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June 24, 2003
IRAN: A VIEW FROM THE LEFTBy Greyhawk
Back before the Iraq war the on-line communist magazine Alternet ran a piece titled 'Bush Wins': The Left's Nightmare Scenario" I've always appreciated the insight into left-think I gained from reading that, and have always wanted to demonstrate my total commitment to fairness by balancing my mainstream opinions with some extremist thought on this page. I've invited a guest blogger, Mr Bill Terwilliger, to prepare an entry in that same spirit of that wonderfully insightful Alternet article. Mr Terwilliger is a middle school curriculum development consultant for a major textbook publisher, and is considering a run for President on the Democratic ticket in '04. We may be hearing a lot more from Bill in the near future, but for now, here are his thoughts on Iran.
IRAN: LET'S NOT SCREW THIS ONE UP TOO!
This past weekend as I was toking some rather primo weed with some recent High School grads at the gay pride teach-in for more aggressive affirmative action at a local University Freshman orientation event one of the perceptive little mushrooms asked me "Dude, like what is our position on Iran?"
"Well, I said, "as yet we don't have one, since we are waiting for the shrub to state his position so that we can oppose it because it is oppressive to minorities and the poor, and is all about big oil."
Then he said "But what if.." and I stopped him by passing him the roach and it's a good thing, because I think I know what he was going to ask and I didn't have an answer. But the little snotmaker was on to something; if we don't plan our response to the Bush-wa fascista on Iran he's going to one-up us yet again. And we don't need that.
So I began to mull the possibilities and this is what I think: We can divide the situation into two main categories:
A: The US intervenes in Iran and B: the US does not intervene.
Obviously then for planning purposes we can designate the possible scenarios
We could perhaps also order these points according to the likelihood they would occur. It seems just now that US intervention is unlikely, so I place all B options before any A options on this list; thus B2, B1, (with something between B1 and 2 perhaps most likely) B3, A3, A1, and finally A2. Of course this spectrum is subject to shift at any time and is purely my opinion.
Noting that B1 is both desirable for us and likely, (no US intervention, a period of prolonged, murderous, anarchy in Iran) here's my proposed response should it occur:
We must be very careful in this situation, because if we can not be seen as "pro intervention" - it could be a little too similar to the Bushy policy on Iraq. Thus our focus must be completely on how Bush "missed an opportunity" while remaining vague on just what should have been done. Since the implication will be that any intelligent person could have done better, no one will want to admit that they aren't smart enough to see the solution immediately; thus we will not be called on to provide one. It will be assumed by all that we "just know" what should have been done. As for the bloodshed, that will create great sound bite opportunities along the lines of "You have their blood on your hands, Mr Bush, Mr Powell!" I think we can all see the desirability of this course of events, though as I said, we can't sound "pro intervention." No matter what, for our side this should be a win-win.
Now consider A1: American intervention with the same bloody results as B1. Here the potential is unequaled for us, but the occurrence less likely. Consider though the obvious joy to be had denouncing the failures of the President, the fantasies we all had in the early days of Iraq finally become reality! The only area we must be careful is we can't point out that the current Iranian regime could be replaced by a fundamentalist one; the current regime is fundamentalist. We must bear this in mind, if we take this position we must state clearly that we support the Iranian people in their struggle against U.S. imperialism, and not their government (so similar to ours in its fanatic religious fundamentalism).
Anyhow I think I've given you all a good start. It's up to the entire collective to fill in the response to all the other points on the spectrum and it's crucial that this time we are prepared for every eventuality. The future of our nation is at stake, perhaps more so then any other time in history.
Now let's get on it, people! You have nothing to loose but your chains! Let's Roll!
Posted by Greyhawk / June 24, 2003 7:14 AM | Permalink
November 26, 2010
I think anyone who's ever pondered the "comment" option - once only available on blogs and bulletin boards, now ubiquitous on almost any web site - will appreciate this:
The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, "I have an idea but I can't express it"; that man hasn't an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.
That's wisdom from the past, captured for posterity at the US Naval Institute, shared via the web on the institute's 137th anniversary.
From their about page:
"The Naval Institute has three core activities," among them, History and Preservation:
The Naval Institute also has recently introduced Americans at War, a living history of Americans at war in their own words and from their own experiences. These 90-second vignettes convey powerful stories of inspiration, pride, and patriotism.
Take a look at the collection, and you'll see it's not limited to accounts from those who served on ships at sea, members of the other branches are well-represented.
I'm fortunate to have met USNI's Mary Ripley, she's responsible for the institute's oral history program (and she's the daughter of the late John Ripley, whose story is told here). She also deserves much credit for their blog. ("We're not the Navy nor any government agency. Blog and comment freely.") We met at a milblog conference - Mary knew (and I would come to realize) that milbloggers are the 21st-century version of exactly what the US Naval Institute is all about. Once that light bulb came on in my head, I mentioned a vague idea for a project to her - milblogs as the 21st century oral history that they are.
"Put that in writing," she said (of course - see first paragraph above!) - and here's part of the result.
Shortly after the first tent was pitched by the American military in Iraq a wire was connected to a computer therein, and the internet was available to a generation of Americans at war - many of whom had grown up online. From that point on, at any given moment, somewhere in Iraq a Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine was at a keyboard sharing the events of his or her day with the folks back home. While most would simply fire off an email, others took advantage of the (then) relatively new online blogging platforms to post their thoughts and experiences for the entire world to see. The milblog was born - and from that moment to this stories detailing everything from the most mundane aspects of camp life to intense combat action (often described within hours of the event) have been available on the web...
And et cetera - but since you're reading this on a milblog, you probably knew that. And you know that milblogs aren't just blogs written by troops at war, that many friends, family members, and supporters likewise documented their story of America at war online in near-real time, as those stories developed.
The diversity in membership of that group is broad, the one thing we all have in common is the impulse to make sense of the seemingly senseless, and communicate the tale - for each of us that impulse was strong enough to overcome whatever barriers prevent the vast majority of people from doing the same. Everyone at some point has some vague idea they believe should be shared - we were the people who, from some combination of internal and external urging, found and spent those many half hours persistently trying to write it down.
But where will all that be in another 137 years? Or five or ten, for that matter. That's something I've asked myself since at least 2004 - when I wrote this:
Membership in the ghost battalion has grown in the years since, and an ever growing majority of those abandoned-but-still-standing sites are vanishing. Have you checked out Lt Smash's site lately? How about Sgt Hook's? If you're a long-time milblog reader you know the first widely-read milblog from Operation Iraq Freedom and the first widely-read milblog from Afghanistan are both gone from the web. If you're a relative newcomer to this world you may never even have heard of them - or the dozens upon dozens of others who carried forth the standard they set down.
If you have a vague notion that something should be done about that, (a notion I've heard expressed more than once...) then you and I and the good folks at the US Naval Institute are in agreement. Preserving the history documented by the milbloggers is just one of the goals of the milblog project, the once-vague idea that we're now making real.
And it's a big idea, if I say so myself - too big to explain in one simple blog post, so stand by for more. Likewise, it's too big a task to be accomplished by just one person. So if you're a milblogger (and exactly what is a milblogger? is a topic for much further discussion on its own) I'm asking for your help. All I'll really need is just a little bit (maybe just one or two of those half hours...) of your time, and your willingness to tell the tale.
We've already made history, it's time to save it.
(More to follow...)
The Mudville Gazette is the on-line voice of an American warrior and his wife who stands by him. They prefer to see peaceful change render force of arms unnecessary. Until that day they stand fast with those who struggle for freedom, strike for reason, and pray for a better tomorrow.
Furthermore, I will occasionally use satire or parody herein. The bottom line: it's my house.
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Original content copyright © 2003 - 2011 by Greyhawk. Fair, not-for-profit use of said material by others is encouraged, as long as acknowledgement and credit is given, to include the url of the original source post. Other arrangements can be made as needed.
Contact: greyhawk at mudvillegazette dot com