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A Missed Opportunity?

It is no secret that President Obama is a narcissist. A man who has an opinion on everything (valid or bogus). You can tell he savors listening to himself talk, admiring his words as they scroll by effortlessly on his teleprompter.

That said, his silence concerning the Iranian elections is as telling as anything ever spoken by him.

The protest against the sham elections in Iran is a tectonic world event, in a region bubbling with insecurity and an unknown future. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, waiting only for someone with enough vision to seize the moment. Kennedy had the Cuban Missile crisis. Reagan had the collapse of the USSR, Bush had 9-11. All situations where a single person could change the parameters of the situation by taking and acting on a principled stand.

Obama has chosen to play a weak hand in this round. Not wanting to endanger his possible dealings with Amhedenijad, but also not wanting to project the possible perception of U.S. imperialism. His fear of looking like a puppeteer in the muslim world has paralyzed him, rendering him impotent, and looking weak in the eyes of the world.

The ramifications of the outcome of this election are so profound for the Middle East, it begs for U.S. leadership. A strong voice, an ally to all those Iranian men and women who we've heard for years had an underlying yearning for a more open, free, democratic society.

His hour long "muslim" speech was geared toward endearing him to the muslin world, attempting to bridge the chasm between muslims and the west.

What better way to do this than to support the men and women of Iran in this time of upheaval.

The term "revolution" has been whispered in recent days.

Make no mistake: The potential is there, waiting to be nurtured. Visionaries are the ones who change the world. Not self-loving politicians who view events from afar, biding their time in hopes of smoother waters.

His view that everything wrong in the Middle East is tied to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is near-sighted. Solving that conflict will not prevent Iran from attempting to obtain nuclear weapons. Arab states in that region don't care about the Palestinians. They only care about the destruction of Israel, and death to all Jews.

It is a travesty that the leader of the United States, a country born of revolution, the freest nation on Earth, has nothing to offer these people.

No encouragement. No vows of solidarity. Nothing.

Do something, Mr. President.


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Comments (54)

Unfortunately, the Iranian ... (Below threshold)

Unfortunately, the Iranian and muslim reaction to what any US President says is to go against it. In this situation, he's smart to keep the US profile low on the issue. Whether he's doing anything behind the scenes, which is what he SHOULD be authorizing if he wants to help both US and world future interests, is an issue we won't likely hear much about, at least for a while. I'm not optimistic on that.

I don't think Obama knows w... (Below threshold)

I don't think Obama knows what to do,.
I doubt he cares and more than likely, Rhahm and Axlerod haven't come up with a response he's comfortable with.

George Bush never bombed th... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

George Bush never bombed the Poor Oppressed People of Iran and it doesn't appear that Obama isn't going to start anytime soon.

Your best bet is to start badgering future-president Palin about it now.

^ isn't = is ^... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

^ isn't = is ^

Adrian,No one except... (Below threshold)
gdb in central Texas:

No one except you suggested anything about bombing. Only an idiot would even mention that. What is beyond the ken of Obama is to make a statement that says "We support the yearning of all peoples to be free of opression and to live in liberty. We stand with the people of Iran in demanding an end to brutal repression and intolerance." But all we get from Obama is "deep concern."
(Related but OT.) It always amazes me that people who claim the liberal label are the least likely to support people, preferring instead to look to the source of much of human misery, an all powerful government.

Foreign affairs are just a ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Foreign affairs are just a distraction to Obama. His primary focus is on changing America from a free market, capitalist economy to a government controlled, Marxist economy. Anything beyond that is just not worth His time.

And I don't think I'd really want Him to "do" anything about the current situation in Iran, anyway. If He picked a side, it would most likely be the wrong one.

We're in for a major rollback of the freedom and libertry that was blossoming around the globe since the Reagan years.

As sure as Obamalala was th... (Below threshold)

As sure as Obamalala was that everyone else was wrong on dealing with Iran, how come he doesn't know what to do now? He will wait until it becomes obvious what the "new" regime will look like. Then, he will take credit for it. The "new" regime will continue towards nuclear weapons and calls for the destruction of the U.S. and wipe out of Israel. This suits Obamalala because he needs Iran to continue their quest for nuclear weapons in order to pressure Israel to give up on theirs.
From Obamalala's pathetic Cairo speech.
"I understand those who protest that some countries have weapons that others do not. No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons. That is why I strongly reaffirmed America's commitment to seek a world in which no nations hold nuclear weapons. And any nation - including Iran - should have the right to access peaceful nuclear power if it complies with its responsibilities under the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty". Obamalala sees no difference between a rogue, terrorist supporting, non-democratic state than he does the U.S.
The fact that he doesn't, should scare the hell out of every rational thinking person.

Simple. In the "Worship bef... (Below threshold)

Simple. In the "Worship before Zog" world of Obama politics, Iranians can't vote for him, he can't buy them, they don't publicly adore him, and they don't contribute to his re-election campaign fund. They won't name roads, airports and bridges after him.

So what good are they to him? It's all downside in his eyes.

The right's newfound respec... (Below threshold)

The right's newfound respect and admiration for the Iranian people is quite touching. Especially given that not just a few months ago it was a policy of the right to bomb them.

How many millions found the... (Below threshold)

How many millions found their way into Hussein's campaign coffers from Islamic buddies overseas? Illegal of course, but unimportant to our non-biased MSM, the Arabs behind this money want their purchased politician to stay out of middle east affairs, bow down when confronted and stick to becoming a dictator in the United States. Hussein is not about to offend fellow muslim thugs who are so free with their donations.

Question is JP.. do YOU sup... (Below threshold)

Question is JP.. do YOU support the people of Iran?

JP,Where DO you get ... (Below threshold)
gdb in central Texas:

Where DO you get you fantasies? Who on the right was in favor of bombing the Iranian people?

The American public ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The American public voted against rabid warmongering in the last election. No more counterproductive quagmires, please!

You're wrong if you think t... (Below threshold)

You're wrong if you think this is a 'moment' to be seized. Nothing Obama says or does is going to change the fact that dictators and thugs don't give up power without a fight and, paraphrasing the old line, the protesters in Iran have absolutely no divisions backing them up. Thus, these protests will accomplish nothing, just as Tiananmen square changed nothing in China.

Obama could tell the protesters he - and we - are on their side, but without our backing those words up with action, they're just empty words and pity any Iranian who, inspired by Obama, marches against the Mad Mullahs, only to be shot down in the street.

And as far as taking action, as Obama was doing squat to keep Iran from getting nukes, why think he'd do anything to punish the regime for rigging an election?

Besides <a href="http://gat... (Below threshold)

Besides Gateway Pundit and The Strata-Sphere, most of the reporting I've seen has come from Michael J. Totten, who is currently posting much of his Iran stuff at Commentary.

Hope all the links came through, as he is well worth checking out.


(P.S. - Someone griped about a floating ad on the Commentary site. It has a closing "X" at the upper right hand corner, and I had no problem making it go away. Please, DON'T blow off the site just because of that.)


our Dear Leader could AT LE... (Below threshold)

our Dear Leader could AT LEAST make a statement that says:
"IF you murderously suppress these people we wil NOT deal with you in the future!!"

but nope...Obama got a tee-time for 2:00 p.m.

"why think he'd do anyth... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"why think he'd do anything to punish the regime for rigging an election?"

He'd also be a hypocrite to condemn them for that. (Not that being a hypocrite has ever stopped him from doing or saying something before now.)

Interesting, it is only Adr... (Below threshold)

Interesting, it is only Adrian and JP2 that keep bringing up bombing.

The Manufactured Reality Based Community...

Yes, "Do something Mr. Pres... (Below threshold)

Yes, "Do something Mr. President"


Obama is trying to not kick... (Below threshold)

Obama is trying to not kick over any ricebowls.

The right's newfound res... (Below threshold)

The right's newfound respect and admiration for the Iranian people is quite touching. Especially given that not just a few months ago it was a policy of the right to bomb them.

Not the Iranian people, just their clandestine nuclear facilities that are pursuing the development of nuclear weapons

This is the same standard juvenile and retarded "argument" leftist trolls like jp2, et al use whenever the right suggests that all options, including military ones, are on the table--example: 'You (on the right) just want to bomb the (insert name of people) to get your militaristic rocks off'.

So no, jp2, we don't want to bomb the Iranian people as you like to hyperventilate. We just don't like the crazy, anti-semetic, terrorist-supporting, nuke-seeking, crazy-as-a-street-rat mullah-led government that the moron Jimmy Carter helped put into power 30+ years ago.

A word of caution to those who think Moussavi-led gov't might be a good thing: He isn't a reformer like Gorbachev; he's not a reformer in that sense. He's a less acrid version of Ahmadinejad who could, if he were elected at some point, put a "moderate" face on the regime--and that's not necessarily a good thing for the world.

Peter F.,Exactly h... (Below threshold)

Peter F.,

Exactly how would one take out a functioning nuclear facility without possibly creating a new Chernobyl with the resulting effects on the surrounding population?

Rance,Maybe if we ... (Below threshold)
SER Author Profile Page:


Maybe if we get there soon enough, it will be like the Israelis did in Syria:


The story is probably not true, though - it was in the New York Times.

a browne - "The America... (Below threshold)

a browne - "The American public voted against rabid warmongering in the last election. No more counterproductive quagmires, please!

Yeah, we don't need any more "quagmires," the one being run by the current War-Monger-in-Chief in Afghanistan is enough.

The problem is that Obama h... (Below threshold)

The problem is that Obama has no point of view, no philosophical principals to speak from. Bush had the freedom agenda. What does Obama speak from? Nothing, but the Jews made it happen! Pretty pathetic!

24:The quagmire in... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:


The quagmire in Afghanistan is MORE than enough. USA out of Afghanistan now!

Uh, Adrian, you do know tha... (Below threshold)
Occam's Beard:

Uh, Adrian, you do know that we were attacked by your friends in Afghanistan, right?

I mean, you can argue about whether we should have cleaned out Iraq, but I had the impression that even the lunatic left accepted that cleaning out Afghanistan was necessary and proper. I guess that impression was wrong.

No more quagmires. USA out of Detroit now!

Rance,Do you know wh... (Below threshold)

Do you know what it takes to create an runaway nuclear reaction?

No more quagmires...USA out... (Below threshold)

No more quagmires...USA out of social security, national health care, home mortgages, medicare, (insert favorite moonbat program here).

Exactly how would one ta... (Below threshold)

Exactly how would one take out a functioning nuclear facility without possibly creating a new Chernobyl with the resulting effects on the surrounding population?

The Israelis were able to bomb Iraq's Osirak nuclear plant in 1981 and rendered it useless w/o a Chernobyl-like meltdown, and the weaponry used to do it was far less sophisticated than what's available now. (The Iranians attacked and damaged Osirak in 1980 prior to the Israeli attack.)

In short, crippling or massively disabling a plant doesn't require a strike at the plant's core--again, especially with today's high-tech weaponry.

SCSIwuzzy,I'm gues... (Below threshold)


I'm guessing knocking out power to the cooling pumps would pretty much do it.

Point being, if you start blowing things apart, you never know what you are going to get. Chances of some kind of controlled shutdown is unlikely.

The Israelis took out a plant that was still under construction. Big difference.

Obama simply wants this "me... (Below threshold)

Obama simply wants this "messiness" over as soon as possible...so he can get back to snuggling up to ImmaDinnerJacket.

This is a speed-bump to Obama...the Iranian people be damned. He is seeking HIS version of "peace", and is following the footsteps of Neville Chamberlain. After the 1938 Munich accord Winston Churchill had this to say to Mr. Chamberlain...he might have been talking to Obama:

Britain and France had to choose between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.

just change "Britain and France" to "Obama"

Do you know anything about ... (Below threshold)

Do you know anything about the design of the facility you are talking about, Rance?

Do you know anything abo... (Below threshold)

Do you know anything about the design of the facility you are talking about, Rance?

Oh, oh! Teacher I know the answer! It has two letters and starts with 'N'....

That's right, the answer is... (Below threshold)

That's right, the answer is no. But then I'm not going to OK bombing the place either.

Are any of you certain that we could safely take the place out?

Knowing something about how... (Below threshold)

Knowing something about how reactors are made, yes, I think it can be done with minimal risk.
Doesn't mean that I think it should be done unless we are sure the reactor is being used to help produce weapons.

No one except you sugges... (Below threshold)

No one except you suggested anything about bombing. Only an idiot would even mention that?

McCain is on youtube singing Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran to the tune of an old Beach Boy's song.

McCain was asked by an audience member about possible U.S. military action in Iran.

"How many times do we have to prove that these people are blowing up people now, never mind if they get a nuclear weapon. When do we send them an airmail message to Tehran?" a man in the crowd asked.

In response, McCain said, "That old, eh, that old Beach Boys song, Bomb Iran" -- which elicited laughter from the crowd. McCain then chuckled before briefly singing -- to the tune of the chorus of the Beach Boys' classic "Barbara Ann" -- "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, anyway, ah ...."

No one except you ... (Below threshold)
No one except you suggested anything about bombing. Only an idiot would even mention that?

I posted a set of links that Wizbang has not published. In short, you're very wrong. Bolton, Newt, The Wall Street Journal, Kristol, Instapundit...all supported bombing. And yes, McCain joked about bombing it and Giuliani spoke about a first-time nuclear strike. Pathetic really, but that's the extreme right for you...

McCain, Bolton, and the WSJ... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

McCain, Bolton, and the WSJ are on the "extreme right"? Now we clearly know jp2 isn't from this planet....

And McCain spoofs a song and you take him literally? So if we're taking jokes literally, does that mean Letterman was serious?

And jesus, jp2, Rudy G. said "I think it could be done with conventional weapons, but you can't take anything off the table..." never ONCE making reference to first-strike nuke attack.


And McCain spoofs a song... (Below threshold)

And McCain spoofs a song and you take him literally?

While you may dismiss it as merely a joke, it did not go so well over seas.

Imagine the leader of another country singing Bomb-Bomb-Bomb, Bomb Bomb the U.S.A. during an election. Would you think that leader has rational judgement? Would you take anything that leader had to say seriously? Would you consider him to be mentally unstable and dangerous. Would all of the cable networks play it repeatedly?

In order to solve world problems one must be aware of how such things play out internationally.

Rance -You probabl... (Below threshold)

Rance -

You probably wouldn't want to knock out the cooling pumps. What you'd hit would depend on what kind of reactor it was - the Chernobyl reactor was a graphite-core pressurized water reactor, and when the engineers screwed up their 'test', the resulting steam explosion blew off the top of the pressure vessel. (The wiki on it is reasonably accurate, by the way.) It didn't have a thick containment vessel, so when it blew it also caught fire. Graphite does burn pretty well, given heat and oxygen, and the heat was enough to melt the fuel rods and volatize a lot of radiologically hot crap that went where the wind blew.

Here in the US we've got heavily reinforced concrete containment vessels, don't know what Iran's got. If it's got a thick pressure vessel on it, you use a GPS guided bunker-buster and hit the middle. The reactor itself gets smashed out to the walls, ending any chance of a runaway reaction. (The geometry of a nuclear reactor is pretty critical.)

If it's underground (as I believe the centrifuge farm may be) you drop a half-dozen GPS guided bunker-busters at about a ten second interval to dig a hole to the excavation and clear out debris, then make the last one a GPS guided MOAB. That'll either knock out the reactor or the support equipment. If you don't get the reactor with the explosion, you'll likely blow the support equipment all to hell, and the reactor will overheat and ruin itself. Since it's underground, it's contained.

The big problems with garbage spewing from Chernobyl were no containment vessel and the burning graphite - that got a good particulate plume going, and downwind got a dose of stuff you'd rather not have close to you. With a good containment vessel or an underground facility, you get MUCH less stuff scattered around, and it wouldn't go anywhere near as far. Wait a couple of weeks, send in a radiological survey crew w/lead underwear and geiger counters to mark the hot spots, bulldoze the hot spots together and put a layer of dirt, then a layer of rebar-reinforced concrete over it, and that'll take care of the stuff outside the containment facility.

Pump in boron/cadmium laced concrete into the hole made by the bunker-buster, let it set, fence it off, and put up a 'No Tresspassing' sign - then ignore it. It's not a working reactor, it CAN'T work because it's been blown apart, and the boron/cadmium will soak up any excess neutrons. In a couple hundred years, it'll be cool enough to disassemble and cart to the local equivalent of Yucca Mountain - or they can just leave it there. After a thousand years, it'll be fairly harmless.

Here's hoping such a thing won't be necessary, however.

TrueBlue,When did ... (Below threshold)


When did your funny bone get removed? Seriously, give it a rest with pseudo-intellectualizing of what is clearly a joke--even to the most half-witted leaders on the globe.

Obama can't do anything, th... (Below threshold)
lester prosser jr:

Obama can't do anything, thanks to our governments involvement in toppling a democratically elected government in 1953. We are paying for our stupid foreign policy mistakes, which obviously the idiotic blogger wishes to continue, unabated.

I echo the comments counsel... (Below threshold)
James H:

I echo the comments counseling caution. US toppled the Iranian gov't in 1953, and if Obama acts or speaks overtly, the opposition can be too easily discredited as US puppets. Last thing we (or the opposition) need.

re: 43Well he COUL... (Below threshold)

re: 43

Well he COULD do just about anything, but most choices would be stupid because of the history. However, if we've got feelers out to the Guard and economic power players in the country, we could offer them support if they overthrow the current power regime AND offer up their nuclear program as a sacrifice. Or Not.

Just because there were past blunders does not mean we should avoid the situation entirely. That would be a blunder too.

Who is going to fly a C-130... (Below threshold)
Dino Goposaur:

Who is going to fly a C-130 into heavily defended Iranian airspace to drop a MOAB?

Nice try Mr. Tactician. No soup for you. Next

Dino,You ever hear o... (Below threshold)

You ever hear of the B2 Spirit? They can drop the MOAB, and the JDAM.

If Israel can fly their F-16s into Syria without any notice (until the boom), you can be sure the B2 can sneak past Iran's hand-me-down defenses.

Dino -Doesn't need... (Below threshold)

Dino -

Doesn't need to be a MOAB - a half-dozen GPS-guided JDAMs would likely do the job after the bunker-busters open the way.

SCSIwuzzy - I don't think the MOAB can be carried by the B-2. It's got the carrying capacity, but I'm not sure about the internal handling capability.

But the B-2 COULD carry a belly-full of bunker busters and JDAMs. Add in F-22s and A-10s to clear the way, taking out radar and missile sites, and a C-130 should be able to do a drop without any problems.

With any luck, however, we won't have to.

My mistake. The B2 can car... (Below threshold)

My mistake. The B2 can carry the MOP, which is heavier, but shorter than the MOAB.

Bush made statements in 200... (Below threshold)
jim x:

Bush made statements in 2005, denouncing Iran's conservative oppression and expressing strong support for the reformers.

These statements are widely considered to have backfired into helping the (more) conservative candidate Ahmadinejad into power.

Think about it. Iranians are taught to hate and distrust the US government. So the US government expressing strong approval of any side will almost certainly result in a backlash against that side.

Imagine there was a close race between, say, Gingrich and Buchanan, or whoever your favorite two candidates might be. And imagine Al Qaeda or the Taliban publicly supported one. Wouldn't that possibly influence you to swing towards the other?

See what I mean?

Stick to your Larry Bond/To... (Below threshold)
Dino Gopasaur:

Stick to your Larry Bond/Tom Clancy/Dale Brown fantasy world. Even St. Ronnie wouldn't consider bombing Iran over this.

Iran is cognizant of the enormous costs of developing/maintaing a nuclear program, which incidentally will be in the hands of all of these reform-minded college students in a couple of years.

Iran is not going to play brinksmanship with this. NK on the other hand...

Pull your head out of your ... (Below threshold)

Pull your head out of your ass and can the snark, Dino. I was responding to Rance, who asked an honest question about what would be best to bomb re disabling a reactor.

I'll even repeat his question, since you seem to have missed it.

"Exactly how would one take out a functioning nuclear facility without possibly creating a new Chernobyl with the resulting effects on the surrounding population?"

The weapons you can use enable a wide range of responses.

If you're looking for sheer destruction, that can be done fairly easily, but it's going to scatter hot stuff all over the place. Break the containment vessel, blow apart the reactor core. But that's a bit outside the bounds of the question.

If you're looking to maintain the reactor in a functioning state, it's harder - you'd have to figure out a way to cause a SCRAM on the reactor to shut it down, then destroy enough support equipment to make it impossible to restart in a reasonable time frame. This won't scatter hot stuff all over, but it does leave the reactor functional after a lot of repair.

But if you DON'T want a functioning reactor, but don't want it scattered all over the landscape, things get easier - and it'd likely be cheaper than destroying it. You might not even need a second bomb - a single bunker-buster might do it.

The munitions available and what they can do are easily found on the web. But if you DON'T know what tools you've got for a job, you're going to have a real hard time figuring out how to do it.

So - he asked, I answered. All the stuff is real, tested, and in the AF inventory. No Dale Brown fantasy hardware involved.

And none of this would be easy or cheap. RELATIVELY easy, yes, but the Air Force has had a lot of experience in precision targeting. And compared to having a city nuked it'd be downright cheap.

Dino,It is the left-... (Below threshold)

It is the left-side of this argument that keeps bringing up bombing Iran. The closet the right has come is to point out the Rance, YOU and others talking about bombs know jack all about bombs or nuclear reactors.

Of course he can't say anyt... (Below threshold)
Carly Corday:

Of course he can't say anything, you nit. Think things through, will you? And yes it IS TOO a "secret" that "Obama is a narcissist." Things abruptly decided and declared by you on your blog upon arising from your rumpled single bed of an afternoon do not constitute "no secret" by definition alone--it takes MUCH more than that to make a "no secret." For something to be "no secret" it usually must be recognized by many, not just by you. Do you see?

As for the ninnies wanting our leader to rant in shrill support of the Iranian heroes over there, well, it IS NO SECRET that to keep Iran as part of Bush-Cheney's "Axis of Evil," and thereby a promising, profitable U.S. conquest down the road, these dang protesters MUST be put down, and there is NO faster way to finish them off than for our leader over here to begin ranting in support of them. They would go down, the old regime would continue, and Iran goes right back to the "evilness" status we require of it if we're to profit. Then someday, maybe Right Soon (!), Western corporations get their gloms on Iran and its resources once and for all. It's been coming for decades! Corporate giants masquerading as "nations" want Iran. Therefore, this protestin' has got ta stop! We can't take over a country in the throes of fighting for it's own democracy! That'd look bad! Even though we did it once before. (Look that up, it'll make you smart.)

Think stuff through, why don't you? THEN write your blog.

At least NOW you know why most Republicans in government are being so shrill in their demand that Obama stand up and declare the Iranian struggle "our struggle too" by shouting out his support: same reason these Republicans ALWAYS have. PROFIT. Blood for profit. There is not one human soul among them.






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