President Carter and President Obama

Let’s begin with an interesting argument I had about Carter’s deals with the Shah and the Shah’s political enemies (the Ayatollah and the Iranian revolution).

Pressuring the Shah by using America’s influence, both military and economically with Iran, in order to get the Shah to provide more openness to Khomeini’s revolutionary guards was support for Khomeini. Just like when the Shah released all those people he had in his jails, including the Ayatollah and other followers who formed the core group of instigators and leaders for the revolution in Iran. The Ayatollah’s place of safety in France allowed him to energize European and international support while using agent provocateurs in Iran to incite violent reactions from the Shah’s forces.

The Shah, just like Bush, wanted what was best for his people: things such as wanting to modernize the nation, and wanting a strong defense against external enemies like the Soviets or other Arab nations. The Shah, however, was willing or forced to accede to international scrutiny, notably Carter’s goons like Sec State Vance, in terms of domestic policies. Bush is the same way in terms of his responses: very soft against his domestic and foreign enemies but most notably against domestic enemies. The Shah released the Ayatollah and many others from jail, after they had openly declared their opposition. The Shah believed this kind of compromise would breed a better respect of rights and help reform the system in Iran. The Shah should have killed him, had the Shah’s human rights been as bad as depicted and if the Shah had your priorities, Sanger, but he didn’t. And so he fell, as Bush would have fallen in a coup de tat had it not been for the stability and loyalty provided by the US military. The Shah of Iran had no such pillar of support, however, not even from a foreign nation like America (When the Ayatollah certainly found refuge in France).

Carter supports every election of dictators, including Hamas, and you are telling us that Carter didn’t support the enemies of the Shah when the Shah attempted to reform Iran and increase civil liberty protections? Carter hasn’t appreciably changed over the years.

Any aid and succor given to the enemies of liberty is support, even if it is simply an international declaration that Hamas’ election was legitimate. This is not a standard that can be bent for the real politics of two lesser evils, because the very definition of civil liberties cannot be defined as a “lesser evil”, regardless of whether it is flawed or not, and the Shah’s attempts to create democracy in Iran as part of his aristocratic position were definitely flawed and too extreme when balancing freedom vis a vis security. The Shah had placed too much on trading security for freedom and relying upon US arms and protection from the Soviets. The one thing that Carter is very good at is forcing nations to adopt elections that Carter will then approve, and if those elections bring Hamas, Hizbollah, Khomeini, or Chavez to power, then that is all the more valid in Carter’s eyes regardless of the suffering of the people or the damage to American national security (or the suffering of American hostages in Iran).

Carter messed up not because he made the mistakes you have categorized; Carter messed up because he can’t tell the difference between leaders willing to improve their nation and leaders like the Ayatollah (or Chavez or Arafat or any other Marxist slash dictator slash mass murderer).

Even McNamara eventually admitted (I think it was him I saw in that documentary) that we and the NVA were fighting for different reasons, and _ours_ was the side that didn’t get it….-Sanger

McNamara was so incompetent I wouldn’t believe it based on his word alone if he said the sun came up in the east.

Pahlavi caused most of his own problems-Sanger

That’s like saying Diem caused most of his own problems, including his own assassination.

There’s a stark difference between American engineered actions that spark problems in the local politics of foreign nations and people like Bhutto refusing additional security and taking unnecessary risks in places like Pakistan.

Certainly foreign leaders are responsible for their own decisions, but so is America when American actions precipitate problems for them because of incompetent American meddling.

A side issue here is Carter’s election against Reagan. There were some interesting stuff I found in the wayback machine. My source is a preview of a book, on google, that lets you read sample pages. Unlike most previews, this one actually covers quite a lot of pages, even though it skips a couple.

Patricia Harris, Carter’s secretary of Health and Human Services, told a steelworkers’ union conference in early August, “I will not attempt to explain why the KKK found the Republican candidate and the Republican platform compatible with the philosophy and guiding principles of that notorious organization.” But, she added, when Reagan speaks before black audiences (Reagan was scheduled to speak to the National Urban League in New York and meet with Jesse Jackson in Chicago), many blacks “will see the specter of a white sheet behind him.” Andrew Young went even further, saying that Reagan’s remarks seemed “like a code word to me that it is going to be all right to kill niggers when he’s president.” Coretta Scott King managed top Young: “I am scared that if Ronald Reagan gets into office, we are going to see more of the Ku Klux Klan and a resurgence of the Nazi Party.” Maryland congressman Parren Mitchell, a leader of the Congressional Black Caucus, said, “Reagan represents a distinct danger to black Americans.” Garry Wills wrote in Esquire, “Reagan croons, in love accents, his permission to indulge a functnal hatred of poor people and blacks.” (pg 77-76)

Carter and the Democrats perhaps believed that the media would amplify their caricature of Reagan in much the same way they had for Lyndon Johnson against Barry Goldwater in 1964. They were wrong. The media was harsh on Carter for his indulgence of race-baiting. The New Republic wrote: “President Carter has made a grave moral error in trying to portray Ronald Reagan as a racist.” and that Carter’s statements were “frightful distortions, bordering on outright lies.” Boston Globe columnist Curtis Wilkie wrote, “Just as surely as the werewolf grows long fangs and facial hair on a full moon, the darker side of President Carter emerges in election years.” The Associated Press sent out a wire story noting that Carter’s followers [Patricia Harris, et all.) not Reagan, had first “injected” the Klan into the campaign. Washington Post reporter Richard Harwood wrote, “There is nothing in Reagan’s record to support the charge that he was a ‘racist.'”

The editorial page of the Post was biting:

Mr. Carter has abandoned all dignity in his round-the-clock attack on Mr. Reagan’s character and standing, jumping (in a most sanctimonious tone of voice) for “offenses” similar to many Mr. Carter himself has committed, and, most recently, concluding from all this that Mr. Reagan is a “racist” and a purveyor of “hatred.” This description doesn’t fit Mr. Reagan. What it fits, or more precisely, fits into, is Jimmy Carter’s miserable record of personally savaging political opponents (Hubert Humphrey, Edward Kennedy) whenever the going got rough…. Jimmy Carter, as before, seems to have few limits beyond which he will not go in the abuse of opponents and reconstruction of history.

Most worrisome to the Republicans was the finding that the number of voters who thought Reagan “does not understand the complicated problems a president has to deal with” was rising.

Reagan also hoisted Carter on his own petard. In 1976, Carter had blasted Ford with the “misery index,” the combination of inflation and unemployment, which was then 12.5. Carter had said, “No Man with that size misery index had a right to seek reelection to the presidency.” Reagan observed that the misery index was now above 20. (Sarah palin, using Joe Biden’s own words to attack Barack Obama. Classic)

A couple of conclusions here from the data. Carter’s both insane and mean, which we already knew. Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair and supports Chavez and such folks while saying he is improving the institutions of democracy is either insane or a sadist.

The second conclusion is that attack ads work. They work but aren’t invincible or omnipotent. Even if Carter or Obama’s attacks against Ford/Reagan or Sarah Palin and John McCain worked, it can be used against them later on if you have the will and memory to do so.

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8 Comments on “President Carter and President Obama”

  1. a Says:

    “coup de tat”

    It’s “coup d’etat,” not “coup de tat.” It’s French for “strike or blow of the state,” and, if you have never heard it spoken, is pronounced something like “coo day tah.”

    “the Soviets or other Arab nations.”

    Neither the Soviet Union nor Iran was or is an Arab nation, so this statement doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    “Carter’s both insane and mean,”

    If Carter is insane, it’s hard to consider him mean as well. Meanness implies some rational control over one’s actions, whereas insanity implies an irrationality to thought and actions, which sort of precludes being mean or nice.

    “Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair…is either insane or a sadist.”

    Hamas’ election was fair. That’s more or less a fact. You don’t have to like Hamas or shy from pointing out that Hamas commits terrorism to say that Hamas fairly won a majority of votes in free and fair elections. Bush and Rice pushed for those elections over the objections of Abbas, who rightly feared that in free and fair elections, Hamas would win on its platform of anti-corruption. The result was, as most people predicted, a Hamas electoral victory. You might wish the Palestinians had voted otherwise, and wish that Hamas was not in a position of authority anywhere, but you shouldn’t deny the fact that they won the election.

    “Any aid and succor given to the enemies of liberty is support…”

    This is predicated on the assumption that repression is pro-freedom and that democratization is anti-freedom, which seems a bit odd. Most people enjoy liberty and dislike living under tyranny. Most people living under tyrannies will, if given the chance, rise up against their oppressors. Increasing freedom in such a country, then, should be viewed (in a broad sense) as a pro-stability, anti-revolutionary, pro-democracy measure. Increase democracy, decrease the likelihood that the people will rise up against the regime and give an opportunity for extremist elements to come to power.

    The Shah’s regime was repressive enough to provoke popular hostility but not strong enough to hold off against domestic challenges. That was the biggest mistake made by Carter, the Shah, and just about everyone else – popular resentment against the regime was so high that revolution was almost inevitable, and small openings like the release of political prisoners were insufficient to defuse revolutionary fervor. Carter wasn’t pro-Khomeini, he was pro-Shah and hoped that relaxing autocracy in Iran would preserve the Shah’s rule. In this, he, like everyone else, simply and grossly over-estimated the regime’s strength and under-estimated the regime’s unpopularity.

    If you’re really interested in reading more, I highly recommend Nikki Keddie’s “Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution.”

    “The Shah…wanted what was best for his people”

    This is intensely ahistorical. Again, read up on this before pontificating.

    Sigh. Some of what you write is so nonsensical and irrational that it’s hard to even know where to start. Have you even been to college? I get the sense that you haven’t.

  2. a Says:

    With regards to the bit on correlations between democracy and revolution, I recommend Harvard Hegre, Tanja Ellingsen, Scott Gates, and Nils Gleditsch’s “Toward a Democratic Civil Peace? Democracy,
    Political Change and Civil War, 1916–1992.” in the March 2001 American Political
    Science Review.

    The authors found that while stable democracies and stable autocracies are relatively unlikely to experience civil wars, states in transition are relatively more likely to experience civil wars. States in transition and states with aspects of both democracy and autocracy, or anocracies, are less stable for a variety of reasons. Furthermore, the authors found that states in transition towards democracy experience civil wars at a lower rate than states in transition towards autocracy. Thus, while democratization might see a short-term increase in the odds of a civil war breaking out, in the long run it should decrease the odds and act as a stabilizing force. (These findings fall neatly in line with those of democratic peace theory, which holds that while democracies rarely go to war with each other, new democracies are more belligerent than either established democracies or autocracies).

    Long story short, Carter’s mistake was not, as you have put it, an insane and mean preference for tyranny over freedom or even anti-American dictatorships over pro-American dictatorships, but a belief that the Shah’s regime was durable enough to survive the transition period to democracy. It wasn’t.

  3. a Says:

    One last bit: while Khomeini certainly played a large role in the revolution – not a coup, but a revolution – he was far from the only player. The Shah was wildly unpopular and the revolution was widely based in Iranian society. It wasn’t until after the Shah had been overthrown that Khomeini consolidated power by eliminating his former revolutionary allies, Iran’s liberals and communists. The Shah very likely would have been overthrown regardless of whether he released Khomeini from prison or not, as most Iranians wanted him out and he was far too weak to survive a broad-based challenge to his rule.

    In contrast to the Shah’s Iran, it is almost impossible to imagine a coup in the U.S., in contrast to your assumption that a coup would have taken place against Bush (by perfidious liberals?). The U.S. enjoys widespread and deeply rooted legitimacy among its people, who strongly support the rule of law and constitutional legitimacy. Even if some element of the population did seek to seize power through a coup, it likely wouldn’t get very far. The U.S. government contains a myriad of veto points; seizing power of the executive would in theory give coup plotters some control over the levers of power, but it’s difficult to imagine even the executive agencies obeying orders given by a usurping leader. I suspect that if a coup did somehow manage to overwhelm the Secret Service and put someone into the White House, that person would become a prisoner within the building; who in the government would ever go along with such a thing?

  4. ymarsakar Says:

    It’s “coup d’etat,” not “coup de tat.”

    In case you hadn’t noticed, I don’t use a French keyboard or a German one. I’m not required to appeal to the totalitarian French standards on special marks: for example on their letter “e”.

    like “coo day tah.”

    Ah, so it’s phonetically coup de tat. I see. Maybe I should change it to that after all.

    Meanness implies some rational control over one’s actions, whereas insanity implies an irrationality to thought and actions, which sort of precludes being mean or nice.

    You forgot to learn your psychology correctly. Insanity is not consistent nor is it applicable to all parts of a person’s personality, behavior, or thoughts.

    “Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair…is either insane or a sadist.”

    I see you are a student of Linguistics: specifically the Linguistics branch of propaganda arts. My real quote was:

    Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair and supports Chavez and such folks while saying he is improving the institutions of democracy is either insane or a sadist.

    There’s that word “and” and do you know what “and” means when applied to an argument of logic?

    I know it is convenient to argue against strawmen, especially when you feel the need to cover a lot of ground in order to defend Khomeini and Carter, but your methods are too amateurish. In case you hadn’t noticed, selective quoting results in you making up completely irrelevant arguments like this one:

    You might wish the Palestinians had voted otherwise, and wish that Hamas was not in a position of authority anywhere, but you shouldn’t deny the fact that they won the election.

    That has nothing to do with anything in my arguments. If you want to make that point, go ahead, but don’t try to make it seem like it’s a valid counter-argument.

    I get the sense that you haven’t.

    When you look in the mirror, do you see yourself or just the people you hate and help to oppress?

    But that’s beside the point. You get the sense that I haven’t been to college because you equate your eugenics based standard of superiority with how much someone agrees with you and you equate how much someone agrees with you to their level of intelligence.

    It is extremely convenient for people like you to discount the views of other people simply because nobody who is intelligent or well educated could possibly take the opposite position as you and do it for completely different reasons. Reasons foreign to supporters of oppression, slavery, sexual slavery, and mass murder.

    Unlike you, I don’t base my standards of right or wrong based upon someone’s level of education, their intelligence, or the demand that only smart people agree with me and only dumb people disagree. I base my standards of right and wrong based upon your support of what you believe in, your actions and their consequences, and your character.

  5. a Says:

    “I’m not required to appeal to the totalitarian French standards on special marks on their the letter “e” for example.”

    Is this a joke? It must be a joke. I have difficulty imagining what sort of person could say this and mean it. Do you honestly equate correct spelling with totalitarianism?

    “I know it is convenient to argue against strawmen…”

    This is confusing. You made the case that Carter is a very bad man for having called Hamas’ electoral victory free and fair.

    You said it here:

    “Any aid and succor given to the enemies of liberty is support, even if it is simply an international declaration that Hamas’ election was legitimate.”

    You said it here:

    “Carter supports every election of dictators, including Hamas…”

    And you said it here:

    “Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair and supports Chavez and such folks while saying he is improving the institutions of democracy is either insane or a sadist.”

    What’s the confusion here? Are you denying that you, yourself, claimed that Carter called Hamas’ electoral victory free and fair? Are you denying that you, yourself, are claiming that this is a terrible thing for Carter to have done? What, exactly, is the strawman here? Are you arguing that you did not write what you wrote?

    “You get the sense that I haven’t been to college because you equate your eugenics based standard of superiority with how much someone agrees with you and you equate how much someone agrees with you to their level of intelligence.”

    I’m not really clear on where eugenics comes into this. I don’t think you went to college because you write very poorly and because you have difficulty making rational, clearly thought out arguments. You’re obviously interested in and desire to be engaged in these issues, but you neither know what you’re talking about nor know how to make a rational argument. I recommended to you two pieces of real, scholarly work to read, because I think exposure to that sort of thing (which you seem to be lacking) might actually help you.

    “Reasons foreign to supporters of oppression, slavery, sexual slavery, and mass murder.”

    This is what reasonable people call “hyperbole.” This also neatly illustrates my point: the conversation had up to this point does not lead logically to this point. What did I say that could possibly lead you to conclude I support these things?

    “I base my standards of right and wrong based upon your support of what you believe in, your actions and their consequences, and your character.”

    This is just silly. Was this really what you were trying to say? That you base your standards of right and wrong on my actions and beliefs? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If I were to tell you that cheating and lying were terrible, would you suddenly declare cheating and lying to be the pinnacles of moral achievement?

    This is what I mean: if you didn’t mean to write that, it’s because you write poorly and could use help. If you did mean it, it’s because you’re unhinged and it’s not worth spending much more time talking.

  6. a Says:

    “I see you are a student of Linguistics: specifically the Linguistics branch of propaganda arts.”

    This is a good example. Ymarsakar, this is a convention in writing that is so commonly accepted that your ignorance of it would be surprising were in not for the poor and absurdly hyperbolic quality of the rest of your work. Replacing a part of a quote with ellipsis can certainly change the meaning of a quote, but it’s mere presence does not imply the meaning of the quote has been altered. In common written discourse, it should be assumed that the meaning of the quote has not, in fact, been altered by the excision of part of it.

    The point of using this common discursive tool is to excise, for the purposes of clarity and brevity, text unnecessary to the point being made. Your original statement read:

    “Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair and supports Chavez and such folks while saying he is improving the institutions of democracy is either insane or a sadist.”

    Here’s how I quoted it:

    “Anybody that calls Hamas’ elections fair…is either insane or a sadist.”

    Now, for credit: please explain to me how, if at all, my excision changed the truth value of your statement.

  7. ymarsakar Says:

    In common written discourse, it should be assumed that the meaning of the quote has not, in fact, been altered by the excision of part of it.

    The authority of the one quoting backs up the interpretations of the quote and one can assume it to be a correct quote: combined with the necessary bibliographical references for others to make a check on.

    My position is very clear on this matter. Your authority is lacking and your scholarly work is inaccurate.

    Now, for credit: please explain to me how, if at all, my excision changed the truth value of your statement.

    Carter calling the election of Hamas fair or calling Chavez’ election fair is not even the primary part of my argument. The primary part resided in the part you removed: solely because your perception of the logic at work in my sentence resulted in a conclusion on your part that the important part was what you quoted. The important part was not what you quoted.

    Carter’s problem is not calling the election of Hamas or Chavez anything. Carter’s problem is saying and believing that those elections are improvements upon democracy or democratic institutions. It is quite obvious that the election of extreme factions and ideologies are not improvements upon democracy. Democracy, the Western version if you discount the Ancient Greek example of Athens, relies upon a balance of powers, proportionate and equal representation, and a feedback loop between the laws made by the powerful and the people who actually have to obey those laws. I said that anyone who “supports Chavez and such folks while saying he is improving the institutions of democracy is either insane or a sadist” because anyone that calls Hamas’ election fair while at the same time saying that it improves the institutions of democracy in Palestine, is either insane or a sadist. Insane because it is exposes a belief in unreality and a sadist because this provides international recognition and support of the oppression of Palestinians by the Hamas government in the guise of “democracy”: democracy is legitimate and dictatorship is not.

    What did I say that could possibly lead you to conclude I support these things?

    The same thing that led you to believe what mattered to me was Carter’s ruling on Hamas’ election. It’s called interpretation, which is a subjective criteria that requires a personal and individual filter; this filter is by definition totally independent of scholarly resources because it is your own personal judgment, biases, prejudices, beliefs, and experiences combined.

    That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If I were to tell you that cheating and lying were terrible, would you suddenly declare cheating and lying to be the pinnacles of moral achievement?

    Just because you believe that my standards of right and wrong are totally reactionary and dependent upon your positions does not make that true. I said that I will judge right and wrong based upon people’s character: not their intelligence, not whether they agree with me or not, and not based upon their level of education. This also means that I will not do as you do and determine right from wrong, truth from fiction, by the fact that someone disagrees with me. I will also not conclude that just because someone disagrees with me, as you have, that this indicates a lack of education on their part.

    This is what I mean: if you didn’t mean to write that, it’s because you write poorly and could use help. If you did mean it, it’s because you’re unhinged and it’s not worth spending much more time talking.

    This false dilemma argument of yours is exactly what I mean. You define my meanings the way you want to, choosing an interpretation totally at odds with what I actually mean through the use of selective quoting, and then you create an either-or situation from which you are either right and I am wrong or you are right and I am wrong. These conclusions of yours are the benefit of fighting against strawmen, A.

    If I didn’t mean to write that, my dear A, it is because you read it incorrectly. As for the selective quoting, of course it is selective quoting because you are being sensationalist here. You are not doing scholarly work, inspite of your act to rely upon seemingly accurate sources. If you were doing scholarly work, then surely yes, your quotes can be seen as an accurate one: after you have been peer reviewed. However, this is called the blogosphere slash the internet and whatsoever arguments you make here are more accurately classified as hear say, rumor, and sensational efforts by biased and non-academic sources than true scholarly work, A.

    After all, you do not even provide your true name or your credentials and even if you did, how could I check? I could not. This is not a matter of hypocrisy on my part, for I do not provide my true name as well nor do I provide my credentials, precisely because I know you can’t check them. However, one difference is that I use the same name across the internets while you use the letter “a” like anonymous. You are an anonymous source while I at least have a consistent history across all blogs and topics that I have written on or about. I do not claim to be an academic source or an author with peer reviewed articles, but surely I am less “anonymous” than you.

    Replacing a part of a quote with ellipsis can certainly change the meaning of a quote, but it’s mere presence does not imply the meaning of the quote has been altered. In common written discourse, it should be assumed that the meaning of the quote has not, in fact, been altered by the excision of part of it.

    While evaluating sources found on the internet, outside peer reviewed journals and libraries, it is wise to assume that any use of ellipsis is for sensational value rather than academic value. This is why newspaper articles cannot be said to be academic, A. You have an axe to grind and it is not exactly apparent what your aims and purposes are, for you don’t admit to them. You are not doing a scholarly work with an introduction and thesis and evidence, after all. You surely cannot expect me to treat you in such a manner, for then I truly would be the ignorant and uneducated person you accused me of from the beginning using selective quoting and ad hominem arguments.

    Is this a joke? It must be a joke. I have difficulty imagining what sort of person could say this and mean it. Do you honestly equate correct spelling with totalitarianism?

    I recognize that you have difficulty comprehending arguments that violate your assumptions and challenge your perceptions, but, truly, why do you persist in attributing incorrect meaning to what you read? I won’t accuse you of being illiterate and unable to understand what you read and write, as you have done against me, but I will say that the French banning of the word email and replacing it with emaile, with an accent on the e, is, indeed, part of France’s totalitarian standards for all things French. Do you not know that “totalitarian” means, in part, an intolerance of things that would force the status quo to change: dissidents, intellectuals, free speech, things like that?

    Even by your own standards, A, I spelled coup de tat correctly. If you want to make it coup d’etat, nobody is stopping you. I can only claim an interest in correct grammar and spelling for English. For foreign languages, it is better to place it in the vernacular by combining phonetic spellings with actual spellings. I could have spelled it coo day tat and it would been as valid as your own phonetic spelling. Do you really think it is consistent with academic standards to be a hypocrite and accuse other people of incorrect spelling while you are free to spell things however you want simply because it is now labeled “phonetic”? An amazing standard you have, A.

    You made the case that Carter is a very bad man for having called Hamas’ electoral victory free and fair.

    Students may get away with misquoting their sources and then interpreting those quotes to mean what the students want them to mean, but this doesn’t mean you should do it as well. No, I did not make the case that Carter is a very bad man for having called Hamas’ electoral victory “free and fair”. That argument was finished at the top of this post, if I recall.

    Any aid and succor given to the enemies of liberty is support, even if it is simply an international declaration that Hamas’ election was legitimate.

    As for this quote you seem to have problems with: obviously when I mean “legitimate” I am speaking of the legitimacy of democracy, not just elections. I, after all, did not simply mention elections; I also mentioned democracy and the institutions of democracy.

    This is what reasonable people call “hyperbole.”

    Since you are not a reasonable person, I presumed you wouldn’t mind hyberbole. Was I wrong?

    Long story short, Carter’s mistake was not, as you have put it, an insane and mean preference for tyranny over freedom or even anti-American dictatorships over pro-American dictatorships, but a belief that the Shah’s regime was durable enough to survive the transition period to democracy. It wasn’t.

    There are two points here and I didn’t address them before since I wanted to wait. However, since you are so insistent, I suppose I’ll humor you.

    The first point is your claim about Carter. The second point is your claim about the “Shah’s regime not being durable enough to survive the transition period to democracy”.

    To start things off, let us have an introduction. Link. The link is for reference solely, for I will be using material from it and the sources are all linked to there.

    As I said in the beginning of my Original Post, or topic post, here, I was making an argument on the internet. Such arguments are not known for academic standards or sourcing and people should not expect such standards and methodologies. Thus, most of my arguments are sourced elsewhere and were not provided. Thus, you should not have jumped to conclusions over an argument that was 1. without proper sourced 2. lacking references used or assumed 3. not made to academic standards. Your accusations of bad writing is according to your academic and intellectual standards, which is not expected nor useful on the internet: nobody expects you to have your sources ready for verification in a Works Cited when you are simply making conversation, except for, perhaps, people like you, A. Your accussations against me are made based upon the erroneous assumption that this is the best I can do. It is quite an underestimation and demonstrates your own (lack of) ability to judge far more than it does my academic standards at reading and writing.

    So let us continue on with the two points I have introduced as the ones I will disprove and dissect.

    On the eve of his birthday, the Shah released 1,451 prisoners, including 1,126 political detainees. Still, demonstrations and rioting continued; 1,200 people, by conservative estimates, have died in clashes with military troops since August. The Shah remains committed to political reforms that will lead to parliamentary elections next June. He has also indicated a willingness to give up some of his absolute powers in favor of a constitutional monarchy. Nonetheless, he now privately admits that if the turmoil continues, he may be forced to leave the country.

    Your sources’ claim concerning the inability of the Shah’s regime to endure the transition to democracy is valid and true. Your interpretations of your source and the conclusions you derive from it, however, are incorrect and false. I made a distinct difference between institutions of democracy and the elections of people like Hamas or Chavez before, when we were arguing about Carter and what you thought I had believed about Carter: based upon your ad hominem justified claims concerning me.

    The Shah wanted elections and in the process, just as your source mentioned, instability occured as the regime was translating from autocracy to democracy. Long time democracies, with proven institutions, both strong and historic, are peaceful and lack vulnerabilities that transition states have. Where things start to branch out concerns your argument that Carter was responsible for these attempts at reform. That is incorrect; the Shah of Iran was the one with the desire to reform his nation, not Carter. Carter is President of the US and would not want instability in the Middle East during a Cold War. Certainly Carter cannot be expected to have wanted instability, unless you admit that Carter did not realize that nations transitioning to democracies from autocracies would be more unstable than both autocracies and democracies combined. I certainly believe so of Carter, but I suspect you do not. Thus, this is how we differ on your second. As for your first point: let us begin this way.

    This is predicated on the assumption that repression is pro-freedom and that democratization is anti-freedom, which seems a bit odd. Most people enjoy liberty and dislike living under tyranny. Most people living under tyrannies will, if given the chance, rise up against their oppressors. Increasing freedom in such a country, then, should be viewed (in a broad sense) as a pro-stability, anti-revolutionary, pro-democracy measure.
    […]
    Long story short, Carter’s mistake was not, as you have put it, an insane and mean preference for tyranny over freedom or even anti-American dictatorships over pro-American dictatorships, but a belief that the Shah’s regime was durable enough to survive the transition period to democracy. It wasn’t.

    These two quotes of yours, separated by quite a long distance metaphorically speaking, will satisfy most of my requirements in making a counter-argument to your belief that Carter’s mistake was the way in which you described it.

    Now you recognize that democratization is anti-freedom in specific cases, like Iran, for nations transitioning from totalitarian, dictator, or autocratic traditions to a more representative, free, and democratic tradition. You found it a bit odd that I would say that Carter’s attempt to sabotage the Shah’s efforts at reforming his nation to be a pro-totalitarian action by Carter. I do not see how you can hold this position given that you have already recognized that states transitioning from autocracy to democracy are naturally more unstable than autocratic or democratic states with a long tradition of autocracy or democracy. When Carter sabotages the Shah’s attempts at transforming his nation into a democracy, how can this not be read as Carter supporting tyranny and totalitarian governments? Tyranny and totalitarian governments are what results from failed attempts to turn autocracy into democracy. As democratic nations have less internal defenses against revolt than autocratic ones do, and people want to be free against their oppressors when given a chance, then obviously when the Shah of Iran looses the levels of oppression in Iran things are going to turn more violent and more unstable. This would be against the Cold War real politics of favoring US foreign policy favoring dictators in order to keep the ME stable so as not to precipitate any direct action between the US and the USSR: which could potentially result in nuclear war.

    Increasing freedom in such a country, then, should be viewed (in a broad sense) as a pro-stability, anti-revolutionary, pro-democracy measure.

    That is, of course, true. In a broad sense, introducing democratic reforms and increasing freedom in a country will produce stability, protect against revolutions, and increase general economic prosperity. In a specific sense, concerning Iran, the introduction of democratic reforms can stumble and produce more instability and more totalitarian governments: such as Iran’s current mullahs.

    You are caught between a rock and hard place here. Either Carter supported the Shah’s reforms in Iran, thus destabilizing the nation to such a degree that both the Shah and Carter were unable to prevent it from falling to the revolutionaries, or Carter was supporting the Shah’s reforms in Iran precisely because Carter did know that transitioning states were much weaker internally and could fall more easily. Option one means that Carter was trying to support a long term democracy for stability, contrary to real political Cold War standards at that time, and simply failed because he was incompetent. Option two means that Carter knowingly wanted to stop instability in the Middle East. To do so, Carter had to get rid of the Shah, someone who wanted to turn autocracy into democracy, which had the effect of increasing instability in the ME. Option two relies upon Carter following the US policy of supporting dictators and totalitarian governments in the Middle East for Cold War stability goals.

    Option 1 supports my position. Option 2 supports my position. If Carter knowingly encouraged the Shah’s moves towards instability, temporary instability I grant you, and failed to protect the Shah and provide the Shah with what he needed to turn his autocracy into a democracy, then Carter was far more than just incompetent. Carter knowingly supported the conditions that bred Khomeini: totalitarianism. This is not just a simple fact of choosing one dictator over another; this is knowingly supporting a liberal reformer and then failing to provide the necessary support to the nation in question when the predictable consequences resulted. This is not pro-liberty.

    Option 2 also supports my position that Carter is pro-tyrant because manipulating other nations so that they can fall and be replaced with somebody that Carter thought would be better for the Middle East, is indeed rather supportive of tyrannies given that there are no democracies in the Middle East, except Israel, and autocracies (as you admitted) are more stable than states in transition (Iran at the time).

    Now, as for the proof and justifications: here we are.

    At the time, a senior Iranian diplomat in Washington observed, “President Carter betrayed the Shah and helped create the vacuum that will soon be filled by Soviet-trained agents and religious fanatics who hate America.” Under the guise of promoting” human rights,” Carter made demands on the Shah while blackmailing him with the threat that if the demands weren’t fulfilled, vital military aid and training would be withheld. This strange policy, carried out against a staunch, 20 year Middle East ally, was a repeat of similar policies applied in the past by US governments to other allies such as pre Mao China and pre Castro Cuba.
    […]
    It was hardly an auspicious 59th birthday last week for the Shah of Iran. Under mounting opposition from critics of his regime, the Shah has been forced into a radical reassessment of his priorities. In recent weeks, strikes by workers angered over the country’s inflation rate (currently 50%) have paralyzed the nationalized oil refineries, postal service, airline, and copper and steel industries. The nation’s balance of payments deficit exceeds $5.5 billion. To pay for an across-the-board wage increase for at least 1 million workers, and for subsidized housing and other social projects, the Shah has canceled $7 billion worth of American and European military orders, including the controversial U.S. AWAC airborne warning system. He is also scrapping plans to build 20 nuclear plants, a modern railroad and a subway system for Tehran.

    Certainly we can expect the President of the United States to at least know that transitional states are very unstable. And if Carter does not, you would do better to find him, A, and give him some lectures for you will do far more good for Carter than you have ever done for me.

    Carter knew this for a fact, yet he failed to support the Shah. Either way you cut it, calling for reforms in Iran and then failing to support the Shah or calling for reforms in Iran and then purposefully sabotaging the Shah, both are not indictators that Carter’s mistakes were made because Carter believed the Shah could pull the reform of Iran off. Carter did not believe that and there is too much evidence to back that up for you to deny, A.

    ” “The Shah…wanted what was best for his people””

    This is intensely ahistorical. Again, read up on this before pontificating.

    This is intensely ignorant and nonsensical on your part, A. Did you just not say that the Shah of Iran failed to get his country successfully from autocracy to democracy? Did you not just say that increasing freedom in a nation is pro-liberty, even when transitional states are more unstable and violent? Yet you still claim there is something wrong with the conclusion that the Shah wanted what was best for his people. You can only have a problem with the truth of that statement if you believe that reforming Iran into a nation with strong democratic institutions and providing more freedom, in addition to elections, were somehow not the best thing for his people.

    If, as you say, people are going to rise up against their oppressors when given a chance, the Shah either could have increased oppression or increased freedom. Do you somehow believe, A, that the Shah increasing oppression for his people was the better thing to do for Iranians? Your thinking, not just arguments, are illogical on the face: even if I limit myself to your own arguments and beliefs.

    Carter subsequently refused to allow tear gas and rubber bullets to be exported to Iran when anti-Shah rioting broke out, nor to allow water cannon vehicles to reach Iran to control such outbreaks, generally instigated out of the Soviet Embassy in Tehran. There was speculation in some Iranian quarters — as well as in some US minds — at the time and later that Carter’s actions were the result of either close ties to, or empathy for, the Soviet Union, which was anxious to break out of the longstanding US-led strategic containment of the USSR, which had prevented the Soviets from reaching the warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

    A different source

    Not giving your ally what he needs to restore law and order in a nation going from autocracy to democracy, with all the attendent instability issues that creates, is not exactly what I would call Carter being a “pro-democracy” kind of guy.

    That’s it for your two points.

    P.S.

    Now, for credit: please explain to me how, if at all, my excision changed the truth value of your statement.

    Which one would you prefer me quoting.

    “A needs to be killed… then buried” or

    “A needs to be killed if he is a convicted child molestor and murderer and then buried”

    Which one, do you think, conveys the true meaning?

    I recommended to you two pieces of real, scholarly work to read, because I think exposure to that sort of thing (which you seem to be lacking) might actually help you.

    Sad to say it, A, but those two “real scholarly work” did not help you in the least when it came to improving your logic and arguments. Now, I don’t mean to say that the same will happen to me; I suspect I will get quite a few more accurate impressions and conclusions out of those sources than you did.

  8. a Says:

    Ymarsakar, I wondered if you had ever been to college because you write like a petulant adolescent who has constructed an elaborate world view based on superficial knowledge and tangential associations. All of this really just adds to that.

    Moreover, you sound like someone having a conversation with a cartoon of a parody of a caricature. I’m not really sure how to have a serious conversation with you when you seem to be talking to someone only you can hear. So, I’m not going to try.

    Good luck!

    PS – The French did not “ban” the word email. There are no police who will arrest you for having the temerity to write or type the word “email” within the borders of France. Arguing that the French are totalitarian because they banned the word email makes you sound deeply ignorant, unhinged, or childishly hysterical. If you want to be taken seriously, try avoiding saying crazy things like that. Last bit of advice!


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