Postcard Diplomacy

A dissenting view on President Obama's Nowruz message

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Postcard Diplomacy
by ganselmi
22-Mar-2009
 

On Friday morning, President Barack Obama released a video to congratulate Iranians around the world on the occasion of the Persian New Year, or “Nowruz.” BBC Persian’s hugely popular and officially-banned satellite channel has broadcast the message in its entirety to Iran.

This video “postcard” to Iran reflects the new administration’s emphasis on renewing American soft power and public diplomacy to tackle the many foreign policy challenges facing the US and its allies. Politics aside, President Obama’s typically eloquent rhetoric is sure to impress the Iranian masses. And his demonstration of genuine appreciation for the artistic and literary contributions of Persians (he even quotes Saadi!) is a major improvement over George W. Bush’s often culturally tone deaf approach to Iran.

Tucked into this warm overture however, was a statement that should alarm all those concerned about the security of Israel, the long-term stability of the Middle East, and the Iranian people’s three decade-long struggle for freedom from theocratic misrule. “The United States wants the Islamic Republic of Iran to take its rightful place in the community of nations,” Obama declares. “You have that right.”

Coming from a US President, this is an absolutely stunning choice of words. For it seems to suggest that going forward, the United States takes for granted - for all intents and purposes - Iran’s clerical regime as a legitimate entity and a permanent fixture of the Middle East. In other words, the Obama Administration’s approach vis-à-vis Tehran is based on the assumption that the IRI’s recent ascent is simply an irreversible process, i.e. now it’s just a matter of learning to “deal” with the mullahs and encouraging them to become more responsible.

But this is clearly a false assumption. The IRI is currently facing a number of problems that threaten its domestic stability and undercut its ability to realize its dreams of regional primacy. These include falling oil prices, massive inflation, high unemployment, rising unrest among its ethnic minorities, resurgent student protests, and a looming succession crisis posed by the possibility of the current Supreme Leader’s death. (If the regime had truly consolidated and solidified its rule to the extent that Obama seems to think, then it would not be conducting so many domestic security/anti-riot drills such as the one pictured in this report by Mehr, the organ of the IRI’s nuclear establishment.)

The perils associated with overestimating the IRI’s power are revealed by Khamanei’s very own Nowruz postcard to the Iranian nation. In it, the Supreme Leader reminds Iranians that the “bullying powers” have conceded “that they cannot close the path to nuclear advancement by the Iranian nation.” And in to the President’s message, the venerable Jurisconsult offers more of the same defiance and obfuscation:

“As long as the American government’s actions, orientation, and politics remain the same as they have been for the last 30 years, we will also remain as we have been for 30 years!” [my translation]

Meanwhile, President Obama’s message is bound to reduce the confidence of Iran’s oppressed dissidents and leave them wondering if the US has now completely abandoned their cause.

Note
This piece was published earlier by Harry's Place and by Z Word Blog, the official blog of the American Jewish Committee (AJC).

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khaleh moosh . yes he is your leader

by deeg raast migeh (not verified) on

sorry but deeg raast migah . sabeghat kharabeh .we have read yor past comments and your love and support for mola is too much to be brushed by simple one liner . have the courage atleast to claime your admiration for islamists or for ever be quiet.
rou keh nist sangeh payeh ghazvineh .thanks


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Re: He is too

by Anonym7 (not verified) on

That just shows how imperative is for Iran to achieve deterrence. Likes of Emanuel are many.


khaleh mosheh

Deeg be Deeg

by khaleh mosheh on

Or whatever aliases your posting under.

 

Your not very original are you? 


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To Khaleh

by Deeg beh deeg (not verified) on

Let's hope the same for your leader Khamaneii.


khaleh mosheh

As Samuel Clemens ( AKA Mark Twain) once said

by khaleh mosheh on

'A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.'

Lets hope, Mr Emanuel- Ex IDF soldier- would wish to change shape gradually. 

 


bahmani

Sickened, as am I...

by bahmani on

I totally agree. But the definition of IRI power is no longer questionable from within Iran, and thus, this is the law of the land.

Whether we like it or not, does not change the recorded laws of Iran, which in this case unfortunately locks up power in the hands of the various councils, and hamstrings any President, as moderate as he may appear (it will never be a woman).

My comment suggest that this is the fact Obama is faced with, and as such with the military option pretty much off the table, he has to work them from within their own rules. I believe that there is a lot of wiggle room, if someone in the administration, would take the time to study how the rules are written and use those to point out embarrassing and counter logical flaws that will ultimately create chinks in their currently bullet and argument-proof positions.

Thanks for the intelligent discussion.


Mola Nasredeen

He is too

by Mola Nasredeen on

It is what it is:

"Emanuel continued his father's tradition of active support for Israel; during the 1991 Gulf War he volunteered to help maintain Israeli army vehicles near the Lebanon border when southern Lebanon was still occupied by Israeli forces"

"In Congress, Emanuel has been a consistent and vocal pro-Israel hardliner, sometimes more so than President Bush. In June 2003, for example, he signed a letter criticizing Bush for being insufficiently supportive of Israel. "We were deeply dismayed to hear your criticism of Israel for fighting acts of terror," Emanuel, along with 33 other Democrats wrote to Bush. The letter said that Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian political leaders "was clearly justified as an application of Israel's right to self-defense"

"In July 2006, Emanuel was one of several members who called for the cancellation of a speech to Congress by visiting Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki because al-Maliki had criticized Israel's bombing of Lebanon. Emanuel called the Lebanese and Palestinian governments "totalitarian entities with militias and terrorists acting as democracies" in a 19 July 2006 speech supporting a House resolution backing Israel's bombing of both countries that caused thousands of civilian victims."

If you need more research go ahead and do it yourself, like you didn't know already! Right! 


ganselmi

Why don't you follow the President's Advice?

by ganselmi on

In response to Ed Henry/CNN's question about why it had taken him a day or so to show outrage about the AIG bonuses, Mr. Obama responded that it's because he likes to know the facts, before he opens his mouth.

I would extend the President's advice to you Mola Nasredeen:

Rahm Emmanuel is not a detractor of the President's Iran policy, nor a "Zionist." But if he is either of the two, then you IRI apologists are in a lot of trouble: as the President's Chief of Staff -- basically the no. 2 man at the WH -- Mr. Emmanuel wields a great deal of influence.


Mola Nasredeen

Did you hear what President Hossein Obama said tonight?

by Mola Nasredeen on

He mentioned the Iranian government by name. He indicated he was on the right track engaging Iran. And he mentioned his detractorS while the camera zoomed on Rahm Emmanuel and a bunch of other Zionists who were whispering and laughing. THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT! 


Ostaad

Legitimize this

by Ostaad on

I agree with the posters who say IRI is not a legitimate government/regime/whatever because it does not allow open and fair elections, at least to the international standards.  But IRI is sure as hell a legal government. In realpolitik, legitimacy has no place and being a legal govenment is all it counts.

Obama is bound to comply with a number of law including the US diplomatic protocols and executive orders.  He cannot just "negotiate" with anyone he likes. Bottom line there are NO legal obstacles to negotiate with the Iranian government, and Obama administration's express policy is to officiate several channels, already establish and active, to Iran including intel and military relations. All of this is necessary to stabilize the global economic downswing, not because Obama "likes" Iran.  Sorry guys, better luck next time.  Until then those of you who want war, can only suck your thumbs.


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Mola Nassredin

by Anonymous111 (not verified) on

ملا---به جای اینکه اینقدر سنگ فلسطین را به سینه بزنی‌ یک کم خجالت بکش و یک نگاهی هم به مردم شجاع در ایران بنداز. بیا این لینک را نگاه کن و ببین این مردم چقدر شجاعت به خرج دادند که فرهنگ ایران را حفظ کنند موقعی‌ که افراد مثل تو اینجا نشستند و خودشان را برای فلسطین و عراق و افغانستان جر میدهند. یک نخ مو اینها به تمام هیکل تو، مردم فلسطین، اسرائیل، عراق و افغانستان ارزش داره.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CQAb1a7fwQ


Mola Nasredeen

No comments

by Mola Nasredeen on

I don't talk to strangers.

 


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mola nasradin: Do you think

by molah sheepshoo (not verified) on

mola nasradin: Do you think Obama is a closeted muslim?? Do you really think the US will ever leave the ME in the hands of illiterate fanatics like the talibans, ugly mullash sadr, and the messianic IRI??

Is that what the supreme butcher is going to tell Obama???


Mola Nasredeen

Dear President Hossein Obama, please withdraw our troups

by Mola Nasredeen on

from Iraq and Afghanistan and spend those billions to create jobs in our own country.


Farhad Kashani

Pres. Obama: “Pleas do

by Farhad Kashani on

Pres. Obama: “Pleas do not let these clueless, misguided,  pro Fascsit-IRI, true warmongerers, U.S-hating, democracy-despising Iranians or their friends in the U.S left give you the wrong advice. They live in a different universe. IRI is not about peace and reconciliation. Please support the Iranian people and use all the tools at your disposal, as long as it doesn’t hurt the ordinary Iranian, to help Iranians remove this barbaric regime so we can finally see a peace between our two great nations.”


ganselmi

Anonymous111

by ganselmi on

I do realize that. (And you know they wish they could just use terms like "Jew" or "Jew-lover.") But honestly, I've learned to just deal with it. Let them call us what they want. 

It won't stop us from speaking the truth.


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Ganselmi, You'll Never Learn, Will You?

by Anonymous111 (not verified) on

Don't you realize that ANY deviation from the lynch mob's status quo fatwa on this site is an act of "Zionism"?

Ahhhhhhhh....Zionism, that amorphous term that should instill fear in the heart of every free thinking Iranian.

Hey, "Mola", what do Israel's atrocities against the Palestinains have to do with the quest for democracy inside Iran?

What would you IRI stooges do if "Zionism" was taken away from you? Who would you blame then? Ah, never mind, got it: the Freemasons...that's the ticket...


ganselmi

sickofiri...

by ganselmi on

...that's kind of my hope as well.


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Mr. Fatemi: Don't be

by sickofiri (not verified) on

Mr. Fatemi:

Don't be alarmed. It is actually a positive. Once Obama starts talking to the Mullahs, he will recognize first hand the real nature of this regime instead of being briefed by so-called Iran-experts manufactured by NIAC and CASMI.

Let the talk begins. Obama is savvy enough to recognize hypocrisy, and incompetence when he sees it. I want Obama to talk unconditionally with the morons in chief to get a first hand experience on a visceral level. I have no doubt that the Mullahs will not disappoint.


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A positive response by Iran's leaders to Barack Obama's call!

by Robert Tait (not verified) on

Iran's rival football clubs plan to meet on US soil
Guardian - By Robert Tait
Mar 24, 2009

Persepolis v Esteghlal Tehran derby may be staged in American city with large Iranian population after Obama overtures

For decades it has been a source of bitter rivalry among Iran's vast army of football fanatics.

Now the Persepolis v Esteghlal Tehran derby, often a scene of crowd violence and angry on-pitch confrontations, is to be transformed into a tool of football diplomacy thanks to plans to stage the match on US soil >>>
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/24/iran-f...


Mola Nasredeen

I just re-evaluated my position and here it is

by Mola Nasredeen on

Mr President: "Don't let the warmongers and Zionists start another war in Middle East. We don't need anymore enemies there, we need friends. Also, please criticise the crimes committed by the racist regime of Israel and stop the 3 billion dollars that we send them every year" 

 


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What About Human Rights, Mr. Obama?

by Shaheen Fatemi (not verified) on

What About Human Rights, Mr. Obama?

March 24, 2009

During the week that IRVAJ was not being updated due to our national holidays, some important events have taken place. Among the most significant of these was the unexpected “Now-Rooz message of President Obama to the Iranian nation and the ‘Government of the Islamic Republic’ which carried a number of surprises. The message in itself was not a novelty, issuing special messages for this occasion to the Iranian people started with President Bill Clinton and continued with President George W. Bush. What seemed new and surprising this time was the additional twist of including the name of IRI’s government in this year’s ‘greetings.’

To some observers, this move sounded like a concession. An extension of legitimacy to a government which has not diplomatic relations with the US and has had no recognition as such in the past. Never before in any of such messages, there was any reference to the IRI government. As a matter of fact, during the Bush II presidency, it seemed like there was a conscious effort to distinguish between the people of Iran and the clerical rulers of the country. Unfortunately so far there has been neither a confirmation nor any denial of this interpretation. However, should this turn out to be true, the regime in Tehran must be thankful to its lobbyists in Washington and New York as well as those who have come out recently in support of negotiations between the new US administration and the regime in Tehran and thus have made a contribution to legitimization of the regime..

Not unexpectedly, Tehran’s real boss threw cold water on Washington’s premature enthusiasm of reaching a ‘deal’ with the Mullahs over the head of the Iranian people. To some of the old-timers who have been watching this sickening comedy of ‘courtship’ for the past thirty years, the recent sycophantic approach to Tehran was reminiscent of the famous ‘Cake and the Quran comedies’ of the late 80’s.

It is puzzling why the US and Europe who stood up so magnificently against the apartheid regime in South Africa as well as the Fascist and Communist governments for their gross violations of human rights, do not seem to apply the same standards when it comes to the plight of the Iranian people against their oppressors? It should be a matter of urgency to all Iranian freedom-fighters that we see no trace of concern for violations of human rights in Iran in all of Mr. Obama’s utterances so far concerning the Iranian situation. It is in the light of this fact that all those who have been ignoring this major shift in the US policy and instead have joined the lobbyists of the regime in support of negotiations with the oppressive regime in Tehran, should urgently re-evaluate their positions and actions


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anonymous13: You just got in

by geography (not verified) on

anonymous13:

You just got in bed with Islamofascists militants in Iran. As long as there is Islamofascism there will be zionism. The more radical you guys become, the more radical the zionists will be.

You want the zionism to end, stop islamofascism.


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Irony

by geography (not verified) on

Strauss (neocon)= Shariati (Islamic Marxist)

Both tyrannical, dogmatic, opportunits, and violent...

Here is looking at you kid...


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Completting the list: 3 Missed Opportunities

by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

In the sake of complettness I ad hier the missed oppotunity number zero to the list. That was the opportunity in the years 1978/79 not taking part in the Islamic Revolution. 1978/79 had the heroical Iranian Nation throw the imperialists out of their country and since then they are enjoying the blessing of their Islamic Revolution and what they have achieved during the last 30 years. What a missed big opportunity, just imagine. Allready 1978/79 iranian nation missed the opportunity just to continue to be rubbed by those dirty stinky strange creatures instead helping them to take even more away. truly... what idiots those 7ty million Iranian fanatic Mullahs who live in their Islamic Republic of Iran. Thanks heaven at least the "IRANIAN"s do not miss even the tiniest opportunity to be an advokate of and to be committed to their being and acting as farmhands, stableboys and servants of the not any more soo greate but rather tiny satan. Greeting


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Hooshie,

by Anonymous13 (not verified) on

Wow you just got in bed with the Zionists too, huh?


hooshie

The legitimacy of the illegitimate!!

by hooshie on

Moments after the screening of Obama’s Nowrouz speech, Iranian Americans, particularly those who subscribe to NIAC’s membership, celebrated President Obama’s first attempt to ingratiate himself with the Islamic authorities in Tehran. At the same time the wannabe Iranicans who live in Iran and impatiently await the opening of the American embassy in Tehran started the count down. But the jubilation was short-lived. The Iranian supreme leader, the one who really counts, dashed all the hopes of any possible rapprochement between the Islamic regime and Obama’s government in a speech delivered a day later. US was accused of sustained hostility against the Iranians (and not only the regime of Tehran) over the last three decades and Obama was charged with rubbing the people of Iran in dirt. Well, so much for wooing the wrong crowd Mr President. But what about the people of Iran? Those who neither carry a US passport, or are hoping to apply for one, nor fill up the vast space in front of the supreme leader’s pulpit. President Obama failed to connect to the silent majority who, have a different meaning for legitimacy in their thirty year old vocabulary than some of the regime lobbyists or pseudo-liberal leftists may have.


Mola Nasredeen

Zionists are the problem not Obama's message to Iranians

by Mola Nasredeen on

This racist bloodthirsty bunch is itching to push us into another war, this time with Iran. Ganselmi, whoever you are, you are outed. Just today, the racist/facist settlers with the help of Israeli police attacked the villagers of Umm al Fahm in occupied Plaestine http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7960807.stm

Zionism is the problem that we Americans and people of Middle East face. Your article is another take by warmonger Zionist who advocate war and destruction. You are outed.


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Iran must accept int''l, regional responsibilities

by Kuwait News Agency (not verified) on

Iran must accept int''l, regional responsibilities -- France
Kuwait News Agency - World News
Mar 23, 2009

PARIS -- Iran must be willing to live up to its responsibilities if it wants these responsibilities recognized by the international community and it must "contribute positively" to the stability of the region and international relations, French authorities said Monday.

In answer to questions on the recent exchanges of statements between the United States and Iran, officials here said that it appeared the suggestion of a "direct dialogue" between the two nations would move the situation beyond the historical rift that exists since 1979, when diplomatic ties were broken off following the US hostage crisis.

"We support the idea of a direct dialogue between the United States and Iran, which appears to constitute a move beyond the historical disputes between the two countries," said Romain Nadal, Frances deputy spokesman at the Foreign Ministry.

In answer to a KUNA question, he added that France "welcomed as early as Friday the statement by President Obama to the Iranian authorities and people at the time of Nouruz."

The official added, nonetheless, that "Iran must show it is up to the responsibilities to which it aspires to see recognized." Nadal particularly referred to the regional and international policies of Iran and said that this country must accept its responsibilities in order to fully rejoin the community of nations.

"It is in (Irans) own interest to contribute positively to international relations and the stability, if it wants to be a fully integrated actor into the international community," the French official indicated.


ganselmi

Anonymous this time,

by ganselmi on

You write: "Look at who likes your article. The resident zionist and her little helper are praising your dissing President Obama.
Good job Ganselmi, you officially qualify as noche zionist on the site now."

OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!