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June 24, 2005

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Color me paranoid, but I still can't shake the suspicion that this is pretty much what the current administration wanted. After all, the DS memos show they were trying to provoke Saddam. I'm sure this will do nothing but increase tensions. Pretty soon, pow! Right into the orchestra pit.

"A weakness of Ahmadinejad is that he does not have the vaguest idea of international relations, international structures,"

Well, if things don't work out there, I'm sure there will be a place in the Republican party for him.

Oh man.

According to the BBC, turnout for the second round is currently reported at %47, whereas first round turnout was %47. My understanding was that reform-minded people were trying to mobilize voters who might have abstained.

But then the dust will need to clear some before we can hope to understand better what happened here.

I'm w/ foo on this one. By his speech immediately before the election, bush deliberately encited the conservatives in Iran, thus dramatically increasing their turnout and ensuring a victory that can only create a situation Rove et al will exploit to maximum advantage.

Well, if things don't work out there, I'm sure there will be a place in the Republican party for him.

There has been far too much Dick Durbin/Karl Rove talk here already.

In practical terms, if Mr. Ahmadinejad wins it will mean that conservatives will have a monopoly on power


Dear me, all the talk I heard at the harlot stoning party today was how this election was a bad thing. But getting in a conservative=evil reference in a straight news article is perfectly acceptible.


Hmm.. there's alot 'hard-lining', and 'conservative' thrown about on this guy, but little on how he actually governs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmoud_Ahmadinezhad
The above seems to portray his governing style as more of a fascist than an Islamist, if so, I'd hardly think that he'd get along well with the ppl that will be a block on his power. Could be quite interesting.

moe99 a perfect example of how this here place has become a haven for conspiracy theorists.

conspiracy theorists.

The alternative to the conspiracy theory is that Bush is such a moron that he gave the Iranian right wing a giant boost the day before their elections on accident.

But getting in a conservative=evil reference in a straight news article is perfectly acceptible.

Hmmm, I didn't say anything about evil, just the absence of understanding about international structures. Any president that nominates John Bolton as UN ambassador kinda opens itself up for that one.

And I would note that as far as evil goes, I have a hard time imagining Stalin or Mao or Kim Il Jong's elementary school classmates expressing similar sentiments to a reporter.

Wow, Freedom really is on the march in the Middle East, just as we were promised. Check out this quote from here:

He is seen by many who voted for him as one ready to stand up to the United States. "I picked Ahmadinejad to slap America in the face," Mahdi Mirmalek said after casting a ballot for the Tehran mayor.
Awesome.

DaveC, surely you're aware that "conservative" is a common, standard term describing certain political factions within Iran, and more generally, that Ahmadinejad is conservative both in this specific sense and in the more generic sense, and that "conservative" is a word that is often used outside the context of US politics. Surely you aren't jumping to conclusions that would be precluded by actual knowledge about the actual issues discussed in the article. I mean, you can't actually be implying that referring to Ahmadinejad as "conservative" is part of the insidious bias of the Em Ess Em or something, because we know how you feel about conspiracy theories.

"Color me paranoid"

OK

"Well, if things don't work out there, I'm sure there will be a place in the Republican party (sic) for him"

With the Nazis, Stalinists and Pol Pots. Don't let Mayor Daly here your mouth foaming garbage.

"bush (sic) deliberately encited (sic) the conservatives in Iran"

Whatever.

"Bush is such a moron (sick) that he gave the Iranian right wing a giant boost the day before their elections"

You bet, he turned that situation around *snap*, just like that. Listen to you people. For goodness sakes, get some counseling.

Looks like the counter-propaganda is in full swing. Dick Durbin = Karl Rove, etc.

Looks like the counter-propaganda is in full swing. Dick Durbin = Karl Rove, etc.

I don't know, BBM, but it seems to me that there are a couple of simple questions here. First, was the President's pre-election speech (a) completely irrelevant to the results or (b) consequential in some meaningful way. I think this is open to dispute, but there is enough evidence for (b) that maybe you shouldn't be calling people mentally ill for believing it.

If (b) is true, then the question is whether the consequences were (c) intended by the President or (d) an accident. You ridicule both (c) and (d), but don't propose an (e).

My own uninformed view is that the statement gave people who wanted the hardliner (including those in a position to stuff ballot boxes) an additional excuse, and deflated the opposition somewhat. And I think this was not intentional on the part of the President.

This I find an exact parallel to the UBL appearance in advance of our election. We'll never know how many votes (if any) were tipped towards the President by this, nor will we know how the news cycles in that critical interval would have played out had that SOB stayed in his cave (or villa, or wherever he is). Looked at from the other way, from UBL's perspective, you have to wonder whether he was trying to help the President or the challenger. If the latter, he's an idiot.

What is also quite interesting (as well as disappointing, disheartening and depressing) about the latest election results from Iran, is the fact that the "hardline" faction has seemed, yet again, to consolidate its hold on political power in Iran, marginalize even further its "moderate" opposition, and revive rote anti-Americanism as a (apparently functional) political tool: even in the face of growing opposition (or, at the least, apathy) towards the whole Islamist regime on the part of the Iranian public (or at least that is what polls have told us: the recent "election" was too well-rigged to be indicative of anything).
Discussions of "What Can Be Done About Iran", are, IMO, sadly needed: However, reflexive interpretation of foreign countries' affairs through the prism of our own domestic politics seems (as moe99 and blogbudsman unfortunately demonstrate, above) to be counter-productive. Can we maybe try to look at what is going on in the world without the near-Pavlovian reaction of trying to make every comment thread a referendum on George Bush?
That said - blogbudsman: leaving inane similes aside, would you not admit that President Bush's comments on the Iranian elections might have had at least some negative effects? IMO, he should have waited until after the voting, and then (rightly) excoriated the manipulated results of the rigged election to the max. At least it would have made him look somewhat vaguely more statemanlike.

"Listen to you people."

Hard to do, since there are only individuals here, who tend to disagree with one another. Being unable or unwilling to sort the voices out would tend to make them unintelligible, to be sure.

bbm
I hope the operation to transplant a sense of humor into you is successful. Even a rudimentary one would be a worth the effort. I'm hoping the [sick] was a sign that the transplanted sense was beginning to make neuronal connections. Best of luck on that.

The Iranian government staged an election yesterday and announced the winner to be Ahmadinejad. Nothing really changes since both candidates were fully vetted by the Guardian Council and neither would veer from GC dogma. The mullahs have proved to be master puppeteers.

Hey, lj, I'm a funny guy. But to think that Iran was at all ready to be the next freedom domino, and then thinking that, then needing to direct some sort of causation toward the current administration lacks humor at any level. 'Twould be just as silly to credit irreverent Mr. Durbin with canceling the President's attempt to spread pixie dust with his performance. Politics can be incredibly funny, but lunatic fringism is not. What was funny was my post using the incorrect here (sic)for hear (sick).

I will seize on my rare opportunities to agree wholeheartedly with Charles.

However, there is a huge difference wrt possibilities for negotiations with the west, and with the rest of the world. Rafsanjani is highly experienced and knows the processes and many of the intermediaries. The new president is like electing, well, Jesse Ventura.

blogbudsman: But to think that Iran was at all ready to be the next freedom domino...

Isn't that one of the side-notes of the various DSMs as well as murmurs through the PNAC-spawned political establishment? "Real men go through Tehran" and all that? Wasn't that supposed to be one of the perks of invading Iraq? [In fact, didn't Wolfowitz as much as say that back in 2003?] I'm not sure why you're trying to beat up on the posters here when the better target is the Bush Administration you're trying so hard to defend.

Der Spiegel has the follwing to say about Ahmedinejad: "...versucht er, die Iraner zu einen." (Rough translation: "...he is trying to unite the Iranians.") In other words, he says he's a uniter not a divider. Another little parallel.

Anarch, I know very well your target is the Bush administration, and in a perverse democratic way, I accept that. My argument stands. And Paul Wolfowitz may very well be proven correct. Time will tell.

"Listen to you people."

Hard to do, since there are only individuals here, who tend to disagree with one another. Being unable or unwilling to sort the voices out would tend to make them unintelligible, to be sure.

Gary, I have to say I'm deeply disappointed in you.

Here you had a golden opportunity to wax pedantic about the fact that one doesn't "listen" to text displayed on a computer screen, with bonus points for a pre-emptive apology contingent on whether BBM is using a text-to-speech interface.

You're slipping, man.

Hey, lj, I'm a funny guy.

I thought it was a general rule that if you tell people that you are funny, you usually aren't. Keep trying though.

And if I were to agree with Charles, I would have to wonder what this means to the contention that
"If">http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2005/06/bush_an_appease.html#c5975861">"If Iran locates its military facilities too close to civilian populations, that's their problem. Also their problem if they consider our response to their belligerence an act of war.". I guess they let the mullahs walk all over them, so they deserve whatever they get. Also, in light of your post on Sunni/Salafi philosphy and this quote

The fundamental point is that we must stay engaged with governments we don't care much about (read Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, etc.). Does it mean that we must accept their behavior and put the push for freedom in the back of the line? No. We can and must do both, but it will take more Condoleeza Rice and less Donald Rumsfeld for us to succeed at it.

Would you say that Bush was being more like Condi or Don in this instance?

Finally, Catsy, I suspect Gary passed on the opportunity because he may have thought it would have been wasted. Bbm might have thought it was a comedy monologue. Sic.

Anarch, I know very well your target is the Bush administration, and in a perverse democratic way, I accept that.

Er, what? I'm not "targetting" anyone or anything, so you can a) take a 15 yard penalty for mind-reading and b) take another 10 yard penalty for condescension: I don't need your "acceptance", thanks all the same, especially not if it necessitates the "perverse" qualifier.

If, however, you mean that I'm legitimately pointing out that the Bush Administration meets the criteria you set forth as "lunatic fringism" -- which you apparently do, because you just agreed with it (see below) -- that's not called "targetting", that's called "telling the truth" or some variation thereon. And I'm frankly astonished that you think that somehow you need to publicly declare your "acceptance" -- in a "perverse democratic way", no less -- of that.

My argument stands. And Paul Wolfowitz may very well be proven correct.

Waitaminnit: your argument was that people who thought that Iran was the next "freedom domino" (I suppose it's better than "democratsunami" but that's truly damning with faint praise) to fall "lacks humor", which, by your later description, equates to "lunatic fringism". I pointed out that the Bush Administration, particularly Wolfowitz, had in fact maintained that very thing. You've now said that a) your argument stands, and b) Wolfowitz may prove correct. Which means you've simultaneously called Wolfowitz a member of the lunatic fringe and declared that said lunatic fringe might be right after all.

Somehow, I don't think that's what you meant to do.

PS: I'd be very interested in your responses to CharleyCarp's 9:11am post and Jay C's 9:14am post.

The President may have been sending a message to those who's hearing such could impact the future. The message of old - you're on your own. The new message - we're here, see what we've done. Did he expect to have immediate impact on this bogus election process? One could hope, but practicallity would temper that fantasy. By the way, why did Iran have elections? Who were they trying to impress? How? As for the junior chamber's quest for negativity. No I don't. Do the critics words affect the outcome of the play?

It gets better. If you think about what Iran represents in Islamic thought, one would think that you might choose another time to give your opinion.

It is also worth noting that Iran shares with the United States a detestation of Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaida and other violent jihadi groups, steeped in salafi doctrine. Iran, the fountainhead of Shi‘ism and the champion of oppressed Shi‘is everywhere, is virulently opposed to all forms of extreme Sunni orthodoxy and militancy. The sentiment is reciprocated.link

Of course, Chas is all about freedom, so this can't be laid on his doorstep, but bbm seems to think that what is most important thing is to prevent another terrorist attack on the US soil, so I don't know why he doesn't see this as an own goal.

Another resource to be tapped with discretion is Iran. Says Mahan Abedin, editor of Terrorism Monitor, and who is currently researching a book on Iranian intelligence services: "The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 did not come as a surprise to the Iranian intelligence community, primarily because they had been engaged in their own covert war against the Taliban and its international Islamist allies for many years. Indeed, under different political circumstances, Iranian intelligence could have provided valuable help to the U.S. in the war against Salafi Islamist terrorism. Iran's Ministry of Intelligence & National Security (VEVAK) and the intelligence directorate of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) arguably have a better understanding of Wahhabi/Salafi terrorist networks and their institutional and ideological roots in Saudi Arabia than most other major intelligence organizations. They have gained such knowledge through the penetration of Wahhabi missionary/terror groups in Pakistan, which has been a priority for Iranian intelligence over the past 20 years. This priority stems not only from Iran's self-perceived responsibility to protect Pakistan's Shi'a community, but more importantly from a desire to pre-empt Saudi-sponsored Wahhabi subversion amongst Iran's tiny Sunni minority." link

The article by Abedin is here

I guess the play calls for all Islam to be against us, not some puny sect. Aristotle's three unities and all that. I guess your man is just doing his part.

Actually, lg, I doubt if we can prevent another attack. And I assume (with all the risk that entails) that Iran wants to be a world player/power. Even with the validity of the elections in doubt, elections they were. And who knows what path the leadership might take. Time to ride the two wheeler - it's a hot one today. Later, debater.

Thank you, DaveC; I didn't realize that the phase "monopoly on power" was intended to be pejorative.

When the mouse seizures commence, Cryptic Ned's name will be on the list.

When the mouse seizures commence, Cryptic Ned's name will be on the list.

Why, does he specialize in treating epileptic rodents?

mouse seizures or mice seizures?

DaveC: When the mouse seizures commence, Cryptic Ned's name will be on the list.

[James Cagney voice]You dirty rat![/James Cagney voice]

I thought "mouse seizures commence" was maybe a Chomsky-ist grammar joke. Like "colorless green ideas sleep furiously."

URGENT! Please send 300 kilos of white mice. No time to explain.

As for the rest of the smart alecks, a designer worm will soon do hoodoo on your keyboards.

Your Tab key is now Fresca.

Your Enter key is now your Escape key.

Consider this fair warning!

DaveC: As for the rest of the smart alecks, a designer worm will soon do hoodoo on your keyboards.

I guessed that you really meant to say hice seizures.

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