Tag Archives: Iran

Episode 54 – Afghanistan Explained


In what might be the most substantive and engaging episode of PoliTalk, Lt. Col. Joseph Alessi Ph.D., chair and professor of Military Science at the University of Pittsburgh, walks us through what is really going on in Afghanistan. To understand the current political decisions, you have to understand the complex history of this country, and to do that, you need to listen to Joe. The McCain campaign had “Joe the Plumber.” At PoliTalk, we have Joe the Scholar, who offers a fair, balanced view of the region and explains why if you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat it…and nowhere is that lesson more vital than Afghanistan. Always engaging and informative, it’s PoliTalk — your weekly political podcast.

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Episode 53 – Iran Goes Nuclear


Just when you thought it was safe to talk about the Middle East, Iran drops a bombshell… almost literally. Between the announcement of a new nuclear plant and the testing short and medium distance ballistic missles, Iran has put itself back on the world stage. Join Jeff and Glenn as they discuss the region, the implications of Iranian actions and their take on possible outcomes.Always informative and entertaining, it’s straight-forward political analysis on PoliTalk, your weekly political podcast.

Join us in Boston on November 10, 2009! Register now, visit http://nationaldebateseries.com

You can get the PoliTalk Podcast from  iTunes and Zune


More Alarming Video Out of Tehran

This video was posted today. It looks like it was taken from a cell phone. To say the least, it is disturbing. How does a country’s youth go back to business as usual after experiencing this?

Episode 41 – Now What? Iran, The Economy & Health Care


Glenn captures the essence of this week’s show by asking the ultimate question in response to the many issues we face this week: now what? What happens next in Iran? What are the political ramifications of the attacks on President Obama? Where does the insurgency go? With the economy still in shambles, what next? There’s talk of a second stimulus bill, but is the first one working? Is President Obama taking on too much and losing his focus on the economy? When it comes to health care “reform,” Jeff asks what’s next? Now that most of what calls for reform has been abandoned, is it time to pull the plug on this hugely important effort? They close with seasonal cooking tips, and as always, invite your response and participation. Always informative and entertaining, it’s PoliTalk: your weekly political podcast.

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President Obama’s Response to Iranian Election Unrest

Transcript in English:

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Good afternoon, everybody.  Today, I want to start by addressing three issues, and then I’ll take your questions.

First, I’d like to say a few words about the situation in Iran.  The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, the beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days.  I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost.

I’ve made it clear that the United States respects the sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and is not interfering with Iran’s affairs.  But we must also bear witness to the courage and the dignity of the Iranian people, and to a remarkable opening within Iranian society.  And we deplore the violence against innocent civilians anywhere that it takes place.

The Iranian people are trying to have a debate about their future.  Some in Iran — some in the Iranian government, in particular, are trying to avoid that debate by accusing the United States and others in the West of instigating protests over the election.  These accusations are patently false.  They’re an obvious attempt to distract people from what is truly taking place within Iran’s borders.  This tired strategy of using old tensions to scapegoat other countries won’t work anymore in Iran.  This is not about the United States or the West; this is about the people of Iran, and the future that they — and only they — will choose.

The Iranian people can speak for themselves.  That’s precisely what’s happened in the last few days.  In 2009, no iron fist is strong enough to shut off the world from bearing witness to peaceful protests [sic] of justice.  Despite the Iranian government’s efforts to expel journalists and isolate itself, powerful images and poignant words have made their way to us through cell phones and computers, and so we’ve watched what the Iranian people are doing.

This is what we’ve witnessed.  We’ve seen the timeless dignity of tens of thousands of Iranians marching in silence.  We’ve seen people of all ages risk everything to insist that their votes are counted and that their voices are heard.  Above all, we’ve seen courageous women stand up to the brutality and threats, and we’ve experienced the searing image of a woman bleeding to death on the streets.  While this loss is raw and extraordinarily painful, we also know this:  Those who stand up for justice are always on the right side of history.

As I said in Cairo, suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.  The Iranian people have a universal right to assembly and free speech.  If the Iranian government seeks the respect of the international community, it must respect those rights and heed the will of its own people.  It must govern through consent and not coercion.  That’s what Iran’s own people are calling for, and the Iranian people will ultimately judge the actions of their own government.

Iran Election Protests Take Place, Tear Gas Used

Despite warnings from Iran’s Supreme Leader, Iranians in Tehran took to the streets on Saturday in protest of the recent presidential election. While there is a media ban on foreign media, Twitter reports and video uploaded to YouTube suggest that tear gas is being used to disperse crowds.

Watch Video Below Glenn Posted…

I sat down tonight thinking of writing eloquently about the fissures developing in Iran, about an election stolen, about the emerging voice of people and the transformation nature of social media, but then I watched the video Glenn posted yesterday. It is, quite simply, one of the most powerful things I have ever seen. Tragically sad, unnerving…if it doesn’t make you think, move you in some way, then you shouldn’t be reading this blog or listening to our Podcasts. As was the case at Kent State or at marches during the Civil Rights movement here in the US, as was the case in Ireland, as is the case all around the world, an individual’s right to speak his/her mind should be met with dialogue, never be silenced by a gun. PLEASE watch the video posted below. — Jeff