June 21, 2009

"Did you notice how many times he invoked the word 'justice' in his message?"

"That's the word that will resonate most deeply with the Iranian resistance. What a relief to have someone with this degree of restraint and prudence and empathy — refusing to be baited by Khamenei or the neocons, and yet taking an eloquent stand, as we all do, in defense of freedom and non-violence. The invocation of MLK was appropriate too. What on earth has this been but, in its essence, a protest for voting rights? Above all, the refusal to coopt their struggle for ours, because freedom is only ever won, and every democracy wil[l] be different: this is an act of restraint that is also a statement of pure confidence in the power of a free people."

It is possible that Obama is doing exactly the right thing — but I can't take Andrew Sullivan's word for it, because of he's been slathering praise on the man for far too long. Oh, wow, he said "justice," isn't he dreamy?

My first reaction to that was give me a break — there's nothing special there. It's what a good public-statement-writer would write when the decision was made to put out a public statement. Can we please stop marveling at Obama's "eloquence"? To my ear, it's patronizing. (I feel like invoking MLK myself about that!)

This is not all about Obama and his amazing powers. #1: His powers are within the normal range. #2: It's about Iran.

185 comments:

peter hoh said...

Sullivan has been doing good work aggregating the Iran tweets and taking the mainstream media to task for ignoring the story as it developed last weekend.

But skepticism about his analysis is perfectly healthy.

So is skepticism about the analysis of those who have faulted Obama at every turn.

MayBee said...

What does "freedom is only ever won" mean, anyway?
Did the Jews win their own freedom in WWII?
How about the Tutsis? Were they able to win their own freedom?
How about Bosnia? Who won that freedom?
Will the North Koreans be able to win freedom if someone makes enough speeches about justice?
Are the Iraqis less free than they were in 1998?

Randy said...

On Friday, Sullivan's fellow Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg had an interesting observation about Sullivan's coverage:

That said, the liberal interventionist/neoconservative position is the easier one to understand, because it is the more human response. This has been my colleague Andrew Sullivan's basic response. He's done a phenomenal job of covering the chaos in Iran, but every so often he feels a need to throw an elbow at neoconservatives and at AIPAC, for no apparent reason, except to distance himself from people who, in the main, would like to see Ahmadinejad, to borrow a phrase, wiped off the map, just as Andrew would.

Needless to say, Sullivan doesn't like being lumped together with neo-conservatives. Thus, his forays into Obama idolatry.

Elliott A said...

The word "neocon" keeps appearing everywhere all of a sudden. Now that the problems are not from Pres. Bush, we are minting (reminting) a new group of bogeymen

jayne_cobb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Citations? I can't seem to recall that Sully says the neocons are responsible for the violence of the past few days.

Elliott -- you never heard "neocon" before? Really?

peter hoh said...

My request for citations was directed at the comment that was removed, which asserted that Sullivan has been blaming neocons for the violence in the past few days.

Maguro said...

Interesting how Khameini and "the neocons" are co-equal bad guys in Andrew's world, both trying to bait Obama into doing something wrong.

jayne_cobb said...

Sorry Peter, I thought my post was repetetive so I removed it but here is one of his remarks:

Khamenei-NeoCon Agreement

jayne_cobb said...

You can argue about his point in the brief blurb, but the title is clearly meant to demonize "neo-cons".

Maguro said...

Peter Hoh - See here and here.

Maguro said...

Also, this one .

Peter S. said...

Speaking of "Did you notice...."

Did you notice how Prof. Althouse took what was essentially the content of Obama's initial statement on the uprising -- i.e., "It's about Iran" -- and smuggled it in under the guise of her own conclusions. What courage. What eloquence.

Now if I can only figure out who's she's trying to convince. Who exactly are these people who are arguing that it's "all about Obama's eloquence"? Clearly not Sullivan, who's mainly praised Obama for not talking -- and even criticized the President for noting a certain equivalence between Mousavi's positions and those of the current regime.

Maybe Ann is just trying to remind us not "to coopt their struggle for ours." Oh wait... those are someone else's words, too.

L. E. Lee said...

The shift in the United State's posture to the Middle East has clearly played a huge role in creating the space that has allowed and encouraged this turn of events in Iran. It is not surprising that it has occurred in the wake of President Obama's Caro speech.

Lem said...

I dont think Obama could muster anything like this if his life depended on it.

peter hoh said...

Great, you guys can use the "find" function. I'm looking for Sullivan claiming that neocons are responsible for the escalating violence. That was the initial claim.

Sully has been saying that some neocons have some goals in common with the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime.

He has also been clear about citing neocons with whom he agrees, such as Reuel Marc Gerecht.

peter hoh said...

Jayne, on the other big thread, I asked last night and still am waiting for an answer -- what good would it serve for Obama to say what Khamenei's propagandists are claiming that he has said?

Donald Douglas said...

Ann: Come on, let it rip against Sully. He bashes you without a second thought. Yeah, the dreaminess is silly, but his anti-Semitism is truly disgusting. Double barrels blazing, Ann! Let that guy have it!

Peter S. said...

Donald Douglas: "He bashes you [Ann] without a second thought."

Has Sullivan even mentioned Ann since March 30, printing her reaction to his mini-statement about her engagement? Before that, most of Sullivan's comments about Althouse come as reactions to her insinuations of racism and misogyny -- insinuations that continue in this latest post, with (she hints) Sullivan's soft racism of low rhetorical expectations.

Throw in a little dig about a homoerotic man-crush and, with D.D., some accusations of antisemitism, and that pretty much covers it.

Bashing, indeed.

Lem said...

Somebody has finally pinned down Sully.

Leslie said...

Sans eloquence, so-called, Obama's actions and words remind me more of the days of Nixon and Kissenger (who, by the way, also thinks the president is doing the right thing by not doing anything, i.e., coming out unequivocally in support of the dissidents). Sullivan is younger than I am and so does not remember how U.S. presidents used to always be in bed with all the bastards in the world, certainly in Central and South America, uttering phony sweet nothings to people seeking freedom around the world. I see zillions of signs in English in those crowds. Do you think they're calling out to the Brits?

Lyle said...

Andrew Sullivan's Iran coverage has been exemplary, but he can't keep it together at times and has already compared Ahmadi to Cheney and Rove twice.

I love Andrew, but he's a foolish, foolish man at times.

Lyle said...

Just saw the above posts about Sullivan accusing neo-cons of the violence in Iran.

He hasn't done that, but he compared the regime's violence to the policies of Rove and Cheney, twice, at least.

He's a very bitter dude about some things.

Jon said...

According to Sullivan, the neocons (that is, the persons who have spent years condemning the mullahs and loudly advocating for democracy in Iran, while Sullivan was posting less about Iran than about Sarah Palin's birth canal) are actually rooting for the mullahs. And Karl Rove is like Ahmadinejad. And Sarah Palin is somehow the living embodiment of Ahmadinejad's tactics (his "Potempkin symbolism", whatever that means).

Yes, Sullivan is definitely the place you want to go for intelligent, thoughtful Iran commentary.

Issob Morocco said...

Hoh, Hoh, Hoh, said,

"So is skepticism about the analysis of those who have faulted Obama at every turn."

Substitute Bush for Obama and tell me why now is different.

Obama has been on the wrong side of this issue since 2004. He needs to stop taking left turns....

jag said...

Obama is eloquent only to the ears of our post-literate culture. Sullivan's constant praise of the President's 'skill' only serves to expose our low expectations.

m00se said...

Sullivan has been blogging quite a bit about Iran, but mostly in the form of unedited, unsubstantiated tweets claiming some pretty outrageous things. As with all things Sullivan, his style is breathy, full absolutes that follow his wishes, not the facts.

Sullivan swings rhetorically from tree to tree indulging his needs for absolutes in whatever form he can find them. Given time, he'll speak regretfully of his overblown praise for Obama and his glossing over of his faults in pursuit of whatever Camelot that Sullivan was pursuing at the time.

James said...

Not to mention that I did notice how many times the word "justice" appeared in the statement: ONCE.

Lem said...

When we asked what did Obama mean by empathy in light of his nomination of Sotomayor.

It seemed to be clear to everyone with a heartbeat what he meant. We didn't have to read the tea leaves.

With Iran? We seem to need Sullivan as color man. (see baseball broadcasting parlance)

Maguro said...

Great, you guys can use the "find" function.

What, you demand citations then get all snarky when someone digs them up?

I'm looking for Sullivan claiming that neocons are responsible for the escalating violence.

He's using a technique called "guilt by association". Khameni is the one responsible for the violence but Sullivan rhetorically pairs him with the neocons, making them both seem equally responsible for the bad stuff that is going on.

Sully has been saying that some neocons have some goals in common with the Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime.

Which is bullshit. The Khamenei-Ahmadinejad regime wants a nuclear-armed Iran, revolutionary Islamic republics throughout the mideast and the destruction of Israel. The neocons want none of that.

Andrew's theory that the neocons/AIPAC/Israel/them Jews want
Ahmadinejad in power to be their bogeyman is absurd. Let's keep our worst enemy in power so we can keep being mean to the Palestinians, yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

William said...

There is no statement by Obama, fatuous or inspiring, that will change the course of events in Iran.

Lem said...

There is no statement by Obama, fatuous or inspiring, that will change the course of events in Iran.

"Perpetrators, collaborators, bystanders, victims: we can be clear about three of these categories. The bystander, however, is the fulcrum. If there are enough notable exceptions, then protest reaches a critical mass. We don’t usually think of history as being shaped by silence, but, as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’"

EDH said...

Haven't we just emerged from a presidential campaign where Obama differentiated himself from the previous administration by lecturing the country on the vast, tragically foregone panoply of soft, smart power at our disposal that he would effectively wield once in office?

Now, in the wake of Obama's inertia, it's our responsibility to instruct Obama on how to effectuate policy through the very tools whose mastery he touted to get elected?

Please.

lucid said...

Sullivan is fast becoming a laughing stock. He is totally unable to distinguish what he would like to be true from what is actually happening outside his diminutive mind.

Obama's statement is late and ordinary. He missed the moment. He is now down to his lowest public approval ratings in the Rasumussen daily poll, and things will get worse for him--he has actually gone negative for the first time (http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/daily_presidential_tracking_poll).

There is no evidence that Obama is anything other than the preening, vapid, conventionally liberal, inexperienced candidate that many of we Clinton supporters took him to be.

Synova said...

"There is no statement by Obama, fatuous or inspiring, that will change the course of events in Iran."

And doing nothing may be the right thing to do in this case.

But we should be clear that eloquent statements ARE doing nothing. No one should be feeling good for having "done something" or for Obama having "done something" because he made a statement.

Politics and all pretty much requires Presidents to make eloquent statements expressing support or condemnation or whatever they make a statement about... but it's only noise in the end.

The Real Barack said...

Let me assure you that was the best damn ice cream I have had in quite a while.

If you folks don't like ice cream, there is somethig wrong with you! It's un-Amercican.

Lem said...

soft, smart power.

Code for - Nations of the world if the people in your countries arent happy and they take to the streets, America will not move a muscle not even to swatter a fly.

You r on your own.

Kirby Olson said...

There are two Islamic "Republics" that have at least partial freedom: Kuwait and Pakistan. The rest have no freedom. Iraq is moving in the right direction, but it's yet to be seen where that's going to end up.

The whole world, even the youth in communist countries such as N. Korea and China, are looking toward America. Everyone wants an electoral democracy with a free press and an independent judiciary.

Freedom of belief and freedom of association. The ideas have to be backed up by the willingness to spill blood for them. It would be nice if there were another way.

Bush understood this, but Obama doesn't.

This is from Journal of Democracy, April 09:

"dissidents and freedom advocates deserve the support and protection of the world's democracies. The emergence toward the end of the year of a movement of democracy advocates in China, under the banner of Charter 08, offers hope that something like a genuine community of dissidents is in formation. Charter 08 and similar groups, however, will fail to gain a foothold if their programs and personalities are ignored by allies in established democracies. President Bush set a good example by meeting regularly with dissidents, bloggers, women's rights advocates, and other champions of freedom. It is an example that other democratic leaders should follow" (106).

Obama instead rewards authoritarian regimes by looking the other way and not mentioning their "policies of domestic oppression" (107), and pretending their leaders are hunky dory. He's enabling them by doing this, and with his mealy-mouthed statements.

We don't need to invade these countries, but we need to at least stand up to them and call them "evil," as Reagan did, and as Bush did. Obama doesn't know the word evil. In his world, it's all good.

Quotes Taken from "The 2008 Freedom House Survey," by Arch Puddington, published in Journal of Democracy, April 2009, 93-107.

Jeremy said...

And the incessant whining and bitching continues.

Not only here, but among the supposed "leaders" of the GOP as well.

It's disgusting and un-American.

bearbee said...

The rejection of al Qaeda in Iraq and Afghanistan; ..... and now the rising up of Iranians for freedom and civility with their neighbors: these are the green shoots of recovery from 9/11 and its wake.

Bush administration heavy lifting.

US agreements with Russia and Iran to gain access to use of air space, intelligence & bases in various countries to help facilitate Afghanistan invasion.

Shiite dominant Iran hated theTaliban/Al Qaeda. Wanted them defeated, allowing US access to northern Afghan provinces & Shiite warlords.

US invaded Iraq to scare, threaten and pressure Sunni dominant Saudi Arabia into confronting its homegrown Al Qaeda. SA feared a US military on its doorstep and an Iran-Iraq alliance as threatening its oil fields.

BTW, latest buzz phrase: 'green shoots'

Alex said...

Mark down 6-21-09 as the day Althouse finally threw Obama under the bus. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Synova said...

I'm particularly impressed by the suggestion that freedom just *happens*.

Eventually.

That's got to be a comforting belief since it lets everyone off the hook.

MayBee in the second comment down has it right. Who ever in the History of the World has "won" freedom without help? Not us! Our revolution was aided by the French as well as by collections and donations from the Spanish colonies such as Cuba and Mexico (and people here in Albuquerque.)

lucid said...

What Obama said was sooooo ordinary and sooooooo late. You have to be a tru believer to make anything else out of how hea has conducted himself.

Don't you remember his statement when Russia invaded Georgia? He called on all parties to be calm--like telling a rapist and his victim to please be a little quieter. A week later he got around to saying what McCain had said on day one.

Same thing now, except Obama is still not up to speed.

His problem now is that he is no longer in a position where he can fake it with a speech, fireworks, and Greek columns made of lightweight plastic.

Jeremy said...

If only the "leaders" of the GOp and the fools here listened to those who think before speaking:

George Will: Right-Wing Attacks On Obama's Iran Policy "Foolish"

Sen. Lugar endorses cautious stance by Obama administration

“Kissinger: Obama is handling the situation in Iran well.

kynefski said...

May I respectfully suggest an additional label?

Bloggers chumming

Obama and Sullivan. If that doesn't bring 'em up, we might as well head back.

No, wait, is there any Hitchens in the cooler?

jayne_cobb said...

Actually I'm not calling for Obama to actively support the protesters; regular and strong condemnations of the current regime's actions are fine with me. Given that the current opposition leader was selected by the Ayatollahs it's likely that he shouldn't be outright supported. I just think Sullivan's need to get shots in at the evil "NeoCons" is rather grating.

But to answer your question, the likely benefit would simply be to embolden the opposition which would further weaken the current regime.

I think that the fear of being seen as "meddling" is overstated. Perhaps this is just the look from the outside but it doesn't seem like their claims of American influence have had any major effect.

janemariemd said...

I don't know that she's throwing Obama under the bus, but I found the statement patronizing also ("As I said in Cairo ..."). Everything is always about Obama. I also think the citation of MLK is rather dumb (go ahead, call me racist). Iran is a young country, many young people are protesting; should we assume they even know who he is? Would this regime allow American history to be taught at all, with any sort of accuracy, to its young people?

Obama is the purest politician we've ever had, in that EVERYTHING is about him and hanging onto power. That statement is for his supporters and his re-election campaign, not for the Iranians fighting for freedoms we Americans take for granted.

Jeremy said...

Alex said..."Mark down 6-21-09 as the day Althouse finally threw Obama under the bus. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"

You get dumber by the day.

Frodo Potter said...

First of all, I have to give props to Sullivan for his coverage of Iran over the last 10 days; it has been little short of superb. Further kudos to him for bashing the MSM—especially CNN.

I don’t know if Sully is an anti-Semite. I do know that he tends to get on these hobbyhorses (idée fixes, if you prefer), only to later puzzle over his original obsession.

I wonder how Sully will react if my best-case scenario comes to pass (It probably won’t). Very simply what will happen if the protestors win, Mousavi comes to power and is carried along Yeltsin-like (not my example, so can’t take credit) as Iran comes to embrace greater and greater reform?

Let’s enlarge the detail a bit. The Mullahs continue to lose power. Around 2011, Mousavi passes away and his widow, Zahra Rahnavard, along with many of the courageous women discussed on a previous thread, finds common cause with Israeli feminists, with the end result that Israel and Iran sign some sort of peace treaty—perhaps even an alliance. Wouldn’t *that* upset the Mid-East applecart?

Jeffrey Goldberg has some speculation in The Atlantic about how Israel should unite with the Sunni states against Iran. Goldberg is barking up the wrong tree. Much better for both Israel and the U.S.A. (IMHO) is an alliance *against* the Sunnis.

I wonder how Sullivan will react to that. I *really* wonder how the Truthers would react to such news and what they would do about it.

Jeremy said...

janemariemd said..."I also think the citation of MLK is rather dumb (go ahead, call me racist). Iran is a young country, many young people are protesting; should we assume they even know who he is?"

You're kidding, right?

You think a country with a history dating back to 7,000 BC has a young population not educated or sophisticated enough to know who MLK is?

Good lord...if so, that makes you more of a dolt than a racist.

Lem said...

As most of you know Biden is my favorite contact sport.

But as some of you may remember Biden predicted that Obama would be tested. Give the devil his due.

Bisen was right

(but then again even a broken clock is right twice a day ;)

Jeremy said...

janemariemd said..."I also think the citation of MLK is rather dumb (go ahead, call me racist). Iran is a young country, many young people are protesting; should we assume they even know who he is?"

You're kidding, right?

You think a country with a history dating back to 7,000 BC has a young population not educated or sophisticated enough to know who MLK is?

Good lord...if so, that makes you more of a dolt than a racist.

Jeremy said...

jag said..."Obama is eloquent only to the ears of our post-literate culture. Sullivan's constant praise of the President's 'skill' only serves to expose our low expectations."

Speak for yourself, asshole.

I have no "low expectations" of Obama or his administration.

Obama is doing exactly what he should be doing.

Quit whining.

Synova said...

I think it's utterly ridiculous to think that people in other countries know who Martin Luther King is. Why should they?

Can YOU name the folk heroes of Iran, Jeremy?

The idea that WE are the center of the universe is beyond stupid.

Donald Douglas said...

Peter S.:

Just wondering, but you're a Sullivan fan?

It's not accusations it's confirmations, "Andrew Sullivan: Update on Neocon Derangement".

Also, @ Frodo Potter: "I don’t know if Sully is an anti-Semite."

There's no question ... see AOSHQ, "Take Two: Let Me Explain What Sulivan Is Saying".

jdeeripper said...

Leave the Iranians alone. Let them deal with their own internal issues, many of which are generational and will be solved with time.

The Jewish neo con artists need to stop pretending to care about Iranian human rights and instead confront their own racism and bigotry toward the Palestinians.

They need to stop playing the holocaust card and stop referring to anybody who dares to disagree with them as anti semitic.

Jewish neocon sympathy for the Iranian people is disingenuous.

Eliminating Jewish institutional racism toward the Palestinians will lessen what little influence the Iranians have in the Muslim world.

Nobody in the Muslim world respects any American talk of justice as long as the US government kills thousands of Muslim civilians and allows deranged Zionist bigots to degrade Palestinians on a regular basis.

It's just silly to think otherwise.

David said...

Obama isn't being eloquent. He's putting out some standard rhetoric, and a little late at that. Fact is, he doesn't know what to do here, especially since he's in a situation where what he does matters far more than what he says.

Leadership sometimes involves finding the right words. But the right words have to be coupled with wise and decisive action. Obama lacks the experience and historical knowledge to be wise in these matters, and his nature is to be cautious rather than decisive.

He has a lot to learn. We will see if he is as fast a learner as his admirers believe.

Revenant said...

There are two Islamic "Republics" that have at least partial freedom: Kuwait and Pakistan. The rest have no freedom. Iraq is moving in the right direction, but it's yet to be seen where that's going to end up.

Could you explain the reasoning wherein Pakistan has "at least partial freedom" but Iraq has "no freedom"? Or was this a comment you wrote in 2004 and accidentally reposted? :)

Revenant said...

Leadership sometimes involves finding the right words. But the right words have to be coupled with wise and decisive action.

Or wise and decisive inaction. Like the line from Lawrence of Arabia says:

Colonel Brighton: Look, sir, we can't just do nothing.

General Allenby: Why not? It's usually best.

I'm not wowed by Obama's eloquence. But I suspect that standing back and waiting to see what happens is the best course of action. People who complain that he hasn't DONE anything should pause to consider that maybe doing nothing is the smart play.

Cedarford said...

From the previous thread, worth reprinting:

rcocean said...
Giddy Minds and Foreign Quarrels.

The analogy between (helping Solidarity in)Poland and Iran is silly:

1) Poland in 1981 was occupied by a foreign power with a communist dictatorship imposed on them. Not so Iran

2) The Poles had a long friendly relationship with UK/USA and looked to us for help. Iran, the exact opposite.

3) All we can do is talk - softly or harshly - but all its just talk. The Iranians will have to sort out their own problems - sorry world savers.


Yep, sorry world-savers. We still have our Army tied up in Iraq, and Iran with the capacity to turn that nation as red-hot and deadly for the US troops stuck there as it was back in 2006. If we stick our nose into Iran on a "world-saving mission" that even the opposition in Iran would strongly condemn as US meddling...
=========================
Lem - "as English philosopher Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’"

And what did Edmund Burke do about the French Revolution? Advocate the UK invade or bomb them? Tell his sons to grab a musket and die for noble freedom-loving aristocrats suffering on the Seine who had been England's regular enemies before that? No, he talked. Softly and harshly, at various times. And frequently. And wrote a nice book about the Revolution.

I'd rather have good men just talking than see us fighting Russians in Georgia, where the last foreigners the Russians fought there were invading Nazis - as John McCain advocated in a moment of pandering insanity "We are all Georgians now! Send Special OPs, weapons, military communications, advisors!!" Or his idiot VP saying Israel doing a sneak bombing attack on Iran was OK with her because "Yah betcha! Yah never 2nd guess what Israel does!!"

We are in a time, like Burke's Britain, where you keep your powder dry and don't do a thing as others are tearing others up elsewhere in the world unless your vital interests are threatened.

The last thing we want is oil at 250 dollars a barrel, a new hot war in Iran, and a renewed hot war in Iraq because we meddle in this. Not when we are already dragged into brinksmanship with N Korea...that could get a lot worse and fully commit remaining US military capacity outside current Afghanistan and Iraq requirements.

------------
lucid - "Don't you remember his statement when Russia invaded Georgia? He called on all parties to be calm--like telling a rapist and his victim to please be a little quieter. A week later he got around to saying what McCain had said on day one."

No, he didn't. He came out saying Russia should back down and not use the Georgian attack on S Ossieta as pretext for regime change and destruction of the Georgian military. It was McCain and his clueless VP that were doing their won backing down from their neocon-fueled idiocy of advocating American soldiers attack Russian troops in Georgia.

Joe said...

Why is anyone surprised by Obama's behavior? By all accounts he is extremely non-confrontational and is very much a politician. That last thing he wants is to put himself out on an issue and be on the "wrong" side. Odds are that the current protests in Iran will lead nowhere (I wish not, but I'm simply pointing out reality) and Obama doesn't want to have stuck his neck out.

Incidentally, this the same issue with gay rights. I don't think he really gives a rat's ass one way or another, but damned if he's going to get shot down like Clinton did.

(I will cut Obama slack in this regard: to get his vaunted health plan through, he has to give up something and it doesn't take two brain cells to figure out what those somethings are. [This statement has nothing to do with my personal beliefs over any of this--I'm simply describing the political calculus going on.])

PWS said...

Ann sometimes I wonder if your so-called cruel neutrality is clouded by your seemingly strong desire/tendency to be a contrarian.

Or maybe it's just all in service of the vortex.

Alex said...

Althouse is simply waiting until Obama completely fucks up the economy, health care and Iran till she finally ditches Obama for good.

Frodo Potter said...

jdeeripper said “Eliminating Jewish institutional racism toward the Palestinians will lessen what little influence the Iranians have in the Muslim world.

Nobody in the Muslim world respects any American talk of justice as long as the US government kills thousands of Muslim civilians and allows deranged Zionist bigots to degrade Palestinians on a regular basis.”

Are you serious? Iranians don’t like Arabs. Iranians are NOT Arabs; Iranians are PERSIANS. Palestinians are Sunnis; Iranians are Shiites. There have also been fairly credible reports that Palestinians are in Tehran breaking Persian heads. Achmadinejad and the Mullahs are unquestionably anti-Semitic, though for their own opportunistic reasons. The Iranian people do not have warm and fuzzy feelings about Palestinians.

“It's just silly to think otherwise.”

I am so hoping that the Israelis and Iranians do end up having some sort of rapprochement. It will mess up so many silly theories.

sg said...

If one didn't have a clue what "neoconservatism" meant, and tried to infer its meaning from context by reading Andrew Sullivan, one could easily conclude that neoconservatism consists simply of four very bad things: Bush, Jews/Israel, unending war, and torture.

Then again, there a few exceptional neocons, like "Reuel Marc Gerecht, a neoconservative with intellectual honesty and a real grasp of the region he studies," who just happen to write something fitting into Sullivan's world view.

Know hope!

Maguro said...

Nobody in the Muslim world respects any American talk of justice as long as the US government kills thousands of Muslim civilians and allows deranged Zionist bigots to degrade Palestinians on a regular basis.

Complete twaddle. Not one government in the Muslim world gives a damn about the Palestinians, they simply claim otherwise to distract attention from their own misdeeds, which make Israel's pale in comparison.

For chrissakes,Egypt and Jordan owned Gaza and the West Bank for 20 years after the creation of Israel and didn't do anything but treat the Palis like shit.

Beth said...

Synova, U.S. culture is hardly small and arcane. Don't you think people in Iran know who Gandhi is? If so, they might well know MLK Jr. as well.

And I'll take Cyrus for Iranian folk heroes, for $100. And throw in Zoroaster for the bonus.

Elliott A said...

@ Peter Hoh - I know what neocons are! It is just that lately they are every other word out of the mouths on the left. They clearly are now small in number, and smaller in influence. The fact that they are always identified as Jews makes the label more suspect. Most Jews are lefties, you should be at Thanksgiving sometime outnumbered 25-1

pst314 said...

"Oh, wow, he said 'justice,' isn't he dreamy?"

Brokeback Press Room?

Fred4Pres said...

Sully's arms are tired from carrying so much water for Obama.

Obama's silence did not come off as being smart, but fear of being on the wrong side. Obama should have spent the week geting Europe and Asian countries to condemn violence, promote democracy and the Iranian people. I thought that what was Obama was good at?

Instead he said there is little difference between the two candiates (clearly not true) and then waited till violence broke out to say anything.

Of course Sullivan is just concerned about the neocons, who he claims want the opposition to lose. Sullivan has become to Obama, what Hewitt was to Romney.

jdeeripper said...

Frodo Potter said...Are you serious? Iranians don’t like Arabs.

Right. Keep telling the Iranians what they really think. Maintain that blissfully ignorant arrogance. Sure the Iranians never speak of the injustice done to the Palestinians by the "Zionist entity".

Maguro said...Complete twaddle. Not one government in the Muslim world gives a damn about the Palestinians..

Again, this arrogant disregard for how Muslims actually feel about anything is a major part of the problem.

Where does this come from, this arrogant and ignorant demand by so many people that Muslims can only think and feel the way Westerners tell them to think and feel?

Israel's racist oppression of Palestinians is a major concern for many Muslim people. Why is that so hard to admit?

Remember the outrage over South African apartheid? Muslims see a similar oppression in Palestine and they wonder why the so called "liberal", non racist West can't apply the same moral outrage.

You don't care, BUT THEY DO.

It offends them. And they find it hypocritical for Americans to talk about wanting justice when American governments repeatedly support injustices when committed by their allies.

Leave the Iranians alone. Start getting Israel and the Israeli lobby under control.

Elliott A said...I know what neocons are!

You are not willing to come to terms with who they are and what they're all about.

They clearly are now small in number, and smaller in influence.

They created the Iraq war and have been a cancer in American policy for years.

The fact that they are always identified as Jews makes the label more suspect.

The label was created by several Jews who didn't like the old term conservative because they thought it represented people who were racist, anti semitic and isolationist.

These particular Jews, Podhoretz, Kristol, et al, wanted US power to be deployed for the perceived benefit of the Jews of Israel.

There is simply no other reason for the term neoconservative or it's ideology.

John Stodder said...

This neocon obsession is the McCarthyism of the left. It is the survivor of Bush Derangement Syndrome, but it's far more insidious.

You can't even find two definitions of "neocon" that agree on all points. But anyone tagged with being neocon right down to their underwear (to borrow a phrase from Nixon's Red-baiter phase) is, to many people, no longer permitted to comment on public matters. They were "wrong" about everything. They allegedly "love torture." So, they're supposed to just excuse themselves from public life, henceforward. Not just politicians and other decision makers. Pundits, writers and academics too. I expect many universities will be pressured to fire suspected neocons.

I admire Andrew Sullivan's coverage of Iran yada yada yada. He's been extremely brave, sitting there in his study monitoring Twitter. But it doesn't give him the right to play this particularly nasty form of cliqueish politics with career destruction in mind.

By the way, I thought Obama's statement was very, very good. And I'm a much tougher crowd than Sullivan. Only criticism was, it was about 48 hours late, but that's not a permanent flaw.

Fred4Pres said...

By the way, I thought Obama's statement was very, very good. And I'm a much tougher crowd than Sullivan. Only criticism was, it was about 48 hours late, but that's not a permanent flaw.

Frankly Obama saying or not saying is probably not going to swing the outcome either way. But there is something for being on the right side of things. Obama's statement was okay, not brilliant but okay, but more like 72 hours late.

Sullivan's problem is he is so blinded by partisan criticism in the past, he can't deal rationally with comments from "neocons" like Krauthammer and the Weekly Standard.

Lem said...

Obama's statement was okay, not brilliant but okay, but more like 72 hours late.

Thats because Iran is not a campaigning issue.

In Obama's own words. Notice what he says in this video at 3:45 and contrast how long it took him to say something (weak) about what is happening in Iran.

Lem said...

The lesson Obama took from the Kerry loss was that Kerry took too long to respond to the swiffboat adds.

"For about two weeks Kerry did not answer the swiffboat adds". Obama said.

So it's not like Obama dosent understand what it means to be timely.

Synova said...

"Synova, U.S. culture is hardly small and arcane. Don't you think people in Iran know who Gandhi is? If so, they might well know MLK Jr. as well."

Ghandi, being nearly next door to Iran, I'd expect most people to have heard of. MLK, not so much. For one thing, Ghandi was famous for a conflict between two powerful nations. MLK was important for a domestic issue here. How familiar are people in other countries with American History?

I don't think there is anything to criticize about Obama using MLK as an example in a speech. The important part is obviously *what* he said and no one has to recognize the source other than "some guy the American's think is important" in order for the words and ideas to have power. I mean... I don't know how many times I've heard the Edmund Burke quote and my not having a clue who Edmund Burke was is irrelevant to the idea expressed.

"And I'll take Cyrus for Iranian folk heroes, for $100. And throw in Zoroaster for the bonus."

And the chances that *Jeremy* could name a single Historic Persian or Iranian hero?

Do you really think that your level of knowledge is typical?

Jeremy said...

Synova said..."I think it's utterly ridiculous to think that people in other countries know who Martin Luther King is. Why should they?"

You have a habit of posting ridiculous comments, but this one really takes the lead.

You actually believe people in other countries don't read books or newspapers? That they're unaware of leaders from other parts of the world?

Have YOU ever heard of Nelson Mandela?

Never mind...I have a feeling you haven't...I mean...gee...how would you?

DUH.

Jeremy said...

Synova...STOP posting comments.

"How familiar are people in other countries with American History?"

You ask if people in other countries know anything about the history of the most powerful country in the entire world?

You really ask this question?

What would you suppose they teach and learn in their grade schools, high schools and universities?

Local stuff?

Good lord...

Beth said...

How familiar are people in other countries with American History?

I don't know, but I can't imagine it's all that odd for people in other countries to know about our civil rights movement. That's why they come, tempest tossed, to our golden door. Iranians are generally very well-educated, too, so I wouldn't be surprised if MLK is a familiar icon, perhaps in the way Che or Biko or Mandela are recognized.

Thanks for the compliment, too - but I'm just a regular schmo, who's read "Persepolis."

Synova said...

"I'm not wowed by Obama's eloquence. But I suspect that standing back and waiting to see what happens is the best course of action. People who complain that he hasn't DONE anything should pause to consider that maybe doing nothing is the smart play."

I agree. (Just to be clear.)

Very probably we *should* do nothing about what is happening in Iran.

My "issues" as they are, are with those who think that giving a speech is *doing* something. It's not. Presidents have to do it, of course. They have to get up and say whatever they need to say about anything that seems like a really big deal in the world... but it's not *doing* anything. It doesn't accomplish anything or solve any problems.

If we *should* do something... and if we even have the *ability* to do something, it's not going to be a fun thing that all the touchy-feelie sorts will approve of.

The need for some useless but symbolic "action" is a case of self-comforting self-congratulating vanity.

I'm sure we'd all LIKE to help. Fine, yeah, whatever. Sometimes standing by helpless is uncomfortable. So what... it's not about us and our discomfort.

Is it.

Jeremy said...

Beth - "...I can't imagine it's all that odd for people in other countries to know about our civil rights movement."

Ya think???

hollywood wags said...

Is this the same Sullivan who so eloquently demanded that Sarah Palin turn over her birth records so he could pore over them with his sweaty little hands?

Eloquence...yes, eloquent in his defense of freedom, as we all do.

What an ass.

Jeremy said...

hollywood wags - Where are those medical records?

She never turned them over.

AJ Lynch said...

Santa Monica College. Budding nutcase and part-time psychology instructor. Gene Olson aka Jeremy.

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."Santa Monica College. Budding nutcase and part-time psychology instructor. Gene Olson aka Jeremy."

I've mentioned this before, but since there are obviously still morons out there like yourself, I'll run this by you once again:

I have no fucking idea who you idiots are referring to, and if I was actually a professor at any college I'd be the first to let you know...especially considering the fact that you and most others here never stepped through the door of any college...anywhere....ever.

But I do appreciate the compliment, regardless of how misguided and stupid.

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch - Oh, and by the way, whenever I read someone is "self employed" in their profile I know exactly what that means.

No money and no job.

Loser.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama: Tested and found wanting. We're supposed to stand with him, Biden said. We're supposed to stand beside him, and guide him, because he hasn't got any principles of his own except to mouth whatever platitudes are going down.

Jeremy said...

Kirby - We're supposed to stand with him because he's our President...asshole.

If you're so fucking concerned, why not leave?

Jeremy said...

For the local "fools."

George Will:

Asked to respond by George Stephanopoulos to Republican criticism of President Obama for not being forceful enough in injecting himself rhetorically into the controversy surrounding the Iranian election, said that "it seemed to me foolish criticism."

"The president is being roundly criticized for insufficient, rhetorical support for what's going on over there. It seems to me foolish criticism. The people on the streets know full well what the American attitude toward the regime is. And they don't need that reinforced."

masanf said...

Jeremy wrote;
"And the incessant whining and bitching continues.

Not only here, but among the supposed "leaders" of the GOP as well.

It's disgusting and un-American"

So I am assuming whenever those on various blogs criticized Bush for his Iraq policy, you called them un-American (when did criticizing those in power become un-American)and accused them of bitching and whining? Yeah, I didn't think so.



Jeremy wrote:

"If only the "leaders" of the GOp and the fools here listened to those who think before speaking..."

So "those who think before speaking" is now a euphemism for "those who agree with Barack Obama"? So now those who disagree with Obama are necessarily wrong? You have taken the meaning of sycophant to a whole new level.


Jeremy wrote:

"Oh, and by the way, whenever I read someone is "self employed" in their profile I know exactly what that means.

No money and no job.

Loser."

Yeah, aside from the millions and millions of Americans who are self-employed. Man, you are not only ignorant, you are an arrogant dick as well. I would peg you as being 21 years old, tops, because you come off as a juvenile dick.


Jeremy wrote:
"You get dumber by the day."

Yeah, and you've already hit bottom.

Jeremy wrote:
"You think a country with a history dating back to 7,000 BC has a young population not educated or sophisticated enough to know who MLK is?"


As if the illustriousness of Iran's history has any bearing on current demographics or is a determining factor when considering the average Iranian's knowledge of American Civil Rights pioneers.
Seriously Jeremy, have you ever contributed anything to a debate that was even remotely relevant or intelligent?


Jeremy wrote:

"I have no fucking idea who you idiots are referring to, and if I was actually a professor at any college I'd be the first to let you know...especially considering the fact that you and most others here never stepped through the door of any college...anywhere....ever."

And given the "quality" of your comments, I would be surprised to find out you had ever graduated from high school. Your comments are undoubtedly some of the stupidest on this message board; your comments are juvenile, to say the least. And you are arrogant to boot.

hollywood wags said...

"She never turned them over."

I didn't know Sullivan, or yourself, needed them, but I sure'd like to see Barry's college transcripts.

He never turned them over.

Eloquence!

Frieda said...

As an Iranian American who voted for Obama, I am deeply ashamed of my vote. Obama is coward and has shown no sign of courage.

In the past, many were against having western countries meddle in Iranian affairs because they thought (rightly so) that Iranian people should rise up first...Well, they have rise up and are been killed for that and where is international unanimous support???

Check any successful revolution stories and you will see, that they do need international support not "word games" that Andrew is so proud that Obama is doing.

masanf said...

L.E. Lee wrote:
"The shift in the United State's posture to the Middle East has clearly played a huge role in creating the space that has allowed and encouraged this turn of events in Iran. It is not surprising that it has occurred in the wake of President Obama's Caro speech."

Seriously, does anyone outside of the most diehard Obama supporters actually believe such nonsense? The notion that his Cairo speech is what inspired these people to protest is just plain stupid.

holdfast said...

Blogger Jeremy said...

"....

It's disgusting and un-American."

-My irony meter just exploded - that sort of comment from the same crowd that would scream like stuck pigs if someone on the right called attention to the multiple violations of the Logan Act and borderline treason by Dem politicos during the Bush years.

Jeremy said...

masanf said..."So I am assuming whenever those on various blogs criticized Bush for his Iraq policy..."

This is the same ridiculous argument put forth every day by those who either never read newspapers or book or are just plain dense.

Bush was Presidnet for 8 years and throughly fucked up damn near everything he touched...leaving Obama holding the bag.

Obama has been President for 5 months and spends every waking moment trying to correct he shit storm Bush left behind.

Why don't you know this?

Jeremy said...

Frieda said..."As an Iranian American who voted for Obama, I am deeply ashamed of my vote. Obama is coward and has shown no sign of courage."

And you propose Obama do what?

Rant, rave...demand something??

If you are indeed an Iranian-American how is it you're unaware of the history between our countries?

And why after such a short period of time would you second guess someone who obviously has infinitely more information at hand that yourself?

You think YOU know more than the President and his advisers?

Jeremy said...

masanf - "Yeah, aside from the millions and millions of Americans who are self-employed."

I know all about self-employed, independent contractors, etc...but I was referring to YOU...because of your insipid comments.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

"You ask if people in other countries know anything about the history of the most powerful country in the entire world?

You really ask this question? What would you suppose they teach and learn in their grade schools, high schools and universities?

Local stuff?
"

Typical Liberal Arrogance - Jeremy, you have no effing idea what is taught and what is not taught in other countries.

Iran is an effing theocracy for God's sakes - they are nt exactly known for educational institutions that have free and open learning.

And it is leftist retards like you who are in charge of "teaching history" in developing countries - I should know -the American Revolution WAS NOT COVERED in my history classes - it was only after i came here did i even know that there was a Civil War.

The one thing that my history books didnt forget to inform me was that you American bastards were reponsible for nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And for your kind information, MLK is very recent history (40 years is nothing significant in the course of "history")

Why the hell would Iranian thecorats EVER want their citizens to know anything about the civil rights movement ?

That would not exactly fit with their "imperialist Great Satan" meme, would it ? For Gods sakes how bad could a country be if its minorities were actually successful in a leading reform movement?

Shove your know nothing arrogance about what American history is taught in foreign countries right up your ass.

sarah said...

Why do you all let the troll get to you? This was such an interesting thread while you were ignoring him, and now it's degenerating like all the others. Honestly, why do you even read him? It's called SCROLLING, people.

Nagarajan Sivakumar said...

"Why do you all let the troll get to you? This was such an interesting thread while you were ignoring him, and now it's degenerating like all the others."
The arrogance of a liberal is just sometimes too inviting not to take a smack at.

This twit who has no clue as to how history is taught in Asia asks with such obvious cluelessness as to how the history of the most powerful nation cannot be taught - an amazing display of ignorance as well as arrogance all rolled up in one sentence.

The moron needs to be called out on it. May be he will learn something. May be not.

The next time he trolls, he will atleast check his bombastic arrogance.

Bart DePalma said...

No justice, no peace?

Theo Boehm said...

RE foreign knowledge of the U.S.: As someone who nearly married a Dutch woman, and who has many European and Japanese contacts, I can tell you that the knowledge of American history and culture, even among educated foreigners, is often shockingly lacking.

I can tell them about the 30-Years War, the Fronde, and other charming aspects of 17th century European history, not to mention the War of Austrian Succession, and every other damned European war in the 17th and 18th centuries. I can name the Kings and Queens of England, Spain and France for the past 400 years, not to mention the Holy Roman Emperors, and give them thumbnails of said monarchs' biographies, etc.

Every one of my European friends, including my university-educated girlfriend, could not tell me who General Custer was, who were the principal generals in the American Civil War, or even when it was fought, although they might have an idea it WAS in the 1860's. They had only the vaguest idea of the American Constitution and the basis of our legal system. Admittedly, the Brits are better on this than others, but the sad reality is that almost all of the supposedly sophisticated Europeans I've met are profoundly ignorant about America and its origins.

Salem witch trials? Cotton Mather? The Great Awakening? When did Thomas Jefferson live? Forget about it. They knew who Vincennes was, and could tell you about Louis XVI, but had no clue about details of French policy toward the American Revolutionaries. I could quote examples all night.

It is true that most have heard about Martin Luther King, and have a general idea of what he was up to, but, believe me, only a general idea, compared to practically any aware American, especially one of a certain age who lived through the Civil Rights movement.

My company is located not far from Concord, Mass., and we do a lot of export business and have dealers all around the world. When they visit, we often put guests up at the Colonial Inn, located a half mile or so from the site of the first battle of the American Revolution at the North Bridge. It's a stone's throw from the various houses of Emerson, the Alcotts, and Hawthorne. It's in one of the most historic spots in the U.S.

Because it's on my way home, I'm often called on to drive foreign visitors to or from the place. I've tried on numerous occasions to interest visitors in the fact that they're 800 yards—pardon me, metres—from the beginnings of the Amreican Revolution. Not one, NOT EVER, has had a clue where they were and what it meant. Only a few had some cloudy ideas about Emerson, Thoreau, the Alcotts, et al, and not one had ever heard of some of these authors as Concord Transcendentalists.

Such is my direct and personal experience, extending back over 30 years. I am always amused when Americans start on how we really need to understand other cultures, when I've seen so much foreign ignorance of American culture, history, and life.

I say this also as someone who is half-Spainish, who has Mexican relatives, and whose first language was Spanish. I am also Davy Crockett's great-great=great grandson, and a direct descendent of a signer of the Declaration of Independence. So I like to think I have some personal credibility on the subject of American life, history, and its various cultures.

But please spare me the pure cant and blather about how everyone in foreign lands knows about American heroes and ideals and what they mean.

They don't.

They may be attracted to America from what they've seen and heard in their own countries. I suppose palpable examples of our freedoms and opportunities are enough to convey the essential American message of hope for a better life. But don't suppose for a moment that the vast majority of foreigners give a fig about the details of our heroes and foundational ideals.

They just know that life can be lived more freely here than practically anywhere else, and that is enough for many people.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Ummmm
Anne you are very wrong.
Justice is a core principle of al-Islam and Mousavi and the greens are devout shi'ia muslims.
Mousavi also invokes justice in his speech--

30 years ago, in this country a revolution became victorious in the name of Islam, a revolution for freedom, a revolution for reviving the dignity of men, a revolution for truth and justice.

Salihat, or just duty, is part of the 8 practices (shi'ia) and 5 pillars (sunni) of Islam.
Obama was sending a coded message of support, legible only to Mousavi and his followers.
I thought you wanted Obama to give more support?

This is a contest between two versions of Islam...Nejad's socially conservative fundamentalists and Mousavi's socially liberal reformists. The reformers have al-Islam on their side, and that is why they will overcome, especially in an Islamic state.
That is the raw power of the images of Neda Soltani, lying in her chadoor and pool of blood.
Those images are the doom of Khameni's regime.
She was devout.

Beth said...

The arrogance of a liberal is just sometimes too inviting not to take a smack at.

If you can't tell the difference between having a discussion with another person who is a liberal, and exchanging barbs with a troll, you should take a smack at yourself. Talk about arrogance - consider abandoning the whole "us vs. them" rhetoric and you might actually enjoy discussing things with people who think differently than you do.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

The Shi'ia have a strong history of civil disobedience.
That was how they survived the persecutions of the Umayydd Caliphate after the martyrdom of Imam Ali, and how they overthrew the tyrant Shah.
Many of the same mechanisms that overthrew the Shah are now being employed against Khameni, who is likely to be revealed by Islamic law in an Islamic republic as a criminal, and cast out by the Assembly of Experts.
The chanting of Allahu Akbar from the rooftops after dark, and the non-violent protest marches.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy doth protest a bit too much.

I learned that in one of the three colleges whose doorways I darkened when I attended class. I admit it took me seven years but I got the degree.

What are your teaching these days Jeremy Gene Olson? Maybe advanced basket-weaving to some summer students?

AJ Lynch said...

Beth:

As a professed liberal, do you support universal school choice including charter schools and voucher programs?

A simple yes or no answer is sufficient.

Beth said...

AJ, blow your little inquisition out your ass. What do schools have to do with this discussion?

Matoko Kusanagi said...

And yes, Anne, it is all about them.
You are exactly right about that at least.

Ya Haqq!

Stephanie said...

Obama's pathetic anti-history continues.

MLK did not believe you should "bear witness" to watching justice as it just happens in a long arc, but that it had to be forced and fought for by the oppressed and the supporters of the oppressed.

So how easy is it to find MLK's real statements about how the oppressed achieve freedom?

"MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail"

"But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."

"Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"

"You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations. "

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

"We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal.' It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws."



Obama is misrepresenting historical figures and how they would react here ... I mean this is too basic. MLK is on PBS almost as often as the Great Obama.

Stephanie said...

Sorry... reprinted in its entirety from the comments at Ace of Spades as the writer was spot on...

AJ Lynch said...

Beth:

Jeeez I took your advice and abandoned rhetoric and you, a liberal, can't take it. I must have missed the comments where you were contributing so much to this topic.

I see you continually delude yourself into claiming you are a liberal but reasoned commneter. Yet you you are as doctrinaire a liberal as they come.

Face the truth about yourself once in a while. It won't hurt you will it?

Theo Boehm said...

Powerful stuff, Stephanie, and spot-on, as you say.

But Obama is in the delicate position of not wanting to make things worse. At least I hope that's the motivation behind his tardy caution.

If we take that as his starting point, then I think Obama has handled this remarkably well, as John Stodder points out upthread.

If he is simply being feckless, I suppose we'll find that out soon enough, too.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

I apolo for being snippy....it is true that al-Islam is not widely understood in the United States, except for the cartoonish jihaadi/fundie version pimped by Robert Spencer and Daniel "crack" Pipes.
Sully should have explained his reference better for his readers.

JAL said...

Matoko Kusanagi -- A new Neda video on YouTube:
Neda Soltani's Passport photo

Apologize for repeat comment from another thread. Not really.

Jeremy said...

Nagarajan Sivakumar said..."Typical Liberal Arrogance - Jeremy, you have no effing idea what is taught and what is not taught in other countries."

I spent over ten years traveling all over the world, asshole.

I've had conversations with hundreds of people, both social and via my business associations and I guarantee you that people throughout the world love America and know plenty about our county's history. I also have friends who are from all over the world, the Mideast included and none are as dense and uninformed as you appear to be.

You sound like an idiot.

AJ Lynch said...

Theo:

My two cents.

There is a sports talkradio show host in town and he never seems to have an opinion or a prediction on a hot topic until he has had time to hear everyone else's opinins or ideas.

I am not saying Obama is doing that but remember during the Bank crisis last September, he clammed up for 5-6 days before he said anything.

So at best, Obama may be indecisive or very cautious or simply lacking in ideas or maybe just timid.

Jeremy said...

Stephanie - So you're going to preach the wisdom of effective diplomacy and international politics to the President?

Based on your extensive experience in such matters?

Ridiculous.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Well....the parallels between MLK's non-violent religious protest and the Green movement are strong.
Women in Iran are second class citizens. Mousavi's wife and Rafsajani's eldest daughter have become powerful symbols to the resistance.
It is essentially a civil rights movement, and election fraud is the injustice.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeremy:

Did all those people love America when Bush was president? Or is that a new feeling now that Bush is out of office?

Btw - I bet you don't even have a passport.

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."What are your teaching these days Jeremy Gene Olson? Maybe advanced basket-weaving to some summer students?"

Your reading comprehension appears to be rather thin at best.

And I love your silly premise that Obama shouldn't be discussing with or listening to anybody before making decisions.

Dumb as a bag of rocks.

Jeremy said...

AJ Lynch said..."Jeremy: Did all those people love America when Bush was president?"

Yes.

But they didn't respect the Bush administration.

Read a newspaper or book lately?

Jeremy said...

Stephanie - "Sorry... reprinted in its entirety from the comments at Ace of Spades as the writer was spot on..."

You're quoting one of the most fanatical and hateful right wing website assholes on the internet?

Gee, was Rove, Cheney and Hannity busy?

Matoko Kusanagi said...

shukran, JAL, I had not seen that one.

MLK and Mousavi both represent non-violent religious protests as part of a civil-rights movement.
How are they not the same?
MLK's religion was Christianity and Mousavi's is Shi'ia Islam.
Religion has great power.
That is the power inherent in Neda's images. The power to topple a regime.
She was devout...the regime can't paint her as a westernized harlot agitating for regime change. Millions of muslims will see that image and think, my wife, my daughter.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

My sister....

Jeremy said...

Nagarajan Sivakumar said..."This twit who has no clue as to how history is taught in Asia asks with such obvious cluelessness as to how the history of the most powerful nation cannot be taught - an amazing display of ignorance as well as arrogance all rolled up in one sentence."

Go fuck yourself.

I've spent years in Asia and have many friends who have taught at all levels...and I've never once heard any of them tell me they are in any ignorant of America's history.

What would possibly make you think something so ridiculous?

It's one thing to suck up to other wingnuts here, but your premise that I have "no clue as to how history is taught in Asia" (whatever that's even supposed to mean)...is just plain dumb.

Jeremy said...

Sorry..."in any (way) ignorant of America's history."

Stephanie said...

Jeremy as usual can't read....

that quote was from the COMMENTS at Ace's site by a commenter named SIS...

Dumbass... and the point is not whether it was written by an asshole, but whether the asshole's point is accurate... and it is.

Obama was taking the name and words of MLK to attach import to his statements but deceptively using them as MLK never intended or used them.

Cloaking yourself in MLKs words is especially vile if you are twisting them to fit your own agenda...

Stephanie said...

So you're going to preach the wisdom of effective diplomacy and international politics to the President?

Did I do any of that? Nope, just Jeremy playing, OH shiny...

I might suggest a class in history to his cluelessness, though.

Perhaps African American Studies 101...Morehouse can send him a primer on MLK should he need one, too.

Jeremy said...

Stephanie said..."Obama's pathetic anti-history continues. MLK did not believe you should "bear witness" to watching justice as it just happens in a long arc, but that it had to be forced and fought for by the oppressed and the supporters of the oppressed."

You have a stronger educational background that Obama?

You think he needs your instruction?

You need to get your head examined.

Beth said...

AJ - what's the topic of this thread? Education? You're an troll - that's what a troll does, change the subect in order to badger other commenters, and I don't play with trolls, liberal or conservative.

If you have any chops, you can search Althouse for comments I've made on charter schools and vouchers. But that's not what you're interested in. You just enjoy being a dickhead.

Jeremy said...

Stephanie said..."Stephanie said...

Jeremy as usual can't read....

that quote was from the COMMENTS at Ace's site by a commenter named SIS..."

No, this is what you said:

"Sorry... reprinted in its entirety from the comments at Ace of Spades as the writer was spot on..."

(You never mention anybody named SIS...only Ace of Spades)

And anybody who thinks anything coming out of the Ace of Spades website is somehow enlightening is nothing more than a right wing fool.

The site offers up some of the most hateful and distorted views on damn near everything being discussed, especially concerning Obama or what they perceive as being the least bit liberal.

Most of the regulars are homophobic racists assholes...but of course, you already know that.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

One more quote Anne, that Obama was likely riffing on, a reference young muslims are taught in school..
More speaking in a code only audible to Mousavi and his followers.

A nation can exist without god, but a nation cannot exist without justice.
-- Muhammed ibn Abdullah, the Prophet of al-Islam.

Jeremy said...

I really can't believe how many here, for whatever bizarre reason, think people who live elsewhere in the world are unaware of America's history.

What would possibly make you think something so patently ridiculous?

Other than using such drivel as a means of bitching and whining about anything Obama?

Jeremy said...

Matoko Kusanagi said...'One more quote Anne, that Obama was likely riffing on, a reference young muslims are taught in school..
More speaking in a code only audible to Mousavi and his followers."

Oh, please.

Where do you people come up with this insanity?

Now he's really...speaking in secret "code...(but) only audible to Mousavi and his followers."

Do they all have secret decoder rings?

Jeremy said...

Matoko Kusanagi said..."...Obama was likely riffing on, a reference young muslims are taught in school..."

But keep in mind, ONLY in the schools "Mousavi and his followers" attended...otherwise...everybody would be able to catch the "secret" message.

Funny stuff indeed.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

otherwise...everybody would be able to catch the "secret" message.

Yup, anyone that is muslim.
Who do think Obama was talking to?
Who was his Cairo speech addressed to?
dar al Islam, and especially dar al Islam under 30.

Stephanie said...

Since I have been in MLKs house (with him in it) and Ralph D Abernethy's and Julian Bond's and they were at my family's home many times, I would have to say this...

Obama needs to get a reading primer... and a lesson in the ways of MLK before he goes about quoting him in support of his actions...

Obama's quote of MLK

{{Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.}}


What part of MLKs statement said that it was OK to sit on the sidelines??? MLK assuredly believed no such thing.

More from the Letters:

{{I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.}}

And more still...

{{It is true that the police have exercised a degree of discipline in handling the demonstrators. In this sense they have conducted themselves rather "nonviolently" in public. But for what purpose? To preserve the evil system of segregation. Over the past few years I have consistently preached that nonviolence demands that the means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. I have tried to make clear that it is wrong to use immoral means to attain moral ends. But now I must affirm that it is just as wrong, or perhaps even more so, to use moral means to preserve immoral ends. Perhaps Mr. Connor and his policemen have been rather nonviolent in public, as was Chief Pritchett in Albany, Georgia, but they have used the moral means of nonviolence to maintain the immoral end of racial injustice. As T. S. Eliot has said: "The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason."}}

Now which part of that squares with Obama's use of MLK????

Bearing witness was never part of MLKs agenda... and he openly advocated otherwise. To cloak his fecklessness in MLK is a vile and cowardly move.

Jeremy said...

Matoko Kusanagi said..."Yup, anyone that is muslim."

Can I assume you don't remember saying this?

Obama was "...speaking in a code only audible to Mousavi and his followers."

Are you inferring the "followers" are the ONLY Muslims in Iran..or that the "followers" are the only Muslims who have the ability to hear the message???

I think you're completely full of shit and have no idea what you're talking about.

Stephanie said...

I suggest you get out more often Jeremy... many of the commenters at Ace's are... GASP.... lesbians...

Put that on a cock and smoke it!

Jeremy said...

Stephenie - "What part of MLKs statement said that it was OK to sit on the sidelines???"

What part referred to injecting American opinions into another country's affairs...especially during a period of extreem strife?

You're actually trying to say you think MLK would be advising Obama to get in the middle of this situation at this point in time?

There's absolutely no way in hell MLK advise such a foolish and dangerous move...especially considering our history with Iran.

We have millions of Muslims in the Mideast who see us as militant imperialists and the last thing Obama wants to do is reaffirm that notion.

You sound extremely naive.

Jeremy said...

Stephanie said..."... many of the commenters at Ace's are... GASP.... lesbians..."

What does that have to do with so many of his regulars being homophobic and racist?

Just because gays take part doesn't mean there aren't plenty of people who hate them.

Your argument is silly.

Stephanie said...

reprinted in its entirety from the comments at Ace of Spades as the writer was spot on

Do you expect to be quoted as 'Anne Althouse says' when you comment here??

I said in the fucking comments... and I comment that your reading comprehension sucks. In Anne's comments... if she agrees with that assessment then she is free to comment in her comments that your comments in no way are comments that she has herself made... and she may also note that your reading comprehension sucks... or she may bring it to the fore and create a post that concurs that your reading comprehension sucks and that will have been posted by Anne, but will then be free to have additional comments added in the comments section by commenters commenting on the post...

peter hoh said...

Theo Boehm, thanks for sharing your experience with international visitors. These personal insights are what's best about the Althouse threads. Remember that time when a mariner joined in on a thread about the Somali pirates?

My own experience living with 2 international roommates (one from Germany, one from China) was that they knew a fair bit about U.S. history and culture. The German very much wanted to explore the western states and see the Grand Canyon.

AJ, catch me in an education thread and you'll find that I support charters and public school choice. I support privately funded vouchers (we have those in Minnesota) and some public voucher programs. But I also agree with Beth -- your question is so off thread that it doesn't deserve a response.

peter hoh said...

Stephanie, if you are posting a quote like that -- long or short -- it deserves a clear citation and a link.

Jeremy said...

Stephenie - As I said before: Anybody quoting anything from Ace of Spades might as well be quoting The Weekly Standard, Fox News, Rush, Hannity, Beck or Ann Coulter.

It's a far right website that draws a following made up of uneducated wingnuts who love denigrating everything related to Obama, liberals, gays and people of color. (And most of them come across as being misogynistic, too.)

The fact that you appear to think it's some kind of fountain of truth tells me you're just another wingnut who loves to bitch, whine and hope for the worst.

You should get along with most of what you find here.

Jeremy said...

Stephanie - By the way, her name is "Ann."

Stephanie said...

What part referred to injecting American opinions into another country's affairs...especially during a period of extreem strife?

From this...

Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

Or was the struggle of the 60s not 'a period of extreem strife?'

Or this...

I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham, since you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders coming in." I have the honor of serving as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization operating in every southern state, with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. We have some eighty five affiliated organizations across the South, and one of them is the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. Frequently we share staff, educational and financial resources with our affiliates. Several months ago the affiliate here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a nonviolent direct action program if such were deemed necessary. We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to our promise. So I, along with several members of my staff, am here because I was invited here. I am here because I have organizational ties here.

But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid. But more basically, I am in Birmingham because injustice is here. Just as the prophets of the eighth century B.C. left their villages and carried their "thus saith the Lord" far beyond the boundaries of their home towns, and just as the Apostle Paul left his village of Tarsus and carried the gospel of Jesus Christ to the far corners of the Greco Roman world, so am I compelled to carry the gospel of freedom beyond my own home town. Like Paul, I must constantly respond to the Macedonian call for aid."

From the original comment I commented...and now including the passage prior where MLK is giving his reasons for involving himself in other's affairs...

MLK advocated speaking out EVERY TIME injustice was involved... no exceptions.

To invoke his name to justify standing on the sidelines is disgusting...

Jeremy said...

Stephanie - Do you understand the difference between a "domestic" situation and one taking place 1,000's of miles away, between the factions of another country?

MLK's struggles and monumental contributions to race relations were almost exclusively related to America, not other countries.

And good lord...why are you posting novellas as comments?

Stephanie said...

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Articles_Gen/Letter_Birmingham.html

Like the original Letters themselves... not nickpicked through for partial quotes to fit your agenda. Read learn... that is the definitive statement from his lips for when to speak out on oppression.

Sorry bout the non quotes around the relevant passages. I tried to capture them in {} as some sites have issues with some html tags and sometimes work and sometimes frag the whole site... plus I'm on the computer in the dark (it's late here) and keep missing the <> keys... easier to separate by carriage returns...

doesn't invalidate the truth of my statements that O should never have invoked MLK...

Stephanie said...

MLK's struggles and monumental contributions to race relations were almost exclusively related to America, not other countries.

So I guess Mandela was wrong to quote him during his struggles cause it didn't apply there.. who knew?

Jeremy said...

Stephenie - "MLK advocated speaking out EVERY TIME injustice was involved... no exceptions."

Was MLK ever President of the United States? Was he ever constrained by the responsibilities of the office?

And when has Obama not spoken out?

What you really mean is that you want him to act as you and your fellow wingnuts would, but hey...that why he's President and you're hanging around Ace of Spades and Althouse websites bitching and whining.

Jeremy said...

Stephenie - You're dumb as a stump.

Did you miss this?

"...almost exclusively related to America, not other countries..."

And what does a leader elsewhere quoting MLK have to do with how MLK would advise Obama?

You're talking nonsense.

Good riddance.

Stephanie said...

And the thread at Ace's... not that Jeremy would ever deign to go there and read it...

http://minx.cc/?post=288799

Thought I had it in my second comment. It's late, but coming upon this thread couldn't let the reference to the quote go unchallenged.

peter hoh said...

Apparently, there is an American whom Iranians regard as a hero: Howard Baskerville.

I discovered this tidbit on Michael Totten's blog.

Stephanie said...

You implied that MLK was for domestic consumption only... I was just noting that that was not what he intended and not what Mandela understood, either - hence his use of MLK... and Obama's attempted use (actually misuse - but I've documented that) in this situation.

Or are you now questioning Obama for using MLK when it clearly doesn't apply since this is an international situation?

Loved the personal animus, BTW... classy.

Peter... saw that a few days ago. Interesting isn't it?

Nite all. Holy schnit it's almost 2 here.

Jeremy said...

Stephanie said..."You implied that MLK was for domestic consumption only..."

I implied no such thing.

This is exactly what I said: "MLK's struggles and monumental contributions to race relations were almost exclusively related to America, not other countries."

"Almost exclusively" means just that "almost."

And once again, your argument is specious at best. The fact that MLK dedicated so much to domestic racial issues certainly has no bearing on people of other countries quoting him, admiring him, or using his methods to help their cause.

You're not very good at this are you?

Gary Rosen said...

Jeremy on AoS:

"It's a far right website that draws a following made up of uneducated wingnuts who love denigrating everything related to Obama, liberals, gays and people of color. (And most of them come across as being misogynistic, too.)"

You may be right about that, Jeremy:

http://minx.cc/?post=66320

Scroll down to post #51. I've heard, though, that that particular "wingnut" has been banned there so maybe all is not lost.

Stephanie said...

You said this to counter my argument that MLK was misused:

Do you understand the difference between a "domestic" situation and one taking place 1,000's of miles away, between the factions of another country?


Do you understand that MLK saw no distinction... of course, he also quoted St. Thomas and some other white Christians, so maybe, to you, his words are inoperable in this day and age and Obama is wrong to attempt to rely on them in a situation involving Muslims...

I would suggest reading the whole of the Letters from A Birmingham Jail before you address that, though.

And yes, I guess I am not very good at hitting goalposts as they are replanted, but, then you are not very good at defending those you've planted - hence your need to replant them...

I have argued from the beginning that the inclusion of MLK to advocate for bearing witness (standing by) with no support for the oppressed is wrong, you have not advanced an argument that I was wrong.

Nite for real... it is now past 2...

Stephanie said...

Scroll down to post #51. I've heard, though, that that particular "wingnut" has been banned there so maybe all is not lost.

Hahahaha... not. Posted there this weekend (see the thread I cited above, asked permission to reuse the quote and everything) and do so whenever I feel so inclined.. ask Ace, if you dare.

I'm intermittent here, too.

Nice attempt at the politics of personal destruction, though. EPIC FAIL.

Jim said...

Stephanie -

Jeremy also conveniently leaves out that one of the primary contributers at Ace of Spades, is Gabriel Malor, who is openly gay. Whenever there is legal stuff in the news, he's the "go to" guy on that blog. I guess those homophobes should really pay more attention when they're reading all of his posts so that they know that they should run away screaming in fear of the gay guy.

He doesn't have a sense of humor, and the folks who post there (male,female,straight,gay) don't obey the same rules of decorum which generally prevail here. They have no problem tearing little narcissists like Jeremy into a thousand little troll bits, so it's no surprise he bears such animosity for the site.

One day he'll contribute something substantial to a conversation and it will likely cause some sort of warp in the space-time continuum when he does, but until then just tell him to have a cookie and go get his mom some smokes. She gets pretty angry when he doesn't do as he's told.

hollywood wags said...

"So at best, Obama may be indecisive or very cautious or simply lacking in ideas or maybe just timid."

Maybe Jeremy could get us a copy of Barry's college transcripts, so we could see for ourselves what kind of a student he was.

bearbee said...

Mousavi's wife and Rafsajani's eldest daughter have become powerful symbols to the resistance.

His daughter was arrested along with four other of his relatives.

Rafsanjani daughter arrested in election ire

And released

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Theo Boehm said...

Stephanie & Jim: You should know that "Jeremy" is nothing more nor less than a classic troll. A lot of us have watched him under various screen names over the years, and, among other things, it is obvious he doesn't really believe the specific points he argues, although his purpose appears to be that of somebody supposedly from the left. He seems to be a psychologist whose aim is to break up what he sees as a right-wing clubhouse that has developed around here.

He has been out-argued and torn to pieces verbally, but it doesn't matter. He just keeps up with the personal insults and foul language, which are designed to disgust people and make them leave. He's done that to a number of old regulars recently in what Althouse has termed the Great Flounce-Off of '09.

Some people have done a fair bit of research, and one interesting bit is that he also seems to play other characters, including "wordy" trolls, who have a completely different style and attempt to tie people in knots w/arguments over word definitions, etc.

So, for the sake of everyone's sanity, please just ignore him. Ignore him completely. Sometimes it's hard or makes commenting impossible, as happened to me last night. I had a longish comment written and ready to go, but it was obvious the signal-to-noise ratio made it pointless.

So, in my opinion, and the opinion of Althouse, ignore him completely and/or talk around him, but, please, do not acknowledge his existence.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Jeremy, I meant of Iranians.
Mousavi and the greens are just seeking justice, adherence to the rule of law, islamic law in an islamic republic. Nejad and Khameini know they are unjust.
Just because their law is different from our law does not mean they are lawless.
But all muslims can relate to Obama's words.
His reference to MLK is deliberate. Obama's own people were oppressed, and triumphed through religious non-violent protest to the extent that in a country where Obama's parents could not have been LEGALLY married in some states or sat at a lunch counter together he rose to the office of president.
The history of the Shi'ia is one of oppression, like the history of blacks in america. Obama is a powerful symbol for the world's oppressed.
Stephanie seems very much a hardcore conservative to me. that is going to hate Obama no mater what he does.... I think if all conservatives have in their bag is hatin' on Obama they are in for another kerbstompin' at the polls next election.The simple truth is that we will do harm by interfering, Stephanie.
The people of MENA are universally united in at least one thing...George Bush. Bush made democracy into a dirty word in MENA. Democracy in MENA has come to mean western meddling, the war on Islam, and veiled triumphalist colonism. That is another reason Obama talks about freedom and justice, instead of the d-word.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Stephanie, I think Obama has a legitimate right to invoke MLK.
I like the arc of justice, I had not heard that quote. Obama may use that in a speech in future if we are in fact forced to intervene. Another thing Obama does is leave room to manoeurve. In this he seems unlike conservatives that have been OUTRAGED! by everything Obama does since day one.
Outrage saturation will set in well before the election, and you will all be like the little boy that cried wolf, and Obama might do something bad, but no one will listen to you.
;)
Stephanie, the situ in Iran is not our business, but it is a near perfect analogy to the civil rights movement in America during King's time.
Mousavi's wife who has a phd and has written 15 books campaigned at her husbands side and openly held hands with her husband in public! During the debates Nejad attacked her reputation and implied she was unmuslim and a westernized whore.
It is more complex than that, given that 3/5 of the electorate are under 30, nearly all college educated, and that unemployment is 28%.
So there is a an oppression of both youth and women, and young women especially. 65% of univerisity students are female.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Anne, I believe you have described your attitude at "cruel neutrality". What is your opinon of this letter Dr. Ledeen claims to have recieved a copy of?
You have been falsely attacked yourself and know the value of truth.
Could it be legitimate?
It has a hoaxy feel to me.

Aaron said...

Its embarrasing the man-crush he has on Obama.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Read meh
The first Shiite martyr was Hussein, the prophet Mohammed's grandson. He believed it was better to die fighting injustice than to live with injustice under what he believed was illegitimate rule.

In the seventh century, Hussein and a band of fewer than 100 people, including women and children, took on the mighty Umayyad dynasty in Karbala, an ancient city in Mesopotamia now in modern-day Iraq. They knew they would be massacred.

Fourteen centuries later, Hussein's tomb in Karbala is one of the two holiest Shiite shrines — and millions of Iranians still make pilgrimages there every year. Just as Christians reenact Jesus' procession bearing the cross past the fourteen stops to Calvary before his crucifixion, so too do Shiites every year reenact Hussein's martyrdom in an Islamic passion play during the holy period of Ashura.

Because of Hussein, revolt against tyranny became part of Shiite tradition. Indeed, protest and martyrdom are widely considered duties to God. And nowhere is the practice more honored than in Iran, the world's largest Shiite country.

The revolutionaries exploited the deep passion about martyrdom as well as the timetable of Shiite mourning in whipping up greater opposition to Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. With the deaths of "Neda" and others, they may now find the same phenomena used against them.

Still think Obama used justice by accident Anne?
Everyword that guy says in public is deliberate.
I just hope you are cruelly neutral enough to admit you were wrong.

Matoko Kusanagi said...

Where you referrin to meh?
I'm a grrl.

NKVD said...

Who the fuck is this "Anne" you keep referring to?

Are you really Jeremy?

Matoko Kusanagi said...

oops, my bad....ANN

I don't think she can acknowledge she was wrong though. ... the neutrality part must be a lie....i bet....she thought she had a gotcha moment on Sully after he was so rude about her engagement.
tant pis

davod said...

"30 years ago, in this country a revolution became victorious in the name of Islam, a revolution for freedom, a revolution for reviving the dignity of men, a revolution for truth and justice."

Partially true. The liberals, socialists, democrats et al. joined with the Islamists to overthrow the Shah.

As soon as the Islamists took over they slaughtered lots and repressed the rest.

The Islamists repression, in the name of Alah, was far worse than what the Shah did.

davod said...

PS:

I read once that the reason liberals/leftists are so excised about neo-cons is because many leftists moved to the neocon side of the house when they realized that the ultra leftists were a sham.

The lefties hate having their washing exposed to sunlight by the converts.

NKVD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bearbee said...

The BBC reports that the British embassy in Tehran is evacuating the families of staff members

Ann Althouse said...

"sarah said...
Why do you all let the troll get to you? This was such an interesting thread while you were ignoring him, and now it's degenerating like all the others. Honestly, why do you even read him? It's called SCROLLING, people."

EXACTLY.

I've said it many times.

If you think someone is a troll, ignore him. If you address him with the attitude that you think he is a troll, YOU are the problem. There are some problem trollaholics on my blog, and they need to stop drinking/reading the troll. When they bitch about how the troll is "ruining" the blog, I have ONE message for them, and I'm sick of saying it: YOU are ruining the blog! YOU, THE TROLLAHOLIC, ARE THE PROBLEM YOU ARE BITCHING ABOUT.

T said...

Don't engage with Jeremy. His stupidity is colossal. I beg all Althouse followers: Take a vow of Jeremy silence.

Aaron said...

everyone hear should read legal insurrection's take down of sullivan for his bizarre conspiracy theories involving iran.

for one moment i thought we would get back the old andrew. then mr. excitable reemerged.

Jeremy said...

T said..."Don't engage with Jeremy. His stupidity is colossal. I beg all Althouse followers: Take a vow of Jeremy silence."

Oh, and yet another wingnut sucking up to his fellow fools.

Fuck of, asshole.

Jeremy said...

Ann, how are my comments any less on point than the local wingnuts who spend every waking moment bitching and whining about Obama?

99% of the comments are nothing more than a regurgitation of what is posted every day: Obama bad, conservatives good.

You've even got people whining about the man using MLK to make his points, as if the people here have more of a right or know more of a black person's struggles than Obama.

Really?

Show me where my comments are so wrong, and others are so right. (no pun intended)

You're just playing to your favorites, and as usual, cheer on those who don't want to hear anything but what they already believe.

Ann Althouse said...

Jeremy: "Ann, how are my comments any less on point than the local wingnuts who spend every waking moment bitching and whining about Obama?"

Are you suggesting that I said they were? I don't remember that. I think you are on topic, but you say bitchy things that piss people off and you always respond when they hit back. Then there's a long back and forth that nobody finds interesting. I wish everyone would try to be interesting. Picture the silent reader, not your immediate antagonist. They don't want the thread to be about you and your dispute with X. Somebody has to be adult enough to stop.

"You're just playing to your favorites, and as usual, cheer on those who don't want to hear anything but what they already believe."

Where did I do that? It seems to me that I've criticized both sides in this. I just want the threads to be interesting. I realize there are more righties than lefties, but I certainly disapprove of the notion that the righties own the place and get to demand to have the stage to themselves.

Ann Althouse said...

Theo: "So, in my opinion, and the opinion of Althouse, ignore him completely and/or talk around him, but, please, do not acknowledge his existence."

The "opinion of Althouse" is that if *you* think someone is a troll, you should ignore him. I haven't been saying who I think the trolls are, but I strongly object to the trollaholics, the people who dig in and go back and forth with someone *they* think is a troll and then complain to me about how bad the blog is because of that.

Theo Boehm said...

Well, Professor, looks like we're all in agreement.