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I can’t believe we still have an invite open to Iran
Posted: 02 August 2009 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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Billy Shears - 29 July 2009 12:50 PM
tavishhill2003 - 28 July 2009 03:58 PM

It never ceases to amaze me exactly how little you right wing nut jobs actually understand about how geopolitics works given your continuous bloviating about it.

Well given that within a day of my “bloviating” about this invite to Iran, that invite was withdrawn, it appears the president also came to display this same lack of understanding.  Go figure.

So which was it?  Did he act too slowly or was it that he responded with haste to reach the same conclusion you did?  You don’t get to have it both ways, lol.

And no, he didn’t come to your conclusion at all.  His conclusion was that we can’t afford to appear to take any sides right now and keeping the invite open to their leadership because that invite makes it appear that the US is siding with one side over the other.  It has nothing to do with the xenophobic and irrational response you vomitted into your OP.

 


Also,

If that were so, I strongly doubt we would have seen the recent riots, going on and on over the course of many days.  Rioting in the streets is generally not considered a sign of happiness in a population.

Erm…no.  The reason riots broke out has nothing to do with civil unrest leading up to the elections.  It was sparked over what looks like a stolen election. 

I can’t get too worked up over hurt Iranian feelings at being called evil (their government that is, not the Iranian people, of course).  When you are one of the most prominent sponsors of terrorism in the world, you can kind of expect that sort of thing.

The US throughout history has been a massive sponsor of terrorism as well.  Recently in Gaza the US was almost the sole sponsor of terrorism carried out by Israeli soldiers using US weapons and resources.  none of this matters however, as you don’t get diplomacy with ANYONE if you are so deluded as to demand concessions as a requirement before even being invitied to the talks to begin with. 

furthermore, on the issue of calling them evil merely ‘hurting their feelings’.  You are apparently completely ignorant of the fact that in 2003 and 2005 Iran offered to give the US pretty much everything we wanted out of them (complete ceasing of funding to Hamas and Hezbollah, help reigning in those groups even, help with Iraq, nixing the nuclear ambitions in their entirety, peace talks with Israel, trade deals with the west) and Dick Cheney responded by saying “We don’t talk to evil”. 

The reason he responded that way is because like other neocons running the country’s national security and foreign policy sectors at the time, he didn’t want those things out of Iran.  He wanted to invade, bomb, and OVERTHROW the leaders there in a 3rd war.  It was explicitly spelled out that his goal was to do this.  It was even clearly stated as the primary national security goal in 2006 on the WH website.  For you to pretend the Iranians weren’t aware of this only shows you don’t know a damn thing about geopolitics.  Did you REALLY think the Iranians weren’t aware of the nonstop policy proposals coming from neocon think tanks and within the Pentagon under Rummy and from Feith’s OSP? 

The reason we staged a coup in 1953 was because of oil interests.  Do you REALLY find it to be the case that in 2005-2007 given what was happening in Iraq regarding us stealing their oil industry…you REALLY don’t find any reason that type of thing ought to alarm Iranian leaders?  Even given the fact that they were always mentioned alongside Iraq in the official US national security and foreign policy initiatives coming from the WH?  Our ‘diplomatic’ ambassadors were even beating the war drum all over TV.  And let’s just ignore the fact that we had troops on their borders and fucking aircraft carriers off their shores while Cheney was in the WH trying to design false flag operations to start yet another war with them.  How can you have not seen any of this? 

Israel is also not a government of corrupt theocrats

Wow.  The fuck they aren’t.  Also, the 2000 election was significantly more cut and dry than the Iranian elections.  there was overt proof taht was indisputable from a variety of sources in 2000.  In Iran it looks like it’s a solid case on its face but it’s absolutely debatable.

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Posted: 02 August 2009 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

So which was it?  Did he act too slowly or was it that he responded with haste to reach the same conclusion you did?  You don’t get to have it both ways, lol.

Actually, I don’t have to, lol.
What it means is that he was brought around, in the end, to doing what he should have done earlier when he began to see how badly his failure to act was being received.  And, to give him credit, he may have seen on his own that keeping the invite open was a bad diplomatic move, given the actions of Iran’s current regime.

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

And no, he didn’t come to your conclusion at all.  His conclusion was that we can’t afford to appear to take any sides right now and keeping the invite open to their leadership because that invite makes it appear that the US is siding with one side over the other.  It has nothing to do with the xenophobic and irrational response you vomitted into your OP.

So condemning murderous thugs for being murderous thugs is irrational xenophobia?  Are you even remotely aware of the human rights record of this regime?  In case you missed it, they are worse than the Shah’s regime ever was.

whereas less than 100 political prisoners had been executed between 1971 and 1979, more than 7900 were executed between 1981 and 1985. ... the prison system was centralized and drastically expanded ... Prison life was drastically worse under the Islamic Republic than under the Pahlavis. One who survived both writes that four months under warden Asadollah Lajevardi took the toll of four years under SAVAK. [3] In the prison literature of the Pahlavi era, the recurring words had been “boredom” and “monotony.” In that of the Islamic Republic, they were “fear,” “death,” “terror,” “horror,” and most frequent of all “nightmare” (kabos).”  Ervand Abrahamian, Tortured Confessions (1999), p.135-6, 167, 169

Its list of human rights violations is long.  There is no freedom of speech; only three other countries - Eritrea, North Korea and Turkmenistan - have more restrictions on news media freedom than Iran, according to Reporters Without Borders.
 
As of 2006, the Iranian government has been attempting to restrict higher education only to those students who hold “correct” views, despite the acceptance of those students by their universities. According to Human Rights Watch, this practice has been coupled with academic suspensions, arrests, and jail terms. Reuters   

You yourself would not enjoy the freedom to post on a forum like this in Iran, since irreligious people in Iran are not recognized as citizens, or even granted their basic human rights.  And if you are a Muslim and lose your faith, or feel called to follow another faith, it sucks to be you, since apostasy is punishable by death in Iran. (International Humanist and Ethical Union)

Iran leads the world in executing juvenile offenders – persons under 18 at the time of the crime, according to Human Rights Watch. It even has religious police called “Guidance Patrols” (gasht-e ershâd) to enforce Islamic moral values and dress codes.  Iran is also a blatant sponsor of outright terrorists such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the al-Mahdi army.

And all of this, of course, barely scratches the surface.  Neither time nor space permit me to list the full catalogue of this regime’s crimes. 

But apparently, in your world, judging a state by its actions is “irrational xenophobia”

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

Erm…no.  The reason riots broke out has nothing to do with civil unrest leading up to the elections.  It was sparked over what looks like a stolen election.

Erm… yes.  The people rose up not just because it looked like a stolen election, but because clearly was a stolen election—stolen by a regime that had become massively unpopular, and is perceived by many if not most ordinary Iranians as dragging the country toward ruin.  The current regime is held responsible for a rapidly deteriorating economy, extremely high unemployment, massive inflation, and uncontrolled spending (including huge expenditures on the nuclear program, which so far has not produced one watt of the commercially available power that has been promised), Ahmadinejad’s inflammatory rhetoric towards Israel and denial of the Holocaust, and for getting a series of sanctions imposed against Iran by the international community that have crippled all sectors of the economy.  Now this massively unpopular and corrupt regime is engaging in blatant, glaring election fraud in order to hang on to power (and go right on doing all the things that have made it so unpopular), and the Iranian people are justifiably enraged by it.

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

The US throughout history has been a massive sponsor of terrorism as well.  Recently in Gaza the US was almost the sole sponsor of terrorism carried out by Israeli soldiers using US weapons and resources.  none of this matters however, as you don’t get diplomacy with ANYONE if you are so deluded as to demand concessions as a requirement before even being invitied to the talks to begin with.

You’re an idiot.  Of course you can.  The concept is really quite simple, and is called “diplomatic isolation.”  You make it clear that neither you nor your allies will be willing to negotiate unless certain conditions are met, and it provides an inducement to that country to make changes to its policies if it wants to come in from the cold, otherwise it will remain diplomatically isolated.  Diplomatically isolated countries tend to suffer economically because along with diplomatic isolation comes economic stagnation (other countries restrict, or even interdict trade with you) – kind of like Iran is suffering right now.  It’s an inducement to that country either to change some of its policies, or for the people of that country to change their government.

This is a very simple concept; even you should be able to understand it.

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

furthermore, on the issue of calling them evil merely ‘hurting their feelings’.  You are apparently completely ignorant of the fact that in 2003 and 2005 Iran offered to give the US pretty much everything we wanted out of them (complete ceasing of funding to Hamas and Hezbollah, help reigning in those groups even, help with Iraq, nixing the nuclear ambitions in their entirety, peace talks with Israel, trade deals with the west) and Dick Cheney responded by saying “We don’t talk to evil”.

As far as I am aware, the sole source for this assertion is Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell (who may well, to judge by his behavior since leaving government service, have an axe to grind), when he said in a BBC interview that an unsigned letter containing this offer came to the State Department, where it was supposedly well received.  However, Tom Casey, a state department spokesman, denied ever having been aware of such an offer.

Washington Post

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

The reason he responded that way is because like other neocons running the country’s national security and foreign policy sectors at the time, he didn’t want those things out of Iran.  He wanted to invade, bomb, and OVERTHROW the leaders there in a 3rd war.

And your evidence for this is?

[ Edited: 02 August 2009 11:27 AM by Billy Shears]
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Posted: 02 August 2009 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

It was explicitly spelled out that his goal was to do this.  It was even clearly stated as the primary national security goal in 2006 on the WH website.  For you to pretend the Iranians weren’t aware of this only shows you don’t know a damn thing about geopolitics.  Did you REALLY think the Iranians weren’t aware of the nonstop policy proposals coming from neocon think tanks and within the Pentagon under Rummy and from Feith’s OSP?

You know, it’s interesting that try as I might, I can’t seem to find a single mainstream news site carrying a story about this.  That’s mighty strange if there was a serious commitment to starting a war with Iran. 

But really, it’s not that mysterious at all.  We’ve had plans for an invasion ever since the Shah was overthrown.  We have plans right now for an invasion of Canada and Mexico for Christ’s sake.  But that’s all they are: plans.  Just because a plan exists, it doesn’t mean there’s any actual intent to carry it out.  Don’t you understand the concept of “contingency plans?”  Practically every general staff of every military in the world has plans for conflict with every nation it borders, and any other nations that threaten it’s key national interests.  When tension heats up between nations (as it has between us and Iran) those plans are pulled out, reviewed, revised as necessary, people who will be responsible for carrying them out if the balloon goes up participate in all this – none of this is unusual, and none of it means there was a definite intent to start another war.

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

The reason we staged a coup in 1953 was because of oil interests.  Do you REALLY find it to be the case that in 2005-2007 given what was happening in Iraq regarding us stealing their oil industry…you REALLY don’t find any reason that type of thing ought to alarm Iranian leaders?  Even given the fact that they were always mentioned alongside Iraq in the official US national security and foreign policy initiatives coming from the WH?  Our ‘diplomatic’ ambassadors were even beating the war drum all over TV.  And let’s just ignore the fact that we had troops on their borders and fucking aircraft carriers off their shores while Cheney was in the WH trying to design false flag operations to start yet another war with them.  How can you have not seen any of this?

See above.  I can find tons of info on this on blogs, but curiously nothing on Reuters, CNN, AP, any of the major newspaper sites, etc.  Apparently you are unable to distinquish typical saber rattling and gunboat diplomacy from actual, serious intent to start a war.

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

Wow.  The fuck they aren’t.

Does Israel have a religious police enforcing religious dress codes and religious behavior?  Does Israel have clerics and religious scholars running the government?  Does it specify in it’s constitution that members of its governing councils must be clerics?  Iran has a “Council of Guardians” (Shora-ye Negaban-e Qanun-e Assassi) to ensure the compatibility of the legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (i.e. Majlis) with sharia law; does Israel have anything comparable to enforce the laws of orthodox Judaism?

No.

Apparently, to the long list of things you cannot understand, we can now add the difference between a true theocracy, and a country that has a state religion.

tavishhill2003 - 02 August 2009 06:31 AM

Also, the 2000 election was significantly more cut and dry than the Iranian elections.  there was overt proof taht was indisputable from a variety of sources in 2000.  In Iran it looks like it’s a solid case on its face but it’s absolutely debatable.

If ever you have written more deluded words, I can’t think of where – and given how awful some of the crap you come up with is, that’s saying something.  This is horsecrap of the very first order.  The dispute in the 2000 US election hinged on the count of the votes in Florida, where the margin of victory was close—2,912,790 for Bush, vs. 2,912,253   for Gore.  That’s a difference of just 0.0092%.  And the idea that the US election was “cut and dry” is pure, unadulterated wishful thinking on your part.  I said that it was something about which reasonable people can disagree, and it damn well was.  The two issued considered by the SCOTUS in Bush v. Gore were: 1) were the recounts, as they were being conducted, constitutional? (Seven out of the nine justices agreed that they were not – the equal protection clause was being violated.)  And 2) if the recounts were unconstitutional, what is the remedy?  (Court ruled 5–4 that no constitutionally valid recount could be completed by a December 12.)  And the debate as to who was right and who was wrong still rages to this day.  That’s very far from being “cut and dry.”

By contrast, in the Iranian election, Ahmadinejad, whose popularity was at an all-time low, is supposed to have won with 62.63% of the popular vote?  I don’t fucking think so.  Neither did the Iranian people.  Neither did just about anyone else in the world (except you, apparently).  Unlike the very closely contested U.S. election, on which opinion is still divided, Iranians overwhelmingly believed the official results of their election to have been clearly fraudulent.  Opinion that the results were bogus was so strong that it sparked days of open rioting in protest.  Al Jazeerah’s English language service reported it as the “biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution”, and also noted that the protests were spontaneous, with no organization and no identifiable leader.

In other words, it was a completely grass roots movement, indicative of popular sentiment.

Just how is it that you cannot see the differences here?

Actually, I know the answer to that question.  You are an ideologue tavish.  Everything gets filtered through the lens of your ideology, and it makes you guilty of blatant distortion of some facts; wholly uncritical of some assertions and reflexively dismissive of others, based on how well or poorly they fit your preconceptions; and guilty of employing truly shocking double standards when comparing the behavior of the United States with that of other countries in the world.  You have, in short, an extreme leftist view of the world, and like Noam Chomsky or Gore Vidal, you might as well have the motto, “their country, right or wrong.”

[ Edited: 02 August 2009 11:33 AM by Billy Shears]
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They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
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Posted: 03 August 2009 04:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Billy Shears - 02 August 2009 02:02 PM

Actually, I don’t have to, lol.
What it means is that he was brought around, in the end, to doing what he should have done earlier when he began to see how badly his failure to act was being received.  And, to give him credit, he may have seen on his own that keeping the invite open was a bad diplomatic move, given the actions of Iran’s current regime.

How badly his ‘failure to act’ was being received?  Are you retarded?  Pretty much the entirety of the international community applauded Obama’s measured and muted response to the rioting in Iran.  Everyone with ANY foreign policy expertise agreed 110% with his response.  The only mindless fucktards who felt it was any sort of ‘failure’ was you and the morons at Fox News.  It’s no likely your thread or the rantings of John Bolton on FNC had any effect on the decision Obama made.  Stop deluding yourself.  Your views on this are in the tiny, tiny minority for good reason.

So condemning murderous thugs for being murderous thugs is irrational xenophobia?  Are you even remotely aware of the human rights record of this regime?  In case you missed it, they are worse than the Shah’s regime ever was.

 

Condemning murderous theocrats is fine, but doing it without putting ANY thought behind it given the context of the situation and having this notion that anyone who does think clearly about the reprecussions of such statements is somehow wrong to do s…that is irrational xenophobia.  Geopolitical posturing by right wing bafoons isn’t helpful to anyone, anywhere in the world, including the US or our image at home or abroad.  You literally gain NOTHING from ramping up to the level of rhetoric you are calling for and in reality you risk a lot instead. 

But apparently, in your world, judging a state by its actions is “irrational xenophobia”

You, as a citizen, are free to judge whatever the hell you want.  The President of the United States, however, actually makes a difference in the world with his statements and making such statements without any rational consideration as you are calling for is exactly the wrong thing to do unless his intentions are to start a war with Iran. 

Again, you gain nothing and risk lots just for chest thumping.  You don’t throw away months of hard diplomatic work and policy restructuring just so morons like yourself can rub one out on the American flag at night.  There is a difference between being upset over the actions by the regime in Iran and rushing to destroy all the progress we’ve had with them over the last 6 months diplomatically and furthering US involvement in Iranian politics where we have no place getting involved.  You have to THINK about the consequences of your words and actions as president.  Apparently this is an alien concept to you.

Erm… yes.  The people rose up not just because it looked like a stolen election, but because clearly was a stolen election—stolen by a regime that had become massively unpopular, and is perceived by many if not most ordinary Iranians as dragging the country toward ruin.

That’s what elections are for.  That’s why they have them.  You don’t like the way things are run so you get a chance to vote them out.  People were voting because they wanted reform.  They rioted because the election looks like it was stolen.  And again, it does appear to be stolen, but it’s not nearly as clear cut as you are claiming.  Stop trying to force these events into your black and white version of reality (i.e. your imagination).  They weren’t rioting because of the sociopolitical or economic conditions.  They were happy to vote due to those conditions.  They rioted because the election looks to be stolen.

You’re an idiot.  Of course you can.

Oh really?  Is that why people like Brzinski and Skocroft and Kissinger, etc, etc, etc all agree with me? Because we are all ‘idiots’ who sturggle to stay afloat intellectually in the wake of your brilliance on diplomatic relations and foreign relations?  Really?

The concept is really quite simple, and is called “diplomatic isolation.”

 

Stop right there.  That isn’t the same thing we are talking about.  ‘Isolation’ refers to cutting a nation off diplomatically from a whole host of vital political and economic discussions with a whole host of nations of which Iran would be dependent on.  The idea is to forcefully leverage on vital national interest to better position yourself to apply pressure on another.  We didn’t do that in the Bush administration.  All our allies were desperately trying to bring us to the table with them as they had their own negotiations with Iran.  Iran wasn’t the one who was being uncooperative.  We were. 

You make it clear that neither you nor your allies will be willing to negotiate unless certain conditions are met, and it provides an inducement to that country to make changes to its policies if it wants to come in from the cold, otherwise it will remain diplomatically isolated.

...but that’s not at all what happened.  What happened was the Bush regime demanded that they completely give up their nuclear energy plans in ADVANCE of coming to the table to “negotiate”....THEIR NUCLEAR ENERGY PLANS!  In other words, it was ‘you give us everything we want up front and we will then agree to sit down and negotiate’.  That’s not diplomacy and it’s no wonder the rest of the world was frustrated at the Bush regime’s ignorance on foreign policy and diplomacy.  The other element was that Cheney was openly calling for starting a war with Iran over non-existent nuclear warheads just as he did with Iraq.  Iran wasn’t being isolated.  We were isolating ourselves on the issue of what to do about Iran.

This is a very simple concept; even you should be able to understand it.

Seeing as Brzinski (sic) and Skocroft and Kissinger etc, etc, etc all agree with me…yeah I’d say we clearly know more than you about diplomacy.  Sorry, but the guy saying we need chest thumping as a diplomatic strategy isn’t the one with the intellect to command a debate on foreign relations of geopolitical diplomacy.

As far as I am aware, the sole source for this assertion is Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to then Secretary of State Colin Powell (who may well, to judge by his behavior since leaving government service, have an axe to grind), when he said in a BBC interview that an unsigned letter containing this offer came to the State Department, where it was supposedly well received.  However, Tom Casey, a state department spokesman, denied ever having been aware of such an offer.

Another former NSC official Flynt Leverett also confirmed it in detail.  As did the Iranian ambassador who drafted the letter sent to the Swis.  As did that Swiss ambassador.  Excuse me, but are you REALLY suggesting that this didn’t happen?  We KNOW beyond any doubt that the letters sent through the Swiss from Iran to our State Dept happened.  Or should we just ignore all those pesky details that you don’t find ideologically convenient? 

It astounds me you are ready to dismiss Larry’s testimony as ‘having an axe to grind’.  What about all thsoe other ppl who confirmed it?  Does Leverett have an axe to grind too?  What about the Swiss ambassador?  You are basically saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with the neocon version of reality (i.e. fantasy land) and speaks out about it must just have an axe to grind and let’s just ignore what they say.  Did it ever occur to you that there was a reason Colin Powell resigned?  That maybe there was a reason a TON of the State Dept. employees all resigned citing this very sort of thing that Larry mentioned? 

Washington Post

State Dept spokesmen are now more reliable to you than Everett and Wilkerson or the other people directly involved in drafting and passing on the letter?  You do realize that given what happened there was no way the State dept would openly talk about this under the last administration right?  And btw, Casey’s response was couched in the terms of who drafted the letter that arrived at the State Dept.  That letter came from the Swiss.  It was directly quoting the letter the Swiss ambassador got from the Iranian ambassadors who drafted it and quoted a policy proposal from the Iranian regime.  The argument within the Bush administration was not that the letter didn’t exist, it was that the letter they got didn’t represent the views of Iran and the administration tried to suggest the Swiss made it all up even though the Iranian ambassador confirmed it (they wrote it). 

The Iranians were discussing these concessions for a couple months and after we invaded Iraq they jumped at the chance to try to leverage that invasion with their national security interests.  They had their ambassador to the UN draft the letter, which was then approved by the highest level of Iranian leadership including Khamenei personally.  Then it was given to the Swiss ambassador who sent a letter to the State Dept by fax that quoted the Iranian letter in its entirety. 

If this letter didn’t exist, it’s rather bizarre that the Bush White House sent an angry letter to the Swiss ambassador about it.  Sorry, but your argument that the letter never existed doesn’t hold up.  That’s why you hear any Bush administration officials say that either they never got a communicatino like that directly from the Iranians on the basis the letter they got came from the Swiss, or they will claim that the letter they got didn’t reflect the views of the leadership in Iran on the basis that according to the officials who are willing to admit its existence the letter was completely made up by the Swiss.

And your evidence for this is?

The official WH National Security Strategy for 2006 as stated on their website at the time.  Or do I need to pull up the policy propsals from Wolfowitz and Feith and Perle and Cheney etc, etc, etc from the 1990’s involving Iraq and Iran?  Or the ones from those same people during the last administration?  What?  You haven’t seen those?  Shocking.

Didn’t you ever wonder why the neocons kept talking about impending nuclear attacks on the US and Israel from Iran, who had not nukes whatsoever?  Does none of this sound eerily familar to you?

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Posted: 03 August 2009 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Billy Shears - 02 August 2009 02:06 PM

You know, it’s interesting that try as I might, I can’t seem to find a single mainstream news site carrying a story about this.  That’s mighty strange if there was a serious commitment to starting a war with Iran.

You’re such a coward, lol.  You aren’t even looking!  The NYT reported it.  So did the BBC, Washington Post, and a ton of other outlets.  What abotu Sy Hersh?  Does he have an axe to grind too?  Is he unreliable as well?  What about the Bush administration officials he has as sources? 

Just because a plan exists, it doesn’t mean there’s any actual intent to carry it out.  Don’t you understand the concept of “contingency plans?”

Sending navy seals out on Iranian PT boats in the Strait of Hormuz to start a firefight with the pair of US Naval Aircraft carriers (gee, I wonder why those we sent there) there is not a “continguency plan”.  It’s a false flag operation.  Demanding that Iran, a nation the CIA knew was no longer pursuing nukes of any kind as of 2003, stop production of and destroy all their nukes as the ONLY means to avoid a war with the US and saying not doing so would only bring them “great peril” is not rhetoric found in continguency plans.  It’s rhetoric found in the WH’s 2006 National Security Strategy.  Rhetoric that can only be dismissed by those willing to pretend it doesn’t exist.

You aren’t going to get away with conflating broad continguency plans with specific directives aimed at starting a war with the intent of overthrowing the regime in Iran. 

See above.  I can find tons of info on this on blogs, but curiously nothing on Reuters, CNN, AP, any of the major newspaper sites, etc.  Apparently you are unable to distinquish typical saber rattling and gunboat diplomacy from actual, serious intent to start a war.

Excuse me?  Are you suggesting that the US didn’t overthrow the democratically elected Mossedeq in 1953 or are you wanting info on the false flag operation postulated by Cheney?  As a matter of fact all 3 of the sources you listed there have ALL ran stories about this very false flag operation.  Sy Hersh talked about it on CNN himself.  But of course he can’t be trusted.  He has criticized the Bush administration therefore he has ‘axes to grind’ obviously.  False flag operations are not mere sabre rattling. 

Does Israel have a religious police enforcing religious dress codes and religious behavior?

Not dress codes.  They instead have their forces levelling homes and kicking Palestinians off their own land and not letting these people travel freely AT ALL within their own land be it to hospitals or to their jobs or wherever.  There are literally hundreds and hundreds of checkpoints set up restricting travel in Palestine.  Getting through these checkpoints often requires bribery and often just won’t happen at all.  They are under constatn curfew for long periods of time as well.  But yeah, dress codes sounds way worse Billy.

Does Israel have clerics and religious scholars running the government?

Not directly no, but indirectly they do.  The leadership in Israel imagines that Palestine is their land on the basis of religious supserstition about how their god gave it to the Israelis.  That’s why they are still occupying it and that’s why they behave the way they do in Jerusalem.

Does it specify in it’s constitution that members of its governing councils must be clerics?  Iran has a “Council of Guardians” (Shora-ye Negaban-e Qanun-e Assassi) to ensure the compatibility of the legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (i.e. Majlis) with sharia law; does Israel have anything comparable to enforce the laws of orthodox Judaism?

No.

These aren’t mutually exclusive criteria for determining if religious doctrine controls Israel’s policy initiaitves vis a vis foreign relations, especially in the region surrounding it.  That policy regarding how they treat Palestinians, their reason for occupying Palestine to begin with, and much of their internal justification for staying there is entirely religious.  And the things they do is every bit as oppressive and violent if not more so than anything happening in Iran.

Apparently, to the long list of things you cannot understand, we can now add the difference between a true theocracy, and a country that has a state religion.

Israel’s national security policy is driven almost entirely by religious views held by its leadership.  From a national security pov, it’s a theocracy.  Having a state religion is NOT what defines a theocracy.  Having policies that are determined by theology and religious doctrine is what defines theocracies.

The dispute in the 2000 US election hinged on the count of the votes in Florida, where the margin of victory was close—2,912,790 for Bush, vs. 2,912,253   for Gore.  That’s a difference of just 0.0092%.

That’s the type of claim that people who’ve no clue wtf they are babbling about love to make on this topic.  No.  The actual vote count given EVERY possible scenario under a recount shows Gore winning.  We had the Sec. of State of Florida as Bush’s campaign chair.  We had Bush’s brother as Florida’s Governor.  We had John Ellis, Bush’s first cousin, calling the election for Bush on FNC to get the rest of the networks to shift public perception of what was happening.  We had 95 THOUSAND Floridians knocked off the voter rolls, when they shouldn’t have, from almost exclusively democratic districts.  The court stopped the recount on the basis of not wanting to go into January without a new president.  NOT because there was indisputable evidence that proved the election was legit.

And the idea that the US election was “cut and dry” is pure, unadulterated wishful thinking on your part.  I said that it was something about which reasonable people can disagree, and it damn well was.  The two issued considered by the SCOTUS in Bush v. Gore were: 1) were the recounts, as they were being conducted, constitutional? (Seven out of the nine justices agreed that they were not – the equal protection clause was being violated.)  And 2) if the recounts were unconstitutional, what is the remedy?  (Court ruled 5–4 that no constitutionally valid recount could be completed by a December 12.)  And the debate as to who was right and who was wrong still rages to this day.  That’s very far from being “cut and dry.”

The court isn’t the source of truth or facts in the world, lol.  Again, under EVERY possible scenario, the recount would show Gore had won.  Even without counting the 95k voters thrown off the rolls.  There is no reasonable argument to claim taht Bush got more votes, won the election in Fla., and thus was a legitimately elected POTUS. 

By contrast, in the Iranian election, Ahmadinejad, whose popularity was at an all-time low, is supposed to have won with 62.63% of the popular vote?

Stop right there.  That’s simply not true.  He was still immensly popular leading into the elections.  The electorate there for whatever reason wasn’t blaming him for virtually any of the country’s problems. 

I don’t fucking think so.

Oh wow, what a hard hitting argument ya got there.  There’s so many overwhelming points I just can’t figure out where to start.

Neither did the Iranian people.  Neither did just about anyone else in the world (except you, apparently).

Excuse me?  I think he stole the election.  See, now you are just making stuff up again.  What I SAID was that it’s not a clear cut conclusion that anyone with any intellectual stamina can come to. 

Unlike the very closely contested U.S. election, on which opinion is still divided, Iranians overwhelmingly believed the official results of their election to have been clearly fraudulent.

Public opinion doesn’t define what the facts actually are.  The public at large is unaware of virtually every significant detail in the Gore vs Bush case.  Public opinion was that Saddam had nukes and was controlling bin Laden.  The argument that lots of people agree about a topic and therefore they must all be right by definition isn’t a valid claim. 

Opinion that the results were bogus was so strong that it sparked days of open rioting in protest. 

OMG!  There were riots after the Iranian elections!?  How long have you been sitting on this information?!  Someone should alert the president! 

Al Jazeerah’s English language service reported it as the “biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution”, and also noted that the protests were spontaneous, with no organization and no identifiable leader.

Spontaneous?  But I thought you were claiming earlier that they werne’t spontaneous?  See, when I said that the electrion results caused spontaneous riots you called me an idiot.  So much for that theory, eh?

In other words, it was a completely grass roots movement, indicative of popular sentiment.

So are the ‘birthers’ and the ‘tea baggers’.  This doesn’t reflect reality, it reflects public perception of an issue and it’s usually way the hell detached from the facts.  In this particular case they have good reason to be upset and are likely right about their conclusions.  But havings lots of people agree on something doens’t make it a cut and dry fact. 

Actually, I know the answer to that question.  You are an ideologue tavish.  Everything gets filtered through the lens of your ideology, and it makes you guilty of blatant distortion of some facts; wholly uncritical of some assertions and reflexively dismissive of others, based on how well or poorly they fit your preconceptions; and guilty of employing truly shocking double standards when comparing the behavior of the United States with that of other countries in the world.  You have, in short, an extreme leftist view of the world, and like Noam Chomsky or Gore Vidal, you might as well have the motto, “their country, right or wrong.”

Is there supposed to be an actual point in there somehwere or were you trying to bloviate more to deflect the points I made earlier…again?

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tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

How badly his ‘failure to act’ was being received?

By the American people (who are his constituents, to whom he is responsible BTW)?  Badly enough.  There are pages of articles by many commentators.  It did not escape most people’s notice that France, Germany, the UK, and our other allies, and even most prominent members of the democratic party all made strong statements condemning the Iranian government’s actions before Obama ever opened his mouth on the subject.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Are you retarded?  Pretty much the entirety of the international community applauded Obama’s measured and muted response to the rioting in Iran.

See above.  Obama justified his reticence to speak as not wishing to be seen to give the Iranian government an excuse to accuse the US of intervening in its affairs.  But a significant number of people think, and I happen to agree, that we are going to be accused of that no matter what, and that the brutal crackdown on the election protestors is indicative of a repressive and tyrannical regime, whose actions have earned censure from the rest of the world’s nations.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Everyone with ANY foreign policy expertise agreed 110% with his response.

Really?

Even while supporting the president’s approach, senior members of the administration, including Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would like to strike a stronger tone in support of the protesters, administration officials said.


Obama Pressured to Strike a Firmer Tone

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

The only mindless fucktards who felt it was any sort of ‘failure’ was you and the morons at Fox News.  It’s no likely your thread or the rantings of John Bolton on FNC had any effect on the decision Obama made.  Stop deluding yourself.  Your views on this are in the tiny, tiny minority for good reason.

They are huh?

On Iran, 43% Say Obama’s Response About Right, 35% Say Not Aggressive Enough

Since when is just over 1/3rd a “tiny, tiny minority”?

And as for putting preconditions on talks…

62% Say Obama Should Not Meet With Iran Until It Stops Nuclear Weapons Program

Yes, 62% is a tiny, tiny minority indeed.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Condemning murderous theocrats is fine, but doing it without putting ANY thought behind it given the context of the situation and having this notion that anyone who does think clearly about the reprecussions of such statements is somehow wrong to do s…that is irrational xenophobia.  Geopolitical posturing by right wing bafoons isn’t helpful to anyone, anywhere in the world, including the US or our image at home or abroad.  You literally gain NOTHING from ramping up to the level of rhetoric you are calling for and in reality you risk a lot instead.

That’s where you’ve got it wrong.  We have thought of the repercussions.  We’ve also thought – as you appear not to have done, because you haven’t even seriously considered this possibility, apparently – of the possible repercussions of meeting, without any preconditions, a side who it is very likely will not be negotiating in good faith.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

You, as a citizen, are free to judge whatever the hell you want.  The President of the United States, however, actually makes a difference in the world with his statements and making such statements without any rational consideration as you are calling for is exactly the wrong thing to do unless his intentions are to start a war with Iran.

See above.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Again, you gain nothing and risk lots just for chest thumping.  You don’t throw away months of hard diplomatic work and policy restructuring just so morons like yourself can rub one out on the American flag at night.  There is a difference between being upset over the actions by the regime in Iran and rushing to destroy all the progress we’ve had with them over the last 6 months diplomatically and furthering US involvement in Iranian politics where we have no place getting involved.  You have to THINK about the consequences of your words and actions as president.  Apparently this is an alien concept to you.

See above.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

That’s what elections are for.  That’s why they have them.

Apparently, in Iran, they only have them to lend a veneer of legitimacy to a predetermined outcome.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

You don’t like the way things are run so you get a chance to vote them out.  People were voting because they wanted reform.  They rioted because the election looks like it was stolen.  And again, it does appear to be stolen, but it’s not nearly as clear cut as you are claiming.  Stop trying to force these events into your black and white version of reality (i.e. your imagination).  They weren’t rioting because of the sociopolitical or economic conditions.  They were happy to vote due to those conditions.  They rioted because the election looks to be stolen.

I’m the one with a black/white view of reality?!?  That’s rich, coming from you.  More on this shortly.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Oh really?  Is that why people like Brzinski and Skocroft and Kissinger, etc, etc, etc all agree with me? Because we are all ‘idiots’ who sturggle to stay afloat intellectually in the wake of your brilliance on diplomatic relations and foreign relations?  Really?

The concept is really quite simple, and is called “diplomatic isolation.”

 

Stop right there.  That isn’t the same thing we are talking about.  ‘Isolation’ refers to cutting a nation off diplomatically from a whole host of vital political and economic discussions with a whole host of nations of which Iran would be dependent on.  The idea is to forcefully leverage on vital national interest to better position yourself to apply pressure on another.  We didn’t do that in the Bush administration.  All our allies were desperately trying to bring us to the table with them as they had their own negotiations with Iran.  Iran wasn’t the one who was being uncooperative.  We were.


Wouldn’t it be nice if, for a change, you actually cited some sources for your assertions?

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

You make it clear that neither you nor your allies will be willing to negotiate unless certain conditions are met, and it provides an inducement to that country to make changes to its policies if it wants to come in from the cold, otherwise it will remain diplomatically isolated.

...but that’s not at all what happened.  What happened was the Bush regime demanded that they completely give up their nuclear energy plans in ADVANCE of coming to the table to “negotiate”....THEIR NUCLEAR ENERGY PLANS!

YES!  ABSOLUTELY!  THEY CAN’T BE TRUSTED TO ENRICH URANIUM!  THEY’RE SITTING ON SOME OF THE LARGEST OIL RESERVES IN THE WORLD!  THEY NEED NUCLEAR ENERGY LIKE BRUCE WILLIS NEEDS A HAIRBRUSH!  IT’S A FRONT!  YOU CAN TELL IT’S A FRONT BECAUSE EVEN THE EVIL GEO. W. BUSH BACKED A NUCLEAR PLAN FOR IRAN, AS LONG AS SOMEONE ELSE (RUSSIA) WAS PROVIDING THE ENRICHED URANIUM THEY WERE GOING TO USE.

(Bush meets with Sarkozy, shares concerns over Iran)

But that’s not good enough for Iran.  They’re not content with having nuclear power, which they ought to be if their only goal were to produce nuclear energy.  No, they insist they must have the ability to enrich the uranium themselves – which, coincidentally, would give them the ability to make nuclear warheads.  You don’t find anything suspicious about this?

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Another former NSC official Flynt Leverett also confirmed it in detail.  As did the Iranian ambassador who drafted the letter sent to the Swis.  As did that Swiss ambassador.  Excuse me, but are you REALLY suggesting that this didn’t happen?  We KNOW beyond any doubt that the letters sent through the Swiss from Iran to our State Dept happened.  Or should we just ignore all those pesky details that you don’t find ideologically convenient?

Excuse me, I never said anything of the kind, though it doesn’t surprise me to see you putting words in my mouth.  I merely indicated that all I could find was one source, and I’d remain skeptical until I could see more evidence.  Okay, so there appears to be good support for the existence of this letter.

So what, really?  Let’s assume for the sake of argument that you’re completely right (and I don’t concede that you necessarily are, i.e. that the Iranian offer was made in truly good faith, and they would have lived up to it, and that the Bush administration’s one and only reason for rejecting it was “we don’t talk to evil”).  That’s water over the dam now.  We can’t change the past.  The only thing that matters is what is it possible to do now?  If there was a reformist regime willing to deal in good faith then, and we blew it, then shame on us, but that doesn’t change the fact that whatever we could have done then with the reformists, we can no longer do with the hardliners who have replaced them (or even with Khamenei, whose been there all along, as his willingness to compromise may well have changed).  What would have worked then, won’t work now, so to try and do now what should have been done then, will only lead to failure.  That window of opportunity is lost, and we have to respond to the changed conditions, not the previous ones that no longer apply.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

It astounds me you are ready to dismiss Larry’s testimony as ‘having an axe to grind’.  What about all thsoe other ppl who confirmed it?  Does Leverett have an axe to grind too?  What about the Swiss ambassador?  You are basically saying that anyone who doesn’t agree with the neocon version of reality (i.e. fantasy land) and speaks out about it must just have an axe to grind and let’s just ignore what they say.  Did it ever occur to you that there was a reason Colin Powell resigned?  That maybe there was a reason a TON of the State Dept. employees all resigned citing this very sort of thing that Larry mentioned?

How about some names and numbers?  “A ton” is rather vague, and given your penchant for exaggeration…

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tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

State Dept spokesmen are now more reliable to you than Everett and Wilkerson or the other people directly involved in drafting and passing on the letter?

Why are they automatically less so?  Wilkerson has come out as a democrat and vocal opponent of the Bush administration, but he couldn’t possibly have an agenda, could he?  This is what I talked about at the end of my last post.  You uncritically accept one side, and uncritically dismiss the other.  And somehow, I think the only criteria you used when evaluating the truthfulness of these competing claims is which one you preferred to believe. 
 
I’m not saying I disbelieve or believe anybody completely.  It seems at least as probable to me that neither side is telling the complete truth.  An offer was made, but was it really as sincere as Wilkerson asserted?  Even if it was, did Bush and Cheney think so, or did they genuinely think it was merely stall, designed to tie up the West in fruitless diplomacy while they accelerate their drive to build atomic bombs?

But to you, it’s a simple and black and white as assuming the Iranian government and Wilkerson were completely 100% honest and sincere, and Bush and Cheney were completely 100% malicious in their intent and had no other reason for their actions than a “we don’t talk to evil” motive.  And you accuse me of having a black and white view.

For what it’s worth, I think we should have sat down and talked to them – then – even though I think the offer likely was just a stall. (Khatami may have been replaced by Ahmadinejad, but Khameni is still there, behind the throne, and always was, and him I trust not at all.)  But I think we still should have done it as a practical security calculation.  Bush should have commenced direct talks with Iran not because they offered a realistic chance for peace and good will, but because they were a necessary prelude to an international campaign of economic pressure – which even if military action became necessary, had to be tried first.

But again, what we might have been able to do then, and what we can realistically hope to do how are different.  Even if it’s our fault things have changed, you still have to play the hand you’ve got, not the one you had on the last deal.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

The official WH National Security Strategy for 2006 as stated on their website at the time.  Or do I need to pull up the policy propsals from Wolfowitz and Feith and Perle and Cheney etc, etc, etc from the 1990’s involving Iraq and Iran?

Well actually it would be nice if you included sources for your assertions for a change. 

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Or the ones from those same people during the last administration?  What?  You haven’t seen those?  Shocking.

Didn’t you ever wonder why the neocons kept talking about impending nuclear attacks on the US and Israel from Iran, who had not nukes whatsoever?  Does none of this sound eerily familar to you?

Gosh, could it be because a thugocracy and first rank sponsor of terrorism looked like it was on the verge of acquiring a nuclear capability?  Gee.  Why would that be alarming to anyone?

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

You know, it’s interesting that try as I might, I can’t seem to find a single mainstream news site carrying a story about this.  That’s mighty strange if there was a serious commitment to starting a war with Iran.

You’re such a coward, lol.  You aren’t even looking!  The NYT reported it.  So did the BBC, Washington Post, and a ton of other outlets.

Then for Christ’s sake why don’t you cite some of them?! 

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

What abotu Sy Hersh?  Does he have an axe to grind too?  Is he unreliable as well?

Quite possibly yes.  This is the same Seymour Hersh, after all, who also alleged that the U.S. was conducting covert operations in Iran to identify targets for possible strikes – a claim dismissed by both the US government and the government of Iran,  and who also claimed that Pakistan and the United States have struck a “Khan-for-Iran” (referring to Abdul Qadeer Khan) deal, which was also denied by officials of the governments of the US and Pakistan; and who wrote a book about JFK called “The Dark Side of Camelot, which journalist Edward Jay Epstein described as “more about the deficiencies of investigative journalism than about the deficiencies of John F. Kennedy.”  And who is described by historian and former Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (responding to said book) as “the most gullible investigative reporter I’ve ever encountered.”
In short, just because Seymour Hersh said it, doesn’t mean it’s true.  His record is not above reproach.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Sending navy seals out on Iranian PT boats in the Strait of Hormuz to start a firefight with the pair of US Naval Aircraft carriers (gee, I wonder why those we sent there) there is not a “continguency plan”.

Again, how about a source?  Until I see a reliable source for this, I will remain skeptical of U.S. Navy SEALS being persuaded to fire on U.S. military personnel.  Even if Cheney actually was dreaming up false flag operations – and that remains a big if – that doesn’t for an instant mean there was ever a realistic chance in hell of actually carrying them out. 

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

It’s a false flag operation.  Demanding that Iran, a nation the CIA knew was no longer pursuing nukes of any kind as of 2003, stop production of and destroy all their nukes as the ONLY means to avoid a war with the US and saying not doing so would only bring them “great peril” is not rhetoric found in continguency plans.  It’s rhetoric found in the WH’s 2006 National Security Strategy.  Rhetoric that can only be dismissed by those willing to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Again, cite it.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Excuse me?  Are you suggesting that the US didn’t overthrow the democratically elected Mossedeq in 1953…

We’re not talking about 1953.  We’re talking about 2006.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

…or are you wanting info on the false flag operation postulated by Cheney?  As a matter of fact all 3 of the sources you listed there have ALL ran stories about this very false flag operation.

Then provide a damn citation! 

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Sy Hersh talked about it on CNN himself.  But of course he can’t be trusted.

Well, since you mentioned it…

The mysterious disappearance of $1 billion, in cash, in Iraq. A threat by the administration to a TV network to cut off access to briefings in retaliation for asking Laura Bush “a very tough question about abortion.” The Iraqi insurgency’s access to short-range FROG missiles that “can do grievous damage to American troops.” The murder, by an American platoon, of 36 Iraqi guards.

Not one of these exclusives appeared in the pages of The New Yorker, however. Instead, Hersh delivered them in speeches on college campuses and in front of organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union and on public-radio shows like “Democracy Now!”

There are two Hershes, really. Seymour M. is the byline. He navigates readers through the byzantine world of America’s overlapping national-security bureaucracies…Then there’s Sy. He’s the public speaker, the pundit. On the podium, Sy is willing to tell a story that’s not quite right, in order to convey a Larger Truth. “Sometimes I change events, dates, and places in a certain way to protect people,” Hersh told me. “I can’t fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say.”

Sy Hersh Says It’s Okay to Lie (Just Not in Print)


So we have this assertion made not in print, but in a speech – a mode of communication which Hersh himself candidly admits to being willing to “fudge” certain details.  In other words, he’ll say things he’s unwilling to put in writing, things he can’t necessarily back up.  And even in his writing, I remind you, this is a reporter who has drawn criticism from other journalists for both gullibility and sloppy research.

In short, he is quite capable of being dead wrong.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

He has criticized the Bush administration therefore he has ‘axes to grind’ obviously.  False flag operations are not mere sabre rattling.

See above.

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tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Does Israel have a religious police enforcing religious dress codes and religious behavior?

Not dress codes.  They instead have their forces levelling homes and kicking Palestinians off their own land and not letting these people travel freely AT ALL within their own land be it to hospitals or to their jobs or wherever.  There are literally hundreds and hundreds of checkpoints set up restricting travel in Palestine.  Getting through these checkpoints often requires bribery and often just won’t happen at all.  They are under constatn curfew for long periods of time as well.  But yeah, dress codes sounds way worse Billy.

In other words, no.  Despite the red herring, you cannot support the claim that Israel is a theocracy.  It may be a state with certain arguably draconian security measures (though of course, the idea that a state would have to heighten security measures in response to terrorism is just ridiculous, naturally), but that does not make it a theocracy.  Despite all your tap dancing, you can’t support this.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Does Israel have clerics and religious scholars running the government?

Not directly no, but indirectly they do.  The leadership in Israel imagines that Palestine is their land on the basis of religious supserstition about how their god gave it to the Israelis.  That’s why they are still occupying it and that’s why they behave the way they do in Jerusalem.

See above.  None of this gives Israel the characteristics of a theocracy, which is government in which the civil and religious authorities are the same.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

These aren’t mutually exclusive criteria for determining if religious doctrine controls Israel’s policy initiaitves vis a vis foreign relations, especially in the region surrounding it.  That policy regarding how they treat Palestinians, their reason for occupying Palestine to begin with, and much of their internal justification for staying there is entirely religious.  And the things they do is every bit as oppressive and violent if not more so than anything happening in Iran.

More tapdancing around the fact that you cannot honestly answer “yes” to that simple question, but you’ll be hanged if you’ll answer no, as that would entail tacitly admitting that you made an assertion which is simply untrue.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Israel’s national security policy is driven almost entirely by religious views held by its leadership.  From a national security pov, it’s a theocracy.  Having a state religion is NOT what defines a theocracy.

Quite true.  Israel has a state religion (Judaism), and yet is not a theocracy.  Denmark, Iceland, Norway, the United Kingdom, et al. also all have state religions, and they’re not theocracies either.

A theocracy also entails either the administrative hierarchy of the government and the administrative hierarchy of the religion as one and the same, or it may have two separate hierarchies, but with that of state administration hierarchy subordinate to that of the religioun.  Iran, with its supreme leader (Khamenei) a cleric, and its constitutional requirement that members of its ruling council be clerics, fits this description.  Israel does not.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Having policies that are determined by theology and religious doctrine is what defines theocracies.

No, it doesn’t.

Theocracy should be distinguished from other secular forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held “By the Grace of God”.
A theocracy may be monist in form, where the administrative hierarchy of the government is identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two ‘arms,’ but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

Theocracy

I just gave you the definition of a theocracy.  Trying to redefine it to suit your argument won’t enable you to avoid the fact that you cannot answer yes to the question.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

The dispute in the 2000 US election hinged on the count of the votes in Florida, where the margin of victory was close—2,912,790 for Bush, vs. 2,912,253   for Gore.  That’s a difference of just 0.0092%.

That’s the type of claim that people who’ve no clue wtf they are babbling about love to make on this topic.  No.  The actual vote count given EVERY possible scenario under a recount shows Gore winning.

It does huh?

George W Bush would probably have won the disputed US presidential election, even if the federal Supreme Court had allowed a recount of votes in the state of Florida, a US newspaper has concluded…

Republicans called the results of the Miami Herald’s review further proof that Mr Bush was the legitimate winner all along… Democrats said the review shows neither side could have known how the recounts would turn out.

BBC News: Bush was ‘true winner’

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

The court isn’t the source of truth or facts in the world, lol.  Again, under EVERY possible scenario, the recount would show Gore had won.  Even without counting the 95k voters thrown off the rolls.  There is no reasonable argument to claim taht Bush got more votes, won the election in Fla., and thus was a legitimately elected POTUS.

If EVERY possible scenario shows Gore would have won, how could a major newspaper assert Bush was the “true winner” and even democrats respond that “neither side could have known how the recounts would turn out”?  Sounds like someone’s been cherry picking his sources again.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

By contrast, in the Iranian election, Ahmadinejad, whose popularity was at an all-time low, is supposed to have won with 62.63% of the popular vote?

Stop right there.  That’s simply not true.  He was still immensly popular leading into the elections.  The electorate there for whatever reason wasn’t blaming him for virtually any of the country’s problems.

ROTFLMAO!!!

How Iran’s Populist Lost His Popularity

Lowest Popularity Ratings for Ahmadinejad

Iran: Ahmadinejad’s popularity in a free fall

Ahmadinejad’s Popularity Fading Fast

But yes, Ahmadinejad was popular.  He was so popular, people started rioting when they realized he wasn’t about to step down.  LMAO.  Honestly tavish, you should take this on the road.  Ron White’s got nothing on you.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Excuse me?  I think he stole the election.  See, now you are just making stuff up again.  What I SAID was that it’s not a clear cut conclusion that anyone with any intellectual stamina can come to.

Oh yes.  In 70 municipalities, the number of votes counted are more than total population of people who could vote in those region, and in all those cities Ahmadinejad won by 80% to 90%, but there’s nothing suspicious anyone could point to about that.

tavishhill2003 - 03 August 2009 08:17 AM

Al Jazeerah’s English language service reported it as the “biggest unrest since the 1979 revolution”, and also noted that the protests were spontaneous, with no organization and no identifiable leader.

Spontaneous?  But I thought you were claiming earlier that they werne’t spontaneous?  See, when I said that the electrion results caused spontaneous riots you called me an idiot.  So much for that theory, eh?

Where did I ever claim the Iranian riots were organized?

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Posted: 04 August 2009 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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Billy Shears - 04 August 2009 10:35 AM

SNIP

You are conflating…again.  No one in their right mind (thus, excluding yourself) could possibly argue that Obama wasn’t upset about teh actions of teh Iranian govt vis a vis the riots.  Furthermore, the only commentators who were saying Obama wasn’t handling the careful balance on Iran in terms of his statements correctly were right wing nutjobs like yourself.  I don’t understand why this is a difficult thing for you to understand Billy, but the president of the US can’t run around making brash statements without carefully surveying the way his message will be understood across the globe, especdially in places like Iran give the context of the events there recently.  Why is this so beyond you intellectual grasp?  If he came out like you and the other fuckwits demanded, it would have only strengthened the argument that the regime in Iran was pushing about US interference inside their borders trying to spark civil unrest.  On the other hand, coming out too strongly in support of the regime kills the credibility of the Obama administration vis a vis talks with said regime in the future, which are vital tho the US national security and foreign relations interests.  This is why he had to walk a thin line and be very careful about the position he takes on Iran.  Stop acting like this is the first time you’ve been told this.

But a significant number of people think, and I happen to agree, that we are going to be accused of that no matter what, and that the brutal crackdown on the election protestors is indicative of a repressive and tyrannical regime, whose actions have earned censure from the rest of the world’s nations.

Acting in ways the US doesn’t approve of is not an excuse to destroy months of vital national security and foreign policy efforts as some barbaic trade for mindless chest thumping.  Here in the real world that the rest of us live in we don’t get to just run around spouting off whenever the moment strikes us.  Tehre are reprecussions and we have to carefully weigh the pro’s and cons of making such statements.  There is LITERALLY nothing good that could possibly come from Obama saying what you children wish him to say.  Quite the opposite.

Really?

Yes.  Really.  Ask Kissinger.  Ask Skocroft.  Ask Zgibinew.  Ask Albrecht.  Ask Bill Clinton for fuck’s sake!  Hillary isn’t someone whose statements on Iran in particular have been thoughtful or well considered in the past.

Since when is just over 1/3rd a “tiny, tiny minority”?

I was talking about the tiny minority of informed individuals.  Clearly I’m giving you too much credit there.  Sorry, but you don’t get support for your idiotic views simply by trying to illustrate that there are other morons like you who don’t understand or thoughtfully reprecussions of geopolitics carefully. 

Yes, 62% is a tiny, tiny minority indeed.

...read (slowly) above. 

That’s where you’ve got it wrong.  We have thought of the repercussions.  We’ve also thought – as you appear not to have done, because you haven’t even seriously considered this possibility, apparently – of the possible repercussions of meeting, without any preconditions, a side who it is very likely will not be negotiating in good faith.

1) There is EVERY indication they would negotiate fully in good faith as they’ve demonstrated multiple times in the past on this very issue.
2) Talking with Iran about their nuclear energy programs have no negative reprecussions whatsoever attached to them.  There is no risk.  WE are the ones who want to talk to THEM about that particular energy program.  WE are the ones with the concerns and as such we are in no place to make demands that they stop their 100% legal pursuit of nuclear energy.  The onus isn’t on them to jump through hoops to come talk to us about problems WE have with their policies.  They don’t have to earn the right to have a discussion about national security with the west.

Apparently, in Iran, they only have them to lend a veneer of legitimacy to a predetermined outcome.

This is the first time in recent memory in Iran that their elections have had any meaningful doubt towards their legitimacy.

I’m the one with a black/white view of reality?!?  That’s rich, coming from you.  More on this shortly.

What?  You already completely did a 180 on this from earlier.  First it was rioting because of the policies the electorate didn’t like.  Then it was due to the election just as I said.  And now you are flip flopping once more?  Make up your mind for crying out loud.  And yes, imagining that anytime you don’t like what someone is doing that you should disregard the consequences and boisterously declare other world leaders as murderous theocrats is narrow-minded neocon dementia.  The world isn’t black and white where there are good guys on one side and bad guys on the other where such statements are made to the backdrop of an America flag like John Wayne movies. 

The concept is really quite simple, and is called “diplomatic isolation.”

 

You aren’t even trying to refute my points any more.  How boring.

Wouldn’t it be nice if, for a change, you actually cited some sources for your assertions?

So you were completely unaware of what the IAEA and the EU were doing within their talks with Iran and the fact they were desperately trying to get us to come to teh table after Iran made tons of concessions to the EU if they could just get us to teh table for talks?  But I thoguht you were well informed about this issue Billy?  How come you don’t know all this stuff?

YES!  ABSOLUTELY!  THEY CAN’T BE TRUSTED TO ENRICH URANIUM!  THEY’RE SITTING ON SOME OF THE LARGEST OIL RESERVES IN THE WORLD!  THEY NEED NUCLEAR ENERGY LIKE BRUCE WILLIS NEEDS A HAIRBRUSH!  IT’S A FRONT!  YOU CAN TELL IT’S A FRONT BECAUSE EVEN THE EVIL GEO. W. BUSH BACKED A NUCLEAR PLAN FOR IRAN, AS LONG AS SOMEONE ELSE (RUSSIA) WAS PROVIDING THE ENRICHED URANIUM THEY WERE GOING TO USE.

The 16 US intelligence agencies disagree.  Is it safe to assume you were also completely ignorant of the fact that the Iranians were in FAVOR of the IAEA solution to this issue ElBaradei came up with?  Ya know, the one where the IAEA would supply Iran all the uranium they wanted so long as the IAEA were the ones controlling its use entirely within Iranian borders? 

See, you are going back to the neocon mentality of ‘conceptcia’ where you start with your conclusion based on right wing fearmongering and try to manufacture justification by ignoring pesky little things like facts and logic.  Typing in all caps doesn’t make your deluded rant any more fact-based. 

But that’s not good enough for Iran.  They’re not content with having nuclear power, which they ought to be if their only goal were to produce nuclear energy.  No, they insist they must have the ability to enrich the uranium themselves – which, coincidentally, would give them the ability to make nuclear warheads.  You don’t find anything suspicious about this?

Actually they don’t insist on that.  They agreed to ElBaradei’s solution.  So why didn’t that solution get arried out?  A certain superpower decided it didn’t wanna agree to it.  I’ll give ya one guess as to which nation that was.  They do want to have their own enrichment of uranium if they can’t get ElBaradei’s deal to become reality for the same reason all countries with nuclear energy plans…to avoid foreign control over their energy policy.

And no, I don’t find their perfectly legal actions, suspicious as some might find them, to be valid excuses for thratening them with military obliteration and violent regime changen at the hands of the US.  There are real concerns to be had, but you don’t confront those concerns by starting wars in the meantime.  That’s the entire point of diplomacy you fuckwit!  To help address those national security conerns!

And as I’ve told you in the past, enriching uranium to the level of 20%+ enrichment is NOT coming to Iran anytime soon.  According to the IAEA they were sitting at about 4% as of a year ago.  I know you don’t know jack shit about nuclear physics, but enriching uranium isn’t an easy task.  It destroys all your machinery in the process.

Excuse me, I never said anything of the kind, though it doesn’t surprise me to see you putting words in my mouth.

Excuse me, but I never said you claimed the document didn’t exist.  I was asking you (hence the question mark) to clarify wtf you were babbling about.  If you aren’t then you are giving voice to those who do make such claims for absolutely no logical reason.  So, if you don’t believe these ppl made this story up, then you now have to address the points I made using said document.  Feel free to start anytime.

I merely indicated that all I could find was one source, and I’d remain skeptical until I could see more evidence.  Okay, so there appears to be good support for the existence of this letter.

There is literally ZERO evidence that Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons.  You are willing to pursue actions that would have almost necessarily lead to war under the last administration.  And now you are asking for more evidence towards the existence of the document besides the testimony of Col. Wilerson and Leverett?!

And no, that was not “all” you did.  First you pushed this ignorant notion that Iran was never interested in any dealings with the US on an honest diplomatic level and would enver give us what we were demanding.  As I proved beyond reasonable doubt by showing the existence of that letter, obviously that’s completely false.  And you continue to spout that talking point anyway.  Also, you tried to dismiss what Wilerson said by tryhing to suggest he was alone in stating this.  But you didn’t even look into it obviously.  Furthermore, you tried to dismiss Wilkerson’s testimony because you didn’t like what he said.  You simply asserted that OBVIOUSLY just HAS to have an axe to grind and tehrefore he can’t be trusted.  Then you pointed to a PR guy to find a mroe reliable source on this ussue?  HA!

How about some names and numbers?  “A ton” is rather vague, and given your penchant for exaggeration…

Hughes, Powell, and several others whom I don’t remember atm.  Wilkerson and 8 others at State threatened to leave and almost did.  Also, the entirety of the Joint Chiefs of Staff threatened to resign over Cheney’s war mongering efforts vis a vis Iran and nuclear weapons.  Not to mention countless intelligence officers according to Powell, Wilkerson, and Sy Hersh.  These were all things done because of the way Cheney and Bush ran foreign relations specifically with Iraq/Iran and their abuse of the intelligence agencies in our country to justify Cheney’s war(s). 

And yes, I’d say that consitutes “a ton”.

[ Edited: 04 August 2009 10:50 AM by tavishhill2003]
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Posted: 04 August 2009 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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I’ll respond to the rest of your confused ramblings tomorrow.  I just had a post typed up and tried backspacing one fucking character and it deleted my entire post.

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Posted: 04 August 2009 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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tavishhill2003 - 04 August 2009 02:47 PM

That’s where you’ve got it wrong.  We have thought of the repercussions.  We’ve also thought – as you appear not to have done, because you haven’t even seriously considered this possibility, apparently – of the possible repercussions of meeting, without any preconditions, a side who it is very likely will not be negotiating in good faith.

1) There is EVERY indication they would negotiate fully in good faith as they’ve demonstrated multiple times in the past on this very issue.

There’s hardly any point in arguing with you about this anymore, but this right here I couldn’t pass.  It demonstrates your worldview quite fully.

A notorious, corrupt, terrorist supporting, theocracy, with one of the most appalling human rights records in the world is, of course, completely honest and trustworthy, and is, it goes without saying, acting in good faith.

And equally, it goes without saying that United States, of course, is acting in bad faith.

“There is EVERY indication they would negotiate fully in good faith as they’ve demonstrated multiple times in the past on this very issue”?

Suuuuuuuure
they can…

Distrust over Iranian intentions is not based solely upon Iranian statements, but also upon Tehran’s actions. In December 2002, satellite photos confirmed reports that the Iranian government was building an undeclared uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, about 130 miles south of Tehran, and a heavy water plant at Khondab, about thirty-two miles northwest of the town of Arak.[35]

In February 2003, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) sent a team of inspectors to confirm Iranian statements that “the activities of the Islamic Republic are totally transparent, clear, and peaceful.”[36] Their subsequent report showed the depth of Iranian subterfuge. Iran had completed 164 centrifuges, was working on 1,000 more, and had designed the facility to house at least 50,000. Furthermore, the inspection revealed that Tehran had not acknowledged import of almost a ton of uranium from China, nor could the Iranian nuclear agency account for some missing processed uranium.[37]

The Iranian government’s initial claims that its program was indigenous and entirely peaceful were false. As the IAEA noted, “The role of uranium metal in Iran’s declared nuclear fuel cycle still needs to be fully understood, since neither its light water reactors nor its planned heavy water reactors require uranium metal for fuel.”[38]

After inspectors caught Iran in a lie, Iranian officials changed their story. They abandoned previous statements about the indigenous nature of their program and blamed the presence of highly enriched uranium traces on contaminated equipment imported into Iran,[39] most likely from Pakistan. Patrick Clawson, coauthor of Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, observed, “If true, that means Iran has in fact had substantial foreign assistance and has been effective at concealing that assistance.”[40]

Iranian scientists later acknowledged experimenting with the chemical separation of polonium. Polonium-210 is used to initiate the chain reaction leading to the detonation of a nuclear bomb.[41] Although Iranian officials then assured the IAEA that they would shortly stop enriching uranium, they did not.[42] Again, Tehran had lied to win short-term diplomatic goodwill. On August 10, 2004, Kharrazi said that Iran would not resume uranium enrichment unless there was a significant change in national interest.[43] The pause in enrichment lasted just seven weeks more, even though there had been no significant change; if anything, with U.S. forces engaged in a bloody counterinsurgency in Iraq and gasoline prices at records highs, Tehran’s geopolitical position had grown more secure. Whether Kharrazi intended to deceive should be irrelevant from the Western perspective. In April 2004, the IAEA again found traces of bomb-grade uranium at other sites.[44] Iran had lied again. On September 24, 2004, the IAEA Board of Governors met in Vienna, Austria, and after recalling a litany of Iranian mistruths, found that “Iran’s many failures and breaches of its obligations to comply with its NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty] Safeguards Agreement . . . constitute non-compliance.”[45]

Can Iran Be Trusted?

Iran is not trustworthy.  A government that would rig elections to stay in power and brutally stamp out dissent in response is NOT an honest government which can be trusted to act in good faith.  Why you would ever think it is a complete mystery to me.

But that’s just what I was referring to earlier.  You have an automatic, reflexive anti-American bias.  You believe the propaganda coming out of an oppressive theocracy that openly stifles freedom of expression before you’ll believe the statements of your own government.  I suppose it’s at least partly because you live here, and you can see, close up, the flaws of our government.  You don’t have such a perspective on the government of Iran, and the anger and resentment you’ve built up at US misdeeds has colored your judgement.

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I am the very model of a Christian Evangelical
I’ve no need for courtesy when fighting things heretical
I know the bible word for word; you’ll find me pedagogical
I have my faith so I’ve no need for ideas that are logical
Atheists and Pagans fall before my wit satirical
They’ll burn in hell just as they should; their cries will be so lyrical
I’m always right, you’re always wrong, my reasoning’s dogmatical
For I’m the very model of a Christian Evangelical

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Posted: 04 August 2009 03:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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Skipshot - 31 July 2009 06:34 PM

You forgot one, teuchter:

5. The US supported Iraq in their war with Iran from 1980-1988.

Yeah, I did forget the golden days when Saddam was our good pal.  (Manuel Noriega tried to warn Saddam what happens to our good friends when we are through with them, but Saddam wouldn’t take the collect call from the US prison.)

As I now recall, our support included supplying intelligence to help the Iraqis aim the chemical weapons at the Iranian forces—you remember those?  Weapons of mass destruction?

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Posted: 05 August 2009 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Billy Shears - 04 August 2009 06:26 PM

There’s hardly any point in arguing with you about this anymore, but this right here I couldn’t pass.  It demonstrates your worldview quite fully.

A notorious, corrupt, terrorist supporting, theocracy, with one of the most appalling human rights records in the world is, of course, completely honest and trustworthy, and is, it goes without saying, acting in good faith.

The same can be said about Israel.  They are acting as a theocracy vis a vis their foreign policy and national security policies.  They are corrupt as well and they actually ARE the terrorist group!  And again, you are conflating (a theme with you).  Being a horrid human rights offender isn’t the same thing as lacking credibility in negotiations with world powers over nuclear programs or other vital national interests. North Korea is far worse an offender of human rights and yet we can negotiate with them just fine (and have in the very recent past) on the issue of nuclear weapons because no matter how crazy these leaders are, they are all obsessed with maintaining their power.  And it’s awful tough to hold power over a nation that has been obliterated because lil Kim or his Iranian counterpart decides they wanna start a war with the US. 

The problem is you see these leaders as nothing but personalities and caricatures who you ignorantly pretend will act based on their feelings withotu concern for anything else.  The reality is far less black and white.  The Soviets from a few decades ago and North Koreans today are/were more crazy and unpredictable than Iran is by a LONG SHOT.  Yet we’ve worked through various issues based on nuclear weapons with them not out of the character of teh personalities of their leaders, but based on the mutual self interests that are requsiite for retaining power in a modern world.

And equally, it goes without saying that United States, of course, is acting in bad faith.

Yes, the US has historically acted in bad faith regarding Iran.  And Iraq as well.  And many other countries.  If this offends your childish sensibilities that’s your problem. 


Suuuuuuuure
they can…

You aren’t even attempting to deal with my points.  I’ve showed you multiple times that they offered to go out of their way to negotiate with us on the issue of nukes.  The EU was talking with them and they tried desperately to pull us into the talks as Iran committed to a deal with them to temporarily cease all enrichment procedures just if the EU could convince the US to come to the table.  In 2003 they sent that letter conceding anything we could ever want from them.  They sent a similar letter again in May of 2005 and in 2008 reiterated that the offer was still valid. 

SNIP

This article was written under assumptions about what Iran was doing vis a vis a supposed nuclear weapons program.  Since it’s publication, we’ve seen the release on the 2007 NIE that confirms that Iran stopped all efforts on such programs in 2003, invalidating the vast majority of the basis this article was written upon.

Their subsequent report showed the depth of Iranian subterfuge. Iran had completed 164 centrifuges, was working on 1,000 more, and had designed the facility to house at least 50,000.

Duh?  That’s the whole point behind centrifuges…to have lots fo them so you can build up your enrichment capabilities to the level you need for fullfilling a nationwide energy infrustructure.  You can argue out of hand that it was just a front…but then you’d have no room to explain this stuff (which I already mentinoed and you conveniently ignored):

“To address concerns that its enrichment program may be diverted to non-peaceful uses,[17] Iran has offered to place additional restrictions on its enrichment program including, for example, ratifying the Additional Protocol to allow more stringent inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency, operating the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz as a multinational fuel center with the participation of foreign representatives, renouncing plutonium reprocessing and immediately fabricating all enriched uranium into reactor fuel rods.[18] Iran’s offer to open its uranium enrichment program to foreign private and public participation mirrors suggestions of an IAEA expert committee which was formed to investigate the methods to reduce the risk that sensitive fuel cycle activities could contribute to national nuclear weapons capabilities.[19] Some non-governmental U.S. experts have have endorsed this approach.[20]”

Furthermore, the inspection revealed that Tehran had not acknowledged import of almost a ton of uranium from China, nor could the Iranian nuclear agency account for some missing processed uranium.[37]

There has never been a country who accounts fully to inspectors’ requests.  Neither did Saddam even AFTER we had disarmed him during the 1990’s.  They always try to hide what they do.  The issue is that you can’t grasp the fact that trying to be sneaky doesn’t automatically make them some sort of imminent nuclear threat.  Just as we saw with Saddam who was completely disarmed as of 1998. 

We don’t have to trust and verify.  We can distrust and still verify.  In the end, the verification is the only thing that matters and we have verified with both Iraq and Iran taht they are/were NOT building nuclear weapons.  I’m not taking their rhetoric as my evidence here Billy.  They literally are incapable of building a warhead with the purity of uranium they are physically capable of producing.  Not to mention their repeated actions to push for restrictions that would make any such research completely impossible, only to watch the US veto the plans under the Bush administration because Cheney wasn’t interested in nukes, he was interested in regime change.

The Iranian government’s initial claims that its program was indigenous and entirely peaceful were false. As the IAEA noted, “The role of uranium metal in Iran’s declared nuclear fuel cycle still needs to be fully understood, since neither its light water reactors nor its planned heavy water reactors require uranium metal for fuel.”[38]

That’s a spectacularly misleading statement by Rubin.  the conclusino of that IAEA report even noted that there were several other possible reasons for that material to be used that fell fully within their regulations and a such their conclusion was that Iran was doing just fine in upholding their end of the bargain vis a vis passing the inspections overall.

After inspectors caught Iran in a lie, Iranian officials changed their story. They abandoned previous statements about the indigenous nature of their program and blamed the presence of highly enriched uranium traces on contaminated equipment imported into Iran,[39] most likely from Pakistan. Patrick Clawson, coauthor of Checking Iran’s Nuclear Ambitions, observed, “If true, that means Iran has in fact had substantial foreign assistance and has been effective at concealing that assistance.”[40]

Except that we’ve known about foreign involvement in their nuclear evenrgy/weapons efforts for a long time.  The North Koreans have aided them by teaching them how to dig tunnels for more efficient nuclear materials storage.  They’ve also had help from Pakistan as noted.  This wasn’t concealed anymore than it was ‘concealed’ that the US gave Saddam the helicopters and nerve gas to kill the Kurds with our full blessing. 

Once more, this isn’t black and white.  they do lie about all sorts of things regarding thair nuclear energy plans.  So does EVERY nation undergoing inspections.  The preimminent expample especially being Iraq, who lied about this sort of stuff left adn right in the 1990’s and yet we still were more than able to keep him from developing weaponized nukes.  And yet what happened in 2002?  The neocons like yourself started with the ASSUMPTION that he had a connection to 9/11 and that he had nukes and THEN went digging to find evidence after your mind was made up.  But where were the nukes Billy?  They didn’t exist.  Contrary to what you’d no doubt have been pushing 7 yrs ago.  It’s not an issue of these countries not telling us the truth or even lying to us.  The issue is the evidence just isn’t tehre to support your assertions.

Iranian scientists later acknowledged experimenting with the chemical separation of polonium. Polonium-210 is used to initiate the chain reaction leading to the detonation of a nuclear bomb.[41]

...yes, because they were operting within Iran’s nuclear weapons program still until early 2003.  they acknowledged things here that you and I already know Billy.  Shame you fail to realize that this article was written before the NIE that confirmed the premise the author’s opinions are based on was bogus.

On August 10, 2004, Kharrazi said that Iran would not resume uranium enrichment unless there was a significant change in national interest.[43] The pause in enrichment lasted just seven weeks more, even though there had been no significant change;

Enrichmenn isn’t a crime.  Nor is it indicative of a nuclear weapons program moving forward beyond 2003.  I’ll give Rubin a pass on this since he wasn’t aware of what the CIA, NSA, and Cheney knew regarding Iran’s nuclear weapons program and its being shut down.  Nevertheless, he is arguing out of ignorance and filling in an agenda betweent he lines that he WANTS to see.

...if anything, with U.S. forces engaged in a bloody counterinsurgency in Iraq and gasoline prices at records highs, Tehran’s geopolitical position had grown more secure.

Utter delusion by Rubin.  If this were the case, which it wasn’t AT ALL, they’d have never sent that letter to the Swiss.  Rubin is arguing backwards again.  He is starting with the conclusion that they are secretly making nukes and then trying to draw up supporting evidence by grasping at straws and ignoring improtant facts.  It’s easy to look back at 2004 as he does from 2006 and decide that Iran’s geopolitical security was perfectly fine.  But that’s not what Iran felt and that’s not how the neocons felt either.  This was, of course, while Cheney was already suppressing CIA analysts who were telling the WH that Iran had ditched their nuclear weapons program yrs before.

Iran is not trustworthy.  A government that would rig elections to stay in power and brutally stamp out dissent in response is NOT an honest government which can be trusted to act in good faith.

I said they would neotiate the nuclear issue in good faith, tit for tat.  I never said we should trust them.  And the 2000 elections were AT THE VERY LEAST every bit as trasnparently rigged as these elections were in Iran.  The difference is they use violence to stamp out dissent whereas teh neocons use propaganda and censorship.

Also, Wilkerson, Powell, the CIA, NSA, Scott Ritter, the Leveretts, and the IAEA are not “propaganda spewing theocrats” with anti-America bias.  Neither is nuclear physics which I understand quite well

[ Edited: 05 August 2009 11:10 AM by tavishhill2003]
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Posted: 06 August 2009 09:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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tavishhill2003 - 05 August 2009 03:07 PM

The same can be said about Israel.  They are acting as a theocracy vis a vis their foreign policy and national security policies.

I already explained what a theocracy is (and provided a link to indicate that unlike your definition, mine is not my own personal one).  But think about it a moment.  The very day after Israel declared itself a nation, it was attacked by five separate nations: Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.  Incredibly, Israel prevailed.  During the 1950s, Israel was frequently attacked by Palestinian fedayeen, mainly from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip.  Arab nationalists led by Gamal Abdel Nasser refused to recognize Israel or its right to exist, openly calling for its destruction, and In 1967, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan massed troops close to Israeli borders, expelled UN peacekeepers and blocked Israel’s access to the Red Sea. Israel saw these actions as a threat and a prelude to war, and launched a pre-emptive strike of its own, touching off the Six-Day War, in which Israel achieved a decisive victory, and captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights (which it retained to prevent Nasser from trying it again).  On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, the Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israel, which Israel repelled, but only with great losses.

Now given all this, doesn’t it even occur to you that Israel acts as it does, not out of religious fanaticism, but out of simple, old-fashioned paranoia.  And even if they have become a little paranoid, given their history, they have at least as much right to be as, say, Russia does, having been invaded at least as often, and far more recently at that.

tavishhill2003 - 05 August 2009 03:07 PM

And equally, it goes without saying that United States, of course, is acting in bad faith.

Yes, the US has historically acted in bad faith regarding Iran.  And Iraq as well.  And many other countries.  If this offends your childish sensibilities that’s your problem.

Your sensibilities are the childish ones, for you seem to assume that if one side is bad the other must be good.  Classic black & white worldview.  If there’s a bad guy, there must be a good guy.  If the US is acting in bad faith, then it’s the bad guy, and then it automatically follows (and regardless of their actual record) that the other side must be the good guy.  They have to be.  So of course they’re acting in good faith. 

The thought that this might not be so, that they may be equally or even more dishonest never seems to touch your mind. 

tavishhill2003 - 05 August 2009 03:07 PM

I said they would neotiate the nuclear issue in good faith, tit for tat.

Yes, just like North Korea did about its missile program.  Because America being being the bad guy means America’s adversaries are the good guy, and therefore always act in good faith.

You remind me of an article I read recently:

My Country, Right or Wrong
By Weeden Nichols
February 8, 2009

The phrase “My country, right or wrong!” is known to all of us. To some of us, it represents the epitome of patriotism. To others, it may represent the worst of knee-jerk, right-wing, so-called, “patriotism.” I had always, correctly-enough, attributed the phrase to Stephen Decatur, naval hero, captain at age twenty-five, and one of the fathers of the US Navy. The phrase was spoken by Decatur as part of a warrior’s toast:

“Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.”

The phrase is also central to a quote from Carl Shurz, Union Army General, later US Senator, and, still later, US Secretary of the Interior:

“My country; and my country is the great American Republic. My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”

It seems obvious to me that General Shurz was consciously referring to the famous quote from Stephen Decatur, and that he intentionally used it to focus upon what he considered to be a concise definition of responsible patriotism.

These two quotes have been used to introduce any number of writings on the general topic of patriotism, but only one or the other, depending on the writer’s purpose. I am using both. I should note also that both Decatur and Shurz seem to be using the term “country” as identical to the government of the country. I will continue that meaning in this piece, but I should say also that some of my favorite “love of country and homeland” works were by persons who had no great affection for the governments of their homelands.

Decatur’s toast might be inflated in its implications, intended for effect, but it is also possible that Decatur meant exactly what he said. I believe Shurz meant what he said.

There are two kinds of people – those who divide things into categories, and those who do not. I do. I would divide those who care what their country is and what it does (and this is not everybody) into four categories:

1. Those who deny any possibility that their country might commit misdeeds or missteps, and who ignore any evidence to the contrary.

2. Those who are aware, but who consider themselves honor-bound to be loyal and obedient until and unless they become the decision-maker, or unless the decision-maker consults them, in which case they would exercise their best judgment.

3. Those who love their country but are aware of misdeeds and missteps, who wish to hold their country to its best values, and who therefore feel compelled to speak truth to power.

4. Those who renounce, deny, or reject their country upon evidence of misdeeds and missteps.

I belong to Category 3, but feel great respect and kinship for Category 2. I have more friends in Category 2 than in Category 3, and none at all in Categories 1 and 4.

I retired from the US Army over 30 years ago, my last four years having been on the faculty of the US Army Military Police School. In my time, USAMPS was, in effect, a joint Army-Marine Corps school. Marines comprised perhaps 20-30% of the faculty, and about an equivalent percentage of students. There were token faculty members from other US and allied services, as well as some students from other US and foreign services. I have tremendous admiration and affection for Marines. Marines are nothing like the caricatures and stereotypes one encounters in Marine jokes. Marines are intelligent, resourceful, responsible, and courageous. I would compare Marines to my impression of Jesuits. Marines consider themselves the President’s ultimate loyal force. Jesuits are also intelligent, resourceful, responsible, and courageous, and they, at least at one time (at least as I understand it), considered themselves the Pope’s ultimate loyal force (the Vatican Swiss Guard being merely a ceremonial force). Both Marines and Jesuits arrived at their frames of reference via a leap of faith. They committed themselves to what they were going to believe, adopted a frame of reference and set of assumptions, within which they could then apply the full range of their intellects and resources. Most of my Marine colleagues understood themselves to be committed to personal loyalty to the president. Some have told me that they could never vote against an incumbent president because to do so would be disloyal. On the other hand, I have never known either a Jesuit or a Marine who was unaware when a superior did something really stupid, or who would deny that superior his best counsel if asked. On one occasion, I made a close Marine friend, a colleague of my own rank, uncomfortable – perhaps even lost his friendship – by confronting a superior who, for reasons of ego, made a decision detrimental to both the mission and the morale of the organization. It was clear that my Marine colleague considered my action unseemly, to say the least. I describe Marines in such detail in order to contrast the Marine as the epitome of Category 2 and myself as a representative of Category 3.

My purpose today is to suggest how great the affinity between Categories 2 and 3 might be. I suggest that both categories are comprised of persons who want the beloved country to live up to its best values. I suggest that the only difference between the person who feels compelled to speak truth (as best he understands it) to power, and the person who feels compelled to remain silent until an opportunity arises to make his understandings known in a proper and diplomatic fashion, is the individual’s internalization of values as to what is proper and seemly. I suggest that those who speak out regarding misdeeds and missteps, and those who silently deplore those same misdeeds and missteps, are not adversaries, but are kindred souls with differing value formation as to what is seemly. Category 2 might ponder whether, in some cases, a higher loyalty might require speaking out. Category 3 persons, such as I, might ponder exercising a little restraint. I have no advice for Categories 1 and 4, nor would they be receptive.

I suppose I fall somewhere in between categories 2 and 3.  I would have to say that you fall uncomfortably close to 4.

[ Edited: 07 August 2009 12:13 AM by Billy Shears]
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Posted: 09 August 2009 10:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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Billy Shears - 06 August 2009 01:21 PM

I already explained what a theocracy is (and provided a link to indicate that unlike your definition, mine is not my own personal one).

You provided no link.  Also, the definitions you’ll find in dictionaries mirror what I said, that being a nation whose policies are derived from religious doctrine.  It doesn’t have to have clerics to be a theocracy.  Are you honestly telling me that Israel’s foreign policy vis a vis Palestine and specifically Jerusalem is somehow NOT based on the leadership’s views that God granted them that land in the Old Testament?!  They come out and tell you as much openly, as does the elecorate there, and the govt’s actions back up such claims.  I notice you won’t even attempt to counter my points about Israel being terrorists or more oppressive within Palestine than Iran is within its borders.  Typical.

But think about it a moment.  The very day after Israel declared itself a nation, it was attacked by five separate nations: Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.  Incredibly, Israel prevailed.  During the 1950s, Israel was frequently attacked by Palestinian fedayeen, mainly from the Egyptian-occupied Gaza Strip.  Arab nationalists led by Gamal Abdel Nasser refused to recognize Israel or its right to exist, openly calling for its destruction, and In 1967, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan massed troops close to Israeli borders, expelled UN peacekeepers and blocked Israel’s access to the Red Sea. Israel saw these actions as a threat and a prelude to war, and launched a pre-emptive strike of its own, touching off the Six-Day War, in which Israel achieved a decisive victory, and captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights (which it retained to prevent Nasser from trying it again).  On October 6, 1973, Yom Kippur, the Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack against Israel, which Israel repelled, but only with great losses.

1) This has very little to do with the issue of Iran.
2) Israel started that war and prior to its attack had EVERY opportunity to prevent it outright and chose not to.  I’m not gonna get too far into it here because I’ve arleady talked about it another thread a while back in rigorous detail. 

Now given all this, doesn’t it even occur to you that Israel acts as it does, not out of religious fanaticism, but out of simple, old-fashioned paranoia.  And even if they have become a little paranoid, given their history, they have at least as much right to be as, say, Russia does, having been invaded at least as often, and far more recently at that.

No.  No rational human being can come to such a conclusion.  Let’s ignore the fact that ISRAEL started the war in 1967 and had every opportunity to prevent it and decided it didn’t want to.  Even ignoring that fact, it’s one thing to temporarily push you enemy back to a healthy distance to help facilitate your retreat back into your own borders at the end of a war.  It’s quite another to stay there and brutally oppress and terrorize the CIVILIAN inhabitants of this region FOR FORTY FUCKING YEARS!  You can’t justify their actions since 1967 as being in their best natinoal security interests.  History has proven beyond any reasonable doubt that their national security goals aren’t being met by such actinos. 

Furthermore, it is the height of irony that here you try to jusify a 40 year illegal occupation of Arab land by saying that it’s ok since they are just paranoid but when we point out that Iran has every possible reason to be terrified by Israel and the Bush administration’s rhetoric and stated policy agendas we are all the sudden out of line.  Gimme a break.

Your sensibilities are the childish ones, for you seem to assume that if one side is bad the other must be good.  Classic black & white worldview.  If there’s a bad guy, there must be a good guy.

This is a classic case of projection on your part.  Nothing more.

If the US is acting in bad faith, then it’s the bad guy, and then it automatically follows (and regardless of their actual record) that the other side must be the good guy.  They have to be.  So of course they’re acting in good faith.

You arne;t listening.  There isn’t a good buy or a bad guy.  There are various nations with their own strategic national interests at play and if we want the US to be successful in acheiving as much of our natinoal security interests as possible, then diplomacy is the best option possible.  We don’t have to trust them.  We can forcefully verify and hodl their feet to the fire within the diplomatic framework and THEY have agreed to this whereas the neocons you agree with out of hand are the ones who killed the chances of this happening for their reasons associated with their ideological shortcomings.

The thought that this might not be so, that they may be equally or even more dishonest never seems to touch your mind.

Again, the issue is you are only looking at certain chunks of Iranian rhetoric, often distorted in western media as it is, and deciding that this is all legit and unmovable language.  The reality is rhetoric coming from Iran is just that, rhetoric.  It’s done for domestic political reasons, not national security reasons.  I look at their words AND their actions AND their geopolitical options.  It’s not surprising the foreign policy big wigs like the several I’ve mentioned all agree with me.  We don’t have to trust what they say as being honest.  We can look at their ACTIONS to see what they are actually doing and when you do that it turns out there is nothing significant to suggest they are trying to build a nuke atm and as such your ASSUMPTIONS about their nuclear program doesn’t hold up until we get that proof. 

Yes, just like North Korea did about its missile program.

Yes actually, they did.  They got out of the NPT in 2003 perfectly legally and took all legal preperations necessary prior to making that move.  The reason they got out, which is rarely if ever reported on in western media, was ebcause the US wasn’t living up to its obligations under another nuclear arms agreement from 1994.  The Bush administration viewed that agreement as flawed and decided to just not abide by it.  Much like they did with the Geneva Convention(s) or the other international treaties and agreements that didn’t correlate well to their neocon agenda.

Because America being being the bad guy means America’s adversaries are the good guy, and therefore always act in good faith.

What are you talking about?  Is this your idiotic caricature of what you IMAGINE I was saying or is this actually what you believe?  It’s hard to tell anymore.  I’m not saying there is always a good guy and a bad guy.  I am saying that the Bush administration decided it didn’t care about international law and decided to violate nuclear weapons agreements and as a response to that N. Korea backed out of the NPT.  That’s tit for tat.  We backed out of one nuclear agreement, and they backed out of another in response.  There was nothing sneaky about that move on their part.  It was outlined in the 1994 agreement as a justified and agreed upon option for partnering nations if someone wasn’t abiding by the rules. 

Furthermore, when the Bush administration finally did start negotiating with N. Korea on this issue, N. Korea agreed to shut down several of its biggest reactors.  That’s called diplomacy.  And it works when you into it multilaterally. 

I suppose I fall somewhere in between categories 2 and 3.  I would have to say that you fall uncomfortably close to 4.

You are closer to being between #1 and #2 than between #2 and #3.  You are willing to simply dismiss any and all critical facts that don’t fit your narrow neoconservative view of the world.  For example, your desperate attempts to try to dismiss Wilkerson’s testimony by suggesting that anyone who had strong disagreements about the way the neocons were running the Bush administration automatically have axes to grind.  You decided Wilkerson just had to be a rabid liberal who was playing politics with the facts.  Except taht he was a life long Republican whose sole Democratic vote came in 2008 for Barack Obama, years after he was speaking out against the Bush administration. 

When you said you tried to find reporting on the fact that Iran was being directly threatened dozens of time in the WH National Security Strategy from 2006 was practically identical to the war mongering efforts against Iraq in 2002…you lied.  You didn’t spend any time or effort WHATSOEVER looking for such reporting.  You just asserted that since it didn’t fit your argument therefore it didn’t exist.  The reality is that with one simple google or bing search you can pull up all sorts of articles from mainstream sources across the globe on that very issue, as I demonstrated to you.

On the issue of the science behind the process of enriching uranium and developing a useable nuclear weapon, you took the uneducated ramblings of fellow neocon wingnuts over what the analysts at the CIA had to say…or what the nuclear physicists at the IAEA had to say. 

It’s one thing to not trust Iran on the nuclear issue.  Their actions and long term relations with the west don’t point to them wanting a nuke badly enough to risk being further isolated.  You can disagree on taht based onw hatever mindless ideology you like.  It’s not important.  We don’t have to trust them.  We don’t need to ‘trust’ and verify.  We can just as easily distrust and verify. 

The verification part is what is important.  And the scientific rigor of the IAEA and the UN inspection processes coupled with the pessimistic eyes of hostile intelligence agencies across the globe are MORE than enough to verify what they are able to do vis a vis nuclear weapons.  Those programs work far better than you can imagine.  Iran has offered to let foreign nations and foreign organizations run their nuclear programs under ElBaradei’s plan.  The Bush administration refused to let that happen because Cheney felt the IAEA and the UN weren’t reliable when it comes to spotting the development of illegal nuclear weapons.  This was based on his claims about these groups vis a vis Iraqi WMD’s in 2002 and we all saw who edned up being full of shit on that issue.  You no doubt have the same misguided illusions as he did/does.

Most likely you just don’t want to trust them because in 2002 you were convinced, based on your right wing ideology as opposed to the actual facts, that those inspection processes failed to secure Saddam’s nukes that in reality never existed.  And out of intellectual laziness and awkward stubborness you still refuse to give that position up and now you want to use it to justify your views on Iran.

[ Edited: 09 August 2009 10:07 AM by tavishhill2003]
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