Caleb Howe of RedState joins me to discuss this mess.
Caleb Howe of RedState joins Melissa to discuss terrorism, the TSA, the President’s leadership and America’s standing in the world.
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This podcast we hit everything from slasher films affect on the culture to the historic 9/12 march (interviewing the woman behind the 2 million rumor) to rules of engagement with Afghanistan, Iran’s nuclear time table and a trade war with China.
Hi guys! If you haven’t already listened, the Podcast with Steve Schippert of National Review Online The Tank and Threatswatch.org and John Hawkins, my co-blogger at Right Wing News is now available. It was so good and spot on! We talked about the structure of Iranian government, Islam’s relationship to Democracy and more. Plus, how President Obama should deal with this.
The Right Doctor (my) show is produced by Mike Williams and his daughter Kayla of Take That Radio who also produces Wendy Sullivan aka Right Girl’s show Brass Balls Radio. We, along with Tabitha Hale of Smart Girl Politics, also air our shows on RFCradio.com weekly from 10:00 – 11 p.m. EST. There is a chat room, where questions can be asked of the experts interviewed.
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Waiting for their dear leader to express his opinion, the “power to the people” crowd has kept silent. My take: the risk for making Obama look bad, or better yet being on the 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 Iran.]
No one really knows why the Iranians are demonstrating yet. Is this just one faction of Mullah-endorsed candidate expressing discontent because another Mullah-endorsed candidate stole the election or is this public demonstration a desire for a more moderate Iran generally?
Time will tell. The fact is, it requires immense courage for the Iranian people to defy the police, the current leadership and Ahmadinijad’s minions to step out publicly and make their voices heard. “Down with the dictator!” they shout. Does that mean the people want another dictator? Or do they want an end to the tyrannical Iranian leadership?
Either way, the instinct in this situation should be to support the people. The instinct should be to openly label tyranny in all it’s forms as wrong. The instinct should be to marginalize those who would use brute force to enforce domination and diminish freedom.
The moral position is to support freedom and liberty.
While this is patently obvious to anyone with a moral compass, it’s not obvious to President Obama or his followers. They’re still waiting to find out what happens so they can make “open dialogue” seem like a reasonable decision. They want to find a way to exploit the Iranian discontent, and possible revolution.
Here’s what a person with a moral compass says, “Americans support the Iranian people in their quest for free and fair elections that represents the will of the people. We respect their will and their voice and their courage in the face of the dangers they now face. Our hearts go out to the people of Iran.”
That’s it. It’s the right thing to say and it doesn’t presuppose an outcome. It still gives the American government an out to communicate with whatever regime ends up in charge, but it communicates to the people of Iran that America loves and supports them and is on their side.
Words matter. President Obama knows this. He uses words like others wield swords. Mostly, he uses them to benefit himself. It’s time for him to use words to benefit the oppressed people of the world. Iran is a nice start.
But using words in this case, takes a little bit of moral fortitude. It also means taking a stand. President Obama has shown little inclination to embrace any moral stand. He has shown an inclination to make self-serving speeches.
In this case, supporting the Iranian people could also serve himself. Of course, that outcome isn’t certain, so it does require a modicum of courage. Moral courage and moral clarity–two things he sorely lacks.
Note: To get the coverage you won’t get on the MSM, follow the #Iran and #Iranelection hashtags on Twitter. And, if you don’t know that those things are, learn at Mashable (via Michelle Malkin). More to come.
Also, tonight, I have foreign policy and military expert Steve Schippert of the National Review Online, The Tank, and Threatswatch.org and my co-blogger John Hawkins on Right Doctor my radio show tonight from 10 to 11:00 EST for RFCradio.com. Please join us in the chatroom with your questions. If you can’t make it, the podcast will be available on iTunes later–just search my name.
I’m thinking about the overture Barack Obama made to the “Islamic Republic of Iran” two days after theses same leaders killed dissident blogger Omid-Reza Mirsayafi. Rather than condemn an evil regime, he affirmed them. Meanwhile, those fighting for freedom languish and die:
Whether Mirsayafi’s death cows or emboldens Iran’s dissident bloggers remains to be seen. Not the least of their considerations will be the attitude of Mr. Obama, who in his videotaped address went out of his way to speak of “the Islamic Republic of Iran,” thereby giving the mullahs claim to a nation, and a civilization, they have done so much to oppress and degrade. Yes, an American president must look first, second and third to American interests. But a presidency predicated on the view that our values are our strength should not forsake those values for diplomatic expediency, much less betray our friends abroad who live, and have died, by those values.
Freedom lovers worldwide will grow increasingly afraid, both within and without America. President Obama values appeasement over freedom. That’s the new world order. Dissident fight at their own risk. Their regimes have nothing to fear from Obama.
Are The Iranians Emboldened Now That Obama Is In Office?
Jewish investigator tortured last Friday in Buenos Ares and Iran’s fingerprints are all over it.
I’m completely flummoxed. Where to start? In a couple weeks, Barack Obama has managed to prove far more destructive than I could have imagined possible. Not only has his form been careless, dismissive, petty, and unpresidential, his substance will fundamentally transform the country in a horrible way. It’s like the destroyer train has left the station and nothing will stop it.
I fear for America. Countries who should respect us already treat President Obama with scorn. From Powerline, the laughable notion of “Smart Power”:
Nor is Ahmadinehad an outlier. Abe Greenwald observes that Russia has reacted to Vice President Biden’s overtures with similar disdain. “Today,” reports Greenwald, “Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov praised Vice President Joe Biden’s recent kind words for Russia before making Biden seem foolish for ever uttering them.” Greenwald is referring to this AP account of the Deputy Prime Minister’s reaction to Talkin’ Joe’s overtures:
“The U.S. administration sent a very strong signal, and the signal was heard-a signal that says they’re ready to resume the Russian and U.S. dialogue frankly and openly,” Ivanov told a news conference on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.
But he said Russia did not feel it necessary to immediately reciprocate.
“It is not an Oriental bazaar,” he said. “And we do not trade the way people do in the bazaars.”
Greenwald’s dry conclusion is: “I guess Ivanov didn’t get the memo about ‘smart power.'” My conclusion is that Ivanov got the memo and understood the real meaning of this pseudo-concept.
Again, the Left would howl with derision at such a blatant slap to George W. Bush (not that countries dared such slaps, but individuals did. Remember how funny the Left found the Sunni Baathist shoe-thrower? Well, he has no power. Ivanov and Ahmedinejad have power to harm). I don’t find these verbal insults funny. They reveal a contempt for weakness.
Barack Obama makes a classic mistake, characteristic of those who have spent their lives in academia rather than the real world–he believes that his theories actually work. He fundamentally misunderstands human nature. He fundamentally misunderstands cultural character. Even more, he displays the sort of hubris so often attributed to George W. Bush–that is, he assumes that our enemies have an American sensibility. If it makes rational sense to an American leader, it should also make sense for a Russian or Iranian. By not acknowledging that some people respond only to strength, he reveals the naivité Hillary Clinton referred.
This ignorance has real-world implications. When Al Qaeda attacked on 9/11, I don’t think they believed George W. Bush and the American people had the will to fight. They were in for a rude awakening. George W. Bush was not afraid to retaliate. This was unexpected. By the end of his eight years in office, though, our enemies did not underestimate George W. Bush. Different regimes realized that attacks would exact a price. It caused them to consider.
Now, President Obama is being tested. He looks weak. And so, other countries feel free to disrespect him. Eventually their verbal taunts will turn into action. And it won’t be long. This is worrying.
Worse, in the short term, is the disrespect President Obama is engendering at home. And I’m not talking about the critical, shrieking hysteria directed at George W. Bush by a small section of the populace. And I’m not talking about the frustration of his own party at Georg Bush’s inability to communicate and his turn against conservative principles. Dislike is not the same as disrespect. We can like and dislike a person based on our mood. Emotions like respect and love are more difficult to acquire and more valuable.
President Obama is losing respect from his countrymen during a fragile time. When the government payouts come in at around 9.7 TRILLION, Americans stagger at the numbers. Charles Krauthammer writes a devastating piece today in the Washington Post listing his betrayals:
AND YET more damaging to Obama’s image than all the hypocrisies in the appointment process is his signature bill: the stimulus package. He inexplicably delegated the writing to Nancy Pelosi and the barons of the House. The product, which inevitably carries Obama’s name, was not just bad, not just flawed, but a legislative abomination.
It’s not just pages and pages of special-interest tax breaks, giveaways and protections, one of which would set off a ruinous Smoot-Hawley trade war. It’s not just the waste, such as the $88.6 million for new construction for Milwaukee Public Schools, which, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, have shrinking enrollment, 15 vacant schools and, quite logically, no plans for new construction.
It’s the essential fraud of rushing through a bill in which the normal rules (committee hearings, finding revenue to pay for the programs) are suspended on the grounds that a national emergency requires an immediate job-creating stimulus – and then throwing into it hundreds of billions that have nothing to do with stimulus, that Congress’ own budget office says won’t be spent until 2011 and beyond, and that are little more than the back-scratching, special-interest, lobby-driven parochialism that Obama came to Washington to abolish. He said.
Not just to abolish but to create something new – a new politics where the moneyed pork-barreling and corrupt logrolling of the past would give way to a bottom-up, grass-roots participatory democracy. That is what made Obama so dazzling and new. Turns out the “fierce urgency of now” includes $150 million for livestock insurance.
The Age of Obama begins with perhaps the greatest frenzy of old-politics influence peddling ever seen in Washington. By the time the stimulus bill reached the Senate, reports The Wall Street Journal, pharmaceutical and high-tech companies were lobbying furiously for a new plan to repatriate overseas profits that would yield major tax savings. California wine growers and Florida citrus producers were fighting to change a single phrase in one provision. Substituting “planted” for “ready to market” would mean a windfall garnered from a new “bonus depreciation” incentive.
Already, I’m wondering how Barack Obama gets it back. He will not be given the grace George W. Bush received about 9/11. America, then, was asleep. We were lulled into complacency and the attack shocked everyone. A terrorist attack on America now would still be shocking but for different reasons. We should know better. Not that every attack can be prevented, but a President better look and sound authoritative and command respect and seem intent on putting American’s safety first. People must perceive this to be the case. Foreign leaders certainly don’t perceive this.
Americans see the broken promises after the sweeping hope and change rhetoric. With Obama’s meteoric rise, he has much further to fall. And he’s falling quicker than I every imagined. And it is not a good thing.
Cross-posted at Right Wing News
Iran’s “Unspoken Threat”?
One more thing to worry about or not?
Iran Launches Satellite Yesterday
Such a small, insignificant country, Iran.
So my sister takes me to her place of employment. It’s winter break, and unlike in the United States, Australians just take off for a couple weeks through the holidays. The few people at the office the fam and I get to meet. My sister reminds us to behave, to be gracious and introduce ourselves if, for some reason, she forgets an employee’s name since she’s still relatively new there, and to keep our hands to ourselves. She did not explicitly tell me to not talk politics. Her mistake.
Everything goes smoothly. Pleasantries exchanged hither and thither. We occupy ourselves without breaking anything while she chats with a colleague about some issue. And then we go to leave. On our way out, we bid adieu to the temporary receptionist.
“Oh, I remember you. You’re the BBC sister,” says she–barely concealed scorn in her voice. My sister told her colleagues that I’d be doing U.S. election coverage for the BBC. Unlike in the U.S. where no one watches the BBC so my little foray into punditry went unnoticed, in Australia, everyone watches the BBC. So while I’ve never met her co-workers, they’ve “met” me because the TVs were on all day at work and my mug was there, too, with my politics on full display.
“Yes, we had our TVs on everywhere and saw you.” She didn’t say it like it was a good thing. Time to change the topic.
Why aren’t you on vacation?
“I’m taking my five weeks [Australia’s only rival for labor cushiness is France] altogether.”
How nice. Where are you going?
“Iran and Syria.”
My face couldn’t hide my shock.
“Oh, it’s safe,” she assured me. “The travel company wouldn’t take us if it wasn’t safe. It’s not like they’ll take us to the border of Iraq or anything.”
Now, if I had more restraint, I would have just let that little slice of silly go, but I didn’t have much restraint and I didn’t like her attitude to begin with. I could feel my sister’s anxiety rise next to me. She psychically sent signals screaming, “DON’T SAY ANYTHING! DON’T SAY ANYTHING! LET IT GO!” I ignored them and smiled grandly at the receptionist.
I think you’d be safer in Iraq, actually.
The receptionist launched. “It’s not like I’m stupid. I’ve been to Libya and it was wonderful. Syria and Iran are beautiful countries. It’s perfectly safe.”
My sister interceded,”I hope you have a wonderful time! We better get going we have a long day ahead of us.”
Before this infernal woman ever talked about the loveliness of the Islamic dictatorships in question, I disliked her. I don’t like that I sometimes dislike people without any evidence to dislike them–or no conscious evidence. Maybe it was her hauteur, her territorial set, her mouth turned in a curled snarl. I don’t know. But I do know that there are some people that I inexplicably like immediately and some I don’t and that it rarely feels rational and it rarely changes with more actual evidence.
I spent some time thinking about the exchange because it bothered me that I allowed this woman to affect my blood pressure. The foundation of my irritation was the woman’s determined moral equivalence. She clearly thought I was a close-minded rube while she was an open-minded woman of the world. She had been to these places and the countries weren’t evil. They were misunderstood. Not only that, but democracy is overrated. It’s so annoying how Westerners, Americans especially, think their way is a better way. Who are they to decide what’s better for other people?
And you know what I think? I think America and Western countries are objectively better, you moron. In Iran this week, guys were stoned to death for supposedly committing adultery. Iran is the country that hangs supposedly gay, underage men. Syria is the country clandestinely building nuclear bombs and then blaming Israel for “planting evidence.” Iran and Syria support and arm Hamas and Hezbollah whose explicit goal is to destroy Israel.
If there is a way that these regimes is misunderstood, it’s by the useful idiots who want to minimize the risk they present to the human ideals of liberty, self-determination and life. A Westerner may be safe in Cuba, Iran, Syria, Libya, China, Saudi Arabia or elsewhere in dictatorial states, but their own people aren’t. That would be a major difference between a smug secretary enjoying her five week vacation in thug states. She can go home when she wants, how she wants, with whom she wants and believe how she wants. The citizens in the backward nations of Syria and Iran have no such luxury. That she can’t see this demonstrates a callous disregard for her fellow man and contempt for her own freedom that has been bought and continues to be paid for with blood and treasure.
The moral equivalence crowd can move to and rot in these despotic regimes they so aggrandize. It would be better than destroying their own countries from within.
Cross-posted at RightWingNews