Self-Criticism and Barack Obama Iran Conflict

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Authenticity Still Reigns

Iran Conflict

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Historic protests ring through Iran today. The world is watching. 
Former President Barack Obama has been recently reflecting on his past reactions to the Iranian conflict. Barack Obama served as the 44th president of the United States of America from 2009 to 2017. He is a member of the Democratic Party and the first African American president of the United States. 

The mirrors of our lives often reflect back on us. Some of those reflections are positive, some negative. The gray area of haze is among each of us. In our most pensive moments attempts to be our best reveals our personal humanity. Man against Man. Man against Nature. Man against Society. 

Obama’s initial response to the Iranian protests in 2009 became a source of controversy at the time, and his political enemies have brought it back up at various times since. The Green Movement in Iran, along with the world, found the then-president to be extremely cautious of his reactions to the Iranian upheaval. Apparently, at that time he chose to not give Iranian authorities credence for a brutal crackdown. He did call out for free speech, dissent, and the democratic process after elections in Iran were respected. It is noted also that he abhorred the current violence in the region. In addition, he stated, “It is up to Iranians to make decisions about who Iran’s leaders will be.” He notably wanted “to avoid the United States being the issue inside of Iran” and become a “handy political football.”

Times change, and so do ideals as the world stage plays out. Crooked Media’s “Pod Save America” podcast is run by a group of Obama’s former White House aides. On this forum, Obama now admits that his initial stance on Iran was wrong. Obama continues to inspire. It takes massive courage and strength of character to admit a mistake in personal judgment.

“When I think back to 2009, 2010, you guys will recall there was a big debate inside the White House about whether I should publicly affirm what was going on with the Green Movement because a lot of the activists were being accused of being tools of the West and there was some thought that we were somehow gonna be undermining their street cred in Iran if I supported what they were doing,” Obama said. “And in retrospect, I think that was a mistake.” The incredible moment continues with him saying, “Every time we see a flash, a glimmer of hope, of people longing for freedom, I think we have to point it out. We have to shine a spotlight on it. We have to express some solidarity about it”.

At the time it was thought that his initial soft response was because he did not want to muddy the waters with Iran in relation to obtaining a nuclear arms deal with Tehran. He did accomplish this feat in 2015. This deal was then trashed by his successor. “Had we not had that in place, I think Iran would’ve had a nuclear weapon by now,” Obama said.

The Iran nuclear deal was withdrawn by Former President Trump isolating the United States from its Western allies. This act added uncertainty before a risky nuclear negotiation with North Korea. This decision left the 2015 agreement reached by seven countries after more than two years of grueling negotiations in tatters.

Currently, thirteen years later the protests in Iran have escalated. The death of a 22-year-old young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, after detention by Tehran’s morality police ignited a community of violent revolution. Mahsa Amini is shown is CCTV footage released by Iran’s state media as collapsing at a “re-education” center where the morality police took her to show her “guidance” on her attire. 

The death of this young woman will not soon be forgotten. It has sparked an outpouring of anger that has now included issues ranging from freedoms in the Islamic Republic to the crippling economic impacts of sanctions. Deadly clashes with police have emerged across Iran in spite of the authority's attempt to quell the disorder through internet blackouts. 

The United States, along with the world stage, cannot predict what will happen in the near future. Currently, Iran is a strong ally of Russia and the impact on the Ukrainian people is also in the balance. Man against Man is the nature of 2022. It seems the humans presently inhabiting the planet are in juxtaposition with the evil that lurks in the heart of man. 

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