Notice the tone of this NY Times piece on Obama’s measured diplomatic response. Like the Times support in the run up to the Iraq war, the Times are headed down the same old path. Notice the use of the word “officials” for the radical Republican lawmakers pounding the drums for war.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow again put the whole matter in the proper perspective.
As tens of thousands of Iranian protesters take to the streets in defiance of the government in Tehran, officials in Washington are debating whether President Obama’s response to Iran’s disputed election has been too muted. Mr. Obama is coming under increased pressure from Republicans and other conservatives who say he should take a more visible stance in support of the protesters.
Other White House officials have counseled a more cautious approach, saying harsh criticism of the government or endorsement of the protests could have the paradoxical effect of discrediting the protesters and making them seem as if they were led by Americans.
But Obama did make one huge mistake:
Many Iran experts lauded Mr. Obama’s measured stance just after the election. But some of that support evaporated on Tuesday when he said there was not much difference between Mr. Ahmadinejad and Mr. Moussavi.
“For Barack Obama, this was a serious misstep,” said Steven Clemons, director of the American strategy program at the New America Foundation.
Mr. Obama’s comments deflated Mr. Moussavi, who is rapidly becoming a political icon in Iran, even supporters of Mr. Obama’s Iran policy say.
“Up until now, the president had very thoughtfully calibrated his remarks on Iran, but this was an uncharacteristic and egregious error,” said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
“People are risking their lives and being slaughtered in the streets because they want fundamental change in the way Iran is governed. Our message to them shouldn’t be that it doesn’t make much difference to the United States.”