Rule 1 of the Iranian regime: no matter the circumstance or the occupant of the White House, blame the American Great Satan for all your woes. The mullahcracy rejected the soft-pedaled response from the White House to the massive unrest it unleashed this week, thanks to blatant election-rigging, and blamed Barack Obama for fomenting the protests. We wish:
Iran accused the United States of meddling in its internal affairs, alleging for the first time that Washington has fueled a bitter post-election dispute.
A state television channel in Iran said the government summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in Iran, to complain about American interference. The two countries broke off diplomatic relations after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. An English-language state-run channel quoted the government as calling Western interference “intolerable.”
Earlier in the day, Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi called for a mass rally Thursday to protest election results and violence against his followers. The announcement, posted on Mr. Mousavi’s Web site Wednesday, came shortly after the country’s most powerful military force said Iranian Web sites and bloggers must remove any materials that “create tension” or face legal action.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has told Mr. Mousavi to pursue his demands through the electoral system and called for Iranians to unite behind their Islamic government. But Mr. Mousavi appears unwilling to back down. “We want a peaceful rally to protest the unhealthy trend of the election and realize our goal of annulling the results,” Mr. Mousavi said, according to the Associated Press.
Obama has tiptoed on eggshells regarding the sudden onslaught of demonstrations and oppression, apparently believing that his lack of public effort on behalf of the protestors would win him brownie points with the Iranian mullahs. Obviously, Obama got this wrong, and it shows the naiveté of his entire approach on foreign policy, especially in the Middle East. Obama believes that our troubles there spring from American arrogance rather than the brutal, oppressive regimes that rule the area. His apology tour was designed to make America look humble and contrite, and Obama believes that will win the respect of dictators and kleptocrats.
It doesn’t. A weaker, humbled, contrite America emboldens dictators and kleptocrats, making them believe that they will not suffer consequences from their actions. In the meantime, they have no problem continuing to use America as a Great Satan in order to distract the oppressed from their situation. In an extreme like the mullahs face at the moment, it’s the first page in the playbook.
Since the Iranians will accuse us of interference no matter what we do, perhaps the White House will belatedly do what France and Germany have already done — express support for the Iranian people and the notion of true self-determination in Iran.