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[P]
You say you want a revolution

By jjayson in Op-Ed
Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 02:29:51 AM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

Michael Ledeen recalls a Turkish General commenting on the problem of allying with the United States, saying, "You never know when the Americans are going to turn around and stab themselves in the back."

Now that the conflict in Iraq is cooling down, the difficult part begins. The next step will be to build a democratic government in Iraq. However, those in Tehran are fighting against this, as if with their last breath. "We can never do Iraq by itself. Iran cannot have a free Iraq and Afghanistan. We will never have peace without Iran taken care of," Ledeen, a resident scholar in the Freedom Chair of the American Enterprise Institute, told Ted Koppel on Nightline. A democratic Islamic country next door would only embolden the citizens of Iran at a time that some say is oddly similar to the pre-1979 climate. Some nations seek to engage the Iranian mullahs, but that will only legitimate the mullocracy and prolong their existence. The United States should instead turn its back on Tehran, including the reformers inside the government, and provide assistance to those seeking to bring democracy to Iran.


For over a week now, Iran has been undergoing violent protests, at first in Tehran, but quickly spreading to other cities. Pro-Islamist militia with clubs and chain were sent out to quell the protests, to be restrained only after the beatings had made it into the international news. "In the past few nights, my peers — and our mothers and sisters — have poured into the streets of our city. Some of us have been arrested and many have been injured by the ruthless attacks of Ansaar-e-Hezbollah. These people attack whomever they see in the streets with tear gas, sticks, iron chains, swords, daggers, and, for the last two nights, guns. It has become almost routine for us to go out at night, chant slogans, get beaten, lose some of our friends, see our sisters beaten, and then return home," writes a student from Tehran under the name Koorosh Afshar.

The protests were fed when California-based Persian-language TV stations beamed images of the demonstrations back into Tehran. When Iranians saw the protests, they flocked to them. Run by Iranian exiles, these rogue satellite stations have been a thorn in the mullah's side. They have been so hated that there has been a recent crackdown on illegal satellite dishes in Iran to prevent people from seeing what is happening in their own country and know of the support they have from others.

Calls from inside Iran have been strengthening for months. In an article in the 25 April issue, Le Monde, a French newspaper, said that the Iranian leadership are apprehensive of the "fierce pro-Americanism" of the Iranian people, adding, "They are especially worried of the vox populi, that asks for a change of the regime with the help of the American Marines." It is reporting that many Iranians openly proclaim their support for American intervention. A filmmaker, requesting to remain anonymous, bluntly stated, "The Afghans and the Iraqis have been freed from dictatorships, why not us?" Behzad Nabavi, the Majles Deputy-speaker and reformist, explains, "If one admits that the Iraqis are delighted with Saddam Hussein's end, one must also think about the possibility that maybe, the Iranians would celebrate at the end of the Islamic Republic as well." In an open letter to President Khatami asking for the release of fellow writers from prison, Ebrahim Nabavi wrote that he would prefer American occupation to the current government that consistently ignores the rights of the citizens.

On those calling for American intervention, Behzad Nabavi said, "It is obvious that it is the result of our mistake. The fact that people prefer a foreign invasion to living in the Islamic Republic is only the sign of our failure. We have not been able to fulfill the people's democratic aspirations and it is normal that they are disappointed."

Regardless of how you see the Iraq war initially, it is undeniably producing fruit already. Leadership in Tehran, along with the rest of the world, is getting a clear message. A threat of force is only credible if it is occasionally backed up, and now a fear of America seems to be moving through governments across the region. Nabavi explains how Iran can avoid the same happening to it, "How would I not be afraid of an America armed to the teeth and who demonstrated in Iraq its total disdain of respect for the sovereignty of the States? Yes, I am afraid. The Americans are apparently able do whatever they like; no matter the United Nations or even the Western public opinion." He continued, "The only and somewhat acceptable argument to the eyes of the western intellectuals justifying a hostile action against a country is the instauration of democracy." He sees that "the best defense of Iran against the Americans would be to reinforce its democracy in order to deprive them of their arguments." If the perception is that restoring democracy is how you stave off American force, then we came across loud and clear in Iraq. It is hard to imagine a better message.

Beyond the hyperbolic rhetoric for American assistance in deposing the regime, practical ideas have come out. Recently, an institute in Iran conducted a poll, asking if relations with America should be mended. The results here an overwhelming endorsement of the idea. However, the idea was so acutely feared by the mullahs that the directors of the institute were jailed and the Revolutionary Guard have issued warnings of imprisonment to those calling for normalization of relations with the United States. Then, on May 7, 153 members of parliament called for restoration of American relations as a deterrent effect, saying that it was necessary for the stability of the country.

In a May 5 editorial in Iran va Jahan, a Persian paper based out of France, Reza Bayegan exemplifies this newfound fear, echoing Charles Krauthammer's sentiment, "The Islamic Republic today does not have the luxury of dealing with a naive U.S. administration as it did during the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. American Foreign policy today is informed by the valuable lesson that the cancer of terrorism can be eradicated only by strong resolve and not by pampering the malignant tumors." Reza draws a parallel between the present environment in Iran and that of the early moments of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, especially how both periods feature ineffectual leaders with popular support that merely distract from the issues. An Iranian citizen explains, "There isn't any difference between reformers and the conservatives anymore." "It is simple. We don't want the Islamic Republic anymore," he says, "It took us a quarter of century to realize that the revolution has ended in failure."

Now may be the time for action. In recent months, Iranian expatriates across the globe have raised their voices to almost ear-splitting intensity. Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas says that US-Iranian relations are at a key juncture: "If we falter now by giving any type of comfort or legitimacy to the existing regime against the will of Iran's own people, we will be making a mistake we will pay for years to come." We cannot sit idly by. As we had to fight for what we wanted in Iraq, we will also have to fight for what we want in Iran. This doesn't need to be a military conflict, but a political conflict. Rob Sobhani, a professor at Georgetown University, says we need a definitive policy, "If we did this right, we could have a regime change in Iran. It would just take for the U.S. to make very clear that we want to change the regime — no platitudes, no pussyfooting around."

Last time we had a chance, we squandered it. July 8, 2002 the State Department refused to send a message to those protesting the Iranian government, the next day in Tehran Michael Ledeen took them to task. The official response by Richard Boucher was, "No, the official U.S. line is, you know, we don't comment when people demonstrate. I mean, when do we give messages to demonstrators?" After chuckles from the press he continued, "I guess no, I remember. Bob Strauss went out the night that the Soviet Union fell out, fell apart, and he gave the liberty message to demonstrators. That's about the only instance that I can remember that we've been out there. Certainly in places as far away as Tehran, the idea that we would have a message every time there's a demonstration is a little far-fetched." Four days later, President Bush issued a statement, "We have seen throughout history the power of one simple idea: when given a choice, people will choose freedom. As we have witnessed over the past few days, the people of Iran want the same freedoms, human rights, and opportunities as people around the world. Their government should listen to their hopes."

This time Bush used the opportunity. "This is the beginning of people expressing themselves towards a free Iran which I think is positive," he said. "America stands squarely by their side, and I would urge the Iranian administration to treat them with the utmost of respect." Secretary of State Colin Powell came out with his support on Tuesday, and even Foggy Bottom has contributed remarks, not to be left on the wrong side of the tracks.

A few sentences of after the fact support is nice, but more aggressive and proactive efforts would be even better. The Iran Democracy Act, Senator Brownback's proposal (S.Res.82), is currently winding its way through Congress calls for $50 million to be provided to television and radio broadcasts and other freedom supporting activities. Ledeen, in a speech made to the Iranian diaspora, said that it could take a mere $20 million to topple those in power.

However, some see American support as an alienating force. Senator Brownback tries to counter this idea. "Part of the reason comes from a failure to realize exactly how much the situation in Iran has changed. The traditional foreign policy view on Iran has been that anything the U.S. does to help democracy dissidents will only poison them inside their own society as tools of America," he states. They are already being called American puppets. The recent uprisings have been called American-caused by Ayatollah Khamenei. However, when the vast majority of the population of in favor of change, it is difficult to carry on this fallacy. While the chants were once "Death to America," now as if spitting in the face of the mullahs, an American-style democracy is being demanded.

There is a trap though that Brownback describes, "This is where it can get confusing for American policymakers — and where it is critical that we not make a mistake. It seems logical to support the reformers in Iran — after all, any reform attempt of this terrorist regime is better than nothing. But in this case, that is not true. If the U.S. government — or policymakers reach out to the reformers — they would essentially be throwing a lifeline to this dying tyranny and they would be working in collaboration with the current Iranian regime against the people of Iran." One Iranian balked at the idea of supporting the reformers, saying, "Those that say they want to change the current system are either ignorant of our political structure or are seeking business deals from the clerics."

Upon hearing Brownback's statement, the Student Movement Coordination Committee for Democracy in Iran (SMCCDI) released a response: "Sir, any rapprochement with the present regime, under the pretext of 'dialogue,' with the so-called 'elected', 'moderate,' and 'reformists' would be rejected by the freedom-loving Iranians and would gravely undermine the status of the United States as the champion of the democratic principles and the ideals that she stands for; the very foundation of America. Indeed, any relations or associations with the present regime that would, in any way, extend its life and its hold on power could bear crucial consequences for relations with the future generations of Iran."

President Khatami's credibility has eroded to such lows that many are now calling for his resignation and the throat of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. The Christian Science Monitor is reporting that "some 90 percent of Iranians themselves want change, and that 70 percent want dramatic change." France has people setting themselves ablaze in the streets to protest the rounding up of the Mujahedeen Khalq (MKO), also known as the People's Mujahedeen, an Iranian opposition group officially listed as a terrorist organization in Europe as well as the US.

There are other countries that do not seem to care and continue to support despotism in exchange for profit and power. With the tremendous victory in Iraq, France and the clergy of Iran have been put in an unusual friendship. They both have an interest in seeing America fail at its democracy project next door. In the prelude to a recently signed joint investment agreement, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin met with the Iranian regime. Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, a New York based activist, said that protests against Mr. de Villepin's trip were planned: "Iranian university students and women are going to go out there and demonstrate in front of the French Embassy. We're hoping it will be a huge turnout. The French have made dirty deals with the mullahs. Chirac is one of the best friends of Khatami."

There are forces even within the American government that would rather placate the mullahs than allow the Iranians to confront them. Richard Haas, a departing State Department official, has been trying to find ways to engage Iran in contradiction to the President's strategy. An administration official explained that Haas "didn't agree with the president that Tehran should be vilified, so he simply did his own thing." Then Haas convinced Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitrage to call Iran a democracy in a Los Angeles Times interview. He will soon be gone, but most likely his successor will be chosen to share his views.

Congressional support for a change in government in Iran is mixed. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (R., Ind.), said he would "not necessarily" want to see an overthrow of the theocratic government, instead opting to see it come through the "democratic processes of Iran." This contrasts greatly from Sen. Brownback's call, "Free Iran!" On the Democratic side, Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware favors "working with and supporting the civilian leadership in there that's been taking on the clerical leadership." Rep. Brad Sherman of California however argues, "We also need to ensure that our government adopts policies to hasten the fall of that regime by denying it material assistance."

Once a revolution is started, it may be difficult for the hard-liners to stop. Constantine Menges, a senior fellow with the Hudson Institute and a presidential assistant for national security affairs to Reagan, says, "Once the Iranian people rise up using political means, it is highly probable the Iranian Army — more than 80 percent of whom also voted against the hard-line clerics in the most recent national elections — will not defend the regime. Rather, the Iranian military will act to prevent the extremists in the secret police and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from successfully repressing the Iranian people's quest for liberty."

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Related Links
o Ledeen
o see our sisters beaten
o rogue satellite stations
o They are especially worried of the vox populi
o members of parliament called for restoration of American relations
o cancer of terrorism can be eradicated only by strong resolve
o There isn't any difference between reformers and the conservatives anymore
o Senator Brownback's proposal
o S.Res.82
o President Khatami's credibility has eroded
o 90 percent of Iranians themselves want change
o Chirac is one of the best friends of Khatami
o Free Iran!
o Also by jjayson


Display: Sort:
You say you want a revolution | 408 comments (337 topical, 71 editorial, 0 hidden)
Why Iran and not Egypt, Saudia Arabia or Pakistan? (3.81 / 11) (#2)
by President Saddam on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:44:22 AM EST

Why does America want to overthrow the government of Iran while it enjoys good relations with (and sells arms to) Egypt, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan.

These goverments are authoritarian regimes which repress opposition and free speech brutally. They have little regard for human rights and kill their own people.

And what about Afghanistan? It has had a transitional government for nearly 2 years! Iran is much more stabler and much more democratic than the country America "liberated" 2 years ago!

---
What part of "No, I didn't gas my own people" don't you understand?

not true (3.25 / 4) (#3)
by khallow on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:47:58 AM EST

And what about Afghanistan? It has had a transitional government for nearly 2 years! Iran is much more stabler and much more democratic than the country America "liberated" 2 years ago!

Afghanistan wasn't liberated "2 years" ago but about a year and a half.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

You're right, but my point stands. nt (3.50 / 2) (#5)
by President Saddam on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:55:21 AM EST



---
What part of "No, I didn't gas my own people" don't you understand?[ Parent ]
Bah! (2.33 / 2) (#85)
by khallow on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:55:46 PM EST

President G. W. Bush has a better finishing move.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Hypocrite (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by The Central Committee on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:00:16 AM EST

What about your "transitional" socialist dictatorship.

You personaly are the reason I cannot believe in a compassionate god, a creature of ineffable itelligence would surely know better than to let someone like you exist. - dorc
[ Parent ]

cause the people of Iran have a lot less tolerance (3.00 / 1) (#25)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:31:20 PM EST

for dictators, and they remember their history of how their "democratic" regime was overthrown in 1953.  I know it's hard to think that people would be able to remember something from that far back but most of them do.

[ Parent ]
That far back? (3.00 / 1) (#64)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:43:25 PM EST

I doubt it. Half of the population is below 30. They remember the times of the Shah and the relative cultural freedom they endured. The people are not complaing about the last 50 years being a waste, they are saying that 24 years have been a waste. It also helps that they have a very large and active exile community.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
yeah it's called an education (2.25 / 3) (#80)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:41:26 PM EST

Belive it or not most iranians get it while they grew up.  Not something that's taught in the US as much but history is a big part of the iranian education system.  Infromal as well as formal history lessons are common.

[ Parent ]
much more stabler (1.50 / 3) (#183)
by debacle on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:23:32 AM EST

Is improper grammar.

You get a 1.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

*ta bu shi da yu shakes head* (3.66 / 2) (#222)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:08:19 PM EST

At least he gets a 1. You normally score far lower when it comes to ratings.

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

P.S. (3.00 / 1) (#223)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:10:52 PM EST

"Is improper grammar." is improper grammar. You may want to try forming a whole sentence next time you flame someone for their bad grammar!

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

You can use a phrase as a subject. (3.33 / 2) (#269)
by debacle on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 09:33:09 PM EST

Didn't you know?

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
I see. (3.00 / 1) (#322)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 04:45:50 AM EST

Not that one.

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
drduck, you forgot to rate one of my comments! (3.66 / 2) (#323)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 05:27:37 AM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/5/29/53721/9683/37#37

Not only that, but you rated the parent post wrongly! How will you ever pass the K5 learner's test if you don't study harder?

Yours humbly,
Ta bù shì dà yú

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]

Thankyou (nt) (3.66 / 2) (#329)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 09:46:02 AM EST



---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה
[ Parent ]
90% support change (3.00 / 1) (#228)
by NoBeardPete on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:22:22 PM EST

The Christian Science Monitor says 90% of Iranians support change. The clerics are doing everything they can to keep this from happening. Massive demonstrations against the clerics are taking place.

Liberty and democracy (which are often very different things) cannot be effectively imposed from outside of a society, they must come from within it. The US can't stomp into some random country with terrible human rights and no democracy and set things right. It won't work. The US may be able to help out an immensely popular movement towards democracy and liberty, though. As many people have pointed out, this might be a counterproductive action for the US to take. I'm not convinced either way.

I am not aware of any similarly widespread and powerful forces towards liberty and democracy withing Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or Egypt. If they existed, we probably would hear talk about whether or not the US should step in to help them out. I think this factor is the key reason that people are even discussing the matter.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

It's not about democracy (3.25 / 3) (#313)
by noproblema on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 02:22:21 PM EST

The United States promotes usfriendlycracy. That is a form of government transitional to anonimecracy, where all the economical resources of the country have been privatized and selled to foreign corporations. Then any government depends from the corporations economically and from the US military for his political stability. You don't like the politics of your government? Well, you can't do nothing against the markets in a globalized economy.

Is a proven system that has been around for about one century under the name of banana republic. See it next your own home.

Never in history, nor under the current administration, the lack of democracy in a country has been a problem. Not is Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Not was South Africa under the apartheid. Not in Indonesia under Suharto, Phillipines under Marcos or Iran under the Sha. And a democratic government is not a guarantee against an intervention as in Allende's Chile or the same Iran fifty years ago.

The message is simple. If you act friendly with the United States and give freedom to corporations, you are safe, if not you are in trouble.



[ Parent ]

nice T. (3.81 / 11) (#4)
by martingale on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:50:11 AM EST

A nicely written piece....

It's a pity you didn't bring the thought to its logical conclusion: since the Iraqis want the US out, and the Iranians want them in, just move all US troops over the border. Such a simple idea, even Bush might get it.

wow, you are a master (4.35 / 20) (#8)
by speek on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:57:49 AM EST

Somehow, without ever saying so explicity, you make it seem like the US's "nation-building" in Iraq is going spendidly, without a hitch. So well, in fact, it's time to repeat the success in Iran. Whereas, in reality, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq can yet be called a success, and the major question in most anti-war folks minds is still unanswered - is the American occupation of Iraq going to escalate terror attacks against the US? Will Islamic terrorists find ready recruits amongst those unhappy in Iraq?

However, a completely political support of the Iranian protestors does seem a profitable way to go, I would still disagree that direct involvement will help in the long term. I want to see the results of the clinical study currently in progress before making that leap.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees

Ah, the great liberal dream (2.41 / 12) (#60)
by RyoCokey on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:30:20 PM EST

Whereas, in reality, neither Afghanistan nor Iraq can yet be called a success, and the major question in most anti-war folks minds is still unanswered - is the American occupation of Iraq going to escalate terror attacks against the US? Will Islamic terrorists find ready recruits amongst those unhappy in Iraq?

Yes, we swear we don't want innocent Americans to die to prove our point! Actually, it's pretty much been disproven. 1.5 Years after the Afghan war, and we haven't had so much as a minor bombing on US soil.

So, are you prepared to admit that making the "Arab Street" angry has zero impact on Terrorism overall? If not, how long before you concede you were incorrect? 1 year? 5 years?

I'll reiterate my earlier comment in response to "Each US bomb creates a new terrorist." The new terrorist was in the house at the time.



Is Weaponsgate a hoax or liberal disinformation?
[ Parent ]
the problems are over 50 years old (4.80 / 5) (#78)
by speek on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:33:28 PM EST

So your 1-5 year outlook looks childishly short-sighted. How long does it take a generation to grow up and repeat all the errors of it's predecessor? The rest of your post is unworthy of response.

I am mostly just selfish and don't want my country knee-deep in the rest of the world's shit.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

short-sighted? (2.44 / 9) (#95)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:30:32 PM EST

You should not be wielding that phrase. Iran is currently the number one supporter of terrorism in the world. They have their fingers in everything (the recent Saudi bombings are even thought to comes from an Iranian Al-Quaeda cell). In an Iran without the mullahs Israel and Palestine may actually come to an agreement. As Ledeen says, "We can never do Iraq by itself. Iran cannot have a free Iraq and Afghanistan. We will never have peace [in Iraq] without Iran taken care of." They have been stirring up trouble in both countries because they know they will no longer exist if phalanxed by stable democracies.

Iran is a very important piece of the Middle East puzzle. If we allow the current unpopular government to retain control, we are in for a rought next couple of decades. However, if we can cut the support to these would-be terrorists and that also is the key to other difficulties in the region, I think you have a clear benefit.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

ah yes. (5.00 / 12) (#100)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:44:17 PM EST

Afghanistan Iraq North Korea Syria Iran is the number 5 8 27 13 3 1 supporter of communism terrorism in the world. Because of those darn Saudis Afghanis Iraqis Iranians that were behind Sept. 11th, and whatnot, right? Part of that Axis of Evil? Ready to develop nuclear weapons any minute now?

Funny, it all sounds so familiar.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Let's take a look. (3.00 / 4) (#112)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:44:57 PM EST

Hezbollah (which they helped start), Hamas (top national supplier), Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, and other assorted regional groups (such as GIA).

The are also the most vocal. The mullahs sit at friday prayers, hijacking Islam, telling Iraqis to commit suicide bombings in an attempt to destabilize the country even further. They have declared civilians acceptable targets.

You may not want to call them the "most active supporter," but they are undeniably one of the leading supporters of terrorism.

"The governing board of the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) debated a report claiming that Iran repeatedly breached anti-nuclear treaties over the last 12 years by failing to declare the import, processing and storage of nuclear materials."

Not that the facts should stop you from rating my comment down like virtually every other comment I have posted.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

ratings... (4.25 / 4) (#125)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:36:27 PM EST

I think you started the down ratings, actually. I believe I have generally been more courteous in my explanations and refutations as well.

As for the terrorist groups... I suppose these are terrorist groups as defined by G.W. Bush in his Executive Order 13224, where he defines terrorism as

an activity that --

(i) involves a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, property, or infrastructure; and

(ii) appears to be intended --

(A) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(B) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(C) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping, or hostage-taking.


Well, it's no wonder that Iran is such a hotbed of terrorism. But under that definition, I'd still expect #1 to come out as the good ol' US of A.

Any word yet on when G.W. Bush will be attacking them?
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

That's really scary... (1.00 / 4) (#150)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:28:17 PM EST

that you actually think you are making an argument.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
hmm? (4.50 / 4) (#156)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:40:24 PM EST

I am not making this up; that's the definition of terrorism according to the leader of the free world. And with that definition, he has identified hundreds of terrorist groups. However, that definition is so broad that anyone could use it to identify hundreds of other groups that the US would obviously not want labelled as terrorist groups. What's the difference? Well, the US isn't supporting the first group.

Also, if you donate money to a group that the US decides it doesn't like, then you are a terrorist. That could include Hezbollah, or Greenpeace, or the US Army. It doesn't matter. If it falls under that definition and gets added to the list, you're toast. And then, you can be held. Indefinitely. As an enemy combatant. Citizen or no.

And this is happening, and has happened. So what part of it do you disagree with?
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

So tell me... (3.25 / 4) (#165)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:12:17 AM EST

If you think the definition is too broad, then what implication does it have on the discussion. Which one of Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda, or GIA is not a terrorist group to you?
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
ok... (3.33 / 2) (#168)
by pb on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:47:45 AM EST

It's precisely a problem of defining what is or is not a terrorist group; you have those, and the IRA, the PLO, the Israeli army, North Korea, the US military... anyone who is willing to assassinate someone for political gain, intimidate governments with threats of force, etc., etc. That means that according to the definitions, there are suddenly a lot more potential terrorist groups and countries that practice terrorism--not just the ones that Bush doesn't like.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
You're dodging (3.33 / 2) (#171)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 02:08:01 AM EST

Do you think that Iran doesn't support terrorism? Do you not think that once the mullahs were forced from power that terrorism in the area would be reduced?
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
hardly. (4.75 / 4) (#172)
by pb on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 02:12:00 AM EST

I think that Iran isn't #1 in terrorism. I think that whatever government replaced them might very well practice terrorism as well, even if it's a "US-friendly" brand of terrorism.

As to the repercussions on the surrounding area, I don't think anyone can accurately predict that, which is one reason why I was against the US's war on Iraq. I don't think that destabilizing the Middle East is a good idea, especially if your goal is to prevent terrorism.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

As long as it's US Friendly... (3.00 / 1) (#335)
by arkannis on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 10:38:30 PM EST

As long as they aren't killing American's, I don't really give a rat's ass what they do. Or Canadians, cause no one likes it when someone picks on your little brother.

[ Parent ]
What an empty-headed short-sighted view (N/T) (3.00 / 1) (#350)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 10:23:46 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Whoa... (3.00 / 3) (#299)
by baron samedi on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 07:49:59 PM EST

Iran has given support to some of those terrorist (or freedom fighter, depending on how you look at things)groups like Hizbollah because at their inception, they were oppressed Shia minorities. They also support the Palestinians, as does most other Islamic countries.

Al-Queda and Iran? Now that's just wishful thinking. The Taliban were loathed by the Iranian Guardians. Al-Queda are wahabbis, and such regard Shi'ites as less-than-perfect muslims, and so therefore it is highly unlikely that Al-Queda would find any safe harbor in Iran. If Al-Queda cells operate in Iran, they do so covertly, just as they would in the U.S. If the Iranian security people had the opportunity to nail an Al-Queda cell, they would do so, without hesitation.

Iran is like Iraq, in that everything the US does with respect to Iran is viewed in terms of some baggage from the past (hostage crisis), as a score to be settled.

The best thing to do with Iran is begin formal diplomatic relations, no more backchannel dealing through the Swiss or whoever.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

yeah, pb.. what's up with that? (2.25 / 3) (#116)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:04:58 PM EST

Downrating and replying.. like I keep trying to tell people, that is equivalent to saying I am not interested in discussion. Why reply if you're not honestly interested in what he has to say? Pick one.

[ Parent ]
not at all. (2.00 / 3) (#124)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:31:50 PM EST

Actually, I consider it polite; I'm rating his comment, and also explaining why I did so. I wish people at /. could have been so courteous, but actually the system often prohibits such courtesy nowadays. Also, I admit that it is also retaliatory for two reasons--the 1's I get on my comments from him and other like-minded but tight-lipped people, (without replies, necessarily) and the fact that he's the author as well (bad K5 etiquette, if you will).
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
no, you are not explaining your ratings (2.50 / 4) (#126)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:39:11 PM EST

You are continuing the same exact discussion topic, as is he. Rating below a 3 (imho) and replying in this case is saying "I don't think your comment is worthwhile on this, a discussion site, but I'll discuss it anyways." I don't see how you can deny the logic of that and turn it into some sort of courtesy; courtesy would be clearly laying out the fallacies of their post, not lapsing into (albeit, greatly appreciated by me) rhetoric.

[ Parent ]
Well, I'll admit. (3.00 / 1) (#129)
by valeko on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:45:29 PM EST

I tend to rate within threads I reply to. Even rate low, if I'm going in for a flame of a particularly nasty, vituperative comment.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

yes, but why? (3.00 / 1) (#134)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:54:44 PM EST

I rate more comments than I reply to, but sometimes if I don't think my reason for rating is obvious, I'll also reply. I don't reply with "I rated this comment because...", though, because that's trite and stupid. In my case it's more like "I think you're full of shit because..."  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
that's not constructive (2.33 / 2) (#143)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:51:44 PM EST

That's no way to come to an understanding. Ok, you've said this is impossible with Jayson.. I beg to differ. It is usually impossible, but sometimes he calms down enough to actually read what other people are saying instead of seeing whatever 'liberal conspiracy' he wants to see. In such cases, I find myself peaceably continuing the discussion or admitting commonality between our approaches. But to say that someone is full of shit AND rate at the same time is entirely a flamewar promoting tactic; hence, not good for k5 as a whole.

[ Parent ]
says you. :) (3.75 / 4) (#133)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:53:12 PM EST

There's actually little point in my reasoning with jjayson and vice versa; neither of us buys the other's rhetoric on these subjects. That doesn't change the fact that both of us finds such opposing rhetoric to be utterly devoid of any basis in fact or reality, and it doesn't stop us from spouting it back and forth. Neither of us can effectively refute the other's claims because we'd first have to accept them.

Therefore, I can rate his post a 1 (which can also mean that I don't believe it deserves its current rating as well), and I can reply, telling him what I think the facts of the situation are, and it still doesn't change anything. This is 'discussion', but it doesn't really go anywhere. However, it does serve to illustrate the opposing points of view. I try to serve more as a foil to show others how irrational his viewpoints appear to me, and perhaps should appear to them as well.

Also, while I could spend more time on a point-by-point refutation in many cases, I often choose not to. My first post on this article is probably as close as I'll get to such a refutation (of the article itself, in fact), and I tried to couch it in terms that jjayson and friends could understand. And what did I get? Three 1 ratings and zero replies from those who rated it a 1. Not much in the way of refutation or positive feedback there, but perhaps more consistent with your notion of how ratings should work. (?)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

yep, that's how ratings should work (3.33 / 2) (#141)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:48:13 PM EST

I'll try to explain my view here better - a rating is an editorial statement. A comment explaining the rating is editorial in nature. A topical reply is orthogonal to this framework. If I want to discuss the topical content, and I vehemently disagree, I will normally reply; if I on the other hand feel that the author should be further encouraged for stimulating an interesting discussion, rather than just riling me up, then I rate the post 3 or higher. A lower rating is an editorial decision by me that there is precious little in this comment worth talking about, be it because of flamebait, lies, or other such things. Hence, I honor this decision by not replying. If the author has a problem with my ratings, I respond to that, as the nature of thread has changed explicity to editorial; of course, changing it on one's own is also often useful. As you say, this all just K5 according to me. However - there is a pragmatic point here. Rating and replying in same exact [sub]thread gets people riled up, for no good reason. I'd rather not have the discussion deteriorate because of such things, and I can certainly understand where the author in that instance is coming from.

[ Parent ]
ah well (3.25 / 3) (#155)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:36:05 PM EST

It's also possible to view ratings and comments as being orthogonal to each other. That is to say, I rate comments based on their perceived value, and I reply where I think a reply is warranted. Sometimes I think a comment is worthless--or certainly not as worthwhile as others may perceive it to be--and I will both rate it accordingly, and reply with an opposing view.

For a silly example, let's say I post a comment that says "Infinitera is a gay mongoose", and it's currently rated at (3.35 / 5); now, you know this to be totally false. Therefore, you're perfectly within your rights to give it a 0. You're also within your rights to reply, and correct me or flame me as you see fit.

I doubt the discussion is deteriorating because of my ratings. However, it's true that I may not take jjayson as seriously because of his previous ratings and comments, both in this story and elsewehre, and both to me and to others. That's just experience. You'll surely note that he's consistently given out 1's to others in threads he's been in, including to you. Therefore, I doubt he subscribes to your thinking about comments/ratings either.

And there's always the slashdot approach--don't let people both rate and comment in the same article (or thread or whatever). However, that's a very anti-k5 approach to things, and I think it's counter-productive. We already have too many people who rate everything, and do so somewhat arbitrarily at that.

In fact, I sometimes take offense to having an entire thread of mine rated harshly by someone else who isn't participating in it at all. My gut response is "who asked you?"; after all, they haven't contributed one whit to that thread; why should I care about their opinions of it? And that line of reasoning is the full opposite of yours, so I think there's a lot of room for differing opinions on comments versus ratings.  :)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

too many raters? wow, that's a new one ;) [nt] (3.66 / 2) (#157)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:45:20 PM EST



[ Parent ]
they're just like cops. (5.00 / 4) (#159)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:54:08 PM EST

Never a cop around when you need one, but when you don't...

I'm sure you know who the chronic comment raters are. I've been known to rate quite a few comments at times, but I don't have to compulsively rate all of them.

Honestly, I wish more people would rate, because that would help dilute the effect of the chronic comment raters. But in the absence of that, I wish the chronic raters would rate less, or possibly post more.

However, they're free to do whatever they want, and therefore I'm free to ignore them. The system doesn't help much with that, though.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

clarification (3.75 / 4) (#262)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:58:23 PM EST

You'll surely note that he's consistently given out 1's to others in threads he's been in, including to you. Therefore, I doubt he subscribes to your thinking about comments/ratings either.
I think rating a discussion you are in is fine, unless you start rating the entire thread with 1s and 2s. More often, I will rate a comment that I do not plan in responding to. It shows that I have read the comment (and if there isn't a response that I also don't plan on responding).
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
I'll side with infinitera (4.40 / 5) (#276)
by martingale on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 06:32:30 AM EST

Your interpretation makes sense, but I feel it's missing something. K5 is as much as discussion site (for those who actually comment) as it is a reading site (for all the lurkers). In my opinion, the main value of ratings is for the lurkers, so I strongly favour the editorial point of view, and expect a separation between players and reviewers. If I'm replying to a comment, I don't need to check the rating to help me put a value on it for myself, but if I'm just reading I want to read the highly rated threads first, as they correlate with interesting points. I rate comments mostly to agree with this expectation, and to "adjust" existing ratings with this expectation. I'll write serious comments only if I feel I need to point something out, and then giving a rating seems redundant.

It's debatable whether lurkers bring anything to this site. I think they do, in the sense that I'm more careful/conscious of what I say knowing that there's an audience. If this was a private site with a handful of members, I think I'd put much less care into what I write.

[ Parent ]

that's like saying (4.50 / 4) (#111)
by speek on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:34:05 PM EST

If we took over the world, we'd have no more enemies. Funny how that most often works to create more enemies for you.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

strawman (2.25 / 3) (#119)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:12:21 PM EST

Nobody is saying take over the globe. The world is full of nuances and each individual solution has to be catered to each individual problem. This singular foreign policy idea is silly.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Infinitera, what did I do to offend you? (3.00 / 1) (#140)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:21:08 PM EST


--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
nobody is saying take over the globe (3.50 / 3) (#149)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:11:14 PM EST

Nobody at all. Nope, not even the most influential members of the Bush Administration. Never. Please, get a grip on reality.

[ Parent ]
I think you have a problem. (3.00 / 1) (#164)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:51:55 AM EST

You cannot seem to identify individual policies. All your ideolgical hatred makes everything bleed into one.

Brownback certainly isn't suggesting anything like that. How can you even compare the two? The Brownback legislation does not increase the chance of American military power projection. If anything it reduces it. At some point, the Iran problem has to be addresses. If the Iranains do it themselves, that is great. If they cannot, then miliary force will become more of an option, especially if the current hard-line,  pro-terrorist trends continues amoung the mullahs. So, providing financial support to grassroots organizations seems to reduce the risk of future military action.

Maybe you should just respond next time instead of rating comments down.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

are you capable of reading without subtext? (3.66 / 2) (#199)
by infinitera on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:39:20 AM EST

I never said a thing about Brownback. Not one thing. Ideological hatred? Please - you said "If we allow the current unpopular government to retain control" which speek properly interpreted as visions of empire; how else does one allow or not allow another government to exist? You then accuse him of strawman, when he properly identifies the direction of your thinking; a direction paralleled by the aims of the Bush Administration. You were off-base here. Which perhaps just illustrates the failings of your article, more than anything.. nobody seems to be discussing it in particular.

[ Parent ]
I don't know how to respond (3.66 / 2) (#202)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 08:43:11 AM EST

You like to take sentence and add your own interpretation that is completely divorced from the meaning. It's not possible to have a rational converation with you when you start adding meaning that doesn't exist.

Ther was no "direction." I clearly don't advocate going after any nation. I don't even advocate going into Iran. However, if you think that supplying grassroots movement with cash is just a subtle way for world domination then please, feel free to be wrong.

You see, my comments have nothing to do with the Bush administration. I don't see what a single pieces of legislation that they don't even support has to do with them?

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

You don't get it (3.00 / 1) (#212)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:13:53 AM EST

Military is never an option, spoken truely like someone who has nothing to lose in a military operation.  Again Iranians can fully decide their own fate without the so called exiled groups giving them a hand or hijacking their movement.  And these are not grassroot organization, how much money did the french get in their raid ? 8-9 million US$ ??  I don't think those groups need any more money.

[ Parent ]
Wait. (3.00 / 1) (#254)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:49:14 PM EST

Did you just compare NITV or Pars TV to the MKO?
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
confused (3.50 / 3) (#210)
by speek on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:06:21 AM EST

But if we're going to discuss, you should try to tease out the point your discussion partner is trying to make. Your post indicated to me that Iran had to be taken care of essentially because it hadn't yet been taken care of, which made it enemy #1. The implied solution? Regime change, by force if necessary. My point is that if you think taking over a country automatically converts an enemy into a friend, then you are sadly mistaken, and history has demonstrated the folly repeatedly. Changing the regimes in these countries has been done before. More is needed, and I for one doubt the capability and resolve of our current leaders to take the necessary steps to make the latest regime changes work out in the long run. So, while the war was successful from our point of view, the aftermath is still in question.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

blame Iran (3.50 / 3) (#148)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:10:02 PM EST

really it's just silly to blame Iran for all of the problems. We can't fix Iraq and Afghanistan because of Iran, we can't have peace between Israel and Plestine because of Iran. Oh btw there's no gurantee that if we go into Iran we get anything better. It's not up to "us" to allowe or disallow a govt in Iran it's up to Iranians that have to live there they've managed so far and they will see it through. Stable democracies ? Where the heck do you see that ?

[ Parent ]
sure, I'll blame Iran (4.33 / 6) (#162)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:45:02 AM EST

We can't fix Iraq and Afghanistan because of Iran
Constantine C. Menges, senior fellow with the Hudson institute and national security affairs assistant to Reagan: "The Iranian-backed Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq has between 12,000 and 40,000 armed fighters and many thousands of others who are politically organized. The Iranian covert strategy visible since the unraveling of the Saddam regime is to use coercion, ideology and money to take over the institutions of Shi'ite Islam in Iraq. They will seek to use the mosques, their substantial financial endowments and legitimacy, along with social services through the mosques to build a base of support, neighborhood by neighborhood and town by town."

When reporting on the pilgrimage to Najaf and an Iranian reporter said that the Anti-American protesters were small in number respective to the total number of prilgrims. "It was clear who they were and where they had got instructions from", he said as he pointed in Iran's direction.

Michael Slackman of the Los Angeles Times tells of how Badr Brigade members were told to go back to Iraq and spread Shiite teachings and to go create a Shiite state, using Iran as a reference. And how many members of the Badr Brigade were once POWs and were given a choice to either stay POWs and continue to endure harsh treatment and food shortages or to join the miliary wing. Once they decided to become part of the Badr Brigade they were given religious and political indroctrination for half the day and trained militarily the other half. Iran's Revolutionary Guard set the agenda for them and Iranians gave the orders for them to return how to spread pro-Iranian ideas, given falsified indentifications and shaved of their beards.

There was early evidence of Iranian meddling in Iraq, trying to stir up anti-Americanism. The banners of Shiite protestors were of very high quality, with their professional printing and bilingual slogans -- Arabic for Iraqis and Arab media and English for the Western media. The crowds were chanting slogans of the Islamic revolution eerily Iranian in quality. In the May 3 column "With Hate From Tehran!" in Iran va Jahan, a Persian paper based out of France, Shaheen Fatemi creates a case to suspect Iranian involvement in recent Iraqi encounters:


As the events in Iraq progress and the prospects of stability in that country increase, the Mullahs in Tehran are getting more and more nervous. Initially, while it seemed obvious they are behind most of the violence in Iraq, there was little apparent evidence to point to. They denied involvement in the killing of Majid Khoie, the pro-Western clergy on the grounds of Imam Ali's grand mosque in An Najaf. Then there was the mysterious explosion in ammunitions storage in "Saddam city" where within minutes after the explosion, demonstrators with ready made anti-American signs were ready for the TV cameras. Then came the uprising in Falluja on Saddam's birthday where the American forces were shot at by 'unknown elements' and subsequently several Iraqis were killed in the gun battle with American forces.

For those of us who have known this evil regime and are familiar with its modus operandi, there has been ample circumstantial evidence to recognize the pattern. After all, we remember how the same gang of criminals set fire to a movie-house in Abadan, Iran and roasted more that 400 innocent people on August 20, 1978, in order to blame it on the Shah's beleaguered government on the eve of the revolution. After they seized power, no lesser a person than Sheik Ali Tehrani (Ayatollah Khamenei's brother-in-law) publicly admitted that this murderous act was committed with the full knowledge and blessing of Ayatollah Khomeini-the leader and founder of IRI.

Also, don't so quickly forget. Ahmad Janati, secretary general of the Guardian Council, was the first to encourage acts of violence against Coalition forces in Iraq. "The Iraqi people are finally coming to understand that the solution is an uprising, and they have no other choice but to rise up and stage martyrdom operations. This is the only solution; they are learning from the experience of Palestine."

Don't make me go dig up the links on Afghanistan.

we can't have peace between Israel and Plestine because of Iran
Iran is a well-known supporter of Hamas and Islamic Jihad." In late December 1990 Iran convened an Islamic conference on Palestine in Teheran, to which Hamas delegates were invited. A landmark in the Iranian-Palestinian-Islam rapprochement took place in October 1991, when Iran convened in Teheran the international conference to support the Islamic revolution of the people of Palestine, an event which emerged as a counter-conference to the Madrid Conference held at that time. From that point onwards the cooperation and coordination between Iran and the Palestinian Islamic movement became tighter and more pronounced. Both parties, Hamas on the one hand and the Iranians on the other, united in pursuing a joint political goal, to foil the peace process."

"An Iranian-Palestinian Islamic alliance began to emerge during the intifada and gained momentum with the burgeoning Arab-Israeli peace process in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. United in their militant rejection of Israel and in pursuing the end of the peace process, Hamas and Iran strengthened ties. The bilateral relationship was cemented when a delegation of senior Hamas leaders visited Teheran in October 1992 and was reportedly promised $30 million annually, as well as training and logistical support in Iran, southern Lebanon and Sudan."

The Iranian mullahs have built their power on support for Islamic radicals. They cannot affort to remove their support. It has become a central pillar in their ideology. Anything that could come out of a new revolution would be better than this. And the CSM says that aparently 90% of the Iraians believe that too.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

let's see I remember (3.33 / 2) (#217)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:38:18 AM EST

Isreal having a leader that wanted peace, there were no suicide bombings, the Palestinians even had their own airport.  As the peace prospect seemd to be getting closer this leader was killed by someone, why don't you guess who killed him ?  And what happend to the peace process afterwards.

We are failing in Iraq and in Afghanistan because we had no plan as to what to do once we were done with the war.  
This is the problem there not some shiites from Iran.  And I am sure you know most of those taking pot shots at the US are Sunni not Shiite.


[ Parent ]

This is like the third thread in row. (3.66 / 2) (#253)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:46:57 PM EST

I normally wouldn't say anything, but I am curious. Do you actually read comments before you respond to them? You never seem to even try replying. You just do some arm waving and dismiss whatever it is you don't like.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
that's what you do, yes [nt] (3.66 / 2) (#271)
by infinitera on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 10:42:54 PM EST



[ Parent ]
no that's what you do when faced with logic n/t (3.00 / 1) (#337)
by asad on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 11:32:25 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Some thoughts (4.20 / 5) (#184)
by bil on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:30:16 AM EST

the recent Saudi bombings are even thought to comes from an Iranian Al-Quaeda cell

The 9/11 attacks came from a US cell, just because a cell is based somewhere, or made up of people from a given nationality dosn't mean that countries government was involved, not even if the governement in question is a dictatorship.

Also the fact that the Iranian governement supports terrorism in Israel dosn't mean that if you remove Iran then Isreal will suddanly become a peacefull place, Iran didn't start the Isreal/Palestinian troubles, and the conflict will continue whatever happens in Iran. Consider, before the invasion of Iraq Saddam Hussain was the leading supporter of Palestinian terrorism, he's gone but the conflict rages on.

"We can never do Iraq by itself. Iran cannot have a free Iraq and Afghanistan. We will never have peace [in Iraq] without Iran taken care of."

It does occur to me that this talk of attacking Iran is why the mullahs are stiring up trouble in Iraq, the best protection against invasion they have is that US forces are tied down in Iraq/Afghanistan and dont have the security they would need to prepare a land invasion of Iran, as soon as things settle down in Iraq Iran suddanly has a militarily superior hostile enemy on two sides and a life span measured in months if not less. Irans national survival depends on the guerilla campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan either succeding or at least continuing far more then the US national survival depends on stopping terrorism.

P.S. Who are GIA?

bil

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

You're misreading me. (3.00 / 1) (#192)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 06:16:47 AM EST

You are taking my phrases such as "may actually come to an agreement" and turning them into "will suddanly become a peacefull place."
The 9/11 attacks came from a US cell, just because a cell is based somewhere, or made up of people from a given nationality dosn't mean that countries government was involved, not even if the governement in question is a dictatorship.
Iran has a strong history of supporting Islamist terrorist groups, and in the last 15 years their support isn't limited along Shiite/Sunni lines. Their track record for supporting these organzations is terrible. There have been reports of over a thousand Al Qaeda operative corssing into Iran. This isn't a few, but a rather large contingent. It isn't possible for a group that large to not be found without a tacit agreement with the host country. [They have already been caught, too http://www.nationalreview.com/ledeen/ledeen020603.asp] ([more http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/18/world/main554415.shtml]).
Also the fact that the Iranian governement supports terrorism in Israel dosn't mean that if you remove Iran then Isreal will suddanly become a peacefull place, Iran didn't start the Isreal/Palestinian troubles, and the conflict will continue whatever happens in Iran.
I didn't say it would be solved. I said it would make thing easier. Iran is a well-known supporter of Hamas and Islamic Jihad." In late December 1990 Iran convened an Islamic conference on Palestine in Teheran, to which Hamas delegates were invited. A landmark in the Iranian-Palestinian-Islam rapprochement took place in October 1991, when Iran convened in Teheran the international conference to support the Islamic revolution of the people of Palestine, an event which emerged as a counter-conference to the Madrid Conference held at that time. From that point onwards the cooperation and coordination between Iran and the Palestinian Islamic movement became tighter and more pronounced. Both parties, Hamas on the one hand and the Iranians on the other, united in pursuing a joint political goal, [to foil the peace process http://www.totse.com/en/politics/terrorists_and_freedom_fighters/isrlters.html]. "

"An Iranian-Palestinian Islamic alliance began to emerge during the intifada and gained momentum with the burgeoning Arab-Israeli peace process in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. United in their militant rejection of Israel and in pursuing the end of the peace process, Hamas and Iran strengthened ties. The bilateral relationship was cemented when a delegation of senior Hamas leaders visited Teheran in October 1992 and was reportedly [promised $30 million annually http://www.jewishpost.com/jp0203/jpn0303.htm], as well as training and logistical support in Iran, southern Lebanon and Sudan."

Clearly, Iran's record speaks for itself. (the above two paragraphs were taken from my other post in another thread)

Consider, before the invasion of Iraq Saddam Hussain was the leading supporter of Palestinian terrorism, he's gone but the conflict rages on.
I don't think you will find anything that same Iraq was "the leading supporter." The Task Force on Terrorism said, "Iraq continues to be *a* leading supporter of international terrorism" (emphasis mine). The same report also says, "The U.S. Department of State has labeled Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism in 2000." Giving each suicide bomber's immediate family $20,000 (or whatever it was) is one thing, but giving logistic support and funding the actual terrorist oganization with $30 million is far greater.
P.S. Who are GIA?
They are an Islamist terrorist group in Algeria. GIA mean something in French which when translated to English means the Armed Islamic Group (yeah, I don't get it either). They seek to turn Algeria into an Islamic state like Iran, so you can see why IRan would support them.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Hamas isn't an Iranian puppet (3.66 / 2) (#197)
by bil on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:28:12 AM EST

GIA = the Algerians, fair enough thanks.

There have been reports of over a thousand Al Qaeda operative corssing into Iran. This isn't a few, but a rather large contingent. It isn't possible for a group that large to not be found without a tacit agreement with the host country.

How many illegal immigrants cross the mexican border into the US each night and aren't caught by immigration? If they cross in a group of a thousand they would be caught but if they slip in in ones and twos across hundreds of miles of border, mixed in with legitimate refugees, traders etc it would be tricky to stop them. Al-Qaeda were closely associated with the Taliban, and Iran was not on friendly terms with them.

I dont doubt the Iranian backing of Islamic Jihad etc but I dont belive that Hamas is a puppet of Iran in the way you seem to think. If Iran stoped funding Hamas I doubt you would see even a pause in the violence, they have the equipment to keep going untill they found other sources which would be easily forthcoming (bin-Laden has money he could give them as do many many other wealthy private individuals who support their cause, and thats before you consider Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc). Many (most?) terrorist organizations throughout history have maintained themselves without government backing (the IRA being a good example)

The problem isn't that the Iranians are stiring up trouble in Isreal but that the Palestinians feel like they have nothing to lose and want things that the Isrealis wont give them. Even if you could break Hamas it wouldn't solve the long term problem, other groups would emerge to continue the struggle, in the same way Hamas emerged and draws strength from the failure of the PLO in the eyes of many Palestinians.

bil

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

puppet? (3.66 / 2) (#201)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 08:37:15 AM EST

Last time you made "may actually come to an agreement" turn into "will suddanly become a peacefull place." This time you made "bilateral relationship" turn into "puppet." Stop it.

If Iran stoped funding Hamas I doubt you would see even a pause in the violence, they have the equipment to keep going untill they found other sources which would be easily forthcoming (bin-Laden has money he could give them as do many many other wealthy private individuals who support their cause, and thats before you consider Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia etc).
This is akin to saying that we shouldn't bother trying to combat organise crime by combating their infrastructure. Also, this point only deals with the funding and ingores the training and logistic support that would be removed. The argument that they will soon find training and logistic support elsewhere so why bother is giving up on fighting terrorism. Sure, you can, but you must be willing to accept a growing number of loses every year as terrorist groups become more bold and a drastic decrease in the chance for peace in the Middle East. That isn't a solution. It's called burying your head in the sand. When people set off bombs in buses we protect those civialians, out of duty not utility. Besides, $30 million a year is a lot to lose. It will take time to recover from that blow.

However, more importantly, you are being myopic. Foreign policy works synergistically. If the Iranian mullahs were to fall, bin Laden were to be caught, and Saudi Arabia were to get more serious about tracking funds, good things will happen. Not even all three need to happen. Each one that does is a step in the right direction and resources removed from terrorists. You will paralyze yourself into rejecting any policy if you don't learn to look at all policies as a whole. Your same arguments could be sucessfully applied to virtually any domestic policy: since social security is not enough for anybody live off of the why bother, or since new hitman will take the place of any ones you catch why bother going after them? If the answer is because they murdered somebody, then that applies equally to these terrorist organizations.

Even if you could break Hamas it wouldn't solve the long term problem, other groups would emerge to continue the struggle, in the same way Hamas emerged and draws strength from the failure of the PLO in the eyes of many Palestinians.
The Israel/Palestine argument isn't that the long-term removal of Islamic Jihad or Hamas is necessary to reap some reward. You just need to make it so Iran is no longer out "to foil the peace process." The Iranian mullahs have put so much capital into the hard-line pro-Islamic terrorist position that they cannot break away from it without destroying all their credibility. If they are deposed, that is one of major hostile forces to Israeli/Palestinian peace that is gone. Crippling Hamas long enough to get the peace process through should be enough. That in effect does solve the long term problem, because Hamas itself is preventing a long-term solution.

Also, if Hamas is hampered or broken because they have no funding and logistic support from Iran, then where is this other newly formed terrorist group going to get enough funding and logistic support to be a major problem? The weakening of Hamas would send a signal discouraging other groups from forming.

Iran's sponsorship of terrorism is creating problems that are preventing future security. Certainly a changed Iranian government isn't going to obliterate terrorism, but that isn't needed. In some instance, like Israel and Palestine, there is critical time where calmness will help tremendously. If short-term weakening of Hamas is all we get, that will still help the peace process tremendously and once an agreement is signed and goes into effect and a Palestinian state is created, Hamas is totally marginalized.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Sorry : - ) (3.00 / 3) (#221)
by bil on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:50:42 AM EST

Last time you made "may actually come to an agreement" turn into "will suddanly become a peacefull place." This time you made "bilateral relationship" turn into "puppet." Stop it.

Its not deliberate. Honest.

My point is that while Hamas and Iran may have a "bilateral relationship" (a point I'm more then willing to accept) Hamas are not puppets so removing the Iranian regime will not lead to Hamas ceasing to exist and so will not mean that a agreement (which will mean peace, although probably a very uneasy one) is any more likely. Sure $30 million is a lot to lose but they could carry out military operations with a small fraction of that (I remember hearing $3 million being quoted as the IRAs annual budget mostly raised from donations, and crime, no government involvement required), after all what training and logistics does a suicide bomber really need except a couple of kilos of explosives and some ball bearings?

Basically when you say that removing the mullahs from Iran you will increase the chances of a Palestinian/Isreali peace you over estimate Hamas' reliance on Iran, and underestimate the other causes of the conflict (not least of which seems to be Isreal at the moment), and as so using this as a reason to intervene in Iran (either by invading or formenting revolution) is treading on very shaky ground indeed. If you want to break Hamas go after Hamas, if you want to stop Al-Qaeda go after al-Qaeda dont use it as an excuse to settle old scores.

bil

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

In 1997... (4.88 / 9) (#163)
by opendna on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:50:06 AM EST

You claim that the argument that American intervention will increase terrorist attacks has ...pretty much been disproven. 1.5 Years after the Afghan war, and we haven't had so much as a minor bombing on US soil.

That's fine to say. After all, in 1997 some people said that Osama bin Laden was a one-timer: a small-time terrorist thug who had expended all his intelligence in a car-bombing at the World Trade Center. After all, after 1.5 or 2 years, nothing more had been done in the U.S.

Six years after the WTC bombing failed to bring down a tower, both were felled within minutes of eachother by hijacked airliners. Two other jets were hijacked, one hit the Pentagon.

Now, I ask you: "What relevance is 2 years?"



[ Parent ]

uhhhh (3.50 / 3) (#407)
by Armada on Mon Jul 07, 2003 at 02:28:22 AM EST

Look at the question that was posed. It says that people are wondering if regime change on foreign soil would INCREASE attacks on US soil. So to put it quite bluntly, the question of 1.5 to 2 years being enough time to know if that will happen is quite relevant despite your argument.

The US had not given regime change in any country after the WTC bombing in 1993. It would seem that if the terrorist organizations were able to do any action on the same scale as the WTC attacks, they would have done them soon after Afganistani liberation.

That is, of course, unless the US was successful in breaking up the intelligence network of the organization and effectively destroying it. Which is the most likely scenario. I think the entire argument of actions the US takes increasing terrorism is pretty damned flawed.

The only thing negative that is happening as in a cause/effect relationship is that leaders of other democractic nations are looking down on the US for being a bully. (And lives lost on both sides) Terrorist organizations aren't getting any stronger or upping their terrorist activity because of it.

I see the point you are trying to make, but really, it's going to probably be moot. Osama bin Laden is likely dead, the terrorist organization is likely routed, and it'll be years before anyone ever actually accepts this.

[ Parent ]

What are you talking about? (3.00 / 1) (#349)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 10:16:01 AM EST

US citizens died in a bombing in Saudi Arabia fairly recently. Just because it didn't happen in the US doesn't mean Al Qaeda have gone away.

[ Parent ]
Its a win-win for the US (3.87 / 8) (#9)
by bil on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:09:31 AM EST

If the US supports the demonstrators they win both ways, either the demonstrators launch a revolution and win, in which case the US gets a new government that they helped gain power and so owes them big style (and will probably be unstable enough to need the US to help prop it up), or (more likely) the demonstrators are painted as US stooges, popular support collapses and the hardcore demonstrators are repressed (or even launch a revolution which is put down bloodily) in which case the US gets to invade and install a friendly regime (notice the upsurge in stories about Iranian WMDs which provide a good motivation, alongside the now traditional "liberate the people from dictatorship")

The worst thing from the US point of view is that the mullahs allow some reform while maintaining the status quo more or less intact (enough to buy the people off but not enough for them to actually lose), the reformists are (reasonably) happy, the people are happy, and no one owes the US anything. But even then it hasn't cost the US anything either so it still comes out as a draw.

I seem to have become very cynical these days.

bil

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...

yeah except that Iran is not Iraq (4.00 / 2) (#24)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:28:29 PM EST

They don't have as weak a military and the Iranian army wouldn't dissolve like the Iraqi one.  Not that the US wouldn't eventually win but even if they went close to that situation their troops in Iraq and Afghanistan would be in loads of trouble.

[ Parent ]
That is BS (3.00 / 1) (#138)
by StormShadow on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:17:42 PM EST

Iran couldn't beat Iraq in 10 years of warfare. Granted, the Iraqis had US support and weapons but that only shows that even the disorganized Iraqis could stalemate the Iranians. Besides, I do not think the Iranians shopped around for new weapons after 1979 and all the weapons they did have would be severely lacking in spare parts.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
umm no (2.50 / 3) (#147)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:04:32 PM EST

disorganized iraqis ? Iraq got intel from the US on a regular basis Iran was just coming out of a revolution. Iraq also got weapons and training from the US, Iran got sanctions. Iran has its own weapons program, and they've bought loads of stuff from Russia. Plus their missile technology is years ahead of what Iraq had when we attacked them.

[ Parent ]
Yeah and wouldn't that be the same situation? (3.00 / 1) (#152)
by StormShadow on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:30:55 PM EST

Iran had their missiles and homegrown weapons (which are probably a joke) when they fought against Iraq who did have US intel and weapons. How far did the Iranians get? Not far right? So what do you think would happen when they face US intel, weapons and tactics fielded by Americans this time? I would wager they will get pulverized.

Still, I don't think we should invade Iran now. Their religious government will fall by itself like communism did in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. I say let it come down by itself.


-----------------
oderint dum metuant - Cicero
We aren't killing enough of our [America's] enemies. Re-elect Bush in 2004 - Me
12/2003: This account is now closed. Password scrambled. Its been a pleasure.


[ Parent ]
no actually (3.50 / 2) (#216)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:33:37 AM EST

Iran was the biggest buyer of arms from the US at the time Iraq attacked, Iran had bought so many different types of armements from the US that they didn't even know how to use them and had to have US personnel on site to help.  Of course the army was more of less in chaos right after the revolution, the home grown misslie/weapons program was built and refined after the revolution.  
Again I am not saying they would win or even come close to that, I just think it would be more casualties for us.  And yes I agree the religious movement is hollowed out now, no one belives in it, the only reason it can even continue is because they can constantly point out to the US and present them as a threat.  I think we are both in agreement on that last point.

[ Parent ]
Depends (3.00 / 1) (#179)
by bil on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:50:08 AM EST

I guess that depends how the average Iranian sees the US invasion, if they see it as an invasion and Bad Thing then it could make the current mess in Iraq look positively successfull, if they see it as liberation from a dictatorial regime then it will be as easy as Iraq (but less of a suprise to the US forces when some people fight back).

This is really another reason for the US to stir up trouble, the more internal dissent and repression there is the more likely the Iranian army will melt away (the Revolutionary Guard will probably fight no matter what, but US superior air power should win that one), and that the general people will welcome them as liberators rather then conquerers.

bil

bil
Where you stand depends on where you sit...
[ Parent ]

Remember when (4.73 / 19) (#12)
by Ken Arromdee on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:05:36 AM EST

after the first Gulf War, the US encouraged rebels in Saddam Hussein's Iraq who were hoping that the US would overthrow the government? And then didn't intervene, so the rebels got slaughtered? That's one of the reasons the people were reluctant to rise up in favor of the US troops this time.

The US *has* to avoid doing anything to encourage the rebels in Iran--otherwise we'd get a repeat of the same thing. (Well, either that, or we have to commit to sending in troops.)

the rebels in Iran ? (3.50 / 3) (#22)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:26:01 PM EST

These people are not rebels, they are the students, the people of Iran and they are changing their govt without any help/need from the US.

[ Parent ]
True, but what of it? (4.16 / 6) (#23)
by epepke on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:26:03 PM EST

  • If the U.S. does something to support rebels in Iran, they're bad for their imperialist scum tendencies in overthrowing perfectly legitimate governments. Which must be for oil.
  • If the U.S. doesn't do anything to support rebels in Iran, then they're bad because the rebels will suffer and for imperialist scum propping up of corrupt regimes. Which is also for oil.
  • If the U.S. either does or does not do something in Iran, then they're bad because they aren't doing or not doing anything in some other country, like Saudi Arabia, and why not, so they're hypocrites. Which is also for oil.
  • And besides, do I have to mention Nicaragua? Nicaragua! Nicaragua! Somalia, too!
  • And McDonalds hamburgers probably have prions that prevent people in third-world countries from building their own MRI machines.
  • And did I mention that the U.S. was bad?

My tongue is in my cheek, but I'm getting tired of biting it.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Oh god, the world can only wish (2.00 / 2) (#108)
by DominantParadigm on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:02:45 PM EST

If the U.S. doesn't do anything to support rebels in Iran

I can always wish, but I know I'm dreaming.



Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
But (4.00 / 2) (#193)
by greenrd on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 06:26:45 AM EST

Can you cite a single example of where leftists have advocated X, America has done X and then leftists have advocated something completely different and accused America of being evil for doing X?

The only one I can think of is economic sanctions on Iraq. Nice idea - totally didn't work. Apart from that I can't think of anything.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

How about working with the Soviets/Chinese? [nt] (3.00 / 1) (#220)
by grout on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:48:25 AM EST


--
Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

[ Parent ]
Don't call me a but! (4.66 / 6) (#255)
by epepke on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:53:47 PM EST

I do think you're taking my comment a bit more seriously than I intended it. I have great respect for the left and consider the left an extremely important force for good and a necessary part of the balance of politics. Also, that the left gets something wrong doesn't mean that the right has gotten it right. As shitty as some things are, they would probably be even shittier if there were no leftists. I also respect you personally. But still, there is some valuable substance to what I'm saying.

Can you cite a single example of where leftists have advocated X, America has done X and then leftists have advocated something completely different and accused America of being evil for doing X?

The only one I can think of is economic sanctions on Iraq. Nice idea - totally didn't work.

Kudos, you have just increased by 50% the number of leftists I've seen admit this.

Apart from that I can't think of anything.

OK, I'll play. Another person has mentioned making friends with China. Here are some more.

  • Racial Integration
    In the mid-1960's, there was a big push for racial integration on the left. It was perceived as so much on the left that MLK got his phone tapped and a lot of people considered civil rights a "commie" plot. By the mid-to-late 1970's, racial integration was being attacked by the left as cultural genocide, a plot by The Man. In the mid-1980's, African-American activists were even holding up (still my beating heart) Amos and Andy as an example of genuine African-American humor. Fortunately, this silliness seems to have died down somewhat.
  • The 197x Iranian Revolution
    I was in college when the Shah was still in power. I remember the leftist push to get the U.S. to stop supporting him. They did. Didn't turn out so well. By the mid-1980's I saw leftists talking about how horrible it was that the U.S. had allowed this to happen.
  • AZT
    When AZT was first introduced, members of the leftist Queer Nation considered it a godsend and even went so far as to encourage people with AIDS to fuck up the double-blind trials by buying it on the black market. Five years later, when people on AZT were dying, members of Queer Nation compared it to thalidomide and called the FDA bad even for having approved it. Fortunately, since combination therapies including AZT have been shown pretty effective, this kind of literally muderous silliness has also died down.
  • Food aid
    It was common in the 1960's for the U.S. to airdrop free food on starving countries. Only conservative commentators at the time warned that this was going to cause Big Trouble. Surprise, it did. The countries became dependent on the food drops. Then the left said it was a U.S. plot to make them all helpless.
  • Globalization
    Am I the only one who remembers when leftists waved signs saying "Trade, not aid!" They'd probably learned something from the failure of food drops. We all know the leftist drill now. Globalization is the raping of poor developing nations by capitalist scumbags with support of the evil U.S. corporatocracy.

There are others that don't quite fit the pattern of the U.S. per se as being called evil per se, but they are still instructive:

  • The Sexual Revolution
    This was basically the left's idea in the 1960's. By the late 1970's, leftist feminists were considering it a horrible thing to have done. Even some of the same people (e.g. Germaine Greer) supported both the Sexual Revolution and the backlash.
  • The Soviet Union
    For the better part of a century, the Soviet Union was the cause celebre. I knew an English leftist who thought the U.S.S.R. was the best thing since pickled walnuts up until the day it dissolved into a pile of rust. Now, of course, Noam Chomsky has gone on record as saying that not only was the U.S.S.R. anti-leftist, it always had been. We have always been at war with Eastasia, Winston.
  • I knew an American leftist who was also big about the U.S.S.R. and how it was the blueprint for the future. Exactly four days after the famous conference when they finally gave up the ghost, he was already saying that Communism would never arise in a country like Russia, nor could it ever have done.

Many of these examples have the disadvantage of being beyond the memory and attention span of your average dope fiend. This is pretty much the point (both my point and the point of dope, the inordinate importance of which in leftist culture now begins to make sense.)

I think that leftists may have learned from this, and that is why nowadays one doesn't see leftists actually calling for something but simply bitching. I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that as predicted in the Boomer Bible, that many leftists have taken a page from Harry. The book of Willie, chapter 34:

  1. When you have been hurt or are unhappy or dissatisfied with the current state of affairs for any reason, find someone or something to blame,
  2. Because the man who has someone to blame has no reason to question himself,
  3. Or his own actions,
  4. Or his own merits,
  5. Or any other part of himself that might accidentally trigger thought.
  6. Be fearless about the assignment of blame,
  7. Be certain in pointing the finger at others,
  8. And be sure to choose the targets for your blame in accordance with your desires,
  9. And not by any other means,
  10. Because other means can lead to thought,
  11. And thought is the enemy of happiness.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Airbags (4.00 / 2) (#284)
by grib on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 12:42:25 PM EST

Airbags are another case.  In the 70's airbags were to be the salvation of highway safety.  Statements by the auto companies that airbags will kill short people and children were taken as prima-facta evidence of the pure unadulterated evil of big buissness.  The lack of airbags was absolute proof that the evil big three ruled the plutocracy with a bloodstained iron fist clutching the almighty dollar.  Congress forced airbags on everyone, in spite of a lobbying effort to stop them that RIAA would have found shameful.  Airbags began killing babies and leftists began suing the auto companies because THEY KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN, they uncovered HIDDEN PROOF!

Still, props to greenrd for being the only leftist I have ever seen to admit that leftists favored sanctions. +5

Only right wing version I can think of off hand was the psudo-free market that would solve all of California's power problems, even with price controlls.  Those who complained were poo-pooed as being planned economy apologists, Surely a little freedom is better than none? Ooops.  Of course what I ment was HOLY CRAP, price controlls, I was always against price controlls, it's economics 101.

[ Parent ]

Don't call me an airbag! (4.00 / 2) (#287)
by epepke on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 01:55:46 PM EST

Just kidding.

Still, props to greenrd for being the only leftist I have ever seen to admit that leftists favored sanctions. +5

Indeed. I've met two others. Of course, I live in Tallahassee, Florida, which is sometimes called the Berkeley of the South and used to hang out a lot with folks at the Miccosukkee Land Co-Op, so I have a large supply of leftists to draw on.

Only right wing version I can think of off hand was the psudo-free market that would solve all of California's power problems, even with price controlls.  Those who complained were poo-pooed as being planned economy apologists, Surely a little freedom is better than none? Ooops.  Of course what I ment was HOLY CRAP, price controlls, I was always against price controlls, it's economics 101.

Oh, I can think of a lot of cases where the right wing has screwed up: bankruptcies from deregulation of the airline industry, de facto monopolies from deregulation of cable, messes due to shutting down state mental institutions (magically reversed in one state when a state senator's daughter got raped by a recent releasee, though I don't remember the details), and so on. And occasionally you'll see that kind of backpedalling on the right, such as the people who call Reagan "Red Ronnie."

But the self-definition and ego of the left is so monomoniacally fixated on being opposed to whatever is actually being done by anyone who is accountable for their actions, that accountability itself becomes seen as suspect, providing truly tragicomic results.

I've seen it happen time and time again in local politics when a progressive candidate with strong leftist grass-roots support actually wins and gets some power in the real world. Often, there is a marked improvement as a result of the programs. However, when utopia doesn't arrive in seven days, the person's original supporters turn on him and/or her like sharks sniffing blood in the water. Usually, the candidate hasn't changed political views in any meaningful way; it's just that he and/or she is now dealing with a real world of consequences. The former supporters are still living in an ideal world of "what if."

If more leftists actually were interested in having an effect on the world, then they would do well to come out and acknowledge this as frequently as possible, to admit that while they may differ in principles from the right, they don't have some magic line on absolute right and wrong either. But they don't; the majority come across as the kind of person who really doesn't care about anything so long as their ass is covered. And while this may get you points in the coffehouse or around the bong, it doesn't get you points in any arena involving responsibility.

It's also worth pointing out that the left hasn't always been this stupid. A lot of ideas that are perfectly mainstream in the U.S. nowadays, such as trade unions, civil rights, sexual equality, universal publication education, free public libraries, social security, Medicaid and Medicare, etc. were, at various times in history, championed by people who were considered horribly leftist at the time. But nowadays, they seem generally to think this is the way to go.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Nice comment (3.00 / 1) (#295)
by Naelphin on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 06:45:56 PM EST

Nice comment about this, found it very interesting.

In interest of balance, what are some things the right got wrong?

[ Parent ]

In the other thread (3.00 / 1) (#296)
by epepke on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 06:55:51 PM EST

See "Don't call me an airbag!" You can add supporting the Mujahadeen, supporting Iraq against Iran, Iran-Contra, various Central- and South-American fiascos, ignoring the fact that at least since the middle of the 1970's the Soviet Union was a crumbling pile of rust that couldn't really do shit to us, etc. As far as balance goes, though, we seem to see those mentioned every other day here on k5. (Except for the U.S.S.R. as a crumbling pile of rust, but Frank Zappa got that one right.)


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Thanks (3.00 / 1) (#332)
by Naelphin on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 06:51:27 PM EST

Ah thanks.

I usually have comments off, so I don't see this.

Thanks for responding though

[ Parent ]

Perhaps because globalisation is destructive (3.00 / 1) (#346)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 09:57:25 AM EST

Am I the only one who remembers when leftists waved signs saying "Trade, not aid!" They'd probably learned something from the failure of food drops. We all know the leftist drill now. Globalization is the raping of poor developing nations by capitalist scumbags with support of the evil U.S. corporatocracy.
You'll probably find that they meant fair trade that benefitted the people of poor countries and improved their lives in some way, not the exporting of jobs in countries with worker protection to countries without in the name of enriching a few fat old white men.

[ Parent ]
That's right (3.66 / 2) (#353)
by epepke on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 11:38:11 AM EST

You'll probably find that they meant fair trade that benefitted the people of poor countries and improved their lives in some way, not the exporting of jobs in countries with worker protection to countries without in the name of enriching a few fat old white men.

That's right; that's what they wanted, just like Queer Nation wanted a magic bullet that would cure AIDS, and just like the leftists in favor of economic sanctions wanted a benign alternative for war.

I want those things, too, but there's a world of difference between coming up with a solution simple enough to be suitable for a placard and a chant and actually making it work in a complex world full of people who like to take advantage. The ideas that one dreams up while sitting around with one's buddies are always more perfect than what happens when you try to do something in the real world.

If leftists were interested in having an effect and in being taken seriously, they would say, "We thought globalization would work, but we were wrong" or even better, "We thought it would work because of A and B and C, but B turned out to be a wrong assumption, and A hasn't really been implemented, so we suggest trying some more A." The former would simply maintain a semblance of accountability, while the latter might actually help improve the world.

But no, leftists generally prefer to forget what the leftist cause celebre was five years ago and go around and chant some more. Not that there aren't leftists who write books, but more and more, these books consist of little but clever putdowns.

Not that rightists are necessarily much better, mind you.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Sounds go to me, let's roll. (3.00 / 1) (#131)
by Demiurge on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:48:23 PM EST

Let the mullahs brutally crush a student uprising for freedom, or overthrow a murderous theocracy. It's a good thing we agree that US military intervention is a good thing.

[ Parent ]
post-gulf war rebels (3.00 / 1) (#348)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 10:04:57 AM EST

The US abandonment of the Kurds was a very complex political affair. The Saudis were dead set against it, Iran had just acquired 50% of the defecting Iraqi Air Force, and the Turks were salivating over Northern Iraq.

Keep in mind that to many in Washington, "Gulf War I" was about throwing off the vestigial images of Vietnam. Plus, the Soviets were still around and large portions of the military were still devoted to facing off against the dying Soviet military machine.


[ Parent ]

So Iran is next, eh? (3.60 / 15) (#14)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:52:33 AM EST

It's a shame that Iran doesn't have their people under control. They should get rid of those illegal satellite operators so the people stop protesting, just like the US had to shut down Al-Jazeera and other 'news outlets' in Iraq and replace it with their own official news. And they did that to ensure the safety and security of the Iraqi people; how is this different?

Also, I like your suggestion that the Middle East (specifically Iran, but I think it applies more broadly as well) should just switch over to Democracy rather than get bombed into submission by the US and then have to switch over. It certainly saves them a lot of time, effort, and hardship, even if they do lose the right to have their own historical form of government.

However, will this end up applying outside of the Middle East? Will it affect Communism as well? Socialism? Is Democracy the only legitimate form of government now? And is the US the only legitimate authority on legitimate forms of government in the world, seeing as how they consider the UN to be irrelevant?

Maybe the US should start some sort of world government organization, to police the other types of government, and ensure that everyone practices democracy.  We could also start a world court, and a world police force. Then the role of the US in the world would at least be both clear and official.

I understand the argument that imprisoning people as long as is necessary can be necessary to the security of a country. After all, that's what the US has been doing at home and abroad for a while now. But Iran perhaps isn't taking it far enough; they should also seize the property of dissidents, or execute them, much like the US's incredibly democratic Patriot Act and Executive Orders allow. After all, you're either with the terrorists or against them, and I'm sure Iran doesn't want any terrorists opposing their government either. We should help them combat terrorism within their borders as well!

I don't see why the US is letting itself be swayed by popular opinion here, though. Can't they see that the government of Iran has the best interests of its people in mind, much like the government of the US has the best interests of its people in mind? Even if the popular opinion of the world might disagree? Really, the US should be supporting Iran in its efforts to suppress rebellion and control its people as it sees fit. The US would do no less.

Iran seems rather harmless, in fact; they haven't tried to take over Iraq in quite some time now, so I don't see why the US would see them as a threat. The dangerous people here are the rebels inside Iran, who want to overthrow the rightful government of a sovereign state! That sort of behavior should not be tolerated.

...unless you're the US, of course.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

Democracy became the only legitimate government (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by Kasreyn on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 12:51:38 PM EST

at about the time that we noticed most of the nations who attack us, or fund attacks against us, are NOT democracies. This realization began to dawn on us around the time of the Korean War, if I had to venture a guess.

As one of my favorite writers said, "Democracy is the worst system ever. That is, if you don't count all those other systems that have been tried from time to time." (paraphrased)

I'm assuming you're being sarcastic about the U.S. starting a world governing and policing organization, since we already did (it's still around: its headquarters is that tall building in NY with all the flags outside), but then we walked out on it when it wouldn't let us boss it around.

Of course, it's all actually a load of hooey, the U.S. is a prison state and certainly does not have the highest level of actual individual freedoms of any nation. However, it DOES have the highest combined freedoms and standard of living, which keeps us all pacified.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
So which ones ? (3.00 / 1) (#18)
by minerboy on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:03:53 PM EST

you say - the U.S. is a prison state and certainly does not have the highest level of actual individual freedoms of any nation ? Which ones do have the highest levels of individual freedom ? -I really want to know what you think - I promise not to give a smart ass response (well I'll try not to)



[ Parent ]
heh.. (3.00 / 1) (#44)
by Run4YourLives on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 04:15:12 PM EST

Swiss citizens enjoy a pretty high degree of freedoms and living conditions...

If you want to stretch the definition of "personal freedoms", which is what you have to do anyways, the Dutch can smoke weed in cafes, and make a pretty good living too...

It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]

pb (3.00 / 3) (#50)
by BinaryTree on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 04:56:40 PM EST

Why does each and every one of your comments look the same to me?


[ Parent ]
you're blind? [nt] (2.50 / 2) (#57)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:12:36 PM EST


---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Bah. (3.00 / 1) (#51)
by jmzero on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:01:04 PM EST

It certainly saves them a lot of time, effort, and hardship, even if they do lose the right to have their own historical form of government.

Democracy is a good thing.  And it looks like they want it.  I don't think we should help them get it.  Also, I don't think we should share our food replicator technology until they are capable of warp flight.

However, will this end up applying outside of the Middle East? Will it affect Communism as well? Socialism? Is Democracy the only legitimate form of government now?

Democracy, socialism, communism, capitalism: one of these things is not like the other.  If you don't understand this, perhaps you should go back to grade 7 social studies.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Eh? (3.25 / 3) (#58)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:16:45 PM EST

Who is 'they'. And if Democracy is such a good thing, why force it? Could there be a more...um...democratic solution?

As to the rest, I was referring to the US's desire to forcibly change the government of another country, and wondering how far this desire would extend, and what other types of government would be affected. If you think this has to do with grade 7 social studies, perhaps you don't understand this.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Uhhhh. (3.00 / 1) (#70)
by jmzero on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:17:11 PM EST

Who is 'they'.

I assume that was a question.  The answer from the article:

some 90 percent of Iranians themselves want change, and that 70 percent want dramatic change

This isn't real specific, but it's in the right ballpark - and I don't think characterizing the student demands as "for democracy" is real crazy.  Feel free to disagree with the numbers or my interpretation, but there certainly is a 'they' who want democracy.  

To determine if this group represents a majority in Iran, I guess we'd need a vote.

And if Democracy is such a good thing, why force it?

I don't think we should, but I could see supporting those people who want it.  You may find this hard to understand, but sometimes majorities of opinion don't add up to majorities of force.  If we can correct this balance, we may be doing a service.

As to the rest, I was referring to the US's desire to forcibly change the government of another country, and wondering how far this desire would extend, and what other types of government would be affected.

Wow, you really didn't get my point.  I didn't want to be insulting before, but I guess I have to spell it out.  Democracy is a system of government.  Communism is an economic system.  No really, they're different.  Read your original post.  Now read my post.  Now remember back to grade 7.  It should all be coming clear.

.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

eh? (2.25 / 3) (#77)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:31:04 PM EST

Oh boy. I want change. The world wants change. Does the US give a shit? No. As I mentioned originally. Did the US listen to the protests around the world? To its own students? No, no, and no again, just for good measure.

What I do find hard to understand is your condescending attitude. Are you this much of an asshole in real life?

You're right. I didn't get your point. And I still don't. Why? Because your point--if you had one--is so nit-picky as to be irrelevant to an actual conversation. Have you heard of "Communist China"? Do you have a dictionary? And to forestall more of your babbling nonsense, look at definition 2a. No, really. It's a definition.

Now go find your gun and shoot yourself. It should all be coming clear.

Fucker.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Idiot (3.00 / 3) (#82)
by jmzero on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:46:00 PM EST

The world wants change. Does the US give a shit? No.

Don't bother reasoning.  US is wrong.  Check.

What I do find hard to understand is your condescending attitude

You, on the other hand, would never be condescending (you smug idiot).  And no, I never talk like this in real life.

I didn't get your point.  And I still don't.

Fair enough, I'll explain better.  In your original post you mentioned democracy, communism, and socialism as though they were the same breed of thing.  They're just not, even if 20th century communism has pretty much always been married to non-democracies.  You can have a socialist monarchy, a communist democracy, or a capitalist theocracy - and this doesn't clash with any of the dictionary definitions of anything.  "Communist" and "democratic" are measures of two different things.

And in this context, they're especially different.  Certain forms of government are going to be more likely to get in the US scope because their decision making process is more prone to bad decisions.  That's why you'll see North Korea and Syria listed as potential targets and not Sweden.  
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

Fuck off. (3.00 / 1) (#84)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:54:48 PM EST

You should have apologized two posts ago. Oh, and good job snipping everything that refutes your points. Who needs discussion anyhow?

As to my original list, I was broadly listing types of governments that may or may not run afoul of the US. I was not equating them at all. I could just have well listed "socialist monarchy", "communist democracy", or "capitalist theocracy", except that it would be wordier, and less people would get the point. But with people like you around--who seem determined to not get the point--it hardly matters which words I pick.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Retard. (3.00 / 1) (#89)
by jmzero on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:08:09 PM EST

Oh, and good job snipping everything that refutes your points

You asked "Who is 'they'?".  I answered, I think fairly.  You ignored that and called me a fucker.

Clearly I am avoiding your wonderful arguments and I should apologize.  I understand.

I could just have well listed "socialist monarchy", "communist democracy", or "capitalist theocracy", except that it would be wordier, and less people would get the point

Look, there IS a real point here I've tried to make - some types of governments are more prone to attack from the US.  I was only trying to make it clear what distinguishes these governments - their means of making decisions rather than their economic system.

I thought that this confusion detracted from your point, which otherwise was a valid rhetorical question.

.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

hah. (3.00 / 1) (#93)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:13:46 PM EST

Perhaps you forgot that "seventh grade" comment you made? Twice? Or your increasingly condescending tone? About a useless grammar-nazi style point you were attempting to make?

See, that would have been a good point. Maybe next time you can say that instead, and you might get a civil reply. But you didn't, and you didn't.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Fair enough... (3.50 / 3) (#139)
by jmzero on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:18:38 PM EST

Maybe next time you can say that instead, and you might get a civil reply. But you didn't, and you didn't.

True.  Honestly, I think I just enjoy flamewars.

Have a good day.
.
"Let's not stir that bag of worms." - my lovely wife
[ Parent ]

sometimes I do too. (3.50 / 3) (#158)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:49:03 PM EST

Ah well, that made one of us. I guess I also appreciate a certain degree of civility as well.

Good day, jmzero.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Blip (2.33 / 6) (#55)
by Troll Radar on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:09:33 PM EST



[ Parent ]
It's called "sarcasm". (4.00 / 2) (#59)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:17:34 PM EST

...but if that's what passes for a troll on Kuro5hin nowadays, it has fallen far indeed.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
Ping (2.50 / 3) (#81)
by Troll Sonar on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:45:19 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Uhhh... (3.00 / 1) (#298)
by baron samedi on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 07:20:46 PM EST

they haven't tried to take over Iraq in quite some time now

Better check your facts on that one, there, bud. Iraq invaded Iran.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

too long (2.00 / 7) (#19)
by dimaq on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:09:23 PM EST

too long for me to read completely, sorry :)

I don't think so (4.88 / 17) (#21)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:24:02 PM EST

The conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan are not dying down, in fact in both places they are heating up. As the US just canceled the elections for the Iraqis here and cut down free press both situations seem to be headed down hill rather than up.

Not all protest have been violent as you would like to think in fact the ones in Kermanshah have been peaceful and the few non-students who tried to turn it violent were arrested.
It's always easy to find a few people who agree with you but the majority of Iranians have no desire to see American forces in their country.  Nor do they want to see their country reduced to the level of Iraq or Afgahnistan.  Wanting to have relations with the US is completely different from wanting a US sponsored regime.

The idea that the current demonstrations are somehow controlled out of LA is better explained here .
Also please do not quot of SMCCDI they are not nothing but a mouth piece for the MKO.  They can release whatever they like but they represent nothing but a cult.
Change will come to Iran but it will be by the Iranians who died defending Iran during the war, the same ones who died changing the regime of Shah.  Not by the few elites who ran to the US with their money after the fall of Shah and have some outdated view of Iran from 20 years ago.  These people wouldn't recognize current Iran or the Iranians living there now.  Iran will not backtrack 20 years no matter how much time/effort these people will put into hijacking the current situations.
It's always easy to say let's over throw the mullahs and we'll have something better in their place when you don't have to show a better alternative.
Iranians want a better govt. and they deserve one but it's not going to come with a revolution, it's going to come from within Iran, Iran has changed a lot in the last 5 years and will continue to change in the next 5 but it's not going to be what the monarchist or the right wingers dream of.

SMCCDI and desire (4.50 / 4) (#61)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:31:13 PM EST

The SMCCDI have been critical of the MKO in the past, and they can sometimes be apoligists, however they are not part of the NCRI.

The link is hysterical. It is one LA Persian telling another LA Persian that he doesn't anybout Iranian politics. It constructs a strawman of opinion through dialogue. Nobody thinks that these few thousand protestors are the end of the mullocracy. The Tehrangeles TV stations are not responsible for the demonstrations. They are responsible for free flow of information. They are a propoganda tool run by members of the Persian diaspora who want to affect change. The satellite crackdown was for a reason. If these broadcasts were not making problems, Irani leaders wouldn't have bothed with it. They are in a precarious position and have to pick and chose their battles.

I urge you to read th first link. It is the writings of a student in Tehran. It should give you a feeling of how some of the protestors feel and the violent suppression of them.

You act as if there is only a minority in Iran that favor removing the mullahs from power or of getting rid of the whole system and starting over. CSM reports that 70% want "radical change" while 90% want some form of change. This is hardly a fringe.

It's nice to think that change can come from within the system, but no substansive change can happen. Liberal press is shut down. In the post-Iraq world there has been a return to old school punishment, like chopping the hands off of theives. There is no indication that any meaninful reform can happen. But please don't let reality slap you in the face too hard.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

reality issues (4.60 / 5) (#79)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:40:17 PM EST

Which is something you seem to be out of touch with, maybe it's the drugs I dunno. I never said that it was a fringe group that wanted change.  I would agree that 90% of iranians want change and a better govt but to think that a violent (which is really what you are propsing) change will lead to something better is simply delusional.

It's not a "nice thought" or something else, it's a reality the people of Iran will decide for themselve without the Monarchis or the MKO.  Those groups have been out of Iran for over 20 years, Iran has changed a lot in simply the past 3 years and I find it amusing that people who have not been there think they are qualified to comment on how best change the regime in Iran.  They don't even know what Iran is like today.  And no the internet is not a source to the real Iran.  Farmers and govt workers along with the other 99.9% of the population aren't blogging on persianblog.com

[ Parent ]

Lacking Reality (3.00 / 1) (#383)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 04:07:44 PM EST

Your response is entitled "Reality Issues" and yet you present none. All you do is insult jjayson and discount the Internet as a means of learning about Iran.

I guess you're taking your ball home and not letting anyone else play. Well, fine, screw you, too.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Oh God, beautiful propaganda (4.00 / 18) (#26)
by ubu on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 01:36:09 PM EST

And it's the OLDEST trick in the US Foreign Policy book: have the CIA foment rebellion, instruct the media on what to report, and then mount a military operation under the pretext of helping the "poor, struggling pro-democracy forces".

Voila, instant Imperialism. Bonus: also known by such user-friendly titles as "Democracy".

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
CIA? (2.25 / 3) (#54)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:07:46 PM EST

Where did that come from. The Bush administration hasn't even been very happy about Sen. Brownback's legislation to provide funding. These TV stations that broadcast back into Iran are set up and operated by exiled Iranians. NITV is one of the biggest and, and it is funded almost entirely by wealth Persians living outside Iran.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Heheh (3.25 / 3) (#62)
by ubu on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:34:12 PM EST

Where did that come from, heh. Good one. Here's a good place to start digging.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
a book about previous intervention (4.00 / 2) (#68)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:08:47 PM EST

nice. Now would you care to actually tell or show me about current intervention? The Persian-language TV stations are entirely run by exiles that have no CIA connection. I repeat, The Bush administration hasn't even been very happy about Sen. Brownback's legislation to provide funding.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
look it up yourself. (3.50 / 4) (#72)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:22:26 PM EST

The US already has CIA operatives inside Iran; this is common knowledge, as your news sources have probably already told you. If not, there's always Google News. For instance, I'm sure the NeoCons would love to get into Iran; also, note the involvement of a former CIA chief there.

...And if the CIA was behind this, do you think they would tell us? Why don't you go tell me what confidential evidence Bush had of WMD while you're at it. (or did he suddenly never say that, and am I just a "revisionist historian" now; it's hard to keep track...)
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

bah. (2.25 / 3) (#83)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:53:33 PM EST

The author has no clue. Ledeen is well respected in the Persian diaspora. Ubu was implying that the current protests were started by the CIA. They were started by university student protesting to privative the university. As images were transmitted by Irani exile-owner satellite TV stations they grew. There is no link between NITV or any station and the CIA.

The coup that installed the shah wasn't very well supported by the people. However, the current populace is fed up. 90% want change.  70% percent want "radical change." It is hard to deny the massive support for deposing the Guadian Council.

The article even says that all this would be naught if the US supported groups that wanted to reinstall Reza Pahlavi. Brownback's legislation supports all sort of groups. However, most of those groups are not aligned with a political party. How hard is it for you to believe that others may want a Western-style democracy?

By spinning the conspiratorial yarn with, "And if the CIA was behind this, do you think they would tell us?" you create an unfalsifyable statement. Lack of proof of CIA involvement is just proof that the CIA is covering it up.

Typical, stick up for the tyrants.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

bah indeed. (4.00 / 2) (#86)
by pb on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:00:40 PM EST

Hey, I want "change". But since when did the US care about the opinions of its people, let alone anyone else's?

As for the CIA, I have no idea what they're doing, but I guarantee you they won't tell me. And even if I were a serious conspiracy theorist whacko or something, I would not the first to use unfalsifiable statements to justify my points; as I've mentioned, Bush beat me to it, as did a lot of people who stuck up for him.

How does it feel, having your president deceive you? Does it feel good? Does that make you trust him more, or less?
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Stick up for the tyrants?! (3.71 / 7) (#88)
by ubu on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:01:33 PM EST

Are you stupid? I don't give a shit about the terrorists. I give a shit about the fact that the DoD has directly admitted that war in Iraq was likely to raise the chances of a domestic terrorist attack in the US. I give a shit about the fact that my tax money is paying for this shit, which has already cost so much that if 9/11 happened every year for THE NEXT GODDAMNED DECADE IT WOULD BE LESS EXPENSIVE TO JUST PUT UP WITH IT.

FUCK YOU AND YOUR PENNY-ANTE POLITICS. "Stick up for the tyrants," my hairy pink asshole. Fuck you and the Dubya Tyrant Asshole you represent, yourself.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
Selective hearing (and reasoning) (2.80 / 5) (#109)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:06:38 PM EST

the DoD has directly admitted that war in Iraq was likely to raise the chances of a domestic terrorist attack
Yes, the in short-term there is an increased risk of terrorism. However, the adminstration's position is that this is well balanced out by removing long term threats that are far greater. This makes sense. Do you take the increased risk of small accidents (on the scale of hundreds of lives lost) for the next 5 years to lower the risk of terrorism for the next 100 years, especially when those future attacks could be much greater in destructiveness?

It's not my fault you cannot understand a basic cost-benefit analysis. You don't have to agree with it, but you should at least be able to understand it.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Wow (3.66 / 6) (#110)
by ubu on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:26:46 PM EST

Arrogant son of a bitch. What I'd like is the following — see if you can calculate my cost-benefit ratio:

  • The CIA dismantled
  • Overseas US armed forces bases dismantled
  • US involvement in the Middle East ended, including an end to massive Israeli subsidies in weapons, material, intelligence, and UN cover
  • The US UN ambassador fired immediately
  • All US defense projects aimed at foreign engagements and theatres cancelled
  • All US import tariffs that are not strictly for revenue-generation cancelled
That would be a start. In the short term — let's say the next five years — things might get a little more dangerous! But in the long term — let's say the next 100 years — we will be safer, richer, and more welcome across the globe than ever before.

Ubu


--
As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
[ Parent ]
The long run (2.85 / 7) (#161)
by godix on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:13:30 AM EST

The CIA dismantled

Probably not a bad idea, their capabilities seem to be vastly overrated. Dismantle the CIA and replace it with something that could foresee a change as big as Russias fall would be a good start.
Overseas US armed forces bases dismantled

Japan and South Korea fall immediately. Europe takes a few years longer but eventually it falls to petty Bosnia type fighting also.
US involvement in the Middle East ended, including an end to massive Israeli subsidies in weapons, material, intelligence, and UN cover

Once Israel loses it's surplus of arms and equipement it's enemies invade. Since Israels military will no longer be able to win the war it will use nuclear weapons. The middle east will be irradiated within a decade or two.
The US UN ambassador fired immediately

Which won't matter because without American miltary and support the UN is somewhere between a joke and a debate club.
All US defense projects aimed at foreign engagements and theatres cancelled

Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Israel, and Europe will be invaded fairly quickly. Mexico, Canada, and America are protected for awhile because of the oceans. Once someone builds some troop carriers we're fucked as well though. Australia becomes the shining light of the world since they are almost the only civilized country capable of defending themselves without America saving their asses.
All US import tariffs that are not strictly for revenue-generation cancelled

Effects depend on country. Trade imbalance with China gets much much worse. Same with Japan. Current economic situation takes a downturn that makes the last 3 years look like a party. Countries that have fairly sane tariffs, like Canada and much of Europe would get a fair shake. None of this matters in the long run since most trading partners except China will fall apart.

Before you disregard this ask yourself, what country kept Russia from taking all of Europe after WWII? What country has defended South Korea and Japan for decades? What countries possible involvement has prevented Taiwan from being invaded? What country has kept Israel for becoming so desperate that nuclear weapons are their only option? What country has supplied the most troops to pretty much any UN mission that could be called a success? What country do the hell holes of the earth beg to come in and enforce peace?

The noble idea that humanity is beyond war is a lie. Sadly the world needs at least one country with a big stick to keep it civilized. History has repeatedly shown that the only thing that keeps peace is a large and powerful nation. Africa is what happens when the countries with big sticks walk away. Have you noticed how many African countries have been involved in decades long fighting?


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
[ Parent ]

I think you missed the point (3.00 / 3) (#237)
by speek on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 02:40:29 PM EST

Setting aside the question of how laughable your assumption that Europe will be invaded (by whom???), you have misread ubu and missed his real desire. Ubu doesn't care if Europe gets invaded. Doesn't care if Japan falls (again, to whom?), Taiwan, or even if the middle east becomes a sheet of glass. These things are their problems. You then obvious misinterpreted "All US defense projects aimed at foreign engagements and theatres cancelled" to mean "All US defense cancelled", or something. I suspect Ubu would still be in favor of maintaining an overpowering military aimed at defense of the US.

Myself, I'm pretty close to agreement with ubu - time for the US to let the rest of the world take care of themselves. More importantly though, it's time for the US to look after it's own interests, and I firmly believe all the military adventures across the globe have not been in the US's interests. I wouldn't drop Israel like a lead boot, but I'd put a time limit on military support and offer all Israel citizens US citizenship.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Re: The long run (3.00 / 1) (#278)
by mickwd on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 10:13:42 AM EST

"Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Europe, Israel, and Europe will be invaded fairly quickly."

Europe ? Errrrr, who by ?

(I'm assuming you discount Mexico, Canada and "America" (I guess you mean the USA here), and the mighty Australia - Africa, too).

I guess you could only mean the Chinese - but it's an awfully long way for them to walk to get here.

Us poor Europeans - looks like we're going to get invaded twice, too. I guess we'd better start sharpening our spears.

[ Parent ]

Who (3.00 / 1) (#285)
by godix on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 01:04:04 PM EST

Europe ? Errrrr, who by ?

The same small time warlords that have already popped up in Europe. Think about what happened to Yugoslavia. The other alternative is that in the absence of a strong military power someone would get the idea to build their own strong military. Think WWII Germany.
I'm assuming you discount Mexico, Canada and "America" (I guess you mean the USA here), and the mighty Australia - Africa, too).

I already mentioned these. Mexico and Africa are already hell holes, although Mexicos proximity to the US keeps things from sinking to far. Canada and America have two huge oceans seperating them from pretty much everyone and I assume not even ubu wants the internal police force dismantled. Australia is one of the few countries around that's proven it can take care of itself without American help.
I guess you could only mean the Chinese

In Asia yes, they would be the most likely.
I guess we'd better start sharpening our spears.

Oddly enough in your sarcasm you are correct. My point was that the world needs someone around with good military capabilities. I never said it had to be America. I personally support the idea of the EU building up their military while America withdraws its bases and protection.


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
[ Parent ]
Small-time warlord in Europe (3.00 / 1) (#345)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 09:45:43 AM EST

Could you name a couple, since I have no idea what you're talking about, and I live a lot closer to where these small-time warlords would hang out. Unless you're talking about Blair, but then he's merely a small-time warmonger and no threat to anyone with white skin.

[ Parent ]
Check out the tro^H^H^review... (4.00 / 2) (#102)
by the on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:50:48 PM EST

...labeled: A disservice to the nation., November 13, 2002 Reviewer: A reader from Idaho

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
hey, that's keeteel!!! (4.00 / 2) (#107)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:59:12 PM EST

Defense of Corrupt Empire.. check!
Invocation of God Almighty.. check!
Mr. Blum is quite correct in implicating the US government and American corporations in a spectrum of mass murders, assassinations, tortures, rapes and terror in general. This is all correct but he fails to acknowledge that this is the manner in which all empires have comported themselves. There is no reason to expect us to behave differently. These are the necessary means of maintaining an empire as well as the costs required to sustain the American lifestyle. Insisting on anything different is not only unrealistic, but asks us to betray of our way of life. George Bush Sr. put it clearly, "the American way of life is not up for negotiation." The price of our cherished lifestyle is high. Whether its 5,000,000 dead Southeast Asians or 500,000 dead Iraqi children, the price is worth it. Even Secretary of State Madeline Albright, a lefty Democrat, said so on CBS' 60 minutes.

[...] Mr. Blum fails to mention a single word about our civilizing effect on what he calls the "victims" of our actions. It is as absurd as claiming that the "victims" of slavery gained nothing from their association with the civilizing force of a morally advanced Christian society. [...] Mr. Blum's unwillingness to refer to these trickle-down benefits exposes his bias. [...] He ignores the positive effects of our interventions while monotonously pleading a case for either the millions of dead that the process of keeping the world in line requires, or anyone that might foolishly resist our efforts in incorporating their natural resources into our corporate and national interests. One thing he doesn't do is spend time on the obstinance of these people. How dare they resist our advances? What right do they think they have to their labor or natural resources?

What Mr. Blum says is true only to a degree. His greatest inaccuracy is that he has divorced his account of American foreign policy from the context of our unique virtue and God-given mandate. At times I felt myself trembling with rage at how he freely soils our good name. His ignorance of our purity is enraging. [...] Books like this threaten our national security by exposing dangerous facts that might sway public opinion against our behavior abroad. For such reasons it might be a good idea to ban or censor this book.

Thanks for the heads up the, I needed a good laugh.

[ Parent ]
I couldn't disagree with you more! (4.57 / 7) (#30)
by mulescent on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 02:12:34 PM EST

You provide an excellently written perspective on this issue, but it ignores a lot of rather significant facts. I am especially troubled by your analysis of what might happen should a full-scale revolution break out. Bloodless revolutions are rare, and I have serious doubts about the Iranian Army's unity behind a rebellion.
You better stop that laser game, or you'll smell my mule
beside it's not just tthe army (3.50 / 2) (#34)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 03:05:48 PM EST

for every divison of the normal army there's a islamic counter part, in the army as well as the navy.  Not sure about the air force.  Those are the real belivers who you have to slowly bring into fold.

[ Parent ]
Why can't the US just stop fucking with people? (4.85 / 20) (#32)
by sdem on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 03:00:20 PM EST

Why is it that this article presents the debate over interference being of the "how?" variety rather than the "should?"?

US troops should not be sent to do a job that Iranians ought to be doing. The Iranians are fiercely nationalistic - interference will only foster resentment. Moreover, look at America's stewardship of Iraq so far - we've really fucked up with this whole "nation building" thing. Widespread looting destroyed what infrastructure wasn't taken out by American bombs. There is little to no qualified law enforcement in Iraq, instead leaving this task to combat troops who are trained to kill, not resolve problems peacefully. This has already resulted in the deaths of 20 Iraqi protesters in just one event, with more deaths being spread over the country. And where's the fucking government over there? Oh, right, we've made little to no progress on that front, either.

The US has already bitten off more than it can chew, what with the abandonment of Afghanistan and the dismal job being performed in Iraq. We don't need another Islamic anarchy on our hands as our responsibility. Let them do what they do, without interfering. Believe it or not, they should be able to determine their own destiny.

"the troll band is a cross between mr. rogers neighorhood and riker's island" - tacomacide

Who said anything about military action? (3.25 / 4) (#53)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:04:43 PM EST

You are not the first to bring this up either. Military action in Iran isn't the answer, but neither is propping up the mullahs or inaction. The CSM numbers show that the people overwhelmingly desire a revolution. What is so bad about giving to cash to independent TV stations that broadcast back into Iran? The inaction chants are repugnant.

By feeding more to exiled Persian I hardly see how that is not exactly lettting them determine their own destiny. They clearly want change. France has people lighting themselves on fire in the streets, one of the most gruesome and painful ways to cmmit suicide, to protest rounding up a group that isn't even traditionally liked by the exiled community.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Not with taxpayer dollars (3.25 / 3) (#67)
by sdem on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:07:43 PM EST

By feeding more to exiled Persian I hardly see how that is not exactly lettting them determine their own destiny.

Why are we giving millions of dollars to monarchist Iranian exile groups to subsidize their propaganda when NPR still needs fund drives to raise enough money to keep running? What a waste of money. Let the Iranians sort the situation out by themselves, and spend American dollars on American problems.

to protest rounding up a group that isn't even traditionally liked by the exiled community.

Did it occur to you that the same people who are being rounded up are also the people setting themselves on fire? As I recall, this group is pretty radical, it's considered a terrorist group by the U.S., so I certainly wouldn't put it past them to light themselves on fire. But don't try to portray that as some kind of widespread support. Many instances in your article attempt to portray widespread support though they select quotations from radical exile groups.

"the troll band is a cross between mr. rogers neighorhood and riker's island" - tacomacide
[ Parent ]

whine whine whine (2.57 / 7) (#76)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:28:05 PM EST

Why are we giving millions of dollars to monarchist Iranian exile groups
Hardly. For example take the largest station, NITV. It is run by Zia Ataby who is not a monarchist. The station is not part of any political organization and pushes a Western-style democracy. What station are monarchist?

when NPR still needs fund drives to raise enough money to keep running? What a waste of money. Let the Iranians sort the situation out by themselves, and spend American dollars on American problems.
Typical short-sightedness. First, we should be willing to forego a tiny $50 million to help a population that is starving for freedom, even if they are on the other side of the planet. It is a moral act and hence needs no utilitarian justification. Second, Iran is the leading supporter of terrorism. Without Iran the Israel/Palestine problem would be easier and the Iraqi and Afghani situations would mellow tremendously. Third, by almost  all account Iranis starting a nuclear weapons program. They will not hesitate to send a nuke over when they get a chance. In 2006, tell the millions of people that die from a nuclear blast in NY or SF that it wasn't our problem. Forth, NPR suck.

Did it occur to you that the same people who are being rounded up are also the people setting themselves on fire? As I recall, this group is pretty radical, it's considered a terrorist group by the U.S., so I certainly wouldn't put it past them to light themselves on fire.
You would have probably used the same line against the self-immolating monks during the Vietnam war. Even for radicals though, that is a drastic step. One of the girls that set herself on fire was 20 years old, from Canada, and taking a vacation in the UK. Sounds like a real radical to me.

But don't try to portray that as some kind of widespread support. Many instances in your article attempt to portray widespread support though they select quotations from radical exile groups.
90% of Iranians favor change while 70% favor "radical change." Hardly isolated.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Govt funding moral acts (3.00 / 1) (#368)
by Sloppy on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 02:21:56 PM EST

First, we should be willing to forego a tiny $50 million to help a population that is starving for freedom, even if they are on the other side of the planet. It is a moral act and hence needs no utilitarian justification.
Then it should be no problem to persuade people to voluntarily provide that funding. That isn't a good reason to drag our government into it, thereby forcing US citizens to pay it whether they're persuaded or not. (But your nuke argument may be a good reason.)
"RSA, 2048, seeks sexy young entropic lover, for several clock cycles of prime passion..."
[ Parent ]
they are not indepndent (4.00 / 2) (#75)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:27:38 PM EST

which one is indie the one with Reza's picture on the background or the one with the old iranian flag.  the fact that psychos in france are setting themselves on fire because their cult is being decimated doesn't really have anything to do with the real iranians in iran.  
The exiled Iranians are not exactly without their own agenda, most of them are royalists that want their old status back and the only way they can get that is if there's a new Shah in power.

[ Parent ]
Care to back that up? (3.00 / 1) (#145)
by cr8dle2grave on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:57:50 PM EST

The exiled Iranians are not exactly without their own agenda, most of them are royalists that want their old status back and the only way they can get that is if there's a new Shah in power.

Really? Do you have any evidence to support this claim or is it just a convenient prejudice? What exactly are the links between the major activists in the exile community and Pahlavis?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
I think he is referring to this: (4.00 / 2) (#160)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:12:08 AM EST

Some media outlets have emblems either of the seal during the shah or similar. Absent support for returning Reza Pahlavi, the shah's son, to the throne, this is more adequately explained away as that was the flag of their country when they were forced out. It makes sense that they would continue to show it.

Also, Michael Ledeen has been accused of being a monarchist and Pahlavi supporter in the past. This is often rooted in articles written by William Beeman or by the acknowledge by Ledeen that Pahlavi could be a good choice of leader in a post-mullah Iran. Ledeen defended himself on a couple occasions:

A couple of days ago he went back on the attack, this time in the Beirut Star, of all places. This time he was out to make me into a monarchist, a supporter of Reza Pahlavi, the son of the late shah of Iran. It's a tough case to make because there's no evidence for it. No problem for Beeman; he just invents it:
  • He says that I spoke in Los Angeles at a "rally for monarchists." Wrong. It was a meeting of the Iranian-American community of southern California, including all the political tendencies of the community;
  • He says that I am "frequently photographed with Reza Pahlavi." Wrong again. It may have happened, but I can't remember a single occasion;
  • And when his imagination runs dry, he says that although my intention is "clearly to restore the Pahlavi dynasty," I'm "exceptionally careful about making this pronunciation openly or in print." He reads my mind!
He invents other things, too. He says I was a founder of the Coalition for Democracy in Iran. Wrong again. I was asked to participate in its activities well after its creation.

Mohsen Moshfegh, born in Tehran in 1958, in an article for the San Francisco Bay Area Payvand, sort of says it really doesn't matter.

In trying to insinuate that Pahlavi is somehow beholden to this "sinister coalition," the writer implies that Rubin and Ledeen, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) activists, have indicated support for him. My question to the writer is: so what? What does that prove? It can only mean that Mr.'s Rubin and Ledeen have come to the same conclusion that a considerable part of the Iranian community abroad, along with a small fraction of the Iranians inside our country have come to, i.e., Reza Pahlavi may be a viable alternative in the post Islamic Republic Iran.


--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Gotcha (3.00 / 1) (#167)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:40:45 AM EST

Thanks. I'd agree with you as regards the emblem; displaying the Union Jack is hardly evidence of one's support for the full restoration of the British Monarch.

Also, I think Moshfegh definitely has a point, but as always the devil is in the details. There are numerous contemporary examples--among them Japan, Spain, and Greece--of Monarchs, insofar as they can be important institutions of national and cultural unity, providing a much needed counterbalance to the factionalism common to emerging democracies.

By the way, nice article.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
yeah you could try listening to them (3.00 / 1) (#213)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:18:46 AM EST

and then you would hear their support of the Shah.

[ Parent ]
Blip (1.12 / 8) (#56)
by Troll Radar on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 05:10:11 PM EST



[ Parent ]
You'd prefer 100,000 dead in Civil War to 2,000 (1.75 / 3) (#130)
by Demiurge on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:47:04 PM EST

...dead civilians from American bombs that went astray? If you think Iran's discontent populace should overthrow the repressive theocracy in Iran, you have to realize it won't go peacefully. Are tens or hundreds of thousands of dead demonstrators and innocents less important that maintaining the 'sovereignity' of a crumbling dictatorship? Even when there are calls for the populace for outside intervention?

[ Parent ]
Oh really? (4.40 / 5) (#153)
by sdem on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:30:58 PM EST

And where did these numbers come from? That's a pretty neat rhetorical trick, being able to pull numbers out of your ass to make a point. Do you know how many Iraqis have died since the commencement of hostilities earlier this year? I have a hint for you: it's a whole lot more than 2,000.

"the troll band is a cross between mr. rogers neighorhood and riker's island" - tacomacide
[ Parent ]
You think lightly armed rebels have a better... (2.50 / 4) (#198)
by Demiurge on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:34:59 AM EST

chance than the United States Marines? If armed revolution is inevitable in Iran, isn't it better that it be another Iraq, if the alternative is being another Beirut?

[ Parent ]
Not our job (4.50 / 4) (#204)
by sdem on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 09:16:13 AM EST

The Iranians need to deal with their own affairs. If they want a revolution, they must make the sacrifices and take responsibility for their own fate. The U.S. must not interfere with their right to self-determination of their fate. It should not be the job of the United States to meddle in the internal affairs of other states, especially in overthrowing a government - this would have even less justification than Iraq, we never beat them in any war, they have no peace treaty terms that they are compelled to abide by.

"the troll band is a cross between mr. rogers neighorhood and riker's island" - tacomacide
[ Parent ]
Oh, really? (3.00 / 1) (#347)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 09:58:00 AM EST

What are the numbers?

[ Parent ]
You don't ask questions you don't want answered... (3.00 / 1) (#339)
by Gooba42 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 04:02:28 AM EST

In case you hadn't noticed, there's quite a swell of "The US should be able to do whatever they damn well please because God loves us and we're right!" going on at the moment.

The reason it isn't asked whether we should interfere is a simple measure of control. If you present two options people are far less likely to try to find their own way. Even if the two options are both distasteful, it gives them a sense of empowerment to choose which of the two sucky options they would prefer.

So, in essence, they ask "How?" to keep you from asking "Why?" or "Should we?".

[ Parent ]

Maybe so... (3.00 / 1) (#384)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 04:37:33 PM EST

...but, for my part, I think the United States had an imperative to prove that it carries a big stick and isn't afraid to crush skulls with it. In your little blame-shifting game, you should remember that it was radical islamists that propogated the myth that the US can't stomach a bloody fight. In fact, this same myth is underlying the recent spate of killings of coalition troops in post-war Iraq.

As a matter of fact, those who opposed the war, and more especially those that would now call for removal of US/UK presence in that region, are quite simply the biggest goddamn fools pissing into the bucket of foreign policy, possibly the biggest fools ever throughout the history of civilization. Why? Because there is a perception (don't doubt it for a minute) that Americans can be pushed around. All those idiots that are crying about how America is a bully are just shortsighted enough to miss the little bastards on the other side of the hill, taking potshots and making the headlines from one day to the next until the Starbucks-ulcer hippie-dippie shitheads in America gather their collective whines and cry: "Enough!"

At which point, those little bastards on the other side of the hill smile and storm the gates.

God, it's just so sickeningly misguided. It makes me queasy just thinking about all those venti no-whip Fraps and those sallow-brained NPR junkies.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Can't stomach a bloody fight? (3.00 / 1) (#396)
by cburke on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 10:35:21 AM EST

"In your little blame-shifting game, you should remember that it was radical islamists that propogated the myth that the US can't stomach a bloody fight." That's funny... I thought it was Vietnamese Communists who propogated that myth...

[ Parent ]
It's good that (3.00 / 1) (#401)
by baron samedi on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:49:35 PM EST

You base your beliefs on facts and logic instead of emotion like those whiny liberals.


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Just leave them alone! (4.69 / 13) (#43)
by Confusion on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 04:12:13 PM EST

Iran is the first Islamic country that is, completely by itself, on its way to democracy. Despite American interference I might add. Leave them alone! Iran is faring quite well. In some respects, it might already be the most democratic country in the region. Until now I've been ambiguous about the intentions of the USA concerning the Middle-East, but an American attack on Iran would turn me against America.
--
Any resemblance between the above and reality is purely coincidental.
Umm... (2.50 / 4) (#49)
by LilDebbie on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 04:45:20 PM EST

The only reason the Democratic revolutionaries are getting anywhere is because there are over a 100,000 US troops across the border. If we weren't there, all those students/protesters would be undergoing "reeducation." We've already intervened, what's wrong with helping a little on the propoganda side?

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
no that started more than 6 years ago (4.71 / 7) (#74)
by asad on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:24:36 PM EST

when the people elected a new president that was on the reformist side.  And the marines are helping the hardliners more than the students.

[ Parent ]
Yes (3.00 / 4) (#194)
by greenrd on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 06:29:34 AM EST

The US has to make it look like it supports freedom in Iran. But words are cheap. In reality, yes, the US and the Iranian regime have been co-operating, for example on the Iraq war.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

more complicated than that (3.80 / 5) (#231)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:31:00 PM EST

for example the Iran govt was pretty shocked to be in the axis of evil after Afghanistan since they were working pretty closely on intel with the US on that particular area.
So yeah sometimes they work togehter sometimes they curse each other out, pick a govt department in each country and see how they react to the other.

[ Parent ]
standard colonial tactics (4.00 / 2) (#273)
by martingale on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 05:06:19 AM EST

The Brits invented the technique in India.

[ Parent ]
Because... (3.25 / 4) (#106)
by DominantParadigm on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:58:00 PM EST

The last thing America wants is Iran to lose its non-democratic vestigial tail. They're probably salivating at the bit for a destabilized Iran or a dictatorship (why else would they push that plastic-skinned freak as a suitable leader for Iran?).

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Who is pushing what? (3.00 / 1) (#115)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:01:52 PM EST

Can you please tell me exactly who is pushing who for leader of Iran? So far, the Bush administration has been very reluctant to take any sides. There are some who even want to engage the current regime.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Umm, Shah Mark #2? (4.00 / 2) (#175)
by DominantParadigm on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:33:58 AM EST

The CIA is pushing him big time. He's on Voice of America and all the other CIA-funded propaganda outlets, all the fucking time.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
That isn't the same thing. (3.00 / 1) (#191)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:40:31 AM EST

Reza Pahlavi is a speaker on Iranian affaris (quite a fitting job). That is what speakers do. They find  stages and talk. Air time doesn't imply endorsement. He has also been given a stage at the University of California at Irvine, the University of Southern California, the University of Northern Texas, NITV, Pars TV, numerous magazines and newspapers, and that is just in the US that I know of. None of these places have a monarchist agenda, supporting Pahlavi's reascension to the thrown. He really isn't even considered a strong candidate by most.

You need to work a little harder to show that the CIA supports Pahlavi's recrowning.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

hoo-boy. (4.75 / 12) (#69)
by yammering communist on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 06:13:52 PM EST

Have you considered that an economically and politically independent Middle-Eastern nation-state governed by an actual secular federal democracy is absolutely the very last thing most USian government policymakers could ever want to see?

Have you considered our track record of "nation-building" in Central America and the Carribean?

Have you considered how many third-world nations we have invaded, how many leaders we have removed and new ones installed? Perhaps you should give some thought to exactly how many of these countries - 10, 25, 50 years after our interventions in the name of "democracy" - are now economically and politically viable, and have a government based on the expressed wishes of the people they claim to represent.

I have absolutely no doubt that the Iranian people are capable of creating a democratic nation. I also have absolutely no doubt that the United States of America will never allow such a thing to happen. If my government gets actively involved, they will destroy any hopes the Iranians have for self-determination, economic and political.

---

I fear nothing. I believe nothing. I am free.

--Nikos Kazantzakis, epitaph.


I don't see it. (3.00 / 3) (#90)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:10:21 PM EST

Have you considered that an economically and politically independent Middle-Eastern nation-state governed by an actual secular federal democracy is absolutely the very last thing most USian government policymakers could ever want to see?
Why? Currently Iran is labeled the leading sporson of terrorism in the world. A change in Iran will make the Israel/Palestine situation easier to deal with, it will also make it possible to have real, positive change in Iraq and Afghanistan -- both of which Iran has fought tooth and nail against, sending units and money into the areas. A free, pro-American Iran would be the biggest win for stability in the Middle East in decades.

Have you considered our track record of "nation-building" in Central America and the Carribean?
But we are not nation building. The Brownback plan is to fund exiled dissident groups. For example, NITV had their satelite transmission jammed numerous times by the Iranian government. They needed to buy a new, strong, "jam-free" signal. This costs a lot of money. Until about a year ago they were day-to-day, not paying those that worked for them. We are not invading and setting up a puppet government. We are letting the past and present Iranians do what they want. But things, like revolutions, take money.

Have you considered how many third-world nations we have invaded, how many leaders we have removed and new ones installed?
Like I said, we are not invading. We allowing self-determination. Those are apple and orange comparisons. 90% of Iranians want change (according to the CSM). That is nothing like overthrowing a popular government.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
OK. You and I agree that (4.75 / 4) (#97)
by yammering communist on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:37:18 PM EST

...Iran being a secular democracy rather than a reactionary Islamic theocracy is a Good Thing for the Iranian people as well as the world at large, for reasons enumerated in your article as well as in your above post.

What we don't agree on is the effect US involvement will have, and the motives behind such involvement.

The Brownback plan is a good plan. Funding dissent against targeted regimes is an old card in the American deck, but this time we're actually playing it in the right hand, for the right reasons. I support it.

The problem I'm having is this: what happens once the theocracy is gone? What appears in its place? A democratic government of Iranians, for the greater good of Iran? Or a "democratic" regime of Iranian colonial viceroys, for the greater good of American corporations? Maybe an impotent stooge like Kharzai, whose zone of control spans not five square miles outside the Kabul city limits? Or perhaps we will be content with a situation like that of today's Iraq - anarchy?

The young student protesters might have a short memory, else they would recall the fact that the Shah their fathers overthrew with such force was an American creation. Who, exactly, are these exile groups we are supporting? Are they advocates for democracy or monarchy? It's all well and good to cry for ousting the mullahs, but with whom do they wish to replace them?

Most of all, I'm having a hard time reconciling the flowery Bush administration/AEI/PNAC neo-con rhetoric from our track record of democratic intervention thus far. Will I be proven wrong? I hope, but I just can't visualize Bush riding in a motorcade through downtown Tehran being showered with roses and confetti.

---

I fear nothing. I believe nothing. I am free.

--Nikos Kazantzakis, epitaph.


[ Parent ]
There are always going to be problems (3.00 / 3) (#105)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:56:58 PM EST

The problem I'm having is this: what happens once the theocracy is gone? What appears in its place?
This will always be a problem. Change cannot happen through the system. That would mean the mullahs would need to voluntarily cede power. The current situation shows this isn't going to happen. As they feel threatened, they grab out for more power with an even stronger fist. A revolution almost assuredly needs to happen. Maybe it can take the form of just tossing the Guardian Council out of the country, rewriting their constitution, and keeping most of the current structure in place. However, it isn't our business to be telling these people what to do with their revolution.

The young student protesters might have a short memory, else they would recall the fact that the Shah their fathers overthrew with such force was an American creation.
First, "students" is a very misleading word since many students are older than the American verison of a college student. Almost 2/3rds of the population is under 30. That is why these protests tend to be filled with young preople. Second, some estimates place the students at some protests as low as 10%.

Here you also contradict what asad says down below. He contends that they not just remember the Islamic Revolution, but that they also remember the coup that installed the shah. However, if you look to what these people are saying, they are not saying that the last 50 years have been a waste; they are saying that the last 24 have been in the wrong direction. They clearly remember the times under the shah most than anything else (and seemed to have prefered them to the present).

Who, exactly, are these exile groups we are supporting? Are they advocates for democracy or monarchy? It's all well and good to cry for ousting the mullahs, but with whom do they wish to replace them?
Some of both. It would be hard to draft a plan to only fund groups that have no ties to the Pahlavi family. However, some of the most influencial groups are searching for Western-style democracy. The people will determine what happens after the mullahs are run out of town. Not us. The Bush administration has show no favoritism so I wouldn't expect that to change.

Suppporting these dissident groups doesn't have the down-side of intervention. We are feeding a revolution, not starting one.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Holy shit. (3.00 / 3) (#128)
by yammering communist on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:44:28 PM EST

I'm .... I'm ....

I'm agreeing with you.

No. No, it cannot be....

*disappears in a puff of logic*



---

I fear nothing. I believe nothing. I am free.

--Nikos Kazantzakis, epitaph.


[ Parent ]
not good enough (3.00 / 1) (#211)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:11:28 AM EST

the fact that there are always going to be problems has been used to death by the current regime.  You know what things in Iran could be a lot worse, it could be like one of their neighbers.  The Pahlavi family's ear is done, Reza's father and his grandfather were installed into power by either the US or the UK that time is done and people need to let it go.

[ Parent ]
Which history books have you been reading? (3.25 / 3) (#135)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:04:54 PM EST

" the Shah their fathers overthrew with such force was an American creation."

This is hardly accurate. While it's true the Shah had strong U.S. support to claim he was an American creation is WAY overreaching.

Unless you are trying to claim that Reza Khan's coup in 1921 against the Qajars was sponsored by the CIA (which would not come into being for another 25 years).

Perhaps you are refering to the 1953 deposition of the Prime Minister, Dr. Mossadeq? However, I'd like to remind you of 2 important facts. Firstly Mohammad Reza Pahlavi had already been Shah for over 10 years at that point....and was still in the country when that coup started. Secondly the CIA was a very junior partner in that action. The prime operater being British intellegence... not surprising considering it's Britains oil assets that Mossadeq had nationalized.

Now if you had claimed that the Shah was Britain and the Soviets creation then you might have half a leg to stand on. After all, it was mainly British and Soviet pressure that forced Reza Khan to abdicate in favor of his son so that the Allies could secure a supply route from the Middle East to the Soviet Union during WWII.....however that just wouldn't jive with the "U.S. has been responsible for every despot since 1066" rhetoric that seems to be so popular around here would it?  

[ Parent ]

Would it placate you if i used the word (3.66 / 2) (#173)
by yammering communist on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 02:27:11 AM EST

..."puppet" or "stooge" or "plaything" instead of "creation" -? True, we did not install him directly, but all those fat loads of military aid we sent him over the years had to mean something, right? Essentially, we bought him. If that's somehow different in any real sense from having installed him in the first place, I apologise. But it does not appear as such to me.

After World War II we ('we' here denotes the senior partners in NATO - we weren't always so unilateral as we have been since the fall of the Soviet Union made having such allies unnessecary) needed proxies in the Middle East as part of our new strategic initatives to counter possible Soviet expansionism in the region, and to keep the oil flowing. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Iran were to be these proxies. Interestingly enough, when Iran became unsuitable for our intended role due to radical Islamists' inconvenient revolutioneering, we adopted a new buddy, Saddam Hussein, in its place. Apparently this didn't work out well in the long run, but it functioned rather admirably through the 1980s, and later through most of the 1990s, with a single minor setback. We were nonetheless successful: to this day there has not yet been a single independent, powerful, functionally democratic Arab nation in the Middle East. "Stability" continues, the oil continues to flow, and native resistance is limited at best.

The Shah was no Saddam. He wasn't an evil, soulless, power-mad tyrant with imperial ambitions. But he sure as hell wasn't perfect. I have a hard time believing that what was essentially a foreign-controlled military dictatorship is somehow the best thing for the Iranian people.

Again, as you will note if you were to read some of my other posts on the issue, I am not implying that US intervention abroad is automatically evil and wrong - merely that our previous stabs at nation-building have been flawed, and our motives have been cloudy at best. It would suit us to consider with extreme caution any additional such attempts. I'm sorry that you feel the need to paint me as a thoughtless I-skimmed-a-book-by-Noam-Chomsky knee-jerk liberal fanatic, but I will try my best to overcome this.

---

I fear nothing. I believe nothing. I am free.

--Nikos Kazantzakis, epitaph.


[ Parent ]
Intervention and Assistance (4.00 / 4) (#229)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:23:24 PM EST

..."puppet" or "stooge" or "plaything" instead of "creation" -? True, we did not install him directly, but all those fat loads of military aid we sent him over the years had to mean something, right? Essentially, we bought him.

Which only raises the question: how, precisely, is one to distinguish between playing interventionist puppetmaster and the legitimate building of bilateral and mutually beneficial alliances?

Historical nitpicks: I believe you've got the general shape of things correct, but you misrepresent the roles of Iraq and Israel.

  • Iraq was not just a convenient US ally after the Iranian revolution. In the years immediately following the end of WWII, Iraq emerged as the centerpiece of the Baghdad Pact (aka CENTO), an anti-Soviet (and possible ground for a future commercial alliance?) between Britain, America, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq. The Baghdad Pact essentially became a dead letter agreement when the Hashemite monarch was deposed by the Iraqi Republican government. The next twenty or so years of US policy in Iraq was characterized by providing encouragement and sometimes intelligence to any group hostile to the Soviet backed horse. In practice, the primary beneficiaries were usually some incarnation or another of the Iraqi Ba'athist party. The politics of this period are complicated and involve power struggles between the Pan-Arabic political movements in Iraq, Syria, and Egypt; a political contest which entailed quite a few duplicitous arrangements with both the US and the Soviets from all parties.
  • Israeli/US relations before '68 weren't really all that good, as the Israelis were altogether too comfortable with the Soviets for American tastes.
to this day there has not yet been a single independent, powerful, functionally democratic Arab nation in the Middle East.

Lebanon would be the sole exception.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Thank you (3.00 / 1) (#312)
by Kax on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 01:47:10 PM EST

for not saying 'begs the question'.

That is all.

[ Parent ]

It would placate me (4.00 / 2) (#257)
by CENGEL3 on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:03:19 PM EST

It would placate me if you were accurate. There is a world of difference between being an "American Creation" and being an independent entity that America supported for it's own interests.

His Dynasty came into power independantly of American action. He had an existance seperate from America....certainly America extended and supported his hold on power but that is very different from having created it. America used the Shah for their own ends and the Shah used America in the same manner.

It also would placate me if you realized there was an actual distinction between America and her Allies. Britain has interests of it's own independent of America. Are you honestly trying to tell me that if America didn't have any interest in the region Britain would have done nothing when it's oil assets were nationalized?

I'm not just being nit-picky here. It's important to realize that other nations and powers have a large effect on the history and current situation in the Middle East. Using mis-characterizations like "American creation" makes it appear like American policy is the only factor.... it isn't.

[ Parent ]

I'll name you several (2.50 / 3) (#154)
by RyoCokey on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:33:52 PM EST

Have you considered how many third-world nations we have invaded, how many leaders we have removed and new ones installed? Perhaps you should give some thought to exactly how many of these countries - 10, 25, 50 years after our interventions in the name of "democracy" - are now economically and politically viable, and have a government based on the expressed wishes of the people they claim to represent.

Actually, it's the rule, rather than the exception: Chile, Phillipines, Panama, Grenada, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy...

Care to name ones where we invaded, won on the ground, and then failed? Haiti pops to mind... anything else?



Is Weaponsgate a hoax or liberal disinformation?
[ Parent ]
I'll bite. (3.00 / 1) (#166)
by yammering communist on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:23:10 AM EST

Here is a decent introductory article on the subject, although I fear it's not nearly as comprehensive as I'd like. I'll get back to you with something better a little later on.

---

I fear nothing. I believe nothing. I am free.

--Nikos Kazantzakis, epitaph.


[ Parent ]
At least a thorough list, but... (4.00 / 2) (#214)
by RyoCokey on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:19:29 AM EST

Many of it's examples are very dubious.

For example, South Vietnam and Cambodia shouldn't be on there period, because the US lost militarily. As such, it couldn't possibly shape the government after the conflict.

The Dominican Republic ended up stabilizing during the troop stay, and later becoming a democracy. Just not within the 10 years they considered. As everyone surely knows, Mexico also became a democracy later on.

If one drops out the "gunboat diplomacy" incursions around the beginning of the century (Which had no interest in building democracy, in the first place) the success rate becomes 86% (Counting Dom. Rep, Japan, Germany, Italy, Grenada, and Panama as successes, and Haiti as a failure.) Such would be a more accurate record of US "nation building."



Is Weaponsgate a hoax or liberal disinformation?
[ Parent ]
Haiti is not yet a failure. (3.00 / 3) (#185)
by Rogerborg on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:31:29 AM EST

Don't be pronouncing time of death for it yet.

It's a damn sight better than the days under Baby Doc.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Chile? (3.00 / 2) (#205)
by Viliam Bur on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 09:17:20 AM EST

An example for "a government based on the expressed wishes of the people they claim to represent."?

I hope you are not talking about Pinochet...

[ Parent ]

It was a freebie (3.00 / 1) (#209)
by RyoCokey on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 11:03:56 AM EST

Notice the way he phrased his question. The US certainly didn't help matters, democracy wise, but because of the way he asked the question, Chile was a correct answer. I just couldn't resist slipping it in there.



Is Weaponsgate a hoax or liberal disinformation?
[ Parent ]
Sorry to be a pain... (3.00 / 1) (#326)
by the trinidad kid on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 08:30:09 AM EST

but the Phillipines were an American colony until they got their freedom

[ Parent ]
Nitpick (4.00 / 2) (#360)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 02:13:24 PM EST

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say that the Phillipines were a Spanish colony until they became an American colony, until they became a Japaneese colony, until they became an American colony again until they got thier freedom?

There are probably a couple other nations in there somewhere too....fraid I'm not very up on the early history of the region/

[ Parent ]

Wrong word I'd say (3.00 / 1) (#343)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 09:06:39 AM EST

If he'd have said interfered rather than invaded, the list would be longer and far more shaming.

[ Parent ]
It would also have been irrelevant (3.66 / 2) (#352)
by RyoCokey on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 10:51:51 AM EST

Generally, the dictators that arose from a CIA coup were tyrants, because they were the only opposition available. When there wasn't a strong UN military presence to allow the appointment of a new government, the US had to take what they could get. In the long run, this rarely went well. However, in many cases it was probably necessary to win the Cold War.



"my non-white counterparts who routinely are... given the poorer quality schools... I agree affirmative action should only be temporary but it has been [ Parent ]
Lesson of the day (4.15 / 19) (#94)
by godix on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:19:21 PM EST

After reading the comments I've realized something about a lot of the K5 readers. They think protesters are vile evil people who are in reality CIA duped fools acting a precursors to a US mass murdering invasion. Unless the protesters happen to be against America, then they are kind noble angels who are brutally suppressed and denied their fundamental right to riot. The hypocrisy around here astounds me sometimes.


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
have you considered that perhaps Americans.. (4.40 / 5) (#98)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:40:01 PM EST

Don't trust their own government to react to protests in other nations with anything resembling sanity? That is, it's just another propaganda tool in the buildup for AoE member #2; objecting to this unjustifiable usage of Iranian protestors to beat the war drums is quite consistent. Likewise, this fundamental right to riot you claim to see being defended by the loony left on here - perhaps you're not aware of just how many unarmed 'rioters' have the US forces in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq shot for doing nothing more than expressing their views in the only manner available to them?

[ Parent ]
proof? (4.20 / 5) (#113)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:56:12 PM EST

That is, it's just another propaganda tool in the buildup for AoE member #2; objecting to this unjustifiable usage of Iranian protestors to beat the war drums is quite consistent.
Do you have any proof the CIA was involed. By all accounts these are true homegrown protests.

Likewise, this fundamental right to riot you claim to see being defended by the loony left on here - perhaps you're not aware of just how many unarmed 'rioters' have the US forces in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq shot for doing nothing more than expressing their views in the only manner available to them?
How do very irrlevant to the topic.

Overall, you tend to prove godix right. His argument is that whenever there are protests in other countries that are not against the US, there is a group of people that will claim they are just CIA tools. Stragely enough, that is exactly what you did.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

i said abso-fucking-lutely nothing about the cia (3.50 / 6) (#114)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 08:58:08 PM EST

Thank you for playing.

[ Parent ]
right then, no more responding to jjayson.. (3.00 / 1) (#122)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:21:44 PM EST

in this story. Message received and processed, sir!

[ Parent ]
Don't be sore. (3.40 / 5) (#144)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:54:42 PM EST

I gave you a 1 for the attrociously condecending way you worded you comment. You've done the exact same to people. You routinely give people 5s that have basically nothing else in their message besides, "Fuck you."

Get a grip.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Do you know what your problem is? (3.20 / 5) (#200)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 08:05:58 AM EST

You can dish it out, but you can't take it.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
excuse me? (3.00 / 1) (#261)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:29:17 PM EST

I'll spend 15 minutes (or longer sometimes) writing a comment and because of my reputation, if I don't kiss the poster's liberal ass I get rated into the groud for being an ideologue and jerk. This reputation thing is just self-fulfilling, too.

I don't complain when people legitimately rate me down for being an ass either, but when they say they rate me down for bad behavoir then turn around and give 5s to everybody who told me to fuck off, made drug jokes, and called me some version of "fag," I know they are full of shit. They are rating me down on opinion.

Also, infinitera was the one bitching about a single 1, and you have the audacity to say I'm the one who cannot take it? Get your fucking head screw on straight.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

And furthermore ... (3.00 / 3) (#265)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:12:24 PM EST

... you take this damned place and yourself too seriously. My head's on straight - I'm not the one who's been ranting and raving about how he's persecuted on and off K5 by other K5'ers, am I?

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Pot meet Kettle. (3.66 / 2) (#241)
by Skywise on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:33:05 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Well, that is something we'll never know. (4.00 / 2) (#117)
by valeko on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:05:09 PM EST

His argument is that whenever there are protests in other countries that are not against the US, there is a group of people that will claim they are just CIA tools. Stragely enough, that is exactly what you did.

I don't think that's infinitera did, really. At least, that's not how I interpret his response.

Anyway, this is a historically complex question. If it were as simple as, "non-anti-US anti-government movements in other countries are {CIA creations, are not CIA creations}," I think this method of manufacturing politics wouldn't be so popular. The trick is to take something that is not essentially a CIA creation, make it sort of a CIA creation, then take a non-CIA protest, make it a sort of CIA protest, add this, add that, mix stir, and make it basically impossible to tell. The fact that there is nothing superficially self-evident that implicates the CIA to most people makes it possible to cast away the people who are suspicious as loony leftists/old guard paranoid Stalinists, while maintaining a respectable facade of democratic freedoms.

There is usually an intricate mixture of truth and fabrication about CIA involvement in any political movement. Of course, there have been some, historically, which were of such dimensions that concealing them simply wasn't worth it (such as the destabilisation of Allende, one of the biggest, if not the biggest, destabilisation campaigns the CIA has ever taken on). But most usually feature enough ambiguity and incompleteness; if they didn't, they wouldn't be good political tools.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

also, not what i said (2.25 / 3) (#118)
by infinitera on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:09:06 PM EST

All I said was that the Bush white house and friends would use any anti-government protests to promote invasion, which is highly irresponsible and manipulative; the Iranians' protests are not a big flashing neon sign saying "Please come fuck up our country, and make it another satellite to your glorious empire."

[ Parent ]
Oh, I know. (4.00 / 2) (#120)
by valeko on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:12:27 PM EST

And I completely agree. I just decided to go with jjayson's tangent. Perhaps I shouldn't have, since that marginalises your point that the current situation would be taken advantage of, and this is, actually, very important.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Why so pessimistic? (3.50 / 3) (#121)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:19:08 PM EST

There is no indication that Bush want's inavade Iran. There is nothing to say that these protests of the Iranian democracy movements will be co-opted.

This leaves us with two scenarios:

(1) We can not support them and let them suffer.
(2) We can support a direction they are already taking.

Even if you think there is a risk of co-option, does that outweight the potential upside? Clearly not.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Well, that makes a number of assumptions. (2.50 / 3) (#123)
by valeko on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:24:29 PM EST

This assumes that a good, non-zero-potential "upside" cannot possibly come through indigenous means, and that whatever movement to cast off the Islamists there is, it is akin to a cute, toy poodle without the help of the "big dogs."

Second, you seem to take for granted that American domination is an improvement over any kind of local governance in almost any situation. This is not only imperiously presumptuous on an abstract level, but is concretely, historically absurd.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

domination? (3.00 / 3) (#146)
by jjayson on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:58:40 PM EST

People keep saying that word, and I don't think they know what it means. How does giving money to grassroots organizations equal domination? You cannot compare dominating another country through force to supported 90% of the Iranian population and exiled dissidents.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
No indication? (2.50 / 3) (#196)
by c4miles on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:22:11 AM EST

The "Axis of evil" list, perhaps?
--
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
[ Parent ]
Yes I have (4.08 / 12) (#136)
by godix on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:16:19 PM EST

Don't trust their own government to react to protests in other nations with anything resembling sanity?

America didn't invade France, England, Australia, it's own states, etc when protests happened there. The only time we have responded to protests with force were either after protesters turned violent (IE the various G8 summits) or in middle of an occupied country that has snippers and armed enemies in it. Ignoring protests when peaceful and responding only when they are dangerous sounds like a fairly sane response to me. I treat people who think the US has actively quashed protests in countries we aren't involved in the same way I treat those who think that aliens have anally probed them. I marvel and pity their absolute failure to believe anything resembling reality. I don't consider their wacko ideas worth paying much attention to, ESPECIALLY when they're so hypocritical with them.
it's just another propaganda tool in the buildup for AoE member #2

Oh yes, another thing I don't like about protesters, almost every single one of them considers Bush an insane war monger despite the facts. They want us to ignore the fact that America found a way to appease Chinas ego without going to war when a fighter plane clipped a slower less maneuverable spy plane. They forget the fact that Afghan didn't happen until after several months of investigation and requests for aid in capturing Bin Laden being flat out refused. Nevermind that the US spent 12 years trying diplomacy with Iraq and having no results (other than protesters yelling about millions dead from sanctions, a cry that mysteriously disappeared once protesters started whining we should give the inspectors another decade or two). They fail to realize that he tried to work within the UN until France made it clear that they would refuse to co-operate under any circumstance. They don't realize that in the same breath they bitched about attacking Iraq they bitched about NOT attacking North Korea. They forgot that no one, especially not the Bush White House, has seriously proposed attacking Iran. They can't see that a lot of the potential for change in Iran comes from the fact that America has proven we are willing to back up our threats (at least while Bush is in office) and we have quite a lot of troops stationed in a neighboring country. Bush has gone to large efforts to avoid wars, he has pursued war only after diplomatic means have obviously failed, America has caused less civilian deaths in taking over two countries than was caused in one bombing run of WWII, and regardless of what you think about the war it's undeniably proven effective; Bin Laden hasn't attacked America again and Saddam is no longer in power.
perhaps you're not aware of just how many unarmed 'rioters' have the US forces in Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq shot for doing nothing more than expressing their views in the only manner available to them?

I am quite aware. I'm also aware that there is a large difference between martial law imposed on a defeated enemy and protests in a country we aren't even involved in. I don't like that difference much but it's just more anti-Bush hatred to the US bullshit when someone cries about it without at least noting that difference.


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
[ Parent ]
Not quite true (3.00 / 1) (#342)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 08:58:06 AM EST

Al Qaeda have attacked and killed Westerners quite a few times recently, in Bali, Morocco and Saudi Arabia. Just because the US hasn't been attacked doesn't mean Bin Laden or his henchmen have gone anywhere.
This is going to be a long unwinnable war, just like just about every anti-terrorist action of recent years. Look at how long we Brits had to worry about IRA car bombs, before they and the British government came to their senses and realised how pointless it was.
Look at it this way: the deaths of thousands of Muslims through US foreign policy gave rise to Osama Bin Laden and his organisation. The current administration seems to believe that the only way to stop this is to kill thousands more. Can't you see how counter-productive this is?
The solution, unpalatable though it may be, is dialogue and addressing of the problems and old, unsettled resentments, not yet more unnecessary deaths, that lead to more hatred and suffering.

[ Parent ]
Except (3.50 / 3) (#359)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 02:02:50 PM EST

Negotiation can only occur when BOTH sides realize they cannot achieve thier entire goals and when both side recognize that there can be some common ground which they might both be able to live with.

Even when that realization is reached there will still be fanatics who will not accept any compromise. These fanatics will not simply go away because a compromise has been reached by others. They will continue to operate and unfortunately violence will continue to occur.

A compromise with hard line "Al Qaeda" can't be reached any more then it could with hard line Nazi's. Hard line Al Qaeda want the entire world to be forced to live under Sharia law... that position is no more acceptable to the civilized world then the one the hard line Nazi's espoused.
Just like the hard line Nazi's believed that a couple of 12 year olds with Panzerfausts could stop a Red Guards Armored Division, the hard line Al Qaeda labour under the delusion that "Alah" will stop an F-16 in it's tracks.

Hopefully some common ground on issues can be found with moderate leaders in the Arab world and this will take some of the wind out of the hardliners sails. I think progress IS being made in that direction. However that doesn't mean that the fanatics are going to go away of thier own accord.... they are still going to need to be dealt with.....and there aren't too many options available for how.  


[ Parent ]

Wow... (3.00 / 1) (#385)
by baron samedi on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 04:56:35 PM EST

They forget the fact that Afghan didn't happen until after several months of investigation and requests for aid in capturing Bin Laden being flat out refused.

I may have forgotten that, but I definitely remember the Taliban offering to turn Bin Laden over to international authorities. Which the US flatly refused.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Um, no, that didn't happen (3.00 / 1) (#391)
by RyoCokey on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 10:34:00 AM EST

They offered to try him in their own courts, but they flatly refused to hand him over to anyone, including international bodies such as Interpol, which swore out a warrant for his arrest.

My favorite quote from the article is this:

"If they want to show their might, we are ready and we will never surrender before might and force,"

They sure talk a good fight.



"During election times, we tend to lose our grandmothers, grandfathers and young children. They just disappear. But I want to warn you all that you should
[ Parent ]
That's not a counter argument (3.66 / 2) (#244)
by Skywise on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:45:20 PM EST

So then, by implication that its understandable that Iran doesn't like their protestors, that you're cool with them when they open fire on their protestors too?  Or that Iranians or Chinese or Russians don't trust their own government to react to protests in their OWN nations with anything resembling sanity?

I understand where you're coming from, but that proves Godix's point... or better yet Butthead's point from Beavis and Butthead... to wit:  "I like what doesn't suck."  No matter how much you dress it up as rational decision making.

And for the record, I'm well aware that Iraqi protestors have been shot.  But you'll note that the internal record in the US regarding protestors isn't all that hot, either.  A mob of thousands of angry people with only dozens of soldiers holding the line is just bad things waiting to happen.  But you have to admit that a> The US is ALLOWING such protests and b> there are protests that have gone on peacefully with no killing.

[ Parent ]

huh? (4.00 / 2) (#249)
by infinitera on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:58:16 PM EST

I don't understand what you're saying, or how it's coming out of my post. I'm saying that [state] actors external to a given society cannot, by definition, have that society's interest in mind, or be trusted to help it progress in any beneficial way. That's not where the interests of nations lie, nor where the historical record shows them to be. I honestly have no clue where you're getting your implication from; all I implied was that any state is bound to use international events to its own advantage, and that it is preferable if its citizens are aware and skeptical of this. This proves Godix's point how?! I'm not saying the protestors are foolish, or tools of any sort. I'm just saying that externally to their milieu, they are being appropriated to goals not necessarily in line with their own.

[ Parent ]
You didn't say *that* at all... (2.50 / 3) (#251)
by Skywise on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:20:20 PM EST

Because if you had said *that* I would've agreed with it.

[ Parent ]
It's because people have long memories (3.50 / 2) (#103)
by DominantParadigm on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 07:52:47 PM EST

They remember the decades of covert American operations in Iran, which almost certainly continue to this day.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
Good point (3.00 / 1) (#142)
by godix on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:50:04 PM EST

True, we have had a long history of fucking around with Iran. I actually doubt we're still doing it though. Sure, we're spying on them, but we aren't trying to covertly influence things in Iran.

Castro is still in Cuba. US puppet dictators are NOT still in Iran, Vietnam, or much of Central and South America. Everyone knows about the CIAs LSD experiment. This is the organization that failed to predict Russias collapse. If the CIA was active in Iran there would have been an embarrassing failure there more recently than the attempted hostage rescue.

Besides, if anyone was going to have a long memory and still hate America for what we did the 70's shouldn't it be the Iranians themselves?


"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American
[ Parent ]

Iranians should hate America (2.00 / 2) (#177)
by DominantParadigm on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:42:45 AM EST

And Iranians do hate America. And you'll whine and bitch when they burn your flag, like there's no reason to hate you at all.

Caller:So you're advocating bombing innocent children? Howard Stern:Yes, of course!


[ Parent ]
They hate America? (3.25 / 3) (#190)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:16:46 AM EST

That is why a recent poll (that I mention in the story) shows huge support for normalizing relations? That is quite off behavior if they hate us.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
All evidence to the contrary (3.00 / 1) (#151)
by RyoCokey on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 11:28:33 PM EST

People do not have long memories at all. Certainly not to things that predated their birth.



Is Weaponsgate a hoax or liberal disinformation?
[ Parent ]
They don't? (3.00 / 1) (#266)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:18:42 PM EST

Then perhaps you could explain the modern phenomenon of Zionism and its re-establishment of Israel thousands of years after it was conquered. People can have VERY long "memories" if they feel a compelling enough reason to.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
we don't like them either (4.25 / 8) (#127)
by khallow on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 09:44:19 PM EST

If all you read of democracy was stuff like this, you'd wonder how in the world it ever survived at all. Ie, there's so many parties that "we" don't want in power, then the question becomes who actually does get into power. Fortunately, jjayson has come up with the definitive, final answer "those seeking to bring democracy to Iran".

On the other hand, if you look at democracy in action, you see that so how it manages to survive a lot of stuff. Eg, Russia is surviving a serious long term economic mess (due to local corruption aided and abetted by poorly thought out Western economic aid and loans) and a former KGB officer for President. Turkey is currently headed by a conservative religious party.

My point is that why should we encourage a throw of the dice when we can get significant incremental improvements right now without serious bloodshed or risking a really screwed-up government? The West (as with any other power that encourages regime change) seems to have some difficulty seperating the desire for democracy from its own interests.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

You can't use Beatles lyrics (2.38 / 13) (#137)
by debacle on Thu Jun 19, 2003 at 10:17:34 PM EST

In a story that isn't even about anything cool.

In fact, I'd like to note that this story is a veiled try at an Iraq story, after it has been shown time and time again that Iraq is so overdone that you can taste the carbon.

So, for these reasons:

Your title is cruelly misleading
Your story is a hidden dagger
You're talking about something I don't really care about
We don't need to give anymore attention to the Middle East, it only encourages them

You get a -1.

Oh yeah, and:

-1, Iran.

It tastes sweet.

Revolution -- The Beatles (3.85 / 14) (#169)
by pb on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 01:57:35 AM EST

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
for people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
Ah

ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
all right, all right
all right, all right, all right
all right, all right, all right

somehow I found the message here to still be strangely appropriate to the times that we're living in; here's to hoping that it's gonna be alright...

---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall

The Iranian people hate the US (2.22 / 9) (#170)
by Noam A Chomsky on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 02:07:08 AM EST

The Iranian people are all committed to fighting American imperialism, and they are ready to use any means necessary to kill the American bease that has been responsible for their oppression. The stories of Iranian pro-Americanism are greatly exaggerated by the media. Very few Iranians, besides a few exiles, who have a disproportionately loud voice, and the insane, favor the US or oppose the Mullahs. They are opposed to unilateral American imperialism, that would cause untold millions of innocent deaths, from being directed against their homeland.
miserable failure
Well Iranian Girl doesn't seem like a fanatic (3.66 / 2) (#182)
by morkeleb on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:17:43 AM EST

Weblog here


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Iranian Girl (1.50 / 3) (#186)
by Noam A Chomsky on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:35:47 AM EST

She's affiliated with of one of the crazy Iranian exile groups that wants to reverse the progress Iran has made in the past 30-odd years, and tear down the anti-imperialist government in Tehran. That means she's a mouthpiece for imperialist propaganda, and can't be trusted to give you the real story.
miserable failure
[ Parent ]
I've read Stupid White Men (3.50 / 3) (#187)
by morkeleb on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:41:12 AM EST

But you know....I get the feeling you might not be Noam Chomsky. People oftentimes lie about their true identities on the Internet! Did you know this? It's shocking. I just found it out today.


"If I read a book and it makes my whole body so cold no fire can ever warm me, I know that is poetry." - Emily Dickinson
[ Parent ]
I am the real thing. (2.33 / 2) (#188)
by Noam A Chomsky on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:05:51 AM EST

I created an account on this website to combat the many impersonators who are besmirching my name.
miserable failure
[ Parent ]
Considering... (3.25 / 4) (#240)
by joshsisk on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:27:26 PM EST

... the fact that the "new book" that you advertise in your .sig is, in fact, NOT the most recent Noam Chomsky book, I tend to doubt it.
--
logjamming.com : web hosting for weblogs, NOT gay lumberjack porn
[ Parent ]
Next thing... (3.00 / 1) (#304)
by Apuleius on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 10:15:36 PM EST

Vaclav Havel will get an account here. This could be fun!


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Yes of course (3.00 / 1) (#358)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:33:19 PM EST

All people who disagree with your viewpoint are "mouthpiece(s) for imperialist propaganda, and can't be trusted to give you the real story."

Why do I get the sudden urge to read an Orwell novel?


[ Parent ]

why do I feel (4.57 / 14) (#181)
by fhotg on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:15:20 AM EST

that this sounds like Whitehouse inner-circle propaganda ?

Why does my Iranian expatriate friend react with a sad shaking of head and refuses to comment on "stuff like that" ?

Why are you using "democrat*" about fifteen times but not once in a context that wouldn't make laugh anyone with a bit of language-sensibility ?

Why don't you go into politics, you certainly are talented ?

Why I'm voting this down ? Because I don't like stuff that reads like politician quacking which serves not to inform but to hide the promoted agenda.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

answers to your questions (4.60 / 5) (#189)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:12:10 AM EST

This certainly isn't Whitehouse propaganda. President Bush has been very reluctant to support Sen. Brownback's proposal. However, it is fair to say that I am influeced by some of the same people that have foreign policy input.

I have quite a few Persian friends. Some were raised in Iran (before and after the Islamic Revolution), while some where raised here. From my perspective it appears that those who would align themselves with the Democratics or call themselves liberal tend to let their American politics distort the issue. Never under-estimate rabid anti-Bush feelings. However, that isn't to say that all those who align themselves with a more conservative set are all for such policies. But, many of the people I have contact with are very receptive to American funding dissident groups for the purpose to helping a revolutionary movement grow. It's a good split, though. I'm sure many more would favor the idea if is was a different President besides Bush 43.

The word "democrat" is used once in the sense of a Democratic representative. In the sense of a democratic form of government, I used it twice, and it is in three quotations that use that sense, too.

You are certainly not the first person to tell me to go into politics, and not even the first on this site. I was involved in Berkeley politics when I went to school there, and I did some lobbying in Washington before and during the war.

Most op-eds are propaganda -- almost by definition.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

thanx (4.75 / 4) (#195)
by fhotg on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:19:03 AM EST

for answering my rethoric questions :).

That might not be Whitehouse propaganda, but if that piece were prefaced by "by Richard Perle", I'd buy it.

The Iranien expat whose reaction (admittedly to an other but similar op-ed) I was referring to left the US for the Netherlands b/c of him beeing harassed by the authorities based on his country of birth. A more conservative leaning, anti-religious scholar with American citizenship, who has an aversion against the trend of how the plight of his people is used by western politics to advance their own egoistic goals and who are not at all interested nor informed about the situation of some dark skinned people at the other end of the world.

"democratic", "democracy" is used about 15 times, including quotations. There is not one occurence , where this has actual meaning beyond the propaganda part. I hate to bring this up again, but please evaluate for yourself the reality of these places on earth the recent US foreign policy concerning them was sold to us with "bringing democracy". People talking like that either lie shamelessly, or they don't understand the meaning of the word.

My theory: Lobby work is selling ideology. Do this long enough, and you start brainwashing yourself into believing your product is best. Compare with vacuum-cleaner salesmen, same phenomenon.
~~~
Gitarren für die Mädchen -- Champagner für die Jungs

[ Parent ]

+5 just for the last paragraph [n/t] (3.00 / 1) (#275)
by martingale on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 05:12:30 AM EST



[ Parent ]
+5 just for the last paragraph [n/t] (4.00 / 2) (#274)
by martingale on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 05:12:00 AM EST



[ Parent ]
dear friend (3.25 / 4) (#289)
by mami on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 02:49:50 PM EST

Never under-estimate rabid anti-Bush feelings.

Before I say even anything more, I might start to remind you kindly that usually feelings don't come out of nowhere, you know ... it's a simple fact even children can understand.

But, many of the people I have contact with are very receptive to American funding dissident groups for the purpose to helping a revolutionary movement grow.

See, that's the problem. Why would you care for a revolution that doesn't involve your own people's interests? Something fishy about it, don't you think?

AFAIK, the Bush administration is very interested (and rightfully so, IMO) to cut the money flow to terrorist organization like HAMAS, Hisbollah and so on.

It's known that the mechanisms of funding the militant arms of such movements like HAMAS consists of donating money to the charitable and social branches of those organization, be it by governments of nations, who openly sponsor and support the militancy of those organizations, or be it by proxy charitable organizations established in Europe, the US and may be elsewhere.

So, how come that the Bush administration doesn't see that it can't be taken seriously in its efforts to cut the money flow to terrorist organization in one nation, when it is completely supportive to fund revolutionary efforts of "dissident groups" in another nation. Not to mention that state sponsored funding of charitable (Christian?) organizations within the US is a backbone of the Bush administration's policies. Somewhat "confusing", don't you think?

Is it that fashionable to be inconsistent these days?

The only difference between a "terrorist group" and a "dissident group" from the viewpoint of the Bush administration is that the first group fights for their freedom using terror against people or nations, that are currently allies and friends to the Bush administration, and the other group fights for their freedom in fighting against the terror of people or nations, that are currently enemies to the Bush administration.

It doesn't take much to recognize that the "dissident of today" might be "the terrorist of tomorrow" and that charitable Christian neighborhood organization of this year might be next year's Christian terror crusaders against the "Muslim terror infidels" of next year.

So I would think one might have some more principled views about the wisdom of supporting dissidents in revolutionary movements financially or with weapons these days.

Wouldn't it be wise to let the Iranian dissident movement grow and fight for their goals by themselves? At least that would help to keep conflicts and freedom fights on a local level and not escalate to a worldwide crisis.

If lobbying is the only profession you like (which would be a thing to worry about), how about you start lobbying for a revolution in your own country, as you seem so sympathetic to "revolutionary dissident voices".

One always should start with oneself in his own backyard, you know. At least that's what my parents taught me in life. And of course one should think deeply about wanting to start a revolution ...

[ Parent ]

Consistancy (3.00 / 1) (#357)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 01:27:40 PM EST

Proposition:

There are 2 people in a room with me. I want to see Person A disarmed, I want to see person B armed.

Am I being "inconsistent" ?

Would your opinion change if you learned that Person A was a murderer who was trying to kill me and Person B was a policeman who was trying to protect me from Person A?

Almost anything can be made to seem inconsistant if you remove enough relavent details.

Secondly, "relovolution" does not equate with "terrorism". A "revolution" does not even have to be violent...it can be an entirely bloodless affair. Even where revolutions turn violent they do not neccesarly have to involve "terrorism". Armed civil conflicts can be fought in an entirely "conventional" manner. "Terrorism" simply refers to the tactics utilized. Although "terrorism" can be a very effective tactic in such situations especialy when there is a disparity of millitary power between the factions.

The resistance movements against the Nazi's in occupied Europe used "terrorism" as a tactic. It's become a buzz word for evil (rightly so) simply because of the context in which we see it being used most often these days.

[ Parent ]

What Iranians outside of the US really want (4.55 / 9) (#224)
by asad on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 12:19:13 PM EST

Finally some real stats.
From:
http://www.payvand.com/news/03/jun/1117.html
"The statistics show that 73.3% of Iranian-Americans, while still supporting the demonstrators, oppose direct American interference or outside calls for regime change. Finally, 78.1% of Iranian-Americans oppose the Brownback Bill that sets aside US funding for Iranian opposition groups and satellite TV channels in California. "
And one iranians point of view of the Mujahedeens:
http://iraniangirl.blogspot.com/
"As I have said Mujahedeens are members of a group that both people & government hate them; of course that makes a contrast, a same enemy for both people & leaders! So just imagine their situation as an opposition group"
And what some other coutries think of them:
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L19336911.htm

NIAC? (3.50 / 2) (#252)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:31:53 PM EST

The statistics are gathered by NIAC from 400 of its members. The NIAC has competing legislation (HR505) that favors engagement with the mullahs. Last year they pulled more magic numbers out of out thin air (read: their members) that stated that 79% of Iranian-Americans engagement with the mullahs. This is high suspect considering that 70% of the Iranians in Iran favor radical change.

They are not an impartial organization, and drawing the numbers from their own members is high selective and not a true cross-section. That is absolutely terrible use of statistics. The NCRI could come up with statistics say that 70% don't supprt revolution and you would call those numbers suspect and rightfully so.

The NIAC was originally the AIC, until the organization melted into obscurity and renamed itself. As the AIC, it was a mullah apoligist organization, setting up meetings between clerics and US officials.

I'm sorry, but you really canot call those "real" numbers or trust them.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

wrong again (3.00 / 1) (#336)
by asad on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 11:31:21 PM EST

you could vote any way you wanted, I was one of those 78%, belive it or not most of us iranians living in the US would rather the US stayed the heck out of our country even if it's by supporting some pro-pahlavi groups. Amazing how none of these people were around when we were at war with Iraq. Now all of a sudden they all care about the students.

[ Parent ]
I think a certain amount of cheerleading ... (4.50 / 8) (#242)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 03:34:12 PM EST

... for a more democratic Iran is good. However, military intervention would be folly, terrorism and human rights issues aside. Iran's a bigger country and in spite of the sources you've listed, there is a sizable part of the population that actually supports the current government, although I doubt they're a majority. The thing that's been glossed over here is that this government was installed by a popular revolution against an American supported dictator. That alone would make our interference somewhat difficult. There would be much more substantial resistance then we saw in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Furthermore, it would be a strategic blunder. We don't have complete control of the ground in either Iraq or Afghanistan. It's quite likely that an invasion of Iran could inspire Iran to counter by inspiring real unrest in Iraq that would require us to pull back or commit even more troops there. It would not eliminate terrorism in the Middle East by any means. And, most importantly, it would severely hobble our ability to deal with the North Korea situation - we only have so many troops and so much logistical support for them and I don't think we can fight a war in Iran and North Korea simultaneously while occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. There are real limits to what we can do in the world. We need to make sure that we are able to deal with the North Korean situation first, before we get involved elsewhere.

TV and radio broadcasting are fine. Words of support and understanding are fine. But what happens in Iran must remain in the hands of the Iranian people - we do not have the capacity to force the issue, not without seriously affecting our ability to do other things.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
I'm confused. (2.66 / 2) (#260)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:17:36 PM EST

Your entire post seems to deal with why we shouldn't intervene militarily, right? I agree. Why a number of people (not just you) making comments about how bad military force would be, then applying that to attack my article?

Yes. military intervention bad.
Yes. financing TV and radio of Iranain exiles good.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Attack your article? (3.00 / 1) (#264)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 07:06:18 PM EST

Where did I do that? Like it or not, the context of this subject requires discussion of military intervention, simply because it has been suggested by some.

Perhaps you should have addressed this specific issue yourself.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
In my neck o' the woods (3.00 / 1) (#267)
by Skywise on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 08:29:26 PM EST

We call that a "strawman argument".

[ Parent ]
Nope (3.00 / 1) (#268)
by pyramid termite on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 09:28:10 PM EST

It's not realistic or helpful to limit the argument to just a few convenient facts - people HAVE discussed military intervention in Iran and therefore my discussing it is germane. Nowhere did I say that jjayson supported such military action - now that would have been a strawman argument. My suggestion that he should have addressed it is based on the obvious fact that it has been discussed here and elsewhere and therefore is relevant. Sorry, but you don't get to define the context by yourself.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
I don't care if they bring it up. (3.66 / 2) (#270)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 09:57:15 PM EST

I am annoyed that people would use it to -1 my hard work.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
perhaps, but... (3.00 / 1) (#281)
by fae on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 12:03:17 PM EST

06:11 <kitten> Every single aspect of my life is wrong.
06:11 <Eon-Apocalypse> do u make any efforts to make them 'right'?
06:12 <kitten> "you"
06:12 <kitten> Let's see.
06:13 <kitten> I hate my job, but I have no marketable skills, no motivation, no ambition, and don't learn anything easily.
06:13 <Eon-Apocalypse> you smoke weed?
06:13 <kitten> I have no relationship, but that's because I'm ugly and unpleasant to be around.
06:13 <kitten> I have no money, no friends, no interests whatsoever.
06:13 <kitten> I sit in my apartment in a city I hate and stare at the wall.
06:14 <kitten> The only thing I like is my cat.
06:14 <kitten> And kicking small children in the face.
06:14 <kitten> But I don't get to do that.
06:14 <kitten> Because apparently there's laws against that sort of thing.


-- fae: but an atom in the great mass of humanity
[ Parent ]
Do something else??? We don't have enough force to (4.50 / 6) (#277)
by SacredSalt on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 08:17:18 AM EST

There is no "ability" to do anything with North Korea, Iran, barely any ability to do anything with Iraq or Afghanistan. Let me put it to you this way:

70% of the fleet of our Navy is on it's way back here, they wont be able to change the crews out and get those resupplied and ready to go again till probably Feb of next year.

We have a grand total of 10 divisions in the Army. They are being used at maximum capacity already.

We have security problems to deal with in: Columbia, Peru, the Phillippines, Eritrea, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Korea, deployments to be maintained in Germany, Bosnia/Kosovo, Japan, and another 70 countries in the world.

We don't even have enough forces to do provide any kind of security for road workers in Afghanistan, much less anything else. Hell, we can't even protect one lousy city in the entire freaking country.

In Iraq, we are asking 100K to protect 25 million and provide security for every single crew doing rebuilding, and every single NGO, and everything else. It can't be done with what we have..

We don't have any credible threat to use against Iran, North Korea, China, or anyone else. Why? Because we don't have ANY ability left to put any boots on the ground anywhere in any signifigant numbers any time soon.

These commitments are not going away either. We will be in Afghanistan a long time, in Iraq probably 10 years, we have never left Japan, Germany, Korea, the Phillippine conflict will never be over, and we will never be able to pull our people out of places like Columbia and the token force in Panama.

I left out our deployment in Cuba as well.

This isn't something we can "draft" our way out of either. You throw a mess of greens in there and you aren't going to get good results. The military runs well because experienced NCO's run the real operations. The only way to get them is time and training. Time is a luxury we do not have. Even drafting it would be 3 to 5 years before we had anyone of any quality to use.

Unless we are prepared to go to a company like "Executive Outcomes" and hire a mess of mercenaries to do our bidding (which we do do in Columbia to protect sections of the pipeline). We can't offload assignments.

Even bringing in contractors to provide so called "support" for troops doesn't really work out well. You still have to provide security for the contractors and that takes boots off the ground where you need them. The amount of work you can do is directly related to the security force you have. If you don't have any security forces available no work gets done.

-----

Not that any of this really matters. This is just a concerted PR campaign to spread propaganda and lies so that 5-6 years from now when we do have the resources the public is willing to accept it. You know it's so when in one day people from: AEI, Herritage Foundation, CATO, PNAC -- all appear and spout the same lies, and the PR agency handling the (offically a terrorist organization) MEK is paid for by US tax payer dollars.  

The MEK is becoming exactly what the INC was. A set of complete outsiders with every interest to lie, who are simply paid professional liars on our dime to sell it to the American people, Iranians, and a few other nations. (That's why we have the USIA to broadcast that world wide propaganda.)

I honestly think the US will be very lucky to come out with Afghanistan still a hell hole and sinking into civil war, and to avoid a civil war in Iraq. I sincerely doubt we even get that lucky with what we have bitten off. Even that is an optimistic appraisal.

[ Parent ]

Thanks (4.00 / 2) (#291)
by pyramid termite on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 04:14:48 PM EST

You've stated the case much better than I did.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Of course we do. (3.00 / 1) (#361)
by freality on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 04:53:00 PM EST

Saying our military is over-extended is like saying our country is in debt.

I don't think we're as weak as you guess.  DoD must either know that nothing is going to happen until our legions are built (see my post above), or it has legions in reserve.  To plan otherwise would be to knowingly leave a door open.... ahh.. I guess there's that.

Just for fun, let's play that out.  If we go on the offensive for each campaign, the political costs are too great.  If, on the other hand, we get attacked or threatened.. or something that we can plausibly "defend" against, there will again (like for Afghanistan) be very low political costs.  Even better, the legion-building becomes a duty instead of a secret plot.

That actually fits with the budget numbers better.. DoD internally budgets for a much larger army, but doesn't have to get approval because they've shifted their $$ around so their total budget is normal.  This way, they have a long time to grow things without oversight.  Interesting.  Anyone know how budgets are allocated to DoD?  e.g. where does the JSF, or other, money flow?  Does it come from Treasury to DoD then to the contractors?  If so, where does it live in the meantime?  Can it be spent on non-JSF projects?

[ Parent ]

Real limits? Not if DoD can help it. (3.00 / 1) (#338)
by freality on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 02:13:44 AM EST

"we only have so many troops and so much logistical support for them and I don't think we can fight a war in Iran and North Korea simultaneously while occupying Iraq and Afghanistan. There are real limits to what we can do in the world."

A quick google search returned this paper that discusses force requirements.

There are currently 4-500k active personnel in the US military.  There is a large budget increase planned by '07 for army personnel costs, which via pure extrapolation shows a force size somewhere around 2M.  Assuming this, and using the mentioned force requirements analysis, we can occupy Afghanistan (28M), Iraq (24M), Iran (66M) and North Korea (22M) with a 14/1000 force ratio, which seems like plenty.  We certainly won't be attacking all at once, so the needed level, I assume, would be much lower.  The rapid mechanization of our military forces is surely figured into an even further reduction in needed forces.  Not that this is the plan, but it's surely planned for.  How else do we account for an historically unprecedented increase in the size of our legions?

And this isn't even worst-case.  Worst-case is the draft.  If we had a draft, we could probably raise a 10-15M army, with which we could occupy a sizable portion of the world, though perhaps we'd settle with South America, the M.E. and Africa.  Of course this wouldn't happen unless world war broke out.. but maybe that's what it means when a country tells the world they're either with us or against us.  Dunno.. time will certainly tell.

[ Parent ]

Perhaps that explains the antagonism to the US (3.00 / 1) (#341)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 08:38:01 AM EST

When you say 'you're either with us or against us', it tends to piss off those people who are appalled at Bin Laden's behaviour, but don't want another dozen created by fuckwitted US foreign adventures, designed to secure political advantage rather than any real benefit.

[ Parent ]
Creating a dozen more bin Ladens (3.50 / 3) (#344)
by Grognard on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 09:20:44 AM EST

Please enlighten me as to when the US invaded and/or bombed Saudi Arabia (birthplace of bin Laden and most of the 9/11 hijackers).

How many incidents have we had in the US since Afghanistan?

How is it that, since Iraq, Syria is suddenly much more cooperative and Hamas is getting closer to sitting down to deal?

How is it that Russia with its history of dealing with Muslims (Chechnya, support of Serbs in Kosovo and Bosnia, Afghanistan) receives little or no problems from Islamists?

[ Parent ]

There are US troops in Saudi (3.00 / 1) (#351)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 10:36:15 AM EST

As you well know, one of Osama's main problems with the US is the presence of what he considers an occupying force in the 2 holiest cities to Muslims, Mecca and Medina. Given that I have seen the sometimes disgraceful behaviour of US soldiers in Germany, a white Christian country, I can only imagine what offence some of them would cause in an Arab Muslim country.
I have no idea why Al Qaeda are not attacking Russia, although as far as either of us know, the Chechen rebels may be receiving support.
You didn't address my point, though. I'm not 'with' Osama Bin Laden after he brutally murdered my countrymen and yours, which is what your emptyheaded President offensively suggested, but neither am I 'with' the belief that killing more Muslims will stop, rather than provoke, Al Qaeda.

[ Parent ]
The point is (3.66 / 2) (#356)
by Grognard on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 12:49:30 PM EST

that your assertion that the US is creating new terrorists is shaky at best.  And the absence of comment on the lack of new attacks in the US is most telling.

I'm well aware that the presence of US troops in Saudi Arabia (at the invitation of the Saudis) is used by bin Laden as a "reason" for the actions of al Quaeda.  I find it extremely odd that the presence of US forces in Saudi (at the behest of the government) is more offensive than slaughtering Chechens or protecting Serbian genocide.  As to the "disgraceful behavior" of US troops - examples?  Even al Jazeera will do.

I don't know of anyone suggesting that killing Muslims will stop terror - in fact, the "emptyheaded" President made the point early and often following the events of 9/11 that Muslims in general were not responsible for the acts of a few thugs.

I will suggest, and the circumstances I listed originally bear this out, that decisive military action deters terror far better than any accomodation.


[ Parent ]

A question (3.50 / 10) (#250)
by wji on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:13:16 PM EST

Have you read a single manifesto, interview, speech or political statement by an Iranian opposition group actually based and supported by Iranians in Iran?

Those claims about their demands for "merican style democracy" (which strikes me as about what they have already) make me suspect you haven't.

Why not blame the current problems in Iraq on France, or Finland or Tonga or something? It would at least make what is currently a typical hackneyed conservative rant into entertaining disinformation.

Anyway, here's a hint: the real reason the US won't support the Iranian opposition movement is because they might be succsessful. US interference in Iran long predates the Islamic Republic and got serious when a democratically elected, populist leader nationalized the oil. As with Iraq, the goal is to maintain a dominating, oppressive state, but with suitably subservient clients running it.

In conclusion, the Powerpuff Girls are a reactionary, pseudo-feminist enterprise.

answers (3.25 / 3) (#259)
by jjayson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 05:13:14 PM EST

Have you read a single manifesto, interview, speech or political statement by an Iranian opposition group actually based and supported by Iranians in Iran?
Yes. Do you know how long it takes me to read Persian. I'm getting better, but it still takes me a non-trivial amount of time. I have plenty of friends to help me, and they also provided insight into this.

Those claims about their demands for "merican style democracy" (which strikes me as about what they have already) make me suspect you haven't.
They don't have a democracy. Or is this why 70% favor "radical change?" Their candidates are vetted and no substantial change is allowed to occur because of the strangehold the Guardian Council has the government and enforcement means. They don't get to chose what candidate they want, they get to chose between the candidates that the GC want. Liberal newspapers are closed down, and whenever calls for change happenm, those people are jailed. Just look at what happened when a poll showed that most Iranian, by a large margin, wanted to normalize and work towards better relations with America. The pollsters were jailed (for just taking a poll) and the enforcement wing of the conservatives told people that talk of resuming relations was not a jailable offense. Great democracy.

Why not blame the current problems in Iraq on France, or Finland or Tonga or something? It would at least make what is currently a typical hackneyed conservative rant into entertaining disinformation.
Read this comment below. I almost did a full article on it, but I realized that people were tired of Iraq.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
Request for clarification (3.25 / 3) (#263)
by cr8dle2grave on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 06:27:09 PM EST

Have you read a single manifesto, interview, speech or political statement by an Iranian opposition group actually based and supported by Iranians in Iran?

Have you? Share please.

Those claims about their demands for "merican style democracy" (which strikes me as about what they have already) make me suspect you haven't.

Do you have any evidence to that effect? Or is it just unthinkable to you that Iranians might indeed desire a western style liberal democracy and that America is a convenient symbol of such?

Anyway, here's a hint: the real reason the US won't support the Iranian opposition movement is because they might be succsessful... As with Iraq, the goal is to maintain a dominating, oppressive state, but with suitably subservient clients running it.

Thanks for sharing. Do you have an argument to back this up? You might want to begin by explaining why, strictly from the perspective of self interest, the US would oppose the emergence of a liberal state in Iran considering that all of its most financially beneficial relationships are with other liberal democracies.

US interference in Iran long predates the Islamic Republic and got serious when a democratically elected, populist leader nationalized the oil.

Yes, we all know that. What I don't understand is the relevance. There are at least two extremely significant factors which were present in 1953 that no longer figure into the equation: 1.) the strategic geopolitical context of the Cold War no longer exists, and 2.) the US gave up on the pipe dream of privatized petroleum resources in the Persian Gulf long, long ago--correct me if I'm wrong here, but I don't believe a single member of OPEC has a non-nationalized petroleum industry.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Go shovel your BS somewhere else (1.43 / 16) (#256)
by StephenThompson on Fri Jun 20, 2003 at 04:55:15 PM EST

I dont know where you get your agenda, but I tell you get behind me monger of Evil!

The cynic in me thinks (3.75 / 4) (#272)
by hengist on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 03:49:29 AM EST

if the Iranians boot out the Mullahs, who will buckeroo Bush attack next?

I'm thinking that Iran is next on the list, especially with all this talk lately of their nuclear programme. I reckon Bush thinks he needs a victory just before the 2004 predidential election.

There can be no Pax Americana

let me tell you something (3.25 / 3) (#279)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 10:51:13 AM EST

I was a supporter of the Iraq war. but I will not stand for any war with Iran or N. Korea.

why? because Iran is tetering on its own and all we need to do is give finacial support and perhaps clandestine support to help the young folks take over.

as for N. Korea, while we have a despot who is incoregable, we have four other nations directly effected by N. Korea. they whan N. Korea to stand down and give up their arms, and China especialy has the means to do it....they can cut the power and the food in an instant. that is why it is good that China is in on the talks.

notice that N. Korea has been acting much better since the Iraq war ended? they have agreed to multi-lateral talks and have finished the rail road connection between S. Korea and N. Korea (though N.Korea needs to finish the rail behind the connection)

if bush tired to pump up a new war that everyone sees as being unnessisary, he would be booted.

and yes Iraq was diffrent becasue most americans were tired of playing diplomatic games with Saddam for 12 years, we have not given any of that to the  other two.

[ Parent ]

No, let me tell you something (2.33 / 2) (#340)
by deaddrunk on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 08:32:32 AM EST

I'm sure the Iraqi people are tired of the Americans, the British and the Australians screwing with their country still, as they have been for decades. If Saddam comes to trial will George Bush Senior and Margaret Thatcher also be indicted, not to mention Donald Rumsfeld.

[ Parent ]
Barking up the wrong tree (3.00 / 1) (#355)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 12:45:10 PM EST

The origional comment opined that Bush wanted a new target in order to stir domestic support for the '04 election.

The person relying opined that this was unlikely because Bush wouldn't get the kind of domestic support for an attack on North Korea or Iran that he did for Iraq (an assesment and sentiment that I happen to agree with). Since the people of Iraq aren't going to be voting in the '04 U.S. election I'm not sure how your comment applies.

Secondly, I think the opinion of the "Iraqi people" toward the U.S. and the former regime are going to vary a good deal depending upon whether they are Sunni's from Tikrut, Shiites from Basra or Kurds from the north... don't you?

Finaly, what the heck do Bush senior and Thatcher have to do with this? Gulf War I, was about removing Iraq's troops from the territory of another soveriegn nation (Kuwait)....that was something that even most people in the Middle East seemed to support.  

[ Parent ]

Take it slowly (4.40 / 5) (#280)
by dachshund on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 11:26:44 AM EST

There's something to be said for political evolution, versus the sort of revolution everyone's apparently hoping to see in Iran. I realize it's not satisfying to imagine that Iran will continue to be dominated by hard-line Islamists for the next five to twenty years; however, the advantage could be a smooth and relatively bloodless transition to real democracy rather than chaos which kills many and leaves the population vulnerable to some new form of oppression.

The number of people who want change will only increase as these students grow up and more take their place. Meanwhile, the hard-liners can only lose support. At some point, these two groups may actually come to terms with each other, strengthening the secular government and quietly reducing the influence of the Mullahs. This may be infinitely preferable to the sort of unrest and bloodshed that could explode should the reformists ever attempt a full-scale revolution.

I think this is probably the most likely outcome of the protests in Iran, if the US doesn't get involved. However, chaos in Iraq combined with overly aggressive US efforts to support the protesters could easily extend this period for years. I support the idea of increased satellite broadcasts, if we can keep any trace of pro-US propaganda out of them. But aside from that, let's stay the hell out of it.

It's nice to think (3.66 / 2) (#293)
by jjayson on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 05:03:27 PM EST

However, there is no indication that teh mullahs would ever relinquish power. Given that as they feel their power slipping, they start chopping body parts off and jailing those that don't fall in line with them, I don't see it happening.

I'm willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Please, tell me how you see this happening. In the next 5-20 years do they all of the sudden realize that they don't have support and leave (not as if they don't already know this already)?
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Some reasons (3.00 / 1) (#315)
by dachshund on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 02:38:41 PM EST

Well, for one thing, people die. They get old. And younger folks, who outnumber the oldsters significantly, grow up and take jobs in government.

The mullahs' support level will eventually drop to the point where they can't repress the entire society with a few executions and hand-choppings-- eventually, unrest has to be quashed with constant, brutal military force.

Believe it or not, that's a major step, one that not every ruler is prepared to take, unless they're confident that it's sustainable. Take an example from the fall of Communist rule in Eastern Europe. Many of those governments had the police and military infrastructure to repress their people even after it became clear that the Soviets weren't going to intervene; they didn't, because they realized that it would provoke an open, simmering revolution that they would eventually lose. By letting go peacefully, they kept their heads on their shoulders.

[ Parent ]

What you neglect to take into account (3.00 / 1) (#316)
by Grognard on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 03:20:11 PM EST

is that membership in the oppressors club isn't static (see Soviet Union, China, North Korea, etc.).  As long as there is an incentive to be one of the oppressors, you get new recruits.  When you can no longer pay your police and military (see Soviet Union, and by extension the Eastern European Communist nations), you fall.  

Totalitarian regimes don't just whither away.


[ Parent ]

No Revolution - A 12-step Program for Bushies (3.11 / 9) (#282)
by mami on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 12:07:47 PM EST

to get off their favorite drug habit - for profit freedom and democracy selling abroad - on the cost of freedom and democracy sell-outs of the American people at home, especially those who are ordered to put the weapons where the Bushies mouth is - all in the name of other people's freedom and democracy - just not their own.

Did you know that the Europeans (French and Germans specifically) are now the bad boys, who prevent President Bush's attempt to solve the problem of hunger in Africa?

Of course they also prevent the oppressed Iranians to free themselves from the dictatorship of their religious leaders.

Let's see, are Europeans also guilty to not help the American people to free themselves from all the freedom and justice loving lip services of their lime-light searching, campaigning think tank pseudo-intellectuals?

Apparently I have hit a nerve (3.00 / 1) (#306)
by mami on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 10:25:24 PM EST

considering the rating of my comment.

A living proof that being brutal in its judgement of ONE aspect of a whole complex conglomerate of justifications the Bush' administration policies consists of, can still reveal some painful truth.

I think it's fair to discuss American's extreme eagerness, if not emotional need, to sell democracy and freedom around the globe as a sign of emotional fixation, misuse and tool of destraction from homegrown social pathologies within the American (and growingly worldwide) population.

But I guess, it's not the time yet for some self reflection and it should come from within and not be suggested from without like a darn European not shutting up.

So, I am going to be nice and political correct and not hurt anymore feelings.  

[ Parent ]

A premature judgement (3.00 / 1) (#310)
by epepke on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 11:53:55 AM EST

I, personally, found your comment extremely difficult to understand. I can't figure out exactly what you're trying to say, except that you're ticked off. Comments often get rated down for incoherence, because a sufficiently incoherent comment is indistinguishable from spam.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
oh, well, then, here I try again in clearer terms (3.00 / 3) (#320)
by mami on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 11:11:50 PM EST

I tried to (very bluntly, I admit) point out one aspect of President's Bush eagerness to speak constantly about the US role as a liberator and promoter of freedom and democracy in the world and put it into question. I know that it is quite a harsh comment that will certainly, if taken seriously, hurt the feelings of those I critique.

To an outsider (i.e. someone who isn't by default what President Bush would call a patriotric American) there is something that ticks me off, not only me, but I am pretty sure a lot of non English native speakers.

He constantly blows his own and the American people's trumpet. He constantly commends the American's greatness, their love for freedom and democracty and their committment to bring freedom to the last poor man and (especially) women in the last oppressed corner of the world.

He ravels in the role of the almighty, messianic liberator of the poor and oppressed. If you look at his speeches shortly before the war, he is almost Jesus-like in his announcements of the US coming to save the Iraqi people from evil.

Having won the war, he is happy and all smiles over his face, like a little boy, who just had won a trophee in his highschool football team and feels like the coolest guys around, loved by everybody for what he has done and what he is.

He is so happy about his win that he looks like someone who has smelled the sweetness of power and winning so intensely that he can't let go of it. It's not imaginable to me that the President would not use the power he has to bestow the next oppressed group of people in the next country just because "it feels so good to be a good-doer".

It is clear that the President somehow believes in his mission. The committment is honestly felt, not only by him, but IMO also by Condoleeza Rice, Karen Hughes and more and more so, also by Colin Powell, based on moral convictions. Of course I believe that this fact is used, if not abused, by more ruthless, power hungry third party people, but who cares ...

The carelessness, if not ruthlessness with which on the other hand the same people neglect morals in mending the lack of democracy and freedom within their own population doesn't fit together with their high moral standards they base and justify their foreign policies on. It simply doesn't fit together.

The constantly repeated self-laudatio of US patriotism, love for freedom and willingness to sacrifice their money, military might and engagement to liberate other people, is so overdone that any listener has to ask himself why the President is doing it and why many Americans, who don't have the best of lives themselves, jump on the band-wagon and obviously find consolation and identification in the role of the almighty, messianic liberator of the poor and oppressed in the world. They even follow him, when it becomes clear that the world is looking at them in a bit of amazement. It can't be that the President hasn't realized that others don't quite believe in his role.  

It doesn't even come to the American's mind to ask, if all the souls they want to liberate and bestow with American style democracy and life-style, really want to have it. The pride of the Americans in themselves, even the poorest, little guy around the corner, is mind-boggling to Europeans.

It doesn't fit together with how they really live their lives. The Americans constantly tell themselves that they are proud to be an American. Why?

I have never heard someone say in Germany, France or Italy that he is proud of being French, German or Italian. I am pretty sure that they all have nothing against their own national identity and feel at home in their own culture and love certain aspects in their own home countries, but it is not used to make themselves to feel so good about themselves that they have to run around and tell the whole world constantly how great they are.

So, naturally, I ask myself, why are the Americans so different in this respect?

My conclusion, concerning President Bush's way of promoting the greatness of the Americans, is that he uses this issue like a drug. He thrives on the idea of being the super powerful liberator of the world's oppressed.

He is very fixated on the idea, he offers this idea as a drug to America's poor for them to have something they can hold to, feel good about themselves, even if they have a very depressed and poor quality of life with very little real freedom (from poverty) and very little true democracy and justice (for a modern Western democracy) themselves.

May be the President not only uses this line of thought to console the average American about their own role in the world even if they are poor and depressed, but because they are deprived of a lot of quality of life.

That's why I said I wished a 12-step program for the President, because I feel that he overuses the idea of America the liberator and patriotc good-doer in the world like an addicted person and like someone who offers this drug to others to take so that they can feel good about themselves and forget their own troubles. I don't quite like that idea. I think that's what mostly ticks me off with President Bush.

It wouldn't bother me at all, if he were any other person than the American President, it's not that I doubt his character and integrity or that I really don't like him as a person. If he were in a less powerful position I woulnd't mind at all and could easily joke around with him.

But I don't think that a President of the US should be that lacking in self-reflection and self-restriction or simply in modesty. I dunno, may be I am too sensitive. I simply don't like it.

[ Parent ]

How sad (3.00 / 1) (#325)
by Grognard on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 08:04:37 AM EST

I have never heard someone say in Germany, France or Italy that he is proud of being French, German or Italian. I am pretty sure that they all have nothing against their own national identity and feel at home in their own culture and love certain aspects in their own home countries, but it is not used to make themselves to feel so good about themselves that they have to run around and tell the whole world constantly how great they are.

I can't imagine that. Each of those three nations is so rich in history and culture that it is inconceivable that one would not be extremely (and vocally) proud of their heritage.  

Even for Germany, there is reason for immense pride.  The stains left by Hitler hardly obscures the light of Beethoven, Goethe, and many others.

Again, how sad.

[ Parent ]

not at all (4.00 / 2) (#327)
by infinitera on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 08:31:50 AM EST

Quoth Erich Fromm:
Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism" is it's cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship.


[ Parent ]
I don't think we're disagreeing (4.00 / 2) (#328)
by Grognard on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 09:25:38 AM EST

Fromm distinguishes between patriotism and jingoism.  

I can be proud of being from the US without denigrating the culture and history of other nations.  I can't imagine others not being able to act similarly.  I realize that unrestrained nationalism has cost a lot of lives over the past two centuries, but losing pride in your origin to avoid that is overkill.


[ Parent ]

well ... (4.00 / 2) (#331)
by mami on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 02:57:33 PM EST

I can tell you that the average Congressman or Senator in the US can't make a public statement in front of the camera, where he doesnt' refer at least once or twice to the greatness of America and its people. That's by default almost, an expression without a politician can't live in the US.

You don't hear the same sort of expressions from members of the German Bundestag and I doubt that you would find an open showing off by the people in France.

Of course you can love your own nation's culture and heritage, but to go out and constantly say that you are the best and only democracy in the world that loves freedom more than anything else is different. At least it feels different to foreign ears.

And by the way I don't think it's sad at all that we are a little bit more hesitant with regards to loving our nation. I know the Germans love their cars or the fact that something they construct actually works (or used to work). But that's more or less the pride of technician who thinks he has made a good product.

You can love your country, your language and may be your cultural heritage, but you don't have to show off with it and put yourself above other cultures.

Especially not with regards to loving freedom, democracy and justice. In general I can't beliebe that's not something everybody would love and the fact that a country can have a bit more of it than the other is no reason to show off. Especially because you can lose your freedom, your degree of democracy and your just justice very easily.

But forget it. The sensitivities are different in different cultures.

[ Parent ]

Much clearer (4.00 / 2) (#330)
by epepke on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 11:59:03 AM EST

Look--your ratings are better!

It is clear that the President somehow believes in his mission. The committment is honestly felt, not only by him, but IMO also by Condoleeza Rice, Karen Hughes and more and more so, also by Colin Powell, based on moral convictions.

Colin Powell is a bit different, I think. He does have moral convictions. However, if he were really in charge, I don't think the U.S. foreign policy would be anything like it is now. I think he believes by working within the system he can meliorate it, but he may also be deluding himself.

It doesn't even come to the American's mind to ask, if all the souls they want to liberate and bestow with American style democracy and life-style, really want to have it.

Now, that isn't quite fair. I've not only thought of it; I've brought it up. My experience is that I usually get attacked, mostly by non-Americans, on the grounds that I'm a horrible person who doesn't want other people to have the benefits of democracy.

Most Americans, most of the time, don't really care all that much how other countries arrange their affairs. (And they get attacked for that, too, for being insular.)

I have never heard someone say in Germany, France or Italy that he is proud of being French, German or Italian. I am pretty sure that they all have nothing against their own national identity and feel at home in their own culture and love certain aspects in their own home countries, but it is not used to make themselves to feel so good about themselves that they have to run around and tell the whole world constantly how great they are.

That is true, and American pride is probably more obvious to a European ex-pat. However, to me as an American who has been an ex-pat in Europe, I notice some things I don't see in the U.S. In Europe, and not just in pockets, it is common to see a surprisingly deep hatred for other countries in Europe. The resentment of many people in the Netherlands for Germany, the friction between the Flemish- and German-speaking areas of the Netherlands, the odd behavior of Beligans toward the French and vice versa, the animosity between Wales, Scotland, and England, the whole Basque thing, the whole Turkey/Cyprus thing, the whole Irish thing. All of these are taken to a degree that seems desperately and needlessly serious to Americans, to the extent that whenever I mention it, I usually get comments from Europeans angry that I don't take it seriously enough and don't understand what animals those people are. (Of course, who exactly is the animal differs from comment to comment.) Even American racism, which is pretty bad, seldom gets to the degree of bitterness and grudge-holding that is still common in Europe, which I see as sort of a negative expression of pride.

But I don't think that a President of the US should be that lacking in self-reflection and self-restriction or simply in modesty. I dunno, may be I am too sensitive. I simply don't like it.

I don't like it, either.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
ok, let's say I had a bad day (3.00 / 1) (#333)
by mami on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 09:38:29 PM EST

and that's it.

Now, that isn't quite fair. I've not only thought of it; I've brought it up. My experience is that I usually get attacked, mostly by non-Americans, on the grounds that I'm a horrible person who doesn't want other people to have the benefits of democracy.

I haven't read the whole preceding thread, so I might have just vented a bit too much and didn't refer to what you might have said before.

Let's call it a day. I simply don't like to continue thinking about things that are in the end pretty stupid.

[ Parent ]

OK! You had a bad day. (3.00 / 1) (#334)
by epepke on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 09:56:47 PM EST

I haven't read the whole preceding thread, so I might have just vented a bit too much and didn't refer to what you might have said before.

No worries. I was referring to things I've said in my k5 tenure and elsewhere, not in this thread.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
National Pride (3.00 / 1) (#362)
by baron samedi on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 08:32:03 PM EST

As a former expat who lived in Scotland and Ireland, I can say that what's considered 'National Pride' in much of modern, EU-friendly nations is of a slightly different nature than in the US.

In my experience, with some extreme exceptions in areas like Northern Ireland, it is possible to seperate to express national pride without non-trivial nationalism. Many European countries flirted with fascism and extreme nationalism in the not-to-distant past, and they rightly associate nationalism with its bigger, badder brother: fascism.

That being said, I see how many (not all, but many, of all stripes politically) Americans have an expression of national pride that assumes that we are 'the best country on earth', all the while we're so isolated that we have nothing to compare that statement with.

I think many Americans project this "USA! USA! USA!" mentality, and it's a real turn-off to most everyone in other countries. America has had a love affair with fascism and nationalism that in other nations ended acrimoniously, but here it continues.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Some points (3.00 / 1) (#354)
by CENGEL3 on Tue Jun 24, 2003 at 12:22:29 PM EST

1) "He constantly blows his own and the American people's trumpet." ... This is certainly true but raises the question...if he doesn't who will? Do you expect North Korea will extoll the virtues of America... or France? Politics is pretty much a war of competeing ideas...this is as true in the international arena as the domestic one. If the American government doesn't attempt to promote the ideas that America supports then certainly those ideas aren't going to reach anyone...this is true of any government.

2)  "I have never heard someone say in Germany, France or Italy that he is proud of being French, German or Italian." ... I'd say that you haven't been hanging around the same German, French and Italian people that I have. I've heard plenty of that sort of thing. National pride certainly isn't unique to America. We probably are a little more brash about it then some other nations but that has alot to do with how we got our start...and our early history as a "frontier" nation.

3) Iraq and Afghanistan were never about "liberating" those people. They were about removing specific percieved threats...this was abundantly clear to the American people....if you haven't gotten that then I don't think you've been listening very carefully. You might debate whether those threats were valid or not...but I certainly don't believe thier can be any question that was the explanation which was being put forward.

   Any act of bringing democracy to the people in those nations has always been billed as an important side benefit. When you boil the message down it translates to something like "We need to remove X governments to make the world a safer place for us....and it's not like X were such great governments to begin with...the people living under X probably won't be sad to see them gone."

4) Promoting democracy in other nations isn't just a noble ideal unto itself...although it certainly is that and I think Bush and others believe in that as an ideal. However, people who live in democratic nations are likely to have a higher standard of living and more control over thier destiny then those living under totalitarian regimes....which means that they are less likely to do desperate things like fly airplanes into skyscrappers.

5) Many Americans (myself included) feel that European style democracies have LESS real freedoms then the U.S. Of course some of the freedoms we value (i.e. private ownsership of firearms, criticism of the government/ politicians, freedom of speech even that regarded as "hatefull" or "racist", self reliance)  you may not attach much importance to.

6) It is saddly true that sometimes in an attempt to protect a thing you end up damaging or destroying it. I think that is an unfortunate example of what you are seeing with some of the laws that have been introduced recently in the U.S. I attribute that to shortsightedness not malice.

7) I find the actions of some-one like Chirac, who would protect a bloodthirsty tyrant for his own personal benefit every bit as objectionable as you probably find Bush.

[ Parent ]

US should turn its back on reformers? (4.00 / 4) (#283)
by splitpeasoup on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 12:27:45 PM EST

"The United States should instead turn its back on Tehran, including the reformers inside the government"

Actually, that almost seems like a good idea, but for reasons very different from your own. For the US to give Khatami and other reformers the cold shoulder will make them more credible to and more liked by the Iranian people. That would be the first time US foreign policy has actually helped anyone.

-SPS

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

those reformers have no credibility at all (3.00 / 1) (#288)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 02:36:43 PM EST

the youth are fed up with them. they have NO power and no way of enforcing any policy changes. the only thing they are there for is as a liazon between the people and the preists. that is it.

[ Parent ]
popularity (3.00 / 1) (#311)
by Symmetry on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 01:33:42 PM EST

That would probably work in any Arab country, but the youth of Iran seem to have somhow gotten it into their heads that we're the good guys. Probably all those old farts shouting "Death to America!" all the time. Can't say I mind :)
Never attribute to malice what can be explained by stupidity. Don't assign to stupidity what might be due to ignorance. And try not to assume you opponent is the ignorant one-until you can show it isn't you. -M.N. Plano
[ Parent ]
One problem with your logic... (4.10 / 10) (#290)
by Alhazred on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 03:35:26 PM EST

What is it in the current sequence of events in the Middle East that makes you interpret US actions as being pro democracy? Even assuming that our ill-advised meddling is intended to foster democracy, just exactly how do you interpret what has happened during the Bush administration as leading to such a result?

By all reports the US installed government in Afghanistan is at best extremely shaky and getting very inadequate support from its supposed benefactors. So far the US and Western Europe have managed to expend roughly 1/10th of resources which were estimated to be required in order to establish SOME sort of credible government in Afghanistan. Even were those resources expended it is still not at all clear that the result would be a western-style democracy, or even anything faintly resembling it.

As for Iraq. The problems with creating any sort of stable government there are myriad. Again I say 'stable government', and that begs the question as to what form said government might ultimately take. The various missteps made by the Bush administration so far do not bode well for even a less than ideal outcome, let alone some sort of democratic model state.

The first moral obligation when take any sort of action like say overthrowing someone else's government is to NOT make their situation worse. Secondly one should definitely want to consider the cost/benefit ratio of all the options available.

All this is not to say that it is impossible to appreciate the position of the neocons. Yes, Saddam Insane was a BAD MAN. The Taliban was most certainly not a regime friendly to the United States. Those factors most certainly warranted considering remedial action of some sort, just as the presence of a brain tumor might suggest that some form of treatment is in order. However, drastic surgery is not always the answer. As politically appealing as it is, violent force always has negative consequences of an extreme nature.

Now consider Iran. What happens when and if we manage to destabilize the regime in Iran? The consequences could be drastic instability. They could include the emergence of even more brutal, repressive, and anti-American forces than are in control there now.

Perhaps I would like to suggest that instead of blowing another 2 or 3 hundred billion dollars on another questionable military/political adventure which history suggests the American people don't have the fortitude or even perhaps the means to succeed at we should consider other uses for our children's hard-earned money (we already spent our own long ago...).

For instance, 200 billion dollars would have irradicated virtually all endemic communicable diseases from the entire continent of Africa, thus saving over 3000 lives PER DAY just from malaria alone! Given the other ancillary benefits bound to accrue from such a program I believe in the medium to long-term it would even be a good investment. I only offer this as an example. No doubt there are people better equipped to make even more cogent suggestions.

It saddens me to see every situation cast in terms of struggle, and every solution cast in terms of violence. Enough!
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.

Problems with my logic? (3.80 / 5) (#292)
by jjayson on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 04:53:00 PM EST

Where do you get from giving $50 million to exiled Iranians to "blowing another 2 or 3 hundred billion dollars on another questionable military/political adventure?" We are not overthrowing a government. We are financing exile-owned media outlets and showing moral support for those protesting. Or would you like to tell the protestors to go back in their homes? All your questions are answered in the article.

Now consider Iran. What happens when and if we manage to destabilize the regime in Iran? The consequences could be drastic instability. They could include the emergence of even more brutal, repressive, and anti-American forces than are in control there now.
I said, "In an article in the 25 April issue, Le Monde, a French newspaper, said that the Iranian leadership are apprehensive of the '"fierce pro-Americanism' of the Iranian people." Then I said, "Recently, an institute in Iran conducted a poll, asking if relations with America should be mended. The results here an overwhelming endorsement of the idea."

For instance, 200 billion dollars would have irradicated virtually all endemic communicable diseases from the entire continent of Africa, thus saving over 3000 lives PER DAY just from malaria alone!
Excuse me, but what does this have to do with anything? Did you even read the story? Considering your talk of invasion, I highly doubt it.

Please go first read the article, then responsd. This is not about invasion. It has never been that was. All your discussion of the US overthrowing another regime is very far away from what I am saying.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

Go to the horse's mouths... (3.66 / 2) (#297)
by Apuleius on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 07:03:47 PM EST

Those "neo-cons" whose influence on the President has been so maligned have been consciously advocating a policy to start introducing democracy to the region.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
yes, they did advocate it (3.33 / 2) (#303)
by mami on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 10:07:37 PM EST

but that doesn't mean that they achieved their goals with the tools they have used so far.

[ Parent ]
Isn't it a bit early to be declaring defeat? (3.00 / 1) (#309)
by Grognard on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 09:29:08 AM EST

Afghanistan (where the US's main aim was to remove a safe haven for bin Laden) has barely had a year of being under its current goverment.  To expect that one year to reverse more than 20 of near anarchy is a bit ambitious.

Iraq has been free of its old regime for only two months.

Free nations aren't microwave popcorn - a bit of patience is required.

[ Parent ]

declaring defeat? - I didn't do it (3.50 / 2) (#317)
by mami on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 09:59:52 PM EST

I doubt the tools used to implement democracy in Iraq and am suspicious about what will happen in Iran.

I simply think it's regrettable that the US or the other nations, which will come in to aid in the effort to stabilizing Iraq and get it function again, have gotten themselves into many years of expensive and most probably frustrating engagement in that region.

That's all. I didn't really follow the thread. I just saw apuleius comment, wondered why it was rated one and spew out something. Forget the whole thing. I am too tired to discuss the whole thing.

[ Parent ]

I agree (3.00 / 1) (#389)
by Alhazred on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 09:02:26 AM EST

but anyone looking at the situation objectively has to wonder if Bush et al really have a commitment to democracy.

Look at what is going on in Afghanistan. Granted its a year old government, but the Bush administration was told they would have to spend upwards of 30 billion dollars in the first couple of years just to get the place up and running. How much has been spent? Around 1/10th of the first year's installment of that! It SIMPLY IS NOT GOING TO SUCCEED without a real commitment.

As for Iraq, the US appears to be engaged in a policy of suppressing whatever part of the Iraqi body politic isn't pro-American. That IS NOT AND CANNOT BE CONSTRUED AS being in keeping with a commitment to democracy. You do not kill or imprison everyone that disagrees with you and then hold elections. Not and expect anyone with half a brain to believe that you are creating a 'democracy'. This is the kind of crap that we criticize governments like Zimbabwe for, so just exactly what makes it OK for the US?
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

Making Iraq successful (3.00 / 1) (#390)
by Grognard on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 09:28:43 AM EST

"Democracy" won't do it.  If a true democracy is installed in Iraq, then the US will have failed in the task of leaving a stable, viable nation since a true democracy will leave the Kurdish and Sunni Arab minorities twisting in the wind (note that the identity of the minority and majority groups is irrelevant - true democracies can't work unless you have a homogenous population).

In order to leave Iraq with a stable, viable government, there will have to be a system which will provide for rule of the people tempered by a tolerance of minorities.  Is it a surprise that there are groups which want to short-circuit this process?  Preventing those groups from seizing power is far different than Mugabe's actions.


[ Parent ]

May I suggest (3.00 / 1) (#398)
by Alhazred on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 04:03:12 PM EST

A thorough reading of John Stuart Mill's various works?

It is entirely possible to have a democracy which respects the rights of minorities. Nothing in the concept of democracy implies a state with limitless powers. In fact quite the contrary. You confuse limits to government with 'limited democracy'. In fact the more limited government is, the more free people are.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

I think you have it wrong (3.00 / 1) (#377)
by lugumbashi on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 05:26:30 AM EST

First of all they advocate American strength and leadership (or "hegemony" if you prefer). Next they want what they call "moral clarity" in world affairs. Mostly this means more defence spending and shaking the kaleidoscope until something friendly to US interests appears. Democracy is all very well, if it supports US interests otherwise forget it. They have said practically nothing about Pakistan and its loss of democracy.

The moral course of action would be to call for sanctions on Pakistan and decry its development of nuclear weapons. But no "president" Musharraf (not dictator) is "a good and steadfast ally".

Their pretended "moral clarity" is bogus, they play realpolitik just like everyone else.

What they really care about is US strength. They oppose anything which might threaten US freedom of action. A good example is the ICC, Every safeguard was bult into it so that the possibility that US citizens would be brought before it was negligible. And yet they rejected it outright. Why? Simply because it would set a precedent. Anything involving compromise is a policy of weakness for them.

They claim to support political freedom. Well the thing about that is that it is like freedom of speech. If you are not in favour of freedom of speech for opinions you don't like then you are not in favour of freedom of speech. When they start calling for democracy in a country where the outcome is not going to please them then I will believe all this guff about political freedom.
-"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"
[ Parent ]

Violence is not democracy (3.00 / 1) (#388)
by Alhazred on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 08:55:00 AM EST

Since when was democracy 'introduced to a region' by lies, deceit, and force?
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]
Ask George Washington. (3.00 / 1) (#392)
by Apuleius on Fri Jun 27, 2003 at 10:06:08 PM EST

"Government is not reason. It is not eloquence. It is force."


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
Democracy for Israel? (2.33 / 2) (#404)
by crunchycookies on Wed Jul 02, 2003 at 05:33:16 PM EST

Before we impose a system on a people who do not want us there, lets fix that sham democracy Israel. Israel is a wonderful democracy if you are Jewish, it is a brutal thug of a state if you are Arab. We have no standing to fix Iraq if we don't first fix Israel.

Let us replace the government of Israel with a democratic government that represents all the people equally. We have zero credibility in the region when we accept Israel's claim to be a "democracy" and ignore the reality of Israel. We did not cry when the sham democracy in South Africa fell, lets not cry when the sham democracy in Israel falls.

Perhaps we should re-read our Declaration of Independence(http://www.law.indiana.edu/uslawdocs/declaration.html ). "When in the Course of human events ...". We seem to have run off course in the world. Those words should not only apply to our ancestors of 200 years ago, they should apply today. The most blatant example is our opposition to the Palestinian struggle against racism and oppression. If we would stand for our own principles, we would have many friends in the world. When we stand with the racists and oppressors, as now, we have no true friends. We find that the "friends" that we do have are all bought. Unfortunately bought friends do not stay bought. In the end we will be left with only racist Israel as our friend. The future does look grim.



[ Parent ]

more than just one problem (3.00 / 1) (#364)
by esaul on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 03:45:22 AM EST

The original poster, jjayson, should probably stick to programming, - history and politics is obviously not his forte. I am not trying to flame him, but his one sided narration of the current situation in Iran has struck me, so I can't help but remind the readers of some obvious historical facts and parallels.

First, and the easiest to recall, is the American fiasco with the Iranian contras. Remember the felon John Poindexter? Remember the felon Elliot Abrams? Both should be in prison now, and have been convicted for lying to the American people, brewing up massacres and death all over the world. However, they have both received presidential pardons, and now they serve in high ranking positions in the US government. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but aren't felons not allowed to work for the government? Then again, in the country that has the highest per capita prison population in the world, one probably can't spit without hitting a felon (or becoming one). The point here is that Elliot Abrams shouldn't be allowed anywhere close to Iran (he was convicted for having screwed up there, after all), yet he is in charge of the Middle Eastern affairs now. What is this? A direct insult to all Iranians and Americans? Shame on the Bush administration, and anyone who thinks that there is nothing wrong with that. After what the US have done in Iran, they should beg that Persians could ever forgive them, and not ever meddle with their internal affairs again. I understand that Iranians have it pretty hard now, but it is up to the international community, not PNAC or Manhattan Institute, to hear one country's grievances.

Secondly, it has been in PNAC's and JINSA's plans to toy with Iran for many years now. Their strategy has been clearly outlined, and is no secret. Fabricating news and funding and inciting popular uprisings is a trademark of the CIA, so obvious that it is embarassing. The truth about Solidarnost in Poland, the US' trojan donkey, has come out a few years after the CIA has changed a regime there, and now they are doing an almost exactly same thing in Iran. It also kinda reminds me of what the British did to China. Come on, people, the Prime Directive is not there just for the fun of it. OK, this comparison is silly, but so is brewing resentment for the generations to come, who will eventually find out the truth.

peace

[ Parent ]

hold up (3.66 / 2) (#365)
by jjayson on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 04:21:09 AM EST

Before you get so condescdending, please tell me what the your comment has to do with anything. From my perspective you are just trotting out your standard American-bashing comments without regard for actually looking at the issue put before you, the Brownback legislation and moral support of those seeking to remove the mullahs from power. Brilliant.

Neither Brownback or Ledeen are part of the PNAC. The Bush adminstration have been very luke-warm to Brownback's legislation. Instead of just trying to smear them, why don't you put down the crackpipe and actually make an argument that relates to them and not other people. What does Iran-Contra have to do with anything? Nobody involved in that deal has much to do with the Brownback bill. It was a different administration with an entirely different set of circumstances.

Also, the Brownback bill provides funding for television and radio station run by Iraian expatriates that is beamed into Iran. These are stations, already very policial and outspoken, that many Iranians currently watch. It also provides funding for the translation of works that speak of non-violent ways to remove the regime. This isn't meddling, but providing a mechanism for self-determination. A revolution requires organization and information flow. An excellent way for that information flow is through TV, radio, and print.

Please, oh please. Tell me why your comment as any relation to my submission before you start telling me what to do.

--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]

let's see, then (3.00 / 1) (#370)
by esaul on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 04:19:06 PM EST

I didn't mean to sound condescending, but judging from your sig, you've had worse than me :).

Anyway, you're right. I don't know whether Ledeen is a member of the PNAC, but he might as well be. They do have close ties. His comments about restructuring the world, and forcefully installing "democracies" should be revolting to you, me and any other even marginally educated person. "Drunk with power, obsessed with death", - a good song from the DRI.

Starting your story with comments from somebody from the AEI is a sure way to invite criticism, and a lot of it. Take a gander at this page http://www.guerrillanews.com/corporate_crime/doc2173.html A quote: 'Ledeen speaking at an AEI breakfast in late March: "I think the level of casualties is secondary. I mean, it may sound like an odd thing to say, but all the great scholars who have studied American character have come to the conclusion that we are a warlike people and that we love war...What we hate is not casualties, but losing."' Wow, dude. He is talking about you (I am not American). Using Ledeen as an authority in the matter would expose one as either an ill-educated or an outright evil person. Read this: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15860 And then tell me it has nothing to do with Iran Contra fiasco. Also, using Christian Science Monitor to back up your views, just takes the rest of credibility away from the story.

Also, the Poland comparison was not made by me, but David Frum. It is quite relevant to your article, as the CIA fabricated news in order to incite riots there and also in Lithuania. They funded student organizations to stage protests. Divide and conquer.

Moving on to our beloved Senator Sam Brownback. When one hears the words "Christian Right", and considers their affiliation with the so-called neo-cons, one can't help but hear it echo: "Jesus Day" in Texas, or maybe "Waco", or maybe that quote from Mein Kampf that says that religion and education should be inseparable because this combination creates obedient voters. I don't have this quote handy, but it then goes on to say that their blind faith in God, combined with the stupidity of the voting citizenry, will guarantee that they will go to war at the behest of their leader. A while ago, I read some stuff from the Manhattan Institute (who advise mini-Bush on *all* his policies, and he attributes his victory in the elections to them), and it sounded sooo similar to Mein Kampf, that I had to verify it. Yes it is *very* similar. So, don't blame me when I have no faith in the Christian Right. Also, it appales me when a sovereign state is branded "terrorist" without any proof. Realize that nobody will condone this American rampage, not anymore.

[ Parent ]

You have no credibility. (3.00 / 1) (#371)
by jjayson on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 04:37:39 PM EST

Also, using Christian Science Monitor to back up your views, just takes the rest of credibility away from the story.
I will not bother responding to you because you are clearly an idiot. I suggest you go read about the CSM (hint, it's not a relgious paper) you fucking moron.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
wow, dude (3.00 / 1) (#372)
by esaul on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 06:39:10 PM EST

Don't worry. I am not going to get mad, after all it is a public forum. I admit, I must have struck a nerve there. I don't mean to deny you the freedom of religion, but Christian Scientists are a cult. I think they have drifted too far from being a mere sect of Christianity. Something about their need to re-write the Bible smells kinda fishy to me. I have studied them in school, and truth be told, at first the CSM surprised me as being pretty liberal. I stopped reading them once I realized that they really think that they are better than other Christians. I studied them as a part of the religious cults and sects course (as well as the Raelians, and the Hare Krishnas, the Nation of Islam, and the Scientology freaks, and the COG, the Moonies, a bunch).

Maybe I shouldn't have said that the CSM is a minus to your credibility. I would like to correct myself on that. Simply put, the arrogance of their cult repulses me, but their reporting is alright. Still, I believe that any media associated with a cult is no free media.

You know that the CSM is published by that cult, right? Maybe you could enlighten me as to whether they have any permanent muslim or orthodox reporters?

peace

[ Parent ]

The CSM (3.00 / 1) (#373)
by jjayson on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 07:21:54 PM EST

I am not a Christian Scientists, nor do I support them. However, the paper is secular except for a single colomn. It could be all atheists, mormons, or witch doctors, but as long at they report well, I don't care. So far, the paper has won 7 Pulitzers, including one for international reporting.
--
"Fuck off, preferably with a bullet, if you can find one that's willing to defile itself by being in your head for a split second." - Parent ]
CSM + cults??? (3.00 / 1) (#380)
by z84976 on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:34:32 PM EST

The Christian Science Monitor has nothing to do the the "Christian Science" cult, or any other religious cult for that matter. It was founded by a person with an interest in science and reporting a long time ago, and that person was a Christian, hence the name. The endowment that has kept the paper up and running (and remarkably free from tainting by corporate interests) stipulates that the word "Christian" not be removed from its name.

[ Parent ]
CSM (2.00 / 2) (#381)
by esaul on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 01:32:32 PM EST

Well, as I said, their reporting is alright, however to quote their website (http://www.csmonitor.com/aboutus/about_the_monitor.html) , for example: ". . .it's a real newspaper published by a church -- The First Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Mass., USA."

Wouldn't that throw you off? Just a bit? Maybe?

Are there any non-Christian reporters? If they are really free press, would they publish any material criticising their "church"? Would they hire a non-Christian editor based on merit?

I don't know, and until somebody enlightens me on that, I will feel just a tad precarious about putting my faith (pun) in them. Wouldn't you?

peace

[ Parent ]

Let us fix Israel (3.00 / 1) (#394)
by crunchycookies on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 12:15:48 PM EST

It is hard for America to make the case that we are for democracy when we support the sham democracy in Israel. Israel is a democracy for the right type of people, Jewish, and is a brutal thug of a government if you are the wrong type of people, Arab.

If we were to force the Israelis to give all people, i.e. Palestinians, their rights most of our other problems in the Middle East would be eased. Having Israel spout "We are the only democracy in the region" does not make democracy very attractive for the Arab world. It also does not do much for our credibility.



[ Parent ]

I Propose (2.75 / 3) (#300)
by baron samedi on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 08:20:00 PM EST

that a restraining order on behalf of the American people be taken out against Michael Ledeen. Under no circumstances should he be allowed to approach within 500 yards any US Governmental organization that in any way affects foreign policy.


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll

You say you want a revolution (2004 remix) (3.25 / 4) (#305)
by gdanjo on Sat Jun 21, 2003 at 10:23:49 PM EST

Gdanjo recalls a Kuro5hin Special commenting on the problem of allying with the United States, saying, "You never know when the Americans are going to turn around and stab each other in the arse."

Now that conflict in Iran is cooling down, the difficult part begins. The next step will be to build a democratic government in Iran. However, those in North Korea are fighting against this, as if with their last breath. "We can never do shit by ourselves. North Korea cannot have a free Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan. We will never have peace without North Korea taken care of," Folowem, a resident scholar in the Freedom Engineering Room of the American Enterprise and Freedom frigate, told Ted Freedomsberg on Nightline. A democratic communist country on the block would only embolden the freedom citizens of North Korea at a time that some say is oddly similar to all recorded history. Some nations seek to engage the North Korean freedom-hating communists, but that will only legitimate the the red commie fucks and prolong their slow, inevitable death. The United State should instead turn its arse to North Korea, including the Freedom loving communists inside the government, and heave out assistance and Freedom to those who want Freedom and Democracy... no wait... push out Freedom, Democracy, and their right get assistance to those who want Freedom Fries... four, four things - Freedom, Democracy, Security, and the right to have your 15 minutes... five, FIVE, Five, 5 things: a) Freedom for Some (not French Freedom, but Dutch Fries), b) Democracy for None (or whoever else wants it), c) Security for us (you essay?), and d) abortion for all and miniature flags for others.

And you wonder why North Korea wants a Nuke? It's reverse Prozac - take it to protect yourself from other schitzophrenics.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT

schitzophrenics? (3.50 / 3) (#307)
by the77x42 on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 03:56:21 AM EST

I suppose you mean schizophrenics. Is a schitzophrenic a 'shithead'?


"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

[ Parent ]
A few questions (3.00 / 1) (#308)
by Grognard on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 09:13:07 AM EST

Do you truly believe that the regime in Iran does not feel threatened by the possibility of that they will have neighbors that are liberal (in the classic sense), secular and prosperous?

Can you think of anything more damaging to Islamic fundamentalists (of any stripe) than one or more liberal, secular, and prosperous Arab nations in their midst serving as an example that Allah isn't exactly showering blessings on those who repress nor smiting those who have moved into the 21st century?

Can you think of anything that would be more stabilizing to the Middle East and thus beneficial to the US, Europe, and the Middle East than one or more liberal, secular, and prosperous nations in their midst (something like Lebanon prior to its destruction by the Palestinians)?

Do you truly believe that North Korea just wants to be left alone and poses no threat to the world?


[ Parent ]

destruction of Lebanon (3.00 / 1) (#369)
by esaul on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 02:23:14 PM EST

by Palestinians? Yes, the PLO used Lebanon for their bases, but all the destruction came from Israel, which continues to *illegally* occupy Lebanese territories. What about hundreds of thousands of landmines that Israelis have left behind? What about unlawful detentions going on to this day?

[ Parent ]
Historical illiteracy strikes again (4.00 / 2) (#374)
by Grognard on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 08:21:52 PM EST

Google the words "Lebanese Civil War".  Several hits will point out that the first Israeli invasion of Lebanon occurred in 1978 (with a second in 1982).  Major fighting had been going on since 1975.  The PLO moved into Lebanon in 1970.  You'll note the time line works like this:  arrival of PLO -> civil war -> Israeli invasions.

As to your other "points", what of the terrorists that crossed the border on a regular basis?  What of the rockets fired into Israeli territory (aimed at civilian targets)?

[ Parent ]

arabs you say? (3.00 / 1) (#408)
by rusko on Sun Jul 20, 2003 at 04:28:47 PM EST

> liberal, secular, and prosperous Arab nations

Iranians are *persians*, not arabs. just call your local iranian an arab and see what happens =]

paul

[ Parent ]

remix is an eye-opener (3.00 / 1) (#363)
by esaul on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 02:22:48 AM EST

I recall a year ago or so, ckut ( www.ckut.ca - an amazing community radio station from Montreal, you could listen to them on the web, listen to their news everyday at 5pm EST), aired a CNN story about the middle eastern politics, but they replaced the word "Arab" with "Jew". The resulting piece was shocking! If someone had tuned in during the broadcast, they would have thought that Canada has been taken over by the neo-nazis.

Oh, wait, it actually has. Not as bad as the USA, but sometimes, it sounds like Ben Harper, Ernie Eves and Jorg Heider get together to read Mein Kampf with mini-Bush on the speakerphone.

peace

[ Parent ]

Missed this in the sub-q. (3.75 / 4) (#314)
by Mephron on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 02:24:36 PM EST

The term 'mullocracy' is, um, not a word.

The word is 'Theocracy'.

Could have been worse (4.00 / 2) (#318)
by dammitallgoodnamesgone on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 10:53:20 PM EST

at first I read it as "mulletocracy"

[ Parent ]
Now that's a regime (4.00 / 2) (#324)
by Grognard on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 07:44:57 AM EST

that nobody would oppose changing

[ Parent ]
Just playing with language (3.25 / 3) (#319)
by rmorris on Sun Jun 22, 2003 at 11:07:11 PM EST

The author is just playing with the -ocracy postfix. A 'mullah' in Islam is a high ranking religious leader - in fundamentalist Islamic states (i.e. most of them) a mullah is sort of like a cross between a bishop and a judge. The author's reference to 'mullocracy' was simply implying that Iran's government is run by these mullahs.

[ Parent ]
Come on now (3.00 / 1) (#375)
by JayGarner on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:52:34 PM EST

Mullocracy is a great word, whether it's in the dictionary or not.

[ Parent ]
Die, drduck, die. (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#382)
by JayGarner on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 01:46:01 PM EST



[ Parent ]
I said die. (nt) (3.00 / 1) (#399)
by JayGarner on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:32:12 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Die die die (3.66 / 2) (#402)
by JayGarner on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 03:45:36 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Is rabbiocracy a word? (2.00 / 2) (#386)
by crunchycookies on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:41:55 PM EST

This should describe a repugnant theocracy run by rabbis. The current example is much worse than any "mullocracy" currently in existence. Religious fanatics with nuclear weapons are OK so long as they are our religious fanatics with nuclear weapons.

[ Parent ]
How It'll Play Out (3.25 / 3) (#321)
by czolgosz on Mon Jun 23, 2003 at 01:34:38 AM EST

I see it going one of two ways, neither of which has much to do with the pious claptrap that is being spewed out in Congress to provide a figleaf for another round of oil imperialism.

Option 1: Hungarian Revolution (aka Gulf War 1 Shia) scenario. US encourages resistance, resistance is crushed, US administration shrugs and waits 30 years. Lets in a few more refugees to save face. Maybe half-assed sanctions follow.

Option 2: Students and Iranian citizens take to the streets, overthrow the mullahs, as US cheerleads from the sidelines. Then US supports military coup against the popular movement, which crushes the students and citizens to "restore order," then installs some oil-company shill as a new puppet.


Why should I let the toad work squat on my life? --Larkin
It's the Bomb stupid! (3.00 / 3) (#366)
by lugumbashi on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:30:31 AM EST

All this propaganda beamed into Iran has nothing to do with democracy and everything to do with the US groping for a policy to tackle Iran's nuclear program.

Iran has a history of performing highly successful and painful strikes against the US. These include the bombing of the US embassy in Beirut in 1983 and the Khobar towers bombing in Saudi in 1996. They have also successfully managed to evade blame for these attacks.

Left as it is Iran will achieve nuclear status as soon as 2006 by some estimates. Either they will get the 50,000 centrifuges up and running and producing HEU or they will get a reactor producing Plutonium. After than it is just a matter of months before they have enough for a weapon. A complete weapon delivery system is harder, but a terrorist bomb can simply be placed in a container and shipped.

Add 9/11 into the equation and it is easy to understand why the US has decided that it cannot allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapon.

One sure way to guarantee this is to engineer a destructive revolution to overthrow the current Iranian government. Supporting the reformers might achieve some results but it won't cause the kind of violent upheaval that would allow the US (& others) to dictate terms to Iran regarding its nuclear program. It is really nothing to do with democracy. Remember democracies are not averse to nuclear weapons, for examples see Israel, India and various western-European countries. It is far more important that it is compliant with the US. Even a democratic Iran owning nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated. Iran can be Friendly and Competent (Turkey), Friendly and Incompetent (Jordan)and even Unfriendly and Incompetent (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan) but it isn't allowed to be Unfriendly and Competent (China).

The US has three options:

1) Invasion - very costly and risky, Iran is three times the size of Iraq

2) Limited strikes - it is possible but at best will only buy time.

3) Internal-coup, overthrow or collapse. This was the preferred option for Iraq but it became clear that this was not going to happen. This is what they are hoping for and why there is this sudden interest in the exile groups.

Engagement with the "reformers" or the is not on the list. It might produce the Nasty but Competent scenario.

So what happens if Iran does not have a coup? If 3 does not occur Expect option two, though the coming US election will complicate the timing. The neo-cons are calling for it already using the extraordinary argument that such a strike will produce "enormous anger" in Iran but could "unblock Iran's frozen political system".

Storm's a comin...


-"Guinness thaw tool in jew me dinner ouzel?"

Support (3.66 / 2) (#367)
by Cackmobile on Wed Jun 25, 2003 at 11:37:33 AM EST

I am all for regime change in Iran but if the US wants to convince the world that its about democracy not oil they need to move onto other nations. how about zimbabwe. Thats ripe for democratisation. Personally i believe that the people will be screwed over again. I have a good friend who is an Iranian exile. He participated in the first revolution. It was at first a people/workers revolution and only later did the mullahs move in. We can not allow this to ahppen again.

Convincing? (4.00 / 2) (#376)
by souilicrepus on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 12:51:55 AM EST

It would be nice to see the USA treat all injustice in the world equally. But the USA (as a collective, not the individuals) doesn't care. It's only trying to survive?

They just want to keep their own world running. And is it easy to critize them for this? Can you name any other country who puts others first? The individuals who want to help are always in the minority.

It would be comical to see the USA step into Zimbabwae, so the hardliners could claim 'they're only after the diamonds!'.

 



[ Parent ]
True (3.00 / 1) (#378)
by Cackmobile on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 06:57:11 AM EST

I totally agree with you but the US and EU etc should use there considerable influence to try and change things. Zimbabwe is a perfect example. The world has forgotten about.

[ Parent ]
An example (3.00 / 1) (#393)
by little jackal on Sat Jun 28, 2003 at 11:53:38 AM EST

Well, it's mostly true that countries these days only do things that are beneficial to them (in the long term or short term). But one good example I can think of is Cuba.
I'm not sure how many people are aware of this, but Cuba was invovled in many of the African Nations' liberation struggles, Angola being the most prominent example , during 1975.
From what I've read none of their involvement was with the help of Soviets, they embarked on them alone with possible involvement of the USSR at some later point. And I don't see what they would've gained from helping out in African countries... other than liberating the peoples of that region.

-jackal

the shared gravitational mass would create a supercluster of obese bodies with all the remaining fit bodies orbiting around it. -skewedtree
[ Parent ]
Ayup (3.66 / 2) (#403)
by epepke on Tue Jul 01, 2003 at 10:04:16 PM EST

It would be comical to see the USA step into Zimbabwae, so the hardliners could claim 'they're only after the diamonds!'.

Yes. On my bitterer days, when I really don't give a rat's about the rest of the world, I think that it might be fun for the United States to give the rest of the world exactly what they ask for.

Let's stop supporting Israel. Of course, that support comes with a pretty short leash, but nobody in the rest of the world notices or cares. At all. The U.S. has also done more to try to get the Palestinians a state, but nobody cares about that, either. At all. It's all bad U.S. Never mind that Europe fucked up that area in the first part of the 20th century; never mind that the U.S. had an arms embargo against Israel for two decades. It's all pure U.S. badness. So let's just stop. Yeah, let's stop "supporting" a country in the mideast with more than a hundred nuclear warheads, which they made themselves, because they have their own physicists. Let's not support such a country which also has about fifty years of hearing their neighbors claim that they would not be satisfied with anything but their complete immolation. We won't sell them missile fuel, and we won't make Uzis for them in Iowa, or anything. We'll just stop. We'll be French. When anything bad happens, we'll just throw our hands in the air and eat some snails and say, "Not our problem! Not our problem!"

Only I think in this case it's gonna be a bit more like marshmallows than snails.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
It is not our decision. (3.33 / 2) (#387)
by crunchycookies on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 07:55:49 PM EST

Events in Iran will be decided by Iranians. We will only make matters worse. Things are going great in Afghanistan and Iraq, right?

If we want a country to fix, we should look at Israel. Here is the worlds last racist state and we Americans are propping it up. It does not do much for our credibility in the world.

If we want to do the Israelis a favor we should force them to give the Palestinians their rights. Fixing Israel would make all the other problems in the Middle East far more manageable. We cannot claim to be the good guys, only out to help, while supporting the most violent and opressive state in the region.



[ Parent ]

Democracy Not Oil (3.25 / 3) (#395)
by OldCoder on Sun Jun 29, 2003 at 12:16:26 PM EST

First a question: Why does the US pay for the oil at all? Why not just take it from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, the whole bunch?

Democracy is especially useful in the mideast for the US as democracies are less aggressive than some dictatorships we can all name. The US does not go around overthrowing every other dictator just because they are dictators. This is generally acknowledged.

If the US were to get militarily involved in Africa, the Congo and Liberia are ahead of Zimbabwe on the humanitarian-invasion list.

Iraq and Iran have the oil to support the large revenue streams needed to support a nuclear weapons program. The Saddam regime and the current Iranian regime have actually spent lots of money on nukes and both support(ed) terrorism and might be willing to use the nukes. Saudi Arabia has oil but no nuke program. Zimbabwe has no hope of a serious nuke program and therefore is not on the list of big threats.

At this point, we don't know if Saddam hid or destroyed his WMD, we may never know.

An aggressive dictatorship or terror-supporting state owning a massive revenue stream capable of supporting a nuclear weapons program is just too dangerous to leave alone. Zimbabwe is only dangerous to itself.

It isn't the oil, it isn't the sand, it isn't the people, it isn't the religion, it isn't the race, it isn't a feud. It's the nukes-and-terrorism combo. Nothing else comes close.

Of course, the fact that Saddam was a vicious horrible thug made the decision easier. If France or Sweden were supporting terrorism the situation would be much harder to figure out.

--
By reading this signature, you have agreed.
Copyright © 2003 OldCoder
[ Parent ]

You forgot one factor... (3.00 / 1) (#400)
by baron samedi on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 06:33:08 PM EST

And that's whether or not the nuke-possessing, terror-supporting regime is a friend of ours. Pakistan has nukes, and a lot of terrorists are generated by Musharraf's government, but we're not going to regime-change them.

Most Americans can't get beyond the hostage thing when thinking about Iran. Since then, it's been all about payback with Iran. The US doesn't have a 'policy' regarding Iran, just an attitude. It's 2003, not 1980, can we please put that hostage thing behind us?


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Its been about how to pay for the oil (3.25 / 3) (#405)
by thogard on Fri Jul 04, 2003 at 09:57:45 PM EST

The US issues in the middle east have alwasy been about how to pay for the oil.  Why does Saudi and Egypt both get nearly as much aid as Isreal?  So they can buy more US made toys for their military.  With Egypt's several new M1 tank divisions, Israel must be able to defend its self aginst that so they have to buy more high end weapons.  The Saudi's see that and buy more too.  There is a little arms race going on and the result is the US changes its trade deficit for the region in its favor.

How about Iraq?  Since the 1st gulf war, many Arabs have been buying Iraqi tobacco from Uday's company. The only problem with that is Iraq never produced enough for the Arab market so he was importing US cigarettes and relabeling them for local consumption.  The US govt gets tax money from tobacco sold in most friendly countries and Uday was cutting in on nearly 1/4 of the entire US tobacco exports and he started growing his own.  Iraq tobacco farming has been growing exponentially over the last few years.  If that continued, there would be a major change in the trade deficit.

The US trades high tech weapons and tobacco for oil and does its best to maintain that trade. Peace isn't good for the arms business.

[ Parent ]

Shameless forward to Kuro5hin (3.75 / 3) (#379)
by Ta bu shi da yu on Thu Jun 26, 2003 at 08:06:49 AM EST

Donald Rumsfeld died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St.Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, "What are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move."

"Oh," said Rumsfeld, "whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's. The hands have never moved, indicating that she never told a lie."

"Incredible," said Rumsfeld. "And whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "That's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that Abe told only two lies in his entire life."

"Where's Bush's clock?" asked Rumsfeld.

"Bush's clock is in Jesus' office. He's using it as a ceiling fan."

---
AdTIה"the think tank that didn't".
ה

Thats still not democracy! (3.00 / 1) (#397)
by Alhazred on Mon Jun 30, 2003 at 03:59:44 PM EST


That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
Number of democracies == ZERO (3.00 / 1) (#406)
by manhattanite on Sat Jul 05, 2003 at 06:12:03 PM EST

Since 1848 there have been at least 70 Military interventions carried out by the United States. The number of times this resulted in a democracy is a big fat ZERO. In fact US intervention usually means killing the elected leader and installing a dictator. Think South America, say Chile, Argentina, Guatemala... educate yourself: http://f16.parsimony.net/forum28507/messages/46245.htm "A Brief History of U.S. Interventions: 1945 to the Present" http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/US_Interventions_WBlumZ.html

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