Admirable nuance: Obama's measured response to the Iranian election and its aftermath
By Michael J.W. Stickings
The right has been all over Obama's measured response to the Iranian election -- seriously, what was he to do? push America's weight around with the situation still unclear, and with allegations of corruption and vote-rigging unproven, however credible, thereby likely driving the wedge between Washington and Tehran deeper at a time when the U.S. is seeking to open up diplomatic relations with Iran over its nuclear program? no, open meddling in internal Iranian affairs would hardly have gone over well in proud, nationalistic Iran -- but yesterday he came out firmly against the violent government crackdown on the opposition protesters and for an open investigation.
It wasn't all that much, but it was enough, and it was far more meaningful than the careful wording suggests. The president showed his, and America's, support for the protesters without being overly judgmental -- and thereby without threatening the fragile link that may yet allow him to promote America's interests diplomatically, if not to achieve positive results with respect to Iran's nuclear program and strategic position in the region.
Not that it's nearly enough for the right -- what would be enough for the right, short of neocon war? -- but, then, it's not like the right ever appreciates such nuance, such sensible maturity.
Here, from the BBC, a stunning photo of the opposition rally at Azadi (Freedom) Square in Tehran. Hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out to show their support for Mir Hossein Mousavi and other anti-regime forces: