My first inclination is to say that Obama’s reaction to the Iranian election and its aftermath is pathetic and shameful. Can anyone doubt that if this scene were, say, the South Africa of 1985, Obama and his administration would be extremely vocal in denouncing it?
On the other hand. . . Congress has supposedly made some serious appropriations over the last few years, mostly to the CIA, to assist an Iranian opposition. Is it possible that some of the dissident activity we are seeing is the fruit of this work? Although the Iranian government is shutting off cell phone service and internet sites (along with TV and radio, the first stop for tyrants in a pinch), apparently Twitter and other new means are allowing some organization of the opposition to continue. Could we and European allies have been helpful in arranging this? In which case, some discrete silence from Obama would be sensible?
I’m doubtful, but as a number of folks have drawn comparisons to Pres. George H.W. Bush’s muted reaction to the Berlin Wall coming down 20 years ago, and his subsequent "Chicken Kiev" speech, we learned only much later that there were good diplomatic and political reasons for these seemingly weak public positions that later played out to everyone’s advantage.
David Tucker, would you care to weigh in on the scene?