May 2008

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« Irony Storm | Main | Terrorism or Stupidity? »

Comments

Paul

That is a huge leap to make. There are many other possible outcomes of the US leaving Iraq to be able to correctly predict what will happen to Iran. It would be pot luck as to whether the current Iranian regime becomes stronger or weaker.

twounicycles

Zimbabwe inflation

Sorry to Azi, I quoted an out of date inflation figure for Zimbabwe, I was a few weeks out with 3,714%, I don't know what it is now but as Azi said it was 9000% a few days ago.

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/06/21/zimbabwe.ap/index.html

Can you turn your monster brain onto how we help Zimbabwe, the former "breadbasket of Africa", Scott? Seriously? Pretend to find oil or gas?

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/africa/04/19/btsc.koinange.zimbabwe/index.html

Thomas B

Jim said:
There will never be a functional, oil-rich, Middle East Democracy. There are many reasons but the gist is that culturally the peoples of this region find the idea of fair representation so alien to their lives and religious faith that they prefer to have monarchy, theocracy or tribal/gangster governments. Most ordinary Arabs/Persians/Kurds etc are loyal to Family > Tribe/Tribal Elders > Iman/religious leader > religious sect (Sunni, Shia etc) > religion (eg Islam) > Country > Politicans > rule of law.
----
Jim,

In what way do you suspect this differs from Europeans of times past? I'm quite sure that Europe had a large chunk of its history where Family -> town/city state -> religion -> country (if that) -> King was the order of loyalty. And yet, they developed a lot of the founding principles that are now the "civilized" West. Egypt is considered by some to have been the cradle of civilization!

It is always impossible for people to recognize in the hear and now that the situation of today could be very different than the situation of tomorrow. 500 Years ago, Europe was flourishing and North America was run by natives. 1200 Years ago, Europe was in a mess. Back farther than that, Egypt was the Mecca of civilization. There is no reason to assume that what we have today in North America (and/or Europe) is the state that will persist. In fact, history seems to suggest the oppostie. And who will be 'the next big thing'? I'm guessing China, but to assume that the ME (or Africa) will never be able to get their act together and be a functioning, powerful, and perhaps even democratic (in some sense) state is ridiculously short sighted. Heck, I'm sure some of the U.S. Founding Fathers would have a hard time recognizing the modern USA as a democracy as they would have envisioned it, and that's in just a couple of hundred years!

The ME is a mess now, but don't waste your time trying to predict the future. You're gauranteed to be wrong when you use words like 'never'. Never is just too long a time.

JShope

Yo Jim,
Chaos is a threat to productivity, research, and growth. I don't fear for my safety. I fear for society.

Once the fabric of society falls apart, whose going to manufacture your computers, TVs, cars, etc. That is secondary to food, security, and shelter. Unless that is all you want out of life, then you'll be the one whose 'screwed'.

Adrian D.

Chad Turner:

While I agree that theocarcies are terrible forms of government, I still oppose stem cell research. My opposition is based on a belief that the embryos should not be killed even for the purpose of promoting advancement. I would similarly oppose killing puppies for research -- even if you could cure cancer by only squashing 1000 puppies in a vise.

Anonymous coward

Can you do some cartoons with Mullahs in them? How about Mullahs getting mullah'ed?

Dalebert

The gay bomb was never perfected. They didn't spend much money on it and I don't think they hired the right experts. Perhaps they needed the Queer Eye guys.

Question: If you're already gay, would the gay bomb turn you straight or would it just make you really REALLY gay?

Jim

Some of you seem to be groping toward the truth. Chaos is only a threat to the weak and stupid. We are the United Fucking States! For christ's sake! Act like it.
Screw Iraq. Screw Iran and screw Texas.

zaki

Dilbert , ha i called you dilbert . In a recent blog you cited a number of experiments which supposedly verified your free will theory . Sorry to burst your bubble but all it proves is that at that time they were not able to utilize free will at that time . There is no evidence that when they werent on the operating table they werent able to utilize free will . Rather it proves my hypothesis that humans only use free will a small percentage of the time such as 70% free will and 30% no free will .
IN YOUR FACE DILBERT !

wernman

How naive. Chamberland would heartily agree with you, though.

gordon_goosemonster

Blah, blah blah Iraq.
Blah blah blah Iran.
Blah blah blah Paris Hilton.

Rob

How about scenario b. Iran takes control of large parts of Iraq, doubling its refinery capacity. Builds a nuclear reactor, the ability to at least make a dirty bomb and a mandate from its people that it is doing the right thing in the was against the infidel.

Clearly unintened consequences go both ways, unless your balls are crystal who can say what will happen. We just ahve to hope that those who do decide are more informed and objective than we are. Sadly I doubt it.

Bertram

I know better than to criticize your approach, because you're kidding anyway.

But that strikes me: "...highly skewed toward young people. That alone spells change."
I'd say that alone spells inexperienced radicals trying to change a world for the worse which is bad enough as it is. The best we can hope for is they will be using inefficient means, like suicide bombing. They may be not bad as such, but just one malicious senior citizen they happen to listen to will suffice to steer them to the dark side. Skewed, but not skewed enough.

Bertram

Stoatbringer

Hmm... If troops withdraw from Iraq before it is truly stable, I don't think Iran would care too much about stabilising it when they could just invade and take it for themselves. They've not exactly been the best of friends.

Martin Stennett

how on earth do the monarchy in England have moral authority?? I've not seen a more amoral bunch of inbred oddballs since I watched simple life!

Pietro

Scott, excuse my euro-english but:
Why should the u.s. overthrow the Iran government at all? you seem to take for granted that it is a thing that must be done.

Is it because they have nuclear plants/weapons?
so what, your country has them too.

Then it is because it is not ok if a country with nuclear weapons is ruled by a dictator, not elected by democratic vote?
Fine, but what about Pakistan then? oh but it's ok there, the guy is friend with the u.s. administration.

Then it is because this Amadinejad guy says he wants to delete Israel from the map?
Wait a second... the subtitles that were applied to its speech said that, not his mouth. Do you care to know what he really said?

I have a question for you: what are your sources of information about Iran?

Do you think there is any connection between the anger of u.s. against Iran, and the fact that Iran wants to start selling its oil in Euros rather than dollars? oh but sure, your TV news never say this. You have a degree in economics, can you imagine what it would mean if Iran or Iraq started selling their oil in Euros rather than dollars?

A message to all of you: don't just believe what the TV wants you to think. Try listening to the other sides of the story, do some research on the internet.

Jim

I think your analysis of Iran is wildly optimistic. Have you spent the past 7 years working for GWB?

I have spent time working in the Middle East (pre 9/11) in Dubai and Saudi and I'll tell you one thing. There will never be a functional, oil-rich, Middle East Democracy.

There are many reasons but the gist is that culturally the peoples of this region find the idea of fair representation so alien to their lives and religious faith that they prefer to have monarchy, theocracy or tribal/gangster governments. Most ordinary Arabs/Persians/Kurds etc are loyal to Family > Tribe/Tribal Elders > Iman/religious leader > religious sect (Sunni, Shia etc) > religion (eg Islam) > Country > Politicans > rule of law.

Yoshikazu Iwamoto

"There are two ways the United States can overthrow the government of Iran:

1. Massive military attack
2. Withdraw from Iraq"

3. Arm oneself with a ham and run in yelling "AI LA LA LA LA LA".

Andrew

When this type of topic comes up I see in the comments a view that assumes - what is good for the USA is good for the world. To be fare it's probably not limited to Americans, it's just that I see more of their comments.
If you drop that assumption just imagine how the world would change. Perhaps the public would be less quick to back warmongery because they know it's not always the fight for a universal good, so as Scot says, your potential rulers would move towards the new paradigm in order to be electable.

Edwin

Scott,
I agree that unintended consequences are always the only ones you see. Just look at the big man in the white house, you elected him and he starts a war. You re-elect him and he stupidly goes on!

My solution would be to send over those senior citizens you seemed worried about a couple of posts ago and have them there indulge in drug abuse and heavy drinking. I suggest they do this while watching pornography. In addition we can send Paris Hilton to entertain them singing and dancing(there's no limit to her abilities). Thus, after having morally destabalised their society, they will have more internal problems than they already have and it should be safe for the US to withdraw their troops. The entire region will probably immediatly start fighting amongst themselves since "the common enemy" (Not the people's front of Judea) has left. As for Israel, I suggest we abandon the place down there and recreate it in what was formerly know as Eastern Germany. The western part of Germany never really wanted it and basically their historical actions caused the creation of the state in the first place. Ah well, I am probably looking at things too simplistic. Let us rather return to PH to see what scandal she can next come up with...

Thomas

Scott, after your hilarious confessions about Paris Hilton, I begin to think you sound more and more like Dogbert. Although my favourite character after Wally, this tends to have the downside that on your blog, you have to cope with more and more people who do not understand what you want to say. So watch out for more Irony Storms.
Then again, I also think this is intentional, and you probably don't see it as a downside ;-)
In any case, The U.S. going to Iraq was probably not such a bad move after all. Not only do you have the possibility of controlling Iran from there, but you also got one of the cruellest dictators out of the way. You could now tackle North Corea and afterwards, it is time for another run at Bay of Pigs with all the lessons learned. This will isolate Iran even more - with wonders for the stability in the near east. Remember: You can get far with a smile. But you can get even farther with a smile and a shotgun.

Peter van Ginneken

I fully agree with Scott. Most problems will simply go away if you just give 'm some time.

Peter

Tom

i like dilbert

twounicycles

> Inflation in Iran is running at 17%.

But Zimbabwe's inflation is 3,714% and Mugabe is still in power.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6751671.stm

Dmitry Z

Just one note: multitudes of youngsters, without proper education and with high influence of radical moods, DO spell change but hardly towards democracy. Thriving middle class does, youngsters are radical.

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