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"Iran attack: Who are the winners and losers in the crisis?" Topic


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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2020 10:12 p.m. PST

"Who loses or gains from the crisis could change rapidly depending on what the US and Iran do next.

So, who are the winners and losers?…"
Main page
link

Amicalement
Armand

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2020 10:44 p.m. PST

Might we wait till the thing is actually over before we start handing out brickbats or plaudits?

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2020 10:56 p.m. PST

Losers are the people on the civilian airliner who were shot down by an Iranian SAM, as well as their families and friends.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 1:06 a.m. PST

Yes, there's a sad history of armed forces shooting down civilian airliners:

link

Uparmored10 Jan 2020 2:27 a.m. PST

Winner is Deleted by Moderator America.

Loser is Iran.

Fitzovich10 Jan 2020 4:12 a.m. PST

I believe that we all have lost.

CarloVon10 Jan 2020 5:36 a.m. PST

I agree with Fitzovich – there's nobody coming out of this in a better place than before, maybe except Putin.

john snelling10 Jan 2020 7:43 a.m. PST

Winners; Sunni Muslims and Israel.

Losers; innocent people on the airliners and the Iranian ballistic missile precision project team.

USAFpilot10 Jan 2020 8:10 a.m. PST

Losers: Soleimani, innocents on airliner shot down by Iran

Winners: anyone who was a future target of Soleimani

Personal logo 15mm and 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 9:39 a.m. PST

Winner: Iran, for regaining the support of Iraqis in the wake of Suleimani's assassination and turning the Iraqi government against US presence in the country. Before the assassination, the Iraqis wanted the Iranians out.

Losers: The 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians (flight crew), 10 Swedes, 4 Afghans, 3 Germans and 3 Britons on the Ukrainian Boeing 737 who probably thought they were escaping danger but flew right into it instead.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 11:13 a.m. PST

Winner: Armament Factories.


Looser: Peace.

Amicalement
Armand

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 12:27 p.m. PST

Loser: Solemani and the victims of Iranian incompetence on the Ukrainian jet

Winners: All the rest of us

Bigby Wolf10 Jan 2020 1:49 p.m. PST

@Tango: that's some pretty long-term thinking, but I like it!

Re. the Ukrainian jet … how about we just wait a bit for the final judgement on that one? Ockham's razor isn't always right …

Stryderg10 Jan 2020 2:04 p.m. PST

Losers: The people (Iranian and otherwise) that have no interest in geo-political hoop-la.

Winners: The news media, who can keep brow-beating everyone else with stories of the end of the world as we know it.

Uparmored10 Jan 2020 3:25 p.m. PST

Is the name Tr ump banned on this forum? Wow.

Tango 1, since there IS peace and hopefully less aggression by Iran now thanks to Tr umps bold move, wouldn't armament factories be the losers and peace the winner?

Consider that any other US president would have struck back harder than Trump for just the drone downing or the attacks by Iran on the tankers.

I'm sorry to say it but the US would already be in a full scale war with Iran if Clinton was boss. THEN armament manufacturers would be licking their lips having to replace all that ordnance the US would drop on Iran.

USAFpilot10 Jan 2020 3:35 p.m. PST

The news media loves to see missiles fly; it's good for ratings. They are consistent in their criticism though no matter what course of action is taken.

Col Durnford Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 6:44 p.m. PST

Winners U.S. – took out a a major player in the Iranian terror network.
Israel also wins with him gone.

Losers – Iran – they blinked and made a token attack for show.
That it was taken as such is also a win for Iran since it allowed the war to be avoided. However, any gain was lost with the airliner being shot down.

Others losers were a few minor celebrities who jumped in with both feet in their mouths.

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 7:09 p.m. PST

Winner: Trump
Losers: Iranian-Canadians

NavyVet10 Jan 2020 7:59 p.m. PST

Winner: The forces for an orderly world.

Losers: The disrupters of world order.

Dn Jackson10 Jan 2020 9:43 p.m. PST

"Iran, for regaining the support of Iraqis in the wake of Suleimani's assassination and turning the Iraqi government against US presence in the country. Before the assassination, the Iraqis wanted the Iranians out."

The vote to have the US leave Iraq was made by the Shia members of parliament. The Kurds and Sunnis weren't present. Most Iraqis still want Iran out.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2020 10:07 p.m. PST

Exactly how is Putin a "winner" in this/these events?

Iranians will be big losers, since they lied about the event and tried to cover it up (remember their claims about the "damaged" black boxes?), but finally had to admit they shot the jetliner down, now.

Can't imagine too many people wanting to fly over/through Iranian airspace for tourism, or business, and I suspect some airline companies may quit doing so for fear of more, similar events.

Can't imagine true Iraqis being happy with Iranians firing poorly controlled, large, ballistic missiles at their country.

Bigby Wolf10 Jan 2020 10:14 p.m. PST

Millwall, innit!

Zephyr110 Jan 2020 10:38 p.m. PST

"Exactly how is Putin a "winner" in this/these events?"

From what I've heard, he didn't care much for Suleimani either, so…

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 12:28 p.m. PST

(smile)


Amicalement
Armand

timyeh11 Jan 2020 4:44 p.m. PST

The Current Iranian regime wins in that before the US drone strike, there were riots and protest to the Iranian governemnt with a Tiananminish suppression but the US attack has united Iranians.

USAFpilot11 Jan 2020 5:10 p.m. PST

but the US attack has united Iranians.

For maybe one day when the Iranian gov't gave everyone the day off so they could protest in the street and woe to those who didn't join in. Now the people are back living under economic sanctions and once again protesting the regime.

Your comment reminds me of what the media said would happen in the ME if the President moved the embassy to Jerusalem. That the ME would break out in all out war. A few protests happened and the story disappeared like all the other chicken little the sky is falling stories of the msm.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP11 Jan 2020 5:22 p.m. PST

USAFpilot over eggs the pudding as usual but he's probably not too far from the truth.

In any authoritarian country, it would pay to conform to what the regime asks. Not exactly "rent-a-crowd" only because you don't have to pay them, just pay them back for not showing the requisite enthusiasm.

Indeed, he also makes the point that sanctions (begun by which president? Car…Cart…Cartier….nope, can't quite get it)are far more effective than some random assassination. I'd agree.

CarloVon11 Jan 2020 9:13 p.m. PST

@Zyphyr- because of how connected this is with the greater war in the middle east, both against Isis, and Assad. And indeed, how those smaller, regional things have much bigger implications over all.

If you, like me, believe that we have a duty to be fighting Isis, the result of this (The Iraqis wanting us out of Iraq) is going to hamper that effort, and comes across as yet more egg on the face of a president who has let me, and the rest of America (or at least we who voted for him) down in living up to the forceful, energetic, and reasoned actions and guidance the west needs to ensure autocratic states like China and Russia don't end up the winners this century.

My problem isn't with the action itself, but how it comes off as some hair brained scheme, and not part of a greater strategic plan of action.

Putin may not have liked Suleimani, but I'd be willing to bet he's happier with the detrimental effect this may end up having on American force projection than with the fact that guy is dead.

USAFpilot12 Jan 2020 9:07 a.m. PST

war in the middle east, both against Isis, and Assad

ISIS caliphate is destroyed; war over. ISIS as a terrorist network can never be completely destroyed because it is an ideology.

War against Assad has been over for many years now. He's not going anywhere protected by Russia.

If you, like me, believe that we have a duty to be fighting Isis

ISIS caliphate is destroyed; war over. No longer a reason to have troops in country. Iraq gov't no longer wants us there.

My problem isn't with the action itself, but how it comes off as some hair brained scheme, and not part of a greater strategic plan of action.

In the last 41 years has there ever been a coherent policy regarding Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran crossed a red line for this President by killing an American citizen and attacking our embassy. The mastermind behind it was taken out.

14Bore12 Jan 2020 3:13 p.m. PST

Seems protests over downing of civilian aircraft are not what the regime wants but might get.

CarloVon12 Jan 2020 7:54 p.m. PST

In the last 41 years has there ever been a coherent policy regarding Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

So you're telling me the failures of past administrations is the ticket for letting this one off?

No sir, I respectfully disagree.

Iran crossed a red line for this President by killing an American citizen and attacking our embassy. The mastermind behind it was taken out.

I feel like Iran is ultimately responsible for a great deal of American deaths in the ME, and I cant argue with that the guy deserved to be taken out. BUT it's worth looking at how much situational awareness was given to the fallout of the operation. I don't thin we've heard the last from Iran regarding this matter.

ISIS caliphate is destroyed; war over. ISIS as a terrorist network can never be completely destroyed because it is an ideology.

War against Assad has been over for many years now. He's not going anywhere protected by Russia.

I suspect we'll see the accuracy of this statement in the coming years. I hope you're right, but suspect you aren't.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2020 1:08 a.m. PST

Yep, the locals are unhappy.

Ruchel14 Jan 2020 5:13 p.m. PST

In the last 41 years has there ever been a coherent policy regarding Iran, the leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world. Iran crossed a red line for this President by killing an American citizen and attacking our embassy. The mastermind behind it was taken out.

A lot of nonsense. The typical American propaganda.

The leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world? An absurdity.

The US has been, and is today, the real leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world: support to coups, support to dictators, invasions and bombings of countries (killing hundreds thousands of people), support to terrorist groups, state terrorism, and so on.

General Soleimani the mastermind? is it a joke? The real masterminds are Iranian young officers, new generations, not an old general who belonged to the past. Solemaini was just a PR (public relations).

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 9:40 p.m. PST

Thanks for the laugh tonight, Ruchel.

You should go into standup comedy.

Ruchel15 Jan 2020 3:40 p.m. PST

Thanks for recognizing your own ignorance, Thresher01.

You should come back to school in order to learn basic education and basic culture. It is never too late.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2020 4:08 p.m. PST

You know Thresher, it wouldn't kill you to demonstrate the fabled American sense of good manners & speak politely even to people you disagree with. I think an apology is in order.

This is not a good look for you or for TMP.

SBminisguy16 Jan 2020 10:48 a.m. PST

"You know Thresher, it wouldn't kill you to demonstrate the fabled American sense of good manners & speak politely even to people you disagree with."

Nah -- Ruchel is free to say that "The US has been, and is today, the real leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world" and Thresher01 is free to tell him to go fly a kite in a thunderstorm. He can even call the President all sorts of awful epithets if he were so minded. A freedom he wouldn't have in Iran, or Russia, China or many places. Heck, the EU has passed a law once making it a crime for journalists to criticize the EU…

It's that kind of moral relativism that has crippled the West. Oh, since Ruchel is a big on on history lessons -- here's one for him:

• 1979 – Iran stormed US embassy, took diplomatic staff hostages

• 1982 – Iranian agents kidnap US citizens in Lebanon
• 1983 –

o Iranian/Hezbollah attack kills 241 US servicemen in suicide bombing in Beirut

o Iranian/Hezbollah attack on US consulate kills 63
o Iranian agents attack the US embassy in Kuwait,
killing 6
• 1984 –
o Iranian agents kidnap and kill multiple US citizens in Lebanon

o Iranian/Hezbollah attack US consulate in Lebanon, killing 24
o Iranian agents hijack Kuwait Air flight 221, diverting it to Tehran where 2 American USAID workers are executed and dumped on the tarmac

• 1985 – Iranian agents hijack TWA 847, hold hostages for 17 days, one US citizen is executed and his body dumped on the tarmac

• 1986 – Iranian/Hezbollah take multiple US citizens hostage in Lebanon
o Note – Iranian ctions continued as Reagan did the Iran-Contra hostage deal, attempting to buy off Iran. Iran responded with attacks on ships in the Persian Gulf, the US response was to destroy several Iranian oil platforms – first overt US response after 7 years of attacks by Iran.

• 1988 – Iran lays mines in the Persian Gulf, one of which strikes the frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts, which almost sinks. The US responds leading to the largest surface naval engagement since WW2 resulting in 2 destroyed Iranian oil platforms, 2 warships and 8 fast attack boats. Tragically also leads to the shoot down of an Iranian passenger plane.

• 1996 – Iranian/Hezbollah agents bomb the Khobar towers in Saudi Arabia, killing and injuring almost 400

• 1998 – Iranian agents bomb the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzaia, killing more than 200

• 2000 – Iran supported AQ's attack on the USS Cole, which killed and injured almost 50 US sailors

• Iraq: In the aftermath of the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, Iran sent in Revolutionary Guards agents to organize, train and arm Shiite militias in Iraq and try to carve out an Iranian proxy in southern Iraq and stoked secular violence. According to various articles you can find on the web, Iran had as many as 1,000 military advisors/troops in Iraq and has spent more than $1 USD Billion on the Shiite militia movements in Iraq. Direct and indirect US casualties number in the thousands.

• 2011 – Iranian agents stopped from conducting a bombing attack in Washington, DC

• Yemen: Iran backed the Shiite Houthi tribe with guns, money and advisors and the Houthi accelerated a low-level civil war into a coup de main and largely took over Yemen. Most forget that when the Houthi seized the Yemen capitol, the Obama Admin ordered the USMC embassy security detail to surrender.
o Iran then used its presence in Yemen to launch a proxy war on the Saudis and the UAE, firing Scud missiles and staging terrorist attacks from Houthi controlled territory in Yemen.
o The Saudis appealed to the Arab League, and then the Arab League – a dozen countries – sent troops into Yemen to combat the Iranian-backed Houthis.
o So what we have going on is a defacto war between Iran and the Arab League, in Yemen, which also involves the Iranian-armed Houthi launching Scuds, anti-ship missiles that have damaged and sunk mutiple cargo and military ships, drone attacks and terror attacks.

• Syria: Iran has extended significant support to Syria, both directly and via its Hezbollah proxy army, propping up the Assad regime and launching attacks on Israel.

• Iran has also been blamed for conducting terrorist attacks in:
o Albania
o Bahrain
o Germany
o India
o Israel
o Kenya
o Argentina
o Thailand
o France
o Denmark

Ruchel16 Jan 2020 5:10 p.m. PST

SBminisguy,

You do not know the differences between Chronicle and History (Historiography). It is basic knowledge. You have offered a chronicle, nothing to do with Science of history (Historiography). And your "Chronicle" does not say anything, and it does not give any explanation either.

But I remember you. You wrote nonsense about Islam religion and about theocracies. The typical Western ignorance and ethnocentrism, full of misconceptions and prejudices.

You start your chronicle in 1979. But why did some Iranians storm US embassy? This is historiography: explanations, causes, reasons, and so on. You have to do a lot of homework.

Or do you think that the Iranians have been fighting during all those years you have mentioned just because they are bad guys who like to fight and kill without reason?

The US enthroned and supported a despicable dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi, who ruined Iran and tortured and repressed many people.

The US incited and supported the war which Saddam Hussein started against Iran. Hundreds thousands of Iranian people were killed during that war. Saddam Hussein used horrible chemical weapons, with the explicit and implicit support of the US and France, amongst others.

The US has imposed harsh economic sanctions against Iran, for decades. Those sanctions have caused poverty, malnutrition and lack of medical care. Those sanctions have provoked thousands of victims.

It is therefore logical and reasonable that Iran consider the US as an enemy. Iran is an impoverished country, without any military power, fighting alone against the world's greatest military and economic superpower, and against all US allies, lackeys and puppets. So it is logical that Iran have used every method at its disposal in order to fight its enemies.
Perhaps we dislike those methods, but we can understand the reasons and motives. It is a matter of armed resistance against a military superpower.

As I mentioned earlier (other posts), Iranian actions are always related to its ancient and traditional links to Shia population who live in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and other places. They are considered as brothers and they protect each other. In fact, Syria was one of the few countries that gave Iran some support against Saddam Hussein during the criminal war started by this dictator with American support. That religious and cultural link is very ancient. It was established long before the discovery of America. If you do not understand the importance of that link, you will not understand anything about Iranian actions in Middle East.

Again, in order to understand the Iranian reasons and motives, it is necessary to know the basic characteristics of Shia Islam and its political mentality and evolution. But Western people, accustomed to intellectual laziness, prefer tabloids and meaningless chronicles as sources. They prefer to show a total lack of knowledge about other cultures and civilizations, and they are proud of their ignorance. It is the best way to believe blindly the American propaganda and the narrow-minded approach to complicated matters.

And I repeat: invasions, bombings and destabilizations carried out by the US (Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, amongst many other areas) have caused the killing of hundreds thousands of people. Some sources, Western sources by the way, mention even millions of victims. So yes, the US has been, and is today, the real leading state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

SBminisguy17 Jan 2020 1:27 p.m. PST

You do not know the differences between Chronicle and History (Historiography). It is basic knowledge. You have offered a chronicle, nothing to do with Science of history (Historiography). And your "Chronicle" does not say anything, and it does not give any explanation either.

Oh please, don't give me that reductionist pap and pretend to be an expert on Iranian history, or on history in general.

I mean really, you want to dismiss the chronological history of events taken by Iran ‘cause, what?? It doesn't jibe with your Iran as a victim of the West meme? I mean,, how far back do you want to do to set the stage for the Iranian revolution and their current day victimhood? How about we go all the way back to 480 BC and blame King Leonidas for rallying a couple thousands soldiers into a desperate defense of Thermopylae, thwarting Persian advances further into Greece? Heck, if he'd just butted out then Greece would have fallen and there never would have been that evil colonialist European culture in the first place…just Persian colonialist culture, I suppose -- I mean, it's not like they weren't familiar with the whole empire building thingie.

But I remember you. You wrote nonsense about Islam religion and about theocracies. The typical Western ignorance and ethnocentrism, full of misconceptions and prejudices.

Please explain why Iran is not a theocracy. Iran's power ultimately lays with the Council of Guardians as led by the Supreme Leader – all of whom are top religious figures of the dominant branch of Shiite religion in Iraq. Oh yes, I know you're going to counter with some pap about under Sharia Law there's no distinction between State and Church, so it's a unified society blah, blah. Sophistry. Boring.

Iran is controlled by an unelected and unaccountable Priest Caste that controls who can run for elections in the "civil" government, controls the press, controls society with force – using not just civil police, but the Religious Police and their own gestapo forces (the Basiji which is run by the Revoutionary Guard), networks of informants, and so on. If they ever set their sights on you for opposing the regime, or just not showing enough deference, or perhaps as a woman not being "modest" enough, they will bring on the pain. Oh, and if you're gay – execution.

You start your chronicle in 1979. But why did some Iranians storm US embassy? This is historiography: explanations, causes, reasons, and so on. You have to do a lot of homework.

That's not hard to comprehend. The Iranian people were chafing under the authoritarian rule of the Shah and many wanted to move to a more direct parliamentary democracy. The Shah used force and intimidation to keep the more vocal opponents in line, but otherwise allowed people to pretty much live their lives. As he came under pressure to reform and liberalize by Western governments, and by the US in particular, the Shah backed off the billy club and started political reforms.

But like almost every inflection point in a society you have mix of political and social forces and groups at play. Ayatollah Khomeini had been an anti-Shah figure for a long time, he had an assumed moral authority as a religious man and became a focal point for many.

When the Shah invited him back to Iran, nobody could fathom the black heart hidden behind his grandpa beard. Like Lenin returning to Russia he rallied and organized his forces, and in the chaos took power – much as the Muslim Brotherhood took power in the chaos after the fall of Mubarak.

As the only really organized and committed force in an Iran in deep turmoil, the Ayatollah's movement was able to outmaneuver, sideline, co-opt or literally kill the opposition who advocated a pastiche of things from US or British style democracy to Communism.

All gone, leaving just a committed reactionary utopian religious fanatic who's remedy for Iran (and the world's) ills was to magically turn back the clock to an idealized Golden Age of Islam (that never existed, btw), reject the West and embrace orthodox Sharia Law for all of society.

Or do you think that the Iranians have been fighting during all those years you have mentioned just because they are bad guys who like to fight and kill without reason?
The US enthroned and supported a despicable dictator, Shah Reza Pahlavi, who ruined Iran and tortured and repressed many people.

Oh heck no, of course they hated the Shah – they just had no idea they'd replace the Weimar Republic with the Third Reich…the corrupt Baptista regime with the murderous Castro regime…the brutal Czars with the genocidal Communists. The Ayatollahs kill more Iranians every year than the Shah did during his entire reign.

The US incited and supported the war which Saddam Hussein started against Iran. Hundreds thousands of Iranian people were killed during that war. Saddam Hussein used horrible chemical weapons, with the explicit and implicit support of the US and France, amongst others.

Sorry, that's pure revisionist bovine excrement. First, Iraq was the proxy ally of the Soviet Union not the US. Despite any overture or attempts by the Reagan admin in the 1980s the Soviets were always their primary patron. Secondly, the Iran-Iraq war started in 1980 when Jimmy Carter was in office – and before any US overtures to Iraq, and was all Saddam's play. He saw his leading opponent in disarray and moved to grab some oil producing land on the Iraq-Iran border and then defense-up before Iran got it's act together. Nothing to do with the US.

The US has imposed harsh economic sanctions against Iran, for decades. Those sanctions have caused poverty, malnutrition and lack of medical care. Those sanctions have provoked thousands of victims.

Ahhh…and why did the US put those sanctions in place? Come now, you just lectured me on falling prey to stereotypes – do you really think the US is just a buncha unrepentant Darth Vader clones that runs around slapping sanctions on countries just because? Nope – that's where that historical timeline comes into play.

Following the coup by the Ayatollah to take total power in Iran, Iran seized US assets and embarked on a killing spree, so US sanctions were a pretty measured response. But Iran is free to trade with China and Russia all it wants to, yes? And the effects you identify – poverty, lack of care, are all the results of the Theocracy's decisions. They prioritized Guns over Butter, War over Peace, Terrorism over Trade. Not to mention they disenfranchised half their population and hammered their economy by making women second-class citizens and impeding their participation in the economy.

For example, Iran has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the Houthi Shiite faction in Yemen to keep that civil war boiling over – how many kids did the Ayatollah condemn to starvation or poor health care because of that decision?

It is therefore logical and reasonable that Iran consider the US as an enemy. Iran is an impoverished country, without any military power, fighting alone against the world's greatest military and economic superpower, and against all US allies, lackeys and puppets. So it is logical that Iran have used every method at its disposal in order to fight its enemies.

No – it is not. Iran has *chosen* to make the US it's Great Satan, not the reverse. The US – directly and through allies, has made many, many attempts to normalize relations with Iran. Heck, Reagan took heat for the Iran-Contra deal in which he tried to re-open relations with Iran, even doing something as silly as sending a special cake to the Ayatollah, and so on. Reagan tried. Bush the Elder tried. Clinton tried. Obama tried. At each approach the US was met by continued hostility and further attacks. Did you not see the 2011 attempt by Iran – while Obama of the Golden Deal was in office – to blow up a cafι in Washington, DC?? And that's after Obama bent over backwards for Iran, and just about dropped his trousers!!

Perhaps we dislike those methods, but we can understand the reasons and motives. It is a matter of armed resistance against a military superpower.

This all the Ayatollah's choice. Like all despotic regimes they need an outside threat on which they can blame all the ills of their own actions. Not enough medicine? Not my fault for spending hundreds of millions creating and maintaining Hezbollah to control Lebanon and pose a proxy threat to Israel – nah, all the Great Satan's fault! Once we defeat the Great Satan and establish the Worker's Paradise…er…I mean, the Golden Age of Islam, all will be well!! Just you wait and see!

And how did blowing up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, strike a blow against the Iran's enemies? Did I miss the great Argentine colonial invasion of Iran or something??

As I mentioned earlier (other posts), Iranian actions are always related to its ancient and traditional links to Shia population who live in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and other places. They are considered as brothers and they protect each other. In fact, Syria was one of the few countries that gave Iran some support against Saddam Hussein during the criminal war started by this dictator with American support. That religious and cultural link is very ancient. It was established long before the discovery of America. If you do not understand the importance of that link, you will not understand anything about Iranian actions in Middle East.

Come on, give me a break. This is a newly rediscovered "ancient tie" that meant nothing for at least a hundred years. It meant nothing when the Ottoman Empire controlled Iraq, nothing when Iran was still called Persia, nothing under the British AND Soviet installed Shahs (forgot that little Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran in 1940/41 didn't you??), meant nothing as Iraq fell under the sway of the fascistic Baath Party socialists and so on.

The Ayatollah re-established this "ancient tie" after he took power as a way to justify his actions and create a religious-ethnic tie for his government to exploit. Just like we've seen other countries with imperial aspirations – the Nazis pumped up the German ethnic ties game, as the Chinese have been doing as Russia did in Ukraine and Georgia. Oh look, out ethnic-religious brothers about whom we've cared nothing for untold years are suddenly near and dear to us and most be protected!! So…if you don't mind I'll just blow those guys up and invade over here to protect my brothers…

Again, in order to understand the Iranian reasons and motives, it is necessary to know the basic characteristics of Shia Islam and its political mentality and evolution. But Western people, accustomed to intellectual laziness, prefer tabloids and meaningless chronicles as sources. They prefer to show a total lack of knowledge about other cultures and civilizations, and they are proud of their ignorance. It is the best way to believe blindly the American propaganda and the narrow-minded approach to complicated matters.

Iran is populated by a majority Shiite followers – but it is not a homogenous society, and not all branches of Shiism are the same. There's three main branches, and each one has their own sects – so don't pretend that there's a monolithic Shiite branch of Islam. And Iran itself is comprised of many ethnic/cultural groups – like the Tats, Azeris, Kurds Parsis, and so on. Many of them still hold their own language and customs, and until the Ayatollahs persecuted non-Shiites, there was a broader set of religious beliefs followed as well that included Sunni Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and so on. Iran was not a single ethno-religious state, and it had not been an avowed orthodox Shiite country until the Ayatolloh started killing and imprisoning people who didn't toe the line.

You seem to suffer from selective history and outrage.

Ruchel18 Jan 2020 3:30 p.m. PST

Oh please, don't give me that reductionist pap and pretend to be an expert on Iranian history, or on history in general.

Actually, I am an expert on Historiography and History Theory. I am a professor. And I am an expert on History of Political Ideas and History of Religions too. So, I repeat: the chronicle you have offered is meaningless because it does not explain anything. Historiography includes explanations, causes, reasons, motives, and so on. Chronicle is just a relation of dates and facts without any important explanation. Chronicle is not History (Science of History, Historiography). You have to do a lot of homework.

I mean really, you want to dismiss the chronological history of events taken by Iran ‘cause, what?? It doesn't jibe with your Iran as a victim of the West meme? I mean,, how far back do you want to do to set the stage for the Iranian revolution and their current day victimhood? How about we go all the way back to 480 BC and blame King Leonidas for rallying a couple thousands soldiers into a desperate defense of Thermopylae, thwarting Persian advances further into Greece? Heck, if he'd just butted out then Greece would have fallen and there never would have been that evil colonialist European culture in the first place…just Persian colonialist culture, I suppose -- I mean, it's not like they weren't familiar with the whole empire building thingie.

Western colonialist and neo-colonialist procedures are the real causes of many modern conflicts, not just in Middle East. And you cannot understand the Iranian Revolution if you do not take into consideration the previous context: the despicable dictator enthroned and supported by the US and other Western countries.

History, as a social science, studies processes, especially long-term processes (chain of causes and consequences) because they offer the most complete explanations and understandings. But you prefer simplistic and childish conclusions. Again, you have to do a lot of homework.

Please explain why Iran is not a theocracy. Iran's power ultimately lays with the Council of Guardians as led by the Supreme Leader – all of whom are top religious figures of the dominant branch of Shiite religion in Iraq. Oh yes, I know you're going to counter with some pap about under Sharia Law there's no distinction between State and Church, so it's a unified society blah, blah. Sophistry. Boring.

Iran is not a theocracy in a Western meaning. You cannot use Western definitions and conceptions in order to explain specific situations which belong to other different cultures and civilizations. Iran is a complicated country and society. Simplistic descriptions are meaningless.

Again, you know nothing about Islamic Religion. For you, real knowledge about other cultures and civilizations is sophistry. So, in your opinion, people who study Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism are sophists. It is evident that studying and obtaining knowledge is boring for you. You prefer to be on the couch watching TV, reading tabloids, eating doughnuts and drinking beer. I understand now why your comments are uneducated and nonsense.

Iran is controlled by an unelected and unaccountable Priest Caste that controls who can run for elections in the "civil" government, controls the press, controls society with force – using not just civil police, but the Religious Police and their own gestapo forces (the Basiji which is run by the Revoutionary Guard), networks of informants, and so on. If they ever set their sights on you for opposing the regime, or just not showing enough deference, or perhaps as a woman not being "modest" enough, they will bring on the pain. Oh, and if you're gay – execution.

You do not know the meaning of "Sharia Law". You insist on applying Western concepts which are meaningless in an Islamic context. For example, Islamic religion does not have words to name "State" or "Church". Many Western concepts are alien to Islamic thoughts. And yes, the Islamic distinction between secular and religious aspects of life is very different than Western conceptions. You should study thoroughly in order to understand other cultures and civilizations. But you prefer to be proud of your ignorance.

Iranian society is varied and complicated. Its political system is complicated too, and all social branches are involved in it, not just Ayatollahs. There are no "priests" in Islamic religion and there are no "castes" either. Yes, the religious aspects are always present, but this is an intrinsic feature of Shia societies (and of Sunni societies too but with different approaches).
Iranian system is far from perfect, and it needs lots of reforms and changes. But that is Iranian's business. Only the Iranian society has legitimacy about its own present and future, without foreign interference (US imperialism).

As the only really organized and committed force in an Iran in deep turmoil, the Ayatollah's movement was able to outmaneuver, sideline, co-opt or literally kill the opposition who advocated a pastiche of things from US or British style democracy to Communism.

The Shah ruined the country in every aspect: economic, social, religious, moral. He tortured and repressed many people. He planted the seed of the Revolution. The US support to the Shah planted the seed of enmity. As you can see, causes and consequences.

Like every other revolution, there were many excesses, violence and revenge. Those oscillating movements are unavoidable. But the revolution was successful because most Iranian people wanted it, and because the Ayatollahs embodied the change they sought. But the system inherited from the revolution must change as well and admit reforms. The continuous change is a typical Shia Islam feature, and Shia Islam dislikes stagnation.

By the way, Muslim Brotherhood did not "take the power". Muslim Brotherhood won democratic elections. They were democratically elected.

All gone, leaving just a committed reactionary utopian religious fanatic who's remedy for Iran (and the world's) ills was to magically turn back the clock to an idealized Golden Age of Islam (that never existed, btw), reject the West and embrace orthodox Sharia Law for all of society.

You add new absurdities. The concept of returning to a "Golden Age of Islam" does not exist in Islamic religion or thought. It is just the opposite. Islamic eschatology considers that any kind of return is impossible. There will be no "Golden Age of Islam". Even the Shia doctrine of Imam has nothing to do with a "Golden Age of Islam".

More absurdities: "orthodox Sharia Law". Sharia is not a Law in a Western meaning and it is not a legal code either. It is a spiritual and ethical concept which has nothing to do with human legal codes. Therefore, Sharia cannot be "orthodox" or "heterodox". It is another proof of your ignorance. It is the typical Western misunderstanding: confusion between "Sharia" and "Fiqh" (legal codes and jurisprudence).

Sorry, but tabloids and Wikipedia are not reliable sources. You should learn from specific bibliography.

Oh heck no, of course they hated the Shah – they just had no idea they'd replace the Weimar Republic with the Third Reich…the corrupt Baptista regime with the murderous Castro regime…the brutal Czars with the genocidal Communists. The Ayatollahs kill more Iranians every year than the Shah did during his entire reign.

That conclusion is speculation and demagogy. But if you like comparisons, please note that US actions in Middle East (invasions, occupations, bombings, destabilizations, support to dictators, support to terrorist groups, economic sanctions and so on) have caused millions deaths.

Sorry, that's pure revisionist bovine excrement.

That comment reveals your low educational level and your lack of basic culture.

Iraq was the proxy ally of the Soviet Union not the US. Despite any overture or attempts by the Reagan admin in the 1980s the Soviets were always their primary patron. Secondly, the Iran-Iraq war started in 1980 when Jimmy Carter was in office – and before any US overtures to Iraq, and was all Saddam's play. He saw his leading opponent in disarray and moved to grab some oil producing land on the Iraq-Iran border and then defense-up before Iran got it's act together. Nothing to do with the US.

Soviet Union, the US and most Western countries supported Saddam Hussein during his criminal war against Iran. It is an undeniable fact. It is historically proven. Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons with the American approval and with the French technical support. Only Syria gave some support to Iran. America supported Saddam Hussein during that criminal war. In that war hundreds thousands of Iranian people were killed. Someone who supports a criminal becomes a criminal too. It is the truth. Deal with it.


Following the coup by the Ayatollah to take total power in Iran, Iran seized US assets and embarked on a killing spree, so US sanctions were a pretty measured response.

Due to economic and strategic interests, the US intention was always to support a puppet government in Iran, such as the Shah. The US was hostile to any kind of revolution which altered the status quo, that is, the economic and strategic control of Iran. The US was against any kind of revolution from the beginning because they knew that American economic and strategic interest were in danger. Iranian leaders were not stupid and considered that the US was and will be the main enemy against the revolution, because the revolution harmed seriously American interests. So the fact is that Iranian revolution had to defend itself from the beginning, and using every mean at its disposal, taking into account that Iranian economy was in crisis before the revolution.

Every American policy, since the revolution, has been aimed, and it is aimed today, at the destruction of the revolutionary government. And, as a consequence, as a reaction, the Iranian government has become more radical. Both ingredients (US criminal hostility and Iranian radical reaction) have ruined Iran.

No – it is not. Iran has *chosen* to make the US it's Great Satan, not the reverse. The US – directly and through allies, has made many, many attempts to normalize relations with Iran. Heck, Reagan took heat for the Iran-Contra deal in which he tried to re-open relations with Iran, even doing something as silly as sending a special cake to the Ayatollah, and so on. Reagan tried. Bush the Elder tried. Clinton tried. Obama tried. At each approach the US was met by continued hostility and further attacks.

The US concept of "normalize" relations is the complete submission to American economic and strategic interests, that is, that Iran must follow the example of other puppet states such as Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt… Only Iran is missing in that collection of puppets.

Great Satan is a symbolic expression. It can be applied to anything (material or spiritual) that is considered a criminal and destructive power. So it is understandable that the US is considered a Great Satan given the American responsibility for the killing of millions of people in Middle East (Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, …).

So please, avoid childish and fanatical conclusions about American good guys and Iranian villains.

Come on, give me a break.

No, I do not want to give you a break because you have to do a lot of homework yet.

This is a newly rediscovered "ancient tie" that meant nothing for at least a hundred years.

The Ayatollah re-established this "ancient tie" after he took power as a way to justify his actions and create a religious-ethnic tie for his government to exploit. Just like we've seen other countries with imperial aspirations

Those ancient ties are not "a new discovery". People who have studied the cultural evolution of Shia Islam have a complete knowledge about those links. But, again, you know nothing about that matter. For centuries, there have been continuous cultural and social contacts between all those Shia communities, including familiar and genealogical links between them. The cultural and social link has been impressive and it is well documented for centuries. Those ties and links have their roots in the specific Shia concept of community (Umma), different from Sunni concept in some aspects (different ways of brotherhood).

And that concept has nothing to do with Western ethnical or nationalist ideologies. Again, your ethnocentrism, your ignorance, and your narrow-minded approaches produce a new set of distortions and fallacies.

ran is populated by a majority Shiite followers – but it is not a homogenous society, and not all branches of Shiism are the same. There's three main branches, and each one has their own sects – so don't pretend that there's a monolithic Shiite branch of Islam. And Iran itself is comprised of many ethnic/cultural groups – like the Tats, Azeris, Kurds Parsis, and so on. Many of them still hold their own language and customs, and until the Ayatollahs persecuted non-Shiites, there was a broader set of religious beliefs followed as well

Well, that paragraph is interesting.

I am aware of the great Iranian cultural diversity. For this reason, any simplification concerning Iranian society and government is useless and unfair. I am aware of the different Shia branches and countless sects, in fact, I have studied them for decades. It is a fascinating cultural richness.

"Orthodox" Shia Islam does not exist. The current hegemonic Shia doctrine is a relatively modern school of legal thinking with a limited scope. But nowadays this hegemony is contested by the immense richness of Shia traditions and every day Iranian people become more tolerant and solidary.

and until the Ayatollahs persecuted non-Shiites

Other cults such as Sunni Islam, Christianity and Judaism are in fact allowed.

Iranian society is diverse, culturally rich and clever. Step by step Iranian people will change their country, improving their lives and keeping intact their religious traditions. They do not need invasions, bombings or cruel economic sanctions. Iranian people should find their own ways in order to organize their society and their country, according to their ancestral culture, avoiding Western political and cultural colonialism. In short,they should achieve two aims: resistance against US imperialism and national improvement through social tolerance and solidarity.

Finally, SBminisguy, once again your comments are examples of ethnocentrism, ignorance, lack of critical thinking, intellectual laziness, intolerance, and so on. You admit that true knowledge (Historiography, religion, other cultures and civilizations,…) is boring. You prefer to follow unfounded Western prejudices and fallacies. You prefer to use tabloids and American propaganda as sources of "knowledge". Your choice is the American fanatical nationalism.

If you want to discuss these topics, you should study deeply. Otherwise you will offer nonsense and you will show your ignorance. It is not necessary and it does not add anything of importance. You lack basic education and formation. Moreover, you fall short of good manners and politeness. A bad example on this board.

You seem to suffer from nationalist pseudo-history, ignorance and impoliteness.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2020 6:21 a.m. PST

@ Ruchel

It is an education to read your post. Thank you.

I hate to break into your comprehensive response to SBMiniGuy but his comment deserves a response:

Like all despotic regimes they need an outside threat on which they can blame all the ills of their own actions

The descriptor "despotic" needs to be removed. Only on the news recently I heard the leader of a powerful Western democracy blame the man he replaced some years ago for several domestic & foreign policy problems. Put "weak" into its place, if you think an adjective is needed.

SBminisguy19 Jan 2020 9:15 p.m. PST

Actually, I am an expert on Historiography and History Theory. I am a professor. And I am an expert on History of Political Ideas and History of Religions too. So, I repeat: the chronicle you have offered is meaningless because it does not explain anything. Historiography includes explanations, causes, reasons, motives, and so on. Chronicle is just a relation of dates and facts without any important explanation. Chronicle is not History (Science of History, Historiography). You have to do a lot of homework.

Good for you. I can tell you're an academic by your preference of using many words to say very little, and to launch appeal to authority attacks.
Western colonialist and neo-colonialist procedures are the real causes of many modern conflicts, not just in Middle East. And you cannot understand the Iranian Revolution if you do not take into consideration the previous context: the despicable dictator enthroned and supported by the US and other Western countries.

It has been more than a half-century since European Colonialism collapsed (and we're now seeing Chinese Colonialism, eh?), this is now an excuse used by the incompetent and the corrupt to explain how poorly managed their countries are, and to excuse all manners of actions.
History, as a social science, studies processes, especially long-term processes (chain of causes and consequences) because they offer the most complete explanations and understandings. But you prefer simplistic and childish conclusions. Again, you have to do a lot of homework.

So do you, my friend – the history of the Middle East did not begin with the discovery of oil in 1908. You're using a shallow, dogmatic focal point for your opinions which eliminates the long rich history of a culture like Iran and infantilizes them into a caricature you then use to attack the West.

Iran is not a theocracy in a Western meaning. You cannot use Western definitions and conceptions in order to explain specific situations which belong to other different cultures and civilizations. Iran is a complicated country and society. Simplistic descriptions are meaningless.

Then why do you use such simplistic arguments, so simplistic that I knew you'd resort to it? Iran was ruled by a successive way of moderating Shahs from the middle of the 19th century and by 1979 Iranian society had not lived under orthodox Islamic Sharia Law for almost 100 years. So there was no tradition or social expectation of such. Ayatollah Khomenei was a reactionary utopian who imposed his vision of Islamic society upon Iran at gun point.
Again, you know nothing about Islamic Religion. For you, real knowledge about other cultures and civilizations is sophistry. So, in your opinion, people who study Islam, Buddhism or Hinduism are sophists. It is evident that studying and obtaining knowledge is boring for you. You prefer to be on the couch watching TV, reading tabloids, eating doughnuts and drinking beer. I understand now why your comments are uneducated and nonsense.

Another lazy ad hominem attack. Typical of a dogmatic leftist professor who's run out of ideas. I don't consider people who study other religions to be sophists, and you'd be surprised at what I've read, studied, know, and where I've travelled. But it is sophistry to pretend that a duck is not a duck, and that a theocracy is not a theocracy simply by the declaration of the theocrats that they are not, and are outside the realm of Western understanding. Please. Socrates would beat you with a stick. Here's a definition:
THEOCRACY
NOUN
1. a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.
It's not like there haven't been Western societies ruled by a priest class – thus the Latin term, yes??
You do not know the meaning of "Sharia Law". You insist on applying Western concepts which are meaningless in an Islamic context. For example, Islamic religion does not have words to name "State" or "Church". Many Western concepts are alien to Islamic thoughts. And yes, the Islamic distinction between secular and religious aspects of life is very different than Western conceptions. You should study thoroughly in order to understand other cultures and civilizations. But you prefer to be proud of your ignorance.

*Sigh* You really are tiresome. Do YOU know what Sharia Law is? Do you know it is an amalgam of laws and traditions, including absorbing much of Biblical Deuteronomic Law? Go read the key tenets of Sharia Law, then go look at the laws laid down to govern society in Deuteronomy. Should look familiar, as should the concept that divine law covers all aspects of society, from civil to criminal, to economic, to social and religious. Ain't a new thing. A number of cultures across history have done that before.
Iranian society is varied and complicated. Its political system is complicated too, and all social branches are involved in it, not just Ayatollahs. There are no "priests" in Islamic religion and there are no "castes" either. Yes, the religious aspects are always present, but this is an intrinsic feature of Shia societies (and of Sunni societies too but with different approaches).

It's funny that you keep saying "Iranian society is varied and complicated" and then you reduce it down to being a Shiite Sharia Law thing. Again, Iran was not a Sharia Law society until 1979 when it was imposed on the Iranian people by force. You presume that this choice was made freely by and with the consent and support of the majority of Iranians – and you would be wrong. And the thousands recently shot down in the streets in Iran also belies any belief you have that most Iranians support the current regime.


Iranian system is far from perfect, and it needs lots of reforms and changes. But that is Iranian's business. Only the Iranian society has legitimacy about its own present and future, without foreign interference (US imperialism).

But it can't, can it? You keep insisting Iran is a Sharia Law society that is incomprehensible to a Westerner. But it's quite easy to understand. Since Sharia Law is based on the divine truth directly from God, it cannot be reformed or changed in the eyes of the orthodox clergy in charge of society – though they also know the economic and social track they have put their country on is a dead end. They are stuck in a trap of their own making, like the Soviets were in the 1980s. Soviet totalitarian communism had failed. The people were less and less accepting of the moral authority of the communist party to rule. So they tried to reform with the glasnost and perestroika programs, which by their very nature were an admission of the bankruptcy of the ideals and practicality of communism. Their reforms further eroded their legitimacy and hastened their end. The mullahs in Iran are in the same trap. If they try to reform, they admit they were wrong – but since they claim to be acting on behalf of God carrying out His divine will on Earth, that means either they carried out God's plans wrong – or God is wrong. That's the trap of any totalitarian theocracy.
The Shah ruined the country in every aspect: economic, social, religious, moral. He tortured and repressed many people. He planted the seed of the Revolution. The US support to the Shah planted the seed of enmity. As you can see, causes and consequences.

According to who? He wasn't the first Shah, just the last one. And as pointed out there had been reform minded Shahs before him, he was just the last in line – the one that decided *not* to roll the tanks into the streets and leave Iran. As Shahs go he also wasn't the most brutal, for all that he was an authoritarian. So it's really weird that you claim he ruined Iran in every aspect – economic, social, religious, moral. By 1979 Iranian society was fairly Western and women had increasing access to education, the economy and rights; the economy was doing fairly well, and it was a religiously tolerant society. After the revolution the imposition of a top-to-bottom totalitarian Sharia Law orthodoxy reversed all of that. The Ayatollah's revolution was truly reactionary.
Like every other revolution, there were many excesses, violence and revenge. Those oscillating movements are unavoidable. But the revolution was successful because most Iranian people wanted it, and because the Ayatollahs embodied the change they sought. But the system inherited from the revolution must change as well and admit reforms. The continuous change is a typical Shia Islam feature, and Shia Islam dislikes stagnation.

That's again where you applying a blanket statement that is not supported by the history of which you profess to be such an expert. The revolution was successful because most Iranian people wanted it – yes. But few knew or understood what the Ayatollah really wanted. They presumed he was a moral figure that lent legitimacy to the fall of the Shah – they had no idea he was going to grab total power for himself and then force a reactionary view of utopian Islam onto Iran at gun point.
By the way, Muslim Brotherhood did not "take the power". Muslim Brotherhood won democratic elections. They were democratically elected.

You missed my point. Let me clarify. As in Iran at the fall of the Shah, the Muslim Brotherhood was the only organized movement in Egypt when President Obama forced the secular, authoritarian Mubarak from power. They were able to outmaneuver their disorganized foes and get elected – and almost immediately started running full tilt at implementing their own reactionary utopian vision of Islam onto Egyptian society, publicly musing about demolishing the Pyramids and so on. When some people took to the streets to protest this wave of changes, the Muslim Brotherhood beat them down and rejected calls for another election. This led to a second popular revolt by Egyptians to eject the Brotherhood from power.
You add new absurdities. The concept of returning to a "Golden Age of Islam" does not exist in Islamic religion or thought. It is just the opposite. Islamic eschatology considers that any kind of return is impossible. There will be no "Golden Age of Islam". Even the Shia doctrine of Imam has nothing to do with a "Golden Age of Islam".

Hmmm…you can't decide whether to be specific or speak in sweeping generalizations, do you? In general, if you are an orthodox muslim then you want to reject Westernism and embrace the Qu'ran as the source of all religious, moral and legal authority. You should read Reza Aslan's "No God but God," he lays out the premise that we are experiencing 50 years of westernization/reform of Islam butting heads with orthodox adherents who blame the troubles of the muslim world on Westernism. Loosely called Islamism, the remedy is to return to orthodox Islam to cure all their ills. And of course, many factions all have their own interpretation of what orthodoxy to promote – thus various sects and factions warring with each other as more, or more so, than against "the West."
More absurdities: "orthodox Sharia Law". Sharia is not a Law in a Western meaning and it is not a legal code either. It is a spiritual and ethical concept which has nothing to do with human legal codes. Therefore, Sharia cannot be "orthodox" or "heterodox". It is another proof of your ignorance. It is the typical Western misunderstanding: confusion between "Sharia" and "Fiqh" (legal codes and jurisprudence).

Nope. It's not hard to understand Shari – it's a total system of sweeping religious, civil law, criminal law, economic code and social practices, all of which is directly handed down by God and as such is His divine will. So there is no separation of Church and State – which makes it hard to argue against or reform. Western Law derives from a different religious/theological path and is based on Judeo-Christian preinciples, which include the concept of separation of Church and State, Free Will, the worth of the Individual and so on, and is the foundation for our modern concepts of "Human Rights."
Oh heck no, of course they hated the Shah – they just had no idea they'd replace the Weimar Republic with the Third Reich…the corrupt Baptista regime with the murderous Castro regime…the brutal Czars with the genocidal Communists. The Ayatollahs kill more Iranians every year than the Shah did during his entire reign.

That conclusion is speculation and demagogy. But if you like comparisons, please note that US actions in Middle East (invasions, occupations, bombings, destabilizations, support to dictators, support to terrorist groups, economic sanctions and so on) have caused millions deaths.

Once you sift through the sources, the deaths caused by the Shah range from 2000-4000 people across his whole reign. That's way more than acceptable. But the Ayatollah's regime executed 8000 people in the first year the Revolution, and more each year after that. 1988 was a banner year with 30,000 executions.
That comment reveals your low educational level and your lack of basic culture.

What a boor you are. You are so blind to reality, having crafted a bubble ‘verse you maintain with your arrogant presumption of superiority in order to reject what you don't agree with. Will your bubble pop when the Iranian people root the clerics from power?? Probably not – once a dogmatist always a dogmatist. Good luck with that.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2020 10:50 p.m. PST

I also enjoyed your thread a lot, my friend Ruchel… but Iran is responsible for the attack on the Embassy and AMIA of Israel in Buenos Aires … And also participated in the murder of the Prosecutor Nissman … they are no inocent babies….

The failed "pact" with the Queen of Thieves (Cristina Fernandez) and her band is another interesting chapter to analyce….

Amicalement
Armand

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 8:00 a.m. PST

SBminisguy, you mention Iran not being under Sharia law during the Shahs. Maybe true but somewhat irrelevant.

Rule of law in a lot of third world countries is dubious. What the law says and what is practiced by both the people and local officials are separate things.

The average third world state up to recently is agrarian and state law seldom extends outside of cities and in many cases the capital.

Many muslims lived (and still live) according to various cultural and religious customs that include Sharia or elements of.

Look at Pakistan-honour killings are illegal but the law is badly adhered to and the killings go on without repercussion.

It is an extreme example but it shows rule of law and actual practice are often different things.

The Shah was toppled by Islamists because they had support among the people and not the increasingly secular Shah.

And you mention Communism failed which us true. Western liberal democracy is also slowly dying.

Democracy, secularism and liberalism are historical aberrations and the world is moving to replace them, even in many a western states.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa20 Jan 2020 11:16 a.m. PST

The Shah was toppled by Islamists because they had support among the people and not the increasingly secular Shah.

A wide spread of secular political groups, particularly on the left, initially supported the revolution – but generally all got kicked under a bus in the following months and years since the Islamists had pretty much grabbed hold of the all the leavers of power. Not exactly an unusual occurrence, a revolution being hijacked by the most ideologically hard-line, who believe the ends justify the means.

SBminisguy20 Jan 2020 11:29 a.m. PST

SBminisguy, you mention Iran not being under Sharia law during the Shahs. Maybe true but somewhat irrelevant.

Not irrelevant since Ruchel is arguing that the Iranian people wanted to live under orthodox Sharia Law -- and that's not the case. Iranian society had been going through a century-long process of moderation. I'm sure it was more pronounced with the urbanites that among the country folks, but even in the country-side they didn't have a strict Sharia Law-based society. This was imposed on them by the Ayatollah.

A wide spread of secular political groups, particularly on the left, initially supported the revolution – but generally all got kicked under a bus in the following months and years since the Islamists had pretty much grabbed hold of the all the leavers of power. Not exactly an unusual occurrence, a revolution being hijacked by the most ideologically hard-line, who believe the ends justify the means.

Yep. And not just kicked under the bus, but given a bullet in the skull or rope around their necks if they were too prominent or outspoken.

SBminisguy20 Jan 2020 11:34 a.m. PST

And you mention Communism failed which us true. Western liberal democracy is also slowly dying.


Not slowly dying, which would imply some natural flaw or uncorrectable error with liberal democracy -- more like being actively fought by reactionary totalitarian leftism. Fought by those who feel they should be in charge, and have nihlistically convinced themselves utopia is a hand if only they could shape society and the nature of humankind in just the right way. What will replace it? We have seen the alternative illustrated in almost 200 million corpses from the last century of utopian socialist movements.

Democracy, secularism and liberalism are historical aberrations and the world is moving to replace them, even in many a western states.

Maybe. Maybe we can't overcome our genetics that evolved as pack animals being led by an Alpha. Maybe the desire by some to be Alphas and the desire by many others to be led, managed and "cared for" by the pack leader is stronger than the desire to be a self-governing individual.

USAFpilot20 Jan 2020 1:01 p.m. PST

Democracy, secularism and liberalism are historical aberrations and the world is moving to replace them, even in many a western states.

arealdeadone, a serious question for you: what is the replacement form of government? Something like past theocracies or dictatorships; or some new form of government.

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 3:16 p.m. PST

So how much of the people of Iran in 1979 did the secular leftist groups represent? Did they represent a few inner city elites and university students (very often the case)? The country was still over 50% agrarian. I suspect the average Iranian lived a life closer to Sharia than western secularism.

[quoteNot slowly dying, which would imply some natural flaw or uncorrectable error with liberal democracy -- more like being actively fought by reactionary totalitarian leftism.

Not sure what reactionary totalitarian leftism you are talking about. It is mainly a dead thing in the west. Even most of the centre left in English speaking countries moved to the hard right economically from the 1980s on (people like Tony Blair and Australia's Bob Hawke are great examples of how economically right wing the centre left has become).

Hardline lefties did not invent the Patriot Act in the US or the various laws in Australia that now allow media organisations to be raided by the police or government whistleblowers to face 161 years in prison for revealing government wrong doings or even arresting, trying and sentencing people in secret (yes this has happened in Australia recently ( link )

Those were mainly be centre right and centre left types who think of themselves as moderate.

It wasn't the hardline lefties that introduced neoliberalism that effectively empowered multinational corporations over common citizens, and thus eroded the trust in government across many western states. That was again centre-right and centre-left politicians.

It wasn't hardline lefties who created the undemocratic technocratic institutions of the EU. Again that was more moderate centre left and centre right politicians. It wasn't hardline lefties that created NAFTA or any of these economic agreements whose main beneficiaries are large corporations at the expanse of normal people.


It wasn't hardline lefties who agreed on off shoring industrial production to Asia. Again centre-right and centre-left governments through right wing neoliberal organisations like GATT, IMF etc.

Right wing politicians in Eastern Europe now embrace "illiberal democracy" as championed by Hungary's Orban or Poland's ruling Law and Justice party (people in Poland now get tried for blasphemy!). But this is creeping across all of the west.

Also Islamic terrorism has been a godsend for the ruling elites. It allows them to implement draconian laws under the guise of national security. It removes accountability and transparency from the political process.


Basically by embracing neoliberalism, the west signed its own death sentence back in the 1970s. It isn't collapsing quickly but then even Rome didn't fall in one day.

To quote the great Franklin Roosevelt:

"The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power."

arealdeadone, a serious question for you: what is the replacement form of government? Something like past theocracies or dictatorships; or some new form of government.

I suspect the replacements will be various theocracies, dictatorships of various ilks or puppet democracies controlled by corporate elites (already the case in some places). As always it will be dictated by cultural norms and flow of events.

I also don't think it will be brought by revolution. It's clearly a long term process whereby we lose freedom and rights slowly. In fact the masses agree to it on grounds of national security or in general pay no attention to it because many of the new illiberal laws are strangely worded.


The rise of China as basically a very successful fascist* state has also shattered the concept you need to be democratic to be rich. (Of course this happened in the past with South Korea, early Japan, Chile etc, but China has become a superpower). And with superpowerdom comes the flow of ideas. Other people look to success for inspiration.

*Not much communism left, what is left is closer to fascism ideologically."

I don't think any of this is a good thing. I think it is natural given the flow of events.

But my daughter was born into a country (Australia) that has more inequality, more poverty, more homelessness and is becoming more authoritarian, with less faith in government that what I grew up in the 1980s.

USAFpilot20 Jan 2020 3:52 p.m. PST

It's the age old problem between the haves and the have nots. It's a vicious cycle of the "have nots" overthrowing the "haves"; and then you get a new group of "haves" and the cycle repeats. I think George Orwell wrote a book about that.

Despite all the ills of capitalism, of which there are many; it is the ideas of capitalism and competition that has propelled humans forward. Looking back at the entire arc of history, the human race as a whole has never had it better.

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