When Obama went to Cairo, it was to signal a new era in America's relationship with the Muslim world. No longer would the United States deal from a position of strength, but from a position of weakness. His speech, filled with unctuous flattery toward the mythology of Islamic Supremacism was only the icing on the cake that had begun with Obama's post inauguration prioritization of Islamic affairs and media outlets, the bailout of Sharia finance banks, the diplomatic track toward Iran and the intimidation of former allies such as Denmark and Israel into kissing the ring of Islam.
In Cairo, Obama tossed aside any interest in democratizing the Muslim world. And Tehran showed what it thinks of democracy. Obama delivered his mea culpa for America's vigorous fight against terrorism, and Tehran returned to power the public face of terrorism in the Middle East.
While D.C. may think that Obama's victory represents the triumph of soft power, Tehran recognizes only one kind of power. The Mullahs see Obama's victory as a final defeat for the Bush era War on Terror, a defeat they helped mastermind by backing Shiite militias in Iraq, aiding the Taliban in Afghanistan, and using Hezbollah and Hamas to disrupt Lebanon and Israel. With Iran left standing as a major regional power, Ahmadinejad's reelection is the regime of the Mullahs hanging up their own "Mission Accomplished" banner.
Had McCain or some stronger US President been sitting in the Oval Office, Iran might have actually tried to buy time for its nuclear program using the charade of a Tehran Spring and the victory of an Islamist, but comparatively reformist candidate. Ahmadinejad's reelection is a sign of confidence that the regime of the Mullahs has nothing to fear from the United States, because there is no regime too odious for Obama to crawl before, and no enemy leader too ugly to play the diplomatic game with.
If diplomacy is the traditional art of saying "nice doggie" while looking for a big stick, Tehran knows that Obama will never use the stick he has, and is stuck saying "nice doggie" over and over again. And if the Mullahs press hard enough, he may even be ready to give over parts of Iraq to the Mullahs, and maybe even parts of Afghanistan too. Not to mention preventing Israel from taking any action against the brewing nuclear program that will allow Iran to become the supreme regional power, with a touch of genocide to boot.
Like North Korea, Iran's diplomacy is nothing more than an increasingly arrogant litany of "nice doggie", while it finds more sticks to hit us with. With the rise of Obama, Iran is dispensing with the "nice doggie" part of the ritual and openly scrounging for sticks.
Outside of the D.C. and Brussels echo chambers, speeches by world leaders serve as a means for powerful men to convey their intentions. When Ahmadinejad talks about destroying Israel, he is saying what he plans to do. By contrast when Obama gives speeches, he conveys no intentions at all. His Cairo speech was long on flattery toward the Muslim world, but had no sticks in it. It was all "nice doggie", which in the Middle East translates it into the servile flattery that the weak offer to the strong.
Why shouldn't the leading terrorist regime in the Middle East laugh when it sees the Obama Administration spending tens of millions of dollars to convince Palau to take in some of the terrorists of Guantanamo Bay. A nation that behaves that way toward its enemies is not a serious threat. Why shouldn't it sneer when Obama begs for America's admission to the Dar Al Islam under false pretenses, by calling the United States one of the world's largest Muslim nations.
In Cairo, Obama acknowledged the supremacy of the Muslim world. Naturally acknowledging the superiority of people who already hate you because they view themselves as superior to you, did not actually achieve anything except to weaken the United States and strengthen the morale of her enemies. Just as going to the Reichstag in 1939 to inform the Nazi regime of the superiority of the Aryan race would not have done anything to prevent war, but rather such a blatant show of weakness would have helped bring it on, Obama's Cairo speech has served as a signal to the tyrannies of the Muslim world, that the United States is now in an inferior position vis a vis them. Tehran is simply the first answer to that show of weakness. It will not be the last.