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Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Dilemma?

On Wednesday, 24 June, Mr E J Dionne had an OpEd in The Lowell Sun, titled "The Liberals' Iran Dilemma." Given the Sun's two week rule,♠ I link to the story here, with a different title.

My problem is, what is the dilemma?  Mr Dionne makes it far too complicated.  As he says, the Democrats are playing the "Realist" game.
As a foreign policy realist, Obama knew that at the end of the current struggle, the United States would still have to deal with Iran on the issue of its nuclear program and other matters related to our "long-term interests."♥
As "realists," the Democrats should know that nothing is going to stop the Iranians on their path to nuclear power, unless it is a successful invasion (which I am not advocating).

What we know is that even if Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the election fair and square, his distrust of democracy and the Iranian Election system was such that he rigged the outcome.  I am sure that President Obama's advisors understand what that is about.  Chief of Staff Rahm Emanual can explain it to him, based upon his (former Representative Emanual's) time in Chicago politics.

The US response should be very straight forward.  Cite the First Amendment to the US Constitution as explaining how we feel about protests, but say that Iran has to solve Iran's problems Iran's way.  What is so hard about that?  What dilemma does that pose?

On the other hand, Honduras does seem to be a dilemma.  What we have is the Honduran nation is trying to deal with a President who was out of control and acting illegally. At the same time, the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, opposes Honduras on this, as does Cuba.  That is to say, both are supporting ousted President Manuel Zelaya, perhaps because they like his style of governing.

Which is not to say that the Organization of American States isn't also backing President Manuel Zelaya.  I think the OAS is wrong to oppose Honduras on this, but perhaps the various nations are united in their general concern about governments being overthrown.

Meanwhile, back in Tegucigalpa, Honduras,
Things were fairly normal at the mall, except for very long lines at banks and at the United Colors of Benetton store, which was running out of white shirts. White is the color of choice of the anti-Zelaya forces, who turn out in huge demonstrations around the presidential palace.
We have this from The Los Angeles Times on Sunday.  It turns out that when I got up this morning to finish this post I put on a dress white shirt from last week to keep warm.  It turns out I am proudly part of the anti-Zelaya forces.

Meanwhile, the US Administration can't find a way to support the legitimate authorities in Honduras and still placate the Organization of American States.  Sadly, it appears as though we soft peddle our views when dealing with medium sized nations with nuclear aspirations, but bully little nations.

Regards  —  Cliff

♠  After two weeks articles drop out of The Sun's web page and move to their archive page.  It doesn't not appear the link follows.
♥  The fact is, no matter which man wins in Iran, we face a nation that is still strongly nationalist, strongly religious and strongly into nuclear weapons.  Our interest here isn't in who will give us the best deal.  Our interest is in democracy for the People of Iran, because we believe democracy, over time, gives everyone the best deal.

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