First of all, thanks to everyone for being patient with me as I negotiated the personal and professional jungle in which it has been my very special privilege to be immersed for the past two weeks.
Thanks also to the Humbly Presumptuous for minding the store when I was gone.
Without further ado, here is the presidential statement that ought to have come from the President of the United States in response to the behavior of the rulers of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the wake of their recent elections.
Office of the President of the United States
For Immediate Release:
Statement of Barack H. Obama, President of the United States
When the American people elected me to the chief magistracy of the nation, I incurred a debt with them based on my promise that, if elected, I would work to restore America's moral leadership in the world.
I have the deepest political disagreements with my predecessor and with many of his party and intellectual bent, though the world must know that we, my predecessor and I, and all true Americans are of one mind in our commitment to liberty and justice - the promise, the right and the responsibility of individuals and peoples in every place and every age, from the dawning to the breaking of the world.
America cannot stand idly by as the Iranian regime abdicates government and wages war on its own citizenry - nor shall she on my watch.
Whether or not Iraq was the proper place to engage the military moment of the world crisis upon which we are undoubtedly entered, is a debate for academic historians.
The fact is that the United States of America has a 180 thousand-strong force in the country, a force that is rapidly concluding major military operations.
The successes won by the virtue of their arms and the patience, dedication, industry and ability of the Iraqi people for whom they have been won and by whom they are so tenuously held, will wither and pass, giving way to a new and a bloodier chaos, from which only the chains of despotism might provide sufficiently vigorous restraint.
We cannot, and I shall not allow such a terrible eventuality to come to pass.
Here is my ultimatum to the Iranian leadership:
You have one month to produce a full report on the election and its aftermath, and to submit that report to a candid world.
If you do not do this - and if a single episode of organized violence against you own people should be so much as rumored - you shall feel the full extent of American military might - you shall be made to know the power of a free and virtuous people roused to righteous anger.
To the Iranian people I say tonight: as you prepare yourselves for the trials that await you, know these two things; the price for your liberty, however dear, is worth the paying; America stands with you, ready to suffer and bleed with you, confident as we are in the knowledge that God shall prosper the arms of the just, and give great blessings to those who walk in His ways, which are the ways of righteousness - and they endure forever.
God bless you.