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

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  •  I agree with Chomsky but... (3+ / 0-)
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    brittain33, greeseyparrot, Rich in PA

    I like Chomsky and I really appreciate the historical perspective that he puts on things.  He is right to point out that US meddling in the world has been quite evil and damaging.  There are just some things about what he says that rub me the wrong way.  The conspiracy theory that our current obsession with Iran has to do with our installation of the Shah years ago.  That was undoubtedly an evil thing for the US to do but I'm not seeing the connection.  A conspiracy theorist tries to make tenuous connections in an uncertain world.  For him to imply that if Iran were supplying arms to Iraqi's it is equivalent to freedom fighters protecting the invasion of their country.  Much of the violence in Iraq, is Iraqi-on-Iraqi violence and throwing weapons in to the mix doesn't help the Iraqi's at all.  Although the US shouldn't have gone in to the region in the first place, we have to remember that much of the violence in Iraq is done by religious douchebags.  I admit the religious douchebags would be in check by a brutal dictator if it weren't for the US invasion, but they are inciting the violence nonetheless.  I see nothing wrong with fighting some countries possession of nuclear weapons, while not stressing about other countries possession of nuclear weapons.  The truth of the matter is that Iran is a country run by religious fanatics that violently hates jews, executes homosexuals, oppresses women...not exactly a stable country.  In many ways it is a country living in the 15th century that may have 21st century weapons.  I see nothing wrong with trusting secular democracies with this technology, more than theocracies or dictatorships.      

    I agree with his main point that there is no reason to be sabre-rattling with Iran and much of the information about Iran is propoganda.  But I think sometimes people become so disillusioned with the evils that our country has done that they lose perspective on other countries evils.  The dangers of multiculturalism.  

    Hopefully we can have a fruitful discussion and I'll admit I sometimes like to play the devil's advocate.  

    •  What if Spain had deposed Washington in 1790? (10+ / 0-)

      The conspiracy theory that our current obsession with Iran has to do with our installation of the Shah years ago.

      It's not a 'conspiracy theory,' it's history.  Americans don't know it, for the most part; don't admit to it almost universally (to the extent it's recognized).
      "Viet Nam" probably has NO RESONANCE whatsoever in Iran; in the US, it's a benchmark, a seminal moment.

      The overthrow of Mossadeqh is far more than a seminal moment for Iranians; that historic event, carried out by the US CIA, has framed every subsequent moment of Iranian life.  That's over 50 years for over 50 million people. The sequellae of that seminal event were: The brutal regime of the Shah Pahlavi, whose Mossad-trained SAVAK brutalized Iranians who did not toe the line; the revolution to overthrow the Shah turned into a religious revolution -- not the outcome most Iranians desired, and an outcome many Iranians TODAY resent and wish to undo.

      That was undoubtedly an evil thing for the US to do but I'm not seeing the connection.

      Where would the US be today if, after a long struggle to create a self-governing sovereignty, Spain (or some other power) had infiltrated the young United States, created destabilization and internal foment, deposed George Washington and installed a Spanish puppet in charge of the US, and that puppet participated with his Spanish handlers in allowing US coal, tobacco, and cotton to be controlled by Spain for the benefit of Spain.

      Would you see that scenario as problematic?

      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 08:07:27 AM PST

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    •  if you want to have a "fruitful" discussion (5+ / 0-)

      it might behoove you not to twist what Chomsky says in the video clip.

      Chomsky refers to the US-backed coup and installation of the shah for the purposes of some much needed historical CONTEXT, and not as a literal, directly a-to-b causal reason for our present actions or situation. Thus your calling up that old canard "conspiracy theory" serves only as totally dishonest innuendo on your part.

      And as to this comment...

      The truth of the matter is that Iran is a country run by religious fanatics that violently hates jews, executes homosexuals, oppresses women...not exactly a stable country.  In many ways it is a country living in the 15th century that may have 21st century weapons.  I see nothing wrong with trusting secular democracies with this technology, more than theocracies or dictatorships.

      ...I smell propaganda on your part and big-time: the whole point is that Iran is, according to the international body that moniters such things, NOT CURRENTLY VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL LAW or developing nuclear weapons.

      Chomsky points out that their legal and approved enrichment program actually FUCKING HALTED for some time, but that we are singling out Iran while we support other countries (India, Israel, Pakistan, Egypt, Japan, who either have the bomb or have enrichment facilities). If we do not want Iran to develop the bomb perhaps we should work to change the international law regarding enrichment--but like the fisile material law Chomsky refers to the U.S. wants to have its cake and eat it too.

      American "foreign policy" is that of a rogue nation: we have invaded and are occupying a country that posed NO THREAT to us, and now we are threatening their neighbors. But there is absolutely nothing in the international law or opinion that backs up our hypocritical swagger.

      Get your facts straight before you weasel in with what amounts to AIPAC and PNAC nonsense.

      •  cannot possibly let this stand (5+ / 0-)

        religious fanatics that violently hates jews, executes homosexuals, oppresses women...not exactly a stable country.  In many ways it is a country living in the 15th century that may have 21st century weapons.  I see nothing wrong with trusting secular democracies with this technology, more than theocracies or dictatorships.

        no time to take this apart.
        It's absolute rubbish.
        Second largest Jewish population in ME lives in Iran.
        For years Israel had a policy of giving $5000 to diaspora jews to migrate to Israel.  Recently, Israel started offering $60,000 to Iranian jews to move to Israel.  only a very, very few Iranian jews accepted the offer.  Iranian Jews are happy, safe, & comfortable in Iran.

        Iran is a country with 4000 years of history, a strong committment to intellectual development, industry, 21st century technology -- they built an auto manufacturing plant in another Mediterranean country..  

        An author named Zeinart wrote a very good children's book on Iran that is in the collection of better libraries and public schools. Hopefully, our children will not repeat mistakes such as the quoted paragraph, above.

        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 10:06:56 AM PST

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    •  pah. (8+ / 0-)

      violently hates jews, executes homosexuals, oppresses women...not exactly a stable country

      Which is why we never sell advanced military hardware to Saudi Arabia, right?

    •  Interesing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onemadson, skrekk, DeepLooker

      I see nothing wrong with fighting some countries possession of nuclear weapons, while not stressing about other countries possession of nuclear weapons.  The truth of the matter is that Iran is a country run by religious fanatics that violently hates jews, executes homosexuals, oppresses women...not exactly a stable country.  In many ways it is a country living in the 15th century that may have 21st century weapons.  I see nothing wrong with trusting secular democracies with this technology, more than theocracies or dictatorships....

      Like our good buddy Musharraf in Pakistan? You trust him with nuclear weapons, eh? Good thing he's a not a military dictator, eh?

      Oh, wait.

      Or like our friends, the Saudis and the Eypgtians to whom we offer much money and weaponry. Good thing they're not rutheless dictators, oligarchs, and theocracies.

      Oh wait.

      Or like our old friends in the past...the Iraqi regime under Saddam, for example. Good thing he wasn't a ruthless dictator.

      Oh, wait.

      ... or...wait for it...the Shah of Iran, himself! Good thing he wasn't a ruthless dictator whom we installed via a CIA coup and propped up with our weaponry and helped train and fund his ruthless SAVAK secret police.

      Oh, wait.

      Indeed the circle of our "friends" is far more gratuitous and far freer of any formal ethical criteria  than you apparently can imagine.

      I mean, really, what nuanced value and political system do you imagine needs to be a place to win a reprieve from a USA bombing?

      It ain't democracy, never has been.

      Remember that wonderful expression of Democracy that the CIA saw fit to overthrow in Chile with the popular assent of Allende? Remember that wonderful expression of Democracy we saw fit to destroy in Nicaragua by arming and funding the murderous ex-National Guard?

      It ain't non-theocracy, never has been.

      Remember the secular regime of Saddam Hussein--one of the few truly secular regimes in the region? Remember earlier, the secular regime of Nasser in Eygpt? 'Secularism' didn't win too many favors from us, did it? But Saudi Arabia is a theocracy. And we're providing billions in military 'assistance' to their regime.

      It's only this: sometimes whoever is currently our friend for whatever relevant interests we might have to make them a friend. Usually this magically involves resources or trade that we find valuable. Or certain logistical advantages. It has zero to do with their political system, whether they torture, kill their own people indiscriminately or eat live babies on national television--we've made it a point to not give a shit about those things.

      Naturally, all in the interest of ...wait for it..."national security".

      You might want to try reading a little history of the region and your own country's history and involvement in it before making such grandiose claims about what you see as 'wrong' or 'right'.

      If you want to guarantee a Republican President, vote for Hillary in the primaries. She's the single strongest unifying force the Republican party has.

      by DelicateMonster on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:49:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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