The Boston Globe has some good though disturbing photos of some of the street conflicts taking place in Iran, Iran’s Disputed Election
Following up from last Friday’s entry about Iran’s Presidential Election, Tehran and other cities have seen the largest street protests and rioting since the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Supporters of reform candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, upset at their announced loss and suspicions of voter fraud, took to the streets both peacefully and, in some cases, violently to vent their frustrations.
Neocon Michael Ledeen weighs in on what he thinks President Obama should say and do. Before we get to his current childish bluster a quick review of his history,
A fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Ledeen holds a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin. He is a former employee of the Pentagon, the State Department and the National Security Council. As a consultant working with NSC head Robert McFarlane, he was involved in the transfer of arms to Iran during the Iran-Contra affair — an adventure that he documented in the book “Perilous Statecraft: An Insider’s Account of the Iran-Contra Affair.”
[ ]…He was calling for attacks against Iraq throughout the 1990s, and the U.S. invasion on March 19 was a total fulfillment of his proposals. His attacks against the CIA and the State Department have contributed to the exclusion of these intelligence bodies from any effective decision making on Iraq. His attacks on Iran, even when Iran was assisting the United States, helped keep the Bush administration from seeking any rapprochement with Tehran. Were it in Ledeen’s hands, we would invade Iran today.
If Ledeen has his way we would have troops occupying Iraq, Syria and Iran or at the very least bombed those countries into oblvion. He also, like all good neocons sold the media and the public the Iraq WMD/al-Queda connection fairy tale. Mikie isn’t the kind of person that learns from mistakes, a soul mate of sorts to Cheney and Bush 43. Now he has deemed to bless us with his advice about the current events of Iran – a country and a people that Leeden now claims to care about so much, that would have been a nothing but a sand pit had Ledeen, Norman Podhoretz and Rudy Giuliani had their way. The bomb hasn’t been invented yet that can tell the difference between the average moderate minded Iranian and that countries authoritarin radicals – its the Brit Hume mentality – so what, its people that speak a funny language and they’re tens of thousands of miles away, mere collatareal damage.
Western governments have expressed dismay at the violence, and Obama, in his eternally narcissistic way, said that he was deeply disturbed by it, and went on to add that freedom of speech, etc., were universal values and should be respected by the mullahs. I would have preferred a strong statement of condemnation–stressing the evil of killing peaceful demonstrators–but he finally said something.
He probably thinks he’s in a bind (he isn’t, actually). He probably thinks that if he condemns the violence, and the regime wins, that will lessen his chances to strike the Grand Bargain he so avidly desires. Somebody might remind him that Ronald Reagan was unstinting in his criticism of the Soviet Union (”The Evil Empire”), but negotiated no end of bargains with them, including quite dramatic arms reductions.
Ledeen should stop the bad mind reading act, this is the real world, not a cheesy Vegas magic show. The neocons rattled their sabers at Iran for almost eight years and their list of achevements include …… well zero. It defies common sense to go to a complete failure for advice. Might make a good reality show called Take Life or Death Advice from Infamous Losers. The Soviet Union fail because of years of incompetent and oppressive rule, not because their feelings were hurt by something Saint Ronnie said. It should go without saying that Reagan thought the USSR was evil, just as today’s neocons think Iran is evil, but Reagan negotiated with them anyway. On the other hand we have some neocons rooting for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,
Daniel Pipes, the president of the Middle East Forum, wrote that he was “rooting for Ahmadinejad” because it would be “better to have a bellicose, apocalyptic, in-your-face Ahmadinejad who scares the world than a sweet-talking Mousavi who again lulls it to sleep.”
An Iranian makes note of the obvious consequences of an Obama administration becoming just as bellicose and ultimately impotent as the Bush administration was,
Over the weekend, Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council told TWI that an Obama statement might allow Iran’s leaders to portray the unrest as a Western conspiracy.
Knowing that the Iranian government takes a lot of pride, if undeserved in the fact that their government is actually elected. Thus are more prone to respond in at least some marginally positive way with the statement that Obama made, Obama troubled by Iran post-election violence
“I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television,” Obama told reporters after talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the White House.
“The democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all those are universal values and need to be respected,” he said.
Obama stressed that the United States respected Iran’s sovereignty and could not judge how the election was run because neither U.S. nor international observers were present.
“The Iranian government says that they are going to look into irregularities that have taken place,” Obama said.
“It’s important that moving forward, whatever investigations take place are done in a way that is not resulting in bloodshed and is not resulting in people being stifled in expressing their views.”
No empty rhetoric of the Bush years. No, Obama hit the Iranian government at their perceived strengths – they claim to have a legitimately elected government that rules by consent of the people. Obama undermines that assertion by highlighting the obvious. Obama’s words might not get a new election for Iran, but he has embarrassed the hard liners and encouraged resistance. No wonder the Right is grasping at straws, trying to put some kind of spin on events out of Iran, they’ve come up empty handed for years and it seems to irritate the hell out of them that merely having a president that knows when and how to throw the right punch for the situation is clearly embarrassing. See Rush Limbaugh and others zealots for hoping Obama fails. The Right has become known as the Culture of Death for a reason.
There used to be a a sign common in offices that said to screw up is human, to really screw up it takes a computer. For the millennium that should be updated to, if you really want to screw up fellow the lead of Conservatives, CIA Mistaken on ‘High-Value’ Detainee, Document Shows
An al-Qaeda associate captured by the CIA and subjected to harsh interrogation techniques said his jailers later told him they had mistakenly thought he was the No. 3 man in the organization’s hierarchy and a partner of Osama bin Laden, according to newly released excerpts from a 2007 hearing.
“They told me, ‘Sorry, we discover that you are not Number 3, not a partner, not even a fighter,’ ” said Abu Zubaida, speaking in broken English, according to the new transcript of a Combatant Status Review Tribunal held at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
President George W. Bush described Abu Zubaida in 2002 as “al-Qaeda’s chief of operations.” Intelligence, military and law enforcement sources told The Washington Post this year that officials later concluded he was a Pakistan-based “fixer” for radical Islamist ideologues, but not a formal member of al-Qaeda, much less one of its leaders.
Whether its George Bush or Mike Ledeen, its the same mentality, the same rusted intractable and almost always wrong mind set. Torture does work, depending on how one defines works, Detainee says he lied to CIA in harsh interrogations
“I make up stories,” Mohammed said, describing in broken English an interrogation probably administered by the CIA concerning the whereabouts of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. “Where is he? I don’t know. Then, he torture me,” Mohammed said of his interrogator. “Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area.’ ”
Mohammed also appeared to say that he had fingered people he did not know as being Al Qaeda members in order to avoid abusive treatment. Although there is no way to corroborate his statements, Mohammed is one of the militants whom the CIA repeatedly subjected to the simulated-drowning technique known as waterboarding.
The newly released information could amplify calls for the Obama administration to make public more details about the treatment of terrorism suspects or allow a broader inquiry into the George W. Bush administration’s interrogation policies. Monday’s disclosure represented a rare allegation by a detainee that he had lied while being subjected to harsh practices.
A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, which obtained the documents through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, said Mohammed’s statements raised questions about the effectiveness of the CIA’s interrogation program.
“It underscores the unreliability of statements obtained by torture,” said Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project.