Commentary Magazine


Topic: Hossein Askari

No End to It

Word comes that Sen. John Kerry may visit Tehran, in the Obami’s never-ending quest to engage the thugocracy that wishes not to be engaged. This report tells us:

Sen. John Kerry has suggested becoming the first high-level U.S. emissary to make a public visit to Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a move White House officials say they won’t oppose. . . “The wrong message would be sent to the Iranian people by such a high-level visit: The U.S. loves dictatorial regimes,” said Hossein Askari, a professor at George Washington University and former adviser to Iranian governments.

And what of those democracy protesters in the streets of Tehran, who’d prefer not to help solidify the mullahs’ reign of terror? Well, they’d rather Obama once again not cut their legs out from under them:

Many opponents of Tehran’s regime oppose such a visit, fearing it would lend legitimacy to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a time when his government is under continuing pressure from protests and opposition figures. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets again this week to voice their opposition to the government following the death of a reformist cleric.

Those perpetually in search of a savvier, tougher and more resolute Obama, will again have their hopes dashed, it seems. No, this is a president who is “bearing witness” but sparing no opportunity to convey that democracy is not at the top of our agenda—nor is, apparently, moving ahead toward those “crippling sanctions.” We are perpetually in search of the unattainable deal, all the while providing the mullahs with time to proceed with their nuclear-weapons program and cementing the impression that this president is not determined to stand in their way.

Word comes that Sen. John Kerry may visit Tehran, in the Obami’s never-ending quest to engage the thugocracy that wishes not to be engaged. This report tells us:

Sen. John Kerry has suggested becoming the first high-level U.S. emissary to make a public visit to Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a move White House officials say they won’t oppose. . . “The wrong message would be sent to the Iranian people by such a high-level visit: The U.S. loves dictatorial regimes,” said Hossein Askari, a professor at George Washington University and former adviser to Iranian governments.

And what of those democracy protesters in the streets of Tehran, who’d prefer not to help solidify the mullahs’ reign of terror? Well, they’d rather Obama once again not cut their legs out from under them:

Many opponents of Tehran’s regime oppose such a visit, fearing it would lend legitimacy to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a time when his government is under continuing pressure from protests and opposition figures. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets again this week to voice their opposition to the government following the death of a reformist cleric.

Those perpetually in search of a savvier, tougher and more resolute Obama, will again have their hopes dashed, it seems. No, this is a president who is “bearing witness” but sparing no opportunity to convey that democracy is not at the top of our agenda—nor is, apparently, moving ahead toward those “crippling sanctions.” We are perpetually in search of the unattainable deal, all the while providing the mullahs with time to proceed with their nuclear-weapons program and cementing the impression that this president is not determined to stand in their way.

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