June 24, 2009
The little president who wasn't there
Last night I saw upon the stairA little president who wasn't thereHe wasn't there again todayOh, how I wish he'd go away
The White House is now occupied by a little president who just isn't there when he is called upon to take a clear, moral stand. For such sheer gutless flabbiness and evasion, you have to look back to the dismal Jimmy Carter years. If Tehran seems quieter today, it's because the civilian demonstrators have been identified and are being beaten and tortured and maybe killed in Evin Prison. Don't believe for a moment that the sadistic regime has changed, just because you don't see people bleeding on the streets. They are bleeding all right. It's just out of public view.
The Europeans are being Reaganesque. Angela Merkel is morally serious. She stated officially that
"Germany stands on the side of the people in Iran who want to exercise their right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly."
There. That wasn't so hard, was it? Ronald Reagan would have said it. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair would have said it. Barack Obama couldn't.
Nicolas Sarkozy upheld our real values. He called the pictures of women and teenagers being beaten by Basij thugs on motorcycles "brutal" and "totally disproportionate."
"The ruling power claims to have won the elections ... if that were true, we must ask why they find it necessary to imprison their opponents and repress them with such violence."
Barack Obama loves to preen and parade his "higher" morality. But when it comes to Iranians struggling against ugly tyranny or the people of North Korean just trying to fill their bellies with food, our little president just isn't there. Nowhere to be found. Chances are that behind the scenes the mullahs are promising Obama a glorious peace agreement that will allow him to parade his gargantuan ego around the world one more time. They are Persian rug sellers over there, who know all about hard bargaining. They've got his number: He's a pushover. Obama will trade personal glory against the freedom of Iran's people any day of the week.
So the most moralistic president since Jimmy is also a moral coward. Not surprising, is it? Moralizing is just another way of propping up one's ego. Morality is making the tough choices when life presents us with a clear choice between good and evil.
Obama has never stuck his neck out except to make a play for some constituency -- like the late-term abortion fanatics. As a result the United States is now standing with Vladimir Putin, who routinely assassinates opposition journalists, rather than with our real values.
As Ralph Peters pointed out a few weeks ago, Obama is a Third World socialist circa 1979, when his ideas jelled and crystallized. He's never bothered to change his basic outlook since then.
The Soviet Union crumbled because its own people got sick and tired of its system of apparatchik privileges, its venal corruption, and its boastful propaganda. Yes, Reagan and Thatcher and Pope Paul II united in a making the moral case. The Helsinki Agreement forced the Soviets to account for their abuses in public. All that helped to create psychological pressure that turned out to be irresistible -- because internally, the children of the power class secretly agreed on the same values. When Ronald Reagan called it an Evil Empire they knew in their hearts he was right. Internal self-doubt and external moral pressure combined to bring down the rotten regime.
Obama isn't looking for that. He mainly wants to be celebrated as Mr. Peace and Love. Vainglory is the driving force of his character. When he is presented with an historic opportunity of college students on the streets of Tehran and other cities, fighting storm troopers with their bodies and moral force alone, he totally flubs the chance. Obama doesn't stand for anything.
When Martin Luther King was risking his life taking a dangerous moral stand in the South, a lot of people kept their heads down. Since the Civil Rights revolution those people have suddenly discovered their outrage at the injustices of Jim Crow, and some of them are making a good living off them. Question: Would Barack Obama have been marching with Dr. King during the hard days when it looked like he would lose? Would Obama have chosen the hard work and danger for the greater good? Would Obama have gone to jail and risked Bull Connor's dogs and axe handles to assert basic human rights in the segregated South in the 1950s? Or would he be nowhere to be found?
The answer seems all too clear.