Some Assumptions Worth Rethinking?

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 23, 2009 4:33 PM
This article in The Wall Street Journal details the large listenership that an Israeli radio show has within Iran -- and notes that before 1979, Iran was actually Israel's closest Middle East ally.

If there is openness to Israel on any level within Iran, doesn't this suggest that the views of "regular" Iranians may not conform to the mullahs' views of the government-designated "satans" -- that is, Israel and America?  And if that's the case, isn't it worth rethinking President Obama's assumption that outspoken support for the cause of freedom in Iran will automatically be construed as "meddling" and thereby unify the government (which is lying about American involvement anyway) and the freedom-seekers?

But don't expect the administration to act with any kind of boldness in thought or words.  As Massimo Calabresi reports in Time, the administration remembers how unsure Obama seemed when Georgia was invaded last summer; accordingly, "Obama's aides are trying to keep the President's rhetoric up to date with events, but not to allow his strategy to be changed by them."

So Obama's goal is simply to avoid making a mistake, and refusing to allow his strategy (of "engaging" with Ahmadinejad) to be changed by events?   How inspiring.