The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

Obama in the footsteps of George W. Bush

Bernd Debusmann-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

Words of wisdom from an American leader: "The United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.

"If we are an arrogant nation, they'll view us that way but if we are a humble nation, they'll respect us."

President Barack Obama, the newly-minted winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, speaking about U.S. engagement with the rest of the world, including anti-American leaders? No, the exhortation for superpower humbleness came from George W. Bush when he was running for president in 2000.

from The Great Debate:

Human bargaining chips in deals with Iran

Bernd Debusmann (Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

Seven summers ago, in a crowded conference room of a Washington hotel, an Iranian exile leader gave the first detailed public account of Iran's until-then secret nuclear projects at the cities of Natanz and Arak. It greatly turned up the volume of a seemingly endless international controversy over Iran's nuclear intentions.

The disclosures, on August 14, 2002, did little to earn the group that made them, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), merit points from the U.S. government. A year later, the Washington office of the NCRI, the political offshoot of Iran's Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) resistance movement, was shut. The State Department placed the group on its list of terrorist organizations. (The MEK, also known as the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran, had been given that designation in 1997).

from The Great Debate:

Fake news gets real

Colbert in Baghdad

global_post_logoThomas Mucha is the managing editor in charge of correspondents for GlobalPost, where this article first appeared. The views expressed are his own. --

It’s been a fascinating few weeks for global news — the real kind, of course — but also for the fake stuff.

from The Great Debate:

America’s spies and a language crisis

Bernd Debusmann-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

"There is a great deal about Iran that we do not know…The United States lacks critical information needed for analysts to make many of their judgments with confidence about Iran."

from The Great Debate:

Reflections on Iran

John Kemp-- John Kemp is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own --

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of much western comment on the unfolding crisis in Iran has been its over-simplification and lack of historical awareness. Perspectives are shaped by a single issue (western concerns about whether Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program) and the desire to draw a simple Manichean distinction between good guys (liberal-democrats) and bad ones (clerical-authoritarians).

The reality is far more complicated.

Part of the problem is a truncated sense of history. For most western commentators, the history of Iran's troubled relations with the west starts in 1979 with the triumphant return of the glowering Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini at the head of the revolution which swept away Shah Reza Pahlavi's western-backed regime and replaced it with a new Islamic Republic.

from The Great Debate:

It’s not a Twitter revolution in Iran

reeseportrait1-150-- Reese Erlich is a freelance foreign correspondent who covered the Iranian elections and is author of The Iran Agenda: the Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis (Polipoint Press) The views expressed are his own. --

Iran is not undergoing a Twitter Revolution. The term simultaneously mischaracterizes and trivializes the important mass movement developing in Iran.

Iranian election: Shock from afar

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Leili Sreberny-MohammadiLeili Sreberny-Mohammadi is a British-Iranian based in London, and sometimes Tehran. The opinions expressed are her own. –

The past ten days have been among the strangest in my life. I returned from Iran three weeks ago, just when the election campaigns were heating up, cars covered with candidate posters trawling across Tehran’s highways.

from The Great Debate:

Obama, Iran and a meaningless phrase

Bernd Debusmann - Great Debate-- Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own. --

It's time to kill the international community. The phrase, that is.

Usually shorthand for the governments of "the West," the phrase is over-used (a Google search produces 447 million hits) and under-thought. It is often misleading and sometimes plain wrong. As in President Barack Obama's news conference remarks this week on Iran's post-election crackdown on protest:

from The Great Debate:

Ahmadinejad won. Get over it

politico

-- Flynt Leverett directs The New America Foundation’s Iran Project and teaches international affairs at Pennsylvania State university. Hillary Mann Leverett is CEO of STRATEGA, a political risk consultancy. Both worked for many years on Middle East issues for the U.S. government, including as members of the National Security Council staff. The views expressed are their own. --

This article originally appeared on Politico.com.

Without any evidence, many U.S. politicians and “Iran experts” have dismissed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s reelection Friday, with 62.6 percent of the vote, as fraud.mousavi

Iranian elections: voting from afar

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Leili Sreberny-MohammadiLeili Sreberny-Mohammadi is a British-Iranian based in London, and sometimes Tehran. The opinions expressed are her own. –

The images of a human chain along the 12 kilometres of Tehran’s main artery, Vali-Asr, has given me a gut-wrenching urge to book a flight to Tehran, to take part in what seems to be a historical moment, or what is at least being constructed as such.

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