JUAN COLE INTERVIEWED ABOUT IRAN BY NICO PITNEY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST: MY REACTION
My statement to Juan Cole:
I've read a great deal on the subject now and must say that I have definitely not been sold on the idea that the election was stolen. It wasn't completely clean, but to say without reservation that Ahmadinejad wouldn't have won without vote rigging is pure speculation. The "evidence" is far from conclusive – certainly not strong enough to justify any neocon-military means to overthrow the regime (which we are both against in either case).
In addition, I can't see how you could possibly be able to say that tens of millions of dollars per year in known spending (there still is a black, covert-ops budget afterall that is never made public) for regime change starting with exactly the type of events we've seen recently in Iran has not had much impact and that the movement is 100% homegrown. I'm convinced that it's a mixture and not 100% homegrown.
Also, in addition to the CIA, there are always the MI6 and Mossad along with the MEK and Jundallah, etc., with which to be concerned and academically vigilant and outspoken.
Those things said, I do highly commend you for speaking out in no uncertain terms against violence on either side within Iran or from the outside in the case of the U.S. and/or Israel primarily. Your statement against harsh economic sanctions, which do always amount to collective punishment, is also very welcome to my ears and heart.
Dead protesters in the streets are ugly, but so too are chants of "death to the dictator." How about "peace" as a motto instead? Tell our contacts in Iran again and again and again. Then Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman will have a much tougher sell via Fox News for "Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran." In fact, it won't sell.
Peace to you, Juan. Peace to all.