Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

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Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

-  Complete Article Link  -

What can possibly justify the relentless U.S. diplomatic (and mainstream media) assault on Iran ?

It cannot be argued that Iran is an aggressive state that is dangerous to its neighbors, as facts do not support this claim...It cannot be relevant that Iran has, over the years, had a nuclear research program, and is most likely pursuing the capacity to develop nuclear weapons, as Pakistan, India, Israel and other states are nuclear powers yet remain U.S. allies—indeed, Israel deceived the U.S. while developing its nuclear program.

 

The following quiz is an attempt to introduce more balance into the mainstream discussion of Iran.  A few of the questions:

  1. Is Iran an Arab country?

    No. Alone among the Middle Eastern peoples conquered by the Arabs, the Iranians did not lose their language or their identity. Ethnic Persians make up 60 percent of modern Iran, modern Persian (not Arabic) is the official language, Iran is not a member of the Arab League, and the majority of Iranians are Shiite Muslims while most Arabs are Sunni Muslims. Accordingly, based on language, ancestry and religion, Iran is not an Arab country. ( http://www.slate.com/id/1008394/ )
  2. Has Iran launched an aggressive war of conquest against another country since 1900?

    No. - According to Juan Cole, the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Iran has not launched such a war for at least 150 years. ( Juan Cole; Engaging the Muslim World; Palgrave Macmillan; New York: 2009; p.199.)

    It should be appreciated that Iran did not start the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s: “ The war began when Iraq invaded Iran, launching a simultaneous invasion by air and land into Iranian territory on 22 September 1980 following a long history of border disputes, and fears of Shia insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority influenced by the Iranian Revolution. Iraq was also aiming to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War)

  3. How many known cases of an Iranian suicide-bomber have there been from 1989 to 2007?

    Zero. There is not a single known instance of an Iranian suicide-bomber since the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988. ( Robert Baer; The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower; Crown Publishers; New York: 2008.)

  4. What percentage of students entering university in Iran is female?

    Over 60%. ( M. Axworthy; A History of Iran : Empire of the Mind; Basic Books; New York : 2008.)
  5. What percentage of the Iranian population attends Friday prayers?

    1.4%. ( M. Axworthy; A History of Iran : Empire of the Mind; Basic Books; New York : 2008.)

  6. Which two countries were responsible for orchestrating the 1953 overthrow of Iran's populist government of democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mossadegh, primarily because he introduced legislation that led to the nationalization of Iranian oil?

    The U.S. and Britain . ( Stephen Kinzer; All The Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; New Jersey: 2008.)

    -According to Kinzer, Iranians had been complaining that the British-owned Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) had not been sharing profits on Iranian petroleum with Iran fairly; and Iran's parliament (Majles) had tried to renegotiate with the AIOC. When the AIOC rejected renegotiation, Mossadegh introduced the nationalization act in 1951. In response, Britain and the U.S. organized a global boycott of Iran which sent the Iranian economy into a tailspin. Later, the military coup was orchestrated that reinstalled the shah. (One irony is that Britain itself had nationalized several industries in the 1940s and 1950s.)

  7. Which countries trained the Shah's brutal internal security service, SAVAK?

    According to William Blum, a highly respected author and journalist, "The notorious Iranian security service, SAVAK, which employed torture routinely, was created under the guidance of the CIA and Israel in the 1950s. According to a former CIA analyst on Iran, Jesse J. Leaf, SAVAK was instructed in torture techniques by the Agency. After the 1979 revolution, the Iranians found CIA film made for SAVAK on how to torture women." (http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/Torture_RS.html)

    -According to Reed College Professor Darius Rejali, one of the world's leading writers on the subject of torture and the consequences of its use for modern society, “[T]he Iranian revolution of 1978-1979 was the revolution against torture. When the Shah criticized Khomayni as a blackrobed Islamic medieval throwback, Khomayni replied, look who is talking, the man who tortures. This was powerful rhetoric for recruiting people, then as it is now. People joined the revolutionary opposition because of the Shah's brutality, and they remembered who installed him. If anyone wants to know why Iranians hated the U.S. so, all they have to do is ask what America 's role was in promoting torture in Iran . Torture not only shaped the revolution, it was the factor that has deeply poisoned the relationship of Iran with the West. So why trust the West again? And the Iranian leadership doesn't.” ( http://www.harpers.org/archive/2008/02/hbc-90002387)

  8. Does Iran have nuclear weapons?

    No.

  9. Is Iran a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?

    Yes. ( http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/04/18/world/AP-ML-Iran.html)
  10. Is Israel a signatory of the NPT?

    No. ( http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/04/18/world/AP-ML-Iran.html)
  11. Does the NPT permit a signatory to pursue a nuclear program?

    Yes.

    -According to Juan Cole, The NPT specifies that “Nothing in this Treaty shall be interpreted as affecting the inalienable right of all the Parties to the Treaty to develop research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.” Therefore, as long as Iran meets its responsibilities under the NPT and continues to allow inspections by the IAEA, it is acting within its rights. The sorts of research facilities maintained by Iran are common in industrialized countries. The real issue is trust and transparency rather than purely one of technology. Yet, Iran has not always been forthcoming in fulfilling its obligations under the NPT.

  12. What percentage of Iranians in 2008 said they had an unfavorable view of the American people?

    20%. ( Juan Cole; Engaging The Muslim World; Palgrave Macmillan; New York : 2009; p.197.)

Hope you scored higher than I did...

Larry

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

good find larry.  

nice touch adding the pictures.  the human face speaks more authoritatively than CIA/Mossad/MI6 talking points pumped through the corporate media controlled by Anglo billionaires.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

yeah !

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Except for the questions which demanded an exact percentage,  I got them all right. SmileYeay Iran!...and yeay me!

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Larry,

You forgot to add that the current Middle Eastern Borders were drawn up by Winston Churchill and the British after World War I, precisely to split ethnic populations in Iran and Iraq (Turkey and the rest of the middle east for that matter) precisely to stir up conflict and keep them weak.

It is precisely about oil and cover for Iran catching an israeli nuke in the not too distant future.  That is also why I think Obama is trying to distance the US from Israel for plausible deniability.

To be fair though you cannot equate the peaceful Iranian people with their government who is murdering them daily and supplying and supporting insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon.  That being said, yes there is a propaganda war against Iran equal to the one against Saddam Hussein before the current US misadventure in Iraq.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
docmims wrote:

 

To be fair though you cannot equate the peaceful Iranian people with their government who is murdering them daily and supplying and supporting insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon.  That being said, yes there is a propaganda war against Iran equal to the one against Saddam Hussein before the current US misadventure in Iraq.

Why wouldn't the govt of Iran help their neighbours drive out  their aggessors? If Russians invaded Canada, I'd expect the U.S. to help. Why do so many people have a  problem with something as fundamental as neighbours helping neighbours?  Iran has to be funding some of the defensive action Palestinians have engaged in, too.  Rock on,  Ahmadinejad!

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Thanks Larry for that informative piece.  Someone had sent me an e-mail a couple of years ago that contained a photo travelogue of Iran.  The beauty of the country astonished me.  It's amazing the propanda that we're exposed to that creates divisiveness among the people of the world.  I remember watching a documentary of a North Korean family and was amazed to see how much like us they were, wanting all the same things we want and differing from us primarily by the way in which their government had influenced their political thinking (just as our government influences ours). 

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

LOL Agitating Prop

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
agitating prop wrote:
docmims wrote:

 

To be fair though you cannot equate the peaceful Iranian people with their government who is murdering them daily and supplying and supporting insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon.  That being said, yes there is a propaganda war against Iran equal to the one against Saddam Hussein before the current US misadventure in Iraq.

Why wouldn't the govt of Iran help their neighbours drive out  their aggessors? If Russians invaded Canada, I'd expect the U.S. to help. Why do so many people have a  problem with something as fundamental as neighbours helping neighbours?  Iran has to be funding some of the defensive action Palestinians have engaged in, too.  Rock on,  Ahmadinejad!

I would fight for you AP.  Unfortunately the US Govt. would probably split you with the Russians -- sad but true.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Interesting post....However, your not mentioning Hamas and Hezbollah must have been an act of ommission rather than commission...

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

This is so wonderfully subversive!

If you've been following Scott Ritter at all, you've known for a long time that the political class has launched a propaganda war against Iran.  Truth of the matter is that Iran is a problem because Iran won't be pushed around by a bunch of imperialists who want to bend the world to their whims.  Whims like controlling all of Iran's resources, labor, markets, finance, and anything else that will turn a profit.  Whatever you can say about the Iranian political class, they haven't sold out the Iranian people to the international plunder-ocracy.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

strabes - I agree that faces behind the people add a human touch.  I don't want to imagine the faces of the 1.3 million Iraqis that we killed over bogus WMDs that were created by Bush and Blair.  In this area we had a controversy a couple years ago when the county parks killed some geese that were annoying many in a park.  After it happened outraged citizens wanted to ensure that it could never happen again.  Compare that with killing 1.3 million people over lies and no one seems to care - no one is accountable.

agitating prop - good work getting them all right!  The prayer percentage surprised me, I assumed more prayed on Fridays than a paltry 1.4%.

docmims wrote:

You forgot to add that the current Middle Eastern Borders were drawn up by Winston Churchill and the British after World War I, precisely to split ethnic populations in Iran and Iraq (Turkey and the rest of the middle east for that matter) precisely to stir up conflict and keep them weak...To be fair though you cannot equate the peaceful Iranian people with their government who is murdering them daily and supplying and supporting insurgencies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Great point on the borders.  And I agree that the people do not share full blame for the totalitarian regime that runs the country just as Americans are not fully accountable for the crimes against humanity committed by the U.S.  I've seen articles suggesting that Iran supports and supplies insurgents in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon but I'm not sure how much - any links would be appreciated.  I guess the other question becomes are these people "insurgents" or "freedom fighters"?

ao -  I think you are right in saying that people are divided by demonizing propaganda.  I remember during the propaganda phase, before the second Iraq attack, that  there were reports that Iraqi newborns were having their incubators (or whatever they people tiny babies in) turned off because of the evil Saddam.

Johnson - you mentioned Hamas and Hezbollah but I'm not sure why...are you suggesting that Iran created these organizations in the same way that the CIA may have created Al Qaeda or the TalibanCheck out the video below:

BBC Special - The Power of Nightmares..."In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world.  Now they promise to protect us from nightmares. The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network.  But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.

In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organized terrorist network is an illusion.  It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media."

Larry

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Without Iranian support with arms and money, Hamas and Hezbollah would not have the power to subvert areas in the Middle East at the expense of the native populations...   No relativism here, just an observation...

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

So Iran supports Shia militias in Lebanon and Palestine. And your point is??

The US has been supporting all types of shady characters for a loong time. The US supported the Shah who brutalized his people. Rumsfeld is seen shaking hands with Saddam Hussein. How about all the African dictators the US supported financially and miitarily.

Also, Hamas used violence against Israel just as Israel used violence against the Palestinian people. Most recently, as Hamas became the gov in Gaza, they have become much more moderate. Other nations are willing to have dialogue with them but the ultra paranoid and cruel israeli leadership would never open comm with them. Israel does not want peace with the Palestinians, they want them OUT.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
Johnson wrote:

Without Iranian support with arms and money, Hamas and Hezbollah would not have the power to subvert areas in the Middle East at the expense of the native populations...   No relativism here, just an observation...

As others have pointed out, Hamas and Hezbollah aren't the offensive subversive force, but the defensive force, struggling to retain their country's sovereignty, autonomy.  Israel is the neighbourhood bully. Sad, but true.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Thanks Larry,

Here are direct links to the three full "The Powers of Nightmares" episodes.  I like Adam Curtis but he is hardly what I would call unbiased.  This is very similar to his other series like "The Trap" and "The Century of the Self".  At least in this one he spend most of his time trashing neo-cons and islamic fundamentalists.

I still hold on the the fantasy that someday Christians will wake up, realize that being pro-war is incompatible with their core beliefs, and they would join the anti-war left and the old right in a coalition against what should be everyones common enemy, the NEO-CON!

PART 1

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2798679275960015727#

PART 2

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6277881193659506084#

PART 3

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2081592330319789254#

Neo-Con

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
agitating prop wrote:
Johnson wrote:

Without Iranian support with arms and money, Hamas and Hezbollah would not have the power to subvert areas in the Middle East at the expense of the native populations...   No relativism here, just an observation...

As others have pointed out, Hamas and Hezbollah aren't the offensive subversive force, but the defensive force, struggling to retain their country's sovereignty, autonomy.  Israel is the neighbourhood bully. Sad, but true.

So you condone the intentional targeting and killing of civilians by Hamas and Hezbollah?  How is this any better than when Israel, America, or any Western nation happens to do the same?  Why should we not hold ALL parties responsible for their misdeeds?

Same thing when you voiced your support of Ahmedinajad.  Why in the world would you support a man who calls for wiping a nation off the face of the earth and provides a lot of financial and material support to organizations involved in the intentional targeting and killing of civilians?  Is it just because he happens to be anti-American?  I'm looking for some consistency here...

Quite frankly, I think Americans have a helluva lot in common with the Iranian people.  We are both reasonably well-educated, have a lot of unrealized potential, and have governments that not only restrict that potential but play dangerous and unethical games to gain ultimate power both in and outside their respective borders.  Rock on, Iranian people!  Ahmedinajad and those like him (both in Iran and America) deserve zero support, moral or otherwise.

- Nick

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
nickbert wrote:
agitating prop wrote:
Johnson wrote:

Without Iranian support with arms and money, Hamas and Hezbollah would not have the power to subvert areas in the Middle East at the expense of the native populations...   No relativism here, just an observation...

As others have pointed out, Hamas and Hezbollah aren't the offensive subversive force, but the defensive force, struggling to retain their country's sovereignty, autonomy.  Israel is the neighbourhood bully. Sad, but true.

So you condone the intentional targeting and killing of civilians by Hamas and Hezbollah?  How is this any better than when Israel, America, or any Western nation happens to do the same?  Why should we not hold ALL parties responsible for their misdeeds?

Same thing when you voiced your support of Ahmedinajad.  Why in the world would you support a man who calls for wiping a nation off the face of the earth and provides a lot of financial and material support to organizations involved in the intentional targeting and killing of civilians?  Is it just because he happens to be anti-American?  I'm looking for some consistency here...

Quite frankly, I think Americans have a helluva lot in common with the Iranian people.  We are both reasonably well-educated, have a lot of unrealized potential, and have governments that not only restrict that potential but play dangerous and unethical games to gain ultimate power both in and outside their respective borders.  Rock on, Iranian people!  Ahmedinajad and those like him (both in Iran and America) deserve zero support, moral or otherwise.

- Nick

Usually, the larger, or more powerful country in any skirmish is the one the offensive, the smaller less powerful on the defensive, so it's actually not quite fair to judge their actions from a position of moral equivalence.  This is far different than condoning specific acts of violence. You don't have to condone violence to understand it. I wouldn't condone domestic violence either, but I would certainly want to know the dynamics that  made it possible, and would want to know who was beating who and who started it. If a young child strikes back at his abuser, who would blame him/her?  Who would respond to an act of self defense on the part of the child by saying, "Yes, but little Johnny hit his Dad when he was 4, that's what started this whole conflict between them"  That would be ridiculous. Though Lebanon,Iran, Palestinians are hardly children, the difference in power between their country's govts and Israel and U.S. is huge.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

goes211 - I really like your "neocon" logo! 

It made me think that if we are going to discuss Hamas and Hezbollah then shouldn't the neocons and zionists be included?  All are promoting political/religious agendas.  Personally I think zionists and neocons are worse.  And I should point out that most zionists in the U.S. are fundamental Christians.

Larry

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Hi Nick

i think you should take a moment away from the MSM. Ahmedinijad did not call for the wiping of any country of the face of the map.It is a misquote of a statement that he made. The text of which I do not have at the moment but which basically says " Israel will disappear from the pages of history"

Quite a different quote. If you listen to him you will find that much of what he says is right on.

He has been demonized by the Israeli controlled media in the US.

BTW The Iranian people are much better edumacated than mericans.

V

ps Why would you support an American gov. which has killed many more civilians than any country on the face of the Earth? Just asking

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

We really have no way of knowing what money fuels Hamas and Hezbollah.  The narrative in the mainstream media blames Iran.  But of course that narrative is driven by the CIA...the official arbiter on information...which works with Mossad/MI6/etc in secret to tell us whatever they want. Nobody can verify their information because we aren't authorized.  I don't buy it.  They've created endless false narratives, i.e. lies, that have killed millions and destroyed societies, including our own in my view.  They've corrupted, harassed, and overthrown too many nations, including the one they want us to attack now.  The entire idea of a secret org that operates above the people, controls all information the people get, and functions by lying, using, abusing, and killing people (the definition of a sociopath), is completely anathema to America.  I don't trust anything an anti-American organization tells me.

Regarding Ahmadinejad's view of Israel, it may sound crazy to us comfy whites who don't live there, but I can't imagine how any middle easterner wouldn't see a recent creation of the British crown (who already carved up their nations) that's heavily funded by Rothschild (the name of the primary avenue) and armed/trained/defended by the most powerful military in the world (which now occupies Babylon and threatens Persia) as anything but an interloper with not so pure intentions for its neighbors. 

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Did anyone see the Charlie Rose interview last night? I posted this comment on "the burden of knowing" thread but thought I'd put it here too

It's interesting that ths same sentiment [TPTB controlling American politicians] was expressed by Adhmenijad (?) on Charlie Rose last night, but Rose wouldn't have any of it and kept pressing him on what HE was going to do to make things better between America and Iran. I sympathized with his frustration over that question... why should he have to do anything?? What has America ever done for his country except create chaos and destruction in the middle east for money and oil? He kept talking about how Obama was America's last chance to make things right and how the people around him were steering him in a dangerous direction, but Rose just dismissed him and said we would continue to be a great democracy for a long time... wake up Charlie!

I really hope that Shazhad guy they arrested for the Times Square "terrorist attack" does not link it back to Iran.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Don't put much hope in Rose waking up.  He's CFR...a useful idiot for the bankers.  He recently led a chat session with Larry Summers at Davos...what a joke.  His job is to prop these people up and give them legitimacy.  He recently did a puff piece on David Rockefeller, which proved why they elevate dimwits who sound reasonable into the major TV anchor roles instead of people with razor sharp wit and ability to see through lies.  You'll never see a guy with a real mind like Jim Rogers hosting an establishment TV show.  :)

 

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
agitating prop wrote:

Usually, the larger, or more powerful country in any skirmish is the one the offensive, the smaller less powerful on the defensive, so it's actually not quite fair to judge their actions from a position of moral equivalence.  This is far different than condoning specific acts of violence. You don't have to condone violence to understand it. I wouldn't condone domestic violence either, but I would certainly want to know the dynamics that  made it possible, and would want to know who was beating who and who started it. If a young child strikes back at his abuser, who would blame him/her?  Who would respond to an act of self defense on the part of the child by saying, "Yes, but little Johnny hit his Dad when he was 4, that's what started this whole conflict between them"  That would be ridiculous. Though Lebanon,Iran, Palestinians are hardly children, the difference in power between their country's govts and Israel and U.S. is huge.

agitating prop -

Sorry, I don't buy that.  We are all responsible for our own actions... killing your neighbor's children because your neighbor killed your child first does not give you a higher moral standing, no matter how powerful your neighbor is or the fact he did it first.  The children had nothing to do with it.  I understand that it is an unfair situation and it is important to understand the dynamics behind the conflict, but you must draw the line at what is acceptable and what is not for everyone equally if it's justice you want.  Otherwise it is just more 'selective justice' like we see in the US with the Too Big to Fails and various corporate misdeeds.  Being the underdog does not automatically bestow moral superiority.  I think that any who intentionally target and murder civilians would be locked away forever, no matter if they're Palestinian, American, Iranian, Israeli, whatever.

Larry -

I wholeheartedly agree... my point is that wrong actions should be called out no matter who makes them.  Having and condoning separate standards of behavior based on circumstance is partly to blame for the mess in the first place, right?

V -

Why do you assume I must support the foreign policy of the American gov't?  The truth is actually quite the opposite.  Please re-read my first paragraph on my original post.  I called for misdeeds to be spoken out against ALL who do them, including Americans. 

If you have the correct quote I'm all ears... just from a brief look I can see there's ambiguity regarding the statements, and I'm open to the possibility of accidental or intentional errors in translation.  Just to be clear, I don't buy everything the US tells me about Ahmadinejad, and don't think he's the super-villain he's often made out to be.  However, I DO see him and many of the ruling clerics as being at their core unsavory people and interested in increasing power for Iran's ruling status quo at the expense of Iran's neighbors AND their own people.  If that wasn't the case we wouldn't have seen the massive and violent government crackdown and near-total media blackout on the voters protesting the election's questionable outcome.  Ahmadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and Obama are not very much different from each other in my book; their priority is power over others.  They all have their different styles and methods and secondary causes, but fundamentally they're driven by desire for power over others at the expense of others. 

strabes -

I thought that the financial and material support was pretty well documented, only that the exact degree of the support is still unknown.  There is a quite small possibility that this is false, but given the very vocal support Iran has given, the evidence from multiple non-US sources, and their vested regional interest in providing said assistance, I'm willing to accept Iran's material support for Hezbollah as a given for now.  In the absence of perfect information, sometimes you have to go with the probabilities.

 

- Nick

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

Excellent quiz! The axes of evil??? The Iran policy smells of the "Wag the dog" tactic.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
nickbert wrote:
agitating prop wrote:

Usually, the larger, or more powerful country in any skirmish is the one the offensive, the smaller less powerful on the defensive, so it's actually not quite fair to judge their actions from a position of moral equivalence.  This is far different than condoning specific acts of violence. You don't have to condone violence to understand it. I wouldn't condone domestic violence either, but I would certainly want to know the dynamics that  made it possible, and would want to know who was beating who and who started it. If a young child strikes back at his abuser, who would blame him/her?  Who would respond to an act of self defense on the part of the child by saying, "Yes, but little Johnny hit his Dad when he was 4, that's what started this whole conflict between them"  That would be ridiculous. Though Lebanon,Iran, Palestinians are hardly children, the difference in power between their country's govts and Israel and U.S. is huge.

agitating prop -

Sorry, I don't buy that.  We are all responsible for our own actions... killing your neighbor's children because your neighbor killed your child first does not give you a higher moral standing, no matter how powerful your neighbor is or the fact he did it first.  The children had nothing to do with it

 

- Nick

Interesting how you reframed my thoughts, Nickbert. I would say it's more like, the powerful neighbour living in the mansion beside you, kicks your door down in broad daylight, swaggers over to you, shoots your kid, and then leers, "what are you going to do about it, Punk?" You retaliate by killing his cat.  Powerful neighbour moans, whines, about the kitty, media supports his screams of indignation. So, what are you gonna do about it, Punk? 

 

I understand there are real people being killed on both sides, not pets. That is your larger point and is appreciated. Anyone who kills the innocent, is not absolved of responsibility, regardless of the situation.   I altered the premise of this particular paragraph quoted,  to try to give the uneven powers involved,  proper scale--and also to emphasize that "who started it" is absolutely key to getting to the bottom of this and solving it, once and for all. The argument, "both sides kill innocent people" won't fly, because it detracts from this fundamental. The "who killed first" or invaded, agitated, undermined,  is an essential element in future mediations. Arguments that run counter to this theme are a cop out, a lazy or biased way of escaping the  ultimate responsibility of a deeper understanding. I'm not saying you are lazy or biased, more that we in North America are so immersed in media that has a deep pro-Israeli bias, we have a tough time getting real clarity on the Middle East.

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nickbert
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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
agitating prop wrote:

Interesting how you reframed my thoughts, Nickbert. I would say it's more like, the powerful neighbour living in the mansion beside you, kicks your door down in broad daylight, swaggers over to you, shoots your kid, and then leers, "what are you going to do about it, Punk?" You retaliate by killing his cat.  Powerful neighbour moans, whines, about the kitty, media supports his screams of indignation. So, what are you gonna do about it, Punk? 

I understand there are real people being killed on both sides, not pets. That is your larger point and is appreciated. Anyone who kills the innocent, is not absolved of responsibility, regardless of the situation.   I altered the premise of this particular paragraph quoted,  to try to give the uneven powers involved,  proper scale--and also to emphasize that "who started it" is absolutely key to getting to the bottom of this and solving it, once and for all. The argument, "both sides kill innocent people" won't fly, because it detracts from this fundamental. The "who killed first" or invaded, agitated, undermined,  is an essential element in future mediations. Arguments that run counter to this theme are a cop out, a lazy or biased way of escaping the  ultimate responsibility of a deeper understanding. I'm not saying you are lazy or biased, more that we in North America are so immersed in media that has a deep pro-Israeli bias, we have a tough time getting real clarity on the Middle East.

How does acknowledging that both sides kill innocents and holding them both responsible for their actions detract from solving the problem?  Until both sides stop hostilities, or at least the targeting of civilians, how can any settlement or resolution even begin?  I think it is THE most important step.  As it is right now I can't support either side of the dispute, in small part because it's not in my nature to 'pick sides' but mostly because the leaders of both sides are showing less interest in peace than their own selfish interests (power for themselves or power for their party/faction).

I understand how the conflicts started are relevant when it comes to brokering a settlement, but I disagree that it is the fundamental part of creating a solution.  There is seldom one singular root cause for any conflict, and usually there's a host of particular grievances that each side harbors going back decades if not centuries that are all tangled together into one big cluster****.  And the Middle East is probably the best example of such.  With respect to collective groups like nations or states, prior circumstances have some place in working out a settlement but the needs and concerns of all the peoples living in the present should take precedence before the greivances of the past.  Trying to solve a dispute using the past grievances as the most fundamental basis of negotiations is a recipe for disaster; it's just an invitation to emotionally heated arguments that stops any progress from being made.  Or worse yet, leads to a resolution that leaves one side feeling so brutalized (the crippling reparations forced on post WW1 Germany for example) that it stokes the fires of a new grudge and popular movements based on hate and ill will.

(edited to add a sentence accidentally left out)

- Nick

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agitating prop
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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
nickbert wrote:

 

How does acknowledging that both sides kill innocents and holding them both responsible for their actions detract from solving the problem?  Until both sides stop hostilities, or at least the targeting of civilians, how can any settlement or resolution even begin?  I think it is THE most important step.  As it is right now I can't support either side of the dispute, in small part because it's not in my nature to 'pick sides' but mostly because the leaders of both sides are showing less interest in peace than their own selfish interests (power for themselves or power for their party/faction).

I understand how the conflicts started are relevant when it comes to brokering a settlement, but I disagree that it is the fundamental part of creating a solution.  There is seldom one singular root cause for any conflict, and usually there's a host of particular grievances that each side harbors going back decades if not centuries that are all tangled together into one big cluster****.  And the Middle East is probably the best example of such.  With respect to collective groups like nations or states, prior circumstances have some place in working out a settlement but the needs and concerns of all the peoples living in the present should take precedence before the greivances of the past.  Trying to solve a dispute using the past grievances as the most fundamental basis of negotiations is a recipe for disaster; it's just an invitation to emotionally heated arguments that stops any progress from being made.  Or worse yet, leads to a resolution that leaves one side feeling so brutalized (the crippling reparations forced on post WW1 Germany for example) that it stokes the fires of a new grudge and popular movements based on hate and ill will.

(edited to add a sentence accidentally left out)

- Nick

I'm glad you brought up WW2. Do you think it was useful, post war,  for Germany to acknowledge that although they took major casualties, they played the dominant aggressive role in that particular conflict, so were ultimately to blame for  their own fatalities? Of course the Nazis could easily draw a straight line from their mistreatment post WW1, reasoning that it forced their hand. But that wasn't allowed, because they were dealing with powers that proved to be greater than their own, and they had no control over the  propaganda apparatus, unlike Israel and Anglo-America. The  Israelis can always haul out the spectre of the gas chambers to justify their present actions.

The argument that discord goes back centuries and blame can never be assessed, is a thought stopper that provides the staging ground for further propaganda wars and real wars waged against weaker powers by stronger ones.

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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
agitating prop wrote:

I'm glad you brought up WW2. Do you think it was useful, post war,  for Germany to acknowledge that although they took major casualties, they played the dominant aggressive role in that particular conflict, so were ultimately to blame for  their own fatalities? Of course the Nazis could easily draw a straight line from their mistreatment post WW1, reasoning that it forced their hand. But that wasn't allowed, because they were dealing with powers that proved to be greater than their own, and they had no control over the  propaganda apparatus, unlike Israel and Anglo-America. The  Israelis can always haul out the spectre of the gas chambers to justify their present actions.

The argument that discord goes back centuries and blame can never be assessed, is a thought stopper that provides the staging ground for further propaganda wars and real wars waged against weaker powers by stronger ones.

Please reread what I wrote... I never said that blame can never be assessed and I never said that past grievances should be ignored.  I said that the assigning of blame should not take precedence over the needs and welfare of people in the present.  How is this an unreasonable line of thinking?  How is this 'thought-stopping'?

You think assigning blame is the most important piece of the puzzle?  Try mediating a dispute with that as your first priority.  Has such a tactic ever been successful, beyond disciplining fighting six-year-olds (or even then)?

Finally, your frequent references to power being near-equivalent to lack of ethical high ground leads me to think you're operating from a position of belief, and it's termed Underdogma:

Quote:

Such a doctrine of favoring the weak over the strong elevated to the level of a societal imperative could be termed underdogma, if you will. Underdogma is the belief that those who have less power are virtuous and noble -- because they have less power -- and that those who have more power are to be scorned - because they have more power. Put in its simplest terms; Underdogma is an automatic gag reflex to power.

Sounds like a thought-stopping belief pattern, does it not?

- Nick

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agitating prop
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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?
nickbert wrote:
agitating prop wrote:

I'm glad you brought up WW2. Do you think it was useful, post war,  for Germany to acknowledge that although they took major casualties, they played the dominant aggressive role in that particular conflict, so were ultimately to blame for  their own fatalities? Of course the Nazis could easily draw a straight line from their mistreatment post WW1, reasoning that it forced their hand. But that wasn't allowed, because they were dealing with powers that proved to be greater than their own, and they had no control over the  propaganda apparatus, unlike Israel and Anglo-America. The  Israelis can always haul out the spectre of the gas chambers to justify their present actions.

The argument that discord goes back centuries and blame can never be assessed, is a thought stopper that provides the staging ground for further propaganda wars and real wars waged against weaker powers by stronger ones.

Please reread what I wrote... I never said that blame can never be assessed and I never said that past grievances should be ignored.  I said that the assigning of blame should not take precedence over the needs and welfare of people in the present.  How is this an unreasonable line of thinking?  How is this 'thought-stopping'?

You think assigning blame is the most important piece of the puzzle?  Try mediating a dispute with that as your first priority.  Has such a tactic ever been successful, beyond disciplining fighting six-year-olds (or even then)?

Finally, your frequent references to power being near-equivalent to lack of ethical high ground leads me to think you're operating from a position of belief, and it's termed Underdogma:

Quote:

Such a doctrine of favoring the weak over the strong elevated to the level of a societal imperative could be termed underdogma, if you will. Underdogma is the belief that those who have less power are virtuous and noble -- because they have less power -- and that those who have more power are to be scorned - because they have more power. Put in its simplest terms; Underdogma is an automatic gag reflex to power.

Sounds like a thought-stopping belief pattern, does it not?

- Nick

I appreciate your line of reasoning. It comes from a compassionate heart, but should it be applied, ends up being heartless.  I don't believe that those with more power should be scorned, just because they have  more power. Nor do I think that the weaker powers are virtuous simply because they are weak.  Reread what I wrote.

I am saying that the current power in the Middle East rests in the Anglo American axis and includes Israel. It also, to some extent, includes the govts of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.  If I see a little kid getting hammered by a bully in a schoolyard, I can draw some inferences from that. If the smaller child is left a bruised and bloody pulp, and the bigger kid has a few defensive scratches, I want to first address the devastating injuries of the smaller kid, assign blame, and to heck with the defensive scratches of the bully. 

Your line of reasoning, the moral equivalency argument, again, that you insist on using, in one form or another, is a distraction. To draw another comparison, you are equating historical familial infighting with external threats from major hegemonic powers. In other words you are implying that the smaller child has engaged in some pretty vicious fights with his siblings so that is somehow just as significant as taking a beating from a much larger bully. Nope. Don't buy it. These are 2 different issues. They are not helpful. Blame has to be properly assigned, before we move forward on this one. It has to be dealth with FIRST.

This has major implications for Israel. As a  nation they have to face the issue of whether they are actually valid, as a nation. Israel's Zionist origins have to be assessed and an international understanding has to be reached that acknowledges the  original flawed arrangement, of placing a Zionist theocracy squarely in territory already settled by Arabs.  It should also be acknowledged that displacement of Israelis can't happen again. They are there and as flawed an arrangement as that is..they aren't going anywhere, and that's the bottom line.  Once this situation is seen for what it actually is, the Israelis will have to close down all of their settlements in the West Bank, and deal with their new status. They will have to comply with historical UN directives or be economically isolated. They will HAVE to admit to being a nuclear power and sign the proper nuclear treaties. They are far and away much more out of compliance with international law than Iran. I am sick to death of hearing the lamentations and whines of a country whose existence rests on effective propaganda, endorsed by international thuggery. Offer them a form of legal security, and make them comply to international law.

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V
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Re: Can You Pass The Iran Quiz?

NICK

Here is what I was able to come up with.

So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in Persian: "Imam ghoft een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad."

That passage will mean nothing to most people, but one word might ring a bell: rezhim-e. It is the word "Regime", pronounced just like the English word with an extra "eh" sound at the end. Ahmadinejad did not refer to Israel the country or Israel the land mass, but the Israeli regime. This is a vastly significant distinction, as one cannot wipe a regime off the map. Ahmadinejad does not even refer to Israel by name, he instead uses the specific phrase "rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods" (regime occupying Jerusalem).

So this raises the question.. what exactly did he want "wiped from the map"? The answer is: nothing. That's because the word "map" was never used. The Persian word for map, "nagsheh", is not contained anywhere in his original Persian quote, or, for that matter, anywhere in his entire speech. Nor was the western phrase "wipe out" ever said. Yet we are led to believe that Iran's President threatened to "wipe Israel off the map", despite never having uttered the words "map", "wipe out" or even "Israel"

The full quote translated directly to English: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time".

Word by word translation: Imam (Khomeini) ghoft (said) een (this) rezhim-e (regime) ishghalgar-e (occupying) qods (Jerusalem) bayad (must) az safheh-ye ruzgar (from page of time) mahv shavad (vanish from)..[12][13]

As far as unsavory characters go seems to me like there are plenty to go around. It is a mistake however to make cultural judgments on a society that you do not know a whole lot about. Iran is not the US and cannot be judged by our narrow view of the way things " should be". It is one of the oldest cultures on the planet. It has also been screwed over many times by the west.

That said Israel is a very bad idea if you are interested in peace in the Middle East. I personally would welcome the regime of Israel disappearing from the pages of time.

V


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