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Moral cowardice in the face of evil
Posted by: mcq on Wednesday, September 26, 2007

If you're into non sequiturs masquerading as serious analysis, I would recommend this blog post.

The essential theme is in 1959 we feted Nikita Khrushchev. That, according to this person, was when we were a nation with "character". We were "well-adusted". "Mature."

Poppycock. As the Shelby Steele column below reminds us we were anything but well adjusted and mature. We were an emerging super-power. We were faced with a hostile emerging super-power. Both were armed with nuclear weapons. We were still somewhat under the "Uncle Joe" spell from WWII and saw the USSR as more misguided than evil.

Since then we have come to understand what evil is. We've seen it in action and some of us have actually learned from that experience. We no longer feel the need to play footsie with it. We no longer find it necessary, for whatever reason, to attempt to placate it, cater to it, make excuses for it, pretend it is something else, be civil to it, or give it a forum for its poisonous propaganda.

That's real "maturity".

That's actually being "well-adjusted".

Being an apologist for evil, however, is the same old game that saw its rise enabled in the late '30s in Europe and its 70 year reign in the USSR. And, as history has shown us, that's neither a mature or well-adjusted reaction to its presence.
 
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Since then we have come to understand what evil is.
some of us have, while others refuse to label anyone in an attempt to foment dialogue to realize some fantasy dream.

After all, they’re not much different, the President and Ahmedinejad. At least according to some in Academia, and they have degrees, so they MUST know!
 
Written By: Joel C.
URL: http://
Where does this Ahmedinejad get off insulting the U.S.?
It’s not like we overthrew their democratically elected President and put one of our empty suits in his place so that we could get their oil.
And it’s not like we supported their WMD using enemy in a war throughout the 1980s.
It’s not like chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons were invented by the same western nations who want to destroy his country.

Oh yeah. That’s exactly what we have done.

Just curious about how the U.S. would react if a middle eastern country had done that to the U.S.

Like that dirty f’n hippie, Jesus Christ, once said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."


On a side note there’s this: "We no longer feel the need to play footsie with it."
Republican Congressman, Larry Craig, begs to differ.
 
Written By: Robert
URL: http://
Robert. And your point is?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Have we really come to understand what evil is? Because it sure isn’t other nations simply pursuing their own strategic interests.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Robert,

The Shah was democratically elected? Not a monarch? Thanks for enlightening me.

Man that Carter has much to answer for.
 
Written By: Uncle Pinky
URL: http://
Ah, yes. The moral equivalence police courtesy of the tin foil-hatted barking moon bats of the left.
 
Written By: schratboy
URL: http://
Uncle Pinky,

Robert is refering to Operation Ajax.

We overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, who:
Due to a multitude of disagreements with his former allies, especially the communists and Islamists, and disagreements with the Shah and with the parliament over his handling of the talks regarding compensation of the British side, he dissolved the parliament using a referendum to avoid impeachment. This act was characterized as unconstitutional by some of his closest allies as well as opponents, and led to the Shah’s dismissing him from office on August 16, 1953 [4][5][6][7][8]. Mossadegh later insisted that the text of the constitution was subject to interpretation, and that his actions had been in accordance with its spirit rather than its text [9]. He eventually was removed from power on August 19, 1953, by military intervention.
The "empty suit" we replaced him with was the Shah, the same Shah who was in place while Mossadegh was Prime Minister.


 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Thanks for calling my attention to an excellent blog. I’m glad I read it, if not your whiny response to it. Has anyone here ever heard of a principle called "hospitality," or as Homer called it, "xenia?" It means a lot more than putting out the good china for the company, and in ancient societies it was one of the first laws of civilization, the most practical and direct application of the "golden rule." The law of hospitality required that if you requested admission to someone’s home, or if you offered someone the shelter of your home, you were both honor bound to treat eachother with respect. And that rule applied even if your host was a huge, menacing Cyclops, or your guest was a very dubious character. Of course, if the host ate some of his guests, or the guest ran off with his host’s wife, all bets were off, and you would take the appropriate revenge — blinding the Cyclops, or sacking and destroying the wife-stealer’s city. But in both cases, we’re clearly given to understand that the violation of that sacred law of hospitality was what incurred the punishment.

Thank goodness all President Bollinger did was call rude names, but he still made me cringe with embarrassment for my alma mater. And it makes me cringe for my country that Iran now sees Americans as people who treat their invited guests this way.
 
Written By: T-rex
URL: http://
And it’s not like we supported their WMD using enemy in a war throughout the 1980s.
Saddam’s Iraq was a Soviet client state. We provided very little aid of any sort. During the Iran-Iraq War, we aided both sides, providing TOWs to Iran and intelligence to Iraq. Essentially we played both ends against the middle; a smart policy, since it made sense to contain Islamist Iran and also to contain the Soviet client state of Iraq.

So, Robert, do you think it would have been best to have Iran win the war, or Iraq? I’m all for stalemate, myself.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
’Have we really come to understand what evil is? Because it sure isn’t other nations simply pursuing their own strategic interests."
Well, since you’ve brought it up: what exactly are those "strategic interests"?
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Where does this Ahmedinejad get off insulting the U.S.?
It’s not like we overthrew their democratically elected President and put one of our empty suits in his place so that we could get their oil.
And it’s not like we supported their WMD using enemy in a war throughout the 1980s.
It’s not like chemical, nuclear, and biological weapons were invented by the same western nations who want to destroy his country.
So what?

This is 2007. Stop making excuses. Don’t get mad because your anti-Bush hero is a murderous psychopath.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Have we really come to understand what evil is?
3,000 dead and 2 towers destroyed on 9/11 and haven’t helped a large segment to understand yet...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Don,

I know. Just takin’ the piss, and trying to illustrate that any larger point can be attacked on details by the willfully opposed.

Not like I was calling Jesus a "dirty f’n hippy" or anything, or presenting arguable viewpoints as fact, or bringing completely irrelevant statements about homosexual Congressmen into play.

If’n I were to do that, one could reasonably conclude that I was not interested in free and open debate.

Robert might beg to differ.
 
Written By: Uncle Pinky
URL: http://
It is a shame how the enjoyment can be taken out of reading a good essay on the web just be reading the comments made in response to it!

Here we have two spoilers: the comments made by T-rex and Robert.

T-rex is embarrassed for his alma mater because of President Bollinger’s "rudeness" to Ahmedinejad — and all Bollinger did was tell his guest the truth! Yet T-rex has no sense of shame as a Columbia graduate for the petty and cruel tyrant having been invited there in the first place. Good grief.

As for Robert’s comment, it is truly fascinating that he goes back to the failings of the Eisenhower administration in his attempt to equate our country with the insane evil of the current government of Iran. And it is mind-numbingly stupid that he suggests that the US and its allies want to destroy Iran.

Robert’s quotation of Jesus suggests that all malevalent dictatorships must be allowed to practice their evil unchallenged. I offer this advice to Robert in response: Those without common sense should refrain from commenting.
 
Written By: David
URL: http://
Ahmedinejad isn’t evil; he’s the puppet of an evil regime. Attack the hand, not the puppet.
 
Written By: Rand
URL: http://
Ahmedinejad isn’t evil; he’s the puppet of an evil regime. Attack the hand, not the puppet.
I don’t know why people think Ahmedinejad is a figure-head or puppet. He’s certainly no moderate. He’s a hard-liner and an integral part of the regime.
 
Written By: Bob
URL: http://
David, you really don’t get it, do you? If you invite someone as your guest, and ask him to present his views, then yes, by all means debate him — but do it cordially and with respect. Those concept are very foreign to most Americans these days, because we’ve convinced ourself that patriotism and "defending good against evil" require us to do very little thinking or rational discussion, which are for sissies. Instead, patriotic Americans are supposed to thump our chests, congratulate ourselves and call other people names — or better yet, according to your philosophy, never listen to them in the first place. Bollinger could have debated Ahmedinejad aggressively without resorting to infantile personal abuse, such as the phrase "petty and cruel dictator," but that might not have played well with the cretinous state legislators he was trying to appease.

You think that the Eisenhower administration somehow "failed" by treating Nikita Kruschev respectfully during his state visit? You think the world would be better off if they’d baited and insulted him, and perhaps jeered "bring it on?" I think David was trying to point out that once upon a time Americans could display good manners, even toward people whose ideology they detested. Nowadays we think it’s our right and privilege to behave like five year olds throwing tantrums.
 
Written By: T-rex
URL: http://
I am all for speaking truth to power—- So when will Bush get invited to Columbia?

The "President" needs a one hour trashing for his so called policies in Iraq— In fact make that two hours. But no one ever gives him one.

Not that Bush will ever accept an invitation such as the one in Columbia. He only attends staged, pre-screaned, disinfected, and choreographed speaking engagements. What a "brave" Leader we have.

 
Written By: gil
URL: http://
What a "brave" Leader we have.
Yeah. That’s what it’s all about.
Nowadays we think it’s our right and privilege to behave like five year olds throwing tantrums.
This probably fits with your desire to speak truth to power with the President.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Those concept are very foreign to most Americans these days, because we’ve convinced ourself that patriotism and "defending good against evil" require us to do very little thinking or rational discussion, which are for sissies. Instead, patriotic Americans are supposed to thump our chests, congratulate ourselves and call other people names — or better yet, according to your philosophy, never listen to them in the first place.
On the contrary, Americans have very much engaged in rational thinking about the current threat. The exception is the leftists who view Bush as a greater threat than radical Islam.

However, talking ain’t always a good way to find anwers. Unless, of course, we wanted to find out how many homosexuals were in Iran, in which case the debate was most usefull.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
T-Rex has a point but one that does not equate in the western world the way it does in the middle east. TR, you’re right, hospitality is almost sacrosanct in his part of the world. And that is exactly why Ahmedinejad accepted the invitation.

He did not accept the invitiation for anybody in the west - he could give two sh*ts for the west and not even bother wiping - but for his standing in the muslim world. With his acceptance one of two events would occur - 1) He would be welcomed with open arms and the muslim world would swoon at the obeisance of the useful idiots of the west or 2) He would be rebuffed by the west in which case the muslim world would swoon at his courage for enterring the lions den and facing off the great satan. Look at how he is being portrayed in the middle eastern media. He got what he wanted - the west played into his hands and now he is the single dominant person from the muslim world.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Gil, you do not have one single clue what it means "speaking truth to power". Speaking truth to power means nothing if you do not put anything at risk! You can stand up all day (and you probably do) and call Bush an *sshole. Are you speaking truth to power? NO. Because you risk nothing. Next time you think someone is STTP, stop and think to yourself, what happens when this guy is done talking? What is the ramification of his action? What has he risked? Ahmedinejad risked nothing to go to Columbia University or even the United Nations to spit on us - NOT. ONE. THING.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Neither you, nor Steele even managed to address the point of the original article/blog entry.

And you’re still flailing around crying about "good and evil".

I also noticed you failed to mention Kruschev’s quote that the Soviet Union would "bury" us.

In that regard, was he not "evil"?

Yet when he came here, no "fifth column" rose up and tried to align with the USSR.

 
Written By: KC
URL: http://
Have we really come to understand what evil is? Because it sure isn’t other nations simply pursuing their own strategic interests.
Yes, I am sure you have made the same excuse for Kim Il Jung’s extermination camps and probably would for Hitler if he was here today. After all, wasn’t Lebenstraum his strategic interest.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
sshiell.

First of all shiell it will help if you understand whose truth I was talking about, before you rush to comment (as you did) on my post.

When I said "I am all for speaking truth to power" I was making reference to the sermon, and trashing President Ahmedinejad got from Columbia’s President Bollinger for an entire hour in his "presentation" of Ahmadinejad to the students.

My reference to Bush in reference to this circus, is that it would be nice for our President to get a similar trashing from Columbia’s President Bollinger on Bush’s policies in Iraq. Only our President does not do any speaking engagement unless is staged— Or am I incorrect?

That is what I call "speaking truth to power" (Ahmedinejad) as the kindest way of explaining Bollinger’s behavior openly insulting and degrading Ahjmedinejad after first inviting him to go to the University. If Bollinger is going to do it to Ahmadinejad fine, but my question is why don’t we ever see that done to Bush?

Or are you going to tell me that the only "misguided" villan in this pathetic play we call Middle Eastern politics is Ahmedinejad? After all, Last I checked the Iranian President has not invaded any one, and has as big a mouth as Bush.

As for me not knowing the first thing about speaking truth to power because I don’t risk anithing. Is not my place to speak truth to power, first of all I would not be able even if I wanted to (and I do) or unless I want to wake up in jail, or be put in a Secret Service nut list—- So please get real, and get some reading-comprehension courses.


 
Written By: gil
URL: http://
I do believe in being polite to a guest in my home. I am very glad, though, that I am no one important. It is very unlikely that any guest in my home will ever review a large parade all screaming "Death To Peter!" before leaving their own homes.

Now call me a redneck, but I would tend to get downright testy if such a guest showed up, as a matter of fact I would probably answer the door with my shotgun in hand if I knew of such a thing.

So, this sawed off SOB applauded the Death To America lines at his goodbye parade. So, naturally, we’re the bad guys. Sheesh.
 
Written By: Peter
URL: http://shakeypete.blogspot.com
gil: Or are you going to tell me that the only "misguided" villan in this pathetic play we call Middle Eastern politics is Ahmedinejad? After all, Last I checked the Iranian President has not invaded any one, and has as big a mouth as Bush.
You see, since Bush invaded Iraq and took down Saddam, well, that makes him worse than Ahmedinejad!

Good to know.
Is not my place to speak truth to power, first of all I would not be able even if I wanted to (and I do) or unless I want to wake up in jail, or be put in a Secret Service nut list—- So please get real, and get some reading-comprehension courses.
1) Why can’t you speak truth to power?
2) It certainly doesn’t take much guts to speak "truth to power" to Bush. End up in jail? Get real, even Clinton would only go so far as have the IRS audit you.
3) I think his reading comprehension was fine. I have doubts about yours, however.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Mossadeq was a crank, ultimately only supported by the Tudeh (Communist) party; that is why he was opposed by the merchant class and the mullahs. The US govt and the Brits only accelerated the rebellion sparked by the nationalization, Had Mossadeq survived his no confidence vote, he would still have been opposed by those groups. One recalls, that a strong part of the Ayatollah’s support was because of the modernizing effects of the White Revolution.
 
Written By: narciso
URL: http://
We were still somewhat under the "Uncle Joe" spell from WWII and saw the USSR as more misguided than evil.

This is not true.
 
Written By: Steve J.
URL: http://radamisto.blogspot.com
Being an apologist for evil

Please give examples.
 
Written By: Steve J.
URL: http://radamisto.blogspot.com
I assume that being a hospitable country means you do not invade a foreign embassy in your land and hold its staff hostage for 444 days. Or at least have the politeness to apologize for that action when you arrive in said foreign country to give a speech 20 plus years later.


 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
By the way, which government later banned the Tudeh (communist ) party? Why the Islamic revolutionaries!

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I’m sure Senator McCarthy will be interested to hear more on this theory that we saw the USSR as "misguided" in 1959.
 
Written By: Mike B.
URL: http://
Well, Gil, it would be nice if your own reading comprehension was as good as you think it is. First - Bush has got what to do with the topic being discussed? ’Nuff said on that topic.

Second - Read the comment I wrote before I took you to the woodshed. Ahmedinejad set himself up so that he could not lose in any exchange given him by anybody on our soil. Could not lose? Yes, because on our soil he is speaking to what his culture refers to as infidels and in his culture that does not count. So there was no Speaking Truth to Power crap in this situation.

Third - You on the left have some kinda thing for STTP but you have no sense of what it really is. And if you think you are going to end up in jail for calling Bush an *sshole, even to his face, you have been sniffing way too much glue for your own good. On second thought - keep sniffing, it’s good for you!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
I also noticed you failed to mention Kruschev’s quote that the Soviet Union would "bury" us.
Kruschev was hosting Western diplomats in Moscow when this famous quote was utterred.

Kruschev was not that rude of a host either, in his argument for the sumpremacy of Communism as a form of government, argued that the communism would outlive capitalism, using a Russian colloquialism "My vas pokhoronim!", which translated means "We will attend your funeral", and meas that we will live on after you have passed.

While this obviously, and delightfully turned out to be false, it was not the abject threat that it was made out to be.

Cap
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://

Neither you, nor Steele even managed to address the point of the original article/blog entry.
It was addressed. Comparing now to the late fifties and Kruschev to A-jad is an apples and oranges comparison.

Trust me, if A-jad had the ability to wipe out the United States in a few hours he would most likely get a very different reception. Giving Kurschev the red carpet treatment wasn’t a matter of volitional hospitality, it was a matter of efficacy in a struggle for survival against an aggressive, nuclear armed empire. During the Cold War we tolerated a lot of bullsh*t from other nations, as well as supported a lot of petty tyrants for the sole reason that they were anti-Soviet. When you’re involved in a struggle against an enemy that has the power to destroy you at will, it’s a given that you will make a lot of deals with a lot of devils—lest you be destroyed.

During the Cold War, the US had everything to lose, literally everything, around the clock, 24/7, for forty years. Today, however, we don’t have that kind of gun to our heads. It not only no longer behooves us to indulge, at our own moral expense, the desperate quest for credibility and legitimacy craved by foreign despots, simple common decency itself demands that we reject them. And in the case of a hunta that threatens us, such as the one in Tehran, such indulgence isn’t intelligent, much less well-mannered. Allowing A-Jad to set foot on American soil unmolested should be considered the utter height of American magnanimity.

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: peter jackson
URL: www.liberalcapitalist.com
While this obviously, and delightfully turned out to be false, it was not the abject threat that it was made out to be.

The same can be said for the little tyrant’s remarks ostensibly pertaining to his desire to destroy Israel. While this obviously, and delightfully turned out to be false, it was not the abject threat that it was made out to be. In fact translations from reputable sources have offered what they call a more accurate version which goes something like: "Isael...should vanish from the pages of time..."

I feel like I’m capitulating here by telling you now that I think Mr. A. is a complete buffoon, prone to exxagerated hate speech and hypocrisy; the second of which he shares with our President, and the first with just about all current Republicans. I also happen to think he’s a bigoted fool for feeling the way he does, and that he WORKS FOR one of the more backward regimes in the Middle East. I have yet to convict him and Iran of all the things that the right wing in this country either already has - thus justifying their next little war.

However, he makes some nuanced points that are often overshadowed by his arrogance and the various interpretations of his rhetoric. This is why, I believe, Columbia extended an invitation to him - knowing full well that he is mostly FOS and that students would take that feeling away from the event.

Regardless, I still feel that your argument holds no water. This unspoken obligation that you proffer as your theory as to why Kruschev was given such a welcome (he actually threatened to end the trip early due to some badgering) is ridiculous. What you’re saying, in essence, is that his invitation and treatment while here was some kind of some kind of strategic importance is ridiculous on its face. Furthermore, by extension, you and the right are saying that inviting the little tyrant to speak is grounds for denying federal funding to Columbia University and that it is evidence of some kind of utter stupidity or traitorous designs by the left. And that is the kind of rhetoric that no longer deserves to be heard.
 
Written By: KC
URL: http://
Since then we have come to understand what evil is.

So, you’re saying that Dwight Eisenhower, the man who defeated Hitler, didn’t know what evil was?
 
Written By: CS
URL: http://
Regardless, I still feel that your argument holds no water.
You quoted me, but I think you are arguing with someone else, since I made no argument, just a factual correction as to the quotation that Kruschev was asserted to have made.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Khruschev -
You guys forgot banging his shoe on the table and shouting insults in Russian during other peoples speeches.
Furthermore, by extension, you and the right are saying that inviting the little tyrant to speak is grounds for denying federal funding to Columbia University and that it is evidence of some kind of utter stupidity or traitorous designs by the left. And that is the kind of rhetoric that no longer deserves to be heard.
That very issue was posted here, and remarked on here, as a crappy idea. If you want to deny Federal Funding to Columbia (how it was justified at all, well, I assume it’s the commerce clause again) start with their refusal to allow ROTC on campus, not because they invited and then ambushed Ahmedinejad.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
3,000 dead and 2 towers destroyed on 9/11...

This is 2007. Who cares what happened way back in 2001?
(Certainly not W, who didn’t even want to create a Commission to look into 9/11—a day he was in office as president of the United States).

SShiell,
If the bush administration was so bad, I’d be locked up for calling him a buffoon, and i’m not in jail.
If Iran/ Saddam/OBL wanted to really kill all americans, we’d be dead now.
So i’m willing to concede your point of "no harm, no foul" on the bush admin, if you concede the same from Iran/ Saddam/ OBL.
 
Written By: Robert
URL: http://
It may have something to do with the near constant, but unsupported, assertion that our enemy is evil. So willing to leap past self-serving, deluded, indoctrinated, and/or ignorant, and apply the most simplistic label possible.

While you’re busy defending the Freedom by Force policy, by claiming maturity for having recognized evil, maybe you could give the rest of us a leg up on how that recognition is informed. Or, as most of your binary state of thinking brethren, do you just "know it when you see it"? Because that’s some powerful ignorant right there.
 
Written By: Officious Pedant
URL: http://
Anyone who is really against the rise of evil would be working for the impeachment and eventual imprisonment of The Bush Crime Family and those who profited from their traiterous actions.
 
Written By: tommo
URL: http://
A shortage of medications?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You wrote:

"Since (Khrushchev’s 1959 visit) we have come to understand what evil is. We’ve seen it in action and some of us have actually learned from that experience. We no longer feel the need to play footsie with it. We no longer find it necessary, for whatever reason, to attempt to placate it, cater to it, make excuses for it, pretend it is something else, be civil to it, or give it a forum for its poisonous propaganda."

We learned all that AFTER 1959? 1959???

Surely you can’t be serious...

Hate to break it to you, but by then we were well into 20 years of "superpowerism," and some of those lessons might have even been learned by defeating the Nazis.

But hey....who am I to shatter your delusions?
 
Written By: James
URL: http://liftwithcaution.blogspot.com
Hmm ..a few points from a Conservitive Liberal..

The US and GB liberated the Shah from prison where he langueshed as Nazi sympethiser. We funded the coup with 2mill "because" the prime minester was about to nationalise Iranien oil. This is a fact..read your history.

Iraq was the 3rd largest recipient of American aid until 3 days "After" the invasion of Kuwait. The US provided the Chemical weapons he had and the weather data to use them on "BOTH" occasions..once on the Iraniens..once on the Kurds.

Communism is not the form of Govm’t demonstrated by the USSR.. It’s what we called it..But that’s not Communism.

The Bill Of rights is the foundation of this country and is not subject to signing statements or interpretation beyond "Congressional" revue requireing a Majority Vote. The Congress is the only body of Govm’t with the power to declare WAR.

GWB is in violation of his oath to uphold the constitution and has been since ’03.

We are sheep..and we deserve what happens next. I stand behind all of the above.. Thats Maturity.

Blue.
 
Written By: BlueJester
URL: http://
Robert:
If Iran/ Saddam/OBL wanted to really kill all americans, we’d be dead now. So i’m willing to concede your point of "no harm, no foul" on the bush admin, if you concede the same from Iran/ Saddam/ OBL.
Can’t do it. Because Iran/Sadaam/OBL wants to kill all Americans. They just don’t have the means to do so - yet. That does not mean they won’t try - 9/11 mean anything to you? (Note: You were the one who lumped the three together - not me!)
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Bluejester:
Sorry there Blue but your Liberal Narrative does not stand scrutiny.
Iraq was the 3rd largest recipient of American aid until 3 days "After" the invasion of Kuwait. The US provided the Chemical weapons he had and the weather data to use them on "BOTH" occasions..once on the Iraniens..once on the Kurds.
From a 1994 GAO report. (Source: http://www.fas.org/man/gao/gao9498.htm)
Since 1980, U.S. policy has been to deny export licenses for commercial sales of defense items to Iraq, except when the items were for the protection of the head of state. As a result of the exception, license applications valued at $48 million were approved. The Department of Defense (DOD) has not made any foreign military sales to Iraq since 1967. In contrast, U.S. policy toward Iraq for sales of dual-use items (items that have both civilian and military uses) was not constrained by national security controls, and there were few applicable foreign policy controls until August 1990. Thus,
the Department of Commerce approved the licenses for exporting $1.5 billion of dual-use items to Iraq between 1985 and 1990.

Available information showed two cases of unauthorized transfers of U.S. military items to Iraq by Middle East countries. Although three other Middle East countries and one of the other countries had proposed to serve as transshipment points of military equipment for Iraq, the proposals were turned down by the Department of State.

There were also two additional cases of diversion to Iraq by two of the three other countries, and one case of possible diversion-related activity by the third. While this data does not suggest patterns of diversion, we were unable to determine whether other unauthorized transfers were made.
The objectives of the report, request from Congress were:
Our objectives were to determine (1) what the U.S. policy and practices were regarding sales of U.S. military and related equipment to Iraq during the 1980s and what sales were approved, (2) whether there were patterns of diversion of U.S. arms from the Middle East and three additional countries to Iraq during the 1980s, and (3) whether a shipment of U.S.-origin mortar bomb fuses was diverted from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Iraq.
As you said,
I stand behind all of the above.
So do so. Show your references that back it up. I’m not even going to touch your other two crap comments:
The Congress is the only body of Govm’t with the power to declare WAR.
and
GWB is in violation of his oath to uphold the constitution and has been since ’03.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
I am assuredly showing my (lack of) age here, but I am finding it difficult to see why so much vitriol has been spewed at Ahmadinejad over the last couple of weeks. From everything that I have read so far, most of the hatred aimed at him is based on accusations and misunderstandings, not evidence. Examples:
1) He is accused of being one of the captors in the American Embassy hostage situation years ago, but it was never confirmed. I am not old enough to remember the incident, so I do not really feel an emotion attachment to it, but even so... That is a long time to reach for a reason to dislike an individual.
2) Iran has been accused of supplying weapon and/or munitions to Iraqi insurgents. I have seen a lot of evidence both supporting and refuting this claim, but none of it (on either side) seems all that solid. No articles on the matter demonstrate just how they know where the materiel came from.
3) The US has claimed that Iran is enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons while Iran states that it is for nuclear power only. Iran has also cooperated with the international body that investigates these things as well as signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US, by contrast, has not done the latter and would likely be offended by being asked to do the former. To date, there has not been any indication that Iran has developed the weapons that people fear they have.
4) I have read several comments indicating that Ahmadinejad stated that he would like to destroy Israel. Several other comments have stated that it was a mistranslation and that the actual meaning was that he would like the "Zionist regime" to end. Personally, I find the second interpretation more likely because it appears that he is merely seeking the protection of the indigenous Palestinian population from persecution by the Jewish government that was instituted in 1947, I believe, by the US and the other Christian victors of WWII. I do not see that he, or Iran, hates Jews (doesn’t Iran have the highest population of Jews in the Middle East?).

Finally, I want to clarify that I am not attempting to defend Ahmadinejad in any way. I find him to be arrogant and overconfident. He has a charisma that immediately makes me wary of him.
I simply am seeking an understating of why people hate him. I appreciate any comments on the matter.

Tenshi
 
Written By: Tenshi
URL: http://
In answer to 1):
5. As a student, Ahmadinejad was politically active. Although religious activism was repressed under the shah, Ahmadinejad and his fellow protesters produced leaflets denouncing the shah using a printing press hidden in his family’s home. Later, Ahmadinejad joined the ultraconservative faction of the Office for Strengthening Unity, the radical student group that grew out of the 1979 Islamic Revolution and staged the capture of the U.S. Embassy.

6. After serving in the war with Iraq, he joined Iran’s elite Special Brigade of Revolutionary Guards, the militia force loyal to the spiritual leader at the time, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. He served in covert operations with the guards, probably in Kirkuk, and may also have been involved in the elimination of the Ayatollah’s enemies; intelligence sources believed that he traveled to Austria in 1989 to assist in the assassination of Abdorrahman Qassemlou, a Kurdish dissident.
Additionally American hostages have positively identified him as one of the participants.

In answer to 2), watch this video.

3) - the steps being taken and the facilities being built go far beyond what is necessary for peaceful use of nuclear power. Or said another way, their actions don’t match their rhetoric and, they’re interaction with the IAEA has been controlled and limited.

4) - he said ’wiped off the map’ and has never denied it or retracted it.

If you need more, maybe these will do:

25 May 2007: "If this year you repeat the same mistake of the last year," the Iranian president intoned, "the ocean of nations of the region will get angry and will cut the root of the Zionist regime from its stem."

11 May 2007: "If the West does not support Israel, this regime will be toppled", Ahmadinejad told a student gathering in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. "As it has lost its raison d’être, Israel will be annihilated", he said. He rejected international condemnation of his previous remarks about Israel, daring the West to end its support for the Jewish state.

March 1, 2007: Declares that the U.S. and Israel are behind every armed conflict everwhere. (Jerusalem Newswire)

January 23, 2007: During meeting with Syria’s foreign minister. U.S. and Israel "will soon come to the end of their lives." (Y Net News)

December 20, 2006: Declared that Britain, Israel, and the U.S. would disappear like the Egyptian pharoahs. (Iran Focus)

December 12, 2006: 2nd day of Iran’s infamous Holocaust (denial) conference in Tehran. Said that Israel "will be wiped out soon." (Jerusalem Post)

December 1, 2006: Doha, Qatar. Israel "on the verge of disappearing." (Jerusalem Post)

November 13, 2006: At council meeting with Iranian ministers. Declares Iran "will soon witness [Israel’s] disappearance and destruction." (Y Net News)

October 19, 2006: Called Israel the "greatest insult to human dignity." Said Israel must be removed from the Middle East and called the Holocaust a "fairy tale." (M&C News)

August 3, 2006: Said the solution to Middle East crisis is the destruction of Israel. Speech during “emergency meeting” of Muslim leaders in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080300629.html

July 22, 2006: Compared Israel to Hitler. "Just like Hitler, the Zionist regime is just looking for a pretext to launch military attacks."

May 11, 2006, in Jakarta, Indonesia: Said the "evil regime" of Israel will soon be "annihilated." (Iran Focus)

April 15, 2006: At opening of conference supporting the Palestinians. "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation . . . . The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm." Said that "existence of this (Israeli) regime is a permanent threat" to the Middle East, and that "[i]ts existence has harmed the dignity of Islamic nations."

February 11, 2006, in Tehran: Palestine and "other nations" will remove Israel from the Middle East. Holocaust is a "fairy tale." Warns that "harsh" measures against Iran’s nuclear program will result in Iran walking away from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. (Bangkok Post World Net Daily)

December 14, 2005: Suggested the Jews be relocated to Alaska. (Turkish Weekly)

December 8, 2005: Interview with Iranian state television’s satellite channel Al-Alam. Referred to Israel as a "tumor" and suggested it be relocated to Europe; also questioned the Holocaust. "If somebody in their country questions God, nobody says anything, but if somebody denies the myth of the massacre of Jews, the ‘Zionist’ loudspeakers and the governments in the pay of ‘Zionism’ will start to scream." (Turkish Weekly)

October 26, 2005, speaking at the "World Without Zionism" conference in Tehran:

"As the Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] said, Israel must be wiped off the map."

"The Islamic [community] will not allow its historic enemy to live in its heartland . . . . anyone who signs a treaty which recognizes the entity of Israel means that he has signed the surrender of the Muslim world." (Al Jazeera)

"There is no doubt that the new wave in Palestine will soon wipe off this disgraceful blot from the face of the world."

Anyone who recognizes Israel "will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury." (Jinsa Online)

October 2005: "The Zionist regime is counterfeit and illegitimate and cannot survive," he said in a speech to a crowd in the town of Islamshahr in southwestern Tehran. (Televised on Iranian state televison)

And on the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution he said: "We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them" (bangkokpost.com)
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Thanks, McQ. I will take your comments under consideration.
 
Written By: Tenshi
URL: http://
Tenshi, you stated
3) The US has claimed that Iran is enriching uranium for use in nuclear weapons while Iran states that it is for nuclear power only. Iran has also cooperated with the international body that investigates these things as well as signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The US, by contrast, has not done the latter and would likely be offended by being asked to do the former. To date, there has not been any indication that Iran has developed the weapons that people fear they have.
McQ responded:
3) - the steps being taken and the facilities being built go far beyond what is necessary for peaceful use of nuclear power. Or said another way, their actions don’t match their rhetoric and, they’re interaction with the IAEA has been controlled and limited.
To expand on McQ’s response: To refine nuclear materials to the levels required for various uses is the heart of the issue. Pure plutonium is far too unstable to be used for weapons - you don’t want to blow yourself or your own country up in the process. Bascially there are reactor grade, fuel grade and weapons grade plutonium. The raw material is refined to reactor grade (less than 80% pure Plutonium-239), fuel grade (80-93% Plutonium-239) and weapons grade (93% Plutonium-239). The refinement process to get to "weapons grade" if all you need is "reactor grade" is the equivilent to putting rocket fuel into your MoPed. (Note: a full discussion is available at http://www.ccnr.org/plute.html )

The levels of equipment the Iranians have acquired and the degree to which they appear to be refining their material indicates they are refining well past any reactor or fuel grade materials. In fact a previous offer to the Iranians from the international community would have been to provide them with reactor grade materials in order to ensure the levels are below the necessary weapons grades. They declined.

For a country that has approximatley 20% of world’s oil reserves combined with some of the rhetoric McQ provided and the inferred threat to Israel and the rest of the international community is indeed frightening.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Tenshi;
Re. your 3), The US ratified the treaty in 1970. The US has generally supported non-proliferation since the Truman administration, and was instrumental in the formation of the IAEA(International Atomic Energy Agency).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Non-Proliferation_Treaty
http://www.un.org/Depts/dda/WMD/treaty/
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2003_12/Bunn.asp
http://www.fas.org/nuke/control/npt/text/npt2.htm
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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