War with Iran – a Disaster in the Making

The recent announcement that an EU embargo on Iranian oil imports is to be put in place serves to up the ante in the ongoing tension between the West and the Islamic Republic over Iran’s nuclear programme. Iran’s pledge to close the Strait of Hormuz, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil supplies are transported on a daily basis, if new measures are taken against it will now be tested, bringing closer the prospect of military confrontation. Moreover, the EU announcement comes on the back of a series of Iranian military exercises involving missile tests close to the strait, and in the wake of the successful downing, intact, of a US spy drone by the Iranian military.

What shouldn’t be lost amid the welter of anti-Iranian propaganda presented as serious analysis of this escalating stand-off in the West, is that the current obsession with Iran as the embodiment of evil is the product of a colonial mindset that remains every bit as entrenched in the collective psyche of western elites today as it was back when Iran was viewed by those same elites as the metaphorical equivalent of an ATM machine – available for their sole and unimpeded use as a source of cheap natural resources.

Over the past year the momentum towards war has been building at an alarming pace. Hawks in Israel and the US have been exerting increasing influence over the issue, and most recently we have witnessed a more bellicose position being adopted the British government. In this those friends of liberty and human rights, the Saudis, have exerted themselves in the role of cheerleader in chief.

In that time we have witnessed the expulsion of the Iranian Ambassador and his staff from Britain in response to an attack on the British Embassy in Tehran, the uncovering by US intelligence of an alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the US Saudi ambassador, and from inside Iran there have been reports of explosions at various nuclear sites, along with the assassination of key personnel within the country’s nuclear programme.

The logical conclusion to be drawn from the aforementioned, not to mention the devastation suffered by Iraq and NATO’s intervention in Libya, has to be that if Iran was not engaged in the development of a nuclear weapon before, it would be foolish not to be developing one now.

Ever since the fall of the Shah in 1979 and the emergence of the Islamic Republic in the place of his pro-western regime, Iran has been the object of deep hostility. A history of colonial exploitation dating back to the early 20th century, throughout which the nation’s oil resources were plundered mainly by British oil companies, was compounded by the western orchestrated coup to bring down the then Iranian Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, in 1953 for the crime of nationalising those same resources.

In this part of the world history is no mere academic pastime but a living, breathing entity. And the history of western colonialism in Iran is one that the vast majority of Iranians are extremely familiar with. Indeed, the rise of political Islam in the 1970s in Iran should be understood as a reflex against the ideas and cultural values associated with the West and its puppet dictator, the Shah, whose secret police, the SAVAK, were acknowledged as the most brutal in the region.

When the Shah was still in power the United States utilised a twin pillar approach to asserting its military and strategic dominance of the Persian Gulf, via Iran and Saudi Arabia. Both nations were the recipients of massive amounts of military aid to shore up their role in this regard. This was during the Cold War, when the emphasis of western planners was on countering Soviet influence in the region.

Ever since the Shah was deposed during a popular revolution led by Islamists, Iran has been in the crosshairs of western intervention. A year after the revolution, Saddam was encouraged to invade Iran, citing fears of a region-wide Shia uprising. The US and its allies funded and armed the Iraqi dictator throughout the resulting eight years of the Iran-Iraq war, which ended in stalemate and a catastrophic loss of life on both sides.

In the three decades since, the preferred method of confrontation with Iran has been in the form of economic sanctions. However, with the advent and spread of the Arab Spring in 2011 providing the West with an opportunity to mount a renewed offensive against any regime that opposes its influence in the region, conditions have clearly been judged favourable when it comes to the deployment of hard power.

Currently, Israel is thought to possess anywhere between 200 and 400 nuclear missiles, developed and amassed covertly outside the strictures of the IAEA. This is a regional power imbalance that Israel is determined to maintain at all costs, up to and including war. Here, it shouldn’t be forgotten that oil makes up 80 percent of Iranian exports, making the development of nuclear energy as an alternative source of fuel for domestic use entirely logical.

Contrary to western propaganda, the Islamic Republic is not governed by a clutch of mad mullahs intent on nuclear armageddon. It is instead a regime having to deal with the very real threat posed to its survival by Israeli hawks and a massive US and western military presence in the region.

The refrain from both Washington and London is that where Iran is concerned, no option is off the table. This suggests that 2012 could well be a year of military conflict. If so, it will eclipse both Afghanistan and Iraq combined in terms of the devastation wrought and its global impact. Iran is not Iraq. Nor is it Libya. It is a nation of 70 million people with a huge military and an arsenal of conventional missiles that could destroy every Israeli town and city, not to mention wreak carnage on US and western forces in the region. Moreover, the one thing guaranteed to unite Iranians would be a military attack on their country launched by Israel and the West.

War with Iran would be a disaster for all involved.

87 comments on “War with Iran – a Disaster in the Making

  1. John Edwards on said:

    Craig Murray has just published some more information on his website about the extent of contacts between Adam Werrity, Liam Fox’s “advisor” and Matthew Gould, UK Ambassador to Israel and preiously as Private Secretary to both Labour and COnservative Foreign Secretaries David Miliband and William Hague. More evidence of covert planning to attack Iran

  2. Who are you.Yes,we can do to you,as you, would do to us.Don!t believe you have ever said on Socialist Unity.

  3. ex-Labour voter on said:

    The countries of the west all encouraged Iran to build nuclear power sations when the Shah was in power. Iran has every right to acquire nuclear power now (that does not mean that it is a good idea or that I agree with it).

    I had to laugh when Hillary Clinton condemned the behaviour concerning the British Embassy.
    When her husband was the president, the U S bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade and pretended it was an accident.

    The whole Iranian thing seems to me to be a very artificial crisis. If we were that worried about them acquiring nuclear weapons then a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East would be an obvious response.

  4. Jellytot on said:

    @4Iran has every right to acquire nuclear power now (that does not mean that it is a good idea or that I agree with it)

    This accords with my thinking.

    But any hardheaded assessment by the Iranians would have to take into the account the fate of Gadaffi, who traded the dismantling of chemical/heavy weapons programmes for understanding and accommodation with the West, post-9/11.

    And look where he is now ?!

    I am very fearful of the looming clash with Iran, coming as it does in the fevered US Election year.

    Paradoxically, as John notes, any attack (not involving a ground invasion) would more than likely strengthen the regime politically.

  5. David Ellis on said:

    Of course whilst condeming the war-mongering of the imperialists it should be kept in mind that the fascistic theocracy has an interest in cranking up the hostility. It must have been extremely spooked by the Arab Spring and the post-election demonstrations in Tehran and there is nothing like a bit of external threat to impose internal unity.

    Naturally Iran has the right to pursue a nuclear power programme and even acquire nuclear weapons if it so desires but the people of Iran should reject this wreckless course of action. Nuclear weapons will put Iran and the region in even greater danger than it already is in and a nuclear power programme is not a good idea in a country prone to earthquakes and terrorism.

    The people of Iran would be better off overthrowing the theocratic tyranny, introducing socialist and popular democracy and eschewing all things nuclear. It should announce a programme of investment in alternative engergy and throw itself on the mercy of world public opinion. This might not guarantee that Iran is left alone until imperialism itself has been overturned, and if it isn’t it will obviously have to fight back, but it gives it a good shot at avoiding a potentially catastrophic confrontation.

  6. jim mclean on said:

    China will kick up hell, too close for comfort, they were not bothered about Afghanistan as they just moved in while the west spent more silly money on futile wars.

  7. Jellytot on said:

    @6China will kick up hell

    Both the PRC and Russia will play their usual progressive role and do as much as they can to calm things but if Imperialism is determined to attack Iran then there is only so much that they can do.

    I have no love for the current set-up in Tehran but I am not naive enough not to recognise that if a Shah-like client state was reintroduced there then that would be one of the biggest victories for Imperialism in the post-war era.

  8. jim mclean on said:

    Jellytot:
    @6China will kick up hell

    Both the PRC and Russia will play their usual progressive role and do as much as they can to calm things but if Imperialism is determined to attack Iran then there is only so much that they can do.

    China could cut off the credit line, stop buying oil with dollars, a few non military options for China have opened up in the last decade.

  9. David Ellis on said:

    #8 `Both the PRC and Russia will play their usual progressive role’

    LOL. Russian imperialism and the Chinese stalinist police state playing a progressive role. Did you get that from a Christmas cracker?

    #9 `China could cut off the credit line, stop buying oil with dollars, a few non military options for China have opened up in the last decade.’

    China is completely dependent on the imperialist multi-nationals that have relocated to take advantage of slave labour and on imperialist markets.

  10. It will be interesting to see what an EU embargo actually means, as it is far from clear whether it will be a total embargo- highly unlikely given the long term existing contracts that German, French, Italian and Spanish companies have with the Iranian national oil or an embargo on new contracts and renewing time elapsed contracts- essentially meaningless.

    While Iran has been actively pursing, and being pursued by, Chinese, Indian and other Asian, African and Latin American buyers the EU still seems, from what I can see, to make up around 20% of Iranian oil exports, or some 450k out of 2.6 billion barrels. With Libya off line or near to it, Iraq still way below pre War levels- that’s a big hole in the EU’s energy supply- which is why I think the EU ‘stance’ is actually hot air.

    As with most EU statements I think the devil will be in the details, and the details are far from clear.

  11. Jellytot on said:

    @5Iran …..should announce a programme of investment in alternative engergy and throw itself on the mercy of world public opinion

    PMSL !

    Did you get that from a Christmas Cracker Dave ’cause it’s funny even by your bonkers standards? :-)

  12. jim mclean on said:

    If oil is stopped moving in the Gulf surely it will be all oil, just nipping down to fill up the tank.

  13. I’m seriously interested to know what David Ellis means by throwing themselves on the mercy of world public opinion.

    In fact what is world public opinion?

  14. Darkness at Noon,

    If you read the article it seems that the two Chinese buyers are actually seeking to renegotiate the contract terms, with a demand for 90 days instead of 60 days credit.
    It seems like a cynical attempt to cash in on prevailing stresses to Iranian exports for commercial gain than any bandwagoning on sanctions.

  15. Jellytot on said:

    @14 China and Russia will do their best to oppose and stop an attack. This may involve compromise and tactical positioning on very difficult diplomatic terrain.

    @15 In fact what is world public opinion?

    Got me stumped as well.

    UN, maybe ?

  16. David Ellis on said:

    #15 I’m mystified by your inability to grasp the concept but I suppose anybody who is a fan of a bunch of feudal fascistic theocrats, Russian imperialism, the Chinese Stalinist police state and 1940s US imperialism when it suits their stalinist purposes is one confused individual.

    #17 `China and Russia will do their best to oppose and stop an attack’

    If they do it will be for their own self-serving reasons. Is there anything remotely progressive about you?

  17. Jellytot on said:

    @18 I’m mystified by your inability to grasp the concept

    And I’m mystified by your continued ability to “Trot” out pie-in-the-sky, Ultra-Left verbiage.

    Alternative Energy, indeed !

    If they do it will be for their own self-serving reasons.

    Maybe David but won’t it be cool that tens of thousands of Iranians won’t be killed if they are successful?

  18. David Ellis on said:

    #20 Ahh here comes Omar the Stalinist’s friend. So you are behind the theocracy doing their bit to crank up the tension for their own self-serving internal reasons. What would you urge the Iranian people to do if you were a revolutionary in Tehran? You can answer or stick to personal abuse.

    #19 I’m interested that you think it is ultra-left to oppose the Iranian theocracy.

  19. #21
    I shall maintain dignified silence “David”, as I don’t think you are real. One of the sites admin hinted at such last month and your repetitive sloganeering merely reinforces this.

  20. Jellytot on said:

    @19I’m interested that you think it is ultra-left to oppose the Iranian theocracy.

    It’s not, in theory, but your words here are clearly Ultra-Left considering current political and social realites:

    The people of Iran would be better off overthrowing the theocratic tyranny, introducing socialist and popular democracy and eschewing all things nuclear. It should announce a programme of investment in alternative engergy and throw itself on the mercy of world public opinion.

    All sorts of things are good in theory but what’s the point in expousing them if they haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of coming to pass.

  21. David Ellis on said:

    #23 `All sorts of things are good in theory but what’s the point in expousing them if they haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of coming to pass.’

    And with that he rendered himself utterly pointless.

    #22 ` shall maintain dignified silence “David”, as I don’t think you are real. One of the sites admin hinted at such last month and your repetitive sloganeering merely reinforces this.’

    You call your worthless interjection at #20 a dignified silence? Deal with the politics or butt out.

  22. Jellytot on said:

    @22I shall maintain dignified silence “David”, as I don’t think you are real.

    A ‘David Ellis’ stood as a RESPECT candidate but it’s a common name so could obviously be somebody else or just a handle.

  23. David Ellis on said:

    #23 Three million people marched against the Iraq invasion. About 200 of them were marching for Saddam. No doubt you, Omar and Vanya will be marching for Ahmedinejad whilst the rest of us are concerned for the Iranian people (surely even more Iranians would be killed in an invasion and its aftermath than Iraqis were killed when it was invaded) , the fate of the region and the danger a war against Iran would pose to world peace. At this moment whilst it is still a possibility as it surely won’t be during or after an imperialist assault it would be seriously politically good if the Iranian working and popular masses were able to muster an Arab Spring style rebellion to overthrow the theocracy, eschew the nuclear programme and announce a new direction and not make peace with imperialism but certainly do their case no harm in the court of world public opinion.

  24. Jellytot on said:

    @24Deal with the politics or butt out

    Of course, David, your suggestion that Iran dismantles its nuclear programme and converts to solar energy and wind farms is “dealing with the politics” !

  25. Jellytot on said:

    @26No doubt you, Omar and Vanya will be marching for Ahmedinejad

    It’s Nick Cohen !

  26. I had thought that David Ellis might have taken to heart Tony C’s festive message. Clearly not.

    The ironic thing is that ‘World public opinion’ if it means anything could precisely mean a mixture of US imperialism, China, Iran or whatever.

    It is in fact a meaningless term devoid utterly even of class content which is why super-marxist David cannot explain what it means.

  27. @20

    I would love to see the trot equivalent of a post-modernism generator.

    I’m surprised economic concerns don’t play a more significant part in the argument here; the US is looking to shrink its military, hardly having the spare cash for another war, and Iran’s economy is a real mess with a crashing currency and massive youth unemployment in a region with rather riotous youth at the moment. To me this equals a lot of sabre rattling but not much more.

    We can talk about these things and denounce each other as Stalinists at the same time, surely?

  28. #31

    “I would love to see the trot equivalent of a post-modernism generator.”

    As I said, you don’t have to look far, “he” posts here regularly.

  29. #26 If the USA etc threaten to invade Iran I will be marching against that. I will expect to be accused of marching for the Iranian regime by reactionary tossers just as I was accused of marching for Saddam when I opposed the invasion of Iraq.

    Of course some reactionary tossers try to dress up their reactioanry nature by posing as socialists, including as so called marxists.

    And said reactionary tossers can be assured that they will be weighed in the balance in the judgement of “world public opinion” and no doubt vindicated in their own tiny minds.

    And if in doubt they can always accuse everyone who expresses any opinion whatosever on the subject of Israel and Palestine, including supporters of all Palestinian organisations, of being Zionists.

  30. Jellytot on said:

    @31I’m surprised economic concerns don’t play a more significant part in the argument here; the US is looking to shrink its military, hardly having the spare cash for another war

    Depends how they plan to fight it and with what weapons.

    This is interesting and presents further evidence, if more is needed, that the US’s top long term strategic goal is the surround and constrict the PRC and the aim for a cheaper, but just as destructive, military:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/05/barack-obama-plans-leaner-military

  31. World Public Opinion on said:

    All sorts of things are good in theory but what’s the point in expousing them if they haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of coming to pass.

    That goes double for all the commie crap you time-travellers, spout…

  32. Darkness at Noon on said:

    @pete shield:

    “It seems like a cynical attempt to cash in on prevailing stresses to Iranian exports for commercial gain than any bandwagoning on sanctions.”

    Yes, that was my point. China won’t sanction Iran out of pure commercial considerations (rather than ‘progressive’ ones) and is furthermore willing to use the sanctions to squeeze Iran to death on these deals. Iran has no choice but to comply.

  33. Roscoe Turi on said:

    Any socialist exile from Iran would tell you they want nothing more than to see the Islamic Republic go. The apologetics or playing down of the Islamic Republic’s ghastly features is rather disappointing. The cruise missile left and the armchair western revolutionaries aren’t that far apart. They both cheer on things that cannot possibly understand the consequences of because they won’t bother to actually get involved.

  34. Iran is mounting new clampdowns on Internet expression, including rules that will impose layers of surveillance in the country’s popular Internet cafes, as Tehran’s political establishment comes under increasing strains from economic turmoil and threats of more international sanctions.

    In the most sweeping move, Iran issued regulations giving Internet cafes 15 days to install security cameras, start collecting detailed personal information on customers and document users’ online footprints.

    Iranian users also have reported more blocked sites this week, as well as new barriers to accessing social-networking services. Internet connections, too, have bogged down.

    “They are closing in on us, and we are already feeling the dire impact of these announcements. Everyone is afraid,” a prominent student activist said in an email exchange from Iran. “It will make it very difficult for us to tell the world what’s happening here.”

    The network slowdown likely heralds the arrival of an initiative Iran has been readying—a “halal” domestic intranet that it has said will insulate its citizens from Western ideology and un-Islamic culture, and eventually replace the Internet. This week’s slowdown came amid tests of the Iranian intranet, according to domestic media reports that cited a spokesman for a union of computer-systems firms. He said the intranet is set to go live within a few weeks.

    Taken together, the moves represent Iran’s boldest attempts to control flows of online information—a persistent thorn in the side of Tehran’s political establishment since activists used the Internet to plan and document mass protests against what they said was a rigged election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to office in 2009.

    Tehran hasn’t directly commented on the measures. The Islamic Republic, however, has long battled the Internet’s influence and tried to filter access to sites, such as pornography or even fashion, that didn’t fit within the norms of a conservative Islamic society. Since 2009, Iranian officials have widened their Internet monitoring to fight what they say is a “soft war” of culture and ideology against it. That year they formed the Cyber Police, a task force drawn from various security arms, which the government says has trained some 250,000 members.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/05/iran-clamps-down-on-web-blocking-sites-and-requiring-cameras-in-internet-cafes/#ixzz1iequJOk1

    I fully expect this post to be deleted as socialist unity have a similar love of censorship as their Iranian brethren. This Iranian Islamic dictatorship leadership are wild-eyed religious fanatics who brutalise their own population, including killing tens of thousands of political opponents (especially from the Left).
    The sooner Iranians are free the better.

  35. #40

    Kisan: This Iranian Islamic dictatorship leadership are wild-eyed religious fanatics who brutalise their own population, including killing tens of thousands of political opponents (especially from the Left).

    Kisan is reticent at pointing out that the political leader personally responsible for the murder of thousands of leftists in the 1980s was Mousavi, the figure head of recent protests against the Iranian government in the so caled “gren revolution”.

    As I wrote before: http://www.socialistunity.com/iran-avoid-false-polarisations/

    The Prime Minister during this terror, who presided over the mass executions of oppositionists, was a man called Mir Hossein Mousavi, currently the darling of Western liberals.As James Buchan explains in his interesting but rather cyncial and dyspeptic article in New Left Review: “A disciple (with his wife, Zahra Rahnavard) of the Fanonist philosopher Ali Shariati, Mousavi came to power in that evil summer of 1981 when the first generation of Khomeini’s associates were wiped out in bombings and assassinations by the ultra-leftist Mujahedin. There followed a nightmare of Terror in which not only the Mujahedin but the secular Left and Kurdish separatists were wiped out or driven into exile. Evin Prison became for a while a concentration camp, and as many as three thousand young people went to the gallows.”

  36. #40

    Kisan: Taken together, the moves represent Iran’s boldest attempts to control flows of online information—a persistent thorn in the side of Tehran’s political establishment since activists used the Internet to plan and document mass protests against what they said was a rigged election that returned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to office in 2009.

    Interesting, you see whatever view one might take about the Islamic republic of Iran, the election of Ahmadinejad was constitutional; and the mass protests to overturn that result were unconstitutional.

    Of course, unconstitutional protests may be justified in certain circumstances; but what the elections did reveal (even if the contentious ballot rigging claims were accepted) is that Iranian society is deeply divided, and a large proportion of the population support both the current constitution and Ahmadinijad. As such any overturning of that result would be likely to end in some bloodshed.

    It is a tradgegy of all revolutions that once the settled mechanisms of governance are overturned then violence becomes the determinant of authority; and often idealist activists feel commpelled for reasons of Realpolitik to physically repress their opponents.

    But in Iran, the opposition is not led by dewy eyed idealists; the figurehead is Mousavi, a man who already as Prime Minister played the role of butcher of the 1979 revolution, with the blood of thousands of leftists and Kurds on his hands. Given the fact that Iran is deeply divided, then any unconstitional removal of the government will lead to greater bloodshed and restriction of liberty, not less.

    When complaining of the Internet restrictions that the current Islamic Republic has imposed (in after all what are effectively conditions preparatory to possible war); then what do critics think would happen if there was an overthrow of the current government? Would that means there was more violence or less?

    My position has always been consistent. That I do not support Ahmadinijad, but I recognise that he does have mass support in iran. And that Iran has demonstarted in the past that it has the constitutional mechanisms to allow transfer of government power from one political party to another through elections; and that its constitition is reformable through the political process.

    As such there are constitutional avenues through which the opposition can reform away the unfortunate aspects of Iranian society; and that is prefereable to bloodshed.

    Kisan, of course is here quoting Fox news, oblivious to the fact that this is a propaganda mouthpeice for conservative forces in the USA, equally biased and prone to misinformation as any news outlets on the islamic republic of Iran. Fox News of course also pursues its own agenda, one which is escalating tension towards US military action.

    Kisan, let us judge you by your friends.

  37. skidmarx on said:

    Interesting, you see whatever view one might take about the Islamic republic of Iran, the election of Ahmadinejad was constitutional; and the mass protests to overturn that result were unconstitutional.

    Article 114 of the Iranian constitution reads:

    “The President is elected for a four-year term by the direct vote of the people.”

    If the protesters believe that the election has been by ballot box stuffing rather than by direct vote, is their protest “unconstitutional”?

  38. #43

    The allegations of ballot rigging were heard by the constitutional court, who ruled that the result stood. This followed due process according to the Iranian constitution.

    Of course people were entitled to protest that they thought the election has been rigged (although it is unlikely it was to any significant extent); but surely any attempt to overturn that election result by methods outwith the provisions of Iran’s constitution was by definition unconstitutional.

  39. David Ellis on said:

    #33 `#26 If the USA etc threaten to invade Iran I will be marching against that. I will expect to be accused of marching for the Iranian regime by reactionary tossers just as I was accused of marching for Saddam when I opposed the invasion of Iraq.’

    You’ll be marching for Ahmedinejad the rest of us will be marching against the war and in support of the Iranian people. But as has been pointed out a lot of this is saber rattling and regime paranoia playing conveniently into a narrative within Tehran that wishes to suppress all opposition.

    I really don’t understand why you cannot grasp the simple concept of world public opinion but I tell you what it does trigger my gagging reflexes to think that a bunch of tyranny-loving, Gadaffi supporting, theocracy apologists and Putin and Chinese Stalinist police fans are going around describing themselves as socialists. It is as disgusting as a bunch of imperialist supporting Zionists doing the same and we all know who they are.

  40. “You’ll be marching for Ahmedinejad”

    You will find nothing I have ever said on this blog to back that up.

    But I wouldn’t expect you to try and find it either because you don’t generally do evidence.

    “I really don’t understand why you cannot grasp the simple concept of world public opinion… ”

    Do you come on here to try to convince people of your arguments? If so, please explain what the concept means to you because I don’t understand and I suspect I’m not the only one.

  41. David Ellis on said:

    #46 `Do you come on here to try to convince people of your arguments? If so, please explain what the concept means to you because I don’t understand and I suspect I’m not the only one.’

    It literally is self-explanatory. Public opinion, british public opinion, world public opinion. It isn’t rocket science despite your foolish efforts to make it so.

  42. #47 Ok, so you can’t explain a supposedly simple concept.

    Fair enough.

    The allegation that I support Amedinejad will presumably not be justified either?

  43. David Ellis on said:

    #48 Take a guees dumb arse. But once again you are simply trolling a discussion to divert it from the question at hand. I can almost guarantee that the only people having problems with the concept of world public opinion are the tiny bunch of stupid stalinists that are covering for the Iranian theocracy on this thread.

    Now, tell us what your attitude would be were you a socialist in Tehran and try and contribute something useful to the debate whilst making explicit your criticisms of what I have actually said instead of banging on about your inability to understand the concept world public opinion which is something a five year old could grasp.

  44. ex-Labour voter on said:

    No 4 is right.

    One of the reasons that I opposed the attack on Libya was that it sent a very clear and very dangerous message: If you disarm yourself of WMD then we will attack you anyway.
    This will make getting rid of such weapons harder in future and puts us all in danger.
    What a pity so few of our MPs understood this at the time.

  45. ex-Labour voter on said:

    No 4 is right.

    One of the reasons that I opposed the attack on Libya was that it sent a very clear and very dangerous message: If you disarm yourself of WMD then we will attack you anyway.
    This will make getting rid of such weapons harder in future and puts us all in danger.
    What a pity so few of our MPs understood this at the time.

  46. Jellytot on said:

    @47It literally is self-explanatory. Public opinion, british public opinion, world public opinion. It isn’t rocket science despite your foolish efforts to make it so.

    You’ll be using the term “Common Sense” soon David – Which is just as meaningless as your “World Public Opinion”.

    BTW, would that include the opinions of people in, say, Mali, The Turks & Caicos and Myanmar ?

  47. I read it didn't I on said:

    I do wish that David Ellis would desist from using crass and vulgar Americanisms as it not only makes one wonder as to his age, but more telling where his sympathies lay. That is, with the dominant country who presumably dictate what is “World Public Opinion”.

  48. StevieB on said:

    The threat of a new imperialist war in the region is very real. For that reason, Stop the War has organised a picket of the U.S. Embassy in London on Saturday 28th January from 2-4pm. This event will highlight the threat of imperialist intervention in Syria and Iran. Whatever your view of the regimes, or the oppositions, the most important thing is to prevent NATO from imposing its will upon the peoples of the region.

    I have long assumed that “David Ellis” is a front for an anti-left operation. This is someone who has picked up some leftist jargon either from personal involvement, or from paid study. Yet inevitably there appears concepts which suggest a reactionary or liberal frame of mind. So that the Iranian regime is “Islamo-fascist” – a phrase used by George Bush. This concept ignores the fact that fascism is a product of imperialism, and is European in origin. It also suggests that the Iranian regime is somehow worse than imperialism.

    I also agree with contributers on the “world public opinion” issue – this is simply another way of saying “the international community”, so beloved by Blair.

  49. #42, if the Islamic Republic of Iran is not a dictatorship, then how many votes did the communist party get in the elections?

    The whole election process allows only to choose various types of Islamists so it is no kind of democracy but a dictatorship.

    That you guys shill for that system that has killed tens of thousands of communists shows your total moral bankruptcy….all the rest is useless verbiage.

    Iran is for all purposes a dictatorship of Islamic rule and its ‘democracy’ meaningless. They will kill you for speaking your mind if it is against the national ideology of Islam. There is a law for that which is called waging war against Islam and its prophet (moharebeh) which mandates the death penalty. Such a place is certainly a dictatorship with no freedom for the people to choose not to follow Islam, there is also another death penalty for apostasy there too. Not covering your hair as a female will get you arrested and locked up, that is an Islamic dictatorship.

  50. David Ellis

    I am also confused by your use of the term “world public opinion”. Is it a UN Security Council resolution? The UN General Assembly? A Pew opinion poll? Demonstrators marching down Whitehall?

    Once you have defined world public opinion and measured it, what does throwing yourself “on it’s mercy” actually mean in a practical sense?

  51. #57

    David has already said:

    “I can almost guarantee that the only people having problems with the concept of world public opinion are the tiny bunch of stupid stalinists that are covering for the Iranian theocracy on this thread.”

    So I doubt he will feel the need to answer your question either.

    #55 Hmmm.

    Who called for the coalition government to be overthrown on the bizarre grounds that it is unconstitutional, or accused someone of defending rape because they accurately explained the way that sentencing works, or referred to “chavs” in language redolent of the Daily Mail, or contemptuously denounced being sensitive to the possibility of offending people with mental health difficulties as political correctness gone mad?

  52. Darkness at Noon on said:

    @Andy Newman:

    “Kisan is reticent at pointing out that the political leader personally responsible for the murder of thousands of leftists in the 1980s was Mousavi, the figure head of recent protests against the Iranian government in the so caled “gren revolution”.”

    Why should he point that out? Does he stand for Mousavi? Do you think the thousands of ex-pat Iranians both secular or religious, are ‘for’ Mousavi?

    It should be pretty obvious that the ‘Green Movement’ is more than Mousavi. Furthermore, the most ‘personally responsible’ leader, if one is going to construct such an argument, is likely the Ayatollah himself, who remains the spiritual father of this theocratic regime.

  53. Let’s face it, the main thrust of what David has to say is:

    1) The threat of military intervention is being exagerated by the Iranian government.

    2) The main question is the reactionary nature of the Iranian government.

    3) The Iranian people should throw themselves at the mercy of the dominant ideological power in the world (in the absence of another defintion that is clearly what he means by world public opinion).

    4) The crisis is the fault of the Iranian government,

    Therefore the formal assertion that Iran has the right to nuclear technology is as meaningless as his denunciations of imperialism (or zionism for that matter given the fact that he also denounces every single Palestinian political organisation).

    He is as likely to march against war in Iran as against imperialist intervention in Libya (or to actually do anything concrete against zionism).

  54. #59
    Yes, but the salient point is that the figurehead of the Green movement, especially for those outside Iran, is Mousavi,who has shown that he is as willing and capable of mass murder and repression as the regime you object to on those same grounds.

  55. Harsanyi_Janos on said:

    “I have long assumed that “David Ellis” is a front for an anti-left operation.”

    Come now, do you really think the security services care enough to have a man posting drivel on blogs?

  56. Darkness at Noon on said:

    @61:

    “Yes, but the salient point is that the figurehead of the Green movement, especially for those outside Iran, is Mousavi,who has shown that he is as willing and capable of mass murder and repression as the regime you object to on those same grounds.”

    Yes, Mousavi is a figurehead and no I doubt that Kisan is for Mousavi – do you think that? The point is that Andy Newman is shifting the goalposts to frame Kisan’s reasonable and well considered posts as ‘pro-Mousavi’ – a mug’s move.

    @Michael Rosen:

    Nothing inconsistent there pal. Please deal with the issues at hand. Thanks.

  57. A bit corny and hyperbolic. This kind of template approach to analysis may stir the faithful with its resounding simplicities, but it ignores the interplay of internal and external dynamics. First, the embargo won’t work. China in particular is big buyer and the Iranian clique could sell more to its Asian customers. Second, the Iranian ruling class won’t try to close the Strait of Hormuz by force, as it would get completely smashed in any direct military conflict with the US, which has greatly superior hardware. They are not that into empty gestures after the Iran-Iraq war: they are into surviving against the will of the Iranians, because God told them they could. In part, therefore, their threat is most likely just empty rhetoric to appeal to and tie in with the well-word narrative of their “fellow travellers” in the West, who habitually adopt the language of anti-imperialism to cover for regional oppressive powers and to avoid painful thought. Third, one part of the self-selected leadership in Iran is in trouble at home–the part that seems to win most admiration of SU–and the imperialists probably hope that increased economic pressure could bring to the fore people interested in making a deal. What the Iranian elite may well do, however, is to initiate disastrous sabotage attacks on in Gulf Arab states or on ports, bring destruction down on the heads of the Iranians to save themselves. As the imperialists do not appear to be concentrating that much on the issue, it is certainly a worry that a small conflict could escalate unintentionally into a full-scale conflagration.

  58. #55 “I have long assumed that “David Ellis” is a front for an anti-left operation.”

    Hilarious. Reminds me of the Ron Paul supporters obsession with “false flag” operations.

  59. David Ellis on said:

    #55 `So that the Iranian regime is “Islamo-fascist”’

    Where have I ever described it as `Islamo-fascist’ you lieing Stalinist? Fascistic feudal theocracy is how I have described it. It used the petit-bourgeois, peasant masses to smash the Iranian democratic revolution. Since then it has degenerated into a dull but vicious and unstable dictatorship. If the likes of Vanya, Jellytit, Clive, Janos wish to support its foreign policy uncritically that is up to these stalinists but there are only about 200 odd so-called `socialists’ who back this vile regime. That’s up to them but they then insist that unless you are a Khomeini or Gadaffi, or Abbas, or Stalin fan then you must be pro-imperialist. In actual fact the very same people support the bogus two-state peace process which makes them objective supporters of Zionism. If there are really people on this blog out to discredit socialism it is the likes of Vanya and Co.

    As for this bullshit trolling about world public opinion. World public opinion was clearly opposed to the war on Iraq and will be opposed to the war on Iran however that public opinion will be all the more strengthened if a popular regime were to come to power in Iran that eschewed the ridiculous nuclear programme of the hubristic theocrats.

  60. David Ellis on said:

    #57 Calvin is the biggest hypocrite here. He was opposed allegedly to the `imperialist assault’ on Libya but then insisted that it impose a ceasefire and save the Gadaffi tyranny.

  61. David, where have I expressed uncritical support for the Iranian regime? And I refer you to my previous request for evidence that I will be marching for Amedinejad.

    Why is it you get so worked up about being allegedly misquoted or having opinions you say you don’t hold ascrcibed to you and yet you feel that it’s perfectly fine for you to do it to others?

    Probably a pointless question as you clearly have zero self awareness.

    As for world public opinion, you are simply making yourself look more and more stupid if that were possible.

    If you could define it you would have done by now. Simply insulting the people who ask you to provide a definition may make you feel better, but that’s all I’m afraid.

  62. David Ellis on said:

    #69 Troll. Clearly you have disagreed with my criticisms of the Ahmedinejad regime and believe that a non critical approach should be taken towards it. Clearly therefore you are either an apologist for or a supporter of the feudal theocratic tyranny.

    World public opinion I’m afraid is self explanatory. If you cannot grasp the concept I suggest you leave politics alone. Clearly with millions marching against the Iraq invasion across the planet the Bush regime ignored world public opinion and yet it is always a good idea politically if possible to win such opinion to your side. The Iranian tyranny ignores such external niceties because after the arab spring and the recent unrest in Tehran it is more concerned with stamping on internal opposition and using the `nobody likes us and we don’t care’ method of approaching the rest of the world certainly suits it in that regard. If they dropped their ridiculous nuclear programme (even if it is purely domestic) there are no guarantees that the resulting surge in world sympathy for Iran would prevent an imperialist assault but it would make it a lot harder. But no, you insist that everybody has to agree with the knuckleheads of the Iranian theocracy and therefore with you. You are an enemy of the Iranian people, the world working class and socialism. There isn’t a tyranny you don’t grovel before.

  63. #71 Yes I grovelled before Zionism as I cheered the lad who climbed onto the BBC in Manchester and hoisted the Palestinian flag, or when I was abused by zionist thugs marching against the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.

    Worst of all was when I helped raise money for Viva Palestina.

    How have you put your anti-zionism to any practical use David?

    Have your words of wisdom falled on fertile ground in the West Bank or Gaza?

    The reality is that your “anti-zionism” is as genuine as your “anti-imperialism”.

    If the USA or Israel attack Iran it will be all the fault of Iran as far as you’re concerned and I suspect you will be as unwilling to oppose Western missiles hitting Iran as you were when they were hitting Libya.

    You’ll be denouncing anti-war protesters as supporters of Amedinejad.

    ‘Clearly you have disagreed with my criticisms of the Ahmedinejad regime and believe that a non critical approach should be taken towards it.’

    I’ve dared not to express agreement with you and therefore I deserve to be defamed and insulted on the basis of things I haven’t said. Yes I can see why you like calling people stalinists.

  64. David Ellis on said:

    #72 `If the USA or Israel attack Iran it will be all the fault of Iran as far as you’re concerned and I suspect you will be as unwilling to oppose Western missiles hitting Iran as you were when they were hitting Libya.

    You’ll be denouncing anti-war protesters as supporters of Amedinejad.’

    I will be on any demonstration that opposes an imperialist assault on Iran. I have said that many times even on this thread. But you are a liar to the core so it makes no difference. As far as Israel is concerned it has no legitimacy whatsoever in my book whilst you support the two-state peace lie and as for Libya I supported the Libyan Revolt as part of the Arab Spring. They had a right to seek assistance though of course seeking assistance from imperialism carries with it dangers. Had the NATO action in Libya turned into an assault on Libya then my attitude would have changed. You on the other hand used the UN-backed NATO intervention in Libya to come out openly against the Arab Spring and in favour of the Gadaffis and Abbas’s just as you are using the imperialist saber rattling in the Gulf to denounce those who oppose Ahmedinejad.

    Tell me what is it exactly you opposed about what I have said in regard of Iran instead of using some pseudo trolling technique to bang on about a concept you cannot grasp as if that relieves you of your duty to discuss politically.

    As for what you claim to have done for the Palestinians this does not give you a free pass on anything. Nobody is impressed.

  65. StevieB on said:

    The difference I have with #63 and #66 is that they assume that “David Ellis” is some sort of left wing writer/activist. I know that the person who wrote the bile-filled contributions of #67, #68, #70, and #71, isn’t.

    Always there is the reassertion of reactionary politics amongst the leftist verbage – the Iranian government is told that it would be better if it “eschewed the ridiculous nuclear programme” – exactly what the U.S. government is pressing for via sanctions and the threat of war. And how is “Fascistic feudal theocracy” different from “Islamo-fascism” once you register that the theology involved is Islam?

  66. @ StevieB #74, I agree to the extent that ‘David Ellis’- & the several other aliases ‘he’ has posted under- is such an odd mixture of ultra-ultra-left hyperbolics (perhaps better spelt hyper-b****cks) with the most conventional right-wingery that it is difficult to believe ‘he’ actually exists.

    However my theory is that rather than a security services operation, ‘he’ is more likely a Harry’s Place type ‘aving a larf by playing Dave Spart.

  67. “As for what you claim to have done for the Palestinians this does not give you a free pass on anything. Nobody is impressed.”

    I’m not suggesting that anyone should be impressed. I’ve done very little compared to many other people (who you would probably accuse of “zionism” as well.

    However if true it makes your allegations of “zionism” as ludicrous as the rest of the rubbish you spout.

    Why I bother I don’t know but I will spell it out:

    1) I do not propose that the Palestinian people should go for a 2 state solution.

    2) I am opposed to a 2 state solution being imposed on them by anyone as a condition for supporting their right to statehood. So if the Palestinian people wished to fight for a single state within the whole of historic Palestine (I don’t think most of them do) I would continue to support their struggle.

    If you continue to call me a zionist you will quite frankly look even more of a dick than you already do.

    “Tell me what is it exactly you opposed about what I have said in regard of Iran…”. Very simply, any war will be the fault of imperialism, not the Iranian government or that significant number of Iranian people who, whether you or I like it or not, support it. You want to let imperialism off the hook.
    As for whether my word or yours is to be taken at face value, to be honest I will say that I doubt very much that you will march against war on Iran.

    You compare Iran with Iraq- the arguments about the sabre-rattling provovations were just as strong there. Saddam’s regime had far less legitimacy in terms of popular support, was at least as brutal to say the least. So in fact I guess that were we having a discussion in 2003 you would not be arguing against the invasion but denouncing people like me as being stooges of Saddam. I got used to that by the way.

    “Had the NATO action in Libya turned into an assault on Libya…”, says it all really.

    In fact it would not surprise me to learn that those who suggest that you are in reality a right wing troll are correct, and that I am looking stupid for trying to engage with you.

  68. David Ellis: #57Calvinisthebiggesthypocritehere.Hewasopposedallegedlytothe`imperialistassault’onLibyabuttheninsistedthatitimposeaceasefireandsavetheGadaffityranny.

    Uh? I made my opposition to the imperialist attack on Libya crystal clear (there’s no allegedly about it!), and I supported the ceasefire proposals of the AU and Venezuela, as well as other attempts at mediation. What’s hypocritical about that?

  69. David Ellis

    The question I actually asked David was: “Once you have defined world public opinion and measured it, what does throwing yourself “on it’s mercy” actually mean in a practical sense?”

    But unfortunately he choose to change the subject instead, so I guess we’ll never know.

  70. Karl Stewart on said:

    StevieB’s right, “David Ellis” is clearly not a real person, but an alias used by a right-winger posting right-wing drivel under a smokescreen of ultra-left verbiage.
    Look at “his” actual policy positions: pro-NATO in Libya, opposed to the fight for a Palestinian state and here, pro-western over Iran.

  71. David Ellis on said:

    79 Now Karl don’t be silly. I could equally say of you that you supported Gadaffi’s threat to obliterate Benghazi, yousupport the existence of Zionist apartheid, are an enemy of the Arab Spring and an apologist of the feudal Iranian theocracy and I’d have full justification unlike you who simply refuse to step outside your stalinised template.

    My positions are all perfectly well worked out marxist positions. Hands off Iran tick but no support whatsoever for the policies of the ayatollahs though in the event of a full scale imperialist invasion it may be permissible under strict circumstances and conditions to make temporary military blocs with the existing regime to defend Iran. Full support for the Arab Spring against the semi-colonial regimes and tyrannies. Down with Zionism and its sectarian apartheid genocidal state. For a unified Palestinian state (Gaza, Israel, West Bank, Refugees) in which muslims, jews, christians and those of no faith can live in harmony. No to the bantustans of Fatah and Hamas and the abandonment of the refugees.

    I suggest you and your stalinist chums cool your jets. There hasn’t been a non-working class force that this blog hasn’t tried to sell out to from the ayatollahs, the Chinese police state, zionism, imperialism when it suits, the MB and the Egyptian Army. Time you supported the Arab Spring including any manifestation of it that may find its way further afield such as in Iran.

  72. Jellytot on said:

    @75However my theory is that rather than a security services operation, ‘he’ is more likely a Harry’s Place type ‘aving a larf by playing Dave Spart.

    While I wouldn’t discount entirely the theory that ‘Dave Ellis’ is a SB officer having a piss about during his lunchhour, your theory that he is a “Eustonite” troll is probably nearer the mark.

  73. Karl Stewart on said:

    “David Ellis” is the only person I’ve ever heard trying to make an argument against a Palestinian state sound “left-wing.”

  74. David Ellis on said:

    #82 Karl, karl, karl. What you are supporting is not a Palestinian state but a Fatah and Hamas run bantustan that exists only with Zionist approval and which abandons the claims of the refugees. How you can imagine in your fetid brain that there is anything left wing about that who can say? I consistently argue for the coming to fruition of the Palestinian National Democratic Revolution which means the unification of Palestine (Gaza, West Bank, Israel, Refugees)under a democratic secular regime in which Muslim, Jew, Christian and those of no faith can live together in harmony and the majority status of the Palestinian people in their own homelands is finally recognised.

  75. David Ellis on said:

    #82 I don’t know Jellytit. One day you are schillling for Zionism and the next you are an uncritical fan of the Iranian Ayatollahs. I don’t know how many times I can say that an imperialist attack on Iran is to be opposed but hey you are not listening. You are taking your orders from Ahmedinejad who will broke no criticism.

    A democratic regime needs to come to power in Iran headed by the working class. It urgently needs to topple the disgusting feudal, fascistic, theocracy and abandon most of its idiotic external and internal policies. That wouldn’t guarantee that Iran would be left alone by imperialism but it would certainly put imperialism and Zionism on the back foot. In the meantime if any Israeli planes encroach on Iranian airspace and there by some miracle happened to be a trot manning the anti-aircraft guns I would urge him to do his best to terminate that encroachment with extreme prejudice.

    You are welcome however to continue your love-in with Ahmedinejad, Gadaffi and all the rest of the stooges and your hatred of the Arab Spring and some how describe that as socialism. The rest of us will continue talking politics.

  76. “There hasn’t been a non-working class force that this blog hasn’t tried to sell out to…”

    What is the class character of world public opinion I wonder. I’ll probably never know.

    “…if any Israeli planes encroach on Iranian airspace and there by some miracle happened to be a trot manning the anti-aircraft guns I would urge him to do his best to terminate that encroachment with extreme prejudice.”

    If the “trot” in question is anything like DE(thankfully most are not)he/she is probably more likely to fire first at anti-war demonstrators on the grounds they are agents of feudal theocracy.

    On the other hand I suspect that most “trots” in such a position would be quite happy to fire at the attacking enemy without prompting from David.

  77. Karl Stewart on said:

    “What you are supporting is not a Palestinian state but a Fatah and Hamas run bantustan that exists only with Zionist approval and which abandons the claims of the refugees. How you can imagine in your fetid brain that there is anything left wing about that who can say? I consistently argue for the coming to fruition of the Palestinian National Democratic Revolution which means the unification of Palestine (Gaza, West Bank, Israel, Refugees)under a democratic secular regime in which Muslim, Jew, Christian and those of no faith can live together in harmony and the majority status of the Palestinian people in their own homelands is finally recognised.”

    Anyone ever heard shite like this from a real person?
    Isn’t it time this clown was taken off air?