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The Race for Iran

Flynt Leverett on the Illusion of a Syrian “Opposition”—and the Real Requirements for Conflict Resolution in Syria

We have long been struck by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s promiscuous resort to the verb “must” in pronouncing upon the presumably independent decisions of other international actors.  But Secretary Clinton was at her moralizingly didactic worst last week in announcing the Obama administration’s latest plans to remake the Syrian opposition, see here.  Those plans amount to jettisoning the Syrian National Council (SNC)—which, at least on the surface, might seem to be the beginning of wisdom—and supporting a Qatari-sponsored plan to create something called the Syrian National Initiative.  As we will see, this is hardly a genuine policy rethink.    

Shortly after Clinton delivered her remarks on the Syrian opposition, Flynt addressed the motives for this latest flourish in America’s misguided policy toward the Syrian conflict on Al Jazeera’s Inside Syria, click on the video above or the link here:  “I think that the State Department is motivated by two concerns.  One is that, to put it bluntly, the established policy is failing.  It’s been twenty months since unrest started in Syria in March 2011.  It’s been fifteen months since President Obama first declared, with seemingly no sense of follow through, that President Assad must go.  Well, obviously, President Assad is still there, and this ‘opposition’ which is supposed to effect his departure has not become more unified or more effective in the intervening months.  In fact, the opposite has happened; it has become more divided, less effective on the ground.” 

And so the established policy, which was “[n]ever very well thought through,” is “clearly failing.”  As Flynt observes, “the United States can live with failing policies for a long time in the Middle East.”  But this brings him to the second—and, in some ways, more immediate—concern driving the Obama administration’s current flailing over Syria.  Flynt calls this, “for shorthand, the ‘Benghazi effect’.”  Amidst the controversy in Washington over the chronology and extent of the CIA and U.S. military response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, there is a critical point which pundits, for the most part, have not raised, but of which the Obama administration is very mindful:  “that the U.S. ambassador to Libya may have been killed by a group which was armed, supported by the United States or its allies…[Administration officials] know that jihadi groups are playing an increasingly important role on the ground in the Syrian opposition” and Washington wants to get in front of this problem.    

But the new impetus to remake “the Syrian opposition” is as fatally flawed as the initiative that gave rise to the SNC in the first place.  Regarding Secretary Clinton’s directives, Flynt notes,

“There is no particular reason [the SNC] should accept dictation from Hillary Clinton, but frankly I don’t think that the United States has a coherent policy for dealing with the Syrian opposition; they don’t have a coherent Syria policy…The whole effort to create a unified opposition is doomed to failIf you just look at the groups that are represented in the SNC, if you look at the groups that are not represented in the SNC, if you look at the groups that are likely to be represented in this new body that will come out of the Doha meetings—these groups have fundamentally irreconcilable interests, objectives, visions for Syria.  If Assad and his government were magically to disappear today, the end result would not be some unified political structure in Syria.  It would be that many of these groups in the so-called ‘opposition’ would be fighting one another.  You cannot create a single unified opposition.” 

As one of the other panelists, Rim Turkmani, amplifies the point, it was clear from the beginning of the Syrian conflict that “any [opposition] coalition is going to fail…The SNC is a coalition of coalitions; and now they are looking at forming something bigger—that is a coalition of the coalitions of the coalitions.”  As for the Obama administration’s latest effort to reshape the Syrian opposition, she holds, “The new equation that the United States is trying to reach is impossible.  They are trying to find a body that represents the whole opposition; at the same time, they are looking for puppets…they are looking for a new government that will never escape the control of the U.S., and that is impossible.”  (Ms. Turkmani is also quite scathing in denouncing the cravenness of the SNC, other opposition groups, and politically ambitious exiles in currying favor with their foreign supporters.)    

Flynt contends that the effort to revitalize the Syrian opposition is doomed to fail not only because of the “opposition’s” many lines of division, but also because “the Assad government still retains a very significant base of support within Syria—probably about half of the society.”  Thus, “the only way you’re really going to get out of this conflict is through a negotiated settlement based on power sharing between the current government and parts of the opposition.  But the opposition, egged on by its external supporters, refuses to pursue the only way that you could get out of this conflict.”  When the SNC representative on the panel says that the opposition is prepared for dialogue with others about a political transition, just not with the Syrian government, and that a political transition can only start after Assad departs, Flynt underscores, “You can’t ask for a political process with preconditions, much less pre-results.”    

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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290 Responses to “Flynt Leverett on the Illusion of a Syrian “Opposition”—and the Real Requirements for Conflict Resolution in Syria”

  1. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    You are dead wrong about Russia’s approach to Iran and the US, in context of P5+1 negotiations. Dead wrong. Russia wants Iran to make a deal with P5+1. Full stop. Read Sergei Rybakov’s comments to the Financial Times this week.

  2. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nader Talebzadeh had an excellent program on Syria last Thursday. It has not been uploaded yet, but should be up before next Thursday’s show, (which is probably going to be on Saudi Arabia). I recommend the Syria program to all Persian speakers. There is information there that is so valuable because it is first hand from an Iranian documentary filmmaker who has just gotten back from there (his film has yet to be edited, but clips are shown). It would be great if someone took on the project of translating all or parts of the program, subtitled it and uploaded it onto YouTube. If only to stop Richard’s yapping.

    http://raztv.ir

  3. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    “I guess something was lost in translation there. Russians are not the cousin of Iranians. Why should they have the Iranians “back”? What Iran has done for Russia? During the cold war Iran was a US base against the Russians and after the Iranian revolution, things were no better. After soviet collapse, and till today, what Iran has done for Russia. Why Iranians have this really pathetic sense of entitlement as if the world has to give them special preference? Why? What have you done for them?”

    - First thank you for your detailed and informative posts. I agree with most of what you said. All your criticisms of the Iranian side are valid but you must realize that it takes two to tango. All the money and diplomatic niceties won’t produce a thing if your goals fundamentally clashes with those of the other side and the other side is simply unwilling to sell it to you.

    It seems you misunderstood my point regarding Russia. I don’t have any anti Russian agenda or feel that Iran is somehow entitled to Russian (or anyone’s) help. My point was rather that Iran must better understand the motivations of powerful international actors (in this case Russia) to formulate policies better.

    You cannot change core strategic motivations of powerful states with money and diplomatic niceties. (Though your points regarding Iranian corruption,, cheapness, and diplomatic ineptitude are true.) Russia’s strategic interests towards Iran are basically to have Iran be strong enough not to fold and give in to the Americans while at the same time not be strong enough to become a nuisance for the Russians. That is why they don’t participate in economically blockading Iran but wouldn’t sell advanced armaments either. In the mean time they see Iran as a bargaining chip, to be used to gain concessions from the Americans. Iran can make a deal today and tomorrow the Americans can go and make a mixture of threats and inducements to not cooperate with Iran; and the Americans are going to win every time. That is why I said Russian willingness to cooperate with Iran is limited. Money and diplomacy won’t change these basic interests.

    That is also why I said it is not helpful to compare Russia-Iran relations to Russia’s relations with India or China. Russia basically decided to co opt China since it will be a powerful country anyway so they might as well profit. Russia also has no problem with a strong India. They are geographically distant and don’t have any strategic rivalries. India also balances China to a certain extent. Thus as long as the Indians can pay, the Russians would sell them anything short of a live nuclear warhead. The same is obviously not true of Iran.

    I admit though you are right that Iran missed great many opportunities regarding technology transfers. I didn’t know Iran was offered production line for the Migs for example. (I will also have to look into that book. Thanks). If Iran were to have say 10 more Kilos, 100 or so Su 27s and some S-300s for example it would have done much to improve Iran’s defense readiness. It is really infuriating how much money the Iranians waste on useless imports and wasteful consumption, rather than on industrial and technological (including defense) development. It is also pathetic how they long for spare parts for Airbus and Boeings rather than buy Russian planes. Thank God they are now having their hands forced and have no choice but turn to the Russians (and Ukrainians). I remember writing here about Ahmedinejad kicking out Russian pilots and other such diplomatic misconducts. Sad indeed.

    It is obvious that the Russians had a greater willingness to cooperate in the early 90s when they were going through great financial difficulties. But one can argue Iran’s funds were more limited back then. Russian willingness to cooperate has diminished over time and it is doubtful how much they are willing to sell to Iran now. Of the top of my head I can list a few things that the Russians decided to back out of. The S-300 deal is perhaps the most notorious example. They also backed out of launching some Iranian satellites and cooperation on the space program in general. Russia was helping Iran build the Shafaq jet; they stopped. Iran took your advice and was diplomatically polite and begged for the production line for the Tu 334, but the Russians reneged on their offer and decided to scrap the project. Iran was supposed to be building the Ka 27 helicopters under license. I don’t know what happened to that. Same with Ukraine. They didn’t want Iran building the An 148s apparently and only after a LOT of begging and (I suppose bribing) allowed Iran to build the An 140s.
    Basically I am saying you cannot place the entire blame on Iran. Sometimes the other side just isn’t willing to sell Iran stuff.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. Of course Russia doesn’t owe Iran anything. Iran should do all it can to maintain good relations with Russia and cooperate whenever possible and buy whatever technology they can. It should just be under no illusions regarding Russian strategic motivations.

  4. Nasser says:

    James Canning says: November 11, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    “Your belief Iran can work around the sanctions fails to account for the fact there will be more sanctions if Iran does not make a deal with the P5+1. William Hauge made this clear in mid-October.”

    - EU already sanctioned Iran’s Central Bank. What else can they do?! Iran should just go about its business and pay no mind to what Mr. Hague or any European politician says.

  5. Nasser says:

    fyi says: November 11, 2012 at 11:15 am,

    “The attak on Shoah started before Mr. Obama’s election; during the first Presidency of Mr. Bush II.”

    - I know that.

    My point was that Mr Obama couldn’t make a deal with Ahmedinejad after he denied the Holocaust and was thus thoroughly demonized to Western audiences. It was politically impossible. (I would have no arguments with them attacking the Shoah at a time like this but the Iranians didn’t time it wisely imo.)

    However briefly, there was a real willingness in Washington to rethink Iran after the Russian-Georgian war had occurred and Obama first came into office.

    The Americans needed someone else in Ahmedinejad’s place if they were to make a deal.

    Mr. Ahmedinejad’s contested reelection squashed any chance of cooperation.

    Obama instead did a reset with Russia and redoubled the pressure on Iran. His advisers sincerely believed (and still do) that they can bankrupt Iran.

    That is all.

  6. Sinevir says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    November 11, 2012 at 10:04 am
    The 9M133 Kornet was most likely reverse engineered from syrian supplied examples,the same is almost certainly the case with Buk M2E as the iranian transporter resembles a scaled down russian version mounting 3 missiles instead of 4 rather than the tracked chassis the syrian ones are based on,the shkval could have been a joint effort with russia with the iranians supplying the funding and the russians the expertise or it could have been acquired the same way the iranians got there earlier model s300 and kh55 via covert means

  7. Sinevir says:

    Smith says:
    November 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm
    Actually Smith the russians were barely able to build one reactor let alone 10[!!],yes it probably would have been cheaper to start from scratch rather than incorporate a lot of german tech into it,but considering how much they had payed the germans they no doubt wanted to get something for those millions,also dont forget the usa did everything it could to disrupt the project,the russians grossly underestimated the time it would take and many russian suppliers just saw an opportunity to price gouge iran and the iranian contractors also were unfamiliar with some of the work,so I think everyone was to blame tho` the russians should have gone down on their knees and thanked god that anyone would have wanted to buy a soviet designed nuclear reactor after 1986,indeed I don`t think its going to far to say that Iran probably saved the post soviet civilian nuclear power industry.In the future if I was Iran I would probably buy Chinese or better yet design and build my own be they heavy water,gas,fast breeder,light water etc..

  8. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

    He is not completely wrong; some practices of Chinese = performed in Public – are somewhat shocking for foreign people.

    Eventually one gets used to it.

    But the other implicit point you make is correct – “najes” etc.

    Orthodx Jews are the same way.

  9. More on the incident:

    UN urges restraint from Israel, Syria after shelling
    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=291403

    Note this: “The IDF fired an advanced Tapuz-type missile at a Syrian artillery cannon, military sources said.”

    To me, that sounds like an attempt to escalate, not a “warning shot”.

  10. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    My mistake – meant Antonov-140 and not Antonov-158

  11. Dan Cooper says:

    US Violates Agreement; Punishes Iran

    By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article33001.htm

  12. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 11, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Yes, Nebat Islami married to usual corruption.

    You are probably correct in most of what you rite; certinly the cancer-drug production line in Iran was delayed until 2 or 3 weeks ago when the “mafia” could no longer import cancer drugs.

    But this has been going on for a long time; since before the fall of Monarchy in Iran.

  13. Dan Cooper says:

    Bilateral Agreement

    The January 19, 1981, the United States government and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran concluded the Algiers Accords. (Although the Accords was re-classified by George W. Bush, a review of it is accessible at Columbia Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 4 (May, 1981), pp. 822-90). Article 1 of the agreement is as follows:

    “I: Non-intervention In Iranian Affairs 1. The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran ‘s internal affairs.”

    Since its very inception, the United States has violated this bilateral agreement.

    It has continued its relentless propaganda into Iran through the Voice of America, Radio Farda, and other State-funded media outlets such as BBC Persian which receives significant funding from the US government.

    Launched in early 2009, the BBC Persian as well as Voice of America played a significant role in instigating violence post 2009 Iranian Presidential elections.

    US Violates Agreement; Punishes Iran

    By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

  14. Sinevir says:

    James Canning
    The gist’s of your oh so repetitive argument is this,that if only Iran would practice good old Neville Chamberlin style appeasement then everything would be all right you know “Peace in our time” that sought of thing,I`m sure even you are aware of the abysmal failure of those sought of policies giving the aggressor what he wants doesn’t placate him it just encourages him to more and greater demands,if iran did as you wanted it might as well turn the clock back to the days of the shah

  15. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Iranian were interested in the Tu-334 but could not come to an agreement with Russians on producing them in Iran as well as in Russia.

    Sort of like the deal with Ukraine for Antonov-158; Iranians grabbed it when Ukraine was broke and Iran was the only coutry out there willing to invest in that airplane’s development.

    Iran was also the only country that was interested in Tu-334; Russians were unwilling to transfer the technology to Iran; they preferred not to built it.

    Which is what happened.

  16. Smith says:

    Karl… says:
    November 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I know. What I am talking about here, is that Iranians have been slow to buy/develop/steal technologies and kick up the domestic production and manufacturing so that they would not need to go to black market buying sixth hand 36 years old A300 jets from a bankrupt African airlines and then bringing to Iran after large amount of secret money handling and kickbacks so that then Iranian engineers spend one year to do an unauthorized D check on aircraft with no access to Airbus consultation and then pain the aircraft in Iran Air colors and use it to haul Iranians from Tehran to Bandar Abbas. This despite the fact that the president of Russian federation offering to give Iran production plants for Iran to produce its own aircrafts. This I must emphasize that Iranians have a high taste. They love BMW and they hate local production. So for them Airbus even a rotten to core one brings pride, while they ridicule Russian planes continuously. Iranians here can explain the whole psychology of it for you.

    http://www.sendika.org/yazi.php?yazi_no=14034

  17. Smith says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    November 11, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    It is a wonderful aircraft and I am aware of that. Part of my anger is because of that aircraft being manufactured in Iran. Because it shows, Iranians are not stupid and can manufacture aircrafts if given the chance. It is a wonderful high tech plane. But it is a small propeller one. Iran has recently done some deals for a medium size jet with the same Ukrainian company called An-158. Again a very good aircraft which will replace the role of Tu-334 that was cancelled. Though Iran is very slow due to haggling nature. But if 158 production starts in Iran, it is going to be an excellent development. Russian air force has selected 158 for short range travel of Russian president. So it is a good aircraft. But Iran needs long range and high capacity air liners like IL-96 and Tu-234 as well, in order to revitalize its fleet which is mostly made up of old western planes. That was my view. I had read in a professional aviation magazine specializing in future aviation trend prediction that Iran would need hundreds of large airliners in the coming decades. It would have been best if Iran had gone ahead to form a domestic industry based on this large need, instead of importing black market airbus from African air lines. That is why the situation is so tragic.

    At any rate my argument was not only for planes. It was for all the products and the whole of economy. It is not only about planes. It is about the smallest things to biggest things. Do you know Iran still imports even 3 cc syringes from China? Do you know Iran still imports the simplest antibiotics for example the Penicillin G from China? I mean do not push me into this. 95% of the medicines that are made in Iran actually are just repackaged ones, with their active ingredients having been imported from abroad. Even the antihistamines which are made from oil are actually imported and then packed in Iran. Forget about these, you can even see that paraffin is imported from China. Iran has an import mafia that does not let manufacturing to take hold. There is another mafia in Bazar that is even more dangerous and its job is to speculate and make large amount of money by hoarding and market manipulation. These mafias need to be dealt with the Chinese way. Without that, Iran will never move forward. It is not about aircraft. It is about the whole system.

  18. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    November 11, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    James,

    Responsibility for the success of the negotiations does not solely fall on Iran. The West must also follow through on offering something substantial like recognition of Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

    A deal between the P5+1 and Iran must be acceptable to the Iranian public, a public who overwhelmingly support Iran’s civilian nuclear program. If the Western powers skimp on their offer to Iran, Iran may be forced to reject it. Who will be to blame then?

  19. Smith says:

    Good panel video to watch for some objective data: http://www.stimson.org/events/understanding-iranian-public-opinion/

  20. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 11, 2012 at 11:12 am

    100% true. If they wanted to develop a just system, they should have implemented a universal free health care system and a universal free education system. That would have been justice. Importing bananas through an exclusive import license belonging to a Hajagha who is the cousin of a high ranking basiji son of a member of the parliament is not justice. Keeping the value of Rial artificially high is not justice.

    Creating jobs is. Going high tech is. Anyways, it is good that anytime, Iran goes wrong, Americans kick into the belly of mullahs to remind them of the fate of Qadafi and that they should stand up and fight for their lives and the lives of their daughters who are going to be raped by US marines, as happened in Baghdad. Iranians should thank Americans for keeping the mullahs on their toes and not letting them falling asleep. They have to work 24/7 now if they want to live.

  21. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    That is really a new development. I hope Iran can save the remaining of its geostationary slots before the Wahabis take hold of them.

  22. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Let’s hope Russia and “the West” applaud Iran’s achievement, if it takes place as planned.

  23. Karl... says:

    Smith,

    There is a reason why they buy it off the black market, beacuse sanctions, and systematic pressure by various groups not to sell stuff to Iran (yes before comprehensive sanctions were put in place).

  24. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Smith says:
    November 11, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    “By the way, did you know that due to no customers, Russia is closing down the production plants for Tu-234, IL-96 and even cancelled the Tu-334 altogether. It is a shame. They were not the best but they were good aircrafts. Iran could have bought the license to manufacture them.”

    What’s this than…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HESA_IrAn-140

    Is that the wrong type of aircraft according to your expert judgement? Note how Iran is building them in Iran with Iranian made parts using the expertise of Iranian engineers.

  25. Nasser says:

    I wonder what the Western and Russian responses to this would be?

    http://presstv.com/detail/2012/11/11/271622/iran-plans-geo-satellite-launch/

  26. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I find it peculiar you are offended by my questioning whether you think North Korea serves the people well by keeping them in grinding poverty while the leaders enjoy fine Champagne, Cognac, whisky, etc etc etc etc.

  27. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Prior to the outbreak of the revolt (not outbrake, typo).

  28. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Are you actually arguing that Libya did not enjoy fairly good relations with the UK, prior to the outbrake of the revolt? Surely you are aware of the flak a number of British politicians took, for having been friendly toward members of the Gaddafi family, etc etc.

    The sanctions had been lifted.

  29. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Interesting comments by Charles W. Freeman that you linked. He puts the total cost of the idiotic Iraq War at $3.4 billion. For the US.

  30. Smith says:

    Here is an order from the prophet of Islam for Iranian Basijis instructing them to go to “najes” China and learn science and technology from them.

    Here are some of his and God’s commands (as per Islam) for basijis: (The first five are extremely important for Iranian narrow minded basijis to understand that is if they can)

    Go in quest of knowledge even unto China.

    He who does not know should not be ashamed to learn

    Whoever seeketh knowledge and findeth it, will get two rewards; one of them the reward for desiring it, and the other for attaining it; therefore, even if he do not attain it, for him is one reward.

    Verily the best of God’s servants are just and learned kings; and verily the worst are bad and ignorant kings.

    To listen to the words of the learned, and to instil into others the lessons of science, is better than religious exercises.
    The pursuit of knowledge is a divine commandment for every Muslim; and to waste knowledge on those who are unworthy of it is like putting pearls, jewels, and gold on the necks of swine.

    Learned men live after death; ignorant men are dead although alive

    Philosophy is the stray camel of the Faithful, take hold of it wherever ye come across it.

    An hour’s contemplation is better than a year’s adoration.

    The Messenger of God was asked, “What is the greatest vice of man?” He said, “You must not ask me about vice, but ask about virtue;” and he repeated this three times, after which he said, “Know ye! The worst of men is a bad learned man, and a good learned man is the best.”

    He dieth not who giveth life to learning.

    Who honoreth the learned, honoreth me.

    Verily god doth not taketh away knowledge from the hands of His servants; but taketh it by taking away the learned; so that when no learned men remain, the ignorant will be placed at the head of affairs. Causes will be submitted to their decision, they will pass sentence without knowledge, will err themselves, and lead others into error.

    Do you know what sappeth the foundation of Islam, and ruineth it? The errors of the learned destroy it, the disputations of the hypocrite, and the orders of kings who have lost the road.

    To spend more time in learning is better than spending more time praying; the support of religion is abstinence. It is better to teach knowledge one hour in the night than to pray all night.

    One learned man is harder on the devil than a thousand ignorant worshippers.

    The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.

    He who leaveth home in search of knowledge, walketh in the path of God.

    The acquisition of knowledge is a duty incumbent one every Muslim, male and female.

    The calamity of knowledge is forgetfulness; and to waste knowledge is to speak of it to the unworthy.

    Who are the learned? They who practise what they know.

    There is no treasure like knowledge gained

  31. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    The CIA blocked the neocon warmongers’ conspiracy to set up war with Iran in 2006-07.

    US intelligence continue to think Iran has not decided to build nukes, so attacking Iran on basis Iran is building nukes would be illegal.

  32. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Surely you can comprehend that if Iran tries to build nukes, an attack is virtually guaranteed. You would in effect insist Iran bring upon itself the devastation you claim you seek to avoid.

  33. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The US is highly unlikely to attack Iran if Iran makes a deal with the P5+1. Full stop. Failure to make a deal will mean more sanctions, and still more.

  34. Smith says:

    How nice it would have been if Iran was building these beauties instead of buying black market Airbus planes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LznlAC_T28k

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZly1n4FyLc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzbNBq-oFBw

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa1Za9OFK9g&feature=related

    This is what I am talking about lost opportunities. Everything is not about military. Iran could have imported some nice technologies paying with oil. All the argument I am making is that oil should be used to domesticate technology and build a knowledge based society, not importing bananas:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq8WhA57BmU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7vhxSuKb0s&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t3oEYZ-Zc8

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW1eNdQGBrw&feature=related

    There is no shame in giving up half of Iran’s oil reserves and import all the needed technologies. Atleast the civilian technologies can be imported even now. Is Iran working on that? I guess not.

    Iran should use sharp and effective diplomacy to start importing technology bartering with oil.

  35. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Russia has no plans to “turn Iran into a satellite”. Russia and China want a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute, including cessation of erniching to 20% by Iran.

    William Hague, not Hauge. (my typo)

  36. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Your belief Iran can work around the sanctions fails to account for the fact there will be more sanctions if Iran does not make a deal with the P5+1. William Hauge made this clear in mid-October.

  37. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Do you think David Cameron would serve the people of the UK better if he encouraged the Saudis to buy warplanes from Russia or some other country, rather than Britain?

  38. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Philip Giraldi thinks Obama should announce that the US does not currently view Iran as a threat. This is a better approach than “containment”.

  39. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 11, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Here is another interesting link. Just note the Russian interest. They fly in two different models for Iran to decide. That is now pretty najes. But if your cousin is in an African embassy doing shady deals to buy airbus and their spare parts from black market, I guess you would never allow the Russian deal to go through: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/iran/tu-204.htm

    By the way, did you know that due to no customers, Russia is closing down the production plants for Tu-234, IL-96 and even cancelled the Tu-334 altogether. It is a shame. They were not the best but they were good aircrafts. Iran could have bought the license to manufacture them. It was good for them. It would have given Iran a domestic capability much needed. Russians tried their best to convince Iranians. Alas, the black market Airbus is more profitable to the planner’s cousins in import mafia.

    Anyways, that is tragic. The more tragic part is that, the Airbus and Boeing will never sell to Iran again until Iran gives up its independence. That is a shame. And even then Airbus and Boeing are more than 4 times more expensive for a comparable Russian airliner. If Iran had built them inside Iran, it would have created tens of thousands of high tech jobs, and would have been even cheaper so much so that the Iranian planes would have been able to compete with foreign airlines. You see the most important factor in aviation competition is ticket price. The Boeing are fuel efficient but they are expensive. The hypothetical Iranian made airliners would have been less fuel efficient but were cheaper for the airliner to buy. And Iran could have fueled them in domestic airports with cheap Iranian fuel.

    But in Iran it seems no one is interested to think out of the box. They want to think najes like an uneducated narrow minded basiji whose cousin imports banana from Philippines on an exclusive import license. And then they tell you to shut your mouth and keep quite. That is a shame. They want to compare you to Uzbekistan and tell you that Iran is ahead of them. But little these basijis know that actually Uzbekistan has an aircraft manufacturing plant producing IL-76 planes. They want to hold Iran back. They want their import businesses at the cost of unemployment and backwardness of Iranian nation.

  40. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 11, 2012 at 12:51 am

    I guess something was lost in translation there. Russians are not the cousin of Iranians. Why should they have the Iranians “back”? What Iran has done for Russia? During the cold war Iran was a US base against the Russians and after the Iranian revolution, things were no better. After soviet collapse, and till today, what Iran has done for Russia. Why Iranians have this really pathetic sense of entitlement as if the world has to give them special preference? Why? What have you done for them?

    Russia is like any other nation. Iran could have used SHARP DIPLOMACY and large CASH OFFERS to make DEALS with Iran. You can not buy friendship. But you do not need to be a friend to buy something you need. You mentioned Bushehr. That is now funny. When Iranians approached the Russians in 1990s to complete the Bushehr plant, Russians literally were in economic mess. They badly needed the money, so they accepted to build it for a billion dollars. That is I guess the cheapest nuclear power plant in the world. The Iranian haggling seemed to have worked. Russia recently sold 4 of those reactors to Turkey for 5 times the price per reactor, than they charged Iran.

    In fact, Russians maintain, that the only benefit that came out of Bushehr for Russia was the fact that it kept Russian nuclear industry busy and paid the salary of Russian engineers preventing them to go hungry. Otherwise, they did not make any profit out of it. Not only that, before even Russians accept the agreement, they told Iranians, it was not a good idea to build a Russian reactor into a German design and partially built plant. It was just too much of an unnecessary technical challenges. They proposed to build a completely Russian plant somewhere else. But the Iranians would not listen. They forced the Russians to do the unthinkable. Build a Russian designed reactor into a West German plant. Now that is called intransigence.

    How nice would it have been, if Iran had basically offered Russia ten billion dollars to build 10 reactors at the time instead of having Russian engineers recalculating everything in order to make a German design a Russian product? Do you know the reason why things are not working in Iran as they are supposed? Because the decision makers are not engineers. They are stupid Basijis troglodytes just like the Bussed in Basiji here. They can not think for themselves and if some other person thinks for himself, then the troglodyte is going to attack him with his club. They will never be able to argue on the merits of the subject at hand in an objective manner with scientific knowledge. Rather, they will attack you personally. They will accuse of being an infidel or najes. That is how they do. Even with Russians and Chinese. Playing najes game with them.

    Here are some links. But there literally thousands of them if you use a good search engine (Does Iran have a google equivalent?). Please remember that all the info there are open source and can be verified. For example when the head of Russia’s aircraft manufacturing says that we are ready to give Iran the production line for airliners, it does not mean that this chief engineer is making a fool out of himself. It means that Iran should come forward to the Russian office, sending a nice diplomat who does not think that Russians are najes and offer a large amount of money and kickbacks so that the deal can go through. At the end this was the official Iranian response: “Tu-204SM twin-jet passenger aircraft has been criticized by Russian President Dimitry Medevef. Iran’s CAO will examine records of any air planes before its inclusion in the country’s aviation fleet”.

    It means, ridiculing the Russians by calling them najes. Imagine how angry the Russians must have been by this response. Here was a nation, that can not manufacture world war II era airliners, criticizing Russian planes. It would have been like if a nation like Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan is put under severe sanctions and could not import cars. So that nation had to go and buy very old fourth hand cars from black markets in Africa which were sh!ty. So Iran offers this nation a production line for Samand. Not the best car in the world, but not the worst either. It gets the job done. So Iran Khodro chief engineer offers that nation the factory of Samand in order to help them and make some money for Iran Khodro. The transport minister of that under sanctions nation, replies back: “Samand is sh!t. Go to hell.” How would Iranians feel then? Why should Russians have special feelings for Iranians when Iranian Basiji diplomats treat Russians like najes people? Things are not what they seem. Russians have weak points too. They are losing their aviation business. No body is buying from them. Iran could have exploited the situation to get some good technology transfer.

    Russian offer to make for Iran a modern domestic civil aviation industry (cost of Russian offer: 2.5 billion dollar):
    http://www.kommersant.com/page.asp?id=858582

    Iranian response to the Russian offer with a snobby attitude of najes type:
    http://www.tecogroup.ir/en/index.php/component/content/article/3-newsflash/41-iran-dismisses-reports-on-buying

    Do you know why they behave like that? Because these so called Iranian officials are making huge money to go to black market in Africa and buy expired fourth hand air buses. In these shady deals, no one would know what the real price was. They can go and buy an expired A300 for a million dollar and sell it Iran Air for 100 million with 99 million dollars of kickbacks. And then all those black market spare parts. Oh, man. The corruption is huge. There is a mafia running Iranian economy. They import drugs from Afghanistan, Bananas from Philippines and Airbus from Africa. That is why they are squarely against Iran developing domestic capabilities. Domestic production does not pay kickbacks. Only imports do.

    And about Russians, not giving Iran anything. That is also a misconception. They can only give you what you pay for and what you really want from them without playing najes games. Here you can see that the “pride” of Iranian air craft manufacturing the F-5 copies, that Iran so much loves to show them off as better than F/A-18 fighters are getting their engines quietly from Russian comrades. If Russia did not want to help Iran, it would have completely cut of all such sales which would ground Iranian air force in weeks: http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/10/16/us-putin-iran-engines-idUSL166770620071016

    Iran cancelled a deal involving a production line for Mig-29 in Iran, instead going to import chicken, fruits and more Mercedes Benz for Rafsanjani sons and daughters: http://books.google.ca/books?id=XrPrtes_GiQC&pg=PA100&lpg=PA100&dq=iran+cancel+mig-29+production+line&source=bl&ots=YsX12KoOQu&sig=4zYM-B1U0zC4zcNdUrJ5Ogz9JRU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=osSfUM29D4HF2QWCw4GYCg&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=iran%20cancel%20mig-29%20production%20line&f=false

    Again, I have to emphasize that I am aware, Iran has bought quite alot of other technologies both civilian and military and has worked on many more by itself developing some all alone. But my arguments is that more could have been done and even still can be done. Just put engineers in charge of decision making. And send some sensible diplomats to places like Russia, China, Japan and South Korea. People with najes ideology are not good for these kind of diplomatic jobs.

    And Russia is not the only one. Iran can buy quite good drug and medical equipment manufacturing technology from likes of Japan and South Korea. Why Iran has not done that? There is no sanctions on that. Iran could have over-payed Japan by a few hundred million barrels of oil for those technologies. I am sure, companies like Toshiba would love to manufacture their latest medical equipment in Iran, if Iran pays them a few hundred million barrel of oil. That is how business is done. But of course for that you must have diplomats that do not believe Japanese are najes.

    You need respectful diplomats who bow their heads in front of Japanese not those who go there and call them najes and then negotiate secrete deals for the import of those equipment with large kickbacks. You see if you are the cousin of a certain minister or parliamentarian and you can manage through najes means to get the only import license for MRI machines into Iran, then you can make lots of money without ever paying any tax. You and the najes mafia will never allow a clean shaven head bowing engineer diplomat to go go Japan and negotiate a deal with Toshiba to build a MRI factory in Iran. You will probably hire some najes people to kill that engineer diplomat if necessary to keep your import business going whether it be the exclusive import license for Toshiba MRI machines or Philippine bananas.

    You referred to China and North Korea, well those two are also using Russian technologies. China still imports its jet engines from Russia. So if Russia was so much against Iran, it would have asked its satellite proxy state which North Korea is, to stop seeing Iranians. They have not. If as much as Russians telephone the dear leader in North Korea, there will be no more Iranians going to North Korea.

    Another example. Iran had four ideal geo-stationary satellite slots in space given to it in 1970′s with an option for four more. These slots were ideal for transmission into middle east and Europe. They were priceless. Iran is losing them. They already lost one to a French-Saudi company. And they are going to lose the others too. All eight of them. That is a shame. Iran got very angry recently for Europe banning its satellites to carry Iranian signals. Without satellite relay, all of Iran’s mass communication would collapse. Few know this but Iran needs those relays for even the transmissions inside Iran as without satellite relay there will be no live TV and no live reporting. Russians immediately helped Iran by putting the Iranian signals on one of their satellites. I guess, with najes attitudes of Iran, they should not have. They should have left Iranian TV and Radio sector to collapse. But for some reason, they did not.

    Now the funny part about the Iranians space slots on geo-stationary orbit. In early 2000′s Iran faced with expiration of its orbit slots, went to Russians for the launch of a SINGLE radio, TV, phone, date satellite. Note the Iranian habit. They haggled with Russians. Singed one contract and then the Iranian parliament investigated that agreement and declared it to be “expensive”. So Iran cancelled the contract and haggled again bringing down the price. Finally Russians seeing little benefit in the contract for a single small satellite, cancelled the deal under American pressure.

    Now the sensible thing for a najes diplomat would have been to go for a Russian deal for 8 satellites using all of Iranian potential slots. Paying a few hundred million dollars would not have hurt Iran abit but it would help the Iranian commerce by providing the satellite links of Iranian origin. It would have helped by transmitting Iran’s voice globally. But no. That is now how najes diplomats play their game. They want their kickbacks from renting the transponder on Arab-European own satellites. And Iranian owned satellite would spoil all their kickbacks. So they did their best in Iranian parliament to make sure Russians back out of the deal for launching the satellite. And of course the Iranian diplomats are never going to kiss the najes Chinese to launch them a satellite either. So they lose their space slot to a Saudi company that then transmits anti-Iranian channels into Iran.

    With these kind of planners and diplomats with their najes ideology, who know nothing about how modern business and technology deals are conducted, I say good luck to Iranians. By the time you guys develop your heavy satellite launcher capable of putting a small satellite in geo-stationary orbit, Iran would have lost all of its slot. And with current conditions, I guess, the international bodies would never allot Iran another slot ever again. Iranians should thank their haggling parliament and the najes diplomats manning Iranian embassies. The kind of diplomats who instead of pushing for technology deals are just interested in getting import kickbacks.

  41. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    November 11, 2012 at 5:48 am

    I forgot to add that my sense is that Iranian and Turkish leaders had reached an understanding on Syria:

    Turkey: We have to do these things in Syria not because we like it or want to but because we owe it to Axis Powwers. They will harm us if we do not follow their orders here.

    Iran: We regret but understand that. We will fight in Syria but let us agree to isolate Syria from all other bilateral issues and relations.

    Turkey: Of course, and agreed.

  42. fyi says:

    All:

    As I had expected, Mr. Nichirvan Barazani was in Tehran and stated: “Kurdish Iraq will not permit threats to Iran.”

    The Iranians have been heard loud and clearly in Irbil.

  43. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    November 11, 2012 at 5:48 am

    This is true as far as it goes but I caution you not to assume that it is a complete analysis.

    Turks do not have oil and capital accumulation will be a slow process there; therefore the need for foreign direct investment.

    If Arabs had put their petro-dollars in Turkey – fellow Muslim brothers – they could have ameliorated the Turkish dependence on EU funds.

    Likewise, if Iranian had not cultivated a largely Rentiere economy, they would have been able to invest in Turkey.

    South Korea was the most indebted country in 1980s but it is not any longer; her debt was to foreign banks, unlike Turkey which has a combination of foreign bank debt and FDI.

    South Korea was lucky in that her Export-Oriented Economic policies predated the rise of China.

    Now, an approach like South Korea’s, probably will not work.

    All of this, for Turkey, means that we will know the correct assessment of her situation a decade from now.

    As it is, she is making money from Iran, just like during Iran-Iraq War.

  44. Smith says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    November 11, 2012 at 5:35 am

    This is my last response to you and I am not going to engage you in any discussion after this post. You see, I have zero tolerance for racism, and you seem to be a fascist.

    Your filthy attitude towards Chinese is really pathetic. Iran does not need to compare itself to any body. Germany has the same population as Egypt, do they compare themselves with Egypt? No. France is the same size as Romania, do the French compare themselves with Romanians? No. Only people with peanut size self confidence have to compare themselves and feel better about themselves. The intelligent people never compare themselves with any one. They try to break barrier after barrier. They try to excel beyond what was thought even possible. Bench marks for success is only used in schools for special children with cretinism. In super schooling system, they let the child to excel to his/her dreams.

    Now lets come to the reality. Iran does not have the technology for lots of things. Trying to re-invent the wheel, while the wheel making technology is available for purchase is a no-brainer. Personally I do not think Iran would be able to excel in certain technologies even if it tried hard for example, microprocessor manufacturing. In those areas, Iran needs to buy the wheel technology. Russia or China, it does not matter.

    But I guess, with the kind of people of your mentality, Iran will never be able to do that. As I said, Iran needs diplomats that can go there with large money/oil offer and lots of will to kiss all sorts of anatomical parts as a sign of respect in order to buy wheel making technologies. People with your mentality that behave like this can not help Iran progress: “Oh, oh, oh, he/she is najes. I can not talk to him. He is najes. She is najes. I want to go back to Akbar Shah. Every one is najes”.

    Well for your information, most of technology in the world is made by najes people. You are probably alive because of that najes technology. 90% of world’s population today are alive because of medical advances, vaccination, better public etc, all made by those najes people. The najes people make the computer and all the microprocessors and circuit boards in the world. The najes people invented the detergents you are using to keep yourself “clean” today. The najes people can build fighter jets to defend their nation. The najes people can make brand new airliners so that their people do not fall out of sky.

    When a hairy poorly suited and clothed individual like you go to China to negotiate on something and behaves as if Chinese are najes, then of course Chinese as a great technology building nation in the world have the reciprocating right to consider you an ape that you are. You see, your only production, the oil, is one that was given to you by a geographical chance. The najes people on the other hand have worked hard for their achievements. By the way the najes Taiwanese with one third of Iran’s population also manufacture all the electronics that great China does, with only one difference. The Taiwanese quality is even better. And did you know that the najes Taiwanese were actually manufacturing F-5 fighters in 1970′s when the “clean and proud” Iranians had a hard time manufacturing front windshield of Paykan.

    There are many things great about being a Najes. A najes can have great ideas in his head and no body would chastise him/her for those ideas. A najes can dream about turbo fan engines, 12 nm architecture of next generation microprocessors, about Belimumab and 4 dimensional CT scans. That is the difference between a najes and a basiji. The najes can sit down and listen to his critics. A basiji will kill you with his club like a troglodyte. Given the choice, I would rather be a coward technology savvy, fighter jet manufacturing najes than a hairy troglodyte with a brave heart and an RPG he got on the black market.

  45. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    November 11, 2012 at 12:51 am

    You are correct, the oruces have been China and North Korea.

    Americans want Muslim countries to be like Pakistan – chaotic and easily malleable where nothing ever happens to move that country forward.

    At one time, in 1980s, India was going to give water buffalos to Vietnam. Maericans got a whif of it and squashed it!

    My assessment is also like yours; Iranians will have to endure and reform their polity and adjust it to the current situation. It will be a very painful process for a still largely chaotic people who do not seem to know what they want.

  46. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    November 11, 2012 at 1:09 am

    The attak on Shoah started before Mr. Obama’s election; during the first Presidency of Mr. Bush II.

  47. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Yes, I agree.

    It was also the fantasy of Islamic Just Society that harmed many sectors of the Iranian economy; using oil revenue as a form of social charity.

    Americans are teaching Iran how to fight.

  48. Smith says:

    hans says:
    November 11, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Well, actually and in reality, Akbar Shah has little to do with it. Before there was Reza Shah and his critics were all saying the same. Only if Reza Shah leaves, then Iran’s taxation will get better, and Iran will become a modern economy with no dependency on oil. Read the political literature of critics of Reza Shah of those times. Anyways, Reza Shah was only interested in competing with Saudi Arabia in oil production to show off his importance. Akbar Shah or Reza Shah, the root of the problem is somewhere else and not in Shahs. If ever Iran attempted another revolution, Iran might descend to civil war and what ever is there will be lost. Keep the Akbar Shah and change the taxation system. Qaddafi did not understand anything. He even gave up his nuclear program. He was thinking his brave heart soldiers will be able to defend him with their brave hearts. Too bad brave heart can not fly to 55,000 ft and put up a fight against a modern NATO fighter. His western educated sons killed him. They had convinced him to accept western demands.

    By the way, Iran at least under Akbar Shah manufactures internal combustion engines, power plants, light weight satellite launchers, etc etc. Qaddafi along with all the Arab world still can not manufacture simple cocking bolts for small motorcycle engines. As HML, in the video of the previous post says, Iranian Akbar Shah system is not perfect but it is upto Iranians to evolve it into something better, but at any rate it is much better than your Arab heroes systems.

  49. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Nasser says:
    November 11, 2012 at 12:51 am

    “I have seen no evidence that Russia was ever willing to supply such things to Iran. Russia has never supplied Iran with any meaningful technology transfers other than Bushehr.”

    The still open question is how Iran obtained designs for the Kornet-E anti tank missile, Shkval supercavitating torpedo, Buk M2E, etc.

  50. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Smith says:
    November 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Here are some weapons a little bit more advanced than slingshots:

    Persian Gulf anti-ship ballistic missile. Entirely developed in Iran and produced there. China is the only other nation to have successfully developed such a missile.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eJmOZnsypQ&feature=plcp

    Ghader cruise missile:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjtLSrXG6m0&feature=plcp

    Improved and upgraded Iranian version of the Buk M2E manufactured in Iran.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzRYrVoHkAo&feature=plcp

    Laser guided artillery. Only Russia the US and China have previously produced similar systems.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qb2idOMvEyY&feature=plcp

    Drone with 24 hour flight capability and 2,000 km range.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmK0xIFVJL4&feature=plcp

    Medium range ballistic missiles:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SV8VvEyn9A&feature=plcp

  51. Israel fires warning shots ‘after Syria mortar strike’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20288263#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

    One wonders who fired the mortar, given that the insurgents have apparently regularly been firing mortars into Turkey in an effort to get Turkey to get a NATO Chapter 5 resolution…

  52. hans says:

    @Smith says:
    November 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    That’s how Bazaar economics work. The only way you can become a modern economy with proper funding from taxes (like Norway and it’s oil policy) is to get rid of the Akhbar Shah and his cahoots, the Neanderthal mullahs. Qaddaffi understood that the only way Africa could improve it dire stricken state was to stop selling it’s commodities direct, rather sell added valued products from the commodities.

  53. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    اقتصاد بادکنکی ترکیه؛ سراب رشد و حباب توسعه

    http://farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13910819000685

    Article about Turkish economy for Farsi readers

  54. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Smith/Qazvini/IQ 146,

    I agree with most of the things you mention in your posts…

    Easy on the Chinese ass-kissing (remember, to them you’re a hairy barbarian ape, also spend a few months living in any Chinese city and you will forever know the true meaning of “najis”.)

    Remember they are 1.5 billion, we are around 75-80 million, don’t compare apples to oranges. It’s like sending Manny Pacquiao into the ring with one of the Klitschko brothers. Both awesome fighters, but a mere fart from Klitschko ends the fight right at the beginning.

    The three countries that are usually compared to each other by social scientists are Iran, Egypt and Turkey. In that comparison Iran wins by K.O. in the first minute of the first round.

    In general there’s no substitute for developing technology domestically and the more there are sanctions the more we will be forced to do this thank God.

    In terms of nuclear weapons- well we don’t do that one- there is a difference between “us” and “them”. This doesn’t mean we don’t have other things that can be pulled out at specific times, if it becomes necessary. The best policy for you and me is keep our mouths shut for now and let the action do the talking when it happens.

    Yes it’s true that there is no “international law” and military power is key, but also remember that after all the rockets, rifles, bullets, tanks, planes the only thing that determines victory or defeat is the heart of a soldier. In that department my dear Smith/Qazvini/IQ 146 we are the undisputed effin’ heavy-weight champions of the world- nobody even comes close. Just give us an RPG-7 and a “Ya Zahra” headband and…

    The Vietnamese aren’t bad either in that department, just ask your beloved Chinese how they fared in Vietnam when they invaded- and that was after the Vietnamese had spent 40 years fighting and kicking the ass of the Japanese, French and Americans.

  55. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    US plans $6.7 billion aircraft deal with Saudi
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hPPTCsPXHmH-M2vBvWH6feOdxPcA?docId=CNG.f123008f7575a156fb9c945fe5b10c48.901

    US politicians not too far behind. Of course their main John is a group of Poles currently living in Palestine.

  56. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Cameron in Saudi as Britain Secures Defense Deal
    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121106/DEFREG01/311060002/Cameron-Saudi-Britain-Secures-Defense-Deal?odyssey=nav|head

    James,
    Whenever you begin to feel anything positive or resembling pride about being British, just remember that your elites have prostituted themselves to a bunch bedouins from Najd- for money.

    Always remember this.

    BTW, another version of this post didn’t make it past the censors a few days ago, but if you use your imagination a bit you can guess what the original post was.

  57. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    After the Russian-Georgian war ended and Obama was elected, the US for a while seriously considered the Leveretts’ advice on trying to come to some form of accommodation with the Iranians.

    But Ahmedinejad’s Holocaust denial made any deal with him politically impossible. They wanted someone else to make a deal with. His contentious reelection made cooperation even more problematic.

    It is only after this that the US engaged on her current course of action on trying to exert maximum pressure on Iran. They were able to enact wide ranging sanctions with broad international support. The return of Iraq to world oil markets allowed them to target Iran’s oil sector. It has been Iran’s mistake in not having higher rate of production and thus having more importance to the global economy.

    I think Iran missed an opportunity there and the US will continue on her present course of action for the foreseeable future. Iran has no choice but to endure. I suppose that’s a good thing as this will make Iran tougher. And yes I agree that the world will adjust and sanctions will lose their effectiveness with time.

  58. Nasser says:

    Smith says November 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm,

    I agreed with most of your post regarding the inefficiencies of Iranian economy and of her squandering her wealth in wasteful consumption patterns but you deviated from responding to my original arguments: “Russia’s willingness to cooperate with Iran on defense matters has always been limited. The Russians would periodically threaten to sell Iran stuff to get concessions out of the US; Bushehr being the most notorious example.”

    You claim that: “Iran was actually offered many things and there have been reports of Iranian military high officials going to Russia prior to 2010 and the Russians would put on expensive rehearsals and technology demonstration events for them to show off the products they have. But Iranians have been really lame and greedy on this front.” – Please substantiate this. The only reports I read about Iran acquiring modern fighter jets were falsified reports in Israeli newspapers. Please provide some links where it is claimed Russia offered Iran production lines for fighter jets or submarines or really anything modern. The bulk of Iran’s defense technology transfers came from China and North Korea. For example China helped Iran set up production lines for cruise missiles and small turbojet engines that powers those missiles. I have seen no evidence that Russia was ever willing to supply such things to Iran. Russia has never supplied Iran with any meaningful technology transfers other than Bushehr.

    You argue that this is just a issue of money or of Iran’s short sighted and haggling nature. But this doesn’t capture the whole picture. The actual reason is because Russia doesn’t have a strategic interest in seeing an overly empowered Iran. They see Iran primarily as a bargaining chip to gain concessions from the US. As such their willingness to cooperate with Iran has always been limited; unless they can turn Iran into a satellite state that is. So your comparison of Russia-Iran relations to Russian relations with India and China is not helpful. Russia has chosen to co opt China and has no problems with increased Indian power.

    Lastly the US has been very active and successful in trying to limit industrial technological transfers to Iran.

  59. Smith says:

    North Korea and Iran to cooperate on “science and technology”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPGkQbNaPgY

  60. Dan Cooper says:

    What a Paul Craig Roberts Administration Would Look Like

    By Paul Craig Roberts

    November 10, 2012 “Information Clearing House” – Unless I am being spoofed, several hundred readers wrote me in as their selection for President. I am honored. Some asked if I were elected by write-ins and not instantly assassinated, who would I appoint?

    An easy question to answer.

    Nomi Prins would be Secretary of the Treasury, and Pam Martens would be Deputy Secretary of the Treasury.

    Lew Rockwell would be the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

    Michael Hudson would be chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors.

    Harvey Silverglate would be Attorney General.

    Glenn Greenwald would be Deputy Attorney General.

    Dean Booth and Larry Stratton would be White House legal counsels.

    Willie Nelson would be Secretary of Agriculture.

    Jeffrey St. Clair would be head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Elizabeth Warren would have whatever post she wants.

    Cynthia McKinney would be Secretary of State.

    The CIA would be headed by Ray McGovern and Philip Giraldi.

    The FBI would be headed by Sibel Edmonds.

    Homeland Security would be abolished.

    David Ray Griffin and Richard Gage would head the 9/11 investigation.

    Bradley Manning would be in charge of closing down the torture prisons.

    Julian Assange and John Pilger would be heads of the Public Broadcasting Corporation.

    Gerald Celente would be White House Press Secretary.

    John Williams (shadowstats.com) would be in charge of federal statistics.

    Key members of the Bush and Obama regimes from the president down, and every neoconservative would be handed over to the war crimes tribunal for trial.

    The Republicans on the Supreme Court would be impeached and removed from office.

    Brooksley Born would be in charge of all federal financial regulatory agencies.

    Major General Antonio Mario Taguba would be Secretary of Defense.

    Col. Lawrence Wilkerson would be Deputy Secretary of State.

    Ron Unz would be chief of staff of the White House.

    Norman Finkelstein would be US Ambassador to Israel.

    Noam Chomsky would be US Ambassador to the UN.

    David M. Walker would be Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

    The Israel Lobby would have to register as a foreign agent.

    I could go on. There are two or three hundred appointments to fill, but I think the picture is clear. It would be an administration that represented Americans, not special interests and foreigners, and an administration that put the country back in order.

    But, of course, it is all a dream. No one who actually cares about our country is permitted to serve in public office.

  61. Rehmat says:

    Gen. Petraeus sacked over his mistress!

    Petraeus’ hatred toward the Islamic Republic is well-known. It was he who cooked-up the lie that Iranian agents tried to murder Saudi Arabian ambassador in Washington last year. The faked charges further strained relations with Iran, making a possible military confrontation more likely.

    As it turned out, the case was based primarily on statements from an Iranian-American car dealer Mansour Arbabsiar, who clumsily tried to hire drug dealers to murder Saudi Ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir, though Arbabsiar was actually talking to a Drug Enforcement Agency informant. Arbabsiar pled guilty last month as his lawyers argued that their client suffers from a bipolar disorder. In other words, Petraeus and his CIA escalated an international crisis largely on the word of a person diagnosed by doctors of his own defense team as having a severe psychiatric disorder.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/11/gen-petraeus-sacked-over-his-mistress/

  62. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I understand your rocket argument. What I am saying is not to develop rockets. By all means do. Even make huge manned mission space rockets. But Iran had the money and it could use sharp diplomacy to get some good technology from abroad both civilian and military. You have to be pushy. Go to Beijing and Moscow with 50 billion dollar offer and haggle over technology. It was doable and for civilian technologies it is still doable. Offer oil barter for technology. Offer Toshiba 200 million barrels of oil for a factory making medical radiology imaging instruments from portable x-ray machines right upto fMRI and spiral CT scans with digital subtraction technology. Iran has not even tried.

    And yeah, do not stop your rocket program. These all can be done while rockets are going up. Russians in mid-1990′s had offered the production line for Mig-29 for a bargain price. Refusing such offers, I think is idiotic. Iran has lots of money and almost no debt. It is awash with oil and gas. Iran had the money to import huge amount of the world’s finest bananas from Philippines. I guess, it would have been better, if Iranians had not eaten so much bananas and had a factory that could produce a decent fighter jets today. Since all those bananas ended up in toilet anyway in the form of sh!t. But the factory, the technology and the high tech jobs that it produces remains for generations of Iranians to be enjoyed on top of being a pride of nation.

    Now you can say, Iran has a very small defense budget and rockets are cheapest deterrents. All is good. But if you make a defense factory inside your nation, not only it brings in technology but also hires people. Jobs are created. And a country that has taken on the world’s sole super power should increase its defense budget. It should increase its research and development budget and develop/buy/steal some serious technologies. Without that, you will be a joke after an attack by US navy. Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ayokVQNjPA

  63. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm
    Smith, fyi

    1) Iran does not need any more production. If it makes a barter deal to exchange oil for technology, they can just give a specific oil field to the foreign party to drain it. Right now Iran actually is suffering from Dutch disease and should actually wean itself off from oil and gas. The only oil and gas sold should be for capital good and local production capability development. No more oil export for non-sense imports. No more the old game Iran has been playing to sell its oil only to gain “importance”. To hell with importance. Iran is not Saudi Arabia.

    2) Iran can withdraw from NPT, at any moment. At that time, Iran did not have any technological ground to pull out of NPT. India and Pakistan had several nuclear power reactors. Iran had none. India and Pakistan were enriching Uranium since 1970′s, Iran had not yet even started. There was no comparison. Staying with NPT, allowed Iran to be in the world’s markets without massive sanctions and some good things happened. For example Iran bought very advanced and good technology for manufacturing combined cycle power plants from Siemens during that period. Now Iran builds its own power plants, thanks to some planners in energy sector who had the brain to buy that technology from Germans. If it was not for those technology transfers, today, Iran would have been in darkness with sanctions.

    Things were not perfect. But of course now it does not matter since Iran is already under the most severe sanctions in modern history ever. I guess, if Iran is attacked, then they should immediately pull out of NPT. There is really no sense in being dutiful to such a colonial agreement while it only brings misery. Shah was a fool for signing it in the first place. Pakistan and India never signed it for a reason.

    Now Iran has to play a long chess game before it can become free from NPT and win its independence from this colonial humiliation of highest order. And I think Iran should have nuclear arms to protect itself. Without those as Noam Chomsky and others have said, it would become suicidal for Iran, as some day Americans will attack Iran and will kill millions of Iranians and rape Iranian girls and pre-teen boys, torturing the women, ripping open the bellies of men and all the sh!t we already saw in Iraq. So yeah, if Iran ever wants to be a global power with the same rights as Chinese, Europeans and Russians, they have to get out of NPT and build nukes. There is no other way. It is the only way to enter the species of Homo Sapiens Sapiens. The rest have a Sapiens less.

    3) Already explained in my previous post.

    4) Go the Chinese way. Let the engineers plan your economy and not some stupid politician or lawyer. When legislators plan an economy, it is called a mess. Give the projects to engineers. For the hell’s sake since the time of Mao, all Chinese prime ministers have been engineers. All their ministers are engineers. Hire engineers to do the job. Less talking, more working. No subsidies. Only capital goods financing. Execute the people who try to go against the stream of development as China does. No mercy to those who try to be parasitic in economy. China shoots them publicly and then harvests their organs, while fresh for transplantation to needy patients. Chinese efficiency is brutal. I wonder though if Iranians can handle it.

    5) This is the most important point, you have mentioned among all the talks on this site. So congrats. Here is your answer: The world is a jungle. There is no law. The only law is massive amount of fire power. They only respect you and take your interests into account if you can demonstrate you have the fire power. Imagine, if Iran had nothing except 5000 nuclear weapons atop ICBM’s. Do you think, Iran would have been under sanctions? The answer is no. Iran would have been offered economic cooperation left and right. The only thing that brings respect in international arena is not beautiful talk or diplomacy.

    When was the last time you saw Chinese leaders even talk? They never do. You just hold your big nukes and tell to the world, what you want. They will bring it for you. Those who have had the nukes the longest have benefited the most. The junior members of the club are catching up. The only thing that would bring respect for Iran and Iranians are nuclear weapons. Anything less is going to be suicidal and would invite aggression from foreign powers whether be neighboring or far away. There is no United Nation. There is no international sh!t. It only is you and your family and the outside cold world trying to eat you alive. You better be prepared.

    6) That was just an excuse. Even if Ahmadinejad had not done anything, they would still have done it. You see, Iran is just about to cross the red line of being completely sovereign and independent. Trying to compete with strategic goals of US in the region. Taliban is gone. Saddam is gone. Iran has to be kept in check. How do you propose US do it? By erecting Turkey, Saudi or Pakistan against it? Or weakening it by attacking it? Or by weakening it from inside by supporting sellout elements of Iranian society? If you were an American adviser, how would you have advised your president? Because Iranians do not want to be puppets, they want either to control the region themselves or in equal partnership with Americans. They want equal pieces of the cake. US is not ready for that. They want the whole cake for themselves. And in order to convince the rest of the world, they need excuses.

    Iran’s major mistakes (rather blunders) in recent years have been: 1- not paying attention to develop/buy/steal all the technologies necessary for a modern nation to survive 2- not developing a comprehensive tax system (Iranian tax system is a joke) 3- not developing a mature and integrated banking system (the banks have become speculators and do not lend money for manufacturing) 4- Still keeping the fiat currency while Iran can have an energy backed currency 5- an outdated and corrupt custom and unsecured borders which have allowed every thing from drugs and weapons to pour in while subsidized food, gasoline and diesel to go out. 6- Not enough technology, not enough technology, not enough technology.

  64. fyi says:

    Nasser:

    Tehran consumes 30% of the state budget.

    Of the 46 provincial air-ports, none produces a profit – none even breaks even!

    Much of the state budget has gone into Education (30% I think).

    Then one has to account for various development projects, infrastructure etc.

    There was not much left for defense and after 1991 there was no need to spend so much either.

    The attack on the Cult of Shoah in the West was one of the weapons in Iranian arsenal; after the Axis of Evil speech etc.

    Mr. Ahmadinejad decided to attack us were she has been vulnerable the most.

    And he has been successful; Muslims no longer believe in the historical facts of Shoah – it has been reduced to a propaganda tool of the Israelis.

    The enmity of Axis Powers stem from the strategic disaster of Iraq War in 2003 for Russia, for US, and for EU.

    Iranains have won that war – just like Americans won WWII even though USSR achieved the victory over Germany and other Axis states.

    This is the source of opposition of US, EU, and Russia to Iran – opposition to the emergence of a new Shia/Irani power.

    The Axis States could have accepted and accomodated that rising power but, together with the Russian Federation, went about trying to intimidate her and beat her power back.

    As though they could finesse to that level of precision opposition to rising Iran.

    We are in the late stages of Axis Powers’ defeat in Syria and middle stages of Siege War against Iran.

    As time goes on and Iran and the world get adjusted to the Axis Powers sanctions; their value as a tool against Iran diminishes and the hope of their elimination looses its appeal to Iranian leaders.

  65. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    I have stated an opinion that I have formed based on public Internet postings in English and in Persian.

    Mr. Assad will be with us a few more years; at the very least.

    Axis Powers, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have failed; the rest is clean-up of their political mess.

  66. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    That is not how defense and for that matter any high technology deal is done. Iran was actually offered many things and there have been reports of Iranian military high officials going to Russia prior to 2010 and the Russians would put on expensive rehearsals and technology demonstration events for them to show off the products they have. But Iranians have been really lame and greedy on this front.

    You see, the world is a market. A large and unfair one. And there are two ways to buy stuff. One is to go to a small shop and buy a few kilos of something after a long period of haggling while tying not to pay even a cent more and having everything written in sealed agreements. This is the preferred Iranian way. In fact the only way they know since that is how they are raised as kids.

    But there is also another way which is more sophisticated and much more effective. That way is to go right to the factory and propose to buy shipload of the stuff. You play big. Wear a nice suit and put on a brand spectacles and talk like some one who has not come to buy half a dozen eggs but the all the chickens in the world. That is how Indians and Chinese do their business.

    India did not go to Russia and ask them for half a dozen Su-30 planes. That would be a joke. They go and say something like this:

    “We are going to buy 70 billion dollars of certain stuff over the next 7 years. You know we have the money and can afford it. Money is not an issue. We just want lots and the best. Let’s see, if you can deliver. Money is on delivery. Also do not forget, we have authority from high command of our state to offer a 10 percent kickback which you can share it among yourselves. This is the list we are interested in: (350 of those Su-35 to be produced in India/China, aircraft carrier + blue prints, nuclear submarine + blue prints, nuclear power plants, this sh!t and that Sh!t. Send us a message next week in Delhi/Beijing if you are interested. Otherwise we will approach others. It is all cash.” Now if Russians refuse, they will lose lots of money. Lots of business. Lots of factories have to be closed. And all those kickback money. All gone.

    Now do you think this is how Iranians do it? Nah. They go in with a haggling attitude, try to bring the price down as much as possible and then they will never pay a cent in kickbacks and they buy just too few items to be of any economic consequence. So if Russians cancel the agreement, no tears are shed. They lose nothing and can gain atleast some stuff from Americans and Israelis. As an example you talked about TorM1. They bought 29, for the lowest price possible. As per TorM1 architecture, for full functionality of the system, there must be 5 TorM1 in one place linked up with each other. That would mean perhaps five batteries leaving four out for training or maintenance. It is a short range system and is supposed to work as part of a larger net of air defense which Iran does not have. 5 batteries are just a joke when you have a large country like Iran. The same is with S-300 batteries which they had ordered.

    Iran had ordered the older version (PMU1) while a newer version was available (PMU2). They had ordered only five with no technology transfer. Nothing was to be built in Iran. Not even 1% of it, unlike the Chinese or Indian deals wherein a certain percentage of the product has to be produced locally as part of technology transfer. After all it is not even economical to set up a factory to build just five of something. The price was so cheap. 160 million dollar each. It was bargain. Iran at the time was importing several billion dollars of exotic fruits (despite large domestic fruit production) each year.

    So it would not have dented Iran a bit if they had offered Russians 15 billion dollars with another 3 billion dollars of kickbacks for Mr. Putin and Medvedev for a technology transfer and mutual manufacturing of some 100 batteries of S-300 PMU2 that would have protected every square millimeter of Iran with triple redundancy. You see the difference now?

    The Kilos are the same. When Pakistan ordered its Augusta 90B submarine from France, they made sure that those are built in Pakistan so that Pakistanis can learn from French how to build modern submarines. There were double kickbacks involved meaning that both sides were trying to make some personal money from the sale. Pakistani Generals trying to make a few millions on the side as well as French politicians using the black kickback money to fund their election campaigns. Things got even so messy, that some of those people who were supposed to get paid but did not get their share killed French engineers in Pakistan working on the project. But the project never stopped, since every one had a share in it. Personal share.

    Do Iranians pay personal share to foreign politicians and contractors? Nah. That is not how the world works. Do in Rome as Romans do. Iran got just a few Kilos and no technology transfer. Yes, Iran got it for cheap at a very bargain price but it would have been better if Iran had paid ten times more and had gotten more with technology transfer.

    It is not only military examples. There are even many more in civilian economy. Iran paid hefty rents per month to hire ancient and antique Russian Tu-154 planes. The planes were old and retired in Russia. But Iranians had a high taste, they were thinking that it would be a temporary solution and some nice day Americans would come in and offer them brand new planes along with copious apologies.

    That never happened. Tu-154′s were falling out of sky. So Iranians went and started buying very old and almost expired Airbus planes from African airlines that were mostly third or fourth hand. Russians specially Mr. Putin on several occasions even during his visit to Tehran, pointed out that he was willing to work with Iran on civil aviation industry. Previously Russians had offered Iran the production lines for Tu-234 and IL-96, both very good aircrafts. They were not airbuses but they were not lesser either. They could have worked wonders for Iran. Not only making Iranian civil aviation safer but also provided Iran with a local civil aviation industry that hired people and saved money.

    The only downside to Russian planes was actually their fuel efficiency which was some 30% lesser than the latest comparable western models. But Iran was sitting on top of an ocean of oil. Efficiency should not have been an issue. That is an issue for Singapore, but for Iran, it was a joke. Even if tomorrow Iran and US become best pals, still you will have to pay out top dollars to buy Boeing. A domestic industry always is better, it can even work along with imports when necessary. Now, a sensible Iranian leader would have said, Mr. Putin, we will pay you 2 billion dollars as kickback. We will kiss your white toes and suck on them. Just give us the production lines, we will pay top dollars. We have money you know. But no, the Iranian leaders were proud and they were thinking some day they will import shiny Airbuses. Well, that day is never going to come. Not until Iran gives up its sovereignty and independence.

    Now you can see the Iranian condition. One day they are banning the import of laptops and the other day, smart phones. During the past 13 years, Iran had earned from all its exports (oil gas everything) something like 800 billion dollars. Yeah, Iran needed some imports too. But all of that import was for joke items which probably now are not there any more. Iran hardly imported any capital goods with that money. All they were buying was laptops, bananas, and other stupid stuff such as cheap Cell phones. Hundred of millions of cell phones were imported to Iran at a cost of billions and they are not going to last being just consumer items. A cell phone has an average life of 3-4 years.

    But Iran had a choice. It could say to China this: “Our Chinese brothers. We have 20 billion dollars stacked away cash and fresh. We want to kick up an electronic industry in Iran. And we swear it is only for our local markets. We will never compete with you globally. Actually no body can compete with you in his right mind, Chinese brothers, even if he wanted to. We do not want to import or assemble stuff anymore. We want to manufacture them whole in Iran. From microprocessors to batteries to LCD screens. Oh, Chinese comrades, we will pay another 5 billion dollars as kickbacks to the glorious red communist party. We do not want to be dependent on Intel and AMD anymore. We want to be able to manufacture the newly unveiled Loongson processors. Oh, Chinese brothers our people kiss your beautiful back if you give us these.”

    Did Iranians do that? No. Did they even try for that? No. Did they even think about that? No. They were only proud of themselves, running around calling themselves “Persians”. Persian, my a$$$. All they were concerned with was to import more fruits, more cellphones, more Chinese toys and branded shoes and hand bags.

    This is not about a single area of concern. It is pervasive in whole of Iranian economy. The oil money was never used as capital investment but for buying consumer stuff and artificially keeping Rial strong while paying for ridiculous amount of subsidies.

    The planners in other words were not as smart as they should have been. Now I know these planners did some good stuff too, and the Iranian planners have above average skills for a third world country but they are no where near as good as Iran needed them to be. By this point Iran should have been able to produce these core needs from microprocessors to all the medicines to air crafts to consumer electronics. But poor Iranian plannings have killed the potential. Almost all the advanced nations on planet earth developed their core technological infrastructure during wars and sanctions.

    Take the example of Japan, Germany, Russia, UK, US etc. Whether it was computers, space satellites, jet engines, rocket science, it was all developed during harsh times. These were smart nations. What Iran has to show for its hardships? Because I do not see it. Now all this talk of a peace between US and Iran (if that being even possible) is all good and fine. But great nations such as those named above when faced with such harsh conditions go beyond and above what they thought even possible and reach new heights. All Iranians have done is trying not to crash. Nothing extra ordinary in their history. Nothing inspirational. Nothing exceptional. Read the history of how Germans, Japanese, Americans, Russians etc developed technologies while under siege and war. Iranians by comparison have done nothing.

    Even today Iran has money. Even today they can start up civilian industries which are not sanctioned and pay that with their oil. Just tell China that you are going to give them a quarter of a billion barrel of oil for a complete through and through electronic/electric industry. Everything included. Microprocessors to motherboards, hard disks to storage media, etc etc. Everything. If they reject your offer, raise it to half a billion barrels plus back kissing. If still they reject raise it to a billion barrel and a massage as well. Even if China never gives it to Iran, then you can say, you tried it with China, with Russia and with others but you could not get. But you tried your best. You can go to Japan and offer them a billion barrel of oil to get a medical industry. Publicize it in media.

    If western countries open their mouth in opposition, they are only going to damage their own image around the world by demonstrating that they are monsters and against medical care. Offer Japanese a billion barrel of oil so that the best maker of MRI’s and CT scan, the good old Toshiba starts up a production plant in Iran. Base your whole medical industry on Japanese and South Korean technology. Pay them a billion barrel of oil each. It is no shame to buy the best and pay a little more.

    Though I think it is always possible. Maybe it is not possible in one field but in others you can do great. Those fields that no one agrees to help you with, you can develop it yourself just to prove it to your ill wishers. But right now I do not see any such signs in Iran. There are no efforts going on. It is all old business as usual. No higher thinking. No nothing. No beautiful ideology. No ideas. No nothing. People and the government alike want their cheap watermelons as Khomeini had once said. It is really a shame. No pain, no gain.

  67. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    “So regardless of what happens to Assad or Syria’s regime, that military has to be degraded. And there’s only one way to do that: foreign military intervention”

    And if neo con dreams were reality the US would still have 10,000s of troops in Iraq with a reliably submissive puppet government there and would not be about to be kicked out of Afghanistan in 2014. The last 10 years tell us the neo con delusions are never correct and always end up backfiring. Unfortunately for the neo cons reality conflicts with their delusions, which is why Bush did not attack Iran in 2006 and Israel did not attack Iran in 2010.

  68. Nasser says:

    Smith, fyi

    Iran has made numerous strategic mistakes over the last decade and half. These are the most significant to my mind:

    1) Not devoting enough capital and effort into increasing oil and gas production levels. This being the main source of capital and international power for Iran should make it the country’s number one priority. Instead Iran pinned her hopes on European, Japanese, Chinese investments that never materialized.

    2) As argued by fyi, not withdrawing from NPT following India-Pakistan tests.

    3) Being wayy too cheap when it comes to defense and spending all her wealth in wasteful consumption patterns.

    4) Related to above, creating an inefficient economy by subsidizing such wasteful consumption patterns.

    5) Completely misreading US, European, Chinese, Indian intentions and pinning her hopes on International institutions and laws during the Khatami administrations.

    6) The first Ahmedinejad administration made the mistake of denying the Holocaust which made cooperation with Iran politically impossible. Then the contested election of Ahmedinejad made cooperation even more problematic. Before these events, with the election of Obama and the recent Russian-Georgian war, it seemed like the US was willing to listen to the Leveretts and reconsider her position to Iran. After these events, the US engaged on a path of exerting maximum pressure on Iran and they are going to continue on this path for the foreseeable future. (Though I would argue after sanctioning the Central Bank they have run out of bullets and can’t do much else.)

    - I don’t think Iran has made any major mistakes in recent years. I think this is mainly because Iran’s options has narrowed – sink or swim. Iran’s leaders also have much clearer grasp of the nature and intentions of global actors. Lastly, the decision to focus the bulk of the defense budget on missile, nuclear, space programs is indeed a wise choice.

  69. fyi says:

    All:

    Ambassador Freedman’s Assessment

    http://www.mepc.org/articles-commentary/speeches/change-without-progress-middle-east

    Note where US is check-mated and by whom – in Palestine and by Israel.

  70. When Will the Killing War in Iran Begin? It Already Has
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32958.htm

    Quote

    The reason, then, for waging war on Iran’s public health, a war that intensifies the suffering of the sick and kills cancer, kidney dialysis and other patients, is not because their government has a secret nuclear weapons program —which no one in the US intelligence community believes anyway—but because a developing Iran with independent energy, economic and foreign policies threatens Washington’s preferred world political order—one in which the United States has unchallenged primacy. Primacy is sought, not to satisfy ambitions for power for power’s sake, or to provide ordinary US citizens with economic opportunities at home, or to protect them from dangers that originate abroad, but to secure benefits for the plutocrats who dominate US public policy. The benefits uniquely accrue to plutocrats: opportunities to squeeze more for themselves from our labor, our land, and our resources and from those of our brethren abroad—the 99% in other lands, with whom we’re linked by a common economic position and interests. If the plutocrats and their loyal political servants in Washington and Brussels have to kill numberless Iranians to secure these benefits, they will. And are.

    End Quote

    Got that right.

  71. fyi: “That support is no longer decisive as the ranks of anti-government forces is being thinned out by constant war.”

    Citation, please. I’ve read nothing that says the insurgents are being reduced in significant numbers.

    The US claimed the Taliban were being reduced for the last ten years. This year they admitted there is exactly the same number of insurgents as ten years ago. Killing insurgents generally produces more insurgents, not less, unless the insurgency is very small – which is not the case in Syria.

    “Furthermore, 20% or more of the anti-government forces are foreigners; once they are killed there will be no replacements.”

    Are you serious? Really? There will ALWAYS be replacements. Your theory is the same nonsense the US neocons touted about Iraq. They said “we will fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here.”

    Seen any shortage of Islamists in recent years?

    It’s a ridiculous theory.

    “On the other hand, Syria, has support from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, China, and Russia.”

    None of which is relevant. Not to mention that Lebanon is not supporting Syria officially – only Hizballah (allegedly) is to the tune of a couple thousand fighters, which is irrelevant compared to the Syrian military. I’m unaware of China actually doing anything in support of Syria. Russia is merely sending arms, which, while helpful, is not important since Syria has plenty of arms. Iran’s support is mostly advisory. Iraq’s support is offset by the number of Iraqi jihadists who are also going to Syria along with Libya. Libya is OFFICIALLY supporting the insurgents, having contributed fifty percent of the SNC’s budget, as I recently reported here.

    Your notion that the insurgency is just going to be killed off is unsupported by anything in any analysis. It’s just speculation and wishful thinking.

  72. Karl: Re: Qatar, Israel discuss killing Assad

    Interesting, if true. Wouldn’t surprise me. An assassination might or might not change the picture.

    The problem is that simply assassinating Assad won’t help Israel in an Iran war. If there is simply a transition of power, that does not affect Syria’s military capability. And it is that capability that needs to be degraded for Israel to have a “cheap war” with Iran, regardless of whether the US or Israel or Iran starts it.

    So regardless of what happens to Assad or Syria’s regime, that military has to be degraded. And there’s only one way to do that: foreign military intervention (or hypothetically some sort of Syrian “puppet regime” that aligns itself with Israel – highly unlikely.)

  73. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    I think you may be misinformed. It was my understanding that Russia never agreed to sell Iran any Su-27 variants. The only modern worthwhile defense equipments Iran got from Russia were the Kilo class submarines (and the short range air defense weapons Tor M1). It is not clear whether Iran didn’t decide to purchase more of them or whether Russia was unwilling to sell them more. Russia’s willingness to cooperate with Iran on defense matters has always been limited. The Russians would periodically threaten to sell Iran stuff to get concessions out of the US; Bushehr being the most notorious example.

    But you are right on the other point, Iran has been way too cheap when it comes to her defense; instead choosing to squander her wealth on wasteful consumption patterns.

  74. Jay says:

    Quote
    James Canning says:
    November 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm
    Smith,

    Libya was enjoying good relations with the UK and the US, prior to the outbreak of the revolt.


    End Quote

    This is outstanding humor! I almost fell off my chair reading this. Excellent!!

  75. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 10, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    Your cretinism is really impeding any meaningful discussion here. I have an IQ of 146 and you seem to be a reptile with an embedded English language vocalization chip implant. This discussion can not go on any further. Your one liner spastic responses are too idiotic to be answered any more. I have lost my interest in you.

  76. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

    You might be right in your assessment of an opportunity-loss here.

    Future would tell.

    In my opinion, Iranian military planners made a decision to rely on various types of rcokets for various missions.

    It was probably cheaper.

  77. James Canning says:

    Sergei Rybakov, Russian deputy FM, called this week for resumption of P5+1 talks with Iran next month.

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/11/09/271227/russia-urges-continued-iranp51-talks

  78. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says:

    November 10, 2012 at 12:43 am

    There is no such literature in Persian which can give you insight.

    Iran is the country of Imam Hussein; this fact is not reflected in Persian or Azeri Turkish literature.

    It is implicit – like air – which is never mentioned.

  79. James Canning says:

    Sensible comments by Daniel Larison (regarding Obama’s reluctance to intervene militarily in Syria):

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/intervention-in-syria-and-obamas-second-term/

  80. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you actually claiming most of the people of North Korea are not extremely poor? Living lives of grinding poverty? While the leaders enjoy Champagne, Cognac, caviar, etc etc etc?

  81. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Libya was enjoying good relations with the UK and the US, prior to the outbreak of the revolt.

    Gaddafi’s extremely foolish response to the outbreak of the revolt, turned that revolt into a revolution (by virtually demanding military intervention).

    Have you forgotten Gaddafi’s ranting about “exterminating cockroaches”?

  82. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I strongly doubt Iran would try to buy nukes from North Korea.

  83. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you renewing your suggestion the government of Iran should try to buy nukes from North Kroea?

  84. Kathleen says:

    Given the circumstance sounds like “power sharing” would be more representative of what is really going on. Enough of warmongering Hillary Clinton trying to “dictate” what Syrians should do.

  85. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 9, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    November 9, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Regardless, I consider that a mistake. Iran had even been offered to buy the production line of Mig-29 in mid 1990′s which Iranians rejected. In early 2000′s Iran could have got even the production line for Su-30 the same way India got. Iran was not interested. Even without any production, just buying 100 Su-30 would have cost Iran maybe 4 billion dollars something, which was peanuts for Iran. It would have drastically changed the situation in favor of Iran. Anyways, Iran lost those opportunities and now it is all gone. I do not think that Iran will get any such opportunity in the next 20 or 30 years. They now have to develop everything themselves from scratch, which needs time and experience, both lacking on part of Iran.

  86. Castellio says:

    Smith: If you can’t be polite, don’t post.

    Your lines like: “Since you are abit slow in learning (cretinism?), lets review some things together here. Repeat loudly after me with each picture:”

    You may enjoy what you think is humour, but the rest of us don’t. Make your points, respect those who disagree with you.

  87. Ataune says:

    James Canning,

    Yes I would call that “regime change”. What about you ?

  88. kooshy says:

    Indonesia, Iran in Agreement on Syria
    Made Arya Kencana | November 10, 2012

    http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/lawandorder/indonesia-iran-in-agreement-on-syria/555372

    It’s a big deal to have largest Muslim country in the world to agree with Iran on Syria and not with Turkey in the same forum with willingness to put out a joint announcement. Looks like with mistake turkey made now they are getting it from all sides.

    “Nusa Dua, Bali. The leaders of Indonesia and Iran on Friday spoke out against foreign intervention in settling the bloody two-year civil conflict in Syria.
    In a statement following a bilateral meeting between Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at the Bali Democracy Forum, the two heads of state agreed that the resolution to the conflict should rest with Syrians themselves.

    “The two countries agreed that the political process in Syria must rest in the hands of the Syrian people, and the international community should provide room for that,” Yudhoyono said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was also in Bali to attend the forum, said after a bilateral meeting with Yudhoyono that the violence in Syria should be halted as soon as possible so as to prevent the deaths of more civilians.

    “Immediately bring a halt to the bloodshed and the fall of civilian victims,” Erdogan said,

    Turkey has watched thousands of refugees flood across the Syrian border and into its territory.

    “I ask that this conflict end so that there will not be larger waves of refugees,” Erdogan said.”

  89. Fiorangela says:

    re question to John Lewis Gaddis, “What great books should we read to learn about Iranian, Persian culture,” and Gaddis’s response:

    “I’m not qualified to give you a recommendation … I’m not sure that there is a consensus yet on what the great books would be to read. I would say this is where exploration is needed and the exploration should [include] works of history … strategy …and fiction. And what one really needs to look for in searching out those books is the quality of timelessness. Does the book in question transfer well in time. … Maybe it’s too early to find [a work comparable to Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"] in the cultures you mentioned.”

    Several moments stand out from my travels in Iran.

    We flew from Mashad to Shiraz, landing in the City of Poets (and jasmine, my friend tells me) around midnight. My roommate was unusually quiet on the bus ride to our hotel, and I asked her if anything was troubling her. She said she had thought about visiting Shiraz since she was a senior in high school and her teacher told the class that “in Iran, they honor their poets higher than their generals.” In Shiraz, there are no soldiers on bronze horses; rather, Iranians meet around monuments to Saadi and Hafez. On lunch breaks and after the day’s work, Iranian men, women, families, lovers, children spread their rugs in the green surrounding the monuments, prepare tea, and recite poetry to each other.

    Iran’s literary tradition IS its culture; every cabdriver, student, professor can recite the tales of Shahnameh. Azar Nafisi’s Foreword to Dick Davis’s translation of Shahnameh was almost powerful enough to cause me to forgive her for “Reading Lolita in Tehran” — almost. Nafisi wrote:

    “My father … started telling stories from Persia’s classical literature, beginning with Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, to my brother and me when we were no more than three or four years old and later to our children. My father always said that Persians basically did not have a home, except in their literature, especially their poetry. This country, our country, he would say, has been attacked and invaded numerous times, and each time, when Persians had lost their sense of their own history, culture and language, they found their poets as the true guardians of their true home. Citing how … Ferdowsi …rescued and redefined his nation’s identity and culture through writing the epic of Persian mythology and history in his Book of Kings, my father would say, We have no other home but this, pointing to the invisible book, this, he would repeat is our home, always, for you and your brother and your children and your children’s children.”

    Iran’s literature is the glue of Iranian national unity, Iran’s ultimate “weapon of mass defense.”

    = = =

    On our long drive from Tehran to Mashad, we had already stopped at monuments to Omar Khayyam and Ferdowsi — where Iranian schoolgirls with the most delightful smiles posed for photos with our group of American, Spanish, and Australian tourists, and young Iranian boys climbed over the tomb of the author of Shahnameh — the Book of Kings — mischief and joy reflected in their tangled arms and legs and smiling faces.

    That is the Iran that is impressed in my mind.

    When I hear Dennis Ross gloat at the pain that his organization and activities are inflicting on the Iranian people, http://thepassionateattachment.com/2012/11/10/after-the-2012-election-winep-discusses-implications-for-u-s-middle-east-policy/
    I think about those dark-haired 10-year old boys and pink-veiled little girls with their dignified teachers, visiting the monuments to Iran’s hero-poets. These are Dennis Ross’s enemies.

    It is worth noting that the United States has no epic comparable to Shahnameh. A member of Professor Gaddis’s audience asked, “Did Yeltsin, Gorbachev and others have the same sort of education as Kennan did [i.e. in Russian literature & culture]? In my opinion, this question reflects American arrogance: the question suggests that Kennan had more insight into Russian culture than the Russian people and its leaders.

    Gaddis responded to the question, “No, they did not have the same education as Kennan, but they grew up with Russian culture [!] so it’s not as though they would have to study in school, it was instilled instinctively as they grew up, very much as American culture would be instinctive in us. We can understand American culture without even reading Huckleberry Finn, although it helps to read Huckleberry Finn.”

    Really? Does American culture “instill in us” the right to deliberately starve and destabilize another people?

    Without taking a poll, I suspect that more Americans can recite the contenders for various football and basketball contests than can summarize the themes in Huckleberry Finn. The focal point of American culture is the game; winning and losing are the themes, and cheerleading are its forms of mass communication. Americans can be “cheerled” to root for the deliberate starvation and destruction of the Iranian people because winning is the only thing.

    That those who have spent their lives at the most prestigious universities in the US instructing the future shapers of American foreign policy are unaware of the core of Iranian culture is all of the advantage an evildoer such as Dennis Ross requires to achieve his ghoulish goals.

  90. Rehmat says:

    Peres: ‘Iran’s nuke heralds another Holocaust’

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/10/peres-irans-nuke-heralds-another-holocaust/

  91. Karl... says:

    RSH,

    About lsrael. Could the warning have anything to do with this maybe?

    Qatar, Israel discuss killing Assad

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/10/271363/qatar-israel-discuss-killing-assad

  92. Fiorangela says:

    The thinking of America’s elites and of those who prepare America’s future leaders:

    Recently, John Lewis Gaddis talked about his biography of George Kennan. Gaddis was introduced as “America’s preeminent historian on the Cold War. He spent 30 years researching and writing on Kennan.” http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/FKenna

    Gaddis said that Kennan “saved Western civilization” by formulating the “grand strategy” for dealing with FSU in the Cold War. Policy leaders at the time conceptualized that there were two ways of dealing with FSU; the first was to conclude that Stalin is another Hitler & we must prepare for another war (with Russia); or, We must appease Stalin since nobody wants to fight another war. Kennan devised a middle course; he believed that “time was on the side of the West; Kennan believed Communist ideology does not fit Russian national character therefore eventually the Russian people will overthrow Communism themselves; a war would not be necessary.

    Kennan based his idea on his knowledge of Russian literature: it gave Kennan in insight into how Russians think and react. Contemplating a tale by Anton Chekhov, Kennan “you can’t tell Russian peasants what they have to decide they want … WE understand that Communism is not going to succeed, that it is contrary to Russian culture, but the role of the United STates must not be to try to overthrow that system … but to try to hold the line in the world so that the Russian people can come around to the idea that they wish to change the system themselves, peacefully. That’s the key.” Kennan urged that policymakers study the culture and literature of states in their process of conducting foreign relations with them. Gaddis explained that in his work at Yale, he advocates that students preparing for leadership study the great classics of literature. He said that it is likely that from today’s students at Yale will come the future leaders of foreign policy.

    The first question in the Q&A session after Gaddis’s talk was, “How does what you learned about the Cold War apply to the situation in the Middle East, especially Iran?

    The idea of containment may be applied to Iran, it is one of two options being discussed and the one that has been practiced up to this point. .. We can see that Iranian society contains great contradictions within it. And if in fact time is on our side than Kennan’s containment idea would apply to Iran. The question is, Is time on our side? Kennan was always careful to make a distinction between Stalin and Hitler: containment would not have worked against Hitler because Hitler had a timetable for what he wanted to do, but Stalin had no timetable. [We don't know in which of those categories Iran falls.]

    “The Russian leaders did not have the same [classical] education that Kennan did …but they grew up with these tales in their culture…we can understand American culture without even reading Huckleberry Finn … it is instinctive …

    “For any human being to develop the hubris to say I can plan the life of any other human being or millions of human beings is the height of arogance. There are only two ways out of this: to admit that you are wrong or to shoot anybody who says that you are wrong. That was the option that Stalin though not his successors chose. … Democracy and capitalism is messier than Communism but ultimately more humane. …

    Question: “What are the great books we should be reading about Islamic culture, about Iranian, Persian culture, because it seems to me we don’t know enough about that great set of books; we know the Western books …”

    Gaddis: “I do not know enough about those topics. I’m not qualified to give you a recommendation … I’m not sure that there is a consensus yet on what the great books would be to read. I would say this is where exploration is needed and the exploration should works of history … strategy …and fiction. And what one really needs to look for in searching out those books is the quality of timelessness. Does the book in question transfer well in time. … Maybe it’s too early to find [a work comparable to Sun Tzu's "The Art of War"] in the cultures you mentioned. … I would call your attention to what I think is the really great achievement of Henry Kissinger on China … at the age of 87, Kissinger decided to try to learn something about the culture of china then reconsider his own record in the light of what he had learned. he rethought his own experiences in the light of 2500 years of history of the writing of history … He said, Things are much clearer to me now than when I was actually making these decisions … So when it’s possible to do that I think it’s worth the time.”

    = = =

    talk amongst yourselves.

  93. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    That is through although that was a conscious decision on part of the Iranian planners.

    That is, the Iranian planners decided to rely on rocket forces, produced locally, both for defense and offense.

    They are also clearly moving in the direction of drone airplanes, which seems to be the future of air wars.

  94. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 9, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    Is he kidding or joking?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BlazElwPkA&feature=related

    Now on a serious note:

    “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
    Mahatma Gandhi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3rpB-uIhR4&feature=related

  95. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Oh another warning from big bad Israel. How scary. Yep, if Israel is so big and bad why doesn’t it do something instead of just blustering and threatening.

  96. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Smith says:
    November 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Clearly warning shots. Iran has plenty of aircraft that can carry missiles that could easily have destroyed the drone if they wanted to.

  97. Setting the stage…

    Yaalon Warns Syria: Israel Will Act to Defend its Citizens
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/161909#.UJ1Hdmez5nA

    “On Sunday, chief of staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz warned that Israel could become involved in the Syrian conflict. “This is a Syrian affair that could turn into our affair,” he said on a visit to the sector, without elaborating.”

  98. Smith says:

    Karl…. says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:21 am

    Iran has accepted that they shot at an unidentified air craft near Iran.

    It is a shame though. Since it shows that Iran has almost no air force and is using just less than a dozen Su-25 that they have operation for defending Iran. Su-25 is basically a ground attack jet and is useless in modern air warfare.

    Iranians before 2010 sanctions had the opportunity and the money to get some good air crafts for their air force, but they did not. Now they have no conventional capability to defend themselves against even drones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kk9UxB7eLE&feature=relmfu

  99. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 9, 2012 at 2:29 pm
    Cyrus_2,

    “Do you concur with Smith’s recommendation that Iran try to buy nukes from North Korea?”

    How do you know they are trying? Maybe they already have. After all Khamenei has sons and he does not want them to be harmed. Just like any good father, he wants to protect his sons.

    Since you are abit slow in learning (cretinism?), lets review some things together here. Repeat loudly after me with each picture:

    Qaddafi gives up his missile and nuclear program as part of talks with west and is promised lifting of sanctions as well as better relations with west. This successful talks are branded as a shining path for Iran to take.

    Here is Qaddafi son just before those talks with NATO members: http://www4.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/Secretary+State+Hillary+Clinton+Meets+Nat+-EucUjLEx-Al.jpg

    Here is Qaddafi son after giving up nukes and getting banged by NATO: http://www.tunc.biz/mutassim_gaddafi_shot.JPG

    9,000 Km away dear leader was taking part in Six Party Talks (Read P5+1) and then the dear leader rejects those talks and tells NATO members to go and eat their sh!t. He pulls out of NPT and makes more missiles and nuclear weapons. He then tests them to make sure they work.

    Here is a picture of dear leader Kim’s son before P5+1 talks: http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2011/12/19/1226226/175307-111220-kim-jong-il.jpg

    Here is a picture of the dear leader Kim’s son rejecting P5+1 offers: http://nkleadershipwatch.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/2012-08-30-01-02.jpg

    PS. Please not that dear leader has already eaten that girl in the picture. She used to be the wife of the dear leader, but one night he found that he had been duped to marry her. You see she had hidden alot of things from him. She had lied about many things. He could not love her anymore. So he ate her. I guess that is how dear leaders do when they do not like their wives.

    Now since you seem ignorant about the real life in these countries combined with your cretinism, it causes you to analyze the situations completely wrong. So here are some easy to understand low CrabIQ food of thought for your consumption so that you get a better understanding:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMqFph8_chc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IfveddNS42s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmLh1sSFs8Y

  100. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    That support is no longer decisive as the ranks of anti-government forces is being thinned out by constant war.

    Furthermore, 20% or more of the anti-government forces are foreigners; once they are killed there will be no replacements.

    On the other hand, Syria, has support from Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, China, and Russia.

  101. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Perhaps we should remember the Philippine insurrection, after the US took those islands from Spain and double-crossed the Philippino nationalists.

  102. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Gareth Porter’s book apparently will be out in about one year. A lot of us will welcome it. Bravo.

  103. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I enjoy your comments too, even if you are “kidding” sometimes. (Joking)

  104. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 9, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    A collection of foreign supported terrorists that rely on outside support is weaker than a genuine popular uprising with even a significant fraction of popular support. Thus your fact free argument that somehow terrorists with no significant remaining support among the population is comparable to a genuine anti imperialist insurgency is just like all your other fact free arguments. Also note there is firm support for the government among substantially over 50% of the population. Than add to that the 30-40% that were initially neutral but are increasingly supporting the government and the dwindling support among the initial group of “activists” that formed the original base for the FSA. Sorry to point this out but Qatar and Saudi Arabia cannot substitute for genuine support among the Syrian population.

  105. Karl... says:

    Gareth Porter on his coming(?) book on the pseudo-crisis with Iran.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1549675470/manufactured-crisis-a-history-of-the-iranian-nucle/

  106. fyi: “The Apache, the Malay, the Philippinos, the Mau-Mau, the FLN and many others were defeated by the government forces.”

    None of those had outside support, certainly not to the degree the Syrian insurgents do.

    The Malays only had support among a fraction of the Chinese. There were never more than 8,000 guerrillas in action. Nonetheless, the insurgency lasted from after WWII to 1960. Not exactly proof of the effectiveness of the government response. Not to mention that the main effort was a “hearts and mind” reach out to the poorer farmers and indigenous tribes. Again, lack of popular support was the main reason the insurgency failed, along with reasonably effective British tactics.

    If you look at the description of the Phillipines war against the US in Wikipedia, you’ll see that most of the time the Filipinos fought in a conventional manner, and their only successes came during the guerrilla phase. Also, the Filipinos were poorly armed compared to the Americans, i.e., no external support, and in addition the US used “total war” tactics to suppress the population. At that, the initial phase of the guerrilla war almost fought the US to a draw until the US went “total war”.

    The Apache had the same problem of no external support and in addition were again a very small insurgency. You can’t compare such a Native American tribal war with a modern insurgency. It’s not even close.

    The Mau Mau again were a victim of limited support, both of the main population and lack of external support, due to the brutality of their tactics which were answered with large-scale British repression.

    While the Syrian insurgency is made up of both internal Syrian and external jihadists, and as Flynt says as least half the Syrian population does not support the armed insurrectionists, thus limiting their support in the country, the fact that they have extensive support from the US, Britain, France, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Qatar makes up for that. Also the fact that perhaps as much as fifty percent of the country DO support them provides them with adequate support to continue the insurrection.

    Your examples have no bearing on the Syrian insurgency which is quite different.

  107. Smith says:

    Cyrus_2 says:
    November 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Oh, thanks for the compliments. No. I am not that person. Whoever he is. I actually do not care. Smith is not my real name. I believe all names are equal and have the same rights (only names not their owners). Hahahaha. So my taking up the name has nothing to do with being racist or anything. I like to cross the cultural divide. Seriously. I am myself a simple qazvini. And if you are an Iranian, you know what we love and what we like to do with it. Here I like James. He is really cute.

  108. Karl... says:

    What happend with E. Brill, his legal aspects were really appreciated, now he hasnt been here for like half a year?

  109. James Canning says:

    Cyrus_2,

    Do you concur with Smith’s recommendation that Iran try to buy nukes from North Korea?

  110. James Canning says:

    Philip Giraldi comments on Obama’s victory:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/a-victory-of-sorts/

    Romney truly was “an empty suit” on foreign policy. And thus would have been very dangerous in the White House.

  111. James Canning says:

    Con Coughlin of the Daily Telegraph today once again tries to convince his readers that Iran’s stockpiling of enriched uranium poses a threat to the US and the UK.

  112. Cyrus_2 says:

    Something went wrong, my previous post was directed to Smith.

  113. Cyrus_2 says:

    Off topic, but quite funny nonetheless:

    Stuxnet goes out of control: Chevron infected by anti-Iranian virus, others could be next
    http://rt.com/usa/news/stuxnet-chevron-cyber-virus-348/

    I find your posts a pleasure to read, so keep them coming :-)

    If I may ask, are you the same Smith who used to post (still posts?) at The Politics Forum.org as well?

  114. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    You ask if I would characterise the change of government in Libya as a “revolution”. Is there a more accurate term available?

  115. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The P5+1 seek a diplomatic resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran. They do not seek to “checkmate” Iran.

    Israel lobby in the US (and UK, and France, and Germany), tries to block any deal unless Tehran agrees to be less hostile toward Israel.

    If you think the US is “checkmated”, you are seriously delusional.

    Why did you object to my question to FYI, as to whether he agreed with your proposal that Iran try to buy some nukes from North Korea?

  116. James Canning says:

    Philip Stephens in his column in the Financial Times today, once again called upon Obama to engage in across-the-board negotiations to Iran. The FT itself has argued for American assurances to Iran the US will not pursue regime change. Unless forced to.

  117. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    China’s insistence that Iran stop enriching to 20 percent is supportive of the true best interests of Iran and China. It is not “throwing Iran under the bus”.

    Richard Heydarian is simply dead wrong to argue that China was trying “to undermine Western hegemony” in thee Persian Gulf. China wants stability, and preferable lower prices for crude oil (and gas).

  118. Irshad says:

    Interesting:

    “The US intelligence community predicted India’s atomic bomb in 1964 but mistakenly concluded Israel had “not yet decided” to go nuclear, according to newly declassified documents.”

    http://www.firstpost.com/fwire/us-intel-predicted-indian-nuclear-bomb-in-1964-517047.html

  119. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    History demonstrates the contrary:

    The Apache, the Malay, the Philippinos, the Mau-Mau, the FLN and many others were defeated by the government forces.

    Axis States will not intervene in Syria – they do not have that power.

  120. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    At this point Hack is just spamming in an attempt to bludgeon everyone else into submission. Won’t work. By the way, all thoes links that he just posted…not one of them proves his argument or provides any evidence for it. Several provide compelling evidence that disproves it.

  121. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 9, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Yes, a signal that Obama is happily continuing the failed and failing sanctions policy. I expect Obama will soon have placed at least two or three sets of sanctions on every organization or individual in Iran. It does not provide the slightest amount of evidence for your reality ignoring argument.

  122. Karl... says:

    Look at this, amazing.

    http//www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121109/ml-israel-iran/

    Now lsrael trying to cut back on its warmongering again it seems and they have moved its time frame once again to next summer, this is just getting ridiculous. They try to save face because obviously no one want at this time, fund their war plots.
    But take a look at what they are saying. They are saying that Iran have diverted some uranium from military use to civilian use.

    “military use to civilian use”?

    What does that even mean? Iran doesnt have any miliary used uranium. 20% is not even close to weapongrade uranium. They seems to have lost it completely.

  123. I think I disagree with this article. I think China is merely trying to put off the Iran war as long as they can. I don’t think China can afford to throw Iran under the bus.

    Iran pays price for Chinese support
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK10Ak02.html

  124. Another signal from Obama barely 48 hours after election…

    Obama administration places new sanctions on Iran
    http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=291114

  125. Iran’s Ahmadinejad says anyone stockpiling atom bombs “retarded”
    http://news.yahoo.com/irans-ahmadinejad-says-anyone-stockpiling-atom-bombs-retarded-170730051.html

    Don’t let fyi hear that! :-)

  126. Trita Parsi hallucinates that Obama has any intention of “succeeding” in any sense Parsi would recognize…

    How Obama Can Succeed on Iran
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/trita-parsi/obama-iran-second-term_b_2085937.html

  127. Glenn Greenwald:

    CNN claims Iran shot at a US drone, revealing the news network’s mindset
    Its Pentagon reporter parrots significant, inflammatory government claims without an iota of skepticism or balance
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/08/cnn-iran-drones-gulf

  128. Justin Raimond on:
    Next Stop: Syria
    The regime change machine grinds on
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/11/08/next-stop-syria-2/

    Quotes

    Now that the election is over, and The One is safely ensconced in the Oval Office, the regime change project begun in Libya is getting the green light in Syria.

    Another war in the Middle East – is this what American voters wanted when they voted to reelect The One? Well, no, but they have no say in the matter, as Andrew Harper, the UN representative, made clear in his remarks:

    “We need the money to come in. If the international community says there is no money because of the financial crisis – I would say don’t talk like that. People are spending billions of dollars on issues which are not that important. I think in the US they spent $8bn on Halloween.”

    As long as the Arabs are fighting among themselves, opportunists like the Turks, the Saudis, and the Gulf states can alight on the corpse and feed to their hearts content. In the meantime, the Israelis can sit tight and wait for the propitious moment to go after Hezbollah, annex the West Bank, and fulfill the old Zionist dream of a Greater Israel. With the last of Iran’s local alliles out of the way, the stage is set for the Big One: Iran.

    Having facilitated the dominance of the Islamist militias, Washington pretends to be horrified by its own handiwork. To prevent this “hijacking” we’ll soon see a NATO-Arab League-sponsored expeditionary force, dubbed “peacekeepers,” consisting mostly of Turkish janissaries and British and American spooks, ready to move in after their Islamist allies make short work of the Ba’athists.

    That the Obama cult’s electoral triumph is scheduled to coincide with the revving up of the regime-change machine is hardly surprising: what’s a little bit shocking is that they hardly wasted any time doing it. Barely twenty-four hours had passed before Cameron issued his Syrian interdict, and the foreign policy wonk circuit was alight with signals the warlords of Washington and London are on the move.

    According to my theory of inter-state relations, foreign policy is determined by domestic political considerations rather than objective state interests. This explains American fealty to Israel, for example, in spite of the price we pay in inciting anti-Americanism and terrorism worldwide. It also explains why overt US intervention in Syria, in some form, is a virtual certainty, and sooner rather than later.

    End Quotes

    To add to Justin’s theory of inter-state relations, “domestic political considerations” basically revolve around campaign contribution and bribes to politicians by those who REALLY own everything: the 1400 corporations (of whom some 200 actually run the rest through interlocking boards) who have been pinpointed by researchers as owning literally 80 percent of the world.

    The one place I disagree with Justin is his notion of a “peacekeeping force”. As I’ve said, the goal is to degrade Syria to make it an ineffective actor in an Iran war. I don’t see them bothering with sending in “peacekeepers”, not anytime soon anyway. Like Libya, they’ll just bomb the crap out of the country until it’s in ruins, then let the tribal revenge chips fall where they may, again as they did in Libya.

  129. Karl.... says:

    Smith,

    On Iran/US drone.
    Firstly its only US sources, we simply do not know the following.

    1. Did it occur at all?
    2. Was it really shot at?
    3. If, was Iranian military the one shooting or someone else?
    4. Where was the drone? US sources say inside international water, but what do we know, how do we know thats correct?
    5. Why did US sent a drone outside(?) Iran?

  130. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    “The US is not even remotely deterred by the level of military capability Iran has. The US has enough military power to have ONE THOUSAND military bases ALL OVER THE PLANET. Iran has nothing outside its borders except a couple of light ships.”

    Who cares. The US has to attack inside Iran using bases that are in range of Iran’s missiles which are protected by bunkers the US cannot find and cannot destroy even if it somehow magically finds them. This is proven by, yes, for the 100th time, Israel’s failure to destroy a single Hezbollah bunker in 2006 using the same planes and bombs the US would have to use against Iran. Since Iran has the full resources of a sovereign state as opposed to the resources available to Hezbollah the outcome is obvious. Iran has thousands of missiles that can destroy those bases that the US would actually use to conduct 90% of its military operations and the US cannot stop it. It has thousands of missiles, mines, speedboats, drones that would launch an immediate and overwhelming attack the US could not stop that would devastate US naval forces in the Persian Gulf and any US ship that tried to enter the Persian Gulf for the duration of hostilities. This was proven 10 years ago in the US conducted military exercise I previously linked to and Iran’s capabilities have grown exponentially since than while the US’s have not.

    “When you see the US abandon half its military bases, and cut its naval forces in half, and cut its troop strength by half, then you can talk about decline.”

    And it only takes a few dozen Iranian missiles that cost a few 100,000s of dollars each to destroy a US warship that costs hundreds of millions or billions. Once again your argument is irrelevant.

    “The US is currently quite capable of starting a war with Iran and prosecuting it for ten years regardless of the impact on the economy or the taxpayer, just as it has in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    Yes, the US can just magically create 20 million barrels of petroleum per day with its magical wand of countering the effects of reality provided courtesy of Richard Steven Hack’s unstoppable powers of illusion. It can also prevent the oil price from immediately spiking to $300 per barrel and the price of gasoline from spiking to 15 to 20 dollars a gallon. It can also magically create the fertilizers, industrial materials, chemicals, and other inputs that every modern economy depends upon that are produced by that petroleum. It can magically create food and transport that food without the petroleum products that are currently used to transport it. No problem at all folks. Oh and of course Afghanistan and Iraq were countries that could prevent the supply of 20 million barrels of the product that was required to prosecute those wars and sustain the US economy during them. How do I know this? The wisdom of Richard Steven Hack of course.

    “They STILL have to make a profit. These are not people who are going to suddenly switch to making baby rattlers. Not the oil companies, not the military-industrial complex, and not the banks who finance them.”

    Yes and a sure way to make such a profit is to destroy the economy of the US and the rest of the developed world and ensure that other countries will turn against the US in their efforts to secure their share of the world’s suddenly reduced petroleum supply.

    “It’s ludicrous.”

    Thank you and good night.

  131. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    “And in the same way that Iran can not possibly defeat a US military attack by conventional means, neither can Syria, regardless of its air defense systems. ALL air defense systems can be degraded to uselessness over time, given sufficient military superiority which the US and NATO clearly have.”

    And as I proved with previous posts that used actual sources Iran can and will defeat the US. The only variable is how much catastrophic damage the US is willing to allow its economy to sustain before it stops its failed aggression. Just repeating your argument 100s of times in extremely long posts without actually proving it with evidence does not make your argument true. I am glad though that Hack knows unlike the rest of us that those aircraft that would do the degrading can fly without airbases and without access to a dependable fuel supply which they would lose in the overwhelming Iranian counter attack.

  132. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    “And there is zero evidence that the US is retreating from its intent to damage Syria.”

    Yes, as long as the US does not have to face any consequences. Like when Iran closes the straits of Hormuz if the US tries to pull any military intervention. And of course the chemical weapons that Syria will blanket Israel with within hours of any attack against it. The US is perfectly happy to cause trouble as long as it does not have to accept the catastrophic disaster that any actual attack against Syria would cause.

    “there is NO likelihood that the insurgents can overthrow Assad on their own, regardless of the degree of logistical and intelligence support they get from external actors.”

    Yes, they will be defeated because the overwhelming majority of the Syria people are united in opposition to them. Your argument that one side or another will not win is just as much of a joke as the rest of your argument.

    And here is b of Moon of Alabama revealing what a joke your argument is once again:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/11/syria-from-regime-change-to-regime-led-change.html#more

    “It’s that simple. It’s just like Iran. The US and NATO KNOW that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and that is just an excuse for preparing a war with Iran.”

    No Hack the US believes in its imperial arrogance that Iran is afraid of it and that its sanctions will cause Iran to bow to its will. This is revealed by the delusional propaganda that constantly argues that the “Sanctions are working” despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. At every single opportunity Iran has proved the US is wrong and has developed despite the US sanctions against it. But of course Hack wants us to believe that the fictional US planners he has constructed in his mind would somehow be more successful in an attack against Iran than they have been with the sanctions that have failed to stop Iran from developing its nuclear program, its economy, and its military. Of course in reality as many articles that have been previously linked to by multiple posters prove a growing part of the US “elite” realizes how disastrous any war with Iran would be.

    “The entire Syrian crisis was started and intensified by the US and NATO and Israel and Saudi Arabia and the GCC with the full intention of bringing down Syria”

    And the US delusionally believed that the terrorists that it supported could bring down the Syrian government and it was and is wrong in that belief. Just like its belief that it could conquer Iraq and Afghanistan was wrong and just like its belief that it could subdue Iran with sanctions was wrong.

  133. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    “This is like expecting the US to simply back down from all the Iran threats and suddenly do a “Nixon-to-China” approach.”

    No, bullies always make threats and when those threats are confronted by someone who is unafraid and is able to defend themselves they always fail to follow through on those threats. Basic psychology, oh I forgot you know all about that as well.

    “To abandon the Syria policy would be tantamount to abandoning Iran policy and that would be tantamount to abandoning all US Middle East policy for the last sixty years.”

    No Hack the US will not “abandon” its Syria policy. No one here is claiming that it will. Its terrorist allies will be defeated there. Just as it was defeated in Iraq. Get it?

  134. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    “In other words, Obama is going to put a “meaningful diplomatic solution” on the table – meaning another BS attempt to give Iran a “take it or leave it” proposition – then claim a diplomatic solution has “failed” – and attack Iran.”

    Yeah because that has already happened. Yep, Obama has already been making those proposals for four years while Iran has turned them down and no doubt after the 2,023 diplomatic proposal is rejected he will attack Iran. I mean Richard Steven Hack says so and as we know Richard Steven Hack is never wrong.

  135. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    “[MY NOTE: Iran's defense budget is THREE PERCENT of the US budget! The US could cut its budget by fifty percent and STILL stomp Iran - and probably China, too - into the Stone Age...]”

    Yeah Hack it could, if the US and Iranian armies lined up on a flat plain where all their military forces could be positioned with unlimited supplies. Unfortunately for your specious argument that is not the reality. I already debunked this facet of your argument in my post several threads ago about the problems US or any aggressive foreign power would run into trying to attack a highly mountainous country such as Iran that is self sufficient and has well protected interior supply lines and a huge network of bunkers situated under mountains that even those 20 conventional 30,000 pound bombs the US has developed cannot penetrate. The US is the one whose forces are positioned in deserts with no ability to stop the storm of missiles and drones that Iran would send against every one of their bases within hours of any attempted attack. I already referred to this in a previous post as well so I will not provide further proof here since nothing you have said disproves the facts I used. Proof is provided by the complete failure of the even more outmatched Hezbollah’s victory against Israel in 2000 and 2006, etc, etc, etc.

    Second Hack Iran does not have to spend huge amounts like the US does on its military to be able to defend itself. The US spends 100 Billion each year just supporting NATO. Those forces will be irrelevant in any US attack on Iran because of the long distances involved, etc. US spends an additional huge amount each year maintaining 11 aircraft carriers. Iran does not need to maintain one aircraft carrier to sink any that venture into the Persian Gulf with hostile intent. US spends 100 Billion per year maintaining its military presence in Afghanistan. Iran does not need to spend more than a few billion to manufacture enough missiles to destroy those bases. There is plent of information out there about the inefficient US weapons procurement and development process and the absurd amounts of money that are wasted on overpriced junk that does not perform as well as what the US currently has but the point has been made.

    “In 1998, the intelligence budget was $26.7 billion (based on an accidental leak from that year). In 2012, the IC will spend $75.4 billion for all of its national and military intelligence programs, the scope of which is astonishing”

    And this is the result of that awe inspiring waste of money:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_RQ-170_Sentinel

    Iran appreciates the gift of the most advanced stealth technology all those billions you were just talking about were spent to develop. Thank you for proving your argument is a joke once again.

  136. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    “Historically completely false. And certainly not at the level the Syrian insurgents are operating even WITHOUT massive US logistical support. Insurgencies only get crushed when then make serious mistakes concerning public support, i.e., alienating the entire population”

    Hack I have news for you. The “insurgents” as you call them have no popular support in Syria. They have alienated a large part of the small portion of the population that supported them as a result of their war crimes and indiscriminate targeting of the civilian population. This has been admitted even by the MSM so I am not going to provide links which you would ignore anyway. Yet another one of your pompous arguments that is completely wrong.

    “And there is ZERO evidence at this point that Assad even CAN “crush” them. He certainly isn’t “winning” by any comprehensible standard meaning of the term.”

    Why have FSA terrorists been driven out of virtually all of the areas they operated in than? And by 20% of the Syrian army. Yet another display of your pompous lack of knowledge of any military subject.

  137. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 8, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    “I wouldn’t. I’ve read his stuff before. He’s made a number of predictions which simply never happened.”

    Yes, so you have something in common. However I will admit that your ability to predict things that never happen and will never happen exceeds his by about 10 to 1.

  138. fyi: “Partsians will always be defeated by the state-sponsered Army over an extended period of time; unless those leaders flee.”

    Historically completely false. And certainly not at the level the Syrian insurgents are operating even WITHOUT massive US logistical support. Insurgencies only get crushed when then make serious mistakes concerning public support, i.e., alienating the entire population, or when the government is willing to literally kill hundreds of thousands of people – as in Indonesia – with US support I might add.

    “But both will be defeated – crushed actually.”

    Never happen. There will be foreign military intervention in Syria the moment it looks like the insurgents will be “crushed.”

    And there is ZERO evidence at this point that Assad even CAN “crush” them. He certainly isn’t “winning” by any comprehensible standard meaning of the term. He can’t lose but he can’t win. And by definition, that means the insurgents are “winning” in that they can continue to fight. As long as they are supported by external actors, they cannot lose and they cannot be “crushed”.

  139. Smith says:

    When Soviets left Afghanistan, they gave the Afghan government an air force with hundreds of planes and helicopters, huge fleet of vehicles and arms including scud-B missiles to protect itself against Taliban. All that stuff only protected Afghan government against insurgents for 2 years.

    Now see here what US is giving Afghanistan. Not only Afghanistan does not even have an air force, but: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/for-afghan-troops-donkeys-are-the-new-helicopters/2012/11/08/d221c2de-28bd-11e2-aaa5-ac786110c486_story.html

  140. Smith says:

    Regarding Iran fighter US drone incident:

    Firstly,

    Why the Iranians never shot it down? They just sprinkled some bullets to its right and left and chased it out to the sea with those old Su-25 which had fled from Iraq to Iran in 1990. Predator is a slow moving target and the chasing pilots can easily shoot it down that is if those pilots have at least one functioning eye left in their skull. It means only one thing, Iranians were trying to give warning. They never meant to shoot it down. It was a message. Just a week before election.

    Secondly,

    What that message was? and why it was never leaked till now? Well, the message was for Obama. To keep him on his toes. If Iranians had leaked it to the media before the election, Obama would have lost to Romney. And he would have lost big time.

    Thirdly,

    Why Iranians needed to do such a thing? This one is a bit harder to answer. So I leave it for others to answer it.

  141. The Hidden Tax of the “Permanent War Economy”
    http://nation.time.com/2012/11/08/the-hidden-tax-of-the-permanent-war-economy/

    Quote

    As the military-industrial complex lacks a mechanism for meaningful economic feedback and correction, once the economic activity has been set in motion, there is no true method of correction. This leads to the second implication, which is that the permanent war economy is self-extending.

    End Quote

  142. Worth reading for those who think the US is militarily “in decline” – or who think the people running the show think so…

    ‘A Period of Persistent Conflict’
    Why the United States will never have another peacetime president.
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/06/a_period_of_persistent_conflict%20?page=0,0

    Quotes

    Senator Lindsey Graham referred to Iran as “an existential threat” on the floor of the Senate. Again, if he actually believes that the existence of the United States is threatened by a country with a defense budget that amounts to less than 3 percent of the Pentagon’s and no nuclear weapons or deployable military capabilities, then endorsing unilateral preventive attacks would be justified. And, indeed, if diplomacy fails, Graham has called for unilateral and preventive attacks, both against the suspected nuclear weapons sites and to “neuter the regime’s ability to wage war against us and our allies.”

    [MY NOTE: Iran's defense budget is THREE PERCENT of the US budget! The US could cut its budget by fifty percent and STILL stomp Iran - and probably China, too - into the Stone Age...]

    In 1998, the intelligence budget was $26.7 billion (based on an accidental leak from that year). In 2012, the IC will spend $75.4 billion for all of its national and military intelligence programs, the scope of which is astonishing. As Dana Priest and William Arkin reported in 2010: “1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.” This sprawling U.S. intelligence apparatus is estimated to require 210,000 governmental employees and 30,000 private contractors.

    End Quotes

  143. Iran says Obama should not expect talks
    :http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=290904

    Which is exactly what Obama is hoping for – to make another meaningless “gesture” toward a “diplomatic solution” – then call it quits and provoke Iran into starting the war, without actually initiating the war himself so he can claim to be blameless when it does start.

    This is what Netanyahu, according to recent reports, was trying to do in 2010, as well as derailing the settlement expansion talks at that time by diverting the US attention to Iran.

    Netanyahu Sought to Provoke Iran War, Drag in US, in 2010
    :http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/11/08/netanyahu-sought-to-provoke-iran-war-drag-in-us-in-2010/

  144. Well, that didn’t take long…

    Dennis Ross: Obama to focus on Iran
    Obama’s former advisor on Mideast policy believes White House will not allow Teheran to achieve nuclear capabilities; predicts a meaningful diplomatic solution as well as greater involvement in Syria
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4303116,00.html

    Quote

    According to Ross’s calculation, by end of 2013 the West’s ability to gauge the programs progress will be lost. At this point, according to him there will be a need to act.

    He hinted that during the upcoming months we will see a meaningful diplomatic solution put on the table. Moreover he noted that no American president will mobilize forces before showing the American people and the world that he has done everything in his power to prevent war.

    End Quote

    In other words, Obama is going to put a “meaningful diplomatic solution” on the table – meaning another BS attempt to give Iran a “take it or leave it” proposition – then claim a diplomatic solution has “failed” – and attack Iran.

    But not before he attacks Syria.,.

    If you can’t see where this is going…

  145. Pentagon Says Iran Fired at Surveillance Drone Last Week
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/world/middleeast/pentagon-says-iran-fired-at-surveillance-drone-last-week.html

    The important point here is that the US is claiming Iran fired at the drone “in international waters”. And if the drone “never strayed into Iranian air space”, then what was it doing there in the first place? Watching empty water?

    So they’re lying again.

  146. Sakineh Bagoom: “Thierry Meyssan, a man-in-the-know and a man-in-the-field has an entirely different take on the Syrian situation. He sees a settled solution. If I were a betting person, I’d put my chips with him. http://www.voltairenet.org/article176399.html

    I wouldn’t. I’ve read his stuff before. He’s made a number of predictions which simply never happened.

    There’s no possibility of a negotiated solution unless the US and NATO and Turkey simply abandon the insurgents, corral the jihadists (who won’t care if the rest are abandoned), and remove the a priori requirement that Assad step down.

    In other words, there would have to be a COMPLETE and OBVIOUS abandonment of US and NATO intentions toward Syria. A 180-degree reversal of US policy.

    This is like expecting the US to simply back down from all the Iran threats and suddenly do a “Nixon-to-China” approach.

    To abandon the Syria policy would be tantamount to abandoning Iran policy and that would be tantamount to abandoning all US Middle East policy for the last sixty years.

    Not going to happen. It’s ludicrous wishful thinking.

  147. My earlier reply appears to have disappeared for some reason.

    Rd.: “Having provided what limited aid was required to destabilize the Syrian government, the United States was content to let the local balance of power take its course. …””

    The author’s use of the past tense to describe an ongoing situation is ridiculous.

    And there is zero evidence that the US is retreating from its intent to damage Syria. All the evidence points to the opposite. Both the US and NATO have clearly stepped up their support for the insurgents.

    As I (and Flynt) have repeatedly said, there is NO likelihood that the insurgents can overthrow Assad on their own, regardless of the degree of logistical and intelligence support they get from external actors. The US and NATO military strategists know this, and therefore so does Obama. Therefore it is clear that if Obama is not explicitly changing course to rein in the other external parties to the situation then he is clearly continuing to support the course for foreign military intervention because there IS NO other option to get rid of Assad.

    It’s that simple. It’s just like Iran. The US and NATO KNOW that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program and that is just an excuse for preparing a war with Iran. So, too, in Syria. The entire Syrian crisis was started and intensified by the US and NATO and Israel and Saudi Arabia and the GCC with the full intention of bringing down Syria (or as I’ve said at the very least degrading it so it can not be an effective actor in an Iran war) and they will not stop until that has occurred. And there is no way it CAN occur except by foreign military intervention, just like Libya.

    And in the same way that Iran can not possibly defeat a US military attack by conventional means, neither can Syria, regardless of its air defense systems. ALL air defense systems can be degraded to uselessness over time, given sufficient military superiority which the US and NATO clearly have. So like Iran, Syria has no effective deterrent to a US/NATO attack. Iran at least has the threat of closing the Strait – Syria has nothing.

  148. Ataune: “I do certainly hope that wherever you live you consider the improvement of the social and political conditions of your fellow citizens as one of your main goals.”

    Actually, I don’t. Not that I’m opposed, either. I just couldn’t care less. I’ve seen the history of the last 63 years of my existence and it simply doesn’t look likely.

    “You are saying that due to some political impediments US is not able to act with its full muscle strength.”

    I’ve always said that. The US might be willing to use tactical nukes in certain situations in an otherwise conventional war, but they aren’t going to nuke Tehran and neither is Israel. The taboo against mass slaughter of civilians by nukes is too great – for the near future, anyway. It’s also too risky that it might provoke a significant number of countries in the world who already dislike the US to undertake a more concerted effort to undermine the US, even resorting to nuclear terrorism. Provoking Russia and China into blowing up Washington and New York is not in the interests of the ruling elite.

    None of which is relevant to the US ability to stomp on smaller countries without nuclear weapons.

    The problem for Iran is that the US CAN stomp on it. Contrary to Stooge’s notion, Iran doesn’t have remotely the conventional military capability to defeat the US in conventional means. Iran DOES have the unconventional ability to defeat the US over time, as did Iraq and as did the Taliban. But Iran probably would prefer not to be reduced to the economic and infrastructure condition that Iraq and Afghanistan are in.

    The US is not even remotely deterred by the level of military capability Iran has. The US has enough military power to have ONE THOUSAND military bases ALL OVER THE PLANET. Iran has nothing outside its borders except a couple of light ships. The US and NATO could bomb Iran into the Stone Age with just the current fleet of a couple dozen ships currently in the Gulf and support of long-range bombers. Not a single US soldier would have to even be on Iranian soil (although as I’ve said they would eventually because you can’t keep the Strait open without landing troops on the Iranian shores of the Strait.) But if you just want to PUNISH Iran and not worry about an oil price spike, the US is more than capable.

    So let’s stop saying Iran can defeat the US in conventional terms. It can’t. Any deterrent Iran possesses relates to its ability to expand the war in unconventional terms.

    But that expansion is irrelevant to the goals of the US ruling elite. Once again, it costs THEM NOTHING. Whatever such expansion costs the US economy, the US taxpayer or corporations outside of the oil companies and military-industrial complex, let alone the US military (which is cannon fodder to the ruling elites) it will not cost the ruling elites one thin dime.

    And therefore they see no deterrent whatsoever.

    This clearly happened in Iraq. It clearly happened in Afghanistan. And there is no a priori reason why it won’t happen in Iran. The relative difference in military power between Iran and Iraq/Afghanistan is not relevant because it isn’t great enough.

    If Iran had the military power and geopolitical positioning and support of China that North Korea has, the situation would be different. Iran would have a real deterrent then. Not an absolute deterrent, but a real one. Also, if Iran had no oil, as North Korea has no oil, the US wouldn’t even be bothering. If Iran had no regional geopolitical influence as North Korea does not, the US wouldn’t be bothering.

    None of those conditions apply. Iran is a problem for the US, and the US stomps on problems that don’t have nukes or serious military capability. That’s the bottom line of the last sixty years.

    The notion that somehow that’s going to change in Iran’s case is just ludicrous. The notion that the US is currently in such economic and military decline that over the next ten years it will not be able to stomp on smaller countries is just ridiculous. Go forward 30-50 years that might be true. It’s not true now.

    When you see the US CUTTING its defense budget – not just slowing its growth as it may appear to be doing now – then you can talk about “decline”. When you see the US abandon half its military bases, and cut its naval forces in half, and cut its troop strength by half, then you can talk about decline.

    As long as the US taxpayer is paying a trillion dollars a year in taxes to the ruling elite to fund the US military, you cannot talk about “decline.”

    The US is currently quite capable of starting a war with Iran and prosecuting it for ten years regardless of the impact on the economy or the taxpayer, just as it has in Iraq and Afghanistan. That the US will in practical terms “lose” that war just as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan is not relevant – because the ruling elites who profited by those wars did not see them as a “loss”. While the US might be regarded less favorably in the world does not matter a whit to them because the US has NEVER been regarded particularly favorably and being so regarded was never an interest of the ruling elites. Certainly not in comparison to the ability to control and profit from the rest of the world.

    The US has been a bull in a china shop for the last sixty years. Every one knows that. So why should they care about the threat of going into “decline” now? And even if the ruling elites DID concern themselves about that, do they have a CHOICE in the matter? They STILL have to make a profit. These are not people who are going to suddenly switch to making baby rattlers. Not the oil companies, not the military-industrial complex, and not the banks who finance them. They’re just not cut that way.

    You’re projecting your concerns on a group of people who are venal and corrupt beyond your imagining. These aren’t people who pay attention to “reality”, like that neocon idiot said: “We make our own reality”. That reality may end up reducing the US to the status of a Third World country, but these people simply don’t see it that way – and thus they don’t agree with you about the end results of all this.

    Read the neocons current statements in every media. You think their opinion has changed in the last ten years since they uttered the same crap about Iraq?

    It’s ludicrous.

  149. Jay says:

    There are whispers that certain State Department Iran-experts are really peeved.

    It has something to do with an “off the book” simulation to evaluate destabilizing southern Iran.

    Any body?

  150. James Canning says:

    The Daily Telegraph has an interesting report today, regarding the Iranian intelligence ministry report that concludes Obama wants a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran even if this is opposed by Israel.

  151. Jay says:

    At times I find myself entertained by certain individual’s “content-free” statements on this site. Statement to the effect of “so and so said such and such” to imply they really men “such and such” in the face of evidence to the contrary is one example. Or, “I say such and such because my intuition is so and so..” is another.

    Expression of opinions is excellent, but as one of my professors said many years ago “in the face of evidence, differing opinions cannot be equally valid”…”those most consistent with the evidence have the highest likelihood of being more correct.” That, by the way, goes for my opinions as well!!

    When a nation sends a drone to the territorial waters of another country (according to the graphics in Washington Post a US drone’s path is clearly within Iran’s waters near Kharg Island), arms terrorists on the border of that country, declares economic war on the other country,…, while at the same time the said nation’s president speaks of “international obligations”, it defies sensibility to suggest that the president of the said country’s statement can be taken at face value!

    Those who promote such “content-free” “apple-pie” statements must be considered disingenuous.

  152. BiBiJon says:

    US elections on Iran
    ==================

    I’d be interested to find out how many times ‘Iran’ came up during the US presidential elections as compared to any other subject, foreign or domestic. But let’s safely say it was mentioned with quite some frequency.

    Remember the Republican primaries. Remember Santorum and Gingrich?

    On every issue, Romney went to the right of his primary opponents to outflank them, except Iran, about which he remained more circumscribed than the others. Who won the primaries? Romney.

    And Romney’s battle with Obama wound up showing both men are on the same page regarding Iran. The only distinction between the the two men was the level of servility to Netanyahu. Who won? Obama.

    By any measure, a two year long referendum has been conducted on the subject of Israel, and Iran. The results are in:

    ” Obama may have more room for manoeuvre on both Israel-Palestine and Iran, if he chooses to exercise it, than he himself previously thought.”

    http://www.lobelog.com/bolder-obama-on-middle-east-climate-in-second-term/

  153. Smith says:

    This is what General Hamid Gul of nuclear armed Pakistan, the architect of Taliban is talking about:

    US embassy in Saigon:

    http://neoneocon.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/saigon-helicopter.jpg

    http://lh4.ggpht.com/__WsLgmVy3Eo/TLiMWcaCNiI/AAAAAAAAG6c/IJOEFEerKWk/Vietnam%20War%20%20Americans%20Evacuate%20Saigon_0000244941-001.jpg

    Will Iran give permission for an escape route to helicopters fleeing Kabul in 2014? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vj_ImnJrOA0

  154. BiBiJon says:

    Ce n’était pas une bombe ACME, il était âgé de ses organes internes
    ============================================================

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/francois-hollande/9664365/Francois-Hollande-says-Benjamin-Netanyahu-politicised-Toulouse-memorial.html

  155. Rd. says:

    “But Secretary Clinton was at her moralizingly didactic worst last week in announcing the Obama administration’s latest plans to remake the Syrian opposition, “

    doesn’t this announcement basically make the exiting SNC ‘illegitimate’?

    And Clinton is about to leave office in short order.

    So what happens when the new SS or SOS decides to follow a different plan? It seems a back handed way for US to make a mess of the original mess they created themselves! And keep every one busy in the neighborhood (? ).

  156. Karl.... says:

    Obama have been in office for like 2 days and he have already put new sanctions on Iran. This time on Human Rights and Terrorism. Just another proof that whatever happens on the nuclear front, the same pressure will be on Iran. No solution in sight.

  157. Smith says:

    James,

    What do you think, who is who in this picture?

    Picture: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_4SnTp7erbhw/Se1aulYt1II/AAAAAAAAAIg/lHJExgR-wv4/Checkmate2.jpg

  158. James Canning says:

    I recommend Philip Giraldi’s “Syria: rebellion, jihad, or civil war?” (Nov. 8th):

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/syria-rebellion-jihad-or-civil-war/

  159. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    “Indonesia has been operating three nuclear reactors for research purposes. . . but it has never operated a nuclear power plant.”

    - – Jakarta Globe, Sept. 10, 2012 (“Indonesia hopes to build first nuclear power plant”).

  160. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The UK will accept an Iranian domestic nuclear power programme. Your claim to the contrary is not true.

    The issue has ZERO to do with “race”. Apparently you are not aware that Persians are Aryans.

  161. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The ruling family in North Korea does not need nukes to remain in power.

  162. Ataune says:

    James Canning,

    You haven’t answered me yet on your Libyan comment: Do you consider the regime change in Libya a revolution ?

  163. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Saddam Hussein was an idiot to refuse to get out of Kuwait quickly even though an army of 500,000 was massed on the borders of Kuwait and Iraq.

    Saddam was very foolish in failing to advertise the fact he complied with UNSC resolutions after the Gulf War ended.

  164. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Surely you are aware that Khamenei condemsn nuclear weapons. You suggest he would approve Iran’s buying nukes from North Korea. Preposterous.

  165. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 8, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Obama should immediately announce that US is giving up all of its nuclear weapons without any pre-conditions and let Iranian inspectors into American sites verifying complete US disarmament.

    After all we are all humans and subject to the same rights. It is not fair for Iranians and Americans having different rights living on the same earth. That is if we believe there is no nation that is genetically superior over other races. And let’s remember that US is the only nation that has used nuclear weapons on un-armed civilians. TWICE.

    Obama as a holder of the joke medallion, Nobel peace prize owes this to the world. He must disarm and allow Iranian inspectors full access to all the areas of concern.

  166. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You claim “profit and power” are the sole bases of state decisions. Are you including religion? Religion played a key role in British and French thinking about what to do with the Arab provinces detached from the Ottoman Empire after the First Worlde War.

  167. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 8, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Does it mean that Iranians would welcome an American embassy there or for that matter any western embassy there? Here is another angle on the fate of the president of pro-Russian government of Afghanistan after Soviet withdrawal (note that he had famously said that the brotherhood between nations of Afghanistan and great Russia will never be broken): http://www.executedtoday.com/images/Najibullah_1.jpg

    His brother was executed after a heavy beating and a painful castration without anesthesia of course. Afghanistan has a violent history. Iranian desire for peace there if any, would not mean they would follow the pro-American line in Afghanistan. One of the most influential military man in Pakistan General Hamid Gul who is also very pro-Taliban and one of the architects who designed Taliban, has publicly promised to his nation that the nuclear armed Pakistan will make Americans leave Afghanistan clinging to their helicopters as they did in Saigon of course using his Taliban.

    With such back ground realities and such harsh histories, my question was: Will Iran help Americans at the eleventh hour in 2014? Should they? Why?

  168. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I would be surprised if the NPT allows a signatory country to buy nukes from another country that is not a signatory to the NPT.

  169. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Pakistan has been active in Afghanistan since the Nato military mission began, and for years earlier. One can argue that Pakistan has helped to cause the failure of that mission. (Or apparent failure)

  170. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    “Russia and China backed for Western powers on Wednesday to step up diplomatic pressure on Iran to allay concerns that it is developing atomic bombs capability…”

    –Reuters report from Vienna, Sept. 12, 2012 (by Fredrik Dahl).

  171. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I did not mean to overlook your comment, if that is what happened. I have not argued that there is a further UNSC resolution in the works, regarding Iranian enrichment to 20 percent.

    William Hague made clear last month that the EU will pursue further sanctions if Iran continues to stockpile 20% U.

    I take it you agree Russia and China both insist Iran stop enriching to 20%.

    Russia is annoyed with Iran for seeking $3 billion in damages for Russia’s non-delivery of theee S-300 missile defence systems.

  172. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    And let’s remember that Obama favors getting rid of nukes.

  173. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran will have continuing interest in stability in Afghanistan after NATO military forces leave the country.

  174. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Insurgency in Oman failed. Insurgency in Malaya failed.

  175. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Well, I think North Koreans do not care about NPT anymore. They left it in 2003 and are no more member to this colonialist treaty designed to keep the choosen genetic lineages and their friends nuclear armed with the rest of the world being disarmed. At any rate North Koreans did not even respect MTCR treaty when they were selling missiles to Iran.

    As for reactors, well both Japan and South Korea “assemble” American technology. Only few countries can build power reactors on their own without foreign assistance. Germany left the club and UK never could master the technology, that is why their reactors had so much problems and were not safe. Chinese can only make small power reactors. French are good at. Russian are even better but not their old RBMK designs. The new Russian designs like the one they built for Iran or the fast breeder one they have built on Caspian sea are really good ones. Americans are relatively good but their designs are mostly old and as Fuckoshima showed the simple American design of cooling circuits can be problematic.

    But I guess the best current reactor technology which also happens to be the safest and simplest is the Canadian one. Not only it can be fed with a variety of different fuels including natural uranium with no enrichment but it can also run on the waste from other reactors. It is also as safe as a baby milk bottle. Its only problem is that it can be used to build nuclear weapons something that can not be done easily by using American, French or Russian boiling water designs. Otherwise it is the best design ever. And is also very efficient at producing electricity much more so that the American or Russian designs. The only more efficient current designs are the French and Russian fast breeder reactors. But the Canadian one is cheaper and safer than those.

  176. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Yes, I am certain.

    Partsians will always be defeated by the state-sponsered Army over an extended period of time; unless those leaders flee.

    There will be long-term terroristic violence; like Iraq.

    But both will be defeated – crushed actually.

  177. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    I think I just figured out why the whole “new Syrian opposition” concept was introduced. I’m surprised it took me this long.

    “The United States’ unwillingness to involve itself directly with main military force, in spite of urgings from various directions, is an instance in which even a potentially important strategic goal — undermining Iranian influence in Syria — could be achieved by depending on regional powers to manage the problem or to live with it as they choose. Having provided what limited aid was required to destabilize the Syrian government, the United States was content to let the local balance of power take its course. …”

    http://friday-lunch-club.blogspot.de/

  178. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Iran will not help US or EU in Afghanistan or anywhere else.

    That game is over.

    Iranians will push and pursue their own agenda – the wars for control of Syria and the economic war against Iran have destroyed that possibility.

  179. BiBiJon says:

    Another Clinton Success
    ======================

    “Syrian opposition plans fall apart on eve of Doha conference”
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9662598/Syrian-opposition-plans-fall-apart-on-eve-of-Doha-conference.html

  180. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: November 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    RSH,
    Thierry Meyssan, a man-in-the-know and a man-in-the-field has an entirely different take on the Syrian situation.
    He sees a settled solution. If I were a betting person, I’d put my chips with him.
    http://www.voltairenet.org/article176399.html

  181. Ataune says:

    RSH,

    I do certainly hope that wherever you live you consider the improvement of the social and political conditions of your fellow citizens as one of your main goals. But this, and in general term what political system we believe in, is beside the point here.

    We are talking about the accuracy of your war predictions. So let’s go back to what you are saying:

    “Actually, I’ve never said that and it isn’t true – short of nuking Iran which is not in the cards due to geopolitical repercussions.”

    This is a far better prediction that the ones I saw from you originally on the inevitability of an all-out US war in the region, and against Iran in particular. You are saying that due to some political impediments US is not able to act with its full muscle strength. Can you further detail the reasons why you are assessing it in this way now. I think this might help you carry out your message in this forum.

  182. Dan Cooper says:

    Off Topic

    To humiliate and degrade

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32968.htm

    By Noam Chomsky

  183. kooshy says:

    Gav James

    I am sure you read my reply of “November 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm” addressed to you, but it seems you did not care to reply, I guess British boarding school mentality instructs, when one doesn’t possess an answer one should try to ignore the question, and continue on with false statements and hope it will not get noticed. Basically it sounds like you have been trained to not admit that you have made a false statement or a mistake. You highness Gav James if you continue going in this direction you could be the Next Blair or Cameron.

    Never less, what I wrote in the referenced earlier post was correct. That is “There is no new UNSC resolution, or complain by China or Russia with regard to Iran’s enrichment to 20% period” if like you assert, they are so unhappy with it, why than there is no new UNSC resolution or even an official complain like you hear from likes of Cameron, Clinton and Huge.

    You can make false contrary statements as much as you want like you have been doing, but I am sure you wouldn’t change anyone’s mind on this board or in Iran.

    Good luck

  184. Smith says:

    As 2014 gets nearer, Iran will become even stronger since they can play dirty in Afghanistan and even take their revenge of Syria and nuclear issue there. As an avid reader of history, I would recommend every one to read the history of Najibullah’s government in Afghanistan after soviet withdrawal. Pakistan as a nuclear armed nation will play its own game in Afghanistan after US withdrawal. Things are not going to look pretty after the withdrawal specially so that Afghanistan is land locked and its only viable outside access routes are Iran and Pakistan. How long can US puppet regime in Kabul last, is any body’s guess.

    Pakistan will to go back to its old game and tricks. Iran is the only natural ally of US in Afghanistan. Will Iran help US then? And why should they? The last time they helped, they were branded as axis of evil. These are the serious questions that US needs to ask itself, if it ever wants to finish its longest war with some tangible results. Here is a historic picture of Afghan president Dr. Najibullah after Russians were long gone to protect him had no choice but to surrender: http://www.laghman.net/profiles/images/najib_hanging.jpg

  185. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I forgot to add that I have surmised that after 9/11 attacks on US, no nuclear technology will be made availble to Muslim states; only turn-key systems manned and operated by “reliable” foreign suppliers – such as Russians.

    Purchase of nuclear weapons is not forbidden by NPT – as far as I know.

    North Korea has a lot of technology that they obtained from USSR and China; I should expect that they would be willing to trade that for oil or money or other things.

    I doubt seriously that Iranian have indicated any intention of purchasing weapons or North Korean have entrtained selling any nuclear weapons.

    Propaganda rubbish from Axis Powers, no doubt.

  186. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 7, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Actually, Toshiba can also build nuclear reactor but they are using Westinghouse technology which basically means that they are not going to furnish nuclear technology to any one that is opposed by the Axis Powers.

    Likewise for South Koreans.

    The US Nuclear Deal with India was supposed to work like a virtual NPT; I am not sure that it is going to work in that manner.

    Anyway, all of that is water under the bridge; peace between Iran and the Axis States is years, if not decades into the future.

  187. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    “The people who will start and profit from this war WILL BEAR NO COSTS! Just like Iraq and Afghanistan. None. Nada. Zero. The same cretins will be in power in Congress. The same corporate and bank CEOs will remain in power.”

    Hack just because you shout something does it does not automatically become true. When the entire US economy melts down and people start starving every single person in that economy will bear the costs. Your argument is completely delusional at this point and your ongoing attempts to deny reality are not only silly they are also sad.

    “They don’t have to because they have the money and the power and you don’t.”

    Yep, until they lose 20% of what all that money and power is based on and is produced by. Iran has all the power it needs to do what it must in the event of war with the US as I and others have pointed out many times.

  188. I think I just figured out why the whole “new Syrian opposition” concept was introduced. I’m surprised it took me this long.

    It was intended to fail. Or more precisely, it was known – as Flynt has correctly stated – that is was never possible in the first place.

    So one has to “ask the next question”, Flynt: Why was it tried? Was it because the US is “flailing”? Or was it always just another step in the progression to war?

    A fractured Syrian opposition makes a case for the West to claim that foreign military intervention is the only solution, since the opposition isn’t strong enough to oust Assad (which we know is true in any event.)

    Since it’s known that the opposition can’t oust Assad due to its more limited military strength – although it can continue to cause chaos in Syria due to the insurgents’ external support – obviously it is irrelevant whether the opposition is united or fragmented.

    Therefore uniting the opposition was never a real goal – although it might have been a “sub-goal” for the purpose of giving the US more control over the opposition in order to subvert the revolution and allow the US to acquire some control over whatever new government might have been formed in the unlikely event of Assad’s ouster.

    In other words, the US would have been pleased to gain such control IF it were possible, so it was worth TRYING – or at least appearing to try – to achieve the unification of the opposition.’ Or at least some people might have thought it worth trying.

    But the REAL goal was to establish once and for all publicly that the opposition can NOT achieve it’s goal of ousting Assad – which however is THE stated goal of the US and NATO.

    Therefore the West can present the public with a “conundrum”: “We must force Assad out – but we can’t do it with the opposition in the state that it currently exists.”

    And the West will present the public with the “solution”: “We have to increase the arms and support available to the opposition – and we have to take a more proactive approach to ousting Assad.”

    And in fact, this is precisely what the current reported talks between the US and NATO have been reported to be about. These talks were explicitly said to be “on hold until after the US election.” Which makes it clear who is driving this concept – the US and Obama.

    And in the end, this will turn into: “We have to attack Syria.” Because it doesn’t matter how many arms are supplied to the insurgents, they can’t defeat the organized Syrian military as long as it stays intact. They can increase the chaos and civilian casualties, thus offering further “justification” for foreign military intervention.

    In short, the collapse of the opposition unification us merely another essential step to going forward with a foreign military intervention in Syria – or in any event, the furthering of the plan – by proxy or direct intervention – to degrade Syria’s military to the point where it is no longer an effective actor in an Iran war.

    And as I’ve pointed out, the only real way to do that is by direct foreign military intervention.

    So far from being a “failure”, the collapse of the opposition unification effort has advanced the real goals of the US and NATO in Syria significantly. And the reports of Britain’s “direct involvement” with in-country Syrian insurgents – as if that wasn’t already in place – and Turkey requesting NATO install Patriot missiles on its border – which “justification” makes no sense militarily since you don’t use Patriots to shoot down mortar shells – clearly shows that things are going to move in that direction more quickly now that the US election is over.

  189. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Are you sure? Russians in Afghanistan could not be so sure. Obama last month signed a secret order to help the terrorists in Syria:
    http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/obama-signs-secret-pact-supporting-syrian-rebel-army.jpg

    A democrat helping to spread democracy abroad (Mr Wilson in Afghanistan): http://cdn-media.nationaljournal.com/?controllerName=image&action=get&id=5174&format=homepage_fullwidth

    Free Syrian Army in white house having a chat with US president (They are the same people, who get transferred from one war theater to another, at the time they were not known by the name of Free Syrian Army but by “Moral equivalent of founding fathers of United States”: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c5/Reagan_meets_Afghan_Mujahideen.jpg

    American government representative posing with terrorists in a terror camp: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/Charlie_Wilson_with_Afghan_man.jpg

    Terrorists recuperating after treatment in US air force hospital (Norton Air Force Base, California) for further deployment in other countries: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a0/AfghanGuerillainUS1986e.JPEG

    British media celebrating the victory and its brave heroes: http://orientalreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Independent-1993-bin-Laden.jpg

    Assad is in for a very long civil war which he will lose at the end. He can not win against these crazy nutjobs being supported by US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The Wahabi terror is ultimate zombie army. It is very difficult to defend against them. Sometimes they even bite the one who is controlling them as well: http://www.bloviatingzeppelin.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/US-Ambassador-Christopher-Stevens-Benghazi-Libya1.jpg

  190. Ataune: “US can easily erase Iran’s existence from the face of the earth.”

    Actually, I’ve never said that and it isn’t true – short of nuking Iran which is not in the cards due to geopolitical repercussions. Which, by the way, my saying makes hash of your notion that I’m not aware of “other factors”.

    “The question is what are the interests involved here and how to manage the legitimacy of such an action.”

    I know what the interests are. And Iraq and Afghanistan have shown how easy it is to “manage the legitimacy”. And we know whose interests were served by those actions.

    “State decisions are assuredly influenced by capital and profit, but this is not the only factor.”

    They are also influenced by power – power to be gained and the influence and possible reactions of other powers on a similar level. Beyond that, yes, profit and power ARE the sole influence on state decisions. This has been true since the state was invented. It is in fact the essence of the state.

    You apparently still adhere to the religious fiction that the state is somehow something other than humans grasping for power and profit. You believe in the idiotic notion of “democracy” as if it ever existed anywhere on the planet, even during the days immediately after the US Revolutionary War. Consult some real history books. It has not existed anywhere. (Side note: There have been a couple anarchist “experiments” locally in various countries – which lasted only as long as it took the nearest state to squash them. This is the only “democracy” which has ever existed since prehistoric tribal times.)

    This is what you and the others here apparently can’t grasp at all, due to the cognitive dissonance of realizing that you are absolutely insignificant as an influence in these matters, both individually and en mass.

    Well. you’ll learn in the next couple of years – or at least, you’ll have the opportunity to learn, an opportunity you will no doubt squander as everyone else has since time immemorial.

    You really need to start thinking about what you need to say when the war starts and you’re proven wrong. It’s easier for me – I can keep predicting indefinitely! :-)

  191. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm
    “fyi,

    Do you agree with Smith that Iran should try to buy nukes from North Korea?”

    You are so funny. Like Iranian Supreme leader needs fyi’s agreement or for that matter our agreement to talk to the dear leader. How hard it is for you to understand that these are sovereign nations and these supreme and dear leaders do not need our permissions to talk and deal with each other? I guess you already know that these two nations are very very close to each other. Iranian passport holders are one of the few nationalities that can travel to North Korea easily. During the last North Korean attempt to launch their satellite for the third time, it was reported that Iranians were on the launch pad and the international media invited by North Korea to witness the launch in order to prove its peaceful purposes had spotted the Iranians running around who had beards and did not have Korean eyes.

  192. BiBiJon: “Given that the costs could be incalculably enormous, then the motivation for taking that risk must be really compelling, and the war path must have no other alternative. Do you really see no alternatives?”

    Do you really not see that the COSTS ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY DISTRIBUTED?

    The people who will start and profit from this war WILL BEAR NO COSTS! Just like Iraq and Afghanistan. None. Nada. Zero. The same cretins will be in power in Congress. The same corporate and bank CEOs will remain in power.

    The ONLY people who will bear the costs are Middle East civilians, US soldiers and the US (and NATO and Israeli) taxpayer – who can’t and won’t do a damn thing about it.

    You just don’t get it. There’s no point in discussing it with you. Governments are corrupt. The people behind the governments are corrupt. They don’t think like you, they don’t care about you, they don’t act like you – and they don’t measure “costs” like you. They don’t have to because they have the money and the power and you don’t. This has been true throughout human history – in fact, aside from technology developments and the occasional religious upheaval, this IS human history.

    Get a clue.

  193. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    The SNI has already collapsed and can now be added to the growing list of failed attempts to organize the fake Syrian “opposition.” Yet more evidence that US, etc. policy on Syria is a bad joke.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9662598/Syrian-opposition-plans-fall-apart.html

  194. This is what we can expect from Obama for four more years…

    Obama Bombs Yemen Hours After Winning Reelection
    http://antiwar.com/blog/2012/11/07/obama-bombs-yemen-hours-after-winning-reelection/

  195. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    BiBiJon says:
    November 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

    And also note how the Israelis have been saying this for the past 4 years and continue to be proven wrong at every turn.

  196. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 7, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Oh what a surprise. Hack just linked to another rumor that has already been disproved. But of course he is the only “logical” one here. How nice that the logical nature of his argument has been illustrated once again.

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/11/syria-after-the-us-election-further-escalation.html#comments

  197. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    You have tremendous amount of power not to understand anything. It is amazing. Saddam’s biggest blunder was to give up his missiles and chemical weapons under the watchful eye of UN. Qaddafi’s biggest mistake was the same. The dear leader of North Korea, General Kim Kim of Kim dynasty belong to Kim communist party living in Kim palace on the other hand rejected the empty offers at six party talks (Read: P5+1) and developed more Kim missiles plus Kim nuclear weapons. You see, General Kim likes his name to be written on everything and his picture on every large object. That is why Saddam and Qaddafi are gone and the Kim dynasty is alive.

    From the perspective of a third world leader here is what happens when you depend on outside weapons (Russian or otherwise) and international agreements to defend yourself.

    Qaddafi’s son:

    Just before agreeing to western demands: http://indepthafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2ns6tyg.png

    After agreeing to western demands: http://www.fairfaxunderground.com/forum/file.php?40,file=43153,filename=muatassim-gaddafi-s-body-pic-rex-45251586.jpg

    General Kim Kim’s Son:

    Before agreeing to western demands: http://i.usatoday.net/communitymanager/_photos/on-deadline/2012/01/30/Noreax-wide-community.jpg

    Never agreeing to western demands: http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02288/jong-hat_2288521b.jpg

    By the way, they say, General Kim Kim Kim has already eaten that poor girl. That is the nature of being a dictator I guess. She has not been seen for a while now.

  198. Smith says:

    Dear James,

    You are not understanding at all. You are completely on another frequency. Who are the British to let Iran have a nuclear program? Who has given them the right to decide for other nations what to have and what not to have? I guess the real question for Iranians is if they want to think of themselves as equal to British or being sub-humans. The British attitude smells of coming from a delusional mindset occupied with race superiority. A nuclear armed nation is in no position to allow or disallow another nation on planet earth to have or not to have nuclear technology.

    As for Turkey. Again you did not get the point. Iranians are developing their own nuclear technology. Russians built for Iran a nuclear reactor. Iranians learned from them and the Iranians are going to run that reactor by themselves. They are also designing their own reactors and making own fuel and everything. Turkish scenario which is what the west might allow (emphasis on might) for Iran is a shameful one.

    As I said, the Turks would not even be able to go to the reactor building and see it. It is going to be Russian OWNED on Turkish soil. That is the shameful part. You pay for something that will never be yours and will never be run by you. I guess Iranians would not be happy with such terms and conditions. Iranians want the Iranian engineers build, operate and learn the technology. I guess the British offer is a non-starter for Iran. Maybe if they had offered Iran such a deal in 1990′s, Iran would have accepted. In those times, Iran was begging Germans either to return the money for Bushehr plant or to complete the construction. The western world at the time was not even interested to listen to Iranians.

    So the story has it that the Iranians worked hard to develop their own nuclear technology. After all this time and when Iran’s technology is nearing completion and maturity a British lame offer to Iran on such ridiculous and shameful conditions is really laughable. Next year Iran is to start up its IR-40 reactor. You see they do not need anymore the western hand. They have reached the turning point now. Why should they roll back all their technological advances and bite on this British offer which when put into historical context, in all probability is just a lie of gigantic proportions. After all, it will not be the first time, British would have lied to Iranians, or stole from Iranians or tried to keep Iran backward. Britain has a long history in that regard.

    But maybe you are right and this time they really mean it. Then they should offer Iran a deal similar to the nuclear deal west offered India. India was offered all the fuel it needs, all the reactor and technologies it needs at competitive market prices with western financing in return for India to promise to keep building even more nuclear weapons and missiles and even make nuclear ICBM’s.

    Iran would be happy with such a deal and would never refuse it. Since British nuclear technology is sh!t and not safe at all, and the good German nuclear technology is no more available as the Siemens company (the original contractor for Bushehr plant) last year became “green” and announced to kill its nuclear division, that would leave only France or United States to make such an offer to Iran. Let’s see if such an offer is made to Iran as they made to India. I guess Iranians would be stupid if they reject such an offer since that would allow them to build nuclear bombs as well as getting all the nuclear technology from west and east as well as developing their own.

    What do you think James? Still searching for the frequency?

  199. Karl... says:

    What would happen if Iran supported armed gangs in Bahrain? Or rather, what is it called when that is done in I/P conflict?

    Now UK admit they have contact with armed syrian rebels.
    uk.reuters.com/article/2012/11/07/uk-britain-syria-opposition-idUKBRE8A600A20121107

    Not terrorism? Yeah right.

  200. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Is it true that Syria is only able to allow about one-third of its air force pilots to fly missions?

  201. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Foolishness on the part of Enver Pasha in 1914 brought catastrophe to the Ottoman Empire. Political leaders often make disastrous choices.

    Iran’s chances of “driving the UK out of the Persian Gulf” are about zero.

  202. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Britain wanted to force Israel out of the Sinai, the Golan Heights, and the West Bank (and Gaza), immediately after the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. The US foolishly failed to back this effort. Why? ISRAEL LOBBY.

  203. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Israel has used the Iranian nuclear dispute to distract world attention for its continuing oppression of the Palestinians.

    In particular, the ill-considered decision of Iran to treble production of 20% uranium has caused important world leaders to believe Iran in fact is trying to build nukes.

    I expect close UK ties with the Gulf monarchies to continue for decades to come.

  204. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    November 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Iranians will do nothing against British, French, Dutch, Italian, Spainsh, South Korean, American and other forces in the Persian Gulf.

    Unless they are attacked,

    These forces are provisioned jointly by the Persian Gulf Arabs and various members of Axis States – the breakdown of funding is not known to me but ought to be more than 50% provided by the Arabs.

    Regardless, these forces have no longeivity and will be out of the Persian Gulf before this decade is out – they cannot be funded at an adequate level.

    Axis States are broke and will remain so for many years if not decades.

    And then there will be another crisis elsewhere and they have to spend their resources there.

  205. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    November 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    “Has Iran, regrettably, made it easier for that Israeli oppression to continue?”

    The entire Arab world used to be under oppressive colonial rule of Ottomans, the French and the British. Then came 1947 and mass expulsion of Palestinians from their homes, then came 1967 and annexation of remaining Palestinian territory, etc.

    You want to ask your question again in this historical light? You want to really repeat the Likhud linkage?

    But, I think there might be a linkage. It won’t be long after Iran has expelled British forces out of the Persian Gulf, that we’ll start to see justice for Palestinians.

  206. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    A Russian company will be investing $20 billion to build the initial nuclear power plant in Turkey. (And Russia obtained rights to use Turkish waters for the South Stream gas pipeline.)

  207. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    R S Hack fails to allow for the enormous losses some corporations would suffer, from any global recession triggered by another war in the Persian Gulf. Most German companies have opposed the sanctions against Iran.

    China, Japan and India would be hit hard by economic consequences of another war in the Persian Gulf.

  208. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    At least some Iranian leaders have a more sophisticated understanding of American politics, and did not view Obama and Romney “as different sides of the same coin”.

    Very primitive “thinking”.

  209. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Russia obtained the contract to build the Turkish nuclear power plants by offering better terms than other competitors offered.

    Why would Turkey pay above market price for electicity producted by those plants?

  210. James Canning says:

    William Hague met with the Australian prime minister in Laos this week. Australia is a new member of the UNSC. I am sure Hague and the Australian PM agreed that success in the P5+1 negotiations with Iran is necessary, otherwise there will be more sanctions.

  211. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 7, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Will no happen – Ba’ath State has survived the critical stage of the war.

  212. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Has anyone suggested Saddam Hussein could in any way, shape or form have defeated the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003?

    Russia sells arms to various countries in the Middle East. Why shouldn’t they?

    The late Shah of Iran helped to bring about his own overthrow by foolishly spending far too much money on weapons.

    Gaddafi’s blunders were remarkable. So were Saddam Hussein’s.

  213. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    When David Cameron says this week that Iran can have a domestic nuclear power programme, he is saying something that is highly likely to be true. Bear in mind Israeli leaders were in London days before Cameron left the UK to visit the UAE etc.

  214. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I of course heartily agree with you that continuing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians “is at the heart of US problems” in the Middle East.

    Has Iran, regrettably, made it easier for that Israeli oppression to continue?

  215. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You appear to pursue a course of arguing that Iran will not be allowed to have a domestic nuclear power programme, in order to exhort Iranian leaders to build nukes.

  216. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are wrong. I think the P5+1 might very well accept Iranian enrichment to 5%.

    But your apparent belief Iran can enrich to whatever levels it wishes, and avoid catastrophe, is mistaken.

  217. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do you agree with Smith that Iran should try to buy nukes from North Korea?

  218. Rehmat says:

    Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has lauded Barack Obama re-election by claiming that under Obama administration Israel-US ties had been stronger than ever – reported Israeli daily Ha’aretz on November 7, 2012. Both Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak and Israeli ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren were overjoyed by Obama victory , saying they don’t foresee any changes in Washington’s blind support for the Zionist entity.

    There was no reaction from Tehran as the Islamic Republic has always concsidered Obama and Romney as the two sides of the same ‘Zionist Coin’. However, Israeli daily Ha’aretz has reported that Obama re-election had opened a window for the US-Iran direct talks on Iran’s nuclear program and lifting of US sanctions against Iran.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/07/netanyahu-obama-victory-is-good-for-israel/

  219. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 7, 2012 at 7:18 am

    “Well, your broken record on the impossibility of an Iran war will be rendered moot in due time.”

    Richard,

    I watched Uzi’s talk on Iranian missiles, which Smith posted. At one point, Uzi talks about “mathematical certainty” with which Iran can hit the one and only electric power plant in one of the UAE states.

    The point here is not “impossibilities” — everything is possible, of course. The point is, once war gets started, it will go big, very big. This is where I like to focus on. Given that the costs could be incalculably enormous, then the motivation for taking that risk must be really compelling, and the war path must have no other alternative.

    Do you really see no alternatives?

  220. Ataune says:

    RSH,

    “Well, your broken record on the impossibility of an Iran war will be rendered moot in due time.”

    It is not about the impossibility of war. US can easily erase Iran’s existence from the face of the earth. The question is what are the interests involved here and how to manage the legitimacy of such an action.

    Your simplistic answer, linking the decision to go to war solely to the rapacity of a few in power waiting to just harvest for the next season is not enought to provide a correct prediction for the future. State decisions are assuredly influenced by capital and profit, but this is not the only factor. That is what you tend to forget.

  221. Smith says:

    And as for as Syria goes, we have to remember that once the US supported Alqaida gets control over Syria and Assad is killed then a mass genocide against Alawites, Shias, Christians, Kurds and Druz will take place. This is a given. Watch this wahabi mullah threatening the Alawites about the day Assad is gone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bwz8i3osHww

  222. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

    Well I guess at the end it comes to sovereignty and how much a nation is ready to sacrifice for that. In other words does that nation in question as a collection of its people and its governing system believes in a destiny of their own choosing or rather would want to be a colony.

    As for Iran’s nuclear program, I guess it would be better for long term future of Iran if Iran had an independent nuclear program. Ofcourse it is a job for Iranian to choose, but there is no benefit of having a nuclear program like Turkey which basically has signed a contract with Russian company to build, own, operate four nuclear reactors in Turkey for which Turkey would pay five times more per reactor than Iran paid to Russia.

    And no Turks would ever be allowed into the Russian owned nuclear power plant inside the Turkey. Only Russians would man it and Turkey would be forced to buy the electricity from the plant at a very expensive rate.If Iran is to be offered such a deal. They should outright reject it. Qadafi had made such a deal with UK and his end was not pretty. See these:

    http://pcolman.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/gadobama.jpg

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00636/news-graphics-2007-_636539a.jpg

    http://publicintelligence.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/gaddafi-body-13.jpg

  223. Karl... says:

    I guess the outcome of this event later this month [ world.time.com/2012/10/31/palestinians-campaign-for-un-recognition ] will decide if US will be preoccupied with Iran in 2013 or not.
    If palestinians get recognized, then focus will be on the israeli palestine conflict not Iran.

  224. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says:

    November 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    If US attacks, Iranians will fight.

    If Israel attacks, they may wait it out and attack later; when US is busy elsewhere.

  225. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 7, 2012 at 12:41 am

    You are wasting your time.

    He belives that masters should govern and slaves learn to like to be slaves.

    In other words, he belives that if Axis States take advantage of their strategic disparity to trample on other states, those other states shouls grin and bear it.

    Now this is an acceptable position as it goes and many states have chosen that path.

    That Iranians chose defiance and Providence seems to have favored them is unacceptable to him, however.

  226. fyi says:

    All:

    When P5+1 state that Iran can have civilian nuclear program it is a coded message – no domestic enrichment on Iranian soil, no haevy water reactor, no fuel fabrication facilities.

    They would be more than gald to make Iran forego all of that and purchase the reactors and their fuel from P5+1 and perpetuate Iranian dependency; a dependency very well expolited by the Russians.

    That is why Darkhovin is so critical.

    60 years of shabby treatment cannot be overcome by words.

  227. BiBiJon says:

    Israel-firster really means Israel-seconder
    =========================================

    “Obama will attempt to reach an agreement with the Iranians that prevents them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. 2013 will be a year of decision. Obama will do his best to exhaust the negotiations, but if the Iranians refuse, I believe Barack Obama will use American force to eliminate Iranian nuclear capability. If he will do that, he will turn to Benjamin Netanyahu and say ‘look I’ve dealt with the Iranian issue, now it’s your turn to make progress on the Palestinian issue,” former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Martyn Indyk, speaking on Army Radio Wednesday morning, said.

    http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6332

    Linkage
    ======

    Notice how only after US takes the risk, and accepts the blood and treasure costs of neutralizing Iran’s nuclear program, Indyk allows Obama ask Israel make some kind of a compromise with Palestinians, an issue which is at the center of US problems in the region.

  228. BiBiJon: “which together render the entire media hype fed by Israelis and their supporters as devoid of a shred of practicability.”

    Well, your broken record on the impossibility of an Iran war will be rendered moot in due time.

    Have a nice day.

  229. Well, that didn’t take long…

    Obama re-election signals new phase in Syria war
    http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Obama-re-election-signals-new-phase-in-Syria-war-4015652.php

    Quote

    Western efforts to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad shifted dramatically Wednesday, with Britain saying it will deal directly with rebel military leaders and Turkey saying NATO members have discussed protecting a safe zone inside Syria with Patriot missiles.

    The developments came within hours of President Barack Obama’s re-election, which U.S. allies said they have been waiting for before implementing new strategies to end the deadlocked civil war that has killed more than 36,000 people over the past year and a half.

    And a Turkish official said Turkey and allies, including the United States, have discussed the possibility of using Patriot missiles to protect a safe zone inside Syria.

    The foreign ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of ministry prohibitions on contacts with the news media, said planning for the safe zone had been put on hold pending the U.S. election. He said any missile deployment might happen under a “NATO umbrella,” though NATO has insisted it will not intervene without a clear United Nations mandate.

    End Quote

    And this is an outright lie since Britain already HAS advisers working with the insurgents:

    “In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said talks with rebel military leaders would not involve advice on military tactics or support for their operations. Hague also insisted that Britain would not consider offering weapons to Assad’s opponents.”

  230. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 6, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    “British TV show airs Israeli think-tank’s upbeat simulation of attack on Iran.”

    I wonder if the show covered IDF assessment relayed to Ehud Barak that “the ability did not exist.”

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/11/netanyahoos-willingness-is-irrelevant.html

    Personally, I read that as three abilities did not exist:

    1) To mount an effective attack
    2) To prevent Iranian retaliation on Dimona
    3) To draw the US into war

    which together render the entire media hype fed by Israelis and their supporters as devoid of a shred of practicability.

  231. UN official: Credible reports show Assad army used cluster bombs in Syria
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/un-official-credible-reports-show-assad-army-used-cluster-bombs-in-syria-1.475735

    However the “UN official” happens to be Jeffrey Feltman – hardly a “credible source”…

  232. Smith says:

    Just as Hillary had said in the last video, Iran is supplying gasoline to Afghanistan: http://hamsayeh.net/world/2473-iran-to-build-oil-pipeline-to-afghanistan.html

  233. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 6, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    On the arms sales:

    Those arms are useless. They could not save Qaddafi and Saddam. Those are just defective equipment with no functions. Just toys for those Arabs to play with. They have no military value: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbY06OyS3fc

  234. Smith says:

    James Canning says:
    November 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    That is because of the dismal western record as far as Iran is concerned. West was even against the Bushehr nuclear power plant. Now that Russians are handing over the plant to Iranians and now that Iranians are designing their own reactors, west has no choice but to accept it.

    So let’s revise some of the history together. As you know history did not start with Cameron:

    1- Western countries led by UK started to steal Iran’s hydrocarbon reserves specially oil from 1901 and this oil was the only oil UK used during world war I and world war II. All royal navy ships and planes and trucks running in Europe, Africa or South Asia was being fueled by Iranian oil which Iranians never got paid for. Infact UK had nationalized Iranian oil in 1914 and all Iranian oil and gas had become property of British crown forever. After Iranians tried to get it back, UK with US help orchestrated operation Ajax in 1953 after imposing an oil embargo on Iran which had played havoc with Iran’s economy. After this color revolution brought about by operation Ajax, Iran got a small share in oil revenues but still the biggest share holders in Iranian oil remained British, French and Americans.

    2- Western countries after the 1979 revolution in Iran, which cut their access to Iranian oil greatly, supported Saddam to invade Iran and destroy its economy through sanctions and war. This was more than a revenge. It was being done to make sure, Iran would remain a poor country despite its oil wealth and more importantly to stop Iran’s technological progress. US directly sided with Saddam and militarily attacked Iran on behalf of Saddam and since Saddam did not have a navy, US navy was used to support him to the point that US shot down an Iranian civilian airliner killing 266 people including 66 children.

    3- Iran had paid tens of billions of dollars to American and British companies in 1970′s to supply it with numerous weapon systems eg. Kidd class frigates, submarines, tanks and war planes etc etc. None of them reached Iran and neither the money was returned. US and France continued to supply Saddam with helicopters and war planes and holding back Iranian purchased weapons during the war.

    4- Iran had paid 3 billion dollars to Germany in 1976 to build two nuclear power reactors for Bushehr plant which Germans never completed despite Germans being under obligation to complete under IAEA rules and NPT mandate which calls for nations with nuclear technology to help NPT members with all their needs. Germans only erected some buildings and refused to work any further. Germans never returned the money and Iranians had to literally beg the Russians for the technology. Russians took advantage and got maximum benefits from both Iranians and western countries by procrastinating the project. Finally the project which was supposed to be finished by Russians in 1999, is to become fully operational in 2012, that is 13 years later.

    5- Iran had paid billions of dollars to France in 1970′s for France to build a nuclear reprocessing plant in Iran which they never did. Iran had also paid France to build Darkhovin nuclear power plant, which of course French never did. The Iranian paid reactors were instead installed in a French nuclear power plant and are now working there. Iran had also shared the costs of building Eurodiff Uranium enrichment plant which Iran owns 10% share of, to this day and France had agreed to provide Iran with enriched Uranium from that plant as well as the transfer of technology for Uranium enrichment. Iran never got even one gram of enriched Uranium from France neither got its share money.

    6- Iran in 1970′s had invested in Rössing uranium mine, the world’s third largest Uranium mine and to this day owns 15% of the mine with government of Namibia holding 3%, South Africa holding 10% of shares and the Anglo-Australian corporation Rio Tinto having 69% of the shares. But as is the case, Iran still has not received a single gram of Uranium or any of the profits of the mine due to western pressures. Almost all of the Uranium taken out of this partly owned Iranian mine goes to US and EU and used in their nuclear power plants or used to manufacture nuclear bombs with which they threaten Iran.

    7- The west is supporting terror inside Iran and despite the Algiers agreement of US with Iran, which had called for US to stop interfering in Iran’s internal matters, US has kept interfering inside Iran. Now with unfair sanctions, US is trying to arm twist other independent countries that are trading with Iran too

  235. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    November 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Gav James

    No you still don’t get it, look Gav there is no new UNSC resolutions against Iran since Iran started the 20% enrichment why do you think that is so? Do you think that’s because the US and related European client states like your country wanted to be nice, negative that is because the P2 will not go along with your P3 to pass another resolution against Iran ( and if they did it really wouldn’t matter and will not change Iran’s policy), so in reality here is how the formula currently is and I think it will remain this way for long time to come.

    Current value of UNSC = P3 “Divided” by P2 = P3/P2

    Therefore the global power balance with regard to Iran nuclear issue is now based on this fallowing formula

    (P3 + 1) /P2 < 120 NAM + IRI or

    P3+1 << (120 NAM + IRI)x P2

    Do you get it, you should show us a resolution agreed Russia and China and was passed in UNSC after Iran actually started manufacturing
    20% enrichment, if as you say China and Russia are so unhappy with Iran’s 20% enrichment why they don’t agree to pass another resolution against Iran?

  236. Libyan Government Bankrolling Syrian Rebels
    More Than Half of SNC’s Funding Came From Libya
    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/11/05/libyan-government-bankrolling-syrian-rebels/

    This is from the SNC’s own financial report!

  237. James Canning says:

    Speaking in the UAE this week, David Cameron said Iran can have civil nuclear power, but not nukes.

    A number of people who post on this site claim the P5+1 will not allow an Iranian nuclear power programme. Cameron’s statement shows this claim is not true.

  238. James Canning says:

    Spiegel.de today said the American people prefer to be lied to by their presidential candidates, rather than to face the truth. True statement, clearly.

  239. Karl... says:

    James,

    No why would anyone want to 1. sell weapons to dictators 2. Use iranophobia 3. Sell arms to people that crushed protest movements? Do you support the selling of arms and the intention behind it?

    And stop blaming lobby for every move, its just an attempt to whitw-wash UK’s approach on Iran.

  240. Ataune says:

    James Canning

    “Libya bought a fair amount, prior to the revolution.”

    So you think that a revolution took place in Libya ?

  241. BiBiJon says:

    It’s a cold war, stupid!
    ======================

    Nervana Mahmoud asks: “Will Bombing Iran Help Arab States?”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/11/06/will-bombing-iran-help-arab-states.html

    While Nervana blandly surmises that: “the benefit of the Arab states is probably [shouldn't that be 'most definitely'] priority Z on Netanyahu’s list, I have to ask how many European, American and Israeli top brass military folk does it take to put this idiotic notion of attacking Iran to bed once and for all.

    Look, desalination plants, oil loading ports, oil production facilities, and shipping in the Persian Gulf would be no more within minutes of Iran being attacked whether or not Syria, Hamas, and Hezbollah were taken care of first. To silence Iranian missiles, torpedoes, etc would require a land invasion, which I haven’t seen any sane person even suggest, and anyway it’d be too late — without PG oil, the world will be back to stone age in a few months.

    It is as MAD as all other MAD arrangements. Netanyahu might as well be musing about bombing China. You can muse, but no patriotic general is going to issue the order.

    I know we have had some strange scenarios promulgated by some buffoon thinking US can tell Iran let us get away with a limited bombing, so we don’t have to completely destroy you. Well, goodness, imagine if Russia said just let us bomb the Turkish radar installations, and if you don’t nuke us, we won’t nuke you.

    This is a cold war, and that is all it’s ever going to be, period.

  242. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    The UAE is buying 50 missile-defence systems from Russia for $800 million. Algeria buys significant amounts of Russian arms. Libya bought a fair amount, prior to the revolution.

  243. James Canning says:

    I should note here that I was dismayed, but not surprised, that David Cameron this week in the UAE referred to the so-called “threat” by Iran “to wipe Israel off the map”. Reason I was not surprised? Israeli leaders had been in London days before Cameron’s visit to the Persian Gulf.

  244. James Canning says:

    A report in the Financial Times today says half the finance for Syrian National Congress came from Libya, with Qatar and the UAE providing the rest.

  245. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran is hoisting itself with its own petard. Blundering decision to txreble production of 20% U, making it difficult to retreat without losing too much face.

    I agree there is substantial bad faith on the part of the US.

    Your belief Iran can stockpile 20% U to suit its fancy is delusional.

    Iran’s territorial integrity does not depend on stockpiling 20% U. The idea is preposterous.

  246. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    The ten most powerful countries on the planet insist that Iran stop enriching uranium to 20 percent.

    Why don’t you supply the names of countries actually encouraging Iran to enrich to 20 percent.

  247. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    EU 3+3 = Six Powers;

    P5+1 = EU 3 + Russia, China & US

  248. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    When a British Prime Minister visits the Middle East, you think he should not try to foster weapons sales by UK companies?

  249. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You actually believe Israel “will be destroyed as a state”? By whom?

  250. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    Britain did not want Ibn Saud to conquer the Hejaz. You make this claim time and time again.

  251. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Russia has a pier at a Syrian port. This is the “naval base” referred to in some news reports.

  252. BiBiJon says:

    The mountain is coming to Mohammad
    =============================

    $2 billion worth of hard currency earnings is nothing to be scuffed at. But, the article below does not address another element: soft power. Of the 3 million tourists who visited Iran, “The vast majority of Iran’s visitors come for religious reasons, making pilgrimages to Shiite holy sites.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/irans-surprise-economic-success-tourism/2012/11/05/b57053be-24c9-11e2-92f8-7f9c4daf276a_story.html

    This in-pouring of people will have a cementing effect for the adherents o Shiism, with important ramifications.

  253. Irshad says:

    SotoHarmonica says:
    November 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Have a read of this:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/02/world/middleeast/for-russia-syrian-ties-complicated-by-marriage.html?adxnnl=1&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1352210691-raL4vJW0Ps+ZOIIADEBv+Q

    AND THIS-http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e64a3076-c9b2-11e1-a5e2-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2BS1Re9Bw

    Bare in mind that Syria crisis is also a geo-strategical struggle between Iran, EU, US, RUssia, Gulf Arab countries – each with their own interest to maintain or change.

    Syria is also a major purchaser of Russian arms – who else in the Middle East is buying Russian arms in large quantity? Iraq is the only other country after signing a multi billion dollar contract recently with them. Everyone else more or less is buying it from the USA of EU (please see the linkins BinB provided Saudis laundering oil money again to buy weapons from UK, that they will probably never use or even know how to use!). Unfortunately Russia, has locked itself out of the Iran arms market by sanctioning itself out of it (see fyi’s statement below).

  254. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Saudi Arabia to raze Prophet Mohammed’s tomb to build larger mosque

    http://rt.com/news/saudi-arabia-prophet-mosque-615/

    And let’s hear it for the “custodians” of the two holy shrines

    Gee, I didn’t know that a custodian is allowed to raze the building he’s custodian of…

  255. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    And this little gem just for James…

    Senior RAF Officer To Lead Saudi Arms Sales Program

    http://www.defensenews.com/article/20121104/DEFREG01/311040002/Senior-RAF-Officer-Lead-Saudi-Arms-Sales-Program?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

    Quote:

    “Howard Wheeldon, the policy director at British aerospace and defense trade lobby group ADS, and an expert on U.K.-Saudi defense relations, said the appointment of a senior British Air Force officer is crucial to the continuing success of the alliance.

    “A key strength in the [British-Saudi] effort is the longstanding relationship between the RAF and Royal Saudi Air Force,” Wheeldon said.”

    Ah yes, who can forget when old Abdul Aziz asked the RAF to blow the Ikhwaan to bits right after they helped him conquer the Arabian peninsula…

    Let’s hear it for “longstanding relationships”…

    Quote:

    “Relations were soured between the two countries in September, when the British Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee announced that it would conduct a review of the U.K.’s relations with Saudi Arabia and its neighbor Bahrain. The announcement brought an unusually tough response from Riyadh.

    The BBC quoted Saudi officials as saying they were “insulted” by the inquiry, and intended to “re-evaluate their country’s historic relations with Britain.””

    “Wheeldon said he found the decision by the parliamentary committee untimely and unfortunate….We should take care not to insult a nation that we have worked so successfully and closely with over a great many years. … It is time we learned to put national interest ahead of political correctness,” he said.

    And let’s hear it for “democracy” and the “rule of law” in the UK…

  256. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    McDermott Awarded Cable Installation Project for Saudi Aramco

    http://www.dailyfinance.com/2012/11/05/mcdermott-awarded-cable-installation-project-for-s/

    The Israeli / Saudi Nexus

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/05/the-israeli-saudi-nexus/

    Saudi Arabia: Riyadh, Paris stress need to halt Assad, Iran nuclear plan

    http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?article=23833

  257. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    From the very beginning there has been a total underestimation of Bashar Assad in general and as a crisis manager in particular, on the part of the US and its vassals. He is after all the son of Hafez Assad. And the nerdy studious one who was going to be an eye doctor.

    In a region filled with leaders that are mental nut jobs, he seems very calm, rational and methodical- no maniacal speeches from roof-tops wearing funny hats and other such things.

    During the Iran-Iraq war after the Iraqis took Khoramshahr there was an Arab League meeting. When Hafez Assad entered the other leaders started making fun by saying “there goes Wilayate Faqih” and laughing.

    When it was Assad’s turn to speak he said: “Yes I say Wilayate Faqih and that is better than Wilayate Safih” safih meaning idiot, mentally incapable, crazy- referring to Saddam.

  258. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    From previous thread
    fyi,

    “If they invite Iran and Iraq to GCC and change the name to Persian Gulf Cooperation Council; with customs union and via-free travel, they could revolutionize their economic and security environment.

    And it is not Israel Lobby that is preventing them.”

    Exactly, what you described was actually part of the package of proposals which Ahmadinejad took to the Doha meeting with the PGCC in his first term.

    Some of the “brothers” (Qatar, Oman, Dubai) were interested in such new arrangements understanding the long-term benefits for their nations. Other “brothers” were shaking in their dish-dashas at the thought of it (guess who).

    These guys in Riyadh etc. only care about maintaining their feudal absolute family rule and the only way they will go is when their own citizens start chopping off their heads in a good old-fashioned violent, bloody revolution.

    When that happens the denomination of Saudi oil in US dollars will be questioned and if it no longer is denominated in US dollars, well then certain things will happen to the US economy which will lead to other certain things happening to US politics and society. You get the picture.

  259. Karl... says:

    UK touring middle east states that put down protest movements to sell arms and to scaremonger about Iran.

    dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Nov-06/194003-cameron-seeks-arms-deal-in-gulf-tour-praises-arab-spring.ashx

    And here he defend the arms sale, blaming Iran.

    uk.news.yahoo.com/pm-defends-middle-east-arms-sales-162252468.html

  260. Karl... says:

    UK trying to use the secterian-card and scaremongering of Iran, plus selling arms to dictators that have crushed uprisings in this latest tour to the middle east.

    dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2228007/Cameron-reveals-UK-jets-gulf-deter-iran-starts-day-tour-middle-east.html

  261. Netanyahu Says He’d Go It Alone on Striking Iran
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/06/world/middleeast/netanyahu-uses-tough-tone-on-possible-iran-strike.html

    I thought this quote was revealing:

    Quote

    “What’s all this talk, that we will decide alone on our fate and that we won’t take anybody else into consideration?” said Mr. Olmert, who is expected to make Mr. Netanyahu’s relationship with Mr. Obama a mainstay of his campaign if he runs. “Can someone please explain to me with which airplanes we will attack if we decide to attack alone, against the opinion of others — airplanes that we built here in Israel? With which bombs will we bomb, bombs that we made by ourselves? With which special technologies will we do it, those that we made by ourselves or those that we received from other sources?”

    End Quote

    in other words, without US support, Israel would be nothing…

    However, Olmert obscures the fact that Israel HAS this support – and the planes and the bombs. And the US will never deny them that support – just as it did not in 1973 when Israel threatened to use its nukes if the US did not resupply them, and just as it did not when Israel demanded more bombs during the 2006 Lebanon attack. The US will never abandon Israel even if Israel attacks Iran on its own and drags the US into it – because the ruling elites in the US want that just as much as Israel does – just on their own timetable, not Israel’s.

    Obviously some of the US ruling elite would like Netanyahu – and Israel in general – to be more “tractable.” But enough of the US ruling elite ARE “Israel Firsters” that there will never be an ACTUAL divide between the two countries – at least not as long as Israel remains a driver of profitable arms sales. And that will remain true until Israel is destroyed as a state.

  262. kooshy says:

    Sorry Gav something went wrong with my forulam at the time of posting but here is the final

    P3 + 1 = EU3 + US UNSC

  263. The SNC didn’t do themselves any favors by sending this Asadi guy to talk for them. He could barely articulate anything in English.

    Turkmani on the other hand was fairly effective. However her concluding notion that once the external powers got an agreement on one solution that the situation would be resolved is, in my view, laughable. Just as Flynt was correct to point out that the opposition groups are fundamentally in conflict, so are the external actors. There will be no agreement between the US and Russia on Syria (barring some major US concession to Russia on some other matter of more importance to Russia), and certainly no agreement with Iran on Syria.

    Everyone continues to discuss Syria as if the US didn’t have an explicit agenda of smashing Syria to the point where it is no threat to Israel in an Iran war. But it clearly does have such an agenda. And certainly Israel has such an agenda. They have to have that agenda – because otherwise a war with Iran will be too damaging to Israel. And there’s no question that the same agenda exists with regard to Iran. Syria is just the necessary warmup.

    Bottom line: If the US did NOT have such an agenda, the US RIGHT NOW could be resolving the Syria crisis – not to mention the Iran crisis.

    We all know what would need to be done to achieve that. The fact that it’s not being done tells us all we need to know about the intentions of the parties and therefore what the end result has to be.

  264. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    November 5, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    “I take it you agree that Iran will have more sanctions imposed, if it is unable or unwilling to make a deal with the P5+1.”

    Gav James

    It looks like you really didn’t understand the balance of power formula I wrote for the Iranian nuclear issue, this time I will try to put it in another way I hope you will get it this time.

    Bear in mind that this a general application formula and it works on most balance of power situations ( including Syria) that P3+1 is on the opposing side of the majority of the world with exception of Guam and Sandwich islands .

    P3 +1 = EU3 + US/ P2 < 120 NAM + IRI

    Now if you take this formula and move the P2 to the other side, you will see that the outcome becomes even bigger than the UNSC, and that is when the shortcomings of P3+1 become even more visible.

    P3 + 1 = EU3 + US UNSC

    Gav James do you get it now, see how simple it is.

  265. fyi says:

    kooshy says:

    November 5, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    In fact, no deal is possible with P5+1.

    The UNSC sanctions cover missile development, arms export/import, heavy water reactors etc.

    They infringe on sovereign rights of Iran.

    Iranian leaders are following the correct policy of doing what they are doing and ingoring the Americans, the Russians, the Europeans and others.

    Since confrontation was written into the UNSC Resolutions and since surrender meant disintegaration of the Iranian state in some future time, this is the best policy for Iran and the Iranian people.

    There is no other way.

  266. Smith says:

    SotoHarmonica says:
    November 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Russia has a military base there in Syria.

  267. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Not exactly. US does care. Syria is no Libya or Iraq. Syria has ballistic missiles, chemical weapons and biological warfare weapons. They are so desperate that they forgot all diplomatic courtesy and democratic principles ordering for a change of leadership of the terrorists fighting there. They want results. The current terror heads have not delivered those results. Things are getting out of control. Each wahabi Sheik from Kuwait to Qatar to Saudi Arabia has started up its own terror cell there. But now Turkey basically came to its senses seeing that an unstable Syria will only make Kurds more agile and will give them more ground for terror training to hit Turkey which at the end might end up with separation of Kurdistan from Turkey making the already small Turkish country even smaller. The same goes true for Iraq. See these:

    http://www.legitgov.org/graphics/reagan_taliban_1985.jpg

    http://blogs.trb.com/news/opinion/chanlowe/blog/taliban.gif

    And Israel is only meters away and is worried what is going to happen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIdASeN0ym8

  268. Yet another claim of “secret negotiations”…

    Obama’s woman in Tehran
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4301368,00.html

  269. And of course the reason you’re not going to “get out of this conflict” is because no one has a motivation to do so. Except Assad, of course – he’d like it to go away. But he can’t do anything about that because the conflict is started, supported, and driven by external actors he can’t affect.

    The insurgents can fight forever as long as they keep getting money and weapons from those external actors, AND support from the US and NATO in the form of supplies, advisers, and intelligence support. No insurgency with this much support will ever fail to at least be able to keep fighting, if not win. The insurgents will never be “exhausted” as long as they get this level of support.

    If Obama were serious about STOPPING THE CONFLICT – as opposed to overthrowing Assad OR at least degrading Syria’s military (the real goal) – he would be strong-arming the Saudis and Qatar and Libya and Turkey – especially Turkey – to cut off the support for the insurgents and force the insurgents to stand down long enough to get some negotiations going.

    The fact that Obama is doing ZERO about that proves there is absolutely no intent on the part of the US to stop the conflict.

    As recent media analysts have said, the end result is that the conflict gets worse, widens, overflows into Lebanon, and will inevitably end with foreign military intervention since no other force has the power to resolve the issue in either the favor of the insurgents or the Assad regime.

    Where I disagree with Flynt is whether the US is “flailing”. I think Obama knows exactly what he’s doing. As long as the end result is a battered and broken Syria, Obama doesn’t really care whether Islamists end up running the show. Naturally, he would PREFER that a US puppet runs the show there. But that’s just a bonus he probably realizes he’s unlikely to get.

    Flynt should not mistake the haggling over the US’ Syrian insurgent partners for a significant overall issue with regard to the ultimate goal in Syria. It’s a more or less meaningless side issue. It would certainly help the US’ goal if the insurgents all got together and became more effective against Assad – and perhaps Obama would like to see Assad defeated by them as well, however unlikely that is – but in the end it won’t matter.

    Just as the bottom line of US Iran policy is a broken Iran which is ineffective as a regional actor opposed to Israel and the US, the goal of US Syria policy is a broken Syria which is ineffective as a regional actor opposed to Israel and the US.

    And if Obama has to attack Syria to get that goal, that’s what he and NATO and Israel will do. There may be many winding turns until that point, but in the end either the US has to give up or it has to attack Syria – just as in the end with Iran the US either has to give up or attack Iran. And the US cannot and does not intend to give up if it wants a broken Iran as a follow-on effect.

    The US is NOT going to give up – whether the US is “in decline” or not – because 1) the ruling elite cannot afford to, and 2) they will never believe the US is “in decline” until they no longer have the economic and military power to launch any such attacks. And they are FAR from that situation, despite the Pollyannas and wishful thinkers here.

  270. Castellio says:

    test

  271. kooshy says:

    US election and the list of major donors on both sides the title is “for feast full of Dollars”

    http://www.xum.ir/images/2012/11/04/xdlwt.jpg

  272. Rehmat says:

    Like in Libya, Washington is not going to sacrify its soldiers in Syria as it did in Afghanistan and Iraq to topple Taliban and Saddam Hussein regimes. Thanks to the powerful Jewish Lobby, Washington has been interfering in Syria since the creation of the Zionist entity in 1948. In March 1949, Washington toppled democratically elected president Shukri al-Quwatly and installed CIA man Colonel Husni al-Zaim. Husni in return, legitimized the Zionist entity by signing an armistice with it and allowed Arabian-American Oil Company to pipe Saudi oil through Syria to the Mediterranean coast. Between 1949 and 1955, America staged five military coups in Syria to complete the de-democratization process in the country.

    In August, Ed Husain, senior fellow at the Zionist advocacy organization, ‘Council on Foreign Relations’ wrote that Washington is quite happy with pro-West Al-Qaeda joining ranks with the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) due to its superior experience as result of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in collaboration with US and NATO.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/03/us-regime-change-in-syria-has-failed/

  273. A concerned world citizen says:

    The sad fact about this whole Syrian artificially generated crisis is that, there was never a real opposition in Syria – just opportunists who though they could ride the so-called “Arab spring” into power.

    I mean, what kind of opposition hangs around in top 5-star hotels and travel pretty much the globe everyday on expensive all expenses paid flights? Most of these opposition figures haven’t even stepped foot in Syria for more than 30 years.

    Anyway, what’s really happening in Doha is a rift/shift/infighting(call it whatever you want) among the thieves/criminals that had collaborated to overthrow the Syrian government. The SNC was/is Erdogan/Davutoglu’s pet project for the revival of their delusional Ottoman dreams. They had so much hope for them but the stupidity of its members have been demonstrated for all to see. It gets even worse, their armed wing, the terrorist fsa(aka activists on the ground) are pretty much Al-Qaeda saturated with their main HQ in Turkey with Erdogan’s full support.

    Almost two years of “Assad’s got only weeks to live” (in the humble, stupid words of Leon Panneta), madam Clinton’s realized Turkey’s SNC can’t deliver the goods so she’s forming her own group and have cheekily invited members of the SNC to defect(sorry, join) in order to “broaden their base”. This has made some SNC member furious and AKP supporters mad in Ankara. How dare that woman spoil their little Ottoman dream with their democracy nonsense!!! But Davutoglu’s putting on a brave face and acting according to script lest madam Clinton will put his government on the state sponsor of terror list.There’re plenty of evidence that will be used against Turkey when it suits the US government. But for now, there’r a “regime” to overthrow so anything goes.

    Assad’s been blessed with not only stupid but incompetent enemies that always give their game away at the drop of a hat.

    The only glue that binds all the regime change tag-along countries together is their hatred for Assad.Even those that don’t hate Assad hate Russia, China or Iran and therefore will support regime change. Other than that, they could be bitter enemies and their own artificially created crisis in Syria will surely pit them against one another.

    The fact that Qatar, a dictatorial monarch with no real economy, whose only usefulness in the world is to serve as a gas station to the empire, hosting a conference on democracy is a classic script that will top the chart. I mean, who’re they kidding here???

    The real threat that all the parties involved are conveniently ignoring is the rise of Salafi/Wahabi extremists who’re now acting with impunity not seen before. They have their own agenda and they will surely target the US sooner or later.

    In another new today, shots were fired at Erdogan’s office.

  274. ToivoS says:

    The only thing clear is that US policy has failed, it appears that our government is aware and today our policy is incoherent. Beyond that, total chaos. Quite frankly, I have no idea how this is going to play out. Here are a few events that may happen.

    The current government of Turkey falls because of their mismanagement of this crises.
    Whatever happens Iran will land on its feet.
    US influence in the ME will continue in its slow decline.

  275. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    David Cameron, in Abu Dhabi this week, said: “We should do everything we can to stop it from happening.” Cameron’s reference was to any building of nukes by Iran. (Daily Telegraph has a report on his visit datelined Nov. 5th.)

  276. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I take it you agree that Iran will have more sanctions imposed, if it is unable or unwilling to make a deal with the P5+1.

    I am not claiming the US is acting in good faith. But a deal might be possible, as Iran itself said recently.

  277. SotoHarmonica says:

    Why Syria is so important to Russia?

  278. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    The war – as a threat to the Ba’ath State in Syria – has ended.

    Insecurity will continue in a similar vein as it has been in Iraq.

  279. Nasser says:

    Smith says: November 5, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    “The terrorists on the ground have grown so dangerous that even US is getting scared about the future.”

    - The US doesn’t care. They figure let the Muslim world decent into chaos and “those savages can kill each other.” Of course regional stability would be much advanced if US had a working relationship with Iran and the Shias. But, they don’t care. They seem oblivious to the fact that their obsession with Iran distorts their policies in the region. They are back to supporting the Wahabis that murdered so many Americans on 9/11. Sad indeed.

  280. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    November 5, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    “And no deal with the P5+1 means more sanctions, and still more sanctions.”

    Gav James

    At the end of the day, I think this could be the mathematical formula we can extract for what you are trying to say.

    P3+1(US+EU3) = S x R x U < (P2) +120 NAM

    Key: S = Sanctioned R= aRe U= Us

    Gav keep in mind this formula is time related, it will prove itself with velocity of time as it moves forward.
    Gav in case you have problem understanding the formula you can refer to sanctions text books, and also check “FYI” syllabus on sanctions posted in past couple of years on this site.

  281. Smith says:

    The thing is this war is not coming to an end. The Shias, Kurds, Alawites, Christians and other so called “minorities” who together probably constitute half of Syria know very well that once these US supported wahabi terror groups such as Alqaida and Taliban take over Syria, then they will be the first ones to be mass murdered in the name of democracy. So they along with Syrian Army will continue to fight against these wahabi terror groups which are ironically called “opposition” by media.

    There should be a clear distinction between those who are fighting on the ground who are by and large all terrorists and not peaceful political dissidents and these guys gathering in five star hotels in Dubai, Qatar and Europe. The terrorists on the ground have grown so dangerous that even US is getting scared about the future. Much like the terrorists that they were feeding in Afghanistan during 1980′s and 1990′s got out of hand. US is now seeing once again that terror strains it keeps feeding in Islamic world continuously mutate and become anti-American after a while with recent example being the Libyan situation.

  282. James Canning says:

    I think Hillary Clinton blundered by demanding any deal with Syria include an advance agreement by Bashar al-Assad to abandon power.