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Michelle Aycoth

I guess we should have approached Iran like the last administration.

Agree to anything Iran wants and give them 150 billion US tax dollars.

Andy Aycoth

Bailey Jones

I agree Andy, we should be having multilateral negotiations with Iran, including returning the $billions they paid us in the 70s for military equipment they bought but we never supplied. And perhaps apologize for overthrowing their pro-western, secular democracy they elected in 1953 and empowering a brutal dictator, and funding and training his secret police - the most oppressive the world had ever seen - thus radicalizing the very theocracy that opposes us today and terrorizes the whole area . Of course, if we did that, we might have to start taking responsibility for all the damage we (and our European partners) have done in the Middle East since WWI - carving up the remains of the Ottoman Empire for our own petty political purposes, and creating the abyss that, even standing on a pile of several hundred thousand dead Iraqis, we don't seem to be able to kill our way out of today.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Strong opinions about the overall situation in the Middle East have been a feature of American life since the late 1970's; and are again pressed to front by the events of the last week and the fiercely held support or opposition to the current American President. Personally I find a little historical perspective on this subject increases the chances that one's opinion may have some validity. I suggest reading "Six Months in a Syrian Monastery" (Oswald Parry, circa 1895); "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom" (T E Lawrence, circa 1918) and "Paved with Good Intentions" (Barry Rubin, circa 1981) for a reasonable development over time of understanding of the Arab world we are entangled in today.

Bailey Jones

Just to point out the obvious - Iranians aren't, strictly speaking, part of the Arab world - which only further complicates things.

A couple of other useful books - "The Arabs, A History" by Eugene Rogan - especially good for the history and causes of the development of Wahhabism, and a very good history of western influence and interference, and "All the Shah's Men, An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror" by Stephen Kinzer for a good history of Iran since about the 1800s, the rise of the Shah, the consequences of the squashing of Iranian democracy, and the sins of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company (now known as BP).

Miceal O'Laochdha

Well Bailey, the Persians are not Arabs and neither are the Americans, Russians, Brits, French, Jews, etc. who are all nonetheless entangled in the "Arab World". It can also be useful to have an understanding of the distinctions between Yazidis, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Roman Christians, Shiites, Sunnis, and the assorted religion-based yet somehow secular factions of Lebanon but they also all have one thing in common: they live in the Arab world. I know from personal experience that one does not need to be an Arab to find oneself in the Arab world. Anyway, thanks for the reading suggestions, I have no doubt they will be worthwhile.

Bailey Jones

Don't forget the Kurds! (And Circassians, Shabak, Marsh People... apparently Assyrians and Zoroastrians are still a thing - imagine the cultural baggage one accumulates by living for millennia in the same area. As a Texan, history only began in 1837 - before that is just mythology and giants.)

Carlos Ponce

" As a Texan, history only began in 1837..." No. It began long before that, even before it was a Mexican state and a Spanish territory. Tejas (Spanish pronunciation) "taysha"- a Caddo (Native American) word meaning FRIEND. Spaniards Alonso De León and Damián Massanet noted the name in in 1689 but it pre-dates that revelation. And yes, those Native Americans did have HISTORY displayed in pictographs and verbally from generation to generation.

Bailey Jones

I had a friend in high school, with somewhat questionable hygiene. My dad once quipped, "if you ever want to hide something from him, put it under his bar of soap." These days, I've found that the same applies to conservatives, when I make a point with a joke.

Carlos Ponce

Joking about Texas? Don't mess with Texas!

Carlos Ponce

In the movie "The Duelist": "The Duellists meet at dawn, on d'Hubert's property, with pistols. Two shots each, fire at will. D'Hubert gets to fire the last shot, but instead of killing Féraud, he fires a bullet into the ground: 'I shall simply declare you dead,' says d'Hubert." - IMDB That's what happened in Iraq with Iran firing their ballistic missiles into the ground then declaring they had killed dozens of Americans despite the fact no one was killed.

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