Patterico's Pontifications

6/14/2009

L.A. Times Coverage of Iranian Election: Predictably Pathetic

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 11:46 am

Compare and contrast L.A. Times coverage of the Iranian election with the information you can get on a blog like Hot Air. Here’s how the L.A. Times is covering the Iranian election this morning. In an article titled Iran election anger boils; Ahmadinejad defends results, we see a big picture of Dinnerjacket raising his hands in victory, a caption quoting him describing his “relection” (editors?) as “free and real” — and a description of him as “[v]igorous and assertive.”

It takes the paper until the 15th paragraph to let the reader know that the U.S. is skeptical:

In a television appearance today Vice President Joe Biden spoke skeptically about the election results.

“It sure looks like the way they’re suppressing speech, the way they’re suppressing crowds, the way in which people are being treated, that there’s some real doubt,” he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” when asked if Ahmadinejad had won the vote.

You want better coverage than that? Yes, you do. So go to the Internet. Start at Hot Air, where the headline is: Senior U.S. official: Yes, the Iranian election was rigged. The very first sentence tells us: “The White House is playing it cool lest U.S. support for Mousavi discredit his supporters but U.S. analysts have little doubt. The fix is indeed in.” Further down we are told: “No one but no one is taking the election numbers seriously, which makes this a full-blown legitimacy crisis for a regime that’s never been very legitimate to begin with.”

DRJ also had an excellent post on the crisis last night, noting: “Text messaging, cell phones, universities, websites, and newspapers have been shut down, and the streets of Tehran have erupted in violence.” Sounds like a normal election to me. “Free and fair” indeed.

Mousavi’s Twitter feed is here. By checking Allahpundit’s friends feed one is able to discover a number of other valuable Twitter feeds with insight, including Yashar Khazdouzian, IranRiggedElect, TehranBureau, Jim Sciutto of ABC, Alireza, Iran Election 2009, Raymond Jahan, and Change_for_Iran. (You doubted the power of Twitter? You saw it as an escape from knowledge — a medium where people talk about what they’re having for lunch? Great. Get left behind while the rest of us use it.)

Meanwhile, we have this:

According to our private phone conversations with people in Tehran, hundreds of parents have gathered by a police station in Yousef Abad, now known as Seyyed Jamal Aldin Asad Abadi, with their hands raised to the sky saying “Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children.” They were gathering there because their kids are missing and they were trying to find out where they are.

The Iranian people are some of the most pro-U.S. people on the face of the planet. They marched in support of the American people after 9/11, in marked contrast to the celebrations in the Arab world. And now they’re forced to put their hopes in a clown like Obama, who has pledged to meet with Dinnerjacket without preconditions. Will that promise still hold in the face of an election that — despite the L.A. Times‘s lack of clarity on the point — is a clear-cut case of fraud?

Why do I think the answer may be yes?

UPDATE: How could I forget Michael Totten?

Meanwhile, the people in Iran are calling for people to bring down Khamanei’s web site by linking a page that automatically reboots it every second. They claim victory in having brought down Dinnerjacket’s web site. The Iranian authorities themsleves shut down communications infrastructure in Iran to interfere with the elections . . . It’s a valid question to ask: why should they be treated any differently?

UPDATE x2: At the very least, for journalistic reasons, I plan to check in frequently at Ahmadinejad’s and Khamanei’s web sites, to see if this scheme is working.

Very frequently. Because of the journalism. (P.S. I am removing handwringing language from the post about whether DNS attacks are legal. What the Iranian government is doing isn’t legal.)

UPDATE x3: Lots of good stuff at the Huffington Post, here. Yes, it’s the Huffington Post — but it’s very good and being updated constantly.

UPDATE x4: More from Hot Air here. Dinnerjacket is refusing to guarantee Mousavi’s safety. He must feel very confident that Obama lacks the guts to do anything even if he assassinates the opposition.

And a photo from the protests, which looks to me like it has the potential to become iconic:

And the latest: a Twitter report that there are tanks in the streets of Tehran.

UPDATE x5: nk asks in comments: what are the links for Dinnerjacket’s and Khamanei’s sites? They are here: Khamanei and Dinnerjacket. Khamanei’s site still appears to be up, despite the entreaties (linked above) to take them down.

A good place to follow the Twitter updates on the election without having to sign up for a Twitter account: go to Twitterfall and click on #iranelection at the left. You’ll get a scrolling of Twitter updates relating to the election.

UPDATE x6: I just sent $50 to TehranBureau.com. I encourage others to do the same.

UPDATE x7: If you can’t access the Tehran Bureau web site to make a donation, you can PayPal the money to this e-mail address.

79 Responses to “L.A. Times Coverage of Iranian Election: Predictably Pathetic”

  1. We have been told time after time that the “youth” of Iran were disgusted with the leadership of their country, and that political change was “just on the horizon” if only those in the West would encourage that change.
    I don’t see how we will have increased encouragement from the current administration, or from those in the EU, in the present environement; and, that the “horizon” is ephemeral lacking the West’s determination to take hard actions to put the squeeze on the Iranian Government.

    AD - RtR/OS! (914de9)

  2. Amazing story, Patterico. Who knew that the LA TIMES would delivered a skewed presentation of facts (sickly grin)?

    The story coming out of Hot Air and Totten and the rest doesn’t fit Teh Narrative. And Teh Narrative is everything.

    Pretty soon, folks will just organize bricks to protest, to be seen from orbit. If kids can do it with obscenities, why not “speaking truth to power”?

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  3. A comment on Michael Ledeen’s blog post:

    I’m following the “tweets” from Iran. Fascinating. As of a few hours ago the tenor seems to be changing as the regime seems to be taking an even harder stand. One tweeter writes that students are now being rounded up by the hundreds; another writes that the police are increasingly beating people up; and another writes that police are speaking in Arabic and suggests that these police have been imported from Lebanon.

    This may not be the end. Ledeen also gives Obama credit for the uprising as he says that the Iranians know they can expect no help from him and they are on their own. No George Bush will save them.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  4. Our esteemed host wrote:

    a caption quoting him describing his “relection” (editors?) as “free and real

    Actually, if you pronounce it with the first “e” long, it almost sounds as though the editors coined a snarky word to express their skepticism. That assumes, of course, that the editors are capable of thinking that far into the future.

    The twisted linguist Dana (474dfc)

  5. Also, both the NYT and Bloomberg carry reports that the Obama administration is still focused on engagement with a regime that is either blatantly flipping the world the bird (at best) or has been the subject of a coup by Ahmadinejad and the RG.

    On Twitter, David Gregory said that he thinks the White House will ramp up its opposition as protests escalate. It’s not clear why he wrote that, based on Joey’s clueless MTP appearance this morning. But even if true, the damage has been done. The first signal sent by the Obama administration was not even rhetorical support for courageous Iranians, but appeasement.

    At the margin, this sham election — and Obama’s nonchalance toward it — will push the rest of the Mideast closer to a nuclear arms race.

    Karl (ade276)

  6. No surprise at all.

    Patrick, if you havent seen the scathingly hilarious bit on the Daily Show last week when they did a piece from inside the New York Times you should try to find it. Like the LA Times, it’s a dying tomb. A big mistake letting the comics inside for some spoofing, too. The way they kicked the ‘grey old lady’ around was hilarious. And several of the Times staff didn’t fully realize they were being lampooned with every word and gesture.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  7. So the Iranian people are clamoring for help to get an election RIGHT and we are worried about encouraging a DNS attack?

    Profiles in courage.

    HeavenSent (1e97ff)

  8. Perhaps after figuring out how to have an honest election, the Iranians can show us how it is done?

    AD - RtR/OS! (914de9)

  9. I’m curious to see our president’s response as thing move quickly these next few days in Iran. Good minds seem to think it will be a problem if he attempts to engage the Iranian government. But with, “Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children”, he may not be able to resist.

    The Obama administration is determined to press on with efforts to engage the Iranian government, senior officials said Saturday, despite misgivings about irregularities in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…

    “This is the worst result,” said Thomas R. Pickering, a former under secretary of state. “The U.S. will have to worry about being perceived as pandering to a president whose legitimacy is in question. It clearly makes the notion of providing incentives quite unappetizing.”

    From William Jacobson

    Obama must not send the same message to the people of Iran who are[as he did to the people of Venezuela when embracing Hugo Chavez] facing the tyranny of the ruling power structure, consisting of the ruling religious council and the Revolutionary Guards. The regime will portray the opposition as a puppet of the U.S. regardless of what we say or do, so we might as well say and do the right thing.

    Do not embrace Ahmadinejad and those who empower him. Do not sacrifice the chance of a lifetime for the Iranian people for short term political gain. No Chavez-style hugs to help rescue the Iranian regime.

    Voice unequivocal support for the Iranian people. Withhold recognition of the election without international verification. Getting “out of the way” is not enough; widespread international support could be the key to whether the nascent Iranian revolution goes the way of Poland, the Soviet Union, Ukraine and Georgia …. or goes the way of Venezuela.

    Be the leader of the Free World, not the Accomodator-in-Chief.

    Dana (aedf1d)

  10. It’s both upsetting and refreshing to see a public so angry about corruption in government and its politically connected cronies.

    And the stuff in Iran is interesting too.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  11. Here at San Diego airport, the LAT print edition carries a different Borzou Daragahi dispatch. LAT above-the-fold front page (June 14, 2009):

    “Iranians Riot Over Vote Count”

    Accompanying large photo of street rioting and burning vehicles and three more b/w photos inside. Sidebar election story: Vote Results Put Kink in Obama’s Plan.”

    steve (9b430c)

  12. I don’t think Obama will show support for the student uprising in the early going, when it matters, because his goal isn’t democracy for Iran. His goal is finding someone to successfully negotiate with. He supported Mousavi but he’ll settle for Ahmadenijad if he’s the man in power. This is about Obama leading the world to peace. It’s not about democracy for anyone, least of all the Iranians.

    DRJ (180b67)

  13. So the Iranian people are clamoring for help to get an election RIGHT and we are worried about encouraging a DNS attack?

    You know, if I thought it would really mean anything, I’d probably actively encourage it. As it is, I’m more interested in trying to see how we can get funding to the people who need it to get the message out.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  14. I have an advice for all my Iranian friends, first the Clerics……

    HeavenSent (1e97ff)

  15. his goal isn’t democracy for Iran

    So blasphemous, so spot-on.

    Dana (aedf1d)

  16. steve,

    It looks like both the L.A. Times and the Obama Administration had trouble getting the story right the first time. The Times has no excuse — they have a deadline to meet but the facts were out there online and at the AP. But the Obama Administration was also caught unawares, and I want to know if it was because of bad intelligence or bad judgment.

    DRJ (180b67)

  17. And for those who think that even speaking out somehow helps Ahmadinejad blame the US, keep in mind that he (or Khameni, etc.) will blame the Great Satan at some point, regardless of what the US says or does.

    Karl (ade276)

  18. However, I am removing the original handwringing language from the post about whether DNS attacks are legal. What the Iranian government is doing isn’t legal.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  19. Read the London Time story I linked to below. How can the US press be ignoring this?

    http://lacowboy.blogspot.com/2009/06/why-isn.html

    Brady Westwater (72f6df)

  20. “…bad intelligence or bad judgment.”
    Comment by DRJ — 6/14/2009 @ 12:45 pm

    A distinction without a difference?

    AD - RtR/OS! (914de9)

  21. What are the URLs for Khameini’s and Ahmadinejad’s sites?

    nk (c67cf5)

  22. A review of American involvement in the 1953 coup in Iran and the devisive seeds sewn by that intervention will keep direct American involvement in this new ‘revolution’ to a minimum. President Obama will find a channel for some kind of communication with Iran, which is better than none at all. Per JFK, America will not negotiate out of fear and will not fear to negotiate.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  23. AD,

    I think it does matter whether this is an issue of intelligence or judgment. If this resulted from bad intelligence, that’s a CIA problem and the Administration must address that. But if the Administration had good intelligence about the Iranian election and rolled the dice on Mousavi anyway, that raises questions about Obama and his Administration’s decision-making.

    DRJ (180b67)

  24. But DRJ,

    If the administration relied on bad intel, aren’t they still responsible for believing the CIA (who lies to them all the time according to Pelosi)? Or maybe they pushed the CIA into presenting bad intelligence to get the results they wanted. Those are the two memes about “Bush lied”, aren’t they? Sauce for the goose and all that.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  25. The newspaper is just being constistent. They glossed over the stolen election in our own country in 2000.

    Larry Reilly (45e7a4)

  26. The overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 fits the left’s “blame America” theme quite well but there are a few flaws. First, Mossadegh wasn’t “elected.” He was appointed by the Shah and then he staged a coup against his head of government. Of course, the Shah doesn’t deserve any sympathy because he was pro-American. Nationalizing oil companies is popular on the left.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  27. Patterico, Are you saying that the LA Times doesn’t want us to figure out that Obama’s Cairo speech means nothing????

    Alta Bob (9f2c33)

  28. Stashiu,

    Presidents need good intelligence to make good foreign policy decisions but intelligence organizations are rarely able to gather complete and accurate intelligence. Furthermore, good intelligence doesn’t guarantee good decisions. But if there has been an intelligence failure regarding the Iranian election, the President should work to make sure it’s corrected. I hope George W. Bush worked to correct the intelligence failures of his Administration. I also hope Barack Obama will do the same, but I’m not convinced this was an intelligence failure.

    I think Obama encouraged the Iranians to switch Presidents to facilitate further dialogues with his Administration. From a pragmatic foreign policy perspective, it was a worthwhile risk that Obama turned into a mistake because he was not prepared to respond to a different result. From an idealistic perspective, Obama sent messages that helped put young Iranian protesters at risk.

    DRJ (180b67)

  29. Of course I was just snarking at the BDS-afflicted who just can’t quit him. You’re correct about the limitations of intel. I’m not convinced that Iraq was an “intelligence failure” since every major intel service in the world believed that Saddam still had WMD (and were proven correct as EW1(SG) has pointed out here several times). Also, in the case of the Iranian elections, wouldn’t it be more of a State Department assessment than an intel function?

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  30. I generally agree. I think the intelligence failures of the Bush Administration were in not knowing and/or being able to prove where the WMDs went, but I believe there were WMDs in Iraq. I also suspect they had a pretty good idea of where the WMDs went but did not want to publicly identify where they ended up. On the other hand, maybe I read too much Tom Clancy.

    I also agree there is overlap between State and the U.S. intelligence gathering agencies, but IMO State would play a secondary role. It’s good for the State Department employees to gather public information about the countries in which they work and to make that information available for analysis. It can be dangerous to diplomacy and the employees to make them HUMINTs.

    DRJ (180b67)

  31. Of course, Dinnerjacket has no fear that anything substantive will be done by the Empty Suit.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  32. See my updates 6 and 7. I just sent $50 to TehranBureau.com. I encourage others to do the same. If you can’t access the Tehran Bureau web site to make a donation, you can PayPal the money to this e-mail address.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  33. I don’t think we have a State Department presence in Iran, but they would do the political assessment I believe.

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  34. Khamenei’s site now says “Service Unavailable”, and Ahmadinejad’s “Server Busy, Please Try Again Later”.

    nk (c67cf5)

  35. I really am curious, though, about the theory that this was a palace coup. That Ahmadinejad will supplant the Ayatollahs and they will now be the figureheads/rubber stamps.

    nk (c67cf5)

  36. Like whoever said, “How many canons does the Pope have?”, and another, “All power flows from the muzzle of a gun!”

    nk (c67cf5)

  37. Duh. You’re right, of course, there is no State Department presence in Iran. I should have said State Department employees in neighboring countries.

    In addition, I assumed the intelligence gathering protocol was to channel everything through the National Security Advisor but you are probably right that much of his political intelligence comes from the State Department. Still, I like to think it comes from other sources, too.

    DRJ (180b67)

  38. No priest-ridden society ever flourishes — or survives for long against outside pressure. In the larger scheme of things, marginalizing the Ayatollahs, even with Ahmadinejad as the alternative, may be the best possible thing that could happen to the Iranian people at this time.

    nk (c67cf5)

  39. nk, I think it was “How many divisions does the Pope have?” Stalin.

    The latter was Mao.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  40. I believe Stalin said, “How many divisions…”
    Your point number 37 is well taken though.

    I believe it was also Stalin that said, and this too may not be an exact quote, “It does not matter who votes, it only matters who counts.”

    Paul Albers (db7e67)

  41. Thank you, SPQR, #40, I confused it with Napoleon’s “God is on the side with the biggest artillery”.

    nk (c67cf5)

  42. Still, I like to think it comes from other sources, too.
    Comment by DRJ — 6/14/2009 @ 2:26 pm

    Want to give odds on “Divine Revelation”? ;)

    Stashiu3 (ed6467)

  43. The Pope and Divine Revelation .. and two separate discussions become one.

    DRJ (180b67)

  44. I believe it was also Stalin that said, and this too may not be an exact quote, “It does not matter who votes, it only matters who counts.”

    Comment by Paul Albers — 6/14/2009 @ 2:33 pm

    Stalin was a smart and practical man. And he loved his daughter, even while he hated his sons. I’ve always kind of liked something about him. ;)

    nk (c67cf5)

  45. I doubt that the mullahs have had a coup led against them… they control too many people for that to succeed.
    If I am wrong then who is the wizard behind Ahmadinejad? The military?
    If so I would expect some group of generals to become more prominent… generals who lead coups tend to have big egos. They need parades, marches, showing of power.

    On the failure of intelligence, I think that generally the polling showed that there was a dead heat and that there would be a run off. The failure there was with an Obama administration projecting an American overview onto an Iranian election.
    Shockingly, the election was stolen.
    Did no one tell the administration that the election might be be stolen before the runoff?
    Or was that idea ignored?

    This is about consolidation of power amongst the people behind the throne.
    They know Obama is weak and there is no need to appease the urbane Teherani.
    This is a move towards a harder line and there is nothing to lose.

    The basij remind me of Noriega’s dignity battallions and we will see if they flood into the urban centers to close down dissent

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  46. If I am wrong then who is the wizard behind Ahmadinejad? The military?

    Nope. Ahmadinejad, himself. And his revolutionary guards of which he is a founder. And the militias, who are still young enough to hold a gun, and may feel more loyalty to someone like Ahmadinejad, who can still hold a gun, instead of the senile Ayatollahs.

    But I’m just guessing.

    nk (c67cf5)

  47. I’m also doubtful about a coup unless the mullahs are willing to take on Khamenei. Ahmadinejad’s initial support came from the Revolutionary Guard, the young and the poor because he promised to help revive the deteriorating economy. But he’s proven his value to Khamenei in the past 4 years and Khamenei seems willing to help Ahmadinehad stay.

    The failure there was with an Obama administration projecting an American overview onto an Iranian election.
    Shockingly, the election was stolen.
    Did no one tell the administration that the election might be be stolen before the runoff?
    Or was that idea ignored?

    Agreed.

    DRJ (180b67)

  48. By the way, that’s a stunning photo in Update 4. It’s sadly reminiscent of Tiananmen.

    DRJ (180b67)

  49. There are too many competing centers in our Intel field, each it seems with their own agenda, which may or may not be one that is supportive of the country they serve.
    It is the responsibility of the DNI to sort out the various views and to present to the President a consensus of what is the most believable position on issues before the country.
    Anyone who relies on polling within a totalitarian country for what is going to happen there is fooling themselves. And then, to project our experiences and expectations onto a situation within that milieu with such faulty intel as you would receive from said polling, begs the question:
    Are there any grown-ups in charge?
    But then, it’s always been about our LiC, hasn’t it?

    AD - RtR/OS! (914de9)

  50. I have no idea what the Iranian President’s true power is at the moment – there have been a number of both rumored and confirmed attempted assassinations over the past few years, and no one’s come forward to claim responsibilty for them:

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/Story?id=1425926&page=1

    http://www.stratfor.com/iran_assassination_confusion_or_disinformation

    Dmac (f7884d)

  51. [...] 14, 2009 · No Comments Click here to read Patterico’s excellent article. He details how to analyze the LA Times coverage, find [...]

    Get better coverage of Iran events « Katia the Conservative Dachshund (bd1ac8)

  52. I generally agree. I think the intelligence failures of the Bush Administration were in not knowing and/or being able to prove where the WMDs went,

    I disagree. I think the failure was to adopt WMD as the reason for invading. That was a sop to Blair who wanted to go to the UN one more time. Cheney opposed going back to the UN and, as usual, was correct.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  53. “Text messaging, cell phones, universities, websites, and newspapers have been shut down…”

    Don’t forget, Obama wants a new Cybersecurity bill would grant the President unprecedented power to shut down the internet in case of emergencies (like elections?)

    BK (eaf7ae)

  54. Compare and contrast L.A. Times coverage of the Iranian election with the information you can get on a blog like Hot Air

    In this case, it’s hard to know exactly what’s influencing the paper’s coverage. Ideology or basic ineptitude? Or both?

    The LA Times, of course, is dominated by liberal reporters and editors. But why even they would unconsciously feel the need to soft pedal the dishonesty and diabolical nature of Ahmadinejad is puzzling to me. Then again, I’m assuming such people in the MSM do not believe a lack of love-and-roses sentiment towards Iran’s leadership — whichever way the country’s electorate votes — will somehow go against Obama’s do-gooder foreign policy goals. Meaning that if Obama can’t hold hands with Ahmadinejad in good conscience, and the left (such as at the LA Times) knows Obama loves hand holding, then that will cause some of those liberals (such as at the Times) to feel skittish and uncomfortable.

    However, I’ve re-read the newspaper’s report on the Iranian elections and its coverage seems ambiguous or innocuous enough that even I can’t be so cynical towards the LA Times political mindset to believe its reporters in Iran and editors in LA are somewhat sympathetic of Ahmadinejad. Then again, equally or more idiotic things have been known to emanate from the left.

    Mark (411533)

  55. I think the failure was to adopt WMD as the reason for invading.

    I recall the UN recognizing several reasons for the invasion but even if what you say is true, that would be a political failure. I was talking about intelligence failures.

    DRJ (180b67)

  56. It may be temporary but Khamanei’s site is down now, too.

    DRJ (180b67)

  57. DRJ – From my recollection, many of the Leftists in the stroll-up to war were complaining not about WMD’s, but that there were too many reasons proferred, as there seemed to be a new reason or rationale trotted out every week. I recall one troll complaining that something was the 23rd attempt to justify the war. The question of WMD’s was not really a qurstion until after the fact, by use of a retrospectoscope. It has only been since the war that the Left started the meme that WMD’s were THE reason as opposed to A reason. And I fully agree with you that the real question should be where they went, not if they existed, unless we are to assume that almost every intelligence organization on God’s green earth was in agreement with our assessment, as were Bill Clinton, Hillary, Kerry, and all of the Dems that supported the idea of regime change when it became our government’s policy in 1998 under Clinton. A quick look back shows their abject and naked partisanship and their desire to score political points at the expense of national security, a recurring theme.

    JD (7165d5)

  58. The LA Times pathetic coverage must be especially infuriating to the significant Iranian community in the LA area.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  59. Patterico, I agree that the photo may very well become iconic. In one frame, a powerful expression of hope and courage and insurrection has been captured.

    (Bonus points that it’s a woman defiantly raising her fist…like an extra in-your-face to the ruling clerics, mullahs, and the crazy one himself. This is a photo I suspect many there do not want the world to see.)

    Dana (aedf1d)

  60. How ironic that the lefty LAT gives a pass to a tyrant because it fits their agenda; isn’t that one of the Top 10 Reasons the Left Hates America, that we support tyrants for convenience sake?

    Shame on them.

    Ledeen also gives Obama credit for the uprising as he says that the Iranians know they can expect no help from him and they are on their own.

    And then watch the bastard take credit for it, should democracy win.

    Patricia (2183bb)

  61. Do Iranians know Obama won’t help?

    According to our private phone conversations with people in Tehran, hundreds of parents have gathered by a police station in Yousef Abad, now known as Seyyed Jamal Aldin Asad Abadi, with their hands raised to the sky saying “Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children.

    People all over the world look to America for help in times of crisis because that’s what Americans do.

    DRJ (180b67)

  62. Well at least that Iranian woman has the right to wear her hijab ‘voluntarily’ and not be discriminated against by the government.

    eaglewingz08 (aa2cbb)

  63. Obama will do nothing.

    To send aid to the students and civilians who had the election literally stolen, and who are being arrested, beaten, and killed would require a decision, and more than mere words.

    He will do nothing, and the modern heirs to the spirit that caused the original Thirteen Colonies to rise up against the British Crown will continue to be slaughtered.

    And if what I predict comes to pass, I will finally, actually, and utterly hate my President.

    I never thought that day would come.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  64. Teh One will not do nothing, Scott. I am sure he and TOTUS will read a speech.

    JD (7165d5)

  65. As I said. He will do nothing.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  66. That’s unfair, he’s calling the violence in Iran a “healthy debate”.

    Which of course better explains his acceptance of election fraud / ACORN, does it not?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  67. “Strong words” and “increased sanctions” are nothing. They will not save lives, and they will not change what Iran has done.

    Reagan would have some of the Marine Expeditionary Force Already on their way to do something about this. Bush Sr would have gotten the UN to send forces. Jr would have… Well, I dunno what he would have done, but I do know for a fact that what Obama will do will amount to jack and shit.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  68. Reagan would have some of the Marine Expeditionary Force Already on their way to do something about this.

    To do what, precisely? There was no serious retaliation for the ’83 Beirut bombing from the Americans beside a few shellings.

    Tougher economic sanctions and further restrictions on Iranian trade and finance are plausible (if insufficient) options.

    steve (60452b)

  69. Oooooooooh nooooooooo ! Not more sanctions ! Anything but sanctions ! They have worked out so well so far.

    JD (d3f3ab)

  70. The results of the Iranian election led me to pick up and reread parts of former President Carter’s memoir, Keeping Faith. Not the whole book, mind you — I read it 27 years ago, when it was published — but the sections on his Administration’s dealings with Iran.

    It’s very instructive to read how helpless a president without cojones felt. I noted, in the margin on page 506 — yes, I’m obsessive-compulsive, and take notes in the margins of books — that President Carter finally decided to take military action against Iran 5 months and 1 week after the hostages had been seized, and even that taking of action was an attempt to rescue the hostages with a minimum of force and bloodshed. And when that action failed, President Carter again “sent their leaders reminders of my long-standing threats.” (page 526)

    One of us wonders just how seriously the Iranians took Mr Carter’s threats. My guess is that they just laughed at him, and continued to play him for the fool.

    There is a lesson in that book for President Obama, if he’ll read the damned thing.

    The historian Dana (474dfc)

  71. Mr Jacobs wrote:

    And if what I predict comes to pass, I will finally, actually, and utterly hate my President.

    Hate, or just have no respect for?

    The inquiring Dana (474dfc)

  72. I’m seeing it reported that Dinnerjacket is claiming now to be a descendant of Mohammad.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for the usual suspects to make fun of Dinnerjacket’s looney religiousity like they made fun of George W. Bush based on misrepresenations of his comments about God.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  73. [...] Patterico has suggested that this photo might become iconic, like the famous photo of the brave Chinese protestor facing down a tank in Tianamin Square. Me, I don’t know: maybe the election was stolen and maybe it wasn’t, but there are riots in Iran over the announced results and the widespread perception that it was stolen. [...]

    Common Sense Political Thought » Blog Archive » The Iranian election (73d96f)

  74. Comment by The inquiring Dana — 6/14/2009 @ 7:10 pm

    I would actually hate him.

    If he sits back and does nothing but read speeches while students and protesters are arrested, beaten, and murdered, then he will have earned my hate.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  75. There is a lesson in that book for President Obama, if he’ll read the damned thing.

    Having a Neville Chamberlain-ish (or Jimmy Carter-ish) character in the White House right now doesn’t make me feel too confident, particularly when Iran’s president, and his forcing himself upon his people, makes me think of a nut like Hitler, who also forced himself upon his people—if I’m not mistaken, the German public actually never once gave der Furher a majority of their vote.

    What a tragedy if all the Iranians who don’t want a fanatic as their leader will nonetheless become ensnared in his fanaticism.

    New York Times, June 14:

    Commenting on the Obama administration’s conciliatory overtures, [Ahmadinejad] also suggested that his willingness to reconcile with foreign governments would depend on their willingness to swallow his disputed election.

    Asked about speculation that in his second term he would take a more moderate line, he smirked, “It’s not true. I’m going to be more and more solid.”

    He can afford to be. With the backing of the supreme leader and the military establishment, he has marginalized all of the major figures who represented a challenge to the vision of Iran as a permanently revolutionary Islamic state.

    The elite Revolutionary Guards and a good part of the intelligence services “feel very much threatened by the [anti-Ahmadinejad] movement,” said a political analyst who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution. “They feel that the reformists will open up to the West and be lenient on the nuclear issue,” he said. “It is a confrontation of two ways of thinking, the revolutionary and the internationalist. It is a question of power.”

    Mark (411533)

  76. The Republicans need to take the lead on this, if Barry won’t. Unless O promises that he’s doing something covertly to help, the Senate and House should rise up and support these people!

    Let freedom ring!

    Patricia (2183bb)

  77. “There was no serious retaliation for the ‘83 Beirut bombing from the Americans beside a few shellings.”

    The ONLY president that we’ve had that made kicking terrorist ass a top priority is Bush II…one of our better presidents, though not a great one (way too liberal).

    Reagan was in a different situation, but when all is said and done, there’s no comparison between him and Bush II when it comes to dealing with terrorist attacks on America and Americans…Bush has by far the better record.

    Dave Surls (e38a04)

  78. Has Jimmy Carter endorsed the Iranian Election results yet? Count on Jimmuh to show up to give aid-and-comfort to the ruling thugocracy (Sandinistas, PLO, Mugabe).

    He must feel very confident that Obama lacks the guts…

    Ahmendinejad knows it’s a sucker’s bet.

    The Republicans need to take the lead on this, if Barry won’t.

    The Chicago gang would enforce the Logan Act where the Bush administration never would.

    furious (a74982)


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