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Fred Thompson on Iran, the British, the War On Terror, the UN, and. . .. .

By maxwell edison ·
Tags: Off Topic
By Fred Thompson (Verbatim and without comment from me)

Oil prices fell. The stock market rose. Video images of smiling British soldiers with Iranian President Ahmadinejad were everywhere. So were pictures of the 15 freed hostages embracing family members back home. The relief over the return of the Brits was so tremendous; you could almost hear birds singing.

Maybe it's because military action won't be needed or maybe it's just because the ordeal won't drag on and on, but the world is breathing easier now. A lot of folks are happy. The problem, as I see it, is that Ahmadinejad seems to be the happiest.

And why shouldn't he be? He has shown the world that his forces can kidnap British citizens, subject them to brutal psychological tactics to coerce phony confessions, finagle the release of a high-ranking Iranian terror coordinator in Iraq, utterly trash the Geneva conventions and suffer absolutely no consequences.

The UN Security Council summoned its vaunted multilateral greatness to issue a swift statement of sincere uneasiness. The EU, which has pressured Britain to rely on Europeans for mutual defense instead of the US, wouldn't even discuss economic sanctions that might disrupt their holidays. Even NATO was AWOL.

Tony Blair doesn't appear to be in much of a mood for celebrating. I don't know how he could be, given the troubling spectacle of British soldiers shake the hand of their kidnapper as a condition of release. In the old days, they would have kissed his ring -- but wearing Iranian suits and carrying swag more appropriate to a Hollywood awards ceremony may have been as embarrassing. Ironically, Blair's options are fewer by the day as his own party moves to mothball the British fleet, once the fear of pirates and tyrants the world over.

Some in the West seem part of Iran's propaganda war; claiming that the release of the hostages was a victory that proves the Iranian dictatorship can be reasoned with. To misrepresent unpunished piracy as a victory is as Orwellian as the congressional mandate banning use of the term "the global war on terror." What are we ? Reuters?

Ahmadinejad must be particularly pleased to see "deep thinking" journalists making the case that American actions in Iraq were the true cause of the kidnappings. To believe this, all you have to do is ignore the history of the Iranian Revolution, which has been in the extortion business ever since it took power. Between the 1979 American embassy crisis in Tehran and the seizure of Israeli soldiers last year by Iran's Hezbollah proxies, there have been more than a hundred other examples.

If you include the imprisonment of pro-Democracy dissidents and non-Shi'a Muslim minorities within Iran, the number reaches easily into the tens of thousands. The dwindling and persecuted Christian population of Iran, I suspect, found little joy in Ahmadinejad's explanation that he was freeing his victims as an "Easter gift."

It is critical that we see this incident as part of a long pattern of behavior -- that will continue as long as the current leadership is in power. More importantly, it will escalate unimaginably if Iran achieves nuclear status, and with it the ability to hold millions rather than individuals hostage.

I have no idea if Ahmadinejad and those who put him in power really believe the Shi'a Twelver doctrine that they can spur the messiah to return by triggering Armageddon. You have to admit, though, that the possibility that they look forward to entering paradise as martyrs would make them a whole lot scarier as a nuclear power than the USSR ever was.

There is hope, though. The Iranian people are not an anti-Western horde. They're an educated and freedom-loving people for the most part, and reformers there have been begging us for support and sanctions that would weaken the ruling theocracy. Instead, they've just seen the Iranian dictatorship successfully bully the West into impotent submission. This is not a good thing.

We need to understand this and use every means at our disposal, starting with serious and painful international sanctions, to prevent Iran's rulers from becoming the nuclear-armed blackmailers they want to be. Unfortunately, we are hearing demands that we abandon the people of the Middle East who have stood up to Islamo-fascism because they believed us when we said we would support them.

If we retreat precipitously, the price for that betrayal will be paid first in blood and freedom by the Iranian people, the Kurds, the Afghanis, the secular Lebanese, the moderates in Pakistan and the Iraqis themselves. And America's word may never be trusted again.

Right now, the pirate Ahmadinejad is clearly more confident about the outcome of the Global War on Terror than we are. That ought to give us pause.

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Islamofascism and Iran

by sn53 In reply to Fred Thompson on Iran, th ...

We are still on the road to war.

Because we failed to act the war will be longer and bloodier for us when we finally do act.

I wish it were not so.

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Still doing the stupid nonsensical name calling, I see.

by deepsand In reply to Islamofascism and Iran

Silly rabbit.

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Impotent submission?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Fred Thompson on Iran, th ...

There were two options, sacrifice the hostages immediately or make their captors aware of what we would be willing to give up to get them back.

They had something we wanted, how they got it, is a moot point until the situation was resolved.

This was a standard dictatorship publicity stunt, it will have far more more domestic impact in Iran, than it will over here.

Ahmadinejad doesn't give a crap what we think of him, to keep his mindless jingoistic, nationalist, agenda going he needed a pre-emptive strike against the impact of sanctions etc for his nuclear adventures.

As for the anti-western horde comment, I just laughed my balls off, what an imbecile.

The only reason Iran turned from a friend to an enemy is we actively blocked their right to self determination and when they surmounted that difficulty, we punished them for it. Sheesh, we even armed our great friend Saddam Hussein against them.

What possible reason have the Iranian people got to like us?

'America's word to be trusted', only a total halfwit would trust a country's word.
Any country's !

The only thing they should believe in and trust is to do is to act in our own self interest, any other policy would mean they aren't fit to lead my dog to a bone, far less a country.

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Care to explain yourself?

by maxwell edison In reply to Impotent submission?

Fred Thompson suggested, "There is hope, though. The Iranian people are not an anti-Western horde. They're an educated and freedom-loving people for the most part, and reformers there have been begging us for support and sanctions that would weaken the ruling theocracy."

To which you replied, As for the anti-western horde comment, I just laughed my balls off, what an imbecile.

What do you think Fred Thompson meant by his suggestion, and what did you mean by yours? On what do you differ and/or disagree. And please be specific.

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I've read articles that echo Fred.

by JamesRL In reply to Care to explain yourself?

1) The current president does not have the power over his country that an American president does. And the country knows it. The ruling council of mullahs can over rule anything he does.

2) He won the presidency in a suprise, by campaigning as a moderate. He changed his spots back after winning.

3) Many older Iranians hated the Shah, but not the US. During the 90s there was a lowering of tensions and a move to improve relations, sponsored by the Iranian leadership, which the current Iranian president has mostly undone. But once he is gone....

4)Iran has a limited democracy, has a fair record of higher education and women's rights, at least compared to other regimes in the region. Its the leadership which has caused the issues, not the people.

James

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I've often read. . . . .

by maxwell edison In reply to I've read articles that e ...

.....that well over half of Iran's population is quite young, under 30 range, and that they do indeed yearn for a life out from under the ruling theocracy, preferring some semblance of a free and open society, and that they are absolutely ripe for a major revolution to overthrow the existing ruling class. I could be wrong, but that's my impression. Do you have any thoughts in this regard?

And it was with this basis in mind when I interpreted Fred Thompson comments, "There is hope, though. The Iranian people are not an anti-Western horde. They're an educated and freedom-loving people for the most part, and reformers there have been begging us for support and sanctions that would weaken the ruling theocracy."

So I really don't know what Tony Hopkinson is talking about. (Or perhaps he doesn't know himself!)

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Iran was an American friend once. With luck, it will be again.

by DelbertPGH In reply to I've read articles that e ...

Certainly the current Iranian president will never be an American buddy, but one decade is not like the last, especially in Iran. A lot of Iranians were educated in the U.S. and remember it fondly. Many more are interested in a more free and modern life than they can get under the theocracy. They are a proud and nationalistic bunch, and Ahmadinejad seems to know how to ring their patriotic bells. It's an act that is hard to keep going. He'll fall. One reason we don't have to get too excited about the kidnapping is that he will face an election or term limit and be gone some day. (Pretty much why I don't feel so apocalyptic about Bush.)

I don't think we're smart enough to short-circuit the Iranian government and come up with anything that would make us happy. If we ever did succeed in destabilizing the government of those 60 million, sitting on the throat of the biggest oil shipping lane in the world, what would we do with it? Better to let it evolve on its own.

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Let it evolve, I agree

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Iran was an American frie ...

Friend no, puppet yes.

That was one of the main reasons for the shahs downfall. Not even our help could prop him against his own people and we earned their contempt when we tried. We can't turn them into us, trying to, just p1sses them off and makes thing worse.
We wouldn't tolerate a reciprocal intervention in our affairs would we, so why should they?, Because we are the 'good guys' ?

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Jimmah Carter is to blame

by sn53 In reply to Let it evolve, I agree

Tony wrote, "Not even our help could prop him against his own people..."

I believe this is untrue. Jimmah Carter withdrew our support from the Shah. Then Iran fell to the first of the Islamofascist regimes. We could have supported the Shah.

"and we earned their contempt when we tried."

I see the history differently than you do. We had a failure in Jimmah Carter. We paid for it. And so did the Iranian people. We are still paying for it today.

"We can't turn them into us, trying to, just p1sses them off and makes thing worse."

We can help them turn to small d democracy. It will benefit us in the long run.

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I agree

by maxwell edison In reply to Jimmah Carter is to blame

Jimmy Carter made a shambles of the United States middle-easy policy, he embarrassed the USA on the world stage, and he gave the impression that the USA was a paper tiger. And the ironic thing is, he thinks he's a friggin' expert because he negotiates with terrorists! He started it all by bending over for them. Jimmy Carter is, hands down, the absolute WORST president we've ever had. And he went from (arguably) the best "ex-president" to the WORST ex-president. The guy's a disaster, an embarrassment. a hindrance, a ...... okay, I'll say it, a traitor.

Jimmy Carter needs to STFU, sink quietly into retirement, and never be heard from again.

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