(Something Like) Democracy in Iran?
I don’t remotely have enough knowledge about the forthcoming Iranian presidential election — and after so many misforecast assessments over so many years, I’m dubious that anyone here in the United States really does — but I would *really *like every word of this Andrew Sullivan post to be true.
Ahmadinejad has discredited himself in the eyes of many Iranians. They are looking for change they can believe in. This is the target audience for Obama this Thursday. He needs to reach out to the democratic forces in that country and remind them that America is their ally.
To be able to say to the Iranian people that an American hand is outstretched to them if they’re willing to show that their corrupt leadership — which has remained relatively obstinate while official American attitudes to Iran are changing – doesn’t speak for them would be a great thing. It would be arrogant and deluded to believe that U.S. posture to Iran would be determinative of an Iranian election. But the Obama administration can help remove a demagogic pretext for repression, and that’s part of what tomorrow’s Cairo speech is about.