Now that the Iranian demonstrators are almost ground under the heel of the Revolutionary Guard, we, simple spectators in the West, can take stock of the situation and reflect on where the Middle East is now headed. While the protests for electoral integrity are heartening to most democrats, the flame that sprang to life now seems spent. Though the catalyst of this expression was a state sponsored event, unlike Tienanmen Square, the end result seems much the same as in any totalitarian state. While there was much hue and cry via the new media, the song of hate and oppression remains the same on the dominant state media. Strangely, for one person this whole episode might seem a welcome respite.
If you're President Obama, you have to be happy. The electoral protest has bought Obama needed time to try to browbeat Israel some more or to offer more sweet words to Iran in hopes of a some face-saving "peace in our time" agreement. Some have felt that the reticent and self-critical reaction offered by Obama initially was a ploy. By hanging back rhetorically, Obama gave the odious Iranian regime public relations breathing space to crush the protesters. This theory continues that Obama wanted to create a public relations debt so that the Mullahs essentially owe him one. Having given them something, the President now has a chit in the Iranian favor bank.
I don't quite buy this notion. I don't doubt for a moment that Obama would leave the brave protesters in the lurch. After all, this was a man who denied the Iraqi surge after it succeeded. If he would play politics with the lives of American soldiers, why wouldn't he cynically use foreign protesters?
The real stumbling block in this theory is that it assumes Obama is naive enough to believe he could extract some sort of viable deal from Iran. Woodrow Wilson was duped into believing he could get the concessions he wanted in the Versailles Peace Treaty, but by his allies, not his enemies. To believe Obama would strike a deal with the America-hating nuclear jihadists seems a stretch, since any deal would be violated instantly. The fallout from such a deal gone sour could cost Obama his second term, which is his one overriding priority. This doesn't mean the Arabs won't try to sell the snake oil of a phony deal anyway.