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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
McCain "Neda Speech" blasts Obama's weakness on Iran (full text)
By Selected News Articles @ 3:42 PM :: 11276 Views :: National News, Ethics, World News, Family

First two videos: 27 year old Tehrani, Neda Soltan shot and killed by Basiji sniper.  Protester shot and killed at Tehran election rally - June 20, 2009. 

BBC Persia Monday aired an interview with Neda's fiance:

Caspian Makan, Neda Agha-Setan's fiancee, was interviewed by BBC Persia, noting that Neda would have turned 27 this year. "Neda's goal was not Mousavi or Ahmadinejad, it was her country and was important for her to fight for this goal," the BBC narrator says while introducing the segment. "She had said many times that if she had lost her life or been shot in the heart, which indeed what happened, it was important for her to continue in this path. Considering her young age she has taught a lesson to us all."

About the day of the incident, Mr. Makan said: "When the clashes were occurring, Neda was far away from the demonstrations, she was in one of the side alleys near Amir Abad. Thirsty and tired or being cooped up for about an hour in the car in heavy traffic with her music instructor, she finally gets out of the car and, based on the pictures sent in by the people, armed forces in civilian clothes and the Basiji targeted and shot her in the heart."



OBAMA responses:

#1 "We're still waiting to see how it plays itself out...."

#2  "When a young woman gets shot on the street when she gets out of her car that's a problem."



Text of speech by McCain:

There's a news report from the Associated Press titled: Iranian police use force to break up protest

TEHRAN, Iran — Riot police attacked hundreds of demonstrators with tear gas and fired live bullets in the air to disperse a rally in central Tehran Monday, carrying out a threat by the country's most powerful security force to crush any further opposition protests over the disputed presidential election....

Witnesses said helicopters hovered overhead as about 200 protesters gathered at Haft-e-Tir Square. But hundreds of anti-riot police quickly put an end to the demonstration and prevented any gathering, even small groups, at the scene....

Iran says at least 17 protesters have been killed in a week of unrest so far after the electoral council declared hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winner of the June 12 election....

Severe restrictions on reporters have made it almost impossible to independently verify any reports on demonstrations, clashes and casualties. Iran has ordered reporters for foreign news agencies to stay in their offices, barring them from any reporting on the streets....

So the story goes on: Demonstrations, followed by repression, followed by murder in the streets.  And as these things seem to evolve an event took place--which may be the defining moment--just yesterday in the struggle of the Iranian people to be able to peacefully disagree with their government in this case because of a corrupt and fraudulent election without being killed in the streets and being beaten and imprisoned.  And it has to do with a woman named Neda.  And I quote from an ABC News story dated June 22, 2009:   (LINK ABC: Neda, Is She Iran's Joan of Arc?)

She sinks to the ground -- and a few minutes later she is dead. A video that has been repeatedly posted on the Internet purports to show the last moments of Neda, a young Iranian woman shot in the heart by government sharpshooters. Overnight she has become a symbol of the opposition.

They are shaky, blurred images: A young woman collapses onto the pavement, a dark pool of blood spreads beneath her body. Two men kneel next to the woman and press on her chest, screaming. The camera phone which is filming her zooms in on her face. Her pupils roll to the side, blood streams out of her nose and mouth. "Neda, don't be afraid! Neda, stay with me. Neda, stay with me!" cries one man. Another man beseeches someone to take her in a car. Then the footage stops.

The video footage appeared on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter on Saturday evening. It immediately became a viral sensation, being forwarded repeatedly. User groups were determined to get around YouTube's attempts to block the immensely graphic film. They posted the clip so often that it became impossible for YouTube to remove it.

So, Mr President we've seen as we have in cases of other brutal repression throughout history the living example or the dying example of martyrdom.

By Sunday morning "Neda" was the fifth most commented topic on Twitter. She had already become a kind of Joan of Arc. "It took only one bullet to kill Neda. It will take only one Neda to stop Iranian tyranny," was one posting from Tehran on Twitter.

"Neda died with open eyes. Shame on us who live with closed eyes," was one entry. "They killed Neda, but not her voice," was another. During the day thousands of people replaced their profile pictures with tributes to the young woman, such as "I am Neda" or "Neda forever." Others posted images of a broken heart in green, the color of the opposition movement.

So, Mr President a debate has been going on in as to how much the United Sates of America, its President, the Congress, and the American people should speak out in favor and in support of these brave Iranians--average age in Tehran is 33 years of age--in their quest for the fundamentals of freedom and democracy that we have enjoyed for more than a couple of centuries. 

So, Mr President today I and all America pays tribute to a brave young woman who was trying to exercise her fundamental human rights and was killed on the streets of Tehran.  All Americans are with her.  Our thoughts and our prayers are for her.  


President Obama at Today's news conference:

In one of the sharpest exchanges during his news conference, Fox News Channel’s Major Garret noted that President Obama said he was appalled by the violence in Iran and bluntly asked, “What took you so long?” to use the type of tough language the president used today on Iran.

Later, he was asked if harsh comments by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Iran inspired him to make similar remarks.

He smiled. “What do you think?” he said, prompting laughs from the press corps....

OBAMA: "When a young woman gets shot on the street when she gets out of her car that's a problem."

News Conference VIDEO: 


RELATED: US Will Continue "Hot Dog Diplomacy" With Iran

AFP: President Barack Obama's administration said earlier this month it would invite Iran to US embassy barbecues for the national holiday for the first time since the two nations severed relations following the 1979 Islamic revolution. "There's no thought to rescinding the invitations to Iranian diplomats," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly told reporters. "We have made a strategic decision to engage on a number of fronts with Iran," Kelly said. "We tried many years of isolation, and we're pursuing a different path now."


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