What haunts most about the youtube video of the shooting of Neda Soltan is watching the young woman's eyes staring off to the side a second before her face is engulfed in a flow of blood and then hearing her father screaming her name in agony as he watches her life slip away. The video has galvanized support for the protesters both within and outside of Iran. Pictoral representations of the horrors of war and civil unrest always have the potential to influence hearts and minds. The graphic 1968 Tet Offensive photo of Vietnam police chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Vietcong prisoner helped turn American opinion against the war. This despite the prisoner's role in murdering South Vietnamese soldiers and their families.
What may be the most important and beneficial effect of the images from Iran is that they will force President Obama to relinquish one of his most cherished fantasies. That is, the attempt, by the mere force of his charm and rationality, to convince Ayatollah Khamenei, that "Supreme Leader" of "The Islamic Republic of" Iran, to bring his nation into the civilized fold. Obama cannot now sit down and "negotiate" with the reprehensible Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. This is a very good thing. Meeting with the dictator would give the theocrats everything they want - stature, respect, legitimacy and most important, time. It would desecrate the memory of the regime's victims and demoralize the country's democratic forces. The danger remains that Iran's leaders, understanding Obama's pathological narcissism, will offer to talk. Such an offer to Obama would be like red meat to a hungry shark. At least now, with those powerful scenes seared into the public's consciousness, if he accepted, he would pay a heavy political price.
Inconvenient events continue to disrupt Obama's childish worldview. He's slowly learning what George Bush knew from the outset - intractable evil exists. To aid in his education here's a statement by an Iranian student protester, made to a CNN reporter cited on the NRO website by Jay Nordlinger.
"Americans, European Union, international community, this government is . . . definitely not elected by the majority of Iranians. So it’s illegal. Do not recognize it. Stop trading with them. Impose much more sanctions against them. My message . . . to the international community, especially I’m addressing President Obama directly — how can a government that doesn’t recognize its people’s rights and represses them brutally and mercilessly have nuclear activities? This government is a huge threat to global peace. Will a wise man give a sharp dagger to an insane person? We need your help, international community. Don’t leave us alone."