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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Monday, January 23, 2006

Looking over the precipice

Shirin Ebadi, a human rights advocate, was awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize and Muhammad Sahimi is a professor of chemical engineering at USC. Writing in the LA Times, they articulate the Western challenge, and responsibility, for Iran's nuclear program:

"The U.S. will not solve the nuclear problem by threatening military strikes or by dragging Iran before the U.N. Security Council. Although a vast majority of Iranians despise the country's hard-liners and wish for their downfall, they also support its nuclear program because it has become a source of pride for an old nation with a glorious history.

"A military attack would only inflame nationalist sentiments. Iran is not Iraq. Given Iranians' fierce nationalism and the Shiites' tradition of martyrdom, any military move would provoke a response that would engulf the entire region, resulting in countless deaths and a ruined economy not only for the region but for the world.

" Iran is at least six to 10 years away from a nuclear bomb, by most estimates. The crisis is not even a crisis. There is ample time for political reform before Iran ever develops the bomb. Meanwhile, the West should permit Iran a limited uranium enrichment program (as allowed under the non-proliferation treaty) under strict safeguards by the International Atomic Energy Agency - but only when Tehran undertakes meaningful reforms, including freeing political prisoners and holding free and fair elections.

"Lastly, the U.S. and Iran should enter direct negotiations. It is simply absurd for the U.S. and the most important nation in the Middle East not to communicate directly. The Bush administration should not be seduced by exile groups with no support in Iran. Developing democracy is an internal affair.

"Democracy, in the end, will provide the ultimate safeguard against nuclear disaster, because a truly democratic Iran, backed by a majority of Iranians, would feel secure enough not to pursue dangerous military adventures."

Such words are likely to fall on deaf ears in some circles, but common sense must prevail.

12 Comments:

Blogger psydoc said...

Of course we should accept these comments beyond what we know to be true. Iran has an active system of proxy terrorism. Iran has been dishonest about its nuclear ambitions and program. Iran has openly declared a desire to eradicate its neighbour.

At this stage of the game, one would wonder who is making the estimates of 6-10 years for a nuclear bomb? Such flipant and reckless comments are likely to fall on deaf ears of extreme leftists who bend over forwards to accomodate Islamic facists.

Crisis? What crisis?

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:08:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

psydoc said...

"Iran has an active system of proxy terrorism."

So does the US.

"Iran has been dishonest about its nuclear ambitions and program. Iran has openly declared a desire to eradicate its neighbour."

Wrong. Iran contravened the NPT 2 years ago and cince has bent over backwards to not only comply, but show good faith.

"At this stage of the game, one would wonder who is making the estimates of 6-10 years for a nuclear bomb?"

Experts my friend. You are clearly not one of them.

"Such flipant and reckless comments are likely to fall on deaf ears of extreme leftists who bend over forwards to accomodate Islamic facists."

Well, all of your assumptinos are completely off base, so it seems safe to say the same abotu this broad brush stroke ad hominem.

"Crisis? What crisis?"

I sotrngly recommend you do some research. The US is now warnign Iran not to build a gas pipline to Iran. Why the hell woudl they do that, and what business is it of theirs anyway?

This crisis has nothignto do with nukes. It;s been barely 3 years and peopl like yourself are falling for the same WMD BS that got us into an illegal and inecessary war.

ADD has become an epidemic.

I'll leave you with this quote:

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:46:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

It is not surprising that _01 excuses the entire UN alarms about Iran with a quote from a leading Nazi.

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:06:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Ibrahamav said...

"It is not surprising that _01 excuses the entire UN alarms about Iran with a quote from a leading Nazi."

And isn't it interesting how history continuees to repeat itself?

China, Pakistan, and Russia don't seem too alarmed about anything. They know this whole fuss has nothgin to do with nukes. After all, there is zero evidence of it.

Monday, January 23, 2006 2:18:00 pm  
Blogger psydoc said...

Adam your series of non sequiter statements make a cogent discussion impossible.

Monday, January 23, 2006 4:45:00 pm  
Blogger violet said...

Iran is at least six to 10 years away from a nuclear bomb, by most estimates. The crisis is not even a crisis. There is ample time for political reform before Iran ever develops the bomb.

Antony, why are you posting such silliness. This is a serious subject.

"Iran has secretly extended the uranium enrichment plant at the centre of the international controversy over its resumption of banned nuclear research earlier this month, satellite imagery has revealed.

Seven buildings have been erected around the concealed centrifuges which Western governments fear will be used to manufacture weapons-grade uranium at the Natanz site, 200 miles south of Teheran."

Monday, January 23, 2006 9:49:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

psydoc said...

"Adam your series of non sequiter statements make a cogent discussion impossible."

You should learn to what these words means before cutting and pasting them out of context. If you have somethign to say, bring it on.

Monday, January 23, 2006 11:49:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Incidently I just re-read your oringianl post and it was a perfect example of non sequiter statements and outright lies.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 1:56:00 am  
Blogger psydoc said...

addamo_01 when you engage in emotional polemics, your syntax, cogency and spelling all deteriorate. You clearly have strong views, but its a pity that you are so ill tempered and intolerant.

I have no interest in your views, but consider it amusing that you are at such odds with all of the leaders and governments of the free world and instead show a bizzare allegiance to a country that has no freedom of speech, no freedom of association and is outrightly intolerant of Jews, gays, its neighbours, other Muslims and the free world.

And perhaps, given that you seem to be an expert on everything and are quite ready to denigrate others in their comments, you could share with us how you arrived at your unshakable world-view. Did someone not tell you that Green Left Weekly is good to start up a barbeque but about nothing else. You should find something else to read whilst you are looking for work.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 7:36:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:52:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

Psydoc

Yes you’re right Psydoc, my typing is Appling. Forgive me.

“You clearly have strong views, but its a pity that you are so ill tempered and intolerant.”

I get that way when I hear absolute untruths and factual aberrations. You are digesting absolute rubbish fro the mainstraem media and repeating it verbatim. In this ay and age, ther is no excuse for such ignorance.

”I have no interest in your views, but consider it amusing that you are at such odds with all of the leaders and governments of the free world and instead show a bizzare allegiance to a country that has no freedom of speech, no freedom of association and is outrightly intolerant of Jews, gays, its neighbours, other Muslims and the free world.”

“Freedom of speech, no freedom of association and is out rightly intolerant of Jews, gays, its neighbors, other Muslims and the free world” have nothing to do with facts Psydoc.
The leaders of the free world want to se Iran punished for something it its not doing. When countries are referred by the IAEA to the UNSC, it is because of evidence or breaching the NPT. In this case, the argument is being made without any evidence, but purely for political reasons. They are using inflammatory rhetoric about nuclear weapons to mask their political agenda. That makes it a fraud.

I am not allying myself with anyone or anything. I just want to avoid bloodshed on a massive scale. You seem oblivious to what’s at stake, choosing to focus on some romantic notion that “the Jews are in danger”. In spite of al the evils you are dredging up, this is no reason to attack a country and start war that could escalate to horrific proportions.

Consult people who know anything about nuclear weapons and proliferation and you will get the same answer as I’ve give you,

”And perhaps, given that you seem to be an expert on everything and are quite ready to denigrate others in their comments, you could share with us how you arrived at your unshakable world-view.”

I worked in the nuclear industry for 5 years as nuclear engineer. I prepared reports for the IAEA. I made trips to Geneva and attended other conventions and conferences regarding the nuclear engineer. That enough for you?

“Did someone not tell you that Green Left Weekly is good to start up a barbeque but about nothing else. You should find something else to read whilst you are looking for work.”

I am happily employed thank you very much. And yes, I do know what I’m talking about.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 10:01:00 am  
Blogger psydoc said...

"In spite of al the evils you are dredging up, this is no reason to attack a country and start war that could escalate to horrific proportions."

At last you have used the right word: evil. Iran is an evil society and I am pleased you can agree. And this is the very centre of the problem: nuclear weapons in the hands of an evil empire should never be tolerated.

I am still waiting for you to cite the credible people (other than yourself of course) that have put Iran's nuclear weapon production at 6-10 years.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 9:36:00 pm  

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