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Commenter German_reader summarizes an anonymous Iranian journalist about the protests there.

The protests were started by “radicals” (of an Islamic kind) with ties to the supreme ayatollah and the military; originally they were only directed against president Rouhani. However the “radicals” quickly lost control of the protests (which according to the journalist weren’t monitored at first by the police) which spread to other sectors of dissatisfied Iranians and took on a generalized anti-regime character.

Hilarious if true.

And it just might be: Comment from an Iranian on Patrick Lang’s blog:

Evidently, the protests were initiated by political enemies of Rouhani in Mashhad. That city is referred to in Iran as a “hizbollahi city” – “Party of God City”. That is, in Iranian idiom, a city of conservative thuggish doctrinaire Muslims.

One Mr. Alm-al-Hoda, son-in-law of Raisi, the presidential contender, and the Friday Prayer Leader appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei, had organized it. During the first 15 minutes, hizbollahis got what they wanted; “Death to Rouhani” slogan was shouted. Then the protesters moved on to other slogans, “Death to Dictatorship!”, etc. – which was not part of the script.

Then the protests spread to other cities due to deep anger and frustrations with this governing system’s failure on economic front as well as civil liberties enshrined in the Iranian Constitution but abridged by successive Iranian governments.

I think this could be a bigger challenge than 2009 protests, which only encompassed Tehran but not other Iranian cities.

Here’s a map of the progression of the Iran protests day by day:

iran-protest-progress

Congrats on the 666D chess move, LOL.

I have been reading the Russia war blogger El Murid on Iran in the past couple of days.

Don’t know if he has any special expertise, but according to him, this has more of the markers of 1979 than 2009. The protesters are lower class, not liberal urban hipsters like in 2009, which makes using the Basij (which he describes as being “militarized titushki“) against them much more difficult because of their common low class origins.

As I suspected, the protesters aren’t all that hot for Russia; apart from Death to Rouhani and Death to the Dictatorship, they also want Death to Russia.

https://www.facebook.com/el.murid.3/posts/1538301349588256

Anyhow, according to the latest post from him, they have settled on hardcore suppression, with at least hundreds of arrests just in Tehran and dozens more deaths.

There seems to be a general consensus – apart from El Murid himself, but he’s always been a pessimist – that the regime will survive. The main exception are the posters at /r/iran, but my impression is that they are strongly urban liberal and diaspora with overly romantic (unrealistic) views of Iranian political realities. For instance, the stickied post there speculates that the mullahs have already fled the country.

That said, this will surely bring political changes. For instance, Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky suggests a limited liberalization: “That may mean concessions and a partial liberalization are likely. Just as the protests were starting, Tehran police announced that they would no longer arrest women for breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Economic measures to pacify protesters unhappy about rising prices, corruption and inequality may well follow.

Of course, those economic measures aren’t going to pay themselves, and the difference will have to be made up somewhere.

 
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Color Revolution, Iran 
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  1. I have been reading the Russia war blogger El Murid on Iran in the past couple of days.

    Don’t know if he has any special expertise

    I don’t read El Murid, but this guy has a terrible, really awful reputation among the readers of Kassad blog: he is described as alarmist and clueless with a tendency to make things up.

    Read More
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  2. “political chances.”

    It’s “political [b]changes[/b],” not “political chances.”

    AK: Thanks.

    Read More
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  3. There are so many factors at play in Iranian politics and society that are currently shaping these protests and public resentment. I will try to name a few in the following post.

    1) Power play within the Iranian political establishment. Iran has witnessed periodical struggle between influential political currents ever since the Iranian revolution. It started when the reformists took over the presidency under Khatami in 1997, at which the conservative elements in the system started to make use of their own power to effectively undermine his liberal policies. When the protests in 2009 were brutally suppressed, the reformists again mobilized in 2013 to support Iran’s new centrist (neither reformist nor hardliner) president Rouhani. Ever since his presidency, the hardliners are again trying to undermine any policy that could weaken their position within the system.

    So that is why the first protests five days ago were reportedly orchestrated by conservative elements to lay blame on Iran’s poor economic perormance on Rouhani. The importance of weakening Rouhani for the hardliners is not only to undermine his current presidency, but also to get rid of a strong contender for the post of Supreme Leader in case Khamenei, the current leader, dies. Everybody within the system is currently preparing for his demise, which has triggered a power struggle in which all contenders are positioning themselves to have the best cards when that moment comes. Important to note is that the reformists aren’t the supporting the protests right now.

    2) The poor performance of Iran’s economy. Iranians have on average become 15% more poorer in the past ten years. While sanctions have had a important role in this development, a lack of structural reforms, mismanagement and corruption have been equally responsible, if not more so. Inflation has dramatically driven up the prices of consumer goods up to the point that the prices of eggs alone have went up with 40% the past six months. While Iran’s economy has improved on a macro-level since the nuclear deal, ordinary Iranians haven’t seen any improvement. For these people, who already struggled to make ends meet, such inflation has an enormous effect on their daily lives. No surprise then that the bulk of the protestors are reportedly from Iran’s working class. Combined with the fact that Iran’s youth unemployment is at approx. 30%, it is no surprise that most of the protestors on the street right now are under the age of 25.

    And then there is the powerful hold of the IRGC on Iran’s economy and the role of the ‘bonyads’. The Revolutionary Guards control according to various reports 30% of Iran’s economy. As a effect, Iran’s private sector is weak and international investors have largely stayed away. This has led to a crisis of expectations as most Iranians expected an economic windfall after the nuclear deal. Moreover, charitable trusts (many of them being religiously orientated), called ‘bonyads’ in Persian, control 20% of Iran’s GDP. These bonyads are tax-exempt and under the control of figures who are sympathetic to the regime. It is a highly corrupt, non-competetive and unprofitable factor in Iran’s economy.

    3) An increasingly nationalistic youth which Iran’s outdated state-ideology has failed to attract. Iran’s insistence on Islamic moral values and its subsequent brutal econforcement has pushed off many youngsters up to the point that Islam is associated with backwardness, brutality and ‘Arabness’, while Iran’s powerful clerical elite is increasingly being seen as a hostile and non-Iranian segment of society. The slogans ‘we will take Iran back’ and ‘clerics, get out’ have been chanted all over Iran the past few days. The lack of freedom and social oppertunities have radicalized these millenials with deep hatred for Islam and the regime as a result. And with the crackdown on reformist media, political groups and civil society, the regime has taken away every moderate outlet and podium for them to ventilate their thoughts, frustrations and desires. Similarly, state media is failing to reach these youngster.

    Now where does these protests end? I don’t believe another revolution is in the making. The state has simply too many powerful assets at its disposal to effectively crush any popular uprising that threatens its existence. It will not shine away from using brutal force to remain at power. Also, the working-class needs the support of the middle-class to stand a chance against the regime, but the latter has thus far not involved themselves in the protests for unknown reasons. Back in 2009 the middle-class was more prominently present in the protests than now, under the flag of the reformists and its leaders Mousavi and Karroubi who are still under house-arrests. But while the regime may be able to again crush another uprising, an increasingly fearless generation that has nothing to lose will continue to grow under the surface. As I’ve said, in the end, if the system remains inflexible, a revolution is inevitable. The next few days will determine where the protests will lead to. A general strike has been called upon by the protestors today so lets see if it manages to retain momentum.

    http://themess.net/forum/news-and-current-events/315861-december-2017-anti-regime-protests-in-iran?p=316292#post316292

    Tax them.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Mitleser,

    Why would the religious establishment tax themselves? This is part of the "khums" that is unique to Shiah jurisprudence in which one-fifth of income is given to the religious establishment - to the scholars as representatives of the family of the Prophet (pbuh):
    "Most important in Shii Islam. In the thirteenth century khums was split into two portions—one portion went to support indigent descendants of Muhammad, and the other portion went to mujtahids, who were to give half to the imam and half to the poor and orphaned descendants of Muhammad. Gave the Shii clergy in Iran in particular a source of income that granted them independence from the state and helped fuel the Iranian revolution."
    http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1302?_hi=0&_pos=4152

    If an eventual secular government tries to tax that institution, there will be serious push back from the religious sector.

    Peace.
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  4. I have been reading the Russia war blogger El Murid on Iran in the past couple of days.

    El Murid extremely odious figure as “expert”. He made many predictions in the Syrian war – all of these predictions failed completely. For example

    “Aleppo is becoming the point at which all available reserves of Assad will be simply destroyed, especially considering that the Syrians continue fruitless attempts to attack….support is very limited wing of the Russian air force working for a pretty picture, but not for the result”

    https://newsland.com/user/4297884550/content/pro-tendentsii-el-miurid-o-sirii/5391537

    Read More
    • Agree: Felix Keverich, JL
    • Replies: @5371
    I suspect he's not just stupid, but an actual US agent.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. What is Mnogokhodovka?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin

    What is Mnogokhodovka?
     
    If means complicated clever plan, devised by mastermind, that predicts all possible alternatives and cannot fail.

    Originally a chess term, literally means "many-step solution".

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%85%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B0

    Fictional equivalent is called Xanatos gambit.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/XanatosGambit

    In real life, not in chess or fiction, it is called "FUBAR" or "clusterfuck".
    , @bb.
    it's an expression for 666D Chess. mnogo - many / khod - turn/step = so basically something like 'multi turn/step strategy'
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  6. @melanf

    I have been reading the Russia war blogger El Murid on Iran in the past couple of days.
     
    El Murid extremely odious figure as "expert". He made many predictions in the Syrian war - all of these predictions failed completely. For example

    "Aleppo is becoming the point at which all available reserves of Assad will be simply destroyed, especially considering that the Syrians continue fruitless attempts to attack....support is very limited wing of the Russian air force working for a pretty picture, but not for the result"
    https://newsland.com/user/4297884550/content/pro-tendentsii-el-miurid-o-sirii/5391537

    I suspect he’s not just stupid, but an actual US agent.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    I suspect Murid is a simple charlatan who is strirring up hysteria to improve his page views.

    Again, never read anything he wrote, only know of him by reputation, but horrible reputation that "Мюридка" has doesn't come out of nothing.
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  7. @reiner Tor
    What is Mnogokhodovka?

    What is Mnogokhodovka?

    If means complicated clever plan, devised by mastermind, that predicts all possible alternatives and cannot fail.

    Originally a chess term, literally means “many-step solution”.

    https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D0%BD%D0%BE%D0%B3%D0%BE%D1%85%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%8F_%D0%B7%D0%B0%D0%B4%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B0

    Fictional equivalent is called Xanatos gambit.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/XanatosGambit

    In real life, not in chess or fiction, it is called “FUBAR” or “clusterfuck”.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. @reiner Tor
    What is Mnogokhodovka?

    it’s an expression for 666D Chess. mnogo – many / khod – turn/step = so basically something like ‘multi turn/step strategy’

    Read More
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  9. So it seems now more confirmed, as I posted earlier, that it was Iranian regime elements themselves who helped initiate and co-sponsor the protests

    On the economic angle, the ‘Iranian spring’ looks as if it could be an induced drama to make the oil prices go up, which they’ve indeed been doing … billions in extra revenue for Iran, Russia, for Rex Tillerson’s friends at ExxonMobil, even for the Saudis … with good profits for global oligarch insiders who would have been tipped off the oil price spike was underway, and placed bets accordingly

    Conflict and civil disturbances usually provide some major profit opportunities … ‘Buy when there is blood in the streets’, as the Rothschild rule goes

    A lot of geo-politics becomes much more explainable, if one sees all the big powers as in quasi-collusion … tho this is hard for most people to swallow, most preferring some good guy – bad guy ‘opposition’, and being able to root for one ‘team’ or other

    Plus by letting the fake ‘colour revolution beginning’ get started, Iran has been able to ‘rat trap’ its own major dissidents, identify them, arrest them and hang them … which also seems to be underway … new horrid photos of group slow-torture strangulations by ropes in Iran’s squares should be online shortly

    Read More
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  10. Another OT, but here is something for our esteemed host’s Glorious Tropical Hyperborea file:

    http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology/article00608.html

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0040665

    TL;DR

    The researchers suggest this drastic individual development in Aviturus exsecratus was probably due to a short period of global wa
    rming 55.8 million years ago known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

    Shadilay!

    Read More
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  11. This is what I was referring to in my first post to the previous thread, a couple of days ago, though things have moved on a lot since. Anyway, I agree with what seems to be the general consensus, outside of the wishful thinkers of the US/Israeli sphere, that these disorders will likely not amount to the regime change event the latter are so desperately hoping for.

    That may mean concessions and a partial liberalization are likely. Just as the protests were starting, Tehran police announced that they would no longer arrest women for breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Economic measures to pacify protesters unhappy about rising prices, corruption and inequality may well follow.

    Real dangers of a slippery slope here.

    What the Iranian authorities need to do imo is find ways to address the real issues that drive real popular unrest – basic economic fairness and dealing with corruption, not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies. Such abandoning of clear (if bitterly debated) lines buys a brief period of support from liberal radicals and moral degenerates, but doesn’t address underlying real issues and merely moves the conflict to the next point, having established a willingness to move in the face of pressure and discredited those who argued for holding the line.

    If it’s a tactical move with the intention of cracking down again at a more economically opportune moment in the near future, then fine, if that can be achieved.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    What the Iranian authorities need to do imo is find ways to address the real issues that drive real popular unrest – basic economic fairness and dealing with corruption, not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies.

    Golden.
    , @German_reader

    not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies
     
    I doubt it's a superficial issue for a lot of women. And with all due respect, given your enthusiasm for absolute free speech, it's weird if you think it could be a state's business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many.
    Anyway, they're still intending to send women who break the rules to "education classes":
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/iran-hijab-chador-arrest-morality-police-change-classes.html
    , @Archimedes
    I completely agree with this statement. It always seems the answer to everything is more liberalization. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Does liberalization bring increased revenues? Of course it does, look at legalized prostitution, gambling, drugs, free speech etc. But all of these things have tremendous negative societal effects as well. I think China has done a pretty good job towing the line on this one, but any push for liberalization should be viewed with skepticism.

    I think the "illiberal model" conducted by Orban, Putin, Xi, etc will be the model of the future for government.

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  12. @Mitleser

    There are so many factors at play in Iranian politics and society that are currently shaping these protests and public resentment. I will try to name a few in the following post.

    1) Power play within the Iranian political establishment. Iran has witnessed periodical struggle between influential political currents ever since the Iranian revolution. It started when the reformists took over the presidency under Khatami in 1997, at which the conservative elements in the system started to make use of their own power to effectively undermine his liberal policies. When the protests in 2009 were brutally suppressed, the reformists again mobilized in 2013 to support Iran's new centrist (neither reformist nor hardliner) president Rouhani. Ever since his presidency, the hardliners are again trying to undermine any policy that could weaken their position within the system.

    So that is why the first protests five days ago were reportedly orchestrated by conservative elements to lay blame on Iran's poor economic perormance on Rouhani. The importance of weakening Rouhani for the hardliners is not only to undermine his current presidency, but also to get rid of a strong contender for the post of Supreme Leader in case Khamenei, the current leader, dies. Everybody within the system is currently preparing for his demise, which has triggered a power struggle in which all contenders are positioning themselves to have the best cards when that moment comes. Important to note is that the reformists aren't the supporting the protests right now.

    2) The poor performance of Iran's economy. Iranians have on average become 15% more poorer in the past ten years. While sanctions have had a important role in this development, a lack of structural reforms, mismanagement and corruption have been equally responsible, if not more so. Inflation has dramatically driven up the prices of consumer goods up to the point that the prices of eggs alone have went up with 40% the past six months. While Iran's economy has improved on a macro-level since the nuclear deal, ordinary Iranians haven't seen any improvement. For these people, who already struggled to make ends meet, such inflation has an enormous effect on their daily lives. No surprise then that the bulk of the protestors are reportedly from Iran's working class. Combined with the fact that Iran's youth unemployment is at approx. 30%, it is no surprise that most of the protestors on the street right now are under the age of 25.

    And then there is the powerful hold of the IRGC on Iran's economy and the role of the 'bonyads'. The Revolutionary Guards control according to various reports 30% of Iran's economy. As a effect, Iran's private sector is weak and international investors have largely stayed away. This has led to a crisis of expectations as most Iranians expected an economic windfall after the nuclear deal. Moreover, charitable trusts (many of them being religiously orientated), called 'bonyads' in Persian, control 20% of Iran's GDP. These bonyads are tax-exempt and under the control of figures who are sympathetic to the regime. It is a highly corrupt, non-competetive and unprofitable factor in Iran's economy.

    3) An increasingly nationalistic youth which Iran's outdated state-ideology has failed to attract. Iran's insistence on Islamic moral values and its subsequent brutal econforcement has pushed off many youngsters up to the point that Islam is associated with backwardness, brutality and 'Arabness', while Iran's powerful clerical elite is increasingly being seen as a hostile and non-Iranian segment of society. The slogans 'we will take Iran back' and 'clerics, get out' have been chanted all over Iran the past few days. The lack of freedom and social oppertunities have radicalized these millenials with deep hatred for Islam and the regime as a result. And with the crackdown on reformist media, political groups and civil society, the regime has taken away every moderate outlet and podium for them to ventilate their thoughts, frustrations and desires. Similarly, state media is failing to reach these youngster.

    Now where does these protests end? I don't believe another revolution is in the making. The state has simply too many powerful assets at its disposal to effectively crush any popular uprising that threatens its existence. It will not shine away from using brutal force to remain at power. Also, the working-class needs the support of the middle-class to stand a chance against the regime, but the latter has thus far not involved themselves in the protests for unknown reasons. Back in 2009 the middle-class was more prominently present in the protests than now, under the flag of the reformists and its leaders Mousavi and Karroubi who are still under house-arrests. But while the regime may be able to again crush another uprising, an increasingly fearless generation that has nothing to lose will continue to grow under the surface. As I've said, in the end, if the system remains inflexible, a revolution is inevitable. The next few days will determine where the protests will lead to. A general strike has been called upon by the protestors today so lets see if it manages to retain momentum.
     
    http://themess.net/forum/news-and-current-events/315861-december-2017-anti-regime-protests-in-iran?p=316292#post316292

    Tax them.

    Hey Mitleser,

    Why would the religious establishment tax themselves? This is part of the “khums” that is unique to Shiah jurisprudence in which one-fifth of income is given to the religious establishment – to the scholars as representatives of the family of the Prophet (pbuh):
    “Most important in Shii Islam. In the thirteenth century khums was split into two portions—one portion went to support indigent descendants of Muhammad, and the other portion went to mujtahids, who were to give half to the imam and half to the poor and orphaned descendants of Muhammad. Gave the Shii clergy in Iran in particular a source of income that granted them independence from the state and helped fuel the Iranian revolution.”

    http://www.oxfordislamicstudies.com/article/opr/t125/e1302?_hi=0&_pos=4152

    If an eventual secular government tries to tax that institution, there will be serious push back from the religious sector.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  13. @Randal
    This is what I was referring to in my first post to the previous thread, a couple of days ago, though things have moved on a lot since. Anyway, I agree with what seems to be the general consensus, outside of the wishful thinkers of the US/Israeli sphere, that these disorders will likely not amount to the regime change event the latter are so desperately hoping for.

    That may mean concessions and a partial liberalization are likely. Just as the protests were starting, Tehran police announced that they would no longer arrest women for breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Economic measures to pacify protesters unhappy about rising prices, corruption and inequality may well follow.
     

    Real dangers of a slippery slope here.

    What the Iranian authorities need to do imo is find ways to address the real issues that drive real popular unrest - basic economic fairness and dealing with corruption, not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies. Such abandoning of clear (if bitterly debated) lines buys a brief period of support from liberal radicals and moral degenerates, but doesn't address underlying real issues and merely moves the conflict to the next point, having established a willingness to move in the face of pressure and discredited those who argued for holding the line.

    If it's a tactical move with the intention of cracking down again at a more economically opportune moment in the near future, then fine, if that can be achieved.

    What the Iranian authorities need to do imo is find ways to address the real issues that drive real popular unrest – basic economic fairness and dealing with corruption, not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies.

    Golden.

    Read More
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  14. @5371
    I suspect he's not just stupid, but an actual US agent.

    I suspect Murid is a simple charlatan who is strirring up hysteria to improve his page views.

    Again, never read anything he wrote, only know of him by reputation, but horrible reputation that “Мюридка” has doesn’t come out of nothing.

    Read More
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  15. BTW, Iranian economy isn’t doing so bad: their GDP per capita is around 5000 USD (2,5x of Ukraine’s level)

    Over 1,4 million of new vehicles were sold in Iran in 2016, vs 65 thousand in Ukraine. Ukraine has half as much population, still in terms of private consumption Iran leaves Ukraine in the dust.

    https://www.azernews.az/region/116301.html

    https://economics.unian.info/1741601-new-car-sales-in-ukraine-up-by-41-for-2016.html

    As usual Anatoly relies on Western sources in his analysis, which leads him to overestimate problems in the Iranian economy, and the impact of US sanctions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    BTW, Iranian economy isn’t doing so bad: their GDP per capita is around 5000 USD (2,5x of Ukraine’s level)
     
    GDP PPP for Iran is even better compared to Ukraine: $18,077 (same as Belarus) vs. $8,305.

    However in Iran the richest 10% have 17x more wealth than do the poorest 10%, compared to 6x more in Ukraine.

    Over 1,4 million of new vehicles were sold in Iran in 2016, vs 65 thousand in Ukraine
     
    Up to 82,000 new auto sales in Ukraine for 2017, an indicator of economic improvement:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/03/c_136867719.htm

    Iran makes its own cars, while Ukraine's cars come from abroad - this makes new auto sales in Ukraine very susceptible to the collapse of the hryvnia and thus not a great economic indicator.
    , @Anatoly Karlin

    As usual Anatoly relies on Western sources in his analysis, which leads him to overestimate problems in the Iranian economy, and the impact of US sanctions.
     
    I don't think I do:

    Since sanctions were dropped, growth has been high: An amazing 12% in the past four quarters, which I assume reflects post-sanctions recovery. Inflation, currently running at 10%, is also near historical lows by post-Shah standards.
     
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  16. @Felix Keverich
    BTW, Iranian economy isn't doing so bad: their GDP per capita is around 5000 USD (2,5x of Ukraine's level)

    Over 1,4 million of new vehicles were sold in Iran in 2016, vs 65 thousand in Ukraine. Ukraine has half as much population, still in terms of private consumption Iran leaves Ukraine in the dust.
    https://www.azernews.az/region/116301.html
    https://economics.unian.info/1741601-new-car-sales-in-ukraine-up-by-41-for-2016.html

    As usual Anatoly relies on Western sources in his analysis, which leads him to overestimate problems in the Iranian economy, and the impact of US sanctions.

    BTW, Iranian economy isn’t doing so bad: their GDP per capita is around 5000 USD (2,5x of Ukraine’s level)

    GDP PPP for Iran is even better compared to Ukraine: $18,077 (same as Belarus) vs. $8,305.

    However in Iran the richest 10% have 17x more wealth than do the poorest 10%, compared to 6x more in Ukraine.

    Over 1,4 million of new vehicles were sold in Iran in 2016, vs 65 thousand in Ukraine

    Up to 82,000 new auto sales in Ukraine for 2017, an indicator of economic improvement:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/03/c_136867719.htm

    Iran makes its own cars, while Ukraine’s cars come from abroad – this makes new auto sales in Ukraine very susceptible to the collapse of the hryvnia and thus not a great economic indicator.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Are the oligarchs included in the richest 10%? You expect me to believe that Ukrainian oligarchs have only 6x times more wealth than some ragtags in Galicia, who own literally nothing?


    Iran makes its own cars, while Ukraine’s cars come from abroad
     
    The Ukraine does NOT get cars from abroad. 60.000 or even 80.000 vehicles per year for a country of 35 million is nothing.

    Iranians have cars, and Ukrainians don't, therefore Iran's economy is superior, consumers in Iran are better off - that was my point.
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  17. @Felix Keverich
    BTW, Iranian economy isn't doing so bad: their GDP per capita is around 5000 USD (2,5x of Ukraine's level)

    Over 1,4 million of new vehicles were sold in Iran in 2016, vs 65 thousand in Ukraine. Ukraine has half as much population, still in terms of private consumption Iran leaves Ukraine in the dust.
    https://www.azernews.az/region/116301.html
    https://economics.unian.info/1741601-new-car-sales-in-ukraine-up-by-41-for-2016.html

    As usual Anatoly relies on Western sources in his analysis, which leads him to overestimate problems in the Iranian economy, and the impact of US sanctions.

    As usual Anatoly relies on Western sources in his analysis, which leads him to overestimate problems in the Iranian economy, and the impact of US sanctions.

    I don’t think I do:

    Since sanctions were dropped, growth has been high: An amazing 12% in the past four quarters, which I assume reflects post-sanctions recovery. Inflation, currently running at 10%, is also near historical lows by post-Shah standards.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Felix Keverich
    Iran's economy wasn't exactly crashing prior to the nuclear deal. Iranian GDP did not merely "recover" , it made a new high in 2016. Obviously, sanctions relief was a contributing factor, but there is an underlying strength in the Iranian economy, which you appear to overlook.
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  18. Most discussions I’ve looked at just reinforce the feeling that no one really knows anything for sure and that most people are engaging in informed guesswork. There’s a lack of reliable information on what is actually taking place within Iran due to the fact that there’s so many parties whose job it is to distort things or just make them up.Who to believe, who to latch onto? Iran is ‘descending into chaos’; the government is about to be toppled; there’s a factional fight going on; it’s either being orchestrated from outside the country or it’s entirely a domestic affair; it’s all about living standards, corruption, inequality; it’s the youth bulge chafing against the Islamic strictness of the old guard; it’ll be over by next week or this is just the beginning of a vast movement that has caught fire; etc etc. Can anyone really say they know at this point?
    Over the years I’ve concluded that the western go-to ‘experts’ on foreign affairs dealing with the more ‘exotic’ areas-’exotic’ in this case meaning anything east of Budapest-are generally mediocre and fairly incompetent. This usually goes unnoticed until something comes up and people cast about looking for someone to explain things to them. Americans have no ‘feel’ for foreign cultures or ways of thinking and mostly want quickie explanations that come in under three minutes. Right now it’s a wait and see thing.

    Read More
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  19. @AP

    BTW, Iranian economy isn’t doing so bad: their GDP per capita is around 5000 USD (2,5x of Ukraine’s level)
     
    GDP PPP for Iran is even better compared to Ukraine: $18,077 (same as Belarus) vs. $8,305.

    However in Iran the richest 10% have 17x more wealth than do the poorest 10%, compared to 6x more in Ukraine.

    Over 1,4 million of new vehicles were sold in Iran in 2016, vs 65 thousand in Ukraine
     
    Up to 82,000 new auto sales in Ukraine for 2017, an indicator of economic improvement:

    http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-01/03/c_136867719.htm

    Iran makes its own cars, while Ukraine's cars come from abroad - this makes new auto sales in Ukraine very susceptible to the collapse of the hryvnia and thus not a great economic indicator.

    Are the oligarchs included in the richest 10%? You expect me to believe that Ukrainian oligarchs have only 6x times more wealth than some ragtags in Galicia, who own literally nothing?

    Iran makes its own cars, while Ukraine’s cars come from abroad

    The Ukraine does NOT get cars from abroad. 60.000 or even 80.000 vehicles per year for a country of 35 million is nothing.

    Iranians have cars, and Ukrainians don’t, therefore Iran’s economy is superior, consumers in Iran are better off – that was my point.

    Read More
    • Replies: @AP

    Are the oligarchs included in the richest 10%? You expect me to believe that Ukrainian oligarchs have only 6x times more wealth than some ragtags in Galicia, who own literally nothing?
     
    The richest 10% would be about 4 million people. A dozen or two of oligarchs would be included among those 4 million, it's probably not enough to skew the numbers completely. In Ukraine the richest 4 million are 6x richer than the poorest 10%. Similar ratio as in Hungary (just Ukraine is overall much poorer).

    You still believe the cute Russian fairytale of Galicia being a population of ragtags who own nothing.

    Look at those poor ragtags in Ivano-Frankivsk, owning nothing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Z5zEyq4cQ

    The Ukraine does NOT get cars from abroad. 60.000 or even 80.000 vehicles per year for a country of 35 million is nothing.
     
    Ukraine doesn't manufacture its new cars. It gets them from abroad. This makes car sales in Ukraine very susceptible to the currency crash. Iran, in contrast, makes its own cars. So you are not comparing apples to apples when using new car sales as a comparison point between the two economies. Iran is about 2.5 times wealthier per capita than Ukraine, same as Belarus (the income is more unevenly distributed in Iran so the difference between common people is less extreme) . But per capita Iranians buy about 9x more new cars.
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  20. @Anatoly Karlin

    As usual Anatoly relies on Western sources in his analysis, which leads him to overestimate problems in the Iranian economy, and the impact of US sanctions.
     
    I don't think I do:

    Since sanctions were dropped, growth has been high: An amazing 12% in the past four quarters, which I assume reflects post-sanctions recovery. Inflation, currently running at 10%, is also near historical lows by post-Shah standards.
     

    Iran’s economy wasn’t exactly crashing prior to the nuclear deal. Iranian GDP did not merely “recover” , it made a new high in 2016. Obviously, sanctions relief was a contributing factor, but there is an underlying strength in the Iranian economy, which you appear to overlook.

    Read More
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  21. @Randal
    This is what I was referring to in my first post to the previous thread, a couple of days ago, though things have moved on a lot since. Anyway, I agree with what seems to be the general consensus, outside of the wishful thinkers of the US/Israeli sphere, that these disorders will likely not amount to the regime change event the latter are so desperately hoping for.

    That may mean concessions and a partial liberalization are likely. Just as the protests were starting, Tehran police announced that they would no longer arrest women for breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Economic measures to pacify protesters unhappy about rising prices, corruption and inequality may well follow.
     

    Real dangers of a slippery slope here.

    What the Iranian authorities need to do imo is find ways to address the real issues that drive real popular unrest - basic economic fairness and dealing with corruption, not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies. Such abandoning of clear (if bitterly debated) lines buys a brief period of support from liberal radicals and moral degenerates, but doesn't address underlying real issues and merely moves the conflict to the next point, having established a willingness to move in the face of pressure and discredited those who argued for holding the line.

    If it's a tactical move with the intention of cracking down again at a more economically opportune moment in the near future, then fine, if that can be achieved.

    not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies

    I doubt it’s a superficial issue for a lot of women. And with all due respect, given your enthusiasm for absolute free speech, it’s weird if you think it could be a state’s business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many.
    Anyway, they’re still intending to send women who break the rules to “education classes”:

    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/iran-hijab-chador-arrest-morality-police-change-classes.html

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    I support free political speech mostly for practical reasons and in the particular context of my own country, not for ideological or universalist principles, though in the past I saw things differently. But I have watched as social liberalisation has destroyed most of the worthwhile things in my society and replaced them with an empty materialist individualism that retained no defences against social radicalism and globalist big business. It's probably too late for us.

    I doubt it’s a superficial issue for a lot of women
     
    Indeed. It's always important for those who seem to benefit from liberalisation in a particular area.

    So will the next step towards the triumph of feminism seem very important to women.

    it’s weird if you think it could be a state’s business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many
     
    "Resented by many" is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls. The point is that the costs of such changes always seem distant, slight or doubtful at the time, and the arguments for "reasonableness" and "compromise" so plausible. But the slope is always slippery, and every retreat makes it harder to hold at the next line.

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I'm not Iranian so it's not my business how they run their society. But I've seen it happen over my lifetime here (though the process started a generation or two previously) and I suspect it can happen in a place like Iran just as easily. Many moderates in Britain in the early C20th thought it was only reasonable to concede more basic freedoms and "equalities" to women, to people who chose to engage in homosexual activity etc, and those same people would be appalled at what it has led to just a few decades down the line. It stands to reason that conservative Iranians should probably bear the experience of the formerly Christian US sphere liberal democracies in mind if and when they ever consider compromises like that one.
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  22. @Felix Keverich
    Are the oligarchs included in the richest 10%? You expect me to believe that Ukrainian oligarchs have only 6x times more wealth than some ragtags in Galicia, who own literally nothing?


    Iran makes its own cars, while Ukraine’s cars come from abroad
     
    The Ukraine does NOT get cars from abroad. 60.000 or even 80.000 vehicles per year for a country of 35 million is nothing.

    Iranians have cars, and Ukrainians don't, therefore Iran's economy is superior, consumers in Iran are better off - that was my point.

    Are the oligarchs included in the richest 10%? You expect me to believe that Ukrainian oligarchs have only 6x times more wealth than some ragtags in Galicia, who own literally nothing?

    The richest 10% would be about 4 million people. A dozen or two of oligarchs would be included among those 4 million, it’s probably not enough to skew the numbers completely. In Ukraine the richest 4 million are 6x richer than the poorest 10%. Similar ratio as in Hungary (just Ukraine is overall much poorer).

    You still believe the cute Russian fairytale of Galicia being a population of ragtags who own nothing.

    Look at those poor ragtags in Ivano-Frankivsk, owning nothing:

    The Ukraine does NOT get cars from abroad. 60.000 or even 80.000 vehicles per year for a country of 35 million is nothing.

    Ukraine doesn’t manufacture its new cars. It gets them from abroad. This makes car sales in Ukraine very susceptible to the currency crash. Iran, in contrast, makes its own cars. So you are not comparing apples to apples when using new car sales as a comparison point between the two economies. Iran is about 2.5 times wealthier per capita than Ukraine, same as Belarus (the income is more unevenly distributed in Iran so the difference between common people is less extreme) . But per capita Iranians buy about 9x more new cars.

    Read More
    • Agree: Mr. Hack
    • Replies: @AP
    More Ivano-Frankivsk, 2016, so many ragtags in utter poverty:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVuev7bmoyo

    Looks no worse than small Russian cities.
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  23. @Randal
    This is what I was referring to in my first post to the previous thread, a couple of days ago, though things have moved on a lot since. Anyway, I agree with what seems to be the general consensus, outside of the wishful thinkers of the US/Israeli sphere, that these disorders will likely not amount to the regime change event the latter are so desperately hoping for.

    That may mean concessions and a partial liberalization are likely. Just as the protests were starting, Tehran police announced that they would no longer arrest women for breaking the country’s strict Islamic dress code. Economic measures to pacify protesters unhappy about rising prices, corruption and inequality may well follow.
     

    Real dangers of a slippery slope here.

    What the Iranian authorities need to do imo is find ways to address the real issues that drive real popular unrest - basic economic fairness and dealing with corruption, not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies. Such abandoning of clear (if bitterly debated) lines buys a brief period of support from liberal radicals and moral degenerates, but doesn't address underlying real issues and merely moves the conflict to the next point, having established a willingness to move in the face of pressure and discredited those who argued for holding the line.

    If it's a tactical move with the intention of cracking down again at a more economically opportune moment in the near future, then fine, if that can be achieved.

    I completely agree with this statement. It always seems the answer to everything is more liberalization. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Does liberalization bring increased revenues? Of course it does, look at legalized prostitution, gambling, drugs, free speech etc. But all of these things have tremendous negative societal effects as well. I think China has done a pretty good job towing the line on this one, but any push for liberalization should be viewed with skepticism.

    I think the “illiberal model” conducted by Orban, Putin, Xi, etc will be the model of the future for government.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal
    Liberalisations seem to result in an individualist atomisation of society, the destruction of consensus, of structures such as church and family, of tradition and of anything that makes the society distinct. The process leaves a defenceless society ripe for globalist big business to exploit and destroy with mass migration, and for social radicals to play their "social justice warrior" power games with people's lives.
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  24. @AP

    Are the oligarchs included in the richest 10%? You expect me to believe that Ukrainian oligarchs have only 6x times more wealth than some ragtags in Galicia, who own literally nothing?
     
    The richest 10% would be about 4 million people. A dozen or two of oligarchs would be included among those 4 million, it's probably not enough to skew the numbers completely. In Ukraine the richest 4 million are 6x richer than the poorest 10%. Similar ratio as in Hungary (just Ukraine is overall much poorer).

    You still believe the cute Russian fairytale of Galicia being a population of ragtags who own nothing.

    Look at those poor ragtags in Ivano-Frankivsk, owning nothing:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-Z5zEyq4cQ

    The Ukraine does NOT get cars from abroad. 60.000 or even 80.000 vehicles per year for a country of 35 million is nothing.
     
    Ukraine doesn't manufacture its new cars. It gets them from abroad. This makes car sales in Ukraine very susceptible to the currency crash. Iran, in contrast, makes its own cars. So you are not comparing apples to apples when using new car sales as a comparison point between the two economies. Iran is about 2.5 times wealthier per capita than Ukraine, same as Belarus (the income is more unevenly distributed in Iran so the difference between common people is less extreme) . But per capita Iranians buy about 9x more new cars.

    More Ivano-Frankivsk, 2016, so many ragtags in utter poverty:

    Looks no worse than small Russian cities.

    Read More
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  25. @German_reader

    not giving in to the kind of superficial liberalisation that merely drives society in the direction of the corrosion that befell US sphere societies
     
    I doubt it's a superficial issue for a lot of women. And with all due respect, given your enthusiasm for absolute free speech, it's weird if you think it could be a state's business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many.
    Anyway, they're still intending to send women who break the rules to "education classes":
    https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/12/iran-hijab-chador-arrest-morality-police-change-classes.html

    I support free political speech mostly for practical reasons and in the particular context of my own country, not for ideological or universalist principles, though in the past I saw things differently. But I have watched as social liberalisation has destroyed most of the worthwhile things in my society and replaced them with an empty materialist individualism that retained no defences against social radicalism and globalist big business. It’s probably too late for us.

    I doubt it’s a superficial issue for a lot of women

    Indeed. It’s always important for those who seem to benefit from liberalisation in a particular area.

    So will the next step towards the triumph of feminism seem very important to women.

    it’s weird if you think it could be a state’s business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls. The point is that the costs of such changes always seem distant, slight or doubtful at the time, and the arguments for “reasonableness” and “compromise” so plausible. But the slope is always slippery, and every retreat makes it harder to hold at the next line.

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I’m not Iranian so it’s not my business how they run their society. But I’ve seen it happen over my lifetime here (though the process started a generation or two previously) and I suspect it can happen in a place like Iran just as easily. Many moderates in Britain in the early C20th thought it was only reasonable to concede more basic freedoms and “equalities” to women, to people who chose to engage in homosexual activity etc, and those same people would be appalled at what it has led to just a few decades down the line. It stands to reason that conservative Iranians should probably bear the experience of the formerly Christian US sphere liberal democracies in mind if and when they ever consider compromises like that one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.
     
    A political order that is widely resented for denying basic civil liberties to its population, probably isn't a very stable order; this causes divisions which can be exploited by enemies. At least it would be harder for Western propaganda to demonize Iran without those restrictions on people's non-political everyday behaviour.
    And while I can sympathize with some of your concerns (given the voting patterns of women and the disastrous behaviour of most female politicans, I occasionally do wonder about the wisdom of women's suffrage as well, though that certainly is something which can't be reversed), there's a real risk imo for right-wingers to end up looking like cranks on those issues...you may deplore the fact, but one is never going to win mass support by proposing to restore hardcore patriarchy (or locking up homos), one has to come up with something different that avoids both reactionary rigidity and degenerate liberalism, difficult as that may be. Besides, such state-enforced restrictions like in Iran aren't even traditional in a European or Anglo-Saxon context, you'd have to go back to early modern religious fanatics for something like that, and they shouldn't be a model imo.
    But then maybe I just have different priorities. I care relatively little about social conservatism, my focus is more on the national issue.
    , @Talha

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.
     
    Every state/municipality enforces a dress code. I've come across plenty of shirtless male joggers, what do you think would happen if a female tried it? The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it's an issue of practicality; can't arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.

    The only ones that don't follow this practice are certain aboriginal peoples who still let it all hang out - male and female.

    Slippery slope? Hey - look at Iceland go!
    "Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women"
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5229665/Iceland-country-enforce-gender-pay-parity.html

    Yay them!

    Peace.
    , @lavoisier

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I’m not Iranian so it’s not my business how they run their society.
     
    If would be optimal if this statement was true--in Iran, and everywhere. But it is not true. Power rules, and the clerics in power in Iran are ruthless.

    Dictatorship may have a superficial appeal--the trains run on time--but it always leads to an abuse of government power over the individual.

    I wish the Iranian people well and pray they can remove the oppressive yolk of the theocracy off their necks.

    If they can accomplish this, perhaps the West can try for once to be friends to the Iranians and not try to undermine the nation and its people for selfish ends.
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  26. @Archimedes
    I completely agree with this statement. It always seems the answer to everything is more liberalization. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Does liberalization bring increased revenues? Of course it does, look at legalized prostitution, gambling, drugs, free speech etc. But all of these things have tremendous negative societal effects as well. I think China has done a pretty good job towing the line on this one, but any push for liberalization should be viewed with skepticism.

    I think the "illiberal model" conducted by Orban, Putin, Xi, etc will be the model of the future for government.

    Liberalisations seem to result in an individualist atomisation of society, the destruction of consensus, of structures such as church and family, of tradition and of anything that makes the society distinct. The process leaves a defenceless society ripe for globalist big business to exploit and destroy with mass migration, and for social radicals to play their “social justice warrior” power games with people’s lives.

    Read More
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  27. @Randal
    I support free political speech mostly for practical reasons and in the particular context of my own country, not for ideological or universalist principles, though in the past I saw things differently. But I have watched as social liberalisation has destroyed most of the worthwhile things in my society and replaced them with an empty materialist individualism that retained no defences against social radicalism and globalist big business. It's probably too late for us.

    I doubt it’s a superficial issue for a lot of women
     
    Indeed. It's always important for those who seem to benefit from liberalisation in a particular area.

    So will the next step towards the triumph of feminism seem very important to women.

    it’s weird if you think it could be a state’s business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many
     
    "Resented by many" is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls. The point is that the costs of such changes always seem distant, slight or doubtful at the time, and the arguments for "reasonableness" and "compromise" so plausible. But the slope is always slippery, and every retreat makes it harder to hold at the next line.

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I'm not Iranian so it's not my business how they run their society. But I've seen it happen over my lifetime here (though the process started a generation or two previously) and I suspect it can happen in a place like Iran just as easily. Many moderates in Britain in the early C20th thought it was only reasonable to concede more basic freedoms and "equalities" to women, to people who chose to engage in homosexual activity etc, and those same people would be appalled at what it has led to just a few decades down the line. It stands to reason that conservative Iranians should probably bear the experience of the formerly Christian US sphere liberal democracies in mind if and when they ever consider compromises like that one.

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.

    A political order that is widely resented for denying basic civil liberties to its population, probably isn’t a very stable order; this causes divisions which can be exploited by enemies. At least it would be harder for Western propaganda to demonize Iran without those restrictions on people’s non-political everyday behaviour.
    And while I can sympathize with some of your concerns (given the voting patterns of women and the disastrous behaviour of most female politicans, I occasionally do wonder about the wisdom of women’s suffrage as well, though that certainly is something which can’t be reversed), there’s a real risk imo for right-wingers to end up looking like cranks on those issues…you may deplore the fact, but one is never going to win mass support by proposing to restore hardcore patriarchy (or locking up homos), one has to come up with something different that avoids both reactionary rigidity and degenerate liberalism, difficult as that may be. Besides, such state-enforced restrictions like in Iran aren’t even traditional in a European or Anglo-Saxon context, you’d have to go back to early modern religious fanatics for something like that, and they shouldn’t be a model imo.
    But then maybe I just have different priorities. I care relatively little about social conservatism, my focus is more on the national issue.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Randal

    A political order that is widely resented for denying basic civil liberties to its population, probably isn’t a very stable order; this causes divisions which can be exploited by enemies.
     
    Indeed, though it's a matter of opinion whether dress codes and the like ("basic civil liberties" if you want, though as Talha pointed out below I doubt you are likely to be wandering down the street naked any time soon or that you would object if someone who did so in your town were arrested for it) are actually the cause of the kind of divisions that cause societal weakness. As I suggested above, I believe more substantial issues are the ones of actual importance in that regard, in the short run at least, however much the identity lobby obsessives (such as feminists) and those who seek to use them as subversion tools might squeal.

    given the voting patterns of women and the disastrous behaviour of most female politicans, I occasionally do wonder about the wisdom of women’s suffrage as well
     
    Indeed.

    though that certainly is something which can’t be reversed
     
    Probably depends upon the timescale you are considering, though I agree that such reversals would require major societal upheavals. Then again, isn't that exactly what we are heading for, over the next few decades?

    there’s a real risk imo for right-wingers to end up looking like cranks on those issues
     
    Obviously not a concern for me.....

    …you may deplore the fact, but one is never going to win mass support by proposing to restore hardcore patriarchy (or locking up homos), one has to come up with something different that avoids both reactionary rigidity and degenerate liberalism, difficult as that may be.
     
    As I noted above, I think it's probably too late for our societies anyway - we're headed for extinction anyway as far as anything of value pre-"modernity" is concerned.

    Besides, such state-enforced restrictions like in Iran aren’t even traditional in a European or Anglo-Saxon context, you’d have to go back to early modern religious fanatics for something like that, and they shouldn’t be a model imo.
     
    Locking up homos, as you put it, was still fairly routine in our societies within living memory, though rarely necessary except in the most flagrant cases in practice. Legally enforced dress codes beyond a nakedness taboo are indeed not a recent feature of our societies as far as I'm aware, but we were talking about those in the context of Iranian society, not European. Though again as Talha pointed out, different societies have different ways of enforcing such matters, and much of the dress decency code was socially enforced in European countries rather than legally. If a woman walked around dressed like a tart she was treated like a tart, and therefore most women who were not tarts simply didn't do so. To some extent that's still the case today, though with a dramatically reduced threshold. But because it was socially enforced and not legally it was not such an important issue as it is in Iran, nor a line that could be held, in British society at any rate.

    But then maybe I just have different priorities. I care relatively little about social conservatism, my focus is more on the national issue.
     
    Fair enough, though I suspect the two can't be so easily separated, in the end. Our current political state, including helplessness before the ongoing mass migration disaster, is not entirely unrelated to past changes like, as you noted, giving women the vote, legalising and legitimising homosexual behaviour, etc.
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  28. Good thread by an actual Iranian living in Iran describing what is happening there and comparing it with 2009 protests:

    Read More
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  29. Trump came in aiming at Iran. He picked Flynn, who was an associate of ‘Faster Please’ Ledeen, and since then Trump has seen how North Korea acts with a nuke. Whatever the origins of the current unrest, it makes toppling the regieme in Iran much more attractive now. They are going to do it, though probably not with an invasion and occupation.

    Read More
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  30. @Randal
    I support free political speech mostly for practical reasons and in the particular context of my own country, not for ideological or universalist principles, though in the past I saw things differently. But I have watched as social liberalisation has destroyed most of the worthwhile things in my society and replaced them with an empty materialist individualism that retained no defences against social radicalism and globalist big business. It's probably too late for us.

    I doubt it’s a superficial issue for a lot of women
     
    Indeed. It's always important for those who seem to benefit from liberalisation in a particular area.

    So will the next step towards the triumph of feminism seem very important to women.

    it’s weird if you think it could be a state’s business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many
     
    "Resented by many" is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls. The point is that the costs of such changes always seem distant, slight or doubtful at the time, and the arguments for "reasonableness" and "compromise" so plausible. But the slope is always slippery, and every retreat makes it harder to hold at the next line.

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I'm not Iranian so it's not my business how they run their society. But I've seen it happen over my lifetime here (though the process started a generation or two previously) and I suspect it can happen in a place like Iran just as easily. Many moderates in Britain in the early C20th thought it was only reasonable to concede more basic freedoms and "equalities" to women, to people who chose to engage in homosexual activity etc, and those same people would be appalled at what it has led to just a few decades down the line. It stands to reason that conservative Iranians should probably bear the experience of the formerly Christian US sphere liberal democracies in mind if and when they ever consider compromises like that one.

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.

    Every state/municipality enforces a dress code. I’ve come across plenty of shirtless male joggers, what do you think would happen if a female tried it? The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it’s an issue of practicality; can’t arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.

    The only ones that don’t follow this practice are certain aboriginal peoples who still let it all hang out – male and female.

    Slippery slope? Hey – look at Iceland go!
    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5229665/Iceland-country-enforce-gender-pay-parity.html

    Yay them!

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Archimedes

    Slippery slope? Hey – look at Iceland go!
    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”
     
    This is the perfect example of the reductio ad absurdum that is liberalism. They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what's acceptable and what's not. The ideology is self defeating. I remember Jeremy Corbyn expressing his view that the UK should eliminate its nuclear deterrent.

    How can you defend your "liberal values" if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent, and an economy that can't produce anything. You can't.
    , @Randal

    The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.
     

    Well put.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it’s an issue of practicality; can’t arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.
     
    And again.

    Though in the case of Iranian society (and most non-western societies), it's not just indigenous factors that are in play - a major source of dissatisfaction comes in the form of cultural pollution from US sphere societies that are (for various historical, perhaps genetic, and cultural reasons) generally much richer and therefore inevitably much more glamorous and attractive to, especially, youth, as well as to the more easily corruptible, morally degenerate or foolish amongst their elders.


    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”
     
    Reality ignored in favour of ideological dogma, at the behest no doubt of the usual lobby obsessives and their virtue signalling collaborators, again.
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  31. I [Hadi Gholami Nohouji, (IRIB’s Spanish service, HispanTV], as someone that has lived the past several years, have seen much less price increase than during the previous Administration when it was possible to feel the increase of the prices on a weekly basis so I would, according to my own judgement, discard inflation as a source of the protests.

    Nevertheless the unemployment rate, the main source of discontent in my opinion, hasn’t lowered much and it has pretty much stayed at around 12.2% which is a major source of disappointment among those who voted for Rouhani since creating jobs was one of his main promises during both campaigns.

    Corruption, though, hasn’t been confronted much and it keeps being rampant in the country even though Rouhani’s team has been trying to combat it. Still, there has been an increase in transparency which means that many of the corruption cases that before were hidden from the public eyes now come to the attention of the populace and increase their anger and discontent.

    https://southfront.org/look-from-inside-iran-what-is-going-on-why-what-to-expect/

    Read More
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  32. @Talha

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.
     
    Every state/municipality enforces a dress code. I've come across plenty of shirtless male joggers, what do you think would happen if a female tried it? The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it's an issue of practicality; can't arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.

    The only ones that don't follow this practice are certain aboriginal peoples who still let it all hang out - male and female.

    Slippery slope? Hey - look at Iceland go!
    "Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women"
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5229665/Iceland-country-enforce-gender-pay-parity.html

    Yay them!

    Peace.

    Slippery slope? Hey – look at Iceland go!
    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”

    This is the perfect example of the reductio ad absurdum that is liberalism. They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what’s acceptable and what’s not. The ideology is self defeating. I remember Jeremy Corbyn expressing his view that the UK should eliminate its nuclear deterrent.

    How can you defend your “liberal values” if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent, and an economy that can’t produce anything. You can’t.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Archimedes,

    They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what’s acceptable and what’s not.
     
    What's acceptable is full equality - all else is heresy!

    A classic from Kurt Vonnegut:
    "THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren't only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General."
    http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

    Peace.
    , @Mitleser

    How can you defend your “liberal values” if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent
     
    Greatest threats to Britain's liberal values are not going to be deterred by British nuclear weapons and a military force focused on interventions abroad.
    , @Talha

    How can you defend your “liberal values” if you have a military that is pacifistic
     
    I find your lack of faith in all-female (or transgendered) Navy SEALs teams disturbing - report to a counselor right away so you can be disabused of such thoughts.

    Peace.
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  33. Any reason to suspect CIA or other outside involvement or do you think this is all internal development?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    The Iranian state’s official line is that the current wave of protests and unrest has its root in the economic problems that the populace are facing but that it began and is being directed by foreign hostile actors such as the U.S, Israel and possibly even Saudi Arabia, while some have pointed directly at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Mossad (Israeli national intelligence service) as the ones responsible (also accused is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as MKO, which have a long history of mischief in Iran, have been accused of taking part in the violent acts).

    There are until now no hard facts and evidences presented by the Iranian authorities to confirm or corroborate these allegations but they assure that, considering the past record of these countries, there is no doubt that these events are happening because of their plots.
     
    https://southfront.org/look-from-inside-iran-what-is-going-on-why-what-to-expect/
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  34. @German_reader

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.
     
    A political order that is widely resented for denying basic civil liberties to its population, probably isn't a very stable order; this causes divisions which can be exploited by enemies. At least it would be harder for Western propaganda to demonize Iran without those restrictions on people's non-political everyday behaviour.
    And while I can sympathize with some of your concerns (given the voting patterns of women and the disastrous behaviour of most female politicans, I occasionally do wonder about the wisdom of women's suffrage as well, though that certainly is something which can't be reversed), there's a real risk imo for right-wingers to end up looking like cranks on those issues...you may deplore the fact, but one is never going to win mass support by proposing to restore hardcore patriarchy (or locking up homos), one has to come up with something different that avoids both reactionary rigidity and degenerate liberalism, difficult as that may be. Besides, such state-enforced restrictions like in Iran aren't even traditional in a European or Anglo-Saxon context, you'd have to go back to early modern religious fanatics for something like that, and they shouldn't be a model imo.
    But then maybe I just have different priorities. I care relatively little about social conservatism, my focus is more on the national issue.

    A political order that is widely resented for denying basic civil liberties to its population, probably isn’t a very stable order; this causes divisions which can be exploited by enemies.

    Indeed, though it’s a matter of opinion whether dress codes and the like (“basic civil liberties” if you want, though as Talha pointed out below I doubt you are likely to be wandering down the street naked any time soon or that you would object if someone who did so in your town were arrested for it) are actually the cause of the kind of divisions that cause societal weakness. As I suggested above, I believe more substantial issues are the ones of actual importance in that regard, in the short run at least, however much the identity lobby obsessives (such as feminists) and those who seek to use them as subversion tools might squeal.

    given the voting patterns of women and the disastrous behaviour of most female politicans, I occasionally do wonder about the wisdom of women’s suffrage as well

    Indeed.

    though that certainly is something which can’t be reversed

    Probably depends upon the timescale you are considering, though I agree that such reversals would require major societal upheavals. Then again, isn’t that exactly what we are heading for, over the next few decades?

    there’s a real risk imo for right-wingers to end up looking like cranks on those issues

    Obviously not a concern for me…..

    …you may deplore the fact, but one is never going to win mass support by proposing to restore hardcore patriarchy (or locking up homos), one has to come up with something different that avoids both reactionary rigidity and degenerate liberalism, difficult as that may be.

    As I noted above, I think it’s probably too late for our societies anyway – we’re headed for extinction anyway as far as anything of value pre-”modernity” is concerned.

    Besides, such state-enforced restrictions like in Iran aren’t even traditional in a European or Anglo-Saxon context, you’d have to go back to early modern religious fanatics for something like that, and they shouldn’t be a model imo.

    Locking up homos, as you put it, was still fairly routine in our societies within living memory, though rarely necessary except in the most flagrant cases in practice. Legally enforced dress codes beyond a nakedness taboo are indeed not a recent feature of our societies as far as I’m aware, but we were talking about those in the context of Iranian society, not European. Though again as Talha pointed out, different societies have different ways of enforcing such matters, and much of the dress decency code was socially enforced in European countries rather than legally. If a woman walked around dressed like a tart she was treated like a tart, and therefore most women who were not tarts simply didn’t do so. To some extent that’s still the case today, though with a dramatically reduced threshold. But because it was socially enforced and not legally it was not such an important issue as it is in Iran, nor a line that could be held, in British society at any rate.

    But then maybe I just have different priorities. I care relatively little about social conservatism, my focus is more on the national issue.

    Fair enough, though I suspect the two can’t be so easily separated, in the end. Our current political state, including helplessness before the ongoing mass migration disaster, is not entirely unrelated to past changes like, as you noted, giving women the vote, legalising and legitimising homosexual behaviour, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Legally enforced dress codes beyond a nakedness taboo are indeed not a recent feature of our societies as far as I’m aware, but we were talking about those in the context of Iranian society, not European
     
    True, and these are internal matters of Iranian society, the opinion of foreigners shouldn't be that important anyway. But I'm not even sure if state-enforced restrictions on dress etc. are even that traditional in Iran; they obviously weren't a feature of the Shah's modernizing regime, but did something like the present system exist in Iran in the early 20th century? In their own way such attempts at comprehensive control of society may be quite modern themselves.

    If a woman walked around dressed like a tart she was treated like a tart
     
    I have no problem with such social shaming, it's certainly useful for deterring harmful and inappropriate behaviour like promiscuity, adultery etc. I'm against the state regulating such everyday behaviour though, imo that's not what a state should be for...it would be merely the mirror image of the intrusive enforcement of political correctness we have today.


    Fair enough, though I suspect the two can’t be so easily separated, in the end. Our current political state, including helplessness before the ongoing mass migration disaster, is not entirely unrelated to past changes like, as you noted, giving women the vote, legalising and legitimising homosexual behaviour, etc.
     
    There certainly is some connection, but it's not unambiguous. As a nationalist my main concern is with stopping the ongoing destruction of my own nation through mass immigration and the spread of Islam, which is a foreign and subversive ideology imo. Social conservatives throughout the West are often useless on those issues...they are fixated on their pet causes to the exclusion of everything else, and even would like to enter into alliances with "conservative" immigrant communities (which are frequently dysfunctional and a burden to their host countries) to promote those goals. Rod Dreher is a good example of this, completely obsessed with trannies and homos, while being utterly useless on war and immigration and completely in thrall to "antiracist" dogma; similar for such types in Europe.
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  35. @Archimedes

    Slippery slope? Hey – look at Iceland go!
    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”
     
    This is the perfect example of the reductio ad absurdum that is liberalism. They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what's acceptable and what's not. The ideology is self defeating. I remember Jeremy Corbyn expressing his view that the UK should eliminate its nuclear deterrent.

    How can you defend your "liberal values" if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent, and an economy that can't produce anything. You can't.

    Hey Archimedes,

    They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what’s acceptable and what’s not.

    What’s acceptable is full equality – all else is heresy!

    A classic from Kurt Vonnegut:
    “THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.”

    http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html

    Peace.

    Read More
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  36. @Archimedes

    Slippery slope? Hey – look at Iceland go!
    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”
     
    This is the perfect example of the reductio ad absurdum that is liberalism. They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what's acceptable and what's not. The ideology is self defeating. I remember Jeremy Corbyn expressing his view that the UK should eliminate its nuclear deterrent.

    How can you defend your "liberal values" if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent, and an economy that can't produce anything. You can't.

    How can you defend your “liberal values” if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent

    Greatest threats to Britain’s liberal values are not going to be deterred by British nuclear weapons and a military force focused on interventions abroad.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha

    a military force focused on interventions abroad
     
    May be exactly what is causing a major part of the problem; can't have "invade + invite" without "invade".

    Peace.
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  37. @jtgw
    Any reason to suspect CIA or other outside involvement or do you think this is all internal development?

    The Iranian state’s official line is that the current wave of protests and unrest has its root in the economic problems that the populace are facing but that it began and is being directed by foreign hostile actors such as the U.S, Israel and possibly even Saudi Arabia, while some have pointed directly at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Mossad (Israeli national intelligence service) as the ones responsible (also accused is the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, also known as MKO, which have a long history of mischief in Iran, have been accused of taking part in the violent acts).

    There are until now no hard facts and evidences presented by the Iranian authorities to confirm or corroborate these allegations but they assure that, considering the past record of these countries, there is no doubt that these events are happening because of their plots.

    https://southfront.org/look-from-inside-iran-what-is-going-on-why-what-to-expect/

    Read More
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  38. @Archimedes

    Slippery slope? Hey – look at Iceland go!
    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”
     
    This is the perfect example of the reductio ad absurdum that is liberalism. They simply cannot draw a line in the sand about what's acceptable and what's not. The ideology is self defeating. I remember Jeremy Corbyn expressing his view that the UK should eliminate its nuclear deterrent.

    How can you defend your "liberal values" if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent, and an economy that can't produce anything. You can't.

    How can you defend your “liberal values” if you have a military that is pacifistic

    I find your lack of faith in all-female (or transgendered) Navy SEALs teams disturbing – report to a counselor right away so you can be disabused of such thoughts.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • LOL: reiner Tor
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  39. @Talha

    “Resented by many” is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls.
     
    Every state/municipality enforces a dress code. I've come across plenty of shirtless male joggers, what do you think would happen if a female tried it? The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it's an issue of practicality; can't arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.

    The only ones that don't follow this practice are certain aboriginal peoples who still let it all hang out - male and female.

    Slippery slope? Hey - look at Iceland go!
    "Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women"
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5229665/Iceland-country-enforce-gender-pay-parity.html

    Yay them!

    Peace.

    The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.

    Well put.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it’s an issue of practicality; can’t arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.

    And again.

    Though in the case of Iranian society (and most non-western societies), it’s not just indigenous factors that are in play – a major source of dissatisfaction comes in the form of cultural pollution from US sphere societies that are (for various historical, perhaps genetic, and cultural reasons) generally much richer and therefore inevitably much more glamorous and attractive to, especially, youth, as well as to the more easily corruptible, morally degenerate or foolish amongst their elders.

    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”

    Reality ignored in favour of ideological dogma, at the behest no doubt of the usual lobby obsessives and their virtue signalling collaborators, again.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey Randal,

    a major source of dissatisfaction comes in the form of cultural pollution from US sphere societies that are (for various historical, perhaps genetic, and cultural reasons) generally much richer and therefore inevitably much more glamorous and attractive to, especially, youth, as well as to the more easily corruptible, morally degenerate or foolish amongst their elders
     
    This is true - but I do not blame the West for this. These are the societies they ended up with based on choices they made along the way.

    They simply offer the same bling-bling to the rest of the world and make money off of it - they don't hold a gun to their heads and make them consume 400+ channels of satellite nonsense. That responsibility lies squarely at the feet of the people in the Muslim world - they can dismiss the post-modern nonsense or be enamored by it and drink the koolaid...and deal with the consequences:
    “By Allah, it is not poverty I fear for you, but rather I fear you will be given the wealth of the world just as it was given to those before you. You will compete for it just as they competed for it and it will destroy you just as it destroyed them.” - reported in Bukhari and Muslim

    We were already put on notice centuries ago - we are to blame for discarding the advice.

    Peace.
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  40. @Mitleser

    How can you defend your “liberal values” if you have a military that is pacifistic, a nuclear arsenal that is non existent
     
    Greatest threats to Britain's liberal values are not going to be deterred by British nuclear weapons and a military force focused on interventions abroad.

    a military force focused on interventions abroad

    May be exactly what is causing a major part of the problem; can’t have “invade + invite” without “invade”.

    Peace.

    Read More
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  41. @Randal

    A political order that is widely resented for denying basic civil liberties to its population, probably isn’t a very stable order; this causes divisions which can be exploited by enemies.
     
    Indeed, though it's a matter of opinion whether dress codes and the like ("basic civil liberties" if you want, though as Talha pointed out below I doubt you are likely to be wandering down the street naked any time soon or that you would object if someone who did so in your town were arrested for it) are actually the cause of the kind of divisions that cause societal weakness. As I suggested above, I believe more substantial issues are the ones of actual importance in that regard, in the short run at least, however much the identity lobby obsessives (such as feminists) and those who seek to use them as subversion tools might squeal.

    given the voting patterns of women and the disastrous behaviour of most female politicans, I occasionally do wonder about the wisdom of women’s suffrage as well
     
    Indeed.

    though that certainly is something which can’t be reversed
     
    Probably depends upon the timescale you are considering, though I agree that such reversals would require major societal upheavals. Then again, isn't that exactly what we are heading for, over the next few decades?

    there’s a real risk imo for right-wingers to end up looking like cranks on those issues
     
    Obviously not a concern for me.....

    …you may deplore the fact, but one is never going to win mass support by proposing to restore hardcore patriarchy (or locking up homos), one has to come up with something different that avoids both reactionary rigidity and degenerate liberalism, difficult as that may be.
     
    As I noted above, I think it's probably too late for our societies anyway - we're headed for extinction anyway as far as anything of value pre-"modernity" is concerned.

    Besides, such state-enforced restrictions like in Iran aren’t even traditional in a European or Anglo-Saxon context, you’d have to go back to early modern religious fanatics for something like that, and they shouldn’t be a model imo.
     
    Locking up homos, as you put it, was still fairly routine in our societies within living memory, though rarely necessary except in the most flagrant cases in practice. Legally enforced dress codes beyond a nakedness taboo are indeed not a recent feature of our societies as far as I'm aware, but we were talking about those in the context of Iranian society, not European. Though again as Talha pointed out, different societies have different ways of enforcing such matters, and much of the dress decency code was socially enforced in European countries rather than legally. If a woman walked around dressed like a tart she was treated like a tart, and therefore most women who were not tarts simply didn't do so. To some extent that's still the case today, though with a dramatically reduced threshold. But because it was socially enforced and not legally it was not such an important issue as it is in Iran, nor a line that could be held, in British society at any rate.

    But then maybe I just have different priorities. I care relatively little about social conservatism, my focus is more on the national issue.
     
    Fair enough, though I suspect the two can't be so easily separated, in the end. Our current political state, including helplessness before the ongoing mass migration disaster, is not entirely unrelated to past changes like, as you noted, giving women the vote, legalising and legitimising homosexual behaviour, etc.

    Legally enforced dress codes beyond a nakedness taboo are indeed not a recent feature of our societies as far as I’m aware, but we were talking about those in the context of Iranian society, not European

    True, and these are internal matters of Iranian society, the opinion of foreigners shouldn’t be that important anyway. But I’m not even sure if state-enforced restrictions on dress etc. are even that traditional in Iran; they obviously weren’t a feature of the Shah’s modernizing regime, but did something like the present system exist in Iran in the early 20th century? In their own way such attempts at comprehensive control of society may be quite modern themselves.

    If a woman walked around dressed like a tart she was treated like a tart

    I have no problem with such social shaming, it’s certainly useful for deterring harmful and inappropriate behaviour like promiscuity, adultery etc. I’m against the state regulating such everyday behaviour though, imo that’s not what a state should be for…it would be merely the mirror image of the intrusive enforcement of political correctness we have today.

    Fair enough, though I suspect the two can’t be so easily separated, in the end. Our current political state, including helplessness before the ongoing mass migration disaster, is not entirely unrelated to past changes like, as you noted, giving women the vote, legalising and legitimising homosexual behaviour, etc.

    There certainly is some connection, but it’s not unambiguous. As a nationalist my main concern is with stopping the ongoing destruction of my own nation through mass immigration and the spread of Islam, which is a foreign and subversive ideology imo. Social conservatives throughout the West are often useless on those issues…they are fixated on their pet causes to the exclusion of everything else, and even would like to enter into alliances with “conservative” immigrant communities (which are frequently dysfunctional and a burden to their host countries) to promote those goals. Rod Dreher is a good example of this, completely obsessed with trannies and homos, while being utterly useless on war and immigration and completely in thrall to “antiracist” dogma; similar for such types in Europe.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    In their own way such attempts at comprehensive control of society may be quite modern themselves.
     
    Very good point - the level of control that a modern state is able to enforce in the lives of individuals is indeed quite recent and quite frightening.

    Peace.
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  42. When the hostages were seized at the US embassy, under Carter, it was said that the original Ayatollah probably had nothing to do with it initially, but rather came to support it based partly on public perceptions and also the fact that it had already happened. Though, of course, his rhetoric had always been anti-US.

    Read More
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  43. @Randal

    The only difference is where is the moral authority derived to enforce the details; custom, religion, public safety, etc.

    In a society organized primarily by religion, the answer is obvious.
     

    Well put.

    There will always be a number of dissidents for practically any social prohibition; nudity, drugs, etc. Now if the number of dissidents reaches a large number, then it’s an issue of practicality; can’t arrest every other woman (or man) which means something already went seriously wrong in the proper upbringing and natural social pressure.
     
    And again.

    Though in the case of Iranian society (and most non-western societies), it's not just indigenous factors that are in play - a major source of dissatisfaction comes in the form of cultural pollution from US sphere societies that are (for various historical, perhaps genetic, and cultural reasons) generally much richer and therefore inevitably much more glamorous and attractive to, especially, youth, as well as to the more easily corruptible, morally degenerate or foolish amongst their elders.


    “Iceland becomes the first country in the world to make it illegal to pay men more than women”
     
    Reality ignored in favour of ideological dogma, at the behest no doubt of the usual lobby obsessives and their virtue signalling collaborators, again.

    Hey Randal,

    a major source of dissatisfaction comes in the form of cultural pollution from US sphere societies that are (for various historical, perhaps genetic, and cultural reasons) generally much richer and therefore inevitably much more glamorous and attractive to, especially, youth, as well as to the more easily corruptible, morally degenerate or foolish amongst their elders

    This is true – but I do not blame the West for this. These are the societies they ended up with based on choices they made along the way.

    They simply offer the same bling-bling to the rest of the world and make money off of it – they don’t hold a gun to their heads and make them consume 400+ channels of satellite nonsense. That responsibility lies squarely at the feet of the people in the Muslim world – they can dismiss the post-modern nonsense or be enamored by it and drink the koolaid…and deal with the consequences:
    “By Allah, it is not poverty I fear for you, but rather I fear you will be given the wealth of the world just as it was given to those before you. You will compete for it just as they competed for it and it will destroy you just as it destroyed them.” – reported in Bukhari and Muslim

    We were already put on notice centuries ago – we are to blame for discarding the advice.

    Peace.

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  44. @German_reader

    Legally enforced dress codes beyond a nakedness taboo are indeed not a recent feature of our societies as far as I’m aware, but we were talking about those in the context of Iranian society, not European
     
    True, and these are internal matters of Iranian society, the opinion of foreigners shouldn't be that important anyway. But I'm not even sure if state-enforced restrictions on dress etc. are even that traditional in Iran; they obviously weren't a feature of the Shah's modernizing regime, but did something like the present system exist in Iran in the early 20th century? In their own way such attempts at comprehensive control of society may be quite modern themselves.

    If a woman walked around dressed like a tart she was treated like a tart
     
    I have no problem with such social shaming, it's certainly useful for deterring harmful and inappropriate behaviour like promiscuity, adultery etc. I'm against the state regulating such everyday behaviour though, imo that's not what a state should be for...it would be merely the mirror image of the intrusive enforcement of political correctness we have today.


    Fair enough, though I suspect the two can’t be so easily separated, in the end. Our current political state, including helplessness before the ongoing mass migration disaster, is not entirely unrelated to past changes like, as you noted, giving women the vote, legalising and legitimising homosexual behaviour, etc.
     
    There certainly is some connection, but it's not unambiguous. As a nationalist my main concern is with stopping the ongoing destruction of my own nation through mass immigration and the spread of Islam, which is a foreign and subversive ideology imo. Social conservatives throughout the West are often useless on those issues...they are fixated on their pet causes to the exclusion of everything else, and even would like to enter into alliances with "conservative" immigrant communities (which are frequently dysfunctional and a burden to their host countries) to promote those goals. Rod Dreher is a good example of this, completely obsessed with trannies and homos, while being utterly useless on war and immigration and completely in thrall to "antiracist" dogma; similar for such types in Europe.

    Hey G_R,

    In their own way such attempts at comprehensive control of society may be quite modern themselves.

    Very good point – the level of control that a modern state is able to enforce in the lives of individuals is indeed quite recent and quite frightening.

    Peace.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Talha
    Also...

    but did something like the present system exist in Iran in the early 20th century?
     
    Nothing like what exists in Iran existed anytime in Muslim history. Look up the concept of Vilayat-e-Faqih - it is a fairly novel concept that Ayatollah Khomeini came up with. It is not even fully accepted among the Iraqi Shiah scholars exactly as it is in Iran. Which is one reason why you see someone like Ayatollah Sistani guiding things from the background but not making a play to put the government under his thumb.

    The only possible exceptions were the Rashidun Caliphs who were Islamic scholars in their own right along with everything else they were capable of.

    Jurists have never been in charge of Muslim governments - generally, they have played an independent role as a quasi-judicial/legislative institution. Which is why so many of them clashed with the authorities so often and were beaten, jailed, or exiled. The level of "islamization" which occurred in the land was dependent on the level of piety of the ruler and the masses who either listened to them or ignored them.

    My personal take (coming from a Sunni perspective)? Muslim scholars shouldn't be running governments - period. They are ulema - they have a much more important role to play; one which can be tainted by involvement in government:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwMXvSBNbU4

    Because everyone has a beef with government and politicians and if the government is run by scholars, then the people will naturally come to despise religion by its association when things go south.

    Sometimes one can do the most good by establishing their identity as a strong permanent opposition group which, instead of necessarily competing for positions of power, forces the hand of the rulers/ruling class to compromise with its demands and introduce policies it wants.

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  45. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “The protests were started by “radicals” … with ties to the supreme ayatollah…”
    If this is a suggestion that Khamenei is behind the protests, then it is a harebrained idea: a man of his age and experience cannot caution throwing people into the streets knowing that once they are out, he cannot control them…
    If as is supposed, he doesn’t like what Rouhani does, he only needs to tell him…

    Read More
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  46. @Talha
    Hey G_R,

    In their own way such attempts at comprehensive control of society may be quite modern themselves.
     
    Very good point - the level of control that a modern state is able to enforce in the lives of individuals is indeed quite recent and quite frightening.

    Peace.

    Also…

    but did something like the present system exist in Iran in the early 20th century?

    Nothing like what exists in Iran existed anytime in Muslim history. Look up the concept of Vilayat-e-Faqih – it is a fairly novel concept that Ayatollah Khomeini came up with. It is not even fully accepted among the Iraqi Shiah scholars exactly as it is in Iran. Which is one reason why you see someone like Ayatollah Sistani guiding things from the background but not making a play to put the government under his thumb.

    The only possible exceptions were the Rashidun Caliphs who were Islamic scholars in their own right along with everything else they were capable of.

    Jurists have never been in charge of Muslim governments – generally, they have played an independent role as a quasi-judicial/legislative institution. Which is why so many of them clashed with the authorities so often and were beaten, jailed, or exiled. The level of “islamization” which occurred in the land was dependent on the level of piety of the ruler and the masses who either listened to them or ignored them.

    My personal take (coming from a Sunni perspective)? Muslim scholars shouldn’t be running governments – period. They are ulema – they have a much more important role to play; one which can be tainted by involvement in government:

    Because everyone has a beef with government and politicians and if the government is run by scholars, then the people will naturally come to despise religion by its association when things go south.

    Sometimes one can do the most good by establishing their identity as a strong permanent opposition group which, instead of necessarily competing for positions of power, forces the hand of the rulers/ruling class to compromise with its demands and introduce policies it wants.

    Read More
    • Replies: @German_reader

    Because everyone has a beef with government and politicians and if the government is run by scholars, then the people will naturally come to despise religion by its association when things go south.
     
    Exactly, and that seems to have happened in Iran, at least to some extent. So such a system probably isn't even to be recommended from an Islamic perspective.
    I actually even agree somewhat that religion can be a positive force as a moral constraint on rulers, if it keeps its distance from worldly power (e.g. despite my reservations about the role Christian churches play today in politics, it probably wasn't a bad thing when Theodosius I was reproached and humbled by the church for the massacre of Thessalonici). Unfortunately the opposite seems to be rather more common.
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  47. @Talha
    Also...

    but did something like the present system exist in Iran in the early 20th century?
     
    Nothing like what exists in Iran existed anytime in Muslim history. Look up the concept of Vilayat-e-Faqih - it is a fairly novel concept that Ayatollah Khomeini came up with. It is not even fully accepted among the Iraqi Shiah scholars exactly as it is in Iran. Which is one reason why you see someone like Ayatollah Sistani guiding things from the background but not making a play to put the government under his thumb.

    The only possible exceptions were the Rashidun Caliphs who were Islamic scholars in their own right along with everything else they were capable of.

    Jurists have never been in charge of Muslim governments - generally, they have played an independent role as a quasi-judicial/legislative institution. Which is why so many of them clashed with the authorities so often and were beaten, jailed, or exiled. The level of "islamization" which occurred in the land was dependent on the level of piety of the ruler and the masses who either listened to them or ignored them.

    My personal take (coming from a Sunni perspective)? Muslim scholars shouldn't be running governments - period. They are ulema - they have a much more important role to play; one which can be tainted by involvement in government:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwMXvSBNbU4

    Because everyone has a beef with government and politicians and if the government is run by scholars, then the people will naturally come to despise religion by its association when things go south.

    Sometimes one can do the most good by establishing their identity as a strong permanent opposition group which, instead of necessarily competing for positions of power, forces the hand of the rulers/ruling class to compromise with its demands and introduce policies it wants.

    Because everyone has a beef with government and politicians and if the government is run by scholars, then the people will naturally come to despise religion by its association when things go south.

    Exactly, and that seems to have happened in Iran, at least to some extent. So such a system probably isn’t even to be recommended from an Islamic perspective.
    I actually even agree somewhat that religion can be a positive force as a moral constraint on rulers, if it keeps its distance from worldly power (e.g. despite my reservations about the role Christian churches play today in politics, it probably wasn’t a bad thing when Theodosius I was reproached and humbled by the church for the massacre of Thessalonici). Unfortunately the opposite seems to be rather more common.

    Read More
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  48. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Currently, about 10 of the 30 hottest topics (frontpage) on r/russia are in Russian. At r/iran, there is a grand total of zero posts in Persian. The place is so barren even unpaid shills of the Americans don’t bother. Mentioning it makes you look more clueless.

    We’d be more interested to learn what the Russian equivalent of Fox said. There’s this guy, K-something-ov, who talks alone for half an hour on Russia 1, and was sometimes demonized in the Western press. He might prepare the public opinion for more Russian involvement, or for a withdrawal. Now, that sort of information would be more useful. If you speak Russian and are in Russia atm, do give it a go. (No RT crap, please.)

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  49. North Korea is not acting scared and Iran is. Kim has a superpower protector and Iran does not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Kim has nukes and Iran does not.
    , @Mitleser

    Kim has a superpower protector
     
    He does not.

    Iran does not.
     
    Iran has something different, but no less useful: substantial regional influence.

    They avoided being crushed by the American empire because they were able to build such a strong regional network of allies, allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength. They were able to survive the sanctions because their regional influence made it advantageous for key powers like Turkey to remain on their good side, so key powers like Turkey helped them skirt the sanctions.

    If they start spending less on their foreign allies, their regional influence will wither away, and that would make them incredibly vulnerable. Then the US and their regional enemies will be able to burn their country to the ground, just like they've already burned Iraq, Libya, and Syria to the ground.
    Tehran has been clear about this for many years now. The IRGC even states this explicitly: we are fighting until the bitter end or sweet victory in Aleppo and Damascus because otherwise the enemy will bring the battle to downtown Tehran.

    Iran will start defunding their own military before they start defunding their operations in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In fact, that's exactly what they did last year.
     
    https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/7nw1ec/impact_on_war_if_iran_situation_devolves/ds51wdb/
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  50. @Sean
    North Korea is not acting scared and Iran is. Kim has a superpower protector and Iran does not.

    Kim has nukes and Iran does not.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Well yes, but then what is Kim trying to accomplish. I have to agree with AK, Kim does not have a nuclear option to a punitive conventional airstrike by the US.

    Iran is facing regieme change.

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  51. @Sean
    North Korea is not acting scared and Iran is. Kim has a superpower protector and Iran does not.

    Kim has a superpower protector

    He does not.

    Iran does not.

    Iran has something different, but no less useful: substantial regional influence.

    They avoided being crushed by the American empire because they were able to build such a strong regional network of allies, allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength. They were able to survive the sanctions because their regional influence made it advantageous for key powers like Turkey to remain on their good side, so key powers like Turkey helped them skirt the sanctions.

    If they start spending less on their foreign allies, their regional influence will wither away, and that would make them incredibly vulnerable. Then the US and their regional enemies will be able to burn their country to the ground, just like they’ve already burned Iraq, Libya, and Syria to the ground.
    Tehran has been clear about this for many years now. The IRGC even states this explicitly: we are fighting until the bitter end or sweet victory in Aleppo and Damascus because otherwise the enemy will bring the battle to downtown Tehran.

    Iran will start defunding their own military before they start defunding their operations in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In fact, that’s exactly what they did last year.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/7nw1ec/impact_on_war_if_iran_situation_devolves/ds51wdb/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    North Korea was never going to be subject to a full scale McArthur style invasion, they know that yet they are provoking the US. Kim thinks he can count on China if there is a US invasion, and Kim as a problem to the US is valuable to China. Kim may be playing the US and China off against one another in order to further an ambitious project of his own.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.

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  52. @reiner Tor
    Kim has nukes and Iran does not.

    Well yes, but then what is Kim trying to accomplish. I have to agree with AK, Kim does not have a nuclear option to a punitive conventional airstrike by the US.

    Iran is facing regieme change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    This attempt has failed.

    I have to agree with AK, Kim does not have a nuclear option to a punitive conventional airstrike by the US.
     
    Limited shelling of American forces within range.
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  53. @Sean
    Well yes, but then what is Kim trying to accomplish. I have to agree with AK, Kim does not have a nuclear option to a punitive conventional airstrike by the US.

    Iran is facing regieme change.

    This attempt has failed.

    I have to agree with AK, Kim does not have a nuclear option to a punitive conventional airstrike by the US.

    Limited shelling of American forces within range.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Yes, but as AK said Kim would get the worst of it if he counter-attacks yet he doesn't seem bothered and keeps on provoking the US ever more recklessly. Why is he apparently trying to draw the US into a situation were Kim can seen to responding to a US attack?
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  54. @Mitleser
    This attempt has failed.

    I have to agree with AK, Kim does not have a nuclear option to a punitive conventional airstrike by the US.
     
    Limited shelling of American forces within range.

    Yes, but as AK said Kim would get the worst of it if he counter-attacks yet he doesn’t seem bothered and keeps on provoking the US ever more recklessly. Why is he apparently trying to draw the US into a situation were Kim can seen to responding to a US attack?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser
    DPRK needs a reliable deterrent against all state enemies (i.e. nuclear-armed ICBMs) for which they need to test their new equipment and end Obama's "strategic patience" for which they had to do something that cannot be ignored, repeatly.

    What do you mean with "would get the worst of it"?
    Letting Washington get away with strikes on them would lead to more and stronger strikes in the future.
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  55. @Mitleser

    Kim has a superpower protector
     
    He does not.

    Iran does not.
     
    Iran has something different, but no less useful: substantial regional influence.

    They avoided being crushed by the American empire because they were able to build such a strong regional network of allies, allowing them to negotiate from a position of strength. They were able to survive the sanctions because their regional influence made it advantageous for key powers like Turkey to remain on their good side, so key powers like Turkey helped them skirt the sanctions.

    If they start spending less on their foreign allies, their regional influence will wither away, and that would make them incredibly vulnerable. Then the US and their regional enemies will be able to burn their country to the ground, just like they've already burned Iraq, Libya, and Syria to the ground.
    Tehran has been clear about this for many years now. The IRGC even states this explicitly: we are fighting until the bitter end or sweet victory in Aleppo and Damascus because otherwise the enemy will bring the battle to downtown Tehran.

    Iran will start defunding their own military before they start defunding their operations in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In fact, that's exactly what they did last year.
     
    https://www.reddit.com/r/syriancivilwar/comments/7nw1ec/impact_on_war_if_iran_situation_devolves/ds51wdb/

    North Korea was never going to be subject to a full scale McArthur style invasion, they know that yet they are provoking the US. Kim thinks he can count on China if there is a US invasion, and Kim as a problem to the US is valuable to China. Kim may be playing the US and China off against one another in order to further an ambitious project of his own.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anon
    "The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran."
    Thats what Jews have been trying to teach each and every Arab . Didn't work o they put Saudi on scene offering biggest inducements and hopes to a sock puppet -MBS- the hope of becoming king.
    , @anon
    " US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran."
    The Hasabara/Hasbra never stops
    How much did i MBS pay Israel to be king ? How much he was yelled at by Israel to say : Iran,Iran ,Iran is the problem ?
    , @Mitleser
    Kim does not count on China. He provokes them to much for that.
    He is counting on his armed forces.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem.
     
    Big difference between recognizing another country's capital despite global opposition and risking the lives of thousands of your servicemen.

    Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks
     
    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.
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  56. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Sean
    North Korea was never going to be subject to a full scale McArthur style invasion, they know that yet they are provoking the US. Kim thinks he can count on China if there is a US invasion, and Kim as a problem to the US is valuable to China. Kim may be playing the US and China off against one another in order to further an ambitious project of his own.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.

    “The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.”
    Thats what Jews have been trying to teach each and every Arab . Didn’t work o they put Saudi on scene offering biggest inducements and hopes to a sock puppet -MBS- the hope of becoming king.

    Read More
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  57. John Feffer
    Trump and the Neocons Are Exploiting an Iran Protest Movement They Know Nothing About

    Jonathan Marshall
    While Pundits Condemn Iran, Honduran Police Kill Street Demonstrators
    http://www.commondreams.org

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  58. @Sean
    North Korea was never going to be subject to a full scale McArthur style invasion, they know that yet they are provoking the US. Kim thinks he can count on China if there is a US invasion, and Kim as a problem to the US is valuable to China. Kim may be playing the US and China off against one another in order to further an ambitious project of his own.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.

    ” US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.”
    The Hasabara/Hasbra never stops
    How much did i MBS pay Israel to be king ? How much he was yelled at by Israel to say : Iran,Iran ,Iran is the problem ?

    Read More
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  59. @Sean
    Yes, but as AK said Kim would get the worst of it if he counter-attacks yet he doesn't seem bothered and keeps on provoking the US ever more recklessly. Why is he apparently trying to draw the US into a situation were Kim can seen to responding to a US attack?

    DPRK needs a reliable deterrent against all state enemies (i.e. nuclear-armed ICBMs) for which they need to test their new equipment and end Obama’s “strategic patience” for which they had to do something that cannot be ignored, repeatly.

    What do you mean with “would get the worst of it”?
    Letting Washington get away with strikes on them would lead to more and stronger strikes in the future.

    Read More
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  60. @Sean
    North Korea was never going to be subject to a full scale McArthur style invasion, they know that yet they are provoking the US. Kim thinks he can count on China if there is a US invasion, and Kim as a problem to the US is valuable to China. Kim may be playing the US and China off against one another in order to further an ambitious project of his own.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem. Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks, and apart from the aforementioned Shia and Alawite led forces the Arab world hates Iran.

    Kim does not count on China. He provokes them to much for that.
    He is counting on his armed forces.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem.

    Big difference between recognizing another country’s capital despite global opposition and risking the lives of thousands of your servicemen.

    Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks

    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.
     

    Syria funneled terrorists into Iraq to kill American troops (McMaster said this, he was stationed on the border and knows). On the other side of Iraq, Iran was itself providing sophisticated armor piercing explosives to Iraqi Shia terrorists to kill US soldiers (Flynn said this, he was there and saw all the intelligence). So Iran has drawn attention to itself both through its allies and its own actions. The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians. That will be changing in the near future. And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.
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  61. @Mitleser
    Kim does not count on China. He provokes them to much for that.
    He is counting on his armed forces.

    The US already defied the world over Jerusalem.
     
    Big difference between recognizing another country's capital despite global opposition and risking the lives of thousands of your servicemen.

    Iran allies in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen will be worthless id if the US attacks
     
    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.

    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.

    Syria funneled terrorists into Iraq to kill American troops (McMaster said this, he was stationed on the border and knows). On the other side of Iraq, Iran was itself providing sophisticated armor piercing explosives to Iraqi Shia terrorists to kill US soldiers (Flynn said this, he was there and saw all the intelligence). So Iran has drawn attention to itself both through its allies and its own actions. The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians. That will be changing in the near future. And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Mitleser

    The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians.
     
    Exactly, it deterred Washington from extending its campaign from Iraq to Iran.

    And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.
     
    Their own leader will have someone blame for their suffering, you.
    , @KA
    "Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

    "Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it's a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces,"

    The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran's Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat.

    The administration official also claimed that notwithstanding recent US and British overtures, Syria was still collaborating closely with Iran's strategy in Iraq." May 2007 Simon Tisdall
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/may/22/iraq.topstories3
    You see the lies that bind the newspaper columnist and USA's warlords!!

    1 Has anytime USA withdrawn from any territory because of some threats from some ragtag F16-less MOIAB -less ICBM- less Nuclear bomb- less army? No the warlords never .They actually have been using those threats to wage war ( like someone calling self or his organization as Al Quiada supporters in a land like Somalia who pose no threat to West ) and they create those threats when no threats are available to pursue war profiteering . They sometimes call it chatter on internet .
    2 Was it not same time US was planning to wage war on Syria ( what an overture !!!)
    3 wasn't on around same time when Miliband was denying any possession of proof of Iranian complicity in British death to Financial Times?

    The Lies that Bind the Murderers together .

    Vety soon USA liberated ISIS from prison and from foreign lands ,gathered them together from the disparate mixture of foreign fighters who populated the roster of Al Qaida and unleashed them on
    Shia. But per the narrative Al Qaida and Shia were plotting to topple American warlords from the Board Of Director of the company known as Freedom Democracy Liberty .

    , @KA
    This the way it works --- " Veteran Republican operative and self-described “ratfucker” Roger Stone is advocating for military operations, including drone strikes, in Somalia on behalf of his first lobbying client in 17 years.

    Stone recently disclosed that he had done lobbying work for a Buffalo-area company that acts as a middleman for the sale of African livestock to clients around the world. In his disclosure form, he formally said that he is pressing for “commodity rights and security” in Somalia and working on issues related to economic policy and commodity trading.

    But in text messages with The Daily Beast, Stone suggested that his work for the company—investment firm Capstone Financial Group—has focused on U.S. military and foreign policy as well." The Daily beast 1/4/18

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/roger-stones-new-gig-lobbying-for-drone-strikes-in-somalia?source=twitter&via=desktop"


    Now you might counterargue : we are discussing Iran not Somalia .

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  62. @Sean

    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.
     

    Syria funneled terrorists into Iraq to kill American troops (McMaster said this, he was stationed on the border and knows). On the other side of Iraq, Iran was itself providing sophisticated armor piercing explosives to Iraqi Shia terrorists to kill US soldiers (Flynn said this, he was there and saw all the intelligence). So Iran has drawn attention to itself both through its allies and its own actions. The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians. That will be changing in the near future. And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.

    The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians.

    Exactly, it deterred Washington from extending its campaign from Iraq to Iran.

    And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.

    Their own leader will have someone blame for their suffering, you.

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  63. From Moonofalbama-

    Suzanne Maloney‏ @MaloneySuzanne – 7:24 PM – 4 Jan 2018
    Suzanne Maloney Retweeted Michael Singh
    This is a huge missed opportunity for Europe, both to use their diplomatic & economic leverage for the long-term good of Iran & to demonstrate the possibility and even utility of making common cause with Washington on Iran
    Michael Singh‏ @MichaelSinghDC – 7:14 PM – 4 Jan 2018
    Regrettable that preexisting gaps between the US and Europe over Iran seem to be widening due to protests – supporting human rights in Iran should be an area of transatlantic agreement
    Brookings on Cuba:

    Tom Wright‏ @thomaswright08 – 11:02 PM – 5 Jan 2018
    Tom Wright Retweeted EU External Action
    A real moral failing here. Okay to engage Cuba but should pressure regime to liberalize. Combined with “both sides-ism” on Iran, it’s been a terrible week for European foreign policy.”

    Very benign sounding piety emitting concerns exhibiting big prints on the description of the dagger targeted at the EU after EU,Russia, France made it clear to Nero from Hell Nikki Hailey that they were not buying the dagger this time

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  64. @Sean

    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.
     

    Syria funneled terrorists into Iraq to kill American troops (McMaster said this, he was stationed on the border and knows). On the other side of Iraq, Iran was itself providing sophisticated armor piercing explosives to Iraqi Shia terrorists to kill US soldiers (Flynn said this, he was there and saw all the intelligence). So Iran has drawn attention to itself both through its allies and its own actions. The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians. That will be changing in the near future. And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.

    “Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

    “Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it’s a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces,”

    The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran’s Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat.

    The administration official also claimed that notwithstanding recent US and British overtures, Syria was still collaborating closely with Iran’s strategy in Iraq.” May 2007 Simon Tisdall

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2007/may/22/iraq.topstories3

    You see the lies that bind the newspaper columnist and USA’s warlords!!

    1 Has anytime USA withdrawn from any territory because of some threats from some ragtag F16-less MOIAB -less ICBM- less Nuclear bomb- less army? No the warlords never .They actually have been using those threats to wage war ( like someone calling self or his organization as Al Quiada supporters in a land like Somalia who pose no threat to West ) and they create those threats when no threats are available to pursue war profiteering . They sometimes call it chatter on internet .
    2 Was it not same time US was planning to wage war on Syria ( what an overture !!!)
    3 wasn’t on around same time when Miliband was denying any possession of proof of Iranian complicity in British death to Financial Times?

    The Lies that Bind the Murderers together .

    Vety soon USA liberated ISIS from prison and from foreign lands ,gathered them together from the disparate mixture of foreign fighters who populated the roster of Al Qaida and unleashed them on
    Shia. But per the narrative Al Qaida and Shia were plotting to topple American warlords from the Board Of Director of the company known as Freedom Democracy Liberty .

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  65. @Sean

    They have already proven invaluable by diverting American attention.
     

    Syria funneled terrorists into Iraq to kill American troops (McMaster said this, he was stationed on the border and knows). On the other side of Iraq, Iran was itself providing sophisticated armor piercing explosives to Iraqi Shia terrorists to kill US soldiers (Flynn said this, he was there and saw all the intelligence). So Iran has drawn attention to itself both through its allies and its own actions. The Iranians, through proxies, have killed far more Americans than Americans have killed Iranians. That will be changing in the near future. And it will be a sustained campaign of airstrikes before leaving them to deal with their own leaders, not a ground invasion.

    This the way it works — ” Veteran Republican operative and self-described “ratfucker” Roger Stone is advocating for military operations, including drone strikes, in Somalia on behalf of his first lobbying client in 17 years.

    Stone recently disclosed that he had done lobbying work for a Buffalo-area company that acts as a middleman for the sale of African livestock to clients around the world. In his disclosure form, he formally said that he is pressing for “commodity rights and security” in Somalia and working on issues related to economic policy and commodity trading.

    But in text messages with The Daily Beast, Stone suggested that his work for the company—investment firm Capstone Financial Group—has focused on U.S. military and foreign policy as well.” The Daily beast 1/4/18

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/roger-stones-new-gig-lobbying-for-drone-strikes-in-somalia?source=twitter&via=desktop”

    Now you might counterargue : we are discussing Iran not Somalia .

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    • Replies: @Sean
    Perhaps there will be a ground offensive although under a massive rolling airstrike. Syria shows that insurgency does not work, as McMaster says winning a war requires massive effort and you cannot worry about killing Russian advisers. Iran having some Russian links may well increase the likelihood of American military action against it.
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  66. Looks like the protests in Iran are dying down, and the risk of anything substantial happening seems to have receded.

    This is overall a good development, though the medium-term ramifications of this on Iran’s Syria policy remains to be seen.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Syria is stabilizing, so maybe they need less money in the future.
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  67. @Anatoly Karlin
    Looks like the protests in Iran are dying down, and the risk of anything substantial happening seems to have receded.

    This is overall a good development, though the medium-term ramifications of this on Iran's Syria policy remains to be seen.

    Syria is stabilizing, so maybe they need less money in the future.

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  68. @KA
    This the way it works --- " Veteran Republican operative and self-described “ratfucker” Roger Stone is advocating for military operations, including drone strikes, in Somalia on behalf of his first lobbying client in 17 years.

    Stone recently disclosed that he had done lobbying work for a Buffalo-area company that acts as a middleman for the sale of African livestock to clients around the world. In his disclosure form, he formally said that he is pressing for “commodity rights and security” in Somalia and working on issues related to economic policy and commodity trading.

    But in text messages with The Daily Beast, Stone suggested that his work for the company—investment firm Capstone Financial Group—has focused on U.S. military and foreign policy as well." The Daily beast 1/4/18

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/roger-stones-new-gig-lobbying-for-drone-strikes-in-somalia?source=twitter&via=desktop"


    Now you might counterargue : we are discussing Iran not Somalia .

    Perhaps there will be a ground offensive although under a massive rolling airstrike. Syria shows that insurgency does not work, as McMaster says winning a war requires massive effort and you cannot worry about killing Russian advisers. Iran having some Russian links may well increase the likelihood of American military action against it.

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  69. @Randal
    I support free political speech mostly for practical reasons and in the particular context of my own country, not for ideological or universalist principles, though in the past I saw things differently. But I have watched as social liberalisation has destroyed most of the worthwhile things in my society and replaced them with an empty materialist individualism that retained no defences against social radicalism and globalist big business. It's probably too late for us.

    I doubt it’s a superficial issue for a lot of women
     
    Indeed. It's always important for those who seem to benefit from liberalisation in a particular area.

    So will the next step towards the triumph of feminism seem very important to women.

    it’s weird if you think it could be a state’s business to enforce a rigid dress code which seems to be resented by many
     
    "Resented by many" is not a good enough argument for loosening social controls. The point is that the costs of such changes always seem distant, slight or doubtful at the time, and the arguments for "reasonableness" and "compromise" so plausible. But the slope is always slippery, and every retreat makes it harder to hold at the next line.

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I'm not Iranian so it's not my business how they run their society. But I've seen it happen over my lifetime here (though the process started a generation or two previously) and I suspect it can happen in a place like Iran just as easily. Many moderates in Britain in the early C20th thought it was only reasonable to concede more basic freedoms and "equalities" to women, to people who chose to engage in homosexual activity etc, and those same people would be appalled at what it has led to just a few decades down the line. It stands to reason that conservative Iranians should probably bear the experience of the formerly Christian US sphere liberal democracies in mind if and when they ever consider compromises like that one.

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I’m not Iranian so it’s not my business how they run their society.

    If would be optimal if this statement was true–in Iran, and everywhere. But it is not true. Power rules, and the clerics in power in Iran are ruthless.

    Dictatorship may have a superficial appeal–the trains run on time–but it always leads to an abuse of government power over the individual.

    I wish the Iranian people well and pray they can remove the oppressive yolk of the theocracy off their necks.

    If they can accomplish this, perhaps the West can try for once to be friends to the Iranians and not try to undermine the nation and its people for selfish ends.

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    • Replies: @Mitleser

    Dictatorship may have a superficial appeal–the trains run on time–but it always leads to an abuse of government power over the individual.
     
    Good thing the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a dictatorship. ;)
    , @Randal
    As Mitleser has already pointed out, Iran is not a dictatorship so any criticisms based upon claimed general characteristics of dictatorships are invalid.

    Imo Iran is best viewed as a constitutionally constrained democratic republic like the US, only with a theocratic constitutional constraint rather than the US's plutocratic one. There are differences obviously, but so there should be in the constitutional settlements suited to such different nations.

    Whether the present theocratic constitution will be suitable for Iranians long term remains to be seen, but it appears to retain broad popular support in Iran so far, given the general failure of attempts at mass insurrection to date, as in 2009. And that should be regarded as quite remarkable in view of the active and massively funded subversion activity by Iran's enemies, as well as the immense economic costs of refusing to kowtow to the US and Israel.

    Time will tell, but for now there's no reason I think to see Iran's settlement as any more unwanted by Iranians than the US's by Americans, mutatis mutandis. Both have their discontents, of course, but Iran's tend to get much more prominence in the US sphere media for rather obvious reasons.
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  70. @lavoisier

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I’m not Iranian so it’s not my business how they run their society.
     
    If would be optimal if this statement was true--in Iran, and everywhere. But it is not true. Power rules, and the clerics in power in Iran are ruthless.

    Dictatorship may have a superficial appeal--the trains run on time--but it always leads to an abuse of government power over the individual.

    I wish the Iranian people well and pray they can remove the oppressive yolk of the theocracy off their necks.

    If they can accomplish this, perhaps the West can try for once to be friends to the Iranians and not try to undermine the nation and its people for selfish ends.

    Dictatorship may have a superficial appeal–the trains run on time–but it always leads to an abuse of government power over the individual.

    Good thing the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a dictatorship. ;)

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  71. @lavoisier

    In the end, it will be up to Iranians, and I’m not Iranian so it’s not my business how they run their society.
     
    If would be optimal if this statement was true--in Iran, and everywhere. But it is not true. Power rules, and the clerics in power in Iran are ruthless.

    Dictatorship may have a superficial appeal--the trains run on time--but it always leads to an abuse of government power over the individual.

    I wish the Iranian people well and pray they can remove the oppressive yolk of the theocracy off their necks.

    If they can accomplish this, perhaps the West can try for once to be friends to the Iranians and not try to undermine the nation and its people for selfish ends.

    As Mitleser has already pointed out, Iran is not a dictatorship so any criticisms based upon claimed general characteristics of dictatorships are invalid.

    Imo Iran is best viewed as a constitutionally constrained democratic republic like the US, only with a theocratic constitutional constraint rather than the US’s plutocratic one. There are differences obviously, but so there should be in the constitutional settlements suited to such different nations.

    Whether the present theocratic constitution will be suitable for Iranians long term remains to be seen, but it appears to retain broad popular support in Iran so far, given the general failure of attempts at mass insurrection to date, as in 2009. And that should be regarded as quite remarkable in view of the active and massively funded subversion activity by Iran’s enemies, as well as the immense economic costs of refusing to kowtow to the US and Israel.

    Time will tell, but for now there’s no reason I think to see Iran’s settlement as any more unwanted by Iranians than the US’s by Americans, mutatis mutandis. Both have their discontents, of course, but Iran’s tend to get much more prominence in the US sphere media for rather obvious reasons.

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    • Replies: @lavoisier
    Totally disagree.

    The theocracy decides who can run for office and who cannot.

    They hold total power. If you believe that the current theocracy is supported by the majority of the Iranian people I would have to see evidence supporting that belief.

    My sample size is admittedly limited and confined to those who have fled the nation, but I have never met an Iranian expatriate who supported the theocrats of Iran.

    Do you really believe that a majority of the Iranian people living in Iran support the theocracy?

    They are the only game in town and their power comes from ruthless coercion. They are cruel bastards who torture and kill their own people.

    How is that not a dictatorship, even if they call it a Republic?
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  72. @Randal
    As Mitleser has already pointed out, Iran is not a dictatorship so any criticisms based upon claimed general characteristics of dictatorships are invalid.

    Imo Iran is best viewed as a constitutionally constrained democratic republic like the US, only with a theocratic constitutional constraint rather than the US's plutocratic one. There are differences obviously, but so there should be in the constitutional settlements suited to such different nations.

    Whether the present theocratic constitution will be suitable for Iranians long term remains to be seen, but it appears to retain broad popular support in Iran so far, given the general failure of attempts at mass insurrection to date, as in 2009. And that should be regarded as quite remarkable in view of the active and massively funded subversion activity by Iran's enemies, as well as the immense economic costs of refusing to kowtow to the US and Israel.

    Time will tell, but for now there's no reason I think to see Iran's settlement as any more unwanted by Iranians than the US's by Americans, mutatis mutandis. Both have their discontents, of course, but Iran's tend to get much more prominence in the US sphere media for rather obvious reasons.

    Totally disagree.

    The theocracy decides who can run for office and who cannot.

    They hold total power. If you believe that the current theocracy is supported by the majority of the Iranian people I would have to see evidence supporting that belief.

    My sample size is admittedly limited and confined to those who have fled the nation, but I have never met an Iranian expatriate who supported the theocrats of Iran.

    Do you really believe that a majority of the Iranian people living in Iran support the theocracy?

    They are the only game in town and their power comes from ruthless coercion. They are cruel bastards who torture and kill their own people.

    How is that not a dictatorship, even if they call it a Republic?

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    • Replies: @Randal

    The theocracy decides who can run for office and who cannot.
     
    Which, in practice, is the role of the plutocracy in the US.


    My sample size is admittedly limited and confined to those who have fled the nation, but I have never met an Iranian expatriate who supported the theocrats of Iran.
     
    I think you've answered your own question there.

    One of the things I have learned over many decades now of observing events worldwide, but especially in the ME, is never, ever, ever, to take seriously the views of expats with regard to the opinions of the people of their home country, when those expats are claiming widespread discontent or disapproval of the government.

    Another, by the way, is to heavily discount such people's claims of general abuses and corruption on the part of the government of their home country, even when it is indeed a heavy-handedly authoritarian post-revolutionary regime facing very real externally-backed threats like Iran's.

    How is that not a dictatorship, even if they call it a Republic?
     
    It's not a dictatorship because there is no dictator. Khamenei certainly is not a dictator - he wields extensive power within a constitutionally constrained government system with clearly delineated constitutional roles.

    Do you really believe that a majority of the Iranian people living in Iran support the theocracy?
     
    To broadly a similar extent as the people of America support their own constitutional settlement, yes. It would not have survived in 2009 otherwise, and would have degenerated into a dictatorship long before now. Iranians take their politics immensely seriously. Their presidential (and other) elections are not Potemkin structures, nor even mere governmental referendums as Karlin recently described the Russian presidential elections.

    It really mattered to Iranians whether Ahmadinejad or Mousavi won in 2009, which is why there was such a Democrat-like outpouring of sour grapes by the "reformists" when their man lost, much as with Clinton in the US. It probably matters more than whether the Democrat or Republican plutocrat wins in a typical US Presidential election (and has as little real significance for foreign policy as well).

    The US settlement has the advantages of long establishment and of having been the system in place during the rise of a continental great power to superpower status (more due to circumstantial advantages than any inherent advantages of the system), as against Iran where the system is relatively recent and in a country facing continuous economic warfare and well-funded subversion against it, Nevertheless, there is no shortage of Americans who will swear to you that their system is profoundly corrupt in the service of "the 1%" etc etc, and they have strong arguments to deploy.
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  73. @lavoisier
    Totally disagree.

    The theocracy decides who can run for office and who cannot.

    They hold total power. If you believe that the current theocracy is supported by the majority of the Iranian people I would have to see evidence supporting that belief.

    My sample size is admittedly limited and confined to those who have fled the nation, but I have never met an Iranian expatriate who supported the theocrats of Iran.

    Do you really believe that a majority of the Iranian people living in Iran support the theocracy?

    They are the only game in town and their power comes from ruthless coercion. They are cruel bastards who torture and kill their own people.

    How is that not a dictatorship, even if they call it a Republic?

    The theocracy decides who can run for office and who cannot.

    Which, in practice, is the role of the plutocracy in the US.

    My sample size is admittedly limited and confined to those who have fled the nation, but I have never met an Iranian expatriate who supported the theocrats of Iran.

    I think you’ve answered your own question there.

    One of the things I have learned over many decades now of observing events worldwide, but especially in the ME, is never, ever, ever, to take seriously the views of expats with regard to the opinions of the people of their home country, when those expats are claiming widespread discontent or disapproval of the government.

    Another, by the way, is to heavily discount such people’s claims of general abuses and corruption on the part of the government of their home country, even when it is indeed a heavy-handedly authoritarian post-revolutionary regime facing very real externally-backed threats like Iran’s.

    How is that not a dictatorship, even if they call it a Republic?

    It’s not a dictatorship because there is no dictator. Khamenei certainly is not a dictator – he wields extensive power within a constitutionally constrained government system with clearly delineated constitutional roles.

    Do you really believe that a majority of the Iranian people living in Iran support the theocracy?

    To broadly a similar extent as the people of America support their own constitutional settlement, yes. It would not have survived in 2009 otherwise, and would have degenerated into a dictatorship long before now. Iranians take their politics immensely seriously. Their presidential (and other) elections are not Potemkin structures, nor even mere governmental referendums as Karlin recently described the Russian presidential elections.

    It really mattered to Iranians whether Ahmadinejad or Mousavi won in 2009, which is why there was such a Democrat-like outpouring of sour grapes by the “reformists” when their man lost, much as with Clinton in the US. It probably matters more than whether the Democrat or Republican plutocrat wins in a typical US Presidential election (and has as little real significance for foreign policy as well).

    The US settlement has the advantages of long establishment and of having been the system in place during the rise of a continental great power to superpower status (more due to circumstantial advantages than any inherent advantages of the system), as against Iran where the system is relatively recent and in a country facing continuous economic warfare and well-funded subversion against it, Nevertheless, there is no shortage of Americans who will swear to you that their system is profoundly corrupt in the service of “the 1%” etc etc, and they have strong arguments to deploy.

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    • Replies: @JL
    It's interesting how people seem unaware of expats' tendencies to unfairly and subjectively disparage the countries they left. This goes beyond political views, which may have been the reason, or at least part of the reason, they left in the first place. It's a psychological phenomenon that one wishes to confirm one's own life choices. I speak from personal experience.
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  74. @Randal

    The theocracy decides who can run for office and who cannot.
     
    Which, in practice, is the role of the plutocracy in the US.


    My sample size is admittedly limited and confined to those who have fled the nation, but I have never met an Iranian expatriate who supported the theocrats of Iran.
     
    I think you've answered your own question there.

    One of the things I have learned over many decades now of observing events worldwide, but especially in the ME, is never, ever, ever, to take seriously the views of expats with regard to the opinions of the people of their home country, when those expats are claiming widespread discontent or disapproval of the government.

    Another, by the way, is to heavily discount such people's claims of general abuses and corruption on the part of the government of their home country, even when it is indeed a heavy-handedly authoritarian post-revolutionary regime facing very real externally-backed threats like Iran's.

    How is that not a dictatorship, even if they call it a Republic?
     
    It's not a dictatorship because there is no dictator. Khamenei certainly is not a dictator - he wields extensive power within a constitutionally constrained government system with clearly delineated constitutional roles.

    Do you really believe that a majority of the Iranian people living in Iran support the theocracy?
     
    To broadly a similar extent as the people of America support their own constitutional settlement, yes. It would not have survived in 2009 otherwise, and would have degenerated into a dictatorship long before now. Iranians take their politics immensely seriously. Their presidential (and other) elections are not Potemkin structures, nor even mere governmental referendums as Karlin recently described the Russian presidential elections.

    It really mattered to Iranians whether Ahmadinejad or Mousavi won in 2009, which is why there was such a Democrat-like outpouring of sour grapes by the "reformists" when their man lost, much as with Clinton in the US. It probably matters more than whether the Democrat or Republican plutocrat wins in a typical US Presidential election (and has as little real significance for foreign policy as well).

    The US settlement has the advantages of long establishment and of having been the system in place during the rise of a continental great power to superpower status (more due to circumstantial advantages than any inherent advantages of the system), as against Iran where the system is relatively recent and in a country facing continuous economic warfare and well-funded subversion against it, Nevertheless, there is no shortage of Americans who will swear to you that their system is profoundly corrupt in the service of "the 1%" etc etc, and they have strong arguments to deploy.

    It’s interesting how people seem unaware of expats’ tendencies to unfairly and subjectively disparage the countries they left. This goes beyond political views, which may have been the reason, or at least part of the reason, they left in the first place. It’s a psychological phenomenon that one wishes to confirm one’s own life choices. I speak from personal experience.

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    • Replies: @Randal

    It’s interesting how people seem unaware of expats’ tendencies to unfairly and subjectively disparage the countries they left.
     
    You would think, wouldn't you, that it is mere common sense to recognise this likelihood, but I think when people are thinking about a country that is as comprehensively demonised in the media as Iran is, or any of the other countries that are targeted for regime change by US sphere elites, they tend to just accept such criticisms without thinking critically about what motives the person expressing them might have for misrepresenting or exaggerating the situation.

    This goes beyond political views, which may have been the reason, or at least part of the reason, they left in the first place. It’s a psychological phenomenon that one wishes to confirm one’s own life choices. I speak from personal experience.
     
    A very relevant point, in terms of explaining some of the emotional power there often clearly is behind the often vitriolic criticisms by expats (and their families) of their homelands.

    In the cases of the countries targeted for regime change, combine it with a general human tendency to say what you think your new hosts want to hear, and the career enhancements to be had from pushing an establishment line, along with in some cases a hope of direct personal profit from any downfall of the home regime, and you have a powerful engine to generate war propaganda.

    What was your own experience, if you are willing to discuss it in general terms? If you are aware of that tendency in yourself (as I infer from your comment), then you are either unusually self-aware or you have grown beyond the tendency and are looking back on it, presumably.
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  75. @JL
    It's interesting how people seem unaware of expats' tendencies to unfairly and subjectively disparage the countries they left. This goes beyond political views, which may have been the reason, or at least part of the reason, they left in the first place. It's a psychological phenomenon that one wishes to confirm one's own life choices. I speak from personal experience.

    It’s interesting how people seem unaware of expats’ tendencies to unfairly and subjectively disparage the countries they left.

    You would think, wouldn’t you, that it is mere common sense to recognise this likelihood, but I think when people are thinking about a country that is as comprehensively demonised in the media as Iran is, or any of the other countries that are targeted for regime change by US sphere elites, they tend to just accept such criticisms without thinking critically about what motives the person expressing them might have for misrepresenting or exaggerating the situation.

    This goes beyond political views, which may have been the reason, or at least part of the reason, they left in the first place. It’s a psychological phenomenon that one wishes to confirm one’s own life choices. I speak from personal experience.

    A very relevant point, in terms of explaining some of the emotional power there often clearly is behind the often vitriolic criticisms by expats (and their families) of their homelands.

    In the cases of the countries targeted for regime change, combine it with a general human tendency to say what you think your new hosts want to hear, and the career enhancements to be had from pushing an establishment line, along with in some cases a hope of direct personal profit from any downfall of the home regime, and you have a powerful engine to generate war propaganda.

    What was your own experience, if you are willing to discuss it in general terms? If you are aware of that tendency in yourself (as I infer from your comment), then you are either unusually self-aware or you have grown beyond the tendency and are looking back on it, presumably.

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  76. Having lived the first half of my life in the US, and then moving to Russia, where my life experience has been overwhelmingly positive, to put it mildly, I often find myself falling into this very trap. There’s a fair amount of emotional baggage involved due to the very tumultuous relations of specifically these two countries. As such, I’ve tried to develop some heuristics to counter this, and its corollary, which would be romanticizing my adopted homeland.

    I’d like to think of myself as self-aware, but that’s often tough to judge. Nor do I feel that I’ve grown beyond the tendency. I suppose my approach is largely a result of my former life working on a trading desk. As AK, very perceptively, pointed out recently, creating an alternate reality in that line of work is a quick path to ruin. You learn to constantly check your biases, look for blind spots, and try to prove yourself wrong. It’s a dirty, parasitic business, if truth be told, but not entirely without its saving graces.

    Incidentally, this is something I’ve found AK handles particularly well in his drive to understand and transmit reality. I originally started following his Russia blog, and was impressed to learn that he was a Russian expat living in the US, it struck me as unusual. For most of the people who emigrated from the SU/Russia in the 80s or 90s, Russia is perpetually either Soviet Communist hell or Yeltsin-era poverty and chaos.

    Granted, since his move back to Russia, it feels as if he may be overcompensating a bit, though I suspect this has more to do with the Ghirkin/Prosvirnin crowd he’s fallen in with. These guys swallow black pills by the fistful. They probably have one white pill, mounted carefully in a display case, with a hammer and a sign by it that reads: “Break the glass in the event your wild, unrealistic fantasies come true. All of them. At the same time.”

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