Obama Team Asked Twitter To Wait On Site Maintenance

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Elections, Iran, Technology

And interesting little factoid in all of this Iran election stuff.

From Reuters:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday it had contacted the social networking service Twitter to urge it to delay a planned upgrade that would have cut daytime service to Iranians who are disputing their election.

Confirmation that the U.S. government had contacted Twitter came as the Obama administration sought to avoid suggestions it was meddling in Iran’s internal affairs as the Islamic Republic battled to control deadly street protests over the election result.

Twitter and Facebook have been used as a tool by many young people to coordinate protests over the election’s outcome.

Hey, if anybody understands the power of social networking tools, it’s these guys/gals. After all, it wasn’t just distaste for Bush’s policies that helped a junior Senator named Barack Obama win the presidency. Easy-to-use publishing and organizing tools that allow quick access to information were key to his victory, and I think this is a signal to Moussavi’s supporters that America is behind them.

But that begs the question…how will Ahmadinejad take this news?


This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 and is filed under Elections, Iran, Technology. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

42 Responses to “Obama Team Asked Twitter To Wait On Site Maintenance”

  1. Chris Says:

    wow, that’s actually pretty impressive.

  2. Simon Says:

    This is highly dubious. It was “confirm[ed]“? By who? Who in state contacted who at twitter, at whose instruction? Who made the call for the feds, and who at twitter ratified it? This smells of post facto credit-seeking to me by an administration trying to catch up after being slow off the blocks.

  3. mike mcEachran Says:

    Simon – you’re right. They lied. The State Department is lying to you. The Obama Administration is lying about something which is easily verified by a private company, because they needed a propoganda “win”. Can’t pull one over on you, Dude.

  4. Agnostick Says:

    While I don’t have a problem with State asking Twitter to keep the pipes open… I hope I don’t read anything a year or two from now, about people from our government–or any other government–”planting” messages and the like on Twitter.

    Or, in the 21st century… is something like that “fair?”

    Agnostick
    [email protected]

  5. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Has Obama released an official statement on what’s going on in Iran?

    And Agnostick, China has social media posters on state payroll to sway opinion on anti-state message boards. The BBC has some details: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7783640.stm. Let the lamentation begin.

  6. Tully Says:

    I get emails from members of Team Obambi almost every day. Usually it’s one of their “lottery” fundraisers exhorting me to donate and fight the Wascally Wepublican Weague of EVIL in exchange for a shot at a chance to bask in the glow and glory of Teh One at some taxpayer-funded event, but today’s was a pitch to go out and organize to sell the Obama health care “reform” to the public. Because apparently having House, Senate, and White House and a major broadcaster in your back pocket just isn’t enough to turn the trick.

    But I digress.

    A “Please, sir?” to Twitter? Slightly heartening if true. Seems like the least the administration can do, and let it not be said that when it came to Iran they didn’t do the least they could do. Has the admin even released a statement yet, condemning the brutal repression of the protests? Not that I’ve seen. Some vague stuff about not wanting to be seen as meddling is about it.

    Coming from the State Dept, eh? The name Clinton does come to mind. No Retief in this admin. (Fans of the late Keith Laumer will know just how that goes.)

  7. Simon Says:

    Mike – got any reason to believe that Twitter would do that, given that the odds strongly suggest that its directors and staff are overwhelmingly Obama voters?

    Isn’t it strange how all of a sudden, liberals believe that their government can be trusted to tell them the truth?

  8. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Simon, neoprogressives aren’t liberals; liberals by definition seek the maximum freedom for the largest number of folks, where neoprogs simply beat the drum that government can fix everything. In many ways, the polar opposite of a “liberal.”

  9. Simon Says:

    ExiledIndependent, that’s a semantic game that holds little water outside of libertarian conventions. Yes, “liberalism” in 19th century parlance carried the connotation you’re describing. Those days are gone. “Liberalism” in modern parlance — certainly the last four decades or more — refers to our friends on the left who, as you put it, “simply beat the drum that government can fix everything.” Language evolves, for good and ill. One might as well fault the label “progressives” as bad English because they want to go back to a discredited and intellectually bankrupt paradigm that no thinking person has embraced since the 1960s. The fact is that it’s a noun not an adjective.

  10. Tillyosu Says:

    Way to show solidarity bro. No condemnation, no strong statement of support, no refusal to recognize an illegitimate government, not even a demand for a recount.

    And this Jackass is supposed to be the Leader of the Free World?

  11. Rick Says:

    It seems to me that Obama is doing the right thing. When your political advisary is digging his own grave give him room to dig deeper. Why inject yourself into the story. The next thing you know Iran is claiming the US is fomenting the violence and attempting to orchestrate a coupe (1954). Obama should not become tangled in this unfolding story.

    Exactly what positive effect would there be if Obama issued a strong condemnation and a statement of support for the protestors? And how might this effect Iranian and US negotiations in the future (especially if the current regime holds onto power)? How would it play in the Arab world and how would it play in the US?

    And if the current regime holds on to power and you’ve destroyed your negotiating position, do you later Bomb Iran and their nuclear facilities when they refuse to abandon their nuclear program? Do you think only Ahmadinejad supporters will be killed in such an attack? How do you think that would play with Mousavi and his supporters? Ya know, the ones you claimed solidarity with. If you can answer those questions, you might be a little more measured in your response but of course this is a blog.

    Regarding the Twitter story, isn’t it strange how all of a sudden, conservatives don’t believe that their government can be trusted to tell them the truth? Simon your so funny!!

    Rick

  12. Simon Says:

    Rick, I didn’t believe that the government could be trusted to tell the truth during the previous administration either. Most conservatives are skeptical of government, period. It’s your side that changes their mind depending on who runs it.

  13. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Simon, a bit OT, but I think the difference is more than semantic, for the simple reason that neoprogs still hide behind the more traditional definition of liberalism when it suits them, and discard it when it doesn’t. A synthetic word like “neoprogressive” is perhaps better suited for identifying the political movement than a “real” word such as “liberal”, which as you point out, carries with it semantic difficulties (akin to “red” becoming “green”). At any rate, a mostly academic discussion.

    In terms of Twitter, anyone who understands social media understands that it is still media. While it is more difficult to control due to its highly distributed nature, loud voices talking frequently still get the lion’s share of attention. This is a phenomenon of human communication, and makes any media channel–including social media–susceptible to manipulation.

  14. kranky kritter Says:

    Absolutely importortant to notice that all the swell social networking tools to which folks are rapidly getting addicted can be be manipulated. Which means they will be manipulated.

    I can’t wait for an episode of cops when some crook to get caught when the cops turn the screws on one of Instead of all that work chasing downing down a crook, just send him a message to come to you.

    Hollywood note: now is the perfect time to do a kickass version of Stephen King’s The Running Man. A fabulously entertaining book, it was made into an extraordinarily dreadful movie years ago.

  15. Agnostick Says:

    Looking at this from the other side… as I posted on another forum this morning…

    If this was, say, June 2002 and the Bush administration had said Twitter was essential and necessary for monitoring possible terrorist activity in Tehran, certain posters here would be crowing about how Twitter should be “patriotic” and “support the troops” and “Stand up for America!” and other assorted pseudopatriotic, magnetic-yellow-ribbon-level stuff.

    Yeah, I can hear it now… “If Twitter isn’t for us, they’re against us.”

    Agnostick
    [email protected]

  16. Agnostick Says:

    Simon Spews:

    Mike – got any reason to believe that Twitter would do that, given that the odds strongly suggest that its directors and staff are overwhelmingly Obama voters?

    “The odds.”

    The odds.

    Really?

    What are you now, a handicapper? A numbers runner?

    From exactly which magical, mystical orifice are you pulling these “odds?”

    Got any sort of facts, figures, research etc. to back them up?

    Isn’t it strange how all of a sudden, liberals believe that their government can be trusted to tell them the truth?

    You mean the way chickenhawk neoconservatives sank the proverbial “moral nest egg” into the last administration, expecting that government to fix all the problems?

    Like that, you mean?

    Always an entertaining treat to watch you peddle your wares here. Bashing the “libruls” and the “guhvmint” in most each and every post… and then maybe once every other week, a quick little toss-off like “Well, really, the Bush administration did that, too. Republicans do that once in a while….”

    Yeah, you keep that up, there, Simon. Credibility may be hangin’ by a thread… but at least it’s hangin’ right? ;)

    –Ag

  17. Chris Says:

    Simon, you’re resorting to just spewing random bullshit as if it were fact. stop.

  18. Is it really a war? « The Reluctant Geisha Says:

    [...] tools the world has for communicating and sharing ideas.  Powerful enough, in fact to have the U.S. Department of Justice be rumored as asking @ev, @biz, and @twitter not to shut down for maintenance and gotten the [...]

  19. michael reynolds Says:

    The one mistake the administration has made on this issue so far is to release this news.

    We need to stay out of this. Obama has that right.

    We’ve had 8 years of loudmouthed restatements of our opposition to evil. Score card? Nukes in NK, centrifuges in Iran, a borderline desperate situation in Afghanistan, a shaky equilibrium in Iraq, a deteriorating relationship with Russia. China’s tyranny un-softened, Burma still Burma, Sudan now comes with pirates. And Osama?

    Running our mouths in such a way as to express the no-doubt manly manlitude of right-wing loudmouths has not exactly changed the world for the better. It’s foreign policy, not therapy for the testosterone-challenged.

    So how about if we focus on our goals? And do the things that move us toward those goals? As opposed to unzipping and whipping out a tape measure to make ourselves feel good?

    No wonder Republicans got their asses kicked: they can’t tell an objective from a fantasy.

  20. kranky kritter Says:

    Obama derangement is something Simon has a very bad case of. He knows it, but can’t help himself. His reaction to any exposure to Obama (like a thread concerning him somehow) is an immediate and visceral negative response. Intellectually adept as he is, Simon is always quick to clothe this visceral response in the most plausible rationality he can.

    A further problem of those who suffer from Obama derangement syndrome (ODS) is that they are also prone to viewing the subject of many political issues through the lens of Obama and his negative impact upon that subject.

    I am extremely familiar with this derangement syndrome, because MANY progressives suffered from Bush DS, which functions in the exact same fashion except with respect to the cause of the immediate and visceral negative response.

  21. kranky kritter Says:

    Michael, I agree with you that we ought to stay out of it, if you are talking about direct involvement such as troops or demanding a new election that we supervise, and so on and so forth.

    But I don’t agree that we ought to refrain from a clear statement of opposition to oppression of the democratic impulse. You have IMO done a very poor job of crafting a rationale for refraining for this:

    We’ve had 8 years of loudmouthed restatements of our opposition to evil. Score card? Nukes in NK, centrifuges in Iran, a borderline desperate situation in Afghanistan, a shaky equilibrium in Iraq, a deteriorating relationship with Russia. China’s tyranny un-softened, Burma still Burma, Sudan now comes with pirates. And Osama?

    This is a clever list, but it does not provide ANY sort of rational causal connection between our statements and the government actions. Are we really to believe that we’d be in better shape with these nations if we had remained silent? This suggestion is, to me, the height of arrogance. North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Russia, and China have undertaken the actions you describe simply to defy our wishes? Really? In other words, your argument is that after all it really IS all about US. Hmm.

    The sooner we all wrap our heads around the following first principle, the better we will all understand foreign policy: Nations undertake actions because they perceive them to be in their own self-interest, and they do so with very little regard for the opinions of other nations when those nations cannot stop them.

    As mighty as the US is militarily, our ability to bend other nations to our will is still quite limited. Other nations wish to join the nuke club because it will make them “more equal” than nations without nukes.It’s that simple. China simply keeps its own counsel, and always has. Afghanistan and Sudan have evolved to the points they are at without any regard for US opinion. Their status is the sum of various fragmented responses to fundamentally dysfunctional sociopolitical environments.

    If you can remain a bit more consistent in your respect for your own argument that its not about us, perhaps your view will cohere better.

  22. Simon Says:

    Agnostick Says:

    Got any sort of facts, figures, research etc. to back them up?

    Yes. Look at the ages of the people running Twitter and look at how their demographic broke at the polls.

  23. Tully Says:

    Running our mouths in such a way as to express the no-doubt manly manlitude of right-wing loudmouths has not exactly changed the world for the better.

    Such right-wingers as FDR? “We have learned that we cannot live alone, at peace; that our own well-being is dependent on the well-being of other nations far away. We have learned that we must live as men, not as ostriches, nor as dogs in the manger.”

    Such right-wingers as JFK? “Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans–born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage–and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world. ”

    Such right-wingers as LBJ? “We can never again stand aside, prideful in isolation.”

    Such right-wingers as Jimmy Carter? “Because we are free we can never be indifferent to the fate of freedom elsewhere.”

    Such right-wingers as Bill Clinton? “We will stand mighty for peace and freedom.”

    Yeah, God forbid we should pay any attention to such right-wing loudmouths as those.

  24. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Michael, you mention sticking to our goals. What should our goals be in regards to Iran? Good place to start and would genuinely like to hear your (and others’) ideas.

  25. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Perhaps Obama’s silence is the statement. Perhaps he’s indicating a new hopeful change for the cultural core of America. “Freedom? Meh.” “Brutally putting down protesters? You know, that’s a situational thing that we really can’t draw any moral absolutes about.” “Peace? Well, since for the past eight years Bush hasn’t been for peace, I guess I can’t say anything on the topic.”

    Maybe Obama’s America really doesn’t care much, one way or another.

  26. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003, said she has no complaints about Obama’s rhetoric. “What happens in Iran regards the people themselves, and it is up to them to make their voices heard,” she said in a telephone interview from Geneva. “I respect his comments on all the events in Iran, but I think it is sufficient.”

    So we have on the one hand you and a bunch of other conservatives looking for any excuse to hurt Obama.

    And on the other hand we a Nobel Prize-winning Iranian rights activist. Who amazingly, sounds just like me on this topic.

    Gosh, it’s so hard to decide who’s more likely to be right.

  27. michael reynolds Says:

    Exiled:

    Our short term goal should be the removal of Ahmadinejad and the installation of Moussavi.

    Because we think Moussavi’s a great guy? No. He’s not.

    We should want him to prevail because the success of this mass-movement will, by itself, advance the cause of democracy. The people will have taken on the power structure and prevailed. It’s hard to put that genie back in the bottle once it’s had a taste of real power.

    I think the odds are that the movement peters out. Or that it is crushed. But right now the regular army has not gotten involved and they are a wild card. Rafsanjani is still out there. Montazeri is out there. There are generals and mullahs right now deciding which way to jump. Every single thing we can say or do has the potential to make it more difficult for those generals and mullahs to do the right thing. Conversely, nothing we say or do at this point can help them.

    At some point it will be clear that the movement has failed (if in fact it does fail) and that is when we ratchet up the condemnation. Not when there are dozens of fragile moving parts in a game we don’t understand. A game we cannot win for the Iranian people.

    The insistence on scoring points against Obama — which is all the right wing is doing — is unhelpful to American goals and unhelpful to the Iranian protesters. Which is why, as quoted above, the Iranian Nobel-winning activist and most people who actually understand the situation think Obama is handling it just right.

  28. michael reynolds Says:

    Tom Ricks:

    I think President Obama is correct in showing extreme restraint in dealing with the situation in Iran. My concern is that opposition protestors will interpret any voicing of Western support as a sign that we will come to their aid. Every time I see one of those “Where is my vote?” signs in English, I worry even more.

    snip

    This problem goes to the essence of strategy: A “tough” stance that Fox’s anchors are pushing might feel good, but it likely would be unproductive. A sober stance of the sort that Obama has taken is more difficult but likely more effective in the long run.

  29. mike mcEachran Says:

    Simon says: “Isn’t it strange how all of a sudden, liberals believe that their government can be trusted to tell them the truth?”

    Simon, let me phrase this in a way you can understand. Goverments don’t lie to people – People who run governments lie to people. Don’t forget we gave Bushie the benefit of the doubt for a couple of years, too. Remember all those Dems who voted for war based on what?, Bush and Cheney lies, we later found out. That’s when we stopped trusting The Cheney gevernment. I trust the Obama administration until it proves me wrong. So far, so good.

  30. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Michael, interesting point. Do you think that fence-sitters in Iran might be more likely to act against (and not necessarily by violence, but by voice and deed) the current leadership if they felt like they had stronger international support? While the US isn’t going to be viewed as any sort of white knight, there are practical benefits for the Iranians by getting tariffs and embargoes lifted.

    And if a genuine, viable opposition movement asked for our aid, should we give it to them?

  31. michael reynolds Says:

    Exiled:
    Sully has a post that says Iranian state TV is now pinning the blame for most of the trouble on Rafsanjani. What does that tell you about the possibility of our helping?

    Rafsanjani is believed to be supporting the demonstrations behind the scenes. No one knows quite what his game is, but if this new accusation makes it more likely that Raf has jumped more fully behind Moussavi.

    Then again, this is Persia we’re talking about. Westerners haven’t understood for centuries. Or ever.

    I don’t see how any indication of support from us could do anything but hurt Rafsanjani and any military support he may be lining up. But of course the trouble is we may want to be hurting Raf. Who knows? Which is why we need to let the Persians play this game: we don’t do subtle, and we don’t even know who’s holding what hand with what stakes in the pot.

    Americans are terribly solipsistic, seeing ourselves at the center of everything. And the need to “do something” is a cultural trap for us. Sometimes you do nothing.

  32. michael reynolds Says:

    And if a genuine, viable opposition movement asked for our aid, should we give it to them?

    On that last it would depend what they wanted. Help keeping communications up? I hope and believe we’re helping with that already.

    Money? Sure, if we can manage not to broadcast it.

    UN support? That’s a case-by-case thing. We’d have to have a good sense of who we were dealing with and what their agenda was.

    Military support? I think any Iranian group that asked would be on a self-defeating path.

  33. michael reynolds Says:

    Here’s another:

    KISSINGER: Well, you know, I was a McCain supporter and — but I think the president has handled this well. Anything that the United States says that puts us totally behind one of the contenders, behind Mousavi, would be a handicap for that person. And I think it’s the proper position to take that the people of Iran have to make that decision.

    Of course, we have to state our fundamental convictions of freedom of speech, free elections, and I don’t see how President Obama could say less than he has, and even that is considered intolerable meddling. He has, after all, carefully stayed away from saying things that seem to support one side or the other. And I think it was the right thing to do because public support for the opposition would only be used by the — by Ahmadinejad — if I can ever learn his name properly — against Mousavi.

    Kissinger, the British foreign minister, Tom Ricks, Richard Lugar and Iranian Nobelist Shirin Ebadi, all back Obama’s handling of Iran.

  34. the Word Says:

    History also IMO shows that our past actions are likely what led to Khomeini and the people in power that we are trying to deal with now. We gave him the path to power by our actions with the Shah. Desperate people make desperate choices.

  35. kranky kritter Says:

    Michael you seem to be doing your best to run from the fact that Tully has simply stated that Obama should have forthrightly condemned government violence against protesters.

    I think you have failed to demonstrate the conceivable harm that you imagine would have come from this. You’ve repeatedly conflated making a clear statement with a general sense of “getting involved.” All to win your argument that Obama’s response was perfect.

    I don’t think the exact nature of Obama’s response matters nearly as much as most Americans would like to believe. But I do know that new Presidents who make very circumspect statements in response to serious international incidents invite further exploration of where that new President’s lines will be drawn.

  36. michael reynolds Says:

    KK:

    You and Tully are devoted to the idea that Obama is naive and has made a mistake. Your political prejudice gets in the way of your ability to analyze. You’re prisoners of presupposition.

    In this and in other threads I’ve made the point over and over that the less we respond the better. I’ve cited authoritative support for that argument. And I’ve explained the logic. Tully meanwhile has talked about JFK doing Ich bin ein Berliner. Tully and you still want to make this about us, when it is not.

    I’ve pointed out that we have a situation with numerous moving parts. That we know very little about those moving parts. That there are undeclared generals and mullahs. That any vocal support from us is likely to impede those we hope to support.

    On the specific question of whether Obama handled it just right, I’ve cited Kissinger, Lugar, Ricks and an Iranian Nobelist. I could cite more.

    On the opposing side of the argument are a pack of neo-cons who want a new war.

    I’ve pointed out that there are no cries from the protestors for more American support. That there is no reason to suppose there is an Iranian “market” for our “support.”

    Tully has supplied nothing but bluster and criticism based on his presumption that Obama must be wrong. I’ve given chapter and verse.

  37. Tully Says:

    Michael you seem to be doing your best to run from the fact that Tully has simply stated that Obama should have forthrightly condemned government violence against protesters.

    Yep. QED. When called on it, he blusters more, throws out more straw men to set on fire, and adds extra ad hominem. It’s a very familiar pattern. I’ve noticed that fiction writers are quite prone to it.

    Michael, I’ll call your Lugar and Kissinger with current Sec’y of State HRC and current VP Xerox Joe, both of whom according to NYT reportedly urged stronger condemnation of the human rights abuses (not the apparent election fraud, mind you) and were rebuffed by the President. And I’ll raise you a Merkel, a Sarkozy, a Gordon Brown, the Canadian Foreign Minister, the Sec’y-General of the UN, and overwhelming majorities of both houses of the U.S. Congress.

    It really is a clear and simple principle. The titular leader of the free world is supposed to stand up for human rights and speak out against blatnant human rights abuses. Not champion sides in elections, or declare them fraudulent, not even necessarily DO anything material, but simply speak out against blatant human rights abuses. And Obama isn’t doing that. That is indeed a failure of leadership, and it is indeed being noted worldwide by other governments and non-state actors. Obama is showing us what he WON’T stand up for in terms of clear and simple principle, and that message is being heard today around the world.

    Every President in the Post WW2 era has managed to do this one simple thing, even when it was only symbolic lip service, like Carter’s impotent words regarding the Khmer Rouge’s slaughter of millions.

    For real laughs, watch the White House trying to claim that after all Obama really meant what Congress and others said, he just didn’t actually, you know, manage to say it! Enough BS spin in that one to make even a Clinton dizzy.

  38. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    The bluster has come from you.

    The titular leader of the free world is supposed to stand up for human rights and speak out against blatnant human rights abuses.

    Wrong. Naive. Even stupid.

    The head of the free world is supposed to win.

    A win will advance human rights. Stupid, self-destructive bloviating will set back human rights.

    I’m sick to death of armchair heroes making foreign policy about the size of their balls. I want to win. It would be a nice change from the last 8 years.

    But honestly Tully I don’t think you give a damn about Iran or the protestors. I think you want to take shots at Obama and damn the consequences. Because you aren’t stupid enough or naive enough to believe what you’re saying.

    Simple question that I keep asking and no one wants to answer:

    How does more rhetoric from Obama help the protestors?

    Can you give me an answer? Or will it be more posturing and strutting?

  39. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully and KK:

    Rightwing Nuthouse’s Rick Moran:

    But wishing don’t get it done. I believe we are doing the demonstrators a favor by laying low and letting events unfold. There may come a time in the near future where Obama may wish to use stronger language to condemn the regime and support the demonstrators. Until then, he’s got it just about right – a Goldilocks moment for our president; moments that have been far too few in his young presidency.

  40. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully and KK:

    One more useful quote. This is from an email to Sully:

    You’re calling it right on the bizarre pieces by Kagan, Wolfowitz, and Krauthammer but missing what I think is the deeper motivation. Since the Cold War, neocon aspirations have not been to change the world but to change the way America thinks and acts in the world. They would like us to be more belligerent and assertive — not because the world needs it but because we need it to toughen our fiber. It’s all about us.

    That’s why it never occurs to them to ask the Iranian dissidents themselves if we should make public pronouncements. Who cares? And also why someone like Pipes is rooting for Ahmadi: America needs that kind of enemy if it is to become what it should be. That’s what matters.

    Exactly. And I’ll add: solipsism, moralizing, threatened manhood. Indifference to actual success, an inability to focus on a goal and pursue it. Naivete, fuzziness, insecurity. And of course the desperate, overriding need to find some way, any way, to lay a glove on Obama.

  41. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully and KK:
    Oh, look, another Obama water-carrier heard from.

    Peggy Noonan, Reagan speechwriter:

    To refuse to see all this as progress, or potential progress, is perverse to the point of wicked. To insist the American president, in the first days of the rebellion, insert the American government into the drama was shortsighted and mischievous. The ayatollahs were only too eager to demonize the demonstrators as mindless lackeys of the Great Satan Cowboy Uncle Sam, or whatever they call us this week. John McCain and others went quite crazy insisting President Obama declare whose side America was on, as if the world doesn’t know whose side America is on. “In the cause of freedom, America cannot be neutral,” said Rep. Mike Pence. Who says it’s neutral?

    This was Aggressive Political Solipsism at work: Always exploit events to show you love freedom more than the other guy, always make someone else’s delicate drama your excuse for a thumping curtain speech.

  42. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully and KK:

    Oh, look, it’s another:

    Iran’s escalating protests, which many fear will be met with a crackdown given recent hardline rhetoric from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have upped pressure on President Obama to respond more forcefully. However, Iranian cleric and civil-rights activist Mohsen Kadivar, who has taught at Duke University for the last 10 months after being jailed for his views by the theocratic regime, wants the U.S. to stay out of it.

    In an interview with The Daily Beast after a rally and prayer session by the United Nations in solidarity with Iran’s protesters, Kadivar said that the opposition movement was entirely self-sufficient and in need of no support from foreign leaders. “What Obama has done so far is about perfect,” Kadivar, garbed in his traditional cleric’s robes, said. “We don’t need any special support from you. The green movement for democracy and liberty in Iran is independent and we don’t need anything from the foreigners. We should get democracy ourselves.”

    Hmm, let’s tally it up shall we? Iranian Nobelist Sharin Ebadi agrees with Obama and me. Tom Ricks with Obama and me. Kissinger with Obama and me. Lugar? Noonan. Rick Moran? Now another Iranian cleric? With Obama and me.

    And let’s tally up the other side. Oh, look, it’s Krauthammer. Who last got something right in 1992. Idiot neocons looking for another war they can lose oppose Obama, and everyone with a functioning brain supports him.

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Also, sometimes even if you've commented before, it may still get placed in a moderation queue and/or sent to the spam folder. If it's just in moderation queue, it'll be published, but it may be deleted if it lands in the spam folder. My apologies if this happens but there are some keywords that push it into the spam folder.


One last note, we will not tolerate comments that disparage people based on age, sex, handicap, race, color, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry. We reserve the right to delete these comments and ban the people who make them from ever commenting here again.


Thanks for understanding and have a pleasurable commenting experience.


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