Patterico's Pontifications

6/17/2009

Meddling in Iran

Filed under: International,Obama — DRJ @ 11:54 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Hundreds of thousands of Iranians have demonstrated for days in response to Iran’s June 12 election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The election has been tainted by allegations of massive fraud. In response, German Chancellor Merkel immediately expressed concerns, French President Sarkozy denounced the election results, and today the Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs agreed.

In contrast, Barack Obama has carefully avoided any appearance of taking sides because he did not want to be seen as “meddling.” He also said:

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

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

What did Obama’s neutral diplomacy gain America? Nothing:

“Iran accused the United States on Wednesday of “intolerable” meddling in its internal affairs, alleging for the first time that Washington has fueled a bitter postelection dispute. Opposition supporters marched in Tehran’s streets for a third straight day to protest the outcome of the balloting.

The Iranian government summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in Iran, to complain about American interference, state-run Press TV reported.

The English-language channel quoted the government as calling Western interference “intolerable.”

Yesterday Monday the State Department did ask Twitter to delay a planned upgrade to avoid disrupting Iranian communications and Twitter complied. Anticipating the U.S. might be criticized for that effort, “State Department spokesman Ian Kelly strongly rejected that contacts to Twitter amounted to meddling in Iranian internal affairs.”

— DRJ

101 Responses to “Meddling in Iran”

  1. A correction from someone who has been reading #iranelection obsessively: the twitter upgrade was originally planned for Monday night at 9pm PDT. It was rescheduled for yesterday afternoon, 2pm PDT (a much less intrusive time in Iran). The upgrade proceeded on the new schedule; twitter was down for about an hour at 2pm yesterday.

    [I corrected the post, aphrael, and thank you very much. — DRJ]

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  2. But, but, but … Teh One’s historic reading from TOTUS in Cairo opened the door to this revolution, but once they started, any words of support from thos whose words proved to be the genesis of their revolution would then be the down fall of their revolution. Should their revolution succeed, it is clear that they will be no better than the prior people that we wanted to talk to without any preconditions. I am dizzy.

    JD (df39e3)

  3. Just wait … They are trying to land.

    JD (df39e3)

  4. So now we’ve reached sub – Carterian levels of humiliation on the world stage; when France and Germany take the lead on speaking for the oppressed victims of a brutal regime while the US stands mutely nearby, there are no limits to the bottom of this barrel.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  5. You’re welcome, DRJ.

    Credit where credit is due: According to this report, the guy at State who made the call wrt Twitter was a Rice appointee.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  6. What did Obama’s neutral diplomacy gain America? Nothing

    Public statements from a besieged caliphate, whose power and authority is in doubt, can bear no resemblance to back channel exchanges.

    I’d hold off on the glee.

    steve (628a2c)

  7. Steve – Glee is a bit disingenuous, no?

    JD (df39e3)

  8. So if Steve is correct, Canada, France and Germany are completely full of BS, and are not privy to any clandenstine negotiations and/or information that may or may not be going on presently. Think this through with me, Steve – you sound like a mongoloid.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  9. I wonder is Steve has ever heard of a little organization called NATO – doesn’t sound like he’s aware of it’s existence.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  10. You really expected Obama to take a stand??? Who do you think he’s facing? Bob Dole?

    PCD (02f8c1)

  11. steve,

    Gleeful? I’m depressed. Diplomacy is fascinating and I hate seeing it misused this way.

    DRJ (180b67)

  12. But hey at least he’s not Bush!
    And his African-American!
    And he is a n’Nice Guy” /sarc
    and he is learning on the job….yeeeeesh

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  13. Public statements from a besieged caliphate, whose power and authority is in doubt, can bear no resemblance to back channel exchanges.

    Ok, that’s almost funny. Just what kind of back channel exchanges is Obama engaging in with the Iranians, government and protesters both? Is he the meat in the sandwich?

    nk (e186cd)

  14. Patterico has been unreachable all day. If Patrick needs some dough for server support, let us know. Right now I’m following Michael Totten. More importantly, I’m devouring Amir Taheri’s book Persian Night which is terrific. Among other things, he points out the huge differences between Shia and Sunni and the fact that Khomeini’s regime violated basic principles of Islam and even Shia Islam. Many of the senior clerics and leaders, like Rafsanjani who was a small businessman until 1979, then suddenly became a cleric and is now the richest man in Iran, are deeply corrupt. Many senior clerics have no scholarly background and have gotten rich through corruption. I suspect a lot of this is driving the revolt.

    MIke K (90939b)

  15. So now our leaders should take their cues from foreigners?

    You “conservatives” are hard to keep up with.

    poon (bc36de)

  16. Gad. Even France made a stand. It doesn’t get much more humiliating than that.

    Dana (aedf1d)

  17. To follow up MikeK..
    This is the first I’ve been able to log on since before Noon.

    AD - RtR/OS! (65f6c2)

  18. In contrast, Barack Obama has carefully avoided any appearance of taking sides because he did not want to be seen as “meddling.”

    Actually, I wish he’d start using that tactic for everything, from foreign to domestic policy. Better he just dissolve into the background until someone competent and sensible shows up to run things.

    Mark (411533)

  19. Note on the server:

    The server apparently went down in mid-afternoon and unfortunately it stayed down for 2-4 hours because I was at work and couldn’t fix it. I’m sorry it took me so long to get it back online.

    DRJ (180b67)

  20. It is sad when France shows more spine, and more respect for liberty and democracy than the POTUS. Apparently, TOTUS must be being repaired after overuse.

    JD (dab43d)

  21. DRJ – Nothing to apologize for. Glad to see everything back up and running. Did the dirty little socialist destroy our country anymore while the site was down?

    JD (dab43d)

  22. I see. You guys want Obama to publicly go ahead and incite the masses in Iran and tell them to topple their regime, right? That would be the “ballsy” thing to do, I gather. Unbelievable you don’t fathom that anything Obama says will be used by the current Iranian regime against the US and multiplied a thousand times by their propaganda machine.

    oderfla (22a589)

  23. They are already doing so, oderfla. Good Allah, you trolls are dense. When Germany and France are standing up for the concepts of freedom and democracy better than the US, it is sad.

    JD (dab43d)

  24. “Iran accused the United States on Wednesday of “intolerable” meddling in its internal affairs, alleging for the first time that Washington has fueled a bitter postelection dispute. Opposition supporters marched in Tehran’s streets for a third straight day to protest the outcome of the balloting.

    The Iranian government summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in Iran, to complain about American interference, state-run Press TV reported.

    The English-language channel quoted the government as calling Western interference “intolerable.”

    Good Allah. Do you trolls even read the posts before you start babbling ?

    JD (dab43d)

  25. I read all that, of course. The fact is that Iran’s regime beef is with the US, not with Germany or France, so whatever Obama says needs to be said with great care. Saying bluntly that we there was fraud in the election (or even that we suspect so) and that we are willing help Iran’s people in their democratic endeavors will be used against the US and will be an excuse for a harder crackdown on the people who are marching.

    oderfla (22a589)

  26. Is anything at all the Iranians do their own fault? Their own choice?

    I’m sure you will say “yes.” Yet at the same time, you want government officials here to stay silent in the face of some pretty barbaric actions.

    I’d feel differently if you also criticized the Iranians. But it sure looks like the only government you feel can be criticized is your own.

    Something to think about.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  27. You obviously did not read for comprehension, oderfla. Iran is accusing us, already, of doing that which Teh One has gone to great lengths to not do.

    JD (dab43d)

  28. It kind of reminds me of some prior debates about picking and choosing your words carefully, so as to not allow certain members of your audience to have an easy time intentionally misinterpreting what you said. Iran is accusing us of intolerable meddling despite Teh One doing nothing but saying he was concerned and troubled. It is like how some on the Left reflexively cry racist/sexist/homophobe/xenophobe/misogynist.

    JD (dab43d)

  29. That would be the “ballsy” thing to do, I gather.

    Judging by your meager posts today, you don’t appear to be able to gather much in the way of actual comprehension nor thought.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  30. @26: I am moved by what’s happening in Iran, I find it wonderful, and I believe Obama was a source of inspiration for the people over there. People in Iran are very motivated to elect a moderate to engage in talks with Obama, instead of useless saber rattling (if Bush or McCain were in power, probably Ahmadinejad would have been elected by a majority and we’d see no protest at all).

    My point is that Obama must not stoke the people of Iran and get an even bigger backlash from the current Iranian administration. Of course Obama knows the election was a fraud but he shouldn’t come out swinging at this point. Let the Iranians prove that there was fraud first.

    @27/28: I suspect Obama is letting Iran come up with bogus accusations of meddling because he knows the people of Iran (and the entire world) know the accusations of meddling are false. By accusing the US of that at this point the Iranian regime is only undermining itself (and only the truly ignorant – like Ahmadinejad voters – will believe their BS).

    @29: Ad hominem. Ignored.

    oderfla (22a589)

  31. JD, I get so tired of the “Great Satan” business. We don’t act like the “Great Satan,” but our progressive fellow citizens sure agree with how awful and horrific we are.

    Despite the fact that the folks making those accusations overseas are generally much closer to the “Great Satan” business than we are. Truly, are Holocaust deniers like Ahmadinejad the best critics and judges of the behavior of other nations? Really?

    So the best antidote when I read comments by posters who pretty much say that we need to have our foreign policy dictated by governments who jail gays, for example (even though we are thought barbaric here for not approving of gay marriage) is to read this:

    http://www.imao.us/docs/NukeTheMoon.htm

    If we are truly seen as so awful, I say we follow Frank J. prescription.

    My favorite line?

    “Now all that’s needed to keep peace is to come up with new and creative ways of looking insane and belligerent without actually harming anyone. Missile defense is probably a good step in that direction. Next time some country steps out of line, we launch a nuclear missile at them. Just seconds before it hits, we blow it up with our missile defense so that everyone there sees the huge explosion in the sky. Then the president would just call up their leader and say, “Hey, we lost sight of our SDI test. Did you see if it worked?”.”

    Funny stuff. And it make me feel better about the hair shirt that the Left seems to want everyone here to wear.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  32. So here we have oderfla exemplifying that which Apogee so rightly described. Teh One is given credit for the inspiration for the revolution. But he must not speak of the revolution, or the barbarians will use it as a cudgel to describe American intervention in their elections. Except, they are doing so regardless. Now, his super-duper powers are such that he suckered Iran into making false allegations so they would lose credibility. Is there any end to the amount of mental contortions you would make to give sole and complete credit to Teh One for everything?

    JD (dab43d)

  33. “…I believe Obama was a source of inspiration for the people over there…”

    Of course you do. The trouble is, folks overseas don’t share our bizarre political viewpoints.

    For example, most countries (and I don’t mean “less developed ones”) do not think that tentative nuanced thinking is synonymous with strength.

    I would suggest that we could poll the Iranians on the subject…but I’m afraid that free expression is even more restricted in Iran than on college campuses.

    By the way, you might join Bradley Fikes’ group. You are well on your way to becoming a “Brother” in his organization!

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  34. I believe Obama was the inspiration for the sun rising this morning. I believe Obama was the inspiration for the 78 I shot this afternoon. I believe Obama was the inspiration for the sushi chef that prepared me an out-of-this world dinner. I believe Obama was responsible every time Kyle Busch runs into a wall.

    JD (dab43d)

  35. Well, actually, JD…the fact that our President didn’t talk about the possibility of dawn was the leadership necessary to make dawn occur.

    Nuanced, muscular, intellectual leadership. With gleaming pecs.

    Eric Blair (5a226d)

  36. Action is non-action. Non-action is action. They need room to land.

    JD (dab43d)

  37. I see. We should just invade and deliver justice to that dictator, topple their regime and put another puppet Shah in place. Thanks. You changed my mind. Let’s bomb, bomb, bomb Iran. It might work, after all. The people will be on our side.

    Thanks for all the sarcasm directed at me, BTW.

    oderfla (22a589)

  38. “I believe Obama was a source of inspiration for the people over there.”

    Just when I think that lefties can’t get any more clueless…

    Dave Surls (ce55e5)

  39. oderfla – Thanks for erecting and savaging one of the largest strawpeople I have seen in quite some time.

    JD (dab43d)

  40. Good Allah. Do you not think that there might be 10 or 20 positions somewhere in between “Obama is the inspiration for the revolution” and “Invade, put in a new puppet Shah, and bomb, bomb, bomb” ?

    JD (dab43d)

  41. Wow, look at all this bloody straw scattered about the room.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  42. Complete nonsense. Obama gives a speech in the Middle East directed at the people of the Middle East with passages about Nukes and the importance of the governments to rule with the consent of the people, and does so with full knowledge of an upcoming election in Iran.

    So we’re to believe that:
    1) Obama’s speech inspired the Iranians to challenge the election results
    2) The challenge has ‘besieged’ the ‘caliphate’.
    3) Other western countries question the results.
    But
    4) Obama must not repeat his already stated positions of a few weeks ago, lest the ‘besieged caliphate’ use it as an excuse to suppress its own people. (Which doesn’t sound so besieged to me)

    And today we learn:
    5) The Iranian government accuses the US of ‘intolerable’ meddling in the internal affairs of Iran

    Even though fear of the occurrence of that action has been Obama’s stated reason to withhold taking a strong stand in support of things he already said in a speech weeks ago, we’re told that his continued passivity is needed to prevent ‘greater’ accusations by the ruling class.

    But we’re told the ‘caliphate’ is ‘besieged’, so how would Obama’s simple repeat of his already delivered speech’s point affect further action now?

    Oh, yes, it might disturb those back channels, that we do not have evidence for either their very existence or their relevance to the current power struggle. Since we know so little about them, it could be argued that their disruption is exactly what’s needed at this point.

    But why are people demonstrating? It’s not just the election – go read the various dispatches from Iran. The people are demonstrating because they’re tired of the corruption by unaccountable people in their country, and this stolen election is simply the last straw. They have chosen the time to act, and it is now.

    But not our President.

    By all means, let the corruption continue. At least we know where Obama stands on that issue.

    Every point of contention of these sycophant supporters of Obama is contradicted by the other points in their ‘argument’.

    They are an entire group of people who think doing nothing is doing something. Their votes make perfect sense.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  43. Obama might be doing better if he had a Secretary of State.

    nk (e186cd)

  44. Well said, Apogee. You could have just called in a mendoucheous twatwaffle, and saved a lot of keystrokes. 😉

    JD (dab43d)

  45. I don’t think the test of American policy with regard to events in Iran is whether or not the Ahmadinejad regime accuses us of meddling. It was a foregone conclusion that they would, no matter how restrained our behavior.

    The test is whether the accusation has credibility with segments of the population or the ruling elite that are opposed to the regime or wavering. Unless the claim is widely believed, it shouldn’t have much effect.

    That the Obama administration has in fact shown restraint in making pronouncements on Iran should undermine the Ahmadinejad’s credibility on this point. Time will tell.

    Tim McGarry (9fe080)

  46. If it was a foregone conclusion, why bother with the show about not giving them ammunition to use to claim that?

    JD (dab43d)

  47. Tim – I am still interested what metric you would use to where standing on the sidelines, watching, not saying anything, is no longer tolerable.

    JD (dab43d)

  48. ‘U.S. President Barack Obama has extended sanctions on Burma’s military government for another year.”‘

    ‘Mr. Obama informed Congress of the decision Friday, saying Burma is “engaging in large-scale repression of the democratic opposition.”‘

    ‘He added that Burma’s actions and policies are hostile to U.S. interests, and they pose a continuing threat to U.S. national security and foreign policy.’–VOA

    http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-05-15-voa56.cfm

    But, we wouldn’t want to strongly criticize the Iranians or even actually do something, like ratchet up sanctions…’cause that would be meddling.

    ROTFLMAO

    Dave Surls (ce55e5)

  49. Tim McGarry – Unless the claim is widely believed, it shouldn’t have much effect.

    But here’s the problem.

    If the claim is widely believed, then Obama’s speech to the Middle Easterners had nearly zero effect on the Iranians, discounting his ‘magical’ ability to inspire our enemies. If they don’t believe him anyway, then he should speak so as to reiterate the US policy regarding the legitimacy of the rule at the consent of the people concept.

    If the claim is not believed, then the people of Iran are already on board with the concept of rule with the consent of the people, and Obama should strongly reiterate that idea.

    Either way, he should speak.

    Obama is standing by and doing nothing while evil men succeed.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  50. Dave Surls 7:13pm – The Burmese simply failed to give enough to the DNC in last year’s election cycle.

    It’s not meddling, it’s payback.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  51. I believe Obama was the inspiration for the 78 I shot this afternoon.

    If I had only known ! I would have been in on that internet party last fall with the credit card thingy with no validation. I could probably have come up with some fake names and few bucks and I would be shooting 82s again. As it is, I just take my ibuprofen and remember how much fun it was.

    What most of us would like Obama to do is simply mention that killing students is not an approved method of settling election disputes. Of course, he might be getting ready for 2012 when the issue might be closer to home.

    Mike K (90939b)

  52. This post is incredibly stupid. Obama supporting Moussavi gives Khamanei and Ahmadinejad an opening to paint Moussavi as an American stooge.

    Despite the fantasies of wingnut bloggers, America is deeply unpopular in Iran, and Iranians remember how America tried to dominate their politics prior to the ’79 revolution, to which they, including the protesters, are extremely loyal. That’s why the protesters aren’t calling for America to intervene more strongly and people who actually do the hard work of promoting democracy in the world, as opposed to wingnut bloggers seeking their next purple-finger feel-good party, aren’t either.

    Brolic Johnson (02f84a)

  53. Brolic, you have not bothered to actually read any comments critical of The One, have you? You show no sign of having bothered to.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. I really like the sneer of “purple-finger feel-good party” by the way. Nothing like a haughty little sneer at the Iraqis for actually having a democracy.

    Sheesh, what a loser you are, “Johnson”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  55. Since JD appears to be an idiot incapable of thought above a third-grade level, I’ll explain to him that there are accusations of meddling that are credible, and then those that aren’t credible. Obama is, as any non-idiot would, trying to prevent the latter from turning into the former. Sadly this keeps JD from wanking as much as he’d like, but such are the ironies of international relations.

    Brolic Johnson (02f84a)

  56. Your fascination with “wanking” tells us a lot, “Johnson”.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  57. Sure, SPQR. There are lots of comments critical of The One by people who care a lot more about criticizing him than about democracy and human rights in Iran. People like you.

    Brolic Johnson (02f84a)

  58. Your obsession with child pornography tells us a lot about you “SPQR”.

    Brolic Johnson (02f84a)

  59. Ah, can dish it out but can’t take it, I see. That’s the “Johnson” we expect.

    Speaking of stupidity, “Johnson”, this line of yours qualifies: “Obama supporting Moussavi gives Khamanei and Ahmadinejad an opening to paint Moussavi as an American stooge.”

    It qualifies because Obama himself says that there is not any difference between Moussavi and Dinnerjacket. So it follows that Obama should not care if he undermines Moussavi’s credibility.

    Ah, but then consistency and logic don’t mean much in your universe, do they “Johnson”?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  60. This is the great thing about Barry. Any other President a Berkeley troll coming in here accusing him of behind the scenes meddling in a foreign crisis would launch a vigorous search on our part for proofs showing he hadn’t.

    papertiger (2c3adb)

  61. than about democracy and human rights in Iran.

    The interesting thing is seeing “conservatives” on the side of demonstrators for a change.

    Why the support for the dirty hippies this time?

    poon (bc36de)

  62. poon, you don’t really bother with all that boring “history” stuff, do you?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  63. I’ll explain to him that there are accusations of meddling that are credible, and then those that aren’t credible.

    Based on what? Your opinion?

    Obama isn’t trying anything, and that’s the problem. Ahmadinejad will attempt to paint Moussavi as a stooge precisely because of Obama’s lack of input. Obama needs to voice support for government by consent of the people, something he has already said, not stupidly lend support to one player.

    There are millions of people in the streets. They won’t go home because Obama voices support for the will of the people of Iran.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  64. What did Obama’s neutral diplomacy gain America? Nothing:… =yawn= Patience.

    Proxy condemnation and support by/through our allies is subtle diplomacy at it finest. Strong, direct words from Washington are not necessary at this time. Any squawks of American meddling by the Iranian government now are the wild thrashings of a victim in the throes of drowning. The past five days and the next days and weeks to come will be critical.

    Yet some Congressional conservatives seem- and sound- as if they’d prefer the Obama Administration to experience a diplomatic failure at the expense of the Iranian people.

    Best that the running American commentary remains measured and minimal.

    “Let em’ land.”

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  65. DCSCA, still flogging your fantasies I see. Claiming that Angela Merkel is a “proxy” for Obama. That’s hilarious.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  66. History, SPQR?

    The protesters in Iran look like they came straight from a WTO or Iraq war protest.

    Or an Obama rally.

    poon (bc36de)

  67. ASPCA – Do you have anything even remotely approaching evidence that Germany and France are acting as proxies for us?

    This topic really brings out the nutbags from the Left. Brolic Johson was a fountain of eloquence.

    JD (dab43d)

  68. Obama isn’t trying anything, and that’s the problem.

    His rhetoric isn’t a game changer. Not right now, anyway.

    A weakened Ahmadinejad will now be pressed to compromise. The clerical regime has been delegitimized for millions of Iranians and the nuclear program – a drain on the country – will no longer stir national passions.

    steve (e34ca8)

  69. His rhetoric isn’t a game changer.

    Rhetoric? The only rhetoric here is yours, and your fellow supporters who irrationally attribute any and all results simultaneously to both action and non-action by Obama. In fact, Obama’s supporters insanely repetitively use verbal descriptions of action to describe non-action – I suspect Obama is letting Iran come up with bogus accusations of meddling – (see! Obama even controls the mullahs!)

    It’s a cult, and it’s obvious.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  70. “Best that the running American commentary remains measured and minimal.”

    More like: best we slag off our allies (Israel) and neutral nations (Burma), and refrain from reaming our arch-enemires (Iran), lest they get offended.

    Right out of the Jimmy Carter Skool of International Relations (aka Idiots-R-Us).

    Dave Surls (ce55e5)

  71. Jimmy Carter Skool of International Relations

    Jimmy Carter forged a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.

    More of that Skool please.

    poon (bc36de)

  72. Obama said “something” is happening in Iran. There’s sticking your neck out.

    “Something is happening but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones.” — Bob Dylan

    Alta Bob (9f2c33)

  73. Despite the fantasies of wingnut bloggers, America is deeply unpopular in Iran, and Iranians remember how America tried to dominate their politics prior to the ‘79 revolution,

    That must be why that huge demonstration a few years ago that began about the World Cup became a pro-American demonstration. For example.

    On June 22, 2003, the Iranian newspaper Yas-e Now published a remarkable poll that had originally appeared on the “Feedback” web page of the Expediency Discernment Council, run by former president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.

    Those polled were given the question, “What are the actual demands of the Iranian people?” and a choice of four answers. They responded as follows:

    — 13 percent chose the answer “solutions to the problems of people’s livelihood, and the continuation of the present political policy”–in other words, the current hardline stance.

    — 16 percent chose “political reforms and increases in the powers of the reformists.”

    — 26 percent chose “fundamental changes in management and in the performance of the system for an efficient growth”–a position often identified with Rafsanjani.

    — 45 percent chose “change in the political system, even with foreign intervention.”

    The fact that 45 percent of respondents endorsed foreign intervention if necessary is all the more surprising considering two factors: first, the continued imprisonment of 2002 pollsters Abdi and Qazian; and second, the ominous rumors circulating in Iran that the United States is considering an invasion of the country, though these had no basis in fact.

    If the poll showed mass opinion, two interesting letters indicated that many in the elite are concerned about how far pro-Americanism has gone.(8) On Muhammad’s birthday (May 19, 2003), 196 prominent clerics and intellectuals issued an open letter to “express our complete dissatisfaction with the rulers in Iran.” The sharp criticism focused on “the unelected institutions” which are “united against the wishes of the people”–phrases that echo those used by Bush. The letter warned that present policies “might provide an excuse to some groups who desire freedom to sacrifice the independence of the country,” in other words, a U.S. invasion might be welcomed. It added, “We must learn a lesson from the fate of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein and understand that despotism and selfishness is destined to take the country down to defeat.”

    Reading some history might be good for you.

    Mike K (90939b)

  74. A weakened Ahmadinejad will now be pressed to compromise. The clerical regime has been delegitimized for millions of Iranians and the nuclear program – a drain on the country – will no longer stir national passions.

    Comment by steve — 6/17/2009 @ 8:48 pm

    Unbelievable. Obamaphilia has to be the most intense of paraphilias.

    nk (a2b6dd)

  75. Non-action is action. Action is non-action. Up is down. Cubs are good. Dems don’t raise taxes.

    JD (dab43d)

  76. I am still watching the action in Iran. I’m not sure this is close to being over. The test will be if the army allows the Basiji and the Hezballah thugs to massacre the people protesting. It could be Tiananmen square or it could be 1979 all over again. The corruption of the mullahs could be enough to keep the pot boiling until the mullahs are overthrown.

    MIke K (90939b)

  77. Those making excuses for Obama might consider reading this report.

    Mike K (90939b)

  78. Unfortunately, Mike K, the trolls have little interest in what is actually going on. They are just trying to figure out how they can give credit for all things good to Teh One, and simultaneously blame Bush for all that is bad. They are just trying to score rhetorical political points.

    JD (dab43d)

  79. the trolls have little interest in what is actually going on

    TBogg nail it once again:

    There was a disputed election in Iran and thousands of political bloggers who have never lived outside of the city they were born in and who have absolutely no experience in Middle East affairs will tell you what it all means

    http://tbogg.firedoglake.com/2009/06/15/everyone-is-an-expert/

    Ambassador JD and General Mike K expounding on what it all means is an enlightening experience.

    poon (bc36de)

  80. “Jimmy Carter forged a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.”

    Yeah. It only costs us $2,000,000,000 a year to bribe the Egyyptians not to attack Israel…and, of course, this brilliant policy has brought a lasting peace to the middle east, and made the Egyptians are loyal allies.

    Not.

    Like I said, Idiots-R-Us.

    Dave Surls (744c8e)

  81. Make that “our loyal allies”.

    Dave Surls (744c8e)

  82. “Jimmy Carter forged a lasting peace between Israel and Egypt.”

    I missed this doozie. Besides the financial aid, there are little things like the fact that the IDF has kicked Egypt in the teeth every time they were forced to fight the Egyptians. That might have something to do with the lasting peace as well.

    JD (dab43d)

  83. I was told this could be useful for Twitterers. No idea if it’s true, but I did it.

    1. Go to settings.
    2. Change your location to Tehran
    3. Change your timezone to GMT +3:30 (Tehran)

    Supposedly this will make it harder for the Iranian government to find local Twitterers. No effort to do it, anyway, so nothing really to lose.

    LYT (cf1265)

  84. Okay, so Obama doesn’t want to be seen as meddling.

    Doesn’t the fact that he has specifically said he doesn’t want to be seen as meddling kind of defeat the purpose?

    I also love the whole “America is unpopular with the Iranian people” line of argument. So, basically you’re saying the best way to reverse this unpopularity among the Iranian population is to show excessive deference to the government that is currently beating and shooting them in the street?

    Mars vs Hollywood (f062b9)

  85. “Smart” diplomacy in action….and people are dying because of it…

    fmfnavydoc (1628be)

  86. […] This position has also been taken by people as far apart ideologically as Andy McCarthy and Pres. Obama, though they proceed to quite different conclusions from that […]

    The Greenroom » Forum Archive » “This is not the Iran I knew” (e2f069)

  87. Fmfnavydoc,

    Drop me a line on what the “street” in Saudi think of the situation in Iran.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  88. #80

    It’s hilarious that after 5 years of Dems beating up on Bush for assembling a ‘coalition of the bribed’ to go to war in Iraq they’re now holding up Egypt as a diplomatic win. And don’t forget that after 9/11 we were told to look at our own culpability in the past with propping up thugs – ‘our’ thugs – in the Middle East in order to preserve stability. Now Egypt, a model example of this practice, is a win.

    And contrast the media’s disparate treatment of the House of Saud and Mubarek. We’re beaten over the head with the evil of the HoS but when did the MSM last bring to the people the equally evil acts of Mubarek?

    EBJ (437cb7)

  89. Yes, Mubarak is repressive, but Saudi Arabia’s government is far more so. In Egypt, Christians are sometimes persecuted. In Saudi Arabia, it’s illegal to practice Christianity.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  90. Oderfla, there’s a big distance between Obama’s current inaction and moral cowardice on the one hand, and bombing on the other.

    Phil Smith (1cf25d)

  91. I know three Iranian expats here in my neighborhood, and the community here is quite large – most still have families in Iran, and no one will tell you with a straight face that the US is anything but wildly popular with the majority of the Iraninan citzenry. Again, willful ignorance would be required not to note the high educational levels of the populace there along with their sophisticated cultural influences – the Persians consider themselves to be far more Westernized that any of the other countries in the ME. Of course they also consider themselves to be a superior culture as well – another reason why Persian is a completely different connotation than Arabs.

    Dmac (f7884d)

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

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

    HH: Do you want Israel to do it?

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

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

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

    Hewitt with Hitchens on Iran

    Joe (17aeff)

  93. Here is more on new developments. In case that link hits a membership block, the essence is this:

    Former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander and defeated candidate Mohsen Rezaie on Wednesday posted a letter on his official Web site, demanding that Interior Minister Sadeq Mahsouli release detailed and accurate data on the election results. Iranian election laws stipulate that any complaints over election results must be filed within three days of the vote, and Rezaie claimed that the five-day delay in releasing data concerning the tallies raises suspicion that the vote was manipulated. He threatened to make “a request other than just a vote count” if the results had not been released by the end of the day on Wednesday. Though he did not specify what that request might be, Rezaie could be preparing to call for results of the June 12 vote to be annulled and a new election organized.

    Rezaie is one of several key figures in the political saga that has been unfolding since the election, which appeared to give Ahmadinejad a landslide victory over reformist rival Mir Hossein Mousavi. Rezaie was one of the first candidates to back Mousavi’s appeal to the Interior Ministry, claiming voting irregularities and calling for a recount. Earlier, state-run Press TV cited a report from Iran’s Tabnak news site in which an “informed source” claimed that Rezaie had evidence — based on national ID cards — that he had won more than 900,000 votes, much more than the 681,851 reported by the Interior Ministry. Rezaie is now stepping up his appeal.

    Once again, there is movement within the governing class. We have not yet seen the end of this.

    MIke K (90939b)

  94. Mike, you may also have seen the recent news regarding the auto “accident” fatality yesterday of the Interior Ministry official that was suspected of leaking the initial source for the claims of election – rigging.

    Dmac (f7884d)

  95. “And don’t forget that after 9/11 we were told to look at our own culpability in the past with propping up thugs – ‘our’ thugs – in the Middle East in order to preserve stability.”

    Yeah, and the people that spew that hogwash are usually the same ones who tell you what great presidents Roosevelt or Carter were.

    Talk about irony.

    Dave Surls (6f8595)

  96. […] sides, even though you don’t even know there are always more than two of them. Consider how incoherently conservatives have responded to official Iranian propaganda: Iran accused the United States on […]

    Conservatives would respect Obama more if he took a principled stand against a corrupt Iranian regime by doing its bidding. « The Edge of the American West (c1e831)

  97. I love how Leftists like in the trackback above simply squeal incoherence, rather than actually deal with the simple and quite plain position many have advanced.

    JD (b186eb)

  98. “I know three Iranian expats here in my neighborhood, and the community here is quite large – most still have families in Iran, and no one will tell you with a straight face that the US is anything but wildly popular with the majority of the Iraninan citzenry.”

    Good thing we didn’t bomb’em.

    imdw (ff46ff)

  99. Good Allah. Is it too much to ask for one Leftist outside of Leviticus and aphrael to argue with actual positions rather than the voices in their heads?

    JD (b186eb)

  100. […] the beginnings of the Iranian public demonstrations, even in the aftermath of public statements of condemnation by European leaders, Barack Obama had fai….  EVEN FRANCE HAD DISPLAYED MORE COURAGE IN STANDING BEHIND THE IRANIAN PEOPLE THAN […]

    Bush, Obama, the Mainstream Media and the Iranian Election Demonstrations « Start Thinking Right (cbb264)


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