On ABC’s This Week program, prominent conservative George Will called the right wing criticism of President Obama’s response to the protests in Iran foolish. He said, “The people on the streets know full well what the American attitude toward the regime is. And they don’t need that reinforced.”
Here is the video courtesy of Think Progress:
Will said, “The legitimacy of the regime such as it was, is much diminished, whether or not that is a good thing is another matter. The president is being roundly criticized for insufficient, rhetorical support for what’s going on over there. It seems to me foolish criticism. The people on the streets know full well what the American attitude toward the regime is. And they don’t need that reinforced. Furthermore, there is an American memory of encouraging things like the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, with the rhetoric about rolling back Communism. We had balloons float in and drop medals with the Statue of Liberty on it and leaflets came the crunch and there was nothing we could do about it.”
George Will joined fellow Republicans like Pat Buchanan and Henry Kissinger in condemning the right wing criticism of Obama. Will is correct that even if the U.S. vocally supported the protests there is nothing that they can do when the violent crackdown comes, to help the protesters. Another example that comes to mind happened in Iraq where the US encouraged the Kurds to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but did nothing while they were gassed by Saddam.
The right wing has based its foreign policy on tough talk for decades, but America would not be helping the protesters by talking tough. People like John McCain and Lindsey Graham are trying to earn domestic political points by exploiting the situation. They don’t seem to care about the consequences that a policy of tough talk and action would hold for the protesters.