We aren’t being ironic in the slightest. The only irony is that Mitt Romney posed as the protector of the Iranian protesters when by doing exactly that he actually utterly betrayed them—placing them at greater risk of repression and generally weakening their position within Iran. Here’s what he said, according to the New York Times transcript:
And then the president began what I’ve called an apology tour of going to — to various nations in the Middle East and — and criticizing America. I think they looked at that and saw weakness. Then when there were dissidents in the streets of Tehran, the Green Revolution, holding signs saying, is America with us, the president was silent. I think they noticed that as well. And I think that when the president said he was going to create daylight between ourselves and Israel that — that they noticed that as well.
Now this is a bigger betrayal of Iran’s protesters than anything Obama could ever do. Portraying them as looking to the US for sponsorship or protection, and linking them to US imperial interests in the Middle East, and even, implicitly, to Israel! Nothing could make Ahmadinejad happier than this verbiage, which plays right into his cynical strategy of tarring the protesters as dupes or pawns of the United States. Obama, in contrast, did the Iranian opposition a great service when he cut off money to the Iran Democracy Fund, over the outraged protests of the neocons. And we wish Obama’s State Department had refrained from such unhelpful stunts as sending Parsi-language Tweets in support of the Iranian protesters. As in Syria, US involvement merely muddies the moral waters. It is in the interests of the Iranian and Syrian opposition to maintain their militant independence from Western imperialism. The more “solidarity” they receive from the US government—as opposed to workers and grassroots progressive forces in the US—the worse it will be for them. And for prospects for meaningful revolution throughout the region.
But while some Syrian opposition forces have indeed been wooed into the imperialist camp (facing a desperate situation and under pressure to take allies where they can find them), we see no evidence of this in Iran. We challenge Romney to produce photographic evidence of Iranian protesters holding signs reading “Is America with us?” Just one photo, Mitt. If you can produce even one, World War 4 Report‘s chief blogger promises to vote for you, OK? We’ll be waiting.
And will the legions of media “fact-checkers” call Romney out on this whopper? We’ll be waiting for that one too.