Archive for ‘Iran’

June 24, 2009

Hopeful letter changes nothing

by Smitty (h/t Rhetorican )

The Rhetorican points to an intriguing Washinton Times article. There was apparently some early May correspondence between the Obama Administration and Iran.

“The American president was quoted as saying that he expected the people of Iran to take to the streets,” Ayatollah Khamenei misquoted Mr. Obama as saying, according to a translation by
“On the one hand, they [the Obama administration] write a letter to us to express their respect for the Islamic Republic and for re-establishment of ties, and on the other hand they make these remarks. Which one of these remarks are we supposed to believe? Inside the country, their agents were activated. Vandalism started. Sabotaging and setting fires on the streets started. Some shops were looted. They wanted to create chaos. Public security was violated. The violators are not the public or the supporters of the candidates. They are the ill-wishers, mercenaries and agents of the Western intelligence services and the Zionists.”

Wow. All that effort to peddle the hopium and changeeba in Cairo, then this annoyance. Kinda “stings”, doesn’t it? How about a couple of vaguely topical cuts from His Stingness, to sooth the mood?
Big Lie, Small World:

June 22, 2009

Iran, briefly

What would Jeanne Kirkpatrick say about Barack Obama’s response to the Iran crisis? Just ask Smitty, who has today’s “300 Words Or Less” editorial at

Sorry if I haven’t been doing much Iran-blogging the past few days. Ever since I saw Michelle Malkin’s column Wednesday, I’ve been all IG-Gate scandal (almost) all the time. You can see the long Sunday thread at Hot Air and get the basics, and go to Memeorandum for anything Ed and Allah might have missed. I’ll try to catch up Monday morning at

Exhaustion has consequences . . .

June 21, 2009


By Andrew Schaeffer Friedersdorf
Daily Atlantic HuffPo Monthly Beast

No student of Oakeshott or Kirk will be deceived when Rovian neocons engage in Potemkin symbolism to make Joe the Plumber believe that Iranian “reform” candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi wrote this letter to the White House:

From the Office of Mr. Mir Hossein Mousavi
To the President of the USA, Mr. Barack Hussein Obama:
Dear Mr. President,
In the name of the Iranian people, we want you to know that when you recently made the statement “Achmadinejad or Mousavi? Two of a kind,” we consider this as a grave and deep insult, not just to Mr. Mousavi but especially against the judgment of the Iranian people, against our moral conviction and intelligence, especially those of the young generation that comprises a population of 31 million.
It is a specially grave insult for those who are now fighting for democracy and freedom . . .

Ri-iiight. “Democracy and freedom” are well-known neocon code words for U.S. hegemonic imperialism (the Joooooz!) and “moral conviction” means back-alley abortions. We were repeatedly warned last year that only right-wing racists like Ann Coulter call Obama by his middle name. Mousavi soon will be airing video of Ahmadinejad dancing with Britney Spears (nudge, nudge).

This so-called “revolution” in Iran is clearly another Cheney/Halliburton war-for-oil conspiracy scripted by AIPAC. This alleged letter from Mousavi was actually written by Bill Kristol and sent to his buddy Michael Ledeen . . . well, you get the picture. Question the timing.

Of course, the Republican/Zionist-controlled lapdogs in the Corporate Media won’t tell you about this. They want you to believe that Iranians can actually write e-mails.

As if Sarah Palin really gave birth to Trig.

As if fire could melt steel.

But We Know The TRUTH! And the Truth is that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is Karl Rove. The Truth is that the Ayatollah is a Neo-Con. The Truth is that the mullahs are Republican homophobic Christofascist godbags.

Chickenhawk Israel Lobby warmongers like Dan Riehl, Mark Levin and Glenn Reynolds will deny this, before predictably resorting to ad hominems. But as their neocon puppets repressively violate human rights and systematically disenfranchise gay marriage supporters in Iran — a classic Fox News/Prop 8/Patriot Act move — it becomes increasingly obvious that the Riehl/Levin/Reynolds axis has blood on its hands.

They have no credibility, which is why they continue ignoring my substantive arguments.

UPDATE: Memeorandum is impressed by the Truth of my substantive arguments.

June 20, 2009

Brutal neo-con regime in Tehran

These vicious enemies of freedom are brutally murdering unarmed civilians in the streets. They warned you if you voted for John McCain, innocent Iranians would be slaughtered by neocons . . . and they were right!

June 18, 2009

WSJ is edited by Visigoths

by Smitty

…or so claims Gary Kamiya in Salon in a piece entitled “Night of the living neocons“. As this is a full-service blog, I’ve tried to render the first paragraph into a table, so that the reader might locate the nouns.

neoconservatives Like Rasputin, the unhinged “Mad Monk” whom they sometimes seem to have adopted as an intellectual role model, the neoconservatives who brought us the Iraq war refuse to die.
they Although they have been figuratively stabbed, poisoned, shot, garroted and drowned, they somehow keep standing, still insisting that history will vindicate George W. Bush’s glorious crusade.
conservatives In a world governed by the Victorian moral code conservatives claim to uphold, they would be shunned, shamed and forbidden to appear on television or write Op-Ed columns.
disgraced pundits But because Beltway decorum apparently requires that disgraced pundits be given a permanent platform to bray their discredited theories, the rest of us are condemned to listen to their ravings.

This post’s title comes from the second paragraph. I’ll highlight it amidst the effluent:

In a piece titled “Obama’s Iran Abdication,” the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, that bastion of unreconstructed neocon lunacy, attacked Obama for not supporting the Iranian protesters more vigorously and derided his “now-familiar moral equivalence” in citing the 1953 CIA-backed coup that toppled Iranian leader Mohammad Mossadegh. In an Op-Ed two days earlier, the paper’s Visigothic editors, who have been calling for the U.S. to bomb Iran for years, took the opportunity to climb into the Wayback Machine to pay homage to one of George W. Bush’s greatest hits. “It turns out that the ‘axis of evil’ really is evil — and not, as liberal sages would have it, merely misunderstood,” sneered the editors, suggesting that the crackdown should make Obama rethink trying to strike a grand nuclear bargain with Iran.

Recalls that old lawyer saying “if your side has the law, then argue the law; if your side has the facts, argue the facts; and if your side has neither the facts nor the law — pound the table!”
After the pyrotechnics, the article does offer some useful links.
The Senator McCain interview for the Washington Times covers a wide range of topics, in addition to Iran. The next bit is cute, too:

Neocon stalwart Danielle Pletka also made a not-so-subtle attempt to use the turmoil in Iran to justify Bush’s invasion of Iraq. In a piece in the New York Times, she and fellow American Enterprise Institute pundit Ali Alfoneh wrote, “Encircled by American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, besieged from within by disgruntled citizens, the supreme leader has turned to a bellicose strongman to preserve the system that elevated him.” Earth to Pletka: George W. Bush is not president anymore, and even if he still was, the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not going to attack Iran. It would be more accurate to say that the soon-to-depart U.S. troops in Iraq are encircled by Iranian forces than the other way around.

Mr. Kamiya sir, there is no mention of Bush in the editorial. Stating the fact that US troops are present to the East and West of Iran is by no means an apology for Bush policy. Since you bring up Iraq, you might also care to research the Council on Foreign Relations backgrounder Iran’s Involvement in Iraq. Tidbits such as

[in 2007] President Bush said the United States had evidence of Tehran supplying “material support,” including mortars and elements of sophisticated roadside bombs, to insurgents in Iraq who in turn target and kill U.S. forces. Bush promised to respond firmly if Iran extended its influence in Iraq and vowed to “seek out and destroy” weapons-supply networks used by Iranian agents.

are extremely useful in developing an even-handed view of the situation. Granted, moving beyond the Romero-centric weltanschauung does require effort.
Kagan, who’s at least got some credentials to his credit, gets special attention from Kamiya, a “writer at large” for a WaPo editorial that makes the flattering case that BHO is playing a realist foreign policy hand. Kagan’s verdict could have been a more overt slap, like Victor Davis Hanson calling the situation shameful, for example.
Of course Kamiya returns to the ritual Beating Around the Bush that you could expect from Salon.

But this paragraph is especially funny:

It should be amply clear by now that America’s ability to influence events in the Middle East is severely limited. Indeed, as the Bush years showed, U.S. actions in the region tend to result in the exact opposite of their intended consequences.

Yes, that Bush speech in Cairo that triggered the outburst of peaceful elections was particularly memorable, no?
We are assured that the good POTUS’s “foreign policy is still evolving, but it is becoming clear that he is pursuing what Robert Wright has called progressive realism.” <cheap shot>Basically a copy of this essay positioned at Foggy Bottom for easy reference.</cheap shot>
Kamiya’s penultimate paragraph strikes an optimistic note:

[Obama’s] approach has already borne fruit. The success of the March 14 Alliance in Lebanon, a major victory for the U.S., is widely attributed to the “Obama effect.” Just one month of U.S. pressure induced Israel’s far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to utter the magic words “Palestinian state.” And most critically, as David Ignatius noted in an important column in Tuesday’s Washington Post, Obama’s openness to the Muslim world and more sophisticated presentation of America has empowered the reformers in Iran and throughout the Arab/Muslim world, and diminished the appeal of militant jihadism.

It’s about time the region had some peace. Should BHO affect the situation positively, it would be peevish not to acknowledge such. One truly hopes Kamiya is not counting his chickens like Ahmadinejad counts his votes.

June 14, 2009

Bloggregating the Iran election has your Sunday morning round-up. The aggregation is still being updated, and linkage from other bloggers is most enthusiastically encouraged.

This round-up is a good example of the approach to doing round-up coverage on major news stories. Top headlines with brief excerpts and links to news sources, blog reactions and video. Nothing fancy or elaborate, a formula so simple that even dumb bloggers (like me, Smitty and Jimmie Bise Jr.) can do it. Like the slogan says, “More News. Less Money. No Bow Tie.”

Also, no opinion, no attitude and no snark. offers a daily editorial (including guest contributions from bloggers) called “300 Hundred Words Or Less.” Other than that, it’s a Joe Friday “Just-the-facts-ma’am” approach to news blogging. The sidebars are filled with RSS feeds for news sources and bloggers so that, even when we’re not online, the page is continually updated with fresh matterial.

We think it’s pretty cool. Please check it out.

January 21, 2009

We’re still the Great Satan

Some things never change — or Change:

In Iran, protesters burnt posters of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama and waved flags in support of Gaza, Reuters reported. . . .
Demonstrators waved Palestinian flags and chanted “Death to Obama” . . .

Waiting for that historic moment, when Islamic fanatics burn in effigy our first black president.