Easily the most significant statement on Iran yet made by The One but headed straight for news oblivion thanks to the media’s round-the-clock navel-gazing over Jacko. As of a week ago, Obama was stupidly insisting there’s no difference between Mousavi and Ahmadinejad. Watch this and see what he has to say now. If, as the left is forever reminding us, the great danger in O speaking up for the revolution is having the regime twist his words to paint them as American stooges, how to explain his Hopenchange benediction for Mousavi here? I guess he figured that with the movement suddenly flagging and Khamenei blaming America anyway, he might as well extend his middle finger the whole way and give the kids in Tehran a morale boost. Or maybe he’s finally realizing that nothing he says (or, rather, doesn’t say) is going to make the mullahs more willing to negotiate. His best bet to get them to bend is to empower the movement however he can and try to isolate the regime from the outside. If things get tense enough inside the country, there’s at least a chance they’ll react by seeking a grand bargain with the west to placate the protesters — just like there’s a chance they’ll go full-bore nuts for nukes and start building bombs immediately. How lucky do you feel?

Exit question: When he talks about the regime having moved “outside of international norms,” does that mean negotiations are now (momentarily) off the table?

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Tags: Barack Obama