The Opinion Journal
A sworn enemy of the United States holds an election that is a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham, and the Associated Press reports on President Obama's strongest statement about it to date:
Obama says he believes supreme leader Ayatollah ali Khamenei has deep concerns about the civil unrest that has followed the hotly contested presidential election there.
Obama repeated Tuesday at a news conference his "deep concerns" about the disputed balloting. He said he believes the ayatollah's decision to order an investigation "indicates he understands the Iranian people have deep concerns."
But at the same time, Obama said it would not be helpful if the United States was seen by the world as "meddling" in the issue.
The president did say, however, that he worries "when I see violence directed at peaceful protesters, when I see peaceful protest being suppressed."
Wow, he's worried and concerned! It's a good thing he promised not to meddle, or he might have made the ayatollahs cross, even uncomfortable!
Many Obama supporters say the president is doing just the right thing by remaining flaccid. Reuters quotes a couple of them:
"The U.S. ability to do harm in Iranian politics is much greater than doing good," said Middle East expert Jon Alterman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. . . .
Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution said publicly siding with pro-democracy protesters could undermine them and work against U.S. interests.
"The only option is to sit back and let them play it out," she said. "I think that concern being expressed is perfectly appropriate but you don't want Washington on its high horse."
Even Roger Cohen, until a few hours ago one of the ayatollahs' most loyal shills, thinks the administration's response is unacceptably wimpy--although he tries to blame the vice president and let Obama off the hook:
The United States should also, with its European allies, find stronger means to register repugnance at [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad's use of violence and demand some credible accounting of the election result, including an answer to the question of where the ballots are now. Having Vice President Joe Biden say "There is real doubt" about the result is not quite enough.
Calibrating a response that does not give ammunition to the regime by suggesting American interference is delicate--and President Obama has been suitably restrained. But the air of business as usual at the White House is off-key. Millions of defrauded Iranians are thirsting for a little more.
It is very well to choose one's words carefully, but Obama's timidity is shameful. One of the central arguments for electing him president was that he would restore America's "moral authority," supposedly squandered by George W. Bush. But of what use is moral authority to a nation led by a man who is either too indifferent or too frightened to say a word on behalf of what is right?
Of course Obama who is responsible for America's foreign policy is right. And of course, those who aren't responsible for America's foreign policy are right to criticize it. We are sending mixed messages, and all of them are important for the Iranians to hear.
"Coming off the strike/lockout season, MLB was not in a strong bargaining position. The Players Association fought the testing tooth and nail."
Given what happened subsequently, I find it hard to say that the opposition of the Players Association was wrong. The publication of the drug results is an evidence of a betrayal of trust somewhere along the line.
What aggravates me really is the abuse of the justice process, and I believe the integrity of the justice system is much more important than whether a ballplayer used an unidentified substance a half a decade ago.
104 players tested positive in 2003, out of 1438 tests. Therefore, roughly 7% of players were cheating. The only two names that have leaked so far are ARod and Sosa. Another 102 guys open the paper carefully every day.
Of course, as hiram pointed out, since these tests were guaranteed to be anonymous, the leakers themselves are now lawbreakers.
Wiping out all the records makes no sense, unless you assume that only the hitters were cheating and not the pitchers. Since we subsequently found that pitchers were cheating too (see- Clemens and Pettitte) you can't just erase the hitters records.
As far as blaming MLB and the MLBPA, both deserve it but...
Coming off the strike/lockout season, MLB was not in a strong bargaining position. The Players Association fought the testing tooth and nail. I split the blame 80%/20% toward the union. The league and the teams would have liked the testing but were stonewalled the entire way.
The problem is all of the users' identities are coming out years after the fact, so there are probably other users who just never got caught/exposed. As we see more and more star players join the ranks of the users, it's becoming more difficult to believe that any star wasn't using. And this makes it harder to believe that many stars in history weren't cheating in some way or another if there was an opportunity and a way to avoid getting caught. I think it's the MLB and MLBPA's fault for not having better testing in the first place.
A few years ago, the Minnesota Gophers were in the final four of the NCAA basketball tournament. It was subsequently found that members of the team had committed academic fraud, and it's my understanding that all the games were removed from the records, as if they had never been played. My suggestion at the time, was that if the games had never been played, then it also must be true that tickets to those games were never sold, and that therefore the money received from those sales should be returned to the purchasers. For some reason, that suggestion never seemed to go anywhere.
In general, and I think this applies to a lot of different areas, and particularly with respect to baseball in stocks, I think we should always be conscious of what numbers mean and what they don't mean. They are raw data into which we read meaning. In effect, I believe numbers always have asterisks, huge numbers of them, and they only reason we don't include them is that they take up too much space.
In the original revolution against the Shah, Americans abandoned the Iranian students who risked and gave their lives for freedom. The Iranian revolution was modeled after the US civil rights movement. The only thing that kept that from being a bigger bloodbath was the fact that Iranian generals refused orders to massacre their own people.
One reason why we really can't say anything about Iran's elections is that it's widely known across the middle east that the US government is a wholly owned subsidiary of anybody with $12. Few people outside the United States see our elections as anything other than corruption on a massive scale.
We love to tell our selves that Bush squandered our credibility. The guy was elected TWICE. After 4 years of his stupidity and arrogance, was he a surprise? Then, we nominate SARAH FUCKING PALIN, a women so mindlessly stupid she doesn't know where Russia is, took5 coleges to get a 4 year degree in some dumb ass social science and basically gives Fox News answers to any question.
Germany's Prime Minister has a degree in Physics. Ours is an equal opportunity hire from the hood. Don't expect a lot of world wide respect.
"Sammy Sosa, who joined with Mark McGwire in 1998 in a celebrated pursuit of baseball’s single-season home run record, is among the players who tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug in 2003, according to lawyers with knowledge of the drug-testing results from that year."
I have to say, it would never occur to me to cite lawyers as a credible source for information. Almost by definition, they are not.