Saturday, June 20, 2009
--Patterico, Patterico's Pontifications
Bonus points, check the comments over there for some real, real hate.
Some pretty disturbing footage here. And I still haven't seen any arguments as to why Obama should interfere, and what that interference should be.
It is out of our hands. Mousavi's camp is reporting he has been silenced by the regime and "is prepared for martyrdom" if necessary.
So why do the Iranian people not want Ahmadinejad as their leader? Because he is nothing but a loudspeaker for Khamenei. Under Ahmadinejad, economic problems have grown worse, despite $280bn of oil revenue. Social and literary freedom is much more restricted than under his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami. The world views us as a terrorist nation on the lookout for war. When Khatami was president of Iran, Bush was president of the US. Now the Americans have Obama and we have our version of Bush. We need an Obama who can find solutions for Iran's problems. Although power would remain in the hands of Khamenei, a president like Mousavi could weaken the supreme leader.Who is Iran's Obama? Will they find the way to settle this? What if Mousavi is Bush as well? We don't know...and that is why caution is needed.
[UPDATE] As BooMan says: (Caution, pretty graphic):
The Iranian regime is now creating martyrs on film for everyone to watch.Looks like it will indeed be Option 3.
This is the same mistake that the Shah made. The surest way to make sure that the protests continue is to kill people. The opposition will come out in the streets to mourn the dead. And the cycle of violence will continue and escalate.
[UPDATE 2] The President weighs in on Iran, and continues to play his cards close to his vest.
At what point does the Islamic world weigh in on this, seeing dozens killed in Allah's name? Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Indonesia...they will have to say something and soon.The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.
As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.
Martin Luther King once said - “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.
I'll give the Weekly Standard credit for clarity. The conservative magazine published two very similar pieces today -- one from Stephen Hayes and William Kristol, the other from Fred Barnes -- offering the identical attack with indistinguishable language: they want President Obama to do more to intervene in Iran.In other words, the attacks on Obama are reduced to this:
The pieces are almost comical in their belligerence towards the White House. Hayes and Kristol lament Obama's "weakness," and described the U.S. president as "a de facto ally of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei." Barnes insists, "Obama has tilted in favor of the regime. The result is personal shame (for Obama) and policy shame (for the United States)."
What I find interesting about the 2,000 words of the conservatives' angry and righteous denigration is how remarkably narrow it is. For Hayes, Kristol, and Barnes, it's almost as if the argument presented by the president is so self-evidently horrible, they don't feel the need explain why they think it's wrong.
By now, we've all heard the pitch. Obama believes it would be counterproductive for Iranian protestors for the U.S. to intervene on their behalf. The more Americans weigh in to "help" reformers, the more it's likely to help Khamenei and Ahmadinejad -- throwing them a public-relations life preserver when they need it most -- and the easier it is to make dissidents look like American stooges.
Gary Sick, a former National Security Council expert on Iran in the Ford, Carter and Reagan administrations -- not, in other words, a liberal activist or party hack -- explained the other day, "The Obama administration has handled this pretty well. There's nothing we can do in a proactive way that is going to improve things. We could make things a lot worse."
It's a position endorsed by other Republicans such as Dick Lugar and Henry Kissinger. Nick Burns, an Undersecretary of State in the Bush administration, said this week that Ahmadinejad "would like nothing better than to see aggressive statements, a series of statements, from the United States which try to put the U.S. at the center of this."Why do the neocons believe this is a misguided approach? We don't know; they won't say.
It doesn't matter as long at they say the President is wrong wrong wrong...they never mention why their point of view could even possibly be right.
- Another day of Iranian protests in Tehran, this time met by tear gas and water cannons.
- Nestle has recalled all of its refrigerated Toll House cookie dough due to E. coli issues.
- The U.S. military admits an airstrike in Afghanistan may have killed 86 civilians.
- The Wall Street Journal reports Apple CEO Steve Jobs had a liver transplant in April.
- America has finally made the top 20 in percentage of households with broadband internet.