Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

06/16/2009 (10:27 am)

Obama Cautious on Iran (Updated)

…and I agree with him, which is a first.

It took the Obama administration until Monday to make an official statement about the Iranian elections, the outcome of which still remain in doubt. President Obama said he was “deeply troubled” by the images he and the rest of America have seen from Iran, and he called on the leaders of Iran to respect the “universal values” of democracy.

Meanwhile, literally millions of Iranians have taken to the streets in an outpouring of protest that could conceivably produce a revolution. The Washington Times blog, relying on a translation from the Cyrus News Agency, reports that 16 leaders from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the government’s elite forces, have been arrested for contacting members of the Army to discuss joining the people’s movement.

Eric Cantor, House Whip for the Republicans, is lambasting the White House over their silence, calling the suppression of the protests a “step backwards for home-grown democracy in the Middle East.”

Iran’s Council of Guardians, 12 clerics with clout, has announced its plan to perform a partial recount of the ballots, while opposition candidate Moussavi has rejected their suggestion and wants a rerun of the election.

Personally, I think the President is wise to keep the matter at an arm’s length. If the US has ever been successful at aiding revolutions in foreign nations, we in the public are not aware of it, so it seems unlikely that we’re going to have a positive impact on this one. We actually don’t know what happened in the election, and need more information before we can make an assessment. And, we’re going to have to live with whomever comes out on top. We should be joining with UN leaders to call for international investigations of the election process in Iran.

UPDATE, 5:50 PM Pacific Time: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posits Ronald Reagan’s response to the crackdown on Solidarity protesters by the Polish government. Reagan’s comment to the Pope, who was himself a Pole, was “We stand with the people, not with the government.” John McCain said something similar. I find their sentiments persuasive, and stand corrected.

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