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The Race for Iran

Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu on the Iranian Nuclear Issue at the UN General Assembly

Photo by Martin Meissner / AP

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in New York this week, for his valedictory appearances as President of the Islamic Republic before the United Nations General Assembly.  He gave several significant addresses, multiple interviews, and even held a session with a small group of Americans who have written or are writing books about Iran, in which we took part. 

Although, as usual, Ahmadinejad had a rich and multifaceted set of messages that he worked to convey, media and public attention focused on his observations about Israel and the threat of an Israeli or U.S. attack on the Islamic Republic.  On this topic, Ahmadinejad had two main points. 

First, Israel is at a strategic “dead end,” or, as he explained in greater detail, see here,  

“Fundamentally, we do not take seriously the threats of the Zionists.  We believe the Zionists see themselves at a dead end and the way to find an adventure to get out of this dead end.  While we are fully ready to defend ourselves, we do not take these threats seriously.”     

Second, the reason why Israel finds itself in a dead end is not because of the Islamic Republic and its nuclear activitiesIt is because of the mobilization of Arab and other Muslim populations to demand more participatory political orders in their countries

Although this was surely not his intent, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu confirmed Ahmadinejad’s assessment when Netanyahu addressed the General Assembly later in the week, see here.  The heart of Netanyahu’s address, of course, was his remarks about the Islamic Republic and its nuclear program.  By now, most people who might read this have, we are sure, already seen footage of Netanyahu deploying his Looney Tunes-like drawing of a cylindrical bomb with a hand-lit fuse, 25 minutes into the video linked above.  (For those who were too dumbstruck by the absurdity of his visual aid to take in easily its intended message, Netanyahu pointed out, “This is a bomb.  This is a fuse.”)  Bottom line, Netanyahu holds that the United States should commit to bombing Iranian nuclear facilities before the International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has stockpiled enough uranium enriched the near-20 percent level so that, if it reconfigured its centrifuges and put its 20-percent enriched uranium back through those centrifuges, it might be able to produce enough weapons-grade fissile material to fabricate a single nuclear weapon

Where to begin deconstructing all of this?  Simply as a technical matter, Netanyahu’s analysis is deeply flawed on multiple levels

–Netanyahu claims that, once Iran reaches his suggested red line, Israel, the United States, and others cannot rely on their intelligence services to detect an Iranian move to turn near-20 percent enriched uranium into weapons-grade fissile material.  But, by Netanyahu’s own testimony, his analysis of Iran’s fuel-cycle program is “not based on secret information.  It’s not based on military intelligence.  It’s based on public reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency.” 

–But it is also these public reports which will tell Netanyahu and others when the Islamic Republic has accumulated enough 20-percent enriched uranium to meet his red line.  And in order to blow past this red line, Iran would have to take steps—breaking seals on IEAE-inventoried uranium stockpiles, reconfiguring centrifuges to produce weapons-grade fissile material, or moving stockpiles out of IEAE-monitored facilities—that the IAEA (not U.S. or Israeli intelligence) would detect. 

–Furthermore, Netanyahu said nothing to demonstrate that, even if Iran were to produce enough weapons-grade fissile material for a nuclear device, it has either the intention or the capability to weaponize the material—which is a considerably more complicated task than just stuffing highly-enriched uranium into the Prime Minister’s cartoon bomb and lighting the fuse.        

Strategically, as we’ve argued before, see here, there is no way that a mythical nuclear-armed Iran, much less an Iran enriching uranium at well below weapons grade, poses an “existential threat” to Israel.  In New York, Netanyahu made much of the Islamic Republic’s alleged irrationality, even citing Bernard Lewis that “for the Ayatollahs of Iran, mutually assured destruction is not a deterrent, it’s an inducement.”  But countless senior Israeli officials—including the commander of the Israel Defense Forces, including Defense Minister Ehud Barak, including even Netanyahu himself, see here and here—have acknowledged, on the record, that it is highly unlikely that Iranian leaders would use nuclear weapons.  (For the record, Iranian leaders have said repeatedly over many years that they don’t want nuclear weapons and, in the assessment of both U.S. and Israeli intelligence services, they have not taken a decision to produce them.  In fact, we believe that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has taken a clear decision not to do so.) 

The real existential threat to Israel comes from what Israelis see going on around them right now, and which Ahmadinejad so aptly pointed out—the mobilization of Arab and other Muslim populations to demand more participatory political orders.  For as Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, and other Iranian leaders understand very well, the governments that grow out of this demand will not succumb to American pressure cum blandishments to “make peace” with Israel, even as it continues to occupy Arab land, suppress Arab populations, and flout international law in its grossly disproportionate applications of military force around the regionSuch governments will insist, before they can accept Israel, that it must change its policies in fundamental ways—ways so fundamental that most Israeli elites would see it as an abandonment of the Zionist project.  And over time—perhaps measured in decades rather the merely years—that will persuade most of the rest of the world to demand basic changes in Israel, too

Like President Obama in his speech to the UN General Assembly (which we will discuss in greater depth in our next post), Netanyahu expressed confidence that “modernity” will triumph over “medievalism.”  But the success of the Zionist project rests ultimately on the ability of Israeli governments to tell Israeli Jews and those who might come to Israel from elsewhere that it is utterly feasible to live surrounded by hundreds of millions of people who do not accept Israel as a political orderIsraeli governments have to be able to tell their target audiences that they do not have to be concerned about the long-term implausibility of such a proposition—because Israel, with its superior military forces and with the vast power of the United States deployed to keep genuinely independent power centers from emerging in the region, has its strategic situation under control

Today, Israel clearly does not have its strategic situation under control.  Indeed, Israel has not faced a strategic situation this challenging since the 1950s—the last time it faced the prospect of genuinely independent political orders emerging in Middle East that would refuse to accept an aggressive, territorially acquisitive interloper in their midst.  Now, superior military forces no longer suffice to keep the regional balance tilted so overwhelmingly in Israel’s favorAnd the power of the United States to shape the Middle East’s strategic environment is hardly what it once seemed to be—and is shrinking virtually by the day.           

At their root, of course, Israel’s problems are of Israel’s making.  It would be disastrous for the United States to go along with the idea of using military power to enforce a technically and strategically nonsensical red line on Iran’s nuclear activities.  Such an attack would have no legitimacy:  there would be no United Nations Security Council resolution authorizing it, and outside of Israel, Britain, and a few other subservient European states, no one would support the action. 

–A U.S.-initiated war on the Islamic Republic would do so much damage to America’s long-run strategic position that it would make the Iraq debacle, in comparison, look almost like a success. 

–And if we think anti-Americanism in the Muslim world—indeed, in most of the non-Western world—is at dangerously high levels now, imagine what those levels will be after the United States bombs Iran over nuclear activities that Arab populations, other Muslim populations, and other non-Western populations overwhelmingly see as legitimate.    

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 

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540 Responses to “Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu on the Iranian Nuclear Issue at the UN General Assembly”

  1. masoud says:

    It’s fair to say I detest Patrick Clawson and everything he stands for, but I couldn’t help but nod along in agreement with almost everything he had to say in this recent article. I guess it helps that everything he hates about the IRI is everything I love about it.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/11/will_iran_weather_the_economic_storm?page=0,2#

  2. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 12, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    You are wrong.

    Assad can win and will win, in my opinion.

    The anti-government forces cannot muster the power that the government can; overtime, they will be defeated.

    This obtains not just in Syria but anywhere else.

  3. Photi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    essentially in this article you supposedly have an iranian providing the argument for the necessity of Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon, and the only way for Israel to change the Iranian national mind is to starve and attack iran into oblivion. pretty convenient argument for israel and the proponents of coercive “diplomacy”. this article is israeli propaganda.

  4. Persian Gulf says:

    Karl… says:
    October 12, 2012 at 4:55 am

    I have come to believe that a Romney administration is far better for Iran than a second term Obama admin. Absent a war option (not that Obama was not willing to do anything in that front as evidences clearly show; i.e. Iran and her periphery), I think Romney would be a far better option between the two. I also don’t think there is any evidence Obama hesitated in attacking Iran. It was simply not in the interest of the U.S. and that assessment would stay true for a Romney admin. as well. There is no reason to be afraid of Romney more than Obama.

  5. Nasser says:

    Interesting article in Haaretz: “Netanyahu told Assad: I’m ready to discuss Golan withdrawal, if you cut Iran, Hezbollah ties.”

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/netanyahu-told-assad-i-m-ready-to-discuss-golan-withdrawal-if-you-cut-iran-hezbollah-ties.premium-1.469714

    Now a lot of people got the sense that this was going on. Well too late now! If and when Assad overcomes the current crisis, he will be only more dependent on Iran and wouldn’t risk alienating the only ones that stuck by him.

  6. Unknown Unknowns: “So time is not on the side of the NATO rats, which is why they will loose the war unless they escalate.”

    Your points aren’t entirely wrong. Actually, they’re not bad.

    Unfortunately they’re not “decisive”. While it may be true that the Assad government can manage the urban areas and “wait out” the insurgents, as long as the insurgents are being supported externally and offered a safe haven, they can continue to cause enough trouble to “justify” a foreign military intervention – especially if the media are lying about the level of the trouble as they have been all along.

    That’s all that matters to the West and Israel – get that war so they can degrade Syria and Hizballah so they can start the Iran war. After that, they couldn’t care less what happens to Syria or who takes power (although of course they’d prefer some compliant puppet, or failing that, complete chaos and civil war.)

    Bottom line: As I said, the insurgents cannot win. Assad cannot win (except after a LONG time.) The only possible outcome is foreign military intervention – which is clearly in the cards given the Turkey escalation on all fronts.

  7. Turks, Cease Fire!
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/12/turks-cease-fire/

    Quotes

    The Turkish Yurt newspaper reported that the shots were fired from the NATO weapons recently given to the rebels by the Turks: “Erdogan’s Government Handed over the Mortars to Armed (Free Syrian Army) Groups in Syria which Shelled Akcakale Town” – they headlined. The ammunition was reportedly NATO ammunition 120 AE HE-TNT. Even the New York Times admitted that it’s unknown who’s responsible for mortars landing in Turkey. A German TV canal ZDF reported: mortars were launched from territory controlled by FSA fighters. A leaked video clip said they admitted responsibility for striking Akcakale and killing five Turkish nationals.

    I remember snowy February 2003 in Istanbul, when I came to argue for banning the US army passage to Iraq. I told them that “the long standing Zionist plan is being realised. First, Iraq must be destroyed. After that, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, until all the former Ottoman Empire and its neighbours from Pakistan to Africa are turned into a Zone of Special Interests for Israel, policed by the Turks.

    This plan was outlined by General Sharon many years ago, re-formulated by the Zionist Neo-cons Richard Perle and Douglas Feith in 1996, and is now upheld by the Wolfowitz Cabal, the people who run the US foreign policy. If it will be done, it will have been done with the connivance of Turkey, of its ‘Islamic’ government.

    End Quotes

  8. This is relevant to my thesis about the ruling elites… Maybe Obama will turn on the banks? Naaah…

    Loyalty’s for Chumps on The Street
    Obama Dumped by the Money Men
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/12/bankers-man-in-2008-obamas-been-dumped-by-the-money-men/

  9. For what it’s worth…

    The Day After Bombing: A Conversation with an Iranian Businessman
    http://www.iranedge.com/thedayafterbombing.htm

  10. Newsweek’s Iran War Game
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/10/07/newsweek-s-iran-war-game.html

    Note this comes up repeatedly: “What should Washington do to protect Israel from reprisals?” Let me tell you – NOTHING the US does will help prevent Iran from retaliating against Israel, and THEREFORE NOTHING will prevent the US being drawn in.

    And they agree:

    Quote

    Their differences aside, the panelists agreed any Iranian reprisal that killed large numbers of Israelis would trigger American military action against Iran—and, again, put the U.S. on a possible path to war.

    End Quote

    And this is how the Pentagon thinks:

    Quote

    “They can cause a huge tanker to go down, or hit one of our ships and cause us to lose 100 or more Americans in a minute,” remarked Bing West, in the role of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He said the military didn’t like the idea of waiting around to be attacked and would rather take the initiative—essentially proposing the U.S. attack Iran preemptively. “If you’re going to say you’re going to defend your citizens, you’re going to defend your forces … then the military is telling you, you need to do that by operational offense, not defense.”

    End Quote

    And this:

    “They estimated that Tehran would withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) after the attack and expel international observers from their facilities—something Iranian leaders might have been looking for an excuse to do. “I think there’s a chance this is a gift to the Iranians,” McLaughlin said, describing the Israeli operation as a possible “get-out-of-the-NPT-free card” for Iran.”

    Needless to say, I disagree… Fyi of course would agree and has agreed with this step.

    Worth the read…

  11. Iran Oil Exports at 1.2 m b/d
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/10/iran-oil-exports-at-12-m-bd.html

    Up from summer, still fifty percent less than last year…

  12. humanist says:

    Richard,

    Re: your Oct 8, 6:32pm post

    Thanks a lot for your valuable reply.

    I gather your knowledge on Bruce de Masquita is way more than mine. My familiarity with him is limited to that TED video and couple of shorter videos on Youtube. In one of the videos he claims [2 years earlier?]he informed CIA there is going to be a coup against Gorbachev in Soviet Union …. Gorbachev won’t get killed etc etc. He claimed all of his predictions materialized with insignificant deviations. In another video a CIA agent claimed, in quite a few cases, Bruce’s predictions were shockingly accurate while on the same issues the agency’s analysts were way off the line.

    At the time, unquestionably I believe him and was thoroughly impressed by his works.

    Because of my ample knowledge on a narrow field of technology I could reliably evaluate the potentials of the immensely powerful field of Game Theory. Ever since, by reading articles in various technical Journals my bewilderment of and praise for the theory is steadily on the rise making me believe that, in not a far future, Master-Game Theorists [in service of clubs like Club of Rome?] are the ones who are going to pull all the strings.

    I also remember when I watched Bruce’s TED video on Iran I had doubts about couple of his assertions, especially on the declining power of Ahmadinejad and ever-increasing power of bazaaris. However for those issues now I know my reasoning then were flawed….and he was right.

    Those days, on the topic of Iran, it was easier to fool academics and their students. Then many thought it is only logical for Iran to protect itself via acquiring a bomb that, in seconds, can barbecue all the inhabitants of any given city….. I remember then, Bruce’s claims were somehow opposite of what most analysts believed.

    Regardless, as usual I learned something from your response. From now on I’ll be more cautious and more skeptical about Bruce Bueno de Mequita’s claims since some (not all) of your arguments about him sound convincing.

    Nevertheless, on political topics I always warn the readers of my posts about the amateurish nature of my declarations, allegations or assertions…but ever since I found out about the colossal controlling power of Game theory, I don’t think anyone can easily convince me this theory’s Models are something like other types of computer Models, or the theory is like that for Pattern Recognition or for Translation of Literary masterpieces from one language to the other. For me Game theory is evolving to something like Quantum Physics. I think in not too far future, it could manifest its influence in every aspect of the vitality of every living organism…..and maybe on solids too.

    If you haven’t done already read about the economists who are experts in Game Theory….especially those [in Israel] who have received Nobel Prize. Then you may get further convinced that ‘VERY FEW powerful entities who possess billions of extra cash are screwing billions of people’….they are the ones who are converting our fragile humanity to a self-destructive existence.

    I guess you might agree with me that, steadily and smoothly Greed and Power can alter the circuitry of a human-brain, gradually converting him/her to a vicious, warmongering and remorseless freak….and that is how those very few have evolved.

    They are now a bunch of psychopathic individuals but extrapolations can show in future times, when they possess more resources, they can become an unimaginably horrifying monsters.

    My hope is the employed Game Theorists see this in their radar screen and design a world where the sickos are destroyed first before this runaway train reaches the cliff.

  13. For what it’s worth, I disagree, but anything is possible…

    A perfect time to attack
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/10/a-perfect-time-to-attack.html

  14. Alan Hart on A good question about American interests in the Middle East but what is the answer?
    http://www.alanhart.net/a-good-question-about-american-interests-in-the-middle-east-but-what-is-the-answer/

    Notice his second reason. And that even isn’t the whole of it – the MIC profits DIRECTLY from war.

    His third reason also relates to the ruling elites I speak of.

  15. Well, well, Mr. Canning – look who’s in Jordan, too…

    Britain deploys troops to Jordan as ‘mission creep’ possibility rises
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/12/266309/jordan/

  16. If true, you don’t do this to help “refugees”…

    Turkey deploys 250 tanks near Syrian border amid escalating tensions
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/12/266244/turkey-deploys-tanks-near-syria-border/

  17. Turkey’s munitions claim on Syria plane ‘lies’ – Damascus
    :http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19918858

    Duh…

    Turkey says cargo aboard Syria-bound plane violated rules, but won’t say what was found
    :http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/10/11/171213/turkish-report-cargo-aboard-seized.html

    Duh…

    Russia accuses Turkey of endangering lives by grounding Syrian passenger plane
    :http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/russia-accuses-turkey-of-endangering-lives-by-grounding-syrian-passenger-plane-8206271.html

    Hey, we got a war we need to start here – who cares about passengers? It’s more important to kill scores of thousands, not just a few passengers…

  18. Obama may not need an actual naval blockade…

    Iran’s sea trade buckles under Western sanctions
    Top Iranian shipping line hit by rial’s plunge; seaborne trade crashes more than 50 percent.
    http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=287491

  19. If you can’t attack them for having nukes, attack ‘em for being “bad people” (like Saddam),,,

    UN report finds Iran’s crackdown expanding
    http://www.boston.com/news/world/united-nations/2012/10/11/report-finds-iran-crackdown-expanding/x0HuTAfr6KW6CIrkMpzQaO/story.html

  20. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    October 12, 2012 at 11:49 am

    The Iranians evidently helped organize irregular militia, like the Basijis in Iran, to augment the regular army units of Syria.

    The refugees are a burden on Turkey and Jordan; someone (US? or EU?) must pay for their maintenance.

    The Axis States will probably supply some token help but not in sufficient amounts to pay for all the costs.

    The Turks are clearly desparate – they tried to provoke Syria by forced landing of civilian jetliner and think they will try other acts of provocations.

    Equally likely, Syrian Government will ignore any and all provocations that could entangle it a foreign war; that government will concentrate on fighting and winning the civil war in Syria.

  21. New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli Preventive War on Iran
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-abdi/israel-iran_b_1959607.html

    “Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is planning to press the Senate next month to pledge U.S. troops, money, and political support to Israel should Bibi Netanyahu launch a preventive war on Iran.”

  22. Wow… And we are saying Netanyahu controls the US? It’s the other way around!

    Step aside Sheldon Adelson — One Florida family responsible for half of Netanyahu campaign contributions
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/10/step-aside-sheldon-adelson-one-florida-family-responsible-for-half-of-netanyahu-campaign-contributions.html

    Quotes

    More than half of the contributions to politicians in the past two years – 53 percent of the NIS 13 million – came from people who live overseas, cannot vote in Israel and are not directly impacted by the elected officials’ decisions.

    And one minister of Knesset from the Likud party, Moshe Ya’alon, even received all of his campaign support from foreign donations.

    Israeli campaign finance laws limit the amount of donations from foreign supporters, but in the case of the Falic family, multiple members of the same immediate family donated to the Prime Minister’s campaign. Haaretz said in total around 550 foreigners “are responsible for the big money behind Israel’s politicians.”

    End Quote

    And while the Falics aren’t in the military-industrial complex (they’re in airport retail or something) – and for that matter, neither is Sheldon Adelson, the other big contributor – you can bet a large number of those donors are.

  23. The Israel Lobby and the Road to War
    Part III of “Roots of the Iranian ‘crisis’”
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/10/11/the-israel-lobby-and-the-road-to-war/

    Who here does this sound like?

    Quote

    According to my theory of international relations, which I call “libertarian realism,” this is the origin of all foreign policy decisions by the leaders of nations: these decisions, like all other political decisions, are made in order to preserve and extend the power, wealth, and prestige of these leaders and their supporters. Therefore such questions as whether or not Iran really is intent on building nuclear weapons and deploying them against Israel are irrelevant. Objective facts don’t enter into the equation: it’s all about creating a narrative suitable for domestic consumption.

    End Quote

  24. The excuses for what are obvious preparations for war with Syria get more ridiculous…

    Jordan: US Troops Helping Prepare for Syrian Attack
    :http://news.antiwar.com/2012/10/11/jordan-us-troops-helping-prepare-for-syrian-attack/

    Jordan: US forces plan shield against Syria
    :http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i1KYpmP8fJV4GIpxgdMFt2l3-L7w?docId=5414af8700df47dbae02af5c62d09e45

  25. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    This is a coordinated effort to start a war between Turkey and Syria with the clear intent of bringing NATO – and thus the US – in as well.

    I think this should answer your question…

    “The industry manufacturing weapons, which has always miraculously appealed to the Turkish male heart, was the perfect start. We are to make our own fighter jet, drones, aircraft carriers, spaceships, tanks and even a missile with a range of 2,500 kilometers. All that would happen before we could design, develop and manufacture an all-Turkish car and while Turkish scientists were still debating how to produce an “Islamic bicycle” – probably a bicycle that refuses to pedal if the cyclist has drunk alcohol or eaten pork. “

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/the-turkish-century.aspx?pageID=449&nID=32232&NewsCatID=398

  26. Nasser says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges,

    Iran has announced the capacity to make small Turbofan engines. That means they have everything they need to reverse engineer the KH 55s they obtained from Ukraine. The Karrar UAV can basically be remodeled to function as a cruise missile also.

    Even if you buy the argument that Iran’s ballistic missiles are too inaccurate (not true), Iran still retains the capacity to strike targets very far away with great precision.

  27. U.S. defense chief says pre-emptive action possible over cyber threat
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/net-us-usa-cyber-pentagon-idUSBRE89B04Q20121012

    This, of course, is extraordinarily dangerous since it’s VERY easy to spoof where an attack is coming from.

    Equally of course, if your goal is just to justify an attack on another country, it’s very useful.

  28. Syria plane carried radar parts, not weapons – Russia
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19928139

    Note these lines:

    “On Friday, Turkey reportedly scrambled fighter jets after an air attack on a Syrian frontier town by Syrian government forces.

    And in Syria itself, activists said rebel fighters had seized a government air defence base near the embattled north-western city of Aleppo.”

    If that isn’t a recipe for escalating the conflict, I don’t know what is. This is a coordinated effort to start a war between Turkey and Syria with the clear intent of bringing NATO – and thus the US – in as well.

  29. US: Hackers in Iran Responsible for Cyberattacks
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-blaming-iran-persian-gulf-cyberattacks-17458254

    While it is POSSIBLE that SOME hackers in Iran are involved, the US can’t begin to prove that the Iranian government is involved. My suspicion is that much of this is being done by Israeli hackers as “false flag” attacks.

    And of course it’s completely hypocritical to accuse Iran of doing “cyberwar” when the US and Israel STARTED it with Stuxnet, Flame and Duqu.

    The critical part of the statement, however, is the threat to “take action”. Under current Pentagon doctrine, computer attacks on critical infrastructure can justify a physical military response. While I doubt this is being contemplated at the moment, clearly they are intending to use these events as further justification once a military strike IS authorized.

  30. Nasser says:

    A discussion on Syria. Aram Nerguizian is the only one worth listening to and he makes some good points. You can pretty much skip past the parts of the other two female commentators as they preach standard interventionist propaganda.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbBataEWSSk

  31. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You may have noticed that Paul Ryan attacked Joe Biden on grounds the Obama administration was too timid in its sanctions policy toward Iran. Ryan took full credit for the sheer idiocy of the US Congress in its approach toward Iran.

  32. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    The “oil companies” did not inflict the Iraq War catastrophe on the American taxpayers. The ISRAEL LOBBY was the driving force in the illegal attack on Iraq.

  33. Nasser says:

    What do you know, the NYT actually has a decent article on Iran.

    “…imagine if we just let all those drugs flow freely through our country, toward the West. I guess then the world would understand what we have been doing here for all these years.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/world/middleeast/iran-fights-drug-smuggling-at-borders.html?pagewanted=2&ref=global-home

  34. Karl... says:

    Also UK forces trying to stop any revolution in the jordanian dictatorship.

    http://www.phantomreport.com/mission-creepbritish-military-to-jordan

  35. BiBiJon says:

    Revised Interview, ignore previous comment
    =========================================

    Richard, & Exposing…,

    My interview with Juan Cole, who wrote:

    “In the meantime, events in Syria are moving fast. The suicide bombing at a branch of Air Force intelligence at a base in Hrasta near Damascus showed that the regime is gradually losing its grip in Syria. The group that claimed to have been behind the explosions is Nusrat al-Islam (aid to Islam), considered by Washington, D.C. as an al-Qaeda affiliate. That Muslim radicals are carrying out efficient large scale bombings of Syrian government facilities raises some red flags with analysts.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/romney-and-the-syrian-dilemma.html

    Juan: “events in Syria are moving fast.

    Describe “fast” and in which direction are things moving?

    Juan: the regime is gradually losing its grip in Syria.

    OK. What has caused this ‘gradually fast’ motion in the direction of ‘loss of grip’?

    Juan: The suicide bombing at a branch of Air Force intelligence at a base in Hrasta near Damascus.

    Oh, really? What and whom did the suicide bomber represent?

    Juan: Nusrat al-Islam (aid to Islam), considered by Washington, D.C. as an al-Qaeda affiliate.

    It isn’t clear whether or not you agree with Washington DC’s considered opinion. So, how would you describe them?

    Juan: Muslim radicals.

    Is that the same as terrorists? perhaps to resolve that ambiguity I need to ask you how you would describe the suicide bombers action? Please use as many adjectives as you like.

    Juan: efficient, large scale.

    These are fairly innocuous adjectives. Does the tactic of suicide bombing bother you?

    Juan: {it} raises some red flags with analysts.

    What does “some” refer to? the redness, size, or the number of flags of whatever size, or degrees of redness? What about yourself, any misgivings about the tactic of suicide bombing?

    Juan: [unintelligible]

    Thank you Juan for the interview.

  36. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Richard Steven Hack says (with respect to Syria): “That’s not how it works.”

    The way it works is that the NATO terrorists are actually in control of about 60% of the country. But that is 60% as measured geographically, which is equivalent to less than 5% of the country in terms of the population. This is because they are in control of the countryside, or to put it more accurately, the desert and outlying villages and townships. The army is pretty much in control of all major cities, with pockets of resistance being mopped up every week. Richard is right in that they are like cockroaches (or rats, as old ‘Daffy used to say, bless his heart): it doesn’t matter how many you kill, unless you bring in the Orkin Man. And Daddy ‘Long Legs’ Asad *has* brought in the Orkin Man, aka Iran.

    Apparently Iran has saved the bumbling Alavis on more than one occasion. First by telling them to get the tanks off the streets and use tear gas to disperse the crowds, then by insisting on arming the urban population (which the regime was very reluctant to do), and then, having established security in the urban centers, by restoring basic services, enabling the residents to return to their homes. What the rats’s problem is not their diminishing numbers, but the fact that the two million or so “refugees” which are basically people they have kicked out of the areas they control so that they don’t have to worry about providing governmental services to them while they go about trying to destroy the rest of the country, their problem is that these people do not want to live in tents and want to come back to their homes. And so they are like a sword of Damocles hanging over the rats’ heads: if they cannot take down the whole regime (which they cannot if things continue as they are), they are going to loose what little support they still have left among these “refugees” who are already fed up with tents but cannot go back home because the rats are not really into civic services.

    So time is not on the side of the NATO rats, which is why they will loose the war unless they escalate.

  37. BiBiJon says:

    Peace loving Andrea Stricker to ayatollah’s lawyer: “Can we all get along?”
    =========================================================================

    h/t Iranaffairs

    So, peace loving Andrea claims:

    “you would find few supportive think-tanks and many experts hard at work trying to stop a war, as ISIS and David were. Few experts are as committed to diplomatic resolutions to nuclear crises as he is; ISIS has never supported military strikes and you can see this in any of our publications.”

    Where’s Rodney King when you need spiritual guidance?

    Andrea, insinuating Iranians are lying and hiding WMD development (under pink tarps,) just as ISIS did vis-a-vis Iraq is the surest way to turn a million Iraqi/Iranian kids into orphans. You don’t have to ‘support war’, you just have to latch onto a pretext given as casus belli by USG, and then tirelessly destroy even a modicum of ‘trust’, so that no amount of meetings, negotiations, explanations, reports, lack of evidence, etc. can prevent war; you just have to promulgate the need for such permanent sovereignty-destroying, humiliating ‘inspection’ regimes as to make war inevitable; and you’re doing just that, again.

    Regarding that piece of malarkey you penned with David about ‘nuclear rights’ and NAM’s hypocrisy, just answer me this: If the two of you are right about NPT, who in their right minds would have signed NPT in the first place?

    http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2012/sep/07/nam-countries-hypocritical-iran

    Andrea, take a lesson in self-respect, and self righteousness from Madeline Albright. Repeat after her: “It’s worth it.”

    http://armscontrollaw.com/2012/10/05/david-albright-responds-to-my-post-and-shows-why-he-epitomizes-everything-thats-wrong-with-the-u-s-nonproliferation-epistemic-community/

    http://www.lobelog.com/back-to-basics/

  38. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Why Iran will defeat the US in the event of war

    Part 3: US Air and Naval Bases and Iranian MRBM’s

    Map of location of key bases around Iran. The map is inaccurate as it shows some US bases (for example in Pakistan) where US forces are not present.

    http://www.juancole.com/images/2012/02/bases3.png

    In summary, there are about 25 major US bases that would probably be used in any US attack on Iran. This is an approximate number for ease of calculation, however it still applies even if the number of bases is somewhat larger. Many in the MSM and Hack believe that the US could use these bases to launch an overwhelming air and naval assault on Iran. I have already shown the attempt to launch a naval assault would be defeated. Iran also has the capability to defeat any air attack that would be launched from these bases. And note in any attack these bases would have to be used. The range of combat aircraft compared with the distance they will have to travel to reach key sites in Iran they would have to bomb in any successful campaign requires it. US of course has longer range air assets such as the B-2, etc. but attack by these planes alone would not come close to even damaging Iranian military capacity let alone the key nuclear program.

    The argument made against Iranian MRBM’s is often that they are widely inaccurate and thus would not do serious damage. This argument has now been definitively disproved by test footage of MRBM’s showing that they are highly accurate.

    Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Xh_kFgXEfY
    Important things to notice. 1. This is a basic Shahab 3, not the more advanced Shahab 3A or B. It hit its target so precisely that the blast radius completely covered the flags at the target (pause the video to see this). Also see the use of a cluster munition warhead which would be highly effective against parked aircraft, runways, hangers, and fuel depots.

    Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmjB4nkhGDs&list=UUpLzKBlu1YmsKf6eq7w635Q&index=1&feature=plcp
    This shows a test of multiple Shahab missiles (Note again these are not the most sophisticated MRBM’s Iran has) accurately hitting a target that resembles an airbase. Most important footage begins at 8:45 and impact of the missiles can be seen at 9:54-10:00. Three out of four missiles successfully struck the target and the fourth struck very close to it. We can conclude from this that even using the least accurate MRBM in its arsenal, Iran can achieve at least 75% accuracy against large targets such as US airbases.

    The conclusion than just involves simple math. Say for example that Iran uses 50 missiles to attack each major US base. We know these are highly accurate so the idea that they would consistently miss their target can be dismissed. Thus 50×25=1250. Anyone here who believes that Iran does not have at least 1250 MRBM’s considering Iran’s industrial capacity and demonstrated capacity to manufacture large quantities of other types of missiles is promoting a very weak and questionable argument at best. Of course, some of the missiles would be intercepted by US air defense. A generous estimate would be 10 missiles per base shot down. Because Iran would launch its missiles simultaneously at best US air defense could only intercept a limited number before the remainder hit. Adjusting for inaccuracy even with the most inaccurate missile, each base would be stuck by at least 30 warheads.

    To be continued. Coming up…Iranian Air Defense, comparisons of effectiveness of air attacks against bunkers, especially by Israel in 2006 against Hezbollah and more.

  39. Ataune says:

    @ Richard Hack

    You replied:
    ***Power seekers are NEVER satisfied with the level of power they have. And in particular, when we’re talking about windfall profits from wars for the military-industrial complex, the corporate heads need to keep those profits coming to maintain their stock price. As Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, where are they going to get that extra $100 billion or more a year in the future? Only from more wars***
    And here again:
    ***You’re assuming that “globalization” is the driving force. It’s not. It’s merely the “front” ideology***

    My point is, since those power seekers are never satisfied, they need ways to perpetuate their control, hegemony, power and wealth. The “front”, as you put it, for this is called ideology. That’s what gives them legitimacy. Without this banner they will see their troops refuse to follow their leadership. The elite are well aware of this fact.

    In the current conditions, a widespread war in the Middle-East will not perpetuate the hegemony of the elite, it won’t bring wealth to the empire, it might bring some wealth to some individuals and contractors in DC but it will, more than likely, quadruple the already unsustainable level of debt that the dollar is carrying. And, when put in the plus/minus column by the technocrats of the empire, it will show that the overall risks far outweigh the few benefits.

    If, as you agreed, war is a tool for the policy; if the policy follow the constraints of the ideological legitimacy, which you at least acknowledged its “frontal” existence; and, if this ideology is necessary to allow the accumulation of wealth and power to perpetuate, which you seem to consider as the main driver; then a widespread war in the Middle-East is not in the interest of the empire.

  40. Karl... says:

    So the usual pro-israeli groups in congress trying to achive a resolution that will get US into war basically. If there is one such solution I guess Israel doesnt need to pay much more attention to the US, if they want, going to war.

    And note how he call Iran cancer. When Iran refer to the israeli occupation, its a nono by these people, when the same crowd that criticize Iran for doing so themselves use it…well then the word hypocrisy isnt enough to describe the situation.


    “The 30,000-foot view of Iran is very bipartisan: This regime is crazy, they’re up to no good, they are a cancer spreading in the Mideast.

    rollcall.com/issues/58_27/Congress-Unlikely-to-impede-iran-strike-218061-1.html?pos=htmbxt

  41. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Why Iran will defeat the US in the event of war.

    Part 2: Straits of Hormuz

    We will start with maps again.

    Map 1: http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-18-2012/february/strait-of-hormuz-irans-disruptive-military-options/map/
    (Note that map shows the range of some of Iran’s cruise missiles but does not show the range of the Persian Gulf missile or Ghader).

    Map 2: http://positivity.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/map-straight-of-hormuz.gif?w=417&h=234 This map illustrates how crowded the Persian Gulf is and how much vital oil infrastructure would be vulnerable in any conflict.

    Map 3: http://gulf2000.columbia.edu/hormuz.html This map illustrates how narrow the shipping lanes are.

    Map 4: http://dddusmma.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/st-hormuzdetail.jpg Once again showing how small the area is that Iran needs to blockade.

    To blockade Hormuz, all Iran has to do is lay mines, or have highly accurate anti ship missiles that can target any ship passing through either the inbound or outbound channel (Each channel is about two miles wide, with two miles seperating them). Thus Iran only needs to interdict a channel about six miles wide in order to prevent 17 million barrels of oil per day from leaving the strait.

    See here: http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=4430
    Most important quote: “Hormuz is the world’s most important oil chokepoint due to its daily oil flow of almost 17 million barrels per day (bbl/d) in 2011, up from between 15.5-16.0 million bbl/d in 2009-2010. Flows through the Strait in 2011 were roughly 35% of all seaborne traded oil, or almost 20% of oil traded worldwide.” Current pipeliens do not offer enough capacity to transport the oil, as the article acknowledges.

    In addition to its missiles, Iran also has a large number of small submarines and 1,000s of small boats mounted with rocket launchers and anti ship missiles. In addition to their use in “swarm attacks” they could be used to lay mines. These submarines are very hard to detect because of their small size and the shallow waters of the Persian Gulf. I already referred to the sophistication of Iranian mines in a previous post.

    The results of such an attack have already been estimated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennium_Challenge_2002
    Even ten years ago, without anti ship ballistic missiles, with missiles that were far less accurate and shorter ranged, and without considering other real life capabilities of Iran’s forces, the result was a catastrophic defeat for the US.

    Next: Part 3: US Air and Naval Bases and Iranian MRBM’s

  42. BiBiJon says:

    Richard, & Exposing…,

    My interview with Juan Cole, who wrote:

    “In the meantime, events in Syria are moving fast. The suicide bombing at a branch of Air Force intelligence at a base in Hrasta near Damascus showed that the regime is gradually losing its grip in Syria. The group that claimed to have been behind the explosions is Nusrat al-Islam (aid to Islam), considered by Washington, D.C. as an al-Qaeda affiliate. That Muslim radicals are carrying out efficient large scale bombings of Syrian government facilities raises some red flags with analysts.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/romney-and-the-syrian-dilemma.html

    Juan: “events in Syria are moving fast.

    Describe “fast” and in which direction are things moving?

    Juan: the regime is gradually losing its grip in Syria.

    OK. What has caused this ‘gradually fast’ motion in the direction of ‘loss of grip’?

    Juan: The suicide bombing at a branch of Air Force intelligence at a base in Hrasta near Damascus.

    Oh, really? What and whom did the suicide bomber represent?

    Juan: Nusrat al-Islam (aid to Islam), considered by Washington, D.C. as an al-Qaeda affiliate.

    It isn’t clear whether or not you agree with Washington DC’s considered opinion. So, how would you describe them?

    Juan: Muslim radicals.

    Is that the same as terrorists? perhaps to resolve that ambiguity I need to ask you how you would describe the suicide bombers action? Please use as many adjectives as you like.

    Juan: efficient, large scale.

    These are fairly innocuous adjectives. Does the tactic of suicide bombing bother you?

    Juan: {it} raises some red flags with analysts.

    What about yourself, any misgivings?

    Juan: [I rather not say]

    Thank you Juan for the interview.

  43. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Why Iran will defeat the US in the event of war.

    Part 1: Geography

    So let’s look at the first reason that Hack’s claims are nonsense, geography. It is obvious that Hack has never even bothered to look at the geography of Iran before making his absurd claims about the “long war” he so desperately wants. Iran, unlike Iraq or other nations that the US has invaded is mountainous. Virtually all of its borders are mountainous, and it has many mountain ranges in the interior of the country, including around Tehran.

    See the wikipedia entry on geography of Iran (Note how easy this is, this information isn’t something you have to do hours of searching to find. Someone like Hack who has made 1,000s of posts here should really do basic research before he makes them.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geography_of_Iran

    See the topography map and see the mountain ranges near the coast, including the Persian Gulf and the strait of Hormuz. Some of those mountain ranges are only a few kilometers away from the coast. As I previously mentioned Iran has extremely accurate anti ship ballistice missiles with ranges of at least 300 KM, enough to cover almost the entire Persian Gulf with these missiles alone.

    Land attack version: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fateh-110
    Anti Ship: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khalij_Fars

    Footage of successful tests of both of these missiles has been shown, both are in production, and a large number of both types have been tested, which indicates that Iran is producing a large number and has a large number stockpiled.

    Missile test in 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eJmOZnsypQ&list=UUpLzKBlu1YmsKf6eq7w635Q&index=14&feature=plcp

    Note the footage taken by the missile’s seeker as it homes in on the target. This shows Iran can precisely target its missiles and hit relatively small targets with them. Iran also has many other highly accurate and anti ship cruise missiles which I mentioned in a previous post. This means that 1, Iran has the capability to place bunkers in those mountain ranges which are invulnerable to bunker buster bombs, and 2, it has extremely accurate missiles that can target any hostile force that tries to approach across the Persian Gulf. Obviously anyone trying to wage a “war of attrition” against Iran in such conditions is going to face overwhelming problems.

    Next: Part 2 Strait of Hormuz

  44. Karl... says:

    I saw a bit of the Ryan and Biden debate.
    On Iran Ryan came out as a real warmonger, accusations were thrown, insinuations were made and sounded real hysterical. Biden on the other hand held himself back a bit, he basically criticised Ryan’s accusations and he touched upon the NIE findings (even though unfortunately, he didnt mentioned it specifically which would have made a greater impact).

  45. BiBiJon: Re Juan Cole: “What gives?”

    He’s like the US government. As long as they’re “MY terrorists”, they’re fine.

    As long as they’re attacking Gaddafi or Assad – or probably later, Khomenei if that ever happens (it won’t matter to Cole) – they’re OK.

    The notion that just because Al Qaeda or whoever can carry out efficient bomb attacks means the government is going to collapse is just stupid. Look at Pakistan. Hasn’t collapsed yet and it’s much more porous than Assad’s regime and has been under attack longer.

    Cole is an unapologetic interventionist. He will support the West’s war on Syria when it happens, just like he supported the war on Libya. He will support Israel attacking Hizballah in Lebanon when that happens. If he doesn’t, he’s not only an idiot but an inconsistent idiot…

    OTOH, he’s like virtually every other “pundit” on the subject of Syria. All he sees is a dictatorship cracking down on “rebels.” He doesn’t see the overall strategic picture, the motivations, the consequences, or anything else. It’s just “I’m morally superior to everyone else because I support overthrowing dictators.”

    For some people, winning the “moral sweepstakes” outstrips anything else going on.

  46. Now for some light hearted political humor (with reference to Iran)…

    Colbert Report: Romney gives Americans ‘Vague, Long-winded Threats’ as Foreign Policy (Video)
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/colbert-report-romney-gives-americans-vague-long-winded-threats-as-foreign-policy-video.html

    I especially liked the “Colbert also points out the danger of Iran, which is ‘days from having an atomic bomb,’ and ‘has been for years’ bit.

  47. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    “Given that I’ve described Obama as a “plantation foreman” with regard to his masters, that’s an appropriate reference. Although Obama does not bow to Netanyahu – which I think everyone knows he despises – he bows to those military-industrial complex stockholder Jewish families in Chicago who financed his political rise.

    The key psychological point to the plantation foreman is that he’s a coward. He bows to his masters and takes a position where he can inflict his masters’ orders on his own people, out of fear. He may do so grudgingly or drag his heels when the orders are onerous, but he obeys in the end.”

    This is the problem with Hack’s argument. It requires that every member of the elite supports the same thing and wants the same thing to happen. His argument also requires that every politician is completely subservient to that elite. Fine, that basic argument is consistent. In other words, an all powerful elite is hungry for war with Iran, and every member of that elite, in the US and Israel, desperately wants that. Obama is completely enthralled by that elite and exists only to serve it.

    Only problem is, it has not happened. If the entire elite desperately wanted war with Iran, and Obama is subservient to them, than it would already have happened. In fact, it would have happened under Bush. It hasn’t, and there is no proof that conditions are fundamentally different now. There, simple effective debunking of Hack’s entire argument in one short paragraph.

  48. Comments from Iranians here – especially those with knowledge of the economy and Iran’s actions in the past on its currency – would be useful to determine if this article is at all correct.

    The Forces Behind Iran’s Currency Crisis
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/11/the-forces-behind-irans-currency-crisis/

  49. Obama implements additional Iran sanctions
    http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=287319

    Mostly incremental… He’s saving the heavy guns- the naval blockade – for after the election and after the Syria crisis is resolved.

  50. Pretty obvious… But then, logical thinking was never the strong suit of the American electorate…

    The Glaring Contradictions in Anti-Iran Policy
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/11/the-glaring-contradictions-in-anti-iran-policy/

  51. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    BiBiJon says:
    October 11, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Juan Cole is literally reciting MSM talking points here that are directly distributed by US government think tanks and stooges. “Shows the weakness of the target”, no it shows the pathetic weakness and desperation of the paid terrorists from outside of Syria that are being defeated by the Syrian government. At this point (and for the past year and a half) there has been virtually no difference between Cole’s blog posts and standard MSM pro US propaganda.

  52. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    That is how it works with a real insurgency, not one conducted by mercenaries paid by Qatar. You once again reveal you don’t even understand the difference between a real revolution struggling against oppression and a fake one sponsored by oppressive powers.

  53. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 11, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    And the problem with your nonsensical theory is the entire world knows it and Turkey has been revealed as a lying stooge for the whole world to see. In the process they have also seriously offended Russia, which has to stay on the sidelines if the NATO aggression you dream of and hope for is to occur.

  54. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Wow, the delusions just keep on coming.

    “Power seekers are NEVER satisfied with the level of power they have. And in particular, when we’re talking about windfall profits from wars for the military-industrial complex, the corporate heads need to keep those profits coming to maintain their stock price. As Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, where are they going to get that extra $100 billion or more a year in the future? Only from more wars.”

    Just disproved and debunked this absurd statement. You can’t make money if the economy enters a catastrophic depression.

    “You’re assuming that “globalization” is the driving force. It’s not. It’s merely the “front” ideology. Ideologies are driven by more basic drives and are merely the public excuses for those more basic drives.”

    Absolute nonsense. Globilization is the means to earn wealth which is the means the “elite” as you call use them maintain power. If the economy collapses they have little wealth and they have an enraged population rioting in the streets and not buying anything. Yet more bizarre unconsidered illogic from you.

    “Control of the Strait is not relevant in the long run, whatever they believe. Iran has to sell its oil. After the war is over, the Strait will be re-opened (assuming it is not forced open by the US during the war, at least intermittently.)”

    There is something seriously wrong with you. 20% of the world’s oil flows through the strait and more is produced by the countries bordering it. You really think that the world economy can magically survive for 8 years with over 25% of its oil supply gone. Do you know how many products need or use petroleum as part of their basic manufacturing process? Your argument is irrational and illogical. One serious question, how do you manage to write such long posts when the basic arguments that underlie them are based on fundamental misconceptions that a few basic search engine searches can correct?

  55. Turkish Leader Says Russian Munitions Found on Syrian Jetliner
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/12/world/middleeast/syria.html

    Someone tell me Turkey isn’t DIRECTLY operating as a US and NATO stooge on this… “They got an intelligence tip”. From guess who?

    Russia is correct that there are no sanctions on supplying Syria with military equipment at this point. So the interception was illegal and done solely to ratchet up more tension and justification for – ironically – foreign military intervention.

    In other words, the West (and Turkey) don’t want weapons sent to Syria at the same time they are supplying weapons to the insurgents and doing so entirely to justify an actual military intervention at some point.

    Obviously if you’re intending to attack Syria, you don’t want Syria re-supplied.

  56. Kathleen: Nice article on Scheuer’s site. I especially liked this line:

    “‘One has to wonder whether Obama and Romney refer to Israel’s prime minister as “Massa’ Benyamin,’”

    Given that I’ve described Obama as a “plantation foreman” with regard to his masters, that’s an appropriate reference. Although Obama does not bow to Netanyahu – which I think everyone knows he despises – he bows to those military-industrial complex stockholder Jewish families in Chicago who financed his political rise.

    The key psychological point to the plantation foreman is that he’s a coward. He bows to his masters and takes a position where he can inflict his masters’ orders on his own people, out of fear. He may do so grudgingly or drag his heels when the orders are onerous, but he obeys in the end.

    This is why Obama WILL attack Iran. He will obey in the end.

    Where Scheuer gets it partly wrong, however, is in ascribing the US drive for war with Iran as being strictly driven by Israel. He overlooks the impetus provided by war profiteering by the military-industrial complex and the national security deep state, as well as the impact of the oil companies and the banks who finance these people.

    This is where Walt and company screwed up, by dismissing the impact of the oil companies over the Israel Lobby.

    ALL of these factors are important – a “perfect storm” of confluence of interests leading to war. That was the case in Iraq and it is identically the case in Iran.

    Scheuer’s comments about the UN are even more irrelevant. The US despises the UN and never does what it wants. Instead it manipulates the UNSC for its own ends.

  57. Ataune: “you consider ACCUMULATION of power and profit as the only driver for the actions of the Anglo-American elite. Contrary to this, I believe that the PERPETUATION of this ACCUMULATION is the main driver here.”

    Power seekers are NEVER satisfied with the level of power they have. And in particular, when we’re talking about windfall profits from wars for the military-industrial complex, the corporate heads need to keep those profits coming to maintain their stock price. As Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down, where are they going to get that extra $100 billion or more a year in the future? Only from more wars.

    “In the current circumstances, I don’t see any idea backing the position that a potential widespread war in the Middle-East in the near future will be helpful for the ideology of globalization.”

    You’re assuming that “globalization” is the driving force. It’s not. It’s merely the “front” ideology. Ideologies are driven by more basic drives and are merely the public excuses for those more basic drives.

    There is no ideology. There is only fear and the drive to pull the people down who are above you and stomp on the people who are below you. This is what drives these people.

    “Notwithstanding the real possibility that the elite you are referring to will lose more of its control over one of the most strategic waterways in the globe vital for its interest.”

    Control of the Strait is not relevant in the long run, whatever they believe. Iran has to sell its oil. After the war is over, the Strait will be re-opened (assuming it is not forced open by the US during the war, at least intermittently.) Some of the ruling elite may not be happy with that, but I’m sure they will console themselves with the extra $400 billion a year they made for ten years during the war…

  58. fyi: “30,000 insurgents; 5000 are dead and their number is going down.”

    That’s not how it works. That’s what they said about the Taliban, which started out with 20,000 insurgents ten years ago. Guess what? They STILL have have 20,000 insurgents.

    Shoot one, another (if not two more) takes their place. That’s how insurgents work. As long as the insurgents are getting aid and support, the insurgency will not stop.

    The only way an insurgency stops historically is if they piss off the general population so bad it turns on them – or if they were so small to begin with that enough of them can be killed to make it fall apart (Che Guevara in Bolivia is the classic case.) Neither appears to apply in Syria (so far.)

  59. BiBiJon says:

    Juan Cole’s evolution
    ====================

    “In the meantime, events in Syria are moving fast. The suicide bombing at a branch of Air Force intelligence at a base in Hrasta near Damascus showed that the regime is gradually losing its grip in Syria. The group that claimed to have been behind the explosions is Nusrat al-Islam (aid to Islam), considered by Washington, D.C. as an al-Qaeda affiliate. That Muslim radicals are carrying out efficient large scale bombings of Syrian government facilities raises some red flags with analysts.”

    So yesterday suicide bombing by al-Qaeda shows the weakness of the target.
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/romney-and-the-syrian-dilemma.html

    But … it wasn’t long ago Juan was singing a requiem for violent Islamic extremists bankrupt ideology. What gives?

  60. Rd. says:

    Sayyed Nasrallah: Hezbollah Sent Surveillance Drone over Occupied Palestine

    so much for the Iron doome!!!!

    http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=71110&cid=23&fromval=1&frid=23&seccatid=14&s1=1

  61. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Surely you are aware that Ali Akbar Salehi continues to make clear Iran is willing to stop enriching to 20 percent. Obviously he is aware that this is desired by Russia and China.

  62. James Canning says:

    Peter van Buren has some good comments on the lack of conteent in the so-called “debate” over US foreign policy in the Middle East:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-obama-romney-wont-talk-about/

  63. James Canning says:

    Exposing,

    Some of us appreciate the links R S Hack provides. Probably most of us, for that matter.

  64. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    The “western economic model” has not “failed”.

  65. James Canning says:

    Robert E. Hunter has a letter in the Financial Times today that is well worth reading, regarding foolishness of US policy toward Iran.

  66. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    “More escalation…

    Syrian passenger plane forced to land in Turkey”

    This is not escalation.. it is called shooting one’s foot.

    Turkish airplanes alter route to avoid Syrian air space.

    funny they did not mention they have to fly over israel and take the loner route!!!
    as the AKP leader said, Turkish FM is an idiot!

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-airplanes-alter-route-to-avoid-syrian-air-space.aspx?pageID=238&nID=32179&NewsCatID=338

  67. Kathleen says:

    Micheal Scheuer has a zinger up over at his site NON INTERVENTION (unable to link) about how Israel owns our foreign policy and both Romney and Obama will attack Iran or support an attack on Iran. Just that Obama is waiting until after election. Worth the read

  68. kooshy says:

    If one needs to be empowered by official USG hummer before going to work, this will work.

    Panetta: Afghan Campaign ‘Succeeding’ Despite Attacks

    BRUSSELS — U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says after more than 11 years the war in Afghanistan is “succeeding,” and will not be derailed by the recent series of insider attacks or any other tactic the enemy might use.

    http://www.voanews.com/content/panetta-nato-secretary-general-say-taliban-attacks-afghanistan-plan/1523990.html

  69. Ataune says:

    @ Richard Hack

    Since you agree that war is just an instrument for the policy, thus only fit for some circumstances, I would point to another potential divergence of thoughts here.

    Your postings, in particular your last reply to my comments, clearly show that you consider ACCUMULATION of power and profit as the only driver for the actions of the Anglo-American elite. Contrary to this, I believe that the PERPETUATION of this ACCUMULATION is the main driver here. For this, a system of thought and governance generally called ideology, which obviously allows the ongoing accumulation of power and profit, is necessary. It should be built and maintained. Without this system of thought the elite won’t be able to find legitimacy among their followers and will sooner or later see them deserting the ranks and disbanding. The main objective being perpetuation we can easily conclude that policies are drawn around this goal and decisions for war, peace, diplomacy, alliance, sanctions etc… flow based on that.

    In the current circumstances, I don’t see any idea backing the position that a potential widespread war in the Middle-East in the near future will be helpful for the ideology of globalization. Notwithstanding the real possibility that the elite you are referring to will lose more of its control over one of the most strategic waterways in the globe vital for its interest.

  70. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    Dr. Cordesman on Syria (“Throw technology at it, jus like Viet Nam”)
    http://csis.org/publication/syria-us-power-projection-and-search-equalizer

    Sounds like they are trying to learn from the Iranians!!! Is Dr. Cordesman actually admitting they are behind a few steps in their strategic thinking??? And as for this high tech ideas, the very same high thinking got them in the mess in Iraq and Afghan. The fact remains as to how far out of touch these people are with the reality on the ground.. and thats the recipe for further failures..

  71. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

    You are wrong.

    30,000 insurgents; 5000 are dead and their number is going down.

  72. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

    To correct your false assertion it is very hard (but not “impossible”) to defeat a real “insurgency” that has real and significant support from a local population. It is possible to defeat a fake insurgency solely fueled by outside money and recruits. In the case of Syria, the second is the case, and the false outside insurgency will (and is being) defeated.

  73. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 11, 2012 at 6:07 am

    Than you are truly what you last name is. By your refusal to respond you just admitted I have disproved your arguments with a few accurate links and rational deductions that you are incapable of making. Definitive proof folks, that Hack cannot make a logical argument, and he cannot respond with anything other than insults when one of his factless assertions is challenged by unkind reality.

    As for obsessions, you are clearly the obsessed one here. You are obsessed with stating the same argument over and over again on this blog, often in the same words, despite the fact you have little support for it, and reality contradicts it. I am merely responding in a small number of posts that disprove your flawed, arrogant and unproven assertions.

  74. Rd.: “Sounds like, we do not want war!!!”

    Which is exactly the same sort of thing he said before the Libya war…

    He’s lying. It’s that simple.

  75. I see this moron ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges is back with his obsession about me.

    I intend to ignore his rants as nothing he says is even remotely accurate.

  76. fyi: “I should think that the Syrian Government will endeavour to destroy the organized anti-government formations before this year is out.”

    Not possible as long as they have safe haven in Turkey and elsewhere and support from the Saudis, Qatar, Britain, France, and the US. This is the lesson of insurgencies everywhere: if they get support and a safe haven, they cannot be beaten short of killing absolutely every single last one AND somehow preventing any new ones from arising.

    Assad cannot win. The insurgents cannot win. This is why either a protracted civil war or foreign military intervention are the only possible outcomes.

  77. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    “As usual, George Friedman at Stratfor gets it almost completely backwards and wrong…”

    Basically Friedman in a usual and recognizable western journalistic way is saying that we the USA, and our client western European states have just recently found out that we no longer possess the power and the will (and I add the moral authority) to act directly and freely to shape regional balance of power. This is true but not as recent as George is willing to admit and is nothing new, is just that recently some established western analyst are more willing to admit in an indirect way.

    One must be blind and ignorant not to see what is happening all across the globe a lot of this is due to the failure of the western economic model, as well as failure of its military power not to mention loss of moral authority due to double standards in the information age.

  78. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    “You mean the signs that Romney has nothing but neocons in his foreign policy adviser camp? The signs that Obama has had nothing but Zionist fanatics in his foreign policy adviser camp? The signs that Obama’s entire political career was financed by pro-Israel military-industrial complex stockholders?”

    Let us repeat this again. You cannot have it both ways. Either Obama or Romney do not care about public opinion or they do. Which is it?

    “They don’t care about some abstract “flow of goods and services” – they care about their stock price next quarter and next year. Everyone knows that about US corporate management.”

    Yeah, and when oil goes to $300 (or more) a barrel and the US economy collapses how will these geniuses sell their products? Products don’t get made if you don’t have a flow of raw materials to make them with, markets to sell them in (which requires transport using guess what) and a buying public that can afford to purchase them. Arguments like this fatally undermine Hack’s claim to be “logical.” Logic usually requires thinking about a claim before you make it and supporting it with actual facts not a priori assertions.

    “For the military-industrial complex and the oil companies, it will directly help their near-term profits”

    No it won’t. If an economy is in a depression brought on by crippling oil prices and equally crippling shortages of pertoleum products the amount of oil that is sold (among other things) will decline rather dramatically. Obviously, this will also have a negative effect on medium term and long term demand. Thus, no profits, short term or otherwise, for oil companies that exceed the losses from catastrophic drop in demand caused by a shortage of supply and overwhelming price increases.

    I will deal at length with Hack’s absurd claim that some kind of “war of attrition” against Iran would take place in subsequent posts and conclusively disprove it.

  79. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    fyi says:
    October 10, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Right. The only reason the Syrian Government has not already done so is that it is using only a small portion of its forces to fight the US backed “rebel” terrorists. And despite that, it has achieved huge success against the US backed terrorists and has driven them out of most areas they have tried to occupy, while inflicting huge losses on them.

  80. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    And a completely illogical statement from Richard Steven Hack. You can’t have it both ways. Either public opinion doesn’t matter and US goes to war regardless, or public opinion does matter and opposition to more war from US public prevents it. You cannot hold two contradictory positions at the same time and make a “logical” argument as you claim to be making.

  81. fyi says:

    All:

    Dr. Cordesman on Syria (“Throw technology at it, jus like Viet Nam”)

    http://csis.org/publication/syria-us-power-projection-and-search-equalizer

    I should think that the Syrian Government will endeavour to destroy the organized anti-government formations before this year is out.

  82. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    And here is one of several dozen reasons why there will be no “war of attrition” as Hack claims.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-802

    Substantially improved Iranian variants:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noor_(missile)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qader_(missile)

    And the super strong concrete the undetectable bunkers that those missiles are stored in and from which they can be fired are constructed out of:

    http://www.economist.com/node/21548918

  83. Rehmat says:

    Despite all the negative propaganda by the powerful pro-Israel press against the Islamic Republic – the Manitoba First Nation leader Terrance Nelson, is visiting the Islamic Republic (via Switzerland) at the invitation Iranian Majlis (parliament). He along with other Native American laeders will meet Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad and law-makers and appraise them the human-rights abuses against American Indigenous peoples in Canada.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/11/terrance-nelson-on-canadas-iran-problem/

  84. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Just cannot resist commenting on Hack’s latest argument change with respect to US public opinion. All along Hack has claimed, as a basic, fundamental part of his argument that those forces that he believes rule the world and always agree on every aspect of decisionmaking will proceed regardless of public opinion. Now he changes his argument and claims that US public opinion does matter. Of course, if his argument was honest, he would accept that the overwhelming majority of the US population opposes war with Iran, regardless of whether Iran has nuclear weapons or not. But of course he than tries to dodge and obfuscate the issue by claiming that, well, somehow the US population will be brought around to supporting a war, despite the fact that reality disagrees with his assertion. The reality is that neither the large majority of the US population, AND key segments of the “elite” that he likes to talk about do not now, and will not ever, support war against Iran. Reality, rather than Hack’s attempts to bend reality to his personal beliefs.

  85. ToivoS says:

    “I don’t know David Rothkonf.

    “Barring a spectacularly rare event, I tend to agree that Iran and the US are past the point of rapprochement in the near future. Current US policy is regime change! However, I would repeat that no strike is in the cards in the near future either.””

    Rothkopf is editor of FP and a progressive Zionist. That means he supports Israel all of the time but continuously wrings his hands in despair saying “on the other hand”. He is always contradicting himself. With that in mind the above becomes, “I want diplomacy between Iran and the US to fail because that is what Israel desires, but I think war is bad and truly hope it doesn’t happen”

  86. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Ataune says:
    October 10, 2012 at 11:37 am

    “Having said that, the risks/rewards calculation from the ruling elite point of view for a tactic of widespread war in the middle-east, the way I see it, become more palpable. Will this help the better control over the flow of goods and services in the globe ?”

    Absolutely right, it doesn’t. Iran can and will cut off oil supplies from the Persian Gulf for an indefinite period of time in the event of war, both by stopping shipping through the Gulf, and by destroying oil production facilites if necessary. The Western economies cannot survive for more than a few months, at most, without oil supply from the Gulf. If any war lasts for significantly longer than that, economic collapse and starvation will occur in Western Europe and the US. This is a simple, irrefutable fact.

    Contra Hack’s claim, the “MIC, etc.” cannot make money if the economy of the economy collapses and its workers are starving. The US cannot wage a war in the Persian Gulf against Iran, even ignoring the fact its airbases would be destroyed by Iranian missiles, without fuel for its ships, planes, etc, and the supply chains for them. As a result, such a war would last months, and likely less than that, rather than years. Even with such a short war, the US/European economies would lose trillions and plunge into a depression. And no matter how much Richard Steven Hack tries to deny this reality and dance around it with exceptionally long, argumentative posts, he cannot change it.

  87. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    So Richard Steven Hack is now spamming this site with an avalanche of largly random news articles, none of which actually provide proof for the argument he continues to make, again…and again..and again…and again…

    Here is one article that disproves an essential part of his argument without even trying.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/unidentified-drone-shatters-israel%E2%80%99s-dome

    Quotes:

    “Hezbollah has neither confirmed nor denied Tel Aviv’s accusations that the Resistance movement is behind the launch of a spy drone over Israeli territory, which flew for hours over Israeli military bases and facilities.”

    “Israel has been asserting its military readiness since 2007, perhaps even as soon as a few months after the 2006 war ended, purporting that it has learned all the lessons of the Second Lebanon War.”

    “These claims were repeated throughout 2008 and Israel’s readiness was alleged to have been reinforced to double its previous levels, and then again in 2009, 2010 all the way to 2012″ but “This new failure, along with other factors, puts the entire Israeli narrative about the country’s readiness for war under doubt.”

    In other words, the invincible Israeli military that Hack thinks could successfully invade Southern Lebanon (or “would have to try to”) cannot even stop an unarmed surveillance drone from flying for hours in military aispace and filming its most sensitive military bases. Yes, when Hezbollah unleashes hundreds of armed drones, and missiles and rockets against Israeli military bases, I am sure Israel will have no trouble at all dealing with them. Why? Because Richard Steven Hack says so, and as that article just demonstrated, Richard Steven Hack is never ever wrong, about anything. Note to Hack, just because Israeli propaganda makes a claim, that claim does not automatically become true. In fact, the opposite is likely to be the case.

  88. Nasser says:

    More strategic ineptitude from India as it manages to alienate Maldives. Indian strategists seem to be consistently unable to read US intentions and place too much hope on someday becoming their deputy. It’s never going to happen. First they burn bridges with Iran, now Maldives; I wonder who’s next?

    M K Bhadrakumar blogs: Who lost Maldives – to Uncle Sam?

    “By a curious reversal of fortunes, the United States has emerged as the single most influential foreign power in the Maldives. I won’t wager if you can tell who’s the player who used to be number one there in the island paradise and is now languishing in the doghouse. Of course, India.

    The signs are that the US will finally secure access to the highly strategic Gan air base located in the southern Addu Atoll which is some 700 kilometers only from the Pentagon’s massive military base of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. For the benefit of the uninitiated, Gan was originally built by Britain, which was a key operational base during World War II and with great reluctance, it handed it over to the Maldives only in 1976.

    Britain of course realised its folly in vacating the base and the US has ever since been seeking to regain Gan, which is the southernmost island in the Maldivian chain and is ideally located right in the middle of the Indian Ocean between Diego Garcia and the Persian Gulf and Diego Garcia and Singapore. But the stoutly independent Maldives government kept saying ‘No’ through the Cold War period.

    Now, as James Bond put it, superpowers also trust the maxim, “Never Say Never Again”. Uncle Sam didn’t give up. The latest naval exercise by the US Marines with the non-existent Maldivian Navy shows that the Maldivian regime which is under immense, unprecedented international pressure, is caving in.

    The great significance of the current naval exercise centred around Gan is obvious. The geopolitical backdrop needs very little explanation — US’ rebalancing to Asia; war clouds in the Persian Gulf; the build-up of the Indian Navy; refusal by India to provide logistics support to the US Navy operations in the Persian Gulf; refusal by Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to provide basing facility to the US Navy; uncertainties in US-Pakistan relations. In sum, Indian Ocean is fast becoming a powder keg in global politics.

    This brings us to how the present regional alignments came about — especially, the dramatic fall in the Indian influence in Maldives on the one hand and the cascading rise in the US’ influence on the other. The answer is simple — India goofed up on the “regime change” issue, while the US played its cards superbly.
    In retrospect, it seems that the hysterical media campaign in India supported by our intelligence agency to the effect that an al-Qaeda takeover in Maldives was imminent inadvisably hustled the South Block despite the sound advice being rendered by the Indian High Commissioner in Male. To what extent, the “public diplomacy” of the American embassy in Delhi also had a hand in the whipping up of hysteria is difficult to tell, but the bylines of the Indians who went viral make one strongly suspect that the US encouraged the campaign in the Indian media.

    Indeed, it suited the US to whip up the frenzy over an al-Qaeda takeover in Male because that would provide the perfect alibi for its intervention. The repeated visits by Assistant Secretary Robert Blake since then, who is incidentally a rare diplomat-specialist in the region to undertake such an operation, fall in place.
    Suffice to say, even as Delhi embarked on the disastrous “containment strategy” toward the new regime in Maldives, Blake had been constructively engaging it.
    Would you believe, in his last visit in September, Blake even held a press conference and a round table with the “civil society” in Maldives, affirming the US’ resolve to be a “stakeholder” in peace and stability of Maldives, no matter the domestic politics there.

    Interestingly, Blake’s September visit coincided with the fateful move by the “international community” to ease the pressure on the Maldivian authorities to return to the democratic path and the rule of law. It stands to reason that Washington and London are acting in tandem.

    Unsurprisingly, UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon also lost no time endorsing the CONI report. One has to be a total duffer not to see that the US was pulling the strings. After having struck a deal with the current regime in Male, the US needs to legitimise the regime so that the deal enjoys legitimacy. The Faustian deal opens the path for the US Navy to access Gan.

    By the time Delhi awoke to the new reality and told off its excitable spooks to lay off, the damage had been done. A trust deficit exists today between Delhi and Male, which, short of an Indian-sponsored coup in Maldives, will take at least a decade to get over. But will our spooks have the stuff in them to pull off a coup even if Delhi sanctions?

    Besides, will Delhi want to stage a coup that defies American strategic interests? No way. Alas, how can India be a serious player in its region if it can’t read the tea leaves correctly in this tiny island of 3 lakh people? There has been a massive intelligence failure and all the shrieks from the hot tin roof that the “Chinese are coming”, “Al-Qaeda is coming” is not going to obfuscate that plain truth. Why do such disasters happen?

    The answer is simple. As the ancient sage Manu advised : Stick to your varna. The spook is a spook and should behave like one. Also, the media should know its primary duty is to disseminate reliable information — and certainly not to play footsie to paymasters in the intelligence.

    And, last, but not the least, there needs to be an awareness that diplomacy is also a profession which requires skills and expertise and it is an idiotic assumption that any one who knows English is au fait with foreign affairs and diplomacy.

    The heart of the matter is that myths were propagated to cover up the intelligence failure; and the ubiquitous al-Qaeda factor was deliberately brought in. The result is plain to see. Forever will India build hospitals and primary health centres in Maldives — and forever will Chinese tourists flock to that heavenly spot on earth — while Uncle Sam rules the roost.”

  89. More escalation…

    Syrian passenger plane forced to land in Turkey
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19905247

  90. BiBiJon says:

    “The logic is on my side”
    =======================

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    Richard, ‘logic’ can be a very flawed thing. “hare-brained” dictators are born every day, and half-brained presidents are elected just as frequently. If past, present or future possibilities of Dr. Strangelove’s finger being on the button is to inform decisions on nuclear deterrence, then today there would be thriving bazaars for cut-price nukes all over the planet. Uncle Sam used a couple in 1945 and thus, she has burdened herself with constant nightmares, bottomless paranoia and shapeless fears that everybody wants to do unto her what she’d done to others. Only retards would follow an example like that.

    Deterrence, my foot. USSR cleaned US’ clock in Vietnam, and the US returned the favor by socking it to USSR in Afghanistan; Pakistan’s ISI shot up Mumbai, and India is forever shooting up Kashmir; so much for deterrence.

    To be fair, a lot of my own assumptions are fast falling apart. I used to think it impossible for Iran to suddenly show up at the playground with a nuclear weapon after all these years of asking for and receiving the benefit of doubt from NAM; Surely not after religious decree to boot. Well, after all the sanctions, and threats, would anyone blame Iran for reversing course? I no longer think so.

    Also past “expiration date” is ‘compromise’. The ‘appeasement’ tattoo on Iranian negotiators foreheads has faded away. Way too much water has passed under the bridge for anyone to think anything short of outright victory will solve Iran’s nuclear puzzle.

    The moral of the story I guess is to grab a hold of logic while it still applies.

  91. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    “NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday the military alliance had plans in place to defend Turkey. He gave no further details but a senior U.S. defense official said NATO would likely react if Turkey made a request for assistance.”
    No shit…That’s the point of the exercise…

    RSH, you have to listen to the whole comment.. he also said;

    “We have all plans in place to protect and defend Turkey, but we do hope that it will not be necessary.  We do hope that all parties involved will do their utmost to avoid an escalation of the crisis and focus on finding a political solution to the conflict,” he said.

    Peculiar that Rasmussen did not mention “he” has to leave, rather, on finding a political solution.. Sounds like, we do not want war!!!

  92. Ataune: “I understand from your postings that you see war as the only way the elite can proceed. As if war is the policy and all the rest is mere support for it.”

    No… PROFIT and POWER is the policy and all the rest is mere support for it. War is just the preferred instrument – especially when the military-industrial complex profits DIRECTLY from it.

    “Will this help the better control over the flow of goods and services in the globe ?”

    For the military-industrial complex and the oil companies, it will directly help their near-term profits, and depending on how long the war lasts – i.e., Iran for seven-eight years, Afghanistan for ten – their long term profits.

    They don’t care about some abstract “flow of goods and services” – they care about their stock price next quarter and next year. Everyone knows that about US corporate management.

    “Does any such war can help repair the already shaky legitimacy of R2P and spread of “democratie” and “human rights” (considered to be the major strength of the anglo-american political order) ? Obviousely not.”

    You really believe that the shot callers care about “R2P” and “human rights”? You making that argument, seriously?

    “All the signs today are still pointing to the fact that the policy hasn’t yet recovered from the shellaking it took the last decade.”

    You mean the signs that Romney has nothing but neocons in his foreign policy adviser camp? The signs that Obama has had nothing but Zionist fanatics in his foreign policy adviser camp? The signs that Obama’s entire political career was financed by pro-Israel military-industrial complex stockholders?

    Those signs?

  93. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    You may have forgotten that Obama and his generals were very ruluctant to intervene militarily in Libya. David Cameron made a direct pitch to Obama to obtain backing for the Anglo-French attack. Cameron himself had been persuaded to back the French, by dirrect appeal from Sarkozy.

    It does matter who gets into the White House.

  94. Sakineh Bagoom: “Does it really matter what the people think and how they vote?”

    No.

    But it matters to Obama and Romney… That should be obvious. It also matters to Netanyahu – and it matters to the neocons…and the politicians in their respective parties…and probably to various entities in the ruling elite.

    So it matters who wins to them…if not to us.

  95. From Sibel Edmonds Boiling Frogs site…

    Turkey Plotting NATO Attack on Syria
    http://www.boilingfrogspost.com/2012/10/09/turkey-plotting-nato-attack-on-syria/

  96. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Is Khamenei correct in claiming the EU wants Iran to “give up nuclear energy”? Or is he playing to the crowd, and seeking to obscure the fact Iran brought on the latest sanctions by trebling production of 20 percent uranium? The EU almost certainly will accept Iranian nuclear power programme.

  97. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You claim the US “has no incentive to grant Iran an inch”, in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran. Are you arguing that the US will continue to block Iran’s IAEA application to buy replacement nuclear fuel for the TRR, even if Obama retains the White House?

  98. What Russia is up to in the Middle East…basically trying to get those oil dollars…

    Russia bridges Middle Eastern divides
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/NJ11Ag01.html

  99. The slow way to a naval blockade – stop shipping lines from docking in Iran…

    Top shipping line Maersk says halts Iran service
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/top-shipping-line-maersk-says-halts-iran-service/

  100. Justin Raimondo on the roots of the Iran crisis…

    Why Target Iran?
    Part 1: Roots of the Iranian ‘crisis’
    :http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/10/07/why-target-iran/

    It’s All About Israel
    Part II of “Roots of the Iranian ‘Crisis’”
    :http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/10/09/its-all-about-israel-2/

  101. FSA threatens to take fight to Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2012/Oct-10/190818-fsa-threatens-to-take-fight-to-hezbollah-stronghold-in-beirut.ashx

    And here we see yet another effort to drag Lebanon into the Syria conflict to give Israel another excuse to attack Hizballah…

  102. Israel says Syrian mortar strike was attack on NATO
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/04/us-syria-crisis-israel-idUSBRE8931D720121004

    Obviously Israel supports the notion of the US and NATO attacking Syria! That’s the whole point of the exercise – to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon through Syrian territory without having to worry about engaging Syrian forces to a significant degree.

  103. Whatever Happened to that Iranian Bomb Plot Case?
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/10/whatever-happened-to-that-iranian-bomb-plot-case/

    There actually is a trial coming up this month. Want to bet the case collapses like a bride’s pie crust?

  104. Iraqi PM Calls On NATO To Stay Out Of Syria
    http://www.rferl.org/content/iraq-urges-nato-out-of-syria/24735278.html

    “Maliki said on October 10 that Turkey’s reports of deadly shelling from neighboring Syria were “great exaggerations,” and accused Ankara of trying to draw NATO into the Syrian conflict.”

    He’s got that right…

  105. Tony Karon weighs in and dismisses the likelihood…

    Is the White House Weighing a Military Strike on Iran?
    http://world.time.com/2012/10/10/is-the-white-house-weighing-a-military-strike-on-iran/

    While he’s correct that the David Rothkopf notion that this would be a “painless strike” is completely ridiculous, he gives Obama too much credit – as most people do – for being a “peace President” and that the next year will be devoted to restarting the Iran talks.

    We all know talks are going to go nowhere. The US has no incentive to grant Iran an inch, and neither does Iran, and that whenever there ARE talks, the inevitable result is more sanctions. Therefore it has become clear that the sole PURPOSE of the talks is to justify more sanctions. This is far more likely in 2013 than any favorable outcome.

    And since the West is running out of sanctions that can be effective, the goal is going to HAVE to turn to physically isolating Iran – which means a naval blockade of one sort or another.

    I repeat, Obama’s goal is to start an Iran war and at the same time be able to blame IRAN for starting it. And if he doesn’t, Israel will.

  106. More escalation…

    Turkey warns Syria against cross-border shelling
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/10/us-syria-crisis-turkey-military-idUSBRE8990AI20121010

    At this point, after a week of alleged Syrian shelling, are we supposed to believe that Syria is deliberately shelling Turkey, regardless of the threat of Turkey attacking Syria? Are we supposed to believe Assad is that stupid? That he has no control over his forces?

    Or is it more likely that the insurgents are deliberately shelling Turkey to bring Turkey into a war? Or that there isn’t even any shelling and Turkey is just lying? Or both?

    “NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Tuesday the military alliance had plans in place to defend Turkey. He gave no further details but a senior U.S. defense official said NATO would likely react if Turkey made a request for assistance.”

    No shit…That’s the point of the exercise…

  107. Ataune says:

    @ Richard Hack

    Thank you for your detailed response.

    War is one of the ways to expand the hold of the hegemone. As someone wiser than me has said before “policy is the guiding intelligence and war only the instrument.” I understand from your postings that you see war as the only way the elite can proceed. As if war is the policy and all the rest is mere support for it.

    It is true that some forty years after its foundation was set, globalization is showing all the signs of alienation and demise. But I believe that the anglo-american elite is not in a fool’s errand here and still believes it is pursuing the policies that are based on this strategy.

    Having said that, the risks/rewards calculation from the ruling elite point of view for a tactic of widespread war in the middle-east, the way I see it, become more palpable. Will this help the better control over the flow of goods and services in the globe ? The military experiences in Irak and Afghanistan don’t lend support to this. Does any such war can help repair the already shaky legitimacy of R2P and spread of “democratie” and “human rights” (considered to be the major strength of the anglo-american political order) ? Obviousely not.

    The neo-conservative facet, unilateralist, agressive and war-prone, of this long-term strategy showed its shortcomings after 4 to 5 years and Bush 2, in his second term, was forced to bend and capitulate to the multilateralist proponent of “lead from behind”. All the signs today are still pointing to the fact that the policy hasn’t yet recovered from the shellaking it took the last decade.

  108. U.S. Military Is Sent to Jordan to Help With Crisis in Syria
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/world/middleeast/us-military-sent-to-jordan-on-syria-crisis.html

    “prepare for the possibility that Syria will lose control of its chemical weapons and be positioned should the turmoil in Syria expand into a wider conflict.”

    “The officials said the idea of establishing a buffer zone between Syria and Jordan — which would be enforced by Jordanian forces on the Syrian side of the border and supported politically and perhaps logistically by the United States — had been discussed. But at this point the buffer is only a contingency.”

    Yeah, right…contingency… How long before “buffer zones” are “required” on the Turkey-Syrian border, the Jordan-Syria border, the Israel-Syria border, the Lebanon-Syria border, and the Iraq-Syria border… Once all the “buffer zones” are in place – supported by “no-fly zones” – how much will be left of Syria’s military?

    Once again, the specter of “chemical weapons” is raised as justification.

    So we have British and French advisers in Turkey helping the insurgents, we have US bases in Turkey supporting the insurgents, we have US CIA agents on the ground in Turkey – and perhaps Syria – supporting the insurgents, we have US forces in Jordan getting ready for who knows what, we have Saudi and Qatar money and weapons flowing to the insurgents, and US “non-lethal” military aid flowing to the insurgents.

    Yet the model of Libya is NOT going to be followed? Right now, the ONLY thing missing is air strikes.

  109. imho says:

    old news but published on Haaretz

    nice face-saving for BN to back off

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/iran-slowed-progress-on-nuclear-weapons-program-by-eight-months.premium-1.468768

    The question is, was this gesture from Iran precisely to ease tensions or was it planned well before

  110. Karl... says:

    So now the jordanian king accept US troops on his land on the pretext syria. Just a coincident with the protests have accelerated past week?

    guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/oct/10/syria-us-taskforce-to-jordan-live

  111. Jay says:

    imho says:
    October 10, 2012 at 2:41 am

    No back channel contact will lead to a resolution at this juncture. US must strategically realign before any such game-changer happens – i.e. a spectacular event! This is a well-recognized “ground truth” within Iran – simply observe the latest speech by Khamenei:

    – “They pretend that the sanctions will be lifted if the Iranian nation gives up nuclear energy. They lie. They make decisions out of grudge and aversion [toward Iran] and impose irrational sanctions.”

    There is a war being waged – a new form of war with no boots on the ground nor bombs in the air – with the goal of strategic dominance. This is a form of war where the “strike” is psychological, financial, or illusory. The goal is to demoralize. All chatter and back channel chit-chat is tactical subversion. The only potential for a winning strategy is strength, realism, and asymmetric response.

  112. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: October 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm
    ”But that’s the point. Obama and Romney are supposedly neck and neck now”
    Says who Richard? The polls? Does it really matter what the people think and how they vote?
    I’d like to once for all dispel the notion that an American vote in the presidential election counts.
    People of the US do NOT elect a president. US is not a democracy of one (wo)man, one vote, where every vote counts.
    It may count on some stat sheet of data collected, but has no bearing on whom gets into office.
    May I remind you that W got into office by one vote. The one that really counted: in supreme court.
    I still have a ‘hanging chad’ firmly lodged into my forehead reminding me of this.
    BTW, it doesn’t matter who gets into office. Policymakers in US will not change. They are still the same regardless of who is in office.
    Presidency is like a locomotive on railroad track (e.g. no steering). The only control a president has is to slow down or speed up. The policy is set for them well in advance.

  113. M. Ali says:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/sanctions-on-iran-are-useless-and-pointless

    “President Bush came up with the brilliant idea of “carrots and sticks” for Iran. We hit them on the head and then we offer them the pleasure of talking with us. He thought that just talking with the United States was a privilege for Iran.

    President Obama simplified his predecessor’s approach by just relying on the stick approach, although he claimed that he was still offering some incentives to Iran. We just hit them on the head and keep hitting until they give up.”

  114. Karl... says:

    Its interesting that Romney urged in his debate the other day, a more unilateral United states in terms of the foreign policy, the problem is that such stance have no support outside of the US, perhaps only UK would accept that.

  115. imho says:

    Should we read Iran or Iraq in this ?
    From where will they pay $4.2 billion ?

    I tend to believe what goes to Iraq end up in Iranian hands

    http://ca.news.yahoo.com/iraq-buys-4-2-billion-russian-weapons-document-191111913.html

  116. imho says:

    Jay says:
    October 9, 2012 at 7:49 pm

    I don’t know David Rothkonf.

    “Barring a spectacularly rare event, I tend to agree that Iran and the US are past the point of rapprochement in the near future. Current US policy is regime change! However, I would repeat that no strike is in the cards in the near future either.”

    It has never been a question of a spectacular US-Iran diplomatic overture (it’s just too hard to predict such a U-turn) but I can perfectly imagine back channel contacts in order for the two sides to agree on what they wishes to obtain in the near future and also to defuse tensions they created themselves each for their own political benefits. It is just a sens of logic with few simple arguments:
    - there has been such contacts in the past when the two sides understood to have common immediate goals
    - rhetoric is for people consumption, then comes pragmatism

    US (and Israeli) and Iranian governments need each other in their present form for their own political reasons.

  117. Ataune: “This Foreign Policy article you are quoting is just a propaganda piece for Romney.”

    But that’s the point. Obama and Romney are supposedly neck and neck now. Obama needs something on the foreign policy front to boost his creds as a WAR President.

    “The only message its carrying is that US needs to bark louder to impress Iran politically and diplomatically.”

    Yes – but the louder Obama barks, the more he aligns himself with Netanyahu and the Republicans. He’s already virtually indistinguishable from Bush and Romney on foreign policy. Romney’s claims that Obama is “weak” is obviously wrong. Obama has done more to push the US to a confrontation with Iran than even Bush did. The louder he barks, the closer the US gets to war.

    “US is not in a position to militarily attack Iran soon (by soon I mean the next 2 or 3 years.)”

    The only things holding the US back is the problem of Israel wanting a “cheap war”, some push back from the Pentagon and the intelligence agencies in both the US and Israel, and the fact that this is an election year.

    There is nothing economically or militarily preventing the US from attacking Iran at any time now except those three factors. Once the elections are over, the Syria situation will be brought to the fore and a war started there. After that is resolved one way or the other, the ruling elites will assess the situation and start moving forward towards the Iran war (unless something else serious crops up, like a conflict between China and Japan, e.g.)

    “and the elite you are referring to is well aware of that.”

    Cite one single member of the ruling elite saying that or having any reason to say that. You can’t find one.

    “When an empire goes down the general rule is that the ruling elite become more apprehensive not bolder the way you desire to describe it. The US elite is not an exception. it will not fight a military adventure too risky for its survival.”

    There is absolutely NOTHING “risky” for the ruling elite in this country at this time. They have pissed away trillions of dollars over the last ten years (that is, pissed away from the electorate into THEIR pockets), brought the economy (outside of the military-industrial complex and the national security deep state) to the brink of collapse, and have blown away most of what’s left of the civil rights of the electorate.

    They haven’t lost ONE THIN DIME from any of this.

    They don’t see any risk whatsoever from starting a war with Iran. Even if the whole Middle East gets engulfed by war from Iran to Turkey to Syria to Saudi Arabia to the Gulf States to Jordan to Lebanon to Israel to Gaza and even to Egypt and beyond, it won’t place ANY of the US ruling elite at risk for ONE THIN DIME. The MIC, the oil companies, the banks who finance them, they all will make money off this coming war. Few, if any, of the neocons will lose any credibility. Few, if any, of the Israel Lobby members will lose any influence on the Hill. Few, if any, of the politicians who voted for the war – and that will be an overwhelming majority, probably 95% or more – will not be voted out in the next election – and if some of them are, their replacements will be of the exact same ilk.

  118. Ataune says:

    @ Richard Hack

    This Foreign Policy article you are quoting is just a propaganda piece for Romney. The only message its carrying is that US needs to bark louder to impress Iran politically and diplomatically. US is not in a position to militarily attack Iran soon (by soon I mean the next 2 or 3 years.) and the elite you are referring to is well aware of that. When an empire goes down the general rule is that the ruling elite become more apprehensive not bolder the way you desire to describe it. The US elite is not an exception. it will not fight a military adventure too risky for its survival.

  119. Rehmat says:

    On Monday, the leaders of the Lutheran, Methodist, UCC Churches, and the National Council of Churches sent a letter to Congress members, calling for an investigation into Israel’s continue violation of the US Foreign Assistance Act and the US Arms Export Control Act, which makes the Zionist entity ineligible for US military aid. Since 1990s, Tel Aviv has received an annual military aid worth $3 billion.

    In response, the American Jewish Committee director Rabbi Noam Marans had slamed the church leaders, saying:“When the world currently is focused on the Iranian nuclear threat to the entire Middle East and the world, Christian leaders have chosen to mount another political attack on Israel.”

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/10/church-leaders-blast-us-for-israel-aid/

  120. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 9, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Some of Dr. Friedman’s conclusions/observations are correct and some are not.

    Syria has become very much dependent on Shia/Irani power and Iran’s influence in Syria has greatly increased.

    And US Iran policy is to try to turn Iran into another Cuba or North Korea – some sort of quarantine (which will fail).

    But I agree, No War – No Peace is what is ahead after the rebels in Syria are destroyed.

  121. Jay says:

    Incidentally, I was not suggesting that you are hysteric imho!

  122. Jay says:

    imho says:
    October 9, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    If you are interested in “batting averages” you should know David Rothkopf’s average. Perhaps his best quote is from 2006 when he made the claim that neocons are “gone” for at least one generation and perhaps forever. His statement earlier in August of this year is in stark contrast suggeting that necons are here to stay!

    It is difficult to reconcile the dismissal of quantitative analysis by some while at the same time the suggestion of Rothkopf’s second hand quotes is offered as weighty issue.

    Barring a spectacularly rare event, I tend to agree that Iran and the US are past the point of rapprochement in the near future. Current US policy is regime change! However, I would repeat that no strike is in the cards in the near future either. Hysteria is not helpful – and, it has not set in within Iran’s circles of policy making.

  123. imho: October 9, 2012 at 4:19 am

    “What makes these rumors attracting (among others) is that they make sens and they are plausible.”

    Well, then you should like the rumor expressed in the Foreign Policy article I linked to below which states that the Obama Administration and the Israelis are close to making a “credible military threat” against Iran as a means of offsetting Romney’s criticisms of Obama being “weak on Iran.”

    If I have to choose between that possibility and the possibility of Obama announcing a “breakthrough in diplomatic negotiations”, I’ll take the former.

    “If Iranians have liberated the American hostages before the election, Reagan would not have been assured to win against Carter. And we know that liberation was temporized just because of that. This is also history worth reminding.”

    Yes, it is – because it reminds us just how CORRUPT politicians are. You do recall how it was the Republican politicians who pushed to keep the crisis going in order to screw Carter, right? Not to mention the whole “Iran-Contra” affair…

  124. imho says:

    The report doesn’t say what happens the day after the attack

    A surgical strike for few hours or days without civilian casualties, just enough so Obama could guarantee his second term

    “It quotes an unnamed advocate saying the outcome would be “transformative” — “saving Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, reanimating the peace process, securing the (Persian) Gulf, sending an unequivocal message to Russia and China, and assuring American ascendancy in the region for a decade to come.”"

    All you wanted in one strike

    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/10/09/Report-says-US-Israel-plan-Iran-strike/UPI-12451349776277/

  125. Kathleen: “Will Obama roll over to the I lobby and Israel during the debate”

    Of course he will.

    “Do you think we will hear Obama state any facts about Iran’s right to enrich uranium as a signatory of the NPT?”

    Hell, no…

    “Will the fact that Israel continuing to refuse to sign the NPT come up?”

    Hell, no…

    “Or will the foreign policy debate be all about support for Israel no matter how many International laws and UN resolutions they are in violation of?”

    More – Romney and Obama will expend great effort to OUTDO each other in their support for Israel, condemnation of Iran and Assad in Syria, and promise more sanctions on Iran and more support for the Syrian insurgents, and more military support for Israel.

    The rumor cited in the article I posted below indicates at some point Obama may even directly make a “credible” military threat against Iran if it looks like Romney has a shot at winning, instead of his usual “all options are on the table” garbage.

  126. As usual, George Friedman at Stratfor gets it almost completely backwards and wrong…

    The Emerging Doctrine of the United States
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/emerging-doctrine-united-states

    However, I’m sure a lot of idiots will seize on this as “evidence” that there won’t be either a Syria war or an Iran war…

  127. And even as we have escalation between Turkey and Syria, and Israel and Lebanon, so we now have escalation between Israel and Gaza…

    Gaza escalation threatens regional violence
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NJ10Ak03.html

    Kotsev is right about this:

    “Such an escalation on the part of the Israelis, if it happens, would raise the heat on US President Barack Obama but most probably would not bring up official accusations of interfering in the US elections. The ensuing conflict would likely be brief but violent; or it could spin out of control and engulf the entire Middle East.”

    What should be plain to all is a sequence of escalations intended to provide justification for Western and Israeli military attacks on Syria, Lebanon and Gaza in preparation for war with Iran.

  128. Turkey shows double duplicity on Syria
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NJ10Ak01.html

    “Bottom line: the chips have fallen on the military side, not the political side, of the equation, with Turkey the NATO member intent on extending NATO’s foothold inside Syria slowly but surely, irrespective of certain misgivings by some Western politicians, including in Washington, who are wary of jihadis in the Syrian civil war.”

    Where Kaveh gets it wrong is where he assumes Turkey is doing this on its own. It’s not. It is doing this in concert with the US and NATO and Israel.

    The US, despite protestations, couldn’t care less about “jihadis” or “Al Qaeda” in Syria. The grunts may care, but not the people calling the shots. Those people want Syria degraded so the Iran war – the main event – can start. They don’t care what happens to Syria afterward. Israel doesn’t care – Syria’s jihadis are no threat to Israel, absent the sort of missile arsenal Hizballah has.

    Of course, that could happen in the future, just as Israel screwed up when it supported the creation of Hamas as a means of dividing the PLO…and, of course, when the US supported jihadis in Afghanistan… In any event, the US shot-callers don’t care at all, since they are in no danger of losing profits regardless of how many jihadis exist in benighted Third World countries.

    Bottom line: The US and NATO are telling Turkey to start a war with Syria – and they’re undoubtedly telling the Syrian insurgents the same thing. The goal is to get a war with Syria going so that Israel can (try to) destroy Hizballah at the same time.

    And after that…Iran.

  129. US attempts to set stage for NATO intervention in Syria: Dankof
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/09/265768/us-seeks-nato-intervention-syria/

    I agree with this analysis.

  130. A Truly Credible Military Threat to Iran
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/08/wanted_a_truly_credible_military_threat_to_iran

    “Indeed, according to a source close to the discussions, the action that participants currently see as most likely is a joint U.S.-Israeli surgical strike targeting Iranian enrichment facilities. The strike might take only “a couple of hours” in the best case and only would involve a “day or two” overall, the source said, and would be conducted by air, using primarily bombers and drone support.”

    Note that this is what the Administration is considering in concert with Israel.

    Note that the alleged outcomes are complete bullcrap. What will happen is Iran will retaliate with full force, and the “surgical strike” will become a “hot war” – at least until Iran’s conventional forces have been mostly degraded, when it will become a regional asymmetrical war.

    The notion that this – threatening a specific limited attack rather than a general attack – will help Obama against Romney in the election is probably true. And with Romney currently nearly in a tie with Obama, after having recovered from his recent gaffs that nearly sank his campaign, I think it quite possible that Obama may try this ploy of threatening a specific attack scenario – if not actually doing it until next year sometime, after the Syria/Lebanon situation is resolved one way or the other.

    This is the sort of game Obama likes to play – make it look like he’s really a “peace President” while planning more extended wars and putting the blame on everyone else. Anyone who thinks he’s looking for a “diplomatic solution” to the Iran situation is an idiot – unless of course that “solution” is a complete surrender by Iran to all US demands.

  131. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Are you arguing that Azerbaijan feels threatened by Iran, no matter what government is in power in Iran, because Iran’s population includes millions of Azeris?

  132. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I take it you think Iran should defy Russia and China, and invite further sanctions. You might recall I opposed any sanctions against Iranian energy exports, etc.

    The Iranian foreign minister says Iran is willing to stop enriching to 20%.

  133. Karl... says:

    IMF “World Economic Outlook” statement on Iran show for 2012 a 0.9% GDP degradation from a 2% growth in 2011, but say that next year it will grow again with a 0.8%.


    NewsDaily: Analysis: Iran government likely to win battle of wills

    http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/bre8980hg-us-iran-currency

  134. NATO makes plans to back Turkey over Syria spillover
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/09/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE88J0X720121009

    I’m sure they have…since that’s the point of the exercise…

  135. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    You linked an important piece on how the Clarion Fund promotes the proliferation of the insane illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank, and promotes hatred and fear against Muslims. “Israel right or wrong” – - no matter the cost or damage to the American people.

  136. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Didn’t the Muslims create the Mughal Empire in a manner similar to the Azeris’ role in the Persian Empire of a few centuries ago?

  137. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    I agree with you that the Muslims should not have sought partition of the Indian Empire.

  138. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Given that Valerie Plame worked in nuclear non-proliferation arena, her work benefitted Iran.

    Dick Cheney wanted to punish Joe Wilson for his piece in The New York Times that revealed to the general public there was a conspiracy to dupe George W. Bush (to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq).

  139. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Did you notice that Romney is now calling for an independent Palestine?

  140. James Canning says:

    Spiegel.de today has an interview with Ali Akbar Salehi who said that a deal with the P5+1 would be one where “We would voluntarily limit the extent of our enrichment program, but in return we would need a guaranteed supply of the relevant [nuclear] fuels from abroad.”

    Hillary Clinton continues to refuse to back William Hague’s eminently sensible proposal that Iran be allowed to buy TRR fuel from the West.

  141. fyi says:

    Kathleen says:

    October 9, 2012 at 9:26 am

    Mr. Obama has already “rolled-over”, in your parlance.

    And no, he will not say anything on Iran’s right within NPT.

    US leaders still expect to “win”.

  142. BiBiJon says:

    Sir Ahmed (aka Salman Rushdie) on PBS
    =================================================

    Jeffrey Brown talks to the author about recent clashes over free speech and Islamic ideology. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/july-dec12/rushdie_10-08.html

    Sir Ahmed is doing the rounds for a new book promotion which is giving him a platform to further the clash of civilizations. The cause célèbre is non other than the nebulous freedom of speech. Sir Ahmad actually sees himself at the beginning, middle, and end of clash of civilizations (narcissism much?); he relates the opprobrium about his gratuitous insults to others’ cultural lore, and Islam and the resulting death sentence imposed by a jurist, Ay. Khomeini, as foretelling of 9/11 attacks, war on ‘terra’, and all the rest; Sir Ahmed has the answer to ‘why they hate us?; Its the freedom of speech, stupid! Self-serving consequence: Sir Ahmed feels no regret.

    How do we uphold freedom of speech? Selectively.
    ————————————

    Ahmadinejad says his life was threatened on account of his UNGA speech citing opinion polls indicating large segments of the population, even in the US, are dubious about official explanations of 9/11 tragedy.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polls_about_9/11_conspiracy_theories#United_States

    Watch out where you express contradictory opinions about the Holocaust.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_against_Holocaust_denial

    And, by the way, Ahmadinejad’s questioning why the subject cannot be researched any further, and/or what did the Nazi perpetrated genocide have anything to do with Palestinians is cited by a great many ‘influential’ folk as reason to deny Iran’s nuclear rights, food & medicine, and ultimately, dropping large numbers of very large bombs on the heads of Iranians showing how dearly we hold freedom of speech.

    Sir Ahmed flirts with trickle-down one-way cultural exchange, where ‘we’ teach (through the barrel of a gun) the brown people to tolerate our insults at anything they hold dear, followed by insulting their DNA for the way they react to our previous insults, and insult their social bonds for reacting the way they do to our insults about their DNA, and so on. This cycle is occasionally interrupted by a brief pause to ask earnestly ‘whay they hate us?’ Which then paves the way for insulting their rationality, and stunted development for not understanding nebulous concepts such as freedom of speech. This has nothing to do with the color of skin, it is just that we demand whatever color that skin may be, it better be thick enough to handle our freedoms to speech, waging war, regime change, and anything else we dream of in the future.

  143. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 9, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Like all historical reconstruction, there are disagreements.

    Bosnia was very different….

  144. Kathleen says:

    How do folks here think the Romney/Obama foreign policy debate will pan out? Will Obama roll over to the I lobby and Israel during the debate or take a stand to focus on U.S. national security and point out that Israel’s persistent and escalated illegal settlement expansion continues to undermine U.S. and Israel’s security?

    Do you think we will hear Obama state any facts about Iran’s right to enrich uranium as a signatory of the NPT? Will the fact that Israel continuing to refuse to sign the NPT come up? Or will the foreign policy debate be all about support for Israel no matter how many International laws and UN resolutions they are in violation of?

  145. Kathleen says:

    Who can explain how the go get Iran warmongering team’s (Kagan, Boot, Bolton, Kristol, Wolfowitz, Libby, Cheney, Feith etc) arguments benefited by purposely taking Valerie Plame out? Did Iran benefit in any way by her outing?

  146. Rehmat says:

    Israel claims its airforce has shot down an Iran-made unarmed drone near Dimona nuclear facility, the mothe of Israel’s 240-400 nuclear bombs.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/09/israel-shot-down-hizbullah-drone-again/

  147. imho says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 8, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    “IF any of that is true – and I HAVE heard a similar rumor about back channel negotiations from Alan Hart – it would mean only one thing:

    Obama is desperate to gain more lead over Romney and would tout this as a “breakthrough in negotiations”.

    I’m aware of Khalili’s background but it wasn’t my point. I wouldn’t expect similar news/rumors from high ranking American officials anyway. This adds to other rumors as yourself citing Alan Hart. What makes these rumors attracting (among others) is that they make sens and they are plausible.
    Everyone knows that American elections are subject to manipulations and I surely don’t expect any qualms from politicians from whichever parties or nations.
    If Iranians have liberated the American hostages before the election, Reagan would not have been assured to win against Carter. And we know that liberation was temporized just because of that. This is also history worth reminding.
    You’d say the context was different. Sure, but no matter better or worse context, humans don’t change. Their cupidity is more and more obvious.

  148. UNIFIL: No drone detected crossing from Lebanon into Israel
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4289729,00.html

    Note:

    “A senior official in the establishment said that ‘Israel is aware of Iran and Hezbollah’s technological capabilities. We are now discussing how to respond to the breach, and whether such an incident could be likened to a rocket or missile launched from Lebanon, which necessitates immediate retaliation against targets in southern Lebanon.’”

  149. fyi: “You are not reading my statements.”

    Enlighten me.

    Be specific.

    Provide reasons.

  150. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Regarding the partition of India:

    I am glad you don’t treat Gandhi as some demigod. But you are far too lenient on Mr Jinnah and the Pakistanis. I think the act of partition was probably the stupidest thing the Indian Muslims could have done. And just look at what the West Pakistanis did in Bangladesh.

    The Muslim League assessed wrong imo. The Muslims were way too substantial in number that they would have had to be accommodated. You know I find it a little strange that you approve of the actions of the Subcontinental Muslims for breaking up India but chastise the Bosnian Muslims (who genuinely faced unimaginable horrors) for breaking up Yugoslavia.

    - Of course this has been good for Iran, for otherwise it would have to contend directly with India.

  151. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Regarding my comparison of Azerbaijan and Pakistan:

    You are right the comparison isn’t perfect.

    The Northern Azeris were forcibly separated by the Russians while the Indian Muslims chose to separate themselves. And the Azeris (re)created (modern) Iran while the Muslims are regarded by many as nothing more than invaders of Hindustan. My point was though that both states’ raison d’etre is one of separation and opposition towards the larger “motherland.”

    - I have never thought of Panama before. Latin America bores me too much. I have to look more into it. Thanks.

  152. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    October 8, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    That the leaders of the United States, in pursuit of their imperial agenda, abused the 9/11/2011 attacks should not detract you from the late Mr. Bin Ladin actions.

    After the attacks were traced to Afghanistan, the United States had to go on the offensive or be considered a “dead dog liberal”.

    The incompetence, hubris, and imperial over-stretch must not blind one to the need for a robust response to a terrorist attack on the United States.

  153. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    The comparison with India-Pakistan case is not apt.

    The late Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a leader of the Indian Congress Party before the late Mr. Gandhi showed up on the scene.

    Mr. Gandhi, however, could tap into Hindu masses in a way that Mr. Jinnah could not.

    That, and his religiosity, got into his head and opened a wedge between Hindus and Muslims.

    Mr. Jinnah and Muslims were essentially driven out of Congress Party due to the nascent form of Hindu Nationalism. Muslim political power in India was clearly no going to exist afer the Independence – as Mr. Jinnah correctly assessed.

    And the man most responsible for the Partition was Mr. Gandhi.

    It was deplorable that he was in a position of All-India political leadership; the Late S. Patel would have been better and could potentially have avoided the Partition.

    The so-called Azerbaijan Republic is a creature of Russia and USSR – it is analogous to Panam; a piece of Colombia that US grabbed from that country and turned into a new “state”.

    And lastly, the Azeis in Iran are a pillar of the state that their ancestors created centuries earlier; nothing like that obtains for Muslims of the sub-continent.

  154. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, FYI: something interesting is definitely happening in the US. Too little, too late, not broad enough? Yes, but it’s in its early stages.

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11998-chris-hedges-the-maimed

  155. Nasser says:

    James Canning asks: October 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    “Is it fair to say that Azerbaijan and Iran will continue to have problems in their relations, simply due to the secular nature of the government in Azerbaijan (and greater freedom for women) that partly is a result of the years spent as part of the Russian Empire and the USSR?”

    - No my whole point was precisely that the nature of their respective governments is not to blame for bad relations between the two. The problem isn’t the mullahs or Aliyev. I said the Azeri republic feels existentially threatened by Iran and its raison d’etre can only be justified by adopting a hostile posture towards the mother country. I think fyi’s post at October 8, 2012 at 11:34 am answers why this is so. I believe these countries will continue to have problems no matter what kind of governments they have (Wish I am wrong though).

    - I compare this to Pakistan and India relations. Why would a state for Indian Muslims need to exist when there are a greater number of Muslims in India itself; arguably with a better quality of life?

  156. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 8, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    You are not reading my statements.

  157. Karl... says:

    Iran will of course not go in to that trap, if there is one (cease enrichment before election thesis).
    Any non-official, secretive measures will only blow-back on Iran.

  158. humanist: “where in February 2009 he implies Iran is not building the bomb.”

    Anyone can imply that Iran is not building a bomb. That’s easy – because Iran isn’t in fact building a bomb. I didn’t need a mathematical model to predict that – just a basic knowledge of strategic reality, the history of Iran, and the LOGIC of Iran’s position.

    I listened to the TED talk.

    “Do you still believe he is a clown? If yes why?”

    Yes, definitely.

    1) He provides zero evidence for the efficacy of his method other than a claim from the CIA – where, note, HE is the one providing the evidence since he works for the CIA – that his model is ninety percent accurate.

    Forgive me – I’d like a second opinion on that from people who understand the limits of computer modeling.

    2) You will note that his predictions involve Iran making WEAPONS-GRADE FUEL – which they have not even come close to doing despite his predictions being nearly thirty percent that they would by 2010 – let alone 2012.

    3) The same applies to his predictions about Iran building nukes. His model ascribes high percentages – relative to reality – about Iran building a bomb. In fact, Iran has not even CONSIDERED building a bomb over the last four years!

    4) He talks about identifying the “stake holders” in a situation. Has he identified the military-industrial complex, the neocons, the Israel Lobby, the oil companies, the banks who finance these entities, the corrupt politicians? No where does he mention any of that. He concentrates totally on what IRAN will do. But we ALREADY KNOW IRAN IS NOT THE DRIVER HERE!

    And we already KNOW based on common sense and what Iran has said and done historically that Iran will not do any of the things he mentions other than run a nuclear energy program and enrich to whatever level they deem necessary for that program. I didn’t need his model to come to the exact same conclusions he came to – and beyond that, to know that Iran will not ever enrich to weapons grade or make a bomb.

    This is bullshit…

    “In modern Models of Game theory, nearly ALL available information is used as an input Modle’s [SUPER] computer.”

    Bullshit. Period. And the size of the machine is utterly irrelevant. What matters is the concept of “knowledge representation”, which is limited and manipulated by humans in accordance with what THEY THINK they know and what THEY THINK is “relevant.”

    I know a bit about artificial intelligence and knowledge representation. The main defect in any computer modeling is the limitations on representing knowledge accurately and completely. And that’s even if you can actually FIND and ASSESS the “knowledge” in the first place.

    He talks about knowing what people want, what their beliefs are, what they think other people believe, and the like. He also talks about deliberately ignoring their HISTORY of behavior (which in my view is really stupid.) In fact, I doubt that ANY of that data can be quantified and manipulated accurately by any algorithm known to man.

    And you certainly can’t do if you’ve left out the motivations and actions of HALF THE PARTIES to the issue.

    I’ve looked up a New York Times article on this guy – not doubt one you’ve seen.

    Note this:

    “The computer’s advantage over humans is its ability to spy unseen coalitions, but this works only when the relative positions of each player are described accurately in the first place. “Garbage in, garbage out,” Bueno de Mesquita notes.”

    This is important, as I’ve noted above. His model is mostly about predicting NEGOTIATIONS. But the Iran crisis is NOT a “negotiation”. It’s a coercive drive toward war for the benefit of one of the parties.

    And with regard to a second opinion, guess what? We can’t get one because:

    “Stephen Walt, a Harvard professor of international affairs, says that Bueno de Mesquita’s nonprediction work — like his theory of the “political survival” of heads of state — make him a “respected scholar, deservedly so.” It’s the predictions that Walt doesn’t trust, because Bueno de Mesquita does not publish the actual computer code of his model.”

    Not publishing the code of the model is a strict “no-no” in computer modeling. It means no one can peer review the model.

    Further:

    ““We have no idea if he’s right 9 times out of 10, or 9 times out of a hundred, or 9 times out of a thousand,” Walt says. Walt also isn’t impressed by Stanley Feder’s C.I.A. study showing Bueno de Mesquita’s 90 percent hit rate. “It’s one midlevel C.I.A. bureaucrat saying, ‘This was a useful tool,’ ” Walt says. “It’s not like he’s got Brent Scowcroft saying, ‘Back in the Bush administration, we didn’t make a decision without consulting Bueno de Mesquita.’ ” Other academics point out that rational-actor theory has come under increasing criticism in recent years, as more evidence accumulates that people make many decisions irrationally.”

    Further:

    “And it’s true that there have been cases when Bueno de Mesquita’s model has gone awry. In his 1996 book, “Red Flag Over Hong Kong,” he predicted that the press in Hong Kong “will become largely a tool of the state” — a highly debatable claim today. (In 2006, Reporters Without Borders noted concerns about self-censorship but said that “journalists remain free in Hong Kong.”) In early 1993, a corporate client asked him to forecast whether the Clinton administration’s health care plan would pass, and he said it would.

    What’s more, with corporate clients in particular, there’s always the potential problem of reflexivity, of the prediction itself influencing events and making it hard to evaluate the prediction’s value. Suppose a firm is told a merger will fail, for example, and abandons its merger efforts. Was the prediction accurate or a self-fulfilling prophecy?”

    And this prediction about Iran – was it right?

    “In terms of power, one category — students — would surpass Ahmadinejad during the summer, and by September or October their clout would rival that of Khamenei, the supreme leader. “And that’s huge!” Bueno de Mesquita said excitedly. “If that’s right, it’s huge!” He said he believed that Iran’s domestic politics would remain quiet over the summer, then he thought they’d “really perk up again” by the fall.”

    And this:

    “Bueno de Mesquita also approved of Obama’s hands-off approach. Bueno de Mesquita ran an experimental version of his Iranian model without the U.S. in it as a player at all, and the coalitions that oppose Ahmadinejad and the bomb emerge a few months more quickly. In other words, American meddling is indeed counterproductive; the less America tries to influence Iran, the more quickly Iran will abandon nuclear weapons, if the logic of the computer is correct.”

    And here we are in 2012 with Obama pushing the US into war with Iran. Not to mention that Iran has not had ANY nuclear weapons program before or since.

    So, yes, his model may useful for corporate or even political negotiations where there is indeed a negotiation being attempted.

    Where it fails miserably is when there is a CONSPIRACY, not a negotiation.

  159. ToivoS says:

    imho says:
    October 8, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Egad imho that link you give goes to Reza Khalili, a fraudster if there ever was one.

  160. Castellio says:

    A long article on where the money is coming from for the demonization of Islam in America:

    Follow the Money: From Islamophobia to Israel Right or Wrong: The people bankrolling illegal Israeli expansionism in the occupied West Bank are the same people fomenting anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S.

    http://www.alternet.org/world/follow-money-islamophobia-israel-right-or-wrong

  161. Well, this sure seems like solid evidence that Saudi Arabia is supplying the Syrian insurgents with arms… The BBC saw a case with markings for the Saudi military at an insurgent base (although they were not allowed to look inside.) Picture included…

    Although I notice it was addressed to the “Signal Corps”, so my guess is it is more likely radios or some other commo gear…

    OTOH, the article says:

    “The crates of ammunition found in an Aleppo mosque were made by the Ukrainian firm Dastan, which specialises in naval weapons and missile complexes”

    Neither of which would be useful to the insurgents, presumably… Still, clearly it made its way there.

    ‘Saudi weapons’ seen at Syria rebel base
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19874256

  162. imho: “The Obama representative has urged the Iranian leader to announce a halt to enrichment, even if temporary, before the Nov. 6 elections, promising removal of some sanctions.”

    To add to that:

    IF any of that is true – and I HAVE heard a similar rumor about back channel negotiations from Alan Hart – it would mean only one thing:

    Obama is desperate to gain more lead over Romney and would tout this as a “breakthrough in negotiations”.

    Then once the election is over, he would renege just as he reneged on the Brazil-Turkey deal in 2010.

    THAT’S HISTORY. THAT’S how Obama works. This stuff is speculation.

  163. fyi: “I repeat again, it was a strategic mistake for Iran to remian in NPT after 1998; it is strategic suicide for Iran to forgoe the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons.”

    And I say again: tell it to Khamenei – who will ignore you because what he has already decided that what you claim is not true.

    In fact, it is the complete opposite. It would be strategic suicide for Iran to try to make nukes. If the Pollyannas here think Iran will not be attacked now, the instant Iran tries to make nukes, it WILL be attacked.

    Iran will never have nukes. That’s another thing I’m very confident about.

  164. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Is it fair to say that Azerbaijan and Iran will continue to have problems in their relations, simply due to the secular nature of the government in Azerbaijan (and greater freedom for women) that partly is a result of the years spent as part of the Russian Empire and the USSR?

  165. imho: “Kahlili reports”

    Kahlili is a known fabricator according to the CIA. He’s a flake. We rejected his crap here when he was cited by a previous site disruptor. I wouldn’t cite him as evidence of anything. He’s trying to attack Obama with this stuff, not help him.

  166. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    I take it you think Iran was wise to treble production of 20% uranium and to bring on more sanctions by making it appear Iran wishes to be able to build nukes quickly.

  167. BiBiJon: “Richard, the allegation that Iran has had a nuclear weapon program in response to any real/perceived potential/existing threat gives succor to the argument that Iran fell foul of the spirit of NPT, which is being used to deny Iran her rights under that treaty.”

    I agree that it “gives succor”. Nonethless, whatever Iran did was no at most against the SPIRIT of the NPT (unless you agree with what Arnold and I used to say, that the NPT is essentially silent on the question of “paper studies” and that “paper studies” are not the same as an actual deployment program.

    “There is no evidence”

    I agree! There is no evidence presented to the public so far that confirms this. It just seems likely to me given that is what McGovern and the DIA believe based on evidence they’ve seen.

    “Some speculations may even sound plausible enough to find their way into an NIE.”

    Based on the Iraq NIE, we know that. However, my guess is that there was at least enough plausible evidence for the 16 intelligence agencies to say that there was at least SOME evidence to say that Iran used to have SOME SORT of program.

    I’m merely trying to give Iran the full benefit of the doubt by saying it was almost certainly NOT a development and deployment program.

    It makes perfect sense that Iran did a feasibility study. If I were in charge of Iran, that’s what I would have done, given Saddam next door.

    It’s that simple.

    “The last thing you want to do in the face of such threats is waste your resources to develop something you can only use if you pin a ‘national suicide’ note to it; something everyone knows you cannot use; but which invites a nuclear attack on Iran as the first, rather than the last, culminating act of war against her.”

    I agree fully.

    But again, we are precisely talking about “national suicide” – an attack from Saddam using nuclear weapons. Put yourself in Khamenei’s shoes. He went through an eight year war with Saddam which killed a million people. Are you going to risk not being able to deal with Saddam with nuclear weapons without AT LEAST determining whether you COULD IF you made the effort?

    This is what I mean by judging the likelihood of events by looking at human behavior. It’s not terribly probable that Khamenei wouldn’t have agreed to at least a feasibility study, despite any religious misgivings he may have had. The pressure on him from his military and the IRGC would have been enormous.

    “The very fact that Iran is suffering as much as she is currently from a mere accusation leads me to think there never was even a paper study.”

    Understandable. But it doesn’t necessarily follow.

    “Any ‘due diligence’ would have thrown out nuclear weapon development as too hare-brained to consider for further study.”

    No, that is just speculation on your part. The Iranians have never referred to nukes as “hare-brained” – just as useless to them in the absence of enough of them to make a difference, as well as being immoral. But the former was only true if a “hare-brained” dictator like Saddam didn’t have them next door.

    The logic is on my side – and the side of Iran. You’re merely demonstrating an inability to see the situation from the side of the people responsible for making decisions in Iran.

  168. Sixth day of Turkey firing at Syria…

    Turkish president says “worst case” unfolding in Syria
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/08/us-syria-crisis-turkey-idUSBRE8970J320121008

  169. James Canning says:

    imho,

    I agree with you that Obama wants a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran. Neocon warmongers oppose any deal with Iran.

  170. humanist says:

    Richard,

    Is Bruce da Masquita a bozo?. Watch this TED talk first where in February 2009 he implies Iran is not building the bomb.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/bruce_bueno_de_mesquita_predicts_Iran_s_future.html

    Do you still believe he is a clown? If yes why?

    If you really believe all, or some of the computer models are potentially defective think again. In modern Models of Game theory, nearly ALL available information is used as an input Modle’s [SUPER] computer. (Even if some of the input, to an analyst, sound absurd) (Most of the original input then can be filtered out of the next iterative runs because of their [statistical] insignificance)

    Would it be shocking for you if you find out the whole grand fiasco of 2008 financial

    crisis was designed by Game Theorists? I believe many knowledgeable experts think so but they are silent since if they are challenged in courts they’ll lose everything…. including their underwear… and a lot more!.

  171. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran should continue to seek to strengthen the NPT. And seek more pressure on Israel to adhere to the treaty. Leaving the NPT would be a strategic blunder of a high order.

  172. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today argued against any effort at “regime change” in Iran, by the West.

  173. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What do you mean by “capability”? Are you urging Iran to refuse to export the 20% U that has not been converted into fuel plates?

  174. Rehmat says:

    Libyans dump ‘Made-in-USA’ Prime Minister

    Qaddafi’s fate was sealed during the 2009 UN General Assembly meeting in New York – when Qaddafi tried to sound like Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad by exposing western hypocrisy. Read the English translation of Qaddafi’s speech which has long been removed from UN website and the Zionist-controlled western mainstream media, here.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/08/libyans-dump-made-in-usa-prime-minister/

  175. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    October 8, 2012 at 9:50 am

    You are reading too much into these items.

    I repeat again, it is impossible for Mr. Obama to un-sanction Iran; now, after US elections in case he wins, or at any other time.

    EU states evidently expected concessions from Iran during the UN GA meeting. When that did not happen, they went back to designing more sanctions.

    Axis states are in the middle of a war for Syria and a Siege War against Iran.

    Their assessments is that they are prevailing.

    I just do not see them being ready to settle with Iran.

    I agree with Mr. Nasser.

  176. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    October 8, 2012 at 4:36 am

    بهشت آنجاست كه آزاري نباشد كسي را با كسي كاري نباشد

  177. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 7, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    The question for Azerbaijan Republic is this: “Why does the state exists?”

    There are more Azeris in Iran, those Azeris are staunchly Shia, and the Iranian governments since 1907 have been dominated by Azeris.

    That question cannot be adequately answered by Azeri thinkers or government officials; they have taken refuge in a fictional pan-Turkic world to validate the existence of that state.

    And all the timem, they ruthlessly suppress any whiff of Reality – such as Taleshis.

    Internally, in certain way, the policies of their leaders remind of the late Pahlavi period in Iran – hosting Euro-Vision in order to perpetuate the falsehood that they are a European country – partaking of the prestige of Euorpe since their inside is weak.

    On the other hand, the religious atmosphere of Iran alienate many people in Azerbaijan. Like all other countries, they want to be modern and they do not find Iran attractive in that regard.

    Used to be that if you addressed with a young woman in Azerbaijan in Turkish, she would reply in Russia – the language of Modernity and Progress. I do not know the current situation.

    It is undoubtedly true that Iran is the most modernized Muslim country – the late Mr. Khomeini supplied a new authentic response to the challenge of Western Godless Modernity.

    But, Iranian leaders after him are responsibile for obfuscating this fact by having reduced all of Islam and all of Islamic Revolution to women’s hijab.

  178. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Intentions are irrelevant, only capabilities count.

    I repeat again, it was a strategic mistake for Iran to remian in NPT after 1998; it is strategic suicide for Iran to forgoe the capability to manufacture nuclear weapons.

  179. Erdogan tells Turks to prepare for Syria war if necessary
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/08/265491/erdogan-asks-turks-to-be-ready-for-war/

    This guy is lying when he says he doesn’t want war…like Obama…

  180. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    October 7, 2012 at 12:00 am

    “Personally, I doubt this scenario…” http://consortiumnews.com/2012/10/06/an-iran-nuke-deal-within-reach/

    Personally, I don’t. Whoever derailed Cheney’s Iran war plans by way of NIE 2007, and hiccups in the Persian Gulf that same year can also splinter the military/intelligence establishments.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/sunk/2012/08/21/96209788-cebd-11e1-aa14-708bac2c7ee9_story.html )

    Indeed, if push comes to shove, political classes can vociferously break ranks.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/09/12/joe_klein_netanyahus_call_for_military_action_was_outrageous_and_disgusting.html

    and

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/01/opinion/friedman-why-not-in-vegas.html?_r=2&ref=thomaslfriedman&

    Also internationally, there are wedges that are likely to become hyperactive if things get out of hand.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/18/eu-foreign-defence-policy-overhaul

    In short Pillar is not alone.

  181. imho says:

    Nothing would surprise me, really nothing.

    The propaganda war and rhetoric blur some obvious facts which are:
    - US rebuffed Israel’s push to war
    - Obama needs his second term
    - Despite all the threats and nuclear negotiations, Iran is making continuous progress in enrichment
    - A number of statements by spy agencies in US and/or by famous retired generals or administration officials each still active in their think tanks arguing against war (the last one being Robert Gates)
    - US wants to move its attention from ME to east Asia

    For now at least, Obama and Khamenei needs each other

    A Secret Pact with the Iranian Regime?

    Kahlili reports: “The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, said a representative of the Obama administration engaged in secret negotiations with a representative of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The Obama representative has urged the Iranian leader to announce a halt to enrichment, even if temporary, before the Nov. 6 elections, promising removal of some sanctions.”

    http://beforeitsnews.com/iran/2012/10/a-secret-pact-with-the-iranian-regime-2435706.html

  182. Well, so much for that… Idiot security researcher mistranslates a name…

    Iran X.25 terrorists actually BANKERS
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/10/08/iran_leased_line_follow_up/

  183. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    “So I’ll stand by my assessment based on these facts that Iran probably did have some limited program at one point, which ended when the Iraq threat was definitely removed in 2003. This agrees with the logical time line for such a thing.”

    Richard, the allegation that Iran has had a nuclear weapon program in response to any real/perceived potential/existing threat gives succor to the argument that Iran fell foul of the spirit of NPT, which is being used to deny Iran her rights under that treaty.

    There is no evidence
    ——————–

    Without the gravitational force of ‘evidence’ all manner of ‘speculations’ can float about. Some speculations may even sound plausible enough to find their way into an NIE. But, the appearance of plausibility is a function of ‘projection.’ NIE’s phrases: “we judge with high confidence” highlights the subjective nature of such assessments. “We” is the operative word.

    Even after pulling all the stops to get rid of el-Baradie, and eventually getting their “fully-on-board” Amano, all that they could come up with is “POSSIBLE military dimensions,” “overall credible,” and the one or 2 ‘activities’ IAEA tried to sell as having “no other purpose” has been debunked by Robert Kelly as having plenty other purposes, and the least likely purpose would be development of bomb technology.
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MK22Ak02.html

    Response to security threat
    ————————-
    Iran, indeed did have and continues to have a huge security problem. If not Saddam, then Israel, and uncle Sam, and various other members of the axis of angels are fully capable of literally anything. What to do?

    The last thing you want to do in the face of such threats is waste your resources to develop something you can only use if you pin a ‘national suicide’ note to it; something everyone knows you cannot use; but which invites a nuclear attack on Iran as the first, rather than the last, culminating act of war against her.

    The best thing to do is to develop a weapon of global destruction: credibly threaten to destroy the world’s oil-based economy. The tools you need, missiles, and mines, and torpedoes are not banned by any treaty, and can be deployed incrementally.

    In Summary
    ———-

    ‘Paper studies’, ‘experiments’, ‘fishy activities’, etc. are nothing but speculative allegations. The very fact that Iran is suffering as much as she is currently from a mere accusation leads me to think there never was even a paper study. Any ‘due diligence’ would have thrown out nuclear weapon development as too hare-brained to consider for further study.

  184. Karl... says:

    Jay,

    I dont think thats the right way but I understand your point, not to mention these are pro-western institutions so its not a walk in the park, but in fact Iran would have a strong case.
    Even if a verdict wouldnt be binding etc, symbolically it would show that Iran (most probably) is right. Remember the “Nicaragua v. United States case” that condemned and exposed US subversion in Nicaragua, so its not impossible.

  185. Karl... says:

    James,

    I am way over this, I have repeatedly, maybe for a year now replied to your questions, replies that you in turn have ignored over and over again. You are free to read the commenting section in all these posts on this site.

    Apparently you agree with the statement from the U.K minister, of course I am not surprised at all by that stance, you seems very emotional attached to your state regardless of what they are saying. I have earlier showed that your views correlates with those that support sanctions and the warmongering claims.

  186. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,

    For the majority of Iraqis, Afghans and Azeris the social and political policies of the Islamic Republic are very attractive and they would love to live in a country with these social and political policies. They care more about security, basic infrastructure, healthcare, education, housing etc. than some nebulous concept of “personal freedom”.

    Your decades-long absence from the region and your elitist, urban, liberal bias prevent you from understanding that the majority of people in this region (and in general) are not after social and political “freedom”, rather they are after social and political justice.

    Again, I can put you in touch with the gentleman from Kerman who used to be a serf and is now the elected chairman of the village council or the Kurdish lady whom my grandmother and mother literally picked up from the top of the mountain of trash in south Tehran and whose son today is a medical doctor- by the grace of God through the agency of the Islamic Republic.

    Most Iraqis, Afghans and Azeris would love to have the social and political security and opportunities that the citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran enjoy.

    And of course the same goes for the citizens of Bahrain, Turkmenistan and Tajikstan.

    The model of the Islamic Republic of Iran is the model for the future of the region.

  187. Nasser says:

    The Americans feel very, very confident. Capitulation now because of pressure only will invite more pressure. Iran will have to endure.

    http://www.acus.org/event/time-rethink-policy-toward-iran

  188. humanist: “So, you see when, on the issue of inevitability of war with Iran, you say your margin of error is about 2% I immediately become cynical…”

    I think I mis-spoke – or you misinterpreted – my 2% statement…

    When I say “2% margin of error”, I mean I always make an assumption that there is at LEAST a 2% likelihood that I’m wrong. The figure could be higher, but I allow for AT LEAST that much probability. In other words, I’m never 100% certain. It’s just a phrase that means that – it’s not a mathematical concept and it doesn’t mean the same thing as, for example, the margin of error of a poll.

    That isn’t the same as making a prediction that I’m 98% RIGHT. It simply means I’m very sure that there will be a war with Iran AT SOME POINT GIVEN THE EXISTING SITUATION.

    Certainly the situation could change. We could have WWIII between the US and China next week over some stupid islands… That would change the situation and make a war with Iran VERY unlikely any time soon.

    The problem is that I cannot see any mechanism by which the situation will change given the same actors we have today. And I have yet to hear from ANYONE about any such specific change that could occur based on the behavior and actions of everyone involved to this point.

    All I’m hearing are speculations based on perceptions of Obama and others that I can see no evidence FOR and a lot of evidence based on history AGAINST.

    And when someone comes along and says some bozo using Game Theory has a 90% prediction rate, THEN *I* get skeptical. Because there’s NO WAY he has plugged enough FACTS – AND has a way to model human behavior and motivations accurately enough – into his computer model to be that right. No way.

    Because that guy probably knows NOTHING about how corrupt the US government is. I can just about GUARANTEE YOU WITH 100% CERTAINTY that he does NOT know who is pulling Obama’s string and to what degree and THAT is in his model, as well as all the other similar factors about the Israel Lobby, AIPAC, the neocons, the Pentagon pushback, the oil companies, yada, yada. Let alone the IRANIAN or ISRAELI side of things…

    If he has a model THAT GOOD – I want to see it. Publish it. Get it peer reviewed. Don’t just write a paper about it – publish the model, every variable, every calculation.

    My supposition is that his “model” is in fact nothing like a REAL model – just like the Club of Rome bullcrap that came out in the 1970′s had ANY validity at all – but was touted as being absolutely correct because it was a “computer model”. Well, it was wrong and a lot of computer scientists who KNEW the limitations of computers pointed that out at the time – and were ignored. But they were right and the Club of Rome was miserably wrong.

    Never rely on computer models because unless they are modeling a VERY narrow domain of – preferably physical – facts, they are almost NEVER going to be accurate enough to deal with large-scale human events such as war or the economy. I’ll take the guess of someone who understands human nature over such a model any day.

  189. Nasser says:

    fyi says: October 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    “But the internal political and socila policies of the Iranian authorities makes Iran unattractive.”

    - But the current form of government and policies helps Iran in Iraq; the most significant of all these countries. So one can argue it is not all bad.

    - Azerbaijan is outright hostile to Iran as surely and existentially as Pakistan is hostile to India. I am not even sure a regime change in either country change would change this. Your opinion?

    - Not to detract, but regarding borders one could add Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkemistan to the list. And Bahrain obviously.

  190. Jay says:

    Karl… says:
    October 7, 2012 at 5:44 am

    The International Court is a highly ineffective and political institution. In the unlikely event that it renders a decision in Iran’s favor, it has no enforcement capacity. Even if it could enforce such a decision, the consequences for Iran’s economy will be irrelevant by the time the decision is rendered and enforced.

    Facts on the ground have been created and will continue to be created. Iran’s US trade is practically non-existent, and the EU trade is less than one-third of its volume in 2010. Iran will continue to shift its trade elsewhere – of course, at a cost. Nonetheless, Iran’s significant hedge against sanctions continues to be its plans to redirect and distort the impact of sanctions.

    The present conditions regarding Rial is a case and point. While “high fives” are exchanged in the western media circles, the real impact has been mainly ignored. Iran’s upper middle class is bearing the brunt of the pain and is learning first hand the West is a “foe” and not a “friend”. The significant “on the fence” business sector of Iranian society is being inoculated against the mistaken impression of the West as a “caring” overseer that does not wish to hurt the ordinary Iranians.

    Prediction is always a risky business! But, if I were to bet on models of response, I would suggest that we watch for a ratcheting up of risk by Iran through indirect means.

  191. Turkey Lied About Syria Taking Responsibility For Attack
    http://www.iraq-war.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=279243

    It’s pretty clear that things aren’t pretty clear…

  192. Well, that’s interesting… It would seem to defeat the purpose for Syrian rebels to claim to be the ones shooting at Turkey…

    German state TV reports: Syrian rebels claim responsibility for attack on Turkey
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/german-state-tv-reports-syrian-rebels-claim-responsibility-for-attack-on-turkey/

  193. Note, however, re previous post, that Debka is floating the “Syrian chemical weapons” thing in connection with Hizballah in Lebanon yet again. This is likely the casus belli that Israel will use to attack Lebanon once the air attack against Syria begins…

  194. This is probably BS from DebkaFile…

    Fordo sabotage enabled Netanyahu to move Iran red line to spring 2013
    http://www.debka.com/article/22394/Fordo-sabotage-enabled-Netanyahu-to-move-Iran-red-line-to-spring-2013

  195. DebkaFile weighs in on the UAV incident… More ratcheting up of tensions between Israel and Lebanon – as predicted.

    UAV intrusion: Iranian act of belligerence against US and Israeli military targets
    :http://www.debka.com/article/22416/UAV-intrusion-Iranian-act-of-belligerence-against-US-and-Israeli-military-targets

    Israel wages cyber battle over UAV, satellite-guided by Iran or Hizballah
    :http://www.debka.com/article/22414/

  196. Might be over-stating the case quite a bit to talk about “super control”, but in my view Turkey is definitely acting as a stooge for the US and NATO at the moment…

    Turkey controlled by Israel, US pro-Zionist lobby: Analyst
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/07/265427/turkey-under-strong-us-zionist-influence/

  197. The excuse is the UAV that penetrated Israeli air space – assuming it actually existed and wasn’t a false flag by Israel itself to justify this action…

    Israeli jets fly mock raids over south Lebanon
    http://www.chron.com/news/article/Israeli-jets-fly-mock-raids-over-south-Lebanon-3926120.php

    Notice here that as Syria heats up, Israel vs Lebanon heats up – exactly as I predicted. The target of the Syrian crisis is BOTH countries, not just Syria.

  198. M. Ali: I agree, the cameraman story doesn’t make much sense on the fact of it. I didn’t think of the “two suitcases” thing when I read it, but yes, these days it’s all digital. I had a client for the last five years which did conversion of home user film and video to digital. Even 16mm could have been converted to disk for editing. The only reason he might have for tape would be if the CIA had previously asked for RAW footage and even that probably would have been digital, really.

  199. BiBiJon: “I don’t think there was even a paper study.”

    This was the opinion of the DIA leading up to the 2007 NIE. I don’t know the basis of their conclusion, but even Ray McGovern, the ex-CIA agent who used to brief the President and who is adamantly against any Iran war, swears up and down that there WAS an Iranian program OF SOME SORT back in the ’90′s.

    “which I don’t buy because Iran knew full well Iraqi WMD ceased to exist after 1991.”

    They might have known that Saddam didn’t actually HAVE a full program, but there is little doubt that he INTENDED to have one, and that would have enough to prompt Iran to initiate a “due diligence” study.

    So I’ll stand by my assessment based on these facts that Iran probably did have some limited program at one point, which ended when the Iraq threat was definitely removed in 2003. This agrees with the logical time line for such a thing.

  200. fyi: “Pakistan, India and Israel remian armed with nuclear weapons.”

    As I stated, India has no motivation to attack Iran. As I stated, Pakistan won’t either absent a collapse of the government into extremist hands. And the Iranian leadership knows this.

    And primarily Israel CANNOT attack Iran with NUKES as a FIRST STRIKE without the international community – and even the US – being forced to take action against Israel. Israel cannot play the game of being one of the “good guys” by nuking another country absent a very obvious threat to themselves.

    And the Iranians KNOW that, even if you don’t. They have repeatedly dismissed Israel as a NUCLEAR threat to Iran, just as they’ve dismissed the US as a NUCLEAR threat. A conventional threat is another matter, of course, which is why Iran has a robust missile program.

    You insist on stating that Iran has a need or desire for nuclear weapons whereas it is quite clear they don’t, aren’t, and won’t. At the risk of offense, I’ll point out that you don’t run the country – Khamenei does and he has clearly made his decision.

  201. James Canning says:

    Clint,

    Yes, the fanatical “supporters” of Israel in the US Congress want to hurt Iran, even if Iran stopped enriching uranium.

    But Iran blundered badly by trebling production of 20% U. Israel lobby does not control Russian government. Or Chinese gov’t.

  202. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you urging the government of Iran to build nukes? Or are you urging Iranian government to continue to be ambiguous about whether Iran wants to build nukes?

    Surely you do not expect Iran to be attacked by Pakistan or India.

  203. Unknown Unknowns says:

    “Prince Turki al-Faisal, a key Saudi royal, has said the kingdom would not surrender its right to enrich its own uranium for energy use in the long term, although it expects to have to import fuel in the medium term.”

    ,http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/04/25/saudi-nuclear-idINDEE83O0CY20120425

    I certainly hope the good prince will consider importing Iranian fuel :D

  204. humanist says:

    In late 90s there were speculations about George Soros being instrumental in crushing the Malaysian currency (maybe because the Malaysian PM (a Muslim) had harshly insulted the Israelis).

    I also remember reading or listening to a hint that Soros could’ve been involved in crushing Iraqi Dinar. The ratio once was, compared to USD, 4 to 1…. it became 2000 to 1 !

    Anyone here in RFI has read anything about Soro’s involvement in recent crush of Iranian currency?

  205. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    In the piece you linked by Paul Pilar (consortium news), he says one visit to Capitol Hill demonstrates it is far easier politically to impose sanctions on Iran, than it is to lift them. Very true statement.

    One might ask why Hillary Clinton refused to back William Hague’s proposal that Iran be allowed to buy replacement nuclear fuel for the TRR. Cynical political calculation apparently is the answer.

  206. humanist says:

    Richard,

    On our recent dialogue I still maintain the core of my argument. This is maybe because I am overly biased by immense power of mathematics and some of its many derivative fields such as Estimation Theory, Game Theory and so on

    In Google search for ‘Bruce Bueno da Masquita’, he is the Game theorist who most probably played a role in 2007 Iran NIE. (In around 2006 he predicted Iran is NOT building the bomb). He is the one who has concluded Game Theory’s [mathematically based] predictions are about 90% accurate while the reliability of the predictions by best analysts are hardly better than 30… 40%. So, you see when, on the issue of inevitability of war with Iran, you say your margin of error is about 2% I immediately become cynical….not my fault….it is Bruce’s fault!

    I was touched by description of some of your personal feelings. Consider me as a friend from mars…I sincerely wish you all the best.

  207. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Why don’t you explain why Iran trebled production of 20 percent enriched uranium? Was the idea to make it easier for more sanctions to be imposed against Iran?

  208. James Canning says:

    hans,

    I think it is fairly largely agreed that the Lebanese civil war was caused by the unwillingness of some factions enjoying wealth and power in the country, to share that power.

  209. James Canning says:

    hans,

    Yes, Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon hoped to achieve objectives that the Israel lobby in the US would rather keep hidden. And that invasion largely created Hezbollah.

  210. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    October 7, 2012 at 5:24 am

    I agree with your comments about borders.

    But the internal political and socila policies of the Iranian authorities makes Iran unattractive.

    Look no further than Azeri Republic where both religion and language are wedges and not bridges.

  211. M. Ali says:

    fyi and BiB, add me also to the “minority of one”. I think the whole concept of being “Iranian” as sort of racial makeup is a recent development and it always irritates me when Iranians do it. Nothing irritates me as some liberal western-wannabe “persian” talks crap about the Aryan identity.

  212. hans says:

    Amazing video about how the Rial has been manipulated. This is war. For the people in the video it is all fun and games. CIA does it for fun!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJoTT9IWFiQ&feature=youtu.be

  213. hans says:

    @James Canning says:
    October 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Not the 2006 war rather the civil war from 1975 to 1990. Previous to this war Lebanon financial sector was growing at a very fast rate, more petro dollars were coming in then CofL or Wall Street. Read about it.

  214. Karl... says:

    Richard Steven Hack,

    It looks like you were right on the embargo.

    “There is talk of a general trade embargo and of shutting down the remaining access that Iran has to international banking channels. We can definitely make the pain much greater,”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/07/uk-warns-iran-more-sanctions

    As usual it comes as a response after their uneasiness about israel bluffing threats about attacking Iran prompting them to put more pressure on Iran to stop an israeli unilateral attack that will get them involved.

    Iran should make use of international court, these indiscriminate sanctions and of course an embargo, is not lawful in any sense.

  215. Karl... says:

    New blunder by the U.K.
    I had to read this twice because it was stupid on so many levels.

    “We can definitely make the pain much greater. Nobody wants to cause the Iranian people to suffer unnecessarily but this mad scheme to build a bomb has to be brought to an end,”

    ” they see or sense an existential threat

    What we can read from the article is that:

    Its ok to establish/create “existential threats” against Iran.
    Its ok to inflict pain on the civilian populations causing them to riot.
    Its ok to not only say that Iran is building atomic bombs but that they are on “this mad scheme” to do it while not single evidence or diversion of material have been reported.

    Apparently not facts but a irrationality and fabrications drives these warmongers.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/07/uk-warns-iran-more-sanctions

  216. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi wrote,

    “My own preference would be to grant Iranian citizenship to anyone who is born on Iranian territory.

    There are hundreds of thousands of people who were born in Iran from Afghan parents and grew up in Iran.

    They do not know any other country than Iran.

    Yet there is official discrimination against them; they cannot easily attend Iranian universities, getting jobs, own property etc.

    I think it behoves the Islamic Republic of Iran to grant all Afghans with valid residency permits Iranian citizenship.

    I know that I am a minority of one who believe in this.”

    You’re not in a minority of one, I agree with you 100% and there are many in Iran who believe this- and they are usually the religious types for whom Islamic identity is more important than some bulls**t made-up Iranian racial identity- which doesn’t even exist in reality. Interestingly it’s the liberal and conservative nationalist types who are the most racist on this issue.

    Let us remember that it was in the time of the the “liberal” Mr. Khatami that talk of expelling the Afghans began by some of his admin officials to woo some the secular- nationalist voters.

    Also Ahmadinejad tried to extend the subsidies and basic health insurance to legal residents (the majority of which are Afghan) but Mr. Larijani’s Majlis has so far refused.

    I would add that there are many Iraqis who are also affected by this. What’s ironic is that many of these Iraqis have “Persian” grandparents who moved to the Iraqi shrine cities during the Qajar/Ottoman era.

    In my view the current political borders between Iran-Iraq, Iran-western Afghanistan, Iran-Azerbaijan are a legacy of British/Ottoman/Russian times and Qajar incompetence and do not reflect the historical, cultural, religious, linguistic, economic, family-relations etc. of the actual people living there.

    Of course I will be accused of being “neo-Safivi” by some stupid troll when I mention this reality. I’m not, I’m simply suggesting that these borders are a major break on the real political, economic, social and religious development of the people that live there.

  217. M. Ali says:

    The cameraman story is very curious. Usually Ahmadeinijad’s men are very loyal, why would he jump ship? Now that Richard’s link says that he had suitcases full of nuclear films, it is also strange, because his material wasn’t checked when he was moving with the team? This is 2012, does he HAVE to carry two suitcases full of footage with him? Also, what were these footages on, TAPES? One hard disk can have terabytes of footage, so I don’t know what he needs two suitcases for.

    Either this story is complete bullshit, or Ahmadenijad and co send him forward with the footages so the intelligence department of USA can look at it and go, “Um, there doesnt seem to be anything suspicious in these footages”

  218. Clint says:

    See what the sanctions are really about…..not just nuclear stuff:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/05/the_rial_world?page=full

  219. fyi says:

    All:

    This statement, made by Mr. Hack is false:

    “Once Saddam was overthrown and Iraq handed over to the Shia, clearly there was no longer any need to continue the weaponization research (except, again, as “paper studies”, which any military would do), so they stopped it. ”

    Pakistan, India and Israel remian armed with nuclear weapons.

    In these days of Siege War keep in mind what a 10-kiloton nuclear explsion can do to Tehran, Shiraz Isphahan and other cities.

    There is no other way for Iran.

  220. BiBiJon says:

    2007 NIE had to throw a bone to Bush
    ==================================

    IAEA: “no concrete proof that there is OR HAS BEEN a nuclear weapon programme in Iran.”
    ——————————————————————-

    Karl, Photi, and Richard,

    I don’t think there was even a paper study. The intelligence community could hardly urinate all over years of US/Israeli agitprop by saying there has never been a weapon program in Iran. So they resolved to save some face and say there had been a program that stopped in 2003. The date was chosen because a) it could be used as justification for invasion of Iraq — see it scared the Iranians; or b) RSH’s scenario which I don’t buy because Iran knew full well Iraqi WMD ceased to exist after 1991.

    Here is the text of an IAEA press statement:

    Quote:
    ——

    Press Statement
    Recent Media Report on Iran

    17 September 2009 |

    With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran.

    At the Board of Governors´ meeting on 9 September 2009, Director General Mohamed ElBaradei warned that continuing allegations that the IAEA was withholding information on Iran are politically motivated and totally baseless.

    The Agency receives information from a variety of sources that may have relevance to the implementation of safeguards. All such information is critically assessed by a team of experts working collectively in accordance with the Agency´s practices.

    The IAEA reiterates that all relevant information and assessments that have gone through the above process have already been provided to the IAEA Board of Governors in reports of the Director General.

    From http://www.iaea.org/newscenter/mediaadvisory/2009/ma200919.html

  221. Dan Cooper says:

    Why I Dislike Israel

    In 1952’s Lavon Affair, the Israelis were prepared to blow up a U.S. Information Centre in Alexandria and blame it on the Egyptians.

    In 1967, the Israelis attacked and nearly sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 crewmen, and then used their power over President Lyndon Johnson to block an investigation into what had occurred.

    In 1987, Jonathan Pollard was convicted of spying for Israel with investigators determining that he had been the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.

    In the 1960s, Israelis stole uranium from a lab in Pennsylvania to construct a secret nuclear arsenal. And the spying and theft of U.S. technology continues.

    Israel is the most active “friendly nation” when it comes to stealing U.S. secrets, and when its spies are caught, they are either sent home or, if they are Americans, receive a slap on the wrist.

    And Israel gets away with killing American citizens — literally —

    in the cases of Rachel Corrie and Furkan Dogan of the Mavi Marmara. And let’s not forget Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians which has made the United States complicit in a crime against humanity.

    Tel Aviv has also played a key role in Washington’s going to war against Iraq, in promulgating a U.S.-led global war on terror against the Muslim world, and in crying wolf over Iran, all of which have served no U.S. interest. Through it all, Congress and the media are oblivious to what is taking place.

    Israel is a net recipient of over $123 billion in U.S. aid and continues to get $3 billion a year even though its per capita income is higher than that of Spain or Italy.

    No one questions anything having to do with Israel while Congress rubber-stamps resolution after resolution virtually promising to go to war on Israel’s behalf.

    I have to admit that I don’t like what my own government is doing these days, but I like Israel even less and it is past time to do something about it.

    No more money, no more political support, no more tolerance of spying, and no more having to listen to demands for red lines to go to war.

    No more favourable press when the demented Benjamin Netanyahu holds up a cartoon at the U.N.

    The United States government exists to serve the American people, no more, no less, and it is time that our elected representatives begin to remember that fact.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32668.htm

  222. One day he says he doesn’t “want war”, next day…

    Turkey’s PM warns nation ‘not far from war’ with Syria
    http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1267738–turkey-s-pm-warns-nation-not-far-from-war-with-syria

  223. In goodwill gesture, Iran shifts uranium to fuel stock
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/iranian-goodwill-gesture-shifts-uranium-to-fuel-stock/

    A third or more of 20% LEU has been converted to a form that cannot be used to make nukes.

  224. Iran denies reports of ‘nine-step plan’ to end uranium production
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-denies-reports-of-nine-step-plan-to-end-uranium-production/

    It would be nice if ANY reporting either outside or inside Iran could be trusted given the claims and counterclaims…

  225. Be nice if Iranians here could monitor that and report anything interesting…

    In unprecedented move, Iran’s secret service launches website
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/irans-secret-service-launches-website-for-first-time/

  226. Interesting, but consider the source (DebkaFile…

    Ahmadinejad cameraman hands nuclear tapes to CIA, Israel’s Debka reports
    http://rt.com/usa/news/nuclear-cameraman-ahmadinejad-iran-747/

  227. Best guess: someone wants to blame Hizballah in Lebanon…More justification for an Israeli attack once Syria is under attack by the West.

    IAF shoots down UAV in northern Negev
    http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?id=286845

  228. Turkey Fires Back at Syria A Fourth Day In a Row
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/world/middleeast/syria.html

    This isn’t stopping any time soon, I suspect. There was a video up claiming the FSF was firing mortars into Turkey to provoke a reaction, but there was no clear proof in the video.

    Note the article also says Lebanese officials are accusing Syria of trying to stir up sectarian violence in Lebanon – which makes zero sense to me. What does make sense to me is the likelihood that Israel wants Lebanon dragged in so justify as Israeli strike on Hizballah once Syria is under attack by the West. So all this propaganda about Lebanon fits that to a T… As I’ve been saying…

  229. fyi: “Their current military budget is close to $ 1.3 trillion dollars a year – which is not sustainable and will be automatically cut starting next year.”

    I haven’t been following the DoD budget hassles closely, but my impression from random reading is that it won’t be “cut” – it simply won’t GROW as fast as it used to over the last ten years – which was a time of unprecedented growth.

    There are limits, of course, but I suspect the US can sustain that $1.3 trillion for quite some time yet.

    And it doesn’t matter because the US still spends several times more than the next several countries combined and it’s military power is only under pressure because of its absurdly wide deployment in dozens of countries. If the US withdrew from many of its 700 out-of-country bases, it could cut its budget by probably half and STILL be more powerful than the next two largest spending countries.

    Don’t expect the US military to shrink significantly for the next couple decades. The US economy might suffer, but the people running the country need that military to continue to profit and throw their weight around.

    Check out this infographic:

    :http://dailyinfographic.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Grenade-or-Aid-Infographic1.jpg

    Or this one, which shows the US spends multiple times more than most REGIONS, let along nations:

    :http://visualeconomics.creditloan.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/ve-military-spending2.jpg

  230. Karl: “The standpoint atleast from NIE was that up to to 2003 they had some type of weaponized nuclear program. If this is a correct assessment, how do you approach that fact with the fatwa saying that nuclear weapons is against the religious doctrine?”

    If I may…

    First, the estimate from the DIA leading up to the 2007 NIE was that the program was mostly a “feasibility study”, not a full on weapons development and deployment program.

    Second, the SOLE reason that Iran was doing “due diligence” was that they were concerned Saddam Hussein had a nuke program. Since Iran had suffered under chemical weapons used by Saddam during the war, clearly this was of high concern to the Iranians. They didn’t care about Israel’s nukes or the US nukes, because they knew those nukes could not be used against them in a first strike. Saddam was another matter, a demonstrated matter.

    During the Iran-Iraq war, the clerical leadership determined that while “WMDs” were against their religion, it was also decided that the survival of Iran as a country took precedence in extreme cases over Sharia law. This is reportedly why Khomenei finally agreed to stop the war. The use of chemical weapons did not rise to that level (you really can’t threaten the survival of a state with them), so they refused to use them. Nukes are another matter.

    So they decided to do, as I say, “due diligence” to determine what they would have to do to acquire nukes if and when Saddam did so. Which boiled down to some “paper studies” as the DIA said, probably including warhead research, and perhaps some technology tests in the field of explosive devices suitable for use in a bomb.

    Also, of course, if you master the fuel cycle, you get “nuclear capability” as a bonus anyway, so they pushed ahead with that since it was a useful technology anyway since they couldn’t count on Western supplies of fuel.

    Once Saddam was overthrown and Iraq handed over to the Shia, clearly there was no longer any need to continue the weaponization research (except, again, as “paper studies”, which any military would do), so they stopped it.

    There are no other nuclear powers near them except Pakistan, which is more or less unlikely to attack them short of some total collapse of the government into radical Sunni extremist hands – in which case it’s likely India or the US would bomb Pakistan long before Iran would need to.

    So they don’t need nukes and have no interest in acquiring them. So they can more or less safely resume their position that they’re against the Muslim religion and further, argue for a complete nuke-free Middle East region.

  231. fyi: “But rest assured that US, EU, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia cannot win in Syria and almost certianly will loose at the current level.”

    1) It won’t stay at the current level.

    2) It depends on your definition of “win” or “lose”…

  232. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    October 6, 2012 at 9:43 am

    And Spain is more productive than Iran ever has been.

    The Americans want to keep Iran boxed-in and busy with these internal problems and then come back – say five, ten years from now, and attack her – after they have resolveed their problems elsewhere.

    Iranians evidently are not so occupied; they are fighting in Syria, dealing with the Siege War, and, at the same time, going about their national and international business.

  233. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    October 6, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Interest rates and property taxes have to be raised and investment in production must be encouraged.

    The state has to privatize even more of its holdings.

    But the first step, curbing consumptive imports, has already taken place.

    There is no other way – changes that have been avoided for 20 years must now be implemented under unfavorable cirumstance during a 4-year period.

  234. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    October 6, 2012 at 9:40 am`

    Thank you for your comments.

    I am just telling you the way things are – I did not create it.

    My own preference would be to grant Iranian citizenship to anyone who is born on Iranian territory.

    There are hundreds of thousands of people who were born in Iran from Afghan parents and grew up in Iran.

    They do not know any other country than Iran.

    Yet there is official discrimination against them; they cannot easily attend Iranian universities, getting jobs, own property etc.

    I think it behoves the Islamic Republic of Iran to grant all Afghans with valid residency permits Iranian citizenship.

    I know that I am a minority of one who believe in this.

  235. Photi says:

    Karl… says:
    October 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    Photi,

    The standpoint atleast from NIE was that up to to 2003 they had some type of weaponized nuclear program. If this is a correct assessment, how do you approach that fact with the fatwa saying that nuclear weapons is against the religious doctrine?

    The Islamic Fiqh is a living body of law. It is natural to see evolution in it over time. The process for authoritative guidance of the evolution of the fiqh is institutionalized in the form of a mujtahid, or one who is qualified to use the Islamic Canon to derive fiqh using ijtihad.

    The example of the Qur’an was meant more as an introduction to the process of Islamic scholarship than as the final word on it. Fiqh is derived from the totality of the Qur’an and Hadith, not any one verse or narration. Obviously, some verses may be more relevant in a given scenario than others.

  236. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Interesting piece by Patrick Foy that you linked (regarding the McLaughlin Group Sept. 28th: Issue Two, Iran nuclear programme etc etc). The warmongers who appear on that programme like to conceal the 2007 NIE on Iran, for obvious reasons. Those on the programme who like Obama, tend to sweep under the carpet the degree to which Obama must pander to the Israel lobby.

  237. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    It is worth remembering that Turkey came very near to achieving a peace deal between Syria and Israel, in 2008 – - and that the effort was wrecked by Israeli’s insane rampage in Gaza.

  238. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Thanks. Pakistan played a key role in arranging for China to help provide cover for Nixon’s pulling remaining US troops out of South Vietnam – - which of course meant that Vietnam would be reunited under the Communists.

  239. James Canning says:

    Hans,

    You actually believe Israel smashed Lebanon in 2006 in an effort to injure a rival banking centre? $7 billion in property damage.

  240. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times this past week had a full-page story on the Strait of Hormuz, volume of oit tanker transit, etc., with a great map.

  241. kooshy says:

    Fiorangela says:
    October 5, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    “Relations between Turkey and Israel are deteriorating — Al Jazeera”

    Fior-

    Now more than before I think this is just an act and only on surface, it was a prerequisite for what to come, to lift up Turkey’s image in Sunni Arab street and a wider Muslim world. This was a necessary shift for what was expected to come, meaning the Muslim street awakening after the failures of 06 and 09 wars. So there would be a semi democratic, moderate modern Sunni Muslim country, which is also voicing against Israel but in a very controlled way. If Turkey’s new image face lift is to be accepted and wins hearts and minds of the Sunni streets it would get a commanding control to moderate the actions. Think of it in terms of all the Sunni Arab uprisings of past two years and Turkeys rule. In reality Turkey can’t be a NATO member and at the same time decreases the value of Israel for the west and NATO.
    I also believe Tehran nuclear declaration was also part of an image lift up for Turkey. This whole act specially became necessary after the failure of 06 and 09 wars. I believe it was a plan to lift up Turkey’s image in Sunni Street to counter balance Iran’s image as a reasonable resisting alternative rule model. But as usual the Turks and their allies not wanting to admit to real underneath facts mismanaged and miscalculate.

    Cheers

  242. M. Ali says:

    mirbad,

    “why not convert rial to gold? Iran has a large gold reserve, so increasing gold price will boost iranian reserve.”

    I did convert some of my money last year to gold actually and havent touched it yet.

    But i don’t think increasing gold price locally will really help Iran that much. That is, Iran’s gold reserve will remain the same price internationally, more or less, it just will have more value internally.

  243. BiBiJon says:

    More Cole + Salehi-Isfahani on Rial
    =================================

    http://www.businessinsider.com/actually-there-is-no-hyperinflation-in-iran-2012-10

    The take away message is that the government, who is the exporter of oil, and therefore is the earner of foreign currency, has the ability to target its base of support for largess while showing at best indifference to the plight of the segment of society that oppose the political order. ‘Make rice cheap, and arugula expensive’ as one commenter observed.

    Given the US political discourse, where a statistically insignificant drop in unemployment rates can be hailed from roof tops, let’s not be surprised if prevailing exchange rates in a small foreign currency market is posited as a reason why Obama sanctions policies are sooooooooooooo successful, and why the apartheid pipsqueak does not need to attack Iran just yet.

    Iranian mismanagement of money supply and resulting inflation is not a good thing. But put it in context of say Madrid http://rt.com/news/spain-protests-parliament-crisis-942/ and it might look slightly less alarming.

  244. M. Ali says:

    FYI, some of your comments about Afghanis are very distasteful. I’ve always been argueing with my countrymen regarding the attitude we have against Afghanis. If we can’t respect ONE race of country that immigrates to our country, then what hope do we have to improve? Whenever I see us Iranians insulting and treating Afghanis badly, I secretly wish we never progress. Because the last thing I want is to be a country that is rich in resouces and jobs ,and has people from poorer countries coming here to work, and treating them badly like other countries.

    To see you repeating the same mentality is disheartening, given that you usually post intelligent commmets. Shame on us.

  245. Karl... says:

    “The sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran have had significant effects on the general population, including an escalation in inflation, a rise in commodities and energy costs, an increase in the rate of unemployment and a shortage of necessary items, including medicine,” Ban said in his report.”

    And what is he going to do about this indiscriminate and harmful sanctions against a whole population? Why doesnt he urge US to stop imposing these sanctions? Weak.

    rt.com/news/us-extend-sanctions-iran-786/

  246. hans says:

    @fyi says:
    October 5, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Whatever Iran does to placate the USA and the Zionist will never be enough. Israel fears Iranian scientific prowess and cannot stand competition. Remember the destruction brought on Lebanon during the civil war, this was mainly due to Lebanon becoming a serious banking nation in direct challenge to the domination by the Zionist. All this talk about nuclear weapons, bombs are just noise. I say if you had another leader like Ahmadinejad then Iran will progress even more after the completion of the Mayan Ninth wave. I wish you luck not that you need it Iran.

  247. mirbad says:

    @M Ali

    why not convert rial to gold? Iran has a large gold reserve, so increasing gold price will boost iranian reserve.

  248. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    October 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    The Truth of the matter lies somewhere in between.

    But Iranians have a very long road ahead; labor productivity within state enterpises have to incrase and the size of the private sector must be increased.

    That means years of austerity – reduced consumption, as resources are directed towards import substitution and savings.

    Business-as-usual in Iran is dead; state can no longer use petro-dollars to subsidise incompetence, neopotism, stupidity, and other squalid practices.

    I do not believe that Iran could be defeated, but I also think that Iranians have to work very hard to break this siege.

  249. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    October 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    So the new god, “Civilization”, is supposed to defeat the God of Jihadist?

    Funny in a queer way; God indeed has a sense of humor.

    All these partisans of Israel; in support of their fanyasy project, have sacrificed Truth, Justice, and Decency.

    One wonders how they will fare in US; Iran is the only country in the world that has had continuous Jewish presence since antiquity.

    Let us see if US or EU or Canada will be able to surpass that record.

  250. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 5, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    The de-listing of MEK was akin to giving succor to supporters of Maximillian after Juarez defeated and executed him.

    But rest assured that US, EU, Qatar, Turkey, Saudi Arabia cannot win in Syria and almost certianly will loose at the current level.

  251. Castellio says:

    James Canning writes: “One reason Nixon went to China was to obtain a fig leaf to cover up the fact the US had lost the war in Vietnam.”

    That’s true. Worth reminding everyone.

  252. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    October 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    You are wrong.

    The United States has that power but its use is not politically acceptable and carries too much uninteneded costs for the United States.

  253. Fiorangela says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDtZgna814A&feature=player_embedded

    Relations between Turkey and Israel are deteriorating — Al Jazeera

    sketches history of Jewish/Israeli – Turkey relations, largely favorable; more troubled but managed since Turkey recognized Israel in 1949; elected in 2002, Erdogan demonstrates friendship toward Israel, but Turkey also extends friendship to West Bank & Gaza. Recently, Turkey discovers its ties to Arab world and cools to Israel.

  254. fyi says:

    All:

    As I have stated before – this is not about nuclear weapons

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/10/05/the_rial_world

  255. Castellio says:

    A brief but interesting article on how the South Korean government is trying to woo back production from Korean firms in China.

    http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/biz/2012/10/123_121561.html

  256. Rehmat says:

    “Neither the United States nor Israel is capable of wiping out Iran’s nuclear capability. Such an attack would make a nuclear-armed Iran envitable. They would just bury the program deeper and make it more covert,” says former US defense secretary Robert Gates.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/06/obama-iran-and-israel-lobby/

  257. Nothing we don’t know…but the incident on the McLaughlin Group show is worth reading.

    The Make-Believe Crisis in Iran
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/05/the-make-believe-crisis-in-iran/

  258. Gareth Porter on precisely that…

    How Netanyahu’s bomb Iran ploy failed
    Netanyahu will no doubt campaign for re-election at home by demonising Iran as an “existential threat”, writes Porter.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/201210493522531400.html

    Quote

    He wrote that the Prime Minister had tailored his speech to polls showing that Israelis wanted the US to handle the problem of Iran, not Israel. Benn summarised the public’s verdict: “Not now and not alone”.

    End Quote

    This is the real point, as I’ve been saying. Israel does not want to be blamed for the Iran war – and the problem for Israel is neither does Obama. Obama wants IRAN to be blamed for the war. So he will not agree to an Israeli attack on their time table. And as I’ve also said, Netanyahu, for political reasons, cannot afford to attack Iran on his own until the Syrian and Hizballah missile arsenals have been degraded.

    Porter’s suggestion at the end that Obama might try serious diplomacy after the elections is just Porter’s cognitive dissonance. I can’t wait for the proof that this is a pipe dream…

  259. I don’t generally view Kotsev’s stuff as worth reading much, but there are some details here I hadn’t seen elsewhere…so YMMV…

    The discussion of Netanyahu’s possible calling for early elections in Israel so he can push his Iran war stuff at the expense of his opponents in Labor makes some sense to me. As I’ve said here, I think Netanyahu doesn’t want Israel to start a war with Iran 1) unless the US guarantees it WILL NOT attack Iran (which won’t happen), and 2) until the missile arsenals in Syria and Hizballah are degraded. So he has to deal with the Israeli elections first since neither of these two conditions have happened.

    Hyperinflation stalks Iran while Israel wavers
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NJ06Ak02.html

  260. Obama’s terrorist-list blunder
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NJ06Ak01.html

    Quotes:

    Instead of reaching out to the Iranian people, as he repeatedly promised, US President Barack Obama is not only imposing what can be termed in international law as collective punishment, but also accommodating an organization that most Iranians identify with treachery and deceit.

    Obama’s accommodation of the MEK will further undermine its nuclear diplomacy toward Iran. It will do nothing but strengthen the hands of Iranian hardliners – at the expense of pro-diplomacy pragmatists – who have called for a withdrawal from the NPT, an increase of enrichment levels to 60%, and preparations for a military confrontation with the West.

    Beyond regime insiders, the Obama administration has also alienated ordinary Iranians and opposition elements who detest the MEK and view the latest move as another cynical ploy to retard Iran’s scientific progress and bring the country to its knees.

    End Quotes

    All of which is obviously explained by the concept that Obama DOES NOT WANT a diplomatic solution…

    “Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence…three times is enemy action.” – Auric Goldfinger

  261. What will Ankara do?
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NJ05Ak03.html

    Recap of the situation including the Syria Contact Group.

  262. Probably the right way to phrase it…

    Turkey Plays Chicken for NATO
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/05/turkey-plays-chicken-for-nato/

  263. Assault On Syria Matches Brookings Institution Regime Change Strategy
    http://www.propagandamatrix.com/articles/october2012/041012_regime_change.htm

    And people think there’s no “game plan” involved…that it’s all just random events…

  264. U.S. backs Turkey, hopes Syria dispute doesn’t escalate
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/04/us-syria-crisis-usa-idUSBRE8931N020121004

    Yeah, right… Obama is drooling for the dispute to escalate…

  265. More attempts to blame Iran for financial firms DoS attacks…

    US cyber chief reveals attacks from ‘unusual source’ hitting financial firms
    http://www.v3.co.uk/v3-uk/news/2214970/us-cyber-chief-reveals-attacks-from-unusual-source-hitting-financial-firms

  266. BiBiJon says:

    Thank you ver much Photi.

  267. Re previous… So how are mortars being fired into Turkey? (There are long-range mortars, but still…)

    Syria keeping military 10 km away from Turkish border, report says
    :http://www.todayszaman.com/news-294362-syria-keeping-military-10-km-away-from-turkish-border-report-says.html

    And more threats from Turkey…

    Turkey Warns Syria About Cross-Border Attacks
    :http://www.voanews.com/content/turkey-warns-syria-about-cross-border-attacks/1521333.html

  268. And now the question becomes…Who actually is firing from Syria into Turkey? The Syrian military – or a false flag operation by the insurgents to bring Turkey into the war? Can we even assume ANYONE is firing from Syria into Turkey?

    Turkish army returns fire after mortar fired from Syria
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/05/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE88J0X720121005

  269. Karl: “it would be used only when there there is broad consensus in the west that that they would accept supporting a the war, we arent there yet.”

    I disagree. The polls show that while most of the US electorate prefers a diplomatic solution, they also show the US electorate believes Iran has a nuclear weapons program – and many believe Iran actually HAS nuclear weapons NOW. The only reason the electorate prefers a diplomatic solution is simply that few electorates ever like a war – unless they’re attacked. But if they’re convinced there’s no other solution – because the Prez says so, especially using some convoluted blockade logic that blurs the fact that a blockade is an act of war – then they’ll go along.

    What else can they do?

    Even if we assume the electorate does not support the war, what’s going to stop the government from doing it anyway? The US electorate no longer controls the government, otherwise the US would have been out of Afghanistan several years ago. As I mention below, Iran isn’t going to be like a war with North Korea. The number of US casualties is going to be much higher than Iraq and Afghanistan combined, but it’s not going to be so high as to cause a significant effect in the next elections.

    And even if it did, who exactly is going to be running for President on the platform of STOPPING the war? Obama never ran on that platform: he said he would withdraw from Iraq on a schedule, but continue the war in Afghanistan. All he did was pivot. The electorate didn’t get what they wanted which was peace.

    And the two main parties aren’t going to run anyone going against the grain of the MIC, oil companies, banks, Israel Lobby, etc. They didn’t with Obama – we know that. So why assume the electorate has any ability to elect not only a President, but an entire Congress that will stop a war that the present Congress CLEARLY wants to start based on the resolutions passed to date?

    The only things holding back the Iran war right now are the following:

    1) Obama doesn’t want to be blamed for starting a new war. (And some of his masters don’t want Israel blamed, either.) He wants IRAN to be blamed for it – somehow. So far Iran has wisely not cooperated.

    2) Israel hasn’t taken care of the Syrian and Hizballah missile arsenals. Obama’s masters don’t want Israel taking that kind of punishment in addition to Iranian missiles – it will cost too much for the Israeli electorate and the economy.

    3) It’s likely they feel that Iran hasn’t been weakened enough by the sanctions yet. It took a decade of extreme sanctions on Iraq before the war happened – and that was after Iraq has ALREADY been attacked once and then periodically bombed during the sanctions. Iraq was about as weak as it could get by 2003. Iran isn’t that weak. Not that I think that will stop the war for much longer, but it’s probably a factor for some people.

    4) And of course right now it’s election time.

    5) And there may be some push back from the military and intelligence community – which will not be decisive – but may require some finesse to avoid open criticism once the war starts.

    “Ok so the one hand they say that the offer by Iran requires too many concessions and have been dismissed as unworkable by the US, but then they say that the offer is a mirror of the US earlier offered to Iran.”

    I actually didn’t notice that. But it’s David Sanger, so logic isn’t his strong point.

  270. BiBiJon: “In defense of Greenwald, I think he was poking holes in west’s own paranoia, rather than ascribing any duplicity or malintent to Iran. In a sense he is not even discussing Iran.He is simply saying all the hoopla about nukes and/or bombproof Fordo are nothing more than western resentment at curtailment of their freedom to bomb Iran whenever they get the itch. Methinks.”

    I agree. The part he gets wrong is that the West is even concerned about that. I’m saying they don’t care because they known Iran can’t do it.

    Iran is unlike North Korea. People think the US doesn’t attack North Korea because it has maybe 1-6 nukes (which are probably duds based on their tests.) In reality, the reason is North Korea’s massive military and capability of destroying Seoul in 72 hours plus the 50,000 US casualties the US could expect in the first 90 days. Even the military-industrial complex scum don’t want to test the US electorate’s willingness to absorb that kind of damage absent a clear threat to the US.

    But Iran isn’t like that – its military threat to the US mainland is nil, and its ability to defeat the US will take years of attrition warfare a la Afghanistan and Iraq (but on a larger scale) which will be a slow bleed, not a massive wave of US casualties like a North Korean war. The Iran war may produce 4-5,000 US casualties per year – unlike Iraq which produced 4-5,000 over 6-8 years and Afghanistan which produced 2,000 over a decade – but it will be nothing like a hot war in North Korea. It will be more like Vietnam – or worse. So the MIC and neocons don’t care about the effect of that on the electorate.

  271. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    October 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Thanks for the link
    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/iran-loses-its-economic-battle-7552

    I wish John Allen Gay had opened his multi-page article with his concluding paragraph. Then I wouldn’t have bothered reading the rest of the self-serving US-centric verbiage.

    “…the argument that Iran’s nuclear advances are vital for economic modernization has imploded. The sanctions regime has been central in the collapse of Iran’s oil exports, played a role in the decline of manufacturing and made counterinflationary measures more difficult. Iran’s hard-liners may find that if they want a nuclear program, the Islamic Republic might have to impoverish itself first.”

    When a (begin title) program assistant for the Regional Security Program and the Program on American National Security in the Twenty-First Century at the Center for the National Interest(end title), Mr. Gay, obviously is unable to understand that Iran did not choose the path of sanctions, but the path of science and technology in a myriad fields, among them nuclear technology as a way of creating the foundations for a 21st century Iran, then is there really any point in reading the rest of his assertions about how delightfully the sanctions have wrecked the Iranian economy?

    And as expected he is also delusional about a failing Iranian economy. And, note to self, longer the title, puny will be everything else.

    As per Djavad Salehi-Isfahani http://www.lobelog.com/understanding-the-rials-freefall/

    ” all foreign exchange is earned by the government, which has decided to sell most of it at a lower rate for the import of goods and services that it deems essential.

    The rial devaluation that has created the media excitement is actually taking place in a narrow market that is shrinking in size and diminishing in importance. Iran’s Central Bank has classified a long list of goods into categories with priorities 1 through 10, leaving it to the parallel market to take of all other needs. Priorities 1 and 2 are food and medicine, receiving foreign exchange at the official rate of 12,260 rials per dollar, followed by other categories with lower priorities, which are mostly intermediate goods used in industrial production.”

    Also Juan Cole has chimed in http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/on-how-despite-the-currency-crisis-irans-state-revenues-are-not-collapsing.html

    ” the Iranian state’s external revenues are still perfectly healthy, despite the rial currency crisis and all the damage it is doing to the Iranian middle and business classes. Because of the state’s currency reserves, moreover, it can mitigate the impact of the currency crisis on key imports.”

  272. imho: “The simple fact that according to UN, a blockade is an act of war, you assumption that after such blockade Iran would shoot first and thus being accused of starting the war doesn’t work. I’m not saying there will be or not a blockade but just that this reasoning is wrong.”

    But that’s NOT the way the President will spin it. He will claim the blockade is part of the “unilateral sanctions track” – and that’s how the media will present it, and how the US electorate – who doesn’t know what is or is not an act of war – will believe it.

    Because the blockade itself will be “non-violent”, whereas the Iranian closure of the Strait will be spun as a “threat to regional security”, requiring military force to prevent a threat to the world’s oil supply – which the UN WILL agree with.

    When was the last time you heard any of the US’ military actions called a “threat to peace and security” by the UNSC?

    In addition, the rumor (I forget whether it was from Stratfor or DebkaFile) is that Obama is going to start with a “faux blockade”. Instead of physically blocking Iranian ships with US ships, he will coerce the West to refuse to dock any ship which has docked in an Iranian port (and allegedly any aircraft which has landed at an Iranian airport), as well as all Iranian ships and aircraft. And the US will impose sanctions on any country, West or not, which accepts Iranian shipping. This way, he can claim the blockade is “non-violent” and NOT an act of war, but merely an extension of the unilateral sanctions.

    By blurring the distinction between such actions and a real blockade, Obama can confuse the issue.

    The faux blockade won’t be as effective as a real blockade, however. Nonetheless, Obama can then escalate it to a real blockade – explicitly by saying the first method isn’t fully effective – and the public won’t understand the difference.

  273. Karl... says:

    Photi,

    The standpoint atleast from NIE was that up to to 2003 they had some type of weaponized nuclear program. If this is a correct assessment, how do you approach that fact with the fatwa saying that nuclear weapons is against the religious doctrine?

  274. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    One reason Nixon went to China was to obtain a fig leaf to cover up the fact the US had lost the war in Vietnam. Nixon needed cover to complete the withdrawal of US troops from South Vietnam.

  275. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Do you still contend Iran was wise to treble production of 20 percent uranium? The announcment of plans to do this, caused the latest sanctions to be imposed.

  276. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Yes, many American officials do not want to take “yes” as an answer from Iran. Why? ISRAEL LOBBY. Ali Akbar Salehi on Oct. 1st referred to the “phantom third party” that blocked potential deals between P5+1 and Iran, to resolve the nuclear dispute.

  277. fyi says:

    Karl… says:

    October 5, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Americans are sepending $ 90 Billion a year on the Fifth Fleet in Persian Gulf.

    Their current military budget is close to $ 1.3 trillion dollars a year – which is not sustainable and will be automatically cut starting next year.

    EU states will not join US in a war against Iran – they cannot afford it.

    Nor will Saudi Arabia tap into its $ 300 billion of reserves to pay for a war that will comsue all those savings in less than 3 years.

    US, after a war with Iran, will have to spend more to remain in the Persian Gulf and almost certainly will have to spend more on trying to secure Israel.

    Americans do not have that money over the medium to long term (3 to 10 years).

  278. fyi says:

    Photi:

    The statement that you made: “Absolute means something that is complete and unchanging, and only God is complete and unchanging.” is not a true statement.

    Man is part of God and Man changes; new human beings are born and die.

    The Universe is in the state of change and it is not separate from God – else it would have to have a had distinct substance, in the language of Aristotelian Metaphysics.

  279. Don Bacon says:

    @Nasser
    How exactly has India defied the US on Iran?!

    It’s explained here.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ahq4t3o0pOY&feature=g-user-u

  280. Photi says:

    BiBiJon says:
    October 4, 2012 at 11:35 am

    BibiJon,

    Here are some further thoughts on what is absolute and what is relative in Islam.

    From the Islamic point of view, the only ‘absolute’ is the one and only God. If something is not God, then it is not absolute. Absolute means something that is complete and unchanging, and only God is complete and unchanging. Everything else is a creation of His, and is subject to change.

    Among the absolute qualities of God are His Mercy, Compassion, Omniscience and Omnipotence. These qualities are among the 99 Names of Allah. God is absolute in his Mercy, is absolute in his Knowledge, in his Power, and on and on.

    For the Humans, as creations of God, we can never fully grasp, never fully experience his absoluteness. But God wants the humans to understand Him, and so he has given humanity the Quran so that we have a perfect source from which to begin to understand his Absoluteness.

    BibiJon, with this understanding of what is absolute in Islam, your comment:

    “To my thinking “the interplay between competing goods” and the pork analogy may not apply to areas that are absolute”

    does not hold up. Only God is absolute. The Qur’an and Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them) are the perfect expressions of the human understanding of that absoluteness, but again, only God is absolute.

    Fiqh (Islamic law), which is what we are discussing, is derivative of the Qur’an (and Hadith) and therefore Islamic fiqh is also not absolute and unlike the Qur’an is subject to change as the human understanding of God and the Qur’an changes over time.

    Back to our discussion concerning Iran’s rejection of WMDs, under the current geopolitical conditions, conditions where powerful forces are quite hostile to Iran, Iran, despite being under attack and under constant threat of attack, has rejected the possession and use of such weapons.

    Given the intensity of the threat by the Western powers, Iran’s rejection of weapons that might (but probably wouldn’t) have a deterrent effect is quite remarkable. This may not make sense to the Matthew Kroenigs of the world, people who seem to thrive on intellectualizing destruction and warfare, but is nonetheless what a principled body of law and reasoning looks like.

    Having the capacity to destroy humanity is the irrational idea in this discussion and Iran is quite right to stand by its principles that reject WMDs. The Qur’an says taking the life of one innocent is as if taking away all of humanity. What then when the lives of millions and billions are threatened or taken away? How many humanities would that be akin to destroying?

    However, and I think this is a crucial point, if the geopolitical conditions change, and unseen forces succeed in igniting WWIII, then during that war, and after that war, the understanding of the Fiqh will be subject to change. So who knows, after WWIII, after half of humanity is wiped out, it is quite likely there will be many new understandings in the Islamic Fiqh with regards to conducting world affairs.*

    After the war, however, one thing will still be the same for the Muslims and that of course will be the Qur’an. So even after all of that destruction, the Qur’an will still say taking one innocent life is as if taking all of humanity. The unchanging quality of the Qur’an gives an integrity to the Fiqh that can be trusted and relied upon. All evidence points to the notion that Iran is indeed a beacon of stability in a currently (though not eternally) unstable region.

    *[This need to change understandings, this need to adapt to changing environmental conditions is understood as using "ijtihad," or an 'informed reasoning' (informed from the Canon) approach to understanding the law. ]

  281. Karl... says:

    RSH,

    Yes you may be correct that a blockade might be used but it would be used only when there there is broad consensus in the west that that they would accept supporting a the war, we arent there yet.

    But we can assume that we will see more from of this kind of actions:
    Sabotage, cyberattacks, assassinations, rioting, and the greater use and funding of m-k-o etc.

    That article is ridiculous too, first they say:

    “But the plan requires so many concessions by the West“… “that American officials have dismissed it as unworkable“.

    Then they say:

    “…solution they described to Iranian officials before the summer is almost the mirror image of the Iranian nine-step proposal. ”

    Ok so the one hand they say that the offer by Iran requires too many concessions and have been dismissed as unworkable by the US, but then they say that the offer is a mirror of the US earlier offered to Iran. So explicitly, its ok to require the same from Iran that US themselves have dismissed as “unworkable”.
    They simply cant take yes for an answer. Always trying to find reasons not to find a final settlement with Iran. This is also another proof that this is more about the nuclear issue (as some people here claim its not), its about Iran itself, about their independence.

    And whats with the officials that doesnt dare to put their names in the article? Simply ridiculous.

  282. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 4, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Iranians do not hate Afghans; they despise them – at least among certain sectors.

    It started in 1970s when Afghans started coming to Iran to find jobs.

    The Afghan criminals came to Iran as well; and the levels of their brutality shocked Iranians.

    And it has been like that since.

  283. imho says:

    Don Bacon says:
    October 4, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    You are correct provided that the goods are made in Iran, not imported and not subsidized (remember the cheap Iranian gasoline that was sold in Iraq).

    Such situation (a devaluation of currency) would be good if Iran had difficulties selling its goods. It was a wrong policy to buy cheap stuffs from China that halted some productions in Iran. Some times ago I have read people in Iran complaining they could no more work their land because their products would be more expensive that the one being imported(e.g. rice, even if Iran could not have produced enough rice for the whole country).
    You can blame Ahmadinejad but unfortunately this is what is happening everywhere with this globalist trend.

  284. imho says:

    @RSH about Naval blockade

    The simple fact that according to UN, a blockade is an act of war, you assumption that after such blockade Iran would shoot first and thus being accused of starting the war doesn’t work.

    I’m not saying there will be or not a blockade but just that this reasoning is wrong.

  285. Karl... says:

    Patrick Buchanan tells the truth to Madelaine Albright.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=446SOfaUdBE&feature=plcp

  286. imho says:

    fyi says:
    October 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    “Iran, on the other hand, has help India build a base in Afghanistan.

    But that is not at a strategic level – I wonder what Indians gave Iran for that.”

    The construction of Chabahar port.
    In this way Indians get to central Asia by shunting Pakistan and Iran takes the benefice.

    You are wrong to suggest Iran should build better ties with Pakistan and forget India. Iran should instead play the two and pull a maximum of benefice out of their rivalry. And that is what they do. And this is unfortunately how politic works.

  287. imho says:

    Castellio says:
    October 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    so true; on every point

  288. Iran Offers Plan, Dismissed by U.S., on Nuclear Crisis
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/world/middleeast/iranians-offer-9-step-plan-to-end-nuclear-crisis.html

    The stupid part of this article – if there is only one stupid part – is that, as usual, the Iranians are portrayed as intransigent because they want sanctions lifted early whereas the US is portrayed as principled because they don’t want sanctions lifted AT ALL! And the Times writer sees absolutely nothing wrong with that stance!

    In the end, this tit-for-tat again merely illustrates how unlikely any diplomatic solution is to this situation. Fyi is right about that.

    So now we’re in for another round of sanctions. Fyi is also right that the West is running out of sanctions. Which is why I expect a naval blockade to up the ante. As I’ve said repeatedly, this has to go somewhere because eventually the West runs out of any other option but war, and the Iranians keep on truckin’ and NEVER actually build a bomb. And there’s no such thing as a rapprochement. This isn’t “Nixon to China” because Iran isn’t China – it’s too weak to be China.

    In fact, “Nixon to China” doesn’t even count any more because the US is trying to ratchet up tensions with China…again. It may take another three decades but sooner or later the US will be threatening China with war. The only difference is China actually has deliverable nukes which probably will prevent actual war for a long time. But it doesn’t guarantee there won’t be some conventional conflicts.

    So anyone who thinks the US is suddenly going to elect a President who walks back all the rhetoric and the sanctions and actually initiates diplomatic relations with Iran – or even more hilariously, throws Israel under a bus – is living in a dream world. Any President who pursued that course would likely be assassinated…

  289. humanist: “You frequently use the word ‘Absolutely’. The ‘assertiveness’ in your statements or ‘predictions of very complex geopolitical issues’ raises eyebrows, puzzles me, confuses me ….and makes me think WHY you are so ‘certain’, for example, in cases of blockade or a war with Iran.”

    I don’t believe I ever said I was “certain” about a naval blockade. That’s merely the next logical step if you want a war with Iran. I AM “certain” – with my usual two percent margin of error – that there will be a war with Iran at some point. I’m NOT certain about when.

    “the deeper the ‘cultural’ chasm the higher is the probability of more pronounced differences in our mind-sets.”

    I don’t think any of that matters in this case. I suspect I’m just more cynical than you, perhaps older than you, or have had a less satisfactory life. Not to mention being a radical Transhumanist… :-) The bottom line is I trust humans to screw up more often than not and probably more often than you do as a personal viewpoint. Looking over the events of my life, I simply find I’ve been right about that more often than I’ve been wrong – including my own screw-ups.

    “I would like to really know WHY you sound so ( no offence intended) stubbornly self-righteous”

    Your problem is you assume it’s “self-righteousness”. You need to define that. I in turn simply believe I’m “correct”, i.e., that what I say is an accurate representation of the situation based on the facts I know and my predictions reflect what is likely to happen.

    It’s not that I’m “right” in the sense of William S. Burroughs reference to “people who have to be Right”. It’s just that I believe the facts are obvious, and while there may be some wiggle room, there’s no justification, historical or otherwise, for Pollyanna-ism that I frequently see here and elsewhere.

    “Do you agree (I bet you do) nothing in universe is static and as far as humans are concerned, everything including our knowledge pool, is ever-changing, ever-evolving….something that is happening under very complex and mostly unknown dynamic circumstances?”

    Of course. I’m not a determinist or someone who believes in “fate”.

    “Don’ you agree, because of the characteristics of our brains, our cognitive psyche is formed only on the foundations of some innate brain-wiring and on the basis of what is inputted to our brains from the time of birth (or before the birth from the time our brain could accept input)?”

    Agreed.

    “does your personal mind have the capacity to input and process all the knowledge relevant to your assertions? (By all the knowledge I mean all kinds of relevant knowledge on anthropology, neuroscience, secret information gathered by intelligence agencies, etc etc) Don’t you think the answer for that question is a resounding NO?”

    See, this is one of those generalized statements that in the end don’t mean anything. EVERYONE is in that position. You’re merely restating the point about not knowing everything and therefore not being able to be “certain.”

    Except I’ve already said I’m not “certain” about a lot of things. So the question is moot.

    “can you imagine how drastically meager our capabilities are in perceiving (knowing) everything about what we are proclaiming?”

    The real problem for a lot of people here and elsewhere – especially those people who STILL think, against ALL evidence, that Obama is somehow a “peace President” – is acknowledging when their emotional attitudes are coloring their perception, i.e., cognitive dissonance. This is a far bigger problem than their lack of precise knowledge about the entire universe…

    “don’t you think we should be cautious in using terms similar to ‘…with absolute certainty’?”

    Once again, I’m not certain about a lot of things. Still, one can be certain about SOME things. We draw the line based on EVIDENCE, not emotion. In the case of an Iran war – which is the only thing relevant here that I’m reasonably certain about – ALL the evidence – historical and otherwise – points to its being inevitable. Governments simply do not go through the pattern the US has followed in this regard, with the motivations the US has in terms of war profiteering and hegemony, without ending up at war.

    The US has already invaded TWO countries in the last decade, and attacked FIVE more, and this wasn’t done because Bush was an idiot.

    This exchange started because you claimed that the events of the last TWO MONTHS were some kind of “sea change” in the situation, without providing any explanation of HOW they FUNDAMENTALLY changed the situation that has built up over the past decade (let alone the more FUNDAMENTAL problems of the US corporate state built up over the last half century or more.)

    I suspect the real answer to your questions is the relative amount of knowledge between us about those fundamental issues.

  290. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela says: October 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    A few years ago I spent a great deal of time reading Strauss and related readings to understand his ‘philosophy’, or as he calls it, his “sociology of knowledge”. The actual book you mention was published in 1952, as you say, but by The Free Press, in New York. Did Kristol publish a part of it in the same year in Commentary?

    He opens his introduction to the book with the following: “The subject matter of the following essays may be said to fall within the province of the sociology of knowledge.” However, and this is an important point, he has virtually no interest in or knowledge of sociology, nor is he interested in epistemology in any modern sense, nor, for that matter, is he interested in history an anything other than an idealist argument among different tribes whose thinking, in fact, apparently rarely, if ever, changes.

    His sociology of knowledge, then, quickly reduces to thinly disguised sectarian arguments.

    Why do I mention this? Well, while I’m a touch leery of ascribing any major influence of Strauss on the neo-conservatives and allied movements in the US, as I think their minds were set (are set) by other forces within society, and Strauss has played (and continues to play) a role more as a handy intellectual hanger and fellow rider than a true influence. Partly I think that because its hard to see how any critical intelligence would mistake his paranoia and sectarianism as genuine analytic tools. He only ever asserts, and the associations between his assertions are often tenuous to the point of silly.

    Strauss is far from a first rate thinker, and his being championed as such is a good indication of the lack of substance in American critical thought in certain circles in the second half of the 20th century.

    And he is, as you point out, the antithesis of Jefferson and Jeffersonian democracy. He is not simply an elitist who claims the importance of the noble lie (which he ascribes to Maimonides, wrongly I would argue) but believes the ruling elite must rule as the Mossad makes war, through deception.

    It’s clear, however, that Obama and Romney share that historical viewpoint of the need for deception. On that they unfortunately agree.

    It’s futile to pretend that lying isn’t one of the great powers and functions of language, or that lying effectively isn’t more powerful than lying ineffectively, or that lying isn’t a constant in human history: it’s another thing altogether, however, to posit lying and deceit as the appropriate basis of collective action and social discourse.

    Such rotten foundations have consequence, as Confucious was the first to really nail down, being a very astute student of Chinese history.

    intellectual

  291. Nasser says:

    Don Bacon says October 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm,

    How exactly has India defied the US on Iran?!

    India is getting Iranian oil on the cheap! Paying for some of it in rupees even. That’s what the US wanted all along. India was getting something like 20% of its crude supplies from Iran. You cannot do away with a dependency like that overnight no matter what the US says. Even a temporary disruption of this supply would have hit every sector of the Indian economy including agriculture (Indian companies rely on Iranian crude to make fertilizers). That doesn’t exactly constitute defiance.

    Note that I do not criticize India simply because of my Iranian sympathies but rather because of Indian strategic ineptitude. Ambassador Bhadrakumar himself chastises India for her foolishness in spurning Iran and misreading US intentions in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  292. Nasser says:

    James Canning says October 4, 2012 at 2:35 pm,

    The article was from ambassador M K Bhadrakumar’s blog. I wouldn’t quote the NYT except as satire.

  293. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Why oh why do they insist on calling their language Dari? Hahaha

    But seriously, I don’t live in Iran but I never understood why Iranians hate the Afghans so much.

    As for Pakistan, yes if Iran was rich and industrially fully developed Iran would in effect have been able to buy away Pakistan from Saudi Arabia and maybe even the US. Perhaps this would have even compelled Pakistan from their stupid aims of seeking influence in no man’s land in Central Asia. But Iran doesn’t have that kind of economic means.

  294. BiBiJon says:

    Photi & Richard,

    In defense of Greenwald, I think he was poking holes in west’s own paranoia, rather than ascribing any duplicity or malintent to Iran. In a sense he is not even discussing Iran.

    He is simply saying all the hoopla about nukes and/or bombproof Fordo are nothing more than western resentment at curtailment of their freedom to bomb Iran whenever they get the itch. Methinks.

  295. humanist says:

    k_w,

    Re: your Oct 3, 2:31am post

    For me Franklin Lamb is an admirable respectable individual. He is not only an intelligent free-thinker, he has a great heart…he sounds like he is one of the rare persons who can not bought…no matter whatever the price is.

    I can understand why CIA staffers picked him as the one for leaking that 82 page report.

    In my view, the chance of report being fake or a CIA trick is quite low.

  296. humanist says:

    Richard,

    Re:your Oct 3, 9:03am post

    I read your reply carefully, I agree with most of what you are saying and disagree with some others. Either your prediction will turn out to be right or wrong (or something in between such as an unconventional new type of war?). Then of course there won’t be a big surprise if you are wrong…no one is perfect… but there will be lots of cheer and applaud for you if you turn out to be right.

    So, I better not discuss any further over my questions and your reply. But…. lots went through my mind as I was reading your text. I thought I better share some of them with you. I have to say I feel a bit uncomfortable [ab?]using the free space of RFI for stuff that is not `directly related to objective of this great site….yet I think maybe occasionally it is beneficial to all of us to engage in discussions about the arts and techniques of analytical dialogue.

    You frequently use the word ‘Absolutely’. The ‘assertiveness’ in your statements or ‘predictions of very complex geopolitical issues’ raises eyebrows, puzzles me, confuses me ….and makes me think WHY you are so ‘certain’, for example, in cases of blockade or a war with Iran.

    On ‘why’ I can’t grasp the foundations of your logic, the first thing that popped to my mind was the fact that we were born, raised and educated thousands of miles afar inside cultures that were not only different but in some respects were somewhat conflicting…and most probably we belong to different times that are possibly decades apart….even our ethnicity and our mother tongues have nothing in common….thus, no surprise…. the deeper the ‘cultural’ chasm the higher is the probability of more pronounced differences in our mind-sets.

    Then I’m reminded quickly that for me, usually, the above is no issue with some others in the West whose thoughts and mine, nearly all the time, ride in parallel along the same undulating curves.

    So why I can’t understand you regardless of the fact that often I fully agree with your assertions and specifically I fully share your basic view that only a few extremely powerful entities are in control of the helm.

    I know we both reject the subjective superstitions surrounding common beliefs of majority of people of the world and both of us believe in defectiveness of the structure of human body and mind. I also imagine that your mind can never be of the solidified type and surely is similar to the minds of many clever open-minded individuals.

    Because of what I just said, because of your distinctive mental energy and because of your awakening contributions to RFI, for the last time, I would like to really know WHY you sound so ( no offence intended) stubbornly self-righteous….a characteristics that in my view contrasts your identity and is something fitting more to that of the dogmatic close minded persons.

    Anyhow…

    To be brief, I just ask you the following [obvious?] questions: I’ll appreciate any [short] response.

    Do you agree (I bet you do) nothing in universe is static and as far as humans are concerned, everything including our knowledge pool, is ever-changing, ever-evolving….something that is happening under very complex and mostly unknown dynamic circumstances?

    Don’ you agree, because of the characteristics of our brains, our cognitive psyche is formed only on the foundations of some innate brain-wiring and on the basis of what is inputted to our brains from the time of birth (or before the birth from the time our brain could accept input)?

    No doubt if someone physically identical to you was born thousands of years ago or was living in far far future, must have had or will have an intellect completely detached from what you have now.

    Forgetting about how infinitely small is the portion of knowledge any genius mind can absorb, does your personal mind have the capacity to input and process all the knowledge relevant to your assertions? (By all the knowledge I mean all kinds of relevant knowledge on anthropology, neuroscience, secret information gathered by intelligence agencies, etc etc) Don’t you think the answer for that question is a resounding NO?

    Now, in our usual debates, discussions or statements, compared to above situation, can you imagine how drastically meager our capabilities are in perceiving (knowing) everything about what we are proclaiming?

    Don’t you think in predicting complex issues the use of “I am ABSOLUTELY sure” can raise eyebrows, no matter if such prediction is in accordance with some common information?

    Except in Mathematical reasoning one can be assertive only if her/his declarations do not conflict with ALL the reliable ‘knowledge’ available…but as I argued above such a case, logically, is an impossibility. Each of us, no matter how ingenious we are, have only the capability to absorb an infinitesimally small fraction of all the existing relevant information….thus, don’t you think we should be cautious in using terms similar to ‘…with absolute certainty’?

  297. Don Bacon says:

    The sanctioneers have a new pony to ride — natural gas. The European Union is poised to ban imports of Iranian natural gas as part of a set of new measures to ratchet up pressure on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, diplomats said on Thursday.
    One iddy-biddy problem is that the Iranian gas going to Europe is mixed with Azeri gas in Turkey, and Turkey taps off some of this. Turkey produces almost no gas of its own, most of its supply — and it uses a lot — comes from Russia.

    map
    http://www.eia.gov/EMEU/cabs/Turkey/images/East-West%20Corridor%20Map%20(2009)-SMALL.gif

  298. James Canning says:

    Philip Giraldi has an excellent observation or two: “Afghanistan becomes Vietnam”

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/afghanistan-becomes-vietnam/

  299. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Ahmadinejad said the other day that any deal with the US (and other five powers) would have to come after the November elections in the US. For obvious reasons.

  300. Don Bacon says:

    Iran’s ties to Afghanistan, for ethnic political and religious reasons, have been with Afghans in the north and west. Iran is using its extensive influence with the non-Pashtun peoples of the north. They are a majority of the country’s population and over-represented in the national assembly and the army, owing to low Pashtun voter turnout and military enlistment in the war-torn south and east.

    These northerners respect Iran. Their language and culture are Persian-influenced; Iran backed them during the Russian war and against the Taliban; and Iran is helping with development programs in the western part of the country, especially with roads connecting the two countries’ commerce, a point to be looked at presently.

    Iran shares interests with India. Both countries favor the Hazara, Uzbeks and Tajiks of the north, the old Northern Alliance, over the Pashtuns. Tehran has correct ties with Islamabad but sees it as supportive of the Taliban and other anti-Shi’ite groups such as Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. Iran objects to Pakistani troops and mercenaries serving in Saudi Arabia, sometimes in the cause of repressing Shi’ites, and sees Pakistan as moving closer to the Saudis as the former seeks financial help and the latter may be seeking nuclear weapon technology one day.

  301. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 4, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    All of them.

    The view among many Afghan intellectuals was that “Iran” the appellation has been hijacked by Iran, the country.

    Sort of like the way South Americans resent USA referring to herself as America.

    And you know? Afghans are correct – the Alburz of Arash fame is just outside of Mazar-i Sharif.

    And the Afghan immirgants resent the condensation and contempt of very many Iranians expressed against them.

    In regards to Pakistan:

    Iranians must share their wealth with Pakistan if they ever hope to have any lasting influence over there.

    And you cannot blame Pakistan for trying to play various foreign powers against one another.

    But you are right – the leaders of Pakistan are not up to the task.

  302. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio says: October 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Last year Clemson University professor C Bradley Thompson discussed his book, Neoconservatism: An Obituary for an Idea, at Cato Institute.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oh6DmjQaho&feature=related

    Thompson’s book and speech sketch the philosophical framework of neoconservatism, based on the philosophical ideas of Leo Strauss as interpreted by Irving Kristol. Thompson said that the core of Kristol’s thinking was explicated in Persecution and the Art of Writing, an essay Kristol published in Commentary magazine in 1952.

    Thompson’s arguments in the Cato forum contrast neoconservative ideology which is the blueprint for US foreign policy over the past 60 years, as Castellio observes, with Enlightenment ideals as they motivated US founders, especially Thomas Jefferson. Kristol rejects Jeffersonian ideas in favor of an ideology that perceives the masses as incapable of managing their own lives, and who must and should be led by an intellectual elite. Trained on notions of faith which is necessarily enforced by ‘benign violence,’ the masses will be infused with ideals of self-sacrifice in service of the goals of the State, that the elite will manage.

  303. fyi: “Evidently, rebels have been defeated decisively by the Syrian Government”

    Actually, no. As long as they are supported by external forces, i.e., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and receive additional assistance from the US and NATO (whether arms or not), they can’t actually “lose.”

    The old saw, “The guerrilla wins if he does not lose” applies here. There is zero evidence that Syria has managed to kill enough insurgents to cause the insurgency to fall apart.

    “Turkey will need to invade with full force of her army and have a major war on her hand together with decades of occupation. It will not happen.”

    That’s not how it will go. Turkey has no interest in occupying Syria. The goal here is merely for Turkey – as a NATO member – to start a war with Syria. Then the US and NATO will come in and bomb the crap out of Syria, as I’ve been saying. There will be no occupation, certainly not by Turkey.

    The progression of events here which must lead inevitably to a war with Syria by the US and NATO is completely obvious. The effort yesterday to invoke Chapter 7 yet again at the UN makes it perfectly clear what the goal remains. Since Russia and China will prevent the UNSC from doing anything, the obvious approach to getting the war started involves getting a NATO member to claim “aggression” under the NATO Charter and thus bypassing the UNSC. There can be little doubt that is the game plan.

  304. Photi: “The problem with the Greenwald article is that if you accept his argument, that the rational government of Iran wants nuclear weapons for deterrence, you are essentially buying in to the warmongering neocon argument that states Iran is secretly building nukes, which is then used to justify a preventative war.”

    I agree. I’ve said that Iran absolutely does not want nukes, and furthermore, knows they couldn’t use them if they had them. Greenwald doesn’t understand that. And they won’t try to get them EVEN if they’re attacked. Ahmadinejad repeated that during his UN visit yet again, explicitly, that Iran simply could never compete with the US in nuclear weapons.

    However,Greenwald is actually saying that IF Iran had nukes, and IF theoretically those nukes could deter US aggression (which is the part he gets wrong), then that explains why the US wants to prevent Iran from getting nukes.

    That explanation is itself wrong, since the US knows full well that Iran is not pursuing nukes and also knows that Iran couldn’t stop the US from attacking if Iran had them. The overall fact that Greenwald either doesn’t get or at least doesn’t draw the logical conclusion from is the US is intent on attacking Iran for other reasons, due to the “ruling elites” I’ve referred to before here.

    In other words, Greenwald apparently doesn’t believe – or at least can’t afford to state explicitly lest his credibility be threatened (as it has been here when I do it) – that the real reason the US is out to attack Iran is for hegemony, profit, and the benefit of Israel and that the nuclear issue is entirely a red herring.

  305. Don Bacon says:

    @Nasser
    India has defied the US on Iran because India needs Iran’s energy and its entryway into Central Asia.

  306. The West tried again to get an authorization at the UNSC to attack Syria…

    UN scrambles to defuse tensions between Turkey, Syria
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=286684

    Note the following line which Russia blocked:

    “However, the Russians proposed removing the following sentence, which diplomats said was crucial language: “Such violations of international law constitute a serious threat to international peace and security.”

    This is Chapter 7 language which would have enabled foreign military intervention. Note that the article does not explicitly state this.

  307. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    The New York Times article you discuss (re: failure of US policy in Afghanistan) should have said Obama too too long to accept the fact the US military presence in Afghanistan was – - and is – - part of the problem. Joe Biden treid to tell Obama that BEFORE Obama trebled the US military presence in Afghanistan.

  308. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Salehi made excellent points in his Oct. 1st appearance at the CFR. And he is right to say a “phantom third-party” seems to have interfered with any deal nearly made to end the nuclear dispute.

  309. Nasser says:

    fyi, Regarding Afghanistan:

    - I agree absolutely that over involvement in Afghanistan is counterproductive and simply a drain on resources. The Iranians themselves have repeatedly said: “There is nothing there” But Iran does have an interest in having some semblance of stability and a government that is not outright hostile.

    One question. When you say Iran is not wanted there, are you just referring to the Pashtuns or all of Afghanistan?

  310. Nasser says:

    fyi, Regarding India:

    - Her strategic leaders seem pretty inept to me if not downright stupid.

    The US is not going to make India into a US deputy. It simply doesn’t matter how servile the Indians act, the Americans are just as committed to a Pakistani-Indian balance as the Chinese are. And at the end, the settlement in Afghanistan will favor Pakistan and not India.

    India would have been smarter to stay more neutral towards Iran much the way China has. They instead decided to harm her national interests just to win some favor in Washington. On the bright side, this must have disabused Iranian leaders of silly little notions of “Civilizational ties” and they can explore maybe closer ties with Pakistan.

  311. Nasser says:

    fyi, Regarding Pakistan:

    - You have long advocated closer strategic ties for Iran with Pakistan rather than with India. Now that in theory makes a lot of sense to me. But the flaw in that logic has always been to my mind Pakistani willingness for broader ties. I mean just look at their economic ties and trade levels. And remember the gas pipeline thing?

    It seems to me that Pakistan attitude is rather cool towards Iran. She seems content in leveraging her ties to Iran to exact concessions from Saudi Arabia and the US. And she might still view Iran as a hindrance to her silly ambitions in Afghanistan.

    You however say: “Pakistan has gone out of her way to accomodate Iranian interets.” and “Suffices to state that Iran and Pakistan have reached an understanding which is strategic.” What evidence is there of this? It seems to me that Pakistan was once again leveraging ties with Iran to enact concessions from the US.

  312. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Dick Cheney and his gang of crazed militarists wanted to attack Iran in 2006-07. The CIA blocked them. And Obama does not want war with Iran. Full stop. But Obama could be forced into attacking Iran.

  313. Photi says:

    Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi at the CFR:

    On Iran’s Nuclear Program

    “Had Iran chosen to go nuclear in the sense of weaponization…it would attract more threats and invite more threats from the other side. Because suppose we wanted to go nuclear and manufacture one or two rudimentary bombs, who is on the other side? It’s not India and Pakistan. Seemingly, it is Iran and the United States…

    If a country, any country, including Iran, uses weapons of mass destruction, that is the end of the validity, eligibility, legality of that government…It is something that is not at all acceptable. Therefore, if your hypothesis, God forbid, ever materializes, I think nobody can justify it anymore; Nobody can go along with anybody who has been involved in such …inhuman acts.”

    http://iranprimer.usip.org/blog/2012/oct/03/foreign-minister-nukes-diplomacy-syria

  314. Don Bacon says:

    Professor Juan Cole:
    . . .In short, it is not entirely clear that these severe sanctions or the reduced oil exports are the only things responsible for the rial’s rapid decline against the dollar.

    Hyperinflation is caused by printing too much money. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has for some time pumped extra money into the economy in the form of subsidies, which has caused the money supply to grow unhealthily in Iran. The rial has probably for a long time been over-valued, partly because of the support for it of an oil state. So it may be that years of easy money are now coming home to roost, in part because the severe sanctions have (irrationally) weakened the confidence of traders in the hardness of the rial, a confidence that itself had earlier been irrational. . .
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/10/iran-bazaar-strikes-signal-misery-not-sanctions-victory.html

  315. Don Bacon says:

    I’m not an economist but I know something about lemonade — it’s made out of lemons. The depreciated Rial is a great opportunity for exporters.

    news item:
    Long used to paying top dollar in Herat (Afghanistan) shops filled with Iranian goods, including crockery, appliances and cookware, some residents now see a tidy profit in buying cheaply across the border in Iran and reselling in Afghanistan. “It’s a fortune for anyone who can go and buy goods from Iran now,” said Faramarz Alizai, who makes frequent journeys across 110 km (70 miles) of desert over to the Iranian side.

  316. Photi says:

    “Iran’s rejection of WMDs is despite Western aggression, not in ignorance of it.”

    BibiJon, isn’t this statement a kind of absolute? in other words, iran knows that the US nuclear arsenal could destroy Iran a thousand times over, and iran knows that if they could only obtain a few nuclear weapons of their own they might have a credible deterrent against the Western use of such weapons, and yet the Iranians don’t pursue the nuclear weapons because they (Muslim/Iranian leadership) have absolutely rejected their use, even in self-defense. Your Iraq example perfectly illustrates this point. So in my statement above, “self-defense” (ie despite Western aggression) is relative and “not destroying humanity” (ie rejection of WMDs) is absolute.

    In order for WMDs to be a credible deterrent, it must be believed by the other side those weapons will be used. Iran has said they are immoral, so who would believe any threat they would never make anyway?

    Contrary to the beliefs in American pop-culture, Muslims do not believe ourselves to have the mandate to destroy our precious Earth. We are symbiotic with the Earth not parasitic.

  317. James Canning says:

    hans,

    Disparaging comments. (Not desparing)

  318. James Canning says:

    hans,

    What was “racist” about the comment you objected to (regarding the Afghans)? One might see the disparing comments in terms of social class, but surely not race.

  319. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Would you agree that Russia and China oppose Israel’s continuing occupation of the West Bank? And both countries want Iran to stop enriching to 20%.

  320. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    You may recall that Israel smashed Lebanon in 2006 in a failed effort to destroy Hezbollah, because Hezbollah was interfering with Israel’s effort to crush the Palestinians in Gaza. Bottom line: Israel wants to crush Palestinian national resistance to permanent retention of much of the West Bank by Israel. US power is manipulated to help Israel achieve this insane objective.

  321. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Very interesting piece you linked (leaked cables re: US anti-Iran propaganda effort).

    Quote: “the US Deputy Chief of Mission in Canberra “thought it might be good to produce a documentary laying out Iran’s history of supporting Hizbollah and other terrorists. . .’”

    Yes, absolutely: the Israel lobby wants US power employed to hurt Iran, even if Iran had no nuclear power programme. Israel lobby does its best to place people in US diplomatic service, who promote the false notion that Hezbollah is the “enemy” of the American people. Israel lobby does its best to place people in the US diplomatic service who promote the false notion that groups unfriendly toward Israel are by definition “terrorists”.

    But you are dead wrong to believe the sanctions against Iran have nothing to do with concerns Iran may be preparing to be able to build nukes quickly.

  322. BiBiJon says:

    Photi says:
    October 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

    “What Greewald does not seem to consider is that Ayatollah Khamenei with his fatwa banning weapons of mass destruction has already thoroughly considered the deterrence argument and has rejected it.”

    “Iran’s rejection of WMDs is despite Western aggression, not in ignorance of it.”

    Photi, if you get time, can you explore above themes in more detail, please.

    To my thinking “the interplay between competing goods” and the pork analogy may not apply to areas that are absolute. Ay. Khomeini’s refusal to sanction retaliation in kind for Saddam’s use of chemical weapons indicates ‘no matter what’, there is an injunction against indiscriminate slaughter. Those unbreakable injunctions are deemed perfectly practical for people of faith. Jesus (PBH) turned his cheek in response to being affronted, not in denial of it. For those who need more accessible justification, Gandhi’s logic was unassailable: An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. What is not accessible, however, is the sheer courage of conviction embodied in Ay. Khamenei’s fatwa, and the enduring power that fatwa wields compared to doctrine of M.A.D.

  323. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi and hans-sahn:

    fyi: you need to differentiate between Herat and its environs, which is historically and culturally part of Khorasan, and the rest of that wretched country. I imagine Iran’s investments in Afghanistan are mainly centered on Herat and the Hazara of the capital, and in providing whatever minimum is necessary to ensure the de facto partition (aid to the non-Shi’a elements in the Northern Alliance, in other words).

    hans: fyi’s statement was not racist. Other than the ‘wretched’ descriptor, the rest of his comment was a mere statement of fact.

    *

    Photi & Richard: I think that Richard is on the money with respect to the nuclear bomb and Iran: Religious considerations aside, Iran (1) recognizes that were she to want to have nuclear weapons, a handful would not do her any good, and (2) – and here I differ with Richard – that she *already* is in a Mutually Assured Destruction stalemate with Weaselistan: Iran’s physical infrastructure vs. the US’s (and the rest of the world’s) economies.

  324. Photi says:

    http://hamptonroads.com/2012/10/exdefense-chief-says-hit-iran-would-be-disastrous

    Robert Gates:

    “The results of an American or Israeli military strike on Iran could, in my view, prove catastrophic, haunting us for generations in that part of the world.”

  325. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 4, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Those new sanctions, together with the new gas sanction, are indicating that there is not much left in the sanctions arsenal in EU.

    Bsaically, they have to declare a total and complete trade embargo against Iran – effectively sanctioning themselves out of influence with Iran.

    What US achieved over 30 years, EU will have achieved in 3 years.

    I guess they are even more capable than US!

    The important part of the article you posted was under the “Cripple Date” section.

    There will be no naval or air blockade.

  326. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 4, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Yes, we shall have to watch and see.

    Evidently, rebels have been defeated decisively by the Syrian Government and this must be considered as an escalation to prevent total routing of the Axis Powers strategy in Syria.

    This too will fail, nothing will save the rebels now – Turkey will need to invade with full force of her army and have a major war on her hand together with decades of occupation.

    It will not happen.

  327. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    October 3, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Degradation of Iran is certainly the US aim.

    It will fail; the world has profoundly changed since 2011.

  328. fyi says:

    hans says:

    October 4, 2012 at 6:59 am

    It is not racist, as you state since there is considerable overlap between racial make up of Iran and Afghan populations.

    The difference between Iran and Afghanistan is this: Oil caused Iran to be sucked into market economics and altered Iran’s polity in very profound ways over the last 120 years.

  329. Jay says:

    An interesting inside look (wikileaks) at the history of Iran’s nuclear file.

    http://www.greenleft.org.au/node/52146

    Certain individuals will continue to insist that this conflict is about uranium, but mounting evidence of subterfuge continues to suggest otherwise!

  330. Photi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 4, 2012 at 2:39 am

    The problem with the Greenwald article is that if you accept his argument, that the rational government of Iran wants nuclear weapons for deterrence, you are essentially buying in to the warmongering neocon argument that states Iran is secretly building nukes, which is then used to justify a preventative war.

    What Greewald does not seem to consider is that Ayatollah Khamenei with his fatwa banning weapons of mass destruction has already thoroughly considered the deterrence argument and has rejected it. His rejection of the MAD argument is probably why we see politicians across the board in Iran saying things like “What are we gonna do, compete with America’s bombs? This makes no sense for us.”

    Islamic morality is often the interplay between competing goods. Such as, it is good not to eat pork, but it is better to avoid starving to death. If there is no other food source, pigs will have to do. The “good” of survival is better than the “good” of not eating pork.

    At this point in time, Ayatollah Khamenei has determined that the “good” of the defensive deterrence of WMDs is cancelled by the “good” of preventing their use altogether. The only way to prevent their use altogether is to not have them. Thus, we (logically) see an Iranian desire for a Middle East (and the world really) free of weapons of mass destruction.

    Iran’s rejection of WMDs is despite Western aggression, not in ignorance of it.

  331. And here we go… All we need now is some minor additional false flag provocations and Turkey goes to war with Syria – and of course supported by NATO and the US…

    Turkey’s parliament authorises military action in Syria
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19830928

  332. hans says:

    @fyi says:
    October 3, 2012 at 10:58 pm
    And it is waste of money; no one in Iran would want to share their oil money with those wretched, illiterate and ucouth people of Afghanistan.

    This is plain racist, without the Afghans Iran would never be able to build it’s infrastructure cheaply and within budget. I hope moderators stop such racists statements like this.

  333. Karl... says:

    Why doesnt Syria strike back at the turks obvious, and continued acts of war due the shooting on Syria?

  334. Israeli military: Armed Syrians approach border
    http://news.yahoo.com/israeli-military-armed-syrians-approach-border-152229239.html

    Any excuse for a provocation…

  335. Another article on that study of the effect of a “surgical strike” on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

    Study: Thousands Would Die in an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Sites
    :http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/10/study-thousands-would-die-in-an-attack-on-irans-nuclear-sites/263165/

    Here is the Web site of the report:
    :http://www.nucleargamble.org/

    Download the full report here (14MB PDF):
    :http://nucleargamble.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Ayatollahs-Nuclear-Gamble-Full.pdf

  336. Glenn Greenwald on The true reason US fears Iranian nukes: they can deter US attacks
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/02/iran-nukes-deterrence

    The amusing part is that in fact Iranian nukes couldn’t deter a US attack – unless they had LOTS of them mounted as missile warheads or on nuclear submarines far at sea. Which is never going to happen.

  337. The currency war on Iran
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/02/the-currency-war-on-iran

    Quote:

    When three academics – Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey Scott and Kimberly Ann Elliott – examined the history of sanctions between 1914 and 1990, in Economic Sanctions Reconsidered they determined that out of 115 cases that they looked at, only a third had seen any measure of success. The US political scientist Robert Pape has challenged even this measure, claiming that of the 40, only five can be determined genuine successes for sanctions.

    End Quote

  338. Turkish Army continues shelling positions in Syria
    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/10/04/264850/turkish-forces-continue-shelling-syria/

    Note: “The Turkish parliament is due on Thursday to discuss a motion for cross-border military operations inside Syria ‘when deemed necessary.’”

  339. More escalation…

    NATO demands halt to Syria aggression against Turkey
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/03/syria-crisis-alliance-idUSL6E8L3JR920121003?type=marketsNews

    A few shells accidentally land on Turkey and now it’s “aggression”…

  340. Europe Weighs More Sanctions as Iran’s Currency Plummets
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-04/europe-weighs-more-sanctions-as-iran-s-currency-plummets.html

    There’s little doubt the goal for the West now is to destroy Iran’s trade and economy completely. A naval blockade – and probably an “air blockade”, i.e., preventing Iranian aircraft from landing anywhere outside of Iran – will be the next step.

    The West has plenty of time for this to work since they need to deal with Syria and Lebanon first for Israel’s benefit.

  341. Photi says:

    Paul Pillar on possible explanations for Bibi’s bomb:

    Netanyahu Dumbs It Down

    “If the Israeli prime minister looks somewhat looney by using something that could have come out of Looney Tunes, that only adds to building the image of himself as someone who might actually be crazy enough to start a war with Iran. His principal audience in this regard is not in Iran but instead in the United States. The threat of dragging the United States into such a folly of a war serves in the first instance to increase the pressure for sanctions, subversion, and other dimensions of conflict with Iran short of overt military force. It also serves to box the U.S. president into a position in which if overt war comes, it is more likely to involve the United States and not just Israel.

    Netanyahu’s agitation and saber rattling, and the effects they have on U.S. policies, also help to subvert prospects for success in negotiations with Iran on the nuclear issue. They help, moreover, to prevent any broader U.S.-Iranian rapprochement, thus supporting the Israeli line that Israel is the only partner the United States can hope to have within a region full of threats and enemies.”

    http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/netanyahu-dumbs-it-down-7536?page=1

  342. Castellio says:

    M. Ali writes: “If USA and Co realize that an extremely aggressive sanction policy (not just trade, but banking, insurance, and most importantly, “if you work with Iran, we wont give you our market” policy ) works in destroying a country, then it might be cheaper in the future than war. This policy won’t necessarily be able to take over a country, but to send it down an economic crisis that they won’t be a regional player. USA doesn’t need to take over the world, it just needs to prevent anyone else challenging its influence.”

    This has been the policy of the US since the end of the Second World War. It has been used as the necessary leverage to create the “free trade agreements” which are the basis of the neo-liberal order, and was the policy which tied Europe to the American system. It was also the policy which eventually undermined the Soviet Union (which also couldn’t cope with the internal anti-Communist pressures).

    So the policy aimed at Iran is, in general, nothing new: but it is now more stringent and concentrated, and the US is trying hard to leverage third party states to do its bidding, something it has usually not had to do.

    There is, really, only one anomaly to this story: South America, which formed enough of an anti-American anti-IMF bloc to allow for indigenous movements to break away (to an extent) from the American led world order.

    People who place much hope in the differences between Israel and the US are fooling themselves: the US is at war with Iran and feels vindicated in the degradation of the Iranian economy, which they expect to have an important affect on Iranian industrial-military capacity.

    I support the independence of Iran and its right to follow a different path, but I don’t underestimate the strength of American policies which have been used again and again for over 60 years in many different situations.

    What does Iran have that the South American economies need? Not much. Yet only a firm alliance within an expanding trading block will enable Iran to safeguard its own economic development.

    Is China really willing to increase trade of all kind with Iran, given its largest trading partner is the US? I doubt it. However, if it were, then the Americans will resort to military force sooner, not later.

    Right now the US is happy to wait for a more “propitious” military moment, to continue to militarily encircle both Russia and China, to maintain de facto control over Europe, Japan and South Korea, and to re-analyze what to do with South America.

    It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, the actual effect of all this on the American people is secondary: it is the corporate alliances which rule; and they are global.

  343. Don Bacon says:

    @Nasser
    The Afghan forces, if provided with the minimum assistance they need (and deserve), will acquit themselves surprisingly well. In sum, in the post-2014 period, don’t get into any Faustian deal with Pakistan and/or the Taliban behind the back of the Kabul government. And, learn to trust Afghan resilience and sense of fortitude.
    Really?
    Consider the comments of the Commander of the ANA 215th Corps, Maj. Gen. Sayed Malouk, taking over Helmand from ISAF.
    Malouk emphasized that the public and the ANA have a common goal—peace. He added the ANA soldiers and Afghan civilian are exposed daily to the danger of war.

    “They’re tired of war,” said Malouk. “They’re frustrated, they no longer want to be in this war. This (war) is something that’s been imposed by other people from beyond this country; and the Afghan (insurgents) who have been fighting against the ANSF, they themselves have been victims of this war. They have been encouraged by those others.”

    Brigadier Gen. Ghulam Farooq, deputy commander, 215th Corps: “We’ve had continuous war in this country, we’re tired of war and we wish for peace.”
    http://www.dvidshub.net/news/printable/89388

    Hardly a fighting spirit, I’d say, and who can blame them.

  344. M. Ali says:

    Richard, I’m reading the Future of Iran article you linked and I wanted to highlight this point,

    “In addition to the official government, of which Mr. Ahmadinejad is president, there is “the house of supreme leader,” Revolutionary Guards, and a number of smaller ones. Each of these “governments” is feuding with others. Contrary to the public perception, the Supreme Leader” does not have “supreme “power. No doubt he is by far the most influential figure and without his approval no major initiative, including enrichment problem is going to be resolved. But the opposite is not true. He cannot force an issue if there is not significant support among some of these factions.”

    Its rare for a news article to talk about this unique aspect of Iranian government so well. There are those in the western media that put all power in Ahmadenijad’s hands, and then there are usually comments or articles, that go the other way, saying it is all under Khamenie. But the latter, in Iran, is not the dictator the media or even many people in Iran allude to. The leader has significant legal powers, but his case is not of someone like saddam, that can do and say whatever he wants. I think that is why he does not get involved, at least not obviously and on the surface, so much. I wish more analysts would allude this. The constitution really does put a lot of check and balances into place. If this did not exist in Iran, and they had given the President too much power or the Majlis too much power or the Guardian Council or the Revolutionary Gaurds, etc, etc, it is possible, given the war & the pressure & the corruption & behind the scenes activities, both local and international, we’d have a country that would have gone through several sudden changes in its 30 decades of democratic experimentation like other regional countries.

    I think this was way off topic to the issues currently being discussed in this thread, but I wanted to highlight it. for all its faults, this system has prevented the system from a coupe. Of course, too many cooks spoil the broth, but at the moment, until international peace is achieved, has proven to be a safeguard for Iran.

  345. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    October 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    The sanction will cease to be a factor in 4 to 5 more years.

    The fundamental problem has been oil-addiction that enabled so many in Iran to live beyond the levels supported by labor productivity in Iran.

    Now Americans and Europeans are teaching Iranians yet another hard lesson on Modernization and Modernity.

    Koreans have had to work with much less than what Iranians have had; Iranians can do as well as them if they alter patterns of investment and consumption.

  346. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Pakistan has gone out of her way to accomodate Iranian interets.

    Iran, on the other hand, has help India build a base in Afghanistan.

    But that is not at a strategic level – I wonder what Indians gave Iran for that.

    The situation in Afghanistan is too fluid to do otherwise.

    I think de facto partition of Afghanistan is very very likely; I just cannot see a Pashtun-dominated Afhnaistan to be able to exist – not since the overthrow of Monarchy.

    It could be like Somalia- with something functioning part like Somaliland and some other not so functioning part; like souther Somalia.

    Punjabi is making a lot of inroads into Pashtun language areas and it is possible that in a couple of centuries there will be no Pashtun-speakers left.

    The rest of Afghanistan, will then be a Persian-speaking area with a large population of the Shia Muslims.

    But Iranians are well advised to stay out of afghanistan – they are not wanted there and the culture is too different from Iran.

    And it is waste of money; no one in Iran would want to share their oil money with those wretched, illiterate and ucouth people of Afghanistan.

  347. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    I cannot detail what Iran is doing in Pakistan.

    Suffices to state that Iran and Pakistan have reached an understanding which is strategic.

    And then there is Shia in Pakistan about which Qum cares quite a lot.

    In Bahrain, Iranians are playing the long game – waiting for Shia there to run to Tehran to ask for protection. Just like in Lebanon.

    Why do you think Iranians are indifferent to P5+1 inducements or threats?

    Their assessment is that they do not need what US, EU, and Russia could offer.

    Or, put another way, what they could offer is not worth that much to Iran.

    Specifically, rapproachment with US, the country that denigrate the Quran and the Prophet, is politically impossible in the midst of Islamic Awakening sweeping Arabs and other Muslims.

    I think the Iranain leaders are right.

    They also have – in small ways – started to wrap themselves in the mantle of late Dr. Mossadeq – positing a 60-year long enmity of US to Iranian independence, starting with the secular and democratic government of the late Dr. Mossadeq.

  348. M. Ali says:

    I again request that the approval system is looked into again. Comments are too slow. I honestly can’t think of any other place to discuss Iranian politics that is accessible to local Iranians, and the diaspora. I look at other English sites focused on Iran and they either have very few comments or the comments are at the political level of a teenager. At RFI, I disagree with a lot of posts, but on the whole, they are at least presented with some reason and explanation on why they think that way, which makes it a pleasure for me to read, even if I disagree with it. Its a shame that someone like Sassan was so disruptive that they had to close the system.

    So, Leveretts, please look into it. I’m sure if it needs a one time cost, most of us regulars would be more than willing to donate it. Thanks, please take into consideration.

  349. Nasser says:

    M K Bhadrakumar writes about the eventual withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan and possible aftermath. He touches on the scenario of the Talibans making a dash for Kabul ala the 1990s.

    “Obama in the era of Afghan realism

    The New York Times report Tuesday titled “US Abandoning Hopes for Taliban Peace Deal” is a good sign that realism is finally dawning on the Barack Obama administration. A military victory over the Taliban was never on the cards and the US had come to accept it sometime ago already. But the desperate efforts to broker a peace deal with the Taliban, with Pakistan playing the role of an honest broker, continued up until recently.

    It is not only that Pakistan kept scuttling such a deal. Such a deal would never have been accepted by the majority of Afghan people. What was needed was a full-throttle promotion of intra-Afghan parleys. For reasons that remain incomprehensible, the US didn’t take that route.

    My strong guess is that the entrenched FOPs (Friends of Pakistan) in Richard Holbrooke’s team wanted no other route to peace than through Rawalpindi. There were bondings that dated back to the afghan jihad of the 1980s.

    This was stupidity of the first order and the US indeed came to grief for that eventually. In retrospect, despite all the cajoling by outsiders, Pakistani military never really gave up its “strategic assets” and instead it kept playing a duplicitous double game. The US probably realizes that now, but so much time has been lost and so many American lives perished.

    The second mistake was that it took an inordinately long time for the US to realise that its military presence in Afghanistan was part of the problem. The NYT story and various other recent signals – especially, NATO secretary-general’s remark last week that the drawdown may even be expedited – suggest that the US is preparing for a near-complete pullout.

    This is the right thing to do. The unfortunate part is that this pullout is going to be seen as a retreat – ie., an outcome of the so-called “insider attacks” – whereas it should have been independently arrived at as a strategic rather than tactical decision. The point is, perceptions matter in the Afghan bazaar.

    The third aspect is the mistake the US probably continues to make, namely, its lack of confidence in the Afghan army to stick it out in the post-2014 period. Here, the US is being as arrogant as the defeated Soviets were (who also made the sweeping conclusion that Najib would not survive the Red Army’s retreat.)

    The fact of the matter is that Najib was backstabbed by the Soviets when they cut off the assistance for him (which they had promised when they retreated) and then began dealing secretly with Ahmed Shah Massoud & Co. behind his back, thereby undercutting the loyalty of time-servers like Rashid Dostum who were useful sidekicks.

    The US shouldn’t make the same mistake. The Afghan forces, if provided with the minimum assistance they need (and deserve), will acquit themselves surprisingly well. In sum, in the post-2014 period, don’t get into any Faustian deal with Pakistan and/or the Taliban behind the back of the Kabul government. And, learn to trust Afghan resilience and sense of fortitude.

    That is to say, never forget for a moment that this was at one point their war and therefore, the best thing to do is not to try to impose a solution. The Afghans have their own methods of conflict resolution. If the Taliban show disinterest today, it is because Pakistan advises them to do so — so that the US deals with Pakistan.
    There is always the possibility that Pakistan may get into the act all over gain and try to pitchfork the Taliban into Kabul as it did in 1997. But for that to happen, a direct military intervention as had happened in the 1990s will become necessary. Pakistan will be extremely foolish to do that at this point when its own house is on fire and its is flat broke financially, but then it is also consistently in their DNA to make appalling blunders.

    At any rate, leave the suicidal choice to the Pakistanis on that score. In the worst case scenario of a Taliban takeover in Kabul, what is to be done? To my mind, a golden opportunity will come if the Taliban become rulers and have the responsibility to keep peace, govern their country and its lawless borders (with an extremely rude and intrusive next-door neighbor), and at the same time make its economy work and meet the people’s expectations of a better future.

    For one thing, it will be a matter of weeks or months before serious discord develops between the Taliban and their overbearing Pakistani (Punjabi) mentors. Suffice to say, the relationship with the US will once again become of pivotal importance to the Taliban (as was, ironically, the case in the 1990s.)

    This time around, though, the US shouldn’t repeat the mistake that Bill Clinton (or Karl Inderfurth) made by rejecting the Taliban’s plea for recognition. Instead, the US should deal with the Taliban and help them get to know the international community, which will mean they get out of the Pakistani clutches.

    That is to say, the US policy should be to work toward a future where the Taliban cease to be Pakistan’s “strategic assets” who are put to use to destabilize Afghanistan and keep that country so weak that it forgets how to spell DURAND LINE. If that happens, the US will have not only “won” the war but also will become the arbiter between the Taliban and the Pakistanis.”

    - Fyi do you foresee any fallout between the Pakistanis and Iranians regarding Afghanistan? You may argue that no they have some form of understanding there but I would argue that is only because of Pakistan’s current disagreements with US that may change once the US withdraws. They are probably still tied to their silly little idea of strategic depth in Afghanistan and denying Iran influence there. I have always maintained Iran should push for a partition of Afghanistan; this will virtually give Iran a border with China.

  350. Rehmat says:

    BiBiJon – Pavand is anti-Islamic Revolution secularist website. It copied the said article off AL-MONITOR, a pro-Israel Zionist website.

  351. Nasser says:

    fyi says October 3, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    “And the Shia/Irani power does not believe that it needs trade/finance/technology from US-EU at the US-EU price for them – they are in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Good willing, they will soon also be in Bahrain.”

    - Please expand your take on these two countries.

    What can Iran do in Bahrain with the Saudis and Americans there? It has certainly taken the Arab Shias a looong time to learn that they are Shias first and Arab second.

    I am even more surprised you include Pakistan. How can Iran “buy” away Pakistan from the Saudis/US; it’s not rich enough?

  352. Rehmat says:

    “All of us must work to create the environment in which decent, compassionate people can become our leaders. America and the Constitution will be safe the day Cynthia McKinney or a similar person is president of the United States. Until then, we are in great peril,”concludes Paul Craig Roberts.

    On September 25, 2009, American writer and blogger, John Kaminski wished that American had a President like Iranian President Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

    “I mean, just compare the two men as human beings. Mr. Ahmadinejad seems like a decent guy from the neighborhood, trying to tell the truth while being trampled by the demonic Jewish spin machine. And here is George W. Bush (interchangeable with Barack Obama, as have been all American presidents since U.S. Grant), revealing himself to the world as a lying, pathological killer. Hey, which one would you choose?,” said Kaminski.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/04/paul-roberts-president-like-cynthia-mckinney/

  353. M. Ali says:

    I think if Iran is able to withstand this crisis, its not only a victory for Iran but for other future countries as well.

    If USA and Co realize that an extremely aggressive sanction policy (not just trade, but banking, insurance, and most importantly, “if you work with Iran, we wont give you our market” policy ) works in destroying a country, then it might be cheaper in the future than war. This policy won’t necessarily be able to take over a country, but to send it down an economic crisis that they won’t be a regional player. USA doesn’t need to take over the world, it just needs to prevent anyone else challenging its influence.

    But if Iran DOES manage this crisis, what other options does USA have? By putting sanctions on Iran by a slow 30 year process, it has only thought Iran how to deal with each new crisis. The west (and the news media) somehow has started pretended that the sanctions have started only recently. But Iran has been sanctioned for 30+ years, but they were able to get used to each new sanction and eventually handle it so well, that it just felt like it wasn’t sanctioned. Even we Iranians sometimes forgot we were actually sanctioned.

  354. imho: Re: Wary of Israel, Iran Is Said to Err in Strikes
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/world/middleeast/wary-of-israel-iran-is-said-to-blunder-in-strikes.html?hpw

    Of course, the Times doesn’t mention this fact:

    From Sept. 11 to June, NORAD scrambled jets or diverted combat air patrols 462 times, almost seven times as often as the 67 scrambles from September 2000 to June 2001, Martin said.

    http://www.wanttoknow.info/020812ap

    So who’s “erring” more on air defense? Who’s more paranoid?

  355. Karl... says:

    Could you imagine what would happen if Iran spoke like this about israeli leaders?

    “I pray that next year will be the greatest year in the history of the State of Israel and that those, like Ahmadinejad, who threaten us will disappear,

    Does he mean like “disappear” like those scientists?

    google.com/hostednews/aftp/article/ALeqM5ip__hMMFHUiXjhqzrayo2y1rbvQQ?docid=cng.f8898c4b419b451af7af1ca7ba87dd8f.721

  356. Don Bacon says:

    @Photi

    Mark Fitzpatrick from the so-called “International Institute” does a good job of presenting US propaganda, as we would expect.

    There is no “nuclear crisis” of course, so discussing ways to end this concocted “crisis” provide audiences and three squares a day for people like Fitzpatrick but really we know it’s all specious talk and nothing more. In particular they show no empathy for the Iran side.

    The US has a successful ongoing policy of creating instability and hardship in the vast swath of territory between India and the Med, and Iran is one part of that. Nothing nuclear about that.

    Fitzpatrick’s claim that the US can destroy Fordo, or any usable entryways into it, is pure baloney. Go to the google satellite image for the Fordo site at coordinates 34.885649,50.99669, from 19 meters, and you will see a large facility surrounded by double fencing and six 10 meter wide entry portals to the underground complex which (you can’t see this) is under ninety meters of solid rock.

    So forget Mark Fitzpatrick. If the US were going to attack Iran they would have done it already, but they know they would suffer the consequences. The US has found a better way with a reduced chance of military counterattack, a strategy it calls “diplomatic,” which we know better as financial aggression.

  357. Off topic, but interesting:

    The US Government Today Has More Data On The Average American Than The Stasi Did On East Germans
    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121003/10091120581/us-government-today-has-more-data-average-american-than-stasi-did-east-germans.shtml

    Of course, that’s mostly because the technology is so much better today.

  358. Moves by U.S., Israel bolster claim they’re trying to topple Iran regime
    http://www.iraq-war.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=279024

    Original Haaretz article is behind a pay-wall, so here is iraq-war’s version.

  359. Still no evidence these were state-sponsored attacks by Iran as claimed by Senator Lieberman…

    DDoS attacks on major US banks are no Stuxnet—here’s why
    http://arstechnica.com/security/2012/10/ddos-attacks-against-major-us-banks-no-stuxnet/

  360. M. Ali says:

    My comments correcting the photos linked on EA with its own source were deleted. So I guess they’re now not even pretending anymore

  361. Karl... says:

    So in the past weeks they have not only de-listed MKO they have also set out to destroy the rial and also used cyber attacks against oil, nuclear, economic centers. Not only that, UK urge more sanctions through EU.
    Leaving no doubt that diplomacy is no officially off the table for even the most naive that Obama seeking a peaceful solution of this issue.
    If US were serious, they would have offered a deal right now that included lifting of some sanctions to ease the economic situation. Will we see such move? Of course not since the goal is the destruction of the state itself, well even beyond that, maybe 1 million infants and children died from the Iraq sanctions, there is already people dying from Iran sanctions how many will Obama accept?

  362. M. Ali says:

    EA: ” More photos show that some of the crowds clearly turned to riots:”

    I think photos can clearly show anything if it is used from other times and places. EA won’t be the only one to do this. expect by tomorrow to see lots of random blogs and news agencies using these fabricated and old photos. And by the time they are corrected, removed, and admitted they made the mistake, the impression on its readers and viewers would have been made.

  363. M. Ali says:

    So, a bit of protests today (which, if it remains peaceful and is made to make a point, I fully support) and suddenly, it pops up in certain blogs (specially EA) with photos from 2009 protests pretending to be today’s protests. I guess, those 2009 protest pictures is going to keep coming up for decades to come, whenever any protest in Iran happens. People in 2085 in the west will wonder why they are still burning buses in Iran instead of flying hovercraft buses and how come the Iranian protesters are so uncool to be wearing 2009 fashion

  364. James Canning says:

    Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, is quoted in Spiegal today: “Put yourself in Israel’s position: if Ahmadinejad were to say, “I don’t like Germany, I’m going to obliterate the country with a nuclear bomb’ . . .”

    Is that the position in which Irael finds itself? Has Ahmadinejad “threatened to obliterate Israel with a nuclear bomb”? Rubbish.

  365. James Canning says:

    imho,

    Salehi’s comment about the US should get more attention. (Opposing anti-American hysteria as seen in some Arab countries of late.)

  366. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I doubt that Russia sees Iran as fomenting Islamic insurgencies in parts of the Russian Federation.

    OPnce again, you repeat your mantra that “Axis Powers” want to “crush” Iran. Rubbish. Yes, certain powerful groups, identified almost without exception with “protecting” Israel, want to see Iran hurt badly. So Israel can continue to hurt the Palestinians.

  367. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You seem to forget that William Hague came into the Foreign Office with a view toward improving Britanain’s relations with Iran. And you may recall he urged the US to allow Iran to buy replacement nuclear fuel for the TRR.

  368. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Can the average American distinguish between Iran and Iraq? Probably not. Ed Luce of the Financial Times reminded us this week that Sarah Palin thought Africa was a country (after John McCain chose her to be his running-mate on the 2008 Republican ticket).

  369. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I agree with you that Nasser is mistaken in believing that widespread “hatred of Iran” in the US prevents rapprochement between the US and Iran. In fact, the problem is the ISRAEL LOBBY and the insane programme of Jewish colonisation of the West Bank.

  370. BiBiJon says:

    Photi says:
    October 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    You are so on the money. Folks play this numbers game with 20% of this, 140 Kilos of that and 3.5% of the other, but all that is entirely peripheral to an established fact on the ground: Iran irrevocably is in the nuclear club. Important to note also is that Iran hadn’t meant to gate crash the club. Reading Mousavian and Peter Jenkins’ account of the EU-3 negotiations, it is abundantly clear the West is wholly responsible for pushing Iran crashing through the gates of the club by provocative snobbery: rejecting Iran’s offer of 20 centrifuges as a self-imposed cap.

    Also peripheral is how many meters of reinforced concrete, or how meters deep in the mountain constitutes ‘passive’ defense. By the sounds of things Iran has no intention of being passive if attacked. Fordo and its entrances are not an invitation for one-way aggression. Fordo is meant to make an aggression a pointless act that will, nonetheless, elicit military retaliation.

    It will not be long before IAEA inspectors under additional Protocol are invited to visit sites dedicated to IR-3, 4 and 5 centrifuges, with a difference. It won’t be David Sanger fear-mongering on the front pages; the news will be in the science section of NY Times.

    All this may make Netanyahu lose some sleep. But after his Florida ads and UN performance, obviously he’s missing a lot of other things besides.

  371. James Canning says:

    The New York Times today reports Iran’s recent renewal of its offer to stop enriching to 20, and its request to buy TRR replacement fuel. No mention that the US has been blocking Iran’s IAEA application to buy replacement fuel for the TRR.

  372. fyi says:

    Photi says:

    October 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    US, EU, and Russia are using the Iranian nuclear file to try to limit Iranian power.

    Americans want to destroy it and Russians want to limit it.

    EU states are with Americans.

    Chinese estimate that neither aim is reachable but they are not going to stand between boys and their toys; they go along with yet another hare-brained scheme and collect what IOUs that they can from both sides.

    Iranian nuclear file is not resolvable at any price.

    Not after Stuxnet, assasinations, Fordow, Sabotage, Siege War, and Syria.

    Iranians are also in no mood for compromise; they have won is Syria and they are in the process of breaching the Siege.

    Cold War for a long time – perhaps generations – is in the cards.

    One can see clearly that US and Iran have been in Cold War for 33 years.

    US was in Cold War with USSR from 1946 to 1991; 35 years.

    US has been in Cold War with North Korea for 60 years – 3 generations.

    US leaders are comfortabl with prolonged Cold War.

    And Iranian leaders know nothing but Cold War with US.

    Each side is comfortable with Cold War.

    It will last.

  373. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    October 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    We shall see; but I think Mr. Hague is substantially correct; permanent Cold War is what will obtain as EU, and US have systematically burnt their bridges to Tehran.

    And the Shia/Irani power does not believe that it needs trade/finance/technology from US-EU at the US-EU price for them – they are in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

    Good willing, they will soon also be in Bahrain.

    And the rise of MB in the Middle East improves the strategic climate for the Shia/Irani power.

    The feeling in Tehran, in my opinion, is this: our survival is not predicated on having good relations with US, EU, Russia.

  374. BiBiJon says:

    imho says:
    October 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    “Did anyone noticed Rafsanjani’s son is back in Iran ? I wonder what does this mean together with Rafsanjani himself appearing with Khamenei several times recently and specially in NAM meeting.”

    National Unity, according to http://www.payvand.com/news/12/oct/1017.html

  375. Photi says:

    at the end of the quote below, that was not supposed to be an emphasis with those italics. i had too many html codes apparently. i was attempting to distinguish “realpolitik” as it usually is.

  376. Photi says:

    I am re-posting a comment i made over at mondoweiss. it concerns the demand that Iran be prepared to dismantle Fordow in any negotiated settlement. The comment is hopefully self-explanatory, but the gist of it is that i am wondering if the Fordow dismantling demand is there simply as a way to ensure no agreement can be reached with Iran and the P5+1:

    Below I have transcribed a question on the nuclear negotiations asked by Greg Tealman of Arms Control Associaton. The setting is a talk titled “Will diplomatic failure over Iran trigger war?” given by Mark Fitzpatrick at the International Institute for Strategic Studies–US (link below to the youtube video).

    Mark Fitzpatrick’s answer illustrates that the demand that Iran shut down the Fordow site is demanded NOT because the US could not destroy Fordow, but because Israel could not destroy it, or, in other words, Israel cannot “contain” Iran with the existence of Fordow. Looked at from the Iranian point of view, however, Fordow is a deterrence against an Israeli attack.

    But let’s be real, Israel cannot militarily “contain” Iran as it is, Fordow or not. Iran’s nuclear program is too redundant, too much a part of the broader Iranian society for it to be erased.

    So clearly Israel already relies on the US for security from their perceived Iranian threat, Fordow does not change this equation, so why should Israel be so insistent this demand to dismantle Fordow be included in the negotiations?

    As Fitzpatrick says, the US can destroy Fordow, or certainly can destroy any usable entryways into it. And as we all know, the US has Israel’s back. So why this demand to dismantle Fordow from Israel? Do they not think other nations have a right to defend against Israeli aggression or to protect their valuable assets?

    Is it merely an irrational demand by Israel knowing full well the rational actors in Tehran will reject such a demand?

    It seems clear to me the dismantling of Fordow is a strawman put in there so Israel can ensure the negotiations will fail.

    Anyway, here is the question and answer. I transcribed it, so my apologies for any errors. The question is asked @28:17 in the video (link below):

    Greg Tealman-Arms Control Association:

    “I wanted to focus on Fordow, and the, um, specifically on the demand that it be shut down. Um, I wanted your reaction to my interpretation that from an Iranian perspective, the ‘shut-down demand’ can only be interpreted as a provocation, as an indication of bad faith on the part of the six powers [P5+1 or E3+3] because it ultimately means that even if Iran were to accept limits at 3.5%, if they were to accept the Additional Protocol, if they were to accept everything else that we ask for, we would say “Fordow has to be shut down because we have trouble destroying it in an air assualt.” Isn’t that essentially what the demand is and how is that, how is that constructed to allow us in these very difficult negotiations to get over the hurdle of lack of trust and faith on both sides and get a confidence building agreement?”

    Mark Fitzpatrick: “Yeah, Greg, that’s a good question. I think though that, um, the pronoun is not the right pronoun in the way you framed the question. It’s not that “we,” that is to say, members of the E3+3, have a difficulty attacking Fordow. The United States could do it with its, um, its heavy gravity bombs, but Israel couldn’t and that doesn’t make it any easier for Iran obviously, it would make more of a problem but I mean this is realpolitik we’re talking about here. “

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnyEzJ_9Pl4

  377. Castellio says:

    Nasser writes: “The hatred for Iran (and indeed Muslims) runs very deep in America. No rapprochement is going to occur in the foreseeable future.”

    I don’t think that’s true. I think the hatred is very localised, and not general. The confusion and uncertainty might be general, but certainly not hate.

  378. Castellio says:

    For those interested in Pakistan-China-Russia, a good article:
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/NJ03Ag01.html

  379. BiBiJon says:

    Soon after November 6th, P5+1+Iran will transform itself into g7
    =============================================================

    fyi says:
    October 3, 2012 at 12:00 am

    “This Siege War also will not end soon….”

    In reality the stake holders in Mid East are the 7 countries who have locked horns for the past several years. William Hague’s vision is an eternal cold-war with Iran. He will not get his wish. It solves less than nothing.

    The siege war will continue to force Iran to establish new facts on the ground to materially and psychologically counter the siege which creates an expanding Iranian sphere influence without pre-agreed parameters or perimeters. This is the very definition of dystopia for P5+1 countries’ interests in the mid east. Put in the context of ‘Arab Spring’ galloping out of the barn, I would not be surprised if the group started to meet more amicably to hash out a modus vivendi for everyone’s sakes soon after the June elections in Tehran.

    There have been too many claims of victory round the corner in Iraq, and claims of the Taliban’s last gasp, etc. for anyone to buy the claims that Iran’s fall is imminent. Hague’s “permanent cold-war” musings attests to that. A better way of sorting out the mess is long overdue.

  380. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 3, 2012 at 12:10 am

    My apologies; I made a mistake, menat “Syria” where I worte “Afghanistan”.

    Fundamentally, both Russia and the Axis States are opposed to the Shia/Irani power.

    There are only degrees to it; Axis States wish to crush that power, Russians only wish to weaken that power into a Russian dependency (their preferred outcome).

    Neither of those futures are in the cards.

  381. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 3, 2012 at 1:09 am

    A statesman would be able to negogiate a settlement with Iran.

    Americans do not have such a man at the present time.

  382. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 3, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I do not believe that our views are mutually exclusive; Russia will need to maintain independent Iran for an Iran under Axis States domination is a direct threat – on multiple fronts – to Russian security.

    I guess may be they thought that they could reach an agreement with Axis States to declare Iran a (weak) neutral state – like Finland, Austria, and Afghanistan after World War II.

    But such an agreement is not in the cards.

  383. imho says:

    “…noted a heavily classified Pentagon intelligence report”

    so heavily that we can see it in NYT

    Wary of Israel, Iran Is Said to Err in Strikes

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/03/world/middleeast/wary-of-israel-iran-is-said-to-blunder-in-strikes.html?hpw

  384. Karl... says:

    k_w,

    Rice were actually there in part, Hillary were never in that room(?)
    The US negogiator for Iran (that gray haired lady, whats her name) was also seen.

    Also Hillary spoke with netayahu some days after the speech and so did Obama.

  385. humanist: “Don’t you think a lot has changed since you first predicted the ‘blockade’ in PG and/or over opens seas?”

    No. Nothing strategic has changed. Nothing on the bottom line of the US-Iran conflict has changed.

    “The recent Tehran NAM declaration very strongly suggested the plan for the Isolation of Iran has dismally failed, 120 countries are now against the bullying tactics of the Imperialist/Israel camp…and there was much more in the declaration. (did you read its summary?)”

    Name me someone in the US military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the Israel Lobby, the neocons, or in Israel who cares…

    “The ferocity of recent anti-American protests must have caused jitters in the Board Rooms of the Empires.”

    Name me someone in those boardrooms who will lose one thin dime as a result of the protests as compared with how much they will make if there is an Iran war over the next ten years. Now compare with who lost what over the last ten years of Iraq or Afghanistan. Hint: Not one thin dime.

    “– The extremely important 82 page report of 16 intelligence agencies on “US preparing for a post Israel Middle East” was leaked about a month ago.”

    Prepared by people who still don’t run the country…

    “– For the first time in nearly 4 years Obama did something extraordinary….he rejected Netanyahu’s plan for declaring a redline on Iranian nuclear progress.”

    Which changes nothing. It merely gives him some more “credibility” among the Obama fanatics who think he’s on their side. As I’ve said repeatedly here, Obama’s goal is to start an Iran war without being blamed for it. That’s it. If Netanyahu gets in the way of that, Obama will be pissed. But he still can’t do anything about it.

    “- Even if previous deceptive and delusional statements of Netanyahu are ignored, his UN ‘performance’ discredited the war camp noticeably….and this is NOT a small potato.”

    Once again, it doesn’t matter who “discredits” what. That lasts for five minutes among the US electorate who will forget about it by Tuesday before lunch. Meanwhile, the onslaught of “Iran nuclear weapons bad” continues.

    And once again, it’s irrelevant what Netanyahu wants. The people calling the shots are the MIC, the oil companies, the banks, etc. The neocons and the Israelis are “second-tier” shot callers. They don’t control the US to the degree some people think. They have massive influence, yes, but they don’t CONTROL.

    “Don’t you think, these days, the probability of war with Iran is way less than what it was couple of months ago?”

    Absolutely not. Absolutely nothing has changed on the ground or in the relative positions of the two countries. Nothing has walked back the rhetoric.

    I remind you that six years ago I was saying the US would attack Iran over at Matt Yglesias’ political blog. I was absolutely RIDICULED for EVEN SUGGESTING the POSSIBILITY of an Iran war. Today all we hear about is the Iran war. So I’m supposed to take some minor events over the last two months as a major change in the situation?

    There was some push back against the Iraq war in 2002 and 2003. It happened anyway.

    To establish a serious change in the situation, Obama has to do at least one of a number of things:

    1) Acknowledge explicitly that Iran has a right to domestic uranium enrichment.
    2) Create an actual agreement with Iran during some diplomatic meeting that he then does not renege on.
    3) Explicitly take a military attack on Iran OFF the table.

    Until one of those things happens, there is absolutely no change in the situation. Right now, Obama is just hanging fire until the elections are over. He will escalate against Iran next year. He will also escalate against Syria by end of this year or first quarter of next year.

    We’ll see whose prediction is correct.

  386. imho says:

    Salehi addressed the issue of anti-American sentiment, saying, “Iran has great respect for the United States.” While he noted that Muslims must stand up for acts against the Prophet, he said that, “some went beyond what was expected.” He contended his country is opposed to anti-Americanism or an “America-phobia,” as he called it. He went on to say, “We [Iran] have no animosity toward the United States.”

    A chat with Salehi.
    Unable to send the link. See it in foreignpolicy.com

  387. imho says:

    @RSH

    “We wanted to make sure that the cargo does not include weapons,” al-Dabbagh said. “Special teams searched the plane, and no weapons were spotted in the cargo.”

    Did you expect anything else ?

    Official: Iraq searches Syria-bound Iranian plane
    http://news.yahoo.com/official-iraq-searches-syria-bound-iranian-plane-161409778.html

  388. imho says:

    Some signs that something is going on between US and Iran

    Is Iran trying to tell us something we won’t hear?

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/201210295641216862.html

  389. k_w says:

    @humanist

    1. Do you think the Lamb report is based on fact, i.e., does the IC paper really exist?

    2. It is not only that Obomber didn’t receive Netanyahu but also Shrillary and Rice were absent during Natanyahu’s ground-shaking presentation in the GA.

  390. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    The book looks interesting. Thanks. The hatred for Iran (and indeed Muslims) runs very deep in America. No rapprochement is going to occur in the foreseeable future.

  391. Nasser says:

    fyi says October 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm,

    “There is a fundamental limit to Russia’s partnership with Axis States against Iran. They need an independent Iran but not too independent…They want an Iran that is dependent on Russia, the way Pakistan is dependent on US (and China).”

    - I think Russia simply views Iran as a bargaining chip to be traded away for the right concessions from the US. They don’t really care much for Iran. For example I don’t find your predictions of Russia supplying Iran in the event of a war to be probable. China’s relationship towards Pakistan is rather different and strategic in nature. They need Pakistan to balance and keep India occupied. As such China has always provided Pakistan with many substantive assistance. Russia has no such need for Iran.

    “I think they did and I think they were unprepared for what Axis States did in Libya and what they are attempting to do now in Afghanistan.”

    - I am unclear on this. I agree on Libya but what are they trying to do in Afghanistan exactly? The US realizes that its goals are unattainable there; they want to leave and they will leave.

  392. fyi says:

    All:

    Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations During the Iran-Iraq War

    http://www.brookings.edu/events/2012/09/24-becoming-enemies-us-iran

    This Siege War also will not end soon….

  393. humanist says:

    Richard,

    Re: Your Oct 2, 6:33pm post

    “Next step: naval blockade……”

    Don’t you think a lot has changed since you first predicted the ‘blockade’ in PG and/or over opens seas?

    – The recent Tehran NAM declaration very strongly suggested the plan for the Isolation of Iran has dismally failed, 120 countries are now against the bullying tactics of the Imperialist/Israel camp…and there was much more in the declaration. (did you read its summary?)

    – The ferocity of recent anti-American protests must have caused jitters in the Board Rooms of the Empires. In my view those protests reflect the tip of the iceberg. I am sure the intensity of such ‘anger’ is ever-increasing and in case of War with Iran it could manifest itself in the form of an unstoppable volcano.

    – The extremely important 82 page report of 16 intelligence agencies on “US preparing for a post Israel Middle East” was leaked about a month ago.

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/28/us-preparing-for-a-post-israel-middle-east/

    For me this event, in its least significant level, defines an important (if not historical) turning point.

    – For the first time in nearly 4 years Obama did something extraordinary….he rejected Netanyahu’s plan for declaring a redline on Iranian nuclear progress. For me how and why such a decision was made is still a mystery. I suspect, there, the 82 page report must have been, if not instrumental, at least influential. (although the report was leaked around the end of August, it is safe to assume earlier the Obama Administration was aware of its content)

    - Even if previous deceptive and delusional statements of Netanyahu are ignored, his UN ‘performance’ discredited the war camp noticeably….and this is NOT a small potato.

    Don’t you think, these days, the probability of war with Iran is way less than what it was couple of months ago?

  394. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 2, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Government of Iran has caused a sharp and rapid decline in the exchange rate to prevent capital flight.

    In US, they need to use this drop to demonstrate that Mr. Obama’s policies are working!

  395. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    My position is this:

    There is a fundamental limit to Russia’s partnership with Axis States against Iran.

    They need an independent Iran but not too independent.

    The need is driven by geography, religion, oil & gas, and finally security in the Russia’s Near-Abroad.

    They want an Iran that is dependent on Russia, the way Pakistan is dependent on US (and China).

    But that Russian aim was unreachable; Iranian leaders have been indifferent to Russia; they used Russia as much as Russian used Iran.

    At the same time, Russians do not wish to have another state in their Near Abroad – competing with them: they already have US and China.

    It is debatablel if the Russians went too far against Iran in 2010.

    I think they did and I think they were unprepared for what Axis States did in Libya and what they are attempting to do now in Afghanistan.

    Whether they will re-evaluate their policy vis-a-vis Iran soon is not clear to me.

    I am doubtful.

  396. Big surprise…not…

    Report: PM to ask Europe for tougher Iran sanctions
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4287876,00.html

    Interesting part:

    “He said he doesn’t believe that the EU would impose a full trade embargo on the Islamic Republic, but added that ‘it’s always good to aim high and see what comes out of the wash.’”

    Next step: naval blockade…

  397. This ought to drive Canning into a conniption fit…

    Iran to enrich uranium to 60 percent if nuclear talks fail
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/us-iran-nuclear-uranium-idUSBRE8910VJ20121002

  398. Nasser says:

    Photi writes October 2, 2012 at 2:08 pm,

    I haven’t LOL’ed so hard in some time. Like you said this stuff belongs in science fiction or video games.

  399. M. Ali says:

    I have lived outside Iran for most of my life (in Dubai) and moved back to Iran almost 3 years back.

    The situation we are in has become distressing, but I told my friends today, that as much as I am under stress and no matter how much money I have lost, I don’t regret coming to Iran, nor would I move back to Dubai (even though I could easily go back). Even under the worst difficult situations, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world at the moment.

  400. M. Ali says:

    It is interesting that Scott’s site used my post to support his usual narrative. I guess the only time my opinion counts is when they can use it to support their usual narrative, all my other opinions is me being a paid basiji rapist thug that is only supporting the Iranian people because I get free cakes and sundis.

  401. Rd. says:

    Nasser says:

    “From Stratfor:
    Sanctions are, so far, not impacting Iran to this degree. In fact, as long as Iranian citizens can provide for their families, increasing the severity of sanctions will do more to bolster nationalist sentiment in Iran than undermine it. “

    perhaps, an example of the nationalist sentiment…..

    “Now comes the scarier option that the Iranian government has… war. As the Western governments pushed by the US and Israel are salivating at the prospect of economic downturn in Iran, Iran is left with few options. War would be the one option of quickly ending things. “

    http://therealamirtaheri.blogspot.co.uk/

  402. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    You have stated in the past that Russia has a fundamental interest in insuring Iranian independence. I have argued that you overestimate Iran’s importance to Russia and that Russia primarily views Iran as a bargaining chip. Also that Russia hasn’t really provided much substantial assistance to Iran. It seems you have changed your views (?)

  403. Nasser says:

    fyi says October 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm,

    - I didn’t get the impression that the article predicted regime instability but only social instability.

    - The reforms of course are long overdue. And the rial has been overvalued for too long. I have always said that the government should use these sanctions as political cover and enact unpopular but necessary reforms. You are right that Iran needs more production and a move away from wasteful subsidized consumption. You do not simply become powerful without sacrifices and hard work.

  404. The Doctor says:

    @James Canning: Oops! Sorry — thought you meant Aerians. (I’m the one who misspelled. :(

    Of course Jews are Aryans. (They are white. ?!) (Not that stupid, LOL).

  405. Karl.. says:

    James,

    There is nothing unlawful with enriching 20% or any HEU # (if just Iran could give a civilian use for it), and there is nothing ambiguous about it unless you look it from a warmongering stance which you seems to do. I have told you this repeatedly.

    On another note, yes I think Iran should keep the option open for nuclear capability and beyond if necessary – basically what is enough for a deterrence, not because I support proliferation but rather because we should not be naive about the credible threat Iran is under. When Iraq used WMD on iranians the west didnt care and the international law was obviously put aside, I think that was the nail in the coffin, namely that Iran could only rely on itself, it will never get support when obvious war crimes have been committed against them.

    And as you know, the premise is, ‘if you have nukes, we wont invade you’.

  406. Photi says:

    *lol, sites rather.

  407. Photi says:

    re: some additional thoughts on The Entebbe Option:

    Option 1. This is the one where Israel conducts aerial strikes against Iranian nuclear sights. It is also the one where they prove to the world their air force is not as extensive as the USAF. To proceed with this option is too costly for Israel, much more costly than admitting they have been bluffing.

    Option 2. The “Entebbe” option. Or, as i like to call it, The “video game” option. Sounds exciting, but it also sounds like Israel will be dropping 400 of its elite commandos into Iran to go up against a few thousand of Iran’s elite commandos. Again, an exciting video game, but sitting ducks irl.

    Option 3. The Regime decapitation option. This option only makes sense to us foreigners because we believe the regime to be foreign to Iranian public life.

    Will the ‘well-intended’ liberal interventionist interlopers ever realize just how germane the Ayatollahs are to Iranian society? Heaven only only knows, but whatever, let’s bomb Tehran, let’s bomb Qom. Heck, while we are at it, let’s bomb the Vatican. The Catholics will eventually get over it.

  408. imho says:

    fyi says:
    October 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Right but good relations are not necessary to have same interests

  409. James Canning says:

    The Doctor,

    Do you regard Jews as Aryans? (Reference, of course, was to “Americans”.)

  410. Photi says:

    sorry, each paragraph from the quote below is from a different portion of the article at Foreign Policy

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/27/the_entebbe_option?page=0,0

  411. Photi says:

    BibiJon, fyi, Karl…

    The following are a few select quotes from Mark Perry’s “The Entebbe Option” (linked to by RSH the other day) and illustrate the likelihood of Israel launching a military operation against Iran without American participation is extremely nil.

    Israel relies on a false image of being a regional hegemon with all the implied abilities to project its power, and so for Israel to actually put the lie to this image would destroy this image whole. If Israel’s Lebanon War of 2006 put a few holes in the image of Israeli invincibility, Israeli failure with their Iran adventure will shred the image to bits. All those years of careful placement of their propaganda, shown for the smoke it is.

    Calling Netanyahu’s bluff is not a dare to him to start something stupidly violent, it is simply a recognition that his theatrics have not worked. Keeping the world on the brink of destruction all to sustain a transparently false image of invincibility. Game over, charade is up, where are the serious people???

    “We have to understand what Israel’s goal is in any attack on Iran. The whole point for Israel is to show that they can they can project power anywhere in the region.

    But planners for the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Centcom have concluded that, because of limits to Israel’s military capabilities, such an aerial campaign could not be sustained. “They’ll have one shot, one time,” the U.S. military officer said. “That’s one time out and one time back. And that’s it.”

    Which could be why Netanyahu is so anxious for the Obama administration to say when or if it would join an attack. As Hoar, the former Centcom commander, bluntly put it: “Compared to the United States, Israel doesn’t have a military.”

    Skeptics of this option include Admiral Inman. “The Israelis could get to Entebbe,” he said, “but they can’t get to Iran. My sense is that the fact that the Israelis are even thinking about this operation shows that they realize that their first, bombing option won’t work. They’re desperately grasping for a military solution, and they know they don’t have one.”

    Obama told him that the United States would “neither help nor hinder” an Israeli strike, this official said.

    Gard, the retired Army officer, agreed: “It’s clear to me that President Obama will do everything he can to stop Iran from getting a bomb,” he said. “But no president will allow another country to decide when to shed American blood. Not even Israel.”

  412. Karl: “Whats so impossible about they getting nuclear weapons after an attack?”

    You cannot develop a high-tech nuclear arsenal under conditions of hot war. It’s next to impossible. Conceivably if Iran already HAD sufficient HEU (which they don’t) BEFORE the war started, they might possibly be able to do the bomb construction work underground. But that isn’t the situation. Iran only has LEU.

    It’s highly unlikely to be able to take LEU and re-enrich it to weapons grade when the US is bombing every electrical power line in Iran… It doesn’t matter whether you have your facilities in a cave inside a mountain. You need a lot of power to run centrifuges, and that kind of power doesn’t come from generators, it comes from dams and large scale power generating plants that haven’t been bombed into the Stone Age.

    Iran conceivably could develop nukes AFTER the war has ended – but why would it bother? Other reconstruction would be far more important.

    Iran will never have nuclear weapons. Ever. Under any circumstances. They don’t want them, they can’t get them under conditions of hot war, and they couldn’t use them either strategically or tactically if they did get them to threaten the US military in any effective way.

  413. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    You have constantly urged the Iranian government to stockpile 20% U and to create the impression Iran in fact wants to be able to build nukes quickly. And you think Iran is wise to be ambiguous, about whether it wants to build nukes on the sly. Is this course wise? Your belief Iran would be able to build nukes, if it is first attacked by Israel (or the US), is wide of the mark.

  414. Don Bacon: “Somehow the bankers have figured out that this particular war would be bad for business, an idea which should be encouraged.”

    Good luck with that…

  415. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    With an election coming up in the US next month, the Obama administration is obliged to be hostile toward the Palestinians. ISRAEL LOBBY.

  416. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 2, 2012 at 11:19 am

    This is a simplified assessment nevertheless the core observation is correct: Iranian government is deliberately removing any and all subsidies from the Iranian economy excepting food and medicine.

    That is, it is forcing the Iranian people off subsidies and into global prices.

    The major weakness of this analysis is in it predicating regime instability and change on what transpires on the streets of Tehran.

    Without the endorsement of Qum and Tabriz there will be and could be no regime change or alteration in Iran.

  417. Don Bacon says:

    @RSH
    How to Help Iran Build a Bomb
    There has been a noticeable shift lately with some in the MSM now actually discouraging an attack on Iran, an idea which was previously forbidden. The word must have come down from on high. Even to the New York Times, a usually dependable bellwether for new wars. Somehow the bankers have figured out that this particular war would be bad for business, an idea which should be encouraged.

  418. Don Bacon says:

    @The Doctor
    re: Iran census – Jews
    I can’t comment because I can’t find the information in English in the source document, which is necessary.

  419. Karl... says:

    Amazing.

    The palestinian issue is like a mirror of the iranian issue in terms of how US manage to get support for their causes.

    Now, with extorision-like demands and pressure they threat even allies in the EU not to support palestinian moves in the UN.
    Remember palestinians dont even seek a state, they are seeking the “non member state”-status, still the hysteria and rejection by Israel and US are still there letting us know very clear that they are against any palestinian state. How US could commit such tactic when the region is filled with anti-americanism is beyond any reason.


    US warns European governments against supporting Palestinians at UN | World news | The Guardian

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/01/us-warns-europe-palestinians-un

  420. Nasser says:

    From Stratfor:

    “Sample Article: The Depreciation of Iran’s Rial

    The exchange rate for Iran’s national currency, the rial, fell 17 percent in trading Monday, closing at 34,700 rials to the dollar, compared to the previous day’s rate of 29,600. Officials from both Israel and the United States declared that the rapid fall of the rial is evidence that international sanctions against Iran are having their desired effect. However, instability in the foreign exchange market is hardly a major concern for the regime. Economic sanctions are an effective tool of diplomacy only when their effects become so unbearable to individual citizens that the state must change its behavior or else risk its legitimacy. Sanctions are, so far, not impacting Iran to this degree. In fact, as long as Iranian citizens can provide for their families, increasing the severity of sanctions will do more to bolster nationalist sentiment in Iran than undermine it.

    The rial’s value has been declining for more than a year, but it dropped precipitously over the past week after Tehran introduced a new “exchange center” designed to supply importers of basic goods with dollars at a rate of 2 percent less than the market rate. According to media reports, government officials in recent weeks have blocked nearly all importers from buying dollars through the central bank at the official rate of 12,260 rials per dollar. Instead, they have been directing importers to the new exchange centers. However, the exchange center’s fixed daily rate is only slightly less than the open market value, which has diverged so significantly from the official rate as to make the discount almost negligible. Officially registered money exchangers are also reportedly no longer selling dollars, forcing more and more of the market over to informal trading channels and exacerbating the scarcity of dollars even further. Instead of allaying fears about the availability of dollars, the government-initiated center seems to have intensified the race for hard currency by linking the special rate to the much higher market rate.

    Still, we are not seeing any significant shortages of basic goods in Iran. At the end of last year, the International Monetary Fund estimated that Iran had roughly $106 billion in official currency reserves, enough to cover Iran’s goods and services imports for at least 13 months, barring an extraordinary shift in the international market. Economists now estimate those reserves stand at about $50 billion to $70 billion. Iran’s ability to acquire dollars through energy trades and international banking has been affected by international sanctions. Dollars still come through, but apparently not at the same rate as the end of last year. The Iranian government still has a large financial cushion to soften the domestic effects of an increasingly devalued rial. But the further the rial falls, the faster those reserves will be depleted, most likely in the form of domestic subsidies and price controls. As the rial continues to weaken, it becomes an increasingly less effective tool in Iranian efforts to regulate the domestic economy.

    However, there are still a number of factors working in Iran’s favor against international sanctions efforts. First, the Iranian government and the Iranian people have effectively dealt with international sanctions for decades. In anticipation of further U.S. and EU sanctions, the Iranian government has been stockpiling basic goods for more than a year. The government would likely ration goods if there was a fear that shortages were becoming a problem, but we have yet to see such a move. Second, the amount of dollars circulating in Afghanistan and Iraq after nearly a decade of U.S. occupation makes them still relatively easy to obtain by simply crossing the border. Third, the Iranian regime’s extensive smuggling networks in Iraq and elsewhere remain a major source of government revenue that cannot be affected by sanctions.

    None of this is to say that the sanctions are not having a real impact on the Iranian economy. They are, which is wearing on the regime financially and politically. But sanctions are meant to wear down their target by attrition, which means their effects will only take hold over time. Ultimately, if sanctions are going to threaten the Iranian regime, that threat will come from the streets of Tehran, not from foreign currency traders.”

  421. Fiorangela says:

    paul says: October 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    re: US involvement in Venezuela election

    A democratic party operative who was a guest on Washington Journal recently mentioned that her organization is running focus groups for the Venezuelan opposition.

    Politics has become commodified. Several universities in Washington, DC offer master’s degrees in campaign management. The processes are closely related to marketing: a recent book, The Victory Lab: The Secret Science of Winning Campaigns, makes that clear. Statesmen of the past used to concentrate on developing their rhetorical skills, and studied Cicero and Chrysostom to develop their abilities to persuade an audience. Today, persons with leadership ambitions master Bernays’ propaganda techniques and are encouraged to reduce their thoughts to zingers of 140 characters or less.

  422. Karl.. says:

    RSH,

    Whats so impossible about they getting nuclear weapons after an attack? After all who could then blame them if they wanted to take that step?

  423. BiBiJon says:

    a pure example of the psychological concept of “projection”
    =========================================================

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 2, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Yesterday I came across this article
    http://lewis.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/5724/bibis-bomb-guide-for-the-perplexed

    In particular this quote caught from Jeffery Lewis my eyes:

    “The benefit of a strike is an induced pause in the program — more or less what we have now[,] though imposed through force. The question is whether an airstrike creates more delay than the current indecision of the Supreme Leader. So far, I think, the best answer has been no…”

    I couldn’t resist asking (no response as yet) what it is the Iranian officialdom have to say, how often do they have to say it, and how publicly must they tie the ‘Islamic’ Republic’s credibility to their word, for it to register as a decision to foreswear nuclear weapons?

    But dwelling on ‘projection’ another question comes to mind. Suppose by chance of birth Jeffery was born Iranian. Further imagine by happenstance of luck and skill he got to become a highly influential adviser to the Supreme Leader.

    Judging by the American Jeffey’s style of analysis, the Iranian Jeffery would advise SL to build a bomb but don’t get caught. I’m sure SL would have a lot of probing questions for the Iranian Jeffery, such as “how would I utilize even the threat of using the nukes?” Or, “if push came to shove, under what circumstances could I nuke somebody?”

    Just saying. Reading the musings of “experts” who seem to serve to purpose other than nurture and support suspicion and paranoia, is getting to be repetitive.

    It would be a welcome change if Lewis played the role of the SL’s adviser and wrote a policy paper for him. Note to Lewis: the paper is supposed to guide a decision, not indecision.

  424. fyi says:

    pmr9 says:

    October 2, 2012 at 7:45 am

    The Rial liquidity has to be absorbed by the industrial economy. That is what is lacking.

    A rentiere ecconomic regime cannot be reformed and replaced in a year.

    Than God for US-EU Sanctions that finally broke that rentiere economy in Iran….

  425. fyi says:

    imho says:

    October 2, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Very doubtful.

    Iran and Russia do not have good relations.

  426. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    October 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    They are fools and knaves; you should ignore them.

    Just like this Iranian Jew who loves Israel so much that he does not care what happens to the Jews of Iran at the event of a war.

  427. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    October 1, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    The Iranian economy based on charitable contributions of oil revenue to mintain standard of living was not sustainable.

    Iranian government, under the guise of sanctions, is devaluating rial to lower its imports, tax the population, lower the cost of subsidies or eliminate them all together.

    The volume of rial had expanded almost 60 times during the last ten years.

    Too many rials looking for goods and services.

    This had to be stopped.

    The other aspect of this is the elimination of subsidies such as those on airline tickets.

    It was about time to remove them; it was subsidizing the life style of mostly anti-government crowd.

    Note that in a war, fiat currencies all loose value.

    Iran is in a war.

    By the way, Turkish Lira also collapsed at the start of the last decade.

    My hope is that Iranian government will finally leave all this “Islamic Economics” non-sense and begin to seriously encourage production.

  428. imho says:

    Is this really news:

    Report: Iran, Russia operating joint command on Syria

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4286903,00.html

  429. How to Help Iran Build a Bomb
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunday-review/how-to-help-iran-build-a-bomb.html

    Once again, for the retarded “experts” cited in the article…

    Iran will not and can not build nuclear weapons if attacked and couldn’t use them if they did – and they know this and have repeatedly said they know this.

    None of these “experts” have ever bothered to think through this issue other than this knee-jerk notion – a pure example of the psychological concept of “projection” – based on their own responses that Iran would be pressured into making nukes if attacked.

  430. ‘West wants end of Syria as a functioning independent state’
    http://rt.com/news/syria-west-proxy-war-321/

  431. pmr9 says:

    M. Ali says:
    October 1, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Iran is in a better position than most countries to respond to a currency crisis: it has no serious external debts in foreign currency, and it has a commodity to sell that is in high demand.

    What Iran seems to have been doing over the last year is raising interest rates to maintain the value of the currency. This is the orthodox monetarist remedy, and it is unlikely to work in a currency crisis because a 20% interest rate doesn’t compensate for the risk of a short-term fall. The UK tried this in 1992 in a vain attempt to stay within the European exchange rate mechanism, eventually losing billions to a speculative attack led by George Soros.

    According to the Modern Monetary Theory school of economics, the value of a state’s currency is ultimately maintained by having to use it to pay your taxes. So one way for Iran to create demand for rials is to impose a new tax, preferably easy to collect and targeted on the rich: a tax on high-end properties would be a good start. Another possibility would be for Iran to start requiring payment for its oil in rials: this would instantly create demand for rials to which the formal and informal banking systems would respond.

  432. Jay says:

    Rd. says:
    October 1, 2012 at 11:10 am

    “Deflating the treasury strategy” is what is suggested in my post as the preferred strategy by Iranians.

    With regards to responses to financial sanctions, I have heard reports about new and very difficult to detect transaction mechanisms that are already up and running but will take time to ramp up. We shall see.

  433. The Doctor says:

    @James Canning: “19 of the richest Aerican donors to Netanyahu also fund Romney and the Republican Party.” You mean, “Aeryan.” (Sorry to correct spelling, but I’m OCD!)

  434. The Doctor says:

    @M. Ali<<>> Agreed! I have read bloggers who do seem overly enthusiastic about the overthrow of what they perceive to be an oppressive regime. (Haven’t seen anyone actually express delight about the Iranian people — can you point out those blogs?)

  435. The Doctor says:

    @Don Bacon: <<>>
    Iran’s own recent census indicates that the total Jewish population Iran is 8,756. Can you cite your source? (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5juj_KhuuT0v7aaT3PPDmJFbQYrtw?docId=CNG.174be06ad8ee4755308494817ef96f0e.781).

  436. humanist says:

    Dan Cooper at 11:12am provided a link here to an article published in Press TV about Franklin Lamb’s very interesting essay on August 28 in Foreign Policy Journal.

    Below is the link for the original piece by Lamb entitled “US Preparing for a Post-Israel Middle East?”.

    If true the event is a very thought provoking stuff.

    Many conscientious individuals who firmly believe “History teaches us that Apartheid stats can not survive forever”, after reading this, must have thought: What took them so long? .

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/08/28/us-preparing-for-a-post-israel-middle-east/

    If you type the title of the above article in Google Search you’ll find quite a few essays and videos, some of them in my view are religious or anti-Semitic thus biased and unreliable yet some reveal interesting believable realities.

  437. M. Ali says:

    And the fact that certain Iranians diaspora blog commenter and their white bloggers are writing about the crisis with a certain glee and happiness makes even sadder. Its always so disheartening to note people that talk about how much they hate the Iranian government but LOOOOOVE the Iranian people, yet seem to want every bad thing to happen to the people (wars,sanctions, economic crisis, etc).

  438. M. Ali says:

    The current currency crisis is a big worry to me. If the government can’t burst the currency bubble soon (and so far, it is a bubble) then many business will close down and if it is prolonged, and the bubble suddenly bursts, then a lot of people will lose their life savings, and if it doesn’t burst, then the rial will be valueless and will have a hyperinflation like Zimbabwe.

    My own savings have been reduced by 1/3rd in an extremely short time and I refused to convert it to dollars for ideological reasons, but I wonder how long I can hold out, as I am as human as the next person.

    This is depressing me, and a part of me feels like we gave them (the west) a good run for their money, and after struggling for 30+ years, we might finally have lost…

  439. Karl... says:

    RSH,

    Iraq have no capability to monitor its airspace anyway, so that argument doesnt really hold. Besides in a war, Iraq will not commit to US demands, not to say that they will back Iran though.
    Besides, do you really think that US will engage in a war in Iran as they same at the same time commit another in Syria? Doesnt sound realistic. Rather theyre watching the war of attrition going on, making Assads-Syria real weakened to such an extent that they dont pose any threat to american and israeli goals for the region.

  440. BiBiJon says:

    It takes 2 to Waltz. Count in Johns Hopkins’ Robert Worley
    ========================================================

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/d-robert-worley/iran-netanyahu-and-the-bo_b_1921702.html

  441. paul says:

    Iran scholars might be interested to take note of the developing situation in Venezuela. US-oriented political establishments and media seem to be building the exact same narrative for the Venezuela election that they built for Iran in 2009. Leading up to an election where their neo-liberal candidate is well behind in the polls and seems destined to lose heavily, they are painting the picture of a candidate whose support is massive and building fast as the election nears, even though he really is mainly supported only by upper middle class urban ‘elites’.

    We can expect another ‘twitter revolution’ after the election, unless Chavez loses, and that is significant for Iran, because Chavez is probably the strongest advocate globally for independence from US domination.

  442. imho says:

    BiBiJon says:
    October 1, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    “Because if one commodity happens to be in short supply, in this case the Dollar, then Dollar becomes expensive in Rial terms, but the rial’s overall purchasing power is unaffected.”

    I’m not expert on economy but what you say could be true if Iran purchases the goods in other currencies than the dollar. Even if Iran pays in rial (no known case) for its purchases, the value of rial must be evaluated to some other reference, which happens to be the dollar… for now.
    In the case of India, when Iran buys its goods in India with rupee (earned by selling oil), there is no variation in Iranian purchasing power in India. However even in this case, the real Iranian purchasing power depends on the value of oil and rupee relative to the dollar., that is if the rupee drops or the oil increases Iranian purchasing power increases.
    The Fed is launching QE3. This is will create inflation everywhere with goods including oil raising. The problem is that salaries don’t follow and demands fall also which have negative impact on oil price and on economies everywhere. Guess where the money goes.

  443. fyi: “Iraqis will request to inspect a few flights, Iranians will cooperate, and business as usual.”

    I expect that’s true. Not my point, however.

    “You are clutching at straws here.”

    No – my point is that if Obama intends to apply a blockade of Iran in the coming months, and if it includes an “air blockade”, as has been suggested, then Iranian arms shipments are likely to be touted as a justification for such, and this action by Iraq gives it credence.

    Of course, by that time I expect the US to be bombing Syria, so it might be a moot point since no Iran flights will be allowed in that case.

  444. Don Bacon: “Iraq to stop Iran flights over Syria arms
    Not true. Random searches. Very random, I expect.”

    The story makes that clear. The title does not. I agree it’s unlikely Iraq will do much. However, my point was that this will be yet another justification for an “air blockade” as well as a naval blockade.

  445. James Canning says:

    19 of the richest Aerican donors to Netanyahu also fund Romney and the Republican Party.

    http:////www.presstv.com/detail/2012/10/01/264439/netanyahu-and-romney-share-donors/

  446. imho says:

    @ the doctor. Don. Rd.
    “Jewish people have lived continuously in Iran for nearly three thousand years. They are guardians of a rite of ancient pilgrimage to the tombs of Esther and Mordecai, the prophet Daniel and the beloved Serach Bat Asher whose stories are well known to the Jews of the Middle East. Iranian Jews possess a 1,800-year-old Torah in Hamadan and a rich historical memory. They are proud of their religious Persian Jewish identity. The Jewish communities of Iran should be considered a spiritual heritage by people of faith everywhere.”
    http://forusa.org/blogs/leila-zand/if-we-bomb-iran-what-will-happen-iranian-jews/10114

  447. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    How many trillions of dollars of the US national debt can be fairly attributed to the cost of “protecting” Israel?

  448. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    Yes, a very strong case can be made, arguing that the country posing the greatest threat to the national security of the American people is Israel.

    We can recall that perhaps the greatest threat to the national security of the German Empire, prior to the First World War, was its ally, the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

  449. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and other “Axis Powers” (in your parlance) would much prefer normal relations with Iran, no “economic war”, etc et5c etc. I think your are virtually delusional in thinking these countries “want” economic (or pther) war with Iran. And you are eager to camouflage the insidious activities of the ISRAEL LOBBY.

  450. James Canning says:

    The doctor,

    Ahmadinejad expects Israel to fail, due to internal contradictions, problems, etc. He does not expect Israel to be destroyed by military means.

  451. BiBiJon says:

    Rial contagion
    =============

    There’s much in the news about the fall of Rial. As often is the case, some stories are megaphoned to hide an even bigger, juicy story. I don’t know if the real value of Rial is effected by that much. I.e. the purchasing power of the currency as a whole, as opposed to its purchasing power relative to foreign currency. Because if one commodity happens to be in short supply, in this case the Dollar, then Dollar becomes expensive in Rial terms, but the Rial’s overall purchasing power is unaffected.

    However, there is a bigger story:
    http://www.lobelog.com/high-frequency-trading-dark-pools-and-large-energy-price-shocks-read-war-in-the-gulf/

    If the combined value of outstanding debt in the shape of stocks, bonds, securities, and various IOUs have so outstripped the underlying ‘actual’ value to be now not worth the paper they are written on, then a couple of strategies start to make sense.
    a) Slice, dice, and ‘derive’ to a point of abstraction when nobody can figure out what it is they are trading. Maybe this helps: you are trading relative risks of obligations arising from stocks and bonds. What does that tell you about the real ‘real’ value of the stocks themselves.

    b) Slice the time horizon for buying, keeping and selling stocks to the infinitesimally small so that you can handle white-hot potatoes, because you’re only handling them for a very short time.

    At any (exchange) rate, lets cry over the Rial, but save a drop or two of tears for the global financial health.

  452. fyi says:

    imho says:

    October 1, 2012 at 10:54 am

    There will be no easing of sanctions.

    Axis Powers spent the btter part of 2009 and 2010 cooridinating and devising this economic war.

    They will be loath to stop this war now; they are still hoping for its effectiveness or at least for futher harm to Iran and limitions on Iranian power thereto.

    Axis States may revisit their war in 2017.

  453. Rehmat says:

    Argentina’s Jewish foreign minister Hector Timerman held bilateral talks with his Iranian counter-part Ali Akbar Salehi at the United Nations headquarters in New York on the next day of Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s landmark address at the UNGA. The Jewish press has reported that both discussed the 1992 terrorist attack on Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires and 1994 attack on Jewish center AMIA. Israel blamed both Hizbullah and Iran for the attacks. However, till today, Israel and Argentian Jewish groups have failed to provide any genuine evidence to prove their claim.

    Both Israel and the United States have criticized Hector Timerman for meeting Iranian foreign minister and especially agreeing to continue these negotiations through government officials in Geneva next month.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/01/israel-us-fear-iran-argentina-bilateral-talks/

  454. Dan Cooper says:

    Israel is currently the greatest threat to US national interests because its nature and actions prevent normal US relations with Arab and Muslim countries and, to a growing degree, the wider international community.

    there are about 7,500 US officials “who do Israel’s bidding,” serving Tel Aviv’s interests with no reservation.

    TelAviv biggest threat to US

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/264293.html

  455. Rd. says:

    Jay says:
    September 30, 2012 at 11:07 am

    “Under these same war models, the most favorable outcome for Iran is achieved under a “robust” Iranian response, suggesting that proportional or tactical responses are not favorable to Iran. I think Iranian planners are fully aware of this fact and will respond “robustly” – with a multi-dimensional response intended to maximize short and long term economic cost. It is highly likely that this strategy will have a high economic cost for Iran as well. However, the prevailing opinion is that Iranian planners see this approach as the most effective way to blunt and prolong a US onslaught. “

    Ultimately, the only way for US to leave the Iran/ME region is for US to get its nose bloodied. The military approach has its obvious down sides. The history shows, the best medicine to deflate an empire, is its treasury.

    It is obvious the US/western sanctions have their immediate impacts on Iran’s economy. The question is, if Iran has planned for these, then what are the sanctions impact on the US/west in the long term? Dismantling the western dominated finance may the best Trojan horse in this affair. Specially, if the carriage has been drawn by the western horses!!!!

  456. Don Bacon says:

    @ToivoS
    If you want an unabashed right wing (paleoconservative) view check out antiwar.com
    Some of that, yes, depending upon one’s definition of paleoconservative, but also a lot of MSM stenography. Caution in all matters.

  457. Don Bacon says:

    @Richard Steven Hack
    Iraq to stop Iran flights over Syria arms
    Not true. Random searches. Very random, I expect.

  458. imho says:

    Did anyone noticed Rafsanjani’s son is back in Iran ? I wonder what does this mean together with Rafsanjani himself appearing with Khamenei several times recently and specially in NAM meeting.

    Also, Gareth Porter reports in IPS that Iran offered to halt its enrichment of uranium to 20 percent (James do you hear me ?) September 19th, in exchange for easing sanctions.

    Another sign toward softening of Iranian position is the fact that Ahmadinejad’s last speech in UN was, everything being relative, far less inflammatory than his previous speech and he also said in an interview that the absence of diplomatic relations between Iran and US can’t last forever.

    Of course no visible signs from US yet.

    BN accepting to delay its red line, seems to recognize that Romney has no chance to win.

  459. Rd. says:

    Don Bacon says:

    @ The Doctor

    “Iranian Jews have been living in Iran (Persia) since 2700 years ago
    There are also tombs of several outstanding Jewish scholars in Iran
    At the present, population of the Jews in Iran is estimated about 25,000 to 30,000
    At the present, this community has many synagogues, special schools, cultural complexes,
    The Dr. Sapir Hospital and Charity Center, a Jewish charity hospital in Tehran, “

    To add to an excellent summary, The jewish community has also representation in the Majlis(parliament), despite their small numbers as compared to other minorities in Iran.

  460. imho says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 1, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Either they will land them all (not likely) or by selection in which case I bet Iranians will know in advance.

    It is surprising that we don’t hear much about Russia and China about Syria recently. They can’t just sit and threat their veto. If they are serious enough to back Assad, they sure are doing something. I wonder if these are just Iranian arms that fly over Iraq, or if Iran is “used” as a conduit for Russian arms toward Syria, just the way Turkey and Qatar are used.

  461. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    October 1, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Iraqis will request to inspect a few flights, Iranians will cooperate, and business as usual.

    You are clutching at straws here.

  462. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    September 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    You do not understand the power of ideas on the minds of men.

    This Iranian Jew went and joined IDF.

    He considers Israel to be “his country”.

    He supports Israel’s attack on Iran.

    He does not care about what could happen to the 25,000 or so Jews living in Iran; they are – I suppose – for him just so many collateral losses to be sacrificed to his country – Israel.

    Of course, he is safely ensconed in California and his age will prevent him from being useful to IDF.

  463. Iraq to stop Iran flights over Syria arms
    http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=251999

    Next year, this is likely to be part of the justification for an “air blockade” of Iran along with Obama’s likely naval blockade. Denying Iran aircraft landing rights throughout Europe and the Middle East is likely to be part of that.

  464. Amusing that the season premiere of “Homeland” starts out with Israel bombing five Iranian nuclear facilities…

    Apparently the likelihood of war has entered public consciousness…

    Or maybe Hollywood is merely propagandizing for Israel, as it usually does…

  465. The Doctor says:

    @Don Bacon: Thanks for the detailed info!

    <<<>>>
    James, assume total ignorance and a willingness to learn on my part.

  466. ToivoS says:

    The Doctor asks: “Where can I get accurate reporting about Iranian foreign policies in regard to Israel?”

    Tough question. I would recommend Stephan Walt’s and Juan Cole’s blogs. These are two American academics that should be mainstream but have been pushed out because of their heretical views. Neither is a lefty radical as are most people here (I include myself in that group). Mondoweiss, electronic intifada and angry arab are more of the radical bent, but they do not lie — but they also do not disguise their political opinions during their analysis. And you have obviously discovered RfI who are ex state department officials that have been pushed to the side. Gareth Porter is another important source of information. If you want an unabashed right wing (paleoconservative) view check out antiwar.com and the numerous links to be found there.

    The common theme among these sources is that they are found outside main stream news sources.

  467. BiBiJon says:

    P.S. The doctor says:
    September 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    “All I know about Mahmadinejead is what I read in the paper. Am I misinformed about what appear to be his stated intentions or wishes in regard to Israel? Where can iget accurate reporting about iranian foreign policies in regard to Israel?”

    Also try http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/08/26/turning-back-from-the-point-of-no-return/0/

    Alternatively, try common sense. How likely is it, in 2005, for Iran to have threatened to wipe a nuclear-armed-Israel off the map a full 9 years before the earliest estimates of when Iran would have a single solitary (and untested) nuke of her own?

  468. BiBiJon says:

    The Doctor says:
    September 30, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    “They’re trying to build a Jewish state and they’re doing it the way the US, Australia, Britain, France, Brazil, and just about any Western country/state did.”

    Forget about Geneva conventions, are you saying average Israelis aspire to the per-enlightenment, medieval rules of the jungle? Must grant you through, walling in the natives and starving them is a ‘modern’ novelty all your own.

    The doctor says:
    September 30, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    “All I know about Mahmadinejead is what I read in the paper. Am I misinformed about what appear to be his stated intentions or wishes in regard to Israel? Where can iget accurate reporting about iranian foreign policies in regard to Israel?”

    Try the http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/ahmadinejad-threats-by-israel-u-s-have-no-effect-on-iran-s-policies-1.467632

  469. Rehmat says:

    In November 2004, Vanunu in an interview with Russian-Israeli writer, Israel Shamir, said Israel poses the real threat to its neighbors and not Iran. “When it comes to having them as a deterrent, the problem is not Iran, Iraq or North Korea, it’s Israeli aggression. Iraq did not have any nuclear weapons, I’m sure that neither does Iran. If Israel was not so aggressive with its nuclear arms, none of the other countries would even need to get them“. Vanunu also rejected the western claim that Israel is the only democracy in the region.

    In 1987 Vanunu was granted the ‘Right Livelihood Award’, better known as the ‘Alternative Peace Prize’. The real Nobel Peace Prize, Vanunu reminds bitterly, was given to Shimon Peres, the man responsible for his kidnapping and the driving force behind Israeli nuclear ambitions.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/10/01/german-nobelist-takes-shot-at-israel-once-again/

  470. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Give Netanyahu his due. He manages to use the Iran nuclear issue to deflect attention away from the Palestinian problem – the real threat to Israel’s long-term survival – and also from Israel’s social and economic problems that persuade many young Israelis to leave the country.

    That said, displaying pictures about the possibility of one hypothetical Iranian nuclear bomb, when Israel has hundreds of them, seems just a little bit crazy.

  471. fyi says:

    Mohammad says:

    September 30, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    The Fatwa only enshrines what the late Mr. Khomeini had declared himself – in opposition to nuclear weapons.

    That position was based on the recognition of what nuclear weapons illustrated – the objectification of the Principle of Death on this planet (by Rebellious Man). The understanding is reinforced by reference to the Quran and the story of Nimrud who claimed to be the Giver of Life and the Cause of Death and therefore a god.

    Those who posess nuclear weapons are not gods although they can cause death. That is the power that they have and God rejects that as any real power.

    On the international front, Iranian leaders have been consistently stating that they have no intention of building nuclear weapons, They have made too many promises to back track now.

    However, if Iran is ever threatened by nuclear weapons in any direct manner, I thik the situation could change.

  472. Mohammad says:

    Iman,

    The issue is not only a fatwa, it’s reputation. If Iran ever produces nukes, that would equal to Khamenei telling Iranians and others “I lied. I am a liar.”
    If you live in Iran, you’d know that Khamenei’s reputation is carefully managed, because it is tied to the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic. If Iran wanted to keep the option of developing nuclear weapons open, it could simply say that “in current circumstances, we do not intend to build a bomb.” It wouldn’t need a fatwa. Iran’s opposition to nuclear weapons is now effectively an ideological one, something Iran can’t retract anymore.

  473. Don Bacon says:

    @The Doctor
    @Don Bacon: thanks for your reply. All I know about Ahmadinejead is what I read in the paper. Am I misinformed about what appear to be his stated intentions or wishes in regard to Israel? Where can I get accurate reporting about Iranian foreign policies in regard to Israel?
    You’re welcome. Regarding Iran and Israel, the most-reported propaganda is the ‘wipe Israel off the map’ fabrication, which Obama and others have repeated. But it’s wrong.

    Last April, Dan Meridor, Israel’s minister of intelligence and atomic energy, conceded the point in an interview with Al Jazeera. He agreed that Iranian leaders “didn’t say, ‘We’ll wipe [Israel] out,’ you’re right, but [said instead] ‘it will not survive. It is a cancerous tumor, it should be removed.’ They repeatedly said ‘Israel is not legitimate, it should not exist.’
    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/04/25/how-obama-recycled-a-lie-about-iran/

    President Ahmadinejad has voiced his hope that because of its persecution of the Palestinians, the Israeli government should pass from the scene. That’s an extreme position, one that is not shared by Arab countries in the Middle East. Israel has signed bilateral peace agreements with Jordan and Egypt, and they remain committed to their terms. The PLO recognizes Israel’s right to exist securely within the ’67 lines. The entire Arab League (every single Arab state) is offering Israel peace, normalization and security in exchange for ending the occupation. As Shimon Peres says, Israel now has “partners for peace.”

    Ahmadinejad’s position, his hope, in itself, does not present an existential threat to Israel’s survival and despite the rhetoric there is no potential threat by Iran against Israel. The “nuclear crisis” in my view is intended to take attention away from the plight of the Palestinians, which it has done. The concocted “nuclear crisis” is not a reason to attack Iran, which Israel has threatened to do. There is no “nuclear crisis.” Iran is in full compliance with the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty which Israel has refused to sign.

    How should Israel deal with Ahmadinejad’s hope for Israel’s demise? I’m sure that if mighty Israel changed its policy, complied with UN resolutions, allowed Palestine the statehood which has been promised since 1947 and treated the Palestinians as equals then Ahmadinejad would modify his position.

    Here’s the thing: The alternative, the future cost of pursuing present policies in Israel, as many Jews and non-Jews have pointed out, is the demise of Israel. Just look at the population trends. How ironic that would be.

  474. Iman says:

    Even if Khamenei has given such a fatwa, what of the fact that Khamenei has relatively few credentials as a religious guide?

  475. James Canning says:

    Kofi Annan in his memoirs says in his opinion Tony Blair could have stopped the Iraq War from going forward.

  476. The doctor says:

    @Don Bacon: thanks for your reply. All I know about Mahmadinejead is what I read in the paper. Am I misinformed about what appear to be his stated intentions or wishes in regard to Israel? Where can iget accurate reporting about iranian foreign policies in regard to Israel?

  477. James Canning says:

    The Doctor,

    Are you aware that all Arab countries have agreed to accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders? Your comment suggests this is news to you.

  478. Don Bacon says:

    @ The Doctor
    . . .beneath all of the insights and research I read here, there is the fact that for much of the past 150 years, Arab and Muslim leaders in the Middle East have found that killing Jews is acceptable . .

    Not in Iran.

    Iranian Jews have been living in Iran (Persia) since 2700 years ago and there are many holy and historical places of Jews in this country such as the tomb of Prophet Daniel in the city of Shoush, Ester and Mordechai in Hamedan and Prophet Habakkuk in Touiserkan.

    There are also tombs of several outstanding Jewish scholars in Iran like “harav Uresharga” in Yazd and “Hakham Mullah Moshe Halevi” in Kashan. Muslims had respected these also.

    At the present, population of the Jews in Iran is estimated about 25,000 to 30,000 of which about 15000 people are in Tehran (the Capital) and the rest of them in terms of population are residing in Shiraz, Isfahan, Kermanshah, Yazd, Kerman, Rafsanjan, Borujerd, Sanandaj and Oromieh respectively. Israel with offers has tried unsuccessfully to get them to emigrate to Israel.

    At the present, this community has many synagogues, special schools, cultural complexes, youth, students and women centers, aging centers, central libraries, computer training centers, music training centers, gathering halls and butcheries according to Jewish religion in different regions and cities of the country.

    The Dr. Sapir Hospital and Charity Center, a Jewish charity hospital in Tehran, is presently the largest charity among the Religious minorities in Iran. Over 50 years old, the hospital is presently under the leadership of Dr. Ciamak Moresadegh. The Tehran Jewish Committee assist in the financial maintenance of the complex, which is owned by the Jewish community of Iran.

  479. The Doctor says:

    Thank you for this site which I just discovered. I’m not an academic or well-steeped in foreign policy issues. The prospect of military or even continued diplomatic conflict with Iran keeps me up at night (I have two brothers serving in the Middle East as I write this.) Personally, I’m very committed to “what’s good” for Israel — what I perceive to be good for Israel — and I see things through that lens, as illusory and self-defeating as that may appear to others. So generally I’ll find my solace — my poison — drinking the kool-aid served up at Pipes, NRO, etc., which readers here clearly consider loony to put it mildly. The Leveretts are a sobering antidote to those sites. I just want to add my thought which is that beneath all of the insights and research I read here, there is the fact that for much of the past 150 years, Arab and Muslim leaders in the Middle East have found that killing Jews is acceptable and that blaming Jews is useful among their populations. (Mubarak and King Hussein have been no exception, incidentally, at lest in regard to the blaming part). Now, before I get pounced upon, I admit that Zionism and Israeli policies exacerbate the situation to some degree (what degree I don’t know). But within Israel, the vast majority of citizens experience the world around them as having — and always having had — guns pointed at their heads. They subscribe to the “sliver of land” paradigm, even accounting for occupied lands. When Netanyahu refers to Iran as an existential threat and holds up a picture of a cartoonish bomb, he looks and sounds like a buffoon to you, but not to me. In regard to the pressing concerns about US involvement in the Middle East overall, I think that Israel should unalign itself with the United States. I don’t know whether Israel serves US interests, benefits from US interests, diminishes US interests — it’s not a game I personally like to see played out. But there appears to be a lot of master puppetry going on in the Middle East (as in Chechnya, as in Chinese provinces, as in the Stans) with proxy wars and interests that seem much more complex than simply the thorn of the US providing military aid or boots on the ground in behalf of Zionists. Finally, in regard to Israel’s expansionism, its theft of land, whatever — well, I’ll state with complete and utter ignorance about historical context or legal basis: Duh! They’re trying to build a Jewish state and they’re doing it the way the US, Australia, Britain, France, Brazil, and just about any Western country/state did. You can dissect one amoebic organism to the exclusion of others and point solely to its virulence and toxicity to the complete exclusion of anything else. That’s what doctors, scientists and academic and foreign policy specialists do. But I see a complete lack of proportion and that keeps me on my toes about the intentions of Israel’s neighbors and opponents.

  480. BiBiJon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    September 30, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Great reading between the lines, or in this case, hearing the din in the silence — a deafening silence that speaks loudly as to how ineffective BN @ UN was.

    Also to note, is the desperation escalation. We have to ask:

    Why despite the unprecedented torrent of anti-Iran propaganda, public opinion is unaffected?
    Why after going over POTUS’ head directly to American public, was there a perceived need to go over POTUS’ head to appeal to the international community?

    To diagnose cheesy madness may overlook the underlying cause: the fact that “Zionists are at a dead-end.”

  481. Jay says:

    This was never posted in the previous thread. I am reposting it here with some additional observations.

    ToivoS says:
    September 28, 2012 at 7:03 pm
    Neo says:
    September 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Before any “settling” of issues with Iran the US must undertake a reevaluation of its strategic alignment. As you are probably aware the list of current issues between Iran and US is an artificial front. Israel is part of the equation in this strategic realignment – as evident from the next post of the Leveretts (Ahamadinejad and Netanyahu …).

    Additional observations

    With regards to war options, as I stated earlier in the February of the current year, during the time when there was war fever and predictions of strike on Iran, the war scenarios at the present do not lead to a desirable outcome for the US and therefore war will not be likely at the present and for the short term future.

    Under these same war models, the most favorable outcome for Iran is achieved under a “robust” Iranian response, suggesting that proportional or tactical responses are not favorable to Iran. I think Iranian planners are fully aware of this fact and will respond “robustly” – with a multi-dimensional response intended to maximize short and long term economic cost. It is highly likely that this strategy will have a high economic cost for Iran as well. However, the prevailing opinion is that Iranian planners see this approach as the most effective way to blunt and prolong a US onslaught.

    At the present, the US planning is focused on raising operational costs and time horizons for the Iranian defense system and degradation of defense capability through economic means. This strategy has been a failure so far. Advanced planning by Iran has moderated the impact of financial sanctions, which will further diminish with additional instruments to be deployed by Iran – although the impact has been clearly felt by Iran’s economy.

    The attempt to degrade Iran’s defensive built up has been a complete failure. The assumption of the US planners regarding the mix of indigenous vs. imported technology in the Iran’s equipment has been far off target. A series of recent trips by US officials to examine technology transfer conduits to Iran has yielded little. As a result, the strategy of long term degradation and “softening” of Iran’s defenses is appearing less and less viable to US planners.

    The option currently being promoted as success is sabotage and fomenting of internal discontent. Delisting of MEK, increased covert spending on other groups including the loyalists, the greens, a new offshoot (yet to be named), Kurdish separatists, Arab separatists, and more are all part of the current push.

    What Netanyahu and supporters dislike about this strategy is the time horizon. Israel, and at a more personal level, Netanyahu’s party, are in trouble! The long time horizon is not helpful to Israeli PM, or Israel. His raised voice and his ridiculous theatrics is the sign of desperation.

  482. Fiorangela says:

    Neil M says:
    September 30, 2012 at 1:19 am

    With his own words and behavior, Netanyahu revealed the deadendedness of his policies.

    Had Ahmadinejad behaved as stupidly as Netanyahu, the US Sunday talk shows would have been relentless in covering every (contrived) nuance of his remarks.

    But there appears to be an embargo on discussing Bibi: Talk show topics on the most popular Sunday programs are anything BUT Bibi. One gets the impression this might be a good time to have an in-depth [heh] discussion of failing sewage systems.

    ANYTHING to avoid cementing in place in the awareness of the American people the stupid performance of Israel’s leader.

  483. BiBiJon says:

    “Never” never equals “sometimes”
    ================================

    Iman says:
    September 30, 2012 at 2:20 am

    http://www.juancole.com/2012/04/yes-memri-there-is-a-fatwa-from-khamenei-forbidding-nukes.html

  484. How Many Civilians Would Be Killed in an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Sites?
    http://world.time.com/2012/09/27/how-many-civilians-would-be-killed-in-an-attack-on-irans-nuclear-sites/

    The estimates go up to around 70,000…with 300,000 exposed to radioactive material…

    And people here think Iran will NOT retaliate with such a death toll from a “surgical strike”?

  485. Iman says:

    “In fact, we believe that the Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, has taken a clear decision not to do so.” What exactly is the decision? Is it to never build nuclear weapons or only to not build them under the current circumstances? And why do you believe this so strongly? Is the decision really that transparent?

  486. Neil M says:

    If Bibi’s aim was to make himself and “Israel” the butt of a cornucopia of unpleasantly frank observations and ridicule, he need only browse the contributions at the New Yorker’s Netanyahu Bomb thread, and dozens of other websites, to confirm that he has succeeded beyond (even his) wildest dreams and fantasies.

    Few people regard his vacuous and inane Iran hype as anything other than an ill-conceived attempt to deflect attention from “Israel’s” squattlement policy in Jewish Occupied Palestine.

  487. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    September 29, 2012 at 7:29 pm

    Doubtful on all your statements.

    You asked for options: the pipelines in the Arabian Penninsula can be blown up – you need thousands of soldiers to guard those pipelines.

    In regards to Naval Blockade – the logistics of it is no longer do-able for US for any extended period of time.

    And I imagine many more options are available….

  488. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely Iran is not regarding all 30 countries that took part in mine-sweeping exercises in the Persian Gulf, as “opponents”.

  489. fyi: “The repeated statements by Iranians that that they could close the Straits of Hormuz is almost certainly a ruse. Why announce your tactics in advance?”

    What other option will Iran have if the US imposes a naval blockade? If the US prevents any and all Iranian shipping (and aircraft, according to the rumored method of blockade) from leaving the Gulf and/or docking at other nations, how can Iran respond in any way other than also trying to shut down everyone’s oil shipments – without actually doing something militarily?

    Iran can evade the current oil sanctions. It will not be able to evade a naval blockade. It might be able to evade one that does not actually block its ships from leaving the Gulf, but only prevents them from docking at nations that adhere to the sanctions. But it will still pay a much heavier price in lost oil sales as a result than under the current sanctions, which are mostly ineffective.

    And if the initial “faux blockade” doesn’t work, Obama will turn it into a real full naval blockade, preventing all Iranians ships from leaving the Gulf.

    Iran’s only non-military retaliatory option will be to close the Strait. That is what Obama is trying to accomplish – to get Iran to effectively start the war.

  490. Don Bacon says:

    drdhesq says:
    September 29, 2012 at 10:45 am
    I’m amazed that we did almost all of the things Don describes, starting with no enriched uranium, no previous experience in the world, no computers, in a couple of years around 1945.

    You are amazed simply because you haven’t taken the trouble to learn anything.
    The Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion (roughly equivalent to $25.8 billion as of 2012. Over 90% of the cost was for building factories and producing the fissionable materials, with less than 10% for development and production of the weapons. Research and production took place at more than 30 sites, some secret, across the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.-wiki

    The atomic bomb dropped on the city of Hiroshima in 1945 was code named Little Boy. The design is relatively simple using a gun type arrangement to explosively force a sub-critical mass of uranium-235 and three U235 target rings together at high velocity causing a chain reaction. -wiki

    The atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945 was code named Fat Man and used plutonium as the fissionable material. Plutonium is a man-made element that is more efficient than uranium as a fission source. The design is also more complicated than the Little Boy atomic device. It relies on a rapid and simultaneous implosion of a fissionable shell into a critical mass. -wiki

    The Iran nuclear program is based on uranium. Iran doesn’t have the option of either a gun-type weapon nor plutonium delivered by aircraft as a bomb. It would have to employ an implosion-type weapon delivered by missile.

  491. James Canning says:

    Thick,

    Has “the West” done a disservice to Israel, by making it so easy for Israel to continue its insane colonisation programme in the West Bank? Do we credit the Israel lobby with undermining Israel’s security?

  492. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    September 29, 2012 at 5:02 am

    The repeated statements by Iranians that that they could close the Straits of Hormuz is almost certainly a ruse.

    Why announce your tactics in advance?

    But it serves to dis-orient her opponents; look at the Armada in the Persian Gulf, from 30 countries, going through mine sweeping exercises.

    And that is without a shot being fired.

  493. James Canning says:

    My hunch is that every Arab country would recognise Israel if Israel got out of the West Bank and allowed an independent Palestine (with full membership in the UN) to emerge.

  494. James Canning says:

    All Arab countries accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders. No Arab army is going to invade Israel. Or even try to invade. Israel’s security problems are self-created, to a degree the Israel lobby likes to ignore.

  495. James Canning says:

    I think Israel’s largest security problem arises from its inability to get out of the West Bank. This problem has been exacerbated by the power of the Israel lobby in the US.

  496. drdhesq says:

    I’m amazed that we did almost all of the things Don describes, starting with no enriched uranium, no previous experience in the world, no computers, in a couple of years around 1945.

  497. BiBiJon says:

    Roadrunner’s Acme Corporation also sells ‘schemes’
    =========================================

    What debuted as the pilot episode of a comedy series, “used car salesman contracting a hit on the Saudi ambassador”, has been taken on the road to New Delhi, Bangkok, Tiblisi , Burgas, and now, to NY arousing smirks rather than smiles.

    The absurdity of the show reminds me of the subplot of Mel Brooks’ movie, “The Producers,” which was about how to make a fast buck by financing a sure-fire flop, Springtime for Hitler. The duped investors in in this re-run scheme are of course the US, EU, and the petro-monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

    My advice to Messrs. Max (Bibi) Bialystock and Leo (Ehud) Bloom is to withdraw to 1967 borders, while you can. Respectability is not your schtick. Not if you have to proclaim your humanity by saying Israeli Doctors follow the Hippocratic oath.

  498. BiBiJon says:

    “How to Help Iran Build a Bomb”
    =============================

    Same photo? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/30/sunday-review/how-to-help-iran-build-a-bomb.html

  499. Karl.. says:

    Did you notice the cheerleading pro-israel posse Israel had brought to the UN general assembly when israeli prime minsiter spoke? Every time this PM made a pause in his speech, they applauded. It was so obvious that the applauds were pre-planned in advance, to be done, after certain segments and arguments of the speech. The speech/applause was so blatantly theatrical in nature. But again its with this deception and manipulations they try to create a reality which is meant to say to the world, ‘Oh people applauded him, that must mean hes rights’.

    That he refer to Lewis is of course another indication of the flawed analysis he use.
    I mean why not refer to P. Geller or D. Pipes while youre at it?

    Cole write about it.
    juancole.com/2012/09/its-psychological-warfare-stupid-why-netanyahu-really-wants-to-destroy-iran.html

  500. The Entebbe Option
    How the U.S. military thinks Israel might strike Iran.
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/09/27/the_entebbe_option?page=0,0

    I think Perry is WAY off on this one. The odds of an Israeli ground operation working are so low as to be insane. There’s no way the Israelis would consider it. Putting SOME troops on the ground to set up laser targeting, sure – a ground operation to destroy Fordow, nonsense.

    If US military planners are seriously considering this as an Israel option, then US military planning has seriously taken a dive in intelligence…

    “One thing is clear: the U.S. military, according to my sources, currently has no interest in a preventive strike. “The idea that we’ll attack with Israel is remote, so you can take that off your list of options,” former Centcom commander Joe Hoar told me. Nor will the United States join an Israeli attack once it starts, the senior U.S. planner said.”

    This is just a stupid statement. Whoever this planner is, he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about. In fact, I expect he’s simply lying to Perry. In any event, he certainly doesn’t call the shots in this country, nor does he have any concept of who does, apparently.

    “Even so, a U.S. response would not involve a full-scale, costly land war against the Tehran regime, but rather a long-term air interdiction campaign to erode Iranian military capabilities, including its nuclear program, the planner said.”

    Oh, yeah? And how do you keep the Strait of Hormuz open WITHOUT occupying the Iranian Persian Gulf coast? It’s impossible. Iran will be able to keep mining the Strait and shooting missiles at tankers forever unless the coast is occupied by enough US troops to prevent it (and not even sure it could be prevented even then.) If a US war with Iran starts, there absolutely WILL be a ground occupation of at least the coast of Iran which will entail at least fifty to one hundred thousand US troops – and the guerrilla attrition warfare that will entail.

    “the less warning the United States has of an Israeli attack, the greater the number of casualties the United States will suffer.”

    This is exactly what I’ve said. If Israel attacks Iran without notice, US navy ships will be at risk. If the US initiates the war, it will pull its at-risk ships out of the Persian Gulf into the Arabian Sea until Iranian defenses are degraded.

    It’s not a case of whether Obama wants a war with Iran – it’s a case of whether he wants to be BLAMED for STARTING that war, especially if the initial results are hundreds of dead US sailors. As Norman Finkelstein has said, Obama is a “stunning narcissist” and he doesn’t want his legacy to be starting a war which is even worse than Iraq and Afghanistan combined. But he has no choice BUT to start the war. So what he wants is for IRAN to be blamed for starting it. An Israeli attack would screw that up.

    What Obama wants to do is force Iran to start the war by closing the Strait of Hormuz. To do that, Obama will have to impose a naval blockade on Iran as part of his “unilateral sanctions regime.” Then he can claim Iran started the war when Iran retaliates by closing the Strait.

    What we DO know is that it is absolutely impossible to walk back the situation as it is now. Either the US will start a war with Iran – by some means whether or not Iran is blamed for starting it – or Israel will. There is no “diplomatic solution” because such an outcome is not acceptable for Israel, the US military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the banks, the neocons, and the US Congress.

    And those are the people calling the shot in the US today – not some Pentagon flunkies.

  501. “Israeli governments have to be able to tell their target audiences that they do not have to be concerned about the long-term implausibility of such a proposition…”

    This is a point I – and others like Arnold Evans – have emphasized for years: Zionism was NEVER more than a fantasy. Fortress Israel was doomed by its very concept. There is literally no way it can ever work.

    The problem is that it will likely cost millions of lives to prove that fact. Because the end result of current policy on everyone’s part is going to be either ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, genocide of the Palestinians, or nuclear destruction of Israel and/or millions of Arabs.

    The only other possible resolution is for the UNSC to REVERSE its actions taken in 1947 and 1948, declare the partitioning of Palestine a mistake, declare Israel an illegal state, re-assert control of the entire area of former Palestine, then set up a bi-national state with a Constitution constructed by international law experts, and hold elections which existing politicians on either the Palestinian side or the Israeli side would be barred from standing for (to marginalize the fanatics on both sides.)

    But this simply isn’t going to happen. So we’re back to the deaths of millions as Israel is eventually beaten to death with its own nukes and its use of nukes on other Arab nations.

    There can be no other outcome.

  502. ThickFaceBlackHeart says:

    I remember one time reading about some Israeli elites noting that Israel’s ultimate security solely rests on a compromising peace with its neighbors. Zionists would have none of this. But the reality is that its impossible to hold back people who are conscious of themselves, of what they believe is theirs, and of feeling of subjugation forever. Israel better than the rest should know this. With global power shifting towards the east, and the west (read USA)NO WHERE NEAR DOMINATING EURASIA Israel is vulnerable. I have always pondered on this and come to a future scenario: IT WILL BE THE WEST THAT WILL BETRAY ISRAEL!

  503. Photi says:

    “…an aggressive, territorially acquisitive interloper in their midst.”

    Pithy!

    The voices of reason in Israel should be listening to the Leveretts. The Zionist strategy of racist domination cannot last into the centuries. Eventually their Muslim hosts will get fed up.

    Reason and American values state all humans are created equal. Israeli acquisition of this value will go a long way to fixing their image as interlopers.

    If the Zionists love Israel so much, why do they feel no shame with the ghettoization of Palestine that Israeli policies have accomplished?

    The Israeli occupation has nothing to do with the reformed American values that arose out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The complicity of the American media in the Occupation makes all of this doubly obscene. We are not blind.

  504. Photi says:

    “…an aggressive, territorially acquisitive interloper in their midst.”

    Pithy prose if there ever was!

    The voices of reason in Israel should be listening to the Leveretts. The Zionist strategy of racist domination cannot last into the centuries. Eventually their Muslim hosts will get fed up.

    Reason and American values state all humans are created equal. Israeli acquisition of this value will go along way to fixing their image as interlopers.

  505. Don Bacon says:

    Arabs who actually live in the Middle East naturally fear Israel and USA, which have nukes, and not Iran which doesn’t.

    Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies
    ACRPS publishes the preliminary findings of the Arab Opinion Index report
    Mar 6, 2012
    73 percent of respondents believe that Israel and the US are the two countries presenting the largest threat to the security of the Arab world, with 51 percent believing that Israel is the most threatening, 22 percent believe the US is the most threatening, and 5 percent reporting a belief that Iran is the single country most threatening to the security of their countries. The results on this question vary from one Arab country to another.
    http://english.dohainstitute.org/Home/Details?entityID=5ea4b31b-155d-4a9f-8f4d-a5b428135cd5&resourceId=5083cf8e-38f8-4e4a-8bc5-fc91660608b0

  506. Don Bacon says:

    Lost in all fairy-tales propaganda and cartoons about a non-existent Iran “threat” are the realities of a real-life nuclear weapons program.

    Naturally occurring uranium consists of less than one percent uranium-235, but nuclear bombs require something more. Natural uranium must be ‘enriched.’ Gaseous diffusion and gas centrifugation of uranium hexafluoride (UF6) are the primary means that have been used to enrich uranium. Iran enriches uranium for civil purposes up to twenty percent U-235, which is considered to be low enriched uranium (LEU).

    A nuclear weapon requires 90%+ highly enriched uranium (HEU). The time required to produce a sufficient quantity of highly-enriched uranium to fuel a weapon is called achieving nuclear “breakout” capability. Estimates of the time required to achieve “breakout” in Iran vary.

    David Albright (an Iran critic) has said that breakout could be accomplished in Iran within three to six months. Of course Iran would have to expel the IAEA inspectors prior to any such breakout, then initiate the up to six month process, enriching uranium to weapons grade.

    Then, presuming it had the designs ready, it would have to construct a nuclear bomb (or warhead) and test it (important). Then and only then could Iran go ahead with the construction of bombs or warheads. It is unrealistic to believe that the US and others would be sitting blithely by while all this were going on. It would not be a quick process.

    So breakout’s not the end. A nuclear weapon cannot be made of gas. The gas must be converted to metal, a difficult and very dangerous process because of the high potential for a critical accident (like a nuclear reactor without shielding) that would kill anyone in the room or nearby.

    Then an implosion warhead would have to be constructed. Warheads are complicated little machines. The entire detonation process happens within a tiny fraction of a second so the hard part is constructing a warhead with reliable separation capabilities throughout the various stages. Testing is mandatory to make sure the thing works.

    Clinton Bastin, nuclear scientist: “Iran has no experience with this process, and no facilities to carry it out. Assembly of metal components with high explosives is even more dangerous, because a nuclear explosion would kill those within half a mile. Because of the difficulties, Iran would need 10 to 15 years to make a weapon, after diversion of low-enriched uranium, which would be immediately detected by IAEA inspectors.”
    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles_2011/Bastin_Interview.pdf

    The final challenge is delivering a bomb to its target. This requires a missile guidance system and, if the missile will soar into space en route to its destination, a re-entry body to house the warhead and protect it from the extreme temperatures encountered as it travels back into the atmosphere.

    IAEA reports have not addressed any of these challenges. One reason is that the IAEA is charged by the NPT to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to ensure that nuclear fuel is not diverted to weapons programs, which the agency has consistently done in Iran. The IAEA has no expertise in any other field. It is not staffed nor authorized to be a super-snooper atomic intelligence agency/

    So in real life Iran’s current civil program is fully supervised, and with any potential military program we’re talking about a complicated, long-term process. It’s a long way away from anything that Wile E. Coyote ever had to deal with, and there is no evidence that Iran is doing any of it concerning nuclear breakout and nuclear weapons.