David Kirkpatrick

March 10, 2010

Treasury eases rules on exporting free speech tools

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:21 pm

This move just makes sense.

From the link:

Looking to facilitate what it calls free speech rights in countries that don’t look favorably at such liberties, the US government today said it would ease the regulations around exporting Internet-based applications such as e-mail, blogging and social networking software to Iran, Sudan and Cuba.

Specifically the Treasury Department said it would add general licenses authorizing the exportation of free personal Internet-based communications services – such as instant messaging, chat and email, and social networking – to Cuba, Iran and Sudan. The amendments also allow the exportation of related software to Iran and Sudan, the department said in a release (the US Commerce Department controls software exports with Cuba). Until now all such exports were would have broken federal laws.

March 6, 2010

Ahmadinejad joins the 9/11 truthers

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:22 pm

Like the rest of his crazy statements, this one is calculated for effect in Iran. Doesn’t make it any less nuts, though.

From the link:

Perhaps concerned that his repeated suggestions that the Holocaust might not have happened have become less shocking over time, Iran’s president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad upped the ante on Saturday, telling intelligence officials in Tehran that the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 was staged.

In remarks reported by IRNA, an official Iranian news agency, and translated by Reuters, Mr. Ahmadinejad said, “The September 11 incident was a big fabrication as a pretext for the campaign against terrorism and a prelude for staging an invasion against Afghanistan.” Mr. Ahmadinejad also reportedly described the attacks in New York as a “complicated intelligence scenario and act.” Conspiracy theorists in the Middle East have suggested that the attacks were not the work of Al Qaeda, but carried out by Israeli or American intelligence operatives.

February 11, 2010

The Iranian despots crack down

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:30 am

From credible accounts coming out of Iran on 22 Bahman, an expected day of renewed green wave protest, the totalitarian state in Iran exposed its cravenness. And that Iran is no longer a democratic state by any definition.

Here is a great round-up from Sully and his under-bloggers at the Daily Dish with links to plenty of video and tweets from Iran.

January 29, 2010

Iran “censors” its own flag

Filed under: et.al., Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:39 pm

The green stripe at the top of Iran’s flag has been removed when the flag was displayed at recent official ceremonies. This totalitarian state is now willing to desecrate its national symbol to avoid displaying the color of the green wave revolution.

Ruling in fear is not ruling.

From the link:

Flag

IRAN-FLAG-BLUE

Radio Free Europe reports:

[I]n at least two official ceremonies in recent days, images of that flag have been used where the green color has been replaced by blue. The move has led to speculation that the Iranian government is trying to get rid of the green in the Iranian flag because it’s a symbol of the opposition movement that has been challenging the disputed reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

January 28, 2010

Iran executes protesters

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:31 am

The heavy hand of a totalitarian state takes the life of its own citizens with the gall to protest a stolen election:

Iran hanged on Thursday 2 of 11 people who had been sentenced to death on charges stemming from unrest following last June’s flawed presidential election, according the ISNA news agency in Tehran.

It does sound like the mullahs are ruling in a state of fearful panic of their own populace and all that newfangled technology (my bolded text):

On Jan. 15, Iran’s national police chief declared that the era of “mercy” was over and that the authorities would begin cracking down more harshly not only on street protests but also on anyone who used cellphones and e-mail messages to publicize them.

As part of its broad effort to quell protest, the government has shut down opposition newspapers and blocked Web sites, and has grown increasingly frustrated with the protesters’ continuing ability to elude its restraints.

The police chief, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, said those who used e-mail and cellphones to organize protests would be punished even more severely than the protesters themselves.

December 29, 2009

Tuesday video — the brutality of Iran’s totalitarian state

Filed under: Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:04 pm

No video fun here. This clip was posted at the Daily Dish and graphically illustrates the brutality and sheer immorality of the current Iranian leadership. The state is using law enforcement vehicles to savagely run over Iranian citizens rising against an increasingly totalitarian state.

December 27, 2009

The Green Revolution continues in Iran

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:48 pm

The despotic regime in Iran must be feeling the heat. At every opportunity since the stolen election in June unrest has been breaking out across the nation. Today was an expected protest day, coinciding with a holiday honoring the holiest martyr of Shiite Islam and made even more potent after the death of Grand Ayatollah Ali Hossein Montazeri last week. The one-week day of mourning for Montazeri — a major player in the 1979 revolution and open critic of the recent regime crack-down against the Green Revolution protests — fell on this day adding fuel and emotion to the protest fire.

Here’s a link to the New York Times’ protest coverage, and breaking update’s from the NYT blog, the Lede.

From the second link:

Update | 2:49 p.m. My colleague Nazila Fathi has spoken with a doctor working at Najmieh hospital on  Jomhouri street in central Tehran, close to the site of violent clashes on Sunday. The doctor said that the hospital has have treated more than 60 people who were seriously injured and performed 17 operations on people with gunshot wounds. Three of the patients are in critical condition. The doctor also said that members of the security forces have filled the hospital.

Andrew Sullivan has done as much as any blogger in terms of getting the news of protest in Iran out there from the very beginning this summer. Here’s a very salient point on today’s activities:

This has to be seen now as a crippling blow to the coup regime. This vivid demonstration that they simply cannot command the assent of the Iranian people except by brutal, raw, thuggish violence, and that resistance to the regime is clearly stronger, more impassioned and angrier than ever before is their death knell. They have lost any shred of legitimacy – and the Green Revolution is outlasting them in conviction and energy and might.

The significance of this day, Ashura, the day Khomeini regarded as the turning point against the Shah, cannot be under-estimated. Its symbolic power in Shia Islam, its themes of resistance to tyranny to the last drop of blood, its fusion of religious mourning and political revolt: this makes it lethal to the fascist thugs who dropped any pretense of ruling by even tacit consent last June.

November 28, 2009

Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis”

Filed under: Arts, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:54 pm

This autobiographical animated film from 2007 is an excellent view into the Iran of the last thirty years. It opens with the Iranian Revolution and the high hopes of all Iranians looking to get out from under the Shah only to find out the Islamacists ended up as bad or worse.

The film is informative, happy, wistful and more, and it was very interesting for me to watch after this year’s ongoing green wave in Iran against the hard line Islamic leadership and the election by the ruling despots.

Hit this link to find Persepolis on DVD at Amazon.

November 4, 2009

The Green Wave continues

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:05 pm

The revolution against Iran’s despotic ruling faction is far from over and there have been a multitude of reports of “Death to the Dictator” shout and defacing and stomping on posters of Khamenei.

From the link:

1902 GMT: Josh Shahryar, having gone through the videos and reports of today’s events, estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 opposition demonstrators were on the streets of Tehran at some point during 13 Aban. An estimated 2000-3000 were marching in Isfahan, but there is not enough information yet to project the numbers in other cities.

September 25, 2009

Iran’s leadership between rock and hard place

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:38 pm

The secret nuke plant revelations coupled with the continued domestic Green Wave revolution puts the whole group of tyrants under the gun. Ahmadinejad’s little performance at the UN didn’t help matters, and Russia’s joining Western denouncers only adds to Iran’s misery. Good riddance for a bunch of  election thieves.

From the link:

A week ahead of crunch talks on Iran’s nuclear program, the leaders of the U.S., France and the U.K. on Friday accused Tehran of building a covert uranium enrichment facility, a development they said directly challenges the world’s non-proliferation rules.

Later in the day, Iran publicly confirmed and strongly defended the nuclear fuel facility.

Speaking at an overflowing news conference in New York Friday afternoon, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said his country has complied with rules of the U.N. nuclear agency that requires Tehran inform it of any new enrichment facility six months before any such facility becomes operational, the Associated Press reported.

August 1, 2009

Iran pours gas on fire

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:57 pm

The heirs of the 1979 revolution currently in leadership positions just don’t get it. By openly falsifying an election — not necessarily the results, but actually turning the entire electoral process into a sham — then cracking down on the not surprising uprising against totalitarianism while issuing clearly false propaganda that “outside forces” were at work during the protests, the ruling mullahs have essentially sealed their own demise.

Iran has long been known as a place of contradictions. Hosting a secular, by middle east standards, population with a hardline Islamic leadership and political face to the rest of the world. The nation existed in something of a state of truce where the people went about their lives and enjoyed the idea of living in an enlightened democratic nation, albeit democratic in a very limited fashion.

The stolen election changed the equation overnight. There has now been almost two months of protests against first the election, and now simply against the increasingly desperate and brutal leadership. Recently graffiti that would have been unthinkable even a month ago — “Death to (supreme leader) Khamenei” — is showing up with some frequency.

How do the floudering tyrants react? Like this. Stupidly.

From the link:

The Iranian authorities opened an extraordinary mass trial against more than 100 reformist figures on Saturday, accusing them of conspiring with foreign powers to stage a revolution through terrorism, subversion and a media campaign to discredit last month’s presidential election.State television broadcast images of the defendants, many of them shackled and clad in prison uniforms, as prosecutors outlined the charges in a large marble-floored courtroom.

The trial, coming just days before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in for a second term, suggested an intensified government effort to undermine the opposition movement, which maintains that the election was rigged and continues to muster widespread street protests.

July 17, 2009

Does Iran have a new great Satan?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:31 pm

Amonst the green wave it looks like that might just be the case.

Taken from an eyewitness report sent to NIAC and posted at the Daily Dish:

… the speaker after Rafi was urging people to shout “death to America” and “death to Israel” people responded in mass by shouting “death to Russia” and “death to the dictator” …

Rafsanjani speaks

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:43 pm

And breaks somewhere down the middle as was expected. I think even the mild opposition he expressed toward the ruling despots still in power in Iran will provide strength, albeit a small amount, to the green wave.

From the link:

As thousands of opposition protesters chanted in the streets of Tehran on Friday, the former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani assailed the government’s handling of the post-election unrest, saying it had lost the trust of many Iranians and calling for the release of hundreds of protesters and democracy advocates arrested in recent weeks.

Mr. Rafsanjani, speaking to a vast crowd at Tehran University that included the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi and many of his supporters, called for unity and reconciliation in his prayer sermon. But he also said doubts about the election “are now consuming us” and called for a new spirit of compromise between the opposition and the government.

July 9, 2009

The green wave continues

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:59 am

Open protests had largely ended before today’s planned gathering. The despotic ruling regime threatened its own citizens once again to not demonstrate for any reason and looks to be making good on its promise to rain physical violence down on any protesters.

It is horrible the people of Iran must suffer at the hands of what is now nothing more than a brutal totalitarian state and a leadership that over the last several weeks has continually broken Irani law in an attempt to break the will and spirit of the Irani people.

Today’s protest makes it very obvious to both Iranians and the people of the world the green wave revolution is not over by any stretch, and that the ruling despots days are truly numbered. The ideals behind the revolution of 1979 are gone from Irani leadership. There’s no telling what will come next politically and no way of telling when change at the top will occur, but change is coming to Iran.

From the link:

It was the first protest in 11 days, and was called to commemorate the 10th anniversary of violent confrontations at Tehran University when protesting students were beaten and jailed. Iranian authorities had announced earlier that the demonstration was illegal and would be met with a “crushing response.”

But at the end of the work day, hundreds of protesters began packing the streets of one area of Tehran, chanting, clapping and sitting in jammed traffic as drivers honked their horns, witnesses said. Families brought their children. Many held a hand in the air in the defiant V for victory.

The security forces quickly moved in.

Reuters, citing witnesses, reported that the police used tear gas to disperse a group of about 250 protesters as they headed toward Tehran University, shouting support for a defeated presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi.

At the Daily Dish Andrew Sullivan has a great roundup of mainstream media coverage of today’s protests and the ensuing crackdown.

July 4, 2009

The green wave and the 4th of July

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:03 pm

As we celebrate our Independence Day in America we should all take a few minutes to think about the people of Iran who as I type are seeking a more free, more democratic life.

The green wave is not over by any stretch, but the despotic ruling mullahs will not go quietly into the night. They, and the Irani political structure, have both been exposed. What little democracy the people of Iran enjoyed has been proven to be a sham with this blatantly stolen election, and the mullahs have proven themselves more than ready to attack, torture and kill Iranians young and old to remain in power.

The people of Iran have seen the true great Satan and it’s not the United States as they’ve been told for decades. It currently rules over their land.

Celebrate the red, white and blue today, but also take a moment to celebrate the green that represents those fighting for freedom today in Iran.

This is sad and disturbing news from a dying regime:

Iranian leaders say they have obtained confessions from top reformist officials that they plotted to bring down the government with a “velvet” revolution. Such confessions, almost always extracted under duress, are part of an effort to recast the civil unrest set off by Iran’s disputed presidential election as a conspiracy orchestrated by foreign nations, human rights groups say.

Update: This news is heartening. The green wave may lead to quicker results than expected. It’s also important to note not all the ruling mullahs are part of the anti-democratic Khamenei coup.

From the link:

The most important group of religious leaders in Iran called the disputed presidential election and the new government illegitimate on Saturday, an act of defiance against the country’s supreme leader and the most public sign of a major split in the country’s clerical establishment.

A statement by the group, the Association of Researchers and Teachers of Qum, represents a significant, if so far symbolic, setback for the government and especially the authority of the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose word is supposed to be final. The government has tried to paint the opposition and its top presidential candidate, Mir Hussein Moussavi, as criminals and traitors, a strategy that now becomes more difficult — if not impossible.

July 1, 2009

Iran’s green wave is not over

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:32 pm

From ABC News’ Lara Setrakian via Twitter:

@LaraABCNews And, from same source, very loud Allahu Akbars on Tehran rooftops #Iranelection

The despotic regime will not crumble quickly or easily, but the cracks in the foundation are real and fatal. The Irani people have seen the brutal truth behind the ruling mullahs and what is clearly much more a police state at this point than an Islamic republic.

Europe prepped to put Iran on island

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:32 pm

A diplomatic island, that is.

From the link:

Iran courted new levels of post-election isolation from the European Union on Wednesday as European diplomats pondered whether to withdraw the ambassadors of all 27 member nations in a dispute over the detention of the British Embassy’s local personnel.

European diplomats said that no formal decision to order their envoys home had been taken but that the measure was an option under consideration as the European Union — Iran’s biggest trading partner — tries to work out how to defuse the dispute in a way that would shield other embassies in Tehran from similar action.

June 26, 2009

Cato on Iran’s green wave and Obama’s response

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:02 pm

The libertarian Cato Institute voices approval of Obama’s measured handling of the green wave revolution going on in Iran right now. The United States hand in this process must be very delicate. The despotic leadership in Iran would like nothing more than to blame “the great satan” America for the popular uprising (indeed they are attempting to do so daily along with trying to pin blame on the British as well).

The green wave is about the Iranian people becoming tired of the cheap and false lip service given to democracy by ruling mullahs. The stolen election ripped that falsehood away and exposed the existing Islamacist leadership as little more than cheap frightened thugs.

From today’s weekly dispatch:

Obama’s Cool Response to Iranian Politics Appropriate  
  As the voices of protest to the Iranian election grow louder, many have called upon President Obama to use bolder rhetoric when speaking about the elections in Iran. Last week, Charles Krauthammer and Paul Wolfowitz opined in The Washington Postthat Obama’s reaction has not been nearly enough. Cato foreign policy expert Christopher Preble disagrees, saying that Obama’s calculated reaction is appropriate:

The louder the neocons become in their braying for a free and fair counting of the election results, the less likely it is to occur. In their more candid moments, a few are willing to admit that they would prefer Ahmadinejad to Mousavi.

…It is possible to view President Obama as a more credible messenger, given that he opposed the Iraq war from the outset and has shown a willingness to reach out to the Iranian people. Perhaps a full-throated, morally self-righteous, public address in support of Mousavi’s supporters might have tipped the scales in the right direction.

It seems more likely, however, that Obama’s patient, measured public response to recent events is well suited to the circumstances. As the president said earlier this week, Americans are right to feel sympathy for the Iranian protesters, and we should all be free to voice our sentiments openly. But it is incumbent upon policymakers to pursue strategies that don’t backfire, or whose unintended consequences don’t dwarf the gains that we are trying to achieve. In many cases, the quiet, private back channel works well. And if we discover that there is no credible back channel to Iran available, similar to those employed in 1986 and 1991, then we’ll all know whom to blame.

Cato scholar Justin Logan says that the U.S. government should stay silent on Iran:

President Obama should keep quiet on the subject of Iran’s elections. At least two pernicious tendencies are on display in the Beltway discussion on the topic. First is the common Washington impulse to “do something!” without laying out clear objectives and tactics. What, after all, is President Obama or his administration supposed to do to “support protesters” in Iran in the first place? What would be the ultimate goal of such support? Most importantly, what is the mechanism by which the support is supposed to produce the desired outcome? That we are debating how America should intervene in Iran’s domestic politics indicates the sheer grandiosity of American foreign policy thought.

June 20, 2009

Revolution and politics

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:20 pm

I can’t shake the feeling that if the events in Iran were occurring under a United States led by the current GOP brand there would be immediate political spin how Republican foreign policy and pressure created the green wave revolution.

It’s a fair guess that the U.S. has almost nothing to do with what’s happening in Iran right now. There’s also a certain amount of evidence Obama’s new year’s address to the Iranian people and his Cairo speech did resonate among the people of Iran, and I’m pleased this administration is taking a very cautious and humble approach to what is playing out right now in the bloody streets of Tehran and other cities.

I also fully expect the Democrats to eventually make political hay out of the green wave if it were to overturn the current despotic Irani regime and look for, and probably get, some foreign policy and security bona fides.

The Irani people have suffered long enough suffering under what I’ve seen characterized (probably correctly) as a “Fascist Islamic Mafia” and deserve our support. They don’t need, and thankfully so far are not getting, our politics.

Live green wave coverage from the Daily Dish

Andrew Sullivan is doing an exhaustive (and exhausting even for me just to attempt to keep up with it all) job of live blogging the green wave in Iran and now today’s crackdown from the despotic ruling regime.

He’s continually adding tweets from inside Iran, embedding video and providing fresh images of the protests and state-issued violence against a democracy seeking population.

Hit the Daily Dish link in my blogroll for his latest posts, and this link goes to “Live-Blogging Day 8.”

From the link:

2.58 pm. good source: Hospital close to the scene in Tehran: 30-40 dead thus far as of 11pm and 200 injured. Police taking names of incoming injured.

Voice from Iran: Shame on a country in which foreign embassies are safer than hospitals :(

Gunfire Is Hearing From Near Resalat SQ. (East Teharan)

Bloody-woman

2.47 pm. New footage of fighting in the streets. And another protester is shot.

2.31 pm. Canadians, call your foreign office. It’s confirmed Canadian Embassy rejects injured protesters

Australian Embassy reportedly accepting injured

My Friend Wounded At Haft Hooz SQ, No Clinic Is Open!

June 19, 2009

Iran-I-am, a green wave comic

Filed under: Arts, Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:07 pm

This is a great comic from the Atlanic Online’s Sage Stossel:

Iran-I-am by Sage Stossel

Iran-I-am by Sage Stossel

(Hat tip: the Daily Dish)

 

Khamenei lays down gauntlet

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:59 am

In today’s speech Khamenei seems to have drawn a line in the sand. The question for the thuggish Irani regime is it too little too late. He’s threatened violence on the green protesters if demonstrations continue, but the existing government has been exposed for what it is — a despotic ruling class with no respect for even the nominal democracy previously offered the Irani people.

The next few days will be very interesting. The future of Iran is at stake. Hopefully, as outside observers, we don’t witness a brutal crack-down of the Irani spirit. Khamenei seems to have promised as much. No matter the outcome Iran has fundamentally changed and I don’t see how Ahmadinejad could ever be seen as the legitimate president of the nation if he somehow remains in power.

From the link:

In his first public response to days of mass protests, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sternly warned opposition supporters on Friday to stay off the streets and raised the prospect of violence if the defiant, vast demonstrations continued.

Opposition leaders, he said, will be “responsible for bloodshed and chaos” if they do not stop further rallies.

He said he would never give in to “illegal pressures” and denied their accusations that last week’s presidential election was rigged, praising the officially declared landslide for the incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as an “epic moment that became a historic moment.”

June 18, 2009

Technology and the Green Revolution

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:29 pm

Technology is playing a huge role in the fight against the coup in Iran. Twitter has especially been a great boon to the Iranians fighting against a corrupt leadership. This is a story that is still very much playing out with no potential end result showing itself with clarity. One thing is certain — Iran 2009 will go down as the first true information age revolution in terms of technology driving getting information to both internal protesters and the outside world.

Here’s a breakdown from CIO.com on some of the relevant tech. Mentioned include Twitter, Facebook, proxies, DDOS, YouTube and Flickr.

From the link:

As political tensions increase in Iran, online communities are ramping up their opposition efforts. The Iranian government continues to restrict access to the Web, but many opposition supporters are still able to share news and information online. In response to the publicity around opposition protests, Iran has reportedly begun the process of restricting the movements of foreign journalists. But when any Iranian citizen carrying a cell phone or camera can become an instant journalist, how important is Iran’s crackdown on foreign media?

June 17, 2009

Protests continue in Iran

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:39 pm

From all accounts the ongoing election protests in Iran are relatively peaceful. I’ve read some accounts that make the situation out to be a game of reverse chicken where the first side to go openly violent will end up the loser. At this point I think it’s pretty clear the previous status quo has lost. Regardless the outcome, the legitimacy of the post-1979 government is either significantly reduced or possibly gone altogether.

From the link:

The protesters marched silently down a major thoroughfare, some holding photographs of the main opposition candidate in Friday’s vote, Mir Hussein Moussavi. Others lifted their bare hands high in the air, signifying their support for Mr. Moussavi with green ribbons tied around their wrists or holding their fingers in a victory sign.

The scope and description of the demonstration was provided by participants who were reached by telephone, as well as photographs taken participants and journalists despite warnings by the authorities against reporting on the event. All accredited in Iran have been ordered to remain in their offices.

It was the fifth day of unrest since election officials declared a landslide victory for the incumbent, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

This bit from the same link strikes me as patently ridiculous:

The Iranian Foreign Ministry, meanwhile, summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents American interests in Tehran, to complain of “interventionist” statements by American officials, state-run media reported.

If anything the White House is playing this very smoothly and not providing any fuel for “Great Satan influence” rhetoric from the Iranian government.

Of course some on the neocon right don’t see things quite like anyone else.

To wit (from a Robert Kagan op-ed):

It’s not that Obama preferred a victory by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He probably would have been happy to do business with Mir Hossein Mousavi, even if there was little reason to believe Mousavi would have pursued a different approach to the nuclear issue. But once Mousavi lost, however fairly or unfairly, Obama objectively had no use for him or his followers. If Obama appears to lend support to the Iranian opposition in any way, he will appear hostile to the regime, which is precisely what he hoped to avoid.

Obama’s policy now requires getting past the election controversies quickly so that he can soon begin negotiations with the reelected Ahmadinejad government.

And with this line of fantasy the neocons fade a little deeper back into history ready to be mothballed in think tanks for another 35 or so years.

Kagan’s outrageous op-ed was immediately countered by the blogosphere.

Here’s Matt Duss:

But I have to say, Mr. Kagan, your op-ed this morning is really beneath you. You can’t actually believe that President Obama is “siding with the Iranian regime” against the Iranian people, or that Obama’s outreach to Iran depends upon keeping hardliners in power, can you? You’re far too intelligent to buy the brutishly simplistic “realism” that you attempt to hang upon President Obama’s approach. These sorts of claims are better left to your friend and occasional co-author Bill Kristol, who uses his series of valuable journalistic perches (with which he inexplicably continues to be gifted) to launch an endless stream of comically transparent bad faith arguments. You’re better than that. You’re the smart neocon.

I wish the best of luck to the people of Iran. People who deserve the modern society denied them for many years. I’m disappointed, but no surprised, the neocon, pro-Israel right would attempt to inject U.S. politics into a situation that belongs to one Middle East nation, and one nation alone, at this time.

June 15, 2009

This revolution is not televised

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:51 pm

I’m going to assume the televised media will eventually pick up the ball on the ongoing situation in Iran. It’s only the most important geopolitical story out there. Thirty years after deposing the Shah, Iranians are rejecting both a sham election and the corrupt Islamic leadership.

Of course if you want any serious coverage of the Iranian green revolution you need to hit the BBC, the blogosphere, NYT’s website or Twitter. For the most part mainstream media is proving its irrelevancy once again. The Sunday edition of my local paper had exactly zero mention of Iran on its front page. Sadly I can’t type “unbelievable” because utter crap has become par for the course.

Hit the link for a Twitter #iranelection hashtag search.

June 14, 2009

Tracking the coup in Iran

Filed under: Media, Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:47 pm

The Daily Dish has been indispensible along with many, many other online resources. Twitter has apparently been indispensible among services in Iran.

As an app Twitter is still an infant battlling growing pains, hype and speculation on monetizing. What is amazing is how those 140 characters affected the San Diego wildfires and now an ongoing international situation where mainstream media is repeatedly dropping the ball. Web 2.0 is proving to be much more revolutionary than anyone could have guessed.

Hit the link for a Twitter search on the hashtag #iranelection.

June 13, 2009

Civil war in Iran?

Filed under: Politics — Tags: , , , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:16 pm

Looks to be very likely given the stolen election and the enthusiastic level of voting and support for Mousavi.

Andrew Sullivan has done a great job of covering the election and its aftermath including many insights from his myriad of readers.

Looks like even Iran’s monitors are calling the results election fraud.

From the link:

A Farsi speaking military reader confirms the post here, perhaps the most important aspect of which was that Iran’s own election monitors have allegedly declared the election a fraud.

November 13, 2008

Iran already worried about Obama’s presidency

Looks like the Iranians fear talks without preconditions. The Bush 43 years of foriegn policy seems more and more like it totally played into the hands of despots.

It’s almost as though the Cheney-influenced DoD wanted to foment conflict instead of making the world safer for the US and other nations. (A bit of snark there, because that’s clearly been the MO, at least in the Middle East.)

From the link:

Since 2006, Iran’s leaders have called for direct, unconditional talks with the United States to resolve international concerns over their nuclear program. But as an American administration open to such negotiations prepares to take power, Iran’s political and military leaders are sounding suddenly wary of President-elect Barack Obama.

“People who put on a mask of friendship, but with the objective of betrayal, and who enter from the angle of negotiations without preconditions, are more dangerous,” Hossein Taeb, deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, said Wednesday, according to the semiofficial Mehr News Agency.

Found this link via the Daily Dish.

July 11, 2008

This one gets the crown

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Politics — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:19 pm

The use of photoshop in a photo of Iran’s recent missile test has been well documented. It looks like the digital tool was utilized to cover a non-firing missile in the test.

Predictably, and hilariously, the photo has been ‘shopped and ‘reshopped by a ton of people around the world. There’s a lot to work with there, and the Iranian regime deserves every bit of it.

From a comment thread at FreeRepublic.com we do have a winner in this impromptu contest.

Here’s the offering by freeper “GOPyouth”:

To: Mad_Tom_Rackham
I gotta Feva! 

125 posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 12:13:26 AM by GOPyouth (“Change that works for Him!”)

That’s awesome in so many ways. Congrats to GOPyouth for bringing teh serious funny.

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