The spring equinox, celebrated in Iran and many across Asia as the start of a new year or Nowrooz, is used annually by President Obama as an opportunity to "speak directly to the people of Iran".

This year has been no different and Obama's text, garnished though it is with expressions of "hope" and "promise", again boils down to  the same basic message  - condemnation of the Iranian government.

The government in London and European authorities have also taken the opportunity to resume the rhetoric and up the sanctions pressures.

These message to Iran come in the same week that Israeli forces killed a civilian family in Gaza,  Bahraini troops and their Saudi re-inforcements persecuted pro-democracy protesters even as far their hospital beds, the Saudi government tried to bribe it's people to keep quiet, and the Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen presided over the massacre of his own citizens  with no apparent sense of regret.

I don't think I'm alone in looking at these events, and the policies being pursued in Libya, and  wondering whether there is actually any logic or consistency in the actions being taken by the EU and Washington.

For one thing, if the "international community", as it likes to call itself, is truly in favour of democracy and human rights in these countries, why is the EU defending Bahrain's government?

In the Washington Post, Eugene Robertson outlines the nature of the conundrum, but once again it takes the peerless crew on "The Daily Show" to put it all in the clearest context.