Stop fawning over the mythological Muslim street only when it hates America, and look to the real Iranian street at the moment of its greatest need, when its heart may be open to loving Americaimplores the Apologizer-in-Chief.
During the campaign you mocked those who belittled your rhetoric as "just words." Well, what you've offered so far is less than just words. You've put a fresh coat of whitewash on Iran's sham "democracy." On Monday, you proclaimed yourself "troubled" by the events in Iran, before hinting that you'd negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad no matter what an official investigation into his "landslide" victory found. (Would you trust Mafia internal audits, too?)
Before the sham election you cheered Iran's "robust debate." But that debate has been robust only if you are grading on a curve. Ahmadinejad's main opponent, Mir Hossein Mousavi, was an accidental reform candidate. The mullahs had disqualified about 400 others, leaving in the race only four presumed hacks deemed pliant enough not to rock the boat. Mousavi's popular support and the robustness of the debate he ignited were an unintended consequence of a rigged election and a clerical politburo indifferent to its people's desires, not the intention of a democratic regime.Reportedly, you are biding your time, waiting to see what happens, as if it is a great mystery. Your campaign lived and breathed YouTube. Check it now, check it often. You and your team promised "soft power" and "smart power." How about moral power? Because by not clearly picking a side, it appears you have chosen the wrong side.
Do you fear antagonizing the powers-that-be in Iran? That ship has sailed. Though I am sure they're tickled by your eagerness not to roil the seas around them. Is it because you think "leader of the free world" is just another of those Cold War relics best mothballed in favor of a more cosmopolitan and universal awe at your own story?
"Enough about those people bleeding in the street. What do you think of me?" Is that how it is to be?…So far, "hope and change" has meant spending trillions we do not have on expanded government we do not need. Meanwhile, the huddled masses of Iranians yearning to breathe free think hope and change means something more. But the new American colossus stands all but silent, her beacon dimmed, her luster tarnished.
Please, Mr. President, prove me wrong. Stop voting "present" on democracy.