June 20, 2009

"I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on."

Writes Roger Cohen in a vivid NYT op-ed:
I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”

Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her....

“Can’t the United Nations help us?” one woman asked me. I said I doubted that very much. “So,” she said, “we are on our own.”

105 comments:

Pastafarian said...

Professor, please let us know if you reach "the moment at which Obama lost you".

I'm hoping that if it hasn't already past, it's fast approaching.

This is heart-rending stuff coming out of Iran, and the longer that it goes on, and the longer that President Obama remains above the fray offering only milquetoast heavily-qualified statements, the more disgusted I become with him.

Roger von Oech said...

Boy, this takes me back to the student riots I participated in 1970-72 (at Ohio State and Stanford). In my experience some of the ballsiest protesters were the women -- especially when the police were changing and throwing tear gas. They often "shamed" some of the men to get more involved.

Richard said...

“Can’t the United Nations help us?”

lol

Fred4Pres said...

Andrew Sullivan is praising Obama for not being baited by the Mullahs and the neocons (I think that means Jews).

It is shameless that no matter what happens, Obama is just wonderful and can do no wrong. Well it is too little, too late. Sorry Andrew, you are now to Barack Obama what Hugh Hewitt was to Mitt Romney

Lem said...

Here is an idea. Fly from Iraq to Afghanistan and drop some literature.

It's not like we are not right there.

We couldn't be physically closer if it was by design.

Quayle said...

Whether Obama has, even now, gone far enough in his condemnation of the Iranian government is open to question. I thought his last statement was better, though a number of days too late.

Yet one thing is certain: Obama's Iran strategy is in complete shambles after the events of this past week.

Obama can't possibly meet and "negotiate" with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad now or in a foreseeable future.

Which only serves to highlight a deeper question as to why Obama was open to meeting Ahmadinejad in the first place.

Many Republicans and some Democrats, Hillary Clinton being one, criticized Obama for being willing to meet with Ahmadinejad without pre-conditions. But to my mind, that wasn’t the most questionable part of Obama’s plan.

The most questionable part was why Obama was willing to meet without pre-conditions with an underling?

Wouldn’t proper parity be that Obama meet with Ali Khamenei?

But he now will have trouble meeting with either of them.

As I said: shambles.

Lem said...

What if we get shot down?

A casus belli? We invade.

No more worries about a nuke Iran and everybody is happy.

George Grady said...

It's not that the United Nations can't help. It's that it won't.

Lem said...

I thought we werent going to miss Bush this fast.

For all the knocks on him cant deny he was made of this stuff.

Randy said...

This unarmed woman may not have been in the vanguard of the demonstration going on around her, but she was singled out by a Basij sniper and paid the ultimate price.

traditionalguy said...

You would expect to see the women doing the most fighting because the women are the ones needing a revolution. The men are the Masters of servant-wives under Fundamentalist Islam. The Islam tough guys realize this and target the women demonstrators as the biggest danger to their ideal society. I recall that when Confederates won battles against the US Army where they took prisoners, the white US soldiers were allowed to surrender and taken prisoners but the black US soldiers were massacred. Freed slaves fighting back is the most personal challenge to the enslaving ruling classes.If the slaves can beat you, then that exposes the lies of the ruling class about them.

ElcubanitoKC said...

I wish I could be there, with all of them.

kenthetrucker said...

ditto elcubanito , ditto

Kirby Olson said...

It was the women of the north that helped to win the Civil War. They believed in the struggle, whereas the women of the south -- to a great extent -- didn't want it. It's encouraging to hear about the women of Iran! I think it means that they will win!

cottus said...

Ah, Ms Althouse. if I may go beyond snide for a moment: If women are so 'hot', as it were, how come the measure of affairs traditionally in the hands of 'women'- most critical and important things like the rearing of children and the strength of the family - are, shall we say, unimpressive.

Perhaps you should suspend your enthusiasm until Iran's revolution passes the Valley Forge stage, if it gets that far. Please observe that the 'mob in the streets' stage is the easy part. And more important, fear the mob, any mob - they caused WWI and are a favored tool of your Adolf Hitlers and Vladimir Lenins.

traditionalguy said...

I was wondering if all these Iranian women were agents of Zionist Neocons? Why else would they interfer with Ah-mad-inejad's mission to wipe out Israel? Could it be possible that free people are usually not willing to sign onto the Mass Murder of another people who have been known to fight back. "Make Love-Not Mass Murder" is a catchy slogan for the young Iranians.

JAL said...

As Randy noted above, the murder of a bystander on the street - Neda is her name - is horrific.

Maybe she wasn't supposed to be wearing blue jeans.

So we are going to make nice with people who snipe young women center body mass. Good luck.

Frodo Potter said...

It is delightful to see how feisty the women are. As well, traditionalguy makes a pretty much spot on analogy to the Civil War and black troops. Tyrants can never give any quarter to people they regard as slaves.

The Persian women I have known have been pretty sexy, and the pictures I have seen from Tehran seem to confirm this about the general Iranian female population. Let’s face it, other than Turks and maybe Kurds, most women in the Muslim world are not very attractive. At least a part of the targeting of female protestors might just be explained by a certain amount of sexual frustration on the part of some of the men. Certainly Iran has, for the last 30 years, gone to great lengths to repress women.

One of the Iranian women I knew told me that, when she was a schoolgirl in the mid-1980’s, in the dead of winter the religious police would stop women on the streets, or stop taxis with women in them and snatch the gloves off of the women to see if they had rings or fingernail polish on. Absurdly, the religious police would even go into ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS and pull the socks off of little girls to make sure they weren’t wearing toenail polish. Are these guys with serious issues or what?

So, growing up with those kinds of repression, it is small wonder that the women are so energized and committed. Good for them and my thoughts and prayers go out to them. Brava!

Cedarford said...

Kirby Olson said...
It was the women of the north that helped to win the Civil War. They believed in the struggle, whereas the women of the south -- to a great extent -- didn't want it. It's encouraging to hear about the women of Iran! I think it means that they will win!


Sorry, that is garbage history. You're just projecting your feelings on today back almost 150 years to the Civil War. There was no difference in female attitudes on either side, and they played a minor role in "winning" or "losing" the War.
-------------------------

Pastafarian - This is heart-rending stuff coming out of Iran, and the longer that it goes on, and the longer that President Obama remains above the fray offering only milquetoast heavily-qualified statements, the more disgusted I become with him.

I sure hate your heart being rendered and all that stuff...but wise leaders recognize the limits of American power and weigh the dangers of things like a Global Depression and stock market cut in half again if the US somehow gets stuck in a 3rd major war happening at the same time.

Eisenhower kept his nose out of China, Suez, Algeria, Vietnam, and didn't start WWIII over "heart-rending" images of freedom lovers in Hungary suffering.

Nixon stayed out of Cold War confrontations. Prague spring? TS. He backed LBJs call to stay out of it.
Reagan could have cared less that millions died in Africa in various sundry wars in his term. He stayed out of the Lebanon war. He stayed out of Iran-Iraq to the max extent possible. He issued platitudes to Solidarity and about the Evil Empire. He picked his fights carefully.
So did Bush II. No skin off Pappy Bush's back if various Islamoids were killing other Islamoids, or the Chinese had an internal mess at Tiennamen Square.

===================
Quayle - "Yet one thing is certain: Obama's Iran strategy is in complete shambles after the events of this past week.

Obama can't possibly meet and "negotiate" with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad now or in a foreseeable future."

Of course he can. Not directly, but through lesser American Representatives and envoys sitting down with Iranian representatives, whomever emerges from this. If they are willing.

Ahmadinejad is not the power in Iran. He is not quite a figurehead, pure ceremonial President that many Euros have...but closer to that end of the spectrum than having the US President's powers to change anything.

Chase said...

Every hate-Bush liberal is rejoicing at the fucking the pro-democracy protestors. After all, they don't want us to physically intervene in any "sovereign" nation.

Liberals:
"Take that ass-raping you secular pro-Democracy idiots!"
"Stay out of sovereign nations!"
"Theocracies are terrible! But don't help!"
"Women's Freedom (except Iran!)"

Yea, liberals (ass talkers) are shining at this time.

On Iran, Obama is WORST.PRESIDENT.EVER

Leland said...

Sadly, the role of the UN would be to side with the government. The UN is not intended to support popular revolts, but rather to the opposite, to protect governments from outside interference.

Bruce said...

The women have the most to win or lose in terms of rights in Iran, so it makes sense they'd be surprisingly willing to fight.

Lem said...

We are looking on at Obama's Rwanda.

Lay back and relax.

NKVD said...

I don't think Iranian women would defend Israel's right to exist any more than Cedarford would.

I have worked with Iranian women - some were ok, one was so fucked up she would only type with her right hand. Honey, we have toilet paper here, soap too, join the modern world, ok?

I really can't get too excited one way or the other about this thing - muslims will still be in charge of Iran, regardless, and they will still desire the destruction of Israel. One set of 7th century hate mongers is the same as the other.

Maguro said...

Of course he can. Not directly, but through lesser American Representatives and envoys sitting down with Iranian representatives, whomever emerges from this. If they are willing.

Surely you understand that Obama isn't aiming at some low-level talks between our diplomats and theirs. He wants a grand, publicity-filled rapproachement between us and the Iranians that will ensure his legacy as a peacemaker and a bridge between the west and the Muslim world.

Assuming the regime survives this (and I think they will), the atmospherics surrounding such a summit have to look a lot less appealing than they did a few weeks ago.

somefeller said...

I see the situation in Iran has brought out all the Walter Mitty-esque bluster from the same crowd that was engaging in that sort of thing a few years ago with regard to Iraq. While it's all well and good to whine and moan about how Obama isn't talking tough enough, it's interesting to see that most knowledgeable people on the topic (including that noted leftist Henry Kissinger) are giving Obama good marks on his handling of this. Taking an obvious side in this would play into the Iranian government's hands, because they could then de-legitimize the opposition as tools of the US. Obama knows this, and other smart conservatives do as well. But, of course, the Obama Derangement Syndrome crew will keep on keeping on, I'm sure.

PatCA said...

Pretty words. Empty words. Appeasing words.

And finally, words crafted to excuse the Appeaser in Chief: "The world is watching, and technology is connecting, and the West is sending what signals it can..."

garage mahal said...

I don't think Iranian women would defend Israel's right to exist any more than Cedarford would.

It's not like Israel would ever come clean and inventory their nuclear arsenal to the world [as they demand of others] but they have at least 200+ nuclear tipped warheads that would pulverize Iran within minutes into complete oblivion before one Iranian missile got 1 mile off the ground. The U.S. has Destroyers with nukes parked off the coast of Iran willing and able to do the job if necessary, if for some reason Israel couldn't. I always picture Achmidinejad chuckling when he read pants pissers over here talking about Iran wiping Israel off the map with their 3rd world arsenal. They can't even do a missile test without photoshopping it.

Dave said...

So all the defenders of Obama staying on the sidelines were perfectly happy with Pinochet running Chile, right? I mean, it doesn't really matter who the bad guy is, we should just let the people suffer, right?

Randy said...

So, Dave, what do you want Obama to do? Invade Iran? Are you disappointed that Nixon didn't send the marines to take over Santiago? Were you out protesting against Nixon's failure to deploy the fleet for war games off the the coast of Chile?

Ralph L said...

He stayed out of the Lebanon war

Unfortunately, you are incorrect here.

peter hoh said...

The woman Cohen spoke to is correct. The Iranians are on their own. We would do them a disservice to convince them otherwise. We aren't going to invade -- not even if McCain were president.

The crackdown in Burma was worse, and all the criticism from other nations didn't do a damned thing to limit it.

As it is now, the Iranian army seems to be sitting on the sidelines, which I take to be a positive sign.

Remember the attempted Soviet coup in 1991? Apparently, we were listening in on military channels and feeding that info to Gorbachev. Of course, the Bush administration didn't let that leak during the crisis.

None of us know what's going on behind the scenes. I would be aghast if the administration were doing nothing.

I've read that Ahmadinejad's controlled media is claiming that Obama has spoken out in favor of the protesters and against Ahmadinejad's election. What would it help for Obama to do what the propagandists are claiming?

Lem said...

Iran turning into something they are not?

High and Dry

Two jumps in a week, I bet you think that's pretty clever don't you boy.
Flying on your motorcycle, watching all the ground beneath you drop.
You'd kill yourself for recognition; kill yourself to never ever stop.
You broke another mirror; you're turning into something you are not.

Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry
Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry

Drying up in conversation, you will be the one who cannot talk.
All your insides fall to pieces, you just sit there wishing you could still make love
They're the ones who'll hate you when you think you've got the world all sussed out
They're the ones who'll spit at you. You will be the one screaming out.

Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry
Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry

It's the best thing that you've ever had, the best thing that you've ever, ever
had.
It's the best thing that you've ever had; the best thing you've had has gone away.

Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry
Don't leave me high, don't leave me dry
Don't leave me high, don't leave me high
Don't leave me dry
.

Lem said...

Should we be stronger for Iran?

Stronger than me.

You should be stronger than me
You been here 7 years longer than me
Don't you know you supposed to be the man,
Not pal in comparison to who you think I am,

You always wanna talk it through - I don't care!
I always have to comfort you when I'm there
But that's what I need you to do - stroke my hair!
Cause' I've forgotten all of young love's joy,
Feel like a lady, but you my lady boy,

You should be stronger than me,
But instead you're longer than frozen turkey,
Why'd you always put me in control?
All I need is for my man to live up to his role,
Always wanna talk it through- I'm ok,
Always have to comfort you every day,
But that's what I need you to do - are you gay?

I've forgotten all of young love's joy
Feel like a lady, but you my lady boy

He said 'the respect I made you earn -
Thought you had so many lessons to learn'
I said 'You don't know what love is - get a grip! ' -
Sounds as if you're reading from some other tired script

I'm not gonna meet your mother anytime
I just wanna rip your body over mine
So tell me why you think that's a crime

I've forgotten all of young love's joy
Feel like a lady, but you my lady boy
.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

Titus here tweeting from Tehran.

Totally hot.

NYC Gay Pride has nthing on Tehran protests.

Pulled 4 trains, 3 1 on 1's and am in love with Salim.

Now Iranian hog is pushing agnst me from all directions.

Totally hot.

I am hard.

How r u?

Plse join r fight.

Lem said...

Wild horses couldn't drag these people away.

Wild Horses

Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady, you know who I am,
You know I can't let you slide through my hands

Wild Horses,
Couldn't drag me away,
Wild, wild horses,
Couldn't drag me away...

I watched you suffer a dull, aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines,
Can make me feel bitter or treat you unkind

Wild Horses,
Couldn't drag me away,Wild, wild horses,
Couldn't drag me away...

I know I dreamed you a sin and a lie,
I have my freedom but I don't have much time
Faith has been broken tears must be cried,
Let's do some living after we die

Wild Horses,
Couldn't drag me away,
Wild, wild horses,
We'll ride them someday

Wild Horses,
Couldn't drag me away,
Wild, wild horses,
We'll ride them someday
.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

Hot hre in Tehran.

iranian women's pussies are wet.

Thought it was Vagina Juice but jst sweat.

Their pussies r sweaty.

The smell of pussy fills streets.

not hot.

twitter out.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

balls r lso sweaty.

hanging low.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

wctchg The Bad Seed with Iranian boyfriend.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

Music in The Bad Seed is insane. Little girl is crazy.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Wait I had the wrong lyric, dam telepromter.

Cedarford said...

Ralph L said...
He stayed out of the Lebanon war

Unfortunately, you are incorrect here
------------
No, I'm correct. The Israelis attracted the Americans and French in as "peacekeepers". We got involved in shelling "rebel Shiites" who turned out to be the foes of the Israeli allies at the time.
After the 241 Marines were easily butchered by surprise and 58 French para "peacekeepers" similarly blown up in their barracks the same day - Reagan and Mitterand both realized that the Israelis and their allies the Maronites had misrepresented details about the militias. Tried using the US and France as tools. And staying in Lebanon would mean Reagan and Mitterand would be agreeing to transitioning from peacekeeping to involvement in war on Israel's and the Maronite's side.

Neither cared to have their countries manipulated, or have their forces bogged down in a crossfire for years in the ME, and wisely pulled their forces out.

Both had bigger fish to fry than miring their troops and all their other initiatives put on hold - to be in, what the French ambassador said later - "shitty little nations".

Lem said...

Obama responds

Hello, it's me.

Hello, it's me I've thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much but something's wrong
There's something here that doesn't last too long
Maybe I shouldn't think of you as mine

Seeing you
Or seeing anything as much as I do you
I take for granted that you're always there
I take for granted that you just don't care
Sometimes I can't help seeing all the way through

It's important to me that you know you are free
'Cause I never want to make you change for me

Think of me
You know that I'd be with you if I could
I'll come around to see you once in a while
Or if I ever need a reason to smile
And spend the night if you think I should

Dont change, dont change
Dont change, dont change
Dont change, dont change
Dont change, dont change
.

Lem said...

For now just tell Iran

Quizas, Quizas, Quizas.

I am always asking you
When, how and where
You always tell me
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

The days pass this way
And I am despairing
And you, you always answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

You are wasting time
Thinking, thinking
That which you want most
Until when? Until when?

The days pass this way
And I am despairing
And you, you always answer
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
.

reader_iam said...

Professor, please let us know if you reach "the moment at which Obama lost you".

What would it take, exactly, for you to be less concerned with someone "recanting" for your own satisfaction and more with issues and events far broader?

Go head and consider that rhetorical, if you like. You won't surprise, shock or enlighten me, either way and regardless.

peter hoh said...

Despite what Quayle suggests above (7:25), Obama never had an "Iran strategy" that involved getting chummy with Ahmadinejad. The whole "meeting without preconditions" was a tactical political move, part of Obama's effort to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack or Democratic nominees.

There were foreign policy implications in that language, of course. Most notably, Obama was signaling that he would be willing to take a different approach than that of the Bush administration.

The Cairo speech followed through on this idea, but it was just a speech. He was going to have to follow with something -- pressure on Netanyahu re. the settlements, most likely -- but the events in Iran have shifted attention away from Israel for the moment.

Should the Iran protests succeed, Obama will not bemoan the loss of a photo-op with Ahmadinejad.

peter hoh said...

Reader, don't you get that this is just a game to many of the commenters here? The lives of real people in places like Iran don't matter. What matters is being able to score political points.

Beth said...

What is it that Obama should do, right now, besides make a better speech? Ideas, please, and explanations. I'd like to understand.

reader_iam said...

Election Day--a.k.a. National Vote My Side or Forever Shut UP Day, as you appear to define it--it is over. We're in that what used to be defined as a lull in which we pay more attention to governing (and *plausibly* attempting to get others to change their minds about approaches & etc. before the next election).

***

Does/should it matter to you, Pastafarian, that I didn't vote for President Obama, either?

Lem said...

Surely there must be something we can do.

"Street Spirit (Fade Out)".

Rows of houses, all bearing down on me
I can feel their blue hands touching me
All these things into position
All these things we'll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out

This machine will, will not communicate
These thoughts and the strain I am under
Be a world child, form a circle
Before we all go under
And fade out again and fade out again

Cracked eggs, dead birds
Scream as they fight for life
I can feel death, can see its beady eyes
All these things into position
All these things we'll one day swallow whole
And fade out again and fade out again

Immerse your soul in love
IMMERSE YOUR SOUL IN LOVE
.

PatCA said...

"None of us know what's going on behind the scenes. I would be aghast if the administration were doing nothing."

I have been hoping and praying the same thing, peter hoh. But why can't he stop the campaign and the ice cream photo ops for one freaking day, while people are being killed on the streets of Iran?

reader_iam said...

Lem,the vision of that song is exactly what I push back against.

Whatever else I might or might not do, I do not swallow whole (though I do, once in a while, question whether others are under-appreciating their own abilities in that regard).

Shorter: Reference is "clever" (quotes not scare, but indicating later definitions), but not particularly wise or wise *to*.

reader_iam said...

PatCa: Which freaking day?

And would you really want to apply, backwards in time and going forward in time, the same standard, across the board?

Especially the ice-cream part.

Lem said...

Lem,the vision of that song is exactly what I push back against.

We are Fragile Reader there is no getting around it.

If blood will flow when fresh and steel are one
Drying in the colour of the evening sun
Tomorrows rain will wash the stains away
But something in our minds will always stay
Perhaps this final act was meant
To clinch a lifetimes argument
That nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could
For all those born beneath an angry star
Lest we forget how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are

On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are
.

reader_iam said...

PatCa: Be careful lest you validate criticisms of presidential activities in the past in the rush to invalidate any and all leisure activities in the present. This ongoing, bi-partisan cooperative effort can only continue to set in stone the very precedents for the future which--when things swing your way again--I daresay you'll be bitching about, as opposed to against.

I keep hearing that people are thinking in terms of the long run. I keep listening, even. But there are just these one or two, or three, little things ...

Lem said...

Eyes Without a Face.

I'm all out of hope
One more bad dream could bring a fall
When I'm far from home
Don't call me on the phone
To tell me you're alone
It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

I spend so much time
Believing all the lies
To keep the dream alive
Now it makes me sad
It makes me mad at truth
For loving what was you

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

When you hear the music you make a dip
Into someone else's pocket then make a slip.
Steal a car and go to Las Vegas oh, the gigolo pool.
I'm on a bus on a psychedelic trip
Reading murder books tryin' to stay hip.
I'm thinkin' of you you're out there so
Say your prayers.
Say your prayers.
Say your prayers.

Now I close my eyes
And I wonder why
I don't despise
Now all I can do
Is love what was once
So alive and new
But it's gone from your eyes
I'd better realise

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
Such a human waste your eyes without a face
And now it's getting worse
.

reader_iam said...

This comment notwithstanding (for the reason immediately following): Lem gets the last word.

amba said...

The Islam tough guys realize this and target the women demonstrators as the biggest danger to their ideal society.

I think that's right. That girl was targeted. A bulls-eye. She was shot through the heart.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

I scored Iranian hog.

My hog is tred.

It has been ht.

I redy for more.

today is another day.

More hog.

TitusTweetingfromTehran said...

r u horny 4 more

Ralph L said...

Cedarford, how was that "staying out" of the Lebanon war? Wiki says our intervention allowed Arafat to escape. Granted, it could have been much worse, but we were there almost 2 years, much of it under fire from one side or the other. Don't forget about the impact the Beirut hostages had on his second term.

rhhardin said...

The NYT has no Iran editorial today.

I was wondering how they would treat it. So many leftist interest groups!

traditionalguy said...

Pres Obama's tactics being revealed by the Iranian people's historical uprising is evidence that his leadership has never been a right wing versus a left wing issue. The effective use of a Supreme Leader to rule over the people in this world is the sole issue. Pres Obama believes that his gift to personally win over followers makes him into a true Supreme Leader.The MSM has signed on 100%. The Israeli fly in the ointment is to be soon overcome by The Supreme Obama Powers. Obama intends to show Khaimani et al. how it's done. Just wait until Friday prayers at the Obama White House for the display of Supreme Leader Obama's gift. Yet the actual revelaton this week is one of the weakness of relying on a one man Supreme Leader, even one who smiles at his loving people rather than one who sends out thugs to beat them into submission, unless of course that becomes necessary. Just ask Kissenger.

bearbee said...

Iran turmoil: live

“Can’t the United Nations help us?”

lol


Will US, Britain, EU petition and demand UN sanctions if government-backed violence escalates, if only for show?

Pogo said...

The NYT has no Iran editorial today.

Discretion is the better part of cowardice.

Alexis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
grackle said...

I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray.

The want to get rid of those burkas.

knox said...

I'm not sure what Obama should do.

Practically speaking, we can't invade. We have no idea if the other option would be any better, and we would be spread too thin even if it were.

It's too late to want Obama to speak more strongly. He already went on his apology tour and gave Amadinejad tacit legitimacy by agreeing to speak with him, and chastising the previous administration for not doing so. That behavior emboldened tyrants around the world, and quite possibly contributed to the situation there now.

Who cares what he says now. It's too late. With that said, unless we're going to invade, he's right not to say too much. We can't encourage them and then sit and watch while they get slaughtered. We did that in Iraq in the '91 uprising. I don't want us to do it again.

bearbee said...

Part of Obama administration overall strategy - forge closer ties with Iran/Middle East...

US humanitarian exports to Iran rose in early months of Obama administration


....while distancing traditonal Europeon allies?

Early this year his lukewarm welcome of Britian's Brown

Germany: A U.S. Chill and Warmer Russian Relations. Brief Stratfor podcast

France.

Pogo said...

" ...unless we're going to invade, he's right not to say too much."

Here's what Reagan did for Solidarnosc; from Time magazine, 2001:
"Until Solidarity's legal status was restored in 1989 it flourished underground, supplied, nurtured and advised largely by the network established under the auspices of Reagan and John Paul II. Tons of equipment -- fax machines (the first in Poland), printing presses, transmitters, telephones, shortwave radios, video cameras, photocopiers, telex machines, computers, word processors -- were smuggled into Poland via channels established by priests and American agents and representatives of the AFL-CIO and European labor movements. Money for the banned union came from CIA funds, the National Endowment for Democracy, secret accounts in the Vatican and Western trade unions."


Obama just doesn't have it in him.

Paco Wové said...

"Here's what Reagan did for Solidarnosc..." 

Of course, we could be doing something along those lines now, covertly. If we are, it's not in anyone's interests (aside from the current Iranian regime) to make it known.

bearbee said...

He is using the velvet glove. He (the US) has no iron fist.

Pogo said...

"we could be doing something along those lines now, covertly."

True, but I wouldn't bet any money on it. Too un-Obama.

Unless the covert assistance is posters of himself.

knox said...

Pogo,

Believe me, I want a strong leader, and I love the idea of words being enough to topple Amadinejad's regime.

But if we offer such support, and things get worse... what then? Should we invade? That seems an almost impossible prospect.

Obama has made us seem weak. If he starts making threats now, no one will take them seriously. We will almost surely have to follow up on them, and if we don't, we will have betrayed the Iranians much as we did the Iraqis. In my opinion.

Reagan could do what he did because people knew he was a serious man. I wish Obama was a Reagan, too. But it's too late for him to start acting like one.

Lyle said...

Kirby Olson said, It was the women of the north that helped to win the Civil War. They believed in the struggle, whereas the women of the south -- to a great extent -- didn't want it. It's encouraging to hear about the women of Iran! I think it means that they will win!

You ever hear of Belle Boyd? Southern women fully supported the Civil War, well those who believed in secession or had men fighting in it.

What they grew tired of was the want of things caused by the blockade and Union destruction.

Randy said...

Knox: If what Obama did was so disastrous, why are Ahmadinejad and Khomenei in the pickle they find themselves in now? It seems to me that every step of the way, the administration has done a pretty good job of responding appropriately and not giving the Iranian government sufficient rope with which to literally hang the opposition.

Pogo: Your mention of Poland as being a good example of what should be done in Iraq brings to mind the question: what are the similarities between the two situations? All that equipment smuggled into Poland, for example, is readily available to almost anyone who wants to use it in Iran, as has been quite obvious for some time.

garage mahal said...

"Should we invade?"

Oh Jesus.

Ralph L said...

Should we invade?"
Oh Jesus.
My position is to send missionaries.

Paddy O. said...

While I appreciate your prayerful query, he'd most likely say no. Though, he also likely would have very strong words to say about leadership who takes God's name in vain to secure their own power in repressing the people.

peter hoh said...

Obama made us look weak? Are you kidding me? I might tolerate this if you acknowledged that Bush made us weak, tying up our military in two wars with amorphous goals, distancing us from our traditional allies, and demonstrating that we could do nothing to stop a nuclear program in NK.

The invasion of Iraq made Iran stronger, both as a regional player and on the world stage.

Obama has not emboldened Ahmadinejad by the mere idea that he would be willing to meet with him. Obama let the Iranian people know that he was not interested in demonizing Iran. That mattered to the people. I don't think that Obama's Cairo speech led to the uprising -- that's a claim too far for me. But Obama has refused to play bogeyman to Ahmadinejad, and that hasn't hurt anything.

Solidarnosc grew over time, and covert support helped. The restlessness in Iran has been growing for a while, too, but until a week ago, no one had any idea what form it would take, or who would rise up as the movement's Walesa.

A week ago, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had the chance to coopt the uprising under the current system in which he is the Supreme Leader. Now that he has wed himself to Ahmadinejad, they will stay together or go together. The stakes have been raised. That's the reason that the regime has been reacting with greater violence. It has nothing to do with anything Obama has or has not said.

peter hoh said...

Back to the women -- look for a march of mourning women, the mothers and the grandmothers of those missing, killed, or wounded in the events thus far.

peter hoh said...

One more thing -- the standard critique of Obama has been that he's just using words, and as nice as those words may be, they don't really accomplish anything. Silly liberals, fawning over Obama's words, thinking that they alone will change the world.

Fast forward to this past week, and suddenly Obama's critics are complaining that Obama isn't using his awesome word power, which they are certain would make (or would have made) a difference in Iran.

Which is it?

Lem said...

Which is it?

It's neither.

It's what is he doing/going to do about Iran.

Pogo said...

@Randy, the analogy between Poland and Iran is a mighty uncomfortable one.

Logistically, what does Iran need that matches the importance of a fax machine to Krakow in 1983?

I don't know, and I suspect neither does Obama or anyone in the State Dept.

And that's my point exactly.


@Peter Hoh: Obama's critics were complaining that Obama wasn't even using his awesome word power, which is the only thing he seems to know how to do. That is, he seemed unable to provide even de minimis.

PatCA said...

reader iam, I do not understand your posts at all. To clarify my point, Obama should not have allowed photos of his ice cream trip out of respect for the protesters being killed in Iran, okay?

rcocean said...

Giddy Minds and Foreign Quarrels.

The analogy between 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.

Pogo said...

"sorry world savers"

Yeah, and fuck you too, Darfur.

bearbee said...

Listened to Iranian-born experts who mentioned a crack in the top leadership between Khamenei and Rafsanjani. Wiki on Rafsanjani

Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani; born February 15, 1934) is an influential Iranian politician, writer and former president. Currently he holds the position of Chairman of the Assembly of Experts[2] (a deliberative body of Mujtahids that is charged with electing, monitoring, and dismissing the Supreme Leader of Iran) and Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran (an unelected administrative assembly that resolves legislative conflicts between the Majlis and the Council of Guardians).

Rafsanjani is reportedly associated with the Iranian business class and is hostile to Ahmandinejad and the more ideological tendency in the Islamic Republic. He has been described as a pragmatic and conservative, who supports a centrist position domestically and a moderate position internationally, seeking to avoid conflict with the United States[3]
.

bagoh20 said...

I think those that support Obama's lameness here as smart diplomacy that will allow him to negotiate with the current regime later, may want to rethink that.
-
This regime will never give Obama what he wants, if he does not know that, he will. Therefore his "smartitude" eventually lead to an epic fail for him, us and the world.

He would be wise to support anyone else or at least support democracy so that the regime loses some legitimacy.
-
Right now they are doing what they want, because they are allowed by a world that is not sufficiently embarrassed of it's ties to restrain them.

This is an opportunity to weaken them, but that would take leadership, rather than caution.
-
Although Obama continues on the Bush strategy most places, he is not capable of leading his own new formulations of strength. Caution is fine, but boldness is what wins against determined evil.
-
We elected the anti-Bush, and I call that throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

peter hoh said...

bagoh20, what would you do? Be specific.

I think Obama is doing the right thing so far, but I don't think hes end goal is to be able to negotiate with the current regime.

bagoh20 said...

peter hoh said...

bagoh20, what would you do? Be specific.

-
I've gone so far on this blog as to actually write excerpts for him to say, so I won't repeat.
-
He should express support for fair elections and against murdering protesters in the street and do it it with vigor. And get our allies, who love him, to do the same. Ask for sanctions, etc. Everything short of war.
-
We should all denounce the regime. We need to delegitimize them now while they are offering the opportunity. If we can, then the nations who are helping them like Russia will be far less comfortable doing so. In fact, they may be supporting the wrong regime if we are really successful.

The alternative is to prop up the worst possible regime long term. I just don't see why that is smart. The Iranian people and us may never get another shot like this.

Since I'm just some guy, I assume they would have even better ways to accomplish this, but it seems they do not even agree with my desired goal, ie, to weaken this regime.

" I think Obama is doing the right thing so far, but I don't think hes end goal is to be able to negotiate with the current regime."

They seem to be saying just that and certainly the defenders here of Obama say that is what makes his silence smart diplomacy.

If you look down the road, I don't see any big negative to denouncing what is going on in the strongest terms possible. This regime will not do what we want regardless. They can't now. They are tied to opposing the U.S. We can do whatever we want to them and they will fight us exactly the same - 100%.

rcocean said...

Pogo,

Reading comprehension classes are available.

Fletchersc said...

The fact that women were so prominent reminds me of a piece P.J. O'Rourke did some years ago, and he mentioned you could tell if a movement would be successful by how many women were there. Especially young women. It is not hard to follow the logic. If young women are there, young men will be there. Moreover, these two groups define what is fashionable and popular. The women were on the side of the protester, the mullahs are going down.

bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

I think P.J. O'Rourke was on to something and I hope so.
-
Many modern women sacrifice the power of their traditional roles for novel ones of far less use.
-
I know that my mind is thoroughly screwed up by politics because I no longer find women attractive when I find out they are too far left, which is not far for me.
-
At a Tea Party protest I saw a group of conservative lesbians and found them very attractive, even if unattainable. I have commitment issues, so maybe it was a double bonus subconsciously.

12:38 PM

Jeff with one 'f' said...

The idea that women are inherently pacifistic is wishful thinking.

knox said...

Obama made us look weak? Are you kidding me?

Yes, by apologizing for everything we've done to fight terrorism since 9/11, as if we're the bad guys.

"Tying up our military in two wars" makes us look weak? Not to Mommar Kadafi, apparently.

demonstrating that we could do nothing to stop a nuclear program in NK

So... you want us not to be so tough in the Middle East. But to be a total hardass in NK. Or not...? I love how people are all gung-ho about every war except the one we're in.

Obama let the Iranian people know that he was not interested in demonizing Iran. That mattered to the people.

followed by...

The stakes have been raised. That's the reason that the regime has been reacting with greater violence. It has nothing to do with anything Obama has or has not said.

You're contradicting yourself.

knox said...

Knox: If what Obama did was so disastrous, why are Ahmadinejad and Khomenei in the pickle they find themselves in now?

Randy, faking the election results and coming down as hard as they have been could be easier if they perceive America as weak and unwilling to offer support to those who protest.

Chase said...

The invasion of Iraq made Iran stronger, both as a regional player and on the world stage.

No such thing happened. Wishful and completely unverifiable thinking on the behalf of bush hating fantasy liberals.

What an everflowing river of shit runs out of the mouth of liberals.

Chase said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patm said...

George W. Bush said over and over that it would be the WOMEN of Iran who would begin their revolution and demand for freedom. You could look it up.

http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1079666.html

montana urban legend said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
montana urban legend said...

Move over, George Will!

Without Althouse's commentariat, those pesky Iranian demonstrators wouldn't know whose side they're on - OURS!

Thanks, guys!

So pointy-headed pundits like George Will should take their brainy bullshit and stop pretending that the Iranian regime doesn't need more anti-American propaganda. It sure does and someone's got to provide it to them!

How will opposition movements around the world know that they are nothing more than an extension of American interests (oh, and a symbol of freedom) unless we blab it all over the internets? This way the mullahs will have no choice but to crack down even harder as their mortal enemy, America, will have given them a reason to.

You guys would pick a fight with a prison warden just as a political prisoner is being released. Brilliant.

bagoh20 said...

"You guys would pick a fight with a prison warden just as a political prisoner is being released. Brilliant."

Yes, I would. And I imagine so would the political prisoner. That's what political prisoner are made of. The less lucky ones like Neda just get "One bullet and it's over."