June 14, 2009

Dictator Watch - Media Edition - June 14, 2009

Iran could be on the verge of its own Tiannamen Square moment. After an election that the Western media provided woefully inadequate coverage, things are starting to filter out about the situation on the ground in the Islamic Republic.

It's understandable that Western media got it wrong - given the tensions with the Iranian government, the ability to get quality reporting out of the country was clearly compromised. But it does not excuse the apparent lack of investigation before the fact about the election. Even President Obama was cautiously optimistic about the chance that by virtue of a single speech he might be able to take credit for an Iran bent on a moderate course. Perhaps the media has learned that the President's words do not translate directly to fruition of his promises. In that case there may have decide to wait and report the good news once it actually occurred. Smart from the perspective of trying to spin the Obama narrative as elegantly as possible. From a journalistic standpoint, its terrible.

As many bloggers pointed out, myself included, it looked like Ahmedinejad was in trouble. Now word is coming out about the polls that had him trailing his reform opponent Mousavi by double digits.


The same countries that President Obama has wanted to have a dialogue with are the ones that are brazen in their attempts to flout the democratic process and simply use phony results as a tool to support their corrupt purposes. As I pointed out in February, Chavez appears to have rigged his Constitutional referendum in Venezuela to get for himself an unlimited number of Presidential terms. For Ahemdinejad its more about the purity of the Iranian fundamentalism because the real power in Iran is held by the hard line clerics. These are both nefarious purposes and both counter democratic.

But protests in Iran have the potential to escalate into a full fledged counter-movement. They risk also the brutal suppression that Iran is clearly capable of, just like the Chinese communist government was in Tiannamen Square. As the situation unfolds in Iran, some smart political decisions may be required out of Washington to support the reform movement. This may turn out to be the test that Vice President Joe Biden had predicted. Unfortunately there appears to be no appetite for bold maneuvers from the administration when it comes to encouraging democracy. President Obama isn't afraid to be bold when it comes to flipping the American economy on its head, or cozying up to enemies of the country. But that's different.

Iranian youth do nothing to help the Obamagenda. Therefore, there will be no support. Perhaps just some verbal reproach that amounts to being unheard by Ahmedinejad. Just like with North Korea and their threats to go all nuke, all the time.


And speaking of the North Korean situation, they've threatened to attack American ships and are promising to use all available material into warehead material. They are demanding money from South Korea. I think the word for their actions is belligerent.

It sure looks like that soft power is working well with Jong Il. I guess embracing Jong Il like Chavez is next. But so far it's NOT WORKING.

Indeed we are seeing a new American foreign policy. Its not exactly appeasement - its worse. Its actively engaging those who spit on your values.
Unless that is, that some key American political figures, and I'm not saying who, share that same disdain for core American values.

If the shoe fits, there may be a new name that needs to get added to the list below. With a compliant press, anything is possible. Even in America.

Dictators to Watch:

Jong Il

1 comment:

  1. No one is safe.


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