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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 2, 2009 / 10 Tamuz 5769

Missing Our Moment in Iran

By Victor Davis Hanson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Last month, hundreds of thousands of Iranians took to the streets to protest a rigged presidential election. Our president was extremely cautious in his initial criticism of the Iranian government's fierce crackdown against the protestors. At first, President Obama said that the United States — given our history in Iran — should not be "meddling" in the country's internal affairs.


Obama suggested that the leading opposition candidate, the reformer Mir-Hossein Mousavi, might not be that different from the entrenched theocracy's choice, the incumbent (and winner of the June election) Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.


Finally, as both the crowds in the Iranian streets and violence against them increased over the next several days, Obama conceded that he was "appalled" at the clerics' repression.


In defense of the president's hesitation, some of his supporters argued that our initial neutrality was aimed at not spoiling the administration's earlier efforts at outreach to Iran's Islamist regime. We were taking the realistic long view, they added, in which negotiations with the clerics might still curb Iran's nuclear-weapon aspirations and their support for terrorism. As Obama's U.N. ambassador, Susan Rice, put it, the "legitimacy" of the regime was "not the critical issue in terms of our dealings with Iran."


Perhaps Obama also wishes to avoid former President Bush's muscular approach in the Middle East, which ended up in costly efforts to foster legitimate constitutional governments in Afghanistan and Iraq, after removing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein.


Unfortunately, Obama's policy is a lose/lose proposition that will please neither side in Iran. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, isn't going to suddenly embrace the U.S. because of Obama's more charismatic approach, much less stop subsidizing terrorists and developing a nuclear arsenal.


For over three decades, the Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Bush II administrations all reached out — both overtly and covertly — to the Iranian theocracy, with offers of normalizing relations, secret arms deals, back-channel meetings and occasional apologies. But the clerics today are as anti-American as they were in 1979. And they're still rounding up, killing and torturing dissidents in the same manner that they had consolidated power after the fall of the Shah.


In addition, our belated, tepid criticism of the repressive Iran government may not translate into goodwill from Iranian advocates for freedom — given our painful silence in the early days of the demonstrations when achieving global support was critical.


And what about other pro-democracy dissidents abroad — whether in Cuba, the Arab world or Venezuela? Will they still trust that the U.S. supports their efforts to obtain a free society?


Meanwhile, authoritarians in China, North Korea, Russia, the Middle East and South America may draw two unfair, but nevertheless unfortunate conclusions. One, the United States does not much care much what other regimes do to their own people. Two, a new America will overlook almost anything in order just to get along with these authoritarians.


But is the U.S. at least consistent in its promises not to meddle?


Not all the time.


When Benjamin Netanyahu came to power in Israel, the Obama administration made its distaste clear. It also has tried to find ways to isolate Hamid Karzai's elected government in Afghanistan — and was initially not happy about the prospects of its re-election.


Most recently, the U.S. condemned the Honduran military's arrest of President Manuel Zelaya. The nation's supreme court had found his efforts to extend his presidential tenure in violation of its constitution, once Zelaya tried to finesse an illegal third term.


In other words, the U.S. pressures other nations as it pleases — though strangely now more to lean on friends than to criticize rivals and enemies.


In contrast, had President Obama voiced early, consistent and sharp criticism of the Iranian crackdown, the theocracy would have worried that the president's stature could have galvanized global boycotts and embargos to isolate the theocracy and aid the dissidents. And the reformers in the streets could have become even more confident with a trademark Obama "hope and change" endorsement.


Internal democratic change in Iran is the only peaceful solution to stopping an Iranian bomb, three decades of Iranian-sponsored terrorism and a Middle East arms race. When thousands risked their lives for a better Iran, a better Middle East and a better world, we, the land of the free, simply were not with them.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and military historian, is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a recipient of the 2007 National Humanities Medal. Comment by clicking here.


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