Iran

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A Poem

This is by the Persian poet Sa’adi (1210 – 1290)

‘Human Beings are Members of a Whole’

Human beings are members of a whole,

In creation of one essence and soul.

If one member is afflicted with pain,

Other members uneasy will remain.

If you have no sympathy for human pain,

The name of human you cannot retain.

It graces the entrance of the Hall of Nations of the United Nations building in New York City. I copied it from Juan Cole this morning. And he copied it from a statement on Iran by engaged scholars. Well worth a read or at least a scan. There are forty signatures.

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Oh boy, some more wonky boring stuff out of SeevsPlace. ha ha Well, what the hell, I think I’ll make a post on this anyways. I just got through listening to what I thought was a very interesting and truthful, as against the bullshitty “truthiness” that we usually get on our media here in the good old USofA, discussion by two knowledgeable persons, as against bullshit artist, mainly Republican, politicians and gutless media persons! It’s refreshing to hear people give facts and opinions uncolored by the usual, oh boy we may have to bomb Iran they’re bad guys we’re good guys better vote Republican things are either black or white and they’re black in Iran so we better bomb ’em right away, vote McCain! ha ha?

Gary Sick (unfortunate name?) of Columbia University is one of the most reasonable and knowledgeable foreign policy experts around, a great personage who has written many books (none of which I’ve read) and the other guy is John Hostettler, a former Republican congressman who was against the Iraq war. So, this isn’t a case of the usual on-the-one-hand on-the-other-hand type discussion, typical of our gutless, corporation controlled media unwilling to point out what’s reasonable and what isn’t. Anyway, this video is a real good discussion of where we are, where the world is, in terms of us, the US, and Iran. The interviewer is a reasonable guy by the name of Riz Khan, not your typical smarmy Tom Brokaw type, which is refreshing in itself! Hey, if you’ve got over 12 minutes, but less than 13, to waste, take a look at this thing. 😀

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEZbbGm1Xak[/youtube]

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Ron Paul talks sense on Iran. As Juan Cole points out, Paul argues that speculation about a US or Israeli strike on Iran is driving some of the increase in oil prices. Also, it appears that the OPEC president agrees.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7354M1QmGYQ[/youtube]
Not only is such speculation causing a rise in oil prices, but as he further rightly points out, the need for a US or Israeli strike on Iran does not exist! Iran is not at all on the verge of making nuclear weapons. Listen to what he says. The truth of it has been well established for some time. We are being led over a cliff by raving neocon lunatics in the both US and Israel! And if not lunatics, brain washed timid people. I is pissed!

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6GBdyws5YU[/youtube]
Running dogs by any other name remain the same, according to John McCain.
That’s insane, Mr. McCain!
If you can’t tell an al Qaeda, from a Shi’ite, from a Sunni, you might as well be a dog catcher in the great state of Maine.
Oh, in your case, in a small town in Arizona.

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One Is Enough

TrueMajorityAction has a neat video with stirring power-music worth a look/listen. By going to their site you get a chance to send a message to your Senator to support S. Res. 356, which would require that any military action against Iran be explicitly approved by Congress.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1Mflm6rgOY[/youtube]

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How about them speedboats? Sure, how about them? They tried to blow up our ships in the Persian Gulf — NOT! Looks like this is another Bush fantasy in his hoped for war with Iran.

Take a look at US Video of Iran Speedboats Flawed this morning from Juan Cole, and also see Iran Gunboats from Think Progress.

Was this timed to give McCain a boost in New Hampshire?

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The Real Iran

Here is an interview done by Maziar Bahari of Newsweek with Sadegh Kharazi, Iran’s former ambassador to France. This interview was pasted into the INFORMED COMMENT: GLOBAL AFFAIRS blog by Farideh Farhi. Here’s a couple paragraphs from Farhi’s introduction to the interview:

I think the interview is a good window in understanding how Iranian officials (or at least a good number of them) have come to view the way the United States in general, and the Bush Administration in particular, has approached Iran and the problems associated with that approach. Kharazi is related by marriage to Ayatollah Khamenei but also has close ties to former president Khatami. In the Iranian press, as he does here, he has expressed his misgivings about Ahmadinejad’s foreign policy (he was one of the first ambassadors to be removed from his job once Ahmadinejad became president).

But here he explains why U.S. policies have directly contributed to the rise of Ahmadinejad’s government and his policies. He further lays out why the current U.S. policy of trying to create divisions among various Iranian factions will not work. Finally, he talks about the shared interests Iran and U.S. have in the region and gives as clear a hint as I have seen anywhere about who the United States should talk to if indeed it is interested in resolving the issues it has with Iran diplomatically.

The interview is very interesting, not long, and well worth a read.

The Fear Card

Frank Rich today in the NYT online has a good analysis of the Republican presidential campaign strategy. Here’s the key paragraph:

Yet there is nonetheless a method to all the mad threats of war coming out of the White House. While the saber-rattling is reckless as foreign policy, it’s a proven winner as election-year Republican campaign strategy. The real point may be less to intimidate Iranians than to frighten Americans. Fear, the only remaining card this administration still knows how to play, may once more give a seemingly spent G.O.P. a crack at the White House in 2008.

And their fear card may already be paying off:

There are signs that the steady invocation of new mushroom clouds is already having an impact as it did in 2002 and 2003. A Zogby poll last month found that a majority of Americans (52 percent) now supports a pre-emptive strike on Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Stopping Madness?

Probably not possible to stop the madness in this country. But somehow it does have to be stopped.

Get this: IRAN IS Not A Threat but Cheney, Republican Senators (most), FOX News, and Republican Presidential Candidates ARE THREATS. The so-called facts they parrot in this video are false, false, false, and will lead to world disaster:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfPjDT-spIs[/youtube]

Sorry for more unhappy war stuff on this blog, but it’s necessary. We are being pushed around by fools and warmongers, with emphasis on the latter, as can be seen in the above video. The fools scoffed at the truth spoken by ELBaradei, head of the U.N. atomic watchdog agency, before, in the case of Iraq, and the same fools are scoffing at him now in the case of Iran.

Take a look at ELBaradei’s report on Iran: ElBaradei: There is Time to Solve Iranian Nuke Crisis.

And here’s Scott Ritter, another guy who’s been scoffed at by the fools and warmongers, with emphasis on the latter, but has been proven right over and over again:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XctgkYj5aVk[/youtube]

So, is it possible to stop the madness?

Scott Horton has a great blog which back in April I posted about in another context. What caught my attention this morning is his post entitled The Roll-Out Presses On. This is analysis of Dick Cheney’s speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Here’s a key paragraph:

Is Cheney threatening war against Iran? Yes, that’s exactly what he is doing. As Greg Djerejian reminds us, in the lead-up to the war against Iraq, Cheney gave a number of speeches making clear the intention to resort to arms against Saddam Hussein. And he used exactly the same language, including specifically the key phrase “serious consequences.” And note the focus on the Quds unit of the Revolutionary Guard. This is an exercise in target-practicing. As several sources have noted, Cheney has advocated targeting the Quds unit in the first bombing raids. He and his chief of staff David Addington have also advocated putting the Quds unit on the scheduled list of terrorist organizations, presumably for prior Congressional authorizations for the use of military force canbe drawn upon to justify the attack without the need to go back to Congress.

Leading up to a quote from the oh-so-charming William Kristol, Scott writes:

The first fifteen minutes of Cheney’s Iran speech started with a discussion of Iraq, and made the case that the foe Americans were facing in Iraq was already Iran. This contention is nonsense, of course, a pure fable cooked up to push the war cause. The claim that Iranian explosives are being used by insurgents in Iraq is certainly true. But it has to be considered alongside the fact that the insurgents are fueled much more heavily by weapons and money out of Saudi Arabia, a fact that Cheney would rather not mention.

So, here’s William Kristol on Fox News:

We’re winning in Iraq. That is the absolute crucial precondition to having success in the broader fight against Islamic jihadism. … And I think we are going to have to be serious about dealing with both their intervention in Iraq — which is now the only real threat, I think, incidentally, to relative success in Iraq — and their nuclear program.

Here’s Scott’s concluding paragraph:

Got it? We would win in Iraq, but for the Iranians. Therefore the way to insure victory in Iraq is to wage war on Iran. Who could challenge that logic? And, of course, on Fox News, no one does.

I’ll conclude this post with a quote from the conservative, mainstream intellectual and Newsweek editor, Fareed Zakaria, which I got from Barnett Rubin via Juan Cole:

Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?

Yes, What planet ARE we on?

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