Oh, dear, my invitation to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Nowruz celebration must have gotten lost in the mail!
Nowruz is an Iranian holiday heralding the arrival of spring and the beginning of the Persian New Year.
So I missed Mrs. Obama’s welcoming remarks, though they are available at the White House website. The first lady said:
For more than 3,000 years, families and communities in the Middle East, Asia, and all around the world, including here in the United States, have celebrated this holiday to mark the renewal of the earth in springtime — and we’re finally feeling spring! Yay for that! (Applause.) To reflect on the year before, and to make new commitments for good health, prosperity in the year ahead.
Who knew that we were celebrating Nowruz three thousand years ago in the United States? Yay!
Look, I am all for diversity and honoring ancient and other cultures. It is part of what the liberal education (in which I believe) inculcates. But I have to agree with White House Dossier's Keith Koffler that Mrs. Obama’schoice of this precise moment in history to celebrate an Iranian holiday at the White House at this might be a teensy weensy bit ill-advised:
There are somewhere between half a million and a million Iranian Americans in the United States, about the same as the number of Lithuanian Americans. Where’s the White House Lithuanian American holiday celebration?
No, this is not about Nowruz. This is a clear attempt to appease the Iran government, and it is exactly what is wrong with President Obama’s approach to Iran and the rest of the world. It explains why Iran has been able to extract a deal that will allow the centrifuges to keep spinning and, ultimately, a bomb to be built.
What is it with the Left in the West that the default switch is set to appeasement? Reminds me of when Chamberlain returned from Munich talking about “Herr Hitler” – Mister Hitler. Yes sir, thank you for agreeing not to hurt us.
Obama, who supposedly understands the world with extra perspicuity because of his exotic background, actually does not. The barbarians who rule Iran and our other tough-minded enemies and rivals around the world are unmoved by our attempts to show how nice we are. They do not blush when we kiss them, except out of embarrassment for our stupidity.
What tyrants respond to is strength. Malice. Threats. Force. They do not love, and they do not seek to be loved.
When Qadaffi gave up his nuclear program after Bush invaded Iraq, it wasn’t because Laura Bush celebrated a Libyan holiday.
Our attempts to placate evildoers with something like a Nowruz festival invite only contempt. It confirms for them that we are weak, and that they can take advantage of us.
We are, as these things go, a nice people. Some of us, mostly on Left, tend to think the rest of the world is nice too. It’s not.
It is, actually, no more than self-indulgence to assume others are like us. It is hubris. The hubris of someone like Obama.
Koffler’s conclusion is that none of this placating will work:
Because Peace through Weakness is a deadly way of doing business.
While honoring an Iranian tradition, the Obama administration seems poised to bypass the American Congress and seek instead United Nations approval for a nuclear deal with Iran.
The Daily Signal has a report explaining that the administration might negotiate a non-binding agreement with Iran—which, being non-binding, would not require congressional approval—and then ask the U.N. Security Council to adopt the agreement. (It appears that the administration was planning a binding agreement before Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and forty-six other GOP senators wrote an open letter to the Iranian mullahs explaining how our constitutional system works.)
If you are mystified at the administration’s behavior, it will all come into focus if you read David Gelernter’s Weekly Standard piece headlined “Hidden in Plain Sight.” It is about a president who values globalism over the nation state—specifically our nation state. Somehow I don’t think the mullahs are as globalist as the president, but happy Nowruz anyhow.