The developments this week in Tehran are, by turns, stirring and disturbing. The people of Iran are standing up against their theocratic dictatorship and wide fissures among the country's leadership have been exposed. Meanwhile, some police and militia in the streets have beaten many and killed some.
The role of modern technology in all of this is fascinating, and some of the best places to follow the story are Andrew Sullivan's blog on The Atlantic Monthly's web site, a site based in the US called Tehran Bureau, the BBC, The New Yorker magazine's News Desk blog, and The New York Times blog The Lede.
Though a few blowhards on the right are shouting that President Obama needs to offer more public support for the Iranian protesters, most observers -- including conservatives George F. Will, David Brooks and Pat Buchanan -- have said, correctly, that the US cannot allow Iran's government to tie the unrest in the streets of Tehran to foreign elements. Of course they will do that anyway, but this is a movement that began domestically, and everyone inside and outside Iran knows it. Obama's comments so far have been just right, and there is no doubt that his administration is monitoring the ordeal closely.
There's also no doubt that the US would like to see the reactionary duo of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei out of the picture, but if Obama were to stand up and shout that it would only negatively impact the outcome. We are not, after all, about to send in the American military to defend the protesters or to fight the Revolutionary Guard. Therefore, our maneuvers here require wisdom, tact and patience -- and thankfully we have the right guy in charge on Pennsylvania Avenue.