What it means to be the good guys

January 12th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

ABC reports:

For the second time in as many weeks, the U.S. military has rescued distressed Iranian sailors, despite the extremely high tensions between the two nations.

According to the Navy’s account, at about 3 a.m. local time an American Coast Guard patrol boat in the north Persian Gulf was hailed by flares and flashlights from an Iranian cargo ship whose engine room was flooding. Six Iranians were rescued from the ship, fed halal meals in accordance with Islamic law, and later taken to shore.

I suspect if the situation was reverse the rescued sailors would be accused of being spies, put in jail, given a mock trial, and sentenced to die.

Last week, the U.S. Navy rescued more than a dozen Iranian sailors who had been held hostage by pirates in the Arabian Sea for weeks. American sailors on a “visit, board, search and seizure team” were able to free the sailors and take 15 suspected pirates into custody without incident on Jan. 5, the Navy said.

Not bad for the Great Satan.

Both rescues come in the midst of an especially tense time between the U.S. and . Most recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed Monday has been enriching uranium in a highly-protected underground bunker as part of the nation’s nuclear program — a move the U.S. State Department said was a “further escalation of their ongoing violations with regard to their nuclear obligations.”

Over the weekend, an Iranian court handed down a death sentence to an American former Marine accused of spying for the CIA in Tehran. Both the U.S. government and the 28-year-old’s family have repeatedly called the Iranian allegations “fabrications.”

One day Iran will be free.

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119 Responses to “What it means to be the good guys”

  1. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    “I suspect if the situation was reverse the rescued sailors would be accused of being spies, put in jail, given a mock trial, and sentenced to die.”

    It could be argued the Iranian regime is justifiably paranoid as the most recent assassination of one of its nuclear scientists demonstrates.

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  2. wilhelmus7 (10 comments) says:

    Guantanamo Bay

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  3. niggly (830 comments) says:

    “It could be argued the Iranian regime is justifiably paranoid … “.

    Usually illegitimate totalitarian regimes tend to be paranoid. Why is that? ;-)

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  4. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Well, David Farrar certainly endorses this piece of propaganda.

    Proof that it is propaganda: Without the political context, it is not internationally newsworthy.

    On the other hand, the assassination of Iranian scientists being openly endorsed by the POTUS candidate Rick Santorum, one of the supposed good guys IS newsworthy. David must have overlooked that one.

    Funny how selective some people’s view of the “lame stream media” is.

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  5. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    Here we go again: Scott Chris, hater of the Great Satan, the United States, enlightening us on bias and civility.

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  6. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    “One day Iran will be free.”

    Which is a weird code for, “One day Iran will returned to its status as a US client regime and the distribution of its resources will be controlled by western corporations.”

    Iranian intransigence is in direct proportion to the very real threats it faces from a violent imperial regime which has already invaded two of its neighbours and slaughtered hundreds of thousands. If Iran had invaded Mexico and Canada and slaughtered hundreds of thousands there I am sure the US would be in paranoia overdrive.

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  7. anonymouse (715 comments) says:

    And on the other hand

    http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/us-marines-urinate-on-corpses-video-claim/story-e6frfkp9-1226242360095

    In the video, four men in Marine uniforms and combat gear are shown exposing their genitals and urinating on three dead bodies. One of the deceased has large blood stain on his chest.

    The person who posted the video included a description that reads “scout sniper team 4 with 3rd battalion 2nd marines out of camp lejeune peeing on dead Talibans.”

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  8. simonway (387 comments) says:

    One day Iran will be free.

    It was for a while, back in the day. Then someone got in it in his head to nationalise the oil, and the UK and US decided that they weren’t all that keen on freedom.

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  9. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    I suspect if the situation were reversed the Iranian navy would shoot down peaceful airliners packed with civilians flying over the gulf. Oh, hang on ….

    Geez, dpf. Dial it back 10% would you?

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  10. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Yoza,

    Hmm, so Iran, which is happy to fund, train and supply the Taliban and the mostly foreign national insurgents operating in Iraq, as well as supply Hizbollah and Hamas with all sorts of weaponry, and is rightly paranoid about the assassination of a scientist? 

     Eh?

    So it is ok when Iran or its clients engage in covert or overt military operations against civilians but not when someone else does the same against government scientists?

    Iranian intransigence is in direct proportion to the very real threats it faces from a violent imperial regime which has already invaded two of its neighbours and slaughtered hundreds of thousands.

    So are you saying that Iran is under threat of US invasion?  And tell me this:  How many more Iraqis would be alive today if Iran had not sponsored, trained and supplied the insurgents operating in Iraq?  After all,  the US did not kidnap people and behead them for opposing their point of view…

    The US is to be commended for its operations as described above.  It shows the very real difference between the authoritarian Islamist regime of Iran and the free United States.

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  11. Andrei (2,651 comments) says:

    The USA used to be the greatest country in the world – now little old ladies in wheelchairs cannot even get on a plane without Government apparatchiks going through their underpants.

    And the Americans for some reason have been so subdued that they stand for this.

    And when a once great people become as placid as sheep the wolves will eat them

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  12. lilman (959 comments) says:

    Well it seems we have many differing opinions as to who really is the good guys?
    Me ,I believe that the horse is 7/8ths out of the stall and about to bolt.
    If the US or the Jewish state dont take action before the nuclear goal has been obtained then I think that this is the first step to a nuclear conflict to come in the mid term.
    The Iranian people are, I am sure, very amicable and friendly,but the arsehole and his mates running the show are completely fucken NUTS.
    Do it now or later ,it will happen eventually.

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  13. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “Hmm, so Iran, which is happy to fund, train and supply the Taliban and the mostly foreign national insurgents operating in Iraq, as well as supply Hizbollah and Hamas with all sorts of weaponry…”

    I’d have thought that as a defense lawyer you would require a higher level of proof than information supplied by an interested party to convince you of Iran’s culpability in supplying arms to terrorists.

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  14. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    I do not hold high hopes for Iran being free. I suppose anything can happen “one day” but its government is a reflection of the backward ideals of its people who suffer under their own religious delusions and social customs. They are savages who tolerate the execution of people for no other reason than the fact that they are homosexual. This is not an indication that their society has been temporarily hijacked by extreme forces, it is a reflection of the fact that too many Iranians are stupid and embrace a primitive culture.

    The west should not lose sight of the fact that we embrace a superior culture. That our ideals of tolerance and freedom are better than theirs. That we can be trusted with nuclear weapons and they cannot.

    Edit: Actually on second thoughts… considering the selection of GOP candidates it is clear that we can’t be trusted with nuclear weapons either.

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  15. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    lilman says:- “but the arsehole and his mates running the show are completely fucken NUTS.”

    So you’ve been led to believe. Just as Iranians think the West’s leaders are all nuts as they’ve been led to believe.

    Fact is, Iran isn’t stupid enough to initiate a war through which it will be totally obliterated. It’s crazy to think they would.

    All this talk of the 12th Imam is as barmy as predictions of the coming of an antichrist. Usually propagated by believers of the latter, funnily enough.

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  16. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Weihana…

    backward ideals of its people who suffer under their own religious delusions and social customs

    Are you criticizing their culture (way of life for the majority or social customs) or their system of Government (democracy as Pete George calls it)? If it is their culture (social customs), then I think we should start here at home, because our system of Govt as you put it in one of your posts in the past, that the Govt (elected by majority) should interfere when its needed for the greater good of the society,irrelevant if it infringes on the rights of some minorities.

    If you’re criticizing their system of Govt, then it’s perhaps similar to what we have here, ie, an elected Govt. So, what’s the fuzz?

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  17. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    If you love Iran so much, why don’t you go live there? Oh that’s right, there is a death penalty for homosexuals there.

    As for your assertion that Iran doesn’t fund terrorism and it is all an American/Jew fabrication. As someone who reads newspapers in 3 languages I can tell you straight up it is a fact based oppinion held by teh whole world. Not just Jews adn Americans.

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  18. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi,

    That all depends on what you consider are “rights”.

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  19. notrotsky (84 comments) says:

    The US secretary of state should take advantage of the current goodwill generated by the US to normalise relations with Iran, if the current iranian junta are unreceptive and continue in their current vein they should neutron bomb the country from one end to the other.

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  20. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Weihana…

    That all depends on what you consider are “rights”.

    and you said the following…

    They are savages who tolerate the execution of people for no other reason than the fact that they are homosexual.

    The Iranians considered anyone whos’ being a homosexual as not a right for that person to live his/her life as he/she chooses.

    Don’t you get where I’m arguing from? Or you simply like to be dancing on the head of a pin? On one hand you argue that rights is not objective but simply subjective (ie, wishes of the majority) and then you turn around and argue that the Iranians are savages since they (their laws supported by majority) don’t tolerate homosexuals, which such people deserved to be executed. But that exactly what their people (majority) want. Don’t you see a problem there?

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  21. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    Criminal law does not contain impartial evidence as the foundation for the case. Each side presents evidence that supports its own view of the situation in dispute. Therefore, this ‘higher level of proof’ does not exist for criminal law.

    You seem to be insinuating that evidence provided by the USA or the Iraqi government is not good evidence. I reject that completely. It is good evidence and would be more than acceptable in any case based upon it.

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  22. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    immigant says:- “assertion that Iran doesn’t fund terrorism”

    Don’t make stuff up. If you’d bothered to read what I’ve actually written it is obvious that don’t support the Iranian regime and I am primarily interested in ending their tenure IN THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY. I am also interested in TRUTH. Why the hell would I support a theocracy? I’m a fucking liberal FFS

    Furthermore, it is obvious that I think that waging war and inflaming the situation IS THE WRONG WAY OF GOING ABOUT IT.

    I repeat, the Iranian regime is only politically viable because the Western powers give them the propagandistic ammunition they need. Take that away by being nice to them and the Iranian government won’t have any political capital.

    Voila! Persian Spring. It’s just so fucking obvious.

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  23. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    F E Smith: ” How many more Iraqis would be alive today if Iran had not sponsored, trained and supplied the insurgents operating in Iraq? After all, the US did not kidnap people and behead them for opposing their point of view…”

    Seriously, you must be joking. Hundreds of thousands, probably more than a million Iraqis would be alive today if the US had not invaded Iraq, not to mention tens of thousands in Afghanistan. As odious as the Iranian regime can be, there is no comparison to the magnitude of the crimes committed in Iraq by the US – the Iranians just do not possess the resources to inflict that level of carnage.

    …”as well as supply Hizbollah and Hamas with all sorts of weaponry, …” The Palestinians are suffering under a vicious occupation, the level of support Iran offers the resistance fighters is insignificant to that which the US supplies the foreign European colonists who have committed themselves to a campaign of industrial scale ethnic cleansing.

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  24. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott,

    then how come the Green Revolution failed? Because the crowds protesting the rigged election were distracted by anti-Western propaganda, or by sympathy for the US attitude to the regime?

    Sure they were.

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  25. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “You seem to be insinuating that evidence provided by the USA or the Iraqi government is not good evidence.”

    It may well be good evidence, but would you accept Crowns evidence as being genuine simply because the Crown says so? I don’t think so. I don’t give a toss about procedural technicalities, I’m just interested in truth.

    Secondly, no doubt Iranian arms do fall into the hands of terrorists. So do Chinese arms. And Russian arms. And American arms. Arms dealers get their arms from where ever they can, yes, maybe even from a corrupt arms depot in Tehran. Doesn’t mean ArmouredDinnerJacket is behind it….
    unless you are a knowing and willing consumer of propaganda. And you aren’t stupid, so this must simply be political pragmatism to you.

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  26. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Yoza,

    I don’t accept the ‘millions’ as a figure for deaths in Iraq. As far as I can see, nobody of any credibilty makes that claim, but plenty of anti-US people make it all the time. Most people appar to accept a figure of 200,000 or less, including combatants.

    Of course, had Iran and Syria not funded, trained and armed those mostly foreign insurgents, then a lot of those people would not have died.

    Anybody can argue that none of these deaths would have happened if the US had not invaded, and of course that is correct, but the fact is that the Coalition did invade and the regime was toppled. Iran and Syria, however, had no legal or legitimate reason to fund, train and arm insurgents, however. And the tactics used by the insurgents are far more criminal acts than any committed by Coalition soldiers.

    So I don’t accept your points at all.

    With regard your point about Israel, I reject your assertion completely. You go and ask the Israeli Arabs if they want to live in the PA or remain in Israel, most will say Israel. Israel/PA has been discussed many times on KB, so you won’t be up to speed on it, but given your statements we know where you will be coming from. But your statement about the US ‘supplying’ European colonists is so laughable that I just cannot bring myself to address it. It is just so completely conspiracy theorist that to address it would be to give it more credence than it could ever deserve.

    Next you will be telling me that September 11 was an inside job.

    So I will just say that you are wrong and leave it at that.

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  27. immigant (950 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    Your statement “Iranian regime is only politically viable because the Western powers give them the propagandistic ammunition they need.”

    Is childish at best. I think you’ll find that most Iranians you meet hate the regime and don’t give a fuck about the propaganda but are more concerned about gestapo style police state that they live in and the fact that they are prisoners in tehir own country.

    You’re so high on your own “liberalism” that you fail to grasp the hard cold facts of life.

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  28. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “then how come the Green Revolution failed”

    Errm, so you agree with me then?

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  29. Jimbob (641 comments) says:

    When the Iranians obtain “the bomb”, it is going to end in tears. Israel will not let it happen, even if the USA sits on their hands.
    Israel may decide that since Iran so desperately wants nuclear weapons, they should give them some, from 20,000 feet.
    When the sh*t does hit the fan, what will the crude oil price go to?

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  30. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    would you accept Crowns evidence as being genuine simply because the Crown says so

    Very often. 

    no doubt Iranian arms do fall into the hands of terrorists.

    I never said that:  I said that they are supplied by Iran.  There is a very big different.  Russian weapons fall into the hands of terrorists and insurgents because Russia and the other former USSR states have crap security, but the Islamic Republic of Iran actively and intentionally supplies terrorist organisations with weapons, money and training.  As does North Korea.

    EDIT: No Scott, I was disagreeing with you with my point re the Green Revolution. That attempted revolution failed because the Iranian regime met it with overwhelming force. It was suppressed with great violence and retribution.

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  31. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Bloody hell immigant, I’ve explained it again and again.

    So here I go again. The Iranian regime would not be politically viable if they had no means to convince *their supporters* that the west is evil.

    I’ll give you an example of Iranian propaganda:

    “The Americans refuse to allow medicine for sick children to be imported due to sanctions”

    You see, there are people like you in Iran immigant, who’ll swallow this shit and go out with a stick to protests with their mates to give the yankee lovers a good beating.

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  32. immigant (950 comments) says:

    @Scott Chris

    Nice comeback. Why would there be people like me in Iran? I stand for everyhthing that country is not.

    WTF?

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  33. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    the guys in charge of iran are assholes. they fund terrorists.

    who cares is chrissy doesnt feel we have enough proof to say such things. shouldnt he be off making the new marketing grads coffee or something?

    the left are blinded by hate when it comes to the US. when i read lefty anti-us shit i always think of jacks speech in a few good men. they are the lucky assholes who live under US protection and therefor are allowed to speak shit.

    sure the US does bad stuff – good on em. They protect themselves first. if they feel the need to disrupt regions every so often, maybe bomb brown people every decade or so, so be it. at least it keeps them top dog and leaves us to live our happy little lives in safe NZ.

    no US would equal us being majorly fucked.

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  34. dime (9,972 comments) says:

    “You see, there are people like you in Iran immigant, who’ll swallow this shit and go out with a stick to protests with their mates to give the yankee lovers a good beating.”

    gee immigant, if only you were as awesome and all knowing as chrissy. at least youd have mates to form a mob with :D

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  35. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    The Iranian regime would not be politically viable if they had no means to convince *their supporters* that the west is evil.

    That is rubbish.  The Iranian regime is a corrupt, absolutist regime that maintains power by the military strength of the Revolutionary Guards.  Ahmadinejad is a former Revolutionary Guard and has his power base within that organisation.  It is a regime of terror, both military and Islamist.  It does not have the popular support of its inhabitants.

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  36. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    As an aside, Ahmadinejad has been very quiet of late. He was not anywhere to be seen in the latest exercises.
    Normally he has a lot to say.
    I’m starting to think that he is being sidelined by the Revolutionary Guard and the Clergy and that some other front man will take his place.
    Other than that I agree with FES’s description of the Iranian regime.

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  37. immigant (950 comments) says:

    F E Smith

    Fucking finaly someone who understands what I’m on about. For a second there I thought the whole world went crazy.

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  38. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    alex,

    apparently the corruption in Iran is getting to epic proportions, most of it centred around the Revolutionary Guard. I suspect that Ahmadinejad is trying to cement his position in light of the clean-out that either has started or is coming, but of course that is merely speculation.

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  39. DJP6-25 (1,387 comments) says:

    F E Smith 4:02 pm. Well said.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  40. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Oh Scott Chris,

    One important question for you…

    Who do you trust most the US Military or the Revolutionary Guards ?

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  41. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “The Iranian regime is a corrupt, absolutist regime that maintains power by the military strength of the Revolutionary Guards”

    *That* is rubbish. The Republican Guard only make up 20% of the Iranian armed forces. We’re talking about tipping points here. The other 80% may well be willing to depose the despotic regime…..

    ….if the political climate were to change in Iran.

    You do believe in political climate change don’t you Smithy? ;)

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  42. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Falafulu Fisi (1,630) Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 3:19 pm


    The Iranians considered anyone whos’ being a homosexual as not a right for that person to live his/her life as he/she chooses.

    Don’t you get where I’m arguing from? Or you simply like to be dancing on the head of a pin? On one hand you argue that rights is not objective but simply subjective (ie, wishes of the majority)

    No I do not hold that ethics, from which rights are derived, are subjective. The majority can decide as it likes, but nature will still be the same. I do not believe I have ever argued that a majority should do whatever it feels like. I may have argued against libertarian ideals and what they consider to be “rights” but that is not the same as arguing that a majority can and should do whatever it chooses.

    Objective ethical principles are valid if they represent a truthful proposition. This is only possible if “goodness” depends on the ability of moral principles to achieve desired outcomes.

    I do not consider persecuting homosexuals to be ethical because it is irrational and based on religious delusions and arbitrary hatred. To permit such irrationality is to run the risk that one day that irrationality will be directed at oneself.

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  43. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    polemic

    Neither. Apart from which, I only ever hear from the US military. But you don’t have to be told anything by anyone to make a rough assessment of human affairs.

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  44. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    I’d trust the US military any day over same f’d in the head crazies supporting a fundamentalist Islamic government. That doesn’t mean I’d always trust them, but I’d certainly trust them MORE.

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  45. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Scott Chris,


    I’ll give you an example of Iranian propaganda:

    “The Americans refuse to allow medicine for sick children to be imported due to sanctions”

    You see, there are people like you in Iran immigant, who’ll swallow this shit and go out with a stick to protests with their mates to give the yankee lovers a good beating.

    More evidence that your average Iranian is retarded.

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  46. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott Chris,

    The Republican Guard only make up 20% of the Iranian armed forces. We’re talking about tipping points here. The other 80% may well be willing to depose the despotic regime….. 

    Completely irrelevant.  The Guards are better paid, better equipped, better trained and have much, much more to lose if the regime changed.  It is historical fact that regimes with large numbers of people can be controlled by small forces. 

    Your simplistic approach to this is ridiculous.

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  47. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Weihana…

    I may have argued against libertarian ideals and what they consider to be “rights” but that is not the same as arguing that a majority can and should do whatever it chooses.

    I’m impressed in your skills in using words/language there Wei.

    Now, where do you draw the line? What do you consider then to be rights to ones’ own property when in fact the authority can charge him/her for chopping his own (protected) tree down? This has happened in recent years. Well, the majority approved of such tree protection. This is not a fuzzy issue. It is a clear cut situation that the tree doesn’t belong to the owner, but the majority (council).

    Can you explain in a clear-cut manner (rather than your usual generalization and frequent fall back to fuzzy explanation simply to evade) of how to avoid the scenario you have brought up when, libertarian ideals of what they consider to be “rights” versus arguing that a majority can and should do whatever it chooses?

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  48. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    F E Smith says:- “Your simplistic approach to this is ridiculous.”

    Don’t patronize me Smith. There are a lot of other factors at play here, but it pays to focus on one thing at a time for the sake of clarity. And when it comes to tipping points, had the Green revolution had a little more support, it may have been successful.

    That’s the simple fact of the matter. It’s a question of numbers.
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Weihana says:- “More evidence that your average Iranian is retarded”

    That’s just racist.

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  49. wat dabney (3,756 comments) says:

    ‘“One day Iran will be free.” Which is a weird code for, “One day Iran will returned to its status as a US client regime and the distribution of its resources will be controlled by western corporations”‘

    What a very strange thing to say.

    The way in which the left has acted as apologists for cruel and brutally oppressive Islamic theocracies, simply because they share a hatred of the United States, is perhaps the weirdest aspect of geo-politics since khomeini murdered his way to power three decades ago.

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  50. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    Scott Chris,

    I am not patronising you. I am saying that your approach is ridiculous. That is meant as a comment on both your point of view and your way of supporting it.

    You make no account for the part terror plays in the governance of Iran. Or any other authoritarian nation, for that matter.

    As I said, your approach is ridiculous.

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  51. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    While I am inclined to agree that it is force keeping the Iranians under a totalitarian government, Dinner Jacket does have a lot of support among the religious poor.

    Or at least he did.

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  52. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    No Smith, my approach isn’t ridiculous. It makes perfect sense. You simply don’t want to believe it because your approach is up to its armpits in blood and still sees no end. If anything the situation is deteriorating, and all at the cost of trillions of dollars and millions of lives.

    Not only is that ridiculous, its insane, barbaric and immoral.

    Funny how some people find the obvious so hard to believe, and yet find the ludicrous so believable.

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  53. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    If I may jump here for a moment – Chris Scott has worked out the main enemy of Persia is Israel, the people in Israel are JEWSSSSS!!! so naturally he is a born again Persian. (So excited did he get – his wife is wiping the cum off the walls as we speak).

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  54. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    Here we go again: Scott Chris, hater of the Great Satan, the United States, enlightening us on bias and civility.

    Being against an Iranian strike is not about whether or not one is for or against the US or is for or against Israel. It’s about what is the factually correct thing to do. Many think it is about being against Israel or the US in the same sense many think people critical of Israeli govt policy don’t like Jews, and we know how mental those people are, don’t we, so let’s not be incapable of assessing reality AS IT IN FACT IS without any of this anti-US, anti-Israel, anti-West bullshit that has nothing to do with this question.

    Let’s see.

    Iran so far victim of numerous scientist deaths, Stuxnet, a US-sponsored trade embargo from the whole world against it, a currency shutoff and probably a lot of other things as well we haven’t read about vs Israel, so far victim of words.

    That’s right, isn’t it. That’s what has actually happened, fact-wise, so far.

    So why is it unreasonable for some people given these things have taken place over years showing Iran isn’t actually fanatical – no flashpoint – just a slow slow buildup of events against her and until recently she did essentially nothing. Clearly a few months ago some deadline or other expired and Iran started to retaliate, China and Russia as I’ve said for years came out in support, matter of fact Russia only today rejected the US-sponsored sanctions which require countries who trade with both Iran and US to chose between, as China did a few weeks ago.

    It’s another clear fact that Israel has nuclear weapons and Iran may at the most have say 10, so why doesn’t MAD apply here, when according to those who think Iran’s evil, it applies to NK, but Iran is worth than NK, for some reason they don’t care to explain. I mean these are facts, are they not. This is what people who think Iran has to be stopped before it gets a nuke, have to believe, right.

    Right.

    I could go on. Hopefully I don’t have to.

    The critical thing here re: danger is Iran’s conventional missiles of which it has thousands and those can not only affect the Fifth Fleet they can also land on Dimona and Tel Aviv, in their tens or in their hundreds. Its not possible even were the US involved to take out in a first strike scenario all the conventional missile sites, not along with all the nuclear ones, of which there are scores.

    This leaves Patriot batteries as the only defence.

    I haven’t yet discussed China and Russia but they are also critical in this equation for they both have substantial interest in Iran’s oil fields plus both of them wouldn’t mind at all giving the US a bloody nose. There are dozens of articles about their expressions of support for Iran and details of their pipeline plans and other things which provide one but no doubt not only motivation for US/Israel interest in this.

    The overwhelming factor of all however is the Muslim sentiment that Iran is the holiest Muslim nation and an attack on her either by the US and/or Israel but especially Israel would send the ME into a seething cauldron of rage that would never dissipate in any of our lifetimes and will see terrorism in all western countries like you wouldn’t believe, unless of course this “threat” is dissipated by the activation of the NDAA, Patriot and other acts like that, in the name of protecting the people.

    If this is what one wants, then by all means let’s bomb Iran. Otherwise can someone, anyone pray explain why in their view, Iran is indeed run by people who would annihilate themselves and 170 million of their own people in the name of Allah, in order to detonate a nuke in Israel, for that’s what you people think and I just don’t understand your reasoning on this, given even the most superficial study of what Iran actually is, as opposed to an uncritical absorption of what the western MSM says it is.

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  55. labours a joke (442 comments) says:

    “If you love Iran so much, why don’t you go live there? Oh that’s right, there is a death penalty for homosexuals there.”

    Hold the phone. Scottchris is a homosexual ? Well bugger me.
    I didnt know that.

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  56. JamesS (352 comments) says:

    Labours a joke – most SS and Gestapo officers were gay, so it kinda figures.

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  57. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Crickey, this thread sure does raise people’s passions about the Iranian regime …. & terrorism & Israel & nukes etc!

    Anyway, another aspect to DPF’s post (that people might not have cottoned onto) is that the US is following international conventions whereby they rescued people in distress, no matter their nationality (or status with the US) and these people happened to be Iranian. This should be applauded.

    As an example even during the Cold War the US and USSR helped each other out when their nationals were in distress at sea.

    http://www.vpnavy.org/vp9586.html

    But I feel DPF’s post has another valid point. One cannot be sure that the Iranian Authorities would reciprocate when it comes to these international conventions if Iran rescued US citizens or military personnel in similar circumstances at sea ….

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  58. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Good comments reid

    niggly, as mentioned above, how do you think the Iranians feel about shooting down civilian airliners?

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  59. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    F E Smith: “I don’t accept the ‘millions’ as a figure for deaths in Iraq. As far as I can see, nobody of any credibilty makes that claim, but plenty of anti-US people make it all the time. Most people appar to accept a figure of 200,000 or less, including combatants.”

    The Lancet, a very credible medical journal in the UK, conducted two surveys. The first survey, conducted a year after the invasion, concluded there were in the vicinity of 90,000 excess Iraqi deaths; the second survey carried out in 2006 found there was about 600,000 deaths; The John Hopkins medical journal carried out surveys which closely replicated the Lancet findings.

    http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/press_releases/2006/burnham_iraq_2006.html

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(06)69491-9/fulltext

    The Lancet study was peer reviewed, the claim that there were under 200,000 deaths seems utterly ludicrous even by US propaganda standards.

    “…the US ‘supplying’ European colonists is so laughable that I just cannot bring myself to address it.” The Israeli Jewish population are predominantly of European extraction, that is to say they are the descendants of Europeans that converted to Judaism in the 12th century. Shlomo Sand ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shlomo_Sand ) who wrote, The Invention of the Jewish People which was on the Israeli best seller list for 19 weeks, points out that, “… that the ancestry of most contemporary Jews stems mainly from outside the ancient Land of Israel and that a “nation-race” of Jews with a common origin never existed.” These are the largely European colonists to which I was referring the US unconditionally supports.

    “You go and ask the Israeli Arabs if they want to live in the PA or remain in Israel, most will say Israel.”

    Because Israel has swiped the most productive land and practically all the water leaving the Palestinian population in the occupied territories in a subsistence existence. This is actually one of the reasons Israel ethnically cleanses regions before annexing them, as the Palestinian population remaining in Israeli territory would needed to be treated more humanely than those outside Israel.

    And, no, I do not think the 9/11 terrorist attacks were an inside job and being critical of US foreign policy does not make one anti-American or anti-US. An incredibly feeble response from a lawyer.

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  60. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    “This is actually one of the reasons Israel ethnically cleanses regions before annexing them, as the Palestinian population remaining in Israeli territory would needed to be treated more humanely than those outside Israel.”

    Man you talk a lot of rubbish.
    Do you actually believe what you write?
    You are an illiterate idiot.

    Now for the facts:

    1. As of 2008, Arab citizens of Israel comprise just under 20% of the country’s total population.
    2. Israel’s is a multi-racial country with citizens from more than a 100 different countries of the world.
    3. Israel is the most racially, religiously and ethnically diverse country in the Middle East.
    4. Israel is the ONLY country in the region that permits citizens of all faiths to worship freely and openly
    5. The only country in the ME with a Baha’i temple and where Baha’i can practise their faith unrestricted is Israel.
    6. Arabic is an official language in Israel.
    7. Palestinian Arabs have full citizenship in Israel
    8. Some 200,000, non Jewish, migrants from Romania, Thailand, China, Africa and South America, have made their home in Israel.
    9. Israel has given refuge to more than 16,000 non Jewish African asylum seekers.

    On the other hand

    Jordan has a law on its books explicitly prohibiting any Jew from becoming a citizen, or any Jordanian from selling land to a Jew. It has refused to amend this law despite repeated demands.
    The only time that the eastern part of Jerusalem was exclusively Arab was between 1949 and 1967, and that was because Jordan occupied the area and forcibly expelled all the Jews. During that time it also demolished 58 synagogues in Jerusalem’s Old City.

    1. Kuwait and several Gulf countries expelled more than 400,000 ‘Palestinians’ in March 1991, after Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation.
    2. There are 400,000 Palestinians living in Lebanon in twelve refugee camps — which human rights organizations and Palestinians say have the worst living conditions of all the refugee camps in the Middle East — as in most of the Arab countries, these Palestinians have been assigned the status of “foreigners,” a fact which has deprived them of health care, social services, property ownership and education.
    3. Lebanese law bans Palestinians from working in the public services and institutions run by the government such as schools and hospitals.
    4. Lebanese public hospitals do not admit Palestinians for medical treatment or surgery.

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  61. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    F E Smith leads the charge of the enlightened – those who bomb a village to save it from itself. Like many in the countries the US has invaded or just bombed in since WWII, (how many have Iran invaded or bombed in the same period?) they are liberated via the peace of the dead.

    And in fact, Iranians are just as capable as anyone of determining who is in genuine distress and who should rightly be regarded with suspicion.

    What DPF is saying is that if an Iranian navy patrol in international waters off the west coast of the US spotted an American fishing boat in trouble, they would arrest the fishermen and charge them with spying on Iran.

    Ridiculous? Not to some, it seems. Trouble is, it does show the extent as to how propaganda, anyone’s propaganda, can twist facts towards an ideological agenda. Of course, that’s the nature of propaganda, as DPF well knows.

    As for the alleged US spy, he was accorded a trial, something denied to Bin Laden, al Awlaki and his 16yo son (the latter two both US citizens). And if you are going to compare justice systems, well, if I were you, I wouldn’t go too far down that road.

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  62. Yoza (1,872 comments) says:

    other-andy: “Do you actually believe what you write?
    You are an illiterate idiot.”

    If I was illiterate I wouldn’t be able to write in the first place now would I.

    The reason those Palestinians are living in miserable circumstances in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza is precisely because of Israel’s ‘success’ in ethnically cleansing areas earmarked for colonisation.

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  63. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    The (abridged) Story Of THE REASON by Douglas Adams:

    :arrow: “One night a spaceship appeared in the sky of a planet that had never seen one before.

    Primitive Tribesmen who were sitting huddled on the Cold Hillsides looked up from their steaming night drinks and pointed with trembling fingers, and swore that they had seen a sign, a sign from their Gods that meant that they must now arise at last and go and slay the evil Princes of the Plains.

    In the high turrets of their palaces, the Princes of the Plains looked up and saw the shining star, and received it unmistakably as a sign from their Gods that they must go and attack the accursed Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides.

    And between them, the Dwellers in the Forest looked up into the sky and saw the sign of the new star, and saw it with fear and apprehension, for though they had never seen anything like it before, they, too, knew precisely what it foreshadowed, and they bowed their heads in despair.

    It was a sign.

    And each new sign signified the same thing – that the Princes of the Plains and the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides were about to beat the hell out of each other again.

    This in itself wouldn’t be so bad, except that the Princes of the Plains and the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides always elected to beat the hell out of each other in the Forest, and it was always the Dwellers in the Forest who came off worst in these exchanges, though as far as they could see it never had anything to do with them.

    And sometimes, after some of the worst of these outrages, the Dwellers in the Forest would send a Messenger to either the Leader of the Princes of the Plains or the Leader of the Tribesmen of the Cold Hillsides and demand to know the reason for this intolerable behavior.

    And the Leader, whichever one it was, would take the Messenger aside and explain THE REASON to him, slowly and carefully, and with great attention to the considerable detail involved.

    And the terrible thing was, it was a very good one. It was very clear, very rational and tough. The Messenger would hang his head and feel sad and foolish that he had not realized what a tough and complex place the real world was, and what difficulties and paradoxes had to be embraced if one was to live in it.

    And the Messenger did understand THE REASON, and he returned to his people in the Forest. But as he approached them, as he walked through the Forest and among the trees, he found that all he could remember of THE REASON was how terribly clear the argument had seemed. What it actually was, he couldn’t remember at all.

    And this, of course, was a great comfort when next the Tribesmen and the Princes came hacking and burning their way through the Forest, killing every Forest Dweller in their way.’

    ***

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  64. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    “The reason those Palestinians are living in miserable circumstances in Lebanon, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza is precisely because of Israel’s ‘success’ in ethnically cleansing areas earmarked for colonisation.”

    No, it is because the Arabs are using the Palestinians as hostages.
    There have been more than a 100,000,000 refugees since World War II.
    Nations all around the world have driven out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem.
    Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey threw out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees.
    During the Bangladesh War of Independence around 10 million Bangladeshis fled the country.
    In 1947 7 million Hindus and Sikhs from Bangladesh and Pakistan moved to India while approximately 7 million Muslims from India moved to Pakistan.
    What about the 250,000 Biharis?
    The retornados, the Sahrawis, the 80,000 Asians from Uganda?
    What about the 90,000 Meskhetian Turks which left Uzbekistan?
    The 856,000 Jews who fled the Arab countries?
    The 900,000 Chritians that fled Iraq?
    Not a peep from the rest of the world about ‘right of return’.
    All of them have been resettled.
    But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single one.
    The UN spends 50% more on ‘Palestinian Refugees’ than on any other refugees.
    ‘Palestinian Refugees’ are the only refugees that have their own UN organisation, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East – UNRWA.
    ‘Palestinian Refugees’ are the only refugees whose children are also classed as refugees.
    A report by the UN Mediator on Palestine estimated that there were 472,000 ‘Palestinian Refugees’ in 1948.
    There are now more than 4,100,000 so called ‘refugees’.
    There are 23,000 UNRWA employees (Most of them Palestinian) compared to 7,000 for the rest of the world.
    UNRWA’s biennium regular budget for 2010 and 2011 is US$1.23 billion, since 1999, 10 billion dollars in direct aid has gone to UNRWA.
    The biggest donors to UNRWA are not the Arab countries but the EU and the USA.

    The Arab countries are holding them for randsom, Israel is villified and and the West pays.

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  65. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    The Lancet, a very credible medical journal in the UK, conducted two surveys. The first survey, conducted a year after the invasion, concluded there were in the vicinity of 90,000 excess Iraqi deaths; the second survey carried out in 2006 found there was about 600,000 deaths; The John Hopkins medical journal carried out surveys which closely replicated the Lancet findings.

    Then everyone sensible stopped and asked where all the bodies were.

    For Pete’s sake, even the Iraq body count website raised an eyebrow at the high figures.

    They got it wrong, peer reviewed credible journal or no.

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  66. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Lancet v X Files, at least Mulder has some credibilty

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  67. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    This seems a good summary of the range of surveys of the deaths in Iraq:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

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  68. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    And in fact, Iranians are just as capable as anyone of determining who is in genuine distress and who should rightly be regarded with suspicion.

    Strawman. No one is arguing that.

    The argument is that anyone who is American who happens to fall into Iran’s hands tends to be accused of being a spy, whether or not there’s any evidence worth a damn.

    The problem is not that they are not able, it’s that they don’t want to.

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  69. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    As for the alleged US spy, he was accorded a trial, something denied to Bin Laden, al Awlaki and his 16yo son (the latter two both US citizens). And if you are going to compare justice systems, well, if I were you, I wouldn’t go too far down that road.

    World’s most famous terrorist should be given same treatment as a tourist.

    Let’s all weep a while at the injustice done Bin Laden. Oh, the humanity!

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  70. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Falafulu,

    “What do you consider then to be rights to ones’ own property…Can you explain in a clear-cut manner…”

    I’ll try…

    The problem with your question is that before it can be answered we must first discuss what I mean for something to be a “right”. Rights imply obligations on others (i.e. to respect those rights) and therefore are derived from ethical principles which are intended to govern our behaviour. I do not believe in an absolute morality that is written into the fabric of space and time. This, however, does not make morality subjective it just means that moral propositions are conditional. As our mother in heaven Ayn Rand put it:


    If [man] chooses to live, a rational ethics will tell him what principles of action are required to implement his choice. If he does not choose to live, nature will take its course. Reality confronts a man with a great many ‘must’s’, but all of them are conditional: the formula of realistic necessity is: ‘you must, if -‘ and the if stands for man’s choice: ‘if you want to achieve a certain goal’.

    However, since the interests, or goals, of different people may conflict, rights must therefore be consistent with our mutual self-interest to have any relevance. On that basis, and departing from anything Ayn Rand would have agreed with, I conclude that rights to property are limited to the extent that those rights conflict with the interests of society. This is where I draw the line. That may not satisfy you since it is still a generalization and doesn’t immediately answer specific questions such as whether a tree may be chopped down. This is because the principle I just outlined must be applied to the specific circumstances at issue. What is societies interest in the tree? What are the interests of the property owner?

    I concede this may not be a “clear-cut” explanation but I do not consider property rights to be an issue which is clear-cut. It could be compared to the right to free speech which is likewise not clear cut. General principles may be identified but where to draw the line specifically often depends on the specifics of each case.

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  71. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    It’s endlessly fascinating to me to see conservatives totally unable to see Iran is a complete and utter propaganda setup like the lefties here clearly do, and at the same time the lefties fail to see the same thing in AGW, as conservatives clearly do.

    People in either camp should think about why they do that.

    People in neither camp, congratulations.

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  72. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    # Scott Chris (3,377) Says:
    January 12th, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Weihana says:- “More evidence that your average Iranian is retarded”

    That’s just racist.

    Heh. But who’s the real bigot here? :)

    If what you say is true then it logically follows that the average Iranian is an idiot. Surely you would not expect your average kiwi to fall for such obviously ridiculous arguments? So either what I say is true or you simply have very low expectations of Iranians.

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  73. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    People in neither camp, congratulations.

    I suppose it’s fine to dismiss other people’s concerns as illegitimate (“so far victim of words”) if you’re in no danger yourself.

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  74. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    If what you say is true then it logically follows that the average Iranian is an idiot.

    Iran’s a bit complicated.

    But their government, not so much – they’re religious fanatics. Not the “scary Christian” sort, the actual sort.

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  75. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    they’re religious fanatics. Not the “scary Christian” sort, the actual sort.

    So why have their responses to the provocations starting several years ago let’s say with Stuxnet, been so slow and so measured?

    Wouldn’t you expect them if they really were fanatics not to wait several years before taking the final step of threatening to close the straits much sooner than they did?

    But that’s what has happened isn’t it. Since threats began Iran has behaved diplomatically precisely as one would expect a sane, measured, non-threatening nation to behave. Why is that?

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  76. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t you expect them if they really were fanatics

    Uh, what they are doing clearly doesn’t fit *your* view of what fanatics would do, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fanatics.

    You describe the response to their quest for nukes to be “provocations”. I imagine back in the day you were the guy telling us all that their program was for civil energy needs. Then, you told us that negations and sanctions were the key to solving it.

    Now, when their intentions to build nuclear weapons are crystal clear, those diplomatic efforts are “provocations”.

    Iran *has* behaved as predicted – they’ve thumbed their noses at everyone, and continued doing whatever they want.

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  77. Griff (7,694 comments) says:

    “They’re religious fanatics. Not the “scary Christian” sort, the actual sort.”

    Take your pick

    Jew

    Muslim

    Cristian

    Fanatics
    .
    USA is a fanatical Cristian state
    Arrest without trial, torture, assassination, coup, invading sovereign states, war,

    Yank Cristian fanatics.

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  78. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    Uh, what they are doing clearly doesn’t fit *your* view of what fanatics would do, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fanatics.

    OK scrubone so if they are in fact merely biding their time as they would have to be, where pray tell is your evidence for this strategy?

    Or is it just media reports you’ve formulated into a world view of what Iran is really doing and nothing whatsoever is going to shake you from that?

    You describe the response to their quest for nukes to be “provocations”. I imagine back in the day you were the guy telling us all that their program was for civil energy needs. Then, you told us that negations and sanctions were the key to solving it.

    Now, when their intentions to build nuclear weapons are crystal clear, those diplomatic efforts are “provocations”.

    Iran *has* behaved as predicted – they’ve thumbed their noses at everyone, and continued doing whatever they want.

    scrubone I didn’t create the realities of ME politics I merely observe them as they exist, without judgement for that interferes with understanding facts vs fantasy. So given this I have observed over time without judgement that the Muslims hates the Jews guts and I have researched without judgement why this is the case.

    I give you this basic advice since if you wish to comment upon a possible Iran strike in 2012 it seems to me one needs to understand just precisely why Iran might feel it would need a nuclear weapon, and the answer to me is, although one has to find this out for oneself for one often disbelieves another if they just say it outright, is because Iran and in fact the whole Muslim world feels threatened by the fact a people whose guts they hate and who acts, to them, like a total arsehole, has 350+ nukes and they have none. I realise some Jews and Christians think its a total affront for the Muslims to imagine they are people worthy of being equal simply because they are Muslims, but hopefully none of the people on this blog are any of them, for that is no different from KKK thinking, quite frankly.

    Now the MAD equation in the real world is still operating. Say Iran has 10, Israel has 350+. Even if Iran has a potential launch vehicle in the SCUD, once you get a bomb you have to weaponise it (fit into warhead, etc), Israel had that sorted decades ago, Iran hasn’t even got started.

    With all of this, and with all of the horrendous consequences as I and others have outlined above, of a strike, yet still, people remain fixated on their fantasy that an Iran strike will be just an overnight thing then we can all get back to our lives and the world is a better place.

    Words fail me with such touching naivity, I tell you. And let’s just not argue that, shall we. Let’s just wait and see whose right. I hope you are, quite frankly.

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  79. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Weihana says:- “If what you say is true then it logically follows that the average Iranian is an idiot.”

    Nah-ahh! I refer you to the third comment on this thread:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/01/what_it_means_to_be_the_good_guys.html#comment-921858

    I clearly state that the fisherman rescue story is propaganda, why it is propaganda and who has fallen for it.

    No Weihana, my contempt for idiots knows no borders :mrgreen:

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  80. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Hey MM @ 7.49.

    I’m not clear what you mean by “as mentioned above”, but to answer your question “how do you think the Iranians feel about shooting down civilian airliners?”, I’m assuming you are referring to the 1988 Iran Air Flight 655 incident (rather than airliners in general)? If so my answer would be that Iranians would be seriously annoyed/angry about about the shooting down of that airliner.

    I’d also imagine South Korea would be seriously annoyed/angry about about the USSR shooting down one of its airliners a few years earlier (and in a less hostile/tense environment than the Strait of Hormuz).

    Hopefully time has healing in both situations etc.

    Reid: interesting 7.14 post, so what do you think is the “solution” to this enduring problem of US/Iran relations?

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  81. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    so what do you think is the “solution” to this enduring problem of US/Iran relations?

    It’s not going to happen niggly but the solution is to have an objective global long term media public debate between Israel and Iran with both sides being given equal opportunity to put their points of view covering history as it has happened such as all the murders and explosions and viruses and suchlike as well as the Hezbollah attacks and what they do and have done and why Iran has them. All that’s happened is all public knowledge and were the MSM really were interested in “fair and balanced” reporting then telling the story in this way would have occurred to at least one of them and by now the Iran-Israel dispute would be but a distant memory.

    Of course that is not and never was going to happen due to the pre-determined agenda, but if you want to know what would stop this, short of either side executing the first move in the warplan then seeing what happens next, that would.

    It’s an even more interesting question finding out precisely why this hasn’t been a feature in any of our media, not even once, but that’s another story.

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  82. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Hey Reid, from what I’ve been reading an Israeli strike against Iran isn’t likely now anyway and Israel is resigned to playing the longer game (eg like assasinations and sabotage against Iranian nuclear development etc).

    Anyway I’m sure the “people” (as opposed to Govt/Military) of Iran/Israel don’t really want war. Like most peoples of most country’s etc.

    So what’s your reading of the Arab Spring uprisings affecting the likes of Iran in the next few years? A few years ago the US appeared to be taking a back seat on Iran due to the younger Iranian generations wanting to be free of their Govt shackles etc. Things certainly seem to be changing …. so do you think the Iranian Govt really needs to hang onto the bogeyman in the form of Israel/US (ok rhetorical question I suppose)?

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  83. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    Hey Reid, from what I’ve been reading an Israeli strike against Iran isn’t likely now anyway and Israel is resigned to playing the longer game (eg like assasinations and sabotage against Iranian nuclear development etc).

    It’s possible niggly, I hope so. Anything which reduces tension is good. It seems apparent to me however given the December US Trade Embargo which was the straw which broke the camel’s back probably as it was designed to do, mitigates against your benign outlook.

    This has triggered you see the possibility for either side to call each other’s bluff at a time of their choosing: the US by sailing military ships through the Straits without asking permission (which they won’t ask for and Iran knew it wouldn’t) or by Iran in the unlikely event it were asked to refuse.

    The former will happen, at a time of the US choosing. Iran knew it was giving this opportunity to the US when it made that announcement last year. It was essentially saying to the school yard bully, fuck off, meet you after school, if you’re not there, you’re a little girl.

    I mean let’s hope I’ve mis-interpreted but that’s what I think Iran’s message was about.

    Anyway I’m sure the “people” (as opposed to Govt/Military) of Iran/Israel don’t really want war. Like most peoples of most country’s etc.

    niggly crikey mate. War/peace/famine/boom is never about what people want. It’s not just politicians who speak platitudes in public and vote for a law in Parliament who shape society. Far far far far far far from it.

    I mean even in NZ the govt doesn’t a say. Do you really think Hulun given her anti-US-war record even wanted to send troops to Afghanistan? I bet she hated doing that but she didn’t have any choice.

    My point is wars are fought and decided far above the voting public, they always have been and always will be. All we can do is tell the people who have opportunities to change events we’re not fucking stupid and we can see what they are doing.

    So what’s your reading of the Arab Spring uprisings affecting the likes of Iran in the next few years? A few years ago the US appeared to be taking a back seat on Iran due to the younger Iranian generations wanting to be free of their Govt shackles etc. Things certainly seem to be changing …. so do you think the Iranian Govt really needs to hang onto the bogeyman in the form of Israel/US (ok rhetorical question I suppose)?

    Arab Springs are all Brzezhinsky designs so they are predictable. The implementers whoever they are certainly have balls since they’ve started one in Russia so they’ll have no problems, caution-wise, taking on a country like Iran.

    I don’t however think they’ll get anywhere with one in Iran. In Iran there are no internal factions which operate against each other if the country is torn apart, as there are in Iraq, with the Shia, Sunni and Kurds so there is nothing to exploit and agitate.

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  84. reubee (24 comments) says:

    “According to the Navy’s account, at about 3 a.m. local time an American Coast Guard patrol boat in the north Persian Gulf ”

    what part of the American Coast was this patrol boat guarding in the Persian Gulf?

    Are there any Iranian Coast Guard vessels in the Straits of Florida?

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  85. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Reubee, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Coast_Guard

    “The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the US military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission (with jurisdiction in both domestic and international waters) and a federal regulatory agency mission as part of its mission set. It operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime, and can be transferred to the Department of the Navy by the President at any time, or by Congress during time of war”.

    “The Coast Guard’s enduring roles are maritime safety, security, and stewardship”. The USCG has roles in, eg, maritime law enforcement (MLE) etc.

    In essence, unlike the other branches of the US Military, the USCG has a law enforcement capacity. Think of them as a maritime Policing unit, they can make arrests (unlike say soldiers or naval personnel).

    The USCG used to be a familair sight in NZ waters until the mid 1980’s. Now they operate via Hobart to Antarctica etc.

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  86. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Weihana…

    I conclude that rights to property are limited to the extent that those rights conflict with the interests of society.

    So, the individual rights of homosexuals in Iran as whatever those individuals wish to be are limited to the extent that those very rights are in conflict with the interests of a backward religious society as them?

    Now, it seems like that you’re arguing with yourself and not arguing with me. You brought up Ayn Rand which is irrelevant to my argument. Where did I quote Ayn Rand?

    You’re giving/stating contradicting arguments here. The reason you’re arguing with yourself is because your whole premise rests in the existence of rights based on conditions/approvals from others (subjective) but not based on the individual and his/her nature of existence (objective). You can’t argue against the savagery of Iranian culture and at the same time you endorsed it without being conscious about it, since to be a homosexual over there is in conflict with the interests of that society because the majority hate it (that’s what you said above).

    Now, try again. Or you should simply admit that rights must be objective in its nature and not subjective or otherwise you ended up with contradiction as you have clearly shown in your reply.

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  87. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    The USCG used to be a familair sight in NZ waters until the mid 1980′s.

    Yes bet their disappearance had nothing whatsover to do with one Hulun E. Clark, architect of our anti-nuclear policy and reportedly nicknamed by US diplomats “Red Helen” due to the Soviet advantage her policy gave. But that doesn’t matter. It’s about fweedom.

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  88. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Oh dear…..

    This is getting very interesting….

    Scott Chris – Time for some more questions…


    Which countries have a democratically elected Government? a) Iran b) Israel c) USA

    Which countries uphold with the whole weight of Government as a fundamental freedom – the Freedom of Worship? a) Iran b) Israel c) USA

    Which countries uphold with the whole weight of Government as a fundamental freedom – the Freedom of Speech? a) Iran b) Israel c) USA

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  89. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    polemic, just wondering, have you studied the National Defense Authorisation Act which Obama signed in December because it basically eviscerates the Bill of Rights since it allows not only Americans but also you and I, BTW, to be incarcerated without trial in a military facility and tortured and held without trial until we die, if we are accused of terrorism which as I understand the NDAA and I hope I’m wrong but I think “terrorism” includes anti-govt graffitti as well.

    I’m serious. Look up the NDAA.

    So your questions I guess to me anyway, don’t mean much to me polemic. America is not what she was. We will see more of what she now is, this year. Personally I don’t think it’s going to be pretty as we see what she does to her own people.

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  90. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Ah yes because they have to defend their freedoms dont they hence the NDAA -it may not be perfect but if you dont like the president or the laws he creates, very simple vote him out. Therefore the questions even more important how about honestly answering them ?

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  91. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    polemic

    Of course America is the better country. In fact, I’d go as far as to say America is the best country in the world. There are so many things to admire. That doesn’t put her above criticism though.

    And in my opinion, she is behaving like a playground bully. She won’t pick on Swiss Miss or Pretty Annika, because they’re good looking and popular and Willy Wong and Ivan Youvanich are moody and unpredictable, so she leaves them alone.

    But no one gives a fuck about snot nosed Ahmed. He’s a fucking weirdo, so Missi America is quite happy to pick on him. And if any of the others show any dissent, Missi will confront them and say, “either your with me, or agin me” with a wild look in her eye.

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  92. Tom Barker (143 comments) says:

    The troops of the country you admire so much have been showing pissing on the corpses of their victims in Afghanistan. You still claim that the US is morally superior to its enemies?

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  93. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Absolutely !!
    I have never said its perfect and individuals within are only human hence depravity can occur but as sure as day follows night the Pentagon will prosecute the offenders but what about the Afghanis when the Taliban have just murdered the local police chief because he stood up for freedom of women going to school or countless other murdered atrocities that occur in Taleban or al Qaeda control.
    Remember who is actually defending freedom is it the Taleban or the US ?

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  94. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    Falafulu Fisi (1,633) Says:
    January 13th, 2012 at 12:25 am


    So, the individual rights of homosexuals in Iran as whatever those individuals wish to be are limited to the extent that those very rights are in conflict with the interests of a backward religious society as them?

    That they hate homosexuals doesn’t mean such hate is in their rational self-interest. Of course it is quite a different matter when one tries to satisfy interests based on religious delusion. But nature remains the same and it is no coincidence that Islamic countries that oppress women, gays etc. do not perform well. Many of them are propped up by natural resources which are only valuable because of the technological innovation achieved by a more enlightened culture.


    Where did I quote Ayn Rand?

    You didn’t. I did in an attempt to explain my position.


    You can’t argue against the savagery of Iranian culture and at the same time you endorsed it without being conscious about it, since to be a homosexual over there is in conflict with the interests of that society because the majority hate it (that’s what you said above).

    No I didn’t. You made that inference.


    Now, try again.

    I tire of responding to your misapprehensions.

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  95. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    Ah yes because they have to defend their freedoms dont they hence the NDAA -it may not be perfect but if you dont like the president or the laws he creates, very simple vote him out.

    Crikey polemic, haven’t you noticed that neither side is in lockstep on this legislation so it doesn’t make any diff whose in charge? Haven’t you noticed that?

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  96. polemic (460 comments) says:

    But remember ‘reid’ if you (and a majority of others) don’t like the laws that a President or Congress passes in the US, vote him out! Simple yes?

    Can you do that in Iran and China, North Korea, Syria etc etc

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  97. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    polemic,

    How can one vote if they are locked up in a military detention facility without due process?

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  98. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    polemic as I said haven’t you noticed in the US that it doesn’t make any difference which side it is? You still get corruption in Wall Street which isn’t prosecuted, you still get endless war such as the unnececessary Iran aggression which I explained the consequences of last night and why it is unnecessary and you still get legislation just waiting to implement martial law. As I said, haven’t you noticed any of that?

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  99. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    Here’s some more on the recent scientist killing:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/iran-nuclear-experts-killings

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  100. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Polemic says:- “But remember ‘reid’ if you (and a majority of others) don’t like the laws that a President or Congress passes in the US, vote him out! Simple yes?”

    Reminds me of The Who song ‘Won’t get fooled again’

    >>”Meet the new boss! Same as the old boss!”

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  101. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Weihana, Scott Chris, reid, et al … – What is the population of the US- 300+Million.

    If you are locked up for terrorism, you don’t get a vote but the other 300odd million people will vote out a Govt if they don’t like what they are doing- and be sure they will know because another enshrined Freedom has ensured that will happen i.e.the public find out.
    For you information it is called “Freedom of Expression” another benefit of “being the Good Guys”

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  102. reid (16,448 comments) says:

    polemic you don’t get it do you. The plan is:

    1) Setup a martial law framework “just in case.” Check.

    2) Attack Iran and hope that as a result something happens in the US as a direct result but don’t take responsibility for causing it in the first place, just publicly condemn Iran and all Iranians to hell in a handbasket for their dastardly crime, step up the military so ten times the number of “collateral damage” is occuring every single day, just to teach them a friggin lesson.

    3) As a result of the dastardly crime, unfortunately for your protection, martial law is now declared and the legislation comes into force.

    4) Don’t do anything at first but gradually gradually boil the frog gradually start clamping down on things, for example start searching people everywhere in public places for no real reason preferably in humiliating ways such as making them disrobe in front of other strangers and just gradually do things like that more and more. This is to get people used to having their rights violated, which is why they strip search all types of people from babies and grandmothers these days at the airports. Boil the frog.

    And so it goes gradually getting worse and worse as more and more citizens move into the lucrative security field which is about the only place to get a steady job these days, in say, 2015.

    There’s no point in you saying you don’t think that’s what’s going to happen polemic because neither of us “know” yet. But all the machinery is in place to do exactly that right now in the States and the UK is moving there as well, incidentally, and all this machinery gets stronger and bigger every single year.

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  103. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Oh yes reid your referring to another defender of Freedom.

    I will remind you of it – ‘the US Dept of Homeland Security’ and to quote the Dept itself “Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear – keeping America safe.”

    Another question reid – safe from who ?

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  104. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    polemic,

    So democracy still works as long as some people still get to vote? i.e. the people that don’t piss off the government which has arbitrary powers to imprison its citizens.

    Did you know Saddam was a real popular guy? He won 100% of the vote. I wonder why.

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  105. polemic (460 comments) says:

    Weihana-

    So you believe Saddam won 100% of the free vote ?

    And yes repressive states like his, do imprison anyone who dares too speak against them.
    In the US you can publicly speak out against the government, as you can here if you dont agree with it but I dare you to try it in Iran or China.

    Then you will see why freedom is worth fighting for.

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  106. Weihana (4,537 comments) says:

    polemic,

    What freedom does a person have if they are detained by the US government? Their freedom can be taken away with nothing more than the word of the government that you are a terrorist. You have no right to a trial and your detention can continue indefinitely.

    It matters not what freedoms you supposedly have according to law if you can be detained indefinitely without trial.

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  107. polemic (460 comments) says:

    so Hello Hello Weihana,

    Welcome to freedom,

    Fought and paid for by the blood of US Soldiers that adher to the highest standards of ethical military conduct in the world today.
    And Yes every now and again individuals within the military make fatal errors but there is checks and balances and if you get close enough to a terror network then lookout!

    Where are the checks and balances in Iran, China Saddams regime,

    So time for another important question,

    What are the morals- if you like- that guides the principles that set up the US Constitution ?

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  108. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Meanwhile, in yet another war demanded and orchestrated by “the good guys”, the death toll for the Mexican War on Drugs is estimated to be well over 47-60,000 Mexicans, most of them innocent civilians victims of the US armed Mexican army.

    Mexico Says Drug War Death Toll Has Topped 47,000

    The Mexican government is now saying that more than 47,000 people have been killed in the country since President Felipe Calderón declared a war on drug traffickers in 2006. Nearly 13,000 people died in the first nine months of 2010. Some analysts say the actual toll is considerably higher. The Mexican census agency has identified 67,000 homicides from 2007 through 2010, nearly double the government’s count of drug-related deaths for that period.

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/1/12/headlines

    [The higher figure I extrapolated from an earlier estimate by John Pilger http://www.johnpilger.com ]

    The cause of this mayhem is threefold: NAFTA, climate change, and “the good guys” enriching the drug cartels by exporting the enforcement its puritanical views on recreational drug use..

    And even in the home of “the good guys,” we see African-Americans under large scale lockdown(up) while the vast majority of drug users are white Americans.

    It’s trite to ask which country one would rather live in if one had the choice – being white and tolerant of Christians, even fundies ( I have siblings who suffer from that affliction) – I would get along fine in the US, if they would let me in :-)

    But that’s not the test.

    The test is whether “the good guys” strive to be good or, in fact, simply look after their own national (i.e. mainly rich, white American) interest, which includes tossing the odd bone so as to be seen as “the good guys.”

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  109. polemic (460 comments) says:

    So how about some actual facts,”mainly rich,white American” ,climate change and the your claims about the Mexican drug war deaths being the US fault.

    If you are idealogically driven then facts don’t matter to much huh?

    but seriously- who in their right mind would fight a war on the other side of the world, for such a long time, to remove a murderous tyrant like Saddam, at such expense to the US taxpayer and if the majority of US citizens didnt believe in the freedoms they espouse being available to others, they would have voted the government out and kept the military at home and been billions better off.

    And please dont bleat about it being because of Oil, that theory never didnt work then or now.

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  110. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    Weihana…

    Then you will see why freedom is worth fighting for

    Who defines freedom? Was it worth fighting for freedom in World War 2 to be free with what you can do with your own property like chopping your own tree?

    What exactly is your world of freedom?

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  111. Falafulu Fisi (2,179 comments) says:

    My previous comment was for Weihana but I misquoted of what polemic said.

    Ok, Weihana said…
    It matters not what freedoms you supposedly have according to law

    But who defined those freedoms according to law? Who wrote them into law in the first place? Best interest or greater good of the society or wishes of the majority in the society?

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  112. polemic (460 comments) says:

    The selfish would say why did the Iranian fishermen get given Halal meals as per their muslim requirements and not just forced to eat what ever the rescuers had.

    The defender of freedom would say it is their (the Iranians) right to have freedom of worship and to worship Islam if they chose to and therefore need Halal food and provide it as well !

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  113. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    polemic

    As regards climate change and Mexico, see this IPS article for an overview: http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=105787

    About the drug war, the “fault” belongs to the Mexican government for caving in to US demands. I suggest you read “Amexica : war along the borderline / Ed Vulliamy” to get a better understanding of the consequences of NAFTA and the War on Drugs (in fact, it is mainly a war against the largest population of indigenous peoples in Mexico).

    And you can deepen your understanding even further with: “New world of indigenous resistance : Noam Chomsky and Voices from North, South, and Central America” / edited by Lois Meyer and Benjamin Maldonado ; [interviews with] Noam Chomsky ; and voices from North, South, and Central America.

    Both books are available through Auckland City Libraries.

    Regarding Iraq, I believe that if Iraq was not rich in oil, the US would not have invaded. But oil was not the reason for the invasion, just an influence. The Bush administration, especially Cheney and Rumsfeld, conservative ideologues, wanted to transform the ME through military conquest of Iraq, Syria and Iran. This was deeply delusional and has had disastrous consequences for Iraqis, but if you take a bit of time to study the two main actors, you can see how they would come to their decision.

    The Iraq war not some grand humanitarian project, that justification is post hoc, ergo procter hoc, although there is no doubt that the two men believed that all would end well. Of course, it hasn’t. You may find this talk interesting: http://podcast.lannan.org/
    You need to go right to the end to find the relevant portion, but I dare say you would be all the better for watching or listening to the full version.

    Now a question for you: what do you see as “the morals- if you like- that guides the principles that set up the US Constitution”?

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  114. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Oh, and as for the rich, white Americans I mentioned, I believe today they are colloquially termed the 1%, but the 0.1% is probably more accurate. For further reading on this, try “The Price of Civilization” by Jeffrey Sachs.

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  115. polemic (460 comments) says:

    You seem to be very concerned that my understanding needs lots of “books” to read to get enlightened to your ideology.

    There in lies another freedom, you are allowed to read (and believe) what ever you like.

    I am not suggesting to you what to read but you seem very unsettled about what you are claiming.

    Again what is fact and what is fiction maybe does not matter when you have a ideology to promote – and what is more you claim to know what Bush , Cheney and Rumsfeld actually were wanting to do – oh really – fact or fiction- more claims ??

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  116. polemic (460 comments) says:

    For over two centuries the Constitution has remained in force because its framers successfully separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard the interests of majority rule and minority rights, of liberty and equality, and of the central and state governments.

    I wonder what was guiding them to come up with such an abiding and enduring Constitution?

    They didnt have all your “illustrious” books to read but they may well have had a much older book and a set of values that keeps them.

    God bless America !!

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  117. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Jeez, polemic

    There is lots of evidence for the points I have made to you. The original reason for the war was non-existent WMDs. Do you remember that? Colin Powell’s (in)famous address to the UN citing a litany of lies did not mention regime change as a cause of action for the simple reason that regime change is prohibited by the UN charter.

    I’m not sure how you justify your claim that I’m unsettled, other than the fact that I strive to keep an open mind and seek out antidotes to our inevitable confirmation bias.

    What’s my ideology? Do tell. I’m buggered if I know.

    Finally, I gave you the courtesy of answering your request for facts. The readings and talk I provided are full of facts. Why haven’t you answered my question about the US constitution?

    I’m genuinely interested in what you think the answer is.

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  118. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    polemic

    What book were they using?

    And this “safeguarding of…minority rights, of liberty and equality,” you mention, did this include the African slaves?

    And were they extended to the Native Americans, despite the genocide still in progress?

    And to the 600,000 Filipinos killed in the ten years from 1898, the first overseas US colonial project?

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  119. niggly (830 comments) says:

    Crickey this thread drifts from here to there to everywhere (eg Sadam/post Sadam Iraq to US foreign policy thru history), so perhaps here’s a good place to jump back in (and in the original spirit of the thread):

    The selfish would say why did the Iranian fishermen get given Halal meals as per their muslim requirements and not just forced to eat what ever the rescuers had.

    The defender of freedom would say it is their (the Iranians) right to have freedom of worship and to worship Islam if they chose to and therefore need Halal food and provide it as well !

    Good on ya polemic for fighting the fight, I don’t seem to disagree with your logic as well.

    But anyway, I wonder if most of us here (including those sparring with you) are really on the same path (but get easily sidetracked with pet issues and stances etc)?

    For example I did ask Reid the other night what could be done to improve US-Iran relations (rather than sabre-rattle – after all saber-rattling and conflict will, apart from death and destruction, will cause oil prices to rise and economies to be fucked (mind you the oil producers are doing ok but perhaps that’s another discussion).

    It seems to me the underlying thorn in getting the people and Govts of the US and Iran to better cooperate again (like the US cooperates with say, the Saudis – and after all have different values and beliefs as as much as Iran does) are the ruling theocracy. Take away the Mullahs’ power and at least their narrow interpretation of religion as the guiding force for their internal and foreign policy etc.

    I mean, I’m pretty sure the Left-poster’s here are just as critical of the Mullahs as the Right-posters.

    But, as Reid would point out alot more eloquently, the problem becomes some on the hard Left then can’t reconcile their beliefs that we shouldn’t interfere with the running of another country (eg Fisk would say that eh). Hence in the west the Left and Right fight it out amongst themselves whilst the Mullahs continue their grip on absolute power.

    EG say, would we trust a “hypothetical” religious zelot US Govt controlling their nukes one day?

    No? So why why trust the Mullahs with acquiring nukes?

    (At least the US Constitution seperates religion from govt, unlike Iran)!

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