News reports of President Obama boarding his plane for Chicago this morning without saying word about the election protests in tehran say more about his mo than it does necessarily about policy.
In a spring news conference ABC reporter jake tapper (I think) asked Obama why he hadn’t responded immediately to some crisis of the day to which the president responded, (paraphrase here) “I want to know what I am talking about before I open my mouth”
It seems the Obama m.o. is at play here regarding the Iranian elections. I don’t begrudge the president for wanting to speak with deliberation. But at the moment the world is experiencing a citizen revolution, the scale of which has not been seen since Tianamon Square 20 years ago. Obam’s moral leadership as a world leader is also something that a US leader has not had in several decades.
It might be useful were the President to find a way to reconcile deliberation with responsiveness.
At some point during the next day or 2, the Iranian government is likely to move in even fuller force against the protests. Once they are quashed, and Ahmadinejad solidifies control again, it will be too late for Obama to do anything but “congratulate the winner.” At that point, Obama’s words or his silence will amount to policy, and we all lose.
check out link of people power on streets of Tehran, which demands a response:
anascreen RT @persiankiwi: I cannot see directly from my position but am being told many many people in streets – too many to count. #Iranelection
persiankiwitehran is at standstill. all major routes jammed with people. #Iranelection4 minutes ago from web
persiankiwiwe do not know if foreign press are covering this. we cannot access satellites. #Iranelection
MrNewsDK RT @persiankiwi: ADVICE – carry photos of imam khomeini. they cannot shoot at us with these. #Iranelection
hamednz I ran away from there. ppl were saying ‘Alaho Akbar’ then anti riot forces … #IranElection
verkut @WordMarvin Look at NYTimes Editorial today. It says everything. They need Ahmadinejad, not serious Iranian politicians. #IranElection
While MSM anchors this morning are wearing their typical morning smiley faces and drinking mornings cups of joe, twitter has a live feed of the thousands of students in Tehran going to Enghelab Square. tear gas, machne guns… the tweets look like this, ” ariehkovler RT: @persiankiwi: call in from Enghelab Sq. Baseej outnumbered, just watching people march.#Iranelection”
With limits of 140 characters, the tweets convey messages of this emerging revolution in almost poetic terms, beneath the radar of the iranian government. Actually the government is doing its best to shut down acess to the internet, but savvy protesters remain at least one or two steps ahead. They are providing live information, with facts, numbers and feelings along with links to photos and video feeds of the action.
All this happening while the MSM congratulates Ahmadinejad on having won the election and declaring that democracy works in Iran. As for this later claim, we are about to put it to the test, as tanks roll down the streets towards the marchers.
In the last 24 hours, twitter put CNN to shame. using the hashtag #cnnfail, many thousands of live feeds showed cnn what it was missing by contrasting its coverage of skiiing squirrels with live feeds of marchers being skattered by clubs and motorcycles and of at least one demonstrater beaten to death. CNN was forced by the sudden new media onslaught to give more time to the protests. so much for small victories…
check it out at twitter #iranelection.