Same As It Ever Was

The U.N. Human Rights Council's Rogue Rapporteurs

On March 28, the United Nations Human Rights Council elected, by unanimous vote, a special rapporteur on the "situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967." The nominee, Richard Falk, a veteran political activist and emeritus professor of law at Princeton University, was opposed by Israel for, among other statements, equating the situation in the Palestinian territories with the Nazi Holocaust. According to a spokesman for Israeli's foreign ministry, Falk will not be allowed through passport control in Tel Aviv.

"This is a very outrageous statement to us and a personal insult to every Israeli," said spokesman Arye Mekel. "How could he then come up with an objective conclusion about what Israel does or doesn't do in Gaza?"

To the Israelis, Falk's appointment is but another indication that the Human Rights Council (UN-HRC), which replaced the corrupt United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) in 2006, amounts to little more than a new acronym obscuring old anti-Israel bias. When the UNCHR was disbanded, The New York Times called the organization a "disgrace," conceding that, on this one point, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton was undeniably "right." In assembling the replacement body, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the new council would provide the "United Nations the chance—a much-needed chance—to make a new beginning in its work for human rights around the world." The UN-HRC, he claimed, "will breathe new life into all our work for human rights."

So has the UN-HRC purged itself of its political biases? Has it, at long last, expelled human rights violators from its ranks? Writing in the International Herald Tribune, Human Rights Watch's Peggy Hicks surveyed the recent record of the revamped council with dismay: "In its first year, the council shied away from taking action on most human rights crises, dropped its scrutiny of Iran and Uzbekistan, and managed to condemn Israel's human rights record without addressing violations by Hezbollah and Palestinian armed groups."

The nomination of Richard Falk is further evidence of UN backsliding in its commitment to fairly scrutinizing human rights. Not only has Falk served in a similar role in the past—he was on a 2001 special panel investigating Israeli human rights violations, suggesting that UN-HRC is recruiting from the old UNCHR pool—but his record is considerably worse than the recent news reports would suggest.

For instance, in 1979, not long after the inauguration of Iran's totalitarian and theocratic "revolution," Falk, then chairman of something called U.S. Citizens Concerned about Freedom in Iran, was granted space on The New York Times opinion page to shill for the incoming government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. A month prior, Falk had flown to Paris with his comrade Ramsey Clark, the former U.S. attorney general and inveterate friend of dictators, to discuss "social justice" (Clark's phrase) with the then-exiled religious leader. Upon returning, Clark told The Washington Post that he was "deeply impressed by the nature and depth and purpose of the movement in Iran that has established the opportunity for a new freedom."

By the time Falk published his impressions of the Paris pilgrimage, the Ayatollah's gang of fundamentalist squadristi—officially known as "secret revolutionary tribunals"—was already meting out executions with little concern for due process. Nevertheless, in his Times opinion piece, Falk upbraided President Jimmy Carter for "associating [Khomeini] with religious fanaticism," and declared that "the depiction of him as fanatical, reactionary, and the bearer of crude religious prejudices seems certainly and happily false." Indeed, "his entourage of close advisers is uniformly composed of moderate, progressive individuals."

This was too much for the Times' preeminent liberal columnist, Anthony Lewis, who ripped Falk's column as "outstandingly silly." It was clear to those not blinded by ideology, Lewis wrote, that the "Ayatollah has set out, without equivocation or disguise, to turn the clock back and give Iran a theocratic regime." With hindsight, it is perhaps tempting to see Lewis's column as prescient, and Falk as merely a naïve, anti-Shah activist duped by the regime's unsophisticated propaganda apparatus. But as contemporaneous news accounts make clear, the theocratic and dictatorial character of the Khomeini clique was widely acknowledged by Middle East observers well before the hostage crisis.

Falk's conception of human rights—remember, this is what he is tasked to monitor for the UN—is also colored by his warm feelings toward Tehran. Ann Elizabeth Mayer, an associate professor of legal studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Islam and Human Rights: Tradition and Politics, noted in 2000 that "The international law scholar Richard Falk, who sympathizes with the Islamic Republic and who opines that ‘Islam' is entitled to have its own 'civilizational approach' to human rights, embodies the tendency to imagine that Iranians need more Islamic culture, not the human rights protections valued by people in the West."

But this is small beer compared to Falk's latest intellectual pursuit. In 2004, Falk wrote the introduction to The New Pearl Harbor by David Ray Griffin, a book arguing that the American government was behind the attacks of September 11, 2001. Of the vast trove of 9/11 "truth" material available in print and online, it was Griffin, Falk wrote in his foreword, who "has had the patience, the fortitude, the courage, and the intelligence to put the pieces together in a single coherent account." For Griffin's latest book, Debunking the 9/11 Debunkers, Falk provided a dust jacket endorsement: "David Ray Griffin has established himself—alongside Seymour Hersh—as America's number one bearer of unpleasant, yet necessary, public truths."

As media coverage of Falk's nomination has metastasized, it has unfortunately obscured news of UN-HRC's nomination of the Swiss socialist Jean Ziegler to the UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee. A brief recapitulation of Ziegler's qualifications: In 1996, he defended Holocaust denier Roger Garaudy not only on free speech grounds—an admirable position, after all—but further celebrated his supposed scholarship. "All your work as a writer and philosopher," Ziegler wrote, "attests to the rigor of your analysis and the unwavering honesty of your intentions. It makes you one of the leading thinkers of our time." He lauded the Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe, a leader who "has history and morality with him." He offered his "total support for the Cuban revolution." He recently told a Lebanese newspaper the he "refuse[d] to describe Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. It is a national movement of resistance."

Then there's Ziegler's friendship with Libyan dictator Moammar Kaddafi. In 1989, according to a report in Neue Zurcher Zeitung (one that confirms research done by UN Watch), Ziegler helped establish the Kaddafi Prize for Human Rights. In 2002, Ziegler himself received the prize, which he shared with, among others, Roger Garaudy. Previous recipients include Fidel Castro, Louis Farrakhan, and Hugo Chavez.

Outside Turtle Bay, it is obvious that those who believe the 9/11 attacks were a government sponsored "false flag" operation and who believe in the moral probity of Kaddafi bequeathing cash prizes to serial human rights abusers have no business adjudicating human rights violations at the United Nations. In 2006, the current administration was widely criticized for opposing the establishment of the UN-HRC; the United States was the only industrialized country, besides Israel, to oppose its creation. In light of the appointment of Richard Falk and Jean Ziegler, it is similarly obvious that this was the correct decision.

While it is gratifying that the commission that long provided political cover for vile and undemocratic regimes such as Cuba, Zimbabwe, and Libya was publicly disgraced and dismantled, it is a disheartening, though utterly predictable, that its replacement is following in its footsteps.

Michael C. Moynihan is a reason associate editor.

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  • ||

    You left out the part where Falk equated Israeli treatment of Palestinians with Nazi treatment of Jews.

    Its like they're trying to discredit the UN. Really, what more could they do?

  • Episiarch||

    Sometimes I kick myself for not going into International Relations instead of Biology at Johns Hopkins. Had I played my cards right I could be flying to international climate change conferences on the taxpayers' dime and partying with other leeches instead of actually working.

  • TallDave||

    I look forward to hearing many more anti-Israel diatribes, while most other countries in the region continues beating their women, suppressing free speech, and denying their people the right to elect their leaders.

    I'm guessing oil money bribes are making this happen.

    RC,

    O ye of little faith. They'll come up with things we haven't even dreamed of.

    My guess: Jews cause global warming!

  • GILMORE||

    TallDave | April 11, 2008, 3:21pm | #

    You might want to check out this month's Atlantic, and last week's Economist.

    e.g.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200805/israel


    Not "anti" israel at all, but also not the kind of analysis you'd find in most US papers.

    How tall are you really, dave?

  • ||

    Remember those strong stances the U.N. took against the U.S.S.R. and other communist nations during the cold war and ,and ,oh never mind.

  • Neil||

    Ha, and to think liberals really wanted us to get approval from these clowns for advancing the freedom agenda.

    If the U.N. doesn't like what the USA does, TOO BAD.

    We will not have another Munich.

  • Dave W.||

    Good to see that Mr. Moynihan made it back safe and sound from his recent trip.

  • Neil||

    Why no coverage of the Iranians threatening our ships in the Gulf? This should be big news, it could be the next theater of the Global War on Terror.

  • GILMORE||

    ? This should be big news, it could be the next theater of the Global War on Terror.

    As in, the Great Distraction from the actual terrorists who conducted attacks against our country

  • Episiarch||

    Why no coverage of the Iranians threatening our ships in the Gulf? This should be big news, it could be the next theater of the Global War on Terror.

    No, the next theater is the Dagobah system. It's rumored Osama is hiding out there honing his Jedi skillz with Yoda.

    "There is no try--only do!"

  • Orange Line Special||

    Returning to the home front, there are some rapporteurs who do represent the libertarian position (i.e., the position shared by the libs, the other libs, the MexicanGovernment, crooked banks and businesses, the far-left, and so on).

    Perhaps for a future report Moynihan can laud him for his efforts.

  • ed||

    Jews cause global warming!

    They drive cars, don't they?

  • Kolohe||

    Why no coverage of the Iranians threatening our ships in the Gulf?

    Ok, I'll bite. Link?

  • ||

    I will not discuss the relative merits of Israeli and Palestinian positions today. I will discuss the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    Same as it ever was...same as it ever was... same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was... Same as it ever ...

  • Episiarch||

    I will not discuss the relative merits of Israeli and Palestinian positions today.

    I have a feeling that discussion is going to rage no matter what you want, Jsub. I still like my idea of a permanent Israel/Palestine thread that has no links out of it.

  • TallDave||

    Gilmore,

    I'm not sure what your point is. If you mean Goldberg would be a good replacement for Falk, I agree.

  • TallDave||

    Oh, and I'm about 6'4". In most social situations, I'm differentiated from other Daves by being referred to as "tall Dave."

  • Neil||

    You can read about it here Kolohe.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/04/11/iran.us/index.html

    Confrontations will only grow in the future, the Mullahs are making their gamble for world conquest beginning with Iraq and we will stop them.

  • Threadodome||

    I still like my idea of a permanent Israel/Palestine thread that has no links out of it.

    Two arguments enter, one argument leaves!

  • Episiarch||

    the Mullahs are making their gamble for world conquest beginning with Iraq

    Whaaaaa? World conquest? We would be unable to conquer the world. How are some Persians going to do it? They couldn't even defeat 300 Spartans.

  • Episiarch||

    Two arguments enter, one argument leaves!

    Break a deal, face the wheel. But I prefer "two arguments enter, no argument leaves".

  • Leonidas||

    They couldn't even defeat 300 Spartans.

    Appreciate the props, bro, but we actually lost that one.

  • Neil||

    Yes Episiarch, as Bill Bennett said then it was 300 Spartans behind King Leonidas, now it is 300 million Americans behind General Petraeus.

  • ||

    Who runs BarterTown?

  • Ron Bailey||

    Disclosure: I apprenticed with Master Blaster.

  • ||

    If one had to pick between living in the prosperous, pro-market, tolerant (e.g., religion, etc.) Persian Empire and the militaristic, child butchering, slave based economy* of Sparta which would people pick? ;)

    *Yeah, Persia had slavery too, but it was nothing like that practiced in Sparta.

  • Episiarch||

    Well, ain't we a pair, Raggedy Man.

  • ||

    Why did Mad Max 3 have to suck so much?

    kids in desert = ewoks
    ewoks blow

  • tarran||

    Confrontations will only grow in the future, the Mullahs are making their gamble for world conquest beginning with Iraq and we will stop them.



    Oh God...

    This is why democracy, representative or otherwise, is such a bad idea. A substantial portion of the populace believes moronic crap like this, and they vote...

  • Neil||

    Well, Tarran, how do YOU want to deal with the Iranians trying to acquire a nuclear weapon?

    What do we do about them attacking our forces in Iraq, and trying to undermine the al-Malaki government?

    I think we should at least bomb the Quds force camps with a small tactical airstrike in the future, and I bet we will before the summer is out.

  • ||

    Well, Tarran, how do YOU want to deal with the Iranians trying to acquire a nuclear weapon?

    Nothing.

  • Neil||

    You're a moral coward MP. You're going to let the mad mullahs get a nuke and carry out a second holocaust against our ally Israel while we sit idly by?

  • Colin||

    Explain to me again why we need to be in UN? And why we must house them as well?

  • GILMORE||

    TallDave -

    I had no point other than to call you out as one-dimensional. Again.

    The height question was pointless as well. Just curious if the handle was some kind of ego-projection or something.

    So what branch of the military did you serve in?

  • GILMORE||

    Neil | April 11, 2008, 4:37pm | #

    You're a moral coward MP.


    Ahh.

    The pragmatic are by definition all "moral" cowards. We must engage in senseless confrontations lest we be "morally" weak-kneed.

    The moral thing to do is fight nonstop wars that achieve no particular strategic result.

    Israel has nukes dude. I dont exactly think another "holocaust" is imminent anytime soon. Nor are we responsible for policing the planet. Unless of course we're morally obligated.

  • GILMORE||

    Neil | April 11, 2008, 4:26pm | #

    I think we should at least bomb the Quds force camps with a small tactical airstrike in the future, and I bet we will before the summer is out.


    Bet?

    I got $500 on that if you're game. iEscrow is my preferred means of resolution.

  • nobody special||

    At least move the UN out of New York. I hear Caracas is very nice.

  • tarran||

    Well, Tarran, how do YOU want to deal with the Iranians trying to acquire a nuclear weapon?



    Oh quite simple, STOP THREATENING TO BOMB THE SHIT OUT OF THEM NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO.

    After September 11, they tried to assist the U.S. govt with intelligence against Al Queda. They agreed to provide assistance with Search and Rescue efforts for downed U.S. airmen

    In 2003 they proposed negotiations with the U.S. They had serious and substantive discussions with State Department officials intended to normalize relations with the U.S.

    This despite the fact that.

    1) In 1953, the U.S. government overthrew the government of Iran as a favor to British Petroleum. As part of the CIA operation, thugs were paid to go out and beat up or even kill innocent Iranian civilians while pretending to be communist agitators.

    2)The U.S. government set up, trained and funded the Iranian secret police who brutalized the Iranians in much the way that Saddam Husseing's goons brutalized Iraqis.

    3) When the religious fundamentalists rode a wave of popular hatred of the Shah into power, the U.S. government then encouraged and assisted Saddam Hussein's invasion of Iran, intended to deny Iranian access to a significant portion of Iran's oil-fields.

    4) After an attack by Iran's enemies against the U.S., the U.S. president labeled the Iranian government part of an Axis of Evil along with their enemy, the Iraqi government, and North Korea with whom they have nothing to do.

    5) Furthermore, after the attack, the U.S. occupies or makes basing agreements with every country adjacent to Iran, surrounding them with U.S. troops, warships and aircraft.

    6) The U.S. government torpedoes negotiations designed to ease the stated concerns the U.S. has over Iranian actions.

    7) After the U.S. occupational government is replaced by a semi-elected government dominated by a pro-Iranian faction, the U.S. starts claiming, blatantly falsely, that the Iranians are trying to undermine their allies.

    8) The U.S. government, including all the politician vying to be president (with the exception of then long-shot Ron Paul) all publicly emphasize their willingness to use nuclear weapons on Iran.

    See a pattern there, Neil?

    What started out as a favor for a U.S. ally has escalated to the point where the U.S. government is contemplating using nukes a second time, all because the U.S. government can't stand the idea of a bunch of camel jockeys and ragheads not bowing their heads to U.S. hegemony.

    If I were an Iranian government official, I would want nuclear weapons, simply because once a country gets nuclear weapons (Al Queda ally Pakistan, cough, cough), suddenly the U.S. becomes really, really nice to them.

    The first step to ending a conflict is to stop escalating it. Iran, for the most part, reacts to U.S. escalations. Most Iranian officials want to be at peace with their neighbors. The fact that the U.S. government consistently signals to the Iranian government that the U.S. wants nothing but war with Iran does not make Iran less likely to become belligerent. Rather it encourages them to be more belligerent since they have nothing to lose.

  • GILMORE||

    Bust a deal, face the wheel

  • Neil||

    What part don't you understand Gilmore? The Iranian President is insane, he said he wants to "Wipe Israel off the map". Unlike you, I take him at his word, just as we should've taken Hitler at his word in 1938.

    What makes you think he won't start a nuclear war? He doesn't care if the Israelis retaliate, he thinks hes going to see Allah and the virgins.

  • GILMORE||


    Neil | April 11, 2008, 4:10pm | #

    Yes Episiarch, as Bill Bennett said then it was 300 Spartans behind King Leonidas, now it is 300 million Americans behind General Petraeus.


    lol, falling off my chair.

    Maybe you never saw the end of that movie.

    If you dont have a DVD player, try Herodotus.

    God damn.

  • Episiarch||

    You're going to let the mad mullahs get a nuke and carry out a second holocaust against our ally Israel while we sit idly by?

    For fuck's sake. In what universe can Israel not take care of itself? Why does Iran make you wet your pants? If they fuck with us they get stomped. Flat. If they fuck with Israel they get stomped.

  • Episiarch||

    Bust a deal, face the wheel

    I beat you to that hours ago, dude.

    Do you know who I was? Nobody. Except on the day after, I was still alive. This nobody had a chance to be somebody.

  • GILMORE||

    Neil | April 11, 2008, 5:04pm | #


    I'd love to continue, but you're a blathering idiot. Iran is not going to do dick aside from tinker with regional affairs. Read Foreign Affairs or something. Your cartoonish depiction of the world isnt going to change just because I explain to you they dont even have a deployment device for their non-existent nuclear capabilities. All I can do is groan at this point.

    p.s. i'm still cool to take your money though if you're stupid enough to back up your brains with cash

  • Neil||

    "
    For fuck's sake. In what universe can Israel not take care of itself? Why does Iran make you wet your pants? If they fuck with us they get stomped. Flat. If they fuck with Israel they get stomped."

    They don't care if they get stomped. They just want you and me DEAD, they want to be "martyrs" by killing non-Muslims. Again the President of Iran says he wants Israel wiped off the map. What part of that don't you understand?

    He wants Israel WIPED OF THE MAP. And he even said he plans for a world "without the United States". That means we DIE if he gets a nuke.

    As for deployment, he could easily reach Israeli and Europe with his new missiles. If he wanted, he could get his Hizbollah puppets to plant nukes in American cities. Its a real danger and you just want to stick your head into the sand like Neville Chamberlain circa 1938.

  • GILMORE||

    Episiarch | April 11, 2008, 5:08pm | #

    "Bust a deal, face the wheel"

    I beat you to that hours ago, dude.



    Fuck.

    I was distracted by mr "comparing our noble war on terror" to the successes of the spartans at Thermopylae.

    p.s. I'm the guy who carries Mr. Dead in his pocket

  • Neil||

    There will be another war in the MidEast before this election, the final showdown between us and the Mullahs.

    Unless of course Bus is stupid and takes your advice of just letting the Iranians taunt and shoot at our boats, and blow up our troops.

  • GILMORE||

    That means we DIE if he gets a nuke.

    $500? Seriously. We can bet on ANYTHING. How about the next Iranian election. PLEASE. Pick a topic. Whatever it is I'm happy to bet with you.

  • Neil||

    Gilmore I'd love to take you up on the offer but I'm opposed to gambling on religious/moral grounds.

  • GILMORE||

    Neil | April 11, 2008, 5:18pm | #

    Gilmore I'd love to take you up on the offer but I'm opposed to gambling on religious/moral grounds.


    nice save there.

    We DO have to pre-emptively nuke iran on moral grounds though.

    Dude, seriously. Go read a book and stay away from the web for a while.

  • Neil||

    Gilmore I'd NEVER favor using nuclear weapons in a first strike, I don't know where you got that from! Only as retaliation for a nuclear strike on us, never at the first act.

    I'm pro-defense but not Dr. Strangelove.

  • JLE||

    What a bunch of warmongers. Can you discuss the economy or something?

    Oh wait, the economy is the war.

  • Neil||

    I've read a lot of books, Gilmore. Why don't you go read a book about the Munich Conference? It would enlighten you.

  • GILMORE||

    Neil | April 11, 2008, 5:22pm | #

    I'm pro-defense but not Dr. Strangelove.


    I agree. You sound more like a high-school-dropout version of Michael Savage.

  • GILMORE||

    Munich Conference

    Godwins Law = DRINK?

  • Episiarch||

    That means we DIE if he gets a nuke.

    We do? I wasn't aware that one nuke can destroy the entire USA. That's some powerful nukes they have. Or maybe they're developing asteroid control capability? Maybe a Death Star?

    You must not have a lot to do if you have the time to work yourself into a state of panic about this shit.

    Suggestion: take up gambling, drinking, cocaine, and whoring. You will quickly cease to worry about Iran and will have more fun, too.

  • Neil||

    I'm an engineer, Gilmore, not a high school dropout. I don't know about you, though.

    You obviously don't know much about what appeasement is, anyway.

  • ||

    They don't care if they get stomped.

    Oh really? You have some sort of poll of the Iranian populace that shows that they would willing turn Iran into a nuclear wasteland as long as they could start a nuclear fight with Israel?

    No? How 'bout that.

  • Episiarch||

    Godwins Law = DRINK?

    Aren't you supposed to be drinking already and playing pool, you Irish bastard?

  • GILMORE||

    no Epi - cocaine makes ignoramuses even MORE convinced of their rectitude.

    Just drinking gambling and whoring.

  • Episiarch||

    OK, scratch the blow. Weed optional. Painkillers...yes.

  • GILMORE||

    Episiarch | April 11, 2008, 5:27pm | #

    Aren't you supposed to be drinking already and playing pool, you Irish bastard?


    I thought I said 5 or so? OK, sorry, I'm out.

    Bloody mary will be first, followed by Mr Makers Mark, then healthy doses of the cheapest beer they got.

    Night all

  • Neil||

    Why don't you try having a beer in Iran Episiarach?

    Oh thats right, you'd be flogged for having a beer.

    Having sex outside of marriage? Executed.

    Thats what they want to bring to the west Gilmore. Instead, we should bring freedom and democracy to them.

  • Episiarch||

    Instead, we should bring freedom and democracy to them.

    What you mean is force it on them. I'd like to encourage it for them, through trade. Force doesn't work. Note: Iraq.

  • Neil||

    Yeah Episiarch, "Forcing" freedom doesn't work, thats why Japan, Germany, and South Korea are all prosperous capitalist democracies today.

    Sure seems to have worked in that case.

    Why can't we do that in the Greater Middle East as well?

  • Kolohe||

    I'm an engineer, Gilmore, not a high school dropout. I don't know about you, though.

    So, Neil, put your money where you mouth is. Sign up hier. (acutally, you'll receive a good bit of money rather than having to put any up)

    Full disclosure: I signed up for the same program myself several years ago, and worked for the guy pictured (whose no longer in that billet) for a time.

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, Neil, both Germany and Japan had parliamentary monarchies prior to their subversion by fascist and militarist forces. Germany's parliamentary experience predates its existence as a unified state in its Bismarckian and Wilhelmine post-Franco-Prussian war form. Germany needed its democratic system restored, redesigned and improved following WWII; it didn't need it built from scratch.

    Why can't we do that in the Greater Middle East as well?

    If perfect democracy were put in place in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, the result would not be a set of states friendly to the US and to Israel.

    There is also zero evidence - none, nada - that Iran has designs of conquest on any state. Iran has not invaded any of its neighbors, or anyone else, in the last century and a half if not more. How many countries has the US invaded in the last century and a half?

    It's such a pathetic and cowardly vision - trying to turn Iran into some vast geopolitical threat. Iran is likely to indirectly dominate Iraq through proxies at some point in the future. Not through invasion - merely through political and cultural affinity. That's just a fact of life. But that is a far cry from threatening the United States. In order to make your frightened whimpering even remotely plausible, you have to create a fantasy vision where Iran will be the first state in history [including Muslim states much more theocratic and belligerent than Tehran] to voluntarily immolate itself for the sake of no particular strategic goal at all. Despite the fact that Iran has no history of aggression against its neighbors, and despite the fact that no state anywhere has ever acted in the way you posit.

    That's an awful lot of Kool Aid to swallow just because you miss the Cold War, bub.

  • Kolohe||

    And Neil, I read your CNN link. Flares? Really, you think flares are the next Maine/ Luisitania/ Arizona? There was some real shooting a week or so ago. Flares are like what Tony Stewart does every week, "rubbin's racin'" sorta crap.

    Flares, sheesh. Get back to me when an Exocet hits an FFG or an Airbus gets shot down.

  • Neil||

    Fluffy Iraq had a parliamentary monarchy as well before it was subverted by military strongmen like Saddam and his predecessors. Until the 60s it was a British-style democracy. Very similar to Germany, isn't it?

    Germany wasn't a nation at one time either in fact it wasn't even unified until very recently (1870) much like Iraq also. Iraq was created in 1920, so the Iraqi nation really isn't that much younger than Germany.

    I guess you don't believe Arabs can handle democracy. Well, I do, I beleive all people can.

  • tarran||

    I like the fact that neil is pretending my post does not exist.

    Kolohe, when were you in?

    I was a nuke on the Abraham Lincoln in the late 90's.

  • Neil||

    And what do you think Iran's President means when he says he wants to "wipe Israel off the map" and "have a world without the United States".

    I believe he means just that.

  • Neil||

    Tarran your post was leftist anti-American claptrap. So we had to do some dirty things to stop the commies, so what? What matters is that we won the Cold War. The Shah wasn't Thomas Jefferson but Iran was better off under him than they would've been being a Soviet Socialist Republic.

  • ||

    Gilmore I'd love to take you up on the offer but I'm opposed to gambling on religious/moral grounds.

    Translation - Gilmore, I'm so full of shit, even I know it.

  • ||

    Tarran, how did you like the Stinkin' Lincoln?
    I did a year on the Shitty Kitty in the '70s. From a job satisfaction standpoint, carriers suck for a fire controlman. I did appreciate the 24/7 mess line at sea though.

  • ||

    Neil,

    Clearly most Iranians did not think living under the Shah was all that great. This is not a defense of the regime that followed the Shah's, but any government which depends on seceurity services, etc. to stay in power doesn't deserve any support from the U.S.

  • tarran||

    OK neil,

    "And what do you think Iran's President means when he says he wants to "wipe Israel off the map" and "have a world without the United States".



    Why *does* the Iranian president say that about the U.S. and not, say Japan?

    For extra credit, why do Iranians permit a guy saying those things to stay in power? Why don't they rise up and overthrow this dangerously unstable guy like they did the Shah? The shah was far more brutally repressive than the current government. Could it be that a large portion of the Iranian public, who know their own country's experiences at the hands of the U.S. think that the U.S. is a threat to them?

    Tarran your post was leftist anti-American claptrap. So we had to do some dirty things to stop the commies, so what? What matters is that we won the Cold War.



    Oh man, just yesterday I was being called a reactionary right wing conservative! My week is complete!

    Ok neil, so what you are saying is that the Iranian government should say "Thank you America for overthrowing our parliamentary system and installing a monarch who taxed the shit out of us and tortured entire families if one member was a dissident. You did it to stop the Russians, and we are so grateful? Thank you U.S., We *were* far better off under an autocratic monarch than with elections?"

    Wow! You *are* a fucking moron! :D

    Neil, seriously, you're a great guy; rarely do fans of American Exceptionalism demonstrate their inability to understand human nature so straightforwardly.

    Here's something you might want to chew on: until we got rid of the parliament, the Iranian communists were not anti-American. And, you might want to think about this as well, our ally Italy has also had communists win elections and form a government. Yep, a NATO country with a communist government that had access to U.S. defense secrets, yet somehow the republic didn't fall (Although, to be fair, the Italians *did* release Abu Nidal after seizing him from U.S. custody - some allies they were.. Maybe Reagan should have ordered a punitive airstrike on those terrorist-enablers in Rome huh?).

  • ||

    Tarran your post was leftist anti-American claptrap.

    Truthiness at its finest. Only 90 minutes to O'Reilly, Neil, don't be late.

  • Neil||

    Hey Tarran, they DO say things like that about countries like Denmark, Sweeden, and Holland.

    I guess they're just punishing Denmark for their racist and imperialist past huh? Oh wait, Denmark never had colonies and never hurt anybody. No, idiot, its because they're a democracy with free speech.

    They hate us for WHO WE ARE, not WHAT WE DO.

  • Travis||

    "Gilmore I'd love to take you up on the offer but I'm opposed to gambling on religious/moral grounds."

    I'm going to guess protestant Evangelical Christian religous/moral grounds. Your world view is almost exactly like my mothers. Israel must be defended at all costs because the Israelis are God's chosen people. The reformation of Israel in 1948 was the fullfilment of Bible prophecy. Iran threatens Israel so must be annhilated. Am I close Neil I'd really like to know?

  • Fluffy||

    Neil, I wanted the USSR wiped off the map.

    I got my wish, too.

    Strangely, this happened without a nuclear exchange.

    What is your basis for asserting that Ahmadinejad's rhetoric represents a desire for physical annihilation, and not a political change in Palestine?

    A non-ethnic, non-religious state within the former borders of the British mandate of Palestine - a state where the rights of all were respected by all - would also "wipe Israel off the map". It may not appear very likely at this exact moment, but that's not really relevant to the question at hand.

    Tarran your post was leftist anti-American claptrap. So we had to do some dirty things to stop the commies, so what? What matters is that we won the Cold War.

    I can certainly be persuaded that the US had to expend a certain amount of its moral capital to win the Cold War.

    It would be more difficult to persuade me that the targets of our morally-compromised-but-strategically-necessary actions should just shut up and like it.

    Especially since we've never done the bare minimum necessary - things like just say, "You know, about that whole 'topple your government and support a murdering dictator for decades' thing - sorry, our bad. We felt we had to do that to stop the Soviets. It was nothing personal." Nope, we can't even do that. Instead we say, "Shut up you fucking ragheads, we're not done fucking you in the ass yet. You're in the Axis of Evil, so shut the fuck up and hold still while we hold your cousin down so Israel can get a little piece of ass of its own."

  • ||

    I guess they're just punishing Denmark for their racist and imperialist past huh? Oh wait, Denmark never had colonies* and never hurt anybody. No, idiot, its because they're a democracy with free speech.

    *Highlighted to point out the complete ignorance of the poster.

  • Fluffy||

    Neil, the elements in Muslim society that would start a jihad over a bunch of cartoons were a shrinking and powerless minority, swept aside by secularizing nationalists - until we decided to spend 40 years butt fucking every secular Arab we could find who wouldn't kowtow to Israel.

    We have no right to complain about the flickering of the light of reason in the Islamic world, when we spent decades taking a piss on that candle to make sure poor little Israel would be protected.

    The Arabs watched modernizing forces in Islam get humiliated for decades. It's not surprising that they are now thinking about trying something different.

  • tarran||

    Tarran, how did you like the Stinkin' Lincoln?



    Bit of a mixed bag. It mostly sucked.

    We had a good CO, who is now CINCPACFLT.

    The rest of my chain of command? Well, let me put it this way, if I saw my immediate superior drowning, I would probably throw him both ends of the rope. We were undermanned, and overworked, especially burdened down with pointless makework that seemed to take priority over the stuff that actually had to happen so the propellers would turn round and round.

    Oh, and we had a prostitution ring servicing our battlegroup operating off our ship. They even had some of the MAA's providing security. At the time I was scandalized, but being older and wiser now my hat is off to them.

    And yes, having food available 24/7 is very nice... Also regular mail call.

    I got out as soon as I could... But god, I miss the ocean sometimes... There's nothing like standing a midwatch and seeing the Milky Way...

  • Neil||

    You all need to put down the Noam Chomsky and pick up some books by Robert Spencer, Mark Steyn, and Baat Yeor. Read their books on the threat of radical Islam in our time--it will send a chill down your spine and open your eyes.

  • ||

    Oh, and we had a prostitution ring servicing our battlegroup operating off our ship. They even had some of the MAA's providing security. At the time I was scandalized, but being older and wiser now my hat is off to them.

    My how times have changed. When I was at sea wimmin weren't allowed on warships. Nights ubderway in the south pacific, during peacetime, are the only real opportunity I've ever had to see the sky with my own eyes.

  • Travis||

    Neil,

    Come on buddy, I will apologize if I was wrong about your religous beliefs.

    I use to believe that Israel needed to be protected by America because of my religous beliefs. Then it dawned on me one day If Israel truly is protected by God why would God need America's help.

  • ||

    Can't believe nobody posted this yet.

  • Travis||

    Would Jesus attack Iran? I find it odd how christians have such unchristian attitudes toward non-christian nations. Whatever happened to loving your enemies & turning the other cheek.

  • Neil||

    If anyone is REALLY interested about my religion, I'm Jewish.

  • Travis||

    Neil,

    I'm sorry for assuming you were christian.

  • Neil||

    Travis its not a problem thats a pretty safe assumption 90% of the time in this country, especially if you're a conservative.

  • TallDave||

    I have to agree, Iran is going to have nukes but we can probably live with that. War with them isn't necessary.

    Of course, if they decide they can sit behind their nuclear deterrent and send suicide bombers into our shopping malls we may regret that decision and be faced with a much nastier choice than the one we're ducking now. But honestly, I don't think they're really that crazy. We can probably live with a nuclear Iran, and even hope it mellows them out a bit.

    The younger Iranians aren't much into jihad.

  • Neil||

    But if they have nukes TallDave they can undermine our government in Iraq without facing any consequences, financian terrorists and killing our troops while laughing at us from behind their deterrent.

    That is, if they don't nuke Israel first.

  • TallDave||

    Could it be that a large portion of the Iranian public, who know their own country's experiences at the hands of the U.S. think that the U.S. is a threat to them?

    You'd be surprised, most Iranians have a pretty positive view of us; there have even been reports they chant pro-U.S. slogans after soccer games. That's one big reason why we can probably live with a nuclear Iran.

    Iran isn't quite the hermit kingdom that N Korea is or Iraq was. They do have some freedoms and some understanding of the West.

    OTOH, their gov't is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, which is why the U.S. has such a problem with them.

  • Kolohe||

    tarran-
    still ad; yg 95 desig 1120. currently working at an undisclosed location that rhymes with Earl Barber. Was also out here for my JO tour in the early nineties, and did a couple of Westpacs.

    So, I might have seen you, but you never saw me:P

  • TallDave||

    But if they have nukes TallDave they can undermine our government in Iraq without facing any consequences

    Well, insurgency can be a two-way street; Iran has lots of little Arab and Kurdish separatist movements. A lot of Iraqis really really hate Iran and would gladly carry out the same kind of ops there that Iran is now carrying out in Iraq. It's not like Iran can just nuke them.

  • Kolohe||

    That should be late 90's.

  • ||

    For fuck's sake. In what universe can Israel not take care of itself? Why does Iran make you wet your pants? If they fuck with us they get stomped. Flat. If they fuck with Israel they get stomped.

    quite perfect, epi!

  • hittin\' and runnin\'||

    You know Neil, I'd join in here, but I can see that you are just so frightfully ignorant that any discussion with you is a loss.

    It would sort of be like discussing differential calculus with a four-year-old.

    Naturally, it is hard for a child like you to realize that the factions if Islam (that you see as some monolith) could not possibly hold together.

    If you really think that the Shiite Ayatollahs of Iran are going to get anywhere in an Islamic world dominated by Sunnis, well, you're just plain fucking stupid.

    But most of us figured that out long ago.

    You make TallDave look like a freakin genius.

  • ||

    Neil ==

    The Iranian President is insane . . . I take him at his word.

    Assuming either of the above is valid (neither is, actually), as the Yardbirds sang: take a while, think about it.

  • ||

    hittin' and runnin'

    Sorry for being so fucking stupid and all, but perhaps you could explain why Iran has been supporting Syria's Assad (Allawite) Hamas (Sunni) and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (Sunni)? Aren't they Shiites? Did you not assure us that those ones never go hand in hand with them ones?
    Again, sorry for not being smart enough to discuss deferantial ekuations with you.

  • ||

    Researching international crimes/injustices as a freshman (6 years ago), the UN's limited affinity for peace became quite apparent. Internal policies are designed to prohibit any humanitarian board member from enforcing any lasting change. However, whether or not Faulk maintains shady ethics, his advocacy of 9/11 conspiracies are founded on entirely credible grounds. The physics behind the catastrophe was discussed that day (9/11/01) in my physics class (that was high school).
    I am appalled that "Reason" magazine will not even consider the logic behind the "conspiracy" theories offered by highly competent scientists. It's been nearly a week since this article was published. Certainly I am not the only one who dissents.

  • Rare Air||

    very good

  • Nike Dunk SB High||

    is good

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