Friday, June 26, 2009

Despite Obama, a healthy election

The year's funniest lead paragraph appears in this morning's New York Times:

'Despite new criticism from President Obama, the Iranian authorities showed no sign Friday of bending to domestic or foreign pressure, saying that the disputed presidential vote on June 12 was the “healthiest” in three decades.'

Despite? Does the NYT really believe that the mad mullahs have been waiting to take their cue from Barack Obama? (More likely, it seems to be, the first word of the 'news' story should have been because.)

Then there's the mullahs' line about the healthiest election in thirty years--i.e., since Jimmy Carter wrung his hands over the American diplomats held captive in the US embassy in Tehran. What does that say about the health of the elections since?

Anyhow, thanks to Timesfolk NAZILA FATHI and ALAN COWELL for brightening my day. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


At 10:44 PM, Blogger Griff Marton said...

Some of your criticisms of President Obama are well taken, but in the case of Iran's election I think there are some issues to consider. First, how do we know if the "reformers" are really that? The former Prime Minister has been connected to the bombing of the Marine and French barracks in Beirut. Is there any evidence that they would be willing to negotiate on nuclear weapons or Iranian influence in Iraq? Finally, doesn't Obama supporting the opposition play right into the hands of the government? They are already accusing the opposition of being pawns of the USA. And if we encourage them to what extent are we prepared to support them. Will we send in the Marines to right an electoral wrong?

At 7:11 AM, Blogger Dan Ford said...

What bothers me about the president is his habit of voting 'present' whenever something unexpected comes up. He waits about a week, apparently in hopes the problem will solve itself or even that someone will show him the right thing to say. He has done this with respect to the Somali pirate episode, with the 'trials' of Aung San Suu Kyi and of the Korean-American journalists, with the Iranian election (where he has turned about 180 degrees, following national sentiment) ... and now with Honduras he speaks for the status quo when it's the coup we should be with, IMHO. We're getting callous realpolitik on the Henry Kissinger model. What's safe? What won't get me into trouble? Where does the real power lie? Great stuff for a Chicago politician, shabby for a president. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford


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