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"The Great Equivocator"

11:22 AM, Jun 26, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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Andrew Shearer, who served as national security adviser to former Australian PM John Howard, goes nuclear on Obama:

Barack Obama came to office full of lofty rhetoric and promises to restore American leadership. As street protests begin to peter out, ground into Tehran's pavements by thugs unleashed by its authoritarian Islamist regime, it is becoming clear that he has failed his first major foreign policy test.

When young Iranians took to the streets spontaneously to express their outrage at an election that had obviously been stolen (rather than just rigged around the edges as usual), the great orator seemed tongue-tied. His sentences - usually so rich and sonorous - were carefully parsed, spare with caution and respect for Iran's sovereignty. The great communicator had become the great equivocator.

It took global revulsion at Youtube footage of a young Iranian woman bleeding to death in the street before he expressed appropriate outrage - almost a week late. But even when he acknowledged her death was ‘heartbreaking', Obama's language was bizarrely legalistic and went to awkward lengths to avoid sheeting home responsibility to the regime: Neda Agha Soltan's death was ‘unjust', he eventually intoned.

Unjust? Arbitrary arrest or a fine would have been ‘unjust'. Her death was a cold-blooded, brutal, appalling murder by an illegitimate government and should have been denounced in those terms, as should the previous extrajudicial killings.

Read the whole thing here.