Streetwise Professor

January 5, 2010

She’s Back! Now, If She’d Only Go Away Again.

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 7:54 pm

I swear I saw Hillary Clinton’s picture on a milk carton.  But she just made an appearance to weigh in on pressing issues of the day, including the junkbomber and Iran.  She should have stayed in whatever undisclosed location she’s been hanging out in over the past couple of weeks.

On Iran, she intoned:

Iran is going through a very turbulent period in its history. There are many troubling signs of the actions that they are taking. And we want to reiterate that we stand with those Iranians who are peacefully demonstrating. [That’s cheap talk if I ever heard it.]  We mourn the loss of innocent life. We condemn the detention and imprisonment, the torture and abuse of people, which seems to be accelerating. And we hope that there will be an opportunity for Iran to reverse course, to begin engaging in a positive way with the international community, respecting the rights of their own citizens. But we’re going to continue on our dual-track approach.

I can just see the mullahs, giving themselves an IcouldahadaV8 head slap, saying: “If we’d only known there was another way to treat our citizens than to murder them, beat them with truncheons, torture them, etc., etc..  Thanks for pointing that out, Hillary! ”

“We hope.”  Sheesh.  It’s far better just to STFU than to say something so risible.   Like Mark Twain said: “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”  Especially when you are a senior official of the US government and you make the entire country look foolish.  If she wanted a surefire way to increase Iranian intransigence, she’s succeeded by making such a vapid, toothless, and utterly unserious statement.

But Hillary was just getting started.  She added a variation on the Janet Napolitano “the system worked” theme.  (Hasn’t she gotten the memo stating that theme is, as Ron Ziegler once said, no longer operative?)  At least her part worked, and that’s all that matters:

Based on what we know now, the State Department fully complied with the requirements set forth in the interagency process as to what should be done when a threat is – or when information about a potential threat is known.

She did say that a review is underway to determine whether procedures should be changed.  But please.  Spare me the bureaucratic CYA.

I think we now know she wouldn’t have been prepared for that 3AM call either.

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1 Comment »

  1. Craig

    What makes you think that the same rules that applied in Russia aren’t being applied in Iran?

    The last vestiges of theocracy disappeared in what was essentially a hostile takeover in June by the IRGC/Bonyads.

    Since Ahmadinejad came to (nominal) power there has been a gradual process (it took years just to get their own man appointed as oil minister) of replacements of the positions of power in the NIOC and related complex of energy and petrochemical companies. I know because I met and had dealings with the former key people, and some of the new ones, in the last few years.

    Does Gazprom, Gunvor, Rusal and the rest ring a bell? It should. In Iran the economic (and political) power does not lie in the banks: it lies in the state-owned resource companies being privatised.

    The current position in Iran is about power, oil and money in that order. It pretty much always has been. In order to have power, you need the Iranian equivalent of a communist party card and/or military hardware. Iran is as theocratic now as Russia was Communist under Gorbachev.

    As for sanctions etc the regime actually WANTS the US to impose gasoline sanctions because:

    (a) the Bonyads make more money from busting sanctions;

    (b) it enables prices to be put up, and subsidies to be cut which they are desperate to do; while

    (c) blaming the US, rallying the people behind them; and

    (d) acting as a distraction and an excuse in respect of economic problems.

    There is no dumber policy other than the previous sanctions on IT, particularly bandwidth.

    The quickest way to a positive outcome for the US is to bring to Iran the wonders of capitalism and technology transfer. When I was speaking at a conference in Teheran immediately post Lehman, the elite were all laughing about how US sanctions had actually protected Iran from the effects of the Credit Crunch….

    Everything going on in Iran is pretty much straight out of the siloviki playbook. This isn’t about religion or ideology: it’s about biznis.

    Comment by Chris Cook — January 6, 2010 @ 5:50 am

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