View Full Version : Of Realists, and Madmen.

04-12-08, 04:33 PM
The Iranians are some of the most sophisticated, highly educated people in the entire Middle East. And it's entirely possible that the present course of their history could have been diverted in a far more constructive and attractive direction if the US had not deposed Mossadeq - but to mull over that is equivalent to contemplating one's navel today in 2008 - because today, there is apparently a real nutcase running the show over there.

Those who propose our retiring now, into the luxurious and leisurely pursuit of some introspective period of self-contemplation, out of which "Peace" will flower - are pursuing precisely the wrong conclusions because the present situation given the noises Iran is now making, requires some prompt and early form of pragmatic address. Who would argue, from reading the profile below, that apparently some degree of societal aberration has occurred there now - and is making some very disturbing noises during the course of it's birth? Do you have the grit to recognize what is staring you in the face? Take a whiff of the "moral stench" emanating from this man's pronouncements.

I look at this vast, swaying chorus of people worldwide, (including Obama, Kucinic and Ron Paul!), who regard themselves as "sane and level headed proponents for peace in the world" - we have them all around us - the "proponents of peace" - friends, neighbors, intelligent people who make very persuasive and rational arguments - people who claim if we just stand back and encourage Ahmedinejad's Iran to "take it's rightful place among the great nations of the world" (as he likes to phrase it) - that a man with the psychological profile suggested by this long and well documented study by MEMRI, will go on to satisfy all of their idealistic hopes and become a peaceful and good neighbor to all in the region (and to the world).

I read the following profile, and I have a deep fear, that the well meaning people among us who insist any resistance to Ahmedinejad is "war-mongering", will unwittingly change the course of modern history, if they finally have their way - as their vision for peace entails allowing this man's vision of a resurgent Iran to actually emerge fully as he sees it.

I fear after reading this profile, that these PRO-PEACE people, who believe themselves to be PROPONENTS FOR PEACE, who think they are fighting to "stop US war-mongering madness" while our present (now greatly discredited) US administration struggles to impose some limits upon Iran - these PRO-PEACE people now mis-percieve putting an effective brake upon Iran's ambitions as yet another disastrous American "adventure", and this is the "greatest trap" of the past decade's events.

This is the unspeakably dangerous lure and entanglement of recent history. Those in a position to credibly impose limits upon Iran's scary stated ambitions (the US), are now UTTERLY DISCREDITED in the eyes of the world, and will no longer be heard or followed. The US has spent all of it's credbility in false pursuits, and now that really critically dangerous issue is presented, in the form of Ahmedinejad's scary, raving ambitions for the "return of the Mahdi" which is married in his feverish dreams with a "Proud and Nuclearized iran" the world will gaze upon these newest developments with a profound cynicism and disbelief and the Americans will stumble into mere inaction or become mired in a paralyzing ostracism from the global opinion. But if the world turns it's back blithely upon Ahmedinejad's sickly ambitions, they may deeply regret that later.

You "Proponents for Peace", by insisting that a "dialogue" with this man will yeild you results, and then remaining entranced by that illusion for another five years, will wake up eventually to understand this man is utterly uninterested in your dialogue. You will risk instead ushering in a new world which I personally cannot stomach, where Iran passes a threshold and madmen such as this one gain a critical strategic foothold, to then shoehorn an ever greater influence into and upon the region, and upon the world. Then it will be too late to ask these "Proponents for Peace" what the hell they thought they were doing claiming that they could appease him.

Anyone who cannot spot the moral disease within this man's pronouncements is blinded by their own anti-Bush and anti-US ideology, which despite the colossal strategic (and morally tainting) blunders of the US administration, is relatively small-beans compared to the potential mayhem intrinsic to this man's feverish visions for the region and "Iran's rightful place in the world" as he phrases it. That moral disease is there - and it is profoundly menacing to everything we have called progress since the age of enlightenment. We should indeed be very worried, and very very cautious - but it is the focus of our worry in the west, which has become curiously blinkered and trapped in blind ends.

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<!-- MEMRI DOC. -->Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 389</TD></TR><TR style="PADDING-RIGHT: 3px; PADDING-LEFT: 3px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 3px; PADDING-TOP: 3px"><!-- Document Date --><TD class=bodytext vAlign=top>September 17, 2007</TD><!-- Document No. --><TD class=bodytext vAlign=top align=right>No. 389</TD></TR><TR vAlign=top><TD bgColor=#800000 colSpan=2>http://www.memri.org/images/blnk.gif</TD></TR><!-- Document Body --><TR><TD class=title style="PADDING-RIGHT: 7px; PADDING-LEFT: 7px; PADDING-BOTTOM: 7px; PADDING-TOP: 7px" align=middle colSpan=2><!-- Doc Title Goes Here -->
Escalation in the Positions of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad A Special Report
By: Y. Mansharof and A. Savyon <!-- Document Body -->
In several recent speeches, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad outlined Iran's nuclear policy and set forth his vision regarding the interrelationship between Iran and the West.

In a speech about Iran's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad declared that Iran has become a global power, and that it would place its nuclear technology at the service of those determined to confront the U.S. and other Western countries. He announced that Iran was now successfully operating over 3,000 centrifuges, continued to downplay the impact of the U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran, and reiterated Iran's official stance of refusal to freeze its nuclear activity. Ahmadinejad also harshly censured senior Iranian officials who had called for compromise with the West on Iran's nuclear program out of fear of a possible U.S. attack on Iran, hinting that they were traitors.

In addition, Ahmadinejad declared that the world was now at an historic turning point. The history of the West, he said, had reached its end, and the appearance of the Hidden Imam, heralding the era of Islamic Shi'ite rule, was nigh. [1] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn1) Thus, he called on the nations of the world to rise up against the hegemony of the West, headed by the U.S., and predicted the imminent collapse of Israel, which he called "Satan's standard-bearer." [2] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn2)

Following are statements by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on various issues, from his recent speeches:

Iran's Nuclear Program

On several occasions, Ahmadinejad stressed that Iran would continue developing its nuclear program regardless of the sanctions. He noted that the sanctions were having no impact on progress in "the irreversible path of the nuclearization of the Iranian nation" [3] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn3) and denied Western reports of a slowdown in Iran's uranium enrichment. Ahmadinejad further promised to place Iran's nuclear technology "at the service of those who are determined to confront the bullying powers and aggressors ..." [4] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn4) At a recent conference of Revolutionary Guards commanders, he also stated that "some violent powers are now officially declaring that they want to cooperate with the Iranian nation, and that they acknowledge Iran's [status] as a regional power. However, they must know that Iran is a global power." [5] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn5)

In a report submitted in late August 2007 to the to the International Atomic Energy Agency Council of Governors, IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei stated that as of August 19, 2007, 1,968 centrifuges at the Natanz facility had been injected with UF6 gas and were in operation. However, in early September, 2007, Ahmadinejad stated: "When we opened [the uranium conversion facility] at Isfahan, they [i.e. the West, headed by the U.S.] threatened military action [against us]. But now, we are operating over 3,000 centrifuges, and every week [another] new [centrifuge] system is installed... They have not managed to do anything against [our] united and steadfast nation." [6] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn6) He added, "They thought that they could make the Iranian nation withdraw with each of the sanctions resolutions that they issued - but after each resolution, the Iranian nation showed further progress [in its nuclear] program." [7] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn7)

On another occasion, Ahmadinejad harshly condemned senior Iranian officials who had in recent months called for compromise with the West: "With regard to obtaining nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, unreliable individuals have spoken of compromising... No one would believe it if I mentioned the names of these individuals, who in several meetings spoke of the need for compromise, enumerating the enemy's strong points, and [raising the possibility that the West could launch] an all-out war... We have experienced days when we were pressured from a hundred different directions from within [Iran] to withdraw [and to halt uranium enrichment]... But I said that I was willing to guarantee them that it was impossible for [the U.S.] to launch a war against us..." [8] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn8)

Ahmadinejad went on to explain: "At some meetings, I told these friends that I was an engineer, and that I had analyzed the problems and presented proof, [and thus] I told them that the enemies do not have the courage to launch a war against us. Some doubted my words, but I presented them with two [pieces of] evidence. First, I told them, I am an engineer, I am deliberate, I make tables and write and examine hypotheses for hours. I present proof and put together plans based on it, and that is how I proceed. They [the U.S.] cannot pose a problem to Iran. They are stuck in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they have problems there, and lack the ability [to act against Iran]. As further proof, I told them that I believe in the word of God. God said that those who act properly will triumph. Iran's Leader [Ali Khamenei] and the Iranian nation are steadfast in, attentive to, and agree with the word of God..." [9] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn9)

Ahmadinejad added, "I have documents [to prove] that some people, who [are supported by] newspapers that do nothing but malign [the government] on a daily basis, made every effort to ensure that sanctions were issued against Iran. They would provide [the West] with the latest updates [about Iran's nuclear program], and urge it to exert as much pressure as possible [on the Iranian government]. It was not one or two people, but at least eight or 10. Now, these people are turning to the Gulf states and telling them not to cooperate with the Iranian government." [10] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn10) In his speech to the Revolutionary Guards commanders, Ahmadinejad said, in a similar vein, "Unfortunately, some elements [in Iran] have encouraged some of the violent powers to increase the pressures on Iran." [11] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn11)

In a press conference during his August 21-22, 2007 visit to Azerbaijan, Ahmadinejad said that the West's attempts to stop Iran's nuclear program had been in vain, and that Iran had not changed its policy: "Thanks to the determined stance of the Iranian nation, which has stood united in defense of its right [to nuclear technology], Iran's enemies have not succeeded in preventing its progress, and in imposing their positions upon it, for Iran has [now] achieved a full nuclear fuel cycle... [The Western countries] know very well that their actions have no effect [on Iran], and that they will [eventually] be compelled to acknowledge its right [to develop this technology]... If these aggressive countries pay no heed to our friendly advice, their prestige in the world will suffer, and their situation will be more difficult...

"When I visited Baku last year, Iran was only at the halfway point on the winding and difficult path [to nuclear technology]. But today, with God's grace and thanks to the determined stand and resistance of the Iranian people, Iran has seen this narrow and difficult path through to its end... and now nobody can stop the progress of the Iranian nation [in the area of nuclear technology].

"There are countries whose attainment of nuclear technology did not bring about any change in the world. Iran's nuclearization, on the other hand, is the beginning of a very great change in the world, since its nuclear activities are in the service of peace, justice, and welfare for all the [world's] countries... You [i.e. the Western countries] have used the language of force, and have failed to realize [the greatness] of the Iranian nation. You thought that if you increased the pressure [i.e. the sanctions] on Iran, the Iranian nation would withdraw [from its position]... I said to these countries: You are wrong, and you are making fools of yourselves - for you cannot harm Iran in the slightest..." [12] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn12)

At an August 28, 2007 press conference at the presidential palace, Ahmadinejad said further: "As for the reports about [Iran] slowing down or accelerating its nuclear program, most of them are not grounded in reality. We are working to [enrich uranium]. This is a technical process, and any acceleration or deceleration [of the activities] has to do with technical circumstances and capabilities. Political decisions play no part in this... I hereby officially announce that, as far as Iran is concerned, the nuclear issue is closed. Those who thought that they could stop the Iranian nation through discriminatory political moves [i.e. sanctions], and by abusing their [power] in the international decision-making bodies, now realize that the path they took was wrong..." [13] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn13)

The Return of the Mahdi is Imminent; The West's Hegemony Has Come to an End

In his speech at the annual International Seminar on the Doctrine of Mahdism, held in Tehran August 25-26, 2007, Ahmadinejad stated that Western dominance has come to an end, and called on the nations of the world to rebel against "the oppressive imperialist powers" in preparation for the coming of the Hidden Imam:

"The Hidden Imam is heir to everything that has been good and beautiful throughout history, and the call [to await his coming] is a call [to have faith] in the missions of the divine prophets, in monotheism, and in justice... In these days, humanity longs for monotheism and justice. With God's grace, the [preparations] for a flood of compassion, truth and justice will soon be complete...

"The message of Mahdism, which calls [to believe] in the Savior [i.e. the Hidden Imam], brings hope and joy to people [throughout the world]. [It is] a message of steadfastness and patience and of resisting the oppressors [i.e. the West, headed by America]; it is a message of submission [to God] and of the pursuit of justice and honor. The current situation in the world has led the nations to reject in disgust the rule of the oppressors. Now is the time to invite people to accept the rule of the righteous, and [especially that] of the most righteous of [rulers] - the Hidden Imam...

"Today's imperialist forces give humanity nothing by forcing wars [upon it], plundering its resources, violating [human] rights, issuing threats, trampling human dignity and [spreading] corruption, vice and insecurity... The oppressors and tyrants are responsible for all the difficulties and problems currently faced by the nations, and the only way to establish justice is through popular uprising and determined resistance in the face of these oppressors...

"[The day] of these aggressors... who are oppressing and controlling the nations, is now coming to an end. Those who [seek to] distract the people with materialistic philosophy of one kind or another, and who pursue materialism, have brought humanity nothing but despair and deception... The time of the righteous rulers will come, and the most righteous of rulers, [i.e. the Hidden Imam], will form a government and thereby instate the monotheism of Abraham [throughout the world]. That day is not far away...

"Our enemies naturally feel threatened by the call to the Mahdi, for they do not want people to think about justice. But our reply to them is that the era of the aggressive [powers] has come to an end. We believe that it is time for the righteous to rule, and for humanity to be properly [re]born out of love, knowledge, and spirituality." [14] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn14)

In his speech at the opening of the fourth World Assembly of the Ahl Al-Beit Foundation, held in Tehran August 18-19, 2007, Ahmadinejad said: [15] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn15)

"Today we must prepare ourselves to discharge the responsibility [placed] upon us... which transcends the [boundaries of the] Muslim world... Islam is the truth. This truth was only partly revealed in Judaism and Christianity, but is fully revealed in Islam... Today, as ever, the world needs the Hidden Imam, [for] it is suffering under the yoke of dishonest [rulers]... Our mission transcends the geographical boundaries of the Muslim [world]. Our clerics have a responsibility to call upon humanity as a whole to [embrace] the [true] monotheism and the rule of monotheistic principles." [16] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn16)

In an August 28, 2007 speech, Ahmadinejad added, "The current problems faced by the world result from [the rule] of unworthy rulers. The ultimate solution is to replace these unworthy regimes and rulers, and to establish the rule of the Hidden Imam..." [17] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn17) "Those who are not versed in [the doctrine of Mahdism] believe that the return [of the Hidden Imam] will occur only in a very long time, but, according to the divine promise, [his return] is imminent..." [18] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn18)

On August 29, 2007, Ahmadinejad said, "The Iranian nation and the Islamic Revolution have a pivotal role in preparing the ground for the coming of the Hidden Imam... We must rapidly develop Iran in order to create the [right] conditions for his coming, and we must also help the rest of the world's nations [to prepare for his return], in order to precipitate this great event..." [19] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn19)

"The responsibility that currently rests on Iran's [shoulders] is very heavy; it is the kind of mission [with which] the divine prophets [were entrusted]. It does not permit us to rest or slumber even for a moment. Have you ever seen a prophet take a rest from the fulfillment of his mission?..." [20] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn20)

[B]Israel Has No Right to Exist; Its Collapse is Imminent

Ahmadinejad's recent speeches have also been characterized by statements against the Zionists and against Israel, which he called "Satan's standard-bearer." [21] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn21)

At the August 28, 2007 press conference, he said: "[The Zionists] have no religion, for religion means having faith in others and maintaining friendly [relations] with [other] nations. But everywhere they exist there is war. They are responsible for much of the injustice in the world. The Zionists are a minority which numbers no more than a few tens of thousands, but they have formed clandestine organizations, because they do not want peace and friendship to prevail among the nations... They thrive on war and hatred. If peace [ever] prevails in the world, the people of the world will eradicate Zionism. If the [European] nations could have acted [freely], they would have thrown them out of Europe." [22] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn22)

In his speech at the Ahl Al-Beit assembly, Ahmadinejad said: "You also saw the outcome of the 33-day war in Lebanon [in the summer of 2006], and how Hizbullah stood fast against the Zionist regime. Can such a regime [conceivably] last? A regime whose entire philosophy and existence are founded upon lies is bound to collapse... The extent of the defeat of the world superpowers is reflected by the extent to which their ideology and reasoning have failed... [Israel] is the standard-bearer of aggression, occupation, and discrimination in the world. Considering all this, [how] can this regime [possibly] last?" [23] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn23)

In line with his view of Israel as a foreign body in the region, Ahmadinejad said, at a September 4, 2007 meeting with deposed Palestinian foreign minister Ziad Abu 'Amru: "The only way out of the crisis is through armed resistance by a united Palestinian nation, with determination and faith in God... It would be nave of us to believe that America and certain European countries might take steps to help the Palestinian people - for the Zionist regime is their representative, and is flesh of their flesh... The Palestinian nation is now invincible... The Iranian nation and government believe in the Palestinian cause, and are interested in its fulfillment. [They] will continue to stand by the Palestinian people..." [24] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn24)

On the Situation in Iraq

In line with his view that the Western hegemony is coming to an end, Ahmadinejad stated that the depth of the West's defeat mirrors the depth of its ideological defeat. He predicted that the Coalition forces will soon be forced to withdraw from Iraq, and declared that Iran would be willing to fill the vacuum. [25] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn25)

In his speech at the Ahl Al-Beit assembly, he said: "The hegemony of America and its allies in Iraq has been shattered, and [the Americans] have suffered an historic defeat. The depth of the [military] defeat [suffered by] the Global Arrogance [i.e. America] mirrors [the depth of] their ideological defeat...

"The world is now at a historic turning point. This is apparent from the briefest glance at the global balance of power, which is rapidly tipping towards truth and away from falsehood... America and its allies in Iraq are now sinking in a quagmire, from which they... can escape only at great cost..." [26] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn26)

On another occasion, Ahmadinejad said, "The aggressors have become entangled in Iraq. They attribute no importance to Iraqi lives... I hereby announce loud and clear that the occupier's political forces are facing defeat in Iraq... [and that] we will soon see a serious leadership vacuum in the region. I hereby announce that Iran is willing to fill this vacuum, with the help of its neighbors and friends in the region, including Saudi Arabia. With the help of the Iraqi people, we will fill this vacuum. This is already happening; we must open our eyes to see it...

"I advise the aggressors to stop their stubbornness and selfishness... Even if you stay in Iraq for another 50 years, not only will conditions fail to improve, they will deteriorate... Iraq is, in the present circumstances, [just] another example of the corrupt rule of the superpowers... We have announced [in the past] our willingness to extricate you from the Iraqi quagmire - but if you choose to stay there, you are welcome to do so!... Wait a few months, and [you will see] that under pressure, the [Al-Maliki] government will be defeated..." [27] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn27)

On Renewing Relations with Egypt

On August 28, 2007, Ahmadinejad reiterated that Iran was willing to renew relations with Egypt, [28] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn28) and added that both countries would benefit from this, as two dominant forces in the region.

"Iran and Egypt are both great and civilized nations, which [maintain] ties of mutual friendship. The truth is that the Egyptian nation is clearly interested in [relations] with Iran, and that the Iranian nation is interested in [relations] with Egypt. The two countries have many distinctive characteristics in common, such as a unique and ancient culture. Furthermore, both have significant influence in regional and global issues, and therefore, friendship between them will benefit the Muslim countries and the world [at large].

"[During my visit] to the UAE [in May 2007], I announced that if Egypt declares its willingness to renew the relations [with Iran], we would promptly dispatch an ambassador [to Cairo]. The deputy foreign ministers of the two countries are due to meet [to discuss this issue], and this [meeting] will be followed by a meeting between the foreign ministers [themselves] in order to prepare the foundations for [renewing] relations. I hope that these [plans] will be realized shortly..." [29] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn29)

On Human Rights in Iran

In the same speech, Ahmadinejad said that all citizens and groups in Iran enjoyed complete and full freedom, and can express their opinions freely. Addressing the issue of the Iranian-American academic Dr. Haleh Esfandiari, who was recently released from an Iranian prison after being detained for over three months, he stated that her case would be decided by the Iranian judiciary. [30] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_edn30)

[I]* Y. Mansharof is a Research Fellow at MEMRI; A. Savyon is Director of MEMRI's Iranian Media Project.

<HR noShade><!-- footnotes -->

[1] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref1) According to Shi'ite belief, the Twelfth Imam (known as the Mahdi, or the Hidden Imam) disappeared in 941 CE. Shi'ites are commanded to anticipate his reappearance, which will bring their redemption and the proof of the rightness of the Shi'ite belief. See MEMRI Inquiry and Analysis No. 357, "The Doctrine of Mahdism: In the Ideological and Political Philosophy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," May 31, 2007,


[2] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref2) IRNA (Iran), August 18, 2007.
[3] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref3) IRNA (Iran), August 25, 2007.
[4] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref4) IRNA (Iran), August 21, 2007.
[5] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref5) [I]Kayhan (Iran), September 12, 2007.
[6] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref6) ISNA (Iran), September 2, 2007.
[7] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref7) Kayhan (Iran), September 3, 2007.
[8] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref8) Aftab (Iran), September 2, 2007.

[9] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref9) Etemad-e Meli (Iran), September 3, 2007. In its September 3, 2007 editorial, the reformist daily Etemad-e Meli - owned by former parliament speaker Mehdi Karroubi, who ran for president in 2005 but was forced to drop out of the race after he accused Ahmadinejad of election fraud - stated that, with all due respect to the president's Ph.D. in transportation engineering, there was no guarantee that Iran would not be attacked by the U.S., and that Ahmadinejad should be more realistic.

Ahmadinejad was also criticized by the reformist daily Aftab-e Yazd in its August 19, 2007 editorial; the editorial condemned Ahmadinejad for failing to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgyzstan in August 2007. The editorial stated: "Those who followed the news about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Conference noticed the conspicuous absence of one significant report, [namely] a report about a meeting between Ahmadinejad and Putin."

In an August 28, 2007 speech, Ahmadinejad claimed that he had, in fact, met with Putin during the conference, and that Putin had promised him that Russia would complete the construction of the Bushehr reactor. However, it was later confirmed by several Iranian media sources that no meeting had taken place.

[10] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref10) Rooz (Iran), September 3, 2007. According to another Rooz report, Ahmadinejad said: "More than there were Western pressures, there were pressures by cowardly circles within [Iran]... who called for compromise. But if we had withdrawn [from our position], the pressures would not have stopped. God told us [in the Koran] that we must stand fast, and that if we give in, even in the slightest, nothing would remain of our independence...

In [certain] circles, there was an official who would pass intelligence to foreign agents, and who encouraged [the West] to increase the sanctions. This individual, from a [certain] faction within the government whose newspapers malign [the government] even today, held regular meetings with [foreign agents], passed information about disagreements [within the Iranian leadership], and opposed the issuing of [relatively] moderate sanctions against Iran. Now he has turned to the Gulf states, and, maligning the Iranian government, he has asked them not to cooperate with [Iran]." Rooz (Iran), September 3, 2007.

[11] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref11) Kayhan (Iran), September 12, 2007.
[12] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref12) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.
[13] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref13) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.
[14] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref14) IRNA (Iran), August 27, 2007.

[15] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref15) The term "Ahl Al-Beit" refers to the lineage of Ali Ibn Abi Talib and Fatima, daughter of the Prophet Muhammad, whose descendents are regarded by the Shi'ites as the true heirs of the Prophet. The Ahl Al-Beit Foundation, founded in 1990, aims to promote the study and culture of Shi'ite Islam. Its members are religious and political figures from several Muslim countries.

[16] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref16) Kayhan (Iran), August 19, 2007.
[17] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref17) IRNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.
[18] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref18) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.
[19] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref19) IRNA (Iran), August 30, 2007.
[20] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref20) Aftab-e Yazd (Iran), September 3, 2007.
[21] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref21) IRNA (Iran), August 18, 2007.
[22] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref22) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.
[23] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref23) Kayhan (Iran), August 19, 2007.
[24] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref24) Mehr (Iran), September 4, 2007.

[25] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref25) At central Friday prayers on August 17, 2004, Council of Experts member Ahmad Khatami said that the Arab countries should remember that after the U.S. leaves Iraq, Iran will still be right there in the region. See MEMRI TV clip No. 1542: http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1542.htm.

[26] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref26) Kayhan (Iran), August 19, 2007.
[27] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref27) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.

[28] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref28) For Ahmadinejad's statements on this topic from May 2007, and reactions to these statements, see MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis No. 364, "Dispute in Iran over Renewing Relations with Egypt," June 15, 2007, http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA36407.
[29] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref29) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007. [30] (file:///C:/Program%20Files/Common%20Files/Microsoft%20Shared/Stationery/#_ednref30) ISNA (Iran), August 28, 2007.


Starving Steve
04-12-08, 05:33 PM
I am not a Republican nor any sort of conservative, but one thing that I am is a student of history.

The appeasers --- with the best of intentions and the highest moral authority--- let Adolf Hitler get away with lies and threats to break the Armistice Agreement and take the Saarland in 1935, then to go on to take the Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia by a worthless peace agreement called, the Munich Agreement ( Neville Chamberlin waving it in the air while stepping down from that DC-3 in London). If this were not enough, the appeasers let Hitler go on to take Bohemia-Moravia in 1939, and they still didn't do anything.

The appeasers--- a dirty word, to be sure--- who caved into Adolf Hitler and allowed themselves to be deceived by Hitler were just as much responsible as Hitler for the sixty million people who eventually died in WWII.

What is shocking to me is that the world has apparently forgotten the lessons of WWII. And if that is the case, the world is now at risk of stumbling into another world war through a policy of benign neglect, wishful thinking, and appeasement.

The world needs to stand-up to the little Hitler in Tehran and put a line in the sand now. If he continues to enrich uranium to build a bomb, then he should be wiped off of the map....Better sooner, than later.

04-12-08, 06:03 PM
We are so eager to forget ... believing that in forgetting we expiate, or distance the reason for the fear. This is a response which in any other (less charged) context would be diagnosed as having connotations of childish "projection of wishes" upon an unwelcome reality. The "reality" is very much on the record however, unless we regard even BBC first-response reportage at the time of event, as "unreliable".


Last Updated: Thursday, 27 October 2005, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK - FROM THE ARCHIVES OF THE BBC

Iran leader's comments attacked


[ Orig. report here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4378948.stm ]

The European Union and Russia have joined condemnation of the Iranian president's public call for Israel to be "wiped off the map".

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's remark has already been condemned by individual EU states and Canada who all summoned Iranian diplomats for an explanation.

A top Israeli minister called for Iran to be expelled from the United Nations.

The White House said the comment showed the US was right to be concerned about Iran's nuclear programme.

Western governments are bound to see the remark as further proof that Iran's hardline president is disinclined to curb his country's controversial nuclear programme, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall.

They may hope that a co-ordinated diplomatic protest will help step up the pressure, she adds.

'Criminal call'

"Those who insist on transferring the Iranian nuclear dossier to the UN Security Council have received an additional argument for doing so," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said during a trip to Jordan.

"What I saw on television was unacceptable," added the minister, whose country has been supplying civilian nuclear know-how to Iran, and he promised Moscow would bring its concern to Iran's attention.

An International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report last month said questions about Iran's nuclear programme remained unanswered despite an intensive investigation.

The UK, France, Germany and the US are pressing Iran to provide more access to its nuclear plans.

EU leaders meeting in London issued a joint condemnation "in the strongest terms" following statements of concern from individual members of the 25-state body.

"Calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community," the statement said.

Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Shimon Peres said the remark contravened the UN's charter and was "tantamount to a crime against humanity".

'World without Zionism'

Mr Ahmadinejad told some 3,000 students in Tehran that Israel's establishment had been a move by the West against the Islamic world. He was addressing a conference entitled The World without Zionism and his comments were reported by the Iranian state news agency Irna.

"As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map," he said, referring to Iran's late revolutionary leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

In 2001, former Iranian president Hashemi Rafsanjani speculated that a Muslim state that developed a nuclear weapon might use it to destroy Israel.

His comments were part of a critique of what hew called American imperialism in the region. Such calls are regular slogans at anti-Israeli or anti-US rallies in Iran. Mr Ahmadinejad warned leaders of Muslim nations who recognised the state of Israel that they faced "the wrath of their own people". Mr Ahmadinejad came to power earlier this year, replacing Mohammad Khatami who had sought better relations with the West.

04-12-08, 06:47 PM
Starving Steve says

The world needs to stand-up to the little Hitler in Tehran and put a line in the sand now. If he continues to enrich uranium to build a bomb, then he should be wiped off of the map....Better sooner, than later.
In Lukesters reply regarding Mr Ahmadinejad's speech on Israel we have a quote from the EU

EU leaders meeting in London issued a joint condemnation "in the strongest terms" following statements of concern from individual members of the 25-state body.

"Calls for violence, and for the destruction of any state, are manifestly inconsistent with any claim to be a mature and responsible member of the international community," the statement said.

04-12-08, 07:42 PM
The world needs to stand-up to the little Hitler in Tehran and put a line in the sand now. If he continues to enrich uranium to build a bomb, then he should be wiped off of the map....Better sooner, than later.

Steve - "Wipe Iran off the Map"? Eh ... I would definitely not be on board with this.

I am only saying that if you ask around outside of the "official" G7 and UN consensus which merely postures at being "stern", the populist opinion among people who adompt simplistic "anti-war" stances remains extremely ingenuous. I am actually one of them in part, but not the dumb naive way many of these see fit to carry it out, wherein "If we leave they will become our friends". That is disingenuous flim-flam.

There has been a wholesale swallowing of all the "disinformation" as to what Iran has really stated in the past regarding whether another nation has a "right to exist" - this kind of talk "should be" intolerable to the entire world. Unfortunately the world demonstrates a profound moral laziness in tackling such displays head-on, as 1938-1939 amply demonstrated.

And there are plenty more recent instances evidencing the profound apathy and hypocrisy of the "global community" in lifting a finger in response to any such displays of "maniac's talk"- such as Ahmedinejad, Rafsanjani, Khomeini and others ranging right down into secondarey diplomatic or government staff in Iran have plainly and publicly stated for anyone (that wants) to hear. Globval reaction is apathetic, compensated for by lots of puffing of chests in moral indignation, and the rapid onset of amnesia as to the issue thereafter.

It is precisely that mealy mouthed international laziness, or wish to "pretend these politically embarassing things were never said", which has abolutely got to end. That part I detest.

At very least, people who think they are standing up for some inapplicable "David Vs. Goliath" morality tale here need to snap out of their complacency, wherein Iran as the smaller entity is somehow miraculously whitewashed, exhonerated from some of the fetid rank racism and intolerance they have publicly expressed.

I think the US has made some colossal blunders in the past seven years, even going into Iraq, after 10 years of Saddam's intransigence in the face of the armistice he himself signed. But these "Apostles for Peace At Any Price" need to climb out of their Ivory Tower and take an unvarnished look at what Iran is doing playing manipulative highly dangerous games with several proxies in the region.

They in fact have directly instigated local wars and terrorism with far greater cynicism than the US has ever acted in this arena. Doubt it? Take a closer look, if you are sincere in your concern. That part I believe emphatically. When I see people protesting at how "innocent" the Iranians are, how "misunderstood", or how they are victims of our "vilification", I detect a distinct aura of moral compromise in their stance.

Starving Steve
04-12-08, 10:07 PM
I did not say "to wipe Iran off of the map," rather I said, "wipe Mr. A. off the map, the sooner, the better." I envision a surgical air-strike or missile strike to take-out the leadership in Iran and to take-out their uranium enrichment facility, too.

I can think of several benefits to the world in putting-out Mr. A's lights:

First, Mr. A would be gone. Imagine how history would have changed if someone or some air force had successfully killed Hitler early on before this madman became so murderous.

Second, the nuclear threat would be gone, at least for now. That means no nuclear war with Isreal.

Third, cutting-off the snake's head would kill the cobra. Syria would likely make a peace with Isreal. And the Iraq war would probably go better too.

Fourth, Hesbollah and Hamas would lose a good friend and financer. Probably, Palestine would sign a peace with Isreal.

Fifth, the hand of the democrats in Iran would be strengthened. The hand of democrats throughout the Middle East would be strengthened, and the Islamo-fascists would be in retreat.

Sixth, one U.S. dollar would be backed by military might and the willingness to use it effectively. That would mean the dollar would again be the world's reserve currency, like it or not.

Seventh, oil could only go down in price after a successful hit against Iran's leadership. ( Oil deals would probably be coming out of the woodwork, everywhere. )

Eighth, Hugo Chavez would get a warning from the removal of his good friend, Mr. A. So Mr. C. would be neutered.

Ninth, the whole Muslim world would be given a warning about what military power can do, and they just might be a little more helpful and productive in finding Al Qaide and Bin Laden.

The weave of history has many inflection points or pivital points in it. The opportunity to take-out Mr. A. in Tehran may be one of the most important inflection points in the history of the world.

04-13-08, 08:56 AM
You people are definately knuckleheads. Attacking Iraq was supposed to put the fear of God (sic) in Arabs the world round. Looks like it just pissed them off. Why would attacking Iran be any different? Not all problems require a military response.

As for comparing Iran to Germany in the 1930's, it's my belief that you lose any argument in which an opponent is compared to Hitler. It's an insult to Hitler. Iran has not invaded anything. Their assisting bad guys in Iraq? PRACTICALLY THE ENTIRE SHIITE LEADERSHIP SPENT YEARS IN IRAN IN EXILE! Of course they're close to Iran. Read up, people.

The power in Iran is held by the religious leaders, and Amadinejad i barely a figurehead. The man is not particularly popular in Iran, and does not have the support of a majority of Persians.

As for fearing an attack by them, we could turn Iran or any other attacker to a sea of glass within hours of an attack.

04-13-08, 09:19 AM
nejiad has a weak mandate: ppl in iran HATE him. bombing iran would give him a 9/11...

attack iran? with what? ground troops? you think we can afford that? we send 50k men to invade iran, and then iraq goes to hell.

the REALITY is this: the US WILL leave Iraq(in meaningful numbers) in the near future. EVERYONE knows this: it's only a matter of time now. How sensible is it to provoke a new war when your military and nation are on the brink operating only one?

the game is up. it doesnt matter if hillary/obama/mccain win: the imperial debt model can only attenuate from now on.

04-13-08, 09:50 AM
WOW! This thread offers, as the fighter pilots like to say, a target rich environment. Let's take aim at a few:

"EU Leaders issued a joint condemnation in the "strongest terms" ?!?!?!!?
Strongest terms, eh? but no military back up. And in the case of the British, total abdication of their responsibilities in Basra giving rise to the recent uprising there. Words alone mean nothing, especially in that part of the world.

Steve, Excellent point about taking down Mr. A. I am not proposing assassination but it is popular to say that people like Mr. A have no value for their lives, being religious fanatics. Funny thing is, that you never see the Mr A's of the world strapping on suicide vests themselves. The political leaders of these ostensibly religious groups value their lives very highly and threat of a military takedown sobers them.

Jeff, How do you figure we pissed off the Arabs? The Kuwaitis have no problem with the US presence in Iraq. Actually, want us there. Remember, these are the people who kissed the American flag upon their liberation 17 years ago. They remember the Saddam occupation very clearly. Many Arab countries (Kuwait, Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain) host large US military bases. Doesn't sound like a group of people who are pissed off at the US.

As for comparing Mr A with Hitler. Rhetorically, they are similar, but in terms of real political cruelty and military capability, Mr A. is a poser and as you point out, just a figurehead. As you point out, we could level Iran's military capabilities in just a matter of days. What does everyone think all those bases I mentioned around the Gulf are doing?

As phirang points out, there will be NO ground invasion of Iran. The US doesn't have the resources and besides, it would be entirely counter productive. We are in the end game period of the Iraq theater BUT, the end game is dependent on a compliant Iran that stops trying to de-stabilize Iraq. Ensuring Iran's compliance will require a large military presence in the Gulf for quite some time, regardless of the cost.

04-13-08, 01:19 PM
Long oil are you then Lukester?

For the record I cannot sanction assassination of any elected head of state.

04-13-08, 02:28 PM
So we have military bases in a number of dictatorships that are handsomely paid for the privilege, therefore the US is popular in the Arab world? Oh my. How would you like to show us that Arab opinions of the US (since Bush II) haven't cratered?

The latest Pew survey finds the answer to opinion of the US by country for "Very unfavorable or Somewhat unfavorable"

Turkey (ally) 77%
Egypt 67%
Jordan (ally) 62%
Kuwait (ally) 26%
Lebanon 31%
Morocco (ally) 41%
Palestinian Terr. 75%
Indonesia 52%
Pakistan (ally( 60%
Malaysia 53%

Not our biggest fans. They were very different before George W. assraped the US Constitution.

04-13-08, 03:18 PM
Moved Down

04-13-08, 03:19 PM
Long oil are you then Lukester? For the record I cannot sanction assassination of any elected head of state.

*T* - I am long oil, and have been for the past six or seven years. There is no market with more compelling fundamentals for the next two decades.

With a few minor differences of view, I think Biscayne has it mostly right. To suggest that there 'is no use' for a US presence as security guarantor for multiple smaller nations in the gulf is, at least to my view, naive. I would ask all those who fervently believe that by pulling the plug on any US security guarantees to the Sunni Gulf states, you'd achive greater stability in the region, whether they sincerely feel audacious enough to want to experiment that alternate plan upon the hides of all the rest of us, as well as their own.

I have little confidence that this region would 'subside into peace' without a US security guarantee - as the lack of such a guarantee would logically compel several of these nations to enter into an arms race. If you believe not, you are being extraordinarily optimistic.

Further, to suggest that the entire effect of a US presence, prior to the second Gulf war was in sum merely toxic to this neighborhood is ideologically 'exasperated' and also risks being simplistic.

And in specific response to Jeff and Phirang (who's views I actually find quite astute), please don't impose cardboard cut-out stereotypes on those who venture to critique Iran. You automatically assume anyone criticizing Iran, especially those like me who refer to it as 'toxic for peace' in the region, must automatically endorse bombing, war, or some kind of military intervention there. This is a silly stereotype, which reduces such a discussion to a straw man argument : "anyone endorsing a widening of the current Iraq conflict to Iran is definitely a looney" - of course they are - but that observation ignores the more intelligent criticism being put forward, which is instead: "but what are we to do to ensure Iran stops fomenting and subsidizing para-military splinter groups".

Last time I checked, the are, and doing so very vigorously.

If you get past your stereotypes of those who critique "peace-niks" and Iran's Mullah government, (which frankly displays a lot of particularly ugly bigoted and outright fascist leanings itself), you may notice that nowhere in any of my own posts on this topic have I advocated bombing Iran, invading Iran, or military intervention towards Iran in any way.

I agree - it is a can of worms and we do not want to venture into it if humanly possible. Any responsible political leader of a Western nation understands this today with burning clarity, particularly the US as it's had the experience in Iraq burned into it's awareness. But here is the real point - in the process of avoiding that messy and strategically disastrous eventuality, we will also find ourselves 'bending over backwards' to work around Iran's quite evident 'adventuresome' forays into underwriting groups like Hezbollah, who are manifestly chewing up Lebanon daily, and have been, with direct Iranian complicity and lots of their money, for decades.

I see you people pick the 'easy targets' to criticize, pointing out how foolhardy it would be to open any military action against Iran itself - that's obvious - what I don't see you do (or any of the fervent proponents for "Peace at all Costs") is offer any acknowledgement of Iran's quite evident involvement with some very violent, and very active proxies, such as Hamas and Hezbollah. If any entity in the Middle East is guaranteed to spark another war, it's them - reduce their provocations, and I guarantee you eliminate potential Israeli reactions. THAT is the knot which the world should pick apart, or cut, or somehow eliminate to cement a large cornerstone for peace after Iraq in this region - and the Iranians are into those knots up to their necks.

Are you as sick and tired of their active underwriting and encouragement of these groups as I am? Or do you merely ignore their active underwriting and encouragement of these groups?

Given the vigorous extent of Iran's involvement with these paramilitaries (to call Hamas a "government" is a cruel joke upon the Palestinians trapped under their tutelage in Gaza, as all they can envision for their future is renewed "total war" with Israel), and given Iran's quite evident equivalent underwriting of other groups in Iraq, why do you in effect 'sweep these problems under the carpet' by merely noting how foolish it would be for the US to slide into any armed conflict with Iran?

Iran is already imposing 'armed conflict' upon the region through these proxy groups, and have been for a long time !!!

Do you therefore endorse finding some way to transmit a message to Iran, that the entire world has tired of their meddling directly in other nations, via paramilitary groups, just like the entire world is tired of Syrian blatant meddling in Lebanon? Syria assassinated the Lebanese Prime Minister, who was an outstanding proponent of genuine multi-ethnic and multi-religion democracy in this region. Why are the vociferous critics of a foolhardy US attempt to lean on Iran routinely omitting any mention, or position of principle in this horrific intrusion upon Lebanon's political affairs by Syria (and Iran!)?

Do you have a position on that - are you as outraged as I am that the sole genuinely democratic and charismatic premier of an Arab country was summarily assassinated by Syrian / Iranian interests in bolstering Hezbollah's grip on that country? Yes? No? Maybe? How complacent are you about the potential for further explosions there?

These factors are real - but because people need to line their geo-political views into neat cookie-cutter squares, anyone who fancies themselves as 'anti-war' focuses upon the US is the primary agent of these regional problems. If you ask them, "but what about Iran's destabilizing meddling with Hamas and Hezbollah" such commentators will offer a quick perfunctory acknowledgment that Iran does such things, and then quickly move on to other topics as "more relevant".

My irritation is, far too many of you dis-ingenuously omit any acknowledgement that Iran's actions are a very active problem in the region. Your partisan viewpoints cannot seem to accomodate 'messy' positions, where you are critical of the US exacerbation of ME problems, but cannot marry that viewpoint in your thoughts with also being deeply concerned with Iranian meddling in the region - which is if anything a good deal more toxic as they are Shia, have a rather 'immoderate' Mullah government guiding their foreign policy, and are surrounded by precarious Sunni governments with large Shia minorities. You have no comment on the potential for mayhem there?

You critique the US's past blunders, and potential new blunders, but you offer no constructive 'what can we do to finally resolve' remarks about Iran's multiple, highly destabilizing actions in those partnerships? Methinks you need to tacke the thornier problems regarding Iran's highly "imaginative" so-called "foreign policy" in this region, to present a more complete assessment. Foreign policy is a term far too dignified for the tentacles Iran is extending into the region via it's active underwriting of paramilitary groups who openly subvert their own governments. You would gain a good deal more of my trust in your arguments were you not ignoring that altogether.

04-13-08, 05:01 PM
Three videos for you to watch

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General Odom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Eldridge_Odom)

William Eldridge Odom (born June 23, 1932) is a retired U.S. Army 3-star general, and former Director of the NSA under President Ronald Reagan, which culminated a 31 year career in military intelligence

General Odom is a member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame

Transcript of his testimony (http://www.senate.gov/~foreign/testimony/2008/OdomTestimony080402a.pdf) (pdf)

04-13-08, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the videos, Rajiv. A person with the credentials of General Odom qualifies as a Realist.

04-13-08, 08:50 PM
Rajiv -

Thanks for the videos of Lt. Gen. William Odom. We should indeed have a man of this intelligence at the NSA or on the Joint Chiefs of Staff today. I also applaud his insights and conclusions - very hard-headed and pragmatic.

However answer me this: How do these posted videos answer any of the points I've raised? Where have I made any direct endorsement to widening of the current war or even it's prolongation? The answer is "no".

You may be falling into the same stereotyping which informed Jeff and Phirang's objections, i.e. that you imagine you are addressing an apologist for this war? Is it possible you are assuming that someone who disagrees with even just portions of your arguments "must be subscribing" to a foolishly unqualified support for the Iraq war?

What I notice with some wry amusement, is that all the objections I've read here uniformly ignore the fact that all I've posted here has merely called attention to Iran's evident financial and direct arms support to Hezbollah, and Hamas, as well as divers small Shia groups in Iraq.

Why are you guys not expending a single breath denying this is true? Could it be that you consider the odds of debunking this assertion are slim?

You really don't have any argument with me regarding Lt. Gen. Odom's testimony. I agreed emphatically with his entire assessment, save the last conclusion, which he offered on the final CNBC interview - which given his quite evident intelligence otherwise, left me wondering whether his last comment was conciously or unconsciously inconsistent with all the rest of his testimony - he asserts that in the absence of a US presence in Iraq, Iranian 'meddling' in the form of active support for militias would 'subside'.

I submit to you, despite the remarkable authority which is evident in his testimony, that this is manifestly a partial, or glossed over assessment of the reality.

Why? Because Iran have been very actively funding and arming Hezbollah and later Hamas, to the point of instigating hot shooting wars, well before 09/11, George W. Bush, or the Afghanistan or Iraq wars started. Where is the consistency or acuity of Lt. Gen. Odom's argument - when it's quite clear that Iran was actively funding Hezbollah's systematic dismantlement of the Lebanese state even back when Bill Clinton was first inaugurated?

Iran was funding and arming Hezbollah's challenge to the Lebanese Government many years ago, which left to it's own devices would have long since cemented a peace treaty with Israel. Iranian funding of Hezbollah was so pernicious and so toxic to the peace in that region, that it culminated in a full fledged UN investigation (which promptly went nowhere) of President Assad of Syria's assassination of Rafik Hariri, the premier of a neighboring country to Syria. That's Iran acting, during a period when no other wars were occurring in the middle east, the US presence was nowhere in sight. It stretched on for years, steadily building up Hezbollah's growth and subversion of the Lebanese state.

The UN investigation of top echelons of the Assad family, and of the Syrian Military's involvement in Hariri's assassination was getting so close to an indictment of Assad himself, that Assad found it necessary to goad Hezbollah (they receive all their arms and money through Syria) into starting another shooting war with Israel in '06 precisely to derail that UN investigation into their complicity - and it was direct complicity in the murder of an adjacent sovereign country's premier? This is what I posted comments about to begin with - and it is precisely the point which Lt. Gen. Odom's analysis skirts delicately around.

Why would he skirt delicately around this point?

Yes, the US commitment to Iraq is indeed manifestly untenable, and prolonging the conflict will put us far deeper into the mire. But reality is often presented in the form of a paradox, and in this circumstance the paradox is that Iran has manifestly demonstrated, well before the Iraq conflict, that it has an extremely audacious, intrusive and irresponsible propensity to meddle very dangerously in neighboring countries, with militias, with arms, and with propaganda aimed precisely at neutering and eventually gobbling up their sovereign government - and you can take LEBANON as your prime example.

I've scanned the various contributor comments here and this is where I think a lot of you have some rather large partisan 'blinkers' on. Taking your blinkers off will irrevocably complicate your view of the merits we expect to see accruing from the end of this war. My suggestion is that what follows this war, in terms of shifts in the balance of influences for peace or war in the region, will be treacherous and large, seriously affecting Kuwait, Lebanon, Israel, and the balance of influence between hot-head fundamentalist hysterics such as Hezbollah and more pragmatic players such as Jordan or the secular and democratic Fouad Saniora government in Lebanon (now on it's way out).

The complexity of these observations about ramifications would seriously compromise Gen. Odom's suggestion that a pull-out may have a benign dividend at some point. It in most probability will not, given the evidence of history. That certainly does not imply a pull out is not critical for the US to aim towards - in fact as he notes, it's even now imperative - but it's a quite large WHITE-WASH of the probable consequences. The idea that Iran's proven propensity to meddle in foreign nations will subside with a US withdrawal is manifestly not borne out by the previous regional history, and that is what he so notably declines to mention.

An abrupt departure from Iraq does not only leave the Iraqi conflict to deepen and worsen, as he acknowledges - it also offers to Iran a clear green light to become ever bolder in it's manipulation of Lebanon, right to the point of collapsing the last vestiges of it's civilian government and turning Lebanon into a 100% hollowed out Hezbollah stronghold (it already is on the edge of that), which together with the hollowed out shell of a Palestinian state which is the Hamas stronghold in Gaza, will turn two entire nation groups, the Palestinian and the Lebanese peoples, into 100% wholly owned proxies for further relentless goading of the Israelis into that "definitive conflict" which has obsessed the Mullahs in Iran for more than two decades.

FACT: This country has very amply demonstrated with vigor and great consistency their interest in pursuing this strategy for decades, yet Lt. Gen. Odom does not mention it as relevant. If he's an intelligence or strategic / military analyst, this oversight or omission in that testimony is not a minor one.

You people are talking around the issues I raised, not addressing them directly. I am not pro-Iraq war. I think the Iraq war is a disaster, and I think 98% of Lt. Gen. Odom's analysis is correct. But the 2% which he glosses over is critical - perhaps the most critical aspect of the Iraq war aftermath - what Iran will do once it is emboldened by a US withdrawal.

For Lt. Gen. Odom to suggest at the end of his powerful testimony that this is a 'non-issue' is the one glaring anomaly to his otherwise commanding and very astute statement to the US senate.

Of course the US needs to end this war. But don't kid yourselves for a minute that this will not have seriously ugly, critically ugly repercussions, for the last scraps of a non-Hezbollah government in Lebanon, nor that Kuwait's security will not see a substantial deterioration, nor that the tensions between Iran and the Sunni States on the West side of the Arabian Gulf will improve, and in the final analysis, at least to my view, that Iran will become in net terms a better neighbor to Iraq in the aftermath.

Insofar as the aftermath of a US withdrawal involves warlords and a bloody free for all until a new strongman emerges as Odom describes, Iran will be in the thick of it - Why? Because they have quite manifestly been in the thick of it elsewhere for decades, so what disingenuous person would then conclude they would not then practice the same 'foreign policy' in Iraq, when the US are gone?

If you think these factors, particularly Lebanon's final surrender to the virus of the Hezbollah, will be minor you are kidding yourselves.

Your presentation of Gen. Odom's testimony as some kind of drastic rebuttal of what I've brought to your attention is a non-answer. You are talking right over my shoulder, past the observations of how toxic Iran has manifestly been in neighboring nations for decades, and you are talking to some imagined pro-Bush administration dummy. I was fully aware of the essentials of Lt. Gen. Odom's assessment for a good long while, and fully agree with them. It is you, not I, who need to broaden your scrutiny to the surrounding factors - and ask yourself if you have fully understood the role Iran has played in this region for the past twenty years.

Their footprints extend all the way out to assassinations of dissidents in Europe, to bombing of synagogues in Argentina across the decades, in their dogged pursuit of a sickly amalgam of theology with racism, with geopolitical machinations. But they sure don't seem to find very stern or outspoken critics among those who have responded on this thread.

And with regard to Lt. Gen. Odom being a realist - well, yes, he evidently is - but I suspect he's not offering up the full extent of his own understanding of the ramifications after the US withdrawal.

Starving Steve
04-13-08, 10:07 PM
If I may just interject (sp?) a comment here:

This little Hitler in Tehran would never have been in power now if it were not for Jimmy Carter's appeasement of the Iranian hostage-takers back in 1979-80. Instead of acting militarily against the hostage-takers, he chose the so-called high road of negotiation and diplomacy.

A lesson from history: Take madmen at their word. Hitler meant every word that he said, and he did not vanish or moderate with the passage of time. He got stronger and more dangerous.

Thirty years on, the hostage-takers still run Iran, and their regime is stronger and more dangerous than ever before. This is what appeasement has led to.

Why is this lesson from history so hard for the world, especially the British and the French, to understand?

04-14-08, 08:15 AM
What exactly was so wrong about "appeasing" Iran during the hostage crisis?

Cost to US in lives? Zero!
Cost to US in dollars? Maybe millions.
Cost in Iranian lives? Zero?

Compare and contrast to preemptive war in Iraq:

Cost in US lives? Over 4,000.
Cost to US in dollars? THREE TRILLION
Cost in Iraqi lives? Hundreds of thousands.

Give me containment vs. preemptive war every time.

04-14-08, 11:40 AM

Thanks for the data, I had not seen those polling numbers before. Putting our two insights together, what I gather is that while many national leaders in the ME support the US, either willingly or begrudgingly, many of the people in the infamous "Arab street" dislike the US.

It will probably always be that way since many national leaders make compromises they think necessary and many Middle Easterners will always dislike the US for our support of Israel. What this means to me is that we we still have a lot of diplomatic work to do, especially at the grass roots level, which brings me to my next point:

It is popular to deride the involvement of private contractors in Iraq and elsewhere in the ME, you know,: military-industrial complex and all that. But after thinking about it, I believe that is exactly what you want. Forget about whether, the war should have started in the first place. The reality is the US is faced with nation building and changing the psychology of the Middle East. It seems to me that rather than having a military dominated reconstruction process, the better alternative is to have independent businessmen and private citizens working should to shoulder with local Iraq's teaching them about modern western business and social practices and developing business contacts that can be leveraged far into the future.

Jeff, I agree with your point on a different post that containment is preferable to pre-emptive war but nobody asked us and we are where we are now. The question is where do we go from here and I guess we disagree on the current US strategy. Not because I'm a Bush supporter but because as Luke points out the alternative is likely to lead to greater tragedy. I noticed on your website, you have made some extraordinarily prescient, investment calls over the years. Given your insight, what do see see as the best course of action out of our current situation and how that would play out?

Best regards,


04-14-08, 11:53 AM
What exactly was so wrong about "appeasing" Iran during the hostage crisis?

Cost to US in lives? Zero!
Cost to US in dollars? Maybe millions.
Cost in Iranian lives? Zero?

Compare and contrast to preemptive war in Iraq:

Cost in US lives? Over 4,000.
Cost to US in dollars? THREE TRILLION
Cost in Iraqi lives? Hundreds of thousands.

Give me containment vs. preemptive war every time.

I agree.

Appeasement of Hitler wasn't necessarily as bad as the rap it's gotten, either. From the Wikipedia article:


The Chamberlain government in 1937 eventually decided to pursue a more active policy of appeasement to push Germany eastwards, with the aim of encouraging and allowing Germany to expand towards the east until Germany and the Soviet Union shared a common frontier.
The plan allowed Germany to annex Austria, Sudetenland, Danzig and the Polish Corridor.
The British government had calculated that this situation of Germany sharing a closer border with the Soviet Union would increase the probability of Hitler launching an attack against the Soviet Union.
This line of thinking proved accurate when Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.

Further, Chamberlain himself said that the policy of appeasement essentially bought time for the British to rearm.


One good thing, at any rate, has come out of this emergency through which we have passed. It has thrown a vivid light upon our preparations for defense, on their strength and on their weakness. I should not think we were doing our duty if we had not already ordered that a prompt and thorough inquiry should be made to cover the whole of our preparations, military and civil, in order to see, in the light of what has happened during these hectic days, what further steps may be necessary to make good our deficiencies in the shortest possible time.

04-14-08, 12:53 PM
I'm not sure I follow the logic.

Chamberlain was willing to sacrifice the Austrians, Poles, and Czechs to slake Hitler's thirst, hoping that Germany would continue to stay focused on eastward expansion. Nice of Chamberlain to throw them to the wolves.

Great plan. That was, right up to the time where Hitler decided to invade France first and then turn his eyes on Britain.

Chamberlain admits that his plan was to give Britain time to re-arm but his calculus was incorrect. In the case of WW 2, the lesson learned was appeasement alone didn't work. Containment must be accompanied by a strong military along with the notion that it WILL be used.

04-14-08, 02:52 PM
You people are definitely knuckleheads. Attacking Iraq was supposed to put the fear of God (sic) in Arabs the world round. Looks like it just pissed them off.

Not quite. It did put fear of God into some of them. Syria is out of Lebanon, Quaddafi is out of WMD program (so far). Second, attacking Iran will make a lot of them very happy. Remember, for all the anti-zionist talk, Saddam's first victim was Kuwait and the Saudi Arabia was the next one. This time it is the same, Iran talks a lot about Israel, but puts pressure on the Gulf states. It is this little problem, that worries American gov't.

Why would attacking Iran be any different? Not all problems require a military response.

I agree, that endless war does not solve all the problems, but neither does endless appeasement. It is a matter of making a right choice, and right execution, which is not a strong side of American foreign policy.

As for comparing Iran to Germany in the 1930's, it's my belief that you lose any argument in which an opponent is compared to Hitler. It's an insult to Hitler. Iran has not invaded anything. Their assisting bad guys in Iraq? PRACTICALLY THE ENTIRE SHIITE LEADERSHIP SPENT YEARS IN IRAN IN EXILE! Of course they're close to Iran. Read up, people.

Saddam was no problem either before invading Kuwait. Should US wait and watch oil price going from $100+ to $200+ ?

The power in Iran is held by the religious leaders, and Amadinejad i barely a figurehead. The man is not particularly popular in Iran, and does not have the support of a majority of Persians.

As for fearing an attack by them, we could turn Iran or any other attacker to a sea of glass within hours of an attack.

Again, the danger is their attack or increased influence in the Gulf. Besides, we live in the 21st century, not the 20th. We cannot use the same methods, the Greatest Generation used against Germans. Otherwise the war in Iraq would end in a few months.

04-14-08, 05:19 PM
I agree on all your observations Medved.