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Hot Dog Diplomacy

June 24, 2009

IBD  24 June 09

Iran: Apart from rhetoric, the U.S. has yet to take a firm stand against the Iran’s brutal oppression of its own people. For a start, how about rescinding the invitation to Iran’s diplomats to attend our 4th of July celebrations?

President Obama deserves credit for finally toughening his language against the Iranian regime on Tuesday after its brutal crackdown on the millions of average Iranians who took to the streets to protest a stolen election.

“Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history,” Obama said. The entire world, he added, was “appalled and outraged” at Iran’s crushing of dissent.

Ringing words, and true. But he weakened the power of his own rhetoric by invoking, not once but twice, his “respect” for the sovereignty of the “Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Respect? For a government that likely just stole an election, and that routinely flouts international law to develop a nuclear weapon? For the same government that brutally murdered Neda Agha Soltan, whose tragic last moments alive were viewed by millions on YouTube?

Sorry, but Iran’s regime deserves no respect. They’ve been emboldened to go after their own people by what they perceive as U.S. softening toward them.

To show Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime we aren’t patsies, we should stop talking and start acting. A good first step: Disinvite Iran’s diplomats from our 4th of July celebrations.

Asking Iran’s diplomats to attend our national day at U.S. embassies around the world was a mistake in the first place. Letting representatives of a terrorist-supporting regime eat halal hot dogs and drink soda as guests of the American people would dishonor our nation — and all those who fought and died to preserve our freedoms.

We see it as the moral equivalent of inviting Hitler’s ambassadors to our Fourth back in 1939. Lest you think that’s an exaggeration, please remember: Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.

Fact is, the fundamentalist mullahs in charge in Iran are paranoid medievalists, untouched by any gentling modern sensibility and entirely out of touch with the drift of human rights and freedom over the last, say, 200 years.

They don’t see the “unclenched fist” that’s been offered to them as what it is: an act of generous goodwill from a far stronger foe. No, they see it as weakness from a leader who really doesn’t understand the depth of their hatred of us and our way of life.

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