Marty Peretz concludes that “while Sa’ad Harari’s election in Lebanon was in some manner a response to Obama’s address to the Arab world, the ur test was what happened in Iran. And, I am afraid, that the canny meshugana won and that Obama lost.” And now we’ll see whether Obama bestows legitimacy on the meshugana and his mullah string-pullers, choosing “engagement” over the hope for a better Iran.
If nothing else the rose-colored glasses have been knocked off the Gray Lady: “It is impossible to know for sure how much the ostensible re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad represents the preference of an essentially conservative Iranian public and how much, as opposition voters passionately believe, it is the imposed verdict of a fundamentally authoritarian regime. But for those who dreamed of a gentler Iran, Saturday was a day of smoldering anger, crushed hopes and punctured illusions, from the streets of Tehran to the policy centers of Western capitals.”
Did you really have any doubt that the administration would throw Iranians to the wolves in pursuit of engagement? “The Obama administration is determined to press on with efforts to engage the Iranian government, senior officials said Saturday, despite misgivings about irregularities in the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.” Because Obama has no Plan B – and why let a brutal, despotic regime get in the way of hope-n-change. But wait: how is this hope-n-change? And how is he going to possibly “get” anything from these people? Back to beating up on Israel, I suppose. That’ll do the trick, right?
Hamas and Syria are delighted with the results.
You get the feeling no one takes us very seriously these days: “North Korea responded Saturday to new United Nations sanctions on Friday by defiantly vowing to press forward with the production of nuclear weapons and take ‘resolute military actions’ against international efforts to isolate it.”
Shocked, shocked to hear the revolving door is still spinning: “The official overseeing White House health care reform efforts earned more than $5.8M in the past three years form her work for major medical companies.”
Palau is having second thoughts about taking the Uighurs. The president mulls whether the beaches, free housing and “positive, friendly residents” really constitute the right environment. “‘They come from a high-altitude country,’ he said. ’I don’t know if they like the ocean.’” Switzerland? The French Alps?
Meanwhile the Uighurs in Bermuda want to open a restaurant. Oh, and there’s “no security or electronic monitoring” at the “guest cottage complex” where they are staying. And eventually they’ll get passports. Really, read the whole thing. They say they’ve never been terrorists. Honest.
Reviewing an article in Boston Review which finds 32% of Democrats and only 18.4% percent of Republicans attribute at least moderate blame to Jews for the economic collapse, Bill Kristol mulls why “most American Jews foolishly continue to maintain allegiance to a party that includes lots of people who don’t like them much (and who certainly don’t like Israel much).”
Well, it certainly won’t please Paul Krugman to find out that, according to the poll data, there is not ”in fact a higher degree of tolerance (for Jews, at least) among Democrats than Republicans.”
More polling data: “empathy” again loses in a landslide. Maybe the president should have focus-group tested that before trotting it out as the principle consideration in his Supreme Court selection.
Should he have paid more attention to the Tea Party protesters? “After enjoying months of towering poll numbers, legislative victories and well-received foreign policy initiatives, the White House has become increasingly concerned that President Obama’s spending plans, which would require $9 trillion in government borrowing over the next decade, could become a political liability that defines the 2010 midterm elections. The concern was reflected in the aggressive response from administration officials to criticism that money from Obama’s stimulus plan is arriving too slowly to help the languishing economy, as well as in the president’s public endorsement of ‘pay as you go’ legislation, which would require Congress to make room for new non-discretionary spending with equivalent cuts to other parts of the budget. . . But there is evidence of growing public concern over his fiscal policies. As he traveled Thursday in Green Bay, Wis., Obama was greeted by demonstrators holding signs that said, ‘No socialism’ and ‘Taxed Enough Yet?’”