I once spoke to someone who had traveled extensively in Syria. His favorite part of the country? Their monuments to their smashing 1967 victory over Israel.
I think of that when I read this “threat” from Ahmadinejad to Obama:
If you set step in [President George] Bush’s path, the nations’ response would be the same tooth-breaking one as they gave Bush.
Ah yes, like that time when Iran lead a coalition of dozens of countries to invade America and overthrow George Bush. Or that time when Iranian airpower supported indigenous rebels to overthrow America’s Christianist government.
Yes, it’s true, the nations of the world certainly got the better of George W. Bush. Obama has much to fear, indeed.
Apollo posted this at 12:30 PM CDT on Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 as George Bush Rules!, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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This Gertz brief ought to be jaw-dropping. From “a U.S. official involved in countering weapons proliferation”:
There are powerful incentives for [Iran] to close the door [to nuclear weapons] completely, but they are either purposefully ignoring them or are tone deaf. You almost want to shout, ‘Tune in Tehran.’
One of my favorite types of humor is when clueless people attribute their cluelessness to others. If you can read “Tune in Tehran” in much the same tone that Alicia Silverstone said “As if!”, this becomes the funniest quote you’ll read all day.
Apollo posted this at 12:42 AM CDT on Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 as Humor, Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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American intelligence on Iran SUX!
Apollo posted this at 8:42 PM CDT on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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I’m somewhat surprised, but very pleased, that these numbers are so high. The American people know right from wrong, and we believe that it should apply to the international arena. We are perhaps the most dangerous idealists in world history.
Apollo posted this at 6:52 PM CDT on Thursday, August 28th, 2008 as Amer-I-Can!, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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When puttering through the Obama speech that contained his low attack against McCain, I found this:
The war in Iraq has emboldened Iran, which poses the greatest challenge to American interests in the Middle East in a generation, continuing its nuclear program and threatening our ally, Israel.
Wait a minute. I have a memory that extends more than a few days, and I can remember back when Obama believed, hook line and sinker, the National Intelligence Estimate that said Iran had stopped its nuclear program. In fact, with a pretty much effortless search, I found him buying in to the NIE on December 18, just three short months ago.
I continued the googling. Two months before he bought into the Iranian NIE, he faulted members of Congress for believing the “unconvincing” NIE on Iraq in 2002. Two months earlier-August-here he is citing an NIE about al Qaeda. In 2006 he approvingly cited an NIE which concluded, in his words, that we were “creating more terrorists in Iraq than we’re defeating.” Here (9/12/07) he approvingly cites to Bob Graham disbelieving the NIE before the Iraq war. In this undated PDF he cites as authority an NIE regarding al Qaeda in Pakistan.
I can’t find much more, since the extensive message boards makes his site difficult to search, but I had no idea he had such a love/hate relationship with published intelligence information. Sometimes (i.e. when it cuts against the administration) it’s authoritative; other times (i.e. when it leads to military action) it’s just patently unconvincing. And I can’t track down what has happened in the last three months to make Obama start believing that Iran was still working on its nuclear program.
Apollo posted this at 10:12 PM CDT on Wednesday, March 19th, 2008 as Audacity of Hype, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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Their crime: adultery. Or was it?
The two were found guilty of adultery — a capital crime in Islamic Iran — after the husband of one sister presented video evidence showing them in the company of other men while he was away
The pair admitted they were in the video presented by the husband but argued that there was no adultery as none of the footage showed them engaged in a sexual act with other men.
Iranian sperm must be a powerful force if adultery is possible without sex!
Dorothy posted this at 2:13 PM CDT on Tuesday, February 5th, 2008 as Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go, Those Wacky Foreigners
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My father — who served on the National Intelligence Council during the Regan Administration — has an excellent piece at the American Thinker about the new intelligence estimate on Iran:
To understand what to do next, keep in mind that all NIEs consist of two parts: the “Key Judgments” and the text itself. It’s the text that includes, or should include, the evidence that our intelligence agencies have gathered relevant to the issue at hand. Obviously, you complete the text before writing the Key Judgments, which emerge from the text itself.
What was released on Monday is only the Key Judgments. The text itself hasn’t been released — and won’t be, because the text presumably contains highly classified data relating to what we’ve learned about Iran’s nuclear programs from all sources including, of course, our spies and satellites.
But the text is available to leading members of Congress, including members of both the House and Senate intelligence oversight committees. Today — right now, this instant — every one of these individuals should get hold of a copy of the NIE and read it. More precisely, they should cancel whatever appointments and public events are on their calendars, turn off their cell phones, then sit quietly with a pen in hand and work their way, slowly and carefully, through the text of the NIE. And when they’ve done that, each Representative or Senator should step forward to report – without giving details – whether the Key Judgment about Iran’s nuclear weapons program is, or isn’t, supported by the evidence.
But given Congress’ track record…
Alas, given today’s partisan political atmosphere — and, even more distressing, the limited intellectual abilities of the people we elect — this may not be sufficient to provide the confidence we need. If ever there was a time for a fast-track Presidential commission – this is it. Why not ask a half-dozen or so of the sharpest minds in our country to read through this NIE and to tell us – again, without providing details — whether the Key Judgment is supported by evidence within the NIE’s text. Not all members of this commission need be intelligence experts – or Iran experts, for that matter. In fact, it would be better if most aren’t. The two qualities required are intellectual firepower and credibility. We ought to be able to find six such souls among the nearly 300 million of us. And the whole thing shouldn’t take more than a week’s time, if that.
Tom posted this at 10:51 AM CDT on Wednesday, December 5th, 2007 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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So Iran stopped trying to build a bomb, but they’re still enriching uranium?
The estimate noted that Iran continues to enrich uranium for a civil nuclear energy program. But the intelligence experts said they did not consider this a weapons program because it is being done at openly declared facilities under international supervision.
Uh huh. And if they were to take that enriched uranium, walk across the street, and hand it to their weapons developers, the international supervisors would do what, exactly? On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you trust the considerations of the American intelligence community? We’re flying blind. If the NIE said the sky was blue, I would verify it for myself.
From the AP story:
The intelligence officials said they do not know all the reasons why Iran halted its weapons program, or what might trigger its resumption. They said they are confident that diplomatic and political pressure played a key role, but said the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Libya’s termination of its nuclear program and the implosion of the illegal nuclear smuggling network run by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan also might have influenced Tehran.
Uh huh. Us toppling their neighbor because he kept his WMD program opaque “also might have influenced” the Mullahs to stop building a bomb? But intelligence officials “are confident that diplomatic and political pressures played a key role”?
Apollo posted this at 12:16 PM CDT on Tuesday, December 4th, 2007 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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Reading this George Will column about the Curveball intelligence fiasco gave me horrid feelings of being back in 2002. What goes too much unsaid is that the treaty that ended the first gulf war was the most disastrous foreign agreement in at least the last hundred years of American history. Characters like Curveball were only believable because the treaty set up a cockamamie system of inspections and “presidential sites”. In a situation in which there can be no truly reliable intelligence, everything becomes equally reliable in the minds of readers. I had hoped that one of the outcomes of toppling Saddam is that it would establish in the minds of rogue states that the burden of proof was upon them to show that they were not in possession of WMD. Instead, I now fear, as Will seems to, that instead the burden of proof is again on us, and the standard of evidence is now too high for us to ever meet it again.
Apollo posted this at 5:07 AM CDT on Sunday, November 11th, 2007 as Global War on Terror, Iraq, Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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Guess who said this:
The only way to turn off the anti-U.S. war machine is to end the radical Shiite revolution against the Sunni Muslim world and the West. Accomplishing such a goal requires a change of regime, and the institution of democracy. We have seen what has happened in other areas around the world through a combination of economic and political pressure on a regime.
A democratic regime in Iran will create more political freedom and human rights for women, religious minorities, and homosexuals in Iran. And it will go a long way toward ending the war in Iraq, eliminating the nuclear threat, and reducing terrorist attacks. It will not come without great sacrifice among the freedom fighters in Iran. They should not be alone in the fight.
A liberal hawk, you say? Not quite. C’mon, guess. Read the rest of this entry »
Hubbard posted this at 5:29 PM CDT on Wednesday, October 24th, 2007 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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Hubbard posted this at 6:34 PM CDT on Sunday, September 30th, 2007 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in town again. Jamie Kirchick notes a sharp contrast::
This week’s United Nations General Assembly, where the world’s leaders — many of them unelected despots — is a veritable rogues’ gallery. Garnering most of the critical press coverage has been the Holocaust-denying and Holocaust-prophesizing president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whom Columbia University President Lee Bollinger invited onto his campus for a speaking engagement today. The gleeful way in which one of the country’s leading universities has welcomed a murderous thug to address its student body is, indeed, sickening. Across the pond, however, Prime Minister Brown is showing the sort of spine in dealing with another tyrant that ought influence how President Bollinger comports himself.
Last week, Prime Minister Brown set the stage for what is likely to become a major, transcontinental diplomatic row. In a piece for the Independent newspaper, Mr. Brown protested the Portuguese government’s decision to invite Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe to Lisbon for a European Union-Africa summit in December. By doing so, the Portuguese would violate a 2002 E.U. travel ban placed on Mr. Mugabe and 130 other top Zimbabwean officials. “President Mugabe’s attendance would mean lifting the E.U. visa ban that we have collectively imposed. I believe that President Mugabe’s presence would undermine the summit, diverting attention from the important issues that need to be resolved,” Mr. Brown wrote. He then issued an ultimatum: “In those circumstances, my attendance would not be appropriate.”
Good for Gordon Brown!
Michael Barone and Glenn Reynolds also note an interesting contrast:
Columbia doesn’t host ROTC or (I think) military recruiters on campus, because it would be just too offensive to do so, because the military obeys the law passed by a Democratic Congress and signed by Bill Clinton which bars open homosexuals from serving in the military. OK.
But Columbia does host Ahmedinejad who heads a government which executes homosexuals for the crime of being homosexuals.
So it’s obnoxious beyond belief to exclude homosexuals from military service, but it’s not obnoxious beyond belief to hang them from the neck until dead. . . .
Why does Lee Bollinger think a man who heads a regime that executes homosexuals—not just excludes them from military service, but hangs them by the neck until dead, in public ceremony—should be honored with an invitation to speak at Columbia?
GayPatriot discusses a left-wing lesbian who has a crush on Ahmadinejad:
She even has a confesses crush on the guy because he asks tough questions of the man she really hates. Amazing. Simply amazing.
Hey, Sally, Bush has been president for over 6 1/2 years and he still hasn’t killed you, locked you up or even shut down your blog. And you and your ideological confrères have been criticizing and otherwise badmouthing him for at least that long—and will, I expect, continue to do so. Doesn’t that say that the guy might be a little better that a man who, in your own words, would “probably have me kiled“?
Well, at least Sally acknowledges what a number of us have long observed, that for all too many on the left, Bush hatred trumps all. Even the rantings of a man whom, she acknowledges may well kill her if he could.
I think I understand why Sally is so loopy, thanks to the longshoreman philosopher. Eric Hoffer described hatred as a unifying agent. He also had an interesting prediction:
It is easier to hate an enemy with much good in him than one who is all bad. We cannot hate those we despise. The Japanese had an advantage over us in that they admired us more than we admired them. They could hate us more fervently than we could hate them. The Americans are poor haters in international affairs because of their innate feeling of superiority over all foreigners. An American’s hatred for a fellow American (for Hoover or Roosevelt) is far more virulent than any antipathy he can work up against foreigners. It is of interest that the backward South shows more xenophobia than the rest of the country. Should Americans begin to hate foreigners wholeheartedly, it will be an indication that they have lost confidence in their own way of life.
Somehow, I don’t think Hoffer would have been surprised that some Americans can work up more anger over Bush than Ahmadinejad. In a peculiar sense, Americans usually hate each other more than foreigners—that is, one faction of Americans would rather hate another faction, even though an outside group is a common enemy. It’s annoying and frustrating, but this myopia is as American as arrested development.
Hubbard posted this at 10:33 AM CDT on Monday, September 24th, 2007 as Edjamacation, Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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How should students (H/T) deal with Ahmadinejad’s proposed trip to Ground Zero?
Ordinary Americans will be shocked to discover there are officials in NYC who see nothing wrong with giving Ahmadinejad a key to the city. It’s up to those same ordinary Americans to let New York City know exactly how they feel.
In a world of perfect karma, Ahmadinejad would be captured by American “students” and held hostage for over a year, paraded before TV cameras and threatened almost daily with death.
It’s not the worst idea I’ve ever heard, but I don’t think that Columbia students will do it.
Hubbard posted this at 10:44 AM CDT on Thursday, September 20th, 2007 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go
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Whenever a country’s economy starts faltering, it’s often a safe bet that its government will make things worse. Oil revenue provides around 70% of the Iranian government’s finances; Iran also heavily subsidizes its people’s use of gasoline. Now, with their oil fields in decline, Tehran is compounding its problems. Forbes discusses an intriguing if predictable phenomenon that’s resulting from Ahmadinejad’s policies [my emphasis]:
Iran produced over 6 billion barrels of oil before the revolution in 1979. They now produce around 4 billion barrels a year. They are currently producing about 5% below their quota, which shows they are at their limits under current capacity. And production at their old fields is waning. The world recovery rate is about 35% from oil fields.
Iran’s is an abnormally low 24% to 27%. Normally, you pump natural gas back into an aging field (called reinjection) in order to get higher yields. Iran has enormous reserves of natural gas. Seems like there should be a solution.
However, if the National Iranian Oil Company (NOIC) sells it natural gas outside of Iran, it turns a profit. If it sells it in the country, then it can only get the lower, dramatically subsidized price. Guess which it chooses. Even so, internal natural gas demand is growing by 9% a year.
Not surprisingly, at 34 cents a gallon, gasoline demand is rising 10% a year. This week, the government moved to ration supplies to about 22 gallons a month, which does not go far in the large cars preferred by younger Iranians. There have been riots, with people chanting “Death to Ahmadinejad.” They take their right to plenty of cheap gas seriously.
There is also widespread smuggling. Ten barrels of gasoline (easily hauled in a pickup) taken into Turkey yields about $3,000 in profit in a country with about that much GDP per person.
This bit of reporting dovetails with the capital flight that Spengler discussed several weeks ago [my emphasis again]:
Ahmadinejad blames the country’s economic problems on “certain elements” . . .
“Certain elements” no doubt refers to Ayatollah Akbar Rafsanjani, his opponent in the 2006 presidential election and leader of the faction more inclined to compromise with the West. Rafsanjani continues to maintain excellent contacts in Germany, and European diplomats have placed their hopes on the prospect of his replacing Ahmadinejad. It would not be out of character for Rafsanjani and his allies to make matters more irksome for Ahmadinejad by diverting large amounts of money out of state revenues into their own pockets.
As a way of changing the Tehran regime, however, pushing Iran toward hyperinflation would be akin to cutting the brake lines of a car to spite its driver, when one is a passenger in the same car. It is easy to hasten the deterioration of Iran’s economy, for it is headed downhill in any event, but very difficult to reverse the process.
An old piece of diplomatic wisdom states that one always should give one’s enemy a way out. But I see no way out for the pocket empire of Persia. Ahmadinejad and his generation of Revolutionary Guards will fight, and cautious old men like Rafsanjani will not be able to stop them.
One wonders if the anti-Ahmadinejad elements in Tehran are quietly encouraging—or even working with—the gasoline smugglers. It would, after all, be a way for them to make money and hurt Ahmadinejad. It might be a good short term strategy, but will Iran’s collapse be peaceful like the Soviet Union? Or will the apocalyptics try something, well, apocalyptic?
Hubbard posted this at 11:35 AM CDT on Saturday, July 7th, 2007 as Mullah Mullah--whoa baby let my people go, Those Wacky Foreigners, Walking the Cat Backwards
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