[W]e think it is very telling that the very first point he made is that there isn’t a rial’s worth of difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi. Let’s stipulate that he’s right: The election was a contest between Evildee and Evildum. We said as much Friday in arguing that an Ahmadinejad victory might be preferable because the reasonable-seeming Mousavi would be more likely to lull the West into complacency. Obama doesn’t need to be lulled; he’s already so heavily sedated that on Friday he was praising the “robust debate” between the candidates he now finds indistinguishable.
Our Friday analysis was predicated on the supposition that one of two outcomes would obtain: Either Mousavi would prevail in an orderly-conducted travesty of a sham election, or Ahmadinejad would. Once the regime decided to make a mockery of its travesty of a sham, it foreclosed both these possibilities. Thus Obama’s analysis made no sense on Tuesday, even though it was substantially identical to ours on Friday.
Speaking very broadly, there are two possible outcomes in Iran now. The regime may succeed in crushing the opposition, enhancing its own power at the expense of whatever pretense of legitimacy it might have had a week ago. Or it may fail to do so and be weakened or overthrown. The free world has every interest in encouraging the latter outcome, and someone ought to bring the leader of the free world up to speed on the events of the past few days.
How can the leader of the free world be so profoundly unintellectual and ignorant? (And yes, that is a rhetorical question. I know we’re talking about Obama here, but it’s still shocking.)