Re: Did Obama Want Ahmadinejad to Win?

John, Obama’s interview with John Harwood suggests Obama doesn’t really care who wins in Iran — so long as his precious engagement strategy isn’t disrupted. Here is the relevant exchange:

HARWOOD: Couple things, quickly, before we run out of time. You took your time reacting to the protests in Iran after the election. What are you watching for in the handling of those protests and in the investigation of the results to–and how will that influence the dialogue that you seek to have with Iran?

You can see the wheels turning: remind them these are two peas-in-a-pod. (Hmm. I thought we were told this was a robust election and sign of progress.) Promote the assumption that regime change is not a possibility. Obama hopes the regime doesn’t respond with violence, but what will be will be.

Get the sense he doesn’t give a fig about which way it turns out? Get the sense all he cares about is preserving the hope of dealing with the regime (a fascistic regime prepared to kill its own people to maintain a fraudulent election)?

No hope. No change.  It never dawns that this might be a game changer — either a regime change and/or a complete discrediting of the notion that these are people with whom one can do business. No sense that the American people and the world at large might, because of this, mount a credible series of sanctions and/or reject the notion of extended negotiations.

It is clear what’s up. All he wants to do is talk, so he can’t give offense.  Fine — he’ll deal with Ahmadinejad if the regime can crush the protesters. He is an enabler now, a cheerleader against regime change. Shameful.