Parsing Modifiers

Christian Brose wants Obama to be a bit firmer:

I share Obama's goal not to play into the hands of Iran's hard-liners with meddlesome statements and actions, but he still has a healthy amount of room to move forward until he runs up on that line. Iran's people deserve to hear from the most inspiring and internationally beloved American president in a generation that the violence they are enduring at the hands of their government is not just of "deep concern" to him, but "unacceptable." They deserve to hear him "condemn" it (memo to the State Department). And they deserve to hear Obama say that if he does finally talk with Iran's rulers about changing the behavior of the Islamic Republic of Iran, that goal will also include pushing them to grant all Iranians the same basic human rights that people everywhere should be free to enjoy and exercise without fear of violence and repression.

Is that really too much to ask?

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, thinks Obama has said enough. But Biden and Hillary reportedly want stronger language. I think he's done the right thing so far. And he already helped light the fuse - in Cairo. At some point soon, we'll need a statement of reverence for those martyred by the Basij and stronger support for nonviolence. As long as this test of wills remains non-violent, the opposition retains the advantage. And my sense is that the absence of any obvious brutal crackdown so far is a sign that the regime knows it could provoke even worse if it tried.