Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

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A Metaphor for the GOP

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

EVERYONE'S A FOREIGN POLICY EXPERT--ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO IRAN

It's amazing to read about and listen to all the criticism the rightwingers have seen fit to throw at President Obama's handling of the Iranian crisis. This criticism comes from the very people who only months ago were calling him a traitor and/or appeaser for hinting that he would sit down and talk to the Iranian government. These are the same people who had no qualms about labeling Iran as part of the Axis of Evil. Apparently these same rightwingers were unaware that the now democracy-loving Iranians were the same people living in Iran at the time that the rightwingers thought it was cool to call them the Axis of Evil. Spare me. Watching them fall over their two right feet trying to out-democracy the president is rather amusing. Where were these people when President Obama was trying to soften the sabre-rattling rhetoric the rightwingers so eagerly embrace when it comes to dealing with countries in the Middle East?

John McCain: "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." Where were these freedom-loving rightwingers when McCain suggested that light-hearted little joke? Did they think is was a riot for him to suggest that we deal with Iran and the people who are now marching in the streets by bombing them back to the Stone Age?

The rightwingers' concern for the oppressed, freedom loving Iranians is duly noted--especially for its rank hypocrisy.

And this from Bush former man in Iran, courtesy of Greg Sargent:

The Plum LineGreg Sargent's blog
Bush’s Man In Iran Lauds Obama’s Handling Of Iran Crisis

John McCain and other Republicans and conservatives have been hammering away at Obama’s handling of the Iran crisis, saying that it has been insufficiently aggressive. This morning, McCain demanded that Obama “condemn the sham, corrupt election,” in order to “make sure that the world knows that America leads.”
But guess who is praising Obama’s approach and saying Obama’s right to refrain from McCainian chest-thumping: George W. Bush’s top negotiator with Iran, Ambassador Nicholas Burns.

In an interview today with NPR, Burns praised Obama’s handling of the crisis, and said that a more aggressive response would actually play into the hands of President Ahmadinejad.
“President Ahmadinejad would like nothing better than to see a very aggressive series of statements by the United States that would try to put the U.S. in the center of this,” Burns said.


“And I think President Obama is avoiding that quite rightly.”

“This is not a dispute for the U.S. to be the center of,” Burns said at another point. “It’s up to
Iranians to decide who Iran’s future leaders will be. He said he respects Iran’s sovereignty. I think it was important to do that.”

Burns said that Obama was right to refrain from throwing the U.S.’s weight around while giving props to reformers. He praised Obama for being “low-key” while saying he’s concerned about the plight of reformers and inspired by them, which Burns called a “balancing act.” Audio here.
It’s worth recalling that this is, in a sense, a replay of the 2008 election. McCain repeatedly suggested that Obama couldn’t be trusted to respond to bad actors or crises with aggressive enough displays of American force and will-power. Obama responded that chest-thumping could sometimes prove less productive than a lighter diplomatic touch. On this one, at least, Obama has the support of Bush’s Man in Iran.

24 comments:

Dave Miller said...

Give it a few minutes Shaw. He will be labeled a RINO in no time at all.

Arthurstone said...

My favorite has been this bit of free-association from the pathetic Jonah Goldberg.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-goldberg23-2009jun23,0,155285.column

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Earlier today, political analyst Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was interviewed on NPR's Fresh Air to discuss this unprecedented moment in Iran's political history.

What Sadjadpour points out: The current uprising would not have been possible during a Bush administration.

Had Iranian elections taken place before Obama, the citizenry loyal to their country would have been far more willing to accept the status quo because a belligerent and bellicose American president bent on regime change would have been perceived as a greater threat. With Bush gone, with the threat of regime change by the Great Satan removed, deeper resentments were able to rise to the surface.

What critics of Obama refuse to recognize is the impact of his presidency in places like Iran, Lebanon, and continental Africa. The slogan, "Yes We Can," is chanted in Farsi on the streets of Tehran.

Critics such as McCain and Graham should actually shut-up. They have nothing to offer, and their words are counter-productive.

Dave Miller said...

I saw him on FOX News Saturday. He was very good there also.

Dave Miller said...

Shaw, it is so nice and peaceful here isn't it.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Dave: so nice and peaceful here isn't it ..."

Permit me an off-topic digression. When my daughters were very young, they had their own phonograph and a collection of children's songs, one of which was "How much is that doggy in the window?"

As with all young children, they would put that song on the phonograph and eventually lose interest as their active imaginations took them to imaginary places. Of course, that song ... that forgotten song ... continued to repeat endlessly throughout the afternoon.

Imagine a hot and still summer and that song, "Doggy in the window," repeating to an empty house after the kids moved their venue to the playground. In the stillness of a hot summer afternoon long ago, I still recall a moment of pure surrealism, and "the one with the waggety tail ..."

Yup, it sure is peaceful around here since the kids have left. Time to turn off the phonograph.

Gordon said...

Apparently progressive commentators are unable to distinguish between the the mullahs, their handpicked politicians and the people of Iran. Conservatives are able to do this.

Or are you just misstating the conservative position to enhance your point (again)? After all, that's your supreme leader's favorite speech tactic: the straw man.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Actually, Gordon, I'm going to turn that observation around.

It was the conservatives (although NOT all) who were itching for a fight with Iran--but I imagine it would have been difficult to find a bomb that would have been able to distinguish the mullahs, their thugs and the Amedinajadh supporters from the democracy loving Iranians marching in the street.


I do have a progressive point of view, to be sure. Surprise! And you have a conservative pov, which, apparently, compels you to call our democratically elected president a "supreme leader," a term we all understand is associated with a murderous tyrant who kills his own people.

That might be considered a tad bit extreme pov, n'est pas?

You don't like Mr. Obama, I know, but let's be serious; he's hardly a new Hitler, as some conservatives have claimed, [that cheapens what millions of people actually suffered under the Nazis] nor is he in anyway a "supreme leader" in our system of government.

Frank the Carpenter said...

SHAW Said..."It's amazing to read about and listen to all the criticism the rightwingers have seen fit to throw at President Obama's handling of the Iranian crisis. This criticism comes from the very people who only months ago were calling him a traitor and/or appeaser for hinting that he would sit down and talk to the Iranian government. These are the same people who had no qualms about labeling Iran as part of the Axis of Evil. Apparently these same rightwingers were unaware that the now democracy-loving Iranians were the same people living in Iran at the time that the rightwingers thought it was cool to call them the Axis of Evil"


Umm, BIG difference!
1. Yes US RIGHTWINGERS called the Iran Government Axis of Evil"

2. US RIGHTWINGERS are 100 percent behind the people of Iran.

3. And US RIGHTWINGERS do think that Obama is just a COWARD!


To be a coward or a hero, one must know the difference. Quite frankly, I think behind closed doors and away from everyone he shakes in his boots and wets himself because he doesn't know how to deal with issues of this magnitude. That, or he really does have a "messiah" complex and really believes that what he says is from the mouth of the Almighty

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Frank the Carpenter: "he shakes in his boots and wets himself ..."

I think you should go back to Pamela's site and re-read her article about online civility. Then re-read your own post on the same subject. Then write Pamela's post and all comments underneath 100 TIMES on the blackboard. Your comment is rude, crude, and disrespectful.

Arthurstone said...

What do we do Frank?

You're the C in C.

Tell us how we should proceed.

Inquiring minds want to learn.

Shaw Kenawe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shaw Kenawe said...

Frank the Carpenter,

Come back and tell us what you believe is the proper response for President Obama with regard to the Iranian crisis.

All foreign policy experts, who actually have experience in the Middle East, as well as Iranians themselves agree with Mr. Obama's handling of the situation.

Certain GOPers, but not by any means all, do not agree with Mr. Obama.

I just visited your blog where you complain in your current post that Liberals always engage in name-calling.

Then you come here and call the president a coward and a pant-wetter?

Even you must realize how silly that is.

Dave Miller said...

Frank, while you crafting your response to Arthur, perhaps you could chew on this.

You said "he [Obama] really does have a "messiah" complex and really believes that what he says is from the mouth of the Almighty."

I would love for you to provide the source for this statement. I do not believe I have ever heard President Obama say, or even intimate that what he says is from the mouth of God.

But if that claim makes someone guilty of a messiah complex, perhaps we should examine your charge.

According to the Washington Post, and many other news outlets, President Bush in July 2004, stopped to campaign with some Amish folks at Lapp Electric Service in Smoketown, Pa. Just as the meeting ended, Bush, according to Mennonite Weekly Review columnist Jack Brubaker, told the group: "I trust God speaks through me. Without that I couldn't do my job."

While accounts differ, there are many variations on this theme throughout the Bush Admin.

Perhaps Bush was the one with the Messiah issue, not Obama.

You can disagree with Obama on principle, but let's agree to use facts, not innuendo, and keep the hyperbole to a minimum.

A New York Guy's View said...

Dave Miller said "
Perhaps Bush was the one with the Messiah issue, not Obama."

And If the queen had balls she'd be the king!

Arthurstone said...

I'd ask the same question of New York Guy as I did of Frank but what would be the point?

The answer would be something to do with testicles or poop.

A New York Guy's View said...

Arthurstone said...
"I'd ask the same question of New York Guy as I did of Frank but what would be the point?

The answer would be something to do with testicles or poop."


YOU are such a SIMPLETON, I won't even bother to answer you.
I'd be wasting my time.

Shaw Kenawe said...

The subject of this post is Iran and people who believe they are foreign policy experts.

TRUTH 101 said...

New York dude would tell the mullahs to eat poop and testicles. That would show em.

Sandys Thoughts said...

Truth, you are acting like a fool and you are showing us that he was right.

James' Muse said...

In my post about this, I said that I trust the actual experts (on both sides of the aisle) on the subject of what should be done about Iran. Some people just get all in an uproar thinking they know better than ALL THOSE EXPERTS and the POTUS. But no matter what he does, they will complain.

Shaw Kenawe said...

James,

That is exactly what I've been saying since this crisis began.

Republicans AND Democrats who are experts in these matters agree with Mr. Obama. And, in addition, the Iranian scholars and experts agree with the president.

The rest of the critics, IMHO, are just trying to make cheap political points.

TRUTH 101 said...

I'm a fool for anyone that tells evil mullahs to eat poop and testicles Sandy. Thanks for noticing.

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