Former CIA Middle East field officer Bob Baer explains Mousavi's politics:
"When Mousavi was Prime Minister, he oversaw an office that ran operatives abroad, from Lebanon to Kuwait to Iraq," Baer continued.
"This was the heyday of [Ayatollah] Khomeini's theocratic vision, when Iran thought it really could export its revolution across the Middle East, providing money and arms to anyone who claimed he could upend the old order."
Baer added: "Mousavi was not only swept up into this delusion but also actively pursued it" [Jeff Stein, "Mousavi, Celebrated in Iranian Protests, Was the Butcher of Beirut," CQPolitics, 2009.06.22].
President Obama recognizes that there is not much difference on policy between the current regime and Mousavi. As ABC's Jake Tapper notes, Iran's nuclear program was restarted under Mousavi in 1987. He doesn't recognize Israel, and his response to a question about Ahmadinejad's Holocaust denial feels slippery at best.
Supporting democracy is good, but we must also look at the practical results of that democracy. Hamas won the 2006 elections in Palestine, and we felt a little egg on our faces for having pushed for elections that produced results inimical to our interests. Sometimes I can't help wondering if some conservatives are pushing for a "more forceful" response from our president to the Iranian turmoil just so they can blame Obama for whichever pro-nuclear, anti-Israel candidate is in charge of Iran.