S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A bit of perspective on Iran --

Today's post is a compilation of news items from mostly foreign sources covering the Iranian government's presidential election crisis. It begins with how things were before Iran's world turned upside down. I conclude with a bit of perspective on U.S. national security, that reminds us of how lucky we are to have our solid new president around when the Middle East's beset by chaos.

How fast things changed after the election --
On June 15th, Russia's Ria Novosti reported that "the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency said on Monday he welcomed the U.S. initiative to begin direct talks with Iran without any preconditions and on the basis of mutual respect."

Violence escalates -- This rare information is from The Washington Note, "Guest Blog: Dispatches from Tehran," (6/22/09). Steve Clemons introduces the blogger: "An anonymous student in Tehran who has been writing and speaking in the media under the name, "Shane M." has just sent in some more dispatches." The BBC News of 6/22/09 says that details are emerging about how "hi-tech helped Iranian monitoring" of its citizens during the protests, with the help of Nokia Siemens. The world was galvanized on 6/23/09: Memeorandum headlined, "Family, friends mourn Iranian woman whose death was caught on video," taken from Borzou Daragahi of the LA Times In summary: "Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, ‘was a beam of light’ and not an activist, friends say. The video footage of her bleeding to death on the street has turned her into an international symbol of the protest movement." Next "Fresh street clashes in Tehran" outside of parliament were examined by the Financial Times on 6/24/09.

World leaders responded -- The 6/23/09 BBC News reports that the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was "urging Iran to end the violence." Summarizing: "United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon expressed his "dismay" at the use of force against civilians in the wake of Iran's disputed election." The Financial Times of London is of the opinion that President Obama "toughened his stance on Iran" after Monday, June 22. The BBC News (6/23/09) says that President Obama strongly condemned "unjust" violence of Iran clamping down on election protests, saying he respects Iran's sovereignty and that it was "patently false" of Iran to say the West was fomenting the unrest.

Calming worries -- President Obama's handling of the Iranian crisis has been right on point, in my opinion. His "heart broke" along with ours as young women, students and others who want freedom were murdered, beaten and imprisoned. But the deep unrest that might indicate a growing instability in the country is just that. It does not mean we confront a nuclear cloud as might have been the case in a Bush administration. David Morrison, who writes CQ Behind the Lines (6/25/09) said, to quote:
In pondering a nuclear-armed Iran, “no plausible scenarios come to mind where terrorism comes into play, or where Tehran ever would have any reason to share nuclear capability with a terrorist client,” an ex-CIA analyst writes in National Journal.

References -- from Tom Head who writes the Civil Liberties Guide:

[Post date - June 25, 2009]

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