Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, January 11, 2010


That heading will. annoy the hell out of President Obama’s critics, I know. But as John Adams once said “Facts are stubborn things.” The following list of what Mr. Obama has factually and actually accomplished in the tumultuous first year of his presidency will reveal that, quietly and steadfastly, Mr. Obama has indeed had an impressive, very good first year.

1.Ordered all federal agencies to undertake a study and make recommendations for ways to cut spending

2. Ordered a review of all federal operations to identify and cut wasteful spending and practices

3. Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women

4. Beginning the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq

5. Families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover A.F.B.

6. Ended media blackout on war casualties; reporting full information

7. Ended media blackout on covering the return of fallen soldiers to Dover A.F.B.; the media is now permitted to do so pending adherence to respectful rules and approval of fallen soldier's family

8. The White House and federal government are respecting the Freedom of Information Act

9. Instructed all federal agencies to promote openness and transparency as much as possible

10. Limits on lobbyist's access to the White House

11. Limits on White House aides working for lobbyists after their tenure in the administration

12. Ended the previous stop-loss policy that kept soldiers in Iraq/Afghanistan longer than their enlistment date

13. Phasing out the expensive F-22 war plane and other outdated weapons systems, which weren't even used or needed in Iraq/Afghanistan

14. Removed restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research

15. Federal support for stem-cell and new biomedical research

16. New federal funding for science and research labs

17. States are permitted to enact federal fuel efficiency standards above federal standards

18. Increased infrastructure spending (roads, bridges, power plants) after years of neglect

19. Funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access to K-12 schools

20. New funds for school construction

21. The prison at Guantanamo Bay is being phased out

22. US Auto industry rescue plan

23. Housing rescue plan

24. $789 billion economic stimulus plan

25. The public can meet with federal housing insurers to refinance (the new plan can be completed in one day) a mortgage if they are having trouble paying

26. US financial and banking rescue plan

27. The secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere are being closed

28. Ended the previous policy; the US now has a no torture policy and is in compliance with the Geneva Convention standards

29. Better body armor is now being provided to our troops

30.The missile defense program is being cut by $1.4 billion in 2010

31. Restarted the nuclear non-proliferation talks and building back up the nuclear inspection infrastructure/protocols

32. Re-engaged in the treaties/agreements to protect the Antarctic

33. Re-engaged in the agreements/talks on global warming and greenhouse gas emissions

34. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office

35. Successful release of US captain held by Somali pirates; authorized the SEALS to do their job

36. US Navy increasing patrols off Somali coast

37. Attractive tax write-offs for those who buy hybrid automobiles

38. Cash for clunkers program offers vouchers to trade in fuel inefficient, polluting old cars for new cars; stimulated auto sales

39. Announced plans to purchase fuel efficient American-made fleet for the federal government

40. Expanded the SCHIP program to cover health care for 4 million more children

41. Signed national service legislation; expanded national youth service program

42. Instituted a new policy on Cuba , allowing Cuban families to return home to visit loved ones

43. Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions

44. Expanding vaccination programs

45. Immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters

46. Closed offshore tax safe havens

47. Negotiated deal with Swiss banks to permit US government to gain access to records of tax evaders and criminals

48. Ended the previous policy of offering tax benefits to corporations who outsource American jobs; the new policy is to promote in-sourcing to bring jobs back

49. Ended the previous practice of protecting credit card companies; in place of it are new consumer protections from credit card industry's predatory practices

50. Energy producing plants must begin preparing to produce 15% of their energy from renewable sources

51. Lower drug costs for seniors

52. Ended the previous practice of forbidding Medicare from negotiating with drug manufacturers for cheaper drugs; the federal government is now realizing hundreds of millions in savings

53. Increasing pay and benefits for military personnel

54. Improved housing for military personnel

55. Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses

56. Improved conditions at Walter Reed Military Hospital and other military hospitals

57. Increasing student loans

58. Increasing opportunities in AmeriCorps program

59. Sent envoys to Middle East and other parts of the world that had been neglected for years; re-engaging in multilateral and bilateral talks and diplomacy

60. Established a new cyber security office

61. Beginning the process of reforming and restructuring the military 20 years after the Cold War to a more modern fighting force; this includes new procurement policies, increasing size of military, new technology and cyber units and operations, etc.

62. Ended previous policy of awarding no-bid defense contracts

63. Ordered a review of hurricane and natural disaster preparedness

64. Established a National Performance Officer charged with saving the federal government money and making federal operations more efficient

65. Students struggling to make college loan payments can have their loans refinanced

66. Improving benefits for veterans

67. Many more press conferences and town halls and much more media access than previous administration

68. Instituted a new focus on mortgage fraud

69. The FDA is now regulating tobacco

70. Ended previous policy of cutting the FDA and circumventing FDA rules

71. Ended previous practice of having White House aides rewrite scientific and environmental rules, regulations, and reports

72. Authorized discussions with North Korea and private mission by Pres. Bill Clinton to secure the release of two Americans held in prisons

73. Authorized discussions with Myanmar and mission by Sen. Jim Web to secure the release of an American held captive

74. Making more loans available to small businesses

75. Established independent commission to make recommendations on slowing the costs of Medicare

76. Appointment of first Latina to the Supreme Court

77. Authorized construction/opening of additional health centers to care for veterans

78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000

79. Renewed loan guarantees for Israel

80. Changed the failing/status quo military command in Afghanistan

81. Deployed additional troops to Afghanistan

82. New Afghan War policy that limits aerial bombing and prioritizes aid, development of infrastructure, diplomacy, and good government practices by Afghans

83. Announced the long-term development of a national energy grid with renewable sources and cleaner, efficient energy production

84. Returned money authorized for refurbishment of White House offices and private living quarters

85. Paid for redecoration of White House living quarters out of his own pocket

86. Held first Seder in White House

87. Attempting to reform the nation's healthcare system which is the most expensive in the world yet leaves almost 50 million without health insurance and millions more under insured

88. Has put the ball in play for comprehensive immigration reform

89. Has announced his intention to push for energy reform

90. Has announced his intention to push for education reform

This list was compiled by Professor Robert Watson of Lynn University who was once a writer for the New York Times.

Awards/HonorsFor his work, Robert Watson has won numerous awards, including the “International Abraham Lincoln Award” for contributions to the study of the presidency, the “Children’s Hero Award” for the many civic programs he offers schools, and various teaching honors by the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, Golden Key International Honor Society, and others, as well as such campus awards as “Distinguished Professor of the Year” and the “Faculty Service Award” at other universities prior to joining Lynn’s faculty. He was also named the South Florida Business Journal’s “Heavy Hitter in Education,” has received meritorious honors from the University of Florida, Brandeis University, the American Association of State and Local History, the Western Social Science Association, and others, and has been inducted into two sports halls of fame.

Watson has been selected as a visiting fellow or scholar-in-residence with universities, historic sites, presidential libraries, and synagogues around the country and several of his books are in international translation and/or have been nominated for awards with such organizations as the American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, and the Social Science History Association.



Me said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
robert thomas and his thoughts said...

I think that the jury is still out of 99 percent of your list.
As for all his time spent on Healthcare, He did get pretty close to almost accomplishing something his first year. But how much did his first year cost the American taxpayers?

I've been reading your blog and fornd it very interesting, a bit slanted to the left but never the less interesting.

As for your previous blog, where (O)CT(O)PUS said.. things about 2 other people. May I remind her that she has broken Bloggers rules as well.
It is against policy and it may even be against the law to publicly give any personal information about others without their consent.
So she should be very careful about that.

dmarks said...

I find some of the list to be good, some of them things that are bad actions, and some of them to be meaningless. I'll pretty much stick to non-partisan types of comments.

For the last ("meaningless"), what Preasident hasn't promised 1, 2, 88 and 89? Announcing intention or putting the ball in play really isn't doing anything. It falls under the "talk is cheap" category.

#11 isn't meaningless, but it becomes a "yeah, so what" after the President quickly broke his own excellent promise to keep lobbyists out of his administration. And #29 and #30 sort of cancel each other out. Make us more vulnerable in one, and help protect us in the other.

#78 is odd, considering that there has been a sharp increase at the Federal level in overpaid officials rolling in the dough with excessive over-$100,000 salaries.


Robert: The profile link, and the link to the blog, are one or two clicks away for any contributor using Blogger here. These are not personal information.

dmarks said...

Some specifics on

"78. Limited salaries of senior White House aides; cut to $100,000"

From this Examiner article.

The end of the article completely nullifies #78: "Obama's top lieutenants, including senior adviser David Axelrod, spokesman Robert Gibbs and Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, each are paid $172,200 a year..

These three are the most visible and most senior of the President's "senior aides".

Another is quoted saying "I about fell off my chair when I saw that the number of federal employees making more than $150,000 have more than doubled in the last 18 months"

Well, even in this economy, Federal employees are looking out for #1. Serve self first, then serve public. The rich getting richer at direct taxpayer expense.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Hello robert thomas and his thoughts:

Just a little correction:
(O)CT(O)PUS is a he.

I have tried permanently deleting the two people mentioned, but they return again and again when I've asked them not to come here.

Malcontent has insulted my commenters and me without provocation. His comments are abusive and usually have nothing to do with the post and everything to do with his detestation for librals and Mr. Obama. I do not visit his blog; I have no idea why he continues to come here.

Beth comes here and posts her long rants that are always about abortion and off topic, then she deletes them. She does this at other blogs, not just mine.

If you know of some way to discourage pests like this, I'd would listen with great attention, because I really don't know how to deal with them, other than what I've been doing.

This past summer,(O)CT(O)PUS gallantly helped me with and defended me against another blogger who put a vicious sexually explicit post on his blog about me then invited his commenters (most of whom had no idea who I was) to say vile and hateful things about me.

For that help, I will always be grateful. He is trying to help me again to rid my blog of unwelcome intruders who will not behave like decent human beings.

Why this sort of behavior from certain rightwing bloggers? Because I have a blog with a Liberal point of view.

There are plenty of outlets on the radio, teevee, newspapers, and the internet that criticize the Obama administraton and point out what they believe is wrong with Mr. Obama's policies.

I don't understand why some of these bloggers are compelled to come here and slam me for writing about what I believe in.

Of course I understand that the Obama administration has made and will make mistakes, reneg on promises, flip-flop. In other words, this administration will be like most other administrations. The point is that this is an administration that more closely reflects the ideals I believe in.

Recently, I was able to engage with a conservative on TRUTH 101's blog. We had a really good back and forth expressing our ideas and concerns.

There was no name-calling and anger. Both of us understand we want the best for this country, our families and ourselves. But we won't achieve anything so long as we continue to regard people with differing political philosophies as traitors and enemies.

Another bloggeer, Pamela D. Hart, at The Oracular Opinion, has had to deal with rancor and divisiveness on her blog, which is unabashedly conservative. I count Pam as one of my friends. She is a fair-minded and intelligent woman, and she is handling the troll situation with the delete button as well.

Thank you for stopping by. You are welcome to debate any of the points in the accomplishment list I've posted.

I put it up so that people could do that very thing.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Fair enough, dmarks.

Thanks for pointing those out. I knew, as I posted this list that there was more than one item that was debatable.

dmarks said...

Thanks. I tried to avoid comments that would have concerned his conformity to left-wing ideology and lack of conformity to right-wing ideology.

Dislike of the influence of lobbyists is bipartisan/nonpartisan.

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

Robert Thomas: As for your previous blog [comment section under previous post], where (O)CT(O)PUS said.. things about 2 other people. May I remind her that she has broken Bloggers rules as well (…) It is against policy and it may even be against the law to publicly give any personal information about others without their consent.”

Please note: Blogger has a new Report Abuse function. When you follow the menu, there are lists of abuse categories followed by a "continue button" that takes you a blank field where you copy/paste the URL address of the offender.

Comment abuse has NOTHING to do with free speech or expressing one's political views. It has everything to do with acting like a SCHOOLYARD BULLY, and we have every right to set our own standards and ask people to abide by them.

Fortunately, Blogger™ offers us a means to protect ourselves from unwelcome abuse, and I will not hesitate to use it.

Amateurs pretending to be lawyers ... they are everywhere. Spare us!

robert thomas and his thoughts said...

As far as I understand it and I'm pretty sure that I am correct.
People are allowed to write anything they wish to as long as they do not threaten to do any harm to anyone .

The internet is very lenient, as far as allowing people to say whatever they want to. There is a very strong defense of free speech on the internet. Blogs included. The best way to resolve the problem is to ignore the person in question.
You are the owner of the blog and therefore responsible for all that is written on it. You agreed that you must evaluate and bear all risks associated with your blog when you opened it.
Your blog is governed by the general rules of Blogger. You are fully responsible for everything that you post, and the content of all others that post there as well.
As I said, they can say anything they wish to as long as they do not threaten to do any harm to anyone or anything. Also these is not anything in the guidelines of the internet in regard to vulgar language.
I hoped that helps.

Jim said...

Hi there SK. Finally in a position to get on the internet with the laptop and not the iphone. Gotta get a connection to the redneck apartment that my wife and I now live in. ;-)

(O, for the rest of yous guys, that's a 31ft motor home.)

Now, for your list. Most of it is just fluff and filler to make a long list. Hardly accomplishments. And no, I don't need to point out each and every one, dmarks did a great job. The one glaring trend however is the weakening of America by his policies as noted through this list. Big dollar giveaways and taking dollars from defense is not something I would grow about to loudly.

Shaw Kenawe said...

robert thomas and his thoughts,

OFF TOPIC for a moment:

I don't know who you are, but I vaguely remember your coming here before, because I linked to your name and saw your blog--your photo is familiar, too.

There is no "free speech" on a blog, since the blog administrator has the ability to delete, with impunity, any comment she finds offensive or threatening.

The bloggers (O)CT(O)PUS and I referred to continue to come here when I've told them not to--that's harassment. (O)CT(O)PUS has informed me that Blogger has a new "Report Abuse" function, which has nothing to do with free speech.

Our First Amendment right proscribes the Government from censoring what I say, or what any other American wants to say--so long as it is not a threat to someone's life or yelling "Fire!" in a theater.

So no, commenters cannot say anything they wish when they come to my blog, because I can delete their words. That is not a violation of free speech.

The Government cannot come to my blog and tell me what I can or cannot say.

And the Government cannot come to YOUR blog and tell you what to say, so you are free to say things like this:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Liberals hate America,

Liberals hate America, it's really that simple. There can be no other explanation for their actions, past, present, and future.

Liberals elected an extreme narcissist to the potus (lower-case reflecting Bamroid's stature) who also has a hefty dose of displacement in his make (as do all liberals). The definition of "displacement" is the transmission an emotion from its previous or initial focal point to another person, situation, or item. The communists and the nazis used this well as do current dictators like Chavez (US is evil), Ahmadinejad (US is evil), and liberals (US is evil). Indeed, weak-minded liberals, who are insecure at their core and liars through and through use "displacement" to hide the truth (like tossing out a red herring) that makes the situation more palatable to their delusional grasp on reality.


Shaw Kenawe said...

And this:

The bottom line is that liberals hate America because they refuse to see the difference between good and evil. The Democrats not only embrace vermin like Mikey Mooreon, they invite him to their convention and seat him next to Jimmy the Dhimmi! They embrace scum like Cindy Sheethead and pseudo-American Indian Ward Churchill, both of all of whom hate America. Comrade Barry could not wait to release classified stuff to the enemy and then Nazi Pelosi openly attacks the CIA. Liberals hate America. Just ask yourself WHO SUPPORTS: NO prayer in school, h0m0s serving openly in the military, reparations, h0m0 weddings, NAMBLA, ACLU, bestiality, legalized drugs, freeing criminals like Tookie and Mumia, cRap music, impeaching Bush, blaming Bush for 9/11, scumbagged the US military (ABSCAM Murtha), protested the War in Iraq (before, during, and after), election fraud via ACORN, no drilling, no new refineries, no drilling in ANWR, no nuclear power plants, a "gradual" rise in gas prices, etc, etc, ad nauseum? Liberals do, that's who. Liberals hate America, and they hate what it stands for. Liberals are pro-abortion, pro-death, pro-gay, pro-enemy, and anti-Constitution. They don’t love freedoms, they embrace slavery. Liberals don't see America as the "shining city on the hill," they see it as the dungeon that mistreats: h0m0s, blacks, minorities, women, the poor, the homeless, the weak, the stupid, the lazy, etc. To libs, we're greedy imperialists who go around the world bullying other countries in their own self interest and therefore, must be punished. WE. MUST. SUFFER. And if we fall in the process, good.

In closing, there is a rising movement of Americans and patriots who are dedicated and rededicating themselves to America and are working to save this nation from the leftist vermin. We MUST reject the lies and disinformation that is the modern liberal movement as practiced by Comrade Barry and ABC (All Barry Channel) News, now broadcasting from the White House like Pravda, along with NBC (Now Barry Channel) and CBS (Continual Barry Surveillance) news pushing the rookie like a demigod. Quite the switch from their coverage of Bush! We must continue to resist the left through endorsing Conservatives in politics, joining Tea Parties (the left HATES THEM), vocalizing our distaste of the current regime, and refusing to hold our noses for the GOP RINOS anymore. As Ghandi stated: "First they ignore us, then they laugh at us, then they fight us, then we win!" We're already at the fighting stage when clowns like Comrade Barry try to order private citizens like Dr Basso to the White House because Basso did a "Tom Paine" video excoriating Barry. Get used to it Jug Ears, our dander is up.

Posted by robert thomas and his thoughts at 2:13 PM 2 comments

By your own words, "robert thomas and his thoughts," there is nothing more detestable to you than Liberals.

Question: Why the hell do you and people like malcontent come here?

This sort of behavior by you, malcontent, and beth seems somewhat pathological.

dmarks said...

R Thomas said: "As I said, they can say anything they wish to as long as they do not threaten to do any harm to anyone or anything."

You seem to forget that this is SK's blog. She has complete editing control over it, and can remove comments for any and all reasons. Her role here is like editor, just like the editor of the New York Times. And like the editor of the New York Times letters page, she can choose what gets "printed" here.

Free speech, however, lets you run your own blog as you see fit. It just doesn't give you the right to dictate the editorial policy of other bloggers.

robert thomas and his thoughts said...

dmarks said...

R Thomas said: "As I said, they can say anything they wish to as long as they do not threaten to do any harm to anyone or anything."

You seem to forget that this is SK's blog. She has complete editing control over it, and can remove comments for any and all reasons. Her role here is like editor, just like the editor of the New York Times. And like the editor of the New York Times letters page, she can choose what gets "printed" here.

I didn't forget that nor do I deny that.
That is absolutely true.

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

Robert Thomas: "People are allowed to write anything they wish to as long as they do not threaten to do any harm to anyone"

Actually, no. Speaking for myself, nasty comment threads have sometimes degenerated into threatening e-mail sent to me PERSONALLY! I have been threatened with violence, including death by shooting, beatings, and drowning. I have reported these to law enforcement ... and have prosecuted in one instance.

What I wrote recently under this post:

"In short, reactionary ideas and talking points have infected public discourse to such a degree that it is poisoning how we treat each other in our daily lives. It is a political subculture that shuns dialogue and the democratic exchange of ideas in favor of outright elimination of the opposing side through suppression, condemnation, ostracism, or extermination."

It starts with comment abuse. More to the point, it starts with vicious stereotyping that paints all liberals as "vermin" whose only worth is to be "eliminated." Sorta reminds me of what my ancestors experienced under the Third Reich. Characterized as "vermin," they were exterminated by the Nazis in the Holocaust. So when I read shit like this, I get justifiably sensitive.

Mr. Thomas, I am really not interested in your opinion anymore.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Jim, when you claim that President Obama is weakening America by his policies--give us an example.

Here are some examples that refute that assertion:

He's sent 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, he's ordered drone attacks on Al Qaeda bases on the Afghan/Pakistan border, he has INCREASED military spending,, he has captured and killed Al Qaeda operatives, he has repaired US relations with Russia. Those are just a few of the things Mr. Obama has done to keep America strong.

What are your examples of his weakening this country?

robert thomas and his thoughts said...

(O)CT(O)PUS said...
Mr. Thomas, I am really not interested in your opinion anymore.

I was not address YOU in the first place, or at any other time..

Shaw Kenawe said...

Sorry to step on your toes, OCTO.

"robert thomas and his thoughts" came here and posted what appear to be subdued and nonthreatening comments, but when I visited his blog, I saw what he truly thinks of Liberals--me.

I have no idea what rt is about.

It seems extremely strange behavior for him to voluntarily come here and try to start a dialog when he has written a tornado of censoriously abusive words about his fellow Americans who have a differing political philosophy.

It is what I would call annihilation prose--a wish to destroy utterly with words what he cannot do physically.

"robert thomas and his thoughts," please don't return. I have nothing to say to anyone who thinks of me and my fellow Liberals as vermin.

Shaw Kenawe said...

PS. robert thomas and his thoughts,

(O)CT(O)PUS is a contributor to my blog, and as such, when you address me you address him as well.

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

(O)CT(O)PUS, the bouncer, at your service.

dmarks said...

Shaw asked: "Jim, when you claim that President Obama is weakening America by his policies--give us an example."

While there were a couple of things that strengthened defense (body armor), the one about cutting missile defense, at least as it is worded in the list, does weaken the country from a defense point of view.

(There, a comment on one of those issues that has a clear left-vs-right difference).

Shaw Kenawe said...

dmarks: "...the one about cutting missile defense, at least as it is worded in the list, does weaken the country from a defense point of view."


dmarks said...

Same as cutting body armor. It reduces an element of defense.

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

Some quick thoughts on missile defense. This is a rushed comment (a family visit), so please accept my apologies for lack of a citation.

If you mean the missile defense shield planned in Poland and the Czech Republic, there are diplomatic considerations that outweigh other considerations at the moment.

One is Russia, which views the planned defense system as a provocative threat to their own defenses. They have thrown down a gauntlet on this issue: Russia says it will target NATO with offensive systems if the U.S. doesn't back off.

The other is Iran. While a missile defense system against Iran is justified under current circumstances, this situation is in flux. There is an expert body of opinion that believes the Islamic regime in Iran will fall.

All told, a missile defense system is years away, and the world chess game may change, so there is no reason at this moment to antagonize an ally and prepare for a threat that may not exist in a few years.

Anonymous said...

After that ridiculous rant by Robert Thomas (copied from his blog by Shaw) I don't know why anyone would give him the time of day. How childish.

dmarks said...

On Iran, and the "There is an expert body of opinion that believes the Islamic regime in Iran will fall", based on the historic record, odds are it would make things worse in Iran. After all, did anyone in the late 1970s really expect the overthrow of the Shah's brutal regime to result in it being replaced with something more brutal in just about every regard?

Jim said...

I hate this lack of easy access to the net. And thanks folks for not getting on to me about a very glaring typo. I meant to say "crow about" instead of "grow about" in the last posting.

As a former sub sailor I can say with some authority the importance of missiles in a defense system. And I assure you the old Soviets knew that importance as well. Removing any element of defense weakens the whole of it. No exceptions. Body armor protects the soldier, missiles protect the Army. Thus, weakening the Army lessens the protection of the citizenry.

One area is the monetary policy that Mr. Obama not only has continued from Mr. Bush but has greatly accelerated the debt to unheard of levels. This will lead to the collapse of the dollar and the American economy and more than likely will lead to world strife, maybe even cause a Third World War over resources. IMHO. Read this for a real world example but remember that when this occurred the world standard was gold.

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

Dmarks: “After all, did anyone in the late 1970s really expect the overthrow of the Shah's brutal regime to result in it being replaced with something more brutal in just about every regard?

There were some of us who were not surprised by this outcome. I grant you this: Iran is a giant problem, but I encourage all readers to read up on American-Iranian relations starting in the 1950s. Here is brief summary source:

The 1953 Iranian coup d’état deposed the democratically elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq (…) The United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) overthrew the government of the popular Prime Minister Mosaddeq at the request of, and with support from the British government. In what the CIA called Operation Ajax, the U.S. enabled Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to become an authoritarian monarch, who went on to rule Iran for 26 years until he was overthrown in 1979.

Since our own CIA played a "bad actor" role in overthrowing the first and only democratically elected government in an Islamic country in the Middle East, there is a historical grudge held against America by the Iranian people.

For over half a century, it has been manifestly hypocritical on our part to espouse democratic principles, while ignoring this stain on our reputation. That is why Iranians resent us.

And that is why, despite the current threat posed by Iran, there is an argument favoring non-intervention. If the Islamic regime falls, there is a possibility of restoring normal relations. If we intervene, that possibility disappears forever, and the two countries will always be at other's throats. It is best, in my opinion, to exercise an abundance of caution in this matter.

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

Dmarks, this perspective from Infidel753 is consistent with the previous comment (respectfully submitted by 8pus).

dmarks said...

The demographics in Iran are such that most Iranians were born long after the Mossadegh incident. It's ancient history to them, and by this point much of the resentment is manufactured by the current regime. If the overthrow of Mussadegh did not exist, they'd just as successfully come up with something else to flame the hatred. The regime needs no reasons for its hatred. Look at the hatred for Israel, which is even worse than Iran's hatred for the US. Israel has never ever laid a hand on Iran, other than to threaten to bomb Iran's nuclear bomb factories in a rather long delayed reaction to Iran's announcement of its intent to exterminate the Israeiis using any and all means at its disposal.

The current regime has held power longer than the Shah ever did. If the resentment of the Iranian people truly reflected the balance of history, they'd be hating the nations that sided with and supported Khomeini's revolution a lot more than they would hate the US.

"It is best, in my opinion, to exercise an abundance of caution in this matter."

I agree on this, and am sort of shaking my head at some conservative bloggers who are castigating President Obama on not preaching enough fire-and-brimstone on Iran.

(As a minor aside, Iran in 1953 was not the first democratically-elected government in a predominantly Muslim nation Middle-East. Turkey had one three years prior to this. But that is an aside, and not an argument or objection to your point).

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

Dmarks, here is the really interesting part. Infidel753, who has subject matter expertise in Islamic Civilization, made a few interesting points in the comment thread under his recent post, Obama speaks out. Quoting Infidel753:

(30 December, 2009 08:57):
"I think the regime blundered badly by murdering Mousavi's nephew (a man claiming descent from the prophet Muhammad) on Ashura, a holiday which commemorates the killing of Muhammad's grandson Hussain in the 7th century by the Umayyad dynasty, a monarchy which Shiites consider the epitome of evil. They've created an obvious parallel between themselves and the Umayyads.”

and …

(30 December, 2009 18:07):
"Ashura is practically the emotional center of Shiite Islam. In the middle ages there were even "passion plays" in Iran which re-enacted the martyrdom of Hussein, like the ones in medieval Europe re-enacting the execution of Jesus.

The killing of Mousavi's nephew was clearly an assassination. From what I've heard, he was run over by an SUV, from which several men emerged who shot him multiple times as he lay injured in the street. The authorities then removed the body, refused to tell his family where it was, and ordered them not to hold a funeral

Infidel753 adds that while Americans may not be aware of the symbolism of this assassination, Iranians are certainly aware. Thus, the wager is not on "if" but "when" the regime falls.

I thought you might find this especially thought-provoking.

dmarks said...

It is thought provoking. I hope the situation turns out for the best.

It is hard to predict these things. I recall a discussion sometime from 15-20 years ago with an expert in Chinese internal affairs who insisted to me that China was on the immediate verge of breaking apart into many separate fiefdoms controlled by warlords.