Friends of mine (not in the mob sense) argued that Obama maintained silence and largely ignored what was going on in Iran all of last week for two main reasons:
1. He didn't want to give credence to the likely Iranian claim that the protests were the work of American Imperialists & Zionists.
2. Ahmadinejad was going to win anyway and Obama didn't want to do anything to harm his future negotiating posture. And anyway, the other guy wants nukes too, so what's the difference?
Regarding the first point, the supreme leader & co. are always going to blame the American imperialists and the Zionists, regardless of what Obama says.
Regarding the second point, regardless of Mousavi's similar nuke ambitions, democracy & democratic outcomes are inherently good. And they are particularly good when they push back against a totalitarian regime. A more democratic state is probably the only way Iran gives up its nuclear dream and quits funding world terror.
As unpersuasive (to me, anyway) as these arguments are, they are entirely refuted by the fact that Obama has done a complete about face and dropped a lot of critical rhetoric on the supreme leader, Ahmadinejad, and the rest. Oh, and the Iranian dips are no longer invited to Obama's July 4th weenie roast--or rather, they had the good sense to decline the Obama administration's invitation even if Obama didn't have the decency to rescind it.;
Apart from the fact that his silence last week was wildly unpopular, what about Iran has changed to cause Obama's rhetorical shift?
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