Prague, Budapest, Beijing, Tehran?
As Mir Hossein Moussavi appears poised to contest the election in Iran,obviously a moment of personal and strategic hazard for him and his reform movement, the Obama administration will be faced with a no-less daunting calculus in determining how to respond to the crisis.
We have been down this road before, standing by watching Soviet and Chinese tanks crush popular uprisings in defense of real democracy. Clearly there is no simple response; just as obviously how we have responded in the past has been deeply inadequte. If we don't get this right at this critical juncture we can forget about a Prague Spring-like flowering of democracy and transparency in Iran, and chances of diminishing U.S. tensions with same, for perhaps decades. The UN, the U.S., and the global media have been oddly muted, perhaps silenced by discouragement and confusion by the ham-handed, oligarchic power grab we are witnessing.
Oddly, the Iranian people appear less baffled about how to respond and have taken to the streets. Perhaps we could at least rhetorically join them there. It's the absolute least we could do.
Can we find away to support these courageous people who are putting their lives on the line today in Tehran?