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Old 03-14-2005, 07:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Different Take on Iran

In a different thread, I talked about the danger as I perceive it, from Iran.

Today, I read a few things that have changed my opinion....in a way. I still think the government of Iran is very dangerous, but after reading these two things, I have newfound hope for the people of Iran.

Two links: The first is five page letter (.pdf) from the March issue of the Smithsonian Magazine and the second link is a comment made by the editor.

From the "letter":
Quote:
The police officer stepped into the traffic, blocking our car. Tapping the hood twice, he waved us to the side of the road. My driver, Amir, who had been grinning broadly to
the Persian pop his new speaker system thumped out, turned grim. “I don’t have a downtown permit,” he said, referring to the official sticker allowing cars in central Tehran at rush hour. “It could be a heavy fine.” We stepped out of the car and approached the officer. He was young, not more than 25, with a peach fuzz mustache. “I’m a journalist from America,” I said in Persian. “Please write the ticket in my name. It’s my fault.”
“You have come from America?” the officer asked. “Do you know Car . . . uh . . . Carson City?”

Carson City? In Nevada?

He crinkled his eyebrows. The word “Nevada” seemed unfamiliar
to him.

“Near Los Angeles,” he said.

It’s a common reference point.

The city hosts the largest Iranian diaspora in the world, and homes across Iran tune
in to Persian-language broadcasts from “Tehrangeles” despite regular government efforts to jam the satellite signals. The policeman said his cousin lives in Carson City. Then, after inspecting my press pass, he handed it back to me and ripped up the traffic ticket. “Welcome to Iran,” he beamed. “We love America.”
and
Quote:
Perhaps the most striking thing about anti-Americanism in Iran today is how little of it actually exists. After the September 11 attacks, a large, spontaneous candlelight vigil took place in Tehran, where the thousands gathered shouted “Down with terrorists.” Nearly three-fourths of the Iranians polled in a 2002 survey said they would like their government to restore dialogue with the United States. (The pollsters—one a 1970s firebrand and participant in the hostage-taking who now advocates reform—were arrested and convicted in January 2003 of “making propaganda against the Islamic
regime,” and they remain imprisoned.) Though hard-line officials urge “Death to America” during Friday prayers, most Iranians seem to ignore the propaganda. “The paradox of Iran is that it just might be the most pro-American—or, perhaps,
least anti-American—populace in the Muslim world,” says Karim Sadjadpour, an analyst in Tehran for the International Crisis Group, an advocacy organization for conflict
resolution based in Brussels.

He is hardly alone. Traveling across Iran over the past five
years, I’ve met many Iranians who said they welcomed the ouster of the American-backed Shah 26 years ago but who were now frustrated by the revolutionary regime’s failure to make good on promised political freedoms and economic prosperity. More recently, I’ve seen Iranians who supported a newer reform movement grow disillusioned after its defeat by hard-liners. Government mismanagement, chronic inflation and unemployment have also contributed to mistrust of the regime and, with it, its anti-Americanism. “I struggle to make a living,” a Tehran engineer told me. “The government stifles us, and they want us to believe it is America’s fault. I’m not a fool.”
Then, we have the comment from the author's editor:

Quote:
Second Thoughts

Things are not always what they seem

Editor Carey Winfrey

"Iranians are overwhelmingly hospitable people," says Afshin Molavi, an American journalist born in Iran who returned there to report "A New Day in Iran?". Molavi, author of the book Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran, was careening through Tehran's streets in a taxi when the driver asked him what he missed most about the city. "Fresh pomegranate juice on every street corner," Molavi answered, trying to sound casual. Slamming on the brakes, the driver spun his car around, then speeded the wrong direction up a one-way street to stop in front of a fruit juice stand. "Shaken, I gulped the sour, cold pomegranate juice, and reached for my wallet to pay. 'No, you are my guest,' the merchant said. 'No, you are mine,' the driver said. 'No, you are both mine,' I insisted, ordering another round. Then we haggled on the side of the road over who would have the 'honor' of buying the juice."
Indeed, as the editor points out, things are definitely not as they seem.

Since I was the one who started the thread about the dangers of Iran, I felt that, after reading this, it was something I should pass on.

It seems to be that there is some hope brewing in Iran, mayne good things for that country are in the future--we could at least hope.

Now, the question: Do you think the people of Iran will be able to make any positive changes in their country (specifically changes in the gov't)?

We at least have an idea how many Iranians feel, but are they going to do anything about it...or...as the letter points out, they will listen to what they gov't says and then ignore it.

Or, is that more dangerous (the people letting the gov't continue while they ignore what the gov't says and does)?

LINK to the .pdf version of the letter
LINK to the editor's note
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you ask anyone who has recently come to America from Iran you will learn a lot.

Right now there are two classes, not racial/economic/etc, but age. Because of the Iran/Iraq war, there is effectively no middle aged people in Iran, huge percentage of that era died in the 10 year long war. So you have the old, and the young. The old are of the Mulah era, VERY anti-west, and VERY fundamental. The young grew up during a time when the Mulahs were weak (post-I/I war), and are used to more freedom than their fathers. They are, the majority at least, are very pro-west and moderate.

This is why I fear invading Iran... our biggest asset is time. The fundamentalists will die in the next 5 years due to poor medical practices. All we have to do is wait for them to die, and slowly reopen trade.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah... this is certainly a delicate situation. i've spent a lot of time working/studying with iranian immigrants... i'm always struck by their work ethic and pro-western mindset.

i've heard countless stories from them about this very phenomenon... that a very large part of the populace (relatively speaking) is pro-american. this doesn't jive with the tv snippets of anti-us demonstrations... but i believe it to be true nonetheless.
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Old 03-14-2005, 08:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That was a VERY interesting piece on Iran in Smithsonian. I read it twice. Very eye-opening.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Patience is a virtue, cultivate a friendly population, and its more likely they, the next leaders, will be friendly as well.
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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i just wonder how long the younger generation will stay patient themselves...and who their anger will be turned on for the poor state their nation is in. Up until the last round of parlimentary elections, i thought it was going to be towards the religious leadership. After Khatami knuckled under on the party list issues...i'm not so sure. Reform has lost a lot of credibility.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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although i wish you had known this about the persians long before reading several articles, it's better late than never. one thing that the media failed to show after 9/11 was the thousands of persians that poured into the streets waiving the american flag while weeping in the candle light, while americans are here accusing them of being evil. sure, the govt. isn't formed of the friendliest group of people, but the majority of the populace is comprised of peaceful hardworking intelligent individuals who are just trying to make it day by day under oppressive rule. until a brave leader emerges from the countless young people, there will be no revolution, but iran is slowly, but surely, becoming better. i can assure you that a war is the worst possible option at this point, and it wouldn't help the pro-west cause.
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMA-628
Now, the question: Do you think the people of Iran will be able to make any positive changes in their country (specifically changes in the gov't)?
Yes. But like most good things it will take time and it won't be achieved by a war started by external forces.
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:58 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow... think this is the first time EVER I agree with Rdr
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It is not the Iranian people the US worries over obtaining nukes, but their leaders. I've said before that a revolution is brewing with the young in Iran. It is a matter of time.

Now what will the mullahs do when they see their time nearing the end?
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Perhaps the most striking thing about anti-Americanism in Iran today is how little of it actually exists. After the September 11 attacks, a large, spontaneous candlelight vigil took place in Tehran, where the thousands gathered shouted “Down with terrorists.” Nearly three-fourths of the Iranians polled in a 2002 survey said they would like their government to restore dialogue with the United States.
This made me smile. Most people, no matter ethnicity, age, gender, or what have you, are basically good with good intentions. I know it can be difficult to remember from time to time, but most people have been pushed to an insane degree before they will resort to voilence. The average Iranian is a good person with a moral center and who seeks peace. They are the same as any other citizen of the world.

While some of the leaders in Iran could be dangerous with nuclear weapons (thus making thge idea of an American invasion possible), we must remember that these good, innocent people would die right along with the few evil men who were killed.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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first non-nintendo related discussion where i share common ground w/rdr4evr.

however, we need to make sure that we have a realistic picture of the Iranian government. no matter the friendly/neutral intentions of some of the iranian populace... that sentiment is not enough by itself to stop iran from dropping a nuke on tel aviv.

extricating the government and the more sympathetic youth movements should be a high priority... but we need to make sure one part of the equation doesn't dominate the other.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irateplatypus
first non-nintendo related discussion where i share common ground w/rdr4evr.

however, we need to make sure that we have a realistic picture of the Iranian government. no matter the friendly/neutral intentions of some of the iranian populace... that sentiment is not enough by itself to stop iran from dropping a nuke on tel aviv.

extricating the government and the more sympathetic youth movements should be a high priority... but we need to make sure one part of the equation doesn't dominate the other.
We do have to be careful, though. These sympathetic peoples are watching us to see how we treat their government. Even if they dislike their government, if we go in there and start killing people (even if they're bad) we risk alienating these good people.

A study in sympathy: Even for those who are far left liberal and hate Bushco., if someone were to come in and wipe out our government, we'd hate them and want retribution.
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:15 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Alienating the good people of Iran might be the only option if some real threat should surface. The reality is good intentions and good people are all fine and dandy, but they have zero power and zero control. Bush has played it pretty solid thus far, trying to encourage change through the people, hopefully he is motivated to continue this because it is the best means for change plus there seems to be some response from the people; but at the sametime he would be a fool to take all options off the table.
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Old 03-15-2005, 03:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Alienating the good people of Iran might be the only option if some real threat should surface. The reality is good intentions and good people are all fine and dandy, but they have zero power and zero control. Bush has played it pretty solid thus far, trying to encourage change through the people, hopefully he is motivated to continue this because it is the best means for change plus there seems to be some response from the people; but at the sametime he would be a fool to take all options off the table.
Somehow I doubt they have zero power and zero control, as they are the majority of the populus of the country. There is only so much a government can do that pisses off the general populace before they start to invite being overthrown. The moment the Iranian government starts to fight to control the populace, THEN America can come in and assist the populace in controling a renagade government. We don't have to be the bad guys all the time.
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:53 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Somehow I doubt they have zero power and zero control, as they are the majority of the populus of the country. There is only so much a government can do that pisses off the general populace before they start to invite being overthrown.
The Shia and Kurds FAR outnumber the Sunni in Iraq. They thought that too.. unfortunately during the infandata we just stood idlely by, I doubt Iran would rely on our support after something like that.
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Old 03-16-2005, 07:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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That was a good read...well worth the time.

Thanks for posting it.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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On sort of a related note.....

here


France Threatens Military Action Against Syria over Lebanon!

France has reportedly warned the Assad regime against playing procrastination games to sabotage the process of change in Lebanon, saying "otherwise, all doors will be flung open for all eventualities against Syria," including military action.
The London-based Asharq Al Awsat on Saturday quoted a French official as saying the report of the U.N. fact-finding mission on ex-Premier Hariri's assassination "is the message we wanted to address to Syria to refrain from preventing the change in Lebanon."

The newspaper quoted the French official as saying in a harsh language that reflects a French ultimatum: "France has long resisted calls for directly attacking Syria. So do not push us into a situation where we have to change our stance."

"If the Syrians fail to understand this or if they try to manipulate and procrastinate, they will lose their last chance" the French official said, according to the Saudi-owned newspaper.



Yeah, I laughed too. If true, what are we to do to make up for all the French jokes?!?
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:27 AM   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Yeah, I laughed too. If true, what are we to do to make up for all the French jokes?!
the only register in which this is funny, the french threat of military action, is one operating in a framework of total ignorance american style.
one that would have enabled you to accept the bushworld efforts to shift blame for their debacle at thhe un security council in the run up to the war in iraq away from their own inept, fradulent presentation of their case to france.
the kind of ignorance that neither knows nor cares anything about the long, squalid history of french colonial actions, particularly in north africa.
the kind of ignorance that the american conservative apparatus relies upon as a given, a base condition, amongst its main constituency.

what 's hilarious in this is the degree to which unilateral, questionably justified military action constitutes the basic characteristic of a "macho" regime--the funny element is the extent to which this view incorporates the unilateralist, questionably justified military logic of bushworld into its core--now the irrational, self-defeating, short sighted character of bushworld is a normative issue, one that can be used to evaluate other regimes.
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Old 03-26-2005, 10:39 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Dude, this story was about French military threats, not about bushworld or whatever Michael Moore stuff you spewed out. The question is if you're Syria, how seriously do you take this "threat", if at all? The French have proven themselves to be rollovers and impotent to any sort of military action. Thus, let's put aside your "love" of country and try to focus on the article
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Old 03-26-2005, 11:09 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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ncb: you obviously know nothing, so there is no point in debating you on this or any other question pertaining to france, to french military actions in former colonies, etc.
if in your world operating with some historical knowledge about france etc. constitutes "michael moore" like responses, then there is really nothing to be said to you.
q.e.d.
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Old 03-26-2005, 12:41 PM   #22 (permalink)
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In case anyone is wondering what 'q.e.d.' means, it is latin. Quod erat demonstrandum means 'which was to be demonstrated'.

NCB, if you keep saying the same thing over and over (i.e. 'you hate america' and 'you're like michael moore'), people will start ignoring you. You need to make actual arguments. No one cares what Michael Moore thinks, seriously. Actually most people you accuse of hating America are trying to do what they can to preserve it. You should recognize this, as you believe that you are also on 'America's side'. George W. Bush is not America. The current administration is not America. Our foreign policy is not America. Those who stand against those things do not stand against America. America is an idea written down in our Constitution. America is the idea that people can live free. Roachboy is a patriot because he knows when to support our government, and when to call them on their bulls**t.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:15 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
In case anyone is wondering what 'q.e.d.' means, it is latin. Quod erat demonstrandum means 'which was to be demonstrated'.

NCB, if you keep saying the same thing over and over (i.e. 'you hate america' and 'you're like michael moore'), people will start ignoring you. You need to make actual arguments. No one cares what Michael Moore thinks, seriously. Actually most people you accuse of hating America are trying to do what they can to preserve it. You should recognize this, as you believe that you are also on 'America's side'. George W. Bush is not America. The current administration is not America. Our foreign policy is not America. Those who stand against those things do not stand against America. America is an idea written down in our Constitution. America is the idea that people can live free. Roachboy is a patriot because he knows when to support our government, and when to call them on their bulls**t.
Will, did you read his intial post? It was all USA bashing. The article had nothing to do with America, so it struck me as both odd and intelectually dishonest to start blaming the "ignorance that the american conservative" (roach's words). Reread his post and tell me what I should have taken out of it.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:24 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I wasn't adressing one of your posts, I was addressing many of your posts. This thread is about Iran more than it is about France. USA bashing would be saying we were wrong to want liberty or try to create a free nation. Calling the administration on bulls**t is not 'USA bashing'. That's my point. While I don't agree with stereotyping the conservatives into one big ignorant group, roach was trying to point out that he thinks you are repeating the words of the administration without thought. That's something that 'liberals' (actually just people who don't agree with the currrent administration, not specifically liberals) are familiar with.
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Old 03-26-2005, 01:42 PM   #25 (permalink)
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1. True, the thread was about Iran but I didn't feel the article was worthy enough for it's own thread. So I went to the closest thing.

2. Will, come on. Where in that post was roach trying to make the point that I repeat the Admin's words?

3. Where am I parroting the Admin's words? That's just a way for liberals (and yes, I will group a number of members here into that category) to dismiss conservative points of view. In fact, I'll say that there is far more sheepishness on the Left than there is on the right. Wait until there are threads on immigration, the budget, script drugs, ect.. and you'll see true conservative ideals come out. Truth be known, I think Bush is far to liberal

4. Come on, Will!! Is it not funny as shit for France to be threatening someone with military action??? This sort of humor transcends party lines
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:37 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willravel
Roachboy is a patriot because he knows when to support our government, and when to call them on their bulls**t.

I must have missed the post where he supported our government.

Link?
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Old 03-26-2005, 02:55 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think Bush is far to liberal
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Is it not funny as shit for France to be threatening someone with military action??? This sort of humor transcends party lines
All the way from your party on the right, to G.W.'s party on the left, I imagine.
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Old 03-26-2005, 03:28 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
Alienating the good people of Iran might be the only option if some real threat should surface. The reality is good intentions and good people are all fine and dandy, but they have zero power and zero control. Bush has played it pretty solid thus far, trying to encourage change through the people, hopefully he is motivated to continue this because it is the best means for change plus there seems to be some response from the people; but at the sametime he would be a fool to take all options off the table.
Sherman, set the wayback machine for 1982. The place: Argentina. The regime: a cruel and corrupt dictatorship led by a guy named Galtieri which had oppressed, tortured, and "disappeared" many, and run the economy into the ground; unrest was beginning to swell despite the fact that all the guns and weapons were in the wrong hands.

Junta is is trouble, tries to came things down by: invading the Falkland Islands! The Falklands were a British colony in the south Atlantic which Argentina had a dubious claim to. The idea: pull the country together around a nationalist cause and against a foreign power: the United Kingdom.

Which very quickly came down from the North Atlantic and whipped Argentine ass off the Falklands. Sank some principal ships. And it turns out the Argentines defending the island were poorly trained conscripts who didn't really want to be there. Argentina capitulates. Everybody hates the junta again, only twice as much. Galtieri resigns, democracy begins to stir.
http://www.yendor.com/vanished/falklands-war.html

The point is that the people do have power, a lot of power. But they won't exercise it until the collective zeitgeist says, "It's time to get rid of these turkeys." When everybody, or most everybody, feels strongly the same way, it's safe to push for change. In Argentina, the tipping point was international humiliation and an unutterably stupid war that was obviously waged for all the wrong reasons.

Will this happen in Iran, if the U.S. bombs? I truly doubt it. The mullahs are a pain in the ass, but they're much less brutal that the Argentinian junta, and the economy's in adequate shape. All the young people may hate them, but they don't hate them enough to stand up and try to throw them out, because 1) the mullahs still have a lot of support which would fight back, and 2) life's not really that bad. In time, things will change, I believe, as the generations change. Or, if the West got off oil and stopped funding the mullahs by filling their gas tanks, the mullahs would be out of there pretty quickly.

What may well happen is sort of what Galtieri hoped for in the Falklands: an external threat to Iran will silence dissent and cause everybody to pull together in defense of the country and stop criticizing the regime. Just as people who don't like GWB still support the president in war because he's the president, so will a lot of the young people support the mullah's government in a conflict against the external enemey -- the United States ! -- because the mullahs lead the defense of the country.

It's a great way for the mullahs to gain support, but they aren't doing it: we, apparently, are going to do it for them. Forget any lack of knowledge about the middle east: our administration apparently doesn't understand basic psychology.
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Old 03-26-2005, 08:30 PM   #29 (permalink)
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1. True, the thread was about Iran but I didn't feel the article was worthy enough for it's own thread. So I went to the closest thing.
Fair enough. That's your call. I suppose I took it as you trying to relate the two topic directly, and I was a bit confused.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
2. Will, come on. Where in that post was roach trying to make the point that I repeat the Admin's words?
He, like myself, was basing his opinion of your overall message on many posts. Your overall message includes the belief that people who openly critisize the administration as being 'America bashers' and such.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
3. Where am I parroting the Admin's words? That's just a way for liberals (and yes, I will group a number of members here into that category) to dismiss conservative points of view. In fact, I'll say that there is far more sheepishness on the Left than there is on the right. Wait until there are threads on immigration, the budget, script drugs, ect.. and you'll see true conservative ideals come out. Truth be known, I think Bush is far to liberal
Liberal is too much of a blanket term. It is dangerous because it groups together Democrats and Libertarians, for example. Those are two very different groups. Bush is too liberal? He's following the Wolfowitz doctorine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
4. Come on, Will!! Is it not funny as shit for France to be threatening someone with military action??? This sort of humor transcends party lines
Perhapse I was a bit short on this. My apologies. What's the difference between French vanilla and regular vanilla? Cowardace (that was from Conan O'Brian).

Quote:
Originally Posted by lebell
I must have missed the post where he supported our government.
I'm sure the next thing that the government does that's right and doesn't support the neo-con globalist revolution roachboy will be willing to support. Until then, he is totally correct in doing what he can to raise awarness.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:26 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCB
Is it not funny as shit for France to be threatening someone with military action??? This sort of humor transcends party lines

I think it's kind of ignorant, I mean, they are not a real power house military wise, but they are still in the top 20 countries, in military figures , also they have nuclear capabilities.... so what do you find funny?

Nowadays, no threat should be taken lightly, or as a joke.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:44 AM   #31 (permalink)
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If it's conceivable to "wait out" the leadership in Iran then why was it not conceivable to "wait out" the leadership in Iraq? I mean, Saddam has to die eventually right? Same with the mullah etc....so what's the diff? Why not invade Iran, who actually have WMD, when we arbitrarily, casually, and nonchalantly invaded Iraq? Just putting that out there too.

I think there is something to be said about that previous post "people power thingy" - I find it encouraging that Iraqis are demonstrating against terrorism, Iranian (not Persian) students protest against mullahs. and that Iraqis are actually defending themselves too. A good case for the 2nd Amendment there, that's for sure.

I'm just not so sure of the level of our government involvement in interfereing in other countries as foreign policy
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Old 03-27-2005, 01:28 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Quote:
If it's conceivable to "wait out" the leadership in Iran then why was it not conceivable to "wait out" the leadership in Iraq? I mean, Saddam has to die eventually right? Same with the mullah etc....so what's the diff? Why not invade Iran, who actually have WMD, when we arbitrarily, casually, and nonchalantly invaded Iraq? Just putting that out there too.
Two words, Saddams Sons. Do a little research on them, especially Uday's shoebox fettish, if you cant find it let me know I'll PM you what went on.
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Old 03-27-2005, 01:44 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Yeah, I remember that. Especially Uday is a psychopath and Qusai (sp?) is the "mastermind" diabolical one. Those two were quite the menace and maybe even more dangerous than Saddam was, as I recall.

I guess I was trying to say is perhaps the old mullahs in Iran have protoges etc in the wings or some other similar type of succession scenario so even when they die it doesn't mean all the idealistic pro-democracy students will take over or maybe it will.

You know it's weird with dictatorships cause I always wonder who's in the wings. Could there have been a coup d'etat? Maybe the other Generals or leadership didn't like the sons or something and would plot to "get rid" of the sons.

I also wonder about N. Korea too. They are so mysterious to me. I wonder if there isn't some top level people (especially the ones who have traveled abroad) who know Kim is crazy and might try and overthrow him or something.

I just think it's interesting to look at it from a different angle.

Oh yeah, take Libya. Who's the successor to Qaddafi? Maybe he'll follow similar policy, maybe he'll be more hardline conservative or maybe liberal and open up the country for democracy.

This stuff must keep the CIA and intel people in DC up at night. I mean, could you imagine if N. Korea's military staged a coup and they were hawkish? We know so little of them, who know who the players are?

Iran is definitely fascinating as is Iraq. The next question is: if a "major" movement started happening, would be do something? (i.e. - Iranian students actually start a revolution or N. Korea collapses etc). or will we screw them like we screwed the Kurds?
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Old 03-27-2005, 01:46 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Wait, Seaver, you mean 'shoe' fetish not shoe-box right? Did you ever read the article in 'Maxim'(of all magazines) a few years back, where the writer went to Iraq and actually interviewed Uday and Qusay? Freaky stuff, sent shudders and chills down my spine.
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Old 03-27-2005, 10:30 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Wait, Seaver, you mean 'shoe' fetish not shoe-box right? Did you ever read the article in 'Maxim'(of all magazines) a few years back, where the writer went to Iraq and actually interviewed Uday and Qusay? Freaky stuff, sent shudders and chills down my spine.
Sending you it in the PM, dont meant to draw this off topic.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:02 PM   #36 (permalink)
 
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lebel:
right now i support the bush administration insofar as they have not invaded iran yet. there you have it.

ncb: france has used its military to "intervene" in many conflicts--mostly in places that were at one point french colonies. most of these "interventions" have been in africa---chad, senegal, etc. these actions ahve been for the most part deplorable. but talking about them does not fit into the simple-minded world in whcih someone like richard perle could generate talking points about france at the start of the present bushwar in iraq that continue to shpe the uninformed, unreflective positions of people like yourself. these talking points only work if you know next to nothing about the matter at hand--your goofball post about france threatening military action against syria---which would fit the pattern noted above (do some research and you'll figure it out).


more generally:
it was curious to see that i had an afterlife in this thread once i had to go do something else in 3-d. thanks.
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Old 03-27-2005, 12:52 PM   #37 (permalink)
 
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since the thread was initially about iran and american policy toward it, i thought this article interesting:


Quote:
Past Arguments Don't Square With Current Iran Policy

By Dafna Linzer
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 27, 2005; Page A15

Lacking direct evidence, Bush administration officials argue that Iran's nuclear program must be a cover for bomb-making. Vice President Cheney recently said, "They're already sitting on an awful lot of oil and gas. Nobody can figure why they need nuclear as well to generate energy."

Yet Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and outgoing Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz held key national security posts when the Ford administration made the opposite argument 30 years ago.

Ford's team endorsed Iranian plans to build a massive nuclear energy industry, but also worked hard to complete a multibillion-dollar deal that would have given Tehran control of large quantities of plutonium and enriched uranium -- the two pathways to a nuclear bomb. Either can be shaped into the core of a nuclear warhead, and obtaining one or the other is generally considered the most significant obstacle to would-be weapons builders.

Iran, a U.S. ally then, had deep pockets and close ties to Washington. U.S. companies, including Westinghouse and General Electric, scrambled to do business there.

"I don't think the issue of proliferation came up," Henry A. Kissinger, who was Ford's secretary of state, said in an interview for this article.

The U.S. offer, details of which appear in declassified documents reviewed by The Washington Post, did not include the uranium enrichment capabilities Iran is seeking today. But the United States tried to accommodate Iranian demands for plutonium reprocessing, which produces the key ingredient of a bomb.

After balking initially, President Gerald R. Ford signed a directive in 1976 offering Tehran the chance to buy and operate a U.S.-built reprocessing facility for extracting plutonium from nuclear reactor fuel. The deal was for a complete "nuclear fuel cycle" -- reactors powered by and regenerating fissile materials on a self-sustaining basis.

That is precisely the ability the current administration is trying to prevent Iran from acquiring today.

"If we were facing an Iran with a reprocessing capability today, we would be even more concerned about their ability to use plutonium in a nuclear weapon," said Corey Hinderstein, a nuclear specialist with the Institute for Science and International Security. "These facilities are well understood and can be safeguarded, but it would provide another nuclear option for Iran."

Nuclear experts believe the Ford strategy was a mistake. As Iran went from friend to foe, it became clear to subsequent administrations that Tehran should be prevented from obtaining the technologies for building weapons. But that is not the argument the Bush administration is making. Such an argument would be unpopular among parties to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which guarantees members access to nuclear power regardless of their political systems.

The U.S.-Iran deal was shelved when the shah was toppled in the 1979 revolution that led to the taking of American hostages and severing of diplomatic relations.

Despite the changes in Iran, now run by a clerical government, the country's public commitment to nuclear power and its insistence on the legal right to develop it have remained the same. Iranian officials reiterated the position last week at a conference on nuclear energy in Paris.

Mohammad Saeidi, a vice president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, told the conference that Iran was determined to develop nuclear power since oil and natural gas supplies were limited.

U.S. involvement with Iran's nuclear program until 1979, which accompanied large-scale intelligence-sharing and conventional weapons sales, highlights the boomerang in U.S. foreign policy. Even with many key players in common, the U.S. government has taken opposite positions on questions of fact as its perception of U.S. interests has changed.

Using arguments identical to those made by the shah 30 years ago, Iran says its nuclear program is essential to meet growing energy requirements, and is not intended for bombs. Tehran revived the program in secret, its officials say, to prevent the United States from trying to stop it. Iran's account is under investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is trying to determine whether Iran also has a parallel nuclear weapons program.

Since the energy program was exposed, in 2002, the Bush administration has alternately said that Iran has a secret nuclear weapons program or wants one. Without being able to prove those claims, the White House has made its case by implication, beginning with the point that Iran has ample oil reserves for its energy needs.

Ford's team commended Iran's decision to build a massive nuclear energy industry, noting in a declassified 1975 strategy paper that Tehran needed to "prepare against the time -- about 15 years in the future -- when Iranian oil production is expected to decline sharply."

Estimates of Iran's oil reserves were smaller then than they are now, but energy experts and U.S. intelligence estimates continue to project that Iran will need an alternative energy source in the coming decades. Iran's population has more than doubled since the 1970s, and its energy demands have increased even more.

The Ford administration -- in which Cheney succeeded Rumsfeld as chief of staff and Wolfowitz was responsible for nonproliferation issues at the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency -- continued intense efforts to supply Iran with U.S. nuclear technology until President Jimmy Carter succeeded Ford in 1977.

That history is absent from major Bush administration speeches, public statements and news conferences on Iran.

In an opinion piece on Iran in The Post on March 9, Kissinger wrote that "for a major oil producer such as Iran, nuclear energy is a wasteful use of resources." White House spokesman Scott McClellan cited the article during a news briefing, saying that it reflected the administration's current thinking on Iran.

In 1975, as secretary of state, Kissinger signed and circulated National Security Decision Memorandum 292, titled "U.S.-Iran Nuclear Cooperation," which laid out the administration's negotiating strategy for the sale of nuclear energy equipment projected to bring U.S. corporations more than $6 billion in revenue. At the time, Iran was pumping as much as 6 million barrels of oil a day, compared with an average of about 4 million barrels daily today.

The shah, who referred to oil as "noble fuel," said it was too valuable to waste on daily energy needs. The Ford strategy paper said the "introduction of nuclear power will both provide for the growing needs of Iran's economy and free remaining oil reserves for export or conversion to petrochemicals."

Asked why he reversed his opinion, Kissinger responded with some surprise during a brief telephone interview. After a lengthy pause, he said: "They were an allied country, and this was a commercial transaction. We didn't address the question of them one day moving toward nuclear weapons."

Charles Naas, who was deputy U.S. ambassador to Iran in the 1970s, said proliferation was high in the minds of technical experts, "but the nuclear deal was attractive in terms of commerce, and the relationship as a whole was very important."

Documents show that U.S. companies, led by Westinghouse, stood to gain $6.4 billion from the sale of six to eight nuclear reactors and parts. Iran was also willing to pay an additional $1 billion for a 20 percent stake in a private uranium enrichment facility in the United States that would supply much of the uranium to fuel the reactors.

Naas said Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld all were in positions to play significant roles in Iran policy then, "but in those days, you have to view Kissinger as the main figure." Requests for comment from the offices of Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld went unanswered.

"It is absolutely incredible that the very same players who made those statements then are making completely the opposite ones now," said Joseph Cirincione, a nonproliferation expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Do they remember that they said this? Because the Iranians sure remember that they said it," said Cirincione, who just returned from a nuclear conference in Tehran -- a rare trip for U.S. citizens now.

In what Cirincione described as "the worst idea imaginable," the Ford administration at one point suggested joint Pakistani-Iranian reprocessing as a way of promoting "nonproliferation in the region," because it would cut down on the need for additional reprocessing facilities.

Gary Sick, who handled nonproliferation issues under presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan, said the entire deal was based on trust. "That's the bottom line."

"The shah made a big convincing case that Iran was going to run out of gas and oil and they had a growing population and a rapidly increasing demand for energy," Sick said. "The mullahs make the same argument today, but we don't trust them."

Researcher Robert E. Thomason and staff writer Justin Blum contributed to this report.
source:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2005Mar26.html
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