"Ultimately, the most important thing for the Iranian government to consider is legitimacy in the eyes of its own people, not in the eyes of the United States. And that's why I've been very clear, ultimately, this is up to the Iranian people to decide who their leadership is going to be and the structure of their government."
And that's exactly right. It's not our business to decide who is the legitimate leader of a foreign country. It's not about us. It's not our decision if an election is fair or if the dictator is benevolent. We should just do business with whoever controls the country and avoid taking sides. Not because we're callous or hate freedom, but because that's the only realistic position to take. That's not to say that we shouldn't condemn violence, but that applies to our allies too. I don't want England or even our own country busting the heads of protesters.
Blaming American Leaders
And in the end, this non-intervention policy is the smart move, as we won't get screwed over when the benevolent leaders we support turn out to be not so benevolent (eg, The Shah of Iran, Ngo Dinh Diem, whoever Castro overthrew) and we become enemies of the people for supporting the a-holes they overthrew. After all, almost all of America's enemies were enemies based upon stupid decisions American leaders made several decades ago, which have entirely limited the sort of diplomatic tools we can use with those countries. Even with Castro, we opposed him before he opposed us. And now Obama's hands are tied when dealing with Cuba, due to decisions made before he was born.
And so the non-intervention policy that Obama endorsed here makes sense always and all the time. We don't want Iran deciding which of our elections are valid and its no different for us. Seriously, how pissed would you have been if Iran had strongly sided with Gore in 2000? We just need to accept whoever controls the country and work with that. And of course, it must be remembered that we still don't officially recognize the Iranian leadership as being the leadership of Iran; which sort of undermines Obama's non-intervention. I mean, for as much as he says it's up to the Iranian people to determine who their leadership is, that would reverse the official position we've held since I was a child.
But still, his endorsement of leaving this to the Iranian people is the right decision. While some might see this as a sign of weakness, or even support for the Iranian government; it's really just an acknowledgment of reality. Our track record of selecting good leaders of other countries is absolutely abysmal and usually ends up backfiring on us. And so not only is the Biobrain Doctrine the smart decision, it's the only one based in reality. And to suggest that America can have a positive influence in other countries by taking an active role in the selection of their leaders is absolute fantasy.
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