Insane evil morons marching to Easter service (was: The Victor'sRights)

johnhall johnhall at
Sat Apr 19 22:32:41 PDT 2003

> From: fork-bounces at [mailto:fork-bounces at] On Behalf
> Russell Turpin

> The only difference between those
> who think a fundamentalist Christian President
> can reform the entire mideast in one martial
> campaign,

The neoconservative argument predates Bush.  It is also, I'm guessing,
both more sophisticated and more modest than you paint here.  The
radicalism is in asserting that the Status Quo is not our friend in this
region and that instability is more likely to be our friend than our

> John Hall:
> >Had we not installed the Shah, we would have faced a pro-Russian
> communist
> >government in Iran in the middle of the cold war. The result of that
> little
> >counter-factual could have led to WWIII.
> There were Soviet-friendly governments in any
> number of evolving nations. Given that the US
> had a more rational government than the USSR,
> and that Iran was in the Soviet backyard, any
> calculation of odds ante would make it more
> likely that WW III might be triggered by putting
> Iran under the rule of a puppet tyrant of the
> US's. Only retrospective knowledge that this
> did not trigger such conflict makes that
> alternative seem a little more distant from the
> brink.

Iran is not just any evolving nation strategically.

If the USSR had been willing to fight WWIII at this time period over
Iran then it would have been to the advantage of the United States to
fight.  It seems to be an open secret that the US considered this worth
fighting WWIII over 30 years after the time we are talking about, when
the balance of power was not nearly as favorable to the United States.

> There are issues that make it imperative to go
> to the brink. 

Iran was one of them.

> In this case, the best that can be
> said is that the US used Iran in geopolitical
> gamesmanship against the USSR, and for business
> advantage, and in doing so, was willing to
> install and support a puppet tyrant whose secret
> police rivaled Saddam's reign for their cruelty.
> I try to be optimistic about our conquest of
> Iraq. If this war's purpose had been the
> liberation of Iraq, if it was led by an
> administration that had a sincere belief and
> plan for the liberation of disadvantaged
> nations and their reconstruction, that would
> make it easier. But the same people who parrot
> that as their cause and justification today,
> (a) were unwilling to make that a part of the
> reason prior to war preparations, (b) are trying
> to trumpet this achievement before the real work
> towards it has begun, (c) have yet to bite the
> bullet on nation building, still seem half-
> hearted about such an endeavor, and have not
> much explained their plan for it, instead
> expecting the world just to watch as it unfolds,
> (d) are already preparing the spin for its
> failure: 'that's up to the Iraqis, but at least
> we will have given them another few years,' and
> (e) are all too willing to justify support for
> tyrants like Saddam and Pahlavi, when it suits
> their geopolitical gamesmanship. That makes
> their current trumpeting of "liberation" ring
> more than a little hollow. They see the angels
> on their side, and color them white.

The US toleration of tyrants (and Pahlavi wasn't in Saddam's league)
declined after 1991 and took a nosedive after 9/11.  An exception is
Pakistan, where the betting seems to be that we are dealing with the
least of possible evils there.

> Jeff Bone wants to check out (of this nation?)
> if Bush is re-elected. I hope he is correct in
> predicting that the electorate is about to
> return to a pragmatic moderation. But if not,
> where will he run? Most of the world marches
> to this kind of song.

I think 9/11 was a titanic shift toward people like Bush and it will
last a generation at least.

> I do see change. There are large numbers
> opposing ideological fanaticism of all stripe,
> in west Europe, and some in the US. I like to
> think the general trend is progressive, even if
> a couple of Great Awakenings and revivals and
> the birth of modern fundamentalism have set
> the US a bit aback. It's hard to see much
> improvement in the Mideast, a region today
> fully dedicated to faith and ideology. And
> that, more than anything, is central to the
> issue of reform there.

I agree on the Mideast, interestingly enough.  I think it is worth
_trying_ to change things, and Iran is highly likely to break our way.

If we try but fail anyway, we will have to fall back on convincing the
people of the region (or at last those in the 'Palace') that direct
attacks on the United States is an incredibly bad idea.

Anyone rational in the Mideast should realize that the best thing to do
with the United States is to say "yes sir", stay quiet, and wait for us
to go home.  If they _do_ that then we _will_ go home.

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