Friday, November 18, 2011

Relying on the Dream World

"Self-deception seems always to depend upon the dream world, because you would like to see what you have not yet seen rather than what you are now seeing. You will not accept that whatever is here now IS what is, nor are you willing to go with the situation as it is. Thus, self-deception always manifests itself in terms of trying to create or recreate a dream world, the nostalgia of the dream experience."

--Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

The Looming Conflict with Iran - America in Front?

From where I sit, it looks as if writer Amir Oren has buried his lede.

In an otherwise interesting article about the decades of friendship between Israel and Iran that preceded the subsequent three decades of hostility, Oren concludes with an interesting analysis of America's increasing antipathy toward the Iranian regime and its maneuvers:

Even more than the Israelis, the Americans are close to the boiling point vis-a-vis Iran, more because of its actions in Iraq than its nuclear efforts. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey issued warnings in this direction this week at a congressional hearing. On that very day - which was also the day that Gantz appeared in the Knesset - the head of the ruling Military Council in Egypt, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, hosted American Gen. James Mattis, head of CENTCOM, the U.S. Central Command, which covers Egypt and Iran, Iraq and Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

It will not come as a surprise if in the coming weeks, in response to the incrimination of the Revolutionary Guards for a large attack on the American forces pulling out of Iraq, the Americans will land a warning blow on an Iranian target. The table is wobbling and some of the options are in fact under it.

Quite simply it's evident, even to the Obama administration, that the clerical regime did not respond to the president's overtures to dialogue, his "extension of an open hand," when he came into office. More and more it appears a mistake for the Obama administration not to voice support for Iran's Green movement, crushed by the regime in 2009. Secretary of State Clinton recently said, in defense of the administration's silence, that that had been according to the wishes of the Green movement's leaders. Perhaps this is so. And yet here we are.

Read the whole article HERE, and do read to the end. For Americans, Oren has buried his lede.

Update: On reflection, regarding Oren’s depiction of Americans being at the boiling point, I’m sure Martin Dempsey and Leon Panetta are people who weigh and calculate matters. US use of force is not undertaken lightly, nor without contemplation. Nonetheless, Oren’s piece makes interesting reading.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

G. Bruce Boyer - An Ivy Leaguer's Lament

... and it's all about clothes, I'm afraid, but it's witty:

Boyer writes:

"When I was growing up back in the late 1950s, the matter of dress for young men was relatively simple. There were basically three types of clothing stores. There was of course the traditional store for the traditional American business look: conservatively cut suits, safe shirts, and discreet foulard or striped neckwear. Then there was the somewhat “sharper” store, a more courant version of the trad store. Finally there was the Ivy League shop.... For most, the subtleties of double-breasted jackets and grenadine neckwear, of suede town shoes, enameled cuff links, covert cloth chesterfields, and cashmere cabled hosiery were not imaginable. But then neither were exterior logos, Italian designers, or microfibers. There also didn’t seem to be the questions of what to wear when. We certainly knew when the occasion called for a tie, and gym clothes were confined to the gym. It was, as I say, a simpler time."

Read the whole thing at A Continuous Lean.