December 30, 2017

"Death to the dictator”/“Clerics should get lost."

Shout the protesters in Iran, the NYT reports.
Others chanted: “Shame on you, Seyyed Ali Khamenei,” using an honorific for the supreme leader. “Let the country go.” Some protesters burned a banner with an image of his face.

Video shared on social media on Saturday showed Iranians directly calling for Mr. Khamenei to step down, and also chanting, “Referendum, referendum, this is the slogan of the people.” (After the 1979 revolution, the Islamic Republic was established with a referendum.)
The Times includes this Trump tweet:

And the Times has a new op-ed, "How Can Trump Help Iran’s Protesters? Be Quiet."
One reason to worry that Mr. Trump may try to seize the moment by championing the protesters is that it has become an article of faith among President Barack Obama’s critics than in 2009 he missed a golden opportunity to do just that, when many Iranians took to the streets after a disputed election result. But it was never clear what difference American rhetorical support would have made then, other than allowing the Iranian government to depict the protesters as American lackeys, giving the security services more of a pretext to crack down violently.

112 comments:

Tank said...

The Times makes a pretzel.

George M. Spencer said...

My family lived in Ahwaz, Iran, from 1963 to 1965. The Iranian people and the Arabs of the Khuzestan deserve to be free. Silence in the face of tyranny is complicity in tyranny.

Michael K said...

The NYT prefers billions of dollars in cash in the middle of the night.

Unknown said...

Ah, the tortured logic of the editorial writers at the NYT. Wtf do they know? Mostly nothing.

-sw

Daniel Jackson said...

Long may he Tweet

Breezy said...

Are you for freedom or not, NYT? Let us know, ok?

Quayle said...

How about we just champion democracy (procedural democracy, that is) and champion liberty and due process under the laws, and let other countries and lership react how they choose.

I’m guessing that the Security Services can find any or no reason to crack down, regardless of what the U.S. does.

Or do we always have to play the Sicilian Drink-placement Genius in The Princess Bride?

Big Mike said...

Being silent and standing aloof didn't work out all that well in 2009, did it? Maybe try something different? Just sayin'

For those who want to remember, the murder of 2009 protestor Neda Agha-Soltan is on YouTube here. (Warning: very, very graphic.)

David Begley said...

#iranprotests on Twitter is good.

Supposedly the internet is blocked in Iran per yahoo.

The NYT and Obama are responsible for keeping these murderers in charge.

Barack, Val, Kerry and Ben ought to be very nervous. The truth might come out now.

Below is why this time it is different.

Amir Taheri
@AmirTaheri4
A remarkable feature of current situationi n Iran is that more and more security units refuse to attack protesters as they did in 2009. This may change but feeling at the moment is that mullahs might find it hard to persuade their gunmen to kill unarmed protesters as before.
12:52 PM - Dec 29, 2017

Humperdink said...

"Death to the Dictator"

Middle eastern tyrants typically do not have very good retirement benefits. Generally they include a hail bullets, a rope or a machete. We shall see.

Michael K said...

"more and more security units refuse to attack protesters "

This is why the Chinese brought in troops from the provinces to take b]down the Tiananmen Square protestors.

They may not have even spoken the same dialect.

dave said...

So Trump should imitate Obama because Obama's policy worked out so well for the Iranian people.

Big Mike said...

@Humperdink, after he took office Reagan showed a deft touch in getting dictators who had overstayed their welcome to get out to someplace safe with enough ill-gotten gains to live comfortably. Don't know whether Trump can repeat that, especially given that we're talking about theocrats and not the run-of-the-mill kleptocrat dictator. But easing them out to someplace comfortable where they can't hurt people is a best case scenario.

Fabi said...

"...it has become an article of faith among President Barack Obama’s critics..."

Must defend the Lightbringer!

Shouldn't it be former President?

Richard Dillman said...

NYT, epitome of deceit.

Humperdink said...

Obama flew in pallets of hundred dollar bills into Iran for the mullahs to sign the nuke deal.

Trump should airlift in small arms for the protesters.

n.n said...

Did the NYT support the so-called "Arab Spring", elective regime changes, trail of tears, immigration reform, and anti-native activism?

DavidD said...

“ ‘But it was never clear what difference American rhetorical support would have made then....’ ”

Well, gee, why don’t we try it now, then, and compare results?

’tis not often we get a second bite at the apple.

tcrosse said...

Republicans pounce.

Unknown said...

Here is when we find out that the left is fully in favor of brutal Islamic dictatorships. CNN was only running coverage of pro Islamic dictators today.

Vance

Lewis Wetzel said...

So, the NY Times thinks that Trump should do what the Mullah's want him to do. BTW, can we stop refering to Iran as an "Islamic Republic"? It's people are not self-ruling. The mullahs can overrule the constitution whenever they see fit. The mullah's have a private army that answers to them, not the constitutional authorites.

Quaestor said...

But it was never clear what difference American rhetorical support would have made then, other than allowing the Iranian government to depict the protesters as American lackeys, giving the security services more of a pretext to crack down violently.

And so the venerable Grey Lady demands Trump meekly adhere to the policy of studied silence because anything else puts the protestors at risk of being denounced by the Iranian theocracy as apostate running dogs of the American crusaders. One might ask just what was the immediate result of the August President's disinterested reticence? Why, the protestors were denounced as apostate running dogs of the American crusaders, what else?

Birkel said...

What pretext does the NYT think necessary? How do they think the mullahs have maintained power since 1979?

Maybe if CNN was not making deals with autocrats not to report facts that would disturb the Narrative the NYT would understand what is plain.

(They do understand, btw. They know the brutality. They're just lying to save face.)

Lucien said...

Right, the Iranian security services are waiting on a pretext. What did they use in 2009, given Obama didn't say a word back then?

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The strength that DJT has shown to the world has echoed across the Planet. Everybody wants to be freed of enslavement now and be a Nation. Muslims are enslaved more that most other groups. But that is suddenly ending...like a storm of truth that cannot be stopped.

MayBee said...

Big Mike said...

Don't know whether Trump can repeat that, especially given that we're talking about theocrats and not the run-of-the-mill kleptocrat dictator. But easing them out to someplace comfortable where they can't hurt people is a best case scenario.


This place exists, and it is called One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, London, UK.

gbarto said...

But since Hillary slaughtered Khadafy even though he was playing ball, it's a lot harder to convince someone you're offering safe harbor.

Lucien said...

The author's bio at the end of the NYT op-ed: "Philip Gordon...was the White House coordinator for the Middle East during the Obama administration."

In other words, the guy who advised Obama to say nothing about the 2009 uprising is offering the same advice to Trump about the 2017 uprising. Why not? It worked so well the first time.

Gahrie said...

Can you imagine the amount of anger on the domestic Left, the International Left and the GOP Establishment if this movement succeeds and a democratic regime willing to give up nuclear weapons replaces it?

Ray said...

The Iranian leaders don't have anywhere to go, due to the Shia / Religious issue.

My guess is the Price of Oil, Corruption, and Foreign Adventure Funding continue to impact the economy of the Iranians. Plus the Saudi's are playing hardball, of basically if you want to deal with the Iranians, you can't deal with the Saudi's. You are either with us, or against us. The Saudi's have been funding Shia militias in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. Most of the people doing the actual fighting are not Iranian. Lots of Aghanistan Shia as cannon fodder in Syria (you want your family to stay in Iran, then you need to go fight in Syria), and Hezbollah (Lebanese Shia Militia, good fighters, willing to take casualties). Many of the Hezbollah fighters were part time, and are now active full time. This costs money to support, which again the Iranians have had to supply. Syria (Assad) is also broke, so again the Iranians have had to supply money so he can pay his forces. And with the more territory Assad occupies, the more forces he needs for the occupation.

Something not mentioned is how Hezbollah was using drug running and other illegal activity to get money. Obama ignored it, I have a gut feeling that Trump has not been ignoring it in the year he has been in office. My bet is Trump has taken action that is reducing this source of funding, which the Iranians have had to make up.

Michael Ledeen I think, wrote about the huge rate of VD in Iran, and the low marriage rate. With a rapidly aging population.

Ray said...

Good point on exile in Europe, I forgot Khomeini was in exile in France before going back to Iran.

narciso said...

Yes for one year, the other 13 years was in najaf and karbala:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/08/29/commentary/world-commentary/obama-let-irans-green-movement-fail/#.WkhGmTeIYdU

Jon Burack said...

One thing is clear to me. Trump hatred is profoundly interfering with the ability of some to think straight about things, most certainly about this Iran upheaval. The Times' nutso suggestion that Trump (and, clearly, the West in general) should just shut up is criminally obtuse. Obama did exactly what the Times wants Trump to do back in 2009, and (as the Washington Post insufferably tells us, correctly in this one case), "democracy dies in darkness." Now is the time for the U.S. and the West to put MAXIMUM pressure and exposure on the mullahs so they will not dare to crush this uprising. We must make it very clear to the regime now that there will be major consequences if they do crush it. With their people's rising expectations now, the regime simply cannot afford to suffer a re-imposition of sanctions. We need to make it very clear that is what will happen. Will such pressure work? Who knows? In the end, it is up to the people in the streets there (and the strength of the opposition leadership that must arise and I hope does exist). Thank God it is not up to the New York Times.

Lucien said...

What's really distressing is that the NYT op-ed, given its author, probably sets out a reasonable summary of the thinking that went into Obama's decision to do nothing about the 2009 protests. The naivete, the sense of helplessness and the utter lack of realpolitik or positioning for negotiations in this thinking is breathtaking.

These are the people we trusted to negotiate the nuclear deal with Iran? It's like we sent a bunch of first-graders.

Drago said...

I wonder how much money/influence is being exerted by the House of Saud to foment these protests and, if so, what assurances for Saudi safety and protection might have been promised by Trump to facilitate it?

This is precisely the sort of asymmetrical activity that the prevailing counter-insurgency/guerrilla warfare mentality that has been unleashed by Trump resulting in smashing ISIS.

Inga and Chuck hardest hit.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Is this the Saudi prince's doing. The Saudis can't be happy with the missiles falling on Ryiadh.

And Trump will give Saudi a green light that Obama would never have given.

Michael K said...

"the low marriage rate. With a rapidly aging population."

David Goldman has written about the collapsing birthrate in Iran, which is lower than Europe's.

The young Iranians are abandoning Islam, which is a factor.

Iran has a history of great events in her past. The Arabs were caravan raiders and thieves.

I'm reading Tom Holland's history of Islam, "In the Shadow of the Sword," in which he makes the case that the Christian middle east had been devastated by the Black Death and the collapse of the Roman Empire when the Arabs came pouring out of the desert with this new religion of conquest.

It hasn't accomplished much but killing.

The Golden Age of Harun al Rashid was about 40 years. out of 1400.

gspencer said...

"Muslims are enslaved more that most other groups. But that is suddenly ending...like a storm of truth that cannot be stopped"

I wish that were true, but it's highly unlikely. Islam has survive for 1400 while literally millions have been killed in its name for its own perpetuation.

Mac McConnell said...

We are seeing Reagan's third term.

EDH said...

But it was never clear what difference American rhetorical support would have made then, other than allowing the Iranian government to depict the protesters as American lackeys, giving the security services more of a pretext to crack down violently.

Because without that "American rhetorical support" in 2009 the regime didn't "crack down violently"?

I think the Obama people, which includes the media, are deathly afraid Trump will get even partial credit for a revolutionary transformation in Iran, and thus lay bare their complicity in the perpetuation of that tyranny plaguing the region.

narciso said...

Yes that's a very good primer, he cats a giglet eye on all three religions, their easier conquests were against Persian meaning zoroastrian redoubts, that doesn't encroachments in Ottoman territory uptown the 13th century. Azarmehr a London based commebtatir points out the revolution was nowhere that large at the beginning.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

How can Trump help the people of Iran? Don't be Obama.

Achilles said...

dave said...
So Trump should imitate Obama because Obama's policy worked out so well for the Iranian people.

That is what the NYT wants. But you all need to understand the context. The NYTs, Obama, the democrat party, the left, and Iran are all on the same side in the war on freedom.

Richard Dolan said...

The assumption is that the US will not offer material aid to the Iranian protesters, if the protests ever get to the point where they are looking for such aid. Under Obama it was a certainty that no such aid would ever be forthcoming, and he did everything he could to signal as much to all sides in Iran. Under Trump, it's anyone's guess what he will do if events in Iran develop in that direction. Nor can anyone really know whether Trump will try to stir up something more than just street protest in Iran, again in sharp contrast to Obama.

deepelemblues said...

Obama's Iran deal must be protected.

Since it's his only foreign policy accomplishment that can be argued (badly) was a positive accomplishment.

If the Iranian government looks worse than usual or looks like it might fall, why, that threatens the perception of Obama's Iran deal! It might even threaten the deal itself! That simply cannot be allowed to happen if it is at all possible to prevent it. If that means taking the side of brutal fascists like the theocratic clique ruling Iran, so be it.

The simple fact is that both normal people and the leaders in the fight for freedom in oppressive dictatorships know that the President of the United States speaking out for them is a huge wind in their sails despite the ignorant know-it-all pronouncements of the chattering classes.

Richard Dillman said...

An interesting book on these issues is Jamie Glazov's "United in Hate: The Left's Romance with Tyranny and Terror."

Glazed explores the unholy alliance between the American left and Islamic Terrorism. Published in 2009, it seems even more prescient today.

Larry J said...

The desire to defend Obama and attack Trump is so strng, it's amusing. If Donal Trump personally found a miracle treatment that cured all cancer, the NYT would complain about oncologists losing their jobs.

Humperdink said...

"We are seeing Reagan's third term."

I could not agree more. The number actions Trump has taken (EPA reg reduction, tax cuts, cutting funding to the UN, Gorsuch, getting NATO nations to pony up, .....) would be unheard of under any R-Swamp president.

Paul said...

"But it was never clear what difference American rhetorical support would have made then"... Trump won't just add 'rhetoric'.... he will FUND THEM and I hope ARM THEM!

Time to F*ck Iran and North Korea!!

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, since NOT saying anything didn't seem to help them a few years ago, maybe it's time to try something different? Just a thought.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Hillary is like a Mullah. Corrupt, money grubbing, terror enabling, inept.

The media stand behind both.

Jon Ericson said...

https://youtu.be/r9-42mu1D9Y

Michael Fitzgerald said...

"Get lost"? A society trapped in the 70's. Also seen: "Iranian clerics- Sit on it!"

Michael K said...

The Iran protests are growing and the Media cannot ignore them much longer.

This might bring down the regime.

How would that play in Ingaland ?

Birches said...

e thing is clear to me. Trump hatred is profoundly interfering with the ability of some to think straight about things, most certainly about this Iran upheaval.

This must be repeated for emphasis. TDS is real folks.

And how bout those Badgers?

narciso said...

Amir taheris 'nest of spies' is a very good corrective primer, among other things it shows that missadegh support was mostly among the tudeh and his great failing was to cross the mullahs and the merchants exactly the same combination of foes the shah would run afoul 25 years later.

Andrew Scott 'fall of heaven' is the best source debunking much of the narrative re the pahlevis as well as the inevitability of the revolution which was really only so after the summer of 78

Lewis Wetzel said...

Blogger Gahrie said...
Can you imagine the amount of anger on the domestic Left, the International Left and the GOP Establishment if this movement succeeds and a democratic regime willing to give up nuclear weapons replaces it?

12/30/17, 8:17 PM

There are several parallels to this. The Ukrainians had possession of an outsized share of Soviet nukes at the end of the cold war, mounted as weapons systems on ICBMs and cruise missiles. They gave them up in return for European promises to guarantee their territorial integrity. I bet that these days there are a lot of Ukrainians who wish they hadn't taken the Brussels deal.
Since the end of WW2 (at least) the diplomats have been working towards a progressive goal of diminished national sovereignty in return for national security guaranteed by a supra-national authority. The pay off is peace. Maybe that deal is unrealistic.

Lewis Wetzel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Henry said...

Shorter Times: "Let us not forget the success of previous failure."

Henry said...

But the Right should be honest. There's zero chance that Iran turns into a democratic regime. It could transform into a better regime. But don't get your hopes up.

Drago said...

Richard Dolan: "The assumption is that the US will not offer material aid to the Iranian protesters,..."

The US does not have to offer material aid to the Iranian protestors.

However, the US just might increase its material aid to the Saudi's and the Israeli's and a few others and it would just be a darn shame if some of that ended up in the hands of the protesters in Iran.

A darn shame.

Birkel said...

Henry seems correct in this. The fall of the mullahs would not guarantee a peaceful Iran more oriented toward the West.

But I doubt a more actively hostile (regionally and internationally) emerging government is a likely outcome, either.

Ken B said...

I guess the same argument could have been made about Jim Crow.

Clarifying to see the NYT coming down hard against politicians saying what they really believe.

EDH said...

Read closely, Trump's Tweet was measured and displayed confident wisdom.

Trolling the Iranian mullahs and his domestic critics alike.

Achilles said...

Never forget the Iranian regime was a big loser on Nov 8th 2016 along with the corruptocrats.

No more pallets of cash from enemies of freedom to prop them up.

Etienne said...

Google should move some of their Internet balloons to over Tehran.

narciso said...


I don't know if he is as revered as sistani

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/12/30/Prominent-Iranian-reference-announces-support-to-protests.html

Lewis Wetzel said...

"No more pallets of cash from enemies of freedom to prop them up."
Obama should have been impeached over this. The executive branch does not have the power to allocate and expend the peoples money, unless it has been authorized by congress. This is what the whole "Iran-Contra" scandal was about in Reagan's 2nd term.
Maybe I should change my moniker to "Cicero."

Bay Area Guy said...

If Trump speaks up: Why doesn't he just shut up?

If Trump doesn't speak up: How can he stay silent in the face of oppression?

The issue, here, isn't Trump. The issue is whether the people of Iran can undermine the Mullahs who control the government and the country. As for me, I side with the people.

David said...

But it was never clear what difference American rhetorical support would have made then, other than allowing the Iranian government to depict the protesters as American lackeys, giving the security services more of a pretext to crack down violently.

1. Not clear what rhetorical support would have done because not tried.
2. There is support beyond rhetorical and short of all out war. Also not tried.
3. The Iranian government will call them American lackeys no matter what we do.
4. What is "more pretext?" They don't need pretext. Cracking down violently is why they have "security services."

Other than that, a sensible position by the NYT, and certainly a fair reflection of the approach of the American Left. By the way how did our Syria policy work out under Obama? Libya? Yemen?



Gahrie said...

But the Right should be honest. There's zero chance that Iran turns into a democratic regime.

I'd settle for putting a shah back on the throne.

Mark said...

Well, if they were not so busy with their shadow coup and obstructing justice, the CIA would have assets on the ground in Iran to which we could be sending support.

John Lynch said...

The contrast to the last President is stark. Good for President Trump.

walter said...

Apparently our cash didn't much help the average Jamal.
Significant inflation..kinda high unemployment rate..
No dancing.

Lem said...

Obama straw man all over again...

Don’t do what ISIS would want...

Don’t do what Iran Security forces would want...

John Smith Smith said...

Obama did not like Jews much, everyone knows that.

A hundred years from now, nobody will remember him, except for those people who keep lists of people who did not really all that much like Jews.

Obama, poor little man, could have been a hero to Iranians.

The heroic people in those videos of Iranian protesters - not a single one thinks Obama is a decent human being.

Look it up.

Even Don Knotts would have been braver than Obama, and more empathetic.

Bruce Hayden said...

“But the Right should be honest. There's zero chance that Iran turns into a democratic regime. It could transform into a better regime. But don't get your hopes up.”

That was GW Bush whose Administration tried to bring democracy to the Middle East. Trump appears that he would consider regime change a success there if they would cut back their nuclear program and cut back their funding of terrorism and attacks on Israel, the west, and our allies in the region. Knocking them significantly out of the terrorism business would count as Winning!!!

I also agree that we are unlikely to directly arm the dissidents there. That would be too risky, in a bad sort of way. Too much of a potential downside. Which leaves the Sunnis in the area, and esp the Saudis, along with the Israelis to do our (and their) dirty work. Obama took sides there, inexplicably to me, on the side of the nuclear seeking terrorist supporting Iranian ruling elites. Which meant that his dithering and lack of support was taken as a red light by Iran’s enemies, and a green light for the brutal suppression of the nascent revolution. Just the opposite here - green light for our allies supporting the dissidents, even with military grade arms, and red light for the Iranian elites on another brutal suppression of dissidents.

There is some evidence that things may be different this time around. Apparently some military units are sitting this out. That still leaves the rural militias that were armed and imported into the cities last time to do a lot of the dirty work. We haven’t seen that yet. Still, Iran seems much more overextended this time, and is starting to hurt financially, esp with its oil revenues. But keeping its Shiite revolution going around the amiddle East is quite expensive, along with its nuclear program, at a time when oil revenues are under pressure, esp with US shale oil and gas glutting the market. As with a number of other petro states, Iran has failed to diversify its economy, and seems to now be feeling the effects. But with its nuclear program and support for terrorism, it really couldn’t diversify. Few other companies have been willing to invest there for those reasons.

Chris Williams said...

Without a pretext for violent crackdown we'd never have Lexington and Concord.

chickelit said...

Didn't Valerie Jarrett--ghostwriter of Obama's Iran policy--move into the newly-established Obama compound in DC?
Why did that story go cold? Embarrassing female jealousy?

walter said...

Right.
And..I didn't know till now she was born in Iran...

Steve said...

Ben Rhodes and the New York Times are in the tank with Obama and the Mullahs. It would be easier to take the NYT Opinion if they didn't have a stake in the game.

I guess it is still better than that time Walter Durranty was in the tank with Stalin, but still...

Kevin said...

Obama didn't want the regime to go anywhere, as he thought he was uniquely positioned to deal with it.

He couched this in statements that if he intervened, it would give the regime an excuse to crack down on the protesters.

The Iranian people got the message. They shut up until a new American president was installed.

The American media shows once again it can't think. It just regurgitates talking points from approved sources.

None of those sources approve of Trump.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Clearly this is Obama's policies finally bearing fruit, just like with the economy. Just a coincidence that it happened during Trump's term.

Christopher said...

When this started I fully expected the media to try and distort it to a certain degree in order to protect Obama given his support for the regime. I thought the statement "It was the result of the Iran deal" or some such thing would appear throughout newspapers and tv shows in order to protect him.

But nope, I was wrong.

Instead they've gone with full-bore denial as their strategy to avoid having to explain what is going on. If you got your news only from CNN or the NYT you'd think that this was all just one giant pro-ayatollah event.

As much as I may bitch about Twitter or social media, I must admit that they're great when the media is actively distorting the truth.

MikeR said...

These NYT guys are pretty expert, you know. If they think that keeping quiet is the best advice, I would definitely listen to them; I doubt they ever get a populist movement wrong.

JML said...

Last night when the NYT still had only 11 comments, I replied to one of the commentators post - I was disagreeing with him and stated Obama was silent for the protestors but sent a planeload of cash to the regime - it still hasn't posted. I wonder if their moderated comments is how the NYT ensures a reliable and consistently supportive response to their editorials..

rwnutjob said...

He didn't just turn his back, he actively supported the Mullahs against the people.
A pattern repeated in Egypt.

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/08/why-obama-turned-his-back-on-the-green-revolution-in-iran.php

Equipment Maintenance said...

All you people advocating that the Iranians do this or do that: You're getting very close to committing a Logan Act violation !

Michael K said...

The fall of the mullahs would not guarantee a peaceful Iran more oriented toward the West.

I think everybody knows that but, if David Goldman is correct, it might be the end of Islam as the ruling ideology.

Mosque attendance is way down to 2%. The birth rate is way down as women are "voting with their uteruses."

Iran has a history that the Arabs did not. The Turks were not even native to the middle east. They began as slaves and soldiers to the Caliphate, then took over as the weak rulers dithered.

The Shah was trying to bring Iran into the modern world too rapidly. Now they have seen the alternative and might be ready for someone like al Sisi.

Jim Daniels said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cyrus83 said...

That's rich of the NYT to advocate being silent seeing as how recent historical world leaders have gotten roasted for doing just that. Seems more like a wish for Trump to shut up so they can bash him later for being quiet.

Meanwhile, the NYT gets undermined by Hillary of all people tweeting support.

Jon Burack said...

Michael K, I agree with the main point of your last comment. However, the Iranians are not the Turks who became Mamluk slave soldiers for the Caliphate. Iran's Persian empire and its cultural distinctness from the Arab and Muslim phase of history predate the arrival of any Turks in the Middle East. Iran may not be headed for a Western style democracy, but it could be headed to some sort of smoother accommodation to modern ways. It has always held on to its sense of a pre-Muslim cultural richness. I have long believed the virulence and anti-Semitism of its clerical theocrats reflects the tightness of the lid needed to keep this cultural reality from re-emerging. I am pretty sure it will re-emerge some day. Maybe that day is approaching.

mockturtle said...

I saw an article this morning stating that police will no longer arrest women for violation of the clothing laws. I think the toothpaste is out of the tube.

Rusty said...

rwnutjob @ 7:41

I remember reading Iranians on other blogs wondering when the president of the United States would say something in support of the Iranian people. Of course our president, being muslim, sided with the mullahs.

Birkel said...

Michael K,

My comment, that you quoted, was not made in a vacuum. I was responding to the decidedly more pessimistic view of Henry by first accepting and restating his premise but then adding a much more positive conclusion.

"But I doubt a more actively hostile (regionally and internationally) emerging government is a likely outcome, either. "

I think, perhaps without intention, you were uncharitable in your reading of my earlier comment.

Restated: There is no clear solution to the current Iranian situation but a change is likely to be for the good, given the hostility of the current regime.

FullMoon said...

How did the middle east view our riots and protests against Trump? Did they assume the entire country agreed with pussy hats and violent leftists? Of course, the Bernie and Hillary whackos were not risking life and limb. Basically allowed to attack with impunity.

n.n said...

We can break Ukraine with a pretext. We can certainly break Iran with a cause.

We'll always have Libya, after the natives have cried their last tears.

Carter Wood said...

The social media response from some on the radical left is worthy of note. I follow the anti-pipeline crowd, and many are outraged at the supposed hypocrisy of Trump and others for supporting the Iranian protesters while criticizing the "peaceful" opponents of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. (In fact, a large faction attacked law enforcement, destroyed private property, and left a ruined environment that government had to pay to clean.)

https://twitter.com/hashtag/NoDAPL

I see similar commentary on the BLM sites. (No, not the Bureau of Land Management.)

Hyphenated American said...

People who were in charge of Obama’s failed foreign policy should shut up and sit at the end of the bus and let the adults figure out how to fix what these morons broke.

Jupiter said...

Ray said...

"Something not mentioned is how Hezbollah was using drug running and other illegal activity to get money. Obama ignored it,".

Not true. Obama did not ignore it. He actively suppressed the American investigation (Called Cassandra) into Hezbollah penetration of the Americas so as not to inconvenience his Muslim friends in Iran. He actively aided and abetted the smuggling of drugs, weapons and sex slaves in the Americas by Hezbollah and crime syndicates allied with Hezbollah. Obama was a traitor. There isn't a lamp-post in DC high enough for the son-of-a-Communist.

Michael K said...

I think, perhaps without intention, you were uncharitable in your reading of my earlier comment.

I'm sorry if I gave an impression of disapproval. Nobody knows what is going to happen and I would much rather have a discussion of possibilities than the frequent declarations of opinion we see so much of here from the left.

Iran's Persian empire and its cultural distinctness from the Arab and Muslim phase of history predate the arrival of any Turks in the Middle East.

Oh yes and that was my point (I thought). They are an ancient civilization and not the Turks or Arabs who are both latecomers.

Maybe I need to go back and reread my comment.

Maybe I just made it too short. You both express my opinions.

Hyphenated American said...

Dont forget that obama colluded with Iran, illegally gave it 2 billion dollars in cash, and obstructed justice from pursuing Hezbollah a moslem terrorist group and a major drug cartel.

I doubt the people who aided obama in these crimes would concede that they were wrong. They are now joined at the hip with Iranian mad mullahs.

JAORE said...

For God's sake do NOT follow the Trump plan. We MIGHT get the Obama results.

Oh wait....

Zach said...

I don't think the protesters really care about Trump, and I don't think they really cared about Obama, either. All politics is local, after all. If you read accounts of the fall of the Berlin wall, nobody cared what the Americans thought. They cared very deeply about East German elections and the right to travel to foreign countries.

The real problem is that the Obama administration completely misread Iran. They wanted to rebalance our relationships in the Middle East to be more favorable to Iran and less aligned with Saudi Arabia and Israel -- basically, to acknowledge Iran as a legitimate regional power. And that was just upside down and backwards. Iran's current regime is neither fundamentally aligned with American goals and values, nor fundamentally stable, nor happy with the current balance of power in the region. We want stability and they want change.

Birkel said...

The correct spelling is Hez b'Allah.

That translates to Army of God.

The party of science aligned with an Islamic army allegedly inspired by God.

Michael K said...

If you read accounts of the fall of the Berlin wall, nobody cared what the Americans thought.

Read Sharanski's discussion of Reagan's "Evil Empire" statement. He said it gave great hope to prisoners that they were not alone.

Rusty said...

Blogger Zach said...
"I don't think the protesters really care about Trump, and I don't think they really cared about Obama, either. All politics is local, after all. If you read accounts of the fall of the Berlin wall, nobody cared what the Americans thought."

They cared very much what America said. The "Green Revolution" in Iran in 2009 wantrd desperately to hear that Obama and the American people were with them. Reagans words and the pope gave the Poles the courage to push back against the Soviets.

Hyphenated American said...

As a person who was born, raised and educated in the USSR, I must say that people cared a lot about America and what its leaders had to say. It’s nice to know that you are not alone.

Which is why I hate NYT and other liberal appeasers of the communist and moslem dictators. They are worse than scum.

MB said...

I'm also getting a slightly different message here. It would be embarrassing if President Obama's reticence and disengagement caused the 2009 revolt to fail, whereas Trump's expression of support caused the 2017/8 Iranian revolutionary movement to succeed.
And mainstream media and other such influential people aren't about to be embarrassed again.
So the message is: lay off, lest we bring our full force to bear and make sure the revolution fails.
Does this sound implausible? Not to anyone who has witnessed the depth of the mainstream elites' hatred for Trump over the past year and their fervent wish to see him fail at everything.
So maybe Angela Merkel, John Kerry, John McCain, etc. will visit Iran over the next few days, to emphasize how normal the situation there is? who knows.

MB said...

I'm also looking forward to a Rouhani or Khamenei interview by Thomas Friedman, not.

Josephbleau said...

All the smart presidents remain silent. Clinton did not stop the genocide in Rawanda because he thought it would hurt their feelings.