Ahmadinejad, as if to rub salt in the wound also added, "They keep saying that they want to hold talks with Iran. All right, we have expressed our readiness as well. But is this the correct way? Definitely, they have made a mistake. They have revealed their intentions before the Iranian nation, before the world nations. Their mask has been removed. "
The statement makes Obama's position of the last two weeks and those who defended it as being "pitch perfect" left with diplomatic egg on their faces and leaves Obama with the worst of all worlds.
For two weeks Obama gave tepid,meaningless responses to the events in Iran because he didn't want to be seen as "meddling" to preserve some kind of undefined negotiating position while demonstrators protesting a clearly rigged election were murdered and beaten in the streets of Tehran. And the result of Obama's approach? He is accused by Ahmadinejad of meddling anyway with Ahmadinejad turning Obama's own words against him.
Obama's approach seemed like a diplomatic farce and a pragmatic disaster from the beginning as I and others pointed out two weeks ago. And now Obama looks weak and ineffectual on all fronts.
There were many things Obama could have said that would have put the Iranian government on the defensive, strengthened his own negotiating position and supported the demonstrators and the democratic institutions demonstrators like Neda sought. There were also actions Obama could have threatened (and still can) if he was able to rally other governments (either with the UN or without) to the cause. He did none of that. Instead he decided he didn't want to be seen as meddling and gets accused of it anyway.
On Friday with German Chancellor Merkel at his side, Obama called the violence against the demonstrators "outrageous". Why its outrageous now and not two weeks ago? When he was asked that very question at last weeks press conference he gave the preposterous answer that all of his statements had been consistent from the beginning.
Obama, after his meeting with Merkel also said " despite the government's efforts to keep the world from bearing witness to the violence, we see it and we condemn it." Okay, okay, he sees violence and he condemns violence. We get it.
Then Obama actually did put his foot in his mouth and gave Iran good cause to accuse him of interfering when he said it was "absolutely clear" that Mir Hossein Moussavi, has "captured the imagination or the spirit of forces within Iran" .
Obama again missed the point. The turmoil in Iran wasn't about someone capturing anyone's imagination. It was about the likelihood that the election was rigged, and that those demonstrating against a rigged election have been beaten, murdered, and terrorized.
Obama is clearly grasping for something to say and has no idea what it is because nothing he has to say comes from within.It's always based on politics. His statement about Neda, the Iranian woman whose murder was recorded on a cell phone video and shown around the world was so meaningless and empty it would have been better had he said nothing.When asked his reaction to the video of her murder Obama said it was heartbreaking, then added "Anyone who sees it knows there was something fundamentally unjust about it".
Fundamentally unjust? All he has to say is that there is something "fundamentally unjust" about murder?
With German Chancellor Merkel present, Obama went on to say Friday that both countries "share the belief that what's happened in Iran is unacceptable when it comes to violence against its own citizens."
Unless Obama is prepared to back up what he means by "unacceptable", that statement is meaningless also, and for now leaves us with two presidents -- one with egg on his face, and the other, Ahmadinejad, with blood on his hands.