Bloody Consequences

Time now to record philosophy at the time it actually happened, for later posterity, and for a rerun of the American "revolution" and the Iraq war too.

Here we have the Iranians doing their best to stage a revolution.

Where's their mandate?

The people have not been polled to find out how many support a forceful change of government. Hell, they haven't even been polled to find out if they support a PEACEFUL change of government. It is technically possible that 90% of the Iranian people support the Ayatollah. The evidence (ie Ayatollah unwilling to hold free and fair elections) is against it. That's evidence, but not proof. There's actually no way of getting this important piece of information. That information can only be obtained from a secret ballot in an environment of freedom. Where people can give it in secret, with confidence that there will be no repercussions, because last time the question was asked, x%, with say x > 10, voiced that same opinion, and there was no repercussions for that x%, so it's apparently safe to give that opinion in a secret ballot. Only then can you possibly tease that information out of the people with some confidence.

Next - even if that information was available - which it isn't - and in the (unlikely in my opinion) event that it shows that 60% of Iranians support (perhaps because they've been indoctrinated since birth, but doesn't really matter how it happened) their Islamic theocracy and don't want it replaced - so damn what? I don't care if Hitler had (slight) majority support (in Germany or Austria for that matter) at some point in his reign either. The 40% who want the normal (ie western) concept of "freedom" are the ones we should be supporting in this ideological war. Not the indoctrinated and/or nasty majority (who like the idea of killing Jews or whatever).

Onto the next question. We don't yet know if the Iranians, via a revolution, will usher in an EVEN WORSE government than the current one. E.g. Saddam's regime was worse than the Ayatollah's. For all the evil of the Ayatollah, the Ayatollah (like Mugabe for that matter), does in fact allow SOME level of dissent. People aren't getting their tongues cut out just because they said they opposed the Ayatollah, or preferred different policies. There is SOME diversity of opinion allowed. This could, theoretically, all be wiped out to be replaced by a sadistic git like Saddam. That's another reason why Iraq was the obvious first choice. It's pretty hard to imagine a worse dictator than him. But it is possible to imagine a worse dictator than the Ayatollah. How do we resolve this issue?

Well, now we get into probability and statistics. The most likely outcome is that we'll get a democracy out of any successful revolution. There will be too many people on the streets with too much media attention and too many people involved that there won't be one thug allowed to seize power. We'll instead see some sort of diverse interim government, with open debate on TV, security forces saying they are committed to the democratic process, before the people on the street will stand down. Actually, technically they never really do stand down in a democracy. It's more-or-less a constant revolution against dictatorship with constant "referendums" on whether to change the current ruler, and no-one is ever given the slightest opportunity to become a dictator. That's what I expect in Iran too. A complete paradigm shift. So the general philosophy here is that we should be doing the determination based on most-likely scenario rather than worst-case. Can I prove that this philosophy is the correct one to be choosing? No. It's based on the a priori assumption that achieving human freedom (by Taiwanese/South Korean/western/etc definitions) is the long term goal. If you happen to be hankering for an worldwide Islamic dictatorship, your whole thought process will be and should (in order to achieve that very different aim) be very different.

And one more factor - even in the worst case scenario, ie that the Iranians happen to usher in a worse government, if you have a backup plan, ie full US invasion, to change that even worse government into something like more like Chian Kai-shek, ie the ex-dictator of Taiwan (and China), ie someone who has as reasonable policies as is possible while still maintaining a minority-supported dictatorship, then you won't even have the worst case scenario anyway, you'll actually end up with the best (from the point of view of a secular humanist who has to live in that country) damn outcome possible under the circumstances.

Now the next thing to deliberate. What if this revolution actually ends up as a civil war (we know without doubt that there is diversity of opinion in Iran, after all), perhaps even to the level of DR Congo. Does that mean that these revolutionaries are bad people, triggering off a civil war? Should they instead have done the "right thing" by keeping their mouths shut, and just put up with their dictator for the term of their natural lives? Once again, we need some assumptions about values. I personally value a life as a slave under a dictator as something of actual NEGATIVE worth. ie it is permanent suffering. Whereas life as a free man is a wonderful thing. So, we have negative 70 million versus a probability of say 65 million free souls (assuming 5 million are lost in a civil war, same as DR Congo). A no-brainer for my calculator to crunch through.

Now what about looking at it from some selfish western benefits point of view? Will Iran stop exporting oil because of a civil war? Sure, possibly. So? The price of oil is a relatively small part of the average person's expenses. The slack in oil production can be taken up by other countries. We had something similar when Iraq stopped exporting oil (due to western sanctions in fact). The world can easily cope without Iran's oil, even if the price goes up in the short term. And regardless, the freedom of the Iranians should not be held hostage to someone's imagination of what might happen to short term oil prices. It would be immoral to keep people in slavery for that reason.

Ok, what about terrorists getting their hands on Iranian nukes during the commotion? Well, that's why Iran should have been invaded long ago. Well, a year ago, anyway. Whatever damage Iranian nukes are capable of causing, it's best to get that once-off cost paid for here and now, rather than letting our children have to deal with an even higher price, possibly a total price, 50 years from now. A once-off cost of war, even if it means the destruction of Israel tomorrow, is better to be had now, so that the ideology of freedom (which the Israelis share) can continue to survive, even after Israel's untimely death. Once again, we only have bad choices to choose between. Blame for not toppling Iran earlier so that Israel could have survived nuclear annihilation can be spread around after the event. Communism has a lot to do with it. If we hadn't had to deal with ideological conflict with Russia, we could have knocked over these dictators decades ago. Hell, nukes should never have fallen into the hands of ideological enemies like the USSR and PR China in the first place. It's too late to do anything about that now, but now we are into "damage limitation" mode. That is the philosophical choice that faces the west at the moment. Crunch the probability and statistics, adding in the one percent doctrine - worst case scenario that our children may have to face is too damn high - and take action. Right here, right now. Bombs away. Even if it ends up being Sydney that gets wiped off the map.

Anyway, I can't see the demonstrators going away. They will demonstrate every day until the security forces open fire. So once again, it's all down to them. In the absence of Obama offering security guarantees to the Iranian people, it all comes down to men with automatic weapons, who will easily win any stand-up fight. The pro-freedom Iranians, even if they attempt to mount some Iraqi-like "insurgency", will ultimately be as spectacularly unsuccessful as the Iraqi insurgents were too. Random murder is no substitute for setting government policy and execution of that via security forces. No way, no how.

The Ayatollah has already banned demonstrations, and that didn't work. The Iranians are in with a very reasonable chance of pulling this off. Probability and statistics says that this will be a phenomenally good move. And man oh man am I looking forward to finding out what the Iranians really think in a secret ballot. The only data that will be lost by this revolution is how many Iranian security forces would switch sides in the case of a US invasion. But instead, we get the data for how many Iranian security forces would switch sides in the face of an internal revolution. The data for a US invasion is only important for the feasibility of mounting further low-cost, low-force-usage invasions anyway. We can generally get that data by simply liberating other countries (like Burma and Vietnam). There's nothing particularly special about Iran, and also, the data for Iran will change as they are exposed to a more reasonable education system and contact with the rest of the world via the internet anyway.

So, just like the 2003 invasion of Iraq - the calculation, given various assumptions (which I agree not everyone will accept, but they (ie freedom, human rights) are hardly radical assumptions, and I'm hardly alone in holding them), is identical. Replacing the current Iranian dictatorship with some replacement - any replacement the Iranians manage to come up with - is the correct choice to make at this point in world history. Yes, we can't predict the future. Yes, we don't have all the data we would need to make a perfect decision. Some of that data is simply unavailable. Yes, something unexpected and undesirable may happen as a consequence. But equally yes, we must forge ahead if we want to end up with a free world as the end goal. It's achievable. It's even achievable in our lifetime. There's very little standing between right now, and the free world (not a radical concept) that many people aspire to. It won't be Utopia, but it'll be the best thing possible given the material (ie dogmatic, often non-humanist humans) we have available to work with. Murder, rape, theft will continue, but there will be security forces clamping down on that in every corner of the globe, and no money will be squandered on ridiculous things like Hizbullah or palaces or Iranian nukes or Iranian thugs.

So close but yet so far.

Iraq was definitely the most important. But Iran is bloody damn important too. Then some of the other misfits of the world (North Korea and Pakistan, by virtue of them holding weapons they shouldn't be), and then China, which I consider to be a reasonably minor, and manageable, threat.

Let's do it people. I wish the Persians didn't have to battle this out without external military support, but it's certainly ideal if they do pull that off.

Will those automatic weapons, especially air-borne ones like Saddam used, fire or not? Given the reality of US impotence, the fate of the free world literally hangs in the balance of those few thousand armed men and which direction they point their weapon. Because the free world may lose the ideological war otherwise. The ideological war may in fact end in one gigantic cinder 100 years from now. We simply don't know.

Automatic weapons.


They're the things that count.

They're what will decide what rights Iranians get to have enforced in the long term, regardless of what inherent rights they should have.

Watch the weapons. And pray they point the right way. If I could literally think of something more I could do, I would. Visiting Iran as some sort of vigilante tourist won't make a damned bit of difference. It will come down to automatic weapons. Even if I could smuggle one of those in, it won't be enough to defeat the bad automatic weapons. Although a general showering of Tehran with automatic weapons may well do the trick. There's plenty of Iranians who know how to use them. But that's still useless if the Ayatollah can bring helicopters to bear. So it depends on which way the air force chooses to go. Etc etc. War is unpredictable unless it's completely lop-sided such as if the US were to be involved.




On a Wing and a Prayer

We have reached a point where it may well be possible for the Iranians to pull off a miracle. I wouldn't have fallen for the carrot on the end of a stick a month ago. The whole dictatorship was just a complete sham.

However, for whatever reason, the Iranians have managed to gather in large enough numbers that they may have what is required to pull this off themselves.

When Napolean returned from exile, the king sent out forces to annihilate him. Those forces chose to change sides. Russian tanks similarly turned around and joined Yeltsin. Didn't happen in China, but could well have.

We really don't have any idea how it will go down in Iran. But I will say this - Iran is the most important country in the world today. More important even than the liberation of China. Because the toppling of Iran will help undermine an ideology opposed to liberal democracy. The Chinese only pay lip service to the communist ideology. Everyone in China is just playing along. In Iran, you have real money being used to promote Islamic theocracy, and it is being used as a reference point for morons in places like Egypt. In the same way that the Iraqis were the only ones who could truly erase the image of Saddam the hero, and only the Eastern Europeans could truly explain the reality of communism, only the Iranians can explain the reality of an Islamic state.

Obama completely misses the point when he says "there might not be much difference between the policies of President Ahmadinejad and rival Mir Hossein Mousavi". Yeah. Right. It's not about the sham candidates for a sham ceremonial post in a sham election.

If I were an Iranian, I would be barracking for Mousavi too. An ardent support. I mean, ARDENT. Because I like a goon like Mousavi, selected by the Ayatollah? Not on your life. It's because it's a way of LOWERING CULPABILITY.

Right now, as an Iranian, even though I can see a bloodbath about to happen (but the percentage chance of me actually dying is still lower than say dying in a car crash), the fact is I now have plausible denyability. I can say I went onto the street not because I'm against the Ayatollah (I love the guy!), but because I'm really really supportive of Mousavi, who is part of the wonderful Islamic state I live in, and has already been vetted by the Ayatollah (who, did I mention, I love?).

Yes, it's all about Mousavi!!! Let's get on the street and show our support for Mousavi, who is the TRUE champion of Islam!

Of course, reality, which I will only reveal AFTER liberation, is that I wanted to choke off the streets of Tehran so that the security forces can't bring in heavy equipment quickly, and give opportunities for the security forces to side with the people, also with some plausible deniability if it all goes badly wrong. I hate to seem to be a pessimist, but I haven't seen any sign of security forces changing sides yet, which is the absolutely vital ingredient. If those security forces stand their ground and use their automatic weapons, my money is on the security forces winning hands down. It is essential that they start breaking ranks and start greeting the people like Napolean was greeted by the French forces sent to kill him.

Mousavi is part of the problem, not the solution. He needs to be sent packing as soon as the security forces have sided with the people. We don't need another damn cleric hand-picked by the Ayatollah. We need FREEDOM. Some sort of military coup could bring this about, but it's unclear who actually has access to the required weaponry. Dictators are smart enough to keep that sort of stuff locked away from regular soldiers. But, no system is foolproof like that. The dictators have no idea which soldiers are loyal. There's no honesty of opinion under a dictatorship. Opinions are all secretly locked up.

It will be truly wonderful if the Iranians pull off a glorious revolution. That is SO much better than external invasion if the cost is low (ala Eastern Europe) rather than 100k Iraqi corpses in 1991.

What would be ideal is if the dictators aren't confident and could just be bought off. If Obama (or Rudd) could give say the top 100 dictators $10 million each and safety in some other country (and - let's be clear - they will escape justice, which is tragic, but sometimes in life it is necessary to choose between two very unpleasant choices). That would be a bargain in so many ways.

If we can get freedom for Iran - that is basically priceless.

If we can avoid a high Iranian death toll - that would be wonderful.

If we can avoid the cost of war - that would be a huge economic boon.

If we can avoid the political fallout - and danger (of escalation) - of war - another wonderful thing.

If we can avoid setting precedents of invading countries - that would help deter Russia from invading Georgia (the Russians can't tell the difference).

If we can avoid dead US soldiers - wonderful.

$1 billion is such a bargain. Hell, spread $100 billion around. Whatever it takes to get the regime toppled.

And as I said, even after the dirty laundry of the dictatorship is aired, and as much as I hate the dictators for crimes against humanity - there must be no prosecution of them if they play ball. We need to be a reliable player. Same as when Gaddafi rolled over. And in fact, the same as when any other dictator plays ball. We can't afford a witchhunt any more than we could look Russia-the-gift-horse in the mouth in WWII. That's a LUXURY that is NOT AFFORDABLE. Make the deal, any way you can.

I don't expect the Islamic nutcases to trade power for money, when they can have both already, but if they are feeling insecure (and if I was relying on security forces with family in the streets, I'd be feeling insecure too), they may take the offer and run - literally.

Note that harrassing Charles Taylor of Liberia was a Really Bad Idea for this reason too. We need to be able to make distasteful deal with these dictators. It is vitally important to secure the ideology and the territory - as part of the free world. Individuals come and go and if a few more escape their just deserts, well, too damn bad. Kim Il Sung etc etc got away too. We don't live in a perfect world, but we can make the perfect choice given the available information and actual circumstances. The prize of a free Iran is far far more important than quibbling about how it was ultimately achieved.

I wonder if the Ayatollah is brushing up on his line about all the Iranians on the streets being tools/spies of America, and anti-Islam and anti-freedom and infidels and anti-God. It'll be so much harder for him to trot out that line when the Iranians are obstensibly asking for an Islamic cleric hand-picked by the Ayatollah, but you can be sure he'll trot it out at the appropriate time.

Let's hope for the best, and send the damn troops in if it fails. You don't need 100,000 troops to baby-sit Iraqis. There's a real job that may need doing. Time to grow balls and brains, Obama. You can spin it any way you want, I simply don't care. Trot out any damn excuse you can think of. E.g. "the attempted revolution shows the danger of unstable political regimes having nukes" or "putting down the revolution shows the danger ..." or "countries with 4 characters in their name have a right to be free". I simply don't care. Just get the damned result that is so badly needed.

This is reality. Tough times. Tough choices. This is war, not tiddlywinks. An ideological war. 9/11 was an ideological clash. Iran is, or at least, can play, a vital role in that war.

Note that there are plenty of other countries who could make this happen too. Like France. So if it isn't done, it's not just down to Obama or America. Everyone is guilty. Guilty of being schmucks when the call went out for free men everywhere to stand and be counted.





Iranian Allies

It's very frustrating to look at something like this and be unable to do anything.

Most of the pricks of the world will say this is an internal Iranian matter and we should not interfere. The hell we shouldn't. You can see towards the end these people saying "we want freedom" - in English no less. If Obama gave a damn about these people he would send the 100,000 troops west of their location eastwards. He doesn't. Unfortunately, very few in the world genuinely care and see this as nothing more than TV entertainment.

For all the tragedy in Iran, it was only a shadow of the gruesomeness of Iraq. And we can't even get people to agree to liberate Iraq. It'd be "nice" to think that the people who opposed the liberation of Iraq were only racist against Arabs, or better yet, Iraqi Arabs, and as such, wouldn't object to the liberation of Iran (and North Korea, Africa, etc etc). But, like the millions of dead innocent South Vietnamese, they don't give a damn. Maybe if the TV was blaring out "hey, dead South Vietnamese actually matter", they would "care". But since the liberal media likes to be very selective in who they "care" about, all apparently aimed at "proving" that capitalism doesn't work so that they can usher in a imaginary socialist paradise similar to the imaginary Islamic paradise, that isn't about to happen.

Now we have these beautiful Iranians under fire. No weapons with which to free them, because they're all tied up by left-wing racists like Rudd. And this is at the top of the pile. The Turks could do the job too, but the racism there is ten-fold anything that Rudd can muster.

There are no options I know of available until the racist left in the Anglophone countries are defeated. Obviously the same could be done in any other country too, but these are the ones with the most chance of some semblance of morality being found.

Until then, the most likely outcome of this is that the TV footage will allow our Iranian allies to be rounded up one by one and thrown in jail for years, subject to any amount of torture, to which no-one will give a damn about.

I hope none of these uncaring westerners entertain ridiculous thoughts of going to Heaven or something like that. You had your chance, right here, right now. You chose TV entertainment watching brown people getting killed by other brown people. When all that was asked of you was that you one way or another ask for Iran to be liberated the same way that Iraq rightfully was. There is zero risk to you here. There are volunteers trained and waiting to do the deed. All you need to do is give them permission to move. But instead, you're more concerned about nasty words from left-wing racist scum. True cowardice. Scared of friggin words. The only thing you need to deal with personally.

And to the decent right-wing people in the world - please don't nuke Tehran. You will hit all those allies you see running on the street. All you instead need to do is give them the appropriate weaponry and air cover, and trust me, they will attack our mutual enemies with a passion you can't imagine since you haven't been oppressed for decades. Take the feelings of 9/11 and multiply them 10 times and then unleash our Iranian allies.




We are all Chinese

20 years ago today, the biggest (*) tragedy of my lifetime, and possibly in world history, occurred.

1 billion people were on the verge of freedom and human rights as the security forces who were ordered to kill them refused to run their tanks over children who wanted to be free.

Tragically, the security forces were replaced by other security forces willing to pull the trigger on the true Chinese patriots, and the dictatorship won.

The flame of freedom remains in China, as the article in the Chengdu Evening News with the phrase "Paying tribute to the strongwilled mothers of June 4 victims" shows.

Just because the dictatorship doesn't allow them visibility, doesn't mean they're not there. We know you're there. I saw you in Iraq long before March 2003 gave you some media access so that we could see the long queues you would form trying to join the new security forces, despite the carnage of the previous day's queue. I see you gathering in crowds in Taiwan, speaking truth to power. I see you standing along the 38th parallel with your head held high and your heart full of liberty as you scan north for any sign of fascists (aka communists) that may try to snatch that precious gift away from you.

On 1989-06-04, we were all Chinese. And we literally cried for our sons and daughters being brutally crushed by fascists (aka communists).

Here is what the world should have looked like on the 5th June:

The green shows all the members of NATO who are willing to stand up for the freedom of others. The blue shows a NATO protectorate (Taiwan). And the red shows the remaining pocket of tyranny where the dictator simply has too much weaponry to take on head on and we need to fight a Cold War to free our sons and daughters instead.

On this 20th anniversary, as a tribute to the freedom fighters who literally faced down tanks for freedom - something most people in free countries only read about in comic books, I released the culmination of 50% of my life's work (the other 50% was dedicated to trying to obtain freedom for the remaining slaves/subjugated peoples of the world - including but not limited to the Chinese people). Also an approximately 20 year dream to have a lingua franca for computers by porting the free GCC C compiler that was available for other platforms, so that everyone everywhere could use C if they wished to.

MVS was always the exception, and today, for the first time in human history, we have a free C90-compliant (without caveats) compiler on basically every major computer platform in the world. Yes, even MVS (aka z/OS), which had always been an exception before.

So my Chinese brothers and sisters - on this day please know that I am thinking of you. You are not alone. I yearn for your freedom too. In fact, I yearn for it every day, because every day I imagine how I would feel if I were living there and didn't have freedom of speech. I do this via a simple derivation of the Golden Rule, which is in the bible. For some reason the Chinese dictatorship doesn't seem to see the Christian religion as a threat to its grip on power. But at any time, the Chinese military may adopt Christianity, and do the same simple derivation of the Golden Rule, and choose to free the Chinese people instead of subjugating them. My own religion is nothing more than an extensive derivation of the spirit of the bible, after all.

By the way, porting compilers and writing operating systems takes a lot of work, which explains my extended absences. It's more productive to be doing that than arguing the toss over whether liberating millions of people is a good thing or a bad thing.

(*) while there are other big tragedies like 9/11 and the Holocaust, this one involved 1 billion people, so the stakes were the largest.


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