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Monday, November 13, 2006

Amazing And Terrifying

This is truly amazing stuff. It leaves me wordless and grasping, but Dr. Sanity didn't even her recuperation from knee surgery stop her. One of the comments was something like "I'll never be ashamed again for using the word dingbat." (Update: For those who want to read what the Iran of today is really like, Amir Taheri describes it accurately in this Arab News article. See the end for a description of the conditions in this "worker's paradise". This is not socialism - it's a brand of fascism very akin to Mussolini's Italy, although even more unjust. The country is headed for disaster and so is now very dangerous.)

Yeah, dingbat is too kind. "Moral zero" would be more accurate.

Nonetheless, it is this type of sentiment which is the driving force behind Pelosi's contingent. I think David of Photon Courier accurately summarized my worries:
...what scares me most about the Democratic victory is that the leadership of this party does not seem to understand that the threats we face are existential in nature--that devastating harm to this country, and to civilization itself, are well within the realm of possibility--and still less does the Democratic leadership understand the nature of those who oppose us.
He's right - they really don't. They are self-referential; they assume that everyone shares their worldview, and they believe that somehow the US is not threatened. Nancy Pelosi has been consistently against any realistic effort to bolster our internal energy sources, consistently against fighting terrorism abroad, and consistently against any real efforts to increase internal security. It's an amazing record.

From Amir Taheri's article:
Workers’ grievances can be summed up in three demands.

The first is to lift the ban on trade unions and recognize the workers’ right to take industrial action. Under a protocol signed between the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Islamic republic during Khatami’s presidency, this was supposed to happen in 2004 but did not.

The second demand is to amend the Labor Code, enacted under the mullahs, to restore the pro-worker clauses contained in pre-revolution legislature. The current Labor Code allows employers to hire and fire workers virtually as they please. More than 85 percent of all urban workers are hired under short-term contracts, often less than 40 days. Many employers ask the prospective employee to sign an undated letter of resignation before taking up the job.

These practices, initially limited to the private sector, have in recent years spread to the public sector as well. As a result an estimated 12 million workers, out of a work force of some 25 million, have virtually no social protection, health coverage, or pension scheme.

The employers including in the massive public sector, know that widespread unemployment, estimated officially to stand around 10.6 percent, means that they can always have access to an abundant source of cheap and vulnerable labor. This is especially so because unemployment rate for workers aged between 15 and 25 is estimated at over 40 percent.

The third demand put forward by Iranian workers is to develop a mechanism for consultation and negotiation among labor, industry and the government.

“No society can progress without dialogue,” says Hassan Dehqan, a labor leader. “We cannot allow the authorities and the employers to decide our fate without even consulting us.”

Apart from these three “imperatives”, the workers also want those of their colleagues sent to jail released and those expelled after taking part in industrial action to be reinstated. No one knows how many workers are in prison. But several sources put the number at “many hundreds.” The number of workers expelled as a form of punishment is said to run into thousands.

Workers also demand that government intervene to make sure they get paid on time. According to Massoud Cheraghi, a paper factory worker, some employees have not been paid for 26 months.


I have always sincerely admired your open-mindedness, but I think you blew it today. Dr. Sanity's post is as disingenuous as it gets. Did you read the entire Daily Kos article? It details why we shouldn't go to war with Iran--how it would be for the wrong reasons, and not in Americans' best interests. Now, to disagree with that opinion is well and good, but please think twice before you believe the disingenuous doctor's hysterical assertions. No rational person could read that article and conclude that "the left" loves Iran and wants to make America like Iran. Complete non sequitur that serves no purpose other than hatemongering.
Anon - Here's some quotes from the article (in order):
"Iran must be attacked soon to prevent it becoming an examplar of economic progress and a regional power, and the plan is to permanently impoverish Iranians by stealing their oil wealth.
Iran has invested its oil wealth in universal education, healthcare, infrastructure bringing clean water and electricity to more than 98 percent of its people, and economic progress. ... The social and economic achievements of the revolutionary regime in Iran in the past 25 years look quite progressive in reducing poverty and social inequalities, and as the society liberalises toward a more secular democratic regime, even better progress can be expected in the future."
(Comparing Iran to the US):
"Every society is different, and our values are not their values in some ways, but which government best serves the interests of its people is an open question in my mind given that the vast majority of Iranians have benefitted from the social and economic progress of the past 25 years."

The writer claims that Iran doesn't want to destroy Israel, and that the "determined Zionists" in Israel are extremely dangerous. But not, as it appears, more dangerous than the US:
"Whenever a state became too successful, a secret US-backed militia could go in and blow up a mosque or two, or assassinate a moderate compromiser like Hariri, to get the strife rolling again."

The US hasn't been blowing up mosques or assassinating Hariri.

Anyway, thanks for your argument, but I concluded that the writer of the article wants the US to become more like what the writer IMAGINES Iran to be.

Iran is actually a theocratically supported oligarchy similar to the Mexico of my childhood.
I do think the writer of that article agrees with this statement.:
The Iranian reformist daily Sharq reported that Assembly of Experts head and Association of (Religious) Lecturers of Qom Seminaries Secretary-General Ayatollah Ali Meshkini called the U.S. and England "two cancerous growths for the other countries." Meshkini said: "The Iranian people must know that America and England are two cancerous growths, and [they] will destroy any country if they enter its body... In light of what happened in Afghanistan and in Iraq, the democracy of America has been revealed to all the people, and they have realized what democracy in America and England is."
Nothing you've said provides any reason why the United States should attack Iran.

Which was kind of the point all along.
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