According to Ralph Peters, the Iranian regime decided to rig the election not out of domestic Iranian concerns, not because of internal power struggles, not because of fear of a ref0rm-minded and mobilized voting population but because…Obama gave a speech that was too conciliatory. Seriously.
Our president’s public flagellation of America only emboldened the junta in Tehran — leaving Iran’s power brokers more defiant, determined and dismissive than they’ve been in years. […]
Our president’s speechwriters made the same mistake no end of diplomats and pundits made before them: They didn’t pause to consider the enemy’s viewpoint. Like Obama himself, they didn’t bother trying to understand the mullahs’ logic for acting as they do.
But Peters understands their logic perfectly: everything they do is a reaction to the words of US politicians and diplomats, not to mention liberals – or conservatives if God has graced us with their presence in positions of power. It’s all about us. Every time.
But the point really isn’t whom the voters chose. It’s that Iran’s entrenched interests read Obama’s meant-to-be-conciliatory remarks as a confession of weakness, a signal that the United States is at the end of its strategic rope.
The result was that the mullahs and state corporatists no longer saw a need to play pretend. Bush worried them. Obama doesn’t. They judged, correctly, that Washington wouldn’t so much as issue a tough-minded statement in response to this mockery of an election. And they were right.
Ah, yes, they feared the Bush administration’s penchant for “tough-minded statements” – the Piranha Brothers of demarche if you will – but now they are free to go about their business, safe in the knowledge that the President of the United States won’t say mean things about them.
Oddly enough (or not given it’s a Ralph Peters column) the next passage seems to contradict the previous:
Well, consider the view from Tehran (or from Qom, Iran’s religious capital): Improved relations with the United States would rob the religious junta of the justification for much of what it does, from looting the country in the name of righteousness to pursuing nuclear weapons.
The rulers in Tehran need us as an enemy (along with Israel). A demonized foe is essential to their grip on power.
So it’s preferable to act confrontational with a regime that needs you to act confrontational for domestic reasons, but if you don’t come out all guns-and-bluster you’re a chump playing right into their hands?
And because no Ralph Peters piece would be complete without a dash of colonial condescension tossed in the direction of the benighted wogs:
Mousavi mayhave won the most votes: Incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad probably didn’t receive the landslide majority announced two hours after the polls closed — in a country that’s barely progressed beyond the abacus. We’ll never know the real tally of ballots. [emphasis added]
So the country that’s got the neocons in such a tizzy because it is supposedly on the verge of devel0ping a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons, and the missile technology that can deliver them far and wide, is, in truth, incapable of technological advancement much past the abacus?
Kind of reminds me of the certainty on the part of many of the pro-war set that the slightly more advanced IEDs in Iraq were imports because Iraq – with all its engineers and scientists (whose WMD prowess we were told to fear) – couldn’t build those complex machines on their own. Of course, in that case, the technological powerhouse that Iraq needed for IED production was Iran. It all makes perfect sense.