The Corner

‘Silence from the White House as the future of the world revolves around the Iranian cauldron.’

That’s the concluding line from the latest in a series of posts from Michael Ledeen at his Pajamas blog, Faster Please, where you can follow the breathtaking events underway in Iran. I also loved this line at the end of Amir Taheri’s trenchant essay (“Iran’s Democratic Moment”) in this morning’s WSJ: ”Iran has entered one of those hinge moments in history. What is certain is that the status quo has become untenable.”

The regime in Tehran, our enemy, is teetering on the brink of collapse. All it needs is a little push from the United States — a strong statement of support for the Iranian people’s revolt from the American president. The Iranian people may be able to do this for themselves, but they need our open exhortations of support and encouragement, coupled with some modest measures like (as Michael said in an interview with Bill Bennett yesterday morning) logistical and communications support for the dissidents, and policies aimed at exploiting Iran’s dependence on refined gasoline and access to shipping insurance markets that have been advocated by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Michael has been saying for years that the regime can be toppled without a military invasion. I haven’t been as confident about that — but he has been right about everything else, hasn’t he? One thing is for sure: as a number of us have been saying for a long time, the national policy of the United States — the organizing principle based on which we should make all decisions that touch on Iran — should be regime change. The mullahs may have 30 nuclear facilities; they only have one regime, and if the regime was replaced by something better, we wouldn’t be nearly as worried about the nuclear facilities.

I got some heat a while back for saying out loud that I think President Obama would rather see the regime prevail. Now here is a hinge moment, right there for the taking, and . . . he is giving the regime exactly what it needs to hang on: his deaf ear to the protests and his dogged concession of the regime’s legitimacy.

About a week ago, I wrote a column called “Alinksy Does Afghanistan” in which I noted that Obama — who has spent most of his adult life, including his presidency, talking down America — suddenly found it expedient to tell a hall full of cadets that America is the one nation that “tends to the light of freedom, and justice, and opportunity, and respect for the dignity of all peoples.” Did he mean it? I don’t think so — I think he says whatever he thinks he needs to say in the moment. But here’s his big chance to prove me and others wrong. Far more importantly, it is his opportunity to do a tremendous service to our nation while moving Iran closer to the light of freedom he claims to be tending.

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