Category Archives: international

Photo of the Day


Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.

Also from Sullivan, an Iranian woman:

Ahmadinejad called the opposition as a bunch of insignificant dirt who try to make the taste of victory bitter to the nation. He also called the western leaders as a bunch of ‘filthy homosexuals’. All these disgusting remarks was today answered by that largest demonstration ever. Older people compared the demonstration of today with the Ashura Demonstration of 1979 which marks the downfall of the Shah regime and even said that it outnumbered that event. The militia burnt a house themselves to find the excuse to commit violence. People neutralized their tactic to a large degree by their solidarity, their wisdom and their denial to enage in any violent act.

If you’re even mildly interested in the happenings in Iran and you haven’t checked out Sullivan, you need to.

His coverage of the situation far surpasses what we’re getting from the MSM.


A Second Iranian Revolution?

I’m no expert on Iran. But what I do know about the country is that it contains a well-educated populace that has not been totally loving 30 years of theocratic rule.

Ahmadinejad seems to be popular among Iran’s fundies (they remind me a lot of Bush voters as they tend to be older and more conservative and religious than most) as he represents the theocracy while Moussavi seems to be a reformer who is popular among the secular set and young people. In the says leading up to the election, there appeared to be a groundswell of popular support for Moussavi.

80% of the people voted, we’re told and Ahmadinejad won the official vote in a landslide. The problem is that Ahmadinejad’s victory by such a wide margin makes little sense.

Today, the people of Iran have stood up against dictatorship. Whether the uprising leads to a new Iranian revolution is anyone’s guess.

But the signs are hopeful.

Putin Didn’t Want to End Up Like Bush

This is funny:

NICOLAS Sarkozy saved the Georgian President from being hanged “by the balls” – a threat made in August by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Elysee Palace.

The Russian Prime Minister had revealed his plans for disposing of Mikheil Saakashvili when Mr Sarkozy was in Moscow in August to broker a ceasefire in Georgia.

Jean-David Levitte, Mr Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic adviser, reported the exchange in a news magazine before an EU-Russia summit today. The meeting will be chaired by the French leader and President Medvedev.

With Russian tanks only 50km from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr Putin declared.

Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” – he asked. “Why not?” Mr Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like (President) Bush?” Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah – you have scored a point there.”

So in other words, Putin was ready to go into Tibilisi and hang Saakashvili, but reconsidered when Sarkozy reminded Putin of how Bush is seen by the world after the Iraq invasion.

George Bush is so widely loathed internationally that a thug like Putin is afraid of being viewed by the world as another Bush.

Thank God that a new day is coming.



Throughout this campaign, Barack Obama has reminded me a lot of Howard Dean in his run in 2004.

I’m too tired to get into the details of the similarities between the two and their campaigns; those are obvious: opposition to the Iraq war, voter empowerment, amazing online fundraising abilities, battling against the Democratic party establishment candidates, etc.

In the end, Obama proved to be a far better candidate than Dean ever was and Americans were more willing to accept a change in course in 2008 than they were in 2004. But we Democrats are fortunate that Dean became the DNC Chair as his 50 state strategy for the DNC was embraced by the Obama campaign, and that led to Obama victories in states like Indiana, Virginia, and North Carolina.

So, I have a few quotes from Howard Dean to remind us of his vision for the country that led to Obama’s victory.

“At every turn when there has been an imbalance of power, the truth questioned, or our beliefs and values distorted, the change required to restore our nation has always come from the bottom up from our people.”

“Hypocrisy is a value that I think has been embraced by the Republican Party. We get lectured by people all day long about moral values by people who have their own moral shortcomings.”

I think most people… would be glad to pay the same taxes they paid when Bill Clinton was president, if only they could have the same economy they had when Bill Clinton was president.”

People have said I’m the candidate of anger. Well, we have a right to be angry. We lost 3 million jobs. We lost our place as the moral leader of the world.”

“The way we’re going to win elections in this country is not to become Republican lite. The way we’re going to win elections in this country is to stand up for what we believe in.

“This country was the moral leader of the world until George Bush became president.”

“We need to go everywhere. There is not one county in this state, I don’t care how far west you go, that doesn’t have Democrats. We have to be proud of who we are.”

“Dealing with race is about educating white folks…”

Thank you, Howard.

An E-mail from Marina in Argentina

This morning – election day morning, I received an e-mail from my friend Marina in La Plata, Argentina. Like many things I’m seeing these days, it made me teary:

Last night on Argentine television a journalist spoke (an Argentine who is in the US for the elections) spoke, and underneath, you could read: “The end of the Bush era.”. It’s very clear. The American people are tired of lies and abuse. The people have said enough!  To injustice within and without their borders. The fact that the American people are going to vote for something new, different,  and fresh tells us a lot about a people who have grown and who have clear ideas about how to take a different path It’s a people who have grown wiser. Welcome change! And we congratulate the American people.

Of course, we are paying a lot of attention to your elections (and those of the European Union), we live from the consequences of the great country to the North, as many call the United States.

I remember, do you remember? I’ll never forget this. The first time when we met, we had lunch and someone mentioned that there were problems because someone in the American army was robbing jewels and treasures from the museums in Iraq and you said you were sorry.  I will never forget that. You were always aware of the good and the bad of your country and its government. That’s really good. And now, after many years, you can see that you were not alone. Now there are many, many Americans who can clearly see “reality.”

A new era is beginning.

So I can understand your excitement.

What a wonderful way to begin election day!

Where Bush and Bin Laden Coexist

From Indexed:

A Call From Buenos Aires

Last night, my friend Manuel called me from Buenos Aires.

We hadn’t spoken for a while, and since I cancelled plans to travel with him that we had scheduled for next month, he wanted to check in to make sure that I was OK.

Once the personal chat was out of the way, he got political.

“I don’t understand yanquis. Explain to me why McCain chose Palin.”

I don’t really understand my countrymen, either. So, I struggled to find an appropriate way to answer Manuel.

Me: “Uh. She’s pretty, and she hunts and kills caribou.”

Manuel: “And for that she should be vice president of the United States?”

Me: “Uh, no. There’s more. She’s from a dysfunctional family and she leads Alaska.”

Manuel: “But isn’t Alaska one of your least populated states?”

Me: “Yep. But she goes to church. And her kids play hockey. And she has a funny accent.”

Manuel: “I still don’t understand Yanquis.”

I had to agree with Manuel. I don’t understand many of my countrymen either. How the hell can we explain the appeal that Palin has among certain Americans to people who don’t live in this country? I ended the conversation by telling him I would send him the newest Silver Jews cd and an Obama t-shirt (two things that I told him I’d give him when we were to travel together.

But, I really wasn’t ready to say, “50% of Americans are stupid morons who will vote for anyone who owns a gun and shoots things,” which is what I was thinking.

How do we explain the Palin to our international friends?