Iran Signals Continuity in Its Syria Policy Following Rohani’s Election

In the wake of Hassan Rohani’s election as the Islamic Republic’s next president, some Western commentators have argued that Rohani’s election is a manifestation of popular antipathy toward various aspects of Iranian foreign policy, including Tehran’s strategy toward Syria.  This reading reflects both an inaccurate interpretation of the results in the Islamic Republic’s June 14 presidential election and a deep misunderstanding of its Syria policy. 

As Kayhan Barzegar explains in his most recent—and, as usual, succinctly insightful—article, see here, Iran’s Syria strategy, across “the different pragmatic, Reformist and Principalist governments of Rafsanjani, Khatami and Ahmadinejad,” is a function of perceived threats to Iranian interests and security.  And, as our colleague, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, recounts in a discussion of Iran’s presidential election and its implications on China Radio International, listen here, president-elect Hassan Rohani himself said in one of the candidate debates that, under his presidency, Iranian policy toward Syria would not change.  (The other panelists on the CRI program are Flynt and Ambassador Hua Liming, China’s former ambassador to the Islamic Republic; Mohammad’s remarks on Syria start at 45:05.)  

Since the start of the current Syrian conflict, Tehran has been focused on two such threats—in Kayhan’s words, a “military threat from the United States and Israel,” and a “threat from local rivals” seeking to minimize Iran’s regional role.  As Kayhan elaborates: 

“The direct threat came from the United States and its Western allies when they made regime change in Syria a starting point to weakening Iran’s regional role, its nuclear stance and perhaps regime change in Iran.  Iran’s regional rivals also saw an opportunity in the Syrian crisis to weaken its position in the region.  The challenge has come not only from traditional rival Saudi Arabia, but also Qatar and Turkey, once a friendly state, as both took the opportunity to contend with Iranian influence.  Together, the three states have formed a bloc to minimize Iran’s regional role.  Therefore, Iran had no choice but to react or give ground on its traditional influence to its rivals.”

In contrast to current U.S. policy, though, Iranian strategy allows for—indeed, ascribes high priority to—serious diplomacy, conflict resolution, and a cooperative approach to regional security.  As Kayhan underscores,    

“It is interesting to observe how the US and the West, just like in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost Iran’s influential role in solving the Syrian crisis at the onset.  By minimizing Iran’s role in the Syrian developments and calling Iran part of the crisis in the country, the US marginalized the moderate voices inside Iran that sought meaningful changes and reform by the Assad regime.  This provided the ground for the military-security elites to justify calling Syrian regime change an immediate threat to Iran’s national interests and security, subsequently shaping Iran’s Syria policy.

Unlike countries [such as] Egypt and Syria, which shape and conduct their political-security strategies based on their defeats in wars with Israel and losing land such as the Golan Heights, a great part of Iran’s active presence in the region aims to pre-empt future threats and keep its alliance with friendly states and political factions.  Experience shows that in an interactive atmosphere and in the course of negotiations, Iran becomes more accommodating and constructive in settling a regional crisis.  While Iran cooperated with the United States in establishing the new Afghanistan in the Bonn conference in 2001, it strongly opposed US regional policy when its national security was endangered by aggressive American calls for regime change after the victories in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Therefore, the degree of change in Iran’s regional policy directly depends on the actual and perceived threats that Iran sees from Washington and its allies in the region.”

Similarly, Seyed Mohammad notes that, by supporting violent jihadis and a “push for civil war” in Syria, in an attempt “to weaken Iran,” the United States and its European and regional partners are “creating a very dangerous situation, and this has become a threat to the whole world.”  By contrast, Iran’s Syria policy is rooted in an assessment (shared by Dr. Rohani) that Assad has “the support of the general population” in Syria, and therefore “must remain in power until elections are held” in 2014.  At that point, “free and fair elections, with the presence of foreign monitors, can take place…Whoever is elected in 2014 could then lead the country.” 

From Tehran’s perspective, the United States, Britain, and France “simply do not want the issue, the civil war in Syria, to come to an end.”  But, with the Syrian government’s recent gains on the battlefield and the growing prominence of al-Qa’ida-like jihadis on the opposition side, “some countries in the region are beginning to rethink their policy on Syria.”  And some countries—like Turkey—are “under pressure” because of their Syria policy.  So, perhaps Dr. Rohani’s accession to the Islamic Republic’s presidency “would be an excuse for the Saudis and the Qataris to think of some sort of negotiated settlement with Iran…If the Saudis begin to reconsider their support for al-Qa’ida, and jabhat an-Nusra, and other extremist forces, then there is good potential” for constructive diplomacy between regional states now supporting the rebels and Tehran.       

And, if the United States and its European partners persist in their destructive policies toward Syria, Iran and its partners, including Hizballah, calculate that they can ultimately turn this to their advantage, too.  With regard to Hizballah, we have just returned from a visit to Beirut.  As Hillary explains on Al Jazeera, Hizballah is well aware (as are Iranian officials) that supporting the Assad government has cost both it and the Islamic Republic some of the enormous standing they had built up over the last decade or so with Sunni Arab publics—especially as Saudi Arabia and other actors on the Arab side of the Persian Gulf assiduously pursue “a targeted campaign” to cast the Syrian conflict in sectarian termsBut Hizballah and Iran both calculate that, at the end of the day, “the sectarian issue will die on the altar of Israel and the United States,” with “people eventually realizing that this is all about [American and Israeli] dominance and hegemony.”    

Given the Obama administration’s course, it may not take Middle Easterners that long to realize that America’s Syria policy is, indeed, all about dominance and hegemony.   

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

 

267 Responses to “Iran Signals Continuity in Its Syria Policy Following Rohani’s Election”

  1. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Most of the “Sunni Arab public” is revolted by what they see being done by the takfiris in Syria.

    Like I said way back, the goal has always been to separate the Sunnis from the takfiris and alhamdulillah the war Syria is doing this.

    “You plan and Allah plans and Allah is the best of planners”

    Like others have said, the Islamic Republic and its allies are the only game in town from Med to Hindu Kush.

  2. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    FBI Admits It Surveils U.S. With Drones

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/06/fbi-drones/

    Really? Absolutely shocking…I mean who would have thought…

  3. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    I think a little “Islamic democracy” a la Islamic Republic of Iran and Velayat-e Faqih would help the American people restore a semblance of democracy to their society.

    Same with those poor people in Europe being ruled by the banks.

    Secular democracy is dead.

    Long live Islamic democracy!

    (Did you hear that Khatami, Moussavi, Tajzadeh, et al?)

  4. Pirouz says:

    -Interesting that France has now apparently flipped its position and is now calling for Rouhani to attend Geneva II. With Iran attending, the conference would be made viable.

    -If (and that’s a big if) elections were actually held in Syria in 2014, more Syrian battlefield successes could potentially produce election results similar to that of the American election of 1864, which was also held during civil war conditions and where regime incumbent Lincoln won with 55% of the vote.

  5. Pirouz says:

    -The big “if” with the potential 2014 Syrian election would be if it were to be a “bust” like the previous Syrian election held during civil war conditions.

  6. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    June 20, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    If you read his book, you will see that he like Bush had deep ideologies which called for war on Muslim lands. He was only acting on those ideologies. Now that war has been more refined. It has become a war on Shias and their allies. Whether that is a tactical move or because of a change in ideology, I do not know. Maybe, dear learned fyi, would like to comment on it.

    ////

    Burma did not institute any (meaningful) reform. Everything is the same. They only expressed their willingness to become an ally in the war against Islam. Their proposal was accepted.

  7. fyi says:

    Pirouz says:

    June 21, 2013 at 8:45 am

    France is asking Iran to support the ouster of Mr. Assad as a price for joining Geneva II.

    It is a moot point; Geneva II is now dead.

  8. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    June 21, 2013 at 8:07 am

    Secular democracy is not dead.

    And its appeal will persist among many religious minorities and even among Muslima.

    The reason is intolerance the examples of which we see.

    That is why Alevi’s support secular state in Turkey – they fear Islamic Orthodoxy.

    The coinage of Islam has been so debased over centuries that for many it has no attraction.

    And the recent statements of yourself in regards to Bahai and Ikhwan in case of Shia and Taliban against Hazara and Ahmadi leaves credence to the observation that to a Muslim is to be an intolerant benighted fools aiming to kill all who are not like him.

    Until and unless a Muslim doctrine of minorities is not formulated, the charge stands.

    And the events in Levant and in Pakistan only serve to confirm it.

  9. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    “Until and unless a Muslim doctrine of minorities is not formulated, the charge stands.

    And the events in Levant and in Pakistan only serve to confirm it.”

    Very true. Unfortunately the Muslim scholars, thinkers and philosophers in the past 800 years have failed miserably on these and other issues. I do not have much hope in this regard in our life time.

  10. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    June 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Some work was done in that regard during the late Mughal period in India.

    That work could be revised and expanded.

    The real problem is an absence of vision and ambition to think globally and beyond the 4 other recognized varaints of Islam mentioned in the Quran.

    Once could, for example, in regards to Sikhs state that they are 50% or 80% or 40% Islamic (but not Muslim) and leave it at that.

    One could, likewise, state that non-Islamic religious communities could exist within Islamic state but they could not try to convert.

    And many more such things; I am not a specialist but I think the basis for moving forward exists within Islamic Tradition.

    Fear is also a factor – 30 times in the Quran and 300 in the New Testament men are admonished to “Be Not Afriad”.

    Is anyone listening?

  11. Don Bacon says:

    The US has sanctioned Iran for various reasons besides nuclear, including human rights abuses, development of unconventional weapons and ballistic missiles, support for international terrorism, deceptive banking and of course for evading sanctions.

    It’s interesting that, in light of current news reports, the US has also sanctioned Iran (and Syria) for “grave human rights abuses” related to computer monitoring.

    Executive Order 13606 of April 22, 2012
    –Grave Human Rights Abuses. . . facilitated by computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking by those governments, and abetted by entities in Iran and Syria that are complicit in their governments’ malign use of technology for those purposes
    http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=100679&st=iran&st1=

  12. fyi says:

    Don Bacon says:

    June 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Yes, just shows you how far US has fallen herself; the kettle calling the pot “black”.

    Funny in a way if the implications were not so serious against Liberty.

  13. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    From two threads back in case someone missed it:

    “fyi, Nasser,
    Iranians will never “accept” Bahais- didn’t do so during the Qajar era, Pahlavi nor during the IRI. Better they go to Haifa…and then get bombed by Hezbollah…inshallah!

    Unlike other countries, in Iran some of these mentioned groups are so marginal as not to warrant any need to pay attention to them.

    The best solution is if they gradually migrate to their real promised land- the west. Many have done that.

    Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians are protected under sharia and the Iranian constitution and have guaranteed seats in the Majlis.

    Many of them also fought in the war and some were martyred.

    The Supreme Leader regularly visits their families just like he does the families of the Muslim martyrs.

    Sikhs are a special case in Iran. There is a Sikh temple in Tehran and around 5000 Sikhs in Iran, most with Indian passports but some got Iranian passports before the revolution.

    Again not large enough to warrant attention by the Iranian authorities- nor by the Indian authorities for that matter.”

    Your response:
    “You have to look beyond Iran and consider a situation in which Shia have to deal with Ahmadis, Alevis, Alawite, Druze, Hindus etc.”

    fyi,
    It’s simply not true that I have to look beyond Iran on this issue. In Iran the official religious minorities enjoy legal protection, respect and welfare.

    This is so because our religious laws demands this of us and it was insisted upon by Imam Khomeini (r) after the revolution.

    The rule is if you are Muslim, Christian, Jew, Zoroastrian and Sabaen you are in. Those that aren’t- hard luck, move to Miami. (Sorry Hindus)

    Alawites are considered Muslims, Alevis like the Bektashis and most in Turkey/Kurdistan that are not ghulat, are also legally Muslim and the Druze can be brought into the fold pretty easily.

    The others, hard luck. You see, no need for secularism, Jafari usuli fiqh can resolve all challenges. Religion without law is navel gazing and the only religion today that still understands the central place of law is Islam.

    Contrary to your indoctrination it’s exactly this pathological obsession with minute minorities over the needs of the majority that is the fatal flaw of liberalism.

    Contrary to your claim, this is not about “fear”, it’s about common sense.

    Iran will always be Muslim and majority Shia. Nobody is worried about that my dear. They really tried in the 20th century to change that and well, it resulted in an Islamic Revolution and an Islamic Republic were the less religious keep voting for akhunds and then go out on the streets to dance about it. God bless Imam Khomeini (r)- that doctor of Islamic law.

    It would behoove you to reflect on this history instead of blindly repeating your “dogma”. The only “doctrinaire” here is you.

    Like I said, the best thing Bahais can hope for in Iran is moving to Haifa. The other option is immigrating to the “promised lands” in the west.

    This does not diminish anything of the worth of Islam and Islamic state in Iran. On the contrary, it strengthens both and shows their wisdom.

    The point of Islam is to distinguish truth from batel, not to be holier-than-God like liberalism arrogates for itself.

    The sooner the remaining few Bahais leave Iran and become good American, French, British etc. citizens and subjects, the better for them and all the rest of us.

    They’re only a source of western imperial manipulation in Iran- what they were designed to be from day one.

    There is no “deal” to be had with the Bahais in Iran. Get over it.

    With headlines like these about your beloved western, secular “rule of law” and “democracy”…

    Bombshell: Fmr. Intelligence Agent Accuses NSA, Obama Of Lying, Alleges Broader Spying Programs

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/bombshell-fmr-intelligence-agent-accuses-nsa-obama-of-lying-alleges-broader-spying-programs/

    …nothing left to say but: Secular democracy is dead. Long live Islamic democracy!

  14. Nasser says:

    I would find a lot of hilarity in such paranoid nonsense if not for my fear that there might be a looming crackdown on the Alevis by the Turkish state:
    http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-318874-iran-plays-subversive-role-in-turkey.html

  15. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    The torch of “democracy” passed from the US to Iran 34 years. I know you couldn’t have imagined this back then, but it’s time to face the facts.

    Maybe in our youth there was a something to US/UK democracy. Today it is in shambles and officially flushed down the toilet.

    You now know how all those Marxists and communists felt in 1989.

    Of course you could go to some super-rich, boring, unimportant country like Norway or Luxembourg to live out your days in a secular rule-of-law democracy. That would be appropriate and consistent.

    We will not do such a thing and we will continue this amazing journey- that has led to the blossoming and awakening of our beloved Iran- that began 40 years ago.

  16. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    June 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Basically what BHO’s executive order says is, that by actions of Iran and Syria or anyone else resisting US hegemony which is monitoring and preventing lose internet, media service in their country, the foreign policy = National Security of the US which is to be spreading and maintaining her hegemony in these countries and their region is threatened (they can grow tomatoes and feed their people and that could be a threat to US NS this is because they are keeping a resisting population alive). His reasons for doing this are correct, preventing US to maintain her hegemony is a national security threat, because US’s current national security is based on maintaining her global political, economic and military hegemony regardless of what kind of hypocrisy or cost would take to maintain this policy, like for USSR is too late and impossible to reverse and change this policy. The current trajectory of US internal and external policies are set in way that no matter if she reverses or continue she will eventually collapse on her weight.

    “I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, hereby determine that the commission of serious human rights abuses against the people of Iran and Syria by their governments, facilitated by computer and network disruption, monitoring, and tracking by those governments, and abetted by entities in Iran and Syria that are complicit in their governments’ malign use of technology for those purposes, threaten the national security and foreign policy of the United States.”

  17. nahid says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfghQCuMiwk

    The main reason war in Syria . dear fyi is this true.

  18. nico says:

    BiB

    “Contrary to your indoctrination it’s exactly this pathological obsession with minute minorities over the needs of the majority that is the fatal flaw of liberalism.”

    Exactly !

    Liberalism is the dictatorship of minorities over the majority, with direct redult in loss of identity and cohesion of society.
    It is easy to understand how liberalism and materialism complete each other.
    As materialism needs any and all to be tradable with all moral barrier to be destroyed while liberalism is, at the end of the road, the reign of individualism and egotistic in selfish needs that the liberal dictatotship just encourages.

    Not that liberalism is a bad thing. Excess of liberalism is a bad thing.
    As much as extremism in other religiouns.

    In my view, what fyi fails to see is that abrahamic universalist religions (thus excluding judaisim) are in a fierce and antinomic battle with liberalism.

    Here reside the trap. The IR pursuing purposedly material development and is somehow is encouraging liberalism.
    As expressed before, materialism and atheism and thus liberalism are twin brother and sister.

    That was exactly what happened in europe during enlightment, with the class of the traders by gaining economic power, took effectively the political power and chased away the ancient ruling order. (King and church)

    Are religion and materialist progress reconciliable on the long run ?
    At least it is obvious that by encouraging economic liberalism, social liberalism will be a natural and unescapable consequence.

    Would be curious to see how the IR will deal with such phenomenon.

  19. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico-jan,
    A partial response to your very good question from Supreme Leader’s recent speech on 24th demise anniversary of Imam Khomeini (r.a.):

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1799&Itemid=4

    “…As for economic matters, the principles of Imam (r.a.) require relying on the national economy, relying on self-sufficiency, ensuring economic justice in production and distribution, defending underprivileged people and confronting the capitalist culture coupled with respect for ownership rights. Imam (r.a.) rejected the oppressive capitalist culture, but he also stressed the need for respecting ownership and property rights, capital and labor. Also, the principles of Imam (r.a.) require that we resist melting into the global economy and that we preserve independence of our national economy. These are Imam’s principles regarding economic matters. These things are obvious in Imam’s statements.”

  20. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    nico,
    “In my view, what fyi fails to see is that abrahamic universalist religions (thus excluding judaisim) are in a fierce and antinomic battle with liberalism.”

    Pope Francis calls on ambassadors to reject ‘bourgeoisie’ lifestyle
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/the-pope/10134826/Pope-Francis-calls-on-ambassadors-to-reject-bourgeoisie-lifestyle.html

  21. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    June 21, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    Yes Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji, you must, absolutely must look beyond Iran if you wish to maintain a claim to Universality of Islam.

    In particular, one would hope that the Shia would take the Message of the Prophets to China – there is a lot of spiritual hunger in the world.

    Legally defining Druze, Alawite, and Alevis as Muslim could be extened to others, such as Ahmadis, and Sikhs.

    This is a step in the right direction.

    [In my opinion, Alevis, Alawites, Druze, Sikhs and others are Islamic but not Muslim.]

    Ahmadis are not a minute minority.

    Sikhs are not a minute Minority.

    There are Hindus in Pakistan and in Bangladesh and in Malaysia.

    What are they to do, go to Miami?

    I think not – this is a weak and ungenerous response.

    You can stay in the Shia Fortress called Iran and scoff at all others – but a fortress mentality is not conducive to victory.

    I believe that the Mongol invasions of Rusland and Persia has conclusively proven that.

    Be not afriad, get out of your mental strictures and walk through the gates that late Allameh Tabatabaie (and myself, in my own very small way) have opened.

    You will not loose your religion, I asure you.

    And do not hide behind “Common Sense”; if common sense prevailed, the Prophet would have lived a quiet prosperous life and would have ignored the tidings of the Message.

    Well, the Rule of Law prevailed in the English Supreme Court and benefited Bank-e Mellat, didn’t it.

    Nowhere among Muslim polities such a thing would have happened.

  22. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    The fact remains that it is only in this “Liberal” West is a Muslim safe in his person, in his property and in his namus.

    Try to surpass its record.

  23. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 21, 2013 at 5:40 pm
    “nico says:
    June 21, 2013 at 4:51 pm
    The fact remains that it is only in this “Liberal” West is a Muslim safe in his person, in his property and in his namus.”

    For how much time ?
    The muslims are demonized for 10 years now in the west.

    See the result of wetern “generous” contribution in the ME in their liberal inquisition.
    How many corps ?

  24. fyi says:

    nahid says:

    June 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I very much doubt it.

    For one thing, I think that Iranians have been keen on selling their gas and would have loved to sell it to Europe.

    It was Europe that was not interested in Iranian gas as long as Islamic Republic of Iran is in existence.

    For if the Russian threat to cut-off supplies were so dire, they could have made a deal with Tehran, or even gotten gas from Saudi Arabia.

    In fact, the conservative former PM oftheCzech Republic – Václav Klaus – said as much; that there is no threat of cut-off gas from Russia – that it does not exist.

    Secondarily, I do not believe that Iraq has that much gas compared to Iran, Qatar, or even Saudi Arabia – please see here:

    http://www.indexmundi.com/g/r.aspx?c=iz&v=98

    I agree that there is a competition for access control to the world energy resources – no doubt.

    But the main reason for Axis Powers policy in Syria was to wound Iran.

    When that did not happen, per their habit, they escalated to the strategic Nowhere.

    I feel sorry for the young people in the Middle East – caught as it were – between Jihadists, Takfiris, doctrinaire Muslims of various stripes, mis-guided secularists of various kinds (rigidly looking for a substitute for Islam), and gutless sell-out leaders with a starving man’s cunning for next piece of bread but with no regard to future.

  25. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 21, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    Internally, these states treat their minorities better than they were treated at home.

    How much longer?

    I do not know how long this will last but even if the treatment of the Muslim (and other) minorities deteriorates in these Western states, what benefit would it give to Muslims in Muslim polities?

    Will Muslims in Muslim polities become safer in their persons, in their namus, in their property?

    I think not.

  26. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm
    “you must, absolutely must look beyond Iran”
    “You can stay in the Shia Fortress called Iran and scoff at all others – but a fortress mentality is not conducive to victory.”

    Your views about revolutioning islam at world stage is comendable.
    However there is still an “unimportant” entity called Nation, which is the maximum historical proven criticao sized entity that is governable on the long run.
    I know that by the current time and paradigm, the word Nation is not that much fashionable…

  27. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    June 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    I do not expect Americans to collapse under their own weight – there are very very capable people in the United States.

    [Mr. James Baker comes to my mind; everytime I saw him, I thought to myself: “How do you produce people like that?”

    Or some of my American colleagues with very high levels of intelligence, honesty, and work ethic.]

    At the moment, these people are powerless.

    I do expect that once the political and financial crisis of the United States becomes more acute, there will be a course collection.

    Since she is the dominant (but not hegemonic) power in the world; she will remain involved but she will discard many of her strategic commitments – she cannot afford them.

    I think Iranian leaders never have expected US to roll over and die, they have always been willing to work with the United States.

    But the United States does not wish to work with Iran – for her leaders, countries such as Iran have no business working with US – they must work for US.

    This attitude also informs the Russian leaders – dealing with Iranian leaders grates on them since Iranians behave as though they are equal to Russia and the Russians.

    I guess one really has have long range nuclear munitions before one is considered by US and Russian leaders as dakhel-e-adam!

  28. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 21, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    Many years ago, the American Protestant preacher by the name of Billy Graham was in North Korea – and thousands went to listen to him (during the presidency of the late Kim, Il-Sung).

    He also has preached in China, in Japan and elsewhere.

    Where is his Muslim analogue?

    Whay isn’t Mr. Qerati in Pyony Yung, or in Osaka?

    [If he cannot do it, send someone else who could.]

    And what is the Muslim analogue of Mr. Graham going to preach?

    Tell Japanese women to cover themselves?

    Tell Chinese not eat pork?

    Tell the Koreans to segregate the sexes (like during the Chosun Dynasty)?

    What is the Message Islam to all these people with enormous spiritual hunger?

    Hinding behind the physical and mental walls of Shia Fortress of Iran is a recipe for defeat, disaster, and irrelevance.

    This I believe.

  29. Nasser says:

    I agree Mr. Buchanan. If only more of your countrymen listened to you:
    http://buchanan.org/blog/the-palin-doctrine-5626

  30. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    June 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    USSR didn’t collapse due to uprising or revolution, USSR collapsed due internal and external over commitments. Presently US is over committed ( Maintaining free security for Europe, Asia, Oceans, etc.) if she reverses/reforms (correcting) her commitments she becomes like present day Russia still a big power but not a hegemonic super power. But If she continue and maintain current path without any reforms, reducing her unaffordable commitments, she may even experience a sudden violent collapse. Either way is too late to keep another Americas century.

  31. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 21, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Again, a sovereign nation is made to defend and represent its citizens.
    It is a brew that makes a shared identity and create a shared destiny.
    That is coming from shared culture, history, language, religion, etc.
    Democracy is exactly that. Having the sovereign nation to satisfy the individuals shared will.
    The sovereign nation being the historical proven entity which have the right balance between the power/means and the cohesive will of its constituencies in order to implement the needed policies.

    In the case of the IR the citizens make their own choices, other nations make theirs.

    I fail to understand your point regarding muslim messianism in Japan and elsewhere.

  32. James Canning says:

    The thought did not occur to me, that the election of the new president in Iran would cause a change of policy toward Syria.

  33. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    And Putin has said that the Soviet Union spent to much on “defence”. Far too much. Which of course is one of the foolish things the US has been doing for many years now.

  34. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You say that “the US does not want to work with Iran.” Truth is simpler: ISRAEL LOBBY does not want the US “to work with Iran’. Full stop.

  35. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Some Saudis and Qataris wanted (and want) to overthrow the Assad regime to cut off at least some of the weapons that flow through Syria to Hezbollah.

  36. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Surely democracy in the UK is in much better shape than democracy in the US.

  37. Kooshy says:

    “[Mr. James Baker comes to my mind; everytime I saw him, I thought to myself: “How do you produce people like that?”

    Looks like you are stucked in US of the Reagan era 1980’s. Arguably even that wasn’t real It just was another glass facade, it was boosted when Americans were made to believed that the USSR collapse was theirs.

  38. jay says:

    Interesting reading for those who believe US/UK were sincere in their message of engagement.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/28/world/20101128-cables-viewer.html?_r=0#report/iran-09BRUSSELS536

  39. Empty says:

    fyi says,

    “But the main reason for Axis Powers policy in Syria was to wound Iran.

    I think the main reason is not that. That is the main reason to dress up the actual reason. http:// www. ahavat-israel.com/eretz/future.php
    Ahhhhh the dream of acess to vital maritime routes from three sides. Ain’t God generous to them? It’s possible that “az hole haleem daran to dig mioftan”.

  40. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Surely democracy in the UK is in much better shape than democracy in the US.”

    You’re absolutely correct. I think the UK’s democracy is in a much better shape because of their skillful use of social media, mobile and stationary surveillance system. As technology advances, I think the UK’s democracy improves many fold. Hopefully, US could learn a thing or two fro the UK.

  41. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    June 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    “And Putin has said that the Soviet Union spent to much on “defence”. Far too much. Which of course is one of the foolish things the US has been doing for many years now.”

    Gav

    That it’s not a correct statement, US doesn’t spend much on defense, US’s military spending is only for offensive postures, which is militarily offensive externally, and economically offensive on poor Americans internally.

  42. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    The universality of Islam is the job of Imam-e Zaman (aj) when he returns, not ours. In the mean time we will build a “Shia fortress” for him in Iran. Do you get that?

    I don’t think you get that. Our focus is Islamic Iran currently, not Islamizing Koreans or Chinese. Got it?

    Like I said Alawites, Alevis that are not ghulat and Druze for all intents and purposes are within Islam per Islamic law currently without the need for any “reform” or secularism. Got that?

    I explained the case of the Sikhs in Iran. No Ahmaddiyyas in Iran thank God. The Bahais I explained as well.

    And yes, the best place for Hindus today is US and Canada. This is in fact a very “generous” answer.

    Better than sending Agha Qarati to China is to have Chinese students study Islam and preach it themselves in China. If you like I can arrange a visit to Qom for you and you can meet the hundreds of Han Chinese talabeh learning Islam. You up for it? No? Didn’t think so.

    And guess what? the ladies put on headscarves and they all stopped eating pork when they converted because of God and the Prophet (sawas). You know people are capable of moving beyond the culture they are born into. Right?

    As far as the Mongol invasion, let’s be clear that the Mongols became so-called “civilized” Iranian Muslims. I think this conclusively proves something else than what you claim. How’s that for “mental strictures”?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghazan
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%96ljeit%C3%BC

    Thus rest assured that it’s not fear but common sense of Islam as Allamah Tabatabai- that doctor of Islamic law- taught us that is the basis for our action.

    “And do not hide behind “Common Sense”; if common sense prevailed, the Prophet would have lived a quiet prosperous life and would have ignored the tidings of the Message.”

    A little oghde-i about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (sawas) Mr. fyi? I’m guessing you probably didn’t mean what you said in that way. Right?

    Like I said you can lead a quiet prosperous life in Norway or Luxembourg. We will build our beloved Iran which you abandoned for a quiet and prosperous life so many years ago.

    The same rule of law in the UK in the Mellat case is the same absence of rule of law in the UK when it comes to imperial interest and makes the British abandon person, property and namus when threatened by a bunch of bedouins from Najd.

    Can’t have it both ways Mr. fyi.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Yamamah_arms_deal

    It gets better…

    GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world’s communications
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa

    (James, this is my answer to your as-usual leading question)

    With the complete takeover of the state in the private lives of people in the US/UK/west, with the imperial wars, killings, bombings,lies, b.s. elections and bought off judiciary whenever it serves imperial interests- the only ones still believing in secular western democracy are wealthy pensioners like you and James Baker. Have fun together, while the rest of us have moved on.

    Like I said, you are starting to know how those communists felt in 1989 when their ideological world that they spent their whole life believing in started falling apart. Secular liberal imperialist democracy is falling apart. Good riddance.

    And don’t talk to me about Norway or Luxembourg or Belgium or Austria because there they go but by the grace of the US/UK post WWII empire. Vassal states for pensioners to live out their lives quietly and not cause trouble for imperial projects. And now even the pensions are under pressure given the casino capitalism a la Reagan Thatcher and Sec of Treasury James Baker. Thanks for nothing.

    Like I said, secular democracy is dead. Long live Islamic democracy.

  43. Raad says:

    Re Syrian war – long planned and in gestation before the Arab Spring. See the interview with Roland Dumas – foreign minister of France in Chirac govt to get a peek behind the diplomatic bs. Btw of course there would be no place for Iran in the negotiations when the aim of conference is not conflict resolution but regime change in Damascus.

    http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/141679/Frances_Former_Foreign_Minister_UK_government_prepared_war_in_Syria_two_years_before_2011_protests/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Disclosetv+(Disclose.tv+-+New+Videos)

  44. kooshy says:

    What is funny with majority of recent western media reports and analysis, after Mr. Rohani’s first post-election news conference, is that these so called Iran reporters and analyst are disappointment that Mr. Rohani’s insisted he will protect all Iran’s and Iranian’s international rights. What did they think; that he was elected by majority of Iranians to give up their rights, as president Ahmadinejad use to say: you can be unhappy and die from it if you want too.

    “We don’t know yet whether Hassan Rowhani, the surprise winner of Iran’s presidential election, will turn out to be a reformer or just another frontman for the clerical establishment. He won’t even be inaugurated until Aug. 4.

    In his post-election news conference last week, Rowhani said all the right things. Iran needs “moderation,” not extremism, he said. It’s time to “repair the wound” of Iran’s bitter history with the United States. And, he added, Iran is ready and willing to make its nuclear program “more transparent” than it is today.

    But Rowhani is no democrat. He has worked directly for the uncompromising supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, for decades. And if there is to be a nuclear deal, it will be Khamenei who counts, not Rowhani.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-nuclear-iran-rowhani-20130623,0,5405795.column

  45. James Canning says:

    “[T]he Pentagon has made no secret of its distaste for any military options in Syria.”

    Financial Times report today (June 22/23)

  46. James Canning says:

    Raad,

    ISRAEL LOBBY in the US tries to prevent any contact between American officials and Iranian officials. Thus, foolish US effort to prevent Iran from participating in a Syrian peace conference.

  47. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Re: Mongol conquest of Persia, are you saying that the conquerors were absorbed into Persian (and Muslim) culture? Clearly this is what took place.

  48. Nasser says:

    For those that think sanctions will ever be lifted on Iran:
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/06/iraq-united-nations-sanctions-kuwait-chapter-7.html

    Iran’s foes, the US and Persian Gulf monarchies are implacable and nothing but the dissolution of the Iranian state will satisfy them.

  49. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I put inverted commas around “defence”, when speaking of “defence” spending by the US (or the USSR for that matter).

    I entirely agree with you that most US “defence” spending has NOTHING to do with defending America.

    Putin saw most Soviet “defence” spending as having little to do with defending the USSR.

  50. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Didn’t Russia under the Tsars spend far more on the Imperial Navy than it did on education? Lunacy.

  51. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    Under the foolish Nicholas II, Russia squandered huge sums on an attempt to annex Manchuria. Lunacy.

  52. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I attribute a good part of the steady relative decline of the economic circumstances of most Americans, to the idiotic squandering on “defence” that the fools in the US Congress insist upon.

  53. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    June 22, 2013 at 4:08 am

    One of the lessons of Iran-Iraq War that Iranian planners and leaders understood and absorbed was that Iran could not be successfully defended from within her own borders.

    [Americans have known that since before World War I.]

    The Mongols in Russland and in Persia essentially obliterated static defenses centered around walled cities.

    [Whether the descendants of these raping murdering hordes became good Rusland, or Persian, or Han would be irrelevant to the man whose wife or nubile daughter is raped in front of her eyes and his sons are beheaded.]

    What applies to static physical defenses equally well applies to intellectual/religious/spiritual defenses.

    Evidently, there are Shia Iranians who are not waiting for the 12-the Imam to come forward and carry their burden for them. Please see below:

    http://jafrianews.com/2013/05/20/irans-cultural-center-of-thailand-commemorates-a-ceremony-in-respect-of-the-pioneer-of-shiite-in-thailand/

    I sense in you and many others the unwillingness to move out of your comfort zone – the others being the Usuali, the Akhbari, the Sufi – all are equally ill at ease in the contemporary world.

  54. Iranian says:

    In the “friends of Syria” conference it has been decided that each country will provide aid for the takfiri cannibals in their own way.

  55. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The German Empire was well able to defend Germany from within the borders of Germany, but German military leaders convinced themselves to the contrary. With disastrous results, of course.

  56. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 22, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Not at all, their defeat clearly indicates that the military doctrine that you advocate is a recipe for defeat.

    And then there is the example of World War II in which Germany superbly defended herself from outside of her own territories for more than 4 years – and likewise Japan.

    In fact, that is why Iran will fight in Syria indefinitely; she cannot be defended otherwise.

  57. nico says:

    After Badrakumar painting Obama as a failed leader, now Assange heavy charging Obama as a traitor and leader of the fascist USA.

    http://wikileaks.org/Statement-by-Julian-Assange-after,249.html
    Statement by Julian Assange after One Year in Ecuadorian Embassy.

    But mister Canning will surely explain that spying is a necessity and nothing new.
    That morality is relative and proportions are unimportant.
    That we should live with it in order to be richer and wealthier.
    Like the case of Iran which should just abandon all its moral claims.

  58. jay says:

    nico says:
    June 22, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    There is a line from Bob Dylan…

    “They say that patriotism is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings … steal a little and they throw you in jail. Steal a lot and then they make you king.”

    Here is play on the same words…

    “They say that national security is the last refuge to which a scoundrel clings … tell on spying a little and they throw you in jail. Spy on a lot people and then they make you king.”

  59. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi:

    “[Whether the descendants of these raping murdering hordes became good Rusland, or Persian, or Han would be irrelevant to the man whose wife or nubile daughter is raped in front of her eyes and his sons are beheaded.]”

    I thought , in your view, the hardship of (or injustice to) current generation doesn’t matter much as long as the desired outcome is going to be achieved, per our discussion of social “justice”.

  60. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The attacks on Muslims in Burma are not being encouraged by any country, as far as I am aware. Your apparent assumption lacks any merit.

  61. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    The US spends about $75 billion per year on intelligence. My view is this is insane.

    The US spends more than one trillion dollars per year on “defence”. My view is this is insane.

    Where to you get the idea I approve?

  62. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    German foolishness produced defeat in the First World War. Germany intentionally started the war, and intentionally forced Britain to fight on the side of France and Russia. Gross miscalculations on part of Germany military. GROSS.

  63. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Germany was impregnable in early 1939, after annexing virtually all of Czechoslovakia. ZERO external threat, provided Germany not attack more countries. GROSS blunder in attacking more countries.

  64. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    June 22, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    That would be true if the death and destruction could conceivably be considered in a higher cause – opposing Evil etc. and not a meaningless death and suffering at the hands of common criminals, organized in an army.

    Put another way, it is useless to imagine that the suffering of a 12 year old girl being raped is some how redeemed due to the conversion of some Mongols at a later time into Islam.

    The girl and her parents suffered and died because they were weak, poorly led, and unprepared.

    There is no excuse for being weak Mr. Persian Gulf; in War, there is not substitute for Victory and Defeat means death and rapine.

  65. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    You don’t get it.

    The fact that I’ve been debating with you for 4 years in fluent English clearly shows that I’m quite comfortable in any zone.

    If you like we can continue the discussion in German or French. How’s that for comfort zone?

    Great leaders like Imam Khomeini (r) and Imam Khamenei are very much at ease in the contemporary world and have guided the Muslims and Iranian brilliantly through these times- while maintaining the Divine principles of ethics and justice. Quite an accomplishment.

    This cannot be said of the fifth-rate leaders of secular liberal western democracy that you so admire. The only one that was worth anything was De Gaulle- and he was neither secular nor liberal.

    You have certain dogma that you decided was true 30-40-what years ago and you fail to see the realities that have occurred since.

    You build a straw man that has nothing to do with reality when explaining Islam and IRI and then attack it. Get your facts right and don’t misrepresent what I said.

    When I say we build Iran that means that this is our priority, not that we don’t engage with others.

    Instead of sending Haj Agha Felani to felan country we bring the locals to Iran where they learn Islam and then go and decide how to teach Islam in their own country themselves. Common sense and rational. What’s better than that?

    Like all liberals you have imperialism in your DNA and think that everyone should do the same. Same with “nuclear munitions”.

    Imperialism is a fatal flaw of liberalism as we have witnessed it in real life- not in theory and in the books. Islamic democracy and IRI has shown no such disturbing proclivities nor has it become a plutocracy where elections are bought sold to the highest bidder and the people are just sheep to be manipulated and monitored 24/7.

    On the issue of imperialism and nuclear weapons the blessed Shia doctors of law- may God extend their lives- Islam, the IRI and the Iranian nation has shown that it is much more ethical, humane, decent, civilized and principled than najis war mongers and election defrauders like James Baker which you worship. Think about this a little Mr. fyi.

    That is why I say: secular democracy is dead. Long live Islamic democracy!

    The only one not willing to move out of his comfort zone is you.

  66. nico says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    June 23, 2013 at 4:07 am

    Thanks for this much interesting post.
    And I can not agree more.

    “Like all liberals you have imperialism in your DNA”
    Correct. But all universalists religion have imperialist DNA. Liberalism atheism being one of them.
    Universalists try to impose there exceptionalists views to others.
    Now the question is whether universalists respect right of nations or not.
    The question is who is in for a dialog among civilizations and who is in for clash of civilization.

    Sadly the USA being not being held in a check turned extremist fools and chose world inquisition after the cold war.
    Truly a civilizational blunder and failure.

    “This cannot be said of the fifth-rate leaders of secular liberal western democracy that you so admire. The only one that was worth anything was De Gaulle- and he was neither secular nor liberal.”
    All too true.
    Again I agree with you that at some point systemic explanation reach its limitation.
    At the end of the day it pertains to leaders in charge. They need to be held accountable.
    Obviously the west only produced leaders full of mediocrity for the last few generation.

    Obama is only the last one the trail of disgusting, faithless and mediocre leaders.
    But it seems unescapable when such leaders are not attached to a nation, religion, people and are in for the one global, liberal, capitalist order in which all minorities dictate to the nations. Starting with the plutocrats.

    By the way, it is more than likely that De Gaulle fall in the 1968 mini revolution was managed from US in one of the first colored revolution. He was then replaced by a bunch of banana republic sold out leaders.
    You know it occured just few month after De Gaulle required the USA to ship back France gold.
    This event precipitated the end of the gold-USD peg and world currency turmoil before the creation of the petrodollar in the beginning of 70′.

  67. nico says:

    From previous thread

    fyi says:
    June 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    “The Leveretts:The statement “Strategically and morally, this is a pathetic way for the United States to run its foreign policy” is true but the second part is not quite right.It is not “Obama’s way” as such, it is the way Foreign policy has to be conducted in the United States; it is a mark of degeneration in US Body Politic – and not just the 2 parties.Mr. Obama is a very gifted politician who knows how to navigate the degenerated politics of the United States, Syria be damned.And most Americans cannot care less about Syria or Afghanistan or any other foreign country; US is too rich and too powerful for them to care.The best hopeone can have for change is for the US vassals to start hurting, and hurting plenty, for Mr. Obama to change course.But I agree with you – this is immoral.”

    If you mean Obama is no better than other western politician. Well by running the presidential race he blocked other potential gifted polticians to demonstrate otherwise.
    For the sake of moral argument, at least in a second term run for the presidency he could have supported better than him…
    If you mean he is not responsible of the degenerate state of the US policied. That is an easy escape.
    Obama ran for the position and IS responsible.
    Alternatively he could have had supported somebody like Ron Paul, or he could have had adhered to such movement as anonymous or the 99%.

    For such a position as the US president you need to have leadership skills, convictions, vision, guts, morality (you know like not lying every other word and giving nonsensical speeches). He got none. He is only a cynical creature and is like a coach of a football team. Even if a brave at that.

    Obama is failure as much as Bush junior or Bill Clinton and needs to be held accountable.

  68. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    June 23, 2013 at 4:07 am

    I am pleased that you have moved from your initial position, as far as I understood it, that the task of Taking Islam to the Far East is one for the 12-th Imam to the position that “we are doing something about it by bringing them to Iran,”

    That is fine but historically, Muslims also sent emissaries and preachers to other countries.

    Both ought to be done and it seems that we are at 50% agreement.

    That could be a start.

    In regards to languages, try to learn adequate Japanese and experience that very highly civilized country – which is Liberal and non-imperialistic. You might learn something new.

    I believe you are very much mistaken in equating Imperialism with the highest stage of Liberalism; it predates Liberalism since the various historical empires were all imperialistic but not liberal orders at all.

    In fact, Spain under Philippe II is a good counter example to your theses.

    I believe in individual choice and his moral autonomy; I do not believe that the state has either the right or the duty of morally instructing the individual.

    As to long range nuclear munitions, I have stated my opinion and I stand by it. I am glad that there are planners in Iran who understand all of that and are proceeding on the right path.

    Bad-mouthing Euro-American (personal) Liberty is not going to address the inadequacies of practical and theoretical conceptions of Freedom in Muslim polities.

  69. fyi says:

    nico says:
    June 23, 2013 at 9:29 am

    Mr. Obama chose to remain in Afghanistan so that future US Presidential candidates from the US Democratic Party could not be attacked and criticized on the basis of “Weak on Defense”.

    The charge, of course, has always been bogus but has served the US Republicans well many times.

    The degeneration is this: Americans and their leaders are willing to send their own and others to Death in meaningless wars so as to fight their political battles for power inside the United States.

  70. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 23, 2013 at 11:47 am
    “Obama chose to remain in Afghanistan so that future US Presidential candidates from the US Democratic Party could not be attacked and criticized on the basis of “Weak on Defense”.”

    Correct.
    I would add that Obama followed such policy to avoid to be branded himself a weak leader.

    “The charge, of course, has always been bogus but has served the US Republicans well many times.”
    Correct.
    And this is here where the Obama BIG failure arises.
    How could the US be called weak when this country spend more than all other countries combined.
    How it is possible when the US have more than 700 military bases abroad.
    How it is possible when the US station nukes in many foreign countries.

    It takes political courage to fight the US domestic narrative.
    However a true leader know where are the true stakes.
    Obama like others does not not serve the US but himself and his clan.

    He is a small man, not of dimension needed at this juncture.
    He is a digusting failure of a politician.

    “The degeneration is this: Americans and their leaders are willing to send their own and others to Death in meaningless wars so as to fight their political battles for power inside the United States.”

    Real statemanship needs a leader to raise above the mass.
    Maybe Obama is gifted in wording stunts and sophism.
    But does not make a great man.
    Obama is an abject failure who do not have a vision and do not know to implement it.

    The US are lost in a middle of a strategic nowhere, ecconomically, military, socially.
    Obama did not bring the beginning of a solution and is pleased in the US decadence.

    As a conclusion, thege no excuse for Obama.
    He needs to be held accountable. AND HE IS CLEARLY NOT A GIFTED POLITICIAN.

  71. fyi says:

    nico says:
    June 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    There is a gap between Mr. Obama’s initial image – to get him elected – and his actions.

    He over-promised and over-projected in his campaign.

    You cannot expect him to try to deliver on all his promises; no political leader could do that anywhere in the world.

    Nor could you expect him to go against the interests of those who helped elect him; among them Liberal Jews of Chicago and Behind-the-Scenes leaders of US Democratic Party.

    Euro-Americans political systems are not promoting the right people; they seem to becoming narrower and narrower in the selection of future political leaders. You can clearly see it in Italy, in Spain, in Canada, in US, in UK.

    Even in Israel there are people who are excluded due to the machinations of the political parties.

  72. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 23, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I do do share your position.

    After the 2008 financial crisis, serious reform was possible. It did not happen.
    After the Iraq fiasco and afghanistan qagmir, change of course direction was possible. It woud have needed questioning previous decisions. It did not happen.
    As well, for the homeland security, spying and all civil right constitutional breaches.

    He has done NOTHING.

    His team is quite the same as the Clinton one. This is a decision of his own.

  73. James Canning says:

    Front page story in New York Times today, by Michael Gordon, claims that John Kerry’s proposal last month for a Syrian peace conference was new thinking. “The idea of a [peace] conference was a bold move”. Didn’t the Russian foreign minister call for such a conference last year?

  74. fyi says:

    nico says:
    June 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    That is fine.

    But, perhaps it would be more apt to state that Axis Powers – across the board – do not display any capacity for reform.

  75. James Canning says:

    Richard Haass, writing in The New York Times today, notes that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the US surge in Afghanistan in 2009 were big mistakes, but claims that the fact “the US spends more on defense than the next 10 countries combined” is evidence of American strength. Rather than evidence of collective stupidity.

  76. Ataune says:

    @fyi

    “I believe in individual choice and his moral autonomy; I do not believe that the state has either the right or the duty of morally instructing the individual.”

    I am curious to know what your definition of political leadership or [political system] legitimacy would be then. How do you think a [nation] state will try to perpetuate its power ? Or maybe should we all march towards one world nation under individualist and liberal dominion? Some would say the current path chosen by the US.

  77. James Canning says:

    I highly recommend “The Trap of Loyalty”, in New York Times magazine today. By Robert F. Worth, probing the situation in Syria from the standpoint of the Alawite community.

  78. James Canning says:

    Nico, FYI,

    It is fair to say Obama blundered in Afghanistan, to ward off potential political attacks from Republicans. Obama personally apparently thought the “surge” would only enlarge the insurgency at huge cost.

  79. Roger says:

    I have been following the back-and-forth argument between FYI and Bussed-in-Basiji with interest. It reminded me of an extremely interesting post by the Leveretts that appeared almost 2 years ago:

    http://www.raceforiran.com/determined-to-delegitimate-the-islamic-republic-neoconservatives-and-americas-iran-policy

    I suggest you both read it. It encapsulates the debate very well, and in my view exposes all the flaws in FYI’s analysis. Khomeini showed how it may be possible to have a modern state where church and state are not separated, and how there can be another legitimate and workable approach than secular democracy to governance in the 21st. century. Indeed, FYI and all other advocates of liberal democracy as the only way can be made to look doctrinaire, inflexible and ideological in their thinking. As such the Iranian revolution seems to represent the most serious challenge to the “Western Way” in a very long time. Food for thought indeed!

  80. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama gigantic blunder in Afghanistan was not so much in choosing “to remain”, but in trebling the US troop presence in that country.

    The debate within his administration in 2009 was whether to keep troop levels the same, or to attempt to “win” by vastly expensive “surge”.

    Hillary Clinton pushed for the foolish “surge”.

  81. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 23, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    3
    “But, perhaps it would be more apt to state that Axis Powers – across the board – do not display any capacity for reform.”

    That is again useless intellectual generalization.

    The US as the leader of axis power and still the only superpower has the duty to lead.

    The failure is first and foremostthe one from the US.
    And the com.ander in chief of the US us the most guilty.

  82. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Obama is profoundly wary of US military intervention in Syrian civil war. Give him credit for that.

  83. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Is the US able to “lead”, effectively, in matters pertaining to Israel? Hasn’t the Israel lobby made this politically impossible?

  84. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Define “victory”, when you argue Iran must have “victory” to avoid rapine, slaughter, etc etc.

    Germany enjoyed “victory” in early 1914. And threw it into the rubbish bin. By delusional thinking converning non-existent “THREATS”.

  85. fyi says:

    Ataune says:
    June 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    In the international system, force and political legitimacy go hand in hand. That is, once a functioning government has been established that can enforce its writ, it is, by definition legitimate.

    This has been the common practice when a new state/government replaces another one – the successor state inherits – if I may be permitted to use such an analogy – the rights, duties and obligations of the previous state.

    Historically, everywhere, states have been established through bloodshed and war.

    It is only in the past 200 years or so, with the rise of the Masses, that state legitimacy has come to be viewed to derive from popular mandate – a notion not supported by history.

  86. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm
    “Nico,Is the US able to “lead”, effectively, in matters pertaining to Israel? Hasn’t the Israel lobby made this politically impossible?”

    Difficult ? Sure.
    Impossible ? Definitely not.
    One example to crush the lobby could be through Israel nukes.
    If the president of the US shed light on them, with intelligence “leaks” and white house spin doctor playing with public opinion… Nothing new…

  87. fyi says:

    Ataune says:
    June 23, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    [I had not completed my response].

    The claim to legitimacy to rule among Muslims states, until very recently, was the enforcement of Islamic Law. Of course, they were all Tyrannies in which there was no Law except the Ruler’s whim. [Yes, one could marry 4 wives and hold slaves but no one ever was secure in his person, in his property, and in his namus – ever.]

    I am opposed to one universal world government; all human governments – in fact all human institutions – become corrupt over time – so would the Unitary World Government – with metaphysical certainty.

  88. fyi says:

    nico says:
    June 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    The Axis Power have no duty to lead the rest of mankind – they are there to advance the interests of their own tribes. May be their machinations in the global arena will result in some fellow somewhere in the Axis countries being able to purchase a 46-inch flat panel TV rather than a more modest 32-inch one.

  89. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    Again you are failing to credit the decay of the Peace of Vienna as the dominant cause of World War I.

    Blaming Germany to be 100% responsible for the War-to-end-all-wars is not supported by historical research.

  90. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    “Victory” has a very simple definition: One is standing while the other side is dead or fled.

    By this definition, Israel was defeated in 2006 and Hezbollah victorious.

  91. fyi says:

    Roger says:
    June 23, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    Iran is not a “Modern” state.

  92. Smith says:

    It is being rumored that Russia might give Iran Antey-2500 system as replacement for the S-300PMU1 systems in order to avoid “legal litigation” when Ahmadinejad goes to Moscow next month. If true, it looks more like a goodbye gift for Ahmadinejad and its help in Syria. And this new system is much more capable than the PMU1. Though this all could be a game by Russians to up the stakes for Americans with Iran getting nothing at the end much similar to the previous reset in US-Russia relations. Antey-2500: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-Giant-Gladiator.html

  93. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 23, 2013 at 4:54 pm
    Nico says:June 23, 2013 at 2:21 pm
    “The Axis Power have no duty to lead the rest of mankind”

    Wrong on all grounds.
    The US as the only superpower and by imposing themself to others set the standard at world stage.
    If today the world is more dangerous, the US is the first to blame.

  94. Karl.. says:

    If Russia gives Iran another military system it proves that the refusal to sell s-300 was all about denying iran real defensive capabilities, meaning Russia “approve” a possible attack on Iran?

  95. Karl.. says:

    James,

    “Obama is profoundly wary of US military intervention in Syrian civil war. Give him credit for that.”

    Thats why he lie, arm, support, fund the terrorists in Syria?

  96. fyi says:

    Smith says:
    June 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, it is just a game.

    Russians will not transfer those types of weapons to either Syria or to Iran – I think they have an agreement with US that they still adhere to.

  97. fyi says:

    nico says:
    June 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    Not at all; there is no jus gentium universum; every state (every Thug) is on his own.

    There are big Thugs, Blocks of Thugs, lone Thugs, and anything in between.

    One could argue that due to the penetration of the Message of Jesus, the Immaculate Son of the Virgin, into the consciousness of the Axis Powers, there is some constrain on their actions; constrains that never existed among the Mongol or Chinese or Japanese rulers.

  98. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Surely you are aware of the intense pressure on Obama to intervene in the Syrian civil war. Even John Kerry is pressing Obama to back the insurgents.

    Obama’s caution deserves praise.

  99. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia clearly is not keen to deliver the S-300 missile systems to Iran. And there is hesitation re: delivery to Syria too. As you note.

  100. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    “Victory” for Germany in 1914 would simply have been avoiding a European war. No need for anyone to have “fled” or to be “dead”.

  101. Nasser says:

    https://twitter.com/Sarahcarr/status/348907145141567488

    https: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYG58ezaGLA

  102. Halgheh Landan says:

    A few weeks ago ayatollah Khamenei opposed direct talk with US when he announced that “I am a revolutionary not a diplomat”. But then the outcome of the election points to the return of the ayatollah Rafsanjani and Khatami “pragmatism” policies. The essence of Mr. Rohani’s political philosophy could be understood clearly from just one sentence he uttered during the election debates. Mr. Rohani turned to his opponents (self declared war heroes) and said that the United States defeated Iraq in just three weeks when he decided to shut down the enrichment. In other words, he is a realist and not an idealist.

    However, the United States may decide that it serves them better to force ayatollah Khamenei out of power by pressuring its allies in Iran to pursue that agenda. It looks like there are two options :

    1. Going to Tehran
    2. Going back to 84 election again to purge Rafsanjani for good!!!

  103. Sineva says:

    Smith says:
    June 23, 2013 at 5:16 pm
    Indeed the russians have shown that they are completely untrustworthy on more than one occasion,tho considering what they stand to lose if iran wins the law suit its not surprising that they might be re thinking things

  104. Sineva says:

    Karl.. says:
    June 23, 2013 at 5:21 pm
    Well said,as usual james gives the west the benefit of the doubt even tho its guilt is clear

  105. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 23, 2013 at 5:36 pm
    “Nico says:June 23, 2013 at 5:17 pmNot at all; there is no jus gentium universum; every state (every Thug) is on his own.”

    First, it is flawed argument concerning the US leadership.
    The US as the only global superpower and in their unilateral momoment put their imprint on the world.
    Whether it is in a jus or not could be argued as a model of leadership, but not as the leadership itself.

    Second, it is AGAIN useless intellectual generalization (a la Mr Canning).
    The point is you are progressive or regressive in the trend of your policies.
    No matter where you are at some point in time, the absolute position is not important. It is result of history and circumstances.
    What is important is the direction you run to.

    The destruction of the US and all international trearties by the US is shamefull and regressive.
    The unilateral action from the US are shamefull and regressive.
    The way the US deal with their domestic policies is shamefull and regressive.

    China or Russia in absolute terms are not as developped or as “democratic” as the US, however their contribution in the last 10 to 20 years, first to their people and second to the world order is way more progressive than the US.

  106. nico says:

    Fyi,

    You could argue that progressive or regressive is not the point.
    I could argue that like Mr Canning you fail to enter “modernity” in this nihilistic conceptualization of the world !

  107. nico says:

    Fyi,

    http://www.heraldextra.com/news/opinion/editorial/15cd4809-0a84-5d84-9a44-02112c1559bd.html

    About leadership :

    “Obama is learning very late that, for a superpower, inaction is a form of action. You can abdicate, but you really can’t hide. History will find you. It has now found Obama.”

  108. nico says:

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/23/edward-snowden-escape-moscow-ecuador

    Maybe Snowden shoul seek refuge in Iran ! That would be an ironic blow to the great US democracy !

  109. nico says:

    http://m.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/23/nsa-director-snowden-hong-kong

    “NSA director: Edward Snowden has caused irreversible damage to US”

    No doubt shameless US leaders have some nerves !

    I read acomment somewhere stating that a SINGLE phone call eavesdropping without rightfull warant woul have been a scandal 2 decades ago.

    By now fascist US constiuencies are accusing Snowden !

    Shamefull.

  110. Empty says:

    fyi says,

    RE: It is only in the past 200 years or so, with the rise of the Masses, that state legitimacy has come to be viewed to derive from popular mandate – a notion not supported by history.

    You’re mistaken and your examination of historical accounts in support of your points suffers (quite decidedly) from selection biases. Following accounts are very clear examples of “social contracts” between Hazrat Mohammad (s.a.) and the people of the time before, during, and after “Be’esat” both in Mecca and in Medina. These are not with heads of states. These are, in most cases, written contracts with ordinary people. A form of vote taking, if you will.

    1. Halaf-ol-Fozol (the contract of the free and wise) – with Bani Hashem
    2. Halaf-ol-Fozol (the contract of the free and wise) – with Bani Zuhreh
    3. Halaf-ol-Fozol (the contract of the free and wise) – with Bani Tayyem
    (These three were before “Be’esat”.

    4. Bey’at Ashireh – Imam Ali was the only one who accepted.
    5. Bey’at Aqabeh I – With people of Yathreb
    6. Bey’at Aqabeh II – With people of Yathreb (about 2 years after the first one)
    7. Bey’at Okhovvah – With Mohajers and Ansars
    8. Bey’at Rezhvan – Upon entrance into Mecca (appx. 6 years after Hijrah)
    9. Bey’at Qadir Khom – Last voting session in which majority of those returning from Hajj accepted Imam Ali’s velayat and majority retracted after the death of the prophet.
    10. Bey’at-o-Nessa’ – with women of Mecca (this was when husbands, fathers, and brothers wanted “to sign” their acceptance with the prophet on behalf of their wives, dauthers, mothers, sisters, etc – go vote on their behalf, if you will) but the Prophet refused and asked that women to come and “bey’at” directly with him.

    He was a prophet for 23 years. That means 7 voting (after Be’sat) in 23 years which makes it roughly every 4 years on average (though some were one or two years apart and some were 5 or 6 years). Nevertheless, if you examine exactly what was going on in these “Bey’ats”, you can’t help but to see a remarkable similarity to current voting systems. The prophet was a messenger with a mandate from God. At the same time, he designed and implemented a system of governance that was very much based on people’s power and consent. This is a mark of a true leader.

  111. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Just to add to the previous post, these contracts were not just with Muslims but also with Christians, Jews, and other religious groups (e.g. Medina contract with the Jews, and Nejran contract with Christians, etc.)

  112. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 24, 2013 at 2:45 am

    I will not argue with Empricial facts; that US and her allies have abused the institutions of the Peace of Yalta after its collapse is not in question nor that it was desirable or undesirable.

    As an analyst, you have to deal with the world the way you find it and not the way you wish it to be.

  113. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    June 24, 2013 at 7:58 am

    Thank you for going back – again – to the period of time during which the Prophet was alive.

    For you, it seems to me, that history began and ended during those 23 years.

    Not for me.

    Howver laudable one may find the early Ummah under the leadership of the Prophet, the fact remains that it ended with his death.

    Reference to that time period is not sufficient; an Ahamdi is afe not in any Muslim polity – nor a Muslim.

    This is the rub.

    I think if you look at the history of expansion of the Ottoman Empire, you can see that rapine and theft of Christian communities, under the guise of Jihad – was a motivating factor; likewise for Teymour, Sultan Mahmud and others.

    I recommend that you study the Seljuk period, a seminal period in Near Eastern history.

  114. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 24, 2013 at 3:27 am

    I cannot talk of History as though it has a direction and purpose.

    What was the purpose of the Mongol invasions and estruction of Persia?

  115. Karl.. says:

    Nico,

    Rather shameful that not a single western state have offered this man asylum. So much for the “criticism” against US spying activities.

  116. Empty says:

    fyi,

    fyi,
    You conveniently omit a significant period (those 23 years) and then the 5 years of Imam Ali in your as-a-matter-of-factly statement about history and your explanation/excuse is that it was when the prophet was alive?! When you used the word “history” in your statement, what definition did you exactly have in mind? Do you not see the significance of that fact alone and the legacy after 1300 years? The prophet died. So did Imam Ali. And yes, it has taken Muslims a long time to begin to get their acts together. How does that make that 23 years (and then the 5 years of Imam Ali) insignificant and irrelevant?

    Sometimes, “Aftab ast neshaneh’ye Aftab” (Sunlight is the evidence for the existence of sunlight). The very fact that you and I are talking about at this moment should be quite a clear evidence to anyone with the slightest sense of deep analytical skill that a lot of things did not die. Perhaps they remained dormant. But they did not die.

  117. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    June 24, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I am not questioning the significance of the 23-year period of leadership when Prophet was alive or the 5 year Khaliphate of Imam Ali or the earlier, 3 and half year Ministry of Jesus.

    What I am saying is that we cannot go back to those periods of time as though the last 1300 years (or 2000 years in case of Christian History) have not happened.

    Commands to Malik Oshtor are useful for idea generations and for speculative reason, they are useless as perscription for governance at this time, in my opinion.

    Put another way, early Islam under the Khaliphate of the Prophet and Imam Ali, like early Christianity when Jesus was present, could be used as a source for inspiration and meditation but not for direct application to the problems and issues of today.

    When Taliban speak of Emirate of Afghanistan, and popular news papers in Iran carry quoatations from Nahj-ol-Baliqah in reference to the Islamic Governance, this demonstrates the dearth of historical analysis and understanding of the last 1300 years.

    In fact, it is almost like a willfull attempt at historical ignorance: why was it the Ummah broke up the moment the Prophet died? Could it have been avoided? If so how, if not so, why?

    Why did the Seljuks decay? Or the Safavids?

    The Safavids are specially important because under their rule a new ethnos emerged – the Shia-Iran one.

    Why is it that since the collapse of Sassania-Ashkanian Confederacy, no dynasty has been able to rule the Iranian plateau for longer than 220 years?

    What was it that the Ashkanian and the Sassanian were doing write that translated it into a long period of state stability?

    Going back to the time of the Prophet, Jesus, or Ali is not going to supply us with answers.

  118. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I of course agree with you that one cannot look for “purpose”, when studying History.

    The reason some events took place, such as the fantastic conquests of the Mongols, often has a good deal to do with some technological development that gave new advantage to the possessors of that development.

  119. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Students of the history of the Ottoman Empire might also note that many if not most of the best naval commanders were renegade Christians. Crews of the ships often were largely Christian.

  120. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What is this “collapse” of the “peace of Yalta”, that you refer to so often?

    You mean the collapse of the Soviet Union?

  121. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Do I understand you approved of the harsh suppression of peaceful dissent in Syria, that helped to bring on civil war?

  122. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    What do the Americans find so disagreeable about the current Emir of Qatar?

  123. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    No idea.

  124. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    But is it your understanding that it is they that are forcing him out?

  125. fyi says:

    All:

    The difference between a “Master” country and a “Slabe” country – “agha and nowkar.

    http://en-maktoob.news.yahoo.com/sri-lanka-unlikely-u-waiver-iran-crude-minister-183457531.html

  126. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Yes, and the thing of it is that these oil-well-with-flags can be financially destroyed by US in a few hours – their money – both public and personal – are exposed to Axis Powers financial sanctions.

    I understood that threat was made; “Leave or else (we will s=tie up your wealth in so manyh sanctions that you will never see any of it…)”

    Evidently, Amir of Qatar had no absorbed the lessons of US-EU financial war against Iran.

  127. nico says:

    fyi

    “I will not argue with Empricial facts”

    I do not argue about facts.
    However facts are always to be seen through each one lenses.
    Facts are analysed through pattern and frameworks not out of nothing.

    “As an analyst, you have to deal with the world the way you find it and not the way you wish it to be.”
    We are not exchanging neutral analysis. We are discussing politics.
    You may think you do not. Me think you are mistaken.

    “I cannot talk of History as though it has a direction and purpose.”
    As I stated few threads ago in an answer to Mr Canning, with such views we all still would be living in caves.
    Such view as the position and purpose of man in the universe has been subject of discussion to all religions and philisophical dicussions.
    Your point is that with the fallen state of man, all is nonsensical.
    It saturates all your “analysis”.
    Did I state somwhere, nihilistic ?

    Well I respect your position.
    We need to agree to disagree.

  128. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    The men who attcked the United States on 09/11/2001 where not nihilists – far from it.

    They almost certainly believed in God, Heaven, Hell, Resurection, etc.

    Perhaps you could be more comfortable with them; thinking that history has a direction and purpose that could be discerned by Human Minds.

    The 12-year old girl who was raped by the Mongol soldiers and her childhood shattered – perhaps you can reassure her that her pain and suffering was part of a grand scheme of things.

    Likewise, when Crusaders were slaughtering Christians in Constantinopolis, per chance, they were participating in historical progress?

    You do not seem to grasp that human life has been snuffed out, is being snuffed out wantonly and often brutally as far as we can tell – the bad, the good, – without discrimination – it seems.

    I fail to see any pattern in any of that.

    As for teh Fallen State of Man, it is a religious understanding and a warning to not fall prey to the Tempations of the Devil to indulge in the effort of creating Utopia – i.e. God’s Paradise on Earth through Human Power.

    And please, next time you are experiencing excruciating dental pain, try to see that pain through a lense that would make it go away.

  129. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 24, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    We need to agree go disagree.
    Keep your nihilistic views.
    I keep my idealistic views.

  130. nico says:

    http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/

    “Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy. While few philosophers would claim to be nihilists, nihilism is most often associated with Friedrich Nietzsche who argued that its corrosive effects would eventually destroy all moral, religious, and metaphysical convictions and precipitate the greatest crisis in human history. In the 20th century, nihilistic themes–epistemological failure, value destruction, and cosmic purposelessness–have preoccupied artists, social critics, and philosophers. Mid-century, for example, the existentialists helped popularize tenets of nihilism in their attempts to blunt its destructive potential. By the end of the century, existential despair as a response to nihilism gave way to an attitude of indifference, often associated with antifoundationalism.”

  131. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    Weren’t the Nihilists extreme anarchists in Russia, during the 19th century?

  132. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The gross spectacle of Christian Crusaders slaughtering the Christians of Constantinople owed of course a great deal to greed, envy, desire for revenge, plus a bit of relgious fanaticism.

  133. James Canning says:

    Nico,

    I am trying to help avoid another dangerous and idiotic war in the Middle East. And you see this as amoral?

  134. Lysander says:

    After hearing the devastating news of the murder of Sheikh Hassan Shehata and his companions in Egypt by a takfiri mob, I’ve decided to embrace Shia’ Islam and no longer identify myself as Sunni. Now, I have never been a practicing Muslim and probably can’t stop bad habits and begin positive ones right away. So this is the start of a journey rather than the end.

    May god bless the souls of the martyrs, comfort their families to bear the unbearable and guide those blinded by bigotry and easily deceived by charlatans into a better understanding.

  135. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Why is it you have argued (if I understood what you were saying) that the Japanese and the Chinese are somehow a “lesser civilization” because they haven’t received the revelations from the chosen prophets?

    Thank you

  136. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    June 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I have never argued that they are a lesser civilization. On the contrary, I think Japan is probably one of the 2the most civilized countries in the world – the other being Italy.

    But I argued, that from the perspective of Muslim historians – from al Tabari onwards – they have lived and lived in the Age of Darkness – in Jahiliyya.

    That is because the Light of Revelations is absent from them.

    Before the Muslim historians, Rabbis rejected the Classical Civilization of Rome, even though it was far superior in material and intellectual culture to those of the Jews – precisely because of the same reason – absence of God.

  137. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 24, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Thank you for your response. And I obviously misunderstood your previous writings on this matter.

    Did you just mean to point out that Muslim polities can’t learn from these people and emulate them (like the Japanese did from the West) because of their Godlessness?

  138. kooshy says:

    Nasser says:
    June 24, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    “But is it your understanding that it is they that are forcing him out?”

    To my understanding yes and no, apparently Amir of Qatar has cancer; his American bakers want to establish his son with a smooth transition before any possible family/military turmoil. It looks like it took over a year before he agrees to abdicate to his son.

  139. kooshy says:

    Good worth reading analysis on recent events in Iran and Turkey

    Shifts in the Iranian-Turkish Balance of Soft Power
    Sunday, June 23, 2013
    Mohammad Soltaninejad

    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Shifts-in-the-Iranian-Turkish-Balance-of-Soft-Power.htm

  140. Nasser says:

    kooshy says: June 24, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Thank you for your comment. I had a suspicion Saudi lobbying too might have had something to do with it. And maybe perhaps the Americans were getting a little fed up with his erratic antics. Whatever though, good riddance!

    kooshy says: June 24, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Good article yes, but Iran shouldn’t rely on such fickle things as being “liked.” Public opinions are malleable. Iran’s true allies depend on her for their security and Iran has to keep its moral commitment to them.

  141. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    June 24, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I think Muslims can learn from anyone in the world, if they decide to abandon their mental sloth.

    I personally found it very difficult to learn Japanese, every time I formed a sentence in Japanese my teacher invariably corrected me. On the other hand, spending the same length of time on studying Spanish I could form simple sentences in that language.

    There are aspect of Japanese culture that have Iranian analogues – such as “Omia-e” – akin to “Khwastegari” – they are also very honor-status conscious people and very very polite – even when they do not like you.

    I think Iranians (and others) can learn a lot from Japanese but it just is much harder to do so than with Euro-Americans.

    I only meant that because of the Message of Jesus, there are some constrains on Euro-Americans that have not historically been present among Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Of course, now that Euro-Americans have entered their post-Christian phase, one should plan on them becoming, eventually, like the Far Eastern people; committed to a form of racial tribalism that defines their polities as well as their ethics.

  142. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 24, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    Thank you for clarifying.

    And regarding your last point, could it not be argued that this has already happened; with the Europeans during the last World War, and with the Americans more recently with imperial zealotry after the end of the Cold War?

  143. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    I have always had a fascination with Japan but can you please elaborate as to why you hold Italy in such high regard?

    On a side note, it seems Italy is the only major Western state that is not reflexively hostile to Iran, and was the only one that sent sincere congratulations to Iran after the elections.

  144. Empty says:

    fyi,

    It does appear that you view history as a linear and static process and I view it as an iterative, cyclical, and dynamic process. Those two approaches give us quite different ways to interpret same events.

    تو مو می بینی و من پیچش مو….. تو ابرو من اشارت های ابرو

    Quite a lot is going on in exploring your assertion that “In fact, it is almost like a willfull attempt at historical ignorance: why was it the Ummah broke up the moment the Prophet died? Could it have been avoided? If so how, if not so, why?” In fact, lots are happening in the context of “امت واحده” and “تقریب مذاهب اسلامی” to address historical grievances, causes of destructive divisions, and a path to respond to the contemporary challenges. For that, a revisit and exploration into history of the Ummah is a given and is happening. And lots is happening.

  145. Empty says:

    James Canning says,

    RE: I am trying to help avoid another dangerous and idiotic war in the Middle East. And you see this as amoral?

    In the US that some physicians and clinics (who, in multiple ways, profit immensely from this sort of practice) are suggesting to women to have radical mastectomy (on their healthy breast) as a way to prevent the onset of breast cancer sometimes in the future. [http:// www .mayoclinic.com/health/prophylactic-mastectomy/WO00060] Do you see this as amoral?

  146. Sineva says:

    The problem with james approach to conflict avoidance is that what he is advising iran to do is little different to the appeasement policies that failed so disastrously and indeed helped to bring about ww2,as far as he is concerned the onus is on iran to appease and pacify the aggressive usraeli policies in the region

  147. nico says:

    Paul Craig Roberts about the innocent “gifted” politician.
    Sure, his speeches are all but forced into his mouth by the system.

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/stasi-in-the-white-house-obamas-lofty-words-of-peace-while-beating-the-drums-of-war/5340145

    “Obama’s speech will go down in history as the most hypocritical of all time.”

    “This is the same Obama who promised to close the Guantanamo Torture Prison, but did not;  the same Obama who promised to tell us the purpose for Washington’s decade-long war in Afghanistan, but did not;  the same Obama who promised to end the wars, but started new ones;  the same Obama who said he stood for the US Constitution, but shredded it;  the same Obama who refused to hold the Bush regime accountable for its crimes against law and humanity;  the same Obama who unleashed drones against civilian populations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen;  the same Obama who claimed and exercised power to murder US citizens without due process and who continues the Bush regime’s unconstitutional practice of violating habeas corpus and detaining US citizens indefinitely; the same Obama who promised transparency but runs the most secretive government in US history.”

    “The tyrant’s speech of spectacular hypocrisy elicited from the invited audience applause on 36 occasions.”

    “Here was Obama, who consistently lies, speaking of “eternal truth.”Here was Obama, who enabled Wall Street to rob the American and European peoples and who destroyed Americans’ civil liberties and the lives of vast numbers of Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis, Libyans, Pakistanis, Syrians, and others, speaking of “the yearnings of justice.” Obama equates demands for justice with “terrorism.”Here was Obama, who has constructed an international spy network and a domestic police state, speaking of “the yearnings for freedom.””

    “Obama has taken hypocrisy to new heights. He has destroyed US civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.  In place of a government accountable to law, he has turned law into a weapon in the hands of the government.  He has intimidated a free press and prosecutes whistleblowers who reveal his government’s crimes. He makes no objection when American police brutalize peacefully protesting citizens. His government intercepts and stores in National Security Agency computers every communication of every American and also the private communications of Europeans and Canadians, including the communications of the members of the governments, the better to blackmail those with secrets.”

  148. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Consider, major design houses are still in Italy.

    Italy is still a major source of scientific and intellectual development in Europe.

    When in Italy, one sense the oldness of the people and the place; and the comfort that they have with one another (Japan is similar).

  149. fyi says:

    Empty says:

    June 25, 2013 at 12:39 am

    I am not saying anything like that; I am suggesting that people have been murdered, raped, butchered, starved, and otherwise brutalised for no apparent justification that could be found by studying the historical processs.

    Protestant Christians like to talk of God’s Plan for Men – ignoring all the dirt and garbage of history.

  150. Nasser says:

    Opportunities multiply as they are seized
    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13920404000784

    Also note that paper money is useless when you have export controls and sanctions preventing buying of equipments one really needs. Iran needs to wisely use her assets to gain geopolitical leverage.

  151. Nasser says:

    The Americans are so rich and powerful that they can even afford such hilarious nonsense:
    http://buchanan.org/blog/the-pentagons-surrender-to-feminism-5630

  152. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Once again, Did Burma’s leaders “appease” the US and other countries, in adopting reforms that have stimulated economic growth and achieved an end to sanctions?

    Are you claiming Britain should not have made the deal with Hitler in 1938, giving Germany the Sudetenland?

  153. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I think Iran should receive benefits, in proposrtion to what it concedes, in negotiations with P5+1. Emphasis here is on SHOULD.

  154. James Canning says:

    Bibi Netanyahu visited the West Bank this week and made foolish noises about it being aprt of Israel.

  155. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The lesson from History that Iran perhaps should bear in mind is how Germany’s military leaders in years leading up to First World War invented “threats” and brought catastrophe to the people of Germany by attempting to deal with those “threats” in a manner totally unnecessary.

  156. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Judgement call, for doctors and their patients (re: radical perventive mastectomies).

    Nico thought I was being cynical and immoral, for arguing Iran needs to make a deal with P5+1.

  157. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 25, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    There is the possibility of a small deal with P5+1 sometime in 2014.

    There is no possibility f a deal with P5+1 or Axis Powers – certainly not during the remainder of Mr. Obama’s presidency – which began with such hope and is bound to crash in the coming years.

    It is also very likely that Iran will have exited the NPT before the end of Mr. Rouhani’s presidency.

    The war in Syria – aided abd abetted by US, EU, Suaid Arabia, and Qatar – will continue until its natural denouement – the destruction of rebels and possibly the overthrow of Monarchy in Jordan.

    The economic war will continue against Iran although not as vigoroulsy by EU states as they will be licking their own economic wounds.

    Barring a change of heart of US leaders and planners, the years ahead will be more war and more blooshed in store for the people of the Middle East.

    However, a nuclear-armed Iran could prevent destablization campaign such as being waged against Syria – at least they could be protected.

  158. nico says:

    Fyi, Empty

    It may be of some interest.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philosophy_of_history

    Speculative philosophy of history is an area of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. Furthermore, it speculates as to a possible teleological end to its development—that is, it asks if there is a design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the processes of human history. 

    Speculative philosophy of history asks at least three basic questions:
    -What is the proper unit for the study of the human past — the individual subject? The family, polis (“city”) or sovereign territory? The civilization or culture? Or the whole of the human species?

    -Are there any broad patterns that we can discern through the study of the human past? Are there, for example, patterns of progress? Or cycles? Is history deterministic? Or are there no patterns or cycles, and is human history random? Related to this is the study of individual agency and its impact in history, functioning within, or opposed to, larger trends and patterns.

    – If history can indeed be said to progress, what is its ultimate direction? What (if any) is the driving force of that progress?

  159. fyi says:

    nico says:

    June 25, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I have already stated my opinion; there is no such pattern and I am not a believer in the Cult of Progress; either US or Russia can annhilate all life on this planet by themselves alone.

    I suppose that could be considered Prgress.

  160. nico says:

    fyi says:
    June 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Well I already stated that it is respectable.
    The link only illustrates that there is not only one valid opinion about that and that your world views perspires in your “neutral” analysis.
    It is a subject of philodophy and theology.

  161. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You appear to be arguing that if Iran wants to build nukes, Obama (or Obama’s successor) would not intervene to stop it. There seems little basis in fact for your contention. One might even say there is no factual basis.

  162. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Dennis Ross gets much of the credit for wrecking Obama’s attempt to reach out to Iran. And Obama’s effort to stop growth of illegal colonies in the West Bank.

  163. James Canning says:

    Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania made some foolih comments this week about Syria. Said the Democrat: “[A] bad result in Syria . . . could make it more difficult for us to constrain [Iran’s] nuclear ability.”

  164. fyi says:

    James Canning says:
    June 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I am not arguing, I am stating a fact.

  165. fyi says:

    Nasser says:
    June 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

    You might be interested in watching this Japanese movie:

    Ka-bei; our mother

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0855852/

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSLrVHI8JKo

  166. fyi says:

    fyi says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    June 25, 2013 at 8:57 pm
    Nasser says:
    June 25, 2013 at 12:28 am

    You might be interested in watching this Japanese movie:

    Ka-bei; our mother

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0855852/

    http: //www.youtube.com /watch?v=OSLrVHI8JKo

  167. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 25, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you.

  168. Empty says:

    RE: “Judgement call, for doctors and their patients (re: radical perventive mastectomies).”

    Yes. The problem starts when the doctors’ judgment is no longer shaped by the best interest of the patients. Rather, it is shaped by the best financial interests of the physicians themselves, medical technology manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, clinics, etc. The medical schools in which these physicians study and get trained, too, are financed by the vested interests. You see, the medical school factories produce standardized doctors (just like a chicken factory or a car factory produces hormone-saturated chickens or gas-guzzling cars, etc.) with “standardized” judgment calls.

    RE: “Nico thought I was being cynical and immoral, for arguing Iran needs to make a deal with P5+1.”

    It all depends on whose best interests you believe must be served in any of these deals and who is in the best position to decide that and at what price. The price you might be willing to pay for something may not be the same as the price I (as a Shi’a) might be willing to pay for a goal you or I consider noble and just. Now, you do your best to impose. I’ll do my best to resist.

  169. Empty says:

    nico,

    Thank you for the interesting quotes. I think, at the most basic level, I differ from fyi in my understanding of history, human nature, and human societies. I do think the evidence suggests a pattern (a quasi repetition of events in an spiral form) and there is a purpose to this repetition

    I, like fyi, believe that Adam fell. Unlike fyi, however, whose Man has fallen and cannot get up, my Man has fallen and not only is learning to get up till it really learns how to get up but also has a responsibility to do so. I think the historical evidence suggest that. I also think that it will happen till it learns. That is when, I think, this world would end and a new world with “Gotten-up Man” will begin.

    I do believe in another world. However, I also believe the building of that other world is our own responsibility. I believe in Quran and when God wants a “Khalifa” on earth, my understanding is that this “Khalifa” is currently in training. Yes, it’s tough. It’s bloody. It has ups. And it has downs. The problem with historical narratives is that they are selective in reporting. They reports “downs” far more than “ups” and give the illusion defeat and pave the way for hopelessness. I see it differently.

    I also think that the story of Adam and Eve, the Fall (as fyi puts it), was about perhaps one key thing. The heaven was full of lots of goodies, apparently. God told Adam and Eve to eat, drink, etc. just that not to approach “one particular tree”. Historically, they have, I think, misdirected the argument about what kind of tree it was. I think, it really didn’t matter if it were an apple tree, or peach tree, or a cactus, or a tree of knowledge, or a tree of lust; or whatever. It was, I think, about learning not to “dast derazi”, not to aggress, not to have your eye and hands on “something that does not belong to you.” Full stop.

    That means, Man must learn not to “dast derazi” to someone else’s home, husband, wife, daughter, son, oil well, fertile land, water way, river, house, shoes, you name it. Yes, history has patterns and the story repeats until Man learns not to aggress. Obviously, Adam and Eve didn’t learn it the easy way. They must learn it the hard way. So be it. I am game and willing to learn and struggle for it (proportional to my capacity to do so).

    I think, in very fundamental ways, I and fyi differ in our understanding of the world and history. Two different lenses, if you will.

  170. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm
    The threats iran faces are very real,only a fool would consider them “made up”
    James Canning says:
    June 25, 2013 at 1:57 pm
    Unfortunately the leaders of the west do not share your views on this otherwise they would not be offering insults such as aeroplane parts or no sanctions on precious metal trading and in return for these “generous” concessions iran only has to halt its nuclear program,personally I think iran should have replied with similarly “generous” offers
    James Canning says:
    June 25, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    I have already answered this question from you more than once,burma had faced nothing like the demands,threats and sanctions that have been placed upon iran,it had only to make a few cosmetic and token reforms to satisfy the west
    Giving hitler the sudatenland was a catastrophic error it only encouraged him in his beliefs and gained him the firepower of the czech military which he put to good use when he attacked france,its probably one of the best examples of the folly of appeasement

  171. nico says:

    Empty says:
    June 26, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Thanks for the answer.
    I obviously agree with you, but in an atheistic way.

    When taken at macro level, meaning millenia and centuries, known history shows that history has definitely a direction.
    Man social construct and technological/scientific achievement are interrelated and definitely experienced an evolution following a pattern. Meaning more scientific achievement and more complex social construct.

    It is not truly linear and it can be seen as some kind of cyclic phenomenon, with long cycles, medium cycles and short cycles.
    Thus progress can show up and downs, it can also be more localized in a civilization or another.
    But at the end of the day it exists.
    It may be argued at micro level, meaning years, decades or centuries, that such pattern does not exist. Well, maybe yes at micro level.

    As for the fallen state of man I see it as a parabol for the man’s lost innocence.
    Meaning the level of consciousness in primitive state did not allow to be aware of the position of man in the world order.
    When man acquired such consciousness of his position and the way he his related to others and the world then the responsibility fell on his shoulders, with the loss of innoncence.

    The big question mark is then what to dao with such consciousness.

    Religions give to man a position in the world order.
    Atheistic enlightment provide such position as well.
    With their attached set of values.

    The last ensuing question is the right or wrong between pragmatics and idealists.
    Pragmatics would argue that social construct should be managed in taking account man flaws for the wider good (individual greed in the capitalist system).
    Idealists would argue that moral principles should prevail.

    My take is that truth is always in the between and that reality on the ground of progressive or regressive results show the way.

    The US and EU are cleraly in a regressive cycle, while China, Russia and Iran are in a progressive cycle.

  172. nico says:

    Empty,

    When neocons and others in the west have such policies, it truly is a vision of their world order.

    As for fyi position, it could be named pragmatic or nihilist.
    The point is that the US macro policies and Iran ones are related in some ways to civilizational and world views.

    Sadly the US are following poisonous policies in their regressive state. And they want to pull down everyone with them in the doom.

  173. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Lysander: Glad I did not miss your post, as my reading of RFI has been patchy at best of late. Masha’llah. May God continue to guide you on the serat al-mostaqim. I showed your post to my wife, whose reaction was something to the effect of the celebrated ayah, “makaru wa makr allah, wa in allaha ahsan al-maakerin” (referring to the ploys of the takfiris, of course). Masha’llah.

  174. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Thanks to Nasser for posting the link about the improved technical capacities of Iran in the oil and gas sectors thanks to acquisition of knowledge in basic nuclear sciences and missile technologies. It seems that just as Iran has completely mastered the technologies involved in power plant production and electrical distribution grids and is now exporting not only electricity but is building power plants for its neighbors and is exporting electrical engineering services, she is well on the way of mastering the high technologies involved in the oil and gas sectors. IN a parallel process, her acquisition of technologies related to and heavy investment in petrol-chemical plants will mean that her increased oil and gas production capacity will translate into increases in exports not of crude oil and gas but into gasoline, pvc, fertilizer and other value-added products, inshallah.

  175. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Iran’s volleyball team beat 7th-ranked “Serbestan” (as Serbia is referred to here) 3-2 in an excruciatingly close match in Azadi stadium a couple of days ago. The Eye-rainians go up against the 3rd-ranked Eye-talians on Friday. We will likely lose as we are ranked 14th in the world, but the game is not to be missed, as I am sure we will put up a valiant and elegant fight.

    Iran’s Youth team is ranked 7th, so the future looks bright for the Eye-rainians.

    World Volleyball Rankings: http://www.fivb.org/EN/volleyball/

  176. Kathleen says:

    And the American public never ever hears on U.S. MSM outlets that the majority of Syrians support Assad. Never. The only MSMer that I have been hearing question the Obama administration’s decision to increase weapons and help to the Syrian rebels has been MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. Chris Hayes also. Everyone else just going along

  177. Nasser says:

    Henry Kissinger advocates for more chaos and bloodshed in Syria
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gqyAaC4gng

  178. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    You argue Britain should have refused Hitler’s demand that Germany be allowed to annex the Sudetenland (taken from Czechoslovakia) in 1938. But Nasser argues Britain not only was wise to allow this, but he claims Britain should have pressured Poland to allow Germany to annex Danzig and the Polish corridor in 1939.

    Your position obviously is the opposite of Nasser’s.

    Curiously, you seem uninterested in contesting Nasser’s position.

  179. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Be specific about what demand you think the US would make on Iran, if Iran makes a deal with P5+1. You think the US will demand Iran sell oil to US oil companies for half the world price? Be specific.

  180. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You have argued that Britain did not go far enough in appeasing Hitler, in 1939. Sineva argues Britain went too far in appeasing Hitler, in 1938.

    Do you still think Britain should have pressured Poland to accept the loss of its access to the Baltic Sea?

  181. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Financial Times today, David Gardner notes that in 2009 Nicolas Sarkozy of france asked the Emir of Qatar to stop supporting Hamas.

    This fact is important given than some who post on this site claim Qatar was not giveing support to Hamas.

  182. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Yes, Iran faces threats. The issue is whether Iran makes the situation worse, by ill-considered decisions regarding its nuclear programme.

    In 1914, of course the Austro-Hungarian Empire faced “threats”. The issue then was whether to risk general European war in order to take advantage of a pretext to crush Serbia.

  183. James Canning says:

    Philip Giraldi, writing at The American Conservative today, says the US embassy in Ankara used most of its influence in that country to encourage better relations between Turkey and Israel.

  184. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    First of all, I don’t think Britain should have ever made enemies out of the Germans. They gained nothing and lost their empire because of it.

    And Germany should have been mindful not to humiliate her foes.

    Germany should have never proclaimed creation of their empire in Versailles Palace – thus humiliating the French and earning their eternal enmity.

    The Germans also did a very stupid thing by engaging in a naval build up before WWI.

    And Britain was even more stupid in not stopping that naval build up by promising to stay neutral in a future conflict between Germany and France/Russia – thus encouraging French revanchism.

    Even so, WWII could have been avoided if only Britain and France revised the Versailles Treaty while the Weimar Republic was still in power. The Germans then would not have felt such urge to right the wrongs done to it and someone like Hitler would have never come to power.

    As far as Poland goes, the Allied Powers should have told the Poles the truth – that there is no way for them to defend Poland if it is attacked. And indeed no one came to Poland’s aid when it was attacked. If the Poles realized this would happen, they would have been much more accommodating in negotiations with Germany. And furthermore, they and the Germans had a common interest against the Soviets.

    But even so, war could have perhaps been avoided had Hitler not chosen to humiliate Chamberlain over Czechoslovakia and thus forcing his hand later regarding Poland. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FO725Hbzfls

    Anyway, as I have said before, I am glad the Europeans decided to destroy each other in the two World Wars and their imperial domination of the world too was subsequently destroyed. The rest of mankind is better off for it.

    As far as modern parallels go, the West could have cut some very favorable deals with Iran while Khatami was still in power. But they chose instead to further pressure Iran, leaving her no choice but to further strengthen her nuclear program and her position in the region. Again, I am glad for it.

  185. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Un-elected influential men in Britain were desirous of a European war against USSR; they thought they had their man in the late Adolf Hitler.

    If they had wanted to avoid war, they could have acted upon the alliance offer of the late Litvinov (a Jews, as a matter of fact).

    But they wanted War against USSR and they were not interested in preventing it.

  186. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 26, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    My assumption was that Britain’s entire obsession was with Germany.

    Are you saying Britain found the Germans and Soviets equally distasteful and WWII came about because they wanted Germany and USSR to destroy each other?

  187. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    They preferred Germany to USSR – where Cominten was a threat to their colonial posessions as well as their commercial/financial interests.

    They were hoping for them to bleed each other, an aspirational policy (Hope) another instance of which Americans are oursuing in Syria.

    Unitl late in 1939, the War plans of the Imperial General Staff was for a war with USSR and not for a war with Germany.

    Their policy – such as it was – blew in their faces; they almost lost the war, they were disposessed of their empire and finances by USA, and became a the junior vassal to new global power.

  188. Nasser says:

    fyi says:

    “They preferred Germany to USSR”

    I have to reflect more on this. My entire world view as it were is turned upside down.

    But why did they then declare war on Germany? They could have just waited for Germany and USSR to eventually come to blows over Poland – as they did.

    Patrick Buchanan claims just the opposite as you do and I used to find his arguments convincing.

  189. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    They had to declare war because of their publicly-stated obligations to Poland.

    The late Adolf Hitler understood the English weakness; that they did not want to fight Germany and were willing to agree to anything Germany wanted from others.

    But in case of Poland, their credibility was at stake as a World Power – they had walked into a strategic cul-de-sac.

    One could argue that the late Adolf Hitler had gone too far, but, on the other hand, strategically, Poland was irrelevant to Britain’s security and he understood that.

    So, he let the English evacuate their forces at Dunkirk hoping to reach a strategic understanding with Britain.

    I speculate here that the un-elected men and women that had brought disaster to Britain by this time had been pushed aside and a decision was made to fight.

    US is in an analogous situation having committed herself to defending very many states all over the world. She can quickly find herself in multiple wars at the same time for no strategic reason.

  190. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    So you are saying, once they [Brits] were in they couldn’t pull out? Is that why they repeatedly rebuffed Hitler’s various peace offers? They lost their empire in trying to protect their image and credibility?

  191. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    What has led you to believe Iran may well pull out of the NPT during Mr. Rowhani’s presidency?

  192. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Yes.

  193. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    There is no reason for Iran to stay in NPT.

    Bushehr is not worth staying in NPT; the refueling of that power station, I mean.

    Pakistan’s civilians nuclear reactors are being refueled and she is not in NPT.

    I think the Axis Powers, Russia, and China have done a great job – they have gone out of their way to humiliate an entire country.

    They will come to regret it, just like those who instigated the Iran-Iraq War and enjoyed the spectacle.

  194. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    They almost lost World War II.

    Agreeing to German requirements meant that they would be subordinated to Germany in Europe and more importantly, the major aim – a constant for over 600 years in their foreign policy – prevention of the emergence of a hegemon in Europe – would no longer be achievable.

    They got lucky that after World War II, US and USSR become the two hegemons of Europe.

    After the end of the Cold War – US was still the hegemon of Europe but she was a distant power that the English could deal with.

    Now that power is in decline while German power is increasing again.

    The English will do all right, they have a lot of experience in all of this.

  195. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Agreed. But I figured many Iranian leaders judge such a course of action too risky at the moment.

  196. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 26, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Yes exactly, my understanding was that their primary fear was German Hegemony over Europe; and they did all they did to prevent it.

    You make the contention that they were in fact even more fearful of the Soviet Union than German dominated Europe. (I hope I didn’t misunderstand you here)

    You also make the case that in fact much of what they did or rather were forced to do had to do with them maintaining their image and credibility as a global power.

    Can you please point me to some resources that formed your understanding on this issue?

  197. James Canning says:

    Fyi,

    You claim “there is no reason for Iran to stay in NPT.” Wrong. If Iran withdraws from NPT, this would make an attack on Iran almost certain.

    What better way to help haters of Iran is there, than for Iran to pull out of NPT?

  198. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Many British leaders who favored accomodating Hitler, feared the Soviet Union (and Communism). For good reasons.

    Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union, when Germany had not defeated Britain, was insane.

  199. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    We all should welocme a stronger and more assertive Germany. America’s ability to act intelligently in the Middle East is heavily compromised by Israel lobby’s control of the US Congress.

  200. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    Yes, they were trying to meet multiple, often contradictory objectives, during that inter-war period.

    Thinking of themselves as masters of intrigue who would put the Byzantines or the Medicis to shame, they botched everything and failed in achieving their every objective.

    The Americans are doing the same but globally.

    No I cannot recommend any books, I have shared with you the opinions that I have reached after many years of reading and thinking.

    I might be wrong.

  201. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 26, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Absent the reduction or elimination of sanctions against Iran, she will leave NPT – in my opinion, before the end of Mr. Rouhani’s presidency.

    Whether there will be war 4 years from now or not, I cannot tell – certainly Mr. Obama will be not be waging it; he will have been out of office by that time.

  202. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    After the Restoration in 1660, England often gave support to France even though France was the strongest power in Europe. England even fought the Dutch, who were trying to prevent Louis XIV from taking control of Europe.

    Charles II spent more on his mistresses than he did on the Royal Navy.

    James II wanted French help to impose Roman Catholicism on England, and to achieve complete domination of Parliament (and suppress democracy).

  203. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    During the “phoney war” in early 1940, Britain was offered peace (including keeping the empire), by Germany. But there were very good reasons to think Germany could not be trusted.

  204. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    June 26, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    The only time that France reached the status of hegemon in Europe was under Napoleon; and Britain waged a relentless war against him for that reason.

    France in year 1600 was not a hegemon in Europe.

  205. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Where do you get the idea British leaders were “unelected”, in years leading up to Second World War? The Prime Minister was elected. Are you referring to Lord Halifax?

  206. Nasser says:

    fyi says: June 26, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you sharing a more sophisticated view of history.

    And yes I certainly believed they had too much faith in their own cunning.

    One last question, what would have been the ideal outcome in their mind?

  207. Halgheh Landan says:

    روزگار انتظار سر آمد و شیخ اصلاحات برنده آمد
    روزگار گرانی و بیکاری برای عوام و خستگی زندان برای شوالیه ها سر آمد
    روزگار اعتدال امید و جولان شوالیه ها آمد
    روزگار رفت و آمد و بگیر و بده و چپاول شوالیه ها آمد
    روزگار شعار انقلابی ام سر آمد و بوی خوش چای دارجلینگ لندن آمد
    روزگار عوام فریبی سر آمد و سلطه شوالیه ها آمد

    روزگار فرار و در بدری معاون شیخ اصلاحات سر آمد
    روزگار اکبر شاه و شوالیه هایش آمد

  208. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, Iran needs to make a deal with P5+1, and P5+1 must in turn reduce the sanctions.

  209. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    France in the 1680s was far and away the strongest military power in Europe. Louis XIV. Versailles. Etc. And England was actually helping France in its efforts to take greater control.

  210. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Britain was in a very difficult position in 1939, after Germany had broken its commitments made at Munich in 1938. (Germany annexed what today is Czech Republic after peldging to be satisfied with the Sudentenland).

    Obviously, Britain could not prevent German conquest of Poland, or subsequent conquest/occupation of Poland by the Soviet Union.

  211. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain between the two world wars wanted to spend much less money on weapons etc., and much more money on social services. Not such a bad programme.

  212. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    June 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Destruction of USSR and NAZI Germany with ample opportunity for post-war business for London, Holland, and affiliated allies.

    Continuation of the British Empire would follow but I doubt that they seriously thought that the British Empire was in danger.

  213. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 26, 2013 at 1:33 pm
    You`re just being silly james,the wests demands are what they`ve always been ie: NO fuel cycle for iran,the west has been crystal clear and unmoving on that point no matter how much you think they would accept 5% enrichment
    James Canning says:
    June 26, 2013 at 1:45 pm
    I would have said it was the west making the ill considered decisions here,iran has only ever insisted that its rights under the npt be recognized which the west has refused to do,at the moment the costs for iran of staying with the npt are still slightly less than the costs of leaving it,but only just,there may come a point were if iran is going to suffer more punishments for having a civilian nuclear program then it may just as well take the final step to having a nuclear weapon as the rewards,nuclear deterrence,would exceed the costs,more sanctions,and this should be made very clear to the west

  214. Sineva says:

    fyi says:
    June 26, 2013 at 4:49 pm
    I think you are right,at the rate things are going the costs of staying will exceed the costs of leaving the npt,hopefully the west will realize this before they leave iran no choice,however the wests past history of bad decisions and miscalculations in the middle east does not leave me optimistic,altho` the election of a new iri president does give the west the opportunity of a face saving climb down whether they will take it however…

  215. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “Their policy – such as it was – blew in their faces; they almost lost the war, they were disposessed of their empire and finances by USA, and became a the junior vassal to new global power.”

    … and I thought they considered themselves the masters of deceit and kniving!!! guess when you are that good, you can pull a fast on yourselves too.. :-)

    good riddance, their cousin has the same mindset…

  216. lysander says:

    Unkonwn Unkowns,

    Thanks for your words of encouragement. I’m in the process of study and learning which of course is never ending. ButmI’m starting from a very basic level.

  217. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Your assumption the P5+1 will never accept Iranian enrichment to 5% or less is mistaken, in my view.

    Your belief Iran does not need to make a deal is also wide of the mark by a large margin, in my view.

  218. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Britain was already planning for Indian independence, prior to Second World War.

    British empire would have ended, with no world war.

    Ditto the Dutch empire. And Spanish empire. And French empire. And Portuguese. And Italian.

  219. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Japan might have been able to keep its empire, had it avoided war with the US. (Korea, Taiwan)

  220. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Your assumption the US and other countries would allow Iran to build nukes is simply dead wrong.

  221. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Britain was willing to accept a Germany that was by far the strongest military power in Europe. Hitler’s blunder was to force a war upon Britain.

    Let’s remember Britain was willing to accept a French Empire that was the strongest military power in Europe, in the early 19th century. With the Rhine as its border with “Germany”. Napoleon blundered and forced war on Britain.

    Let’s remember Spain lost its empire even though it did not particpate in the Second World War. Ditto Portugal.

  222. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Re: the “Indian view” you linked. Piece claims Bashar al-Assad will refuse to particpate in a peace conference. You agree? I don’t.

  223. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 27, 2013 at 1:18 pm
    So you say,but you have never produced any proof to back that theory up and the west by its actions clearly shows that they do not share your views and will not accept iranian enrichment,tho perhaps the election of a new iranian president will give them an excuse to back down and try some real incentives rather than insults,sanctions and threats,but that would require common sense and sadly I have seen none of that in the wests middle eastern policies
    James Canning says:
    June 27, 2013 at 1:27 pm
    So you say but again rather lacking in the proof department.The west could attack iran but its ability to destroy irans nuclear program is limited at best and the inevitable iranian counterstrike would be ferocious.I suspect by the time the west had made up its mind one way or the other iran would have the bomb,as it is with each day that passes irans “japan option” becomes more credible

  224. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    If you would prefer to believe there is no chance for a deal between Iran and the P5+1, that of course is your option. But Iran obviously needs to be shrewer in its assessment of the realities that obtain.

    Jalili told the Financial Times that enriching to 20% is not particularly important for Iran.

    I agree one can claim the US was forced to accept Iranian enrichment to 5% (if this happens), that this is agreat victory for Iran, etc etc.

  225. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Shrewder, on part of Iran.

    Obama was very reluctant to back arms shipments to Syrian rebels. This in your view surely indicates some ability to think sensibly.

  226. nico says:

    Funny enough.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/27/us-usa-security-ecuador-idUSBRE95Q0L820130627

    Ecuador offers U.S. rights aid, waives trade benefits

    “Ecuador’s leftist government thumbed its nose at Washington on Thursday by renouncing U.S. trade benefits and offering to pay for human rights training in America in response to pressure over asylum for former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.”

    “In a cheeky jab at the U.S. spying program that Snowden unveiled through leaks to the media, the South American nation offered $23 million per year to finance human rights training.The funding would be destined to help “avoid violations of privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity,” Alvarado said. He said the amount was the equivalent of what Ecuador gained each year from the trade benefits.”

  227. fyi says:

    All:

    Another success for US diplomats:

    http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/

  228. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    June 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I would not put it as a success. India has been investing heavily in Afghanistan trying to prevent a 1990s situation when Afghanistan had become the greatest strategic headache for India. Without Iran, the Indians should forget about Afghanistan after 2014. At any rate, Iran should reach an understanding with Pakistani military over there and this would be a good lesson to India.

    But overall, this is what happens to non-nuclear weapon nations such as Iran. India a country that has never signed the NPT, has been working and testing nuclear weapons since 1970’s, today has become one of the referees judging Iran’s compliance with NPT and talking about “proliferation concern” in Iran. That is quite shameless. To put it mildly. Such problems will persist, until Iran itself is a nuclear weapon state. Iran should play Pakistan and Afghanistan against India the same way China has been successfully doing for the past 60 years. That is the best policy for Iran. Such large countries have to balanced out strategically. I consider India as no friend of Iran.

  229. nico says:

    James Canning says:
    June 27, 2013 at 3:53 pm
    “Sineva,
    If you would prefer to believe there is no chance for a deal between Iran and the P5+1, that of course is your option. But Iran obviously needs to be shrewder in its assessment of the realities that obtain.”

    Shrewder ?
    I understand you truly mean PERFIDIOUS.
    The same perfidy which was useless for Britain to keep its empire.
    Your position is a good example of British faithless mindset.

  230. Sineva says:

    James your view of the “realities” is that iran cannot challenge the west in the ME and that an attack against it is inevitable so its only choice is that it must appease the west and hope that that will be enough to avoid an attack.If iran followed that prescription I think it would only guarantee more demands and threats followed by yet more demands etc..Appeasement is not an option,before there could be any deal the west would have to acknowledge irans npt rights,it has not done this preferring sanctions,threats and the attempted destruction of irans ally syria,indeed the lengths that it has gone to and the damage it has inflicted on other nations including its own allies is insane all to try and hurt iran and halt its rising power.How on earth can you expect rationality on the nuclear issue when the west acts this way

  231. Rd. says:

    “FSA General Gives Int’l Community One Month to Provide Anti-Tank, Anti-Aircraft Weapons”

    or there will be evidence of chemical weapon’s???

    incredible video!! 4 min, listen to the last comment..

    you wonder where is bomb bomb mccain? or would he be called chemical mccain in about one month?

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=53a_1371637813#rudPLTF3RIactiMu.99

  232. Rd. says:

    “This forthcoming death (Takfiris) will not leave any form of Christianity, neither chair (politician) nor person nor stone. For that we are asking you, his Eminence to open for us the door to join the heroes who are defending us while we are sleeping. The co-existence will not be preserved till you allow us to join your brigades and form a Jesus son of Mary brigade to be a sword in the face of the killers who permiss exposures and defiled the sanctity of the church. It would be of honour to have our martyrs (die) beside your martyrs, who returned the honour and dignity to the homes of the Christian of Qusaiyr.

    We hope you will hear our voice his Eminence Sayyid Hassan Nasrullah.
    We hope everyone who sees this massage to spread it.”

    Message from Christians youth to his Eminence Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah

    http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/message-from-christians-youth-to-his.html

  233. nahid says:

    US-backed Takfiri militants behead 2 Christians including priest in Homs

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/06/28/311232/usbacked-takfiris-behead-priest-in-homs/

  234. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Lysander (also of possible interest to the Bussed-in Prof, Empty and others):

    https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=05f888a820b8719d&id=5F888A820B8719D!108&authkey=!AOnUaN_8jFHozh8#cid=05F888A820B8719D&id=5F888A820B8719D!111&authkey=!AOnUaN_8jFHozh8

    The above is a link to the first adumbration of my effort at collecting all or as many Shi’a works as possible in the English language. As you will see, the project is very much in its preliminary stages, but I thought I would share it with you given your recent interest in Shi’a Islam. (It has actually evolved considerably since the date of this link, but the progress both in terms of quantity and the classification schema has yet to be uploaded.)

    Here’s a link to the list of over 840 files, all in downloadable pdf format: ,https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=5BE7707B77400E8!3937&app=Excel&authkey=!ACjn7nEjV7G8BCc

    The major problem, I think you will agree, is not only the fact that most of the translations are really bad, but that the original texts themselves are really of quite a poor standard. This, I believe, is due to the fact that, if we divide the system which is Islam into the three subdivisions of aqaed/ osul (creedal beliefs. principles), ahkaam (ordinances) and akhlaaq (code of moral conduct), for a thousand years, our olama have concentrated on fiqh or ahkaam to the detriment of the other two, which are much more important. Nonetheless, with all their shortcomings, the above books are the only way a non-Arab and non-Persian speaker can try to glean some meaning as to what Shia Islam is. (Of course, I don’t mean to imply that you cannot read Arabic; you might well be able to if memory serves…). Anyway, as ugly as it is, this bunch is the best we have in English so far. There are also some gems in there too, of course.

    For a good read on Shi’a Political Thought, I recommend Ahmad Vaezi’s book of the same title. Also recommended for those new to Shi’a Islam are Seyyed Husain Jafri’s Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam and Wilferd Madelung’s The Succession to Muhammad (both are pretty dry academic works, however). And Allame Askari is, in my mind, the best thinker, may God rest his soul, that we produced in the last (20th) century. All of his works are highly recommended. The first 170 pages of Reza Aslan’s No god but God are recommended with reservations for those who are entirely new to Islam. His views are not truly Islamic, actually, as he suffers deeply from massive liberal biases. The book degenerates completely after page 170. Ayatolah Sobhani’s works are decent and well-translated. Ayatollah Mohammad Shirazi’s books are also well-translated, and I find the sections on ethics to be very concisely written and useful. And lastly, Allame al-Mozaffar’s “The Faith of the Imamia Shi’a” is probably the best (very) short introduction out there, although Allame Tabatabai’s “Shi’ite Islam”, ably translated and annotated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, compete’s with it, though the work suffers from philosophical and erfanic biases.

  235. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    June 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Lysander (also of possible interest to the Bussed-in Prof, Empty and others):

    https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=05f888a820b8719d&id=5F888A820B8719D!108&authkey=!AOnUaN_8jFHozh8#cid=05F888A820B8719D&id=5F888A820B8719D!111&authkey=!AOnUaN_8jFHozh8

    The above is a link to the first adumbration of my effort at collecting all or as many Shi’a works as possible in the English language. As you will see, the project is very much in its preliminary stages, but I thought I would share it with you given your recent interest in Shi’a Islam. (It has actually evolved considerably since the date of this link, but the progress both in terms of quantity and the classification schema has yet to be uploaded.)

    The major problem, I think you will agree, is not only the fact that most of the translations are really bad, but that the original texts themselves are really of quite a poor standard. This, I believe, is due to the fact that, if we divide the system which is Islam into the three subdivisions of aqaed/ osul (creedal beliefs. principles), ahkaam (ordinances) and akhlaaq (code of moral conduct), for a thousand years, our olama have concentrated on fiqh or ahkaam to the detriment of the other two, which are much more important. Nonetheless, with all their shortcomings, the above books are the only way a non-Arab and non-Persian speaker can try to glean some meaning as to what Shia Islam is. (Of course, I don’t mean to imply that you cannot read Arabic; you might well be able to if memory serves…). Anyway, as ugly as it is, this bunch is the best we have in English so far. There are also some gems in there too, of course.

    For a good read on Shi’a Political Thought, I recommend Ahmad Vaezi’s book of the same title. Also recommended for those new to Shi’a Islam are Seyyed Husain Jafri’s Origins and Early Development of Shia Islam and Wilferd Madelung’s The Succession to Muhammad (both are pretty dry academic works, however). And Allame Askari is, in my mind, the best thinker, may God rest his soul, that we produced in the last (20th) century. All of his works are highly recommended. The first 170 pages of Reza Aslan’s No god but God are recommended with reservations for those who are entirely new to Islam. His views are not truly Islamic, actually, as he suffers deeply from massive liberal biases. The book degenerates completely after page 170. Ayatolah Sobhani’s works are decent and well-translated. Ayatollah Mohammad Shirazi’s books are also well-translated, and I find the sections on ethics to be very concisely written and useful. And lastly, Allame al-Mozaffar’s “The Faith of the Imamia Shi’a” is probably the best (very) short introduction out there, although Allame Tabatabai’s “Shi’ite Islam”, ably translated and annotated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr, compete’s with it, though the work suffers from philosophical and erfanic biases.

  236. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Here’s a link to the list of over 840 files, all in downloadable pdf format:

    https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=5BE7707B77400E8!3937&app=Excel&authkey=!ACjn7nEjV7G8BCc

    The list of files currently stands at 1,126. I anticipate that it will peter off somewhere around the 2,500 mark or higher, inshallah. Stay tuned.

  237. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Thank you! These are wonderful bunch and thank you so much for sharing. I listened to the original “Shabhaye Pishavar” and loved it. I am hoping to translate into English Ayatollah Javadi Amoli’s “Mafatih-ol Hayat” Which is a wonderful collection, in my opinion.

  238. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    That reminds me……..

    Do you know if Leveretts’ book has been translated into Farsi? If not, I wonder if you’d be interested in helping me translate it into Farsi and get it published here. I wonder if Leveretts would be Okay with that….

  239. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Interesting commentary you just linked. Sound analysis, though one should note that Nato poses zero threat to the Russian Federation, and US policy will continue to be supportive of the territorial integrity of the RF.

    Cheating by France, Britain and the US, regarding UNSC resolutions on Libya, were and are a legitimate ground for Russian wariness regarding Syria.

  240. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Once again I ask you to say what you think I am demanding Iran do, to “appease the west”. Be specific.

    Russia and China insist Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. Are you contending this is a demand by those two countries, that Iran “appease the west”?

    Yes or no.

  241. Ataune says:

    fyi said:

    June 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    The Bhadrakumar article you linked to doesn’t revele any new success by the US.

    In my opinion, a better read of the Kerry, Khurshid press conference would be that while the former is recognizing India for her continuing half-alignement with the US economic pressure on Iran, the latter is reiterating India’s curent stance by amateurishly trying to contrast the friendship with the US with the distance and indifference towards Iran. We all know that the posture can rarely be a yardstick for real intentions.

    You might have even noticed that Bhadrakumar doesn’t know who is the head of state in Iran.

  242. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Iran obviously can “raise holy hell” in the Middle East, and damage the interests of many countries.

    Who would dispute that fact?

  243. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Once again, I applaud the “rising power” of Iran.

    I APPLAUD the rising power of Iran. And wealth.

    Is this difficult for you to comprehend?

  244. Smith says:

    All:

    It is going to be 25 years on Wednesday. 25 years since an American act of terror in support of Saddam, brought down an Iranian airliner full of women and children. Lest we forget: http://tinyurl.com/flight655terror

  245. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The Aegis system on the American ship cost about $1 billion and it malfunctioned, allowing the very sad shooting-down of Iranian civilian airliner.

  246. Smith says:

    Iran really needs to have nuke tipped ICBMs’ pointed at England. This is the only way to keep the peace in the world.

  247. nico says:

    Smith saysd:
    June 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Sure, when you see such disgusting position as the aegis malfunction ! PERFIDIOUS.

  248. Rd. says:

    “Every day that Assad stays in power thanks to Iranian help, Tehran shows that it can prevent the Obama administration from achieving its stated goal — Assad’s ouster — and that Iran, not the United States, is the relevant power in the region.
    And the longer the fighting drags on, the more radicalized Syrian society becomes and the deeper the Iranians can entrench themselves. “

    Congratulations to WAPO and CFR, seems you folks are successfully graduating from your terrible twos syndrome!! however, long way to go to maturity!!

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/syria-wont-be-irans-quagmire/2013/06/27/e596bf52-de9a-11e2-b2d4-ea6d8f477a01_story.html

  249. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you claiming the Aegis system on the American ship worked correctly, and that just for the fun of it the crew of the ship shot down the Iranian civilian airliner?

  250. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I find it peculair that in response to my call for a stronger and richer Iran, you argue the UK and the US need to be concerned Iran is building nukes and missile delivery systems.

  251. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm
    The system did not malfunction it worked perfectly,the problem was the criminal negligence on the part of the captain who was inside iranian territorial waters looking for a fight and 290 innocent people paid the price,the americans gave him a medal,strangely when the russians did this to the pilot who shot down korean air 007 the americans were outraged,interestinly one of the theories about lockerbie was that it was not libya but iran who did this

  252. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    June 28, 2013 at 1:42 pm
    As I`ve said previously you seem to want iran to unilaterally halt 20% enrichment as some sort of gesture in the hope of placating the us and hoping that they might reciprocate and accept some limited enrichment because if iran doesnt it will undoubtedly be attacked so it really has no choice anyway,if I`m wrong and this is not your belief then please enlighten me as to what is.The problem of course is that without a deal in place any unilateral act could easily be misinterpreted by the us as proof that its policies are working and that it should tighten the screws yet further,indeed everything that the us has done points to it wanting at the very least complete surrender,ie no enrichment,on the nuclear issue and the weakening or containment of iranian power both hard and soft or at the very worst regime change