President Obama has been in office for nearly a year now and one of the most pressing issues in the realm of national security still seems to escape him, namely what to do with Iran. The Washington Post, no right-wing, war-mongering rag, says that Iran may very well be at the tipping point. That means it’s time for the POTUS to take make his unilateral support for dissidents in that country known to the world. The problem is that it’s unclear that such support exists in the White House.
Fear of a 21st-century Bay of Pigs-like episode may limit Mr. Obama’s actions and justifiably so. With the American military stretched like a taut wire, few resources exist to provide actual support for Iranian reformists on the ground. The Taliban in Afghanistan demonstrate another unfortunate reality: Guns and training that we give today’s resistance fighters can easily be used against our interests tomorrow.
Nevertheless it is clear that the Obama administration’s policy of engagement with Iran was doomed to failure from the moment it was conceived. Negotiation can only take place between two parties with compatible value systems who have something the other wants. Unfortunately, the west has nothing that the theocracy in Iran desires.
Conversely, the Iranian people seem to have a great deal of interest in opening their country to western influences like education and individual liberty, the very things that dictators like Khamenei must stifle due in order to maintain control over their citizens.
What Mr. Obama must eventually come to understand that this outcome is not possible without regime change. No amount of diplomacy, threats, sanctions, or bribes result in anything beyond the ayatollahs’ amusement at stringing America along while they continue their thuggery at home and abroad.
The simple fact is that the freedom fighters in Iran deserve support from the United States and the rest of the free world because their cause is just and their success in overthrowing the mullahs could make the world a significantly better place. The very least the Obama administration could do is make our moral support for their struggle clear and unequivocal while simultaneously putting an end to the international farce that has been our negotiations with Iran’s terrorist dictators. Finally, if there is any resolve in the administration to mount covert operations, now would be the time.