October 26, 2007

Are our leaders sane?

As the all-knowing 8-Ball might reply, "Signs point to no."

Writing in Newsweek on Oct. 20, Fareed Zakaria, a solid centrist and former editor of Foreign Affairs, put it best. Citing Bush's invocation of "the specter of World War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon," Zakaria concluded that "the American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. . . . Iran has an economy the size of Finland's. . . . It has not invaded a country since the late 18th century. The United States has a GDP that is 68 times larger and defense expenditures that are 110 times greater. Israel and every Arab country (except Syria and Iraq) are . . . allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islamo-fascist order? What planet are we on?"

Planet Cheney.


Anyone else noticing the full-blown divorce from reality in what comes from this administration? It's not like you haven't had time. It's been going on for years now.

Full article detailing the madness of King George here.

10 Comments:

At 10/26/2007 11:16 AM, Anonymous yinn said...

Yes, it seems to be getting worse. For example I could not believe Kathryn Lopez' column this week. She argues that Lynne Cheney would make a good presidential candidate, as if any other person in the Cheney family will ever hold office again.

 
At 10/27/2007 8:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to question any article that makes the statement that "Iran's economy is the size of Finlands."

Come on, India, China and Russia are deeply invested in Iranian oil - Iran's oil alone makes Iran an economy that makes the 'Finland' comment rediculous.

 
At 10/27/2007 12:10 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

As much as I loath to waste time with your absolute obsession with turning every thread into endless arguments about incredibly complex issues, I'm afraid you'd be wrong with your assumption above (imagine that!)

A quick search for world economic rankings brought me to some World Bank figures which show that in terms of GNI, or Gross National Income, which it defines as:
>>GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. Data are in current U.S. dollars, converted from countries’ respective national currencies using the Atlas method, which uses a three-year average of exchange rates to smooth effects of transitory exchange rate fluctuations. (GDP & GDP per capita growth rates, however, are calculated from data in constant prices and national currency units, not from the Atlas method estimates). The World Bank favors the Atlas method for comparing the relative size of economies and uses it to classify countries in low, middle and high-income categories and to set lending eligibilities in order to reduce short-term fluctuations in country classification.<<

Iran ranks 109th right between Algeria and the Marshall Islands.

In terms of GDP, you're right. It appears that Iran does indeed have a larger GDP than Finland... BARELY.

It ranks a whole three spots above Finland, a mere $13.5 million higher. I'm certain it wouldn't be tough to find other measures of the size of economies that would show Finland ahead.

Here's a pop quiz for you.

Who has a higher GDP, Iran or Mexico?

I'm afraid the garbage that you readily absorb (from those who would like you to remain ignorant and uninformed so you'll cheer-lead us into another war) made you automatically assume Iran, right?

Wrong-o possum breath.

Mexico ranks 14th, Iran, 29th

Iran ranks 21 spots below Canada for comparison.

Here's a sample of countries with larger GDPs than Iran, some by a huge margin:

Korea
Greece
South Africa
Turkey
Brazil
Poland
Switzerland
Norway
Denmark
AUSTRIA (ranks 6 places ahead of Iran)
and all the rest of Europe as well.

Is the World bank "rediculous", as you put it?

Or is the false information you've been fed? (and worse, believe)

 
At 10/27/2007 12:13 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

As much as I loath to waste time with your absolute obsession with turning every thread into endless arguments about incredibly complex issues, I'm afraid you'd be wrong with your assumption above (imagine that!)

A quick search for world economic rankings brought me to some World Bank figures which show that in terms of GNI, or Gross National Income, which it defines as:
>>GNI is the sum of value added by all resident producers plus any product taxes (less subsidies) not included in the valuation of output plus net receipts of primary income (compensation of employees and property income) from abroad. Data are in current U.S. dollars, converted from countries’ respective national currencies using the Atlas method, which uses a three-year average of exchange rates to smooth effects of transitory exchange rate fluctuations. (GDP & GDP per capita growth rates, however, are calculated from data in constant prices and national currency units, not from the Atlas method estimates). The World Bank favors the Atlas method for comparing the relative size of economies and uses it to classify countries in low, middle and high-income categories and to set lending eligibilities in order to reduce short-term fluctuations in country classification.<<

Iran ranks 109th right between Algeria and the Marshall Islands.

In terms of GDP, you're right. It appears that Iran does indeed have a larger GDP than Finland... BARELY.

Acording to the World Bank figures from 2006, Iran ranks a whole three spots above Finland, a mere $13.5 million higher.

I'm certain it wouldn't be tough to find other measures of the size of economies that would show Finland ahead.

Here's a pop quiz for you.

Who has a higher GDP, Iran or Mexico?

I'm afraid the garbage that you readily absorb (from those who would like you to remain ignorant and uninformed so you'll cheer-lead us into another war) made you automatically assume Iran, right?

Wrong-o possum breath.

Mexico ranks 14th, Iran, 29th

Iran ranks 21 spots below Canada for comparison.

Here's a sample of countries with larger GDPs than Iran, some by a huge margin:

Korea
Greece
South Africa
Turkey
Brazil
Poland
Switzerland
Norway
Denmark
AUSTRIA (ranks 6 places ahead of Iran)
and all the rest of Europe as well.

Is the World bank "rediculous", as you put it?

Or is the false information you've been fed? (and worse, believe)

World Bank GDP figures:
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP.pdf

GDI figures:
http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GNIPC.pdf

 
At 10/28/2007 6:06 PM, Anonymous yinn said...

Just came across this. An article here examines the relationship between the New Nationalism and the Criminal Mind:

"The unholy triad at the core of antisocial thinking is narcissism, impatience, and need for control. None of these are inherently bad. All of history’s great leaders have been narcissistic; in combination with generosity of spirit, you get Lincoln; in combination with meanness of spirit, you get Henry VIII. When systems or persons are out of control, a need to control is legitimate. Impatience can be the enemy of lethargy and complacency, fatal for both people and societies. But combine the three, and you have a quintessentially predatory entity."

It's quite a read.

 
At 10/29/2007 7:29 PM, Blogger Andy said...

It’s great that someone finally called out the ridiculousness for what it is. For anyone who says this is not the same thing as the Iraq War, they are just not paying attention.

The other point I found interesting is that Bush, Cheney & Co. are actually letting Stalin and Kim Jong-Il off the hook by equating Ahmedinejad with them. Ahmedinejad is a total piker when it comes to being a mass murderer/ genocidal maniac compared to those guys.

 
At 10/30/2007 12:28 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Andy,
I'm hearin' ya.

It's so AMAZINGLY blatant that they're out and out lying in our faces. And of course, lying is one of the ultimate forms of disrespect.

The fact that there's still a few people out there that actually still believe their crap is troubling.

This administration stopped serving the people of this country... well, they never have, and it seems apparent that they never intended to.

It's all hot air, nothing more.

And the fact that they've gotten away with it this long, and continue to, only shows how thoroughly corrupted the government is by money, plain and simple. And the prime sourse of this money is corporate interests who, of course, profit incredibly from war and conflict.

I only hope that this plainly obvious state of affairs is able to filter down into the consciousness of the average person who doesn't particularly care to follow politics and who rarely gets any information other than what's on cable or, god forbid, Fox or AM radio.

Seriously, I can't see how even those who agree with Bush's basic policies can continue to be so blase about the worst leader this country has ever had.

 
At 10/31/2007 1:19 AM, Anonymous n00tch said...

I'm reminded of a few choice lyrics...

"Fools run the government
Sick foreign policy
Their words sound valiant but their hands are green
Unending quest for power
Taxes that make us slaves
Don't believe a word of it
Ignore the fucked up things they say"

That being said, I clearly don't understand the need for war in Iran. There is no moral justification, no logical reason, and definitely no good will to be gained from it. Yet there are those who believe the farsical nonsense they are force fed and they keep toeing the party line.

When does enough become enough? When does America wake up and take back the reigns of power from these political wolves in sheep's clothing? Have our cages become so comfortable that our sense of outrage and our need for justice been dulled to the point of non-existence?

I'm so very tired of being told our representatives are serving the people. It is obvious that they serve themselves, their corporate interests, and maybe, just maybe they do some good along the way.

We have a wealth of information at our fingertips... but no need to seek it out and speak truth to power. We have shamed ourselves and ruined a once great nation through our combined apathy.

Maybe I've become disillusioned and jaded. I'm loathe to say it but I don't see things changing soon, if ever. No great counterculture will spring up and give a voice to the people. It'll be corporatized in it's infancy and any ideals or tenets will stomped into the dust by a wave of consumerism.

I apologize for being so negative but something has got to give. I can only hope a revolution happens during my lifetime, a wave of common sense and political awareness that would sweep the nation in a great burst cleansing light. It's time to take back this country. It's time to make this nation worth dying for again.

"When the American spirit was in its youth, the language of America was different: Liberty, sirs, was the primary object. The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

 
At 11/06/2007 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you honestly not see Iran as a threat to the United States?

Please, can you answer this with a simple 'yes' or 'no' - and not go into some..."Bush is a cowboy" or "WMD's - he lied" or, etc.

Yes, or no?

 
At 11/07/2007 3:06 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

That's what gets you into trouble Jim, er... I mean Anon.

You insist on thinking the world has to fit into simple comic book black or white. (even comic books aren't black and white)

Is Iraq a threat? To who? The U.S.?

The answer is that they're a POTENTIAL threat, but whatever threat they pose falls WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY WAY short of nececesitating some sort of military intervention.

And of course, Bush/Cheney is simply incapable of even attempting, much less carrying out, any sort of solution short of throwing billions in military at it.

Iran was willing to aide the U.S. as recently as a few years ago, but the U.S. failed to take advantage of it, didn't give any aide to moderates in the country, and now the disaster in chief can only manage to spew irresponsible bellicose bullshit that only antagonizes the situation and makes any sort of diplomatic course all the more difficult.

There ARE ways to settle international differences short of bombing innocent people to dust, though you may not believe it.

And allowing other countries to have a say in their own destinies isn't the worst thing in the world either.

Since when do we think we can dictate what any other country does or doesn't do?

And besides, this is a moot point, as events have finally shown how we've utterly neglected the REAL powderkeg (as opposed to the manufactured ones in Iraq and Iran) and that's Pakistan, which we've all but ignored in our conquest of Iraq.

And I'm sorry if you have a hissy fit every time someone reminds you of how very much Iraq relates to our other foreign policy problems, but I suggest it's you who has their heads in the sand if you think otherwise.

 

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