Under President Obama, our approach to Iran–the world’s foremost state sponsor of terror, a rogue regime racing toward nuclear capability–is not only not regime change, it’s de facto regime preservation. So he delicately sought to say something that would mute the growing criticism of his silence–“It would be wrong for me to be silent about what we’ve seen on the television over the last few days,” he said–without saying anything that could further destabilize the Iranian regime.
It was a missed opportunity. He got bad advice. “Our hated enemy for 30 years finally comes to a crisis moment,” says Michael Anton, director of communications at the National Security Council during George W. Bush’s first term. “And many of the same people who have been telling us for at least 20 years that the population is largely on our side decide to use this moment not to give the regime a push, or to throw the population a life vest, but to help keep the hated enemy in power.”
President Obama said that he admired the protesters, not that he supported them. He refused to say anything at all that might have been understood as a direct criticism of the plainly fraudulent election. (On Tuesday, in his most aggressive statement, he said he joins the rest of the world in its “deep concern” about the election.) And by pretending that the coming “investigation” of perceived “irregularities” might actually be a serious undertaking, he strengthened the position of a criminal regime–or, as he prefers, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
His supporters say that any stronger statement would undermine those in the streets and give Ahmadinejad the upper hand. That’s curious. By declaring his support for the protesters and directly questioning the results of the election, the same man who can commence “a new beginning” in America’s relationship with the “Muslim world” in just 6,000 words can be outmaneuvered by a lunatic whose fraudulent claims to victory have inspired millions of Iranians to risk their lives in the streets?
Don’t ask impertinent questions like that jackass Adept Lu.