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Sunday, June 21

Taking It Easy

There is now blood in Iranian streets as the police, Revolutionary Guards and basiji militia attack people who are protesting against the election results of last week. With most normal news and information links into the Islamic Republic shut down or severely constrained, the protesters (who still march, despite tear gas, water cannons, mass arrests and batons) coordinate their marches via Twitter.

Which shows that it's good for something besides distracting people with 140-character verbiage.

There are some - oh, sorry, the Republicans - who are screeching that Obama needs to come out four-square in support of the protesters and not be backward about trying to bully Iran into become a democracy.

Well, hate to disappoint you, folks, but we tried that schtick five years ago.

Remember George W Bush? Remember how he lectured the Iranian people when they had their Presidential election, openly advocating for the reformist candidate over the hard-line Mayor of Teheran? Remember how the voters there told Bush to shove it so far up his ass he could taste it, and elected Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Don't recall that?

I'm not surprised, really. Conservatives have a remarkably wonderful tendency to blank out the past two terms from their collective memory.

In trying to marginalize Mir-Hossein Mousavi and declaring that all protests must cease, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has chosen sides. For a supposedly impartial and neutral arbiter, he's made a poor show of things, and there may be indications arising that the people are letting them know his displeasure.

Obama's recent statement, the strongest he's made so far, is exactly the measured response that's required. Anything else - particularly the screeching of John Bolton and John "Bomb Iran" McCain - would sound a sour note among the Iranian people, and could go so far as to consolidate support behind Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.

And we definitely don't want that.

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