Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by obeygiant, May 21, 2007.
God- I hate this. I bet this "trial" goes really quickly too- before any humanitarian groups can try to negotiate her release. She'll most likely be executed as soon as they can do it.
Ah yes, as soon as an American gets held without access to lawyers or phone calls the right joins the left in complaining.
Another righty double-standard, exposed for all the world to see. Thanks for illuminating that for us Obey.
Can you fix your link? It's taking me to Wikipedia.
I would usually chide the Iranian gov't. But now I'm just going to say, if you are complaining about this happening in a country where those rights aren't secured by the constitution, then I definetly think you one must look at our own country. If technically we can do the same thing, totally AGAINST the constitution (which is not the same for in Iran) then one should really be seeing our trials as a lot worst.
Oh and I dont know how realistic this reporter really is. Revolution forthcoming? Yeah right. There is political pressure due to the weak economy. But there is no revolution coming. If anything they'll just elect the reformers as the president just like they did to the Majids back in December.
I agree. Bad things do happen here. Unfair things. However I don't think we're at a loss of people to point them out. But when you say "I would usually chide the Iranian gov't. But..." What do you mean? You won't express disapproval that this is happening because its in Iran? Didn't you say you we're Persian?
I'm glad you pointed that out. I chose that article because of the little spin on it. Gives it a little spice! Actually there are hundreds of articles of the subject. Here is one from the Washington Post:
And keep in mind, there certainly is truth to the Iranian government's fears. Calling them paranoid is a mark of seriously biased journalism. The fact is that the US government does spend money specifically on programs that have as their goal regime change in Iran. Edit: not that I think the Wilson Center qualifies.
That doesn't excuse political persecution. I'm not arguing that at all.
Yeah, you gotta be a little paranoid when a guy with troops on two of your borders, and a history of using them on trumped up charges, is insinuating that your regime changing would be a Good Thing.
The Iranian regime is a despotic theocratic oppressive gang - no question. What they are doing here, is no doubt highly objectionable under any fair legal system. I condemn it in the strongest of terms.
That said, how tragic is it, that we can compare ourselves to them: we actually like to hold prisoners for far, far, far, longer without any charges or trial (unlike the Iranians). How low have we fallen under GWB?
It would be a joyous day if the Iranian goons and the U.S. war criminals could all face a real court of justice. It'll never happen, sadly.
I'm hoping against hope that this Iranian case is a political ploy, and they won't go ahead and harm anyone, sort of like the British sailors case. The U.S. has kindapped Iranian diplomats recently - totally, 100% illegally - and maybe this is some kind of bargaining chip by the Iranians. So, my hope is that there's some kind of mutual exchange, and all the people are freed. This is pure speculation, in the hopes of nothing bad happening to human beings.
Ummm... how so? The entire regime. Could you explain to the me the system of gov't they have in place. You know with all the institutions. How do people get elected or annoited to a position?
Then if you can actually explain the Iranian gov't, how about telling us how its a gang of despots much unlike any other democracy? (so what sets its canidates apart from others in democratic countries).
And who said anything about fair legal system. Thats what Western democracies have in a constitution. If you haven't noticed a lot of other countries like China don't have any of these niceties. So you can't just compare. For instance in CHina there is no freedom of religion, so you can't argue that u legally deserve it cause its not entitled to you in the constitution. Maybe in the US it is, and maybe believe it should be everywhere. BUT THAT DOESNT NECCESSAIRLY MEAN IT IS OR IT SHOULD BE. Just thats what westerners believe.
Umm... Wilson set the scary precedent of foreign intervention and he was the guiding light in creating the Leage of Nations, the legitimizing force behind colonial powers . Actually if any center to be spying and meddling in other country's gov't, more than anything it would probably be the Wilson Center. Or Reagan. Or Bush. Or Eisenhower. Or....
Ok a lot of presidents agreed with Wilson, but he set the precedent and I think his center certainly could be doing this kind of stuff.
Yes. But I have American citizenship first and foremost and I care more about fixing the problems here than there. First of all they aren't breaking any constitutions by doing this. And secondly I have more power to change the situation here than there. Realistically I really don't care too much as long as we are doing stuff arguably worst than them (in the sense that we are breaking our constitution). So while its sad whats happening there, there is a million different sad things in the world. The most pressing to me are the ones I have more power over and are closer to me. Guanatmo is more pressing to me. So I rather care about that than an Iranian regime holding people against their will. Everyone expects that, but they don't expect it here and thats the problem. If we didnt have that detention center in Cuba right now, I would say a lot more against this issue. But right now I think its just unhelpful to divert attention, energy, and effort into a situation that isn't as pressing or as changeable as one here.
And I am Iranian.
You want me to describe the entire Iranian governement, all its institutions and the entire process of political appointments? That would take a book. That is not feasible in a post format, no matter who does it. Therefore your request and question cannot be a serious one.
I'll do something else, basing it on my reading of what you are after. You want to argue that after all, there are elections in Iran, so it's a democracy of some kind, and how dare I claim that somehow they are a despotic system - and don't all democracies have limitations, including the Western ones?
That I can manage in a short post. First, I didn't claim that Iranian despotism is the worst - there are many which are even worse. For example, the Iranian political system is vastly superior to what the Taliban in Afghanistan had. Or Saddam in Iraq. Or what's there today in Syria, or Saudi Arabia (our big ally).
They at least have some sort of elections for local representation. My point rather, is that these are terribly unrepresentative, and the people ultimately chosen don't have the freedom to act as in a true democracy.
Here are the main flaws: the candidates have to be vetted by totally undemocratic bodies beholden not to the electoral system, but to religious appointees. That's a huge difference from how democracies work in the rest of the world. The consequences we have seen - many candidates in for example the latest elections were thrown off, either before or after the electin itself by the conservatives who controll the vetting process. What does that mean? It means that the result is not fully representative of the wishes of the population - and so, quite contradictory to the spirit of democracy. So really we should speak of Iranian "democracy" - even though that is still better than zero elections of any kind as exists in many other countries.
Despotic. Why is it despotism? Because even the elected officials don't have the ultimate power - this resides with the Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader is really a dictator. Officially he's supposed to be elected or dismissed by the Assembly of Experts. However, in practice it is like the despotism of any number of countries. Take the Soviet Union - the head of the Communist Party was supposed to be elected by the Central Committee - which in practice resulted in maximum despotism. Stalin was "elected" - and his power was absolute. By the way, the Soviet Union also had general elections. Bottom line - it's all despotism, just exactly as Stalin was a despot. Same for Iran - you can dress it up however you like, but in practice it is a despotic, theocratic, gang.
Did I ever say that China has a fair legal system? Further, yes indeed it's based on Western values - and I stand by that. I also privately believe those values are best for all human beings anywhere on earth. HOWEVER, I do not believe we should impose by force Western values - or any values - on other countries.
I believe that it is up to the Iranians to determine their own system. I believe that today they have a rotten system - a despotic theocracy, and I condemn it in the strongest of terms. I wouldn't want it in my country. At the very same time, I fully acknowledge that it is ONLY the Iranians who should have a say in how they set up their system. I wouldn't dream of interfering. If asked my opinion I give it - it's a rotten, evil, despotic and deepy antihuman - I believe it is ultimately bad for the Iranians. But it is theirs to do with as they please. Hey, I'm sure many of them think the Western system is evil etc. - thati's absolutely fine, as long as they don't try to change our system by force. Live and let live.
For some unfathomable reason, the words "pot", "kettle" and "black" kept coming to mind when reading the above post. Maybe it's just me being terribly cynical, or maybe it's that time of the month...
Or maybe it's just the easy cry of pot, kettle, black, without actually having to point to any specific "black" that supposedly colors all your kitchen equipment... maybe it's the time of the month to finally get some glasses so one can see better
Paragraphs like this just make the despised Iranian system sound so - what's the word for it? - familiar, that's it. Not really that different from your system in many respects. Of course, I'm probably being terribly unfair, but how else do you explain the shower of complete twats who populate your candidate lists?
I'm afraid the "twats" we have are really totally representative That's us, really and truly
The key difference is that you as a private citizen don't need to be vetted by anyone to run (other than things like, you have to be a U.S. born citizen to become president etc.). That's not true in Iran.
Further, even in a party environment, you can go run as a Repub or Demo, but if you want to be the officially backed you have to be elected by the party electors. Note: elected, not appointed. Or you can run outside of any party - as an independent. Key difference.
And our president is chosen in a direct nation-wide election - quite unlike the Supreme Leader in Iran, who is not elected by common voters. And so on.
My point is not that the Western system of democracy is perfect - far from it. But that there is a vast difference between that and the Iranian brand of "democracy". If one were to peg the Iranian system, it would be closer to the despotism of the Soviet Union than any Western democracy. Which is why I called it "despotism". Pretty fair, it seems to me.
Gotta agree with OldCorpse- you're really reaching skunk. I wouldn't have to think too hard about which place I'd rather live.
Sure, someone's gotta reach. Me, I'm quite happy not to live in either of your godforsaken countries.
Well, we are trying to do better
And often in arguments past, we pointed to the fine example of Britain on some issues (say, gays in the military). Then, you guys elect someone like Blair, and what becomes of our arguments? I mean, Blair is like a drug pushing enabler for Bush, gives him a patina of intellectualism when the blithering idiot who can't string a sentence together stands next to Blair, and Blair does all his smooth talking in a British accent (which gives him additional credibility here ) to stupefy our already stupid journalists.
I blame Britain - OK, they elected him the first time, cause they didn't know he'd go off like that, but what justifies the second election?
Same for Canada - look whom they elected now, all to encourage the idiot Bush. You guys are not helping. And we need all the help we can get.
My apologies if you are not Canadian or British.
Look I dont think you have a completely accurate view of Iran. It actually has a decently thriving democracy. No it may not be the best system out there, but it certainly is the best of the Middle East bar Israel and Turkey (which have been lucky enough to be on the receiving side of US support, not the reciprocal). Up until the 2000 election, Iran had a larger percentage of women in the Majids. The funny thing is while you rant and rave, you still haven't explained to me the Majles and Guardian Council. And you obviously think the Supreme Leader, is well supreme. But actually there is a congressional above the Supreme Leader, called the Assembly of Experts, directly elected by the people, that have power over the Supreme Leader. There are very vibrant parties and there are women's rights movements, reformist movements, that culiminated in the re-writting of the constitution to allow for more direct suffrage and direct correlation to the people. The President is elected, the Majles, the Assembly of Experts. And from the Majles, they annoit half of the Guardian council. And yes there is an obvious theocratic bearing on all of this. With strong control in the place of the mullahs to exclude certain politicians. But thats only easily done if no one notices. One cannot throw a popular member of the Majles out because demonstrations will begin and the Majles and the Assembly will override the move. And actually the Supreme Leader doesn't have the power to do that, only the Guardian council. So you have somethings wrong:
There is a lot more members appointed through voting than you believe. At the national and provincial level.
The Guardian Council which oversees canidates is tied to the people, since the members of the Majles vote in half of the Council.
The conservatives had the Majles sort of like the Republicans here until the last election due to woes over the confrontational ways of the president. The reformers have thus won the Majles over. So the next presidential election will be less restrictive since the Majles is now controlled by the reformers.
And I dont think you realize that their is more popular pressure in Iran than here because more people care. In 1997, in thousands of universities across the nations, protests raged for months, with hundreds killed. In America you can't even get one university to completely shut down due to popular protest to A WAR! I think their is more popular pressure in Iran than here, because people care more. All you have to do here is stand outside with a sign, but there you have to be brave enough to face imprisonment, torture, or death to put political pressure, but still more people do than in the US. What does that say about popular pressure?
And as for the simalrites with the USSR. I'm pretty sure the communist power won each election with 99% of the votes each time for half a century. Thats not how it works in Iran. There are many active parties continually changing powers. The president changes between reformers and conservatives. The Majles changed often between them as well. Its a lot closer to the US really than the USSR. Hey the ruling elite may be slightly disconnected and wield powers to subvert a plenty. But their is debate between the two movements. There is changes in leadership. And even though you say the Assembly of Experts never does anything, and compare it to the Central Committee. Their is a stark difference between a Committee chosen by party members of a party that always ruled the country and an Assembly of directly elected members from universal suffrage constantly in flux between two movements and multiple parties. I think your comparisons are shallow. And a true understanding of the politics of Iran would see that it is much much closer to the US than the USSR.
And for live and let live. Thats quite noble of you, its also tragic that this despotic republic is the only gov't in the Middle East able to stand up to the US and not be pillaged and raped by them. The whole reason the Islamic Republic exists is due to the overthrow of the gov't of Mossadegh. Do you realize the US forced democracy from Iran in 1953 in favor of A DESPOTIC ruler? I dont think you can call the current regime despotic compared to the Shah, whose secret police were more brutal than the KGB. They were vicious, trained by Mossad and the CIA to brutally beat people for merely supporting democracy. I think the reason I most balk at your term of despot is because its bloody non-sense in comparison to the previous regime, which was backed by the US. They had dreams of a liberal, democratic soceity; but they were washed down the toiled in 1953 and continually beaten for decades. The only institution the Shah didn't touch were the Mullahs and Islam and thus its no surprise in order to JUST GET RID OF THE SHAH, Iranians picked a theocracy. It was the only institution not throughouly beaten and ravaged by the Shah in Iran, so don't blame the people for this gov't. Blame the US. And thats what they do. And you say they hate the West, but I'm sure you dont even know why! The story of Mossadegh is such an obvious story of pain for the Iranians that it is obvious why Ron Paul used in during the debate as a point of evidence. Because that is why the Iranians took hostages, Khoemeni didnt take hostages, the people did. They wanted to revenge for what they did to the doctor 25 years prior. A poor broken soul, he could have re-invigorated the entire region of the Middle East through his ideals of modernization and pushing forward. The only problem is he realized who was holding him back. The only problem is he went after his dream. And the people of Iran's dream.
Wow! Blame Canada for electing someone who encourages Bush. He wouldnt really need any encouraging, if its his own darn gov't held him back. You should blame the people who voted for Bush, not for Harper. Harper was not elected. His party won a minority of seats because of how bad the Liberals were doing. It had nothing to do with Bush. I think your just nuts to assert that. They were the most harsh opponents of the Iraq war after Germany and France (which at maybe a tenth or less of the trade as America does with Canada isn't half as courageous). Blame Canada, ya right. They voted for a party cause they wanted change in their country, just because he supports the idiot who garnered himself nearly 80% support during '03, doesn't mean Canada was to blame. Someone needs to look in a mirror, not across the border.
Your just jealous of our free health care.
You are a nice guy, Chef Medeski, so a word of advice: before you address a post, make sure you've read it. I'm getting a surreal feeling that you address things in a vacuum.
Err, read my post. I said as much.
Err, read my post. I addressed the issue of the Assembly of Experts. I did not address the other bodies for very good reasons which I enumerated. It would be better to address the reasons than to ask again the same question I just addressed with the reasons.
If you read my post, I explained to you my approach. I wasn't about to get into the intimate intricasies and every twist and turn of the system - because what matters is the big picuture. I can write a book about the intricate workings of the various bodies in the former Soviet Union, but it didn't matter squat in the big picture: it doesn't matter what is written as the official law or theoretical rights or popular "elections" (all of which the despotic Soviet Union had) - the bottom line, as I explained, and you failed to cite evidence contradicting, is that this is not a truly representational system, certainaly not enough to be called a "democracy" in any other way than in quotation marks (and yes, it is still better than some others). The one thing on which you are plain wrong is the Supreme Leader. You can dance and sing all day long about what oversight the Assembly of Experts has, but that's just a shabby fig leaf - as it was in the Soviet Union. Just like Stalin - the Supreme Leader is THE final word in everything he wishes to address... doesn't mean he lowers himself to consider every little thing - but if he WANTS something, then no law writtten or unwritten would stop him - the law in that case is a meaningless waste of ink on paper - he IS a dictator.
Good for them. I hope one day they can free themselves, and make a more rational and representative and fair system for themselves. For now, pressure or no pressure, the system is a despotic theocratic one.
And I disagree. I think Iran is a lot closer to the Soviet system than the American one. No analogy is perfect, and yes, of course, there are differences between the S.U. and Iran, but the similarities are closer than between Iran and the U.S.
I don't know whom you are arguing against here, since in many of my posts I've spoken of how the Brits and the U.S. have screwed up Iran, interfered with their system, overthrew their democracy, installed and backed the Shan who tortured the people and allowed the oil to be stolen by Western oil companies etc., etc., etc. Maybe you should make sure I disagree, before you give me this lecture. Again, know before you speak, so you don't attack straw men.
Stop the bombing and put down the gun. It was a joke
Fine. I still dont think the jest of your understanding is completely accurate. But w/e. I see that your largely correct and there is no point arguing the petty details if no direct evidence is to be presented by either you or me(which is hard at this scale anyway).
Still explain me this: Hows is the current regime despotic in comparison to the previous regime? Or more specifically, if the previous regime was as bad as it was, how is the current at all despotic in comparison?
Again, read what is written, not what you imagine.
Did I say it was despotic in comparison to the previous regime?
I did not.
I said it was despotic.
Not in comparison to anything.
That's what I said.
The previous regime may have been MORE, EQUAL, or LESS despotic than the present one - it is completely irrelevant. I can still call it despotic, and not worry about is it more or less or equal and how hot it is in Africa, and what is papa bear doing this evening.
Its not irrelevant because technically gov't is inherentaly despotic all of them. By calling it despotic you are saying relative to other countries it has extreme levels of poor goverance or the other definitions of despotic. And if its an improvement from a previous regime, it may be despotic to you, but to the people you are impelling to throw off their schackles of oppression; it is less despotic and thus not really worth being described as such.
Who is it despotic too? You may think the new Russia is despotic, but to the Russians its FREEDOM. Maybe not complete freedom, but people think relativistically, and relativistically the new russia is not a despot to the USSR. Does that make it to you, maybe? But that merely makes your opinion irrelevant to the realities as the people of that nation perceive, and thats what is important. And thats why I feel you don't have it completely accurate. You are still looking at it from an outsiders' perspective and thats completely irrelevant.