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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Iraq-Iran: Have we created a true axis of evil?

Iraq-Iran: Have we created a true axis of evil?
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BRussell
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Feb 14, 2005, 01:44 PM
 
In his state of the union referring to Iraq and Iran, Bush said the following:

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.
The odd thing about calling it an axis was that Iraq and Iran were not an axis - they were enemies. Furthering the war between them in order to make sure Iran didn't become too powerful in the region used to be US policy.

But now, are Iran's allies about to take over Iraq too? Iran has a majority Shiite population. So does Iraq - the difference is that now they're going to be in power. The most powerful cleric in Iraq, Sistani, is Iranian by birth. The US government now believes that Chalabi, a major source of information and poster-boy for neocons in the run-up to the war, is an Iranian spy. Even the Kurds, the second-biggest group in Iraq after the Shiites, are allied with Iran.

Here's a WaPo piece about this issue: Iraq Winners Allied With Iran Are the Opposite of U.S. Vision.

When the Bush administration decided to invade Iraq two years ago, it envisioned a quick handover to handpicked allies in a secular government that would be the antithesis of Iran's theocracy -- potentially even a foil to Tehran's regional ambitions.

But, in one of the greatest ironies of the U.S. intervention, Iraqis instead went to the polls and elected a government with a strong religious base -- and very close ties to the Islamic republic next door. It is the last thing the administration expected from its costly Iraq policy -- $300 billion and counting, U.S. and regional analysts say.
     
spacefreak
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Feb 14, 2005, 02:42 PM
 
"Axis" refers to the latitudal line that runs through the 3 nations, and Bush didn't state that these 3 nations were allies of each other.
     
BRussell  (op)
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Feb 14, 2005, 04:50 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
"Axis" refers to the latitudal line that runs through the 3 nations, and Bush didn't state that these 3 nations were allies of each other.
I don't believe he was referring to a geographical axis - that's just silly. I think it just sounded good, and probably didn't mean much of anything really.

But the point is that the Iraq war might have brought together two members of this axis that were previously enemies of one another. Good going.
     
Timo
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Feb 14, 2005, 06:18 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
"Axis" refers to the latitudal line that runs through the 3 nations, and Bush didn't state that these 3 nations were allies of each other.
Bah. "Axis" is clearly an allusion to the Axis powers of WWII; i.e., the "bad guys".
     
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Feb 14, 2005, 06:21 PM
 
Didn't Bush say he was a uniter, not a divider of people?
     
spacefreak
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Feb 14, 2005, 07:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Timo:
Bah. "Axis" is clearly an allusion to the Axis powers of WWII; i.e., the "bad guys".
Which was a term coined by a shared geographical axis (the Rome-Berlin axis) as stated by Mussolini before they later added more allies (like Japan).

I'm shocked that some of you didn't know this.
     
SimpleLife
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Feb 14, 2005, 07:35 PM
 
Originally posted by _?_:
Didn't Bush say he was a uniter, not a divider of people?
Only along the long axis.
     
BRussell  (op)
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Feb 14, 2005, 08:22 PM
 
Here's an entry from wikipedia based on David Frum's book, the speechwriter who came up with the line.

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum explained his rationale for creating the phrase "axis of evil" in his book The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush. Essentially, the story begins in late December 2001 when head speechwriter Mike Gerson gave Frum the assignment of articulating the case for dislodging the government of Saddam Hussein in Iraq in only a few sentences for the upcoming State of the Union address. Frum says he began by rereading President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "date that will live in infamy" speech given on December 8, 1941, after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. While Americans needed no convincing about going to war with Japan, Roosevelt saw the greater threat to the United States coming from Germany, and he had to make the case for fighting a two-ocean war.

Frum points to a now often-overlooked sentence in Roosevelt's speech which reads in part, "...we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make very certain that this form of treachery shall never endanger us again." Frum interprets Roosevelt's oratory like this: "For FDR, Pearl Harbor was not only an attackit was a warning of future and worse attacks from another, even more dangerous enemy." Japan, a country with one-tenth of America's industrial capacity, a dependence on imports for all its food, and already engaged in a war with China, was extremely reckless to attack the United States, a recklessness "that made the Axis such a menace to world peace", Frum says. Saddam Hussein's two wars against Iran and Kuwait were just as reckless, Frum believed, and therefore presented the same threat to world peace.

The more he compared the Axis powers of World War II to modern "terror states", the more similarities he saw. "The Axis powers disliked and distrusted one another", Frum writes. "Had the Axis somehow won the war, its members would quickly have turned on one another." Iran, Iraq, al-Qaeda, and Hezbollah, despite quarrelling among themselves however, "all resented power of the West, and they all despised the humane values of democracy." There, Frum saw the connection: "Together, the terror states and the terror organizations formed an axis of hatred against the United States."

Frum sent off a memo with the above arguments and also cited some of the atrocities perpetrated by the Iraqi government. He expected his words to be chopped apart and altered beyond recognition, as is the fate of much presidential speechwriting, but his words were ultimately read by Bush nearly verbatim. His term "axis of hatred" had been changed to "axis of evil" to match the theological language used by Bush since September 11, 2001. North Korea was added to the list, he says, because it was attempting to develop nuclear weapons, had a history of reckless aggression, and "needed to feel a stronger hand".
In any case, I don't really care why Bush used the term axis - so it was some speechwriter, big deal. The point is that we're bringing together an alliance between two members of that axis that were not previously in an alliance.
     
zigzag
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Feb 14, 2005, 08:34 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Which was a term coined by a shared geographical axis (the Rome-Berlin axis) as stated by Mussolini before they later added more allies (like Japan).

I'm shocked that some of you didn't know this.
Mussolini might have been inspired by the idea of a North-South line from Berlin to Rome, but it's rather obvious that that wasn't what Bush was trying to connote - clearly he would've used the term for rhetorical purposes whether or not the three countries shared a geographical attribute. Unless you can picture Bush pointing to his globe and saying to his speechwriters: "Dang, we can't use that! They're on different latitudes!"

It was a quotable theme/soundbite, not a geography lesson.
     
spacefreak
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Feb 15, 2005, 01:33 PM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
In any case, I don't really care why Bush used the term axis - so it was some speechwriter, big deal. The point is that we're bringing together an alliance between two members of that axis that were not previously in an alliance.
Oh... ok. Well I'll disagree with you there as well.

For one, we know that Iraq and N. Korea had an alliance, so it looks like we're concentrating on Iraq and Iran. What evidence do you have that Iraq and Iran are colloborating against the US?

Or even N. Korea and Iran? Is there some official alliance between the two?
     
roberto blanco
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Feb 15, 2005, 01:48 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
What evidence do you have that Iraq and Iran are colloborating against the US?
this is almost too good (or bad ) to be true. two shia' muslim nations right smack dab in the middle of the middle east.

what i can't believe, is that nobody in the bush administration saw this coming. it almost looks like it was planned. maybe they made a "deal" with al sistani to get him to win over the iranians. - who knows.

should this not be the case, and the shiites (sp?) in irak and iran maintain their hard-core anti-american stance, dubya will have created his own mordor. congratulations. mission accomplished.

/ paging mr. frodo...

life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators - r. dawkins
     
Timo
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Feb 15, 2005, 02:00 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Which was a term coined by a shared geographical axis (the Rome-Berlin axis) as stated by Mussolini before they later added more allies (like Japan).

I'm shocked that some of you didn't know this.
I'm looking for your point. I can draw a line between any two points and call it an axis -- so what? I can also go into any specific word's entymology and find an original meaning now unused -- so what?

Here's the bottom line for you: A speechwriter suggests to Bush the word "axis" not because of the origin of the Berlin Rome line, but because it suggests Nazis and fascists to the modern-day listener. Kind of like Reagan's use of "evil empire" in a speech Bush is said to admire. Said speechwriter doesn't care that Mussolini coined the phrase except that it helps add "umph" to rhetorical flourish today.
     
Daemon2
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Feb 15, 2005, 03:56 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Which was a term coined by a shared geographical axis (the Rome-Berlin axis) as stated by Mussolini before they later added more allies (like Japan).

I'm shocked that some of you didn't know this.
Let me clarify something. The axis is what the world rotates around. It's an imaginary line that runs through the earth. That was the idea of the "Axis" during WWII, they wanted to make the world rotate around them.

Lines of Lattitude on the other had are imaginary lines that circle the earth. See, they're actually two entirely different concepts that have absolutely no relation to each other.
     
adamk
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Feb 15, 2005, 04:24 PM
 
Originally posted by Dmon:
Let me clarify something. The axis is what the world rotates around. It's an imaginary line that runs through the earth. That was the idea of the "Axis" during WWII, they wanted to make the world rotate around them.

Lines of Lattitude on the other had are imaginary lines that circle the earth. See, they're actually two entirely different concepts that have absolutely no relation to each other.
actually the lines of latitude are defined from the north and south poles, the axis of the earth.
"do unto others as you would have them do unto you" begins with yrself.

"He that fights for Allah's cause fights for himself. Allah does not need His creatures' help." -koran, the spider, 29:7
     
Daemon2
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Feb 15, 2005, 04:30 PM
 
Originally posted by adamk:
actually the lines of latitude are defined from the north and south poles, the axis of the earth.
Yes, but they still go [i]around[i] the earth. The axis goes through the earth:

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=axis
     
SimpleLife
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Feb 15, 2005, 08:12 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
Oh... ok. Well I'll disagree with you there as well.

For one, we know that Iraq and N. Korea had an alliance, so it looks like we're concentrating on Iraq and Iran. What evidence do you have that Iraq and Iran are colloborating against the US?

Or even N. Korea and Iran? Is there some official alliance between the two?
You are exagerating his position. He wrote "bringing together". Not "Allied".
     
BRussell  (op)
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Feb 15, 2005, 09:52 PM
 
Originally posted by spacefreak:
For one, we know that Iraq and N. Korea had an alliance, so it looks like we're concentrating on Iraq and Iran. What evidence do you have that Iraq and Iran are colloborating against the US?
Yes, we're talking Iraq and Iran - it's in the first post of the thread. The evidence is also discussed in that post. They're not currently collaborating against the US; the US still basically runs Iraq, after all. But in the future, Iraq and Iran may very well be strong allies rather than opponents as they have been, because the two winning groups in the election, the Kurds and the Shiites, have ties to Iran.

We can hope that Iran moderates, and Iran and Iraq together form (relatively) moderate opposition to the Wahabi theocrats in Saudi Arabia. But it could just as easily go the other way, where the conservatives in Iran increase their power and the moderates lose out, and together Iraq and Iran form a united anti-American front, complete with nukes.
     
Taliesin
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Feb 16, 2005, 06:50 AM
 
Originally posted by BRussell:
Have we created a true axis of evil?
Yes, the axis runs through the US and Israel! That's what the world rotates politically around since ww2, and since ww2 the US has given itself over to the Pentagon and the military-industrial-complex that is out of democratic control. Sure, the justification for that was that the US was in a coldwar with the Soviet-Union, and the expansion of the US-empire encircling Soviet-Union was justified in order to contain communism, and the dropping of atom-bombs on Japan, eventhough Japan already tried to give up, was necessary in order to impress Stalin and to show him who the real leader is after ww2 and to talk him out any expansion-dreams...

Ok, justifications are all nice and well, though not moralic, but who cares for morality in this machiavelli-politics anyhow, but after the Soviet-Union collapsed, was the US-military-presence around the world in any way or form undone in 1991? No! Why? Because the US-military, the Pentagon and the military-industrial-complex are not under democratic control, and those don't want any withdrawals as too much money and might is at risk.


The 90's were surely some confusing years for the Pentagon and the military-industrial-complex with no enemy anymore to justify its imperialistic military presence in the world anymore. The first Gulf-war of the US against Iraq was nothing other as a way to find some work for the military-industrial-complex and to strengthen the control over Saudi-oil-ressources. US-propaganda is such a nice thing since the days of the "why we fight"-movie during ww2, and after the evil communism was no more, there had to be a replacement, and for a while that arabic despot Saddam Hussein served it quite well, though he was way too weak for the US to be a longstanding-enemy like communism was.

I wouldn't put out of the realm of the Pentagon and the military-industrial-complex to have organized the strenghtening of militant Islamism, which the CIA already used extensively in the 80's, with the help of weapon-sales as well as with the US-military-presence in Saudi-Arabia which they surely would know would severely intensify the hatred of militant Islamists against the US, which culminated in 9/11. Even before 9/11 the militant Islamists reacted with the bombing against US-embassies in Africa and with the first WTC-bombing, but Clinton's administration didn't want to declare a war against terrorism, so the Pentagon and military-industrial-complex had to wait for the neocons to take over the White-House.

Besides, the masspopulation of the US had to be convinced of the new enemy and 9/11 coupled with the presence of neocons in positions of power, who already developed a strategic plan which served both the interests of the military and its industry as well as US-empire's interests to strenghten the grip on the already declining oil-ressources and to encircle and contain the newly rising powers of the EU, Russia, China and Japan, served that goal perfectly and media-compatible.

Yes, there is an axis of evil, it's between the US and Israel connected through the US-military-presence in the world, empowered and controlled by the Pentagon and military-industrial-complex.

Taliesin
     
   
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