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Provacative Read from STRATFOR, But Misguided October 26, 2010

Posted by Afflatus in Politics, World Affairs.
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This is a pretty provocative article by George Friedman at STRATFOR. Friedman basically argues that a successful full-scale attack on Iran is Obama’s best chance of getting reelected in 2012. He asserts this after speculating on Obama’s post-midterm political calculus. Though he concludes by arguing that an attack on Iran is not a good idea (the risks outweigh the rewards), he maintains that without a decisive attack upon Iran or an economic boom, Obama will fail to be reelected. It is indeed a subtle argument.

While I agree that an attack on Iran is not a good idea due to the potential negative repercussions (oil disruptions, Iranian-incited terrorist campaign, Iranian potential to excacerbate problems in Iraq and Afghanistan), I disagree that it is the only (or even the best) strategy for Obama’s reelection. I think that’s a silly argument to be making right now; It’s too early to make bold claims about the President’s reelection chances. Friedman’s article looks even more silly if he truly is against an Iranian attack and thinks it’s a bad idea. In this sense his argument trips on itself: If an Iranian attack is a debacle, as Friedman thinks to be most likely (risks outwiegh rewards), then this will further hurt Obama’s chances to get reelected not help them!

I thoroughly enjoyed the article for its insightful musings on both Obama’s political options and a potential Iranian attack. And for that I recommend it. However his conclusion that this is the best way for Obama to get reelected seems off base.


Iran Update June 21, 2009

Posted by Afflatus in Politics, World Affairs.
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“The 1979 Islamic Revolution modified Iran’s green, white, and red flag, adding a new central emblem featuring Muslim symbols. “God Is Almighty” appears on the stripes 22 times, honoring the 22nd of the month of Bahman when the Islamic Revolution was victorious.”

– Atlas of the Middle East by National Geographic

Another post on Iran is long overdue. Since our last discussion on the eve of the election on June 12, now nine days ago, an update is necessary and inevitable. I’ve found my favorite place to get news is the huffingtonpost’s live blogging.

Ill be brief for now, because there is too much to say.

Fareed Zakaria’s GPS show today had a great panel discussion and up-to-date analysis of the situation. Zakaria interviewed a technology expert that provided me with some interesting new insight. The state authorities have attempted to shut down virtually all communications infrastructure. The government has tried to shut down SMS, twitter, facebook, and more. People with cameras, and video cameras are being singled out during the daily demonstrations. All foreign journalists have either been ordered to leave in 24 hours or arrested.

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