“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Time to Make a Decision

Times come in life where you ask, "what to do next?" Some problems have far more pleasant resolutions and results than others. Some do not. Such a time is upon us with Iraq and Iran. The two have melded into a common problem. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sat down in New York last week with Newsweek, Washington Post's Lally Weymouth to discuss nukes, Iraq, the Holocaust, Bush, Lebanon and whether Israel should really be wiped off the face of the Earth. I use excerts and focus on four points:

A. The US helped and strengthened Iran by getting rid of Saddam..."that
the result of the U.S. invasion is that Iran is more powerful than it
has ever been
B. Iraq is worse off today than it was under Saddam..."In the past years,
hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed. Even worse than what
it was under Saddam
C. Iran is on the way to be a large regional power. Everyone in the region says Iran is now the most powerful country
D. Iran supports the Shiite..."Mr. Maliki is a friend of ours. Our nations are
very close. The country that is hurt most by the insecurity in Iraq is our

It is difficult to fault his answers. It is harder yet to deny the implications of what he is saying. The US, by attempting to stay in Iraq beyond the time it took to remove Sadaam, has strengthened Iran in the region. US troops are dying and American treasure is being used to what end? Are American interests improved with a stronger Iran? If they are, then by implication we should not be overly concerned with Iran becoming a nuclear power. Under the Shah, the US was encouraging to Iran to become a major power. But then we also supported Islamic militancy in Afghanistan to fight the Russians. Stated current American policy is not to make Iran stronger. In practice by supporting the Shiite dominated government, we are accomplishing the opposite. Which is it to be? What am I missing? The complete interview is on the link, the referred to portion is below. Please help me out here.

"Iranian leader uses interview to expand on anti-U.S. opinions
Lally Weymouth
Washington Post
Sept. 24, 2006 12:00 AM

Q: In your meeting with the Iraqi prime minister last week, did any ideas emerge as to how to stabilize the situation in Iraq?

A: Saddam was a detested individual, no doubt, and although he was supported by a group of American politicians during the eight-year war with Iran, we nonetheless were happy when he left.

This paved the way for the American government to improve their relations with the people in the region, but they lost the opportunity, they decided to occupy Iraq in search of oil and their own interests. . . . The Iraqi nation has deep roots - an ancient, civilized culture - it cannot accept to remain under occupation. It cannot accept that its authorities are told on a daily basis what to do by American authorities.

In the past years, hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed. Even worse than what it was under Saddam.

Everybody in Iraq is unhappy. Iraq has a government now that has risen as a result of the vote of the people, and it has a constitution and a parliament. Let them run and administer the country. Our policy is to support the government of Iraq, to create security for the country.

Q: It seems as if a Shiite majority has emerged with the bulk of power in Iraq. Is this good from Iran's point of view?

A: We are friends with the entire nation of Iraq. Our nation is like an extended family of the Iraqi nation. . . .

We are not like American politicians who divide people and fracture.

Q: Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that the most important job for him is to control the militias, many of which have close contact with Iran and some of which receive money from Iran. Will you help Maliki control the militias?

A: This is your mistake again. Mr. Maliki is a friend of ours. Our nations are very close. The country that is hurt most by the insecurity in Iraq is our country.

Everyone in the region says Iran is now the most powerful country, that the result of the U.S. invasion is that Iran is more powerful than it has ever been.

Q: Do you think there is a problem with Iran being a powerful country? Are you implying that the Americans went there to strengthen Iran?

A: No, but don't you think that is the end result?

Iran is a powerful country. A powerful Iran will benefit the region because Iran is a country with a deep culture and has always been a peaceful country. If the Americans had not imposed the shah, Iran could have been a far more powerful country."


  1. Amadjihadi will present himself as a resoned soft-spoken diplomant with good will to all; in contrast to the war-mongering, blood-thirsty, incompetent George W. Bush, President of the Great Satan.

    Not caring about the truth and to advance their agendas, the leftists and Euros will take it hook, line and sinker.

  2. BTW - Yesterday marked the start of autumn in the northern hemisphere, Roshashanna (the Jewish new year), and Ramadan; Islam's month of atonement and spiritual renewal.

    During Ramadan eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse are not allowed between dawn and sunset. During Ramadan, Muslims are also expected to put more effort into following the teachings of Islam by refraining from violence, anger, envy, greed, lust, angry and sarcastic retorts, and gossip. People are meant to try to get along with each other better than they normally might. All obscene and irreligious sights and sounds are to be avoided. Purity of both thought and action is important. The fast is an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm.

  3. Yep, old Amalookininawellfordegod spends half his time trying to chase down those who are making fun of his lack of personal hygeine, and the other half sitting next to the well waiting for the 12th Imam to pop out and take them all to Valhalla and he's going to rule the world.

    Meanwhile Iran's only source of wealth is slowly drying up due to mismanagement and lack of investment, and the Mullahs have to switch into business suits to get a table at a decent Tehran restaurant.

  4. You are right Rufus. It would be real nice to see the smug look on his, Putin and Hugo's face when the price per barrel dropped to the "Have to cancel some projects" mode. What price would that be Rufus?

  5. The "Disaster" price is probably still somewhat low in Iran, Venezuela, and Russia. Probably in the "Thirtyish" range.

    BUT, in any horribly run enterprise sucha as theirs it will rise rapidly. In a year or two it will probably be in the forties, and then in another couple of years, the fifties.

    These outfits, Alway, eat their seed corn. They Never put enough back into Maintenance, R&D, and Management. Disaster's out there, right around this turn, or the next.

  6. Comforting words Rufus. Any chance in you putting an energy post together? No pressure.

  7. What's killing them right now, is they can see that the world is awakening to the fact that Dubya was right. You see it in elections all around the world (more on this, later.)

    The "insurgency" is fizzling in Iraq. The Iraqi Army is getting stronger. We've turned over two provinces to the Iraqis. Even the "Dumbest" Alabamian (approx. twice the G-2 of the Average Frenchman, but still) can see that slowly but surely Iraq is coming together. Our casualties are trending lower, and Iraqi oil production is trending higher. It will probably pass Iran by December in "Net" oil exports.

  8. Duce, I wouldn't have the foggiest how to do it. I am "Totally" Computer Illiterate. My E-Mail Thingie is jammed-up, and I don't even know how to send an E-Mail.

    I would be happy to help out if I knew how, but . . . .

    Let me see if I can get my emailer to working and I'll see what I can do.

  9. Jujst right up what you want to say on a comment here. I wll pick it up like I did with the Belmont post of Heather. I will pick a graphic that fits and I will use it on a post. Whit and I are trying to do a morning and evening post. He will focus on evening and I morning. We are shooting for 4 to 6 per 24 hour cycle. I will put it up on the morning cycle.

  10. Don't burn yourself out; this is supposed to be fun. If it starts becoming work take a few days off and put up the ubiquitous "Open" Thread.

  11. i do fool around with images--drawing originals as well as photoshopping. if ever you need/want a few choices by way of an illo, let me know. If you saved that al gore pic I email tested with, my email is the return. just put 'elephant' in the subject line.

  12. Please, order in the line, don't trip all yourselves accepting my artwork, there's plenty for all. Settle down out there--I won't have this mob at my door! civilization!

  13. Hey, I didn't come here to be insulted!"

    "NO? Where do you usually go to be insulted?"

    --Groucho Marx, author of "Das Kapital"