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Iran: Adjusting expectations
Posted by: McQ on Monday, January 28, 2008

For those of you who think our problems with Iran stem solely from George Bush and all will be well the day after he leaves, you might want to readjust your expectations:
Iran's foreign minister on Friday urged the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to "correct their past mistakes" and draw up a a resolution ending council involvement in his country's nuclear affairs.

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki also said that — while it makes sense to talk with Washington over common interests such as Iraq — he could not imagine substantially improved ties with the United States even after a change in U.S. administrations.
Now of course, anything can happen, but as we've noted previously, when you're a rival for power in a region, and your rival supports a regime you've vowed to destroy, common ground is rather hard to find, no matter what party holds power in the US.
 
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Seems like a straw man argument. How many people actually think all our problems derive from Bush, and that they’ll disappear when he leaves office? Even the most partisan Democrat can’t really believe that.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Even the most partisan Democrat can’t really believe that.
Wanna bet? So many of the left have placed problem after problem at Bush’s feet, they can’t but believe in the new world minus Bush. Some ridiculous examples:

Example #1: Katrina. Go back and look at some of the posts on Huffington, Daily Kos, and DU in the days, weeks and even months following Katrina. You would think Bush had defied physics and developed a Weather Machine that had brought Katrina right to New Orleans front door.

Example #2: Tsunami. Again, go to the "Usual Suspect" site previously named and you will find entry after entry blaming Bush for Global Warming that somehow caused the Tsunami.

Sorry, Erb. You are somewhat naive here. The Left has had a hatefest toward everything Bush since 2001 and it won’t stop until he’s gone. Even to believing the ridiculous notion that all things will get better with his departure.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Even the most partisan Democrat can’t really believe that.
For a guy who studies all this, you’re not paying much attention.

Look at some of the posts we get here - BDS is still in play, we’re still hearing about ’lies’ to ’drag us into the war’.
Brattleboro Vermont is voting on whether or not they (They, as in Brattleboro) should arrest Bush and Cheney for War Crimes.

So you’re way underestimating the partisan Democratic fringe.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Iran was a failure of the British Colonial Model (BCM), a political system used during the 18th and 19th centuries. (I’m sure professor Erb can and will provide a more nuanced explanation than my simple soldier’s assessment.)

The British Empire was not concerned with civil rights or human dignity. They wanted trade. The structure of government, religion and customs could continue so long as commerce flowed. Interrupt the flow of raw materials and the fleet would show up. The problem is that the existing social and political ills continue to brew. Eventually, old problems explode. Look at Zimbabwe, India/Pakistan and Uganda.

We fix the defects up front in the American Government Model (AGM) by replacing authoritarian rule with popular empowerment, civil rights and representative government. The idea? Create a free, prosperous society where we do not need to intervene. To make it work, we must transform the nation and give it enough time. Japan, Germany, Philippines and South Korea are examples of success. Vietnam was unsuccessful because we left. The jury is still out on Iraq.

Iran was built on the BCM, but the Western educated Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi came to power and decided to fix the old problems himself. Most, if not all of them, involved islam. Although many accuse him of brutality and repression, the mullahs who lost power during his top down "White Revolution" resented our support and identified their problems with the US. We will always be to root of all ills to the Iranians.

Our current problem could have been altered had we supported the Shah.
 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://
BDS is still in play
Yeah and PDS, RDS, MDS, CDS (Pelosi, Ried, Murtha, Clinton)...partisans on both sides always have shrill rhetoric. But I don’t recall anyone saying Bush was the sole cause of all the problems, or that they’ll go away once he’s gone. Arresting Bush for war crimes, impeaching Clinton for lying about sex...same sort of thing...

Our current problem could have been altered had we supported the Shah.
Not really, the Shah was weakening, and even if we had helped him get more repressive, ultimately his rule was unsustainable. Support of the Shah caused the problems. We should have worked with Mossadegh in the early fifties. If we’d accepted his initial plans and not tried to undercut the economy, anti-Americanism wouldn’t have grown. Originally Mossadegh’s coalition did not include the Tudeh, the Iranian communist party, but he later had to bring them in to keep his coalition together under the intense pressure of economic sanctions — and they had gained in popularity because of American policy. The result was that we helped overthrow a democracy (first by undercutting its economy with sanctions and an oil boycott so as to spread discord) and then supported a dictatorial thug.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Scott,

I just listened to a podcast of Bruce Bueno de Mosquito (sp?) about political survival - very interesting that he notes dictators almost always lose power if they are diagnosed with a fatal disease. So it wasn’t the Shah was weakening but that he got cancer that caused him to lose power. (according to this theory which I found very interesting.)

Mossadegh...was he the guy to work with? Reading his bio in wikipedia, he sounds like your typical nationalist with socialist leanings who seemed to be leaning toward dictatorship himself - he almost deposed the shah himself. You may think that is just grand, but why is that any better than the Shah? Is Hugo Chavez better somehow than a right-wing dictator? And would he have worked with us?

Seriously, re-read his bio without any romantic leftist feeling and stop right before the CIA coup. Does he sound so great? No.

Also, for anyone who thinks replacing Bush will make Iran a happy ally, just remember that many Iranians hated Carter and looked forward to Reagan (one of the reasons they wouldn’t release hostages until Reagan won.) (Guests of the Ayatollah.) So obviously the belief that changing leaders will help runs both ways!

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Harun, Bueno de Mesquita is an impressive scholar, though I think he has far too much faith in quantitative methods and modeling. But he’s top notch...not a Tom Brady of Poli-Sci, but at least an Eli Manning.

Mossadegh was older and certainly not a Chavez. I think if we had worked with him early on, he’d have been reasonable. He was a nationalist only to the extent that he felt that the foreign powers and corporations that were drilling for Iranian oil were using the resource to benefit themselves and not the Iranians enough. A trained economist, he thought Iran should control the oil resources — driven in part by the way BP used its connections (perhaps bribes?) to get deals that were even below what corporations were getting elsewhere. We responded by boycotting oil, and doing all we could to undercut his regime. There we set the stage for what we see now, we replaced that democracy with a dictatorship (or at least the US was instrumental in doing that) with the desire to maintain control of oil.

I can’t guarantee it would have worked but if we could build a time machine I say it would be a better bet than trying to keep support for the Shah — and even if we had, what would have happened when the Cancer got to him?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Many Liberals think we should have worked with Ho Chi Minh because he was a nationalist. They were dead wrong.

The Shah of Iran was not a despot. He was an enlightened monarch fighting an islamic insurgency supported by the Soviet Union. The forces of darkness and repression were and still are the radical islamists who now rule.

Read about The Shah’s White Revolution. Freed 40% of Iranians from serfdom. Instituted universal health care, universal suffrage, free compulsory education, local elections and courts, green belts & reforestation, irrigation, anti corruption and workers rights to 20% of profits, ownership of the companies where they worked. The Shah set up a social security and retirement system where workers received 100% of wages for life.

 
Written By: Arch
URL: http://

 
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