“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."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

US Diplomats to Go to Iran

Bud McFarlane's favorite recipe.

US plans to station diplomats in Iran for first time since 1979
Washington move signals thaw in relations

Ewen MacAskill in Washington

The US plans to establish a diplomatic presence in Tehran for the first time in 30 years as part of a remarkable turnaround in policy by President George Bush.

The Guardian has learned that an announcement will be made in the next month to establish a US interests section - a halfway house to setting up a full embassy. The move will see US diplomats stationed in the country.

The news of the shift by Bush who has pursued a hawkish approach to Iran throughout his tenure comes at a critical time in US-Iranian relations. After weeks that have seen tensions rise with Israel conducting war games and Tehran carrying out long-range missile tests, a thaw appears to be under way.

The White House announced yesterday that William Burns, a senior state department official, is to be sent to Switzerland on Saturday to hear Tehran's response to a European offer aimed at resolving the nuclear standoff.

Burns is to sit at the table with Iranian officials despite Bush repeatedly ruling out direct talks on the nuclear issue until Iran suspends its uranium enrichment programme, which is a possible first step on the way to a nuclear weapon capability.

A frequent complaint of the Iranians is that they want to deal directly with the Americans instead of its surrogates, Britain, France and Germany.

Bush has taken a hard line with Iran throughout the last seven years but, in the dying days of his administration, it is believed he is keen to have a positive legacy that he can point to.

The return of US diplomats to Iran is dependent on agreement by Tehran. But President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad indicated earlier this week that he was not against the opening of a US mission. Iran would consider favourably any request aimed at boosting relations between the two countries, he said.

US interests in the country at present are looked after by the Swiss embassy. The British government restored its embassy in Tehran after Labour's 1997 general election victory as part of a policy of constructive diplomacy with countries that had previously been branded rogue states.

The creation of a US interest section would see diplomats stationed in Tehran for the first time since the hostage crisis that began when hundreds of students, as part of the Iranian revolution that led to fall of the Shah, stormed the US embassy in 1979 and held the occupants until 1981.

The special interests section would be similar to the one in Havana, Cuba. The US broke off relations with Cuba in 1961 after Castro's takeover but US diplomats returned in 1977.

The special interests section carries out all the functions of an embassy. It is, in terms of protocol, part of the Swiss embassy but otherwise is staffed by Americans and independent of the Swiss.

There has been an intense debate within the Bush administration over Iran, with the vice-president, Dick Cheney, in favour of a military strike against Iranian nuclear plants and the state department in favour of diplomacy.

The state department has been pressing the White House for the last two years to re-establish diplomatic relations with Tehran by setting up an interest section.

The state department is keen that the move should not be interpreted as a sign of weakness.

Sending Burns, who left Washington last night, to Geneva and the establishment of an interests section undercuts one of the main planks of foreign policy advocated by the Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, who argues for direct negotiations with Iran.

The White House has been working in tandem over the last month with Obama's Republican rival, John McCain.

The US has had to rely on British diplomats based in Tehran, as well as other diplomats, for information about the inner workings of Iranian politics. Having its own staff would give them access to students, dissidents and others. The staff would also process visa applications, at present handled by a small office in Dubai, which is difficult for Iranians to get to.

Ahmadinejad told a reporter earlier this week, in response to a question about a possible US interests section: "We will receive favourably any action which will help to reinforce relations between the peoples." He added: "We have not received any official request but we think that the development of relations between the two peoples is something correct."

That sentiment was echoed last month by secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, who told reporters: "We want more Iranians visiting the United States ... We are determined to reach out to the Iranian people."

Iran has an interests section in Washington, which would make it harder for Tehran to deny the Americans a similar arrangement.

Rice set up a group to study the feasibility of re-establishing a presence after the idea cropped up repeatedly in discussions among Washington thinktanks.

Asked last month about the idea, she would not confirm or deny it.

But she indicated that the present arrangement where there is an American visa office for Iranians in Dubai was inadequate.

"We know that it's difficult for Iranians sometimes to get to Dubai," she said.


  1. Top Pentagon military officer expects to recommend more troop reduction in Iraq this fall

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- The Pentagon's top military officer said Wednesday that he is likely to recommend further troop reductions in Iraq this fall.

    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that on his recent trip to Iraq, he found conditions had improved more than he expected.

    "I won't go so far as to say that progress in Iraq from a military perspective has reached a tipping point or is irreversible _ it has not, and it is not," Mullen told a Pentagon press conference.

    "But security is unquestionably and remarkably better. Indeed, if these trends continue I expect to be able early this fall to recommend to the secretary and the president further troop reductions," he said.

  2. Is the War Over?
    Michael J. Totten

    Independent reporter Michael Yon has spent more time in Iraq embedded with combat soldiers than any other journalist in the world, and a few days ago he boldly declared the war over:

  3. Whit:
    Breitbart's op-ed on Commie Groupthink in Hollywood is great.
    Liberal Commieloving Fascists.

    BREITBART: Mr. Spielberg, tear down this wall

  4. We who read BC knew the insurgency was on it's last legs 4 years ago, 'Rat!

  5. Barack Obama's upcoming swing through Europe and the Middle East is now guaranteed to be a major media event, certified by the presence of the three network anchors.

    The Washington Post has learned that Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric will travel overseas next week, lured by the prospect of interviews with the presumed Democratic candidate. That means the NBC, ABC and CBS newscasts will originate from stops on the trip and undoubtedly play it up.

    Sources in both television and politics confirmed that the Williams, Gibson and Couric interviews will be parceled out on successive nights in different countries. That means the Obama camp will have drawn the anchors halfway around the world by offering access.

    Obama will echo Adm Mullen, all the more so after his sit down with Mr Maliki.
    Katie will be there, to tell US all about it.

  6. Legacy time in the Wuss White House
    If Condumb Rice is in charge, prepare to bend over for Ahwannajihad.

    North Korea’s Stacked Deck -
    I bet Josh Bolton would have little to disagree with in this NY Times Op-Ed.
    Why Is the State Department Giving North Korea Dual-Use Material? [Tim Wilson]

    "Truly evil regimes will never be reformed and ... such regimes must be confronted, not coddled." Condoleezza Rice, National Security Adviser, April 2002 during remarks on terrorism and foreign policy

    “The fuel oil, it's a heavy fuel oil. It can only be used in certain power plants that they have.” Christopher Hill, chief US negotiator with North Korea, February 2007 commenting on the agreement to ship 1,000,000 tons (6,000,000 barrels) of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) to North Korea.

    Thanks to the efforts of our own State Department, we are supporting the North Korean military in exchange for promises, paperwork and overpriced demolitions (more than $2.5M for the YongByon cooling tower, probably about $2M more than any reputable firm would have charged, perhaps some $2.4M more than if the Army Corps of Engineers had been given the task and $2.48M more than it likely cost North Korea). This diplomacy is being pursued in the face of our own laws and contrary to UN Security Council Resolutions. No wonder the War on Terror is a mess and Iran’s rulers continues to pursue their nuclear ambitions. Our “diplomacy” provides no incentives for them to do otherwise!

  7. Here's some pretty rich shit from Obama:

    "The danger ... is that we are constantly fighting the last war, responding to the threats that have come to fruition, instead of staying one step ahead of the threats of the 21st century," he added.

    He called for investing in methods to better detect weapons of mass destruction, in particular biological attacks.

    He proposed to spend $5 billion over three years to develop an international intelligence and law enforcement infrastructure to stymie terrorist networks.

    Nuclear Weapons

  8. Air China's first-quarter profits jumped 147 percent, helped by the travel boom and the rise of theyuan against the dollar. Chinese carriers benefit from a stronger currency because they pay dollars for fuel.

    Chinese regulators are reportedly considering plans to restructure China's airlines to make them more efficient and able to compete with bigger, richer foreign carriers.

    Air China, which is based in Beijing, is trying to establish itself as the dominant carrier amid a struggle by Chinese airlines to modernize. Air China's parent, China National Aviation Holding, tried to buy a stake in its rival China Eastern Airlines this year but was rebuffed.

    Boeing Planes

  9. ash's dream of the ICC, moving ahead with US, dashed ...

    Without US the ICC is still considered a US lackey

    Head of AU panel says charges against Sudan leader could be mistake, way to push him aside
    07-17-2008 4:28 AM

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (Associated Press) -- The genocide charges against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir could "lead to a lot of danger," the chairman of an African Union panel said Thursday.

    The charges could be "an unconstitutional way of pushing aside a head of state," former Algerian President Ahmed Ben Bella said in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and headquarters of the AU.

    He leads the "Panel of the Wise," which is tasked with promoting efforts to prevent conflict in Africa.

    Meanwhile, Syria's foreign minister said the charges against Sudan's president would set a dangerous new precedent. Walid al-Moallem said the case aims only to destabilize Sudan and obstruct peace efforts in Darfur.

    Al-Moallem's comments were carried by Syria's official news agency Thursday.

    Hamas said its Damascus-based leader Khaled Mashaal denounced the "new conspiracy" against Sudan. In a phone call to al-Bashir, Mashaal called the charges proof of the International Criminal Court's "submissiveness" to American wishes.

    Who enforces the writ of the Court?

  10. - May We Mock, Barack? -

    He’s already in danger of seeming too prissy about food — a perception heightened when The Wall Street Journal reported that the planners for Obama’s convention have hired the first-ever Director of Greening, the environmental activist Andrea Robinson. She in turn hired an Official Carbon Adviser to “measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed.”

    The “lean ‘n’ green” catering guidelines, The Journal said, bar fried food and instruct that, “on the theory that nutritious food is more vibrant, each meal should include ‘at least three of the following colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple, and white.’ (Garnishes don’t count.) At least 70% of the ingredients should be organic or grown locally, to minimize emissions from fuel during transportation.”

    Bring it on, Ozone Democrats! Because if Obama gets elected and there is nothing funny about him, it won’t be the economy that’s depressed. It will be the rest of us.

  11. For decades since 1978 the iranians have displayed the old embassy as proof that the USA is the GREAT SATAN


  12. Coming back after a little time away--is a real shock!

  13. Rowan Williams is a nitwit.

    Everything is offensive to muslims. If there is a more thoughtless religion on earth, I haven't heard of it.

    Makes Wicca look good.

  14. Sam called the war over many months ago, I remember it distinctly. "War's over, isn't it?" Sam said.

  15. Nancy Pelosi stonewalls on off shore drilling. Surely this is a really dumb political move on her part, and on the part of Reid. When the country is dying for lack of oil. If the republicans can't make some hay out of this, they are inept. What is the energy policy of the democrats? They have none.

  16. Bob,

    Check the last thread. I put some references as to why that's an impossibility. The Saudis got youz by the balls. It's not only oil. It's US stock assets. It's US treasury bonds. It's the recycling of US dollars and valuation of the US dollar.

    The only way out, that I can see, is an aggressive energy policy centered around renewables and electric vehicles. Stick with oil and you're fscked.

  17. Words do have meaning, especially when spoken by the Sec of State of the United States of America and its' President, GW Bush..

    DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- The United States believes there are no permanent enemies so it is possible for it to have better relations with countries like Iran and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday.

    "I can assure you that America has no permanent enemies, because we harbor no permanent hatreds," Rice said in a speech to the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

    Rice said even relations between the United States and Iran could move toward normalization, although there has been 29 years of hostility between the two countries.


    The U.S.-Iran relationship could be one that is "defined not by fear and mistrust, but growing cooperation, expanding trade and exchange, and the peaceful management of differences," she said.

    As we rush to meet the Peace Train

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. "defined not by fear and mistrust, but growing cooperation, expanding trade and exchange, and the peaceful management of differences,"

    Tell this to the CIA instituted and then CIA deposed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Fooled me once, wont get fooled again.

  20. We know there aren't any gays in Iran, many must have gone to Brazil where the Homosexual Mafia has made great gains. This is really quite amazing. Can't the gays just get their rights then leave well enough alone?

  21. The Shah was a bastard, but he was a cut above these new bastards. He didn't push the women around. And he had a wife hotter that Jacque Kennedy.

  22. Thu Jul 17, 01:15:00 PM EDT
    In the last two months, W's State Dept under Condumb has put out more Feelgood Worthless BS than 8 years of Clinton.
    Presidents should be put in exile during their last year in office.

  23. Bob,

    What do you think of the proposition that it was US/Anglo inspired machinations which throned and dethroned the Shah. I'm coming to the thinking that this is most likely the case. What say you?

  24. AUSTIN, Texas (Associated Press) -- Texas, headquarters of America's oil industry, is about to stake a fortune on wind power.

    In what experts say is the biggest investment in the clean and renewable energy in U.S. history, utility officials in the Lone Star State gave preliminary approval Thursday to a $4.9 billion plan to build new transmission lines to carry wind-generated electricity from gusty West Texas to urban areas like Dallas.

    "People think about oil wells and football in Texas, but in 10 years they'll look back and say this was a brilliant thing to do," said Patrick Woodson, vice president of E.On Climate & Renewables North America, which has about 1,200 megawatts of wind projects already in use or on the drawing board in Texas.

    Texas is already the national leader in wind power, generating about 5,000 megawatts. But wind-energy advocates say the lack of transmission lines has kept a lot of that power from being put to use and has hindered the building of more turbines.

    Supporters say Thursday's 2-1 vote by the Texas Public Utility Commission is critical to getting that energy to more people.

    "We will add more wind than the 14 states following Texas combined," said PUC Commissioner Paul Hudson. "I think that's a very extraordinary achievement. Some think we haven't gone far enough, some think we've pushed too far."

    Most of Texas' wind-energy production is in petroleum-producing West Texas, where nearly 4,000 wind turbines tower over oil pump jacks and capture the breeze that blows across the flat and largely barren landscape. The new plan would not directly build a slew of new turbines, but would add transmission lines capable of moving about 18,000 megawatts. One expert said that is enough to power more than 4 million Texas homes.

    Texas electric customers will bear the cost of construction over the next several years, paying about $3 or $4 more per month on their bills, according to Tom Smith, state director of the consumer group Public Citizen. But he predicted that increase would easily be offset by lower energy prices.

    Smith called Texas' current transmission lines a "two-lane dirt road" compared to the "renewable energy superhighway" the plan would build.

    "We have all these wind plants up and operating. What we're asking for is the superhighway to get the energy to the cities," Smith said. "This will send signals to manufacturers all across the world Texas is ready to be a world-class player in renewable energy."

  25. Shirley Phelps-Roper
    An American Prophet:

  26. "What do you think of the proposition that it was US/Anglo inspired machinations which throned and dethroned the Shah."
    I think it's a given in right wing circles to place the blame on the Peanut, isn't it?

  27. "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Thursday threatened to veto legislation being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives that would force oil companies to give up undrilled federal leases and ban the export of crude drilled in Alaska.

    The bill, which the House was to vote on later on Thursday, has a "use it or lose it" provision that requires oil companies to diligently develop their existing federal leases or turn them back to the government before they could obtain new acres to drill.
    Bunch of fucking sub-morons with no useful education to bring to bear, and negative common sense quotients.

    It's criminal to have all that oil right near Prudhoe Bay and not get to it pronto.

  28. The White House also said it opposed the bill's language banning the export of crude oil produced in Alaska. The Congress allowed exports of Alaskan oil in 1995, but virtually none of the state's crude has been shipped to other countries in the past eight years.

    "Such a ban would make virtually no additional oil available to U.S. consumers, and would not lower oil prices that are set in a world market," the White House said. "At the same time, such export restrictions are detrimental to the efficient operation of global energy markets and would send the wrong signal to our trading partners who may face pressure to impose similar trade restrictions."
    Simple minded idiots.

  29. Led by the supreme nutcase:
    "WASHINGTON (AP) - Just as John F. Kennedy set his sights on the moon, Al Gore is challenging the nation to produce every kilowatt of electricity through wind, sun and other Earth-friendly energy sources within 10 years, an audacious goal he hopes the next president will embrace."

  30. California's median home price plummets in June
    From the Associated Press
    2:24 PM PDT, July 17, 2008
    Housing data show the median price of a home in California plummeted 31.5 percent in June compared with the same month last year.

    DataQuick Information Systems says in a report released today the statewide median home price last month was $328,000. The statewide median home price peaked in May 2007 at $484,000.

    The decline is being driven by tightening mortgage markets and a growing willingness by sellers to accept less for their homes, as well as a surge in sales of discounted foreclosed properties.

    The firm says a total of 35,202 homes were sold statewide in June, down nearly 8.1 percent from a year earlier.

  31. Man, it would be a completely different world we live in if Gore had got a couple more votes. Parallel universe. Boggles the mind.

  32. The median home price in Santa Cruz County slipped to $600,000 in June, down from $610,000 in May of 2008. Condo and townhouse prices also slipped slightly in June, falling to $368,000, down from $380,000 in May.

    Unsold inventory declined for the fourth consecutive month for single family homes and was at 8.9 months, down from 10.5 months in May.

    Unsold inventory declined for the third consecutive month for condos and townhouse and was at 8.6 months, down from 11.8 months in May.

    Santa Cruz County

  33. Mat, we throned him, but he got dethroned pretty mujch all by his own. We could have come to his rescue but chose not too. Didn't they have the Peacock Throne? He was just some middle level armny guy got picked for the job, right?

    That's where my sis lives, Santa Cruz.

  34. I got to tell you, I don't have much sympathy for folks in Cal. whose average house is $600,000. So what if their damned prices drop. That's two palaces up this way--$600,000. It's hard to work up a tear, and of course, they don't want to drill off that coast, even over the horizon where it can't be seen. Let everybody else starve first. What a bunch of phoney f'ers.

  35. We got a parallel universe coming up soon enough.

  36. Did I ask before if sis is gay?
    That would have been rude.

  37. Nope, straight as an arrow, long married to the same guy.

  38. The University of Santa Cruz is a madhouse, from what I hear.

  39. What's wrong with using Alaskan oil for ourselves?

  40. We may end up with Oprah Winfrey in the Cabinet. And Jerry Springer in there, too.

  41. Can't use our own oil, Bob. Sends the wrong signal. Can't do it.

  42. Host George Stephanopoulos asked the governor about a report that he attributed to Newsweek that said Obama would consider Schwarzenegger for a cabinet post, possibly one dealing with energy and environmental issues. Here's the exchange:

    Stephanopoulos: If he were president and he called, you would at least take that call?

    Schwarzenegger: I would take his call now, I will take his call when he's President. Any time. Remember, no matter who is president, I don't see this as a political thing, I see this as we always have to help no matter what the administration is.

    Czar Schwarzenegger?

  43. If congressional obstruction were gasoline, Americans would be awash in energy.

    Democrats Sputtering On Energy

    No plan, plenty of California tan.

  44. I must be in a bad mood today. I can't think of a politician I like. The Austrian. Another fraud.

    I want Obama's Birth Certificate. I demand to see Obama's Birth Certificate.



    The shadow of the Iraq War still hovers over the 2008 presidential race. In deed, though it's the issue that made Barack Obama (giving him his running room to Hillary Clinton's left), it may now become his chief vulnerability.

    Weak on national-security issues, untried, inexperienced and (perhaps) naive, Obama can find the Iraq issue hard to handle - if John McCain plays it right.

    Obama has long since won the issue of Iraq-past - opposing the war before anyone and voting continuously and solidly against it when others waffled.

    Yet McCain is winning Iraq-present: A majority of Americans believe that the surge is working. Casualties are down so far that the pessimistic left has shifted its doom-and-gloom to Afghanistan.

    But McCain's key opportunity is to exploit the issue of Iraq-future.

    To start, he must ask Obama: "Why won't your troop withdrawal allow al Qaeda and Iran to move into the vacuum, taking over Iraq to use it as a base for terror against us and Israel?"

    Obama will hem and haw, but McCain must keep at him - and force his opponent to confront the consequences.

    How will Obama answer?

    He can't shift his position on his signature issue much more - or he'd get an even worse rap for flip-flopping. So he'll start by stressing the ongoing troop presence that he'll allow in Iraq.

    He has said (vaguely) that he'll permit sufficient troops to cover our pullout, protect our embassy and pursue al Qaeda terrorists. Now he'll try to sell the idea that his gradual withdrawal over 16 months and his ongoing troop commitment will hold al Qaeda and Iran at bay.

    But who'll believe that? Experience has taught Americans to expect the worst about Iraq. They're inclined to agree that, if we pull out, al Qaeda will move in. It's also self-evident that Iranian influence will grow as ours' declines. (To the extent that we do believe it, Obama will alienate the left and drive voters to Ralph Nader.)

    His next dodge will be to talk up diplomacy - that a dialogue with the mullahs can hold Iran at bay. But no negotiations are possible with al Qaeda - and Americans realize that talks with Iran will go nowhere unless we have the leverage of force. His reliance on diplomacy will come off as naive, reinforcing the impression that he's not ready for the job.

    Eventually, he'll have to say he's prepared to go back into Iraq if the situation deteriorates. Voters will realize that a nominal troop presence and diplomacy won't do the job.

    That's when McCain moves in for the kill: "So, isn't your rigid adherence to withdrawal inviting a third Iraq War?"

    He can claim the mantle of the true peace candidate - saying that he'll stay in Iraq, keep control, build up the Iraqi army and keep US casualties down. Obama's pullout, he can warn, would mean an inevitable third Iraq war. Obama is stuck seeming either naive - or just as likely to get us into a war as President Bush was.

    The success of the surge has created an ideal situation for McCain. What had been the chief Democratic argument against the Republicans can now be their best tool to destroy Obama.

  46. If the nation fails to act, the cost of oil will continue to rise as fast-growing China and India increase demand, Gore said. Sustained addiction to oil also will place the nation at the mercy of oil-producing regimes, he said, and the globe would suffer irreparable harm.

    Government experts recently predicted that, at the current rate, world energy demand will grow 50 percent over the next two decades. The Energy Information Administration also said in its long-range forecast to 2030 that the world is not close to abandoning fossil fuels despite their effect on global warming.

    While electricity production is only part of the nation's energy and climate change problem, Gore said, "If we meet this challenge we will solve the rest of it."

    Climate Change

  47. Iowa, Minnesota tending to Obama, latest polls show.

  48. "We could have come to his rescue but chose not too."

    Yeah. But why not? Why was Khomeini better?

  49. The only plausible answer has to do with recycling petro dollars.

  50. Obama owns New York, California, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Mass., probably Michigan...I'm depressed.

  51. "The University of Santa Cruz is a madhouse, from what I hear."
    Commies, lesbos, and gawd knows what else.
    Years ago communal gardening was really big, don't know about now.

  52. We were in our Vietnam syndrome phase and Carter didn't know what he was doing.

  53. "Yeah. But why not? Why was Khomeini better?"
    Carter was, and is nuts:
    Look at all the other evil guys he treats as demigods.

  54. Real estate speculators, greenies, weenies, latte drinkers, New Age madonnas, gamblers, hos and more....

  55. Easy Rider was on cable last night. Surfin' channels and hit it when Fonda and Hopper were in the commune. Watched that segment of it, smiled, and kept on surfin'. Great movie.

  56. Illegal immigrants, MS-13s, drug pushers, wine bibbers and hang gliders...

  57. Carter is irrelevant. It's the people behind Carter that count. And they wanted the Shah replaced. He must have done something to displease them, and it has little to do with imprisoning and killing Iranian Jihadis.

  58. Silicon Millionaire Socialists.

  59. "Look at all the other evil guys he treats as demigods."

    Yeah. Cause they're as dumb as wood. But the Shah, he got a little too smart for his boots.

  60. You and C-Fudd and your conspiracy theories!
    You should visit BC and cancel him out.

  61. I think Carter just didn't have the stomach for it, Mat.

  62. Peanut sliced in half w/Occam's Razor.

  63. The "War on Terror" propaganda site? Sorry, but Richard is too smart to play stupid. And he's been playing stupid for a long long time now.

  64. Here is something to chew on, though I don't believe much of it.

  65. "I think Carter just didn't have the stomach for it, Mat."

    No, I don't think so. Carter certainly had the stomach to take on the Soviets in Afghanistan. Anyway, it wasn't Carter who was running the show, it was Brzezinski. And he's a very aggressive Polak, isn't he?

    No, that oil is too important to hand over to the wrong hands. Of-course, it wasn't handed over to the wrong hands, now was it.

  66. The IBEC /Rockefeller contingent was heavy into Iran, and took a lickin'.

    Carter and his team had a misunderestimantation of the the Iranian exile community in France.

    The Shah was the son of the former Shah, and was out manuveured by the Prime Minister, who was then ousted in the coup.
    The short version

    wiki's version
    The Shah came to power during World War II after an Anglo-Soviet invasion forced the abdication of his father, Reza Shah. Mohammad Reza Shah's rule oversaw the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry under the prime ministership of Mohammad Mossadegh. During the Shah's reign, Iran celebrated 2,500 years of continuous monarchy since the founding of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great. His White Revolution, a series of economic and social reforms intended to transform Iran into a global power, succeeded in modernizing the nation, nationalizing many natural resources and extending suffrage to women, among other things. However, the decline of the traditional power of the Shi'a clergy due to parts of the reforms, increased opposition.

    While a Muslim himself, the Shah gradually lost support from the Shi'a clergy of Iran, particularly due to his strong policy of Modernization and recognition of Israel. Clashes with the religious right, increased communist activity and a 1953 period of political disagreements with Mohammad Mossadegh, eventually leading to Mossadegh's ousting, caused an increasingly autocratic rule.

  67. Warhol tidbits

    * Andy Warhol had an uncredited cameo in the 1982 comedy "Tootsie."

    * Warhol played himself in a 1985 episode of "The Love Boat."

    * Crispin Glover portrayed Warhol in "The Doors," and David Bowie played him in "Basquiat."

  68. ...All these principles were proclaimed within the context of Washington’s overarching Cold War strategy to contain Soviet communism, famously articulated in 1947 by the legendary diplomat George F Kennan.


    Solving problems is more important than laying out all-encompassing ideological pronouncements. The world we live in is too diverse for anything else.

    The United States faces a range of difficult challenges, including Islamist extremism, a surly Russia, the rise of China and India, the quest for energy security and the fight against global warming – all while trying to make sense of globalisation. No single doctrine can hope to address these myriad problems.

    Kennan's Day

  69. We didn't do much in Afghanistan other than send some good missiles, intelligence, money and the like. Starting to look like it might have been a big mistake, maybe be better to have the Russians trying to handle the place. But, at the time, I recall being all for it, myself.

    It may have aided in the breakupt of the Soviet Union. If so it was probably worth it.

  70. "We didn't do much in Afghanistan other than send some good missiles, intelligence, money and the like."

    The mountains of Iran are not much different than the mountains of Afghanistan. Neither are the mullahs nearly as militarily sophisticated and schooled in warfare as were the Soviets. And yet, missiles, intelligence, money and the like, seem not to have gone to the Iranian cause. Gives one pause to wonder, why not.

  71. I don't know why not. But, the circumstances seem quite a bit different. Trying to kick a foreign group out, in the Afghan case, trying to overthrow a government from within, in the Iranian. And, we do have a lot on the table right now elsewhere.

  72. If you think the Farsi speaking imperialists are not foreigners in most of the territory of Iran, you really don't know the terrain.

  73. "And, we do have a lot on the table right now elsewhere."

    Yes. Since 1979.