Iran is in messy turmoil after the presidential election on June 12. This indicates that things have not improved since the revolution. Iran has been a bête noire in the global community as a terrorist sponsor and a nuclear megalomania. Apparently, Iran has been more poorly governed under corrupt current theocracy than it had been under the shah. Despite this, President Barack Obama apologized for CIA intervention to topple Prime Minister-then Mohammed Mosaddeq in the world famous Cairo Speech.
Strangely enough, while President Obama denounce legitimate sponsorship for anti-communist coup d’état, he shows no enthusiasm to endorse current democratic rally against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Let me review the history of Iran. During the Anglo Iranian Oil Dispute from 1952 to 1953, Mosaddeq tried to associate Iran with the Soviet Union. In Cold War power politics, what he did was unacceptable. Once Iran had fallen into communists’ hand, security the whole area around the Persian Gulf would have been extremely fragile. The United States was right to endorse Britain to block red expansionism. Remember that America always represented conscience of global citizens when aligned itself with Sir Winston Churchill who was the Prime Minister then for the second time. A provincial lawyer from the Mid West, Harry Truman had become a global statesman when he accepted the Iron Curtain Speech by Churchill (Can Obama the Savior deliver such a great speech?). Also, nationalism uproar in the Middle East needed to be curtailed. Saddam Hussein was inspired by Gamar Abdel Nasser in the Suez Crisis. When Saddam invaded Kuwait, he identified himself with Nasser who nationalized British controlled Suez Canal. Mosaddeq could have provoked dangerous nationalism as Nasser did.
Until the economic crisis in the late 1970s, Iran had been enjoying modernization under the shah. It is utterly wrong to say that the coup d’état has led Iran to anti-Western. During the Pahlavi era, numerous Iranians gladly enrolled colleges in the United States. Those who were educated in the United States and other Western nations occupied top positions in the government, the military, and the business. Contrary to what Obama said in the Cairo Speech, this is a proof of widespread pro-Americanism in Iran in those days.
Regarding Obama's remark on Iran in the worldwide-praised Cairo Speech, Charles Krauthammer, a columnist of the Washington Post, criticizes that the President blames the US side unfairly (“Obama Hovers From on High”; Washington Post; June 12, 2009). Barack Obama may be a Wilsonian idealist as Robert Kagan says (“Woodrow Wilson's Heir”; Washington Post; June 7, 2009), but his idealism undermines US diplomacy if he has no confidence in Americaness. Krauthammer argues that American involvement in the coup d’état to overthrow democratically elected Mosaddeq gives no excuse for Iran to take hostage at the US embassy in 1979 and sponsor terrorists. I agree with him. In the column, Krauthammer points out that President Obama is extremely biased to favor Islamic radicals on the Islam-Western clash in the Cairo Speech. This is a vital point to understand the speech that the media bow down and praise.
Prior to the presidential election, Foreign Policy published a special edition on the web, and foretold corruption and confusion associated with it. Karim Sadjapour, Associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said this election was a rivalry between Tehran and the rest. Without credible polls, it was difficult predict the result, and global media tended to dismiss rural opinions. In the end, Sadjapour said that unelected mullahs decide the winner, which would make the result controversial as it happened in 2000 US election over Florida votes (“Why Iran '09 Could Be Like Florida '00”; Foreign Policy, June 2009). Cameron Abadi, Writer for German journals Die Zeit and Spiegel International, compares current election with the revolution to oust the shah in 1979. Whether Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Mir Hossein Mousavi, the winner would face tremendous opposition resistance, because this election reflects clashes between conservatives and reformists ("Iran's New Revolution"; Foreign Policy June 2009).
If this is a prelude to another revolution in Iran, should the United States intervene? Remember that President-then Jimmy Carter did nothing to stop radical mullahs during the revolution in 1979, and America has lost Iran since then. William Kristol wonders why President Obama is so reluctant to use America’s soft power if he is truly loyal to his conviction for democracy (“Kristol: Where's the Soft Power?”; Weekly Standard Blog; June 14, 2009). Jimmy Carter failed to endorse well-educated and pro-Western generals to stand against mad and anti-Western mullahs. People know the outcome of it. Will Barack Carter Obama fail to endorse democratic Iranians and allow mad mullahs to rule this country continually?
Senator John McCain urges President Obama to speak out corrupt and fraud election (“Obama refuses to 'meddle' in Iran”; BBC News; 17 June 2009). Yes, this is how American soft power should be used.
Those who were moved to listen to oracles of the Cairo Speech by the Savior must think again, and the Iranian Crisis is a real opportunity to judge the young and brilliant president. He is tested now. Will Barack Carter Obama repeat the same error committed by James Earl Carter?