Commentary Magazine


Topic: Clinton Delivers

Hillary Clinton Delivers New Year’s Assurances for the Mullahs

Hillary Clinton emerges from her long absence to deliver this blather on Iran:

Now, we’ve avoided using the term “deadline” ourselves. That’s not a term that we have used because we want to keep the door to dialogue open. But we’ve also made it clear we can’t continue to wait and we cannot continue to stand by when the Iranians themselves talk about increasing their production of high-enriched uranium and additional facilities for nuclear power that very likely can be put to dual use.

So we have already begun discussions with our partners and with likeminded nations about pressure and sanctions. I can’t appropriately comment on the details of those discussions now, except to say that our goal is to pressure the Iranian Government, particularly the Revolutionary Guard elements, without contributing to the suffering of the ordinary Iraqis who deserve better than what they currently are receiving.

Iran is going through a very turbulent period in its history. There are many troubling signs of the actions that they are taking. And we want to reiterate that we stand with those Iranians who are peacefully demonstrating. We mourn the loss of innocent life. We condemn the detention and imprisonment, the torture and abuse of people, which seems to be accelerating. And we hope that there will be an opportunity for Iran to reverse course, to begin engaging in a positive way with the international community, respecting the rights of their own citizens. But we’re going to continue on our dual-track approach.

No, the Obami haven’t given up on engagement, nor do those “crippling sanctions” seem to be in the cards. Regime change? You must be joking! All she can muster is the “hope” that Iran will reverse course. Not that we would do much to aid in that effort. We are simply taking notes — isn’t that what “bearing witness” is all about? — as Iranian citizens disappear or are tortured or killed. Now she does express “concerns” and is “disturbed” —  “deeply” disturbed, as her boss expressed, begrudgingly, after the June 12 election was stolen: “So yes, we have concerns about their behavior, we have concerns about their intentions, and we are deeply disturbed by the mounting signs of ruthless repression that they are exercising against those who assemble and express viewpoints that are at variance with what the leadership of Iran wants to hear.” That level of concern and “disturbance” does not rise, however, to warning the mullahs of the consequences of their behavior. No, there are none of those in sight. And how genteel is her description that the Iranian people express “viewpoints that are at variance with what the leadership of Iran wants to hear.” Yes, the Iranian people would like not to be snatched from their homes or have their children tortured; the regime takes the contrary view. All so polite. All so very Foggy Bottom-ish.

Can you imagine how delighted the Iranian regime must be to hear this unintelligible mush from the Obama team? Clinton has told them that there isn’t really any “deadline” and that they can proceed without fear of any serious consequences for their behavior. For the mullahs, that’s a delightful start for 2010. For the people of Iran? Not so much.

Hillary Clinton emerges from her long absence to deliver this blather on Iran:

Now, we’ve avoided using the term “deadline” ourselves. That’s not a term that we have used because we want to keep the door to dialogue open. But we’ve also made it clear we can’t continue to wait and we cannot continue to stand by when the Iranians themselves talk about increasing their production of high-enriched uranium and additional facilities for nuclear power that very likely can be put to dual use.

So we have already begun discussions with our partners and with likeminded nations about pressure and sanctions. I can’t appropriately comment on the details of those discussions now, except to say that our goal is to pressure the Iranian Government, particularly the Revolutionary Guard elements, without contributing to the suffering of the ordinary Iraqis who deserve better than what they currently are receiving.

Iran is going through a very turbulent period in its history. There are many troubling signs of the actions that they are taking. And we want to reiterate that we stand with those Iranians who are peacefully demonstrating. We mourn the loss of innocent life. We condemn the detention and imprisonment, the torture and abuse of people, which seems to be accelerating. And we hope that there will be an opportunity for Iran to reverse course, to begin engaging in a positive way with the international community, respecting the rights of their own citizens. But we’re going to continue on our dual-track approach.

No, the Obami haven’t given up on engagement, nor do those “crippling sanctions” seem to be in the cards. Regime change? You must be joking! All she can muster is the “hope” that Iran will reverse course. Not that we would do much to aid in that effort. We are simply taking notes — isn’t that what “bearing witness” is all about? — as Iranian citizens disappear or are tortured or killed. Now she does express “concerns” and is “disturbed” —  “deeply” disturbed, as her boss expressed, begrudgingly, after the June 12 election was stolen: “So yes, we have concerns about their behavior, we have concerns about their intentions, and we are deeply disturbed by the mounting signs of ruthless repression that they are exercising against those who assemble and express viewpoints that are at variance with what the leadership of Iran wants to hear.” That level of concern and “disturbance” does not rise, however, to warning the mullahs of the consequences of their behavior. No, there are none of those in sight. And how genteel is her description that the Iranian people express “viewpoints that are at variance with what the leadership of Iran wants to hear.” Yes, the Iranian people would like not to be snatched from their homes or have their children tortured; the regime takes the contrary view. All so polite. All so very Foggy Bottom-ish.

Can you imagine how delighted the Iranian regime must be to hear this unintelligible mush from the Obama team? Clinton has told them that there isn’t really any “deadline” and that they can proceed without fear of any serious consequences for their behavior. For the mullahs, that’s a delightful start for 2010. For the people of Iran? Not so much.

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