Obama can't even be straight with himself on Iran.

In the confrontation of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
President Barack Obama, we are
seeing the consequences of the
long game Obama initiated right
in his inauguration six years ago:
"To those who cling to power
through corruption and deceit
and the silencing of dissent," he
declared, "know that you are on
the wrong side of history, but that
we will extend a hand if you are
willing to unclench your fist." A
regime might well be tyrannous
and murderous, as Iran had been
since the return of Ayatollah
Khomeini in 1979, but the better
angels of human nature might
reassert themselves if embraced
in a web of cooperation. It was a
big bet, given the history of Iran
where the very word 'democracy'
was not used in Khomeini's
regime, with many hundreds
executed and thousands targeted
for assassination in other
countries. And the new Supreme
Leader Ali Khamenei had
maintained that monstrous
program for a time, even doubling
the rewards for assassinations. He
interpreted Obama's gesture as a
weakness. Six months later, he
was brutal in his suppression of
the Green Revolution. He was
confirmed in his evaluation when
the Obama administration failed
to do more than whimper. Former
Defense Secretary Robert Gates
has said he now regrets their
restraint; they were advised by
the CIA and the State Department
that too powerful an American
voice might enable the regime to
label the protesters as American
puppets. Maybe so, but the
inertia was also an expression of
the new strategy of conciliation.
Gates says the suppression of the
Green Revolution ended "most
support inside the
administration." What it didn't
end was Obama's infatuation with
his illusion of making Iran safe for
democracy.