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Obama / Bush?

Iranian President Ahmadinejad is now comparing President Obama to President Bush. Apparently, Ahmadinejad takes issue with our U.S. President recognizing incivility and tyranny when he sees it. For those who support President Obama, this should be an encouraging development.

Recall Hillary Clinton’s warnings during the 2008 campaign that the Presidency is no place to learn on the job? (With regard to foreign policy experience.) Well it seems that while President Obama undeniably required on-the-job training in foreign policy, he appears to be a quick study.
President Obama rightly considered the calculus with recognizing the turmoil in Iran. If he said nothing in response to the images of Iranian citizens being beaten and otherwise oppressed, he would have tacitly validated such actions. This would not only be morally wrong, but antithetical to everything the United States stands for, and was founded upon.
The theoretical “downside” to President Obama (rightly) condemning the Iranian electoral irregularities and suppression of all opposition, involves damage to U.S./Iranian relations. However, the question becomes: “What is the extent of those relations, and how, if at all, can they be any worse?” President Ahmadinejad cares little for the U.S., and cares even less what the world community has said about the Iranian Nuclear Program. Thus, the U.S. and the world community have more to gain if the protesters somehow obtain redress, than we would gain by avoiding the aspersions of the current Iranian government.
Although supporters of President Obama surely cringe at comparisons made between he and President Bush, they should take solace in the statement as a compliment. President Bush may have made foreign policy mistakes, but he always spoke out in favor of taking action to support and secure democracies in a very troubled area of the world. I was not sure if President Obama would follow the same course. He has proven me wrong in this instance, and I gladly accept my error.

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