Barack Obama latest comments on Iran’s street protests make a lot of sense. Indeed he has taken a couple days, made sense of events and now that he is speaking out, his words seem to be charting the right course, on politics, and as rachel Maddow says, on basic strategery, and on understanding recent history. Further, he has explained things today in several media interviews in a very accessible way :
Briefly, here’s why the president has not come out supporting the street protesters. these are the points:
1) Obama does not want war with Iran.
2) Obama does not want to impose American beliefs upon Iranians.
3) Were the US government to publicly support the protesters, it would be the kiss of death to the protest movement. As Obama said, there is not better way to discredit the protesters than to give credence to the charge that they are dupes of the US government.
Here’s what I like about these comments. 1) They are smart and likewise treat the American people and iranian protesters as smart. 2) they recognize the history of US imperialism in Iran: 1953 coup, and elevation to power and support of the shah of iran; 3) they seek to avoid war and the hysteria that is beginning to accompany Republican cries for regime change in iran; 4) they are responsive to the implicit requests of Mousavi and Iranian human rights leaders.
(consider it ample evidence of what Obma thinks, that the State Department has asked Twitter not to go off line today so as to give street protesters a much relied upon tool for communication.)
But common sense never stopped the republican opposition to exploit extremely delicate international affairs for short term sound bites and political gain. Thanks to Republicans: (“bomb, bomb, bomb iran” Mccain, Pence, Rorbacher, Lieberman, a chorus is building to overtly support the protesters, threaten the iranian government with regime change,” and impose America’s will on the Iranian people.
Makes me extremely glad I voted last November.