For this broad coalition of democrats, America is a beacon of hope and the Iran of the street arguably the most pro-American place in the world. Earlier this year, before the huge demonstrations in the wake of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's brazen theft of the June presidential election, one popular opposition chant was, "O ba ma!"—in Farsi a play on the new American President's last name that translates as, "He with us!"
But the opposition's dreams of American support, moral as much as anything, have been dashed. Mr. Obama was slow and reluctant to speak out on their behalf and eager to engage the Iranian regime in nuclear talks as soon as the summer of protest tapered off. Iran's democrats are now letting their disappointment show. The new chant passed around in Internet chat rooms and heard in the streets yesterday was, "Obama, Obama—either you're with them or with us."
nowing the opposition was planning to march, Mr. Obama issued his own statement the night before that instead chose to reach out to the regime. America, he said, "seeks a relationship with the Islamic Republic of Iran based upon mutual interest and mutual respect. We do not interfere in Iran's internal affairs." He went on to list the Administration's various efforts to appease the regime. So far and on all counts, the mullahs have rebuffed these entreaties.
Obama is basing our interactions with Iran on a philosophy of mutual respect. Problem? Iran doesn't respect Obama or his administration. I don't know if they "respected" previous administrations, but at least they feared us. Obama's told them they need not fear us.
So, we've got nuthin.
Yesterday, protesters were out in the streets of Iran, and what does Obama say? Not, we are with you, like he should.
-The White House is calling for an end to violence in Iran as security forces there crack down on anti-government protesters.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Obama administration leaders are following reports of the unrest and "hope greatly that violence will not spread."
You know when the violence will end? When the protesters go home.