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Thread: Iran Arming Taliban and others

  1. #1

    Iran Arming Taliban and others

    [url]http://www.ktlkfm.com/cc-common/news/sections/newsarticle.html?feed=104668&article=2259942[/url]

  2. #2
    Here's a recent article from the American Conservative about Iran, from a writer who visited there recently.

    It makes the case that bombing Iran is a very bad idea:

    June 4, 2007 Issue

    Copyright © 2007 The American Conservative





    Iran: Past the Paranoia

    At once theocratic, secular, hostile, and modern, Iran is not

    America’s natural enemy.


    by Peter Hitchens

    The
    story of the cardboard tanks was a haunting urban myth of 1930s
    Britain, often recalled by adults during my 1950s childhood. It
    concerned a middle-class couple who took a motor tour of the Third
    Reich about the time of the Munich Agreement. As they drove their very
    solid, very British automobile along a twisting mountain road, they
    suddenly came face to face with a squadron of Hitler’s feared new
    tanks. It was too late to stop, too narrow to swerve. Commending their
    souls to God, the couple braced themselves for certain death. But death
    did not come—only a strange splintering noise and some strangled cries
    of “Achtung!” and “Engländer Schweinehund!” The tank
    was a mere mock-up, made of cardboard, bamboo, string, and chewing gum,
    and the couple sliced through it, quite unhurt. This tale, wholly
    false, was told 70 years ago to spread foolish complacency about the
    real peril of German rearmament. It was retold 50 years ago to remind
    us how gullible we had been about a dangerous enemy.

    It concerns me now as I write about a recent visit to Iran, the country
    that has been designated as the next official enemy of what is still
    called “The West.” I came away so completely opposed to this silly
    hostility that I fear I am in danger of stirring up apathy, like the
    people who spread the myth of the cardboard Panzers. I am a Cold War
    veteran who believes in deterrence and accepts that there was a genuine
    Soviet threat. I am an incorrigible Zionist. I think my own country has
    allowed its armed forces to become lamentably weak. But I think the
    difference between the official account of Iran as sinister menace and
    the Iran I experienced is so great that it is a sort of duty to draw
    attention to it.

    This general fear is so strong that members of my own family, used to
    my traveling to many curious corners of the world and much-traveled
    themselves, were apprehensive about my going to Tehran. Feelings were a
    little high at the time. A group of Royal Navy bluejackets and Marines
    had just been seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the waters off
    Basra and released after alleged ill treatment. These trained warriors
    spoke of their experiences as if they had been held in the dungeons of
    man-eating pirates, claiming to have been scared of torture and, in the
    case of the one woman involved, of rape. So terror-stricken had they
    been that they allowed themselves to be filmed more or less admitting
    to losing their way and rambling into Iranian waters. One had been
    persuaded to pen a letter denouncing Britain’s military presence in
    Iraq. Their subsequent fate—sudden release after an apparent deal, the
    sale by some of them of their pathetic memoirs to mass-circulation
    newspapers, a national revulsion against them for their general
    feebleness—is interesting in itself, but it is not part of my story.

    It seemed to me to be a good time to go to Iran, a country currently
    moving toward the top of the Anglosphere’s list of Most Hated Nations.
    This list, frequently revised, is maintained by those who feel a
    pressing need for a national enemy and who have been bereft of a proper
    foe since the Soviet Union fell in on itself in a cloud of rust. Iran’s
    leaders, unlike several of the regimes chosen for the role of Chief
    Threat, seem to enjoy being feared and have encouraged their image by
    very publicly pursuing nuclear research, rather like a naughty boy
    teasingly juggling with his mother’s best china.

    The ayatollahs do not encourage foreign journalists to visit and
    declined to give me a press visa. So I went unofficially, unsupervised
    by official minders, and was able to travel in a great sweep round the
    country, journeying to within a few miles of the Afghan border and
    close to the Persian Gulf.

    I met anti-regime intellectuals in fashionable cafés, ordinary
    provincial professional people in their own homes, devout Muslims and
    fierce skeptics, regular consumers of illegal alcohol, religious
    zealots, students, and feminists facing prosecution. I attended Friday
    prayers in Tehran, the weekly 20 minutes hate in which a large
    congregation is encouraged to bawl “Death to America,” “Death to
    Israel” and—gratifyingly for a British subject used to our diminished
    status—“Death to England.” In Persia, at least, we are still regarded
    as a dangerous and perfidious world force, whose spies are generally
    thought to be everywhere. I reached the heart of one of Shia Islam’s
    most sacred shrines and saw how distinct Shia Islam is from its Sunni
    rival. And I was kissed on both cheeks by a bearded mullah in the holy
    city of Qom.

    I also passed close to one of Iran’s major nuclear sites, Natanz, and
    was able to observe the anti-aircraft gun emplacements spread on either
    side of the smooth new superhighway that leads north from Esfahan to
    Tehran. I can imagine few more useless precautions against the pilots
    of the Israeli or United States air forces, except perhaps for a patrol
    of biplanes or some bows and arrows. But the display, visible to
    thousands of travelers each day, helps to fan the foolish panic about
    Iran’s supposed attempt to become a nuclear power.

    I am not equipped to judge such things technically. I could not tell
    uranium from plutonium or a centrifuge from a capacitor. But I have
    been subjected to enough state-sponsored panics about evil dictators
    and weapons of mass destruction to have become a little dubious when I
    am told that a Middle Eastern state is plotting my imminent death or a
    first strike on Tel Aviv. And I have become aware that many real,
    well-informed experts are highly skeptical about Iran’s ability in this
    field. The Tehran government appears to exaggerate the number of
    centrifuges it has in operation. Its capacity to enrich uranium is
    pitifully short of that needed to produce weapons-grade material. Its
    elderly nuclear reactor at Bushehr has yet to produce a watt of
    electricity after more than 30 years. Iran’s claim to need nuclear
    energy may not be false. This supposed energy superpower imposes
    frequent power blackouts, as I can confirm from personal experience.

    The Iranian state is, in any case, famous among its own people for
    being very bad at delivering grand projects. Tehran’s new Khomeini
    Airport has just opened after 30 years under construction. A supposedly
    ultra-modern TV and telecommunications tower stands unfinished on the
    capital’s skyline after 20 years of work. Several cities, promised
    metro-rail systems years ago, have yet to see a single train run.
    Tehran’s metro, sorely needed in that traffic-strangled megalopolis, is
    operating a few lines, but they opened years late, and there are far
    too few of them.

    Many Iranians privately fear that their government’s clumsy fumblings
    with the atom will subject them to a Persian Chernobyl long before it
    endangers anyone else. In any case, if you wish to become frantic about
    Islamic bombs, then there is surely a better case for worrying about
    Pakistan, which already possesses such a bomb along with the missiles
    to hurl it about the region. Yet Pakistan, mysteriously, is our friend
    and ally, despite being a lawless military tyranny and the only country
    on earth to have an army unit specifically trained to mount putsches
    against its (rarely) elected governments.

    In any event, it is idle and wrong to see Iran as part of an
    undifferentiated Muslim world. It is astonishingly distinct from its
    Arab neighbors and, come to that, from its interesting non-identical
    twin, Turkey. While Turkey is an Islamic state kept secular (so far) by
    a covert army dictatorship, Iran is a secular state kept Islamic by an
    overt clerical despotism. Iranians, as they will swiftly point out to
    you, are mostly non-Arabs. Nor are they, apart from an important but
    small minority, Turks. And their espousal of the Shia rather than the
    Sunni branch of the faith cuts them off, whether they like it or not,
    from most of the rest of Islam. This divide is far more important than
    most of us realize. We are aware of it mainly because of the Shia
    majority in Iraq and the influence that Iran can exercise through them.
    But what I did not properly appreciate before visiting Iran is that
    Shia Islam is for all practical purposes a separate religion. I had, on
    a visit to Iraq, been lucky enough to visit the Shia shrine cities of
    Najaf and Kerbala but only in search of opinion on the Anglo-American
    occupation. I had noticed that the mosques were interestingly different
    from the Sunni ones I had seen in Jordan, Egypt, Jerusalem, and England
    but had made little of it.

    In the great Shia pilgrimage city of Mashhad, on the old Silk Road to
    China, I understood for the first time that this was something utterly
    apart, as separate from Sunni practice as a Sicilian Roman Catholic
    might be from a Scotch Calvinist. I have never felt so close to
    understanding the passionate pre-Reformation world of medieval Europe,
    its relics and devotees, its enormous, thronged, and gilded shrines.
    Passing through ever more ornate courtyards decorated with lovely
    blue-tiled recesses and overlooked by a dome apparently made of solid
    gold, I was able to look into the glittering center of the shrine of
    Imam Reza, one of the sad heroes of this tragic faith. All Shia martyrs
    were the victims of political, temporal defeat, some slain in unfair
    battle, others—like Reza—foully murdered by conspiratorial enemies.
    They are still mourned, as if these events had happened yesterday
    rather than more than a thousand years ago. The Twelfth Imam is thought
    to have disappeared from the world of men, only to reappear at an
    unknown date to restore the rule of peace and justice.

    The martyred Reza lies in a green-shrouded tomb surrounded by a solid
    silver cage, which the pilgrims surge forward to touch, some crying out
    in a sort of ecstasy at having reached their goal. The sepulcher is
    approached down marvelously carpeted corridors —one for men and one for
    women— whose walls and ceilings are lined with thousands of tiny pieces
    of mirrored glass and sparkle perpetually. Many devotees force their
    way through the multitudes and, before they are pushed away by
    competing worshippers, hurriedly tie green ribbons to the silver bars,
    or even fix padlocks to them, in the hope of having wishes granted when
    the knot eventually comes loose or the lock is broken. Others push
    quantities of banknotes into the enclosure. Frequently, passionate
    funeral parties process through the precincts, as huge drums beat from
    the shrine’s rooftops. Shia believe that a special blessing attaches to
    those whose bodies are brought close to the shrine.

    Something very old indeed is taking place here—something much frowned
    upon in the Sunni lands. Some trace connections to the ceremonies of a
    sect of Zoroastrianism, the great monotheistic faith that dominated
    Persia before the coming of Islam and still survives even now in small
    but persistent pockets. Whatever its origins and nature, it is not
    liked by the austere forms of Sunni Islam promoted by Saudi Arabia and
    its allies. If Shia make the pilgrimage to Mecca, they find they are
    sourly tolerated but not welcomed as friends.

    The separation, whatever its reasons and origins, helps to reinforce a
    strong feeling that Iran is trapped in the middle of a world to which
    it does not really belong. Wander through Tehran, or any other Iranian
    city, at the delightful evening hour always pleasing in any Middle
    Eastern capital, soon after evening prayers have been called, when the
    sweet and cake shops are preparing for business and the lights are warm
    and bright. You will quickly notice that it is not—as it would be
    elsewhere—an all-male street scene. Women are walking about quite
    freely, and not in that hunched, submissive posture so common in the
    Arab lands. They are, especially in the more middle-class areas,
    consciously subverting the ridiculous dress codes imposed on them by
    the mullahs. The veil is plainly imposed, not willingly worn as it
    increasingly is by Arab women on the luxury shopping streets of London.

    Clothes intended to be shapeless have been carefully nipped in and
    adapted to emphasize the waist, contrary to regulations. Headscarves
    are placed so far back on the head that they are barely there at all.
    Heels are high, and many walk and stand like Parisians. Every so often,
    squads of morality police still descend on the streets to try to
    enforce compulsory modesty. But the battle is undoubtedly lost. And
    that is important because it symbolizes the way in which the regime has
    failed to hold the hearts of the people in so many other ways as well.

    A sort of public opinion does exist in Iran. Despite a still fearsome
    formal repressive apparatus, which swiftly and disgustingly punishes
    formal open dissent in newspapers or in street demonstrations, private
    conversation is quite unregulated, deeply irreverent, and totally
    fearless. Even in poor South Tehran, where the Islamic enthusiasts have
    more influence, I was told an unprintably rude joke about the Ayatollah
    Khomeini that suggested the old man was not very clever.

    This
    private dissent has an interesting effect, a sort of passive resistance
    expressed by a lack of enthusiasm. The authorities have drawn back from
    the strict application of sharia punishments except in cities
    where the middle class is weak and the regime’s more fanatical
    supporters remain strong. In Mashhad, I was assured, public executions
    had become rare because they were unpopular, and people would not go to
    watch them unless the condemned man had committed some especially
    heinous and bloody crime. In private homes and in public places, the
    men and women to whom I spoke expressed dissenting opinions with
    amazing, sometimes alarming freedom. I had to ask myself from time to
    time whether I was in a tyranny at all.

    What were those opinions? As in any proper country, they varied. I had
    dinner with a group of professionals, male and female, the women
    voluntarily veiled, where almost all said they had voted for Mahmoud
    Ahmadinejad for president. The women, especially the younger ones,
    dominated the conversation. Would they vote the same way now? Hardly
    any would. They had done so, in any case, in the hope of change that
    they had not gotten. Many now found him embarrassing and disliked his
    aggressive talk.

    In the great square at Esfahan, I talked to a group of teenage girls
    about to graduate from high school—one strictly veiled, one less so,
    one whose scarf was subversively far back on her head. They all thought
    war was coming, all believed that the U.S. was not a truly free country
    and that Iranians and Muslims were persecuted and mistreated there.
    These opinions arose from state-sponsored ignorance and were fanned by
    our own militant hostility. The students were not in themselves hostile
    to the West—like almost all Iranians, they yearned to live there. They
    were personally friendly and open to me. But they warned that an attack
    on Iran would drive them closer to their government. And this was not
    just their view. I heard the same from many far more liberal-minded and
    skeptical. Before the Iraq War, many such people were all but wishing
    for an American invasion to free them from the ayatollahs. But having
    seen what American liberation has done for Iraq and Afghanistan, they
    have turned away from any such thoughts.

    The Islamic leadership knows this and is glad of the threats and
    grumbling coming from Washington. Once it was able to use the great
    national trauma of the war with Iraq to unite the nation around its
    leadership, much as the Kremlin used the war against Hitler to give
    itself legitimacy. Now memories of that war are growing weaker among
    Iran’s incredibly youthful population, and something else is needed to
    bind the state and the people. The mullahs also wish to close the gap
    between Shia and Sunni so as to make a united front against the Great
    Satan. They are using the crudest tactics to achieve this. While
    ordinary Iranian Shia are coldly welcomed in Sunni lands, Mahmoud
    Ahamadinejad is the hero of every Muslim cabdriver from Morocco to
    Malaysia because of his disreputable Holocaust denial. During Friday
    prayers, I heard a mullah urge reconciliation between Shia and Sunni,
    claiming that the wicked, slippery English had been trying to split the
    two branches of the religion for centuries.

    Now, while we should be glad that a civil society is being reborn and
    that Iran’s alliance with the rest of the Muslim world is shaky, we
    should not be too optimistic or expect that we can return to the days
    when the shah was the embarrassingly loyal friend of the West. In the
    end, his devotion to Washington was one of the things that finished him
    off.

    There
    is more than one Iran, and even the passionately Islamic version should
    not be dismissed with scorn or distaste, though some of it remains
    baffling or repellent to us. One of the most articulate and intelligent
    people I met was a young schoolteacher, the mother of a young child. It
    was clear that her relationship with her husband was that of an equal.
    Yet as we discussed propaganda in the classroom, I was greatly struck
    by her extraordinary, medieval, night-black robes, so intensely somber
    that they darkened the well-lit room in which we sat and so
    emphatically, ferociously modest that they represented an unspoken,
    passionate argument against secular modernity and all its works. Much
    less persuasive or sympathetic was the bearded, taciturn man in an
    Esfahan ironmonger’s shop close to that lovely city’s tourist arcades
    of carpets, beaten copper, and spices. This man’s wares were not so
    picturesque. Displayed on his shelves were the sharp, gray zanjeer
    chains employed by Shia zealots to lash themselves bloody during the
    fierce, miserable festival of Ashura. This marks the great defeat of
    Shia arms at Kerbala more than 1,300 years ago. Also on display were
    other, heavier chains with an equally disturbing but secular purpose.
    These are used as weapons and threats by the Basiji, a sort of
    pro-government Islamic militia that is deployed to intimidate any
    public expression of opposition, much as similar “people’s militias”
    were used by Warsaw Pact states to ensure the Communist Party’s rule
    went unchallenged.

    I was
    also unpleasantly surprised, during an evening stroll through Mashhad,
    to encounter a shop entirely devoted to the sale of chadors, the
    enveloping black shroud favored by the mullahs. Especially disagreeable
    were the tiny child-sized models ranged in the window. I had just been
    marveling at the near-European normality of the surrounding district,
    its busy cinema with its mixed clientele, its wedding shops and
    bookstores, its bold, regulation-defying young women. And here was this
    reminder of how this place remains anything but normal in many
    important ways.

    Even less normal is the holy city of Qom, headquarters of the
    ayatollahs, for many years the home of Khomeini himself. I was urged by
    some Iranians not to go there. “It is Arabia in the middle of Persia,”
    warned a bookseller in Esfahan who had just shown me some rather rude
    but very beautiful prints featuring wine and young women not wearing
    chadors. Others just said that a sort of darkness seemed to hang over
    it. And yet, like so much of Iran, it was paradoxical.

    I went to Qom by way of the strange shrine of Jamkaran, especially
    favored by President Ahmadinejad, where the fabled Hidden Imam is
    widely believed to be most likely to reappear. It is a rather
    desperate, dusty, and angry place, beloved by the very poor and the
    very fervent, who slog to it on foot for many miles. But in Iran such
    things are part of life in a way almost forgotten in the American and
    European world. The worldly and the otherworldly, the commercial and
    the spiritual, mingle happily and unselfconsciously. The modern highway
    that leads from Tehran to Qom is a 21st-century construction in a
    partly medieval land. It has electronic speed-check cameras every few
    miles, alternating with official signboards bearing quotations from the
    Koran. Devout drivers recite them to keep awake on long night journeys.
    Imagine I-95 overhung with signs proclaiming, “I am the way, the truth
    and the life” interspersed with advertisements for Howard Johnson’s.

    At dusk, the half-built mosque of Jamkaran glows greenish, like a
    cooling spaceship on the jagged Martian landscape of the region. But
    beside it sparkles a garish row of shops selling the local sweetmeat, a
    sugary brittle made of pistachio nuts, without which no pilgrimage is
    complete. Picture Washington National Cathedral surrounded by stalls
    selling cotton candy, illuminated in primary colors, and nobody at all
    surprised or concerned, and you may get some impression of the effect.

    The outer suburbs of Qom, likewise, are anything but holy in
    appearance. Hardware stores, candy outlets, and religious emporia
    selling the Koran at 40-percent reductions crowd the busy streets.
    There are parking lots the size of modest counties for pilgrim cars and
    coaches. Over it all towers the floodlit gold dome of another great
    Shia shrine, with an entire wall of mirrored glass, shining into the
    warm, windy night and the green flag of militant Islam floating above.
    Little by little, the visitor becomes aware of the enormous number of
    mullahs, all bearded, all in coffee-colored robes and white turbans.
    There are mullahs climbing off buses with briefcases, mullahs driving
    cars, mullahs on motorbikes, rigidly clutching the handlebars.

    Thus I had no difficulty in finding one of these holy men and having a
    wholly circular argument with him about the Islamic revolution. So what
    if the people were not enthusiastic and if the reforming former
    President Khatami had loosened the regime? These things would
    strengthen the Islamic Republic in the long run. The idea that Shia
    clerics should stay out of politics, once orthodox, was mistaken. I had
    to try, but we were from different worlds, unable to communicate—until
    he changed the subject and began to question me about the captured
    British sailors. He was convinced that they were spies—since I am
    English, he was probably convinced that I was a spy—and could not be
    put off this fancy by the fact that the sailors had been wearing
    uniforms. This was a typical English double bluff, in his view. Then a
    very stern look came into his eye and he asked if, when I returned
    home, I would behave like them, saying rude things about Iran. When I
    said that I rather hoped not, he suddenly gave me a great hairy kiss on
    both cheeks and surged off into the night, grinning to himself.

    I
    do not want to give him, or those like him, any pleasure. Their rule is
    stupid, oppressive, cruel, lawless, and intolerant. Nor do I want to
    peddle foolish complacency, like those who invented the tale of the
    cardboard tanks. But I would like to give pause to all those who
    imagine that Iran is a place of undifferentiated evil, malice,
    oppression, and fanaticism, or our natural and rightful enemy. There is
    hope there. The difficult question is how best we might nurture it.

    __________________________

    Peter Hitchens is a columnist for the London Mail on Sunday. His blog is [url]http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk[/url].

  3. #3
    I have nothing against the people of Iran, I am against their Govt that is supplying arms to the Taliban. We have talked to them many times unfortunately talk is cheap. I would rather freeze all their assets we can get our hands on and bankrupt the country.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]I have nothing against the people of Iran, I am against their Govt that is supplying arms to the Taliban. We have talked to them many times unfortunately talk is cheap. I would rather freeze all their assets we can get our hands on and bankrupt the country.[/QUOTE]

    We have not talked to them very much, actually.

    We talked to them in 2001 and they helped us defeat the Taliban. Then Bush put them in the Axis of Evil, totally cut off contact with them, and they have resurfaced as a major league pain in our ass, arming the very group they once helped us displace and working to undermine us in Iraq.

    Their behavior, to me, seems like a little kid tugging at our shirt until we acknowledge that we have to deal with them. And we do.

    We have only recently begun to reengage in talks.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]We have not talked to them very much, actually.

    We talked to them in 2001 and they helped us defeat the Taliban. Then Bush put them in the Axis of Evil, totally cut off contact with them, and they have resurfaced as a major league pain in our ass, arming the very group they once helped us displace and working to undermine us in Iraq.

    Their behavior, to me, seems like a little kid tugging at our shirt until we acknowledge that we have to deal with them. And we do.

    We have only recently begun to reengage in talks.[/QUOTE]

    Name calling (Axis of Evil) is a good talking point for the FOX Noise Channel viewers. Never mind that it can (and did) cause international hostilties

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]Name calling (Axis of Evil) is a good talking point for the FOX Noise Channel viewers. Never mind that it can (and did) cause international hostilties[/QUOTE]


    you mean such as calling America "the great Satan"???

    or saying Israel should be wiped off the map???

    or, in your feeble mind, is this another thing that is justified???

  7. #7
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]you mean such as calling America "the great Satan"???

    or saying Israel should be wiped off the map???

    or, in your feeble mind, is this another thing that is justified???[/QUOTE]

    It is not justified, of course.

    But it's just empty political rhetoric uttered for obvious political reasons. (We should have learned something about this from Saddam's bluffing about his WMDs.)

    Ahmenhijad is weak and unpopular at home, and he is trying to provoke a confrontation with the U.S. and/or Israel in order to rally support behind him. We can either walk right into the trap he is setting for us by being beligerent, or we can try to advance and exploit his weakness by working with pro-democracy groups within Iran and extracting concessions through diplomacy.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]It is not justified, of course.

    But it's just empty political rhetoric uttered for obvious political reasons. (We should have learned something about this from Saddam's bluffing about his WMDs.)

    Ahmenhijad is weak and unpopular at home, and he is trying to provoke a confrontation with the U.S. and/or Israel in order to rally support behind him. We can either walk right into the trap he is setting for us by being beligerent, or we can try to advance and exploit his weakness by working with pro-democracy groups within Iran and extracting concessions through diplomacy.[/QUOTE]

    empty rhetoric???

    is Iran not sponsoring terror against the US and Israel as it has been for decades??? not to much empty their...

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]you mean such as calling America "the great Satan"???

    or saying Israel should be wiped off the map???

    or, in your feeble mind, is this another thing that is justified???[/QUOTE]

    I am no friend of Iran. They held several Marines as hostages from 1979-1981.

    You had better believe we remember that and want their blood as bad as any other group out here. Maybe even more.

    Mindless rhetoric is useless. Diplomacy may have worked then and it can work now.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]empty rhetoric???

    is Iran not sponsoring terror against the US and Israel as it has been for decades??? not to much empty their...[/QUOTE]

    Their claim that Israel should be wiped off the mat, which I was referring to, is empty. Even if they had nukes, which they do not and are nowhere close to getting, they know that using them against Israel would result in certain annihilation.

    They, like Syria and other countries in that region, do sponsor terror through Hezbollah. That's true.

    But I believe that the well-documented pro-democracy movement that is sprouting there has the potential to oust the Mullahs, and we need to focus our policy on helping that happen.

    As the story I posted above says, Iran is a secular state being held hostage by religious fundamentalists. I think there are ways to alter the balance of power there short of bombing or occupying them, which would risk undermining the pro-democracy groups.

  11. #11
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]Their claim that Israel should be wiped off the mat, which I was referring to, is empty. Even if they had nukes, which they do not and are nowhere close to getting, they know that using them against Israel would result in certain annihilation.

    They, like Syria and other countries in that region, do sponsor terror through Hezbollah. That's true.

    But I believe that the well-documented pro-democracy movement that is sprouting there has the potential to oust the Mullahs, and we need to focus our policy on helping that happen.

    As the story I posted above says, Iran is a secular state being held hostage by religious fundamentalists. I think there are ways to alter the balance of power there short of bombing or occupying them, [B]which would risk undermining the pro-democracy groups[/B].[/QUOTE]

    And maybe make more terrorists to boot.....

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Jetdawgg]I am no friend of Iran. They held several Marines as hostages from 1979-1981.

    You had better believe we remember that and want their blood as bad as any other group out here. Maybe even more.

    Mindless rhetoric is useless. Diplomacy may have worked then and it can work now.[/QUOTE]
    Gee, all these years, I thought they held 53 AMERICANS, [B]including[/B] several Marines. Guess civilians don't count in your world..

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio]Gee, all these years, I thought they held 53 AMERICANS, [B]including[/B] several Marines. Guess civilians don't count in your world..[/QUOTE]

    only topped by the sheer ignorance of this comment:

    [QUOTE]Diplomacy may have worked then and it can work now.[/QUOTE]

    swap the words "appeasement" or "capitulation" for the word diplomacy (which is what diplomacy comes down to for most on the left) and no you're talking... :yes:

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=Come Back to NY]only topped by the sheer ignorance of this comment:



    swap the words "appeasement" or "capitulation" for the word diplomacy (which is what diplomacy comes down to for most on the left) and no you're talking... :yes:[/QUOTE]

    So what would you do, then?

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio]Gee, all these years, I thought they held 53 AMERICANS, [B]including[/B] several Marines. Guess civilians don't count in your world..[/QUOTE]

    One Marine is every Marine. There are so few of us......We account for each other differently than we do civilians...

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]Their claim that Israel should be wiped off the mat, which I was referring to, is empty. Even if they had nukes, which they do not and are nowhere close to getting, they know that using them against Israel would result in certain annihilation.

    They, like Syria and other countries in that region, do sponsor terror through Hezbollah. That's true.

    But I believe that the well-documented pro-democracy movement that is sprouting there has the potential to oust the Mullahs, and we need to focus our policy on helping that happen.

    As the story I posted above says, Iran is a secular state being held hostage by religious fundamentalists. I think there are ways to alter the balance of power there short of bombing or occupying them, which would risk undermining the pro-democracy groups.[/QUOTE]


    It was believed that Iraq was also a secular state, for the most part, but we see the religious nutbags still maintain control through their brutality. They only know one means of communication and we have the means to deliver it to them. Remember, Hitler did a lot of talking and appeased many in Europe....that is until he decided to invade and conquer as many lands as possible, not to mention murder millions of innocent people.

  17. #17
    The thing I fear most is that Iran will take advantage if we do nothing. They see dialog as weakness. I do not want to see a rush to arms but Iran must see there will be consequences for their actions!

  18. #18
    Jets Insider VIP
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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan]I do not want to see a rush to arms but Iran must see there will be consequences for their actions![/QUOTE]



    The only thing we have to fear is fear itself and Iran's one nuclear missile.

    Kinda reminds me of the time my alcoholic neighbor gave me a speech about the dangers of drinking....

  19. #19
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola]Their claim that Israel should be wiped off the mat, which I was referring to, is empty. Even if they had nukes, which they do not and are nowhere close to getting, they know that using them against Israel would result in certain annihilation.

    They, like Syria and other countries in that region, do sponsor terror through Hezbollah. That's true.

    But I believe that the well-documented pro-democracy movement that is sprouting there has the potential to oust the Mullahs, and we need to focus our policy on helping that happen.

    As the story I posted above says, Iran is a secular state being held hostage by religious fundamentalists. I think there are ways to alter the balance of power there short of bombing or occupying them, which would risk undermining the pro-democracy groups.[/QUOTE]


    So what do you suggest? How would negotiating with the Islamic maniacs who run Iran help the opposition? They along with Syria have armed Hamas to the teeth and they are about to wipe out the governing more secular Fatah in Gaza. They along with Syria have actively supported a civil war in Lebanon with the intent of removing more moderate governments with Islamic fundamentalists. Turkey is being undermined by these same nuts. The problem is while it may be true that a minority runs the show, that minority has the power of the State and if we negotiate with that State power it will undermine any chance of a grass roots revolution toward moderation.

    We are at war with fundamental Islam it's really that simple. That doesn't mean we attack them everywhere, but the idea that we are engaged as equals with similar goals in the world is absurd. They need to continue to undermine moderate forces in the world precisely because they aren't moderate.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=Winstonbiggs]So what do you suggest? How would negotiating with the Islamic maniacs who run Iran help the opposition? They along with Syria have armed Hamas to the teeth and they are about to wipe out the governing more secular Fatah in Gaza. They along with Syria have actively supported a civil war in Lebanon with the intent of removing more moderate governments with Islamic fundamentalists. Turkey is being undermined by these same nuts. The problem is while it may be true that a minority runs the show, that minority has the power of the State and if we negotiate with that State power it will undermine any chance of a grass roots revolution toward moderation.

    We are at war with fundamental Islam it's really that simple. That doesn't mean we attack them everywhere, but the idea that we are engaged as equals with similar goals in the world is absurd. They need to continue to undermine moderate forces in the world precisely because they aren't moderate.[/QUOTE]


    I think our best tack in Iran is to try and destabilize the government from within, by encouraging and aiding the pro-democracy groups there any way we can.

    The current regime is bumbling and weak, and it's beligerence is an attempt to cover up for being so inept that its economy is a ruin and it takes 30 years to build an airport. The people there are fed up, which I think would make the threat of economic sanctions more potent than usual.

    An ideal solution under this tack takes a long time, of course. But with our troops mired in Iraq and Afghanistan, and perhaps three civil wars in the region running by year's end, I don't think there are any quick fixes to be had in that part of the world.

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