The Edmond Sun


February 14, 2014

Iran sees itself as Islam savior

EDMOND — In early February, the French sent a delegation of over 100 important business executives to Iran to discuss the prospects of commercial ties once the international sanctions against that “Islamic Republic” are eased.

Why should we care? In the second week of February, Iran sent two of its naval “rust buckets” to put in an appearance in international waters off the coast of the United States.

Why should we care? A few days ago, Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff, Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi announced that the Islamic Republic is prepared for a “decisive battle with America” should hostilities break out in the Middle East.

Why should we care? After all, what difference does it make if Iran emerges — after a long standoff with America — as a victorious economic power in the Middle East? Is there any real threat to U.S. national security if a couple of tubs we could blow out of the water with a nod putter around international waters off our coast? Does it make any real difference to us that some blustery Iranian military bigshot makes some noisy boast about Iran’s ability to “take us on?”

Before we dismiss these developments as trivial long-distance commerce and pathetic saber-rattling showmanship, let me ask you to name the three greatest threats to American security at work in the world today? I’ll assume somewhere on that list you might place radical Islamist fundamentalist militants. If you don’t think this group poses a significant threat, then you don’t need to give these Iranian developments another thought.

On the other hand, if you regard the multiplication, concentration, coordination, encouragement and financing of militant Islamic fundamentalists as a significant threat to our peace and security, take another look at these news items.

To put this in context, let me ask you, who is the most prominent power in the Islamic world today? No matter how you answer this question, Iran claims to be the only true Islamic power worthy of the name. Here’s how they back up their claim.

According to Iran, they faced down the “American Satan” in the hostage situation of the late 70s. They seized our citizens, held them captive as long as it pleased them and released them when it pleased Iran.

Iran boasts that in the eight-year war between the Islamic Republic and Iraq, the “American Satan” backed Saddam Hussein. When the dust settled after that war, it was Iran on its feet with Iraq a chastened dog trembling in Iran’s shadow.

According to Iran, when the Americans and Israelis confronted Hezbollah, Iran’s client in Lebanon, Hezbollah — with Iran’s support and encouragement — withstood the onslaught and emerged from this holy battle stronger than ever with America and Israel in retreat.

Iran insists that when America sought to force the Islamic Republic into submission through unilateral sanctions, Iran refused to be intimidated. Even in the face of the combined sanctions of the infidel Western powers, Iran insists it refused to yield and its righteous fortitude brought these decadent powers to the bargaining table.

According to Iran, the infidels are now dancing to Iran’s tune.

At one time, Saudi Arabia and Egypt might claim to be the rightful leaders of the Islamic world. But now, Iran insists Saudi Arabia is a Western lackey and, though elected to leadership by a vote of “the faithful,” the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt was, through Western treachery, overthrown.

Iran is pointing to all this as proof that the Islamic Republic is the only true defender of the faithful in the Islamic world and all those who wish to strike a blow for Islam should rally to the Iranian banner.

Iran’s prestige in the Islamic world has never been higher. It is attempting to exploit the instability in Egypt. It is seeking to destabilize the ruling family of Saudi Arabia. It is preparing a list of proofs that Iran is divinely chosen to be the leader of the Islamic world. The latest bullet points in this list are the collapse of sanctions, the display of military defiance at the very shores of the United States and the announcement to the world that Iran is prepared to engage in the final battle with the “American Satan.”

Maybe we really don’t have anything to worry about. Maybe Iran can be appeased and trusted to become a reasonable and cooperative international partner. Maybe it has no dreams of seeing Islamic power imposed on all the nations of the world. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I keep hearing a quote by Edmund Burke, “Dangers, by being despised, grow great.”

I’m Hink and I’ll see ya.

MIKE HINKLE is a retired attorney and Edmond resident.


Text Only
  • Bangladesh’s sweatshops — a boycott is not the answer

    One year ago this week, the eight-story Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh’s capital city of Dhaka, killing 1,129 people. The building’s top floors had been added illegally, and their weight caused the lower stories to buckle. Many of the victims were young women who had been sewing low-priced clothes for Western brands, earning a minimum wage of about $9 a week. It was the worst disaster in garment industry history.

    April 24, 2014

  • Loosening constraints on campaign donations and spending doesn’t destroy democracy

    Campaign finance reformers are worried about the future. They contend that two Supreme Court rulings — the McCutcheon decision in March and the 2010 Citizens United decision — will magnify inequality in U.S. politics.
    In both cases, the court majority relaxed constraints on how money can be spent on or donated to political campaigns. By allowing more private money to flow to campaigns, the critics maintain, the court has allowed the rich an unfair advantage in shaping political outcomes and made “one dollar, one vote” (in one formulation) the measure of our corrupted democracy.
    This argument misses the mark for at least four reasons.

    April 23, 2014

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 23, 2014

  • Free trade on steroids: The threat of the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    Many supporters of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade agreement are arguing that its fate rests on President Obama’s bilateral talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Japan this week. If Japan and the United States can sort out market access issues for agriculture and automobiles, the wisdom goes, this huge deal — in effect, a North American Free Trade Agreement on steroids — can at last be concluded.

    April 22, 2014

  • Can Hillary Clinton rock the cradle and the world?

    What's most interesting to contemplate is the effect becoming a grandmother will have on Hillary's ambition. It's one of life's unfairnesses that a woman's peak career years often coincide with her peak childbearing years.

    April 22, 2014

  • Chicago Tribune: If Walgreen Co. moves its HQ to Europe, blame Washington’s tax failure

    The Walgreen Co. drugstore chain got its start nearly a century ago in downstate Dixon, Ill., before moving its corporate headquarters to Chicago and eventually to north suburban Deerfield, Ill.
    Next stop? Could be Bern, Switzerland.
    A group of shareholders reportedly is pressuring the giant retail chain for a move to the land of cuckoo clocks. The reason: lower taxes. Much lower taxes.
    If Walgreen changes its legal domicile to Switzerland, where it recently acquired a stake in European drugstore chain Alliance Boots, the company could save big bucks on its corporate income-tax bill. The effective U.S. income-tax rate for Walgreen, according to analysts at Swiss Bank UBS: 37 percent. For Alliance Boots: about 20 percent.

    April 21, 2014

  • Sulphur a future major tourist destination?

    Greta Garbo says, “I want to be alone,” in the 1932 film “Grand Hotel.” That MGM film starred Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Beery and a young actress from Lawton named Joan Crawford. It told the stories of several different people who were staying at an exclusive hotel of that name in Berlin Germany.
    It was critically well received and it inspired more recent films such as “Gosford Park” and television shows such as “Downton Abbey” in that it detailed the relationship between powerful and wealthy people and those who served them. The film opened amidst much fanfare and it received the Oscar for best picture in the year of its release.

    April 21, 2014

  • St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Why poverty across the world matters to Americans

    A child starving in South Sudan should matter to Americans. That was the message delivered last week by Nancy Lindborg, whose job at the U.S. Agency for International Development is to lead a federal bureau spreading democracy and humanitarian assistance across the world.
    That world has reached a critical danger zone, with three high-level crises combining military conflict with humanitarian catastrophes affecting millions of innocents in Syria, the South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
    But back to that child.

    April 18, 2014

  • Government leadership complicit in overfilling prisons

    One of the thorniest problems facing any society is the question of what to do with transgressors. Obviously, the more complicated a culture becomes, the more factors come into play in trying to figure out what to do with those who choose not to “play by the rules.”

    April 18, 2014

  • My best days are ones normal people take for granted

    It is a weekend for working around the house. My fiancee, Erin, and I have the baby’s room to paint and some IKEA furniture to assemble. I roll out of bed early — 10:30 — and get into my wheelchair. Erin is already making coffee in the kitchen.
    “I started the first wall,” she says. “I love that gray.” Erin never bugs me about sleeping late. For a few months after I was injured in the Boston Marathon bombings, I often slept 15 hours a day. The doctors said my body needed to heal. It must still be healing because I hardly ever see 8 a.m. anymore.

    April 18, 2014


Do you agree with a state budget proposal that takes some funds away from road and bridge projects to ramp up education funding by $29.85 million per year until schools are receiving $600 million more a year than they are now? In years in which 1 percent revenue growth does not occur in the general fund, the transfer would not take place.

     View Results