to the pre-election paramount goal of keeping alive the chances for a nuclear deal with any government in Tehran.

Focusing now, and narrowly, on obtaining the highly improbable nuclear accord neglects the moral and historical dimensions of mass protest in authoritarian societies such as Iran's that are vulnerable to new communications technology. Such moments release a moral energy in once-submissive populations that rulers must crush, accommodate or yield to. Whatever their ultimate choice — crushing is clearly the initial one — the ayatollahs will never be the same.”

Although the purple prose of “steely skill” is laughable, one finds Hoagland’s opening sentence even more suspect.

“The most serious challenge that Iran's Islamic rulers have ever faced caught President Obama and many European leaders by surprise.”

We have become so accustomed to seeing every middle-eastern nation portrayed as being barely removed from the Stone Age that we fail to recognize that advances in technology and awareness of political reality are actually present in those country’s peoples. The most casual observer of the scene would recognize that thirty million votes counted in under an hour are symptomatic of electoral chicanery. It is doubtful that either the above mentioned leaders or—more important—their intelligence services were in the least surprised.

In greater clarity, Hoagland submits: “Such moments release a moral energy in once-submissive populations that rulers must crush, accommodate or yield to.” On the streets of Iran’s major cities this is demonstrated by young men and women facing well armed goons in Kevlar and helmets with rocks. The current death toll, measured now in teens, will no doubt either accelerate dramatically or be reduced to zero except for those who would be slain in the aftermath for their prior efforts. They are trying to overcome the tyranny of an oppressive regime with the most fundamental of weapons.

In Gen 4:8, we read of the most celebrated slaying known that was accomplished not with an AK-47, a grenade, or an IED, but with whatever was at hand; club, bare hands, a primitive tool, or, a rock. The Bible doesn’t specify the device. It does continue with Cain’s ill considered retort to God; “Am I my brother’s keeper?” The essence of this rude response can be seen in the administration’s remarks concerning the uprising in the streets of Iran.

He (Obama) is right in understanding that trading one despot for another is unproductive. However, trading one’s life for the freedom and liberty of one’s people is a concept which all true Americans should easily understand. Our history is replete with examples of those who have sacrificed all for that principle. It is often ignored by those who are driven by the quest for power alone and at their personal peril.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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