“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, December 28, 2009

John Kerry, Master of the ad-lib, Wants to be Helpful with Iran

"Did I say something wrong Ollie?"

As some of you know, I have a particular and personal fondness for John Kerry. He really is the jackass of the Senate. The idea that this fool would pick this time to go to Iran is a testament to his vanity and lack of understanding of the current situation in Iran.

The Obama Administration, allowing this to happen is absolutely clueless. It would only give credability to a regime on its way out.


DECEMBER 24, 2009
Kerry Floats Plan to Visit Tehran

White House Wouldn't Oppose Trip, First by Top U.S. Official in 30 Years, to Chagrin of Iran's Opposition


WASHINGTON -- Sen. John Kerry has suggested becoming the first high-level U.S. emissary to make a public visit to Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution, a move White House officials say they won't oppose.

The funeral procession for Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri drew thousands to the holy city of Qom on Monday. News, video, graphics
The offer comes as mass protests against Iran's regime are resurfacing and a U.S.-imposed deadline nears to broach international sanctions against Iran.

"This sounds like the kind of travel a chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee would -- and should -- undertake," said a White House official, adding it would be at Sen. Kerry's own behest.

It's unclear whether Iran would welcome the visit, and it would be controversial within both countries. The Iranian government has rebuffed other recent White House efforts to establish a direct dialogue.

The Obama administration hasn't decided whether to make Sen. Kerry its official representative if he goes, but as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Kerry can visit if the White House and Tehran both approve.

Many opponents of Tehran's regime oppose such a visit, fearing it would lend legitimacy to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a time when his government is under continuing pressure from protests and opposition figures. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets again this week to voice their opposition to the government following the death of a reformist cleric.

"We've eschewed high-level visits to Iran for the last 30 years. I think now -- when the Iranian regime's fate is less certain than ever -- is not the best time to begin," said Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at Washington's Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

"The wrong message would be sent to the Iranian people by such a high-level visit: The U.S. loves dictatorial regimes," said Hossein Askari, a professor at George Washington University and former adviser to Iranian governments.

A trip by Sen. Kerry could provide the Obama administration a last-minute chance to directly convey its views to Iranian leaders before the U.S. moves to increase financial pressure on Tehran in an effort to derail Iran's nuclear programs.

A spokesman for Iran's mission to the United Nations didn't respond to requests for comment on the potential visit. In Iran, officials have been dismissive of the idea since the magazine Foreign Policy said Friday in a blog post that Sen. Kerry was considering it.

The former presidential candidate has undertaken a string of diplomatic initiatives over the past year in coordination with President Barack Obama. The Massachusetts Democrat played a high-profile role in brokering an end to Afghanistan's postelection political crisis this October through his negotiations with President Hamid Karzai. He also has been serving as an intermediary between the White House and Syrian President Bashar Assad, and traveled to Damascus last February for direct talks.

If he goes to Tehran, it would be the highest-level mission by a U.S. official in three decades. Lower-level meetings have taken place recently between the U.S. and Iran in third countries, which also could still be an option for Sen. Kerry.

Oliver North, a national security council staffer for President Ronald Reagan, secretly visited Tehran in 1986 for talks on trading arms for U.S. hostages in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. But other than that, the highest-level U.S. official to visit was James Billington, the former head of the Library of Congress, who went for a six-day cultural exchange in 2004.

Sen. Kerry and his staff, according to people briefed on the deliberations, have explored the idea of Sen. Kerry writing to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to assess his office's interest in the senator meeting senior Iranian leaders.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff also has considered proposing a parliamentary exchange with the Majlis, Iran's principal legislative body. Its speaker, Ali Larijani, was formerly Iran's chief nuclear negotiator and remains an important player.

Mr. Obama has given Iran until year-end to respond to international calls for direct negotiations over Tehran's nuclear program before facing new economic sanctions. Many U.S. and European officials believe the window for diplomacy with Iran is rapidly closing, as Tehran has largely balked.

Frederick Jones, a spokesman for Sen. Kerry, said he couldn't discuss any deliberations between the senator and the White House. Mr. Jones stressed, however, that no trip has been scheduled. "Is he planning now on going to Iran? The answer is no," said Mr. Jones.

The White House has already sent two letters to Mr. Khamenei seeking a more direct dialogue on the nuclear issue, and has received little of substance in return, according to U.S. officials.

Iran last month shot down an offer from the U.S., Russia and France that would have had Tehran ship out most of its low-enriched uranium for reprocessing overseas in return for nuclear fuel usable in an Iranian research reactor. The White House viewed the fuel swap as an important confidence-building measure that could have led to other dialogue.

Late last year, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Howard Berman, also tried to arrange a meeting with Mr. Larijani on the sidelines of a security conference in Manama, Bahrain, according to officials involved.

Mr. Berman went as far as arranging a flight to the Persian Gulf country for the meeting, which had been brokered by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies. But at the last minute Mr. Larijani back out. Officials involved said they believed the Iranian leader feared he would have been attacked in Tehran for meeting with an American lawmaker.

Write to Jay Solomon at


  1. Police Are Said to Have Killed 10 in Iran Protests

    Published: December 27, 2009 NYT
    BEIRUT, Lebanon — Police officers in Iran opened fire into crowds of protesters on Sunday, killing at least 10 people, witnesses and opposition Web sites said, in a day of chaotic street battles that threatened to deepen the country’s civil unrest.

    Protesters in Tehran hurled rocks at the police and set their motorbikes on fire.

    The protests, during the holiday commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, Shiite Islam’s holiest martyr, were the bloodiest and among the largest since the uprisings that followed the disputed presidential election last June, witnesses said. Hundreds of people were reported wounded in cities across the country, and the Tehran police said they had made 300 arrests.

    One of the dead was Ali Moussavi, a 43-year-old nephew of the opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi.

    The decision by the authorities to use deadly force on the Ashura holiday infuriated many Iranians, and some said the violence appeared to galvanize more traditional religious people who have not been part of the protests so far. Historically, Iranian rulers have honored Ashura’s prohibition of violence, even during wartime.

    In Tehran, thick crowds marched down a central avenue in midmorning, defying official warnings of a harsh crackdown on protests as they chanted “death to Khamenei,” referring to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has expressed growing intolerance for political dissent in the country.

  2. Great link Bob. I missed that one.

    Barack Hussein Obama and John Kerry, what more can you say?

  3. According to the Washington Post, our affirmative action president is calibrating his responses to breaking events. So cool is he that he even shoots hoops while he contemplates the world:

    Obama addresses airline security in low-key fashion

    By Anne E. Kornblut
    Monday, December 28, 2009
    KAILUA, HAWAII -- President Obama has performed a difficult but familiar balancing act over the past few days: ordering new security measures in the wake of an attempted airliner attack without excessively alarming the public -- or triggering an outcry from civil liberties advocates.

    President calibrates response to incident

    He has done so almost entirely out of sight. On vacation in Hawaii, tucked away in a lush neighborhood where his family is renting a waterfront home, Obama dispatched surrogates back in Washington -- chiefly Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano and press secretary Robert Gibbs, who appeared on the Sunday talk shows -- to reassure the public and explain his approach.

    Yet even as the president avoided cameras and played golf and basketball over the weekend, his aides were quick to explain how fully Obama minded the aftermath of the Detroit case. More on the first hoop shooter

  4. Even in Iran, some of the signs have subtitles in the language of the Great Satan, English.

    Noticed in that first video, some of the women were joining in.

  5. Shoot the hoops, play golf, surf....

  6. Janet A. Napolitano and press secretary Robert Gibbs, two top rate minds, are indeed very reassuring while Kareem Hussein Obama perfects his Stuff- Stop Shots to the hoop.

  7. Lord, but a lame lame lame bunch of crap. Yup, the system worked good in Detroit. $40 billion homeland security and a dane takes him down.


  8. Main tain ing his maximum kool, the super fly of POTUS-i, Barack O Ba Ma, sa mooth, fine struttin, President of these United States of America. mm mmm mm.

  9. NIRU statement

    Coordination Center for National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces declares its existence.

    - two by four

  10. One man's view of the past 10 years.

    A Lost Decade


  11. ledger:

    The main thing the Big 0 doesn’t want to “dignify” is the proper criticism of his lax security policies and the fact that unarmed citizens subdued a rich black terrorist with 80 grams PENT in his underwear.

    Another thing that the big 0 doesn’t want to dignify is the justified criticism of his lame security lackey Janet Napolitano and her blithering nonsense on national television.

    Lastly the big 0 doesn’t want to dignify the spot-on criticism of his “let’s look at the root causes of Terrorism such as Poverty” speech after 9/11.

    In conclusion, the Big 0 is a selfish power grabbing swindler with a ego the size of city block and a brain the size of green pea.

    Malkin shreds 0bama’s poor oppressed Jihadist meme.

  12. Everybody's misused him
    Ripped him up and abused him
    Another junkie plan
    Pushin' dope for the man
    A Freddie's on the corner now
    If you wanna be a junkie, why
    Remember Freddie's dead
    Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh
    Freddie's dead

  13. On my way to bed I noticed Iranian Military Moves in regard to Doug's post.

  14. On December 8th, 2009 at 12:58 pm, AlohaGuy said:

    We have enough dangerous loons here. Why import them?


  15. Make that Souleyman Doug, Bobbie!

  16. The London Telegraph wrote Sunday evening:

    Iranians are dying for Freedom—Where is Barack Obama?”

  17. 27 Dec 09 Tehran People stop a police car and free protesters from Inside it
    scroll down for video

  18. Basiji headquarter on Fire,27dec

    Burn Baby, Burn!

  19. People taking over a police station.
    Fucker stands on roof of burning station waving flag!

  20. The only thing keeping them from killing the cops are other demonstratos protecting the captured cops.

    Where are you getting your reports?

  21. I found it and posted the police station being taken over