• 9 December 2011
  • Posted By Lily Samimi
  • Let's Talk Iran, Nuclear file, Sanctions, US-Iran War

The Parallels Between Iraq and Iran

What are the parallels in Iraq’s former nuclear program and Iran’s current nuclear program? What can we learn from the Iraq of the past when dealing with Iran of the present? We discuss these questions and more with expert on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction program and current assistant professor at the Norwegian Defense University College, Malfrid Braut-Hegghammer. Click here to read Malfrid’s recent piece in the NY Times entitled, “The Real Lesson of Iraq”.

Posted By Lily Samimi

    One Response to “The Parallels Between Iraq and Iran”

  1. no-name :-)) says:

    Your guest is a rational thinker; however, those
    on the US side are “not” rational thinkers. No
    tangible pain came to Mr. Bush and his immediate
    administration for, wrongly, taking up a war in
    Iraq. Mr. Bush’s pain was “not” eat sweet as
    dessert (to keep uniformed folks dieing in Iraq in
    his mind); that’s all. The b/s that Israel would be
    in immediate danger is just that, a total b/s. Let
    us assume Iran has a handful of nukes today and
    decides to launch one against Israel. To what
    end? What will Iran gain by launching nuke in
    Israel? Will it be so that Saudi Arabia get a foot
    hole in Palestine? Will it be so Jordon get a
    foot hole in Palestine? Will it be to give
    statehood to Palestinians?

    I mean what will Iran gain by launching nuke in Israel?

    If Iran cared for statehood of Palestinians, Iran
    would have allowed PLO or Hamas or likes to have
    some kind a of a political presence “in” “Iran.” No
    such a thing. Will Iran care to help Saudi Arabia get
    a foot hole in Palestine by Iran launching a nuke in
    Israel, over Iran’s dead body; no way no how. Will
    it be so Iran expands its geographical territory to
    include Palestine? Not likely, Saudi Arabian will not
    role over for Iran to annex Palestine (for what, I
    mean is it because of some mineral or industry that Palestine has).

    So, the argument that if/when Iran gets nukes it will
    use it against Israel is just non-sense.

    To-date, the Iranian government has been more rational
    players in this matter than US has. Simply because there
    is no feather off US’ cap to take up a war with Iran.
    No American voted Mr. Bush out of office because of
    wrongful war in Iraq, and no American today cares
    what-so-ever how many Iraqi died or still dieing (it
    is for American freedom that US is fighting in Iraq;
    is the thinking in US).

    Iran should get nukes, not tomorrow; likely yesterday
    to fend off a very likely invasion. How many Americans
    thanked Iran for Iran’s help to the Northern Alliance
    (which were fighting Taliban long before that
    Sept. 11th).

    Also, I respectfully disagree with your guest in that
    all (or vast intel) was suggesting Iraq had or was
    about to re-vamp its WMD program. Only dumb intel or
    those who were afraid of having their head chopped
    by CIA or MI-6; if they were to tell the facts were
    those “thinking” Iraq had (or could have had) a WMD
    program. I do need to make a clarification here: by
    WMD one has to be clear what type of a weapon of
    mass destruction one is talking about. There is a
    whole bunch of classes of such. As far as nukes go,
    no way no how; any one tells me that Iraq had nukes
    or was about to get them in 2003, I’d say they lied
    or were stupid or were paid to spread misinformation
    (that guy who died of brain cancer, the so called
    conservative media guy; what was his name, Bob Novak,
    what was the news worthiness of publishing the name
    of Wilson’s wife? why not just write some CIA

    Making an a-bomb is not like making a suicide vest
    that can be hidden in some basement, it requires
    “tons” of uranium ore, massive amount of electricity,
    water & road system; and 100s it not 1000s of workers;
    not a facility easily hidden. Then to detonate the
    nuke, requires sophisticated delivery and detitation
    system; none of which can be bought at a corner-store
    bakery. Come now, let us be realistic. Then there is the
    issue of life-cycle of a nuke; it is not like a bullet
    that can be sitting on some storage shelve for decades
    and still function.

    Let me ask your guest; does she know where US’ enrichment
    facilities are? Are those facilities not hidden or
    in some re-enforced facility? Where is Israel’s
    enrichment facility is? Why is it so alarming that Iran
    may have placed its enrichment facility in some
    re-enforced bunker? Why, that alone, makes it an enrichment
    to make a-bomb? Which IAEA protocol requires such
    facility to be above ground in a paper-tin structure
    with a bull’s eye on its roof?

    Neither US nor her allies of the moment are rational
    thinkers on matter of dealing with Iran on enrichment
    or nuclear technology. That is, simply, because the decision makers have little to lose; when another
    war-of-choice has been started.

    Will US and those US has an influence upon sign a
    non-aggression treaty with Iran? What will Saudi
    Arabia need with $60B (that is billion) worth of
    arms from US? Iraq is not there to cause it headache;
    Israel will not do anything to Saudi Arabia; Jordon
    is not planning on invading Saudi Arabia, etc. Iran
    is in a sea of hostiles; the war Iraq wages against
    Iran was mostly funded by Saudi Arabia. Has anyone
    paid a dime war restitution to Iran?

    If anything; the N. Korean and Iraq are examples that
    the only reason N. Korea was not invaded was because:
    (1) it was physically close to China, and (2) it has
    nukes. Iran can meet two of the criteria: it is
    physically closer to Russia; that leaves the second criteria: Iran needs to get nukes, like yesterday.
    Forget about PhD thesis and rational thinking. US
    and her allies are not rational thinkers.

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7,349 signatures

Tell Google: Stop playing Persian Gulf name games!

May 14, 2012
Larry Page
Chief Executive Officer
Google Inc.
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, California 94043

Dear Mr. Page:

It has come to our attention that Google has begun omitting the title of the Persian Gulf from its Google Maps application. This is a disconcerting development given the undisputed historic and geographic precedent of the name Persian Gulf, and the more recent history of opening up the name to political, ethnic, and territorial disputes. However unintentionally, in adopting this practice, Google is participating in a dangerous effort to foment tensions and ethnic divisions in the Middle East by politicizing the region’s geographic nomenclature. Members of the Iranian-American community are overwhelmingly opposed to such efforts, particularly at a time when regional tensions already have been pushed to the brink and threaten to spill over into conflict. As the largest grassroots organization in the Iranian-American community, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) calls on Google to not allow its products to become propaganda tools and to immediately reinstate the historically accurate, apolitical title of “Persian Gulf” in all of its informational products, including Google Maps.

Historically, the name “Persian Gulf” is undisputed. The Greek geographer and astronomer Ptolemy referencing in his writings the “Aquarius Persico.” The Romans referred to the "Mare Persicum." The Arabs historically call the body of water, "Bahr al-Farsia." The legal precedent of this nomenclature is also indisputable, with both the United Nations and the United States Board of Geographic Names confirming the sole legitimacy of the term “Persian Gulf.” Agreement on this matter has also been codified by the signatures of all six bordering Arab countries on United Nations directives declaring this body of water to be the Persian Gulf.

But in the past century, and particularly at times of escalating tensions, there have been efforts to exploit the name of the Persian Gulf as a political tool to foment ethnic division. From colonial interests to Arab interests to Iranian interests, the opening of debate regarding the name of the Persian Gulf has been a recent phenomenon that has been exploited for political gain by all sides. Google should not enable these politicized efforts.

In the 1930s, British adviser to Bahrain Sir Charles Belgrave proposed to rename the Persian Gulf, “Arabian Gulf,” a proposal that was rejected by the British Colonial and Foreign offices. Two decades later, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company resurrected the term during its dispute with Mohammad Mossadegh, the Iranian Prime Minister whose battle with British oil interests would end in a U.S.-sponsored coup d'état that continues to haunt U.S.-Iran relations. In the 1960s, the title “Arabian Gulf” became central to propaganda efforts during the Pan-Arabism era aimed at exploiting ethnic divisions in the region to unite Arabs against non-Arabs, namely Iranians and Israelis. The term was later employed by Saddam Hussein to justify his aims at territorial expansion. Osama Bin Laden even adopted the phrase in an attempt to rally Arab populations by emphasizing ethnic rivalries in the Middle East.

We have serious concerns that Google is now playing into these efforts of geographic politicization. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Google has stirred controversy on this topic. In 2008, Google Earth began including the term “Arabian Gulf” in addition to Persian Gulf as the name for the body of water. NIAC and others called on you then to stop using this ethnically divisive propaganda term, but to no avail. Instead of following the example of organizations like the National Geographic Society, which in 2004 used term “Arabian Gulf” in its maps but recognized the error and corrected it, Google has apparently decided to allow its informational products to become politicized.

Google should rectify this situation and immediately include the proper name for the Persian Gulf in Google Maps and all of its informational products. The exclusion of the title of the Persian Gulf diminishes your applications as informational tools, and raises questions about the integrity and accuracy of information provided by Google.

We strongly urge you to stay true to Google’s mission – “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” – without distorting or politicizing that information. We look forward to an explanation from you regarding the recent removal of the Persian Gulf name from Google Maps and call on you to immediately correct this mistake.



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