Iran v. Britain: Who Blinked?
Published on: April 8, 2007
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  • Parson Esson


    Mahmoud Ahmedinejad doesn’t hold a candle to Bush, Bolton, Krauthammer in terms of craziness. I hope the Iranians, and for that matter, a host of other countries who’ve been unnecessarily bullied by our empire obtain nuclear weapons. If I were a small country on the receiving end of U.S. bullying, I’d get a nuclear deterrent pronto. Until, your recent ‘conversion’, you were wrong about nearly everything. I’m glad you see things a little more clearly. The Mahmoud Ahmedinejad remark concerning Israel to this day has not been accurately translated. The correct translation does indicate throwing all the Jews in Israel to the sea. It says to throw the Israeli Political Establishment (Likkud) in to the sea. A big difference, no?

  • Parson Esson

    The Mahmoud Ahmedinejad remark concerning Israel to this day has not been accurately translated. The correct translation does NOT indicate throwing all the Jews in Israel to the sea. It says to throw the Israeli Political Establishment (Likkud) in to the sea. A big difference, no?

  • Adam

    Parson…you are out to lunch.

    Maybe Ahmedinejad’s remark was mistranslated as “wiped off the map” when it could have been more literally rendered as “wiped from the pages of time,” an idiom for disappearance…

    But saying that “Zionist entity” means “Israeli Political Establishment (Likkud)” and not what it means in Iran’s discourse, “the Jewish State” or “Israel,” signals that you’ve recently just found out about the Middle East but haven’t yet completed the “for Dummies” book or you’re performing some combination of wishful thinking and dishonesty. My money’s on the latter.

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  • fred

    No one knows exactly why the naval wing of the IRGC took the 15 British Marines captive at the end of March.

    None of the speculation about motives I’ve read ever seems to consider that perhaps the Iranians are simply getting annoyed with casual incursions into their territory.

  • Parson Esson

    Adam you join Iran’s other hysterical accusers.
    Israel, which unlike Iran has never signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (surprise, surprise), and which has produced nuclear weapons (in theory over U.S. objections), wants to maintain its nuclear monopoly in the Middle East (really!) and hence insists that Iran must not even be allowed to enrich uranium. The latter is however its inalienable right under the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Which is why Israeli demands that the U.S. strike Iran become more shrill with each passing day. Genocide! Genocide! the attack-advocates shreik, echoed by the necons in Washington.That is why the Lobby is intensifying pressure on the U.S. Congress to attack Iran. Uri Lubrani, a senior advisor to Defense Minister Amir Peretz, tells the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors that the US “does not understand the threat and has not done enough,” and therefore “must be shaken awake.” “An American strike on Iran is essential,” declares Gen. Oded Tira, chief artillery officer of the Israeli Defense Forces, “for our existence,” so “we must help [Bush] pave the way by lobbying the Democratic Party (which is conducting itself foolishly) and US newspaper editors. We need to do this in order to turn the Iranian issue into a bipartisan one and unrelated to the Iraq failure.” Tira urges the Lobby to turn to “potential presidential candidates. . . so that they support immediate action by Bush against Iran.”

    Adam, you’re whining can’t change reality. Time to take your Bolton (errr) stained bedroom poster down.
    Sincerely, Parson

  • James Neville

    God, this Parson Esson lives in some kind of lefty-nut-neverland….

  • Is there an advocacy group for dysfunctional dialecticians? Charles Krauthammer is the strongest argument yeT to build a border fence: between the United States and Canada. Ever since the disaster of Viernam we have pursued a defense strategy that is disproportionately overloaded to contolling the air and the seas.

    There is one problem with all that, People live on the land and when we manage to negotiate our way out of Humvees and Cougars the natives are on a far more level playing field. All that we have to do is look back to last summer when Iranian surrogates held their own against Israel in southern Lebanon to know what fate awaits us if we go in militarily against Iran. As for boycotts? Haven’t we been pretty much boycotting the nuts in Iran forever? Somebody will buy their oil. As for the price of oil if hostilities should break out in the Gulf and Iran uses some of its rockets to sink oil tankers.

    Well maybe all of this idle speculation is best left to the abstract thinkers at the American Enterprise Institute. Some people are willing to fight and some aren’t. Our think tanks are full of people who returned draft notices in the 1960’s stamped “address unknown” while studying Leo Strauss in our godawful institutions of higher learning.

    If the relationship of the neoconservatives to George W. Bush isn’t proof positive of the veracity of the Stockholm Syndrome I don’t know what is. Maybe LBJ should have ran in 1968 claiming Ho Chi Mihn was developing weapons of mass destruction and French, British and Russian intelligence reports indicated that Ho was going to use them against our allies in the Middle East.

    Dave Pilliod
    Swanton, Ohio

  • Parson Esson


    Great post! Bet you’re suiting up for duty and self-sacrifice. Oooops… forgot you’d rather send others to sustain you’re pornwar fantasies. You smell of the cowardly ‘soil my pants crowd’ when real bullets fly. Just like your buddies Bush (scared to fight), 6 defermentations Cheney, etc. Boy, you hang out with a tough crowd (lol). My party (Republican) has been hijacked by a bunch of wusses and worse, cowards. Your support of these nitwits has sunk the party for the next generation. Gracias.
    Sincerely, Parsons

  • Parson Esson

    For James and Adam and other Neoconkers,

    Your buddy Don Imus audio mp3 comments on your heroes:

  • Parson Esson

    James, Adam, etc.

    Here’s the mp3 text:

    Imus: “I was – I tried to imagine how various members of the current administration would behave were they subjected to the gallows as Saddam Hussein was. Um, and I can see Rumsfeld –”

    Barnicle: “He wouldn’t take it. No blindfold for Rumsfeld.”

    Imus: “That’s what I was thinking, you know. ‘F-you.’ You know, you go to the gallows with the noose you want, not the noose you– or the noose you have, not the noose you want–”

    Barnicle: “That’s exactly right.”

    Imus: “Or Whatever. But Cheney–”

    Barnicle: “Just as that trap door opens, he’d drop an f-bomb to all of them.”

    Imus: “How about Cheney?”

    Barnicle: “I don’t think Cheney would make it up the steps.”

    Imus: “Now this is a guy who would, this is a guy – he’d wet his pants and he’d whine and start

    Barnicle: “Well He would order as a last meal 400 pounds of bacon.”

    Imus: “Yeah, ‘cause this is a guy got six deferments just to get out of Vietnam because he had, what was that phrase he used – he had some other more important issues to deal with. One of ’em, the last one, was getting his wife pregnant just to keep from having to deal with this.”

    Barnicle: “Oh God.”

    Imus: “Uh, who else? Wolfowitz, he’d cry.”

    Barnicle: “Oh yeah, he’d be shot in the back running away.”

    Imus: “Yeah, exactly. Yeah, or some of the other key players.”

    Barnicle: “Richard Perle.”

    Imus: “Oh, he’d, oh God, he’d, he would soil himself. So–”

    Barnicle: “Can’t you see him being dragged up by his cap?”

    Imus: “Oh yeah.”

    Barnicle: “Clinging, splinters in his fingernails.”

    Imus: “A combover of his hanging all down the side of his head.”

    “Everybody well in your family, your kids, wife, all that?

    Barnicle replies: “You know, thank God, everybody is, and I hope everybody is in your household and everyone else’s household, because the health of your family, everything else pales in comparison to that. So you get up in the morning and draw a breath, Don, you’re ahead on the day.”

  • An interesting thing to me about the Iranian capture of the British sailors was that they used similar tactics as during the 1980s tanker war. For anyone interested in the full story of the little known late 1980s naval confrontations between the U.S. and Iran, check out my website.

  • nima

    Am I love views like Parsson’s and also to an extent also Fukuyama’s mainly due too the fact of how much they are misinterpreting things. The IGRC isn’t the state within the state it is the state. The reality of the matter is that even before the country changed from constitutional monarchy too theocracy the IGRC mechanism was already in place with the clergy going around and stealing everybodies money. Not to dis-similair to medieval europe.

    ps If I suspect that my neighbours may be linked in some way to IGRC via funds controlled by Rafsanjani what should I do.

  • Dr. Fukuyama,

    Largely, I think your analysis is accurate. I do have serious questions though about your conclusion.

    The Bush Administration policy of pressure on Iran leads to empirical result of Iran pursues a nuclear program more ambitiously and with more real capacity, at this point (remember, there was no real capacity nor nearly the kind of ambition to get a bomb before the kind of pressure we’ve seen since this confrontation began within the last 2-3 years).

    Additional pressure does not step Iran off of that pursuit. To the contrary, it leads to a greater pursuit and now real capacity developed and a hostage standoff, to boot.

    What exactly about this course has been successful? Iran is gathering the weapons and more ambitiously pursuing them and they take British hostages. Diplomacy, not pressure, secures a release. But the pursuit of the nuclear program goes on and accelerates the more pressure the Iranian leadership experiences.

    Similarly, North Korea purues a nuclear program more ambitiously and more openly when the American leadership engages in confrontation and pressure to stop it. South Korea steps off the pressure and brings the North Korean leadership back to the table. A dance between the North Koreans and the Americans and U.N. Security council powers ensues. North Korea looks ready to come back to the table, but steps away when the Americans freeze their assets in Macau. North Korea will not return to the talks and looks likely to miss its deadlines as long as this economic pressure remains in place.

    In neither case have we seen a decrease in nuclear ambitions, except for a nascent commitment to abandon a program by the North Koreans if pressure is removed. In both cases we saw a sharp spike in nuclear activity post-pressure and in North Korea’s case we saw low-to-no pressure countries – China and South Korea – bring them back to the negotiating table. And high pressure tactics by a high pressure country, the United States, leads them to walk away from talks.

    Where exactly is the victory for pressure amidst this situation? Where exactly would be the victory for pressure in securing a political resolution in Iraq?

    Good things happen in the world, for sure. But to persistently claim that they come from pressure, as this period is wont to do, even when the empirical evidence suggests the opposite or at least that a maximum pressure policy versus a minimum pressure policy (my theoretical work is around principles of least possible necessary aggression) seems to commit us to the same fallacy of the Soviet government. All good things happen under the Soviet leadership and its regime of force, the Soviet government takes responsibility for. And all bad and even tragic consequences are ignored or explained away as the responsibility of outside powers (in the case of the Soviets, the American and capitalist imperialists).

    Iran is the worst case for a case for pressure accomplishing results, really, because so few good results have come from pressure and so many bad results have come in the meantime. The best things to occur on this front have all been diplomatic. More direct and open talks with Tehran and a growing consensus that such an arrangement is a positive development. A growing consensus in favor of diplomacy to resolve important disputes like this one. Growing dissatisfaction domestically in Iran with Ahmadenijad’s leadership, even as that same chorus of dissenters also asserts Iran’s right to nuclear defense policy and is reactive against American impositions.

    But the nuclear proliferation, itself, we must remember, has increased, not decreased, over this time period, no matter what our wishful thinking for our current policy.

    At some point, as with the Iraq war, it seems incumbent on us to face the real consequences of our policies – a significant increase in nuclear ambitions by both Iran and North Korea – rather than just hoping that our policies will one work out because the current political consensus favors them. The political consensus favored the Iraq war when it was first declared, as well, and that has not survived the test of time. The current more hostile, high-pressure and pressure-centered policy by the Administration is not reaping results, at this point. That is a fact that we can’t simply dismiss when trying to figure out what to do next.

    Ben Sutherland

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