Join 3,557 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


'We don't talk to evil'
January 18, 2007 2:38 PM   Subscribe

'We don't talk to evil' - in 2003, during the term of former president Khatami, Iran contacted the United States, and offered to end support for Hamas and Hezbollah, and help stabilize Iraq. Cheney said no. Skip forward to the present, and Iran are having tea and crumpets with North Korea.
posted by Jimbob (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
'We don't talk to evil'

...because it would be redundant.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:41 PM on January 18, 2007


Sigh. We are governed by people with the mentality of five year olds. Either you're a good guy or a bad guy. And if you're a bad guy we're not going to lower ourselves to talk to you.
posted by octothorpe at 2:48 PM on January 18, 2007


Because talking to people about possible arrangements which would be in our own self-interest is... rewarding them?

Ditto on the five-year-olds comment.

Next: Bush threatens to hold his breath till he passes out.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:50 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Either it's the end of our world,
or it's time for a really good surprise.

What I am looking for here is
Something Wonderful.

Whatever could it be,
to make everything good again?

Remember,
when the women are dancing,
everyone is happy.
posted by mongonikol at 3:00 PM on January 18, 2007


It's a lot more sinister then that, Cheney et al require an enemy such as Iran to get rich. Remember that $$$ is the primary motivation-- not your safety, not the United States, not anything. And their business isn't breeding cute puppies, it's oil, war, and services to support oil and war.
posted by cell divide at 3:01 PM on January 18, 2007


I know it is easy enough to dis Cheney and Bush, but do you really
believe Iran would have got rid of Hebollah, a creature of its own making, sent, in part, to occupy Lebanon and run the show there?
posted by Postroad at 3:04 PM on January 18, 2007


Yeah, this is the same kind of reasoning that makes sense to people who think that we can't withdraw from Iraq because bin Laden or "the terrorists" would like that, and consider it a victory.

(Also, to address the broader, metaphysical point: it sure would be nice if we, as a culture, could get past this notion of 'good' and 'evil' as things unto themselves. Actions and words can be good or evil; I don't see how 'evil' can exist outside of actual actions. Thus, Cheney's reasoning--such as it is--is specious both practically and philosophically.)
posted by LooseFilter at 3:05 PM on January 18, 2007


BTW, I refuse to go to war with Iran, regardless what all the good guys and bad guys are doing. But the ING Bank seems to believe that's exactly what is on the immediate horizon. At least, that's what they are telling their "60 million private, corporate and institutional clients in 50 countries with a workforce of over 115,000 people."

Like I said above,
unless the women are dancing and everyone is happy,
count me out.
posted by mongonikol at 3:06 PM on January 18, 2007


Makes sense. Otherwise we may have been tempted to sell them even more weapons.
posted by herc at 3:07 PM on January 18, 2007


Postroad, I think that talking with them is an end unto itself. The only way to avoid military conflict in tense diplomatic situations (like a "rogue state" developing nuclear weapons) is to talk to those with whom you're in conflict. The talking may or may not work, but it's at least an attempt at avoiding war. Which Cheney clearly does not want to avoid.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:09 PM on January 18, 2007


I for one am glad Cheney didn't talk to them. That way, this administration still has a shot of leaving office with their unbroken chain of fucked-up decisions intact.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:13 PM on January 18, 2007


...a shot at ...
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:14 PM on January 18, 2007


War with Iran.
War with Iran.
War with Iran.
War with Iran.
War with Iran.
War with Iran.
War with Iran.
War with Iran.

Just so everyone realizes we are talking about war with Iran. That's Iran, with an "n." And war is what it is.
posted by mongonikol at 3:21 PM on January 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


The Dark Side
posted by homunculus at 3:35 PM on January 18, 2007


Iran gets army gear in Pentagon sale
posted by homunculus at 3:41 PM on January 18, 2007


What really upsets me is that this prolonged fuck-up of an administration will probably be forgiven (at least in a bygones-be-bygones sort of way) in less than a decade.

Disagree?

Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, excusing him from the consequences of his criminal behavior, when it was a well known fact that Nixon had run a gang of burglars from the oval office. Whether Ford did it out of 'deep abiding friendship' or to fulfill his role in some sort of 'corrupt bargain' is immaterial; neither provide anywhere near sufficient moral grounds.

And a few short decades later, that fucktard is damn near beatified upon his death for 'healing the nation' by setting the criminal free! Bullshit! Justice may have begun the healing process; the pardon was more akin to bandaging a malignant cancer.
posted by The Confessor at 3:46 PM on January 18, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's because war with Iran is foreordained.

What would talks accomplish? They would perhaps put us off the war track.
posted by Sukiari at 3:52 PM on January 18, 2007


Oh by the way, the infamous redacted NYTimes op-ed on Iran which we discussed here is now available on the author's website: What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran.
posted by homunculus at 3:56 PM on January 18, 2007


'We don't talk to evil', because we might be seen with evil or worse, photographed with evil. That could raise some uncomfortable questions. Instead, we quietly fund evil, propping up a dictator here, ignoring a genocide there. Basically we nurture the evil from a distance. That way, in a few years, when it's evil fruit has ripened, we can harvest it with a nice profitable war.

But we never, ever talk with evil.
posted by quin at 4:00 PM on January 18, 2007


"War! What is it good for? It's good for business." -- Billy Bragg

Nixon also had perjurers, justice obstructors, money launderers, election fixers, and ratfuckers, plus he had the head of the FBI destroying evidence in a criminal investigation.

Iran are having tea and crumpets with North Korea.

See! They are an Axis of Evil!
posted by kirkaracha at 4:08 PM on January 18, 2007


See, in regards to the Ford comment, I think Nixon's behavior at least partially contributed to this admins behavior. Many of the same people from then are running the show now. if we had gone down the line and convicted everyone of those sonsofbitches then there would be a lot more reticence to act how they are acting now. Healing? hardly. Enabling? Yes.
posted by edgeways at 4:20 PM on January 18, 2007


get past this notion of 'good' and 'evil' as things unto themselves.

This is an interesting brainwash for most of us. At this point in time, we as a nation don't know who our enemy is. Our seeming lack of trust for our political representation in external affairs causes us to question "intent" big time. It gets even worse when our government requires interpreters to speak to its own people (god bless the media). We need a new way to measure honesty! Then we could attempt to communicate with our neighbors without thinking "good" or "evil".
posted by katice at 4:36 PM on January 18, 2007


Talking with your enemies is indeed a necessary step in ending conflict. If you refuse to talk, to negotiate, to come to an agreement, the only other option is to continue down the road of attrition until one side is defeated. One can assume, then, that the refusal to talk is an admission that your ultimate aim is absolute destruction of your enemy.

The only caveat to that is, what if your enemy changes? You might wait it out and see if your enemy changes into someone you do want to talk to; of course, in the case of Iran, that certainly hasn't happened. I doubt the president they have now is making similar offers. And it's clear that the US attitude towards Iran isn't making it any friendlier in the future.
posted by Jimbob at 4:40 PM on January 18, 2007


As Bush's War Strategy Shifts to Iran, Christian Zionists Gear Up for the Apocalypse
posted by homunculus at 4:40 PM on January 18, 2007


Hebollah? no. Hokky Pokky? never. the steaks are to high. what we need are booze on the ground.
posted by nola at 4:41 PM on January 18, 2007


Maybe it's time for us to change, to internalize... to fix ourselves. If our intent is "clear", then we'll better be able to understand the intent of those that fear us and why. Communication happens when the fear is set aside. Better yet... come to an understanding of why we fear Iran.
posted by katice at 5:04 PM on January 18, 2007


This was the subject of the famously censored NYT op-ed
posted by delmoi at 5:14 PM on January 18, 2007


At this point in time, we as a nation don't know who our enemy is.

That's easy. It's everybody.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:21 PM on January 18, 2007


So we wouldn't talk to them and now they're cozying up to Kim Jong-Il.

Iran is such a whore.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:39 PM on January 18, 2007


Sigh. We are governed by people with the mentality of five year olds. Either you're a good guy or a bad guy. And if you're a bad guy we're not going to lower ourselves to talk to you.

sad, but true
posted by caddis at 5:44 PM on January 18, 2007


You know, I'll be glad when we attack Iran. Then the oil will stop flowing, and the US will collapse, and maybe, just maybe, something decent will come out of the ashes.

I doubt it, to be honest. But right now, we're fucked no matter what. We appoint an Admiral to run Centcom and send an extra CVN group to the Gulf. We're going to attack Iran.
posted by eriko at 5:55 PM on January 18, 2007


I think Nixon's behavior at least partially contributed to this admins behavior. Many of the same people from then are running the show now.

That's exactly right. Cheney in particular feels that the executive branch should be more powerful than the judicial and legislative branches.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:51 PM on January 18, 2007


We're not a phoenix, eriko. If we go into your dream/nightmare scenario with Iran, then China rises out of the ashes, and for all of our faults as a nation/world leader, China would be worse.

We've become, if we weren't already, our worst image of Russia during the cold war, believing that anybody who doesn't have our own systems and beliefs is an enemy who must be destroyed or converted.

However, we're stuck in Iraq because to leave would be ceding Iraq to Lebanese/Iranian/Syrian control. Sure Bush's ego is a big part of the decision making even now, but it's the part that doesn't matter at all. We broke it, and we have to fix it in a way that doesn't cause further war. So we're stuck. Maybe if Cheney'd been willing to talk a few years ago we'd be better off.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:17 PM on January 18, 2007


So we're going to engage in a war of aggression against Iran? Didn't someone get in trouble for doing that back in the 1940s?

It would be nice if We the People could look at the history books and, as soon as the first shot is fired in the attack, pull the plug and ready the gallows ourselves. It'd be a lot better than waiting for the international community to do it, years and mountains of corpses later.
posted by mullingitover at 7:25 PM on January 18, 2007


'We don't talk to evil'

Then how do they ever hold a cabinet meeting?
posted by amyms at 10:29 PM on January 18, 2007


HEY, IRAN CAN GO FUCK ITSELF.
posted by quonsar at 7:09 AM on January 19, 2007


I've said these elsewhere but the're apropos here too:

My dad to me, describing the pipeline built north from Marseilles to fuel the First and Third Armies' drive on the Rhine in 1944-45: "I fought the war for Standard Oil."

Me to my dad, musing about the Cold War: "An enemy is a useful thing to have."
posted by pax digita at 7:37 AM on January 19, 2007


Senate Intel Chairman warns of Iran drumbeat.
posted by homunculus at 10:10 PM on January 21, 2007


Biden: Name One Single Time Cheney’s Been Correct
posted by homunculus at 1:18 PM on January 22, 2007


Lizzie Cheney - The Pride of Lockheed Martin - Speaketh
posted by homunculus at 1:51 PM on January 23, 2007


Scant evidence found of Iran-Iraq arms link
posted by homunculus at 9:30 PM on January 23, 2007


« Older Pointless Sites...  |  Apostrophes, apostrophes, mor... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments