Early Saturday evening Eastern Time, CNN International Senior Correspondent Arwa Damon, opening a CNN-US panel discussion on the anti-government protests in Iran, read the Iranian government's reactions to Donald Trump's Saturday tweets which quoted and replayed related portions of the President's September speech at the United Nations.
Damon followed that statement with a stunning example of the gratuitous America-bashing we've become so used to seeing at CNN, as she broadened the topic to "how frustrated other countries are with the United States," claiming that "a lot of nations and their populations" see the U.S. as "not having a moral leg to stand on."
It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran's government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran's government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.
The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran's people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict Internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protestors, and imprison political reformers.
Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror? Or will the Iranian people return to the nation's proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again? (Trump's tweet added, "The world is watching!")
The Iranian regime's support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.
Perhaps it was the weather in Istanbul, Turkey, but viewers will see in the video clip which follows that Arwa Damon appeared to be quite sullen as she responded to the in-studio host's request for more information about Iran's response to Trump's tweets. After that, she decided to make harsh and far broader statements supposedly reflecting the attitudes of "a lot of nations and their populations":
Transcript (beginning at the 0:21; bolds are mine):
CNN HOST: ... I understand you've got more for us from that response (from Iran).
ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL: Yeah, that's right. This coming out from the [Iranian] foreign ministry, not only talking about the fact that they view the government of President Trump as the greatest bearer of ill will towards Iran but going on to say that, "The people of Iran give no value or credibility to such opportunistic expressions by the Government or the person, Mr. Trump. American officials, through their conduct, have not earned a place from which they can express masked sentiments as sympathies, for the aware and engaged of the people of Iran."
Now this, not just necessarily a rebuke of what the U.S. president tweeted, but also perhaps a reflection of just how frustrated, not just Iran but other countries frankly are, with the United States.
A lot of nations and their populations, no matter how they feel about their governments in particular, do perceive the United States as not really having a moral leg to stand on.
Now remember, these demonstrations in Iran began Thursday night, growing on Friday, spreading across the country, starting off with calls for economic reform, frustration with the fact that food and gasoline prices have been increasing, but then also taking on a marked tone of direct dissatisfaction with President Rouhani, and something that we don't see very often, also dissatisfaction with Ayatollah Khamenei.
It's also worth pointing out that people are also growing increasingly frustrated with what they say is Tehran's continued support and focus on foreign policy, as opposed to domestic policy, focusing a lot on military, political and economic support for their proxies in countries like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, as opposed to trying to focus on the well-being of their own population.
When the regime's priorities revolve around producing nuclear weapons and destroying Israel, it shouldn't surprise anyone that the well-being of the Iranian people routinely gets short shrift.
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Whether Arwa Damon's description of how other conveniently unnamed countries "and their populations" see things is accurate, it seems pretty clear that this is how she sees things — which should lead reasonable viewers to wonder, since she wouldn't cite specifics, whether her "others say" statement really means, "in my opinion," and has little if any genuine support.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.