Thursday, August 30, 2012

Airborne Elephant Watch: Tehran!

Thomas P. Friedman (I don't know why I keep calling him that, his middle initial is L) leapt into it at the last minute yesterday as if terrified of missing an opportunity to be totally wrong, as he was, chiding Egypt's president Morsi for attending the meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran:
Excuse me, President Morsi, but there is only one reason the Iranian regime wants to hold the meeting in Tehran and have heads of state like you attend, and that is to signal to Iran’s people that the world approves of their country’s clerical leadership and therefore they should never, ever, ever again think about launching a democracy movement — the exact same kind of democracy movement that brought you, Mr. Morsi, to power in Egypt.
Flying Elephants. By Tattoomaus78 at DeviantArt.
Because what Morsi signaled to Iran's people turned out to be quite different, more along the lines of the world disapproves of their country's clerical leadership and democracy movements of the kind that brought him to power are eminently praiseworthy, especially in Syria—the Iranian foreign minister walked out, while poor little president Ahmadinejad squirmed, I guess, on the dais next to the fulminating Egyptian.
“The Syrian people are fighting with courage, looking for freedom and human dignity,” Mr. Morsi said, suggesting that all parties at the gathering shared responsibility for the bloodshed. “We must all be fully aware that this will not stop unless we act.”
Mr. Morsi, pointedly, did not mention unrest in Bahrain, possibly to avoid offending Saudi Arabia, which has helped Bahrain’s monarchy suppress the uprising.
Then the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, noted that the Holocaust really did take place. Actually virtually all educated Iranians, including the country's 25,000 Jews, are aware of this; the purpose of mentioning it was to remind them that Ahmadinejad doesn't care whether people think he is educated or not—the nation's crude, embarrassing brother-in-law. Ban also scolded the leaders for inattention to human rights and for lack of transparency in their nuclear affairs, and a splendid time was had by all.

None of this will persuade Friedman, of course. He's so committed to working out his model of who's bad and who's good that he can't think about anything getting better. But Morsi is fast replacing old Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in my heart as favorite post-Islamist politician. His current démarche on the subject of Syria, cutting Iran in (as is self-evidently necessary) and therefore inevitably cutting the US out, seems like the first idea anybody has had about Syria that could lead to a reduction in the number of killings instead of a further increase.

And Friedman? Suck. On. That.
From The Garlic.

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