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 Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?

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PostSubject: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:09 pm

Scott Ritter, the former US weapons inspector exposes the covert beginning of the war with Iran and describes how the CIA backed opposition are already mounting attacks inside the country. This activity is being conducted with the consent of Congress who have approved funding for it. Imagine what would happen if Iran attempted to do the same thing to the US? And how come it's ok for the US to own thousands of nuclear weapons and to continue to develop them? The only country threatening to use nuclear weapons at the moment is the US itself. One wonders how great the hypocrisy of the US government has to be before people begin to notice that it is more guilty of the things it accuses others of than any other nation on earth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20377.htm
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:40 pm

Didn't I read recently that Margaret Thatcher sent troops in to Finland to create the impression that Russian incursions were taking place?

The most important thing to get into the head is that there is nothing that these people would not do.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:10 pm

Aragon wrote:
Scott Ritter, the former US weapons inspector exposes the covert beginning of the war with Iran and describes how the CIA backed opposition are already mounting attacks inside the country. This activity is being conducted with the consent of Congress who have approved funding for it. Imagine what would happen if Iran attempted to do the same thing to the US? And how come it's ok for the US to own thousands of nuclear weapons and to continue to develop them? The only country threatening to use nuclear weapons at the moment is the US itself. One wonders how great the hypocrisy of the US government has to be before people begin to notice that it is more guilty of the things it accuses others of than any other nation on earth.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20377.htm

It all depends on your definition of war I suppose. It is important that skirmishes and perhaps proxy wars are differentiated from 'war', which I would argue is far more public and comes in the form of an epidemic of violence. It is not that the former situations are not worthy of adjectives, reporting, criticism or anything else. Merely that from an historical point of view you need to differentiate different types of events. The current situation ongoing in Iran is not comparable to for instance WW2, therefore it must be distinguished. Despite the violence, we talk of the Suez 'Crisis' not the Suez War. Probably because it was rather short and limited in scope. That is not to say that it is not worthy of comment, merely that it is distinguished from other types of armed conflict.

Iran are equally funding all sorts of insurgencies in Iraq, so surely one can equally ask how is it ok that they do that? Both these countries are run by educated and intelligent people who know plenty about brokering power. I think it misguided to view the USA as some sort of superior being 'that should know better'. In fact, the prevailing view of that is somewhat prejudiced against states like Iran as it implicitly excuses their activity, perhaps under an assumption that we should not expect the same standard of behaviour as they are somehow 'lesser'.

The controlling classes of both States are educated big boys. I think it wrong to tit for tat between the two of them as if one is better or worse than the other.

I also would argue that it is Israel who is more likely to do something rash with major weapons, not the USA.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:51 pm

I can't agree with you on this johnfás. Even if you leave out all moral considerations there is International Law on all this. Last time I looked what the US is doing in sending troops in to a country and abducting people is against the law. A vague assertion that Iran is intervening in Iraq doesn't change that.

The US has absolutely no legitimate business in Iraq or Iran. Its illegitimate business of seizing natural resources, with massive loss of life, should not be tolerated by the rest of the world.

The positions of the US and Iran are clearly not equal. There is no tit for tat. On the two occasions that Iran established democracy in the last century the British and the US stepped in to crush it. The US provided arms for the invasion of Iran by Iraq. I see no signs of Iran invading the US. Portraying this as two equal "grown up" parties having a go at each other is way off the mark.


Hersh: Congress Agreed to Bush Request to Fund Major Escalation in Secret Operations Against Iran
Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran’s leadership, according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine. The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program. Hersh joins us from Washington DC.


Quote :
Congressional leaders agreed to a request from President Bush last year to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing Iran’s leadership. This according to a new article by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker magazine.

The operations were set out in a highly classified Presidential Finding signed by Bush which, by law, must be made known to Democratic and Republican House and Senate leaders and ranking members of the intelligence committees. The plan allowed up to $400 million in covert spending for activities ranging from supporting dissident groups to spying on Iran’s nuclear program.

According to Hersh, US Special Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq since last year. These have included seizing members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of so-called “high-value targets” who may be captured or killed.

While covert operations against Iran are not new, Hersh writes that the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command, have now been significantly expanded.

Seymour Hersh is a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:59 pm

There's no comparison between the position of Iran and the US in this situation. The US invaded Iraq and has been threatening Iran with similar actions - to secure oil and strategic dominance. Iran's actions are defensive while the US is the aggressor. The history of the diplomatic effort between the two countries shows the US in a disgraceful light. The US assisted a coup in 1953 which deposed the democratic and progressive government of the country (retaliation for nationalising oil - the same 'crime' Chavez has committed in Ven.); the US helped instal a vicious dictator who was feted by the US and Western elites. Now the US is threatening Iran once again, despite repeated efforts by Iran - fully documented - to cooperate with international inquiries about its nuclear ambitions. The US is straightforwardly lying through its teeth about Iran - to say nothing of its hypocrisy. It's the biggest purveyor of arms and terror the world has ever seen when you add up its history - beginning with its treatment of the native Americans, the Mexicans and so forth and the 70 odd countries during the last century alone that it has similarly sought to destabilise through bloody coups involving the deaths of millions of people. All air-brushed out of the official account of course. The US government hates Iran because it is a strong, independent and vibrant country that will not allow itself to be bullied or intimidated.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 5:02 pm

johnfás wrote:
Iran are equally funding all sorts of insurgencies in Iraq, so surely one can equally ask how is it ok that they do that? Both these countries are run by educated and intelligent people who know plenty about brokering power. I think it misguided to view the USA as some sort of superior being 'that should know better'. In fact, the prevailing view of that is somewhat prejudiced against states like Iran as it implicitly excuses their activity, perhaps under an assumption that we should not expect the same standard of behaviour as they are somehow 'lesser'.

"View the USA as some sort of superior being"? Well it's almost portrayed as such in the mainstream media, certainly in terms of the mountains of hypocrisy with respect to reportage and the manufacturing of consent. From your comments you'd almost imagine Iran was threatening economic sanctions, a bombing campaign or an invasion of the US!

And as regards "funding all sorts of insurgencies in Iraq". The US invaded Iraq causing a million plus deaths and millions of refugees and emigrants. The US is currently funding Islamic fundamentalist groups within Iran, which are engaging in terrorist activities. The portrayal within the media would suggest the very opposite is the case.

Lets not forget there's a long history of US and UK imperialism here.
In the 50s the US and the UK, removed the democratically elected Iranian nationalist Mossadegh in a coup, and installed the brutal dictator the Shah. Mossadegh was elected on a platform which would have nationalised the British Petroleum owned Iranian oil company.

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB126/index.htm

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB28/

johnfás wrote:

The controlling classes of both States are educated big boys. I think it wrong to tit for tat between the two of them as if one is better or worse than the other.

I also would argue that it is Israel who is more likely to do something rash with major weapons, not the USA.

Israel is a US client state. It receives billions in military aid from the US and is allowed to engage in activities which are then used elsewhere - such as in Iraq where similar IDF tactics are used, or in the war on terror in general.

Meanwhile the hypocrisy with respect to the NPT and those with nuclear weapons who have not signed it (such as India - Iran is a signatory) and with Israeli nuclear weapons is breathtaking.

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2008/07/29/nuking-the-treaty/

Quote :
Nor do we have to accept the fictions of our own representatives. The
Security Council’s offer to Iran claimed that resolving this enrichment
issue would help to bring about a “Middle East free of weapons of mass
destruction”(9). But like every other such document, it made no mention
of the principal owner of these weapons in the region: Israel.
According to a leaked briefing by the US Defense Intelligence Agency,
Israel possesses between 60 and 80 nuclear bombs(10). But none of the
countries demanding that Iran scraps the weapons it doesn’t yet possess
are demanding that Israel destroys the weapons it does possess.

[...]
Quote :

Now Rice insists that India should have special access to US nuclear
materials despite the fact that it has not signed the NPT and has
illegally developed nuclear weapons.
If she is successful, this effort - and the concomitant US demand
that India is recognised as an official nuclear power - will blow the
NPT to kingdom come.

http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/israel/nuke/index.html
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:44 pm

I have to agree with johnfás and say that there is a difference between all out war and proxy activities such as this. Israel and Iran have been at war for years if the Lebannon war and the situation with Hamas are anything to go by. And of course Israel is a proxy for the US so really Iran and the US have been at war for ages, if we go by that logic. Funding rebels and the like is worthy of comment and criticism but doesn't quite count as war, in my opinion You risk trivialising what war is that way.

Iran have apparantly been funding insurgents in Iraq. It would be strange if they weren't. They have been funding Hizbollah and Hamas. It is hypocritical that we condemn these actions and look the other way when the US does the same. But painting this as a black/white, goodie/baddie situation helps no one. Iranians are no angels. The country is generally classed as a dictatorship, a definition that the USA usually escapes. They have been threatening Israel and muscle-flexing.

It is generally ageed that there will be no war with Iran. The US recently sent a high ranking diplomat to negotiate with them, something they haven't done for years. Bush is a lame duck president so he's not going to let starting another war be his great legacy. Obama wants to engage with Iran, McCain was caught singing about bombing Iran but that hardly counts as a serious policy. If he does want a war he has to get it by a lot of people who are opposed.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:27 pm

905 wrote:
I have to agree with johnfás and say that there is a difference between all out war and proxy activities such as this. Israel and Iran have been at war for years if the Lebannon war and the situation with Hamas are anything to go by. And of course Israel is a proxy for the US so really Iran and the US have been at war for ages, if we go by that logic. Funding rebels and the like is worthy of comment and criticism but doesn't quite count as war, in my opinion You risk trivialising what war is that way.

Iran have apparantly been funding insurgents in Iraq. It would be strange if they weren't. They have been funding Hizbollah and Hamas. It is hypocritical that we condemn these actions and look the other way when the US does the same. But painting this as a black/white, goodie/baddie situation helps no one. Iranians are no angels. The country is generally classed as a dictatorship, a definition that the USA usually escapes. They have been threatening Israel and muscle-flexing.

It is generally ageed that there will be no war with Iran. The US recently sent a high ranking diplomat to negotiate with them, something they haven't done for years. Bush is a lame duck president so he's not going to let starting another war be his great legacy. Obama wants to engage with Iran, McCain was caught singing about bombing Iran but that hardly counts as a serious policy. If he does want a war he has to get it by a lot of people who are opposed.

So what are your answers to the points that
  • Iran's two democracies were overthrown by the UK and US for the purpose of taking Iran's oil - the present political regime in Iran is directly a result of western interference.
    The US has gone well beyond proxy action and has sent troops in to kill people
    There is no equivalence - the US is not under attack from Iran. the US has vast numbers of WMDs and have used them in the past
    I don't have evidence of Iranian government backed incursion into Iraq. Do you? I would not blame them if they were backing insurgency given that the US went in illegally and have no legitimate honest business there.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:59 pm

cactus flower wrote:

So what are your answers to the points that

  • Iran's two democracies were overthrown by the UK and US for the purpose of taking Iran's oil - the present political regime in Iran is directly a result of western interference.
    The US has gone well beyond proxy action and has sent troops in to kill people
    There is no equivalence - the US is not under attack from Iran. the US has vast numbers of WMDs and have used them in the past
    I don't have evidence of Iranian government backed incursion into Iraq. Do you? I would not blame them if they were backing insurgency given that the US went in illegally and have no legitimate honest business there.

Iran's past has little to do with it's present dictatorship and very belligerant attitude. The West has an atrocious record in Iran but we have an atrocious record in Zimbabwe too and I don't hear anyone defending Mugabe on that score. They simply cannot defend their actions on that point.

I am not aware that the American have sent in troops. Do you mean they have actually sent American soldiers to Iran?

I never said there was equivilance, I merely pointed out that Iran is not the helpless victim they are portrayed as being. Iran have used WMDs in the past. And if the allegations of Iranian-sponsored militants in Iraq are true then the Amerians are indeed under attack from Iran. I don't know if these allegations are true.

As for your last point, I would blame them for trying to de-stabilise a struggling country. I don't care what the Americans did, two wrongs don't make a right. The fact that it would be easy and tempting doesn't make it right. And the Yanks have a legitimate basis for being there now, whatever about their initial invasion: link.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:08 am

905 wrote:
cactus flower wrote:

So what are your answers to the points that

  • Iran's two democracies were overthrown by the UK and US for the purpose of taking Iran's oil - the present political regime in Iran is directly a result of western interference.
    The US has gone well beyond proxy action and has sent troops in to kill people
    There is no equivalence - the US is not under attack from Iran. the US has vast numbers of WMDs and have used them in the past
    I don't have evidence of Iranian government backed incursion into Iraq. Do you? I would not blame them if they were backing insurgency given that the US went in illegally and have no legitimate honest business there.

Quote :
Iran's past has little to do with it's present dictatorship and very belligerant attitude.

Can you be serious?

Quote :
The West has an atrocious record in Iran but we have an atrocious record in Zimbabwe too and I don't hear anyone defending Mugabe on that score. They simply cannot defend their actions on that point.

1. They have and 2. Why not?

Quote :
I am not aware that the American have sent in troops. Do you mean they have actually sent American soldiers to Iran?

You might read back over this thread.

Quote :
I never said there was equivilance, I merely pointed out that Iran is not the helpless victim they are portrayed as being.

Are they an agressor then?

Quote :
Iran have used WMDs in the past.
What and where? And who supplied them?

Quote :
And if the allegations of Iranian-sponsored militants in Iraq are true then the Amerians are indeed under attack from Iran. I don't know if these allegations are true.
If indeed. And what does "Iranian sponsored militants" mean?

Quote :
As for your last point, I would blame them for trying to de-stabilise a struggling country. I don't care what the Americans did, two wrongs don't make a right. The fact that it would be easy and tempting doesn't make it right. And the Yanks have a legitimate basis for being there now, whatever about their initial invasion: link.

The idea that the instability of Iraq is the fault of Iran is reality stood on its head. The fact that the US can produce a UN rubber stamp on the basis of lies and bullying does not make their presence in Iraq right.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:56 am

There are a few issues that need to be addressed in the above post. First, it is convenient to blame all of the world's problems on the West's aggressive history. Are we going to lay the blame of all the colonial world's problems at our door? Is it not inconceivable that some evil might have arisen independently of our old foreign policies? Why not go back further and blame Western interventionism on the Russians or the Shah's dynasty? Why not blame the British for FF's skulduggery or the IRA's bombing of innocents? Iran has a serious democratic deficiency and no amount of hand-wringing is going to change that.

Seymour Hersh has alleged that the Americans have sent in troops. I missed that earlier. I’m unaware of any independent confirmation of this though, just as I’m unaware of any independent confirmation of ‘Iranian sponsored militancy’ in Iraq (which is described well enough here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6319451.stm).

You seem to think that I suggested that Iran is to blame for the instability of Iraq. You asked if I would blame the Iranians for supporting insurgency (given the US’ action); I said I would blame them. As for UN rubber-stamping, I think the UN is probably a better judge of who should be there or not. Even if it were pushed through by the Americans, I suspect that a judgement based more on politics than on objectivity might be an accurate summary of your own judgement of the situation.

Finally, you ask when Iran used WMDs and who supplied them. A very good question, the first part anyway. I was completely wrong, Iran has never used WMDs. I thought they had during the Iran-Iraq war, I must have been thinking of some other inhuman activity they got up to. Incidentally, had they used biological or chemical weapons it is likely that they would have manufactured them themselves.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:22 am

905 wrote:
There are a few issues that need to be addressed in the above post. First, it is convenient to blame all of the world's problems on the West's aggressive history. Are we going to lay the blame of all the colonial world's problems at our door? Is it not inconceivable that some evil might have arisen independently of our old foreign policies? Why not go back further and blame Western interventionism on the Russians or the Shah's dynasty? Why not blame the British for FF's skulduggery or the IRA's bombing of innocents? Iran has a serious democratic deficiency and no amount of hand-wringing is going to change that.

905 I'm not sure what you mean. The Shah was installed by Western intervention to overthrow of a democracy. There was a Iranian constitutional democracy in the early 20th century also overthrown by outside intervention.

Quote :
Seymour Hersh has alleged that the Americans have sent in troops. I missed that earlier. I’m unaware of any independent confirmation of this though, just as I’m unaware of any independent confirmation of ‘Iranian sponsored militancy’ in Iraq (which is described well enough here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6319451.stm).

This report lists a lot more activity from the US than sending in a few troops.
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh

Quote :
You seem to think that I suggested that Iran is to blame for the instability of Iraq. You asked if I would blame the Iranians for supporting insurgency (given the US’ action); I said I would blame them. As for UN rubber-stamping, I think the UN is probably a better judge of who should be there or not. Even if it were pushed through by the Americans, I suspect that a judgement based more on politics than on objectivity might be an accurate summary of your own judgement of the situation.

I am not neutral about the invasion of Iraq and neither are you, judging from your post. I'm in favour of self-determination of nations.

Finally, you ask when Iran used WMDs and who supplied them. A very good question, the first part anyway. I was completely wrong, Iran has never used WMDs. I thought they had during the Iran-Iraq war, I must have been thinking of some other inhuman activity they got up to. Incidentally, had they used biological or chemical weapons it is likely that they would have manufactured them themselves.

What other inhuman activity? Invading someone else's country? Abduction and torture? Spending hundreds of millions on destabilising other governments? Having vast numbers of nuclear bombs?
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:37 am

Iran has a long history of shahs. And a long histiory of Russian intervention. Yet all this is ignored and the Western dimension is the only cause given for flawed politics in Iran. I can't see why they can't have had an effect too.But then, I can't see why Iran couldn't just have an authoritarian regime. Most regimes don't need a history of persecution and rape but Iran does?

The New Yorker report mentions lots of things, including Iranian activities in Iraq, but it only mentions a few troop activities, which is what we're talking about. Sponsoring insurgents doesn't count as an act of war, if it did we'd all be at war.

I don't care about whether the Americans or the Iranians are the chief villains of the piece. In another thread I was defending the Iranians. I just don't like one-sided arguments.

War is generally inhuman. It seems the Iranians used children at one stage:
Quote :
Ranging in age from only nine to more than fifty, these eager but relatively untrained soldiers swept over minefields and fortifications to clear safe paths for the tanks. In doing so, the Iranians sustained an immense number of casualties, but they enabled Iran to recover some territory before the Iraqis could repulse the bulk of the invading forces....
link - wikipedia

Funny you should mention, it seems that invading and destabilising Iraq is exactly what the Iranians had in mind when they entered Iraqi territory:
Quote :
the Iranian Chief-of-Staff Shirazi said that the war would continue "until Saddam Hussein is overthrown so that we can pray at the Shi'ite holy city of Karbala and Najaf."[citation needed] This matched a comment made by Khomeini on the issue of a truce with Iraq: "There are no conditions. The only condition is that the regime in Baghdad must fall and must be replaced by an Islamic Republic."
link - wikipedia
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:35 am

905 your normally very high standard of posting on international affairs is going sideways on this one. I'll put it down to the silly season. Iraq invaded Iran, with vastly superior weaponry supplied by the US, France etc. Iran fought a defensive war. It was a horrible war with an awful toll of deaths of young Iranian men.
Quote :
Human wave attacks were utilized by Iranians at first as a last-ditch effort to check the Iraqi assault,[

Your method on this one seems to be to say that arguments should be even -handed and therefore if the facts suggest one thing, we should ignore most of them and make some others up to balance things out.

The oil rich middle east territories have been consistently preyed on or swallowed up by every oil consuming economy around. That isn't an even handed or two way process.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 2:41 pm

Iran is being mugged before our eyes. As you say, it's not axiomatic that because the US is behaving like a thug its victims must be found to be equally culpable. Nevertheless, the US has been exploiting the willingness of Western observers to believe the exact opposite and the upshot is that it is rampaging unchecked around the world - its actions largely sanitised, excused and objectified to the point of lunacy - the targets of its aggression endlessly blamed and villified in much the same way that rape victims can be. This so-called 'balance' is in fact highly partisan and laced with double standards and hypocrisy. It's likely that any innocent victim of a mugging might be discovered to be an imperfect human being but that does not mean that their imperfections are taken into consideration when assessing the actions and guilt of their attacker. The logic of what is being said above is that Iran should like down and allow itself to be assaulted without a murmur.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:48 pm

cactus flower wrote:
905 your normally very high standard of posting on international affairs is going sideways on this one. I'll put it down to the silly season. Iraq invaded Iran, with vastly superior weaponry supplied by the US, France etc. Iran fought a defensive war. It was a horrible war with an awful toll of deaths of young Iranian men.
Quote :
Human wave attacks were utilized by Iranians at first as a last-ditch effort to check the Iraqi assault,

Now come on. The Iran-Iraq war went on for eight years, two of which involved Iraq inavding Iran and six of which involved Iran invading Iraq. The Iranians carried on for six years, ignoring any attempts at peace negotiations. I'm sure Iraq was still a valid threat and some degree of offensive was neccessary, but six years of sending young men to die in order to get Saddam is criminal in my opinion.


cactus flower wrote:
Your method on this one seems to be to say that arguments should be even -handed and therefore if the facts suggest one thing, we should ignore most of them and make some others up to balance things out.

The oil rich middle east territories have been consistently preyed on or swallowed up by every oil consuming economy around. That isn't an even handed or two way process.
My 'method' on this one is pointing out that Iran is not a helpless victim. They are an authoritarian regime. They have been threatening the US' ally Israel with war for ages now. They may have been involved in violence against Americans in Iraq. They are under investigation by the IAEA. Which of these is made up? None of this legitimises a war against them in my opinion. I want to be perfectly clear on that, I think a war would be wrong and probably disasterous. But as bad as the US' and the West's record is, that should not mean that their enemies are automatically made into martyrs and victims. Next we'll be eulogising Saddam. I think the war on Iraq was wrong and a disaster but that doesn't make Saddam any less of a murderer and a dictator.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:49 pm

Aragon wrote:
Iran is being mugged before our eyes. As you say, it's not axiomatic that because the US is behaving like a thug its victims must be found to be equally culpable. Nevertheless, the US has been exploiting the willingness of Western observers to believe the exact opposite and the upshot is that it is rampaging unchecked around the world - its actions largely sanitised, excused and objectified to the point of lunacy - the targets of its aggression endlessly blamed and villified in much the same way that rape victims can be. This so-called 'balance' is in fact highly partisan and laced with double standards and hypocrisy. It's likely that any innocent victim of a mugging might be discovered to be an imperfect human being but that does not mean that their imperfections are taken into consideration when assessing the actions and guilt of their attacker. The logic of what is being said above is that Iran should like down and allow itself to be assaulted without a murmur.
Are you comparing Iran to a rape victim?
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:59 pm

Quote :
My 'method' on this one is pointing out that Iran is not a helpless victim. They are an authoritarian regime. They have been threatening the US' ally Israel with war for ages now. They may have been involved in violence against Americans in Iraq. They are under investigation by the IAEA. Which of these is made up? None of this legitimises a war against them in my opinion. I want to be perfectly clear on that, I think a war would be wrong and probably disasterous. But as bad as the US' and the West's record is, that should not mean that their enemies are automatically made into martyrs and victims. Next we'll be eulogising Saddam. I think the war on Iraq was wrong and a disaster but that doesn't make Saddam any less of a murderer and a dictator.

I would pretty much agree with that opinion. Just because the USA are eijits doesn't mean that you have to like Iran.

Seeing as we seem to be taking things to outrageous levels here - making analogies to rape victims - who do you support, Hitler or Stalin? Perhaps it isn't quite that simple, eh? Excluding the wars, it is roughly estimated that Hitler had 11 million killed and Stalin had 20 million killed. Perhaps one could say they were both horrid?
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:39 pm

johnfás wrote:
Quote :
My 'method' on this one is pointing out that Iran is not a helpless victim. They are an authoritarian regime. They have been threatening the US' ally Israel with war for ages now. They may have been involved in violence against Americans in Iraq. They are under investigation by the IAEA. Which of these is made up? None of this legitimises a war against them in my opinion. I want to be perfectly clear on that, I think a war would be wrong and probably disasterous. But as bad as the US' and the West's record is, that should not mean that their enemies are automatically made into martyrs and victims. Next we'll be eulogising Saddam. I think the war on Iraq was wrong and a disaster but that doesn't make Saddam any less of a murderer and a dictator.

I would pretty much agree with that opinion. Just because the USA are eijits doesn't mean that you have to like Iran.

Seeing as we seem to be taking things to outrageous levels here - making analogies to rape victims - who do you support, Hitler or Stalin? Perhaps it isn't quite that simple, eh? Excluding the wars, it is roughly estimated that Hitler had 11 million killed and Stalin had 20 million killed. Perhaps one could say they were both horrid?

What has happened in Iraq is reasonably described as the genocidal rape of an entire country. The most scientific and reliable of estimates puts the number of dead at more than 1 million - three times the maximum estimated that died under Saddam. The US is now making efforts to do something similar to Iran. When it's not ourselves who are in the immediate firing line it's easier, I suppose, to put normalising labels on what the US does and to make obfuscating attempts to pretend there is an equivalence between the US and Iran in this issue. All it does is to legitimise actions that will result in other people dying in vast numbers at least in part because we politely averted our gaze while utterly failing to tell it like it is about what the US is doing. Nothing in what the Iranians have done amounts even to a tiny fraction of the viciousness of US foreign policy over the last century. Do we criticse a rape victim for attempting to fight off her attacker? Nothing in what I said above supports the equally murderous activities of either Stalin or Hitler. But let's acknowledge the similarities between those oppressive regimes and that of the current US administration which has directly introduced many identical restrictions on freedoms on exactly the same sorts of grounds as those other dictatorships did. In Iraq right now, progressive groups such as trades unionists and human rights groups are being killed in massive numbers - rounded up and torutred in prisons - just as they were in Chile, East Timor, Nicaragua - to name just three - when US-backed coups took place in those places. The president of the United States can now assume powers to himself over every aspect of US government on his own say so - in the event he deems there is sufficient threat to US 'interests' anywhere in the world - 'interests' being defined so loosely that virtually any sort of incident at all could suffice. An 'emergency government' with extraordinary powers has already been identified.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:27 pm

Both johnfas and 905 are relying on a straw dog here. So far as I can see neither Aragon nor myself or anyone else is saying the Iranian government is wonderful.

The thread topic relates to US incursions and destablisation of Iran. Are you saying that is acceptable?
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:35 pm

cactus flower wrote:

The thread topic relates to US incursions and destablisation of Iran. Are you saying that is acceptable?

I believe, in fact, that we both said such incursions were unacceptable. My initial point was really addressing the definition of war and made a passing observation that the actions of Iran, at times, are reprehensible and ought to be condemned also. They ought also, to be critically scrutinised, when examining another party's actions in such a situation. I don't believe that is relying on a straw dog at all.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:06 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Both johnfas and 905 are relying on a straw dog here. So far as I can see neither Aragon nor myself or anyone else is saying the Iranian government is wonderful.

The thread topic relates to US incursions and destablisation of Iran. Are you saying that is acceptable?
And neither I nor johnfás is saying that the Americans are wonderful. But I am getting comparisons between Iran and rape and mugging victims, and they are apparently blameless for the atrocious state of their country. Iran is on the defensive and the US is on the offensive, even while they support anti-Israeli groups such as Hamas. It all seems pretty lopsided to me.

Aragon rightly pointed out that America's adversaries shouldn’t be automatically vilified by her supporters. But surely the opposite should also apply to America's critics; they should not automatically make out her rivals to be faultless victims and overlook legitimate complaints about that country.

Whatever about johnfás, I have said that America's actions towards Iran are unacceptable. Whatever Iran’s faults, they don’t justify an invasion. That should be quite clear from the threads.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:39 pm

johnfas said
Quote :
Iran are equally funding all sorts of insurgencies in Iraq, so surely one can equally ask how is it ok that they do that?

Neither is any evidence presented that this is the case, nor is it explained why it should not be done. And no-one had said it was O.K. But this is also presenting the essentially defensive insurgencies in Iraq as equivalent to the invasion by the US.

905 wrote
Quote :
First, it is convenient to blame all of the world's problems on the West's aggressive history. Are we going to lay the blame of all the colonial world's problems at our door? Is it not inconceivable that some evil might have arisen independently of our old foreign policies? Why not go back further and blame Western interventionism on the Russians or the Shah's dynasty? Why not blame the British for FF's skulduggery or the IRA's bombing of innocents? Iran has a serious democratic deficiency and no amount of hand-wringing is going to change that.

The first part of this is meaningless hyperbole and is a straw dog. The essence of what you say is "an evil has arisen" and that Iran has "a serious democratic deficiency" - both unspecified. The Shah's dynasty being the creation of British Petroleum, not some imagined primitive and evil arabic tradition, was overlooked.

You need to understand history as a continuity of cause and effect and not just a list of facts to juggle about. The overthrow of two young democracies at the beginning and half way through the twentieth century and the installation of proxy regimes was not just the work of a couple of weekends but had a profound effect on the region for decades.

How do you think the extremely reactionary form of Islam that has emerged from the 1980s came about? It was deliberately fostered by the US to destabilise and overthrow Soviet supported governments and in my view is also the creature of the economic, social and political conditions caused by the way democratic development was repeatedly and deliberately pushed back, leaving a power vacuum and lack of local political leadership.

The US is geared up to fight "multi theatre" war for control of resources and to restrain and overthrow competitor states. As a a part of this in the middle east it has created the monster of islamic extremism and is to some extent has symbiotic relations with it - the main justification for the US remaining in Iraq is terror attacks that are deeply unpopular with much of the Iraqi resistance.

- edit - our last posts crossed, 905 -
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:33 am

cactus flower wrote:
johnfas said
Quote :
Iran are equally funding all sorts of insurgencies in Iraq, so surely one can equally ask how is it ok that they do that?

Neither is any evidence presented that this is the case, nor is it explained why it should not be done. And no-one had said it was O.K. But this is also presenting the essentially defensive insurgencies in Iraq as equivalent to the invasion by the US.

905 wrote:
First, it is convenient to blame all of the world's problems on the West's aggressive history. Are we going to lay the blame of all the colonial world's problems at our door? Is it not inconceivable that some evil might have arisen independently of our old foreign policies? Why not go back further and blame Western interventionism on the Russians or the Shah's dynasty? Why not blame the British for FF's skulduggery or the IRA's bombing of innocents? Iran has a serious democratic deficiency and no amount of hand-wringing is going to change that.

The first part of this is meaningless hyperbole and is a straw dog. The essence of what you say is "an evil has arisen" and that Iran has "a serious democratic deficiency" - both unspecified. The Shah's dynasty being the creation of British Petroleum, not some imagined primitive and evil arabic tradition, was overlooked.

You need to understand history as a continuity of cause and effect and not just a list of facts to juggle about. The overthrow of two young democracies at the beginning and half way through the twentieth century and the installation of proxy regimes was not just the work of a couple of weekends but had a profound effect on the region for decades.

How do you think the extremely reactionary form of Islam that has emerged from the 1980s came about? It was deliberately fostered by the US to destabilise and overthrow Soviet supported governments and in my view is also the creature of the economic, social and political conditions caused by the way democratic development was repeatedly and deliberately pushed back, leaving a power vacuum and lack of local political leadership.

The US is geared up to fight "multi theatre" war for control of resources and to restrain and overthrow competitor states. As a a part of this in the middle east it has created the monster of islamic extremism and is to some extent has symbiotic relations with it - the main justification for the US remaining in Iraq is terror attacks that are deeply unpopular with much of the Iraqi resistance.

In your response to johnfás' argument you say 'nor is it explained why it (supporting insurgency) should not be done'. Supporting insurgency is what we are accusing the Americans of doing, trying to destabilise a government.

The shah's dynasty was not the creation of the British; it was the creation of his father, who was shah before him. Iran has a long history of being ruled by shahs. Britain utilised an existing system for their own ends. I am perfectly aware of how the past can interfere with a country. But I am also aware that people are generally held responsible for their own actions. Germany was treated unfairly at the end of world war one but that did not excuse their actions in the second world war, though it did partially explain them. Iran has plenty of problems of its own creation, and hiding behind the past does not justify their autocracy, or their belligerence, though it helps explain them.

Reactionary Islam has had many forms, political social, intellectual and cultural. Are they all explained by American foreign policy? Politically, Islamic fundamentalism was mainly a response to corrupt governments, monarchies and the like, just as in Iran. The usual explanation given is a youth bulge across the Islamic world generally, from the seventies to today. These are some of the issues that have to be factored in.

The US is losing in Afghanistan and is stretched beyond capacity in Iraq. It’s not saying much for multi-theatre war when you can’t hold two fronts. If there ever was a master plan to invade numerous countries then I think the present situation might have fostered second thoughts.
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PostSubject: Re: Is the US already at war with Iran? / IISS: Iran will have enough Uranium for a Nuke in 2009 ?   Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:35 am

I never said, or thought, that the US strategy has any hope of working.
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