The Blogger Coverage of Iran

I’m trying to follow the Iran situation, but I just can’t handle the American blogger coverage. It just reminds me too much of the warblogging circa 2003, and you just get the sense that the green paint signifying the green revolution is no longer just on the blogger’s hands. Everything is so breathless and over-the-top that it seems less like a dangerous and precarious situation in the Middle East than it does a good old-fashioned American blogger wank. To wit, Allahpundit:

Much depends on the meaning of “accepts,” though, doesn’t it? I’m sure we’ll get some patented Hopenchange drivel tomorrow about “grave concerns,” etc, but if Iran’s kids are expecting The One to walk away from nuke negotiations in protest of the coup, they’re kidding themselves. For one thing, that’s something Bush would do, and of course Bush was never, evah right. For another, if Obama walks away then he’s essentially betting all his chips on a full-blown counterrevolution to erupt and topple the regime. If it doesn’t, or if it’s put down a la Tiananmen Square, Khamenei et al. will be in no mood to forgive and forget. Which means it’s either war to take out Iran’s nuke infrastructure or learn to stop worrying and love the Iranian bomb. Israelis are learning already!

Needless to say, it sounds like Allah has gone and gotten green paint everywhere. And no matter what happens in Iran, he wants to remind you that it is Obama’s fault. Wolverines! Democracy, whiskey, sexy!

*** Update ***

I’m a “special douche” and part of the nutroots. And Allah misses the point completely- what is going on in Iran is deadly serious, with people’s lives on the line, and what bothers me is the breathless wankery I see from American blogs who really have absolutely nothing on the line. Nothing. No matter what happens to all those people over there, no one blogging from the USA will be beaten, thrown in jail, had their head cracked, or worse, killed. No one has any idea what is going on. I wish these Iranian protesters the best of luck and hope for the best for them, but I still have no idea what Allah thinks Obama should do, other than accept responsibility for whatever the folks at Hot Air want to blame on him.






124 replies
  1. 1
    Marc says:

    And no matter what happens in Iran, he wants to remind you that it is Obama’s fault.

    Unless democracy and reform take hold. In that case, all credit goes to Dick Cheney.

  2. 2
    Dork says:

    OT:

    I mean not to threadjack, but I have to mention this with respect to Gitmo.

    So there’s an article about the Uighurs that were released. It’s a happy article, although it makes me as an American disgusted. Then, there’s this nugget:

    Under the current arrangement, Bermuda will not allow the men to visit the United States. It is unclear whether they will ever be able to do so even if they gain Bermuda citizenship.

    So they’ll be good enough for Bermuda, and theoretically, good enough to travel for the rest of the world, but not the U.S.. The only country that deserves to give them whatever the fuck they want due to the biggest “ooops!” in modern history wont even let them visit. Disgusting.

  3. 3
    JonathanW says:

    Via TPM, Ari Fleischer: “Iran Reform Movement Grew Thanks To Bush”

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.c.....018617.php

  4. 4
    aimai says:

    That allahpundit link is just pretty much the last word in stupid. I mean–in his own analysis he puts the downside of acting like bush into the mix and still doesn’t get that there is, in fact, a downside of acting like Bush.

    He says “bush would have walked away” from the negotiating table to protest the evil treatment of the rioting protestors. The downside to Obama doing that, he also observes, is that just walking away and pissing off Khameini et al is a recipe for disaster if walking away doesn’t magically improve the situation of the rioters and enable them to topple the government. Since of course just pissing on Iran publicly and walking away from negotiations is a really stupid strategy and won’t magically fix things its something that Obama shouldn’t do. And probably Obama won’t do it. Because it would be counterproductive. And Allahpundit admits that. But he can’t stop wishing that Obama would do stupid, grandstanding things not because they’d be successful or wise but because retroactively they’d make Bush look better.

    what a moron.

    aimai

  5. 5
    Redhand says:

    And no matter what happens in Iran, he wants to remind you that it is Obama’s fault.

    Should also be filed under “Assholes.” Gawd, these people are tedious.

  6. 6
    gbear says:

    Joe says it’s Obama’s fault too.

    SCARBOROUGH: And how fascinating as I sat there listening to him talk about this, looking at the election results. You know, the law of unintended consequences came in again. I suspect that Cairo speech really scared the grand ayatollahs in Iran. If they were going to fix an election…this was a time to fix it, because the last thing they wanted to do was Barack Obama to take credit for reformers winning in Iran, like they already have in Lebanon. And, and by the way, in the short-term that’s bad news for us. I think in the long-term, though…if ayatollahs are seen stealing an election as a result from what Barack Obama did in Cairo, I actually think that’s a positive for the United States and Iran in the long run.

    Just stuff it, Joe.

    Sully’s doing a pretty good job of linking to Iran info without hyperventilating. His ‘The Tweeter In Iran’ page is kind of a jumble but the info is immediate.

  7. 7
    Tom65 says:

    Circular logic at its finest.

  8. 8
    demimondian says:

    John, help me here. Why would you take anything written by someone calling himself YHWHpundit seriously? Particularly someone who *didn’t know he was calling himself YHWHpundit*?

  9. 9
    Rey says:

    Just think, this time last year Iraq was all the rage. Meanwhile- the President is arguing with the First Lady about where she hid his cigarettes.

  10. 10
    matoko_chan says:

    Allahpundit is now an official two-digit…he usta be smarter.
    Either conservatism piths people, or they have to pretend to be stupid to be one with the base.

    Mr. Obama has the opportunity to lend the protestors the considerable weight of U.S. moral support, just as he has the opportunity to show the regime there are consequences for stealing elections. One such consequence would be for the President to remove his opposition to various bills in Congress, sponsored by Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman and others, that sanction companies that sell gasoline to Iran. An estimated 40% of Iran’s domestic gasoline consumption comes from foreign sources.

    Yeah…Lieberman is a moron. Sanctions hurt the population and feed Nejad’s anti-US meme machine. Lieb should switch parties to conform to his IQ level. All that remains in the conservative movement is the left side of the bellcurve, apparently.
    Obama opened a door to dar al Islam with his Cairo speech.
    It is our duty to observe, and not look away, and webpublish everything that comes out and for the american people to express solidarity with the students. It is Obamas presidential duty NOT TO MEDDLE this time and let the Iranians reform their own government.

    Also…..the students are devout. Green is the color of al-Islam.
    The reformists shouted Allahu Akbar from the Tehran rooftops by the tens of thousands.
    Is Allahpundit expressing support for muslims now with his green paint?
    lol!

  11. 11
    Tom says:

    I disagree that it’s just a blogger wank. It’s actually a compelling story. The best coverage overall has been Nico Pitney’s Iran : Live-Blogging The Uprising who’s been at it just about non-stop since Friday. Sullivan’s had some great stuff too. Who gives a crap, though, what Allahpundit thinks? It isn’t the opinions that are the important thing here, it is the events themselves. The news channels have demonstrated very poor news judgment in not covering this more extensively, considering they give three-day wall-to-wall on a runaway bride. BBC is giving it’s due though.

  12. 12
    Xenos says:

    @demimondian: I doubt ‘Allahpundit’ cares that it is a translation of ‘the God pundit’, and that it is nonsensical and irrational. He chose the name because he thought it would piss off and offend his enemies. That is the whole point of conservoblogging.

  13. 13
    drumwolf says:

    There is NOTHING that wingnuts will not try to blame on “leftists” (i.e. anyone who isn’t one of them). I’ve seen them try to at least implicitly blame slavery/segregation and the Holocaust on the left.

    In complete seriousness and without any exaggeration, I’m almost surprised I never saw wingnuts try to blame liberals for Princess Diana’s death or Scott Peterson being a murderer.

  14. 14
    Ted the Slacker says:

    Everything is so breathless and over-the-top…”

    And written by agenda-driven whackos whose collective knowledge of Iran could be summarized in detail on the back of a postage stamp.

    As someone who has relations who fled from Iran after the ’79 revolution, can tell you that they openly admit to be guessing what is going on. Reporting from Iran is so fitful and, overall, Tehran-centric, that gauging the situation nationally is pretty much impossible.

    Not that any of this will stop the interventionist crazies on both sides from telling Obama WHAT HE MUST DO NOW!!!

  15. 15

    At least the bloggers are covering it.

    The NYT is actually giving a surprising glint of hope that someone at the Gray Lady has bought a clue. Not only do they still have old-fashioned shoe-leather reporters on location, they’ve been using and covering the election online.

    Most important, the NYT has more and better video from Iran than the TV news sites. I wonder if this will prove to be a breakthrough model for journalism.

  16. 16
    matoko_chan says:

    Sully and Huff-Po gots the 411 on the Green revolution.
    Amazing coverage.
    FOX is a sham.
    Their only coverage of the Green Revolution is 24/7 Obama bashing on how badly Obama is handling this while manically insisting that he didn’t have anything to with it.

  17. 17

    … you mean “Allahpundit” isn’t a humor blog like “Jesus’ General”?!? I always assumed it was, with the name and all …

  18. 18
    demimondian says:

    @Ted the Slacker: Everyone who says anything about the current situation in Iran is guessing. Not only are large parts of the nation not being reported on at all, but the parts for which we’re getting information are being reported on badly. In particular, Twitter has been a decidedly mixed blessing — on the one hand, yes, it has meant that the regime hasn’t been able to suppress legitimate information, but, on the other hand, it’s meant that a lot of false information has gotten out, too.

  19. 19
    Mark says:

    So if these Tehran protests fizzle out, will Sully and his friends apologize to the MSM? I mean, maybe the Washington Post is right that this isn’t that big a story.

  20. 20
    Surreal American says:

    To wit, Allahpundit

    Never put “wit” and “Allahpundit” in the same statement.

    It’s difficult enough to read the tea leaves about Iran without hearing from the peanut gallery.

    “Hot Air”, like any Malkin-run blog, is exactly that.

  21. 21
    Comrade Stuck says:

    but if Iran’s kids are expecting The One to walk away from nuke negotiations in protest of the coup, they’re kidding themselves.

    Everything is a contest with these people. My dick is bigger than yours foreign policy. I reckon it never occurred to Allah that it might be that “Iran’s kids” would be better off for Obama to negotiate Iran out of nukes AND condemn the election. He also assumes military action would please the reformers and be “greet us with flowers 2.0”. They are idiots, and dangerous ones at that. Every issue is political gotcha with the continuing distillation to pure wingnut.

  22. 22
    matoko_chan says:

    Well I think it is STONE HILARIOUS that the rightwing twodigits are declaring extreme solidarity with devout MUSLIM students!!!!
    hahaha!
    Where’s your dar al harb now, AllahP?

  23. 23
    schrodinger's cat says:

    Allah has gone and gotten green paint everywhere

    Actually green, is the holy color for Islam, so I am sure Allah approves.
    BTW what is the name Allahpundit supposed to mean? A pundit is a learned brahmin, not a typical Allah worshiper to say the least. Or is he supposed to be an expert on Allah, given the rants you link to, that is obviously not the case. I don’t get it, it doesn’t make any sense.

  24. 24
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Only slightly off topic, Thomas Friedman a day or two ago echoes the “it was all made possible by Bush” line, regarding Lebanon and Iraq in this case. He shows along the way of course that his backpedaling on support for the war since initially cheerleading it was all just a veneer of respectability:

    There are a million things to hate about President Bush’s costly and wrenching wars. But the fact is, in ousting Saddam in Iraq in 2003 and mobilizing the U.N. to push Syria out of Lebanon in 2005, he opened space for real democratic politics that had not existed in Iraq or Lebanon for decades.

    Got that? “Oh yes, I hate the war for the “million” reasons that you all do, except that it actually was a great idea and accomplished exactly what Bush said it would.”

  25. 25
    gbear says:

    @Mark:

    I mean, maybe the Washington Post is right that this isn’t that big a story.

    Yea, because, you know, a government shutting down all communications and beating it’s people in the street is just so ordinary.

  26. 26
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Doctor Science:

    Old-fashioned shoe-leather reporters on location! Yes! According to Spencer they were easing the foreign journalists out.

    I don’t see even the student movement being put down as Obama’s fault from that one quote. aimai’s comment excellent.

  27. 27
    4jkb4ia says:

    I would expect that kind of coverage from the usual suspects. I was disconcerted to see that everything I had thought about this had already been thought by some blogger. If I stick to Spencer I will get someone who is trying to do reporting instead of opinionating and who will link to people who are trying to do reporting. YMMV

  28. 28
    4jkb4ia says:

    @demimondian:

    Thank you

  29. 29
    dslak says:

    @Comrade Stuck:

    I reckon it never occurred to Allah that it might be that “Iran’s kids” would be better off for Obama to negotiate Iran out of nukes AND condemn the election.

    I reckon it never occurred to him what would be better for “Iran’s kids” at all. They only factor in insofar as they serve as a bludgeon against Obama or, should they succeed, as a vindication of Bush.

  30. 30
    matoko_chan says:

    Friedman is also a moron.
    This could have happened 4 years ago if not for the “Bush Doctrine”, aka the Epic Fail of the Manifest Destiny of Judeoxian Democracy in MENA.
    That dimwitted evangelical bumbler spent a trillion dollars and 4228 lives from the finest military on the planet to fire up the anti-US meme machines and fuel the jihaadi factories.

  31. 31
    Paul L. says:

    Enjoy some good old progressive

    blogger wank

    that the right can now use.
    The price of oil has doubled and gas is nearly a dollar more since Obama took office.
    Obama must be rewarding his Muslim oil buddies.

  32. 32
    dslak says:

    Someday soon, I expect Paul L.’s comments will make sense only to himself.

  33. 33
    Zach says:

    @Doctor Science: That NYTimes live blog has been consistently fantastic. Checking it out now, Moussavi is saying he’ll participate in a new election at a rally in Tehran; the state-sponsored media is covering the rally. It looks like the regime’s crisis management squad figured out it’s best to call a do-over instead of cracking skulls, maybe? I’m sure there’s still a fair bit of that, too, regardless.

    An internationally-monitored run-off seems like the best possible option. Get whoever oversaw and certified Hamas’ victory to overcome concern about Western meddling. If either candidate is right about having about getting over 60% of the votes, the result won’t change in a new election.

  34. 34
    Surreal American says:

    @dslak:

    Haven’t we reached that point already?

  35. 35
    tim says:

    How can anyone read Sully’s breathless “reporting” of the Iranian situation and conclude that it is reliable and anything other than “hyperventilating?” He’s throwing up random phone calls and tweets and rumors with his usual assurances that they “seem” accurate to him, because, you know, he can just “feel” the energy from Tehran and it “feels,” you know, right to him. He gets a thrill, a tremor if you will, from fantasizing that he is beside the young men and women risking their lives for his war in Iraq, or running down the streets of Persian cities throwing fire bombs at cops as part of his Green Revolutions activities; all while sitting on his ass on a beach in Provincetown, Mass, enjoying the good life which comes as a natural result in America of, you know, being heinously wrong about pretty much everything that matters.

    Please let’s not forget that he was practically licking Bush’s nuts just six years ago; openly speculating on who was sexier at their war press briefings, Rummy or Cheney; and viciously condemning those of us who kept it in our pants and off our keyboards the whole time.

    Kind of like now.

  36. 36
    dslak says:

    @Surreal American: Possible, but further study is needed.

  37. 37
    valdivia says:

    Sullivan and Pitney have been fantastic, even with the breathlessness, seeing the students fighting for their votes is incredible. How can one not be heartened or think this is historical? It is about them.

  38. 38
    ibid says:

    @aimai:

    I think Allahpundit does not necessarily see these as negative consequences, or at least they aren’t outweighed by the need to piss off the Iranians. Sure, there might be a massacre of the protesters, followed by a US-Iran war, but sometimes these things are necessary, such as when you have the opportunity to publicly insult your enemies. When he says Obama won’t walk away from negotiations because of these potential consequences, he’s not saying it’s prudent of him to do so, he’s saying Obama’s a pussy for not risking war for the sake of a symbolic protest of the Iranian government’s actions. Or it could be (and I’m not a regular Allahpundit reader so I’m not sure if this is more likely) that he thinks war with Iran is desirable in itself, and that pissing them off is just a bonus.

  39. 39
    b-psycho says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Allahpundit used to just go by Allah back when he just had his blogspot page. The site consisted entirely of him mocking Islam through the jihadi automaton stereotype, posting as if he were Allah (that is, as Islam’s god).

    At the time it was kinda funny at first, until it devolved from any attempt at humor and into just blindly cheering anything that resulted in dead muslims. Then he vanished for awhile, & reappeared on Hot Air.

  40. 40
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    I don’t get it, it doesn’t make any sense.

    That’s the point, it’s Y’allahpundit’s hook to bring in the wingnuts. Your brain functions, thus you have no need for that drivel, but that shit is fertilizer (literally) for wingnuts. They line up to feed at the trough.

    Yea, because, you know, a government shutting down all communications and beating it’s people in the street is just so ordinary.

    Shhh! You are going to get the wingnuts aroused with talk like that.

  41. 41
    tim says:

    Valdivia:

    How do you think Sullivan would have responded to similar protests in the U.S. in 2000 against the rigged/suspicious/bogus/illegitimate electoral “victory” of the Bushites over Al Gore?

    “Get Over It.” That’s how. He would have condemned violent protesters in the streets of America as reactionary traitors and demanded nothing less than the harshest possible police tactics to quell the riots, that’s how.

  42. 42
    Comrade Dread says:

    I’m of the mind that many conservative leaders do understand just how poorly it would effect the opposition if the US were to come out on their side, and that is the point of the calls to do so.

    There is a sense that they want the most radical elements in Iran to win since it will more than likely lead to the outcome they want: war with Iran.

  43. 43
    valdivia says:

    @tim:

    so for this reason alone we should say–fuck the iranians? I don’t give a f*** how anyone would have reacted back then. I care about what is happening now and the shameful lack of coverage by the networks in general of these events. CNN, MSNBC and FOX totally useless. The Beeb has been fantastic though.

    edit: if you check out the videos at Sullis right now you can see why I think this matters so much.

  44. 44

    1. The color green being used by the Mousavi crowd was assigned by government officials as the “official” color of the candidate. It has nothing to do with Islam.

    2. Al Giordano has the best take so far on what this mess is about now. Counting the votes from this past election is nonsense. It was not legitimate and many of the ballot boxes were compromised. It would be impossible to know what the actual votes were. A new election is the only answer here.

    3. To Hot Air, i.e. Allahpundit, these elections and the ensuing demonstrations are not about us. They are about the Iranian people and their desire to be heard. In typical neocon/con (or whatever stripe Allahpundit paints himself/herself) it seems that EVERYTHING is about the US. Well guess what. Stop acting like a spoiled punkass teenager and realize these people have got a lot of guts to go out in the streets and demonstrate against a government obviously willing to brutalize its people. Admydinnerjacket, Khameini and the rest of these thugs are just waiting for the Great Satan to open its mouth and interject itself into their politics so further, and for more brutal, crackdown can be unleashed.

    Jesus! These bastards are so fucking stupid it must be painful.

  45. 45
    Violet says:

    I appreciate all the bloggers, etc. posting all the updates, photos, tweets, and videos. It’s chaotic, sometimes over the top, heartbreaking, exciting and absolutely riveting.

    Sure, some of them – okay, a lot of them – have agendas and it comes out in what they write. Those folks, like the aforequoted Allahpundit see the world through their ridiculous dickmeasuring glasses, and it’s not even worth reading what they write. But the real time info that people like Sullivan, Nico Pitney, and the NIAC folks are posting is fantastic. Sure it’s a big mishmash of tweets, rumors and some concrete info. And sometimes emotions get involved (Sully’s in particular), but that’s not too surprising to me given that it’s all happening right now.

    I’ve been glued to the screen all weekend. I hope the Iranian people can see some progress out of all this. And I hope the Obama administration continues to play this whole situation as intelligently as they have been so far = expressing concern and hope that the will of the Iranian people is heard – and that’s all. So far, they seem to be doing a reasonable job.

  46. 46
    schrodinger's cat says:

    The color green being used by the Mousavi crowd was assigned by government officials as the “official” color of the candidate. It has nothing to do with Islam.

    I didn’t know that, what is I am a dinner jacket’s color?

  47. 47
    dslak says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: Yes, but the fact that this results in the protestors using green in their marches is still good PR for them.

  48. 48
    Jackal says:

    When the revolution comes, you whining, pseudointellectual, shoeless, idiots with your bad breath and oily skin will be purged.

  49. 49
    Anonymouse says:

    The color green … has nothing to do with Islam.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbols_of_Islam
    “The color green has a special place in Islam… Green has been associated with Islam for many centuries. It is not clear why this is so. Some say green was Muhammad’s favorite color and that he wore a green cloak and turban. Others believe that it symbolizes nature and life, hence the physical manifestation of God…Regardless of its origins, the color green has been considered especially Islamic for centuries. Crusaders avoided using any green in their coats of arms, so that they could not possibly be mistaken for their Muslim opponents in the heat of battle.”

    Yes, it was also the color of the Mousavi campaign, but I think in much the same way that red & blue are used by US campaigns: red, white, and blue carry connotations of patriotism here, which is why they use them; green carries connotations of devotion, which is why they use it there (and similarly it is a color used in their national flag).

  50. 50
    southpaw says:

    I’d describe it as a newfangled blogger wank; there’s definitely something there, but they’re still just fapping away.

    Unfortunately, when a compelling story isn’t covered in depth by traditional media, it falls to the hysterics of the blogosphere to deliver the news.

  51. 51
    Obamagolfedwhiletheydied says:

    All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.
    You are doing nothing. Allahpundit is doing something. While your president played golf all Sunday afternoon,Iranians were being murdered by jackboots on rooftops. While Iranian mothers screamed for Obama’s help, Obama ignored them and cautiously watched the situation. Yes you can see the democracy spreading. It has nothing to do with you or Obama and everything to do with the people rising up and making their voices heard. How can you forge a relationship with the Muslim population?

  52. 52
    StickeeNotes says:

    Three cheers for the cool and calculated cowardice of the Obama administration. The problem is the president is taking his advice from State Department officials who are as principled as crack whores. They’re people who advocate bending over backwards to make sure we stay on the good side of the worst of humanity.

    Young Iranian’s are risking their lives for REAL change, while President Obama says nothing. Candidate Obama may have exploited such language to get elected, but President Obama refuses to risk anything in order to actually put substance behind his empty rhetoric. It’s a proud day when our president golfs, while the youth of Iran is risking so much. But please feel free to make excuses for your guy.

  53. 53
    Mark says:

    @gbear

    “Yea, because, you know, a government shutting down all communications and beating it’s people in the street is just so ordinary.”

    Sadly, that sort of thing is thoroughly ordinary. Just listen to the BBC some time. Almost every day some country is sending its police to beat its own citizens.

    I will not defend the cable news channels. But bloggers who beat up on “The MSM” for under-covering this Iran news (while these same bloggers do no original reporting themselves) are just feeling self-important.

    This isn’t a revolution (at least not yet). Right now it’s just a disputed election with some sporadic rioting. The MSM (by which I mostly mean the newspapers) are right not to blow the story out of proportion.

  54. 54
    Jon H says:

    @The Grand Panjandrum: “1. The color green being used by the Mousavi crowd was assigned by government officials as the “official” color of the candidate. It has nothing to do with Islam.”

    Maybe so, but since green *is* associated with Islam, it probably helps the opposition look good, and reduces the effectiveness of any attempt to paint them as un-Islamic, etc.

  55. 55
    Surreal American says:

    @Obamagolfedwhiletheydied:

    How can you forge a relationship with the Muslim population?

    Since Allahpundit’s previous online incarnation was all about mocking their deity and religion, perhaps you should take that question up with him.

  56. 56
    Jon H says:

    @Mark: “Just listen to the BBC some time. Almost every day some country is sending its police to beat its own citizens.”

    This is kinda poking a hole in your own argument: the BBC itself has been doing a pretty good job of covering the Iranian election and its aftermath, yet they of all people should know how ‘ordinary’ it is.

  57. 57
    Jon H says:

    @StickeeNotes: “Young Iranian’s are risking their lives for REAL change, while President Obama says nothing”

    You probably think it was a good idea for John Yettaw to make an uninvited swim to see Aung San Suu Kyi, trying to ‘help her’, thus giving the Burmese Junta the excuse they wanted to haul her into prison.

    You’re a moron. Just what do you think will happen if Obama does what you want?

  58. 58
    dslak says:

    Shame on Obama for not declaring war on Iran because of (insert arbitrary reason for invading Iran here)!

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Surreal American says:

    BTW, Allahpundit is doing just about as much work as any other blogger, right or left, when it comes to Iran. Which is to say keyboard commanding, second guessing and a lot of talking out of hindquarters.

  61. 61
    gwangung says:

    Better trolls, please.

  62. 62
    valdivia says:

    also–for those here idiotically clamoring for Obama to ‘do something’ this is exactly what no one in the opposition in iran wants him to do. He has done the most important thing already–not recognized the elections and letting events unfold. What is he supposed to do? lecture about democracy? That is what the regime expects so they can brand the protesters as spies for the US.

  63. 63
    dslak says:

    @AhabTRuler: Yes, but Bush also taught Americans that they can’t rely on their own government, which is conservative philosophy. Obama needs to let the world know that, while Americans should never count on their own government to do anything for them, only the American government can protect the rights of everyone outside of the US.

  64. 64
    Ash Can says:

    @Mark:

    The MSM (by which I mostly mean the newspapers) are right not to blow the story out of proportion.

    The “MSM” are being kept away from the story by the Iranian government, with some notable exceptions, such as AP, which has been reporting that “tens of thousands” of people have been marching in the streets and that now the Ayatollah Khamenei himself is directing the Guardian Council to investigate Mousavi’s claims of fraud. (h/t GOS, which despite its own breathless rhetoric is doing a far better job of collecting info on what’s happpening in Iran than most domestic news outfits.)

    Nope, nothing to see here.

  65. 65
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Ohnoes! Invasion of the concerned wingnutz!

    They are crying because they know that Cheney would have pounced on the excuse and started bombing Iran on Saturday. President Obama is missing out on a good excuse to attack and kill more brown people in the name of saving them.

    Sucks to be a wingnut right now, eh? Good. :)

  66. 66
    Anonymouse says:

    And while I have no idea how conservative blogs have been covering this (no doubt badly), that really has nothing to do with the merits of what is happening there. It’s not that I think it’s impossible that Ahmadinejad could have won, it’s that from what I can see, there are good reasons to think that he didn’t. Which matters because whatever Bush said or did with this as the excuse, democracy does matter, and sham democracy is bad both because it elects dishonest idiots, and because it undermines the legitimacy of democracy itself in that part of the world that doesn’t have it.

    The fact is, 10 years ago CNN would have told us that he probably won and we shouldn’t worry our little heads about any of those scary terrorists anyway, and within 2 days nobody outside the Middle East would know or care about it. They could have a million people on the streets of Tehran and mostly keep that news from filtering to the outside world, effectively with the willing cooperation of US media.

    Mass protests by angry, young, devoutly-Islamic people in support of a more liberal democracy doesn’t fit the conventional storyline. And the way interest in the US has been sustained – through social media, on a personal basis effectively – totally escapes the US TV news’ ability to shape opinion about the story, which must be quite disconcerting. In particular, the apparent solidarity felt by young people across the world – and just read Twitter to see that – against the fearmongering, reactionary politics of the late 20th century, whether that’s Ahmadinejad or Bush, their perception of the way that their opinions have been manipulated, their choices limited, well, that’s quite something to see; the fact is, the belligerent xenophobia that’s supposed to be stereotypically American is really a minority opinion, just one with a lot of loudmouths supporting it.

  67. 67
    John Cole says:

    I’m still waiting to find out what they think the administration should do.

  68. 68
    Surreal American says:

    Remember, folks. No nation is truly liberated until we can call dibs on its resources!

  69. 69
    dslak says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal): Yeah, it sucks, because now everything’s not all about them. A United States that gives people room to approach reform on their own terms is anethema to the neocons and wingnuts who only support democracy when it’s of financial benefit to them or the group with which they identify.

  70. 70

    […] outs should an opinion differ from the Borg, has kept the Left mum about the Iranian uprising. [Or criticize anyone willing to note something IS happening in […]

  71. 71
    Lit3Bolt says:

    Rioting in the streets! Yes! Omg historic photograph!! Nyg!! NYRRRRRRGG!! Need two towels here please!

  72. 72
    tim says:

    Valdivia:

    My comments are not a reflection of my feelings about the Iranian protestors or the election there at all; my comments regard Sully’s “reporting” of same and the bizarre fact that he and his blog continue to be accorded prominence and credibility in American public discourse despite the fact that he is a discredited, arrogant, hysterical turd.

  73. 73
    Ash Can says:

    @DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal):

    Ohnoes! Invasion of the concerned wingnutz! They are crying because they know that Cheney would have pounced on the excuse and started bombing Iran on Saturday.

    Bingo. What was it that Tim F. was so rightfully saying just recently, about how the wingnuts, of whatever stripe, all need each other to justify their own existence? Here the American right-wing warmongers are, looking at a primo opportunity for the US government to jump into the Iranian mess with both feet and blow that entire part of the world all to hell, and Obama won’t do it. Boo fucking hoo.

    I love the sound of exploding warmonger heads in the morning.

  74. 74
    dslak says:

    John, your update reminds me of a song by Roger Waters, “The Bravery of Being out of Range.” If you’re not familiar with the album it’s from, Amused to Death, you should definitely check it out.

  75. 75
    lamh31 says:

    Great post from marc ambinder on how twitter, blogs, some news media may have changed the way in which the Iran protest (and future unrest) was covered compared to other such protest in the past.

    The Revolution Will Be Twittered

    can anyone image what it would be like if Tianamen(sp?) happened today? Particularly with the explosion of global social networking sites like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, etc…

  76. 76
    valdivia says:

    @tim:

    that is your opinion. I take my information where it is coming from and he is the one supplying it unlike a lot of others who have kept silent. If you so dislike him then read Pitney who has been giving excellent information and is saying the exact same thing as Sulli.

  77. 77
    gopher2b says:

    My heart is the with Iranians trying to wedge out some personal freedom and, of course, any revolution is an exciting thing. I skip the “what should Obama do” posts because they’re stupid and completely miss the point. For once, this isn’t about us. Its about them. Sit back, watch, and hope for the best.

  78. 78
    FearItself says:

    …if Iran’s kids are expecting The One to walk away from nuke negotiations in protest of the coup, they’re kidding themselves.

    As if any of the people marching in the streets of Tehran are fretting over the prospects of nuclear negotiations with the U.S.
    Dude, it’s not always about us.

  79. 79
    Ash Can says:

    According to Pitney, Sully, and AP, the protests just might be succeeding. (The link goes to a GOS diary because that diary includes all the pertinent links in one handy place.)

  80. 80
    tavella says:

    Sully was useful for about five minutes yesterday, then he went back into his usual hysterical, uncritical mode, posting every rumor that came his way without any sort of intelligent analysis or any basis in real knowledge of Iran. I’ll take people like Juan Cole instead, thanks.

    And Obama is absolutely correct in this: the one and only thing the US can or should do is to express their intense hope for a peaceful and fair resolution. There is nothing that would be more instantly destructive to the reformists than the US weighing in publically on their side. Iranians take foreign interference in their affairs VERY SERIOUSLY.

  81. 81
    Hawes says:

    There are hundreds of thousands of Iranians of all ages and backgrounds out on the streets today. They are risking their lives for their future. They are calling for more democracy. It is about THEM and THEIR COUNTRY. Obama’s response has been the proper one, much as Bush Pere’s response was right in November 1989.

    Only more disgusting than the “What does this say about Bush/Obama?” line of commentary is the idea that this is all a big joke. Just a few angry college students. I got that from my neo-con father a few minutes ago. I sent him a link to SkyTV and the BBC/Farsi footage.

    This is significant. Very significant. The Iranian Regime that existed last week is dead. Gone. It may be replaced by a more repressive autocratic regime or a more meaningfully democratic one, but the hybrid theorcractic-republic has been destroyed.

    Bush didn’t do it. Obama didn’t do it. Khamenei (or more likely the Revolutionary Guards) did it when they rendered the vote a sham.

  82. 82
    Northern Observer says:

    The people who are urging Obama to make a strong statement are those American commentators who feel that they have a lot to loose if Iran elects a reasonable government. The big boys who want to bomb the Persians back into the stone age are all for A’jad; even if they wont tell you up front.

    Evil smucks.

  83. 83
    demimondian says:

    @gopher2b:

    Sit back, watch, and hope for the best.

    Word. There is nothing we can do that will make things better except do something the wingnuts absolutely DO NOT want us to do — wait, hope, and pray (if appropriate). That’s may change later, but, right now, there’s nothing we can do that will make things better.

  84. 84
    Cyrus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    BTW what is the name Allahpundit supposed to mean? A pundit is a learned brahmin, not a typical Allah worshiper to say the least. Or is he supposed to be an expert on Allah, given the rants you link to, that is obviously not the case. I don’t get it, it doesn’t make any sense.

    You might have the etymology of “pundit” correct, but its modern usage, in political contexts, is different. A pundit is someone who bloviates about political issues of all types from a basically predictable perspective, regardless of whether they know anything about the subject. For example. In that sense, “Allahpundit” might be appropriate.

  85. 85
    matoko_chan says:

    Hey, twodigits and sub-sapient wingnuts.
    If you please note, Nejads supporters also used green in their flags and headbands, combining green with their assigned campaign color. Hamas and Hizb’ also use green.
    I wonder why the Guardian Council assigned green to Mousavi?
    Surely that is a campaign advantage in an Islamic state.
    Perhaps they see him as a true muslim, and his followers as the real muslims?

  86. 86

    All true, John.

    That said, and I’m sure someone else has said it — guys like me have something of a horse in the race, even if tiny compared to someone who is Iranian. The “asim” in my Name is my dancer name, and it’s one I wear proudly because of the demonization of Muslims by folks like Allahpundit.
    A freer Iran means more of the arts and cultures I’ve been exposed to, in years of dancing, can come out. It means the native artists have more chances to express themselves. It means more of the Persians I know can travel back and forth more easily.

    All that is worth me agitating, and taking about these things.

  87. 87
    valdivia says:

    @Hawes:
    so completely agree with you. thanks for that great comment.

  88. 88
    matoko_chan says:

    tavella
    Sully must be saying something someone wants supressed……he’s under a disruption of service attack.
    I wonder……if its a cyber-attack based in Iran or if our very own twodigit “conservatives” would like to sabotage the greens to advance their MENA fantasies?
    /spit

    After all, they do want Obama to fail.
    I’m sure that means they want him to fail in opening a door to dar al Islam.

  89. 89
    Johnny B. Guud says:

    Young Iranian’s are risking their lives for REAL change, while President Obama says nothing

    Obama is saying nothing, because that’s exactly what he should be doing right now—-nothing.

    The “young Iranians” are indeed risking their lives, but their lives will be wiped out if the powers-that-be feel that the USA is leaning on their shoulder.

    No one has any idea what is going on.

    Exactly. Not even Sullivan, who has been doing a yeoman’s job of aggregating “news” from various sources, but that’s about all he’s doing.

    I hate the traditional media as much as anybody, but Sullivan wears it on his sleeve—-he’s so proud of himself. And sure, I’ll give him credit. He was all over the Iranian election for a week before it happened.

    But let’s say Ahmed…whatever, does, in fact, win legitmately. What will happen then?

    At this point I will pipe down, as this is about all I know regarding what’s going on over there…

  90. 90

    I wonder if Americans would be this motivated in the same situation http://theentropyeffect.wordpr.....-election/

  91. 91
    Phoebe says:

    amai @4, thank you for finishing the thought that was swirling listlessly in my head like a dust bunny.

  92. 92
    Anonymouse says:

    And yes I think Obama is doing exactly the right thing in showing our interest, our concern that the results be fair, but not in any kind of overt show of favoritism.

    But I do think it’s also important that Iranians (of all stripes) know that the world is watching. And it’s especially important that they know that the US is watching, because like it or not the US, and what the US thinks about things, drives world news.

    But again that coverage should be fair, accurate & realistic but not partisan. However, much further down the news stack, the person-to-person coverage that is coming on twitter and facebook and flickr and blogs etc has every right to take a side based on what appears to have happened, and I don’t think it’s a threat in Iran for young people there to know that young people here support them. If it’s anything like here, hatred for the US might be the party line on TV, but what people actually think is an entirely different thing.

    And from a purely self-interested point of view, there is nothing that could be better for the future – the long-term future especially – of US-Iran relations than for the young people of Iran to know, on a personal basis, that they are valued & respected by the young people of the US. In Europe after WWII (and ongoing) there were exchange trips for schoolchildren between countries, the idea being that personal contact, friendship, and the clear demonstration that former enemies were just people like you or I would help avoid conflict in the future. Well, I think that worked out pretty well. And these days that peer-to-peer contact is available to anyone who cares to participate.

    What the young people of the world want are friends to help us make it a better, fairer, more peaceful place. We want people we can play World of Warcraft with, not people we have to play World of Actual War with. (And the Iraq War has surely, if unintentionally, done a great deal to educate young people about the terrible realities of Actual War.)

  93. 93
    Svensker says:

    @dslak:

    You put that so well.

  94. 94
    Laura W says:

    Yeah but you’re our “special douche”.
    First!
    Seriously?

  95. 95
    Pablo says:

    I’m a “special douche” and part of the nutroots.

    Well, duh.

    No one has any idea what is going on.

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that those who are there, and are reporting from there, and sending video from there might just possibly have an idea or two as to what’s going on.

  96. 96
    Mark says:

    @JonH

    You misunderstand. I don’t think that the MSM shouldn’t cover this story. I’m quite satisfied with their coverage (including the BBC, but excluding all U.S. cable news channels).

    My beef is with people like Andrew Sullivan who are getting upset with the MSM for not blowing this story completely out of proportion the way that he is on his blog.

  97. 97
    boomshanka says:

    Deep thought:

    Do we have any actual evidence that the election was fixed?

  98. 98
    lamh31 says:

    Question: If Tianamen happened today, would it be treated the same as the Iranian uprising is in some circles,, i.e. “not a big deal”? I’m basically asking how it would hold up today? Or does it truly takes tanks and more violence to make it a bigger story?

    btw: ABC News Jim Scuitto from Iran: Gunmen Open Fire At Rally

  99. 99
    schrodinger's cat says:

    You might have the etymology of “pundit” correct, but its modern usage, in political contexts, is different. A pundit is someone who bloviates about political issues of all types from a basically predictable perspective, regardless of whether they know anything about the subject. For example. In that sense, “Allahpundit” might be appropriate.

    Okay so Allahpundit is some one who is not a pundit or knows anything about Allah but is just blowing Hot Air. Got it!
    @Cyrus
    I do know what “pundit” means in the political context, however Allah and pundit don’t go together and sound incongruous. His moniker doesn’t make a whole lot of sense even with your explanation, is he supposed to be a pundit who bloviates about Allah? Is he Allah and a pundit?

    Well, I guess it is time for me to get back to work and leave it to experts like DougJ and John Cole to make sense of greater Wingnuttia.

  100. 100
    dslak says:

    @lamh31: It’s not ad-worthy TV until somebody gets killed.

  101. 101
    passerby says:

    what bothers me is the breathless wankery I see from American blogs who really have absolutely nothing on the line. Nothing. No matter what happens to all those people over there, no one blogging from the USA will be beaten, thrown in jail, had their head cracked, or worse, killed. No one has any idea what is going on. I wish these Iranian protesters the best of luck and hope for the best for them,

    This description pretty much sums up my feelings about the current events in Iran.

    Further, it can also be applied to so many other conflicts that occur anywhere outside of our own spheres of influence, whether they manifest as violence in another country or rabid political in-fighting right here in the halls of government in the US.

    The information we get is only that put forth for public consumption, usually framed by media folk to illicit the most dramatic response, usually boiled down to polarities.

    In the final analysis, we are usually only provided with enough info to react emotionally.

    We know something big is happening, let’s all hope for the best.

  102. 102

    …if Iran’s kids are expecting The One to walk away from nuke negotiations in protest of the coup…

    WTF? Nuke negotiations? Those Iranian kids either don’t give a crap about nuke negotiations, or are all keyed up about Iran’s right to nuclear energy.

    That Allahpundit would make such an statement demonstrates two things:

    1) He doesn’t have the slightest idea what this movement he purports to champion is all about, and

    2) This entire thing is about his right-wing, American politics, and he’s projecting them onto the Mousavi supporters.

    Dumbass.

  103. 103
    Jason says:

    @dslak: And here’s the thing, now, with reports (early reports, of course) of a “militia” opening fire:

    An AP photographer on the scene reports at least one fatality and others with serious gunshot wounds after what appears to have been pro-government militia members opening fire at the aforementioned Mousavi rally in Tehran. (via TPM’s blog)

    It would be glib to wonder how this structures or disjoints the narrative about Iranian freedom as analogous to our own freedoms, cast in terms of the priorities of the right. But the discussion would have to at some point acknowledge the role of civilian proxies for the Iranian gov’t in the conflict. Not as simply “this is how we get to the Ayatollah” – but as sets of competing ideologies actually in play as the will of a significant segment of the “populist” vote.

    I mean, many on this blog talk about the similarities between American “heartland” values and the religious values of jihadists and heads of state in the Mideast. But here is also a discussion on the role of armed, civilian militias – I am assuming these are civilian militias? – in the suppression of freedom, not the expression of it (per 2nd amendment arguments).

  104. 104
    stacie says:

    This isn’t our revolution. It looks to me like the people of Iran have this. There’s bloodshed, yes, which makes the protesters heroes. Obama has no business butting in. No US president has any business making this massive uprising about America. It’s not about America. It’s about Iran, and God bless the people of Iran as they do the hard work to gain their freedom.

  105. 105
    schrodinger's cat says:

    What stacie said.

  106. 106
    JenJen says:

    Oh, Sully:

    “One thing you can do is use Twitter to fight the regime yourself. Help bring these fascist bastards down at the end of your modem.”

  107. 107
    gwangung says:

    Deep thought:

    Do we have any actual evidence that the election was fixed?

    Yes, we do. Evidence != proof.

    But we have alternative hypotheses that could fit the data, however unlikely they are to be actually true.

    You can still draw conclusions, though. It’s just that they’re tentative and subject to revision with further data.

  108. 108
    TenguPhule says:

    Young Iranian’s are risking their lives for REAL change, while President Obama says nothing.

    And given US history with Iran, this is as it should be.

    We have no moral high ground there.

  109. 109

    […] This is why I’ve been relatively silent on the goings on in Iran over the last 72 hours. […]

  110. 110
    TenguPhule says:

    All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing.

    And you didn’t take out Bush when you had the chance because…?

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    How can you forge a relationship with the Muslim population?

    We don’t want a forged relationship.

    We want a real one.

  112. 112
    Mr Furious says:

    I’ve been in Deadline Hell the last week or so, so I haven’t been able to follow anything closely. The only place I’ve really visited is Sullivan and he breathlessly relays every last twitter-feed as evidence of some full-blown revolution sweeping the country.

    Here’s my unvarnished and uninformed opinion…

    None of these other people know much more than I do at this point. Take Sullivan for example: Photographs or personal accounts with no wider context are only slightly better than worthless. He paints a picture of a sea of Iranian citizens storming the castle and that the Iranian government as we knew it is over, yet he has readers on his sight claiming that most of Tehran is business as usual…Which is it?

    Calling for others to express support for what’s happening there, yet overstating the situation could send people into a fucking buzzsaw. If there aren’t really 500,000 other people marching to give cover, then there could be real problems for the people on the street.

    Too many bloggers seem anxious to use the cracked skulls of Iranian protestors as a step up to proclaim “the death of the traditional media!” as well, and it’s pretty unseemly. I don’t doubt there is value in the man-on-the-street report, but come on… People in Europe might’ve assumed Yonkers was burning if these people were blogging the L.A. Riots.

    Sure, it’d be swell if Ahmadinejad lost in a clean election and handed over power as readily as Al Gore, but how fucking likely was that? It’s up to the people in Iran to decide if they’ve had enough of this shit. There’s been talk of a young, progresive movement in Iran for years—let this be their moment. Interference from outside can only make things worse, illegitimate, uglier, etc.

    As far as I’m concerned, the “leading democracy on the planet” just had it’s own Presidential election stolen a mere nine years ago, so we should shut the fuck up.

  113. 113

    […] know he means well, but this is what I was talking about this morning when I said that the coverage of the events in Iran by American bloggers was giving me a warblogger […]

  114. 114
    TenguPhule says:

    Interference from outside can only make things worse, illegitimate, uglier, etc.

    This is a feature, not a bug for Rightwankers.

  115. 115
    TenguPhule says:

    None of these other people know much more than I do at this point. Take Sullivan for example

    Unfair example.

    There are smart chimps out there that know more then Sullivan.

  116. 116
    Xanthippas says:

    For the right wing, it’s 1953 all over again.

  117. 117
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @gwangung:

    Better trolls, please.

    Seriously.

  118. 118
    Steeplejack says:

    @JenJen:

    He’s mental, he is.

  119. 119
    Darkrose says:

    My wife lived in Iran in 1978-9; her father wanted to travel, and they offered him crazy amounts of money to work in what everyone thought was one of the most stable countries in the region.

    She’s told me that even after the revolution started, Iranians as a whole didn’t hate the U.S. or Americans. That happened after Carter’s foreign policy team, who were all pushing their Cold War agenda, got Carter to say that “America supports our friend the Shah.” After that, we became the Great Satan.

    The morons who are saying Obama needs to actively intervene are dangerously delusional. Nothing will ensure a crackdown like the suggestion that the reformists are American puppets.

  120. 120
    Mike in NC says:

    Allah and pundit don’t go together and sound incongruous.

    He was originally going to call himself “Assholepinhead” but reconsidered.

  121. 121

    […] know he means well, but this is what I was talking about this morning when I said that the coverage of the events in Iran by American bloggers was giving me a warblogger […]

  122. 122

    […] think these kids should be supported, of course, but posts like this from Andrew only reinforce my earlier comments about the 2003 warblogger vibe and rampant […]

  123. 123

    @Jon H:

    It’s a shame recent events have proven quite the opposite, Jon. You called me a moron, but then President Obama did exactly what we were all calling on him to do days ago. What resulted? No added violence resulted from the president voicing his concern over the violence. The Iranian regime didn’t suddenly start carpet bombing crowds, because the president expressed his desire to see the government of Iran respect the rights of peaceful protesters.

    I get that reflexive partisanship prevents you from being intellectually honest, Jon, but save the name calling for the playground. It took the president far too long to finally speak out, but I’m glad he did. Perhaps next time he can do so without having to follow the lead of Angela Merkel.

  124. 124

    […] I was just imagining things when I talked about sensing a 2003 warblogger vibe in the coverage of the events in […]

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  2. […] think these kids should be supported, of course, but posts like this from Andrew only reinforce my earlier comments about the 2003 warblogger vibe and rampant […]

  3. […] know he means well, but this is what I was talking about this morning when I said that the coverage of the events in Iran by American bloggers was giving me a warblogger […]

  4. […] know he means well, but this is what I was talking about this morning when I said that the coverage of the events in Iran by American bloggers was giving me a warblogger […]

  5. […] This is why I’ve been relatively silent on the goings on in Iran over the last 72 hours. […]

  6. […] outs should an opinion differ from the Borg, has kept the Left mum about the Iranian uprising. [Or criticize anyone willing to note something IS happening in […]

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