Monday, February 2, 2009

Political Points

Picture by Paula Gillen

Who's Sorry Now?

Posted 2/2/2009

Mideast: Iran's president wants an apology from the United States for its past policies toward Tehran. We did that once. Global leadership means never having to say you're sorry.

"Those who say they want change," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told a crowd of thousands last week, "this is the change they should make: They should apologize to the Iranian nation and try to make up for their dark background and the crimes they have committed against the Iranian nation."

Been there, done that. President Clinton apologized at a state dinner on April 12, 1999, saying Iran "has been the subject of quite a lot of abuse from various Western nations. And I think sometimes it's quite important to tell people, look, you have a right to be angry at something my country or my culture or others that are generally allied with us today did to you 50 or 60 or 150 years ago."

As the Los Angeles Times recounted on March 18, 2000, the Clinton administration in its final year positively groveled before the mullahs in the proud tradition of Jimmy Carter. Carter, recall, helped bring them to power out of concern for human rights violations by the pro-Western regime led by the Shah of Iran.

In 2000, at a state dinner in Washington, Secretary of State Madeline Albright also apologized for past American actions toward Iran, from our role in orchestrating the overthrow of Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, to our backing of the shah, to our backing of Iraq in its war with Iran.

Albright said that the U.S. understood Iranian anger over the 1953 CIA operation that let the shah return to Iran and preside over a "brutally oppressive" regime.

She said the U.S. "must bear its full share of responsibility for the problems that have arisen in U.S.-Iranian relations."

Those problems presumably include Hezbollah, created and supported by Iran, killing 243 American soldiers in their Beirut barracks in 1983. Before 9/11, Hezbollah was responsible for killing more Americans than any other terrorist group. They have never apologized for this and other actions.

Iran has never apologized for holding 52 Americans hostage for 444 days after Iranian thugs stormed the American Embassy in Tehran. It has never apologized for being a state sponsor of terror or for developing a nuclear weapon to destroy Israel while failing to cooperate with the United Nations.

Past American timidity toward Iran has not exactly instilled fear in the mullahs that threaten us and helped place us and our allies at risk. President Obama has an opportunity to avoid the mistakes of his Democratic predecessors and to make it clear that it's the Iranians who have some 'splaining to do, not us.


Patience is the art of hoping

Luc de Clapier


  1. SPLAINING! I love it!!!

    Ramble on Fish.....

  2. I certainly hope the author is not suggesting the US needs to take a stance which would strike terror into the hearts of the Iranians as a sign of strength...
    We approach Iran with diplomacy because we are better than they are. To approach with a clenched fist is to reduce ourselves to their level.
    But, I do agree we should not apologize for past actions - or, if we do, it should only be after Iran does their bit of public 'splaining' as well.


You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

Harlan Ellison