Jun
15

More Iran stuff




Posted at 0:10 by Brad

This BBC report — which was shot at least partially using camera phones — is flat-out amazing:

I have spent my entire Sunday glued to my laptop. I even started streaming BBC Persia for a while even though I don’t speak a word of Farsi. What is happening in Iran right now is amazing.

What the Iranian regime is doing right now is awful and repressive even by its own standards. I know I’m going to catch a shitload of flack for this, but I don’t see how Obama can continue with his plans to engage the country at this moment. You’ve got a regime that has lost legitimacy in the eyes of its people, you’ve got widespread beatings of demonstrators, you’ve got a stolen election. While obviously it would be fucking stupid for Obama or any American official to pull a Bush-Cowboy routine that would give the Iranian government propaganda to use to justify its suppression, I don’t think the United States can accept the election outcome either.

At the end of the day, this is about the Iranians and not about us. But I would like my country to do whatever will best help the opposition succeed. Mostly, that means keeping our mouths shut and letting the Iranians fight for their own country. But just because the United States should not be involved in actively helping the resistance, that doesn’t mean it should stamp a seal of approval on the really awful bullshit that’s going down right now.


UPDATE: Somebody accused me of “international concern trolling” in the previous thread because I said that a Mousavi win would lessen the chance of war with Iran. Dude, that’s not just concern trollin’ — it’s what the neocons are saying right now:

Even the Obama administration will be hard put to enter into serious negotiations with Ahmadinejad, especially when his scant credibility has been undermined by these utterly fraudulent elections and the resulting street protests.

That doesn’t mean that Obama won’t try–but he will have a lot less patience with Ahmadinejad than he would have had with Mousavi. And that in turn means there is a greater probability that eventually Obama may do something serious to stop the Iranian nuclear program–whether by embargoing Iranian refined-petroleum imports or by tacitly giving the go-ahead to Israel to attack its nuclear installations.

So in an odd sort of way a win for Ahmadinejad is also a win for those of us who are seriously alarmed about Iranian capabilities and intentions. With crazy Mahmoud in office–and his patron, Ayatollah Khameini, looming in the background–it will be harder for Iranian apologists to deny the reality of this terrorist regime.

These guys want a war with Iran in the worst way. I, being the liberal fascist that I am, do not. That’s why I’d like to see the opposition at least force an election do-over with international monitors on hand. It’d be even better if they brought down the entire gubmint, of course.

189 Comments »

  1. todd said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:27

    I hope this turns out like Romania and not Tiananmen.

  2. Sirius Lunacy said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:28

    Also, get ready for the wingnuts to start in on the whole “if Bush were still in charge Iran wouldn’t dare rig the electiond” routine.
    Also, firstessess

  3. Sirius Lunacy said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:30

    FYWP
    I really was first, but WP rigged the election!

  4. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:31

    If bush were in charge he’d go in front of the cameras and talk tuff ’bout how Eye-Ran needs to become an Israel lovin’ democracy. At which point Mahmoud would have all the propaganda he needed to shut down the opposition.

    I’m glad Obama’s playing it cool so far.

  5. m13ky said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:32

    You can only legitimately question diplomatic engagement with the Iranian leadership if you have previously questioned diplomatic engagement with the Soviets, with China, with Mushararf’s Pakistan, with Saudi, with Egypt or even Putin.

    You don’t personalize diplomacy. It is about trying to achieve YOUR interests, so you deal with who is available. There is NOTHING to be gained in not talking unless your intention is to go to war. Plus, with Iran you have the “advantage” of knowing that no matter who you are talking to, he is not the one with the power to determine the outcome, so in that sense it doesn’t really matter.

    The lesson from bush/cheney should remain that when the United States refuses to diplomatically engage any nation, it is the US and her interest that suffers, and the available options are dramatically reduced, to the detriment of all…

    mikey

  6. justme said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:34

    As I mentioned in the other thread, the the fact that this is all working out like it is, particularly having Obama’s plans of legitimate talks crash and burn, not to mention getting to watch Iranians beat each other senseless, is a wingnut wet dream.

    Sigh.

  7. N__B said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:35

    You can only legitimately question diplomatic engagement with the Iranian leadership…

    Yeah, but when did the US right wing worry about legitimacy in such things? If Obama or Clinton says anything to anyone in Iran other than “WOLVERINEEES!!!1!” they’ll be attacked as betraying America.

  8. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:35

    m13ky — normally i agree. but this is one unusual case. If you’ve got widespread unrest — and look at the reports, this stuff is massive — and a regime whose legitimacy is doubted by its own people, how do you react? I’m having a tough time thinking that other gov’ts can carry on like nothing’s happening.

  9. OTB said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:35

    The good part of this, in the sense that what’s good for the world is bad for wingnuts, is that it proves that Iran has a big, young, freedom-wanting population that’s not all shoe-throwing-death-to-America crazee moozlims. These are the people that glorious Joe Lieberman & co. want to turn into glassy goo in a great mushroom cloud of American righteousness.

    They’ve got more guts than we do. MUST DESTROY.

  10. justme said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:37

    The lesson from bush/cheney should remain that when the United States refuses to diplomatically engage any nation, it is the US and her interest that suffers, and the available options are dramatically reduced, to the detriment of all…

    True ’nuff, mikey. Let’s see if anybody in DC is capable of actually learning that sort of lesson. I’m not entirely hopeful.

  11. Sarcastro said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:41

    Am I the only reduced to school-girl-like giggling and glee when I behold burning police motorcycles, secret-police being beaten and rioters chasing riot-police down the street?

    Marvelous!

  12. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:44

    Am I the only reduced to school-girl-like giggling and glee when I behold burning police motorcycles, secret-police being beaten and rioters chasing riot-police down the street?

    Nope. It’s amazing stuff. I hope this works out for them. If it doesn’t we’re all in big fuckin’ trouble.

  13. the guy from that place said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:47

    Of course the entire reason ahmadinejad won the last election was after Bush questioned the integrity of the election. State tv, controlled by the clerics, basically said,”Bush hates us, so how bad could we be?” Arguably, we could support ahmadinejad and hope reverse psychology works like on tv. Realistically, The only thing that can be done is keep back channels open to the opposition.

  14. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:49

    Always keep one thing in mind, particularly with regard to foreign policy: Never, ever forget that intervention can make an awful situation worse.

  15. Clem said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:49

    Romania didn’t turn out so hot. Those whom opposed the Ceausescu regime call it a stolen revolution, with authority still more or less in the hands of the same people, but now everyone has even less money. Ceausescu himself has the same sorts of vigorous, nostalgic defenders as Stalin now has in Russia. Not surprising, given that Romania’s great national hero is Vlad Tepes, Prince Dracula. They hawk refrigerator magnets of Vlad to tourists. I have one. It’s insane.

    I think that Obama et al should mostly shut the hell up. One thing the Khamenei-
    Ahmadinejad set haven’t been able to do is blame the unrest on foreign agitation, a charge that would appeal to their base. If only as a sign of contrition for that whole CIA-Shah-coup thing, we ought to publicly keep out of this.

  16. Doug Watts said,

    June 15, 2009 at 0:52

    The Nobama Kremlin will stay silent because what is happening in Iran confirms the truth about 9/11.

  17. Brandi said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:03

    Off topic: Stay classy, Republicans.

  18. I Cried My Heart Out For Want Of My Love said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:03

    That BBC journalist is a hero in this day and age.

  19. Doug Watts said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:07

    Dear Associated Press:

    N-I-A-G-A-R-A

    It’s not Viagra. It’s Niagara.

    yours etc.,

  20. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:09

    Sarcastro, it is literally what I live for.

    I just don’t understand how it doesn’t happen more often. Schadenfreude is all the more enjoyable when the misery is to religio-fascists, if that isn’t redundant.

  21. Doug Watts said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:10

    What Hillary Clinton said was fine. We’re just watching and not making judgments.

  22. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:10

    Romania didn’t turn out so hot. Those whom opposed the Ceausescu regime call it a stolen revolution, with authority still more or less in the hands of the same people, but now everyone has even less money

    This is why I’ve been trying to encourage anyone reading to avoid treating this as a matter of the bad guy stealing the election from the good guy. The election was dirty to begin with and the authorities have potentially violated the very limited restraint they’ve staked out beforehand, and that’s why people are angry. Make Mousavi into a hero and you’ll get shock therapy, massive oil privatization, and foreign military-industrial control of Iran as certainly as you would if we fucking invaded.

    Also, the narrative line that ‘removing Ahmadinejad would take a useful rhetorical tool from the neocons’ is unreasonable. They would shift gears without effort to ranting about the evil Ayatollah, and you can hardly expect Iran to stop working towards nuclear proliferation when they aren’t in the first place. The ‘Iranian threat’ narrative is an intricate fiction exclusively crafted by Israeli and US military and political elites, and is more than anything else an effort to keep alive a line of diplomatic thinking which is tailored to dealing with Saddam Hussein as a pan-Arabist champion – something that wasn’t realistic when they pulled it a second time with Iraq, and something which makes no sense with even the most radical and anti-Israeli Iranian government.

    The ranting about queers and the holocaust is a figleaf for Likud’s new clothes. Taking it away isn’t going to help Avigdor Lieberman’s balls in our face.

  23. Jon H said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:10

    ” I don’t think the United States can accept the election outcome either.”

    Yeah, but that can wait a month or two. Or six. Hell, Al Franken isn’t even seated yet.

    There’s no particular need to announce an shift of policy now or in the near future.

  24. Jon H said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:12

    Brad wrote: “If bush were in charge he’d go in front of the cameras and talk tuff ’bout how Eye-Ran needs to become an Israel lovin’ democracy. At which point Mahmoud would have all the propaganda he needed to shut down the opposition.”

    Hell, Bush would have been running his pie-hole running up to the election, virtually ensuring a legitimate victory for Ahmedinejad.

  25. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:13

    They would shift gears without effort to ranting about the evil Ayatollah,

    Yeah, but it’d get less attention I think. AN is useful to them because he garners headlines. The Ayatollah generally does not.

  26. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:13

    in re: the Republicans staying classy, my favorite part is the absurd justification:

    We spoke with DePass over the phone Friday night. He said, “I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest.”

    “You know, I don’t think there’s anything funny about that comment,” says Coble. “That is the First Lady of the United States. We’ve had a long tradition of wonderful first ladies, and I don’t think any of them deserve that type of comment.”

    DePass took his apology a bit further. He also said, “The comment was hers. Not mine,” saying the first lady made statements in the media recently saying we are all descendents of apes.

    “Listen guys, I’m sorry you’re mad at me calling the First Lady a nigger, but to be fair, she believes in evolution.”

  27. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:15

    Yeah, but it’d get less attention I think. AN is useful to them because he garners headlines. The Ayatollah generally does not.

    Not now, but with Clinton running State and Avigdor Lieberman in charge of the Israeli foreign ministry, it’s kind of difficult to imagine that they’ll be completely incapable of pushing some other Iranian figure into the spotlight to replace Mahmoud-chan.

  28. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:17

    Avigdor Lieberman in charge of the Israeli foreign ministry

    Oh gad. Him. It’d be nice if THAT regime got ousted by a more moderate government as well…

  29. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:18

    Classy Republicans:

    “Even if it was taken out of context – its not something that should have ever been said. It’s sad, disappointing, and unfortunate,” said former SCGOP Chairman Katon Dawson.

    I wish Dawson could provide a “context” in which that might be something to say.

  30. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:19

    ‘Look, I’m sorry that some a y’all took offense at what I said, but clearly I was just pointin’ out that as a black person, Michelle Obama looks like a gorilla. C’mon! Why y’all gettin’ upset about ‘that? I mean, just look at ‘em. What?’

  31. Jon H said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:21

    “Not now, but with Clinton running State and Avigdor Lieberman in charge of the Israeli foreign ministry, it’s kind of difficult to imagine that they’ll be completely incapable of pushing some other Iranian figure into the spotlight to replace Mahmoud-chan.”

    The thing is, if Mousavi were elected, there’d be a lot of people supporting a wait-and-see approach, de-escalating until we see what he does. Anyone wanting military action would have to cool their heels until Mousavi’s actions start making the case for them.

  32. HTML Mencken said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:25

    m13ky — normally i agree. but this is one unusual case. If you’ve got widespread unrest — and look at the reports, this stuff is massive — and a regime whose legitimacy is doubted by its own people, how do you react? I’m having a tough time thinking that other gov’ts can carry on like nothing’s happening.

    Didn’t other countries recognize Dear Leader Bush as our president even after he stole election(s)? I sympathize if you say, “well, they shouldn’t have;” but the point is that they did because that’s how stuff works.

    Are the protests in Iran more rowdy and more substantial than those (ignored by the press) here at the time of the Iraq invasion? How about worse than the Vietnam demonstrations and the race riots in the 60s? How should other countries have treated our government then?

    I don’t understand your sense of urgency, Brad. The only people with an interest in BLARGH WE MUST DO SOMETHING NOW are neocon fuckheads and the Israeli right wing. Why play into their hands?

  33. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:25

    Also, congratulations to Israeli PM Netanyahu for announcing that his government is willing to have a Palestinian state so long as it is exactly what he prefers to have happen in every way, included no sharing of Jerusalem, no control of Palestinian airspace, no end to settlements on occupied territories, in general, hey yeah, things can pretty much stay just as they are but we’ll now be willing to call you a ‘state’, hee hee.

  34. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:26

    jesus fucking gawd-damn shit christ. Man.

    Who the fuck is talking seriously about invading or intervening or even opening our fat Yanqui Gov’t. yaps about this? Who?

  35. Smut Clyde said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:30

    I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone.

    Best non-apology evar.

  36. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:36

    ‘I deeply regret that my words may have in any way proved to be an inconvenience to me or that you in any way chose to interpret them as offensive.’

  37. m13ky said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:37

    I’m having a tough time thinking that other gov’ts can carry on like nothing’s happening.

    Ok. But it is in no way a binary choice. There are lots of things the US can do, none of them particularly effective, and with America’s unfortunate history of manipulation of Iranian politics they might very well be counterproductive, but if it serves our interests and the interests of the Iranian people the US government can take an official position questioning the legitimacy of the election, calling for an election, demanding Moussavi’s political opposition be allowed to have a voice etc.

    But getting from there to taking diplomatic engagement off the table (AGAIN!) is not only unnecessary, but certainly counterproductive…

    mikey

  38. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:37

    Comments:

    This doesn’t hold a candle to what “the left” has said about Sarah Palin and her family. GET OVER IT PEOPLE!!!! Besides, that gorillas rear end was nowhere near the size of Michelle’s.

  39. Smut Clyde said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:39

    “If I gave two tugs on a dead dingo’s dick about your opinions, then I would regret that they are so negative.”

  40. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:43

    Enter the Voxiversity! Here’s a test:

    http://voxday.blogspot.com/2009/06/liberal-fascism-introduction.html

  41. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:46

    The flourish that makes the story perfect, to me, is that not only did he justify a shopworn ethnic slur on a woman who people mainly react negatively to for purely political reasons (unlike Clinton, Obama isn’t really prone to verbal bitch-slapping or diving into controversy) by characterizing it as a response to her support for evolution, but that support is a fabrication; no such statements have been made by Mrs. Obama this year.

    I love the smell of the permanent Republican majority in the morning.

  42. Lawnguylander said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:56

    The Nobama Kremlin will stay silent because what is happening in Iran confirms the truth about 9/11.

    Is there anyone here who speaks Twat and can help me understand what this means?

  43. Where is BO? said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:56

    Why doesn’t Obama say something?

    Why is he letting a religious fanatic bent on aggressive war steal an election?

    Maybe he is just too weak-kneed, like his hero failed President Jimmy Carter.

  44. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:57

    I had forgotten that Goldberg identified the French Revolution as fascist. You know, as a student of history one of my hobbies is to pick out the ways in which historians’ biases color their attention to and interpretation of events, and work out their agenda – whether overt or hidden. With some historians on the right, the desire to rehabilitate wrong-warism or slime the Marxist project manages to seriously corrupt their commitment to history.

    Doughy Pantload is basically all the ideological tics of a fascist scut-boy like Beevor rolled into an ostensible attempt at history. Where Beevor chortles at inappropriate names and contrived hypocrisy in an attempt to furnish an argument supporting his wider use of historical documents, Goldberg actually uses that sneering derision as if it is a document in and of itself.

    A major reason I’ve been so committed to the idea that America is inevitably moving into a new party system resulting from the factionalization of an unchallenged Democratic Party is that what is being passed off as history and literature in right-wing culture wouldn’t have met the standards of an American Nazi Party pamphleteer, and would barely fly even in the dregs of European racist politics like the BNP or Free Democrats. I honestly expected there to be some resistance in the right establishment to passing such a fucking idiotic work off as valuable, but they really are that goddamn ignorant.

  45. Where is BO? said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:57

    Why isn’t Obama saying anything on this subject?

    How can he let a religious fanatic bent on aggressive war steal an election?

  46. m13ky said,

    June 15, 2009 at 1:59

    Frankly, if you’re out in the road fondling dead dingoes, there is every likelihood that your children are going to have you committed for reasons of life-threatening embarrassment and you just KNOW they’re gonna sell your collection of deeply disturbing thirteenth century woodcuts on eBay for a few hundred dollars (after they use them as proof of your instability, of course).

    Perhaps you might confine your “creature comforts” to Wetas…

    mikey

  47. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:09

    Why isn’t LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLbLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLmLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL sLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLying LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLnything LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLn this subjLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLct?

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    Genital herpes isn’t a laughing matter, son. Those lesions could be herpetic, so you need to see a doctor right away. Remember, you can still catch something from a pig if she’s a whore.

    Now you know — and knowing’s half the battle.

  48. Where is BO? said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:15

    Why don’t you answer my question, Alec?

    And what do you have to say about the anti-semitic left, like the shooter at the Holocaust Museum?

  49. St. Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:16

    How can he let a religious fanatic bent on aggressive war steal an election?

    Indeed, on Dec. 12, 2000 I don’t remember Obama protesting.

  50. Jon H said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:16

    alec wrote: ” I honestly expected there to be some resistance in the right establishment to passing such a fucking idiotic work off as valuable, but they really are that goddamn ignorant.”

    They aren’t ignorant. They find Jonah’s nonsense useful. Which is even worse.

  51. Where is BO? said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:17

    Gilcrhist, you’re a disgusting fanatic.

    Trying to equate former American President with an Islamist bent on a nuclear holocaust.

    You should be ashamed.

  52. Where is BO? said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:17

    Gilchrist, you’re beyond disgusting.

    How can you equate a former American President with an Islamist bent on a nuclear holocaust?

  53. St. Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:19

    I admit it was unfair of me to imply that Bush was religious in any meaningful sense.

  54. Where is BO? said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:21

    You stupid libs, still obsessed with Bush.

    Bush is gone, back in Texas, and he has been more than gracious to BO.

    Why can’t you do the same for Bush?

  55. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:23

    Why can’t you do the same for Bush?

    Yeah, shame on me using the office of the President that way.

  56. N__B said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:25

    Indeed, on Dec. 12, 2000 I don’t remember Obama protesting.

    Indeed. All I remember from that day is statues with stigmata, the birth of a three-headed calf, and the baying of the concern trolls.

  57. Marcia "The Troof" Brady said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:25

    Bush-a, Bush-a, Bush-a!!

  58. George W. Bush said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:28

    I don’t need to criticize President Obama.

    There are enough critics in the arena.

    He’s doing a fine job, and that is all I will say.

  59. George W. Bush said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:32

    [On January 21, 2009]

    A good man took the Oath of Office, and we offer our prayers for his success.

  60. Niels G. said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:35

    I Cried My Heart Out For Want Of My Love said @ 1:03,

    That BBC journalist is a hero in this day and age.

    <sidenote>That’s John Simpson who – apart from having been gutpunched by then PM Harold Wilson – has reported live from pretty much every major international incident for the last 30 years, including the Iranian revolution and the fall of Ceau?escu, and being injured by U.S. “friendly fire” in Iraq, which killed his translator. Old school journalist, and good guy.</sidenote>

  61. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:37

    Oh come on, troll. That was the perfect set up and you’re going to get offended because he swung?

  62. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:42

    The ‘stupid libs can’t get over Bush’ line is completely fucking retarded, by the way, because it assumes that after five (5) months someone who was the most powerful man on the planet for the last eight years has nothing to do with anything that is currently happening in any way.

    It would be false even if Bush fils had spent all of his time at his vast suburban estate and dude ranch instead of just trying to. Kennedy, whose most significant act involved involuntary splattering, still exercises influence on world affairs.

    You can only pull off pretending to be so stupid for political reasons. After a certain point it just becomes obvious, like pretending that rain or divorce are a media myth.

  63. Snarla said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:44

    How can you equate a former American President with an Islamist bent on a nuclear holocaust?

    What, you mean that wasn’t a perfect straight line?

  64. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:48

    Also, the only part of your interpretation of Ahmadinejad that actually makes sense is ‘on a’, and that’s debatable. Y’know, because when you’ve sneered at people for thinking the Constitution is against standing armies you can obviously count on holding your own about one of the planet’s most complex closed societies with a gang of policy wonks.

  65. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:54

    I never said “on a”, dumbass.

  66. Rahm Emmanuel, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, and Jonah Goldberg said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:56

    What we need right now is a motherfucking war, motherfuckers! Finally the US and Israel tag-teaming and gangbanging some Iranian cocksuckers. WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR WAR!

  67. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:57

    You’re criticizing the token Jew Emmanuel?

  68. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 2:58

    And Hillary Clinton?

    Well, I guess you’re a real Leftist and not duped by “Hope ‘N Change” like 99% of the dumbasses on this blog.

  69. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:03

    Hillary just pulled a very neat side-by-side double-message routine with Cannon, the Canadian Foreign Minister, in which the U.S. carefully avoided comment while Canada (standing right beside her) was much more explicit (from the video above).

    Brad is right to pay attention and be concerned, but we shouldn’t be hasty, except in deciding not to bomb the shit out of the place today, and that decision has obviously been made. So far so good.

  70. Till said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:03

    You can only pull off pretending to be so stupid for political reasons. After a certain point it just becomes obvious, like pretending that rain or divorce are a media myth.

    I dunno, I’d bet most cable news networks would give the rain-deniers and pro-rainists equal time.

  71. Doug Watts said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:05

    Also, congratulations to Israeli PM Netanyahu for announcing that his government is willing to have a Palestinian state so long as it is exactly what he prefers to have happen in every way, included no sharing of Jerusalem, no control of Palestinian airspace, no end to settlements on occupied territories, in general, hey yeah, things can pretty much stay just as they are but we’ll now be willing to call you a ’state’, hee hee.

    He reads the works of P.W. Botha deep into the night.

  72. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:07

    Tangential to the topic, but just barely: Snarla’s great blog goes over Max Blumenthal’s interviews of Americans in Israel being censored by Huffpo. This seems to support a theory I’ve had recently, which is that in Israeli politics there’s a disproportionate level of influence from, and an increasing tendency from the hard right to emphasize the concerns of, people who live and vote in Israel and yet still think about it in the distant, ideological, and inflexible way one would find in America or Russia.

    The settlements are the most interesting part of this. The reality-based right is as categorically against them as the reality-based left, but the fantasist right considers them an inalienable prerogative of Israel. There’s no benefit to them, the settlers are almost exclusively religious or secular nutjobs and an extreme number of them are recent immigrants (especially Americans), and they’re not just blatantly illegal but more diplomatically damaging than anything else Israel does.

    And yet Americans come into the country convinced that it’s their birthright to buy land sitting on top of East Bumfuck, Judea and live like they did in the exurbs on land belonging in every meaningful sense to some of the poorest and most desperate people on earth. It’s fucking insane; Netanyahu has come to exploit it, but that’s who Avigdor Lieberman, a vicious Nazi thug and mogul and the current foreign minister of Israel, is. It’s who he represents and it’s what he wants out of politics.

    Right now, the Israeli government is pretty much unconditionally the problem. The most dove-ass motherfuckers alive could spontaneously take over every other state between the sea and the Ganges and Israel would still be run by literally insane warmongers.

  73. RUGGED IN MONTANA said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:17

    AMANIMANANAJHAD WON FAIR AND SQUARE (PRE-ELECTION POLS HAD HIM AT ABOUT 89%) IN A DEMOCRATIC ELECTION, AND SINCE HE’S HITLER, WE HAVE TO INVADE TO PROTECT ROM EMAUNUEL FROM BEING NUKED. (Einstein, 1939, after Nazi & Commies united, proposed spacebombs that destroy all, unless we finally teach the Moral ABC’s the real Rabbi Hillel taught Jesus to unite all in All-One-God-Faith. As teach astronomers Abraham- Israel- Moses- Buddah- Hillel- Jesus- Spinoza- Paine- Sagan & Mohammed, inspired every 76 years, 6000 yrs. by the Messenger of God’s Law, the Messiah, Halley’s Comet: WE’RE ALL ONE OR NONE!”, “THERE IS NO GOD BUT GOD!” “TEACH LOVE THINE ENEMY!” “LISTEN CHILDREN ETERNAL FATHER ETERNAL ONE” “Israel- Moses- Buddah- Jesus- Mohammad: One! ALL-ONE!)

  74. jim said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:17

    I agree with your perspective … but I also can see where this thing can go if the American/Israeli reaction is overly punitive & bellicose. I think the weak regime there would rejoice at an American backlash, right when they need an external boogieman to channel hostility away from themselves. What good would isolating Iran do the dissident Iranians right now? Seems to me it’d be a green light for a bloody purge – I welcome anyone to show me I’m full of boloney, though. If it could be done without getting a hell of a lot of folks killed, I’d gladly support an international Detention Hall for Iran.

    Somebody accused me of “international concern trolling” in the previous thread because I said that a Mousavi win would lessen the chance of war with Iran.

    What those neocons are saying is far more egregious international concern-trolling then anything you’ve said – the only thing they care about in Iran is the black goop residing directly below it. They’re not exactly in a position to do much with said trolling, though, so it’s kind of academic.

    The situation there NOW is in fact increasing the odds of such a war the worse it gets – odds which I think are slim in any event. BushCo made several blatant attempts to gin up a pretext for one & failed, & Obama’s pet-target seems to be Afghanistan.

    I just don’t think there’s much hope that a new president would really improve Iran’s relations with the US, period. Keep in mind who holds almost all the real power there. Let the neocons say what they like – a more progressive president there doesn’t look like a real game-changer to me, unless he could somehow engineer a bloodless coup against the mullahs & turn Iran into a real modern democratic state. Yet another thing I’d love to be proven wrong on.

    I know I’m going to catch a shitload of flack for this, but I don’t see how Obama can continue with his plans to engage the country at this moment.

    Sadly, yes. This is exactly the time when such engagement can have a meaningful positive role – convincing Ahmedinijerk to back the hell off being a brute, if its done right – & it’s also the worst possible time for Obama to look like an “appeaser” politically.

  75. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:20

    Liberal Israeli daily Ha’aretz writer Akiva Eldar on Netanyahu’s speech:

    Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a patriarchal, colonialist address in the best neoconservative tradition: The Arabs are the bad guys, or at best ungrateful terrorists; the Jews, of course, are the good guys, rational people who need to raise and care for their children. In the West Bank settlement of Itamar, they’re even building a nursery school.

    No empathy for the refugees from Jaffa who lost their entire world, not a word for the Muslim connection to Jerusalem  neither a fragment of a quote from the Koran, nor a line of Arabic poetry…

    …Netanyahu’s demand that Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people didn’t even leave him an opening for forging reconciliation with the Arab citizens in the country.

    The prime minister’s declaration that Jerusalem will remain the “undivided capital” of Israel – only Israel – slammed the door before the entire Muslim world. And his Hebron is solely the city of the Jewish patriarchs; the Arabs have no such rights at all.

    The Palestinians can have a state, but only if those foreign invaders show us they know how to eat with a fork and knife. Actually, without a knife.

  76. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:34

    It’s worth remembering, incidentally, that there are people in Israel who aren’t professional assholes.

  77. George Johnston said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:39

    George Bush’s lawyer advised him, “Don’t say anything that will make Obama rethink investigating you.”

  78. Orange Tom said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:43

    Not to quibble Alec, but that’s a bit like pointing to the .00032% of the U.S. population that are vegans and saying “Hey, not all of us are bloodthirsty mutherfuckers!”.

  79. noen said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:46

    Can we go back to teh funnie now?

  80. Major Kong said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:49

    Why can’t you do the same for Bush?

    He did one heck of a job clearing brush.

    There, happy now?

  81. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 3:54

    Not to quibble Alec, but that’s a bit like pointing to the .00032% of the U.S. population that are vegans and saying “Hey, not all of us are bloodthirsty mutherfuckers!”.

    Well, Hitler was pretty bloodthirsty, but to be fair that was mainly because sausage gave him embarassing gas.

    I understand your point, but I would suggest in opposition that like carnivory in America, fairly few Israelis are actively for the occupation in any other sense than it being part of their political culture, a rider on other things they accept or enjoy. A lot of politics comes from opinion-makers personally influencing the undecided, and in America we mainly focus on the rabid, obsessive ones. An expert on the American media could hardly tell from the 2008 election coverage that 88% of American Jews ultimately wound up voting for Obama.

  82. Israel said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:18

    Dudes I have this problem where I’ve had this raging, veiny, throbbing erection for hours and hours and hours and HOURS AND HOURS now and if I don’t fucking do something with it soon WebMD.com tells me I have to go to the emergency room because seriously, dudes, it isn’t healthy to be this motherfucking hard for this motherfucking long.

    PS Obama–call me. We have so much to talk about. Hugs and kisses.

  83. less is more said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:20

    So what is Iran’s body count now? Betcha they can’t beat the American’s count at Dresden even. Second raters.

    There is fun coming down the line. There is some racist trying not to let anyone know that he’s just jealous of Obama because HAVE YOU SEEN A PICTURE OF HIS WIFE? HE KNOWS WHAT A GORILLA LOOKS LIKE. DAMN SHE MUST HAVE BROUGHT A HUGE FAMILY FORTUNE. DESPERATE BECAUSE SHE MARRIED HIM.

    Oh, well. I’m still waiting for the wingnuts to stop and think. Hard but they will do it.

    5 supreme court justices are catholics now. One more makes 6. Gee, bye bye Roe vs Wade. Carousing and drinking and going to church to thank their sad little god for letting them win.

    The real fun is going to come when it FINALLY dawns on them that 6 out of 9 catholics on the supreme court will run the country. You may not care much for Newt Gingrich but you have to admit that he is usually up to something cunning. Now why would a southerner possibly convert to catholicism?

    You are going to see the snake handlers, the holy rollers, the mainstream Protestant churches and the Mormons, maybe even the Moonies do their nut when they realize that the catholics just reversed the reformation.

    Buy guns, ammo, white hoods, dynyomitete cause there is nothing like a real religious war to thin down the uncommitted.

    This is how truly ignorant the leaders of America are and they are watching Iran? Hysterical. At least Iran has sense enough to let the majority religion control the government.

    Catholics, maybe they will hole up in Chicago as the religious burn down their churches. Make Mel Gibson president. 6 out of 9 votes they can rule that Obama was not correctly elected and decide Mel is the boy.

    Buy popcorn. Get a private source of power. CHANGE IS GOING TO COME.

  84. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:25

    This is a pretty good international response as far as nations which have very little sway:

    “Germany views events in Iran following its presidential election with great concern and has summoned the Iranian ambassador to explain, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Sunday. He also condemned what he called ‘brutal actions’ against demonstrators in Tehran which he said were unacceptable.”

  85. MarkusR said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:25

    All successful revolutions begin and end internally.

  86. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:26

    less is more, that was so incoherent I can’t tell if you’re a troll or not.

  87. St. Xecklothxayyquou Gilchrist said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:28

    less is more, that was so incoherent I can’t tell if you’re a troll or not.

    Seconded. But piefiltered just to be on the safe side.

  88. now babe you're a bird of paradise said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:35

    Less is More was coherent enough, he just doesn’t understand a very basic fact that Buckley/Buchanan understood a long, long time ago. Vatican II decimated the ability of hard Right Catholics to even control their own voting bloc in US politics. Why do you think Buckley got cozy with Falwell and, worse, was complicit in his silence when the neo-Cons like Kristol got their seats at the table? The notion of the ascendancy of hard right Catholicism doesn’t pass the laugh test anymore.

  89. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:42

    Less is More was coherent enough, he just doesn’t understand a very basic fact that Buckley/Buchanan understood a long, long time ago. Vatican II decimated the ability of hard Right Catholics to even control their own voting bloc in US politics. Why do you think Buckley got cozy with Falwell and, worse, was complicit in his silence when the neo-Cons like Kristol got their seats at the table? The notion of the ascendancy of hard right Catholicism doesn’t pass the laugh test anymore.

    Yes. In fact, internationally American Catholics are pretty well-renowned for both strong sectarian identity and indifference to dogma, and even among the clergy there’s been a significant amount of emphasis on the nuance and responsiveness to reality of Catholic social teaching in practice. (‘No exceptions, no compromise’ would not fly in any Catholic congregation which didn’t quietly bar Mexicans entry.)

    And trust me, I seriously doubt the Baptist or Mormon bigwigs would be at all surprised by any sudden movement in the Catholic voting bloc. They’re anti-Catholic to the point of obsession, with Mormon laity and low-level clergy serving as the single driving force of racist contempt for Papist migrants in the southwest.

    Long story short, Sotomayor is pretty typical of American Catholics, whereas Scalitomas are about as representative as Kristol and Krauthammer are of the Jews.

  90. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 4:56

    Kulturkampf continues in cyberspace.

    ewerickson
    One search engine remembers its national origins. One does not. http://bit.ly/wZAJg #Bing beats #google

    about 4 hours ago from TweetDeck

    Gawd only knows what crap he links to, but … doesn’t he want people who immigrate to forget their nati— oh, if you’re not a Yankee pig you should forget your …OK, yeah, never mind.

  91. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:08

    Just wait until bing puts something up in honor of Labor day. And newsbusters will be all aflutter about how awful it is that they would support communists and corrupt union thugs.

  92. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:09

    Yeah, even I, rabid despiser of Catholicism & whatnot, am not worried about a Justice Sotomayor on the Court, although six mackerel snappers of nine justices is a bit odd.

    This, more than a bit odd:

    At least Iran has sense enough to let the majority religion control the government.

    Nonetheless, much more amusing than the totality of other attempts here.

    More inchoate delusional loonies, please.

  93. jim said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:13

    Some random context filched from links via Metafilter: both personal & political … & despite my latent misanthopy, I have to say, sometimes people are beautiful, even in ugly situations.

  94. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:29

    Right now, the Israeli government is pretty much unconditionally the problem.

    Anti-semitic much, Alec?

  95. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:32

    Blame America First, Blame the Jews First–such is the modern “progressive” movement.

  96. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:35

    It’s amazing that Israelis can actually discuss their nation’s policies and politics without becoming the same gibbering idiots that American conservatives and liberal hawks become. But then the latter group are repulsive, semi-developed humanoids who should never have access to power in the first place.

  97. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:36

    He blamed Israel first, how could he be a blame America firster?

  98. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:36

    Anti-semitic much, Alec?

    I’m sure any Jewish friends you have would be thrilled to learn you evidently believe they have a direct line to Netanyahu and Lieberman and are responsible for their decisions.

    Ha ha! “Friends”. I crack me up sometimes.

  99. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:45

    So you’re a self-hating Jew, Alec? Like Finkelstein?

    The kind of Jew that would have voted for Hitler for “Hope ‘N Change”, no doubt.

  100. Olexicon said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:46

    Blame Obama First, Blame the Minorities First–such is the modern “Conservtive” movement.

    Typos repaired

  101. Alec, 1943 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:47

    Bu…but…Hitler promised HOPE! AND CHANGE!

    NO DON’T!!

  102. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:47

    The relevant comparison isn’t to Bush Administration criticism of Obama, it is Bush criticism of the previous Administration (the Clinton Administration), and also the state of affairs each Administration inherited.

    In other words, Bush officials were still blaming Clinton for all kinds of things years after 2000. And the steaming mess of just about everything imaginable that Bush-Cheney left behind has no comparison.

  103. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:48

    Hey, Troofie, Tell us what the word “Semitic” means, and then explain how the Arabs are “Anti-Semitic.”

  104. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:56

    A nice enough analogy if it weren’t for the fact that most politically active Jews in Germany favored the SDP and Communists and were targeted well before their loyally isolationist counterparts in the guise of fighting ‘radicals’ and ‘subversives’.

    You don’t know shit about history, so I wouldn’t recommend this one in the future. “Self-hating Jew” is a pretty good way to get your skoal-stained peckerwood teeth kicked in, as many of them awful blame-America first Upper East Hollywood elitists have more personal connection to the Holocaust than Slavic rumors and old photographs.

  105. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:56

    Blame America’s & Israel’s governments for many of the problems in the Mid-East — such is the the approach of people who can perceive reality & form common-sense conclusions.

    Do not, however, confuse the policies & actions of the Israeli government w/ “The Jews.” Nor should criticism of the policies & actions of the Israeli government be confused w/ “Anti-Semitism.”

  106. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:57

    Hitler was a man of the Left. Like Mussolilni.

  107. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:58

    The Holocaust Museum shooter was a real lestist, too.

    9/11 Truther, hated “neocons” [i.e., jews] and Bush.

    Alec, do you support Israel’s right to exist? Hmmm?

  108. Rahm Emanuel said,

    June 15, 2009 at 5:59

    Goddamn, you fuckin’ cockstick. What, you got a fuckin’ shriveled testicle for a brain or somethin, you fuckin’ asshole?

  109. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:04

    The Holocaust Museum shooter was a real lestist, too.

    Bookmark this, lests.

  110. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:05

    You know who’s a real conservative… Robert Mugabe.
    He hates gays and racial minorities. No holes can be poked into this argument.

  111. Holocuast Shooter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:05

    I hated “Zionists” (like Rev. Wright, Ralph Nader, many other leftists)

    I was a 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist

    I hated “Jew neocons” and Bush

    I was against the Iraq war, thought it was started by Jews

    Doesn’t that sounds….LEFTIST?

    Answer that, Alec.

  112. pedestrian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:06

    I’ve been trying to encourage anyone reading to avoid treating this as a matter of the bad guy stealing the election from the good guy. The election was dirty to begin with and the authorities have potentially violated the very limited restraint they’ve staked out beforehand, and that’s why people are angry.

    What excites me about this whole thing is the possibility that the Iranian people might be able to win a victory for democracy in principle. It isn’t that the good guy would fix everything, it is that the leadership would have to start taking popular will into account. Leaders may even have to compete for popular support, which might mean someone offering genuine and fundamental reform – or the whole system collapsing, Khameini, Mousavi and all.

  113. Holocuast Shooter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:07

    What do you think of Ahmedinijad, Alec? He denies the holocaust. Where’s the outrage against him that you manage to muster up for an ex-President? Hmmmm?

  114. pedestrian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:11

    ugh,obligatory rage is the worst.

  115. The Hmmm of the Hmmmer said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:11

    Hmmm?? Hmmmmm? HMMMMMM????

  116. Alec, 1943 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:11

    But Hitler hated Capitalism! And said he would raise taxes on the “top 1%!”

  117. N.C. said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:13

    Man this is just the absolute saddest

  118. The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:14

    “Hitler was a man of the left, like Musso-lil-ni.” I don’t think ignorance can be distilled to a purer essence than that. Absolutely stupefying.

  119. Nom de Plume said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:15

    The Holocaust Museum shooter was a real lestist, too.

    Best of luck convincing the average American that a Jew-hating, gun-toting conspiracy theorist who liked to post on Free Republic (to glowing reviews) was a “lestist”. I know the fax machines are buzzing and the talking points are being disseminated like pollen, and you probably think, like you usually do, that it’s a great idea that just might work. But you’ve been working too hard for too long to make these ideas your own, and it’s a little late to run from them now.

    Better luck next time, “next time” probably being a few days from now when another rightwing nut who can’t cope with reality or summon the courage to deal with it decides to express himself with a gun.

  120. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:19

    Humming d00d,

    Valiant effort and all, but trying to polish W’s record is like putting lipstick on thousands of dead servicemen drowning to death in a major city while wiping your ass with the Constitution and burning mountains of money piled up to my chin.

    Look, but the end of his term, about one in four conservative Republicans were giving W a thumbs down. Note that if you factor in all the folks the Permanent Republican Majority managed to shove out the big tent, it’s almost half that disapproved of Bush. Being a Bush-hater is not a sign of liberalism or leftitude – that guy really did EPIC FAIL suck.

  121. st. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:19

    If you can’t tell the difference between ‘zionist’ as an ethnic slur and ‘zionist’ as a political identifier you probably pop a boner when someone spraypaints on a synagogue. The American Jewish community isn’t biting, you fucking cretin. Why don’t you just go back to circulating trenchant Stormfront posts and be fucking done with it?

  122. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:21

    ‘Um, you see, um, the thing is, uh, you can’t be on the right if’n you hate Joooz, ’cause, um, you know.’

    Periodically I worry that the modern conservative movement will fail to remind the average American outside the conservative white South that they are a collection of hyperactive sociopathic retards, but, hey, they haven’t let me down for a while. GO FOR IT!!!

  123. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:26

    You know I think if Eric Rudolph was still around it wouldn’t be too preposterous to imagine they would call him a leftist.

  124. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:27

    Look, anyone who does something wrong is by definition not a conservative and therefore must a leffiss.

  125. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:28

    Hey Alec, what did you think when Rev. Wright said “Them Jews” wouldn’t let him talk to Obama, and the said what he really meant was Zionists?

    I’d like to know how you justify that statement.

    Was that a “political identifier”, or “ethnic slur”?

  126. Adolf Hitler said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:31

    I was opposed to US intervention in foreign wars, and blamed America first.

    Sound familiar libs? Hmmmmmm?

  127. Ahmadinejad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:34

    I will be President for a long time to come.

    Thanks Obama and his liberal supporters!

  128. The Truth of the Matter said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:35

    And you CAN bookmark that, asswipes.

    Ahmadinejad will be President for at least four more years. Obama has some tough decisions to make now that his “soft power” failed.

  129. Anthony said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:39

    Oh my god. Obama rigged the Iranian election. I think The Truth has stumbled onto something here. And you know who else rigged elections… it all comes together.

  130. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:39

    Funny, Ari Fleischer was just claiming credit for Booosh, for Iran’s reformist wave.

    Course, that’s before the election was over.

  131. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:44

    Back to the question of “What now?”

    The from Juan Cole, posted to address the question of whether everyone outside of Iran got caught up in some sort of scam by urban Iranian elites. Mohammad Khatami.

    Remember that the President of Iran is really just a figurehead. Everything must be okayed by the Supreme Leader.

    Okay, I guess mentioning that doesn’t help answer the “What now?” question – except in the sense that getting Ahmadinejad out isn’t necessarily going to lead to any legislative reforms.

  132. El Cid said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:44

    Obama planned the whole thing while he was being simultaneously born in Hawaii, Kansas, Indonesia, and Kenya, just to make it all interesting.

  133. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:45

    WordPress ate my “latest” which should have appeared with the rest of the linkee. I blame Obama for rigging Preview.

  134. An Actual DailyKos Commentator said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:49

    The green revolution is an AIPAC creation. I was kinda suspicious about this whole “color” thing.

    http://www.dailykos.com/

    In 2007, Iran arrested and interrogated Haleh Esfandiari, an academic linked to Soros’ Open Society Institute. The Iranians accused her of plotting to lure Iranian reformers and dissidents into a network aimed at devising a non-violent overthrow of the Islamic government.

    The ministry said the foundation had “played key roles in intrigues that have led to colourful revolutions in former Soviet republics in recent years” and now aimed to overthrow Iran’s government.

    “In primary interrogations, she reiterated that the Soros Foundation has established an unofficial network with the potential of future broader expansion, whose main objective is overthrowing the system,” it said.

    Esfandiari’s alleged confession then led to the arrest of another Soros/ Open Society associate, Kian Tajbakhsh, an Iranian-American social scientist. The Iranian government called Tajbakhsh “the manager and representative of American Soros Foundation in Iran.” Both Esfandiari and Tajbakhsh were eventually freed after wrangling between the Iranian and American governments, but not before eliciting the following “confession” from Tajbakhsh.

    The long-term goal of the Soros Foundation is to achieve an open society [in Iran]. The way to achieve this is to create a rift between the rulers and the people. Through this rift, those parts of civil society which were formed and strengthened according to the concept of open society will exert pressure on the rulers to change their conduct. This rift can be created like what happened in Georgia, or else this conduct can be altered gradually, through elections and other “soft” methods. In order to create this rift, either you weaken the central government, or else you strengthen that part of civil society which opposes the government.

    http://www.scienceblog.com/

    5/11/2004

    From: Josh Block of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, 202-639-5273 or 202-997-4614 (mobile)

    Revolution From Within: Can the Iranian People Reclaim the Republic? (Convention Center – ROOM 144 ABC):

    – Mr. Philo Dibble, deputy assistant secretary, U.S. Department of State

    – Ms. Haleh Esfandiari(*), Middle East Project consulting director, Woodrow Wilson Center

    http://online.wsj.com/

    Haleh Esfandiari is no firebrand opponent of the regime in Tehran . As director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington , D.C. , the Iranian-born scholar is known as an advocate of U.S. engagement with the mullahs and supporter of the “reformists” associated with former President Mohammad Khatami. But those distinctions don’t count for much with the people who now hold her hostage in Tehran ‘s infamous Evin prison.

    Ms. Esfandiari has been a prisoner of the Ayatollahs for the past five months, since her U.S. and Iranian passports were stolen by knife-wielding assailants during one of her routine visits to Tehran to see her 93-year-old mother. Rather than issue her new travel documents, agents from the ministry of intelligence subjected her to four months of intensive questioning, culminating with demands that she “cooperate.” She refused. She was remanded to Evin prison earlier this month. On Monday, she was charged with attempting to overthrow the Islamic Republic, according to Iranian state news agencies.

    Her peril should not be underestimated: In 2003, Canadian-Iranian photojournalist Zahra Kazemi was murdered in Evin. The Iranian newspaper Kayhan claims Ms. Esfandiari is a former head of the ” Iran section of AIPAC” (the U.S. Israel lobby), which is untrue, and that she has lived in Israel , which is also untrue, and that she is an agent of the Mossad, which is absurd.

    Meanwhile, Iran has also detained Iranian-American consultant Kian Tajbakhsh, who was working for George Soros’s Open Society Institute. “We are concerned for his safety and call for his immediate release,” the institute said in a statement.

    Both Mr. Soros and the Wilson Center are critics of the Bush Doctrine in the Middle East, and Wilson Center President Lee Hamilton has been prominently urging U.S. negotiations with Iran . Mr. Hamilton wrote Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in February requesting Ms. Esfandiari’s release. He received no reply.

    http://omidmemarian.blogspot.com/

    Jahanbegloo and Reja News

    Reja News, a super conservative website which has been active over the past few days in attacks against Hossein Moussavian, a senior Iranian diplomat recently arrested in Tehran, published a report in which Haleh Esfandiari was named the Zionists’ agent in Iran. A part of Ramin Jahanbegloo’s confessions in which his relations with this Iranian researcher has been called “of a political/security nature” has been quoted in the report, declaring “I met a woman named Haleh Esfandiari in Canada (who is an anti-Revolutionary Iranian, married to a Jewish man), and through her I established contact with certain organizations in the US, and I received a scholarship in the US to research intellectuality in Iran.” The wording resembles the literature of forced confessions.

    The report then describes Dr. Esfandiari’s activities in Ayandegan Newspaper, saying: “She is an effective member of the pre-Revolution Zionist Lobby in the Pahlavi court, who along with her husband founded the Zionist Ayandegan Newspaper in Tehran. The interesting point is that Haleh Esfandiari remained in Iran for a time after the Revolution, but with the ban on Ayandegan Newspaper, she fled Iran in August of 1979 for Israel.”

    Reja News which withholds its source continues: “It is said that she was the architect of AIPAC’s conference two years ago, which met under the slogan of `Now Is The Time to Stop Iran,’ suggesting a review of all avenues to confront Iran’s nuclear programs. This conference’s motto, `Iran, the Point of Understanding Between US and Israel,’ tried to review ways for coordinating Israel and US efforts to apply pressure on Islamic Republic of Iran. George Bush, Condoleeza Rice, Hillary Cinton, John Bolton, Ihud Ulmert and Amir Perez were some of the speakers in this conference. It is said that the decision of war with Lebanon’s Hezbollah was reached in this conference.”

  135. pedestrian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:50

    getting Ahmadinejad out isn’t necessarily going to lead to any legislative reforms.

    No, but it will establish popular will as a source of power that is potentially even stronger than the clerics and military. That may lead other politicians to challenge establishment thinking. It still looks very unlikely that Ahmadinejad will be forced out, but if he is, it will prove that Khameini is not actually the supreme authority.

  136. RUGGED IN MONTANA said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:51

    JOHNAH GOLDBRICK PROVED THAT LEFTISTS ARE OF THE FAR RIGHT AND “CONSERVATIVES” ARE SOCIALISTS (I.E., CHENEY AND COMPANY, FOR BAILING OUT THE BANKS). YOU PITIFUL LIE-BRALS ARE BEING PWNED BY TRUTHIE BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T LEARNED THE LESSONS THAT JONAH HAS TAUGHT THOSE OF US WITH THE UNTELLIGENCE TO LEARN.

  137. pedestrian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:53

    An Actual DailyKos Commentator said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:49

    If someone posted a comment like that at Daily Kos, I take it muy seriously. That shit is peer reviewed.

  138. jasperjava said,

    June 15, 2009 at 6:59

    Yeah, a racist, anti-semitic neo-Nazi is just the same as a tree-hugging vegan peacenik hippie. They’re both LEFTIST!!!

    Anyone who thinks Hitler was a leftist has no understanding of history whatsoever. They are to the study of history what the flat-earthers are to geophysics.

    The right-wing has gone round-the-bend insane. War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength.

    It’s sad, it’s mortifying, but ultimately it’s good news. People who are THAT completely divorced from reality can never triumph.

  139. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:05

    No, but it will establish popular will as a source of power that is potentially even stronger than the clerics and military.

    Man, that’d be a thing to see. If that does happen – if thie election is the trigger for enough popular dissent – that Khameini has to back away from his anoitment of Ahmadinejad. That would indeed be an amazing outcome.

    But that really does sound like a long shot. Then again, thr President is a half-black Secret Muslim born in Kenya and more left than Cindy Sheehan – so who knows what might happen next.

  140. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:08

    It’s sad, it’s mortifying, but ultimately it’s good news. People who are THAT completely divorced from reality can never triumph.

    You say this in the context of a comment about Hitler?

    They’re doomed as a legal movement, I’ll give you that, but I do worry a little for the future. The Republicans are contracting into areas which are governed heavily by massive parochial corporations (mines, exurban developers), extremely and deliberately homogeneous, and host to a great wealth of existing terrorist organizations. If the endgame for the GOP is retreating to the High Cohee country and sucking down as much political-machine slush as possible, I’m a little afraid of the sentence for driving while black in Kentucky half a century from now.

  141. ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:09

    People who are THAT completely divorced from reality can never triumph.

    It is pretty amazing that Jonah Goldberg and Bill Kristol receive regular paychecks from major newspapers in the U.S. No wonder they’re all going out of business.

  142. now babe you're a bird of paradise said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:11

    I don’t know what is best for Iran. I care, but only in a sort of abstract way. I care about puppies and kitties I see at an animal shelter and can actually touch and hug more than I care about what is best for Iran. Sorry, but it’s true.

    What is not best for the United States right now is to get ourselves entangled inextricably in this particular clusterfuck. It would be a great relief if, in conducting foreign policies, we could get out of the habit of thinking in terms of “allies and enemies” and more in the habit of thinking of “interests and agendas”. Permanent attachments to other nations, as Jefferson observed, are inevitably a mistake.

  143. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:16

    He had to borrow the shriveled nut, as his shrivelies haven’t descended yet.

    You g-dd-m lestists fuck off!!

  144. HTML Mencken said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:19

    I dunno; I guess I agree with you, Brad. But I think Mikey’s right, too.

  145. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:24

    It is pretty amazing that Jonah Goldberg and Bill Kristol receive regular paychecks from major newspapers in the U.S. No wonder they’re all going out of business.

    Slacktivist, one of my favorite bloggers, blames the death of the newspaper on a gradual takeover by moguls who misinterpreted the slight but unbreakable profit margins (in the context of an unstable local economy making them a license to print money on a small scale) as underperformance, and stripped them of many of the features that ensured that margin. Rather like the savings and loans being used in the 80s for profit margins they were never supposed to sustain and then crashing fantastically under a cloud of fraud, newspapers whose profit margins had traditionally been about 5-7% were forced to run at 15-20% – and at the first major system shock imploded in a way they wouldn’t have otherwise. (The papers survived CNN, after all.)

    Before the acquisition, stripping, and sale of papers on a massive scale, conservative news outlets were typically legacy projects run at a loss (in some cases a massive one). The massive losses of the New York Post have increasingly infuriated the largely business-conservative stockholders of Newscorp, and the Washington Times eats money and shits political respect for Moonies.

    It’s been one of my most fervent hopes that the crash will force the corporate sponsors of right-wing drivel to either close their doors or dump the echo chamber nodes. And yet the Republicans somehow found a way to survive whining about unfairness to Hitler after we found out about the Holocaust, so who knows what those political cockroaches will pull off.

  146. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:26

    g-dd-m

    Do people actually use this? Please tell me they do.

  147. pedestrian said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:32

    I care, but only in a sort of abstract way. I care about puppies and kitties I see at an animal shelter and can actually touch and hug more than I care about what is best for Iran. Sorry, but it’s true.

    That’s funny because I care a lot about Iran, but not very much about puppies and kitties. I always felt like a horrible person for not being very interested, but since some people do seem to be, I thought that I would let them take it.

  148. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 7:45

    No wonder they’re all going out of business.

    Here’s why.

    Given that “The Daily Show” is dependent on other news media to provide you with your fodder, is it counterproductive to help bring down an organization that supplies your content?

    Umm, no. Just no. “The Daily Show” is actually dependent on the major news guys like the Times and CNN and whatnot – continuing to suck like the garbage-filled cesspools that they are.

    Youse fucking media blowhards don’t get it. Watch the Colbert 2006 correspondents dinner thing again. It’s not Stewart and Colbert and the rest of the ink-stained wretches against the ultra-secretive ruling elites. It’s Stewart and Colbert against the fucking sycophantic access-obsessed, network-ified news industry.

    Watch the show for once. The whole thing is that it’s a FUCKING PARODY OF NEWSPROGRAMS. Stewart ain’t laughing with you. Fucking assholes. He’s basically saying the same thing over and over again – and it’s to you fucking Press-Card-carrying “exclusives!!!”-cum-guzzlers. He’s telling you TO DO YOUR FUCKING JOBS ALREADY!

    And people watch. Do you know why they watch? Sure he’s pretty hilarious – but that ain’t the only reason. It’s because the comedian has a more serious approach to “journalistic ethics” than you fuckers. Holy figgity fuck – you journamalism shitbags suck.

    Well, in your defense, at least you didn’t call Jason Jones’ treatment of you “torture“.

  149. M. Bouffant said,

    June 15, 2009 at 8:06

    “g-dd-m”

    Can’t remember seeing that actual construction before. (Just made it up, I think. This web activity is tough when you can’t do voices, impersonations, etc., so you have to settle for what you can do w/in the confines of HTML.) The kind of person who’d seriously type “g-d” probably doesn’t ask It to do too much damning.

    Although, damnation-wise, a Baptist bozo in the O. C. prays for g-d to kill Obama, & any & all other lefsists [sic] or at least do something bad to them. (And somehow manages to get it publicized.) The preacher calls it “imprecatory prayer” & claims it’s BIblically legit.

  150. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 8:13

    The preacher calls it “imprecatory prayer” & claims it’s BIblically legit.

    Probably a flaming liberal too. I mean, even the crazy Death-Note praying preacher’s doing it:

    Drake said he did not believe Tiller’s accused killer is a pro-life Christian.

    “I’m of the opinion — and now everybody’s going to say ‘There goes Wiley down the conspiracy-theory road,’ I’m of the opinion that somebody in the Obama camp had this guy killed.”

    “Who benefits the most from this man killing a doctor?” Drake asked. “We certainly don’t. Pro-life people certainly don’t. It hurts us. It damages us, but Obama will indeed advance it. This will be one of those crises to take advantage of, and he’s already done that.”

    Drake said he had no evidence and admitted his opinion for now is “pure speculation.”

    d00d, I think you’re mixing up the word “speculation” with the phrase “batshit crazy”.

  151. red said,

    June 15, 2009 at 8:24

    I am so glad people are wising up. I’m Persian, born in the US. I’ve been to Iran several times, last time was 2007. I have been telling people for YEARS: Wait. Do not intervene. The hardliners are shrinking, the youth is something like 80% of the population, and they all like the West. Even most of the middle aged people want a return to a more western culture, and be part of the world (while not giving up all of their Islamic Republic). Mostly, they are sick of a bunch of stupid rules and religious thieves running the country. There are charity boxes lining the street, but everyone says the govt just keeps the money.

    I knew this was going to happen, but not when. I am glad the US is sitting back and not saying anything. Just sit back, shut up, and watch it happen. If not this time, then next time. When the new govt is in power, extend an olive wreath, GENTLY. They will need to settle in and show their independence first. Iranians are big on independence and respect.

    I always tell people the following rules about the Middle east (semi tongue in cheek): they are very independent, and dont like being interfered with. They are very ethical and are big on keeping their word. They are tricky, but will never balls out lie (most of them at least). They like to argue/fight, and have long memories, and are big on honor.

    Dont give the hardliners a reason for anything. The second the US does anything, game over.

    I see it like this: What the hardliners just did is insult the whole people. They lied to them. They interfered with the voting process. They did this before, but it slid, for various reasons (they are tricky). But now they have been been caught, and people are PISSED. If it fails this time, I guarantee every one of those kids will remember this, and be back for more, the same way Iraqis and Afghanis have their own vendettas for being bombed by the US. Don’t shift the spotlight. Those kids won’t give up until the army is driving around in tanks. Which unfortunately might be really soon. Hopefully the army backs the populace. You’d have to be really dumb, or hardcore religious, to not see how the wind is blowing over there.

  152. red said,

    June 15, 2009 at 8:42

    wait, the Truth, you are back? What happened with all that talk you had about Obama and McCain and stuff? I thought you left in shame. It’ll be nice watching you get beat in the comments over and over again.

    Rev Wright, probably ethnic slur. But hes not a public official, and he doesnt have a record of racism as far as I know, and I think anti-semitism is a lot smaller concern than the anti black and mexican people comments Republicans make. And saying “them jews” is a lot different than and less loaded than “boy” “Obama the Magic Negro” “Maccaca” etc etc.

    Oh and about the shooter: In general, the left embraces large groups, productivity, individual rights, and monitored business as well as muliculturialsm, and likes “big government” for business only. They also like cooperation, and human rights.
    The right is the opposite. They support business freedom, small economic government, big personal government, guns, and generally dont care about non-whites.

    So when someone hates Jews and non-white people, is all about white power, thinks the all powerful government planned 9/11, and hates Bush (for being too left, likely), shoots a black guard at a Holocaust museum, its not for love of cooperation, human rights, multiculturalism, individual rights etc…usually it means the opposite. That makes him a right winger.

  153. RUGGED IN MONTANA said,

    June 15, 2009 at 10:00

    OH, COME ON! BRUNN, LIKE MOST LIE-BRALS, REGULARLY ATTENDED MEETINGS OF THE AMERICAN FRIENDS OF THE BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY, BECAUSE LIKE ALL LIE-BRALS, HE WAS LOOKING TO ESTABLISH AN ALL-WHITE NATION. IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PROVEN THAT FASCISTS ARE LEFTISTS, JUST LIKE YOU POT-HEAD HIPPIES, SO STOP TRYING TO BLAME ALL OF THESE MURDERS ON THOSE OF US ON THE EXTREME RIGHT.

  154. now babe you're a bird of paradise said,

    June 15, 2009 at 10:28

    Red: Reverend Wright’s comments about the Jews weren’t particularly surprising coming from the pastor of a large, African American congregation. There is a long history of anti-Semitism from prominent black preachers. There is a long history of hate speech on both sides of the aisle, especially regarding Jews, gays, and women. At this point, black biblethumpers may be reliably Democrats because they are well aware of how much the Republicans hate them, but they are certainly not reliably progressive on social issues. There is so much work left to be done, and the hate (In this case the anti-Semitism) flows epic from both sides, especially in tough economic times.

  155. Conservatives Say The Funniest Things said,

    June 15, 2009 at 10:51

    ‘Mommy, what’s a racist?’

    ‘That’s when black people are mean to white people.’

    ‘Mommy, what’s an anti-Semite?’

    ‘That’s a liberal who is mean to the filthy, Christ-killing Jews.’

  156. alec said,

    June 15, 2009 at 12:22

    Red: Reverend Wright’s comments about the Jews weren’t particularly surprising coming from the pastor of a large, African American congregation. There is a long history of anti-Semitism from prominent black preachers. There is a long history of hate speech on both sides of the aisle, especially regarding Jews, gays, and women. At this point, black biblethumpers may be reliably Democrats because they are well aware of how much the Republicans hate them, but they are certainly not reliably progressive on social issues. There is so much work left to be done, and the hate (In this case the anti-Semitism) flows epic from both sides, especially in tough economic times.

    I just wrote an exploration of this topic. In short: you can divide black political and social thought into two schools – one focused on communal and personal dignity, one focused on communal and personal security. The former are nationalist, conservative, lean Republican, and could be summed up with Farrakhan. The latter are economistic, progressive and socialist, strongly Democratic, and could be summed up with King.

    Politicians and activists are usually affiliated with security, celebrities, entertainers, and businessmen usually with dignity. And because the violent racism of the late Progressive Era coincided with a period of ascendance for securitarians/socialists in the black community (Booker T. Washington etc), the collective opinion is that pure security thinking is naive, insufficiently radical, or simply insufficient. And because racists can’t tell the difference between Alan Keyes and Harry Belafonte, there’s no outside incentive towards security to countervail the internal incentive towards dignity.

    Also worth remembering: a lot of black community organizing involves dealing with the lower class and lower middle class, and they’re pretty famous for nasty prejudices studding even progressive overall outlooks. Because to the media the only kind of Jew worth talking about is upper-middle-class, middle-aged, politically conservative, and badly but doggedly Orthodox, the tendency is to latch onto black anti-Semitism like a bear trap while ignoring it elsewhere.

  157. justme said,

    June 15, 2009 at 12:36

    Aaaaand, on topic, (new for me, I know)

    Teh Iranymens Grand Poobah is down for looking into the fraud. Verrrrrrry innnnteresting.

  158. Clem said,

    June 15, 2009 at 12:53

    Unless it’s the Iranian equivalent of the Bush White House investigating its own leak of a CIA operative’s identity, and Bush’s famously insincere pledge to give the boot to any guilty parties. What’s the Grand Poobah going to do, give himself the boot? Then again, perhaps Ahmadinejad will be their Scooter: he’s eminently replaceable and his mash notes to Judith Miller are embarrassingly pornographic.

  159. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 15:44

    What the hardliners just did is insult the whole people.

    Well put, red. I agree. I don’t know if it will take a week or a decade, but big change is coming to Iran — as long as the U.S. doesn’t screw it up.

  160. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 16:43

    While obviously it would be fucking stupid for Obama or any American official to pull a Bush-Cowboy routine that would give the Iranian government propaganda to use to justify its suppression, I don’t think the United States can accept the election outcome either.

    Unfortunately, both Putin and Hu can.

  161. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 16:59

    Verrrrrrry innnnteresting.

    Holy Invisible Pink Unicorn. The Supreme Leader had earlier called the election results “a divine assessment”. Khamenei blinked first.

    But seriously, what are they doing to do? Slow play the “examination” and hope the public loses interest? I’d expect that they’d have to announce the results of the investigation at some point – probably sparking a new round of protests. I suppose they could use the breathing space to crack down on reformers and properly prep security forces for the outcry. That seems to me to be their likely plan, but it doesn’t sound like it’ll help the credibility problem at all.

  162. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 17:25

    D-KW: I have no inside knowledge here, but from previous experience, the loyalty of the security forces — not the generals (or whatever their titles are) but the equivalent of colonels and captains — is probably key.

    Interesting anonymous piece from Teheran in Salon now (http://www.salon.com/opinion/feature/2009/06/15/tehran_two/), saying “Whether now or in a few months or years, the game is over.”

  163. Bony Baloney said,

    June 15, 2009 at 17:32

    If you wanna keep two sets of dishes or roll around on the floor yelling nonsense syllables, great, but this “G-d” bullshit is straight-up African werebeast-legend dookie. Every Protestant who reads “G-d” expands it into “God damn,” which is irritating and leads to overall antipathy toward the inconsistent pussies who don’t disemvowel B-bl- or -ld T-st-m-nt. Look at how you people come across:

    “I realized I couldn’t control every aspect of my life, so I turned it over to God damn, and now my heart is full of serenity. When I think of how I used to live before I accepted God damn as a vital part of my daily spiritual life, I don’t know how I ever got along.”

    FSM is good, but getting overused. I suggest “Terrifying Alcoholic-Blackout Sky Daddy Who Rains Burning Sulfur on Faggots.” Let’s see, TABSDW — oh, who cares, one of you anagram fanatics will rearrange it into something snappy.

  164. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 17:33

    Every Protestant who reads “G-d” expands it into “God damn,”

    ….except the ones who know it stands for “god”, which is like all of us.

  165. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 17:43

    PS,

    I’m sorta hoping that the need to “keep the peace” doesn’t escalate to the point where career security force officers, typically conservative hard-liners, start questioning the Grand Ayatollah. That sort of mental shift would only be the result of some truly egregious violence, and I’ve had enough of that already.

    I’m kinda hoping for more like this.

  166. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:01

    D-KW: Sorry, I don’t get it. I certainly agree that there is serious danger of truly egregious violence, but the quote you linked seemed to indicate that students are already questioning the G.A. Maybe the mental shift (separating religious and political authority) is already well underway?

  167. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:18

    Maybe the mental shift (separating religious and political authority) is already well underway?

    In 24-year old students. If lasting change is going to have a chance, it’ll have to happen through the equivalent of Iran’s Joe-Six-Pack (Jalal Six-Doogh). Questioning Ahmadinejad isn’t a big change – his approval numbers swing like recently unmedicated Bipolar II.

    But this is the new thing – “Khamenei’s approval” has always been something that he has granted, and the other meaning (i.e. approval of the Grand Ayatollah) – whoah.

    They could have Al Franken as President of Iran and would mean less than the fact that self-identified Iranian conservatives are challenging the authority of the Spiritual Leader of Iran.

  168. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:27

    How can he let a religious fanatic bent on aggressive war steal an election?

    He beat McCain, what more did you want????

  169. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:28

    They could have Al Franken as President of Iran and would mean less than the fact that self-identified Iranian conservatives are challenging the authority of the Spiritual Leader of Iran.

    True, dat. Mind you, I still think that the realities of regional power will mean most (for the U.S.) in the long run. It’s all verrrrry interesting.

  170. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:41

    I’m feeling kinda bad about all the Sully links, but I gotta hand it to him, he’s really paying attention to what’s going on.
    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2009/06/the-state-switches.html

    Press TV is now reporting on “hundreds of thousands” in today’s rally from Enqelab Square to Azadi Square…

    Just to bring home the significance of the previous item, Press TV is state-owned media…

    This is the illegal rally, where police were told to shoot if necessary.

    Daily Dish appears to be spotty right now, but if you can get to that link, hit the next post too, there’s a photo that’s… well it’s certainly something.

  171. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:43

    Dudes — yep, they’ve got hundreds of thousands of people in Tehran rallying today. This despite the fact that the gov’t sent out early-morning propaganda saying the rally had been canceled, that the guards were authorized to use deadly force.

    The courage is off-the-charts incredible.

  172. Clem said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:47

    DKW,

    As a recently diagnosed and medicated (January 2008) BPSD II sufferer, I must say that I don’t know exactly what you mean. Sounds bad, though.

    Fight the power,
    Clem

  173. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:50

    Brad, I come here for grins (almost always lurking silently) but I always thought you were more than merely snarky, and the last couple of days you’ve proved it. Thanks.

    Not that there is anything wrong with snark; why, some of best friends …

  174. Brad said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:52

    Every once in a while I have to stop being cynical. What these people have done is astounding. Right now, there are reports of militias firing on the protesters. If they start mowing people down, I think that’s the end of their government. People just aren’t going to stand for that.

  175. AlanSmithee said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:55

    So? So compare and contrast. When elections are stolen in Iran, people riot in the streets. When elections are stolen in the US, people send money to DNC front groups and complain on blogs.

  176. PS said,

    June 15, 2009 at 18:59

    If they start mowing people down, …. People just aren’t going to stand for that.

    Uh, unfortunate choice of words?

  177. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    June 15, 2009 at 19:00

    Apologies Clem and other sufferers of bipolar II for the crass and ignorant poke. I should have used “roller coaster” but I thought I was being really clever with that.

    Anyways, let’s take a look back at what pedestrian said:

    No, but it will establish popular will as a source of power that is potentially even stronger than the clerics and military. That may lead other politicians to challenge establishment thinking. It still looks very unlikely that Ahmadinejad will be forced out, but if he is, it will prove that Khameini is not actually the supreme authority.

  178. JM said,

    June 15, 2009 at 19:46

    Am I the only one hoping the students will hang the basij from trees?

    OK I’ll be quiet.

  179. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 19:54

    When elections are stolen in the US, people send money to DNC front groups and complain on blogs.

    Presumably you fall into the latter group, Alan.

  180. Lawnguylander said,

    June 15, 2009 at 19:57

    It takes a real wanker like AlanSmithee to draw an equivalence between the situation Iranians in 2009 are facing to that of Americans in 2000. Some people need to get out in the world, do some traveling to places where life is a lot tougher rather than spend their time posting stupid US-centric comments on blogs.

  181. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 20:07

    Lawnguy,

    I have friends who live in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, and Smithee has a point: those folks will riot if the weather’s bad.

    Perhaps we should emulate them, so that nothing will ever get done by anyone.

  182. justme said,

    June 15, 2009 at 20:50

    I have friends who live in Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, and Smithee has a point: those folks will riot if the weather’s bad.

    Alas, it just shows where the American heart truly lies, other than above massive reserves of visceral fat. Apparently, the Lakers win deserves a riot, whereas a stolen election or two… not so much. Besides, how ever would we get to Wal-Mart if everybody was in the streets clogging traffic?

  183. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 21:00

    Apparently, the Lakers win deserves a riot, whereas a stolen election or two… not so much.

    Actually, I think it speaks to how remarkable the American election system is and just how much faith we place in it.

    Let’s face facts: while Bush likely stole the Presidency and may even have stolen his re-selection, the simple fact is, he ran a race close enough against a sitting incumbent Vice President that he was in a position to steal it.

    That simply should not have happened. Period.

    So Americans didn’t revolt because we knew in our hearts that something close to half of us voted for this shmuck, and that he had four years to prove, well, something to at least half of us. He couldn’t steal a third term, and life goes on.

  184. Xecky Gilchrist said,

    June 15, 2009 at 21:54

    Alas, it just shows where the American heart truly lies, other than above massive reserves of visceral fat.

    Well put – I LOLed. And shook like a bowlful of jelly.

  185. jurassicpork said,

    June 15, 2009 at 22:31

    The administration says the Iranian elections “aren’t about us.”

    I disagree. In Iran, it really is about us. You can see it on Juan Cole’s site, Nico Pitney’s space on the Huff Po or Andrew Sullivan’s blog, the latter two live-blogging the post election riots that are no longer riots but a full-blown revolution. They just haven’t said it yet. I have.

    Looking at the level of political involvement of these brave kids in Iran makes me wonder… what the hell happened to us and why didn’t we do this 8 years ago?

  186. actor212 said,

    June 15, 2009 at 22:44

    The administration says the Iranian elections “aren’t about us.”

    I disagree. In Iran, it really is about us.

    Pork, the administration may even agree with you, but they. Can. Not. Say. It.

    Did you want World War III? Didn’t you learn the lessons of the Bush administration? We have to shut up and let this thing unfold until we can either mediate or have to step in.

  187. Lawnguylander said,

    June 16, 2009 at 0:32

    Not everything is about America. This is one of those rare things. And here we have another wanker bemoaning the lack of riots here. Feck’s sake. Ok, you can has riots but first we have to get lucky enough for things to get a lot worse. And when we do have riots let’s have them on the streets where AlanSmithee and jurassicpork live. Please be considerate enough to leave anything valuable that you own out on the curb so we can smash it when we get done with your cars.

  188. actor212 said,

    June 16, 2009 at 16:45

    Please be considerate enough to leave anything valuable that you own out on the curb so we can smash it when we get done with your cars.

    Dibs on the crystal vase!

  189. farang said,

    June 21, 2009 at 11:15

    “That’s why I’d like to see the opposition at least force an election do-over with international monitors on hand. It’d be even better if they brought down the entire gubmint, of course.”

    Yet where were all these blogging handwringers crying for “fair elections” when Bush stole two here?

    Think we *might* be better of not throwing stones near our own glass house?

    No, you’re correct, everything is peachy fine here, let’s worry about Iranians we otherwise never give one hoot about.

    See what $400 million will buy ya these days in P.R.?

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