Tehran's Unlicensed Protests

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Juan Cole makes a sharp point. The mass protests in Iran would not be allowed in the US either. And they weren't allowed in the US under Bush-Cheney:

The number of demonstrators arrested in Tehran on Saturday is estimated at 550 or so, which is less than those arrested by the NYPD for protesting Bush policies in 2004.


When the US government detains people without trial or due process and tortures them and forbids spontaneous public demonstrations in major cities, it has a problem getting on its high horse. Now, of course, Bush-Cheney was not Khamenei-Ahmadinejad. They didn't rig 2008 to get Palin installed. But once you have crossed certain red lines of civil liberties, your scope for criticizing others is somewhat limited.Which is why we should be grateful Obama is in office. Bush's criticism of the treatment of arrested "terror suspects" would have been rightly laughed off the stage.

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