Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Quote of the Day: On the Iranian ‘breakthrough’ [update 2]

"We are in essence paying Iran $5 billion to $10 billion, which it can use
to continue enriching and of course sponsoring terrorists. The communist 
adage that capitalists would sell them the rope to hang the capitalist is turned
on its head; we are now paying our enemies to manufacture the rope.”

- Jennifer Rubin, “The Iran deal makes clear it pays to enrich,” WASHINGTON POST

[Hat tip Terry V.]

UPDATE 1:

On the other hand:

“The principal benefit of the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 nations on November 23 is that Iran and the United States were able to down to talk and reach an agreement on something
“[However,] the United States and its partners appeared tough and got very little. Iran appeared tough and gave up very little.”

- William Beeman, “The Iran Accord -- Profoundly, and Primarily, Symbolic,” HUFFINGTON POST

[Hat tip David McGregor]

UPDATE 2: Robert Tracinski on the alleged “breakthrough”:

It is important to understand that the Iran deal is not itself an actual agreement. It is an agreement to negotiate an agreement…
    I'm not sure whether any of this agreement is going to end up binding the Iranians, but I'll bet that it will bind the Western powers. It will set up exactly the kind of diplomatic regime that has prevailed with North Korea for the past few decades. It is an endless dance in which they break the agreement and we ratchet up the sanctions, and then we pull back the sanctions to induce them to come back for another round of negotiations, which look like they're going somewhere until they don't, and the whole cycle starts over again. As North Korea shows, none of this needs to stop when the Iranians actually manage to develop an atomic bomb. It just enters a new stage.
    Yet I can see why President Obama likes it…

22 comments:

  1. Well, there's a blatant lie right in that quote. The US is not "paying" Iran anything, but simply allowing them access to some of their own funds, funds which have been locked away under the sanctions regime.

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  2. @ Anonymous, the definition of "pay" that is used in the quote is "To give recompense to; reward or punish", and not "to give (money) in exchange for goods or services". That portion of the Iranians' funds that are frozen and about to be released is not the Iranians' property whilst Iran presents an existential threat to the US. The concept of property presupposes a mutual agreement not to use aggressive force against one another or their property. Iran already used aggression against the US' property when it nationalized the oil industry in 1979. On top of that it has been openly hostile towards and threatened the US in the years that followed. This is not the sort of relationship that is conducive to claiming "property rights" between nations.

    The only "lie" in the quote above is that it is the capitalists who would sell the rope. The reality is that it is the statists who have perverted capitalism - the corporatists and crony-socialists - who are doing the rope selling. The volume of the arms trade and the regulation thereof greatly increased during the 20th century and it is now used as a political tool. The US (and the West in general) is selling the means of its own destruction to those whose ideologies call for its destruction, and now forgoing its means of defense, all in the name of short term economic and political gain.

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  3. William Beeman writes that "Iran has allowed itself to be persuaded to stop temporarily doing what it never intended to do -- make a nuclear weapon."
    Here's evidence (but not proof) that Iran *does* intend to build nuclear weapons: http://www.wnd.com/2013/03/revealed-evidence-iran-crossed-nuclear-red-line/ and http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/21/heavy-traffic-across-irans-red-line/

    Prove that the facility these articles refer to (visible in pictures and video of first link) is not for nuclear-weapons and then we can discount it as being evidence. Why is there no mention of the IAEA checking this facility? With the motive and means to acquire nuclear weapons, all Iran needs is opportunity to actually do so. Given enough time, opportunity will present itself, if it hasn't already.

    As for "The bottom line is that Iran did not give up very much in the negotiations, (but it didn't gain very much either)", how one can one possible conclude that Iran did not gain very much? Read page 3 of the actual US-Iran deal: http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2013/images/11/24/iran.text.pdf

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  4. "Iran presents an existential threat to the US"

    No it dosen't. Iran was unable, despite trying for eight years, to defeat Iraq, a country less than half it's size. That tells us all we need to know about their actual military capacity.

    "Iran already used aggression against the US' property when it nationalized the oil industry in 1979"

    If that's the best example you can come up with then you really are just grasping at straws.

    Frankie Lee

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  5. Frankie Lee,

    You wrote: "Iran was unable, despite trying for eight years, to defeat Iraq, a country less than half it's size. That tells us all we need to know about their actual military capacity."

    What you ignore is that Iraq was supported by the US. If Iran was only fighting Iraq, then it would have won. You also ignore that in the 1980s Iran did not have the means and opportunity to develop a nuclear bomb. It is the nuclear bomb that makes Iran an existential threat. You also ignore the links I supplied with evidence of Iran having the capability to produce nuclear weaponry.

    >>"If that's the best example you can come up with then you really are just grasping at straws."

    If the best you can do is to throw an ad hominem rather than deal to the point made then that is evidence of your having capitulated.






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  6. "If the best you can do is to throw an ad hominem rather than deal to the point made then that is evidence of your having capitulated"

    That was dealing to the point. The sum total of Iranian "aggression" against the US that you were able to come up with was that Iran had nationalised US owned oil facilities 34 years ago (a technical "aggression" at best in real terms) and has fired off a lot of rhetorical hostility since (talk is cheap).

    On the basis of that, and the usual hot air I've been hearing for the last 10+ years about Iran's always imminent nuclear bomb (I'll believe it when I see it) you expect me to believe that Iran is an existential threat to America. Existential?! As in a threat to it's VERY EXISTENCE? Seriously, this is why you and your fellow travellers have such difficulty getting others to take them seriously on issues like this.

    I stand by my earlier comments. Have a nice day.

    Frankie Lee

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  7. F.L.


    Right. So you clearly support nationalization of private property as being merely a "technical 'aggression' at best in real terms". Such a dismissal of the importance of property rights for peaceful co-existence among human beings is precisely what engenders and paves the way for the likes of Lenin and Hitler. Good one.

    And now for the second time you have evaded dealing to the evidence I supplied concerning Iran's nuclear intention and capability in "real terms" (per web links). The reality is that you are copping out.

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  8. The web links added nothing new to what has already been making the rounds of blogs such as this for well over a decade now, like I said, I'll believe it when I see it. You yourself admitted that none of it provided conclusive proof.

    And nationalising oil facilities (and of course you ignore the background to this) IS nothing more than a technicality in terms of what constiututes aggression between nations. I'm talking about the way the world actually functions, not the libertarian fantasy world you clearly inhabit.

    Frankie Lee

    Feel free to have the last word.

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  9. I would have thought the most relevant point to make, or to be addressed, in the debate between you two gentlemen about the importance of denying Iran nuclear weapons, is that in recent decades the rulers of Iran have made themselves the world's most active state sponsors of terrorism, while confirming themselves as murderers of their own citizens.
    These are not people you want with nuclear materiel to supply and distribute.

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  10. F.L.

    You wrote: "The web links added nothing new to what has already been making the rounds of blogs such as this for well over a decade now"

    Here is a list of Iran's known nuclear facilities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_facilities_in_Iran .Where on this list is the huge complex seen in the link supplied above? Provide a link to the world's knowledge of this facility last year, let-a-lone "well over" 10 years ago.

    "You yourself admitted that none of it provided conclusive proof."

    Given that no-one other than authorized personnel has access to the site, "proof" is a standard that cannot be met without a confession or a nuclear launch.

    Do you deny that Iran has a very poor history of disclosing its nuclear facilities?

    "And nationalising oil facilities (and of course you ignore the background to this) IS nothing more than a technicality in terms of what constiututes aggression between nations."

    What about the "background" am I ignoring? Are you denying that private assets were forcibly taken and agreements made to be broken by the actions of the present theocratic regime in Iran when it overthrew the Shah in 1979? If you established a business in a foreign country and that business was taken from you by that government, would you claim that you have suffered a "technicality"? If you were imprisoned or executed by that same government for committing a "victimless crime", is that also a mere "technicality" for you? How do you define what a right is?

    "I'm talking about the way the world actually functions, not the libertarian fantasy world you clearly inhabit."

    If you think that the world functions on "technicalities" and not on the just and unjust actions of individuals according to an objective standard of just, then *you* are the one living in a fantasy - a fantasy that is causing all of the real problems that the rest of us who are living in actual reality are having to pay for.


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  11. Peter, I've been arguing on the basis that that is a given premise. Frankie has not argued that Iran has the sovereign "right" to develop and acquire nuclear weapons. But good point. I shouldn't be making assumptions.

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  12. Peter,

    At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I remember the debacle that unfolded the last time everyone was convinced a country posed an "existential threat" to the West. Wars have a nasty habit of getting completely out of control and spawning all sorts of horrific unintended consequences.

    This dosen't mean that I am a pacifist (I'm not), but it does mean that I view wars as a last resort and always something to be regretted. I believe that negotiation, deterrence and containment remain the best way to deal with a regime like Iran. Particulary given the fragile state of the global economy at the moment.

    This obviously dosen't apply in the case of a "clear and present danger", but I am not convinced that Iran constitutes one of those. As I said earlier, talk is cheap and they have yet to produce a nuclear device.

    Just my two cents worth

    Frankie Lee

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  13. Iran 'nationalised' US 'property' in the late '70s? What you lot conveniently evade is how the Western Alliance, in particular the US and the UK, created a coup d'etat to overthrow the democratically elected government of Iran way back in the late 1950s (there are numerous initiations of violence done by the West against Iran even prior to that, but this example will suffice for the purposes of our discussion). The West installed a satrap government with Shah Palavi. Worse they created, funded, equipped and trained the notorius SAVAK (secret Police). Even the Israeli secret police, the Mossad, had a hand in setting up this organisation and assistance with its appalling activities. There were no limits to the use of using horrific torture tools and techniques (taught and demonstrated to SAVAK staff by their Western masters and mentors). The crimes against humanity went on for decades and it is no surprise that eventually the Iranians rose up to topple the Shah's corrupt regime. It is understandable that the US government was not popular with the common Iranian in the street by then. After all, who was it that had such a hand in creating and supporting the tyranny that caused them such mysery for all those years?

    The US government has not forgotten its embarassement at the hands of the Iranian revolutionaries of the '70s. It has not stopped interfering in that country's internal and external affairs. The supply of nerve gas technology and weapons to Saddam Huissein's Iraq is an illustrative example. That great ally and client of the Western Alliance, Saddam Hussein, was encouraged to take Iraq to war against Iran. He recieved much technological and financial support to do it (later on the great ally and client was himself to be called out as an existential threat to the whole worl cus of an alleged possession of....... various Western sourced WMD and weapons technology). It was a terrible war with severe death toll with much unecessary human suffering.

    As a sovereign nation which has been repeatedly offended against by the governments of the West Iran has the right to defend itself against the Western Alliance or so Objectivist theory applied consistently would allow. Time to get out of their business and leave them alone. Time to cease interfering in the Middle East altogether. All that is being done by interfering is to make matters worse and worse and worse.

    Amit

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  14. Amit,

    The assisted coup was in response to Mohammad Mosaddegh's nationalization of the oil industry in the early 50's. The bulk of the wealth of the UK's largest company had been effectively stolen by the "democratically elected" Iranian government which had also severed diplomatic relations with the British. What was Britain meant to do in the face of that? Nothing? Declare War? They chose a coup. What would you have had them do and why?

    Keep in mind that during the thirty-nine years (1912-51) AIOC (later BP) exported a total of 338 million tons of oil from Iran for which it paid Iran ₤118,000,000. According to an estimate made by the author of Persian Oil, the Anglo-Iranian’s total investment in Iran amounted to ₤21,656,252 of which ₤5,000,000 was provided by the British government. In return for this investment the company’s stockholders received ₤115,000,000 in dividends, of which ₤49,000,000 went to the British government apart from the sum of ₤175,000,000 which was paid to it as tax. In other words Iran received earnings more or less equal to the pre-tax earnings of the shareholders of AIOC who had fronted the capital. AIOC provided employment to Iranians. Given that the British were the ones who discovered and drilled the actual oil, which had been valueless before their industrious endeavors, how were the Iranians cheated of their "property"? Is "property" for you something that is not an any way tied to an individual's effort and voluntary agreements? I think the biggest injustice is the amount of tax that was extorted by the British government under the deal. Then again, it is that tax that paid for AIOC regaining control of the oil industry, so it could be said to have been an expensive insurance premium paid because Iran was a more risky place to make contracts than in other countries.

    There was of course a wider context that must also be taken into account in the century leading up to the coup, namely, the Anglo-Russian conflict wherein the British were trying to stop the expansion of the Russians in the region. The Iranians were helpless to ward of a Russian invasion without the presence of the British. Or do you deny this? Looking at what the Soviets did to other countries that it expanded into, where would Iran be today had the British not been there to ward them off?

    But then again from another perspective, I am for the West detaching itself from the Islamic East (as you suggest). Not as enemies but in peace, on the grounds that ideologies that are incompatible with one another cannot collaborate except to a destructive end.

    Finally, I would like to point out that all references you make to tyranny and injustice concern acts that are antithetical to Western values, so insofar as you cite such acts by "Western" governments what you are citing is acts by those who come from the West in geographical terms, but who are not themselves Western. I am sure you would not agree with me citing an un-Islamic act by some self-proclaimed Muslim and then attributing it to Islam. The fundamental political difference between the Western and Islamic civilizations is that the West holds rights to be principles that are discoverable by reference to the facts of reality and the use of reason - principles that are conditional on just three things: objectivity, mutuality and institutionalization, whereas the Islamic East holds that rights are divinely ordained edicts by "Allah" as recorded in the Qur'an and identifiable in Hadith and are conditional on duties being performed as per Islamic teachings. This is a fundamental difference between two civilizations that is completely and utterly irreconcilable.

    Terry

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  15. "principles that are conditional on" should have read "principles which in order to be effective are conditional on'

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  16. Terry

    "Is "property" for you something that is not an any way tied to an individual's effort and voluntary agreements?"

    I'd ask that question of you. Is a deal between governments, gangsters and government cronies a "voluntary" agreement that binds those who are not party to it although they are disabused of their liberty and what was once their property by those party to the "voluntary agreement"?

    Consider. Ahab lives on his land in Samoia. Moh, a strongman chieftain, does not. He lives nearby. Moh does a "voluntary agreement" with the Imperial Exploitation Corporation of Westerio to extract minerals from Ahab's place. They go do it. They invest stockholder capital acquired from wealthy Westerioans. They invest capital that they got from the Westerio government as well (a conversion of stolen money). They pay kickbacks to Moh and his cronies. Moh gets quite wealthy out of this arrangement. He also becomes influential and powerful. His interests run parallel to those of Exploitation Corportaion. That is, he is inclined to continue the arrangement, business as usual. So he sees to it that his followers, family, allies and cronies are well looked after. They get jobs and get "educated" and get the health care benefits and all that.

    Meanwhile you'd have Ahab and his family and local community bound by the "voluntary agreement"? How so? They had nothing to do with it. They were not party. They did not agree. Yet it is their liberty and property that is alienated them.

    So, the quanta of a deal and who got what disbursement of it is not a justification for its immorality.

    A serious error with the approach you are taking is that of arguing a defense of initiations of violence from the perspective of a collectivist. You refer to "British", "Russian" and "Iranians" as though these aggregates are homogenous indivisiable whole entities. You pay no attention whatsoever to the actuality of what was happening on the ground with existing inividual people such as residents, owners and locals. You know, the ones affected by the shonky arrangements made between governments, gangsters, cronies, tribal strongmen etc.

    I sure am disappointed by the your support of violence, torture, murders and crimes against humanity and all manner of terrible initiations of force. In designing, funding and executing an "assisted coup" (which included the creation, training and operational assistance of SAVAK) you are supporting the crimes against humanity perpetuated by a tyrrany. The reasons? So there could be diplomatic relations between the government of Britain and the government imposed in Iran. So that the previous arrangement for extracting oil, or one similar to it, could be resurrected.

    What ought the British and the US governments to have done? The answer is nothing at all. Go away. Stay out.

    When I referred to "West", I had previously indicated the political entity "Western Alliance", an alliance of governments.

    When it comes to Islam, I am not a believer. I am not a follower for religion.

    The fundamental political difference between the Western and the Islamic is that the former funds the irrationalities and violence of the latter. Both political systems embed initiations of violence at their core.

    Amit

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  17. Amit,

    As Peter has pointed out, we are way off the main point which concerns the right of Iran to pursue obtaining nuclear weapons. Given that country's ideology, which does not recognize the rights of the West , it should have no such "right" recognized by the West.

    "I'd ask that question of you. Is a deal between governments, gangsters and government cronies a "voluntary" agreement that binds those who are not party to it although they are disabused of their liberty and what was once their property by those party to the "voluntary agreement"? Consider. Ahab lives on his land in Samoia. Moh, a strongman chieftain, does not..."

    But your question begs the existence of property rights while offering a tribal context (i.e. a context where property rights is neither recognized nor upheld). Further, you provide no example of actual individuals' property being violated by AIOC under its deal with the Shah and tribal chiefs. Perhaps you should start with that, i.e. "the actuality of what was happening on the ground with existing individual people such as residents, owners and locals", as you are insisting I do for you. Onus of proof is on you to point to any violations.

    I agree that any agreement between AIOC and the Shah (or other "strongmen" such as the tribal chiefs) became null and void upon the latter losing power - AIOC was merely paying the powers that be what it had to on practical grounds in order to be able to *generate* property in the region. The nullification of the agreement/s however does not nullify AIOC's actual property rights. It was AIOC's investment and effort, not the Shah's nor the tribal chief's nor "Ahab's" nor the Iranian community's that discovered, developed and produced AIOC's oil and facilities. On what basis are you claiming that the product of AIOC's investment and effort should rightly be "Ahab's"/the Iranian community's? The most that you can argue on moral grounds is that AIOC should have lost (and never have had) exclusivity with regards to prospecting rights, surely, NOT that the product of AIOC's investment and effort should rightly have been confiscated(?).

    "You pay no attention whatsoever to the actuality of what was happening on the ground with existing individual people such as residents, owners and locals. "

    I invite you to enlighten me on the facts you think I am missing.

    "A serious error with the approach you are taking is that of arguing a defense of initiations of violence from the perspective of a collectivist."

    Ironically, from my perspective, it is *you* who is the one arguing for "rights" based on a collectivist premise by advocating for the morality of expropriating the property of a private enterprise for the benefit of a community which did nothing to contribute to the creation of said property.

    "I sure am disappointed by your support of violence, torture, murders and crimes against humanity and all manner of terrible initiations of force. In designing, funding and executing an "assisted coup" (which included the creation, training and operational assistance of SAVAK) you are supporting the crimes against humanity perpetuated by a tyranny. The reasons? So there could be diplomatic relations between the government of Britain and the government imposed in Iran. So that the previous arrangement for extracting oil, or one similar to it, could be resurrected. "

    I support the principle of AIOC going about getting its property back. I am not saying that it was in the interests of the West in general for AIOC to have done so, nor do I support SAVAK or what it did.

    Tell me this, if Iran obtains nuclear weaponry, what makes you think it will not use it offensively, when it's rhetoric and ideology indicates that it will?

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  18. Terry
    You got through a lot of material to discuss. I have to do it in parts. Else it can't fit in the message box here.

    The government of Iran, as government of a sovereign nation, has the same "right" as that of the USA, Israel and any other government to develop and deploy nuclear weapons. In my opinion that is no right at all. It is immoral to possess such a device, let alone the 6,000 examples the USA is reputed to possess on station in deployment (ready to launch within minutes of the decision to wipe out several hundred thousand or million fellow human beings) or the hundreds that Israel is reputed to possess. Nevertheless, it is the opinion of governments worldwide that they do have the "right" to possess, deploy and actually detonate nuclear weapons and indiscriminately incinerate other people in other countries. By this standard the Iranian government can have the weapons should it want them. They are a legitimate sovereign government. That they are supposed to have said naughty words and that they have religion down in Iran does not extinguish their sovereignty, nor does it extinguish their need for defence. Given what has been endured by Iranian people under the kindly auspices of the Western Alliance, notably the UK and USA, the government of Iran must know itself that it is near defenceless. Right now they have very limited ability to defend much, as the UK, Israel or the USA military could wipe their entire cities, infrastructure and millions of people right off the planet in a few hours. Also despite the fact that the USA government say very high sounding nice words, they are the only ones that detonated nuclear weapons to deliberately incinerate people. Actions shout out loud. The Iran government would be well aware of just how close they have been to getting invaded or incinerated over recent times. Should it be correct they actually intend to develop and deploy nuclear weapons (and the best evidence is that they do not intend to) it would be easy to understand their perception of the situation and why they might think they ought to have some. What I am told about the Iran government is that they do not have nuclear weapons, do not intend to make or acquire any, are concerned about the warmongering directed toward them and consider the anti-Iran sanctions an act of hostilities (which they actually are).

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  19. By what you write it seems you consider private property a "Western" concept and as such it is one that does not apply to those unfortunate souls you would define as "non-Western". How elastic principles of the “West” turn out to be! You argue that in a tribal context property rights are not recognised or upheld, yet pretend that they are applicable in exactly that same context where they are not recognised or upheld! Look at how this plays out. The AIOC did deals in a known tribal non-private property context. AIOC executive can't reasonably be expecting that private property rights be recognised and upheld in a context which (as you identify) fails to support them. That is, in a tribal context the private property right is not supported and any arrangements made in that context can't rely on the concept of private property. The AIOC executive relied on something else- not a principle but a specific form of arrangement. There was plenty of prior experience with it. The reality was that the AIOC effectively payed bribes to strongmen, gangsters (including British ones), adventurers, sycophants, mercenaries and a cast of like minded mercantilists so to continue extraction of oil. Their reasoning had little to do with individual rights or the creation of private property. Their motivations and actions were not principled in quite the manner inferred.
    Returning to the situation of Ahab and his people, if we are going to consistently embrace the principle of private property, then Ahab and his people are the ones Exploitation Corporation must deal with direct and do an honest Capitalist deal with- else go leave. In the alternative, staying with the tribal context, private property is not recognised and therefore the Corporation does deals ensuring that Ahab and co are excluded knowing that should Ahab object then Moh (an agent really) sorts him out by coercive or violent means. This does have the potential of going wrong though. It means that should Ahab and his people eventually gain the upper hand, Moh gets overthrown and Exploitation Corporation is out.
    “Tell me this, if Iran obtains nuclear weaponry, what makes you think it will not use it offensively, when it's rhetoric and ideology indicates that it will?”
    I do not know the future. Will they, won’t they? I do not know.
    There is another question to ponder.
    “Tell me this, the USA government has nuclear weaponry and has used it on people on previous occasions (also known to have used bio-weapons and poisonous gas and cluster bombs and mines designed to look like toys so that children will pick them up and nerve gas and flechettes and napalm…), what makes you think it will not use it offensively, when it's rhetoric and ideology and prior record indicates that it will?”
    I do not know the answer to that either. I sure hope the answer is that not one government anywhere ever does such vile things ever again. Perhaps the answer is to eliminate governments from provision of security.

    Amit




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  20. 1 of 2

    Amit,

    "the Iranian government can have the weapons should it want them. They are a legitimate sovereign government."

    Sovereign, yes, legitimate, no. Tell me, do you hold that a people and their government understanding, respecting and upholding rights has little if anything to do with legitimate government? Do you hold that a legitimate government should prioritize the rights of people whom it does not represent over and above the rights of the people whom it does represent? Do you deem a government to be "legitimate" if it decrees that rights come from the Qur'an? Do YOU hold that rights come from the Qur'an? If you don't, what are your rights if you live in an Islamic country? Should illegitimate governments be allowed nuclear weapons? I challenge you to answer the aforementioned questions without contradicting yourself.

    "Right now they have very limited ability to defend much, as the UK, Israel or the USA military could wipe their entire cities, infrastructure and millions of people right off the planet in a few hours."

    The argument of "legitimacy" aside, your logic is as follows: Even though Iran has ALREADY threatened to destroy Israel, and by implication the West, it should nevertheless be given the opportunity to acquire the means to do so on the grounds that Israel (and the West) has had the means all along to destroy Iran but hasn't done so nor has it ever threatened to do so.

    "Also despite the fact that the USA government say very high sounding nice words, they are the only ones that detonated nuclear weapons to deliberately incinerate people. Actions shout out loud."

    The pertinent facts you ignore: Japan was the aggressor in WWII and a most brutal one at that; the US military's responsibility was first and foremost to save American lives, not Japanese; the Japanese killed over 100,000 Americans prior to Hiroshima not to mention many millions of Chinese; Japan was called on to surrender in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945, threatened with "prompt and utter destruction" - an ultimatum the Japanese government ultimately chose to ignore; it makes no difference to a person if they are killed by a nuclear bomb or a machete; the use of atomic weapons is what ultimately ended Japanese aggression, saving thousands of American lives.

    "Should it be correct they actually intend to develop and deploy nuclear weapons (and the best evidence is that they do not intend to)…"

    What is that "best evidence"?

    "And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them [at the Sacred Mosque in Mecca] until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers … Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. [The Holy Qur'an, Surahs 2:191 and 193]

    For the first time in Islam's history large numbers of Muslims now live in the West (thanks to the UN's multi-culturalist policies since adopted by Western governments). This has set the stage for never-ending "fitna. From Islam's perspective, all war may now be deemed "defensive" until the world has submitted to Islam. Any government or individual where Muslims live who advocates for and upholds the right of free speech (which includes saying things that may offend Muslims), equal rights of women and homosexuals, the right to *discriminate*, etc, will necessarily be at odds with Islamic practices, thus causing "fitna". Qur'anic "rights" are simply not compatible with natural rights. That is the reality.

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  21. 2 of 2

    Amit,

    "the Iranian government can have the weapons should it want them. They are a legitimate sovereign government."

    Sovereign, yes, legitimate, no. Tell me, do you hold that a people and their government understanding, respecting and upholding rights has little if anything to do with legitimate government? Do you hold that a legitimate government should prioritize the rights of people whom it does not represent over and above the rights of the people whom it does represent? Do you deem a government to be "legitimate" if it decrees that rights come from the Qur'an? Do YOU hold that rights come from the Qur'an? If you don't, what are your rights if you live in an Islamic country? Should illegitimate governments be allowed nuclear weapons? I challenge you to answer the aforementioned questions without contradicting yourself.

    "Right now they have very limited ability to defend much, as the UK, Israel or the USA military could wipe their entire cities, infrastructure and millions of people right off the planet in a few hours."

    The argument of "legitimacy" aside, your logic is as follows: Even though Iran has ALREADY threatened to destroy Israel, and by implication the West, it should nevertheless be given the opportunity to acquire the means to do so on the grounds that Israel (and the West) has had the means all along to destroy Iran but hasn't done so nor has it ever threatened to do so.

    "Also despite the fact that the USA government say very high sounding nice words, they are the only ones that detonated nuclear weapons to deliberately incinerate people. Actions shout out loud."

    The pertinent facts you ignore: Japan was the aggressor in WWII and a most brutal one at that; the US military's responsibility was first and foremost to save American lives, not Japanese; the Japanese killed over 100,000 Americans prior to Hiroshima not to mention many millions of Chinese; Japan was called on to surrender in the Potsdam Declaration on July 26, 1945, threatened with "prompt and utter destruction" - an ultimatum the Japanese government ultimately chose to ignore; it makes no difference to a person if they are killed by a nuclear bomb or a machete; the use of atomic weapons is what ultimately ended Japanese aggression, saving thousands of American lives.

    "Should it be correct they actually intend to develop and deploy nuclear weapons (and the best evidence is that they do not intend to)…"

    What is that "best evidence"?

    "And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them [at the Sacred Mosque in Mecca] until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers … Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. [The Holy Qur'an, Surahs 2:191 and 193]

    For the first time in Islam's history large numbers of Muslims now live in the West (thanks to the UN's multi-culturalist policies since adopted by Western governments). This has set the stage for never-ending "fitna. From Islam's perspective, all war may now be deemed "defensive" until the world has submitted to Islam. Any government or individual where Muslims live who advocates for and upholds the right of free speech (which includes saying things that may offend Muslims), equal rights of women and homosexuals, the right to *discriminate*, etc, will necessarily be at odds with Islamic practices, thus causing "fitna". Qur'anic "rights" are simply not compatible with natural rights. That is the reality.

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    "By what you write it seems you consider private property a "Western" concept and as such it is one that does not apply to those unfortunate souls you would define as "non-Western". "

    The West is, as yet, the only civilization to have ever explicitly identified property ownership as being the right of all individuals provided there is mutuality (consistent recognition of those property rights by successive Western governments is another matter). Other civilizations (including Islam) either do not recognize property rights at all or else attach various duties to rights. A right that is made conditional on duties is NOT a right.


    "You argue that in a tribal context property rights are not recognised or upheld, yet pretend that they are applicable in exactly that same context where they are not recognised or upheld!"

    The context of intra-tribal relations is not the same as that of relations between rights-respecting individuals (or their representatives) and a sovereign or tribal chief. Rights-respecting individuals backed by a rights-respecting government comply are effectively acting as sovereigns themselves. "Ahab" is not dealing with his chief in the capacity of a sovereign party. Therein lies the difference.

    "Look at how this plays out. The AIOC did deals in a known tribal non-private property context. AIOC executive can't reasonably be expecting that private property rights be recognised and upheld in a context which (as you identify) fails to support them. "

    Actually, so long as the rights-respecting party is the stronger party and so is in a position to enforce its property rights, property rights may be respected and upheld even within a tribal context. That is what the case was with AIOC.

    "The reality was that the AIOC effectively payed bribes to strongmen, gangsters (including British ones), adventurers, sycophants, mercenaries and a cast of like minded mercantilists so to continue extraction of oil."

    I agree. Those bribes however were not payment *for* property, they were payment for the opportunity to create property. In other words they were extortion payments and should not have had to be paid. That fact that they WERE paid does not nullify the fact that the oil machinery, developed oil fields and the extracted oil rightfully belonged to AIOC and no one else.

    "Their reasoning had little to do with individual rights or the creation of private property. Their motivations and actions were not principled in quite the manner inferred."

    What is your evidence for this claim? Was not William D’Arcy’s and later AIOC’s discoveries THEIR discoveries? Were not their investments THEIR investments? Were not their efforts THEIR efforts? On what grounds are you claiming the product of THEIR investments and efforts are the property of someone else?

    Re "Ahab" having had his property exploited, please provide one *real world* example, properly tying that said “exploited property" to the person’s effort. This is my second request for a real world example.

    Re the US's WMD, you wrote "…what makes you think it will not use it offensively, when it's rhetoric and ideology and prior record indicates that it will?"

    You are question begging "offensively". On what grounds do you arrive at the US' rhetoric and ideology and prior record being "offensive"? Is not responding to an objective threat to one's rights defensive action?

    "Perhaps the answer is to eliminate governments from provision of security. "

    Anarchy?! That would be to invite the rule of fiefdoms and your "rights" being determined by whomever had the deepest pockets and/or the biggest guns, thus divorcing rights from objectivity altogether. Western civilization became civilized only when it discovered that rights are determined by objectivity, and not the payment of gold or the muzzle of gun. It is a discovery that is in the process of being forgotten today.

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