Out of touch conservatives continue to fall off their rocker over the situation in Iran.
President Obama has made it explicitly clear that it would be counter-productive for the U.S. to intervene in the Iranian election and take sides in the political turmoil now roiling the nation. Indeed, even former Bush administration State Department spokesman Nick Burns said:
"President Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to see aggressive statements, a series of statements, from the United States which try to put the US at the center of this, and I think President Obama is avoiding that, quietly rightly."
And the most important (if not only) Republican spokesperson on foreign policy, Sen. Dick Lugar, concurs with the president and Nick Burns:
The ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sees no reason for the United States to intervene in the Iranian presidential election dispute at this time. Our position is to allow the Iranians to work out their situation.
And someone with very erratic views on national security, Pat Buchanan, actually made complete and eloquent sense, concurring with the president, Burns and Lugar:
When your adversary is making a fool of himself, get out of the way. That is a rule of politics Lyndon Johnson once put into the most pungent of terms. U.S. fulminations will change nothing in Tehran. But they would enable the regime to divert attention to U.S. meddling in Iran's affairs and portray the candidate robbed in this election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, as a poodle of the Americans.
So leave it to complete Republican political hack Mike Pence to play into the hands of Iran's oppressive regime and do exactly what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been waiting for:
Today I'm introducing a resolution that will do just that. It will express its concern regarding the reported irregularities of the presidential election of 12 June, 2009. It will condemn the violence against demonstrators by pro-government militia in Tehran in the wake of the elections. It will affirm our belief in the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections. And lastly, and most importantly, it will express the support of the American people for all Iranian citizens who struggle for freedom, civil liberties and the protection of the rule of law.
There is nothing that the very people Pence is decrying would like more than to show how this is an "us versus America" battle and paint the dissidents and Mousavi as tools of the American government. And creating at least an appearance of disunity in the American government provides ample ammunition for the regime and Ahmadinajad government to do just that. Pence is treading on some pretty dangerous ground, and he will invariably become a talking point for the thugs and Iranian officials who are attacking the opposition and embarking on violent suppression of dissident Iranians. I just hope Pence understands that political posturing like this should stop at the water's edge, especially when thousands of lives and the future of a nation are at stake.
But for Pence and other Republicans, they really seem to care more about themselves and their own political lives than the actual lives of the Iranian people.
And this is something, at least anecdotally, Iranians deeply understand and appreciate:
I'm an Iranian living in Canada. A few hours ago I talked to my brother who is a student at Sharif University, he was at the big rally yesterday and they were only feet away from Karoubi when they marched from the university entrance to Azadi square. He asked what had Obama had said and I started reading the transcript. When I got to "the United States can be a handy political football, or discussions with the United States [can be]" my brother sighed and said thank God this guy gets it.