Quoting the President of the United States, Barack Obama. from his press briefing today:

"The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings and imprisonments of the last few days."

"I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost."

"In 2009, no iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to peaceful protests of justice. Despite the Iranian government's efforts to expel journalists and isolate itself, powerful images and poignant words have made their way to us through cell phones and computers. And so we've watched what the Iranian people are doing."

"We've seen the timeless dignity of tens of thousands of Iranians marching in silence. We've seen people of all ages risk everything to insist that their votes are counted and that their voices are heard.

"Above all, we've seen courageous women stand up to the brutality and threats, and we've experienced the searing image of a woman bleeding to death on the streets. While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful, we also know this: those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history."

"If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect those rights and heed the will of its own people. It must govern through consent and not coercion. That's what Iran's own people are calling for, and the Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government."


While I have not had time to go through the entirety of the press conference, in my mind, there is no question that this is a strong condemnation of the Iranian government from the President of the United States. It is much more in line with what I was craving over the past few days. In fact, it is a wonderfully penetrating critique. I would be a hypocritical ingrate not to acknowledge and appreciate this gesture.

Having said that, I have a few admittedly impertinent questions:

1. Does the President still entertain delusions that we can negotiate with these people?

2. I first READ online those first few graphs concerning Iran--and I punched my fist in the air a couple of times. YEAH BABY! SOLIDARITY! Then I caught the video and watched him deliver those lines. LACKLUSTER. Will the President ever register a similar contempt in his voice for the brutal and oppressive Iranian regime that he regularly musters for the Republican opposition and the previous administration? The words were adequate--but where was the emotion? The outrage? Was his heart really in this?

Blasting an anti-U.S. power just seems to go against his basic wiring. The closest he gets to real pique is when he chastises the Iranians for employing the "tired strategy of using old tensions to scapegoat other countries." My hunch is that this staple of Obama speak proved close enough to his regular stump speech against the GOP that it activated some muscle memory impulse of manifested ire. Otherwise, he never really gets up a full head of steam until he starts talking about the impending showdown over health care and mendacious insurance companies who have erroneously charged that government has a history of inefficiency. Now there's some real dastardly behavior that the President can sink his teeth into.