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Author Topic: Is he really THIS crazy?  (Read 3315 times)

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Offline Zakharra

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2011, 09:15:51 AM »
I wouldn't call it naive and if anything this just reinforces what I'm saying about him using the weapon as a deterrent. Israel has AT LEAST an estimated 75 nukes and we're fretting about them getting one? Even if they were as audacious to fire it off at Israel or anywhere else they'd be absolutely levelled in the retaliatory response. The fact that he is universally despised by his neighbours who condemn his actions also shows he is in a tenuous position and requires a deterrent to make people back away. After all, many of our allies in the first Gulf War were Middle Eastern states who contributed forces to deal with what they saw as a destabilising influence in their own region.

America negotiated with Gaddafi, another anti-Western maniac, over his nuclear weapons program and managed to talk him out of it. They'd openly talked of wanting to get rid of the "maverick statesman" and the second an opportunity struck they did. And yet America always seems to deal peacefully with nuclear countries. Iran doesn't have an airforce that can come over here and bomb us, they don't have an army that can hold out effectively against an assault and they could NOT withstand an invasion. If they used a nuke for offensive purposes they'd be wiped off the face of the Earth. If they acquire a nuke it would be for the purpose of threatening other countries to stay away because frankly put, this constant notion of making this militarily weak backwater out as a genuine military threat is making people accepting of and even demanding a war which Ahmadinejad knows for a fact he cannot win.

 Actually it comes of as very naive. It doesn't acknowledge the political reality over there. Iran is willing to use military force, openly or through surrogates to get what it wants. They -want- to dominate the Middle East and are willing to support terrorist groups to do that. They WANT to destroy Israel.  And if that means handing a nuke to Hamas or Hezbullah to get in a stroke, they will do that.

 Yes, Israel does have nukes, but notice something, Israel has never used any. They very likely would not unless they were attacked with nukes first (retaliation strike) or faced a truly overwhelming army attacking them, and in that case, they would be very selective in the use of said nukes. Iran would use their's more aggressively as a club in foreign policy to to attack a hated enemy (Israel).

 If it is a deterrent, it's a very shaky one. Like giving an unstable man with a history of threatening people around him, a gun to defend himself. Possibly useful, but potentially very dangerous too.

 Callie is right about Gaddafi's response. He became a relatively 'peaceful' man after we bombed the tent and especially after we invaded Iraq. After that, he willingly and very quickly gave up his country's WMD programs and cooperated with international agencies and observers to make sure they were dismantled. He did NOT want to be on the next target list after he saw the US's response to being attacked.


As far as I know, "leaders" are billed as such by the headlines of the media. There is no such title as leader in most constitutions, excepting places like North Korea. Actually I think we should retire that word (which is Führer in German, though present-day Germans use other words for reference to political or economic strong men) from political talk, as long as we're not discussing those countries that really use it in a legal sense. It undermines the notion that the guys we elect, or which another people have elected for their country, are to answer to us the citizens, and not just in some election a couple of years away but over time, all through their mandate.

 If he wasn't being taken seriously by his neighbors, you'd have something to stand on on that argument. But  that isn't the case. He is being taken extremely seriously. He's the President of Iran, a position with real power. He is not a mere figurehead by any means.

 As for what you said about leader as a word to use. What would you use then? A leader is a leader. Terms like President, Chancellor, Prime Minister are just the titles of the position a leader of a nation has.




Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2011, 11:29:02 AM »
Quote from: Zakharra
If he wasn't being taken seriously by his neighbors, you'd have something to stand on on that argument. But  that isn't the case. He is being taken extremely seriously. He's the President of Iran, a position with real power. He is not a mere figurehead by any means.

 As for what you said about leader as a word to use. What would you use then? A leader is a leader. Terms like President, Chancellor, Prime Minister are just the titles of the position a leader of a nation has.

Okay, I'm going to put it straight now because you asked for it. Being American, you tend to read "president" anywhere as an office with the same very full powers as the U.S. presidential office, or close to those powers. That's rather misleading: president tends to be an office the holder of which performs representative duties, and not key policy making. The chief of state, in many countries, especially parliamentary states (those where the cabinet communicates directly with the parliament rather than with the chief of state, the monarch or president, and normally needs a majority to rely on in the legislative chamber of parliament) isn't the actual architect of policies or laws, sometimes they don't even belong to the same party as the prime minister. Even if they personally sign some laws they don't have much to do with formulating them or driving them through. Most of the time, even the power to *sign* laws is delegated, loaned out to the prime minister and the government.

The president of Iran has nothing like the power of a U.S. or French president or a British PM and the guys who actually call the shots are not close to him. I have already admitted it's unusual to have a president who makes that brand of strong statements, when he is not really holding the reins of power, but the reason I think is in what Marissa was on to. Iran has been surrounded by enemies ever since 1979, they can see that most of the neighbours are preying on them and that some of those nations have been or could soon be  at war with them - openly or undercover. They know, too, that some of those war conditions have been fostered by greater powers behind the scene: the USA backed Iraq in the deadly war against Iran in the 1980s, the Soviet Union upheld a puppet regime in Afghanistan during the same decade. Afghanistan and Pakistan today are half-puppet republics of the USA and the frequent drone flights of the US are frankly a serious breach of sovereignty against these allies. It's not that hard to understand they feel surrounded and this is not a question of propaganda, it's enough to look at a map and research some about the countries in the region and their history in the last forty years to get why Iran feels there is need for loud and powerful action (though generally not by means of war) to avoid being pulled under by Uncle Sam and company.

So any regime in Iran that wanted to keep the country together, not just the present regime, would be compelled to make strong statements sometimes to avoid being attacked, or becoming a puppet of Russia or the USA: That's essentially what Ahmadinejad does. Sure, he does it in a distasteful way sometimes but it's not as if he's being taken 100% at face value by the neighbouring countries.


Leadership doesn't look the same, or function the same way, in all states, not even in all democracies. That's why leader for the political "top exec" of a country is an unsatisfying and dumbing down word.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 12:45:02 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2011, 01:17:03 PM »
 And that misses my point completely. Ahmadinejad, whether you like it or not, IS the leader of Iran. Does he have some handlers? Yes, but he leads that nation and has power in that nation. He's not a figurehead as some have implied. If he was, he could be ignored. But he scared the hell out of all of his neighbors. You've heard what was released on wikileaks. No one likes him and everyone distrusts him because he's a crackpot with power. Which makes him dangerous.  He cannot be ignored.

[quote author=gaggedLouise link=topic=119996.msg5293196#msg5293196 date=1317659342
So any regime in Iran that wanted to keep the country together, not just the present regime, would be compelled to make strong statements sometimes to avoid being attacked, or becoming a puppet of Russia or the USA: That's essentially what Ahmadinejad does. Sure, he does it in a distasteful way sometimes but it's not as if he's being taken 100% at face value by the neighbouring countries.

Leadership doesn't look the same, or function the same way, in all states, not even in all democracies. That's why leader for the political "top exec" of a country is an unsatisfying and dumbing down word.
[/quote]

Right now, no one  even wants to attack Iran. Everyone in the area is scared of Iran because IT is the aggressive one. Not it's neighbors. The only threat of invasion is from Iran. No one else. His neighbors have to take him at 100% face value from his words and actions. To do less than that is almost suicidal.

 The word 'leader' for any nation fits. It's not a dumbing down of the word. It's an accurate fit. There's so many different names/titles for leaders, no other word fits or even comes close. Not all leaders are equal, but the leader, head honcho, of a nation is by default, the leader. Ahmadinejad certainly isn't the Iran state department head.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2011, 10:23:55 PM »
Actually, Zakharra, I'm not mising the point. What I was bringing out is that you're wildly confusing rethoric and reality, and missing the nature of Ahmadinejad's office and where he comes from. He is not sitting with the levers of power, and if he is called "Iranian leader" a thousand times by Fox News or some papers that's beside the point.

"The other countries are not threatening to attack Iran". Well, most of the time in our world you don't trumpet out that you're going to war with a country months before it happens, and these days a war isn't always fought with ground troops and squadrons of airplanes crossing the border. Nor does threatening to go to war, like he hints sometimes, always mean one is preparing for a full-on war either, still less that one would mount a nuclear assault one day.

Anyone who cares to take a look at the Middle East can see the Iranians - not just the regime - have good reason to feel surrounded and to act and think on the precept "stand up for yourself or someone else will stand on your face".

« Last Edit: October 03, 2011, 10:58:59 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2011, 11:05:41 PM »
Actually, Zakharra, I'm not mising the point. What I was bringing out is that you're wildly confusing rethoric and reality, and missing the nature of Ahmadinejad's office and where he comes from. He is not sitting with the levers of power, and if he is called "Iranian leader" a thousand times by Fox News or some papers that's beside the point.

"The other countries are not threatening to attack Iran". Well, most of the time in our world you don't trumpet out that you're going to war with a country months before it happens, and these days a war isn't always fought with ground troops and squadrons of airplanes crossing the border. Nor does threatening to go to war, like he hints sometimes, always mean one is preparing for a full-on war either, still less that one would mount a nuclear assault one day.

Anyone who cares to take a look at the Middle East can see the Iranians - not just the regime - have good reason to feel surrounded and to act and think on the precept "stand up for yourself or someone else will stand on your face".

You do realize he has the position of commander in chief..which includes the control of the revolutionary guard? Yes, he has limits (the Cleric council of Ayotollah's..) but beyond that.. he's got a fairly wide reign to do what he wants. One of the reasons he should have been tossed out on his ear (before the Ayotollahs stuffed the ballot box for him) was his failure to follow through on economic reform among other things.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2011, 12:24:00 AM »
You do realize he has the position of commander in chief..which includes the control of the revolutionary guard?

No, he's not the commander in chief, not even formally, and never was. After the 1979 revolution, the president was given those prerogatives but after just a few years it was taken away from that office and transferred to the "leader of the revolution" - okay, here they are actually using Leader as a title, but funnily enough it's not the guy who is called leader in some U.S. media!

At the time, the "supreme leader" was Khomeiny, but after his death in 1989 the office passed to Ali Khamenei. who (while not a liberal) has not made himself known for the kind of fulminating hardline statements and all-out threats that Khomeiny brandished about.

And the revolutionary guard, while it's an elite force and useful at home, by itself is nothing like the forces Iran would need to invade another country or hurl a bomb on Israeli territory.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2011, 09:34:43 AM »
 GaggedLouise, to me you are missing the point. It seems you are saying that Ahmadinejad doesn't have much power. That is not true. And I'm not using 'wildly confusing rethoric and reality, and missing the nature of Ahmadinejad's office and where he comes from.'  I am going from what the man has said, what he does and what he says he WILL do.  Everyone in the region, everyone takes him seriously. Why? Because if he gets the chance he will do it. The single most destabilizing force in the region besides Israel right now is Iran because of it's imperial ambitions.

 The leaders of Iran want to be the dominant power in the region. The Council of Cleric, to establish a new Caliphate with Iran at the center and right now, Iran is the one threatening it's neighbors with it's power and actively aiding  destabilizing forces in the region.

Quote
"The other countries are not threatening to attack Iran". Well, most of the time in our world you don't trumpet out that you're going to war with a country months before it happens, and these days a war isn't always fought with ground troops and squadrons of airplanes crossing the border. Nor does threatening to go to war, like he hints sometimes, always mean one is preparing for a full-on war either, still less that one would mount a nuclear assault one day.

Anyone who cares to take a look at the Middle East can see the Iranians - not just the regime - have good reason to feel surrounded and to act and think on the precept "stand up for yourself or someone else will stand on your face".

 Shouting out your intentions and verbally attacking the enemy like Ahmadinejad is, isn't the way we do things, but it seems to be the way they do things in the Middle East. Start up the rethoric and put out the ideas of what you want to to, to stir up passions. If that warns the enemy, oh well, that's the way they have been doing it for centuries there.

 We don't do that in the West, but we're a very different culture than what's in the Middle East. We cannot judge reactions and methods strictly by our own cultural standards. Which you seem to be doing. And if you think Ahmadinejad would not pull the trigger on an attack against Israel when he thinks he can, well... there's some land in Florida that is prime real estate for sale.

 The only things the Iranians really need to fear, is their crazy leader Ahmadinejad and the Council of Clerics. No one around them wants to attack them. The only reason anybody -would- attack Iran is because Iran itself, posed a very real threat to the region. Not because they wanted it's lands, but because they were the ones that felt threatened bu Iran. And that includes Israel. Which has video, audio and written proof of Ahmadinejad's intentions for that small nation.  It's a problem Iran is making for itself.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2011, 11:10:09 AM »
Ahmadinejad, like Saddam and Gaddafi, wants to build a United Islamic state. He, and the Ayatollah's who back him, want it to be a religious state, whereas Gaddafi and Saddam wanted a secular state they ran. Same thing, different background.

That goal was why Saddam moved on Kuwait. The folks in Saudi Arabia knew what was next, hence their support of the US forces to liberate Kuwait. Pull out a map and look at Kuwait and Iraq. Pay attention to the fact that for being the.. 2nd (?) largest section of land in the Gulf, Iraq has next to no sea-side frontage, whereas Kuwait has MANY times the coastline.  He invaded Iran because he thought he could take a massive bite out of their land. He didn't move against Syria because he saw them as more stable and less likely to beat.

If he had kept Kuwait, he'd have tried to destabilize and take Saudia Arabia next. Not because of their size, let's face it.. most of Saudi is desert, but for Mecca. Which would have given him MASSIVE prestige and standing. Not to mention some actual control over the most holy spot in the Islamic faith. Add in their resources, money and oil and he'd have been halfway to founding his secular version of the Caliphate that Ahmadinejad and company would love to found.

There are a LOT of Islamic leaders who use Saladin as a model of what they want to do. They want to unite the faith, and build a country around themselves.  And let's be honest, ultimately they all plan to do it on the bodies of anyone that opposes them, be they of the faith or not. Add in the Arab vs Persian vs Ect (other Islamic ethnic groups) and things get REALLY sticky.

Don't brush off Ahmadinejad because his office isnt' as clearly defined as executive offices here in the West. If he can see an opening, he'll do it. Right now that's funding dissent in Iraq and Afghanistan, destabilizing his regional rivals by funding folks like Al Queada and the Taliban and doing the odd 'eccentric act' that makes him look more powerful in the media of the region, he will.

And trust me.. if he could be 100% sure of the support of the Revolutionary Guard, he'd put the clerics against a wall and shoot them (or more likely blow them up and blame the US/Israel/Iranian 'counter insurgents)

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2011, 08:49:16 PM »
oh damn the gamer in me is thinking of an Arabian themed war game or novel set in the future, with a few of the more stable states (Isreal, Egypt, Saudi Arabia) still around, and otherwise redraw the map but keep the landmarks.
Kind of a Total War: Middle East, feeling with a bit of futuristic stuff.) meets the old Tropico games with diffrent factions inside your country.
building your own state however you choose...
from the top down prespective a middle east dominated by a democratic egypt might be a better state than a theocracy

Online Oniya

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #34 on: October 04, 2011, 09:13:52 PM »
Speculative fiction is perfectly viable.  Harry Turtledove has made a few paychecks off of it.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #35 on: October 04, 2011, 09:18:39 PM »
What a lot of people don't realize.. or rather REFUSE to accept is we built this situation. We blindly supported Isreal, and have used NONE of our capital with them to get them to stop the most counter-productive moves they've done with their building collect after collective in contested territory. We put the Shah into power, because he was the strongest anti-red element we could find. Then when his repressive methods finally backfired looked stunned when the most anti-American regime possible popped up. The Taliban came to power in a country devestated by the Russians after we LEFT them without support to rebuild infrastructure because the 'mission' was done.

Charlie Wilson had the right of it, we left the job half done. And an organized group of freshly trained bandits.. trained by US, came to power. And if we keep running around with our head up our ass, they have a fair chance of destabilizing their neighbor Pakistan. Which is a NUCLEAR power.

Why are things not going to be better in ten years from now? Because we, the people, are short sighted. It took FORTY years to stabalize places like Europe and Japan. We spent time, money and effort, all with the same blood,sweat and tears of our allies, to build things to a point that they were stable. Investment like that isn't something that can be done overnight or in a suitable period between presidental elections.

Of course things like this are BAD these days. We can't possibly build a concensus of allies, we can't move forward to foster negotiations and peace talks like the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt. It's not 'right' by the divisive structure of the parties.. because we have no LEADERS but partisan hacks who want what they can get for their special interests.

Rant done..

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2011, 10:18:33 PM »
we've spent a few years in Afganastan and it's looking better than it did before we got there, still bush took his eye off the ball and we've got to re-fix that mess, but the country is better off than it used to be.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #37 on: October 04, 2011, 11:26:21 PM »
we've spent a few years in Afganastan and it's looking better than it did before we got there, still bush took his eye off the ball and we've got to re-fix that mess, but the country is better off than it used to be.

Had we done our due diligence 20 odd years ago this wouldn't have been needed. Think about it, if Charlie Wilson had been able to follow up with his plans we'd never had a place for Bin laden to stage out of initially (Except perhaps Yemen)

Offline NotoriusBEN

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #38 on: October 04, 2011, 11:47:34 PM »
What a lot of people don't realize.. or rather REFUSE to accept is we built this situation. We blindly supported Isreal, and have used NONE of our capital with them to get them to stop the most counter-productive moves they've done with their building collect after collective in contested territory. We put the Shah into power, because he was the strongest anti-red element we could find. Then when his repressive methods finally backfired looked stunned when the most anti-American regime possible popped up. The Taliban came to power in a country devestated by the Russians after we LEFT them without support to rebuild infrastructure because the 'mission' was done.

Charlie Wilson had the right of it, we left the job half done. And an organized group of freshly trained bandits.. trained by US, came to power. And if we keep running around with our head up our ass, they have a fair chance of destabilizing their neighbor Pakistan. Which is a NUCLEAR power.

Why are things not going to be better in ten years from now? Because we, the people, are short sighted. It took FORTY years to stabalize places like Europe and Japan. We spent time, money and effort, all with the same blood,sweat and tears of our allies, to build things to a point that they were stable. Investment like that isn't something that can be done overnight or in a suitable period between presidental elections.

Of course things like this are BAD these days. We can't possibly build a concensus of allies, we can't move forward to foster negotiations and peace talks like the Camp David accords between Israel and Egypt. It's not 'right' by the divisive structure of the parties.. because we have no LEADERS but partisan hacks who want what they can get for their special interests.

Rant done..

This quoted so hard.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2011, 12:50:52 AM »
Speculative fiction is perfectly viable.  Harry Turtledove has made a few paychecks off of it.
I seem to recall some people read the film 300 as a thinly veiled pointer to the need to put Iran in place before they get the West. Of course the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis have been seen, for 25 centuries, as the Greeks' finest hour. Unfortunately there is no Alexander in sight.

Offline Craz

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #40 on: October 05, 2011, 04:29:07 PM »
Had we done our due diligence 20 odd years ago this wouldn't have been needed. Think about it, if Charlie Wilson had been able to follow up with his plans we'd never had a place for Bin laden to stage out of initially (Except perhaps Yemen)

Indeed. We spent the Cold War so narrow-minded on controlling the Soviets that, well, the little guys, superpower-ily speaking, got the shaft.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #41 on: October 05, 2011, 05:48:25 PM »
Indeed. We spent the Cold War so narrow-minded on controlling the Soviets that, well, the little guys, superpower-ily speaking, got the shaft.

Not just us.. I mean the Brits did some seriously bone headed things, the French started the Vietnam snafu, and you have to look at Eastern Europe on the fallout of the the Soviet Union's damage. Economically the Eastern Bloc is about 2 to 4 decades behind the Western portion of the EU. I, to this day, am surpised with how well the West Germans swallowed the Eastern German damage to their economy.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2011, 07:13:56 PM »
agreed, the world moves so fast for so many people nowadays it's hard to keep attention on rebuilding after a war is over.

when a war happens for whatever reason both sides see themselves as the good guys, and the winner writes the history books, but it is continued from there... how the victor treats the vanquished can change the dynamic between the two cultures for a long time.
take the revoloution, americans saw the brits as opressors who denied them their liberities, the brits saw the americans as rebels who were ungrateful for all the good mother england had done for them.
when the US won it's independence we fought with england for a while afterward, but when America emerged onto the world stage we treated the British empire as a respectible rival and trading partner.
our counrties have been close friends and allies ever since, even if we disagree about a few things.

long story short, treat the defeated well and not like your bitch, otherwise they cause more problems

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2011, 09:40:11 AM »
...as rebels who were ungrateful for all the good mother england had done for them.

It scares me to see history repeating itself.  Is that not exactly how corporations are trying to paint the middle class right now?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2011, 10:23:58 AM »
, the brits saw the americans as rebels who were ungrateful for all the good mother england had done for them.

 All the good England did for them?  England had it set up that the American colonies had to trade with England for nearly everything. Even when a good if not better and cheaper source of goods than what England offered.

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Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2011, 10:36:23 AM »
All the good England did for them?  England had it set up that the American colonies had to trade with England for nearly everything. Even when a good if not better and cheaper source of goods than what England offered.

You're forgetting the general attitude of colonial-era England.  Anything that came from Mother England was automatically superior to anything that could be hacked out of The Savage Lands.  They treated India much the same way, as I recall.  Franklin, et al. had a real challenge trying to beat that attitude out of people back in the Old World.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Is he really THIS crazy?
« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2011, 10:48:29 AM »
English exceptionalism?