Obama, Iran, and Where We Go From Here (TM)

I believe the rulebook clearly states that for mindblowing to be an understatement, DMT must be involved at some stage. :wink:

The patient is showing evidence of religious hallucination, up her dosage of di-methyl tryptamine.

Have you read the book, “Lipstick Jihad”? It’s a good one.

i’ll have to give it a look. sounds very interesting.

Interestingly enough, now that it seems real progress may be in the works, not many people seem all that interested.

Maybe I should have titled the thread “Bush to try to bomb Iran, anyways!” :wink:

I’m very interested, but also very aware that I am totally ignorant. I frankly don’t know what the hell Obama should do. I see the fundamental dilemma–we need to engage the people, who are not essentially anti-American, but the power is in the hands of the mullahs, whose attitude is less, uh, conciliatory. I was hoping other, more knowledgeable dopers would have more to say.

I may be niaeve, but I would try to follow up with some help to rank and file citizenry.

Something along the lines of free (medicinal not recreational) drugs, large scale child welfare programme, maybe dissemination of A LOT of generators to communities. Not that I know a lot about what is needed, and of course “the authorities” aren’t going to let it in.

However I would be trying to do something of this nature - help the population. Not so much a backdown in sanctions, but more of a “you can have it if you take it directly from us” approach.

Those in power don’t remain in power in a vacuum - if the citizens start to turn against them, or more against them they will need to relent.

At the same time, as has already been mentioned, to see the US start to take a active role in curbing Israel, or working towards a two state solution is also going to help its standing - without neccessarily involve “abandoning” Israel - which it should never do to foster ties with another country anyway.

I don’t think Iran is quite as dirt-poor as you implies. This approach migh work for infrastructure-poor Afghanistan, though.

I stand my culture-war suggestion.

http://www.worldisround.com/articles/98910/ Here is Tehran its’ capitol. It is a beautiful modern city which will be blown up like Baghdad was. It makes me feel sad. They are pretty westernized when they get away from the religious nuts. Baghdad was a beautiful place before we trashed it.

Well, it couldn’t hurt if it was handled right… but you’re correct, they’re not dirt poor even though their economy current sucks. And nobody likes being condescended to by being treated like a charity case.
Well, most people don’t like that at least.

Poll results, however, which show that Iranians would be receptive to economic aid in exchange for a cessation of their nuclear program tend to suggest, at least to me, that economic incentives aren’t totally off the table as a viable wedge.

I think that’s a very solid way to get the people of Iran, culturally, on the side of increased social freedoms, but I’m afraid that that, alone, won’t do the trick. I’m not sure exactly what will, it seems that a combination of political and cultural incentives might have a greater impact. I still think that the road to Tehran leads through Jerusalem. But, then again, if we manage to win over Iran first and defang Hezbollah and Hamas, then the road to Jerusalem leads through Tehran.

Which, evidently, someone in the thread is already claiming we’re going to bomb. I almost felt out of place in a thread talking about US/Iran relations without seeing hyperbolic claims about imminent destruction.

Ah well, maybe we’ll get lucky and Tamerlane can come and share some of his word-horde with us.

Well, what kind of aid are we talking about? Are Iranians starving in the dark for lack of food and fuel? I never had the impression they needed such basic materials but would be open to greater quantities of imported goods that various sanctions and their own government has denied them. More luxury goods, more cultural imports, more electronic gadgets, more alcohol, more Bond/Baywatch/Boobies…

Well, no effort that lacks mass support has a chance, though getting them whipped up into a frenzy about honour or Islam or Israel or other propoganda staples is risky. Rather, get them hooked on basic and harmless vices like western television and force their own government to be the bad guys, viewed as a nuisance to be ignored, shut down, voted out. At the very least, it’ll be harder to stage a “spontaneous” mass rally to burn U.S. and Israeli flags for the benefit of international news reporters if most of the crowd would rather be at home watching David Hasslehoff.

Any policy that even hints at a connection to Israel is likely to be counterproductive and just gives Iranian demogogues ammunition while pissing off Israel for no good reason. Instead, I’d suggest bombarding the Iranians with images of hot Jewish babes like Rachel Weisz, Dina Meyer, Natalie Portman, etc.

I think horse-trading negotiations are premature. Now that the Ayatollah has fired back, we should continue argument. Both sides should prod the other into understanding their point of view, and to call the other on their BS.

Obama should invite the Ayatollah to designate someone to speak for Iran in a series of debates via satellite TV with either Joe Biden of Hillary Clinton. Once a week for a couple hours over a period of months. They can’t keep repeating the same lies over and over. Keep hammering away at the issues and we’re bound to see some movement.

I love your optimism, but what’s the mullahs’ incentive to play along, or to allow broadcast of these debates in Iran uncensored? The world will see one version, while Iranian TV will get, at best, a version where we can reasonably expect translations will be suspect, moments will be taken out of context or presented out of order, etc.

And, yes, they clearly can repeat the same lies over and over. If the Iranian people have little or no access to competing statements, how are they to know?