“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."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Dirty Euros and An Angry Ayatollah

Two news items caught my attention earlier today. First, the warnings from Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, (head preacher for the Shiite branch of the RoP.)
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran stepped up its warnings to the United States Thursday, with the nation's supreme leader saying Tehran will strike U.S. interests around the world if his country is attacked.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's words were also likely meant as a show of toughness to rally Iranians, who are increasingly worried about the possibility of American military action as the two countries' standoff has grown more tense.

Days earlier, an Iranian diplomat was detained in Iraq in an incident that Iran blamed on America. The United States denied any role. The U.S. also says it has no plans to strike Iran militarily, but has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to show strength in the face of rising Iranian regional influence.

But many in Iran say they fear attack. Iranian media and Web sites have almost daily commentaries on a possible U.S. attack - some of them blaming hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for the deterioration in the already sour U.S.-Iranian relations by his provocative rhetoric against America and Israel.

Speaking to Iranian air force commanders, Khamenei said: "The enemy knows well that any invasion would be followed by a comprehensive reaction to the invaders and their interests all over the world." His words were carried on state-run TV.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's words "...the enemy knows." Those are strong words, but they're nothing new. Since 1979, one Ayatollah after the other has shaken his fist at the United States. They have no problem naming the US as the enemy or the "Great Satan" in contrast to the west where we can hardly name any enemy except the "terrorists."

The second news article was about the Europeans complaining that the US is "twisting their arms" about their financial dealings with Iran. They don't want to give up a single Euro, no matter how dirty it is.

We don't know where this is all going but it's a safe bet that we ignore it at our peril just as we ignored Osama bin Laden's escalations until September 11. The world is sleep walking; oblivious to the danger which comes from both branches of the RoP.


  1. "My impression is that they make threats like this from time to time," Gates said. "We have no intention of attacking Iran."

    He noted that "obviously, when it comes to things like these tests, we watch them closely." But he concluded, "Other than that, I think, it's just another day in the Persian Gulf."

    Meanwhile, a special envoy for Khamenei met in Moscow on Thursday with the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin, and his national security adviser, Igor Ivanov, in Moscow.

    Warning Against Action

  2. They have been making "theats like this" since 1979, Mr. Gates. What could that mean?

  3. Oil inventory data from the US government on Wednesday showed stocks of distillates, which include heating oil, fell 3.7 million barrels last week, the biggest decline since October.

    But inventories remain close to last year's level, when winter brought record warmth that undercut demand.

    Oil's repeated failure to push beyond psychological resistance at US$60 a barrel has triggered profit-taking after a nearly 20 percent climb since mid-January.

    Iran Tensions

  4. How nuanced a chant is
    "Death to America"

    Opens every Parliment session in Iran, that chant, or so I've heard reported.

    Why not take them at their word?
    And act accordingly.

  5. DR,

    If you took them at their word, that would require something more substantive than wanking (say the use of two carrier groups), and this administration is into wanking.

  6. Allen,

    What if Bush is playing psych-ops games to catch the Mullahs off gaurd?

  7. Mat,

    re: Bush psych-ops

    This concept defines oxymoron, or just plain Jane moronic, if you please. Not to be trite, but Bush psych-ops may define the relationship the Bush I and Bush II.

  8. The Iranian Consulate in London, england

    Telephone: 020 7937 5225

    Address: 50 Kensington Court, London , W8 5DB


    Embassy of Pakistan
    Interests Section of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    2209 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20007

    Tel: (202) 965-4990
    Fax: (202) 965-1073

    Iranian embassy of canada
    245 Metcalfe St.
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K2P 2K2 Canada
    E-mail (Consulate):

    E-mail (Embassy):

    E-mail (Ambassador):

    Higher Education Advisory:

    what other places do offical iranians own or frequent?

  9. In a world where regimes under U.N. and U.S. observation, negotiation, and sanction can actively develop missle technology; it would be "prudent" to be careful how far you "wank" your Carrier Group!

    If that little Iranian worm wants to truly start a fight, sinking a Carrier would be the way to do it.

    The Ayatollah is probably just running his mouth to shut up the little worm and "try" to look tough at the same time.

    The Euros? Have they ever been clean!?!

  10. President Ahmadinejad's real views are summarized on this website:

  11. Do Arabs shit in the middle of the street without thinking twice? They've a way of shitting with dirt worshipping gravitas. Everyone I know over there has mentioned this to me. Just file it under C4's points so the ridiculousness pressure cooker goes up an atm or two.

    Dems came to office with a cooker we can put that cooker inside, and deal with an even larger flame without worry. We can actually use an ever increasing portion of our GDP for the pressure cooker, so long as growth outstrips pressure cooker costs!

  12. I was about to add something about republicans and pressure cookers, but I don't even know what the eff republican politicians want? Do they like or dislike anything at the moment? whats the deal?

    Very Chinese-like, your local bosses are.

  13. USA is the most shittiest country I have ever seen. Shit on USA and its terrorists people. Shit on Bush. SHit on ISRAEL