Re: Deal

1

Did you join Amway or something?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:05 AM
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Hassan and Hussein struck a deal.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:07 AM
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The markets aren't sure what to make of it yet.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:11 AM
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Nice to see Lindsey Graham say that international obligations will have no meaning when he's president.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:14 AM
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It depends, have you gotten rid of all your centrifuges? No washing machine for you!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:18 AM
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Mike Huckabee* is behaving irresponsibly. Maybe other republicans too, I haven't really kept up with reactions.

*my phone just autocorrected this to "huckster". I'd like to think that was intentional by someone inside Apple, but probably not.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:22 AM
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I won't believe we have peace until the first Persian man buys a Cadillac ATS over a white BMW 3 series. I give it about 200 years.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:33 AM
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I guess 7 was technically very racist, but (a) a 3 series is still probably a better car (2) you don't mind, Ogged, do you little buddy? [gives noogie, overaggressive pat on the back, watches Ogged recoil in disgust and discomfort]


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:37 AM
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In my town there was an Iranian immigrant (not a Persian, as was once explained to me). He drove only British cars, mostly from the era when British cars looked nice but always broke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:40 AM
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Netanyahu continues to impress. There's a man who knows what he wants.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:19 AM
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10: What does he want?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:36 AM
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||
Great moments in political use of stock imagery. Graphic "background" of troops on a flag in a Donald Trump image appear to be Wehrmacht.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:56 AM
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At least he's distancing himself from the SS.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:05 PM
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Actually I think those guys are SS. That spot camouflage uniform that the front soldier is wearing was SS issue, I believe.

There is no way that Trump's people did that accidentally. You don't just Photoshop a picture of marching SS troops into your poster by mistake.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:14 PM
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You'd be surprised how rarely U.S. presidential candidates put up pictures of themselves with Nazis. It's not common the way you see in Europe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:18 PM
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See, that right there is why I hate Twitter. I want to follow other threads in the discussion to see if other people located the source image but actually tracking twitter discussions/replies (at least through the web interface) is damn near impossible.
There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:23 PM
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14: Apparently so according to my last link they're wearing Waffen-SS cuff titles, FFS...dude on left has late-war SS "dot" camo uniform


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:24 PM
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The SS are the men for that kind of job.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:25 PM
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18 to 16.last.

Anyway, it's possible his own staff are fucking with him, but I think it's more likely Trumps people are young and stupid.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:28 PM
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Never go full Nazi.


Posted by: Asteele | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:29 PM
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15: I wonder how often it has happened. I wouldn't be surprised if there were photos of Eisenhower (while president), Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon with Nazis. (Wernher von Braun, for example. )


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:30 PM
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At one point, Nixon's whole staff was named "Klaus".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:39 PM
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That is, it consisted of men named Klaus.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:39 PM
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Anyway, I'm sure there are pictures of some of those presidents with Nazis. But they probably didn't use them in the campaign is what I'm saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:45 PM
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14: A super-patriotic flag-wavey (American)organization I know of used some soldier silhouette clip-art in an official publication without noticing that it was (WWI) German silhouettes being used.


Posted by: Opionionated AEthelred the Unready | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:46 PM
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Those guys had helmets with spikes. How'd they miss that?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:49 PM
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You don't just Photoshop a picture of marching SS troops into your poster by mistake.

Look, things happen when you're trying to get work product out in a rush, OK?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:54 PM
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11: War! Republican presidents! But I repeat myself.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 12:59 PM
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I think the problem for militarists is that the SS did actually have rather stylish getup. If you get off on ranks of sharply dressed men in uniform you really can't help but be drawn to the Nazis.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:00 PM
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But skulls, Hans. I just can't think of anything positive about skulls.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:02 PM
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Stock picture found on istockphoto.

Here. details in a Charles Gaba post at dKos. On phone, tired of linking.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:04 PM
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It's tagged "Fascism".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:10 PM
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I'd feel bad for the intern, but now I'm wondering who interns for the Donald Trump primary campaign. Is this the work of Omarosa?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:28 PM
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My God, looking at Wikipedia on this important issue, the first appearance of Omarosa in popular culture was over ten years ago. We are as far from Omarosa as Led Zeppelin was from Frankie Avalon.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:31 PM
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Much as I enjoy this episode, it seems very much like it could have happened to anyone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:36 PM
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No. You have to sign up and be interviewed repeatedly to get on those shows.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:38 PM
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Trump blamed an intern. Also, it's not a photo of the SS, but SS reenactors. Somehow that seems worse.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:01 PM
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||

O oh, a cow-worker just took me to this amazing massive antique store here. It's filled with old Arabic calligraphy, metalwork, inlaid wood, textiles etc. Ottoman, Seljuk, Qajar, Mughal, Mamluk, etc. And a lot of very cool swords, daggers, etc, some really beautiful watered steel. Among other things there were two pairs of these awesome looking Mongolian gauntlets that look like they were worn by Sauron in the LOTR movies. And the proprietor is this great Syrian gentleman who did a PhD in art history at a university in Japan and he knows a lot about Sufism, we spent half the time talking about Toshihiko Izutsu. There goes half my fucking salary!

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:10 PM
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So, definitely swordfighting at the next meet up then.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:16 PM
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You best be well-equipped my friend because I'll be loaded for bear.

He had a nice assortment of chain mail and old Qajar style helms and a really outlandish Mongolian helmet that wouldn't have looked much out of place at a staging of Der Ring des Nibelungen. Also two old Ottoman talismanic style shirts like those Ghost Dance shirts. He's got like half a dozen yataghans. I've always wanted one. I think I'll need to draw up a budget.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:24 PM
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Time to supplement your income as a weaponry buyer/ exporter for Western clients. I, for one, want a Yatagan and an outlandish Mongolian helmet.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:27 PM
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On the plus side, they'll make you easily identifiable in the security videos of your bloody crime spree.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:32 PM
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When I get a chance maybe I'll upload some pics to the Flickr pool. The gauntlets were really something.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:34 PM
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44

Uploading the gauntlet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:35 PM
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45

||Should we have our next meetup as paid guests at Skid Row frontman Sebastian Bach's wedding?|>


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 3:20 PM
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46

There was supposed to be a link.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 3:20 PM
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47

Paid, maybe. Paying, nah.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 3:25 PM
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48

The price difference between that and the cost of a Skid Row ticket is the value of not listening to him sing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 3:47 PM
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45: That is tacky and weird, but I bet that it's not covering the per head cost of a rock star's reception. If it's an open bar with good food, that might be a good deal.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 4:44 PM
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When I get a chance maybe I'll upload some pics to the Flickr pool. The gauntlets were really something.

Do. That stuff is incredible to look at.

On the, ahem, Deal, and to be overly sincere on this: I found Peter Beinart's piece clarifying.

When critics focus incessantly on the gap between the present deal and a perfect one, what they're really doing is blaming Obama for the fact that the United States is not omnipotent. This isn't surprising given that American omnipotence is the guiding assumption behind contemporary Republican foreign policy.
...
It is precisely this recognition that makes the Iran deal so infuriating to Obama's critics. It codifies the limits of American power. And recognizing the limits of American power also means recognizing the limits of American exceptionalism. It means recognizing that no matter how deeply Americans believe in their country's unique virtue, the United States is subject to the same restraints that have governed great powers in the past. For the Republican right, that's a deeply unwelcome realization. For many other Americans, it's a relief.

Now, is that all overkill? I don't actually think so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:02 PM
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51

There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.

Combining the Dakotas is an obvious first move. No reason for two of those. The tidy solution would be to combine the Carolinas and Virginia/West Virginia. However, being one of the original 13 merits an exemption because I said so. Plus, New Carolina would be the fifth most populous state, and that wouldn't be good for anybody. Similarly, no good diluting northern Virginia with more Appalachia. Next, Wyoming gets annexed by Montana (or Idaho, maybe). I would suggest the third combination be from the miniature Northeastern states for fairness (Maryland/Delaware, Vermont/New Hampshire, or Connecticut/Rhode Island) but again: original 13. So that leaves either dividing West Virginia among Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, or dividing Idaho between Utah, Oregon, and Washington.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:20 PM
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51 was me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:21 PM
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I think you could probably just combine the Dakotas and Wyoming, Montana and Idaho into one big Empty WastelandMidwestern Prairie state.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:40 PM
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Not Prairie, really, unless I'm mistaken. And not Idaho. Stick that over with Oregon and Washington.

What's the point of this, again? It had something to do with twitter?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:01 PM
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Idaho mostly avoids the Great Plains prairies, but all the rest are somewhere between mostly prairie and entirely prairie. You could also head south a fair bit and still have that be true though - Nebraska, Kansas, etc.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:09 PM
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combine the Dakotas and Wyoming, Montana and Idaho

That takes out four states, so we could go ahead and grant DC statehood. Or Puerto Rico.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:18 PM
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While we're at it, we might as well reassign Greece. You know, attach it to Albania and Macedonia and whatnot, maybe Bulgaria -- their economies are fine, I'm sure. I think Greece wouldn't really like joining Turkey, though.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:23 PM
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I believe parsi might miss a Simpsons reference but I can't believe that apo is being ignorant in good faith.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:25 PM
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If they really want to stay in the Euro, maybe Italy can be convinced to annex them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:25 PM
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The word "Balkanization" wasn't just coined from nothing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:25 PM
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Totes missed any Simpsons reference.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:26 PM
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PS I am not a crackpot.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:26 PM
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There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three.

THESE THINGS TAKE TIME YOU KNOW.


Posted by: JUAN DE FUCA PLATE | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:28 PM
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we could go ahead and grant DC statehood. Or Puerto Rico.

Yeah, PR definitely. There is no reason on earth the US can't be 51 states instead of 50. DC is another story: it's just too small. Divide it up between Maryland and Virginia. Where should the actual capital be? Huh. Maryland, where it was once anyway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:41 PM
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63 was perfect.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:46 PM
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Physically it would naturally all be in MD anyway, right? The 10 mile square is cut off at the Potomac so it's all on the MD side.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:47 PM
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Yes. Virginia is assholes about such stuff anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:53 PM
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Wait, why are we making Puerto Rico a state? So we can have a state even broker and more corrupt than Mississippi?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:06 PM
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Less racist, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:09 PM
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We should do like football leagues in the U.K. and have it so that if your record slips, you drop down a level. And if you get better, you go up a level. So, if childhood poverty, preventable disease, or whatnot rise too high, you get demoted to a territory and a territory can become a state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:10 PM
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Please note that I don't actually know anything about the football leagues in the U.K. except that they exist, one of them has a team called Manchester United, and only the goalie can use his hands.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:14 PM
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Wait, why are we making Puerto Rico a state?

Hardly any of Rhode Island is an island and Hawaii is almost 5000 miles away from the east coast. I mean, really.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:59 PM
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73

And New York is hundreds of years old.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:18 PM
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But doesn't look a day over 150.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:21 PM
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Anyway, I'm pretty sure no one in this thread actually has the ability to make new states or destroy old ones.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:25 PM
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I guess "eliminate" was the original verb. Anyway, we can't do that either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:26 PM
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77

There are few things all Virginians agree on, but one of them is this: Maryland is chock full of terrible drivers. So, sure, bring on the Maryland-based nation's capital. A city full of people who can't steer, don't know when to stop, and don't know when to go—it's exceptionally American.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:48 PM
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Powell's watersheds could be adapted to 47 states:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2013/11/19/map-the-united-states-of-watersheds/


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:16 AM
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63 is masterful


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 2:29 AM
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63 is masterful


Posted by: parodie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 2:29 AM
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63. And if Juan only manages to eliminate two, then his good buddy Cambio Climático is working on Florida, so it's job done, basically.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 2:45 AM
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82

SS reenactors

Say what now?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 4:45 AM
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83

75 Some of us are in a position to participate in resistance to such efforts; my guess is that you'd get a vote of 80% or better for cold dead hands in case there's some doubt about where we are on the thing. Fantasists would do better spending their time dreaming of replacing our separate branch system with a parliament, because that's more likely to actually happen. (But still not going to happen).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 4:57 AM
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78 -- What's the Clark Fork got to do with the Snake? Nothing at all. And if you're basing a polity on the Snake watershed, why would you make the border at the confluence, rather than at Hells Canyon? Because you're not actually trying to think about ecosystems? And what's with dividing the Yellowstone?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 5:12 AM
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And the notion that straight line boundaries are the result of the railroads' lobbying to accept the 'rain follows the plow' theory is simply ridiculous. Has the author never looked at the boundaries of Connecticut or Pennsylvania? Never heard of Mason, Dixon, or Charles II?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 5:21 AM
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86

He was the one with all the good mistresses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 5:42 AM
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82. Why not? Confederate reenactors are perfectly respectable. If you're reconstructing battles you've got to have some bad guys for the good guys to fight.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:08 AM
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I always assume Confederate reenactors are white supremacists.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:13 AM
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89

"Don't let poor Nelly look at a map with crooked borders for Connecticut."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:13 AM
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90

Anyway, I think LARPing is doing to make the whole thing go away because the point is clearly to be as ridiculous as possible and LARPing wins that contest.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:16 AM
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I have a high school friend who LARPs in a Ren Fair way, and his FB feed is almost entirely photos of the big events. It seems like kind of big sweaty hassle wearing all that chainmail and burlap when it's 95°. And maybe I have a short attention span, but all day is a really long time to keep up suspension of disbelief. On the other hand, giant pieces of meat feature heavily in the food photos, so there's that.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:44 AM
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92

Did you fall off the wagon?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:45 AM
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93

82. Why not? Confederate reenactors are perfectly respectable. If you're reconstructing battles you've got to have some bad guys for the good guys to fight.

I guess I don't find that particularly respectable either, but at least all the people involved then are dead now. WWII re-enactment seems even creepier than ordinary battle re-enactment, which I really don't like to begin with, and with SS units it just seems like going out of its way to be fucked up.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:47 AM
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92: Nope, herbivorific for 17 years as of mid-August. But I'm familiar with the giant-pieces-of-meat eating traditions of my omnivore friends.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:54 AM
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95

You are aware of all barbeque traditions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:57 AM
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This is on topic because meat and unseemliness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:58 AM
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I should have saved that and sent it in as a guest post.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:13 AM
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98

77 is fightin' words. Virginia has the shittiest drivers in the East.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:20 AM
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I think the quote in 50 really nails a lot of what is going on with opposition to the Iran deal. Having had a chance to hear more about it I think it's a shit deal in most ways, doesn't do much of anything to stuff the Genie back in the bottle, merely delays Iranian acquisition of a bomb by maybe a decade at best, seriously negatively impacts Israel's security, and is about as good as could be reasonably hoped for given the constraints of reality. I strongly suspect that Iran will cheat and eventually there will be a bombing campaign, but maybe an all-out war can be avoided.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:27 AM
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Also, as a Virginia resident I have to endorse 98. My current favorite Virginia driver thing is to back into a parking space and end up with the car all the way over on the side of the parking space, wheels on the white line. I swear maybe 1 out of 10 reverse parkers actually know what they are doing around here.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:29 AM
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What if they know they're taking two spaces but don't give a fuck?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:30 AM
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98: No, 77 is right, except that DC is already saturated with terrible Maryland drivers, so merging DC into Maryland couldn't make things any worse as far as that goes.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:31 AM
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I have basically stopped driving during commute times since a recent move, so much nicer. Yesterday, I had to run an errand. Here, if you put on a turn signal indicating a wish to change lanes, the other drivers adjust accordingly to squeeze you out.

The gnome with a huge car whose license plate read mymoxie responded to my nosing in anyway at low speed with my blinker still on by first honking and then flipping me off, two middle fingers after setting down its tub of coffee or soda.

Biking home last week, I got hit again at low speed by a lady who turned right without looking where she was going through a green light, hit me in a crosswalk with the turn light on. I took off her mirror with my arm while we skidded along for 20 yards together. SHe gets out, yells at me, and explains that she wants insurance reimbursal. I want to get home to make my kid dinner, say "read about right-of-way" to her twice.

It's a horrorshow, self-driving cars will come too late for taste, we needed them last week.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:45 AM
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walk light instead of turn light in 103


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:47 AM
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Are you hurt? I hope you called the cops on her.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:47 AM
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Anyway, my policy about hitting cars (it's great when they're driven poorly) allows you to kick in at least one body panel on the car for every bruise on you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:49 AM
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99 surprises me. What what? Isn't the hope here that this will lead to the reintegration of Iran into the international community, which will weaken the mullahs while providing a counterweight to the batshit sunnis? On the Iranian side, I suspect the mullahs are thinking that the next uprising will be much worse for them, because the economy is so much worse, so this is a chance to improve living conditions and dampen fervor for revolution; something like the Chinese model of economic freedom with authoritarian government.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:57 AM
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108

In China, people are allowed to eat pork. You can go without democratic freedoms or pork, but not both.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:58 AM
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109

seriously negatively impacts Israel's security

Relative to what? No deal? A hypothetical complete capitulation by Iran? An invasion?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:59 AM
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The pork thing is interesting. Iranians aren't, by and large, very religious, but even Iranians who have been in the States for a long time won't touch the stuff.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:00 AM
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111

107 & 109 are you right.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:01 AM
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112

Have they tried drinking Hamm's?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:01 AM
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108: There was an article about how people are eating more pork now in Israel. That must be in preparation for turning it into a one-party state.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:09 AM
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114

109: Israel's ultimate security depends on Iran getting the bomb, using it and the subsequent apocalypse. The only true security is God's Plan.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:12 AM
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115

Doesn't it seem to be taking Iran a very long time to build a bomb? North Korea pulled it off quickly and they don't even had food.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:17 AM
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116

I suppose that's just the negotiations working? Or the sanctions?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:18 AM
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115: Suggests the secret ingredient is bacon grease.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:18 AM
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116: Maybe they think the threat is more valuable than the execution.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:20 AM
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Maybe they are worried about not having a secure second strike capability.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:25 AM
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115. Different environments for Korea and Iran. Israel bombed their first reactor, invested god knows how many man-years into creating Stuxnet to fuck any Siemens control system, killed a bunch of nuclear chemists in the streets of Teheran.

I kind of doubt that South Korea is as vicious, maybe because having an attack spiral would lead to US-PRC conflict.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:29 AM
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Israel bombed their first reactor

You're thinking of when Israel bombed the reactor in Iraq, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:38 AM
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Whoops, yes, I am thinking of that.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:43 AM
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Iran has a long history of saying they don't actually want nuclear weapons and also a long history embarrassing the United States and Israel by not really trying to get them either. I mean, people talk about their nuclear program a lot but for the most part they're conveniently failing to clarify that it's directed at nuclear power plants. The equipment involved in refining uranium for nuclear power isn't going to get you to nuclear weapons grade purity either.

If they had one I suspect it would be a net positive for the region too. Israel's security would probably be positively impacted by having to shut up about starting a war with Iran to boot.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:50 AM
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After Israel bombed Fukushima, it was hard to keep track of all of the nuclear reactors they'd bombed.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:56 AM
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123.2: It's a key part of Netanyahu's political strategy to claim that Israel is just inches away from nuclear incineration -- because as soon as those crazy mullahs have their hands on the bomb they won't be able to resist using it to destroy Satan on earth.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:01 AM
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107: Isn't the hope here that this will lead to the reintegration of Iran into the international community, which will weaken the mullahs while providing a counterweight to the batshit sunnis?

In the very long term I think you may be right, but over the term of this agreement I'm not as optimistic. This is a start, but it's only the first step. Better by far than the status quo, though.

109: Relative to what? No deal? A hypothetical complete capitulation by Iran? An invasion?

Relative to the slow messy incremental progress towards a bomb, occasionally hindered by the mysterious death of senior scientists, with probably a bombing campaign to slow things down further, leading to a bomb in maybe 2-5 years. In the long term Israel stands to benefit if Ogged's scenario plays out (and please let it). In the short term Iran gets access to weapons capable of striking Israel as well as additional money to support their proxies.

I assume Iran will get the bomb. They are too far along and it's too attractive a strategic asset to just pass up. I also assume that once they get it they won't use it short of an existential threat to the power of the mullahs. This agreement buys time to try to deescalate things and reintegrate Iran into the international order, but that's really all it does. The reason it's good is that the alternative is a bomb in a few years, with Iran a pariah state having nothing to lose by hiding behind a nuclear shield and using proxies to lash out at everyone they blame for their situation. Between here and the good outcome lies a period where the international community has to sort of assume that the nutty rhetoric is just that and Iran won't use this respite to lash out or cheat. There isn't a good option B, though.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:07 AM
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Even if South Korea were as aggressive as Israel, the closed society and totalitarian regime would probably make disruption harder for them.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:21 AM
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I assume Iran will get the bomb. They are too far along and it's too attractive a strategic asset to just pass up.

The great thing about America is that you can find examples of people saying that Iran is definitely building a bomb and will have one within 18 months for every year since 1991, despite which Iran remains stubbornly bombless. It's Mullah Nukem Forever, as I seem to remember remarking before, so long ago in fact that the joke actually worked because Duke Nukem Forever had not then been released.
Meanwhile, things like
"Every US intelligence agency agrees that Iran gave up its nuclear programme in 2003"
and
"Every leading Iranian politician has publicly declared that the ownership, and still more the use, of nuclear weapons is utterly un-Islamic and repellent"
go completely unnoticed.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:37 AM
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You're thinking of when Israel bombed the reactor in Iraq, right?

An action condemned by the US at the time, and described by the LA Times as "an act of state-sponsored terrorism".

1981 was a long, long time ago.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:39 AM
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Yeah but they've been at the "leading to a bomb in maybe 2-5 years"* phase since, what, the early '90s now? Either they're really, really bad at it, the people who talk about the fearful scary Iranian bomb are really, really bad at estimating how long things will actually take, or they're actually being honest when they say they're focusing on nuclear power and research and not trying to build one at all.

I mean, sure being part of the big nuclear weapons family sounds great and all, but there are countries that openly aren't interested in becoming nuclear powers (and at least one that actively rejected it**) and I'm not clear one what the evidence is that Iran isn't in that group.

*Or less, when convenient for the politician in question.
**South Africa, which was a nuclear power but later dismantled their weapons and isn't one anymore.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:41 AM
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Israel's submarines are public knowledge. It would be suicidal for Iran to bomb Israel. Iran definitely has something to lose by bombing Israel no matter what is happening elsewhere in the world.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:41 AM
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Tom Lehrer's account of nuclear proliferation seems still basically accurate, if out of date. Although maybe the US is less likely to say it loves peace. Motherhood is still OK.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:42 AM
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111 s/b 107 & 109 are right

-you


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:48 AM
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...I'm not clear one what the evidence is that Iran isn't in that group.

Enriching uranium to levels way above what would be needed for a reactor. Building centrifuge cascades far bigger than would be needed for a reactor. Developing advanced centrifuges when the existing installation is far larger than is needed. Keeping inspectors out. Why do you need to do that for a legitimate nuclear program?

As to people disclaiming nuclear ambitions I simply write that off. If you had surreptitious nuclear ambitions about the only sensible stance to take is exactly the one Iran is taking, which looks exactly like that of a completely innocent nation, which is the point. But completely innocent nuclear research does not require the installations Iran has.

Also, regarding 130** Ukraine, which got rid of its nukes in exchange for international guarantees of security.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:54 AM
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That would be the one uranium/general project they said was for medical research right?* I mean, sure maybe they are pursuing something contrary to what the CIA, Mossad, and other intelligence agencies run by countries with a massive interest in saying otherwise think. But they did have a clearly stated rationale there.

And the idea that a country needs some kind of nefarious plan in order to tell other countries they can't send people into their secure facilities and inspect all their stuff is a bit much. Perhaps they were worried about spies? Or thought that that was ridiculous?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:57 AM
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Or, I suppose, not entirely medical research but also basic medical treatments - it's the stuff you use to power this reactor.

Under the current agreement we're still going to be supplying them with uranium for that, though nowhere near as pure as the weapons-grade stuff we gave them when the US gave them the reactor in the first place.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:01 AM
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I have an ignorant question: to what extent are all the claims about Iran's stated (and allegedly recently reiterated) desire for Israel to be wiped off the map actually accurate? Who in Iran has said that, recently?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:11 AM
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It was Ahmedinejad (is that spelled even close to right?) and in context was clearly about a desire for a change in the government of Israel, rather than a desire for there to be a smoking crater. Hostile, but "I want the area now the state of Israel to no longer be a Jewish state" rather than "Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:30 AM
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Couldn't tell you the date or exact context, but knowing the speaker (assuming I have it right, which isn't certain) should let you find it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:31 AM
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In the short term Iran gets ... additional money to support their proxies.
Who are their proxies, and why should we care if they get extra money?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:44 AM
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Alright, I suspected that this was old rhetoric coming from the previous regime. That's 2012 under Ahmedinejad.

It's unclear to me what Rouhani's stance is. Googling around, I see Haaretz and such claiming that Rouhani is reiterating the elimination talk, just in more ambiguous terms which have been propagandized to sound mellow and regretful, about "old wounds." But that's Haaretz.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:52 AM
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This agreement buys time to try to deescalate things and reintegrate Iran into the international order, but that's really all it does.

Isn't that enough? I mean what more do you want? Because the only thing I see as the answer to that for those unsatisfied with this deal is "regime change" and we see how well that's worked out for us in the recent past. Not that I think it would be possible anyway.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:56 AM
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We can see how well that worked in the somewhat-less-recent-but-still-not-that-long-ago past with Iran, no less.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:59 AM
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134.last- Oh, well, glad that all worked out fine then.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:04 PM
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Semi-OT: ogged, surely you've seen this?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:09 PM
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142 gets it right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:16 PM
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141: You start out in 1979 by saying, "Death to Israel." By 2005 you can't say "Death"--that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, "eliminate the Zionist regime", urging others to halt oil sales, and all that stuff, and you're getting so abstract. Now, you're talking about "old wounds", and all these things you're talking about are totally historic things and a byproduct of them is, Israel is the aggressor. "Old wounds," is much more abstract than the Zionism thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Death to Israel."


Posted by: Lee Atâbdinejad | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:29 PM
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142: In terms of what's actually possible it's about as good as can be had, I don't disagree. What I object to is the notion that it's actually good in any sense beyond not being as bad as the alternative. There seems to be a tendency on the left to view this as a solution but it's at best the beginning of a solution.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:05 PM
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In the meantime, this is important.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:08 PM
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Uh oh, maybe it's not such a great deal after all.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 3:54 PM
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There seems to be a tendency on the left to view this as a solution but it's at best the beginning of a solution

I would ask for a cite for the first clause, but it's a big world and there's somebody out there saying pretty much any fool thing. I don't think this is at all the attitude of the people actually involved, and so I think the quoted part is maybe heading over the border into concern troll territory.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 4:19 PM
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150. The part about "historically underestimated the nuclear efforts of others" is pretty rich coming from Cheney, but he's right otherwise. I expect the Saudis will be next to go nuclear.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 4:50 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if the Saudi's get nukes before Iran. The reaction will probably be, well what do you expect? They have Iran as a neighbor. Thus, it is Iran's fault.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:48 PM
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In terms of what's actually possible it's about as good as can be had, I don't disagree. What I object to is the notion that it's actually good in any sense beyond not being as bad as the alternative.

Isn't that the definition of a good deal? As good as can be had and not as bad as the alternative?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:50 AM
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As to people disclaiming nuclear ambitions I simply write that off. If you had surreptitious nuclear ambitions about the only sensible stance to take is exactly the one Iran is taking

No, this is wrong. There is a difference between saying "We don't have a nuclear weapon programme because we don't see the point; we have better things to spend the money on, nukes wouldn't do much for our national security" and "nuclear weapons are abhorrent in the sight of God and anyone who possesses them is a grievous sinner". Especially if the person saying it is a theocrat.

Enriching uranium to levels way above what would be needed for a reactor.

No, this is wrong. 20% LEU is used for medical purposes and for reactor research. You only need 5% for power generation, true, but you need 90% or so for a weapon.

Building centrifuge cascades far bigger than would be needed for a reactor.

Maybe they're planning to build... TWO REACTORS! Or maybe they want a bit of backup because CERTAIN PEOPLE keep blowing their centrifuges up. (Stuxnet, etc)

Developing advanced centrifuges when the existing installation is far larger than is needed.

See above.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:16 AM
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there are countries that openly aren't interested in becoming nuclear powers (and at least one that actively rejected it**)

Lots, actually. The list of countries that were actively working on nuclear weapons in the 1950s is very long and includes some really surprising names. Sweden. Brazil. Canada.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:19 AM
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155: According to this 20% enrichment puts you 90% of the way to weapons grade. A lot of Iran's behavior makes sense if what they want is nuclear latency, so they can get to a bomb in a short sprint if everything looks like going to shit for the regime.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 5:01 AM
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157: and it also puts you 100% of the way to what you need for a medical reactor which is what it is actually being used for.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 5:06 AM
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158: Can you name a state surreptitiously pursuing nuclear weapons that did not use a medical or research reactor as cover? Off the top of my head I can think of Israel, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, and South Africa that all used the same ploy.

I don't think we are disagreeing much on the facts, just on the intentions and trustworthiness of the regime. Fortunately as part of the deal they dilute the 20% down to 5% (maybe 3.5%, can't be bothered to google) so trust isn't so much of an issue.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 6:13 AM
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Trust but dilute.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 6:14 AM
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156 - I meant, "was a nuclear power and actively rejected that status", not just "didn't pursue it", which is probably more countries than not. I just like that South Africa, without to my knowledge getting anything interesting in return, just went "yeah these are a bad idea" and got rid of them.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:37 AM
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159 - And how credible were those countries about that? I mean, Iran literally has the reactor right there and was running out of the fuel it needed for them and was enriching the uranium to the point where it could run the reactor (but not further). Is there something additional to the story that makes you suspicious aside from "IRAN! HSSSSSSS!" here?

If Iran did become a nuclear power it's hard for me to see how that would hurt them. If anything it would probably shut Israel and the United States up pretty quickly and ensure a lot of security as a result, similar to what it did with North Korea. If they're just-about-right-there-any-minute then they've been there for a really long time now and if they had any credible ability to get to having nuclear weapons I can't see much reason to avoid doing that aside from genuinely not wanting them.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:40 AM
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"yeah these are a bad idea now that white people won't be in charge"


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:41 AM
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It was in 1989, so maybe but not obviously.

Also I'm pretty sure, re:159 again, that South Africa's excuse was that they wanted to use nuclear explosions for peaceful non-weapons related purposes, which is pretty far from saying they want to do it for reactors (though they also had a reactor that used highly enriched uranium, because apparently at some point the US was just giving those things and the fuel needed for them to any country that asked for one or something.)


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:53 AM
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159: Can you name a state surreptitiously pursuing nuclear weapons that did not use a medical or research reactor as cover?

Well, can you name a state that wasn't pursuing nuclear weapons that still had medical or research reactors and enriched fuel for them? There are quite a lot.

Off the top of my head I can think of Israel, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, and South Africa that all used the same ploy.

I think the top of your head might not be the best source of information on nuclear weapons proliferation.

Iraq? No. Presumably you are thinking here of the Osirak reactor at al-Tuwaitha. There is serious doubt over whether this was part of a bomb programme. The actual Iraqi bomb programme used calutrons to make HEU, not a reactor to make plutonium, as we found out after 1991.

Israel? No. The Dimona reactor that produced plutonium for the Israeli bomb was supposedly a civilian power station, not a medical or research reactor (though the Israelis also had a smaller research reactor at the site).

North Korea? Yes - Yongbyon-1 and -2 were both supposedly research reactors.

Syria? No. Not only did they not pretend that the Blue Box was a medical or research reactor, they didn't admit it was a reactor at all.

South Africa? No. They had reactors, but they went the HEU route rather than the Pu route in their weapon programme.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:56 AM
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161: ah, fair enough. But I thought it was interesting too how many countries started off down the nuclear road in the 50s before giving up.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:57 AM
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164. Was that the whole "atoms for peace" kind of thing? It was big in the 50s and maybe 60s. Back in 1989 there were still folks pushing it, pretty ineffectually as I recall. Making harbors with nukes, digging a second Panama canal with nukes, Dyson's nuclear bomb space propulsion system, etc. The (one hopes) last dying embers of "let's think of nuclear bombs as lots and lots of dynamite in a small package!"


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 8:58 AM
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Is there something additional to the story that makes you suspicious aside from "IRAN! HSSSSSSS!" here?

Try "religious fanatics who want to see me dead HSSS!" If you find such people trustworthy I don't really know how I'll convince you otherwise.

If Iran did become a nuclear power it's hard for me to see how that would hurt them.

Crippling international sanctions seems like a bad outcome. Just by going near the red line they got sanctions severe enough to hurt. If they actually detonated a nuclear device they'd be looking at even more severe sanctions.

In their shoes the smart thing really is to try to get to the point where a sprint for a bomb is possible but everyone is happy with the polite fiction that it's all about research and medicine. You get the intimidation factor without triggering sanctions. It's the best of all possible worlds.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 9:15 AM
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If your list of countries who should be prevented from having nuclear weapons by aggressive sanctions and other more serious measures is based on their being (officially) religious countries mainly established and run by fanatics who occasionally threaten genocide* then you've got more serious worries than Iran...

And which countries exactly would be down for really serious sanctions if Iran had nuclear weapons that weren't if they were just really close or if a lot of powerful western countries said they were? I don't see how this would make that serious of a difference to countries that weren't already heavily invested in the idea that Iran was the biggest most dangerous threat to world safety, or whatever it is Israel and (conservatives in) the US go on about.

*Except as pointed out above Iran didn't actually do this.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 9:28 AM
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168: As far as I know, genocide is not an official policy of the Iranian Republic. They're not nice people but they don't want to wipe out the Jews, or indeed anyone else. Why do you think they do?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 9:39 AM
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Also, remind me what happened to the last Middle Eastern state that had the great idea of maintaining constructive ambiguity about WMDs - thinking it could get out from under sanctions by showing IAEA inspectors it didn't have any, but still scaring its neighbours by hinting that it might?
Did that clever strategy work out well for them, in the end?
Well enough that you reckon the Iranian government would look at the result and think "wow, great idea, we'll do exactly what they did"?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 9:44 AM
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Iran has a substantial Jewish population and a reserved seat for Jews in the Majlis (as for Armenians, Assyrians and Zoroastrians according to Wikipedia, which I hadn't known). If they were into genocide you'd expect them to start closer to home.

It's the Baha'i in Iran who get the shitty end of the stick.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:15 AM
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170: "Death to America" is an ongoing theme in Iranian politics. I'm not saying we didn't earn that hostility, just that it's there. Nor am I claiming genocidal intent, btw. Just violent language that I won't write off as mere over-the-top rhetoric.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:26 AM
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And the last time Iran attacked America was... when, exactly?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:33 AM
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Boy, good thing no one could put together a montage of top members of one of America's major political parties saying belligerent things about other countries.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:40 AM
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174: The last time they had a good opportunity to do so?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:43 AM
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From what I can remember reading about it "Death to (x)" is a relatively normal colloquial expression, and isn't a literal death threat the way it looks in English, any more than "Damn you!" expresses a genuine attempt to send something to an eternal torment in the fires of hell. So you'd also see, e.g., "Death to traffic!" and that sort of thing. It's not obviously violent language any the sense that would imply a genuine threat, as much as a vague hostility or even annoyance.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:46 AM
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175: And the last time one of them was president the US did belligerent things. Belligerent politicians sometimes deliver.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 10:50 AM
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Sasquatch Israel!


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 11:06 AM
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I have no clue what 179 refers to, but I think I'm on board. Most countries could benefit from a good sasquatching, I'm sure.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 11:14 AM
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An Internet tradition.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 11:19 AM
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"religious fanatics who want to see me dead HSSS!"

They don't care about you, man. They're mostly very shrewd plutocrats, and international power politics can explain pretty much everything that happens between Israel/Iran/Saudi Arabia, although domestically all three of them will (with varying frequency and subtlety) demonize each other.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 11:24 AM
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171: Not to be cheeky, but isn't such ambiguity exactly Israel's policy (or was, until recently?)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 12:15 PM
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183: Israel is not seriously trying to convince anyone they don't have nukes, nor are they trying to get sanctions lifted.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 12:27 PM
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I don't know why Israel even bothers to pretend they don't have nukes - maybe to give them an excuse not to sign some or other nuclear treaty? Who knows. But it's well known enough that they do that they were included in a group of nuclear powers in the latest GI Joe movie, at which point I think it's fair to say that the secret is out.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 12:47 PM
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173, 177 My mentor as an undergraduate is an American who spent about a dozen years in Iran and left at the time of the Revolution. He speaks fluent Persian and told me that during some of the demonstrations when he saw people he knew chanting "Death to America" he'd say, "hey, what about me?" and they'd answer back "Oh, of course we don't mean you!"


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:13 PM
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I love the American government, it's their people I can't stand.


Posted by: OPINIONATED TAXI DRIVER IN MIDDLE EASTERN CITY | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:17 PM
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I should point out that the Iranians are just as prone to chant "death to Britain" but somehow we manage not to come over all168 about it even though we are several thousand miles closer to them.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:27 PM
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Well sure but Britain hears that kind of thing from Scotland and Ireland even more often and they're literally part of Britain, so you guys are probably used to that kind of thing.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:30 PM
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Whereas being hated by foreigners is a new and unsettling experience for you lot?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:33 PM
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But having religious people hate you is just part of being a citizen in a civilised country. Chris Brookmyre had a great passage about how the stereotypical harmless little old lady in Glasgow deserves to die for at least sixteen different reasons under various religious laws. She's reading her horoscope in the Daily Record- burn her as a witch! Her head's uncovered - beat her for immodesty! etc etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:37 PM
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I'm off to a same sex marriage at the weekend and the last time they looked they literally couldn't find a single British Muslim who approved of those, and they asked a fair few hundred.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:38 PM
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I just assume that we ran out of hating Iraq and North Korea got nukes which means we have to use our inside voices about them so for now Iran is DESIGNATED ENEMY.

Seriously if you think the US is weird about Iran you should have been living here in the '90s when it was Iraq. I showed up for the first extended period right at the beginning and it was bizarre because it was this relatively small country entirely lacking any ability to do anything to us and the animosity involved was omnipresent in disturbing ways. We were assigned a school project to make animated films (someone donated a bunch of super 8 cameras to the school I guess) in fifth grade and immediately people were like "Let's make one where Saddam Hussein is the bad guy and gets killed!". Fifth grade!

The United States has never gotten over the cold war, it just has trouble finding new enemies of pure evil these days.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 2:45 PM
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In the 80s I remember my brother (teenage at the time) had a dartboard poster with a bullseye over Khomeini. So it's just their turn at the top of the wheel again.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:11 PM
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184 - "Ayatollah Assholah" tshirt.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:13 PM
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and the last time they looked they literally couldn't find a single British Muslim who approved of those, and they asked a fair few hundred

I can't check this, but boy does it sound like whoever did the polling was working with some no-true-Scotsman definition of Muslim; only regular attendees at super conservative mosques or something. I mean, maybe British Muslims are wildly more hostile to gays than American Muslims, I don't know. But of the Muslims here I know at all, the ones where I'd make a guess on their opinion on gay marriage (Sally's classmates, mostly) would be uniformly pro.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:17 PM
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I remember being a in bar that in 1993 and hearing a song that went "Fuck, fuck, fuck the ayatollah." It was played live and sung by an extremely profane* elderly woman who headed the house band for this bar. Regulars all knew the song, but then I think they knew all the songs. I only went the once, for reasons that nothing to do with the content of the songs and everything to do with volume and persistence of them.

* The only other song I can recall was "Won't you sleep in the wet spot tonight?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:21 PM
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190 -- sort of, yes. Americans are basically the Boston sports fans of international relations, boorish, aggressive, unbearable assholes who not only go on about how great their team/country is, but are actually affirmatively offended that not everyone else loves their team/country and can't understand why others don't love them the way they love themselves.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 3:23 PM
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196: no, just self-identified Muslims. It was a few years ago. And I misremembered. It wasn't gay marriage they disapproved of, it was being gay. Not a single one thought that homosexuality was morally acceptable. And you're right about the comparison - French and German Muslims were much more accepting (though still not majority approving).
http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2009/may/07/muslims-britain-france-germany-homosexuality


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-18-15 1:48 AM
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193: Does anyone take North Korea's status as a nuclear power seriously? Nobody is deterred in any way by their tests.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-18-15 2:06 AM
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200. I imagine the South Koreans might be moderately concerned. The North hasn't got delivery systems that could hit anybody else yet (Well, China, but they're not that nutso.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-18-15 4:01 AM
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198. I can remember in the 1950/60s that practically every spare wall in Britain was covered in graffiti saying "Yanks go home!" The service personnel in Europe at the time must have had some notion that they weren't universally adored.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-18-15 4:04 AM
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