20 June 2009
Why President Obama is Smart in Low-Key Iran Response
Photo of Iran Protest Poster by Gary Burge @ flickr
From Denny: Where do I begin? America has a long smutty history of over-involvement with Iran, like over-throwing their government in the past (1954) and installing our own puppet. That’s the big rub with the people of Iran against America. I doubt any American would appreciate an outside power coming here and suddenly telling us we were now going to do things their way or die.
Of course, around here all the yahoos with gun collections and ammunition shops would be out for blood to overthrow the oppressors. If such a dire situation came to America count me out there at the "tip of the spear" with the yahoos. Someone has to organize them and create a smarter idea and winning strategy than just charging down the hill at the opposition. :)
The President must remain low-key in his public response for the time being – until the Iranian regime begins the harsh crackdown. THEN you issue the public response to THEIR wrong-doing. For now it is best to work behind the scenes to help the opposition. One of my favorites was our government asking Twitter to move their 2 AM site maintenance to 2 PM our time so the Iranian protestors could have viable communication. Now that was smart!
Photo of harsh regime developing nuclear power by azrainman @ flickr
Wisdom vs. Missteps
There is a wise process of steps in this dance where one step must occur in proper order before the next step. The (Bush-Cheney-Rove) Republicans are notorious for missteps - and wrongly-timed steps - both in foreign policy and domestic issues.
Right now the (American) Republicans are pressing Obama to get public and spout their style of idiot irresponsible and damaging rhetoric. They hope to accomplish two things: one, to reassert Republican dominance (a legend in their own minds) and two, to get Obama’s words to backfire on himself (the Republicans are legendary on the forked tongue blowback).
The situation in Iran is going to continue to foment until the current regime backs off and gets smart (which, of course, dictators rarely do). If they had an ounce of sense they would do a vote re-count, allow Moussavi (pronounced Moose-ah-vee) to come into power and then order him around like they do the current puppet. But no one said these guys are smart or wise.
Why a Low-Key Obama Response
Why does Obama need to remain low-key on his response? Here’s why: If America is perceived as meddling even a little bit publicly it can touch off a firestorm in Iran and throughout the Middle East. What firestorm? The firestorm of unity is where the Iranians will forget all about their rage against the current dictator and rally against America, an historical outside threat. Pretty much the idea of “we hate him but you can’t tell us what to do.” People always rally around their own as opposed to an outside culture no matter how odious their own leaders prove to be. The President avoids that scenario coming into mob reality if he remains quiet or tepid in response.
Foolish Analysts Get People Killed
Too many analysts, politicians and American media complain that President Obama is missing a golden moment to stand up for America. They also complain he is not vocal enough to declare America’s opinion, like that really matters to the world. These analysts and Republican politicians seem to be oblivious to the fact that this current Iranian Revolution is not "all about us" (America).
Too many of these so-called "analysts" have no people skills, don't even like other people and really don't care about other people. The end result is that their oracle predictions and strategies are always wrong. If you don't like or care about other people then you are too immature and incapable of understanding them from the inside out to accurately predict their actions.
As usual, most of the media guys are trying to look at a foreign country through the limited prism of the American mindset that doesn't study world history; we don't even read or study our own young country's history. I call it clueless. We think by reciting a series of concrete separate but related events constitutes critical thinking and understanding of the evolving and long-term situation. Real life cannot be reduced to 10 second sound-bites for the headlines and the cameras.
Photo of injured protestor by .faramarz @ flickr
The Protestors' Accomplishments and Strategy
The protestors in Iran are fully aware this is their moment, not anyone else’s. They are also aware they must press on, even through a violent crackdown. To stand down now ensures their deaths and imprisonments. To press forward with their demands - and challenging the dictator – will actually save more lives in the long run.
By pressing on with the protests in a protracted manner they are wearing down the dictator, the Guardian Council and the Republican Guard. For every day the protestors continue in their fight for vote count and more, they psychologically wear on the regime participants. The longer it goes on the more the regime folks will suddenly realize it is really their lives that hang in the balance. There are cracks in the regime’s alliances; that much has been achieved in only a week of protests. What more can be achieved if they fight on?
How Do We Best Support the Protestors?
The best support we can give them from America is through grassroots venues like blogging and IT help to get their message out. Let the official governments tone it down. We want to hear the voices of the people for they are the ones who have been wronged.
The reason the protestors hold up signs in English is that they want us to know what is happening. They want our support in the way of the notice of witnessing their trial. They aren't interested in what we have to say as much as they want us to pay attention to the new way of over-throwing a bad government: regime change from within, preferably through a democratic vote rather than the old ways of imperial governments to do the work for them, then installing foreign-friendly puppet governments. Basically, if it's going to be a puppet government then it will be one of our own choosing.
Tell the Media & Political Opportunists to Stand Down: Causing More Harm than Good
It's time the political attitude and the media "grow up" in America. Quit measuring another country's progress against the American standard. It's like comparing apples and oranges; some things never correlate.
Acquire the common sense - and wisdom - to know you can only compare the Iranians against the Iranians. Compare their progress today with what happened a decade ago with another generation. Compare their progress today against what today's generation is doing. Quit trying to predict "the point spread" like it's a sports game. This is no game but rather real life in motion. These are real living breathing people - not statistics to enhance your bonus money for your paycheck.
Political Change and Progress in Iran
Change in Iran and other similar Islamic republics will be small and incremental. It will not be change American style. It’s time America, the politicians and the media of self-important attitudes trying to call this political unrest like it is a sporting event get responsible, knowing thousands of lives are at stake. Wake up and accept that Iran is not America and may never be.
Written by Denny Lyon
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