June 16, 2009


Tehran's streets are jammed in oppostion to election fraud and tyranny. Hardliners are firing on crowds.

And this is the Obama White House reaction:

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says he believes supreme leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei has deep concerns about the civil unrest that has followed the hotly contested presidential election there.

Obama repeated Tuesday at a news conference his "deep concerns" about the disputed balloting. He said he believes the ayatollah's decision to order an investigation "indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns."

But at the same time, Obama said it would not be helpful if the United States was seen by the world as "meddling" in the issue.

The president did say, however, that he worries "when I see violence directed at peaceful protesters, when I see peaceful protest being suppressed."

He worries? He has deep concerns? Well that solves everything, doesn't it? It's shameful, sickening and a dereliction, no, an abrogation, of his duties as leader of the free world!

If the people of Iran successfully rise up against this tyrannical regime, with no thanks to President Obama, he will have rightly earned every acrimony they have for him. If he refuses to stand up for the oppressed even with words of support, his weakness and cynical lack of respect for freedom and democracy will be exposed for the entire world to see. A chance to be a 'lion for the cause of freedom' is being squandered. There is no other word for it besides cowardice.


  1. I have another word for you, strategic. Hard liners in Iran have already tried to claim that opposition was funded and backed by the west. Calls to action on Fox ( I refuse to call it news) have been used by Iranian propaganda machines against the protesters. It would be great to see other Muslim countries condemn the violence and tyranny of the current regime. They would have some credibility in this matter.

    Here is an article articulating this same concern amongst some Republican congressmen and Senators.

    and a quote from that article:
    I think for the moment our position is to allow the Iranians to work out their situation. When popular revolutions occur, they come really from the people. They're generated by people power within the country. 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."

  2. To claim that laying low is strategic is a straw dog argument. President Obama has shown no disinclination to make pronouncements on what Israel has to do. There has been no shortage of pronouncements on Hamas, or no shortage of apologies for things which he has no ownership of with regards to America's past.

    To claim it is strategic is simply disingenuous. It's convenient for the President to hide on this and to defend him for it is to endorse a policy of appeasement. It was wrong to stand aside during the Hungarian uprising. It was wrong to stand aside when the Kurds were being gassed by Saddam. It is wrong to stand aside now.

    I'm not calling for air strikes. I'm calling for stern condemnation. Even Sarkozy in France has done so. To claim that your President has no credibility in the mideast is to say either that he's abdicated that credibility or to at least concede that his apologies and attempts to create moral equivalence between the US and terror-supporting nations have been fruitless.

    What the clerics in Iran see is weakness in this President and they are acting accordingly. Here's another word for you - effete .

  3. If my argument was a Straw man or straw dog argument I have must have misunderstood the thrust of your argument. You seemed to be claiming that cowardice is motivation for Obama's actions. I'm offering an alternate perspective, and providing some references for support.

    In case you are actually interested in support of freedom for Iran you might find the following interesting: Iran has now accused the US of
    meddling so maybe we can use another word for Obama:

    and here is a perspective that is broadly held by many Iranians

    "- most people think Obama is doing the right thing not getting involved and letting Iranians sort this out for themselves. Already Ahmadinejad’s supporters are trying to say that this is another “US-led coup like 1953, and the CIA is behind it” or other such nonsense about foreign involvement, but a few of the newspapers are offended and have come out and said “why can’t Iranians protest without everyone thinking someone else is behind it? We have brains and ability for ourselves– “nafaam neesteem”- we are not stupid”."

    you can read about this here

    I never said that Obama has no credibility in this matter. America after several decades of corrupt foreign policy that has lost credibility.

    I would add that the Iran's current regime's stance that America is the "Great Satan", and Bush's inclusion of Iran in the "Axis of Evil" probably do not put us in the best position to make harsh condemnations.

    and your observation that:
    "There has been no shortage of pronouncements on Hamas, or no shortage of apologies for things which he has no ownership of with regards to America's past."

    is Obama actively working to regain our credibility, and reestablish us as a Nation that lives by principle instead of empty rhetoric.

    Sarkozy? Are you serious? . He was also leading the charge against the recent massacre in Gaza while the US was blocking UN resolutions to condemn it. France's last veto on the security council was in 1976. The US has 73 with many of them in blatantly one sided support for our ally Israel. article here

    Far from abrogating his responsibilities.. Obama appears to be one of the first presidents in a long time who actually understands what they are.

  4. David,

    Firstly, let me thank you for the reasoned conversation. If there's one thing that is denigrating political debate is the slide into name-calling and heated anger.

    Now for the disagreement. Those accusing the US of meddling have a vested interest - they want the protests to stop. These are the same people who put out the message that the protests today were off and then flooded the protest sites with a massive police presence.

    Your link:

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — 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.

    It's not the protesters accusing the US of meddling. It's the Supreme Leader Khameni.


    You need to make a distinction between the government of Iran, which is clearly corrupt, and the protesters who are clearly being oppressed, and even killed.

    By not coming out in favor of liberty and justice in Iran, as the US did in support of the velvet revolution, I'M saying Obama has lost credibilty. That phrase is in your pledge of alliegance. It's more than condescending to say we want it for us, but 'who cares' about the students in Iran.

    Again, I'm not saying the US should enforce by military the uprising. But a few words in their support, is not overly bold.

    You talk about restoring the US to a nation that lives by principle but then talk about the UN security counsel w.r.t. Sarkozy and Gaza.

    1) The UN does not live by any credible principles - it's an entirely political and agenda driven entity.
    2) Supporting an ally (Israel in this case) is a principle worth living by. Israel may not be a perfect ally, but walk a mile in their shoes and see if you would not be taking similar actions.
    3) Other countries that have condemned the leadership in Iran go beyond just Sarkozy;
    -The Eurpoean Union
    -The US Congress by a vote of 405 to 1.

    You don't gain credibility by apologize for the mistakes of others. You don't gain credibility by remaining silent on issues where people are being oppressed. Not in a world post Neville Chamberlain.

    Defending Obama's position on other matters may be easier than this. Even those within his administration are trying to get him to do more.


    And it appears he may be considering taking a harsher tone. That's not leading, it's following.

    Cowardice? I'm still inclined to stand by it.

  5. I suppose Reagan could have said "I am concerned about that wall" BUT he didn't and that is the true MARK of a GREAT President.

    A GREAT President does NOT poll to see which way to go they instinctively support and defend those around the world who desire FREEDOM from Tyranny!

  6. Condemning the treatment of peaceful protestors is not "meddling" in their election process. There is no call for Obama to insist that the elections were fraudulent and to overturn them. The call is to condemn the treatment of the protestors. Being "concerned" about their treatment is far different that condemning the current leadership there for killing them and for forbidding foreign press to cover it. That alone leads to a deduction that the way they are being treated is reprehensible. But then again, Obama has done nothing but mock and belittle anybody who protests here, so why should he care about protestors elsewhere.

  7. Tommi Jefferson - great point about the distinction between the treatment of protesters and the results of the election.

    Anonymous - love the Reagan comparison. There's also Winston Churchill's famous war speech; "We shall be concerned on the beaches..."


Disagreement is always welcome. Please remain civil. Vulgar or disrespectful comments towards anyone will be removed.

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