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A Missed Opportunity

Obama should have been fanning the flames of Iranian revolution in his State of the Union address.

10:19 AM, Jan 28, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
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In a State of the Union address that was already too light on national security and foreign policy, one of the most pressing security challenges of the day --Iran-- received barely a mention.



These diplomatic efforts have also strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of these weapons.  That is why North Korea now faces increased isolation, and stronger sanctions – sanctions that are being vigorously enforced.  That is why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran’s leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: they, too, will face growing consequences.


What a wasted opportunity. One line mentioning the Iranian democratic movement would have emboldened the Islamic Republic's freedom fighters to immeasurable proportions. One brief mention, "Iranians, we are with you," on a soapbox as grand as the State of the Union would have raised the blood and spirits of the protesters beyond their grandest demonstration, and put the Mullahs on the defensive. 


Instead we were served with a tepid regurgitation of a failed talking point. This was the time and place to pivot on Iranian policy -- and to start treating the Persian democratic underground with the same respect that Reagan paid to the Polish solidarity movement. But the president dedicated more rhetoric to windmills and solar panels than to the justness of their cause. 


President Obama had a real chance to score one for the good guys last night. Tragically, he blew it.

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