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Excellent op-ed by Iranian-American journalist Shirin Sadeghi on how America must deal with post-election Iran.

It's unclear whether Mousavi will seriously challenge the results, as much of a sham as they are. Seems like Ahmadinejad will get to continue his march of pettiness and arrogance, and lead the Islamist Republic into a new generation of oppression.

In order to set things straight henceforth, certain tragic realities must be realized: namely, that US policies in the past have helped endure the authoritarianism that has continues to plague the nation -- supporting Saddam, Iran-contra and Bush's boorish macho posturing.

I know this is uncomfortable for the Fox News/Weekly Standard/National Review crowd, but the rest of us interested in a realistic plan for a better future know that overcoming evil requires some self-awareness and not merely finger-pointing.

When people are scared, authoritarian nuts like Ahmadinejad thrive. All the tangibly damaging stances the US has taken toward Iran, while obviously not solely responsible, have only made leaders like him more legitimate in the eyes of average Iranians -- and who's to blame them? If a bully labels you and two others among the "Axis of Evil," and then invades one, killing about a million people, you're more likely to accept a hardline leader you think might protect you from it.

Obama has taken fire from the wingnut crowd for not being more vocal against the Iranian election. Fortunately, Obama's too smart to take their bait, and is absolutely doing the right right thing by not appearing to meddle in Iran's affairs -- a decision that would only exacerbate the situation. People like Stephen Hayes don't understand that, because to them, only evil people think America can do any wrong.

Obama's reaching out to the Muslim world, and particularly Iran, is an enormous and underappreciated step in the right direction. The youth in Iran has caught on to the shamelessness of the current regime, and in order to drain the rest of the authoritarian swamp, the United States must continue to engage with the people and not present itself as the schoolyard bully ready to pounce on any opportunity for aggression.

Originally posted to utopiandrive on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 08:58 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you've followed the twittering (3+ / 0-)

    It's clear Mousavi is seriously challenging the results.  All three opposition candidates are demanding a new election; and the demands on the street have escalated to the replacement of Khamenei with Montazeri, thanks to Khamenei's involvement in the fraud.  

    Apparently the mood on the street is one of resolve.  And Mousavi is somehow still free and coordinating protests.

    I expect that some resolution will be found which restores legitimacy to the government while removing Ahmadinejad.  And at this point, possibly Khamenei.

    Perhaps the Assembly of Experts will decide enough is enough and remove Khamenei.  Rafsanjani is rumored to have called a meeting of it.

    As the US Government said, any replacement government is certainly going to be no more cooperative with US demands than before; this is clear from all the opposition candidates' histories.  As far as I'm concerned more legitimate, rule-of-law, democratic governments, treating their people better, are a good thing even if they disagree with us.

    -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

    by neroden on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 09:55:14 PM PDT

  •  If we don't look to the past (0+ / 0-)

    about our involvement in Iran in the 50's, and onward, we as a country will have no legitimacy.

    Generations die, along with their memories, and advantage is taken.

    In wreaking havoc in so many other countries, have we lost our own?

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by imabluemerkin on Wed Jun 17, 2009 at 10:56:21 PM PDT

  •  Yes, Bush-swagger engenders the same (0+ / 0-)

    responses from the "Enemy" who end up with leaders who mirror the Neocons... to protect them from us...

    Way to hose gasoline on a simmering fire Cheney-gang... and get a short term win....they reaped the rewards: 2004 and a chance for more excuses and "reasons" to keep posturing and paranoia-peddling...

    And their message continued: "see how dangerous those dictators over there are... you know the ones we scared the people in those countries into supporting a lot more than more rational, constructive leaders? Now we need to do more to "protect" the US against them"...

    And then they start to bluster and beg for another baseless,pre-emptive war... can we, can we? Just one more, we promise, and that will be it... or maybe just one after that...

    Hey! War and fear junkies: just say no to your dangerous habit/addiction... oh but that won't work...

    WE have to say NO to them... and we did!! just hope that we can continue to say yes to real world based fixes and improvements long enough for the lingering side effects of the Boosh follies to wear off..

    Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie

    by IreGyre on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 04:14:08 AM PDT

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