doc ´ Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower ´ Robert Baer
Ground sleuthing and interviews with key Middle East players everyone from an Iranian ayatollah to the king of Bahrain to the head of Israel's internal security paint a picture of the centuries old Shia nation that is starkly the opposite of the one normally drawn For example Iran's hate spouting President Ahmadinejad is by no means the true spokesman for Iranian foreign policy nor is Iran making it the highest priority to become a nuclear player Even so Baer has discovered that Iran is currently engaged in a soft takeover of the Middle East that the proxy method of war making and co option it perfected with Hezbollah in Lebanon is being exported throughout the region that Iran now controls a significant portion of Ira that it is extending its influence over Jordan and Egypt that the Arab Emirates and other Gulf States are being pulled into its sphere and that Very valuable info from a man who setved in cia
Robert Baer ´ Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower reader
The Devil We Know Dealing with the New Iranian SuperpowerOver the past thirty years while the United States has turned either a blind or dismissive eye Iran has emerged as a nation every bit as capable of altering America's destiny as traditional superpowers Russia and China Indeed one of this book's central arguments is that in some ways Iran's grip on America's future is even tighter As ex CIA operative Robert Baer masterfully shows Iran has maneuvered itself into the elite superpower ranks by exploiting Americans' false perceptions of what Iran is by letting us believe it is a country run by scowling religious fanatics too preoccupied with theocratic jostling and terrorist agendas to strengthen its political and economic foundations The reality is muchfrightening and yet contained in the potential catastrophe is an implicit political response that if we're bold enough to adopt it could avert disaster Baer's on the In the `Devil We Know' former CIA spy Robert Baer provides an assessment of a rising star of the Middle East An empire the West doesn't seem to realise is there nor will acknowledge it has largely createdThis isn't a war the US has years to prepare for it is already half fought and half won by Iran Baer writes that as soon as we understand who they are and what they want we'll be better prepared to come to terms with the new Iranian superpowerBaer speaks of Iran having started a war with the US back in the `80s without declaring it On America's part being involved with the Cold War at the time this was ignored But slowly over the last few decades Iran has been slowly expanding its influence the most visible example of which is Lebanon But even important than Lebanon is Ira which America handed to Iran on a silver platterWith America's invasion of Ira America did in less than two weeks what Iran wasn't able to do in 8 years of a long bloody conflict The Iran Ira War For within Ira lies a Shia majority; a suppressed people with strong connections to their Iranian neighbours With the fall of Saddam's regime the cultural and religious connection between the two neighbours was opened once That Tehran would ultimately dominate this new found alliance should've been obvious to US intelligenceI have to say that ultimately I disagree with Baer's overall outlook Surprisingly his is a leftist slant But my surprise as I progressed through the book didn't stop me from really enjoying itThis was one of the easiest reads I've had in a long time The English is superb and the writing engaging However where I disagreed with Baer was in his talking up the regime So for example you pick up on Baer's love of Iran and its people With that you expect to be reading about the society its culture its youth rebelling against the regime the feminist movement etc etc but Baer mentions none of thatUp front Baer states that in order to understand Iran it's best to observe them from the outside from where its empirical aspirations lie Fair enough But what I felt Baer was trying to do was create the impression that Iran is so powerful we may as well surrender But not only this as Baer implies with his cheer leading surrender isn't so bad since Iran is desperately attempting to modernise Some amazing facts he reveals to us is that the government pays for than half the cost of sex change operations for transsexuals and those from the Twelver sect of Shiite belief are peaceful All of which if true would be of considerable comfort to those about to be stoned to death hung or executed for homosexual practices or adultery or just shot for protesting None of which Baer mentionsOn his particularly alarming point about the Twelvers the Ayatollah Khomeini who not only invented the suicide bomber but the child suicide bomber himself said of the Twelver sect that they were `dangerous' and 'extremists'When it comes to Hezbollah he describes them as like a guerilla army than terrorists because of their superior training and discipline But he doesn't categorise where political assassinations lie Is for example Hezbollah's doing away with Rafi Hariri Lebanon's democratically elected PM in 2005 a guerilla or terrorist action? Another particular bone of contention is that Baer completely messes up the history of Lebanon admonishing Iran and notably the Shiites of any wrong doing even though he sings their praises elsewhere in the book Better another source onBy chapter 4 Baer's gloves really come off showing an amazing amount of chutzpah claiming that George Orwell would've laughed at the way the US portrays Iran Baer states most of what we've been told about Iran is wrong It is not on a crusade it is not on a uest to convert the world to IslamInteresting Because that's exactly what Ahmadinejad invited George Bush and America to do in an 18 page letter sent in 2006 Add to this Hezbollah's involvement with Venezuela and Mexican drug cartels not only in training rival gangs but also marriage in what some are seeing as Iran's attempt to turn Mexico into another IraIn addition to all this Baer's little propaganda piece is beginning to be out of date Not because of the recent uprisings across the Mid East but because of a hint Baer himself gives that most of the Irai Shiites although Shia in belief are in fact Turkic ethnically not Persian And Turkey is already in Ira vying for influence Baer is correct that Iran's strength is not in its military but in its religious connections and proxy militias However Iran is only as strong as its core Tehran Turkey is a member of NATO and Iran's military by comparison is uite frankly a joke In any possible confrontation Turkey would not likely be as concerned as the US with losing soldiers nor with Iran using chemicalbiological weapons against its soldiers Second Turkey had one of the fastest growing economies last year 2010 with no shortage of investingbuilding power So Baer's prediction of an Iran rising to `superpower' status unmolested will begin to look uite a bit like overreach uite soonWith Baer being a former CIA man it's difficult to know whether he's serious about the factual 'embellishments' or is in fact by providing such uncritical pronouncements about Iran expecting us to read between the lines and realise that as an Iranian accredited journalist the hype has to be included in order for him to be allowed continued access to that country Either way without a single reference to this book's name citing the 1947 US National Security Act as the reason for not revealing his sources it still contains some interesting points but means that it is a book which cannot be cited for reference in any serious studyI'd still recommend giving it a read but with the proviso that this is nowhere near the final word on the mullahs or its 'empire'