Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What President Obama Should Have Said About Iran

The right-wing press and politicians (John McCain, Chuck Krauthammer, FOX News...) are all complaining that Barack Obama is not making forceful statements about Iran. The better press is ignoring this sham. We all know that if Obama had made forceful statements about Iran, these same right wingers would be accusing him of not focusing on America, of meddling abroad naively. John McCain would have called Obama naive for not understanding Iran. All of that. Krauthammer would have written a piece decrying Obama's willingness to stand up for the people of Iran, but not for Israel (no Democrat is ever pro-Israeli enough for Krauthammer). And let's face it, all these right wingers would, if they were Iranians, be supporting President Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader for their aggressive "peace through strength" policies and their hardline against radical protestors. They have always prized order over liberty.

So what should Obama have said? Probably what he is saying now. That the people of Iran have to make their own destiny, and it is not for us to meddle in their affairs. Open support of the USA for the protestors would hurt their movement. So let's back off and give them what they really want and need: as much media coverage as possible.


Raised By Republicans said...

I completely agree. I think Obama is handling this very well and he's being skewered for it.

Yet again, we see that the Republicans are much better at convincing people they are good at foreign policy than they are at actually implementing foreign policy.

Raised By Republicans said...

I think also that as the Iranian government becomes more and more violent, it allows Obama's statements to be stronger and more direct.

Once the conflict establishes itself as a popular uprising against the state, Obama can make stronger statements with a little less risk of making US the issue.

Anonymous said...

Uh, the chief professional liar for the military says that the occupation troops in Afghanistan cut their murder rate to only 87 civilians last week. The Iranians should be chastised? Now what moral ground does Obama have to stand on to comment on any other countries policies.

Hell, I'm already if favor of impeachment. Just keeping Gitmo open is a war crime people.

There are more people in prison in the US than in the rest of the world and that bunch of subhumans called in jest the supreme court "justices" just ruled that prisoners cannot pay for DNA testing to prove their innocence after conviction.

To keep things smooth in the Far East, the US has a spy ship screwing around with a Chinese submarine in international waters.
The Navy will board N. Korean ships to see if they are carrying something the warmongers in the US can use as an excuse to nuke 'em.

End game for the middle east? Hell, we still have troops in Germany and Japan from the Second World War that ended in 1945. We have troops in S Korea from the Korean War which "ended" in 1953.

Staying the hell out of other people's countries is a great policy.

Anonymous said...

I think Obama has selected the correct tactic with Iran, he understands the social ramifications, I think the fact that the Iranians are blaming the British is proof. A -5:42...We're you this impatient for radical change when Bush was president? It is amazing to me that people come out so angry when there is somebody in office who will listen...where was the anger when Bush was running things.

Obama can not come in and issue a couple of hundred executive orders and change the world in one is not sane to think that is the way to change things. We are all responsible for not speaking up for the last 30 years...we allowed the people we voted for to get in bed with the lobbyist, we all have to look in the mirror...and I am speaking about the collective here...I understand some folks, maybe even all of you that post, have tried to fight the good fight consistently. The people in the senate prove themselves to be a pretty disgusting group and I do not think they are representative of what the founders had in mind. Obama has his work cut out for him and if we really want change, I think we all have to be seriously involved and do something. We have to stop electing the kinds of people we have been putting in office.

As far as the middle east is concerned, we have had plans to invade the region since late 60s and early '70's...there were always war games facilitated to train for that event. The government will tell you that we have to be ready to do it to maintain our standard of living and to keep our economy rolling on the oil. The west will always have a military presence in that region because it is our life blood and we are competing with China for resources, so there may be a time when the region is completely taken over with a military strike, in order to just go in and take the oil. It could happen, I don't think it will...I hope that we have enough innovation to produce alternative power supplies in the near future.

Gitmo has to be unwound slowly, deliberately and with great caution and care..the reasons are obvious.

William Wallace

Raised By Republicans said...

RE: Anonymous 5:42...William Wallace is correct about the limits to the power of the American President.

As for the Senate, the founders intended the Senate to slow down changes. So far as I know, that is what the Senate is best at. They really know how to gum up the works. That's really their intended function. We like it when they are checking Bush but we hate it when they are checking our guy. There may be a lot of Senators I think are tools - but I have to admit I'm a fan of the Senate as an institution.

If we want to end our military involvement in the Middle East the best thing we could do is develope an economically viable electric car with sufficient range to get from Chicago to, let's say, Pittsburgh in a single run. If we combine that with significant improvements in generating electricity through non-combustible means (wind, solar, nuclear), we can afford to leave the middle east alone and the Oil Shieks and (in Iran) Oil Mullahs will have their rugs pulled out from under them.

Anonymous said...

In as much as I agree that the senate is a great idea and on paper and as intended, functions as a great checks and balances institution. It is when they slow things down for no reason is what I can not tolerate. The republicans in the senate want to hold up the Sotomayor confirmation hearings until 2011, claiming they need to review over 8,000 cases she was involved in...she actually only wrote 92 opinions, and that is what they need to focus on and they can review 4 to 5 per they need, maybe 30 to 45 days to get ready, and that is reasonable. You know, I want the potential justice vetted properly, I'm all for it...but to just foul up the process because you can and for nothing more than political reasons, is not running the business of the country. WW

Dr. Strangelove said...

RE: Anonymous 5:42

Goodness, if you're going to be angry like that, at least get your facts straight.

1. Obama is not keeping Gitmo open; he is closing it. His executive order gives him another 6 months to figure out where to put the prisoners currently held there. Unfortunately, that is a legal and political issue as well as a moral one.

2. The Supreme Court's ruling on DNA this week, while in my view still reprehensible, was nevertheless far more limited than you imply. Under most circumstances, most prisoners can pay for DNA testing to attempt to prove their innocence, and in many places the state will pay for it.

3. The relationship between Chinese and US naval forces is far, far more complicated than you appear to realize, and the Chinese are far from innocent in these apparent engagements. If you had instead said the Chinese were screwing with the Americans, you would be closer to the truth, although as I said the situation is complicated on both sides.

4. The idea that we intend to nuke N. Korea does not pass the smell test. There are over 20,000 US troops on the North Korean border, who are virtually hostage against such attacks... Think about it. If you are going to talk about reckless nuclear powers, the real danger is North Korea. Their ships have smuggled components of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to Syria, Iran and various other places. The fear is that these weapons will find their way into the hands of terrorists. Every nation that enforces the sanctions (not just us) is now empowered to search N. Korean vessels. A Spanish ship, for example, intercepted a shipment of 15 scud missiles to Yemen a few years ago.

5. What exactly do you want us to do regarding Iran? You cite troop levels in Germany, Japan, and Korea... Are you implying we should take military action? If not, then what do you suggest? A strongly worded memo? Economic sanctions? As RbR has pointed out, criticism from the US only strengthens the hardliners in Iran, and economic sanctions--even if the international community agreed to them, which they absolutely would not--would have little effect except perhaps to hurt the very folks demonstrating in the streets right now. I mean seriously, what can Obama do? Did you even think about that?

Raised By Republicans said...

WW, don't worry about the 2011 thing. It won't happen. The Republicans don't have the votes to pull it off.

But on a more abstract level the crux of the problem with blaming the Senate is the passage "for no reason." Just because you see no reason for it doesn't mean that Ensign or Brownback or who ever don't have their reasons. And while you and I might think they are being unbearable assholes about it, they have a right to do that and what's more, to the extent that they represent entire populations of unbearable assholes - they have an obligation to faithfully represent them.

Anonymous said...'re right about their agenda and I stand corrected...they are representing their respective electorate faithfully no matter how I wish it, good points.


The Law Talking Guy said...

RBR - what do you think about Grassley, then, who will try to torpedo health care reform, while Harkin works to pass it. Does that mean Iowans are, or are not, getting fair representation? There may be more required to be a representative than merely resting on the plurality vote you achieved a few years ago. Present attitudes of constituents should matter.

Raised By Republicans said...

Yes, split representation of a state is tricky. I guess I would say that while districts are geographic, constituencies are more complex. While both Grassley and Harkin are accountable to the same state (albeit at different times), they clearly have connections to constituencies that cut across state boundaries. Harkin is famously well connected to unions. Grassley has ties to agriculture, Christian conservative groups and also the banking and insurance interests in Des Moines.

Anonymous said...

I think Iowa is a lot like MO. The urban areas, St. Louis and Kansas City...and the college town of Columbia, would be more representative of the Harkin side of the issue, while the rural areas of the state, will side more with Grassley. So as RBR had said, I think these respective senators are representing the attitudes of the majority of their constituents...and MO was divided damn near 50 - 50 in the '08 Prez election. I think the Fox News machine is gaining ground with the socialism talk etc., in some of these states. It is amazing how these people vote against themselves. we are all socialist...we have Social Security and Medicare. I hear people complaining about socialism and then about how their SS checks are late...drives me nuts. the deficit talk is a bit ridiculous to me...that system is so thing they may do with the deficit...increase the price of gold to $50,000 per oz...boom, no more deficit. They'll print money, like in the S&L debacle, and then mask inflation...ain't a thing any of us can do about it, so it kills me that mom and pop might sit around at the table talking about a multiple trillion dollar deficit as if there is anything they can do about it. More on the socialism angle...the government has 89 billion of nationalized assets...the free market has 39.2 trillion of assets...not even a pubic hair close to socialism...but the propaganda machine has the right stirred up about it...they are good at that.


Raised By Republicans said...


In general I agree with you. But in particular, Iowa is a lot different from Missouri. Here is the NY Times election map from 2008.

Missouri is exactly as you describe. Iowa, on the other hand, has a number of rural counties with nothing that could be called an urban area or college town that voted Democratic anyway. You can look up county by county results from previous elections by sliding the scale on the left. You can see that this pattern of rural voters in Iowa voting for Democrats is persistent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the map...the blue counties border the blue states and the red counties, the red states...and the neighboring states of MO and IA are not quite as closely aligned as I imagined.


Raised By Republicans said...

Iowa and Minnesota and Wisconsin have significant numbers of rural liberals. That's a strange combination of demographic and ideological characteristics. It's something that seems to be unique to be the region.