Sunday, November 05, 2006


Set before you on Tuesday is war or peace. Choose wisely:

Scott Ritter, via ICH I recently returned from a trip to Iran, where over the course of a week I made the journey from the northern suburbs of Tehran to the gates of the Natanz enrichment facility, and in doing so had my eyes opened. The Iran that I witnessed was far removed from the one caricatured in the US media. I left with the frustrating realization that, as had been the case with Iraq, America was stumbling toward a conflict, blinded by the prejudice and fear born of our collective ignorance. His points - While not an open society, Iran is not a dictatorship - "the free flow of information ...exists despite the efforts of the government to contain or control it" - "support for US intervention does not exist to any significant degree" - "Iran today is a fully functioning capitalist society" - "The key factor in [Ahmadinejad's] stunning victory was not religious fundamentalism but widespread disillusionment over the state of the economy, coupled with charges of nepotism and corruption surrounding Rafsanjani. Ahmadinejad doesn'y have any power over the military or the development of weapons. - "Iran rejects outright the acquisition of nuclear weapons" - "the true authority in Iran has been attempting to navigate a path of moderation" - A double standard has been applied. As member of the Revolutionary Guard put it, "if we kill an MEK operative in France or Germany, we become terrorists. If America kills an Al Qaeda operative in another country, you are counterterrorists. " - "There is no greater potential ally in the struggle against Sunni extremism than Shiite Iran" - "What the inspectors say is crystal clear: There is no evidence that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program."

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