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Uncertain. Their anger at the regime is perhaps greater than the stomach they have for more revolution and violence. And what did that ever get them anyway? They know this.

It seems that the trick of the Islamic revolution has always been to ensure The Great Satan America is hated more than they are by the populace. At the moment, this isn't the case but how long before tensions rise again between the two nations?

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how long before tensions rise again between the two nations?

i can't really see this happenings anymore. i think we've seen the worst between the US and Iran (obviously you can't be certain though). i think the election of obama and the clear sign for an end to a regime and mindset that seems centered on exclusion from the international community means another hostage crisis is unlikely. as mentioned above, obama made the right call. i'm not sure how bush would have reacted; he'd want amademajad out as much as the next guy. maybe he would have sent in US representatives to watch over a new election of something.

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i can't really see this happenings anymore. i think we've seen the worst between the US and Iran (obviously you can't be certain though). i think the election of obama and the clear sign for an end to a regime and mindset that seems centered on exclusion from the international community means another hostage crisis is unlikely. as mentioned above, obama made the right call. i'm not sure how bush would have reacted; he'd want amademajad out as much as the next guy. maybe he would have sent in US representatives to watch over a new election of something.

The Obama foreign policy lacks definition at this point. Yes, we hear the rhetoric and it's what we wish to hear but what of the tough choices ahead? I would like very much if the US could allow the Iranian people to undergo a velvet revolution, without much outside interference. But the US support of Israel is sacrosanct and I am very sceptical of any US president taking a soft line on Iran, no matter what he may say or not say in public.

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well of course it lacks a little definition - he's hardly that far into his term! he's definitely plunged in at the deep end - an israel and palestine solution is hardly something to be snuffed at. rhetoric counts for a lot here i think. we've not had a US president that has taken on the middle east with such immediacy in...a long time? did you see his speech in cario last week? that was an outstanding and even daring move! not only did he demolish all the previous bush foreign policy along with the 'huntingtonised' clash of civilisations, he talked of how islam has played a major role in shaping the US, and that the broad brush strokes of orientalists have only seen to deepened/entrenched any problems.

i think any progress in iran over this will be domestically driven. even calls by the govt. of western interference have already been cited as bogus. iranians are too nationalist to let the west, specifically the US, to take claim for any change.

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There was a US based lot that did polling through all the Iranian Regions, and they had estimated that Ahmadinejad was really ahead by 2 to 1, yet the official results showed the President winning in places he was bound to lose, such as Mousavi's home state, full of ethnic Azeris, who would have voted for their candidate. No wonder they are going batshit crazy, but the demographics of Iran mean that further internal conflict is inevitable, due to a huge proportion of the populace being under 25. A lot of people think that Iranians are our enemy, but, like all countries, they are a heterogenous mix, with wildly differing opinions, and there are many who aren't interested in fundamentalist activity. Interesting times.

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well of course it lacks a little definition - he's hardly that far into his term! he's definitely plunged in at the deep end - an israel and palestine solution is hardly something to be snuffed at. rhetoric counts for a lot here i think. we've not had a US president that has taken on the middle east with such immediacy in...a long time? did you see his speech in cario last week? that was an outstanding and even daring move! not only did he demolish all the previous bush foreign policy along with the 'huntingtonised' clash of civilisations, he talked of how islam has played a major role in shaping the US, and that the broad brush strokes of orientalists have only seen to deepened/entrenched any problems.

i think any progress in iran over this will be domestically driven. even calls by the govt. of western interference have already been cited as bogus. iranians are too nationalist to let the west, specifically the US, to take claim for any change.

I did catch some of his speech. But, as I understand it, Huntington's arguments don't really apply to Iran where people identify as Persian more than Muslim/Arab and are therefore more 'western' than we think. That to me has always been the tragedy with our foreign policy towards Iran. We make enemies of those moderates who would otherwise be our allies. The same is true of Palestine.

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There was a US based lot that did polling through all the Iranian Regions, and they had estimated that Ahmadinejad was really ahead by 2 to 1, yet the official results showed the President winning in places he was bound to lose, such as Mousavi's home state, full of ethnic Azeris, who would have voted for their candidate.

there were numbers from an 'unnamed source' from the iran interior ministry which put mousavi at something like 57%. not only that, but the same source claimed that the outcome was put together and organised BEFORE the election took place. i have no idea how reputable this source is though - i'm just repeating what was in the guardian a few days ago.

I did catch some of his speech. But, as I understand it, Huntington's arguments don't really apply to Iran where people identify as Persian more than Muslim/Arab and are therefore more 'western' than we think. That to me has always been the tragedy with our foreign policy towards Iran. We make enemies of those moderates who would otherwise be our allies. The same is true of Palestine.

well we can pussy foot around the details of huntington's arguement if you want, but the main crux of it is that the west and islam will never be able to hold hands; iran is an islamic republic, so i think it sort of does apply! but that doens't matter - my point was that both blair and bush cited his work in forming a view of the middle east - something which obama has cancelled out.

what do you mean by the same is true for palestine?

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well we can pussy foot around the details of huntington's arguement if you want, but the main crux of it is that the west and islam will never be able to hold hands; iran is an islamic republic, so i think it sort of does apply! but that doens't matter - my point was that both blair and bush cited his work in forming a view of the middle east - something which obama has cancelled out.

what do you mean by the same is true for palestine?

The Palestinians are also essentially a moderate people whose government are run by an Islamic regime. They run to them because they're more scared of Israel and the west, just like the Iranians do.

An example of their moderate western compatibility: I was watching the Hamas documentary on Channel 4. Hamas come into the mosques to preach politics, so the people leave the mosque and pray in the car park. Clearly, this shows a desire for religion and state to be separate.

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The Palestinians are also essentially a moderate people whose government are run by an Islamic regime. They run to them because they're more scared of Israel and the west, just like the Iranians do.

An example of their moderate western compatibility: I was watching the Hamas documentary on Channel 4. Hamas come into the mosques to preach politics, so the people leave the mosque and pray in the car park. Clearly, this shows a desire for religion and state to be separate.

i'm sorry, but where do these non moderate people live then? a specific country? and 'western compatibility'?!?! jeez, you're as bad as the the orientalists!

(technically they don't live under and islamic regime because there is no palestine state but whatever) hamas still have a HUGE following in palestine. despite being (basically) the most violent terrorist movement of the 90's, the alternatives have been corrupt and illegitimate. most of all though, its their resistance of the occupation that has made them so popular. i don't really understand your last point, but this (and that) is a whole other can of worms.

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i'm sorry, but where do these non moderate people live then? a specific country? and 'western compatibility'?!?! jeez, you're as bad as the the orientalists!

(technically they don't live under and islamic regime because there is no palestine state but whatever) hamas still have a HUGE following in palestine. despite being (basically) the most violent terrorist movement of the 90's, the alternatives have been corrupt and illegitimate. most of all though, its their resistance of the occupation that has made them so popular. i don't really understand your last point, but this (and that) is a whole other can of worms.

My last point is that they do share values with us, ie. they don't want the government in their place of worship. If we share values, we are compatible. Get it?

By the way, Mr Obama is still wanging on about The War On Terror so don't expect a repudiation of the Bush policies. They're all at it.

*Oh and to add, an example of a non-moderate Islamic state would be Saudi Arabia. We partner with them and it causes all kinds of problems because their values are not compatible with our own.

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My last point is that they do share values with us, ie. they don't want the government in their place of worship. If we share values, we are compatible. Get it?

By the way, Mr Obama is still wanging on about The War On Terror so don't expect a repudiation of the Bush policies. They're all at it.

*Oh and to add, an example of a non-moderate Islamic state would be Saudi Arabia. We partner with them and it causes all kinds of problems because their values are not compatible with our own.

ok. i understand the compatible thing - i just don't understand why it needs to be compared to something in the west. like in iraq - most iraqi's were receptive to democracy, but were suspicious of american sponsorship. the moment you start talking about western compatibility like its something we need to help them achieve...

i don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the combination of islam and politics in the middle east, as long as its wanted, fair, democratic and legitimate - there are plenty of political islam reformist who are promoting to these ends. its just they haven't found a suitable framework (iran not being one obvs).

and of course there's a still a 'war on terror'. its just obama has just realised that its wrong to focus on one group and one man. the convenient and reassuring idea that bumping off some bearded sod waving a soviet rifle in the hills would make it all go away.

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ok. i understand the compatible thing - i just don't understand why it needs to be compared to something in the west. like in iraq - most iraqi's were receptive to democracy, but were suspicious of american sponsorship. the moment you start talking about western compatibility like its something we need to help them achieve...

i don't think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the combination of islam and politics in the middle east, as long as its wanted, fair, democratic and legitimate - there are plenty of political islam reformist who are promoting to these ends. its just they haven't found a suitable framework (iran not being one obvs).

and of course there's a still a 'war on terror'. its just obama has just realised that its wrong to focus on one group and one man. the convenient and reassuring idea that bumping off some bearded sod waving a soviet rifle in the hills would make it all go away.

Ah, well I suppose that's just my ethnocentric way of putting it. They might say that in certain ways we are compatible with Islamic nations. But the arch-bishop of Canterbury can put it back in his pants.

Did you ever read the Riverbend blog? A lot of people thought it was a hoax at first, mainly because she seemed so incredibly westernised to us.

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