Sunday, June 14, 2009


Wasn't that what the right said about the left's reaction to Bush's war in Iraq? That we wanted harm to come to the president more than we wanted it to come to overseas evildoers?

Well, that's where we are right now with the right-wing hawks -- they're rooting for Ahmedinejad and against Obama. They're rooting for Ahmedinejad because an Ahmedinejad victory, especially a fraudulent one, can be seen as discrediting Obama and his policy of engaging Iran.

Max Boot, barely containing his glee:

On the principle of "the worse the better" for our enemies -- and, make no mistake, Iran is our enemy -- it is possible to take some small degree of satisfaction from the outcome of Iran’s elections....

If the mullahs were really canny, they would have let Mousavi win. He would have presented a more reasonable face to the world....

Even the Obama administration will be hard put to enter into serious negotiations with Ahmadinejad, especially when his scant credibility has been undermined by these utterly fraudulent elections and the resulting street protests....

So in an odd sort of way a win for Ahmadinejad is also a win for those of us who are seriously alarmed about Iranian capabilities and intentions....

Daniel Pipes, shortly before the election:

I'm sometimes asked who I would vote for if I were enfranchised in this election, and I think I would, with due hesitance, vote for Ahmadinejad, in that I would prefer to have an enemy who is forthright and blatant and obvious, who wakes people up by his outlandish statements.

The New York Times this morning:

"This is the worst result," said Thomas R. Pickering, a former under secretary of state....

Mr. Pickering ... said the outcome would hinder efforts to court Tehran and would embolden those who argue that such efforts are futile.

And elsewhere in the Times:

Outside Iran, the result was comforting to hawks in Israel and some Western capitals who had feared that a more congenial Iranian president would cause the world to let down its guard against a country galloping toward nuclear weapons capability....

"In fact, Moussavi will be more difficult to deal with, because he will be nicer," one skeptical Western diplomat said on the eve of the vote.

To give them their due, these people may not be primarily looking to humiliate the present -- they also think you simply can't reason with any of these hateful wogs and not a one of them understands any language other than force. But this means that their interests and the hard-liners' interests are identical -- namely, maintaining the status quo. They're rooting for our enemies. I remember when that used to be a bad thing.


BUT: Despite satisfaction with the outcome in certain right-wing precincts, the next sound you hear is going to be other right-wingers -- or perhaps even the same right-wingers -- complaining that Obama should be more forthright in backing Mousavi and denouncing the sham results. Those who are arguing that Obama has to avoid seeming to intervene (because a U.S. intervention will invoke memories of the U.S.-sponsored overthrow of the Mossadegh government and will thus strengthen Ahmadinejad's hand) will be denounced as quislings -- maybe even by people who rooted for an Ahmadinejad win before the violence started, and who said Iran with Mousavi as president would be indistinguishable from Iran with Ahmadinejad as president.

This is a tough call -- I want the president to do whatever helps the anti-Ahmadinejad forces, and I don't know what that is -- but I'm sure that whatever he does, he's not going to act hastily, and his caution is going to be portrayed as weakness by the usual blowhards.

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