Hi There, Iranians! I'm Hillary, Let's Chat
by DR. MICHAEL LEDEEN
December 9, 2011
For those who may have thought the Obama administration lacked real spine on responding to the 32-year old Iranian war against us, there is now a dramatic response (mild sarcasm alert). The State Department has launched a “virtual Embassy” to Iran, a website with some useful material about the Iranian regime’s systematic distortion of America, and American policy towards Iran, a collection of old speeches and statements from Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama, links to Hillary herself doing TV interviews, and “news” from the Voice of America.
The best of it, aside from information about visas and student exchange programs (stuff that is easily available online in any event), comes in a section about “myths” about American policy, in which the “Embassy” takes pains to point out that the United States is aware of the repression of the Iranian people, and has sanctioned the officials guilty of it:
We have designated numerous Iranian officials and organizations for their responsibility in the serious human rights abuses carried out after the disputed 2009 elections. The Iranian government is responsible for jailing, intimidating, and isolating Iran’s preeminent thinkers, filmmakers, lawyers, journalists and civil society activists, depriving the world of their contributions to the international community of ideas.
True enough, but there are two missing words in the list of regime abuses: murdering and torturing. And the “myths” carry on some of our unfortunate past errors, such as apologizing for our presumed sins in 1953, when we and the Brits supported millions of Iranians calling for the return of the shah and the removal of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadeqh. Indeed, both President Clinton and Secretary of State Albright both apologized for this.
And the number one myth the State Department is at such pains to knock down is the very idea that the United States wants to topple the regime in Tehran — which is what most Iranians want. No way, they are told: “Fact: U.S. policy is to support international norms, respecting both the rights and responsibilities of all nations.”
There’s a cheery text-and-video greeting from Hillary, very chatty and friendly (“Welcome to the United States’ Virtual Embassy in Tehran!” she starts, as if the State Department server were in the capital instead of in the ether), so even if we’re not going to end their misery, she’d love to hear from them.
I think the tone is all wrong, and her message strikes me as coming from some other planet, a happy planet where Iranians are not dying every day because the regime doesn’t like people who go online and send chatty messages to the American secretary of state. Here’s Hillary again:
This is a platform for us to communicate with each other—openly and without fear—about the United States, about our policies, our culture, and the American people.
Hillary certainly knows that the regime has mastered Internet filtering and monitoring, and most savvy Iranians know that if they send a breezy note to Hillary, some nasty troll will spot it and report them for it…so Hillary’s line about chatting “openly and without fear” is entirely wrong. In fact, one will get you ten that most Iranians will view this as some kind of snare, and will stay away, and most of those who send Hillary some fun email will do so because their neighborhood Basij thug told them to do it.
After all, she’s already told them that she isn’t going to help them slay their dragon.
And for this we pay millions of dollars?