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  • Misreporting Iran


    by Sunny
    6th June, 2006 at 4:20 am    

    If, heaven forbid, a war was declared on Iran, you can be sure that the Daily Torygraph would be its biggest cheerleader. In fact it would probably ask readers to donate money to the war effort. On Sunday Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, addressed the nation and excerpts of his speech was carried in newspapers.

    I agree with Juan Cole when he says: I should think it is obvious that I loathe Khamenei and his regime, but I suppose I have to say so yet again in today’s wretched intellectual environment. I find Khamenei’s claims that Iran does not abuse human rights to be particularly offensive.

    What is interesting however is what the Ayatollah said but the Telegraph and Times deliberately neglected to mention. As Garry Smith points out:

    In his speech, Khamenei denied that Iran wanted to develop a nuclear bomb. This denial has been ignored by the Times and given short shrift by the Telegraph. Neither reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader called the use of nuclear weapons “against Islamic rules” (again).

    Khamenei also said this: “We will never start a war. We have no intention of going to war with any government.”

    Strangely, the media are even less keen on reporting that. In fact, neither the Times nor the Telegraph bothered to mention it at all.

    After Iraq and the 45 minutes nonsense, would it be too much to expect honest coverage rather than unquestioning acceptance and repetition of government spin? Sadly, it appears that it is.

    BBC has excerpts from the speech.


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    Filed in: Current affairs,Middle East






    32 Comments below   |  

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    1. leon — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:09 am  

      No surprise really, the media did this a great deal in the run up to the Iraq war. They banged on about diplomacy failing and no longer being possible despite (up to the last minute) Iraq offering all kinds of concessions regarding weapon inspectors.

      The US want domination in that part of the world and military conflict helps US business. It’s a win win for US power…

    2. sonia — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:17 am  

      yes no suprise really. Unfortunately not. And the Iranians aren’t going to make it ‘easy’ to avoid a conflict - they more they get tough ( despite what they say about the specifics of nuclear - which as you point out sunny - no one is hearing anyway!) the easier it’s going to be for Washington to push its plan through. in the eyes of the ‘world’ its ‘rogue’ behaviour is what is being highlighted - never mind the details - what’s enough is that ‘oh look they’re not listening to us and the analogy with a naughty kid about to be spanked is all too clear. and the Iranians aren’t the kind to back down - in case most people don’t remember, the Iran-Iraq war went on for an awful long time… Shame about the psychology - the best way to goad a country like Iran into war is to exactly what Washington is doing now. does it look like they want to avoid war? no.

      {and its pretty obvious that Iran is going to claim it doesn’t abuse human rights - why would they be more likely to admit to it when no-one else does? as far as i can see we’ve been in a major crisis with international relations - there are a lot of nations up to no good and they’re all pointing the finger at someone else)

      sigh

    3. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 4:19 pm  

      I didn’t find any issue finding those quote’s, I’ve not seen anyone people brush over what Iran has been saying. If I may summarize:

      a) We want nuclear refinement for peaceful reasons
      b) We will never attack another country
      c) We will use Oil as a weapon if people try and stop us

      Sometimes they include:

      c) We’ve been doing this undercover for years
      d) Death to Israel / America / Britain
      e) We should have nukes as Israel and Indian both have them

      Now I’m not so sure how much I trust a religious nut to sit (or swat) the right way on a toilet, but I don’t take any comfort from statements like “against Islamic rules” as I’m also told that FGM, honour killings, suicide bombers and all manor of stuff is “against Islamic rules” but they all seem to happen none the less.

      We’ve seen the letter ‘reaching’ out to the West, which was more an invitation to Islam and a washing list of complaints against secular values than an initiation to any rational dialog.

      It could be that all the coverage about Iran is not true, it could be that the place doesn’t exist, it could even be that I live in a tank being fed by tubes while machines use me as a human battery.

      However I’m pretty sure that (a) Iran exists (b) they want nukes (c) they will use them to throw their weight around (d) they may decide the best path for “true peace” is to chuck a couple one at Israel.

      TFI

    4. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 4:30 pm  

      Shame about the psychology - the best way to goad a country like Iran into war is to exactly what Washington is doing now. does it look like they want to avoid war? no.

      Yes, much better to cross our fingers and hope that they (a) don’t make any nukes, (b) don’t throw them at anyone.

      I mean, what’s the fuss about nukes for? No one has fired any since the World War II, just because we have moved to far more powerful hyroden bombs instead of those little atom bombs that THEY WIPED OUT HIROSHIMA with, it nothing to worry about.

      What’s a little nuclear winter amoungst friends? Wide spread crop failure and mass starvation is just what the world needs to reduce population numbers, aids is great, but its not getting through the numbers fast enough.

    5. sonia — on 6th June, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      ha friendlyinfidel - who exactly has been the one and only nation to use nuclear force?

    6. Sunny — on 6th June, 2006 at 4:32 pm  

      TFI - the issue here is that people are happy to use the negative rhetoric to serve their purpose, but disregard other statements that do not fit into that narrative such as “we will not declare war on anyone”.

      Iran would never be able to survive declaring war on anyone else now, but its President would love nothing more than actually being attacked, because it would rally around all his detractors faster than anything else.

      but they all seem to happen none the less.

      lame argument. There is plenty that happens in this country that one could construe as “against post-enlightenment and liberal values” but happens nevertheless.

    7. ContraryMary — on 6th June, 2006 at 4:43 pm  

      first iraq… and a year 18month dialogue of rhetoric on how Iraq had weapons and was a threat. and now Iran with - lo and behold - dialogue and rhetoric based on nuclear weapons and a threat to the west.

      the crassness of america and the so-called international community is beyond belief. why don’t they just come out and say it - the general motive behind Iran and Iraq is the same, bar the details: the USA, and the west/civilised world/first world, needs oil to maintain its hegemony at the top of the world order and will do anything to achieve it. whether it’s invade iraq coz of Saddam (a dictator but an american stooge), or invade/declare war on Iran for developing nuclear weapons. and all the while Britain follows america blindly because we have a ‘special relationship’.

      Who made America the policeman of the world? or should that be corrupt nightclub bouncer, that likes to crack skulls and steal back drugs it’s already sold to punters, and will do anything to protect its little empire.

    8. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 4:54 pm  

      Why is that a lame arguement? Just because I don’t take faith from statements like “against Islamic rules”, doesn’t mean I take any faith from statements like “against post-enlightenment and liberal values”. Everyone is a hypocrite and has alternate motivites.

      ContrayMary, you are right. It is ONE of the reasons OTHER than a fear of a nuclear war and winter.

      Personally I’m rather keen on my car, credit cards, mobile phone and supermarkets. I’d much rather we worked out some way of allowing us to maintain our way of live without screwing over others, but right now I feel like I live in a house with a crack addict that pays the bills and keeps the wolves at the door.

      I’d like him to give up on the crack and go straight, but to do so would lose us the roof other our head and we might just starve.

    9. justforfun — on 6th June, 2006 at 5:01 pm  

      TFI - yep shit happens. I take all my religious studies from the clerics of Qom. There has never been a better and more trustworthy and honourable bunch of men in this world. I too can’t quite see why people don’t just believe what they say - they have never lied before. Its against their religion - oops - I ‘m sorry - got my religions mixed up - its against the Zoroastrian religion to never lie - ever.

      Justforfun

    10. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 5:33 pm  

      ha friendlyinfidel - who exactly has been the one and only nation to use nuclear force?

      That would be the country that invented them, the country that has lead the world on nuclear de-escalation and the country that hasn’t fired a single ha friendlyinfidel - who exactly has been the one and only nation to use nuclear force?

      That would be the country that invented them, the country that has lead the world on nuclear de-escalation and the country that hasn’t fired a single nuke since.

      Do you think that Iran will be as responsible? It’s not like they have ever started any wars, or has a free press that keeps them in check or look after their people.

      Which do you think is the strongest message from Iran

      a) DEATH TO AMERICA!!!
      b) We will never attack a government

      As far as I know Iran doesn’t recognize Israel, which means that they can still make that statement, throw nukes at Israel and not be liars.

      TFI

    11. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 6:08 pm  

      ContraryMary, you obviously don’t live in the Western world as you owe nothing to them. They aren’t preserving your way of life, your wide screen TV, trainers, credit card, car, house, providing you with civil liberities, freedom of movement\expression, holidays, air travel, jeans etc etc

      You must be living in a different house not dependant on our crack addict at all.

      TFI - the issue here is that people are happy to use the negative rhetoric to serve their purpose, but disregard other statements that do not fit into that narrative such as “we will not declare war on anyone”.

      But Sunny that is a laughable narrative. I read all sort of resources and I don’t see anyone in the East using a positive narrative towards the West. You are picking your sources to make this point. There are plenty of other Western sources praising Iran for reaching out with their letter. There are resources such as this pouring scorn on any aggressive stance towards peace loving Iran.

      In the West are we allowed to disagree with our leaders, only under liberal democracies are we able to criticize our governments from within. Do the Iranians get to call their leaders war criminals and not worry about retribution? Do we see any objective counters to their messages?

      It appears to me that only the West is capable of self criticism and this skews the system against us.

      Iran would never be able to survive declaring war on anyone else now, but its President would love nothing more than actually being attacked, because it would rally around all his detractors faster than anything else.

      Sunny I agree with you, but use an analogy, we are watching a bully drunk on oil profits constructing and loading a gun in a playground. Do we wait and see if he wants to point it at someone, try and talk him out of it or take it from him. These are tough choices.

      Sure there is another bully in the play ground: America. He’s got a terrible Oil habit but he does try and break up the smaller kid from fighting and tries to put bandages on the others that have fallen and hurt themselves on an Earth quake.

      America is a devil I know. Iran is the devil I don’t. Nuclear war is bad. Every person reading this page is addicted to Oil via your lifestyle.

      It’s about time we had a 1970’s type oil shortage, which might remind us all where our priorities and loyalties lie.

      TFI

    12. ContraryMary — on 6th June, 2006 at 6:22 pm  

      TFI - I think a 1970s style oil shortage would be no bad thing. at least then it would pull into sharp focus our reliance on it all. and make joe public realise that all this bullying of Iraq/Iran is down to oil.

      and yes I would gladly give up, my mobile phone, car (don’t have one), and plenty of material goods, and lifestyle even, if it meant more equality in the world.

      ultimately we need to get away from oil. no1) it’s responsible for so much war 2) it’s destroying the planet. 3) it’s going to run out.

      and I could have all of the following: your wide screen TV, trainers, credit card, car, house, providing you with civil liberities, freedom of movement\expression, holidays, air travel, jeans etc etc…

      in India thank you very much, which the last time I visited wasn’t in the west.

    13. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 6:38 pm  

      ContaryMary, in your last post we agree on many points. Especially about us needing to wake and smell the coffee. You might give up your material possessions but many more of won’t. In fact many of us think that they could, but when it come to the crunch they won’t.

      Of course you can have those things in India, that’s because they have taken on economic liberalism, are in bed with the West and are developing oil habit all of their own.

      Don’t worry India and China will be running the world soon enough, not because they have nukes, but because they are beating us (the West) at our own game.

      Any this is off the point, of course the Torygraph and the Times aren’t talking about Iran’s “peace promises”, that is their right, that is for their readership. If you don’t agree buy another paper, buy the Guardian.

      There is nothing insidious here.

    14. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 6:40 pm  

      all this bullying of Iraq/Iran is down to oil.

      And the threat to global stability. Its not just the oil.

    15. Amir — on 6th June, 2006 at 7:55 pm  

      Sunny

      (1) If, heaven forbid, a war was declared on Iran, you can be sure that the Daily Torygraph would be its biggest cheerleader. In fact it would probably ask readers to donate money to the war effort.

      If, heaven forbid, a thermonuclear bomb was created in Iran, you can be sure that the Guardianista would be its biggest cheerleader. In fact it would probably ask Israel to stop sulking.

      (2) In his speech, Khamenei denied that Iran wanted to develop a nuclear bomb.

      Well, that settles it. Khamenei – who is ultimately unaccountable to no one – would never lie to the wider world in order to acquire one of the most dangerous technologies on the planet, now, would he? Of course not. Silly me. Realpolitik doesn’t exist in Tehran, does it? Cos, ya know, theocrats never lie do they? Lest we forget: Iran – with its meagre gas and oil supplies – is in dire straits unless it acquires fissionable material. How dare, I say, how dare the Telegraph and Times intimate that these honourable pro-democratic mullahs want a nuclear bomb for some other less-noble reason, i.e., to blackmail the international community or to beef-up its geopolitical legitimacy or to ward off the belligerent doctrine of regime change. I’m sure the Israelis and Saudis and Turks and Egyptians will sleep better at night knowing that Ayatollah Khamenei is just in it for the energy. Huh.

    16. Amir — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:08 pm  

      ContraryMary,

      why don’t they just come out and say it - the general motive behind Iran and Iraq is the same, bar the details: the USA, and the west/civilised world/first world, needs oil to maintain its hegemony at the top of the world order

      Boy, I haven’t heard this douzy before! How contrarian of you. The oilfields of Iraq and Iran are indeed an indisputable prize. They are the second-biggest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia’s. But from the point of view of the oil industry and the world oil market, war may be the worst way to exploit those reserves:

      Point 1 The most important fact to remember about oil is that it is a stateless commodity; in a sense, it doesn’t matter who holds the oilfields. If Joe Bloggs himself controlled oil deposits, his product would enter the world market to be priced, bought and sold like anyone else’s [Hugo Chavez, for instance, sells 90% of his country’s oil to the United States]. By the same token, Bush could install his little brother Jeb as the Iraqi oil minister in al-Maliki’s cabinet, and Exxon Mobil would still have to buy oil at world-market prices, and you’d have to buy it at the pump from Exxon Mobil. The Europeans and Japanese, who are far more dependent on Middle Eastern oil than the Americans, understand this.

      Point 2 The second important fact to remember is that Saddam Hussein was not the one barring Big Oil from Iraq’s petroleum riches; the United States – along with the rest of the United Nations – wouldn’t let Saddam sell significant quantities of his oil. Sanctions imposed after the Gulf War also kept him from buying the equipment he needed to maintain wells, pipelines, ports and other necessary infrastructure. So here’s the rub: if President Bush really, really wanted Big Oil he would have done the sensible Kissingerian thing and ended sanctions. Or invaded Venezuela.

      Point 3 There is a temptation to say that Bush and Cheney, being oil men, are waging war to feather the nest of their cronies in the oil patch. After all, the oil industry gave more than five times as much to Republicans in 2000 as to Democrats. But ‘Big Oil’ craves one thing above all else: stability. The oil business is so capital intensive that the ability to plan investments – in exploring, drilling, transporting and refining – can be as important as the price of crude. And guess what? War is a one-way-ticket to instability. Just look at the price of crude since 2003 – it’s skyrocketed.

      But hey… why let facts get in the way of prejudice?

    17. El Cid — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:26 pm  

      He’s right you know ContraryMary

      Surely it would be more logical from a purely selfish/realpolitik perspective (and just as candid) to say that the USA and the west/civilised world/first world, needs to make sure oil doesn’t become a political weapon in the hands of a potentially unfriendly power.

      You could also say India/China needs oil to challenge the US-led world order.

      It may rightfully be called the Dismal Science, but the underlying economics don’t lie. Think about it.

      On point three — the link between Bush admin and oil industry. I think that is valid but it manifests itself differently e.g. countering environmental lobby, opening up Alaskan oilfields, etc. US oil companies, for example, have long been lobbying for a rapprochement with Libya and Iran, because sanctions mean they are at a disadvantage to non-US firms.

    18. TheFriendlyInfidel — on 6th June, 2006 at 8:42 pm  

      But hey… why let facts get in the way of prejudice?

      Why indeed? After all when you are angry enough about something you don’t have to be well informed. That just gets in the way. Just get on your high horse and ride off into the nuclear sunset …

    19. Amir — on 6th June, 2006 at 9:50 pm  

      ContraryMary, - Who made America the policeman of the world? or should that be corrupt nightclub bouncer, that likes to crack skulls and steal back drugs it’s already sold to punters, and will do anything to protect its little empire.

      Yeah, ya know, Soviet Russia wasn’t that bad come to think of it? Communist China would make an excellent representative on the Council of Human Rights for its diligent work in Taiwan and Tibet and for repossessing poor peasants’ land. And what about Comrade Castro? He loves his people so much that, for three decades, he’s been willing to keep them in a perpetual state of squalor and slumhood and silence just so long as his Ego gets a re-fill. Vladamir Putin isn’t such a cock once you get to him… just ask the Chechens or the Tartars. So many great Superpowers to choose from.

    20. contrarymary — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:28 pm  

      TFI - my bet is when India becomes a global superpower that it won’t run around being the world’s policeman, unlike America. so why must America bully behave as it does?

      and as for threat to global stability. you think 7/7 would have happened if we and America weren’t in Iraq? you believe Iraq is stable now?

      and how can america preach in the name of freedom and democracy in the shadow of Guantanemo, Abu Grahib and Haditha (and that’s what we know about). what do you think anyone outside of Britain and America thinks of that. PURE HYPOCRISY. and the UK’s lost any global standing as a result of it.

    21. El Cid — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:37 pm  

      you think 7/7 would have happened if we and America weren’t in Iraq?

      Um. Yep. Maybe not on exactly the same date but sooner or later, I reckon so.

    22. Sid — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:41 pm  

      This article on the Iranian Oil Bourse provokes thoughts.

      An excerpt:


      The man that actually did demand Euro for his oil was Saddam Hussein in 2000. At first, his demand was met with ridicule, later with neglect, but as it became clearer that he meant business, political pressure was exerted to change his mind. When other countries, like Iran, wanted payment in other currencies, most notably Euro and Yen, the danger to the dollar was clear and present, and a punitive action was in order. Bush’s Shock-and-Awe in Iraq was not about Saddam’s nuclear capabilities, about defending human rights, about spreading democracy, or even about seizing oil fields; it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire. It was about setting an example that anyone who demanded payment in currencies other than U.S. Dollars would be likewise punished.

      Many have criticized Bush for staging the war in Iraq in order to seize Iraqi oil fields. However, those critics can’t explain why Bush would want to seize those fields—he could simply print dollars for nothing and use them to get all the oil in the world that he needs. He must have had some other reason to invade Iraq.

    23. contrarymary — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:46 pm  

      Amir.

      war needs what? oil. therefore war creates demand for oil, which Bush and Cheney’s oil cronies profit out of. they have as much oil as they need for america and war, probably for the foreseeable future. they’re simply securing their long term source of oil. and
      then all their mates get the rebuilding contracts. hmmm…

      maybe there’s no need for bush to invade Venezuela. maybe he would just invade iraq (soft target, less backlash, pre-existing reason) and secure their oil for the greatest nation on earth.

      oil craves stability? the world hasn’t had stability in over a century (world war 1, world war II, Yom Kippur War, Cuban Missile Crisis, Cold War, the first gulf war, the second gulf war) yet oil production, and its supply, exchange and demand has continued merrily.

      bush needs to keep the price of oil low - and make sure there’s enough of it - for all his voters. and that’s about it.

      and as for your comments - on the soviet union, china, and castro. since when does global geopolitics descend into playground finger-jabbing. set your own standards and live and act by them, don’t judge your own low standards and justify them because others are lower.

      I’ll spell it out again: Abu Grahib, Haditha, Guantanemo. support of a military dictatorship in Pakistan. Saudi Arabia. the list is endless. America and we bang on about the rule of law, and democracy. since when do Abu Grahib, Haditha, Guantanemo, rendition fall within the rule of law.

    24. contrarymary — on 6th June, 2006 at 10:52 pm  

      el cid - we’ll have to agree to disagree. I firmly believe 7/7 would not have happened if we had not had stood side by side with Iraq. it played into al qaeda’s hands - I bet osama and al zarqawi rubbed their hands with glee for providing the ammunition to finally, turn young unstable minds to acts of terrorism.

    25. El Cid — on 6th June, 2006 at 11:08 pm  

      it was about defending the dollar, ergo the American Empire.

      Sid,
      The thoughts that this tinpot, sub-GCSE analysis provokes in me are not very nice. These people are cloth-eared idiots.
      There is a well-established trend among the world’s central banks to realign their reserves by swapping dollars for euros. The Iraq war was never going to change that. The rise of the world’s richest and biggest one-currency trading bloc and the unchecked growth of America’s trade and budget deficits are the underlying catalysts.
      A dollar crisis is not inevitable but dollar weakness is likely for these reasons, especially now that US interest rates — what you get paid for holding a currency — are close to peaking and euro zone and Jap rates have scope to close the gap. Make no mistake though: if there was a dollar crisis, Asia in particular could suffer because it holds the most U.S. dollar debt. There’s a lot more I could say, but this is long enough

    26. El Cid — on 6th June, 2006 at 11:10 pm  

      Maria,
      I don’t disagree that the Iraq War made something like that likelier sooner than later

    27. Ravi4 — on 6th June, 2006 at 11:35 pm  

      ContraryMary - India won’t be the policeman of the world? ever heard of its (successful) inervention in East Pakistan - which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh? Or its (successful) intervention in the Maldives to prevent a coup (with Tamil Tigers as paid mercenaries)? Or its (disastrous) intervention in Sri Lanka (I know people who narrowly escaped rape at the hands of the Indian forces) which eventually led to Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination?

      Sid – that article you link to reads like a piss take. The Iraq war was all in order to prop up the dollar??? Bush could “print money” to buy oil??? Why didn’t Bush knock off the European Central Bank if he was so concerned about the rise of the Euro, wearing a stripey jersey, a black mask and carrying a sack marked “swag”? The whole thing is straight out of the stone age. The guy who wrote the article “Krassimir Petrov” claims to have a PhD in economics – presumably 19th century economics. And he’s “looking for a career in Dubai or the UAE”. My guess is he’ll have trouble finding work if that’s the standard of his economic expertise.

      As for whether Iran’s nuclear ambitions are peaceful or not. Iran has 132.5 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. Its consumption is about 1,500,000 barrels per day. So Iran has enough oil to serve its own energy needs for over 200 years. ( http://www.house.gov/jec/publications/109/rr109-31.pdf ) So why the rush for nuclear?

      I heard an Iranian dissident on the radio yesterday, just out of jail and in Moscow to pick up a prize for journalism. He really laid into the human rights record of the Iranian Government. But when asked about Iran and nuclear weapons, he passionately defended Iran’s right to develop nukes, talking about the threat from nuclear armed Israel, Pakistan, India, Russia, China, USA etc.

      The need to get nuclear weapons seems to be one of those issues which actually unites Iranians. (See Timothy Garton Ash’s excellent Soldiers of the Hidden Imam - http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18390 ) But does that mean force should be used to stop Iran getting nukes?

      I really don’t know which is more frightening. Khameini and Ahmedinajad with nukes. Or the terrorist blowback from strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

    28. Siddharth — on 7th June, 2006 at 1:02 am  

      OK, so the Krassimir Petrov article was crap. I thought it was interesting but thought it was worth flagging up to the economics eggheads on here.

      Although I don’t buy for a second that USA went into Iraq for humanitarian reasons. Bush and Cheney staying up at night saying prayers for the people of Basra? Pull the other one. Saddam could have been the most angelic and kindly despot to his people but the Bush team were planning to take Iraq out way before 9/11. And lets not forget the economic benefits that war has on the US economy. Given that USA was staring into a recession at about the same time of the invasion, war looked like the timely cash injection that it is.

    29. Sajn — on 7th June, 2006 at 11:04 pm  

      “TFI - my bet is when India becomes a global superpower that it won’t run around being the world’s policeman, unlike America. so why must America bully behave as it does?”

      India is already a regional superpower and behaves as such. Witness the border dispute between Bangladesh and India, the Indian “peacekeeping” efforts in Sri Lanka, the illegal occupation of Kashmir…..

    30. El Economics Egghead — on 8th June, 2006 at 9:02 pm  

      And lets not forget the economic benefits that war has on the US economy. Given that USA was staring into a recession at about the same time of the invasion, war looked like the timely cash injection that it is.

      Actually that’s not true Sidney.
      Fact of the matter is that the U.S.-led global economic downturn followed the bursting of the tech bubble in March 2000, when the world was left with too many goods chasing too little demand, leading to an extended bear market.
      9/11 2001 then hit an already fragile economic situation and put paid to any embryonic recovery by giving consumer and business confidence another almighty whack.
      We finally saw the makings of belated U.S.-led economic recovery in 2002/03, as confidence returned, companies started making money and investing again, helped by super-low interest rates and years of paying down debt.
      It was the aggressive posture of the Bush government that threatened to put paid to that. Hence global market stock markets plummeted again in Q1 2003.
      Only once the uncertainty was removed and it become clear that a swift U.S. “win” was possible did confidence recover, allowing incipient economic growth to gain traction.
      There are no real linkages between the global economy and the Iraq War, other than the one I have described. Recovery was already on track, Iraq or no Iraq.
      One last thing Sid — and you know I like you — it doesn’t really make sense to talk of the US economy in isolation when we live in a globalised economy. You know all those super-fast growth rates India and China keep bragging about? You’ve got to thank American imports for a lot of that.
      (I dread to think what would have happened to the sluggish euro zone economy in their absence)

    31. El Cid — on 8th June, 2006 at 9:17 pm  

      Hmmmm…

      And lets not forget the economic benefits that war has on the US economy. Given that USA was staring into a recession at about the same time of the invasion, war looked like the timely cash injection that it is.

      Actually that’s not true Sidney.
      Fact of the matter is that the U.S.-led global economic downturn followed the bursting of the tech bubble in March 2000, when the world was left with too many goods chasing too little demand, leading to an extended bear market.
      9/11 2001 then hit an already fragile economic situation and put paid to any embryonic recovery by giving consumer and business confidence another almighty whack.
      We finally saw the makings of belated U.S.-led economic recovery in 2002/03, as confidence returned, companies started making money and investing again, helped by super-low interest rates and years of paying down debt.
      It was the aggressive posture of the Bush government that threatened to put paid to that. Hence global market stock markets plummeted again in Q1 2003.
      Only once the uncertainty was removed and it become clear that a swift U.S. “win” was possible did confidence recover, allowing incipient economic growth to gain traction.
      There are no real linkages between the global economy and the Iraq War, other than the one I have described. Recovery was already on track, Iraq or no Iraq.
      One last thing Sid — and you know I like you — it doesn’t really make sense to talk of the US economy in isolation when we live in a globalised economy. You know all those super-fast growth rates India and China keep bragging about? You’ve got to thank American imports for a lot of that.
      (I dread to think what would have happened to the sluggish euro zone economy in their absence)

    32. Lopakhin — on 12th June, 2006 at 1:27 am  

      ‘In his speech, Khamenei denied that Iran wanted to develop a nuclear bomb. This denial has been ignored by the Times and given short shrift by the Telegraph. Neither reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader called the use of nuclear weapons “against Islamic rules” (again).’

      That doesn’t seem to be quite what he thought back in 1986.

      http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=20302

      1986. Then-president Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gives a pep talk at the headquarters of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran in Tehran. “Regarding atomic energy, we need it now,” he said. What Khamenei meant by “energy,” however, has little in common with how the term is used in the West. “Our nation has always been threatened from outside. The least we can do to face this danger is to let our enemies know that we can defend ourselves. Therefore, every step you take here is in defense of your country and your evolution. With this in mind, you should work hard and at great speed.” [italics mine].

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