Iran: Other Countries Mustn’t Dictate Syria’s Political Future

Iranian officials say it is up to the Syrian people to decide whether he stays in power as part of any peace settlement.

The Syrian people have decided. But here is Iran, with Russian help, dictating at gunpoint that the Syrian people must accept the Iranian/Russian decreed government, the government against which the Syrian people have been rebelling these last several years.

“Other countries mustn’t dictate Syria’s political future.” No, Iran has reserved that task to itself.

I Have Use For…

…those seized weapons. The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi…rebels…in Yemen has seized an Iranian “fishing” boat laden with missile launchers and anti-tank weapons bound for those Houthis.

It would be good if the Saudis pass those weapons along to the Kurds, who are fighting the Daesh in northern Iraq. Those weapons would be put to good use by folks who know how to fight.

And they’ll be better than those un-armored “MRAPs” we shipped to them.

A Thought on a Mayor’s Statement

What Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake actually said:

It’s a very delicate balancing act. Because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.

What she said she meant in the next day’s press conference:

I was asked a question about the property damage that was done, and in answering that question I made it very clear that we balance a very line between giving protesters—peaceful protesters—space to protest. What I said is, in doing so, people can hijack that and use that space for bad.

Free Speech

…especially, the aim of those clauses of the First Amendment, free political speech.  Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court, had this to say in striking down aggregate limits to political contributions:

There is no right more basic in our democracy than the right to participate in electing our political leaders. Citizens can exercise that right in a variety of ways: They can run for office themselves, vote, urge others to vote for a particular candidate, volunteer to work on a campaign, and contribute to a candidate’s campaign. This case is about the last of those options.


A Thought on the Syrian Opposition

Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren (for a few more days), has one, which he offered in an interview with the Jerusalem Post:

The initial message about the Syrian issue was that we always wanted [President] Bashar Assad to go, we always preferred the bad guys who weren’t backed by Iran to the bad guys who were backed by Iran. … We understand that they are pretty bad guys.  Still, the greatest danger to Israel is by the strategic arc that extends from Tehran, to Damascus to Beirut.  And we saw the Assad regime as the keystone in that arc.  That is a position we had well before the outbreak of hostilities in Syria.  With the outbreak of hostilities we continued to want Assad to go.

In Which The Swiss Government Votes for National Sovereignty

Switzerland’s lower house of Parliament voted 123-63 against the measure [to let Swiss banks otherwise violate Swiss banking laws to give up data demanded by the US], which would have enabled many of the Alpine nation’s banks to sidestep the Swiss banking secrecy laws and start handing information to the US Department of Justice about any past help they may have given to Americans hiding undeclared wealth in Swiss accounts.

Those lawmakers were worried about, among other things,

Memorial Day Celebrations

I’ve posted this annually; this year with a modification.

Enjoy this holiday.  Take the time to kick back, relax from the hard work you’ve been doing, and just goof off for a bit.

While you’re doing that, though, do something else, also.  Invite that veteran in your neighborhood, who came back from his service wounded or maimed, and his or her family, to your celebration.  Invite the family in your neighborhood whose veteran was killed in his or her service to your celebration.  They need the break and the relaxation and the support, also.  And they’ve earned your respect and remembrance.