Much has been said about the situation in Iran over the past couple of weeks. The images of peaceful opposition demonstrators, and the thuggery displayed by the Islamic Revolutionary rulers of Iran, speak for themselves. It was absolutely clear: the demonstrations were not about vote-counting fraud, or about the non-reformist “reformer” Mousavi. The demonstrations were about freedom. Handed an opening by Mousavi and his brave wife (who seemed to be the one pushing her husband far beyond where he ever expected to go in his opposition to the Mullahs), hundreds of thousands of fed up Iranians took to the streets and shouted “Down with the Dictator”. While many in the west took this as opposition to the psychopathic lackey Ahmadinejad, Iranians know this was a chant not against the apocalyptic holocaust denier, but against the Ayatolla and the regime itself. The vast majority of Iranians are fed up with Islamic revolutionary rule. The vast majority of Iranians want a new revolution.
Now, what Western liberal wouldn’t stand with freedom-yearning demonstrators against a tyrannical theocracy? Ten years ago, you probably couldn’t find one. And yet liberals throughout the Western world followed their new messiah, Barack Obama, off an amoral cliff, ignored their own instincts, and worked overtime to justify the US administration’s official policy: do not show any support for the Iranian opposition. “Don’t meddle”…”if we speak up, they will blame us”…”we don’t want to encourage them, in case they get slaughtered”…”we still have shame because of some 1953 coup”.
The cowardice displayed by most liberals over the past two weeks is the cost of the liberal tribalism of the past decade. Lefties everywhere spent eight years following orders: oppose, mock, and deride George W. Bush without hesitation. If it’s Republican, it’s wrong. If you’re part of the liberal tribe, you fall in line, and accept the new marching orders. Mockery of Bush’s freedom agenda, which aimed to support democracy and freedom anywhere and everywhere – a bipartisan agenda if there ever was one – was labeled “neo-con” and thus unacceptable. A principled position became Bush-bashing fodder for Democrat operatives and late-night television idealogues. Millions of Iraqis celebrating free and open elections joyously in the streets were ignored almost completely by the mainstream culture. A generation’s Berlin Wall moment was treated like it never even happened.
Liberal tribalism of this most heinous kind got Barack Obama elected. Unfortunately, it seems that the President not only accepts the anti-freedom-agenda as a tribal position, he takes it seriously. His absoulte abandonment of the young freedom protestors in the streets of Tehran led to the slaughter of many, the arresting of thousands, and the snuffing out of freedom at the hands of Islamo-fascist thugs. Would the crackdown have occurred anyway? Perhaps. But the message would have been sent: the free world supports freedom for all, and stands against thuggery everywhere. Now, we cannot say this, which is a travesty.
Now that the inconvenient little uprising is more-or-less over, Obama can return to negotiating with that “unclenched fist”. Hopefully, some of Obama’s tribal acolytes will have had their eyes opened, and understand that what has happened is an absolute moral tragedy that must never happen again. This shame cannot be washed off.