1 of 3
1
I can’t believe we still have an invite open to Iran
Posted: 24 June 2009 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09

US says hot dog diplomacy still on with Iran

Why on earth are we still willing to invite a pack of murderous theocrats over for “dialogue” after the recent events in Iran?

Why do you reward regimes engaged in this sort of behavior with the sort of recognition and legitimacy that this sort of move gives them?  Especially when it’s not going to change their behavior.

Christopher Hitchens gets it, even if the current administration doesn’t:

Persian Paranoia: Iranian leaders will always believe Anglo-Saxons are plotting against them.

  1. There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran’s internal affairs. The deep belief that everything—especially anything in English—is already and by definition an intervention is part of the very identity and ideology of the theocracy.
  2. It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally. They are frequently in the grip of archaic beliefs and fears that would make a stupefied medieval European peasant seem mentally sturdy and resourceful by comparison.
  3. The tendency of outside media to check the temperature of the clerics, rather than consult the writers and poets of the country, shows our own cultural backwardness in regrettably sharp relief. Anyone who had been reading Pezeshkzad and Nafisi, or talking to their students and readers in Tabriz and Esfahan and Mashad, would have been able to avoid the awful embarrassment by which everything that has occurred on the streets of Iran during recent days has come as one surprise after another to most of our uncultured “experts.”

That last observation also applies to the Obama administration. Want to take a noninterventionist position? All right, then, take a noninterventionist position. This would mean not referring to Khamenei in fawning tones as the supreme leader and not calling Iran itself by the tyrannical title of “the Islamic republic.” But be aware that nothing will stop the theocrats from slandering you for interfering anyway. Also try to bear in mind that one day you will have to face the young Iranian democrats who risked their all in the battle and explain to them just what you were doing when they were being beaten and gassed. (Hint: Don’t make your sole reference to Iranian dictatorship an allusion to a British-organized coup in 1953; the mullahs think that it proves their main point, and this generation has more immediate enemies to confront.)

There is then the larger question of the Iranian theocracy and its continual, arrogant intervention in our affairs: its export of violence and cruelty and lies to Lebanon and Palestine and Iraq and its unashamed defiance of the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the nontrivial matter of nuclear weapons. I am sure that I was as impressed as anybody by our president’s decision to quote Martin Luther King—rather late in the week—on the arc of justice and the way in which it eventually bends. It was just that in a time of crisis and urgency he was citing the wrong King text (the right one is to be found in the “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”), and it was also as if he were speaking as the president of Iceland or Uruguay rather than as president of these United States. Coexistence with a nuclearized, fascistic theocracy in Iran is impossible even in the short run. The mullahs understand this with perfect clarity. Why can’t we?

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 June 2009 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  585
Joined  2007-10-11
Billy Shears - 24 June 2009 01:27 PM

US says hot dog diplomacy still on with Iran

Why on earth are we still willing to invite a pack of murderous theocrats over for “dialogue” after the recent events in Iran?

Why do you reward regimes engaged in this sort of behavior with the sort of recognition and legitimacy that this sort of move gives them?  Especially when it’s not going to change their behavior.

Christopher Hitchens gets it, even if the current administration doesn’t:

Persian Paranoia: Iranian leaders will always believe Anglo-Saxons are plotting against them.

  1. There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran’s internal affairs. The deep belief that everything—especially anything in English—is already and by definition an intervention is part of the very identity and ideology of the theocracy.
  2. It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally. They are frequently in the grip of archaic beliefs and fears that would make a stupefied medieval European peasant seem mentally sturdy and resourceful by comparison.
  3. The tendency of outside media to check the temperature of the clerics, rather than consult the writers and poets of the country, shows our own cultural backwardness in regrettably sharp relief. Anyone who had been reading Pezeshkzad and Nafisi, or talking to their students and readers in Tabriz and Esfahan and Mashad, would have been able to avoid the awful embarrassment by which everything that has occurred on the streets of Iran during recent days has come as one surprise after another to most of our uncultured “experts.”

That last observation also applies to the Obama administration. Want to take a noninterventionist position? All right, then, take a noninterventionist position. This would mean not referring to Khamenei in fawning tones as the supreme leader and not calling Iran itself by the tyrannical title of “the Islamic republic.” But be aware that nothing will stop the theocrats from slandering you for interfering anyway. Also try to bear in mind that one day you will have to face the young Iranian democrats who risked their all in the battle and explain to them just what you were doing when they were being beaten and gassed. (Hint: Don’t make your sole reference to Iranian dictatorship an allusion to a British-organized coup in 1953; the mullahs think that it proves their main point, and this generation has more immediate enemies to confront.)

There is then the larger question of the Iranian theocracy and its continual, arrogant intervention in our affairs: its export of violence and cruelty and lies to Lebanon and Palestine and Iraq and its unashamed defiance of the United Nations, the European Union, and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the nontrivial matter of nuclear weapons. I am sure that I was as impressed as anybody by our president’s decision to quote Martin Luther King—rather late in the week—on the arc of justice and the way in which it eventually bends. It was just that in a time of crisis and urgency he was citing the wrong King text (the right one is to be found in the “Letter From a Birmingham Jail”), and it was also as if he were speaking as the president of Iceland or Uruguay rather than as president of these United States. Coexistence with a nuclearized, fascistic theocracy in Iran is impossible even in the short run. The mullahs understand this with perfect clarity. Why can’t we?

“Why can’t we ” ? (understand) Some of us can. We are the ones who take the whole Islamic scene seriously enough to have an honest and resolute interest. “Why can’t we ?” (understand ) Because most citizens don’t know what to think——or say. The president is pretty much one of those kind. Either that or he is afraid of taking a stand, whether he “gets it ” or not. The only reason he spoke up more forcefully yesterday is because he was getting criticised by the people and goaded by peers .Otherwise he wasn’t sure what to do or say. Maybe he should ask his wife. Maybe he should ask John McCain . Maybe he should lean on a few words from Martin Luther King . Why does it take a Christopher Hitchens or Sam Harris to understand that the tyrants of an Islamic therocracy will always accuse us of meddling , or intervening in thier internal affairs ? So whether we take a stand and loudly expound our horrification and profound disaproval of trying to smother the sound of the opressed yearning to be free, or we be meek and worried about what the “supreme leaders” think of us , they are still going to hate us.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 June 2009 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09

Well, it seems the Obama White House finally has withdrawn the invitation, belatedly realizing that “...participation by Iranian diplomats would not be appropriate in light of the unjust actions that the president and I have condemned,” Said Hillary Clinton yesterday.

US rescinds July 4 invitations to Iran diplomats

But the wonder of it is that it took this administration so damn long to realize this.  As the article linked above notes “...the administration has been heavily criticized for not acting decisively enough in condemning the Iranian regime in the wake of a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests.”

It looks as if they were only, finally, at long last, moved to act by criticism of their inaction, not by conviction that they needed to take a stand against the actions of the Iranian government.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 June 2009 01:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Member
Avatar
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  363
Joined  2006-04-05

You could very well be right.  Or, it could be that the administration has information suggesting that the regime is not as monolithic as casual observers think it is, and that there might have been some value in keeping what lines of communication we have open with certain factions within the regime.  Unlike other Western nations, we don’t have an embassy there, so our ability to make contacts with potentially sympathetic insiders is limited.

That said, even if that were true I assume the administration decided that whatever value might have derived from this approach pales next to the symbolism of allowing their government to attend while its security forces are engaged in this brutal oppression.

 Signature 

“It isn’t paranoia- it’s a heightened awareness of reality.” —our resident conspiracy theorist takes a stand!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 July 2009 01:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  137
Joined  2007-12-27

...or this from the quoted article:

“Obama has walked a tightrope since the violence broke out in Iran, urging the Islamic regime to end its repression of protests but insisting he will not let Tehran’s leaders cast the United States as a bogeyman.”

This may seem weaselly, but the legacy of the Iraq debacle shackles and shadows whatever action Obama takes in regard to Iran.  Iran’s struggling elite can only benefit from US disapproval, while the struggling opposition in Iran can gain no benefit from US approval.

Both sides of the US political spectrum observed that the US was squandering all of its political capital in the mideast by invading Iraq, and now we see the bitter harvest.  Obama can do nothing but dither, and hope for the best. 

His best move is to work with the Iraqi government to solidify Iraq while the malignant influence of Iran is distracted.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 July 2009 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1485
Joined  2007-12-10

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.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 08:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
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.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1221
Joined  2008-07-20

Frankly, inviting the Iranians over for hot dogs struck me as bizarre in the first instance.  Were we intending to serve pork hot dogs, or kosher beef ones?  But talking to Iran, and negotiating with Iran, and where feasible engaging in athletic and cultural exchanges with Iran all seem not merely reasonable, but unreasonable to refuse.

Billy Shears - 24 June 2009 01:27 PM

[...]
Christopher Hitchens gets it, even if the current administration doesn’t:

  1. There is nothing at all that any Western country can do to avoid the charge of intervening in Iran’s internal affairs. The deep belief that everything—especially anything in English—is already and by definition an intervention is part of the very identity and ideology of the theocracy.
  2. It is a mistake to assume that the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally.

Oh really?  Paranoid?

1.  In 1953, Iran had a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq.  At the instigation of British, the US executed a coup d’etat, disbanded the democratic government, and installed the Shah, who ruled as a dictator for 26 years, keeping power through the brutality of Savak, the secret police formed by the CIA.

2.  George W. Bush gratuitously labelled Iran part of a newly discovered “axis of evil,” and the Adminstration and Congress speak openly of regime change in Iran.  This, of course, is the same term used in connection with Iraq before the invasion of that country.

3.  The US currently has combat troops on the Eastern and Western borders of Iran.  Remember our panic during the Cuban missile crisis?

4.  It has been official US policy for decades to pretend that we don’t know Israel has nuclear weapons;  Israel has nuclear weapons.

A case can be made the Iranians have been pretty good sports about all of this.  Are “the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally?”  No more rationally than Falwell, and Pat “Let’s Assinate Hugo Chavez” Robertson, and George W. Bush, god’s choice for president and who consulted god before invading Iraq.

And while we’re on the subject, why are we so indignant about the stolen election in Iran?  A.  As mentioned above, the last time they had a democracy, we crushed it and B.  doesn’t anyone remember the Supreme Court ordering Florida to stop counting votes in 2000?  I won’t even get into Ohio in 2004, just 2000 should shame us into keeping our mouths shut about how other people conduct their elections.

 Signature 

“I am one of the few people I know who has argued in print that torture may be an ethical necessity in our war on terror.”  Sam Harris October 17, 2005

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20

At the library, pick up a copy of the June 1, 2009 Newsweek.  The headline on the front cover reads:  ‘EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT IRAN IS WRONG.’

From the TV travel programs, I get the impression that the average Iranian is happier than the average American.  I get the impression that despite ‘The history of the relations between the two countries is really dark’, Iranians are generally friendly toward Americans.

About the jokeying of the leaders, Mohamed Elbaradei, directer-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency says:  “And part of it is about who is going to get credit for finally breaking out of this 30 years of fighting and confrontation with the United States.  Everybody is positioning himself to be the national hero who would finally put Iran back onto the world map as part of the mainstream.  They are not like the stereotyped fanatics bent on destroying everybody around them.”

[ Edited: 31 July 2009 02:12 PM by unsmoked]
 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
unsmoked - 29 July 2009 07:12 PM

From the TV travel programs, I get the impression that the average Iranian is happier than the average American.

big surprise

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.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
teuchter - 29 July 2009 05:18 PM

Oh really?  Paranoid?

1.  In 1953, Iran had a democratically elected government headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq.  At the instigation of British, the US executed a coup d’etat, disbanded the democratic government, and installed the Shah, who ruled as a dictator for 26 years, keeping power through the brutality of Savak, the secret police formed by the CIA.

True enough.  This was not one of our finer moments.  It was, however, a half a century ago.  The people who were responsible for it are not the same ones running things today.

teuchter - 29 July 2009 05:18 PM

2.  George W. Bush gratuitously labelled Iran part of a newly discovered “axis of evil,” and the Adminstration and Congress speak openly of regime change in Iran.  This, of course, is the same term used in connection with Iraq before the invasion of that country.

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.

teuchter - 29 July 2009 05:18 PM

3.  The US currently has combat troops on the Eastern and Western borders of Iran.  Remember our panic during the Cuban missile crisis?

Given that our reaction to that whole affair was quite measured, I would dispute that “panic” is the right word here.

teuchter - 29 July 2009 05:18 PM

4.  It has been official US policy for decades to pretend that we don’t know Israel has nuclear weapons;  Israel has nuclear weapons.

Israel is also not a government of corrupt theocrats, standing (less than steadily it seems) on the necks of a restive subject population, whose president seems to have messianic delusions.

teuchter - 29 July 2009 05:18 PM

A case can be made the Iranians have been pretty good sports about all of this.  Are “the ayatollahs, cynical and corrupt as they may be, are acting rationally?”  No more rationally than Falwell, and Pat “Let’s Assinate Hugo Chavez” Robertson, and George W. Bush, god’s choice for president and who consulted god before invading Iraq.

In case you hadn’t noticed, Falwell and Robertson are not now, nor have they ever been running the government.  Their Iranian counterparts are.  It’s a distinction you seem to be missing.

teuchter - 29 July 2009 05:18 PM

And while we’re on the subject, why are we so indignant about the stolen election in Iran?  A.  As mentioned above, the last time they had a democracy, we crushed it and B.  doesn’t anyone remember the Supreme Court ordering Florida to stop counting votes in 2000?  I won’t even get into Ohio in 2004, just 2000 should shame us into keeping our mouths shut about how other people conduct their elections.

Hardly, the outcome of the 2000 election was a very close election, and is one about whose resolution reasonable people can disagree.  No reasonable person can dispute the naked rigging engaged in by those currently in power in Iran.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20
Billy Shears - 29 July 2009 07:36 PM
unsmoked - 29 July 2009 07:12 PM

From the TV travel programs, I get the impression that the average Iranian is happier than the average American.

big surprise

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.

I think the French are also happier than us, and they’re always rioting.  Next they’ll be rioting for better health care for their dogs and cats.  Why Al Gore supporters didn’t riot is beyond me.  Maybe we riot inwardly, which isn’t healthy.

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 July 2009 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2927
Joined  2006-12-17
unsmoked - 29 July 2009 07:12 PM

At the library, pick up a copy of the June 1, 2009 Newsweek.  The headline on the front cover reads:  ‘EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT IRAN IS WRONG.’

From the TV travel programs, I get the impression that the average Iranian is happier than the average American.  I get the impression that despite ‘The history of the relations between the two countries is really dark’, Iranians are generally friendly toward Americans.

About the jokeying of the leaders, Mohamed Elbaradei, directer-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency says:  “And part of it is about who is going to get credit for finally breking out of this 30 years of fighting and confrontation with the United States.  Everybody is positioning himself to be the national hero who would finally put Iran back onto the world map as part of the mainstream.  They are not like the stereotyped fanatics bent on destroying everybody around them.”

That is a very interesting and possibly quite correct comment, although I would imagine that they are also calculating how much they can extract in concessions for turning into nice guys.  Ironically, Iran and the US are natural geopolitical allies, except that Iran and Israel are natural geopolitical opponents.  If Israel and Iran could come to some agreement on dividing up power in the Middle East then some sort of accommodation might be possible.  (Let’s see, give Iraq and Afghanistan to Iran; balkanize the Gulf States, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon; and let Israel try and deal with Egypt Algeria and the Saudis…)

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 July 2009 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2136
Joined  2006-02-20
burt - 29 July 2009 08:55 PM

  Ironically, Iran and the US are natural geopolitical allies, except that Iran and Israel are natural geopolitical opponents.

In the Newsweek article mentioned above, Mohammad Khatami, Iran’s ex-president comments:

“. . . I believe in the greatness of the American nation ...But to many people around the world, the real capital of the United States is Tel Aviv.”

 Signature 

“The simple fables of the religious of the world have come to seem like tales told to children.”  - Nobel Prize recipient - Francis Crick

“It is time we recognized the boundless narcissism and self-deceit of the saved.” - Sam Harris

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 July 2009 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1587
Joined  2006-10-20

You forgot one, teuchter:

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

[ Edited: 31 July 2009 05:51 PM by Skipshot]
 Signature 

“All extremists should be killed!” - neighbor’s bumper sticker

Profile
 
 
Posted: 31 July 2009 02:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1088
Joined  2006-10-09
unsmoked - 31 July 2009 06:20 PM
burt - 29 July 2009 08:55 PM

  Ironically, Iran and the US are natural geopolitical allies, except that Iran and Israel are natural geopolitical opponents.

In the Newsweek article mentioned above, Mohammad Khatami, Iran’s ex-president comments:

“. . . I believe in the greatness of the American nation ...But to many people around the world, the real capital of the United States is Tel Aviv.”

You see, this is what is so disturbing about Iran’s government.  They actually seem to think the United States is controlled by the Jooz.  I wonder if he sleeps with a dog eared copy of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion under his bed.

 Signature 

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

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 3
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed