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> Ahmadinejad’s Letter to Bush, Sincere or manipulative?
TedN5
post May 10 2006, 04:07 PM
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HERE is Ahmadinejad’s letter to Bush.

Since the Bush Administration seems bent on pushing us into confrontation and possible war with Iran, we all need to read this correspondence and draw some independent judgment about its author. (Condi Rice has already rejected any followup on the letter even before having it translated). In some ways the letter is an accusation of a list of crimes by the US against Iran similar to those raised by some of us on the left. In other ways it is an indictment of Bush's invasion of Iraq. In still other ways it is a religious appeal from one powerful religious (some would say fanatical) person to another supremely powerful one that professes a strong religious belief.

1. Did the letter change your view of Ahmadinejad?

2. Is the letter a sincere effort to begin a serious dialog with the US?

3. Are the criticisms of the US's past behavior toward Iran largely true or false?

4. Can you see our President writing a similar letter or proposing direct talks with Iran to seek resolution of outstanding issues between the two countries?
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Jobius
post May 12 2006, 03:53 AM
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QUOTE(TedN5 @ May 11 2006, 07:20 PM)

QUOTE
(Jobius)
To be fair, the Iranians supplied their own English translation, which is the one most of us have been reading:


I didn't miss read the article. I was well aware of the status of the translations.


My apologies. I should not have assumed that you (or anybody) agreed with TruthMarch.

Your analogy to the Cuban missile crisis is interesting. My first thought was that this letter was meant more for a global audience, quite different from the private communiques in the Cuban crisis. Once the Iranians' translation appeared in the press, the press naturally expected a public response from the US administration.

But according to Wikipedia, at least some of the Cuban crisis was played out publicly as well:

QUOTE

Khrushchev sent letters to Kennedy on October 23 and 24 claiming the deterrent nature of the missiles in Cuba and the peaceful intentions of the Soviet Union; however, the Soviets had delivered two different deals to the United States government. On October 26, they offered to withdraw the missiles in return for a U.S. guarantee not to invade Cuba or support any invasion. The second deal was broadcast on public radio on October 27, calling for the withdrawal of U.S. missiles from Turkey in addition to the demands of the 26th. . . . Kennedy responded by publicly accepting the first deal and sending Robert Kennedy to the Soviet embassy to accept the second in private that the fifteen Jupiter missiles near İzmir, Turkey would be removed.


...not that I'm expecting Jeb or Neil to get sent over with a back-channel deal.
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KivrotHaTaavah
post May 12 2006, 05:32 AM
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1. Did the letter change your view of Ahmadinejad?

Hardly.

2. Is the letter a sincere effort to begin a serious dialog with the US?

Hardly.

3. Are the criticisms of the US's past behavior toward Iran largely true or false?

Fine, we participated in the '53 coup, but of course, what the left and the other anti-Americans always leave out is that we didn't do it alone and so it simply cannot be denied that a rather large and prominent role was played by Iranians themselves.


And can someone please tell the miscreant for me that if he's looking to rationalize and/or justify the phenomenon that he calls "Israel," well, let me simply say that if he's Persian, maybe he ought to read up on Cyrus the Great. A rather rich irony, yes? Of course, he was at least smart enough to use the phrase "recent memory," since maybe that will veer us away from ole Cyrus the Great.

This statement was truly the "gem" of the whole letter:

"Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime?"

Does the man not know that he himself is the one who did the portraying and the translating, considering again his remarks re Israel's right to exist?

2nd gem of the letter is that part about not showing mercy to children. I don't suppose that he's asked himself how much mercy there is in wiring one's children to self-detonate. And never mind that his own state just hanged two 13 year old boys.

And sorry to have to get biblical, and to remind some once again to consider the source, but this letter is the absolute and quintessential instance of pointing out the toothpick in your neighbor's eye and forgetting all about that 2 x 4 in your own. I mean, for him to speak of human rights when I'd rather be a cockroach in Ashkelon than a citizen of his state, well, there simply aren't words that truly describe his letter. I suppose that the best that can be done is to simply state that the letter, considered in context, is obscene.

And sometimes one says more than one knows, or will admit to, and so, with that in mind, my favorite part of the letter:

"History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive."

Yes, and here's to hoping that he and his regime meet a very swift end.

Oh, and please note the usual Islamic practice, going back to Mohammed, of the appeal for "reversion" to Islam.

And, hopefully, the paragraph preceding the appeal for "reversion" to Islam will finally open the eyes of some on the "left" in the West. The man just declared war on your liberal democracy [or more correctly, relegated your liberal democracy to the dustbin of history]...sorry, take that back, just read some subsequent posts and I see that some are blaming Bush and/or Rice for having no desire to even sit down with someone whose apparent end goal is the destruction of all that we hold dear.

Oh, and Barnaby, could you possibly be more naive? Not only should we not allow the miscreant to have anything to do with things nuclear, we also ought to not allow the miscreant to have anything to do with industrial equipment/machinery:

http://mensnewsdaily.com/blog/reynalds/iran/hanging.jpg
http://www.kevininscoe.com/pub/050316_iran...med.vmedium.jpg
http://www.kvinnonet.org/jpgif/hanging01.jpg
http://www.deathrowspeaks.info/photogallery/h006.jpg

Yeah, so he's only going to build a nuclear power plant, just like he said that those machines were only going to be used to dig some dirt.

Oh, and Ted, if the cost is the murder of children and the relegation of women to subhuman status, I vote for skip the negotiations and if we must have war, then war it is. As the late Yerucham Amitai once said...in the end, we may have to choose action that might pull down the Temple of Humanity itself rather than surrender even a single member of the family to the executioners. Survival in other circumstances is not survival at all, and all of us, whatever our race, won't be worth a damn if we buy our lives at the cost of our conscience...





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Vermillion
post May 12 2006, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE(KivrotHaTaavah @ May 12 2006, 05:32 AM)
Fine, we participated in the '53 coup, but of course, what the left and the other anti-Americans always leave out is that we didn't do it alone and so it simply cannot be denied that a rather large and prominent role was played by Iranians themselves.


"The left and other anti-Americans..."

Then two posts earlier, from Jobius...

"This open letter was designed to appeal to the anti-American left"

So, are we back to the stage where anyone who does not agree with Bush Jr is a traitor again? The left, for being on the left, are Anti-American?

Please stop making such absurd generalisations, or in the case of accidental comments of that nature (as Jobius' might have been) please be more careful.

Oh, and nobody is ignoring the fact that some Iranians participated in the '53 coup... what does that have to do with anything? The US led a coup to over throw the government of that country. You seem remarkably dismissive of the impact that would have of the people of a country, when dealing with browbeating from the US again, 50 years later...



QUOTE
Oh, and Ted, if the cost is the murder of children and the relegation of women to subhuman status, I vote for skip the negotiations and if we must have war, then war it is.  As the late Yerucham Amitai once said...in the end, we may have to choose action that might pull down the Temple of Humanity itself rather than surrender even a single member of the family to the executioners.  Survival in other circumstances is not survival at all, and all of us, whatever our race, won't be worth a damn if we buy our lives at the cost of our conscience...


Firstly, you might want to check out WHICH four nations on the planet still execute minors before you go throwing those stones.


Back to your point, yes, in terms of justics and the status of women, the nation of Iran is certainly far sub par. You seem to have chosen those two items to latch onto during your tirade, and not without some justification. After all the functioning of the justice system and the treatment of women in Iran is considered terribly backwards by the people of the West.

But then again, to the people of monarchical Saudi Arabia, the status of BOTH these things in Iran would appear quite enlightened, as our good friend Saudi Arabia lags behind Iran in both the application of justice and the treatement of women. Oh, and the head of state in saudi is not elected. Oh, and Saudi contributed more to anti-Isralei terrorism in the last 20 years than every other nation in the Middle East put together. Oh and Bin laden and Al Qaida are Saudi. Oh and almost all of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. Oh and the primary source of funding for Al Qaida today is the Saudi Royal Family.


But by all means, continue speaking about how your 'concience' dictates the necessity of war with Iran...



Nobody is going to deny that the current Presient of Iran is a bit of a nutjob. But I find it amusing how many people insist that Bush Jr is NOT America, and forget that a relative reformist was in charge of Iran, one who NEVER spoke out about destroying Israel and worked for change inside Iran (with, one admits, limited success), and he was removed primarily because Iran was suddenly put on the 'Axis of Evil', and moderation in Iran seemed to be the wrong way to go...

I am not exonerating Iran here, not by any stretch, but frankly your psudo-biblical call for some sort of 'moral crusade' against Iran is really no more realistic or helpful than The Iranian President's letter was.
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English Horn
post May 12 2006, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE(carlitoswhey @ May 11 2006, 01:51 PM)
Neville Chamberlain said something very similar I believe...


Ah, the Nazi example... wins the argument immediately in any debate... rolleyes.gif
Fine, let's use Nazis. Let's go deeper - who was at fault that Hitler came to power? Blame Treaty of Versailles and Clemenceau in particular, who wanted to deal with Germany as harshly as possible under the circumstances (and, quite possibly, play some revenge after Germany stomped France during Franco-Prussian War). When you subject the country and its people to sanctions, when you look down upon them and humiliate them, nationalistic elements lift their heads. See any parallels with the current situation? This is a guy who barely squeaked into his office, and his popularity now is in the 70s. The more we rattle our saber, the more popular Mahmoud will become in his own country.

QUOTE
May I ask why? Forget the fact that the nation sits on vast oil reserves, and has so much natural gas that they burn it off at the tap, making one wonder why they would need a nuclear program...

I don't know. Maybe they want to freeze part of their oil reserves for future generations, just like most of Western nations do?

This post has been edited by English Horn: May 12 2006, 02:33 PM
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TedN5
post May 12 2006, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE
(carlitoswhey)
May I ask why? Forget the fact that the nation sits on vast oil reserves, and has so much natural gas that they burn it off at the tap, making one wonder why they would need a nuclear program...

Why would the same people in the US who would argue to their death against anything nuclear in the US want Iran to have a nuclear program?


QUOTE
(English Horn)
I don't know. Maybe they want to freeze part of their oil reserves for future generations, just like most of Western nations do?


And why wasn't Iran's large hydrocarbon reserves sufficient reason to prevent the US from backing the Iranian nuclear program under the Shah? And, no, we don't want Iran to have a nuclear program. However, we do recognize Iran's right to have such a program under existing international law and under the NPT treaty which they signed but nuclear powers like Israel, Pakistan, and India did not. Above all we don't want their nuclear program used as an excuse to bomb Iran and most assuredly not with nuclear weapons.

QUOTE
(KivrotHaTaavah)
And, hopefully, the paragraph preceding the appeal for "reversion" to Islam will finally open the eyes of some on the "left" in the West. The man just declared war on your liberal democracy [or more correctly, relegated your liberal democracy to the dustbin of history]...sorry, take that back, just read some subsequent posts and I see that some are blaming Bush and/or Rice for having no desire to even sit down with someone whose apparent end goal is the destruction of all that we hold dear.


A much more serious threat from a much more well armed source than Khrushchev's "We will bury you" speech at the UN?

QUOTE
(KivrotHaTaavah)
Oh, and Ted, if the cost is the murder of children and the relegation of women to subhuman status, I vote for skip the negotiations and if we must have war, then war it is. As the late Yerucham Amitai once said...in the end, we may have to choose action that might pull down the Temple of Humanity itself rather than surrender even a single member of the family to the executioners. Survival in other circumstances is not survival at all, and all of us, whatever our race, won't be worth a damn if we buy our lives at the cost of our conscience...


Of course, you would have followed General LeMay's advice in the Cuban Missile crisis and then we wouldn't be having this discussion. (See Word for Word: The Cuban Missile Crisis). Obviously, there are other ways of resisting tyrants and, in this case, an elected petty tyrant that will be subject to replacement in a few years.

QUOTE
Gen. Curtis LeMay of the Air Force, champion of American nuclear weapons, all but calls the President a coward to his face. Gen. David Shoup of the Marines curses behind the President's back after Kennedy rejects the generals' plans for an all-out attack on Cuba.

Later, Kennedy tells an aide to make sure that the Joint Chiefs of Staff do not start a war without his approval.

"I don't want these nuclear weapons firing without our knowing it," he says. "I don't think we ought to accept the Chiefs' word on that one."


Of course there are those who think using nuclear weapons on Iran has been part of the plan from the beginning. (See this long interesting article by Jorge Hirsch, a physics professor who has been monitoring US nuclear doctrine for sometime).

This post has been edited by TedN5: May 12 2006, 07:18 PM
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Jobius
post May 12 2006, 08:53 PM
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QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 12 2006, 05:54 AM)
"This open letter was designed to appeal to the anti-American left"

So, are we back to the stage where anyone who does not agree with Bush Jr is a traitor again? The left, for being on the left, are Anti-American?


No, I didn't mean to imply such a thing. I don't think you're anti-American. Very few people on this forum are. I do think the "anti-American left" is a phrase that describes an identifiable group of people, though. Certainly not everyone on the left is anti-American, nor are all America-haters leftists. But the folks who made this book a best-seller, political cartoonists like Plantu and Serguei in Le Monde... they're members of the anti-American left. The late Jean-Francois Revel described them well.

I think the Ahmadinejad was aiming to persuade these folks with his laundry list of America's crimes. The religious appeal was probably genuine, but it's also tactically smart since his target audience already thinks Americans are religious nuts just as bad as the Islamists. ("Mullah George and the Jesus Jihad", "Christian Taliban", and similar poor analogies are quite popular.)
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AuthorMusician
post May 12 2006, 09:23 PM
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QUOTE(Jobius @ May 12 2006, 03:53 PM)
QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 12 2006, 05:54 AM)
"This open letter was designed to appeal to the anti-American left"

So, are we back to the stage where anyone who does not agree with Bush Jr is a traitor again? The left, for being on the left, are Anti-American?


No, I didn't mean to imply such a thing. I don't think you're anti-American. Very few people on this forum are. I do think the "anti-American left" is a phrase that describes an identifiable group of people, though. Certainly not everyone on the left is anti-American, nor are all America-haters leftists. But the folks who made this book a best-seller, political cartoonists like Plantu and Serguei in Le Monde... they're members of the anti-American left. The late Jean-Francois Revel described them well.

I think the Ahmadinejad was aiming to persuade these folks with his laundry list of America's crimes. The religious appeal was probably genuine, but it's also tactically smart since his target audience already thinks Americans are religious nuts just as bad as the Islamists. ("Mullah George and the Jesus Jihad", "Christian Taliban", and similar poor analogies are quite popular.)
*



When I saw these references, I did think of the anti-American left. They are the people linked arm-in-arm with the anti-American right. You know, those people who want to destroy America to save it? Well, our form of government anyway.

Such as: single-party rule, elimination of civil rights, preemptive wars of aggression, world domination, intollerance and the list goes on.

I can see where old whosit's letter of condemnation might be taken up by the anti-American left, but they have such good ranters way over there, maybe not. The Iranian leader is a terrible wordsmith and an unimaginative composer. Or maybe it's just the translator. Might want to try outsourcing to a native New York City writer.
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moif
post May 13 2006, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE(TedN5)
There is substantial doubt on this conclusion. (See this CNN Article on CIA Conclusion).
So I see. Thanks for the heads up.

I still think the argument is valid though. Iran's theocracy has consistently ignored the accepted norms of diplomacy, opting instead for an astute, but fundamentally dishonest play at geo-politics. Their ploy is to win time and power and whilst there is nothing wrong with that since all states do the same, what sets Iran apart from all other states is that the Iranians are not talking of defending themsevles. They are talking of destroying others.

Once the clerics have the upper hand, they will not extend the restraint or even the diplomatic courtesy all other states offer. They have already amply demonstrated their disdain for such non Islamic practices, both in word and in deed. Their end goal is domination and to that end thay are spreading both their influence and their military power.

Iran is a nation that fosters terrorism. Its material and ideological support of Hamas as well as the Shi'a mentality towards death, marytrdom and sacrifice is no secret. They proclaim these things as virtues all the time and I find it unusual that so many people in the west simply refuse to understand what they are hearing.

QUOTE(Telegraph)
Iran's hardline spiritual leaders have issued an unprecedented new fatwa, or holy order, sanctioning the use of atomic weapons against its enemies.

In yet another sign of Teheran's stiffening resolve on the nuclear issue, influential Muslim clerics have for the first time questioned the theocracy's traditional stance that Sharia law forbade the use of nuclear weapons.

One senior mullah has now said it is "only natural" to have nuclear bombs as a "countermeasure" against other nuclear powers, thought to be a reference to America and Israel.

The pronouncement is particularly worrying because it has come from Mohsen Gharavian, a disciple of the ultra-conservative Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi Mesbah-Yazdi, who is widely regarded as the cleric closest to Iran's new president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Link.


QUOTE(TedN5)
Moif, both you and Mark Steyn's article distort and simplify the chaos that was the Iranian revolution in order to support your contention that radical Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran in particular is an existential threat to the West.
I'd accept that if the chaos hadn't lasted up until the present.

I found the Steyn article on an Iranian blog and the blogger accepted Steyns veracity. I have no reason to doubt an Iranian judging an exterior perspective on his own nation, but I do have reason to doubt your perspective. Considering some of the statements made by Iran's clerical leadership, I'm curious why it is that you don't seem to accept the existential threat Iran poses to the West.


QUOTE(TedN5)
I was trying to stress the character of the Iranian nation, not its government. If I made the same point about France or Russia I doubt that it would be misunderstood. Histories have meaning in the present and we need to be sensitive to them in dealing with other nations. Support for the Iranian nuclear program is widespread among both supporters and oponents of the current president.
You are correct. History does have meaning in the present, and not only when it fits into our own personal perceptions. Islam has made many attacks against Europe in the past for instance and history is filled with examples of Islamic powers turning their ambitions to the north. You might not think such an attack likely, but neither are you a high standing Iranian cleric... are you?

A lot of your posts, and those who have taken a similar line, have leant heavily upon your own preconceptions of what the Iranians want. Now you tell me that support for the Iranian nuclear program is widespread.
Why is it widespread?
And is it so widespread? The same blogger I refered to earlier has pointed out that many of the people at Ahmadinejad's rallies are holding up banners calling for jobs and food, not nuclear power or weapons.

The consensus on your side of this particular debate, shares Ahmadinejad's claims and puts a heavy share of the blame on the US government for its past crimes in Iran whilst largely ignoring the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been engaged in the exact same exersize in Palestine and Lebanon ever since it was founded.
Thus, if the Islamic Republic of Iran is some how justified in building nuclear weapons because of an unwelcomed exterior inteference, then so to is Israel.

From my perspective though I do not think you and your companions in this debate have understood the people of Iran. I think whats lacking in your perception is the understanding that the majority of these people, the Sepah and the clerics, these Iranians who support the 'nuclear program', that these people do not think as you or I do. They do not have the same idea's of what constitutes diplomacy, decency or respect. They have their own morality. Their own perception of diplomacy, decency and respect, and what we hold dear does not hold the same value to them as it does to us.
I don't know how much influence these people have inside Iran, whether they are a minority or a majority, but I know they are in power.

Furthermore, I believe they are, in their Islamic morality, trying to reach out towards us and trying to give us a chance to convert and 'be saved', but that we cannot reciprocate because to do so is to blindly accept their Islamic morality for they consistently ignore any other form of dialogue.


QUOTE(TedN5)
I don't know what you mean by "the state is only 71 years old." The beginning of the Pahlavi era was 1925 - 81 years ago.
Really? I was not aware. I just typed Iran into Wikipedia and read what it said there:

QUOTE(Wikipedia)
The Islamic Republic of Iran (Persian: جمهوری اسلامی ايران‎ ​ transliteration: Jomhūrī-ye Eslāmī-ye Īrān) or simply Iran (Persian: ايران‎ ​, Īrān)—known in the West as Persia until 1935.
Link.
I suppose one of you must be right, but I can't say it makes an awful lot of difference to me whether its 71 or 81 years...


QUOTE(TedN5)
Many ADers are so anxious to demonize Iran that they won't engage with the fundamental issue: Should we be willing to make concessions to Iran on sanctions, non interference in internal affairs, and security guarantees in return for restriction on their nuclear activities that go beyond anything required by the NPT?
No, because they will not make the same concessions in return. They will sign a piece of paper and simply lie to buy time and advantage just as their own prophet advises them to do and in the mean time they will continue to spread their influence and power as far and wide as they can.

QUOTE(TedN5)
Which is worse, the consequences of another war or a little give and take with someone we despise?
You presume the latter will avoid the former.
This is a mistake. I am not anxious to demonize Iran, or any one for that matter. I am responding to what I see, read and hear, and when dealing with Muslims I am seeing, hearing and reading a lot of duplicity.

What you advocate will gain us nothing. The democratic nations, which Iran considers a failure, will be weakened. We will have offered concessions and received nothing in return whilst the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its plans to build nuclear weaponry and will gain in strength as it continues to ignore its diplomatic obligations and agreements and works in the shadows towards its own Islamic agenda as it has done from the very day it was founded.
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bucket
post May 13 2006, 06:39 AM
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The Iranian President , I can't be bothered anymore to remember the spelling of his name, is nothing more than a messenger.

I agree with Jobius' analyses of this most because I think it was a political tool, and I do believe it was an outreach, but not to the president of the US. I think the image of America that some feel more familiar with or more joy of believing was being put forth in this letter. The Iranian govt. knows it's audience.

No loss on the American govt for rejecting this piece of anti-semitic nonsense. Where is the morality of those who believe we must overlook the actions of this government just because they have offered us a few meaningless words? The world doesn't work that way, and neither does the IAEA. If the Iranian govt. wishes to remain true to it's words then let's see the political prisoners set free, let's see Iranian women not worry so much about their state sanctioned "modesty", let's see the poor in Iran relived of their heavy burden, let's see the Iranian govt end it's support to Hezbollah and help do it's part to bring peace and security to the world. Or is the President of Iran now submitting this duty to the American govt solely?

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carlitoswhey
post May 13 2006, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE(barnaby2341 @ May 11 2006, 03:14 PM)
QUOTE
PE - would you agree that real statesmen don't write 18-page rambling letters to each other?  If George Bush wrote an 18-page letter about his relationship with Jesus and how Iran is a "phenomenon" and all sorts of other junk, wouldn't you dismiss him as a freak?

The name calling... it's sad really. It is an attempt by yourself to de-humanize him. He's a freak. He's crazy. Tell yourself whatever you want to convince yourself that you must go to war with him.

Are there are any words that this man could write or say that you would give validity to. He asks many questions. He points out Bush's reasoning and critiques it with his actions. He points out plainly that his actions and his rhetoric are inconsistent. It's only rambling because you perceive him as a crazy man instead of a human being.

Dude, it's an 18-page rambling letter. It's only rambling because it's rambling.
QUOTE(barnaby2341)
Look at your terms that you use: junk, rambling, freak.  The guy doesn't have a real shot at convincing you of anything.

The man is trying to communicate.  That is as positive as it gets.  Yet you dismiss it so easily with no factual justification.

"Positive as it gets" - from this letter... let's see:

QUOTE(mahmoud @ presidente del republico islamico de iran - "no soy un nutjob")
Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and Hisprophets?

We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point – that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: “Do you not want to join them?”

Mr President,

Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice and the will of God will prevail over all things.

Vasalam Ala Man Ataba’al hoda

Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran

This letter was an invitation for Bush and us to "revert" to Islam. Which, depending on your interpretation of the Koran, is necessary before declaring war on infidels. Some believe that the prophet said the invitation to "revert" was necessary before making war against the unbelievers, smiting them at their necks and all. And check that signature - Vasalam Ala Man Ataba’al hoda. That phrase means "peace be upon the believers (muslims)" - in other words, no peace for you.

QUOTE(barnaby)
QUOTE
Neville Chamberlain said something very similar I believe...

Yes, except for that talk about **destroying Israel **and the fact that he's seeking Nuclear weapons to do so, he's really worth communicating with.  Do you hear what you're saying here?


He has never said they are pursuing a nuclear weapon, it has always been nuclear PROGRAM. They kicked out the CNN journalists after they mistranslated the terms. The Iranian President has made it clear time and again that they are pursuing nuclear energy, not weapons. It is the United States that has fabricated the weapons ambitions, not the Iranians. Besides, even if they did want nuclear weapons, we are hypocrits for suggesting they should not have them since we have them ourselves. I don't know what it is about people like you who have no clue about objectivity. Do you refuse to recognize the blatant hypocrisy in our policy? Hey Iran, sign this Non-Proliferation Treaty while we create Bunker Busting Nukes.

Yes, nuclear PROGRAMS, thanks. My bad. Ask the residents of Nagasaki how our "PROGRAM" made their skin feel in '45.
QUOTE
QUOTE
Why would the same people in the US who would argue to their death against anything nuclear in the US want Iran to have a nuclear program?

Why would supporters and opponents of the president want Iran to have a nuclear, um, 'power' program?  Seriously.  Why?

Maybe you should ask Henry Kissinger.
*


If you're trying to make a point, perhaps you should just make it. I'm not getting your cryptic references here.

QUOTE(Paladin Elspeth @ May 11 2006, 04:46 PM)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
PE - would you agree that real statesmen don't write 18-page rambling letters to each other?  If George Bush wrote an 18-page letter about his relationship with Jesus and how Iran is a "phenomenon" and all sorts of other junk, wouldn't you dismiss him as a freak?
I am not going to fall into the trap of trying to expound on what "real statesmen" do. Leaders do what they do, period. It doesn't really matter what I think about it--witness the invasion of Iraq and the "evidence" on which it was based.

Calling Iran's leader a freak is really not going to remedy the situation. The fact is that, whether we like it or not, a Muslim extremist is in charge. If he writes long letters, he writes long letters. That does not mean that he should be ignored.

Well, I never called him a freak so whatever. My question (still unanswered) was if Bush wrote a rambling 18-page missive about his faith in Jesus, and invited the President of another country to join him in his faith, would he be dismissed as a 'freak.' As a religious person, I think you know what the response in the global community would be. They already think that we silly Christian americans are rubes.
QUOTE(pe)
QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Neville Chamberlain said something very similar I believe...

Yes, except for that talk about **destroying Israel **and the fact that he's seeking Nuclear weapons to do so, he's really worth communicating with.  Do you hear what you're saying here?

I know what I wrote.

I know that the USSR developed nukes, and the Peoples' Republic of China developed nukes, and we didn't stop them. Our government counted the cost and concluded that it would be a bloody, hellacious conflict where it would be uncertain whether there would actually be a victor when the smoke cleared.

Neither did the U.S. intervene militarily when India and Pakistan developed nukes.

Now, while we're engaged in a bloody, protracted occupation of the nation next door, a country is developing a nuclear program. So we're not supposed to try negotiating, but just trying forcing the country to somehow stop?

Again, *except* for wanting to kill the Jews, he's a guy we should deal with, the kind of guy we can do business with no doubt.
QUOTE
QUOTE(carlitoswhey)
Why would supporters and opponents of the president want Iran to have a nuclear, um, 'power' program?  Seriously.  Why?

Since you seriously asked, I will seriously answer. I don't want Iran to have the power, but I don't think it is up to me or my government, either. Whether or not we feel the Iranian president is worthy of our respect, however, we need to treat him respectfully. Why incite further problems?

Have you ever tried to talk with someone you felt did not respect you? It probably hampered what you were trying to say to some degree. With any luck, you didn't have to have a serious conversation with the person.

Alternatively, carlito, what would YOU suggest? That we treat Ahmadinejad like an enemy until we finally invade his country? If you'll recall, at one time all Muslim countries vowed to destroy Israel. What happened? We didn't invade all of those countries; we couldn't. Politics changed and, thankfully, cooler heads prevailed in many of those countries to the point where the rhetoric ceased altogether in some cases.

But if we inflame the Iranians by treating their leader like crap and imposing all kinds of sanctions, the prospects for a change in their leadership shrinks as the current regime capitalizes on all the hardship experienced by the people thanks to the people of the United States. Defiance mounts. It becomes a rallying cry for those on the fence to jump down and strike a blow against the "Great Satan."

We've seen it before.

This is a government that begins and ends every official ceremony by chanting "Death to America." I really don't worry about "inflaming" them. They took our embassy, sovereign US territory, and hold it to this day. I don't think that our words are going to inflame them, nor do I wish a "serious conversation" with this genocidal lunatic.

QUOTE(Vermillion @ May 12 2006, 08:54 AM)
Nobody is going to deny that the current Presient of Iran is a bit of a nutjob.

As usual, we agree biggrin.gif
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KivrotHaTaavah
post May 14 2006, 11:16 PM
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TedN5:

Re the threat, at least Kruschev said or wrote something about his worrying about the wife and kids when going to sleep at night. I'm otherwise not aware that our man in Iran has said or written any such thing. But re the, we will bury you, maybe you can count the number of our dead in Korea, Vietnam, etc. So while he didn't bury all of us, he did bury some.

And I am not otherwise limiting my criticism to the human in question. The problem that the last reformer had, which Vermillion got wrong, was not us or anything external to Iran, the problem was that he promised reform and then couldn't deliver. And he couldn't deliver because men with beards who call themselves mullahs are the ones who call the shots in Iran and they didn't and don't want any reform [as that would betray the so-called Islamic Revolution]. And, yes, those mullahs alive today will be replaced. However, unless some things change, like attitude, they will most certainly be replaced by men who think very much like they do.

And to bring Vermillion into the discussion, rather than blaming Bush, Rice, and/or me, you might want to blame China and Russia [to name just two]. As the late Chaim Herzog so aptly put the matter in addressing the UN Security Council back in '76:

"If this body fails to take action, we call on all freedom-loving countries in the world to come together outside the framework of this body, establish accepted norms of behavior in relation to terrorists, and declare in no uncertain terms that each and every one of them will have nothing whatsoever to do with any country that violates these norms and encourages terrorism. Once hijackers have no country in which to land their planes because receiving such a plane would mean exclusion from the world community whether in the field of air transportation, trade, commerce or international relations, there will be no more hijacking."

Or, in short form, once the world makes Iran a pariah, then the mullahs might change, and if not, then maybe the people of Iran will then see that it is in their best interest to rise up and sweep the existing system away. Which brings me to my next point...

And so good of you to bring into the discussion our prior position with respect to a nuclear Iran. Thank you for proving my point and otherwise making it rather clear to all concerned that the problem here is not with Iranians, Arabs, Persians, Muslims, whatever, but instead with the mindset of some, and never mind their ethnicity and/or faith/religion. And so, when some other Iranians, Arabs, Persians, and Muslims wanted things nuclear but had some other mindset, we said, fine, that sounds okay to us. Kind of like the difference between giving the gun to Hillary Clinton but objecting to giving it to our Beltway sniper friends [and I'm no "fan" of Hillary Clinton, but she can keep and bear arms, however, until further notice, our sniper friends need to be kept rather far away from firearms]. And, ironically enough, if the powers that be understood this thing that we call "propaganda," they would be pointing out to both Iran and the world that when different ideas were then held by those in power, that we didn't have a problem with nuclear power for Iran, so the issue here isn't Iranians, Persians, Arabs, and/or Muslims, instead, the issue here is some miscreants who would like to destroy all that we hold dear [that liberal democracy that our friend Iran has already relegated to the dustbin of history, or at least that's my reading of his letter].

And, Ted, I have already said here prior that we don't need to nuc and/or attack all of Iran. Only some key items need be degraded in order to degrade the entirety of the program. And I never otherwise said that we needed to use nucs to do so. I would otherwise suggest that you read up on Israeli operations inside Egypt during the so-called "War of Attrition." And here's to hoping that some in Iran come to the same conclusion as did the late Anwar Sadat.


Vermillion:

You said:

"The US led a coup to over throw the government of that country."

Sorry, but some Iranians led the coup. We merely provided some much desired aid and assistance.

And re the "anti-American," well, when some refuse to see the mullahs of Iran, the Russians, and the Chinese, as the main obstacles to some reasonable solution and instead foam at the mouth re Bush and/or Rice, well, what do you want me to think? Would you prefer that I report that in their rather irrational and rabid disdain of all things Bush and/or Rice that some simply cannot see the elephant standing in the living room? Or more simply, would rather I call you unpatriotic or an ignorant fool?

And, yes, we execute minors. For the intentional killing, with malice aforethought, of a fellow human or humans. And we otherwise recognize this thing we call "self-defense" and "defense of others," and so we don't hang the poor 17 year old girl who stabbed a man who reportedly wanted to rape her and/or her companion. But in Iran, it's damned if you do, and damned if you don't, at least for women, so if you're raped, you'll be hanged as an adulterer, and if you resist and end up killing your attacker, you'll be hanged as a murderer. Sorry, but I don't see the two scenarios as being anywhere near equivalent, though it appears that you do.

And funny that you should mention Saudi. If you want to accuse the US government and/or Bush and/or Rice, of hypocrisy, be my guest, and then we can have the discussion on that matter. But in the interim, please know that with respect to something Dubya is so very fond of saying, he has a fellow believer in Saudi:

"Ironically, half the country’s college graduates are women. But they make up only 5 percent of the work force. There are no polls on how most of them feel about their situation, but one woman told 60 Minutes how she felt. She approached us while we were filming, and asked us to follow her. Our cameraperson, a woman, followed the woman into a ladies room, where the woman removed her veil. 60 Minutes obscured her face to protect her identity.

The woman began talking to us about what she wants: "I like to drive. Here, the woman cannot drive. And I like here to have a cinema…a movie."

And then, finally, she said: "I like to be free. All people want to be free.""

See: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/03/23/...565_page2.shtml

Here's to the day when she won't have to go into the bathroom to say that. And if Dubya and I have our way, that day will be sooner rather than later. And not to get too religious on you once again, but our gal in Saudi wants to be free because she is the image of the self-actualizing God. And if Dubya thinks that God told him that, well, I won't speak to whether God told him anything, but I will say that if God did speak to Dubya, then no surprise that such is what God told him to say [since one must be free to live to one's potential].

Now back to hypocrisy, as I said, be my guest and then we'll have the discussion. But while you are ponderning whether you wish to make that accusation, let me simply provide you with what Dubya ought to be saying, by way of reply to our miscreant friend in Iran [and the world], with the necessary substitutions and additions, of course:

"To catalogue the crimes against humanity which are daily perpetrated by the despots and dictators who condemn us would require volumes. But since these countries have set themselves up to pass judgment on one of the freest and most advanced societies in the world today, a brief survey is in order. There is a saying in Arabic to the effect that no one knows your secrets except your God and your neighbors. And so we hear Algeria accuse Morocco and Mauritania of flagrantly abusing the rights of the inhabitants of the former Spanish Sahara. In 1975 Libya expelled 5,000 Tunisian workers and plotted to kill the Tunisian Premier. The Egyptian newspaper al-Gumhuriyya recently characterized Syria as "one big prison," and almost every Arab state deplored the terrifying conditions under Egyptian rule which existed in Gaza prior to 1967. As for Egypt itself, a distinguished Egyptian newspaper editor, Mustapha Amir, in his book My First Year in Prison has described the stark horror of Egyptian prisons and the torture applied there under Nasser. These states have for thirty years kept the Palestinian refugees in camps as political pawns in subhuman conditions. As they lecture Israel on human rights, Israel has absorbed, housed and educated over 600,000 Jewish refugees driven out of their homes in Arab lands. As for our non-Arab accusers, neither Cuba, with its thousands of political prisoners, nor Pakistan, with its rigged elections, nor Yugoslavia, which sends lawyers to prison for defending their clients, nor any other one-party system or military dictatorship is in a position to preach to Israel about respect for human rights.
***
The United Nations itself has taken these norms of hypocrisy and selectiveness to their cynical extreme in the deliberations of its Human Rights Commission. The London Sunday Times has published an alarming and horrifying study of the work of the commission which stated:

The record of the Commission's 29 years shows that it has been more concerned to cover up than to expose human rights violations. It is neither farce nor tragedy, in the proper senses of these two overworked words. But it is, perhaps, the most poignant and disgraceful of false international pretences that the governments of the world have yet had the temerity to devise. To millions of people its name offers a glimmer of hope for justice - that hope is founded on, quite literally, nothing. The Commission is an almost total lie. It plays a vital part in what Sean McBride, UN Commissioner for Namibia and 1974 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, has described as "the conspiracy of governments" to deprive the people of their rights.
***
Obsessed and preoccupied with its condemnations of Israel, the United Nations bears silent witness to crimes against humanity and refuses to call its own members to account for the very crimes of which they accuse Israel. But the sad truth is that these ominous developments could not have occurred without the passive acquiescence of the West. On the occasion of the "war crimes" resolution against Israel, only one country in the world - the United States - had the moral courage to vote against it. All the Western countries, who knew the allegations to be untrue, abstained. This attitude of cowardly and craven capitulation to expediency can spell disaster for what is left of the democratic and free world. As Dante put it: "The hottest fires in hell are reserved for those who in times of moral crisis are neutral."

But it is not only Israel that has been the victim of Western cowardice. In December 1975 a resolution was submitted condemning U.S. imperialism because of the American presence in Guam, the Virgin Islands and Samoa. Eighty-nine countries voted to condemn the United States, including many who are happy to receive U.S. aid. Only Israel, Britain, West Germany, Luxembourg and Nicaragua voted with the United States. Apart from these countries, all the allies of the United States in NATO and elsewhere, who are free because of the United States, abstained. This lack of moral backbone on the part of the Western countries is all too familiar to Israel. It portends great danger and evil for the world. This turning a blind eye to the behavior of dictatorships and despotisms, this ostrichlike attitude to the irresponsible behavior of petty dictators, this alarming tendency to ingratiate oneself with despots which has become the accepted norm in the West today, are one of the dangers which face the free world.

We are witnessing today signs of appeasement reminiscent of those which a generation ago led to the most terrible holocaust in human history, a holocaust in which six million of our people were murdered, including one million children. There were those who, like the Danish resistance fighters, acted to save their Jewish brothers from destruction and whose courage we will never forget. But there were also many, many more, including powerful political and religious leaders, who knew what was happening and who stood by silently while one third of our people were exterminated. While these leaders undoubtedly abhorred the brutality they witnessed, they nevertheless closed their eyes to human suffering, refused in many cases to offer a haven to fleeing refugees, and thus became, in effect, accessories to the crime. We who have emerged from the darkness of the Holocaust are determined not to be guilty of the same sin of omission.
***
In the years to come, when the record is examined, Israel will not be accused of hiding behind the smoke screen of high-sounding rhetoric without having at least spelled out explicitly our solidarity with the victims of repression. But in a world where Uganda, Lebanon and Cambodia can happen without a whimper of protest, we ourselves can have no illusions. The spectacle of tyrants condemning tyranny, of racists denouncing racism and of members of the Human Rights Commission daily violating the human rights of their own populations has accustomed us to a world in which double-talk has become the order of the day...

The question is how long the free world is prepared to countenance this terrifying Orwellian development which must seriously erode the free societies of the earth, plunge the world into the darkness of totalitarianism and bring tragedy on mankind. For in the final analysis, it has always begun with the Jews but it has never ended with them. An ominous and fearsome process is overtaking the world and we are all silent. Those nations, no matter how enlightened, which continue to be involved in this terrifying process of hypocrisy and double standards without speaking out, are themselves becoming part of that process. Our own bitter experience has taught us that we, the Jewish people, cannot be silent participants. Israel has its faults and its problems, and we stand open to criticism on every issue. Indeed, as a nation with a free and critical press, an open society and a vociferous opposition, criticism is an integral part of our very way of life. All that we demand before the world is that when we are judged, the same standards be applied universally, to all nations without exception, including those who sit in judgment on us. Only then will United Nations discussions and resolutions carry any moral weight and only then will international conferences on human rights begin to reflect the principles of justice and natural law which the Jewish people gave to the world."

So what was that again about no "moral crusade?" And by the way, not to add some insult to injury since that is certainly not my intent, but weren't you saying something about our common morality? Then why don't you and I agree?

In any event, I'll tell you what, we can leave the religiously superstitious morality aside and simply consider:

"Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,..."

See that word? ALL members of the human family...and so, in the end, we may have to chose action that might pull down the Temple of the Humanity itself, rather than surrender even a single member of the family to executioners. Now to continue:

"Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,..."

Now to continue:

"Now, Therefore THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY proclaims THIS UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction."

I call our effort in Iraq a progressive measure, internationally so, which is designed and intended to secure the universal and effective recognition and observance of the universal declaration of human rights.

And those elections that you observed on the tele, well, Article 21 provides in pertinent part:

"(1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
***
(3) The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."

And if anyone, including the UN, has a problem with our "mere" effort in this regard:

"Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized."

So maybe it isn't us who has some 'splainin' to do.

And funny that you should mention Saudi Islamic charities:

"The Clinton administration shut down a 1995 investigation of Islamic charities, concerned that a public probe would expose Saudi Arabia's suspected ties to a global money-laundering operation that raised millions for anti-Israel terrorists, federal officials told The Washington Times."

See: http://www.prisonplanet.com/clinton_white_...fund_probe.html

And what makes Saudi different than Iran, well, Condi can go to Egypt, speak at the American University there, and blast both Egypt and Saudi. And then she can get on the plane and travel to Riyadh. Can the same be said re Iran? And what are the Iranians otherwise doing to help us? While you ponder that matter, the Saudis are [ http://usinfo.state.gov/ei/Archive/2004/Jan/23-375852.html ]:

"The United States and Saudi Arabia have acted jointly to block the assets of four overseas branches of a Saudi charity accused of diverting charitable funds to terrorist activities, including those sponsored by the al-Qaida network, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced.

In a January 22 news release, Treasury said that the U.S. and Saudi governments would also ask the United Nations to freeze the assets of the Al-Haramain charity's branch offices in Indonesia, Kenya, Tanzania and Pakistan."

Oh, and by the way, whoever said that Dubya was not America? Going back to the other nutjobs, more specifically, those on the SF Board of Supervisors, weren't they saying something about that "alien" entity know as the Vatican? So in addition to nutjobs we can add a rather woeful ignorance concerning just how our liberal democracy is designed to work, in this instance, when it comes to foreign relations, we conduct the same primarily via our chief executive officer, in this instance, Dubya, and we do so because in such instances, we need to speak with a single, or one, voice [lest some nutjobs in SF say something incredibly stupid and maybe even offensive to some].

And to close with "realistic" and "helpful," in line with what I said above, it is not me but you who must explain why this is not realistic and/or helpful. You might also wish to posit some better alternative. The burden is justly on you because the Universal Declaration of Human Rights wholeheartedly supports Dubya and I when we speak of freedom for all via an ever advancing tide of democracy. But, yes, I know, we will hear from you the same subordinating, legitimating ideology as was heard so long ago, and in the guise of fate and piety you will loudly proclaim that we must save our place and our nation, and never mind surrending that single member of the family to executioners.
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BoF
post May 15 2006, 04:53 AM
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QUOTE(KivrotHaTaavah @ May 14 2006, 06:16 PM)
Vermillion:

You said:

"The US led a coup to over throw the government of that country."

Sorry, but some Iranians led the coup.  We merely provided some much desired aid and assistance.


KHT,

Could you please put what your are responding to in the quote boxes and back up more of your considerable verbiage with reliable sources?

Here’s an account that backs up Vermillion.

QUOTE
After nationalizing the oil industry Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the CIA and British intelligence. We speak with Stephen Kinzer author of All the Shahís Men: An American Coup And The Roots of Middle East Terror and Baruch College professor Ervand Abrahamian.

<snip>

After considering military action, Britain opted for a coup d'Ètat. President Harry Truman rejected the idea, but when Dwight Eisenhower took over the White House, he ordered the CIA to embark on one of its first covert operations against a foreign government.
 
The coup was led by an agent named Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt. The CIA leaned on a young, insecure Shah to issue a decree dismissing Mossadegh as prime minister. Kermit Roosevelt had help from Norman Schwarzkopfís father: Norman Schwarzkopf.

<snip>

The U.S. involvement in the fall of Mossadegh was not publicly acknowledged until three years ago. In a New York Times article in March 2000, then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright admitted that "the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs."


http://www.rense.com/general40/roots.htm

Here are a couple of more links:

http://www.iranian.com/History/2000/July/Coup/index.html

http://www.iranchamber.com/history/coup53/coup53p1.php

The ball is now in your court. smile.gif


This post has been edited by BoF: May 15 2006, 05:07 AM
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Vermillion
post May 15 2006, 09:04 AM
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I fear that sometimes in your desire to fill pages and pages with text, you lose the entire point of what you were arguing. Some of what you said here is essentially true, other parts are not, and almost NONE of it is at all relevant.

For example, when I pointed out your hypocricy in calling for action regarding the justice system and treatment of women in Iran, you went on a nearly 2 page tirade about how the west is often hypocritical, which led to an off-topic tirade about the defence of Irael and the holocaust, which led (oddly enough) to you supplying a quote from the disenfranchised women of Saudi Arabia, and how they deserve to be free because God may have told Bush Jr to free them.

By this point of course, you were quite of the rails and now arguing against your own point. Bush Jr has not been told by God to free the people of Saudi, in fact he is the single largest contributor after the Saudi Royal family himself to their opression. Oops.


QUOTE(KivrotHaTaavah @ May 14 2006, 11:16 PM)
Re the threat, at least Kruschev said or wrote something about his worrying about the wife and kids when going to sleep at night. But re the, we will bury you, maybe you can count the number of our dead in Korea, Vietnam, etc. 


Well, Korea happened half a decade before his speech, and Vietnam was an aggressive and ultimately pointless act on the part of the US against a south-east asian country in the name of ideology, similar to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. But hey, whatever you say.

QUOTE
And he couldn't deliver because men with beards who call themselves mullahs are the ones who call the shots in Iran and they didn't and don't want any reform [as that would betray the so-called Islamic Revolution].  And, yes, those mullahs alive today will be replaced.  However, unless some things change, like attitude, they will most certainly be replaced by men who think very much like they do.


Two vast logical contradictions there.
-One, he was defeated in an election (so you say) because he could not deliver on his reforms. So the people of Iran, according to you all wanting reform and not getting it under the previous president, elected a hardliner in his place? That doesn't even make sense. Besides, you are quite mistaken, we have coming out of both polling and Iranian blogging that the primary (not only, but primary) reason for his defeat was the threat of military action from the United States, and in particular the Axis of Evil speech.
-Two, you make a very common logical mistake for those hawk who don't think their arguments through. You claim the reformist leader of Iran doesn't really count for anything bevcause he had no real power and was just a figurehead. But then you claim that the new President is an enormous threat because of his violent speeches and threatening words. Well which is it, is the President a powerless figurehead or not? If he is, then the Iranian' President's words mean NOTHING to their future foreign policy. If the Presidency is NOT a figurehead, then we cannot ignore the significance of the Iranian people electing a moderate reformer before the US started invading its neighbours.

QUOTE
And to bring Vermillion into the discussion, rather than blaming Bush, Rice, and/or me, you might want to blame China and Russia [to name just two].


I'm sorry, you forgot to provide any actual argument to go along with this assertion. Are Russia and China backing human rights violations in Saudi Arabia? Are Rusia and China guilty of something with regards to Iran? Russia has been responsible for the single largest diplomatic initiatives to try and prevent Iran from becoming nuclear, which is a much better Idea than Bush Jr's sabre-rattling, or your (frightening) divinely inspired desire to 'pull down the temple of humanity'.


QUOTE
Or, in short form, once the world makes Iran a pariah, then the mullahs might change,


So, how's that working out for you? Iran has been a Pariah for a good part of the last 20 years, how's this change coming along? Oh right, it WAS coming along. They elected their first reformist in modern Iranian history. But Bush Jr has put an end to that now hasn't he?


QUOTE
[that liberal democracy that our friend Iran has already relegated to the dustbin of history, or at least that's my reading of his letter
.

Oh come off it. Pop quiz for you, name all the Islamic nations in the Middle East that have meaningful electoral systems established and working.

-Bahrain, Lebanon, Iran...

Yes obviously in Iran it is not democracy as the Mullahs hold significant power, they cannot legeslate but they can VETO Presidential legislation, but it is still a lot better then 90% of the rest of the region.

Nobody is claiming Iran is enlightened, or free for women, or entirely just, of course not. But compared to many of their neighbours, against whom you seem to have absent-mindedly forgotten to preach a moral crusade, they are a lot better.


QUOTE
And re the "anti-American," well, when some refuse to see the mullahs of Iran, the Russians, and the Chinese, as the main obstacles to some reasonable solution and instead foam at the mouth re Bush and/or Rice, well, what do you want me to think?  Or more simply, would rather I call you unpatriotic or an ignorant fool?


Actually, I would prefer if you made some effort to back up some of your wild assertions. You certainly don't lack for time or desire to write, so why is that so impossible? Please explain to me in specific how Russia and China are directly impeding reasonable solutions for Iran. Furthermore, please demonstrate to me that Bush Jr has made any serious attempt to obtain a reasonable diplomatic solution, but has been thwarted by Russia and China.


QUOTE
so if you're raped, you'll be hanged as an adulterer, and if you resist and end up killing your attacker, you'll be hanged as a murderer.  Sorry, but I don't see the two scenarios as being anywhere near equivalent, though it appears that you do.


Why not obviously twist my words a little more? you have tried to make it sound like I think Iran and the US have equivalent justice systems, when I never made any such comment, I'm surprised you stopped there. Why not claim I stated Iran has a far better justice system than the US? If you are going to invent claims for me, might as well go for the gusto...

Oh and by the way, despite the laws being on the books, and several charges, no woman has been executed for being raped in Iran in modern history. Mind you, the Saudi government has...


QUOTE
Here's to the day when she won't have to go into the bathroom to say that.  And if Dubya and I have our way, that day will be sooner rather than later.


Wow.

I have to wonder if you actually believe that, that Bush Jr is some kind of divine crusader for the rights of the opressed across the world.

Do you know where on the planet women have the single worst treatement? US occupied Afghanistan. Second is probably Nigeria, and a close third is good Bush Jr buddy Saudi Arabia. In substantial sections of Iraq, where women had more liberty than in ANY other Midle Eastern State, the religious law and militias Bush jr have handed power to are starting to opress their women and impose Sharia law on them. You just GAVE me a quote from a Saudi woman: yet despite military presence and enormous diplomatic and military support the Kindgom receives from the US, please give me ONE example of how Bush Jr has used this leverage to improve the lot of the opressed in that country one jot.

Do you honestly think human rights violations genuinely motivate his foreign policy actions one jot? If you are going to make that staggering wild assertion, you are really going to need to back it up... somehow...



I'll just clip out your irrelevant (and destructive to your own argument) 2 pages of verbiage about western hypocricy and Israel... In addition to your somewhat bizarre, off topic and self-defeating examples such as condemning US imperialism in 1975.


QUOTE
And what makes Saudi different than Iran, well, Condi can go to Egypt, speak at the American University there, and blast both Egypt and Saudi.  And then she can get on the plane and travel to Riyadh.  Can the same be said re Iran?


I'm sorry, are you now asserting that any senior member of Bush Jr's government could go to Saudi Arabia and make a public speech condemning the practices of the country? Wow, thats (again) quite an obviously counter-factual assertion there.


QUOTE
Oh, and by the way, whoever said that Dubya was not America?


So... now you are asserting that Bush Jr. IS America? Well firstly, the system does not work like that. Secondly, the latest polls of your moral idol seem to desagree with his representiveness. Thirdly, so I assume if you believe your own assertion, you accept that before Bush Jr, Clinton WAS America?


QUOTE
The burden is justly on you because the Universal Declaration of Human Rights wholeheartedly supports Dubya and I when we speak of freedom for all via an ever advancing tide of democracy. 


Firstly, its not for all, in fact so far it's not for any. Again we return to the blatant hypocracy I pointed out, and then you (bafflingly) spent some time evidencing for me. If Bush Jr holds the declaration of human rights so sacred, why is he always violating it?

Secondly, I am SO tired of this 'tide of democracy' argument. The democracy in Iraq, while it has not failed, is failing. They STILL have not formed a government, and are deadlocked about doing so. The country is in Chaos and not only can the government not control the streets, they are not even trying. The peaceful parts of the country are peaceful because power has been handed over to local (often islamicist) militias, who owe little or no alliegance to the central government. The 2 US deaths yesterday bring the total to 2439, and the 30-40 Iraqi deaths yesterday bring the total to... who knows? Reuters estimates about 40,000...

Yes, there is still time for Iraq to turn things around, its not a failure yet. But its well on its way without any serious signs of changing.

Other than that, please explain this 'tide of democracy' you speak of. I certainly hope you are not going to suggest the morass in Afghanistan as another example...

This post has been edited by Vermillion: May 15 2006, 11:21 AM
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Artemise
post May 15 2006, 10:21 AM
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Back to: The letter?

I thought the letter was clear and heartfelt, worth reading for a President of Faith,
showing NOT an extremist but a man of thought, appealing to a man (who is in his mind allegedly) of GOD from another man ( who also thinks he is allegedly is of GOD), not the intellectuals of our time, but two MEN who believe in invisable friends, who believe God put them in power.
The difference is I saw true humanity in the letter, something the Bush ADMIN is incapable of comprehension, because the almighty DOLLAR IS GOD HERE. And let no man confront nor put asunder THAT ideal nor interfere with the push to get our resources from under their land, nukes or otherwise.


This post has been edited by Artemise: May 15 2006, 11:02 AM
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moif
post May 15 2006, 12:59 PM
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QUOTE(bucket @ May 13 2006, 08:39 AM )
No loss on the American govt for rejecting this piece of anti-semitic nonsense. Where is the morality of those who believe we must overlook the actions of this government just because they have offered us a few meaningless words? The world doesn't work that way, and neither does the IAEA. If the Iranian govt. wishes to remain true to it's words then let's see the political prisoners set free, let's see Iranian women not worry so much about their state sanctioned "modesty", let's see the poor in Iran relived of their heavy burden, let's see the Iranian govt end it's support to Hezbollah and help do it's part to bring peace and security to the world. Or is the President of Iran now submitting this duty to the American govt solely?
Exactly. Ahmadinejad's 'concern' is nothing but one giant example of gross hypocrisy.


QUOTE(Artemise @ May 15 2006, 12:21 PM)
Back to: The letter?

I thought the letter was clear and heartfelt, worth reading for a President of Faith,
showing NOT an extremist but a man of thought, appealing to a man (who is in his mind allegedly) of GOD from another man ( who also thinks he is allegedly is of GOD), not the intellectuals of our time, but two MEN who believe in invisable friends, who believe God put them in power.
The difference is I saw true humanity in the letter, something the Bush ADMIN is  incapable of comprehension, because the almighty DOLLAR IS GOD HERE. And let no man confront nor put asunder THAT ideal nor interfere with the push to get our resources from under their land, nukes or otherwise.


I'm sorry Artemise, but I couldn't disagree more. It seems to me that your disregard for your own government is clouding your judgement.

Religion has no place in politics, regardless of who claims to have 'faith'.

I can't believe how many people in the political opposition camps of the western world have jumped onto this letter as if it carried any validity what so ever. I can't stand GW Bush either, but I'll be damned if I'm going to start cheering the likes of Castro, Chavez and Ahmadinejad just because of that!

Where is the integrity?

Ahmadinejad is the leader of a tyrannical regime that oppresses its own people and is actively seeking to destroy western democratic civilisation and all in the name of a religious ideology. To grant this letter any sort of value, simply because it attacks GW Bush and the USA is to turn your back on the principle of freedom through democracy.


QUOTE
The common element of radical Third Worldism is an obsession with American power, as though the US were so intrinsically evil that any enemy of the US must be our friend, from Mao to Kim Jong-il, from Fidel Castro to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And if our “friends” shower us with flattery, asking us to attend conferences and sit on advisory boards, so much the better.

Criticism of American policies and economic practices are necessary and often just, but why do leftists continue to discredit their critical stance by applauding strongmen who oppress and murder their own critics? Is it simply a reverse application of that famous American cold war dictum: “He may be a bastard, but he’s our bastard”? Or is it the fatal attraction to power often felt by writers and artists who feel marginal and impotent in capitalist democracies? The danger of Chavism is not a revival of communism, even though Castro is among its main boosters. Nor should anti-Americanism be our main concern. The US can take care of itself. What needs to be resisted, not just in Latin America, is the new form of populist authoritarianism.
Link.
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bucket
post May 15 2006, 02:19 PM
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I agree moif I think if anything this letter's most upsetting revelation lies within our own selves. It is more than obvious the corruptness and cruelty of the Iranian regime, I personally find that unquestionable. But to see so many side with this government over our own is sad and it is such a betrayal to not America... but all of us. To human right's, to non-proliferation of nuclear arms, to the importance and value of the international government and it's treaties in place and as a whole political liberalism.

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English Horn
post May 15 2006, 06:23 PM
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QUOTE(bucket @ May 15 2006, 09:19 AM)
I agree moif I think if anything this letter's most upsetting revelation lies within our own selves.  It is more than obvious the corruptness and cruelty of the Iranian regime, I personally find that unquestionable.  But to see so many side with this government over our own is sad and it is such a betrayal to not America... but all of us.  To human right's, to non-proliferation of nuclear arms, to the importance and value of the international government and it's treaties in place and as a whole political liberalism.
*



So what is exactly your and moif's solution to the current crisis? Because it is clear that economic sanctions against Iran will not work; aside from us, there're plenty of buyers of Iranian oil in the world (e.g. China and India). The country has been renegade for quite some time, and they're getting worse - and, yet, richer.
Either you propose a military attack, or... I'd like to hear what steps would you take.
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post May 15 2006, 09:23 PM
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QUOTE(English Horn)
So what is exactly your and moif's solution to the current crisis? Because it is clear that economic sanctions against Iran will not work; aside from us, there're plenty of buyers of Iranian oil in the world (e.g. China and India). The country has been renegade for quite some time, and they're getting worse - and, yet, richer.
Either you propose a military attack, or... I'd like to hear what steps would you take.
Well, first of all I'd have to answer that I am not employed to provide solutions to geo-political problems.

...and if I were I'd probably be considered a tyrant by a good many people.

I am not omnipotent and I don't have all the answers. I can tell you what I see, analyse or complain about it, but I can't say this is what we ought to be doing, because I'm simply not intelligent enough to see all the way through this current crisis.

I think most probably that if I were 'in charge', I'd treat Iran, and all the other fundamental Islamic states, much as we did the USSR.
I've come to recognise that we are at war, whether we like it or not, and our enemies understand us and our weakness far better than we do ourselves.

People keep arguing for example that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al qaeda.
Well, actually there is a connection. Its called Islam.

And I can imagine your eyes rolling to heaven as you read that. Perhaps your dismissing me as paranoid (or worse) even as you do. Perhaps your muttering that Islam is not the cause of the current crisis?

I'm prepared to be convinced, if you can demonstrate that Islam is not the current crisis, but until some one actually does this... actually shows me that Islam is not the direct cause of the Islamic terrorism that is sweeping the planet, from Indonesia to the Balkans to Palestine to Kenya to Darfur to Chechnya to New York and perhaps here in Denmark in the coming months... then I have no further option but to recognise the truth that is staring me in the face.

These people are bringing war to us and we are debating as if it were us who were the aggressors.
The whole western democratic tradition is being eroded from within and all we can do is to blame ourselves for what is happening.

The league of nations was a failure because it had no authority. It failed to protect the people of the world. Now the United Nations appoints countries like Cuba and Saudi Arabia onto its human rights organs whilst its high commisioner for human rights attacks western democratic nations for 'not respecting Islam'.

Iran, using Islam as its ultimate justification, is threatening us and we are hesitating. We should threaten Iran in return with such a retribution that their resolve is the one that falters. Not ours.

If that means using a military option then so be it.
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post May 15 2006, 11:03 PM
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BoF:

Let's see, there was that crowd that went from the south part of Tehran to the center of the city, where they were joined by police and military [with tanks]. And they were Iranian, and not American.

And hard to call The Nation a "right-wing" rag, but it's report from 1953 [ http://www.thenation.com/doc/20030818/roth ]:

"The weeping Prime Minister [Mossadegh] has now finally been replaced by a chest-thumping militarist who was watching from the right wing and awaiting the nod of the vacillating young occupant of the royal box. The hard-profiled General Zahedi will not play to the gallery and will get no applause from the left. He will seek the plaudits of the large feudal landowners, tribal chieftains, obscurantist religious leaders like Kashani, and reactionary generals like himself. He clearly models his performances on that of the military dictator who made him a general, Reza Shah, the father of the present monarch.
***
Out of the government, General Zahedi became leader of the influential Retired Officers' Association, whose numbers mounted as Mossadegh purged the army of 200 right-wing senior officers considered sympathetic to the Shah and likely to be used by him to oust the Premier. When the wily Zahedi saw the Mossadegh-Kashani alliance weakening last autumn, he entered into negotiations with the Mullah. Mossadegh retaliated by announcing he had quashed a "foreign-aided plot which aimed to make General Zahedi Prime Minister." As a senator Zahedi was immune from arrest, and from the Senate floor he accused Mossadegh of political blackmail, rigging the elections, creating moral and material chaos, and deceiving the nation with hypocritical claims. Within a few days Mossadegh cut a senator's term of office from six to two years, thus ending Zahedi's immunity.

Events now suggested that an army-court coup was maturing. In mid-February the Bakhtiari tribes--the Shah's wife, Soraya, is half-Bakhtiari and half-German--started a minor revolt. At the end of February, Zahedi was arrested and accused of planning to set up a shadow Cabinet to take over from Mossadegh. Two days later many members of his Retired Officers' Association, in conjunction with Kashani's followers, led the demonstrations which persuaded the Shah to change his plans for leaving the country. Dr. Mossadegh, always fearful of an army coup in the name of the Shah, renewed his effort to eliminate the Shah as commander-in-chief.
***
The Communists gave General Zahedi his chance to be Iran's "man on horseback." The Shah was becoming clearly impatient with Mossadegh's efforts to depose him, win control of the army, and set up a dictatorship. Mossadegh was losing popular support through his quarrel with Kashani and his failure to break the British blockade or halt the decline of Persian currency. The incident which convinced the Shah that he would have American and British support if he overthrew Mossadegh was the demonstration by the Tudeh Communists on July 21, the first anniversary of the death of agitators killed while protesting the July, 1952, dismissal of Mossadegh.

On August 14 the Shah signed the decree dismissing Dr. Mossadegh and appointing General Zahedi Premier. When Dr. Mossadegh did not immediately comply, the Shah fled temporarily, leaving the dirty work to General Zahedi. There was no one in Iran more suitable to undertake it."

I would suggest that you don't get your news and history from rense.com. Why anyone would think that we could have a coup without some rather important local figures playing a rather large and prominent role simply defies my comprehension. And the prior Shah had himself been deposed. Somehow, that always gets left out, as though the one being deposed wouldn't be expected to have any interest in regaining what was lost.

And for irony, simply consider that much of the ranting from some of those on the left does nothing but play into the hands of the mullahs, who can use the inflammatory and hardly accurate words in their quest to label us the "Great Satan."

Let me leave you with some more history:

"Reconsidering the 1953 "Coup" in Iran

History abhors a vacuum, and so the void created by the classification (and later destruction) of CIA records concerning the 1953 crisis in Iran has been filled with partial truths and fabrications that have endured despite persuasive scholarly rebuttal.

Thus, for example, "In 1953 Kermit [Roosevelt] and a few fellows manipulated that crowd which toppled [Iranian Prime Minister Muhammad] Mossadegh without any trouble at all," according to former CIA officer David Atlee Phillips' book The Night Watch.
***
But what the whole world already knew may be mistaken, and what the destroyed CIA records might have shown in this case is not how much the Agency had to hide, but just how little the CIA actually had to do with the removal of Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh from power in 1953 and the restoration of the Shah to his throne.

The CIA and the enemies of the Shah both had an interest in exaggerating the role of the Agency in the 1953 crisis. Asserting a "victory" in Iran helped the CIA to establish its competence, and to demonstrate its apparent ability to shape events in foreign lands. At the same time, by portraying the Shah as a American puppet who was returned to power by CIA dirty tricks, the Shah's enemies sought to undermine his legitimacy."

Ever consider that? Ever consider that the CIA touts itself since it needs to do so in order to be relevant in our world? And ever consider that those seeking to undermine the Shah might have a vested interest in claiming that he did not at all reflect any measure of the Iranian popular will, but was instead a "puppet" placed on the throne by "foreign elements?"

Before I continue, please note the reference in this article to the mullahs opposed to Mossadegh, and also the reference in the prior article to Kashani. He's the late Ayatollah Kashani. Now to continue and end with my excerpting from that article:

"Nevertheless, "the belief that the United States had single-handedly imposed a harsh tyrant on a reluctant populace became one of the central myths of the relationship, particularly as viewed from Iran," observed Gary Sick in his definitive work All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter with Iran (1985, p. 7).

"According to the yarns woven by the CIA on the one hand and anti-shah elements on the other, the entire August [1953] uprising had been an American enterprise whose success was solely due to CIA money and intrigue," wrote Amir Taheri, who was editor of Iran's largest daily newspaper from 1973 to 1979.
***
More harshly, Amir Taheri argues that "The extravagant claims made by the CIA about Operation AJAX in later years were to have disastrous effects for future relations between Iran and the United States.... Besides casting doubt on the shah's legitimacy, the CIA claims... helped create an anti-American sentiment that had not previously existed in Iran.... The super-spies who some years later went around claiming medals for their supposedly heroic role in Operation AJAX deserved no such rewards. Unknowingly, they did a great disservice both to Iran and to the United States."

The most measured assessment appears to be that offered by Barry Rubin: "It cannot be said that the United States overthrew Mossadegh and replaced him with the shah. The CIA merely provided minimal financial and logistical aid for Iranians to do so.""

Please see: http://www.fas.org/sgp/bulletin/sec70.html

And so, thanks to the usuals suspects on the left and a largely non-critical populace, the Shah is now known in America as evil incarnate. However, the contrary view, from the Shah's supporters themselves:

http://www.sedona.net/pahlavi/health.html
http://www.sedona.net/pahlavi/women.html
http://www.sedona.net/pahlavi/welfare.html
http://www.sedona.net/pahlavi/educate.html
http://www.sedona.net/pahlavi/atomic.html

And going back to irony, it was Khomeini, true to form for the despotic demagogue, who blamed all of Iran's ills on the US while he was busy enjoying all the comforts of his exile in France. I don't blame him for that, since the same is "good" politics. I do, however, blame the usual suspects on the left as well as the noted largely non-critical populace here at home [and in the world].













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English Horn
post May 16 2006, 12:31 PM
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QUOTE(moif @ May 15 2006, 04:23 PM)

I think most probably that if I were 'in charge', I'd treat Iran, and all the other fundamental Islamic states, much as we did the USSR. 
I've come to recognise that we are at war, whether we like it or not, and our enemies understand us and our weakness far better than we do ourselves. 


Well, it took quite a while for USSR to collapse, and regardless of what some would like you to believe, it mostly self-destructed, with very little outside influence. Ronald Reagan, Lech Walesa, and Pope John Paul II had relatively little to do with it. With the amount of money Iran has, it's going to take a while for them to self-destruct.

QUOTE(moif @ May 15 2006, 04:23 PM)

People keep arguing for example that there was no connection between Saddam Hussein and al qaeda. 
Well, actually there is a connection. Its called Islam. 


moif, suppose that I agree with you on Islam. I don't think there's a single person in the world who would argue that Iraq of today is more secular and less Islamist than Iraq of Saddam. Come on, moif, Saddam's Iraq was one of the more secular countries in the region; he was indeed a tyrant, but he was a secular tyrant. So, by your own logic, by allowing fundamentalist elements to take hold in Iraq, we made the situation worse, or not better.
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