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What’s up with all of this anti-Iran rhetoric?

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How foolish and productive is the rhetoric used by the Bush administration but also from other sources like Sarkozy? How well does it really deal with the issue of Iran that the “West” is now trying to solve?
All of these talks are so weird for me to hear because I can see behind the rhetoric of it. Although I could hope that the public, especially in the US would see that too, I have my doubts. The problem isn’t even that much with the masses but the elected officials in Congress and the White House. We can see how the rhetoric of them has changed during the last months to a much more aggressive tone, much reminiscent of the talks for the Iraq war just 4 years ago. Are the public and Congress going to be swept away with the current leading harsh rhetoric surrounding Iran or what? Should we care about what the IAEA has to say or what? We didn’t last time in Iraq and look where it got us.

Instead of me writing a lot about what I think of this case, I recommend two articles instead.
I especially recommend the first one since it is pretty short and not that technical and it deals with how the image of Iran and its leader Ahmadinejad is depicted in the media. Citing a little of what the author says:

“The American discussion about Iran has lost all connection to reality. […] Here is the reality. Iran has an economy the size of Finland’s and an annual defense budget of around $4.8 billion. 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 quietly or actively allied against Iran. And yet we are to believe that Tehran is about to overturn the international system and replace it with an Islam-fascist order? What planet are we on?”

The other article by a friend of my sister-in-law is about the situation with Iran with regard to the standoff between the Iranian leadership and the aggressive West. Here I want to cite one piece that I couldn’t have said better my self; something that I think about a lot. The author answers to an assumption about Iran:

“Iran is irrational and cannot be deterred.
Not true. Iran’s foreign policy behavior is highly problematic for the United States, but a careful study of Iran’s actions–not just its rhetoric–reveals systematic, pragmatic and cautious maneuvering toward a set goal: detainment and the re-emergence of Iran as an eminent power in the Middle East. Iran often conceals its real objectives behind layers of ideological rhetoric, with the aim of confusing potential enemies and making its policies more attractive to the Muslim nations it seeks to lead. At times it even simulates irrationality as an instrument of deterrence, the calculation being that enemies will be more reluctant to attack Iran if Tehran’s response can’t be predicted and won’t follow a straight cost-benefit analysis.”

Pretty much what I’m trying to say here with support of these authors is that Iran is not that villain that it is said to be just because the US government says that they might be developing a nuclear bomb or when the Iranian president says that we need to wipe “wipe Israel off the map”. It is just rhetoric from both sides used to get the public and the masses behind them.

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