Monday, January 29, 2007

He Will Always Be Cat Stevens To Me

Here’s a little slide show of candid pictures taken in Iran.  While Fox News is busy portraying Iran as a terrorist state, filled with a bunch of crazy, fundamentalist Muslims, it’s important that those false images are countered by at least a small dose of reality.  We have destroyed one country already and it has made the world less stable, but we haven’t seen anything like the backlash that will occur if we make the same mistake with Iran.


Anonymous david said...

The revealing thing about the lies coming from the White House is that the new Iraqi government wants to have closer ties with Iran. That many of those Iranians attacked in Iraq in the past few weeks were there at the invitation of the Iraqi government.

So, what exactly did Bush mean by "regime change"? (Which is, BTW, an illegal reason for going to war under international law.) Perhaps he meant he would change the government as often as one might a baby's diaper.

This sure echoes Vietnam where the USA had no problem eliminating government figures they didn't like even when pleading that they wanted the South to take over the "good fight".

Myth: Ahmadinejad is not an absolute dictator. He's just very vocal. And his stupid outbursts are no more shocking than those made by some Americans.

Myth: Iran is at war with the USA. This is not true. Except among sour neo-cons who long for the Days of McCarthyism. The real cause for unrest is the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Myth: Iran has no business in Iraq. Excuse me? What business does the USA have in Iraq? Iran & Iraq not only share a long border, but also language, religion and culture. Millions of Iraqis are interrelated to Iranians.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous diane said...

you forgot about Afganistan.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Afghanistan is the forgotten country. The Taleban are making a vigorous comeback and the NATO assessment of the conflict isn't good.

By pulling out the tactical and intelligence teams and redeploying them to Iraq nearly 4 years ago, Bush guaranteed eventual defeat.

Again, we see the bizarre consequences of Disaster Capitalism. Opium has become the cash crop again. I'm not sure why the Americans spend there time destroying the crops when they could simply buy them up. Isn't that what they do when they subsidize American farmers?

And Karzai really is a puppet. Why doesn't the State Department let these people pick a genuinely popular and charismatic leader instead of some CIA asset. Karzai's influence doesn't extend further than the city limits of Kabul.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy said...

I just want all this crap to end. Besides, I want to snowboard in Iran. That would be an amazing journey.

6:38 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

We could not be farther apart in our opinions on the people who govern Iran.
Why do you not believe it when people say they want to kill you? Why do you not believe it when the leader of Iran says he wants to wipe Israel off the face of the earth?
Does America have any enemies in your collective opinion? Name them,please.
OR are all other countries simply misunderstood by us?
David, is it so hard to believe that governments can be evil and the people be good?
Please identify the enemies of America by name or by country, thank you.

3:47 AM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear me! kindlingman, you seem so rooted in a Cold War/Holy War mentality that you can't accept that there is no Enemy or Anti-Christ.

Can governments be evil and their people good? Of course. You've just described the USA. The America of the last 50 years has used Might to defend its economic interests and ignored the Rights of others. It is America that gave the UN its bad rap.

Let's get real. Iran is NOT a direct and immediate threat to the USA. If the people of Iraq were asked who they'd rather have occupying their country, guess who'd win? Not America. Remember those borders were drawn up by Britain and France 85 years ago and everything south-east of Baghdad is more like Iran than Saudi Arabia.

Ahmadinejad is, as is Bush, down in the polls. His rabble-rousing comments on Israel are no different that idiot Bush's "Bring em on", "They can run but they can't hide", and "Agressive interrogation".

Ignorance does not excuse Americans from their crimes against humanity. There were no WMD in Iraq and there were good reasons to think that was so. Due process was not observed. Regime Change was always the illegitimate reason for this invasion. And that is the same case with Iran.

If you believe Iran is your enemy, know them. Don't accept the mindless racist comments of Bush, Cheney, Rice, Snow, and others. They have lied to you before and they're lying to you now. Check out: Guardian UK: Iran Reports and BBC's Inside Iran. Unlike Bush, Ahmadinejad is not The Decider; Iran has a far more complex command structure than that.

But America has to get over this simplistic Good Guys vs. Bad Guys mindset. It was used against King George III, against the Red Indians, against the Spanish, the Mexicans, the Filipinos, the Japanese, the Koreans, the Chinese, the Muslims, and so on. It's the quick an easy way that Wall Street gets taxpayers to subsidize expanding markets.

6:54 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Ok, david , I will read these but I am amazed that you don't think America has enemies.
My colleague at work yesterday said that "America has lost its ability to determine what is moral." I disagreed with him and said that the current leaders of America do not know right from wrong but that this was not prevalent throughout America.
Afer reading so many of the left wing bloggers who do not know right from wrong, I am beginning to think he may have a point.
The problem with the Left is that they think there are no enemies; and the problem with the Right is that they think everyone is an enemy.
Perhaps the problem is that neither side understands what an enemy is. Let's use the acronym F.O.E.: Friends, Opponents, and Enemies. I assume that everyone knows that Friends are ones who wish you no harm; Opponents are those who are competing for the same things you are; and Enemies are those who wish you harm and are actively doing so (regardless of the reasons).
The definition reflects how they act towards you.
You may choose to treat any (or all) of the same groups as friends, opponents, or enemies. They may be your friend... but you treat them as an enemy. They may be your enemy...but you treat them as friend.
Iraq was an opponent that was competing for control over the Mideast, we treated them like an enemy.
Iran is an enemy; it is actively trying to harm America and America's friends. The battle has been low intensity conflict but make no mistake that Iran is an enemy.
I will go read the articles now. I enjoy reading your positions. If you find something in America's foreign policy that you like, let me know.

6:33 PM  
Anonymous david said...

I am disturbed by the thought that only kindlingman knows right from wrong. The idea that liberals are amoral and conservatives are over-righteous is such a stereotype.

The idea that Iran is America's enemy is laughable. America is Iran's enemy. It was America that overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and installed the Shah. And, as for being an influence in the Middle East, Iran is in the Middle East; America is NOT.

I'm sorry, America really has to repudiate the Monroe Doctrine before I begin to respect its foreign policy. And one needs to assess real threats from economic competitors.

I am not naive. Nor am I amoral. I am a strong supporter of human rights, fair trade, and international law. I strongly support diplomatic and economic pressure to bring offending nations into line. But I am not blind to the fact that the USA is one of the most offending countries and is a law unto itself.

America has adopted Lynching Laws in foreign affairs. It no longer wants to hear the other side or observe due process. And it also hides its own vested interests in conflicts around the world. Just remember that America took the war to Iran and Iraq, they did not take it to America. That was Osama, and he is still at large.

5:29 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

So what was it when the Ayatollah of Iran approved the bombing of Khobar Towers? Not an act of war? Harrumph.
Providing support to the Iraqi insurgency, or whatever we call it today, is not an act of war?
david, we have been at war with Iran for many years.

I am having trouble understanding how one can say that a country is not our enemy because we treated them badly 50 years ago. It is precisely the foreign policy of the US that has made Iran our enemy and you deny this? OR do you mean to say that we should excuse all Iranian attacks against the US because we were the first offender? Please clarify.
I fully accept the fact that the US has made Iran its enemy. I do not support the foreign policy that did this, but I certainly recognize that Iran is an enemy of the United States and we are doing nothing to change that. In fact we are driving them into overt displays of their hatred for us. To deny this is absurd. To deny that Iran is an enemy is also absurd.
Perhaps we should just feel extremely guilty over bad foreign policy and close our eyes and say,
"You know, we feel so bad about what we did that we refuse to see that you are trying to kill us for it. So we declare you the unenemy. There, all better, isn't it?"

What person could accept such logic?

Iran is an enemy of the United States, they treat us that way. We are an enemy of Iran, and we treat them that way. What is so hard to understand?

The Monroe Doctrine? Wow! We love to talk about it and we invoke it whenever we find it convenient. But the facts are that the US has permitted communism and socialism all over the Americas for 50 years. We only use it to justify protecting the interests of US businesses. If we are enforcing it, you cannot prove it. Go look at the Falklands War and see who we supported. Not Argentina.
The US lost the Cuban missile crisis; we have allowed Cuba to remain a satellite of the Soviet Union for decades. Monroe Doctrine? Hardly a tool of the State Department. We just bring this old moth eaten suit out from time to time and remember when the world was in a different place and time. It is a good PR thing when we beat the drums of war.

I reiterate that America has lost moral discernment. I do not boast that only I have it. I only point out that our leaders do not have it. And they are supposed to.
Iraq is a good example of impaired moral discernment. The US should not have attacked it. It was immoral to do so. And now that we spilt the milk, we want to leave the house instead of cleaning the mess up. Impaired moral discernment. We cannot tell right from wrong as a nation. Like a drunken sailor, we stagger from one side of the street to the other.
Your last paragraph is precisely what I mean. You and I see the same problems with America.

We have work to do to increase the nobility of mankind. We should be about this business.

6:24 PM  
Anonymous david said...

"We have work to do to increase the nobility of mankind. We should be about this business."

Ah, the White Man's Burden.

Strange that Iran is blamed for the Khobar Towers bombing when there are often stories that Osama bin Laden ordered it. And the bombings were carried out by Saudis on Saudi soil.

The attacks of September 11 were also carried out by Saudis and financed by Saudis, but nobody in America wanted to point the finger at Saudi Arabia.

The 9/11 Commission noted that Osama bin Laden was seen being congratulated on the day of the Khobar Tower attacks.

Just as Bush desperately wanted to pin 9/11 on Iraq, there are many who want to pin every other terrorist attack on Iran. What no one wants to mention is the pact with the Devil made with the House of Saud and Wahabbi movement.

(And I won't comment on the quaint notion that America allows countries to go communist. May I recommed Gore Vidal's last few books.)

8:00 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

"He ain't heavy, he's my brother."

4:10 AM  
Anonymous david said...

kindlingman, I don't get your logic: America made Iran it's enemy, but to try to make peace would only embolden them to seek revenge, even though they've never actually attacked American soil. Is that it? And the attacks you mentioned all involved America troops occupying Muslim soil.

You really don't seem to have a good answer except, "Bomb them into the Stone Age." It's a quaint philosophy, but one that negates your hot air about "the nobility of man".

America is NOT at war with Iran. And if Bush does attack Iran --and BTW there have been enough leaks to let us know that is what he intends-- you will know what war is really like: $200/barrel oil, economic chaos, and American casualties in the tens of thousands.

And if your brother ain't heavy, why won't you let him claim refugee status?

3:40 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

david, let's move on to other issues now. The quality of our replies is decreasing which is a good indication that both of us have made our points as best we can.
I respect your views and I look forward to engaging you on other topics.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous david said...

Dear kindlingman, I appreciate your attempt at peacemaking. Too bad you don't think America should try the same with Iran.

The arguments being pushed for war with Iran are no different than the false reasons for invading Iraq or even the bogus Gulf of Tonkin incident that escalated the war in Vietnam.

Consider the absurdity that a majority of the Iraqi government actually want closer ties with Iran. If Iranians are helping the insurgency, it's at Iraqi Shi'ite invitation.

Remember: Self-defence won't cut it as a reason for attacking Iran. America is an occupying force, many of the Iranians arrested, tortured, and killed in Iraq were there at the request of Iraqi officials. Ignoring this just makes it more obvious that Iraq is a sham democracy.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

I apologize for being unclear. I did not mean to suggest that the US should not make peace. I fully support peace with every country.

My point was that Iran is an enemy and we should recognize that reality. America may choose to make them a friend but it is not currently engaged in that action. America treats them as an enemy and, based upon the Bush Doctrine , it will continue to do so. Iran treats us as an enemy and will continue to do so until there is a change that drives them to become friends.

4:50 AM  

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