Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Bill Clinton blames US for Iranian hostage crisis

Bill Clinton, while pandering to the anti-American international elitists to whom he aspires to be, basically blamed American foreign policy for the Iranian hostage crisis while he was at World Economic Forum in Davos. This is the same place he made his feelings known about being a liberal and the state of liberalism in America today.

Funny, though, because he blamed the roots of the Iranian hostage crisis on policy set in motion in the 1950's (Republican president Eisenhower), rather than the Carter administration (Democrat president). His quote:
“Iran is a whole different kettle of fish. It’s a sad story that really began in the 1950s when the United States deposed Mr. [Mohammed] Mossadegh, [Prime Minister of Iran] who was an elected parliamentary democrat and brought the Shah back in … and then he was overturned by the Ayatollah Khomeni, driving us into the arms of one Saddam Hussein. Most of the terrible things Saddam Hussein did in the 1980s he did with the full knowing support of the United States government.

Because he wasn’t Iran, and Iran was what it was, because we got rid of the parliamentary democracy back in the fifties. At least that’s my belief. I know it’s not popular for an American to ever say anything like this but I think it’s true. (The Davos audience applauds at that moment - ed.)

And I apologized when President Khatami was elected, I publicly acknowledged that the United States had actively overthrown Mossadegh and I apologized for it. And I hope that we could have some reapproachment with Iran.”
National Review's reaction?
Considering how useless the Iranian elections have proven in moderating the regime’s crackdown on the Iranian people, in liberating free expression in that country, ties to terrorism, or its nuclear weapons program, one wonders why President Clinton feels compelled to talk about how inspiring it is that the Iran progressives win 60 to 70 percent of the vote.

Clinton’s earlier remarks also sound suspiciously like blaming U.S. foreign policy for the Iranian revolution (guess our embassy employees had it coming, huh, Mr. President?) and for Saddam’s crimes of the 1980s. Obviously, that played well with the Davos elites. But one wonders if President Clinton would make the same remarks if he were, say, on the campaign trail with Senator Clinton in 2006? (to hell with 2006...what about 2008? - ed.)

One wonders if Senator Clinton agrees with the former president’s foreign policy analysis, and huzzahs for the Iran elections process.

UPDATE: John at Powerline writes in to say they blogged some about Clinton's remarks this weekend. The key point: "Bill Clinton's infatuation with Khatami and the Iranian "moderates" can only be understood as an instance of American liberals' projection of their own concepts of virtue onto just about any anti-Americans in foreign countries."
This, though, I think is the most poignant thought of all:
Clinton, the first modern president who didn't have to deal with the USSR, put a great deal of energy into apologizing for the mistakes of his predecessors, and perhaps not enough energy into avoiding and/or learning from his own foreign policy mistakes - the Somalia retreat, inaction over Rwanda, insufficient responses to al-Qaeda terrorism, pinprick responses to Saddam Hussein's defiance, a delayed and clumsy reaction to ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, treating Yassir Arafat like a trustworthy peacemaker, and trusting the North Koreans to not develop nukes.

Perhaps some folks on the right have been too quick to make moral compromises in the name of fighting a enemy, be it communism or Islamist terrorism. Some folks on the left are less willing to make those moral compromises... but one can't help but wonder if that stems from an opposition to moral compromises, or an opposition to the fight in the first place.
I'd say the latter. Seldom have liberals ever found a fight worth fighting, as if hugs (and our nuke technology and secrets) will make evil men less evil.