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US support for Mousavi 20, June 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in American ME Relations, Iran.
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Thank God that McCain is not in the White House. Of course, were he there, maybe he’d act differently. Yet his call for Obama to offer some kind of support for the protesters on the streets would be, as Michael Collins Dunn simply summarises, devastating for Mousavi’s movement.

Any open support the US offers, other than the cautious sort of comments made so far by Obama, could be used by the regime against the protesters. Being able to paint Mousavi and his backers as American puppets — and Ahmadinejad is trying hard to do that — would guarantee the outcome. We’re the “Great Satan,” remember? And Mousavi was Foreign Minister and Prime Minister in the days of Imam Khomeini himself: his approach has been to call for returning to the principles of the revolution, not to the policies of the monarchy.

I’m not talking here about private citizens: Bloggers who change their website color to green in empathy, for example, or the Twitter posters who last night were urging others to change their location and time zone to make it appear they were in Iran, in order to confuse the security forces trying to track down tweeting Iranians. What I’m talking about is any open governmental support such as McCain and others seem to be calling for. That would be precisely the wrong thing to do.

It is not far from terrifying to think that someone so close to the White House would or even could countenance such a reaction. It just seems so startlingly obvious that to support them would offer Ahmadinajad such a staggeringly open goal and a guaranteed way to sink any (slim) hope that Mousavi has. Anyone heard of ‘the Great Satan?’ Ring any bells? To castigate someone as being US supported in Iranian politics is about as bad as it gets. To be openly supported at this stage by an American administration would just be suicidal. I realise that I am saying the same thing over and over again, but, it’s just such a ridiculous and worrying idea that I feel i must emphazise and then emphasize and then over emphazise just how bad and idea it is.

If the world could vote: Obama or McCain 28, October 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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Here is a link to a fantastic interactive map over at Foreign Policy which shows how the rest of the world would vote in the US elections if they could. It’s got to be said that it doesn’t look so good for McCain…

A couple more quotes… 7, October 2008

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Random.
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A few more good ones from the same Times article.

There are neighbourhoods in Baghdad where you and I could walk through today.

John McCain visits a market in the Iraqi capital in April 2007, during which he was flanked by 22 soldiers, ten armoured Humvees, and two Apache attack helicopters

Why was there a banner that said “Mission Accomplished” on the aircraft carrier? I have said for a long time that reconstruction of Iraq would be a long, long, difficult process, but the conflict, the major conflict, is over, the regime change has been accomplished, and it’s very appropriate.

McCain on Fox News, June 2003

ran, Cuba, Venezuela – these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don’t pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us.

Barack Obama, campaign rally, Oregon, May 18, 2008

Let me be absolutely clear: Iran is a grave threat.

Obama, campaign rally, Montana, May 19, 2008

I think it’s time for us to end the embargo with Cuba… [It] has failed to provide the sorts of rising standards of living and has squeezed the innocents in Cuba, and utterly failed in the effort to overthrow Castro… it’s time for us to acknowledge that that particular policy has failed.

Obama, to a university audience, Illinois, January 2004

As president, I’ll maintain the embargo – it’s an important inducement for change.

Obama, to a Cuban-American audience, Miami, August 2007