Still keeping an eye on what is going on in Iran. If you do Twitter, you can watch updates here (HT: Tabitha Hale). The Guardian Council agreed to hold an election recount, but since the government controls the recount the opposition isn’t taking that in good faith, as the BBC reports:
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election is being contested by rival Mir Hossein Mousavi and other moderate candidates, who are seeking a rerun.
The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Tehran says they may not accept the recount offer.
“I am deeply troubled by the violence that I’ve been seeing on television,” Obama said Monday, more than two days after protests began to break out Saturday in Tehran. “I think that the democratic process, free speech, the ability of people to peacefully dissent — all of those are universal values and need to be respected, and whenever I see violence perpetrated on people who are peacefully dissenting, and whenever the American people see that, I think they are rightfully troubled.”
BLACKFIVE isn’t impressed with this response:
Heartfelt pleas to understand that all US actions heretofore are erased and a new day of Hope & Change has dawned have somehow failed to stop them from shooting their own people like fish in barrels. We are not even bringing a knife to this gunfight we are bringing flowers. Because he has decided that the Charm Offensive will carry the day, the President can’t even encourage the brave Iranians attempting to liberate themselves from oppression. He was silent for three days and when he did speak out, it was a whimper, a pat on the head to the dis-enfranchised and a note to Mahmoud to call him once they mop the blood out of the streets in a couple of weeks.
The words of an American President, even one from Chicago, were not necessarily foremost in the minds of the Shiites, Sunnis, Druze, and Christians of many theological varieties and political persuasions who lined up to cast their ballots and dip their thumbs in ink. But most analysts (they’re indefatigable) agreed that Obama’s speech, and the carefully constructed edifice of public diplomacy of which it was the keystone, was a factor in the outcome.
Really? Sure that is why it took him three days to overcome his cowardly silence. Ultimately it is the Persian people rising up against tyranny. Who has for the last eight years promoted democracy and basic human rights in the Middle East? Hmmm… I wonder. Yeah sure, it was one speech that did it. But Allahpundit shared some good news:
You’ll also be pleased to know that, according to no less than the New York Times, Obama didn’t bother holding any meetings or conference calls about this yesterday. Remember: Health care is a “crisis.” This is but a “situation.”
He was too busy campaigning for his healthcare plan yesterday to say anything about Iran at all. Our campaigner-in-chief is demonstrating such leadership on this that the State Department won’t condemn the crackdown by Iranian forces.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters Monday that the United States is concerned about allegations of ballot fraud.
Kelly described the U.S. government as "deeply troubled" by the events in Iran, taking a stronger stance than Vice President Biden did Sunday, casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election.
When pressed by a reporter, Kelly declined to condemn Iranian security forces for their crackdown on street protesters. He said the U.S. knows too little about the conduct of the election to say for sure whether there was fraud.
That’s reassuring. The Persian people are looking for a strong response from our President. A CNN producer shared that many Iranian students said they’d be doomed if President Obama accepts the election. Not to mention do you really want to start to open diplomatic ties with an illegitimate government?
He keeps talking about advancing diplomacy in this region, and he was too busy campaigning to do just that.
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