Much depends on the meaning of “accepts,” though, doesn’t it? I’m sure we’ll get some patented Hopenchange drivel tomorrow about “grave concerns,” etc, but if Iran’s kids are expecting The One to walk away from nuke negotiations in protest of the coup, they’re kidding themselves. For one thing, that’s something Bush would do, and of course Bush was never, evah right. For another, if Obama walks away then he’s essentially betting all his chips on a full-blown counterrevolution to erupt and topple the regime. If it doesn’t, or if it’s put down a la Tiananmen Square, Khamenei et al. will be in no mood to forgive and forget. Which means it’s either war to take out Iran’s nuke infrastructure or learn to stop worrying and love the Iranian bomb. Israelis are learning already!
What if Obama did walk away, though? There’s actually another possibility here: Western leaders protest the result by ending negotiations and refusing to recognize Ahmadinejad as president, which in turn encourages protesters to keep up their agitation for several more months. Paralyzed and afraid of being overthrown, the regime becomes so desperate that it agrees to give up the nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of all sanctions and renewed diplomatic ties with the U.S. in hopes that the economic turnaround produced by the influx of foreign capital will placate the people. The dilemma for The One here is that he campaigned on the moronic assumption that Iran might conceivably be willing to make a deal on nukes if we just talked nice to them or sweetened our offer a bit. Now comes the moment of truth: Does he really believe that? Does he honestly believe, after years of stonewalling, with the country maybe a year away from being able to build a bomb, that they’re going to throw in the towel now? If not, then walk away. There’s no downside and potentially a tremendous upside if the regime falls or a grateful Mousavi ends up being installed as president. And needless to say, from a moral standpoint, he’d be on the side of the angels. Conflict with the regime is inevitable; if the Iranian public’s willing to fight our battle for us, let’s support them with all we’ve got. As Hitchens eloquently puts it, “Fascism at home sooner or later means fascism abroad. Face it now or fight it later.”