Monday, December 28, 2009

What Do You Think About This?

There are new stories of unrest in Tehran. It has been assumed that the protests have never really stopped since this summer's "election" but news from inside Iran is spotty at best.

Report: Iranian forces, demonstrators clash

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iranian security forces beat protesters in central Tehran on Saturday, a sign of mounting tensions ahead of planned opposition rallies to mark a religious festival and the death of a dissident cleric a week ago, a reformist Web site said.

The Rah-e-Sabz site said forces, including the elite Revolutionary Guard and the paramilitary Basijis, used tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to disperse demonstrators, and broke the windows of cars that were honking horns in protest.

It said protests occurred in at least three areas: Imam Hossein Square, Pol-e-Choobi and Ferdowsi Square.

The report could not be independently confirmed because the Iranian government has banned foreign media from covering opposition protests.


Source

So this is today's question:

What, if anything, should Obama do about the protests?

Should he ignore them as none of our business?

Should he give clandestine assistance to the opposition in hopes of them overthrowing the ruling government?

Should he openly offer assistance in an outright attempt to overthrow the government?

Finally, using a more cynical approach, should he use the threat of assisting the opposition as a bargaining chip in the ongoing attempt to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons?

What do you think about this?

9 comments:

The Rattler said...

I am surprised that up to now he hasn't offered more to support the government in suppressing these "freedom fanatics". He was very quick to share his outrage at Honduras who were following their constitutional laws.

Miss T.C. Shore said...

Good question.

It depends. Is there a significant faction of citizens in Iran that are opposed to the current regime that could become supporters of the U.S.? If so, we should intervene.

I don't think there is, however. And going in to overthrow the existing government in order to replace it with another anti-U.S. government seems counter-productive. We are already perceived by the world as "meddling in everyone's business."

Still, you can't ignore what's going on. Anything that "should" be done, should be done in a covert manner.

cube said...

BO should openly support the opposition and offer any assistance for an overthrow of the government, but we all know he won't.

Aside from Israelis, Iranians were my favorite people in the Middle East. It's their government that's insane.

shoprat said...

I would like to know more about the real intentions of the protesters. Do they want real freedom or is it that they simply want to replace the current regime with those who will allow them to become the oppressors?

LASunsett said...

I think we should send a delegation led by John "The Master Appeaser" Kerry, strap a camera on him, and see what happens.

Karen Howes said...

Not sure that

a) it's any of our business

b) it would do any good even if we did intervene-- the opposition didn't seem like he was much better than Ahmadinejad.

I think we SHOULD take out any nukes they have, as that's a matter that directly concerns our safety.

Hope you're having a great Christmas!

Chuck said...

Sorry all, I'm an idiot. I looked at my blogs for yesterday and today and thought no one has visited. Then I realized I put it on moderation when I went away for the weekend.

Rattler, agreed. He has given very tepid support to the protestors today

TC, I think there are only 2 reasons to intervene in another countries internal affairs, if the US' interests are threatened or if there is an overwhelming humanitarian reason.

My suspicion is you could make a case for both in Iran.

Our intersts are threatened due to their attempt to build a nuke. As far as the overwhelming humanitarian reason, it is a little harder to ascertain due to the lack of good info. My gut is it exists but it is not much more than a hunch

Cube. I agree we should support the insurgents. Iran was quite a progressicve country before the imams took over.

Shoprat, agreed. This is the same as what TC was saying, what would we be replacing it with?

LA, I would go for that. The media isn't swarming the place so we won't get the Rev JJ Jr to step foot in the country.

Chuck said...

Karen, I'm not sure we should get directly involved (such as an invasion) but I think maybe a little monetary support, if we knew who we were giving it to as pointed out above.

We had a great Christmas, thanks for asking.

DaBlade said...

I'm for obama giving open support to these protestors. Let his rhetorical flourish be used for good for once. Meanwhile, we should be actively helping them behind the scenes - whatever that means - and infiltrate as many eyes as we can. Iran is going to boil over soon, and Ahkmadeendude is not exactly sane.