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Deepak Chopra: Foreign Policy Guru, Too!

Deepak Chopra, famed guru of spiritual enlightenment, tries his hand at foreign policy concerning the U.S. and Iran in a piece written for the San Francisco Chronicle entitled "Do we really want a mini Cold War?"

The following are some excerpts from his screed:

-It's always easy to repeat the past without learning its lessons. So far, a lot of that has been going on. Iran postures as if it is a major world power, and the militarists on both sides are happy to treat the posturing as reality. What about the facts? Iran is a small country with no viable modern army or defense structure, no delivery system for warheads, not the slightest capability of harming the U.S., and total vulnerability to Israel's overwhelming military superiority. Certainly Iran isn't toothless. It can foment terrorism, but so can any country that wants to. It promotes hatred for Israel, but that's a common threat throughout the Arab world. It can build a nuclear bomb if it wants to, and there's little to be done to stop it.

Though Iran's "posturing" may be to advance its status as a major player in world affairs, there is no denying, at least in that region of the world, it is a major power. Its army has just under a million members, it's made disturbing progress toward achieving nuclear capabilities, and it has tremendous amounts of oil and natural gas reserves. It possesses missiles capable of hitting Israel, Europe, and parts of the western U.S.. It successfully "foments" terrorism, from supplying arms to its puppet organization Hezbollah, to its arming of terrorists in Iraq to kill U.S. and Iraqi forces, disrupting the stability of Iraq's fragile democracy.

Mr. Chopra continues:

-There's the rub. The specter of the "Islamic bomb" is anxiety-producing enough in the case of Pakistan, which deliberately sold atomic secrets for ideological and religious reasons. Iran sounds crazier than Pakistan, because its avowed policies are anti-American and so virulently anti-Israel that one wonders if the whole nation would risk its survival to drop the A-bomb on Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. But this fearful possibility goes beyond reason. It was exactly the same twisted logic that fueled "mutually assured destruction" in the Cold War, the notion that two countries could keep loaded pistols at each other's heads and still remain sane.

Mr. Chopra's assertion that the situation concerning Iran and the U.S. are in any way comparable to that of the Cold War with Russia is absurd. Those conflicts arose out of political, ideological, and socio-economical differences regarding communism and capitalism.

Iran's belligerence and thirst for power originates from a warped form of Islamic fundamentalism, and manifests itself into a hatred of Israel and all things Western. They believe they are commanded by Allah to carry out the destruction of the Jewish state. If this means risking its own survival, then they, as radical fundamentalists, are prepared and willing to do so.

-We need to back down from this mini Cold War the same way that we backed down from the bigger Cold War".

This is the most ignorant statement contained within the article.

Newsflash to Deepak: We won the Cold War. There was no "backing down" involved on our part, as much as you would like to participate in some revisionist history. Due to our unwavering strength, our belief in ourselves, our cause, and humankind's inherent desire for freedom, the Soviet Union was destined to fail.

His list for success in this modern conflict is as follows:

1. Accept that a society isn't going to commit mass suicide.

2. Assume that the Iranians know that their posturing is just that, not
realistic policy.

3. Move toward global disarmament. There is no other way to stop small countries one by one from building atomic bombs.

4. Bring Iran back into the community of nations.

5. Trust that the ordinary Iranian citizen, particularly the younger generation, wants peace.

6. Offer incentives for peace, the main one being a willingness to negotiate on the basis of respect.

7. Ignore the demagogues, pay attention to the statesmen.


A bit off the target, Deep:

1. Tell that to the Japanese of WWII.

2. The Iranian's policy is not driven by posturing, but by a deep belief that they have been commanded by God to destroy Israel. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and no amount of incentives will alter the current course.

3. The nuclear genie is out of the bottle. Global disarmament is unrealistic. Non-proliferation should be the goal of our nuclear foreign policy.

4. Iran has to want to be a part of the "community of nations" (Insert singing of "Cum-bye-ya). It is not up to us.

5. Though there is a grain of truth to this, the halls of Iranian power are controlled by people who will settle for nothing less than the complete destruction of Israel.

6. Negotiation is not an "incentive" for peace, it should be a means to obtain it. Respect needs to be earned.

7. This is a hard one, considering the "statesmen" of Iran are the demagogues.

-Fortunately, the current administration seems to understand all these points. In his campaign, Obama tested the issue and found that the American public accepted his notion about sitting down with Iran in face to face negotiations without preconditions. This was a complete turnaround from the previous policy, which was a childish one: "If you hate us, we hate you back." All that policy accomplished was letting the Iranian demagogues define the issue. Now Obama has made overtures, and it's up to Iran to respond. So far, they seem rattled. As with Castro in Cuba, a constant stream of anti-American rhetoric is the only politics they know, and a good screen for hiding severe domestic problems.

Time to get some updated talking points, Dee. In May of last year, Obama stated "Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us." Just like Afghanistan, right guys? Aside from the obligatory Bush-bashing comment, "Iranian demagogues" are still defining the issues.

Until I read this, I'd forgotten how much of a kook Deepak is.

Not only has he re-affirmed my opinion of him, he's solidified it comfortably.


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Comments (15)

"Iran is a small country... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

"Iran is a small country..."

Where have I heard this before? Oh yeah:

"Iran is a tiny country..."

"Until I read this, I'd forgotten how much of a kook Deepak is."

I hadn't forgotten. More though, who read this, edited it and thought, "What a good story. Let's print it!"

Oh wait. The SF Chronicle? Never mind.

I'll give Chopra this much ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I'll give Chopra this much - he really believes the stuff he spouts.

But then, so does this person. But I wouldn't follow their advice.

Chopra lists this ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Chopra lists this as one of his points:

    1. Accept that a society isn't going to commit mass suicide.

Earlier Chopra states "It was exactly the same twisted logic that fueled "mutually assured destruction" Apparently Chopra doesn't see that his point number 1 is the basis for what he calls "twisted logic".

in the Cold War, the notion that two countries could keep loaded pistols at each other's heads and still remain sane.

Not pistols, but two people holding hand grenades in the same elevator car. And the part about remaining sane, that's why it's called MAD. News flash Chopra! We still live under MAD with Russia and it works because your point number 1 is correct. Too bad you're too stupid to see that.

The problem is that MAD only works when the leaders of nations are sane, and I'm not sure the leaders of Iran meet that criteria. Surly they must know that Israel has the A-bomb and likely even the far more powerful H-bomb, and that Iran will not survive a nuclear exchange with Israel. It's insane then for Iran to be developing the A-bomb, yet the keep going down that road.

Deepak has helped a lot of ... (Below threshold)

Deepak has helped a lot of people feel good about themselves, but so has the 6-pak.

Chopra is in way over his h... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Chopra is in way over his head....which is planted firmly up his ass.

I don't really have anythin... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

I don't really have anything against the guy. He seems to mean well, but it would be interesting to have him sit down with Ahmadinnerjacket, Netanyahu, and Kim Yong-il in a discussion about "disarmament" in a fireside chat. Peaceful agreement over s'mores may be a little less than enough to cover all bases.

Jesus H. Christmas, how muc... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Jesus H. Christmas, how much can the man screw up his "facts" in the third paragraph?

What about the facts? Iran is a small country with no viable modern army or defense structure...

Wrong. They're active military personnel is over a half-million and, well, here are the facts...

http://www.globalfirepower.com/country-military-strength-detail.asp?country_id=Iran

no delivery system for warheads...

What's this? A play toy?

P.S. You don't need a warhead to "deliver" a nuke. You can place it on a ship, on a plane, in a car, in a truck or even dragged in wagon by a team of fuckin' camels if need be...

...total vulnerability to Israel's overwhelming military superiority....

Total? That's a bit of hyperbole. I guess old Deep forgot that half the ME would take Iran's side and join the fight should Israel and Iran engage in a war.

It promotes hatred for Israel, but that's a common threat throughout the Arab world.

So let's just ignore it. Move on. Nothing to see here except some dead Jews, right, Deep?

It can build a nuclear bomb if it wants to, and there's little to be done to stop it.

Meh. Let 'em have it then. What could be the harm???

This was a complete turnaround from the previous policy, which was a childish one: "If you hate us, we hate you back."

No, it's called defending our freedoms and preserving our way of life, you spiritual charlatan.

Shawn, I admire your restraint and dipolmacy in picking apart this fuckwit's "column." Obviously, I couldn't do it...

It was nice to hear erstwhi... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

It was nice to hear erstwhile warhawk B. Netanyahu of Israel suddenly differentiate between military and "non-military" categories of nuclear allowances, viz. Iran, during his joint press conference last month with Obama.

Outrage dispersion result: Deepak, I guess.

Beware though: Deepak is new-agey, but the guy has constructed a self-contained philosophy of life that is remarkably self-sufficient within any context, so Hannity had better invite him aboard his show via tape-delay only. His grasp of scientific vocabulary and concepts is remarkable. He also pronounces Nuclear correctly.

"He also pronounces Nuclear... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"He also pronounces Nuclear correctly."

bryanD- This article is from San Fran and the mideast is rarely in contact with Chopra's philosophies. "New-agey" Deep is speaking to the west about disarmament in other countries that never hear it, thus the idea is to influence Americans. This might be the subtle initiative that will get Americans to give up their guns and be vulnerable to just about anything, that is why I take is meditation-induced politics with a grain of salt.

This is also the Bay Area where we had the Berkeley Code Pink(o) distraction that left us wondering what happened to those homeless people a month later.

"This article is from San F... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

"This article is from San Fran and the mideast is rarely in contact with Chopra's philosophies."-la medusa

I'll meet you sorta half way: *backward* places such as those found in the middle east *are* familiar with currents of thought such as those espoused by Chopra. Granted, in stratified societies, it's the fortunate classes keeping up, but they pride themselves in same.

Also news is *much* bigger elsewhere in the world than in the USA. It just isn't as commercial. Ditto, literature, art, culture, etc. I'm sure Deepak has connections.

As for mentioning S.F.: the "culture war" thingee is growing moldier by the decade. Hell, BillO bailed out of the 10-hour radio content grind and has retired behind stock TV footage of bikini models while threatening (from afar) various local yokels in strictly ad hoc manner while disclaiming he's a Republican.

BillO is an exposed hack, s... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

BillO is an exposed hack, so I really don't care what he thinks anymore. I was speaking of Deepak's "political" suggestions, where the mideast is in no way included media-wise. They never hear him talk about those.

This self proclaimed guru o... (Below threshold)
AK:

This self proclaimed guru obviously lacks knowledge about foreign policy. "Iran is a small country with no viable modern army or defense structure" - Wow! amazing assessment which is obviously way off.

"The specter of the "Islamic bomb" is anxiety-producing enough in the case of Pakistan, which deliberately sold atomic secrets for ideological and religious reasons" - He appeared on Larry King live with his son to denounce Pakistan after Mumbai massacre, the language he used then made it obvious he had a political agenda (being Indian-American?).

By the way, his recent disclosure on national/international media regarding Michael Jackson's personal use of prescription drug also sheds light on his integrity (he claims to be Michael Jackson's personal friend!).

I love this recipe~thanks</... (Below threshold)

I love this recipe~thanks

we have had too much foreig... (Below threshold)

we have had too much foreign policy of india in the south asia, minding in other people's business...........

I just stumbled upon this b... (Below threshold)

I just stumbled upon this blog and I must say this is an exceptional post. I might just be checking in more regularly in future...............




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