Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is an authoritarian. Barack Obama is a liberal. As can be seen in the video above, Obama has recently made the gesture of sending a conciliatory and friendly message to Iran’s government and its people, and below is the response. According to the AP, Iran’s “supreme leader” gathered together tens of thousands of Iranians and offered this retort:
Khamenei, wearing a black turban and dark robes, said America was hated around the world for its arrogance, as the crowd chanted “Death to America.”
Obama should continue to make verbal gestures of reconciliation with Iran, and continue to talk civil, and take “the high road” in the face of these insults. But, over the next year, if he does not start to get a productive response from the Iranian government in return, he should answer Khamenei’s medievalism and stupidity with isolation and (if necessary) force. And if Khamenei’s government is, in fact, anywhere near obtaining a nuclear weapon, Obama will simply have to disarm it (or look the other way while Israeli air forces disarm it). Period.
Obama has an awful lot of bullshit on his plate. I wish him well, and hope he succeeds at diffusing all the domestic and foreign policy bombs strewn about his administration’s path. These are dark and dangerous times, and this quote from Winston Churchill in 1936 seems apt:
“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…”