Repeat After Me: It's Not About Us
Have they forgotten how the US and Britain subverted Iran's first democratic government with "Project Ajax" in order to protect western oil interests? How the US installed, funded, and propped up the Shah to maintain their very own puppet government, leading directly to the the revolution of 1979 and a tidal wave of anti-American sentiment? How the US supported Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war and gave Saddam the chemical weapons he eventually used against the Iranian people? How the US vigorously encouraged the Shia to rise up against Saddam at the end of the first Gulf War, only to watch Saddam slaughter them en masse without our lifting a finger to help them? And wasn't it just a few years ago that we named Iran as part of the dreaded "Axis of Evil"? Bush's cowboyisms may have made Americans feel good but they also helped make Ahmadinejad a very popular man in Iran.
For all of those people now opining for the US to insert itself into the Iranian discussion, I can only guess the following motivations:
1. They oppose Obama's current position because they reflexively oppose all of Obama's positions.
2. Shouting out some pro-democracy rhetoric against our enemies feels really, really good.
3. Egocentric fantasy that in order to come to end of job, the Iranian protesters need American support.
4. Neocon sabotage (if we interfere we're likely to drive support for Ahmadenijad, which could set the stage for those who want to bomb bomb bomb Iran).
5. Good intentions but a general ignorance of our history in the region.
The fact of the matter is that this pivotal moment in Iran's destiny belongs solely to Iran. Whether these are death throes or birth pains, it's up to the Iranians to determine. For once let's avoid the temptation to make it all about us.
UPDATE: This is way easier than I thought.
Lindsay Graham falls into category #3 as he over-imagines the importance of America's rhetorical support for the Iranians:
Obama is “certainly moving in the right direction,”John Boehner, well, he clearly falls into category #4 with this little nugget: of South Carolina said on the ABC’s “This Week” program. “I hope that we’ll hear more of this, because the young men and women taking the streets in Tehran need our support. They are basically asking for us to speak up on their behalf.”
Obama needs “to take real, strong action, make it clear he’s not going to sit down with the Iranians until they begin to treat their people respectfully and that they’re willing to stop their nuclear programs,” Boehner said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt.”Boehner knows perfectly well that both candidates AND their supporters are universally in favor of a peaceful nuclear program. This statement is apropos of nothing related to the election and is, in fact, merely subterfuge for a continued desire to bomb the living shit out of Iran.
And maybe that's the biggest mind fuck of all, that the brave men and women marching in the streets of Tehran that Boehner thinks should be treated "respectfully" are the very people who wish their country to have a nuclear program, and are therefore very people Boehner would like to punish (or kill or whatever, depending on which neocon you listen to).