It seems that the president's people are taking credit for the protests:
Obama's approach to Iran, including his assertion that the unrest there represents a debate among Iranians unrelated to the United States, is an acknowledgment that a U.S. president's words have a limited ability to alter foreign events in real time and could do more harm than good. But privately Obama advisers are crediting his Cairo speech for inspiring the protesters, especially the young ones, who are now posing the most direct challenge to the republic's Islamic authority in its 30-year history.
One senior administration official with experience in the Middle East said, "There clearly is in the region a sense of new possibilities," adding that "I was struck in the aftermath of the president's speech that there was a connection. It was very sweeping in terms of its reach."
I thought the president was reaching out, in the spirit of foreign policy realism, to the rulers of the Moslem world. They seem strangely unaffected by the president's words about new possibilities in ruling their people. But no, it was all an effort to convince Moslems to challenge their despotic rulers. Who knew? The president doesn't even look NeoConish.
So now we're to believe the president's outreach speech was all about meddling in the internal affairs of all Moslem states and not just Iran's? If so, why the hesitation to make any statements of support of the protesters in the first week of the crisis? When did counter-productive words become words that give a sense of new possibilities?
These guys just make things up as they go along.
UPDATE: Steyn, too, isn't nuanced enough to understand how reaching out to Moslem despots has led to Moslems rising up in protest against their despotic rulers. I'm sure E. J. Dionne could explain it. Or Eleanor Clift.
And now we reach out to the lad Assad:
The White House says President Barack Obama's decision to return an ambassador to Syria is part of fulfilling his promise to show more U.S. engagement in the Arab world.
First of all, wasn't liberating 25 million Iraqis and defending them from jihadis and Iranians at the cost of over 4,300 of our military personnel rather reaching out to engage the Arab world rather directly?
But I digress.
So now we're reaching out to another Moslem despot? Look out, Assad! The people will clearly be revolting any day now.