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Author Topic: "U.S.-Iran tensions may trigger war"
martel
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The rationality of the Iranian government seems to be a sticking point...Dave and JM and I say "they wouldn't actually nuke us," and Pete and Ed and Red say "yes, they would," without anyone offering any real evidence...
So does anyone have any?

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Jesse
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Redskull

quote:
Anyone who isn't trying to game their way out of this one, trying to come up with plans that don't involve serious damage to the world economy and/or the loss of millions (or more) of lives is a psychopathic monster.

No offense intended, Redskull. I know you're trying exactly that. If you could come up with another answer you believed to be feasible you wouldn't be holding out on us just for kicks.

Redskull...your plan involves serious damage to the world economy, the kind of damage that WILL cost lives. I know you are aware of that cost, but that you still believe it is preferable to all other plans presented.

quote:
trying to come up with plans that don't involve serious damage to the world economy
quote:
No offense intended, Redskull. I know you're trying exactly that.
I believe you are participating in this thread, at least in part, because you are looking for better solutions that bring about less harm. That you are "trying to game your way out of this one". No negative connotations associated with the word "game", BTW. I use it here to mean "performing a mental excersize".

I was going out of my way to point out that anyone not trying to come up with something better was a "psychopathic monster", but that YOU were not part of that group.

quote:
If you could come up with another answer you believed to be feasible you wouldn't be holding out on us just for kicks.
That's not sarcasm. I'm making the point that you are presenting the least horrific solution you believe to be workable, and giving you credit for trying to come up with a better one, and stating my opinion that if you had a better one you would obviously present it.

After writing the first paragraph, I reflected on the fact that your plan does, in fact, involve serious damage to the world economy.

Being aware that you might take that personally, I tried to clarify that I believe that you are trying to come up with "better" solutions that you believe can still accomplish our joint aim of preventing the potential death of several million(or more) people.

Ed

Not the first time I've said this...but being an idiot I sometimes misjudge who I should try re-engaging with after a misunderstanding. In your case, that was a mistake. If you elect to take personal offense from anything I write, feel free, but not expect me to talk you out of your righteous indignation fix.

Please refrain from reading or responding to my posts. I have no interest in supporting your self destructive habit.

[ February 15, 2007, 08:14 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Jesse
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My phrasing, as ussual, is as convoluted as my thought processes.

I sincerely thought my tone was clear.

However-

quote:
I've been known to pop off with a "Glass their asses and be done with it" a time or two. That doesn't mean I'm not sincere in my hope that it isn't necessary.
I thought I was pointing out that I also, out of frustration and an inability to come up with a workable solution that I could convince people to support, have essentially said in the past that we ought to resort to the Nuclear Option.

By pointing out that I had done this, I was trying to illustrate that not all such statements should be taken to illustrate a desire to cause the deaths of millions.

I am sorry, to all, that this unclear post caused a further sidetrack in a thread I really believe is important. My only intent was to try to remind everyone here that while the pure frustration of trying to resolve such a difficult issue in a manner which will secure our culture while inflicting no more damage to others than necessary obviously brings about heated discussion, that we *in general* needed to bear in mind that we really are all, at the end of the day, on the same side here.

I'm not interested in bringing back to the forefront any of the ongoing distractions I was trying to encourage people to back away from, but I think a re-reading of the preceding page or two will make clear why I was trying to do that.

I accept your "appology in advance", Redskull, without reservation.


I do not apologize for the specific statement which led to this situation, but I do owe you a long overdue apology and clarification.

At one point, you did advocate the commission of acts of genocide, the Nuking of Medina and then Mecca, if certain conditions were not met, conditions I did not believe could be met.

While I pointed out quite loudly and obnoxiously that you were doing so, I failed to understand that you were presenting what you believed to be the least harmful viable option you could come up with at the time, and that you presented your argument largely for the purpose of eliciting others to provide better options.

After sitting here completely nonplussed for about twenty minutes, I realized that I never apologized to you for that, and understood your reading of my admitly hastily written post.

I apologize.

[ February 15, 2007, 09:04 PM: Message edited by: Jesse ]

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Pete at Home
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"Dave and JM and I say "they wouldn't actually nuke us," and Pete and Ed and Red say "yes, they would,""

No, that's not what I said. I said I'm not sure whether they would, and laid out a very grim BEST possible scenario where they only use their nukes defensively. Please look at that argument above on this thread. So far no one has disputed any point. Nor has anyone explained how we could seriously keep up any long term strategy while faced with the "best" scenario that I described.

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DaveS
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quote:
I said I'm not sure whether they would, and laid out a very grim BEST possible scenario where they only use their nukes defensively...Nor has anyone explained how we could seriously keep up any long term strategy while faced with the "best" scenario that I described..
The kernel of doubt you express above is embedded in a mountain of certainty about their aims that you have expressed elsewhere. For some reason, it just doesn't register with you, but those things you request have been said several times in a variety of different ways, only to have you reject or ignore them. Nor have you responded to repeated requests to back up many of your own assertions or fully describe what you mean.

IMO, a lot of the heatedness of the discussion would settle down if we could focus on practicalities, but that's hard to do since we're projecting events that we can't be sure will occur. It seems to me that the only future fact we all agree on is that Iran will develop the capability to build and deploy nuclear weapons. After that, it's all speculation and opinions. We certainly don't agree on their intentions.

Red assumes the worst and proposes that we deal with it as far in advance as possible. I assume that can be avoided with vigorous non-military means.

The problem with my viewpoint is that it asserts a negative, that Iran nuking somebody won't happen. But for it to not happen one day doesn't mean it won't happen the next. Therefore, a fully engaged long term strategy to lengthen the days into years and decades is needed.

The problem with Red's viewpoint is that crushing their ability to set off that nuke can be done positively, but will probably lead to world cataclysm. Even if it doesn't his best case outcome is still incredibly grim and destructive. (I'm summarizing very quickly, so slap me if I'm misrepresenting you.)

Perhaps those divergent viewpoints should be separated into two threads, one focusing on the open war that will happen (when, how to wage it, expectations and planning factors), and the other on ways to avoid that war, including non-military opportunities (diplomacy, economic strategies, ME conflict resolution, etc.).

Thoughts?

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Redskullvw
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Thanks Jesse

Alas Klar. Wasn't required but it still was a nice and classy thing to do.

I think you are one of the few people beside Pete and Ev who fully understands my Mecca Medina argument from several years back. Thing is at least now you understand my point which has been muddied over the years. IE We better do something now, even if it is hard and distasteful, if we want true peace, true coexistence, and possibly true freedom. Because if we don't, our options will become limited and bad. The option that will be left will involve nukes. At that point you would be having to threaten to use, or actually use nuclear weapons. And at that point it will be a choice between one civilization or the other.

When it gets to that point, I would be willing to choose my civilization over the Islamic civilization. But the real point has been, and always has been, if we do not do something now, our option will be ultimately using nukes. Most people skip over that component of my argument, and most of the time I am too lazy to reiterate it, and flippantly say " Ok nuke em now, get it over with and lets move on to truly unsolvable problems". Because I choose to skip over the part where I lecture about what options we need to engage now, how we should help Islam, how we should live up to our moral obligations now, and then skip to the end of the argument where I should point out that none of you seemed willing to even acknowledge that we had a responsibility to understand Islam's problems that could avoid nukes.

At least you now comprehend my intent with the entire Mecca /Medina argument. And at least you understand why I have slowly gotten snippy with the entire situation, where people called me a genocidal maniac, without ever realizing or maybe because they were being lazy that my argument was and has been that we do something now or else we will be using nukes.

Of course I have also said that if push came to shove I'd press the button, you know the Big Red One? Which means that I would not only envision a nuclear nightmare, but also be ethnocentric enough to say Western Civilization over Islam. That I can understand people getting snippy over. But the whole, "you are a genocidal manic" bit as a debate tool/method is just getting old.

Anyway I read that first thing yesterday, after being called a right wing nut on another thread by Adam, and lack of coffee coupled with two posters I greatly respect apparently was enough to piss me off to the point that I simply wasn't going to ignore the genocide/monster/psychopath/etc commentary.

Anyway Now that I have your attention, and you understand I have been looking at and seeking viable solutions that does not require nukes, what could we do that is domestically viable politically but still stops Iran from becoming a weaponized nuclear power?

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Colin JM0397
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quote:
We better do something now, even if it is hard and distasteful, if we want true peace, true coexistence, and possibly true freedom. Because if we don't, our options will become limited and bad. The option that will be left will involve nukes.
Agreed.

Let me say first off I have a limited knowledge of the ME as a whole. I know enough about the formation of Israel to be dangerous, a bit about the US government's and OPECs collusion to use dollars, and quite a bit about our dealings with Iran post WWII. And, thanks to a nice series on NPR radio this week, a bit more about the history of Sunnis and Shia and the unprecedented move Iran made when they rewrote Shia doctrine and started the first Shia theocracy. NPR brought up our contradictory policies in the ME. I knew this on an intuitive level, yet hadn't managed to put my finger on why our actions in the ME are driving me mad.

We took down Iran's two main adversaries and took the pressure off them. We're supporting a Shia government is Iraq, yet posturing to try and take down a Shia government in Iran. Iran is the biggest winner from our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, hands down. Throw in Hezbollah’s "win" in Lebanon, and they're batting 3 for 3 in their favor.

First things first, we need to cut out this crap with the dual personality-type ME policies. A unified ME policy needs to direct how we deal with both friend and foe, how we fix Iraq and Afghanistan while still managing Iran without bringing them into a shooting war, as well as how we deal with the Israel problem.

The problem as I see it is most main stream folks in the US have gotten to the point, both politically and socially, that we want to be comfortable. We want the easy solution. We don't want to be bothered by things that don't effect us directly. Any more, it's only with a huge kick in the ass that the electorate demands proactive, tough measures from Washington - case in point with 9/11. So any proactive, tough measures with Iran right now just aren’t going to happen – at least not from popular support.

However, as Heinlein would say: TANSTAAFL (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch). Our inaction and pussyfooting around this today are going to bite us in the ass tomorrow. Regardless of what should and can be done, I have to agree with Red that we're painting ourselves into a difficult corner and leaving ourselves with a more and more drastic solution to a problem that could be dealt with now if we’d made some tough decision, swallow some national pride, and do what’s necessary.

For palatable solutions for now:
1. Get a panel of experts, both political and historical, together to hammer out a unified ME policy and then follow the damn thing.

2. Offer an olive branch of some sort to Iran and see if they take it. We have nothing to lose if they give us the political finger - at least we'll know more where we stand. I think telling them we're okay with them selling oil in Euros is a start, but that will cause waves and problems with Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC and would probably be used by Chavez for something or other, so perhaps that one is best left alone for now.

3. Apologize to Iran for the 1958 coup and our support to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war and tell them we’ll work diplomatically with their elected government now and not try to subvert them. They’re big on honor and respect in the ME, maybe that’ll smooth over a few ruffled feathers. This one doesn’t cost us a thing and, as with #2, if they give us the finger we’ll know better where we stand with them and it makes us look all the better internationally.

4. Longer term, oil is what funds all ME countries except a few small ones. We really want to manage them, we need to pull their funding out from under them. Time for the greens to bite the bullet and open up the US to more oil exploration and drilling – ANWAR, of course, but other places, too. Hand in hand with this is a real effort – no more half-assed programs, for alternate energy sources. Corn is not the answer.

It could be a start…

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DonaldD
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Just so everyone is clear on the skeleton of Red's Mecca/Medina argument: it involved diplomatic threats possibly public, possibly private to Syrian and Saudi officials and some moderate clerics, warning them that any further mass attacks on the scale of 9/11 would entail nuclear strikes on either or both holy sites.

This is not what he seems to be discussing on this thread, which is more akin to an analysis that possibly leads to nuclear war.

For more on Red's philosophy of total war on Islam see here.

For more on the Mecca/Medina blackmail, see this thread.

Note that Red does not just argue for the threat, but actually suggested that blowing up first Medina then Mecca would provide some positive effect in controlling attacks against the US.

Really, not what he is talking about today.

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Everard
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"Everard's argument seems hypocritical since he argues for the US to stay involved with Israel, and I think that we all know that this is one of the main "provocations" that Islamonecrophiles are responding to."

Don't be silly, Pete. I didn't say anywhere on this thread that we should take no action anywhere in the middle east. I said our actions in the middle east led to 9/11. TO get hypocrisy out of what I stated on this thread is wishful thinking at best.

Ed-
You really can't think of one action we've taken in the middle east, or perhaps combination of actions, that would lead al-qaeda to think we are their mortal enemy?

If I were a devout muslim, I'd probably be veyr offended at the way we are trying to destroy their culture, and have been, for the last 70 years.

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Redskullvw
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Don

Context. The argument is tat we have limited our options, meaning we have extremes. We have extreme diplomacy actions such as, we do not have diplomatic relations with Iran. Really limits what you can do. We refuse to even contemplate diplomacy with the political wings of movements like Hammas and Hizballah. Kinda limits our options doesn't it? We use economic development funds and the effects of our multinationals without consideration of the economic disparities they cause. Kinda limits our options doesn't it. We continually see the Middle East as a monolithic Islamic unified culture unable to grasp our multicultural customs. Kinda limits our options doesn't it? We choose to support governments that are essentially draconian dictatorships. Limits our options.

See the pattern.?

So when we face their aggressions against us, we have such limited options that or response to them is automatically hedged into an extreme starting point. And because of this our ability to use time as a buffer becomes implausible. We have no meaningful dialogue. What relations we do have are based upon fundamentally oppressive governments staying in power due to our need for oil, or even as a lingering effect of the cold war. Those attacking us, do not view either their own governments as valid or American demands as valid.

So whom should we negotiate with. Whom do we have a meaningful relationship with that can control Islamic radicals? The answer is we don't. Meaning all we have left is extremes. So if we can't even communicate exactly what can you do to prevent further harm to yourself?

The obvious option is to take our extreme view of the Middle East as a monolithic Islamic culture and use that extreme viewpoint. Tell them that they must meet those items I listed, because those items are indeed for their own good. They are reasonable requests. EG live up to the UN's Human Rights Declaration which they are signatories to. And that is just one example. I have also said we should have a no preconditioned diplomatic conference where we allow all Islamic parties to present their problems and grievances, and then accept them almost without condition. We tell them that in exchange for our advocacy and implementation of their wishes, there is one condition: Terrorism stops. If it doesn't we warn them that their holy cities are at stake.

Continue attacking the United States and Western Europe, and they run a guaranteed risk of loosing Mecca or Medina. If it doesn't cease, Medina disappears under a mushroom cloud. If it doesn't cease their next city of value to them as a culture disappears as well. At some point they will either realize that living in a world where they don't have to use terrorism to get their demands is preferable or they will become too utterly destroyed that they are too busy trying to survive to be able to be terrorists.

That is a solution. Give them nearly everything they want, and help them get it. While making sure they understand that there is a harsh condition to our willingness to help them should they continue to attack.

That is the position, and that is where we are headed if we don't wise up. The point is that we aren't even considering helping Islam, and Islam is taking matters into its own hands by becoming increasingly radicalized and violent. And at some point in the next decade, their level of capability to inflict massive violence against the United States directly will result in the USA having to skip the peaceful alternatives and literally wipe Islam off the map with nukes in the Middle East.

So yeah in context what I have written here, what Jesse has belatedly understood, and what Pete and Ev have understood almost from the initial stating of my argument, is exactly what is being discussed here.

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EDanaII
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@ Martel:
quote:
The rationality of the Iranian government seems to be a sticking point...Dave and JM and I say "they wouldn't actually nuke us," and Pete and Ed and Red say "yes, they would," without anyone offering any real evidence...
So does anyone have any?

No, Martel. I don't believe they would nuke us. But, as I pointed out to DaveS earlier, this is about risk management and what risks we are willing to take. Given Iran's irresponsible statements, statements which they call for both our destruction and Israel's, I am unwilling to take the risk. If Iran played by the same rules that the rest of the world did, this not would be (as big) a big deal.

It's the difference between allowing a law abiding citizen the use of a gun, and allowing a criminal or psychopath a gun. In this country, we do not let people have guns that we know will use them by killing, without justification, others. It is no different for Iran.


@ DaveS:
quote:
Hopefully the guy who didn't get in a lot of blows wasn't waiting to get in just one massive blow that knocks your head off.
That's precisely the point, Dave. Iran would love to get in one decisive blow that would knock our heads off. We can't allow it. If they acquire nukes, they can do it. We can't allow that.

quote:
If Iran fights us the way that the Iraqis have fought each other with suicide attacks and self-martyrdom, we'll be able to kill 10,000 of them and then one of them will kill 10,000 of us.
That's a very large assumption. That being that they can kill as many of us as we off them with a single suicide bomber.

However, armed with a nuke, they could. And, once again, we can't allow that.

quote:
Then, when we go back to our corner after round 1, the manager leans in and says, "ok kid, looks like this is gonna go the full 15 rounds, so we're gonna need a strategy...you got one?"
And the kid would answer "Yes, keep my hands close to my face, look for an opportunity, and strike when I see one."

_Preparedness._ That's what risk management is all about.


@ Jesse:
quote:
Not the first time I've said this...but being an idiot I sometimes misjudge who I should try re-engaging with after a misunderstanding. In your case, that was a mistake. If you elect to take personal offense from anything I write, feel free, but not expect me to talk you out of your righteous indignation fix.
Funny that. Since it was you who was being righteously indignant when you accused me of not caring for those soldiers lives.

I don't get indignant, Jesse. Nor do I take things personally. For the record, philosophically I'm a pragmatist, so I don't have the luxury of either. I merely call them as I see them.

In the future, I suggest you refrain from painting your adversaries with ad hominems, since it only looks bad on you, especially when they're unjustified.

Ed.

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DonaldD
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Red,

just going to point out that this whole thread and all of your posts have dealt with Iran, Iran's actions, US actions towards Iran, etc. (that is up until when you started freaking out over your misinterpretation of Jesse's post.)

Nowhere in this thread did you touch on holding Iran (or any other Islamic entity) hostage to a threat of nuking Saudi Arabia.

If you are now trying to tie your earlier statements in with that, more power to you.

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Redskullvw
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Good example of what I propossed back then, my comments on ARAMCO and the Saudis.

Its a solution that doesn't involve a single gun shot or even a threat of one. Pete apparently was the only one who noticed.

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Redskullvw
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Don my point is that this has been an ongoing, now almost 6 year old discussion. That we have repeated parts of the discussion makes some sense. And I think that the threads you linked to show my argument has been fairly consistent over that time. We either innovate or we will be using nukes. And the issue of Iranian and USA relations is currently what do we do to prevent all-out war, including a nuclear one.

And I think the linked threads prove that I have indeed been pointing out that we possibly already are using such a threat, that it is an unworkable solution in the long run, and that we better get our ducks in order before some Middle Eastern government puts the trifecta of intent, ability and opportunity together and gets a nuclear weapon. Because at that point, we will be either dealing with MAD or we will already be using atomics because we got hit first.

The skeleton is not that I am trying to hide something, but rather people have allowed time and inflammatory commentary to obscure my whole argument and diminish it down to one where it is the "Y'alls Lazy Solution" as being my only view. I do still think we should have engaged in a massive general conventional war with the governments and extremists of the Middle East and install true representative democracy and secular separation of government from religion. I still recognize as I did three years ago that it isn't feasible. And I still think what options we have are limited if we intend to solve the problem without really changing our actions of the last 60 years. If we continue down that path, nukes are going to be the primary component of any option we have left. Whether it is blackmail, preemptive strike, or retaliatory strike.

And in my defense Jesse did point out that the meaning of his sentences wasn't very clear. So while I did pop a fuse yesterday, I do think I have at least allowed people to fully understand my solutions, and how we have boxed ourselves.

So my economic petro dollar/zero trade plan isn't very good. Nor is my wait until we have no alternative and play a nuke card plan.

So what is your solution?

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EDanaII
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@ Everard:
quote:
You really can't think of one action we've taken in the middle east, or perhaps combination of actions, that would lead al-qaeda to think we are their mortal enemy?

If I were a devout muslim, I'd probably be veyr offended at the way we are trying to destroy their culture, and have been, for the last 70 years.

And that justifies 9/11?

Ed.

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DonaldD
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"And that justifies 9/11?"

Does it matter if it justifies 9/11? And of course, to whom?

From the perspective of a fanatic, far more than 3000 muslims have been killed as a result of colonial policies in that time; the financial cost to muslims has been far greater; the cultural effects as well.

Is slow, systemic evil worse than quick, dramatic yet superficial evil?

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PanHeraclitean
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You can't really make much of a recovery financially or culturally from death. I wouldn't call that superficial. I'm new to this discussion, which systematic evil are we talking about, general progress or cultural assimulation to the western standard or the greediness the West has for taking natural resources at the lowest cost, despite the long term effect it has on the seller, instead of a fair price.
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Redskullvw
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Does not matter, it is still evil either way. We can control the unintended evil of our own policies, or at least mitigate the effects. Our adversaries however can only control evil if they choose not to attack.
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PanHeraclitean
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Should another society be blamed for taking advantage of a culture through the approval of their previous leader? Can the leaders of a society claim foul on the US for the "dirty" agreements that their predecessors made?
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Redskullvw
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That is exactly what is at issue. EG we made an agreement with the Shah of Iran to cooperate in military and economic terms. All he had to do was stand as a barrier to the Soviet Union geographic policies of gaining a warm water port and keep Iranian oil on the world market exclusive of the Communist Bloc countries. In return we told him we would give him our best weapons, and also give him a working nuclear power program. All he had to do was stay in power.

Well he got overthrown after he continued brutalizing his people, denied them basic human rights, and squandered the country's resources on grand palaces etc.

The Iranians wondered just who had allowed the Shah to engage himself in this way, and the answer of course was the United States allowed the Shah to engage in this brutality. The Iranians then wondered why we didn't at least send over the military hardware that the former regime had already paid for. Or why we wouldn't release funds from our banks that were rightfully theirs. Or even follow through on completing the nuclear power plants we had sold to them but never finished building. Or why we suddenly started funding the Iraqis as they began invading Iran.

Never mind the fact that we had installed the Shah in a counter coup in the 1950's so that a communist leaning populist school teacher wouldn't gain power.

The issue of them taking our diplomats hostage is about the only thing the average American even knows about concerning Iran in the last 50 years. That they may have had a valid gripe and injury to complain about usually has not even crossed our minds.

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DonaldD
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The question was one of justification. To most of us here, nothing justifies 9/11.

But to someone having been brought up with the reality of the effects of western colonial policies in the middle east, I imagine it might not be so cut and dried.

I would be hard pressed to argue that these policies have NOT caused more accumulated damage to the arabs and persians than 9/11 did - from a global and historical perspective, 3000 dead is a non-occurence. Heck, US bombs in Iraq have killed more than that number; the effects of the invasion between 10 and 100 times that many.

And that's just Iraq in the past 5 years. How much did the US installation of the Shah eventually cost normal Iranians?

I am not laying all this blame on the US; again, the question was one of justification - and muslim fanatics don't justify things from a US-centric perspective.

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Redskullvw
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The issue is our being able to get over our own ethnocentrism and comprehend that they Do see things very differently. And it is because of this difference what we can do our should do may not be what we assume it can or should be.

We don't think bombing civilians to the tune of 3000 in a building is a good thing to do ever. They however do see it as a good thing to do, because it fits into their own ethnocentic viewpoint.

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KidB
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As with the buildup to the invasion of Iraq four years ago, a conversation unfolds that now completely mystifies me. I do not believe that Iran is a threat to Israel or to the U.S.

Consider the following:

The infamous mistranslation

quote:
So what did Ahmadinejad actually say? To quote his exact words in farsi:


"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 farsi 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 actual messages of the speech in which the quote occurred:

quote:
In his speech, Ahmadinejad declares that Zionism is the West's apparatus of political oppression against Muslims. He says the "Zionist regime" was imposed on the Islamic world as a strategic bridgehead to ensure domination of the region and its assets. Palestine, he insists, is the frontline of the Islamic world's struggle with American hegemony, and its fate will have repercussions for the entire Middle East.
Ahmadinejad acknowledges that the removal of America's powerful grip on the region via the Zionists may seem unimaginable to some, but reminds the audience that, as Khomeini predicted, other seemingly invincible empires have disappeared and now only exist in history books. He then proceeds to list three such regimes that have collapsed, crumbled or vanished, all within the last 30 years:



(1) The Shah of Iran- the U.S. installed monarch

(2) The Soviet Union

(3) Iran's former arch-enemy, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein



In the first and third examples, Ahmadinejad prefaces their mention with Khomeini's own words foretelling that individual regime's demise. He concludes by referring to Khomeini's unfulfilled wish: "The Imam said this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. This statement is very wise". This is the passage that has been isolated, twisted and distorted so famously. By measure of comparison, Ahmadinejad would seem to be calling for regime change, not war.


Consider also :


quote:
Believe it, don't believe it, that's up to you. But at least we should know what exactly he said, which is not something our US newspapers will tell us about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's speech on Saturday:

Kayhan reports that [Pers.] Ahmadinejad said, "Iran is not a threat to any country, and is not in any way a people of intimidation and aggression." He described Iranians as people of peace and civilization. He said that Iran does not even pose a threat to Israel, and wants to deal with the problem there peacefully, through elections:

"Weapons research is in no way part of Iran's program. Even with regard to the Zionist regime, our path to a solution is elections."

and

quote:
Supreme Jurisprudent Khamenei's pledge of no first strike against any country by Iran with any kind of weapon, and his condemnation of nuclear bombs as un-Islamic and impossible for Iran to possess or use, was completely ignored by the Western press and is never referred to . Indeed, after all that talk of peace and no first strike and no nukes, Khamenei at the very end said that if Iran were attacked, it would defend itself. Karl Vicks of the Washington Post at the time ignored all the rest of the speech and made the headline, 'Khamenei threatens reprisals against US." In other words, on Iran, the US public is being spoonfed agitprop, not news.

Although Iran's protestations of peaceful intentions are greeted cynically in the US and Israel, in fact Iran has not launched a war of aggression in over a century . The US and Israel have launched several during that period of time.

and this, from Scott Ritter , former UN weapons inspector, former marine, and former advisor to Stormin' Norman. And a Republican.

quote:
After the revolution, the United States withdrew technical support for Iran’s nuclear energy program. Then we had the Iran-Iraq war. During that time there was an effort to ensure that much more restrictions were placed on Iran.

The majority of Iran’s refining capacity - located in Abadan and other areas along the Iraqi border - were destroyed in the fighting with Iraq. By the late 80’s when they started talking about restarting their nuclear energy program, there was a question as to what it would take to win the war against Iraq. There were three options: Increasing the size of the Iranian fighting force, acquisition of superior military technology and acquisition of nuclear weapons. The Ayatollah Khomeini said that all three were non-starters: The people were not ready to accept a massive increase of the army, there was no money to buy more weapons and nuclear weapons were not in the interest of Iran.

So right from the start we see an admission by Iranian leaders that nuclear weapons were not going to be a part of our future. But they did attempt to restart their nuclear energy program.

Why did they keep it a secret? Because the United States would not accept it. If Iran went out and said, “Hey we want to acquire this,” the United States would shut it down. Case in point is the Bushehr reactor where the Iranian government tried to get the German company Siemens to abide by its pre-revolution contract and Siemens was persuaded by the United States to withdraw. When Iran would look to the Russians and the Chinese, the United States would follow up and put pressure so that these contracts would be withdrawn.

As a result, in order for the Iranians to make any progress they had to continue their program in secret and they did so. At the time the information became public, I point out, that it’s always been a nuclear energy program; it has never been a nuclear weapons program. And this is why when the inspectors went in, even though the program had been secret for 18 years, they could find no evidence of a weapons program. There is none.

and

quote:
This is the crux of the problem between Iran and the international community today. It has been demanded that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment program. Iran has refused saying it has the legal right under the NPT to do this.

What occurred is that the IAEA has created an extra-legal Iran-only stance on this which says “It doesn’t matter what the NPT says, Iran must suspend enrichment.” Then, it decided to transfer to the Security Council. The Security Council resolution formalized this position, that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment indefinitely, that Iran does not have the right to enrich uranium even though article IV of the NPT clearly states that it does have that right .


and

quote:
FKh: How was the US able to orchestrate a unanimous Security Council vote on this?

SR: The big thing to understand is that Iraq has changed everything. The international community did not do a very good job of standing up to the administration on Iraq. So there is a misplaced desire to reduce American unilateralism by keeping America “contained” – so to speak – within the framework of international engagement context. And this framework is the only thing that gives Europeans any status. To be frank, what does Europe bring to bear on this? Nothing. Nothing whatsoever. It’s all in this framework of negotiating that gives it any status.

What they’re finding is that now that Europe is facilitating America’s goals and desires in terms of pushing for this Security Council resolution, America is acting unilaterally anyways.

You want more? I got more.

Personally, I think we are once again being led down the path to madness thru the MSMs distortions and superstition.

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Colin JM0397
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Kid,

I'm not fan of the MSM, but in this case I'll simply accuse them of laziness. That misquote of Ahmadinejad's speech originated from the Al Jazeera translation. The misquote fits with what westerners think he would say, so no one seemed to bother to verify it.

I read that a few weeks ago, but didn't mention it since no one here has been focusing on it much at all.

The trouble here is I expect from the Iranians what I expect from our own government - duplicity in actions and words. Saying one thing publicly and doing another secretively. It's the nature of the international game these days, so I don’t take them at face value when they preach peace and all that jazz.

So Iran talks peace, just like we do, and claims they won't attack anyone, yet they do use proxies - just like we do - to do their dirty work.

That said, from where I'm sitting it sure looks like we're trying to paint them into a corner - possibly with the goal of provoking them to lash out at us first to justify us "retaliating".

Hey, why not, worked pretty well for us at Pearl Harbor. (ohh, that’s bound to get some panties in a bunch!)

Seems we're now in a high stakes game of chicken. I really hope the Iranians can keep their cool while the Dems figure out if they really have any balls or they just borrowed them for the election.

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KidB
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jm,

Good points all around, but we should clarify something - why did the MSM "think" he would say that? It's more than just momentary laziness regarding that one particular item, but rather a systematic laziness, combined with prejudice, which has led to decades of self-reinforcing distortions.

quote:
The trouble here is I expect from the Iranians what I expect from our own government - duplicity in actions and words. Saying one thing publicly and doing another secretively. It's the nature of the international game these days, so I don’t take them at face value when they preach peace and all that jazz.

So Iran talks peace, just like we do, and claims they won't attack anyone, yet they do use proxies - just like we do - to do their dirty work.

Agreed. However, the scale of the threat is the real question at hand. I'd be amazed if Iran didn't use proxies. I'd be even more amazed if their proxies have had anything like the reach and influence of the U.S.'s.

And what of "face value"? If statements from Iran deemed to be beligerent are taken at face value (which they are), but statements which seem to be concilliatory are not, there is an obvious double-standard.

Also a double-standard: claiming that Iran is a theocracy whose "democratic" infrastructure is merely a meaningless veneer, and claiming that Ahmadinejad - an elected official - is the true voice of the iranian govt's intentions beyond its borders, and/or a true representative of the will of the Iranian people.

You've got to admit, the U.S.'s stance could hardly be more inconsistent.

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Colin JM0397
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But it's just a cute and fuzzy country!

That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered country you ever set eyes on!
He's got huge, sharp... er... He can leap about. Look at the bones!
It's the most feroucious and dangerous country in the whole wide world!

RUN AWAY!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbit_of_Caerbannog

[ February 16, 2007, 03:37 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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KidB
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The number of thy counting shall be three...
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Colin JM0397
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This definitely calls for a secret weapon
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Colin JM0397
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Well, our stance is prefectly consistent if the goal is to break down the middle east and stir up trouble there.
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KidB
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quote:
Well, our stance is prefectly consistent if the goal is to break down the middle east and stir up trouble there.
Yup.
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DaveS
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quote:
The issue is our being able to get over our own ethnocentrism and comprehend that they Do see things very differently. And it is because of this difference what we can do our should do may not be what we assume it can or should be.

We don't think bombing civilians to the tune of 3000 in a building is a good thing to do ever. They however do see it as a good thing to do, because it fits into their own ethnocentic viewpoint.

Your first paragraph is exactly right. But, then you take a leap that makes no sense to me. Yes, their culture produces a different world view. Does that mean that their culture produces people who think it's a good thing to blow up 3000 people? To accept it is to accept that our culture is as insane for Oklahoma City, the Branch Davidians and a host of other self-inflicted atrocities, such as "teaching" our children to kill other children in school rampages. Or perhaps from "their" perspective, that our peculiar ethnocentric world view makes us feel entitled to invade and reform countries that are different from us. Consider their difference from us, but not by the extremes of the behavior of their most radical members, and hope that they don't judge us all as being indistinguishable from our cadre of government warmakers.

Thanks to KidB for reminding us that our ears (biological and MSM) don't do us honor sometimes. IMO, Juan Cole is the top western conveyor and interpreter of events in the ME.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by DaveS:
quote:
I said I'm not sure whether they would, and laid out a very grim BEST possible scenario where they only use their nukes defensively...Nor has anyone explained how we could seriously keep up any long term strategy while faced with the "best" scenario that I described..
The kernel of doubt you express above is embedded in a mountain of certainty about their aims that you have expressed elsewhere.
The fact that you call *that* bit "doubt" and the rest "certainty" strongly suggests that you didn't bother to read it.

It's quite the other way around. I said that I'm certain that they will do at least ramp up beligerent activity and terror while using nukes defensively, and that I *suspect* but am not sure that they will also use nukes aggressively and/or pass them to others that will.

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Pete at Home
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KidB, you're hillarious. Khomeini officially made Iran's policy to "lie to the infidel" when convenient. This is the policy that they push to the Islamic world. They tell each other that it's OK to lie to us, but when they speak to us, you'd have us accept their word without solid evidence?
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KidB
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quote:
KidB, you're hillarious. Khomeini officially made Iran's policy to "lie to the infidel" when convenient. This is the policy that they push to the Islamic world. They tell each other that it's OK to lie to us, but when they speak to us, you'd have us accept their word without solid evidence?
You really missed my point completely here. If concilliatory speech is a lie, then why would a threat against U.S. or Israel be any more credible?

You need to judge them by their actions. Allow me to quote Gregory Cochran, from The American Conservative

quote:
Iran is now at the top of the enemies list, but of course it poses no strategic threat to the United States. Iran’s GNP is 20 to 40 times smaller than that of the U.S., and the Iranians are hardly sophisticated technologists. If they tried hard, if they spent a huge fraction of their GNP on weapons, they might be able to spend 1/30th as much on arms as we do. But they’re not trying hard.

In truth, Iran hasn’t embarked upon any military adventures in years: there is no pattern of aggression and conquest, no frantic military buildup. The war with Iraq a generation ago seems to have used up most of the Iranians’ revolutionary zeal. We do not hear of their “last territorial demands.” In fact, we’re still waiting for the first.

Even when provoked, they’ve been cautious. The Taliban, back in 1998, killed a number of Iranian diplomats along with thousands of fellow Shi’ites. The Iranian government was angry, as any government would have been. The Iranians threatened, they mobilized troops on the Afghan border—but never invaded. I can’t read their minds, but I’d guess that some in their government argued that they couldn’t afford it, others that they might lose, while still others had read their Kipling and couldn’t imagine what they would do with Afghanistan if they owned it. (Interestingly, Condoleezza Rice, back in 2000, seemed to have been unaware that this crisis ever occurred. When she was interviewed by the New York Times, she thought that Iran supported the Taliban. I guess future secretaries of state have better things to do than read.)


I don't think you're viewing the situation objectively. All of this sabre-rattling directed at Iran seems to me predicated upon the notion that Iran is a nation of homicidal fanatics, and a powerful one at that. Having met Iranians, and Americans who have travelled there, this strikes me as a gross misaprehension.
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Pete at Home
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"You really missed my point completely here. If concilliatory speech is a lie, then why would a threat against U.S. or Israel be any more credible?"

Because they carry out their threats, and because there's independent evidence that they intend to carry them out. Their actions back up their threatening words. Their actions do not back up their concilliatory words.

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KidB
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quote:
Because they carry out their threats, and because there's independent evidence that they intend to carry them out. Their actions back up their threatening words. Their actions do not back up their concilliatory words.
I completely disagree. What evidence do you cite, and what threats are you referring to?
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Jesse
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Donald

I said some very nasty things to Redskull a long time ago which I thought I had appologized for, but on reflection I realised I had not. It is completely understandable, given that, why his initial reading of my post was less than charitable.

I appreciate the sentiment, but the matter is resolved.

Redskull-

I don't have any well thought out plans that might work better than yours. I think of things...and then reject them.

Iran has now suffered two bombings in three days in the southeastern part of the country, in the city of Zahedan. In the first, a car bomb detonated killing 11 Revolutionary Guardsmen.

Today, an explosion rocked a school. No death toll is yet released. Gunfire was still being exchanged between police and the attackers.

Iran claims both of these attacks have been made by Jundallah, a Sunni terrorist group with strong links to AQ.

So, what is our common point of interest? It seems, to me, to be obvious. The question is, how do we exploit it?

I say we offer to complete Irans nuclear reactors. We offer them two cascades of 3,000 centrifuges complete with techs to operate them. We give them a thousand highly skilled (and highly paid) engineers and technicians who will be richly compensated at our expense as hostages.

We already hold Iranian hostages, don't we? We can anhilate their entire country in 15 minutes. Of course they're terrified and feel powerless.

They understand an exchange of hostages. We used to, but we've kind of forgotten.

This way, they can be assured that we will not destroy the power facilities they've been sinking a huge portion of their GDP into for three decades in a fit of pique, or allow Israel to do the same.

We offer, as part of the deal, a public announcement that any nuclear attack on Iran will be treated as a nuclear attack on the US.

Iran promises to recognize the legitimacy of the Iraqi government and ONLY to provide arms to that government. We then INVITE Iranian doctors, engineers, ect to help rebuild the Shia'a portions of Iraq. They know how to do it on a dime, they will love the PR coup, and it will be a massive insult to the Sunni who will probably continue to only fund murderers.


We force Israel to it's Hadrian Momment by theatening to pull all of our aid and let them twist if they do not permenantly demarcate their border with their neighbors and accept Syrias peace offer. We establish a workable line as close to the 67 borders as possible, without the input of the PLO.

If the Palestinians don't accept the deal, we give 'em to Syria [Smile] Seriously, we offer a 50 billion dollar aid package over the next twenty years and impose no import tarrifs on Palestinian goods. George Bush walks out at a press conference in a suit made in Palestian and his staff leaks it to the press.

We stop pretending that Palestinains aren't suffering, and we get serious about changing their condition. We give the average 18 year old Palestinian a choice other than "Unemployed living with my five brothers in one room of my mothers house" or "Glory as a Shaheed". Oh, I guess they do have option three right now as well, publicly oppose both Fatah and Hamas, and wind up in a jail cell or a ditch.

The IRA gave up it's arms because economic conditions in Ireland improved dramaticly.

Without an Evil Israel bonking people on the head, contrary to what those who believe all Muslims are hardline holy warriors believe, rage over the existance of Israel will be drastically reduced. Without Syria, Iran, or Iraq to supply weapons and ammunition in quanity, the Saudis are left trying to smuggle what they can across Jordan.


We stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia untill they hold free, fair, and open democratic elections. If they do not comply, we sieze their assets in the US, kick out every Saudi that isn't here as political refugee, and label them a Rogue State under a complete trade embargo. Think the US is soft? Watch how quick the House of Saud crumples.


Why are we "siding" with the Sunni's, again?

Who is Jundallah? Where do they get their funding? I'm guessing, House of Saud one way or another.

I have *Ideas* Redskull, I don't have a coherent plan, which is why I haven't attacked your current one.

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DonaldD
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Oh, don't worry Jesse - I really didn't have any sentiment to be appreciated [Smile] I just like correcting misstatements, especially when their ALL CAPS and so &@$%!?! aggressively obscene.
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DaveS
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quote:
KidB, you're hillarious. Khomeini officially made Iran's policy to "lie to the infidel" when convenient. This is the policy that they push to the Islamic world.
I assume this sweeping judgment applies to the 2003 memo the WH now acknowledges it received from Iran (through the Swiss embassy). I can't find a pdf of it online (anybody else?), but it is reported on in a variety of MSM outlets, such as here. In the memo, Iran proposes direct negotiations with the US about its nuclear arms programs, recognition of Israel and stabilization of Iraq. Any possibility Iran may have been sincere?
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Redskullvw
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Don

You have any suggestions or ideas?

Dave

We as a culture do not support instances such as the Branch Davidians etc. We see such things as abberations to be prevented.

Our Islamic counterparts however were dancing in the streets after 9-11. Literally. And it wasn't a small dance party, but one that was world wide. We don't kill artists like Mapelthorpe for using Jesus as a component of visual art. They wont even make a pictorial or artistic representation of Mohammad, and are quite willing to kill those who do- and even worse they have restricted artistic expression in visual arts to such an extent that there are almost no Islamic visual artists willing to risk a fatwah of death.

You comprehended the first comment, and then slipped right back into your own ethnocentric viewpoint by comparing our culture with theirs, and additionally using an invalid definition of thier culture by defining it in terms of ours.

That is what we have to get passed if we are going to come up with solutions compatible with our needs as well as theirs.

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