Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Does Susan Rice Hear Herself Tweet?

It is cold this morning in a lot of places you are reading this, including here, where it is, well, not supposed to be.  When it is cold, molecules move less (it's actually the other way around, but this is not a physics column), and so do opinions.

Apparently, Susan Rice, who used to be the national security advisor to Barack Obama, and hence thinks she knows something, well, she must be in a cold place today.  That's because her thinking is frozen in time, in a time when it was equally worthless, but did not have the value of having been once implemented and, therefore, provided historical context.

In other words, now we know she was wrong the first time, so to say that we should take the same approach, that failed spectacularly before, is to show why the Obama Administration failed so spectacularly before -- partly because of listening to people like Susan Rice.  Let us also remember that Susan Rice was the person who set the record for lying on five different national news programs within two hours, when she told the "Benghazi was about a video" whopper to try to protect Hillary Clinton from having her incompetence exposed.

We are talking, of course, about the dictatorship of the Undemocratic and Unmerciful Islamic Republic of Iran.

Now, if I have mentioned Iran here a dozen times, I'm sure that I've at least three or four times written that I really like pretty much all the Persian-Americans that I have met.  Now, I used to live in northern Virginia, so I have met a lot of people who immigrated here from Iran, and I have liked all of them.  In fact, I have found them to be among the most easily assimilated foreigners, as if they "get" America more than most people, or as if their culture is surprisingly similar to ours.

So more than most people, I tend to distinguish the Iranian people from other Middle Easterners, and from their government.  My take is that they really didn't like the Shah (despite his pro-Western stance, not because of it), so they deposed him in the late '70s, only to have the Islamist ayatollahs take over the government and try to ramrod deathly-strict Islam over a fairly Westernized population.

The new rulers clamped down on the people who had facilitated their ascent, leaving them no choice.  They didn't really try to revolt until 2009, likely assuming that the USA and its shiny new president, Barack Hussein Obama Jr., would help their nascent rebellion and bring down the Islamists choking their nation.

Unfortunately, though, Obama had other things in mind.  His "legacy", he thought, would be to lower the image of the USA in the eyes of the world, not to be that shining beacon of freedom.  So when the Iranian people revolted in public rallies in 2009, the Green Revolution, Obama sat on his butt, waved and did nothing.  Susan Rice, who was ambassador to the UN at the time, was in a position to see what the "do nothing" approach would do. 

What the approach did, of course, was to kill the revolution.  The Iranian rulers saw that the USA would not interfere, and crushed the revolution.  Susan Rice saw that from her perch at the UN, but apparently learned nothing, even though she had already participated in UN sanctions against that government.

We know that she learned nothing, because of her quote this week in regard to the new round of revolution in the streets of Iran's cities that has just started, and I quote the quote:

"How can Trump help Iran’s protesters? Be quiet."

Yuk.  If there is one person who could tell you that nothing will shut down the new Iranian Revolution down any quicker than our stepping away in public, well, it's Susan Rice.  But President Trump is not about to step away, nor should he.

It is in the best interest of the USA for the people of Iran who, remember, are surprisingly like us in their Westernized values, to throw off the dictatorial yoke of the ayatollahs and establish a rational democracy.  It is further in our interest, the people of the nation notwithstanding, to neutralize a huge threat to geopolitical stability in the Middle East.

President Trump knows that.  He also knows what failed the last time, and why -- and it was people like Susan Rice advising the others on the Obama team to go all "hands off" on the Green Revolution, that caused it to fail.

The president should be anything but quiet.  He has been making public statements that threaten the Iranian dictators with further sanctions if they suppress the current revolution, and repeatedly letting them know that the USA is watching what goes on in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere in the nation.  And we have to believe -- I do -- that if the mullahs start firing on the demonstrators, the USA will intervene somehow.

It is, we hear, already getting a little uncomfortable in the palaces of the leaders there.  They don't know what to make of this President Trump, but they also know that he was perfectly happy to drop the Mother of All Bombs when it was militarily helpful.  And it would be extraordinarily good for the USA if the dictatorship were replaced with a more democratic government there.

But Susan Rice advises that the president "be quiet", as if she thinks that her performance merits a shred of respect for her opinions.  We see quite well what "being quiet" did last time.

President Trump knows much better.  How does that feel, Madam Ambassador?

Copyright 2018 by Robert Sutton
Like what you read here?  There's a new post from Bob at at 10am Eastern time, every weekday, giving new meaning to "prolific essayist."  Appearance, advertising, sponsorship and interview inquiries cheerfully welcomed at or on Twitter at @rmosutton.

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