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Old 06-16-2009, 07:17 PM   #61
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Aaaand once again, US conservatives are getting it wrong on almost every count (in this case, in regards to what the US should be doing right now and their judgement of how it is currently being handled by Obama etc). It just seems to clear their heads by several miles.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:22 PM   #62
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Apparently the BBC homepage was already green for a while.

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
Odd, I was on it earlier this afternoon, before it switched to green, and it was red, as it always had been previously. EDIT: and it's now purple. Anyone know if they change it regularly?


If anybody wants to follow actual Iranian students, PM me. I'm following a couple on Twitter right now, and they've been the main sources of info getting out.
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:33 PM   #63
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Aaaand once again, US conservatives are getting it wrong on almost every count (in this case, in regards to what the US should be doing right now and their judgement of how it is currently being handled by Obama etc).
Which conservatives?


(And seriously, I think Obama is doing it right on the election so far)
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Old 06-16-2009, 07:45 PM   #64
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Which conservatives?


(And seriously, I think Obama is doing it right on the election so far)
McCain, Kristol etc, general talking head banter...
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:10 PM   #65
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McCain, Kristol etc, general talking head banter...
Thanks. I just googled their comments.

The president is right not to call complete bullshit just yet. The Iranian citizens are doing fine themselves.
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:56 PM   #66
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So you don't have anything else to say about it other than commenting about how no one's commenting here?

If you want to talk about a topic, don't be all tsk-tsk that someone hasn't already started a topic or that more people aren't commenting.

This website isn't the end-all, be-all of web discussion or some indicator of how much people care about it.

Start the topic yourself and continue it.

{/mini rant}
Actually, I always come to FYM when something like this gets kicked up. In fact, I appreciate how plugged in FYMers are.

So step off ho! lol. Just kidding.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:15 PM   #67
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Thanks. I just googled their comments.

The president is right not to call complete bullshit just yet. The Iranian citizens are doing fine themselves.


Yep – he danced the middle pretty well. Letting people know he’s paying attention and concerned but that it’s their issue to resolve is perfect. But there are definite subtle, small signs of support as well. I noticed the State Department is taking credit for getting Twitter to move their scheduled maintenance. That might be/probably is complete B.S. - the online push was massive and its success was pretty swift. But whether the State Dept. had anything to do with it or not, claiming they did is a subtle way to get a clever message out.
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Old 06-16-2009, 09:55 PM   #68
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After its fraudulent election, Obama should harden his stance with Iran

by Fred Kaplan
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It's time for President Obama to rethink his policy of "engagement" with Iran. Given the near-certainty that Iran's election was fixed and the documented fact that protesters are being brutalized, there is no way that Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could go to Tehran and shake hands with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, much less to expect that any talks would be worthwhile.

...A classic international realist, in the tradition of Henry Kissinger, might shrug off the call for a revision in outlook and policy. After all, it's nothing new or unusual for the United States, or any other power, to cultivate diplomatic relations with illegitimate regimes. If there hadn't been an election, Obama would have proceeded to open a dialogue. And the nature of the Iranian government, which isn't really run by the president, anyway, is basically the same now as it was last week. But, in fact, something has changed. The blatant fraudulence of the election has mobilized the Iranian people in a way that hasn't been seen since the 1979 revolution, which led to the overthrow of the Shah of Iran. The shah seemed to control Iran back then as tightly as the Islamic mullahs do today. The decisive moment in '79 occurred when middle-class merchants—the heart of the shah's political support—joined the students and the radicals in revolt.

What social group might now play the same role that the merchants played then? This is where today's situation differs from that of 30 years ago. There might very well be no such group. Rural conservative peasants form the main base of support for Ahmadinejad and the mullahs, and there's no reason to believe they'll join the young men and (especially) women protesting in the streets of the capital city. Unless the violence widens the fissures in Iranian society to an unprecedented—almost unimaginable—degree, the agitation could simply peter out in the coming days and weeks as more and more protesters are beaten, detained, and even killed, with no effect on the regime's survival. In this case, it may well be, as a story in today's New York Times predicted, that the hardliners wind up more firmly in control than ever.

Yet reports have circulated in recent months suggesting that some Iranian clerics, even a few in high places, are displeased with Ahmadinejad's harsh rhetoric and his mishandling of the economy. Some evidence of electoral fraud has reportedly been leaked from dissidents from within Iran's interior ministry. The supreme leader has ordered the Guardian Council to investigate allegations of fraud—this after publicly ratifying the election's results (without, suspiciously, observing the three-day waiting period that Iranian law requires)—though it may be that this order is mere subterfuge and that the investigation will be just as fraudulent. In other words, it is possible (how likely it might be, no one can say) that the popular revolts might sharpen the fissures within the circles of Iran's ruling elite. Of course, those circles are so opaque that few outsiders can tell whether there are fissures, much less what their boundaries are. Does the CIA or the National Security Agency know? I hope so, but I don't know.

This is a common problem in analyzing dictatorships. In the October 1964 issue of a now-defunct USIA-sponsored journal called 'Problems of Communism,' a prominent Kremlinologist named William Griffith, who had extensive CIA ties, wrote a savage critique of the notion, propagated by a few scholars at the time, that rival power factions were quarreling within the Kremlin. Griffith proclaimed that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's power was as unchallenged and absolute as Josef Stalin's had ever been. The very month that the issue was published, Khrushchev was overthrown by a rival faction.

Whatever is going on inside Tehran's ruling circles, now is not the time for Obama to engage in outreach. Rather, it's time to up the ante, to make the mullahs—especially those who might be inclined to cast off Ahmadinejad—realize that if they're going to play democracy, they can't rig the deck and violate the will of their people, at least not so blatantly. Some "smart sanctions" against Iran have had a modicum of success in the past: freezing financial transactions and foreign bank accounts; severely cutting back on capital investment; and banning the export of oil-refining equipment, which the Iranians painfully need. The Europeans have been reluctant, out of economic self-interest, to go along with these steps in the past. Perhaps moral shaming, to which they're sometimes more vulnerable than we are, can be piled on.

The problem with former President George W. Bush's policy of "democracy promotion" was threefold. First, it was hypocritical: He supported dissidents in certain countries and dictatorships in others. Second, it sought, at least rhetorically, to impose Western-style democracy without regard to a country's political terrain. Third, in places where a civil society had not yet developed, elections could exacerbate violence and harm U.S. interests. (Case in point: the Palestinian territories.) The situation with Iran is different. The movement for change is arising from within. What sort of politics the protesters advocate isn't clear. And the protesters seem to be more aligned with Western interests: Journalists who have traveled in Iran and talked with reformers say that they're among the most pro-American people they've ever met.

This is not to say that we should send in spies or special-ops troops to provide covert aid to the protesters or their favored candidate, Mir Hossein Mousavi. The discovery of American fingerprints would spur a backlash, raising memories of the CIA-backed coup of 1953. Nonetheless, it wouldn't be a bad idea for someone with a knack for subtlety to probe the fissures for possibilities of new leaders rising to power.

Meanwhile, according to NPR's Deborah Amos, U.S. officials visiting Damascus in the past few days—in the wake of Lebanon's more satisfying election—have emerged with happy faces from meetings with their Syrian counterparts. The details aren't yet clear, but this might be an opportune moment to start luring Syria away from its Iranian alliance. Without its Syrian middlemen, Iran would have a much harder time influencing events in Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

Obama has backed the idea of diplomacy with Iran because Iran is too powerful in the region to ignore. Ahmadinejad said, after he was officially declared the winner, that his victory was the harbinger of a further hardening of foreign policy. So if diplomacy is likely to be futile as well as unseemly, an alternative course might be to take steps to make Iran less powerful, its rulers less comfortable. Hold out the prospect of normal relations if a new election, or at least a real vote count, is held. But in the meantime, tighten the screws.
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #69
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never mind and junk.
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Old 06-17-2009, 10:18 AM   #70
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President Obama wants to talk about Iran's nuclear program. To ensure, it is for peaceful purposes. That's all. If President Obama meets with them, he is critized in the press, if he doesn't, again the same thing.

Good to see the Iranians taking issue with their own government for a change, instead of "Death to America."
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:11 PM   #71
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500,000 marching in silence in Tehran.

it's really incredible. could almost move you to tears.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:34 PM   #72
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Good to see the Iranians taking issue with their own government for a change, instead of "Death to America."
That's never been the general sentiment in the Iranian society as far as I am aware.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #73
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this is pretty big

could be the start of 'a peoples' revolution' like 79 that threw the Shah out.


there are high up officials that are supporting the other guy

I do have a twitter account and think it is mostly a waste of time.

however, in a situation like this and other repressive regimes, it can be a game changer.

the irony, is that the other guy, is only mildly different that the current guy.
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Old 06-17-2009, 02:52 PM   #74
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the irony, is that the other guy, is only mildly different that the current guy.
Agreed.
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Old 06-17-2009, 03:33 PM   #75
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I have been following the updates on Twitter and am continuously blown away by the medium twitter has provided.
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