Steven Den Beste
has some thoughts on Iran
This collection of photos from Iran is really quite amazing.
Fifteen years ago it wouldn't have been possible. Fifteen years ago the people risking their lives with those cameras would have been using film. Fifteen years ago it would have taken days if not weeks for them to smuggle film out of such an area, get it developed, and get the pictures published (on paper). That's because fifteen years ago pictures were a physical medium. That's all changed. Now pictures are bits.
Now the cameras are digital, the smuggling is by satellite phone or internet, and publishing is on the web. In some cases the picture can be seen by thousands around the world within an hour of when it is taken.
The Iranian government reportedly is trying to prevent this, by shutting down the phone system and seriously limiting access to the internet, but unless they're willing to cut the internet entirely there's really no way to prevent the word from getting out.
I am always amused by poets, artists, musicians, playwrights who claim they're going to change the world. It's all blather, self-important presumption. Poetry and paintings don't change the world.
Digital cameras and the internet are changing the world, and it's scientists and engineers who did that, not poets or artists or musicians.
But it's not all good
I am growing increasingly appalled at the silence from the Obama administration. I think I understand it, of course.
It goes against the grain for Obama to endorse Ahmadinejad's victory, when it was so obviously fraudulent. But if Obama comes out and endorses the protesters, and they lose, then he fears it will poison any chance he might have of negotiating with the Ahmadinejad government after things calm down. So he's waiting until he sees how things begin to resolve there, and in the mean time he isn't even willing to condemn the Iranian security forces for using live ammunition to shoot protesters.
I understand that. But it still makes him and us look lily-livered and unprincipled.
I have an intuitive feel that there's also some deer-in-the-headlights going on. Obama's world view is being shaken: this wasn't supposed to be happening. When he got elected and went on his world apology tour, it was supposed to usher in a new era in international relations where everyone would unclench their fist and begin to negotiate in a spirit of comity. After Obama made his speech to the Muslims in Cairo, the whole region was supposed to calm down and be less confrontative. And somehow it isn't happening like that. It's like he doesn't really have any idea just how to cope with how things actually are happening now.
Emphasis in original.
This is what I think is a central problem with Obama. Simply put: the man never failed. There was never a situation where his worldview, his theories came to a crashing failure-riddled explosion.
Part of that is intrinsic to the Senate of course, the buck rarely stops with any one senator so responsibility doesn't have it's grubby impact, but there's more to it than that. For example the first (of two pre-Presidential) autobiographies was not planned to be an autobiography. The publisher thought they had hired Mr. Obama to write a book on race, not on... himself. However, Obama got more money for his efforts, more insulation from consequences.
The mass media is also doing its hardest to insulate and secure Obama, to keep reality from going in and intruding with his vision. That's why things like hard employment numbers, the intelligence results of waterboarding, Obama's actual record at university, and things like Iran are... inconvenient.
The result of this is that Obama's worldview is not tempered by –well- reality. He truly believes in his own abilities and his own rhetoric. And why not? Look at how far his ability to strongly and charismatically recite someone else's words has gotten him. He became President, without any major legislation under his belt, without any executive experience, without even finishing a senate term.
Now, if only reality didn't get in the way of his rhetoric. If only other nations did what he wanted. If only...
Best of hands.
Gatewaypundit has Obama's response
And guess what... den Beste was right.
Barack Obama finally responded to the Iranian crisis today.
He said, "It's up to Iran to determine its own leaders."
“We need a deeper assessment of what’s going on,” [State Department spokesman Ian] Kelly said.
Meanwhile... The regime is shooting at protesters from rooftops.
But, Obama needs more time to assess the situation.
Ahh... can you smell the bulwark of democracy? Much better than that boorish bush
And here's another roundup from Ace of Spades
And related to the previous post Hotair reminds: Health care is a ‘crisis.’ This is but a ’situation.’