Democrats & Liberals Archives

Iran Wants to Talk

It was annoying me. It’s a couple of days since Iran presented its reply to the Europeans and Americans about its nuclear enrichment program and nowhere could I find out what the Iranians actually said. Finally, I came across a Washington Post article that suggests some details. From the fragments it offers, I could see that Iran wants to talk. Instead of mounting an Iraq-type self-destructing military offensive, why not talk to Iran?

The predilection of the Bush administration is to be antagonistic, and it shows even when our Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is trying to appear reasonable. She said:

We acknowledge that Iran considers its response as a serious offer and we will review it. The response, however, falls short of the conditions set by the Security Council which requires the full and verifiable suspension of all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.

True enough. But according to the article:

Although Iran had ruled out immediate suspension, its response left the door open for credible talks and "perhaps an acceptable resolution of the nuclear showdown for all parties," [Iranian experts] Maleki and Afrasiabi wrote.

Iran is putting the subject of enrichment on the table. What's wrong with this? This is a means for saving face. The important point is that they appear to be willing to negotiate.

They raised several other questions:

They said Iran wanted a brief reference in the offer to a possible Iranian role in a regional security arrangement -- a critical concern for the Islamic Republic, given U.S. hostility to its current leaders -- to be fleshed out.

This may lead to discussion of many vexing issues that go to the heart of the conflict between Iran and the U.S. We need to talk.

Among other points they raised are:

  • Will Iran get firm guarantees on offered nuclear technology assistance, such as the sale of light-water reactors, as well as a nuclear fuel supply from abroad?
  • Is U.S. willing to lift some if not all sanctions on nuclear and technology assistance to Iran?
  • Iran offered a guarantee not to quit the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which prohibits diversions of peaceful atomic technology to military ends
I am sure there is a lot more to the 21 page document Iran presented. Let's consider it with open minds. Although neocons do not agree, it is possible that we have here an opportunity to negotiate at least some of our differences with Iran. Despite the bravura statements coming from both sides, both the Iranians and Americans understand that war would not be good for anyone.

Let's talk. Let's put militarism aside and let's try negotiation.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 24, 2006 6:46 PM
Comments
Comment #177278

Paul,

What me diplomacy?

Surely you jest.

Seriously, with Alfred E. Neuman playing the role of the President, even with Rice working her butt off for us, nothing much has changed.

Teddy Roosevelt said, “walk softly and carry a big stick”.
Well, our stick doesn’t seem as big as it once was, and everybody on the planet knows exactly where we are.

Posted by: Rocky at August 24, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #177280

Paul,

You left out some pretty important context that the article offered in your rush to paint the administration as militant.

Here are a couple of other sections of the article that present a more even-handed view:

“The United States and Germany said Iran’s request for talks fell short of a U.N. Security Council demand that it stop enriching uranium by August 31 to qualify for the incentives, suggesting sanctions on Iran could loom after the deadline.” (emphasis mine).

””(But) this Iranian offer may be seen as too little too late,” Parsi told Reuters. “With only one week to go before the August 31 deadline, it’s difficult to see how negotiations on modalities of the suspension can begin and make headway.”

Throughout the article, references are to WESTERN leaders not U.S. leaders. It seems clear that other members of the security council are not satisfied with the response either. Are they militant as well?

It also is not clear that no one is willing to talk; however, there were clear negotiating terms laid out, and Iran is refusing to meet them. All Secretary Rice’s statement was was confirmation of that fact. You may be right Iran may just be willing to save face; however, what good are the negotiating terms if we don’t abide by them? Especially when the proposed changes come up short and late.

My impression of the article was that the response was a last-ditch effort to avoid sanctions. I agree that we should enter talks with Iran, but we have to do it on terms that the WESTERN leaders are comfortable, not terms with which Iran is.

Posted by: Rob at August 24, 2006 7:14 PM
Comment #177284

“we have to do it on terms that the WESTERN leaders are comfortable, not terms with which Iran is.”

Only a fool enters an agreement where only one side gets what they want. If we can not find a win-win solution, it will only be a matter of time before the agreement is broken. If there’s one lesson we should’ve learned by now, you can not break the will of these people, and trying to kill them only makes them more dangerous.

I think we should sit down at the table and see what agreement we can all live by. This isn’t about our pride or saving face - it’s about making th Middle East livible again.

Posted by: tony at August 24, 2006 7:40 PM
Comment #177287

Tony,

Agree, my comments were a bit black and white then they were meant to be.

I don’t expect to go to the table with no open issues; however, I think it is reasonable to expect that certain basic terms are met. I would think that Iran would/ could/ should do so with their interests in mind as well.

However, refusing to accede to the most important of the pre-meeting demands is one that should be a deal breaker for us. Especially when the offer comes so close to the deadline. It appears that this was an offer written with the knowledge and full intention that it would be refused. That gives Iran coverage in the public relations game at home and abroad.

We need an offer that ensures that they will not refine uranium not one that suggests they will consider it to see that they are serious.

Posted by: Rob at August 24, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #177290

I think our (US) worst problem with foreign diplomacy is that we forget that these are leaders of these countries - and when we say anything that is disrespectful or forces them to appear weak, we are giving them no real choice to accept. If they accept with positions like that, they would not be in charge of their countries when they get home. We have to be bigger than our adversaries by offering them the chance to look strong to their people while accepting to life with us on terms that work for both parties.

We don’t do that so well.

Posted by: tony at August 24, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #177293

I think we have to make some assumptions. First, that despite the looney rhetoric we hear from Iran, it is essentially pragmatic. (I don’t think for one second that Iran doesn’t want the bomb; they see that we are not about to attack North Korea, and they see that we have attacked Iraq.) But all its posturing aside, I think Iran knows very well that if it is not careful it will provoke a pre-emptive attack on nuclear facilities.

So the question is, what does it seek to gain? With Iraq disabled and the United States bogged down, Iran is flexing its muscle, both rhetorically and in arming militants against Israel. On one level, it insists that as a signatory of the Non Nuclear Proliferation Treaty it has the right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. On another, it knows very well that the West could easily be provoked into striking if it believes Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

I think its concerns about security guarentees are genuine. At the same time, the West clearly has an interest in verifying that enrichment of uranium does not go to far.

The United States has taken the position that unless enrichment stops, there can be no negotiation. Is that too hardline? I honestly am not sure. Iran may need to save face and insist that its rights are acknowledged, but at the same time, the West cannot afford to waste years — some estimates but Iran as little as three or four years away from producing a bomb.

In these situations, I always hope there is more going on behind the scenes than we know. And I hope that Iran realizes that it can’t take the path of Saddam and play games with verification.

Part of Ahmadinejad’s posturing may be for internal purposes. Iran is not Iraq; Ahmadinejad does not have sole power. Last year the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a fatwa against the production or possession of nuclear weapons.

What I fear is that voices in the Bush administration have essentially concluded that war with Iran is inevitable. Wary diplomacy, playing to other forces in Iran, and cautious rhetoric are called for. I think, though, that we all agree that we do not want a nuclear Iran. We still have time for messy diplomacy.

Posted by: Trent at August 24, 2006 8:25 PM
Comment #177296

It is too late in the Bush Presidency for him to learn diplomacy. When he cannot even behave in a statesman like way when meeting with our allies(Yo Blair, Merkle backrub) how is he supposed to conduct talks with Iran.

I know, we have Condi to handle things, but as long as she is representing and taking orders from Howdy Doodie she lacks credibility. Besides, Bush and the neocons welcome a conflict with Iran for a number of reasons.

Prediction: There will not be meaningful talks with Iran and the closer we get to November the tougher the talk will get out of the Bush camp.

Posted by: mark at August 24, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #177298

I actually am coming to respect the Iranian president. Not for his ideas or his nobility, but I really think he is a terrific opportunist. He seems to be playing us like a fiddle, and is masterfully using arab resentment to further the cause of his nation. Hezbollah has obviously won hearts and minds in Lebennon at this point by handing out presumably Iranian money and beginning reconstruction. We couldn’t get a meaningful resolution out of the UN to prevent a nuclear Iran or S. Korea because of the mess-o-potamia. Genocide reigns in N. Africa while we pretend not to notice. Almost every muslim population on earth has gotten more theocratic or militant in at least their rhetoric. What’s left to screw up? Ahmadinejad is no genious, but he’s a hell of a janitor, picking up the mess we leave in our destructive wake to stregnthen his own nation.

I don’t want to live in Iran by any stretch, but boy I wish we had a president like theirs working for American interests.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 24, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #177301
I actually am coming to respect the Iranian president. …I really think he is a terrific opportunist. He seems to be playing us like a fiddle … boy I wish we had a president like theirs working for American interests

Agreed. He is getting all he can at the negotiating table, and he is getting the tacit support of China & Russia and others — neither like him obviously, but we are so far and away who he hates more, that China & Russia can wait for us to be the Bad Guys doing what needs to be done (since we *want* it done more badly) and they get to reap economic rewards in the meantime.

Ditto wrt France/Germany/etc. re Iraq.

Bush is bad at showing his cards — not so much to the adversary, but to all our ‘Allies’ who then realize they don’t have to be very good allies to resolve the problem. They can have their cake and eat it too.

WOULDN’T IT BE NICE…
if other nations came to us saying ~”Geez America, you are the only one with the military to get this done. Can you come on board with us to solve this problem?” And we could say, ~”Well … OK.” Isn’t it nicer to be asked/begged than to do the asking/begging?

Posted by: Brian at August 24, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #177302

Rocky, I agree. While I am no Neocon I don’t agree. My reason being is that Iran is maximizing their time to continual building their own strength and regional support, with our own diplomatic process.

They’re smart. Smart enough to know to move their country forward with technology. Smart enough to create regional unity. And smart enough to wait us out.

Posted by: Edge at August 24, 2006 9:42 PM
Comment #177304

“Isn’t it nicer to be asked/begged than to do the asking/begging?”

In a perfect America where everyone had noble intentions, especially the leaders, we would have the best intelligence gathering abilities, and we should usually be the ones to find threats to peace. However, we are not perfect, and our leaders love to distort and cherry-pick intelligence to suit their agendas. Under these facts, I would much rather us be a problem solver than a preventative police force.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 24, 2006 9:46 PM
Comment #177306

This Regime’s idea of negotiations is “Drop dead or I will kill you.”

It would help the debate if more more were aware of the history of the conflict. The Iranians have little reason to trust us. At the behest of US oil companies we replaced a democratic Iranian government with the Shah. Our CIA kept him in power by aiding the Savak(secret police) for years of brutal repression. Later we encouraged Saddam Husain to attack Iran,gave him the materials and expertise to use chemical weapons. During the last major engagement of that war we supplied reconaisance and logistical support for Iraq in massive chemical attacks. The Iranians lost sixty thousand troops in one battle!At the same time we were also selling them arms!They have good reason to fear and mis-trust us.

Posted by: BillS at August 24, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #177313

Edge,

“And smart enough to wait us out.”

We’re not paying enough attention to the details and haven’t been for long enough that Iran now can talk from a position of power.

The coalition of countries that Bush1 built with the help of the “Powell Doctrine” has dispersed enough that the West is no longer a coherent power.
And you don’t need 20-20 vision to see the divide.

Posted by: Rocky at August 24, 2006 10:59 PM
Comment #177327

Agreed, we have no support from the original coalition.

However, I don’t see the value in negotiating against stalling tactics.

I don’t understand the statement “The West is no longer a coherent power” … do you really believe that? You don’t think that we could ramp up quickly enough to prove a point in the middleast?

Your argument seems based on borders and/or restrictions. Don’t you think there are conditions that will/could develop that would allow us to move forward with more aggresive tactics. Despite the possibility the strategy would be compromised?

Could we be one major attack away from saying all bets are off? I hope not, but worry regardless.

Posted by: Edge at August 25, 2006 12:27 AM
Comment #177331

Question: why would Iran give up their best bargaining chip i.e. nuclear enrichment, BEFORE the negotiations begin.

As for,

I think our (US) worst problem with foreign diplomacy is that we forget that these are leaders of these countries - and when we say anything that is disrespectful or forces them to appear weak, we are giving them no real choice to accept. If they accept with positions like that, they would not be in charge of their countries when they get home. We have to be bigger than our adversaries by offering them the chance to look strong to their people while accepting to life with us on terms that work for both parties.

I can think of another leader who can’t afford to look weak to his base after all his posturing, because he needs them in November.

Posted by: loki at August 25, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #177332

It has become abundantly clear, the U.S. is still trying to show “muscle” instead of brain-power!
Fortunately, President Bush admitted his mistake in saying the words, “…bring it on…” Unfortunately, he did say it - and, I believe this is the basis for the kinds of resistence the U.S. is experiencing throughout the Middle East.
Until, our leadership begins to have a command of the “rules of play” with our friends and our enemies, I believe this nonsense will continue throughout the Middle East, specifically and, the World, in general.
The U.S.A used to be well respected, now we are only seen as warmongerers and bullies!
I agree with all those who wrote there needs to be a display of respect for other Leaders, whether it is real, or simply politically correct.
Further, I believe we need to stop behaving as Big Brother to the rest of the World. Who ever elected the U.S.A. to be in charge of world affairs?
It is time to put a stop to all the war nonsense and begin behaving as real, grown-up people, who can make adult decisions for the welfare of all involved. Unless, and until the U.S.A. stops these kind of tactics, I suspect most every power will be testing and trying to see just how far we will go.
On a more humorous note; it reminds me a lot of a two year old child, testing the boundaries to see how far they can push us. If we respond with violence, we will receive violence in return.

Posted by: RudeRo at August 25, 2006 3:28 AM
Comment #177334
The U.S.A used to be well respected,

When was this? I’ve been around for quite a while and don’t remember when this happened but I keep hearing liberals say it…

Can you please let me know when the US was ‘well respected’ in the world?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 25, 2006 5:04 AM
Comment #177336

1812

Posted by: mark at August 25, 2006 7:13 AM
Comment #177341

During and right after WWII. Of course everyone wanted our money to rebuild their countries

Posted by: KT at August 25, 2006 9:04 AM
Comment #177343

Yes, and we gave it to them. As a result, most of Europe had no reason to turn to the temptations of communism. Socialism and Communism require class conflicts of severe kinds in order to flourish. Because we stepped in and improved their standard of living, they were more willing to side with us.

Being nice to people is not a waste of time.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 25, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #177344

Rhinehold,

When we went into Paris in WWII, the French women were sure glad to see us. Or so my dad said. ;-)


Now, let’s look at the history of some countries that have developed nuclear weapons, shall we?

The first country to get them was the United States. We then immediately used them against our enemy (Hiroshima/Nagasaki) — with TENS OF THOUSANDS of civilian casualties in each blast.

Then came the Soviets. They wanted nukes to balance power against the US. We didn’t want them to get nukes, because we knew that a power-hungry bully-nation like the USSR wouldn’t hesitate to use such a powerful weapon. And, yet, they didn’t, and still haven’t….

Then the Chinese got nukes. They wanted nukes to balance power against the US and USSR. We didn’t want them to have them, because we knew they wouldn’t hesitate to use them. And, yet, they didn’t, and still haven’t….

Then India got nukes, in order to balance power against China. We didn’t want them to have them, because we didn’t know if they’d be able to resist using them. And yet, they didn’t use them, and still haven’t….

Once India got nukes, Pakistan wanted them, in order to balance power against them. We didn’t want them to have them, because we thought they’d surely use them if they had them. And yet, they didn’t, and still haven’t….

So where do we stand today? Iran wants nukes, and we don’t want them to have nukes, because we’re SURE that they’ll use them… but how SURE are we? As SURE as we were about the Soviets, or the Chinese, or the Indians, or the Pakistanis?

History has shown that, once a nation (and it’s opponents) become nuclear, they become much less willing to fight each other. So maybe, in some sick way, a nuclear Iran could be a good thing…


Now, about our unwillingness to “talk to Iran”. In the Cold War, with all the differences we had with the Soviet Union, did we break off negotiations, and refuse to talk to them? No… we actually installed a direct phone line between our leader and theirs, so we could talk MORE OFTEN!

But apparently that won’t work with Iran. Instead, we’ll tell them “we disagree with you, but won’t talk about it until you agree with us.”

Bottom line — Talking to Iran could divert a war. The only reason NOT to talk to Iran is if you don’t want to divert that war.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #177354

Rob,

You’re points are well taken.

Why do sovereign states want nuclear weapons? Unless you have the ability for a massive pre-emptive attack that can wipe out another nation’s nuclear weapons, they are not offensive weapons. They are deterrents. That’s why whenever a new nation joins the nuclear club, it proudly announces it.

Having said that, we do not want Iran to develop nuclear weapons. We could bomb their facilities (those we can find and reach, that is) and set them back a few years, but what then? In the future we have the same problem, but in the meantime, we have further destablized the region and, if possible, even further radicalized the middle east. We could launch a full-scale invasion and occupy the country, but we’re tied down now in Iraq. Besides, we’ve seen how difficult occupation can be.

Continued efforts to hammer out an agreement with Iran seem to be our best course. Eventually, one hopes, an agreement that guarentees Iranian security while allowing for full unfettered verification of nuclear activities can be achieved. There are many political forces in Iran; we have to be careful not to help the most dangerous ones gain further political power.

I think this just released Brit analysis on Iran and the region is useful.

Posted by: Trent at August 25, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #177355

Talking to Iran is fine but they will fashion themselves after North Korea (they certainly like to visit their missile launches).

Even if Iran signed a million documents saying they wouldn’t build nuclear weapons it would be just like the Clinton Administration’s “success” (giggle) when they “stopped” (chuckle) North Korea from building nukes in the mid-90’s. I think North Korea started weapons grade uranium enrichment the very next day. Iran would be no different.

What we need is a Cold War Era type of doctrine we had with the Soviets. We told them that if they rolled their tanks we wouldn’t hesitate, and we would nuke away. Iran needs to hear the same type of thing. Just one bottle rocket that appears to be headed out of that country needs to be responded to by turning the capital of terrorism into a glass plate.

Anything less of a threat and we’ll have a much bigger problem on our hands than the high price of oil.

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 25, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #177357

All talk is what put us in this mess with Iran.Now its time for Action.The whole world Watched as the strongest leader on the planet decided when the offencive against Hezbolah would stop that leader being George Bush.If you folks will let the president do his job the United States will win all the marbles!

Posted by: offthehook at August 25, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #177358

Iran good…U.S. bad. I did not find one useful, workable idea in any of these posts. You people seem to think that were talking about Iran developeing a new sling-shot. The very real possibility of thermo-nuclear war in the not too distant future calls for more gonads than any of you seem able to muster. You’re in a dark alley facing a thug with a knife while you’re holding an automatic weapon and your first reflex is to try and find a knife too.

Posted by: Jim at August 25, 2006 11:38 AM
Comment #177359

What do you suggest, Jim?

Posted by: Trent at August 25, 2006 11:42 AM
Comment #177361

Jim-

I did not find one useful, workable idea in your post either. What does that make you?

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 25, 2006 11:47 AM
Comment #177369

I agree with Rocky and mark and BillS.
Bushco has proven to be totally disinterested, and in fact, incapable, of effectively handling diplomacy. I doubt they’ll be doing a sudden turn around on that score now. Besides, haven’t you guys been picking up on that steady background hum? Isn’t that the Neocon’s war drums on Iran?
Aren’t they the All War — All The Time kind of guys?
And wouldn’t a major military crisis of some sort re-energize their base and help Republican poll numbers right about now?

As you can see, I don’t trust these Clowns one iota. The way I see it, it’s all about politics and wielding and retaining power with them, rather than what might be best for our country.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 25, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #177370

In the choice between war and dishonor, if we choose dishonor, we will certainly get that. But we will also get war, as well. There is no negociation with fascist nutjobs. The Iranian puppet prsident (worked by the mullahs) has made it perfectly clear—he intends to push Irael into the sea. And punish the U.S. Any questions?

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #177372

Lets bring this whole thing into a context everyone can understand (presumably this means neo-cons too, but I’ve been wrong before).

Lets say you go to a public place like a bar or restaurant. In walks a guy that had just minutes before, stolen your cab or stepped on your foot, or whatever mildly ticks you off. Now you are both in the same small establishment, sitting nearby each other for a long period of time (your French friend has left at this point, but you and the rest of your friends are not going anywhere).

There are two glaring options at this point:

Option 1: Keep glancing over there to see if he gives you any provokation. You keep telling your friends about what an asshole that guy is until they are ready to back you up in an altercation. He’ll likely do the same. Maybe you each begin taking turns finding reasons to walk by the other just to let them know you are not afraid. No words are spoken, but much eye contact is made. Finally, with the help of alcohol (polls) and a gigantic buddy named “nuke” you again make a menacing pass by his table, only this time beer is “accidentally” spilled on your shoe. Nevermind the fact that you’ve spilled beer on this foot all night yourself. You immediately start fighting, right? This is how the vast majority of stupid altercations go.

Option 2: You immediately walk over to the guy and say “I’m not sure you realized this, but you actually did “X” to me a few minutes ago.” He now has 2 responses. Either to say “yes I did and I’d do it again,” or he could say “Sorry about that man, I was just trying to …”

99% of the time, the latter will happen. Then you can buy each other a beer and focus your energy on that prick of a waiter who spit in your food.

Will anyone tell me that option 1 is better? Consistency demands it!

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 25, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #177376

Yes, Nikkolai, I have a question. What are you advocating?

Posted by: Trent at August 25, 2006 12:52 PM
Comment #177377

Adrienne When you have the leaders of the Democrat party and the media working to weaken the President of the United States of America how can you expect other countries who want to help,Take a chance when cut and runners would leave them to be murdered when we stick our heads in the sand?

Posted by: offthehook at August 25, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #177378

Talk to Iran? It makes too much sense and anything that does make sense cannot be done by an administration that has no sense.

Posted by: oldgeezer at August 25, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #177385

I wonder how many of you actually have had the “duck and cover” experience?

How about twice a week for ten years?

If you didn’t live during the Cuban missile crisis you don’t have a clue of what a nuclear threat is.

“Mad” is bullshit. All it takes is one arrogant asshole with his finger on the button to bring the world to it’s knees.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #177388

kevin23,

A normal person would say “sorry”…

BUT, these are not normal people…

Posted by: cliff at August 25, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #177393

To expand a bit on my previous post.

Civilization stil exists today because we sat down at the UN and talked.

Perhaps Iran still loves their children as much as America does.

We will never find that out, unless we sit down and talk with them.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #177400

Rocky,

We are talking. There was a set of conditions set down to begin formal negoations, Iran responded with their own terms. I imagine that there is debate continuing on those terms today. However, I think the West is within their right to request that certain terms be met before the formal talks can begin.

Loki,

You asked why Iran would give up their best bargaining chip now before the talks begin. I believe the answer is that they have a more immediate need for the talks than the West does. They are facing sanctions which will go into place on August 31st. They would like to avoid those sanctions.

There is no doubt that we have a mid to longer term need to ensure discussions take place. I think Condelleza said as much in the quote that Paul posted. However, there is no need to rush to the table. This does not appear to me about whether or not we will sit down with Iran. Rather, it is about the terms under which we will sit down. The way the article reads, it appears that the West is weighing the options and figuring out a strategy for how to engage Iran, not whether or not they will at all.

Posted by: Rob at August 25, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #177401

I hear much about being nice to the crocodile here, hoping to be the last one he eats. Neville Chamberlain would be so proud of the appeasement crowd. But, hell, even he got on board with Churchill after realizing the error of his ways.

One cannot, must not, ever negotiate with terrorists or fascists/nazis. It just does not work.

We need to work with disedent groups inside Iran, and apply maximum international sanctions. Create as much unrest and annimosity against this ghastly regime as possible.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #177404

Here’s the biggest misconception in this whole debate, as so beautifully (if unintentionally) illustrated by offthehook:

All talk is what put us in this mess with Iran.Now its time for Action.

We have nearly 300 MILLION people in the United States. There’s no reason why we, as a nation, cannot both TALK and ACT at the same time. Despite having so many of our valuable troops off invading other countries instead of defending our own soil, we still have enough people over here to staff an entire State Department, that really does nothing more than talk to other countries. They don’t all have to retire when war is declared. They can keep talking.

But for some reason, our government doesn’t actually WANT to talk to other countries. Or, at least, not the countries that are in the center of current events. We won’t talk to Iran… we won’t talk to Syria… If Bush had been president in the Cold War, we probably wouldn’t have talked to the Soviets, either. We would have just left them to guess whether or not we were getting ready to invade….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 2:41 PM
Comment #177405

nikkolai,

“One cannot, must not, ever negotiate with terrorists or fascists/nazis. It just does not work.”

What was I thinking?

You are absolutely right. We should just turn the rest of the planet into radioactive zones and then Americans will finally be able to live in peace, and without fear, here in the good old USA.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #177407

What good did “talking” to Hitler do? Read the insane speeches of this Iranian guy. He sounds just like his idol Adolph. One cannot negotiate or reason with these people. To think we can, while they secretly complete their nuclear ambitions is not wise. Read up on 1938.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #177408

offthehook:
“Adrienne When you have the leaders of the Democrat party and the media working to weaken the President of the United States of America how can you expect other countries who want to help, Take a chance when cut and runners would leave them to be murdered when we stick our heads in the sand?”

I’ve read this sentence three times and I can’t make head or tails of what the hell you’re asking me here. Your sentence is totally nonsensical — though I am impressed that you managed to squeeze two cliches like “cut and runners” and “stick our heads in the sand” into it’s run-on confusion.

But. since you took the time to address me directly, I guess I’ll take a stab at giving you some sort of a reply.

1. Criticism cannot weaken that which is strong. Had the president and the people of his administration been successful — in any way at all — it would be almost impossible for anyone, including Democrats, those in the media, or anyone else, to criticise them. That fact that the president and his people haven’t been smart, wise, shrewd, or successful is not anyones fault but their own.

2. In my view, the Democrats and the media haven’t been nearly tough enough on the president and the administrations many failures. Because those failures have lead to our troops being killed, innocent Iraqi’s being killed, and currently endanger the safety and security of all Americans.

3. How can I expect other countries to want to help WHAT?

4. Take a chance on WHAT?

5. Cut and runners — want our troops out of Iraq. We don’t see the connection between fighting there and keeping our country safe from terrorism. We don’t see how keeping our troops in the middle of Iraq’s civil war is a good thing. We don’t see how we’re been bringing them democracy and freedom when they chose theocracy in their elections, and have no desire to put aside tribal differences and make the kind of peace which is necessary for prosperity. We don’t see why it is a good thing that America has trapped itself into a weak and passive position waiting for the Iraqi’s to “Stand Up in order for us to Stand Down” — especially since they aren’t even trying to stand up in anyway approaching sufficient numbers.

6. Leave them to be murdered — our troops are targets being maimed and murdered — by every competing faction within Iraq. These factions are also murdering each other, and their is nothing we can do that can stop that now. We had a chance to keep this from happening at one time, but that time is long past.
Time to bring our troops out of there after all these years, and allow the Iraqi’s to have their civil war. When the fighting is over, we can offer to help them to rebuild their country.

7. Stick our heads in the sand — that is what Bush and his administration has been doing. That is what their faithful followers are doing, also. This should not, and cannot continue indefinitely. Our troops who are laying their lives on the line deserve better leadership than what they’ve been getting, and so does all of America.

8. I thought the topic was talking to Iran?

Posted by: Adrienne at August 25, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #177409

yo, Rocky—you seemed to have missed my strategy from above…

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 2:52 PM
Comment #177411

nikkolai,

We need to work with disedent groups inside Iran, and apply maximum international sanctions. Create as much unrest and annimosity against this ghastly regime as possible.

Can you give me one reason why we can’t do all of this WHILE talking to them? Why does any of that require refusing to talk to their government?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 2:57 PM
Comment #177413

nikkolai,

“One cannot negotiate or reason with these people. To think we can, while they secretly complete their nuclear ambitions is not wise. Read up on 1938.”

I have and you should read up on history since then.

The world is a totally different place since WW2.
In point of fact, the world is a totally different place since the end of the Cold War.

For instance, if we had fought the war in Iraq the way we fought the war against Hitler, we would have been long gone from the Middle East and a long way toward ending the war on terror.

Funny, everybody told Bush to do it that way, but here we are, up to our collective asses in it and you think it’s still 1938.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 3:03 PM
Comment #177414

Adrienne,

5. Cut and runners — want our troops out of Iraq. We don’t see the connection between fighting there and keeping our country safe from terrorism. We don’t see how keeping our troops in the middle of Iraq’s civil war is a good thing.

Before we invaded Iraq, I would have agreed with you 100%. But terrorism thrives in power vacuums, and we’ve created one heck of a vacuum in Iraq. If we leave now, it will only get worse.

And the forgotten tragedy of it all is Afghanistan. We left quite a vacuum there, too, when we decided that invading Iraq was more important than rebuilding Afghanistan.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #177416

Iran desires to talk for one reason, so they can continue with their nuke plan and stall the rest of the world into believing this regime really wants peace. The US has not learned from history. I actually did not believe it before but I do now. The far left in this country is just to weak on defense to allow them to have control of our nation.

How do we interpret this statement or maybe they just determine to ignore it:

“describing Israel as a “disgraceful blot” that should be “wiped off the face of the earth”. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is more hardline than his predecessor, told students in Tehran that a new wave of Palestinian attacks would be enough to finish off Israel.”

And he has been true to his word as he supplies hezbollah with weapons to get the job done while ignoring the rest of the world.

Yeah, sounds like a guy who wants peace and really desires to talk. Either we deal with him now or we deal with hime when has nukes. It is simple as that.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 25, 2006 3:12 PM
Comment #177417

Talk to these people who are openly preaching genocide? No, they must be overthrown. Hopefully from within.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #177418

curmudgeon-at-large,

Ok… so how do you recommend we deal with him, and why exactly would talking to him make that impossible?

We talked to the Soviets….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #177419

curmudgeon-at-large,

Yeah, sounds like a guy who wants peace and really desires to talk. Either we deal with him now or we deal with hime when has nukes. It is simple as that.

Yeah, and we better hurry, because history is just FILLED with evil nations that used nukes as soon as they developed them. How many of them can YOU name?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #177420

This guy has PROMISED to use them as soon as he has them. What part of that do you not understand? Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are in danger. Not to mention passing off several suitcases for delivery into the US. Other scenarios include Paris, Berlin, and London.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #177422

“Ahmadinejad promises to sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel” Jerusalem Post 8/25/06

But he’s really just a reasonable guy….

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 3:36 PM
Comment #177424

You do realize this guy’s just a mouthpiece, and doesn’t truly run Iran.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 3:42 PM
Comment #177425

“Ahmadinejad promises to sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel” Jerusalem Post 8/25/06

But he’s really just a reasonable guy….

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 03:36 PM

Nikkolai - Where did this direct quote from Ahmadinejad originate. All I have been able to find is someones opinion that he “would” do so if he had the opportunity and the authority.

Posted by: DOC at August 25, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #177426

nikkolai,

You like to compare Ahmadinejad with Hitler… how ‘bout comparing him with Kruschev. Why was Kruschev worth talking to, when Ahmadinejad isn’t? Or do you think that Kruschev wasn’t worth talking to, either?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #177430

Rob:
“terrorism thrives in power vacuums, and we’ve created one heck of a vacuum in Iraq. If we leave now, it will only get worse.”

Rob, it’s estimated that Al Qaeda only comprises about 5% of those who are targetting our troops in Iraq, so I can’t agree that it will get worse if we leave. I think that when we leave Iraq, Al Qaeda will leave also. Just like they went there as soon as we invaded. The power vacuum I believe we’ll need to worry about is when Iraq’s civil war begins winding down. I agree with Murtha when he said we’ll need to maintain an over-the-horizon position while that war is going on, so that Iran doesn’t move in and try to take over the country.

“And the forgotten tragedy of it all is Afghanistan. We left quite a vacuum there, too, when we decided that invading Iraq was more important than rebuilding Afghanistan.”

Agree 100%.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 25, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #177431


“Our tragedy is a general and universal physical fear so long sustained by now that we can even bear it… the basest of all things is to be afraid.”
William Faulkner

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 3:57 PM
Comment #177435

Adrienne,

It’s not just about Al Queda anymore… it’s about terrorism in general.

There’s a power vacuum in southern Lebanon. Al Queda doesn’t thrive there, but Hezbollah does.

There’s a power vacuum in Palestine. Al Queda doesn’t thrive there, but Hamas does.

Al Queda was born in Saudi Arabia, but had to move to the power vacuum of Afghanistan to truly thrive.

I doubt that Al Queda will thrive in Iraq if the US leaves… but terrorists certainly WILL thrive there. Governments like Iran and Hussein’s Iraq have been more than willing to support terrorists, but they need fertile ground to grow in. These power vacuums are that fertile ground.

Bush’s policy has been about removing the supporters of terrorism… hence the invasion of Iraq. But more important is to clean up the breeding grounds — the power vacuums where ordinary people are recruited into terrorism.

I still say that, after Afghanistan, Bush should have used his “political capital” in Palestine, not Iraq….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 4:14 PM
Comment #177436

Rocky,

Thanks, but for phobiaphobic speeches, I still prefer FDR. :-)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #177440

Rob,

The difference is that FDR was trying to quell the fear, this administration is attempting to foster it.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #177443

“It’s not just about Al Queda anymore… it’s about terrorism in general.”

Rob, the way I see it, we’re being too general about terrorism. We can’t fight the entire Middle East because there are terrorist groups in every single country. We need to start focusing on homeland security and on Al Qaeda terrorists. If we don’t, we’re nothing but stupid.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 25, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #177445

“Yeah, and we better hurry, because history is just FILLED with evil nations that used nukes as soon as they developed them. How many of them can YOU name?”

United States.

You walked into that one. Probably right rob, guys who strap bombs on baby’s backs, fly planes into buildings and such would never use a nuke. That sounds like UN talking points.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 25, 2006 4:46 PM
Comment #177448

c-a-l,

“Probably right rob, guys who strap bombs on baby’s backs, fly planes into buildings and such would never use a nuke.”

And you think Iran is directly responsible for these things?

Please show us a source.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #177449

Kruchev did not belong to a 7th century death cult that regarded murder of innocents as a pathway to 72 virgins. That is why MADD actually made sense then. Now, not so much….

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 4:58 PM
Comment #177450

Rocky:
“Please show us a source.”

Yes, curmudgeon, I’d like to see that too.
Yo Rocky, regarding Iran intelligence, here is an interesting article:
Republican Chutzpah on Iran

Posted by: Adrienne at August 25, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #177452

“Talk to these people who are openly preaching genocide? No, they must be overthrown. Hopefully from within.”

Overthrown and replaced by who?
What you guys are misunderstanding is that this guy is NOT a nut. When he talks about “wiping Israel off the map”, he’s just trying to stir up his base. Right wingers ought to be very familiar with that tactic. He has no real intention or means to destroy Israel. And attack would mean Tehran would disappear the next day, and he knows that.
We need to treat him like a politician, which is what he is. He wants something in exchange for stopping nuke developement. Give him something.
PS, who gave Iran it’s nuclear technology?? (hint: one of bush’s “allys”.)

Posted by: Observer at August 25, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #177453

Go figure.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 5:11 PM
Comment #177454

curmudgeon-at-large,

You walked into that one. Probably right rob, guys who strap bombs on baby’s backs, fly planes into buildings and such would never use a nuke. That sounds like UN talking points.

You show me someone who’s guilty of all those things, and I’ll recommend we blow them up, too. But so far, as far as I know, only Al Queda has flown planes into our buildings. Let’s not confuse Iraq Iran with Al Queda.

nikkolai,

Last I checked, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) didn’t have anything to do with the Cold War. MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction), on the other hand, played a very important part.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 5:22 PM
Comment #177455

In my opinion, Iran will not stop its efforts unless the conflict in Palestine is resolved. It is clearly evident that Ahmadinejad has a lot of concern over any plight the Palestinians may encounter. If a two state solution can be worked out and Israeli settlements in the West Bank ended then I think Ahmadinejad will be much more willing to accept our demands.

nikkolai,

Well, I guess its a good thing that Ahmadinejad is not part of such a cult either.

Posted by: Warren P at August 25, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #177456

nikkolai,

“Kruchev did not belong to a 7th century death cult that regarded murder of innocents as a pathway to 72 virgins.”

I hate to bring this up, but Iran is aprox. 85% Shi’a, not Qutbism, which is what Bin Laden follows.

http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/index.htm

“Bin Laden was not inspired by Wahhabism but by the writings of the Egyptian ideologue Sayyid Qutb, who was executed by President Nasser in 1966. Almost every fundamentalist movement in Sunni Islam has been strongly influenced by Qutb, so there is a good case for calling the violence that some of his followers commit “Qutbian terrorism.” Qutb urged his followers to withdraw from the moral and spiritual barbarism of modern society and fight it to the death.”


On the Shi’a;

http://countrystudies.us/iran/55.htm

“It is also believed that by the mid-seventeenth century most people in what is now Iran had become Shias, an affiliation that has continued.”

To further the figurehead point;

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran#Executive

“Unlike many other states, the executive branch in Iran does not control the armed forces. Although the President appoints the Ministers of Intelligence and Defense, it is customary for the President to obtain explicit approval from the Supreme Leader for these two ministers before presenting them to the legislature for a vote of confidence.”

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #177459

I’m guessing this “distinguished gentelman”, who sponsors Hexbollah and stirs up unrest in Iraq, and who at least in yesterday’s Jerusalum Post threatened to “sacrifice half of Iran in order to wipe out Israel” really isn’t all that bad a guy. Sorry for the confusion on my part. I’ll just defer to the ouststanding wisdom of the leftist elite. I’m sure you guys will come up with more talk and appeasement.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #177460

Wow, nikkolai… what a wonderful way to ignore half of the conversation!

You still haven’t explained why talking and action are mutually exclusive, by the way…

But maybe I should “defer to the ouststanding wisdom” of the right-wing elite, and assume you guys know what you’re doing, even if you can’t figure out how to explain it.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 6:02 PM
Comment #177461

nikkolai,

“I’ll just defer to the ouststanding wisdom of the leftist elite. I’m sure you guys will come up with more talk and appeasement.”

Are these original talking points or is this plagiarism?

When you make statements like;

“Kruchev did not belong to a 7th century death cult that regarded murder of innocents as a pathway to 72 virgins.”

It just doesn’t look like you know what you’re talking about.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #177463

“I’ll just defer to the ouststanding wisdom of the leftist elite. I’m sure you guys will come up with more talk and appeasement. “

So, I gather you no longer want to be taken seriously on this forum?
Noted.

Posted by: Observer at August 25, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #177466

nikkolai,

BTW, it doesn’t take a liberal to recognize we talk first, go to war last.

Posted by: Rocky at August 25, 2006 6:43 PM
Comment #177467

Cliff-

I don’t think it is for us to say who is normal and who is abnormal. I just know human beings tend to be very reasonable one-on-one whereas they tend to be very rigid in the comfort of a supportive environment with the strength of numbers. And those attempting to get power usually sound more extreme, especially in tone, than those who already yield it.

Nikkolai-

I think we are now all hyper aware of your intense hatred for the Iranian president and his rhetoric. Problem is: the people of the middle east love it and it works.

I’m REALLY tiring of the Chamberlain and Hitler analogies, and yours are probably the most irresponsible I’ve seen yet…and that’s saying something. Please try to remember the truth and context behind your comparisons before you throw out extreme examples from the past and relate them to current affairs. At the very least, use them in moderation…or those times when they actually carry weight. Crying “wolf” every post will get you only so far.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 25, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #177468

Those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it i.e the Chamberlain and Hitler references. What part of the Iranian president Hitler analogies are you guys missing? Does he rally need to spell out “final solution”? My point is, talking to this guy (read talking to the mullahs, as this jackass is nothing more than a puppet) will not get you very far.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #177472

Nikkolai-

We did not declare war on Hitler, or anyone else, because of their rhetoric. And we DID try talking to Hitler, signed treaties which were broken, watched as Britain endured 6 months of hell, THEN we STILL needed Pearl Harbor to get involved. It’s called context.

Nice try though.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 25, 2006 7:17 PM
Comment #177487

“You show me someone who’s guilty of all those things, and I’ll recommend we blow them up, too. But so far, as far as I know, only Al Queda has flown planes into our buildings. Let’s not confuse Iraq Iran with Al Queda.”

Iran supplies Hezbollah, a terrorist organization. Hezbollah is composed of humanitarians, not terrorist…right? Iran is smart enough to stay in the background and allow there hired guns do their dirty work. You dems have been listening to your leaders too much. Remember their agenda is to make Reps look bad, not to tell you the truth.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 25, 2006 7:57 PM
Comment #177492

“What part of the Iranian president Hitler analogies are you guys missing? “

The part where they’re at all related.

Posted by: Observer at August 25, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #177494

“Iran supplies Hezbollah, a terrorist organization.”

How is Hezbollah a threat to the US?
What you guys don’t get is that the more brutal we are to the middle east, the less and less difference the people there see between us and the orginizations like Hezbollah.

Posted by: Observer at August 25, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #177499

curmudgeon-at-large,

Iran supplies Hezbollah, a terrorist organization.

And how many planes has Hezbollah flown into our buildings? Really, dude… I need you to support this claim of yours that Iranians “fly planes into buildings”. Show me a SINGLE shred of evidence that they have done so. Or show me a tie between the Iranian government and Al Queda. Give me something… ANYTHING… to back up the notion that you have any idea what you’re talking about.

Hezbollah is composed of humanitarians, not terrorist…right?

No… Hezbollah is a terrorist organization, which, to date, has not flown a single plane into an American building, despite your claims to the contrary.

You dems have been listening to your leaders too much.

Wrong again, Mudgy… I’m an Independent. I don’t take marching orders from any party - left, right, or otherwise.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 9:37 PM
Comment #177501

Hezbollah bombed and killed 283 marines in Beirut in 1983—I had a buddy there. They declared war on us then. This idiot president of theirs was involved in the embasy takeoverin 1979. Yes—let us keep talking, shall we?

The time for talk and half measures in over.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #177503

nikkolai,

Yes, Hezbollah’s bad news. There’s no question about that (other than curmudgeon’s belief that they fly planes into buildings…). And Iran’s bad news, too. I don’t see anybody debating that, either.

I’m not calling for “talk and half measures”. I’m calling for “talk and full measures”. And yet, you STILL haven’t addressed why you think we can only properly deal with Iran with our mouths and ears shut.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 10:22 PM
Comment #177507

nikkolai,

I just found the article you keep referring to in the Jerusalem Post. You keep (mis)quoting the following paragraph:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, if he ever became the supreme decision maker in his country, would “sacrifice half of Iran for the sake of eliminating Israel,” Giora Eiland, Israel’s former national security adviser, told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

So Ahmadinejad never claimed this… but an Israeli politician did. Yet you’ve claimed that Ahmadinejad “promised” and “threatened” to do this.

Are you intentionally trying to mislead people to support your argument, or do you just have a reading problem?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 25, 2006 10:37 PM
Comment #177522

I just truly believe the threat that fascists are to the world, and take them at their words (see your referenced quote from the esteemed leader of Iran).

Posted by: nikkolai at August 25, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #177580

nikkolai,

Once again, the quote WASN’T HIS!!!!! Your NOT taking him at his word… you’re taking him at SOMEONE ELSE’S word. What part of that don’t you understand?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 26, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #177583

nikkolai,

“This idiot president of theirs was involved in the embasy takeoverin 1979.”

You keep reminding us about history.

Do you understand why the Embassy was taken over?
Can you possibly fathom what it was like to live under the Shah and his Savak secret police?
You do understand America put the Shah in power and kept him there?

You keep calling Ahmadinejad a Fascist, do understand what that word means, or are you just repeating some pundits rant?
Do you know anything at all about the political process in Iran?
Did you even know there was a political process in Iran?

The baloney you’re slicing is getting a little thin. I would suggest you find some sources of information that don’t rely on talking points and educate yourself on the history of the Middle East.

Posted by: Rocky at August 26, 2006 10:14 AM
Comment #177585

The apparent level of ignorance displayed aobut the world outside America is frightening. People keep calling Hizbullah a terrorist organisation. That is a monumentally huge misunderstanding of its actual status in the Mid East. Now, we here in the west can fulminate all we like about “terrorist orgs, but if we fail to put these phenomena into proper context, then we make it impossible for ourselves to sensibly comes to terms with and negotiate reality.

Hizbullah is not regarded as a terrorist org by much of the population in Lebanon. They are seen as freedom fighters. Likewise in the palestinian territories and across much of the mid east region. They are not the handmaidens of Iranian or Syrian intrigue, but an indigenous Lebanese enterprise. The fact that they do not serve western interests may be discommoding for us, but maybe it’s time to ask ourselves why they act as they do, and what is it that the west has done to contribute to the creation of such organisations? Of course, that is already happening throughout the West, but it seems to happen much less so in the US, which appears to have difficulty perceiving the world outside an amero - centric paradigm. The myths that make the US a strong unified nation do not serve well in understanding the world outside the US. In blending and unifying diverse peoples through the use of these myths, it seems to me that many Americans have difficutly in seeing their country as being less than always right. Which I think is a great pity. Particulary because if it were not for this myopia, much of these myths and legends could actually be realised. Iran as a nation, in other words, as a people, are not screaming deranged psycho islamo facists. They are a warm, educated sophisticated people, many of whom want an increasing rapproachment with the outside, and particularly western world. They too are proud people, well aware of Western, particulary British and American meddling in their country to the painful detriment of many. In portraying Iran as one of the axes of evil, and making noises of sanctions and military attacks, we play right into the hands of the mullahs of Iran, driving the people back into their embrace. I wonder whose purpose this really serves? When you treat countries, just like people, with respect and equality, you tend to be treated the same in return. And the Iranians are a very hospitable and courteous people. Chill people, Ameninejad is playing to a particular constituency in Iran, but it is a declining constituency and will continue to decline if we use reason instead of hysteria and threats.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 26, 2006 11:28 AM
Comment #177605

Never once have I suggested hysteria and threats. Apply maximum economic sanctions, work with dissident groups inside Iran, promote and protect the fledgling democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Talking to the mullahs’ figurehead gives added legitimacy to this horrendous regime.

Posted by: nikkolai at August 26, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #177630

Nikkolai-

“…work with dissident groups inside Iran”

Isn’t this the very tactic that has actually created our military’s last several enemies? I can’t really think of a single instance of it ever working to our advantage…and claiming it is for the people of that nation if just loony as only they know whats best for themselves.

“…promote and protect the fledgling democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan”

At the expense of the will of the people of that nation even? We seem to only be galvanizing the perception that religion is necessary part of any arab government. I love the Bush retort to Putin’s similar cirtisism by heart: “just wait”. How long?

“Talking to the mullahs’ figurehead gives added legitimacy to this horrendous regime.”

Honestly, just like the Taiwan situation after Mao Zedong came to power, there comes a point when the whole world accepts something and you look rediculous for not recognizing it. In this case, not talking to Iran because you don’t recognize their leadership as legitimate is doing more harm to the international community’s impression of us than good. Our own allies do business with them regularly and yet your biggest fear is that we stop playing the “I don’t see you” game?

We need to get real and start picking our battles for legitimate reasons. Actions speak much louder than chants of “democracy!”

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 26, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #177676

“Iranians “fly planes into buildings”.”

Rob,

You are delusional. When did I claim Iranians fly planes into buildings? Is that the only act you are concerned with? Terrorist is a BROAD term my friend. I assure you, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, Hamas and any other radical muslim extremist organization would fly planes, trains and automobiles into buildings given the opportunity. Stop taking sides with the enemy and criticize the enemy as much as you criticize YOUR president….and yes he is your president.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 26, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #177680

“Probably right rob, guys who strap bombs on baby’s backs, fly planes into buildings and such would never use a nuke. That sounds like UN talking points.”


Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 25, 2006 04:46 PM

Posted by: Rocky at August 26, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #177682

curmudgeon,

“Stop taking sides with the enemy and criticize the enemy as much as you criticize YOUR president….and yes he is your president.”

My president listens to those that actually know what they are talking about, doesn’t surround himself with “yes” men, and admits it when he makes a mistake.
He also doesn’t stick with a losing plan, because he is on top of it. He thinks well on his feet, and he’s not insulting when speaking to the leaders of the world.

That, is my President, which one is yours?

Posted by: Rocky at August 26, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #177697

“Kruchev did not belong to a 7th century death cult that regarded murder of innocents as a pathway to 72 virgins.”

I hate to bring this up, but Iran is aprox. 85% Shi’a, not Qutbism, which is what Bin Laden follows.

Oh, well, sleep peacefully then. Only 15% of Iran thinks like Osama …. I thought there was something to worry about for a minute!

Posted by: Ken Strong at August 27, 2006 2:53 AM
Comment #177702

Ken,

You need to get a smaller brush.

Posted by: Rocky at August 27, 2006 7:32 AM
Comment #177731

I bet if bush and chenney’s daughters would have to go to war’s (frontline) they would love to talk with Iran.

Posted by: obladi at August 27, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #177760

If you have ever seen an Arabic person’s behavior in a business transaction, you’ll agree that they love to haggle. If the price is ten bucks they’ll want it for nine, etc..It is a standard practice in the mid-east (and Israel too) to haggle.
Iran wants to haggle. As they haggle they will continue to work on their nuclear programs. Personally I feel they are going to attempt to make a nuclear weapon. They are probably going to make it more out of fear than agression. Just as Russia, China, France, India, Pakistan, etc. have produced nuclear weapons, Iraq will attempt it as well. They are not idiots, fanatical yes, stupid, no. The thought that they would bring about their own extinction by nuking Issrael is madness. They do want to protect themselves in a world in which they are seeing all of the free-spirited democratic countries obtaining nuclear weapons and, being a tyranical totalitarian regime, want to protect themselves in the event the democratic nations decide to be somewhat agressive and take over their countries (see Iraq). They have oil, and lots of it, which gives them a good deal of clout with China and Russia. It is unlikely that any serious sanctions will come of this and it surprises me that we are spending so much time on the issue.
Their are far greater issues at hand for the American people, such as Iraq now producing less than half the oil they were before our invasion, on Katrina and rebuilding New Orleans, on North Korea, on our loss of privacy and the Administrations refusal to release just how many phones are being tapped into (not who..just how many wouldn’t be a state secret, but they refuse to release the information on the their standard states secrets response), the Federal Government taking over for ‘other reasons’ (that’s how it’s worded), the National Guard. I think it states for response to a National Emergency or ‘other’ resons.
We have so, so many issues that should be dealt with promptly I cannot help but see the Iran issue as simply a side-step to focus attention away from other, more important issues.
Sometimes I think we have ‘manufactured’ more terrorists in the mid-east by our presence, than would have happened without it. They don’t like us and we don’t like them. Most of them smell (sorry, but they do), and they make weird noises when they pray, etc.. But it is their right to live their lives their way. We would stand a much better chance of obtaining oil if we had just left them alone. Sudam would have eventually been overthrown or died, and a regime change would have occured anyway. If they have a religious war (which they’ve had for a thousand years or so), so be it. Look at Ireland; they’ll never be a complete truce but they have learned to live with another by dividing their country. Perhaps the solution in Iraq is to allow them to divide the country according to their religious beliefs. Granted there will be skirmises but nothing like we are seeing now. And you know what, if we mind our own business and spend that money increasing our strength and well being, we would not only get cheaper oil but America would once again be liked by at least a few of the world’s countries.

Posted by: robin szczepaniak at August 27, 2006 3:51 PM
Comment #177770

robin szczepaniak, plase don’t start quoting my country’s history, at least until you have gained a superficial knowledge of it. For your info, Ireland was divided in 1921/22, after our war of independence. And sorry, we did not have a religious war. We had a war driven by colonialism and ethnic cleansing. The only comparison is with what has happened to the Palestinian Arabs since the foundation of the state of Israel. And like Ireland, palestine will never be a peace until the last palestinian is dead or until there is justice in the occupied territories. That means no settlers in illegal occupation of the land of others. And that is also the cause of much of the anger and extremist throughout the mid east too. Settle this issue, and everything else becomes easier to settle in the region.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at August 27, 2006 5:00 PM
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