Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"On NBC's Today show this morning, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., called on President Obama to make a forceful declaration about the disputed re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"He should speak out that this is a corrupt, fraud, sham of an election," said McCain, Obama's opponent in last year's presidential election. "The Iranian people have been deprived of their rights."

"I think it's possible to engage. But item number one is giving the Iranian people a free and fair election," he said.

--John "Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran" McCain [link]

Thank God we have a 47-year-old grown up as President and not the 72-year old child. President McCain would probably be ordering U.S. troops to the Iranian border right now.

"When your adversary is making a fool of himself, get out of the way. That is a rule of politics Lyndon Johnson once put into the most pungent of terms. U.S. fulminations will change nothing in Tehran. But they would enable the regime to divert attention to U.S. meddling in Iran’s affairs and portray the candidate robbed in this election, Mir-Hossein Mousavi, as a poodle of the Americans...

The dilemma for America is that the theocracy defines itself and grounds its claim to leadership through its unyielding resistance to the Great Satan—the United States—and to Israel. Nevertheless, Obama, with his outstretched hand, his message to Iran on its national day, his admission that the United States had a hand in the 1953 coup in Tehran, his assurances that we recognize Iran’s right to nuclear power, succeeded. He stripped the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad of their clinching argument—that America is out to destroy Iran and they are indispensable to Iran’s defense,"

--Pat Buchanan(!) [link—read the whole thing]

Being a hardcore isolationist leads to the correct conclusions on an almost annual basis—he's 100% correct here, and has 200 times the balls of any other "Republican" for saying so.

"America today has a great opportunity to make trouble for a hostile government while at the same time potentially lending an opportunity for freedom to its oppressed people. We should use whatever resources are at our disposal to make the best of that chance."

--Dan "I should Stick to Baseball" McLaughlin [link]

Because the U.S. meddling in the elections and revolutions of other countries has such a glorious and successful track record... Getting involved in pre-revolutionary Iran and doubling down with the Shah in 1979 was arguably the greatest foreign policy blunder in history (ironically, Ahmadinejad was the revolutionary at the time) and morons like the Crank are all-too anxious to lather, rinse and repeat. Our short-term benefit (not even clear in this instance) is almost never a long-term gain for us, and even worse for the actual population involved.

Oh, and the president should wear a green tie from now on. Every day. He need say nothing more.

--Andrew Sullivan [link—and there's more "wrong" where that came from]

Daniel Larison has a terrific takedown of Sullivan's folly along with a couple other terrific posts, but now Andrew has linked to his criticism, and the resulting traffic has brought down the American Conservative website. Otherwise I'd be quoting Larison extensively. UPDATE: Larison is back up, and I will quote the piece in the comments incase it goes down again. It's too long to put up here.


Mr Furious said...

Larison on Sullivan:

Andrew has an unusually bad suggestion for the President:

Oh, and the president should wear a green tie from now on. Every day. He need say nothing more.

A thousand times, no! Leave aside the political damage he would do to himself here at home by brandishing a tie with the color of political Islam, which is enough of a problem for Obama given the persistent, albeit fringe attacks on him on account of his ancestry, and just consider how inappropriate this is as a matter of relations with other states. [...]

The President of the United States is not and must not be seen as a partisan in the elections of other nations. No matter the party and no matter the country, their cause is not and cannot be the same as his.

For another thing, such a symbolic display of solidarity in the absence of action would be interpreted, correctly, as worse than doing and saying nothing. Nothing would please his domestic enemies more than to be able to mock his empty symbolism and falsely impute Islamist sympathies to him, and nothing would suit Mousavi’s enemies more than to be able to tie Mousavi to the United States through that symbolic identification.

While we’re at it, it would be seen as an attempt to use worldwide sympathy for the movement in question to bolster himself politically while doing absolutely nothing for the people with whom he supposedly sympathizes. It would give the regime the pretext of treating Mousavi as an American lackey. They may do this in any case, but Washington need not enable or provide justification for this. The administration’s wait-and-see approach is the right one.

steves said...

I htink it is difficult figuring out the best way to interact with the world. I agree with Pat in this case, but he is a little too isolationist for my taste. In some ways, it is damned if you do and damned if you don't. Too much influence will be seen as meddling. Too little will be seen as callous.

In some places, I wish we would do more. We ignore African genocide. With a minimal amount of money and manpower, we could have stopped the genocide in Rwanda and helped them with a peaceful transfer of power.

Smitty said...

Department of Stopped Clocks no kidding! Buchanan is full of surprises...and I agree with him here.

That's sort of where I am in all this. The best thing to do is strip away the arguments of the regimes that oppose us, and let their own elections play out.

Mr Furious said...

Yeah, steves, but Rwanda is much different than Iran. The population in Iran is educated, urban, modern and technologically savvy. Rwanda was the very definition of third-world.

And the political situation with Iran and the Middle East is world's apart from Africa.

And of all the fucked-up Middle Eastern countries our history with Iran is the most twisted and complicated.

Barring a wholesale slaughter in the streets, there is literally no political situation that would encourage me to get involved.

Mr Furious said...

Smitty, Buchanan and I cross orbits every once in a while... It's a bracing moment when it happens.

steves said...

Mr. F, I would agree with you %100. My point was that there hasn't seemed to have been much ryhme or reason to our foriegn policy in the last 20 years or so. We have gotten into stuff that we shouldn't have, or done a half-assed job when we did. We have ignored things that we shouldn't have. I would just like to see a little wisdom for a change.