Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Damn Lucky

I haven't been able to say anything on the poignant events in Iran (and the sporadic posting here will continue). But there is some excellent commentary out there from much more knowledgeable bloggers. Not much of it is coming from the Right's unrepentant corners, where the sudden ardor for Iranian revolutionary zeal is striking. One wonders what some of the ruddy-cheeked, armchair molotov cocktail throwers would have said thirty years ago.

This is spot on (and read the rest here):

What a relief to have some competence back at the helm, and if I shudder some to think at the Bush 43 statement that would have been issued, I shudder far more at the quasi-crazed meanderings a McCain-Palin Administration would have had us sketching out here, helping scuttle possibilities of avoiding more of a large-scale Tiananmen event (though alas we may still face one, but at least not yet) and rendering even more incendiary a hugely fraught situation.

Let’s admit it, we are all damn lucky Obama won, with many of his (increasingly frothing & rabid-like) opponents simply deeply envious of his extremely strong political talents and gifts. Worth noting too, I am all but sure he personally drafted and/or reviewed in depth this statement, which again shows real care and high intelligence and sophisticated understanding of history, to include the current Iranian situation, and regional sensitivities. Yes, he is very, very good.

It's possible to draw any number of frightening scenarios that McCain-Palin would have plunged us into by now. As for Obama's rhetorical restraint, the same critics knocked him for the lofty vision thing until Iran blew up. What would satisfy them? The answer, of course, is nothing short of dropping Army Rangers on the roof of Evin in the middle of the night. Damn lucky indeed, at least in terms of foreign affairs.


Blogger Scott said...

That is a nice straw man you've constructed. Who are these right wing boogie men calling for military involvement? Oh, right, they're figments of your imagination of a McCain-Palin administration.

Look, this past election was a joke - McCain would have been a disaster. But to marvel at Obama's alleged charisma, intelligence, etc. at every possible moment is really getting old.

Back to the conservatives: what minority party doesn't complain about the majority party? The trick here is to say, "well we complained about Bush but he deserved it." as if Obama doesn't. Bush deserved criticism, and Obama does, too. The complaint on the Iran issue is that Obama hasn't voiced support for the protests. That's all. What a terrible thing to ask! For nearly a decade the liberal's favorite bumper sticker read, "dissent is the highest form of patriotism." Of course you don't see these around anymore. Instead, I'm seeing quite a few of what could become the new favorite: "Say NO to negativity!"

Full disclosure: I am a libertarian and detest both parties for different reasons.

6/23/2009 5:33 AM  
Anonymous e. nonee moose said...

. The complaint on the Iran issue is that Obama hasn't voiced support for the protests.

This is not supprort?

What you're seeing in Iran are hundreds of thousands of people who believe their voices were not heard and who are peacefully protesting and seeking justice. And the world is watching. And we stand behind those who are seeking justice in a peaceful way. Already we've seen violence out there. I've said this throughout the week, I want to repeat it, that we stand with those who would look to peaceful resolution of conflict and we believe that the voices of people have to be heard, that that's a universal value that the American people stand for and this administration stands for. And I'm very concerned, based on some of the tenor and tone of the statements that have been made, that the government of Iran recognize that the world is watching. And how they approach and deal with people who are -- through peaceful means -- trying to be heard will I think send a pretty clear signal to the international community about what Iran is and is not.

If it's not support then what is?

6/23/2009 9:37 AM  
Anonymous e. nonee moose said...

The above was from an interview on CBS News. Here's the official white house statement:

The Iranian government must understand that the world is watching. We mourn each and every innocent life that is lost. We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government. If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect the dignity of its own people and govern through consent, not coercion.

Martin Luther King once said - "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.

Again, is this not support?

6/23/2009 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What would satisfy them?"
Your answer to this question is wrong, or rather incomplete. What would satisfy them is Obama switching parties, declaring fealty to Dr. Dobson and the economic principles of Ayn Rand, then the Army Ranger thing.

6/23/2009 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed at the viciousness of many on the right to the Obama presidency. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am. I have thought about what the reaction to the Iran mess would be in a McCain/Palin presidency – and have shuddered. Thank heaven for a steady, intelligent hand at the helm of our country right now. No drama Obama indeed.

Perfect he is not. But steady, yes he is.

6/23/2009 2:39 PM  
Anonymous love him, hate him said...

So then the next question is this: How is it possible that the guy who's so genuinely good at foreign policy -- recognizing the importance of restraint, and seeing so clearly the moments when it's better to not act -- is also the guy whose domestic policy is to spew borrowed cash at everything and intervene everywhere? His foreign policy is smart, disciplined, calm, effective; his domestic policy efforts make me physically ill.

6/23/2009 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love him, hate him: Bingo.

6/23/2009 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, where is the "reserve" when it comes to bailing out banksters?

6/23/2009 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just following 43.

6/23/2009 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

lol...the mullahs don't do campaign contributions. The banksters otoh. Lol

6/23/2009 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Ed said...

Obama has a law degree, was a constitutional law professor and community organizer, and in the Senate was on the foreign relations committee. There is nothing in his background to understand he knows anything about economics, though he can repeat the conventional wisdom. He might have been a little better in this area if he had held an executive position before becoming President. He actually does know a fair amount about constitutional law and foreign policy.

So of course the big crisis in his administration is on economics and financial policy. But most politicians have very little economics or financial background. The only serious candidate (defined as someone who won at least one primary) in 2008 who had some background in these issues was Romney. In 2004 the situation was even worse, the relative best was probably Dean, who had worked one year as a broker, had held non-political jobs, and had been governor of a very small state. The rest of the top four Democrats had qualifications exclusively in law, the military, or foreign affairs and Bush and Cheney were little better.

As a recent Harper's Magazine article pointed out, Herbert Hoover had been a successful executive, relief organizer, and Secretary of Commerce and could do basically zilch about the Great Depression.

6/23/2009 10:08 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


I find it ridiculous to think that the Iranian people are somehow on the side of America and are seeking a Democracy by protesting. I believe all they want is basic freedom from the Mullahs. Most citizens of any country just want to be LEFT ALONE! That includes America ...

Okay ... it was TIENANMEN SQUARE Iranian style ... where's America? Just like the original Chinese version America was a lame duck! A NO SHOW!! The Chinese TIENANMEN SQUARE was on Bush Sr watch!

What are we suppose to do? What exactly is OBAMA or any sitting US PRESIDENT suppose to do? "Heck, grab your M16 Michelle, full riot gear for the kids, lets git over to Tehran and kick some Mullah butt!"

Its always been TALK ... If its not TALK then its some preemptive anti-CONSTITUTIONAL illegal war games on the down low! When was the last time the US CONgress had the balls to actually declare a real WAR? The US CONgress can't even spell the word "D-R-A-F-T" ... Ever since Vietnam they've been cowards about the DRAFT, fearful their "careers" would end! I use the term "careers" loosely ... Is there such a "career" as LYING? I don't recall LYING 101 in college, but then I did not attend Harvard!

Lets review the Iran/Iraq War. Who opposed Iran and supplied vast amounts of weaponry to Saddam to defeat Iran? Who put the Shah into power? Get real ... the Iranians know too well America cannot be trusted. Literally millions of Iranians were killed and injured during the Iran/Iraq War thanks to US Foreign Policy under Reagan.

Who trained and supplied weapons to Bin Laden to kill off Russians in Afghanistan? Mr. Reagan take a bow!

Who was Dessert Storm against? Poor Saddam ... are you confused about who your allies are? Which side is America on today? I am sure Saddam and other Arab leaders have had many meetings where that was the topic!

Then we get Clinton signing HR4655 in 1998 instituting a policy of "regime change" against Iran. Lets not forget Mogadishu either. That was a disaster and of course Kosovo. Any Muslims in those countries?

So if you think one party is better than the other in terms of PEACE AND LOVE ... wrong!

JFK got us into the Vietnam War, a totally failed US FOREIGN POLICY move! Heightened failure was supplied by Henry Kissinger. How is it all these deadbeats from the past keep making debuts every time a regime change happens? Larry Summers can you explain that?

Now we get OBAMA beefing up troop levels near Pakistan. Whats he going to do? All the high tech weaponry in the World couldn't even find an old guy in a cave hooked up to a dialysis machine!

My contention is that we cannot afford this WORLD POLICE game we have been playing for decades. Both parties suck at FOREIGN POLICY and DOMESTIC POLICY.

One statement sums this whole two party mess up. It comes from Alcoholics Anonymous ... ALL OUR BEST THINKING GOT US HERE! Where are all those ivy league PhDs? Take a bow guys! Brilliant work!!! Really top notch ...

Both parties are fiscally inept and both are essentially puppets for the US FED and Wall Street. Lest you all forget without US TAXPAYER "back stopping" all the US Banks this country would have defaulted by now.

By the way, both Hoover and FDR did zilch for the Great Depression. The unemployment was high for 12 years after the 1929 crash.

I think we US VOTERS need to implement a "regime change" of our own by voting out the two party aristocracy. These people have been in power so long they have forgotten who they serve. Its time we re-educate them all on the US CONSTITUTION!

We need to introduce them to WE THE PEOPLE!

Who here can deny the "long train of abuses"?


6/24/2009 3:36 AM  
Anonymous Garden of Ideas said...



You're the best. Keep up the good work.

Carry on.

6/24/2009 7:45 AM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

It probably goes without saying in the TCR circle... but I'm going to say it anyway...

Sure we're lucky that President McCain never had the chance to nuke the Middle East into glass, but that should not be construed as a ringing endorsement of the inverse: Obama as the savior of the world. Mainly you hear this meme from blind Democratic partisans desperately trying to cling to their illusions that Obama is still going to fix the national problems he promised to fix during the campaign.

Fed monetary policy is being run just as if Bush had a third term; Health Care reform is off to "baby steps" because the White House has allowed the insurance companies to tie our shoelaces together; troops are still dying in Iraq, more troops are dying in Afghanistan, Guantanamo isn't closed yet, the Obama Administration has argued in court in favor of logging and against gay rights, against defendents' rights, and in favor of wiretapping and secrecy, but at least Obama hasn't dropped white phosphorus on the Iranian protesters. I guess we'll chalk that up as a net victory, then.

This meme that we "dodged a bullet" by avoiding President McCain ultimately boils down to Manichean black-and-white partisanship. The people who are promoting it ultimately wish to tell voters, "shut up about your petty little foreclosures and anti-war protests; you'll eat your plate full of Obama and like it -- or would you rather have George Bush back in office? Those are your only choices." The people promoting this meme wish to cement the idea that we have absolutely no choice in voting besides the good-cop Democrat or the bad-cop Republican.

Obama may be our first Black President, but he's sure spent his first 150 days living in gray areas.

Here's another guy's take on the same issue:


The “thank heavens McCain isn’t president” hypothetical is particularly galling because up until now we have had a president Obama who has largely continued upon and expanded his predecessors much reviled policies with respect to war, surveillance , state secrecy, torture, detention and corporate hand outs. He has walked back or completely spun around on many of the important issues of the most historic presidential campaign in generations, as many predicted. His statements in that reality, the one where he courted a particular electoral sensibility in order to become president, were often at complete odds with his actions in the present reality, where he is president. Why should we assume campaign McCain, or non-president McCain today, would behave exactly as President McCain would? Does it matter? And in the larger scope of things, if McCain would have been different on Iran but largely the same on everything else listed above, is that really a big deal? (I mean, besides to the Iranian protestors). This is such a marginal difference, indulging in that fantasy is a way to prop up the illusion that our system isn’t as closed as it is, that public opinion matters, and so on.

6/24/2009 3:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An FDR on steroids couldn't extricate us from the 30 years of criminal fiscal policy or 8 years of insane foreign policy.
The question is, which of the 2 parties would have made it worse.
Remember, "worse" in January '09 could have very well meant bankruptcy for the country ... millions for the arms and oil cartels. As to Wall Street ... they'd be left to replace the Eagle as our national symbol.

6/25/2009 5:23 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


Why is it that ordinarily sane people only go insane when they enter the voting booth? The usual logic is choosing the "lesser of the two evils". Who is the absolute WORST choice then vote for the other! TWO CHOICES?

I might ask who here lives by that rule when they make all their other daily choices? When you buy a car do you limit your choices to the two worst cars on the lot and then debate which one is really bad? When you choose a wife or husband do you go the country jail and ask to marry the two worst inmates? When you choose a hospital to treat your cancer do you scour the internet looking for the two worst hospitals and the worst doctors?

I am not sure how people who vote that way can still look in the mirror? Worst yet ... how can you look at your kids? They will be paying for your political choices for their entire life.

I never choose the lesser evils I always choose the best candidate and the best party. I quit voting DEM or REP back in the 1980s. I never vote DEM or REP for President or CONgress. Who would be insane enough to just vote ONE PARTY! What if your party runs BOZO for the Senate or Bambi for the House?

My parents used to vote that way ... Strictly REP no matter what! Now my brother and I are paying for their poor choices.

Nighty-night ...

6/25/2009 8:09 PM  
Anonymous KAIMU said...


According to DER SPIEGEL the German's are done with OBAMA and his charisma!

The DEBT PRESIDENT ... Hummmm???? What president wasn't addicted to DEBT?

Chancellor Merkel Visits the Debt President

By Gabor Steingart

The occupant of the White House may have changed recently. But the amount of ill-advised ideology coming from Washington has remained constant. Obama's list of economic errors is long -- and continues to grow.

The president may have changed, but the excesses of American politics have remained. Barack Obama and George W. Bush, it has become clear, are more similar than they might seem at first glance.

Obama's Cheney

Obama's Cheney is named Larry Summers. He is Obama's senior-most economic advisor, and like the former vice president, he is a man of conviction. The financial crisis may be large, but Summers' self-confidence is even larger. More importantly, President Barack Obama follows him like a dog does its master.

The crisis, Summers intoned last week at a conference of Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society in Washington, was caused by too much confidence, too much credit and too many debts. It was hard not to nod along in agreement.

But then Summers added that the way to bring about an end to the crisis was -- more confidence, more credit and more debt. And the nodding stopped."END

LINK: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,632494,00.html

So the Chinese students laugh openly at our Sec. Of Treasury, Tim Geithner and now the German's think OBAMA and SUMMERS are like BUSH and CHENEY!

What do the Germans and Chinese know that we don't?

6/26/2009 1:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed, CR.

6/26/2009 8:05 AM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Hey Kaimu,
Check this out..it is a great read. And anyone else who has the patience to actually read something.


6/27/2009 11:01 AM  
Anonymous kilfarsnar said...

Thanks again Goldhorder! You have presented some very educational reading over the years.

6/29/2009 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Obama as the savior of the world. Mainly you hear this meme from blind Democratic partisans desperately trying to cling to their illusions that Obama is still going to fix the national problems he promised to fix during the campaign."

No mainly you hear this as a strawman set up by people on the right. Maybe I don't read "blind Democratic partisan" blogs or other blind Democratic partisan writers, but I see a hell of a lot of people who are dissatisfied with Obama on the left. They don't like indiscriminate killing by drones in Pakistan, they don't like his continuation of Bush and Clinton policies vis-a-vis extraordinary rendition, they don't like his timidity regarding gay issues, and the list goes on. That we on the left think he was the better choice is certainly true. There were some rhetorical excesses on his being elected, but that we consider him "the One," "the chosen One." or "the Obamessiah" is usually right wing nuts who can't believe that we don't feel the same way about Obama that they felt about Bush.

6/30/2009 5:58 PM  
Anonymous Goldhorder said...

Whatever dude. Our cuurent government is an Obamanation. Lol. Actually i wish Bush was still president. The nation lost faith in DCs leadership Under bush and our military adventerous were grinding to a halt from lack of international support and new recruits. Now it is full speed ahead blasting afghans and pakistans away! A third Bush/Cheney term would have killed this kind of nonsense for a generation but our real masters weren't dumb enough to let McCain win. Speaking of our real masters...anybody read the latest matt tabbi pieces on goldman sachs?

7/02/2009 7:01 PM  
Anonymous اسلوب said...

تسمين المؤخرة
تسمين الارداف تمارين المؤخرة
شد المؤخرة
شد الارداف
تكبير المؤخرة
تسمين المؤخرة
مؤخرة جميلة
مؤخرة مغريه
ارداف جميلة
ارداف مليانه

7/25/2009 1:50 AM  

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