For those too young to remember when Iran was America’s 51st state in the Middle East, it once was. The CIA helped overthrow one government there in 1953 and installed a monarch, The Shah (not his real name but it’s like on Jersey Shore) who bought American weapons, sold America oil and sucked up to the US like a tipsy Snooki with lips pursed from eating pickled lemons. That, kids, was regime change old-school style.
Then there was an Islamic Revolution that swept through Iran, flawed in its own right, but appealing to a people who had long been kept in line by the Shah’s security apparatus and tired of playing Snooki to the US’ Vinnie or whoever, I’m bored with the guido satire. The Shah was reviled by many of his country people and, to avoid facing their justice for his actions, fled to the US for “medical care.” “Medical care” is what dictators say when they need to blow town; for domestic US politicians, the correct phrase is “spend more time with my family.”
The Shah came to the US, Iran went spunky wild and stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, taking US diplomats hostage. That crisis lasted 444 days, brought down the Carter Administration and messed relations in the Middle East up for pretty much forever.
The current dictator of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, aka “The Predicament,” (last Jersey reference, this is where the article turns serious) is unpopular and needs to blow town before his own people shred him in the village square. So he now needs “medical treatment” and it appears the Obama administration may issue him a visa to enter the US. Saleh had previously sought medical care in Saudi Arabia, but must have not had insurance because he left to go right back to Yemen. Apparently there are no other doctors available anywhere in the entire world, must be some sort of strike or big convention or something.
What could possibly go wrong?
Hey, Obama, did you sleep through 2011? Remember the Arab Spring Break? By accepting another non-democratic dictator formerly pals with the US for “medical care,” the US denies the events of 2011 and essentially blows party chunks in the face of the ideals it publicly supported during the Spring. Hillary, this is not about Twitter or social media saving democracy– the US has the chance to stand up, for once, for its long-term goals of supporting people who wish to throw off a dictator. Instead, it looks like we’ll let him into the US for safe haven, once again choosing expediency over morality. The image of the US among Yemenis will be nothing more than the country that gave shelter to their former dictator. US policy in the Middle East will again be clearly little more than oil and back slapping dictators who feed our counterterrorism fetish.
Welcome to 1979, President Obama
(No gratuitous Jersey Shoe concluding reference. This is like serious!)
Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!