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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Doing something about Iran?
If this is true -- and I have my doubts because I don't expect President George W. Bush is ready to open another front in the war on terror -- it is safe to say that it will be the biggest story of 2006. The Jerusalem Post reports:
"The United States government reportedly began coordinating with NATO its plans for a possible military attack against Iran."
The paper reports the information -- which isn't much -- that was cobbled together by the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. The key detail seems to be a request by CIA head Porter Goss to se Turkey as a base from which to launch an attack.
Posted by Paul Tuns on December 31, 2005 in International Affairs | Permalink
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An attack on Iran would be a great idea. The Iranians would counter with attacks on the US throughout the region and especially in southern Iraq. Iraqi Shias could be expected to go on the war path against coalition forces in Iraq. Iran probably has enough firepower to destroy a lot of the Saudi and Kuwaiti oil infrastucture. Oil should easily top $100 a barrel. A world wide recession should kick in. Hezboallah would step up atacks agianst Israel and start attacks against the US. Canaduan oil stocks will double in value. Ottawa will try to steal Alberta's "windfall" profits. Alberta will become an independant country. I love unintended consequences.
Posted by: Michael Shannon | 2006-01-01 1:10:54 AM
Riiiiight. That's no fun at all. Why don't we wait a little longer until they have nuclear weapons.
Posted by: John | 2006-01-01 2:12:44 AM
Posted by: Michael Shannon | 2006-01-01 5:07:15 AM
Have you read "Saddam's Bomb" by Shyam Bhatia and Daniel McGrory?
Did you make similar predictions about the liberation of Iraq?
Do you suggest the risk of Iran having nuclear weapons is acceptable?
How do you propose to solve this problem?
Posted by: Terry Gain | 2006-01-01 8:10:05 AM
Fortunately, now that the US has done something about it, not "like Iraq". It's more like waiting for the situation we now face with North Korea. If people can't learn the hard lessons of the consequences of appeasement, maybe they can learn from what's happened on the Korean peninsula.
Posted by: Carl | 2006-01-01 8:13:37 AM
The lesson from Iraq is if you are enemy of the US get the bomb as fast as you can or risk invasion. Threatening Iran will unify the Iranian people and spur them on to get the bomb. Bombing Iran will also ensure they remain enemies of the US and do everything they can to get even. Judging by Iraq, the US doesn't have the will to conquer and hold Iran. So the present US course of threatening the Iranians will likely have exactly the opposite outcome desired. The US will be less safe rather than more. It's not appeasement it's the reality of the situation. The answer for the Iran problem is detente not attackjs. There are too many arm chair generals who think the military can solve their political problems when the fact is military force is becoming increasingly unuseable in diplomacy.
Posted by: Michael Shannon | 2006-01-01 8:29:07 AM
I disagree with all of the above. I think the strategy has to be multileveled and indirect because the situation is complex
If the US attacks Iran, Iran will attack - not US bases, but its primary target - Israel. Its agenda will be, as stated, to wipe that country 'off the map'.
Please note - I'm not getting into the morality of whether/not Israel should exist; I'm looking at the situation quite differently - removing the identity of each group - and considering only energy and population dynamics.
Two 'entities' are destablizing the region. The first is Israel, which has introduced a democratic and industrial economy into the region - and into only ONE area of that entire region. That's dangerous; it's like having a bunch of people living as peasants and one person living in a castle. This is unsettling for the surrounding nations which operate by tribal dictatorships and within a peasant agriculture.
But the populations of all these nations have been exploding, and so, the non-Israel nations have come to a crisis threshold, where their political structures cannot continue to repress their population; it takes a great military effort to repress them and maintain a tribal dictatorship. The first result is that the reaction against repression has moved OUT of the Middle East and against the US. It's blaming the wrong source of your problems - but- the result is that the dictatorships remain intact! The US reacted - and moved to change the imbalance in the region, by introducing democracy, the power of the people, to the region. This was, I maintain, a correct action. But, it is destablizing the region - which was its intent.
The change in Iraq has, as intended, destabilized the region. The US had backed off this agenda a decade before, out of that same fear of destabilization. But, since the repressive political structures of the ME had exploded rather than imploded - and moved attacks against the US rather than against their own countries - the US had to move. It chose Iraq as the catalyst; as the site where, if the people were freed, democracy could move in.
That is exactly what has happened, but, democracy moving into a society that has never, ever had democracy; that has existed within fascist tribalism- is unsettling, is explosive (within rather than without). That's what's happening now.
Iran is fighting this growing 'disease' of democracy. It is trying to move the tension of its people, faced with wealth and industrialism, faced with democracy - and yet living as peasants - to external outlets rather than have those people rise up in rebellion against their own dictators. That's the reason, I suggest, for the Iranian rhetoric against Israel and the US - it's meant to focus Iranians on the 'external enemy' and ignore that their real enemy, is their Iranian dictatorship.
The answer, I suggest, is to focus on Iraq, Syria, Lebanon etc..and develop and encourage democracy in those states. Iran, in its attempt to maintain itself as essentially a dictatorship, albeit a religious one, will have to do something very blatant and aggressive to try to maintain emotive control of its people. I don't think it will work.
I think that the catalyst of Iraq's democracy will be the main agent of change in the ME. Iran will have no choice but to follow - even if it does so, with a lot of yelling and noise rather than a whimper.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 8:56:48 AM
"The lesson from Iraq is if you are enemy of the US get the bomb as fast as you can or risk invasion." Indeed, the new doctrine allows for preemption.
"Threatening Iran will unify the Iranian people and spur them on to get the bomb. Bombing Iran will also ensure they remain enemies of the US and do everything they can to get even." So, US inaction would maintain a divided Iran, bring a reassessment of the weapons program and lay the foundation for friendly relations? I wonder, if the US does forcibly deprive Iran of nuclean weapons, would the only real difference be that Iran won't have nuclean weapons?
"Judging by Iraq, the US doesn't have the will to conquer and hold Iran. So the present US course of threatening the Iranians will likely have exactly the opposite outcome desired. The US will be less safe rather than more. It's not appeasement it's the reality of the situation. The answer for the Iran problem is detente not attackjs. There are too many arm chair generals who think the military can solve their political problems when the fact is military force is becoming increasingly unuseable in diplomacy." Not sure how the challenges of disarming Iran and Iraq are similar; not convinced the US wishes to "conquer and hold" either. Detente presumes political stability and rational leadership. You say "military force is becoming increasingly unuseable in dipolmacy." If Iran believed that, perhaps they would not be seeking nuclear weapons.
Posted by: Billy B. ByTown | 2006-01-01 9:06:25 AM
I see that Michael Shannon has no answers to my questions?
I take it he hasn't read Saddam's Bomb. If he had perhaps he wouldn't believe that Saddam voluntarily gave up his pursuit of nuclear weapons and would not likely have returned to the development of a nuclear bomb as soon as the world turned its back.
Moving Iraq from a stalinist dictatorship to a democracy in less than three years is an unprecedented success that bodes well for the development of peaceful and civilized societies in the middle east.
Those who opposed the establishment of democracy and the rule of law in Iraq have no crediblity with me.
Unmoved by humanitarian considerations like 300,000 in mass graves or the disappearance of tens of thousands what did they bring to that debate but ridiculous ad hominen attacks on Bush. So we are supposed to accept they have something to offer on Iran even though they were spectacularly wrong about Iraq.
What insight do they bring to the table on Iran that we should listen now? And how persuasive is it to begin the dialogue with the absurd accusation that it's the fault of the U.S. that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Everyone, including Michael Shannon, knows that Iran has been pursuing nuclear capability since long before the U.S. even thought about liberating Iraq. It's not clear to me why Michael Shannon would suggest otherwise. Not every problem in the world is created by the United States.
Iran has nothing to fear from the U.S. so long as it abandons its nuclear program. The lesson of Iraq is that learned by Libya.
The lesson of history is that appeasement provides only temporary relief.
There is unfortunately no easy solution to Iran's nuclear ambitions just as there was no easy solution to removing the mass murdering terrorist- supporting genocidal stalinist in Baghdad but allowing a country to have nuclear weapons when its leader says Israel should be wiped off the map is not part of any intelligent solution.
Posted by: Terry Gain | 2006-01-01 10:27:30 AM
I believe that Iran represents a clear and present danger to not just the United States and Israel, but also to Europe. The Russians are only backing Iran to try and regain their stature on the world stage, but if push comes to shove they would stand with the West, rather than an isolated Iran.
Iran's president is a nutcase, who I think over the next year world leaders will realize is a man that cannot be trusted. He is more dangerous than Kim Jong-Il, because the North Korean cares about preserving his regime. I do not believe that is true of Iran. The leadership is made up of men who do not care about this life, but think it would be an honor to go down in a blaze of glory.
I believe that makes them the most dangerous regime since Hitler's Nazis. Iran is just as genocidal, and crazy or stupid enough to try and take on the world. This is why the civilized world must come together and launch a pre-emptive strike to take out their nuclear facilities, followed by a ground invasion from Iraq and Afghanistan. If the NATO countries can make a deal to gain the support of the Russians and Chinese (which I don't think will be that hard if they are united and willing to ensure the Chinese have a steady supply of energy) then none of the nightmare scenerios mentioned above will happen.
There isn't much time left, and leaders around the world need to react before its too late.
Posted by: Andrew Smith | 2006-01-01 11:07:14 AM
These are two operationally opposing perspectives - mine and that of Andrew Smith.
We both agree that Iran is a dangerous situation, but Andrew views Iran as far more dangerous than I do. I don't think that the comparison to the Third Reich is valid, for its agenda was imperialistic.
I, at the moment, maintain that the agenda of Iran is to maintain its tribalism and its isolation of industrial participation and benefits to the elite governing group. That is, its agenda is to prevent democracy and prevent a middle class industrial economy.
I am unclear what Andrew defines as the agenda of Iran. Is it merely the personal emotions of its leader? That can't be enough - so- what else does Andrew suggest is going on?
It can't be easy for Iran's rulers to maintain control of the people, when it has states around it moving into democracy: Afghanistan, Iraq..as well as Turkey, Pakistan..and..Israel.
It has a young population, obviously educated within the authoritarianism of the theocracy, but, the internet, the global economy, and those surrounding states - will mean that the people want freedom and a better standard of living - and the theocracy wants to maintain its power.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 11:41:44 AM
More on Iran (the CIA factbook)..which points out its statist economy, the fact that everything is controlled by the state, and that entrepreneurship is limited to small scale businesses. (hmmm..has similarities to Canada except that we set up franchises here of US businesses)..
It could be a rich industrial country; it has a decent amount of arable land, but, that overreliance on oil, that elitist control of the economy - reducing the majority to small-time jobs - is a key problem.
Therefore, I'm going to maintain my point. Iran has nothing to gain internationally by WMD shouts - but a great deal to gain within its own population, by setting the people up in an emotional state of confrontation with the West. This emotive state will hinder, inhibit and even prevent their desire for democracy, for a middle class industrial economy...and maintain the tribal theocracy in power.
I maintain that the answer is robust and vigorous democratic dev't in the neighbouring states and the dev't of a robust middle class industrial economy in those states.
The question then becomes: Can this 'final goal' be achieved by (1)a 'diffusion' effect from neighbouring states; or (2) does it require first the extinction via external force of the old infrastructure?
Iraq and Afghanistan required Tactic 2. But, now that Iraq and Afghanistan are moving towards this final goal - and since these are both border states of Iran - I suggest that Tactic 1 will suffice.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 11:52:22 AM
Michael Shannon. "Bombing Iran will also ensure they remain enemies of the US and do everything they can to get even."
Who are you talking about when you say "they"? It can't be the cabal of religious thugs that are holding that country through a reign of terror. These people already hate America and have declared themselves to be their enemy. Appeasement won't work with these people.
"Judging by Iraq, the US doesn't have the will to conquer and hold Iran."
There you go again. America the conquerer. For you information, America has never "held" a country it has defeated in war. In fact America has helped rebuild countries after defeating them. Just ask Germany and Japan.
"There are too many arm chair generals who think the military can solve their political problems when the fact is military force is becoming increasingly unuseable in diplomacy."
Ah, now you've identified yourself. You think the solution to the world's problems is diplomacy. The problems are not political, that's true. The problems are religious. These genocidal religious nut cases are calling their war against Israel and America a "religious war." They are calling it that, not America.
ET. I basically agree with you. But I still say that if you could take out the top handful of religious fanatics that are now controlling the country, it would speed up dramatically a revolt by the Iranian people to topple the rest of them.
The time for diplomacy is over. George Bush has three more years left. He has an agenda and he's not finished. This is how America should handle this problem in my opinion:
1. Give the UN an ultimatum to deal with the Iranian nuclear ambitions and the religious nut cases that run the country. Give them a timetable, say, about one week. When they miss that timetable move on to step #2.
2. Destroy all the high rises where the wealthy top people who are running the country live. This is utterly simple. Many of these religious nut cases live in high rises with elevators large enough to drive a car in and go up to their floor. Now tell me, how hard would it be to drop every one of those high rises?
3. Destroy all communications centres that are used by the Iranian military.
4. Destroy all of the top airfields and military centres.
5. Drop about a zillion flyers in all the main cities telling the Iranian people that the world is on their side and telling them to get on with the job of eliminating those few nutcases that still remain. Oh, and tell them that, if any Iranian uses a nuclear device against any other country, their country, Iran, will simply cease to exist.
No need to take out any nuclear site. The inspectors can do that later.
The time for diplomacy is over. These guys want a fight. I think America should give it to them, in spades. It's obvious that most of the world doesn't have the stomach to deal with them.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2006-01-01 11:59:35 AM
The Iranian people I have read in the recent past have started to become restless. They are looking for more freedom and some of the luxuries that the West has to offer.
ET: Is correct when he says that to end that the government installed a hardliner who is for the moment sabre rattling. This creates a distraction for the Iranian people and buys the mullas time to bring the situation under control.
Also we have to consider Oil in this case with the Saudis pumping 9 million barrels of Oil a day and Iran the second largest producer pumping almost 5 million barresl a day $60 a barrel is pretty good income.
Most of the price of oil above $30 a barrel is what is known as risk premium. Without Middle Eastern tensions most of that would disappear.
NYMEX Oil traders are begining to see an Oil glut accumulate. The Saudis for one although they say they are going to cut production have not.
Iran may believe that high Oil prices could destabilize Western economies but so far the West is absobing the Higher prices rather easily. Or Iran may just like the money.
Iraq with massive Oil reserves of its own could be the straw that breaks the camels back. (Ha) Should Iraq be able to get it's own production over 3 million barrels a day, currently at 2 million then the price of Oil will plummet. The likelyhood would be under $30 a barrel.
The Saudis have been hurting from the recent very cheap Oil. Twice in the last 10 years Oil has been at the $10 a barrel range. Iran probably has been as well. So for those 2 at least Oil is a very big issue.
If that is the case it is a very dangerous game they are playing
Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2006-01-01 12:04:26 PM
John - I think that you and I basically agree that the problem in Iran is that tribal elite. What we disagree with is the tactics to remove them.
You are opting for Tactic 2 - going in by force and getting rid of them, so that the people can take over. That's the Iraq and Afghanistan scenario. I think that Tactic 2 was the ONLY option in these two areas.
I'll still maintain, though perhaps without factual grounds, that Tactic 1 will 'do the trick' in Iran. The reason is the overwhelming reality of Iran now being effectively surrounded by democratic states. That's a very different reality than four years ago.
My concern with the US going in, is the hostility of Europe, Russia, China - and Americans and Canadians. Europe is unable and unwilling to upset its welfare statism lifestyle on a military expense. Russia and China are unwilling to promote free democracy in the ME. Canada, another welfare state, thinks that all you have to do is set up a multicultural festival and sing and all will be OK. The Americans are getting tired of the costs - and the world hatred for their efforts.
AND, AND, Iran would use an attack to destabilize the ME for a decade and more. It would attack Iraq and Israel.
Therefore, I choose Tactic 1. Diffusion. Just sit back, allow the internet to work, encourage democracy, publicize the elections, publicize the dev't of an industrial economy in which the majority of citizens are becoming enriched...and it will happen. In one decade.
Move in by force - and the whole ME will be a mess for a decade and more.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 12:15:10 PM
Just so you know and this has to be factored in Iraq can within 5 years be pumping 6 million barrel of Oil and it is thought that within 10 years could be pumping 8 million barrel a day.
Both the Saudis and the Iranians know this. If Iran without it's Oil is just an agricultural society then Iraq is a real threat to it's power.
Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2006-01-01 12:22:14 PM
I fully agree, Jeff - Iraq and its economy is indeed a key issue. Iran has never accepted Iraq as a nation - and now, that Iraq is developing as such, with a constitution, a democratic government and an emerging middle class industrialism i.e., not as just a tribal dictatorship, Iran feels threatened.
So, Iran would very much like the US to attack it. Then, it would attack, not the US bases, but Iraq and Israel - to take out or destabilize those two democratic industrial states.
I think that the issue is about the control of the resources in the ME - is it the people of these nations or is it a tribal elite? The Iranian theocracy wants to maintain that elite tribalism - and that's why democracy is a great threat to it.
I think there's no need for a war; but there is a great need for a robust democracy in Iraq and Afghanistan. I'd say that Iran's attempts to destabilize Iraq's democracy, by supplying 'insurgents' is not working..and that's why they are now sabre-rattling.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 12:30:08 PM
I'm with ET. Iran's leaders realize that they can't easily maintain the country's current power structure, so they're shifting focus to external enemies like Israel. This could just be a diversion, or they may be serious. I don't like betting on Ahmadinejad's sanity, but I doubt the USA can muster the troops and political will needed to invade and hold Iran. Americans are already uneasy about Iraq, so another occupation won't easily sell. We'd see the "Bush lied" defence trotted out again, massive protests in Europe, obstructionism from Russia/China, and on and on. How many NATO (or other) allies would actually commit resources to such an operation? It'd be political suicide.
Barring some massive event, we're going to have to wait for the Iranian people to handle this themselves. I hope they do it soon.
Posted by: dr_dog | 2006-01-01 12:32:05 PM
ET I have to agree with you a free and properous Iraq is far more dangerous to Iran than the guns. How long can Iran control it's people if a couple hundred miles away the Iraqi people are living a comfortable, free, middle-class life.
Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2006-01-01 12:35:18 PM
I would first make a hypothesis. Let's say USA had not invaded Irak and Saddam Hussein would now own nuclear arms, what could we do?
The main problem inside Iran is not only about social classes and young generations, but with Islamofacists. They are present not only in Iran but in many countries as well, even in Pakistan and Indonesia. I think that the president of Iran sees himself as the new Islamofacist Fuhrer. He wants to wipe off Israel. Then what? Will he go back to his little hole and cross his arms?
Hitler started by annexing Austria. Then he took over Poland. Did he stop afterwards?
And the iranian nutcase hates not only Israel but Jews in general. That is one more common feature he has with Hitler. He also hates our civilization.
Irak started by invading Kuwait. No territorial ambitions in the head of an Islamofacist leader?
I think the president of Iran is a dangerous fanatic. He most likely has ambitions to take over the leadership of Islamofacists in the Middle East.
I would suggest a tight blocus of Iran first. If the young generation and other intelligent Iranians decide to overthrow the ayatollahs, fine. If not, invade Iran. Not funny, but better than see Iran bombing Israel.
We can imagine democracy gaining influence in the Middle East. But we must not forget it could also be Islamofacism propagated by Iran that could be gaining influence and winning fanatics.
Don't forget these people are willing to blow themselves up. What's inside their heads must be considered.
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-01-01 12:35:51 PM
ET. Yes, we do agree in principal. Here are my thoughts on Iran. (Lets, for the time being, leave Saudi Arabia out of this discussion, although they will have to be dealt with at some point.)
"Europe is unable and unwilling to upset its welfare statism lifestyle on a military expense. Russia and China are unwilling to promote free democracy in the ME."
Europe is no longer Europe. It is being overrun by Muslims who refuse to assimilate because most countries, Germany and France being the largest, have chosen the path of multiculturalism, appeasement and political correctness. Old Europe is already lost.
"AND, AND, Iran would use an attack to destabilize the ME for a decade and more. It would attack Iraq and Israel."
I don't think so for several reasons:
- Israelis can take care of themselves. They are mighty sick and tired of having to deal with fanatical terrorist Jihadists on their borders that are being bankrolled and armed by a small elitist theocracy in Iran.
- Most citizens in the Middle East respect a winner. They respect a fighter and they respect strength. A hell of a lot of citizens in various countries surrounding Iraq support what America is doing. They are seeing the Iraqi people, free for the first time in their lives, going to the polls to elect a democratic government that they believe they will have a voice in. This is very powerful stuff. The problem is they are being held back by a small ruling elitist theocracy that doesn't care a whit for their own people or for anyone.
- Appeasement will never work with a religiously fanatical mindset.
- Finally, look at the problems of France and Australia. There will soon be civil war in both these and many other countries as their citizens finally get to the point where they have simply had enough and strike out. Then watch the bloodshed. When our government refuses to deal with a situation like now exists in these countries the citizens will eventually be forced to.
This problem is coming to Canada and America as well. We ignore it at our peril.
dr_dog. "I'm with ET. Iran's leaders realize that they can't easily maintain the country's current power structure, so they're shifting focus to external enemies like Israel. This could just be a diversion, or they may be serious. I don't like betting on Ahmadinejad's sanity, but I doubt the USA can muster the troops and political will needed to invade and hold Iran."
Goddamit, why does everyone think the US wants to "hold" Iran or any other country in the Middle East. They don't. Get over it. We're all on the same side here except that I have given up on appeasement and negotiation. We're dealing with a people who stone their women to death after being raped, saw off people's heads when they're still alive, push people in wheelchairs into the sea to drown and blow up school children on a bus going to school.
Time to wake up and deal with these people. Or do you want to deal with them on the streets of our own cities? It's either/or in my opinion. America, England and Australia have stepped up to the plate. We should be supporting them every way we can.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2006-01-01 1:12:12 PM
I believe that this "leak of information" is fully intended to let the Iranians know that there will be consequences if they do not do something about their "crazy' leader and govt.
The bombs won't drop on Iran for awhile...it is part of the process...there is a lot of pro-western sentiment in Iran amongst the youth...whether that is enough to get rid of their Islamofascist leadership, who knows.
Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-01 1:18:23 PM
Let the frogs and the Germans look after that one, if nothing else it would point out how stupid they really are. Bottom line, Israel will look after that little problem. The US will be up to their ears in North Korea.
Posted by: Western Canadian | 2006-01-01 1:54:15 PM
In reply to John Crittenden
Yes - at the moment, leave Saudi Arabia out, but it will have to come to its senses soon. And yes, I fully agree - the US does NOT occupy or hold countries.
However - I'll still maintain that Iran would like either/both the US/Israel to attack it. It sure is trying to incite such an action! That would ensure destabilization of the route to democracy in the ME, it would destabilize the Iraqi economy - and even, Iran would go into Iraq with its army (rather than with its insurgents) and further destabilize the economy and the democracy. That's the agenda, as I see it.
I maintain that Iran wants the area unstable, so that it can retain its tribal political structure and the wealth of that elite tribe. If the US hadn't gone into Afghanistan and Iraq, it could have continued on in this manner..for at least another 10-15 years.
Not much more, because our economy is global, information is available on the internet - and I doubt if they could control their population from wanting a middle class industrial economy merely by anti-American and anti-Israeli rhetoric for much longer than a decade.
I don't think the issue is whether/not Israel can take care of itself. The issue is about the development of democracy and an industrial middle class economy in the ME. Before, there was only one state in the area that operated that way - and you could control your people and their envy of this lifestyle, by propaganda, by telling them that these people (and their lifestyle) were evil, were intruders, were etc, etc). But now - people who have been there for many centuries - Afghanistan, Iraq - are also moving into this lifestyle. You can't control your own people simply by propaganda any more.
Iran is extremely upset about these two new democracies in the ME - Afghanistan and Iraq. It wants them out - and will try all types of disruption in both countries. But, it's not enough; they are still voting, they are still developing themselves. So....
So- Iran is trying to incite another type of propaganda: self-defense against The Intruders. Israel or the US. It would very much like Israel or the US to attack them..even just a bit. Then, it could galvanize its people against democracy and industrialism...
I don't think Europe is as lost as some say; possibly because I am 'blinkered'; I happen to be very fond of Europe - but, multiculturalism is indeed the wrong way to go. Muslims haven't been assimilated because Europe has set itself up as multicultural rather than assimilationist, and its land base is too small for such a luxury. France has its particular ideology of considering anyone who is not 'pur laine' as some sort of sub-human.
The key problem with Europe is its welfare statism, how long can it support a non-working population???
I don't think anyone is talking about appeasement or negotiation in this discussion. I think we are instead talking about something like smothering. There is certainly, no possibility of talk with a fundamentalist. There is also, no need to talk - in this situation.
Instead, you take a tactical strategy of surrounding the problem area (Iran) with robust democracies and a middle class industrial economy. Iran will implode on itself.
Iran is trying to stop this - by practically begging, enticing - either the US or Israel to attack it. It wants this - so that it can control its people and turn them away from any desires for democracy and a better economy.
Hopefully, neither the US nor Israel will take the bait but will focus everything on the surrounding countries.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 2:02:05 PM
"However - I'll still maintain that Iran would like either/both the US/Israel to attack it. It sure is trying to incite such an action! That would ensure destabilization of the route to democracy in the ME, it would destabilize the Iraqi economy - and even, Iran would go into Iraq with its army (rather than with its insurgents) and further destabilize the economy and the democracy. That's the agenda, as I see it."
I doubt that Iran will do that. But it they tried, remember all the dead Arabs Israel left strewn throughout the desert. And Israel got their weapons from the US. No, I think that, if Iran sent that many troops across the Iraq border, they would be over quickly. With two large carriers and several battleships sending warplanes and cruise missiles to areas pinpointed by satellite it won't last long. If Iran continued to send them across the Americans will continue killing them.
This is not as big a battlefield issue as some of you seem to think in my opinion.
"I don't think the issue is whether/not Israel can take care of itself. The issue is about the development of democracy and an industrial middle class economy in the ME. Before, there was only one state in the area that operated that way - and you could control your people and their envy of this lifestyle, by propaganda, by telling them that these people (and their lifestyle) were evil, were intruders, were etc, etc). But now - people who have been there for many centuries - Afghanistan, Iraq - are also moving into this lifestyle. You can't control your own people simply by propaganda any more."
Well, there was and is Turkey. And if these ordinary Middle Easterners are so satisfied with living under such squalid conditions, and it they "hate the US so much", why are so many wanting to come to the US to live?
"So- Iran is trying to incite another type of propaganda: self-defense against The Intruders. Israel or the US. It would very much like Israel or the US to attack them..even just a bit. Then, it could galvanize its people against democracy and industrialism..."
I think that here is where we differ. I don't think they will be able to galvanize their people against democracy and industrialism. These people are living under tribal conditions and values and they respect only one thing -- power. When they see their leaders losing on the battlefield they will soon lose respect for them. Why would they prefer to live under a dictatorship, in squalid conditions, when they could be living like the Iraqi and Afghans on their way to vote for a party that they believe they actually have a voice in? Oh, I forgot, religion. Well, maybe it's time to take that on head on.
"I don't think Europe is as lost as some say; possibly because I am 'blinkered'; I happen to be very fond of Europe - but, multiculturalism is indeed the wrong way to go. Muslims haven't been assimilated because Europe has set itself up as multicultural rather than assimilationist, and its land base is too small for such a luxury."
I hope you don't mean that Canada's land base isn't. I'm sure you don't.
"The key problem with Europe is its welfare statism, how long can it support a non-working population???"
"I don't think anyone is talking about appeasement or negotiation in this discussion. I think we are instead talking about something like smothering. There is certainly, no possibility of talk with a fundamentalist. There is also, no need to talk - in this situation... Instead, you take a tactical strategy of surrounding the problem area (Iran) with robust democracies and a middle class industrial economy. Iran will implode on itself."
Again, I think it's much easier to just take these guys out. I refuse to live in a country that will, after these lowest of the low finally "see the light" and want to come to Canada, are allowed to live as my next door neighbours. No way. This is a clash of civilizations and Iran is leading the way. Time to deal with them.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2006-01-01 2:32:19 PM
Have any of you armchair quarterbacks considered geography when formulating your strategies for the extermination or subjugation of the Middle East's Muslim population? Check out wind currents in the region.
Iran could no more drop a bomb on Tel Aviv than on Tehran because of the prevailing winds in the area. Israel, on the other hand would have no such concerns.
So unless the Iranian leaders care nothing for anyone but themselves, (which I'm sure is what most of you think, but seems highly unlikely), or they're suicidal, the facts seem to suggest that they wouldn’t dare to attack Israel with nuclear weapons unless they were under a serious nuclear assault themselves and it became the only method they had of annihilating the beasts bent on their nuclear destruction. Remember, there are millions of Arabic Israelis and Palestinians living in Israel and Palestine too – it would be political suicide for the leaders of Iran to initiate an assault on Israel, as well as actual suicide! Do you really think that the American administration would let such a thing go unpunished? …No, I didn’t think so either.
Have any of you fellows done any thinking about what's going to happen now that an Iranian-friendly government is assuming the reins of power in Iraq? Do you think they'll refuse to go along with an attack on their Iranian allies or not? Just asking.
So really… Who benefits from an assault on Iran? The USA? Not bloody likely. They can't afford another war. They don't have the resources to fight one either. Do the citizens of Iran derive any benefits from an attack by the USA or Israel? NO? Then who benefits?
Now you're talking! No one else in the entire world will benefit from an attack on Iran but Israel, who will soon be desperately in need of the water and energy supplies their Arab neighbours own. So any disruption/destabilization of their region, with the attendant weakening of their neighboring states can only benefit Israel and the Likud hawks and racists and corporatists that control it and who want to expand it.
Do you really want to be on record as a supporter of an unnecessary and dangerous policy that will certainly lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people – a policy that benefits only the most strident supporters of a racist far-right coalition in Israel and their sycophantic supporters presently in control of the American government – a policy that will only further erode the world’s confidence in the good sense of the American administration, (and in the rule of law!) – a policy that will only further increase our own personal energy costs, a fact which could potentially threaten our own personal and economic futures?
Are you mad?
That much seems self-evident.
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-01 2:36:40 PM
Forget the Iranians...nuke Art Deco !!!!!
Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-01 2:55:53 PM
In reply to John Crittenden
Certainly, if Iran incited an attack by Israel or the US, it wouldn't win - but - it would destabilize the region, economically, politically and emotionally, and that's its agenda. Its only agenda - for that enables tribalism to continue in power in Iran. It's not about winning - that's almost irrelevant; it's about destabilization.
Turkey as an example is not enough; the more important examples are those right in the ME - Israel and now Iraq. And, your assertion that the ME people dislike their living conditions and want to come to the US and yet hate the US..doesn't really clarify the reality - which is that their leaders use anti-American propaganda (and anti-Israel propaganda) to maintain control.
Compare that with Canada, where anti-Americanism is a useful and extremely successful tactic to prevent discussion of any and all change. We can't discuss our abyssmal health care system, because to dissent from it, is to 'want to be like the Americans'..and that means that 'you don't love Canada'..and that means 'that you are a heretic'..and so on.
I'm not saying that Iran will be successful in galvanizing their people against democracy and industrialism! I'm very sure they won't be successful - but- they are certainly trying. Tribal values, such as a respect for power, will diminish.
No, I don't think that 'taking them out' is the only way. It is indeed a clash of economic and political modes - something that the West went through in Europe in the 12th through 16th centuries..but, I think that the ME will 'make it through', even if the old tribal elites fight it every step of the way.
But - what must change as well, is the isolationism of Islamic communities in the West. That will take at least 20 more years.
Now, Mr. Armchair Arthur Decco- you have a few interesting points.
1) I never knew that bombs travelled by wind power. Remarkable. I thought they were powered by fuel, were laser guided and operated in all-weather conditions. But - you say they are powered by wind. Well, one learns something every day.
2)Who is talking about the use of nuclear weapons? None of us - to my knowledge. Not all wars/battles, in our modern times, are fought by nuclear bombs. In fact - to my knowledge, no nuclear bomb has been dropped for 60 years.
3) I am assuming that it's an Iraqi-friendly gov't that is assuming the reins of power in Iraq. That doesn't preclude relations with Iran and it also doesn't mean bonding with Iran. Remember, they had a loooong war between them..
4) Your 'Israel benefits' from an attack on Iran doesn't make any sense.
First- you are ignoring the sabre rattling that is being made BY IRAN - trying to get Israel or the US to attack it!!! Why don't you explain this to us?
Second - Israel is not, to my knowledge, running out of water or energy. Could you provide some specific data proving this?
Third - what 'corporatists' that control it (I presume you mean Israel)???? Provide some data please.
Fourth- what are you talking about?? Supporter of what 'unnecessary and dangerous policy'..and all the blah-blah that follows it..(what sycophant supporters in control of the American government???). I'm supporting the development of democracy and a middle class industrialism in the ME - via a tactic of diffusion from other nearby states. Kindly explain what's wrong with that.
What 'personal energy costs'???
Am I mad? No. It isn't self-evident or even evident.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 3:09:32 PM
"Forget the Iranians...nuke Art Deco !!!!!"
Another penetrating and insightful critique of an opposing viewpoint from MarkAlta! Way to go, Mark! Brilliant, as always!
You're a REALLY bright guy! Luv ya!
(and I gotta tell ya...LOVE the brown shirt - goes great with the jack boots!!!!!)
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-01 3:12:20 PM
I see we have another America-hater in our midst. I see that you've dealt with him so I won't pile on.
"Turkey as an example is not enough."
Last time I looked Turkey bordered Iran.
"And, your assertion that the ME people dislike their living conditions and want to come to the US and yet hate the US..doesn't really clarify the reality - which is that their leaders use anti-American propaganda (and anti-Israel propaganda) to maintain control."
I didn't say they hate the US. I was trying to say they don't hate the US.
"...what must change as well, is the isolationism of Islamic communities in the West. That will take at least 20 more years..."
They have to change and renounce their religion before I will support them. BTW, I know a very successful professional in Vancouver who is Muslim. I love the guy. And he agrees totally with me on this point. Like I've said before, he told me that he could take me to a mosque in the Lower Mainland where something like 60 to 70 percent of those attending were either terrorists or supported terrorists.
"4) Your 'Israel benefits' from an attack on Iran doesn't make any sense."
Actually, it does if you blame Israel for everything that's wrong with the US. Many people do think that Israel sets much of American foreign policy, funny as that sounds.
"(what sycophant supporters in control of the American government???)"
Could he mean the One World Order, or the Shadow government? He may have a point there. But I'm sure he was referring to that bad Texas dude strutting around the White House. Sigh.
Posted by: John Crittenden | 2006-01-01 3:32:36 PM
Ok ET, "I never knew that bombs travel by windpower." Really? You can't possibly be so stupid that you didn't get the thrust of my argument which was that RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT is spread by the wind. So if not stupid, what?
"Who is talking about the use of nuclear weapons?"
I guess nobody is...except for all of you drooling potential mass murderers who are using Iran's insistance on continuing their nuclear program as an excuse to destroy their country and murder their citizens because of your blatent rascism and obvious cowardice,(because only cowards need to be as big a bully as you creepy guys seem to aspire to).
Iran waged a long war against a Baathist, Saddam-controlled Iraq, NOT against their Shi'itte bretheren now in control of George Bush's Iraq. Didn't you know that, ET?
As far as the rest of your comments go, they're the usual simple-minded misinformation and distortions that get re-cycled endlessly on sites like this. Excuse me if I don't bother justifying them with a response.
Can't talk anymore right now - Gotta go and have a bath to get the slime off.
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-01 3:41:30 PM
Arty: You liberals are the fascists...and hey, it's a new year, arty boy, can't you get a sense of humor ?
Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-01 3:51:58 PM
creepy guys...hmm, I think Arty Deco is a girl.
Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-01 3:55:45 PM
Just before I go, John, I have to ask. Is Crittenden an expanded and modified form of the Anglo-Saxon version of the word Cretin? Just asking.
btw John, I'd be happy to buy you whatever ticket you require to join in the glorious assault on those evil, degenerate A-rab terrists over there...Anything that might potentially remove you from the gene pool while fulfilling your destiny as a "Saviour of Bigoted and Rascist Sensibilities" seems like a pragmatic compromise in my books.
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-01 4:05:39 PM
John Cittenden: "Goddamit, why does everyone think the US wants to 'hold' Iran or any other country in the Middle East. They don't. Get over it."
I was referring to the fact that the US would have to maintain security during the inevitable confusion/terror campaign that would follow an invasion, until a new Iranian government was able to take power. As we know, this can be a challenge (to put it mildly).
Posted by: dr_dog | 2006-01-01 4:10:40 PM
Have you not seen the pictures of an Iranian man holding the arm of a 8 year old boy under the front wheel of a car because he stole some bread. Or the pictures of a woman being stoned because she was raped.
These are not people who are interested in the sanctity of life. These are people who have a divine right to rule in the name of Allah and the divine prophet Mohammed.
To that end there are no lengths to which they are unwilling to go to retain that power. The life of the peoples of the Middle East are incidental.
Poverty and ignorance are tools. They allow a indoctination that purports hope comes from death. Suicide bombers would not appear if they had a viable alternative.
Knowledge is power. Whatever comes of Iraq's elections the people of Iraq will have felt the power of choosing their own destiny. That knowledge may well keep any theocratic wannabe at bay. As long as the people of Iraq feel they have a say in their own destiny then civil war can be kept at bay. Should this work out it will not be a lesson lost on the people of Iran.
Isreal as you state is the wild card. Oil for Iran is the golden key. High oil prices keep the Mullahs in power, low oil prices make Iran irrelevant. Should Iraq continue it's progresion towards being a Middle-class democracy then the subsequent increase in Iraq's oil production will drive down the price of Oil and Iran can no longer afford adventures because they will be to busy soothing a population looking at Iraq living a quiet comfortable life while the Iranian people barely scrape by on meagher government handouts.
The race is on Isreal who is staring down the barrel of a very big and very real gun has shown remarkable patience in the past. Can Iraq be continue the pace of Democratization and Industrialization faster than the Iranians can build a viable nuclear warhead. It's is why I believe President Bush has been so strict with the timetable for Iraqi elections,constitutions etc.
what is happening here is how long can Isreal be made to feel safe. I think that as long as Isreal sees hope in peace she will keep her bombers grounded. The minute that Iran gets too far ahead of the Democratiztion of Iraq Isreal will launch her fighter bombers.
The Israelis can see the obvious in Iraq. It is why I believe Sharon moved on the Gaza. Peace can be had but it is a race and a very tight one at that.
Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2006-01-01 4:17:48 PM
The most disturbing aspect of both the remaining Axis of Evil is how little the Western powers, or any foreigners for that matter, know about the status of their nuclear programs and their ultimate objectives once they have weapons capabilities.
The US and Britain spent enormous amounts of political capital in trying to get support from their NATO allies in overthrowing the other axis - Iraq. At least publically, they failed in getting that support. The subsequent lack of evidence (thusfar) of WMD hardware in Iraq has greatly weakened the cohesiveness of NATO in dealing proactively with Iran and North Korea.
Having said that, it seems that the powers closest to these remaining pro-nuke rogue states are actively involved in getting to a solution. That certainly wasn't the case in Iraq as those nations were profiting greatly by trading with it via "oil for food" and other means. This time around China has been very involved in negotiating with the insane Kim Jong Il (sp?) and his enslaved and terrorized followers, while Russia and France have been doing the same with Iran's morally unstable leadership (Its president is thought to be one of the leaders in the US Embassy hostage taking 27 years ago).
The current strategy in NK seems to be to delay and negotiate hoping that the despot dies of natural or other causes leaving the system (if it can be called that)to collapse and the citizens of the northern part of Korea to be liberated by the South. The Iranian "Strategy" is much less straightforward. First, the leadership is more diverse and the system of government is more stable - the death of the President would not lead to a collapse. Iran is not the hollowed out anarchic shell that was Iraq in the days before Saddam was toppled. Also, the motives of the Iranian leadership are less clear - ET could be correct above, but so could Mr. Crittenden. The agony for Mr. Bush and the other relevant NATO leaders (and Russia) is, I suspect, that none of them have enough solid intelligence to decide one way or the other. And to be indecisive should Mr. Critteneden's theory in fact be the correct one, is the nuclear obliteration of much of the Middle East.
This is possibly the most significant international issue to face the world since Hitler was "appeased" by being given the Sudetenland. It that case it was exactly the wrong thing to do. In the case of Iran we may not know the consequences of what we do until it is too late for millions of people.
I commend President Bush for his courage in entertaining the aggressive option(s) a weaker leader would not even consider it after the abuse he took over his and his alliance's actions in Iraq (the correct ones in my opinion).
Now is not the time to engage in hysterics, divisiveness and namecalling over what to do in reaction to the statements and actions within Iraq. If there is one thing that we should all have learned about fundamentalist Muslims by now, is that they only become more bold and aggressive when their opponents (victims?) show weakness by doing the above.
Posted by: Gord Tulk | 2006-01-01 5:15:36 PM
With regard to Arthur Decco- I'll ignore him; it's interesting how the left always moves into personal insults. Rather than debating the issues, they insist on informing others how stupid, how despicable and so on- they are. Wierd quirk of personality but who cares...
Now - I think Jeff's outline is the probable one - ie. the importance of Iraq, the development of its economy, and how Iran will react when faced with such a scenario. That's what Iran is afraid of - it doesn't want a successful non-Israeli democracy and middle class industrial economy in its midst. The enmity between Iran and Iraq is ancient and I suspect that Iran is even afraid of an emerging Iraq re-opening its interest in Iran's resources.
I am far less concerned about nuclear weapons than others. I find them a mythic threat, useful for propaganda but not in actuality, by which I mean that no nation would dare use them. Therefore, I'm not dealing with that issue as I think it's a red herring.
I still think that the situation is a 'last gasp' of tribalism, where Iran is trying to maintain its despotic tribal infrastructure and its control over its population.
I still feel that Iran would like Israel or the US to attack it, for that would mobilize the population into a cohesive emotive blob behind their current leadership..and detract them from the fascinating images of elections in Iraq..and..would destabilize Iraq from its burgeoning democracy and industrial economy. That's the agenda- destabilize and prevent democracy and a middle class.
It won't work; the economy is global, and for one important sector of the world to remain in a tribal mode - is an imbalance that, on its own, will collapse.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 5:47:53 PM
That is a very interesting discussion. We could be sitting down around a large conference table!
Most likely USA is worried about Iran. But I think they consider the matter on a global level. And there are elections coming in US.
I do hope ET is right and democratic Irak gets implemented. But I have strong doubts. Turkey is still experimenting terrorism by Islamofacists.
I enjoy all the seriousness everyone use in this sensible issue.
Posted by: Rémi houle | 2006-01-01 6:35:40 PM
Jeff said: “arthurdecco:
Have you not seen the pictures of an Iranian man holding the arm of a 8 year old boy under the front wheel of a car because he stole some bread. Or the pictures of a woman being stoned because she was raped.
These are not people who are interested in the sanctity of life. These are people who have a divine right to rule in the name of Allah and the divine prophet Mohammed.
To that end there are no lengths to which they are unwilling to go to retain that power. The life of the peoples of the Middle East are incidental.”
Jeff, these people you have described in the preceding three paragraphs have been encouraged to come to power in Iraq through the policies instituted by George Bush’s administration. Republican America is responsible for the fundamentalist take-over of Iraq.
Jeff said: “Poverty and ignorance are tools.”
I couldn’t agree more. How else could you explain how a sociopathic monster like George Bush could ever come to power in a country like the United States? It could only have taken place after the educational system was systematically gutted by successive Republican administrations with the prime intention of “dumbing down” the populace so that they could be more easily manipulated by the media, which in turn, is controlled by the same interests that control the American political system. (Isn’t that interesting how that works?)
Jeff said: “They allow a indoctrination that purports hope comes from death.” Suicide bombers would not appear if they had a viable alternative.”
Again, I couldn’t agree more with the thrust of your argument. If the Fascists now destroying Iraqi Stability could provide even a sliver of hope for these insurgent suicide bombers, don’t you think they’d grasp at it? Who wants to kill themselves but the most desperate or furious?
Jeff said: “Knowledge is power.”
If that’s the case, then why do you guys struggle so hard to ignore the evidence that what you’ve been conditioned to think of as truth is in fact lies?
Jeff said: “Whatever comes of Iraq's elections the people of Iraq will have felt the power of choosing their own destiny. That knowledge may well keep any theocratic wannabe at bay. As long as the people of Iraq feel they have a say in their own destiny then civil war can be kept at bay. Should this work out it will not be a lesson lost on the people of Iran.”
The Iranians entering their voting booths to cast a ballot have never heard a televised debate of the issues from their candidates. They weren't even aware of WHO they were actually voting for, only the “party”. (That was to prevent the candidates from being murdered by their political opponents!) To describe the vote in Iraq as “democracy” is ludicrous - even delusional. Then add in the fact that no one can run for office without the tacit approval of the Americans... This electoral process is as “Quisling” as it can be! This is not democracy, not by any stretch!
Jeff said: “Israel as you state is the wild card. Oil for Iran is the golden key. High oil prices keep the Mullahs in power; low oil prices make Iran irrelevant. Should Iraq continue it's progression towards being a Middle-class democracy then the subsequent increase in Iraq's oil production will drive down the price of Oil and Iran can no longer afford adventures because they will be to busy soothing a population looking at Iraq living a quiet comfortable life while the Iranian people barely scrape by on meager government handouts.”
The price of oil is NEVER coming down. Don’t be naïve, fer crissakes!
Jeff said: “The race is on Israel who is staring down the barrel of a very big and very real gun has shown remarkable patience in the past. Can Iraq be continue the pace of Democratization and Industrialization faster than the Iranians can build a viable nuclear warhead. It's is why I believe President Bush has been so strict with the timetable for Iraqi elections,constitutions etc.
what is happening here is how long can Isreal be made to feel safe. I think that as long as Isreal sees hope in peace she will keep her bombers grounded. The minute that Iran gets too far ahead of the Democratiztion of Iraq Isreal will launch her fighter bombers.”
Israel isn’t staring down the barrel of even a pea-shooter, Jeff. It is Israel who has held the threat of nuclear holocaust over the heads of its Arab neighbours for decades. Israel had done nothing but fragment alliances and de-stabilize the region since its inception. As for your submission that Iraq’s theoretical “progression” towards being a Middle-class "democracy” will influence the price of oil. You have to be kidding! Do you think the Americans and their hired thugs are going to be able to suppress a nation-wide insurgency against this illegal occupation of Iraq in the next couple of months…or even years? By the time the Americans could conceivably crush this rebellion against their illegal occupation, the price of oil will have been affected by a million other influences. Face it Jeff, the price of oil is not going down, okay? And as far as your claim that Israel will launch her fighter bombers only if “Iran gets too far ahead of the Democratization of Iraq” (wtf?) What kind of nonsense is that? Israel will NEVER launch her fighter bombers without the approval of the present administration in the USA. If the US says no and MEANS it, Israel will NOT launch an attack. Check your facts, not your script.
Jeff said: “The Israelis can see the obvious in Iraq. It is why I believe Sharon moved on the Gaza. Peace can be had but it is a race and a very tight one at that.”
What the Israelis “see” should be immaterial, except as "background provided by an ally". Whatever they “see” will only reflect the governing cabal’s self-interest. I want the issues decided by those people whose assets will be used to destroy this "other culture" in Iraq, a culture not friendly to Israel’s pattern of systemic racism and bad-faith bargaining in the region. In other words, I would like to see an INFORMED American citizen’s forum decide the future of the USA”s foreign policy in the Middle East – not the self-interested violent Zionists and their back-room backers in the American government who think of Palestinians and other Arabs as animals.
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-01 6:38:38 PM
As for you ET, nice try!
I dealt with your issues until there weren't any issues to deal with anymore back in the post that starts "OK ET". (It didn't take long.)
You displayed a talent for dishonest thinking with your claim that I only dealt in personal insults, ET. How do you propose to stop everyone from reading what I actually wrote? Do you think that by claiming that I didn't discuss the issues in your post you'd make it true?
(How stupid is that?)
You remind me of a 2 year old. (Two year olds hide their eyes behind their hands and insist that you've disappeared because they can't see you!)
...how old are you exactly, ET?
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-01 7:03:41 PM
If I ever doubted the statement that liberalism is a mental disorder, Arthurdeco removes any doubt. True to form like other liftists unable to participate in a civilized debate on issues, he can only resort to name calling.
Posted by: Alain | 2006-01-01 7:08:55 PM
In reply to Remi- I don't think that the US reluctance to move into Iran is due to the elections in the US - which are in TWO Years.
I think it is because a war in Iran at the moment would destabilize the entire ME region and harm the emerging democracy in Iraq.
In reply to Gord Tulk - The agenda, I think, is to enable Iraq to function as a democracy and develop a middle class industrial economy; that will diffuse into the other regions. So, the question is - how long can the other states withstand the appeal of democracy and a developed economy? I don't think it's strictly up to the leaders of these other countries (Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc)..There comes a threshold when the images promoted by the leader's propaganda - and the images promoted by experience and the internet - are in such conflict that the scale tips. That's what one can hope for...
But, Iran cannot realistically expect to remain as a tribal dictatorship with an impoverished population if the states around it move into democracy and a developing industrialism. It would be like expecting the middle of the pot of water to remain frozen while the rest bubbles merrily away. Can't happen.
Posted by: ET | 2006-01-01 7:18:46 PM
Arthur deco: Israel was attacked by arab states in '48, Israel kicked their butts, and the arabs screamed for a settlement and their land back. Israel should never have returned the land. Israel won, they should have kept the spoils of war that they never started. same thing in '67 and '73.
Posted by: MarkAlta | 2006-01-01 7:29:28 PM
How else could you explain how a sociopathic monster like TRUDEAU, CHRETIEN or MARTIN could ever come to power in a country like CANADA? It could only have taken place after the educational system was systematically gutted by successive LIBERAL administrations with the prime intention of “dumbing down” the populace so that they could be more easily manipulated by the media, which in turn, is controlled by the same interests that control the CANADIAN political system. (Isn’t that interesting how that works?)
There, I fixed that up for you Arthur :-)
Posted by: Kathryn | 2006-01-01 8:20:16 PM
Great stuff folks! I suggest an airdrop of millions of Pro-Democracy leaflets on the Iranians and let's see how they fend for themselves. In other words let the situation ride for now: If they see Democracy working next door You can bet they are going to want some as well.The ball is headed for their court ; its up to them wether they flub it or not.
Posted by: S.C. | 2006-01-01 8:23:25 PM
I tried to have a resonable conversation with you but apparantly your hate for President Bush precludes any reasonable dicourse.
Just so you know the Fundamentalists came to power under Jimmy Carter.
The rest of what you had to say is pretty much garbage.
Posted by: Jeff Cosford | 2006-01-01 8:42:42 PM
Decco claims that "Republican America is responsible for the fundamentalist take-over of Iraq."
Getting a little carried away aren't you Decco?
It's true Iraqis haven't chosen a secular dominated government but over time as they are exposed to more choice I have no doubt they will move in that direction.
At this point they are talking and compromising. Talk of a fundamentalist takeover is wishful thinking upon the part of opponents of the liberation.
This continues the pattern of leftists throughout the liberation. Not to worry when your last prediction fails, just make another prediction.
Posted by: Terry Gain | 2006-01-01 9:10:38 PM
To "fix" something, it must be broken. You "fixed' nothing. What you did was what all reactionary wing-nits do - misdirection.
The mental health of of Trudeau, Chretien or Martin wasn't the subject of this thread - the annililation of Iran and its attendent consequences for the region and the world were.
George Bush's obvious sociopathology (are you even aware what that word means?) has played a large part in the creation of the idiotic and nihilistic policies presently disrupting the Middlie East, as has the provable slide in American educational standards under successive Republican administrations. These are not things open to interpretation. These are facts only fools and ideologues ignore.
Oh and Alain, you're so completely fucked in the head that I'm actually relieved to see the vomit you confuse with discourse directed my way. It's reassuring to know that monsters like you think I'm delusional.
Terry Gain, When over 60 per cent of the seats in the Iraqi parliament are controlled by fundamentalist parties allied with Iran I think we can safely assume that there has been a takeover of Iraq by fundamentalists. All the Pollyanna wishful thinking on this thread seems to be coming from your side of the fence.
And when are you cretins going to stop confusing two very important points about my opinions of Americans and their leaders? It's not America I hate - it's their present political and business leadership - and don't think I'm not including the most of the Democratic party in my assessment as well!
You have to remember that over 60 percent of Americans feel just like I do about their present leaders. Are they all "America Haters" too? Don't be ridiculous!
You people who unconditionally support George, the sequel and his minions' unending assaults on the rule of law, the civil rights of his own citizens and of the rest of the world and his forelock grabbing ass-licking attitude to war criminals like Sharon and the neo-cons who used 911 to launch their illegal war in Iraq really need to get out from under the bullshit that sites like this one spread constantly in lockstep with their fellow-travellers. (Talk about Stalinist!) You might want to try to get your world's information from others more interested in informing you rather than, like this site, confusing you and lying to you about almost everything.
Posted by: arthurdecco | 2006-01-02 5:44:55 AM
I'm still wiping the spittle off my terminal after that last paragraph of yours. I assume your hatred of Bush's tyranny is as nothing compared with your hatred of Saddam's, or Ahmadinejad's, or Kim's, in which mass graves are rather easier to find.
Perhaps it's simply that Saddam's depleted WMD stock is sufficient absolution in your books for those mass graves, the rape gangs, the two wars of aggression, the constant threats to the US and payoffs to terrorists.
Let's just say that we warmongering, oil-grabbing, imperial neo-cons around here have a different view of right and wrong than you and you friends have and leave it at that, shall we? You can see that we are beyond persuading here, and we can clearly see that you are beyond redemption.
Posted by: surly | 2006-01-02 8:03:05 AM
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