June 18, 2009

"The usually loquacious Obama has remained tongue-tied during this crisis in Iran..."

"... what surely represents one of its brightest and bravest moments in a generation. His reticence suggests two things about his administration. First, the Obama White House fails to grasp the enduring importance, and appeal, of America's democratic example. They are caught up in self-serving polling data about global anti-Americanism. Stop believing in America as the 'last best hope' of democratic reformers and you stop lending them moral and political support."

201 comments:

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scinfinity said...

Maybe Obama doesn't know what he's doing. You know, it seems like an apt possibility, given how little he knows about everything else he's touched to date.

But he will probably blame FNC and Rush for this. It seems to be his only tactic now.

Florida said...

Anyone who plays chess agrees with Obama's strategy ... as long as you have the long-term interests of the United States at heart.

When the outcome isn't clear, it would be foolish for Obama to openly side with the dissenters.

If they dissent is put down, it's a defeat for Obama. In fact, if he is seen to be openly siding with the dissenters, the regime could argue with real force that a win for the dissenters represents a defeat for Iran; and so in this way if Obama was seen openly siding with the dissenters could actually backfire.

Obama is a politician - and rule #1 is never back a loser. Since he can't predict confidently who the loser will be, he's obviously being very careful.

About the only smart thing he's done as President is shut up in this instance.

Fred4Pres said...

Sullivan has been very good on Iran. But he has suggested that some "bad Neocons" want Ahmadinejad to win. Who would that be? I would like to know so I can deounce them too Andrew. A completely unsubstantiated slur.

So far, the only public figure calling for that is George Galloway and last time I checked he is not a neocon.

And Andrew argues that the US has to stay out of this, so as not to delegitimize the opposition as American stooges. While I agree President Obama has to be very careful in what he says, saying nothing is a message too. You can promote democracy, reform, and non violence in a more forceful way than Obama has done. And the Europeans and Canada are speaking out. The US should speak out too.

MayBee said...

Prof Althouse-
Didn't Obama Administration attorneys argue to SCOTUS that movies and books could be suppressed during campaigns? He also disparaged tea-party protests.

I don't know, maybe Obama really doesn't want to get too much on the record as actually supporting people who are critical of the President.

Fred4Pres said...

The backing the loser argument is not the point. This is about right and wrong. It is wrong to have sham elections. As Hitchens noted, they are not even real elections--the candidates are hand picked and approved and the outcomes fixed in advance. It is wrong to shoot your own people in the street. Obama can speak out on that without endorsing the opposition.

scinfinity said...

We're going to be "backing the loser", no matter how it turns out. If Ahmedinnerjacket wins out, we "backed the insurgency".

If the rebellion wins out, our lack of support shows that we "backed the mullahs".

rhhardin said...

It's a popular test of push-back in Iran, but internally it's just about which corrupt bunch gets the goodies.

Obama is just extending professional courtesy in the matter.

Trevor Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AlphaLiberal said...

I prefer this column by Greg Kamiya in Salon.com:

Night of the living neocons

The shameless fools whose Iraq folly empowered Iran's hard-liners are back, smearing Obama as an appeaser .

He highlights the idiocy of the bombs away crowd in demanding that every international crisis be dealt with by intervention, belligerence and bellicosity.

Look, punks, your saber-rattling ways were dumped by the American people. STFU.

Trevor Jackson said...

Fred4Pres:

Daniel Pipes is literally "rooting for Ahmadinejad." Because he's scarier to the rest of the world. No concern for the people of Iran.

link

LarsPorsena said...

"Daniel Pipes is literally "rooting for Ahmadinejad." Because he's scarier to the rest of the world. No concern for the people of Iran.

How is that different from BO's position?

Trevor Jackson said...

Are you being serious, Lars? Or are you pretending you know how this is going to turn out?

AlphaLiberal said...

It is interesting how the neocons so consistently demand policies that empower the hardliners in Iran.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq led to Iran becoming more influential in Iraq and the region.

Now, they want US intervention in Iran, which will help the hardliners cast dissidents as dupes of a foreign power and aid the crackdown.

They should be shunned.

kynefski said...

President Obama is calculating that he can, with the sheer force of his personality, convert Iran's radicals to a more moderate political theology.

I don't think I'll trust the judgment of this writer.

Hoosier Daddy said...

He highlights the idiocy of the bombs away crowd in demanding that every international crisis be dealt with by intervention, belligerence and bellicosity.

Look, punks, your saber-rattling ways were dumped by the American people. STFU.



Alpha are all you capable of doing is setting up strawmen? The only people advocating bombing Iran over this are the voices in your own head. The least your President can do is offer the same verbal support for the demonstrators the French or Germans did.

Try putting up an honest argument for a change.

scinfinity said...

Daniel Pipes is literally "rooting for Ahmadinejad." Because he's scarier to the rest of the world. No concern for the people of Iran.

I read the column. Yes, he is rooting for Ahmedinnerjacket.

Did you read the actual reason why?

Because the mullahs are in power and nothing changes. As he pointed out, the nuclear program started under the "moderate" Khatami. He says that people will be less vigilant if a "moderate" is the figurehead. Not an illogical statement.

And AL, the column you linked to is so laughable as to meaningless. Yeah, his non-existent policy led to regime change in Lebanon. Netanyahu basically told Obama to "F" off and they count that as a "win"?

LarsPorsena said...

Trevor:
Yes, I'm serious. Effectively how does BO's policy differ from Pipes?

Not their motives but their effects?

Roger J. said...

I think it is possible to take a strong position about the importance of free, open, and transparent elections without endorsing one candidate or the other; or take a position about the use of violence against protesters without endorsing one or the other candidates. Obama did attempt that, but hardly using clear and ringing rhetoric. There is a middle ground between a wishy washy response and outright endorsement of a candidate (neither of which I find particular savory).

Roger J. said...

And would someone tell me who, except those on the extreme fringes of the political spectrum, are endorsing a physical attack on Iran?

OldGrouchy said...

The answer to Obama's quietness on Iran is quite simple: TOTUS refuses to display anything even remotely relating to supporting Iran's dissidents, TOTUS is now under the total control of China's Treasury.

Obama's WH staff also has figured out that without TOTUS' complete support, Obama's Um and Ah count would escalate beyond all reason; the press would totally then ignore his deep sonorous voice.

Fred4Pres said...

HH: We have two minutes. I want to ask you two questions. What do you want the President to say? And would you welcome an Israeli strike in the middle of this turmoil in order to reduce that nuclear threat?

CH: If you don’t mind me answering the question in reverse order, I’m not ducking it, there would be no distinction made by the Iranians or anyone else between an Israeli strike or a strike made by ourselves, because they’d have to cross at least Iraqi and possibly Turkish airspace to do it at all, and that’s quite different from their attack on Iran…excuse me, on Iraq. I’m terribly sorry, in ’81 where they only had to cross Jordanian airspace to get there. So there would be, it would be a distinction without a difference.

HH: Do you want Israel to do it?

CH: And until we’ve solved the rest of the differences between ourselves and the Israeli government on other matters, I think it’s absurd to expect them, or even want them to be our proxy in a grave matter like this. No, we’d have to take responsibility. We would say we’re enforcing the U.N. and IAEA prohibition on Iran weaponizing its nuclear facilities.

HH: Okay, so what do you want the President to say, Christopher Hitchens?

CH: Well, I think that should be clearly threatened. We say we know now that every single agreement has been broken between you and your people in Iran, and between your government and every other government in treaties in which you are a signatory. Our patience is absolutely not limitless. And I as president, as candidate, the President should say, did say that a nuclearized theocracy in Iran is not permissible. He’s already committed himself to that. What I meant by that was to say it wouldn’t be permitted. Once you said this kind of thing, once you’ve willed the end, you have willed the means. Or, you can take it back.

Hewitt interviewing Hitchens in Iran

MayBee said...


The invasion and occupation of Iraq led to Iran becoming more influential in Iraq and the region...

It is interesting how the neocons so consistently demand policies that empower the hardliners in Iran.


It is interesting how the anti-Iraq war people wanted a policy that kept the hardest man of all in power there.

Has it become popular to pretend Saddam would be behaving now, had we never gone to war?

traditionalguy said...

There are shades of gray within societies which do cause sharp divisions when seen as only black and white issues. Obama insists on seeing the Two Iranian factions as only gray 1 and gray 2. He is awaiting a unification in Iran to give him a clear negotiting partner so that he can negotiate a solution to crisis caused by a nuclear weapon armed power called Iran facing off with a nuclear weapon armed power called Israel. So Ah-mad-inejad is Obama's man. If you are a student of the Human Rights push since Carter's time and its current incarnation called "neocon", then you will recognise Obama as an enemy of good and a partner of evil. But like his push for un-american socialism, Obama says just give evil a chance. See, he is smiling at us!

dave_WI said...

I think Pipes was saying in the grand scheme of things it would, for the rest of the world to look at, Amid... would be a better face of Iran so you see what they are like. It had nothing to do with the Iranian people.

Trevor Jackson said...

"He says that people will be less vigilant if a "moderate" is the figurehead."

Were we engaged diplomatically with Iran when Khatami began that program? I'll admit, I don't know the answer to that question.

But if the U.S. takes sides now, how successful do you think future diplomatic engagement will be? We'll either have a hard-line Ahmad gov't who will see this administration as an enemy or a moderate Mousavi gov't who will be easily cast as a U.S. puppet.

I'm not sure what a slight shift in rhetoric (a la Roger J's suggestion) is likely to accomplish. The U.S. says Iran must decide, but also must do so fairly and peacefully. What else can be said?

AlphaLiberal said...

Ha ha!

Trevor Jackson said...

dave_WI: "It had nothing to do with the Iranian people."

But it does. Preferring the people have a repressive leader in place so the West can be more belligerent (whether through sanctions or bombs) is to wish the continuation of oppression and restriction on a populace.

AlphaLiberal said...

From Pipes' Wikipedia page:

"Pipes is to Muslims what David Duke is to African-Americans".
- James Zogby, Arab American Institute

Fred4Pres said...

I denounce Daniel Pipes. I denounce George Galloway. Anyone else who is supporting the current Iranian regime?

NKVD said...

Obama loves the leaders of Iran. He wishes he had that much power. And they have the same goals.

bearbee said...

After the dust settles the President wants to negotiate with Iran and so should keep his big mush shut.

The usual politics.....blame the US:

Iran accuses the US of meddling in election crisis

dave_WI said...

Trevor Jackson,

There is not that much difference, maybe some, between these two guys; Its just that Amin... looks much worst

Fred4Pres said...

Krauthammer says Obama's code speak is supporting the current Iran regime, not the reformers.

Messages matter and keeping mostly silent is a message.

scinfinity said...

Heck, Rush said that he didn't know Chelsea's picture was going to come up when he mentioned the dog and apologized on the spot.

I notice how well the Left accepted that apology.

Minzo said...

Aside from NKVD's silly comment, this has been a suprisingly sensible and well-reasoned debate rather than the usuaal hysteria from both sides on any Obama-related issue. I do agree he shouldnt interfere too much as even an expression of support for the protestors would leave them open to being accused of being 'puppets' of the US. It could give the Guardian Council the pretext they need to become more rigid and take back even the concessions they have made. This has to be seen as a completely internal revolution.

scinfinity said...

I also remember Schuster accusing Hillary of pimping out the 28-29 yr old Chelsea and that certainly didn't generate outrage, did it?

Trevor Jackson said...

Krauthammer's being dishonest. It was called a "debate" before those protesters were killed.

"revolution is going to happen one way or the other," CK says.

The one way it won't happen is if it looks engineered by the U.S.

scinfinity said...

Aside from NKVD's silly comment, this has been a suprisingly sensible and well-reasoned debate rather than the usuaal hysteria from both sides on any Obama-related issue. I do agree he shouldnt interfere too much as even an expression of support for the protestors would leave them open to being accused of being 'puppets' of the US. It could give the Guardian Council the pretext they need to become more rigid and take back even the concessions they have made. This has to be seen as a completely internal revolution.

Minzo, my view is that we'll be blamed regardless. We're the bogeyman to everybody. Saying absolutely nothing isn't sensible...it makes us look (best case) useless and (worst case) cowardly.

This isn't a diplomacy issue. We're not negotiating anything.

Note, I don't feel bad for the Iranians. This is the gov't they wanted and have done zilch to try and change. If they don't care, I see no reason why I should.

Hoosier Daddy said...

From Pipes' Wikipedia page:

"Pipes is to Muslims what David Duke is to African-Americans".
- James Zogby, Arab American Institute



The day liberals start showing Christianity as much deference and concern as they do Muslims I'll start taking them seriously. I'm sure that will be around the time Satan builds a snowman.

Pastafarian said...

AlphaLiberal said: "It is interesting how the neocons so consistently demand policies that empower the hardliners in Iran.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq led to Iran becoming more influential in Iraq and the region."

Funny coincidence; we invade and rebuild Iraq with a democratic government, and the regime in neighboring Iran becomes unstable for the first time in 30 years. Wow, what are the odds?

It's almost enough to make you think there might be some relationship between the two...nah, that's crazy talk. It was probably Obama's mad teleprompter-reading skillz that emboldened these protesters.

LarsPorsena said...

""Pipes is to Muslims what David Duke is to African-Americans".
- James Zogby, Arab American Institute"

James Zogby is to Americans what Vidkun Quisling is to Norwegians.
-Anonymous, Althouse Blog

Daryl said...

You're assuming that Obama supports the protesters. He doesn't.

He's more at home with Hugo Chavez--or Ahmadinejad--than he is with normal people (like, say, Joe the Plumber).

He doesn't support democracy anywhere. Look at how he's trashing the Inspectors General to protect his corrupt friends. He's going to use all that "stimulus" money to buy votes. And if anyone dares to point it out, he's coming after them, like the disgusting catamite mob boss that he is.

Fred4Pres said...

Pastafarian, that is crazy talk. Just a coincidence. Move along now and ignore lots of other coincidences too. Good thing you are not an Inspector General, because you might have questionable job security.

Minzo said...

"Funny coincidence; we invade and rebuild Iraq with a democratic government, and the regime in neighboring Iran becomes unstable for the first time in 30 years. Wow, what are the odds?"

One could argue that the invasion of Iraq was good for US security interests- I dont agree with it, but I can see the logic. However it certainly did not go down well in the rest of that neighbourhood. I really cant see how the protestors were galvanised by the Iraq war. Do you think they were completely unaware of things like democracy and human rights until the US started raining bombs down on its neighbour? In any case, Iran had voted for a far more moderate candidate than Mousavi before the Iraq war.

MadisonMan said...

I am a little disappointed that Obama is not saying more about freedom and the right to assemble peacefully without being attacked by armed Islamist thugs.

A good rhetorial question he should be posing: Why should a citizenry support a government that attacks it?

Joe said...

Some, perhaps many, posters here seem to think that for Obama to be more forceful would require that he take sides. Great diplomacy and leadership require no such thing--Obama could be extremely forceful without being force to pick which is the best of the worse. In fact, this would be a perfect opportunity to simply stand up for democracy and the democratic process.

Pastafarian said...

Even the political expediency argument against strong statements in support of fair elections makes no sense: It appears as though the clerics might well throw Ahmadinejad to the wolves.

If that happens, how will our political pragmatism be seen by the new regime, and more importantly, by its millions of supporters?

Even if Ahmadinejad retains power, how will our silence be interpreted by those millions of reformists? Reagan's brilliance was that he would address speeches not to the despots, but directly to the people under them. There's a strong undercurrent of pro-American sentiment in Iran, at least for the moment. And if there were ever a President that could reach out to them effectively, it would be Obama.

He's squandering a golden opportunity here. And he's not doing it because he's a coward, or stupid; he's neither of those two things. What does that leave?

I think that he identifies more with the current regime than he does with the protesters. When has Obama demonstrated any pro-American feelings himself? He must think these protesters are just a bunch of Limbaugh's ditto-heads. And he knows that his own time to quash dissent will come soon enough -- he really feels for Ahmadinejad.

Pastafarian said...

Minzo, of course these people have known about democracy and human rights before we invaded Iraq. But there's a difference between knowing about heated in-ground pools, and having your neighbor install one. Ask my wife and daughters.

And I don't recall seeing another possible counter-revolution like this in Iran. There's a big difference in commitment, between voting for a more moderate candidate, and taking to the streets under threat of death. What we're seeing in Iran seems unprecedented to me.

Even if Mousavi isn't as moderate as we'd like, he's a step in the right direction; and this could be the start of something huge throughout the entire region.

I'd argue that it's not just the start -- it's the continuation of what we started in Iraq.

Roger J. said...
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Richard Dolan said...

Alas, the events in Iran aren't about us, or US politics, or neocons vs. whatever-the-opposite-is. oddly, that's what the discussion always seems to turn into.

The Iranian protestors are doing OK on their own for now, which is fortunate since no outsiders are going to come to their aid any time soon. The US should offer moral support and Obama seems to be coming around to that position himself, albeit slowly. Better late than never.

Perhaps the reason for Obama's hesitancy and half-heartedness was the one suggested by Loconte (realpolitik ginned up by the Obama apology tour mindset), although I think the reality is more complicated than he suggests. As during the Bush years, the partisan imperative is always to reduce things to simplified slogans, look for villains (always of the domestic variety), and turn the knife. When Bush's opponents did it to him, they cheapened the discourse and did the country no favors. That's not a good reason for the players now to switch sides but continue the same dance.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I am a little disappointed that Obama is not saying more about freedom and the right to assemble peacefully without being attacked by armed Islamist thugs.


Actually the better question would be is are you surprised?

Actually I think he's keeping silent simply because he thinks anything he says that could be construed as support for the anti-Dinnerjacket crowd would mean his desire for face to face talks goes down the crapper. At some point the mullahs are going to bring in the big guns and you'll see Tiannamen Square redux.

And I'm sure somehow it will be Bush's fault.

MayBee said...

I am a little disappointed that Obama is not saying more about freedom and the right to assemble peacefully without being attacked by armed Islamist thugs.



Exactly, Madison Man.

It doesn't have to be about taking political sides.

grackle said...

What should Obama say? That’s easy. His writers could spend a few minutes studying the statements of Sarkozy and Merkel and using those as a guide write a paraphrase.

The President has said that he doesn’t want to be seen as a meddler but Iran has already accused the US of meddling. Could it be that the President is still hoping for a meeting with Iran and is afraid of angering them? I guess that would mean that the Iranians are manipulating our hapless President by dangling the possibility of a meeting before his hopelessly na├»ve eyes.

But why should Iran sit down with the President? They are doing very well without any steenkin’ meeting, thank you very much, especially after a strike by Israel(or the US, Heaven forbid) has clearly been taken off the table by the President.

I like Pipes but I think he is wrong in this instance. One can never tell just where an uprising will end up. Pipes is worried that ‘nicer’ Iranian leaders would preclude actions against Iran. He need not worry on that score. There’s no one on the landscape with guts enough to do anything about Iran, except possibly Israel, and Israel, were they inclined in that direction, would not be stopped by a new sweet-talkin’ Iranian leader.

Minzo said...

"It appears as though the clerics might well throw Ahmadinejad to the wolves."

Perhaps- but do you think Obama speaking out will make this more or less likely? My money is very much on the latter.

"I think that he identifies more with the current regime than he does with the protesters. When has Obama demonstrated any pro-American feelings himself? He must think these protesters are just a bunch of Limbaugh's ditto-heads. And he knows that his own time to quash dissent will come soon enough -- he really feels for Ahmadinejad."

So you genuinely think the President of the US identifies more with the ruling mullahs than the protestors who want greater freedom? And his time to 'quash dissent will come soon enough?' Presumably you are one of those people who thinks Obama will become a totalitarian leader overriding the constitution and bringing in mass censorship at every turn. Your earlier posts were reasonable but now you are just descending to petty name-calling and truly ridiculous comparisons.

Roger J. said...

Pasta: you make a good point about going to the people with a message. I am not sure that our Department of State grasps the fact that there is a new lever of diplomacy (this is a bi-partisan failing).

Couple that with the remnants of cold war thinking where we wanted regional stability to keep the USSR out of an area, and you get a diplomacy that is out of date and based on old assumptions.

Our preference for regional stability led us to support some pretty nasty people in the interests of stability: Suharto, Marcos, Saddam etc. Bottom line is a state department without, as nearly as I can tell, a clear sense of direction.

MadisonMan said...

Hoosier Daddy, I am never surprised when a politician's actions disappoint me.

Perhaps he should speak directly to the downtrodden and note that Allah does not support Islamist thugs. What kind of God would?

The Drill SGT said...
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Hoosier Daddy said...

Perhaps he should speak directly to the downtrodden and note that Allah does not support Islamist thugs. What kind of God would?


Well actually if more Muslims asked that question for themselves, I suppose Al Quaeda and Hamas and Hezbollah would be out of business.

onparkstreet said...

It doesn't surprise me. This is a toughie, and he just doesn't have that much experience. Often, in that situation, the inexperienced just stay quiet. Why wouldn't they? They don't know what to do, exactly, and the thing is, you can have awesome advisors, but you are still the 'decider'.

I'd do the same in his situation, but I'd prefer a president who could put out a Angela Merkel like statement simply defending the concept of free and fair elections. It takes some confidence and experience to do that, I imagine, but what do I know? I ain't never ran a country.

Sofa King said...

Perhaps- but do you think Obama speaking out will make this more or less likely? My money is very much on the latter.

I'm wondering why? Presumably the clerics are contemplating cutting Ahmad loose because they are feeling the pressure from people who want their voices heard. Why wouldn't Obama's support for people having their voices heard further galvanize them and increase the pressure on the clerics? Are the clerics going to risk their own asses and chance a full-blown revolution just to spite Obama?

Lem said...

It may not be in our best interest to have change in Iran right now.

Look at what’s happening in Pakistan with a weaker government.

Everybody agrees that we supposedly don’t want a nuclear Iran. I say ‘supposedly’ because nobody is doing anything significant about it.

Imagine a weak nuclear Iran smack in between Iraq and Afghanistan.

I don’t blame The One for keeping a low profile.

The Drill SGT said...

AL said...It is interesting how the neocons so consistently demand policies that empower the hardliners in Iran.

The invasion and occupation of Iraq led to Iran becoming more influential in Iraq and the region.


The hard line Neocon thaa put those hard line Mullahs in power was that reactionary Jimmie Carter.

As for the impact of Iraq, I assume you know that there are 2 basic schools of thought in the Shia branch of Islam. And two Grand Ayatollah proponents. Ali al-Sistani, born in Iran and living in Iraq, is the advocate of separation of Mosque and State. Ayatollah Khomeini (Jimmie's buddy :) and Iran's current supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei believe in a doctrine of Theocracy.

Our liberation of Iraq, brought free and fair(by ME standards) elections to Iraq and freed al-Sistani to speak out against rule by Mullahs. He has huge followng in Iran, because of course he is Iranian ad because his model is in direct opposition to everything that the Iranian Grand Council stands for. So yes, our liberation of Iraq, destabilizes Iran.

Obama should not have voted present on the election in order to curry favor with the current leadership based on some fantasy that we will change their hearts and minds. President John "We're all Georgeans now" McCain would have given a Reaganesque tatement about democracy, free elections and liberty. screw the Mullahs, they are not our friends. We need to reach the people and point out that those Iraqi goat herders have more freedom and rights than the great Persian people :)

Pastafarian said...

Minzo -- I feel a little crazy myself when I type something like that.

But then I remember who controls GM and Chryser, and the entire financial sector, and soon the 20% of the economy we call "health care"; and I remember their "compulsory volunterism" idea, and the fact that they have a "pay czar"...I could go on and on.

If you told me 3 years ago that today, we would have nationalized most of the economy, we'd be considering government control of income, and we would have quadrupled the deficit in a move that can only spell the demise of capitalism in America...and I would have told you that you were paranoid, deluded, and ridiculous.

You can call it socialism or fascism. Tomato, tomahto. Either way, I think the actions of this president have taken Godwin's Law off the table entirely.

Minzo said...

"I'm wondering why? Presumably the clerics are contemplating cutting Ahmad loose because they are feeling the pressure from people who want their voices heard. Why wouldn't Obama's support for people having their voices heard further galvanize them and increase the pressure on the clerics? Are the clerics going to risk their own asses and chance a full-blown revolution just to spite Obama?"

The clerics still hold the cards here- lets not forget that. They could ride out the protests or could order a flawed recount. Obama speaking out in favour of the protestors would simply give them yet another incentive to go with their instincts. concessions to the protestors is already a step too far by their normal standards-How do you think it will play when 'the great Satan' starts actively encouraging the protests? They will claim it is a US-inspired rebellion and it will make them a lot more likely to use force to end it which is probably what they are itching to do.

Pastafarian said...

Minzo -- suppose President Obama makes a Reaganesque speech, and uses his admittedly outstanding oratory ability, and really knocks it out of the park in support of democracy and fair elections.

Then suppose the mullahs stick with Ahmadinejad and provide a phoney recount.

Long-term, what would the effect be? I'd say that this would push those partially pro-American protesters even farther pro-American and pro-reform; not just in Iran, but in other ME nations. And the next time this pendulum swings around, the clerics would be forcefully deposed and we'd see real, substantial reforms that might sweep through the middle east. The parallels aren't perfect between the middle east and eastern europe, but there are similarities.

NKVD said...

Silly, perhaps. But it is true - Obama loves despots, hates regular people.

He has the same goals - the destruction of Israel, and the destruction of the United States.

What would he be doing differently if he wasn't actively trying to destroy our economy? Yep, that's what I thought.

Now back to your magical world where Obama is an honest person with integrity.

Pastafarian said...

And sometimes you do something not for political gain, but because it's right. And oddly enough, people see that principled approach, and in the end, this does end up yielding political gain.

Minzo said...

"Now back to your magical world where Obama is an honest person with integrity."

As opposed to your 'real' world where he hates everyone except despotic dictators. Right.

"And sometimes you do something not for political gain, but because it's right. And oddly enough, people see that principled approach, and in the end, this does end up yielding political gain."

Yes, I can see the benefits of a more forceful approach, its just that on balance I figure the quieter approach is the right one. Speaking out because it is right might be the moral thing to do, but if that has disastrous consequences isnt it better to be more cautious? There are no black and white answers here and yes I do see the troubling implications of the US keeping silent during such a pivotal moment in the region. In many ways, its a bit of a lose-lose situation.

Lem said...

We liberated Afghanistan and Iraq and all we got was grief, aggravation and hundreds of dead American soldiers. Not to mention the miss-impression that we overdid the WOT.

Iran wants to be free? Let them fight for it!

traditionalguy said...

"Why should a citizen support a government that attacks it?" said Madison Man. That was the question that the Continental Congress tried to answer in 1776 after England had attacked Boston and environs because of a tea party protest. Their answer was written down on a Broadsheet Declaration of an Independent Colonial Government,which was deliberate act of treason they well knew would cause the long bloody war with England that eventually lead to our precious 2nd Amendment Rights. Remember that when you hear snears from "Liberals" at Bush/Sharanski for supporting freedom for other people captured in an evil tyranny. That Pres. Obama favors the Ruling tyrants everytime speaks louder than his sweet smile.

goesh said...

PS - someone remind Obama that it hasn't been but a year or two ago that a couple of teens were hung from an industrial crane for being gay. Where in the hell is your voice for change, Mr. President??

Minzo said...

"Remember that when you hear snears from "Liberals" at Bush/Sharanski for supporting freedom for other people captured in an evil tyranny. That Pres. Obama favors the Ruling tyrants everytime speaks louder than his sweet smile."

Aaah yes- the Conservatives always fight for truth, justice and freedom while those dirty liberals just dont give a dammn. Thats a fairly cartoonish version of history especially considering that 'Mr Freedom' Bush also had plenty of allies who were-and still are-tyrants but hey, they had oil or were important to national interests so lets not rock the boat there. We dhould not pretend that any side has cornered the market for morality because thats rubbish.

elHombre said...

So you genuinely think the President of the US identifies more with the ruling mullahs than the protestors who want greater freedom?

He identifies with political expedience geared toward retaining power first and the secular progressive agenda second. Nothing else.

He will go where he believes they lead him and nowhere else.

Elliott A said...

At some point, every tyrannical regime fails. The question is what it will be replaced with. The two possibilities are freedom seeking people who want a secular state, or a military dictatorship in a secular state. Even if they lose this time, the forces of change (pun intended) will eventually sweep over Iran. Hopefully, those in power will be people we supported, not ignored. The communists in Eastern Europe weren't removed overnight. It took over thiry years. Sans our support they would still be comrades today.

garage mahal said...

If you told me 3 years ago that today, we would have nationalized most of the economy,.

By nationalizing "most" of the economy, you mean 0.21%?.

Elliott A said...

At some point, every tyrannical regime fails. The question is what it will be replaced with. The two possibilities are freedom seeking people who want a secular state, or a military dictatorship in a secular state. Even if they lose this time, the forces of change (pun intended) will eventually sweep over Iran. Hopefully, those in power will be people we supported, not ignored. The communists in Eastern Europe weren't removed overnight. It took over thiry years. Sans our support they would still be comrades today.

Pogo said...

A plague o' both their mosques.

Ironclad said...

Obama does not have to support Mousavi or Ahmadinejad. All he has to do is support the protester's right to have a fair election and more importantly, a government that does not shoot or beat them for demanding that right.

What should he say? - well, he might start with something he can copy straight from from the Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Simple enough and certainly better than voting "present".

elHombre said...

Speaking out because it is right might be the moral thing to do, but if that has disastrous consequences isnt it better to be more cautious?

Or even, as here, where there are no obvious, disastrous consequences, why do the moral, courageous thing? We are, after all, the Obamanation and we knew exactly the kind of foreign policy we were getting.

"President Pantywaist"

goesh said...

- massive protests in LA in support of their friends and families in Iran who are facing real danger by expressing themselves in Public

Minzo said...

What exactly do you recommend Obama do about North Korea? Bush tried the harder line and that didnt work either. Short of actually invading, condemning them-which he did- is just about all you can do when faced with those psychos.

The Drill SGT said...

Elliott A said...Hopefully, those in power will be people we supported, not ignored. The communists in Eastern Europe weren't removed overnight. It took over thiry years. Sans our support they would still be comrades today.

I'd also note that those Eastern Europeans well remember Reagan and the other Presidents that spoke up in defense of freedom, even if it displeased the Kremlin.

The late 20th century equivalent of a lot of Normandy farmers who remember who came ashore on Omaha, ahd whois buried on the bluff ovelooking it.

Minzo said...

"I'd also note that those Eastern Europeans well remember Reagan and the other Presidents that spoke up in defense of freedom, even if it displeased the Kremlin"

In the interests of balance, I should also note that millions of other people from Congo to Chile will remember Reagan with a great deal less affection seeing as he actively supported his fair share of tyrants.

Elliott A said...

Minzo- That is why we still need "Star Wars" For the cost of the stimulus and the upcoming health care disaster we could have a space based weapon system that would make delivery of nuclear weapons or any other for that matter iompossible. We could have had it ten years ago. With it, we could ignore the saber rattling of these little tyrants.

Elliott A said...

Reagan supported the tyrants when the opposition did not present any greater hope of democratic change. That is a distic=nction from those who were seeking freedom.

traditionalguy said...

Minzo...Where did I say "conservatives always fight for freedom". Many conservatives do not support freedom in other countries because it costs too much. But to never support freedom verbally, even when such costs are small, is unusual for Democrats. That takes a new type of homo-sovieticus thinking to see all such issues in a larger Marxist vision in which all citizens are disposable cogs in a state's machinery. The Russian and eastern European countries today can easily see what Pres. Obama is steering us into and they are laughing their heads off at our docile sheep to the slaughter character which had always before seemed so tough until the Obama Gang came into power.

Anthony said...

I still think Obama is doing the right thing here. It is not Poland or Ukraine or Georgia. there is a 65 year history between us and Iran that gives the Islamists an advantage.

In any event, I also agree that I am not sure Mousavi is an improvement for us or them. After all, the guy was Khomeni's hand picked prime minister back in the 1980s.

holdfast said...

Blogger MadisonMan said...

"I am a little disappointed that Obama is not saying more about freedom and the right to assemble peacefully without being attacked by armed Islamist thugs."

Very good point - I agree that Obama should not explicitly take the side of Mousavi - both for Pipesian reasons (Mousavi was a founder of Hezb'Allah, after all), because we will have to deal with whoever wins, and because we don't want to make the opposition look like our stooges.

All that said, Obama could make clear statements in favor of the right to peaceful assembly and to have one's vote counted.

elHombre said...

I think the "President Pantywaist" link works now.

Anthony said...

>All that said, Obama could make clear statements in favor of the right to peaceful assembly and to have one's vote counted.

But he is from Chicago -- he may have a problem with both. :)

And remember, "the police are not here to create disorder they are here to preserve disorder"

goesh said...

Minzo - you are right, there is nothing more Obama can say or do about N. Korea. He is doing no more, no less than Bush on this matter. Regarding the shooting of protestors in a nation where the US has been pushing for sanctions because of nuclear development, I expect as a citizen some statement from our elected leader condemning this moral outrage.

" It is with great dismay that we have learned about protestors being shot and killed in Iran. We find this unacceptable and alarming and we pray for the families of those killed" - end of statement, end of press conference, no questions, no banter , no political bullshit, just a simple statement of opposition to such conduct and he walks away back to his office to deal with other matters.

Minzo said...

"But to never support freedom verbally, even when such costs are small, is unusual for Democrats."

Erm, no...the costs are not likely to be small, at least not for the Iranians. The very reason we are having this debate is to discuss whether Obama speaking out could provoke the Mullahs which could have bad consequences and it could also weaken the protestors legitimacy in Iran. You can't just assume that the costs are inevitably going to be small in this context.

elHombre said...

What exactly do you recommend Obama do about North Korea?

Maybe I'd recommend that he increase, instead of cut, the missile defense budget.

Jeremy said...

The Weekly Standard is the source?

What?

Karl Rove, Cheney, Rummy too busy?

Maybe the Washington Times can add their take.

Obama is doing exactly as he should: Stay out of Iran's affairs until things have settled.

holdfast said...

Blogger garage mahal said...

"By nationalizing "most" of the economy, you mean 0.21%?."

That is a lying statistic if ever I saw one, based on very low present market cap of banks and auto industries - but in no way addresses how much of the American economy's activity and jobs those two sectors represent. Not to mention the impending takeover of the healtchare industry.

former law student said...

Stop believing in America as the 'last best hope' of democratic reformers and you stop lending them moral and political support."

Giving Iran's reformers the support of "the Great Satan" would allow the movement to be at best disrespected and at worst demonized. I can't see how US support could benefit anyone but Ahmadinejad. Let Iran work out its own destiny.

Has it become popular to pretend Saddam would be behaving now, had we never gone to war?

Iran and Iraq were two pit bulls constantly sparring in the pit. Taking Iraq out of the pit and neutering it gave Iran the freedom to think about other things.

Jeremy said...

We have millions of people in the Mideast who see America as nothing more than imperialistic, militarily guided intruders and most here think Obama should behave in exactly that manner.

There's absolutely nothing Obama can do at this point, other than aggravate the situation and make Amadejad look good. He'd love nothing more than being able to say America is meddling in their affairs.

Why not take a little time to think things through before mounting the usual attack on all things Obama.

Bitching and whining really makes you look stupid.

MadisonMan said...

Bitching and whining really makes you look stupid.

(Holds up mirror).

Pointing away from me, just to be clear.

OldGrouchy said...

Adolph took complete control of Germany in just about one year. The Night of the Long Knives was about 17-months after he became Chancellor and his power increased rapidly thereafter.

From Barry's first 5-months, it appears that Barry is on track to beat Adolph's record. One question is what form will Barry's "Long Knives Putsch" (LKP) will take? Or, how long before AmeriCorps become Barry's Blue Shirts? Why do you think the AmeriCorps' IG was fired?

BTW: Adolph's LKP was directed against his most rabid supporters!

So, why does anyone complain when Barry doesn't protest against one of his mentors? Obama is only being true to form.

Anthony said...
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Anthony said...

OldGrouchy -- you are not helping the situation.

Kirby Olson said...

Drill SGT said,

"I'd also note that those Eastern Europeans well remember Reagan and the other Presidents that spoke up in defense of freedom, even if it displeased the Kremlin.

The late 20th century equivalent of a lot of Normandy farmers who remember who came ashore on Omaha, ahd whois buried on the bluff ovelooking it."

I saw an exhibit at the New York Public library last week about the French under the Occupation. Allied bombing campaigns killed 60,000 French.

But they saw it within the overall framework of liberation, instead of whining about it. Today's left can't believe a single person would be lost in an invasion. As if it's some kind of picnic, and someone died from food poisoning.

Wresting a country from a demonic power isn't easy, because they don't give up easily. Saddam's crowd fought hard. The Taliban fought hard.

The Nazis fought hard.

North Korea and the Mullahs aren't about to just let go of the reins and say, oh, you're right.

Anthony said...

>Maybe I'd recommend that he increase, instead of cut, the missile defense budget.

Has anyone (for example, one of the only three press folks not lying on the backs with their feet in the air screaming "TAKE ME NOW BARACK!") ever asked the president how he reconciles his statement to Think Progress in 2007 about cutting missile defense with his statement during the debates about how he supports missile defense?

(BTW -- if his cut means stopping the missile defense site in Europe and putting the money to a defense site in the Pacific, I am all for it)

Anthony said...

>"I'd also note that those Eastern Europeans well remember Reagan and the other Presidents that spoke up in defense of freedom, even if it displeased the Kremlin.

But the difference is that there was not the history between us and teh eastern Europeans as there is between us and the Iranians.

OldGrouchy said...

Anthony, the truth always hurts people like you.

Cheers and out!

traditionalguy said...

Minzo...I see your point. Giving hope and encouragement to the Iranians who want Democracy in Iran will only cause the ruling tyrants to murder them faster. Frankly, Minzo, you don't know nothing about birthing no freedom.

Anthony said...

OldGrouchy

The truth is that Obama is not Hitler or even a dictator in waiting. He is a left wing president

By having resistance fantasies you are not helping formulate a principled opposition to his policies.

NKVD said...

You spoke the truth Minzo - Obama loves despots and insults our allies. Good that you saw that.

He hates this nation, capitalism, democracy and decency. He and his minions see nothing but glory ahead of them. Good luck with that.

OldGrouchy Doug Wright said...

Anthony, he's not yet a dictator but IMHO he's working rapidly to that end.

Know your history and understand what Obama's doing and the power his presidency is gaining from a docile Congress.

The time to prevent Obama becoming an Adolph is now, not next February.

Grow up and get your head out of Obama's manure pile.

Jeremy said...

OldGrouchy said..."Adolph took complete control of Germany in just about one year.
From Barry's first 5-months, it appears that Barry is on track to beat Adolph's record."

So now we're moving into the Obama is a dictator insanity?

I swear, some of you people appear to be brain dead.

Jeremy said...

NKVD - "Obama loves despots and insults our allies."

Obama gets rave notices from all of our allies.

You're a liar.

Bart DePalma said...

You can understand Obama's POV here by noting:

1) 20 year Obama pastor, Jeremiah's Wright's sermon blaming 9/11 on the United States' foreign policy.

2) Obama apologizing around the world for the United States' foreign policy.

3) Obama's c omments that a President shouldn't be seen as "meddling" in on behalf of democrats against tyrants.

Obama shares the blame America first view that dominated the 70s Dem party and remains dominant on its left flank from which Obama comes. If we leave the bad guys of the world alone, they will leave us alone.

Welcome to the second Carter term.

Jeremy said...

Speaking of our huge missile "shortage":

Right now we have roughly 9600 nuclear weapons of 10 major types.

And as for Obama being the bad guy here:

It appears the real culprit is one of those damn Republicans:

Defense Secretary Gates called for $1.4 billion in cuts to missile defense as part of a budget plan he says will "reshape the priorities" of the Pentagon and "rebalance this department's programs in order to institutionalize and finance our capabilities to fight the wars we are in today and the scenarios we are most likely to face in the years ahead."

What kind of lily-livered traitor is this guy?

scinfinity said...

Maybe apologizing incessantly about how evil America is wasn't the best move. Perhaps he should've, you know, defended America while over there.

Just a thought.

Aaron said...

I think its a bit much to say that Obama is hitler or even Chavez. he just wants us to be a european style social democratic state, failing to understand that the only reason why those states haven't collapsed yet is because of our largesse, and they will soon collapse unless they radically de-socialize our economy.

But Obama's tendency to kick our allies and to coddle our enemies is disturbing but hardly unusual in left-wing quarters.

Jeremy said...

Bart DePalma - Yeah, that's it Reverend Wright is the real problem here.

And that damn Obama apologizing to everybody.

And saying we shouldn't "meddle" in other country's affairs.

*What else did Rush and Hannity say?

People wanna know.

peter hoh said...

I suspect that no matter what Obama did, the Weekly Standard would attempt to portray it in the most unfavorable light.

ricpic said...

Obama can't get past madras rule #1: the mullah is always right.

peter hoh said...

I wonder what the Weekly Standard thought GHW Bush should have said during the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in 1989.

Bart DePalma said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bart DePalma said...

Jeremy:

You are free to provide an alternative explanation to Obama's enthusiastic 20 year attendance to hear Wright's anti-American screeds, Obama's own ongoing apology tour for the United States and Obama's claim that an American President cannot be seen as "meddling" in the affairs of dictatorships as anything other than the old strain of blaming America first.

Trying to blame Limbaugh for Obama's missteps didn't work for Obama a couple months ago and is not working for you now.

garage mahal said...

At least Democrats support the troops. 170 out of 175 Republicans in the House hate our troops and voted to cut off funds for troops in harms way in a war they voted for, thus emboldening our enemies.

Anthony said...

Not sure Peter, for some reason the Standard's 1989 blog archieves are not working.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Republicans in the House hate our troops and voted to cut off funds for troops in harms way


Well they should since they are terrorizing kids in Iraq and committing acts of murder and torture akin to the gulag. That's what John Kerry (D), Dick Durbin (D) and John Murtha (D) have said. Plus we lost the war anyway according to Harry Reid (D) so why throw good money after bad.

* garage, did you send Hillary a get well card and maybe some flowers? I'm sure she'd appreciate it.

Mike said...

I'm sorry, but what on earth does Rev. Wright have to do with anything? Seriously.

The point is that many Iranians don't see the U.S. as an ally. In fact U.S. actions from "Axis of Evil" forward have strengthened the hardlineer grasp in Iran. If the folks in green are seen as agents of the U.S., it's easier internally for the government to justify a major crackdown.

And, frankly, I think the people calling on Obama to speak forcefully know this. I believe they want a Tianamen-style crackdown to preclude Obama from engaging with Iran.

Anthony said...

I just now that Obama is president dissent is no longer the highest form of patriotism.

As an aside, I live in Park Slope Brooklyn and a few weeks ago I saw someone with that sticker on their car (with the usually stickers of course). I asked the owner of the car that since Obama was president he probably would not need that sticker anymore, could I have it. He was not amused.

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

C'mon my Obama loving friends. You surely have a better argument than this worn out straw man crap about backing a loser and helping the bad guys.
-
We don't care who wins - they both suck.
-
We support open fair elections because we support democracy because we love freedom above all else.

The great teleprompter can certainly come up with something to support that without picking sides. If they can't, then either they don't care or they don't have a 5th grader available to write it for them.

If they were demonstrating for same sex marriage, I bet you guys would not accept this embarrassing response.
-
I can't see you saying: "we don't want to embolden the bad guys or look like we support those drag queens. He's just being smart about it."

1:43 PM

Roger J. said...

I am seeing a pattern in threads on this blog--well, several patterns that have to do with who participates, but in general: the longer the thread the quicker the descent in banality. Surely there is some sociology major somewhere who could do a study.

Sofa King said...

Peter:

The West Condemns the Crackdown

"President Bush denounced China for using military force against its own people and implied that the action could damage relations between Washington and Beijing. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain said she was 'appalled by the indiscriminate shooting of unarmed people.'"

White House Statement, June 20, 1989:
"The President today directed that the U.S. Government suspend participation in all high-level exchanges of government officials with the People's Republic of China, in addition to the suspension of military exchanges previously announced [by the President at his news conference on June 51. This action is being taken in response to the wave of violence and reprisals by the Chinese authorities against those who have called for democracy. The United States has supported the legitimate democratic aspirations for freedom of peoples throughout the world. The United States will continue to voice its concern and its support for these aspirations."

Why can't Obama make as simple a statement as that?

Anthony said...

"President Bush denounced China"

Of course, within a year or so Brent Scocroft was off in Beijing drinking champagne with the Chinese leadership.

I assume that the two candidates in Iran don't drink, but we might see HRC doing the foxtrot with a mullah

bagoh20 said...

"the longer the thread the quicker the descent in banality."
-
That statement is a little contradictory, but I know what you mean.
-
Think of it as a ripening process.
-
Are we there yet?

Jeremy said...

Sofa - "Why can't Obama make as simple a statement as that?"

How do you know what is being said or done via back channels?

Why would you want Obama or anybody for that matter, to telegraph anything at this point in time?

Should we also have Obama announce what's going with this:

Taliban leaders report progress in secret talks with the U.S. and Afghanistan
By C.M. Sennott

KABUL — Moderate leaders of the Taliban say they have quietly and steadily made progress in third-party talks between the active Taliban insurgency and representatives of the Afghan and U.S. governments.

Two Taliban leaders — who held high-ranking positions in the now-deposed Taliban government and who are directly involved in the talks — say they've recently established a framework of an agreement through the shuttle negotiations. They say the process has included contact with the spiritual leader of the Taliban, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

Jeremy said...

bagoh20 said..."We don't care who wins - they both suck."

That statement in itself tells everybody here that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

Of course we do.

Why in the world would you not think so?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Moderate leaders of the Taliban ...


I like the term moderate Taliban. Are those the ones who don't execute women for showing a bare ankle but rather just beat the shit out of them?

Jeremy said...

Bart DePalma said..."Jeremy: You are free to provide an alternative explanation to Obama's enthusiastic 20 year attendance to hear Wright's anti-American screeds."

First of all, what the hell does Wright have to do with Iran. Second, are you saying all Wright talked about for 20 years was "anti-American screeds?"

"Obama's own ongoing apology tour for the United States"

This is straight out of the mouths of Rush, Hannit and the far right of the Republican Party. He's not "apologizing," he's trying to mend the fences Bush destroyed over a periof eight years. (Maybe if you read a nespaper now and then?)

"Obama's claim that an American President cannot be seen as "meddling" in the affairs of dictatorships as anything other than the old strain of blaming America first."

How do you come up with "blaming America first" when I say Obama should hold off on looking like he's "meddling" in Iran's affairs?
I don't even know what that means.

"Trying to blame Limbaugh for Obama's missteps didn't work for Obama a couple months ago and is not working for you now."

I'm not "blaming" Limbaugh or anybody for anything. I'm merely saying that everything you have posted has already been said, time and time again, by Rush, Hannity and other right wing talk show "entertainers." (It's the "everything Obama says or does" mantra the conservatives are hanging their hopes on.)

I suggest you get some new and if possible, "original" material.

Anthony said...

>That statement in itself tells everybody here that you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

>Of course we do.

>Why in the world would you not think so?

Maybe because Mousavi was Khomeni's hand picked prime minister in the 1980s and helped found Hizzbollah.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1905477,00.html?xid=rss-world-yahoo

(Baer is a bit of a nut but he has been there and done that so he is someone I tend to look to first for thaughts on the Middle East)

Aaron said...

Hangs a sign around Jeremy's neck:

DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.

Hoosier Daddy said...

First of all, what the hell does Wright have to do with Iran.

Well they both hate America.

Second, are you saying all Wright talked about for 20 years was "anti-American screeds?"

Actually Wright said it himself. He admitted that he isn't ashamed of what he said because he preached the same kind of sermons for 20 years.

But you already knew that.

Roger J. said...

I think bagho20 has it: neither candidate looks to me like a breath of fresh air. Ahmadenijadh is a realtively known quanitity; Mousavi as a President is a complete unknown, but given his background in Hizbollah in the early 1980s, I would not have high hopes there. My belief is that unless there is some fundamental change in the mullahs and the bodies who apparently really control Iran, the President is a figurehead anyway. It may be down to "the devil we know..." Although I would have wished Obama to speak more forcefully about the general principle of self determination and condemnation of violence, I think the less said, the better. I see this as an exercise in damage limitation rather than opportunity promotion.

Jeremy said...

Hoosier Daddy said..."Moderate leaders of the Taliban ...I like the term moderate Taliban. I like the term moderate Taliban. Are those the ones who don't execute women for showing a bare ankle but rather just beat the shit out of them?"

Can I assume you're unaware of the history of the Taliban and how firmly linked they are to American policy in the Mideast.

Of course not; that would involve actually reading something before blathering on like a fool.

Jeremy said...

Roger J. said..."I think bagho20 has it: neither candidate looks to me like a breath of fresh air."

We're not dating these people. We're looking for some form of reasonable negotiation and diplomacy to cool things down in the Mideast.

But are you actually saying you just don't think there's any difference between the two, that it makes absolutely no difference who we're dealing with in Iran???

If so, you and the Bag Boy are in a world of your own.

Jeremy said...

Anthony - "Maybe because Mousavi was Khomeni's hand picked prime minister in the 1980s and helped found Hizzbollah."

That was 30 years ago.

Can I assume you don't remember or know that we were in bed with Saddam, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban over a period of time?

And once again, I ask: Are you actually saying you see no difference between the two Iranian candidates?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Can I assume you're unaware of the history of the Taliban and how firmly linked they are to American policy in the Mideast


Sorry Jeremy I get my news from reputable sources rather than leftwing rags.

We're looking for some form of reasonable negotiation and diplomacy to cool things down in the Mideast.

Hey just give Iran a few more years and nuclear winter will cool the region down quite nicely.

MadisonMan said...

Know your history and understand what Obama's doing and the power his presidency is gaining from a docile Congress.

Well, I hope you were complaining about it, as I was, during Bush's Presidency. The Legislature has been rolling over for the Executive Branch for at least 8 years.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hangs a sign around Jeremy's neck:

DO NOT FEED THE TROLL.



What about taunting?

Jeremy said...

Hoosier - I notice that every time you can't respond in an educated manner, you resort to the "troll" routine.

Why not just admit you don't know your ass from a hole in the ground and move on?

Jeremy said...

Hoosier Daddy said..."Sorry Jeremy I get my news from reputable sources rather than leftwing rags."

This information isn't from left or right wing "rags." It's been reported for years.

Anybody who's ever read up on the matter knows we were in bed with Saddam, Osama and the Taliban.

How can you not know this?

Never mind...

Cedarford said...

Fair or not, the US has an almost universal perception amongst Iranians of meddling in Iran's internal affairs. That we picked up Britain's role in the "Great Game" right after WWII and continuing the use of Iranians as pawns.

So we have to be cognizant that Obama opining on which faction he preferred would be about as warmly received as Indians reacting to China endorsing a slate of Indian candidates they preferred or commenting on election results they disagreed with..

The good thing is the neocon talk about how we immediately needed to start a 3rd Major war with "effective surgical bombing strikes" on Iranian sites to help "Our Special Friend" has largely disappeared.

The Obama Team is properly focused more on the N Korean threat. That is a far more important matter than Iranian elections.

Best keep it in generalities.

1. We support the self-determination of the noble Iranian people in fair elections.
2. We support the right of the noble Iranian people to peacefully protest as part of their political processes.
3. We look forward to better relations with whoever is in power.
4. We support the right of Iranians to peaceful nuclear power, something we know both candidates stand for.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But are you actually saying you just don't think there's any difference between the two, that it makes absolutely no difference who we're dealing with in Iran???


Actually Jeremy it really doesn't. At least not until the mullahs who actually run the show in Iran are hanging from the lamposts in Mussolini fashion. Then perhaps the educated and progressive Iranians can create a truly representative government that seeks peace rather than killing all the Jews and non-believers.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier - I notice that every time you can't respond in an educated manner, you resort to the "troll" routine.


Well considering all you do is ask me to suck your dick what's the point?

Jeremy said...

Hoosier - "Actually Jeremy it really doesn't."

And once again you illustrate just how unread and thoroughly uninformed you really are.

You're as dumb as bag of rocks.

Anthony said...

>That was 30 years ago.

A few posts ago you were telling people they were unaware of history, now I am being dammed for being aware of history.

>Can I assume you don't remember or know that we were in bed with Saddam, Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban over a period of time?

We really were not in bed with Saddam, more like we copped a few drunken feels at a frat party before going home with Israel.

OBL's role in the Afghanistan War is vastly overstated. He basically ran a hotel for jihadists.

I will give you the Taliban, that is what a realist foreign policy gets you sometimes.

In any event, who is left in government from the days when Hussein and OBL were sort of on our payroll? Not I decision maker I bet. As for the Taliban, they were oushed by the Clinton administration, so I guess there are some back in.

In any event, Mousavi is still Mousavi. He is better than Amedinijad, but be are not talking Nelson Mandella or Lech Welesa here.

Not quite a dime's worth of difference, maybe a nickel. My only real hope is that he might turn down the rheteric and maybe end the nuclear weapons program.

Roger J. said...

Assuming the mullahs are really in control of Iran, would someone suggest how we deal with them? Certainly not through either figurehead president IMO.

The Asian Times had an interesting piece several days ago about the mullahs, the council of experts, and the revolutionary guard. I don't have the link any more, but it was by some writer named Escobar I believe.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ok Jeremy here you go. We backed Saddam against Iran just like France, Germany, Italy, Saudi Arabia and pretty much the rest of the Arab world did at the time. Only difference was in the grand scheme of actual support, look to the Euros who supplied the bulk of his weaponry whereas our ‘aid’ amounted to a lot of satellite info. His entire military was 90% Soviet supplied. But hey, we were in bed with Stalin too which I guess means FDR was really a commie sympathizer by your logic.

As for the Taliban and Osama, well yes we supplied arms to the Afghans in the 80s but then again, the Taliban really didn’t exist until 1994 when the Pakistan ISI propped them up. Prior to that they were just another hodgepodge of various Afghan and other Islamofascist radicals shooting up Soviets. So yeah you go ahead beat the myth that somehow we ‘created’ the Taliban. If you had two cells in that black hole you call a brain you could come to the conclusion that the Russians created the Taliban when they invaded Afghanistan in 1979 but it’s much easier to blame the US .
So anytime you want to have an educated debate you let me know however your past performance indicates I’ll probably just be asked to fellate you.

bagoh20 said...

Sheese! It's amazing what kind of contortions some people go through to avoid saying "yea, you're right He's messing up here", even when it's painfully obvious.
-
If I understand the logic: we really would prefer the opposition to win, but can't say so, or they will lose.

And we can't even support democracy cause that will make the despots mad or something.

We need to just be quiet and let our preferred side be forcefully shut up and murdered.

So we want side B and we want democracy, but we can't support either.

Can the president at least come out in support of baby kittens or something. I don't even care what anymore, just grow a pair and say you stand for.... "hope and change" It worked before.

Bart DePalma said...

Jeremy said...

Bart DePalma said..."Jeremy: You are free to provide an alternative explanation to Obama's enthusiastic 20 year attendance to hear Wright's anti-American screeds."

First of all, what the hell does Wright have to do with Iran.


Wright's sermon on 9/11 epitomizes the left's view that the evil done by foreign terrorists and terrorist regimes towards us and their own people is the fault of America.

Second, are you saying all Wright talked about for 20 years was "anti-American screeds?"

Well, there is also the black liberation theology, anti semitism and hatred of rich white folks.

"Obama's own ongoing apology tour for the United States"

He's not "apologizing," he's trying to mend the fences Bush destroyed over a periof eight years. (Maybe if you read a nespaper now and then?)


Really?

President Obama first toured Europe apologizing for what he perceives as shortcomings of the United States - for being arrogant, dismissive and derisive toward Euro surrender monkeys, for liberating Iraq from the Euro ally and mass murderer, Saddam Hussein, and for having the temerity to ask for passage through Turkey for the troops liberating Iraq.

There is one audience, though, with which the Obama apology tour has been a hit - the world's dictators. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wants an apology to Iran, Fidel Castro told admiring Dem Congress critters that he wanted an apology to Cuba, and the Venezuelan thug-in-chief Hugo Chavez demanded that Obama apologize to Japan for bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

"Obama's claim that an American President cannot be seen as "meddling" in the affairs of dictatorships as anything other than the old strain of blaming America first."

How do you come up with "blaming America first" when I say Obama should hold off on looking like he's "meddling" in Iran's affairs?


Obama said that an American President cannot be seen to be meddling in Iranian affairs with the implications that other non-American leaders like Sarkozy can take the Iranian theocracy to task and that American words would somehow justify further assault and murder in Iran.

Blaming America first.

This nonsense is in the same category as Carter scolding Americans for an inordinate fear of Soviet communism as if we were to blame for Soviet predations.

Ralph L said...

Obama speaking out could provoke the Mullahs which could have bad consequences
Which could lead to the Mullahs' undoing. See the Soviet military coup in 91. Of course, there was also Saddam's slaughter of Kurds and Shia earlier that year, after (only) verbal encouragement by GHWB. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Obama could threaten China with a long US recession and worthless US bonds if they don't fix NKorea, which they could without war. Since he's already doing that, this would be a freebie.

Ralph L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony said...

>Which could lead to the Mullahs' undoing. See the Soviet military coup in 91. Of course, there was also Saddam's slaughter of Kurds and Shia earlier that year, after (only) verbal encouragement by GHWB. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.


I am going to sound like a broken record, but the difference is the history. The US and Iran have a long and negative history.

hdhouse said...

Hoosier Daddy said...
"The day liberals start showing Christianity as much deference and concern as they do Muslims I'll start taking them seriously. I'm sure that will be around the time Satan builds a snowman."

JesusChrist yet another war on Christmas.

knox said...

I don't know how to feel about this. I am not at all convinced there's even a better alternative in Iran.

NKVD said...

hdhouse is back - as illiterate as ever.

Welcome back, old timer. I see you learned nothing.

garage mahal said...

LOL

former law student said...

We need to just be quiet and let our preferred side be forcefully shut up and murdered.

So we want side B and we want democracy, but we can't support either.

A review of Mousavi's tenure as Prime Minister of Iran from 1981 to 1989 shows he's not our bestest buddy. Maybe the leopard has changed his spots, but I wouldn't bet on it.

Jeremy said...

bagoh20 said..."Sheese! It's amazing what kind of contortions some people go through to avoid saying "yea, you're right He's messing up here", even when it's painfully obvious."

"He's messing up here"...messing up WHAT??

And you base this on your extensive knowledge of what may be going on via back channels?

You work in the administration?

You've spoken to Obama?

All you're doing is repeating the same bullshit we can hear every day from the local wingnuts or the radio wingnuts who are against literally anything Obama says or does.

And it's based on absolutely no real information, only your opinion.

Jeremy said...

Bart - How many times have fallen off that bicycle?

Based on your insipid comments I would guess plenty.

Wright has something to do with Iran?

Obama, doing his best to resurrect American's reputation is really "apologizing?" (As if, even if he was, American has absolutely nothing to apologize for...right.)

And you think Obama should stick hi nose into the Iranian election process? SHould other countries do the same here?

And I still can't figure out what the fuck "blaming America first" even means?

When has Obama said or done anything that woulod relate to blaming America first during this situation?

*What else did Rush and Hannity say?

bagoh20 said...

"I am going to sound like a broken record, but the difference is the history. The US and Iran have a long and negative history."

Unlike that friendly cordial cold war we had with the Soviets before we successfully encouraged their downfall.

Thanks to Bush (and lets face it, it would not be so without him) and the stellar American military, Iran is surrounded by free Islamic democracies created by the U.S.
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Therefore, I find it a little hard to believe we would be playing with fire to even suggest strongly with mere words that democracy is valuable and preferable for the country in the middle.

Anthony said...

>Unlike that friendly cordial cold war we had with the Soviets before we successfully encouraged their downfall

The difference is that many people in the USSR and Eastern Europe looked to us for hope -- the average Iranian looks at us as an imperialistic power who supported the Shah.

bagoh20 said...

Apearantly in Jeremy's fantasy Obama is talking (via back channels, maybe FOX News) with the mullahs, convincing them to give up power and let democracy flourish.
-
Maybe that Chicago politics flava IS the ticket. Those Islamists best check themselves. Big O in da house.

Ralph L said...

My point is that an over-reaction by the Mullahs can have a positive outcome for us (and Iran). In fact, it may be the only way they'll lose power. Will the Iranian people really blame US if the Mullahs slaughter hundreds in the streets? If they're that stupid, they've got the government they deserve.

bagoh20 said...

"The difference is that many people in the USSR and Eastern Europe looked to us for hope -- the average Iranian looks at us as an imperialistic power who supported the Shah."

I hear ya, and I think that's true.
-
So we don't take sides, but we still stand up for the things that will eventually set them free, stabilize the region, and give freedom a chance to prove it's incredible power to keep the peace.

Even many Persians love and want those things. That they share with Russians, Checks, Poles, etc.

Jeremy said...

Bag Of Rocks - "Thanks to Bush (and lets face it, it would not be so without him) and the stellar American military, Iran is surrounded by free Islamic democracies created by the U.S."

Iran is "surrounded" by "free Islamic democracies created by the U.S.??"

Afghanistan, Pakistan...

Jeremy said...

Bag of Rocks - "Apearantly in Jeremy's fantasy Obama is talking (via back channels, maybe FOX News) with the mullahs, convincing them to give up power and let democracy flourish."

How would you possibly know different? And what would possibly make you believe we aren't communicating behind the scnes.

EVERY President has.

You're just coninuing to spout right wing bullshit as if it just has to be true...because YOU want it to be.

bagoh20 said...

"How would you possibly know different?""

That's beautiful. I really can't embarrass you more than your own words do. Thanks man, you're good.

You really believe what I wrote? I was making fun of you. You know that, right? Never mind. You're kewl, and I think I love you. Your willingness to take risks, put yourself out there, be yourself, no matter what others think.
-
Seriously, let's hook up. We can be the greatest thing since Ann and Meade. I'm a top, BTW

Wally Ballou said...

Bag of Rocks - Right, you were just kidding.

Between you and Hoosier I don't know which one is more gutless.

Every time someone challenges your inane comments you resort to the old "gosh can't you tell when I'm just kidding" routine or the "you're a troll" so I don't have to explain myself bullshit.

If you can explain yourself or provide any rational response to your silly Obama attacks, do it.

Otherwise, fuck off.

chefmojo said...

"He's messing up here"...messing up WHAT??

And you base this on your extensive knowledge of what may be going on via back channels?

You work in the administration?

You've spoken to Obama?

All you're doing is repeating the same bullshit we can hear every day from the local wingnuts or the radio wingnuts who are against literally anything Obama says or does.

And it's based on absolutely no real information, only your opinion.


Wow, Jeremy. You really have a hardon for strawmen, don't you?

I'm amused by the assumption you have that Obama is working those secret back channels. Got proof, other than your fervid fantasies?

But that's not, and has not been the issue. Obama, contrary to all those Euro leaders that you say admire him so much, has refused to make a simple, non specific statement of support for free expression and not getting your ass shot off for expressing it. I mean, damn. Even that moron Carter gave the Soviets a ton of grief over Afghanistan, canceling US participation in the Olympics.

Symbolic gestures are to be expected in this case. Obama dropped the ball on this one big time, coming across as cold and callous. Which he is, but that's beside the point. The stupidity of his reaction to this event is breathtaking in its scope and impact.

Your sycophantic ravings of defense for the indefensible are pretty breathtaking as well.

Wally Ballou said...

* Mousavi's external spokesman, Mohsen Makhmalbaf: "Ahmadinejad is the Bush of Iran. And Mousavi is the Obama of Iran."

* Henry Kissinger, the smartest person John McCain knows (his words, not mine), thinks Obama's line on Iran is just right.

bagoh20 said...

Oh Wally, You can't really be that dense. You thought I can read Jeremy's dreams? I can't, but I bet I'm in them now.

Read the comments before you flame em.

Bob From Ohio said...

"But are you actually saying you just don't think there's any difference between the two, that it makes absolutely no difference who we're dealing with in Iran???

If so, you and the Bag Boy are in a world of your own."

A world shared by the President of the United States, it seems:

"But in a television interview later on Tuesday, the U.S. president let known his views and said he expected a tough time in any future negotiations with Iran no matter who was in the government.

"The difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised," he told CNBC.

"Either way we are going to be dealing with an Iranian regime that has historically been hostile to the United States," he added.

Jeremy said...

Bob - When Obama said: "The difference between Ahmadinejad and Mousavi in terms of their actual policies may not be as great as has been advertised," he told CNBC.

Are you inferring he doesn't feel there is "any" difference between the two?

Are you inferring he doesn't care who wins?

His comment is just another way for him to stay out of the way of the radicals that are champing at the bit for him to inject himself into Iranian affairs.

Unless you're a youngster who has never read anything relating to international politics, you should understand this.

Then again, most here apparently either don't or just refuse to even try.

Jeremy said...

chefmojo said..."Wow, Jeremy. You really have a hardon for strawmen, don't you?"

Saying Obama is "messing up" is a strawman argument?

Methinks you don't understand the term.

"I'm amused by the assumption you have that Obama is working those secret back channels. Got proof, other than your fervid fantasies?"

I'm basing it on the fact that every President in our nation's history have worked back channels.

Have you ever actually read a history book?

Do you really think our intelligence agencies aren't exploring every opportunity during this kind of situation?

Remember this guy?

-Henry Kissinger, the smartest person John McCain knows (his words, not mine), thinks Obama's line on Iran is just right.

You can't be that dense...then again.

Jeremy said...

Chef Boy Are You Dumb - "Symbolic gestures are to be expected in this case. Obama dropped the ball on this one big time, coming across as cold and callous. Which he is, but that's beside the point."

Good lord...now Obama is "cold and callous."

You wingnuts are completely out of your fucking minds.

bagoh20 said...

Innocent people being killed for protesting a clearly stolen election and the leader of the FREE world says little.

I don't think he's cold and callous. That would take courage too.

bagoh20 said...

Bambi is a deer in the headlights.

chefmojo said...

Oh, that's precious! A liberal invoking the name of Henry Kissinger to support his argument! A man considered in many quarters to be a genocidal maniac. No less than Christopher Hitchens would love nothing more than to have Kissinger brought before a war crimes tribunal. The guy who advised Nixon to invade Cambodia, run a secret war in Laos, mine Haiphong harbor and conduct the Christmas bombings of Hanoi "thinks Obama's line on Iran is just right."

Never thought I'd see the day.

Also, there are back channels and then there are effective back channels. Results are what matters, and so far Obama's mythical back channel efforts are resulting in pretty much nothing.

And all the while, when past administrations used back channels in this instances, they still found the balls to tell the bad guys that they were being bad. That their conduct was unacceptable. You're actually proud that Obama is proving himself to be a spineless, immoral coward before the rest of the world.

Jeremy said...

Bag of Rocks - So do you think if Obama says he wants them to stop rioting and wants there to be no more people killed...it will happen?

You sound like a little kid who believes in the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus.

How many people do you suppose were killed in China and North Korea during Bush's time in office.

Do you remember him ever telling them to stop?

Do you remember them ever listening to anything Bush said?

Here's something that might refresh your memory as to how "tough" Bush was:

Mr. Bush strongly repeated a demand that North Koreans pull back their conventional arms from their border with South Korea.

In the interview released today, Mr. Bush reiterated that he was willing to negotiate with North Korea, which he has called part of an ''axis of evil'' with Iran and Iraq. ''That's still on the table,'' Mr. Bush said.

Jeremy said...

Chef Boy Am I dumb - "Oh, that's precious! A liberal invoking the name of Henry Kissinger to support his argument!"

I invoke his name because he's a fucking hero of the right...and has a tad more international experience than YOU or anybody else here.

If HE thinks Obama is doing the right thing, who are YOU, some mini-brained twit sitting at a keyboard, to tell others what the President should be doing?

Quit whining and bitching and get back to what you know best: masturbation.

Anthony said...

>the leader of the FREE world says little.

When I voted for John McCain, I was voting for President of the United States. I do not remember voting for teh leader of the free world.

When did I vote for that?"

Hoosier Daddy said...

hdhouse is back - as illiterate as ever.


I cut hdhouse slack nowadays. I'd be an irritable old fuck like him too if I was always shitting in my Depends when the nurse was out.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I invoke his name because he's a fucking hero of the right...and has a tad more international experience than YOU or anybody else here.


Thanks. I haven't laughed this hard in a month.

chefmojo said...

Ah, Jeremy. Resorting to time honored 'tard technique of the ad hominem attack when the pressure is on. It's to be expected, I suppose.

Kissinger as a hero of the right? I guess. Depends on your definition of "hero" and "right." Of course, you probably believe Nixon was a conservative, so working from that, I would have to distrust any definition that you would present.

Having dined with Dr. Kissinger on a number of occasions, I can indeed attest to his intellectual brilliance. But, in my experience, intellectual brilliance does not equate to flawless action and results, and often leads to disastrous decisions. Genius is oft times the downfall of the great and mighty.

Be that as it may. As an American citizen, it is my honor and duty to second guess the president. It's what a free people do. Having shown every indication that you're an infantile liberal fascist, I can understand why you would want to stifle dissent and debate.

Again, and without big words; Obama screwed the pooch on this one. He fucked up. Simple enough for you to understand, Jeremy.

bagoh20 said...

"When I voted for John McCain, I was voting for President of the United States. I do not remember voting for teh leader of the free world."

Sorry, it comes with the territory. Regardless of what anyone wants. The world needs leadership in words backed up by conviction and action when the stakes get serious.
-
Nobody else has the ability to back up their words, we are the only ones anybody has to listen too. Everyone else can be ignored, as Saddam proved.
-
I voted McCain, because I knew that's what I was voting for.
-
But I was not voting for the CEO of GM, CITBANK, Chrysler, my health care..., did you, did anyone?

Ralph L said...

so far Obama's mythical back channel efforts are resulting in pretty much nothing.
Needs more fiber--moral, that is.

1jpb said...

BHO needs to learn that tough talk from American presidents has been a key factor to reform in other countries. Doesn't he remember how tough talk moved the Soviets and Saddam. You know, "tear down this wall", and "tear down that evil axis Saddam statue."

BHO doesn't know his history because he doesn't know that the Iranian leadership (as already happened to the Soviets, Iraqis, N Koreans, Iranians, and others who were spoken to toughly about democracy etc) will give in to our demands when the US president uses tough rhetoric. Tough rhetoric always works, Duh!!!!!

If only Bush new about this tough talking stuff, he could have really made some big time regime changes via jabber. Too bad he, like BHO, was not a tough talker.

Meade said...

How Obama continues to lose me.

It's not like he didn't warn us, is it?

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

"If only Bush new about this tough talking stuff, he could have really made some big time regime changes via jabber. Too bad he, like BHO, was not a tough talker."

Two complete regime changes from repressive to democratic. 1st Arab democracy in history. 50 million people freed. Just think about that for a minute. 50 million and all their future descendants. Not bad for the Great Satin lead by a "ChimpHitler". This was accomplished by sacrificing virtually all his political capital as many on the left like to point out as some kind of negative.
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Is our current president willing to give up being loved to save non-voters? Just asking.

1jpb said...

Bagoh20,

Iraq has been a democracy for a long time. Saddam received almost 99.9% of the voting portion of the now freed 50 million (sic) folks in his last election.

But, this newly freed Arab democracy is much mo betta. It's so touching how the new gov was more respectful to Iranian leaders than they were to Bush administration officials at the same time the Iranian gov was helping to kill Iraq's liberators, aka us.

BTW, are you planning to permanently relocate to the wonderful Iraqi democracy? They've had millions of folks (who happened to be a large percentage of the most economically valuable human capital) leave. And, they've had almost a couple million folks displaced internally as the country self-isolated to avoid being killed by rival groups. So, your help would be greatly appreciated. Especially if you let them know that you came from the country that freed them. Expect them to throw roses at you.

Or, maybe you better stick to banging away at your keyboard.

amba said...

We're too focused on the presidential superstar. Maybe it was appropriate that Congress, the representative branch of government, was the entity that spoke out for us. Even though Republicans drafted the measure, Democrats joined in. In the House it was 405 to 1. The sole dissenter: Ron Paul, and not because he doesn't feel for the Iranian protesters.

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