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Obama's Iran dilemma

Justin Webb | 22:19 UK time, Monday, 15 June 2009

The result of the Iranian election is the worst possible outcome for President Obama.

He could have coped quite cheerfully with an Ahmadinejad loss of course but also with a clean-cut win where he could have expressed respect for the government and moved on.

But now it is difficult for him to deal substantively with a regime that seems so illegitimate - result: stasis.

And the result of that could be growing pressure for any outreach to Iran to come to an end.

Comments

  • 1. At 10:40pm on 15 Jun 2009, philzep wrote:

    The first demostrator death has just been announced. Is this the start of another Tianamen Square style crackdown and will the Iranians fair any better?

    Dangerous times

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  • 2. At 11:37pm on 15 Jun 2009, ray564k wrote:

    Respectfully disagree Justin- the result of this election will be increased pressure on Obama to put more pressure on Iran... While Iran is not a democracy, and has only a limited form of pluralism, this form of government had helped preserve the Iranian Republic, electing populists like Ahmadinejad to 'put oil money on people's tables', and insulating the clerics from daily politics.

    If the election is as rigged as people suspect then a potentially critical blow has been struck at the Iranian regime. If voter fraud can be proved to the public- the Ayatollahs pretence of democracy despite velayat-e faqih, will have been shown up. In the war of ideas on establishing a deeper, more substantive version of democracy- the fact that the clerics had to intervene to cheat (when previously they have allowed reformers such as Khatami into government) will be remembered as a very important moment. All of these things increase the likelihood that US pressure can have more of an effect in an Iran divided against itself.

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  • 3. At 11:38pm on 15 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Isn't it a little early to comment on that election? The situation has the potential for changing during the next week or so. There could well be another election or even assassination which would alter the President's approach.

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  • 4. At 11:53pm on 15 Jun 2009, cleverkimberlyparker wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 5. At 11:57pm on 15 Jun 2009, Wil wrote:

    The lack of respect for freedom of choice is very apparent here. The people choose someone that the west do not like and we see all the mud smearing at the election process.

    Try again next election. Why must opposition force a do or die approach. This will only result in chaos, death and eventually arrests.

    It is very sad. The biggest country that preach freedom and democracy (USA) is the one that believe it the least, when it is not to their benefit.

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  • 6. At 00:06am on 16 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    #5, you may find that many iranians are protesting about the results. Or are you suggesting that a rather large number of americans found their way into iran?

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  • 7. At 00:15am on 16 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    The last thing the Iranian people have in mind at the moment is President Obama, the USA, the EU or anyone else. There is a major struggle underway between the well educated middle class in Tehran and the masses who remain consumed by religious fanatism, cultural intolerance, and strict adherence to medieval traditions.

    Clearly, the "Supreme Leader" concluded that even a narrow victory by his protege would have been seen as a sign of weakness and an opportunity to demand meaningful change and decided that the best approach was a resounding victory with a mandate.

    The Obama administration should refrain from taking sides and being perceived as the instigators of what could turn out to be a bloody revolution with long term consequences for the Persian Gulf region.

    Our government should not legitimize the Ahmadinejad regime and Ali Khameni influence by making new peace overtures to them, but we should not condemn them either. The best course of action is to wait until the dust settles.

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  • 8. At 00:25am on 16 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #5

    No the Iranains voted the war criminal out and the mullahs voided the true results
    Because they any reform is the first step to end the caliphate dictatorship.
    The moral course would be for Obama to recognize publicly the true winner.

    step on Khomeni's image:Iranians

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  • 9. At 00:40am on 16 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Justin wrote: "But now it is difficult for him to deal substantively with a regime that seems so illegitimate"

    Why do you say it's illegitimate?

    According to the BBC news pages Ahmadinejad won 62.6% of the vote on a turnout of 85%. That's a pretty decisive victory for Ahmedinejad. The other candidates results: Mousavi: 33.8%, Mohsen Rezai: 1.7%, Mehdi Karroubi 0.9%. This is not a close result. Vote rigging would have to have been on a massive scale: highly unlikely.

    This presence of a Supreme Leader serving for a longer "term" who straddles the Presidential elections is a strength of their system. If the opponents do wish to pursue a legal challenge, they still have some structure to their government. This is not a feature of either the American or British system, although in Britain we do have the Queen.


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  • 10. At 00:54am on 16 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    I disagree with this statement as well: "The result of the Iranian election is the worst possible outcome for President Obama."

    Why? The President of Iran has a clear mandate from the electorate and on a very high turnout.

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  • 11. At 01:14am on 16 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Mohammad Khatami was the type of President the 'West' wanted. He was President from 1997 to 2005. What happened when he tried over and over again to 'offer an open hand' to the West? The Bush Administration double-crossed him. John Bolton was brought in and Colin Powell/Richard Armitage swept aside. I think it was soon after that Powell and Armitage resigned. The Bush Administration double-crossed Iran as they did North Korea.

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  • 12. At 01:22am on 16 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Justin:

    Agree with David. Your comments may be a bit premature.

    Fascinating photos, though. Pro government rally: not many women, nasty looking young men. Protest rally - wall to wall women, a good number of men.

    A while ago I thought that Obama's speech had been beneficial because it removed a bogeyman, and changed the terms of reference. Marbles thought I was full of crap, pretty much.

    Now look at these photos, and see all these women, and a candidate who campaigns openly and lovingly with his high powered, highly literate, telegenic wife. Now where have we seen that before? Let me think...

    Wonder if not only Barack Obama's speech, but Michelle Obama's huge telegenic presence - visible on TV all around the world - changed something. What psychological effect? Does the politics of hope infect foreign electorates, too? A spur to voters to vote out the stiffling regime they have known all their lives? The turnout was huge.

    It's true that outsiders could not directly influence the Iranian election. But there has been a psychological sea change across the globe. You have to wonder just how much those TV images have affected the hopes and desires of voters, particularly women voters, in many lands far distant from Camelot.

    As Chou En Lai said "It's too soon to tell."

    Let's see how this plays out.

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  • 13. At 01:25am on 16 Jun 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Have the Irani people called for the U.S. to intervene? It's their house, not ours. Obama and the U.S. government have enough to do here at home.

    Can anyone on this blog tell us, with facts and certainty, who is protesting and why? The curtain has been drawn tight. All we have seen are brief snap-shots of light leaking through the curtain. Is that enough to go charging through the closed door to "save" whomever from whatever?

    Try that the next time you over-hear a domestic disturbance going on in your neighbors house. You will see why police hate domestic disturbance calls.

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  • 14. At 01:40am on 16 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    What a dumb posting. First of all, the issues of concern to the United States being Iran's program to acquire nuclear weapons and delivery systems and its support for terrorists around the region would not change no matter who won. The candidates are all hand selected, filtered by the clerics who run the country and set its policies. Even the so called moderates or reformers will have the same policies in those issues important to America. Secondly, Ahmadinejad clearly and unambiguously has stated Iran's true policies which present a direct threat to the security of the United States of America, no nuanced meanings, no double entendres, no trying to read optimistically and falsely, hope for compromise that does not exist. Ahmadinejad is too uneducated to understand the importance of that in playing his hand. He shows you all his cards every time. So far he'd gotten away with everything he's done and he's not going to change now. Time is running out. The only question that remains is; what is the President of the United States going to do about it?

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  • 15. At 02:24am on 16 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #10. Richard_SM: "The President of Iran has a clear mandate from the electorate and on a very high turnout."

    So, we are told, did Mugabe. Do you believe every pronouncement from Iran's officials? Oh to be so trusting!

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  • 16. At 02:50am on 16 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 15. David_Cunard

    I treat all assertions with a degree of sceptism, especially yours.

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  • 17. At 03:21am on 16 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #16. Richard_SM: "I treat all assertions with a degree of sceptism"

    Your statement at #10 was unequivocal - no hint, not even the whisper of scepticism. I'll bet you accepted the Hutton Report lock, stock and barrel, not to mention Mr Blair's statements - "the dodgy dossier"! Scepticism indeed!

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  • 18. At 03:54am on 16 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    Oh I bet this thread will be more popular than the one started on the week end;)

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  • 19. At 06:47am on 16 Jun 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    I've read comments that also made the point that, even thought the president is only the front man for the regime in Iran, the "reform" candidate would have only made taking a hard line more problematic when trying to confront a "nice guy" president with his government's hard line policies.

    Either way, as long as those making the decisions aren't replaced, it really doesn't matter to any outside government or well wishers. It only means more suffering for those who live in a nation that overthrew one tyrant only to fall under the subjugation of another.

    Years from now, you'll find as few people looking back on the "Islamic Republic" government with fondness as you'll find Frenchmen longing for the days of the Reign of Terror.

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  • 20. At 07:21am on 16 Jun 2009, vote99 wrote:

    In my view, the high turn out in Iran was inspired in part by obamas' pragmatic foreign policy and the clerics know this. The youth no longer share a common enemy with the clerics (Bush). I think the situation in Iran puts obama in a much stronger position: For once, everyone is watching, including the Muslim world and they can see for themselves that no matter how 'two faced' Americas foreign policy has been in the past, at least the 6 million American Muslims can say that their vote counts in the USA!

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  • 21. At 08:29am on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #9, Richard_SM, considering that the Iranians use paper ballots, it would
    be quite amazing for them to have counted 48 million votes so quickly that
    they could announce the results 3 hours after most (but not all) of the polls
    closed.

    No wonder there are riots in the streets.

    What I don't understand is how come the mullahs actually care who won,
    since they have the authority to prevent candidates from running.
    This could end very badly for the supreme leader.

    #7, St. D, I agree entirely.

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  • 22. At 08:36am on 16 Jun 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    #9: "This is not a close result. Vote rigging would have to have been on a massive scale: highly unlikely."

    If that is true, why were observers from all parties denied access to witness the count (as is proscribed by Iranian election law)? This was one of the complaints by opposition in a letter to the Supreme Leader, and one based on their own constitution. This, along with pressure from some of the clerics led to the upcoming "investigation".

    I can't imagine that, as the U.S. election was neck to neck, but Obama rallying tons of support out of the woodwork in the form of young voters becoming interested for the first time...that anybody in this country would have believed a McCain victory on a 2:1 scale with the votes counted behind locked doors.

    Democracy works like this: secret ballot means you vote privately. Open election means all parties participate in the count they will later agree upon.

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  • 23. At 08:45am on 16 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #21. gunsandreligion: "considering that the Iranians use paper ballots, it would be quite amazing for them to have counted 48 million votes so quickly that they could announce the results 3 hours after most (but not all) of the polls closed."

    Good point; the British use the same, paper, system, and they cannot count all the votes so rapidly. Some even go into the wee hours, so why should the Iranian tabulators be any quicker?

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  • 24. At 08:58am on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    23, DC, obviously the Iranian vote counters possess a manual dexterity
    far exceeding that of their Western counterparts. Or not.

    Their internet infrastructure is, on the other hand, in some need of
    improvement, as it apparently ceases to function immediately before
    elections.

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  • 25. At 09:06am on 16 Jun 2009, stnylan wrote:

    Obama is thus exposed as the moral fraud he is. Instead of condemning this anti-democratic racist, hate-filled, delusional madman, he merely tiptoes around his edges.

    Though I don't expect Justin to admit that.

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  • 26. At 09:14am on 16 Jun 2009, eastbourneandrew wrote:

    Reaching out to Iran was never going to be easy; there were always going to be hurdles. If Obama really belives in the values he claims to espouse and is sincere in wanting a dialogue, then the outreach ought to be maintained until he has a result. It should be there even if the Iranian refuse it. If it takes the whole of his presidency to get them to the table so be it. The value of the power of America is worth that wait.

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  • 27. At 09:16am on 16 Jun 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    24:

    At least they have their internationally renowned cell phone service, right? Hello? #$!! dropped call...

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  • 28. At 09:39am on 16 Jun 2009, respectedTahirZaheer wrote:

    It's quite incorrect that there is any setback to United State on results of Iranian Election. US President Mr. BurraQ Hussain Obama____Democratic Leader of Democratic Party having strong believe to respect democratic voices and leadership thereof. Since his taking Oath for Presidentship of United State , Burraq Hussain Obama, already delivering PEACE INITIATIVE messages to Iranian leadership for betterment of Geo-Political climate of Middle East, and other Asian, pacific and African regions as well.

    Let, we invite all to be the positive 'Part-of-Solutions' for a foresighted begining of harmony between all human communities for overall Peace of our global village for sustainable development of All by development of Mutual Trust.

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  • 29. At 09:41am on 16 Jun 2009, brightdavidstar wrote:

    i hope the recount of election votes in contested areas would have some positive result to the oppositions and for the people who have been killed in the protest againest the regime,so do to obama.

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  • 30. At 09:42am on 16 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Justin
    Deciding upon the legitimacy of the election result in Iran is a hard one to call.
    The "knows" in the big cities with communication possibilities appeared to be leaning towards a change. The "don't knows" in the countryside were still under the impression that Ahmadinejad was the respected voice for their country. With a communication shut down that affected internet communication and probably included telephone, television and radio services the Iranian dont knows are probably still waiting for the pony express rider to turn up with any news.
    Perhaps one ballot box in a one camel village in the middle of nowhere was immediatly opened to give the 62% - 34% division of votes cast, and this was used to show a specific result, but more so to show a solid victory instead of a hung decision. Maybe, now with all votes counted it is the same victory but with a 51-49 split. This would not bode well in attempting to show a solid front against opposing regimes around the world.
    .Unfortunately we have come to expect loss of life in many foreign countries during or following an electoral procedure, where we just sit back awaiting our home election results and, realising we have been screwed we sigh and return to our daily grind. I would be grateful if one person could show me an election result in any civilised or uncivilised land where there has not been some voting anomaly- where some part of the electorate has not suffered.
    So, the required result gets let out to the world.
    With this "conclusive" victory a statement from Israel emerges about the Palestine situation.
    Gordon fearing the worst decides about finally beginning an investigation in to the run up to the start of the war with Iraq.- A secret inquiry no less.
    Italy's leader offers to take a few Gitmo detainees deflecting any further criticism against him on both the political front, and an 18 year old personal front.
    Obama teaches the new puppy a few tricks, keeps a low profile, and hums" Change you can believe in". Hope, he gave up months ago.
    And on to the next game. It is just politcs as usual.

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  • 31. At 10:15am on 16 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    Sorry that should have read politics in the last sentance
    Guess that like politicians around the world, I was under pressure too.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gpn8MANhdLU

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  • 32. At 10:52am on 16 Jun 2009, Las wrote:

    "a regime that seems so illegitimate" - what makes it "illegitimate"? Whose criteria are you applying that you would deem "legitimate"? Washington's, obviously. Does "legitimate" mean that Ahmedinejad must lose, and "illegitimate" if he wins even with a massive majority? A BBC correspondent, especially an "editor", should at least pretend to be objective.

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  • 33. At 12:14pm on 16 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    President Obama's "dilemma" is bound to be solved by the Guardian Council, aka Mullahs, who plan to recount the votes cast during the election (read referendum) held last week. Any bets on what the results will be? How about 53% Ahmadinejad, 45% Mousavi, 2% other?

    I still believe Obama would be better off avoiding taking sides and letting the Iranian people solve their internal problems. Let's face it, all the rivals were endorsed by the Supreme Leader, who is ultimately the "Decider" in all transcendental matters to the Iranian people.

    We become incensed when foreign leaders make comments, no matter how trivial, during our presidential campaigns and elections. Perhaps we should practice the same restraint we demand from others...except of course for bloggers who love to give their opinion on everything under the Sun.

    I suspect that President Obama's real dilemma right now is trying to figure out how to justify desperately needed healthcare reform in the USA without the financial resources needed to undertake such an ambitious goal at a time when many Americans are having trouble paying their mortgages and buying groceries.

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  • 34. At 1:50pm on 16 Jun 2009, DavidGins wrote:

    The problem with President Obama is that he always wants to stay in touch with public opinion and every announcement is run by the spin guys first. Therefore you get an administration that follows instead of leads. The elections are either fraudulent or they aren't, it should be more than apparent to the administration what it's opinion should be.

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  • 35. At 2:18pm on 16 Jun 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    In foreign relations you must deal with what is, not what you would like it to be. The U.S. has stated that in foreign policy with China it will not let human rights or environmental issues get in the way of that relationship so why have a different standard for Iran. Iran has a supreme religious leader who has the final say on things so the elected president has limitations. Burma has an elected leader under house arrest for years and now maybe being sent to prison on trumped up charges, but nothing is done. The thug generals in that country stole all the international aid and let their own people strave after the typhoon and everyone just turned away. It is the business interest that run the world and the causes for individual rights and freedoms are a small distraction and only considered when and if they will have an impact on the conduct of business and profits. Iran will suffer because the educated will seek to live elsewhere and that will be Iran's loss. For those in power, that is a small price to pay compared to the rewards they will reap. The West would be wise to offer scholarships to those bright Iranian college students in search of greater freedom.

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  • 36. At 3:30pm on 16 Jun 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    it wouldnt be the first questionable government the US has had to deal with. Among that list were a few allies as well. No point pretending to be appalled by it now, if there is it will be nothing but political grandstanding because in the general scheme of things this is business as usual.

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  • 37. At 5:32pm on 16 Jun 2009, priva4221 wrote:

    My guess is that we have another 24 hours to go before a re-election is called... between 8 and 20 people have to be killed in rioting/protesting, that's the usual number of casualties to force a re-think by all but the most hardened regimes (eg Myanmar). iran's ruling elite are clerics and need to be seen as religious men throughout the Arab/Muslim world. The body count matters from Morocco to Indonesia.

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  • 38. At 5:44pm on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 39. At 5:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    A civil war in Iran now would be nice. We should be sending arms to the dissidents. I hope we are. If we don't destabalize the country and overthrow the Islamic Republic with a government of civilized people, we'll be left with no choice except war. If we don't fight it, the Israelis will be forced to. I don't think they're in a mood to be as "restrained" as we would be.

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  • 40. At 5:58pm on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    39, exactly wrong, MAII. The current regime is using a confrontation with
    the West to stamp out local support. Any military action would only strengthen
    their hands.

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  • 41. At 6:20pm on 16 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    gunsandreligion (#40), you are too polite. That idea is not merely wrong, but is crazy.

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  • 42. At 7:06pm on 16 Jun 2009, moderate_observer wrote:

    nothing to unite the people of iran like attempting a proxy war. the 1970s are over , everyone is already aware of that tactic and the last time the US got involved it brought the ayatolla in power with strong local support. The method has never worked in the middle east and it has been tried many times with the same end result. The rise of an anti-american dictatorship.

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  • 43. At 7:14pm on 16 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    40. Thank you Guns.

    Why do some people seek rapture?
    Why am I suddenly reminded of H.L. Mencken?

    This is an incredibly sensitive time, and the stakes are very high.

    It is possible that, perhaps out of complacency, the mullahs have made a foolish miscalculation, and have over-reached themselves. The current fellow made a stupid statement while campaigning a few weeks ago. There has been a ground swell against him. If the government had reported the true results honestly, he was expendable. But now, by being complicit, they have painted themselves into a corner. To back down now in the face of public pressure is not merely to cast their man to the wolves, but to face the fragility of their own power.

    Above all they have to avoid making a second foolish miscalculation. As was said of LBJ as he contemplated escalation in Vietnam: "Man who would save face must not lose head." Someone is going to have to make a fateful decision, and there is no room left for error. Maybe it is already too late: eight protesters have been killed.

    No outside nation, and especially not the US, can aid the protest movement.

    Obama can say and do nothing. He doesn't need to. Anybody with half a brain knows where he stands, and why he can't say more. The best way to help the protesters is to shut up, say nothing other than to deplore violence, to remind the world of the importance of respecting Iranian sovereignty and the need for the Iranian people to decide for themselves, and then to look concerned and worried - and to do it on TV. It is enough. The very existence of President Obama, and the image of the Obamas together, is galvanic, and has already had its effect.

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  • 44. At 7:15pm on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #40, I meant "opposition," not "support."

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  • 45. At 7:20pm on 16 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 7:41pm on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    What I don't understand is this guy Mousavi and what his political movement
    implies. He's not exactly a radical from "outside the beltway." He was the
    Iranian prime minister from 1981-1989, which coincided with the Iran-Iraq
    war. He was approved by the mullahs and the supreme leader.

    This is all starting to sound like a conflict internal to Iran's oligarchy.
    If I had a suspicious mind, I would promote the theory that by letting him
    "win" in a re-election, a lot of popular steam would be vented off, and
    nothing of substance would really change.

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  • 47. At 8:04pm on 16 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    In addition to fomenting and arming the political opposition to Ahmadinejad for a civil war in Iran, a Kurdish uprising within Iran at the same time would further destabalize the government. The Kurds owe us for all we have done for them and who knows, they might be only too happy to oblige. It seems to me that with all of the arming of Shiite militias in Iraq, this would also give the mullahs a taste of there own medicine. I think there would be real irony in that. A Kurdish breakaway state could become the nucleus of a future Kurdistan friendly to the United States. It would also teach Turkey a lesson. Turkey quickly congratulated Ahmadinejad for stealing the election.

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  • 48. At 8:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:


    MarcusAurelius,with his
    head in the sand,
    Brains in the air,
    waxed lofty & grand.

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  • 49. At 8:55pm on 16 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    Richard_SM

    I am curious as to why you are so sure that the election was not rigged. Of course there is a possibilty it was not, but what is it you know that no one else seems to? Considering how quickly a "high-turnout" was counted manually, that the opposition leaders could not view this, that the BBC satellite was jammed, journalists are forced to stay in their hotels, and the opposition lost what can be described as their "safe" regions.

    I find it perculiar that you don't tihnk something fishy may be going on. I have noticed that most of your posts seem to paint Iran as the most democratic and free nation in the world, and whilst I am sure that some of the right-wing news networks like to paint a particularly bias picture of Iran, it would seem that given recent events it is hardly a beacon of freedom.

    Forgive me if you take this as an insult, because it is not. You come across as an articualte and intelligent person. But I do find it curious that you seem to support the current governing system in Iran so vigourosly. May I ask, are you Iranian?



    As for some general musings... You know if North Korea ring you up congratulating you on an election victory, something has to be wrong.

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  • 50. At 8:58pm on 16 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #48

    I suspect someone pays him (MA) to right that bs. I doubt someone that can write coherent sentences actually believes that the "Lets go blow **** up and shoot people" method is actually a feasable option.

    I have my suspicions that it actually a BBC member of staff looking for a giggle.

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  • 51. At 9:02pm on 16 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 25 Obama is thus exposed as the moral fraud he is. Instead of condemning this anti-democratic racist, hate-filled, delusional madman, he merely tiptoes around his edges.

    I agree completely! Obama, stop pussyfooting around, and indict Dick Cheney immediately!!!

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  • 52. At 9:28pm on 16 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Given the outstanding results we got in Iraq, how could we not do something at least as effective in Iran? Yes there were some mistakes but on the whole, Iraq was a shining example of how to quickly and effectively bring about regime change and neutralize what was surely a very dangerous country. Whatever threat it posed in 2002, as of now its only immediate threat is to itself and that is its own problem, not ours. Mission accomplished!

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  • 53. At 9:34pm on 16 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 54. At 9:39pm on 16 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref,50. St one.

    Yea may be you are right.Some times think thoes antics,are piched to cause anti US sentiment.Could be more sinister than PC BBC?who knows?

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  • 55. At 9:39pm on 16 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    SainOne (#49) "Considering how quickly a "high-turnout" was counted manually, ... "

    That bothers me, also. Here's what CNN columnist Cafferty had to say about the election:

    http://caffertyfile.blogs.cnn.com/2009/06/15/were-irans-elections-honest/

    Did the Iranians cast 40 million paper ballots? Were these counted in a few hours? How is that possible?

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  • 56. At 10:16pm on 16 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    Iran's clerics seem to be divided on the legitimacy of the election. As indicated by this site, some are going far beyond calling for a recount:

    Grand Ayatollah Yousef Saanei, a progressive cleric and a confidante of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the founder of the Islamic Republic, has declared that Mr. Ahmadinejad is not the legitimate president and cooperation with him, as well as working for him, are haraam (against Islam and a great sin).

    Other Imams have taken a similar position. The security forces (according to this site) have isolated them.

    Did Ahmadinejad over-reach? Was this a secular putsch? Or did he have the blessings of some conservative clerics?

    Certainly events seem to be casting into relief some pretty stark differences among the clerical power elite.

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 57. At 11:03pm on 16 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    Some interesting analysis of the power factions grinding it out at the top of the Iranian political food chain.

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 58. At 11:26pm on 16 Jun 2009, McJakome wrote:

    23. At 08:45am on 16 Jun 2009, David_Cunard wrote:
    #21. gunsandreligion: "considering that the Iranians use paper ballots, it would be quite amazing for them to have counted 48 million votes so quickly that they could announce the results 3 hours after most (but not all) of the polls closed."
    MA uses a paper ballot rather like a computer readable test paper. You fill in a bubble with provided marker and the completed ballot is fed to a machine. While this could also be fixed or the computer reader pre-programmed to vote "correctly" it would be faster than human readers. I don't know if Iran has this technology, but it sure beats hanging chads.

    "33. At 12:14pm on 16 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote: I suspect that President Obama's real dilemma right now is trying to figure out how to justify desperately needed healthcare reform in the USA without the financial resources needed to undertake such an ambitious goal at a time when many Americans are having trouble paying their mortgages and buying groceries."
    Right on all counts! Intervention is a no-win situation. He has enough to do at home, like pretending reform while increasing the subsidies to the insurance and pharmacy companies instead of funding better care for the people.

    "46. At 7:41pm on 16 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:
    What I don't understand is this guy Mousavi and what his political movement implies. He's not exactly a radical from "outside the beltway." He was the Iranian prime minister from 1981-1989, which coincided with the Iran-Iraq war. He was approved by the mullahs and the supreme leader. This is all starting to sound like a conflict internal to Iran's oligarchy. If I had a suspicious mind, I would promote the theory that by letting him "win" in a re-election, a lot of popular steam would be vented off, and nothing of substance would really change."

    Very Macchiavellian, and quite possibly true. According to my Iranian sources, many more people have been killed than the numbers mentioned, and many more injuried. The news blackouts are not, of course, accidental. They also tell me that there is only a choice between bad and worse as all are under the control of the Ayatollahs.

    As some of you have mentioned, A misstep by anyone [Obama or Ayatollah] could have far-reaching effects. If Moussavi comes out ahead, it could be seen as weakness in the Islamic leadership, which could embolden the people to renewed opposition. We could see a replay [in reverse] of shah to democracy to Islamic dictatorship. Or the French revolution, for that matter.

    I would be cautious about overestimating the effects of Obamamania on everyone. He is seen as a big improvement over his predecessor, and the First Couple are treated like Holywood or rock stars. But that may have no real influence in real world situations.

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  • 59. At 00:29am on 17 Jun 2009, gduwright wrote:

    I think everyone agrees that the best the west can do right now is zip it. MA knows that too but he just has to stir the pot. Regardless the great satan will get the blame anyway. The way it is now if your grandma's cake doesn't rise when baking it's because of those devils Bush and Cheney.

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  • 60. At 00:40am on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    48. At 8:46pm on 16 Jun 2009, ukwales:

    I've got a little list
    Of those who won't be missed
    When they act upon their plan
    to join an insurrection in Iran.

    And I'm sure that none of us
    will miss Marcus Aurelius.

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  • 61. At 00:46am on 17 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    I'm wondering how much elections in Iraq have influenced the voters perspective on their own system in Iran. Perhaps this election could prove to be the beginning of a new secular democracy in Iran, similar to that of Iraq and Turkey.

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  • 62. At 01:17am on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    47/52

    "MarcusAurelius,with his
    head in the sand,
    Brains in the air,
    waxed lofty & grand."

    Probably, he has not read Thucydides:

    "Spartans: in the course of my life I have taken part in many wars, and I see many among you of the same age. We have had experience, and are not likely to share in a general enthusiasm for war, nor to think war is a good or a safe thing. . . Here we shall be engaged with people far off. . .well equipped . . .with numbers of allies. How can we irresponsibly start a war with such a people?. . , Perhaps there is ground for confidence in the superiority we have in heavy infantry and actual numbers, assets which will enable us to invade and devastate their land.. , ,We may find we can not make an honourable peace, especially if it is thought we began the quarrel. For we must not bolster ourselves up with the false hope that if we devasrare their land, the war will soon be over. I fear that it is more likely that we shall be leaving it to our children afterwards."

    [King Archidamus of Sparta]
    ca.431 BC. Over a millennium and a half ago . . .

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  • 63. At 01:43am on 17 Jun 2009, OldSouth wrote:

    Looks increasingly like the guy with the dilemma is Ahmadinejad.

    It's hard to call a country 'The Great Satan' from a hard-line Islamist pulpit when it elects a black guy with the middle name of Hussein. After a while, that dog just won't hunt anywhere.

    BHO, and I speak as one of his non-fans, may have hit a ground-ruled double with his Cairo speech, directed toward a seething youth population in Iran.

    It is a fluid, and therefore perilous, situation now. Opportunities also may present themselves as well, though.

    What if those kids in the streets, even if they don't particulary like the US and Israel, decide there are other things to do with their lives than start a war with them?

    Pray for wisdom for the leaders of the West.

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  • 64. At 01:46am on 17 Jun 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #60

    Squirl,

    I for one would miss Marcus. He reminds me of why the Constitution is such a wonderful thing. Marcus exercises his 1st amendment rights every day, and we get to laugh at how off the reservation his thought process is, how bitter and lonely he is, how alcohol abuse and self 'help' can warp the mind and how unfortunate some folks are.

    He is also an outstanding market testing tool. If you throw an opinion or idea at him he tends to be 100% out of step with the majority of Americans. This is a market testers dream. Whatever he says will not sell, will. Whenever he offers economic advice, do the opposite. He's made me a nice big pile of cash in the last 12 months just betting against him being on the mark. Between him and TrueToo's economic predictions they have helped me keep several hundred folks employed and paid for Mrs Sam's Christmas and Birthday presents.

    Of course, they are both as mad as a brush, but that is the strength of America. Here, even whack jobs can be coerced into adding economic value.

    Capitalist Sam

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  • 65. At 02:19am on 17 Jun 2009, runnyjoesmith wrote:

    .... Yes, im glad the whole world has to know about Obama's "concern's". It really just eases my mind to know that Obama is busying being so attentive towards global issues. Seriously who cares. Are we going to report now every time Obama gets a bowel movement? Just stick to your own business and let other countries deal with their own.

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  • 66. At 02:24am on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    64. At 01:46am on 17 Jun 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote: #60 Squirl,

    "mad as a brush"?

    Daft as a hatter?
    As right as a roundabout?
    As nutty as a squirrel's breakfast?

    I'm just surprised no-one has amended his constitution for him yet.

    Somehow he's managed to get the competition for next Poet Laureate started on this blog though, so I suppose that's a sort of benefit.

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  • 67. At 02:41am on 17 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    57. Pinko.
    That was interesting. Thanks.

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  • 68. At 03:00am on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ST 68 1/2

    I'd also like to remind you about the Declaration of Independence. About inalienable rights including the right of the people to alter or abolish governments that become abusive of those rights.

    I don't expect Europeans to understand that oppressors are overthrown by wars like our own Revolutionary War because their heritage is from the culture and nations that were the most oppressive in history. That is their basic nature. But Americans know down to their roots that freedom is bought and paid for with blood and that if you want to be free, you have to be prepared to fight and die for that freedom and then to fight and die to defend it. Just as Europeans denied the right of Iraqis to be freed of the brutal dictator Saddam Hussein by American swords, they would deny the Iranians the right to be free of their theocratic oppressors who are leading them to a precipice beyond which there is no bottom, freedom that was won for Europeans by the same American swords and wilingness ultimately to use it on their behalf that was used in Iraq. This is because they are ignorant hypocrites. I expect it of Europeans. But it is a betrayal of the principles of our own revolution and government, our very civilization when we would deny others the same inalienable rights we claimed for ourselves. That betrayal of America's most underlying and basic principles goes for President Obama as well.

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  • 69. At 03:07am on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    46, guns.

    I wonder if we had a hand in the protests. It would not be the first time. America worked with the revolutionaries in 1979 and orchestrated the revolution. It is not practical to attack Iran with without, but how about attacking it from within? What pledge have we made to Israel concerning Iran. Would it tie in with a Palestinian state?

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  • 70. At 03:18am on 17 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 65 runnyjoesmith Are we going to report now every time Obama gets a bowel movement?

    There is something more than a little gross about your user name in anything like close proximity to this statement.

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  • 71. At 03:27am on 17 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    70, chrono -

    Ain't that the truth? That was very funny!

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  • 72. At 03:38am on 17 Jun 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #66

    A few sticks short of a bundle. An inability to distinguish the thesis from the soundbite.

    Take 68 for example, interpreting the constitution as a right to force ones views on others, not the right of individuals to hold their own views. A people can declare their independence and if they don't and we don't like their government we'll declare it for them. Nanny knows best. Completely tonto. The Founding Fathers would be disgusted. But then they woudln't spend any time with the likes of old Marcus because he is (if you believe his opinions of himself) a mid level operative with limited achievement and they were the elite.

    Or the assertion in 52 that the war in Iraq was a successful use of blood and treasure because the end result was that a threat didn't exist. Even though it didn't exist in the first place. I have not had poison ivy, I have not seen a poison ivy plant on my property. Botanists cannot find poison ivy here. But if I nuke the back yard and kill everything with 20 klicks it was worth while to get rid of the poison ivy. Brilliantly paranoid.

    You have to admire any nation that would tolerate such lunacy, and reward it with it's own trailer.

    And you also have to admire the fact we let them speak. Whether it is Marcis or Limbore. By giving them an open forum and laughing at them it takes away their ability to motivate other failed little men.

    Because the real danger in such opinions is if they grasp hold. The UK has a real problem right now with fat middle aged bald guys who underachieved claiming to be the master race under the guises of the BNP. By letting Marcus and his ilk speak out we get to see how ridiculous they are before they get organized and start some kind of loopy political party.

    Freedom of speech is freedom to mock. And let's face it. Fat middle aged almost middle management bitter mid life lonely dull crazy people are easy to have fun with. Did I say with? I meant to say at the expense of.

    Marcus is funny. Having him around is like being Ted Kaczynski's brother. 'Mom, I screwed up. But I ain't Ted!'. 'OK son. That you ain't'.

    Amused Sam



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  • 73. At 03:43am on 17 Jun 2009, SamTyler1969 wrote:

    #23

    David,

    Sobriety?

    Observant Sam

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  • 74. At 04:26am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    69, Ms. Marbles, if we are that good, then we have nothing to worry about
    in the long run. But, since I am a worrier by nature, I must conclude that
    we are merely being lucky.

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  • 75. At 04:47am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    There was in the land of Fort Dix
    a warlord who lived in the sticks.
    When trouble descended
    upon Parthia upended
    he preferred to throw nuclear bricks.

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  • 76. At 04:53am on 17 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Excuse me for speaking out, but why should Obama find it so "difficult" to deal with Iran now that Ahmadinejad won with a 62.6%? He doesn't find it so difficult to deal with members of the GW Bush Administration which placed his country on a war criminal list and want him to fail with the policies he promised to the American people. It seem to be traditional with these US presidents. They seem to poke their noses at others dirty closets instead of cleaning their own.

    Iran doesn't want war with the US. That it has a grudge with Israel is a personal matter, nothing more.

    It seem that Obama wants to appease the Neo-conservatives, the Far Right Wing "Christian" Republicans and the corporate war mongers. And he is doing it at his own shortcomings. America didn't vote him into office for that and he better not forget it.

    If he is depending on the UN (a useless spent force that is only good for intimidation) for sanctions against Iran he must be reminded that the era of big nations ganging up on smaller ones is just about over. In fact, it's downright dangerous because it advocates war, even a nuclear one! Take North Korea for example. Now that is scary! Obama must be aware that both China and Russia (two huge nuke powers) are keeping a good watch on the US-North Korea confrontations!

    A nuclear war is the last thing humanity wants or should want now!

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  • 77. At 04:53am on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    74, guns.

    Good for us, maybe, but good for Iran? Is it even good for un, in the long run to subjugate the Middle East.?

    Since Reza Shah took power in 1921, the head of the Iranian government, or the government itself has been overthrown four times, three of these times by western powers. In 1941 Reza Shah was forced to abdicate and sent into into exile by the Allies. His son, Mohammad Reza Shah, was installed on the throne as a puppet of the West. A populist movement brought Mossadegh to power in 1951, one of his purposes being to nationalize the oil industry. A CIA coup restored the Shah to power in 1953. In 1979 a revolution, orchestrated by wetern powers, with the U.S. in the forefront, overthrew the Shah, who was trying to lessen his control by America. We brought the Ayatollahs to power, and now want to save Iran from these despots.

    Why does the Middle East hate us? Could the cause be manipulation and control, colonialixm dressed in camofulage?

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  • 78. At 05:00am on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    By his own admission, President Obama is paralyzed by the history of the CIA's role in the coup of 1953. This is a pure cop out. We know and the Iranian government knows that the CIA is surely working to overthrow the regime in Teheran. No matter how bloody a civil war would be, it would be far worse if the current regime continues on the course it's heading on and Iran eventually goes to war with the United States or Israel. Regime change one way or another is the best Iran can hope for. Changing the outcome of this election isn't nearly enough. The Islamic Revolutionary government has got to go.

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  • 79. At 05:13am on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    78, correction of typos.

    Sorry I am such a messy typist. The last clause should read, "colonialism dressed in camouflage."

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  • 80. At 05:29am on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    79

    Shouldn't that read marbleless dressed in chador...and veil? In New York City? When it's 98 degrees outside? Why don't the Iraniacs just force women to wear chastity belts like they did in Merry Olde?

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  • 81. At 05:32am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    77, Ms. Marbles. I simply believe that you are giving us too much credit.
    No one can be unmoved by the popular sentiment of the young people in Iran
    who have broken with their leaders. A character like Ahmadinejad who as
    recently as a few weeks ago publicly denied the holocaust and who represents
    a faction which is pursuing nuclear weapons is a dangerous combination
    which would most likely lead to a military confrontation with the West.

    We can only hope that this other faction which is being fronted by
    Mousavi, which appears to be somewhat more moderate, can gain power.

    As far as I know, this is a purely internal power struggle between
    different factions in their society. Not that I would know if the
    truth lay elsewhere, of course.


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  • 82. At 05:33am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    78, MAII, I'm sure glad that your finger isn't on the button. In fact,
    I somehow doubt that one of your digits have ever been on any button
    of significant importance.

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  • 83. At 05:36am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    77, Ms. Marbles, I do agree with your point about excessive interference
    by the West with internal Iranian affairs. Hopefully, the Obama administration
    will end this trend.

    I'm not one of his fans, but at least he does not have the tendency of
    his predecessor to blunder into war just for the heck of it.

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  • 84. At 05:46am on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    g&r, I've had no problems pushing your buttons. Whatever else I've pushed, those at least have proven to be of no significant importance.

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  • 85. At 06:16am on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    83, guns.
    "I'm not one of his fans, but at least he does not have the tendency of his predecessor to blunder into war just for the heck of it."

    Don't give Obama too much credit. First and foremost he is a politician, which means he does not have the moral imperatives that we do. What he says does not tell us what he is doing behind the scenes.

    Yes, the Iranian elections are an internal affair, even though they may be rigged (something Americans are familiar with). But I cannot help but think that Iran is being set up. We are being made to think that evil despots are controlling the people against their will. Shades of Sadam Hossein! Will we have to recitfy this (even covertly)? Make no mistake, we have people in place over there, as we do in all countries of interest to us.

    Surely the educated are most interested in modernization and in getting out from under strict Islam. This would be most evident in Tehran, which is where they are heavily concentrated. That does not make them a majority. There is something else to consider besides religion. Iran has been continually manipulated by the West. Iran's rulers are resisting this and would have the support of those of like mind. No one knows that the true election results are, but I would not be surprised of Ahmadinejad would have won without all the nonsense.

    I am personally not in favor of oppressive religionists, but what the Iranians want is none of my business. If that means ayatollahs, so be it.

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  • 86. At 06:59am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    85, Ms. Marbles, according to this BBC article, people like Mousavi
    and Rafsanjani, are not exactly American "plants." They seem more like
    Iranian equivalents of Thomas Jefferson or John Adams.

    So, it's not like a whole lot would change if one of them took over
    the presidency. And, as you've pointed out, their president does not actually
    have that much power over there. It's not like he heads up a whole
    branch of government, as here.

    Have you heard from the Princess or your other Iranian contacts?

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  • 87. At 08:17am on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    86, guns.

    The princess is not someone I know personally. I know her as well as you do. It is understandable if she does not want to comment, or cannot, at this time. I enjoy her participation because she speaks with authority and I am no longer a lone voice. I am sorry to say that I have not been able to gain any solid information, possibly because of reluctance to use e-mail. But I have spoken to some people who know Iran well, who are leery about the situation and our place in it, as am I.

    I never said that Rafsanjani or Mousavi were American plants. It is my feelng, however, that unrest and discontent within Iran would not upset Washington and might well be encouraged. I think that Ahmadinejad is not a happy man right now. His concession for a recount (?) would indicate that. And he did not play his cards well before this. He should have given up blustering after he made his point. He did not know when to shut up. I remain convinced that Iranians don't want war with us. What they want is not to lose face. That is very important to them. And they don want to lose their sovereignty. Our invasion of Iraq has upset them badly.

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  • 88. At 08:53am on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    87, Ms. Marbles, at least we have something in common. Our invasion
    of Iraq has upset us very badly, too.

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  • 89. At 09:27am on 17 Jun 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    I think I have recognised the two golden rules of Western media when covering elections in foreign countries. First-an election result is only ilegitimate when the guy we do not like appears to be winning.
    Now, I am not saying that the Iranian election results might not be engineered after all, but why do we authomaticaly assume that Mosawi won? What proof do we have to show for our belief? Just the general not-being-very-nice-ness of the Iranian religious leaders? The fact that Mosawi has not expressed a wish to 'wipe Israel of the map'? Yet despite lack of any evidence at all the Western media has been flocking to show their 'rightful' indignation of Ahmadinejad's 'stolen victory'.

    Now compare that with the TV coverage of the opposition protests in Georgia (aimed against the US protege Saakashvili) and you will get to the second golden rule- Opposition protests are worthy of being aired on TV (or Justin Webb's blog) only if they are againts the leader not approved by the USA.

    If I were an Iranian and I was faced with those two golden rules of the Western media, I would have voted for Ahmadinejad just out of spite.

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  • 90. At 09:33am on 17 Jun 2009, john-In-Dublin wrote:

    # 72 Amused Sam

    "Marcus is funny. Having him around is like being Ted Kaczynski's brother. 'Mom, I screwed up. But I ain't Ted!'. 'OK son. That you ain't'."


    :-) [Not to mention LOL]

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  • 91. At 09:49am on 17 Jun 2009, TanSauNg wrote:

    Ref 72. SamTyler1969

    "Because the real danger in such opinions is if they grasp hold. The UK has a real problem right now with fat middle aged bald guys who underachieved claiming to be the master race under the guises of the BNP. By letting Marcus and his ilk speak out we get to see how ridiculous they are before they get organized and start some kind of loopy political party."

    You're quite right about the UK now having that problem. Which is a pity, given our long tradition of anti-fascism.

    But looking at the BNPs representatives on TV, I'm always forced to ask myself why it is that the defenders of the great white race, are always the worst examples of it?!?

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  • 92. At 09:52am on 17 Jun 2009, U14035837 wrote:

    Beardman Man Feast
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OueKZLVIExc&feature=PlayList&p=FAE4801EE658CF0B&index=21

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  • 93. At 10:04am on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #89 Isenhorn

    "but why do we authomaticaly assume that Mosawi won?"

    I don't think everyone, or even the majority, assumed Mousavi (I assume thats who you mean) would win necissarily. It's more the iregularities that seem to have cropped up that make us question whether the 60% + of the vote going to Ahmadinejad reflects the true vote.

    The fact that it was an 85% turnout and thus about 40 million votes were counted manually within 3 hours of the polls closing, strikes me as a little bit odd. The fact that the opposotion were not permitted to view this count take place when it is written in law that they are allowed, also strikes me as odd. Mousavi suffering a loss, as well as the other opposition leaders, in their "safe zones" also appears peculiar.

    No doubt Ahmadinejad has a large number of supporters, and I don't think anyone is massively surprised he won, but the manor in which he did is the real problem here.

    As for Georgia, I doubt it recieves the attention that Iran does because Georgia isn't funding Hamas or messing around with nuclear power. Your right though, there should be more coverage of it.

    But at the end of the day, if the Iranian election did not have these iregularities, and there weren't protests, I doubt it would have been on the radar so long. The sheer scale of the protests is why it's being reported, as well as the fact that the Iranian government is trying to restrict journalists. That could make them want to report it more, out of spite, as you say.

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  • 94. At 11:48am on 17 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 86, G&R

    Princess's absence doesn't surprise me. I lived under 2 dictatorships during my 30 year stay overseas and, I assure you, it is not wise to open your mouth and express criticism under any circumstances, but especially during civil unrest.

    In my opinion, the reformist movement in Iran, and Mousavi and Rafsanjani in particular, are trying to re-establish relations and trade with the West to solve the serious economic and social problems they are experiencing, but neither one is planning to undermine the Islamic Republic.

    It would not surprise me if Ahmadinejad did win the election, but there is no doubt in my mind that the results are bogus and intended to highlight a mandate to guarantee the retention of Islamic conservative policies.

    Regarding the invasion of Iraq, I consider the decision to launch an unprovoked attack against a developing nation that did nothing against us a national embarrassment, a violation of international laws, and an immoral act. I felt the same way about Grenada, Nicaragua, El Salvador and the Iran-Contra scandal.

    My concern at the moment, however, is focused almost strictly on domestic policies (healthcare reform, energy independence, education, budget deficits, failing institutions, the stock market, and debt at all levels.) I believe the latter is getting worse, not only because of the stimulus package, which may have been unavoidable given the circumstances, but because of the likely possibility that our foreign creditors may not be as willing to lend us money as freely as they have in the past. The same goes for foreign investment; the signs are still subtle but there seems to be more interest in investing in China, Brazil, South Korea and other nations than in the USA.

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  • 95. At 12:03pm on 17 Jun 2009, U14035837 wrote:

    Green Bay Incident otherwise known as the Green Bay Massacre
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi2lbH5tBLU

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  • 96. At 12:03pm on 17 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:


    Guns # 81 and Isenhorn # 89,
    You both choose to mention points and statements that invigorate a lot of discussion because of their understood chosen meaning or still contain a lot of much discussed ambiguity.
    When we follow the pronouncements of any world leader it is as much about what they did say as what they did not say, and with Iran's Amadinajad, we have the added complication of a true translation problem. The guy lacks clarity in much of what he says and I read the translation from the Persian text and his Heyati way of speaking complicates it even further.
    I am pleased with the expressions of the young Iranian people being made, feeling this is a statement they make that comes from the heart and not the usual sham, orchestrated demonstrations we have seen in the past. Whether there is an underlying external influence supporting the present loser [ CIA etc etc] that has organised their actions, I leave in your capable hands.
    I refuse to pre judge or even post judge much of what happens or happened in the past unless presented with concrete facts, and believe Isenhorn has the same doubts.For the sake of clarity I must state that I am not denying the "h" word and its happening and whether it be 10 people or 17 million, every single life that was lost was one life too many.
    Without wishing to trivialise the discussion I put it to you that possibly Atilla the Hun and his hordes that we are told came to rape and pillage, could themselves have been painted in a darker light than required. Perhaps they were on a par with the characters portrayed by John Travolta and friends in the movie "Wild Hogs". Simple day trippers that because of unforseen circumstances and minor complications everthing that could go wrong did. "Biased" historians explain it differently maybe, but then they have books to sell.
    I refused to pre judge Blago, and with lack of any further information am yet to hear further about any judgement that has been reached. [ I did read however that there is a musical comedy being written about him]- Fame in any political field generates money for all, both in and out of the game.
    Re Marcus, the guy is all heart, and it is in the right place in defending his country. Whether his thoughts are wrong or he suffers from a pure level headed brain that miscommunicates with his typing fingers, for me the jury is still out
    Perhaps a true assessment of any political leader can only be achieved when they have discarded the reins of power and microscopically examined in the true light of day.
    Swimming against the stream as usual?
    Respectfully waterman.

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  • 97. At 12:16pm on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #96

    "Re Marcus, the guy is all heart, and it is in the right place in defending his country"

    Hardly. He seems to enjoy being offensive to anyone that isn't American. He likes to "defend his country" from imaginary threats to satisify his own sadism. He likes to bash Europe alot, how is that defending his country?

    It(his "heart") certainly isn't in the right place, assuming it is not completely absent.

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  • 98. At 12:55pm on 17 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    SaintOne # 97
    There are many who feel their country threatened on the blog and Marcus- I believe [ though I know I can garuntee he will deny it] is one of them.
    He is an American Patriot - citizen or missile is in the eyes of the beholder.
    Whether you wish to build a shelter against his verbal weapons or view them as damp squibs is everyone's personal choice. Personally I enjoy fireworks and would find the world and this blog a lesser place without them.
    Gunpowder, a Chinese invention, was meant for celebrations until we westerners changed it's use. Nobel prizes for peace were originated by a munitions industrialist. Today we have the added concept of suffering "friendly fire"
    It's a funny world and I appreciate Marcus as one of the funny ones here. Again I leave you to your thoughts about the interpretation of "funny".

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  • 99. At 1:05pm on 17 Jun 2009, dekehoustie wrote:

    I am slightly confused about the statements being made about the time being taken to count the vote and whether it automatically means the election was fixed or just well organised.
    Firstly I am not sure what is being referred to. One poster said they found it odd that turnout was known within 2 hours of polls closing. In the UK, where there is also manual counting of most elections, turnout can be estimated pretty accurately by about lunchtime and within a percentage point by close of play.
    Secondly, I am not sure from the comments and some of the links whether the results or the projected results were announced within 2 or 3 hours.
    In the UK, once again with manual counting, the first parliamentary seats are announced within an hour and after 3 hours there would be a pretty good model of voting patterns and a fairly accurate prediction of number of seats for each party.
    Now I don't know the actual election day procedure that is used in Iran and, in particular the size of the polling disctricts or the how the count is organised so I would be interested to know whether anyone with knowledge of the practice on the ground whether it would be technically possible to have an authorative projected result within three hours.

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  • 100. At 1:33pm on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #98

    "It's a funny world and I appreciate Marcus as one of the funny ones here. Again I leave you to your thoughts about the interpretation of "funny"."

    It's all funny until it's someone that weilds some form of power. But as far as blogs go, I guess it's hilarious. I think I take it too seriously sometimes.

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  • 101. At 2:39pm on 17 Jun 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    SaintOne @93

    I understand that the Iranian opposition and everybody else feels that Mousavi should have received more than 30% of the votes and Ahmadinejad less than 60%. However, I wonder what would have happened if the votes were 49% for Mousavi and 51% for Ahmadinejad? Would the opposition leaders have felt even more aggrieved by such result? In my opinion-definitely. Such a close result would have made them even more convinced that the victory was stolen from them. Only Ahmadinejad's loss would have been believed by the supporters of Mousavi. So it seems that because of his bad reputaion the current president must loose, in order to placate his opponents (both in Iran and abroad).

    The questioning of the election results by the people is an encouraging sign that the power of the Ayatollahs is not limitless. However, it might be that Ahmadinejad indeed has more supporters. If that is the case then this is indeed an ominous sign for the Iran-USA relations.

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  • 102. At 2:40pm on 17 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    ref,62.Sqirrelist,

    You have been voted no,1 poet on this blog.
    The classics & a sense of the absurd, unbeatable.
    No prize unfortunately.But precedent & tradition dictate,you buy large amounts of beer for the runner up.
    May I, be the first to congratulate you,& look foward to my amber necter in due corse.
    Best wishes from LLanguid,the sleepy Welsh village

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  • 103. At 2:48pm on 17 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 98,Water man.

    The rustics & home spun
    once won our respect.
    Psuedo Romam stoics
    tend to lose that effect.

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  • 104. At 2:54pm on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #101

    Indeed. I guess any result with Mousavi losing would have resulted in his supporters calling shinanigans. The problem is that the election was not transparent enough and people really are sceptical as to whats been going on. I wonder, if there were no signs of possible rigging, perhaps things would have subsided by now.

    I think at the end of the day, there is a large group of middle-class, well-educated young people in Iran that want the freedom (more culturally and religously than in the true sense of the word) that is experienced in most western countries. They know they won't get that under Ahmadinejad, but more importantly, they know they won't get it under the supreme leader. I think that is another factor contributing to the problem here, anger at a flawed system.

    "The questioning of the election results by the people is an encouraging sign that the power of the Ayatollahs is not limitless. However, it might be that Ahmadinejad indeed has more supporters. If that is the case then this is indeed an ominous sign for the Iran-USA relations"

    I agree. I think it also shows some people, whom perhaps thought otherwise, that many people in Iran are intelligent, thoughtful people and that they share many things in common with westerners. I'm not saying that everyone that voted for Ahmadinejad is not those things, but that there are people angry with a regieme that would anger most of us.

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  • 105. At 2:56pm on 17 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    69. Marbles.

    Nah, if the CIA were involved the protests would be much clumsier. Ironically, the pro-Ahmadinejad protest rallies do appear to have that missing ham-handedness, though.

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  • 106. At 3:01pm on 17 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 68. MA2

    Come come now marky
    If its as you say.
    Youd have tired of this blog & long gone away.

    Thoes constant arrows
    give merryment & mirth.
    More bumkin than bodkin
    they hint at your girth.

    The thing with Europe
    if you want to play ball.
    Hall marks of a facist
    gets no points at all.

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  • 107. At 3:55pm on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    105, interested.
    "Nah, if the CIA were involved the protests would be much clumsier"

    True. People don't realize how inept they are.

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  • 108. At 3:59pm on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    ukeawilee;

    It seems to me many Brits as Justin Webb pointed out in one of his blog entries some time ago, have a reputation for being obsessed with consumption of alcohol in quantity, just as you've seen fit to demonstrate here. Does that reflect a preoccupation with their reputation for lack of prowess in matters of sex in both quantity and quality?

    BTW, your poetry still stinks. Try tapping your foot to the rhythm of a John Phillip Sousa March like "The Stars and Stripes Forever." Perhaps it will teach you how to count time. Or how much time you have left.

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  • 109. At 4:02pm on 17 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 101, Isenhorn

    "The questioning of the election results by the people is an encouraging sign that the power of the Ayatollahs is not limitless."

    I would not draw any conclusions without knowing how people outside Tehran feel about this issue. If the protests are limited to educated individuals in the capital city, but the rest of the country is behind Ahmadinejad and the Supreme Leader, the protesters are doomed.

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  • 110. At 4:13pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    94, St. D: I agree that the deficit situation looks dire. What really
    needs to change is that we Americans and the politicians we elect have
    to realize that an economy built on sand is going to turn into quicksand.

    But, we've been through this kind of thing before. We got out of it by
    a lot of hard work and by pulling together. It may take a while, but
    I'm quite positive that we'll do it again.

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  • 111. At 4:53pm on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #110

    "It may take a while, but I'm quite positive that we'll do it again."

    The recession or the boom? I expect both counts :P

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  • 112. At 4:58pm on 17 Jun 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    SaintDominick,

    Whether it is just the educated people in Tehran protesting or not, it still shoows that somebody is daring to oppose the mullahs. Could it be that at least some Iranians have had enough of Islamic rule? If I remeber correctly students had a prominent role to play during the Islamic revolution and they were the ones who attacked the US embassy. Now it seems that the same young people the ayatollahs were counting on the defend them have turned against them.

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  • 113. At 5:12pm on 17 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    100. At 1:33pm on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #98

    "It's a funny world and I appreciate Marcus as one of the funny ones here. Again I leave you to your thoughts about the interpretation of "funny"."

    It's all funny until it's someone that weilds some form of power. But as far as blogs go, I guess it's hilarious. I think I take it too seriously sometimes.


    --- Yeah, that would be North Korea, and laugh-a-minute Kim Jong-Il

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  • 114. At 5:32pm on 17 Jun 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 110 gunsandreligion

    Even here in the depressed economy of Mighigan (13% unemployment April 2009) there are signs that the plunge into the abyss is coming to an end. We can expect slightly higher unemployment rates as the Big Three sort themselves out of the rubble of their collapse. I look for it to cap at about 18%.

    That means that 82% are still working and spending.

    My concern is that when the health care industry bubble bursts it might trip us back into another tumble. The signs of a leak in the bubble are evident with the sudden drop in employment opportunities available in the industry. Also hearing of the quiet reductions in health care staff beginning to take place. (Brother, sister, and sister-in-law all work in the industry)

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  • 115. At 5:32pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    #111, I think that common sense will prevail. The Democrats will realize that
    we can't do everything in a recession, and the Republicans will realize that
    the current health care system isn't cost-effective, and that if it isn't reformed
    quickly, it will be replaced by a government-run system.

    A deep recession is in the cards, but somehow I doubt that we are headed
    for another depression, much as Paul Krugman wants to take us there.

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  • 116. At 5:50pm on 17 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 112, Isenhorn

    "Whether it is just the educated people in Tehran protesting or not, it still shoows that somebody is daring to oppose the mullahs."

    Relatively small numbers of people can, indeed, precipitate events leading to major changes, and that may turn out to be the case in Iran. The point I tried to make is that without the support of the masses, particularly those living in rural areas and small towns and cities, it will be difficult for a relatively small minority to influence major change in a country governed by a totalitarian regime.

    Students played a major role in the Islamic revolution, the hostage crisis, and the events that followed but I doubt the thugs we see on TV shooting at unarmed demonstrators are students or peaceful citizens longing for change; they are religious fanatics consumed by hatred, intolerance, and determined to maintain the status quo at all cost.

    Nevertheless, situations such as this often influence change and it would not be surprising if we see more freedom and a rapproachment with the West after the dust settles.

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  • 117. At 5:53pm on 17 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:


    " So it seems that because of his bad reputaion the current president must loose, in order to placate his opponents (both in Iran and abroad). "

    101

    I thought about this yesterday . Ahmadinnasbad would be best looking to the long term. There is no way by looking at the rallies that he will be able to hold power for long or in a manner that would have credibility but he could get a recount and announce that He did loose.
    In doing so he would show America up and gain that moral high ground he seeks.

    Putting him in a great position later if things change.

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  • 118. At 5:57pm on 17 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:



    99 On counting. remember many posters here live in the states (USA states). So they have no concept of results being read fairly and in a timely manner.

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  • 119. At 6:03pm on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    112, Isenhorn.
    "If I remeber correctly students had a prominent role to play during the Islamic revolution and they were the ones who attacked the US embassy. Now it seems that the same young people the ayatollahs were counting on the defend them have turned against them."

    Students may protest, but the real force lies elsewhere. The protest in 1979 was orchestrated by disciplined cadres. I saw them. They were not kids.

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  • 120. At 6:12pm on 17 Jun 2009, Quillan wrote:

    First, I wholly support the Iranians right to demonstrate non-violently. Second, if the American government was truly principle-driven oppose to policy-driven, it would openly support (in words only) the Iranians move to a more democratic direction. However, the presidents dilemma suggested by Mr. Webb is evidence that (once again) the U.S. is in fact policy-driven, that is, a policy of interventionism serving American interests. It is for this reason the United States at times finds itself supporting a foreign leader one day, taking him down the next.

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  • 121. At 6:12pm on 17 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    By letting Marcus and his ilk speak out we get to see how ridiculous they are before they get organized and start some kind of loopy political party.


    Sort of true but then they just learn to counter the arguments(takes em time) and come back with convoluted answers.
    Plus when it coems down to it . plenty have agreed and defended him because they do take it in and believe him.

    Hitler sounds like a freak to us, now. Some believed.

    Some believe MATT now.

    they are the sorts that do hide going" they ridicule us but we will show them". They get more angry and in some cases go to postal.

    While their arguments are not being listened to no one is ridiculing them so they feel ignored or un noticed.
    But when all ridicule them they get real defensive.

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  • 122. At 6:13pm on 17 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    As has been seen in the posts here in the past.

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  • 123. At 6:17pm on 17 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    The bigger the PA system the more hear. some will hear what the haters want and they will join. but if they never heard it? they would hate without aim.

    easier to deal with.

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  • 124. At 6:21pm on 17 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #113

    Then I highly recommend searching on google "6 reasons why North Korea is the most hilarious dictatorship ever". Funny stuff :)


    #117

    Wishful thinking. He would never let a recount go against him, as it would show that he cheated in the first place and he would loose all credibility. At best, there will be a recount and it will narrow the margin. Actually, at best this will lead to the removal of the supreme leader, but that's even more wishful thinking.

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  • 125. At 6:24pm on 17 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Considering that this is a British blog on a British site with a British server, Marcus, Sam and all other pseudonymous contributors may care to read this report and ponder the judgement therein. Someone may be able to reveal the identity of certain posters with impunity.

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  • 126. At 6:57pm on 17 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    QuillanStone (#120) " ... if the American government was truly principle-driven oppose to policy-driven, ... "

    This is meaningless rhetoric. Of course the statements and actions of the American government (and others) are based on policy, carefully (one hopes) thought out in advance. The policy, in turn, develops out of principles. The difficulty is that there are competing principles in play in any real situation, and the situation changes over time.

    I am satisfied that the policies of the current American administration are based on good principles and are sound.

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  • 127. At 7:02pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    125, DC, this just shows that our forms of government are not that different from
    the Iranian system after all.

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  • 128. At 7:07pm on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    125, David.

    I don't think I want to know who Marcus and his alteregos are.

    Altogether, though, I think it was a bad ruling because it serves to surpress criticism.

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  • 129. At 7:26pm on 17 Jun 2009, TiredOfHotAir wrote:

    The U.S. (along with the U.K.) has a history of interference in Iran's affairs. The "worst possible outcome" regarding Iran's voting would be for the U.S. to interfere again, which would solidify the regime's grip on power by providing it with the opportunity to blame the U.S. for the current anti-government protests, in part by invoking the threat of Western imperialism. In turn the regime could then further justify a forceful crackdown on dissent.

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  • 130. At 7:36pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    And now there is this interesting report - could this be a window
    into the internal Iranian political structure?

    As far as the right to privacy thing goes, I'm sure that if one of us
    posted something which was politically significant on this blog, Justin
    would be more than willing to spend a little time in jail to protect
    his "source." Well, maybe.

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  • 131. At 7:59pm on 17 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #128. allmymarbles: "I don't think I want to know who Marcus and his alteregos are."

    But wouldn't it be delicious to know what circumstances drive him and his reactionary views? I think everyone likes to read a little bit of dirt - the (US) tabloids wouldn't be in business otherwise, not to mention British publications like The News of the World which was (is?) renowned for it's revelations of corrupt politicians and naughty ministers-of-the-cloth. All in the name of "the public interest"! Corrupt politicians may be fair game, but a minister's dalliance with a member of his congregation only appeals to prurient curiosity. Nevertheless, a great number of people are interested, rather like the spectacle of a bad accident; somehow we can't ignore it.

    "I think it was a bad ruling because it serves to surpress criticism."

    Almost all the responses agree with you and, in my opinion, bloggers do have an expectation of privacy or they wouldn't use screen names in the first place. Whether the judgement will be appealed I don't know, but the forces of the Press (in this case, Murdoch-owned) and the government are very strong and almost impossible to beat.

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  • 132. At 8:10pm on 17 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 108.MA2.
    "Does that reflect a preoccupation with thier reputation for their lack of prowess in matters of sex in both quantity and quality"
    LOL.

    I say Sparticus,some what below the belt & rich coming from you,what!.

    For the record,in matters of drink & any thing else that matters.
    Mines a large one !!!...

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  • 133. At 8:15pm on 17 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    David_Cunard (#131) "Almost all the responses agree with you ... "

    I don't. I think it was a correct ruling.

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  • 134. At 8:25pm on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    That's what I love about you Europeons, you are so consistent and predictable. You swear you are for freedom of speech...until it someone something you don't want to hear. Tyrannical despotic little minds, one and all. What a miserable horrible place Europe seemed when I lived there. Now it looks to be even worse. Small wonder my grandparents left forever along with many tens of millions of other people who couldn't stand it either. But don't fear, you will have plent of replacements coming in. From places where things are even worse like Pakistan, Africa, Afghanistan, Iraq, just to name a few.

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  • 135. At 8:36pm on 17 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    David_Cunard (#131) "But wouldn't it be delicious to know what circumstances drive him and his reactionary views?"

    I'm guessing it would be a big letdown. My guess is that he is a rather ordinary misanthrope who, lacking any joy in his pathetic life, takes some pleasure in being annoying, and often outrageous, under the cover of a fictitious screen name. He did, after all, admit that he attempts to be as offensive as possible without being banned or having his posts suppressed. It's just a puerile game, I think.

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  • 136. At 8:56pm on 17 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 108.MarcusAurelius,

    "or how mutch time you have left"

    By the way marky was your last line in 108 a veiled threat,care to elaborate?.

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  • 137. At 9:15pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    125. At 6:24pm on 17 Jun 2009, David_Cunard

    It's a rather confusing judgement, which id no real surprise. It appears to rely on the idea that the blogger was (and he was, I've read that blog) commenting directly on matters related to his work and job and that is one of a public servant, and there have been one or two other judgements of late removing any assumed right of whistleblowers to anonymity.

    I don't like the way this is developing, I must say. But it's symptomatic of nearly every government we have had in the last fifty years: they get to hate criticism, want to find out who is criticising, so they can slag them off and crap all over their careers and rubbish them.

    We're not alone: Valerie whatsername, for instance in another country . . .

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  • 138. At 9:17pm on 17 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    135, Gary -

    In our village are a couple of people whose lives are apparently so lacking in any kind of power or control over anything that they will actually wait at a crosswalk until a car comes along so they can make it stop while they cross (and cars do stop for people in crosswalks here). I wonder if the person you and David are discussing is like that. Living only to annoy. Sad. (And if he says anything nasty about me now I won't know because I don't read his posts anymore, so he needn't bother.)

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  • 139. At 9:18pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    102. At 2:40pm on 17 Jun 2009, ukwales wrote:

    ref,62.Sqirrelist,

    Oi, no. You're the winner. You buy the beer. (But I'll go halves on a butt of malmsey to drown Marco in if you like. Anybody else want to contribute? I've got Paypal . . .)

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  • 140. At 9:35pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    96. At 12:03pm on 17 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    "Re Marcus, the guy is all heart, and it is in the right place"

    He's liverish and full of bile,
    And (a truly dreadful plight)
    His heart is on the right,
    Not where it is supposed to be at all.
    Which is why he only teases
    (Pronounce it in American if you pleases)
    With a load of offal waffle.

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  • 141. At 9:41pm on 17 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    squirrelist (#137) "We're not alone: Valerie whatsername, for instance in another country."

    There is no comparison to Valerie Plame, I think. In her case, the issue for the court (in her lawsuit against Cheney et. al.) was not her expectation of privacy, but the immunity of public officials when acting in their official capacity. It is difficult, in the US at least, to sue a public official.

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  • 142. At 9:43pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    136. At 8:56pm on 17 Jun 2009, ukwales wrote:

    Ref 108.MarcusAurelius,

    By the way marky was your last line in 108 a veiled threat,care to elaborate?


    Looks like it. But he gets away with it all the time. Anyway, I don't believe John Philip Souza knew anything about poetry. I thought he spent all his time on the phone?

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  • 143. At 9:51pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    squirrel, ukwales, since I am somewhere way down the list,
    may I remind you that the general public is invited to sample
    all beverages and render their opinions upon their salubriousness
    before they are to be used for celebratory events?

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  • 144. At 10:02pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    136. At 8:56pm on 17 Jun 2009, ukwales wrote


    Ref 108.MarcusAurelius

    Since in verse he can't reply,
    Maybe he'll crawl away and die?

    Time, gentlemen please. (Bet the mods suddenly make pomes against the House Rules soon!)

    (If I'd known this might end up with paying for the beer, I'd never have joined in. But specially for Marcus Abstemious, who appears to be mildly obsessed with a little problem:

    However much I drink
    And however great the aggra
    (I can see a Welshman wink)
    I never need Viagra.


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  • 145. At 10:13pm on 17 Jun 2009, mary gravitt wrote:

    Apparently, Justin, you did not listen to or read the text of President Obama's Cairo Speech. He confessed that US would not interfere in the internal politcal affairs of government in the Muslim World.

    "In 1953 Iranian coup d'etat was organized by the United States' CIA and the United Kingdom's MI6, two spy agencies that aided royalists and mutinous Iranian army officers." Kermit Roosevelt, Jr and Alan Dallus brought in bags of cash to bribe mobs to riot in the street against the rule of democratically-elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq.

    As a result with the setting up of the Satrap of the Shah, the UK was double-crossed by the US by US oil companies replace British Petrolem. All the was done to prevent Mosaddeq from opening up the books and giving the Iranians their fair share of oil profits.

    Can a leopard change its spots; can a Cushite change his/her skin? Bleaching cream will work, but some body parts cannot be bleached. Although I did see some under-arm bleaching cream in a pharmacy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I guessed Brown is not beautiful there.

    Obama is doing the right thing. He knows what happened in 2000 and 2004 in the United States. If the people had rioted like they are doing in Iran, perhaps we would have spared the world at least one War of Choice and possible saved three thousand Coalition lives and over one million Iraqi lives. We let the Devil rule for 8 years, so now let the Iranians have their Satan for 8.

    Tell the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), the Mossad, and the CIA to go/come home and wait until another day.

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  • 146. At 10:22pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    143. At 9:51pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    "squirrel, ukwales, since I am somewhere way down the list,
    may I remind you that the general public is invited to sample
    all beverages and render their opinions upon their salubriousness
    before they are to be used for celebratory events?"


    Well, you'll have to wait until one of us gets the Laureateship. Do you realise what the price of beer in London is?!!!! The only payment used to be a hogshead of beer a year, I think. (Hope it still is, that's all I'm in it for.) But if UKW gets it, I'm sure he'll crack open the barrel for all of us. With one exception, of course.)

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  • 147. At 11:15pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    146, squirrel,

    "The only payment used to be a hogshead of beer a year"

    Pity. But the true glory is eternal, and, besides, this shows the relative
    valuation in your society of the value of poets and brewmasters, or that
    in the presence of good spirits, all poetry sounds better.

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  • 148. At 11:33pm on 17 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #134.MarcusAureliusII: "That's what I love about you Europeons, you are so consistent and predictable. You swear you are for freedom of speech...until it someone something you don't want to hear."

    So, put your money where your mouth is and tell us who you are and what drives you, that is assuming you're an individual and not a group of neo-cons masquerading as one. If you don't like the judgement, why are you hiding behind a pseudonym? 'Fessing up would show us how much you truly value value freedom of speech.

    #135. Gary_A_Hill: "I'm guessing it would be a big letdown. My guess is that he is a rather ordinary misanthrope who, lacking any joy in his pathetic life, takes some pleasure in being annoying, and often outrageous, under the cover of a fictitious screen name."

    If he follows my suggestion (above) then he might prove us all wrong. But I'm not holding my breath!

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  • 149. At 11:47pm on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    135, Gary.
    "I'm guessing it would be a big letdown. My guess is that he is a rather ordinary misanthrope who, lacking any joy in his pathetic life, takes some pleasure in being annoying, and often outrageous, under the cover of a fictitious screen name."

    Yes, a pathetic little man, probably envious of others.

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  • 150. At 11:53pm on 17 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 151. At 11:53pm on 17 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    145, Mary.
    "Apparently, Justin, you did not listen to or read the text of President Obama's Cairo Speech. He confessed that US would not interfere in the internal politcal affairs of government in the Muslim World."

    I would like very much to believe this, but I wait for proof.

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  • 152. At 11:59pm on 17 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    147. At 11:15pm on 17 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    But the true glory is eternal, and, besides, this shows the relative
    valuation in your society of the value of poets and brewmasters, or that
    in the presence of good spirits, all poetry sounds better.


    Not sure about that.


    I never could stand Ezra Pound,
    No matter how much alcohol I'd downed.
    But, I've lately found,
    Old Frank Zappa
    Goes down well
    With a glass of Grappa.*

    Anyway, before I get chucked out for this sort of thing, I don't see much point in speculating about Iran. We'll know in a week or two whether it's going to end in a Berlin Wall or a Tianenmen Square. Just as long as there isn't a Shah-in-waiting about to fly in from Monaco in a chartered Jumbo. That'd be the worst possible outcome. Unless it was Paul Bremer.

    (*The right of Squirrel to the authorship of the above works has been asserted by him/her/it very loudly at Gospel Oak. Address for royalty payments on request.)

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  • 153. At 00:03am on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    149, allmymarbles.
    "Yes, a pathetic little man, probably envious of others."

    Let me amend that. A pathetic little man, envious of US. We are the ones that obsess him.

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  • 154. At 00:55am on 18 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    135/148/149 et seq.

    Who cares?

    He's gone away to try to write a rhyme
    He can march in step to in 6/8 time.

    (It's going to take a bit of thinking, that.)

    (btw, post 108. . . the rhymes. . .of the Stars and Stripes lyrics . . ..a kind of cat-and-doggerel fight if you ask
    me.)

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  • 155. At 01:41am on 18 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    96 Waterman: "Re Marcus, the guy is all heart, ..."

    Reminds you of "Planet of the Apes", really -

    "You bloody baboon, you've cut out his brain"

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  • 156. At 02:57am on 18 Jun 2009, Orville Eastland wrote:

    #21
    I'm not sure how Iranians vote. They may drop their personal ballot into a specific box, or they may only deal with one election. I think that Iran, like the UK and Canada (normally) has only one election for one specific office at a time. This does save the trouble of counting votes for multiple elections like we do here. In the UK and Canada, votes do get counted more quickly than the USA...

    #39
    Perhaps the US is already attempting to incite a revolution in Iran. Iran has had a rash of bombings in recent months. Further, it's interseting how many of the protest signs are written in English....

    #47
    Unfortunately, A. The US is unwilling to offend Turkey- note how Obama quickly broke his pledge to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. (And note the silence from most Republicans on this...) and B. While we do owe the Kurds after abandoning them under Bush I and Clinton, it would very likely push the rest of Iraq closer to Iran...and into a war with Kurdistan over Kirkuk.

    #52
    The aftermath of the Iraq war has angered numerous Iraqis and other people in the Mideast. Further, most observers viewed Iraq as only a threat to its own people back before the Iraq War, thanks to the Bush/Clinton/Major/Blair sanctions.

    #68
    First off, much of Europe's governments DID support the war. (UK, Spain, Italy, Poland and others.) True, the people did not back it, and true, the US did most of the dirty work (a reversal from the last two World Wars), but that criticism is moot. Second, would you guarantee said rights to those who oppose the current Iraqi government? Or the current (or previous) government in the USA?

    #69
    America may not have been fully supportive of the Shah, but we did not provide any support to the Ayatollah before he helped take power. (Unless you count that Iranian EDS employee urging a mob to take Gasr prison...)

    #89
    Thanks for bringing up the protests in Georgia, which have been going on for MONTHS. (You cann't blame them on Russia- the protesters' views of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are the same as Saakashvili's.) Of course, even with the lack of media attention, one wonders where the people on the Internet are protesting the crackdown on the protestors in Georgia.

    In regards to nuclear weapons, both Ayatollahs Khameni and Khomeni issued fatwas against nuclear weapons and nuclear power, respectively. (However, the Shah did try to seek nuclear power plants, which inspired US pressure groups to run ads backing the Shah (or, at least nuclear energy).)

    http://www.globalnerdy.com/2008/08/22/even-the-shah-of-iran-has-done-a-celebrity-tech-endorsement/

    (The aforementioned ad is available in several places. I chose this one because, if you click on a link mentioned at the top, you get some funny computer ads starring John Cleese and Tom baker, among others...)

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  • 157. At 03:09am on 18 Jun 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    Marbles"145, Mary.
    "Apparently, Justin, you did not listen to or read the text of President Obama's Cairo Speech. He confessed that US would not interfere in the internal politcal affairs of government in the Muslim World."

    I would like very much to believe this, but I wait for proof."


    Lets just wait for the next 9/11 then we can blame the republican after Obama's term.

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  • 158. At 06:53am on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    156, Orville.
    "America may not have been fully supportive of the Shah,"

    Not fully supportive? We brought him down. He was getting a little restive under American control.

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  • 159. At 07:02am on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    157, tough.
    "Lets just wait for the next 9/11 then we can blame the republican after Obama's term.

    What a ridiculous non sequitor. What the devil does Iran have to do with the Al Qaida on 9/11? Maybe you are not aware that there are many countries in the Middle East and that not all of them are Arab.

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  • 160. At 07:10am on 18 Jun 2009, Iron_Man_Engineer wrote:

    #157
    I live in the USA too so I've been living in the same newsfeeds and similar influential spheres. We have every right to be outraged at the flagrant election fraud that occurred in Iran (and yes there was election fraud to all those that would like to stick their heads in the sand about it and ignore all the evidence). If the situation were different, ie there weren't active protests occurring, I would sound my voice for every means to be brought forth to compel Iran's government to honor its own people. However, this is not the case. Just as every situation is unique, every political minefield must be tread differently. As it is, there is a popularist rebellion occurring against an entrenched hardline government that has based itself in no small part upon battling the Great Satan. Thus, for this rebellion to the win the hearts of the Iranian society, the US must remain silenced. Any action or statement that can later be used in a campaign by the hardliners to portray this rebellion as just an exertion of the US's political sphere of influence and inherently evil must be averted to give greater merit to this popularist movement and any future movements that have yet to come forth.
    Honestly, I believe this rebellion has no chance of succeeding. Against an entrenched government with the backing of a hardline religious institution and an army of religious fanatics, there is no chance for a movement no bearing the support of the religious clerics to succeed. The best that can be hoped for is that this movement will bear fruit in future ideologies and resulting popularist movements. If the rebellion fails, then the time for political speeches and UN sanctions (if they ever gather enough fortitude to do so) to occur. As a proponent of free speech and even freer populaces, I can only hope that the US goverment does what is best for the Iranian people and keeps its trap shut for the time being.

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  • 161. At 09:53am on 18 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    "I can only hope that the US goverment does what is best for the Iranian people and keeps its trap shut for the time being."

    I think your right, and I think it's how Obama sees it too. But no doubt they will blame foreign media (as they are doing now), and tie that to the government. They also requested to speak to the Swiss diplomat that represents the US's interests in Iran, and told him to tell America to stop medling, which I don't see any real evidence of occuring.

    Eventually, when the dust settles, the Iranian government will place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the West, and the majority of Iranians will fall for that lie, because they have grown up being force fed that America and the West are evil. Those that are protesting know otherwise, but I'm not sure if that is enough.

    I sincerely doubt (but hope) that the surpeme leader and the current governing system will change significantly due to these events, and the deaths, beatings and opression will be excused as something instigated by America.

    I think we all just have to wait patiently, be quiet and don't interfere like you suggest, and hope (or pray, if thats your thing), that something good for the Iranians, and the rest of the world, comes out of this.

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  • 162. At 10:06am on 18 Jun 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #160 Iron_Man_Engineer,

    May I refer you to my post #89 where I discussed the two golden rules of Western media for dealing with elections in foreign countries? It is really relevant to your post about the Iranian election fraud and 'all the evidence' for it, brought forward by the 'newsfeeds and similar influential spheres'.

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  • 163. At 10:50am on 18 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #161

    You are wrong, Obama shold use his populairity to denounce the fraud. Let him use his political capitol.

    I am under no illusion that this so called reformer will make Iran a democracy but anything that can weaken Akmadejiad and the mullah dictators is a good thing.

    Obama needs to show the moral courage to step up.

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  • 164. At 10:57am on 18 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #162

    I think you may be overally cynical regarding western media, although I agree there should have been more coverage in Georgia. But at the end of the day, I think people in the west care more about what happens in Iran than in Georgia because of they percieve Iran as a threat (whether that is right or not is another argument entirely). So Western media will report on that more than Georgia.

    Regardless, whether you think the election was rigged or not, it is clear that may Iranian people are unhappy with the way their country is being run, and the perhaps more importantly the way the government is set-up. This is what matters in the long-term.



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  • 165. At 11:18am on 18 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #163

    No, he shouldn't. If he is already popular with certain people in Iran, then he has no reason to say anything. If he does denounce it as fraud (with no concrete evidence), then Ahmidenijad and his hardliners will just use that as implication America is trying to destabilize Iran. Those that he is popular with already suspect this and don't need Obama to step up and do anything, they are doing so quite capably on their own.

    All it would do is give ammunition to Ahmidenijad and his followers, because they aren't going to change their mind if Obama comes out and says something.

    What would you really expect to happen if Obama said that it was a rigged election? Ahmidenijad will go "o sorry, you got me, here let me step down"? That his supporters will suddenly realize he is leading them into economic and politcal turmoil? If they need someone to tell them that then they must be living under a rock (and probably wouldn't be able to get hold of anything Obama said anyway). It would only fuel the fire that America is trying to "corrupt" Iran.

    Obama is being patient, and knows that if he did say anything it wouldn't make the situation more favourable. Regardless, he also knows that even if Mousavi was president, not much would change relations wise.

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  • 166. At 11:19am on 18 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    161. St.1;

    "But no doubt they will blame foreign media (as they are doing now), and tie that to the government."

    It is already happening. On the news this morning the BBC was singled out as one of the culprits orchestrating the overthrow of the Iranian government.

    Justin, that arch counter-revolutionary, is revealed for what he is.

    Wow.

    That's us. Enemies of the state.
    The true scourge of despots far away.
    Never knew we had that power.
    Suddenly feel tingly all over.
    Like a pillar of testosterone.

    Will that ever come as a surprise to the wife.

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  • 167. At 11:25am on 18 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Squirrelist,

    Blooming heck,I think he has taken to the hills for a while.Was it the thought of all that malmsey or a poem too far?.May be a vat of vinegar would have been less threating,as its his natural habitat.
    I am still up for that half a firkin of malmsey,so long as we share with all others on this blog.If he behaves,Calgula might be granted a noggin.
    Might be that & a larger pair of boots will make him more human,but some how I doubt it..
    Ps, My amber has not arrived yet!.

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  • 168. At 11:59am on 18 Jun 2009, Iapetus wrote:

    Re: 134.

    That's what I love about you Marcus, you are so consistent and predictable.

    A judge in the UK makes a controversial ruling, and you take that as representative of all Europeans, despite the fact almost every comment on that site was critical of that ruling.

    But then I forget - while it is impossible to understand America unless you were born there, if you lived in France for a couple of years in the 70s then you will know all there is to know about the whole of Europe.

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  • 169. At 1:41pm on 18 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #163

    Obama is subscribing to the chamberlken/Carter policy of weakness and appeasment.

    The mullahs have to be confronted because they have no respect for human Rights.

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  • 170. At 2:24pm on 18 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 169, Magic

    "The mullahs have to be confronted because they have no respect for human Rights."

    Are you suggesting a Bush-style unprovoked attack and occupation? While we are at it, should we do the same in North Korea, which is a much more dangerous foe? When you answer, would you mind letting us know if you are planning to volunteer for those crusades, or are you just sending your children?

    Attacking and destroying developing nations is easy, what is not easy is finding a way to reach out and make them see the light.

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  • 171. At 3:28pm on 18 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    SD

    "Are you suggesting a Bush-style unprovoked attack and occupation?"

    It doesn't seem unprovoked to me. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who reflects Iran's Surpreme Leader's policies said he wants to bring about a world without the great Satan America. His government seems to many observers determined to build nuclear weapons and ICBMs to deliver them. He also has at his command a vast network of terrorists in Hezbollah and Hamas that can also deliver nuclear weapons. I don't think the kind of warnings Bush gave Iraq are appropriate. I think the attack should be sudden, massive, and very well coordinated. It should come as an utter surprise taking down the entire capability of Iran to retaliate in one swift blow. As for occupation, that is a secondary question to be addressed assuming there is anything left of the country to rebuild.

    "While we are at it, should we do the same in North Korea, which is a much more dangerous foe?"

    Absolutely and it should come at exactly the same time in the same way so that neither country has time to become alerted from the attack on the other, whichever one would be struck first. This is the only method I can see that might reduce the possibility of grave risk to the US. It is long overdue, decades overdue. When it happens, the US should go on full worldwide alert both around the world and at home on the possibility that terrorists have been planning for this contingency and are prepared to strike back. Each day this problem is allowed to fester, the threat to the United States and the possible consequences of delaying action further only becomes more dire. Presidents Bush and Obama have forgotten the lessons of WWII. (Europe never learned them but then that's no surprise, they never learned any of the lessons of history. Just look at the mess it is in.)

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  • 172. At 3:59pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    145 marygrav
    "Obama is doing the right thing. He knows what happened in 2000 and 2004 in the United States. If the people had rioted like they are doing in Iran, perhaps we would have spared the world at least one War of Choice and possible saved three thousand Coalition lives and over one million Iraqi lives. We let the Devil rule for 8 years, so now let the Iranians have their Satan for 8.

    Tell the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK), the Mossad, and the CIA to go/come home and wait until another day."

    Well said Mary.
    Love your post as usual.


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  • 173. At 4:05pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    MA
    " he wants to bring about a world without the great Satan America."



    Cool! Good luck to him.
    Now, a non satanic America would be acceptable I think.


    I see you treatment is not working. Sorry to hear that. It must be very hard for you.
    AA is fine for those that believe in a higher power.

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  • 174. At 4:05pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 175. At 4:08pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 176. At 4:14pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    171. At 3:28pm on 18 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    SD

    "Are you suggesting a Bush-style unprovoked attack and occupation?"

    It doesn't seem unprovoked to me. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who reflects Iran's Surpreme Leader's policies said he wants to bring about a world without the great Satan America. His government seems to many observers determined to build nuclear weapons and ICBMs to deliver them. He also has at his command a vast network of terrorists in Hezbollah and Hamas that can also deliver nuclear weapons. I don't think the kind of warnings Bush gave Iraq are appropriate. I think the attack should be sudden, massive, and very well coordinated. It should come as an utter surprise taking down the entire capability of Iran to retaliate in one swift blow. As for occupation, that is a secondary question to be addressed assuming there is anything left of the country to rebuild. "



    Are you proposing to risk your own life or only that of your fellow countrymen?

    How brave to sit in an armchair while others die or are mutilated.

    Like the delicately suited neocons Pearl, Wolfy, Cheyney all pro war as long as their valuable skins were well away from it.

    As OW said, "nothing exceeds the courage by which you are reasdy to expose others to danger."



    "Absolutely and it should come at exactly the same time in the same way so that neither country has time to become alerted from the attack on the other, whichever one would be struck first. This is the only method I can see that might reduce the possibility of grave risk to the US. It is long overdue, decades overdue."

    Yes well when the US is able to launch such an expedition without falling over its own shoes, blaundering around missing targets, killing its own side and ending up getting chewed up before howling and running away, do let us know.

    Apart from Grenada it is difficult to remember when the US military last won any war decisively in the last fifty years(Lebanon, no, Somalia, no, First Gulf war, no, Afghanistan, no, Drug barons, no)

    It usually starts off merrily enough but as soon as the wounds come in the howling begins and it finally realises what a mess it is in.

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  • 177. At 4:14pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    166 Which is why the diplomatic thing would have been to stand back from the reacionary reporting and let events happen. with less opinion pieces. Like this blog on a site about the AMERICAS on the BBC.

    Not the middle east blog The" AMERICAS"

    Last I looked it was like allowing Israel into the EUROvision song contest.

    Indians at the border.?. "shut up we heard about you before once we want the other side of the world."



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  • 178. At 4:17pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 179. At 4:25pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    173. At 4:05pm on 18 Jun 2009, 14allandall41 wrote:
    MA
    " he wants to bring about a world without the great Satan America."



    Cool! Good luck to him.
    Now, a non satanic America would be acceptable I think.


    I see you treatment is not working. Sorry to hear that. It must be very hard for you.
    AA is fine for those that believe in a higher power."

    True but first you have to be sober enough to find the meetings and MA is "tired and emotional" quite often

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  • 180. At 4:29pm on 18 Jun 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Marcus.

    Excuse me? Europe in a mess? Attacks on Iran and North Korea? What a couple of days in between or both at once? My question is,can you afford it,now your going bust?


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  • 181. At 4:30pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    175 wow making broad sweeping racist comments about rabbis catholic priests and american christians is not allowed but gherky can make statements about mullahs?

    seems a little bias to me . but then maybe I just used some stronger examples;).

    (maybe I should not have said christians in the USA eat infants.)
    I'll try to repost till I can figure out which comment was the offensive one.

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  • 182. At 4:36pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    oh on "mullah dictatorS"


    IF you talked about contradictory jobs.;)

    Here's a whole bunch.

    Time for the gherkin to go back to the dictionary.

    Go on dear sweet pickle, you can do it.
    No spelling mistake And I'm not so droll as to troll that pool but there seems to be something, not quite right with this regular phrase and finally I do have to point it out . Just in case,because I know learning can be challenging to .

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  • 183. At 4:38pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    Come now Simon we already know he can't fight ever since his gout played up . When He was 12.

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  • 184. At 4:40pm on 18 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #170

    Did I say invade? But there is no reason we can give support to the people fighting an illegal regime.

    Iran inteferes more than the U.S in other countries affairs than the U.S does.

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  • 185. At 4:41pm on 18 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    spooky eh!

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  • 186. At 4:44pm on 18 Jun 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #171
    Marcus,

    From your post it appears that the USA is actually scared of Iran and North Korea. The USA, which was not scared of the thousands of nuclear missiles of the USSR is now scared by the 'grave threat' of North Korea, armed with 1 (ONE!) nuclear bomb? The USA which stood up to Imperial Japan while attacked unprepared is now scared by Iran, a country which is 60 years behind in turms of military technologies?
    Come on, Marcus, you can do better than that! You should 'get some nuts' and stop making scarecrows to frighten yourself! You should remember that when the Americans start running scared from the sight of their own President's Air Force One plane flying low above Manhattan, than the terrorists you are talking about so much have already won a major victory.

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  • 187. At 5:17pm on 18 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Ih

    The US is scared of North Korea and of Iran just as it was scared of Iraq. It was very scared of the USSR. Even during the Cuban Missile crisis when the truth was that the US was far more powerful than the Soviets were the US was very frightened. And all with good reason. While Europeans are indifferent to what would happen to the US if it were attacked, we are not and the loss of any city or population center say on the West Coast such as San Francisco, San Jose, or even Anchorage Alaska would have reprecussions for the US and the world that few seem to contemplate. Take my word for it, such an event would be very bad news not only for America but the entire world. It would never be the same. There is no telling what the limit of American rage would be or what element of restraint would exist in the reaction to it. But if the aftermath of 9-11 is any judge, not much. It was all the Bush Administration could do to keep the majority of Americans from an internal armed uprising against anyone even suspected of being Islamic.

    It is not stupid or cowardly to be scared of threats and react to them. It is stupid not to. That's the lesson of Neville Chamberlain that America appears to have forgotten and Europe never learned.

    Don't think you're safe just because you are in the UK or somewhere else. The same people have you on their target list as well wherever you are, just a little further down in their priorities.

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  • 188. At 5:27pm on 18 Jun 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    Who rules America?

    The human and social costs(of the wars)are dramatic not only for the Iraqi,Afghan,and Pakistani populations ravaged by American bombs.Dahr Jamail reports US army psychiatrists have concluded that by their third deployment 30% of American troops are mental wrecks.Amongst the costs that reverberate across generations of Americans are elevated rates of suicide,unemployment,divorce,child and spouse abuse,drug and alcohol addiction,homelessness and incarceration.
    Why is the US making itself impotent by fighting wars that have nothing whatsoever to do with its security,wars that are, in fact,threatening its security? The answer is that the military/security lobby,the financial gangsters,and the AIPAC rule.The American people be damned.

    From an article by Paul Craig Roberts.Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under the Reagan Admin.Associate editor of the Wall Street Journal.Senior research Fellow, Hoover Institution,Stanford University.

    Well,I never!

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  • 189. At 5:29pm on 18 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 171, Marcus

    "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who reflects Iran's Surpreme Leader's policies said he wants to bring about a world without the great Satan America."

    If expressing criticism of US foreign policy and wishing the US government would take a more conciliatory and respectful approach in its relations with other nations becomes a justification to invade other nations we might as well get ready to attack and occupy every nation on plant Earth.

    Neither Ahmadinejad, nor Khameni, or Kim Jong Il have ever suggested plans to attack or destroy the USA. We, on the other hand, have troops in over 140 nations, have fought wars - many unprovoked - in at least a dozen countries, have used nuclear weapons, and remind our opponents that the use of such weapons is not off the table.

    Making childish threats, interferring in the internal affairs of other nations, invading other countries, imposing regimes and values on other people that are inconsistent with their aspirations and preferences, and demonizing anyone who does not support our adventurism and national interests is nothing less than overt imperialism.

    Our foreign policy throughout the last two centuries has been inconsistent with what our founding fathers had in mind when we became a nation, and it is inconsistent with the ideals expressed in our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the democratic principles that we purportedly champion.

    If our goal is to become the center of an empire where the sun never sets, perhaps we should abandon all pretenses and just say so. At least people will no longer be able to call us hypocrites and cynics when we preach righteousness while imprisoning suspects indefinitely without trial or evidence of wrongdoing, practicing "enhanced interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding, or worse.

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  • 190. At 5:53pm on 18 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #187. MarcusAureliusII: "That's the lesson of Neville Chamberlain that America appears to have forgotten and Europe never learned."

    The period was still one in which a gentleman's word was his bond; Chamberlain did not understand that Hitler was no gentleman. What would you have had him do? Invade Germany? It's very easy to criticise the former prime minister, but no-one suggests what other practical plan there might have been. Munich gave Britain much needed time to prepare for war.

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  • 191. At 6:36pm on 18 Jun 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    Marcus.

    Poor chap.Get out from under your duvet and check this out.

    There are meetings being held Monday and Tuesday in Yekaterinburg Russia among Chinese President Hu Jintao. the Russian President and other top officials of the six nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.The US,which asked to attend, was denied admittance.
    Now if they decide to replace the dollar as the worlds reserve currency then you will really know what downside means. Look up your Financial Times for an article called "The Yekaterinburg Turning Point:De-Dollarization and the Ending of Americas Financial-Military Hegemony.

    They want you out of Eurasia.Is the game up? Only time will tell.

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  • 192. At 7:11pm on 18 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    MarcusAureliusII # 187 wrote
    "It is not stupid or cowardly to be scared of threats and react to them. It is stupid not to. That's the lesson of Neville Chamberlain that America appears to have forgotten and Europe never learned."

    Blow me down with a feather. Marcus,You are [almost] showing human traits, but that aside, you again bring up the old chestnut about Chamberlain.
    In many respects you are correct in that he got led by the nose, and as David so rightly explained in a time when a gentlemans word was his bond.
    Found a site giving the Radio Address Delivered by President Roosevelt From Washington, December 9, 1941. Without having to read between the lines it gives an insight into the factors leading up to America being attacked at Pearl Harbour, where your President too, overlooked a variety of events where as the Commander in Chief he should have had his finger on the pulse.
    Everybody occasionally does not see the wood for the trees, even Presidents and Prime Ministers.

    For yours and others information, at the bottom of the article, the site links to a multitude of other very interesting useful and historical information, and I hope the moderators see fit to allow it through.
    XXXXX Got a possible virus warning on one page, but have been diving in and out of many articles and no problems observed. Maybe just a fault with my connection here XXXXX
    Enjoy
    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/WorldWar2/radio.htm

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  • 193. At 7:49pm on 18 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 184, Magic

    "But there is no reason we can give support to the people fighting an illegal regime."

    All the politicians that ran for the presidency of Iran had the blessing of the Supreme Leader and were determined to preserve the status quo. Mousavi was proposing domestic changes designed to improve the economic woes that afflict the Iranian people, including rapproachment with the West to remove the present sanctions and increase oil productions and exports, but he was just as intransigent as Ahmadinejad when it came to the preservation of the Islamic Republic.

    Expressions of support, whether physical or moral, would have favorably influenced public opinion in the West, but woould have been used by the regime to discredit the incipient opposition and undermine the effectiveness of the popular movement that demands change in a nation government by a totalitarian and fanatical elite.a.

    Civil unrest such as the one we are seeing in Iran often leads to unexpected changes and it would not be surprising if something dramatic does take place, but interferring in the internal affairs of Iran could very well prove to be the kiss of death for those who are putting their lives on the line to change the status quo.

    Sen. McCain, whose policies and tactics you seem to endorse, doesn't understand the value of diplomacy or the virtue of patience, and has paid dearly for his lack of discipline and foresight throughout his life. Let the Iranians solve their problem, we have enough problems of our to deal with to worry about what is happening far away unless, of course, the goal is to prevent an increase in oil supplies that would drive prices down worldwide...

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  • 194. At 7:58pm on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    164, SaintOne.
    "I think you may be overally cynical regarding western media..."

    Although you are not referring to a comment I made, I too am cycical regarding western media. During the 1979 Iranian revolution what the media reported had noting to do with what was actually happening. It was not only distortion, it was lies.

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  • 195. At 8:04pm on 18 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #193

    Senator McCain is far wiser than Barack Obama.

    The country would have been better served if he had bben elected. most of the world see a weak leader who is very shallow.

    Although we can not military get involved if we provided covert help to get rid of the current regime; why should there be any objection?

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  • 196. At 8:10pm on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    169, ubermensch.
    "The mullahs have to be confronted because they have no respect for human Rights."

    They sound like your kind of guys.

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  • 197. At 8:11pm on 18 Jun 2009, _marko wrote:

    MAII: "There is no telling what the limit of American rage would be ..."

    This may be a valid representation of rage directed to people suggesting a pre-emptive attack is a good idea:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBtvALJ-lu4

    (first two minutes or so)

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  • 198. At 8:16pm on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    176, simon.

    I am surprised at you. You are advocating attacking and occupying Iran. One - it is not called for. Two- it is utterly impossible. Only a nut would try to occupy Iran. Study the topography! Study the tribal structure! We are not talking about Iraq here - and that was heinous enough. Your attitude is not only impractical, it is immoral.

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  • 199. At 8:19pm on 18 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    176, Simon.

    My opologies. I did not realize you were quoting our resident loony. I sould have known those could not be your ideas.

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  • 200. At 8:29pm on 18 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 195, Magic

    "Senator McCain is far wiser than Barack Obama"

    53% of the American people didn't think so, and neither did his professors at the Naval Academy where he finished second from the bottom of his class. Endorsing the failed orthodoxy of the past has little to do with wisdom, and much to do with obtuseness.

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  • 201. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #200

    The American people also voted for Jimmy Carter and your side would complain about 2 terms for Bush.

    Obama has been a joke

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  • 202. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    "Only a nut would try to occupy Iran."

    Like, for example, Saddam Hussein?

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/iran-iraq.htm [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 203. At 8:40pm on 18 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    170. St.D.

    No, it's just that some people can't bear the thought that by being quiet and patient a result might be obtained that would be beneficial to all concerned, that would allow Iranians to determine their own future without foreign interference; that would allow America and its friends to show respect for others and to live by their own principles rather than to compromise them yet again; and that would avoid needless bloodshed.

    But why do that when you can alienate your friends and allies, further strain your own treasury, and cause a never to be forgotten or forgiven bloodbath in which the majority killed and injured are innocents who might otherwise eventually have come round to a viewpoint tolerably similar to your own. Yeah, sure, go ahead, apply the thermo-nuclear toaster oven to Teheran, Qom, Shiraz. Don't pause to think that the majority of these people are wearing green armbands in the street; don't pause to think that these are human beings rather than misanthropes like yourself; don't stop to think how you would feel if someone did the same thing to us. No, use all the deep learning about foreign policy that you have learned from, say, the Rambo movies.

    Lack of finesse, lack of judgment, lack of brains, call it what you like.

    Sam has a broken shutter to fix, and I keep hearing a clock that says "cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo". A month ago people were trying to stop feeding the trolls. Maybe that's a good idea.

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  • 204. At 8:41pm on 18 Jun 2009, watermanaquarius wrote:

    MagicKirin # 195,
    I do not believe that Ahmadinajad has his head in the sand every minute of every day.I am sure he, and like minded colleagues know everything there is to know about the present happenings, across every square inch in his country. This student / younger generation uprising is nothing new to him.
    From Ahmadinajad's Who2 biography
    "Soon after he took office, questions were raised about Ahmadinejad's role with the radical student organization that seized the U.S. embassy and held its 53 occupants hostage from 4 November 1979 until 20 January 1981; some former hostages claimed he was one of their captors, a claim denied by Ahmadinejad.."
    Nobody lays down all their cards at the start of the game, if you want to win the pot..
    You do not get to be President of any country in the world by being a fool, although there has been one who did his best to be the exception to that rule. Fortunately a gung ho Rambo Mccain will not make it a second exception. Cool head today, correspondence tomorrow and congenial conversation in the future appears to be the way to go and Obama is filling the role perfectly.

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  • 205. At 8:44pm on 18 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Re: Senator McCain.

    Well, If I were President Obama, I would want Senator McCain to behave exactly as Senator McCain has done. In fact, Senator McCain couldn't have done better if President Obama, or a surrogate, had called him on the phone and asked him to.

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  • 206. At 10:18pm on 18 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    There once was a troll on a blog
    who wrote in the absence of grog.
    When asked to make peace,
    he said, "Wars shalln't cease!"
    And returned to his cranial fog.

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  • 207. At 10:22pm on 18 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Canaard;

    "#187. MarcusAureliusII: "That's the lesson of Neville Chamberlain that America appears to have forgotten and Europe never learned."

    The period was still one in which a gentleman's word was his bond; Chamberlain did not understand that Hitler was no gentleman."

    Canard, you really can't possibly be as stupid as you would have us believe you are with that statement. Nobody is that stuipd. Hmmm...oops, I forgot you were born, raised, and educated in Europe. I take it back. You could be and you are.

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  • 208. At 10:24pm on 18 Jun 2009, U14040754 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 209. At 10:58pm on 18 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Chamberlain's naivete may have been influenced by his upbringing and sense of chivalry, but he must have been blind not to see what the Third Reich was up to. It is not as if Hitler was too subtle about his intentions and goals...

    I must say, however, that I find the efforts of some to equate Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong Il to Hitler and pre-WWII Germany quite amusing.

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  • 210. At 10:58pm on 18 Jun 2009, U14040754 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 211. At 11:49pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    201. At 8:35pm on 18 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #200


    Obama has been a joke"

    Yeah well that's all a blackman can be according to you isn't it? A joke or a garbage collector? Oh and some can sing can't they.

    But they must never tell nice white men what to do!


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  • 212. At 11:52pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    187. At 5:17pm on 18 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Ih

    It was all the Bush Administration could do to keep the majority of Americans from an internal armed uprising against anyone even suspected of being Islamic. "



    Americans are famous for mob hatred Marcus, thank you for confirming that.

    It used to be jews and blacks.


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  • 213. At 11:56pm on 18 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    209. At 10:58pm on 18 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:
    Chamberlain's naivete may have been influenced by his upbringing and sense of chivalry, but he must have been blind not to see what the Third Reich was up to. It is not as if Hitler was too subtle about his intentions and goals..."


    Hmmm but if Chamberlain was naive what can we say about the US. At the time he was fighting the nazis the US (and USSR) were selling goods to them.

    "I must say, however, that I find the efforts of some to equate Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong Il to Hitler and pre-WWII Germany quite amusing. "

    Yes it is hilarious except that such ridiculous idiocy has lead to many many people being killed.

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  • 214. At 00:04am on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    180. At 4:29pm on 18 Jun 2009, alphamiguel wrote:
    Marcus.

    Excuse me? Europe in a mess? Attacks on Iran and North Korea? What a couple of days in between or both at once? My question is,can you afford it,now your going bust?"

    There will be no serious aatacks on Iran or N Korea, certainly no nuclear ones.

    Russia would forbid it with Iran and China would forbid it with N Korea.

    President Obama knows this. Iran will be a nuclear power soon, there is no stopping it (indeed there is reason for believing it already is, and the US knows this) and North Korea will continue to do as it likes until the present leader dies or is replaced.

    All of this was inevitable, knowledge and technology cannot be kept secret forever, especially in the current age.

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  • 215. At 00:08am on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Those that criticize President Obama for not taking sides or supporting the protesters in Iran, and call his prudence an example of appeasement and cut and run, may want to remember what happened after more than 200 marines were slaughtered in Lebanon: President Reagan declared that was not our war and did the biggest "cut and run" in US history. It is also worth remembering what President Bush did after the last uprising in Tibet: he attended the Olympics in Beijing where he engaged in animated chats with Chinese leaders. No sense upsetting our creditors...

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  • 216. At 00:14am on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #209

    You might find the comparisons to Hitler amusing, those of us who have a better knowledge of history know better.
    Islamic facism and nazism share a belief in their racial/belief superiority and a complete zenophobic intolerance of others.

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  • 217. At 02:13am on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Self Sainted fool

    "I must say, however, that I find the efforts of some to equate Saddam Hussein, Ahmadinejad, and Kim Jong Il to Hitler and pre-WWII Germany quite amusing."

    Saddam Hussein's hero in life was Joseph Stalin, perhaps the greatest psychopathic mass murderer in history. By some accounts he kiled as many as 80 million citizens of his own country. We know Saddam Hussein killed at least one million Iraqis during his 20 years running Iraq. And that was for real, not the make believe numbers the America bashers would have the world believe.

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  • 218. At 02:39am on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #207. MarcusAureliusII: "Canard, you really can't possibly be as stupid as you would have us believe you are with that statement. Nobody is that stuipd (sic). Hmmm...oops, I forgot you were born, raised, and educated in Europe. I take it back. You could be and you are."

    Marcass: Stupid or not, you have not answered the question: what would you have had Neville Chamberlain do? Until you can provide a practical alternative to what was done at the time, it is you who is stupid, stupefyingly so. The residents of wherever you were born, raised and educated are no doubt ashamed to have you as one of their own. You once made some unpleasant comments about my mother - your own must be very disappointed in you since you represent all that is mean, spiteful and ignorant. How you sleep at night is beyond me.

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  • 219. At 02:45am on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #217. MarcusAureliusII: "Saddam Hussein's hero in life was Joseph Stalin, perhaps the greatest psychopathic mass murderer in history"

    So you think Stalin was great? Now we know where you're coming from.

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  • 220. At 02:46am on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 217, Marcus

    "And that was for real, not the make believe numbers the America bashers would have the world believe."

    Saddam Hussein's alleged admiration of Josef Stalin, and the one million Iraqis that died during the Iraq-Iran war - which we were delighted to support - does not mean he, his regime, or his fellow citizens were a threat to our national security. The man was a criminal and the world is better off without him, but only the most naive and the far right accept your claims.

    Stop your childish games and attempts to demonize and denigrate people and entire cultures to justify decisions that should have never been made. We did not invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a threat to our country, and we definitely did not do it because he had any involvement in 9/11; we did it in retaliation for him rejecting the contract bids presented by Cheney and Rumsfeld on behalf of Halliburtor and Bechtel and awarding the contracts we wanted to Russian and French firms, we did it to transform a hapless US President into a war hero to guarantee his re-election, we did it for geopolitical and economic reasons, and we did it to teach an object lesson to the Muslim world.

    There is a difference between "America-bashing" and denying the obvious. Cowards lie and refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, men are not afraid to acknowledge their errors, learn from them, and do better in the future.

    By the way, your lame excuse to justify Bush's actions as necessary to avoid a massacre of Muslims in the USA does not say much about our society. Did you make that up intentionally? You may want to think about what you post on foreign media before you open your mouth. The last thing we need is an "ugly American" inciting more hatred and demonstrating a level of intolerance that only confirms the perceptions the world has about us.

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  • 221. At 02:57am on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 216, Magic

    "...belief in their racial/belief superiority and a complete zenophobic intolerance of others."

    I am not sure I would go around accusing people of racism after what happened at the Holocaust museum in DC a week ago, and similar events in the not too distant past. There is a difference between believing in superiority and military superiority, which is the only one that would matter if our concern is really our national security.

    Again, to suggest that the Arab world poses the same threat to Europe and the USA as the Third Reich is so ridiculous that it doesn't even deserve a response. In case you missed it, we have enough nuclear warheads and delivery systems to turn the entire Middle East and, indeed, much of the world, into a desert inhabitable even to roaches.

    If the threat you are so concerned about involves the probability that Islamic ideology may spread to Western Europe and the USA, you need more than history books, you may want to walk around, meet your neighbors, talk to people and learn what America is all about. In spite of your efforts, and Marcus's, to make our country look like a nation inhabited by nuts, ours is a great country and the chances of us abandoning our values, ideals, and freedoms to embrace Sharia law and don veils are nil.

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  • 222. At 05:00am on 19 Jun 2009, R-Snail wrote:

    There is no problem for President Obama from the situation in Iran. His primary concern is to get reelected.
    Iran causes enough problems for themselves. Iran has a predominately young, liberal population that is controlled by an aging cadre of extremists who want to force their women to wear veils, and build "nucular" weapons.
    a. Any man who forces women to cover any more of the beauty that is the female form that the lady herself desires to cover is irrational, and
    b. any government that would want to develop nukes in this day and age is irresponsible.

    In correlation to a. somebody once said of the Taliban: "You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn't wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway."

    In regard to b. Yes, Iran will eventually gain nukes, and they will probably destroy themselves trying to test it. Then all the conspiracy theorists on this blog will blame Israel and/or the US.

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  • 223. At 05:00am on 19 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    216, ubermensch.
    "Islamic facism and nazism share a belief in their racial/belief superiority and a complete zenophobic intolerance of others."

    Now let's see.... Who else fits in that category? Could it be ubermensch?

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  • 224. At 05:06am on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #220. saintDominick: "Marcus . . . The last thing we need is an "ugly American" inciting more hatred and demonstrating a level of intolerance that only confirms the perceptions the world has about us."

    With regret, it's too late. He has already added to that perception although many will see through him and judge him for what he is - the American Nick Griffin.

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  • 225. At 05:09am on 19 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 226. At 05:10am on 19 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    202, Gary.
    I said, "Only a nut would try to occupy Iran."

    You replied, "Like, for example, Saddam Hussein?"

    Iran repelled the invaders, and went on the offensive even though Iraq had superior weapons and the approval of - guess who?

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  • 227. At 05:13am on 19 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

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  • 228. At 05:33am on 19 Jun 2009, U13971622 wrote:

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  • 229. At 05:40am on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #220 saintDominick,

    "We did not invade Iraq because Saddam Hussein was a threat to our country, and we definitely did not do it because he had any involvement in 9/11; we did it in retaliation for him rejecting the contract bids presented by Cheney and Rumsfeld on behalf of Halliburtor and Bechtel and awarding the contracts we wanted to Russian and French firms, we did it to transform a hapless US President into a war hero to guarantee his re-election, we did it for geopolitical and economic reasons, and we did it to teach an object lesson to the Muslim world."

    Please provide support for your claim that we went to war for Halliburton and Bechtel because contracts in Iraq were given to Russia and France.

    As far as Bush going to war to win re-election; what convoluted thinking! Bush was most popular after 911 and before Iraq than any modern President. He would have won re-election by a landslide. He could have pointed to his administration getting out of the dot com bust recession, tax reform, education reform, Tsunami disaster relief in Asia, success in undoing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Instead, he went into Iraq and almost lost re-election to a comatose Senator and his monotoned VP. But hey, look at the bright side. Had he lost in 2004 to Kerry, Obama would not be President in 2009. Instead, it would be McCain/Palin.

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  • 230. At 07:10am on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #225.14allandall41: How you sleep at night is beyond me.

    "hanging from the rafters"

    Bats in all senses!
    (I'm not sure if Americans use that description of the mentally challenged, but British readers will understand.)

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  • 231. At 07:12am on 19 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    220, SaintD.
    "The last thing we need is an "ugly American" inciting more hatred and demonstrating a level of intolerance that only confirms the perceptions the world has about us."

    In the book "The Ugly American," the ugly American was the good guy. This mistake is always made, possibly because we associate "ugly" with "nasty" or "bad."

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  • 232. At 09:05am on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    231. At 07:12am on 19 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    220, SaintD.
    "The last thing we need is an "ugly American" inciting more hatred and demonstrating a level of intolerance that only confirms the perceptions the world has about us."

    In the book "The Ugly American," the ugly American was the good guy. This mistake is always made, possibly because we associate "ugly" with "nasty" or "bad."


    Yes Grahame Greene like all great writers did not take simplistic views. His The Comedians has a classic American couple who combine lunacy, ignorance with great compassion.

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  • 233. At 09:10am on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    229. At 05:40am on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:
    "Please provide support for your claim that we went to war for Halliburton and Bechtel because contracts in Iraq were given to Russia and France."


    Is Halliburton a french company? Bechtel? Blackwater?



    As far as Bush going to war to win re-election; what convoluted thinking! Bush was most popular after 911 and before Iraq than any modern President. He would have won re-election by a landslide"


    Not quite Bush aned Blair were expecting an easy simple victory or to use an American phrase "a splendid little war" These sort of wars are always used to win elections.

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  • 234. At 09:40am on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #221

    Dominick your and marbles naivitee about intolerance is amazing. People wrote off Hiltler as a nut of no consequence.

    we have already seen how the hatread of Islamic facists can causemassive suffering. look at the towers and the millions they have killed in Iraq and Afghanastan( most fellow moslems)

    Never Again does not aplly just to Jews.

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  • 235. At 10:01am on 19 Jun 2009, U14040754 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 236. At 10:25am on 19 Jun 2009, U14040754 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 237. At 10:46am on 19 Jun 2009, iwontdrinkthewater wrote:

    #46 gunsandreligion
    I wondered when someone would finally address that! Pretty much the tail wagging the dog, methinks!

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  • 238. At 11:15am on 19 Jun 2009, iwontdrinkthewater wrote:

    I have come to realise that the biggest kick I get out of these blogs is the chatter re MAII. It is true that one should not take him seriously,(although as already noted, loopies can and may be dangerous), for he provides me with endless entertainment. I rather think his mother forgot to employ the occasional piece of duct tape, though.

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  • 239. At 11:35am on 19 Jun 2009, krishnamurthi ramachandran wrote:

    Dear Editor,
    I have read it with more attention,to this coverage.
    Mr.Obama had clearly explained of his middle east foreign policies of America.
    His speech at Cairo University was an eye opener.
    One thing, we should understand that,Iran is not like a other Islamic nations.
    These Iranian!s protests are purely temporary.
    Iran will be back to normal by very soon.

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  • 240. At 11:50am on 19 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    MarcusAurelius,

    Good morning Caligula,

    Threatened any one to day,"NO", never mind the day is yet young.
    It is patiently obvous the two reasons for your sore feet.
    One,get some larger boots.
    Two,You must!go out more & away from that infernal key board.
    It must be very difficult for you to get up & fit through that door.
    Its been said,and no doubt you agree, Britain is to America as was Athens was to Rome.
    But stop visiting thoes Temples of Grease, cavEAT emptor.
    Soon you will out do even your self ,& will not be able to get back through that said door.
    Would that not, be be such a pity.

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  • 241. At 11:50am on 19 Jun 2009, U14040754 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 242. At 12:09pm on 19 Jun 2009, iwontdrinkthewater wrote:

    In reference to a previous comment regarding our American cousins across the pond and how they may perceive the way "Europeans" perceive them, I would offer this: (and I hope I may speak for quite a few of 'us') we are fully and very acutely aware that MAII does not speak for all of you.
    P.S. I sure am glad his ancestors decided to get on that boat though.

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  • 243. At 12:27pm on 19 Jun 2009, iwontdrinkthewater wrote:

    Oh, and on the subject of the blogger identity ruling - be warned MAII - I am returning to the USA tomorrow and I'm taking my laptop with me! Come out, come out, wherever you are, Marcus!

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  • 244. At 12:40pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041301 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 245. At 12:44pm on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Now that the dictator Kahatami has violidated the election fraud and blamed the U.s. will Dominck, Simon and Marbles admidt that Obama appeasment stratedgy failed

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  • 246. At 12:45pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    "According to the Financial Times of London, between September 1998 and last winter, Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, oversaw $23.8 million of business contracts for the sale of oil-industry equipment and services to Iraq through two of its subsidiaries, Dresser Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser Pump, which helped rebuild Iraq's war-damaged petroleum-production infrastructure. The combined value of these contracts exceeded those of any other U.S. company doing business with Baghdad."

    Don't forget that President Reagan armed Hussein's military, an effort coordinated by their envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, that paved the way for US business deals with Iraq back in 1983. Saddam, who must not have been the brightest man in town, made the mistake of awarding many oil-industry related contracts that we wanted to Russian and French firms. His audacity was never forgotten.

    Ref 234, Magic

    "...we have already seen how the hatread of Islamic facists can causemassive suffering. look at the towers and the millions they have killed in Iraq and Afghanastan( most fellow moslems..."

    I thought the topic of discussion was the alleged threat of Islamic nations invading and occupying Western Europe and the USA. We should not confuse the actions of a radical Wahabbist terrorist group with the Muslim world, any more than people should not assume Timothy McVeigh and white supremacists represent mainstream America.

    Yes, terrorist groups are dangerous, and we should have remained focused on them because of the threat they represent to us instead of pursuing facile goals in Iraq, but that doesn't mean Islamic nations plan to invade us or have the capability to do so.

    BTW, linking Islam to fascism is as accurate as judging Christianity by the actions of Torquemada or George W. Bush.

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  • 247. At 1:18pm on 19 Jun 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    Ref 242,iwontdrinkthewater,

    Well said,& true.

    ps.his ancestors only left that ship whilst it was sinking.

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  • 248. At 1:21pm on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 3246

    I never equated islam with the Islamic facists. But to equate them with George Bush shows your BDS problem.

    Bush liberated Iraq, ask the Kurds.

    We have already seen that Obama does not have the moral stregnth of Bush and despite his supposed genius, he has less wisdom of the world.

    Besides I think Bush knew the U.S has only 50 states.

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  • 249. At 1:22pm on 19 Jun 2009, NSBCBG wrote:

    With the international community split over the ongoing chaos regarding the election, it is very difficult to know what kind of attitude Obama should take in face of the current nuclear situation in Iran. Is détente an appropriate approach for US to take? How about containment just like we did during the Cold War? I just read a thorough analysis on possible U.S. containment against Iran on Asia Chronicle (www.asiachroniclenews.net), which was very helpful for me to think about this issue.

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  • 250. At 1:38pm on 19 Jun 2009, Isenhorn wrote:

    #245
    Khatami?!
    Do you by any chance mean Khamenei?

    P.S. You reminded me of the the guy who asked what the correct spelling was- IraQ or IraN.

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  • 251. At 1:40pm on 19 Jun 2009, iwontdrinkthewater wrote:

    There's been a couple of comments making reference to the Kurds and that they and the US might 'get along' seeing how the 'Bush Administration' helped them become free of the tyranny of Hussein. I may be mistaken, but I rather thought the chemicals the Kurds were 'doused' as per Hussein's orders, were bought from the U.S. (when the U.S.(aka Cheney, et al) were 'buddies'?

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  • 252. At 1:43pm on 19 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    245. Be patient.

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  • 253. At 1:46pm on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #211

    It has nothing to do with Obama being African Americam.

    I've been calling him Jimmy Carter 2

    It is pathetic how any criticsm is met with the race card

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  • 254. At 2:13pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I've read some of your pathetic efforts at poetry before the moderators edited it. My advice to all you wanna be Shakespeares is....don't quit your day jobs. I don't know if it was deleted because it broke the house rules or because finally some posts were so embarrassing that the moderators just couldn't bear it as evidence of what a British education produces as a product.

    According to BBC reports, the supreme leader of Iran said; "The Islamic Republic would not cheat" Does anyone think he'll be able to look Obama or Clinton straight in the eye and tell them that when the subject of Iran trying to develop and manufacture nuclear weapons and Iran's support for terrorists comes up? I do. Lying seems to come naturally to Iran's government. Do you think Obama will tell him;

    "Liar liar
    pants on fire."

    Obama swatted and killed one fly, it seems to me it shouldn't be much harder to get another one.


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  • 255. At 2:19pm on 19 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    245, as this link purports to show, Khatami, Mousavi, and Rafsanjani are on one side
    of a struggle among Iran's leadership, and Ahmadinejad and Khamenei
    are on the other. Obviously, all Iranians are not as hawkish as
    Ahmadinejad, or there would not be millions of people in the streets.

    So, for the first time, I'm really optimistic about Iran, although
    now that Khamenei has boxed himself in, it may be impossible for
    the situation to be resolved without widespread violence.

    This is a good example of why we have the 2nd Amendment here, although,
    to paraphrase an old saying, the internet protocol may be mightier
    than semi-automatic weapons loaded with hardball ammo.

    It's nice to have both, though.

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  • 256. At 2:22pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 253, Magic

    "It is pathetic how any criticsm is met with the race card"

    What is pathetic is for you to call the Persians racist. Who do you think they are targeting their "racism" at?

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  • 257. At 2:37pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 245, Magic

    President Obama's foreign policy strategy is focused on better relations with all nations to achieve peace and stability worldwide, put an end to the violence that has characterized life in the Middle East and Persian Gulf region, and in so doing improve the global economy and trade that are essential to our well being.

    Accurate examples of "appeasement" include President Reagan's cut and run in Lebanon, the Iran-Contra sham, attending the last Olympics in Beijing after the atrocities in Tibet, paying bribes to North Korea in exchange for nothing tangible, etc. Your heroes had their chance, and the results of their policies are patently clear to anyone without blinders on, wait a year or so before you pass judgement on a new strategy that has not had a chance to materialize.

    I suspect the top priority of the last and present administrations is the security of the USA and the preservation of our global interests, rather than altruistic motives.

    BTW, since you seem so determined to make President Obama responsible for all the ills that afflict the world because he has been in office 5 months, does that mean your hero was responsible for allowing 9/11 to happen? I know he was a slow learner, but he was in office for almost 8 months when that tragedy occurred...

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  • 258. At 2:41pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    Magic Kirin

    President Obama and his administration have given up all credibility and authority to use the majesty of the bully pulpit of the Presidency of the United States of America to assert the universal values of democracy, human rights, and human liberty and freedom at the core of America's essence by remaining silent in the events happening in Iran. His explanation that he is trying to avoid meddling in Iran's internal political affairs is no more acceptable than the silence that greeted Hitler's rise to power and his persecution of Jews, Gypsies, and other minorities in Germany in the 1930s that led up to WWII and the holocaust. Obama and his staff including Secretary of State Clinton have lost all moral authority to lead the United States or speak for it.

    Fortunately, the executive branch is not the only branch of government in America and is not part and parcel of the other branches the way it is in inferior forms of government such as so called parliamentary democracies like the UK's. The Congress of the United States as a co-equal branch has the right and responsibility to speak out especially where President Obama chooses to remain mute. Several resolutions have already been introduced and Obama's aloofness has become the subject of discussion in the American body politic.

    I for one had little hope for this inexperienced tyro whose credentials for his office were that he waas editor of a law journal, a community organizer, and three undistinguished years in the Senate, half of which he spent running for President. I'm sorry to say that my expectations of his incompetence and unsuitability for the Presidency are proving correct. He certainly does not speak for me.

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  • 259. At 2:47pm on 19 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    232, Simon21 -

    "The Ugly American" was written by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. I think you're confusing it with Graham Greene's "The Quiet American."

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  • 260. At 3:03pm on 19 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    bere, I wish that some ugly Americans were quiet.

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  • 261. At 3:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 216, Magic

    "You might find the comparisons to Hitler amusing, those of us who have a better knowledge of history know better."

    I spent a year in "neutral" Spain in 1944, a few years after the end of the Spanish Civil War and while WWII was still ongoing. The effects of those conflicts were inescapable and the experience was far more valuable than what I learned in history classes and books.

    There are no basis to compare the military capabilities of Muslim nations to a country that managed to assemble one of the most formidable military forces in the history of mankind. Exagerations and hyperbole often undermines the strength of your argument. Take this unsolicited advice: focus on the threat of terrorist organizations to civilization, including peace-loving Muslims, and avoid the paranoidal warnings of an impending Armageddon spread by the neocons to achieve their goals through fear mongering.

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  • 262. At 3:33pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Have you noticed that In Grand Ayatollah's speech UK has replaced USA as "the greatests evil of all"?

    Looks like the Great Satan can't scare Iran's youthful population enough for them to toe the Gardians' line and a new threatening evil outside force has to be introduced to elicit their obedience.

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  • 263. At 3:37pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 255, G&R

    "Obviously, all Iranians are not as hawkish as
    Ahmadinejad, or there would not be millions of people in the streets."

    I agree, Have you noticed the difference in the makeup of the protesting crowds and the pro-government ones? Large numbers of women and people of all ages participate in the protests, menacing looking men with fists clenched are the only ones participating in the Ahmadinejad rallies. It is evident that there is a major cultural clash in progress between reformists demanding more freedom and rapproachment with the West, and those intent on preserving their medieval ways. It will be interesting to see how people react to the Supreme Leader's speech. If the protests continue, that will be a definite sign that the Islamic Republic concept is in serious trouble, and violent repression is very likely.

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  • 264. At 3:45pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    O' where of where has the princess gone?
    O' where oh where can she be?

    Is she hiding under nine matresses with her pea hoping the revolution will pass her by?

    Is she out in the streets with the demonstrators?

    Is she in jail?

    Is she twittering?

    You'd think if she could, she'd have gotten word out to the outside world seeing how outspoken she has been in the past. If she's smart, she decided for once in her life to keep her mouth shut for awhile. Otherwise, she might catch a few flies in it herself.

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  • 265. At 4:01pm on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #253. MagicKirin: "It is pathetic how any criticsm is met with the race card"

    In the same way that any criticism of Israel is considered to be anti-Semitic. Those who live in glass houses . . .

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  • 266. At 4:05pm on 19 Jun 2009, arclightt wrote:

    @190 (David Cunard) "The period was still one in which a gentleman's word was his bond; Chamberlain did not understand that Hitler was no gentleman. What would you have had him do? Invade Germany? It's very easy to criticise the former prime minister, but no-one suggests what other practical plan there might have been. Munich gave Britain much needed time to prepare for war."

    @David: First, it wasn't just Chamberlain. He was part of a collection of rulers in a variety of countries (including here in the US) who so desperately wanted "peace" that they refused to face the truth about the existence of evil in the world, and particularly in Hitler and his buddies.

    Second, if you are suggesting that Chamberlain let Munich happen in order to buy time, I have to disagree. There's nothing in the historical record I have read to support that (if you can cite something, I'd be glad to read it). No, I believe that Chamberlain allowed Munich to happen because he honestly believed that he might avoid a general war. He was deeply sensitive to the butchery that took place in WWI, and desperately hoped to avoid it. As he and the rest of that collection of rulers illustrates, though, it's possible to want "peace" so desperately that one becomes irrational regarding human behavior, and believes things that simply aren't true about the "innate goodness of man", and the inability for man to be evil.

    As far as what to do, by the time Munich rolled around, it was far too late. The British PM and Parliament, acting in concert with the French government, should have clobbered Hitler the moment he began revealing his military buildup in 1935. Hitler was clearly in violation of the treaties; the British and French governments would have been fully justified in acting. They chose not to (again, because they so desired "peace"). Interestingly enough, the German high command indicated in writings retrieved at the end of WWII that if the British and French HAD confronted them in 1935 and 1936, they would have folded immediately, and Hitler would have been through. Too bad it didn't work that way.

    Lest folks be confused, though, Chamberlain wised up, and well before Poland was invaded. Winston Churchill clearly records in his history of WWII that over the course of a weekend (I don't remember the date) following Munich Chamberlain finally came to grips with what Hitler was. Chamberlain was scheduled to deliver a speech on some domestic issue, and in preparing for that speech he finally set aside his notes, and the entire topic, and instead addressed Hitler's actions. Churchill also records that Chamberlain, once he finally did come to grips with Hitler's character, was resolute in his defense of Great Britain. The only problem was that his resolution came far too late to change what was to happen. Churchill takes time to praise Chamberlain for this in his history; that's worth noting.

    It's important to separate the questions of whether or not to confront evil and how to confront it. Our biggest issue is usually not HOW to confront evil, but WHETHER to confront it, and particularly in ourselves. We know we are supposed to, but oftentimes we choose not to (for all kinds of rationalizing reasons). That's the issue we must deal with first. As an aside, I suspect but don't know that most wars have started because folks were unwilling to confront evil behavior early. They waited, and temporized, and tried to ignore it, or paper it over, or whatever, until it finally became so ugly that it erupted in violence.

    Immediately resorting to violence or immediately declaring that you will never fight (or, worse yet, deciding that you are willing for someone else to be victimized or oppressed so long as you and yours are left alone) are both emotional reactions to the HOW question of confronting evil. Neither are useful.

    Stalin, Hitler, Tojo, Pol Pot, and the slaughters in Bosnia, Rwanda, and other places throughout history are all extreme reminders of what happens when we value "peace" or "going along to get along" too much to confront evil. I believe that if we instead value integrity, justice, and freedom, and are willing to sacrifice "peace" when required in order to secure them for ourselves and for others, I believe we will find that we will enjoy not only the benefits that integrity, justice, and freedom bring, but we'll also enjoy real peace far longer and more often.

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  • 267. At 4:13pm on 19 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    260, guns: "I wish that some ugly Americans were quiet."

    So do I, but as I recall, the Quiet American was not prettily behaved, whereas the Ugly American was. It may be the quiet ones who are more cause for concern. Look at Cheney. Quiet through eight years of sneaky evil-doing, and a loudmouth now when he's out of power.

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  • 268. At 4:25pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    259. At 2:47pm on 19 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:
    232, Simon21 -

    "The Ugly American" was written by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer. I think you're confusing it with Graham Greene's "The Quiet American."


    Yes I am how buffonish. But it is still true that Greene took an interesting view of Americans.

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  • 269. At 4:27pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    234. At 09:40am on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    ref #221

    Dominick your and marbles naivitee about intolerance is amazing. People wrote off Hiltler as a nut of no consequence.

    we have already seen how the hatread of Islamic facists can causemassive suffering. look at the towers and the millions they have killed in Iraq and Afghanastan( most fellow moslems)

    Never Again does not aplly just to Jews."

    And look how many moslem, christian children the Israelies have killed in order to steal their land/water.

    Their lives count as well

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  • 270. At 4:30pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    245. At 12:44pm on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    Now that the dictator Kahatami has violidated the election fraud and blamed the U.s. will Dominck, Simon and Marbles admidt that Obama appeasment stratedgy failed"

    Just as soon as you admit that US appeasement of Isral has now been shown to be a failure and threatens tyhepeace of the whole region.

    You will recall I have said Israel does not want peace - and now we have the proof from Bini and Avis own hate-filled mouths.

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  • 271. At 4:32pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    At the rate things are going, Pesident Obama may turn out to be the worst President in living memory, even worse than the one term Jimmy Who. Just five months into his administration he has demonstrated a knack for appeasing and delighting America's enemies while anagonizing its allies. His economic plan has not been working, his bailout of GM and Chrysler strongly criticized, his bailout of the banks caused an uproar over executive compensation, the easing of credit the two trillion dollar stimulus package was supposed to provide has not manifested itself nearly sufficiently yet, his health care plans are already under strong attack in both congress and in the public discourse. He's turning out to be an unmitigated disaster. Now his failure to rattle Iran's cage and speak out for freedom and democracy has torn up his last shred of credibility. So does he talk to Ahmadinejad next? What will he tell him, America surrenders? What is he waiting for in North Korea, the North Koreans to figure out how to mount an atom bomb on the tip of an ICBM that will reach an American city? He's becoming President "O" bomb.

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  • 272. At 4:33pm on 19 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    263, St. D, besides official police, there is a quasi state-controlled
    militia which has apparently been doing a lot of the beating up of students.
    I can't think of a better way to ignite a revolution than to trash
    a university. Clearly, they are on the brink of a very violent revolution.

    The militia must be under Ahmadinejad or Khamenei's control, but the
    real question is, who controls the Revolutionary Guard? Khamenei must
    be thinking that he has to crush the opposition by force before he
    is removed from power by the Assembly of Experts, which has the power
    to dismiss him, and which is headed by Rafsanjani.

    Would Khamenei have the cohones to round up the reformist leaders and
    put them under house arrest? And, would that work, or would it just
    unleash forces that nobody could control?

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  • 273. At 4:41pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    GnR didn't You have a blog?

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  • 274. At 4:42pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    266. At 4:05pm on 19 Jun 2009, arclightt wrote:


    "Stalin, Hitler, Tojo, Pol Pot, and the slaughters in Bosnia, Rwanda, and other places throughout history are all extreme reminders of what happens when we value "peace" or "going along to get along" too much to confront evil. I believe that if we instead value integrity, justice, and freedom, and are willing to sacrifice "peace" when required in order to secure them for ourselves and for others, I believe we will find that we will enjoy not only the benefits that integrity, justice, and freedom bring, but we'll also enjoy real peace far longer and more often."

    This is infantile.

    The thirty years war, the Boer war, the Vietnam war World war 1 (over 10 million dead) all happened because of this ludicrous concept.

    And war was tried to remove Stalin and the Bolsheviks, but it failed as wars can often do.

    The point about war is that as soon as it starts its causes very often become irrelevant.

    None of the allies gave a fig about Poland in 1945. The US has already admittted it cannot establish meaningful democracy in the iraq and Afghanistan.

    And Bosnia is practically a basket case to ten years after the miliatry was to restore light and love.

    Your problem is that you do not realise one fo war's key maxims - two can play at that game.

    On the other hand the whole of eastern Europe was freed from Russia without war, the British Empire was dissolved in India without war (but not without violence) Australia, Canada both achieved nationhood and prosperity without war (thugh the native people's might disagree.




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  • 275. At 4:43pm on 19 Jun 2009, Pancha Chandra wrote:

    It looks as if democratic change does not come easily in Iran. Time is of essence. President Obama has got to engage Iran in substantive talks. It is only through the art of dialogue that relations can be mended. Belligerance achieves nothing. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will have to pave the way for these talks through shuttle diplomacy.Isolating Iran will only create more problems.

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  • 276. At 4:47pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    271. At 4:32pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    At the rate things are going, Pesident Obama may turn out to be the worst President in living memory"


    And he's black of course


    His economic plan has not been working, his bailout of GM and Chrysler strongly criticized, his bailout of the banks caused an uproar over executive compensation, the easing of credit the two trillion dollar stimulus package was supposed to provide has not manifested itself nearly sufficiently yet, his health care plans are already under strong attack in both congress and in the public discourse."


    Really? Trouble is his opponents have had nothing to say so he is home and dry.

    "What is he waiting for in North Korea, . "


    The permission of CHina, which he is not going to get.

    NK is not going to be attacked by the US now or in the future.

    Neither is Iran.

    After all when key US ally Georgia was invaded and bashed under Bush the Americans didn't even send a guard dog.

    Iran and Korea have nothing to fear from the US in military terms.

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  • 277. At 4:55pm on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #258. MarcusAureliusII: "(Obama's) explanation that he is trying to avoid meddling in Iran's internal political affairs is no more acceptable than the silence that greeted Hitler's rise to power and his persecution of Jews, Gypsies, and other minorities in Germany in the 1930s that led up to WWII and the holocaust."

    And which included the government and people of the United States.

    "inferior forms of government such as so called parliamentary democracies like the UK's."

    And Israel's, which chose not to adopt the American model. One wonders why? Or why few others in the world adopt it, preferring the Westminster model.

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  • 278. At 4:56pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 272, G&R

    "Would Khamenei have the cohones to round up the reformist leaders and
    put them under house arrest? And, would that work, or would it just
    unleash forces that nobody could control?"

    I don't know about Khamenei's and Ahmadinejad's cojones, both characters are way too bizarre for me, but I agree that Iran is on the brink of a revolution and that it will not take much to unleash forces that nobody will be able to control, including Mousavi and the Islamic hierarchy.

    I suspect there is a lot of infighting among the clerics that control Iran, and there may also be a lot of wishful thinking. They overreached and they are now paying the price for their excesses. However, I believe an uprising and a rejection of the Islamic form of government was as inevitable as the rejection of communism by the old Soviet Socialist Republics. People eventually get fed up with mediocrity and abuse and, sooner or later, they resort to the only option left at their disposal: violence.

    I believe President Obama is doing the right thing in avoiding taking sides, not only because we should not meddle in other people's affairs, but because even the slightest expression of sympathy would be used to justify violent repression against the protesters. The insurgents are doing very well without our involvement, let them finish what they started.

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  • 279. At 4:57pm on 19 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    all (#226), Yes, my point was that SH was a nut and it didn't turn out well for him. We agree on that, don't we?

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  • 280. At 4:58pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    well seems the censors have fun here at the BBC. while moaning about Iran censoring people they do the very same thing on this blog.
    Every time one gets angry another gets the boot.


    Strange that. strange set of values to have.
    GnR it's been nice.


    Strange how happy14 is not around anymore. AMybe someone figured out he was Jacksforge or happy.
    But still why would he disappear after being so obvious for so long?
    Why was there some overnight effort( again) by the many faces demon.

    So apparently I read He has been Banned for life and they will get in touch with his employers to tell him to be sacked.
    from a process that is remenicent of Iran or Gitmo.

    No right to appeal. no second chance , guilty for life. no right to face the accuser. no right .

    Bit like being labeled with a star and told to go over there. and the label comes for no reason other than one lies

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  • 281. At 5:07pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    277. At 4:55pm on 19 Jun 2009, David_Cunard wrote:

    And Israel's, which chose not to adopt the American model. One wonders why? Or why few others in the world adopt it, preferring the Westminster model."

    The US form of government, like its peculiar sports, have never caught on. Where US type constitutions have been tried they have usually collapsed since the President has too much power.

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  • 282. At 5:14pm on 19 Jun 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #266. arclightt: "if you are suggesting that Chamberlain let Munich happen in order to buy time, I have to disagree. There's nothing in the historical record I have read to support that (if you can cite something, I'd be glad to read it)."

    That wasn't my suggestion, but it did buy time since Britain was ill-prepared for another war.

    "I believe that Chamberlain allowed Munich to happen because he honestly believed that he might avoid a general war."

    Which is correct - and I see no moral failure in wishing to avoid the horrors which war produces.

    "The British PM and Parliament, acting in concert with the French government, should have clobbered Hitler the moment he began revealing his military buildup in 1935."

    How exactly would they have done that? What "should have" been done is very different to what "could have" been done. As with other adverse criticisms of Britain in that period, it smacks of Monday morning quarterbacking.

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  • 283. At 5:17pm on 19 Jun 2009, onionshavelayers wrote:

    The Iranian "election" is NOT the worst possible outcome for Obama.
    It is just one of many such dilemmas facing him, partly due to his "nice guy" (a.k.a. "Wimpy") approach to foreign affairs. It is sad that Obama has opted to say nothing concrete in the face of such a sham election as that in Iran, but it is not surprising. He speaks of dialogue being the key to everything. But the world's dictators just see him as weak, and are now moving full speed ahead with their anti-West, anti-freedom, anti-democratic adventures. Iran and their proxy terrorist groups love the fact that Obama has laid nearly all of the blame of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Israel.
    And North Korea is screaming louder than ever with their very real threats. It will be a wonder if N. Korea doesn't sell a bomb or two to Iran or some other terrorist supporting regime, and it will be an equal wonder if Israel doesn't end up eating it. Who needs missiles to deliver a nuke? Even a mechanical monstrosity such as a N. Korean nuke can be delivered to Israel by other means, especially when there are plenty of "martyrs" just waiting for the opportunity to make good on Iran's threat of wiping Israel off the map.
    No, this is not the worst for Obama. That is yet to come.
    He is correct in saying it doesn't really matter who wins in Iran. It is obvious to the free world that the Supreme Leader's regime is illegitimate and already knew who would "win" before the election took place.
    But Obama is wrong by not being presidential from an American point of view; by not speaking out against the crackdowns and the vote-rigging.
    And to top it all off... the Supreme Leader has laid all the blame of their election friction on Israel, the UK, and of course... the US.
    I hope Obama at least has the guts to dispute that...

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  • 284. At 5:19pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    every other day -> one brother short
    in the gleaner or the star -> rumours of war
    or the daily news -> tribal war

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  • 285. At 5:22pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    NK is not going to be attacked by the US now or in the future.
    Neither is Iran. [#276]

    Oh yes, they shall be when push comes to shove.

    That shove has a name: WEAPONIZATION.

    There is a big difference between being able to detonate a simple atomic device and making it sturdy enough and small enough to put on a missile. It takes time, effort and wherewithal.

    North Korea will be hit before it reaches this stage, assuming that it continues on the current path under the rule of effeminated Kim-Jong-un
    (Kim Jong-il's youngest son).

    As for Iran, Israel will move against it before US does, when it becomes an existential threat to the Jewish state. Just as it did before Saddam got his Osirak reactor going, and Assad got his (built by North Korea). Look at "before and after" pics of those two facilities.

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  • 286. At 5:26pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    At 4:47pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:
    271. At 4:32pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    At the rate things are going, Pesident Obama may turn out to be the worst President in living memory"


    And he's black of course.



    That's not an issue. The problem is that he's green.

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  • 287. At 5:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    273, oh, persecuted one, I do. you can google for it under
    "TheAmericanDreamAgain" I haven't done anything with it lately,
    but feel free to go and leave comments.

    And, as always, be happy and feel lazy.

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  • 288. At 5:30pm on 19 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    278, St. D, I agree about the non-interference. There is an interview
    with Kissinger somewhere on the BBC web site where he maintains that
    Iran is at a turning point, and that, no matter what happens, there
    is no turning back.

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  • 289. At 5:44pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    287 GnR talk of censorship.

    No batty comments allowed.

    Apparently without right to appeal.

    or Jury .

    all on the word of a few bad eggs.
    Isn't that how gitmo got filled?

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  • 290. At 5:44pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    couldn't find the blog . shame

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  • 291. At 5:47pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    Meooow HAven't seen you for a while. the game with True two was shown for what it was and up pops a kitten.
    How STRANGE

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  • 292. At 5:55pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    285. At 5:22pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    NK is not going to be attacked by the US now or in the future.
    Neither is Iran. [#276]

    Oh yes, they shall be when push comes to shove.

    That shove has a name: WEAPONIZATION.

    There is a big difference between being able to detonate a simple atomic device and making it sturdy enough and small enough to put on a missile. It takes time, effort and wherewithal.

    North Korea will be hit before it reaches this stage, assuming that it continues on the current path under the rule of effeminated Kim-Jong-un
    (Kim Jong-il's youngest son)."


    Really. You think the Chinese will allow an attack on a nuclear base next to their borders.

    You can see the Chinese approving this.

    And that is before South Korea or Japan have their say

    Fantasise away


    "As for Iran, Israel will move against it before US does, when it becomes an existential threat to the Jewish state. Just as it did before Saddam got his Osirak reactor going, and Assad got his (built by North Korea). Look at "before and after" pics of those two facilities."


    Hmmm word to the wise - Iran is not Iraq. There are four letters in the names but there you are.

    And if you think Iran hasn't twigged this, well once again live in Lilliput and leave the real thinking to others.

    And as for the idea that Russia will allow the US to launch a nuclear strike on its border, when it doesn't even want radars placed there - as I said Lilliput thinking.

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  • 293. At 5:59pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    282. At 5:14pm on 19 Jun 2009, David_Cunard wrote:

    "How exactly would they have done that? What "should have" been done is very different to what "could have" been done. As with other adverse criticisms of Britain in that period, it smacks of Monday morning quarterbacking."


    There is also the small but important fact that neither the British, French, American, Belgian, Dutch in fact most ofthe world's population wanted war.

    If Chamberalin had tried to launch a war in 1935 he would have been out on his ear.

    Chruchill was quite open in saying he was always terrified that Chamberlain would call an election - whihc he would have won hands down

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  • 294. At 6:02pm on 19 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    286. At 5:26pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:


    And he's black of course.



    That's not an issue. The problem is that he's green. "

    Oh it is certainly an issue. As for his being "green", hmmm well the experienced Bush and his gang of gung-ho half-wits was pretty much as bad a failure as the US has ever had.

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  • 295. At 6:05pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Serious Time
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI3X8PWdh7g

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  • 296. At 6:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    Gulag cell 13
    Message from cell 14

    "MArcus Auraless Has yet again worked his majic to get me banned. Can't handle an argument that one. can't handle losing. normally he comes as TT to make that compalint"

    Can't handle his kitten either, they are one and the same.
    He says something about legion.
    then something about censorship, Can't hear too well the walls are thick.



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  • 297. At 6:39pm on 19 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Gun's blog can be found here.

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  • 298. At 6:48pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #233 Simon21,

    Is Halliburton a french company? Bechtel? Blackwater?

    In other words, you have nothing to support SD's claim.


    Not quite Bush aned Blair were expecting an easy simple victory or to use an American phrase "a splendid little war" These sort of wars are always used to win elections.

    No, SD said we went to war in order to WIN re-election. It's clear Bush was more popular before the Iraq war (much more than Obama is today), so that reasoning makes no sense.

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  • 299. At 7:18pm on 19 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    274. Simon wrote:
    "... Australia, Canada both achieved nationhood and prosperity without war (thugh the native people's might disagree."

    Well, sort of.

    Canada exists because the War of 1812 was indecisive, and because the US civil war necessitated that the remaining colonies of British North America coalesce.

    Canada's independence was paid for at Ypres, at Vimy Ridge, in the Hundred Days, at Dieppe, Ortona, Juno Beach, Caen, Falaise, the Scheldt. Australia's independence was paid for at Gallipoli, on the Western Front, at Tobruk and El Alamein and dozens of other places, in Malaysia and at Singapore; up the Kokoda Track in New Guinea.

    Without war? Well, uncommonly it wasn't against the colonial power, but it represents enormous sacrifice in blood and treasure just the same.

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  • 300. At 7:21pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #246 saintDominick,

    According to the Financial Times of London, between September 1998 and last winter, Cheney, as CEO of Halliburton, oversaw $23.8 million of business contracts for the sale of oil-industry equipment and services to Iraq through two of its subsidiaries, Dresser Rand and Ingersoll-Dresser Pump, which helped rebuild Iraq's war-damaged petroleum-production infrastructure.

    Cheney left Halliburton as CEO in 2000, so how was he CEO last winter? Also, you claimed Halliburton was cut out of contracts and then provide support on your claim for going to war is that...they had contracts. Very thin.

    Don't forget that President Reagan armed Hussein's military, an effort coordinated by their envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, that paved the way for US business deals with Iraq back in 1983. Saddam, who must not have been the brightest man in town, made the mistake of awarding many oil-industry related contracts that we wanted to Russian and French firms. His audacity was never forgotten.

    Right, I should have recognised all of those French planes and Russian T72 tanks as being from Regan and the USA. Please be more specific with how and with what Regan armed Iraq, beyond sending some munitions during their war with Iran.

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  • 301. At 7:49pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 302. At 7:51pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #276 Simon21,

    After all when key US ally Georgia was invaded and bashed under Bush the Americans didn't even send a guard dog.

    The US sent several war ships and aid to Georgia at the time. So your one liner has no merit and shows a propensity on your part to fabricate your answers to help justify your world view. Try sticking to facts, or at least half truths.

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  • 303. At 8:07pm on 19 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #265

    If there was any criticsm on this board which was not grounded in anti-semitsm, I could acknowledge it.

    But there seems to be one set of rules which say Israel is not permitted to defend itself.

    Whle the Palestinians and other Arab states can be allowed to conduct terrorism

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  • 304. At 8:14pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 300, Rod

    "Cheney left Halliburton as CEO in 2000, so how was he CEO last winter?"

    The "last winter" reference in the London Financial Times article referred to 1999.

    Iraq acquired military materiel from many countries, including the USA, Russia, France, and the UK. Our support to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war was not a secret, President Reagan did not hesitate to announce his support, provided WMDs and, most importantly, provided military (satellite) intelligence pinpointing the position of Iranian forces, as well as Kurdish fighters who were allegedly cooperating with the Iranians and hoping for the defeat of Iraqi forces.

    Regarding the issue of contracts with Iraq before the Gulf war, although the US got the lion's share of the business, there were also Russian, French, and British companies operating in Iraq. Since the occupation of Iraq most contract have gone to US companies, many were sole source contracts. One of the dominant US companies in the region for decades has been Halliburton, and subsidiaries such as Kellogg Brown & Root which provides engineering, construction, and services related to the energy and hydrocarbon sectors as well as government and civil infrastructure services.

    The Iraqi contracts have been very profitable and are a major factor in our reluctance to pull out of Iraq.

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  • 305. At 8:14pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 306. At 8:19pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    not so cute percy;

    I didn't get you banned. If you've been banned you did it to yourself. How typical of life's losers to scapegoat other people for their own shortcomings. I don't know what you did but it must have been pretty bad to get banned here. I have no more influence here than anyone else.

    Simple Simon #276;

    "271. At 4:32pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    At the rate things are going, Pesident Obama may turn out to be the worst President in living memory"


    And he's black of course"

    That's not the first time someone said or inferred that my comments are based on racial prejudice. I said it was a lie last time and I say it again now. I challenge you to point to one posting on this or any other blog where I made any comments about anyone based on their race.

    Based on culture yes, race never. I remind you Simple Simon that I also opposed John McCain being president and said many times I thought he was equally incompetent to Barack Obama but for different reasons. If memory serves me well, as I recall he is caucausian. Do you have any evidence to prove your allegations or do you admit that all you are left to for your arguments, all else having failed you are out and out lies about me? If anyone should be banned.....

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  • 307. At 8:20pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 298, Rod

    "No, SD said we went to war in order to WIN re-election. It's clear Bush was more popular before the Iraq war (much more than Obama is today)"

    Bush's popularity immediately after the invasion of Iraq, when the American people were led to believe that Saddam Hussein collaborated with 9/11, went up considerably. It did not go down until after the 04 election when people finally realized the whole thing had been a pack of lies.

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  • 308. At 8:48pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    I didn't get you banned. If you've been banned you did it to yourself. How typical of life's losers to scapegoat other people for their own shortcomings. I don't know what you did but it must have been pretty bad to get banned here. I have no more influence here than anyone else.


    REALLY ?

    You spend your whole time scapegoating everyone for the fact that no one like you.So you attack the world instead of realising you are a fraud and that is why no one takes you seriously.
    I can tell some must take him seriously they have tried to ban him 3 times now. This time for calling you batty.


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  • 309. At 8:50pm on 19 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    And the accusation has taken in another innocent who has been banned by the look of it and not content there is a great purge going on. I accuse you of working in the BBC office in Washington.

    But the Mods will not print this, probably

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  • 310. At 9:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    persecutioncomplex;

    All I can say is that if something I did you you bannned, I'm very sorry....that I don't know what it is or I'd be at it again this very second :-) What are friends for anyway?

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  • 311. At 9:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re #292

    I don't think you have a clue what US can or cannot do when it determines that it has to act, and act decisively.

    When push comes to shove nobody in the U.S. will worry about what China or Russia can say, let alone about noises made by 'usual suspects': assorted pool-side pinkos and impotent peaceniks (read: appeasers).

    On the contrary, China and Russia will try and make sure that the sleeping giant is not fully awaken and doesn't take his gloves off for their own sake. Just look how quickly they've changed their tune at UNSC re N. Korea, when US merely started to growl a little louder and to move some of its assets in the Pacific theater.

    It's been a very long time since US fought for the last time without one hand of its military not tied to its back.


    Enemies of US should pray (to Allah, Mao, Lenin) that they never see such a time again. And don't push their luck.

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  • 312. At 9:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, iwontdrinkthewater wrote:

    Anybody hear about the fly fisherman who reckoned that if he could cast his fly just so, the salmon would by its very nature have to rise to the bait...if the salmon does that, said the bear, I will have to snatch the salmon...if he does that, said the hunter, I will shoot the bear...the mouse, figuring that when the hunter shoots, he can grab the cheese that's about to fall out of the hunter's pocket. Well, there's this little itty bitty raggedly cat sitting watching this whole 'scenario' and figures if all the above happens, it will be a good night's hunting. The above does indeed go down. BUT the cat pounced just a wee bit too soon - when the fly dropped, the pussy-cat got wet.
    Moral? Since when did we get out-witted by the critters among us!

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  • 313. At 9:46pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #307 saintDominick,
    Ref 298, Rod

    Bush's popularity immediately after the invasion of Iraq, when the American people were led to believe that Saddam Hussein collaborated with 9/11, went up considerably. It did not go down until after the 04 election when people finally realized the whole thing had been a pack of lies.

    That's not completely true. Bush's popularity fell from roughly 90% in 2001 to 50% in 2003 (right before the invasion). It went back to 60% after the election of 2004. Hi popularity nose dived there after. He is now back up to 41%. Btw, Bush never said Saddam collaborated with 911. He said Saddam collaborated with terrorists.

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  • 314. At 10:18pm on 19 Jun 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    There seems to me to be something very wrong when some people are allowed to be gratuitously offensive to a multitudinous group of races, nationalities, ethinicities and liberal politics, who change posters' pseudonyms for no other purpose but to make snide, cheap jokes, do this consistently over many BBC blogs, and are yet apparently immune.

    Someone, somewhere, seems to be reading the BBC House Rules very differently to me, and the application of them appears to vary according to the time of day. Get a grip, someone.

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  • 315. At 10:24pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #304. saintDominick,

    "Cheney left Halliburton as CEO in 2000, so how was he CEO last winter?"

    The "last winter" reference in the London Financial Times article referred to 1999.

    I figured. However, that article does not support your claim that went to war over contracts for US companies. France and Russia were left out becuase they refused to participate with the US, they actually went out of their way to derail US negotiations with the UN. Maybe because of their contracts with Iraq perhaps?

    "Iraq acquired military materiel from many countries, including the USA, Russia, France, and the UK. Our support to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war was not a secret, President Reagan did not hesitate to announce his support, provided WMDs and, most importantly, provided military (satellite) intelligence pinpointing the position of Iranian forces, as well as Kurdish fighters who were allegedly cooperating with the Iranians and hoping for the defeat of Iraqi forces."

    Your above statement argues against your original assertion that the US ARMED Iraq. I did not question that Regan provided support to Iraq, just the exaggeration of the extent of that support.

    "Regarding the issue of contracts with Iraq before the Gulf war, although the US got the lion's share of the business, there were also Russian, French, and British companies operating in Iraq. Since the occupation of Iraq most contract have gone to US companies, many were sole source contracts. One of the dominant US companies in the region for decades has been Halliburton, and subsidiaries such as Kellogg Brown & Root which provides engineering, construction, and services related to the energy and hydrocarbon sectors as well as government and civil infrastructure services."

    Well, it makes sense to give contracts to companies that are in the top of their field. I guess you believe the US should have rewarded companies from the two nations that proactively went against the US diplomatic efforts at the UN. Even still, this is mere conjecture on your part and not based on actual facts that the US deliberately went to war over oil contracts in Iraq. It might be a fun conspiracy theory to bandy about, but nothing more.

    "The Iraqi contracts have been very profitable and are a major factor in our reluctance to pull out of Iraq."

    So is Obama in on this conspiracy to?



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  • 316. At 10:31pm on 19 Jun 2009, saintDominick wrote:

    Ref 313, Rod

    "Btw, Bush never said Saddam collaborated with 911."

    Dick Cheney insinuated as much, on several occasions, and many Americans bought it. In fact, many are still convinced that Iraq played a role in 9/11 and support President Bush's decision to attack and occupy Iraq because of that. President Bush did not endorse Cheney's claim, but he was careful not to deny it until it became patently clear to everyone that the charges were part of a ploy to justify the war and the subsequent occupation of Iraq.

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  • 317. At 10:32pm on 19 Jun 2009, _marko wrote:

    To onionshavelayers #283:

    With such a sensitive understanding of all the parties involved, their motivations, their weaknesses, labels, strong points, where blame should be apportioned, metaphorical progress and actions, reasons for decisions, what's obvious to the free world etc, can you be explicit and articulate precisely what actions should be taken? Your suggestions would then validate all your speculation and stories.

    even in #311 you say:
    When push comes to shove...noises...pool-side...fully awaken...gloves off...tune...growl a little louder...one hand tied to its back
    What exactly does this mean in terms of what actions should be taken? Does it actually mean anything without the vague metaphors?




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  • 318. At 10:32pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    I've been away from this blog lately, who was banned and for what?

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  • 319. At 10:41pm on 19 Jun 2009, mary gravitt wrote:

    THE SUPREME ONE SPEAKS!

    I am responding to the responses I have heard on NPR and the BBC concerning the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demands to end protests. However, I am talking back to the BBC Front Page News online http://news.bbc.co.uk 2009/06/19 Ayatollah demands end to protests.
    In his address Friday after prayers, the ayatollah said despite differences of opinion among the presidential candidates, they were all trustworthy and loyal to the Islamic Republic. He said the election was a political earthquake for Irans enemiessingling out Britain as the most evil of themwhom he accused of trying to foment unrest in the country. Some of our enemies in different parts of the world intended to depict this absolute victory, this definitive victory, as a doubtful victory, the supreme leader said. George W. Bush had the same problem in 2000 and the Supreme Court said in spite of losing the popular vote and not quite capturing the Electoral College, Bush was the winner fair and square. No Third World totalitarian Ayatollahs for the U.S.

    The UK government got in a huff and summoned the Iranian ambassador to protest against the ayatollahs remarks, and the US House of Representatives voted 405-1 for a statement support democratic and fair elections, condemning the violence and the Iranian governments suspension of independent electronic communications through interference with internet and cell phones. The House, having erased from its collective memory the Elections of 2000 and 2004, and their assault on U.S. democracy protests at the Iranian governments attempt to keep law and order. However, me thinks these governments do protest too much.

    James Moore and Wayne Slater in The Architect: Karl Rove and the Master Plan for Absolute Power (2006) help support the Supreme Ayatollahs contentions that outside agitators are the cause of the protests. They write that Michael Ledeen, a dedicated Neocon with an unflagging commitment to Israel who promoted the Iraq invasion is the creator of the Center for Democracy in Iran (CDI). Ledeen has been considered by the CIA and the Italian government to be an agent of influence for Israel. Although he is a founding member of the board of advisers for the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), Ledeen insists he has never done any political work for Israel, nor any other kind of work. Former Vice President Dick Cheney was also an adviser [there] before taking office, who surrounded himself and then President George W. Bush with what Moore and Slater call Israel Firsters. (195)

    Moreover James Risen in State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration (2006) add further fuel to Khameneis accusation of foreign interference, regardless to Obama stance of neutrality, because he is implicated through the legacy of Bush policy on fighting The War on Terror. In May 2003, one month after the fall of Bagdad, the Iranians approached the United States. . . offering to turn over top al Qaeda lieutenants, including both Saif al-Adel, al Qaedas chief of operations and Saad bin Laden, Osama bin Ladens son. . . the Iranians wanted a trade; in return for the al Qaeda leaders, Tehran wanted the Americans to hand over members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), an Iranian exile terrorist organization that had been supported by Saddam Hussein and based in Iraq since 1986. After the fall of Baghdad, the U.S. military had disarmed the MEKs thousands of fighters and taken custody of the groups heavy military equipment, more than two thousand tanks, artillery pieces, armored personnel carriers, and other vehicles provided by Saddam Hussein. The propaganda pushing the invasion of Iraq was to wipe out terror on the Eastern Front on the so-called War on Terror.

    Bush thought that the trade was a good idea, since MEK was a terrorist organization registered with the State Department because back in the 1970s the group had killed several Americans living in Iran, including CIA officers based there during the shahs regime. But the idea never got that far. Hard-liners at the Pentagon, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz seem to think that MEK could be useful in a future war with Iran, and so they appeared eager to keep the group in place inside Iraq. A deal was cut with MEK, and they [the Pentagon] got away with it.

    Risen goes on to state that the bottom line was that the United States lost a potential opportunity to get its hands on several top al Qaeda operatives, including Osama bin Ladens son. It became clear to frustrated aides that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice was not only failing to cub the Pentagon, but was also allowing decision making on Iran policy to drift.

    The MEKs political arm, writes Risen, is the National Council of Resistance of Iran understands how to gain attention in the West, particularly after watching the prewar success of the Iraqi National Congress. . . . The Iranian exiles have used the American press to issue claims about Irans nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programs in Order to build the case for a tougher U.S. policy toward Tehran. Thereby the MEK might be playing the same game on Iran that was instigated by the U.S.-UK in 1953. Their moment of usefulness to the West and to Israel may have come at last. (216-218)

    The West seems to have its knickers in a twist over the Iranian Election, but like President Obama states in so many ways that the Media does not want to hear or read neither his Inauguration Speech or his Cairo Speech, which set the United States on a new track to diplomacy, not reactionary politics, We are no longer children; we now must act as adults.

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  • 320. At 10:55pm on 19 Jun 2009, faeyth wrote:

    Who cares about Iran or it's people them figure it out what they want.

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  • 321. At 11:03pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #316 saintDominick,
    Ref 313, Rod

    Dick Cheney insinuated as much, on several occasions, and many Americans bought it. In fact, many are still convinced that Iraq played a role in 9/11 and support President Bush's decision to attack and occupy Iraq because of that. President Bush did not endorse Cheney's claim, but he was careful not to deny it until it became patently clear to everyone that the charges were part of a ploy to justify the war and the subsequent occupation of Iraq.

    I seem to recall Cheney claiming Saddam had ties with Al Qaeda, based on intelligence information. I do not recall him claiming Saddam collaborated in 911. I can't say I'm aware of all of Cheney's comments, so perhaps you could post a quote or two from Cheney on this. I for one never believed Saddam was part of 911 and do not remember such allegations until after the war went south and democrats started looking for excuses to mollify their base.

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  • 322. At 11:14pm on 19 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    283. Onions and others.

    America has the same options today as it had six months ago with respect to dealing with Iran. The Iranian election has not changed that in any way.

    There are posters who are so anxious to deploy military force. You get the idea from their writings that they have no idea what this means.

    Deploying military force, or even applying overt diplomatic pressure would only have caused popular support for the government to solidify, thus snuffing out whatever opportunity the reformers might have, or have had. Go ahead, bomb Teheran - and cut the knees right out from under the protesters.

    Unless you have the land forces to invade, occupy and control; the political will to do so; and the economy to pay for it all, all you are doing is making a worse mess. Military intervention would simply unite the population against us. But you're right - millions of Americans are bombarding the government with e-mails demanding that America commit itself to another land war in Asia; the economy is robust; and the army doesn't have anything else to do, so sure, go ahead. Knock yourself out.

    Consider the protesters in Iran right now. They live under a theocratic dictatorship. By definition, it is not a democracy, notwithstanding the elections, because the voters and their elected representatives can be overruled by the officials who "represent" God. The people with power quite literally hold the view that it is their "God given right" to tell their fellow citizens what to do. This is, without question, a form of fascism, in this case religious fascism. That word carries a lot of baggage. Its an extremist ideology, and religious extremists, whether of this brand or of any other seen through centuries of experience, can justify no end of inhumanity to their fellow men in the name of their ideology.

    These are people who, ultimately, rule at the point of a gun. And people who rule at the point of a gun rarely put a high value on human life - other than their own - and don't usually give up without bloodshed.

    I defer to Marbles on Iran-specific knowledge. But there have been plenty of other revolutions and popular uprisings around the world. Here, we have reached a point where tomorrow morning perhaps several hundred thousand, perhaps a million, protesters will take to the streets in Teheran in peaceful protest. The success of their protest is going to depend on the determination of unarmed civilians to stand firm while some, perhaps many, among them are beaten, arrested, tortured, and killed. And tomorrow won't be enough. They will have to do it day after day after day. They will have to make the country ungovernable unless their demands are met. They will have to show by voting with their feet that Iran cannot be ruled except by the consent of the governed.

    Some people here seem to think that is an easy task.

    Somebody who doesn't care much about human life has decided that China got past its Tienanmen Square moment, and is betting that Iran can too. Or maybe they're betting that the protesters don't have the nerve. They care about public opinion enough to be suffocating the press, but not enough to forswear killing protesters in the street. Apparently there are already as many as fifteen dead.

    If you were an Iranian, would you protest tomorrow, knowing that there is a fair chance that by tomorrow night you may be beaten with clubs and sticks? Be arrested and beaten? Possibly be killed in the street?

    Do you remember when Marbles commented on organized cadres being bused in? Well, for the hard looking men you see at the government demonstrations, that's what it is about. There will be truckloads of thugs bused in tomorrow, and the riot police and army will stand aside as these thugs attack the protesters. Maybe there will be street battles. If it starts going the other way, the soldiers and police will wade in. This has happened before in many different countries.

    Would you let your teenage and twenty-something children go to the protest?

    Maybe the protests will fizzle in the face of intimidation. Still, there is a very real prospect that they are going to kill a lot of children tomorrow. That is the price that Iranian citizens are going to pay if they want to change their government.

    Judging by the writing, my guess is that the posters who call so loudly for military force have never faced real violence, and would be the first ones to hide under their beds if they ever were.

    Asinine and ignorant, they don't have the humility to put a cork in it while people who yearn for something better stiffen their nerve to face soldiers, riot police, and thugs, armed with nothing but their own desire for justice.
    Courage?

    And if the protesters fail, America and its allies will have the very same range of options that they had two weeks ago.

    In the meantime, some of you need to belt up. Perhaps, instead, you might say a prayer for the people, mostly students, who may be bruised, bleeding, or dead, by this time tomorrow.

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  • 323. At 00:19am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    322. At 11:14pm on 19 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:


    "In the meantime, some of you need to belt up. Perhaps, instead, you might say a prayer for the people, mostly students, who may be bruised, bleeding, or dead, by this time tomorrow."

    All very pious, but it ignores one rather relevant point.

    The winner of this election might have actually won. In other words he might be popular.

    It might be worth somebody's time analysing why he is instead of assuming the protestors are correct and speak for Iran.

    They might be, but we don't know.

    At teh moment all we are told is that the president is a "populist" benice to know what that means in this context, why do the poor support him?

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  • 324. At 00:28am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    315. At 10:24pm on 19 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    "I figured. However, that article does not support your claim that went to war over contracts for US companies. France and Russia were left out becuase they refused to participate with the US, they actually went out of their way to derail US negotiations with the UN."

    Er what negotiations? Do you mean automatic agreement on the basis of bad intelligence? Blair knew Bush wanted war no matter what.


    He planned for a simple victory and big parades.

    "Well, it makes sense to give contracts to companies that are in the top of their field."


    And the way you know they at the top of their field is to not allow any competition for them?

    Hmmm not normally how contracts are awarded in the US.


    "I guess you believe the US should have rewarded companies from the two nations that proactively went against the US diplomatic efforts at the UN."



    They a opposed the war, they were entitled to, they took a different view. Nations and people do.

    And er they were proved right were they not?

    They were actually correct and the US was wrong.


    Still don't get it do you. Little successfull wars are political gold. And if you can give big money to your friends, well that's a bonus.

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  • 325. At 00:37am on 20 Jun 2009, canadacold wrote:

    I think that President Obama is doing the right thing by not getting involved. He can not do anything to help any way and it would almost certainly be construed as an attack on the regime and make things worse
    What is interesting to me is that there seems so little difference between the competitors for this to happen
    I am mindful of the political history and the overthrow of Mossadegh. How different would things be at this time??
    I hope for good things for the brave marchers, but with little optimism at this time

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  • 326. At 00:38am on 20 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Ulterior Motive
    Oh What A Shame
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TYD5jGyIrA

    Police Polizia
    Pressure
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2yeYqyULcg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVdGPJ8b8LE&feature=PlayList&p=1604C46A7BC0E8A9

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  • 327. At 00:38am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    311. At 9:28pm on 19 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Re #292

    I don't think you have a clue what US can or cannot do when it determines that it has to act, and act decisively."

    It appears I know better than you. You apparently do not know where N Korea and iran are -they are not in Texas.

    "When push comes to shove nobody in the U.S. will worry about what China or Russia can say, let alone about noises made by 'usual suspects': assorted pool-side pinkos and impotent peaceniks (read: appeasers)."


    No, no one will worry what they "say". Its their thermonuclear weapons that are the worry.

    Maybe you didn't know this?

    "On the contrary, China and Russia will try and make sure that the sleeping giant is not fully awaken and doesn't take his gloves off for their own sake. Just look how quickly they've changed their tune at UNSC re N. Korea, when US merely started to growl a little louder and to move some of its assets in the Pacific theater."

    Have they? China has started building a bluewater fleet, Russia invaded a US ally with not the slightest hesitation and the US did not even send a guard dog, it howled rather than growled.

    Yes they seem very, very scared.

    So stop the pipe dreams it is not going to happen.

    "It's been a very long time since US fought for the last time without one hand of its military not tied to its back."

    Its a long time since the US military fought with any real lasting effect period.

    "Enemies of US should pray (to Allah, Mao, Lenin) that they never see such a time again. And don't push their luck."

    Yeh but theUS still won't nuke Iran or N Korea, it will not get permission, end of story.

    And can you see a US pres telling his country he is going to risk nuclear war over N Korea? It would sound like a Simpson's script.

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  • 328. At 00:46am on 20 Jun 2009, Roadkill wrote:

    Obama is playing this brilliantly! In politics, timing is everything. Just as the Somali pirates were dealt with, this too may come out as a decisive move. Just given a small opening, and the right words and actions, the mullahs will fall.

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  • 329. At 00:49am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain

  • 330. At 01:52am on 20 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    In 1962, Paul Goodman, US writer said: "The organization of American Society is an interlocking system of semi-monopolies notoriously venal, an electorate notoriously unenlightened, misled by a mass media notoriously phony."

    But perhaps Georges Clemenceau, the French prime minister, said it best: "America is the only nation in history which, miraculously, has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization."

    Marcus11, GW Bush, Dicky Cheney, Rummy, Condi, Rush Limbaugh, and many many others could very well be the product of that American tragedy.

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  • 331. At 02:10am on 20 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    323 Simon.

    Yes, Ahmadinejad may well have actually won the vote.
    Yes, he may be popular.
    But that isn't the issue that matters any more.
    Events have moved way, way past that.

    You wrote:

    "The winner of this election might have actually won. In other words he might be popular.
    It might be worth somebody's time analysing why he is instead of assuming the protestors are correct and speak for Iran.

    They might be, but we don't know."

    ---

    That's just exactly it: we don't know.

    What the government of Iran has decided is that nobody, including Iran's people, is ever going to have the right to know whether Ahmadinejad won or not.

    They held an election where, apparently, whether Ahmadinejad actually won or not, in reality only one person's vote counted - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    What kind of election is that?

    And when you consider that the clerics got to pick all the candidates;
    And when you consider that the clerics can overrule the winner anyway;
    But still providing a fair and open vote count is too much for them to swallow?
    Isn't that already overkill?
    Just how insecure can they be?

    Consider, by contrast, Venezuela - the opposition held huge street protests, but it turned out that Chavez had actually won - not by much, but he had won. That put a completely different complexion on it.

    But if this guy had genuinely won, why wouldn't the government be at pains to show it? Wouldn't that instantly take the wind out of the protesters' sails? Why would they announce a result that a very large number of Iranians clearly consider, well, "implausible" would be putting it kindly.

    Maybe people might have believed a modest victory, but two thirds of the vote, on a huge turnout? They were too afraid even to permit a result that would have led to a run-off! And now they are telling everybody not to pay any attention to the man behind the green curtain?

    The only reasonable inference is that he lost, and they know he lost. But they are so brazen, and have so little regard for the people that they don't even feel the need to announce a result that sounds even half way plausible. It's a great big "Up yours". They apparently have even less regard for democracy than the folks who are pushing the Lisbon Treaty - and that's saying something.

    No, this is no longer about whether Ahmadinejad won the election. It's gone way, way past that. It is about the right of a people to exercise self determination.

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  • 332. At 03:20am on 20 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Getting so much resistance from behind
    I think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
    Everybody look what's going down

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-d8nmvB6eE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5M_Ttstbgs

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  • 333. At 04:07am on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    328, proceednet.
    " Just given a small opening, and the right words and actions, the mullahs will fall."

    Words mean nothing. It is what is happening behind the scenes that counts.

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  • 334. At 04:17am on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    331, Interested.
    "And when you consider that the clerics got to pick all the candidates;And when you consider that the clerics can overrule the winner anyway; But still providing a fair and open vote count is too much for them to swallow?"

    And who gets to pick our candidates? By the time we get to the primaries the contestants have already been selected. We get to choose among the chosen. (The 2-party vultures chew up a third-party candidate. Remember what they did to Perot?) And as for a fair and open vote count - look to Nixon/Kennedy and Bush/Gore. It is just that we are a little more suave about our rigging. And our populace is a little less sophisticated.

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  • 335. At 04:19am on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    330, foxtrot.

    I am with you, foxtrot. Only America has blind faith in its government.

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  • 336. At 04:21am on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    325, canadacold.
    "I think that President Obama is doing the right thing by not getting involved."

    Not involved? Don't kid yourself.

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  • 337. At 06:20am on 20 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Marbles, what happened to your friends in Iran passing on what was happening? Are you saying that Obama is keeping them quiet?

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  • 338. At 06:52am on 20 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Yeh but the US still won't nuke Iran or N Korea, it will not get permission, end of story." [#327]



    I don't recall U.S. asking anybody for permission to do something; particularly something pertaining to its national security.
    And especially men in Moscow and Beijing. :-)))

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  • 339. At 07:04am on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    337, Seanspa.
    "Marbles, what happened to your friends in Iran passing on what was happening? Are you saying that Obama is keeping them quiet?"

    I am sure it has nothing to do with Obama. More likely the internet or caution.

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  • 340. At 07:44am on 20 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #324 Simon21,

    "He planned for a simple victory and big parades."

    Sure he did, becuase you say so.

    "And the way you know they at the top of their field is to not allow any competition for them? Hmmm not normally how contracts are awarded in the US."

    Based on your comment, IMO you have no idea who Hallibuton is or the type of services they provide. Halliburton-KBR received the Iraq contract becuase it won a competitive bid to provide contingency services to the Army. These contingency projects do not need to be competitively bid again since they fall under the original contract terms.


    They a opposed the war, they were entitled to, they took a different view. Nations and people do.

    And er they were proved right were they not?

    They were actually correct and the US was wrong.

    I have no idea what your comments have to do with awarding contracts in Iraq.


    Still don't get it do you. Little successfull wars are political gold. And if you can give big money to your friends, well that's a bonus.

    Not much to get from platitudinous commentary based on supposition.




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  • 341. At 08:41am on 20 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Pass me the Lazerbeam
    Make me wipe out the wicked them clean

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pcz6w_b5A58

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  • 342. At 09:32am on 20 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Operation Radication

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut8LeemgWaQ
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJsBk2DHLU8

    This one called the
    Gunman Connection
    But I man a musician
    I'm not a Politician

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWEqZj_UKUc

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  • 343. At 09:48am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    338. At 06:52am on 20 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    "Yeh but the US still won't nuke Iran or N Korea, it will not get permission, end of story." [#327]



    "I don't recall U.S. asking anybody for permission to do something; particularly something pertaining to its national security.
    And especially men in Moscow and Beijing. :-)))"


    DAre you normally personally consulted about the US' secret bombing plans? Are you shown the comms between world capitals?

    Thought not - dream on

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  • 344. At 09:52am on 20 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Roadblock
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20cFgkShAzA
    Curfew Sir

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  • 345. At 09:55am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    340. At 07:44am on 20 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:
    #324 Simon21,

    "He planned for a simple victory and big parades."

    Sure he did, becuase you say so."


    Common sense and politcal experience says so to, but not to you.

    "And the way you know they at the top of their field is to not allow any competition for them? Hmmm not normally how contracts are awarded in the US."

    "Based on your comment, IMO you have no idea who Hallibuton is or the type of services they provide. Halliburton-KBR received the Iraq contract becuase it won a competitive bid to provide contingency services to the Army. These contingency projects do not need to be competitively bid again since they fall under the original contract terms."


    Really your reply seems to indicate you beleive everythinhg you are told as a matter of faith. How touching. Haliburton's competitors however made their objections known quite clearly.

    And given its extreme charging Haliburton wasn't exactly at the "top of its game" was it.



    Still don't get it do you. Little successfull wars are political gold. And if you can give big money to your friends, well that's a bonus.

    Not much to get from platitudinous commentary based on supposition."

    Hmm not even Englsih.

    Maybe you should rread some basic history before commenting? Leaders love little wars, gives them a chance to dress up in military uniforms, hand out medals and pretenmd to be great commanders.

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  • 346. At 10:07am on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    331. At 02:10am on 20 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:


    "That's just exactly it: we don't know."

    So we should not assume the opposition won the election.

    "What the government of Iran has decided is that nobody, including Iran's people, is ever going to have the right to know whether Ahmadinejad won or not."


    What? They have said exactly the oppositte.

    "They held an election where, apparently, whether Ahmadinejad actually won or not, in reality only one person's vote counted - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    What kind of election is that?"


    It is the constitution that has nothing to do with the election

    And in the 2000 US election the right wing justices of the Supreme COurt decided who won. What kind of farce was that?

    "And when you consider that the clerics got to pick all the candidates;
    And when you consider that the clerics can overrule the winner anyway;
    But still providing a fair and open vote count is too much for them to swallow?
    Isn't that already overkill?
    Just how insecure can they be?"


    Gibberish. The Iranian consitution has nothing to do with the election. The opposition leader ran and debated the issues.There was a comprehenisve election.

    "But if this guy had genuinely won, why wouldn't the government be at pains to show it? Wouldn't that instantly take the wind out of the protesters' sails? Why would they announce a result that a very large number of Iranians clearly consider, well, "implausible" would be putting it kindly."

    Er the way you show who won an election is to announce the number of votes. And this they have done.

    You do not seem to understand elections.

    "Maybe people might have believed a modest victory, but two thirds of the vote, on a huge turnout? They were too afraid even to permit a result that would have led to a run-off! And now they are telling everybody not to pay any attention to the man behind the green curtain?"


    Sorry the "people" SOme of those people, rather a lot of them, voted for the president. They might think their votes count.

    "The only reasonable inference is that he lost, and they know he lost."


    What? How do you figure that out? what a leap, where is your evidence?


    "But they are so brazen, and have so little regard for the people that they don't even feel the need to announce a result that sounds even half way plausible. It's a great big "Up yours". They apparently have even less regard for democracy than the folks who are pushing the Lisbon Treaty - and that's saying something."

    No it is saying nothing. You do not like the Iranain election result, fine, but that isn't "proof" it is faked.

    And mass demonstrations in Teheran do not "prove" the result was wrong.

    "No, this is no longer about whether Ahmadinejad won the election. It's gone way, way past that. It is about the right of a people to exercise self determination."

    Yes and they are not going to be told the result of their elections by foreigners who fly to assumptions based on the fact they do not like their constitution.



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  • 347. At 10:25am on 20 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Say Lord Woy
    Spa Dap Spa Dap
    Them never fire one Pop
    Jah anything them fire
    It bigger than that
    Anything them fire
    It goes Braga-Dat

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  • 348. At 11:18am on 20 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    346. Simon.

    "Er the way you show who won an election is to announce the number of votes. And this they have done.
    You do not seem to understand elections."

    Well, first you have to count the votes, most often in front of scrutineers.

    Your commentary is based on an unquestioning assumption (a "leap of faith", some might say, uncharitably) that the results announced by the government of Iran are truthful.

    Ferdinand Marcos announced election results, too.
    But nobody believed them.
    For good reason.
    They were a pack of lies.

    Cuba has elections. They announce the results.
    Zimbabwe had elections. They announced the results.
    Iraq held elections in the time of Saddam Hussain. They announced results.
    East Germany had elections. They announced results.
    The USSR held elections. They announced results.
    North Korea has elections. They announce the results.

    Can you see a pattern there?
    Can you put your finger on the gap in your logic?

    A very large number of Iranians have taken to the streets this week, and may continue to do so, because they do not believe their own government.

    They are protesting at the risk of their lives.
    To do so without good reason would be to place a very high value on the abstract.

    You are correct: The protesters on the street are not proof that the vote was rigged. They are, however, proof that a lot of people think they were rigged.

    The customary way to address this issue is to demonstrate that the vote was scrupulously free and fair. Open democracies have many ways of doing this. Usually it involves safeguards that permit all of the candidates to scrutinize the count.

    If you were the government of Iran, and your candidate had won, fair and square, would you not be only too willing to demonstrate the legitimacy of the result?

    There are two reasons why you would not be:
    (1) You don't give a damn what the voters think;
    (2) Your man lost.

    Usually we place the onus on the people organizing the elections to show that they are free and fair. You write:

    "Sorry the "people" SOme of those people, rather a lot of them, voted for the president. They might think their votes count."

    Yes, they might. And like the protesters, they have been cheated, too, because they have no way of actually knowing with confidence that their candidate won, either. "Rather a lot of them", you say. That may well be. A pity then that nobody is ever going to know just how many. That's the problem with lack of transparency.


    Yes, it is clear that one of us does not understand elections.

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  • 349. At 12:38pm on 20 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    And now, even harsher restrictions have been put on foreign media. Not only correspondents are not allowed to cover street protests, let alone travel outside Tehran, e.g. to Shiraz and Isfahan where major protests have also been occuring; now every report they file has to be first presented to Iranian "authorities" for approval.

    And we're being told by some here that the election was fair and square and mullas have nothing to hide under their burkas. Oh my, my... :-)

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  • 350. At 2:47pm on 20 Jun 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    Yooo-hooo! Y'all! It's me again...back from the hinterlands and checking in. I'm impressed with Squirrelist's doggerel, but truly, there's no need to provoke MAII further. SaintDominick: I, too, miss our Princess, but also understand why she might be keeping a very low profile.

    The NeoCons, like Wolfowitz -- who got us into the stupid war in Iraq and who have wanted to intervene in Iran since like forever -- are OUT OF POWER. Ahem. WE had a free and fair election and the count was undisputed and the Democrats WON last November. Do we all agree upon this? Very well. Now, let's remember that politics ends at the water's edge and cease trying to entangle the US in yet another land war in Asia.

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  • 351. At 4:11pm on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    349. At 12:38pm on 20 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    And now, even harsher restrictions have been put on foreign media. Not only correspondents are not allowed to cover street protests, let alone travel outside Tehran, e.g. to Shiraz and Isfahan where major protests have also been occuring; now every report they file has to be first presented to Iranian "authorities" for approval."

    Wacky do press restrictons exist across the world genius, welcome to modern times.


    "And we're being told by some here that the election was fair and square and mullas have nothing to hide under their burkas. Oh my, my... :-)"

    And we are being told by someone who admits in his posting that he doesn'tknow, that somehow he does know. What is it magic?

    Oh dear dear.



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  • 352. At 4:51pm on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    348. At 11:18am on 20 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    346. Simon.

    "Er the way you show who won an election is to announce the number of votes. And this they have done.
    You do not seem to understand elections."

    Well, first you have to count the votes, most often in front of scrutineers."


    And you know that they didn't count the votes in front of scrutineers.

    You know this er how? ESP?

    Presumably you do speak Farsi and have connections within the reelvant Iranian ministry?

    "Your commentary is based on an unquestioning assumption (a "leap of faith", some might say, uncharitably) that the results announced by the government of Iran are truthful."


    No read my posting. I am saying there is no actual proof otherwise and that is a statement of fact.

    Your assumptions are not proof.

    That doesn't mean the elction wasn't fixed but simply saying so does not make it so.

    That is crooked thinking and dangerous thinking as it assumes the winner is not genuinely popular.

    "Ferdinand Marcos announced election results, too.
    But nobody believed them.
    For good reason.
    They were a pack of lies."

    Yes er Iran is not the Phillipines and its presidnet is not sole dictator in charge of everything.

    Like to try again?

    Cuba has elections. They announce the results.
    Zimbabwe had elections. They announced the results.
    Iraq held elections in the time of Saddam Hussain. They announced results.
    East Germany had elections. They announced results.
    The USSR held elections. They announced results.
    North Korea has elections. They announce the results.

    Can you see a pattern there?
    Can you put your finger on the gap in your logic?"


    No but there is a pretty big gap in yours East Germany was a one party state (ditto the rest)

    You really ought to read up on Iran before making a fool of yourself.

    Or maybe you are trying to claim elections are dishonest in themselves?

    In any case this is not proof. When you get some let us know.

    "A very large number of Iranians have taken to the streets this week, and may continue to do so, because they do not believe their own government.

    They are protesting at the risk of their lives.
    To do so without good reason would be to place a very high value on the abstract."


    Hmmm but an awfullot of Iranians have not gone on the streets have they? In fact the vast majority.

    So once again no banana sorry. Still not proof of anything except that the demonstrators are upset.

    "The customary way to address this issue is to demonstrate that the vote was scrupulously free and fair. Open democracies have many ways of doing this. Usually it involves safeguards that permit all of the candidates to scrutinize the count.

    If you were the government of Iran, and your candidate had won, fair and square, would you not be only too willing to demonstrate the legitimacy of the result?

    There are two reasons why you would not be:
    (1) You don't give a damn what the voters think;
    (2) Your man lost."


    Sorry crooked thinking. If you bothered to keep abreast you would find that they think they have. That is the point.

    Not hard to grasp.

    "Usually we place the onus on the people organizing the elections to show that they are free and fair."

    Yes but there is onus on the loosers to accept what these people say isn't it. And at the moment they are saying the result was fair.


    "Yes, they might. And like the protesters, they have been cheated, too, because they have no way of actually knowing with confidence that their candidate won, either. "Rather a lot of them", you say. That may well be. A pity then that nobody is ever going to know just how many. That's the problem with lack of transparency."


    Sorry this is gibberish. They are confident their man won, is there any sign otherwise.

    You obviously have little understanding of elctions or Iran.

    In elections sometimes the person you want to win loses, sad but that's life.

    If you are then going to say that you know the elections held in another country whose language you do not speak, whose culture you do not understand are bogus, you need to come up with proof.

    I am in a much stronger position because I admit I do not have any evidence to show the results were bogus.

















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  • 353. At 5:50pm on 20 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    How embarassing that we have such a wimp as President. Obama won't even give public support to the protesters.

    He'll probaly apologize to North Korea next.

    Can a Commander in Chief be dismissed for gross cowardness?

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  • 354. At 6:19pm on 20 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    353. At 5:50pm on 20 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    How embarassing that we have such a wimp as President.

    Yes he did not take the opportuity to arrest Avigdor Lieberman and even let him in to the United States!

    What next? An open invite to the Burmese Junta?

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  • 355. At 6:23pm on 20 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    353: "Can a Commander in Chief be dismissed for gross cowardness (sic)?"

    No more than our previous president could be dismissed for gross stupidity.

    But you really need to learn the difference between cowardice and wise diplomacy. Obama does nuance, whereas Bush didn't know the meaning of the word.

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  • 356. At 6:57pm on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    331, interested.
    "And when you consider that the clerics got to pick all the candidates;And when you consider that the clerics can overrule the winner anyway; But still providing a fair and open vote count is too much for them to swallow?"

    And who do you suppose got to choose the candidates in Iraq's "free" election. I'll give you a hint. There were no anti-Americans on the slate.

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  • 357. At 6:58pm on 20 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    "I am in a much stronger position because I admit I do not have any evidence to show the results were bogus."

    You've got the onus completely reversed. The burden is always on the state to demonstrate transparency of process and transparency of result.

    There are running street battles in Tehran today, with at least two more dead. But no doubt you'll deny that's happening.

    ---

    "Hmmm but an awfullot of Iranians have not gone on the streets have they? In fact the vast majority.

    First, applying your own logic, you don't actually know that "the vast majority" aren't out on the streets, either. And the government of Iran is doing its best to make sure that neither you nor I nor anybody else finds out. Funny, that. Strange way to behave if you have justice on your side.

    Second, you imply that we may infer that those who are not on the streets implicitly support the government. Or maybe they are too scared. That's the whole point of intimidation, isn't it? But I guess by your logic if you can cow enough people into submission, that counts as support just the same. Let's call that the Joseph Stalin theory of participatory democracy, well known to Poles, Hungarians, and Czechs.

    Third, even in countries where the government doesn't threaten to beat, arrest, or kill demonstrators, it takes a lot of motivation to prompt a crowd of 100,000+ to protest. Applying your logic to America, President Obama must only have minority support because "only" three million people showed up for the inauguration, while the "vast majority" of Americans stayed home. Guess none of the people who stayed home voted for or supported the President. Same non sequitur.

    The government of Iran has refused to re-run the election or do a systematic global recount. They have agreed to look into specific complaints, of which more than 600 have now been filed. But they have announced that the result is definitive, prior to investigating the complaints. Or are you prepared to deny that, too?

    "Yes but there is onus on the loosers to accept what these people say isn't it. And at the moment they are saying the result was fair."

    Huh?
    To which antecedent noun does "they" in the second sentence refer? (There are several problems with indefinite antecedents in your posting, this is just one of them).

    If "they" means the protesters, that is plainly not true - that's why they are risking life and limb in the streets today.

    If "they" means the government of Iran, well that's the whole point, isn't it? The people protesting in the streets are there because they believe the results are a lie.

    The protesters have no access to the information required to demonstrated that the figures have been fiddled, so the test you are proposing for them is both circular and patently unachievable. That is why the burden is on the state.

    The people who are protesting most assuredly do speak farsi, clearly do understand the culture, and clearly do live in the country. But no doubt you either deny that, or will make some simplistic slur to discount them, too. But gosh, you have to have specialized cultural knowledge to understand police on motorcycles armed with truncheons, stopping and beating pedestrians. Because its so totally different when it happened in Panama under Noriega, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Burma, ...

    But you just go on in your happy little world.

    La la la la la.

    Now there are two shutters that need fixing, and two clocks.

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  • 358. At 7:00pm on 20 Jun 2009, TexCannuck wrote:

    Lost AllMyMarbles,
    Looks like "Sensitivity" training for you Mister. One must learn to embrace diversity and foreign cultures. And, if they happen to promote Goat Porn as "normal", the least you can do is come to acceptance.
    Otherwise, it makes you appear intolerant.

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  • 359. At 7:07pm on 20 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    358, Tex.

    You are one funny feller. You are apparently a newcomer and do not know the people on this blog. That I should be told to "learn to embrace diversity and foreign cultures" is a scream.

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  • 360. At 8:19pm on 20 Jun 2009, Iron_Man_Engineer wrote:

    #352 Simon 21
    ""Er the way you show who won an election is to announce the number of votes. And this they have done.
    You do not seem to understand elections."

    Well, first you have to count the votes, most often in front of scrutineers."


    And you know that they didn't count the votes in front of scrutineers.

    You know this er how? ESP?

    Presumably you do speak Farsi and have connections within the relevant Iranian ministry?"

    Apparently we all have the connections you speak of as the Iranian government made a public statement regarding this. Their statement was that all people wishing to scrutinize the vote counting were barred from the process. All representatives from either nominee, and all those who wished to look over the process to verify the authenticity of the count were likewise barred. So yes it was only by official reports by Iran itself that we can say that absolutely no "scrutineers" were allowed to overview the vote counting process.
    Let's review what we know:

    Iran government held elections in which the Islam clerics favored one nominee.

    There were widespread reports from many if not most or nearly all of the districts that would have supported the opposer that they actually ran out of ballots at noon, which is likely halfway through the voting process. No such reports came from districts favoring the incumbent to my knowledge.

    Despite the fact that a huge part of the country was at a loss for ballots by which they could place a vote, the election still saw an unprecedented 85% voter turnout, which I myself have to say seems to almost make a record. I can honestly say that I cannot think of a single other election, even on controversial topics, that commanded such a large turnout.

    Somehow the Iranian government managed to collect, count and tally every vote in approximately 3 hours. Mind you, thats millions of votes from the county's largest voter turnout counted in a completely unprecedented 3 hours. No party outside of the government was allowed to supervise the vote counting and the votes are not viewable by outside parties. All calls for a recount have been unanimously denied. I really do want to recommend the Iranian government vote counters to Guiness book of world records though. Fastest votecounting of all time.

    Huge amounts of people have come out in support of the opposition in protests. The Iranian government still refuses to perform a recount and has instead decided they will forcefully end the protests. In an attempt to disarm the fact that widespread protests are in the streets for the opposition, the government has made large publicity about the large protests for the favored incumbent. What is very humorous though is that these protests were actually pretty small. As was proven in many technologically literate circles, the photos of the rallies that the Iranian government released to the public were actually photoshopped.
    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-273568
    Essentially, there was a small rally and several pictures were taken. These photos were then combined to make it look like a huge rally. I know this links to a nontrusted news source but it depcits the case the best. If you take the image publicly released by the Iranian government you will notice that zooming in on several places makes the same exact images come to light. So either there were tons of octuplets coming to this rally wearing the exact same clothing posing in exactly the same way or the Iranian government lied about the favored incumbents supporters' protest to devalue the fact that huge rallies are calling for a recount or reelection.
    Once again:
    elections have unrealistic proceedings and many people don't trust the results.
    Government will not let transparent recount occur.
    Major protests for opposition, apparently few people coming out in support of incumbent.
    Supreme leader can't take the heat and orders all protests to end or else bloodshed will occur (His words not mine).

    The thing about democratic elections is that if something strange occurs it doesn't matter what culture you're in, its rather obvious. I am not making a single comment on the Iranian constitution, in fact the lack of supervisors and the actual blocking of supervisors from the vote counts is directly AGAINST their constitution. My entire point is something strange occurred and the government is trying to sweep it entirely under the rug.

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  • 361. At 9:16pm on 20 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    360. IME
    Thank you.

    358. Tex

    Marbles is almost the definition of a cosmopolitan woman. She has lived a full and very interesting life. I seem to recall that she is either Italian or half Italian or married an Italian guy, but I might be confusing her with another contributor. She has had a long and wonderful marriage, and has raised a family. She is a writer, and I would suspect a fairly good one. She has an enormous and delightful zest for life, which is often visible in her writing here.

    Marbles has quite substantial knowledge of middle-eastern affairs, and, in particular of Iran, having lived and worked there. She speaks Farsi, and still has contacts in Iran, although they seem to have been quiet this week, perhaps prudently. Marbles has a funny and sharp sense of irony, and a quick pen.

    Marbles often disagrees with me, or tells me I don't know what I am talking about. Lots of posters here (including me) have great respect for her views on these subjects, and I don't mind her digs - as at 356 - because they often point to uncomfortable truths. In large part, that's what open discussion is what this blog is about.

    You'll notice that I haven't replied to her, at least not yet. The answer no doubt has a lot to do with expediency in a war zone, but you can see her point.

    In any case, if you were familiar with her postings, you would understand that her point at 359 really is pretty funny.

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  • 362. At 9:29pm on 20 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #345 Simon21,
    340. At 07:44am on 20 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:
    #324 Simon21,

    "He planned for a simple victory and big parades."

    Sure he did, becuase you say so."

    Common sense and politcal experience says so to, but not to you.


    My initial response still stands.
    -----------------------------------------------

    "And the way you know they at the top of their field is to not allow any competition for them? Hmmm not normally how contracts are awarded in the US."

    "Based on your comment, IMO you have no idea who Hallibuton is or the type of services they provide. Halliburton-KBR received the Iraq contract becuase it won a competitive bid to provide contingency services to the Army. These contingency projects do not need to be competitively bid again since they fall under the original contract terms."


    Really your reply seems to indicate you beleive everythinhg you are told as a matter of faith. How touching. Haliburton's competitors however made their objections known quite clearly.

    And given its extreme charging Haliburton wasn't exactly at the "top of its game" was it.


    Blah, blah, blah. You have trouble staying on point don't you?Halliburton-KBR did have a contract that covered contingency projects in Iraq. Do you have evidence to the contrary or not?
    ---------------------------------------------------


    Still don't get it do you. Little successfull wars are political gold. And if you can give big money to your friends, well that's a bonus.

    Not much to get from platitudinous commentary based on supposition."

    Hmm not even Englsih.


    You should learn to spell before you offer grammatical commentary. Using a dictionary will help with your spelling, along with the bigger words you apparently have trouble with.
    --------------------------------------------------

    Maybe you should rread some basic history before commenting? Leaders love little wars, gives them a chance to dress up in military uniforms, hand out medals and pretenmd to be great commanders

    I do feel inferior to your obvious font of historical knowledge which you seem capable of encapsulating into a simple cliche. Bravo!

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  • 363. At 10:01pm on 20 Jun 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Obama is neither wise or nuanced.

    Nuance in his case means dithering.

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  • 364. At 01:03am on 21 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    The wise man said Iran

    Ain't Obama's Problem

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  • 365. At 02:36am on 21 Jun 2009, Pass Torian wrote:

    Why Obama' dilemma? If he perceives that elections were faked then what? He will not talk to those in power? Bush kiddy tantrum anew? Aside from this, Obama ought to refrain from adding to the fire by commenting on the situation there. He is at sea to know whether Ahmadinejad was elected by majority of voters or not. Lost on the subject are his CIA people and all those who express outrage without knowing facts.

    No one denies that some segment of population is unhappy with the election results but to publicly side with I-like-Ahmadinejad-opponent-better is quite immature without solid, factual evidence on the matter.
    Burning tires and overturning few cars is nothing new for us. Some folks adapt these tactics to express their dissatisfaction with things not going their way. In California for some hooligans doing similar stunts was the expression of joy on their sport team achievement.

    Stating that the election seems illegitimate because of protest scenes
    fuels unnecessarily the fire. Those who are in power will not change their ways because we inflame emotions from afar. What may thus be the end result? Tiannamen square repeat? And then what?

    We know that Soviet Union disintegrated because the leadership desired drastic change for their people. If it was not the case we still would have to deal with the Evil Empire. They endured western isolation for close to seventy years and could surely go on another seventy years should they choose to do so.

    The point is that without Iraq style invasion (and occupation) we cannot change the government there. Perhaps the public should know why we should sympathise with Mr A and not Mr B? Or,why Mr C would be preferential to Mr B?

    It would not matter what the West think anyway, Iranian real power is in the hands of individuals who press their own agenda regardless what Mr. Obama or others think. Disturbances on the street? These can be brutally squashed anytime. Silly posturing on our part may create more martyrs but will it accomplish anything? I doubt.

    And the final point - you talk issues with those in power, not with those who may have been the legitimate winners but who linger in jails are killed, or otherwise marginalized. Perhaps this is the point Obama is missing and thus the talk about his dilemma.

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  • 366. At 03:05am on 21 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    361, Interested.

    May I attach your posting to my resume? It makes me sound a lot cleverer than I am.

    Just a couple of comments. I am descended from Sicilians who arrived in America more than 100 years ago.
    Since they were not particularly interested in ethnic purity or religion, we have married people from a great variety of backgrounds. I don't remember mentioning my husband, since it is not pertinent to this blog, yet you say I am happily married. You must be very intuitive, because I am.

    I am among the luckiest people alive. I have done just about everything I have ever wanted to do (greed, greed, pure greed). Given my propensity for adventure, however, that seemed to exclude marriage. But again I was lucky and found a husband with a similar horror of backyard barbeques. We have a raft of children and grandchildren, who are humorous, adventurous and slightly nutty. I do not bake cookies for them, but we talk all the time, usually very excitedly. Sometimes all three generations take foreign trips together. These tend to be hap-hazardly put together, with no firm itinerary. It adds to the fun.

    I don't know where you got the idea that I was a writer. You never heard that from me.

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  • 367. At 03:54am on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Dear Marbles:

    Confused. Again.
    Perhaps more evidence that my memory isn't what it was.
    I thought I remembered you made some comments about book publishing a while ago, and may have made the wrong inference.

    I hope your friends in Iran are safe and sound. Good night.

    Yours,

    IF

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  • 368. At 04:08am on 21 Jun 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    These kids in Iran are showing so much bravery. They are fighting for their freedom and I hope they succeed.

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  • 369. At 04:22am on 21 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    368, tough.
    "These kids in Iran are showing so much bravery. They are fighting for their freedom and I hope they succeed."

    They are fighting for a political advantage. They will be neither more nor less free with Moussavi. Think Obama/McCain. Also most are not kids.The kids are in the forefront, but others are in the background.

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  • 370. At 05:47am on 21 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    A post from Middle East found on HYS:

    The whole of middle eastern Islamic rulers are cautiously watching Iran. Even though they hate Shia Islam and mullah Khomeini, they wish this peoples movement fail. Success of Iranian movement could lead to similar movements in their own countries bringing down dictators ruled for decades with rigged elections.

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  • 371. At 06:35am on 21 Jun 2009, TexCannuck wrote:

    Cripes, Two Turnips.

    There is a village missing its vegetables. Of course, if I had to select the most pretentious, Marbles
    gets the nod.

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  • 372. At 08:55am on 21 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    passtorian [#365] wrote:

    Why Obama' dilemma? [...]He is at sea to know whether Ahmadinejad was elected by majority of voters or not. Lost on the subject are his CIA people and all those who express outrage without knowing facts.

    Could you, please convey this opinion to Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who claims that it's the Great Satan (U.S) and its CIA, who is behind all those protests and unrests?

    together with "the most evil of all - UK" and its MI6 and the "Zionist entity" and its Mossad, of course. :-)

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  • 373. At 09:55am on 21 Jun 2009, alphamiguel wrote:


    One small point:Other than in Tehran,how many other towns and villages in Iran are protesting?Is the whole country up in arms or is this election just being disputed in in the capital.

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  • 374. At 12:44pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    370. At 05:47am on 21 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    A post from Middle East found on HYS:

    The whole of middle eastern Islamic rulers are cautiously watching Iran. Even though they hate Shia Islam and mullah Khomeini, they wish this peoples movement fail. Success of Iranian movement could lead to similar movements in their own countries bringing down dictators ruled for decades with rigged elections."

    Fascinating. this means somehting to you?

    These rulers have nothing to fear while teh US supports them do they.

    Do you remember Condi visiting Egypt after its rigged election (no question there). Didn't even cause her 1 minutes pause.

    When the US accepts democracy in the Middle east instead of giving guns to dictators then all of us will be pleased.

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  • 375. At 12:49pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    365. At 02:36am on 21 Jun 2009, passtorian.

    Well said. We do not know what is happening in Iran largely because our media has proved so inept at finding out.

    Before the elction they didn't bother to investigate how popular A was or why.

    So of coure they are suprised by the result.

    Considering in my experience you average Iranian talks nine to the dozen at the slightest opportunity on every subject including politics this failure to report effectively is a mystery.

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  • 376. At 12:52pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 377. At 12:57pm on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    373. Alpha

    Try this BBC link: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8110104.stm

    You can access other links from there.

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  • 378. At 1:00pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    362. At 9:29pm on 20 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:
    #345 Simon21,
    340. At 07:44am on 20 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:
    #324 Simon21,

    "He planned for a simple victory and big parades."

    My initial response still stands."


    And makes even less sense

    "And given its extreme charging Haliburton wasn't exactly at the "top of its game" was it."

    "Blah, blah, blah. You have trouble staying on point don't you?Halliburton-KBR did have a contract that covered contingency projects in Iraq. Do you have evidence to the contrary or not? "


    My point stands. The words "top of its game" were yours. Investigators into its contracts and charging used other words. Sorry.

    Maybe you should rread some basic history before commenting? Leaders love little wars, gives them a chance to dress up in military uniforms, hand out medals and pretenmd to be great commanders

    I do feel inferior to your obvious font of historical knowledge which you seem capable of encapsulating into a simple cliche. Bravo!"


    Hay what can I say? Justlookon Amzon hundreds of good hsiotory books there, go for your life. Then you might know something before commenting.

    Look up the phrase "splendid little war", what do you think that meant?

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  • 379. At 1:27pm on 21 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Wicked Can't Run Away
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6UAck2GgqU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzL9tAXb5mY

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  • 380. At 2:05pm on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    BBC reports another 10 dead in protests in Teheran yesterday.
    Apparently according to Iranian news 18 were killed yesterday.

    Simply for wanting the same rights that we take for granted.

    Notice that there has been no reply to IME at 360.
    Notice that lack of media coverage is blamed on the ineptitude of the western media, rather than deliberate government efforts to prevent reporters from covering the news.

    Pathetic.

    There's that clock again.

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  • 381. At 3:07pm on 21 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #93 SaintOne

    "The fact that it was an 85% turn out and thus about 40 millions votes were counted manually within 3 hours of the polls closing strikes me a as little odd."

    Perhaps they can count better than those in the US being it was discovered during the 2000 and 2004 the electronic means of counting in the USA was rigged by those who sold and installed the machines. I would rather agree to counting the votes "manually" than let corporate America do it with their rigged machines. And we know how that works out, don't we?

    Florida and Ohio comes to mind.

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  • 382. At 3:23pm on 21 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Forget Iran, let them sort out their own indifference. The "young" demonstrators should realize by now that as long as there are powerful outsiders interfering in their internal affairs and get their greedy hands into their resources, they won't get anywhere.

    Let's focus on North Korea. Has the war started yet? Yes, indeed, the dogs of war (warmongering corporates) want to know. Got to keep the economies going and it seem that war is the only thing to do it with. It's mankind's way of reducing the populations.

    Gosh O mighty, how God must hate mankind!

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  • 383. At 3:26pm on 21 Jun 2009, Romar-Souza wrote:

    President Obama has been a good leader standing for the United States of America.His policy of using the dialog instead of violence is the best way to bring peace and attenuate the crises among the countries in the world. He is doing well trying to talk, visit and invite the governments for a fair talk about the issues that have caused embarassment among the leaders. Mr Obama is not the pesky Bush. We should collaborate with him, following his policy and dialog finding a way out for this bloodshed that are affecting, not only one nation of people, but the peoples and nations all over the world.

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  • 384. At 3:31pm on 21 Jun 2009, gduwright wrote:

    Sermon21

    You do a lot of talking. If you continue to rant without any sign of rationality, please make it shorter. As Mr. Holmes would say " I have only so many grey cells and they don't need to be filled with bogus thinking" (close enough)

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  • 385. At 4:58pm on 21 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Cracks within so far united front of Iran's rulers have started to show:

    "Although the Guardian Council is made up of religious individuals, I wish certain members would not side with a certain presidential candidate," Iran's influential parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, told the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting without naming whom he meant."

    Ayatollah Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, who hates Ali Khamenei's guts has started to make similar noises several days ago.

    Former president Khatami ditto.

    Which makes one wonder whether a change of guards or at least of Guardians might not be in the offing.

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  • 386. At 5:38pm on 21 Jun 2009, alphamiguel wrote:

    377
    Thanks for that.

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  • 387. At 5:43pm on 21 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #378, Simon 21

    "Maybe you should read some basic history before commenting? Leaders love little wars, gives them a chance to dress up in military uniforms, hand out medals and pretend to be great commanders."

    Well said words, Simon.

    Americans don't read history, they simply ignore it and later make a movie or write books changing the course of events to their own satisfactions. Take the Spanish American War for example. Spain at the turn of the century in 1898 was on it's knees, had lost almost all of it's empire for being greedy, looting, corrupted, religious intolerance, broke and disorganized. At that time president William McKinley was president but it was under the Theodore Roosevelt presidency in 190l, decided that since the Civil War had been over for almost 35 years, the nation was bored and on the upside of military industry, decide the since time was ripe for a continuation of the "splendid little war" and apart from Cuba (using black troops, of course- where else can an American leader get one oppressed group to fight another oppressed group for the benefit of yet another group) the popular lil' "teddy bear" (Roosevelt) ended up as being the first mass murderer at the beginning of the 20th century in the Philippines. A story that has yet to be told but his genocide policy is very well known to the native Filipinos.

    But that wasn't enough. He begin his "walk softly and carry a big stick" policy in Latin America and the results is now the USA has almost no influence left except unreliable or broken economic treaties throughout the Western Hemisphere.

    History is a joke in the US. It's a history of violence, conquest, genocide, racism and bigotry and lies. And until Americans come to terms with it's past, the nation will suffer immensely in world history. The introduction of "torture" in it's recent history will even create more disbelief!

    Mark Twain, perhaps one of the greatest writers America has produced, said: "It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakable precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practise either of them."

    Another US journalist, Hunter S. Thompson, in 1972 said: "America...just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

    Yes, indeed, there are some Americans who will speak the truth regardless of the insults hurled at them! There are many more but are afraid of the retributions and reprisals against them by the neo-conservatives which, by the way, control the judicial, penal, police and jury systems in the US.

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  • 388. At 6:55pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    385. At 4:58pm on 21 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    Cracks within so far united front of Iran's rulers have started to show:"


    Wonderful. They didn't exist before then, or you have just learned what we all knew years ago.


    "Ayatollah Ali Hashemi Rafsanjani, who hates Ali Khamenei's guts has started to make similar noises several days ago.

    Former president Khatami ditto.

    Which makes one wonder whether a change of guards or at least of Guardians might not be in the offing."

    No if you knew anything about Iran you will find not every Iranian leader speaks in exactly the same way.


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  • 389. At 7:06pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    380. At 2:05pm on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    BBC reports another 10 dead in protests in Teheran yesterday.
    Apparently according to Iranian news 18 were killed yesterday.

    Simply for wanting the same rights that we take for granted."

    Is that so? Well if large numbers of people staged illegal demonstrations in the US insisting the presidential election be changed there would probably be more than 10 dead, there certainly would be if it was France and there would probably be a few casualties inthe UK .


    And as for rights? The US condones Israel taking from the Palestinians practically every right human beings have.


    "Notice that there has been no reply to IME at 360."

    Not worth replying to, wind and assumption are not fact, or proof.

    "Notice that lack of media coverage is blamed on the ineptitude of the western media, rather than deliberate government efforts to prevent reporters from covering the news."

    The Western media had plenty of opportunities to actually find out who was popular in the run up to the elections. They were not bothered.

    Though this is interesting:

    "An independent poll taken in May by the US organisation Terror Free Tomorrow found 34% of those surveyed would vote for Mr Ahmadinejad, with 14% for Mr Mousavi and 27% undecided"

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  • 390. At 7:29pm on 21 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    367, Interestedforeigner - It is not you who is confused.

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  • 391. At 8:09pm on 21 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    Simon21 says "Not worth replying to, wind and assumption are not fact, or proof."

    Exactly.

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  • 392. At 8:13pm on 21 Jun 2009, perfectNever wrote:

    Join us on http://www.criticizethepresident.com/ to talk about the government

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  • 393. At 8:57pm on 21 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #378 Simon21,


    "He planned for a simple victory and big parades."

    My initial response still stands."


    And makes even less sense

    Again, you have nothing to point to other than your ability to project your emotions onto someonelses action.


    My point stands. The words "top of its game" were yours. Investigators into its contracts and charging used other words. Sorry.

    Actually, you're wrong again, those are your words not mine. I said they were in the "top of their field" and only someone unfamiliar with the type of services Halliburton provides would not think so; i.e. you. I'm still waiting for your proof that Haliburton did not have a contract to provide contingency services to the Army in Iraq. How's that going?
    -----------------------------

    Maybe you should rread some basic history before commenting? Leaders love little wars, gives them a chance to dress up in military uniforms, hand out medals and pretenmd to be great commanders

    I do feel inferior to your obvious font of historical knowledge which you seem capable of encapsulating into a simple cliche. Bravo!"


    Hay what can I say? Justlookon Amzon hundreds of good hsiotory books there, go for your life. Then you might know something before commenting.

    Go for my life? Your comments become more befuddled as you go along. Did you ever acquire that dictionary I suggested? You might need to include something on remedial English as well.
    -------------------------------------------------

    Look up the phrase "splendid little war", what do you think that meant?

    When asked to support your comparison to the "good" American war to the Iraq war, you assume I have no knowledge of the term "A splendid little war". As if that's an answer to the question. I understand you believe Bush expected the Iraq war to be like the Spanish-American War; probably becuase you read an article from a critic of Bush who said so. When I ask for specifics which can prove your point, you again come up empty.





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  • 394. At 9:29pm on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    There goes that clock again. Still needs fixing.

    IME at 360 demonstrated that my postings yesterday were correct, contradicting postings made here yesterday.

    But of course, being shown to be wrong doesn't have any effect. To expect humility or a retraction, well, what could I have been thinking?
    Why would anybody expect humility and retraction any more than there would have been a retraction and apology from the Iranian Ministry of Propaganda, or whatever they choose to call it? How silly of me.

    And then we have the non-sequitur that, somehow, denial of rights to Palestinians somehow justifies denial of basic democratic rights to Iranians.

    Come again?

    Maybe if (according to previous postings) you speak Farsi and understand the culture there's an instinctive understanding of how denial of the civil rights of Palestinians justifies denial of civil rights in Iran.

    You just can't argue with that kind of logic.
    I guess it must be obvious.

    No doubt that explanation will come as great comfort to the people protesting in the streets in Teheran, and they will all now go home, happy and content.

    And then we have a poll cited, from May, as if it has any relevance now.
    Usually, the poll that counts is on election day, but I guess I just don't understand the language or the culture. That must be it.

    The poll was taken before the effect of Ahmadinejad's egregious gaff took hold, before Mousavi had the big rallies, and, depending on whether you think it had any influence or not, before Obama's speech in Cairo. I guess all of those things must have boosted Ahmadinejad's support. Yeah, that sounds really likely. Sure. Makes complete sense.

    The reports that sensed that Ahmadinejad's support was in free-fall in the last two weeks before the poll? Must have been completely wrong.

    Why would anyone be so stupid as to think that election campaigning would have any effect on the outcome of an election campaign. How naive. The reporters didn't know what they were talking about.

    Those people who showed up at Mousavi's rallies ? They were just faking it.

    Quite apart from those factors, here is some commentary on that poll: http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/8025

    Can't vouch for the source. Having dealt with election statistics for a long time the points made are certainly plausible - rather unlike the 100% break to one candidate of the undecideds and won't says implied in the announced result.


    Lucky thing that this blog is free for anyone in the world with internet access to read. Perhaps our friends at the Iranian Ministry of Propaganda will find that they have even less success telling people here what they are allowed to think than the people on the streets of Teheran. Putting up with a free press must gall some of them no end.

    They're the kind of people who use the term "illegal demonstration", as if everybody has them, and that the government can choose to make the expression of freedom of speech of freedom of association illegal, as it pleases.

    They're the kind of people who can justify sending out brown shirts - oops, I meant basiji - completely different of course - to curtail free speech and freedom of association with respect to class I expression, i.e., political freedom of speech.

    Here's a link about these Iranian boy scouts:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/5588291/Irans-Basij-force-the-shock-troops-terrorising-protesters.html


    No, there are people posting on this blog who clearly despise democracy, and who have little, if any, understanding of civil rights. Nasty, miserable, small people.


    Time to go fix that clock:
    Cuckoo, cuckoo, cuckoo.

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  • 395. At 10:09pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    #378 Simon21,


    And makes even less sense

    Again, you have nothing to point to other than your ability to project your emotions onto someonelses action."


    Oh and you are saying that bush and co would not have looked for domestic political advantage from a small spsendid war.

    Shows you woeful ignorance of history and politics, but little else.





    My point stands. The words "top of its game" were yours. Investigators into its contracts and charging used other words. Sorry.

    "Actually, you're wrong again, those are your words not mine. I said they were in the "top of their field""


    Oh big correction sorry. But you concede the point good. The various investigators used other words didn't they. Do look them up


    "and only someone unfamiliar with the type of services Halliburton provides would not think so; i.e. you. I'm still waiting for your proof that Haliburton did not have a contract to provide contingency services to the Army in Iraq. How's that going?"


    Sorry the investigations into the oversharging? Never heard of these?

    And bpth the contract and contingency, by whihc you set great store were set wiothout competition as is conceded by even Cheyney's supporters.

    All you can blather is that Halli deseerved to win without competition, because they is you know really big n all.

    And the fact that a US VP was closely connected to them had no effect at all on these extraordinary proceedings.

    Clear?

    Try dealing with the issue.


    Go for my life? Your comments become more befuddled as you go along. Did you ever acquire that dictionary I suggested? You might need to include something on remedial English as well."


    Oh dear is that the best you can do. Another point conceded.

    FYI "Go for your life mate" is an expression in Oz. I wouldnt tell someone in Sydney that they don't speak english for using it.

    But hey you have never travelled how could you be expected to know. (Oz is a word for Australia, you will find it if you go off the E coast of yankeeland and keep going for a long, long time).

    -------------------------------------------------

    Look up the phrase "splendid little war", what do you think that meant?

    When asked to support your comparison to the "good" American war to the Iraq war, you assume I have no knowledge of the term "A splendid little war". As if that's an answer to the question. I understand you believe Bush expected the Iraq war to be like the Spanish-American War; probably becuase you read an article from a critic of Bush who said so. When I ask for specifics which can prove your point, you again come up empty.


    Sorry what specifics are you talking about genius. It was making an effective point about small wars. And it is ironic is it not that it was devised by a republican ambassador in a republican admin that wanted a cheap victory.


    You should bother to learn you own country's history. Do you want Amazon's website?

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  • 396. At 10:31pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    394. At 9:29pm on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    There goes that clock again. Still needs fixing.

    IME at 360 demonstrated that my postings yesterday were correct, contradicting postings made here yesterday. "

    You presumably have not been able to read until relatively recently.

    You were effectively made a fool of yesterday, mainly because you seem to think Iran is like Ohio9 except the women are oddly dressed.

    And you have no political education or sense.

    "How silly of me."

    Silly up to a point but woeful ignorance goes beyond silly. It is far more dangerous.

    If you want to argue effectively learn about history, a bit of politics and a lot about other countries.

    "And then we have the non-sequitur that, somehow, denial of rights to Palestinians somehow justifies denial of basic democratic rights to Iranians.

    Come again?"

    Well a country that is perpared to see its phosphorous bombs dropped on children hasn't really much to say about human rights has it.

    It is called being hypocritical.

    This is why practically everything the US says about the ME comes across as ridiculous, dishonest and self serving.

    "And then we have a poll cited, from May, as if it has any relevance now.
    Usually, the poll that counts is on election day, but I guess I just don't understand the language or the culture. That must be it."

    Probably. Two polls both say the same thing largely. Hmm now what can be drawn from this?

    Of course, the opposite is true!

    Tell me how is life through the looking glass?

    Your life must be like Monty Python - the majority of people beleive actually means that the majority of people do not beleive?

    "The poll was taken before the effect of Ahmadinejad's egregious gaff took hold, before Mousavi had the big rallies, and, depending on whether you think it had any influence or not, before Obama's speech in Cairo. I guess all of those things must have boosted Ahmadinejad's support. Yeah, that sounds really likely. Sure. Makes complete sense."


    Yes but it is consistent isn't it.

    Sorry it has rather upset your apple cart but there you are.

    Aren't facts inconvenient?

    "The reports that sensed that Ahmadinejad's support was in free-fall in the last two weeks before the poll? Must have been completely wrong."


    Can we have the evidence please. Just a little bit. Please?

    No

    oh dear guessing again are we?

    "Why would anyone be so stupid as to think that election campaigning would have any effect on the outcome of an election campaign. How naive. The reporters didn't know what they were talking about."


    Rather the point a old son. Well done. Two polls both of whihc largely bear each other out

    Sorry but you' re wriggling

    Mind you,lt's be fair - your own poll evideence? where is that?

    "Quite apart from those factors, here is some commentary on that poll: http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/8025

    Can't vouch for the source. Having dealt with election statistics for a long time the points made are certainly plausible - rather unlike the 100% break to one candidate of the undecideds and won't says implied in the announced result."


    It makes some good points, but it hardly says the President was liekly to lose and as I say I haven't seen your evidence.

    And numbers at a rally do not amount to millions. AS a someone who claims to know about statistics you should know that.

    Thousands turn out for Robert Mugabe - you think he is legitimate therefore?

    "They're the kind of people who use the term "illegal demonstration", as if everybody has them, and that the government can choose to make the expression of freedom of speech of freedom of association illegal, as it pleases."


    Do learn politics. You will find your own government can and does.

    Oh and do stage a mass illegal demo - and see what happens. Hint the Riot police will not give you sweeties.

    "No, there are people posting on this blog who clearly despise democracy, and who have little, if any, understanding of civil rights. Nasty, miserable, small people."


    I agree people like yourself who with arrogance and ignorance presume to be able to tell people of another country of which they know nothing who wins or loses in their elections.

    Such people do great harrm, even to those they claim to be supporting.

    Well that aboout ties you up. Game set and match!


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  • 397. At 11:08pm on 21 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    There's the phone ringing again from the Iranian ministry of Propaganda.

    Bla bla bla bla bla.

    How tiresome.

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  • 398. At 11:29pm on 21 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    397, Interestedforeigner -

    I also have thought that those posts smack of propaganda. I hope you will cease to answer the phone. I learned long ago that when you respond with common sense, thoughtfulness, and erudition to him, he begins to froth rabidly and only becomes more and more incoherent. Interesting that anything that any government of a Muslim country does is championed and all other countries/governments denigrated. Classic propaganda. Now he will attack me, but I rarely bother to read his comments so I don't care.

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  • 399. At 01:20am on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    398. Bere.

    Thanks. I know. But you know me.

    It's really about what freedom of speech means. People like me, and you, and most of the people on this blog, accept as a basic functioning proposition of society that free, rational discussion of public issues leads to better public policy and a more enlightened, more just society.

    But then we run into people like our friend at the Iranian Ministry of Propaganda, who, at a really profound level, challenge everything we stand for.

    I am proud to say that I attended one of the leading civil rights schools in the world, bar none. This was a great privilege, granted to comparatively few people. The least I can do to repay my school is to uphold the values of decency, fairness and justice on which it was founded, and for which it stands.

    Unlike our friend at the Ministry of Propaganda, I believe in civil rights for all people. I don't care whether they are Iranians, Palestinians, Israelis, Russians, Chinese Indians, Americans, French, English, Scots, Irish or Welsh.

    And the denial or suppression of the civil rights of one group cannot possibly be used to justify denial of civil rights to any other person or group, except in the most pathetically twisted minds.

    This guy acts as if somehow he is fighting Americans by defending the suppression of the civil rights of Iranians. Talk about loopy.

    How can it possibly be relevant to an Iranian protester in, say, Tabriz, that the reason they are being denied public accountability and transparency in an Iranian election because Palestinians are being abused? What has that got to do with an Iranian's right to justice in his own country? Utterly twisted.

    It is the basic right of all human beings to live without fear of coercion, to speak their minds freely, to be safe from arbitrary arrest or seizure, to enjoy freedom of conscience and freedom of assembly. We are fortunate to live in a society in which the abuses that are going on in Iran today would be enjoined virtually instantly by any superior court. Government agents, right up to the Minister and Prime Minister, and, indeed, the Crown in its many capacities, can, and in our system would be, held responsible and subject to legal process.

    I would like all people to have that right. Effectively, the majority of people on this planet do not enjoy these rights as practical matter.

    This past few days our friend has put himself in the position of defending:

    Blanket and arbitrary censorship of the press, both foreign and domestic, and, in particular, in respect of core free speech.

    The instigation of violence against peaceful demonstrators by state agents armed with, apparently, clubs, motorcycle chains, knives, and axes(?) for the purpose of suppressing freedom of assembly, freedom of conscience, and freedom of speech.

    Arbitrary detention of civilians without cause.

    Murder of civilians by state sanctioned actors, all without anything that any of us would even vaguely recognize as process of law.

    The refusal of the institutions of the state to provide transparent election results.

    The denial of the right of human beings to enjoy self-determination.

    You would think that no sane person would even attempt to defend these actions, and, of course, you would be right. Only a real nut bar would try. And yet, for all the world to see, this person is blathering on. He is totally oblivious to the fact that he is undermining his own cause with every word he writes. He clearly has no clue.

    So we get huge non-sequiturs, excuses, denials, pathetically hopeless rationalizations... the same crap you see every time some bully boy regime the world over tries to rationalize suppression of its own citizens. It was crap when the Nazis tried to justify their brand of fascism, and it's still crap now when this guy is trying to justify his own brand of fascism.

    Generally when someone is trying to rationalize or justify government sanctioned dispatch of armed gangs after unarmed civilian protesters, my response is "go ahead, knock yourself out."

    Every word they write shows them for what they are, just as surely as if they were shouting through a megaphone from the roof-top. But this guy just doesn't get it.

    And so, as you say, this irrational frothing at the mouth goes on.

    Dangerous?

    Yeah, I think I'm prepared to let the people reading this blog decide for themselves which posters here are dangerous.

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  • 400. At 01:37am on 22 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    395. At 10:09pm on 21 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:
    #378 Simon21,


    Oh and you are saying that bush and co would not have looked for domestic political advantage from a small spsendid war.

    Shows you woeful ignorance of history and politics, but little else.

    In short, you have nothing, your stumped, and are now reduced to making up statements. I call you busted.
    ---------------------------------------

    My point stands. The words "top of its game" were yours. Investigators into its contracts and charging used other words. Sorry.

    "Actually, you're wrong again, those are your words not mine. I said they were in the "top of their field""


    Oh big correction sorry. But you concede the point good. The various investigators used other words didn't they. Do look them up

    I conceded something? You have yet to demonstrate anything of significance or relevance. Keep dreaming.


    "and only someone unfamiliar with the type of services Halliburton provides would not think so; i.e. you. I'm still waiting for your proof that Haliburton did not have a contract to provide contingency services to the Army in Iraq. How's that going?"


    Sorry the investigations into the oversharging? Never heard of these?

    And bpth the contract and contingency, by whihc you set great store were set wiothout competition as is conceded by even Cheyney's supporters.

    The LOGCAP contract for providing contingency projects for the Army was won in a competitive open bid. The individual projects in Iraq were an extension of the existing LOGCAP contract. Name the Cheney supporters who said otherwise.
    -------------------------------------------------

    All you can blather is that Halli deseerved to win without competition, because they is you know really big n all.

    Since they won the LOGCAP contract through an open bid your point is shown for what it is...uninformed. Try researching past the political smear you seem to favor so much. You've been busted again.
    ----------------------------

    And the fact that a US VP was closely connected to them had no effect at all on these extraordinary proceedings.

    Clear?

    Try dealing with the issue.

    Try dealing with reality and not your fantasy conspiracy theory. Obviously you're unaware that Halliburton has provided contract services to the Army since the 1940's. Or the fact that Hallibuton also had contracts with the Army during the Clinton Administration which saw their revenue double.
    -------------------------------------

    Go for my life? Your comments become more befuddled as you go along. Did you ever acquire that dictionary I suggested? You might need to include something on remedial English as well."


    Oh dear is that the best you can do. Another point conceded.

    FYI "Go for your life mate" is an expression in Oz. I wouldnt tell someone in Sydney that they don't speak english for using it.

    Sorry I missed the impart of your inarticulate slang. As far as conceding, you have not said anything yet to concede to.

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  • 401. At 02:31am on 22 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #395 Simon21,

    I missed responding to this tidbit in my previous post:

    Look up the phrase "splendid little war", what do you think that meant?

    When asked to support your comparison to the "good" American war to the Iraq war, you assume I have no knowledge of the term "A splendid little war". As if that's an answer to the question. I understand you believe Bush expected the Iraq war to be like the Spanish-American War; probably becuase you read an article from a critic of Bush who said so. When I ask for specifics which can prove your point, you again come up empty.


    Sorry what specifics are you talking about genius. It was making an effective point about small wars. And it is ironic is it not that it was devised by a republican ambassador in a republican admin that wanted a cheap victory.

    You should bother to learn you own country's history. Do you want Amazon's website?

    "It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave." John Hay 1898.

    Exactly what was "devised" by this statement? Are you confusing this with the term "Manifest Destiny"?

    If you were big on history you would know that President McKinley tried very hard to stay out of war with Spain. He was not looking for any cheap victory and called for peace several times. When the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbour, he had no other recourse but to go to war.

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  • 402. At 07:50am on 22 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    And now something really funny:

    Iran's election authority has rejected claims of voting irregularities by a defeated presidential candidate, WHILE acknowledging that the number of ballots cast in 50 cities exceeded the number of eligible voters there, state-run Press TV reported Monday.


    Comical Ali! Eat your heart out! :-)

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  • 403. At 08:50am on 22 Jun 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:

    402:

    ...and counting a mere 10% (at "random") should clear this up, no doubt.

    And exactly what part of the U.S., U.K., German, French, or other government was involved in this "conspiracy against the Islamic Republic" they keep spouting about?

    At least Hugo Chavez said it's all legit, and of course, if HE says so, well...

    I suppose the chiseled in stone "the U.S. is at fault for everything" crowd will claim we told the mullahs to cowardly arrest the family of one of their own to hold leverage over him was our idea, too.

    The 70% that are post-revolutionary era born are the future. And from their comments, they won't be controlled. Not by the U.S. (or other outsiders), and not from religious tyrants inside their own borders.

    I look forward to a day our president can sit across the table from an independent, proud and representative president of a free Iran.

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  • 404. At 10:38am on 22 Jun 2009, U14041653 wrote:

    Mercy Now
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6EWitBW_F4

    Every living thing could use a little mercy now
    Only the hand of grace can end the race
    Towards another mushroom cloud
    People in power, well
    They'll do anything to keep their crown
    I love life, and life itself could use some mercy now

    Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now
    I know we don't deserve it
    But we need it anyhow
    We hang in the balance
    Dangle 'tween hell and hallowed ground
    Every single one of us could use some mercy now

    (also check out candi staton's souly/folky version)

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  • 405. At 1:27pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    In the news this morning: election results from Iran, by district, show that Ahmadinejad received more than 100% of the vote in some districts, and that the turnout in some districts in which he received overwhelming support was greater than 100%.

    Reminds you of Jimmy Carter's poem.

    Can't imagine why anyone would think the results were fudged.

    And the circus continues ...

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  • 406. At 1:54pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    403. At 08:50am on 22 Jun 2009, bfoulkrod1 wrote:
    402:

    "I look forward to a day our president can sit across the table from an independent, proud and representative president of a free Iran.2

    "Free" in the sense that the Iranian presidnet will do as he instructed.

    Iran is independent genius - which country do you say controls it?

    Don't use words you donot know the meaning of.

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  • 407. At 1:58pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    405. At 1:27pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    In the news this morning: election results from Iran, by district, show that Ahmadinejad received more than 100% of the vote in some districts, and that the turnout in some districts in which he received overwhelming support was greater than 100%."

    Yes this news came from the Iranian Guardian's council.

    Didn't you say the results were not being investigated?

    SOunds like they are looking at the voting after all.

    One in the face for you eh

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  • 408. At 2:02pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 409. At 2:12pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    401. At 02:31am on 22 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:
    #395 Simon21,

    I missed responding to this tidbit in my previous post:

    Sorry what specifics are you talking about genius. It was making an effective point about small wars. And it is ironic is it not that it was devised by a republican ambassador in a republican admin that wanted a cheap victory.

    You should bother to learn you own country's history. Do you want Amazon's website?

    "It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave." John Hay 1898."


    FOund Wikipedia have we, well done. Next time don't get into debates without knowing the facts.

    "Exactly what was "devised" by this statement? Are you confusing this with the term "Manifest Destiny"?"

    More gibberish. Read the statement. American imperialism was called manifest destiny and the occupation of Cuba etc was part of this.

    But I am not going to give you a history of the US - get an education.

    "If you were big on history you would know that President McKinley tried very hard to stay out of war with Spain. He was not looking for any cheap victory and called for peace several times. When the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbour, he had no other recourse but to go to war."

    No you really need to read a bit more. McKinley made full use of the war for his 1900 election. His VP, a guy known as Theodore Roosevelt also found the war very useful, posing as a war hero. Roosevelt went on to become president after the president was shot.




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  • 410. At 2:56pm on 22 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #406 Simon21

    ""Free" in the sense that the Iranian presidnet will do as he instructed."

    I think he meant free in the sense that the election is not rigged, which it seems like it may have been.

    "Iran is independent genius - which country do you say controls it?"

    He said an independent President, not an independent country. I would assume he means a president that is not subject to the whim of the supreme leader.

    "Don't use words you donot know the meaning of."

    I think you should read more carefully what he read, it makes sense in the context of his opinions. Whilst you may disagree with them, I'd say he knows full well the meaning of the words. Do not be so judgemental.


    #407

    "Yes this news came from the Iranian Guardian's council....SOunds like they are looking at the voting after all"

    They are looking, but what are they going to do about it? There has obviously been some irregularities, they seem to have admitted so much. But now what? They have already said it will not make a difference. It's like investigating a murder, finding out who the killer is but not putting him on trial (because your friends/family/share power).



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  • 411. At 3:47pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    410. Saint
    This is what our friend from the Iranian Ministry of Propaganda is defending. The first minute and a half is ordinary. The last 30 seconds gives the lie to the whole murdering, rotten bunch:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8111592.stm

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  • 412. At 4:03pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Or this:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8112049.stm

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  • 413. At 4:13pm on 22 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:

    #411

    Indeed, although I believe that "Richard_SM", whom hasn't appeared in some time, is possible a more likely candidate of "Iranian ministry of propoganda".

    I can understand the need to be sceptical with all new reports, that there is indeed bias in some media. But trying to defend an almost certainly rigged election -by claiming that there were extra votes in 50+ cities....but it didn't make a difference..- seems destined to blow up in ones face.

    I expect Simon is merely playing devils advocate, he made no real points but just seemed to try and put down what was said by Rodidog. Rodidog may not be correct, but trying to Champion the Iranian system which at the moment is detested by a considerably large group of it's own people, seems foolhardy.

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  • 414. At 5:46pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    410. At 2:56pm on 22 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:
    #406 Simon21

    ""Free" in the sense that the Iranian presidnet will do as he instructed."

    I think he meant free in the sense that the election is not rigged, which it seems like it may have been."


    No, that interpretation makes no sense, this individual does not accept anything about Iran,much less its electoral system, nomatter what verdict it finds.

    "Iran is independent genius - which country do you say controls it?"

    He said an independent President, not an independent country. I would assume he means a president that is not subject to the whim of the supreme leader."

    Independent President, what does that mean? Is Obama an "independent president"?

    Who judges whether a president is "independent".

    What business is the Iranian constitution of an American who knows nothing about the country or its people and whose own country has had to apologise in public for constant interference.


    It makes sense in the context of his opinions. Whilst you may disagree with them, I'd say he knows full well the meaning of the words. Do not be so judgemental."

    Not from my reading. His comment came across as patronising, arrogant and prejudicial.


    #407


    "They are looking, but what are they going to do about it? There has obviously been some irregularities, they seem to have admitted so much. But now what? They have already said it will not make a difference. It's like investigating a murder, finding out who the killer is but not putting him on trial (because your friends/family/share power)."


    Hmmm but that is not the impression given by our iranophobes is it? The Iranian COuncil investigates and announces its results. It says it does not change the result.

    In this it sounds exactly like the various investigations which took place in Florida over the shenanigans which sawe Bush elected despite the fact that the majority of electors did not want him!

    But no one suggested democracy had failed in the US - did they.





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  • 415. At 5:49pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    411. At 3:47pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    410. Saint
    This is what our friend from the Iranian Ministry of Propaganda is defending. The first minute and a half is ordinary. The last 30 seconds gives the lie to the whole murdering, rotten bunch:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8111592.stm "

    Yes police brutality is a horrible thing. As we found out in London and the US etc.

    Still waiting for your proof that the Iranian president lost the election.

    Take off the cap and bells and present it.

    So far the only proof has come from the Iranian authorities whom you effect to despise! .

    Which does make you look a bit of a fool.

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  • 416. At 5:58pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    413. At 4:13pm on 22 Jun 2009, SaintOne wrote:
    #411

    Indeed, although I believe that "Richard_SM", whom hasn't appeared in some time, is possible a more likely candidate of "Iranian ministry of propoganda".


    Better the Iranin ministry of propaganda thaen the Cleveland Society of Iranophobes.

    "I can understand the need to be sceptical with all new reports, that there is indeed bias in some media. But trying to defend an almost certainly rigged election -by claiming that there were extra votes in 50+ cities....but it didn't make a difference..- seems destined to blow up in ones face."

    Defend nothing, let us see the proof. The only proof so far has come from the Iranians themselves. If this is accepted then their judgement is presumably accepted to.

    Of is it a case of only beleiving what one wants to beleive?

    Before that the mere fact there were protests was taken as "proof" a ludicrous proposition.

    That does not sound like something that is being hidden.

    "I expect Simon is merely playing devils advocate, he made no real points but just seemed to try and put down what was said by Rodidog. Rodidog may not be correct, but trying to Champion the Iranian system which at the moment is detested by a considerably large group of it's own people, seems foolhardy."

    My points were cogent. Do not fly to judgement until you have evidence.

    Wishful thinking doesn't cut it.

    The chief point being that it might do well to ask why the Iranian president is so pupular, rather than childishly pretending that he isn't.

    If we were allowed to understand that, then we might understand the election and the true feelings of the people of Iran.

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  • 417. At 6:55pm on 22 Jun 2009, PeruvianBrit wrote:

    President Obama, is the elected leader of a country which treasures Free Speech and the freedom of its peoples to pursue their dreams and aspirations without the threat of persecution. For all these reasons and more, President Obama must remember what he represents and must express his country's constitutional structures and this should govern his response to the Iranian struggle for these same freedoms. He does not have the right not to avoid giving a response which does not express the American people.

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  • 418. At 7:37pm on 22 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    PeruvianBrit (#417) "He does not have the right not to avoid giving a response ... "

    An interesting irony, invoking "Free Speech" to argue that President Obama does not have the right to say anything he pleases (or nothing at all) on the subject.

    I think the President has played it about right. Ultimately, the Iranian people are responsible for their own government, and the US government should show restraint in how we respond to their present troubles.

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  • 419. At 7:47pm on 22 Jun 2009, Mahmud_MHD wrote:

    mr. obama should talk to mr. ahmedinijad to keep peace in the middle east as well as in the world. the govrnment of America should take steps to stop Iran from making nuclear bomb not from using nuclear for energy.

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  • 420. At 8:55pm on 22 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    The old saying the history repeats itself sometimes has it drawbacks, especially where and when the media is concern or available.

    "Teddy" Roosevelt splendid little war" in 1901, which made him the biggest mass murderer in regards to the Philippines didn't get the coverage because they was no international mass media than, and what little there was, his conservative republican government wasn't about to let it be known. He knew what would have happened if the American people would have known of the genocide that was happening after the carnage that was the US Civil War.

    Than again in 2001, GW Bush in his supposedly "mission accomplished" (or a repeat of the a splendid little war a century earlier) did get the coverage and is now defending himself and his Administration of war crimes against humanity. This all happened at the beginning of the 21st century, almost exactly a century from that of Teddy Roosevelt. Was he trying to follow in the footsteps of "Teddy" Roosevelt (another republican), or that of his dad, GB the elder (in the early 1990) or better known as the 1st "butcher" of Baghdad?

    GW Bush did manage to suppress the news coming out of Iraq at the time and even as US soldiers shot to kill international reporters, the truth finally came out for all to see just the same.

    Although TR Roosevelt did manage to see his "fruits" bear the unholy seeds of revolutions, distrust, mayhem, terror, etc.,. in Latin America, GW Bush "Mission Accomplished" has become a disaster of horrific proportions! A disaster that will last for the rest of the century.

    I do not think history will judge Iran as bad as it will judge America. After all, God will sort out the injustice from the just.

    But than again, people forget history and worse yet, they never learn.

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  • 421. At 9:52pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Behaviour that our friend from the Ministry of Propaganda apparently isn't yet prepared to denounce:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8112909.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8113552.stm

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  • 422. At 10:31pm on 22 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Couple of questions. In the Iranian protests, have any police been killed? (I saw pictues of policement being attacked.) Are any of the protestors armed? I am trying to figure out if there is another side that we are not seeing.

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  • 423. At 11:32pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    422. At 10:31pm on 22 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    Couple of questions. In the Iranian protests, have any police been killed? (I saw pictues of policement being attacked.) Are any of the protestors armed? I am trying to figure out if there is another side that we are not seeing."

    We may take that for granted. I did hear of a police (security) station being attacked.


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  • 424. At 11:41pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    421. At 9:52pm on 22 Jun 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:
    Behaviour that our friend from the Ministry of Propaganda apparently isn't yet prepared to denounce:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8112909.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8113552.stm


    R Thanks for more examples of your crooked thinking.

    Shall I post you pictures of what happened to demonstrators in London during a "legal", permit-granted, demonstration? And they weren't calling for the PM to be removed after an election.


    I will denounce what you like when you finally admit you comments onthe Iranian election were based on ignorance and that the only evidence you do have of any irregularity is supplied by the very institutions you so grandly pretend to despise.

    I am not holding my breath however as it makes you look a fool.



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  • 425. At 11:45pm on 22 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    420. At 8:55pm on 22 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:
    The old saying the history repeats itself sometimes has it drawbacks, especially where and when the media is concern or available.

    The paralells are very clear. And not only in the US. Thatcher won a whole election on the Falklands war and Blair hoped for another Bosnia or Kosovo, all over in a couple of weeks then pic.s of him shaking hands with G Bush in front of the military.

    He had probably already bought his bowler and cigar and started to puff out his cheeks like Winston.

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  • 426. At 02:11am on 23 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    I distinctly remember thatcher declaring war on innocent argentina, who had only arranged a day trip to the falklands, enjoying their picnick, before those nasty britishers evicted them. All to win a war.

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  • 427. At 03:40am on 23 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #409 Simon21,

    I missed responding to this tidbit in my previous post:

    Sorry what specifics are you talking about genius. It was making an effective point about small wars. And it is ironic is it not that it was devised by a republican ambassador in a republican admin that wanted a cheap victory.

    You should bother to learn you own country's history. Do you want Amazon's website?

    "It has been a splendid little war, begun with the highest motives, carried on with magnificent intelligence and spirit, favored by that Fortune which loves the brave." John Hay 1898."

    FOund Wikipedia have we, well done. Next time don't get into debates without knowing the facts.

    "Exactly what was "devised" by this statement? Are you confusing this with the term "Manifest Destiny"?"

    More gibberish. Read the statement. American imperialism was called manifest destiny and the occupation of Cuba etc was part of this.


    Since you never mentioned "Manifest Destiny" until I corrected you, I accept your admission that you screwed up and chose the wrong phraseology, your making progress. Since you are obviously confused, "Manifest Destiny" was a concept used for the expansion of the United States from East to West, as well as, the annexation of Texas. It was again used in the Spanish American War. It is separate from the term "A splendid Little War", which was used to describe the Spanish American War by John Hay and which later became a universal name for that war. You should ask the publishers of whatever so called history books your reading for your money back. Assuming you actually read them.
    -----------------------------------------------------

    But I am not going to give you a history of the US - get an education.


    I'm glad, since you have no idea what your talking about. I'm also glad I was able to educate you on the subject. I don't mind.
    ---------------------------------------------------------

    "If you were big on history you would know that President McKinley tried very hard to stay out of war with Spain. He was not looking for any cheap victory and called for peace several times. When the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbour, he had no other recourse but to go to war."

    No you really need to read a bit more. McKinley made full use of the war for his 1900 election. His VP, a guy known as Theodore Roosevelt also found the war very useful, posing as a war hero. Roosevelt went on to become president after the president was shot.


    I was talking about McKinley's position before the war started, acquire some context. FYI, TR was known as Teddy, another slip in your supposed expertise. Teddy did not "pose" as a war hero, he actually rode up San Juan hill while under fire directing his troops. He took the same chance of being killed as anyone else in war.

    In the future, I suggest you suspend with your proclamations on how smart you are and how other people need to get "educated". You have been found wanting....again.


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  • 428. At 04:33am on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    423, Simon.

    A note on Tehran University students.

    Just as adolescents here rebel against their parents, in Iran they rebel against the government. (In fact, rebeling against the government, any government, is a national sport, though most people are not so open about it.) But we have to remember that they are kids without much worldliness. Someone is using them. They are not the leaders.

    I had occasion to spend time time with university students years ago. They had gotten awards of some kind, and in recognition were sent on vacation and part of the treat was to have a native English speaker with them so they could practice their English (I was that person). Like all the Tehran University students they ranted on about politics. "We will destroy this." "We will destroy that." I had heard this tiresome rubbish before, so had my questions all laid out. "OK, you will destroy this and you will destroy that." "What are you planning to build in its place?" Dead silence with a lot of quick thinking to cover themselves. Then followed a spate of trite rhetoric, the "rights of the people," blah, blah, blah.

    The students don't have the experience to lead effectively. People with political ambitions, not necessarily altruistic, are orchestrating them. Just because young, idealistic faces are in the forefront does not mean that what they are supporting has merit. All I hear are the old, conservative, political names. Some of Rafsanjani's relatives have been picked up by the police. Is he behind it? Is he in league with others? Is the West involved? Maybe in time we will know.

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  • 429. At 05:49am on 23 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    marbles, have you heard nothing yet from your contacts? I thought that you would pass on what you heard. It's a shame that they don't want to let us know. Perhaps they are having too much fun partying.

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  • 430. At 06:01am on 23 Jun 2009, gunsandreligion wrote:

    422, Ms. Marbles, you are not seeing it because it is not there.

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  • 431. At 06:03am on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    429, seanspa.

    They are not partying.

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  • 432. At 06:15am on 23 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    marbles, too busy doing what the west tells them then.

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  • 433. At 07:59am on 23 Jun 2009, francerec wrote:

    I hope Mr. Obama does not abandon the Iranian people as the USA and Europe did the Cubans, the Hungarians and Checz in the 1950-60 and the Rwandan in 1994. It took them half a century to be free and the Cubans are still oppressed.

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  • 434. At 4:59pm on 23 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    Simon might be one of those guys on the back of the black motorcycles.

    Natty uniforms, great pay, and you get to bash all those 'Zionist stooges' on the head, eh Simon?

    Some interesting analysis here of the election results from Chatham House. 'Executive Summary' of the report from the BBC here.

    The conclusion is that: "This increase in support for Ahmadinejad amongst rural and ethnic minority voters is out of step with previous trends, extremely large in scale, and central to the question of how the credibility of Ahmadinejad's victory has been perceived within Iran."

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 435. At 4:59pm on 23 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    I may be mistaken, but I rather thought the chemicals the Kurds were 'doused' as per Hussein's orders, were bought from the U.S. (when the U.S.(aka Cheney, et al) were 'buddies' [#251]


    Yes, you are. They (chemicals) were supplied by German companies (although not German government) which had a long and proud tradition of producing quite effective substances. One should point out, however, that Germans did not supply Saddam with a final product (nerve, or other lethal gas) but merely compounds used (separately) in binary shells and bombs.

    BTW, manufacturer of Cyclon B is still in business, although is doesn't call itself IG Farben any more.

    P.S. Exocet-3 missiles were supplied to Saddam during UN arms embargo by the same country, which had earlier sold him Mirages and built a nuclear reactor at Osirak. [the latter taken care of by IAF]

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  • 436. At 5:16pm on 23 Jun 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    I think that there will be justice for the young woman that was slain in this protest. One day Iranians will be free and have liberty.

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  • 437. At 5:28pm on 23 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    Aytollas throwing out BBC correspodent? Fine. A wormonger and slanderer.

    Arresting "Newsweek's and Washington Times' reporters? Fine. Ditto.

    But what on earth has al-ARABIYA tv network done that it's been forced to close its Teheran office only Allah knows.

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  • 438. At 5:29pm on 23 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    #431, Marbles.

    You must realize by now, Marbles, that far too many "Americans" glorify wars and rumor of wars. That's what makes them tick and the economy going. It's a tradition as "American" as apple pie.

    In the old west, before a public hanging (usually on a Sunday) whole families came with their picnic buckets to watch and enjoy the events that was about to happen. Then they went to church and pray.

    It was later perfected by the KKK wearing hoods, robes and the ever present flag of the confederacy to make it special events. They had the support of the police, judges and "religious" individuals. It is the GOP these groups favor the most and the reason is obvious, isn't it?

    Does it surprise anyone why so many "Americans" point fingers at other countries when those countries experience their own shortcomings?

    The truth could very well be that everything said on these posts have to be taken at face value or a grain of salt.

    No one, not even Mr. Obama is going to achieve any peace in the world until each and every nation look into their souls.



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  • 439. At 5:30pm on 23 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    435. At 4:59pm on 23 Jun 2009, powermeerkat wrote:
    I may be mistaken, but I rather thought the chemicals the Kurds were 'doused' as per Hussein's orders, were bought from the U.S. (when the U.S.(aka Cheney, et al) were 'buddies' [#251]


    Yes, you are. They (chemicals) were supplied by German companies (although not German government) which had a long and proud tradition of producing quite effective substances. One should point out, however, that Germans did not supply Saddam with a final product (nerve, or other lethal gas) but merely compounds used (separately) in binary shells and bombs."




    And the US admitted to supplying him with intelligence which he used to butcher the Iranians in a mad attempt to conquer the southern oil terminals

    "Rumsfeld also met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, and the two agreed, "the U.S. and Iraq shared many common interests." Rumsfeld affirmed the Reagan administration's "willingness to do more" regarding the Iran-Iraq war,Later, Rumsfeld was assured by the U.S. interests section that Iraq's leadership had been "extremely pleased" with the visit, and that "Tariq Aziz had gone out of his way to praise Rumsfeld as a person"

    This is in addition to supplying financial credits etc - while being aware Iraq was using chenmical weapons.

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  • 440. At 5:35pm on 23 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    "If you were big on history you would know that President McKinley tried very hard to stay out of war with Spain. He was not looking for any cheap victory and called for peace several times. When the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbour, he had no other recourse but to go to war."

    No you really need to read a bit more. McKinley made full use of the war for his 1900 election. His VP, a guy known as Theodore Roosevelt also found the war very useful, posing as a war hero. Roosevelt went on to become president after the president was shot.


    "I was talking about McKinley's position before the war started, acquire some context. FYI, TR was known as Teddy, another slip in your supposed expertise. Teddy did not "pose" as a war hero, he actually rode up San Juan hill while under fire directing his troops. He took the same chance of being killed as anyone else in war. "


    McKinley used the victory in the splendid little war, thanks for conceeding the point

    And if "Teddy" "took the same chance of being killed as anyone else in war." as you say, He was hardly a hero was he?

    Don't try history or arguing they are both plainly beyond you

    In the future, I suggest you suspend with your proclamations on how smart you are and how other people need to get "educated". You have been found wanting....again.

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  • 441. At 5:38pm on 23 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    434. At 4:59pm on 23 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:
    Simon might be one of those guys on the back of the black motorcycles.

    Natty uniforms, great pay, and you get to bash all those 'Zionist stooges' on the head, eh Simon? "

    Or I could simply be pointing out somewhat obvious facts eh?

    Presumably you are not one of the people burning cars?

    "Some interesting analysis here of the election results from Chatham House. 'Executive Summary' of the report from the BBC here .

    The conclusion is that: "This increase in support for Ahmadinejad amongst rural and ethnic minority voters is out of step with previous trends, extremely large in scale, and central to the question of how the credibility of Ahmadinejad's victory has been perceived within Iran."


    Then there is:

    They also point to an opinion poll carried out during the campaign by Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty, who reported in the Washington Post on 15 June: "The election results in Iran may reflect the will of the Iranian people.

    "Many experts are claiming that the margin of victory of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the result of fraud or manipulation, but our nationwide public opinion survey of Iranians three weeks before the vote showed Ahmadinejad leading by a more than 2 to 1 margin - greater than his actual apparent margin of victory in Friday's election."


    So there are a lot of comments about aren't there?

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  • 442. At 5:45pm on 23 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    428. At 04:33am on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:



    Very excellent analysis from someone who actually seems to know what they are talking about.

    I agree it is hopeless to try and guage political feelings from student demonstrations or activism.

    The 1960s, Tianmen square etc all taught us that while students may be very vociferous politically they may be world's away from the majority of the poplace.

    We simply do not get intelligent reporting from Iran. SOmeone voted for Ahmenijad - who and why? And is he very popular? And which of his policies do people like?

    We get none of this just the stuff that interests western reporters.

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  • 443. At 6:06pm on 23 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    427. At 03:40am on 23 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    "Since you never mentioned "Manifest Destiny" until I corrected you, I accept your admission that you screwed up and chose the wrong phraseology, your making progress. Since you are obviously confused, "Manifest Destiny" was a concept used for the expansion of the United States from East to West, as well as, the annexation of Texas. It was again used in the Spanish American War. It is separate from the term "A splendid Little War", which was used to describe the Spanish American War by John Hay and which later became a universal name for that war. You should ask the publishers of whatever so called history books your reading for your money back. Assuming you actually read them."£

    This is simple gibbberish. Manifest destiny has nothing to do with the fact that the Iraq war q was supposed to be a slendid little war.

    What a "universal name" is is something rattling around in your own brain.

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  • 444. At 6:42pm on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    442, Simon.
    "We simply do not get intelligent reporting from Iran. SOmeone voted for Ahmenijad - who and why? And is he very popular? And which of his policies do people like?"

    I think the thing to remember is that serious government shakeups (or coup d'etats) disrupt the economy. So the private businessman, of which there are many more in Iran than there are here, will want to maintain the status quo. They may not like the government in power, but they have learned how to get around it (another popular sport in Iran). These business people would not welcome disruption.

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  • 445. At 7:47pm on 23 Jun 2009, pepelepeu wrote:

    Obama naturally waited until it was clear who the winner was after the protests. He always hedges his bets, never taking a truly courageous stand, as would have been the case if he had spoken out in support of peaceful protests and against the violence. Say what one will about President Bush, we think we know that he would have taken a stand against the cruelty right away.

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  • 446. At 8:20pm on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Strange doings in Iran. Ibrahim Yazdi, a right-hand man to Ayatollah Khomeni, and a priminent figure in the 1979 revolution, was arrested and then released. For some reason he is being called a "reformer," when way back when he was instrumental in imposing stict Islamic rule. He has close ties with the U.S., was a physician in Houston, has an Americna wife and several children.

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  • 447. At 8:28pm on 23 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    Is history on the verge of repeating itself? Is Obama going to repeat the same idiotic move that Jimmy Carter did? One thing is for sure, the GOP, the republican'ts, Neo-conservatives, the right-wing 5th elements, the Christian right and all the ignorant and arrogant Americans are banking on it.

    It was at the urge of the Republicans that ol" Jimmy Carter stuck his nose in the Iranian affairs that got him thrown out the second time around and guess who we got? None other than the "luv'ble" ol' mischievous leprechaun, Ronnie Reagan and some hooligans by the name of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. The rest is history. The Middle East hasn't been the same since, and will never be the same. The scary part is, the whole shinbang will most likely bring planet earth to it's predicated disastrous fate before things get better.

    Yes, indeed. President Obama inherited a global mess worse than he thought he would.

    My advice to the President (free of charge) is to not listen to the incoherent ramblings of the Right Wing. They were not the ones who were elected to govern the nation for the next eight years. The Party of NO (the GOP) is more on the level of inmates running the asylum!

    Just look at the big picture!

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  • 448. At 8:39pm on 23 Jun 2009, foxtrottango1 wrote:

    # 445 Pepi Le Pew!

    "say what one will about President Bush, we think we know that he would have taken a stand against the cruelty right away."

    That comments doesn't even merit a response but it does create anger! You same to have a way of insulting the intelligence of every single individual on this posts!

    Someone must have left the gates of the insane ayslum open today!

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  • 449. At 9:02pm on 23 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    This is the first time I have been on in a while because I was on vacation, but I have to say that the violence by the Iranian government on the protesters in Iran after the election is deplorable and only further delegitimizes the gov. I think it is now clear to all of us that the Iranian government's claim to representative government has been as fraudulent as the election results. The imprisonment of journalists and protesters, closing of media bureaus, and denial media access is equally deplorable; I would like to thank all of those in Iran who have been twittering, blogging, and Youtubing for keeping the rest of the world, including myself, informed. And now, the members of the Iranian soccer team who wore green have been punished. I believe that Pres. Obama is doing the right thing by being cautious because the fight for legitimate representation must be made by the courageous people of Iran.

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  • 450. At 9:49pm on 23 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    444. At 6:42pm on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    442, Simon.
    "We simply do not get intelligent reporting from Iran. SOmeone voted for Ahmenijad - who and why? And is he very popular? And which of his policies do people like?"

    I think the thing to remember is that serious government shakeups (or coup d'etats) disrupt the economy. So the private businessman, of which there are many more in Iran than there are here, will want to maintain the status quo. They may not like the government in power, but they have learned how to get around it (another popular sport in Iran). These business people would not welcome disruption."

    onceded but I have heard Pres A is popular "with the poor", but no one says why.

    In one single report John Simpson said some women outside Teheran treated A with veneration as if he was a god - again no explanation

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  • 451. At 11:07pm on 23 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    450, Simon.
    "I have heard Pres A is popular "with the poor", but no one says why."

    Poor people in Iran tend to be more conservative and religious.

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  • 452. At 01:00am on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 450. Simon21

    "I have heard Pres A is popular "with the poor", but no one says why."
    "....again no explanation"
    etc etc

    Marbles is giving you the answers, but you're trying to interpret it from a western perspective, clouded further by the appalling media coverage we get. Dismiss any notion these two candidates are polarised; they mostly overlap except for a few aspects.

    Iran is no different to any other country when it comes to elections. Ahmadinejad is more charismatic than Mousavi. He held televised debates with the main contenders and won favour easily - he rarely stops smiling! Ahmadinejad is also clever at securing the popular vote. One example: there are a large number of 'home workers' in Iran, mostly women, who were not covered under the country's insurance scheme. Over 3 million are believed to work from home in the textiles and carpet industry alone. Ahmadinejad extended the scheme to include home workers. Whilst Mousavi is portrayed in the western media as being more liberal, that's somewhat deceptive: there's hardly any difference between them, just different aspects of conservatism. Mousavi for example, criticised Ahmadinejad for releasing the British naval captives: he preferred holding them in detention. Ahamdinejad is a more astute politician, campaigns well, connects to the people, champions popular issues - and smiles!

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  • 453. At 03:10am on 24 Jun 2009, U14046890 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 454. At 05:08am on 24 Jun 2009, rodidog wrote:

    #443 Simon21,

    This is simple gibbberish. Manifest destiny has nothing to do with the fact that the Iraq war q was supposed to be a slendid little war.


    It's where you took the discussion. Instead of simply answering my question 'what can you point to that proves your point?', you ran off in all directions.

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  • 455. At 05:44am on 24 Jun 2009, toughdirtyjoe wrote:

    They will have move underground and continue to fight for freedom.

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  • 456. At 07:08am on 24 Jun 2009, U14041614 wrote:

    448
    Good one FT1.
    but really, there are a few here that could have no reason to be insulted.
    they have no intelligence.

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  • 457. At 07:24am on 24 Jun 2009, U14046890 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 458. At 08:52am on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    452, Richard.

    It looks like you understand. This is nothing more than an internal struggle for power, not too different from our most recent presidential election.

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  • 459. At 4:15pm on 24 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    I can not understand, allymarbles, why you continue to down play what is clearly not a normal election season in Iran. When 17 people have been shot dead and many more beaten, should this be considered normal? When media access is denied to even Al-jazeera, and internet websites fill with more anty government protests and videos by Iranian citizens than ever before, should this be considered normal? When foreign nationals are arrested and the largest protests take place since the 79 revolution occur on the streets of Tehran, should this be considered normal? When the re-election of Pres. A was clearly fraught with irregularities such as more people voting in several provinces, even in less conservative areas, for Pres. A than the actual number of registered voters, should this be "not too different from our most recent presidential election"? When the clerical leadership acknowledges these irregularities, but decides only to sit back and watch the Ayatollah crack-down on the people of Iran through violence and intimidation, is this "nothing more than an internal struggle for power"?
    No, what is going on in Iran is history occurring in real time.

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  • 460. At 4:43pm on 24 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    452. At 01:00am on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Iran is no different to any other country when it comes to elections. Ahmadinejad is more charismatic than Mousavi. He held televised debates with the main contenders and won favour easily - he rarely stops smiling! Ahmadinejad is also clever at securing the popular vote. One example: there are a large number of 'home workers' in Iran, mostly women, who were not covered under the country's insurance scheme. Over 3 million are believed to work from home in the textiles and carpet industry alone. Ahmadinejad extended the scheme to include home workers. Whilst Mousavi is portrayed in the western media as being more liberal, that's somewhat deceptive: there's hardly any difference between them, just different aspects of conservatism. Mousavi for example, criticised Ahmadinejad for releasing the British naval captives: he preferred holding them in detention. Ahamdinejad is a more astute politician, campaigns well, connects to the people, champions popular issues - and smiles!"



    Thanks for this, concrete info ar last. I know Mousavi is not the liberal hero most in the West seem to think he is.

    And it is plain A. is a consumate politician.


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  • 461. At 4:48pm on 24 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    459. At 4:15pm on 24 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:
    I can not understand, allymarbles, why you continue to down play what is clearly not a normal election season in Iran. When 17 people have been shot dead and many more beaten, should this be considered normal? When media access is denied to even Al-jazeera, and internet websites fill with more anty government protests and videos by Iranian citizens than ever before, should this be considered normal? When foreign nationals are arrested and the largest protests take place since the 79 revolution occur on the streets of Tehran, should this be considered normal? When the re-election of Pres. A was clearly fraught with irregularities such as more people voting in several provinces, even in less conservative areas, for Pres. A than the actual number of registered voters, should this be "not too different from our most recent presidential election"? When the clerical leadership acknowledges these irregularities, but decides only to sit back and watch the Ayatollah crack-down on the people of Iran through violence and intimidation, is this "nothing more than an internal struggle for power"? "

    You are presuming these irregularities do materially effect the result, but the Iranians say otherwise and you have no proof.

    ANd it is by no means clear that the rioters/demonstrators represent the people of Iran - who are you to make that judgement? We now know that the students of Tianmen square did not represent the people of China.


    Marbles lived in Iran and might know the Iranian people better than you.
    No, what is going on in Iran is history occurring in real time.

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  • 462. At 4:53pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    459, Bienvenue.

    What we don't know is if there is violence on both sides. The spotlight on Iran only focuses on one side. In 1979 the protesters were definitely violent. We are not getting the whole picture. As to rigging, I don't think we can take a holier than thou stance, given our own record. Iran's is just more blatent. It is my guess that Ahmadinejad won, even if not by the wide margin claimed. In any case we should stay out of it.

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  • 463. At 5:10pm on 24 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    462:
    "What we don't know is if there is violence on both sides. The spotlight on Iran only focuses on one side."

    Your absolutely right. Maybe if the Iranian leadership lifts the complete ban on foreign media outlets we'll be able to see the picture more clearly.

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  • 464. At 5:27pm on 24 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    462 again:
    "As to rigging, I don't think we can take a holier than thou stance, given our own record. Iran's is just more blatant."

    Your right here again, however enough Americans have faith in their system of representative government that we have civil transferences of power after elections.

    461:
    I would hope that this doesn't become Iran's version of Tiananmen Square because that would be tragic. I admit the possibly of that happening has occurred to me.

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  • 465. At 5:37pm on 24 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    462. At 4:53pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:
    459, Bienvenue.

    What we don't know is if there is violence on both sides. The spotlight on Iran only focuses on one side. In 1979 the protesters were definitely violent. We are not getting the whole picture. As to rigging, I don't think we can take a holier than thou stance, given our own record. Iran's is just more blatent. It is my guess that Ahmadinejad won, even if not by the wide margin claimed. In any case we should stay out of it."


    That's my take on the situation. Despite some commentary there is no sign the protestors have aroused the whole country, or that they represent anyone but themselves.

    We can assume A is playing every trick in the book, but having lived in a country where the senile were canvassed to vote, postal voting became a small mail order industry and where due to the elctoral system governments frequently have more vote against them than for them, as you say who can preach.

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  • 466. At 5:49pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    464, Bienvenue.
    "Your right here again, however enough Americans have faith in their system of representative government that we have civil transferences of power after elections."

    For "faith" substitute "naivete." The Iranians are not naive.

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  • 467. At 5:55pm on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 459. BienvenueEnLouisiana

    What can't you understand?

    1) When 17 people have been shot dead and many more beaten, should this be considered normal?

    Detroit Protest against oppression 1967 - 43 dead and many more beaten.
    Los Angeles Protests for Justice 1992 - 51 dead and many more beaten.

    2)When media access is denied ........... should this be considered normal?

    Gaza Strip, 2009
    Sri Lanka, 2009

    3)When foreign nationals are arrested and the largest protests take place ................... should this be considered normal?

    Stop The War protest, London, 2003
    'War on Terror' arrest of foreign nationals at USA request 2001 onwards.

    4) When the re-election of Pres. was clearly fraught with irregularities .....

    US Presidential Election, 2000
    Legal redress possible in USA
    Legal redress possible in Iran. Leadership has also also granted extension of time limits for filing of claims.

    5)When the [ ] leadership acknowledges these irregularities, but decides only to sit back and watch....

    Incorrect/exaggerated statement on your part. They didn't "sit back and watch." Investigation and re-count ordered for 50 of the 350 voting districts. Differences identified deemed to not seriously affect the 11 million majority. Contrast with US Presidential election of 2000, where before Florida, both candidates had approx 49,500,000 votes each.

    6)When the [ ] leadership ...... decides only to sit back and watch the [ ] crack-down on the people....

    Detroit protests 1967. Police, National Guard and US Army "crack down on the people."
    Los Angeles Protests 1992. Police as well as National Guard, U.S. Army and US Marines brought in to "crack down on the people."

    But we're going round in a circle. You've already made that broad point.

    7) Is this "nothing more than an internal struggle for power"?

    Two main candidates. Both domicile. Both very similar policies. An "internal struggle for power" is what I'd call it.

    Two men fighting for the same job, in the same structure, through the same system. Just like Bush v Gore. Just like Obama v McCain.

    Do you judge Iran by a different criteria for some reason?




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  • 468. At 6:04pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    467, Richard.

    I think Bienvenue's attitude shows just how efficient American propaganda is.

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  • 469. At 7:07pm on 24 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    A man shoots someone in front of a crowd of witnesses. A police officer rushes up to arrest him. Another officer steps in and says, "You can't arrest him because in the past other people have committed worse murders, and even now other murders are being committed. We can't arrest him unless we arrest all other murderers. So leave him alone."

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  • 470. At 7:35pm on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 468. allmymarbles

    Same propaganda is happening here, though perhaps in a more subtle way compared to what I've seen in America. You might like to have a look at these two pages on the BBC website which are hosted by different BBC Editors.

    BBC Photos showing Mousavi support were actually of an Ahmadinejad rally

    BBC Use of Social Media in compiling news reports


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  • 471. At 7:44pm on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 469. bere54

    Nice fictional story - but not relevant here. Do you read the whole post before you comment - or do you just fire off regardless?



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  • 472. At 8:13pm on 24 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    471, Richard_SM

    Completely relevant here. Do you bother to read all the ludicrous comments? Or maybe you are skipping the ones I usually skip but made the mistake of reading this time. Or maybe you're just dense.

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  • 473. At 8:43pm on 24 Jun 2009, seanspa wrote:

    bere, you got there in the end.

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  • 474. At 9:25pm on 24 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    468:

    I should say the same about the affect Iranian propaganda has had on you.
    And by the way, those election issues and protests that you mention that occured in the US are not considered the norm, just as these protests in Iran are extra ordinary. Again, thank you for pointing out that we aren't getting the full picture; maybe you should write a letter to the Ayatollah and ask him to lift the ban on foriegn media outlets. Oh, and perhaps yall might like to comment on the latest violent reaction to protesters outside of the Iranian parliament, or maybe the recent house-arrest of the main opposition candidate. Do you think Obama or Bush would ever have considered doing the same to McCain or Gore?

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  • 475. At 10:23pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    474, Bienvenue.

    The difference between you and me is that I know both countries (the U.S and Iran) intimately, whereas you know only one. You have no reference to the truth except what you read, and the media is a poor reference.

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  • 476. At 10:40pm on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 469. bere54

    A man shoots someone in front of a crowd of witnesses. A police officer rushes up to arrest him. Another officer steps in and says, "You can't arrest him because in the past other people have committed worse murders, and even now other murders are being committed. We can't arrest him unless we arrest all other murderers. So leave him alone."

    Nevertheless, the Officer attempts to arrest the man. The crowd turn on the Officers, and the man gets away. Later, the crowd see the man and tell him, "They don't apply the same law to themselves or to rich people. There is no justice. They'd have tortured you in their cells or worse. Why should we poor people respect these laws?"

    And the moral of the story is.........



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  • 477. At 10:50pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    474, Bienvenue.
    "Oh, and perhaps yall might like to comment on the latest violent reaction to protesters outside of the Iranian parliament, or maybe the recent house-arrest of the main opposition candidate."

    And maybe you would like to comment on the McCarthy era when so many people were termed un-American, blacklisted, and driven out of their professions. And let's not forget the poet, Exra Pound, who was consigned to a nut house because he was pro-German. Granted he was not a likeable character, but in the strict sense he was a protester.

    All countries are guilty of injustice. And this is, unfortunately, "normal."

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  • 478. At 10:56pm on 24 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    475:

    Then we'll just have to agree to disagree on the topic of the Iranian protests because I can see that we are at an impasse.

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  • 479. At 11:07pm on 24 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:



    Ref 474. BienvenueEnLouisiana

    Whoa before you move on - do you deny these events have occurred under the control of democratic governments?



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  • 480. At 11:14pm on 24 Jun 2009, bere54 wrote:

    476, Richard S_M -

    And then the man starts murdering the people who saved him from the police. Gee, now the world's a better place. Isn't it?

    Don't bother to answer; the propaganda bores me.

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  • 481. At 11:24pm on 24 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    470, Richard.
    "BBC Photos showing Mousavi support were actually of an Ahmadinejad rally "

    Delicious.

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  • 482. At 00:12am on 25 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    477:
    Your beginning to sound defensive in reaching for more moral equivalency.
    You can no longer hide from the fact that what the government of Iran is currently doing is not in good character. Like I said before, we are at an impasse.

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  • 483. At 00:42am on 25 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    Ref 480. bere54

    OR - So, needing to produce a result, the Police Officers arrested someone else for the murder, beat him up in the cells and extracted the confession they needed. Clear up rate: 100%

    And the moral of the story is.........

    .........fictional stories don't always apply in real life.


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  • 484. At 01:11am on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    483, bienvenue.

    I am just trying to adjust your skewed perspective. And, I repeat, their business is none of ours. We have no reason to interfere in their poltical battles, unless it is to gain a political advantage, which I suspect is the case. Governments, including ours, are not wont to be moved by moral issues.

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  • 485. At 02:00am on 25 Jun 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 466 464, Bienvenue.
    "Your right here again, however enough Americans have faith in their system of representative government that we have civil transferences of power after elections."

    For "faith" substitute "naivete." The Iranians are not naive.


    It is far too easy to wallow in this kind of cynicism.

    Western representative democracies are certainly not perfect. I would even agree there is a ritualistic quality about them (i.e., there is a lot of show along with the substance). But they do enjoy a high degree of public legitimacy.

    This is precisely why you did not see riots and generalized social unrest after Bush's controversial win in 2000. People were shocked when the corruptible edges of the system made such a major impact on the electoral outcome. But very few were angry enough at the system as a whole to take to the streets and demand a radical change, either to the outcome of the election, or to the electoral system as such.

    The 2000 election revealled what most people regarded as problems; they did not perceive them as fundamental flaws requiring violent action to affect change.

    In this Iranian election, many, many Iranians perceive a massive fraud. Moreover, they believe the only way to address this electoral fraud is outside the electoral system, and in violent opposition to the institutions of the regime as such.

    Now, if you simply wish to equivocate the electoral systems of Iran and the USA, then I guess you can conclude Iranians are not as naive as Americans. My point would be that while neither system is perfect, the US system is certainly more subject to the critical scrutiny of a highly developed, ferociously independent, vocal, and free set of institutions within a highly articulated civil society. This confers upon the process, even in its failures, the 'faith' of a populace who believe the system can be made better.

    There are some very good reasons why the US system enjoys a greater level of legitimacy and support by its citizens.

    Yours,
    Pinko

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  • 486. At 02:09am on 25 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    484:

    No adjusting is neccessary.
    "their business is none of ours. We have no reason to interfere in their poltical battles, unless it is to gain a political advantage, which I suspect is the case."

    You seem to have forgotten one of my posts from Webb's "Reaching out to foreign media". I will past it below to remind you:
    Because of the complicated history between the US and Iran, Obama could not afford to react to what is going on in Iran in the same way that Germany, the UK, and France have. However much the Ayatollah and Pres. A want to make this out to be American meddling, the reality is that the protests are more the work of Iranians who believe that the election was stolen and must be annulled. The Iranian clerical leadership has now even acknowledged the irregularities, but will not do much about it other than watch the Ayatollah blame the west and crack-down on the people of Iran. I think this is a sobering moment, one that will reveal the true nature of the Iranian leadership to the world and to the Iranian people. Obama came into the presidency promising change and continues to offer it to Iran no matter who wins this battle for the soul of Iran; however, we and the Iranian people must not forget that the Ayatollah and Pres. A continue to reject this offer.

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  • 487. At 04:02am on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    485, chronophobe.
    "I guess you can conclude Iranians are not as naive as Americans. My point would be that while neither system is perfect, the US system is certainly more subject to the critical scrutiny of a highly developed, ferociously independent, vocal, and free set of institutions within a highly articulated civil society."

    "Highly developed, ferociously independent, vocal" describes the Iranians to a T. For some reaosn it is assumed that the Iranians are backward, ill-educated and slave-like. This is a steriotype that bears no relation to reality. (but I guess makes evrybody in the West feel good). You have tead the Princess' comments. She certainly does not fit your steriotype, nor is she particularly unique for an Iranian. And if we are so highly developed and feroceiously independent, and so all-around sophisticated, why were there no protests in the street when Kennedy stole the election from Nixon? That to me suggests a subservient mind.

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  • 488. At 04:41am on 25 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    487:
    "why were there no protests in the street when Kennedy stole the election from Nixon? That to me suggests a subservient mind."

    What the h...are you talking about? Kennedy didn't steal the election.
    The difference in the popular vote was .1%, the smallest margin of any presidential election before or since. However, the electoral college did its job and handed the win to the candidate with the most electoral college votes, which was Kennedy, dispite the fact that some electors in the south voted for neither Kennedy nor Nixon and instead voted for Byrd, because of the winner takes all rule.
    There was no reason to rise up against the US government after that election because the system worked fairly and the people accepted the results. Just the opposite has occured in Iran and the people rightly are protesting.



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  • 489. At 04:51am on 25 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    allmymarbles (#487) " ... why were there no protests in the street when Kennedy stole the election from Nixon? That to me suggests a subservient mind."

    A condescending conclusion. There were no protests in the street because Americans, unlike citizens in many countries, have faith in our political institutions, which have served us well for over 200 years. That does not mean I, or most Americans, think our institutions are perfect, and not subject to fraud. There may well have been some fraud in that election, as in others, but some who have researched the 1960 election have concluded that there was not enough to change the result. It's possible there was, but only because it was a very close election. The election of 2000 was similar in being very close. When the election is so close as to be a statistical tie, it does not matter as far as legitimacy of the result how it turns out. Nixon accepted the result; the people accepted the result; that is that. The same in 2000. Gore accepted the result; the people accepted the result; that is that. There are some who will never get over it in each case, however, and they tend to hang out on internet forums grinding their axes. Most of us have moved on.

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  • 490. At 08:55am on 25 Jun 2009, Simon21 wrote:

    489. At 04:51am on 25 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:
    allmymarbles (#487) " ... why were there no protests in the street when Kennedy stole the election from Nixon? That to me suggests a subservient mind."

    A condescending conclusion. There were no protests in the street because Americans, unlike citizens in many countries, have faith in our political institutions, which have served us well for over 200 years. That does not mean I, or most Americans, think our institutions are perfect, and not subject to fraud. There may well have been some fraud in that election, as in others, but some who have researched the 1960 election have concluded that there was not enough to change the result. It's possible there was, but only because it was a very close election. The election of 2000 was similar in being very close. When the election is so close as to be a statistical tie, it does not matter as far as legitimacy of the result how it turns out. "


    Well it does if the US is going to presume to lecture others about their election results.

    And as for "served us weell for 200 years" only if you discount civil war, corruption, gerrymandering on an massive scale, failure to protect civil rights of black citizens for over 160 years, and frightening degrees od polarisation and of course assasination and violence.

    The US would have gone on a lot better with the British Westminster system, refined. It is not brilliant god knows but it is not the practically open farce that makes for much US politics.

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  • 491. At 4:29pm on 25 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    490:

    Perhaps you'd like to go back in time and have a word with our founding fathers to let them know how much you hate the system they created.
    Maybe try calling for a National Convention rather than trashing nearly 300 years of representative governance that if you notice did infact servive all those things you mentioned quite nicely and all the good things you so conveniently left out.

    The reality is that this discussion about America's faultss only distracts from the real news occuring daily in Iran. The first non-Iranian journalist since the beginning of the protests has been arrested; the journalist has duel Greek/UK passports.

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  • 492. At 5:36pm on 25 Jun 2009, Gary_A_Hill wrote:

    Simon21 (#490), of course there have been plenty of "protests in the street" for civil rights for women and racial minorities, and against the Vietnam war and so on. Americans are as inclined as people anywhere to take to the streets when there is a point to it.

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  • 493. At 5:40pm on 25 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:


    chronophobe
    BienvenueEnLouisiana
    Gary_A_Hill

    Thank you - your respective posts contribute to the broader point. Other democratic nations have similar events in their history. Even after 200 years, angry Americans believed the only way to address the problems was to take their argument outside the legal system, in violent opposition to the US institutions. Iran is no different, and comparably, a much younger democratic nation. It will develop credibility and legitimacy and should be allowed to do so, especially after being hindered and frustrated by 'western' interference on so many occasions in the past.

    As 'Allmymarbles' wrote,"And, I repeat, their business is none of ours. We have no reason to interfere in their political battles..."

    Unfortunately, in 2007 Bush authorised funds, of around $200 million if I recall correctly, to go to opposition groups in Iran for the run-up to the election. Equally questionable, Britain also allocated $25 million, from the Foreign Office budget, to fund an exclusive BBC TV service beamed direct from London across Iran. That service started in January this year.

    Now you have to ask yourself:

    What is the purpose of funding Iranian opposition candidates whose political postion is no different to Ahmadinejad from a western perspective?

    What is the purpose of Britain paying for a free TV service for Iran, because there's no advertising on the service?



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  • 494. At 5:57pm on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    487, Bienvenue.

    You seem to forget that (1) Daley rigged the Illinois vote that give the election to Kennedy, and (2) the popular vote does not count (states' rights and all that).

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  • 495. At 6:04pm on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    491, Bienvenue.
    "The reality is that this discussion about America's faultss only distracts from the real news occuring daily in Iran."

    You don't think it is hypocritical to condemn another nation for acts that we ourselves are guilty of? Let's clean up our own house.

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  • 496. At 6:16pm on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Bienvenue.

    You seem to be accusing me of being un-American for my harsh criticism of our government. It is we, the people, who have the obligation to monitor our government and keep it to a high standard. A faithful American does not abandon this responsibility. Your blind faith and high moral tone does not further good government.

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  • 497. At 6:24pm on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    493, Richard.
    "Unfortunately, in 2007 Bush authorised funds, of around $200 million if I recall correctly, to go to opposition groups in Iran for the run-up to the election. Equally questionable, Britain also allocated $25 million, from the Foreign Office budget, to fund an exclusive BBC TV service beamed direct from London across Iran. That service started in January this year."

    Thank you for the information. I didn't have the figures, but knew we were involved from the get-go. Let's see what Bienvenue and Chronophobe can make of that.

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  • 498. At 7:32pm on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    491, Bienvenue.
    "Perhaps you'd like to go back in time and have a word with our founding fathers to let them know how much you hate the system they created."

    You do not understand the founding fathers in the same way that you do not understand me. I would take incisive criticism over smug acceptance any day. You may not approve of me, but Thomas Jefferson would have cheered me on. I can live with that.

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  • 499. At 8:02pm on 25 Jun 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    494-7:
    You seem so confident now that you think you have found something to pounce on, but that kind of sassy tone just doesn't get me riled up.
    I commend you for your obvious talent in cherry picking and spin.

    494, 5:
    Again you fall back on moral relativism and claim hypocrisy when all that is occurring today in Iran is by decree from the highest authorities. What Mayor Daley of Chicago did in 1960 quite frankly pales in comparison, even if you could find the evidence that he did it.

    You have also made a laughable attempted to make me look ignorant of our election system, but it is you who have been played a fool. I mentioned both the popular vote and the Electoral College in my post and even gave the reason as to why the Electoral College votes were not so close; its plain to see.

    496:
    Here you get defensive again as if youre not quite sure of the accuracy of your previous posts. Well, this one's not accurate either. You may go back and look at my previous posts, even the ones on previous blogs, and I guarantee you that you will not find a single incidence of me accusing another human being of being un-American.

    497:
    Here you think you have a gotcha moment, but you really don't.
    First, did Bush really dedicated money back in 2007 specifically for opposition groups for an election that took place in 2009? Unless there is a link to a state document or a credible newspaper article to back this claim up I will have to withhold my judgment.

    On the BBC TV services in Iran, I am aware of that enterprise, but I am unaware of any attempt at using the station for so called propaganda; however, even if it was designed to be similar to Radio Free Europe or Radio Free Asia, it makes no difference to me.
    The Wests so called involvement in the Iranian election is no different than Europe's collective involvement in the last US election in which most professed their support for Pres. Obama.

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  • 500. At 8:27pm on 25 Jun 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    499, Bienvenue.

    You are using lots of words, but not saying anything substantive. Very lame. You were careless in what you said earlier and I have caught you out.

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