Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Wussie Watch: The Editors of the NYT punt on Iran 

Sometimes I wonder if the editors of the New York Times got beaten up on the playground one too many times. You know, back in the day when kids would fight and everybody else would stand around egging them on. Because nothing else explains the profound wussification of these people. To wit, this morning's pusillanimous editorial denouncing the Islamic Republic of Iran for killing, brutalizing, and imprisoning protesters who dare call for reform. Sure, sure, the mullahs suck. But what should be the American response? We get this:

President Obama is right to remain open to dialogue with Iran and to continue looking for a peaceful resolution to the dispute over Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. He is also right to condemn the violence against Iranian civilians and to place the United States on their side, as he did in his speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize and in comments on Monday.

Talk is cheap. What are we actually going to do to "place the United States on their side"? Barack Obama will not say what we will do. Fine. The answer is either nothing or (possibly, but not probably) something covert, so his silence works for me (although overt support for dissidents would strengthen Obama in the tradition of Reagan rather than weaken him in the tradition of Ford). But here's the thing: The editors of the Grey Wimpy will not say what we ought to do. Just that we should sweet-talk this barbaric government in to giving up its nuclear program and say that we are on "the side" of the protesters. Really? We should not actually do anything? No broadcasting of President Obama's comments, squeezed in between rounds of golf as they are, in Farsi? No financial aid, perhaps laundered through Iraqi Shiites, for the dissidents? No invitation to the White House for the leaders of the revolt? No blockade of Iranian gasoline shipments? Perhaps all these ideas are unwise, but surely the sages who run our Greatest Newspaper have some idea what to do. They have an opinion on everything else, why not this?

If you are going to run an editorial like that, at least have the stones to explain how we will ever get a peaceful resolution of the nuclear issue if the Iranian people fail to overthrow the Islamic Republic. Are you for regime change, or against it? Why write an editorial if you are not going to pick a goddamn side?


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 29, 10:27:00 AM:

The president supports the regime, unless and until he doesn't. If Iranian theocrats want to beat, rape and murder "their" people, that's no business of ours, until it is. If the president decides he must get involved, then you can expect some very tough press releases, or not. That'll show 'em.  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Tue Dec 29, 11:28:00 AM:

We ought to covertly supply enough armaments to kick start a revolution.

Though it may sound poetic, an unarmed population stands no chance against an armed government willing to use deadly force. Without weapons of their own, the Iranians would have to count on an internal uprising by government forces, most probably the (relatively poorly equipped) Army or a slow-burning 'resistance' with little to no macro-level effect.

The Shah fell because he was unwilling to have his troops cut bloody swathes through the crowds with machine guns, preferring abdication. The Berlin Wall came down when East German border guards refused to fire into the surging crowds of East Germans. The USSR began to disintegrate when the military sided with the Russian President over the Soviet Politburo in their famously botched coup.

Ahmedinijad and the IRGC have no qualms (or at least have shown no signs of having any so far), but they have almost all of the guns. Rectify that, and the Iranians have a chance.

See NYT? That wasn't hard. Took me about 5 minutes.  

By Blogger Simon Kenton, at Tue Dec 29, 11:53:00 AM:

Look, Obama's a UN enthusiast. That means those governed are viewed purely instrumentally. What can we extract from them? It is states and those who run them that draw his reverence. Anything that hampers a government damages all governors. Individualism, consent of the governed, respect of a government for its citizens, right of the citizens to change their government - all this Founder crap is loathsome to him. Of course he is 'engaging' with the Iranian regime. They're 'his' kind of people. Any head of state is.  

By Anonymous sirius_sir, at Tue Dec 29, 11:56:00 AM:

"Prime Minister Chamberlain is right to remain open to dialogue with the NSDAP and to continue looking for a peaceful resolution to the dispute over Hitler’s regional ambitions. He is also right to condemn the violence against Czechoslovakia as well some small subset of Germany's civilians and to place the full weight of our measured moral indignation on their side; in short we remain certain that the only prudent way forward remains to continue the same efforts that so recently seemed to bear fruit when our beloved PM returned to our sovereign soil waving a piece of paper at the conclusion of what, even now, must be considered a very productive and noble attempt to secure "Peace in our time"--irrespective of rumoured reports from Herr Goebbels on Monday suggesting that Mister Hitler was laughing himself silly."

Different Times, but the more things change the more they stay the same.  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Tue Dec 29, 01:33:00 PM:

surely the sages who run our Greatest Newspaper have some idea what to do

Of course they do. Why they're furiously posing their Obama action figures as we type.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Dec 29, 03:42:00 PM:

But DF82, guns are baaaaaaaad! Guns hurt people, and that's icky!

Yes, we should be smuggling a few thousand surplus AK's from Iraq into Iran, along with a lot of ammo and RPG's. Payback is a bitch after the IRG sending all those shaped IED's into Iraq to kill our soldiers and Marines.

Sirius, that is pretty funny. I laughed out loud at the verbage. The more things change.....


By Blogger Georgfelis, at Wed Dec 30, 02:11:00 AM:

Actually standing around and saying nothing is the *best* thing Obama can do in Iran. If he talks up support for the protesters, he is playing into the hands of the Islamic leaders who claim the US (and Israel, of course) is behind the uprising. If he supports the Iranian government, the Leftists in this country will...do bad things to him. And with Israel recalling all of its diplomats for a deeply secret pow-wow, now is not the time for the President to go out and shoot off his mouth.

Which means he will probably go and do it now....  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Wed Dec 30, 02:34:00 AM:

"If he supports the Iranian government, the Leftists in this country will...do bad things to him."

What makes you say that? They love any government they perceive as anti-American, no matter how repressive and reactionary it is.  

By Blogger Don Cox, at Wed Dec 30, 05:04:00 AM:

Statements of support give the regime the excuse to accuse dissidents of treason. But it should be possible to word a statement that shows contempt for the regime rather than support for the protesters.

I think the most likely outcome of this unrest is a military dictatorship.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 30, 08:33:00 AM:

Big week this last week, what with Putin slapping Obama, the Chinese getting in a few licks, Yemen piling on, the State Department failures in re al Qaeda and all.

Today's Telegraph asks a very pertinent question: in the midst of all the foreign turbulence of the last week, sufficient even to pull Obama's attention briefly from his putting game, where is Hillary Clinton? If she is the SecState, shouldn't she be leading the public response to much of this? Read it all.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Dec 30, 11:19:00 AM:

The problem clearly is that the muslim terrorists don't realize they are being addressed by a Nobel Peace Prize winner. Chimpy the Kenyan should wear his medal around his neck for all pictures and all his promotional material should emphasize not "President of the United States" but "Kenyan winner of the Nobel Peace Prize."
Then, his letters of ascending rage will have MUCH greater effect on the Iranians.  

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