Iran’s Moderates Inspired by President Obama

Not all conservatives have been critical of President Obama’s handling of events in Iran. Henry Kissengers gave a nod of approval. Though he didn’t mention Iran in particular, former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage recently said that Obama was smarter at foreign policy then Bush. Who has been critical of President Obama, the very same foreign policy gurus of the far Right that have been wrong about  how to fight non-state terrorism like that from al-Queda, that didn’t think it was important that Bush let Osama Bin Laden get away at Tora Bora and that the road to democracy and peace in the middle-east started in Iraq. To err is human, to always be wrong is to be a neocon like John McCain, Sean Hannity, Mike Pence (R-IN), Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol and most of the usual suspects.

I speak for Mousavi. And Iran

Now they are gathering to mourn those who have died. The people of Iran have a culture that elevates martyrdom. In the period running up to the revolution, when people were killed at demonstrations, others would gather again in the days following the death. This cycle carried on for six months, and culminated in the revolution. Today they are gathering in Tehran for those who were shot on Tuesday, and if there are more killings, this will continue.

So why do the Iranian people not want Ahmadinejad as their leader? Because he is nothing but a loudspeaker for Khamenei. Under Ahmadinejad, economic problems have grown worse, despite $280bn of oil revenue. Social and literary freedom is much more restricted than under his predecessor, Mohammad Khatami. The world views us as a terrorist nation on the lookout for war. When Khatami was president of Iran, Bush was president of the US. Now the Americans have Obama and we have our version of Bush. We need an Obama who can find solutions for Iran’s problems. Although power would remain in the hands of Khamenei, a president like Mousavi could weaken the supreme leader.

Some suggest the protests will fade because nobody is leading them. All those close to Mousavi have been arrested, and his contact with the outside world has been restricted. People rely on word of mouth, because their mobile phones and the internet have been closed down. That they continue to gather shows they want something more than an election. They want freedom, and if they are not granted it we will be faced with another revolution.

Thirty years ago we supported each other. When police used tear gas, fires would be lit to neutralise its effects. People would set their own cars on fire to save others. Since then, the government has tried to separate people from one other. What we lost was our togetherness, and in the past month we have found that again. All the armed forces in Iran are only enough to repress one city, not the whole country. The people are like drops of water coming together in a sea.

People say that Mousavi won’t change anything as he is part of the establishment. That is correct to a degree because they wouldn’t let anyone who is not in their circle rise to seniority. But not all members of a family are alike, and for Mousavi it is useful to understand how he has changed over time.

Before the revolution, Mousavi was a religious intellectual and an artist, who supported radical change but did not support the mullahs. After the revolution, when all religious intellectuals and even leftists backed Khomeini, he served as prime minister for eight years. The economy was stable, and he did not order the killings of opponents, or become corrupt.

That has to sting. Who inspires the movement toward a more moderate Iran, not the abject failure and idol of the Right, Bush 43, but President Obama. From a CBS interview on Friday, Obama: Iran Protestors “Seeking Justice”

Q: Let’s move on to news of the day. The Ayatollah Khamenei gave his – speech today and gave his sermon. He said that the election in Iran was, in fact, legitimate. He said, quote/unquote, “the street – street demonstrations are unacceptable.” Do you have a message for those people in the street?

A: I absolutely do. Well, first of all, let’s understand that this notion that somehow these hundreds of thousands of people who are pouring into the streets in Iran are somehow responding to the West or the United States. that’s an old distraction that I think has been trotted out periodically. And that’s just not gonna fly.

What you’re seeing in Iran are hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and – and seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way. And, you know, already we’ve seen violence out there. I think I’ve said this throughout the week. I want to repeat it that we stand with those who would look to peaceful resolution of conflict, and we believe that the voices of people have to be heard, that that’s a universal value that the American people stand for and this administration stands for.

One fairly common theme that runs through much of the Right’s criticism of President Obama is that he has not used strong enough language to condemn Iran’s leaders. You can’t blame some more moderate observers to entertain the idea that with all their chest thumping rhetoric the Right is actually hoping Ahmadinejad and the Iranian hardliners win. If Obama makes current events in Iran about the US it gives the Ahmadinejad/Khamenei side a propaganda tool, a way to dismiss the demonstrations as a phenomenon somehow brought on by the US. More from the CBS interview,

Q: People in this country say you haven’t said enough, that you haven’t been forceful enough in your support for those people in the street, and which you say?

A: To which I say the last thing that I want to do is to have the United States be a foil for those forces inside Iran who would love nothing better than to make this an argument about the United States. That’s what they do. That’s what we’ve already seen. We shouldn’t be playing into that. There should be no distractions from the fact that the Iranian people are seeking to let their voices be heard.

Now, what we can do is bear witness and say to the world that the, you know, incredible demonstrations that we’ve seen is a testimony to, I think what Dr. King called the the arc of the moral universe. It’s long but it bends towards justice.

Another Beck conspiracy theory: Maybe Treasury is “selling black market bonds” – If you like your tin foil black helicopters flying low you almost can’t beat Glenn Beck. Senator James Inhofe comes close sometimes and Michelle Bachman deserves honorable mention.