As a person who has, from time to time, left the USA and traveled in other countries, I have always regarded my American citizenship as important for my safety when traveling. I don’t expect that I will have a personal bodyguard, but I have always made sure I knew how to call the American embassy in case I needed them. I considered the embassy to be a place where I could seek refuge if necessary, because the embassy is American soil surrounded by foreign soil, and its guarantor is the President of the United States. The safety of American soil in any foreign location depends entirely on the will of the President of the United States to keep American soil safe. When an American ambassador was brutalized and murdered on embassy soil, along with other American citizens in Libya, and nothing whatsoever was done to right that wrong, it was extremely disturbing to me.
It was, however, consistent with the attitude of our current president, who routinely apologizes to the world for the very existence of the USA. I’m not sure what his agenda with the wide world really is, but I am sure it includes some power and prestige for him in nations that are currently our enemies, because presidential behavior suggests that the applause of our enemies is more important to this president than the safety and security of our citizens.
Currently, the word from the spokesperson for the White House (I respectfully do not call him the spokesidiot as some do) is that the president will glibly veto a bill that arrives on his desk if it links the freedom of American citizens illegally imprisoned in Iran with the nuclear agreement negotiated with Iran. It should not have come to this. The president should have put Iran on notice long ago that if they wanted to talk with him, they needed to set American hostages free.
You can split hairs over the words prisoner and hostage if you like. Either way, they are American citizens, and they do not belong in Iranian prisons. The president seems not to care.
The president is the master of talking out of two sides of his mouth. Talk about the left mouth not knowing what the right mouth has said! Barack Obama told the wife of Saeed Abedini, that Saeed’s release was a high priority with him. The side of his mouth that made that statement must never have communicated with the side of his mouth that said he would veto any effort to link Saeed’s fate with the nuclear negotiations with Iran.
Maybe there is a subtle effort here to live up to his obligation to protect some American or other. If Iran bombs the US with a nuclear bomb delivered in the warhead of an ICBM, because Obama could not bring himself to hurt the feelings of the Iranians by preventing them from developing a nuclear bomb, then Saeed Abedini will be safe—in an Iranian prison. I suppose that must count for something.
Photo credit: Robert Reed Daly / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND