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Old 01-26-2007, 03:58 PM   #106
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but they're already there. Iran operates, very effectively, within Shia Iraq already.

but i think an annexation/invasion, say, of Shia Iraq (Shiaistan?) by Iran would be grounds for a more multilateral military action that the Europeans might get on board for in the future, as opposed to a very weak Iraq that's little more than a satellite for Iran.

all good questions, and no easy answers.

this is also an example of where the tragedy of what Bush has done to America's soft power capabilities might be acutely felt.
Iran does not have military units operating in Iraq, but that would become a likely possibility if the coalition is withdrawn. Most European countries currently do not have very much in the way of military forces that are capable of deploying and engaging in the type of warfare that would be experienced in such a scenario. Your not going to get anymore of a troop commitment than what is seen in Afghanistan, or say the single French light infantry division that was involved in Operation Desert Storm in 1991. In addition, they will be dependent on the United States for transport to the region as well as logistical support while they are there.

Far more relevant than what one believes the Bush administration has done to the US soft power in this case are the capabilities of the military forces that are expected to either support the current coalition forces or replace it. Countries can't send military forces they don't have or replace coalition forces with military forces or capabilities they do not have yet.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:13 PM   #107
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Soft power is being brought to bear on Iran right now, it has been the method for the last five years and every step of the way the Mullahs have stalled, refused then made a concilliatory statement without conceeding anything - it's too late for hard power (short of tactical nuclear weapons but that is not going to happen) and the unwillingness to start internal problems for the Mullahs and the backtracking on democracy activists in the region are very worrying signs.


one wonders how much this has to do with the Russians and the Chinese -- and i'm also not sure if preventing Iran from nuclearizing is at all a possibility at this point, and it seems to me that if a country is dead set on acquiring such weapons, ultimately, we are powerless to stop them short of tactical strikes that only increase a sense of being under seige amongst the civilians that causes a rally-around-the-government effect. when i speak of soft power, it's an attempt to remove the acquisition of nuclear weapons as a goal for a country -- why does Iran want such weapons to begin with? how do we address that? -- as well as supporting interal forces that dislike whatever government is in place. it's quite obvious that walking in and toppling a government and setting up a new one is not only a massive, massive project requiring exorbitant amounts of blood and treasure and a very low probability of success. regime change can only effectively come from within, this seems to be the lesson of the past few years.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:15 PM   #108
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Who knows, maybe we are going to be looking at today as the lead up to the second holocaust.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:21 PM   #109
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Who knows, maybe we are going to be looking at today as the lead up to the second holocaust.


Saddam Hussein as a kind of Archduke Ferdinand?
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:39 PM   #110
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Saddam Hussein as a kind of Archduke Ferdinand?
That was World War I.

Or do you do the combination Archduke Ferdinand --> World War I --> Treaty of Versailles --> Economic crisis --> Hitler --> Holocaust?

I don't know how to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but I know for sure that war is not the answer.
And that's because no country has the capacities to intervene in Iran.
It would only destabilise the region far more.
For Muslims it is like an unwritten rule. When two Muslims are enemies, they fight each other. When a third party joins, especially a non-Muslim, they will fight this power together.

At least that is what some Muslims told me.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:55 PM   #111
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That was World War I.

Or do you do the combination Archduke Ferdinand --> World War I --> Treaty of Versailles --> Economic crisis --> Hitler --> Holocaust?

I don't know how to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but I know for sure that war is not the answer.
And that's because no country has the capacities to intervene in Iran.
It would only destabilise the region far more.
For Muslims it is like an unwritten rule. When two Muslims are enemies, they fight each other. When a third party joins, especially a non-Muslim, they will fight this power together.

At least that is what some Muslims told me.


i'm making a tentative connection between the unleashing of ethnic hatreds in Yugoslavia with the assassination to the unleashing of ethnic hatres in Iraq -- perhaps a comparison can be made with Pan-Slavism and what might be termed Pan-Shiaism, or whatever.

but perhaps it's a very poor comparison, the main point being the removal of someone that precipitates a much larger event.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:59 PM   #112
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But Saddams life or death is irrelevent to the outcome, he is not a matyr to Sunni fundamentalists and he was the enemy of the Shia.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:33 PM   #113
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But Saddams life or death is irrelevent to the outcome, he is not a matyr to Sunni fundamentalists and he was the enemy of the Shia.


not so sure about his martyr status, or lack thereof -- the ominous chanting of "Moktada" at his hanging can't be a good thing, and it's been speculated that the later hanging of his relative was purposefully miscalculated to pop the man's head off -- if the rope is too short, your neck doesn't snap and you twist and choke for a while; if the rope is too long and you fall too far, it's a messy decapitation -- which has religious overtones to it.

ultimately, we might be better off with a secular bully than with a shia theocracy.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:35 PM   #114
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Fascism is fascism; enabling it in either case is a failure.
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Old 01-26-2007, 07:42 PM   #115
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Fascism is fascism; enabling it in either case is a failure.


agreed, but can we distinguish between different forms of fascism? Franco vs. Hitler vs. Stalin?
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Old 01-27-2007, 08:59 AM   #116
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I'll be in DC this weekend for the march. It's is almost the fourth anniversary of my first ever march, before the invasion. Hope to see some of you there.
Me too! Maybe I'll see you!
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Old 01-27-2007, 06:54 PM   #117
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A Sorry State: Following his State of the Union address, President Bush’s approval rating hits a new low in the NEWSWEEK poll
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16840614...site/newsweek/

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Jan. 27, 2007 - President George W. Bush concluded his annual State of the Union address this week with the words “the State of our Union is strong … our cause in the world is right … and tonight that cause goes on.” Maybe so, but the state of the Bush administration is at its worst yet, according to the latest NEWSWEEK poll. The president’s approval ratings are at their lowest point in the poll’s history—30 percent—and more than half the country (58 percent) say they wish the Bush presidency were simply over, a sentiment that is almost unanimous among Democrats (86 percent), and is shared by a clear majority (59 percent) of independents and even one in five (21 percent) Republicans.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:04 PM   #118
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Who knows, maybe we are going to be looking at today as the lead up to the second holocaust.
I frankly think that Iran is justified in seeking to acquire nukes - they have been threatened by the US government for years now, so it is to be expected that they will seek to invest in buttressing up their defenses against Anglo-American terrorism.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:22 PM   #119
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Nixon was one of the best Presidents ever, so it's weird that his rating was about the same as Bush's.

I'm amazed that almost one third of the US electorate still approve of Bush.

Personally I think that Bush's rating's are a long way from bottoming out - unless he does something really stupid, like order a nuke attack on Iran, on the pretext of a false flag terra alert.

In which case, sadly, millions of American will all of a sudden decide that Bush is a great guy after all, and demand that he invades another few countries.
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Old 01-27-2007, 10:57 PM   #120
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Originally posted by Sherry Darling


Me too! Maybe I'll see you!
didja take pics?? i'm sad i missed it. i want to live vicariously though your pics!!!
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