News and views on U.S.-Iran relations for February 8:

  • The Washington Post: Jennifer Rubin blogs that, in Israel, “dissent is celebrated, not suppressed.” She bolsters this assertion by citing yesterday’s Herzliya Conference panel on Iran’s nuclear program, characterizing the panel as “arguments between those who see [Iran's] nuclear program as an existential threat to Israel (as does the government) and those who indulge in the fantasy that this isn’t anything to worry about.”
  • The National Review: Hudson Institute visiting fellow and former Undersecretary of Defense Douglas Feith defends George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda,” writing that Obama is “repudiating his freedom agenda” and “threw the baby out with the bathwater.”  He continues, “Rather, in its national-security approaches to Iran, Russia, China, Venezuela, and the Arab states, it downplayed human rights and democracy concerns or discarded them altogether.” Feith charges, “when Iranian demonstrators bravely defied imprisonment, torture, and death to protest their government’s electoral fraud in June 2009, Obama’s frigid detachment shocked even many of his own political supporters.”
  • The New York Times: The America Enterprise Institute’s Michael Rubin writes on the NYT’s “Room for Debate” forum that “Egypt is not Iran,” and observes, “many current and former officials worry that any withdrawal of support for Egyptian President Mubarak will reverberate through the region much as did President Carter’s abandonment of the Shah of Iran.” Rubin argues, “The problem with Carter’s approach was not the shah’s fall, but White House dithering in its aftermath,” and advocates that the Obama administration “support establishment of a technocratic transitional government, use their soapbox to help it make the necessary legal changes to ensure a smooth election according to a set time line, and then welcome Egypt’s new democratic order.”