June 16, 2009

"What I will repeat... is that when I see violence directed at peaceful protesters, when I see peaceful dissent being suppressed..."

"... wherever that takes place, it is of concern to me, and it's of concern to the American people. That is not how governments should interact with their people. And my hope is that the Iranian people will make the right steps in order for them to be able to express their voices, to express their aspirations."

Is Obama bland enough? Do you think he could be blander?

ADDED: The State Department asked Twitter to delay taking the site off-line for an upgrade, given its importance as a means of communication among the protesters in Iran. Twitter postponed the upgrade until after midnight, Iran time.

AND: The best ways for us on-line to help the protesters.

AND: From Rush Limbaugh today:
He says, "It's not productive given the history of US-Iranian relations to be seen as meddling, the US president meddling in Iranian elections"? What did he do last Friday when the exit poll data showed that the challenger was going to win? He went out there and started claiming credit for it because of his Cairo speech! He was meddling even then, claiming credit for this massive result....

154 comments:

TMink said...

Is Obama bland enough? Only when standing up for freedom it seems.

Trey

Treacle said...

In 1987, Reagan stood at the Berlin Wall and said "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, we respect the democratic election held in Iran."

And it worked!

Flexo said...

It's hard for emptiness to be anything but bland.

Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

You have a tag, "Obama is bland"! And "Obama stumbles"!

Alex said...

OTOH, the more I read about the opposition guy the less I like. Apparently he's neck deep in Hizbollah, so frak him and his supporters!

Alex said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mir-Hossein_Mousavi#Early_life_and_career

When Lebanon's Shi'ite militant group Hizballah was founded in 1982, Ayatollah Khomeini included Mousavi on the leadership council.[3]

AlphaLiberal said...

Uh, I don't think Obama WANTS to be quoted or part of this very Iranian story.

Thank God John McCain isn't President!

He'd be jumping into the middle of this fight in Iran and helping out the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad.

He's demanding Obama jump into the fray. Newsflash to McCain: that would hurt the opposition's chances to be allied with us. they don't like us there.

XWL said...

Did you forget you also have a "lameness" tag?

Alex said...

As usual AlphaTroll can't resist to get in a dig at a Republican.

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

More mush from the wimp.

Heckuva job, Barry.

bagoh20 said...

Cowards always have an excuse for not standing up for people in need. The usual one is: I couldn't help, I would just cause more harm. Of course Alpha L. said it better.

Darcy said...

Bland? I call it tragically inept leadership. Bland doesn't come into play when people are being beaten to death for peaceful protest, among other things.

Aaron said...

you know, it seems to me that Obama is in an impossible position. i hope he wants to see blood run in the mullahs' palaces, but he can't be see encouraging that or else ahmadanutjob, or however you spell the current president of iran's name, will be able to tar the protests as american controlled.

But on the other hand, when protesters hold up signs in english, they seem to be saying, "join us."

Anyway, yes it was bland, but i am not sure how much better anyone could have done.

Alex said...

Darcy - you have to understand for our liberal trolls, Obama milquetoast response is so refreshing to them! It is so anti-Bush for the sake of it that they LOVE it!!!

Scott said...

“Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.” -- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sofa King said...

Bland? I call it tragically inept leadership. Bland doesn't come into play when people are being beaten to death for peaceful protest, among other things.

No, it's neither - he just doesn't want to turn out to be a hypocrite when he fails to condemn the same happenings in the USSA.

Treacle said...

Wait a second, Ann. You're guilty of selective quoting. B.O. also said he was "deeply concerned".

Alex said...

It seems Althouse is no longer even pretending to be pro-Obama.

Alex said...

OTOH, why is this any of our business? Let the Iranians handle their internal affairs - human rights is not our business outside of our boundaries right?

TosaGuy said...

Obama has a chance to spread freedom to the Iranian people and halt a destabilizing force in the Middle East simply by speaking in strong support of the Iranian people.

A brilliant opportunity for him if he were only to be bold and seize it. He has to do it quickly or the moment will be lost and gone forever.

Leaders will recognize and seize an opportunity, while a politician will overthink trying to find words that neither anger or inspire.

If Obama truly believes in the concept of change, then he will embrace this unprecidented opportunity.

Alex said...

Nope, Obama has to keep Jeremy and AlphaTroll happy. that is his #1 priority.

Seven Machos said...

All this hope and change in the air has me giddy. Things are so much different now than they were, last year. And so much better.

Think about it. The troops are out of Iraq. Guantanamo is closed. Gays have State-approved marriages and serve openly in the military. The federal deficit is shrinking and earmarks are a thing of the past. The magical alchemy necessary to bring free and high-quality health care to all Americans has been done. And all these negotiations with despots are bringing about sweeping changes.

Aren't you Obama supporters proud? You must be.

ricpic said...

Obama's comfortable with Achmijimmyjab, one thug to another.

bearbee said...

Obama wants a nuke-free Iran and antagonizing the beady-eyed one doesn't get him any closer to that goal. On the other hand the beady-eyed one is committed to a nuclear Iran, so why not antagonize him.

Stratfor has a good take on how Westerners always get Iran wrong.
Western Misconceptions Meet Iranian Reality

bagoh20 said...

Bland leadership = "present". Didn't see that coming huh? Ann...Ann

Ann Althouse said...

"It seems Althouse is no longer even pretending to be pro-Obama."

Oh, I think it is quite possible that Obama is doing exactly the right thing. Sometimes blandness is effective. For example, in poker.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

So, Althouse would like Obama to declare war on Iran. Got it.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Whoops, I take that back after reading the comment just above my previous one. Sorry.

The Real Barack said...

You tell em, Seven! All of that stuff you said is coming right up.

Seven Machos said...

So Zachary Paul Sire is very deficient at making correct inferences. Got it.

TosaGuy said...

War? ZPS loves to jump to conclusions.

Obama should speak strongly in support of the freedom of the Iranian people....those that are protesting by the tens of thousands and are about to get run over by the Iranian government. A strong forceful message concentrating solely on that point will disgrace A'jad and the Iranian gov't when they do Tiannenmen Square II.

Shouldn't the US president speak on behalf of freedom?

bagoh20 said...

Oh, now he's bluffing, huh. It was Bush that was scary, McCain could have been, but nobody is scared of Obama, except Americans.

Eli Blake said...

Obama is playing it smart. Mousavi (and yes, Alex, he is a radical, but at least he's a sane and rational radical who has said he realizes that Iran needs to engage the west instead of further isolate itself) would be given the kiss of death if any American administration endorsed him, so Obama is being careful to to give the appearance that we are favoring one side or the other (though it is almost funny to think would would happen if we endorsed Ahmadinejad.)

This makes it clear that the mullahs are indeed sitting on a boiling pot that will explode. What we should do is trade with them.

As I once wrote back in 2006,

And we have the perfect weapon to deal with Tehran. The same weapons that brought down the thousands of nukes in the former Soviet Union, and the same weapons that we haven't used against North Korea or Cuba (hint: alone among old line traditional communist societies, they still stand.)

Disney. McDonalds. Hillary Duff. MTV.

And with products, inevitably follow ideas.

I'm surprised conservatives (who are still railing for an invasion of Iran, as if we have some secret armies somewhere that are just waiting for the command) don't see this. If anyone would see it, I'd expect it to be conservatives.

Some conservatives praise free trade, suggesting that the market determines the direction of society, and point out that it was free trade that opened the door behind the iron curtain that evetually led the people there to replace their system with a free system. Other conservatives bemoan monetary mammon and the effect materialism has on the religious fervor and strength of society.

And that's why we should unleash our best weapon on Iran.

Let mammon go to work.

Seven Machos said...

As I once wrote back in 2006...

That's almost touching.

Maguro said...

So, Althouse would like Obama to declare war on Iran. Got it.

So, the only two choices are exactly what Obama did and war with Iran. Got it.

traditionalguy said...

It is beginning to look like Sharanski is right about people ruled by a tyrannical government. The tyrants are always so scared that they will lose power that any outside support for their enslaved population freaks them out. If only Obama could get enough courage to strike with a few bold words, then these young Iranians might get some freedom. That is called Leadership. Too bad we elected a negotiator and not a leader. What could a Saracuda do with this opportune moment to strike?

Alex said...

Real leadership is giving bland statements and making sure that Daily Kos is always in good graces.

Alex said...

Althouse - so you think Obama might be bluffing and that bluster is not a good thing right now? You never give your opinions, just rile everyone else up.

bagoh20 said...

When do we support people in these situations? Only when they are oppressed by nice regimes that pose no danger? Or maybe despots that love the U.S.? That should keep the job low stress for us all.
-
If our elegant great speaker can't fashion a way to give them hope without hurting their cause, then he's employed way above his pay grade.
-
Isn't that what lawyers, spokesmen, advertisers do every day, make a case without causing the audience to hate you?

Sissy Willis said...

Muscular prose reflects muscular thinking (Churchill, Reagan, GW). Flabby prose reflects flabby thinking (Chamberlain, Carter, Obama). Never use one metaphorically-charged noun or active verbs when a string of colorless nouns and passive verbs will do.

AlphaLiberal said...

How odd, too, that a family can be murdered/wounded and it doesn't merit mention in our national press.

These are more right wing murders, by one of the "Minuteman" groups.

According to local law enforcement, three people posing as police officers forced their way into the home of Raul Flores in Arivaca, Arizona, about 10 miles from the Mexican border, on May 30. They shot and killed Flores and his nine-year-old daughter, and wounded Flores' wife. The three, Shawna Forde, Jason Bush, and Albert Gaxiola, were arrested and charged last Thursday and Friday. .

This isn't news?

TosaGuy said...

Both Reagan and Obama have been influenced by people who think a particular nation is/was evil and tyrannical.

Reagan was influenced by those who escaped from and wrote about the Soviet Union -- Sharanski and Solzenheitzen (sp), et. al.

Obama has been influenced by those who still live in and write about the United States.

paul a'barge said...

Obama is not fit to shine Ronald Reagan's shoes. Read Reagan's speech about Poland.

Quick. Someone tell me again why you voted for this nincompoop?

Anthony said...

What do you people want him to say? Iran is not Poland, Ukraine or Berlin. The history there is just too negative. If he says something to strong, the opposition will be painted as dupes of American imperialists trying to steal Iran's oil.

I understand that Mousavi made a speech today and not once mentioned Obama or western aid. To do so would be death to his movement.

Obama is handling this well.

MadisonMan said...

I agree that bland is a possible smart move here. It's hard to tell right now if it will work.

Alex said...

Once again, remember the #1 priority for Obama is to appease the 23% of the country that is self-identified left-wingers. Human rights, be damned.

AlphaLiberal said...

So, to the conservatives here, do you not understand that the US government taking the side of any side in this dispute would help the other side?

Do you really need this explained?

How do you possibly think our intervention in this internal matter helps the reform movement?

Alex said...

AlphaTroll - the appeaser of dictatorial regimes. Remember, there WILL be an accounting. A Nuremburg trials so to speak when this is all done.

paul a'barge said...

AlphaLiberal: [blockquote]Newsflash to McCain: that would hurt the opposition's chances to be allied with us. they don't like us there.[/blockquote]...

Go read what the Soviet activist/opposition said about Reagan calling the Soviet system the evil empire.

Hint: it was not that they were being hurt.

Cowards always have puny reasons for their cowardice. You and Obama are no exception.

LarsPorsena said...

"...Obama is playing it smart. Mousavi (and yes, Alex, he is a radical, but at least he's a sane and rational radical who has said he realizes that Iran needs to engage the west instead of further isolate itself) would be given the kiss of death if any American administration endorsed him,.."

If this is so , why dosen't BO endorse Almajimmy so he gets the kiss of death?

I guess BO's kisses are only lethal if you are an opponent of tyrannical regimes.

TosaGuy said...

Nice strawman alpha.

How is supporting the concept of freedom for the Iranian people taking sides.

The election was fraudulent even before the vote was taken. Opponents were picked by the government. Part of this demonstration is the Iranian people getting fed up with their gov't as a whole.

Anthony said...

One issue is that we do not know if this is really simply "North Tehran Effect". Has the press gotten into the countryside to see what the people outside the hip, liberal, educated, westernized places think? If a foreign reporter sat on W 100th Street in 2004, he would have thought Kerry won in a landslide (if he sat there in 1984, he would have thought the same about Mondale).

I am concerned that we are getting a bit of a skewed picture.

I am also concerned that anything the president or any western leader says will be used against Mousavi. I also question Mousavi's credentials as a reformer given that he was a central figure in the early Islamic Republic and was approved by the Guardian's council as a candidate.

Alex said...

BWT, which twitter link is the best for following the latest in Iran?

mccullough said...

Unless we're going to send in troops, better to say nothing at this time.

We'll eventually have to go to war with Iran because they'll get nukes (unless we let Israel take care of it for us). Just like we'll have to go to war with North Korea (unless China steps up).

But it doesn't seem like there's any advantage to doing it now.

Jeremy said...

Ann - "Is Obama bland enough? Do you think he could be blander?"

What exactly do you, with all of your diplomatic experience, recommend President Obama say at this precise moment?

Maybe he could call G.W. and ask him to lend him one of those famous "axis of evil" speeches that went over so well.

Or, hell, why not just say we don't agree with their election process and we're going to invade you country.

Isn't that what being America is all about?

Duh.

Alex said...

BTW, it looks like twitter has been hacked:

http://search.twitter.com/

Show some weird result

Jeremy said...

Alex said..."As usual AlphaTroll can't resist to get in a dig at a Republican."

Ann offers up: "Can Obama be more bland..."

And you're upset over a dig at Republicans?

Duh.

Fred4Pres said...

Rather cowardly by the President. Hitchens nails the subject.

Jeremy said...

Anybody who thinks a President, at this stage, within hours of an election, and with what is going on, should be sticking his nose into their affairs (in an open forum)...needs to read more history.

Anybody remember Bush stepping into the fray and demanding whatever in the world some here are demanding...when Hamas won?

Cooler heads prevail...

bagoh20 said...

Alpha L,
-
If that Minutemen story is true, then yes it is news. It will be a big story - the media hate them. If it's untrue (as I suspect) then the real story will disappear even if the people are still dead. But not before the Minutemen are smeared anyway.

Jeremy said...

Fred4Pres said..."Rather cowardly by the President. Hitchens nails the subject."

Why would anybody give a flying fuck what Hitchens has to say about anything?

Does he hold office?

Is he, in any way, shape or form responsible for anything that might happen?

What does Drudge, Rush and Hannity have to say, Fred??

Don't you want to know?

JAL said...

Let me repeat that I detest. Absolutely. Detest. President Obama's use of phrases like "What I will repeat ...." "Let me be clear ...." "As I have said ...."

What is the matter with this man? He thinks we are all slow learners and English is not our primary language?

Jeremy said...

People here to who our President a coward are nothing more than right wing assholes.

But of course you already know that.

JAL said...

While I did not find quickly the whole speech today (I am NOT going on to whitehouse.gov) I can see it in the excerpts ... it is the same thing as his speech -- yesterday? (he gives them Every.Single.Day.) The speech I saw about Iran yesterday was 16 sentences long. He used the word "I" 16 times and "my" once.

Says it all.

He has no part of the grand vision of this exceptional nation and life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness. It's all about him and what he thinks.

AlphaLiberal said...

If that Minutemen story is true, then yes it is news. It will be a big story - the media hate them. If it's untrue (as I suspect) then the real story will disappear even if the people are still dead. But not before the Minutemen are smeared anyway. .

It's been true for a week now. It is not even a minor national story.

"More right wing killings? Who cares?"

MayBee said...

ADDED: The State Department asked Twitter to delay taking the site off-line for an upgrade, given its importance as a means of communication among the protesters in Iran. Twitter postponed the upgrade until after midnight, Iran time.



That's interesting.
Just before Obama's speech to the "Muslim world", he made a big deal about how tired he was of leaders who say one thing in public and do another thing in private.

I guess he's understanding the value of that tactic now.

Jeremy said...

JAL said..."What is the matter with this man? He thinks we are all slow learners and English is not our primary language?"

Most on this site sure are.

Just read the ridiculous comments calling our President a coward.

It's disgusting and embarrassing.

Oh, and by the way, dumbfuck...do you not understand that everything Obama says is being transmitted throughout the world, and translated into different languages?

Think he just might want to be careful, considering how many different ways a translation can be interpreted?

Jeremy said...

JAL - "He has no part of the grand vision of this exceptional nation and life, liberty, and our pursuit of happiness. It's all about him and what he thinks."

You're an illiterate, uninformed asshole.

Robert Cook said...

Alex said: "Darcy - you have to understand for our liberal trolls, Obama milquetoast response is so refreshing to them! It is so anti-Bush for the sake of it that they LOVE it!!!"




To the contrary, it is Obama's milquetoast persona, among other failings, his inability to stand forthrightly for the change he "promised" in his pre-Presidential rhetoric, that chaps this liberal's ass!

Of course, perhaps he's not really a milquetoast. Perhaps this is his way of presenting himself as some sort of liberal-minded "progressive" or something while continuing to serve the interests of the entrenched oligarchy, doing their bidding while pretending to be a change from the swine recently departed from office.

By the way, we have no business intervening in Iran's affairs militarily, if that's what some here advocate, and my remarks above in no way are intended to imply that I favor such action. In was our interference in Iran in the 1950s, helping to depose the democratically elected Mossadegh, that has led to so much of our later grief with Iran. They see us, correctly, as having helped bring tyranny and torture to their land. With regard to the tensions between U.S.A. and Iran, they are in the right and we are in the wrong, which is not to endorse their present government or state of affairs, but simply to acknowledge that Iran's history over the last half-century has been egregiously harmed by U.S. interference in their affairs.

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

How about this:
-
"America stands for freedom above all and democracy is the only path to it. The will of the people is what authorizes government. If a nation has elections, then they must be open, fair and honest. To permit otherwise is to treat your own people like children and is an insult to those people, debasing your right to rule them. We ask that the Iranian authorities open up their election to scrutiny to prove to their people and the world that they truly have the right to rule."

That's what he should say at minimum.

Titusiseatingfreshsalad said...

John Ensign has an affair. That makes me kind of horny.

InternetFred said...

Support Iran This Way

Link your protest with their protest:

1. Print out images and have people hold them as protest signs.

Try using this photo or the graphic in this photo. The black-and-white logo will need to be redrawn, but will go through any copier cheaply.

Or use the icons at this Iran support site.

2. Take a photo of your crowd holding the images in solidarity with Iran.

3. Send your crowd photos to Iran for them to print out.

Make a flickr site for photos of international support. Send to all media.

To find Iranians to send to, web search for "Iranian protest site".

4. The Iranians can use the photos of your group as protest signs. Completing the circle.

Support pictures from China, Africa, Los Angeles, would all have an impact. Even better if your crowd photo makes it clear where it's from. Stand in front of a monument or wear a national costume.

Images should not use text. They should translate visually.

Send this idea to friends.

AlphaLiberal said...

How is supporting the concept of freedom for the Iranian people taking sides. .

Oh is that what McCain and the GOP want Obama to do? Sounded like some wanted bombing and some wanted..... well they wouldn't say.

The USA is not kindly regarded there, see? So for either side to be associated with the US is not helpful to that side. If we echo their message then we're "taking their side".

Imagine if Putin took the side of the Democrats in an internal dispute. Then, the Repubs would cry that we are in league with Russians, anti-American, etc, etc.

This is one of those very obvious concepts that it is hard to explain. Maybe if you heard it from a Republican, Dick Lugar:

For us to become heavily involved in the election at this point is to give the clergy an opportunity to have an enemy…and to use us, really, to retain their power.

Bart DePalma said...

The only reason to be bland when addressing a bully who is beating the snot out of his kids in front of the entire neighborhood is out of fear of the bully.

Is this what Obama meant by tough principled diplomacy?

Is this what Biden meant by his comments that Obama will display a spine of steel during international crises?

The Obama apologia that the Iranians hate the United States and that Obama's "meddling" in Iranian elections on behalf of the democracy movement would backfire is cowardly drivel. CNN reported this past weekend that the protesters were begging Obama to intervene on their behalf and stated that, if Obama accepted the theocracy's election results, the protesters "were doomed."

For crying out loud, even the French are showing more cajones than America by at least calling the election a fraud and the government beating, shooting and murdering Iranian democrats was reprehensible.

This is an opportunity to support an Iranian home grown democracy movement to depose a terrorist regime that wars against its neighbors and is on the brink of obtaining nuclear weapons.

What would a real President like Reagan do?

Alex said...

Reagan would not cower in fear of the bullies. He took on the USSR, so he would have had no trouble taking on the mullahs.

Resurrect Ronnie now! Whatever it takes...

Alex said...

When France shows more courage then America, you KNOW something is very wrong.

Anthony said...

>What would a real President like Reagan do?

What would Reagan do? It would probably depend on the circumstances. If it were Poland, he would support the opposition. In Iran, with our long and poor history? Who knows.

Ukraine, Georgia and even Lebanon were different situations. The history was different. And even Bush was timid on Pakistan, when he should have told Mushareff when he declared martial law that the gig was up.

The situation in Iran, given the poor history we have with them, denmands a different solution. The president (who I did not vote for and do not particularly support beyond the normal support I give the office) is doing the right thing.

Anthony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Titusiseatingfreshsalad said...

I wonder if John Ensign has salt and pepper pubes like on his head.

Bart DePalma said...

Anthony:

Reagan's reaction to the communist attempts to destroy Solidarity is instructive. He called out the communists and supported Solidarity at every opportunity. Behind the scenes, he ordered CIA to use all means to support Solidarity and to undermine the Polish communists and their Soviet masters. Today, the communists are history and Poland is a democracy that has built dozens of monuments to Reagan in appreciation for his part liberating their country.

No one will fondly remember Obama in Iran.

Anthony said...

Bart -- the difference is that our history with Poland is different frmo our history with Iran.

With Poland, while there is the line about "Western Betrayal" (in 1939 and 1946), it is not like Iran, where there are memories of 1953 and our support of the Shah.

If President Obama comes out too strongly, Amedenijad then says that the opposition are tools of America, who wants to steal Iran's oil.

It is Iran's fight, we need to at least openly stay out (behind the scenes however, that is a different story)

Maguro said...

The USA is not kindly regarded there, see? So for either side to be associated with the US is not helpful to that side. If we echo their message then we're "taking their side".

So if Obama had said "We condemn the Iranian gov't shooting peaceful protesters", the Iranians would immediately think that shooting peaceful protesters was cool?

Sometimes when the truth is this obvious, it is self-defeating to ignore it.

elHombre said...

Oh, I think it is quite possible that Obama is doing exactly the right thing.

I agree that it is possible that he is doing the right thing. It seems inconceivable, however, that he could be doing it for the right reasons.

Bart DePalma said...

Anthony:

1) Over half of the Iranian population was born after or was too young to even remember the Shah. Of those who were old enough to remember the Shah, a substantial minority supported him over the Mulluhs. Thus, the number of Iranians who hold a grudge against the US for the Shah are a minority and very likely do not include the majority who just voted for democratic reform.

2) The Polish communists condemned Reagan for "meddling" with their internal affairs. The complaint did not resonate with the majority of Poles who hated their government. It is unlikely to be any more successful in Iran against Obama.

Obama claims that democracy is a universal value that all people should enjoy, not a vestige of US culture that we impose on other countries. If Obama actually believes the rhetoric in his speeches, then it is time to prove it.

Alex said...

Bart - remember Obama's #1 priority is to please the dead-enders. Probably one of Saul Alinsky's "rules" no doubt. How this moron got elected is beyond me.

Titusiseatingfreshsalad said...

Let's focus on John Ensign having an affair with one of his staffers wifes.

Normally I don't go for any hanky panky.

For example I wanted Eliot Spitzer out. He was disgusting.

But I didn't want David Vitter out and I certainly want John Ensign to fight on. Both are men of strong family values. And what's a little poke in the bushes among friends? We all sin.

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

"What I will repeat... is that when I see violence directed at peaceful protesters, when I see peaceful dissent being suppressed..."

Did that make anyone else think of Billy Jack? I thought someone was about to go all midieval on the mullahs. Then I saw that it was an Obama quote.

Titusiseatingfreshsalad said...

And I believe if you a wife of a republican and you don't give your man what he wants he needs to find it elsewhere.

You don't like anal, oral, rimming, teabagging? Well fuck it I will find it elsewhere.

Lem said...

Obama to Iran's protesters

DROP DEAD!

(Lem stumbles)

Bart DePalma said...

essaybee said...

Did that make anyone else think of Billy Jack?

:::chuckle:::

The Billy Jack movie epitomized the anti war left of that and this era - group of eunuchs that do not oppose the violence that Billy Jack uses to defend them, but rather use the concept of pacifism as a dodge to justify declining to defend themselves.

Obama hardly reminds me of the Billy Jack character, though. More like the Jean Roberts character excusing her rapist.

Titusiseatingfreshsalad said...

You don't like to eat my toe jam?

I will find some pig slut who does.

And if I want to stick your head up my ass when I fart you will let me and you will like it.

If I want to shave your bush you will say what size clipper.

Submit now.

Now I am getting horny.

Jeremy said...

elHombre said..."I agree that it is possible that he is doing the right thing. It seems inconceivable, however, that he could be doing it for the right reasons."

What does that even mean?

It's "inconceivable, however, that he could be doing it for the right reasons."

Could you clarify that a bit?

Darcy said...

Really enjoying your comments, Bart DePalma. Exactly right.

David said...

So what's Obama going to do?

Certainly he's not going take military action over this. The country would not support him even if he were inclined to do so. We already have all the "sanctions" against Iran the world will support. He could say that the repression is terrible, and give a speech saying that the election was a fraud. Problem is, we don't really know whether the election was a fraud.

So his power is limited and he has some unattractive choices, other than the easy choice of posturing, which he has not done.

This is an important event but still an ambiguous one. It's part of a long, cloudy process that will decide Iran's future but on this day American influence is slight. Our most effective actions will be behind the scenes, and our most effective organ of national policy in this immediate situation is our free press not our government,

I speak as one who would favor a military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities if they continue to build a nuclear weapon. But I think Obama deserves a pass here.

PatCA said...

Unless Obama's doing something in the background to support the protesters, I hate him. I just hate him.

Over and out.

Jeremy said...

Alex said..."Reagan would not cower in fear of the bullies. He took on the USSR, so he would have had no trouble taking on the mullahs."

Are you saying the "mullahs" didn't exist during Ronnie's day?

How about our good friend and mass murdering, scourge of the Earth...Saddam?

Here's how Ronnie handled matters:

Using its allies in the Middle East, Washington funneled huge supplies of arms to Iraq. Classified State Department cables uncovered by Frantz and Waas described covert transfers of howitzers, helicopters, bombs and other weapons to Baghdad in 1982-83 from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Kuwait.

Howard Teicher, who monitored Middle East policy at the US National Security Council during the Reagan administration, told the February 23, 1992, LA Times: "There was a conscious effort to encourage third countries to ship US arms or acquiesce in shipments after the fact. It was a policy of nods and winks."

William Safire, the right-wing, war-mongering NYT columnist, on December 7, 1992, felt compelled to write that, "Iraqgate is uniquely horrendous: a scandal about the systematic abuse of power by misguided leaders of three democratic nations [the US, Britain and Italy] to secretly finance the arms buildup of a dictator".

Good ol' Ronnie.

reader_iam said...

Anyone have a problem with the State Department asking Twitter to postpone a planned maintenance and Twitter complying (if indeed that's why it did)? Why or why not? What if the State Department had asked Twitter to schedule one? What if this didn't involve Iran, or even a foreign country, but rather something going on here?

Sincere questions. Mulling over some things (and no, posing questions is not the same thing as rendering an opinion--I said, and meant, I'm mulling over some things, and in very rough form) and looking for some inputs from other brains and perspectives.

When is an alliance between government and private media--of whatever type--OK and when is it not? When does a slippery-slope concern come into play and/or become credible, and when doesn't it?

Notice: I also posted this on the "ABC at White House" post and noted I would also be posting it here.

Ironclad said...

There is a third option - that is not being discussed here. I have lived in the middle east for over 20 years and will say that while it appears to many that there is a "herd" mentality of opinion there - most of it is for show; in reality, people do it not to get into trouble. The point is that people there listen - and they do want to hear at least the words of support for them. Silence is considered to be neglect - or in some cases contempt for their situation.
There can be words that support the PEOPLE there and their right to choose - but at the same time for neither of the candidates struggling for power. Frankly, both of the 2 men in competition for the Presidency will make much of a difference as long as the "Guardians" are in place. That has to be the target - to change the system and not bother about what face occupies the presidential palace.
Nothing is going to happen in Iran unless the Army decides to change sides - neutral is not going to do anything. With the Revolutionary Guard and Basiji militias enforcing the Mullahs power - the protesters don't have a chance. And at this point - with the reports of foreign "enforcers" being brought in to reinforce the regime, I can't imagine this "revolution" going anywhere.
So if there is going to be "careful discussion" - then it needs to be aimed at telling the people of Iran that they are the ones that we support - not the government - not the 2 top contenders - and no one from outside. If that kind of talk is abrogated - by playing safe - and waiting for things to sort themselves out - then the people there will remember only that you supported the status quo when it is over.
But I see realpolitik here - such a course might get really messy - and no one wants to jeopardize oil supplies at this point. A price hike in oil due to loss of supply would kill any global economic recovery at this point. I think that is what is mainly behind the "bland" words at this time.

Oligonicella said...

bagoh20 --

Thank you. Well done.

Invisible Man said...

Unless Obama's doing something in the background to support the protesters, I hate him. I just hate him.

I can't help but picture you stomping your feet and grabbing your blankey as you wrote such an immature post.

reader_iam said...

Does asking Twitter to postpone a schedule maintenance (whether than was the reason for the company's decision or not) count as doing something to support the Iranian protestors?

Jason (the commenter) said...

I think the right and left-wingers are both irritated at Obama's lack of spirit on this issue. I have not seen lefties supporting the mullahs.

Maybe I could believe Althouse's 'poker hypothesis' but we've never really seen Obama passionate about anything. His only settings are bland, patronizing, or angry.

It shouldn't be a shock; remember that his main virtue was an ability to string words together. Nobody ever said he did it with feeling.

kinbote said...

"Alex said: The more I read about the opposition guy the less I like. Apparently he's neck deep in Hizbollah"

No surprise, since only Hizbollists or worse are allowed to run for office. However, Moussavi presented himself as something different during this election, and was accepted by many voters as an opponent of the dictatorship, a supporter of more equality for women, and a proponent of a less confrontational foreign policy.

Lesser of evils. Maybe he's only an opportunist-- viva les opportunistes, a very useful way out of hell.

kinbote said...

"Alex said: The more I read about the opposition guy the less I like. Apparently he's neck deep in Hizbollah"

No surprise, since only Hizbollists or worse are allowed to run for office. However, Moussavi presented himself as something different during this election, and was accepted by many voters as an opponent of the dictatorship, a supporter of more equality for women, and a proponent of a less confrontational foreign policy.

Lesser of evils. Maybe he's only an opportunist-- viva les opportunistes, a very useful way out of hell.

MadisonMan said...

I appreciate what Anthony says on this subject re: the skewed view that Twitter might be giving. That is, there exists the possibility that only a minority is up in arms against the results. However, thugs are still killing protesters in the streets in Tehran, and that should concern the USA.

Still, I'd feel more comfortable covertly supporting the non-Ahmadinejad candidate if he was actually a reformer. All the anti-Obamaists here who seem to want change for change's sake* in Iran: Why is that something good in Iran when you ridicule it in the USA?

(*Assuming that the two Candidates really are more alike than different, which is my impression)

AlphaLiberal said...

Alex said..."Reagan would not cower in fear of the bullies. He took on the USSR, so he would have had no trouble taking on the mullahs."

No, what are you guys calling for? For us to attack Iran now? What, being bogged down in 2 Middle Eastern countries isn't enough?

What an incredibly dumb message. It would strengthen regimes for years as they could tell their oppressed populations to pipe down or the Americans will invade. We would cement the hatred Bush and Cheney created.

Belligerence is of limited usefulness.

Better advice: Don't do something, sit there.

MadisonMan said...

Why am I suddenly thinking of Lady GaGa?

AlphaLiberal said...

Bart DaPalma contradicts himself:
Obama claims that democracy is a universal value that all people should enjoy, not a vestige of US culture that we impose on other countries. If Obama actually believes the rhetoric in his speeches, then it is time to prove it. .

So, you believe in democracy and want the world's sole superpower to dictate events in a country 7 thousand miles away?

You seem to have a loose grasp on the concept of "democracy." It doesn't mean "rule by superpower."

Please clarify what sort of intervention you are espousing. Bombs? Ground forces? Strongly worded letter?

LarsPorsena said...

"So, you believe in democracy and want the world's sole superpower to dictate events in a country 7 thousand miles away? "
No, just a word on democracy's behalf by a supposed believer in it.

Michael McNeil said...

The USA is not kindly regarded there, see?

Actually, outside of the extremist theocratic imams and ayatollahs — a very thin veneer on society — the Iranian people are among the most pro-American in the world.

Anthony said...

>Still, I'd feel more comfortable covertly supporting the non-Ahmadinejad candidate if he was actually a reformer. All the anti-Obamaists here who seem to want change for change's sake* in Iran: Why is that something good in Iran when you ridicule it in the USA?


That is another issue and also one we should consider. As pointed out by otehrs, Mr. Mousavi was prominant in the Iranian Revolution and was PM during the Iran-Iraq war. Is he really a "moderate" or a "reformer"? I do not know. But like all candidates he was approved by the Council of Guardians, so they presumably do not think he will make that many changes to the system

AlphaLiberal said...

Do conservatives acknowledge this behavior in populations when a country is under attack by a foreign power: to unify around the leadership to defeat the external foe.

So, keeping this in mind, if the USA goes after their government, wouldn't it strengthen the regime's hand?

You're not actually saying what you are espousing and why you think it will be effective.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
...the Iranian people are among the most pro-American in the world. .

pro-American what? pro-American culture, sure. pro-American founding values, sure.pro-American government? Ha!

Remember, Dick Cheney was strutting around on an aircraft carrier in a fleet of warships in the Persian Gulf just a few months ago. We've been having open debates about bombing their country.

I'd like to see those opinion polls more recently.

Michael McNeil said...

What, being bogged down in 2 Middle Eastern countries isn't enough?

While the situation in Afghanistan is certainly fluid at present, Iraq last month “suffered” the fewest civilian casualties since the 2003 invasion. Yep, we're sure bogged down there! — not.

You folks really need to update your talking points every now and then.

AlphaLiberal said...

Oh, yeah. We're smmmmmoo-kin'!!

Put away those worn generalities:
the Iranian people are among the most pro-American in the world. .


Images of the United States – The three groups differ considerably in their images of the United States, as well as their views of the U.S. government and the American people. Regarding the U.S. image, most Conservatives (80%) and Moderates (70%) have an unfavorable opinion, but Reformers are closely divided (43% positive vs. 48% negative). Concerning the American people, Conservatives are closely divided (40% favorable vs. 46% unfavorable), but positive views prevail among both Moderates (58% favorable) and particularly Reformers (69% favorable). In contrast, large majorities in each opinion group in 2008 viewed the U.S. government negatively – ranging from 90 percent unfavorable among Conservatives to 71 percent unfavorable among Reformers. (Table 7A-C) .

Link

AlphaLiberal said...

MichaelMcNeil misses the point:

Yep, we're sure bogged down there! — not. .

Note:
a) we're still there.
b) we're spending more and still involved in conflict.

And I'm very glad American casualties are down. And my heart goes out to civilian families caught in the crossfire.

chuck b. said...

Nice try.

Twitter is a silly vanity project created by Silicon Valley chuckleheads that serves only to give people yet another outlet to display their self-absorption and write large their brain farts. Nothing useful or important has ever been communicated on Twitter.

Michael McNeil said...

pro-American what? pro-American culture, sure. pro-American founding values, sure. pro-American government? Ha!

But, but, but… I thought the election of The Won was supposed to make all the world love us for our American values and morality, put into practice by Obama-san!

Michael McNeil said...

Put away those worn generalities…

2008 is before Obama-san became President.

rhhardin said...

It's a blandishment.

The Real Barack said...

Wow this is a tough crowd for POTUS.

Thank God I have Jeremy to defend me. Santa Monica College, huh? Good weed there- am I right?

And Eli Blake too- but he sounds like he has been smoking that weed for a long, long time.

Pastafarian said...

This comment thread is very instructive: AlphaLiberal tries to change the subject multiple times to some recent murder in Texas; Titus tries to change the subject to some senator's infidelity, and his poop; and Jeremy calls everyone disagreeing with Obama's inaction slow-witted, asshole, dumbfuck, etc.

Looks like this topic strikes a nerve.

As well it should. Don't ask yourself what Reagan would do; ask yourself what President John Kennedy's response to these events would have been.

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty."

That's what it would have been.

Since when did Democrats become Kissinger-like in their foreign policy?

Now, I don't think that Obama is doing nothing here because of a lack of balls; rather, I think that he's doing nothing because when Obama begins his crackdown on dissidents, he'll expect the world to do nothing to stop HIM.

But do you know who does lack balls? So-called liberals, who lack the manhood to admit that what Obama is doing is wrong. Go team, rah rah. Score those points.

Pastafarian said...

And Scott pretty much won this thread at 4:04, by the way.

Jesus Christ, in one breath you criticize the realpolitik that led to propping up the Shah; and in the next you propose more of the same to prop up the mullahs.

Jeremy I expect it from. Titus and Alpha, you disappoint me.

Titusiseatingfreshsalad said...

This doesn't strike a nerve. I didn't even read what the post was about.

A nerve was struck when I saw some of the Iranian protesters. Yowza, hot, very hot.

Big Mike said...

I don't much like the Prez, but he's in a fairly tough position.

As Bush the first discovered in Iraq, encouraging civilians opposed to regimes you'd like to see overthrown encourages them to rise up prematurely -- and get mown down. The cigarette smoker is in a tough place -- he has to say something but he also needs to convey that we are not going in to help the demonstrators.

We should have learned that lesson during 1956 in Hungary (Eisenhower) and learned it for sure during the Prague Spring (LBJ). But only Reagan ever managed to find the right tone (with Poland) and Obama is no Reagan.

Maybe if he said something to the effect that neither candidate was any good as far as the US is concerned, that might help. It's not likely to work but neither is anything else.

MadisonMan said...

Maybe if he said something to the effect that neither candidate was any good as far as the US is concerned, that might help. It's not likely to work but neither is anything else.

I believe he did say something very similar to that today. Bonus points because it's probably the truth.

Jim said...

To those who say we would "strengthen the regime's hand" by speaking out:

1) The regime has already claimed that Moussavi is a handmaiden of the Great Satan without us saying a word. So there goes that. What makes anyone here think that card hadn't already been played? Unless, of course, you're not actually aware of the events there and are just repeating what someone else told them to say.

2) The youth of Iran are actually very pro-American, and the majority of the population of Iraq is young - under 30-35 years old. The mullahs and their thugs are the ones who are anti-American, not the general populace. Iran is not "the Arab street" which is anti-American. To conflate the two is to display a profound ignorance of the region.

3) The leaders of Germany and France have already spoken out in support of the protesters, so Obama wouldn't even be breaking new ground or being a leader. He would merely be echoing the sentiments of two of our strongest allies. Or are Germany and France not our allies any more?

4) It's hard to know where to begin with the historical distortions about Reagan's actions vis a vis Iran, but suffice it to say that the world was a very different place when the USSR was looking to install puppet governments wherever possible. Those trying to denigrate his actions are either: a) completely ignorant of history (as Jeremy his displayed time after time, so no real surprise there), or b) are intentionally deceptive. It reminds of Paul Harvey's famous "....and now you know...the REST of the story..."

Bottom line: Obama is frozen like a deer in the headlights. He has no "first principles" to fall back on, so he doesn't know what he should do. So he does what he has always done, vote "present." Why wouldn't he? He managed to fool 53% of the voting public with a distinguished record of voting present time and time again. It's basic psychological theory: his coping strategy has succeeded for him thus far, so he has no incentive to change. The problem for the Iranian people who risk another Tianeman massacre is that any epiphany he may have at this point may come too late to save their lives.

Ralph L said...

when a country is under attack by a foreign power
You're equating a country with its small ruling class. I thought liberals didn't do that, or was that 150 years ago?

TmjUtah said...

A bluff works only two ways:

1. The guy across the table folds without calling.

2. The guy across the table convinces himself you are bluffing and walks into your better hand.

Back in the day, the President of the United States came from a place that valued the individual liberty of citizens as the first priority of government duty, a nation of free men living together in a society of law and a community of morals, and the man (sorry, no ladies yet) would step out of his White House on any given day conscious of, and dutiful to, the responsibilities of his office.

Now we've got Obama.

Who thinks the Iranians/Chinese/Norks/Russians will fail to call when they feel their interests are best served?

Who thinks that Obama has the chops to stand up for freedom as a transformative force in society?

Sorry. I don't see it happening.

We've elected a caricature of the campus communist.

He'll fold on four aces, boys and girls, because if he was to win as President... it would mean that America would win.

And he's not about that. We are the guilty ones. Not the North Koreans. We are the ones full of shame and who need correction. Not the Sudanese Islamists who slaughter nomads and Christians year in and year out.

We are the guilty ones.


And the world is rapidly learning that not only is there no cop on the beat, but that the streetlights are out, too.

peter hoh said...

Reagan would not cower in fear of the bullies. Lebanon, anyone?

Jim said...

peter -

Staying in Lebanon would have required a full-out deployment of our Armed Forces. In the face of a Soviet government that was actively backing the other powers in the region, that would have put the world on the dangerous precipice of a nuclear war.

The dynamics in the region changed when the wall fell, but don't confuse today's situation in the Middle East with what the world looked like in 1983.

For all of the claims from the Left that Reagan was a "warmonger," he was no such thing. He had a clear vision of what it would take to defeat the Soviets: bankruptcy, not military defeat.

Staying in Lebanon in 1983 might have "felt good," but the end result surely wouldn't have. It was a tactical withdrawal, not a strategic one.

Ralph L said...

Who in the Reagan administration drove that him into Lebanon in 1982? I know the idiot McFarlane was involved, but he was not then the NSA.

elHombre said...

6:29 PM: It's "inconceivable, however, that he could be doing it for the right reasons."

Could you clarify that a bit?

Glad to. The right reason might be, for example, that it is prudent and sensible foreign policy designed to advance the interests of the US and its ally Israel.

Since Obama's foreign policy doesn't necessarily conform to that model, it is more likely that he couldn't get accurate political direction from polling. Or an advance read on the media response. Or perhaps he was just afraid and decided to vote "present."

Clear enough?

Jim said...

Ralph -

My recollection of the decision-making process on that isn't clear enough to be able to name which officials within the Reagan administration were specifically advocating it. However, Alexander Haig was Secretary of State during the precipitating event, the 1982 Lebanon War, so it's probably a safe bet that he was integral to any decision to commit US troops to the enterprise.

Jim said...

Part of the problem is that Obama "outsourced" foreign policy to Hillary Clinton so that he could focus on his real priority: domestic politics.

Hillary Clinton has never been a friend to Israel and famously got herself into deep trouble with American Jews over her appearance with Mrs. Arafat.

The problem with this situation is that Clinton herself has absolutely zero experience in foreign diplomacy, and she herself is trying to poll responses as she bides her time for another run at the presidency in 2012 or 2016. (If things aren't looking good for an Obama 2nd term by the end of 2010, look for a Clinton resignation...)

Neither of them have "first principles." They're both poll-driven politicians at their core, and they've surrounded themselves with people who are experts in domestic political warfare but little else. Sure, they've hired some "experts" in foreign affairs. But those aren't the people have their ear. They're window dressing, and little more.

The inmates are running the asylum and we expect sanity? Not any time soon....

peter hoh said...

Jim, I'll grant that in taking a nuanced, informed view of Lebanon in 1983, one needn't jump to the conclusion that Reagan gave in to the terrorists/bullies.

Obama's critics want to paint with a broad brush, in black and white. It is for them that I bring up Reagan's decision in 1983 in the least flattering, broadest terms.

bagoh20 said...

This was a missed opportunity: Both candidates in Iran suck to us, so we need not endorse one. Obama should have strongly articulated our desire for fair honest elections and our strong disapproval of violent repression.
-
No side taken, point made, the repressed given hope, leadership demonstrated.

Man, this shit is not hard. I mean my dead granddad is doing more for the situation, than the most powerful man in the world...he is that, isn't he?

Ralph L said...

from Wiki:
Finally, amid escalating violence and civilian casualties, Philip Habib was once again sent to restore order, which he accomplished on August 12 .... The Habib-negotiated truce called for the withdrawal of both Israeli and PLO elements, as well as a multinational force composed of U.S. Marines ....
Schultz became SoS on July 16, 1982. It sounds like Somalia and Bosnia: policy driven by TV cameras. Wiki makes it sound like our intervention helped the PLO escape a tight spot. Too bad.

John Lynch said...

I'm disgusted.

Take this for what it's worth, from a nobody on the internet, but this statement made me decide to be a (R) again.

A regime that shoots people in the street to retain power isn't on the same level as we are. Its government is not worthy of the respect due to legitimate democratic states.

Democracy is not just another form of government, it's a better one.

This quibbling of the President may have been understandable if Iran was a superpower aiming thousands of nukes at us, but it does not possess even one. And yet Obama acts as if we are negotiating with the USSR back in the Cold War, with annihilation behind every word.

Iran isn't a superpower. The government is a two bit dictatorship that runs sham elections and kills dissidents. Why the deference? It's almost like Obama WANTS them to be a real adversary so he can negotiate with them without it being ridiculous. We're a global empire, not a cowering neighbor.

President Bush said that he was outraged about the Burmese government in 2007. He did nothing to materially help those people, but he at least had the excuse that he couldn't do much more than raise the sanctions already in place. But at least he was outraged.

Obama... what the hell? You are the leader of what used to be called The Free World. What the hell is it now?

And in the simple calculus of realism, wouldn't a revolution in Iran be a good thing for us? The current government is an enemy. Shouldn't we hope for better? "Meddling" couldn't make it any worse, if people are honest about what the regime is about.

And what the hell is up with liberals who only notice a police state when the claws are bared? Wasn't it obvious before? When this happens in Cuba are the liberals finally going to notice what all the uniforms are for? Haven't you noticed that all of America's enemies are dictatorships that stomp on the faces of their people?

My year as a Democrat is over. Hell with this cowardice and timidity in the face not of strength, but of weakness. We're a moral leader in the world, and it's time we acted like it again. This is bullshit.

Jim said...

John -

Che Guevara is a hero on the Left, and he was in charge of Castro's infamous La Cabana Fortress prison - lining up dissidents against the wall to be shot in the head.

Leftists like Jeremy walk around wearing his face on their shirts...doesn't that tell you everything you need to know about what the Left in this country really stands for?

Jim said...

And yeah...the irony of Leftists claiming to be outraged (!!) about prisoner abuses like Abu Ghraib shouldn't be lost on any one either...

Bart DePalma said...

AlphaLiberal said...

So, you believe in democracy and want the world's sole superpower to dictate events in a country 7 thousand miles away?

If by "dictating events" you mean supporting Iranian democracy and thus the self determination of the Iranian people against tyranny, you bet I support it.

That is how America gained its republic and how America has in turn freed much of the world.

The question is why you and Mr. Obama are not willing to offer substantive support for democracy in Iran.

montana urban legend said...

I wasn't originally going to get involved in this. But one thing that's fascinating about the back-and-forth is a disregard for what political conditions (not legal conditions) are like in the country in question.

By the very admission of U.S. policy at the time, communism was bound to fail. So how did a speech by Reagan become the defining moment in the sequence of events that marked Soviet decline? Just because he was a good actor who took advantage of the events of the day?

(Reagan's speeches might have had some impact abroad, but let's not trump them up. Do you really think the effect they had on building up the American psyche wasn't greater than whatever effect they had abroad? Memory is apparently a very fickle and personal thing.)

Likewise, there is an internal Iranian dynamic at play. Some, even many, in Iran might identify with the U.S. and feel heartened by a more explicit or supportive response. But even assuming the establishment of an American style of government is a goal of the opposition, is the necessary support from the Iranian military or security forces even available? If not, why make statements in vain? Because it's more glorious to die for a cause that won't achieve anything?

Obama's right to dampen American expectations on what this Mousavi guy is capable of - despite how much excitement he might engender among Iranian youth for representing reform. Unless the whole system is brought down, then not much will change. Mousavi will be better than Ahmedinejad, but let's not get confused and assume that the regime would be in danger of collapse just because Mousavi becomes the president.

The only possible way the regime will be in danger of collapse is if we let this continue to play out while allowing momentum among the demonstrators to build - on its own. Until then, the balance that Obama conveys is crucial.

Big Mike said...

@John Lynch, welcome back.

I grew up not far from Chicago and as a young graduate student I voted for Carter back in 1976. After those two experiences I'll never be anything but a Republican the rest of my life.

Bob From Ohio said...

The best move would be to kill Mousavi. The Iranian regime would be blamed, and as pointed out here, he is not exactly Lech Walesa.

It would invoke chaos. That would be in our interest.

(Very risky if caught of course but maybe the Mossad has the ability to do it for us. The CIA certainly does not.)

El Presidente said...

I am sure that Obama has assets in place to foment and support this silent coup. Secure communications equipment is certainly being supplied to the counter-revolutionaries and assets are in place to search the Revolutionary Guard's headquarters in the brief window of chaos when the regime falls. The information gleaned will be used for strikes against Hamas and Hizb-Allah in Southern Lebanon and the Bequa Valley. Certainly aircraft carrier battle groups and special forces are headed toward the eastern Mediterranean.

Obama's strategy is to not be seen on one side or the other so that the Iranian establishment cannot point to U.S. interference to rally the mass of Iranians to their side.

Any leader worth his salt would follow the same course.

El Presidente said...

Bob from Ohio,

Very devious, but I can tell you from experience that wet work is not as easy as civilians believe. If Mousavi is killed it will be blamed on the Great and/or the Lesser Satan. So it is in the interest of the US and Israel to do all in their power to protect Mousavi.

Anthony said...

El PResidente -- Of course we will get blamed (or Israel). We do need to keep this guy alive, even though I am skeptical about his "moderate" and "reforming" credentials.

I agree with you the course should be silent help, but nothing than can be traced back to us (for example, make sure any communication device has Japanese parts).

Aaron said...

mmm, gonna say i am changing my mind. the iranian regime is in trouble, and I think we could push them over the edge.

Today they were caught using photoshop to make their pro-government protests look larger than they actually were. which means they couldn't even take advantage of rent-a-crowd--you couldn't pay enough people to make a big enough crowd.

And at the same time, a top cleric is denouncing the election as illigitimate. i am not convinced that mousavi would be an improvement, but revolutions have a way of taking a life of their own, so i think this might be the right time for a push.

and as for the fear that we will be seen as meddling, more and more, the mere fact that so many signs are in english tells you that they want the english speaking world's help. which mainly means us and Britian.

So i say while Obama's cautious reaction was defensible at the time, it is time to be more vocal. the election was crooked. the pro-government protests were crooked. we should stand up for democracy. we should maybe even say something really provocative, like why shouldn't iranians get the same freedom as their fellow shia enjoy in iraq.

It has been an assumption on the left that iran might control iraq because of the shia majority. now it is becoming clear that the shia in iraq might in fact influence iran more than they might be influenced.

Jim said...

"By the very admission of U.S. policy at the time, communism was bound to fail. "

That's easy to say now in hindsight, but it was the prevailing view among Leftists at the same time that it was capitalism that was doomed to fail and we should just go ahead and give in to communism.

They denounced Reagan as a warmonger and a fool for believing that the US could ever beat the USSR. And your dismissal of Reagan as just some "actor" is to show your ignorance of the era. He led this country when your Leftist friends said to lay down and die. They were wrong then. You are wrong now.

Anthony said...

Jim -- but there is a difference between the siutation in Reagan's day and the situation now. Namely, the history between the US and Iran works against us here. The history in the case of Eastern Europe was either neutral or worked in our favor.

Keep quiet is the watchword. The Iranian leadership is already claiming the US is meddeling in Iranian affairs.

JAL said...

AL rabbit-trails with the right wing whacko story line yesterday to divert from the concern of many over the concern of Barack Obama that people are left alone to elect their leadership in their own leadership's way.

But I looked at the link anyway. Not a nice story about a tragedy. But Note: MAD isn't formally affiliated with Jim Gilchrist's anti-immigration Minuteman Project, or with its off-shoot, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps (MCDC), both of which also conduct border patrols.

The connection of Forde to the original Minutemen (offhoot) is from 2006. Given she appears to be "out there," it would not surprise me if they un-representative-d her more than a few days ago.

But that would not fit AL's narrative. (She killed them so she could steal drug money from the drug runners so she could fund her work of starting a revolution against the federal government via the Aryan Nation recruits?)

Right up there with conservative values. /s

(Just a reading of the linked article. Illiterate regards.)

Meanwhile, some truly concerned people are letting the Iranian people know they care. The great "I" notwithstanding.