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Chomsky points out the basic assumption of the mainstream debate about Iran is that we (US) own the world - that we somehow have the right to judge. It's amazing how well Chomsky can see through the propaganda. I find even being aware that it is propaganda, I think get tainted by it sometimes, I still sometimes don't realize who the whole debate is framed and structured.

Originally posted to SteveAnderson on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:03 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't confuse Bush & Cheney with the facts. (28+ / 0-)

    Their desire for war with Iran has nothing to do with a need for war.  Rather, the Energy Companies and Defense Contractors are looking to screw the American People again, just as they did when they started the Iraq War.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:25:57 AM PST

    •  or the American people (16+ / 0-)

      Why aren't the Dem candidates making clear, articulate speeches like this?

      (Partial answer: the MSM wouldn't report it if they did, I suppose...)

      I would be more upset if I weren't so sedated...

      by Paolo on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:28:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Move beyond Bush and Cheney (43+ / 0-)

      The US Congress is shot through with Hate Iran firsters.
      Gary Ackerman, Democrat congressman from NY, is chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. On Oct. 23, 2007, Ackerman led a hearing on "Iran Sanctions and Regional Security."

      http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/...

      Here's how Ackerman introduced our representatives to the issue:

      ....I don’t know when Iran will have enough special nuclear material to make a nuclear weapon, but I will predict that unless we stop them soon, that day is sure to come....I don’t know when Iran will test its first nuclear weapon, but I will predict that on that on that day we’ll look back and ask why such a horrific seed was not only allowed to take root, but worse, and most inexplicably, to come to full flower.

                 I know we will rue that day. I know the American people will look back and wonder how such a malevolent, disruptive and, yes, weak state was allowed to thumb its nose at the world and proliferate in plain sight. People around the world will ask how a state entirely dependent on foreign trade was allowed by the international community to acquire the means to put the whole world in danger.

                 And I’ll make one more prediction: on that awful day of reckoning we will wish mightily that we could have another chance to stop Iran’s mad mullahs from getting nuclear weapons. But there will be no second chance, only regret and for many, an enduring and sleepless fear.

      The only thing wrong with Ackerman's hyperbolic rhetoric is that none of it has a basis in fact.  

      Ackerman is a master of propaganda:  of spinning facts and dialog to favor his preconceived position.

      Malevolent Iran? Show your evidence, Mr. Ackerman.  Malevolence is in the eye of the beholder.

      Disruptive Iran? Disruptive of what, Mr. Ackerman: Israel's ongoing attempts to wipe out Palestinian Arabs?

      Weak Iran? You wish, Mr. Ackerman. To ensure that it will 'never again' suffer a chemical holocaust as it did in the war waged on it by Iraq, Iran has a 450,000-strong military force.
      Iran WAS mightily weakened by 8 years of US-endorsed war declared on Iran by Iraq, in which Iran was subjected the most devastating series of chemical attacks since WWI, Iran's chemical holocaust.  Iran has absorbed those assaults to her people and attempts to moves on to develop its people and its economy, in spite of the persistent and pernicious efforts of the US to prevent it from doing so-- a kind of 'reverse Marshall plan.'

      Mad mullash rule Iran, Mr. Ackerman?  Would they be the same "mad mullahs" to whom Israel sold millions of dollars of weapons in the 1980s and 1990s?    

      Ah well, that's politics, you say.

      But when war is in the balance, is it safe to allow an obviously prejudiced ideologue to shape the legislation that determines the fate of 70 million Iranians, whose voice was NOT heard and the reality of whose situation was NOT given a hearing in the subcommittee room of the Honorable Gary Ackerman?

      And if you're not concerned about 70million Iranians, who love Americans and are, by the way, the last nation of friends the US still has in the Middle East (consider this sidebar: Saudis & Pakistanis educate their children in madrasas where anti-Americanism is routinely taught; Iranians do not: the Iranian education system is the equal of the liberal education Americans used to enjoy in their public schools), then consider the world your children will inhabit if Gary Ackerman has his way and the US destroys Iran.

      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 04:08:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Right on! (10+ / 0-)

        ....beautifully written.

        -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

        by sunbro on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:12:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  One thing we need to consider is that (15+ / 0-)

        there are some of our Dems. who have bought into the PNAC. There are some of our Dems. who have not researched on their own and are just buying the Repub. line due to lack of knowledge. Those are the Dems. we need to target in future years.

        "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

        by Owllwoman on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:32:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  too bad Hillary won't read it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irate, LaFajita

        but good stuff.

        fouls, excesses and immoderate behaviors will not be ignored at Over the line, Smokey!.

        by seesdifferent on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:57:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Lost nuance. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        varro

        Surely you are joking when you say, "The Iranian education system is equal of the liberal education Americans used to enjoy in their public schools".  

        I wonder what is taught in their sex education classes?  I wonder if their biology classes have good discussions of the theory of evolution?
        I wonder if the girls are given the same opportunities and expected to excel in the same areas of expertise as the boys.  I'm sure that if a girl decided to wear a Metallica t-shirt and jeans, her right to freedom of expression would be accepted.  Maybe the newspaper articles I read about people being imprisoned for wearing the wrong kind of clothes, getting abused when a man and women are together who aren't married, homosexuals getting hung, rape victims getting lashed aren't true.

        "Malevolence" - of course malevolence is in the eye of the beholder but that doesn't explain anything.    Hitler, Stalin thought what they were doing was for the good of the whole.  There has to be some objective basis for what is good and bad.  I think that Iran's threats to wipe out Israel and the fact that Hezbollah is widely regarded as Iran's foreign army, indicates some malevolent intent.  Not enough for war mind you, but malevolence indeed.  

        "Disruptive" - It is quite hyperbolic to say that the reason Israel is fighting Palestinians is because they want to wipe them off the map.  Even though Israel has committed some atrocities, it at least has something to do with self-defense.  

        "Weak" - You are exactly correct.  A war with Iran would be bloody, neverending and costly.  Not worth it.  

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

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

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

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

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

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

          [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              [ Parent ]

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

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

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

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

                •  Bush gives this guy your tax $ to infiltrate Iran (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lotlizard

                  Thanks for a rational response, cassdog.
                  I suppose I do paint a rosier picture than is warranted. I'm trying to counterbalance the demonization that is far more negative than the facts support.

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

                  http://irannuclearwatch.blogspot.com/

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

                  Posted: 20 Nov 2007 08:12 AM CST

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

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

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

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

                  [ Parent ]

                •  ps (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lotlizard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I learn about Iran... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ibonewits

            ...and what I learn about it is that Ahmadinejad is the Iranian version of George W. Bush - someone who intentionally provokes people and is beholden to the religious right in his own country.

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

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

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

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

            [ Parent ]

        •  hmm... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gnat, corvo, ibonewits

          "I wonder if their biology classes have good discussions of the theory of evolution?"

          Wait - are we comparing with schools in the US or not?

          It's safe to assume that any government agency that insists on total secrecy is totally incompetent.

          by RickD on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:40:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I couldn't tell if GP was being sarcastic or not (0+ / 0-)

            One of the flaws of internet posting is that sarcasm doesn't translate well.

            NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed, but by lawful judgment of his Peers

            by aztecraingod on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:52:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for marshalling the facts. (0+ / 0-)

        Unfortunately, truth means nothing to figures like Ackerman. Whether Repubs or Dems, when it comes to Iran it seems it's the Big Lie technique all the way.

        The Dutch children's chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen (= “kids for kids”): is a world cultural treasure.

        by lotlizard on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 02:24:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Bravo, Chomsky! (32+ / 0-)

    A man with intelligence, memory for historical facts, objectiveness...

    Would that one of the Dem candidates would call for a nuclear-free zone in the Mideast (NB that includes Israel and India as well!).

    The American hypocrisy towards Iran "interfering in Iraqi affairs" is almost beyond belief. However, this being the US, it is believable, alas.

    I'm listening right now to Chomsky recalling how Iran was willing to give up uranium enrichment development. Of course the US wouldn't have that!

    I would be more upset if I weren't so sedated...

    by Paolo on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:27:32 AM PST

    •  Ooh boy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk

      that would really get the neocon bowel movement in overdrive, wouldn't it?  But hell, I'd have a beer with him at the drop of a hat.

      Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

      by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:54:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read the PNAC papers (16+ / 0-)

    in 2000. That framed everything for me. Chomsky is a great American and he speaks the truth. If Bush believes that the US owns the World, why haven't they told the World? Because there the game ends!

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 03:52:15 AM PST

  •  Off topic just a bit (14+ / 0-)

    not about Chomsky but about Iran's "nuclear program".

    There's an excellent article on the most recently (15 November) published IAEA report (PDF) on Iran and a comparison of the actual report with how it is reported by the AP, by the NY Times, the Washington Post and comments in the WSJ. Lots of neo-con supporting hype in these media reports.

    On the flip side BBC has a relatively accurate, though by an important omission, incomplete report.

    Here is the ZNet link.

    Nick Cohen - If you dream that everyone might be your enemy, one day they may become just that.

    by truong son traveler on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:12:48 AM PST

  •  The United States has become an (23+ / 0-)

    imperialist nation and imperialistic nations think they have a right to dominate other nations when those nations fail to do the bidding of the imperialistic nation.

    This was true of ancient Rome,Spain in the 16th century,the Ottoman-Turkish empire,the British empire etc. Those empires all came crashing down and so will the American empire. Can the Democrats stop it? Are you kidding,when it comes to American imperialism,the Democrats are almost as bad as the GOP.

    James Knox Polk and Woodrow Wilson come to mind.The first started the most imperialistic war in our history with Mexico and the second went to the defense of the British and French imperialists in 1917 to protect the interests of the huge Wall Street people who had loanted them billions.

    •  Watched the PBS show on Athens last eve . . . (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, skrekk, gatorcog, ibonewits

      and was sort of startled to hear that, basically, the first thing the newly democratic and newly wealthy Athens did was start an unstoppable series of imperialist wars. I think the line in the show was "Democratic Athens voted for war, on average, every two years of its existence."

      Of course, you'd think our democracy might have learned something from the first one . . .

      Frankly, I'm less inclined to believe our imperialism is due to anything democratic as much as everything corporatist. Our system isn't a functioning democracy anymore---at least in the sense that people make up their own minds about how their government will act and in what they will believe. Today, we're basically told how to act and what to believe.

      And the most pathetic thing is that we go along with it.

    •  Careful about invoking Polk (0+ / 0-)

      Remember, the parties were VERY different at that time. In fact, the Democrats were the pro-slavery party in that era.

  •  I'm starting to balk every time I hear the phrase (16+ / 0-)

    "leader of the free world" .. I don't mind "The Commander in Chief of the most awesome military the world has ever seen" since although currently true other countries before have claimed similar mantles, only to disappear under attack from the next big thing.

    Chomsky is often right, unpopularly so!

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:42:41 AM PST

  •  fixed your tags (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    planetclaire4

    thanks for the diary

  •  Steve (5+ / 0-)

    For those of us who can't listen at work, could you briefly summarize the video?

    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- not George Carlin

    by donnamarie on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:47:29 AM PST

    •  video summary (18+ / 0-)

      Chomsky summarizes the history of US/Iranian relations, going back to the installation of the Shah in the 50s.  He points out that the US complaints about Iranian participation in Iraq are wildly inconsistent with the US policy itself.  Basically points out that the US has a "it's OK if we do it, but not if you do it" policy.  Points out that Iran is allowed to pursue nuclear technology under the NPT (non-proliferation treaty) and that the allegations that Iran has an active nuclear weapon program have been rejected by the IAEA.

      It's safe to assume that any government agency that insists on total secrecy is totally incompetent.

      by RickD on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:01:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you RickD. Much appreciated n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RickD, Timothy J

        Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.- not George Carlin

        by donnamarie on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:14:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Chomsky does what few of any of the pundits (10+ / 0-)

        do, that is to first provide a context within which to argue. As Rick says, he begins with the history of how we overthrough the elected government to install the Shah, but does so by saying that we (Americans) might want to forget this, but the Iranians don't.

        This is a very important idea - that the peoples that our government has fucked with remember that, even though most Americans are ignorant of it. And if you dare to point this out, you are labeled an "America heater."

        "Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing...after they have exhausted all other possibilities." -- Winston Churchill

        by Spud1 on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 06:08:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Book rec: "Treacherous Alliance," Trita Parsi (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Spud1, corvo, skrekk, Snarcalita, ibonewits

          Parsi is Iranian-born, Swedish citizen, recent PhD from Hopkins under Zbigniew Brzezinski & Francis Fukuyama.

          Complete title of the book is "Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States.:

          http://yalepress.yale.edu/...

          Click here to listen to an interview with the author on the Yale Press Podcast.

          Visit Trita Parsi's webpage featuring appearances, press events and interviews with the author.  

          Listen in on the author's recent appearance and interview on The Diane Rehm Show.  Downloand this segment using Real Audio or Windows Media Player

          Read The Economist, "Missed Chance? A Lost Opportunity Before Tehran's Necons Took Over"

          In this era of superheated rhetoric and vitriolic exchanges between the leaders of Iran and Israel, the threat of nuclear violence looms. But the real roots of the enmity between the two nations mystify Washington policymakers, and no promising pathways to peace have emerged. This book traces the shifting relations among Israel, Iran, and the United States from 1948 to the present, uncovering for the first time the details of secret alliances, treacherous acts, and unsavory political maneuverings that have undermined Middle Eastern stability and disrupted U.S. foreign policy initiatives in the region.

          Trita Parsi, a U.S. foreign policy expert with more than a decade of experience, is the only writer who has had access to senior American, Iranian, and Israeli decision makers. He dissects the complicated triangular relations of their countries, arguing that America’s hope for stability in Iraq and for peace in Israel is futile without a correct understanding of the Israeli-Iranian rivalry.

          Parsi’s behind-the-scenes revelations about Middle East events will surprise even the most knowledgeable readers: Iran’s prime minister asks Israel to assassinate Khomeini, Israel reaches out to Saddam Hussein after the Gulf War, the United States foils Iran’s plan to withdraw support from Hamas and Hezbollah, and more. This book not only revises our understanding of the Middle East’s recent past, it also spells out a course for the future. In today’s belligerent world, few topics, if any, could be more important.

          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 06:29:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sound bit (0+ / 0-)

          No time for context, gotta sell a pick-up truck in the next thirty seconds.  Too slow for the average ADD TV viewer.
          And that's overthrew (overthowed?), not overthrough to my pedantic pee-brain - heh.

          Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

          by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:52:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Great to have a diary on CNN and a diary from (8+ / 0-)

    "Real News" on the recommended list at the same time.

    Among all presidents, G.W.Bush is the best cheerleader and among all cheerleaders, G.W.Bush is the best president. (variation of famous Gauss quote)

    by FudgeFighter on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 04:48:28 AM PST

  •  this really is up to Americans (20+ / 0-)

    If Americans want to be the perpetual spear carriers for empire, as Gore Vidal would put it, then by all means we should seek war with Iran.  People like Chomsky are very inconvenient to this effort, though, since he undermines all the distortions and hypocrisy that the warmongers would have the public at large believe.

    Small wonder Chomsky is never invited to speak on national news talk shows.  Oh, but let's hear what Ann Coulter has to say!

    It's safe to assume that any government agency that insists on total secrecy is totally incompetent.

    by RickD on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:04:26 AM PST

  •  Our oil under their sand, plus our incompetent, (11+ / 0-)

    fearful, war mongering leadership, equals one FUBAR result. I suggest thoughtful dispassionate discussions, free of implied accusations, ala the interview with Noam Chomsky, will do more to advance ultimate peace and regional stability than all of the war blustering and saber rattling of the past 7+ years.  P.S. Thank you for introducing me to the Real News web site.  

    The longer the party goes on in everything, the bigger the potential correction in something will be.

    by brjzn on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:11:23 AM PST

  •  Chomsky is an island... (7+ / 0-)

    ...of sanity in a world gone stark raving mad.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 05:24:59 AM PST

  •  I agree with Chomsky but... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    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

      [ Parent ]

    •  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

        [ Parent ]

    •  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 ]

  •  I agree with Chomsky but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greeseyparrot

      He hasn't been immune to propaganda himself, as when he cited credulous Maoists in a tiny M-L sect in the USA during the Pol Pot era as credible witnesses. See, a dissertation by a Cambodian-American here,
    Undergraduate Political Science Honors Thesis:
    The Khmer Rouge Canon 1975-1979:
    The Standard Total Academic View on Cambodia
    esp. this chapter,
    http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/... >...The second broadside came when Jean Lacouture, an academic and supporter of the antiwar movement and the FUNK, reviewed Ponchaud's Cambodia: Year Zero (French edition published in January 1977) in the French periodical, Le Nouvel Observateur. Lacouture, whose namesake I use as part of the Controversy, took on the difficult task of fighting Chomsky. Lacouture's review, "The Bloodiest Revolution," was translated and published in the March 31, 1977 edition of the New York Review of Books. The review had a number of mistakes which were corrected in "Cambodia: Corrections" (NYRB, 05/26/77). These corrections were prompted by Noam Chomsky, who brought these errors to the attention of Robert Silvers, editor of the NYRB. At about the same time, Chomsky wrote a letter to the Christian Science Monitor regarding an editorial titled "Cambodia in the year zero" (CSM, 04/26/77) which he correctly surmised was based on Lacouture's review of the Ponchaud book. Chomsky's objections were, as usual, methodical and blunt. (SNIP)

    •  Grasping at straws to attack Chomsky (17+ / 0-)

      At worst, those criticisms could prove that 30 years ago, Chomsky was wrong, once. That's quite a good track record, considering how just about everyone has been wrong all the time on the issues he addressed correctly all that time.
      And even then, when you look more closely at those claims, they don't hold much water.

      I just want to remind you that the Khmer Rouge rose to power because of the chaos perpetrated by the American bombing of Cambodian, a major war crime in itself, to begin with. And it was the VC that stopped the Khmer massacre IIRC. Those evil VC those brave US soldiers were fighting shortly before... /snark

      There is one lesson to learn from the Vietnam-Cambodia-etc war, it's that the US killed millions of innocents for nothing. And Chomsky was right about it from the beginning.

      A "centrist" is someone who's neither on the left, nor on the left.

      by nicta on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 07:32:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yes, Chomsky was wrong about Cambodia (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, skrekk, Dinclusin, DeepLooker

      Perhaps you didn't see this, since the other commenter making a similar comment did so in a fairly rude and trollish manner, and has been TRed off the board, but my point to him and to you is that Chomsky has made one mistake in the past 35 years and that is to underestimate the devastation that the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia.  Having said that, I don't think the discussion of Cambodia is relevant in the current context, unless one wants to make an ad hominem argument trying to discredit Chomsky by pointing out that he's been wrong in the past, and not by directly addressing the arguments he is making now.

      It's safe to assume that any government agency that insists on total secrecy is totally incompetent.

      by RickD on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:50:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  chomsky and when he was wrong... (0+ / 0-)

          For a anti-Leninist libertarian socialist, he has from the time of the Vietnam war, always let his anti-imperialism trump his (correct) pov about Leninist Parties and Regimes from the N.Vietnamese (which Trotskyists and democratic socialists at Dissent magazine always knew was Stalinized Maoism), the Khmer Rouge, the Sandinistas, being the militarized monstrosities they always are/were.

        •  Because that's what's needed (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, skrekk, ibonewits, DeepLooker

          in this country.  We hardly have a shortage of anti-Leninist voices, but there's a terrible dearth of coherent anti-imperialist voices, and not a single one can get into the mainstream media.  This in a rogue state run completely amok that represents itself as controlled by its citizens.

          Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest... Gibbon

          by Dinclusin on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:05:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Right, you have to be perfect (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, skrekk, DeepLooker

        if you're up against the Noise Machine.  But if you're Bush or Kristol you never have to have been right about a single thing in your entire life.

        Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest... Gibbon

        by Dinclusin on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:06:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i don't think you have to be perfect (0+ / 0-)

          That really won't matter anyway.  You have to be given a forum to get your message out.  The noise machine compensates for their myriad of intellectual flaws by controlling all of the apparatus.

          It's safe to assume that any government agency that insists on total secrecy is totally incompetent.

          by RickD on Wed Nov 21, 2007 at 11:42:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Norm (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ibonewits

    should be on speed dial for every Democrat in a leadership role in this country. The guy is worth his weight in solar power.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 06:20:40 AM PST

  •  Iran Revolutionary Guards former commander com... (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.uruknet.info/...
    Iran Revolutionary Guards former commander comfrims training Hezballah and Iraqi Badr Brigades

  •  I think Noam's overall message (10+ / 0-)

    is that our foreign policy is broken because our democracy is broken. Depending upon what survey you look at, somewhere between 60 and 70 percent of the American population wants out of Iraq, yet our presence there for years to come is almost a sure thing--that is not democracy. The will of the people is being trampled by the will of a small cabal of elites who run the country according to their own interests and the interests of the corporations. Take almost any issue in America today; 75-80 percent of American people are in favor of stem cell rersearch, but Bush has used veto power to severely restrict it. Democracy is NOT complicated--the actions of the government should reflect the will of the people. Every time there is an issue which 75 percent of the American agree on and the government does the ooposite, don't just say, "Well, that's how our system works..." Instead, realize that if our system works that way, then it is not a true democracy. Work to restore democracy at home and a sane foreign policy will follow.

  •  The "we can't allow" talk is parental ownership (13+ / 0-)

    talk that never gets challenged. It is assumed that we are in a position to allow or not allow other states, and other peoples to do, or not do something. I like Chomsky pointing out that the underlying assumption is that we own the world, but I think it goes even deeper into the crazy idea that we are the parent of the world.

    I have been amazed for a long time that no one in the political class, or the media, lets it pass when an administration spokesman, or politician of any type starts their comment with "we can't allow", it is the height of arrogance, and it is as obvious as the words coming out of their mouths, tone of voice, and body language. If another adult talked that way to my face about me, I would say "who do you think you are, I am not your compliant, or rebellious child, your relationship to me is that of adult to adult. You saying you are my parent doesn't make me your child"

    Love = of existing and potential mutually beneficial exchange across semi-permeable boundaries. Politics and economics should amplify Love

    by Bob Guyer on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 07:34:39 AM PST

    •  "we can't allow", it is the height of arrogance (6+ / 0-)

      thanks, I thought I was the only one.

      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 08:32:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It certainly is arrogant (0+ / 0-)

        This mentality comes in and out of favor. Before WWII Americans were very resistant to getting involved in foreign disputes. After WWII thier was a lot of discussion about whether we should have intervened sooner. In Veitnam we went in even though that nation was not a threat to us. Now we are in Iraq, which wasn't a threat, but our president lied to us to get us in. We didn't go into Rwanda and we haven't gone into Darfur. Too often our foreign policy has a double standard. Going to war with Iran is a horrible idea. However Iran does have the ability to reduce tensions. The US is powerful, but Iran is not as weak as East Timor, or El Salvador. If the Iranian president is half as good a leader as you think he is, he ought not have too much difficulty swinging international opinion toward Iran.

        . There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end, they always fall -- think of it, ALWAYS. Mahatma Gandhi

        by Sacramento Dem on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 01:56:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not a Unitary Executive (0+ / 0-)

          If the Iranian president is half as good a leader as you think he is, he ought not have too much difficulty swinging international opinion toward Iran.

          Ahmadinejad has very little power.   Just a big mouth.

          Barbara Slavin described the Iranian govt structure in a most picturesque manner:  a square dance with the Supreme Leader (Ali Khamenei) in the middle calling the steps:  You may move forward; You, step back.... Ahmadinejad is just one of the dancers; I haven't yet  studied enough to know with whom he is allied or how secure he is in his position.  I judge from his reckless rhetoric that he's pretty isolated and needs to whip up his base to maintain visibility.

          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 06:04:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  it's even worse than that (5+ / 0-)

      not only will our elite political and media class never question it. but they also will marginalize anyone - like chomsky - who does.

      Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

      by jethropalerobber on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 09:11:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  CHOMSKY - MICHAEL PARENTI - HOWARD ZINN (6+ / 0-)

    Together these three men present a model for understanding American Foreign policy in human terms. How policy impacts people, versus politicians.

    Dr. Michael Parenti is on speaking engagements all over the country - make sure to check him out:

    "Bush and company seized upon yet another pretext for war: Saddam has committed war crimes and acts of aggression, including the war against Iran and the massacre of Kurds. But the Pentagon’s own study found that the gassing of Kurds at Halabja was committed by the Iranians, not the Iraqis (New York Times, 24 January 2003). Another seldom mentioned fact: US leaders gave Iraq encouragement and military support in its war against Iran. And if war crimes and aggression are the issue, there are the US invasions of Grenada and Panama to consider, and the US-sponsored wars of attrition against civilian targets in Mozambique, Angola, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, Yugoslavia, and scores of other places, leaving hundreds of thousands dead. There is no communist state or "rogue nation" that has such a horrific record of military aggression against other countries over the last two decades."

    •  Parenti (0+ / 0-)

      is a bit of a Stalinist. Condemned Zinn and Chomsky for signing this statement vs. Fidel, http://www.wpunj.edu/...
      Statement Protesting Repression in Cuba

        •  TIBET: THE TRUTH HURTS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet

          You can't believe anything anyone says in the mainstream US Press, perhaps even the Dalai Lama. Is it hard to believe a person would use religion to support a personal agenda totally opposite of religious teachings? Could the Dalai Lama be something akin to James Dobson? Parenti's source is a reporter who interviewed a survivor - that's credible journalism:  

          "The Tibetan serfs were something more than superstitious victims, blind to their own oppression. As we have seen, some ran away; others openly resisted, sometimes suffering dire consequences. In feudal Tibet, torture and mutilation--including eye gouging, the pulling out of tongues, hamstringing, and amputation--were favored punishments inflicted upon thieves, and runaway or resistant serfs. Journeying through Tibet in the 1960s, Stuart and Roma Gelder interviewed a former serf, Tsereh Wang Tuei, who had stolen two sheep belonging to a monastery. For this he had both his eyes gouged out and his hand mutilated beyond use. He explains that he no longer is a Buddhist: "When a holy lama told them to blind me I thought there was no good in religion."21 Since it was against Buddhist teachings to take human life, some offenders were severely lashed and then "left to God" in the freezing night to die. "The parallels between Tibet and medieval Europe are striking," concludes Tom Grunfeld in his book on Tibet. 22

        •  Interesting reading (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sockpuppet

          As one who visited the exiled Tibetan area in India earlier this year, and sparked my renewed interest in this culture, I find both Parenti's article and the reply interesting.  I have to believe that, as with most phenomena where opposing points of view are presented, the truth is likely somewhere in the middle, albeit maybe closer to one side than the other. Both sides have credibility based on their prejudices, and are nether totally right nor totaly wrong.  A Shangri-La?  Doubtful, but better under Chinese rule?  Doubtful.

          Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

          by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:31:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  The top 2008 candidates on Iran - video (0+ / 0-)

  •  Zinn (0+ / 0-)

    http://dissentmagazine.org/...
    Howard Zinn's History Lessons
    By Michael Kazin
    http://hnn.us/...
    Howard Zinn's Disappointing History of the United States
    By Michael Kazin

    Mr. Kazin's latest book, co-authored with Maurice Isserman, is America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s.

  •  this is the truth that's never allowed (7+ / 0-)

    ...to be spoken to be spoken within the our polite discourse. not even in the "liberal" NYT or on "liberal" NPR.

    you are never allowed to question america's special status that allows us to not follow the same standards we apply to every other nation. in the example of iraq, you can critize the utility or execution of the war you are never allowed to question america's underlying intentions.

    second rule of elite media reporting on iran: you're not allowed to mention the NPT.

    Newsday: Rudy Giuliani missing in action for Iraq panel

    by jethropalerobber on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 08:55:22 AM PST

  •  Postel on the US Left and Iran (0+ / 0-)

    http://www.postelservice.com/
    Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran
     "The importance of Postel's book reaches far beyond a mere exercise in intellectual history. The temptation is either to castigate Iran as a state run by dangerous fundamentalist fanatics, or to celebrate it as a beacon of anti-imperialist resistance. Both approaches miss the complexity of intellectual and political life in Iran where, in a unique short-circuit, political battles reverberate in the terms of modern Western philosophy: some traditionalist clerics refer to Heidegger, liberals to Habermas, feminists to Arendt, some young 'nihilists' to deconstruction.... The specter of an exotic country is thus dispelled, and we can recognize in Iran our own battles, fought more passionately than in our own countries. This is Postel's great lesson: Iran's story is our own."
    — Slavoj Žižek

  •  Chomsky visited Hezbollah and urged them on... (0+ / 0-)

    shortly before these anti-Semitic terrorist scum invaded Israel, killing and capturing Israeli soldiers.

    Nobody here would support an African-American "Uncle Tom," but when there's a Jewish Uncle Tom, there appears to be a different standard.

    The diarist says, "It's amazing how well Chomsky can see through the propaganda." Yet he has always been a dupe of the propaganda of fascists, totalitarians, terrorists, and even Holocaust deniers.  

    •  Chomsky is Jewish (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gatorcog, echatwa, Leo in NJ

      It's more difficult for you to smear him with the phony "anti-semite" label when he dares to question the conduct of the vicious little apartheid state.

      "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

      by chimpwatch on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:29:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Correction (0+ / 0-)

        DontTazeMeBro did not label Chomsky an anti-semite. If you read the comment the only entity he/she placed the anti-semite label on was Hezbollah. Also, I believe that he/she is well aware that Chomsky is Jewish b/c he/she referred to him as a "Jewish Uncle Tom."

        "The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error." --William Jennings Bryan

        by topazpilot on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:44:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This is an issue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      topazpilot, Leo in NJ, DeepLooker

      My main beef against Chomsky is that, at some point, at least, he said gorillas and chimpanzees' use of sign language wasn't a form of speech.

      I've read some articles for and against the guy, but I don't know enough about who he has and hasn't visited, and what he's really said (or maybe what words his enemies have put into his mouth) to know whether your criticisms are justified.

      But, generally, I do think it's really important for people to recognize that Jewish Israelis are people, too, and that most of them don't harbor any particular ingrained hostility toward or sense of superiority over Palestinians. There's nothing wrong in the Jewish Israeli attitude toward the Palestinians that a few years of warm peace couldn't wash away.

      If someone is saying that Israel should treat the Palestinians better, make concessions, maybe even move away from being a Jewish state -- you could argue for or against those positions, but there's inherently nothing wrong with debating them.

      But if someone goes and encourages Hezbollah to attack Israeli noncombatants, or Israel to attack Palestinian noncombatants, or anyone else to attack anyone else, that's plain wrong. Clearly, violence is THE problem in Israel and Palestine. It feeds on itself and gives reasonable people PTSD and keeps decent people from having the peace of mind to talk to one another. Someone who would encourage either the Palestinians or the Israelis to use aggressive violence in the context is a friend of violence, not of the Palestinians or of the Israelis.

      •  Link please (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skrekk, echatwa, DeepLooker

        If you're accusing Chomsky of encouraging attacks for either side, can you back this up?  Keep in mind, as you look for this, that encouraging self-defence is not the same as encouraing attacks.

        Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

        by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:42:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The accusation (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeepLooker

          was placed by DontTazeMeBro and not sclminc. sclminc seems to be saying that IF Chomsky did this then it is wrong. Ask DontTazeMeBro for the link since he/she is the one who referenced it.

          "The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error." --William Jennings Bryan

          by topazpilot on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:47:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I said I don't know what he's said or done (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gatorcog, DeepLooker

          I'm saying that if the poster here is correct and if Chomsky or anyone else is encouraging Hezbollah to attack other people (as opposed, maybe, to encouraging Hezbollah to improve schools and hospitals and that sort of nice, fuzzy thing), then that would be wrong.

          Anyhow, I just did a brief Google search and quickly found a relevant link here.

          It looks to me as if Chomsky is just saying the Hezbollah has a right to use weapons to defend the Palestinians, which might be right or wrong but isn't the same as encouraging Hezbollah to go attack innocent civilians.

          But, of course, this is just one eighth-hand source, and maybe there's some source in which Chomsky is more fiery. Or maybe not.

          The main thing is that the last thing folks over there need is for Americans to go over there and tell people to attack one another.

          •  The US government instigated the attack (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sclminc, skrekk, DeepLooker

            The Bush regime told Israel it would be a good freakin' idea to attack Lebanon.  Like all their other brilliant ideas, it backfired as a PR stunt, but decimated the Lebanese countryside and infrastructure.  So who won that round?
            I don't think any American, or Israeli citizen for that matter, is going around encouraging anyone to attack anybody.  It's the clown-car rulers at the top doing this, and everybody else suffers.  So what else is new?  Israel is a subsidiary of the US government, and they're gonna do what their masters insist.

            Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

            by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:35:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you see those reports awhile back about (0+ / 0-)

              the United States trying to get Israel to attack Syria?

              Israel, apparently (before the war on Lebanon and before the alleged attack on the alleged WMD facility, or whatever it was -- my brain is foggy) was getting along pretty well with Syria and had no intention of attacking until the Bush Rovies set her up to it.

              •  It's insane (0+ / 0-)

                The US MIC will only attack countries that can't fight back.  It's even better to have another country's armies do it.

                Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

                by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 01:35:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I've got the same problem with Chomsky, (0+ / 0-)

        to say nothing of generative grammar in general.  Very bright guy though - one of the few true intellects the US has.  It's a shame he can't speak in sound bites, otherwise he'd get more air time.

    •  So anybody who refuses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DeepLooker

      to say "My County/Party/Ethno-Religious Group is above criticism, no matter what" is an Uncle Tom, eh? What does that make most of the people at DKos? Traitors? Terrorist enablers?

    •  Invaded Israel? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk, lumpenprole, echatwa, DeepLooker

      You mean the bombing of the Lebanese cities and countryside last June 2006 that killed about 1000X more Lebanese than Israelies with massive firepower?  The invasion that destroyed the Lebanese infrastructure and economy back to the stone age?  The one where the Israelly army was routinely kidnapping Palestinians beforehand?  ehh, huh huh.  No prejudicial zionism here, I see.

      Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

      by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:39:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually (0+ / 0-)

        Hezbollah did invade Israeli territory and kidnap several Israeli soldiers in 2006. This was the Zar'it-Shtula incident in which Hezbollah special forces entered Israeli territory and attacked an Israeli patrol, killing 3 and capturing 2. Those 2 soldiers were Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev whose fates are still not known.

        "The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error." --William Jennings Bryan

        by topazpilot on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:52:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Back to Chomsky (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skrekk, DeepLooker

          According to him, these kidnappings are a routine back & forth between the Palestinians and Israelis.  Nothing to start a war over; unless the US suggests it, of course.

          Well, I guess I don't know what you mean by "equal justice under the law." - Bushy McSpokesperson

          by gatorcog on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:22:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  In retaliation for attacks on <10 SOLDIERS (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          skrekk

          Israel killed a thousand or more civilians and destroyed a country.

          actually (0 / 0)

          Hezbollah did invade Israeli territory and kidnap several Israeli soldiers in 2006. This was the Zar'it-Shtula incident in which Hezbollah special forces entered Israeli territory and attacked an Israeli patrol, killing 3 and capturing 2. Those 2 soldiers

          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 02:02:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not defending Israeli actions (0+ / 0-)

            just replying that Hezbollah did in fact invade Israeli territory. It was a correction, not a defense.

            "The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error." --William Jennings Bryan

            by topazpilot on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 05:40:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong about "Israeli territory" (0+ / 0-)

          topazpilot-- the Israeli soldiers were taken in Southern Lebanon, NOT Israeli territory.

          Why would you say "Israeli territory"?


    •  What work of Chomsky's (0+ / 0-)

      have you actually read, if anything?

  •  see this exchange (6+ / 0-)

    Ron Paul: We are escalating our sharp rhetoric toward Iran, we're deploying additonal carrier group and Patriot missiles to the region. And, although Iran has approached the United States to establish serious dialog two times since 9/11, they have been rebuffed both times...
    Condoleezza Rice: ...When we have a carrier strike group into the gulf, or provide PAC-3, which is a defensive system, it's simply to demonstrate that the United States remains determined to defend its interests in the gulf, and the interests of its allies. And that, congressman, is a position that has been held by American presidents going back for nearly 60 years. I would just note that these are discrete respones to Iranian activities that are really deeply concerning, not just for us, but for the rest of the world as well. Now as to Tehran, and whether we can talk to them. I offered in May to reverse 27 years of American policy, and to meet my counterpart any place, any time, to talk about any set of issues that Iran wishes to talk about, if they would just do one thing. And that is, adhere to the demand that the international community is making, that they stop enrichment and reprocessing, so that we that while we're talking, they're not improving their capability to get a nuclear weapon. So I think, congressman, the question isn't why won't we talk to Tehran, the question is why won't they talk to us.
    http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  Chomsky opened my eyes (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard, skrekk, skywriter, gatorcog

    He is to US foreign policy what Darwin is to biology. Read his work and learn something about how the world really works.

    "Men use thought only to justify their wrongdoing, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts." Voltaire

    by chimpwatch on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 10:32:02 AM PST

    •  that website (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk

      is awful.
      Have you read any of the articles posted on it?
      Oliver Kamm is an embarassment to British journalism, and it's quite clear that he has serious misunderstandings about Chomsky's positions on pretty much everything.
      I've spent 20 minutes looking through that website for some semblance of a coherent criticism of Chomsky, and I've yet to find it.

  •  Chomsky recollects (0+ / 0-)

    Oliver Kamm, Chomsky Recollects
    Chomsky wrote that Americans were no better than Nazis. Then he lied about it.

    http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/...

  •   Chomsky & Vietnam War- A Study in Propagaganda (0+ / 0-)
  •  This site is hilarious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lotlizard

    You guys read and champion Chomsky, Vidal, Chalmers, and other imperial critics. But then you turn around and vote Democratic. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

    As for the earliest anti-U.S. imperial critic book writer, I'm not sure who it was but Charles Wright Mills published The Power Elite in 1956. Pretty standard stuff. Certainly during the late 19th century with the Spanish American War there was a recognition the U.S. was moving towards imperialism and a meshing of the state and private power. It's nothing new. The Bushes and Clintons are symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself.

    The dirty secret is that Americans made the decision themselves. It could have been stopped at several points. Manifest destiny baby!

    "History may not repeat itself, but it rhymes a lot." -- Mark Twain

    by marshmallow on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:07:07 AM PST

  •  Slow day at Daily Kos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk

    when invoking "Chomsky" only gets a couple hundred comments.

    ~s~

    Save your tears for the living

    by immanentize on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 11:53:09 AM PST

    •  Agreed. Same old criticisms... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skrekk

      Gee, he wasn't particularly nice to people at a Q and A session he had here in Portland eight years ago. He wouldn't or couldn't quote a study that proved his point.  
      That means he's wrong about Iran, and likely has nothing important to say.
      Take or leave what you think of the man, and look at what he's telling you.

      "If the Nuremberg laws were applied, every post WWII US President would have been hanged." =Chomsky

      by abenjaminc on Tue Nov 20, 2007 at 12:11:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It will be a sad day . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skrekk

    . . . when Noam passes away. He has insight and powers of communication that are unique--and essential for a reasonable discourse.

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