This makes me very, very angry. Why? Because it shows that these republicans care more about political posturing and defeating Obama in 2012 than Iranians out in the streets protesting.
It just reminds me exactly of the way that hawkish overbearing neocons ignored ALL of the experts' evidence on the risks of invading Iraq. And, just in general, how politicians and commentators like to interject their unevidenced, nonexpert opinions in these debates, like they know as much as peopele who are experts on Iran and FP. It's all so easy in their minds: Iranians in streets fighting for 'freedom' = US must support these freedom lovers. Folks, that's all there is to it! Just like toppling a statue of Saddam was all there was to overcoming decades of oppression in Iraq!
Any and all foreign policy experts and Iran experts, even Iranian human rights activists, are lauding Obama for his tempered response, stating that it is the most useful course to assist Iranians strggling for justice. David Ignatius quotes several here, including Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment: "if we try to insert ourselves into the momentous internal Iranian drama that's unfolding, we may unwittingly undermine those whom we're trying to strengthen." Why not listen to what these experts have to say? (We all know the argument by now: Obama cannot come out in full support of the protesters becauase that would give Ahmadinejad the ability to dismiss the demonstrators as 'pro American' or motivated by the 'Great Satan' or claim there was Western meddling. This only diminshes their credibility and legitimacy.) Did you hear that Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham and Charles Krauthammer?? Iranians agree with Obama's position!! But you think they are wrong? Touche.
(Here, George Will and Peggy Noonan denounce these self serving idiots.)
Couple excerpts from above 'experts' link:
"“I think it’s wise for the U.S. government to keep its distance,” said Hadi Ghaemi, a New York-based spokesman for the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran..."
Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, stated: “The framing that Ahmadinejad is presenting is one in which essentially the whole [opposition] is a Western media conspiracy,” he said. “If the administration is saying things or doing things before Moussavi and the opposition figures out what the plan is, then that’s a real problem, because then it seems like it’s between Ahmadinejad and the west and not Ahmadinejad and the opposition. So the administration is doing exactly the right thing. They’re not rushing in and they’re not playing favorites. They might prefer the democratic process to be respected, but that’s different than [supporting a] specific faction.”
“They’re [she is refering to Lieberman] saying ‘Support Moussavi.’ Well, did you talk to Moussavi to learn if this is helpful? A lot of people seem to have the propensity of knowing what the Iranian people want or what specific people want but [don't] contact them. And in past it’s been detrimental” to Iranian opposition figures, Parsi said. If such American politicians have “not learned from that, it’s sad.”