June 19, 2009

WTF "SUPREME LEADER"

Krauthammer on Iran:

Then, after treating this popular revolution as an inconvenience to the real business of Obama-Khamenei negotiations, the president speaks favorably of "some initial reaction from the Supreme Leader that indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns about the election."

Where to begin? "Supreme Leader"? Note the abject solicitousness with which the American president confers this honorific on a clerical dictator who, even as his minions attack demonstrators, offers to examine some returns in some electoral districts -- a farcical fix that will do nothing to alter the fraudulence of the election.

Moreover, this incipient revolution is no longer about the election. Obama totally misses the point. The election allowed the political space and provided the spark for the eruption of anti-regime fervor that has been simmering for years and awaiting its moment. But people aren't dying in the street because they want a recount of hanging chads in suburban Isfahan. They want to bring down the tyrannical, misogynist, corrupt theocracy that has imposed itself with the very baton-wielding goons that today attack the demonstrators.

This started out about election fraud. But like all revolutions, it has far outgrown its origins. What's at stake now is the very legitimacy of this regime -- and the future of the entire Middle East.

This revolution will end either as a Tiananmen (a hot Tiananmen with massive and bloody repression or a cold Tiananmen with a finer mix of brutality and co-optation) or as a true revolution that brings down the Islamic Republic.

The latter is improbable but, for the first time in 30 years, not impossible.

(via UpNorthMommy)

Posted by: Sarah at 04:09 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I never thought I'd be defending Obama - especially after my last comment! - but I don't see anything wrong with calling Khamenei the Supreme Leader. That is the common translation of his title, after all. If he had a different title and Obama described him as a "supreme leader", then I would be upset. But only a bit. Supreme Leader sounds evil to me and is a reminder of the sad state of Iran. It's not a term I'd use to indicate respect toward a head of state, though I imagine Obama's speechwriter was simply using the title without a second thought. What should Obama have said? "So-called Supreme Leader - snort"? If Bush-haters could force themselves to say "President Bush", I think opponents of "the tyrannical, misogynist, corrupt theocracy" can say "Supreme Leader". The rest of that line of Obama's about the SL's alleged understanding is so much worse than a title I would have used anyway.

Posted by: Amritas at June 20, 2009 09:25 PM (/IwHi)

2 I forgot to add this quote by Andrew McCarthy:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTgxNzYwZDM5NGQ3MzAyZDZmZmZiYWY1NTQ1YTFjMTA=

"But for a few nettlesome differences (like equality for women and hostility to homosexuals), the Islamic political program — especially the totalitarian version regnant in the Islamic Republic of Iran — is something the American Left would be very comfortable with. Obama understands this, and I think it is a better explanation for his solicitude toward Khamenei than any hope of reversing Iran's nuclear ambitions."

I'd like to see him expand on that point, as it's too easy to associate our enemies (the Iranian regime) with whatever angers us (Obama) even if there is no real connection.

Posted by: Amritas at June 20, 2009 09:56 PM (/IwHi)

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