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View Diary: Noam Chomsky on U.S. policy towards Iran (223 comments)

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  •  You really shd learn about Iran, not yr prejudice (9+ / 0-)
    1. Billboard at main airport in Tehran: "Respect yourself:  1. Abstinence; 2. Faithfulness; 3. Use Condoms.  
    1. 60% of college students in Iran are women. Almost everybody in Iran writes and reads poetry, even men; men and women are equally enrolled in sciences and engineering.  Ahmadinejad's wife has a post-grad degree in engineering; Ahmadinejad's daughter has a post-grad degree in Mechanical engineering from the finest university in Iran (she didn't get there on her father's creds:  university education is paid for by the state but admission to college is outcome of rigorous testing process.)
    1. Take a look at one of these sites to see Iranian female bicycling teams -- yes, they wear scarves; some choose to wear full chadors, but that's not required; women are expected to cover their heads & wear a mantau -- mid-thigh length jacket or coat or shawl or something.  It was not all that long ago that American women were expected to cover their ankles and arms lest they give scandal.
    1. I'm not going to do all your research for you -- I don't remember the name of the US institution that named the University of Tehran the best in category in doctoral studies in electrical engineering.
    1.  It's becoming tiresome to repeatedly refute the Hasbara that "Ahmadinejad said Israel should be wiped off the map."  a. What he said was, in effect, zionism is an untenable situation and should and will disappear from the pages of history.

    b. Israel has had Iran in its sights well before anybody heard of Ahmadinejad.  Yossi Melman writes in "Nuclear Sphinx" that Mossad and MI5 & CIA knew little of Ahmad before his election in 2005.  Yet, according to Abe Foxman, speaking at B&N in NYC in mid-Sept 2007, in the runup to Iraq invasion, Israelis urged the Bush admin NOT to invade Iraq, arguing that IRAN was the problem.  

    c. It's really difficult to understand how bulldozing children, taking a chunk out of a kid's head because he threw stones at an 2-ton bulldozer driven by an IDF soldier in the process of destroying a Palestinian orange grove can be defended.  I believe in the principle of proportionality; Israel responds with wild disproportionality -- and genuine barbarity -- to Palestinian acts attempting to gain return of lands stolen from them.  Destroying half of Lebanon to gain the return of 3 IDF soldiers is disproportionate; dropping millions of cluster bombs on civilian lands is disproportionate, illegal, and barbaric.

    Nobody but Likud and Likud's American cohort want a war with Iran.  Iranians do not want war, they want respect.  

    When a coward sees a man he thinks he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight. -Chinhua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

    by BughouseWW on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 07:38:43 AM PST

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    •  Response (2+ / 0-)
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      varro, Absit invidia

      From (Butterflies and wheels, BBC News, The Chronicle of Higher education, Guardian Unlimited and Reporters without borders).  Not such a rosy picture.

      "A new series of executions has started in Iran. On 22 July 2007, in the notorious Evin Prison, the Islamic authorities hanged in one day twelve "thugs" accused of homosexuality, drug smuggling, theft, and violation of Islamic morality." - These executions are public and are designed with a crane in a manner that ensures more pain.

      "Ms Ali, 24, joined a protest last year calling for greater legal rights for Iranian women.  She has been ordered to begin her sentence of two-and-a-half years in prison and a flogging on Saturday."

      "When President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran addressed faculty members and students at Columbia University last month, he invited everyone present to visit Iran and to engage the faculty members and students at its 400 universities. He failed to mention that Iran's academics refrain from accepting invitations to attend conferences abroad, for fear of being arrested and accused of belonging to networks recruited to bring about regime change in their country.  The Ahmadinejad government's broad crackdown on Iran's civil society, described by some observers as a cultural revolution, has essentially criminalized the activities of academics, journalists, and activists for women's rights and human rights."

      "Four bookshops in Tehran this week closed their coffee shops after receiving a 72-hour ultimatum from Amaken-e Omoomi, a state body governing the retail trade. The order has led to the closure of the cafe in one of the city's best-known bookshops, Nashr-e Sales.  Amaken justified the closures by declaring that the coffee shops constituted an illegal "mixing of trades". However, critics suspect the move is aimed at restricting the gathering of intellectuals and educated young people."

      Iran is number 166 out of 169 in a ratings of how free their press is.

      •  Quite right, Cassdog (7+ / 0-)

        Iran has very serious internal issues that the Iranian people are attempting to resolve on their own terms.

        The top line and the bottom line is this: Iran has serious problems; Iranians know this; Iranians are working to solve them; US interference is making resolution of Iran's internal problems more difficult, not more likely.

        The Iranian people are courageous enough, smart enough, and energetic enough to solve their problems in their way.

        US intervention in Iran is making the situation for reform-minded moderates in Iran worse, not better.

        Iranian Nobel peace prize winner Shirin Ebadi is pleading with the US Congress NOT to renew its appropriation of $75million to 'promote democracy' in Iran. Ebadi was Haleh Esfandiari's attorney in gaining Esfandiari's release from Evin Prison where she was held on charges of treason- participating with American interests in attempting to create a 'velvet revolution' in Iran. Esfandiari is an Iranian and a scholar at the Wilson Institute who was held by Iranian authorities while she was visiting her elderly mother in Iran.

        The Iranian government is touchy about outsiders -- particularly Americans -- attempting to tell it what to do.  The Bush admin HAS stated its intention to change the regime in Iran, so it's not an irrational reaction.

        Iran may be 166 of 169 in the freedom of its press, but it's number 2 in the number of bloggers and Internet communications.

        When a coward sees a man he thinks he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight. -Chinhua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

        by BughouseWW on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:24:53 AM PST

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        •  BughouseWW, I enjoy debating but... (0+ / 0-)

          I agree that US intervention, particularly from the federal government, could make things worse but the humanitarian in me wants to believe that some international organization can help.

          The reason that I brought up these problems was to show that the leaders of Iran are fanatics and their governmental organization is not up to par.  The thought of them getting a nuclear bomb is scary.  I think GW Bush is crazy but he wouldn't advocate executing gay people, or nuking another country and other checks and balances would limit him if he did.  I'm not so sure about the government of Iran.        

          Anyhow, you must admit that your rosy picture of an intellectually free and democratic society that you painted in your first post, wasn't quite honest.  When I put the above quotes, it appears you may have backed off from this initial statement that you made here and in a lower post.  I definitely learned something from your posts and hopefully you learned something from mine.      

          •  Bush gives this guy your tax $ to infiltrate Iran (1+ / 0-)
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            Thanks for a rational response, cassdog.
            I suppose I do paint a rosier picture than is warranted. I'm trying to counterbalance the demonization that is far more negative than the facts support.

            And because I truly detest Josh Muravchik, who has once again slipped his leash:


            Iran Nuclear Watch  
            AEI Scholar Says Iranian Bomb Is 'Intolerable'

            Posted: 20 Nov 2007 08:12 AM CST

            In an Op-Ed in USA Today, Joshua Muravchik, a resident scholar at American Enterprise Institute and a member of the State Department's Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion, toes the line of the Bush administration and hypes the threat of Iran's nuclear program. Muravchik writes: "Our choice is stark. Accept Iran with an atom bomb or cripple its nuclear program by force. Nothing else will stop Tehran."

            Muravchik is in favor of military strikes on Iran's nuclear facilities and argues that the President alone is positioned to carry out such strikes. He states: "Only strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities can forestall these terrible scenarios. This would not require a 'declaration of war,' an antiquated concept that has not been employed since World War II and rarely before. We would send no troops, conquer no land. Rather, we would act in pre-emptive self-defense...Congress can block presidential action, but in this case, most members will be satisfied to stand clear and let the president do what must be done."

            When a coward sees a man he thinks he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight. -Chinhua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

            by BughouseWW on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:31:07 PM PST

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          •  ps (1+ / 0-)
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            a. I do NOT agree that Iran's leaders are fanatics.  Corrupt, perhaps, but not fanatics.  Ahmadinejad was one of the five top nominees for best mayor in the world; he's not a fool, he's far more competent than Bush, he is not financially corrupt but is using reckless rhetoric to maintain his place in a crowded government structure, loaded with moneyed cronyism that does not include him.  Ahmad plays the populist role to poor people whom he has severely disappointed.

            b. That Iran's governmental organization is not 'up to par' is really not the business of the US to solve.  Courageous Iranian reformers who have taken life-and-death chances to challenge their government to function in a different way are being marginalized by Bush.  I believe it is deliberate:  a nuclear Iran is not nearly the problem Bush makes it out to be; an Iran, reformed by Iran's own reformers rather than by Bush puppets, is what Bush-Cheney and the Likuk cannot abide.

            c. Get off the gay thing.  It's a side show.  

            If you think that sounds callous, you should have tuned in to this afternoon's Israel Policy group conference on the upcoming Annapolis Summit:  A panelist from Haaretz backed up David Wurmser in decreeing that "removing settlers from Gaza was trouble enough; Israel cannot be bothered to move any more settlers; Gaza will have to be it."  In other comments, panelists revealed that the whole settlements issue, the whole  international borders issue, the whole Jerusalem issue, from the Likud point of view, are sideshows, irrelevant.  

            Gays in Iran are a problem.  But destroying Iran's nuclear capability on the lunatic advice of a Muravchik -- an act that could devastate thousands of square miles and kill hundreds of thousands of people -- that's serious.  More serious then Iran's gay problem.

            When a coward sees a man he thinks he can beat he becomes hungry for a fight. -Chinhua Achebe, Things Fall Apart.

            by BughouseWW on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:46:30 PM PST

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    •  I learn about Iran... (1+ / 0-)
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      ...and what I learn about it is that Ahmadinejad is the Iranian version of George W. Bush - someone who intentionally provokes people and is beholden to the religious right in his own country.

      And THIS is what the Iranian right-wingers do - they hang gay teenagers.  The only person hung in Israel was Adolph Eichmann.

      However, the United States should not use any kind of military action against Iran.  It should do what it, unfortunately, is impotent in doing - using diplomatic skill to bring about political change and equal rights and protections for women and queers.

      9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

      by varro on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:59:00 AM PST

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