All of us were so eager for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to lose that we got caught up in the popular enthusiasm, especially among Iran's younger voters, for Mir Hossein Mousavi. Of course, we knew very little about the president's opponent in the beginning. But by election eve Mousavi's political profile looked very much like that of his incumbent rival. Except that he seemed a bit less nutsy. As for what Mousavi thought about nukes, no one could be found to say that he was much different than Dr. A'jad. Still, we were rooting for the candidate of the more refined people, and that made us feel good.
Had Mousavi won his victory would have been attributed in great measure to Barack Obama's Cairo speech. His oration reduced the pressure on Iran and so there was some reason to think that a victorious Mousavi might have been a bit more responsive to the president's overtures.
Now, maybe Ahmadinejad's triumph is a great big lie. After all, the Interior ministry which does the tally is under his boot. But I think there must be gloom in the White House tonight. Because, while Sa'ad Harari's election in Lebanon was in some manner a response to Obama's address to the Arab world, the ur test was what happened in Iran. And, I am afraid, that the canny meshugana won and that Obama lost.
The State Department may try to gussy up the "enhanced sanctions" voted unanimously by the Security Council against North Korea in Friday's Resolution 1874 as a threat also to nuclear-driven Iran. But read Neil MacFarquhar's story in the Times to grasp just how facile and, in fact, false that would be.
The price of getting the Council to pass a motion (and for China and Russia to agree to it) calling for all United Nations members to inspect cargoes vessels and airplanes suspected of carrying military materials in and out of North Korea was precisely that this is all voluntary. Which means: "go fly a kite." Maybe a similar resolution will pass about Iran. So what. Although I am certain that Ambassador Rice will fight strenuously to get this done for the Tehran regime, as she probably did for the Pyongyang family tyranny.
Anyway, it doesn't much matter. As I pointed out a few days ago Secretary Clinton has given up the ghost on Iranian nukes. She did not do this alone, believe me. What she said was that there would be retaliation (from whom she did not say) if Iran bombed Israel. You know what that means. America has punted on atomic weapons.