There are many different reasons why President Obama doesn't want to be more forceful in his language in condemning the Iranian government's crackdown against the protesters. Bill O'Reilly believes that coming out too strong could mean that the Iranians will step up attacks in both Iraq and Afghanistan. There is another school of thought that getting to close to the protesters means that the regime would use that as a means of isolating the demonstrators. Still, others believe, cynically, that Obama wants to hedge his bet. If he comes out too much in favor of the protesters, then he will lose any leverage to attempt to engage in future negotiations.
Whatever the reason though, the idea that the Obama administration would ever sit down with anyone related to Ahmadinejad or Khameni is simply absurd. Most of us knew that such a policy was absurd to begin with. Now, that policy has been rendered totally unacceptable. Just imagine this thought. This uprising is put down. In order for that to happen, it would mean that the regime would have to put it down forcefully. It would mean armed military and police would beat and kill unarmed protesters. Then, months later, someone from our administration sits down from someone of that administration. The thought of that should send shivers down every one's spine.
Yet, the Obama administration has set into doctrine the idea that our rhetoric would soften in an attempt to reach out to our enemies so that we can engage regimes like Syria and Iran. What we're witnessing now in Iran makes that policy totally unacceptable. What would it do to the forces of Democracy in Syria if Hillary Clinton met with her counterpart in Syria? With a real chance to remove the brutal regime of Iran in sight, can our policy really remain the same?
The problem with engagement is that it strengthens the regime you engage. The problem with that idea now is that the protests have proven that each of these regimes have power that is ultimately nothing more than a house of cards. Could anyone really imagine the totalitarian regime of Iran being overthrown just two weeks ago? That's unlikely and yet a spontaneous set of events has set that in motion. There are reports that protests continue today. The administration has stepped up their propaganda that this is all being orchestrated by both the U.S. and UK, both signs of desperation. There also continues to be anecdotal evidence that police and military are less than enthusiastic to their jobs.
So, where does this leave the policy of engagement? It leaves it obsolete. Ultimately, the best regime to negotiate peace is one that views peace as closely as us. Engaging tyrants is the opposite of that philosophy. Now, there is only thing that is clear. That's that engagement of the current Iranian regime is no longer an option. So, soon we will need to ask "what now of the Obama doctrine"?
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