Tuesday, June 16, 2009

International Interference

Greg Sargent at the The Plum Line looks favorably at Obama's handling of the Iranian crisis:
But guess who is praising Obama’s approach and saying Obama’s right to refrain from McCainian chest-thumping: George W. Bush’s top negotiator with Iran, Ambassador Nicholas Burns.

In an interview today with NPR, Burns praised Obama’s handling of the crisis, and said that a more aggressive response would actually play into the hands of President Ahmadinejad.

“President Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to see a very aggressive series of statements by the United States that would try to put the U.S. in the center of this,” Burns said. “And I think President Obama is avoiding that quite rightly.”

“This is not a dispute for the U.S. to be the center of,” Burns said at another point. “It’s up to Iranians to decide who Iran’s future leaders will be. He said he respects Iran’s sovereignty. I think it was important to do that.”
Perhaps this Burns guy is right. Perhaps Obama is discretely promoting "hope and change" in Iran by exerting influence in ways that wont be covered in the media. After all, Obama dodged media scrutiny while steering foreign donations to victory last November, so he's not that troubled by international electoral meddling:
Something like $63 million has poured into Obama's coffers from foreign sources -- the tip there is that the donations end in pennies, like $43.36, which indicates they've been converted from foreign currency. Hence the odd amount of the donation.

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