Saturday, June 27, 2009

All That Twittering About Iran is Now Frittering Away

Well, perhaps one could make the case the protests in Iran were doomed from the start.

The wavering of President Obama was of little help. Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi has now said he will seek official permission from the government for further demonstrations. Given that Ayatollah Khatami has called upon the government to execute the demonstrators this is not very likely to happen.

Now it also appears Iran has barred journalists from reporting on the streets ordering them to stay in their offices. This tells me the crackdown will only intensify even as the protesters themselves appear to be retreating.

And as the crackdown intensifies international attention has moved onto to other things as noted by the AP:

But along with the diminished action on the streets in Iran, other stories have arisen to siphon away attention — especially the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

Television coverage of Iran's turmoil has fallen since Jackson's death Thursday; on the Twitter micro-blogging site, Iran remained among the most discussed topics, but fell below Jackson and comments about the movie "Transformers 2."

All that Twittering about Iran is now frittering away.

As for President Obama, this isn't a question of him taking too long to condemn the Iranian regime for their actions. It is a question of his judgment. It is a question also of his engagement policy and the shaky intellectual foundations underpinning it. Given all that he knew about Iran's current political system before this "election" what made him think his words would bring about hope and change amongst Khamenei and Ahmadinejad and others who await the return of the 12th Imam?

The apocolyptic vision of Iran's leaders and President Obama's vast overestimation of his powers of persuasion make for a very dangerous mix indeed.

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