"to write write is better than to fight fight" to borrow from Winston Churchill.
Certainly, non-aggressive actions are to be preferred over any attacks that can generate all sorts of unintended consequences. It's not as if that part of the world is a disagreement between just 2 sides and you end up supporting one or the other.
DeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 8724 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 1955 times:
Hm, hope some good will come out of this. I don't see Iran changing their course very much, but talking instead of threatening and fighting could go very far. I doubt it'll Iran to scrap their nuclear program but we may see a more tame Iran. A "scary" country getting nukes really isn't the end of the world, it's undesirable, but look at the whacky North Korean government. They have nukes but they haven't attacked anyone (yet.)
Not condoning anyone getting nukes, but I think invading them to stop them is worse
solarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1640 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1847 times:
Well, recall that they also totally ignored two previous letters from Iran. The first was prior to the US going into Afghanistan where they pretty much put everything on the table and GWB Jr. totally ignored it.
Then there was Ahmadinejad's letter which the west consistently derided and referred to as a "rambling, stream of conscious" letter, which they also ignored. I actually read part of the letter and though it touched on several topics, it was hardly rambling.
Unfortunately, for the US of A, it just so happens that for the past 2,800 years, the Persian Empire and its descendants have had a long standing tradition of royal roads and Persian Couriers who deliver letters from the King and the government. As a result, there is a certain formality around letters in Iran and in Persian culture the single worst thing you can do is ignore a letter. You might as well staple a sign on your head that says "I'm an A-Hole, Ignore me". It would actually be better to write back something unpleasant.
I give credit to Obama for responding but culturally there is actually a huge divide between Persians and Americans. We generally don't view Americans and other anglophones as being particularly cultured. Little slights, such as ignoring a letter addressed specifically to you, just reinforce the stereotypes. And unlike Putin, they'd rather keep these letters private.
kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13242 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1707 times:
I think there would be more than a few people in the State Department who could translate to and from Farsi. I doubt if this would be a major obstacle.
However, let's think a little about what such correspondence would entail.
From the US side:
- We must both recognise that there are aspects to our relationship over the last sixty years and in particular since the Revolution, which neither of us can change; we focus exclusively on the future
- The United States has no wish to have emnity with Iran or its people; to the contrary, we aspire ultimately to the normalisation of our relationship
- We recognise that Iran, like all countries, needs to plan for its long term energy requirements and that this may include the development of a civilian nuclear energy program
- The United States will not accept the development of nuclear arms by Iran
- The United States continues to express its concern about the arming of terrorist organisations by Iran, in particular Hezbollah
- We believe that Iran can, if it so chooses, be a force for stability in the region
- We are open to the possibility of a goodwill gesture, if Iran opens all of its nuclear facilities to inspection by the IAEA.
- We would like to continue this correspondence and to end the mistrust and antipathy which has bedevilled our relationship over the last 33 years; neither of us gains from such a level of emnity as we have experienced. Let us begin to rebuild a relationship of trust and respect.
Too much too soon? I think it would be helpful for each side to set out principles. Would the US comment on the Iranian attitude towards Israel, for example?
Hopefully this will lead to something better; it would be very good for ME stability for this to be the case.
solarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 1640 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 1634 times:
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 10): It would shock me if he could. But I'm equally sure he has at least one translator on staff who can do that part for him. Rank hath its privileges.
Quoting kaitak (Reply 11): I think there would be more than a few people in the State Department who could translate to and from Farsi. I doubt if this would be a major obstacle
Well, actually....as a matter of fact they do not. So, I'll enlighten you a little bit by saying I'm a native Farsi/Persian speaker born in Iran and the US has consistently mis-translated or purposely slanted whats coming out of Iran. This is well known and often acknowledged by many Iranians but obviously impossible to pick up for English speakers.
Ahamdinejad's comments to quote "Wipe Israel off the map" is the premier example of this. "Wiping" in Persian is to wipe a table. The English language euphemism off "wiping something off the map" doesn't exist in Persian vernacular and it immediately drew skepticism in our circles. What he said was not nearly as threatening as portrayed in mass media.
Since there are nearly 50,000 Iranian Jews in Israel, this surely would have been known to Israel. Most of the translators for the State Department are white people trained in Farsi. Most Iranian Americans will not work for the US Government or CIA due to the Mossadegh coup and lack of respect for those entities. He probably did get a good translation of a letter though since they would have dumbed it down.
Probably not, but so long as they don't antagonise the USA, Europe, or Israel then I couldn't give a stuff how many nukes they have. Personally I'm much more concerned about India-Pakistan, but unfortunately most people in the West are blissfully unaware about that bubbling cauldron because they are distracted by the sideshows in Iran and DPRK.
It's funny, if one were to look at our domestic political opinions and guess which one supported Israel and which one diametrically opposed to it then they would almost certainly guess incorrectly. Don't get me wrong, I respect your opinions with the value they deserve, but it nonetheless surprises me how the chips fall
TheCommodore From Australia, joined Dec 2007, 3782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1516 times:
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 15): It's funny, if one were to look at our domestic political opinions and guess which one supported Israel and which one diametrically opposed to it then they would almost certainly guess incorrectly.
Not sure I follow you correctly....?
Both our political parties, Labor and Liberal, support Israel unequivocally. In fact, many federal pollies have been on junket visits to Israel.
Why, well I'm not exactly sure ?
I don't think Australia pays for other foreign Politicians to visit here. Yet Israel has done this in Australia over many years.
Whatever the reason/s I think its fairly suspicious...
seb146 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 14024 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1495 times:
Quoting solarflyer22 (Reply 9): there is a certain formality around letters in Iran and in Persian culture the single worst thing you can do is ignore a letter.
In the movie "Russian Ark" is an exchange between the heads of Russia and Persia where the Persian is apologizing for the murder of Russian diplomats during an uprising. It is all theater. A hundred or so spectators in their finest clothes, the Russian host in his robes and scepter. All in a large room in the Winter Palace. The narrator says something like "We should leave. This will go on for a long time."
There are many subtle nuances in culture of other lands that some people don't get. I didn't know about the letter thing until now. But, I don't know any Persians. I find that sort of thing interesting. Others don't.