Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Only a Question of 'When?'

I have been meaning to post about Iran for days, but with the move and settling into the new flat and work being crazy, I have not had time to do the research that I wanted to do before posting.

It started when Britain accused Iran of being responsible for bombings in southern Iraq. The Brits claimed that Iran had supplied Iraqi insurgents with explosives technology. I immediately thought, oh, what a convenient pretext for an offensive against Iran. Simultaneously the controversy over Iran’s nuclear programme was continuing, and then Iran, in a very co-operative gesture, accused Britain of provoking unrest inside their country. That accusation was in connection with bombings over the weekend in Ahvaz, in the oil-rich province of Khuzestan, which borders Iraq.

In an interesting twist on the theme of two negatives make a positive, Iranian President Ahmadinejad said yesterday, “We have not found any proof that Britain is not involved in the events in Ahvaz and we have not seen anything that would dissipate our doubts about that country.”

Iran has also accused the US of interfering in Iranian affairs. The US, in turn, has accused Iran (and Syria) of “helping and enabling” terror groups throughout the Middle East.

Condoleezza Rice has been running all over the place pretending to be diplomatic in an effort to build support for the US in relation to the ongoing nuclear dissension and the terrorism accusations against both Iran and Syria.

Most recently, Iran claimed that it had foiled a “British plot” to blow up its largest oil refinery, which is in the southwestern city of Abadan.

Dan Plesch wrote a very interesting column for yesterday’s Guardian entitled ‘Are we going to war with Iran?’ His conclusion is that an enlarged conflict may not be as preposterous an idea as we would all like to think.,12858,1594977,00.html

And my friend Beamis has provided unique insight from the desert in the US. Beamis has observed that rumblings in the earth coming from the military test ranges in Nevada indicate that “renewed war making” on the part of the US will start within 3 to 4 weeks.

We shall soon see…


Devastatin' Dave said...

I think I read where the bombs being attributed to Iran had the earmarks of old IRA bombs. Hmmm...

Anonymous A-Hole said...

We could not ever attack Iran without having the necessary strategic bases in order (Iraq).

Anonymous A-Hole said...

The war in Iraq has been, in my estimation, merely preparation for the war in Iran.

And the talk of threats to European cities, while theoretically plausible, is really just a means of disguising the real concern; as soon as Iran is capable, they will attack Tel Aviv with unconventional weapons (insert your favorite "Israel deserves it" phrase here).

The U.S. will, undoubtedly, play a role, but, really, this one's on the EU. As so many European countries battle Islamo-Fascism (Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, etc.), it will, ultimately, be (and some would say already is)their fight.

The U.S. is damned if they do, and damned if they don't. If they enter Iran "pre-emptively," then they are labeled (fill in your favorite Nazi/Imperial comparison phrase here). If they wait for the EU (which will have to deal with Iran eventually), they'll be vilified in some other manner or, worse, be too late.

Now, any chance we should be considering who is running Iran and where that could lead? No, we should probably just give Iran the benefit of the doubt, let them develop whatever they may, pretend that jihad is fiction, and hope for the best.

Or maybe we should give El Baradei another Nobel Prize and pretend the problem doesn't exist.

Yes, we're going to war with Iran sooner or later.

beamis said...

Why must the EU or anyone else "have to deal with Iran eventually". I don't think that Israel has anything to worry about from the Iranians, and in fact if the intruding meddling Anglo-Americans would just leave, I truly believe that the Persians and the Jews would reach accomodations much sooner than anyone could possibly imagine. They are both intelligent, enterprising cultures that have co-existed (rockily at times) for thousands of years. This opening campaign of World War 3 is not about the greivances between these two countries who have unwittingly allowed their skirmish to provide cover for a far more sinster plotline.

All of the images of throat slashing gore and the supposed savageness of the "jihadists" and "radical Islam" reminds me of the satanically charged propoganda images depicting the Japanese as fang snarling buck-toothed devils weilding samurai swords for their wickedly evil warlord Emperor. We've been down this road before, and it ain't exactly a scenic drive worthy of emulation.

Nuclear power development in Iran is their own business, and none of mine. Using it as a cover for stealing Iran's oil fields (like the WMDs in Iraq) for the greater glory of Jesus, in the eyes of a dry alcoholic, is just plain lunatic.

If this does in fact occur hold on tight kiddies 'cause we'll all be in for a rough ride. Mexico anyone?

Monkey's Max said...

A-hole, I agree with you that the US is damned if they do or if they don't - I said exactly that in my post on Iran of 1st July.

We know who is running Iran (or at least who is president of Iran) and he is a hard-liner, anti-west, anti-Israel kind of person.

Israel, no matter how any particular person views Israel, is in danger from Iran, as Iran is in danger from Israel.

And yes, as you said, the US is going in - with bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan, they have Iran sandwiched very conveniently.

Just a matter of when exactly.

beamis said...

An who pray tell is going to fight on the ground in this gigantic and mountainous country many times the size of Afghanistan? Where are the hundreds of thousands of troops needed to subdue such a large and powerful country?

This really seems like a kamikazee mission to spark Armageddon. The U.S. will get their asses obilterated in this one. No question.

A-Hole better get his kids ready for compulsory military service, it'll be the only way to hold Iran effectively for the coming centuries of imperial servitude.

Anonymous A-Hole said...


I agree that "they are both intelligent, enterprising cultures."

However, the only conditions under which they "co-existed," prior to the formation of Israel, was in Arab lands, under dhimmi law.

Anything to the contrary is not accurate. "Rockily at times" is far too casual a dismissal of what really happened.

Perhaps you should travel to Arab lands to investigate. Oh, no, wait a minute. Sorry, you're Jewish as I recall, you're not allowed, by law, to travel to most Arab countries.

Gee, it's a peaceful religion, why can't we just get along?

Because it's only a peaceful religion after the infidels have been killed and the caliphate restored.

Please, if for no other reason than your heritage, go research dhimmi law and the history of Jews under Arab rule.

I think, given your statement above, that you'll be very surprised.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Compulsory military service is a wonderful idea. I'll see you there.

Oh, wait, we're both too old.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

The Dhimmi: Jews And Christians Under Islam by Bat Ye'or.

beamis said...

A-hole----I said your children and your nieces and nephews will face compulsory service, not us.

I'm not welcome on the Hopi reservation in Arizona and it doesn't bother me in the least. They have a sign on the highway telling motorists coming in to their reservation to please not stop except at designated points of their choosing. I'm okay with respecting other people's privacy, sovereign customs or prejudices. It is okay to be barred from entering another country for whatever reason the people there decide is valid for them.

I'm only half-Jewish, but nonetheless think that many "radical" Jews are just as bad at dis-enfranchising gentiles as some Muslims are to Jews. It's an old and tiresome story. Squabbling fanatics foaming at the mouth over nothing, while sharing the same sacred prophets too. Go figure.

I also don't think the mullahs in Iran really represernt the average Iranian any more than W represents the wishes or aspirations of most Americans. The mullahs day will come sooner than most people imagine, but an American attack would have the effect of solidifying their grip in a wartime setting. The best thing that happened to their regime was the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980's. It kept the population preoccupied with an external enemy, which allowed the autocratic leaders to froth vociferously at Saddam and his superpower ally the Americans.

War with these people is a very, very bad idea.

Monkey's Max said...

On my way to work this morning I started reading Imperial Ambitions: Conversations with Noam Chomsky on the Post-9/11 World - Interviews with David Barsamian. While I don't agree with everything Chomsky says, I do think that he demonstrates amazing intellect, insight and clarity.

Barsamian had just asked Chomsky about war with Iran. This was part of his answer:

...And it's quite likely that this war may already be under way. A year ago, more than 10 percent of the Israeli air force was reported to be permanently based in eastern Turkey - at the huge U.S. military base there - and flying reconnaissance over the Iranian border. In addition, there are credible reports that the United States, Turkey and Israel are attempting to stir up Azeri nationalists forces in northern Iran. That is, an axis of U.S.-Turkish-Israeli power in the region opposed to Iran could ultimately lead to the split-up of Iran and maybe even to military attack, although a military attack will happen only if it's taken for granted that Iran would be basically defenseless. They're not going to invade anyone who they think can fight back.

I don't know if it is all true or what it necessarily means this week, but it is certainly interesting information.

Anonymous A-Hole said...


The compulsory military comment was a joke, I didn't really think you and I would meet in the military.

And, with all due respect, there's really no such thing as "half-Jewish." Either your mother was Jewish or she wasn't, either you were bar mitzvahed or you weren't. That's really all there is to it.

And, using your logic, the U.S. could block the entrance of Arabs into the U.S. permanently and you'd have no problem with that? I doubt that.

As to your predictions about what will happen in this middle eastern country or that, well, let's just say that nobody has ever accurately predicted this so-called "Arab street."

In fact, find this book, read it, and then give me some more predictions about that "street."


Interestingly, Noam Chomsky is critiqued heavily in that book; his predictions about the "Arab street," among other things, are absolutely and pathetically laughable with any retrospection. Interestingly, he's never had to answer to that, or explain it, he only goes on writing new theories and ideas, well-written as they may be, that will also end up being wrong (like most everything he's ever written regarding the middle east).

Anyone reading Chomsky (MM) should consider Kramer's book as well.

Anonymous A-Hole said...


Said and Chomsky are both writers to which there is no shortage of analysis or rebuttal. Please, have a look at that Martin Kramer book, if you haven't already, after, or even while, you read Chomsky.

Devastatin' Dave said...

All y'all could just read this and be done with it...

beamis said...

Ain't a Jew (according to your strict sectarian dictates), but my father was a first generation American Jew who's immigrant mother forbade him from being bar mitzvahed into a "woman hating religon". She thought the whole point of coming to America was to foist off the old chains of servitude under which many had suffered. She was also shortly jailed as a suffragette after marching in the streets of Boston, much to emabarrasment of her husband a fairly orthodox Jew.

My father's older brother was bar mitzvahed secretly by his grandfather, who lived with them at the time. He borrowed an old Torah from the local shul and performed the ceremony in separate installments in the pantry when my grandmother would leave the house to run errrands. He would be dead when my father became 13, so no secret rituals were performed for him.

Was my uncle Gene a Jew, having been bar mitzvahed in the pantry? Is that enough for your rules of Jewish entry? Or does the Kosher womb suffice?

Both brother's married shiksas.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

I'm not the judge of who's Jewish and who's not. Anyone that observes, in any way is, in my mind, Jewish.

You're Jewish if you want to be, just like you're half-Jewish if you want to be.

My point is really that "half-Jewish" strikes me as not only awkward, but as simultaneously dismissive and convenient.

It's not my business how observant anyone is or how they view spirtuality.

Your argument above seems to be more convincing of Jewish heritage than of half-Jewish heritage.

As to the Jewish womb, well, it appears that you've answered your own question by considering yourself only half-Jewish (you seem to not consider yourself Jewish only because of your mother).

Anonymous A-Hole said...

And, I don't make the rules, but yes, strictly speaking, the "Kosher womb" does suffice.

Monkey's Max said...

For fuck's sake, kids - can we leave off the "Who's a Jew" debate. If you want to have that, you first have to define what you mean by "Jew", i.e. race, religion, ethnic group or...? And that is such a tiresome subject.

Asshole, you claim that it is not for you to judge and then you go and give your criteria for judging. Leave it. This is not a discussion you are prepared to get into with me, and you know that.

Beamis, interesting personal story, thanks for sharing.

Asshole, I will happily read that book. Can you send it to me? You have recommended it before and I have not found it down at the old Czech book shop. I am still using the old mailing address, by the way.

And please trust me that I am intelligent enough to doubt everything I read.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

1. The last thing I doubt is your intelligence.

2. All I said was that anyone that observes, or anyone that wants to be, is Jewish. From a religious perspective, I stand by that statement/opinion, even though it's not, by any means, definitive or even necessarily conventional. I stand by my assertion; "half-Jewish" is, in this case, not a heritage, but a defense of anti-Israel notions. Beamis is fundamentally anti-Israel but suddenly becomes "half-Jewish," and begins spewing Yiddish" when anyone questions that. That seems, to me, to be both convenient and at least slightly disingenuous.

3. Yes, I'll send you the Kramer book.

4. Respectfully, I'll raise any issue or debate that I wish.

5. I'm prepared to discuss anything with you that you'd like, including my own path to, and observance of, Judaism. I'd certainly argue that I'm more prepared to have a discussion with you involving Judaism than is Beamis prepared to discuss the history of the middle-east with me. But we do it anyway.

6. Don't get cranky with me, girl, or I'll show this blog to your mom ;) (you know I really wouldn't but it's fun to threaten). Beamis can take it, he's a big boy. He doesn't need your protection. I haven't resorted to belligerence yet, so leave me be.

I'd go to Beamis' blog and debate this with him there, but nobody goes there, it's not quite as fun.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

And, Beamis, I'm genuinely sorry if I've offended you.

You're obviously a smart dude, and a solid writer, we just happen to disagree on everything.

I don't engage anyone that doesn't warrant it, so please be complimented. Don't let it get to you, it's only blog-chatter.

If we all agreed it would be damned boring.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Anonymous A-hole said: "I stand by my assertion; "half-Jewish" is, in this case, not a heritage, but a defense of anti-Israel notions. Beamis is fundamentally anti-Israel but suddenly becomes "half-Jewish," and begins spewing Yiddish" when anyone questions that. That seems, to me, to be both convenient and at least slightly disingenuous."

"Jewish" and "Israeli" are NOT synonyms. Judaism predates an Israeli state. I'm confident that Beamis is anti-Israel not because of his gentile half, but because of his disdain for politics. A Jew can be anti-Israel every bit as much as a gentile can be. As for him "spewing Yiddish," I see that not as a way to deflect anti-Israel criticism, but him being more in tune with Jewish culture than you are.

Anonymous A-hole said: "I'm prepared to discuss anything with you that you'd like, including my own path to, and observance of, Judaism. I'd certainly argue that I'm more prepared to have a discussion with you involving Judaism than is Beamis prepared to discuss the history of the middle-east with me. But we do it anyway."

Were you converted or indoctrinated? You sound like the Jew on the Street. Did your conversion to Judaism also impart on you a PhD in Middle East Studies? You're a poser.

Devastatin' Dave said...

Also, you're an anti-Beamisite.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

So good at offending, I curiously went back and looked at how a post about war with Iran became a debate over Beamis' 'Jewishness.'

It is more contextual when you look back at the thread of comments but, really, it is my digression, I readily admit.

And, along the way, the point that I had hoped to make was not, obviously, properly made.

The statement that got this going was:

"I don't think that Israel has anything to worry about from the Iranians, and in fact if the intruding meddling Anglo-Americans would just leave, I truly believe that the Persians and the Jews would reach accomodations much sooner than anyone could possibly imagine. They are both intelligent, enterprising cultures that have co-existed (rockily at times) for thousands of years."

I, of course, sharply disagreed with parts of that. And, given the statement that Israel "doesn't have anything to worry about from the Iranians," I'd say that I was relatively respectful in response!

In my opinion, not that anyone cares, Beamis is Jewish. And there's no doubt that he's part of the diaspora. By "strict sectarian dictates," Beamis is most assuredly not Jewish. But only in Beamis' book is he "half-Jewish,."

In Iran, of course, Beamis would have the choice of being a Muslim or being a jailed or killed infidel, and definitely would not be a "half-Jew" but that's a different topic entirely.

DD, it's interesting that you should note the differences between Jews and Israelis. My synagogue is currently debating (in at least mildly uncivil discussions) whether the board should discuss political issues. Specifically, of course, that means that there is strife over the synagogue board's decision to "support Israel." Some, it seems, feel that supporing Israel is a political issue. I believe that it is a politicized issue.

But the differences between us don't make anyone more or less Jewish. They're Jewish because they want to be, not because they've been deemed so by other Jews.

It's interesting though, DD, that you should insist on the differences between being Jewish and being Israeli while labeling my views regarding Israel as typical of the "Jew on the street." I ask you, who's confusing the two?

It's cute that you come to his defense though, it really is.

I'm looking forward to meeting you DD, you're an interesting guy. And I'll pro-actively assume that you'll have a far different tone with me in person. And, if such is the case, or even if you'd prefer to make the adjustment now, I'd more than willing to have a dialogue.

For now, though, please heap some more personal insults. It's fun to see how worked up you guys get over this stuff.

Anonymous A-Hole said...

No, I'm not an anti-Beamisite.

Actually, my last name rhymes with Beamis, meaning I have family rhyming with Beamis for generations.

My uncle rhyming-with-Beamis even once tried to change his name to Beamis, but ended up not because of family pressure. My family and I are, in fact, half-Beamis, enough of our name being like Beamis that we are somewhat Beamis by default.

There's a difference between being half-Beamis and being anti-Beamis.

Skeeter said...


I wish you wouldn't, even moderately praise DD. It just goes to his big Fred-head anyway.

Anyway DD is boring.

Hands up, who likes Dave?
(both my hands pushed down on the ground)

Devastatin' Dave said...

Skeeter is a not-so-anonymous A-hole.

Skeeter said...

I know you are but what am I?

Anonymous A-Hole said...

Apparently, I'm not all that anonymous anymore either.

Monkey's Max said...


1. Good.

2. If I had a kid with Monkey, for example (don't worry, we're not), that kid would be half-Jewish from the perspective of ethnicity.

3. Thanks for the book. I will read it as soon as I get it. Have you watched The Power of Nightmares yet?

4. Fair enough.

5. I don't want to get into that here.

6. I know you wouldn't, but threaten away if it amuses you. I am going to suggest to my parents that they go to visit you more often than once every six weeks, and that they stay for longer than 7 days.

As far as meeting DD, Asshole, I am going to try to set something up when you are both in Europe next summer.

And re not being so anonymous anymore, I may have told DD one or two things about you.

One of my best friends at university's last name was Bemis. Sometimes when pizza was delivered, it came with the name Penis written on the box. I can put her last name on my blog because she has not talked to me since marrying an evangelical Christian type who insisted that she not talk to any of her heathen hippie friends from Berkeley ever again. Hey ho.

Anonymous A-Hole said...


As quickly as possible, yes, I did "watch" The Power of Nightmares.

Well, sort of. Here's how it went:

I couldn't exactly get a good feed. The video that I ended up watching looked like Pink Floyd meets Benny(ie?) Hill, the audio splotchy and incongruent with the video on the screen. Somewhat frustrated, I sought alternate feeds. No improvement.

However, a few lads around the globe have been nice (terribly obsessed) enough to transcribe all three parts in full.

And so I read the entire transcripts of all three segments. It lacked the power of video, obviously, but I think, in some ways, I may have gotten more out of it because of that.

I enjoyed it. We'll discuss it, or I'll guest blog about it when I get the time. I kept a running chronicle of what I thought as I read it, with the idea in mind that I'd rely on my notes for the guest blog.

Unfortunately, time constraints(not any life changing revelations within the transcripts) have precluded me from completing my guest blog. But, don't worry, I wasn't scared of it. I read it in whole and gave it full consideration.

Audie said...

Wow. I discovered this thread late, and just wanted to say it's been one of the most captivating things I've read anywhere, in a while. Thanks to all contributors.

DD, I greatly enjoyed the Rothbard essay.
Beamis, you're not half ANYTHING, dear.
AAH, you're starting to grow on me.
MM, thanks for a great and lively and, obviously, provocative blog.