Convicted Congressmen
Posted by Kacey (+3157) 15 years ago
CNN just said that there is a bill that was passed stating that congressmen who are convicted of crimes will no longer get their pensions!!! She then said that there are over twenty who are getting pensions up to $125,000 a year. BURNS...watch out. Don't count on that pension just yet.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
So bitter. So sad. If only we could find it in our heart to let bygones be bygones, like the conservatives have with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10198) 15 years ago
>>If only we could find it in our heart to let bygones be bygones, like the conservatives have with Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

So true Bridgier . . . so true.

I feel we should forgive all politicians for their sins (they are our public servants after all).

Yes, we should forgive them all . . . except of course, for John Jay. The Jeffersonian Republicans were right to curse him for being a black-hearted Federalist dog and to call upon all true Americans to join them him cursing him: "Damn John Jay! Damn everyone that won't damn John Jay! Damn every one that won't put lights in his window and sit up all night damning John Jay!"

Well . . . and then there's Woodrow Wilson . . . and as we all know, he should be dug up and hung from a black gallows on a moonless night.

But aside from that . . . we should forgive them all.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
You know, now that Nixon's dead.... is Ford's pardon still in effect?

There is precedent: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...aver_Synod
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
The reason it is hard to forgive Clinton or Carter is that they have never really gone away. They are running around like they are still in control.
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Posted by John Morford (+352) 15 years ago
http://www.cnn.com/2007/P...index.html

The bill would not affect any past members of Congress - only future members that are convicted.

[This message has been edited by John Morford (edited 1/12/2007).]
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Posted by Tom Masa (+2137) 15 years ago
Somone needs to be in control ... who we have now is certainly not in control.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
"The reason it is hard to forgive Clinton or Carter is that they have never really gone away. They are running around like they are still in control."

I wouldn't fault Clinton for this as much as Carter.

Carter's so bad, even his supposed friends can't stomach him.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/a...arter_book
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
A Crunchy Con Comes around... to Carter?

http://www.npr.org/templa...Id=6817201
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
Or an old-fashioned liberal sees things Bush's way:

http://www.cnn.com/POLITI...t-and.html

From the former Democrat who currently owns the Senate
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Posted by Betty Emilsson (+72) 15 years ago
Yes, let's damn Carter all to hell. After all he has the audicity to run around and build houses for Habitat and work for peace, and try to restore trust and integrity for our nations. Don't you just hate those do-gooders.

And Clinton is nearly as bad, he is working for improving world health and trying to help people in third world countries find avenues to improve their life. And Hilary is so stupid that she for gave her husband for his infidelities.

My little refrigerator magnet asks: Which is worse? To lie about an infidelity or lie about leading us into war. And "Uh, oh, maybe we 'might' have made a few mistakes."

But back to the original comment about Burns -- I can forgive him, because I think he didn't see it as wrong because everyone did it. The question is will that hold up in court? Perhaps W will give him a presidential pardon.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
"Yes, let's damn Carter all to hell. After all he has the audacity to run around and build houses for Habitat and work for peace, and try to restore trust and integrity for our nations."

Carters work with Habitat for Humanity is honorable. Did it ever occur to you that the reason we are at war in Iraq is due to the failed foreign policy of Carter in the middle east?
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Posted by David Schott (+17910) 15 years ago
>>Did it ever occur to you that the reason we are at war in Iraq is due to the failed foreign policy of Carter in the middle east?

Richard, are you saying that President George W. Bush's middle east foreign policy is superior to President Carter's middle east foreign policy? That President Bush has done a better job than Carter in the middle east? That we're closer to peace in the middle east because of Bush?

- Dave
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10198) 15 years ago
>>Did it ever occur to you that the reason we are at war in Iraq is due to the failed foreign policy of Carter in the middle east?

Richard, aside from the Camp David Accords (if that's what you are referring to), can you give me a couple examples of these failed policies? I'd like to see how they'd stack up to the successes scored by subsequent administrations . . . and perhaps see how they might relate to what's happening in Iraq at this moment in time.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
>>Did it ever occur to you that the reason we are at war in Iraq is due to the failed foreign policy of Carter in the middle east?

Hey, I can play this game - I'll take your Failed Carter Foreign Policy and raise you a Failed Eisenhower Foreign Policy http://www.iranchamber.co...up53p1.php

Rick - you in?
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Posted by deer_slayer (+485) 15 years ago
Anyone who thinks that it is Carter's fault for the mess in the Middle East is a MORON!

As far as American involvement in the Middle East....and screwing things up royal....I would start with the Eisenhower administration and John Foster Dulles overthrowing a democraticly elected President Mossadegh of Iran and replacing him with a monarchy!

But don't say it too loud...'cause we do it for freedom...that's why we kill all them towel heads in the first place...and Toby Keith might have to just kick your pinko ass if ya think twice about it.
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Posted by J. Dyba (+1348) 15 years ago
Every American needs to go over to the Middle East and have a couple of nice, casual conversations with someone who is not a politician or cleric. It would take about 2 hours of exchanging words for you to realize we will never officiate peace there. The ONLY solution to the Middle East, in my opinion, is to remove their base of influence by removing our need for oil.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+17954) 15 years ago
If we are going to assign blame to a president for our failed Middle Eastern policy, why stop at Carter?

Woodrow Wilson. Paris. 1919.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
Or why not go back to that bloodthirsty Jefferson who cut off "humanitarian aid" to the barbary states in 1801 and gleefully went to war instead.
No multilateral talks, no high-level summits... Just another eager war-pig, completely ungifted in any way like Jimmy Carter, a man who fully appreciated and understood the "peace-loving" nature of our muslim brothers.

"being unable to distinguish between our friends and our enemies... Carter has adopted our enemies' view of the world."
-Daniel Patrick Moynihan

The one thing we can credit Carter with was being the first (and so far only) "Blame America First" President. No amount of charitable makeup can overcome that distinction.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
"Did it ever occur to you that the reason we are at war in Iraq is due to the failed foreign policy of Carter in the middle east?"

If we had defeated the "pirates" that captured our citizens in 1979 with the full force of our military strength, we wouldn't have the problems we have today. Instead, Carter sent a couple of helicopters in a rescue mission that failed.

Pacifist Presidents like Carter & Clinton have left a lot of messes in the world, for Presidents like Reagan and the Bushes to cleanup to keep our nation safe.

Unfortunately, we have been side-tracked in Iraq with "nation-building" rather than eliminating the remaining "pirates" who want us all dead or on their prayer mats.
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Posted by deer_slayer (+485) 15 years ago
Before you two idiots start giving history lessons, try reading some first. Ever hear of the the Iran-Contra Affair? Ever read the history about how the Regan administration worked a deal with the Iranian terrorists to keep the hostages until after the 1980 election? Do you think it was conicidence that the hostages were freed the same day Regan took his oath of office? Do you think it was Carter's fault that we stabbed Sadam in the back, and give guns and military hardware to the fundalmentalists, and then covered it up by having Olie North lie about it to Congress? Both of you need to read something besides articles published by Fat Rush Publishing.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10198) 15 years ago
>> Pacifist Presidents like Carter & Clinton have left a lot of messes in the world, for Presidents like Reagan and the Bushes to cleanup to keep our nation safe.

Ah . . . sure . . . okay . . .

When I look at US involvement in Middle East initiatives (see below) it seems to me that there is a watershed that occurred sometimes in the mid- to late 1970s. In the years since then the US has become less and less an "honest broker" in the region. I think this has been increasingly true in the years since the collapse of the Soviet Union . . . we simply seemed incapable of re-examining our Middle East policy in the face of a post-Cold War environment. It's not correct to say that we've marginalized ourselves (as there is nothing marginal about the effects of our policies and actions in the region) - but since the Fall of the Wall, we seem to be doing nothing more than recycling past (marginally effective) policies.

There is no denying that the US has powerful National and National Security interests in the region. Likewise there's certainly no denying that we have the capacity to project military power in the region (via or own forces or those of our proxies in the region), and there's no denying that we wield enormous economic power in the region. But in looking at the over course of our policies, it seems to me that the US has become very much a part of the problem. It seems to me, that to arrive at a solution, we probably need to seek a new and legitimate honest broker to head up the peace process and that we need to place our considerable resources at the disposal of this new peace-broker (even if we aren't going to be 100 percent thrilled with the eventual outcome).




Operation Ajax (1953)
Iranian Arms Sales (1953-1979)
Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) 1955 (a.k.a. Middle East Treaty Organization or METO, a.k.a. the Baghdad Pact)
Suez 1956
Land for Peace (1967)
Israeli Arms Sales (1967- )
Rogers Plan (1969)
Shuttle Diplomacy
Geneva Conference (1973)
Iraq Arms Sales (1973-1990)
Camp David (1978)
Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty (1979)
Iran (1979)
Carter Doctrine (1980) & Regan Corollary (1981)
May 17 Agreement (1983)
Iran-Contra / Weapons for Hostages
First Gulf War
Madrid Conference (1991)
Oslo Accords (1993)
Israel-Jordan Treaty of Peace (1994)
Camp David (2000)
Road Map for Peace (2003)
Geneva Accord (2003)
Sharm el-Sheikh Summit (2005)
(the latest) Iraq War
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
"Both of you need to read something besides articles published by Fat Rush Publishing."

Unlike most on this site who use cut and paste "journalism" to make their "point", I don't read much of anything and especially not the nonsense you accuse me of reading. My point of view is synthesized through my own warped impression of life. It cost you what you paid for it.

I still believe that we are safest when we are the strongest dog in the fight and we are willing to use that strength. Carter and Clinton were unwilling to use our strength opting for negotiations. I believe their decisions undermined our security. Throughout the course of human history the weak kneed approach has failed nearly every time it is tried.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
"I don't read much of anything"

Apparently SHHS was shut down several years too late.

"I still believe that we are safest when we are the strongest dog in the fight and we are willing to use that strength."

Yes, never let it be said that the US took any guff from Somalia, Panama, Grenada, or Lebanon.

But I bet you boys play a mean game of Axis & Allies


[This message has been edited by Bridgier (edited 1/17/2007).]
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
Why read something and pirate the idea to post on MC.com when you can have your own original thoughts?

Actually, I don't have to read independently because of all the crazy ideas posted here.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
"Ever read the history about how the Regan administration worked a deal with the Iranian terrorists to keep the hostages until after the 1980 election?

Yeah, that particular history was written by a lady who is now a prominent 9/11 "truther" who insists that 9/11 was a grand conspiracy to hide the fact that Donald Rumsfeld was stealing money from the government. She also reportedly believed she was parapsychic at one time, and had spoken through time to psychic supercomputers that exist 100 years in the future.

Moral of the story: Left wing nuts and their conspiracy theories travel in tight circles.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
Hal, I'm glad you used the phrase "Honest Broker" because if you read the letter of resignation from all of his former friends and associates from the Carter Center, it is Carter's lack of standing as an "Honest Broker" that led them to abandon his cause.

http://www.opinionjournal...=110009510

Please read the whole thing. It's a great restatement of basically what Senator Moynihan said about Carter in the 80's.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
Hey, an Axis & Allies grudge match may be the perfect way to settle this debate once and for all

If the Liberals win, then we'll try to find some sort of common ground with those who vow to drive every last Israeli into the ocean (Americans next), believe women are property, believe every state needs a state religion (theirs), and that anyone who believes otherwise should be dead.

What's our first concession?

[This message has been edited by Rick Kuchynka (edited 1/17/2007).]
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Posted by Matt Schmitz (+90) 15 years ago
Anyone who believes otherwise is dead? I think we are already there. Any Iraqi that doesn't buy us shoving democracy down his throst finds himself dead in a hurry. We have 3000 dead american soldiers, that have died for the Iraqi's right to speak their mind without reprisal. But if they speak their minds now, and they disagree with our form of democracy, then we kill em. Quite the quandry we have placed them in isn't it? I like the news reports that say american soldiers killed 52 "suspected" insurgents. It doesn't even take proof to kill people anymore. Just suspect that they MIGHT disagree, and gun em down. No wonder they freaking hate us. And whatever we do, God forbid sitting down and talking about our differences with people that have different beliefs than our own. It makes much better TV to just kill em. Most of you right wingers profess to be fans of the bible. The 10 commandants are all that is holy. One of them says "Thou shalt not kill". No comma, no only if, none of that convenient punctuation. Hard to justify us being a god fearing nation that is going to save the world with our version of peace when we conveniently ignore the very principles that we were supposedly founded on. Yes I know. War is hell. Maybe when a real one comes along we ought to go fight it.
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Posted by Richard Bonine, Jr (+15285) 15 years ago
"The 10 commandants are all that is holy. One of them says "Thou shalt not kill". No comma, no only if, none of that convenient punctuation. Hard to justify us being a god fearing nation that is going to save the world with our version of peace when we conveniently ignore the very principles that we were supposedly founded on."

Never mind. No point in turning this thread into an argument about the original language of the Bible.
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Posted by deer_slayer (+485) 15 years ago
Rick...nice "fuzzy" history. Too bad that it's a fact that the day Regan took his oath, the hostages were set free. I studied under Dr. Mehrid Kia, University of Montana...an Iranian, whose father worked for the Shah, and was booted from the country when the Ayatollahs took over...the history he told us didn't come from a liberal conspiracy nut job.

I used to think that you were an idiot Rick, but now I am starting to think that you are evil. Spreading disinformation for the sake of promoting one's own agenda at the expense of others who are stupid enough to listen is wrong. God have mercy on your miserable soul.
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10198) 15 years ago
Deer_Slayer,

Mehrdad's a good man, isn't he?

He's now serving as director of the UM's Office of International Programs and as an assistant vice president for research. I'm not sure if he is still involved with the Central Asia and Caspian Basin Program.

He came on staff the last year that I was a grad student, so I didn't have a chance to take any classes from him, but I hope he still has a chance to work with students in the classroom as he is by all accounts a darned good teacher.

The Department is currently interviewing candidates to fill his old slot full-time. Just before I left Missoula last month they had narrowed the field down to a couple very promising candidates, all of whom sound like they'd be great additions to the program. (I'm personally acquainted with one of them, but I won't jinx her, by bragging her up - I'll just keep my fingers crossed that she gets the position )
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Posted by Hal Neumann (+10198) 15 years ago
The point I was hoping to make about the "honest broker" thing is that there's a decades old pattern there - one that predates and postdates any single administration's policies. After a certain point in time, all we've been doing is slapping a new label on failed policies and recycling our past mistakes.

And yes, we can single out individual administrations and flame them and blame them for everything that's gone wrong in the region in the past 50 years. That's easy to do, it's "fun" to do, and it gives everyone on both sides of the aisle a chance to take cheap, partisan shots at the opposition. (and as we saw in 2001, it gives aide and comfort to our enemies by perpetuating the status quo) But, "fun" or not, it does nothing to bring us to a point where we can begin to deal with the multi-generational, ongoing policy failures that have been perpetuated by past Republican and Democrat administrations alike (and past Congresses too for that matter).
- - - - - - - - - - - -

Rick,

Carter's newest book is an interesting read. The reaction to it has also been interesting. Much of this reaction makes less sense to me after I read the book than it did before . . . but that's often the case in these matters (after all professional critics and paid axe-grinders don't get a paycheck for not having an opinion). On the whole, the politics underlying what is taking place at the Carter Center in reaction to the book is (I think) probably more telling that what's being spewed out by the professional critics.

Like it or not, the fact that Carter deliberately chose to use the apartheid word (even knowing that it would raise the roof) is going to have significant ripple effects down the road. It's just going to take time to see how those ripples alter future policy decisions. Personally, I don't think it will take all that long to see the effects of this. I suspect that these "ripples" will begin to make themselves felt during the coming Presidential campaign.
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Posted by Bridgier (+9424) 15 years ago
Hal -

In order to communicate effectively with some of our convervative brethren, one needs to use a language reduced in syllables and constricted in vocabulary.

kill,eat,screw,pray - everything else is just blah blah blah.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
Deer Slayer, with all due respect I think you might be mistaking someone's personal opinion of what happened, with having a credible knowledge of what happened. I've never heard Mr. Kia's story, but if he presented his ideas as any more authoritative than simple opinion, then I'd have to question it.

Even if he were close personal friends with the Shah himself, (as opposed to knowing a guy who knew a guy) please explain to me how this would make him privy to secret details from the government who drove him from power, out of the country, and was actively seeking to have him extradited, tried and executed.

But I'm sure they were still keeping him in the loop on those American hostage negotiations just for fun.

Everything you have is sheer speculation, (like the 9/11 conspiracy theories, and the gunman on the grassy knoll) It's no less circumstantial than the evidence that Bill Clinton murdered Vincent Foster. And anyone who fully believes either theory is a certifiable wingnut.

This particular Iranian conspiracy theory was first widely distributed in a late-80's book whose author I previously discussed. If this was not the origin of your opinion, I apologize for the mischaracterization. But your allegation is still completely unsubstantiated.

There are many possible reasons Iran waited until the last minute (the day before inauguration day) to cut the hostage deal (with Carter's administration mind you). One theory is they wanted to yank our chains as long as possible, but still wanted to seal the deal with Carter in office, because they didn't know what they'd get with Reagan.

Another is that it was a parting shot at Carter, who was hardly popular with Iran's new leadership. After all, it was Carter admitting the exiled Shah to the US for medical treatment (without extraditing him to Iran) that triggered the whole hostage crisis in the first place. I don't blame Carter for the crisis, but Iran certainly did.

Or maybe they wanted to prove they were in control... releasing the hostages after it was too late for Carter, but before Reagan could take any credit for the negotiations. Which brings me to another point. If Reagan really had the power to make the call on when to have the hostages released, wouldn't he have done it later? Why wouldn't he give it a week or two more, so he could take full credit for both the negotiations and release? Would he really intentionally set it up so Jimmy Carter got to finish the deal?

Anyway, all of these are more plausible than the idea that Reagan, without the power or diplomatic connections of the Presidency engineered a deal with Iran in a few weeks, while Carter, with all his might, couldn't make any deal for well over a year.

I guess the evil genius/bumbling buffoon dichotomy never gets old.
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Posted by Betty Emilsson (+72) 15 years ago
There is evil in this world. Carter was foolish because like most Americans, at the time, he didn't realize the psyche of the region.
However, the people who really got us in trouble with Iran, were the same British/Americans who toppled a legitimate democratic government in Iran and put the shah in power. This was the same wealthy group that negotiated a secret deal with the ayotollah and helped top that bumbler Jimmy Carter. It is fascinating how many people who profess to be followers of Christ, suck up to the wealthy.
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Posted by Bruce Helland (+596) 15 years ago
Rick, are you privy to some vat of knowledge that no one else has? Can you personally vouch and verify that the sources you quote are 100% fact and are reporting information completly and without any distortion? If not I would have to say that all we are left with is your personal opinion. Please do not try to call it anything else, or try to claim that its more valid than anyone elses. To listen with a closed mind is to not listen at all..
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
The difference, Bruce, is I'm not accusing anyone of any crimes. I'm saying there's not a shred of actual evidence, and to boldly state that Reagan committed a crime here is irresponsible.

The fact that the hostages were released when Reagan was inaugurated is not evidence. Especially since Carter only signed the deal the day before. Any timing at that point would have been considered suspicious by people who wanted it to be.
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Posted by deer_slayer (+485) 15 years ago
Fact: The Shah's army was created by the USA.

Fact: The military hardware needed to keep that army operational came from the USA.

Fact: The USA (Carter Adim.) cut off miltiary hardware to Iran after the Ayatollahs took over, and started to support Sadam and Iraq.

Fact: Iraq was about to finish off Iran, when the hostages were taken at the American embassy.

Fact: the Regan administration told the terrorists to keep the hostages until after the election (knowing that it would be the death of Carter), and in exchange they would give them the military hardware needed to get the Shah's advanced army up and running again.

Fact: Iran-Contra Affair. Documents shredded. Iran is able to repel Sadam's forces. We backstabbed Sadam, and sold military hardware to the terrorists so that Regan could win the election.

Just because there is no "hard evidence" doesn't mean that it didn't happen. I have never seen the "offical government release" that we screwed over the Indians either, but I'm pretty sure it happened.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4461) 15 years ago
Fact: The Shah's army was created by the USA.

True

[/i]Fact: The military hardware needed to keep that army operational came from the USA.[/i]

True

Fact: The USA (Carter Adim.) cut off miltiary hardware to Iran after the Ayatollahs took over, and started to support Sadam and Iraq.

Maybe. Some people argue Carter cut off some support to the Shah before the revolution, which may have helped the revolution, but I'm not sure either way.

Fact: Iraq was about to finish off Iran, when the hostages were taken at the American embassy.

Demonstrably False

Iraq first invaded Iran on September 22, 1980.
The hostages were taken on November 4, 1979, more than 10 months before the Iran-Iraq war started.

Fact: the Regan administration told the terrorists to keep the hostages until after the election (knowing that it would be the death of Carter), and in exchange they would give them the military hardware needed to get the Shah's advanced army up and running again.

Again, naked (and wishful) speculation.

Fact: Iran-Contra Affair. Documents shredded. Iran is able to repel Sadam's forces. We backstabbed Sadam, and sold military hardware to the terrorists so that Regan could win the election.

There's no evidence of any illegal arms dealings before 1985. Reagan was reelected in 1984. But even if the deals were going on sooner, the idea that Joe Average cared whether Iran or Iraq won that war (especially enough to overcome the 18-point Reagan landslide) isn't very realistic.

As far as "documents shredded" goes, if destroying documents is an open admission of guilt you can use to fill the charges in later, then I guess we have to ask, what did the Clinton administration know before 9/11?...

http://www.cbsnews.com/st...4631.shtml

I'll be submitting my conspiracy theory here in a couple of days with alot of "Fact:" splashed around to make it sound credible.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4459) 15 years ago
I die inside every time Rick makes a smiley.
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