(This concept was referred to here.)
Bush’s SOTU had this:
Democracies in the Middle East will not look like our own, because they will reflect the traditions of their own citizens. Yet liberty is the future of every nation in the Middle East, because liberty is the right and hope of all humanity.
The same is true of Iran, a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people. The regime in that country sponsors terrorists in the Palestinian territories and in Lebanon – and that must come to an end. The Iranian government is defying the world with its nuclear ambitions – and the nations of the world must not permit the Iranian regime to gain nuclear weapons. America will continue to rally the world to confront these threats. And tonight, let me speak directly to the citizens of Iran: America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our Nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran.
Glenn Reynolds had a reader writing in with this:
As an Iranian, I thought this was Bush’s best message to Iranians…it had a perfect balance and he did try distinguish between the Mullahs and the citizens and he did not name a reform group or anything like that.or even use a threatening language, when you threaten Iran people have not choice but to support the Regime..way better than ‘axis of evil’ message…
That sounds about right. A weak regime provokes foreign troubles to secure itself at home. That is exactly what the Iranian regime has been doing. It is a sign of weakness. Bush seems to be betting the Iranian people are going to solve this problem for us, without a new war. Our best ally against “Iran” is the Iranians? A win-win for everyone except the Mullahs? I hope he is right.
Substantial update here.