"Ahmad Chalabi 2.0"
July 23, 2006 1:27 PM   Subscribe

"God's Army Has Plans to Run the Middle East" is an article that argues that Hezbollah is Iran's "spearhead" towards controlling the entire region. The author? Amir Taheri. You might remember him as the guy who fabricated the story about Iran imposing "yellow star" regulations on religious minorities (previously on mefi). James Wolcott connects the deceitful dots.
posted by bardic (59 comments total)

 
if Tony Snow decides to quit -- or, say, dies in a Sam-Peckinpah-style shootout trying to defend Embryo Americans from liberal ninja assassins, the White House has the right man for the job
posted by matteo at 1:48 PM on July 23, 2006


From the first link:
Within two years several radical Shi’ite groups in Lebanon, including some with Marxist backgrounds, had united under the Hezbollah name and became the main force resisting the Israeli occupation of Lebanon after the expulsion of Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) in 1983.

Terror has been its principal weapon.


Communism, terrorism... all we need is Nazism and we've got the abridged history of 20th century Bad Guys.... wait, never mind.

But implying Marxism=evil is a bit specious to my mind. There's been a lot of interesting thought come out of Marxism over time, not all political and/or economic, and it's frustrating to see the term used as a dirty word.
posted by matematichica at 1:53 PM on July 23, 2006


Specious is a good word for it. Can't find links right now, but Iraq's Communist Party made a comeback after the fall of Saddam. They were clearly not aligned with the numerous overtly Shia and Sunni political parties.

But reality does have that nasty liberal bias.
posted by bardic at 1:58 PM on July 23, 2006


“I invite the faithful to wait for good news,” Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said last Tuesday. “We shall soon witness the elimination of the Zionist stain of shame.”

Ooh. Now they're insulting jews who own dry cleaner shops. They've just gone TOO FAR this time!

I'm really super bored with war talk. If only I could be guaranteed that militant Christians, Jews, and Muslims would kill one another in this latest altercation without dragging the rest of our souls into it, I could ignore this crap completely. I listen to NPR radio in the mornings while I get ready for work, because it's the only radio station that doesn't insult my intelligence. Every other station is either trying to make me laugh with insipid stupidity, or trying to get me to buy something I don't need. So NPR has been an oasis in a desert of stupidity, but now all NPR talks about is the blood on the sand, so I'm sick and tired of it too.

These idiots need to realize God doesn't NEED an 'army' to run the middle east. He doesn't NEED anything. IF there is a god, WE would need HIM. Not the other way around. We're witnessing zealots trying to orchestrate armageddon in order to fulfill prophecy. It's hysterically laughable, or rather it would be if it weren't for the fact that the rest of us who aren't devout believers in their armageddon are the ones who will suffer for their zealotry.

You know who our real enemy is? Any organization of human beings who believe they are the one true "body of Christ" or "nation of Islam" or "chosen people of Israel" and any other humans who don't think like them are evil or infidels or gentiles or outsiders. They're INVENTING an US VS THEM mentality out of lump-of-fuzz-i-found-in-my-armpit-one-midsummer-morning logic. So long as we keep dividing humanity over perceptions of gods we can't see, we will continue to be witness to our own execution as a species, and I for one welcome it, cuz a species this stupid doesn't deserve to exist.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:05 PM on July 23, 2006 [3 favorites]


There's a good article by Michael Slackman in today's NY Times that suggests a lot of Iranians are getting fed up with their government's sending so much money to Hezbollah:
“Of course I am angry,’’ said Hamid Akbari, 30, a deliveryman. “All our income is going to Palestine and Hezbollah.”...

“Let them fight with each other until they get tired,” said Reza Muhammadi, 33, who runs a small grocery in the center of town. “Arab countries are not supporting Hezbollah, but my country is? They are giving my share to the Arabs.”

Mr. Muhammad said he worked six days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. to feed his family. So, he said, he had no tolerance for his government’s financial commitments abroad. “One percent of our budget has been approved by my Parliament to give to Palestine,” he said. “Why should I not get angry about this?”
There could be an interesting conversation between an American fed up with his government's support of Israel and an Iranian fed up with his government's support of Hezbollah.
posted by languagehat at 2:13 PM on July 23, 2006


Thanks for the link, languagehat. And I'd volunteer to taking part in said conversation. Actually, apart from interesting, it might help with getting a peace process going, if, of course, it were well publicized enough, and took place between important enough folks. I'll keep dreaming, though.
posted by matematichica at 2:39 PM on July 23, 2006


What worries me is the idea that one of, or some of/all of, the puppeteers in the current situation is expecting/depending on a desired result. When this desire isn't met... will the conflict transcend..
posted by Raoul.Duke at 2:41 PM on July 23, 2006


I admit being a bit baffled by the reason for this FPP.

There is lots of decent analysis about the war out there. The NY Times has a good article, and interesting diagram, about how the Iraq war is causing a lot of standard Middle Eastern power positions to unravel, and how it is thrusting Iran into a leading position. The diagram is a little disturbing because half the lines are labelled "sworn enemies..."

Anyhow, I get that you hate this columnist, who does indeed seem to be a journalistic slimeball. And I guess that he writes a column in the Sunday Times of London, which is criticized by a contributing editor to Vanity Fair for being written by a slimeball. So, what is the significance of all of this? There is plenty of bombast all around...
posted by blahblahblah at 2:53 PM on July 23, 2006


These idiots need to realize God doesn't NEED an 'army' to run the middle east. He doesn't NEED anything. IF there is a god, WE would need HIM. Not the other way around.

There was a bit of talk regarding free will, determinism, and theism/atheism in a recent thread. Many faiths require human action, obviously not because God couldn't achieve the same results, but because the faithful are being tested, etc.

In this way, I find the idea rather respectable; a kind of put up or shut up for those espousing a supposedly universal set of values, but obviously it makes a big difference whether your faith (as you interpret it) calls you to donate your time to charity or to wage war.
posted by dreamsign at 3:02 PM on July 23, 2006


It is all well and good to note that the author of the quote might be (again) a fraud, but Iran wants a nuke, and Iran wan ts to run/rule the fertile crescent. Since we tookdown Saddam, there no longer remains a coutervailing force against Iran, and Syria, has, it seems, become a secondary player and nearly a toady to Iran. If you think, then, that Iran is ok--and no: the secular dreams are not going to happen there--and don ';t mind the enbtire region following Sharia law, so be it. But it is fairly clear that what Iran wants is pretty obvious, and you need not be a lefty or a righty to see what is developing in the region. Having known a number of Iranian s in the past, things are no better under the religious leaders than they were under the secular Shah.
posted by Postroad at 3:08 PM on July 23, 2006


If God's on our side,
He'll stop the next war.
posted by docgonzo at 3:11 PM on July 23, 2006


Since we tookdown Saddam, there no longer remains a coutervailing force against Iran

You don't say?

As for my nefarious reasoning behind this post, I'll let latter tags speak for themselves. "Propoganda" might not be the right word though, because that implies a veneer of misdirection. The people pushing for World War III aren't even trying to cover their tracks any longer.

Also, Postroad--I'm curious. Which cities and towns in Iran have you spent time in?
posted by bardic at 3:19 PM on July 23, 2006


And while I agree that the current leadership of Iran is quite bad, it's bullshit to say that Iranians are somehow biologically predisposed to religious violence. Dare I say, it's rather racist of you. The Iranian-Americans that I know would be a little more direct in telling you this. In fact, there was a "thaw" going on in Iran (I certainly wish it had been going faster as well), and political moderates were gaining more power in a recognition of the fact that the populace is far more secular or even downright pro-American than during the 1980's. To overlook American aggression in the occupation of neighboring Iraq as something that gave carte blanche to the mullahs to crack down ever further is simply a lie. There was progress being made, albeit slowly, and now there isn't. Cause, meet effect. Ideology, meet reality.
posted by bardic at 3:25 PM on July 23, 2006


Bardic, I didn't say your reasons were nefarious, I just commented that the post didn't make sense to me. Do you view Taheri as some sort of agent controlled by a ruling cabal? Is he particularly influential? Does anyone care?

It seems like there is much bombast on both sides expressed on this war, and on Hezbollah, and I am unsure why you focused on a single article in a single British newspaper as "propaganda" worthy of the post.
posted by blahblahblah at 3:38 PM on July 23, 2006


Taheri is one among a select few "experts" on Iran who are obvious liars. This is the second time he's been "caught," so to speak. And mefites had an interesting discussion about it the first time, IMO.
posted by bardic at 3:42 PM on July 23, 2006


Broken clocks.

Taheri may be a liar but I think he is pretty close to right about Iran.
posted by tkchrist at 3:51 PM on July 23, 2006


It is all well and good to note that the author of the quote might be (again) a fraud, but Iran wants a nuke, and Iran wan ts to run/rule the fertile crescent.

Postroad, please give the propaganda a rest. Only a certain amount can be forgiven before it becomes shrill. Saying 'Iran wants to rule the fertile crescent' is like saying America wants oil. It's a transparently true statement designed only to mislead and obfuscate. It's the ol' FUD, again. Iran is a sovereign country that has a legitmate motivation to ensure it's own security by influencing other powers in the reigion. Especially when Americans are openly debating whether a pre-emptive invasion of Iran would spice up the Fall 2006 television season. This rampant demonization of Iran is stupid and racist. If you must persist, at least try to be more subtle and polite about it.

What's really remarkable is that, after Iraq, people like Taheri are not shunned. The lies, the deception, the obvious propaganda--it's like they don't even care anymore. During Iraq I'm sure I detected a certain sincerity, an enthusiasm even, a kind of mindless American-Can-Do!! entrepeneurial adventurousness. Now it's just business as usual.
posted by nixerman at 3:56 PM on July 23, 2006


minister-for war.
Sarah Posner, in the American Prospect, has a frightening expose of the influential Texas pastor John Hagee, who is pushing for a joint U.S.-Israel war on Iran. "Dr." Hagee, as he styles himself, claims that the book of Esther predicted this battle. (Esther is a prophetic work? News to me...)

Hagee has ties to the powerful, both in the United States and in Israel. . . . Hagee hopes to establish a Christian pro-Israel PAC, more powerful than AIPAC itself.

Money also seems to play a huge role in Hagee's theocratic politics. He counsels his flock to give endlessly, since donations to his ministry constitute "the only proof you have that the cancer of greed has not consumed your soul.� This, from a guy who is worth millions.

If investigations of the current Washington scandals run deep enough, Hagee's name may show up. He broadcasts on the TBN network run by Pat Crouch, the close friend of the corrupt congressman Duke Cunningham. (Incidentally, gay rumors have swirled around both Crouch and Cunningham, who have both displayed an affection for ornate, effeminate furnishings.) Not only that. Hagee is a close associate of Tom Delay.

Hagee sends millions to Israel. DeLay, we now know, has involved himself with money laundering. The previous two sentences may have a connection.

And if that conspiratorial insinuation strikes you as over-the-top, I would counter that Hagee deserves to receive what he dishes out. He happens to be quite the conspiratorialist in his own right -- in fact, this page claims him as a proponent of the Illuminati conspiracy theory. I'd like to see some confirmation of this, since the Illuminati-spotters tend to be thinly-disguised anti-Semites (their cited sources usually head in the direction of Nesta Webster and William Guy Carr) -- while Hagee is the most ardent supporter of Israel on the Christian right.
posted by Unregistered User at 3:56 PM on July 23, 2006


Do you view Taheri as some sort of agent controlled by a ruling cabal? Is he particularly influential? Does anyone care?

Well, again, after 2003, when we start seeing 'editorials' from indigineous informants that a given Islamic country is Pure Unadulterated Evil (tm) it should serve as cause for concern. I'd go as far to propose a sort of 'Iraq test' for the media. But war sells. It's that simple. It sells even better than sex.
posted by nixerman at 4:04 PM on July 23, 2006


Grrr..sorry, Minister for war
posted by Unregistered User at 4:51 PM on July 23, 2006


Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:35 PM on July 23, 2006


Ok I get it, we're talking about PR, mindspace, public attitudes, and all as enablers of war.

Now in this case we have Iran, a country with a really tough PR problem. Their leadership wants to destroy another country, i.e. make war and shed blood on a scale not seen in a long while, particularly blood of the Jewish variety. There are about 6 million people in Israel. About the same number killed in the previous extermination of WW2.

So how is it possible to, I dunno, work around that or deal with it or what, hope it goes away? We just stop talking about it?

The Iranians I've met call themselves Persians to separate themselves from the country, and they're all sure their families were a lot better off under the Shah. One has explained her family is culturally Zoroastrian (back a few hundred years) and still at some level considers Islam to be a foreign influence. So no, as always it's not the people, it's the leadership.

But hey, stop writing articles and talking about Iran's current leadership and their stated desire to do the large-scale killing thing, why?
posted by scheptech at 6:12 PM on July 23, 2006


No, they call themselves Persians because they're Persians, as opposed to Arabs.

And ya know, why not write critically valid articles about Iran? There are plenty of knowledgeable people out there, but if they don't toe the Israeli/US line, they're attacked. So what we get is further misinformation, and it benefits no one.

But again, any potential for cultural and political transition was squandered by plopping 150,000 US troops, the same country that overthrew their democratically elected government in 1953, down next to them.

Yes, the people of Iran are suffering from their crazed leadership. But I doubt they want the "help" that Israel is currently delivering via attack jets onto the soon-to-be mangled bodies of Lebanese men, women, and children.
posted by bardic at 6:23 PM on July 23, 2006


Now in this case we have Iran, a country with a really tough PR problem. Their leadership wants to destroy another country, i.e. make war and shed blood on a scale not seen in a long while, particularly blood of the Jewish variety. There are about 6 million people in Israel. About the same number killed in the previous extermination of WW2.

You're right, this is basically a marketing problem. And, look, there's nothing difficult here. We can either appeal to people's hearts (read: their emotions) or we can appeal to people's heads.

So if we wanted to appeal to people's hearts we would do what you do in this comment. We'd raise the spectre of the Holocaust. Even though Iran has absolutely nothing to do with National Socialism, even though Iran could never hope to destroy Israel which is protected by two of the most powerful armies of the world and actual nuclear weapons, and even though Iran finds itself in a very precarious situation, totally surrounded by American soldiers, in spite of all this logic, we'd keep hammering people with the same nonsense propaganda like this article. Iran wants to destroy Israel. Iran wants to kill 6 million Jews. Iran is EVI (tm). It must be destroyed.

This is one way to go about the business of dealing with Iran. It's predicated on a basically racist construction of Iran and it's likely to lead to total disaster, but, hey--our job is to sell the shit, not make sure the shit actually works.

Another possibility is to attempt to appeal to people's heads. In this framework, we would say: you know, Iran is a sovereign country that has legitmate concerns about their security. Instead of isolating and demonizing the entire country, let's start a dialogue and see if we can do business. More than likely, we can provide Iran with certain security guarantees and they can stop trying to undermine our every move in the ME and, who knows, maybe we can prevent WWIII instead of trying to start it.

Now there are two problems with this marketing strategy. First, it undermines the whole War on Terror (tm) product line. I don't need to tell you that the WoT is our leading product right now. It's the real money-maker. If we begin talking with Iran in a sane and nuanced manner it's like, you know, going to cut into the WoT figures. The second problem is that it undermines Israel. If you're Israel the absolute last thing you want is for the US and the rest of the world to reach diplomatic understanding with Iran and legitamize the current regime. You don't want this so much that, say, you kill a few hundred Lebanese civilians. This is bad but you're thinking long term about your own product line.

So, well, it's a conundrum. In the short term, you're probably right--it's easier to sell the Iran Is Evil (tm) product. The American people might just buy this--it's a longshot, but if this product moves it will really move. But on the other hand if WWIII does start we could be looking at market collapse. I mean, once we pass the 500,000+ Dead Muslims mark you're looking at some serious cashback penalities.

I guess what I'm trying to say scheptech is that let's not be greedy. I know you're ready and eager but let's try to slow down and think this through. From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August. Right now it's hot and humid and the American people are tired and they really just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the summer. All this hardcore Iran Is Evil talk is really a bit premature. Come back in September when the temperatures cool off and people are feeling a bit more energized.

Also, BTW, remember Iraq? It's devolving in total civil war. You might want to do something there first before you "deal with" the Iran problem.
posted by nixerman at 7:23 PM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


Religion & Politics nuff said...
posted by Unregistered User at 8:17 PM on July 23, 2006


Move Israel

Wipe Israel of the map

Holocaust a Myth, but the other European countries sought to complete it.

Israel Headed for Annihilation

You seriously believe this man is not going to cause problems that will need to be 'dealt with' - completely regardless of what may be going on in Iraq or anywhere else for any other reason? You see no evil intent in these statements. This lunacy doesn't strike you as sufficiently dangerous to warrant the worlds attention on its own merits?

Or I guess it's all relative - I have my point of view, you have yours, Mahmoud has his, hey it's all the same, all equally valid. Sure, I always wondered about that holocaust thing, it does seem a little over the top...

Here's the point about the holocaust. It's entirely relevant. Mahmoud brought it up. It's denial is apparently part of some mad rationale for war. It's something he himself has clearly stated he wants to make happen. It seems the Germans had a spectacularly great idea back then but didn't actually do it. He'd like to correct that omission.

I'd like to believe security guarantees would cure whatever mental illness this particular nuke-buildin' little feller has but doubt it. He's not feeling insecure, he's feeling like the world stinks because there are Jews in it.
posted by scheptech at 8:26 PM on July 23, 2006


Look, give Ahmadidi a break. You can't just be declared 12th imam without murdering a bunch of people.
posted by Krrrlson at 9:47 PM on July 23, 2006


scheptech, you do realize that ahmedinejad has no more individual power than the previous guy who tried to liberalize things, right? You ever heard of a little thing called an Ayatollah? How about a Supreme Leader? The Supreme Leader is, in fact, the ruler of Iran. After him (or perhaps along side) is the Guardian Council. The President is a figurehead. The elections for President are pretty much a sham.

All this talk about Ahmadinejad being crazy and being able to nuke Israel or anyone else is total bullshit. He doesn't have the power to do anything on his own. He's given orders. The people making the real decisions? They're the same people they were the day before he was 'elected'. They're not any crazier now than they were then, no any more likely to commit suicide than Saddam was by using his supposed WMDs.

It's not even a very good bit of propaganda in that the facts rebutting it are publically well-known, and yet you and so many people don't seem to be able to put two and two together. You have your point of view... it's just not based on any facts.
posted by the_savage_mind at 10:31 PM on July 23, 2006


Okay... who's giving him the orders to threaten Israel, and why?
posted by Krrrlson at 10:33 PM on July 23, 2006


He doesn't have the power to do anything on his own. He's given orders.

Right, can you explain what the order-givers are doing then? You're suggesting they have an opposite view to the one offered by the figurehead?
posted by scheptech at 11:06 PM on July 23, 2006


Yeah people act like Ahmedinijad is some dictator when actually he was elected. He's like the "Class president" of Iran. He gets elected, but actually the board of regents is still in control.

Anyway, why does everyone assume that "Wiping Israel off the map" includes killing all the Jews that live there? It could be as simple as renaming the country Palestine, without moving or killing anyone. Giving voting rights to everyone in 'greater Israel' could cause this, since Palestinians and Israeli Arabs outnumber Jews.
posted by delmoi at 11:42 PM on July 23, 2006


Are the Shia's on the brink of taking over the Middle-East ?
posted by adamvasco at 1:03 AM on July 24, 2006


Yes, really, scheptech, please take a moment to review the structure of the Iranian government. It's really quite strange that people want to "deal with" Iran but don't seem to know the first thing about it. It's like they hear 'Israel is in danger!' and it just shuts down the critical faculties.

It's also interesting that people play this game of justifying hostilities with a few quotes. I wonder where this came from? I mean, it's just strange on so many levels. You have a bunch of Iranians shouting 'DEATH TO AMERICA' all the time but we dismiss this as political theatre. But then some nut, who's very likely been instructed to be a nut, says the Holocaust didn't happen and it's a historical turning point?

I wonder how long until we hear about Iran ripping babies out of incubators.

It just seems that if you're going to try to demonize and isolate a whole country you could do better. That's the real problem with guys like Taheri. They insult our intelligence.
posted by nixerman at 4:27 AM on July 24, 2006


Yes scheptech, Iran is going to annihilate Israel with nukes it doesn't have, even though it would mean its own complete destruction, because their figurehead (read"joke") of a president waves his fist at Israel and screams threats. The FoxNews link you provided convinced me.

Btw, I'm Persian and Iranian and use the terms interchangeably. I'm not trying to distance myself from my country. Persian is my ethnicity, Iranian is my nationality. Got it?
posted by Devils Slide at 5:55 AM on July 24, 2006


Right, can you explain what the order-givers are doing then? You're suggesting they have an opposite view to the one offered by the figurehead?

They're letting (or even encouraging) him to make those statements, for all I or you know, as part of a policy to ratchet up worry in the West. My point is that people point to Ahmedinejad and scream, "OMFG THAT CRAZY MAN IS IN CHARGE AND COULD NUKE ISRAEL AT ANY TIME!!!". That's bullshit. Wake up.
posted by the_savage_mind at 6:19 AM on July 24, 2006


Here's a little primer of sorts for people who really don't know much about Iran. You're better off going to Wikipedia, but in a nutshell... Iranians are Persians, not Arabs (although there are Arabs in Iran). Most of them are Islamic, but that has nothing to do with being Persian or Arab (see Indonesia, the largest Islamic state in the world, also not Arab. Nor Persian, as the case may be). Persia had a pretty freaking glorious history of civilization in antiquity under three different empires, and defeated the Romans at their peak on multiple occasions.

One of the great religions of the world, Zoroastrianism, is said to have begun in Persia, and certainly had a huge influence on the formation of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Then Islam conquered Persia.

I'm going to flash to the 20th Century, except to say that, unique to the area, Persia managed to keep from being conquered during the period of shitty games played by Russia and England. By 1920 or so, Reza Shah started modernizing the country but was also a garbage, authoritarian ruler. The Russia and England took control of Persia during WWII to kick out the Axis and secure oil. Afterwards, they put Reza, Jr., (Reza Pahlavi) in charge.

He was weak and ineffective, and the British loved that because it let them rape the country's oil while giving back none of the wealth. Iran then went on to become the first real democracy in the Middle East, and one that was very secular. Mossadegh, beloved by his country, begged and pleaded Britain to renegotiate the oil arrangement. When they wouldn't, he had no choice but to nationalize the oil fields (and if you think this sounds familiar, check out Chavez in Venezuela). British Petroleum and Churchill went ballistic that the little darkies stood up to them, but since England was in ruins, they had to turn to the US to fuck the country over. Truman refused to buy the bullshit propaganda Churchill and the Dulles Bros. were spewing that Iran was going communist partners with the USSR, and he recognized the great value of the nascent, nationalistic democracy brewing there. He was wise in that respect. Eisenhower was a bit simplistic, however, and he let the Dulles' fuck us over so badly we're still being fucked over massively today in the area.

Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., the grandson of Teddy, was a proto CIA agent who almost single-handedly brought down Mossadegh in Project Ajax. Then Reza was brought back, and he went on to become as grotesque a dictator as can be imagined. The CIA also trained his secret police (SAVAK) in wonderful methods of repression and torture. Things got so bad over the decades, that the only help the people could turn to was the increasingly strident and understandably anti-American mullahs. Thus was a theocracy born (just like the US birthed the world's first narcoterrorist state Bolivia by using Nazi Klaus Barbie and again claiming they had to fight commies).

So... we have a theocracy that hates the US. What do we do? Why we trust the Brits again (after their wonderful solutions in Palestine, in Pakistan/India, and in Iran) and back this 'good' guy in British-created Iraq... Saddam Hussein. We give him money and WMD and we point him at Iran. Go to it, boy. Kill. A lot. Oh... you're gassing your own people at the same time? No problem. Colin Powell at the NSC says keep going. So does Rumsfeld, Bush the elder, and many others. Oh, now we have a problem with Saddam (although honestly that only came about because we told him we wouldn't interfere with his invasion of Kuwait).

Nothing happens in a vacuum. All of this is a fucking logical progression. We have fucked Iran over so badly it's incredible. And we continue the same old shit, continuing to create our enemies anew each generation. Why? I'm convinced it's a conscious decision. 'They' (the folks Cheney and Rumsfeld represent) want the eternal enemy so they can keep the current power/wealth structure.

Don't get me started on my theory behind WWI and how it was all about destroying the rise of the labor movement in the West. Oh, and making mad, crazy money for the arms companies at the same time.
posted by the_savage_mind at 8:26 AM on July 24, 2006 [2 favorites]


Don't get me started on my theory behind WWI and how it was all about destroying the rise of the labor movement in the West.

I for personally, for one would love to read your theory on this matter...Because according the David Price , it was not only the labor movement, but also activist's and civil rights. Kinda Like now...

I'd Love to see a well thought out post on this.
posted by Unregistered User at 8:45 AM on July 24, 2006


Nothing happens in a vacuum.

True and thanks for the history. Meanwhile however we have a problem in the here and now which the current overlords of the place seem determined to make much worse.

They're letting (or even encouraging) him to make those statements, for all I or you know, as part of a policy to ratchet up worry in the West.

The only way that's not crazier than Mahmoud is as a plan for war. The only way it makes sense for a shadowy group of order-givers to do this, is to ratchet up hatred in their own country, to prepare their own people for killing by continuing the grand tradition of demonizing the Jews. Oh, and of course encouraging their neighbors to get onside too.

"OMFG THAT CRAZY MAN IS IN CHARGE AND COULD NUKE ISRAEL AT ANY TIME!!!". That's bullshit. Wake up.


Heh, well I'm as awake as I'm ever likely to get so I'll buy you a coffee: you do realize if you're right and he's just a mouthpiece it's worse?

Anyway, if Iran has chosen to employ him as a representitive of the government, then what's illogical or wrong-headed about outsiders focussing on him and talking about him as as exactly that, a representative or single point of reference for his country, or more specifically his order-giving overseers and military? Would ignoring him not in fact be an insult?

Anyone here think we should start lobbing nukes into Iran..., nope me neither. I don't think we should be lobbing nukes anywhere or ever. But to suggest Mahmoud should be treated as an irrelevancy is just naive.
posted by scheptech at 8:54 AM on July 24, 2006


holy shit... no time to write more in response cause I'm running out, UU, but I will pick up that David Price book. And yeah... I also mean civil rights, socialist and anarchist activist movements in there as well. In a nutshell, after the US Civil War, we saw the rise of the Corporation to the utter detriment of the US citizen. Lincoln knew it and pointed it out it was coming. In reaction to the excesses, we saw a rise of people power that was mirrored over in Europe. Considering the strength of it, the sheer numbers, the powers that be (corporations, entrenched nobility, whether secular or religious, etc.) must have been fucking terrified.

Easy solution? Cull and exhaust the plebes with the war. Use it to whip up propaganda and nationalism and call everyone who disagrees (who just happen to be mostly socialists, anarchists and labor rights folks in general) as anti-whatever-country you are, which means you turn public perception against them as traitors. You can jail them or kick them out of the country. When the whole horrible thing is over, those movements were defanged. I mean who really thinks all those countries went to war over a freaking Hapsburg being killed? I guarantee his death was as staged as the Lusitania or Pearl Harbor or 9/11, which is to say people at the top knew they were coming and let them happen. Same shit, different generation. And the band plays on and on and on and on.

Sad to say that not until there's bloody revolution will there be any meaningful change. And that's why the bastards win even when they lose. They know that a fat, complacent, tv-watching public doesn't want a bloody revolution. That needs blood, sweat and tears.
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:01 AM on July 24, 2006


I listen to NPR radio in the mornings while I get ready for work, because it's the only radio station that doesn't insult my intelligence.

You get an NPR station that edits out Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:03 AM on July 24, 2006


We have fucked Iran over so badly it's incredible. ... 'They' (the folks Cheney and Rumsfeld represent) want the eternal enemy so they can keep the current power/wealth structure.

Sort of like Iran and Syria want Israel?
posted by Krrrlson at 9:22 AM on July 24, 2006


Sort of like Iran and Syria want Israel?

Yeah, most likely.

But to suggest Mahmoud should be treated as an irrelevancy is just naive.

You still haven't explained why he isn't irrelevant. Considering he's not the power, I believe he is. Just as his predecessor was allowed to talk about Iran becoming more progressive, but nothing came of it, this guy's allowed to talk crazy. That doesn't mean anything will come of it.

There's something called politics... often people say things to get a reaction. It doesn't mean they believe what they're saying (or in this case, it doesn't mean the people pulling their strings believe what they're saying).

Are you telling me that because Bush says he wants democracy in the Middle East, we should believe that's what the Administration is working towards?
posted by the_savage_mind at 9:43 AM on July 24, 2006


Krrrlson, they don't need Israel to stay in power. It's too bad you know nothing about the current state of Iranian politics. The mullahs are sitting pretty and any hope of democratic revolution is pretty much gone. They're so confident in their power that Iran has actually reached out to America to establish an accord. It was the US, not the Iran, that rebuffed the understanding that has led to the current breakdown. But again--why bother with the facts? ISRAEL IS IN DANGER!
posted by nixerman at 9:46 AM on July 24, 2006


They're so confident in their power that Iran has actually reached out to America to establish an accord.

And to show their good will, to get everyone to relax, they've hired a stand-up comic to represent them in sort of a self-deprecating ironic performance art project.
posted by scheptech at 10:37 AM on July 24, 2006


they've hired a stand-up comic to represent them in sort of a self-deprecating ironic performance art project

Unlinke monkey-boy Bush? Are you for real?
posted by the_savage_mind at 11:23 AM on July 24, 2006


Somebody who doesn't understand the difference between Arabs and Persians really needs to do some reading before they participate in a thread like this.

That said, the polarization on display here and in the US media is ridiculous--if you criticize Israel, you obviously must love Iran and fascism. But ya know, it's possible to think that the current leadership of both countries is absolutely nuts, and hellbent on dragging down the entire world.

Israel has played its hand by attacking Lebanon. Iran is actually in the strategically superior position now. And they haven't even had to make phone calls to Russia and China, nor have they had to stop shipping oil.

Because the second oil prices in America might go up to 7$/gallon, all this American moral and material support for Israel will evaporate overnight, what with an election coming up in November. Actually, the material support will continue, but Israel's masters in DC will put the leash back on.

And some triva: Norman Schwarzkopf's father was the head of the US military presence in Iran when the US overthrew its democratic government in 1953.
posted by bardic at 12:05 PM on July 24, 2006


Krrrlson, they don't need Israel to stay in power. It's too bad you know nothing about the current state of Iranian politics.

Those statements together are just precious. Let's imagine, for a moment, what would happen in the Middle East without the constant "threat" of eeeevil Israel to unite the Islamic nations.

They're so confident in their power that Iran has actually reached out to America to establish an accord.

"We'll do what we want, so you can accept it or suck it" is an ultimatum, not an accord.
posted by Krrrlson at 12:40 PM on July 24, 2006


Unlinke monkey-boy Bush? Are you for real?

I've offered my equally unflattering opinions on Bush II, inheritor of the mantle and immediate descendent of Bush I, here before. And I find your comparison amusing. I've also offered the opinion that old Dubya fumbled the 911 problem badly, having pointlessly damaged international relationships and degraded his countries stature for a long while. I've also suggested repeatedly that much of the fallout is going to go away in 2008 unless the Democrats totally screw it up.

You incorrectly assume my viewing Mahmouds contribution to mankind in a negative way necessitates my support for GW and proceed to talk about me and my behavior instead of Mahmouds or Amirs. It's this kind of black and white, it's all one way or the other, yer either with us 'er agin us thinking, that's so, dare I say... middle eastern? And oh yes, you got a point: Bushian too regarding 911. No doubt.
posted by scheptech at 12:53 PM on July 24, 2006


I'm not mistaking any support for Bush. I'm saying that Bush is a monkey, and what he says doesn't really matter. Not remotely as much as what's decided behind closed doors by the 'adults' in the administration. Frequently he's sent out to say things that are completely at odds with actual policy.

That holds equally true for Iran.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:01 PM on July 24, 2006


"We'll do what we want, so you can accept it or suck it" is an ultimatum, not an accord.

Krrlson, I was actually referring to Ahmadinejad’s letter to Bush which represented an unprecedented opportunity that the Bush administration duly ignored. Go ahead and read the letter and see if it jives with your simplistic Ahmadinejad-is-a-MADMAN! thinking. Anyways I'll stop responding to you now that it's clear that you're not worth the time.

Anyways, I will repeat my demand that if are to persist with the demonization and isolation of Iran we put in the effort to come up with better propaganda. Everything we've seen so far isl old, rehashed, silly material and frankly it's insulting to the American people. The USA should be to do better.
posted by nixerman at 1:02 PM on July 24, 2006 [1 favorite]


And I'm certainly not trying to deft the theocratic ruling body of Iran. I hate theocracies on principle, along with any kind of authoritarian or totalitarian systems. I also think Ahmadenejad is an idiot and a loony. That doesn't mean I think he, personally, is dangerous. He's not. The people who run him are. But they are coldly calculating and quite smart. Apparently much smarter than their US counterparts at the moment.
posted by the_savage_mind at 1:03 PM on July 24, 2006


I was actually referring to Ahmadinejad’s letter to Bush which represented an unprecedented opportunity that the Bush administration duly ignored.

A sampling of Holocaust denial and skirting of the nuclear issue represented "an unprecedented opportunity?" I hope someone is paying you for this idiotic shilling.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:17 PM on July 24, 2006


Besides, I thought he had no power... why should anyone care about his letter?
posted by Krrrlson at 3:17 PM on July 24, 2006


Besides, I thought he had no power... why should anyone care about his letter?

Quit being a moron and an ass-hole. The points of the letter were certainly drafted by the people in charge. Which in no way invalidates the idea that letting him spout off anti-American garbage on video or audio doesn't mean he has a chance in hell of pushing any button for nonexistent nukes to hit Israel.

You're 'arguments' are getting really sad.
posted by the_savage_mind at 3:20 PM on July 24, 2006


I need to stop cursing. Sorry Krrlson. nstead I should have said, "Quit being so deliberately obtuse." I'll try to rein it in.
posted by the_savage_mind at 3:25 PM on July 24, 2006


This is amazing. Apparently you know exactly when the Iranian president means what he says, and when he doesn't. I don't understand what you're doing here when Washington needs you so badly.
posted by Krrrlson at 3:25 PM on July 24, 2006


Ok, now I'm saying stop being a dumb asshole. I never said I knew what he's saying. Find me the post where I did. What I'm saying is that what he's saying doesn't necessarily mean much, and you don't know what it means that the Supreme Ruler and the Guardian Council lets him say it.

Show me any evidence that refutes this.
posted by the_savage_mind at 7:21 PM on July 24, 2006


It sounded like you were agreeing that the letter was "an unprecedented opportunity." If you weren't, my bad.
posted by Krrrlson at 8:31 PM on July 24, 2006


Fair enough, Krrrlson. I have no idea if the letter meant an honest opportunity. In and of itself I have my doubts. What I do know is that the policy of not having any dialog with Iran is getting us and the region nowhere fast.
posted by the_savage_mind at 7:59 AM on July 25, 2006


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