What is the worst act of the Iranian government towards another nation?

Discussion in 'History' started by S.A.M., Nov 30, 2010.

  1. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    It looks to me like page one was confused and page 2 through 9 were off topic.

    Now I remember somebody did mention the Iran Iraq war but Iraq started that war and I don't know at what point Iran should be faulted for not making peace. When did the Iraqi's figure out that they would not win. Did Iran ever turn down a peace offer from Iraq?
     
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  3. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    The playground logic of "he started it!" obscures more than it reveals, when it comes to questions of war and peace (or even, playground scuffles). The real causes of real wars seldom match up to the black-and-white narratives that the combatants use to reinforce their self-righteousness.
     
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  5. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    In this case the USA and Iraq's neighbors encouraged the war. They feared Islamic populism and feared Shia uprising. The USA wanted Iran punished for overthrowing it's ally and holding the hostages and not showing respect for the Godfather. Most importantly everyone assumed Iran was weak and that the Shah's military was in shambles. Iraq would get to add more than the disputed waterway. Iraq would get to add the entire Arab region of Iran which had much of Iran's oil.

    Iraq did start that war.
     
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  7. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    Which is to say that the erection of a Revolutionary Shia state right next door to Iraq was destabilizing and threatening to the region, and so precipitated a reaction. From Saddam's point of view, this was all a prudent response to a huge, new threat, no?

    Everybody always thinks that the other side started it, and that they're just responding to provocations. And everybody is always wrong - war is an extension of political conflict, and political conflict is an emergent phenomenon of systems of conflicting interest. It's not the case that there's a good guy and a bad guy, and without the bad guy there wouldn't be political conflicts.

    The second of which was an act of war, note.

    So there were pre-existing territorial disputes that contributed to the conflict.

    And likewise, a long-standing political divide between Arabs and Persians that contributed.

    There's no question that Iraq invaded Iran. The question is what the episode tells us about Iran - it won't do to simply write such off as some bolt-from-the-blue aberration without any bearing on Iran's standing in the region, foreign relations, political ideology, military capabilities, etc. This episode tells us a lot, provided we resist the temptation to a facile "he started it" analysis. That's the stuff of victor's justice, not serious analysis.
     
  8. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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  9. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    Well now we have a Shia government in Iraq, courtesy of the US. So whatever the alleged destabilising effects of the revolutionary Shia ascendency in Iran, it seems that it mattered little to the future of Iraq. The Iraqi people, who are majority Shia, look up to the Ayatollah in any case

    With the US having nudged Iran out of a secular parliamentary democracy and now having blasted Iraq out of a secular state - even if it was under their recalcitrant puppet, Saddam, what do you think will be the effects of US intervention in the region?

    For those who are keeping track, worst acts of the Iranian government against a foreign state

    1. The last six years of offensive defense against Iraq in the Iran Iraq war
    2. The student takeover of the US embassy at the end of the 25 year reign of the despotic Shah
     
  10. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    In mainstream historical consciousness in the USA, the US Embassy takeover and Hostage Crisis loom much larger than the Iran-Iraq war, completely overshadowing 1.5 million lives (2/3 of them Iranian, with US complicity). We cherish our nationalist pride far above the lives of strange people, and we will defend our pride (especially when it is wounded) with an unwavering tenacity to the point of complete disability of empathy, and complete distraction from consideration of human lives and freedom. Iran's most fateful act by far has been (and continues to be) defiance of the USA.
     
  11. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    I don't agree with you on several levels.
    Of course people were aware of the war, but since Americans weren't fighting on either side, it was just one of many global conflicts that we can observe but are not actively involved in.
    You can't STOP a war unless you join one side or the other, so to expect us to get in the middle of their territorial dispute makes no sense. (We did covertly aid the Iranians however (not a whole lot but they were flying American planes, the F4, F5 and F14, and we used that to get some concessions for us in other areas), it was primarily the Russians and French who aided/armed Iraq (Migs, Tanks and rockets).

    The Embassy takeover was of course something else entirely, since an Embassy is supposedly soveriegn and the captives were Americans, and so we did try to get them released (and our attempt to rescue them was primarily a rescue mission, it's plan was to land in a soccer field nearby and get them out, not kill Iranians. It failed because of the desert conditions at the refuel point), and of course this did occur within the context of a presidential election here, so the news coverage was even greater then it would have been otherwise.

    Arthur
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2010
  12. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    The USA did not (on the whole) aid Iran in their war with Iraq. The converse was predominately the case. Pre-revolution weaponry did remain after the Shah's regime collapsed. There were also some anomalies: In a post-revolution hostage deal (not the Embassy personnel released 20 minutes after Reagan's inauguraton) the Reagan Administration did covertly pass anti-tank weapons to Iran. But official US/Israeli policy over the course of the Iran-Iraq war was decisively pro-Iraq, included billions of dollars in aid and training, which far outweighed the shady deals and legacy equipment that Iran's revolutionary government enjoyed. The USA and Israel have never been friendly with Iran since the fall of the Shah.
     
  13. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Didn't say we were friendly with Iran, but on the other hand we provided less than 1% of Iraq's Military imports.

    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/001853.html

    Arthur
     
  14. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    It's called "nationalism," and it's hardly unique to any particular country. Indeed, the power of such identification to organize violence around is exactly the reason that nations have formed the basis of global political organization for many generations now. Would-be replacements tend to quickly get hamstrung by the raw power of nationalism.

    And then, once that was over, decisively anti-Iraq, to an extent that far outweighed whatever help Saddam received during the 1980's. And, given the long-standing hostility between Iraq and Iran, and Saddam's regional status as "bullwark against the Persians," that amounted to an implicitly pro-Iran policy (zero-sum game as regional power struggles are). It has been widely noted that the removal of Saddam probably did more to strengthen Iran's regional position and influence than anything else in modern history.
     
  15. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Iran's gains were blowback- unintended consequences of hubristic US nationalism and interventionism.
     
  16. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Returning in passing to the OP:

    The debate seems kind of pointless, founded on this "US-atomic bomb-WWII-Europeans-Americans-did-bad-things" axis popular now: is the question not more whether the attitudes of the Iranian government is condusive to peace or antagonism? Frankly, they seem fanatical, reactionary and expansionistic. (I won't get into the Iran-Iraq war, but leave that debate to everyone else.) While I don't consider them the "bogeyman of the day", I agree that others do.

    As a good example of a country nationalistic while still "safe", I would suggest Sweden, for starters.
     
  17. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    "Unintended" or otherwise, they were foreseeable - indeed, forseen - outcomes that were accepted as such at the time. Iran has gotten into a position to contend for regional hegemony precisely because the US has spent the past 20 years systematically weakening and removing nearby regimes that acted as checks on Iranian influence.
     
  18. hypewaders Save Changes Registered Senior Member

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    Iran's influence consistently became stronger in direct proportion to US & Israeli interventions in the Mideast- precisely where those interventions occured; blowback.
     
  19. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe it's those end-times Christians again, hoping for the imam in the well.
     
  20. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

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    That's not what "blowback" is.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Blowback is the espionage term for the violent, unintended consequences of a covert operation that are suffered by the civil population of the aggressor government."

    The term for alterations in regional power dynamics stemming from politico-military activities is "war." As in: the USA has been going to war for Iran for 20 years now; knowingly, systematically destroying Iran's primary enemies and threats, at considerable cost to the USA. It's worth understanding why such occurred, and what the larger dynamic is. Gains in Iranian influence are anticipated, expected outcomes of the success of these wars (so "blowback" gets it very wrong indeed).
     

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