Some Home Truths About the Latest Iranian Revolution
I applaud Obama’s measured tone on Iran, but the public justification for this approach seems a bit thin. The most common explanation – he doesn’t want to inflame anti-American sentiment – is certainly plausible, but given the fact that the regime has gone ahead and accused the United States of meddling anyway, I doubt his restraint will have much of an effect on Iranian opinion.
Granted, I suppose there’s the question of how credible this accusation seems to the Iranian people, but in a country where the state controls the media, I think the perception of American meddling is probably beyond our control.
In short, I think Obama’s public stance will have little impact on events in Iran. I suspect he knows this, and that the real reason behind his approach is a desire to preserve open lines of communication to Ahmadinejad et. al. This strikes me as a perfectly sensible idea because the protesters are very unlikely to succeed, but I can only imagine the outcry from certain quarters if the president came out and said something to the effect of “Look, the demonstrations aren’t going to work, and — like it or not — we’re going to have to negotiate with Ahmadinejad after he restores order.”
As I said, I think this is a perfectly sensible approach. But saying so out loud seems absolutely verboten.