Tuesday, July 3, 2018 at 8:36 AM

Protests in Iran, Nukes in North Korea Expose Trump as Hypocrite and Laughingstock … Again

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

Iran called for calm on Sunday after protests in a southern city over water shortages turned violent overnight with reports of police shooting at demonstrators who attacked banks and public buildings. …

A number of protests have broken out in Iran since the beginning of the year over water, a growing political concern due to a drought which residents of parched areas and analysts say has been exacerbated by mismanagement.

(Reuters, July 1, 2018)

Many are drawing comparisons between the way the Trump administration is dealing with these protests, which erupted months ago and have persisted ever since, and the way the Obama administration dealt with similar protests, which erupted and persisted throughout 2009.

Here in part is how I distinguished them in “American-Style Protests Erupt in Iran,” January 2, 2018.

____________________

Iran is more like America than most Americans, including President Donald J. Trump, realize. …

But I am heartened that Rouhani is reacting there much as Obama reacted here. Specifically, Rouhani is

  • acknowledging that protesters have legitimate grievances;
  • defending their right to protest; and
  • calling on them to vent their frustrations without recourse to violence (i.e., of the kind that attended protests in places like Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland).

Moreover, his enlightened reaction stands in commendable contrast to the repressive way government officials reacted in 2009. Back then, Iranians mounted similar protests over the reelection of Islamic hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I duly commented in “Iranians Protest Ahmadinejad’s Re-ordination,” June 15, 2009.

____________________

That said, I hasten to point out that Iran is not experiencing a belated coming of the Arab Spring. Interestingly enough, these Iranian protesters have more in common with Americans protesting in Michigan today for clean water than with Egyptians who protested in Cairo in 2011 for political rights.

Four years of protests, petitions, lawsuits, monetary donations, bottled water distribution, pipe replacements, as well as scientific testing and Environment Protection Agency involvement, have not stopped the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The Michigan city residents and activists protested Wednesday outside the state’s capitol building for help and recognition that their water problems persist.

(NewsOne, April 11, 2018)

This is why Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could be forgiven for trolling Trump by calling on Americans to overthrow their incompetent and corrupt government.

In any event, it’s worth calling out the way the Trump administration is reacting to these protests. After all, despite criticizing the Obama administration for failing to “support” Iranian protesters in 2009, this administration is merely aping celebrities who think tweeting support is the same as rendering it (e.g. remember #BringBackOurGirls, #StopKony?).

Here, for example, is how President Trump is presuming to distinguish himself in this context (from Obama):

Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018

But Iranians know that only fools would take comfort in this presidential promise. And they probably just rolled their eyes when his VP pounded his chest and threw shade at Obama with this Trumpian tweet:

As long as @RealDonaldTrump is POTUS and I am VP, the United States of America will not repeat the shameful mistake of our past when others stood by and ignored the heroic resistance of the Iranian people as they fought against their brutal regime …

— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) January 1, 2018

Again, the Trump administration has done nothing to support these Iranian protesters except publish feckless, self-aggrandizing tweets. By contrast, here is a more objective assessment of the support Obama rendered when faced with similar protests:

When protests took place in Iran in 2009, Obama did raise concerns about violence and called for the right of protesters to be respected, but he also argued that by getting involved in the situation, the United States, given the historical baggage of its past interference in Iranian politics, would only make matters worse. …

The Obama administration subsequently worked to impose the most punitive global sanctions ever imposed on Iran, a step his supporters say so damaged the Iranian economy that its leaders were forced back to the negotiating table.

(CNN, January 1, 2018)

Except that Trump is the only politician in the history of politics who shows no compunction whatsoever when it comes to

  • lying about the record of other politicians;
  • blaming other politicians for his mistakes;
  • taking credit for the accomplishments of other politicians; and
  • doing things he criticized other politicians for doing.

A topical example is the way he spent years criticizing every US president – from Clinton to Obama – for allowing North Korean presidents to play them for fools with deals to denuclearize. Well, after staging his made for reality-TV summit with Kim Jong-un, Trump tweeted the following:

Just landed – a long trip, but everybody can now feel much safer than the day I took office. There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea. … Sleep well tonight!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) Jun 13, 2018

Mind you, for him and his brain-dead followers, Trump tweeting “mission accomplished” made it real. This is why all that was left was for him to tweet, “Now give me my Nobel Peace Prize!

Except that:

U.S. intelligence officials, citing newly obtained evidence, have concluded that North Korea does not intend to fully surrender its nuclear stockpile, and instead is considering ways to conceal the number of weapons it has and secret production facilities, according to U.S. officials.

The evidence, collected in the wake of the June 12 Summit in Singapore, points to preparations to deceive the United States about the number of nuclear warheads in North Korea’s arsenal as well as the existence of undisclosed facilities used to make fissile material for nuclear bombs, the officials said.

(The Washington Post, June 30, 2018)

Duh.

It was bad enough that Kim pushed Trump around at their summit as if this US president were really nothing more than a bloviating dotard. But this Post report only affirms my contention in “Trump Strikes Potemkin Nuclear Deal with Kim Jong-un,” June 12, 2018; namely that, despite his claims about being the master of The Art of the Deal,

This dope was duped.

Drop the mic.

Related commentaries:
America-style protests
#StopKony2012
#BringBackOurGirls
Trump strikes potemkin deal

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