A number of people have been accusing Obama of not being forceful enough in his statements on Iran. The point has already been covered by bloggers far more knowledgeable on Iran than I, but it’s worth repeating: anything that allows for the Iranian regime to paint these protests as being influenced by external powers the more it helps them. Underscoring this fact comes this interesting tidbit from earlier today:
12:43 pm: Iranian state media reportedly lying about what Obama is saying:
This morning a friend of NIAC who gets Iranian Satellite TV here said that state-run media showed President Obama speaking about Iran this morning. However, instead of translating what he actually said, the translator reportedly quoted Obama as saying he “supports the protesters against the government and they should keep protesting.
Assuming this report is correct, it shows the Iranian government is eager to portray Obama as a partisan supporting the demonstrators.
In order to support their attempts to quell the uprising, the Iranian government is pretending that Obama is saying the things that John McCain, Charles Krauthammer, and Paul Wolfowitz have criticized him for not saying. This may be the best illustration to date for why the people who see the world as they do should be kept as far away from the White House as possible. They continually play into the hands of extremists, and they will never learn from their mistakes.
Obama’s response today was a little more pointed in the criticism of the Iranian government’s crackdown, but he still makes it clear that Iran’s future is up to the Iranians.