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Old 11-05-2007, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Your mind
2,923 posts, read 4,561,903 times
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The problem is that the lame-duck president (and possibly President Giuliani, or Clinton) has the world's most powerful millitary at his/her disposal. Iran and Venezuela don't. Both countries have self-interested governments that would gain nothing by launching aggressive attacks on America or an ally and incurring its wrath. Iran's leaders know their country would be ruined and their government demolished if they were to launch a nuclear weapon at Israel or the US. They probably won't give nuclear material to terrorist groups out of fear of having it traced to the source.

This isn't to say that Iran having nuclear weapons wouldn't be bad... the fewer totalitarian regimes with nukes at their disposal as bargaining chips, the better. But a US invasion or attack could potentially be much worse, which is something that Bush and Giuliani appear to be eager to engage in. It could sully our standing further in the Middle East (as an unprovoked attack), alienate the Iranian-allied shiites that run the government we're supposed to be bolstering, cause retaliatory strikes against soldiers in Iraq, and bring more chaos to the area. You'd have more anti-American Bin Laden sympathizers in Pakistan, which could lead to a far worse nightmare than the current situation in Iran (they already have nukes.) It could cause the Iranians to rally around their government, and that government would likely turn up the pace in the course of seeking nuclear weapons (secretly) as "insurance" against further attack. Bush/Giuliani/Clinton could end up solidifying the mullahs' support base, and Iran would likely retaliate economically by shutting off the oil supply.

Venezuela I don't think poses any threat to world security. As for who's more dangerous, Ayatollah Khomeini/Amadenijad or Bush... Amadenijad's and Khomeini are certainly far worse leaders than George W. Bush. Bush and Amad. are both lame ducks. But Bush has bigger toys he can play with for "noble" ends. And Khomeini's rhetoric, at least, is far less radical than Amadenijad's and generally has always been, If he was in a suicidal regime, seeking a way to start WWIII his government would have self-destructed by now. They haven't. They've acted in a self-interested fashion to increase their power and influence, and support their Shiite allies in Iraq. None of their foreign policy has been indicative of a desire to "destroy the world" or "bring the 12th imam." Rather they seem to be a country more focused on continuing their "Islamic revolution" at home and further molding their populace to fit their religious ideals, than on instigating wars abroad.

Last edited by fishmonger; 11-05-2007 at 09:07 PM..
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:21 AM
 
14,230 posts, read 15,052,168 times
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The reason they're celebrating the hostage taking in the '70s is probably because they haven't done much to contribute to humanity since then; other than bringing back that old ME pastime of publicly stoning immoral women and hanging gays.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,489 posts, read 20,806,021 times
Reputation: 13745
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
The problem is that the lame-duck president (and possibly President Giuliani, or Clinton) has the world's most powerful millitary at his/her disposal. Iran and Venezuela don't. Both countries have self-interested governments that would gain nothing by launching aggressive attacks on America or an ally and incurring its wrath. Iran's leaders know their country would be ruined and their government demolished if they were to launch a nuclear weapon at Israel or the US. They probably won't give nuclear material to terrorist groups out of fear of having it traced to the source.

This isn't to say that Iran having nuclear weapons wouldn't be bad... the fewer totalitarian regimes with nukes at their disposal as bargaining chips, the better. But a US invasion or attack could potentially be much worse, which is something that Bush and Giuliani appear to be eager to engage in. It could sully our standing further in the Middle East (as an unprovoked attack), alienate the Iranian-allied shiites that run the government we're supposed to be bolstering, cause retaliatory strikes against soldiers in Iraq, and bring more chaos to the area. You'd have more anti-American Bin Laden sympathizers in Pakistan, which could lead to a far worse nightmare than the current situation in Iran (they already have nukes.) It could cause the Iranians to rally around their government, and that government would likely turn up the pace in the course of seeking nuclear weapons (secretly) as "insurance" against further attack. Bush/Giuliani/Clinton could end up solidifying the mullahs' support base, and Iran would likely retaliate economically by shutting off the oil supply.

Venezuela I don't think poses any threat to world security. As for who's more dangerous, Ayatollah Khomeini/Amadenijad or Bush... Amadenijad's and Khomeini are certainly far worse leaders than George W. Bush. Bush and Amad. are both lame ducks. But Bush has bigger toys he can play with for "noble" ends. And Khomeini's rhetoric, at least, is far less radical than Amadenijad's and generally has always been, If he was in a suicidal regime, seeking a way to start WWIII his government would have self-destructed by now. They haven't. They've acted in a self-interested fashion to increase their power and influence, and support their Shiite allies in Iraq. None of their foreign policy has been indicative of a desire to "destroy the world" or "bring the 12th imam." Rather they seem to be a country more focused on continuing their "Islamic revolution" at home and further molding their populace to fit their religious ideals, than on instigating wars abroad.
You limit your analysis to direct aggression and ignore war-by-proxy and destabilization of the world's oil supplies. And neihter Iran nor Venezuela seem inclined to limit their activities to domestic issues. Why else would Iran fund Hezbollah and the Shi'ite insurgents in Iraq, and sponsor Islamist groups in virtually every muslim country; and why would Chavez establish links with Cuba and the new govenrment of Bolivia, and offer his "petro-socialsim" as an alternative to western democracy?
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,396 posts, read 7,050,557 times
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Yes we need to be vigilant while we are focused on the Middle East, lest those Venezuelan Special Forces Commandos use Cuba as their launching ground to invade Miami. But then again, other posters have claimed it is already a foreign nation anyway, so that would really be just formalizing matters, would it not.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,489 posts, read 20,806,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bily4 View Post
Yes we need to be vigilant while we are focused on the Middle East, lest those Venezuelan Special Forces Commandos use Cuba as their launching ground to invade Miami. But then again, other posters have claimed it is already a foreign nation anyway, so that would really be just formalizing matters, would it not.
Clarify things. Explain what "it" you refer to in your second sentence.
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Your mind
2,923 posts, read 4,561,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeledaf View Post
You limit your analysis to direct aggression and ignore war-by-proxy and destabilization of the world's oil supplies. And neihter Iran nor Venezuela seem inclined to limit their activities to domestic issues. Why else would Iran fund Hezbollah and the Shi'ite insurgents in Iraq, and sponsor Islamist groups in virtually every muslim country; and why would Chavez establish links with Cuba and the new govenrment of Bolivia, and offer his "petro-socialsim" as an alternative to western democracy?
As for Iran's support of terrorists... Hamas and Hezbollah are regarded througout much of the Muslim world as "popular resistance movements" with the primary and immediate aim of expelling Israeli/Western troops and settlements from their respective territories. They follow Khomeini's ideology and certainly have unsavory and indefensible platforms/methods (refusal to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, desire for draconian Islamist governments in their own states), but the former is highly unlikely to be "acted upon" because those groups would sacrifice their chances for power and autonomy as a result (by incurring the West/Israel's legitimate wrath) and the second is more of a matter of how the people in Lebanon and Palestine decide to be governed. So I wouldn't say Hamas and Hezbollah threaten "world security" as much as they threaten the security of Israeli border-dwellers, soldiers, and potentially the human rights of Lebanese and Palestinian women/gay people/dissidents if they take complete control over those areas' governments. Iran supports "terrorists" who promote their interests (increased Shiite power in the middle east), but I don't think that the US has the moral authority (or popular legitimacy) to attack them for that as we've done the same numerous times (they were just "freedom fighters") and have continued recently to support "terrorist" groups like the branch of the Kurdish PKK on the Iran-Iraq border that kills Iranian troops on Iranian soil.

Iran's support of the Shiite insurgents in Iraq is similar... they want to expel the Western "occupiers" and counterbalance the Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda. What they probably want out of Iraq is a stable, Shiite-dominated ally. I wouldn't say they threaten Iraq's stability as much as they threaten our desire for Iraq's friendship and oil. Now... if we were to start pulling our troops out of Iraq (removing the "Western occupying force") and negotiating with the various groups and border countries, it may be that Iran would want to take part in the peacekeeping/security process, as it doesn't benefit them to have a war raging in their back yard. They'll come out as "winners" in the whole ordeal but that's something our leaders should have considered before they decided to remove Saddam, Iran's counterbalancing nemesis.

As for oil, a more powerful Iran will be bad for the West and its allies, since they (and Russia, and China as a result) will have a bigger say and "veto power" so in international affairs, and American power could decline, but it's debatable whether that'll necessarily be a bad thing for the world as a whole... It could be very bad, or it could be that having 2 or 3 superpowers instead of only one could decrease the likelihood of war (less chance of anyone being able to "use the millitary with impunity," as I think someone in the first Bush administration put it). On the other hand, a more powerful theocratic Iran (while counterbalancing Sunni extremism) could also mean a setback to democratic/liberal reforms in Muslim countries. And China being more powerful would mean that we would have less bargaining power to get them to curtail their own human rights abuses, pollution, things like that.

Attacking Iran would be a bigger threat to world oil supplies than Iran gaining favor in Iraq, though. If they're not threatened they have no reason to hurt their own economy.

That was a really long analysis of Iran, wasn't it? Probably totally wrong. Because I'm not very smart and far less aware of the world around me than I appear to be. Mostly I'm talking out of my ass.

As for Venezuela, they're not promoting "petro-socialism," as you put it, as an alternative to "western democracy," but rather what they consider to be Western imperialism and dominance. The US hasn't based its criteria of support for South/Central American regimes on whether they were "democratic" but rather whether they were open to our influence, trade, corporations, etc. We helped give them free-market dictators like Pinochet and right-wing terrorists like the Contras, so I wouldn't say "western democracy" is what they're fighting. If South America wants to move to the left, that's their perogative -- people should have the right to determine how their own countries are governed. I doubt they'll stop trading with us, or letting us use their oil. It wouldn't make sense for them to do so, as long as we let them manage their own affairs.

I apologize for the lengthliness...

Last edited by fishmonger; 11-06-2007 at 08:58 PM..
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Old 11-06-2007, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Pa
20,310 posts, read 19,391,836 times
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Iran is actually justified in its dislike of the US Government. We helped to dispose of a leader that was fair and replaced him with the Shah...
As Fishmonger said its about western influence which from their perspective has been anything but good for them.
For those less eductaed the Shah was a brutal dictator every bit as evil as Saddam.
They celebrate the removal of their own Saddam... Is that such a bad thing?
I don't like the current leadership in Iran but remember compared to the Shah they are not so bad.
Chavez is a wanna be.
Bush and company inspire the likes of Chavez and feed his propaganda machine.
No doubt it is time for a change in DC. We can only hope we get someone who actually puts american interests and needs first, to include how to bridge the gaps between those we like and those we dont. You dont have to like someone in order to get along.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:13 PM
 
11,127 posts, read 12,642,663 times
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Not to make light of this Fox headliner but I have been searching for a while for some stock or video footage of the, "thousands of protesters" that attended this anti-American rally and I can't find any other than what the AP posted in several papers.

The Associated Press: Iranians Mark Anniversary of Takeover (broken link)

I noticed a few things, one being that I only see women and the other being that I have seen more people at a Ron Paul rally in Horses Crack, Arkansas than appear to be attending this event.

If anyone comes up with any pictures, please post.
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Old 11-06-2007, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Your mind
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Yeah... "thousands" isn't necessarily a huge number when you're talking about an entire nation.
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Old 11-07-2007, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Near Manito
19,489 posts, read 20,806,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishmonger View Post
As for Iran's support of terrorists... Hamas and Hezbollah are regarded througout much of the Muslim world as "popular resistance movements" with the primary and immediate aim of expelling Israeli/Western troops and settlements from their respective territories. They follow Khomeini's ideology and certainly have unsavory and indefensible platforms/methods (refusal to acknowledge Israel's right to exist, desire for draconian Islamist governments in their own states), but the former is highly unlikely to be "acted upon" because those groups would sacrifice their chances for power and autonomy as a result (by incurring the West/Israel's legitimate wrath) and the second is more of a matter of how the people in Lebanon and Palestine decide to be governed. So I wouldn't say Hamas and Hezbollah threaten "world security" as much as they threaten the security of Israeli border-dwellers, soldiers, and potentially the human rights of Lebanese and Palestinian women/gay people/dissidents if they take complete control over those areas' governments.

And the hell with them, right?

Iran supports "terrorists" who promote their interests (increased Shiite power in the middle east), but I don't think that the US has the moral authority (or popular legitimacy) to attack them for that as we've done the same numerous times (they were just "freedom fighters") and have continued recently to support "terrorist" groups like the branch of the Kurdish PKK on the Iran-Iraq border that kills Iranian troops on Iranian soil.

If you argue that conducting foreign policy in a way that benefits the US is immoral, I can think of no actions by our government that would satisfy your lofty standards except for isolationism and pacifism. A wise man once said the "having bloody hands is the price a nation pays for having hands."

Iran's support of the Shiite insurgents in Iraq is similar... they want to expel the Western "occupiers" and counterbalance the Sunni insurgents and Al Qaeda. What they probably want out of Iraq is a stable, Shiite-dominated ally. I wouldn't say they threaten Iraq's stability as much as they threaten our desire for Iraq's friendship and oil.

And you're fine with us losing access to that oil? You must be a bicycle salesman.

Now... if we were to start pulling our troops out of Iraq (removing the "Western occupying force") and negotiating with the various groups and border countries, it may be that Iran would want to take part in the peacekeeping/security process, as it doesn't benefit them to have a war raging in their back yard. They'll come out as "winners" in the whole ordeal but that's something our leaders should have considered before they decided to remove Saddam, Iran's counterbalancing nemesis.

So you would have been okay with using Saddam, but not okay with using Batista or Pinochet. I'm confused.

As for oil, a more powerful Iran will be bad for the West and its allies, since they (and Russia, and China as a result) will have a bigger say and "veto power" so in international affairs, and American power could decline, but it's debatable whether that'll necessarily be a bad thing for the world as a whole...

I'm glad that you're so sanguine about that risk. You are in a tiny minority.

It could be very bad, or it could be that having 2 or 3 superpowers instead of only one could decrease the likelihood of war (less chance of anyone being able to "use the millitary with impunity," as I think someone in the first Bush administration put it). On the other hand, a more powerful theocratic Iran (while counterbalancing Sunni extremism) could also mean a setback to democratic/liberal reforms in Muslim countries.

Well, Duh.

And China being more powerful would mean that we would have less bargaining power to get them to curtail their own human rights abuses, pollution, things like that.

Duh, II. You're becoming a neocon!

Attacking Iran would be a bigger threat to world oil supplies than Iran gaining favor in Iraq, though. If they're not threatened they have no reason to hurt their own economy.

That was a really long analysis of Iran, wasn't it? Probably totally wrong. Because I'm not very smart and far less aware of the world around me than I appear to be. Mostly I'm talking out of my ass.

As always.

As for Venezuela, they're not promoting "petro-socialism," as you put it, as an alternative to "western democracy," but rather what they consider to be Western imperialism and dominance.

They're talking out of their ass, too. That's why you want a Chavez shirt.

The US hasn't based its criteria of support for South/Central American regimes on whether they were "democratic" but rather whether they were open to our influence, trade, corporations, etc. We helped give them free-market dictators like Pinochet and right-wing terrorists like the Contras, so I wouldn't say "western democracy" is what they're fighting.

They have no idea what they're doing, aside from not working. They're like the Palesitnians, that way. All the tijme in the street screaming while the jews supply their water and give them jobs.

If South America wants to move to the left, that's their perogative -- people should have the right to determine how their own countries are governed. I doubt they'll stop trading with us, or letting us use their oil. It wouldn't make sense for them to do so, as long as we let them manage their own affairs.

The left is always fun for a while. The comes the gulag.

I apologize for the lengthliness...
Hey, caffeine works that way. No need to 'splain.
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