President Obama Follows Governor Palin’s National Security Advice

Following President Obama’s speech on former Egyptian President Mubarak’s decision to resign yesterday afternoon, Governor Palin tweeted the following:

Media: ask "Will Obama Admin exert as much ‘constructive’ pressure on Iranian govt to change & allow freedom ~ as they just did for Egypt?"

Today, the Hill reports (emphasis mine):

The White House said Saturday that, off the heels of 18 days of Egyptian protests that ousted President Hosni Mubarak, Iran should allow its people to demonstrate.

Tehran had praised Egyptians for rising up against Mubarak’s secular government, calling it an Islamic awakening. Yet some trace the roots of the grass-roots, social-media-driven revolt in Egypt to the Green Revolution protests against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s last election and demanding democracy.

Opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroub, both candidates in that election, wanted to stage a rally Monday in support of uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. But the regime quickly put a damper on the permit request, calling the rallies "riots by seditionists."

"By announcing that they will not allow opposition protests, the Iranian government has declared illegal for Iranians what it claimed was noble for Egyptians," National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said in a statement released by the White House on Saturday.

"We call on the government of Iran to allow the Iranian people the universal right to peacefully assemble, demonstrate and communicate that’s being exercised in Cairo," he said.

Well, what do we have here? Governor Palin tweets, and the next day, President Obama jumps.  The Obama administration is thankfully heading Governor Palin’s advice for once.  However, it cannot be forgotten that President Obama largely ignored the green movement protests during Iran’s presidential election in 2009 and has not taken a strong stance against the tyranny of President Ahmadinejad. This is not the first time that Governor Palin has called for respect for human rights and allowance of freedom in Iran. In an op-ed published in the USA Today in December, Governor Palin wrote:

But we also need to encourage a positive vision for Iran. Iran is not condemned to live under the totalitarian inheritance of the Ayatollah Khomeini forever. There is an alternative — an Iran where human rights are respected, where women are not subjugated, where terrorist groups are not supported and neighbors are not threatened. A peaceful, democratic Iran should be everyone’s goal. There are many hopeful signs inside Iran that reveal the Iranian people’s desire for this peaceful, democratic future. We must encourage their voices.

When the brave people of Iran take to the streets in defiance of their unelected dictatorship, they must know that we in the free world stand with them. When the women of Iran rise up to demand their rights, they must know that we women of the free world who enjoy the rights won for us by our suffragist foremothers stand with our sisters there. When Iranians demand freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom to simply live their lives as they choose without persecution, we in the free world must stand with them.

Of course, in Governor Palin’s tweet yesterday, she effectively challenged both the media and the Obama administration using only 140 characters. President Obama may have released a statement quoting his national security advisor, but that’s a far cry from a bold stance for freedom and democracy. President Obama has taken a tiny baby step in the right direction. We’re all, of course, still waiting for the media to challenge the Obama administration.



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