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Posted by on Feb 5, 2007 in At TMV | 53 comments

TIP-Truman Institute Iran Conference

I write quite regularly about Iran. One of the recurring themes is that there is much we don’t know. We have to find out more about Iran, about its capabilities but also about what it’s doing right now – its policies, intentions, etc.

The Israel Project sponsored, together with the Truman Institute for Peace, a conference on Iran entitled “In the Eye of the Storm: Iran in Global Perspectives“. TIP reports that 100 academics and activists and 60 foreign journalists and diplomats attended the full-day conference.

From the press release:

The academic presentations of the conference were organized by Truman Center researcher and Iran expert Dr. Eldad Pardo, and focused on growing Iranian influence and interaction in the global arena. Lectures included:

– Tehran’s Global Agenda: A Disaster Waiting to Happen?
– Press or Embrace: The American Dilemma
– Europe, Iran and the Bomb
– Iran’s Regional Security Conception
– The Arab System and Iran’s Claim for Hegemony
– It is All in the Eyes of the Beholder: How Iraqi Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and Patriots See Iran
– Competition or Cooperation? Iran in Turkish Foreign Policy
– China and Iran: Marriage of Convenience, Not Love
– The Rise and Fall of the Azadegan Oil Field Deal: Evaluation of the Oil Factor in the Japan Iran Relationship
– Russia and Iran: Still Partners in Need?
– Shiite Iran and the Sunni World
– Ahmadinejad on the Soil of the Indonesian Archipelago:Amazements, Questions, and Riddles
– Iran in Africa: A Snapshot of a Big Ambition
– Iran in Latin America – Ambitions and Challenges

An executive summary written by Dr. Pardo can be read here.

I encourage all of you to read the summary and, then, to watch these lectures.

I applaud The Israel Project, the Truman Institute and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem for organizing this conference. It would have been even better if they would have published the different lectures for all to read, but better something than nothing.

Iran is not peaceful. Iran is far from isolationist. ‘We’ have to study Iran, the ideology of the Mullahs / Ahmadinejad, the true nature of its regime, the way it is positioning itself in the world, etc.

As I wrote, more studies are necessary, more conferences like this, but this one is, in my opinion, very valuable. Iran is increasing its influence in the world, especially in vulnerable countries. The West has to counter everything Iran does for it cannot be allowed to increase its influence in the region and / or in the world.

I have argued many times before that the West should focus on Africa. Muslim extremists understand all too well, that Africa truly is the forgotten continent and that Africans are quite vulnerable for radical ideologies. The West should organize itself to invest bigtime in Africa. We have to counter it. It’s not just Iran that’s ‘investing’ in Africa, Saudi Arabia started doing the same decades ago (as Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in her book Mijn Vrijheid (My Freedom)).

Make no mistake about it: there is a war going on. A world war even. Mostly it’s, at this moment, an ideological battle, but we are also witnessing armed battles: Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, terrorist attacks against the West, etc.

Does this mean that the West should bomb Iran ASAP? No, that is not what I am saying. We should however, study Iran very carefully and counter its actions. The Mullahs cannot be allowed to spread their violent, hateful ideology. We have to invest in Africa and in Latin America. Iran has to be completely isolated and weakened.

The problem with Iran is not limited to its nuclear program. It’s a major part of it, but if it would give up on its nuclear program there would still be many issues left that have to be resolved.

As Eldad Pardo explained in his lecture Ahmadinejad is rapidly losing popularity. The West should make use of that.

Again: I applaud TIP, the Truman Institute and the H.U. for organizing / sponsoring this conference. The most important thing is not that one agrees with everything every single speaker said, it’s about gaining more knowledge about Iran, about the ideology of the Mullahs, the role Iran tries to play in different regions, what can be done against it, etc. Lets hope that more conferences like this are in the making. We need to expand our knowledge and understanding of this subject, as Hillary Clinton recently pointed out as well.

Lastly, also read this article at the Jerusalem Post on the conference.

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Copyright 2007 The Moderate Voice
  • “Iran expert Dr. Eldad Pardo”

    Who’s that guy? The Iranian version of Chalabi or Curveball?
    Let’s be careful with such expat pundits, especially if they are sponsored by an interested party.

  • Gray, he is an expert and… of course one always has to be aware of possible ties / interests people have. That’s not just relevant with this, that is always relevant.

  • and I should add prejudices, personal views, etc.

    Anyway, about Podeh:
    Elie Podeh currently serves as head of the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He also serves (with Prof. Haim Gerber) as editor of Hamizrah Hehadash (The New East), the Hebrew journal of the Israeli Oriental Society (founded in 1949). In addition, he is a research member at the Hebrew University’s Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace and a member of the academic committees of both the Truman Institute and the Leonard Davis Institute for International Affairs.

    Prof. Podeh deals with the modern history of the Arab Middle East (since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century). More specifically, his main areas of interest are inter-Arab relations, Arab-Israeli relations and Egypt, topics on which he has published numerous books and articles in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

    Prof. Podeh’s current research project deals with state celebrations in the Arab world. His study attempts to assess the importance of holidays devised by the state (such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, etc.) on the evolution of the national identity and state-building processes. The research focuses on several case studies, such as Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.

    Publications include:

     “The Decline of Arab Unity: The Rise and Fall of the United Arab Republic,� Brighton: Sussex Academic Press, 1999. 303 pages.
     “State and Society in the Middle East� (with Haim Gerber). Hamizrah Hehedash, Vol. 41 (2000), 215 pages. [Hebrew]
     “Religion and State in Islam� (with Haim Gerber). Hamizrah Hehadash, Vol. 42 (2001), 296 pages. [Hebrew]
    ï‚· “The Final Fall of the Ottoman Empire: Arab Discourse over Turkey’s Accession to the European Union,â€? forthcoming

    Full bio: http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~podeh/

  • You sure that’s the same guy? The spelling is quite different, and his postion at Hebrew U is explained differently…

  • lol I thought that you wrote Podeh, you were talking about Pardo. Heh.

    They are two different individuals Gray. Sorry for confusing you. All those names look the same to me you know, j/k of course.

    Just follow the links I provided in the post Gray.

  • En av de medverkande var Dr Eldad Pardo, som beskrev hur Ayatholla Khomeini formade en ny ideologi, där sunni-islam kombinerats med marxistiska inslag.

    Sounds interesting. Pardo. Khomeini. Sunni-Islam? Marxistiska???
    Uh, someone speaking swedish here?

  • What is your point Gray? That he did a lot of research? Notice a particular red line?

    If you’re trying to discredit him… It won’t work. Instead of doing this, perhaps you’d better address the actual things that were said, or the things I wrote.

    You’re trolling right now Gray. I advise you not to do that.

  • Eldad Pardo

    Eldad Pardo studies strategy, culture and politics in the Middle East covering topics pertaining to Iran, the Arab world, Turkey and Israel. Dr. Pardo earned his doctoral degree in history at UCLA and he holds a master’s degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He teaches at Hebrew University in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies and at the Rothberg School and at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva. His courses cover a range of topics from strategy and foreign relations to cinema, theater and literature.

    Dr. Pardo heads two research groups at the Truman Institute, “Religious Actors in Conflict Areasâ€? (RACA) and “Iran in Global Perspectivesâ€? (IGP) which he founded, and is a member of the “Iraq Reinvented” research group. He is the founder of the Truman Institute’s “East for Life” project.

    Dr. Pardo is an experienced commentator, speaker and writer on Middle East affairs and has been interviewed by all major Israeli TV channels and radio stations as well as the foreign press. He gives regular briefings to foreign diplomats and scholars. In 1987 he initiated the groundbreaking radio show “Between Enemies,� which marked the first time Arabs living in countries in a state of war with Israel spoke to Israeli citizens in a live broadcast. As a diplomatic correspondent and commentator for the Voice of Israel in Arabic, Dr. Pardo covered for years Israeli politics for Arab listeners. In the United States he has educated audiences about the Middle East as a speaker for the Israeli Consulate and the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Israel Commission in Los Angeles.

    Publications include:

    “Race and the Nuclear Race: Anti-Semitism in Iran,” Geopolitical Affairs, 2007
    “Iran and the Aspiration to Hegemony,” ACADEMIA, 2006
    “Iran’s Ahmedinejad Phenomenon: An Islamic Armageddon or a Puppet on the Strings?” paper presented at “Religious Actors in the Middle East” Conference, Jerusalem, 27-29, June 2006. (Adenauer-Truman)
    “The Iranian Leader vis-à-vis the West,” paper presented at the “Leadership Conference” at the Tel Hai Academic College, 2006
    “Vulnerabilities, Soft Power and Nuclear Power – The Iranian Case,” paper presented at Hebrew University’s James Shasha Institute for International Seminars conference on “A Nuclear Iran,â€? 2005
    “The Age of Wonder and the Age of the Plumber: Iran and Israel in Global Perspective,” in Israel, The Middle East and Islam: Weighing the Risks and Prospects, edited by Oded Eran and Amnon Cohen, 51-74, Jerusalem: Truman Institute, Hebrew University, 2003″

  • Well, Gray, his credentials and list of peer-reviewed presentations and publications certainly looks far more impressive than anything you have offered on your own behalf.

    Oh, wait, you mean you have never offered any evidence of your qualifications?

    Hm.

  • “You’re trolling right now Gray. I advise you not to do that.”
    You’re free to do this background check next time on your own. I’m not particularly enthusiastic about googling infos on this superman. Have hurt my hand yesterday.

  • “Well, Gray, his credentials and list of peer-reviewed presentations and publications certainly looks far more impressive than anything you have offered on your own behalf.”
    His first publication is four years old. He’s a ‘Young Truman Scholar’. I know people who have a more impressive resume in their field. However, I never had the desire to organize a congference on anything, so what’s your point?

    “Oh, wait, you mean you have never offered any evidence of your qualifications?”
    What for? Pearls before… uh, this is none of your business anyway. 😛

  • Gray,

    He is an academic. What the hell do you think they do? Do you have any idea what kind of things I write about for American Studies? Those kind of studies are very, very broad.

    The one day I write about The Sopranos and the other day I write about the war in Iraq. The one day I write about The Simpsons, the other day I write about emancipation of women.

    Etc.

    Besides, again, you were not ‘background checking’ to do anyone a service. You were being annoying, trolling and you know it.

    Enough about that now.

  • His first publication is four years old. He’s a ‘Young Truman Scholar’. I know people who have a more impressive resume in their field. However, I never had the desire to organize a congference on anything, so what’s your point?

    I am afraid that they’re not very interested in whatever it is they do then. Or they’re just bad organizers. Or they have other priorities. Whatever. It’s irrelevant whether your acqaintances organized conferences or not.

    And, umh, if it’s anything, it’s very good of him to organize this conference.

  • “It’s irrelevant whether your acqaintances organized conferences or not.”
    Sure. But that’s not the point. Steck said those resume look more impressive than mine. I guess they do. But that’s irrelevant for the topic, too.

    Imho it sure is a bit surprising that the leading (?) specialist on Iran at Hebrew U., who is organizing an internartional conference, doesn’t have more experience. This should be taken into account, along with the fact that he has been working for Israel for at least four years. That’s all I wanted to say.

  • You could have said that in one comment at the start of the thread Gray.

    Then, of course, we all could respond by using some of the speakers, etc.

    Anyway: what do you think of the initiative in itself? Is it valuable?

  • I’m curious as to exactly how many years of experience in a field are required before someone is allowed by Gray to speak out on that subject.

    Also, I wonder how many years of academic publications Gray has on all the many subjects he claims to have authority.

  • Jason,

    I think that it’s pretty safe to assume that Pardo has a lot more academical experience in this field.

    😉

  • Davebo

    I’m curious as to exactly how many years of experience in a field are required before someone is allowed by Gray to speak out on that subject.

    I didn’t realize Gray was censoring anyone. Given the events of the past 5 years, perhaps it’s time to offer up a little critical thinking.

    Chalabi gave us Curveball, but we swallowed. Manucher Ghorbanifar offers tidbits under an assumed name of Ali. And who can forget Amir Taheri? He’s tossed out more false statements regarding his former country than one can easily keep count of.

    Just sayin.

  • kritter

    Keep those questions coming, Gray. lol. I think we have a lot to regret about hasty decisions made in the last 5 years as well. Once your credibility’s gone, its pretty hard to get it back.

  • Rudi

    These two articles are listed on the press kit for the Israel Project.
    1)Iran’s Nuclear Capacities
    2)Iran’s Threat to Europe
    One source for these ‘acedemic’ papers is:
    [7] Coughlin, Con, “Iran sets up secret team to infiltrate UN nuclear watchdog, says officials,” The Telegraph, Jan. 30, 2006,
    All sources for these papers are newspapers, not one think tank or scientific group. Where is Professor Dershowitz to protest the lack of acedemic standards.

    From ArmsControlWonks on the expertise of Coughlin:
    http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1375/super-villain-team-up

    So, neither is it surprising that super-hack Con Coughlin alleges North Korea is helping Iran prepare for a nuclear test:

    The Wonks work in arms control and NPT issues, Coughlin is a hack. So how are Pardo and Podeh any different than John J. Mearsheimer of the University of. Chicago and Stephen M. Walt of Harvard?

  • Anyone in academia knows that scholars will often disagree with each other.

    Everyone should also know that ad hom is the least persuasive basis upon which to dismiss an argument. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only one that some of the lefties around here know how to use. :+)

  • Rudi

    Jason – You attack back with the ‘ad hominem’ argument. I questioned the acedemic standards of two papers from The Israelis Project. Please read those papers and tell me how they stand up to peer review. The ACW link is snarky, but you cannot challege their acedemic credentals. Con Coughlin has no acedemic standing, as ACW snarked he is a hack.

    Please refute ACW challege of Con Coughlin. If Coughlin isn’t crediible or an acedemic what good is he as a source for the Israel Project’s papers?

  • jdledell

    Having read the synopsis of each of the presentations, I am struck by how unbalanced this conference seems to be. Everything Iranian = bad, everything Western = good. Iran is a 2500 year civilization and they will ultimately evolve in their own way. This crap about all muslims states must be good little boys and girls – keep their mouths shut and don’t leave their reservations. Involvement in other countries affairs and governance is strictly the province of the U.S. and other Western nations. We can interfere in Iraq but G-d forbid anyone else does. Rarely does Western interference in other countries lead to something positive – look at what colonialism did to the Mideast, SE Asia and Africa. Loof at CIA sponsored coups. Nope – Western imperialism is 100% perfect and thus must not be practiced by anyone else.

  • Kim, Rudi and Gray: I find your reactions to be a bit annoying to be honest. Please… debate the post itself. My words or whatever the people said. You arguments – counterarguments, etc.

    I don’t want this thread to develop into a mess.

    Correction: I don’t want it to stay a mess.

  • jdledell, at least you actually read some of the stuff. Now I would argue, please also listen to some of the lectures. Although the lecturers are all quite anti-Ahmadinejad (quite logically of course), they are not anti-Iran. The last speaker of whom they published the lecture, for instance, is born in Iran, lived in Tehran, etc. He doesn’t hate / dislike Iran, Ahmadinejad and the Mullahs? Yes. Iran? No.

    Also: I agree that many mistakes have been made. Some things aren’t even ‘mistakes’ as such, just plain selfish behavior.

    That doesn’t mean, however, that we should all withdraw behind our borders and let whatever happen that’s going to happen. Lets make things right, I’d say. Besides that, we should also consider our own interests. That’s politics.

    And… as a Dutchman I am very worried about the Mullahs, I am very worried about them sponsoring terrorism worldwide, I am very worried about them persuing a nuclear weapon, I am very worried about them trying to influence Africa, Latin America… etc.

  • “I’m curious as to exactly how many years of experience in a field are required before someone is allowed by Gray to speak out on that subject.”

    Why, not a single one, of course! Let’s all speak out, regardless if we know something about the topic or not. But let’s make sure no serious decisions are based on this brouhaha. 🙂

    The decider should listen to real experts, not some lobbyists.
    And now excuse me pls, my hand is hurting like hell. I guess you’ll find someone to complain about, even if I’m not there. 😛

  • The decider should listen to real experts, not some lobbyists.

    The distinction is not objectively clear, Gray. You should know that. In fact, I think you would concede that Condoleeza Rice has decades of foreign policy experience, yet you would not want her given unfettered authority deriving from that expertise.

    That is why ad hom is the least reliable way to assess arguments. The contribution that MvdG made is valid, even if you disagree with the source. Your best response is to counter it with evidence or analysis you think is better rather than going around demanding that people who disagree with you shouldn’t be speaking at all.

  • Rudi

    MvdG You respond to jdledell:
    jdledell, at least you actually read some of the stuff.

    Well I read these two papers from the press kit at TIP.
    http://www.theisraelproject.org/site/c.hsJPK0PIJpH/b.2400213/k.91A0/Iran_Press_Kit.htm

    These two articles are listed on the press kit for the Israel Project.
    1)Iran’s Nuclear Capacities
    2)Iran’s Threat to Europe
    Neither is a serious effort, they just use newspaper articles from the likes of Judy Miller and Coughlin. Before you accuse me of creating a ‘mess’, please go to the press kit at TIP and read the articles. If you gave JDL this courtesy, I expect the same.

  • Having read the synopsis of each of the presentations, I am struck by how unbalanced this conference seems to be. Everything Iranian = bad, everything Western = good. Iran is a 2500 year civilization and they will ultimately evolve in their own way. This crap about all muslims states must be good little boys and girls – keep their mouths shut and don’t leave their reservations. Involvement in other countries affairs and governance is strictly the province of the U.S. and other Western nations. We can interfere in Iraq but G-d forbid anyone else does. Rarely does Western interference in other countries lead to something positive – look at what colonialism did to the Mideast, SE Asia and Africa. Loof at CIA sponsored coups. Nope – Western imperialism is 100% perfect and thus must not be practiced by anyone else.

    You hit it right on the head, IMO. We (The West and our disastrously short-sighted foreign policy over the past 550+ years) have put ourselves in the position we’re in now…and we’re paying the price for it. I wish more people could see this.

  • C.P.: but what should we do about that now? Saying “ah well, we truly messed up in the colonial era” is all quite true, but that doesn’t mean that we should not ignore the world and let Iran influence whatever countries it wants to influence.

    Rudi: I read some of those articles as well. TIP is – as the chairman said – not an academical organization. The Marshall institute is – of course – quite something different and same goes for the H.U.

    These lecturers were academics / experts. How about what they said? (You’re still trying to attack TIP, instead of addressing the arguments)

  • This may come as a surprise, but I agree with Chuck’s last. One of the errors that policymakers in the West keep making over and over (it is NOT unique to the Bush administration) is to simply assume that their worldview is objectively true and that the main responsibility of other states is to shut up and comply. The subtle arrogance that lay beneath colonialism has mutated the form of its expression, but not its core content.

    Much good could come from simply changing the tone with which U.S. diplomats approach representatives from other states. Diplomatic tone and demonstration of respect goes a long way, especially in the Middle East.

    This does NOT mean that we have to or should sacrifice core interests. It does NOT mean that we acquiesce to the genocide of Israel or the holding hostage of vital energy supplies. But it does mean that we can and should reevaluate the WAY in which we pursue our national interests.

  • This does NOT mean that we have to or should sacrifice core interests. It does NOT mean that we acquiesce to the genocide of Israel or the holding hostage of vital energy supplies. But it does mean that we can and should reevaluate the WAY in which we pursue our national interests.

    Jason I agree. When will we start realizign that helping other countries is actually in our long-term interest?

    And with helping I mean truly helping and not exploiting.

  • When will we start realizign that helping other countries is actually in our long-term interest?

    I believe the Marshall Plan started in 1947.

    We (the U.S.) don’t need to realize it, we need only to recall it.

  • Okay, good point.

    As I wrote before, the West as a whole should try to come up with a new Marshall plan. This time not for Europe but for Africa (and – perhaps – some Middle Eastern countries).

  • Its a good idea, Michael, but there is a problem. The complicating factor is Islamic radicalism. Contrary to leftist narrative, Islamic radicalism is not solely a reaction to Bush administration foreign policy. It is in large part a rejection of Western cultural influences that radicals perceive as corrupting.

    Under a Marshall Plan-type of arrangement, Islamic radicals would probably interpret the aid as tainted by its Western roots. This would happen even if it was offered completely without strings attached. And remember, they know from history that economic development carries with it the development of a middle class and a liberalizing mindset among the people (see Taiwan and South Korea for examples). This is deeply dangerous to their preferred theocratic world, thus they may be inclined to resist economic development itself.

  • True: but it is a good way of trying to limit the influence of radicals. Beating them at their own game: we have to be there before radicals can reach them. We have to educate them, help them help themselves, fight poverty, etc.

  • The radicals are already everywhere in the Muslim world. We don’t have the option of getting to people before the radicals do. Any plans we make have to take into account the presence of radical Islam.

    I believe a successful case for peaceful economic development CAN be made to Muslim populations, but it will require a military support component to counter the inevitable violence from the radicals.

  • O I agree Jason. I will have to look it up but I wrote quite extensive posts on that once. Or twice;)

    My idea is quite big and includes using force if necessary and immediately rebuilding the targeted country / area. Helping the central government, helping locals, using their own knowledge, bringing in additional knowledge, money, materials, etc.

  • Michael, your argument sounds on the surface similar to that of Thomas P.T. Barnett in “The Pentagon’s New Map”. He calls upon the West to try to integrate areas of the world that are disconnected from the global economy and communications system and argues that it will be necessary to “export security” from the West to the “non-integrating gap” in the meantime.

  • Rudi

    Michael van der Galien said: Comment #15
    February 5, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    Gray,

    He is an academic. What the hell do you think they do?

    Michael van der Galien said: Comment #33

    Rudi: I read some of those articles as well. TIP is – as the chairman said – not an academical organization. The Marshall institute is – of course – quite something different and same goes for the H.U.
    I didn’t question the TIP, I questioned the seriousness of two article relating to Iran and WMD’s(1 Nuclear capacities 2 Missile delivery).

    Michael If the US didn’t send two carrier groups to the Persian Gulf and threaten Iranian agents with violence all this wouldn’t matter. I claim that these two papers are nothing more than propaganda similar to the NYT pieces by Judith Miller. Pundits and politicians are talking about war with Iran. When a Israelis coference puts out non-acedemic pieces that get a posting on TMV, other MSM papers and websites may also credence to these reeditting of questionable newspaper articles masquerading as white papers from TIP and the Israel Project.

    LOL – Welcome Komrad KR and Komrad Gray to the Socialist Bloggers :(.
    We meet with Komrad Marlow to discuss world domination.

  • kritter

    Jason – There are over 1 billion muslims in the world and even if only 10% of them are radical, thats still 100 million people. The Marshall Plan worked because we were dealing with a defeated population-many of whom did greet us as liberators- that was desperately in need.

    We weren’t facing sleeper cells that blend in with the general population. Wouldn’t we have to defeat and occupy the entire ME and parts of Africa? Then move in with aid??? If we are having so much trouble in Iraq -how could it be done?

  • “LOL – Welcome Komrad KR and Komrad Gray to the Socialist Bloggers”

    Dammit, I would never have thought that simply voting for the Social Democratic Party of Germany occasionally and not really maintaining a pitiful blog makes me a Socialist Blogger. But, wtf, :shrug:, there are fates worse than that. Being a log cabin republican, for instance, or a member of the African American Republican Leadership Council.

    Just one problem, Rudi: Could we pls scratch “World Domination” from the program? We Germans aleady made some quite underwhelming experiences while following up on this idea. How about that ole traditional classic as Ersatz: “Peace for all mankind and a chicken in every pool, uh, pot”?

  • domajot

    Thank you, Michael and Jason, for an intelligent exchange of ideas

    It’s my belief that we should become active in Africa without delayy, to cut the radicals off at the pass, so to speak.
    I know there are prolems there, too: corruption, some militancy. Still, I think we should grab every chance for improvemetts we can.
    That could well be the best tool we have in the ‘war on terror’.

  • Rudi

    Sorry Komrad Gray, I did some bad things as a teen and now I’m in deNile. I meant World Domination in the Lefty McGovern/Kenedy/McCarthy sense, not in a Pinochet/Franco sense. Komrad Marlow and myself can share a chuckle every now and then……….

  • Unbelievable Rudi. Is Pardo from TIP?

    No.

    Is Podeh from TIP?

    No.

    They are from the Truman Institute and / or the Hebrew University.

    Come on, focus Rudi!

    😉

  • Upinsmoke

    Quote from your article:

    The West has to counter everything Iran does for it cannot be allowed to increase its influence in the region and / or in the world.

    I agree with the WEST HAS TO part. However most of the west is in bed with IRAN because the US opposes them. Most of the west is in bed with IRAN because they oppose Israel.

    No the west is burying their head much as they did while Hitler ran amuck in Germany. I wrote a paper in college as to why I think this is so. In a nutshell it said because “Europe is tired of wars….they have been fighting them non stop for around 1700 years now.”

    Yes the west MUST STOP IRAN. However the WEST basically includes the USA and pretty much nobody else.

  • This may come as a surprise, but I agree with Chuck’s last. One of the errors that policymakers in the West keep making over and over (it is NOT unique to the Bush administration) is to simply assume that their worldview is objectively true and that the main responsibility of other states is to shut up and comply. The subtle arrogance that lay beneath colonialism has mutated the form of its expression, but not its core content.

    Much good could come from simply changing the tone with which U.S. diplomats approach representatives from other states. Diplomatic tone and demonstration of respect goes a long way, especially in the Middle East.

    This does NOT mean that we have to or should sacrifice core interests. It does NOT mean that we acquiesce to the genocide of Israel or the holding hostage of vital energy supplies. But it does mean that we can and should reevaluate the WAY in which we pursue our national interests.

    Thanks, Jason…but it seems a lot of the people here want to just keep doing what we’ve been doing…it hasn’t worked. Do I have the answers? No. But maybe if we treat other nations with respect and tact AND acknowledge our mistakes and support of totalitarian regimes in the past we’ll be able to make some headway in making the world right…but then again when you’ve pissed off 75% of the world’s population over the past millenium, it’s hard to get people to change their views on the West.

  • UIS:

    The West has to counter everything Iran does for it cannot be allowed to increase its influence in the region and / or in the world.

    I agree with the WEST HAS TO part. However most of the west is in bed with IRAN because the US opposes them. Most of the west is in bed with IRAN because they oppose Israel.

    No the west is burying their head much as they did while Hitler ran amuck in Germany. I wrote a paper in college as to why I think this is so. In a nutshell it said because “Europe is tired of wars….they have been fighting them non stop for around 1700 years now.�

    Yes the west MUST STOP IRAN. However the WEST basically includes the USA and pretty much nobody else.

    That’s simply not true. Actually, Europe is with the U.S. on Iran. Regarding Iraq it was different, but on Iran a lot of European countries agree with the U.S. The problem is that the U.S. has to use diplomacy to the fullest regarding European countries. No threatning, no tough words, just real diplomacy. Trying to form a broad alliance.

    It is possible.

    And from the European perspective, European countries have to approach the U.S. in a same manner: diplomacy, understand the danger Iran poses and the need to counter it. Iran has to get more attention. It’s not given the attention it requires in our media for instance.

  • “Actually, Europe is with the U.S. on Iran. Regarding Iraq it was different, but on Iran a lot of European countries agree with the U.S. The problem is that the U.S. has to use diplomacy to the fullest regarding European countries. No threatning, no tough words, just real diplomacy. Trying to form a broad alliance.”

    Words of truth, Michael. We would see more actual development if all nations opposing Iranian nuclear weapons would speak with one voice. Realistically, only the US can lead such a coalition, but they would have to accept some compromises in doing so. Imho this is the core of the problem.

  • Upinsmoke

    So if the west is so much in favor of stopping Iran why is it they continue to slip them equiptment, buy their oil and help them build nuclear facilities?

    Yes I understand the lip service. The West wants to spank Irans hands while stroking them under the table. Over the years the USA has become just plain tired of all this double dealing double talk.

    Somehow you Europeans turn everything around to where everything is the USA’s responsibilty and the USA’s Fault. Once again Michael you have just said so….. In your words……..the problem is…….

    No there is no problem…..As GWB pointed out in his speech either your with us or against us. If you are buying their oil so they can use that money to fund terror and make Bombs then Im sorta thinking your against us.

    Its perspective. The USA and this administration has called Europes hand. They have said look……we are tired of your double talk, back door, double dealing ways. Its time to put up or shut up.

    I see the Iranian oil hasnt stopped flowing to Europe….. I guess we have our answer.

    Perhaps the citizens of Europe tend to be against Irans nuclear weapons but the governments are not showing so with their words, deeds or actions. No I cannot see anything from Europe that says we are speaking to this problem with one voice.

    Once again Europe wants to talk, appoint commissions, study the problem, have more talk, more discussions and then when they have wasted 10 years and billions of the USA’s money they will basically say……….its too hard…..you figure it out.

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