۱۳۸۸ مرداد ۱۳, سه‌شنبه

On behalf of the people of Iran: Shame on You, Mr. Obama

It wasn't long ago that he bent all the way down to kiss the hand of one of the most nefarious dictators alive, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. I said to myself the guy is just green, he is trying to be polite in his own naive way. But even then I knew very well that I was only fooling myself. I was already involved in dealing with the painful dissonance between what I had imagined Obama to be about, and what he's been actually doing since he took over.

But Obama's latest similar move is proving to be just too shameful, too painful and simply too obviously ugly a situation to stay quiet about. Yesterday Obama's Press Secretary defied and ignored the terrible plight of so many Iranians who have been killed, beaten, imprisoned and tortured over the past two months as they asked for their most basic democratic and human rights, the right to have a vote in running their country.

Let me quote the bit I am ranting about. It's from yesterday's press briefing with Robert Gibbs, the full version of which you can read here. This is what he said about the situation in Iran and the States' position:

Q: And on Iran, President Ahmadinejad will be sworn in tomorrow. Some of the U.S. allies will be sending representatives to attend that ceremony. The administration is not. Does the U.S. absence in any way indicate that it is not, shall we say, does not recognize the legitimacy of Ahmadinejad's reelection?

A: No, I -- let me get some larger guidance on our participation. Look, I think we have said throughout this that this was a decision and a debate that was ongoing in Iran by Iranians. That they were going to choose their leadership. The President has discussed our goals for reaching out in order to ensure that they don't develop a nuclear weapons program. Those continue to be our goals.

Q: But does the administration recognize Ahmadinejad as the legitimate President in Iran?

A: He's the elected leader.

Got that? Ahmadinejad "is the elected leader," says Obama's secretary. I don't think I need to say much more.

Let me remind you and Mr. Obama that as we speak the people of Iran continue to be beaten, killed and tortured by brutal police and militia vigilantes, because they have come to the streets to peacefully object to the massive and obvious frauds in their election. Mr. Obama is flatly ignoring their plight by recognizing a regressive, repressive and vulgarly violent thug of a coup leader as the 'elected president' of Iran. This is both an insult and an injury to our people, and trust me, we shall not forget this, just as we have not yet forgotten America's support of the coup leaders in 1965.

So where does all this leave the Iranian people, you may be asking. Let me quote some of the most regularly repeated comments and sentiments from Iran's most popular online community, Balatarin. You can click on the Persian text to go to the original comment

لعنت به این اوبامای بیشرف نامرد که هر چی می کشیم از دست این مرتیکه هستش. اگه قبل از انتخابات چراغ سبز نداده بود, ا.ن جرات نمی کرد تقلب کنه. روز به روز دلم بیشتر برای بوش تنگ میشه. مرد بود. اگه الان اون بود امکان نداشت جلوی این آخوندا کوتاه بیاد. این مرتیکه اوباما با دستهای خونی ا.ن که دست میده هیچ, پاش برسه تخم خامنه ای رو هم می خوره. اگه شخصیت داشت که دست بوسی شاه عربستان رو نمی کرد.
Damn this ignoble cowardly Obama, we are going through so much because of this jerk. If he hadn't shown them [the Islamic Republic] the green light before the elections, Ahmadinejad would not have dared cheat like he did. With every passing day I miss Bush more and more. He was a real man. If he were here now it would be impossible that he wouldn't stant up to these clerics. This jerk, Obama, not only does he shake the Islamic Republic's blood covered hands, in fact he would lick Khamenei's balls if he had the opportunity. If he had some character he wouldn't have kissed the hand of Saudi Arabia's King

الان با تمام وجود حسرت می خورم که چرا جان مک کین رئیس جمهور نشد
Now I regret with all my being why McCain did not become the President

اولین نتایج دستگیری آن سه آمریکایی احمق حالا آمریکا مجبور میشه برای آزادی آنها به ا.ن. امتیاز بده
Here's the first outcome of the arrest of those three stupid Americans! Now the US will have to give in to the Islamic Republic for their release

آمریکا ۵۰ سال پیش از دیکتاتوری تو ایران حمایت کرد تازه داشت تنفر مردم کم میشد دوباره نشون داد همون حروم زاده ای‌ هستند که قبلا هم بودن
United States supported dictatorship in Iran 50 years ago, and just when people's hatered was finally subsiding, this goes to prove that they are the same bastards that they were then.

اونایی که واسه انتخاب شدن دموکراتها بالا پایین می پریدند حالا تحویل بگیرن
Thos who jumped up and down for the Democrats to be elected, come and get it now

یادم است یک روزی آمریکا بیلاخی مشابه به مردم افغانستان داد و طالبان رو که بر یک سوم افغانستان مسلط شده بود به عنوان دولت رسمی افغانستان به رسمیت شناخت. به ۱۰ سال نرسید که ۱۱ سپتامبر اتفاق افتاد و میلیاردها دلار خرج شد برای نابودی طالبان که هنوز نابود نشده. نمی دانم آیا آمریکا چنین خوابی هم برای ایران دیده است یا فقط از خریتشان که نمی خواهند از تاریخ درس بگیرند ؟ در هر صورت آقای اوباما تبریک می گویم نزد ملت ایران رفتی بغل مددیوف و سلطان قابوس حواست باشد چند سال بعد نفت خیلی گرون شد نیایی از مردم ایران عذر خواهی بکنی که تا به حال چندین بار ریدید به ایران.
I remember one day the US showed the middle finger to the Afghans and recognized the Taliban, who had at the time control of only one third of Afghanistan, as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. it wasn't 10 years after that that the September 11 happened and billions were then spent to destroy the Taliban, who are still not fully destroyed. I don't know if the US has dreamed up something similar for Iran, or is it just out of their sheer stupidity that they don't get lessons from history? In either case I congratulate Mr. Obama, in the eyes of the Iranians you now belong beside Mevedev and Qabus. Just watch out in a few years from today, when the oil prices get too expensive don't come back and apologize to the Iranians for having shat all over them so many times.

به تخممون ، همون بهتر که شناخت ، دیگه انگ آمریکا بمون نمی زنند .
Fuck that. So they recognized Ahmadinejad, so this way at least we can no longer be labeled (by the Islamic Republic) as (pro) Americans

So, well done, Mr. Obama. Very nicely done indeed. May I just remind you and everybody else that the Iranian youth (the same people who are now writing what I've quoted) were among the most vocal supporters of your presidency during your elections. You are, in other words, genuinely on the verge of screwing it up big time on Iran. Keep it up, Mr. Obama.


Today (Aug. 5), Mr. Gibbs "corrected" his statement of yesterday. Not much of a correction, I have to admit, but at least he took that sharp edge off the Iranian people's nerves for now. And I appreciate that, while hoping that one day soon the United States would decide to shift its ambiguous non-committal stance (and this has been the case since day one of this situation) to a morally clear and ethically unambiguous one of supporting democracy in Iran first, rather than putting short-term interests such as the atomic question or the Iran-Israel disputes first. The fact is that a democratically run Iran would be a much more stable, reliable and trustworthy partner or even challenge for the United States. True, a weak coup government that does not have its people's support (as is the case with Ahmadinejad) would be easier to manipulate and coerce and get points from. But only a fool would trust Ahmadinejad, no matter how week he might be. He is a lunatic on a dangerous and grandiose superstitious-ideological mission. Let him prosper out of his current misery, and you are giving away any hope for a stable future in the region.

In any case... Here's Mr. Gibbs' "correction" today (see full text here):

Q: Switching topics slightly and then we might go back to North Korea. Do you have any reaction to the swearing-in of President Ahmadinejad in Iran today?

MR. GIBBS: Well, let me correct a little bit of what I said yesterday. I denoted that Mr. Ahmadinejad was the elected leader of Iran. I would say it's not for me to pass judgment on. He's been inaugurated, that's a fact. Whether any election was fair, obviously the Iranian people still have questions about that and we'll let them decide that. But I would simply say he's been inaugurated and we know that is simply a fact.

Q: Do you recognize him as the leader, elected fairly or not?

MR. GIBBS: It's not for -- it's not for me or for us to denote his legitimacy, except to acknowledge the fact.

Q: Does the White House believe the election was fair?

MR. GIBBS: That's not for us to pass judgment on. I think that's for the Iranian people to decide, and obviously there are many that still have a lot of questions


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