January 27, 2010

Obama and his once-in-a-generation opportunity

US President Barack Obama should realize that he ‘has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help make the world a dramatically safer place,’ and that ‘this is his “tear down this wall” moment.’ It’s a fleeting moment, though...

Robert Kagan in today’s Washington Post:

Imagine an Iran whose educated, inventive and highly cultured people were allowed to flourish, fully enmeshed in the global economy and society. Imagine the effect on the Muslim world and the greater Middle East of a modernizing, prosperous Iran that held regular, free and fair elections. Those who have long advocated a "grand bargain" were right to talk about the immense global benefits if Iran could be integrated into the international order. Their big mistake was thinking such a bargain could be had with benighted and virulently anti-Western leaders. But the bargain would be grand if the present government could go the way of the Brezhnevs and Ligachevs.

Regime change is more important than any deal the Obama administration might strike with Iran's present government on its nuclear program. Even if Tehran were to accept the offer made last year to export some of its low-enriched uranium, this would be a modest step down a long, uncertain road. Such a minor concession is not worth abandoning the push for real change.

1 comment:

  1. It's a wonderful thought, and true that former Great Persia's contribution to the world today would be as considerable as it would be precious, but 'modest steps' won't change anything with the present Iranian regime. 'Modest steps' and other little compromises won't persuade the Iranian government to abandon its objectives. On the contrary they allow the regime more time to persue them. A regime that is capable of treating its own people with murderous disdain is not likely to be influenced by world opinion either.

    'The once-in-a-generation opportunity to make the world a dramatically safer place' would mean nothing less than declaring war against the Iranian regime: Iran. Even if this was thought inevitable in the long term, whether Obama has personally enough clout for such an undertaking still remains to be seen.