Tori Egherman, an American, and her husband Kamran Ashtary, an Iranian, lived and blogged in Tehran from 2003 to 2007. She writes:
I wrote about my own wish for an “Ich ben ein Berliner” moment in a previous post that has sparked a lot of discussion. Since then, I have spoken to many people who are demonstrating each day and putting their own lives on the line. They asked me what Obama has been saying about them. I told them that he finds you inspiring and has condemned the violence. “Do you think he should say more?” I asked. Every single one of them told me, “No. He is doing the right thing.” I asked, “If you could send one message to Obama what would it be?” and they all answered, “He should never ever recognize the government of Ahmadinejad.”
I defer to their wishes.
The White House has posted Obama’s latest comments on Iran with Farsi translation and subtitles.
Obama made a point of answering a question at Tuesday’s press conference posed through the Internet by an Iranian– which some people regarded as a violation of the natural order of the universe, but which didn’t upset me terribly.
It’s also worth noting that the Twitter website– an essential means of communication for Iranians in recent days– honored a request from the Obama administration to delay a shutdown for scheduled maintenance so that communication could continue.
On the other hand, Obama has carefully avoided giving the Iranian regime the gift of making himself– rather than the struggle of the Iranian people themselves– the main focus of attention.
And then there’s Melanie Phillips, who managed to convince herself during last year’s campaign– apparently after not much of a struggle– that Obama’s default position on every issue is to blame America and kowtow to its enemies; and who believes without any apparent cause that “If he had put America stoutly behind the protesters and championed them against the regime, by now they might have toppled it.”
If your hatred for Barack Obama– or, to choose another example, for Western “imperialism”— is so single-minded that it clouds your understanding of what’s happening in front of your nose, then you have no right to wonder why large numbers of people don’t take you seriously.