Sunday, April 01, 2007

Iran

Iran has captured fifteen British sailors and marines and is trying to get attention...

I think Englad should warn Iran and give them about 24 hours to return all of the British citizens.

If Iran decides not to give them back then I think England should do the following:

1. When the 24 hours elapses completely and utterly destroy one of Iran's power generating
plants.
2. If another 24 hours elapses then completely and utterly destroy Iran's ONLY plant that
refines oil into gasoline.
3. If another 24 hours elapses then destroy another power plant.

You get the idea. I can guarantee you Iran would return the prisoners fairly quickly.

I really should be President of a major Country...

Mike Sylvester

16 comments:

Tim Zank said...

That's exactly what they should do and it is exactly what we SHOULD have done in 1979.....

Stan Matuska said...

If only it were so easy. Any chance of retalliation by Iran or other countries?

As long as there is some backing from different countries, then I would agree. The go-it-alone theme just doesn't seem to bode very well.

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

It seems interesting that we have a tendency to dislike Iran. I believe most of this stems from the Iranian hostage taking in the late 70's.

In the late 1940's in post WWII Britain raped Iran's economy and oil reserves. Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq (Times Man of the Year 1951) challenged the British and won.

Iran fought the British peacefully and in a United Nations vote was supported in their struggle against British tyranny.

When Britain attempted to overthrow PM Mosaddeq the British Embassy was closed and all British nationals thrown out. Britain then turned to their ally the United States. President Truman wisely refused to use the CIA in such a fashion but a paranoid pair of brothers (Dulles) under Eisenhower were willing to get into bed with any two-bit tyrant and dictator who only had to promise to "fight the commies".

So in 1953 the CIA under Operation Ajax set into motion a plot to overthrow the democratically elected PM of Iran. They succeeded.

The Shah (a dictator) was propped up by the good ole' US of A. The Shah supported the use of torture, assassination and the abolishment of a multi-party system to maintain his hold on power. Needless to say the Iranians are well aware of this.

Today Iran is the only major Islamic democracy in the Middle East. It is heavily influenced by xenophobic and extremist clerics, but time and again if you watch you will discover that there are movements within Iran toward greater freedom and western ideals.

I suppose we are inclined to believe the British. After all, they were so dead on about Iraq's WMD's. No? Then perhaps they are incorrect about the placement of their troops.

Iran as a sovereign nation has the right to defend its borders just as we hope to do along our borders. If we are to EARN the respect of the world then we must be willing to treat others as we wish to be treated.

Let us not forget that whatever tensions we now have with Iran we are reaping what we sowed under President Eisenhower, Secretary of State Dulles, and CIA director Dulles. We must work to shore up the damage done to our relations with Iran by our own paranoia.

It is truly ashame that our memories are so short and our understanding of our governments activities around the world is a self imposed blindness.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner

PS - At least Iran has shown and named its captives. Could we say the same about our prisoners in Guantanamo Bay so soon after their capture?

Jeff Pruitt said...

Mike,

You would most likely get the prisoners killed and start a major war. I have no doubt that Blair will solve this problem peacefully and everyone will get home safe - this is not '79 and Blair is not Carter...

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Stan:

I do not think other countries would retaliate...

Also realize I am talking about England doing this NOT the United States.

Doug:

I do not dislike Iran. I dislike countries that kidnap citizens of other countries...

Jeff:

I might get people killed... I think Iran would immediately give in ater their first major power plant was destroyed.

A modern country cannot run with electricity...

Mike Sylvester

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

Mike,

And what about countries exercising their sovereign right to defend their territory? Do we support them or not?

The truth is nobody (out here in civilian world) knows what happened! Perhaps the troops got lost and crossed the border.

Perhaps they were on a secret exercise and intentionally crossed into Iranian territory when they were caught.

Perhaps a group of Iranian troops made a mistake by thinking they were in Iranian territory.

Perhaps Iran decided to get pissy with Britain and is trying to take advantage of the situation and bring Britain down a notch in the public eye while elevating themselves in the Middle East.

No matter which I absolutely support Iran's right to defend their territory just as I expect the world to respect our right to defend our border. And as long as I don't know for certain I am willing to give Iran the benefit of the doubt on this one.

My reasoning is simple: PM Blair and Pres Bush have proven themselves totally untrustworthy to me. I will automatically doubt any words out of their mouths until proof is given.

For what it's worth I don't trust the Iranian govt either. As such in my eyes the scales are balanced and I will wait for the entire story (I don't expect to get it).

What I do know for a FACT is that the last time we supported Britain against Iran in the overthrow of PM Mosaddeq we turned a country that thought VERY highly of us into a country that now despises us. And that is truly a loss.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner

Tim Zank said...

Stan, the go it alone theme works really well if your own people don't sabotage you every step of the way. All the capitulation and "dialogue" with a country hell bent on blowing the shit out of the world is fruitless.

Doug, thanks for the history lesson but whatever we did in 1950 (while regretable) has no bearing on the situation at hand.
We as a country stand for freedom, we have no desire to blow any countries off the face of the earth as Iran has expressed many times. The leader of this Iranian "Democracy" was one of the original thugs that took OUR people
captive in 1979, and he continues to threaten the world. How do you propose "earning the respect" of an entire culture chanting "Death To America"?
Yes, Iran has the right to defend it's borders, but does anybody out there really think Britain was invading Iran?
As for your comparison to their treatment of HOSTAGES and our treatment of PRISONERS OF WAR sounds like it's straight off of Rosie O'Donnels website...

This Islamic Jihad threat isn't going away with diplomacy or negotiations. Unless you want to
learn their way of life and make it your way of life you'll have to confront them, because they don't want to be "left alone"...they want to rule the world.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Tim, just like Mike, your reactionary policies would unnecessarily start a major war in the region. This would be catastrophic to our cause in the Middle East.

The Iranian population (especially the younger generation) is very modern and has a pro-democracy tilt. In fact the current Iranian leadership is losing support every day due to populist promises made in the last election that haven't been kept.

IMO, the current leadership is trying to provoke as much response from the West as possible so they have a scapegoat when everything crumbles. And make no mistake, while the general populace doesn't fully support the current regime they CERTAINLY would not support any military action.

In fact what President Bush has done in trying to build a world consensus for isolating Iran is probably the best foreign policy decision he's made (at least one of the few I agree with). I think it's working and I think the Iranian government not releasing these soldiers is proof that it's working.

It's a desparate move by a desperate government...

Tim Zank said...

Jeff, I wouldn't call a "get tough stance" reactionary at all from a common sense standpoint. Try thinking ahead 30 years....will Iran, Syria, and their pals have calmed down by then? Will they have renounced their Islamic beliefs? Will their devotion to Allah and Islam less fervent in 30 years? Will they want to "share" the world with us capitalist pigs?
Call it reactionary if you like, but if we don't stop this now then
the only differences in 30 years will be:

1. They'll have much better weapons

2. There will be a whole lot more of them.

Everyone can keep their head buried in the sand (no pun intended) but this ain't going away.

Robert Enders said...

I'm with Doug on this. We missed a HUGE opprotunity to improve relations when Khatami was president of Iran. He sincerely wanted to improve civil liberties in that country.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Doug:

Are you really saying that you are unsure about whether the British are lying or the Iranians are lying?

I am surprised...

Lets say for the sake of this argument that the Brits DID go into Iranian waters.

Are you then saying that they should be captured, paraded in front of the TV, and forced to make statements against their will?

Mike Sylvester

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

Mike: My disagreement is that we don't KNOW that Iran kidnapped anyone. Perhaps the British soldiers were illegally in Iranian territory.

I also content that with Extraordinary Rendition we as a nation have lost the ability to stand on any moral high ground. If we can do it, why can't they?

I will also argue that the Iranians are FAR more willing to do without than we are. In the early 50's (yes, history again) they were willing to shut down ALL oil production. They wouldn't make a dime. Their nationalism and pride will carry them through. They don't care how much they suffer as long as they don't give in.

Tim, with respect sir, what happened in the 50's has a precise bearing on what is going on today.

History lessons are useful because,

#1) Understanding the history of British and American interaction with Iran helps understand where Iran is coming from.

#2) I helps us to avoid making mistakes over and over again. And blindly running to British aid without fully understanding what occurred could spell years of trouble again.

Also to say what we did in the 50's has no bearing on today is like saying that our policy of slavery in the 1800's has no bearing on our culture today. The fact is that our use of slavery over 150 years ago still affects our culture and perceptions today. People have a hard time forgetting sir.

By the way we don't have ANY POW's. IF we did they would have rights, but apparently our government only likes giving rights only when it suits them, so instead we have "detainees". NEVER forget that. We have held hundreds of people (95% of whom WE NEVER CAPTURED) for years without any charges ever being brought against them.

Tim, I think you are right when you say that we as a country stand for freedom. But I also think that our government stands for anything that suits it at the time. We claim to support democracy but when the Palestinians democratically elect a new government we break off all aid. Whether or not you agree with the aid (I don't know) the fact is our hypocrisy shines through. "Vote democratically, but only vote OUR WAY or you're in deep shit".

I guess my frustration is that as I learn about how our government has HELPED oppress people around the world ever since WWII I grow a bit cynical regarding our government. It has been done in subtle and not so subtle ways. I believe America must be proud of our achievements but also aware and ashamed of our moral failures.

I believe we must strive to understand the situation at hand along with the background that helped build that situation if we are to avoid future mistakes.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner

Jeff Pruitt said...

Tim,

I'm not comparing the two countries directly. But I think you could move your post back into the early-mid 70's and replace Iran with Vietnam - many felt the same way. Yet the doom-and-gloomers were wrong. Many things can change in due time...

Tim Zank said...

Doug H..Let me get this straight...
You honestly don't know that Iran kidnapped anyone?
That takes "the benefit of the doubt" to an entirely new level doesn't it?

I also find it interesting you believe we cannot claim the moral high ground....Let's see, we send gazillions of dollars to aid to these (Iranian) pricks 3 years ago after an earthquake to save lives, they on the other hand chant "Death to America"
and send gazillions of dollars to Hezbollah to strap bombs on their kids. Hmmmmmmm You have an odd way of moralizing.

Speaking of Hezbollah, your theory is we should have recognized them as a legitimate democratically elected government and left our funding in place to support them, using our money to strap bombs on their kids......Hmmmm another odd moralization, eh?

I also knew as soon as I saw the reference to the actions of the past that slavery wouldn't be far behind as your prime example. That is a hollow argument best made by the Al Sharptons' of the world, not thinking people. You say "people have a hard time forgetting, sir" and I would submit
people with an inability to move forward, those with no intestinal fortitude, those in need of an excuse have a hard time forgetting.

Our actions may have enabled the oppression of peoples in the past, but those actions were NOT specifically intended to do that. The oppression was an unfortunate byproduct....The Iranians and Islamic fascists in general are oppressive without apology or regret....

I don't mean to sound flippant, but it honestly sounds (to me anyway) you should be the secretary of the socialist party instead of the libertarian party.

Change Fort Wayne said...

just goes to show you how much of a joke the EU is.

What have they done?

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To Tim (and All),

Let my try to answer some of your questions and clarify my position.

"You honestly don't know that Iran kidnapped anyone?
That takes "the benefit of the doubt" to an entirely new level doesn't it?"

No. I do not. After reading the latest news Iran claims with its capture of the British GPS system it can prove that Britain was in Iranian territory I will now, for the first time, give a slight benefit of the doubt to the Iranians. About 55% Iran - 45% British. I have not claimed to believe Iran over Britain before now, I have tried to claim I don't believe one over the other. With the new allegation I will only slightly favor Iran because I have yet to see proof.

Just because I didn't immediately jump to support Britain I shock people. Interesting...

Moral high ground issue;
Yes we sent aid to the Iranians after their earthquake. I am certain many of them were thankful for it. I am also certain some of them still chant "death to America".

It is just my opinion as I have tried to study Iran a bit lately the chanters are in the vocal minority. Look at how just a FEW people in this country affected the Terry Schiavo case. The noisy ones always get the cameras.

You mention Hezbollah;
Actually, the organization that was freely elected to power in Palestine was Hamas. As I understand it Hamas was a much less corrupt group than the Fatah party. Hamas has done a great deal of good for the Palestinian people. It has also done a great deal of damage in it's struggle with Israel. After speaking to a good friend who is NOT Muslim after he visited Palestine for several weeks I found his interpretation very enlightening.

I would submit that both Israel and Palestine have jointly built a large quantity of negative karma in that region.

Israel passed a law that says "If you don't farm your land and use it we will take it and put it to use since land is limited". Then it keeps Palestinians from going from their homes to their land to farm it. So Israel takes it from them. Flashy? No. Make the news? No. Not surprising that the Palestinians over time resort to violence. Flashy? Yes. Make the news? Yes. Provoked? Yes! Do we in the United States hear that? You tell me.

The Israeli's don't do something as flashy as a bomb, but they do steal land and when the Palestinians fight back they hide behind "we haven't done anything, they're savages".

Again, both sides wrong and we should stay out of it.

On the issue of slavery:
I generally agree with you. I could have picked a dozen different examples and I don't agree with one side or the other on the issue of slavery. But as a reasonably intelligent person trying to understand the world I live in I CANNOT ignore the fact that it HAS impacted our society. Have people overreacted? Of course. Does that mean it hasn't impacted our society? Of course NOT.

"Our actions may have enabled the oppression of peoples in the past, but those actions were NOT specifically intended to do that."

This one I do have to vehemently disagree with! Do you not remember that it wasn't so long ago THAT WE SUPPORTED SADDAM HUSSEIN! Our government knew exactly what kind of murderer he was, but he fought with Iran who we didn't like so he was our little Tyrant. Use nerve gas? We don't care (they're just Kurds), just so long as you fight Iran and "hate commies".

I could name some others (and I will): Pol Pot, Papa Doc Duvalier, Baby Doc Duvalier, Idi Amin, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, General Samual Doe, Manuel Noriega, and the list goes on and on).

America has done some great, noble, just and decent things throughout its history. I am very proud of that. The problem is that we have also jumped into bed with some vile monsters who have brutalized their people just because they fit our agenda.

Henry Kissinger once said, "America has no permanent allies, only permanent interests." He may be right God forbid.

I am very concerned that if we do not shine a light in all the dark little corners that our government has crawled into we will never understand some of the ugly stains that have tarnished an otherwise great nation with a great people.

In the end I hope the troops are released and all is resolved peacefully. Whether they intentionally entered Iranian territory or not they are, as most of us could be, just pawns on a larger political chessboard.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner