Monday, February 16, 2015

16-Feb-15: The duping and the dupees

We happen to be fans of old news reports. Looking back over piles of TIME Magazines, on-line archives and news clipping folders years after they appeared, a person sometimes has one of those forehead-slapping moments of clarity - the sort where we kind of say to ourselves "Of course, why didn't we see that then. And now that we're reminded, we will never ever make the same mistake again, no sirree."

George Santayana famously said it with considerably more gravitas: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it",

Our take-away: when things happen in dangerous corners of the world, and concerns are already aroused because of the fishy nature of the things we hear from public figures and suspicious things we know about how they live their lives and treat people around them etc etc, we could do worse than have this little snippet from The Telegraph UK rattling around in our brains.
How we duped the West, by Iran's nuclear negotiator | Philip Sherwell in Washington | 12:01AM GMT 05 Mar 2006 | The man who for two years led Iran's nuclear negotiations has laid out in unprecedented detail how the regime took advantage of talks with Britain, France and Germany to forge ahead with its secret atomic programme. In a speech to a closed meeting of leading Islamic clerics and academics, Hassan Rowhani, who headed talks with the so-called EU3 until last year, revealed how Teheran played for time and tried to dupe the West after its secret nuclear programme was uncovered by the Iranian opposition in 2002. He boasted that while talks were taking place in Teheran, Iran was able to complete the installation of equipment for conversion of yellowcake - a key stage in the nuclear fuel process - at its Isfahan plant but at the same time convince European diplomats that nothing was afoot. "From the outset, the Americans kept telling the Europeans, 'The Iranians are lying and deceiving you and they have not told you everything.' The Europeans used to respond, 'We trust them'," he said...
Trust is a wonderful thing - in principle. But if it's not earned the customary way, through proof and experience, it tends to operate like fig-leaves do: covering up without adding much decorum to the viewer or the viewed.

(Some readers might want to keep the above in mind as they read "US optimism on Iran nuclear deal rises", Al-Monitor, February 14, 2015. And about that "Hassan Rowhani" mentioned in the quote, his duping performance probably helped him land his next job. As Hassan Rouhani, he has been the Islamic Republic of Iran's seventh - and current - president since assuming that office in 2013. That makes it quite a quotable quote, no?)

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