Archives for March 2006

Iranian Policy- Understanding Their Thought Process

If you are even remotely informed about current events it is no secret that the Iranian government has their own ideas about how the Middle East should look and their own role in the world. Their position is diametrically opposed to many in the West and they show little to no signs of changing their path.

Not suprisingly this has created tension as the West tries to formulate a response to their posturing. Amir Taheri has an interesting commentary about the Iranian mindset that is well worth reading. Take a look at this excerpt:

“Hassan Abbasi has a dream — a helicopter doing an arabesque in cloudy skies to avoid being shot at from the ground. On board are the last of the “fleeing Americans,” forced out of the Dar al-Islam (The Abode of Islam) by “the Army of Muhammad.” Presented by his friends as “The Dr. Kissinger of Islam,” Mr. Abbasi is “professor of strategy” at the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guard Corps University and, according to Tehran sources, the principal foreign policy voice in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s new radical administration.

For the past several weeks Mr. Abbasi has been addressing crowds of Guard and Baseej Mustadafin (Mobilization of the Dispossessed) officers in Tehran with a simple theme: The U.S. does not have the stomach for a long conflict and will soon revert to its traditional policy of “running away,” leaving Afghanistan and Iraq, indeed the whole of the Middle East, to be reshaped by Iran and its regional allies.

To hear Mr. Abbasi tell it the entire recent history of the U.S. could be narrated with the help of the image of “the last helicopter.” It was that image in Saigon that concluded the Vietnam War under Gerald Ford. Jimmy Carter had five helicopters fleeing from the Iranian desert, leaving behind the charred corpses of eight American soldiers. Under Ronald Reagan the helicopters carried the bodies of 241 Marines murdered in their sleep in a Hezbollah suicide attack. Under the first President Bush, the helicopter flew from Safwan, in southern Iraq, with Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf aboard, leaving behind Saddam Hussein’s generals, who could not believe why they had been allowed live to fight their domestic foes, and America, another day. Bill Clinton’s helicopter was a Black Hawk, downed in Mogadishu and delivering 16 American soldiers into the hands of a murderous crowd.

According to this theory, President George W. Bush is an “aberration,” a leader out of sync with his nation’s character and no more than a brief nightmare for those who oppose the creation of an “American Middle East.” Messrs. Abbasi and Ahmadinejad have concluded that there will be no helicopter as long as George W. Bush is in the White House. But they believe that whoever succeeds him, Democrat or Republican, will revive the helicopter image to extricate the U.S. from a complex situation that few Americans appear to understand.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s defiant rhetoric is based on a strategy known in Middle Eastern capitals as “waiting Bush out.” “We are sure the U.S. will return to saner policies,” says Manuchehr Motakki, Iran’s new Foreign Minister.

Mr. Ahmadinejad believes that the world is heading for a clash of civilizations with the Middle East as the main battlefield. In that clash Iran will lead the Muslim world against the “Crusader-Zionist camp” led by America. Mr. Bush might have led the U.S. into “a brief moment of triumph.” But the U.S. is a “sunset” (ofuli) power while Iran is a sunrise (tolu’ee) one and, once Mr. Bush is gone, a future president would admit defeat and order a retreat as all of Mr. Bush’s predecessors have done since Jimmy Carter.

Mr. Ahmadinejad also notes that Iran has just “reached the Mediterranean” thanks to its strong presence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. He used that message to convince Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to adopt a defiant position vis-à-vis the U.N. investigation of the murder of Rafiq Hariri, a former prime minister of Lebanon. His argument was that once Mr. Bush is gone, the U.N., too, will revert to its traditional lethargy. “They can pass resolutions until they are blue in the face,” Mr. Ahmadinejad told a gathering of Hezbollah, Hamas and other radical Arab leaders in Tehran last month.”

Whom ever follows Bush is going to be very important. They will help to prove or disprove this theory that they are floating. For all of our sakes I hope that we hold our ground.

Remembering Those Who Were Murdered

Israellycool has the scoop.

American Inventor

I am still watching American Inventor. It is kind of wacky and offbeat and I enjoy that. One of the judges is a guy named Doug Hall. He is a bit obnoxious and odd in his own way.

He reminds me of Wallace Shawn, the guy from The Princess Bride. I keep waiting for him to look at one of the inventors and shout

Of course that leads into this great exchange from the movie:

Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right… and who is dead.
Vizzini: But it’s so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy’s? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You’ve made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait til I get going! Now, where was I?
Man in Black: Australia.
Vizzini: Yes, Australia. And you must have suspected I would have known the powder’s origin, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You’re just stalling now.
Vizzini: You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You’re trying to trick me into giving away something. It won’t work.
Man in Black: Then make your choice.
Vizzini: I will, and I choose – What in the world can that be?
Vizzini: [Vizzini gestures up and away from the table. Roberts looks. Vizzini swaps the goblets]
Man in Black: What? Where? I don’t see anything.
Vizzini: Well, I- I could have sworn I saw something. No matter.First, let’s drink. Me from my glass, and you from yours.
Man in Black, Vizzini: [they drink ]
Man in Black: You guessed wrong.
Vizzini: You only think I guessed wrong! That’s what’s so funny! I switched glasses when your back was turned! Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha –
Vizzini: [Vizzini stops suddenly, and falls dead to the right]

Now that was one fine movie. Anyway, back to the show. It is just kind of fun to see the crazy and kooky things that people come up with. And who knows, maybe, just maybe I’ll be inspired by someone and come up with my own invention.

I Am Arthur, King of The Britons

Take the quiz:
Which Holy Grail Character Are You?

Arthur, King of the Britons
Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!

Random Thoughts On this and That

It is a little before 4:30 am. It is a good thing that I love my daughter because not only am I sleep deprived she has chosen to share her food with me, after it was digested. Yes, she has the flu. Her doc says that if she is not ralphing every hour we shouldn’t worrry about dehydration.

That doesn’t totally prevent the worrying, but it makes it easier. What it doesn’t make easier is the loss of sleep and the projectile vomiting. Her mother and I have a system for sharing the responsibilities, but the little girl’s stomach has thrown the system out of wack as has her big brother.

In the wee hours of the morning my voice rumbles, I am not Barry White, nor am I quite Isaac Hayes. But it is deep enough to be the baritone in the Barbershop Quartet. More importantly I am tired enough to think that it actually sounds good.

One of my favorite Bruce Willis movies is the The Last Boyscout. I am too tired to recite the whole thing here, but I feel like I need to dance a jig. If you saw the movie you might understand what I am talking about, or maybe not.

The Guardian has given a terrorist a ton of space to publish propaganda, just lies and rubbish.

“Do policymakers in Washington and Europe ever feel ashamed of their scandalous double standards? Before and since the Palestinian elections in January, they have continually insisted that Hamas comply with certain demands. They want us to recognise Israel, call off our resistance, and commit ourselves to whatever deals Israel and the Palestinian leadership reached in the past.”

Can you imagine the nerve of asking that Hamas recognize Israel, that they amend their murderous charter, that they act as a responsible gov’t entity and abide by prior agreements that were signed off on by both parties.

You can color this anyway you want, but the tiger hasn’t changed its stripes. Hamas wants blood and in my sleep deprived state I am inclined to offer it to them, only make it their own.

I still don’t like the Sound of Music. The whole Von I am Trapped watching this stupid flick can go rot.

I love March Madness. Go Bruins. This is a load of crap. More later.