June 20, 2009

FROM PRESIDENT OBAMA, a new statement on Iran. “The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.”

UPDATE: Andrew Malcolm is unimpressed: “The fact that Obama quotes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, not exactly a religious icon in the Muslim world, which will get him all over the U.S. news on an otherwise slow summer Saturday, indicates what audience the chief executive is also trying to reach.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Very concerned about being “very concerned.” “Perhaps after a whole week of cringe-inducing passivity, saner voices prevailed upon the president. Maybe now the White House realizes it is time to get on the right side of history. And those apologists who cheered Obama’s paralysis will of course now celebrate the more robust language. This is what they wanted all along, right? Well, hardly, but the criticism of those conservatives and some brave Democrats who pleaded with the president to get off the fence will go down the memory hole. The president’s spinners now will no longer need to excuse the inexcusable. What a relief that must be.”

Plus, “Deer in the Iranian Headlights.” Well, I’m just happy that he’s finally starting to take the right line on this. Wish it had been sooner, but I’ll take what I can get.