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OfflineJesusChrist
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Good news from Islamic world
    #3957213 - 03/23/05 01:11 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

Been checking out Chrenkoff. He likes to round up the good news that most of the media seem to miss. His blog is worth checking in on a weekly basis. Interesting stuff.

Good news from Islamic world, part 5: the special pro-democracy edition


Monday, March 21, 2005
Good news from Islamic world, part 5: the special pro-democracy edition

I'm having a deja-vu to the 1980s, when as a young lad stuck on the wrong side of the Iron Curtain I watched with some bemusement the safe and comfortable citizens of Western democracies rallying for "peace" and protesting aggressive American policies, while around me people were risking if not life than certainly limb and their future marching for freedom, democracy and human rights.

While throughout major cities of Western world crowds - albeit much diminished since three or two years ago - have turned up over the weekend for anti-democracy rallies to protest the second anniversary of the start of the liberation of Iraq, one region of the world remained strangely unaffected by the "anti-war" and "anti-occupation" fervor: the notorious "Arab street" has failed to join the "European street" and the "American street" in condemning yet again Chimpy Bushhitler and his imperialist policies. The only significant exception throughout the Middle East was Turkey, where rallies in three major cities could only muster several hundred people between them.

Everywhere else, the second anniversary of invasion did not incite much public excitement - possibly because the local residents were too busy rallying against terrorism and theocracy, and for freedom, democracy and human rights. Here's a round-up of the Middle Eastern action over the last few weeks, some of it very familiar, some of it you might have missed:

BAHRAIN:

In late February, "friends and family of webmaster Ali Abdulemam gathered outside the Public Prosecution building, in Manama... to demonstrate against his arrest... The 27-year-old computer engineer with EDS company has been detained for 15 days over comments that appeared on his website Bahrainonline.org, which was shut down by the Information Ministry in 2002.

"However, the website - which has a membership of around 20,000 and gets around 80,000 hits a day - has continued to function using Internet servers outside the country. Yesterday his supporters covered their mouths with tape and staged a silent protest outside the Public Prosecution offices - symbolising their claim that he had been gagged." Abdulemam is accused of "inciting resentment against the government".

EGYPT:

Since early December, Cairo has witnessed a series of anti-government demonstrations demanding free and democratic election that would not result in an automatic re-election of President Mubarak to his fifth consecutive term in office. "The rallies, organised by the Egyptian Movement for Change, have coined a slogan —'kefaya' (enough) -- to vent their exasperation with Mubarak and his consecutive administrations."

A few days ago, Egyptian opposition activist Ayman Nour declared to the cheering crowd of about 1,000 supporters that he will stand against Hosni Mubarak in the presidential election later this year. Said Nour: "They [the ruling party] have to apologise for the false elections during the past miserable 50 years... We have never chosen a president before ... Change is coming one day, and that day is soon."

On the second anniversary of the Coalition entry into Iraq, some 300 protesters have gathered in the capital to rally against the occupation. By all accounts, large sections of the crowd have spent most of the time venting their anger at their own government, sporting "No to Mubarak" stickers on their foreheads and chanting the opposition slogan "Enough!"

IRAQ:

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack in Hillah, which claimed some 125 lives, two thousand local residents came out onto the streets and protested at the scene of the carnage, chanting "No to terrorism!"

In the latest of the recent series of demonstrations in Baghdad, 2,000 Shia protested outside the Jordanian embassy, angered that the alleged perpetrator of the Hillah suicide attack was a Jordanian national.

In Basra, thousands of local university students were protesting the thuggish behavior of the followers of Muqtada al Sadr and other religious leaders. Raising signs "No to terrorism, No to [Religious] Parties", Basra University is currently on strike, demanding the government provides better security and protection from the self-appointed guardians of public order.

IRAN:

Last week, Iranians were celebrating the New Year's Festival of Fire, an old Persian tradition that the mullahs have been trying their hardest to suppress. Despite, or perhaps because of that, the celebrations around the country turned into anti-government rallies. In Teheran, protesters - going with the fire theme - set alight effigies of mullahs and other leaders while chanting "We need no Sheikh or Mullah, we curse YOU - RUHOLLAH!" and "Referendum, referendum, this is the people's dictum." "In another area of the city people took to setting the French flag on fire while chanting: 'Europe is finished and so are their Mullahs.' OR 'Bush, Bush, where is Bush?' (In Persian this rhymes: Bush, Bush, kush, kush!)."

Celebrations degenerated into violent riots in other cities around the country, including Karaj, Ahvaaz and Mash'had. Other reports talk of demonstrations in most of Iran's provinces and major cities. In the town of Shiraz, the protesters chanted "Bush, you told us to rise up, and so we have. Why don'’t you act?"

KUWAIT:

In early March, Kuwaiti women and their male supporters protested outside the Kuwaiti parliament, demanding the right to vote. "Holding blue and white signs saying 'Half a democracy is not a democracy' about 700 men and women chanted 'Women's rights, now!' as lawmakers entered the parliament building." Kuwaiti parliament is currently considering extending suffrage to women.

LEBANON:

Anywhere between 800,000 and 1.5 million rallying in Beirut for the end of Syrian occupation and free elections. Enough said.

P.S. On the account of my "Good news from..." series I frequently get accused of unjustified optimism or even rampant triumphalism. This misinterprets my intention; I never try to deny or downplay bad news and negative developments (which usually get a pretty good run in the media anyway), merely try to bring together in an accessible form information that is often scattered and otherwise not very accessible. Be that as it may, just to remind you that not all movement throughout the region is now one-way, you can read here about two huge pro-Assad rallies in Syria (hundreds of thousands of people, according to the official news agency) and an anti-Musharraf rally in Pakistan, organised by the Islamist opposition, which attracted tens of thousands of people.

The struggle for freedom is never quick and never easy.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3957283 - 03/23/05 01:27 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

More from his site:

Quote:

New poll from Iraq
Thanks to our special correspondent and translator Haider Ajina, here's the latest opinion poll of 970 residents of Baghdad, published in the March 21 edition of "Iraquna" newspaper:

"Are you in favor of implementing Islamic Sharia and an Islamic government?
Yes - 12.5%
No - 83.9%
Don’t Know - 3.6%

"Do you support cutting relations with Jordan? [background]
Yes - 85.2%
No - 14.1%
Don’t know - less than 1%

"Do you support what Al-Sadr followers did in Basrah? [background]
Yes - 6.6%
No - 90.4%
Don’t know - 3%"

As Haider comments, "most Iraqis have favored a secular government for some time and are continuing to ask for a secular government. They know what a theocracy is like, they have one next door and it does what it can to destabilize Iraq."




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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3957687 - 03/23/05 03:25 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

Quote:

While throughout major cities of Western world crowds - albeit much diminished since three or two years ago - have turned up over the weekend for anti-democracy rallies




This chump probabaly also believes that democracy in Iraq was the US' primary goal.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3957974 - 03/23/05 06:26 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

Quote:

throughout major cities of Western world crowds - albeit much diminished since three or two years ago - have turned up over the weekend for anti-democracy rallies to protest the second anniversary of the start of the liberation of Iraq,




These are not anti-democracy rallies, although it is a nice bit of rhetoric from your man.

I think those that might protest the occupation of Iraq mostly gave up after realising their voices will not be listened to - that lesson was learnt 2 years ago when people found that the long planned invasion was going ahead no matter what, that the govenments that had planned the invasion for some years were not serving the will of the people. That it was a done deal.

And in case you didn't realise - Iraq was not a theocracy for a number of decades before the 'liberation'


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OfflinePopeHypocriteIII
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: CJay]
    #3957990 - 03/23/05 06:48 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

I don't think he was suggesting that it was. He did quote that Iraqis were "rallying against terrorism and theocracy" (presumably referring to Islamic militants intent on turning their beliefs into policy) and that "they know what a theocracy is like, they have one next door" (presumably referring to Iran), but I don't think he actually suggested that Iraq had been a theocracy.

Having established that, this "interesting stuff" is mostly rhetoric and is, therefore, not as interesting as it was advertised to be. Still, if you strip away the bombastic tone and inaccurate terminology, it suffices as a summary of recent protest activity in the countries listed.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3958001 - 03/23/05 07:13 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

Quote:

IRAQ:

In the aftermath of the deadly terrorist attack in Hillah, which claimed some 125 lives, two thousand local residents came out onto the streets and protested at the scene of the carnage, chanting "No to terrorism!"




another terrorist bombing claims 125 lives...
if this counts as "good news", theres been a lot of good news coming out of Iraq.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: infidelGOD]
    #3958036 - 03/23/05 07:48 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

The war on terror has really reduced the pandemic hasn't it?


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: PopeHypocriteIII]
    #3958289 - 03/23/05 10:20 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

I think the most interesting stuff that I never hear about on the news is about Iran.

I posted an article last fall by Nick Kristoff and the NY Times about Iran. Kristoff is no fan of Bush or the dreaded neocon agenda.

http://www.shroomery.org/forums/showflat.php/Number/3235223#Post3235223

The interesting part of the article was that Iran probably had the highest positive public opinion of George Bush. Higher than the US, or just about any other country that Kristoff could find at the time.

The problem that I see is that Bush went on the record stating that America will stand by the Iranian people during his state of the union. That kind of puts us on the hook if they rise up against their government. In this recent report in the original post, the people are basically saying 'Here we are, where the hell are you?'

Iran is the big fish in this whole deal. If the government of Iran were to fall to democratic revolution it would a most significant development. We really can't afford to fuck this up. We have gone a long way so far, but the stakes are still very high.

I realize that many of you are against the war and I respect that. Reasonable people can disagree with the appropriate response to tyranny and terror. But when you are already knee deep in the shit you might as well make the best of it.

People thought that peace in the Middle East had to go through paying off the PLO. If Iran falls George Bush truly is a visionary.

May God Bless America.


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3958481 - 03/23/05 11:32 AM (12 years, 7 days ago)

Iran was already a democracy before the CIA coup d'etat in 1953, and probably still would be today.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: CJay]
    #3958993 - 03/23/05 01:36 PM (12 years, 7 days ago)

In 1953 a Soviet backed communist dissolved the legislative body. That is some kind of democracy. Don't kid yourself.

I am sure you would be keen if Bush desolved Congress and decided that he now makes all the rules.

That kind of stuff smacks of Hitler and Stalin, not democracy. Maybe you should read up on your history.


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InvisibleGreat_Satan
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3961374 - 03/23/05 09:05 PM (12 years, 6 days ago)

Good news, Jesus Christ. Proof once again that Bush was right.
Thanks for the links.



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InvisibleGreat_Satan
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: Great_Satan]
    #3961404 - 03/23/05 09:13 PM (12 years, 6 days ago)

See more of the truth here: http://www.activistchat.com/phpBB2/index.php


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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3963948 - 03/24/05 10:17 AM (12 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

In 1953 a Soviet backed communist dissolved the legislative body. That is some kind of democracy. Don't kid yourself.

I am sure you would be keen if Bush desolved Congress and decided that he now makes all the rules.

That kind of stuff smacks of Hitler and Stalin, not democracy. Maybe you should read up on your history.




The story of how the C.I.A. overthrew the government of Iran in 1953 is really an object lesson in how easy it is for a rich and powerful country to throw a poor and weak country into chaos.

By 1949, Iran could look forward to financing its development program from oil royalties, even though Britain and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company took the lion's share of the profits. Iranians began negotiations to bring profit sharing up to the 50-50 level. At the same time agitation for complete nationalization (effectively expropriation) of oil resources was growing at all levels of the Iranian populace.

In 1950, Mossadeq headed the Majlis committee that negotiated with Anglo-Iranian; the company kept refusing to meet the fifty-fifty share demand. A year later in 1951 the oil company came around to the equal share position, but by then it was too late - national sentiment for expropriation was too strong. Indeed when the Shah's prime minister, attempting to compromise, proposed that Iran accept a less than equal share, he was assassinated. Within the month the Shah gave in to the Majlis and popular pressure by making Mossadeq prime minister. Mossadeq was now unequivocally in favor of total state ownership of all Iranian natural resources. The oil industry was nationalized.

The response of the oil interests was swift. Anglo-Iranian shut down oil production and British personnel left the country. Soon thereafter Britain imposed an embargo on all Iranian oil. British banking froze Iranian assets. Iranian goods were embargoed from British Empire ports, Britain declared the oil expropriation illegal and appealed to the Hague International Court of Justice. Mossadeq defended Iran's case in person before the court and won. The Hague, ruling in favor of Iran and the nationalization.of its oil, did not stop England from maintaining multiple embargos. The Iranian economy continued to suffer...

Perhaps if the British had been prepared to cut a fair deal with the Iranians in the first place the political leaning of Iran would have stayed on the Right. Of course decency is not the way of the rich western govenments - greed is, and that tends to alienate the exploited.

Former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, in an address, acknowledged the coup's pivotal role in the troubled relationship and came closer to apologizing than any American official ever has before.

"The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons," she said. "But the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs."

The coup was a turning point in modern Iranian history and remains a persistent irritant in Tehran-Washington relations. It consolidated the power of the shah, who ruled with an iron hand for 26 more years in close contact with the United States. He was toppled by Iranian Revolution of 1979. Later that year, "Students of Imam Line" went to the American Embassy, took diplomats hostage and declared that they had unmasked a "nest of spies" who had been manipulating Iran for decades.

The Islamic government of Ayatollah Khomeini supported terrorist attacks against American interests largely because of the long American history of supporting the shah's suppressive regime. Even under more moderate rulers, many Iranians still resent the United States' role in the coup and its support of the shah.

The coup had its roots in a British showdown with Iran, restive under decades of near-colonial British domination.

The prize was Iran's oil fields. Britain occupied Iran in World War II to protect a supply route to its ally, the Soviet Union, and to prevent the oil from falling into the hands of the Nazis - ousting the shah's father, whom it regarded as unmanageable. It retained control over Iran's oil after the war through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

In 1951, Iran's Parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry, and legislators backing the law elected its leading advocate, Dr. Mosaddeq, as prime minister. Britain responded with threats and sanctions.

When the shah refused Dr. Mosaddeq's demand for control of the armed forces in 1952, Dr. Mosaddeq resigned, only to be reinstated in the face of popular riots.

He then displayed a streak of authoritarianism, bypassing Parliament by conducting a national referendum to win approval for its dissolution. Meanwhile, the United States became alarmed at the strength of Iran's Communist Party, which supported Dr. Mosaddeq.

Yet Dr. Mosaddeq did not promote the interests of the Communists, though he drew on their support. The party turned from him because it viewed him as insufficiently committed and too close to the United States.

Anti-Communism had risen to a fever pitch in Washington, and officials were worried that Iran might fall under the sway of the Soviet Union. Worried about something that had not happened, the country was still under the sway of a legitimate government, that was not Communist. Sure the Communist party was strongly supported by the people - and why should they not be able to support their own choice of governance?

The CIA and MI6 came up with the strategy to stage a mass demonstration in the streets of Tehran. The protesters, who were paid to protest using MI6 and CIA funds, were depicted as Tudeh (Iran's communist party) supporters in the media. This way the military, supplied with guns, trucks and cars from the US military, would have a "suitable pretext" for coming into the city - to save Iran, a very religious society, from the threat of takeover by the godless communists.


Stepping in and wrenching a country from the people and not allowing them to make their own choices, installing a dictator to govern them with an iron hand and taking control of the country's resources (oil). Never attempting to promote democracy....."That kind of stuff smacks of Hitler and Stalin, not democracy. Maybe you should read up on your history."

It's amazing how little autonomy the US allows people to have over their own internal affairs, "That kind of stuff smacks of Hitler and Stalin, not democracy"


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: CJay]
    #3993451 - 03/31/05 02:55 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

CJay said:

He then displayed a streak of authoritarianism, bypassing Parliament by conducting a national referendum to win approval for its dissolution. Meanwhile, the United States became alarmed at the strength of Iran's Communist Party, which supported Dr. Mosaddeq.






Interesting how you place significance on the "referendum".

The Mosaddeq-led referendum to dissolve the legislature was quite interesting. The whole nation of Iran apparently voted and all the votes were counted in one single day. The results? 99+% in favor of Mosaddeq. Those results are similar to what Sadaam used to bring in.

It is laughable that you think that referendum is a major point. You liberals only like elections when they are rigged. What a joke. He took control of that country and disbanded the legislature. He was a dictator at that point. Spare me the talk of the democracy that we ruined in Iran. It is pure fiction.


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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3996954 - 03/31/05 08:21 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

In 1953 a Soviet backed communist dissolved the legislative body. That is some kind of democracy.




That is why I highlighted the word referendum. A referendum is a legal vote; how it was carried out, much like the elections of the US leader, is quite another matter. Lead by example, some example the chief democratic nation sets.

Or has set, like back in 1953. Mosaddeq was not a 'Soviet Backed Communist', well he may have been in the same way that Saddam had thousands of nuclear warheads at this disposal.
And if Mosaddeq was to become a dictator - what does the US do on assumption of this, what is the pre-emptive move? Hire a bunch of people to pretend they are crazy Commies in order to create a situation where a coup can be launched in which the US installs its own chosen dictator. Democracy at work!
Any dictgator will do, democracy is not the way forward politically. Why promote demnocracy when a dictator can be installed that sucks US dick? Ethics are a second line of defence, and nothing more.
The only reason the US Admn did not straight instal a 'governor' to their new province Eye-raq was because they could not get away with it under the current global lens that cannot help but fall so closely on the region and make life so much more complicated.
Former US Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, in an address, acknowledged the coup's pivotal role in the troubled relationship and came closer to apologizing than any American official ever has before.

"The Eisenhower administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons," she said. "But the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs."

What kind of democratic solution is installing a dictator?


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OfflineCatalysis
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: CJay]
    #3996992 - 03/31/05 08:31 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

Well you guys can argue all day about who was responsible but I think we can agree that most of the people responsible are not even alive today so im not sure who you are trying to blame or, for that matter, what your point is.

Every time the Germans do something good, I could just bring up Nazism but what good does that do except make me look like an asshole? Most Nazis from that time are like 95 so it is really not a productive or valid argument.


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OfflineJesusChrist
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: Catalysis]
    #3997351 - 03/31/05 09:54 PM (11 years, 11 months ago)

I don't know why I waste my time either Cat. I just think it is amusing every time some leftist wacko screams that we overthrew an Iranian democracy. We didn't. Iran was a dictatorship, complete with the 99% votes to back it up. The guy dissolved the legislature and became the supreme power. His word became law. He was God on earth. He was also backed by the communists.

If Iran had fallen behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950's, the Cold War would have been taken in a new direction. Had the Soviets been able to dominate the Middle East you could make a case for them winning the Cold War. Instead, we changed the course of history without even sending in the Army. Don't forget that we were fighting a pretty major conflict in Korea at the time in 1953.

It is a significant historical event. The wacko leftists like to deride it, but imagine the fate of Iran had they fell behind the Iron Curtain. Imagine the fate of the free world had the Soviets won the Cold War.

Ike was the fucking man. CJay, you are living in a dream world, and this conversation is over.


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InvisibleinfidelGOD
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: JesusChrist]
    #3998871 - 04/01/05 07:37 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

interesing...
you don't argue that there wasn't a US backed coup, only that it was necessary to combat Soviet expansion...

Quote:

If Iran had fallen behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950's, the Cold War would have been taken in a new direction.
...
Had the Soviets been able to dominate the Middle East you could make a case for them winning the Cold War
...
Instead, we changed the course of history without even sending in the Army.
...
but imagine the fate of Iran had they fell behind the Iron Curtain.
...
Imagine the fate of the free world had the Soviets won the Cold War
...
you are living in a dream world, and this conversation is over




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InvisibleCJay
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Re: Good news from Islamic world [Re: infidelGOD]
    #4012074 - 04/04/05 11:26 AM (11 years, 11 months ago)

thats because there was a US backed coup - and the thing is unlike Nazi Germany, the US Administration has not changed its tack in any appreciable manner over the time since then.

JesusChrist argues that it was in the name of freedom to install a dictator and thereby somehow save the free world. This makes no sense, installing a dictator has nothing to do with freedom, and everything to do with oppression. The nation might as well have fallen behind the iron curtain and had Stalin as the dictator - what difference would it have made to the people there?

Successive US administrations have shown no genuine interest in spreading constitutionally guarded sovereign democracies. All that hogwash is a lot of doublespeak to protect the only real interest which is a rapascious and enslaving capitalism.

Now before I get called a leftist whacko I better just tell you I am not - I have no problem with capitalism, however I believe that a capitalism that works need be imbued with genuine ethics and decency. Installing dictators and puppet governments do not achieve this, they actually enslve the people to nothing but the US interest. Nothing for the people of the nations brought under rein, no freedom, no fair wealth - just slavery to the US interest.

If Iran had fallen behind the Iron curtain it would have likely made no difference to the outcome of the Cold War. The USSR ground to a halt because it fell apart under the strain of inoperable economics - not because of some US victory. The only victory the US had was that it still had money at the end of the game. I doubt very much that the loss of Iran would have been a large enough factor to change this outcome.

I think the coup in Iran is important because it shows that while the US maintains a bright smiley face and a 'freedom for all' moto - in actual fact the way the nation carries on in foreign affairs is underhanded, unjust, unruly and unethical. In other words completely contradictory. And the overriding political thrust has not changed, unlike that of Germany.

People cannot be freed by enslavement - they can be made to serve foreign interest that way though.

ps - JesusChrist, I live in no dream world, and I preach about no 12 foot lizards. However, like Ike, you too seem to believe yourself to be a messiah. Now that speaks volumes about who is the more deluded.

edit: pps - conversation over?


Edited by CJay (04/04/05 11:44 AM)


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