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Obama calls for peaceful response in Middle East; slams Iran

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Obama signaled that he would stick with his Egyptian model: Prod governments to allow peaceful protests and to respond to grievances, but stay silent about who should run the countries or what change should look like.

In other words, sitting on the fence and placing bets on both sides. Maybe the right way to go, but not very inspiring. What happened to spreading the flowering of democracy? Or was that just a line to pull out when convenient?

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Obama will be kind to keep his nose out of other country's business?Since he was president until now he ignores the suffering of the egyptians until now.And what about Yemen?Call on Saleh and tell him the same.But no he wont because he is an ally.What a world of hypocrites we are living it.I just want to cry now.

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Obama said his message to friends and foes in the region is this: “The world is changing.”

More and more like Bush each and every day.

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Obama said his message to friends and foes in the region is this: “The world is changing.”

Surely he can come up with a better message than that?

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Obama singled out Iran, where hardline lawmakers are calling for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death. Tens of thousands of people turned out for an opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s revolt, the first such demonstration since a violent crackdown on protesters in 2009.

As in Egypt, Iran's next revolution will be led by community organizers.

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The pursuit of happiness, worldwide !

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Maybe Iran should follow the American model and build special caged-in "free-speech zones" for the protesters to express themselves.

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Obama will be kind to keep his nose out of other country's business?

But recently we heard about all who wanted him to support Egypt's protesters. That would have been meddling too. He'll have to make up his mind to meddle for one side or the other. If I were him I'd choose the less hostile side in these cases.

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At least the Iranian people know what is happening over in Egypt etc...I talked to a Cuban amigo, no internet allowed on that island all all the freedom movement etc..in Egypt etc..BIG TABOO, so don't hold your breath to see Cubans running wild in Havana etc..asking for freedom like in Egypt, Iran etc..

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Maybe Iran should follow the American model and build special caged-in "free-speech zones" for the protesters to express themselves.

You are comparing the violence Iranian protesters to barricades in the US? Gimme a break. Recent events in Iran make it abundantly clear that free speech is not a priority in Iran. Whine all you want but people in the US are free to protest their government.

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Gimme a break. Recent events in Iran make it abundantly clear that free speech is not a priority in Iran. Whine all you want but people in the US are free to protest their government.

The USA doesn't care about free speech unless it's being repressed in countries which don't follow the American line.

The USA supported Egypt ($1.5 Bn/year), a country which suppressed all opposition and free speech and tortured those who dissented.

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The USA doesn't care about free speech unless it's being repressed in countries which don't follow the American line.

I am referring to internal politics. Americans are free to protest and speak their minds. The same is plainly not true in Iran. The US's support of Egypt is not related to the issue I brought up.

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Americans are free to protest and speak their minds.

That is indeed the impression the western MSM gives its viewers, but Americans are not all that free to protest.

The US's support of Egypt is not related to the issue I brought up.

Actually it is, but I realize you do not want to consider it. Also related to this topic is that the US was behind the removal of Iran's democratically elected leader Mossadegh in the 1950's, to be replaced by a ruthless dictator, but I guess you also do not want to consider this fact.

The USA doesn't care about free speech unless it's being repressed in countries which don't follow the American line.

Very true. I don't hear him slam countries like Saudi Arabia for their lack of freedom to protest.

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but Americans are not all that free to protest.

Yes, they are. Americans protest about various things quite freely. In Iran, it is not allowed.

Actually it is, but I realize you do not want to consider it.

No, it is not. The US did not support the Egyptian regime because of its freedom. They supported it because of its attitude toward the US and its policies. The US foreign policy is to guard its interests. You talked about the freedome to speak in the US and incorrectly attempted to compare it to Iran's horrible record of a lack of freedome of speech. Iran's past history also has nothing to do with my previous point. The fact remains, people in the US are far freer to speak their minds and protest than people in Iran are.

I don't hear him slam countries like Saudi Arabia for their lack of freedom to protest.

While they should, they don't because it does not serve the national interest of the US to do so. However, to think that the US is unique in this attitude toward other countries is to be naive.

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I don't hear him slam countries like Saudi Arabia for their lack of freedom to protest.

While they should, they don't because it does not serve the national interest of the US to do so.

Exactly! And it serves the "national interest of the US" (i.e., US corporations) to slam Iran.

The US did not support the Egyptian regime because of its freedom. They supported it because of its attitude toward the US and its policies.

Well duh! Thanks for stating the obvious. And you are right that the US does not care about lack of freedom in other nations if it suits American corporations.

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Obama said his message to friends and foes in the region is this: “The world is changing.”

Wow. He is like, so deep, so philosophical and stuff.

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Tunisia is "freer" than it has been in a while - and its citizens are fleeing in droves, deluging Italy. But the media don't want to tell you that, or how an ABC news anchor (female) was beaten and gang-raped in Cairo last week.

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or how an ABC news anchor (female) was beaten and gang-raped in Cairo last week.

Actually, it was a female CBS foreign corespondent.

But, to quote yabits from an earlier story:

All of Egypt is shouting (in Arabic): "Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can!"

RR

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its very Funny to see the Lack of world Knowledge here. some want to Bame the US, compare the US. GET REAL! We have freedom to protest. simple FACT! the people of the world (Middle east) WANT more Freedom. the only way Iarn & Burain will succeed if the keep it up like Egypt did. I wish them Luck & YES!! America & Most americans want to see freedom in nations. i wish people would STUDY world issues before saying Nonesense!

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Raymasaki, you ask for too much. That would force some people to take the time to educate themselves, and they would rather go through like blind. Some people do have a point to a certain extent, when it comes to freedom of speech in the U.S. You have freedom of speech here, for the most part, as long as you are not a whistle blower against your employer, U.S. government included. then you can bet that your free speech rights will be trampled on. But there is no government approved sanction to trample on free speech ie; protests are allowed, even against the government, as long as it doesn't turn violent.

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Exactly! And it serves the "national interest of the US" (i.e., US corporations) to slam Iran.

So? What is your point? Iran's human rights record is horrible and there is an obvious, or 'duh' to you, lack of freedom of speech and protest. People in the US have far more freedom to speak and protest. When you suggested otherwise, you were incorrect. This is certainly not only about US corporations. Iran gets slammed because of their bad policies toward the international community and because of their bad human rights record. Both of these slams are well deserved.

Well duh! Thanks for stating the obvious. And you are right that the US does not care about lack of freedom in other nations if it suits American corporations.

It is apparent that it is not that obvious, or 'duh' to you, to you as you seem to be doing exactly what you say the US is doing. You seem to be ignoring or even claiming that the lack of freedom of speech and protest does not exist in Iran just because you agree with their foreign policies. Also, I never suggested that the US does not care about freedom in other nations. What I suggested was that to the US government the internal policies of foreign countries take a backseat to that country's foreign policies. Clearly this is also true for you as well with regard to Iran.

However, as has been mentioned above by others, your attempt to compare freedom in the US and Iran is clearly completely incorrect. Consider yourself corrected again.

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As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her speech at George Washington University yesterday, condemning governments that arrest protestors and do not allow free expression, 71-year-old Ray McGovern was grabbed from the audience in plain view of her by police and an unidentified official in plain clothes, brutalized and left bleeding in jail. She never paused speaking. When Secretary Clinton began her speech, Mr. McGovern remained standing silently in the audience and turned his back. Mr. McGovern, a veteran Army officer who also worked as a C.I.A. analyst for 27 years, was wearing a Veterans for Peace t-shirt.

Blind-sided by security officers who pounced upon him, Mr. McGovern remarked, as he was hauled out the door, “So this is America?” Mr. McGovern is covered with bruises, lacerations and contusions inflicted in the assault.

See, you do not have the right to peaceful protest in the US. Let's see what happens on March 20th.

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Ray McGovern is not just some guy. He frequently shows up to disrupt speaking engagements of those with whom he disagrees. While I do not agree with the man being brutalized, there is a time and place to protest. I wonder how McGovern's actions would be received were he to perform them in front of Ahmadinejad? You have failed in your attempt to compare Iran and the US.

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Ray McGovern is not just some guy. He frequently shows up to disrupt speaking engagements of those with whom he disagrees.

Disrupt? Do you mean like when, during a question period after Rumsfeld's speech, he waited his turn and asked a question? Or in the recent example above, where he simply turned his back.

there is a time and place to protest.

Yeah, like I said, in the "free-speech zones", which are basically large cages out of view of the general public. Ah, America, land of the free!

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Disruption can take many forms. You are free to see McGovern's actions however you wish. However, as I wrote, I welcome McGovern acting in a similar fashion in Iran in front of someone like Ahmadinejad. I highly doubt he would get off very easily. Anyway, was McGovern arrested when he questioned Rumsfeld? No. Was he allowed to ask his questions? Yes. There you have it. Freedom of speech.

Yeah, like I said, in the "free-speech zones", which are basically large cages out of view of the general public. Ah, America, land of the free!

So, all those protests outside the whitehouse and on the streets of the US are figments of imagination? Are you seriously trying to say there are more public protests in Iran against government policy than in the US? Are you seriously trying to say Iranian protesters are not much more severely dealt with than they are on average in the US? If you are, you seriously don't have a clue about either country.

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Anyway, was McGovern arrested when he questioned Rumsfeld? No. Was he allowed to ask his questions? Yes. There you have it. Freedom of speech.

Anyway, was 71-year-old McGovern allowed to turn around during Clinton's speech? No, the police immediately pounced on him and beat him badly.

Was he arrested when he turned around during Clinton's speech? Yes, badly hurt and bleeding, he was thrown in jail.

There you have it...

Anyway, my point all along has been to suggest that the US is in no position to lecture others about freedom of protest. That's it, that's all. I don't see why you have to continue following me around this forum with your usual fits.

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Again, you are comparing one case in the US with what has been going on Iran and you are mistaken. Your point is off the mark. Compared to Iran, the US is indeed in a position to lecture Iran about the freedom to protest. In Iran, people are not even allowed to celebrate the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia even though the Iranian government supposedly thinks those revolutions were wonderful.

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Iran blocked local BBC broadcast of the events that shook Egypt these last few weeks.

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Again, you are comparing one case in the US with what has been going on Iran and you are mistaken.

Oh no, there are many examples. A classic one was of a student who got tasered when asked a wrong question during question period after Kerry's speech. I brought up the McGovern example because it is very recent, and it happened while Cliton was talking about Egypt shutting off cell phone service and satellite communication. You can see the video for yourself if you search Youtube for "McGovern attacked by Hilary's thugs footage".

Clearly, the US is in no position to lecture other nations about freedom of protest. Obama should slam America before slamming Iran.

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Good morning,

Your examples continue to fail. The examples you give speak to individual police brutality or incompetence and not to a sanctioned government policy as we see in Iran. The squashing of protest and free speech in Iran is clearly government sanctioned. This is not true of the US.

BTW, your student example just proves my case. The campus police/rent-a-cops were suspended and the university president apologized for the incident. I don't remember Iran's government apologizing for killing protesters.

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