Iran: Obama-Clinton Smart Power?
As diplomacy talks are set to begin today between Iran and the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany (the G5+1) to deter the Iranian regime from pursuing their nuclear weapons program, the Obama-Clinton foreign policy strategy appears to have strengthened Iran’s murderous regime.
Last Friday, President Obama revealed that another Iranian uranium-enrichment facility is buried at an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps base near Qom. President Obama has known about this formerly secret facility since he became President-elect and was selecting his foreign policy team that would craft, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called it, America’s “smart power” foreign policy strategy.
Since taking office President Obama sent letters to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, seeking “better cooperation.”
Then after the disputed June 12th elections claiming victory for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election, Iranian protestors challenged the results by gathering peacefully asking “where is my vote?” Since then Regime thugs savagely attacked, clubbed, beaten, imprisoned and executed demonstrators. President Obama’s response to the brutal crackdown was to assure the regime that the U.S. would not “meddle.”
The Iranian regime and lawmakers rewarded Obama’s appeasement by voting “overwhelmingly… for a bill creating a $20 million fund intended in part to expose human rights violations by the United States.”
With respect to Secretary of State Clinton’s role in Iran, ironically there once was a time when Clinton knew that handing America’s enemies’ propaganda did not serve America’s interests. During the Presidential primaries, Clinton staked her chance of securing the Democratic Presidential nomination by eliminating her then rival Senator Obama on that belief.
Recall, in June 2007, during a primary debate, the Presidential candidates were asked if they would be willing to meet with leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea with no pre-conditions during their first year in office. Obama straight away answered “yes.” In contrast, Clinton promised “a vigorous diplomatic effort.” She said, “You don’t promise a meeting until you know the intentions. I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes and don’t want to make a make a situation worse.”
After the debate, Clinton’s campaign confidently fired off a statement: “There is a clear difference… Senator Obama has committed to presidential-level meetings with some of the world’s worst dictators without precondition…Senator Clinton… understands that it is a mistake to commit the power and prestige of America’s presidency…”
Next Clinton hit the airwaves calling Obama “irresponsible and frankly naïve.” See here.
But now as Obama’s Secretary of State, Clinton has arguably made the “situation worse” in Iran and can be “used for propaganda purposes” when without proof, she claimed after the June 12 elections, that the U.S. was helping the Iranian uprising “behind the scenes.” Clinton said, “We were doing a lot to really empower the protesters without getting in the way.” As I reported here, Iranians immediately challenged the veracity of Clinton’s assertion.
Clinton’s still unsubstantiated contention could not have arrived at a more dangerous time for Iranians because “show trials” had already begun. The regime’s predictable accusation to accuse peace seeking Iranians of acting as agents of the west was the featured line in the prosecutions. Compounding matters, these prisoners facing execution have forcibly signed false confessions.
Now, without any tangible proof of any U.S. “behind the scenes” activity, Clinton handed the Mullahs lethal propaganda to legitimize their claims – at the expense of Iranians.
The grave implications of the Obama-Clinton “smart power” Iran policies concern not only Iranians, but America’s national security, and especially those who fought and fight to protect it.
It was Iran’s regime who declared war on the United States 30-years ago after the 1979 Iranian Revolution ousted Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, swept in Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and held 52 American hostages for 444 days.
Since Khomeini’s death, his successor, the unelected and despotic leader Khamenei continues what Khomeini began including his “death to America” stance, and a nuclear enrichment program that according to a June IAEA report has enriched nearly 5,000 centrifuges at Natanz.
The Iranian regime backs terrorist groups like Hezbollah, responsible for a litany of atrocities including the October 23, 1983 suicide bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut killing 241 marines.
Iran’s regime supports Shiite militia groups in Iraq, who according to General David Petraeus provided weapons that fueled the insurgency that killed American and coalition forces. General Petraeus said in a 2007 interview, “There’s no question, absolutely no question that Iran is providing advanced RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades], RPG 29s.”
According to Clinton’s State Department, “Iran’s IRGC Qods Force provided assistance to the Taliban in Afghanistan. The Qods Force provided training to the Taliban on small unit tactics, small arms, explosives, and indirect fire weapons. Since at least 2006, Iran has arranged arms shipments including small arms and associated ammunition, rocket propelled grenades, mortar rounds, 107mm rockets, and plastic explosives to select Taliban members…Iran also continued to fail to control the activities of some al-Qa’ida members who fled to Iran following the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.”
The simple truth is the Iranian people have been killed trying to topple the brutal theocratic Iranian regime–a regime at war with America, with American blood on their hands. Thirty years of diplomacy attempts with Iran have always been met with speculator failure. Every move President Obama and Secretary Clinton have so far made to confront the Iran threat, the largest state sponsor of terror, has been at best dangerously ineffective.
Each day Iran draws closer to becoming nuclear. It is long overdue for the Obama Administration to redefine smart power.