Iran - News & Spin Tracker

Discussion in 'World Events' started by StrawDog, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    This thread is to track news and info around the US/Israel and Iran standoff. Hopefully in light of better understanding the undercurrents at play.

    For the record, I am not naive about Iranian human rights abuses, nor do I believe everything coming out of Teheran. But I expect at least a certain measure of unbiased and two sides to every story reporting. Sadly lacking in Western media.

    Some current news articles and info for critique and discussion.
    Attempting to incite revolt is grotesque, illegal and certainly not in the interests of Iranians. Further the US is not the arbitrator, moral or other, of the exact nature of governments. Furthermore Iran has expressed time and again that they are open to direct discussions with the US if mutual respect and honesty is applied.
    We would assume the US government were as knowledgeable and scrupulous in their assessments regarding reports coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq?
    Coming from the installers of the democratic Afghanistan and Iraqi regime, this is almost unbelievably blase in its hypocrisy. After creating two utter flawed political and humanitarian disasters, we are to believe Clinton & Co. know best.

    Regarding the old nuke disinformation campaign.
    Of course fuel enrichment for research purposes is standard practice in these programs worldwide and no divergence of fuel has taken place.
    Reuters does not expand on this point, which is a common spin tactic, economy of information distorts realities.

    For an overview of the facts vs distortions, see -
    And of course the point of all this rhetoric over the last decades, and now accelerating, is and has been, arguably, to set the scene, and prepare the public for the conflict to come, as we saw in Afghanistan and Iraq.
    Any comments?
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  3. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    That's pretty rich coming from someone who makes a regular habit of posting pro-Iran propaganda pieces. Will you be dissecting any of the one-sided "reporting" enamating from Iran any time soon?

    Calling someone a hypocrite is not the same thing as asserting that they are incorrect. For that reason, this is exactly the textbook ad hominem fallacy.

    As a corollary, choosing to avoid the issue as such in favor of calling someone a hypocrite raises the question of whether you even disagree on the question to begin with. If you do disagree, you'd be better off sticking to the actual question instead of calling people names (particularly when the latter requires you to conflate Hillary Clinton with the Bush administration). If you do not disagree, then silence is a preferable tactic to fallacy. Either way, you're worse off for having taken the low road.

    Try putting some actual agrumentation into your posts if you want the pretense of serious inquiry to stick. All you've presented here is a bunch of unsupported editorializing. And try including some actual balance if you want the pretense of disinterested perspective to stick - the agenda and bias here are transparent, so you're just producing red meat for true believers. It would be a lot more interesting and productive to do something more honest and non-prejudicial that could get some buy-in from multiple sides, and so provide a basis for some meaningful interaction (and, hopefully, progress).

    If all you want to do is preach to the choir, then I suggest you start a blog instead. That's what they're for. All it will achieve here are some high-fives from other true believers, some sniping from enemy true believers (and maybe a flame war), and a lot of frustrated eye-rolling from posters who'd like to maybe have a useful discussion for once.

    Other suggestions:
    1) Be less hysterical. Relations between Iran and the US are an important issue, and I don't want to minimize them, but the reality is that the US has no appetite for further military engagements in the near future, and everyone knows this. This is not March 2003.
    2) Drop the pervasive Othering of Westerners from your polemics. It instantly alienates and offends a big chunk of your audience, leaving only the true believers. What's the point in that? You'd probably get a lot more "Westerners" supporting you if you didn't insist on forcing them to endorse bigoted views of themselves in the process. Or maybe that's part of the game: bait them into going against you, the better to substantiate your prejudicial claims about them:
    polemicist: "I think cake is great, unlike those baby-eating Siberians!"
    Siberian: "Hey, fuck you!"
    polemicist: "See, I told you Siberians have an irrational hatred of cake!"
    3) Tone down the spin in general - it undercuts your attacks on spin in "enemy" sources, and generally alienates audiences with self-respect. The opposite of propaganda is not counter-propaganda but honesty and respect.
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  5. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

    Given how the USA has behaved I think every non-European nation smaller than Brazil that is not willing to take orders from the USA needs nuclear weapons.

    They could just wait though. By 40 years from now the USA will probably no longer be in a position to play such an aggressive global game. But by then China may start trying to give orders.

    I hear the USA officials still being aggressive towards Iran. If Iran would stop backing Israel's enemies then the USA might end it's war against Iran. But why should Iran stop backing Israel's enemies? Iran has as much right to back Israel's enemies as the USA has to back Israel.

    Domestically many nations are worse than Iran and the US government has no credible history of favoring democracy over dictatorship so claims that the US government cares about the Iranian people are not credible. I have to assume that the US animosity to Iran is ether mindless momentum or antagonism towards all independent foreign policies or a symptom of the degree to which pro-Israel hawks have captured the US foreign policy.

    Over the last several years many sources have said USA was backing terrorists/freedom fighters against Iran in Iran's Azeri, Arab, Baluchi, and Kurdish ethnic areas.

    I am not aware of Iran supporting a Shia or democratic uprising against the US allied gulf states dictatorships and I am not aware of Iran playing an active foreign policy role anywhere in the world other than in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and perhaps central Asia.

    Iran's meeting with Venezuela was largely meaningless and just a reaction to Venezuela and Iran being targeted by the USA for regime change.
    Denials of US interference in Iran not credible
    By Peter Symonds
    29 June 2009
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  7. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    Firstly, off the bat, you are making an unsupported statement around one sided reporting. You would need to give examples of what you consider that to be, and then we can dissect.
    My position is that there is absolutely no real democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq. We have little more than installed regimes and corrupt elections. If the US believes that its methods of regime change work for the better of democracy (the people) , I disagree, and when they point fingers at Iran in terms of democracy, after destroying Afghanistan and Iraq, I consider that hypocrisy. Would you like to counter this point?
    As I often do, the sources and comments inserted, are intended to stimulate discussion. Feel free to discuss.
    Relax, participating is not compulsory.
    Sadly, there are a couple of avenues of thought around this notion. I do not believe the American people have much appetite for further war, but what we hear from Washington is certainly repetitive, accusatory, inflammatory and aggressive to the extent of concern. Re the topic, if there is real, tangible evidence that Iran is a realistic threat, to anyone, lets hear it. But we need facts and evidence.
    If you would only spend your energy in discussion rather than dissecting your take on my intent, this would be helpful.
    Thank you `o learned Quad for pointing out my many defects. Perhaps you would be so kind as to extend examples?
  8. Ja'far at-Tahir Grand Ayatollah of SciForums Registered Senior Member

    I just wanted to say, I do like the idea of this thread and will contribute more fully later. Not to sound arrogant but as a native Iranian I feel my opinion would be useful here and I am willing to partcipate. For context purposes it should be noted, I'm a Socialist.
  9. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    i would have said its because iran had the audacity to kick out the dicators that the US and UK installed twice. Dont they know that there votes are second to the will of the US?
  10. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    Thank you, your input would be appreciated.
  11. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    How about IRNA, to pick one obvious example. It's not like there's a propaganda shortage... or Ahmadinejad's performance on Charlie Rose this evening.

    Frankly I'd expected you to complain that I'd led off with an ad hom, and then immediately complained about your ad hom (hipocrisy!). To which I was going to reply that my ad hom was not fallacious, since you'd invoked your own character and motive in the first place. But whatever. Obviously you want to make an issue of your own personal moral and political standing, so...

    Great. Does that mean there is real democracy in Iran?

    What's the point in bringing up statements about Iranian democracy just to refuse to address them?

    Do I really have to pick sides between Iran and America in order to believe in democracy?

    Didn't I just do that?

    Did I seem restrained? The discussion you seem to be looking to stimulate resembles nothing so much as a minefield. Who would want to run through that?

    And from Tehran. Enmity between the two states is not exactly a new phenomenon. So is there some discussion-worthy recent World Event you'd like to bring up, or is it just some gigantic coincidence that you've vomited a pro-forma Iran puff piece right as Ahmadinejad is making his usual politicized UN visit (with concomitant "Western" press appearances and associated secondary-media cascade)?

    Nay, Iran is but a small child with pure intentions, unable to really harm anyone but - more importantly - not accountable for its contradictions to begin with. Because of America.

    Wait, isn't that still basically imperialistic...? Hmmm...

    Well, again, the complaint is all of the barriers you put up to open discussion in the first place. So it's not like I'm not trying, as such.

    Not that I'll deny taking some malign pleasure in condescension. I'm a know-it-all shithead, obviously. So much so that you scarcely need point it out: my excesses are sufficient indictments. If there is a hell, I will surely burn there for all eternity.

    But the root of the frustration is that you could have the support on the really important points (like the distaste for the war discourses, desire for better relations, etc.) of the 85% of the forum worth caring about (i.e., everyone but perversely-intractable ideologues and contrarians) if you'd take a more inclusive approach. So to the extent that you turn it into a holiness-code bid for petty control, you end up impeding the political goals you claim to support. But, hey, the important thing is that nobody could ever accuse you of sympathizing with America, right?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member


    But not very high on the self-awareness scale.
  13. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    IRNA is quasi-state but is not the only news vechile. As requested, we need an example of an article to dissect. Ahmadinejad is like any other politician, his repertoire is filled with agenda, is nuanced and varied, and IMO relatively honest.
    Is all this really necessary?
    This is an interesting point. Simple answer - no. Under the Supreme Leader it is a theocracy, with an elected President one tier down, which is in fact arrived at by a democratic process. Furthermore, as a nod to democracy, one should note the stable government and general wellbeing of the citizens.
    This is a topical issue that has and does burn brightly in the US media spotlight. Do you come to this forum with a view to boredom or stimulation? IOW - contemplative discourse? Feel free to initiate threads that are politically correct. :m:
    I believe a real danger exists of an attack on Iran by a US/Israel force, along similar lines to what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq but with a ripple effect that can threaten the entire globe. The rhetoric is similar, the threats are similar if not more odious (the US reserves the right to use nukes against nuke nations) and Israel has been out of control for more than a little while.
    (context and rationale)
    No, I have said before, there are no innocents. But again, if you disagree, please present your evidence that Iran is a realistic threat. Flipside, America has a known agenda and history of world wide interference and aggression regarding its foreign policy objectives, significantly, since the fall of Communism. Iran, IMO, is next in line on the hit list. One would hope that I am wrong.
    Try and see past them.
    Which is fine, and your prerogative.
    No, on the contrary, you are one of Sci`s finest.
    Please give me an example of this approach?
    I kind of grasp what you are inferring, but all I am trying to do is to stimulate discussion.
    I love America. (rather, the America I once knew) It is fundamentally important that America retains its role and position in the global balance of power. Maintaining the present path will eventually erode that ability. As Patton said, "A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances." Its time for America to find that leader.
  14. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    Logical, but a huge step backwards for mankind.
    This is a very real concern, and if change does not occur, I would lean towards 15 to 20 years.
    Of course, but this is why the word hypocrisy rears its head a lot.
    Yes indeed. Of course the mainstream media does not paint this picture, so we have an incredible level of ignorance around the realities.
    Divide and conquer.
    Yes indeed.
  15. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Anything that has ever appeared on IRNA on the subject of Iran-US relations. When I specified the entire news outlet as such, it was meant to imply that the entirety of their output is such an example.

    And so there should be no shortage of politicized output for you to de-spin, from that corner.

    That would make him decidedly unlike any other politician.

    And does your credibility no good - the guy's perhaps the most notorious rhetorical dissembler on the current international scene. He never answers a direct question, and his output would make an ideal text for a Debate 101 class on politicized fallacy and evasion. Indeed, his speeches are already employed for exactly such pedagogy:

    For that matter, he regularly employs many of the tropes seen here, in your own output in particular. The classic, of course, is the fast segue from the question of Iranian democracy to complaints of US hypocrisy or Israeli injustices.

    Right, the meat of the question was whether that democratic process is real, legitimate, valid, etc. Clinton wasn't calling Iran a military dictatoship because of the on-paper relationship between the Supreme Leader and the rest of the government (since the Supreme Leader is not a military official, that wouldn't even make sense). What she's referring to is the consolodation of power in the IRG.

    What does that have to do with democracy? There are plenty of examples of states which exhibit government stability and citizen well-being greater than that of Iran, but which are nowhere near being democratic (Saudi Arabia, for example).

    So: no, there is no particular World Event under discussion, just a generalized reiteration of existing positions on Iran-US relations. Haven't we already done that many times? What's the point? I can just re-read your old threads if that's what I'm interested in.

    Meanwhile, the only Iran-related World Events occurring right now are Ahmedinejad's visit to NYC and associated press coverage. I find it difficult to believe that you chose this precise moment to advance a generalized defense of Iranian rhetoric out of some calculated suspicion of military attack, rather than as a demonstration of solidarity with Iran's present PR moves.

    I do. That's why I bother talking to you in the first place. The next step is to try to get you to abjure them.

    Not really.

    That, unfortunately, is not exclusive of being an obnoxious shithead who behaves indefensibly.

    As I've indicated, it would be a lot like what you're already doing, just stripped of all of the hostile, divisive elements. Who doesn't want better relations between the two countries? Nobody. Who isn't sick of politicized war discourses? Nobody worth caring about. So, speak to that stuff, and give all the nationalist polemics and character assassination a rest. To the extent that you make it into a debate over "America is an evil nation," you aren't going to get anywhere worth going.

    The point is the nature and terms of the discussion you're stimulating. Not all "discussions" are benign, or otherwise worth stimulating. And, rhetorically speaking, that's a really classic and weak dodge. Don't come out of the gate with a lot of incendiary rhetoric just to duck like that.

    Meaningless - there is only one America. The one that does all the stuff you love is the exact same nation as the one that does all of the stuff you hate. Pretending the two are separate just leads you astray. Americans have no way of knowing "which" America you are condemning, or to which they belong, or - usually - that you operate on such a false distinction in the first place.

    A corrolary to that is that it is fundamentally important that revolutionary states who oppose the international system - and specifically America's role in it - be defeated and marginalized in their resistance to said system. No?
  16. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Off-topic personal aspersions. Please moderate accordingly.
  17. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Which is to say "none." That sort of thing is the operation of power for its own ends - and not the exercise of some legitimate 'rights,' on either side.

    But you've got it backwards. The machinations around Israel are an expression of Iran/US conflict, not it's driver.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  18. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    Given that this thread is intended as an ongoing news Tracker, I will endeavor to include such. I would imagine Ja'far could offer some valuable insight here.
    As I said, given my understanding of whats up and whats down, whats black, whats white, I believe he is relatively honest.
    So, is he skilled or not? On that note, I would love to see a LIVE Ahmadinejad/Obama debate. Again, all politicians dodge the hard questions to some degree or other.
    Sadly, all these notions above are solidly interlaced.
    OK, so the issue was, in Clintons criticism of the IRG, is she insinuating that the present situation in Afghanistan and Iraq is preferable? The US had issues with those regimes as well, which led to...
    A caveat, no more, in essence to do with double standards, as per my OP.
    Its a tracker and the discussion hopefully revolves around ongoing news. The OP was the nutshell.
    It is also a criticism of constant anti Iranian US rhetoric via the Iranian nuclear program, the Iranian political system, elections, etc. much of which are flagrant untruths or distortions.
    Your patience is appreciated.
    We all do at times. I believe it has to do with the vestigial reptilian brain. :m:
    You keep harping on about hostile divisive elements. Can you recognize these when you see them? Will America improve if one tiptoes around realities? When I hear the same record being played that I heard before the Iraq invasion, I get concerned, and I voice my concern. And here we are discussing it. Obama made a big show of peace we can believe in. How come the words don`t match the song? How does this end? Lets discuss.
    Of course. This is an irrelevant subjective and perhaps emotional position.
    He he. The "International System". What exactly is that?

    If by that you mean "When war is upheld as a humanitarian endeavor, Justice and the entire international legal system are turned upside down, pacifism and the antiwar movement are criminalized and opposing the war is seen in a negative light" ... I disagree. :m:
  19. countezero Registered Senior Member

    That's a smart policy proscription: Arm the world!

    And you want that?

    The US is worried about Iran because it impacts the status quo and US national interests.

    Or you could try educating yourself as to why a nuclear Iran is bad for the region and the world -- and learn that more nations than just the US believe this to be true...

    Isn't that enough?
  20. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    You're quite alone on that point.

    At dissembling, he's among the best, as I said. At honesty and peace, decidedly not.

    Not really. Or, not in the way and to the extent that they are held to be. How do Israel's relations with Palestine require the IRG to rape and torture Iranians who voice suspicions that their votes weren't counted?

    Where does that issue come from?

    I don't see where she's said anything to that effect.

    Why are you in such a hurry to change the subject from what she did actually say? Why bring it up in the first place, if you don't want to talk about it? Just to demonstrate your resolve to silence anyone who brings up the question?

    And the nut in that shell was an openly partisan pro-Iran, anti-US agenda. Which makes this thread a project to subsume any and all developments into that fixed position, in a politicized manner. That's not discussion, that's a propaganda campaign.

    But not of the constant anti-American Iranian rhetoric, which gets defended wholesale in its flagrant untruths and distortions, its most cynical and criminal proponents lauded as paragons of peace and honesty, etc.

    ? Of course. That's why I keep pointing them out.

    Not the suggestion - rather, I suggested you refuse to tip-toe around realities that are uncomfortable for Iran. That certain negative facts about Iran figure into US propaganda doesn't mean that they aren't true - just as you regularly remind us about certain negative facts about the US which figure into Iranian propaganda.

    Great. I've indicated that I share your distaste for the war discourse. But your concern tends to take the form of war discourse as well, just taking the other side. That's not resisting the war discourse - that's openly participating in it. And, yeah, the reason war discourses are so insidious is precisely that they induce such complicity amongst friend and foe alike.

    Some of it is because Iranian leadership isn't interested in that song.

    Some of it is the inertia of the anti-Iran elements in the US military-industrial-political complex, and wider psyche.

    But mostly it's because relations aren't fundamentally a question of songs and dances, but rather of more fixed, intractable things like interests. Perhaps you can list a few relevant ones, off the top of your head?

    It's the stuff you were referring to in the material I quoted and responded to.

    What I meant was that I do not agree with the premise I was drawing the corollary from, and that I don't think you should (or, really, do) either. To wit: America has had too much power and influence in the international system since the end of the Cold War (and probably during the Cold War as well). It's an abnormal set of circumstances that resulted in US hegemony, and in the long run it is toxic to both the US and most everyone else. Not only does it not need to be defended, it can't be - the same abnormal structural forces that led to that situation are now unmaking it. The appropriate role for the US is not hegemony but veto power - sufficient strength to decisively intervene in Eurasian conflicts that threaten to spill out or produce hegemons, but not enough to maintain intrusive geostrategic control of distant regions.
  21. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Direct dealing with the substantive content of the quoted post, including its personal aspersions, with no deflection from the content (or even the implications) of that post.

    Equivalent moderation of both posts would be a good idea, IMHO.

    That would be a dubious claim, in need of some argument.

    Even if a centrally important Iran/US conflict were involved in the creation and establishment of Israel, originally - overshadowing in that respect the conflicts around Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey, etc - by now the matter of Israel has taken on a life of its own, and drives its own conflicts, and would appear to have a great deal of influence on the Iranian/US dealings beyond being an "expression" of them.
  22. StrawDog disseminated primatemaia Valued Senior Member

    It seems so.
    Honesty? Lets be candid, there are agendas, and honesty does not always further agendas. However, he calls a spade a spade, is that honesty? Peace? How so? What wars is he engaged in?
    Interlacing 101 - Iran had real democracy before the Shah was installed. (how?) The Shah was a ruthless dictator. The US was great friends with this monster and Iran. Nuclear plants were all the rage. The tyrant Shah was disposed by a popular revolution. No more friends? Why? The oil tap was cut off, nuclear power became so yesterday. Israel imprisons 1.5 million people, including thousands upon thousand of children and allegations of torture and human rights abuses are everyday occurrences. That would appear to be acceptable democracy to the US, but on the human rights card, lets point the finger at Iran for some isolated allegations of rape and torture? Come on.
    Where does that issue come from?
    I will accept your criticism, I am not neutral on the issue.
    This is clearly a two way street. No argument. How did we arrive at this junction? Perhaps that is the point of departure?
    You make a valid point.
    Well articulated. Lets see if we can move forward on an improved route.
    First opportunity for improvement.

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    "Some of it" noted and agreed.
    Aside from broken promises that you can believe in. Resources? Hegemony? Issues with non- alignment? Perceived or real existential threats to US allies/interests in the ME? Paranoia?

    Of course, if approached respectfully and with sincerity, friendship is a very real possibility and the very best guarantor of peace in the region. And yes, one would have to convince your friends that this is the best approach.

    I am finding substantial common ground with this view, (thank you) and its more or less at the heart of what I meant regarding how crucially important it is for the US to remain the pivot in the global balance of power. And that has to be achieved primarily in a non-military fashion. The projection/potential of US military power should be the insurance, and not the method.
  23. Brian Foley REFUSE - RESIST Valued Senior Member

    Iran is fufilling the role the old USSR had in relation to the Cold War, a perceived threat of imminent invasion that allowed America to retain NATO in Europe. In this case the bogus threat of Iran is endlessly played out to the West in order to justify the retention of US military prescence in the Mid East. The excuse is that America is preventing a Nuclear armed Iranian threat of regional hegemony, when in reality it is Americas crumbling economic hold on the region which is being propped up by its military prescence.

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