Obama Is Right on Iran

Morning, all.

I was reading my Morning Coffee links today and clicked on this story at the WSJ:

Republicans Press Obama on Iran

It details some criticism of the President for not speaking out loudly enough in support of the protests, particularly by Lindsay Graham. Fortunately, for once I agree with George Will, who called the criticism “foolish”, because that’s just what it is.

In case you haven’t noticed, Iran’s rulers like to refer to us as “The Great Satan” and blame us for pretty much anything that ever goes wrong in their state. Cat in Qom can’t stop hacking up a hairball? Gotta be covert anti-feline agents of the Great Satan. That’s not to say it’s all based in fantasy; there was that 1953 CIA-backed overthrow of Mossadegh and the subsequent Shah-endorsing that we did for decades. With that realization, which the G.O.P. is conveniently ignoring, the President is right to keep his mouth shut and let the protests run on. There’s probably no one else in the world with as much of an interest in the weakening of the Iranian regime than the President of the U.S.A. — that’s a lot of headaches in one government — so it’s pretty silly to think that Obama doesn’t support the protests. He’s just being smart about it: the very instant he says anything in support of the protesters, Ahmadinejad and Khamenei will be glad to jump all over it and transfer blame. Hell, they’re already trying it, even with the President supposedly doing nothing about the situation.

So while it’s easy to sit back and reflexively hate on whatever the Administration is doing, in this case it’s hella misinformed. You’d think these dudes would have learned a lesson from the last President about well-intentioned election endorsements that then backfire, but then the G.O.P. reps really have little to lose by going on the attack. That doesn’t mean it’s not ill-informed.

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