"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Iranian Police Beats Mourners at Neda's Memorial

While the US has been focused on Gates-gate and Obamacare, Iran has been experiencing severe political unrest since the election June 12th. Whether it was the reformers flooding the streets claiming rigged elections, the subsequent violent crackdown by riot police, the killing of Neda, "elected" president Ahmadinejad's choice of softer Esfandiar Rahim Mashai (who had the audacity to have made friendly comments toward Israel) for vice-president and Ahmadinejad's subsequent cave-in to hardliners' demand that Mashai be sacked, Iran is in turmoil.

Today police beat mourners at the memorial of Neda Agha-Soltan. According to the Telegraph "Witnesses said police used batons and sticks to beat mourners at Behesht-e Zahra cemetery where opposition leaders are planning a memorial visit to the cemetery south of Tehran to mark the 40th day since the death of Neda Agha-Soltan."

This in spite of attempts by the government to appease Iranian protesters with the appointment (and subsequent rejection) of Mashai as vice-president and the closure of a notorious detention center.

Again according to the Telegraph: "The Iranian authorities freed 140 protesters this week and announced the closure of a detention centre amid opposition allegations of prisoner abuse. The reformist Khatami, who was succeeded by Ahmadinejad in 2005, said a declaration that illegal holding centres must be closed was inadequate. 'It is not enough to say that a detention centre was not up to the required standards and so closed. Does it mean the ventilation system was malfunctioning or the toilets were unclean?' he said on his Baran foundation website. 'No. Crimes have been committed. Lives have been lost.'"

All of this raises the question of just how powerful the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei truly is and how much authority President Ahmadinejad will actually wield. Breaks in the hardliners' ranks are evident, as is a growing popular dissatisfaction with the Ayatollah and other hardline clerics.

This all seems to be of little interest to Obama however as he engages in a beer drinking "can't-we-all-just-get-drunk-and-get-along" photo-op with Gates and Sgt. Crowley in an attempt to get his ill-fated Obamacare back on the front pages. Maybe it's unfair of me to bring this up now, but seriously when was the last time Obama even mentioned Iran? The giant gulf between what's needed right now and what Obama is pushing (Obamacare, Cap & Trade, his racial authenticity) is astonishing to me. I guess astonishment is all I'm going to get with Obama's foreign policy.

1 comment:

  1. Obama's halo is fading fast, and the Obamatons are trying to act human again.

    On Wednesday, Janet Napolitano gave a speech in which she used the word "terrorist" a couple of dozen times and recommended that Americans alert authorities if they see someone doing something that might be part of a terrorist plan. "Man-caused disasters" is out, "looking out for your neighborhood" is in. This against a backdrop of a concerned neighbor and a local cop in Cambridge being dragged through a high-profile kangaroo court for racial profiling when they did try to look out for their neighborhood.

    Obama and his minions will succeed in fooling a number of mush-brained, bleeding heart American liberals on a second go-around at gaining voter confidence, but I don't think it is possible for the Obamatons to act other than cynically.

    Obama's administration is guided by an ideology so at odds with the American ideal that they cannot identify what America wants and needs sufficiently even to pretend that they will fulfill those desires.

    They will try to appear as though they are looking out for human rights and American interests, but if they do the right thing it will be the result of accident, not design. Their ideology is a blindfold making their attempt at governance just one big unhappy game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.