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Old 05-20-2008, 01:53 PM   #16
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Didn't the whole thing start because of well...oil? If I remember right the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (or something like that) was some sort of joint agreement between Britain and Persia (ultimately Iran) for Britain to tap into Persia/Iran's oil reserves and in exchange citizens of Iran would get certain benefits (jobs, better schools, stronger infrastructure).

Which apparently didn't really happen (I don't know, I wasn't around in the '50s). And then some secular, democratic leader was elected in Iran who listened to the cries for nationalizing this oil company, which eventually became BP.

And the British got mad and sought the US' help. But not much really happened because President Truman had a "containment" philosophy. Yet within a few months Eisenhower became President and his "interventionist" philosophy bode well for the British and reinstated the pro-Western Shah; who was essentially a puppet. Until the Iranians had enough and overthrew him in the late 70s.

Or something like that
That's right. Democracy is all well and good but in the 1950s if you made a hint towards nationalizing American assets, the CIA was all over you like skank on Paris Hilton. At least the CIA was good at something.

The only nit I would pick is with the notion that Truman was completely against intervention. He was fine with stealing Italian elections and breaking strikes in France, and oh yeah, 100,000 Americans died in Korea (a war that Eisenhower quickly ended). His foreign policy had more to do with bourbon in the morning, bourbon in the evening than it did with any coherent philosophy.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:01 PM   #17
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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Someone want to explain this?
There was a coup against the Afghani King by Afghani "communists" that preceded the Russian invasion (KGB, GRU). Of course, the mujahideen would not have been formed yet.

Please be aware that the vast, vast majority of those who made up the mujahideen still love America and wouldn't take a piss on Bid-Laden if he were on fire. The press sometimes leaves the impression that mujahideen = Al Qaeda.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:09 PM   #18
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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I really do not know very much about our history with Iran but it does not surprise me that our left leaning higher institutions of learning blame us for all the ill's in the world.
I hear you. I distinctly remember profs. telling me we started WWII by provoking Japan, the South Koreans provoked North Korea into launching a surprise attack, communism was good and we just misunderstood it. But, with regard to Iran, we did screw things up. Mossadeq (sp?) wasn't a communist and we toppled him. I wonder where Iran would be right now if it never had a Shah and the Iranian Revolution.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:10 PM   #19
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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There was a coup against the Afghani King by Afghani "communists" that preceded the Russian invasion (KGB, GRU). Of course, the mujahideen would not have been formed yet.

Please be aware that the vast, vast majority of those who made up the mujahideen still love America and wouldn't take a piss on Bid-Laden if he were on fire. The press sometimes leaves the impression that mujahideen = Al Qaeda.
Thanks...I meant does someone want to explain this to dmek
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:22 PM   #20
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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I think it's safe to say that most garden variety terrorists hate the U.S. because of its foreign policy. I think, however, that many fringe terrorists do despise the American way of life. I recently finished reading a biography of Osama and he apparently grew to despise the West after living in Beruit and seeing how discos, drugs and alcohol (all of which he attributed to the West) corrupted the Lebanese youth. Moreover, there's no question that many "Islamofascists" think democracy is heretical and immoral, as society should be governed according to religious law and by religious leaders. Many "Islamofascists" think Westerners are hedonistic, impulsive, and immoral.

I don't know why people want to lump all terrorists together. Terrorist organizations are not a monolith. Each has its own reasons for being. So, to say ALL terrorist organizations hate Americans because of U.S. foreign policy is wrong IMO.

I was watching Silence of the Lambs for the upteenth time right after 9-11 and I thought that Lecter's analysis of Buffalo Bill applied neatly to Bin Laden:

" DR. LECTER
First principles, Clarice. Simplicity.
Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each
particular thing, ask: What is it,
in itself, what is its nature...?
What does he do, this man you seek?

CLARICE
He kills w-

DR. LECTER
(sharply, as he stops)
No! That's incidental.

CLOSE ANGLE - TWO SHOT as he rises, pained by her ignorance,
and crosses to the bars.

DR. LECTER
What is the first and principal thing
he does, what need does he serve by
killing?

CLARICE
Anger, social resentment, sexual
frus-

DR. LECTER
No, he covets. That's his nature. "

Bin-laden is not infuriated by our freedom, nor does he care one bit about any Palestinians. He's envious of American power. He wants to restore the Muslim Caliphate. He wants to be Saladin. It galls him that a country like America which he views as Christian, would dominate the planet.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:58 PM   #21
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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it wasn't that long ago when we handed guns and ammunition to Al Quaeda( sp?) to try and thwart the Russian advances. these types of decisions are always short term fixes.
Not sure about that but I do know we:
Propped up Sadaam and botched the after-war in Afganistan (sounds familiar).

Man we keep screwing this stuff up and never laern a damn thing. Gotta get out of there. Just gotta.
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Old 05-20-2008, 05:01 PM   #22
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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Having historical context really helps in defeating the dumb notions of "they hate us because of our freedoms" and "Islamofascism."
I agree it isn't that simple but a good majority of them hate us because of stupid things like that. We just for some reason ignore the other good amount who hate us for probably very reasonable things. Actually I think most of us just don't know anything about that stuff. We don't teach about it.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:33 AM   #23
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Re: Perspective on Iran

the problem with overthrowing governments is that its a 100 year proposal and america typically loses interest after 5 of 6 years... that and the #1 key of successful regime change is a willing and supportive populace.

there have really only been 2 full scale successful nation building projects for america. post WWII japan (english constitution written in two weeks by generals in 45 is still used today... the only non native tongue constitution), and the philliphines right before they were given independence (we asked them to wait so infrastructure could be built first (roads, etc)).

we hit iran in the 50s, pushed aside palestine in the 40s, fought a proxy war in iraq and afganistan... and because we weren't interested in improving those countries at that time (and were only looking at our short term interests) it has bitten us in the long run.

after arming and funding afghan's to liberate themselves from the russians, we should have spent a fraction of the weapon costs to build schools and roadways, and continue to meet with their leaders to help form a unified central government (which would naturally be quite friendly for just about forever). instead we saw no point in helping them after they turned back the russians and forgot about them, and the void in power ending up hurting us (and costing much more than schools, and some instructors/engineers would have).

just one example, but prevention and long term interests have never really seemed to be very important to congress critters with short term contracts.
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Old 05-21-2008, 06:52 AM   #24
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Re: Perspective on Iran

oh yeah, and iraq is craptastic now since we made a bunch of errors (which were well known BEFORE they happened, but were ignored).

1. no contingency planning (shit, that's basically all war is)... well, actually there was contingency planning, and an awful lot of it too. rumsfeld just decided he was smarter than the entirety of the us military and didn't need to listen to any of it. i mean, who needs common sense when you alone, by sheer force of will, can demand an entire country of millions to greet a foreign army as liberators? oh, right.

2. relied on bad intelligence without proper fact checking (discounting the WMD thing completely), and they picked a poor initial leader candidate who was a complete liar.

3. disbanding the army and the entire government structure overnight and basically blacklisting all former employers who actually knew how to run the country. you can go back 3000 years and find people who had already figured out this was a bad idea... the best conquerers in the world (caeser, alexander the great, xerxes, saladin) all knew that keeping the local governors and army was important. ensuring employment and stability saves a lot of problems, and it's easier to integrate non ba'athist into an existing army etc than it is to create an army from scratch with no leadership experience (and it'll take 20 years before that army is worth anything - you can't teach experience in a classroom).

4. not the greatest effort in government formation after the mistakes above. honestly sadr looks like the best choice due to his street cred and ability to self organize and enforce his own policies among his followers. he's also willing to drop guns for politics, is very wary of iran and even though he's not a big fan of america, it's probably better in the long term for us (makes him more electable, and then he can warm up later as the country gets put back in better shape). of course, skipping out of the first elections was a huge mistake for him. you can't know what the end results would be though, and there are valid reasons to go in a different direction, but it never needed to get this bad in the first place.


not that it matter's at this point.
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Old 05-21-2008, 08:56 AM   #25
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Re: Perspective on Iran

Who says building Iraq into a "proper nation" was high on our list after we eliminated them as a threat to their Middle Eastern neighbors and to a lesser extent Europe? They are no longer a threat to anyone, nor will they have the capability to be a threat to anyone, except themselves, for a very long time. The basic intent of the mission was accomplished. Iraq/Saddam will not be bothering anyone for quite some time.
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Old 05-21-2008, 11:53 AM   #26
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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Who says building Iraq into a "proper nation" was high on our list after we eliminated them as a threat to their Middle Eastern neighbors and to a lesser extent Europe? They are no longer a threat to anyone, nor will they have the capability to be a threat to anyone, except themselves, for a very long time. The basic intent of the mission was accomplished. Iraq/Saddam will not be bothering anyone for quite some time.
As long as you don't consider a failed state a threat to anyone. Your analysis is especially myopic and ahistorical. It assumes that only proper 'nations' can pose threats on the world stage. All you have to do is take a look at Afghanistan to realize that strong nation-states are far from the only sort that can pose a viable threat, particularly at a time when multi-national terrorist groups have seemly surpassed (or are at least on par with) nation-states as far as threats are concerned. Moreover, not even the Bush administration would have said that the 'mission' was to merely oust Saddam and leave Iraq crippled (and ripe for domination by Iran - oops). I'm shocked, frankly, that anyone would express such a view.

I also suspect that there are many families in the U.S. whose sons and daughters and been wounded and killed in Iraq that would disagree with you that the country does not pose a threat to "anyone other than themselves" (assuming we could dismiss sectarian violence and civil war as just some collateral damage).
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Old 05-21-2008, 01:04 PM   #27
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Re: Perspective on Iran

How is saying Iraq won't be a threat (invading Kuwait, launching Scuds at Israel, sending hundreds of thousands of troops against Iran, etc) considered myopic?

If I were to ask you to pick a fight with some terrorist group in Afghanistan or China you would actually consider China because terrorists groups pose the same threat to the sovereignty of our nation?

My original post wasn't meant to be offensive, nor lacking any empathy for our soldiers and their families that have thus far sacrificed themselves for a chance to do something great. If you're offended then I apologize.
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Old 05-21-2008, 02:22 PM   #28
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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No. Just let him rant mindlessly. Why study history and get your facts straight? It only inhibits your ability to employ demagougery and hyperbole.

It's appeasement dammit.
haha it all comes back to appeasement.
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Old 05-21-2008, 03:24 PM   #29
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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Who says building Iraq into a "proper nation" was high on our list after we eliminated them as a threat to their Middle Eastern neighbors and to a lesser extent Europe? They are no longer a threat to anyone, nor will they have the capability to be a threat to anyone, except themselves, for a very long time. The basic intent of the mission was accomplished. Iraq/Saddam will not be bothering anyone for quite some time.
GWB certainly envisioned Iraq becoming a beacon on a hill. Our short-term objective was to get rid of Saddam, but our ultimate goal was to create a stable quasi-democracy in the heart of the Middle East. We accomplished the former objective, but that will be pretty meaningless if Iraq becomes a rogue nation run by nutjobs even wackier than Saddam.
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Old 05-21-2008, 04:21 PM   #30
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Re: Perspective on Iran

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Who says building Iraq into a "proper nation" was high on our list after we eliminated them as a threat to their Middle Eastern neighbors and to a lesser extent Europe? They are no longer a threat to anyone, nor will they have the capability to be a threat to anyone, except themselves, for a very long time. The basic intent of the mission was accomplished. Iraq/Saddam will not be bothering anyone for quite some time.
Make no mistake. Despite what the administartion wanted everyone to believe the goal of the Iraq war was to remove Sadaam not because he was any type of real threat but more because we could then build a democracy from which peace could bloom. We have just done an exceptionally bad job at it. Creating stability in Iraq was supposed to allow it to spread through the middle east.
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