Jump to content
Washington Football Team Logo
Extremeskins

Ynet: A sober analysis of Iran


Prosperity

Recommended Posts

A sober analysis of Iran

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3459623,00.html

By only focusing on most extreme, radical notions coming out of Tehran, we let radicals win

Iran’s firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received the worst possible welcome in New York, yet he managed to walk away the winner. He should dedicate his victory to Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University whose infantile introduction of Ahmadinejad provided the Iranian hardliner with an undeserved opportunity to present himself as a defender of academic integrity and freedom of speech.

As Newsweek’s Michael Hirsh commented: "I think it's generally a good idea when you're inviting people to your university not to tell them upon arrival that they're not welcome, because then you look crazier than Ahmadinejad."

Yet, the main point Ahmadinejad scored was the media’s willingness to let the limelight exaggerate his power and importance. For a few days, the media spoke of Ahmadinejad as if he actually determined Iran’s nuclear policy, as if he was in charge of the Iranian army and as if it was up to him whether Tehran would seek Israel’s destruction or not.

While the former Tehran mayor questioned the veracity of the Holocaust in New York, ordinary Iranians were glued to their TVs to watch a completely different drama – an Iranian series about the Holocaust, the suffering of the Jewish people and the heroic efforts of Iranian diplomats to help French Jews escape the Nazis by providing them with Iranian passports. The contrast with Ahmadinejad’s fiery rhetoric could not have been any clearer. Apparently, the Iranian President even lacks the power to enforce his Holocaust theories on Iran’s state-run TV.

The contradiction between Ahmadinejad’s Holocaust rhetoric and the Iranian TV-drama exemplifies the dangers of the media’s infatuation with the Iranian hardliner – and all hardline statements coming out of Tehran. Not only does the unwarranted media attention make Ahmadinejad appear more powerful than he is, it also takes attention away from another side of Iran; one that doesn’t question the Holocaust, that understands the dangers of playing the anti-Israeli card to score points on the Arab streets and that is far more concerned about making friends with the US than making permanent enemies with the Jewish state.

Iran’s National Security Advisor Ali Larijani has carefully avoided echoing Ahmadinejad’s fiery rhetoric. Iran’s Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki’s has denied that Iran seeks the destruction of Israel. Their posture is far less sensational than Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric, yet much more indicative of Iran’s real policy.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Iran’s position on Israel isn’t ideologically driven. Though the ideological component of Iran’s foreign policy is undeniable, it is secondary to Iran’s geostrategic considerations.

Ideology and geopolitics

Throughout the existence of the Islamic Republic, the Iranian theocracy has adopted a harsh, provocative and uncompromising rhetoric on Israel to boost Iran’s credentials as a leader of an imaginary Islamic bloc and use the anti-Israeli card to bridge Iran’s difficulties with the Arab states.

But the rhetoric has only been translated into actual policy when Tehran deemed that its ideological and strategic imperatives coincided. When these two pillars of Iran’s foreign policy have clashed – as they did in the 1980s during the Iraq-Iran war when Tehran quietly sought Israel’s aid and the Jewish state made many efforts to get Iran and the US back on talking terms – Iran’s geostrategic concerns have consistently prevailed over its ideological impulses.

Today, Tehran believes that its ideological and strategic imperatives coincide in regards to the Jewish state. On a strategic level, Iran opposes Israel due to a perception that the Jewish state seeks Iran’s prolonged isolation and exclusion from regional affairs. Whether in Washington or in Ashkhabad, Iran perceives Israel to be countering its interest. On an ideological level, the Islamic Republic’s pretense to leadership in the Islamic world compels it to pursue a line that often times make Iran more Palestinian than the Palestinians.

The key to changing Iran’s behavior vis-à-vis the Jewish state lay in the dynamics between ideology and geopolitics. If these two forces of Iranian foreign policy once again can be arranged to counter each other, the force behind Iran’s belligerence against Israel can be put to rest.

This, however, cannot be achieved solely by increasing pressure or by making threats of war. Only through a larger US-Iran accommodation can Iran’s foreign policy impulses shift away from its current stance on Israel.

To explore this strategic opportunity, Israel must first adopt a more sober analysis of Iran; one in which it sees through Iran’s deliberately misleading hyperbole and pays attention not only to the dangerous rhetoric but also to the less sensationalist voices in the Iranian government. Iran’s pragmatists may not be friendly towards the Jewish state, but neither are they apocalyptic. By only focusing on the most extreme and radical notions coming out of Tehran, we let the radicals win. And their victory is a loss for all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the former Tehran mayor questioned the veracity of the Holocaust in New York, ordinary Iranians were glued to their TVs to watch a completely different drama – an Iranian series about the Holocaust, the suffering of the Jewish people and the heroic efforts of Iranian diplomats to help French Jews escape the Nazis by providing them with Iranian passports. The contrast with Ahmadinejad’s fiery rhetoric could not have been any clearer. Apparently, the Iranian President even lacks the power to enforce his Holocaust theories on Iran’s state-run TV.

Interesting, I've never heard that before.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Iran’s firebrand President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad received the worst possible welcome in New York, yet he managed to walk away the winner. He should dedicate his victory to Lee Bollinger, the President of Columbia University whose infantile introduction of Ahmadinejad provided the Iranian hardliner with an undeserved opportunity to present himself as a defender of academic integrity and freedom of speech.

I stopped reading at this point. Bollinger Did what too few people ever do whit people like Ahmadinejad, HE SPOKE THE TRUTH.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree Bollinger/Columbia screwed up(by allowing him a platform at all :mad: ) with typical liberal condescension,allowing him to appear unfairly treated in the ME's eyes.

I agree we also focus too much on the rhetoric of Ahmadinejad,while ignoring his master.(who wields the power and gives direction).

Imanutjob is simply a tool and a distraction(like Israel),simply more cannon fodder when the Iranian people demand change or a scapegoat for economic failures.

Iran’s geostrategic concerns are certainly what is paramount,and what must be addressed. The attempt to spread their influence must be addressed both in the Shia crescent of Syria,Lebanon,Gaza and the influence being attempted in South America.

The Great game is on,and they are playing to win.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He partialy has it right and he partially has it wrong. Clearly, Iran is trying to play both sides of the fence w/ Ahmadinejad taking one side and others taking the other, but let's be realistic Ahmadinejad doesn't say the things he does w/o the permission of the Ayatollah so in that sense, while Ahmadinejad doesn't have much power, his voice is a voice the person w/ the power does want heard.

The other thing is that he makes it sound like Iran has always had such talk coming from a leader. "Tehran deemed that its ideological and strategic imperatives coincided", if Iran had such ideological imperatives during the Iran/Iraq war, they weren't voicing them. I think more likely, the strategic imperatives have caused the ideological imperatives, but one of the startegic imperative is earn/keep the support of the populace, which I would guess they think they can reach (or at least reach a fairly large % of them) through their "ideological imperatives".

That said, Columbia messed up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Letting Ahm speak at Columbia was a great opportunity to help him make himself look very silly, childish, and illogical. Unfortunately it seems Bollinger and Co missed that opportunity. "This is outrageous" reaction is not very good for exposing this kind of stuff. There is so many things they could have done, I'm surprised how little they did with the opportunity they had.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He partialy has it right and he partially has it wrong. Clearly, Iran is trying to play both sides of the fence w/ Ahmadinejad taking one side and others taking the other, but let's be realistic Ahmadinejad doesn't say the things he does w/o the permission of the Ayatollah so in that sense, while Ahmadinejad doesn't have much power, his voice is a voice the person w/ the power does want heard.

if by "let's be honest" you mean "let me make an unfounded assertion" then sure

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if by "let's be honest" you mean "let me make an unfounded assertion" then sure

It is no more an unfounded assertion then the conclusions in the "sober analysis" of Iran that you posted. In fact, it is the logical conclusion. Let's see if you can follow the logic:

1. The Iranian President, Ahmadinejad, has little real power as the Ayatollah, also known as the Supreme Leader, controls the army and has the final say in all domestic and foreign policy decisions.

2. Ahmadinejad is taking positions not supported by the majority of Iranian people, and therefore decreasing any support he could get to them.

3. Even the piece that you posted doesn't claim Ahmadinejad is a crazy and out of control President that is completely mouthing off and doesn't really represent the Iranian goverment at all. Instead it makes statements like this:

"Though the ideological component of Iran’s foreign policy is undeniable, it is secondary to Iran’s geostrategic considerations."

and:

"one in which it sees through Iran’s deliberately misleading hyperbole"

So there is a deliberate ideological and geostrategic compenent to Iranian foreign policy? Who sets that policy? Not Ahmadinejad. But since Ahmadinejad's words are part of that "DELIBERATE" policy, the most likely conclusion is that Ahmadinejad is taking his cues from the "Supreme leader" (of course, he himself is appointed by a council, but it seems like they are happy w/ the direction of things because the Ayatollah hasn't been replaced).

See what a little logic can do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is no more an unfounded assertion then the conclusions in the "sober analysis" of Iran that you posted. In fact, it is the logical conclusion. Let's see if you can follow the logic:

1. The Iranian President, Ahmadinejad, has little real power as the Ayatollah, also known as the Supreme Leader, controls the army and has the final say in all domestic and foreign policy decisions.

2. Ahmadinejad is taking positions not supported by the majority of Iranian people, and therefore decreasing any support he could get to them.

3. Even the piece that you posted doesn't claim Ahmadinejad is a crazy and out of control President that is completely mouthing off and doesn't really represent the Iranian goverment at all. Instead it makes statements like this:

"Though the ideological component of Iran’s foreign policy is undeniable, it is secondary to Iran’s geostrategic considerations."

and:

"one in which it sees through Iran’s deliberately misleading hyperbole"

So there is a deliberate ideological and geostrategic compenent to Iranian foreign policy? Who sets that policy? Not Ahmadinejad. But since Ahmadinejad's words are part of that "DELIBERATE" policy, the most likely conclusion is that Ahmadinejad is taking his cues from the "Supreme leader" (of course, he himself is appointed by a council, but it seems like they are happy w/ the direction of things because the Ayatollah hasn't been replaced).

See what a little logic can do.

Ahmadinejad isn't crazy and he isn't out of control. In general Iranian leaders grasp of politics is far superior to Our leaders; who seem to consistantly underestimate them. The reason Ahmadinejad makes these seemingly wild statements has a purpose. The purpose is to draw attention to himself and Iran. When Ahmadinejad gives a speach it is often covered live on CNN europe even CNN America and across the globe on other networks. It is a huge cause of national pride among Iranians that their presidents words bump addresses by Italian, German and other European leaders.

Likewise when Ahmadinejad stands toe to toe with America; he appears the big man standing up to the worlds greatest super power. Again a huge apeal to Iranian nationalism. Iran has an unemployment rate of around 25%. Half their population is below the age of 15. Their economy is a basket case due to mismanagement, but also due to America's 30 year trade embargo. Iranian people hate the ruling government. But at the same time Iranians love that they're leaders are front center on the world state. Iranians don't want war, and they don't really want the bomb; but they love that Iranian science is sophisticated enough that they can join the elite nuclear club. They see the aquisition of the nuclear bomb as a way to ensure they have a voice on the world stage.

If we bomb Iran and can take out the nuclear program, then certainly it's an option that should be discussed. But if we bomb Iran to send a message; and are unable to make a serious impact on their nuclear program we would be fools to do it. The entire confrontation with Bush and Ahmadinejad has been a big winner for the Mullah's who run Iran. They are portrayed as standing up to Bush, where Bush is clearly in the wrong. Which is accurate. Bush has no right to insist that Iran not develope nuclear power. The treaties that Iran signed specifically grant Iran this right.

Until American leaders understand that this entire nuclear confrontation on Iran is a political confrontation, one picked and fought for the benifit of the perception of the Iranian people; we have no chance of winning or even finding a solution short of invasion. What we should be doing in uping the economic preasure; while isolating Iran politically and publicity wise. Ahmadinejad shouldn't be on the news. We should be dismissing this guy; and refuse to jump through his hoopes. because Jumping through his hoops just helps him.

Ahmadinejad is not a fanatic. He's a politician first and last. Casting himself as a fanatic is his deception to hide what he really cares about. Just like during the Iranian hostage crisis when those guys walked around whipping themselves with chains chanting "death to America". As soon as the TV camera's went off they all limped over to the first aid camp for bandages. I remember seeing a photo of one of the "students" with his back bandaged drinking expresso and reading the Wall Street Journal after he thought the TV camera's were off. You have to understand your enemy before you can engage him effectively. This current administration just doesn't understand the Iranians.

We watch the Ahmadinejad show on TV and think we have incite into his thinking. In reality we are seeing exactly what he wants us to see and are drawing the conclusions he wants us to draw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We watch the Ahmadinejad show on TV and think we have incite into his thinking. In reality we are seeing exactly what he wants us to see and are drawing the conclusions he wants us to draw.

I would generally agree, but would add, that it isn't him leading the show. It is the Ayatollah. He's playing his part and doing a good job at it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would generally agree, but would add, that it isn't him leading the show. It is the Ayatollah. He's playing his part and doing a good job at it.

I disagree, he is definitely leading the show. Ahmadinejad isn't leading the country; that seems clear enough. He is one voice and not the most important voice as to who is leading the country. He is the COO if you will who has a CEO and a board of directors.

But provoking the west with these speeches questioning the holocaust. Or when he talks of Israel going down in flames. That's pure Ahmadinejad.

His calculation is that we won't invade. If we just stand toe to toe with him and saber rattle that works out great for him. If we bomb and get involved in a military action short of actual invasion; even better.

Remember; Iran has 15% unemployment with 40% of the population bellow the poverty line, and with 25% of the population of the country bellow the age of 14. Compare that with the United States where we have 4.5% unemployment, 12% of the people live bellow the poverty line, and 20% of the country is bellow the age of 14.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html#People

When those children hit the job market; there simple aren't enough jobs to employ them. This means that the political situation for the mullah's is desperate. The clock is ticking on them big time. If they can get involved in a conflict with the US it will allow them to have there own patriot act which will help them retain power in the short term, maybe the long term. If we bomb; even better.

The only way this strategy can go south on them is if we invade or we ignore them. If we invade; they believe they can hold us off; although I'm sure the way we undressed the Iraqi's in a few days was an eye opener for them. But remember; when Hezbollah stood off the Israeli's last December it was largely because of Iranian tactics. The Iranians will have learned from the mistakes Saddam made in Gulf war I and II. Either way the Iranians are calculating George Bush doesn't have the support to invade so this isn't much of a concern for them.

Likewise the Iranians know Bush doesn't have the intellect to ignore them or comprehend where their weakness lie; so that's of little concern for them too. Short of that Ahmadinejad is just going to continue to provoke us; hoping we move on him. (Bomb him). His clock is ticking, and he is hoping we provide him with the solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I disagree, he is definitely leading the show. Ahmadinejad isn't leading the country; that seems clear enough. He is one voice and not the most important voice as to who is leading the country. He is the COO if you will who has a CEO and a board of directors.

But provoking the west with these speeches questioning the holocaust. Or when he talks of Israel going down in flames. That's pure Ahmadinejad.

His calculation is that we won't invade. If we just stand toe to toe with him and saber rattle that works out great for him. If we bomb and get involved in a military action short of actual invasion; even better.

Remember; Iran has 15% unemployment with 40% of the population bellow the poverty line, and with 25% of the population of the country bellow the age of 14. Compare that with the United States where we have 4.5% unemployment, 12% of the people live bellow the poverty line, and 20% of the country is bellow the age of 14.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ir.html#People

When those children hit the job market; there simple aren't enough jobs to employ them. This means that the political situation for the mullah's is desperate. The clock is ticking on them big time. If they can get involved in a conflict with the US it will allow them to have there own patriot act which will help them retain power in the short term, maybe the long term. If we bomb; even better.

The only way this strategy can go south on them is if we invade or we ignore them. If we invade; they believe they can hold us off; although I'm sure the way we undressed the Iraqi's in a few days was an eye opener for them. But remember; when Hezbollah stood off the Israeli's last December it was largely because of Iranian tactics. The Iranians will have learned from the mistakes Saddam made in Gulf war I and II. Either way the Iranians are calculating George Bush doesn't have the support to invade so this isn't much of a concern for them.

Likewise the Iranians know Bush doesn't have the intellect to ignore them or comprehend where their weakness lie; so that's of little concern for them too. Short of that Ahmadinejad is just going to continue to provoke us; hoping we move on him. (Bomb him). His clock is ticking, and he is hoping we provide him with the solution.

So I'm confused. You believe that Ahmadinejad isn't leading the country and isn't the most important vioce there, but that the people really in control are allowing him to voice these opinions, but don't really want him to and that Ahmadinejad is saying the things he does w/o the approval of those above him. That the people really in control are allowing Ahmadinejad to inflame the Israeli's and American goverments based on some calculation done by Ahmadinejad ("His calculation is that we won't invade.") and make little effort to publically deny/correct his statements (it is done some, but not w/ the frequency or vigor w/ which Ahmadinejad makes his statements). I just find that unrealistic.

It makes much more sense that the CEO and the board of directors are orchestrating things, and as part of that Ahmadinejad's role is to keep the Iranian public and the world at large angry w/ us in Israel, while other voices the Iranain goverment seem more moderate (I don't doubt that some of them are, but they essentially have no power also) and keep the notion going that appeasement or being patient until the more moderate voices have the power is a good option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been listening for years about the prowest movement in Iran. And how it's a small minority of radicals controlling the country and that we need to encourage the prowest youths and not allientate them.

And to this day, that's all we've got. Words.

When I see actual movements and action, I'll believe it. Until then, Ahmedinijahd and the Ayatollahs represent Iran and its people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the premise of the article for the most part. We don't need insults and bad manners to make this guy look bad. In fact, it takes attention away from our biggest asset in this conflict: The facts are on our side.

Ahmadinejad is not crazy and those of you who say so are either underestimating the guy, or simply parroting the thousands of right wing mediots. Everything he says has a political purpose. Iran is not suicidal. War with America is suicidal. They know this. It's pretty obvious that the Republican party has much to gain from propping up bogeymen, and the strategy has repeatedly proven itself politically effective.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...