The Corner

Blog First, Report Later

And now that I’ve said a few nice things below about Ezra Klein, let’s get back to our usual back and forth. Here’s Ezra Klein on Obama’s recent address to the Iranian people marking the occasion of Noruz, the Iranian new year:

At some point during the campaign, some sly blogger almost certainly joked that an Obama White House would celebrate the Iranian New Year and release transcripts in both English and Persian. They were, as it turns out, utterly prescient. …

There are times when it’s hard to believe that this is how my country acts now. That somewhere in government, some young bureaucrat had the idea that the President should publicly honor the Iranian New Year, and that bureaucrat felt that her superiors would also think this a good idea, and, indeed, the thought went all the way to the President, who agreed that a display of engagement and goodwill was consonant with our national values and foreign policy goals. It is hard to believe that five years after we were ordering “freedom fries” in the congressional cafeteria, we’re posting Persian translations at

Perhaps Ezra should wipe away the mist from his eyes long enough to read President Bush’s 2008 Noruz message to the people of Iran and the accompanying interview on Voice of America’s Persian service. It would spare us the hyperbole.

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