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  1.    #221  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    Good to see the exercising of Free Speech without the need for military intervention to protect it. One has to wonder what may become of those who dissent in a theocratic society and government, however.
    With a huge amount of newspapers, TV New channels, etc... closed by the gov because their reports are not in line with or critical of the gov is not a very Freedom of Speech friendly environment. Many of those who have protested in the past have faced serious consequences.

    It would be like GWB closing the doors of the NY Times, LA Times, Boston Globe, the New Yorker, CNN, and The Alan Combs talk radio show because they obviously do not walk in lock step with and are critical of the President.

    But I do agree with your concern on the continued safety and well being of those identified in the protests....a worry that shouldn't be evident in a true Freedom of Speech friendly enviroment.

    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    Wonder what would happen to protesting citizens who do not support their gov efforts, views, and policies who chant "Death to the dictator" outside a venue where Bush speaks.
    This happens all the time. Unless they are put into prison for expression of their differing views with the White House there isn't any comparison that can be logically and honestly made.
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    #222  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    With a huge amount of newspapers, TV New channels, etc... closed by the gov because their reports are not in line with or critical of the gov is not a very Freedom of Speech friendly environment. Many of those who have protested in the past have faced serious consequences.

    It would be like GWB closing the doors of the NY Times, LA Times, Boston Globe, the New Yorker, CNN, and The Alan Combs talk radio show because they obviously do not walk in lock step with and are critical of the President.

    But I do agree with your concern on the continued safety and well being of those identified in the protests....a worry that shouldn't be evident in a true Freedom of Speech friendly enviroment.

    This happens all the time. Unless they are put into prison for expression of their differing views with the White House there isn't any comparison that can be logically and honestly made.
    Getting back to the subject Hobbes, did your contacts in Iran say anything about the presidency of Khatami? Did they compare the Iran of today to that of Iran pre-2005?
  3.    #223  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Getting back to the subject Hobbes, did your contacts in Iran say anything about the presidency of Khatami? Did they compare the Iran of today to that of Iran pre-2005?
    No, not really. They seemed to have lumped it all into on perspective. A continual growing situation that developed inspite of the change instead of because of it.

    .........but I never did ask them that point blank either.
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    #224  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    No, not really. They seemed to have lumped it all into on perspective. A continual growing situation that developed inspite of the change instead of because of it.

    .........but I never did ask them that point blank either.
    I wonder, also, how they feel about their rather strange system of goverment where secular institutions of government have parallel religious institutions of goverment, but the religious institutions have the power of the veto.
  5. #225  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    With a huge amount of newspapers, TV New channels, etc... closed by the gov because their reports are not in line with or critical of the gov is not a very Freedom of Speech friendly environment. Many of those who have protested in the past have faced serious consequences.
    My point was that free speech is not dependent upon military intervention to 'protect' it. Free speech occurs whether a 'safe' environment exists or not. What is preferable? Free speech exercised with integrity in the face of potential hardship? Or ... Freedom of Speech 'zones' assigned by the government and located blocks or miles away from those being protested? Safety does not equate to freedom.

    It would be like GWB closing the doors of the NY Times, LA Times, Boston Globe, the New Yorker, CNN, and The Alan Combs talk radio show because they obviously do not walk in lock step with and are critical of the President.
    Or planting and incenting reporters to author policy-favorable articles or presenting governmental editorials as factually-based 'news'? You're right. I wouldn't want that for my country either.

    The US, nor any other nation or culture, has the right to dictate what government-type exists in another sovereign nation. Isn't that the same argument we use against Al Queda and surrogates?

    Unless they are put into prison for expression of their differing views with the White House there isn't any comparison that can be logically and honestly made.
    Being put into prison is the only definition of governmental punitive action?
  6. gojeda's Avatar
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    #226  
    Quote Originally Posted by lifes2short View Post
    Free speech exercised with integrity in the face of potential hardship? Or ... Freedom of Speech 'zones' assigned by the government and located blocks or miles away from those being protested? Safety does not equate to freedom.
    The obvious answer here, of course, is the basic need to provide safety is sometimes more important than to have the opportunity to yell in the face of the President, or the representatives that attend WTO meetings.

    After all, what good is freedom of speech when the police is forced to open fire on protestors who have taken it upon themselves to invade the meeting place in a beligerant manner?

    In many cases, protestors are separated if not for any other reasons than to protect themsevles from themselves.

    But I seem to recall that at, for example, at the RNC in New York City, the protesters were allowed to protest in front of MSG at certain hours of the day. Is that, in your estimation, an abridgement of free speech?

    Or planting and incenting reporters to author policy-favorable articles or presenting governmental editorials as factually-based 'news'? You're right. I wouldn't want that for my country either.
    So let me get this straight.

    Are are attempting to seriously equate the event of a NYTimes being shuttered because they were critical of the administration, with that of certain stories being promoted so that they make the newspaper?

    Isn't the comparison here a little too ridiculous, even for you?

    This is the first time I've heard of reporters being "planted", but every administration I know of have always made an effort to get their side of the story into newspapers. Nothing particularly new, or disturbing, here.

    The US, nor any other nation or culture, has the right to dictate what government-type exists in another sovereign nation. Isn't that the same argument we use against Al Queda and surrogates?
    Going off on a tangent in this thread again I see.
  7.    #227  
    Quote Originally Posted by gojeda View Post
    Going off on a tangent in this thread again I see.
    Agreed. It is amazing how fast Free Speech freedoms or concerns in Iran wrapped around to bashing the Bush Admin again.

    Please keep the topic to Iran. If anyone wants to continue the topic of Bush planting reporters, the Adim threatening those of differring opinions, or crippling of newspapers in this country, ect...please start your own thread on that topic.

    Thanks.
  8. #228  
    Iran and its degree of freedom or lack thereof does not exist in a vacuum, unless this thread is purely for the purpose of stirring the sh*tstorm against Iran.
  9.    #229  
    There have been many very valuable tangents in this thread, as noted in post #202 above with Cell, for example. Talking about the pros and cons of the Freedom of Speech in Iran is very valuable but the topic of how media is malipulated by the Bush Admin would be worthy of it's own thread.

    I am talking about tagents that focus on other topics such as bashing the Bush Admin on unrelated Iran topics, etc... In no way am I diminishing your opinions on topics you want to expound on but they can easily be qualified on their own merits to persue in their own threads instead of this thread which is focused on what Iran is doing, what the Iranian people are doing, the peaceful steps that Russia, the UN, the US, the EU are taking to help resolve it, the options available if those efforts fail, etc...

    We have done a good job in holding on topic dicussions, engauging in debates, sharing varying opinions on Iran and how to handle the situation for 230 posts now. I just want to keep the focus on topic due to the length of the discussion to begin with.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 10/09/2007 at 04:35 PM.
  10. #230  
    Some global framework was all I was attempting to interject as it related to your story on protesters, not trying to be argumentative. No problem there, Hobbes.
  11.    #231  
  12.    #232  
    As I said in the begining, internal pressure might prove to be one of the best courses to resolve the growing situaiton with Iran....which is one of the main benefits from strong UN sanctions. Here is a move in that direction:

    Iran's Ex-nuke Negotiator Lambastes Ahmadinejad's PoliciesWednesday, October 10, 2007
    TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's former chief nuclear negotiator delivered an unusually sharp rebuke to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's policies Wednesday, saying they are turning more nations against Iran and failing to fix the struggling economy.

    The comments by Hasan Rowhani were the harshest yet against the hard-line president by a prominent figure in the Iranian leadership, and came after critics had grown muted in recent month as the government stirred up fears of conflict with the U.S. and warned against dissent.

    The criticism echoed complaints early this year from conservative supporters of Ahmadinejad that his inflammatory rhetoric was needlessly goading the West in the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program and that he hadn't fulfilled promises to improve the economy.

    Rowhani was replaced as nuclear negotiator when Ahmadinejad came to office in 2005, but he remains a member of the Supreme National Security Council and sits on two powerful cleric-run bodies, the Experts Assembly and the Expediency Council.

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    Rowhani had spoken little in public since he was removed as nuclear negotiator, a stint during which he helped seal a deal with the European Union under which Iran suspended uranium enrichment as a gesture to the West. After he was replaced, Iran resumed those activities and has pushed ahead with them despite U.N. sanctions and resolutions demanding a halt.

    -------------

    He indirectly criticized Ahmadinejad's frequent statements dismissing the effect of U.N. sanctions on Iran, saying "the economic impact is felt in the life of the people."

    Turning to Iran's economic struggles, Rowhani said that despite high prices for Iran's oil, "we don't see a healthy and dynamic economy."

    "If we had an accurate and comprehensive plan, most of the country's problems could have been resolvable," he said.

    Rowhani said important policy decisions were being made by only a few people. "The views and opinions of others must be sought, too," he said, adding, "We can't reach adequate national unity with so much shortsightedness."

    On Friday, Ahmadinejad denounced critics of his nuclear policies and made what appeared to be a dig at Rowhani for discussing the nuclear standoff with German officials during a visit to Germany in September.

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    In an interview with Iranian television aired Sept. 24, Ahmadinejad said the Sept. 11 attack was "a result of mismanaging and inhumane managing of the world by the U.S." and was being used as an excuse by the U.S. to attack others.

    "The roots of this incident must be disclosed. It should not be turned into an idol like the Holocaust and be used for slaughtering people," he said. "The truths behind it should not remain unknown. September 11th must not become a holy thing like the Holocaust and its deniers be deemed as unbelievers and become victims of it."

    FULL STORY
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    #233  
    While I pray, and hope, that sanctions will persuade the Iranian leadership to come to their senses, I can't - for the life of me - think of an instance in the last 100 years where sanctions achieved its goals.

    I hope this is one of those rare circumstances where the exception prevails.
  14.    #234  
    I totally agree that sanctions historicially have a marginal success record. But sanctions did have a major play in NK closing their nuke falicities this month. With the economy already a major concern for the country tuff sanctions could be the spark to demand a change of policy from pressures within instead of forced from without the country. The challenge is that Russia and China will not allow the tough sanctions that the rest of the UN originally sought.
  15. #235  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    I totally agree that sanctions historicially have a marginal success record. But sanctions did have a major play in NK closing their nuke falicities this month. With the economy already a major concern for the country tuff sanctions could be the spark to demand a change of policy from pressures within instead of forced from without the country. The challenge is that Russia and China will not allow the tough sanctions that the rest of the UN originally sought.
    Completely agree. There is a fair amount of unrest in Iran and I should hope that sanctions would be that spark to force them to stand up and/or revolt. As far as Russia and China, I think this is yet another reason that we need to be the voice of many rather than the voice of one over a bullhorn.
  16. gojeda's Avatar
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    #236  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    I totally agree that sanctions historicially have a marginal success record. But sanctions did have a major play in NK closing their nuke falicities this month. With the economy already a major concern for the country tuff sanctions could be the spark to demand a change of policy from pressures within instead of forced from without the country. The challenge is that Russia and China will not allow the tough sanctions that the rest of the UN originally sought.

    Well the DPRK is a bit of a different animal, beginning with the fact that their economy, if it could be called that, would be in shambles without sanctions.

    Iran is not resource poor, nor are they nearly as destitute or desperate, as North Korea is.

    The DRPK has become the red-headed stepchild of Asia, so much so that China and Russia has little interest in what happens there, which in turn freed up the United States to do what was needed to get the DPRK in-line.

    However, we know China and Russia have deep links with Iran (just like they did with Iraq). Not only will they not support tough UN sanctions, they will work to undermine those sanctions covertly.

    Unfortanately, an sanctions against Iran have more in common with sanctions that were levied against Iraq - and we all know how futile sanctions in Iraq turned out to be.

    Time will tell I suppose.
  17.    #237  
    Wow...busy week for Iran in the news this week.

    Iran Faces Warning Over Money Laundering
    Oct 12, 8:55 AM (ET)
    PARIS (AP) - An international financial watchdog said Friday that it was worried about Iran's lack of comprehensive measures to fight terror financing and money laundering.

    The Paris-based Financial Action Task Force described the problem as "a significant vulnerability within the international financial system." Iran's problems include a lack of satisfactory legislation and regulations, it said.

    The group, the international standard-setter on money laundering and counter-terrorist finance issues, contacted Iran, as well as some other countries, asking them to deal with vulnerabilities in their systems.

    The other countries responded but Iran has not, said Rick McDonell, the group's executive secretary. He did not name the other countries.

    The task force, known by its initials FATF, decided to make a statement about its concerns during a Wednesday-Friday plenary meeting.

    "The FATF has repeatedly attempted to engage with Iran," McDonell said. "To date this has proved impossible, although this is still our aim.

    "In these circumstances, and given the risks, the FATF has no option but to express its concerns publicly," he said.

    The task force, made up of 32 countries and territories and 2 regional organizations, said it was asking its members' financial institutions to take the risk into account.

    http://apnews.myway.com//article/200...D8S7MUGO0.html
  18.    #238  
    We have talked about social control in this thread and I view social control in any gov as a controlling dictator practice with no goal further than to limit the exposure to the world outside of the immediate gov control and to isolate its population with only information censored through gov controlled sources. Here seems another example of that from dress codes to forbidding satellite TV:

    Iran leader urges police to keep up social vice crackdown
    Nov 7 08:16 AM
    Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday urged the police to keep up its crackdown on social vice that has also targeted un-Islamic dress.

    "The police must strongly press on with the 'social security plan' and avoid seasonal and temporary initiatives so that its goals are implemented in society," state television quoted Khamenei as telling police commanders.

    Police launched the crackdown in April in a drive to "elevate security in society" with arrests of "thugs", raids on underground parties, seizure of satellite dishes, and street checks of improperly dressed individuals.

    Thousands of women have been warned for wearing tight, short coats and skimpy headscarves and for flouting the Islamic dress code, which requires every post-pubescent women to cover their hair and body contours.

    Some moderates have questioned the need for the moral crackdown but conservatives have applauded police for a drive they say is popular with the public and necessary to improve security in society.

    The Islamic republic's all-powerful leader urged police to "fulfill its duties regardless of some opposition and propaganda."

    Iran has in recent months stepped up executions of criminals rounded up in the drive, in a clear warning to those deemed a menace to society.

    Nineteen men were hanged in Tehran and Mashhad after being arrested in a sweep on "arazel va obash," a Persian phrase that translates loosely as thugs. It is used for rapists, drug-traffickers and criminals who disturb public security.

    SOURCE
  19.    #239  
    This article shows some very positive developments and some very scary ones. They are scary if the gov is able to crackdown on and silence anyone who expresses opposing opinions of how Iran is acting and establishing it's international policies. This just seems like another step along a long walk in this scary direction that has been going on for 2 years now.

    It is positive because there is some internal pressure to change that is being expressed publicly by those actually with some influence....which I have always felt is the best way to resolve this issue without any military conflict.

    Ahmadinejad: Nuclear Critics Are 'Traitors'
    Monday, November 12, 2007



    TEHRAN, Iran Iran's hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Monday blasted critics of his nuclear policies as "traitors" and accused them of spying for Iran's enemies, using his strongest rhetoric yet against domestic opponents and raising concerns of a possible crackdown.

    Ahmadinejad's tough comments appeared to be an escalation aimed at silencing calls for him to compromise with the West over Iran's nuclear program, at a time of increasingly high-level criticism of his policies within the country's ruling establishment.

    Ahmadinejad has moved to exert greater control over the nuclear issue, replacing Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, with a close loyalist -- a step that angered even some conservative politicians.

    ----------------

    At the same time, complaints against the president have become more vocal...But recently, more leading figures have spoken out...On Monday, Ahmadinejad warned he would expose his critics, saying, "They are traitors."...He accused critics of regularly providing "the enemy" with "information from within the ruling system."

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    The president said one official has already been arrested for espionage and accused his critics of pressuring the courts to acquit him. "But I announce here that the Iranian nation won't allow these persons and groups to use political and economic influence to save criminals from the clutches of justice," he said.

    Ahmadinejad did not name the official. But earlier this year, Hossein Mousavian -- an ally of Rafsanjani who was the top nuclear negotiator under former reformist President Mohammad Khatami -- was briefly detained. Authorities have not said what charges he faces

    ----------------

    Reformist lawmaker, Esmaeil Gerami Moghadam, said Ahmadinejad's harsh comments were "the beginning of a new crackdown against his critics. He is resorting to threats to escape plausible criticism."

    Mohammad Ravanbakhsh, a reformist writer, said Ahmadinejad denounces anybody opposing his policies as being weak or being an agent of the enemy.

    "Ahmadinejad assumes that anybody opposing his policies is either a compromiser giving in to the West or is a coward," he said.

    FULL STORY
  20.    #240  
    Too little too late to stop the 3rd round of UN Sanctions?

    Iran Hands IAEA Nuclear Blueprints
    VIENNA, Austria (AP) - Iran has met a key demand of the U.N. nuclear agency, handing over long-sought blueprints showing how to mold uranium metal into the shape of warheads, diplomats said Tuesday.

    Iran's decision to release the documents, which were seen by U.N. inspectors two years ago, was seen as a concession designed to head off the threat of new U.N. sanctions.

    But the diplomats said Tehran has failed to meet other requests made by the International Atomic Energy Agency in its attempts to end nearly two decades of nuclear secrecy on the part of Iran.

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    Iran maintains it was given the papers without asking for them during its black market purchases of nuclear equipment decades ago that now serve as the backbone of its program to enrich uranium.....

    Both the IAEA and other experts have categorized the instructions outlined in the blueprints as having no value outside of a nuclear weapons program.

    While ElBaradei's report is likely to mention the Iranian concession on the drawings and other progress made in clearing up ambiguities in Iran's nuclear activities, it was unclear whether it would also detail examples of what the diplomats said were continued Iranian stonewalling.

    Senior IAEA officials were refused interviews with at least two top Iranian nuclear officials suspected of possible involvement in a weapons program, they said. One was the leader of a physics laboratory at Lavizan, outside Tehran, which was razed before the agency had a chance to investigate activities there. The other was in charge of developing Iran's centrifuges, used to enrich uranium.

    FULL STORY

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