Note to Conservatives: Iran Is Not Eastern Europe -- It's Iran

Conservatives are drawing parallels between Eastern Europe under Soviet occupation, and current events in Iran. The comparison is absurd.

There's an Eastern European theme developing on the right. Here's one version:

"Someday a future president may have to apologize to Iranians for Mr. Obama's nonfeasance, just as Mr. Obama apologized for the Eisenhower administration's meddling. But the better Eisenhower parallel is with Hungary in 1956. Then as now a popular uprising coalesced around a figure (Imre Nagy in Hungary; Mir Hossein Mousavi in Iran), who had once been a creature of the system. Then as now it was buoyed by inspiring American rhetoric about freedom and democracy coming over Voice of America airwaves. And then as now the administration effectively turned its back on the uprising when U.S. support could have made a difference."

Here's another, contrasting Reagan's statements about the USSR with Obama's statements on Iran. And here's AllahPundit contrasting Obama with Reagan on Poland:

"Reagan took a stand on freedom, where Obama sounds desperate for engagement with the forces of oppression. Germany's Angela Merkel took a much tougher stand than Obama did, calling the oppression "totally unacceptable," while all Obama can say is that it's "deeply troubling".

It's the difference between leadership and management. Reagan led, and he inspired the Poles to continue the struggle that eventually helped free half of Europe from iron-fisted domination by the Soviet Union. Obama wants to manage the crisis to keep from having to lead. Big, big difference."

This parallel only works if you don't think about the details at all. In the 1980s, we had been opposed to the USSR for decades. The people of Eastern Europe were opposed to it too: the USSR was, after all, occupying their countries. While we might not have taken up their cause as clearly as some people would have liked, we had never oppressed them; our adversary had. Our support was therefore generally welcomed.


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