Re: There Is No Truth About The Future

1

Maybe the world price of saffron would go down. That would be nice.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 2:54 PM
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That's basically right. The "Iran will take over Iraq!" argument is really rooted in the "X doesn't like us, therefore X is very very bad!" line of thinking. Frankly, if anyone started asserting control over Iraq at this point, it would probably be an improvement.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 2:55 PM
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2 replying to Ogged, not to JM's saffron speculation. I can't speak to saffron, really, as I can't cook for shit.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 2:56 PM
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I think I agree with the post, though I think Iran will (a) have some significant level of influence in a US free Iraq, and (b) will gain regionally as a result of our invasion. (How big the gain, I don't know. I think I said before that the US job is now to midwife the birth of Iran as a regional power. I guess I still think that's true.)


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 2:58 PM
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How much does Iran want Azerbajian back?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:01 PM
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give Iran a free hand there

I have encountered this argument before and answer with "A free hand to do what, exactly?" Turns out they never have an answer, or at least not one that makes the least bit of sense.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:01 PM
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4 -- Gain as a result of the invasion, absolutely. That train is well out of the station. Gain as a result of our departure? I don't think there's much gain to be had from where Iran is today.


Posted by: NĂ¡pi | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:07 PM
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There are a lot of Shia in the Gulf monarchies; some of them even have Shia majorities. Not that this changes the force of your argument, of course.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:10 PM
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How much does Iran want Azerbajian back?

You think Iran is going to invade unless US forces are on its border?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:10 PM
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No, not really. But, uh, it could! And the tribal Baluch area of Pakistan! (God knows why Iran would want it.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:12 PM
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I suspect people who worry that Iran would take over Iraq and then, from there, teh wurld! are reading from the 1980 playbook. The revolution has been the establishment for a long time and has plenty of internal issues to address. I don't think anyone with any real power is at all crazy enough to think the problems of Iraq or the decimation they would face in attacking much of anyone else could possibly be good things to add to their portfolio.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:15 PM
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You couldn't be more wrong, Ogged. Without U.S. troops in Iraq, Iran will annex the Iraqi oil-producing areas. Fueled by massive oil revenues, they will build a terrifying NUCLEAR ARSENAL and a mighty TERRORIST ARMY that will sweep through the Middle East. After they conquer Saudi Arabia they will control the world oil supply. Israel will be wiped from the map and a cowed, intimidated Europe will sink into compliant obedience. The Defeatocrats in Washington will bring pressure to compromise in order to preserve U.S. oil supplies. We will be left in a Manichean world divided between sinister bearded mullahs and a few brave Christian soldiers holding out in the North American continent.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:19 PM
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Does anyone know why Baluchistan keeps popping up on those Here Is How We Redraw The MidEast In My Fantasy World maps? (Most recently it popped up in the Feb. 2008 Atlantic Monthly.) I know that Pakistan doesn't have a firm grasp on the territority. I know that it's basically a badlands with a number of opium-smuggling routes and a cranky native population. But surely the US doesn't have to have a policy on the Baluch tribal region of Pakistan? (Unless Osama bin Laden is there, rather than in the Pashtu region?) And it doesn't seem as though Iran is in any way part of the problem there, as the Iranian army pretty much only ventures out that way to kill opium smugglers. So, what gives?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:20 PM
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Also, is there anything we can do that will prevent Iran from having a lot of influence in Iraq if we stay? Other that installing some Sunni strongman, of course.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:22 PM
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What say you?

I say you can has illiterate post title.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:22 PM
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Shit.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:22 PM
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Not to put too fine a point on it, how many troops would the U.S. have to maintain in the Middle East to keep the Israelis from going nuclear the next time Iran has a parade?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:23 PM
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I also know exactly jack shit about the world so, y'know, grains of salt come free with each of my opinions. Still, I think it's probably a safe bet that the Iranian regime is as likely as any other to grow increasingly conservative and lethargic with the passage of time, acting to preserve its holdings rather than gambling to expand them.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:24 PM
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I have encountered this argument before and answer with "A free hand to do what, exactly?" Turns out they never have an answer, or at least not one that makes the least bit of sense.

A free hand, in and of itself, is emboldening.

Emboldenation of our enemies is the great danger against which we must defend.

(no follow-up questions, please)


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:26 PM
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I had a free hand once. Did I use it to cop a feel? No, I did not.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:28 PM
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11: you might be right "McManlyPants" (strange and likely undeserved name for a liberal...are you being ironic?). But do really want to stake the entire future of Western civilization on your ability to predict the behavior of the crazed religious fanatics who rule Iran? Individuals who have demostrated their sympathy with terrorism over and over again, who regard jihad against infidels like us as a religious duty? If there is even a one percent chance you are wrong, wouldn't that justify war to the death against Iran? Are you so certain that there couldn't be a one percent chance you are mistaken?

It really mystifies me why liberals, who call for sexual "freedom" (the term I prefer is orgiastic license), including the right to commit sodomy, the erasure of all distinctions between the sexes, and destruction of traditional religious beliefs, are so complacent about the Iranian threat. Every time any American says the smallest thing to offend self-styled "feminists", the left erupts in a rage. Yet when the Iranians disembowel young women who do not wear a burqa in public, liberals excuse their behavior.

It just goes to show that anti-Americanism, and support for any country that opposes America, trumps all other beliefs in leftist ideology.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:29 PM
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We will be left in a Manichean world divided between sinister bearded mullahs and a few brave Christian soldiers holding out in the North American continent.

Which is pretty much a win for the people who are invested in this particular fantasy. HRC/BHO should be campaigning on it in Idaho, Wyoming, etc. Wolverines!

(Or whatever it was in Cultural Icon I Never Saw #487--Rabid Skunks?)


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:30 PM
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I wouldn't go "so what"--after all, if Arabs hate Iranians, then presumably Iraqis don't particularly want Iran to "have a free hand" in Iraq.

I would, however, say that even if Iran having a free hand in Iraq would be a Bad Thing, it isn't necessarily our business to prevent that. At least, if it is our business, that's only because we created the power vacuum in the first place. And that if Iraqis decide that they want us to save them from Iranians, they can let us know, but barring that, you know, white man's burden and all.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:32 PM
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Great laboratory answer, ogged. If you were ever to encounter this argument in the wild (eg, NC), it would eat you and your silly reasons alive.


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:35 PM
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It just goes to show that anti-Americanism, and support for any country that opposes America, trumps all other beliefs in leftist ideology.

It's not that we liberal fascists aren't nationalists, it's that we're rooting for the wrong nations. Having been unmasked, I crumple in defeat.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:36 PM
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Yet when the Iranians disembowel young women who do not wear a burqa in public, liberals excuse their behavior.

Rush Limbaugh award.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:36 PM
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I would, however, say that even if Iran having a free hand in Iraq would be a Bad Thing, it isn't necessarily our business to prevent that

Where have you been? The entire premise of U.S. policy since the Cold War is that anybody without a proven willingness to kowtow to us having a free hand in any country significant to us is automatically our business. Real change will happen when that assumption is overturned -- Ron Paul is one of the few guys in public life questioning it.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:37 PM
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My favorite part of the crazy Iran argument is how one or two neocons seem to have browsed through Wikipedia for an hour and discovered the Hidden Imam.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:38 PM
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29

Am I just having a low blood sugar moment or is 2 actually kind of offensive?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:38 PM
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I don't see this as a problem either, provided that when Ahmadinejad calls the US president to ask permission to fellate Talabani, we are very careful to make it clear whether our response is joking or not.


Posted by: Hamilton-Lovecraft | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:39 PM
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discovered s/b learned of

If they had discovered the Hidden Imam, I suppose the Green Flag of Islam would be flying over Congress and the American Enterprise Institute.


Posted by: destroyer | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:40 PM
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29: yes on A, no on B.

So to speak.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:42 PM
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33

Can someone besides Tweety answer that?


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:43 PM
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I don't see anything offensive about 2.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:43 PM
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No on C.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:43 PM
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Shouldn't Ogged just be able to say, "Don't worry, my friend. When my brothers rise up, I will put in a good word for you."

I do wonder how Iranian influence in Iraq will change post-withdrawal. On some level, it almost seems that the US is acting as the holder-back in a bar brawl. "You Sunnis are lucky the US is here to stop me, or else I'd [mumble mumble]." Iran can play a quiet game now, but an awful lot of Iraqi Shi'a will be disappointed if they don't get active post-occupation. And I think Iran would be nuts to get active - who wants that mess?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:45 PM
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29: No. If it was about a sub-Saharan African state that was reported as being in chaos but no one had ever reported on before, it would be offensive. Iraq is a clusterfuck for purposes of reasonable discussion.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:45 PM
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Am I just having a low blood sugar moment or is 2 actually kind of offensive?

Do you mean comment #2 or point #2 in the post?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:46 PM
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I voted yes on A and B and no on C. A was the park bond, B was the revenue-neutral retirement option of the police, and C was about demolishing Alcatraz to build a "Peace Center."


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:46 PM
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40

The hippies wanted to demolish Alcatraz? Where would they shoot The Rock 2?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:47 PM
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38: Comment 2.

My logic is that the "it's wrong for us to try to control Iraq, but perfectly okay for Iran to do so--in fact, Iran would probably be doing Iraq a favor" thing is kind of fucked up.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:50 PM
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40: Yes they did. It was a toothless policy statement, though. It also lost by about 80-20. Amusingly, the measure said the peace center would cost over a billion dollars.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:50 PM
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I took it to mean that we sure as hell aren't in control of much of anything there and it would be nice if somebody was.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:52 PM
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41: We did it by invading. Iran would presumably do it with Iraqi Shia parties in which they had high level influence.

Shorter: They would be nicer about it than we were.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:53 PM
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41: What, the civil war/ethnic cleansing thing is better than "someone being in control"?


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:53 PM
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A competency argument: I would rather see an Iraq under Iranian hegemony than one controlled by an unwieldy coalition of hardline Shi'i, ex-Ba'athists, Kurdish nationalists, with constant disruption from Salafists on the side. Despite all of its many sins, the Islamic Republic, especially since the late 90s, has proven to be very good at governing, in a sense... creating public security, persistent institutions which enjoy some legitimacy, and so on. That's what Iraq needs most.


Posted by: CG | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:54 PM
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47

But saying "It would be better if Iran were in charge" is essentially saying "It would be better if the Shia factions in the civil war won." This actually wouldn't bode well for Sunni or Kurd.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:55 PM
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2 could be offensive under other circumstances but, seriously, the place is effectively in civil war. A little control would probably help.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:55 PM
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Though, an Iranian occupation of Iraq would likely be better than an American one. They'd certainly have a lot more Arabic speakers and a better understanding of the culture and religion.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:55 PM
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I didn't bother with arguments about Iran attacking Israel, because I think those are alarmist nonsense.

Once upon a time, I thought arguments about the U.S. attacking Iraq was alarmist nonsense. I take a lot less for granted nowadays, attackingwise.


Posted by: Golza | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:56 PM
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More to the point: have a cookie, take care of your blood sugar, and then let's talk about whether it's better to have unending carnage or to never again buy a ham sandwich and kick back a cool Coors 16-ouncer.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:56 PM
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And no history of ill will!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:56 PM
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I took it to mean that we sure as hell aren't in control of much of anything there and it would be nice if somebody was.

Nah, we're in control in that we have power over life and death. But that means that said power is being used by a force that doesn't care about the people of the country, only about how the war can be used to enrich profiteering multinational corporations and affect domestic elections. It would be nice if people with a stake in the future of Iraq were in control over Iraq, without us hanging over it. Sory of.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:57 PM
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47: 2 pretty clearly says "if anyone asserted control" [emph added]. It's a general statement about Iraq, not a nuanced judgment about Iran's influence in Iraq.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:57 PM
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52 to 49


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 3:59 PM
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43 comments and little mention of Saudi Arabia. Exactly as SA wants.

Saudi Arabia wants us to stay in Iraq and we are staying in Iraq. I think China also wants us to stay in Iraq. The American people don't get to decide where the Mercenaries goes anymore.

Now it isn't really that SA is scared of an expansionist Shia Iran. It is that the Wahhabists in SA, the internal faction given much free reign as a trade for Saud fambly decadence, are expansionist and Jihadist by ideology. We aren't scared of a Shia Baghdad, but we and the Sauds are scared of how the Wahhabists will react to a Shia Baghdad.

Aww, this is way too complicated. But everybody needs to remember who were in those 9/11 planes, and why.

It isn't about Israel, and it isn't about Iran. It's about SA & the Gulf states.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:11 PM
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Speaking of low blood sugar, I consistently run 75 or lower. Should I be worried?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:12 PM
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the civil war/ethnic cleansing thing is better than "someone being in control"?

Not according to me, no. But look here: presumably the argument against the US having started the war in the first place wasn't that it's bad for our poor widdle consciences, or (just) that we'd fuck it up; it's that we do not have the right to be all imperialist and shit. Why would it be better, on principle, for Iran to be all imperialist and shit? I can see the practical arguments--they'd do a better job of it, Iraq is their next door neighbor, etc.--but when you boil it down it seems to me that what you were saying, Stras, actually sort of *was* the kind of "why do you hate America?" statement that liberals are so often accused of making.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:23 PM
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56: I'm somewhat with Bob on this one (for slightly less conspiratorial reasons). And relevant to the other thread, this is part of why I have said that I will be very surprised if there are less than 100K US troops in Iraq on November 2012, independent of which of the three remaining candidates win. (However, I think a second term would reveal large differences.)

The whole US posture in the war since '03 has been a slow pivot from Ahmed Chalabi payola/Baathist demonification position to a precariously balanced block Iran strategy.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:25 PM
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Seems to me that stras was making a practical rather than a moral argument in 2.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:27 PM
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There will be a sea battle tomorrow against the Persians.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:29 PM
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American inability to maintain order in Iraq

Can I get some comity?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:31 PM
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Ahmadinejad sends his monsters from the darkest corners of his empire. They're clumsy beasts, and the piled Persian dead are slippery.


Posted by: OPINIONATED SPARTAN | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:31 PM
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62 ... oh stoopid HTML.

Proven American inability to maintain order in Iraq < unproven Iranian ability to maintain order in Iraq < Iraqi self-determination.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 4:32 PM
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56: Hey Bob, you are making sense again!

Sometimes you make sense to me, and sometimes you don't. Does that say more about me, or about you?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:07 PM
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64: I don't think B will buy into that comity, since she is making an in principle argument (deontological, as well in the biz call it) against imperialism, rather than ranking consequences.

I am a committed consequentialist, so I would buy your proposal, if I thought that there was a reasonable chance that the Iranians and Shia would be good victors over the Sunni.

Victory only brings peace if the victors are magnanimous. On its own victory is neither necessary nor sufficient for peace.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:11 PM
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the whole my conscious childhood Iran and Iraq were fighting and i did not know for what
i remember when Brejnev died, i thought that WWIII could be possible with all that radio talk about American imperialists and the Chinese Mao's band of 4 and his wife being provocateurs or something
and i remember reports about radioactive cloud over Indonesia, then Chili, then Cambodia horrors, then the Chinese -Vietnamese war and my surprise why soc countries fight each other, but of course it's the fault of those Chinese
i thought that the President Carter was a really evil man etc
then i lost interest in all politics until perestroika may be, and the shock of reading Soljenitsun
Bob Mcmanus this is for you, sure you can look it up yourself, 70 is the lower limit
http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/hypoglycemia/


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:12 PM
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+the


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:14 PM
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President Carter was a really evil man

Hah. Perspectives from other countries are funny -- it's not just that he was our president, because there are plenty of US presidents I wouldn't say anything good about. But Carter, from here, always seemed like such a nice, decent man. It's weird thinking of him as looking scary from overseas.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:15 PM
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66.1: Actually I was saying that I thought that Stras's arguments were always based on committed moral principles.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:19 PM
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The ethics textbook I use opens its section on virtue with an anecdote from Jimmy Carter's days as a peanut farmer. No one in Georgia would do business with him unless he joined the "Conservative Citizens Council" a renamed version of the racist "White Citizens Council." Carter not only refused, but he found that when he talked to his customers alone, they *all* said that they don't really care about the CCC, they were just afraid of what everyone else would say if they did business with Carter. In the end, by standing his ground, he was able to stay in business.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:20 PM
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Carter was nice face-to-face, but he contributed to making Afghanistan a hellhole, and the dirty war in Central America started during his administration.

My feeling about carter is that he never gained control of the government and that from very early inhis term a lot of big players were actively sabotaging him.

The idea that voters and elected officials control the government is much less than a half-truth.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:24 PM
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And of course he did some lousy stuff, they all do. I had just literally never thought that Mongolian (Russian, Chinese, whoever) children were worried that Carter would drop the bomb.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:25 PM
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But look here: presumably the argument against the US having started the war in the first place wasn't that it's bad for our poor widdle consciences, or (just) that we'd fuck it up; it's that we do not have the right to be all imperialist and shit.

Actually, there was more than one argument against the war, as I recall. One argument, foremost in my mind, was that the war would lead to the deaths of lots and lots of people, and that the deaths of lots and lots of people would not outweigh the tiny satisfaction of deposing an Evil Dictator. Similarly, the tiny satisfaction of denying the Evil Mullahs of Iran some sphere of influence in Iraq would not outweigh the massive, massive death that might be averted if - and this, recall, is an if - if the influence of Iran could act as a stabilizing factor in Iraq. I thought that was the clear-enough subtext in 2, but then again, I didn't think anyone passingly familiar with my views on foreign policy was really going to accuse me of being either an advocate of imperialism or a fan of the mullacracy; if I knew that was the case, I might have spelled things out more clearly.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:26 PM
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Let's let Ogged rule Iraq. He seems like a nice enough Shi'a.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:29 PM
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of course now i don't think so, just in all that Afganistan and Palestine and Salvador and other conflicts, the other side was the USA and like the natural enemy for the Comecon


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:31 PM
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On the other topic I buy the "stand-up guy with no business being in politics" narrative about Carter.

Kids in the US were worried that Brezhnev would drop the bomb, so it is only fair that they worry about Carter dropping the bomb.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:32 PM
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Small poor countries often become battlegrounds for large powerful countries. Mongolia has been relatively lucky so far, except for a little while in WWII.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:38 PM
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69: I think that Carter, unlike everyone who has followed him, is genuinely a decent person. Quite surprising in a president, really. A decent person who was incompetent on foreign policy though. And let it get away from him because of that. I can imagine it may have looked pretty bad from the outside, particularly with the right spin.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:40 PM
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read, do you need translations of American idioms here? "Stand up guy" is a compliment. I meant the he was a man of principle.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:40 PM
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76: Oh, it's totally fair and reasonable, given where you grew up. I just literally never thought of looking at Carter from that perspective. Reagan, of course. But not Carter.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:40 PM
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80: I think read in 76 was reacting to my astonishment that anyone could be afraid of Carter, not to the words 'stand up guy'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:42 PM
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yeah, i know the expression, we have its equivalent too
Reagan on the contrary seemed a pretty good guy, with his direct telephone talks with Gorbachev
all these politics are confusing of course
so i did not follow the global politics :) during much of the early 90ies may be, so all this terrorism thing and the war in yugoslavia for example were like strange and surprising to me
i used to go past the yugoslavian embassy to the library and one day their flags were down about dead Tito, and not long after that the embassy was closed


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:52 PM
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Jimmy Carter: history's greatest monster.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 5:59 PM
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There will be a sea battle tomorrow against the Persians.

Depending on the headlines tomorrow, Cala may be in soooo much trouble....


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 6:25 PM
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LIttle known Jimmy Carter fact: The ABSCAM sting by his FBI targeted Democrats who supported Ted Kennedy's 1980 primary challenge to Carter. The indictments came down just as Kennedy was setting up his organization.


Posted by: unimaginative* | Link to this comment | 02- 7-08 7:11 PM
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The whole debate about whether Iranian influence in Iraq is imperialism reminds me about the argument over Pakistani influence in Afghanistan after the Russians pulled out. Leaving Pakistan a totally free hand did not work out too well.

On the other hand, I think Iran (evil enemy!) is much more sane and reliable than Pakistan (U.S. ally). Iran was always disgusted with the Taliban.


Posted by: PerfectlyGoddamnDelightful | Link to this comment | 02- 8-08 7:36 AM
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