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U.S. State Department Asked Twitter To Reschedule Down Time

Rally in Tehran, June 16, 2009

Rally in Tehran, June 16, 2009

Yesterday Twitter announced it would have 90 minutes of down time at 9:45 Pacific time while they did some site maintenance. Thousands of Twitterers begged for the site to be left up, since Twitter has become an important source of communication for Iranians who are trying to get news out to the world and to reach out to other people. At first Twitter said they couldn’t change the down time, but then in the evening they announced it would be rescheduled until this afternoon. Now it turns out that it was the State Department that prevailed upon Twitter to keep the lines of communication open during daytime hours in Iran.

From CNN Political Ticker:

U.S. officials say the Internet, and specifically social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, are providing the United States with critical information in the face of Iranian authorities banning western journalists from covering political rallies.

“There are lots of people here watching” at bureaus and offices across the State Department, one senior official said. “There are some interesting messages going up.”

Because the United States has no relations with Iran and does not have an embassy there, it is relying on media reports and the State Department’s Iran Watch Offices in embassies around the world. The largest such offices are in Dubai, Berlin and London, all home to large Iranian expatriate communities.

While officials would not say whether they were communicating with Iranians directly, one senior official noted that the United States is learning about certain people being picked up for questioning by authorities through posts on Twitter.

I’m not really sure how to feel about this. I certainly hope the State Department has other sources of information besides the ones available to the rest of us. Nevertheless, this news provides more reinforcement for the notion that has gone viral lately: that Twitter and Facebook, like blogs, have a valuable role to play in citizen journalism.

In other news, President Obama had more to say about Iran today. Once again, he expressed “deep concerns about the election,” but he

said any direct involvement by the United States would not be “productive, given the history of U.S.-Iranian relations.” He expressed optimism that the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had called for a review of the election, which on Monday resulted in the largest antigovernment demonstration since the 1979 revolution. Opposition protests continued Tuesday.

“I do believe that something has happened in Iran, where there is a questioning of the kinds of antagonistic postures toward the international community that have taken place in the past,” Mr. Obama said. “There are people who want to see greater openness and greater debate and want to see greater democracy.”

He added, “How that plays out over the next several days and several weeks – that is ultimately not something for the American people to decide.”

Interestingly, Ana Marie Cox reported on Twitter that Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was wearing a green tie at the press briefing today. On second thought, though, she thought it might not be a sign of sympathy for the protesters, “He just likes minty things.”

Robert Fisk has a new article up at The Independent that is well worth reading. Here’s just a taste:

It was Iran’s day of destiny and day of courage. A million of its people marched from Engelob Square to Azadi Square – from the Square of Revolution to the Square of Freedom – beneath the eyes of Tehran’s brutal riot police. The crowds were singing and shouting and laughing and abusing their “President” as “dust”.

Mirhossein Mousavi was among them, riding atop a car amid the exhaust smoke and heat, unsmiling, stunned, unaware that so epic a demonstration could blossom amid the hopelessness of Iran’s post-election bloodshed. He may have officially lost last Friday’s election, but yesterday was his electoral victory parade through the streets of his capital. It ended, inevitably, in gunfire and blood.

Not since the 1979 Iranian Revolution have massed protesters gathered in such numbers, or with such overwhelming popularity, through the boulevards of this torrid, despairing city. They jostled and pushed and crowded through narrow lanes to reach the main highway and then found riot police in steel helmets and batons lined on each side. The people ignored them all. And the cops, horribly outnumbered by these tens of thousands, smiled sheepishly and – to our astonishment – nodded their heads towards the men and women demanding freedom. Who would have believed the government had banned this march?

Again, and again, as I read about the events in Iran, I wonder what it will take for Americans to get out into the streets demanding the restoration of our Constitutional rights and the extension of those rights to all? Certainly it will take courage. Our government has restricted our abilities to protest, creating “free speech zones” to keep protesters from actually being visiable to those in power. Fisk praises the courage (born of desperation) of the Iranian protesters:

The protesters’ bravery was all the more staggering because many had already learned of the savage killing of five Iranians on the campus of Tehran University, done to death – according to students – by pistol-firing Basiji militiamen. When I reached the gates of the college yesterday morning, many students were weeping behind the iron fence of the campus, shouting “massacre” and throwing a black cloth across the mesh. That was when the riot police returned and charged into the university grounds once more.

We can use this thread to share the latest information on Iran from Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and mainstream media. One excellent mainstream source is the New York Times blog The Lede which is still providing very frequent updates on the Iranian situation.

NOTE: Source of photo of Tehran demonstration.

(BBC World Service)

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240 Responses

  1. I’m sure they have other sources, they’re probably just trying to prevent Iranians from losing a means of communication.

  2. This whole thing smells like manipulation to me. I can’t help but think there are opportunistic third party forces pushing buttons and manipulating facts.

    • I’ve had the same nagging feeling in my gut, Cinie.

      • Well we know how much a handful of college students with internet access can influence an election, don’t we, Joanelle?

        • Cinie, could you be more explicit about your suspicions of “third party manipulations?” This looks very different to me than the sort of thing we had here during the primaries and on into the general last year. For one, I doubt there’s an obot living who’d take the kinds of risks with their own preious hides that the Iranian students are taking. More than anything else, this looks to me like 1979 again, but with a different slant.

          • It seems like most of the protest is being driven by college students. The young lady I hard on CNN was very clear that she was part of an organized group. Makes me wonder how representative the protest is of average Iranians. How many citizens have internet access? Twitter accounts?

          • How do you know it is driven only by college students? I haven’t seen any breakdowns of demographics except that a very large number of the protesters are women who don’t want to live in a theocracy. They want more freedom. Whether they would have gotten it with Mousavi is another question.

            I did learn that a huge proportion of the Iranian population is under the age of 28. But then that would mean that young people are representative of the population as a whole.

          • BB, that’s pretty much how the news reports I’ve watched categorize the protesters, especially early on.

      • Me too.

        See Xenophon’s video “Keep Decoding” on Corrente, under Lambert’s thread titled “Iran meta-media critique.”

        Very illuminating.

        • Mark Ambinder’s story says that “everyone assumes Mousavi really won.” Is that true?

          I don’t assume that. I have no way of knowing what happened. Is that the reason people here suspicious? I guess I’ve just been thinking that other people were seeing the situation the way I do, which is just watching with interest to see what happens.

          • You’re only hearing the side of the college kids on Twitter.

            Juan Cole is not only “Iran expert” on the internet.

            There are many more who say people like Juan Cole engaged in wishful thinking. Even his own posters within the comments are posting facts that disagree with his assumptions.

            Ahmadinejad won the last election in 2005 by 61.69 %.
            62.6% this time is not unrealistic, given the fact that Mousavi crapped out in the debates, and never addressed the needs of the rural poor or the middle class. He appealed to the wealthy elite upper crust and the college kids.

            It’s QUITE possible that rural poor and middle class outvoted the elitists supporting Mousavi.

          • Mary,

            I haven’t had time to read much about Iran on Twitter for the past two days. Will you please stop telling me what I think and how I feel? I’m really getting tired of it. I understand that you have a strong point of view on the Iran situation and I respect that.

            I don’t have a strong point of view. I’m interested in it as a current event.

    • Yeah, I’ve been wondering about it myself. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’d kind of love for it to be true. But I’m reserving judgment.

      • For what to be true?

        • I would like very much for the country to be rising up and coming together to support a more moderate candidate. I’d like to see it as the beginning of democracy and human rights and an end to theocracy in Iran. But I don’t think there’s any way to know at this point whether the election was rigged and who won. If there is a push towards regime change, who is doing the pushing? How many times have foreign governments involved themselves in the elections of nations of interest and claimed to be doing the people’s will?

          Ideally, I want the people of Iran to have fair, democratic elections, and yes, being human, I want them to choose to value what I value: decency, equality, democracy. I just don’t know what’s going on beneath the surface. Inevitably something is.

          • But Mousavi is not more moderate.

            He wouldn’t have been approved by the mullahs to run for office at all , if he had been.

            And he slaughtered 30,000 “dissidents” when he was prime minister; not to mention being in office when they took our embassy.

            Even if Mousavi had one, the mullahs would still be in charge.

            He’s no moderate.

          • None of that is likely to happen with one of the other candidates. People are really frustrated and they had hopes that Mousavi might allow a little more freedom and less theocratic control, but beyond I don’t know what difference there would be. I think we’re seeing a lot of frustration and anger and we’ll have to wait and see where it goes.

          • Honestly I don’t have the FAINTEST clue what is going on or why. I don’t know what Mousavi really stands for. Most of the coverage I’ve read hasn’t really covered that. I just saw Mousavi referred to as more “moderate”. In general, I’m all for moderation.

            But I’m certainly not assuming that my best case scenario is anywhere near what’s actually happening. Which again, could be an Elk Stampede for all that I know.

          • Sandra,

            I’m with you!

    • It has from the moment it all started, actually. Playing golf while such an event was unfolding gave it a real sense of planned manipulation.

      • Was this what Biden meant by we would be surprised? DOING NOTHING?!?

        • Orrrr……..did Biden already know that we’ve had Special Forces inside Iran for over 2 years spreading around cash, providing communications equipment, and stirring up the resistance just FOR this election?

          We are QUITE capable of that, as a nation.

      • Well, it’s not like he’s ever actually cared enough to pretend to be involved in anything. “I don’t do the heavy lifting, if they need me, they’ll call!” 😉

        • Exactly. He’s the CEO. He plays golf and delegates all the work. When his minions figure out something for him to say they’ll put it on the teleprompter and have him read it.

    • Is there also a plan for Women’s Rights? Oh, and a plan for Voter’s Rights? 😆 SOD you are too funny! 😆 I actually thought maybe (0-0) with big eyes went to look!

    • Some of the twitters seemed very melodramatic

      “They are coming for us. Help us Obama! You’re our only hope”

      I don’t know what is really going on but I smell a rat.

      • I don’t understand what you mean. Could you explain in more detail? You’re suggesting that covert U.S. operators have whipped up this much passion in Iran? Millions of demonstrators at a time? I don’t doubt that the administration has ulterior motives for anything they do, but I don’t really understand specifically what you are suggesting.

      • I don’t know about that. I remember flying out of Crete in the military and around 17 November they weren’t too thrilled with us.

        Early in 1974 the students had an uprising against the prevailing Junta and thought that the Americans would come to their aid. We did not and thousand of students died.

        Nothing like riding to work the days before 17 November and seeing 17N in red paint on all the rocks along the route.


        • Yep, that has happened to Hungary and Iraq too. It makes me sad that these poor Iranian kids are calling on Obama to help them.

          • Yeah – we’re not popular with anyone in Iran

            They all hate us.

          • That isn’t true, though myiq. The people of Iran don’t hate us, especially young people. The government hates us, but not *everyone.*

          • bb, I fear they will hate us if we start meddling in Iranian affairs and hose it up. Chances are good we would do just that. We have a long track record of it.

          • It doesn’t make me sad, it makes me suspicious

      • Have you looked at the photos taken in the dorms at Tehran University? The doors were smashed in by the Lebanese security forces. I think I’d be feeling pretty melodramatic if that happened to me.

        I’ve only been in a two real riots–in Harvard Square back in ’69 and ’70, but I have to tell you I was very scared.

        • The violence is real.

          I’m not so sure about the authenticity of the information.

          I don’t know what is really going on but I can’t help feeling we aren’t getting “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

          • Oh. Well I’ve been positive all along that we aren’t getting the whole truth. How could we anyway? That’s why I’m not picking a side. I don’t have enough information.

            The only thing that makes me sympathetic to the protesters is the fact that there are so many women involved and that they feel so desperate at the idea of continuing the status quo. But I don’t know whether the change would have happened with Mousavi. I’m just watching with interest.

          • Many agree with you.

            The cops went to the university because the students were breaking windows and setting fires.

            And there are lots of pictures of the students throwing pipe bombs and eggs at the cops.

            BBC reporting that even in the riot in which the guy got shot, cops shot in the air FIRST, but the rioters wouldn’t back down. (They even have video proving it).

            Gut feelings , as in “something smells,” are often later proven true.

      • And, the chanting for “Obama”.

        All through the primaries I had an unsettling feeling that the escort service taking Obama to the dance was because he was the least likely candidate to put up any resistance to what was planned. Had Romney gotten the R nomination, perhaps they would have stayed on that side of the ballroom.

        That was the part of the world that produced the most dramatic political trolls for the blogosphere, too.

        Something’s just not right. I am thinking the protests are restricted to one very small part of Tehran. Imagine if riots broke out in Chicago and some big nose country came barreling in here to save the American people…this event will not tweak anything in me to support us expanding the invasion over there. Though, I do fear that is what they are hoping to do.

        • Well, that much I do know. There have been protests in other cities than Tehran. And I don’t know what “big nose country” is barreling in to help Iran. Certainly not the U.S. Our government hasn’t even said much.

          • But the article Inky posted said the former Pakistani military officer told them everyone in the region knows our CIA spent $400 million on minority parties in Iran to foment instability in Iran after the election.

            And George Bush authorized, before he left, Special Operations inside Iran , including cash and communications equipment.

            You think Iranians themselves didn’t know that, and possibly viewed us as the “big nose country” butting in again?

            They LIKE the way Ahmadinejad stands up to the United States.

          • I’m sure there is absolutely no reason a former Pakistani official would lie(rolling eyes).

          • “Everybody knows” = unreliable information

            Everybody knows Elvis killed Vince Foster too

    • I find it unsettling that the State Department is relying on Twitter and that they are getting involved in Twitter’s business decisions. It also makes it look like the U.S. government is taking sides when Obama claims they aren’t.

      • But it also keeps those channels open for any of our own people on the ground, as well as provides cover for them.

        • Very perceptive. Our people on the ground. YEP

          • According to you, our people on the ground set up communications equipment and have been providing it for 2 years(as well as money). Make up your mind will ya?

          • Allow me to clarify. “Our people” as in informants. Not necessarily $400 mil worth of CIA, Blackwater, whatever.

      • You think? I think it makes us look kind of good, actually. There may not be a whole lot we can do, but at least we can prevail on twitter to not take away one of the means of communication that is still available and harder to interfere with from inside Iran.

        • Don’t get me wrong. I’m glad they did it. But I had assumed that they must have other avenues for getting information. I thought that was why they weren’t saying anything publicly. Now it seems that our government is really clueless about what is happening too.

          • From my point of view, I’m not rooting for either side. I just find the events fascinating to watch. And of course I don’t like to see the government cracking down on people and killing and injuring people for demonstrating.

          • They might just be being cagey, though. It’s more neutral to say they are using twitter to monitor the situation than to say we want Iranians to be able to communicate since so far it’s mostly one side that’s trying to crack down on the flow of information.

          • I agree, but that’s why I think this makes it look like the Obama administration is rooting for the riots to continue.

      • I don’t see it as “taking sides” as much as willing to monitor the situation very carefully.

        I’d certainly want any and all means open to monitor the situation.

        For the record, I suspect that we don’t need twitter to monitor the situation. If we do indeed have people on the ground there(and I suspect we do) they have their own communications gear that is encrypted. (Which does not mean that I believe we had anything to do with the election results or the ensuing protests).

      • Actually, Twitter starting getting beaucoup calls from regular people not to shut down. The final nail might have been State, but there was there was a movement from Twitter itself.

        • Definitely. I think I said that in my post.

        • Lotta American Iranians had family over there and asked Twitter to keep it open so they could check on family members, is what I had read in Juan Cole’s comments.

      • I doubt the State Dept. is limited to twitter. I find it far more likely we prefer the perception remain that the world is watching what is going on. Keeping twitter online helps maintain that perception.

    • There are a lot of media people in Iran, you know. The problem is that they have been ordered not to report and had their cameras and other equipment confiscated. I don’t know if you have been reading Robert Fiske’s articles (one linked in the post), but he is a very reputable and knowledgable writer.

    • Thanks, I tweeted it! Everyone should.

    • I thought I was alone. There is really no way of knowing exactly who is behind it all.

      Ignoring his past of killing political opponents in the 80s, Mousavi (now) is less conservative than Ahmedinejad(sp). It is his wife that has been the focus. She is the one who was talking about women’s rights and equality.

      • Mousavi pushed his wife out front, after the accusations that Mousavi’s own previous corruption and his association with Rafsanjani’s sons were discussed in the debates.

        Rafsanjani and his sons are “widely perceived in Iranian society as corrupt figures,” especially with connections in the “upper classes” and cronyism.

        One can see how the rural poor and middle class , who have benefitted from Ahmadinejad’s policies , would not want a return of Rafsanjani’s cronies.

        Mousavi and his wife began talking women’s rights right after his own associations and corruption came into the public discussion.

        In other words, he changed the subject.

        As president, he couldn’t have changed women’s rights without the approval of the mullahs, anyway.

    • Mebbe. But you have to remember that news orgs like the BBC have been banned from reporting. Twitter was a source of pretty convincing pics and videos, apparently first hand accounts.
      I’m going to err on the side of good intentions wrt state department and twitter interactions

    • I love it!

  3. We have some stories claiming that Ahmadinejad “definitely” cheated, and other stories saying he didn’t.

    There are obviously protests and rioting, but there is a lot we don’t know.

    • That’s quite an understatement. As far as I can tell, we know almost nothing about what really happened. We’ll have to wait and see. If Amadinejad has staged a slow-moving coup, as some experts like Juan Cole and Gary Sick are arguing, then things have to be really chaotic over there. And that is what it sounds like. The government wasn’t prepared for the size or passion of the demonstrations and they are confused about how to handle it. I linked an article about that in the morning post.

      • It wouldn’t surprise me if someone tried to manipulate the situation and lost control.

        People are unpredictable – there are hard-headed PUMA types everywhere

        • True. But are you saying that it is the U.S. that is manipulating the situation?

          • I would bet on several different parties trying to manipulate things.

          • It’s certainly not beyond the realm of possibility that the CIA has been manipulating the situation, as >a href=”http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts06162009.html>Paul Craig Roberts suggests. But that doesn’t negate the passion of the Mousavi supporters, who I have no doubt are fully convinced that their votes were stolen and are showing incredible bravery in taking to the streets. I still don’t think that the rallies in themselves are prima facie evidence that election rigging did in fact take place. I do find the reading the comments sections to Juan Cole’s analysis of the situation offers some balance to the picture painted by Cole, Twitter, the msm, etc.

          • I screwed up the Paul Craig Roberts>Link.

            I’m glad you are following this so closely, BB. I just worry, as you do as well, that the present chaos may be used as a pretext for those who wish to spread conflict in that region.

          • I give up–apparently, I can’t tag anything today. Here’s the URL.


          • That’s my big fear, Inky–that this could be used to start another war–how they would staff it or pay for it, I don’t know. I guess it would be mercenaries. But that’s my main fear.

          • Excellent article and link, Inky.

            Former Pakistan military chief’s quote says everyone in the region —and their own intelligence—proves the CIA has spent $400 million to prop up a resistance group after the elections to destabilize Iran.

            We did the same kinda thing in Georgia and Ukraine, and Americans never knew it.

            Thanks again.

        • Moussavi and his reform movement partners are being very smart about this. Their enemy is time. Khameini is trying to get the reformers to hiccup by teling them they will review the votes. But this would only make voters back off. Instead, Moussavi is planning more protests. Since Khameini blinked, the protestors can see they are having an effect. They need more attention and more time. It’s getting intense over there. Immovable objects are meeting irresistable force. Something’s gotta give. As long as Moussavi can keep up the pressure without interruption, he has a shot.
          And without the international press covering it, it is essential that Twitter stays awake.

      • Again, from the little I know, Ahmadinejad was always favored to win. Even in the days leading up to the election, pundits, in fact, one guy in particular on CNN, was saying that the “groundswell” building for Mousavi, primarily due to his wife, might force a runoff, not a victory.

        • Yes, I always assumed he would win, and he did. So what is your point?

          I’m just trying to understand exactly what you guys are getting at. For me this is an interesting event, and I don’t feel I have any dog in the fight.

          My biggest concern about Iran is that I don’t want Israel or the U.S. to start a war with them. I don’t think this situation is going to cause that to happen, but I could be wrong. Is that what you are worried about?

          • BB, if Ahmadinejad was predicted to win, and he won, what’s with all the protest? Why would Obama’s speech in Cairo be a catalyst for “change” unless it was part of a “script” of sorts? Our guys have been known to try to “manipulate” events to their liking in that region before.

          • There’d still be plenty of reasons to protest whether or not the election was fair, just on what’s going on in the country and Ahmadinejah’s record. I’m not saying you’re wrong or it’s impossible but there are a lot of possibilities, like even if the results are legit, the students in the large cities are insulated from feeling the support in the rural areas and so are convinced it can’t be true, etc.

          • Obama was predicted to win the 2008 election and he did, so why did we protest? I don’t know the answer, but from what I’ve read the main complaint is that Amadinejad is supportive of theocratic rule. If he has in fact staged a coup against the Ayatollas, then things could get even worse for the Iranian people. I think that’s what many of them fear.

          • Our “guys” aren’t the only players prone to manipulate. The Shah was actually the Brits idea. We just helped things along like good little allies.

          • Cinie, Cinie, Cinie. We all know Obama’s speeches are like Bush’s speeches. They’re formulaic. All that hope and change shit doesn’t mean anything. It’s a time honored propaganda riff. Sort of like, “They hate us for our freedom.”
            I don’t think Obama had anything to do with what’s going on in Iran. The last decade or so shows the Iranian people getting restless and the Mullahs cracking down in return.
            Of course, that won’t stop Obama for taking the credit if there’s a regime change. He was the second coming of MLK Jr. Now, he’ll just be the reincarnation of Attaturk or Gandhi. Whatever works.
            And we’ll be here to pop little holes in his balloon.
            That’s not to say that the State Department might not have been helping protestors get the word out or that they may be directing them to secure proxy servers. But then, Hillary is running the State Department.

        • Not true. Polls in Iran are unreliable because many people don’t wantcto committ on the phone. They live in an authoritarian state.
          Go check out Juan Cole on this. The vote was highly irregular. He makes a convincing case.
          Besides, those crowds aren’t fake. This is the real thing. They made Khameini blink. He’s in a bit of a quandary. With Twitter, the whole world is watching.
          Besides, even Iran can’t live without the Internet for much longer. The longer he has the services down, the more economic hardship he is imposing on his country. If he attacks the protestors, the minute he turns everything back on, the secretly recorded footage will be all over the place, triggering a new round of protests.
          I think he’s fucked but i’ve been wrong before.

          • Thanks, RD. That’s really my point–that the demonstrations and the feelings behind them are real. I don’t have a dog in the fight other than I’m inspired by the real expression of emotion and desire for freedom.

          • I really don’t mean to rain on anybody’s parade, but, riots and protests are pretty easy to start, and tend to avalanche. People who are pissed about anything will often join a handy protest. That happened a lot in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m not taking Ahmadinejad’s side, but his point about soccer/sports riots makes sense. We’ve often seen those break out and escalate just because one side lost. Or won. Fair doesn’t always matter.

          • Cinie, you have a short memory. Don’t you remember what happened in the Ukraine with the Orange Revolution? We have almost the same scenario here. Not only that but the opposition candidate was poisoned with dioxin. He and his orange supporters held out for days. It can happen.
            Then there was the Berlin Wall in 1989. Remember? Who among us thought that would happen in our lifetimes? And then there was the siege of the Kremlin and Boris Yeltsin.
            I think it is Ahmadinejad who isn’t being realistic here. He and Khameini thought they could pull a fast one. But I think the reign of the Ayatollahs is coming to an end in Iran, as it is bound to do in any repressive society. There comes a point where people say enough is enough.

          • RD, isn’t Mousavi just as bad ad Ahmadinejad? What changes if he wins? For who? Just how moderate is he, and don’t the same decision makers stay in place? That’s what I can’t get my head around.

          • Cinie, I have heard different things about Moussavi. I have heard that as politicians in Iran go, he’s conservative but also honest and competent. I have heard that he was out of power for 20 years, apparently voluntarily. I have heard that he didn’t always get along with Khameini. I have heard that he was recruited by the reform coalition because they couldn’t get one of their own on the ballot.
            And what I see is a guy who looks like he knows what he’s doing. He is not taking on Ahmadinejad, who is only the face of the government. he is taking on Khameini, who is the real head of the country. He also seems to be questioning Khameini’s theocratic credentials. I think this whole thing has been very well executed. Here you have what they thought was an unbeatable foe and he’s being checked.
            Maybe he would be as bad in the end. But the fact that he is actually taking on the religious power structure suggests to me that he would also be quite different in some respects. In any case, if he wins, Iran will be a whole new ballgame.

          • Here’s the thing, RD. If Obama had lost the primaries or the general, fair and square, it would have been a piece of cake to incite millions of Americans to riot. They were hungry for change, too. You all may be right, but I remain skeptical. Everything you are all saying may well be true, and the Iranian people could still be being goaded, manipulated and exploited.

          • Cinie, sometimes a cigar really is a cigar. Whatever the motives and strategy, you can only draw your conclusions on observables that can’t be faked.
            The country is virtually cut off from the rest of the world and reporters are under house arrest to keep them from reporting what’s going on. You have Khameini rushing to validate new voting numbers after the opposition candidate was told he won. Forget about all of the pictures and stories and twitter and Obama for a moment. Before there were any riots or protests, Khameini validated election results 3 days before he was supposed to. Then, the voters took to the street. This has happened before in other countries.

    • See Politico article titled “Ahmadinejad won. Get over it.”

      Lots of factual info about the numbers and why they may be true, because Mousavi was lousy in the debates, and because international “Iran experts” hoping to topple Ahmadinejad engaged in wishful thinking.

      Ahmadinejad won the last presidential election with 61.69 % of the vote. Not much different than 62.6% now.

      • There’s a lot not to love in that article. I would take it with a shovel full of salt. Politico leans right. Never forget that. And the last thing the neocons want is an Iran that starts to return to modernity by throwing out the Mullahs. It means they *might* eventually have to leave the oilfields.

        • Be sure when you’re reading Juan Cole that you also read his commenters.

          Many of them are quite informed on Iran, and calling him on his own exaggerations.

          I’ve learned much from Juan Cole’s comments, and how he leaves out facts that don’t support his assumptions.

          • How do you know how well informed they are? Are you Iranian. I’ll ask you again what I asked yesterday and you refused to answer: What are your credentials as an expert on Iranian politics? I can’t even get you to post links.

          • Nevertheless, he is not the only one who came to those conclusions based on the evidence he was presented with. In fact, I don’t know how you can reach any other except that there was something highly irregular about the election.
            You are also forgetting that Khatami was elected twice by landslides compared to Ahmadinejad. Khatami was a flaming liberal compared to Ahmadinejad and Moussavi but he ran up against term limits. After Khatami, the Supreme Council wouldn’t let anyone like him run again. Iranians really want a more moderate president but they have to challenge the Supreme Council or they’re never going to get one who has any teeth. That is what is happening in Iran right now. This is not really about Ahmadinejad. It’s about Khameini. HE’S the one under the gun.

    • This is Middle East/Central Asian politics.

      I would be shocked to find out that there was a party in the elections that didn’t cheat. Right now it looks as though Ahmadinajad may have cheated more effectively.

  4. every speech obama himself has made about iran
    has always specified by barak himself, “especially the young iranians” when’s the last time you heard about the state department telling a place like twitter not to do maintenance, you better wake up people if you think
    this isnt something to watch, and by the way, what the freaking hell is amadeanjacket LOLOLOL doing in russia as this is going on, are deaf, dumb, and blind, i think obama has exactly who he wants int he winning seat…he’s been wanting to talk to him for 2 freaking years hasnt he…there has to be something goin on we can not see

    • Ahmadinejad was invited to the BRIC conference in Russia, along with the leaders of Afghanistan, Iran, India, Pakisan, Brazil, and China, to discuss changing the dollar being the only reserve currency in the world.

      America asked to attend, but was turned down.

    • Well I have thought Obama was happy with Amadinejad winning too. And he did win. But now it seems like Obama is semi-supporting the protesters. So I have no idea what is going on with him.

      As for Amadinejad going to Russia, why is that surprising? Russia is one of Iran’s closest allies.

      • Does Iran have regularly scheduled elections, or do they have them as needed, like in Canada?

      • He went to Russia because he was invited to the BRIC conference, bb.

        America wasn’t invited.

      • Obama in my opinion is famous for taking no position or both positions. This is the one area I prefer his position of taking a non position. I believe we have interfered too often in regional affairs. Often to our own detriment later on down the line. I’d like it to be that the Iranian people actually get to decide their own destiny rather than us just stepping in and carte blanche deciding for them because it is in our best interest at this juncture to do so(nevermind that later on it may bite us in the backside).

  5. I just wish you would be specific. What would the motive be? To get the U.S. to attack Iran and cause WWIII? I don’t get what you think is being manipulated and by whom.

    • American sympathies toward the Muslim world?

    • BB, I think it’s probably more of a muscle flexing attempt, i.e., prove this administration can influence, even dictate events. Because it seems to me, the leadership is pretty much interchangeable, so, the goal would be to empower the citizenship directly. Then, the outreach to the “Muslim World” starts to make a little more sense.

      • And to de-stabilize Ahmadinejad before direct talks, placing him in a weakened position.

        All it would really do, if Iranians know more about outside involvement than Americans are being told, is to solidify Ahmadinejad’s support.

        Iranians are VERY nationalistic. They don’t like outside interference at all.

      • Interesting.

    • I think Obama wants the US to go back to playing welcomed global policeman. How many countries does the US have permanent military bases in? Is Iran one of them?

      If we look back to the Iran Counter-Proliferation Act of 2007, we’ll see that Obama believes that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are terrorists. They’re also a founding member of OPEC. So, there are lots of tasty foreign policy treats over there.

      • The US doesn’t have bases in Iran. We are complete shut out of Iran except for covert activities. And the Revolutionary Guard (which Amadinejad was a member of BTW) are terrorists. Amadinejad is was also involved in covert actions. In fact there are big parts of his life when no one knows what he was doing. Maybe he’s a CIA asset, who knows?

        • Not me. But considering how much the US military likes to be extended into every country in the world, I don’t think it’s unthinkable to suggest that they might want to have a presence in Iran.

          As I’ve said, I don’t know the first damn thing about what’s going on. I hope to find out at some point.

        • I’m sure they do. The U.S. has been interfering in Iran for decades. The U.S. was most likely responsible for the return of the Ayatolla Khomeini. Of course when the CIA does these things they almost always backfire on us.

        • Sure they do. He was a college student, all the way to earning a PHD in civil engineering.

          And working to support a young family.

          And mayor of Tehran.

          But he NEVER authorized 30,000 “dissidents” to be slaughtered , and he never associated with Rafsanjani and his corrupt rich cronies, like Mousavi did. He NEVER allowed himself to be an American puppet, because he knew his country’s history, and remembered those “dissidents” Mousavi was part of slaughtering.

          Maybe 62.6% of Iranians knew that.

        • Our own country is involved in covert activities. The Brits are involved in covert activities. The Israelis carry out covert activities. I’d be hard pressed to point out a nation that DOES put all its cartds on the table. Do you consider our Special Forces terrorist? If you don’t then its pretty much hypocrisy to call out the IRG for protecting the Iranians interests, covert or otherwise.


  6. Sorry this is OT but I just read the last post on the public option and this really pisses me off. Asshat Obama is using Healthcare reform to raise money for OFA. Evidently he can’t get publicity for free.


    • What a fun letter to read. Obama should have been a comedian. He is funny.

      Folks like you assembled a grassroots movement that shocked the political establishment and changed the course of our nation. When Washington insiders counted us out, we put it all on the line and changed our democracy from the bottom up. But that’s not why we did it.

      The pundits told us it was impossible — that the donations working people could afford and the hours volunteers could give would never loosen the vise grip of big money and powerful special interests. We proved them wrong. But as important as that was, that’s not why we did it.

      Why does he need this money? What did he use the millions left from his campaign?

      • You forgot to highlight the funniest part, “when Washington insiders counted us out.”

        • hahahahahahahahahaha!

        • He is funny. How do they think of this stuff? Those Washington Insiders are evil. They probably forced him to hire some of them. Evil insiders!

        • He meant, “Washington insiders refused to count votes that weren’t cast for me.”

        • LOL!

          and how about

          ” The pundits told us it was impossible”

          as their legs tingled and their eyes rolled back in Barry love

  7. When Obama was asked if the press was too favorable, and thus not holding him accountable he said he had ONE news organization, that has a pretty big megaphone. 😯 ONE, just ONE! And he is complaining!

    • Maybe I heard him wrong, but I thought he dodged the question about favorable press, by pointing out that Fox doesn’t like them and has a big megaphone….? In other words, instead of acknowledging that most media does nothing but praise him, he changed the focus to the one station which looks at him critically.

  8. Well, could it be they found some fuel for Obama’s “vision” of Muslims and American’s finding common ground?

    This so-called revolution within the status-quo has pulled at several of my heart strings.

    That’s the real problem American’s now face with having elected this big-time propagandist.

    He’s in all of the scripts, selecting the props, playing a lead in all of the performances and orchestrating mandatory attendance – paid for by the American taxpayers, of course.

  9. Kudos to Hillary Clinton( and Barack Obama ) for the decision.

    • Kudos to Hillary; I agree. Many American Iranian families had no other way than Twitter to talk to their families still in Iran.

  10. In other news, Jimmy Carter is calling for Hamas to be removed from the international terror list.


  11. Except, bb, the only Iranians who are protesting are Mousavi supporters.

    The 62.6% of Iranians who supported Ahmadinejad aren’t protesting. I suspect they’re staying home because the Mousavi supporters are burning cars and buses, breaking windows, and throwing eggs at cops.

    Why aren’t the 62.6% being interviewed for the rest of the world to hear?

    • I don’t know that Ahmadinejad suppporters aren’t being interviewed. Right now foreign media are confined to their hotel rooms. I’m not sure why you are asking me though. You seem to know quite a bit about the situation, and I don’t claim to know anything at all other than what I have read in the past few days.

      • Did you hear any Ahmadinejad supporters being interviewed before the press was confined to their hotel rooms, or while the press was showing us all the bloody pictures?

        I don’t know quite a bit, bb. I just try to find and read BOTH sides, to be sure I’m not being misled. I didn’t restrict myself to the Moussavi kids on Twitter, but I did have a suspicious instinct just like many of the posters on this thread. Opposing “Iranian experts” are out there, if you just look for them.

        And frankly, the Washington Post article describing their own polling was quite a brave effort , in my opinion. Hope they didn’t fired for it.

        Even in Juan Cole’s comments, there are many people posting opposing facts that give readers a bigger picture than just one side.

        It’s hard for me to believe that we saw lots of pictures and comments (live TV) from Mousavi’s supporters, but our MSM couldn’t find a single Ahmadinejad supporter to give the other side.

        Doesn’t that make you just a little suspicious?

        • I don’t watch TV, Mary.

        • I know that Juan Cole is one of the best authorities we have on that part of the world.

          What gives his commenters superior knowledge?

          Who are they and what are their credentials?

        • Mary, I have seen an awful lot of pics on the NYTimes and other places of Ahmadinejad supporters. Compared to the exuberant Moussavi and Karoubi people, the Ahmadinejad supporters look like they have a stick up their asses.
          Ahmadinejad is not as popular as you think. There is a lot of inflation and economic hardship in Iran right now and he’s getting the blame for it. People can put up with a lot of authoritarian shit but when they can’t afford to feed their families, that’s where the hijab hits the road.
          Pay attention to the few facts that are indisputable and can’t be “faked” by either side. That is where the truth lies.
          1.) Moussavi was told he won on Friday but this was quickly rescinded.
          2.) Khameini approved a new vote count 3 days before it was customary.
          3.) The Supreme Council has shut down the communications netowrk inside Iran.
          4.) The Supreme Council has banned foreign reporters from covering the protests.
          5.) Khameini has started to make concessions as a play for time and to get the protestors to back down.
          No matter how many times you visit Twitter, you can’t deny these things. It all points to one thing: The country of Iran is mad as hell over this election. THAT means, Ahmadinejad is not as popular as you keep insisting he is. Not only that, but it looks to me like the Iranians are fed up with the fricking Mullahs too.
          Now, stick to these facts and don’t try to make one candidate more appealing than the other. Iranians don’t have much of a choice in their politicians. Well, we don’t either these days, but they have even less.
          The truth is, Iran is in turmoil and there is something big going on there that doesn’t comport with the re-election of a wildly popular president.

          We don’t want to put you in moderation but your persistence is getting on everyone’s nerves. Back off.

          • If Ahmadinejad is so fricking popular, where did all the protestors come from?

          • Ahmadinejad won the 2005 presidential election with 61.69% of the vote.

            He won this one with 62.6% of the vote.

            Not much difference, especially since Moussavi appealed to the wealthy elite and ignored the rural poor and the middle class.

            Put me in moderation? For what?

            I thought you appreciated information and differing opinions on Confluence.

          • We also disapprove of someone distributing talking points.

            You seem determined to prove one particular point of view and you keep repeating it over and over and over and over.

            We understand, you like Ahmadinejad and think he won, and that all these people protesting are dupes or fakes.

            Give it a rest and give someone else a chance to talk.

          • Because you seem to be resistant to the very real possibility that the vote was rigged. You seem to be disregarding the facts that are before your eyes. You are dismissing the fact that these people are risking their lives over this. Even if what you say is true, the fact that the country is virtually incommunicado and at a standstill does not support your conclusion that Ahmadinejad won re-election by these margins. Instead, these facts point to the conclusions reached by Juan Cole and others.
            In short, you’re not dealing with reality. We’re into examining the evidence here at The Confluence. All you are doing is quoting some stories from WaPo and Politico, which we have found to be publications that support the conservative point of view.
            What will get you moderated is not sticking to what you can see and determine without a media filter.

        • Well, if you believe Mary, they were all digitally enhanced with cgi graphics. There weren’t really that many of them.
          Oh, and no one got killed yesterday either.
          And Ahmadinejad is really a big pussy cat that everyone wants to have a beer with, if they could *drink* beer in Iran.

    • Okay, with eggs involved, we know we’re in trouble. Do those highly explosive grenades qualify as WMDs?

      • Not just eggs. Flaming homemade pipe bombs.

        Would those qualify?

        • I know, Mary…just making a lite joke. I’m absolutely enjoying everything you are sharing. You’ve done more exploring and reasoning than most who are talking about this and your input is really valuable.

          • Ok, sorry. And thank you for your compliment.

            I just happen to be old enough (29 and holding?) to remember a LOT of countries our CIA has screwed around with, and Ben Bradlee admitted years ago that many in the press are secretly CIA. Buckley admitted it, too, before he died.

            There’s just too many questionables here that fit into the same ole pattern.

            I thought I was the only one seeing through it.

            Glad to find some other doubters on the board.

          • I’d take alot of what is being shared with a grain of salt. There is alot of conjecture going on and I’m not sure anyt of it is being supported by more than opinion(myself included).

          • Good talking to ya, meee2. And Cinie, also.

            I’ve been threatened with being put in moderation if I don’t lighten up.

            Time to say goodnight , I guess.

            Thanks again. Good job. And Cinie, too.

    • Mary, I don’t know where you’re getting your info but it isn’t true that Moussavi supporters are the only ones protesting. There was another reform candidate names Karoubi. Last time he ran, he got 15% of the vote. This time, it was something like less than 5% in places that he carried before. I think he’s from Luristan and he LOST that province.
      Again, there have been better middle east analysts than me trying to get a grip on this and the conclusion they come to is that the votes were rejiggered so that Ahmadinejad wouldn’t have to face a run off election. Not only that but Moussavi’s campaign was informed on Friday that he had won. He was informed by the campaign officials themselves. Then, a new vote tally suddenly emerged, with all the weird tallies that eliminated the chances of a runoff election and Khameini hurriedly put his stamp of approval on it. That’s unusual because he wasn’t supposed to certify the election until three days were up. That would have made it Monday before he blessed the results. So, why the rush?
      It sort of reminds me of how Nancy Pelosi banged the gavel down in Denver when she asked if there were any opposed to the rigged floor vote for Obama. She didn’t give anyone a chance to protest. I guess you’re going to tell me that that was all on the up and up too.

      • Yeah, it does kind of have the feeling to it.

        • In fact a little while ago CNN said that the they would have had to count millions of votes by hand in just 24 hours to get the results as quickly as they did. The result was announced shortly after voting ended and the percentages never changed after that even though different sections of the country were being counted. That’s a little wierd.

          • Except, the instant the polls close across our country, the media is calling the winner. Seems we’re miracle workers in getting votes counted, too.

            I think I’m still very cynical about our own fraudulent activities at the polls and the RBC and caucuses to have a completely open, trusting mind that what we are seeing in Iran is all there is.

  12. Somebody asked in this thread how many Iranians have access to the internet and Twitter.

    Article linked in the thread says only about a third of Iranians have access.

    But the very wealthy and the college campuses are heavily wired for same (thus, Mousavi’s supporters).

    That might explain why we’re only hearing from Mousavi’s team, and why the other half of Iranians are not being heard.

    • I’m surpised to hear that as many as a third of Iranians have internet access. But of course right now very few have access to any kind of communications–even telephones.

      • That’s true.

        And anybody rural or poor or middle class certainly wouldn’t have access to Twitter.

        • That’s blanket statement, how can you say that. I can certainly believe that it would be difficult for the poor and rural to have the internet but how about the middle class? What do you base them not having internet on?

          • Based on the article posted at the beginning of this conversation. Info comes from there.

  13. Can someone pull me out of moderation por favor?

  14. Has everyone seen the protests taking place worldwide? It’s not just in Iran.

    • Hi Regency,

      This has turned into a pretty negative thread–not what I expected. I still see the energy being shown by millions of people in Iran as inspiring and I wish we would see that kind of passion here.

      • I would not have even entered this thread, bb, except that several OTHER posters were suspecting outside manipulation, and explaining why. And several posted interesting articles supporting those doubts, to which I responded. That’s not “negative;” it’s just supplemental information.

        In particular, I thought I should support myiq’s concern that something didn’t smell right, with which SEVERAL posters agreed.

        Due respect.

        • Whoa!

          Don’t invoke my name in support of your arguments.

          I don’t know what the hell is going on over there.

          I was talking about the mixed messages WE are getting, but there is obviously a genuine popular uprising.

        • I didn’t name any names in that comment, Mary. Do you have a guilty conscience or something? It was something I wanted to say to Regency period.

      • It is definitely moving. I mean, I think there has to be something to it if people are willing to die for an election that’s already happened. Think about, remember Indiana or any number of states that just didn’t feel right either in the primary or in the General. The numbers were there on the television but your gut was telling you that the entire thing had been gamed to the nines. I can understand wanting to do something, anything just so the world could understand the intensity of that sensation. I don’t think the people who are in the streets fighting can all be swept aside as pawns in a game of manipulation. I think some of them think this is their last chance to change their country’s course. I know that feeling; a year ago, it kept me up all night.

        I think we have the passion here, but I don’t think we have the drive.

        • I know. That’s what bothers me so much. And it’s not just the election fraud stretching back to 2000. It’s the way Americans have rolled over and allowed their liberties to be taken away.

          • We’re basically doing a log roll at this point. Before we know it, t hey they’ll have our civil liberties and the clothes off our backs. The emperor won’t be naked then, but we will be.

          • Agreed. I honestly expected riots in the streets back in 2000, and I was baffled when it never happened.

        • What do you mean “we”? I was in Denver. I marched with thousands of Hillary supporters. I was at PUMA HQ where people came from all over the country.
          The problem was that it was DENVER. It was smack dab in the middle of nowhere and a mile up. And gas was $4.00/gallon last year. Massive protests there would have been impossible.

          • That, and the gated parking lots being setup as holding cells for anyone who dared do any real protesting.

      • bb – I just went quickly through your OP and entire thread.

        We are a bunch skeptics aren’t we? But then look at what happened to us last year that could have made us so.

        • Yes, and I’m a skeptic too. Most of us are willing to admit that we don’t really know for sure what happened, but Mary is very very sure. Unfortunately she never provides links so we can read her sources too. I kept asking her to do it yesterday, but then she got mad and left.

          But she’s back again today spouting all this information with no proof and on top of that claiming to be able to read minds.

  15. bostom – have you seen this?

    http://www.chartingstocks.net/2009/06/proof-israeli-eff… /

    Hope this was not previously noted – I don’t have time to read through all of the thread.

  16. I guess McCaskill is bored with the “new kinda politics” …

    Anonym URL

  17. Several reports have estimate the number of demonstraters at 1million or more in Tehran alone….The one giant demonstration in Tehran stretched for five miles……There are no where near 1Mil college students in Tehran….Look thru the pics on flicker & elsewhere..There are lots of older folks & women…Many police have reportedly fraternized with the demonstrators..So today they were sent out with batons but EMPTY holsters..The Gov doesn’t trust them…..Some of the Basij, (Militia Thugs) who’ve been beating & killing demonstrators have been heard speaking Arabic…Word is that they are imported Lebanese Hezbollah thugs…..And as for the election being fair: They anounced the results less then 2 hours after the polls closed after HAND counting 30 million votes…

    • Y’know, I keep going back to these pictures because they show large gatherings of both parties. I see this and I have a hard time believing that the race came out this way. I, of course, don’t know, but I think if there is so much distrust in the outcome, they should just do it again.

      Mousavi supporters gathering.

      Ahmadinejad supporters gathering.

      • So, long as they don’t march them into one another… Getting to be like the battle of the protesting marching band, but the first lot of protesters have women participating in it, where the current guys don’t. Hemm…but I did read somewhere that they said the ‘REAL’ reformers weren’t even allowed onto the ballot! 😯

  18. Ahmadinejad won the 2005 presidential election with 61.69% of the vote.

    He won this one with 62.6% of the vote.

    During the days of the USSR the communists routinely won election after election by wide margins.

    Then a little freedom slipped in and the people threw the communists out.

    • Oo! Oo! And Obama won 100% of NJ’s delegates at last year’s convention even though he lost the primary by 10%! And he won MI delegates when he wasn’t even on the ballot!
      Isn’t that swell? I would say it stinks to high heaven but the Obots keep telling me that it was all cool and groovy and there wasn’t anything funny going on.
      What do I know, what with my lying eyes and everything.

  19. I look at it this way, it’s all conjecture on our part anyway and for me, I’m just suspicious of any message or image. I’m no longer impressed by crowds and “supporters” of anyone.

    It doesn’t hurt me to be suspicious.

    But that’s just me.

  20. This IS Great…A demonstrator posting on facebook about todays march……..http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/7487.html#more-7487

    • Obama always did copy everything Hillary did–in the debates, her policies, everything except the brains and competence.

    • Why, yes, Regency. I believe she did last month. She said it was the right thing to do.
      Of course, we all know she’s a filthy, corporatist liar who will say anything to win, even when the election is already over.

      • Yeah, I thought so. And didn’t someone immediately say she didn’t have the right to do that? Well, as long as he’s allowed.

        I don’t get why he can do this but he can’t okay gay marriage.

        • But he doesn’t approve of gay marriage. You know “God isn’t in the mix” or some crazy bullshit like that.

          • “Bullshit” being the operative word. He can’t just have God at his inauguration, then pretend he doesn’t live in the White House. Dude is full of it.

        • I suspect that it all comes down to money. If you allow gay couples to file like they’re married, there goes a shitload of tax revenue from two previously single people. And don’t even go there with the inheritance taxes.
          And if gay couples can get a tax break, it won’t be long before single, divorced moms like myself start yammering for the same bennies as their stay at home neighbors.
          Obama needs the money. That’s what it all comes down to.

          • The DOMA brief even mentioned the fiscal ramifications.

            BTW – With Obama’s executive benefit extension I feel certain that the health insurance premiums paid by the goverment will be 1099ed to the working partner as income.

          • I have never thought of it that way before, but you are probably right! Damn! Well that, and Obie likes Mullahs, just like Republicans 😛

  21. It would seem we don’t really know what happened with the election in Iran. Though obviously everyone believes the other guy cheated, and they may have.

    If you believe some polls close to the election, Ahmadinnerjacket probably would have won the election. It could well be that his “friends” in the Interior Ministry gave him an unneeded push over the top. If so, that push is the problem.

    All we can do NOW is watch and wish them all well. Peace.

  22. Glenn Greenwald twitted this (and I’m still laughing)

    If McCaIn were President, he would’ve ordered the White House painted green by now.

    • DK, you mind if I share that with folks? That is hilarious.

    • Too funny. But I think the republicans were actually pro-Mullah. They need an enemy in Iran.

      • haha, RD I’ve never met a republican in my life who was pro-mullah. And 75% of the people I know are republicans.

        Iran does make a nice enemy though but, for most, it could just as easily be Canada or New Jersey. They’re equal opportunity attackers. 🙂

        • They only attack Canada for our socialist tendencies now. Just wait until resources get a little more scarce. What 49th parallel?

  23. What’s even better is that Sarah Palin did this like last year. So it was the Republican, the Democrat, then the DINO.

  24. Back on the state department issue. There’s nothing like real time information from people on the inside. So anything is helpful and useful. I’m sure given the lack of certainty about who is really saying what and what is really believable, they’re really not counting that is real useful intel compared to other sources they have. But I think a big part of what they wanted was just for open communication between Iran and the rest of the world because if you didn’t notice, that has been a really positive thing for both sides. That’s my suspicion anyway.

    • I agree. I do think it has given a lot of Americans food for thought, don’t you?

      • Absolutely. It made people realize, that didn’t already know, that Iranians are just like anybody and want some reasonable freedoms and some control over their destiny. And when their election is corrupted and their votes aren’t counted, they get ticked off.

        I assume the Obots will soon be telling them to get over it already.

        • Actually Mary did that already in this thread. She should go over to Iran and explain the facts of life to all the demonstrators.

          • *giggles* Don’t let negativity get you down, BB. There is a difference between doubting and spewing talking points, and Mary is kinda crossing the line.
            For my part, this thread has been incredibly informative and helpful, and I enjoy opposing points of view, just not hostile ones.

          • That comment is beneath you BB.

            I don’t know what’s going on in Iran. None of us do.

            Mary quite obviously disagreed with many posters here. That is supposed to be the idea of a “confluence” isn’t it?

            It seems that the people of Iran were given no “good” choice. Now it is up to them to sort it all out. Hopefully the rest of the world will keep their hands off. (yeah, like that’s gonna happen)

            Freedom imposed from outside is tyranny. Or something like that.

          • You put up with Mary for three straight days and then I bet you’ll feel differently.

  25. I can’t get over ordering the death of 30,000…this is the supposed good guy? Also I can see urban Iranians ready to blow for a lot of reasons…this one caught fire

    And how very “watch my drive ” of Barry to be golfing
    during a crisis!

    • Despite Mary’s claims, Ahmadinejad is just as bad or worse. He was in the Republican Guard and probably intelligence services, since much of his history is unknown. He was involved in the taking of the US hostages. Who knows how many people he has killed.

    • Well, neither one is gonna be a “good guy”. If they were, the mullahs would never allow them to run.

      In this case, Ahmadinejad’s name lends itself better for comedy, so I guess he’ll do.

  26. Remember Sibel Edmonds? She was that language specialist who worked for the FBI and was fired when she reported what some didn’t want to hear.

    She recently started a blog.

    She lived in Iran and her father is half Iranian. She has this interesting post: http://tinyurl.com/lwqfxc

  27. MYIQ said “You put up with Mary for three straight days and then I bet you’ll feel differently.”

    Hell it wouldn’t take me 3 days to get annoyed. Miffed even. My comment was based on the inappropriate response.

    Actually I expected to get stomped flat for even daring that much. But the day is young.

    Ignoring someone that annoys you is a tactic too. No need to respond to every comment someone makes. Even mine 😀

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