Jun
16

If only that nice Shah fellow were still around…




Posted at 3:52 by Brad

One of the things that’s nice about Politico’s Arena is that you can get sensible, measured commentary placed side-by-side with comical barking lunacy. Witness this jewel (emphasis mine):

Pejman Yousefzadeh, Attorney and blogger:

Events of the past few days appear to have done nothing to curb the Obama Administration’s fetish for negotiations with Iran — this despite the fact that Iran is currently in turmoil, and that if the Administration holds off on pressing for negotiations with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it might–might–get a government in Iran more amenable to making a deal with the United States that assists both sides and improves the international security situation.

As a side note of sorts, one might add that while the Obama Administration is right to believe that an excessive degree of interventionism from the United States would likely backfire, hanging back too much would lead to deleterious results. When Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi visited the United States during the Carter Administration, anti-Shah demonstrators organized near the White House while an outdoor welcoming ceremony was being conducted. Things got out of hand, the police responded with tear gas, and unfavorable winds ensured that the tear gas drifted over to the White House–turning the entire event to a disaster. Iranians who learned about this believed that the United States could have stopped any anti-Shah demonstration if the Shah was still in the good graces of the United States. Since the demonstration went forward, they concluded that the Carter Administration had lost confidence in the Shah–allowing the revolution to go forward without fear that the United States would do anything significant to back the Shah.

Now that’s how America should go about promoting democracy — by crushing domestic dissidents in the name of foreign dictators.

Get outta here, ya maniac!

47 Comments »

  1. Nom de Plume said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:06

    Since the demonstration went forward, they concluded that the Carter Administration had lost confidence in the Shah

    We need to stifle dissent here so we don’t stifle dissent over there!

  2. Johnny Coelacanth said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:07

    Without linking through to the original, I don’t see the crazy here. It seems like all he’s saying is that the Iranians believed the protests wouldn’t have happened without permission of the government.

    Is there an endorsement of that policy somewhere that I’m missing?

  3. Brad said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:09

    I think so. He prefaces the story by saying that “hanging back too much” would lead to bad results. And then as his example, he cites the Carter administration not squelching a domestic protest against the Shah.

    Does that not seem like an endorsement?

  4. a different brad said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:15

    Everything is Carter’s fault, because he gave away the Panama Canal.

  5. Arky Schadenfreude said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:38

    So … Carter should have held up a sign that read “Attention Iranians, this is just some of our groovy free speech at work! Go ahead with your revolt!”

  6. kingubu said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:40

    Right, the reason the Shah got pitched out was all the DFHs protesting here in America made his domestic supporters sad. It didn’t have anything to do with the fact that he was a corrupt, murderous, torturing son of a bitch.

    You gotta give the guy credit for the Wingnut Trifecta, though. He managed to work “clap louder”, “dissent gives comfort to the enemy” and “Carter was a fag” into a single paragraph.

  7. Brad said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:42

    kingubu, you win the thread.

  8. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:42

    It’s taking me a couple reads here to get what he’s saying. Because the tear gas thing *sounds* like the U.S. tried to stop the anti-Shah demonstration plenty.

  9. he flips said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:46

    “I’m not saying we should bomb them, but not bombing them would be poor policy
    c.f. Carter

  10. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:49

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that Pejman Yousefzadeh is a real name. It’s more like one big giant typo, something you get when you strike a bunch of keys at random.

    “Hello. My name is Asdf Jkl;. I’m an attorney and a blogger.”

    Nope. Not buying it.

  11. Arky Schadenfreude said,

    June 16, 2009 at 4:51

    It’s pronounced Sotomayor.

  12. pedestrian said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:03

    Teh gazoogle tells me that Pejman means “desire, wish” in Farsi and “broken-hearted, sad” in Parsi. Yousef is obviously a form of “Joseph” and “zadeh” simply means “son of”.

    While I want to believe that his name means, “sad-ass son of Yousef”, it seems likely that his parents loved him, at least at birth.

  13. Gary Ruppert said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:03

    The fact is that Carter’s administration spawned two evil regimes (the Iranian regime and Saddam’s regime) along with recognizing Red China.

    Now Obama is failing to back Iranian reform. He claims he couldn’t stay silent, after refusing to comment for almost 3 days.

    We have the power to bring down the Iranian dictatorship right now, just like we did in Iraq, but we fail to do so. Says a lot.

  14. he flips said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:10

    Uh Oh:

    Mitt Romney:

    It’s very clear that the president’s policies of going around the world and apologizing for America aren’t working. … Look, just sweet talk and criticizing America is not going to enhance freedom in the world.

    Joe Scarborough

    I think in the long term, though — if the ayatollahs are seen stealing an election, as a result from what Barack Obama did in Cairo — I actually think that’s a positive for the United States and Iran in the long run.

    They should fight it out, greco-roman-gayday-at-disneyword style–strip naked, lube up their bods with foie gras (or however these rich people do it) and throw down.

    I’ll be in the corner trying to throw up on my eyeballs.

  15. Rightwingsnarkle said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:16

    lube up their bods with foie gras

    Noooooooooooo! That would be such a waste of perfectly good fatty duck liver.

    I’ve said it before – cook the french fries in duck fat; sautee the foie gras in a little duck fat; deglaze the pan with some cognac; top the french fries with some little shards of fresh mozarella; then pour the sauteed foie gras and pan sauce over the whole thing.

  16. he flips said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:20

    Should I get Dick Cheney to hunt the duck for me or should I just cook the fries in Harry Whittington’s face fat?

  17. Righteous Bubba said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:28

    So, um, this means Ahmedinejad should get invited to the White House and every teabagger should get told? I’m still not clear.

  18. jim said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:41

    Buh?

    Is he saying Obama’s mere withholding of “approval” (translation: engagement) has the magic power to create Change(TM) for the better in Iran?

    A bit fookin’ dodgy innit? Far as I know, he’s not engaging with Burma – & SLORC is still doing just tickety-boo, last I heard.

    Sounds like wingnuts really do think he’s a Messiah.

  19. Dennis-SGMM said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:44

    We have the power to bring down the Iranian dictatorship right now, just like we did in Iraq, but we fail to do so. Says a lot.
    Because the mullahs who have the final say in every aspect of government in Iran will all spontaneously resign if we ask them to? And just how will ‘we’ bring down the dictatorship? We don’t have any divisions sitting fresh, rested and ready – not that the attendant civilian deaths would exactly endear us to the Iranians anyway. A strongly worded letter perhaps? Right. We have the power to keep our mouths shut and let the people of Iran write their own history.

  20. El Cid said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:45

    if the Administration holds off on pressing for negotiations with the likes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad…

    Point of clarification: Since the election campaign began some few weeks ago, what exactly have been the Obama administration pressures for negotiatinos with ['the likes of'] Ahmadinejad?

    And what would they be negotiating at this time?

  21. pedestrian said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:49

    So, um, this means Ahmedinejad should get invited to the White House and every teabagger should get told? I’m still not clear.

    Well, last time the guy we supported was overthrown because the government didn’t beat enough hippies. I think that he is trying to say that we can overthrow the guy that we don’t like by beating hippies, but that is not the result that I arrive at:

    guy we support + don’t beat hippies = overthrow
    – (guy we support – beat hippies) = – (overthrow)
    guy we don’t support + beat hippies = no overthrow

    Or maybe Pejman agrees with Daniel Pipes et al and is trying to slip one over on us real smooth like.

  22. Dennis-SGMM said,

    June 16, 2009 at 5:53

    And what would they be negotiating at this time?
    The distribution of “We like Israel” buttons?

  23. he flips said,

    June 16, 2009 at 6:02

    From the link:

    Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform:
    :
    Set aside Iran for a moment. When did the United States start this policy of only talking to people we agree with? Throughout the Cold War we had embassies in Moscow and the eastern European states in the Warsaw Pact. We eventually had an embassy in Peking. Our ambassadors and even presidents had meetings with vicious dictators who murdered millions of their own people and threatened to attack the United States.

    (We have “interest sections” in countries we pretend not to talk to—Cuba for instance.)

    My theory is that conservatives became “meeting averse” when they saw every summit with a Soviet dictator as an opportunity for the establishment press to demand that we sign some disadvantageous treaty with Moscow. Knowing of this pressure, the Soviets could negotiate aware that if we failed to agree with their treaty our own press would call the president a failure—i.e. Reagan’s refusal to fall for this trick during the Iceland meeting with Gorby.

    My modest proposal is to recognize those folks with guns who run territory—Cuba, Iran—even if they are not nice and do not deserve to be in charge. We did this with the mother of all dictators Stalin and Mao. We didn’t lose our souls or confuse our own people. Only when you say we only recognize or meet with good guys does recognition or meetings convey moral authority.

    Lots of meetings reduces the “pressure” to have an agreement come from each meeting. Meetings could be a time to learn and listen. And we could practice saying “no” to bad ideas.

    Now how do we transition from a world where Americans think that when we agree to chat with someone we like them to one where we chat to inform and learn? Starting ten years ago would have been wise. Starting now is less stupid than starting ten years from now.

    umm…I agree?

  24. Dr Zen said,

    June 16, 2009 at 6:09

    “I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that Pejman Yousefzadeh is a real name.”

    Yeah, those damned darkies and their stoopid names, hey?

    What horrors for all you pantswetters when it turns out that Mousavi doesn’t have the broad popular support you think he should have because he’s a horrible neoliberal backed by millionaires who don’t really give a shit about women’s rights but want the economy privatised, and Ahmedinajad does because he might be incompetent but he’s a populist. It’s easy to see the issues as simply a contrast between hardliners who want to oppress the masses and liberals who want freedom, but that’s how it looks from Boston, not how it looks from Shiraz. Mousavi is a deeply cynical man, who is willing to ride reformist sentiment. When people say they want “freedom”, you read that as “freedom of speech, freedom for women”, but they are more interested in “freedom to rape the economy”.

  25. pedestrian said,

    June 16, 2009 at 6:12

    We did this with the mother of all dictators Stalin and Mao.

    Oh, I love a good origins myth!

    Stalin-Mao was impregnated with twins by her two brothers, Stalin and Mao. She gave birth to Hitler and Pol Pot. There was probably a petty fight over something, resulting in the formation of the Himalayas or whatever. Anyway, the rest is history.

  26. pedestrian said,

    June 16, 2009 at 6:22

    but that’s how it looks from Boston, not how it looks from Shiraz

    O Rly? How does it look in Shiraz? Something like this?

    Believe it or not, it is also much more complicated than “neoliberalism bad, populism good” in every international political struggle. I absolutely agree that we should mind our own business here and let Iran sort out its own shit, but you just turned around and did the same simplistic thing shit. How do you know who has popular support and why?

  27. Anthony said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:01

    Just found a big ass storm of wignuttism, courtesy of the huffingtonpost.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rabbi-shmuley-boteach/the-coming-storm-obama-an_b_215554.html

  28. New Gold Dream said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:12

    I don’t see too many people here choosing up sides, the way Dr Zen seems to imply. I mean, given his long political history, we do have some idea where Mousavi stands, but the consensus seems to be “Christ. What a mess. Good luck with all that, Iranians.” Which is pretty much the way I feel.

  29. Anthony said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:22

    Sorry to post something off topic it’s just I have no clue what he’s recommending. We should invite Ahmadinejad to the US so that people will protest against him, thus making him look weak?

  30. Rear Admiral Hugh G. Rection said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:56

    But what does former Miss California, Carrie Pejman have to say? I must know.

  31. noen said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:57

    “I’ve said it before – cook the french fries in duck fat; sautee the foie gras in a little duck fat; deglaze the pan with some cognac; top the french fries with some little shards of fresh mozarella; then pour the sauteed foie gras and pan sauce over the whole thing.”

    Sounds like fancy schmancy Poutine to me.

  32. Hattie said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:58

    Unbelievable. Just crazy. He get paid for writing that stuff?

  33. Keith Olbermann said,

    June 16, 2009 at 7:59

    I wanna know what Carrie has to say too. I wanna call her a little tramp once more. Also Palin’s daughter. It’s cool when I do it, though, coz I’m an officially sponsored Jack Welch Progressive.

  34. Rhodo Zeb said,

    June 16, 2009 at 8:04

    Gary, Gary, have you heard of the google?

    Your hero Nixon recognized Red China, silly.

    We have the power to bring down the Iranian dictatorship right now, just like we did in Iraq, but we fail to do so. Says a lot.

    I am calling shenanigans. The real Gary couldn’t have constructed a sentence like that.

    Faker. But the stupidity is real.

  35. he flips said,

    June 16, 2009 at 8:41

    Well, in any case wiki says 2/3 of Iran’s population is under 25. Maybe they will forget why they voted in a theocracy 30 years ago.

  36. Enoch Root said,

    June 16, 2009 at 9:02

    No one wants to talk about Kermit Roosevelt, Jr.? TPAJAX? From wikipedia:

    “During the coup, Roosevelt and Wilber bribed Iranian government officials, reporters, and businessmen.[9] The deposed Iranian leader, Mossadegh, was taken to jail and Iranian General Fazlollah Zahedi named himself prime minister in the new, pro-western government. The British and American spy agencies returned the monarchy to Iran by installing the pro-western Mohammed Reza Pahlevi on the throne where his brutal rule lasted 26 years.”

    That was *before* Carter, by the way.

  37. alec said,

    June 16, 2009 at 11:07

    What horrors for all you pantswetters when it turns out that Mousavi doesn’t have the broad popular support you think he should have because he’s a horrible neoliberal backed by millionaires who don’t really give a shit about women’s rights but want the economy privatised, and Ahmedinajad does because he might be incompetent but he’s a populist. It’s easy to see the issues as simply a contrast between hardliners who want to oppress the masses and liberals who want freedom, but that’s how it looks from Boston, not how it looks from Shiraz. Mousavi is a deeply cynical man, who is willing to ride reformist sentiment. When people say they want “freedom”, you read that as “freedom of speech, freedom for women”, but they are more interested in “freedom to rape the economy”.

    GREEN REVOLUTION HBUAHUBAUHBUGHUBHUGBUHBHUBH

    The Iranian people are pissed off, but I agree that interpreting that as ‘yay Mousavi’ is gullible as shit and is just going to result in another horrible debacle like Ukraine.

    Incidentally, while we’re on the topic of the Shah, the current holder of the title in pretense is actually a pretty decent guy – considers his predecessor wrongheaded, not comfortable with calls for either neoliberal shock therapy or counterrevolution, and spends half of his time demanding that foreign actors fuck right off when it comes to removing or reforming the current regime.

    So when the Republicans wax nostalgic for the Shah, just remember that if they got their wish they’d fucking piss themselves.

  38. Bill E Pilgrim said,

    June 16, 2009 at 11:08

    you can get sensible, measured commentary

    At Politico?

    And you definitely can’t find any in the comments there, I looked once and it seemed like Wingnut hell. Or heaven, for them I guess.

  39. jurassicpork said,

    June 16, 2009 at 13:30

    I was asking myself this question just yesterday: Why didn’t we do 8 years ago what the Iranians are doing now? Today I’m asking myself another question: Who’s the real victim of this Iranian fraud?

  40. actor212 said,

    June 16, 2009 at 15:38

    As a side note of sorts, one might add that while the Obama Administration is right to believe that an excessive degree of interventionism from the United States would likely backfire, hanging back too much would lead to deleterious results.

    Can we assume, just for a moment, that this administration, unlike others I can think of…excuse me a sec…A-BOOOOSH!…might actually be working behind the scenes thru non-diplomatic channels to try to work out a solution that respects the sovereignty of Iran while giving a fair election?

    Is it TOO much to ask of the right wing PUNdits to shut the fuck up and let them do the work we hired them for???

  41. real scotsman said,

    June 16, 2009 at 15:51

    It’s taking me a couple reads here to get what he’s saying. Because the tear gas thing *sounds* like the U.S. tried to stop the anti-Shah demonstration plenty.

    Better than me, Ive read it 4 or 5 times and it still make no sense….

  42. actor212 said,

    June 16, 2009 at 16:00

    Because the tear gas thing *sounds* like the U.S. tried to stop the anti-Shah demonstration plenty.

    You assume Iranians back then had the free right of assembly, etc. They did not.

    I understand where he’s going here. He’s saying the DC police *could* have acted like the Savak (google it) and shot and killed protestors, in the eyes of the Iranian “street”.

    Still, it’s more than idiotic to equate Pahlavi with Mousavi. The Ruling Council would trot that comparison out in a heartbeat.

  43. real scotsman said,

    June 16, 2009 at 16:08

    The fact is that Carter’s administration spawned two evil regimes (the Iranian regime and Saddam’s regime) along with recognizing Red China.

    I am also calling shenanigans, even our Gary aint that dumb…..

  44. actor212 said,

    June 16, 2009 at 16:18

    strip naked, lube up their bods with foie gras

    Interest, ideas, newsletter, subscription…

  45. Al DeRogatis, Jr. said,

    June 16, 2009 at 18:34

    Re: the Carter era anti-Shah incident. Demonstrations are managed by the government all of the time, think about the designated demonstration areas that are located way away from the buildings at the Democrat and Republican conventions. Marches and rallies need permits.

  46. Ruthie said,

    June 17, 2009 at 1:21

    “I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that Pejman Yousefzadeh is a real name.”

    Sorry to bust your bubble, but it is. I’m not sure what the literal translation of Pejman is, but it’s not exactly an unusual name. Yousefzadeh, loosely translated, is “son/descendant of Joseph.”

    And if you consider that the person writing the entry may be ESL, I’m not seeing the batshit crazy wingnuttery–or the crappy grammar and punctuation– that usually abounds on these sites.

  47. Mo's Bike Shop said,

    June 19, 2009 at 1:12

    Now how do we transition from a world where Americans think that when we agree to chat with someone we like them to one where we chat to inform and learn? Starting ten years ago would have been wise. Starting now is less stupid than starting ten years from now.

    Vote for a Democrat.

    THBAEOSA2SQ

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