Another Awful, Bloody Day In Iran

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Iran, Video

The following video is simply heartbreaking…



What she’s describing apparently all happened in Baharestan Square today.

Some more details of what went on there via ThreatsWatch.org (spelling errors b/c an Iranian was liveblogging):

  • More than 10.000 Bassij Milittias get position in Central Tehran, including Baharestan Sq.
  • Army Helycopters flying over Baharestan and Vali Asr Sq.
  • The streets, squares and around BAHARESTAN (Approx. South-eastern of Tehran) is swarming with military forces, civilian forces, the security motorists
  • The croud have moved to the south of baharestan, the situation is bad, the shooting has started
  • In Baharestan Sq. in the Police shooting, A girl is shot and the police is not allowing to let them help
  • In Baharestan we saw militia with axe choping people like meat – blood everywhere – like butcher

In other news, the White House has rescinded invites to Iranian diplomats for 4th of July celebrations overseas, as well they should.

But now comes the hard part…how does the world community speak with one voice on this and what are the repercussions?

More as it develops….


This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 and is filed under Iran, Video. 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.

32 Responses to “Another Awful, Bloody Day In Iran”

  1. michael reynolds Says:

    It’s hard to do a whole lot with a major oil producer that can easily close the Persian Gulf.

    Sanctions would be irrelevant and punish the very people we want to help. We have no real world military response. We already don’t have diplomatic relations and I doubt Khamenei much cares if Belgium yanks its diplomats.

    This has been the problem from the start: there’s nothing for us to do. And running our mouths is either counter-productive or futile.

    So we sit and watch and hope the Iranian people can manage the situation. That’s all we can do, all we’re going to do.

    However, this does not mean we haven’t profited. The Islamic Republic’s influence has declined dramatically from this. The ideology is dead, and the ideology had some appeal beyond Iran.

    It’s possible we will take our “profits” in Lebanon and Gaza. And it may be somewhat easier to form a more unified diplomatic front on Iranian nukes, not that that will accomplish anything.

    The greater advantage to us accrues from the fact that yet another hostile ideology has imploded. By standing back we let the mullahs reveal the fascistic nature of their regime, and showed that we are not meddling in Iran, that we are friends to the Iranian people and only the enemies of thugs.

    It’s terribly hard to watch what is happening to the Iranian people. But we have gained from this. And from Obama’s cold-blooded and rational approach.

    I hope he’s warning Israel not to exploit the situation.

  2. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Mike, exactly how have we shown we’re friends to the Iranian people? By ignoring them? That sounds like my seventh grade girlfriend.

    Interesting Israel comment–how might they exploit the situation?

  3. michael reynolds Says:

    Exiled:

    Re: Iranian people. By being the voice on the other end of the phone: Twitter, YouTube, bloggers. They get their story out through us. They get their own information from us and from the Brits. “We” are not the USG.

    It was all we could do. That and avoid making them look like American stooges by popping off the way many on the right proposed.

    Re: Israel, PM Netanyahu may be tempted to conclude that he has a better opening now for a strike against a thoroughly discredited Iran.

  4. Bob Aman Says:

    I can understand descriptions of Obama’s response as “cold”, and I agree, it sucks that this is the route we have to take, but it’s absolutely the right move. Fortunately, there’s a big difference between a US government response and a response by the people of the US. The people of the US have every right to take whatever action they can to help the people of Iran as true friends and allies ought. There may be precious little we can do, but what little we can manage should be done.

  5. Tully Says:

    But Axelrod and crew are claiming they were inspired by Obama’s Cairo speech….

    Or is that spin attempt now non-operational?

  6. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    I think all attempts to take credit for what some very brave people are doing in Tehran are baloney. (All beef baloney out of deference to our Muslim friends.) No one gets up in the morning and decides to risk getting shot because of a speech someone else’s president gave in a third country.

    But the flip side is also true: if Obama’s rhetoric in Cairo wasn’t powerful enough to alter the course of history, neither would different rhetoric now be so.

    By the way, as brave as the protesters are, we should all keep in mind that they are not rioting to become the next Vermont or the next nuclear-free zone.

  7. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Interesting point re: Vermont, Michael. I think it’s also worth pointing out that unlike American young people, don’t assume that the youth of Iran are “liberal” in the sense that we use the word. My experience is that the young folk can be some of the most conservative practitioners of their faith.

    So which is it? The US has nothing to win or nothing to lose?

  8. michael reynolds Says:

    Exiled:

    We have a lot to win. And I think we have won a bit. Although it’s not the kind of “win” we can exactly celebrate.

    Two weeks ago there were people in the middle east looking to Iran as a possible model of a pseudo-democratic Islamic Republic. Now they’re just fascists with streets made bloody by their brown shirt thugs.

    Which — if it holds together — leaves which Muslim middle eastern country as the most authentic democracy? A fun little place called Iraq. That’s an interesting development. If (huge, huge if) Iraq holds together it will mean that we did what the Islamic Republic failed utterly to do.

    And it will put some small but perhaps useful stress on Hezbollah, along with their loss in Lebanese elections.

  9. Tully Says:

    So, our “hard realism” win is that the slaughter discredits the current regime? And Obama didn’t want to condemn a crucial part of reaching that win?

  10. Tully Says:

    PS — Baloney is just a weenie with a bigger cross-section. Have Axelrod and minions quit claiming Obama was the inspiration of the demonstrators yet?

  11. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    You seem to believe that US condemnation means something. To anyone.

    Our moral condemnation has been sharply devalued since we became a nation that tortures. It is particularly meaningless in Iran, which knows that we helped overthrow Mossadeq and that we gave material support to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, including supplying chemicals used in chemical warfare agents.

    So I realize it’s complicated, but loudly posturing and condemning would have harmed the demonstrators. The demonstrators whose sacrifices have so neatly demonstrated what we’ve believed all along about Iran. The demonstrators who handed us — inadvertently — a small win.

    Mouthing off to make Obama-haters and neo-con idiots happy would have undercut the very goal we were pursuing.

    You know enough about politics to know that when your opponent is shooting himself in the foot you don’t take away his gun. So why do you insist on being obtuse in this case?

  12. Tully Says:

    Please, Michael, spare us your residual BDS and hate-Americanism. Leadership demands statements of position, and we remain the strongest single nation in the world. For a week Obama abdicated that leadership role, purportedly in the fairy-dust hope that A&K would read his mash note and come and kiss his pinkie ring. That’s not realism, that’s naivety.

    I’m not being obtuse at all. You’re championing the approval-by-abdication of human rights abuses in the name of “hard realism.” Obama himself has abandoned that non-stand and (finally, belatedly, under pressure) done the right and obvious thing that his leadership position requires, yet you cling to that abandoned non-position teeth & toenails. You admit yourself the only real “win” for us lay in the regime ratcheting up on the protesters, so how do you perceive that it was not the GOAL of Obama’s “hard realism?” While Obama’s minions go forth claiming he actually inspired the protesters, while he spent a week refusing to condemn same being beaten, gassed, and shot?

    condemning would have harmed the demonstrators

    BS again. What are you, a wind-up Neville Chamberlin doll? Nothing short of physical material intervention would have stopped the A&K regime from doing just what they did and are still doing. At most it would change who they used for their excuses, but their actions would have been the same. There was no effect we could have there. And in the real world they blamed us anyway, BEFORE Obama changed his tune. But their condemnations carry no weight, not even among their own people. There are no hearts and minds out there that would be changed by their predictable bluster. So what, Obama was scared they’d call him names if he called them the bullies they are?

    Mouthing off to make Obama-haters and neo-con idiots happy would have undercut the very goal we were pursuing.

    Let us also note that you are ONCE AGAIN conflating the timely taking of a simple and obvious human-rights position with being an Obama-hater and neocon idiot. As previously noted, you’re now calling all of Congress (save Ron Paul), the VP, the Sec’y of State, and Obama himself “Obama-haters and neo-con idiots.” You’re a real one-note Charlie there. It failed to impress the first dozen times or so you did it, and does not improve with repetition.

    Apparently I am an Obama-hater for approving of the stand he finally reached. For agreeing with Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and the concensus statement of 500-plus members of Congress. Wow. What a strange world.

  13. kranky kritter Says:

    What are you, a wind-up Neville Chamberlin doll?

    See now THAT is funny.

    Michael, you’re a smart guy, but I REALLY don’t get why you are clinging to your defense of a position that Obama has abandoned. You’re just flitting between a series of rationales that lack any dispositive force whatsoever.

    Our moral condemnation has been sharply devalued since we became a nation that tortures. It is particularly meaningless in Iran, which knows that we helped overthrow Mossadeq and that we gave material support to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war, including supplying chemicals used in chemical warfare agents.

    OK, so this indicates that our course of action should be what, exactly? Relative silence in the face of obvious wrong? Penitent isolationism, along with the disbanding of all our embassies? I don’t get it. I am happy to acknowledge serious missteps by our government in the past, but these CANNOT change the nature of what we believe to be our ideal moral responsibilities.

    I just don’t get what conceivable benefit can accrue to anyone (except authoritarians) from America not reminding both ourselves and the world what things we are trying to stand for, albeit imperfectly. And I really, really, really don’t get the argument that our silence helps democratic protesters in Iran. The brutal repression of these protesters in the days after Obama’s statements demonstrate the idiocy of that position.

    Are we to presume that had Obama been more forceful initially then the repression would have beenmore brutal and more widespread? That sounds silly to me.

  14. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully:

    At most it would change who they used for their excuses, but their actions would have been the same.

    What it changes — as I have to believe you know perfectly well — is the position of the mullahs in Qom and the army and guard generals and colonels. You’re taking a superficial look at the situation, packing all the demonstrators onto one side, and all the government on the other, and attempting to create a simple dichotomy where no such thing exists.

    If the US had been seen to be more actively supporting the demonstrators do you think that would have made it easier or harder for Rafsanjani? Easier or harder for Moussavi? Easier or harder for Montazeri? Easier or harder for some unidentified army general who might be thinking about supporting Moussavi?

    If you were just a garden variety idiot, Tully, I’d understand this. If I were talking to some imbecile from Pajama’s Media, I’d understand the utter lack of awareness. Maybe I’m overestimating you, but you aren’t normally this simple-minded.

    The list of people who agree with me on this: Kissinger, Scowcroft, Peggy Noonan, Brezinski, Lugar, Shirin Ebadi, NIAC and, oh, pretty much every Iranian who has spoken on the issue.

    Is that a list of people afflicted with BDS? Or more like a list of foreign policy grown-ups and people who actually know something about Iran?

    The list of people who agree with you: Mike Pence, McCain and Sean Hannity.

    If a statement from Obama was so terribly important, and if you are now happy with his last statement, the world must be a better place now. Right?

    Things must now be better in Iran. Right? Because now Obama has said (according to you) what it was so terribly important for him to say.

    So maybe you could help me out and list the ways in which that last statement helped people in Iran:

    1)
    2)
    3)

    In fact, Tully, the final statement was different from the first only in nuance. Obama from the first said that we were watching and restated American beliefs in free assembly. The change was cosmetic.

    You and your team of Obama-haters spent 10 days demanding a purely cosmetic change in purely impotent rhetoric? That’s why you had to rant and rave about Obama being a wimp? Because you have such faith in the transformative power of Mr. Obama’s rhetoric that even his nuances can move mountains?

    You’ve declared victory when you got nothing different, and now cannot show me how the world is any better for it. And you’re doing it because you lost the argument decisively and now you need to save face by declaring victory. A “victory” in that you got — what it seems you believe to be the messiah given your touching faith in the power of his words — to utter magic words which accomplished . . . What?

  15. michael reynolds Says:

    KK:

    Because he didn’t abandon his position.

    Go back and read his first statement. June 15, as I recall. Then read his latest statement. Then tell me, other than nuance, how his position changed.

    OK, so this indicates that our course of action should be what, exactly

    Our course of action should be to do what works And sometimes what works is staying on the sidelines. Because when your enemy is shooting himself in the foot, just keep handing the man more bullets.

  16. ExiledIndependent Says:

    In a zero-sum game, how you play is what people will remember.

  17. michael reynolds Says:

    Tully and KK:

    By the way, neither of you gets to use the word “naive” again.

    I’m the Obama supporter, I’m supposed to be the one who believes in the transformative powers of the Obamessiah’s Magic Words.

    You’re supposed to be the realists, the ones who take that objective, unemotional view. Uh huh.

    Suddenly a problem comes up and you’re big fans of Magic Words.

    I told everyone who would listen, right from the start, that Obama is ruthless, that he plays a long game and keeps his eye firmly on his objective. It’s why I supported him.

  18. kranky kritter Says:

    Michael, you’re still just flitting between points that aren’t dispositive.

    We could argue all day about the various shadings between abandoning a position, changing it, and amplifying it. But in the end, Obama increased his volume and spoke more clearly and pointedly about America’s position. The only credible explanation for this is that the previous statements were too timid and not clear enough.

    Don’t confuse me with Tully when it comes to the issue of magic words, and don’t talk about magic words while using them to confuse folks. I have consistently said that it’s important and useful for the world to be clear about our position. In that sense, words matter. I believe that words matter, as do you, the back-patting pro writer.

    I also believe that words almost always matter less than actions. As this relates to Iran, in the end, I think we all know that unless America gets directly involved with troops on the ground, then the outcome in Iran will be up to Iranians and their embarassing government.

    In that sense, our words don’t matter, or else they don’t matter much. BTW, that’s another gap where we could jerk off arguing all day.

    We can all acknowledge that sometimes words don’t matter or don’t matter much. But that’s not a conclusively compelling reason for silence. If one believes in certain ideals, one stands for them, and stands up for them, at least by taking a position, by being heard.

    Our course of action should be to do what works And sometimes what works is staying on the sidelines. Because when your enemy is shooting himself in the foot, just keep handing the man more bullets.

    . No one is seriously arguing about direct action. It hasn’t been on the table at any point during this crisis. All we are discussing is the nature of our diplomatic actions, which amounts to little more than what we say. Inconveniently for clever binary arguments, speaking is an action.

    I told everyone who would listen, right from the start, that Obama is ruthless, that he plays a long game and keeps his eye firmly on his objective. It’s why I supported him.

    This sounds great to me if its true. So then your hypothesis is that his weak circumspect initial statements on Iraq were part of a fully formed ruthless long game plan? I wish this were true, but even though I have been a pretty consistent defender of Obama in the past at Stubborn Facts(ask Tully and Simon whether or not this is true), I find this hard to believe. It lacks parsimony.

    I think he just dropped the ball initially out of an abundance of caution, like a rookie pitcher fumbling a one-bounce comeback doubleplay grounder. This explanation does not have the lyric attractiveness of the elaborate plan of a ruthless genius… to get out of a hole by continuing to dig. But then I am not a master storyteller like you. :-)

  19. michael reynolds Says:

    We could argue all day about the various shadings between abandoning a position, changing it, and amplifying it. But in the end, Obama increased his volume and spoke more clearly and pointedly about America’s position. The only credible explanation for this is that the previous statements were too timid and not clear enough.

    Incorrect. There is another rather obvious explanation: time. A bystander shouting “move your bishop, move your bishop!” on the third move of a chess match is not somehow validated when on the 15th move the chess player does in fact move his bishop.

    In fact, if you go back through all Obama’s statements you won’t find substantive movement. You’ll find different venues and different marginal emphases. And what you won’t find is the kind of pull-out graf that would have given the Iranians a weapon.

    In other words, Obama stuck to his position, avoided making mischief as McCain would have liked, and handled it expertly.

    I have consistently said that it’s important and useful for the world to be clear about our position. In that sense, words matter. I believe that words matter, as do you, the back-patting pro writer.

    No one on planet earth is in the least doubt about where the USG stands on Ahmadinejad. Go find me someone who wasn’t quite sure if we liked Ahmadinejad. And no one is in any doubt where we stand on human rights –particularly since Obama had just restated our position in Cairo.

    As for me being a writer, not quite sure what your point is. I’m not the president. My words are just my words.

    No one is seriously arguing about direct action. It hasn’t been on the table at any point during this crisis. All we are discussing is the nature of our diplomatic actions, which amounts to little more than what we say. Inconveniently for clever binary arguments, speaking is an action.

    Again, no one, anywhere, thinks we support Ahmadinejad. The world was not lost and confused crying, “I wish Obama would clarify this.” NIAC reports that Iranians are NOT asking Obama to say more. Read the tweets: the demonstrators are not calling out to Obama. The only people who seem baffled and demand Obama say more are: the neo-cons.

    Now why do you suppose it is that the Iranians are happy with Obama’s low-key approach, but the people who’ve been loudly demanding we bomb Iran are unhappy?

  20. Tully Says:

    Michael, you’re still just flitting between points that aren’t dispositive

    He’s also insisting on labelling anyone who disagrees with him as The Evil Other, regardless of their actual arguments or positions, which he refuses to directly address. Instead he conflates them directly with people holding more extreme positions. See above:

    The list of people who agree with you: Mike Pence, McCain and Sean Hannity.

    QED–they all advocated positions I have not advocated, but what’s a little lie to a fiction writer? He also continually refuses to notice that it’s not all about Iran, but largely about the message that our leader sends to our own people and the rest of the world. I’ve gone over this endlessly and pointed out all these things multiple times in language clear enough for even a fith-grader to comprehend — he ignores it and goes right back to the same tired ad hominem bullshit. Dishonest. To be kind.

    So then your hypothesis is that his weak circumspect initial statements on Iraq were part of a fully formed ruthless long game plan?

    Just what I was asking about. Is he actually contending that Obama inspired the protests (as Axelrod and minions have spread about) to the point of a vicious crackdown so that he could run away from taking a stand on the predictable human rights abuses for the purpose of making brownie points with Ahmedinajad and Khamanei, or of letting the brutality undermine the regime? Because that is indeed what he seems to be saying. No sale, but my assumption of a lack of downright evil motivation apparently makes me a naive “Obama-hater and neo-con idiot,” so what do I know?
    .
    I think he just dropped the ball initially out of an abundance of caution, like a rookie pitcher fumbling a one-bounce comeback doubleplay grounder.

    That’s politer than I might have (have) phrased it, but IMHO spot on, and fits Obama’s previous pattern of behavior. Apparently, to believe this means we are naive “Obama-haters and neo-con idiots.” Even though the near-entirety of the US government, including the President, Vice President, and Sec’y of State now officially hold EXACTLY the position I urged from the beginning.

    Go figure.

  21. michael reynolds Says:

    . . .it’s not all about Iran, but largely about the message that our leader sends to our own people and the rest of the world.

    Because the American people are confused about whether we like Ahmadinejad? Or confused about whether we think people have a right to peaceably assemble?

    . . .he ignores it and goes right back to the same tired ad hominem bullshit. Dishonest. To be kind.

    Tully, this is nonsense. But I’m sure if you repeat it often enough you’ll come to actually believe it.

    I’ve asked you repeatedly, as I did yet again above, to connect the dots. Show me how harsher rhetoric profits the protesters or the major players?

    Once again, you dodge, while accusing me of dodging. Then you shit, and tell us it’s not just about Iran, it’s about the American people. Won’t somebody think of the children?

    Even though the near-entirety of the US government, including the President, Vice President, and Sec’y of State now officially hold EXACTLY the position I urged from the beginning.

    No, Tully. Your position was that Obama was a spineless, naive idiot. (That’s pretty close to being a direct quote as I recall.) That’s always your position, and you’ll twist the facts to fit the bill as necessary. You’re going to keep pushing the “weak and naive” meme because you think that eventually it will stick. And you’ll push it even when it involves you pretending to be naive yourself.

    Don’t try to play a playa, Tully.

    I’ll repeat the same question I have yet to get answered:

    How would more rhetoric from Obama help the demonstrators?

    Can you answer that? Without rhetorical questions meant to shift the topic?

    How about the other question I asked above:

    So maybe you could help me out and list the ways in which that last [Obama] statement helped people in Iran.

    Simple questions, Tully.

    Now let’s see who’s playing games.

  22. michael reynolds Says:

    Ooops.

    Shit=shift.

  23. kranky kritter Says:

    A bystander shouting “move your bishop, move your bishop!” on the third move of a chess match is not somehow validated when on the 15th move the chess player does in fact move his bishop.

    Oh, good one. How about when he does it on his NEXT move. What then?

    Nice job with the double denial though, by saying he didn’t change his position in response to events and then also saying “and he didn’t change his position.”

    Sure he didn’t.

  24. michael reynolds Says:

    KK:

    I asked you for some evidence. The statements are all online. Show me where he changed his position.

    And by the way, the two highlighted questions I posed to Tully are open to you as well.

  25. kranky kritter Says:

    No one on planet earth is in the least doubt about where the USG stands on Ahmadinejad….Again, no one, anywhere, thinks we support Ahmadinejad. The world was not lost and confused crying, “I wish Obama would clarify this.”

    Yeah, you’ve repeated this multiple times, not just twice in the last post, but before. It’s one of those dispositive points you have been flitting between.

    Consider the following chain of events:

    Authoritarian government violently represses domestic protests…US gov’t forthrightly and officially condemns these actions…the world is clear on the US stance.

    Authoritarian government violently represses domestic protests…US gov’t forthrightly and officially condemns these actions…the world is clear on the US stance.

    Authoritarian government violently represses domestic protests…US gov’t forthrightly and officially condemns these actions…the world is clear on the US stance.

    New President elected.

    Authoritarian government violently represses domestic protests…
    US gov’t is circumspect…
    The world is ___?___.

    If you can’t do this math….

  26. michael reynolds Says:

    KK:

    You’re kidding, right?

    I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world; one based upon mutual interest and mutual respect; and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive, and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles – principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

    snip

    But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere.

    snip

    America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments – provided they govern with respect for all their people.

    This last point is important because there are some who advocate for democracy only when they are out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. No matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power: you must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.

    Yeah, it’s a shame Obama didn’t make clear our support for democracy and human rights. Say in a major speech in Cairo that was covered everywhere throughout the world.

  27. ExiledIndependent Says:

    Michael, not the best choice of quotes to make your point. Comparing these wordsmithed statements, delivered with practiced staging and timing, to how he reacted during a real international crisis only serve to sharpen the difference between Obama the public speaker and Obama the president.

    When the proverbial chips were down, did we hear Obama reference this nugget of teleprompter gold? Did we hear him say, “As I said to the Muslim world, we welcome all elected, peaceful governments, and it is clear that Iran, at this time, is no such government.”

    Nope.

    Now bring on the “but what good would it do?” response.

  28. kranky kritter Says:

    This excerpt doesn’t even mention Iran. It was circumspect and you know it, because you lauded him for it.

    The plainly obvious fault in the first speech is one that we’ve repeatedly identified. It’s that Obama could not bring himself to simply and clearly state that the United Stated condemned the actions of Iran in violently repressing the democratic protest of its citizens.

    Days later, he said that.

    You cannot even decide whether or not the first speech and the later statement were the same or different on any key point. You keep arguing different things depending upon which defense you are attempting.

    This must be embarassing for you. You ginned up that great big defense of Obama on what I think is a minor criticism: that he should have been more direct in speaking specifically to the issue of a very troubling event that was on the mind of entire world. And then Obama went further in his subsequent statements, taking the exact step you had lauded him for avoiding. Perhaps in response to critics, perhaps after mulling over his actions and deciding on his own that his previous circumspection was too timid, a lapse in judgement.

    But either way, he directly condemned Iran for its actions. Which should have been a can of corn from the get-go.

  29. michael reynolds Says:

    KK says:
    It’s that Obama could not bring himself to simply and clearly state that the United Stated condemned the actions of Iran in violently repressing the democratic protest of its citizens.

    President Obama June 15
    I am deeply troubled by the violence I’ve been seeing on television. I think the democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent, all those are universal values and need to be respected. And whenever I see violence perpetrated on people who are peacefully dissenting and whenever the American people see that, I think they are rightfully troubled.

    June 20
    The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

    1) You are wrong about the statements. I’ve repeatedly challenged you to back up your accusations. I note that I’m the one who went and pulled up the statements.

    2) I’ve asked you and Tully to respond to very simple questions. You refuse.

    Now you are once again deflecting, answering questions with questions, sneering, snarking and generally refusing to talk about the issue or defend your position.

    3) You actually accuse me of ginning up a controversy over a minor point? That’s what you and Tully have done. Tully used this as an occasion to call the president a coward. And you, in the role of his Lindsay Graham, supported him.

    4) I’ve been clear and consistent from the start. I’ve backed up my statements with facts. I’ve quoted at length from other sources.

    And once again I HAVE ASKED CLEAR QUESTIONS THAT YOU REFUSE TO ANSWER. Oh, gee, sorry, I must have hit the caps lock.

    Just so you don’t miss them, I’ll repeat:

    1) How would more rhetoric from Mr. Obama help the demonstrators?

    2) If you are now happy with the most recent statement, the one you claim responds to your demands, how have you seen the world or the lot of Iranians improved by it?

    3) If you’re right and Obama is wrong, why do Shirin Ebadi and NIAC clearly support Obama? And why can’t you supply a single Iranian source that supports your POV?

    Now, I’m going to make a wild guess that you will once again avoid answering the questions and launch yet another ad hominem while loudly blaming me for it.

    But if you refuse to even address these fairly obvious questions, I kind of think you and I have to be done on this topic.

  30. michael reynolds Says:

    Exiled:

    I understand it’s hard to follow the state of the debate since Tully and KK keep dodging and weaving and deflecting, but I quoted the Cairo speech in response to the implication that the world did not know where we stand on human rights and democracy.

    The quote proves that allegation to be wrong.

  31. ExiledIndependent Says:

    I followed fine, I think. My point is that when Obama is giving a rehearsed speech and the stakes are low, he’s clear (in his own political purple prose sort of way). But that makes an even starker contrast when those words are tested by events in the real world. Rather than reiterating his clear and inspiring comments, his response was significantly weaker. I think that the bothersome thing is the difference between these two situations. I’d have to wonder, “Which is the real Obama?”

  32. michael reynolds Says:

    It’s not a bothersome difference, it’s reassuring. One responds differently as circumstances require. One was a set speech. The stakes were high but no one was busy killing anyone. The other, a crisis, in which careless words would have undercut the very people we were trying to help.

    It’s absolutely amazing t me how hard this is for the right wing to grasp. We are no longer in the era of loud bluster followed by incompetent action resulting in losses. We are now in the era of carefully chosen words, followed by rational actions resulting (we hope) in actual wins. We had 8 years of pro wrestling. Now we’re playing chess.

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