Many Republicans see the discord in Iran as a golden opportunity for President Obama to aggressively promote American global power in the Middle East.
that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) has called for "more explicit U.S. criticism of the Iranian government".
Others urge Obama to launch a verbal assault on the Iranian government just as Reagan did in his 1982 "evil empire" speech to the Soviet Union.
But this is no Cold War being played out behind an iron curtain. A major political and social shift is taking place and, thanks to improved technology and brave citizen journalists, the whole world is watching.
What is happening in Iran today is not unlike what occurred at the height of the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 60s right here in the streets of America. Back then it would have been easy for some opposing nation to rush in and champion our cause.
But almost certainly that opposing nation would have also used their support as a toehold to gain some political ground for the own interests in the U.S. Then the message, meaning, and purpose of the entire movement could have been tainted by outside interests and may have undermined the gains we struggled so hard to achieve.
Instead it was by the sheer strength and will of the heroic Americans who marched, boycotted, and, yes, gave their lives that brought about the elimination of centuries of government-backed inhumanity and inequality. Likewise, it is the Iranian people who best understand the complexities of their nation's ills and who can best be the catalyst for their own internal healing.
President Obama has chosen to evoke the universal principal of peaceful protest, pledging the U.S.'s support while respecting the protesters wishes not to turn their efforts into an American fight. Because he knows that this is how change happens—not on the tip of a sword, but on the wings of hundreds of thousands of doves.
He knows that through their unrelenting peaceful protests the Iranian people have the greatest power of all to bring about a lasting shift that will change the face of their county forever.