RANGER AGAINST WAR: Enemies -- A Love Story <

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Enemies -- A Love Story


Now, now my good man,
this is no time for making enemies

--Voltaire
______________

A recent National Public Radio analysis explored a key difference between Presidential candidates McCain and Obama -- the question of how they would negotiate with the Forces of Evil.

Obama gave his shtick that he would negotiate with our enemies, and went on to identify Iran as one of those enemies.


This is truly disturbing.
It is not disturbing that we would talk with Iran, but rather that the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee is labeling Iran as the enemy. Don't we have enough enemies of our own creation without preemptively elevating Iran to the enemy level?

Why would Iran want to open discussions with the U.S. -- what would they gain? Whatever they do or say our idiot leaders will tag them as enemies.


Maybe America really does need a few good enemies in the Phony War on Terror (PWOT ©). Since we are taking such a screwing from our friends in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, it will be refreshing to call someone
enemy. We can not afford the friends we have, who we are moving forward as we daily lose ground.

At least we won't be beholden to float a good, old-fashioned enemy.
It will help remove the ambiguity from this messy thing called democracy.

Labels: , , ,

22 Comments:

Blogger BadTux said...

Well, I wouldn't exactly call Iran our friend. They have dozens of flags outside pretty much every hotel, convention center, etc. in the joint -- except American flags. The only American flags you'll see anywhere in Iran are big ones hanging from balconies and the sides of buildings and stuff with "Down with America" or "Death to America" painted on them. Not exactly friends territory, that.

That said, nations don't have friends, nations have interests. And it's not in our interests to treat Iran like an enemy at this moment, because it doesn't get us anything we want to treat them like an enemy. So I do agree that Obama identifying them as our "enemy" is disconcerting, though I know why he did it -- going against the prevailing media current at this stage in his campaign over this particular issue is not in his own interests at this point in time. In the end, he's a politician, no matter how lofty his rhetoric or how much his followers put him on a pedestal. Sad to say, that's all we ever get to vote for -- politicians. Huhn. Imagine that.

- Badtux the Geopolitics Penguin

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 8:48:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Arkhamite said...

Do you make no distinction between Iranian government propaganda displays and the actual beliefs of their people?

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 10:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Err, Obama was talking about talking to Iran's government, not about talking to Iran's people. Obama is running for President of the United States, not for Goodwill Ambassador. The question of the true feelings of Iran's people is rather irrelevant when the whole conversation is about Iran's government and whether we want to talk to them or not. I was just pointing out that Iran's government is demonstrably, by its very own propaganda displays, *not* a friend of the United States. That does not, however, mean that treating them like an enemy is wise.

Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 11:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Arkhamite said...

Very good relations with the Wookiees I have.

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 8:40:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

badtux, yes we vote for politicians and hope they grow up to become statesmen or women.
And why should Iranians want to hang out American flags? Maybe we should a campaig an send them lapel pinflags, that would be an icebreaker. jim

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 9:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

arkamite, and how could i do this when our State Dept is incapable of doing so?! jim

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 9:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

badtux, back to you.i find it intriguing that the people we call friends are really scum sucking maggots.It would be refreshing to have some actual legitimate enemies. Yes theres a disconnect between the Iranian govt. and their populace. This is a good description of American under gwb.If what we have in America is democratic then Iran must be also. jim

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 9:25:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

I don't think Obama can be blamed for Iran being labeled an enemy----they have been called that ever since Carter was in office! If he called them anything else, omgg&lgm, the sky would fall. Yes, it is a sort of stupidity...but at least he didn't say he was ready to nuke them, as Clinton said. Undulant freaking rhetoric---makes me want Scotch for breakfast!

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 10:07:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

labrys,

"Undulant rhetoric". . . it's too early in the a.m., and I read it as "ungulate rhetoric." Either way, I have a great related cartoon in the next day or two.

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 10:33:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Yes, in Iran candidates for office are vetted by the ayatollahs to make sure they are ideologically correct. In America candidates for office are vetted by another elite -- the wealthy media moguls who control what we see and hear and thus to some extent what we think -- in order to make sure they are ideologically correct. Sometimes laughingly obviously so, such as when the news channels spent all their time spinning Iowa as "Obama beats Hillary!", utterly ignoring the fact that Edwards came in 2nd in Iowa. Edwards had to have been standing in his campaign HQ looking around and saying, "what am I, a potted plant?" And of course Kucinich and Ron Paul, not being vetted by our ruling elites as ideologically correct, never really got out of the starting gates. our elites just have a more subtle way of handling eliminating candidates who are not ideologically correct as compared to the ayatollahs who say "thou shalt not run", that's all.

So it is certainly arguable that Iran is as much a democracy as the United States is, which certainly doesn't apply to our "friends" in the region. But none of that has anything to do with the deep-seated hostility that Iran's current government has had towards the United States ever since its inception due to U.S. support of the Shah's brutal regime. But really, that's irrelevant. The ayatollahs are pragmatists, otherwise they would no longer be in power. They can be dealt with, whether they are our "friends" or not. Treating them as our enemy, to be spat at and abused, thus is not in our national best interests. They don't like us, fine. BUt the axiom "nations have interests, not friends" applies to Iran's government too, in the end. And it's in their interests to get better relations with the U.S. just as much as it's in the U.S.'s interests to get better relations with Iran.

But here I am talking about pragmatic reality again. Bad penguin! Bad bad penguin! Don't ya know that Eye-ran is, like, EEEEVIL?!

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 11:31:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

badtux, one should remember that a very large portion of the Federal govt are not elected officials but appointees.Although vetted by Congress they are usually well positioned ideological insiders.This is true of our upper echelons of the armed sevices.
jim

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 9:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Labrys said...

LOL, Lisa...loved the graphic to your mis-read! But the phrase actually comes from a book by my favorite author: Doris Lessing. In one of the books of her only sci-fi series, she coins the phrase "undulant rhetoric" as a mental-emotional disease to which humans are prone. It basically means buying into the demagoguery and bullshit to the detriment of the human race.

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 10:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

labrys, what do you mean by the human race? i'm unfamiliar with the concept. jim

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 10:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

labrys,

Thanks for the explanation of undulant rhetoric, which thereby renders humans ungulates. It conjures up nicely the image of humans as paramecia or amoebas in a petri dish or humans at a football game, all shifting robotically to a "wave" from their neighbors.

Doris Lessing rocks--didn't she just get a Pulitzer?

Saturday, May 31, 2008 at 11:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous wingless one said...

Wait a minute, you really don't see Iran as an enemy of the United States... Maybe we live on different planets but on last count, Iran has the blood of nearly 1000 Americans on its hands.

Hezbollah is essentially a unit of the Iranian Army. They are trained in Iran, funded by Iran, they take orders from Iran (ever noticed they escalate every time Iran is in the news?! One wonders why they are even armed today considering Israel left all of Lebanon nearly a decade ago), get weapons from Iran...

Hezbollah blew up a barracks in Lebanon in 1983, killing Marines who were there as part of a mulitnational REBUILDING FORCE.

They also attacked American soil when they blew up the American Embassy (embassies are defacto sovereign soil), not to mention the Iranian attack & hostage taking of the American Embassy.

Not to mention they hang gays, torture dissidents, have their Jews (a once massive population dwindled to a relatively small community) under surveillance, and are - without any provocation - threatening to wipe Israel off the map (Israel has never been at war with Iran)...

If that doesn't qualify as an enemy then what does?

http://wingless.aoriginality.com

Monday, June 2, 2008 at 2:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

wingless , yes, obviously we live on different planets. The facts as you present them are so vague as to make comment impossible.
George Bush has the blood of thousands of killed and wounded soldiers from the Iraq war on his hands. Does that make him an enemy.?
Terrorism and warfare are 2 distinct issues.And as such assigning words like enemy serves no constructive purpose; it simply inflames a situation that is already overly emotional.
Your facts on the 83 Beirut bombings are sketchy;the Marines were in the area and sided with political factions w/i theater thereby removing themselves from the title of Peacekeepers.The USMC were training factions in a internal national dispute.Putting US forces in a high threat environment without proper force protection was a crime and it might be added without proper intelligence.
Hisbollah is a tool of the Iranians and this is certain but they are not trained in Iran.What allows the US to interfere in the area but disallows the Iranians any regional influence?Do you remember The Monroe Doctrine?
Why do you not try to link them to the present Iraq govt?There are linkages to Iran that are clearly evident.US POLICY MAKERS IGNORE THIS FACT.

Monday, June 2, 2008 at 9:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

wingless , yes, obviously we live on different planets. The facts as you present them are so vague as to make comment impossible.
George Bush has the blood of thousands of killed and wounded soldiers from the Iraq war on his hands. Does that make him an enemy.?
Terrorism and warfare are 2 distinct issues.And as such assigning words like enemy serves no constructive purpose; it simply inflames a situation that is already overly emotional.
Your facts on the 83 Beirut bombings are sketchy;the Marines were in the area and sided with political factions w/i theater thereby removing themselves from the title of Peacekeepers.The USMC were training factions in a internal national dispute.Putting US forces in a high threat environment without proper force protection was a crime and it might be added without proper intelligence.
Hisbollah is a tool of the Iranians and this is certain but they are not trained in Iran.What allows the US to interfere in the area but disallows the Iranians any regional influence?Do you remember The Monroe Doctrine?
Why do you not try to link them to the present Iraq govt?There are linkages to Iran that are clearly evident.US POLICY MAKERS IGNORE THIS FACT.

Monday, June 2, 2008 at 9:29:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BadTux said...

Hizballah (I use that name because transliterated from Arabic their official name is Hizb Allah Al-moqawama Al-Islamiyah fi Lubnan, loosely translatable as, "Party of God and Islam For Lebanon") may or may not have been responsible for the Marine barracks bombing. Hizballah denies being involved. The allegations are that Islamic Amal was responsible for that bombing and that Islamic Amal later merged into Hizballah. However, it's sort of like when the Irgun terrorist organization was merged into the IDF upon the formation of the state of Israel -- does this mean that the state of Israel is reponsible for the terrorist bombing of the King David Hotel?

But in any event, as I pointed out earlier, it really doesn't matter whether Iran is our friend or our enemy. Nations don't have friends or enemies. Nations have interests. And some of the interests of Iran and the United States overlap. Both the U.S. and Iran, for example, support the current government of Maliki in Iraq. There's absolutely no reason why the U.S. should not or could not meet with the Iranians to coordinate their support of the Maliki government. Both have a shared interest in a stable Iraq that doesn't spill violence over into neighboring states. Again, no reason that the two nations can't talk about how to do that. Iran is like the elephant in the room of the Middle East. It's there, and ignoring it won't make it go away. Where there are shared interests, those should be explored diplomatically. Where there are not, they should be opposed using whatever means are appropriate (probably not military at this point, since Iran has not ever taken any military action against the United States).


As I noted earlier, Iran is not our friend by any means. But the whole point of diplomacy is to try to use shared interests as leverage in order to further other interests of the nation. Talking about "friend" or "enemy" is not productive in that context. In the end, nations have interests, not friends.

- Badtux the Practical Penguin

Monday, June 2, 2008 at 1:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger labrys6 said...

Jim--human race, well, there is the rub, eh? Right now, it conjures up images of exhausted marathon runners, stumbling towards a line that moves further away.

Lisa--Yes, Lessing rocks and it was the Nobel Prize she just won. Typical for her, lol, she said they just hurried to give it before she died!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 11:10:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

labrys,

Thanks on Lessing.

When Gandhi was asked what he thought about Western civilization, he said he thought "it would be a good idea."
I like your image of the runner in Zeno's paradox.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 11:27:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous wingless said...

badtux said:
not ever taken any military action against the United States

reply:
An invasion on an embassy is an attack on the United States. An attack on a Marine Barracks, there on behalf of a world body is also an attack on the USA.

RangerAgainstWar said:
Your facts on the 83 Beirut bombings are sketchy;the Marines were in the area and sided with political factions w/i theater thereby removing themselves from the title of Peacekeepers...
The USMC were training factions in a internal national dispute.
---
Rubbish! The only party the Marines helped was the Lebanese government. After Gamayel was assisinated they went to Beirut to keep (or unfortanely ESTABLISH)order, staying with their peacekeeping mandate. They prevented violence and attacks of various factions, even stopping Israeli incursions.

Like many conflicts, it seems these peace keepers were sent in before any PEACE was achieved. The result is that the peacekeeper often has to enforce peace (then again one can argue that's what they are there for, if there is a real peace then one does not require peacekeepers).

Still, to say they 'sided' or trained with any factions makes no sense as they confronted all takers. I have not seen anything to suggest the Marines went to Beirut to train any warring faction.

---
What allows the US to interfere in the area but disallows the Iranians any regional influence?
-----
That's an easy question to answer. The USA was not invading, they went in as part of a multinational force that included France, Italy & Britain. This multinational force was agreed to by the warring parties (I believe Mike Habib negotiated, may be wrong on his name) and welcomed by the government. They had legitimacy and legal permission to operate in the nation.

IRAN DID NOT!

---------
Hisbollah is a tool of the Iranians and this is certain but they are not trained in Iran.
----------
Yes they are. Google it, you'll find plenty of reports stating the Elite Quds force is training Hezbollah hit squads, among others.
(http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080815/ap_on_go_ot/iraq_assassination_teams)

There have also been reports of (Arabic speaking)Iranian trainers in Lebanon. There is obviously intensive training going on, judging by their performance in the Summer war.

-------------
Putting US forces in a high threat environment without proper force protection was a crime and it might be added without proper intelligence.
--------------------
I agree 100%. I've done alot of work on this particular attack and the point that I can never get over is just how unprotected they actually were. A sentry with a rifle is a criminally insufficient way to protect that many Marines in the hell that was 80s Lebanon!
---
Do you remember The Monroe Doctrine?
Why do you not try to link them to the present Iraq govt?
------

The Monroe doctrine was issued in the early 1800s, a very different world from today. It also only applied to Americas. The meat of the doctrine was that the The Old World (Europeans) would be barred from interfering with the New World (the Americas).

As for the present Iraq government, I don't think America is interfering. If they'd leave right now we both know that the nation would ignite into a civil war of epic proportions... not to mention allowing Iran to realize the Shia Crescent; they already have the bottom & top (since Hezbollah achieved a mini-coup in Lebanon that gives them veto power in Lebanese affairs a few weeks back.)

For the USA to leave now would be a travesty. After the first war, Saddam made an example of the families of all those that headed Bush Srs call to rise up. The Mukahabrat & Baath party members rounded up whole families and massacred them. These are the mass-graves that are being uncovered in places like al-Mahawil (nearly 3000 bodies uncovered in various sites). The USA should not leave again without at least giving the nation a fighting chance. It takes time to establish free order in a nation that has not known it in centuries.

Wingless

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 5:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

wingless,

Thank you for a thoughtful interaction.

[1] From memory, I seem to remember that Haddad of the Christian phalangists was completely trained, equipped and maintained with U.S. equipment. This got play in the major news magazines of the time, which I remember b.c he was a classmate of mine in IOAC 5-74.

A Marine of the S-2 section (WO) who survived the blast b/c he was downtown gathering intel, also suggested they were training the Marionsists. If my memory serves correctly, the Missouri was firing 16" guns on fire missions, which is not peacekeeping, in my book.

These Marines were not wearing blue helmets, therefore lacked the legitimacy of UN Peacekeepers.

Re. Hezbollah, there is no doubt that they have transitioned from a terror Level I threat into a military force. They're getting their training somewhere, it's just that I do not believe you could prove the Iranian training link definitively b/c they would maintain plausible denial.

I say this b/c I do not want the government using this fact to ignite a third war. It is, after all, their part of the world, not ours.

Re. The Monroe Doctrine, all I'm saying is, we guard our backyard, and Iran has the equivalent right to guard theirs.

Re. the inevitable bloodbath you mention: they must have their civil war. We had ours, and were unified afterwards. I agree that it will be terrible, as was ours, but why didn't George Bush consider that before igniting it?

At this point, the only sensible option for the US is to pull back to the periphery and allow the internecine battle to come. When they are killing each other, they are not killing Americans, and they are selling oil to buy weapons. My concern is my country.

Anything less is piecemeal staving off of the inevitable day of reckoning for the Iraqis, who will never be united and will never be our friends.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 at 8:03:00 PM GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home