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as big dog in the Middle East militarily, and if Iran can successfully implement the economic ideas that Chris Cook will be presenting in Tehran this weekend, then against the wreckage of Western capitalism, Iran may emerge as far more powerful than even Baer reckons.

Truth unfolds in time through a communal process.
by marco on Fri Oct 10th, 2008 at 11:06:07 AM EST
fascinating read, thanks marco.

whole buncha new thoughts springing from this...

is shia islam more modern than sunni, or was the reason saddam's iraq had better education and womens' rights than their muslim neighbours because iraq was de facto sunni-ruled?

the interview does help one want to root for chris cook's initiative to foster a 'new kind of capitalism', great point.

to be more 'rational' than the neocons is not stting the bar very high, however one can only hope the author is correct, and our leaders, standing in the rubble of their free market ideology, will have the good sense to take advantage of it, and not try to take advantage of them, as was their wont, for a change.

i have heard a huge proportion of women in muslim universities are studying very serious, usually male-dominated professions. if this is true, we could see societies become rapidly less patriarchal, a Good Thing, imho.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 06:32:20 AM EST
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Well, this is written live (on a state of the art Japanese laptop running on US software) from the conference building not long after my "PetroTrust" presentation, which seemed to go really well.

I have a number of meetings lined up over the next few days, probably with more to come, including one or two of the really powerful people in Iran (the ones who actually have the power to authorise payments....)

What was extraordinary was that virtually every other speaker on the panel, whether in the context of refinery risk management, and project operation and implementation, explicitly outlined in their papers the benefits of partnership working.

As I pointed out, I aim to extend collaboration in building and operation, to collaboration in financing, through the use of "unitisation" within a partneship framework.

I may well be knocking on an open door.

But coming back to your Diary, and the extensive interview, I have to agree with Loefing to some extent that Baer's perspective is faulty and that this pollutes his conclusions.

Iran are a proud nation, and for good reason, with some 7,000 years of history behind them.

But Baer is projecting on them the US's own desire for domination.

First among equals? Yes. Respect? Absolutely. But a desire to dominate? Absolutely not.

And with the exception of a very few proselytisers, the Shia are infinitely more secure within their belief and pragmatic than the Sunni.  So you can forget any idea of Jihad coming from here.

What the Iranians are not unreasonably looking for is not so much the positive, of control, but the absence of a negative, in terms of external threats. With the continuous bellicose noises from the US and Israel in particular of the last few years, who can blame them?

IMHO there is immense potential for a grand bargain - necessarily negotiated between equals - but it will look nothing like what Mr Baer is thinking, I suspect.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Sun Oct 12th, 2008 at 04:53:18 AM EST
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