Monday, June 22, 2009

We do not need to get involved in Iran again.

History is supposed to teach us things. Perhaps Obama's silence on Iran's election is him looking at history and realizing that when we involve ourselves in governments and elections that we don't agree with, the long run result is almost always disastrous. One needs only to look at Latin America to see that.

We have this tendency to go into the world and use our military might to shape countries into what we believe they should be. Our CIA was involved in the student massacre in Mexico in 1968 during the worldwide student protests of 1968. This story repeats itself again and again in Latin America, and now we are seeing it repeat in the Middle East.

We put Saddam Hussein in power. Then we took him out. Hmmm.

I read an interesting article today. Iran Had a Democracy Before We Took It Away, which you can read here.

It was Washington that orchestrated the 1953 coup to topple Iran’s democratically elected government, the first in the Middle East, and install the compliant shah in power. It was Washington that forced Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh, a man who cared as much for his country as he did for the rule of law and democracy, to spend the rest of his life under house arrest. We gave to the Iranian people the corrupt regime of the shah and his savage secret police and the primitive clerics that rose out of the swamp of the dictator’s Iran. Iranians know they once had a democracy until we took it away...

"...in the 1980s, the U.S. sided with Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war, providing him with military equipment and intelligence that helped make it possible for his army to kill hundreds of thousands of Iranians,” Kinzer said. “Given this history, the moral credibility of the U.S. to pose as a promoter of democracy in Iran is close to nil.

Especially ludicrous is the sight of people in Washington calling for intervention on behalf of
democracy in Iran when just last year they were calling for the bombing of Iran. If they had had their way then, many of the brave protesters on the streets of Tehran today—the ones they hold up as heroes of democracy—would be dead now.”

Washington has never recovered from the loss of Iran—something our intelligence services never saw coming. The overthrow of the shah, the humiliation of the embassy hostages, the laborious piecing together of tiny shreds of paper from classified embassy documents to expose America’s venal role in thwarting democratic movements in Iran and the region, allowed the outside world to see the dark heart of the American empire. Washington has demonized Iran ever since, painting it as an irrational and barbaric country filled with primitive, religious zealots. But Iranians, as these street protests illustrate, have proved in recent years far more courageous in the defense of democracy than most Americans.

It's an interesting read, and interesting for any student of history. We have time and time again intervened in foreign governments, only to later come to regret going there in the first place, and on occasion we go back, only this time at the cost of thousands of lives.

I'm not proposing going back to complete isolationism. But we should return to a bit of it and stop trying to use our military to change the world. Let's return the military to what is was supposed to be: the greatest national defense force in the world.

45 comments:

Dave Miller said...

This is a key part of the puzzle that most people yelling about the middle east either are unaware of, or do not wish to confront.

Were it not for our meddling in the first place, we would not have the current regime in Iran. The Ayatollahs rose to power as a response to our CIA installed "friend" the Shah.

For the US to lecture the current gov't of Iran on Democracy, after overthrowing a democratically elected government in their country in 1953, is absurd.

As far as the mullahs are concerned, we have no real credibility on this one.

Perhaps rightfully so.

James' Muse said...

I also read another good point on another blog:

If Obama were to publically ally himself with the protesters, then the current regime could target them as "american spies" and have them executed or disappeared. It would be one more excuse that government would have.

bluepitbull said...

Our meddling as you call it bought the free world 30 years to prepare and crushed the USSR. Leftists always fall back on operation ajax in typical American hating glory.

No one knew at the time that the Shah Pahlavi would do the sort of thing he did. Wasn't it Carter that offered him sanctuary first?

James' Muse said...

My point, Blue, is that we have time and time again meddled. Not just ajax, but all over the world. We put Saddam Hussein in power. We didn't see that coming. We've done the same in Latin America.

Obama's decision to stay out of this is being applauded by all former Secretary of States and foreign policy expert (including Armitage and Kissinger), and every Iran expert.

People saying "the signs are in english though!" is not a message to the US. It's a message to the West that they are trying to join us. Most of the West speaks English commonly.

James' Muse said...

Btw, Blue, it is intellectually lazy to call any criticism "leftist" and "american-hating." Being a student of history is not american-hating.

bluepitbull said...

People saying "the signs are in english though!" is not a message to the US. It's a message to the West that they are trying to join us. Most of the West speaks English commonly.

While we sit and watch.

And just the knowledge of history doesn't make you a student of history. You have to be able to analyze the effects of our so called meddling. You haven't and that was your point.

James' Muse said...

I believe I did analyze it, Blue. Our meddling directly led to this regime. Our meddling in Iraq gave us Saddam. Our meddling gave us Iran's secret police (that the CIA trained)...

We didn't do a coup d'etat in the USSR. We meddled in a different way, leading to the fall of the Berlin wall.

You failed to analyze the fact that most of the foreign policy experts in our country are applauding Obama on this, conservative et al.

And while our government isn't publicly getting involved, our populace is. Twitter, facebook, myspace, the blogosphere, the newsmedia, etc, are all rallying to the cause of the Iranians. Let the revolution come from within this time.

bluepitbull said...

No, not at all. But I think your on your own from now on. There is too much disparity in our lines of thinking.

You think that the president actually cares. I know that he doesn't.

I would elaborate, but nothing you said made any sense to me.

James' Muse said...

So you're going to cut and run because we disagree? C'mon, Blue, you're better than that.

I know the President cares. His speech in Cairo talked about Ajax and the damage done.

After AJAX, we sponsored a bloody coup d'etat in Guatemala over the United Fruit Company, overthrowing the democratically elected President there. Why do we think that that is okay? We talk about democracy, but only when it is convenient for us.

James' Muse said...

Please, if you think I've analyzed it incorrectly, enlighten me.

bluepitbull said...

What does guatemala have to do with operation ajax?

The Soviet Empire wanted to expand into oil. Do you think they would have let the West have any? Seriously? Ajax bought us plenty of time, and we shared, too. I put US interests above all others. I couldn't give a flying you know what about the rest of the world, but, in this case, saying that your president is doing the right thing by not saying anything is wrong. Read my post on it, read my other post on Susan Rice if you haven't. There is no place in this world for dictators. obama is one in the making, mahmoud is one as well.

Saying "Well....operation ajax.....so they hate us..." is what is truly absurd. It's poor analysis on the part of dave miller so I'm not cutting and running, but I'm not going to get into the ideology of believing that this president can, was, or ever will be a real president.

James' Muse said...

But where does this stop, Blue? We talk about installing democracy, yet only when it is convenient and in our best interests. But if a country democratically chooses someone left-wing, we take 'em out? I'm sorry, but that dangerously toes the line of imperialism.

As for Guatemala, that operation immediately followed AJAX as another US Sponsored coup d'etat of a democratically elected leader. Like I said in the post, we have this habit of doing this to aid us in the short run, while in the long run it produces bad results such as dictators.

On Obama: I'm not a obamapologist, meaning that I do find faults. But I'm not suffering from Obama derangement syndrome. Blue, you are close to that. Obama is nowhere near a dictator. He also has done many things that most of the country likes, and others that many don't. But you seem to be opposed no matter what. Take a good look at yourself. You are becoming the flip side of Bush derangement syndrome. Nothing he does you will like. No matter what.

Dave Miller said...

Blue, sure it was Carter who offered the Shah sanctuary.

And I guess we can agree that we had no way of knowing the horrors he would visit on his own Iranian people.

But that in no way mitigates that we overthrew a democratically elected government and installed the Shah, against the will of the people.

Isn't that the very definition of meddling?

That's why they struggle with us.

Stating facts is not America hating by the way.

bluepitbull said...

So, you fail to recognize the reasoning behind our so called meddling? But it's ok to say how bad we are, and that it doesn't make it right?

James' Muse said...

No, I do see the reasoning behind it.

My only point was to say that sometimes we have good motives in the beginning, but it turns out bad in the end. And how can overthrowing a democratically elected government ever be right?

James' Muse said...

Further, Blue. Why stop at Iran? What are we going to do about Durfur? They have genocide going on. But we've not done much there. Africa has a lot of issues, but we haven't touched that continent.

What about oppression in Saudi Arabia? It is perhaps worse than Iran.

We don't do anything there.

bluepitbull said...

Darfur is the next one on the table, I'm sure. And I'm never coming here again because you don't know what you're talking about when it comes to darfur. You are most definitely one of the left if you think that's where you want to be next.

That is Africa's problem. If an entire continent can't handle their own ethnic cleansing problems, not just darfur, but mozambique, Ivory Coast, and others, then they certainly do not need our help.

Happy blogging.

James' Muse said...

Blue, you missed my above point about staying out of other countries' problems. I was simply asking a question about what you would actually have us do about Iran. I actually know quite a bit about Darfur, btw,

By your reasoning, Iran is Iran's problem. What do you want us to do about it? You never specifically answered that.

And again with the cutting and running. You say you welcome different viewpoints. Yet you keep telling me you're out of here when I have a different opinion of you. It's a bit immature, and I thought you and I had gotten beyond that. We don't exchange personal attacks anymore, yet for some reason you started with it again today and have now written me off. Thanks.

bluepitbull said...

Not so much writing you off as not going to listen to someone who wants us in darfur. That definitely puts us at odds.

Iran is our problem for many reasons I've tried to highlight for you, one of which includes sanctioned state-directed attacks on our troops via Iran.

And you can call it immature, but I have a feeling you and your buddies will do fine without me, you'll just have more people agreeing with you.

James' Muse said...

Blue: I didn't say I wanted to be in Darfur. My point was that we should think hard about sending our military into places in the future, because in solving one short term problem we often create worse long term ones.

As for agreement, I didn't create a blog to have a little micro-cosm of people agreeing with me.

Quite the opposite: I thrive on debate and talking about ideas. Its part of democracy.

bluepitbull said...

I don't think that now is the proper time for an invasion of Iran. The time will come. Their Arab neighbors have plenty to gain by a neutered Iran. Eventually everyone will have had enough of the saber rattling Iran gives off and many, many people will hit back.

Dave Miller said...

Blue, your call on Africa, as much as I hate to say it, is spot on.

Darfur is a terrible place. My heart says we can fix it.

But unless and until the majority of governments in that area decide to put their people on the line to fix some of these problems, why should we?

James' Muse said...

See, we agree on something! The only thing we disagree on is what should be done now. I think that Obama is doing something, just not publicly. I'll bet, as most Presidents, he's doing some stuff behind the scenes. The fact that he hasn't said anything publicly yet, and the previous secretaries of state have applauded this, as well as other foreign policy experts on Iran, makes me stop and wait. I would like to see something, too, but not if it makes the situation worse.

James' Muse said...

Dave: Same here. We can "fix" alot of problems worldwide with our military. But we should not be the global police, especially if that country won't do anything about it themselves.

bluepitbull said...

Well, I'll tell you what, dave, hop on a plane and go over there and fix it.

Our troops do not need to be involved.

You hate to say it? What the hell is that? You hate it that I'm right?

You two have too much faith in this impotent president.

James' Muse said...

And you have far too little, Blue. You seem to have your mind made up about him no matter what happens. You'll always criticize him (dictator et al (which is below you, man, c'mon))...

As for "hating to say it" its more that we hate that we can't, and shouldn't, do anything about it. It sucks that we can't because it sucks that people are dying, but we can't fix everything.

Dave Miller said...

No Blue, I don't hate to say your right, I have to say there is no easy solution.

Dude, we agree on this.

bluepitbull said...

Then concede that perhaps we have the wrong person at the wrong time when it comes to foreign policy.

Iran is not a country that wants to be run as a dictatorship yet obama can't bring himself to say any words of hope to the protesters.

True, we can't police the world, and that's not what I want to do. but, your respective perspectives on history from 1953 forward are to me skewed.

We haven't been acting as police, only defending when asked.

James' Muse said...

Not always, Blue. Guatemala is one example, which immediately followed Ajax. We overthrew another democratically elected leader.

As for foreign policy, I think Obama has made some errors (see my posts about N. Korea)...

BUT, when everyone who has served as Sec. of State, and all the policy experts on Iran say that doing nothing, for now, is the best course, then I tend to agree with them. Had they said the opposite, I would've probably disagreed with Obama's stance on this one. But so far, I think he's doing the right thing. So far.

bluepitbull said...

What exactly did you want any other Sec State to do to Iran? It's a sovereign country, and Israel has taken care of them for decades.

As far as guatemala, that remains to be seen. There is probably plenty we don't know about it other than what we know.

James' Muse said...

And what we do know is that we overthrew, again, a sovereign government that was elected democratically to further our interests, which is morally wrong, which was the point of my post. We cannot keep going around overthrowing governments when we don't like how their elections turn out.

bluepitbull said...

So far, we haven't this decade.

James' Muse said...

Touche.

bluepitbull said...

OH....this isn't a tit for tat. You said that we basically run around the world policing it and disposing presidents.

James' Muse said...

I was being facetious.

James' Muse said...

I didn't want to get into the whole Iraq thing.

bluepitbull said...

Of course not, you're too busy kissing up to the lefties at the other sites telling them how great the president is doing and how I ignore history.

Aside from the fact that I've shown you plenty of holes in your theories.

Iraq....we were already there, WMD's were not the only reason. Remember how we had to babysit at the request of the Kuwaitis? Even through the Clinton years? Then they violated the treaty? Go for it with the Iraq discussion. At least here, I won't get deleted for making sense.

(O)CT(O)PUS said...

Robert Mugabe staged an election fraud in Zimbabwe at least as transparent and oppressive as the one in Iran, but I don't recall former President Bush denouncing Mugabe. And where were John McCain and Lindsey Graham when a cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe claimed thousands of lives?

Last year, John McCain wanted to "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." This year, McCain can't find words enough for the same people whom last year he wanted to "Bomb, bomb, bomb, and bomb, again."

At least Pat Buchanan got it right:

It is impossible to believe a denunciation of the regime by Obama will cause it to stay its hand if it believes its power is imperiled. But it is certain that if Obama denounces Tehran, those demonstrators will be portrayed as dupes and agents of America before and after they meet their fate. If standing up and denouncing the Ayatollah and Ahmadinejad from 7,000 miles away is moral heroism, it is moral heroism at other people's expense.”

James' Muse said...

Um, I actually don't talk about you to my liberal friends, blue. Just like I generally don't bring up Shaw with you. I'm also not "kissing up." I tell them when I agree, and when I don't, I usually don't comment unless its vehemently.

James' Muse said...

And no, I won't delete you here. I only delete trolls who can't rise above rants.

Dave Miller said...

Hey James, would you do me a favor and go read my latest mission post and let me know what you think.

I am trying to push some buttons and get something out there that helps/makes people think.

Debbies Choice said...

"We do not need to get involved in Iran again."

Why not? Are we going to pick our fights or stand up for what we believe?

James' Muse said...

Debbie's choice: read the entire post and the comments. You'll have your answer.

Debbies Choice said...

You said:
"I'm not proposing going back to complete isolationism. But we should return to a bit of it and stop trying to use our military to change the world. Let's return the military to what is was supposed to be: the greatest national defense force in the world."

Sorry but that's what we do!
Like they say..
It's a tough job, but.....
No one else is going to do it

James' Muse said...

Exactly. But we go beyond, as we did in Panama, Guatemala, Iraq, Iran, Afganistan, etc...