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Obama’s Diplomacy Vlog

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Posted on Mar 20, 2009
Vlogging
whitehouse.gov

President Obama has gone digital, releasing an online video of diplomacy to the people and politicians of Iran, suggesting “new beginnings” between the two nations to coincide with Iran’s new year holiday, Nowruz. Yet Obama’s overture requires of Iran, among other things, a cessation of supplying arms to its neighbors—a seemingly disingenuous demand given the United States’ huge financial and weapons support of Israel.

The White House

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By JFoster2k, March 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm Link to this comment

Cyrena,

You are terrific and mostly on the mark. You and I, however, are a little too invested in Obama to claim complete objectivity. I think Obama is doing a great job on many fronts in the most difficult situation imaginable, but this particular issue has me guessing.

This overture from our president came unexpectedly and left me wondering how the Iranians would respond. Their official reply was rather terse. I can’t say I’m surprised. They have every reason to harbor distrust and resentment. No matter how charismatic and sincere Obama may be, our country has a bad history with them. No one can wash that stain away with some friendly rhetoric.

The prognostications of some of our TDers depict this as a hollow and disingenuous display. I contend it is at least a start down a better path. Obama cannot undo what has been done, but he can endeavor to avoid the same tactics that have strained our relations and credibility in the middle east.

We cannot simply bail on Afghanistan and Iraq. We are obligated to repair at least some of the damage we’ve done. That said, if we have an orderly withdrawl from Iraq and a focus shift in Afgahanistan toward security rather than active cross-border engagement, we just might have the beginnings of a diplomatic foothold in the region.

Regardless of how the neocons are attempting to redefine it, I still think “Hope” is a good thing.

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By Folktruther, March 23, 2009 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

It is increasingly apparent that Obama is a bigger disaster than the left originally envisioned.  He has been put in office by Wall Street and Zionism to rehabilitate Bushite policies with a Progressive rhetoric. 

He doesn’t have a history of significant acheivement but looks and sounds good on TV. Krugman is in dispair over his economic policies funnelling tax payer money to the banks.  And he is still in thrall to the Zionist advisers that are threatening to attack Iran.

The leader of the new right wing government in Israel, Natanyahoo,  has publically announced that Iran is Israel’s main enemy. Obama appears to be continuing its threats against Iran under the guise of concialitory rhetoric.  In doing so the US is pursuing Israel’s imperialist interests rther than that of US imperialism.  The public relaitons ploy is the ‘extend the hand of friendship’ than continue military threats on the grounds that Iran slapped it away.

Obama appears to be over his head in both domestic and foreign policy.  He does not appear to have the ability to fight the pressures for continuation of Bushite polices.  His approach is to make a video.  His strategy of continuing Bushite policies while probclaiming Hope n Change is leading to further disaster.  And it doesn’t appear that he is able to change it.

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By stonejaxx, March 21, 2009 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

Sovereign nations can do what is in their national interests - agreed.

Mayponce, I don’t agree with your arguments.

1) There is a huge disincentive to allow nuclear proliferation, regardless what has happened in the past - the US is uniquely qualified to help resolve. The biggest threat is terrorists absconding with the fissile material
3) Obama is the first president since Carter to reach out to the Iranians. Reaching out is not a specious. If there is no control, where will be in 10 years? Is our strategy to bomb Iran out of threatening us?
4) While the US has had plenty of hypocrisy in its history, why is Obama’s first attempt at peace any less genuine? What is his strategy if not?
5) Did you really compare Bush to Obama?

What alternative are you offering? Who is in power that is suggesting a better approach?

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 21, 2009 at 9:03 am Link to this comment

By cyrena, March 21 at 4:06 am #
By Sohrab, March 20 at 2:18 pm
~*~*
“Actually Sohrab, you’re wrong, and that surprises me.”
==========================
Dear Cyrena,

I think you were a little harsh on Sohrab. He was looking at the issue from the point of view of history as one America, always bragging about democracy and human rights and always displaying political and military arrogance towards those countries that refuse to become client states, or puppets of the US.

On the other hand, you are looking at the issue from the point of view that Obama’s America is a totally different country from Bush-Cheney America. For this to be true, one has to think that Obama has led a real revolution that went to the root of the problems, in the real sense of what a revolution is. But the facts are that the Obama’s administration is, in many respects, a continuation of what political-military America has always been. True, there are signs of changes in style and methods, but Obama is essentially a professional politician and not a revolutionary!

I know you have an emotional attachment to Obama and what he is supposed to represent, and I understand such attachment, because I myself had great hopes in the symbolism of what Obama’s election meant. But the reality is a different matter, and as I put it on several occasions on these threads that “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Obama’s election brought some “cosmetic” surgery to the politics of America, but not real surgical ones.

For Obama to demonstrate to the world that America under his leadership, is indeed a different more benevolent America, he has to sum up the courage to do three things:

1. To immediately, and without gimmicks, end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan and withdraw American occupying forces and employ the returning soldiers in rebuilding the crumbling infrastructure of America.

2. To declare clearly and openly that America under the previous administration was wrong in calling Iran “an axis of evil” and to express remorse for all the bullying, economic boycott, and threats Iran was subjected to.

3. To openly condemn Israel’s state-sponsored terrorism and to put Israel on notice that it will risk the financial, political and military support of America if it does not end the occupation of Arab lands and take concrete steps toward peace with its neighbors.

I do firmly believe that if the previous three steps are taken immediately, then they would have not only the effect restoring respect for America, but also would immediately solve the world’s economic crises. Any thing short of this is just political gimmicks that prove to the world that “in America, the more things change, the more they stay the same, if they don’t get worse!”

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By cyrena, March 21, 2009 at 1:08 am Link to this comment

By epppie, March 20 at 3:37 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)
This is nothing but the usual “you are wrong, we are right, we can avoid war if you surrender” crap.  What are those who endlessly make excuses for Obama going to say when the bombs start falling on Iran?
The USUAL epppie? Oh please. Have you been in a coma for the past 7 years? Do you even have a teensy, tiny, clue about how rabid Dickie Boy Cheney was about attacking Iran? Do you have even a clue to how we’ve sweated though the past several years, knowing that Iran was always next on the Dick Bush PNAC agenda, right after Iraq, and then it was supposed to be on to Syria. If they’d had it their way, they would have eventually bombed Saudi Arabia and Egypt too. That was the entire point of the Dick Cheney Presidency, and to this day, moronic Americans have no clue to how close we came, and how hard it was to do an end run around dickie boy to prevent it.

And why would ANY one have to make ‘excuses’ for the most intelligent and far-sighted president we’ve had in over 50 years? What ‘excuses’ do we need to make for Obama, when everything he’s done in the past 60 days is such an overwhelming improvement to what would surely be a flatling country as I write. How do you get bombs falling on Iran from an Obama administration who has consistently said that we will always use diplomacy instead of the threats the Iranians have been hearing from Washington DC for a decade?

Talk about Attention Deficit Disorder and memory problems.

Wonder when the Obama haters are gonna run out of IED’s (Insinuations/exaggerations/distortions) – (like bombs falling on Iran) and stop trying to prevent a recovery for the rest of us, as well as an improvement in our relationship with the rest of the planet?

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By cyrena, March 21, 2009 at 1:06 am Link to this comment

By Sohrab, March 20 at 2:18 pm
“The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. “
They aleardy do Mr President thank you very much. If my community of nations you mean US + Israel, then I’d have to say, we’d rather not be part of that “community.”
~*~*
Actually Sohrab, you’re wrong, and that surprises me. It would seem to me that as an Iranian citizen, you would KNOW that your president has been attempting to normalize relations with the US for quite some time under our former criminal administration here in the US, and of course they did every single thing they could to demonize Ahmadinejad and Iran in general.

All of the UNSC action and sanctions that were applied against Iran under the former criminal cabal of the US were most certainly intended for the sole purpose of preventing Iran from taking its rightful place in the world community, so you must be pretty stupid if you don’t get the difference between US President Barack Obama and the criminal regime that did everything they could to deny Iran basic rights, like say those of the NPT for instance?

Your ignorance and misunderstanding in terms of Obama’s intentions are no help to you as an Iranian, and it’s damn sure no use to us as US citizens, seeing as how we’ve got our OWN fair share of miseries left over from the fascist regime in power for the past 8 years.

So, let’s be really clear about exactly who it was that did the Axis of Evil stuff, or who it was that made direct threats to the Iranians over the past several years, and who it was that insisted on demonizing Iran as part of their ‘war on terror’ bullshit propaganda, and all the rest of the stuff. Maybe things are different in your country, but over here, we know the difference between a President Barack Obama and a Dick Cheney Dictator with a secret staff that plans tortures and renditions, and slaughters entire populations of nation states, particularly when they happen to be sitting on tons of oil.

Let’s not forget who started the War ON Iraq,(Dick Bush Cheney and the neocons) and who was vocally and vehemently against it long before it began, (then Prof. Barack Obama, now US President) and who it is that is committed to ending the occupation of that sovereign nation state. Now you can choose not to believe him if you want, but I sure hope you’re not sitting on some computer here in the USA, writing about your refusal, (as an Iranian citizen) to believe what OUR President is saying. I believe YOUR president when he says something, and I respect the political will of the Iranian people as well.
So you’re out of line. Would you be so willing to post similar sentiments about your own president if you were in your own country? I didn’t think so.

And what are you talking about in terms of sanctions that President Obama has allegedly ‘signed’ against Iran? References please. I’d like to find out how the US president (ANY US President)can single-handedly arrange for sanctions to be applied against Iran or any other country on the planet. So please, walk us through that, and whatever it is that you claim he’s just signed. Again, references would be appreciated, or we simply won’t believe you.

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By espaz, March 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this is fantastic !!  finally, someone in the white house who can articulate well and reach out with intellegence and a somewhat friendly manner to iran !! and lets hope the rest of the world too.  goddamn !!!  i never thought i’d see it. thank the good lord jesus freeken mccain didn’t win !

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 20, 2009 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment

By Sohrab, March 20 at 2:18 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

“Mr President, Who has been making threats? Iran or the US? ‘Regime change’ and ‘Axis of evil’ were not coined by Iranians. “All options are on the table” would you mind enlightening us how often that has been used when negotiation talk has come up?”
==========================================
Great post Sohrab! I greatly enjoyed reading it! Previously, I posted a comment in which I gave Obama the benefit of the doubt with his gesture. Now as an Iranian I think you have the right to have the final word. Nevertheless, diplomacy should be given a chance while, at the same time, wrongs, double standards and truths should be firmly pointed out.

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By Louis, March 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Interesting message.

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By epppie, March 20, 2009 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is nothing but the usual “you are wrong, we are right, we can avoid war if you surrender” crap.  What are those who endlessly make excuses for Obama going to say when the bombs start falling on Iran?

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By artie, March 20, 2009 at 11:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is a devious prelude to war with Iran. it’s coming, as demanded by Israel.

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By Sohrab, March 20, 2009 at 11:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Obama’s speech:

“This process will not be advanced by threats”

Mr President, Who has been making threats? Iran or the US? ‘Regime change’ and ‘Axis of evil’ were not coined by Iranians. “All options are on the table” would you mind enlightening us how often that has been used when negotiation talk has come up?


” It’s a future with renewed exchanges among our people, and greater opportunities for partnership and commerce.”

Renewed exchange? commerce? Mr Obama, you have just signed another year of sanctions against the Iranians! I don’t want to accuse you of insincereity but what you make of this yourself?

“You have that right—but it comes with real responsibilities, and that place cannot be reached through terror or arms, “

Mr president, have you looked yourself in the mirror lately? Quick history lesson, which two countries have violated more internatioal laws more than all UN memembers combined? the answer, of course, is the United States of America and your ally Israel. Mr president, ask yourself this very simple question: how many people were killed by Iranians in the 21st century and how many people were killed by the United States? how many people were brutally murdered by the genocidal regime of Israel?

“The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations. “

They aleardy do Mr President thank you very much. If my community of nations you mean US + Israel, then I’d have to say, we’d rather not be part of that “community.”

“The children of Adam are limbs to each other, having been created of one essence.”

Mr President unfortunately we don’t believe you actually meant what you said. Your country has slaughtered 1.5 million Iraqis since 2003. The value of life
is very conditional in the American mindset.

Mr president as an Iranian citizen, I’d have to say thanks but no thanks.

 

-Sohrab

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By Fadel Abdallah, March 20, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

Wise and forward looking gesture by Obama that I can only applaud on principle!

However, the message was diluted by requiring of Iran, among other things, a cessation of arms supplying to its neighbors — “a seemingly disingenuous demand given the U.S.‘s huge financial and weapons support of Israel.”

Despite the positive aspects of this message, we can still see the split-vision and double-standard of otherwise a relatively new and positive thinking!

I think the Iranians should respond positively to this new gesture, yet they should be firm in pointing out this split-vision and double-standard and they should mention pointedly the US-Israel unholy alliance!

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Mayponce's avatar

By Mayponce, March 20, 2009 at 9:25 am Link to this comment

“This process will not be advanced by threats…”

Oh,......really?

You mean like the slightly veiled threat that is this absurd video, Mr. Obama?

“This process can’t be reached by terror or arms..”

You mean like the good old US of A and Israel, Mr. Obama?

The US has real balls-the only nation that has ever used nukes on a population-a nation that has done NOTHING to get rid of its stockpiles and continues to produce more-allows Israel to defy international law and continue its “secret” weapons program-in what rational world does such a nation have the right to tell others they cannot have access to the same weapon technology?


The Iranians have every right to develop nuclear weapons as a defensive deterrent. Period. It has nothing to do with their right to nuclear energy. If the argument is explained in this manner, people are more willing to understand the blatant hypocrisy of the US position.

Until milquetoast democratic liberals get that simple truth-that Iran and any other nation has the right to defend itself from US military aggression-there will be no chance for peace. The only hope of peace with Iran lies with them obtaining the bomb, to keep the threat of Israel and America aggression in check. Otherwise they will end up just like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama is nothing but a better spoken Bush with a tan. Oh, but he has a D in front of his name right? So that makes him better than Bush, after all he was an evil Republican, right?

Obama does nothing but continue Bush policies and has even went farther than Bush in regards to Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is your great liberal president?

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