We're posting new material at GoingToTehran.com. Please join us there.

The Race for Iran

Hillary Mann Leverett on What’s Really Behind Iran Sanctions

 

On Al Jazeera’s Inside Story this week, see here, Hillary underscored that, notwithstanding Western rhetoric about “targeted” measures that punish the Iranian government but somehow spare ordinary Iranians, the real purpose of sanctions is “to increase hardship for ordinary Iranians”—just as “sanctions imposed on other governments and other systems, like the sanctions that were imposed for over a decade on Iraq,” were intended to make ordinary Iraqis suffer.  In contrast to the all-too-frequent line put forward in Washington, Hillary makes clear that the sanctions against Iran “are in no way targeted.  When you sanction the Central Bank of Iran, when you say that SWIFT can’t handle banking transactions into and out of Iran, you are covering transactions that people need in order to buy food and medicine…There’s nothing targeted about it.” 

As Hillary reminds, we know very well how effective sanctions proved at making ordinary Iraqis suffer; more than one million Iraqi civilians—half of them children—died as a result of their imposition.  This was the policy that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright revoltingly defended with her claim that “the price was worth it.”  And worth it for what?  As Hillary recounts, “to disarm Saddam Hussein of weapons he didn’t have.” 

Likewise, the United States is sanctioning Iranians “over a nuclear weapons program that the Islamic Republic does not have.  Both the U.S. intelligence agencies and even the Israeli intelligence agencies say that the Islamic Republic does not have a weapons program.”  Yet, we are going through the same “bad movie once again” as with Iraq. 

The claim that sanctions are intended to facilitate nuclear diplomacy is, to say the least, disingenuous.  As Hillary describes, the underlying problem that the United States and its allies have with the Islamic Republic is not just the nuclear program.  Sanctions in the United States and elsewhere against Iran have been authorized over

“the nuclear issue, but also on questions about Iran’s human rights behavior and human rights and its supposed sponsorship of terrorism…If, for some reason, there were some kind of progress, some kind of advance in nuclear talks…the United States could not lift its sanctions, for two reasons.  One, most of the sanctions have been done legislatively, so whatever the President wants to do doesn’t matter; Congress here will have a veto.  And two, even if there were progress on the nuclear issue, that would do nothing to address the United States’ supposed concerns about Iran’s human rights and support for so-called terrorism…There’s no way that Iran gets out of this, just like there was no way that Iraq could get out from under its sanctions.”         

So why do American administrations and the Congress want to inflict such suffering on mass populations in countries that defy Washington?  As Hillary explains, the United States does this “with the idea that [people] will then rise up and overthrew their government and get rid of a system that Washington does not like.”  (One of the other guests, Sadeq Zibakalam of the University of Tehran, observes that most Iranians do not believe that the sanctions are really about Iran’s nuclear activities; from an Iranian perspective, if America and its allies were not focused on the nuclear issue, they “would have picked up on something else” as an excuse to punish the Islamic Republic for its revolutionary origins and insistence on an independent foreign policy.) 

Yet, as Hillary relates, history shows that sanctions do not work actually to force a population to rise up and overthrow its government.  Even after killing over one million Iraqis, sanctions did not move Iraqis to overthrow their government—only an armed invasion by the United States did so.  More significantly, the specific historical experience with sanctioning post-revolutionary Iran indicates that the Islamic Republic responds to the infliction of hardship with “an increased ability to rely on indigenous production, indigenous capacity”—from the Iran-Iraq war until the present day. 

Of course, the historical record is poorly understood in much of the world where the Islamic Republic is concerned.  Even on this Inside Story episode, Al Jazeera’s moderator makes two shockingly inaccurate claims—that Iran “is importing gasoline at the moment, simply because it does not have the infrastructure or, indeed, the economic power at the moment to refine enough gasoline for the automobiles within its own country” (the Islamic Republic is now a net exporter of gasoline) and that “this raises questions about a country that can have the ability to refine uranium to the 20-percent in which it can be used in nuclear weapons” (20-percent enrichment is, of course, nowhere close to the level required for weapons-grade fissile material).       

Hillary drives home that a widespread lack of historical knowledge about sanctions and contemporary realities in the Middle East allows those “who want to have even more forceful, coercive, military actions” to say “look, sanctions didn’t work, we checked that box, [and now] we have to take even more military, more aggressive action against this recalcitrant state that is challenging, particularly, U.S. policies and preferences.  That is exactly what happened with Iraq, and this is, unfortunately, the road we’re on with Iran.” 

And Hillary makes clear that such an outcome will impose severe costs not just on the Islamic Republic, but even more so on the United States itself:  “The problem is not only the moral cost of the number of Iranians who will suffer, but…what this will do to the United States—our position in the Middle East and our position in the global economy.  We cannot afford yet again to make a mistake, as we did in Iraq, and to make it on a scale exponentially larger with the Islamic Republic of Iran…My concern is that this path leads us to another unnecessary war in the Middle East, that will not only kill people but will dramatically degrade America’s standing.”

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

Share
 

105 Responses to “Hillary Mann Leverett on What’s Really Behind Iran Sanctions”

  1. Dan Cooper says:

    Bush, Blair Wanted For Crimes Against Humanity

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article32818.htm

  2. Clint says:

    good FP column on what the sanctions are about:

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

    [regime change......................Iraq 2.0]

  3. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Karl: ““45-500000″, do you have a link for that number of missiles?”

    Not really. It’s the general figure being bandied about by Israel. No one knows for sure, I assume, except Hizballah.

    Before the 2006 war the figure was something like 10-15,000. Then a couple years later it was 25,000. Then it went up to 40,000 a couple years later. Today it’s 45,000. I assume by this time next year (if there is no war) it will be 50,000. Apparently the assumption is that they’re basically importing something like 5,000 a year. I have no idea if that figure makes any sense based on Iranian output, logistics capability, etc. It doesn’t seem impossible over the course of a year but who knows?

  4. fyi says:

    Karl… says:

    October 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Nothing will change in this coming debate.

  5. Castellio says:

    Again to Lebanon. Angry Arab writes: “If 2005 funeral of Rafiq Hariri triggered a political movement that fooled Western governments and media, you can’t say the same about the festival of thuggery today. Flags of Al-Qa`idah were hoisted along with the flags of Syrian armed groups. The crowd–or some of it–then got out of control and they tried to violently stormed the headquarters of the Lebanese prime minister. How would have Western governments and media reacted if the Hizbullah crowd in 2007 were to storm the same headquarters when Fu’ad Sanyurah was prime minister? I bet that the UN Security Council would have issued a toughly-worded statement and the Arab League would have called for an emergency sectarian gathering. And the call for storming the headquarters of the prime minister was issued by none other than Nadim Qutaysh (a Hariri TV presenter and former broadcaster of US Hurra propaganda TV–my problem with Qutaysh is not about politics is about his insistence on a new show to mimic Jon Stewart but Qutaysh to wit and humor is what Sa`d Hariri is to brilliance and science). The melange of Salafites and Lebanese Forces “westernized” mob was quite a show. This is the real movement of March 14 that Western media does not ever report about. The Zionists in Washington DC championed March 14 and wittingly or unwittingly served as the midwife of Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon. It would be fair to say that Al-Qa`idah in Lebanon is the legitimate child of Jeffrey Feltman. I can’t way to see what kind of twist Zionist Western media would put on the developments today. What is ironic is that Western media were hostile to the peaceful sit-in in downtown Beirut while they will be sympathetic to the violent attempt at storming the building today. Such are the standards of Western governments and media. Today, the true nature of the “civil” project of March 14 was exposed for all to see. ”

    http://angryarab.blogspot.ca/

  6. fyi says:

    All:

    Supporters of Hezbullah in Iran and in Lebanon

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcMyTmlLUYM&feature=relmfu

  7. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Dear Don,
    The whole thing is about keeping Saudi crude sales denominated in US dollars. This is accomplished by keeping the geriatric, rotting, stinking Ale Saud in power. It’s all about keeping the D.C.-Riyadh-Tel Aviv axis- the real axis of evil- going.

    When the Saudi princes are hanging by their necks from the lamp posts of Riyadh and that cursed dynasty falls, so too will the dollar fall- “insh’Allah”.

    Maybe then can real patriots regain some of the God-given sovereignty they have lost.

    Let’s see if this sounds familiar:

    “…We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness…”

  8. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Do you accept the piece in the New York Times today as establishing the fact Obama is willing to negotiate directly with Iran? Provided the political damage is kept to a minimum.

  9. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Iran des not have “hegemony” in the Middle East. The notion is ludicrous, in fact. The latest poll from Egypt shows that nearly 70% of Egyptians do not like Shia Islam or Shia Muslims.

  10. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Ir;anian enrichment to 20 percent, in defiance of Russia and China, is a very poor strategy. Full stop.

  11. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The ISRAEL LOBBY does not want normal relations between the US and Iran. Full stop. And it opposes normal relations between “the West” and Iran. Full stop. But do ot forget: Russia and China want Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent. Full stop.

  12. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    You are using “the West” rather than “Israel lobby”, when in fact it is the ISRAEL LOBBY that manipulates the foreign policy of the US (and other countries) in hopes of blocking normal relations, perhaps setting up an idiotic war, etc etc etc etc etc.

    You should not help the ISRAEL LOBBY conceal its subversion of the national security interests of European countries (and those of the US).

  13. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Are you claiming Iran and the US have not been trying to work out a way for direct negotiations?

  14. James Canning says:

    nahid,

    Numerous Iranians hated Americans, long before the overthrow of the monarchy in 1979. Often for good reasons.

  15. imho says:

    Don Bacon says:
    October 20, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I always enjoy reading your comments but there are not that much these days.

    I agree with you. Some years ago, I’ve read a story about the Dollar and those analysts saying the Iraq war was because Saddam was selling its oil in other currencies than the Dollar. Then became Iran which did go further; that is trying to set up in Kish a rival to NYSE and London to not only sell its oil but also trying to set the price in that exchange which is even more dangerous for US financial hegemony (that would mean Iran controlling indirectly the quantity of dollars the FED must print in order for world countries to be able to do their oil transactions only if the dollar was still the oil currency).

    What is sure is that this is a direct challenge to US and that the US can’t but respond in order to save the Dollar but also to make clear to whoever wants to hear that the Dollar is unchallengeable.

    Maybe this is the reason but there are always more than one reason I think. Challenging the Dollar now is also challenging China which may not be a good tactical move from Iran. Anyway the Kish oil exchange didn’t get that much attraction from investors.

  16. imho says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 21, 2012 at 6:35 am

    “Just in case it wasn’t clear…

    US denies Iran nuclear talks New York Times report”

    The NYT piece was much more interesting to read.
    Salehi also denied it.
    What would you from them to do for some hypothetical negotiation after the US election ?

    According to Debka (I know they do better on disinformation) just denying is an occasion to pretend that US “is not against such talks”. That would help Obama to get anti war votes.

    Again from Debka, that “major joint US/Israel exercise” has been reduced to only 1000 men , most behind simulators joysticks.

  17. BiBiJon says:

    Version 2.0 ignore previous

    RSH: “In other words, exactly the scenario which I submit requires the US and Israel – with the help of NATO – to attack Syria and Lebanon. This exercise is to help Israel deal with a missile barrage from more than Iran.”

    Fiorangela : “Everytime the West increases pressure on Iran, ostensibly because of its nuclear activity, Iran responds by INCREASING enrichment because THAT IS THE ONLY LEVER IRAN CAN SAFELY PULL. It is a sign of resistance: Iran is in a hostage situation, an entire nation held hostage by bullies”

    Don Bacon: “There seems to be a degree of forgetfulness here that THIS IS NOT A NUCLEAR ISSUE and it can’t be resolved by ‘nuclear talks.’ It is and has been an issue of Middle East hegemony. Iran has it and the US wants it.”

    ———-

    Right on Fiorangela, and Don. I would add a caveat to Don’s comment: “narrative”, previously highlighted by the Leveretts as the ‘dark matter’ that explains all the frustrations of the bullies. You see, if the only levers that mattered where financial, commercial, and military then the US+Co have amply demonstrated their rightful place as undisputed hegemons. And, it would take a delusional mindset to to individually challenge that hegemony, a mental condition shared by Mullah Omar, Saddam Hussein, and Muamar Ghadafi. It can only be challenged as a group; groups need an unifying narrative.

    The problem with RSH’s forever round the corner war scenarios is that if Israel/Nato/US had the kind of freedom of action that Richard says they have, and that they will execute any day now, US/Nato/Israel would have no need to exercise it over and over again. The fact is they do not have the freedom of action. They cannot start a war with any member of axis of resistance without finding themselves in a regional war, curtsey of the “winning narrative”, which has currency not just among Shiites, and not just in the Muslim world, but right across the ‘global south.’

    Question is what the regional war would look like?

    “You could lose eight million barrels a day of production, and it would not come back quickly,” according to West. “We believe the price of oil will go above $200 a barrel,” he said. (Brent crude is currently selling at about $112/barrel.) Moreover, he added, that conclusion does not take account of any Iranian effort to block the Strait of Hormuz (an eventuality which, he said, he believed the US Navy could clean up quite quickly) or the possibility that Tehran may also use its missiles to strike the huge LNG facilities in Qatar. If they did, “the lights go out in South Korea and Japan,” he said.

    From http://www.lobelog.com/oil-geo-political-experts-say-attacking-iran-poses-huge-risks/

    Don Bacon is right. All that any of the current adversaries would dare do is the kind of cold war they are currently engaged in. Unfortunately for US/NAto/Israel, the combination of a ‘losing narrative’ and ‘delusional pride’ is causing their core competencies, financial/commercial/military to hemorrhage, further exposing their core weakness, the might-makes-right narrative. If and when the West comes to their senses the solutions are rather simple. The petro-dollars for instance will become a reasonable part of a basket of currencies thereby removing finance as a tool of coercion; remove veto rights from UNSC and expand its permanent membership; etc.

  18. Karl.... says:

    For all,

    You think Obama will proclaim any new stance on Iran in this last debate with Romney?
    Will he more expclitly threat with military force?
    Will he be “moderate” or keep claim that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons?

  19. Karl... says:

    For all,

    You think Obama will proclaim any new stance on Iran in this last debate with Romney?
    Will he more expclitly threat with military force?
    Will he be “moderate” or keep claim that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons?

  20. BiBiJon says:

    RSH: “In other words, exactly the scenario which I submit requires the US and Israel – with the help of NATO – to attack Syria and Lebanon. This exercise is to help Israel deal with a missile barrage from more than Iran.”

    Fiorangela : “Everytime the West increases pressure on Iran, ostensibly because of its nuclear activity, Iran responds by INCREASING enrichment because THAT IS THE ONLY LEVER IRAN CAN SAFELY PULL. It is a sign of resistance: Iran is in a hostage situation, an entire nation held hostage by bullies”

    Don Bacon: “There seems to be a degree of forgetfulness here that THIS IS NOT A NUCLEAR ISSUE and it can’t be resolved by ‘nuclear talks.’ It is and has been an issue of Middle East hegemony. Iran has it and the US wants it.”

    ———-

    Right on Fiorangela, and Don. I would add a caveat to Don’s comment: “narrative”, previously highlighted by the Leveretts as the ‘dark matter’ that explains all the frustrations of the bullies. You see, if the only levers that mattered where financial/commercial/military dominance then the US+Co have amply demonstrated their rightful place as undisputed hegemons. And, it would take a delusional mindset to challenge that hegemony, a mental condition shared by Mullah Omar, Saddam Hussein, and Muamar Ghadafi.

    The problem with RSH’s forever round the corner scenarios of war is that if Israel/Nato/US had the kind of freedom of action that Richard says they have, and that they will execute any day now, US/Nato/Israel would have no need to exercise it over and over again. The fact is they do not have the freedom of action. They cannot start a war with any member of axis of resistance without finding themselves in a regional war, curtsey of the “winning narrative”, which has currency not just among Shiites, and not just in the Muslim world, but right across the ‘global south.’

    Question is what the regional world would look like?

    “You could lose eight million barrels a day of production, and it would not come back quickly,” according to West. “We believe the price of oil will go above $200 a barrel,” he said. (Brent crude is currently selling at about $112/barrel.) Moreover, he added, that conclusion does not take account of any Iranian effort to block the Strait of Hormuz (an eventuality which, he said, he believed the US Navy could clean up quite quickly) or the possibility that Tehran may also use its missiles to strike the huge LNG facilities in Qatar. If they did, “the lights go out in South Korea and Japan,” he said.

    From http://www.lobelog.com/oil-geo-political-experts-say-attacking-iran-poses-huge-risks/

    Do Bacon is right. All that any of the current adversaries would dare do is the kind of cold war they are engaged in. Unfortunately for US/NAto/Israel, the combination of a ‘losing narrative’ and ‘delusional pride’ is causing their core competencies, financial/commercial/military to hemorrhage, further exposing their core weakness, the might-makes-right narrative. If and when the West comes to their senses the solutions are rather simple. The petro-dollars for instance will become a reasonable part of a basket of currencies thereby removing finance as a tool of war by other means; remove veto rights from UNSC and expand its permanent membership; etc.

  21. Karl... says:

    RSH,

    “45-500000″, do you have a link for that number of missiles?

  22. Karl... says:

    RSH,
    Of course they are already at war, it started when turkish gov. gave support for rebels.

  23. Persian Gulf says:

    Kooshy,

    It was already linked in this from. I am posting it again here:

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/why-tehran-wants-neocon-7616

    اینم از برادران:

    http://alef.ir/vdchv6nz623n-qd.tft2.html?168708

    this guy is a moron. his 4 hours stop in Tehran clearly showed that. You won’t do such a thing to even offend someone.
    I have said this before, nothing will come out of that Arab world. not for sure from its Sunni part. Sunni Arab world is intellectually dead.

  24. Rehmat says:

    Tehran has denied pro-Israel daily The New York Times report that both the US and Iran have agreed to hold ‘one-to-one’ talks on Iran’s nuclear program after the November elections.

    “We don’t have any discussions or negotiations with America,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a news conference on Sunday. “The (nuclear) talks are ongoing with the P5+1 group of nations. Other than that, we have no discussions with the United States,” Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a news conference today.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/iran-no-direct-talks-with-united-states/

  25. nahid says:

    Almost since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, this basic question has been posed by many Americans as “why do they (Iranians) hate us?” This question has been not only posed to Iranians, but also to other Muslims and they have also asked it from themselves

    http://hamsayeh.net/articles/2417-difficult-upshot-of-iran-sanctions-for-the-united-states.html

  26. Richard Steven Hack says:

    If true, Turkey and Syria are already “at war”…but Assad is making sure he provides no excuse for it to get bigger…

    Twelve Syrian troops killed in Turkey attacks: Turkish media
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/21/267895/12-syrian-soldiers-killed-in-turkey-fire/

  27. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Just in case it wasn’t clear…

    US denies Iran nuclear talks New York Times report
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-20019675

  28. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US-Israel major joint exercise to test missile barrage scenario
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20002787

    Quote

    However, the immediate significance of the exercises is obvious. Talk of an Israeli strike against Iran may now be more muted, but it is clear that if this were ever to happen then one way Tehran might respond could be through the use of ballistic missiles.

    These could either be launched from Iran itself, or alternatively Iran’s ally, Hezbollah in Lebanon, could unleash its huge arsenal of missiles against Israel.

    At the same time Jihadist groups in the Gaza Strip might step up their rocket fire into Israel, realising the two-front missile threat that this exercise simulates.

    End Quote

    In other words, exactly the scenario which I submit requires the US and Israel – with the help of NATO – to attack Syria and Lebanon. This exercise is to help Israel deal with a missile barrage from more than Iran.

    It should be obvious that there is no way Israel can deal with 45-50,000 Hizballah missiles (not to mention Iranian and Syrian missiles) regardless of what anti-missile defense systems they have in place. Depending on how many actual long-range missiles Hizballah may have, the defense systems are likely to be overwhelmed in short order. Thus, the ONLY solution is for Israel to degrade Hizballah’s missile arsenal – and Syria’s – by any means possible. This absolutely will require Israeli boots on the ground in Lebanon AND Syria – and this is only feasible if the US and NATO are engaging Syria at the same time.

    If the US and Israel somehow don’t grasp this, this exercise will bring the facts home to them in short order. But I am sure they already know this and this exercise is merely to wring the last particle of capability out of the system they have – preparatory to using it DURING the upcoming Syria/Lebanon war.

  29. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    October 20, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    James, Listen to the video again.

    the professor from Tehran said,

    “If it were not Iran’s nuclear program, the West would have picked another way to pressure Iran.”

    Hillary Leverett said:
    “the intent of sanctions is to increase hardship on Iranians to induce them to rise up and overthrow their government.” “Hillary Clinton said the intent is to target the ordinary people. … Iran is a huge, strong industrial country …

    Iranian in the street: “the people have become more strong. …”

    “Sanctions are a prelude to regime change … There is a wider question as in Iraq …are the sanctions legal and moral?”

    “the moral cost of the number of Iranians who will suffer … HML

    Professor: what do they want to do? the west is confused. this confusion has been going on since before the nuclear program. many ordinary iranians believe the the nuclear program is an excuse by the united states.

    mod: it is creating the opposite effect … the government is seen as not bowing down to outside demands. …

    are sanctions justified? HML: no matter how devastating to the population, they do not lead to rising up and overthrowing their government. US is challenging US … underlying basis is not just the nuclear issue; also human rights and supposed sponsorship of terrorism. if there were some advance on nuclear talks, the US could not lift sanctions. progress on nukes would … a hamster running on the wheel … this path leads us to another unnecessary war in the ME that will not only kill people but will undermine American prestige in the region.

    Mod: is enriching to 20% an excuse to increase pressure …

    Mod: ” Does Iran pose an existential threat to Israel …”

    Prof: Everyone knows that Iran is not militarily capable of destroying Israel. imagine that Iran produces 1 or 2 nuclear devices. what can Iran do against Israel’s 200 to 400 nuclear bombs? … When the Iranian people DID respond to pressure and rise up, they did not blame the regime, they blamed outsiders.

    = = =

    Everytime the West increases pressure on Iran, ostensibly because of its nuclear activity, Iran responds by INCREASING enrichment because THAT IS THE ONLY LEVER IRAN CAN SAFELY PULL. It is a sign of resistance: Iran is in a hostage situation, an entire nation held hostage by bullies who, to my shame, seem to delight in causing suffering among the Iranian people. Iran refuses to take the first step on the slippery slope of capitulation; rather, the more the United States tortures the “hamster caught in the wheel,” the more Iran not only resists but also moves farther in the opposite direction in order to have a stronger position that the US torturers will have to cut away in order to bring about capitulation.

    To their credit, the Iranian government has so far kept the Iranian people united in resistance. As one Iranian journalist who had been jailed by the Iranian govt reported in the aftermath of the Moscow talks, Iran must increase controls on its own population in the face of US sanctions; when outside pressures are eased, Iran’s government will ease controls on the populace.

  30. Don Bacon says:

    There seems to be a degree of forgetfulness here that THIS IS NOT A NUCLEAR ISSUE and it can’t be resolved by ‘nuclear talks.’ It is and has been an issue of Middle East hegemony. Iran has it and the US wants it.

    And now we have an ascendancy of the US Treasury in the assault, indicating that there is a banking component to this conflict. Some analysts have described banking as a cause of the US attacks on Iraq and Libya. Independence in banking threatens the US dollar, the so-called petro-dollar, and now as Iran moves toward currency-swaps and other anti-dollar measures we’re seeing increased US aggression against Iran banking.

    The (imbalanced) US economy depends upon a strong (petro-)dollar and upon other countries purchasing (increasing) US debt.

    None of this can be settled by talks, can it. Let’s stop pretending that this anything but a cold war between the US and the Islamic Republic, in which Iran will prevail. Let’s stop pretending that this aggression against Iranians, as described above by the Leveretts, is a mere diplomatic difference to be solved by talks.

    So what should we do? First, we need to get real. Forget the nuclear issue, that’s for fools. It’s merely a red herring. We need to dump that discussion. We need instead to focus on the real issues of hegemony and banking, and how we can combine with those with a similar agenda and how we can influence those who don’t understand the real issues here.

    The Leveretts are patriots, leading the way. But they can’t do it alone, nor should they. Let’s get serious. Let’s stay on topic and work toward solutions, finding partners that will help Persians survive against the colossus.

    Or continue the unproductive patter.

  31. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Don’t know if this was posted before. It outlines the fundamental sham of the negotiations on the part of the West.

    West’s Policy of Delay in Nuclear Talks with Iran
    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/West-s-Policy-of-Delay-in-Nuclear-Talks-with-Iran.htm

  32. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran, US, and the MEK
    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-US-and-the-MEK.htm

    Mentions how the MEK group killed Americans in Iran prior to the revolution.

  33. yemi says:

    Don Bacon says:
    October 20, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    @ Richard Steven Hack
    U.S. steps up support of Turkey amid Syrian conflict . .

    Don Bacon,

    That is exactly what he, RSH normally does!

  34. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Another waste of time…

    U.S. Officials Say Iran Has Agreed to Nuclear Talks
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/world/iran-said-ready-to-talk-to-us-about-nuclear-program.html

    These are one-on-one talks, not P5+1.

    Quote

    News of the agreement — a result of intense, secret exchanges between American and Iranian officials that date almost to the beginning of President Obama’s term — comes at a critical moment in the presidential contest, just two weeks before Election Day and the weekend before the final debate, which is to focus on national security and foreign policy.

    It has the potential to help Mr. Obama make the case that he is nearing a diplomatic breakthrough in the decade-long effort by the world’s major powers to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, but it could pose a risk if Iran is seen as using the prospect of the direct talks to buy time.

    End Quote

    Which is why we’re hearing about this now – it’s an election ploy, even though Iran will not participate until after the elections.

    Also:

    “The White House denied that a final agreement had been reached. ‘It’s not true that the United States and Iran have agreed to one-on-one talks or any meeting after the American elections,” Tommy Vietor, a White House spokesman, said Saturday evening. He added, however, that the administration was open to such talks, and has “said from the outset that we would be prepared to meet bilaterally.’”

    It’s an agreement “in principle” – meaning who knows if it will ever happen. It all smells of another Obama ploy.

    And then there’s this:

    Quote

    There is still a chance the initiative could fall through, even if Mr. Obama is re-elected. Iran has a history of using the promise of diplomacy to ease international pressure on it. In this case, American officials said they were uncertain whether Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had signed off on the effort. The American understandings have been reached with senior Iranian officials who report to him, an administration official said.

    Even if the two sides sit down, American officials worry that Iran could prolong the negotiations to try to forestall military action and enable it to complete critical elements of its nuclear program, particularly at underground sites. Some American officials would like to limit the talks to Iran’s nuclear program, one official said, while Iran has indicated that it wants to broaden the agenda to include Syria, Bahrain and other issues that have bedeviled relations between Iran and the United States since the American hostage crisis in 1979.

    “We’ve always seen the nuclear issue as independent,” the administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter. “We’re not going to allow them to draw a linkage.”

    End Quote

    In other words, the odds that such talks would even be able to agree on an agenda is highly doubtful.

    My conclusion: More back-and-forth BS which will go nowhere.

  35. kooshy says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    October 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    PG, good comment thank you where is the link to Marashi’s article?

  36. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Explain what Iran’s trebling of production of 20 percent uranium had to do with Iran’s civilian use of nuclear power, or of making medical isotopes, etc etc etc?.

  37. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Are you arguing that the government of Iran has been clever in causing sanctions to be brought against Iran?

    You are aware, I assume, that not one kilowatt of electrical power has been generated in Iran by means of nuclear fuel produced in Iran.

  38. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    The Israel lobby uses the dispute over Iran’s nuclear programme, to distract attention from its continuing illegal colonisation scheme in the West Bank. The lobby uses the nuclear dispute to benefit arms manufacturers too. Meaning, of course, the tens of thousands of lobbyists, lawyers, analysts etc etc etc who feed off the system.

    You are quite right to think that much of the Israel lobby will promote hostility toward the government of Iran as long as Iran is seen as a threat to Israel’s attempt to keepp much of the West Bank permanently.

  39. Rd. says:

    Let’s not underestimate Iran

    “In Turkey, there is either general applause for Iran or general scorn. The number of those who can assess Iran for what it actually as is is very few, and very ineffective.

    We are forgetting some factors: Iran is a descendant of the Persian Empire. It cannot be defeated easily, it cannot be fooled.

    When you review Iranian foreign policy closely, you will immediately recognize that they are very sharp. They have been twisting the Western world, primarily the U.S., around their little finger for 22 years.

    Just look how they manage their nuclear politics. Is there another country in the world that fine-tunes its foreign policy so well and conducts it with this much success?

    We should not underestimate Iran.

    Of course, this does not mean “succumbing.”

    Let’s not forget, Iran is the country that invented the game of chess.

    This country can be ruled by a dictator as the shah, or it can be ruled by religious leaders; the texture of Iran is different. It is not like Saudi Arabia or Egypt. ”

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/lets-not-underestimate-iran-.aspx?pageID=449&nID=32823&NewsCatID=405

  40. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Reza Morashi is wrong. Iran does not want a neocon warmonger in the White House, or a stooge of neocon warmongers. Iran is aware of the conspiracy to set up war with Iran, that was fostered by Dick Cheney during the second George W. Bush administration. The CIA blocked it. Romeny likely would be as susceptible to duping, as was G W Bush.

  41. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    China and Russia want Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent. This will not change even if a foreign policy moron like Mitt Romney gets into the White House.

  42. James Canning says:

    imho,

    On the last thread you said that the choice of a cheif executive of a corporation is based on who would best promote the interests of the owners of that corporation. This would seem logical, and in fact it is logical, but in fact the choice of a chief exeutive is often based on who would benefit the dealmakers, who profit hugely even if the coporation itself does poorly. Read John Kay’s excellent piece in the Financial Times this past week regarding this phenomenon, if you get a chance.

  43. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Popular opinion in Egypt will not enable or facilitate Egypt or Iran to build nukes. Which is a good thing for both countries.

  44. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Efraim Halevy’s piece in the NYT Feb. 7th supports my contention that Iran’s ill-advised decision to treble production of 20 percent uraanium led directly to civil war in Syria.

  45. Don Bacon says:

    @ Richard Steven Hack
    U.S. steps up support of Turkey amid Syrian conflict . .

    Why link to a US propaganda pitch that the US is doing more against Syria, which is merely intended to bolster Obama’s re-election?
    What’s that got to do with Iran sanctions?

  46. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I very much doubt the CIA would like to see a renewal of the vicious civil war in Lebanon, as you claim. In fact, the CIA warns Obama about the risk Syria could become a larger Lebanon.

    Fanatical “pro-Israel” elements in the US defence community might like to see more chaos if it appears to work in favor of Israel.

  47. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Consider Efraim Halevy’s comment in The New York Times Feb. 7, 2012: “Iran’s foothold in Syria enables the mullahs in Iran to pursue their reckless and violent regional plicies- – and its presence there must be ended.” Halevy appears to be promoting civil war in Syria in order to “protect” Israel.

  48. Fiorangela says:

    Photi says:
    October 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    Either you are crazy or I am crazy (the latter is not implausible).

    I thought Halevy’s remarks were drenched in patronizing arrogance. “Iranians have their eccentricities that we can work around without making any substantial concessions,” sounded to me like, “Toss them a biscuit or two then kill another scientist. Iranians must learn their place, and must be made to understand that we Israelis are in charge.” That is the Iron Wall doctrine redux.
    Halevy stated that Israel has many “tools” to ensure compliance with its will; he hinted that Iran would be economically strangled unless and until it “backed down” to Israel’s demands.

    His claim that “the entire world, west AND east” are opposed to “Iran with military nuclear capability” [and he went out of his way to use just that framing -- military, nuclear, capability] was supported by only the most tenuous of circumstances: that Russia and China are on board with sanctions. First of all, Iran does not seek “military nuclear capability,” it seeks civilian nuclear development, to which it is entitled as an NPT signatory — see Peter Jenkins’ eminently rational discussion. Second, Halevy seems to have an inflated view of Israel’s importance to the world. Third, to the extent Russia and China may support sanctions on Iran, that support was gained only by coercion, and numerous loopholes have been inserted to ensure their participation.

    In “Freedom Betrayed,” Herbert Hoover repeated and emphasized that “the United States does not, or should not, conduct diplomacy by means of coercion.”

    The prophet Mohammed was acclaimed for his ability to mediate. In a fractious world, he was able to bring warring sides together and produce a “win-win.” With all respect, the Prophet and Hoover have this in common: “There is no coercion in Islam” nor is there in genuine diplomacy consistent with American values. “Hammer them on the head while extending an outstretched hand” smacks of the worst form of coercion. Even a child knows that no good outcome can possibly follow from such “persuasion.”

  49. James Canning says:

    I think we should say the ISRAEL LOBBY does not like the government of Iran, and that American stupidity in dealing with Iran, such as blocking Iran’s application to buy replacement nuclear fuel for the TRR, is a product of the power of the Israel lobby.

  50. Persian Gulf says:

    Obviously, NIAC (and Reza Marashi as its director of research) has invested too much on the current administration. it’s just normal to write a propaganda piece for Obama like this one. not that Romney is an angel, but it’s crystal clear that continuing this path is not in Iran’s interest. and war is not an option. at least for the coming 4 year period.

    he writes about neocons as if Obama’s advisers are not in bed with Zionists. in fact, number two in Obama admin is a proud Zionist. the fact of the matter is, contrary to what Marashi claims, a handful of senior officials in Obama admin truly believe the U.S is in the right track and there is no need for an alternative trajectory. this is a single issue clearly outlined over the course of this election.

    It’s just mind boggling. From when an organization that had worked tirelessly to delegitimise Iran’s political system, stood with the U.S officials to proudly announce new sanction bill…has become a champion of Iran’s interest? it is still a fresh memory that when push came to shove, NIAC (Trita Parsi…) abandoned Iran to save their organization. they had an alternative path, that was to stay silent (if not brave enough to say the truth) and not pro-actively undermine Iran’s legitimacy altogether. I thought we are here, partly though, because of what organizations like NIAC did. Iran’s policy makers would be fool to listen to people in places like NIAC.

  51. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Hmm…looks like that Russia Air Defense System that supposedly will not protect Syria just shot down a fully operational cruise missile.

    http://en.ria.ru/mlitary_news/20121020/176766725.html

    “A real cruise missile was launched from a Tu-95MS Bear strategic bomber targeting a building 800 kilometers (500 miles) away.
    The Pantsir-S hit the target with two missiles and prevented the destruction of the defended building,” the Ministry said in a statement.”

    And how many Pantsir S-1s does Syria have? At least 60.

  52. Karl... says:

    This is interesting news.
    A new poll by pro-israeli institute shows egyptians have increasingly positive views of Iran and support nuclear weapons equipped Egypt and Iran states.

    thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/10/19/new_poll_egyptians_turning_toward_iran_want_nuclear_weapons

  53. Richard Steven Hack says:

    U.S. steps up support of Turkey amid Syrian conflict
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2012/10/19/98b4f104-1a1e-11e2-b235-9cd54b35db6f_story.html

    Quotes:

    In recent weeks, military officials from both countries have met to make contingency plans to impose no-fly zones over Syrian territory or seize Syria’s stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, U.S. officials said.

    U.S. intelligence agencies were also the source of a tip that led the Turkish military to intercept and ground a Syrian passenger plane en route from Moscow to Damascus last week on suspicions that it was carrying Russian-made military hardware, according to U.S. officials.

    Behind the scenes, however, the border clashes have changed the strategic calculus and led U.S. military and intelligence officials in particular to collaborate more closely with Turkey.

    End Quotes

  54. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    October 19, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I could be wrong, but i almost sensed some cynicism on Mr. Halevy’s part when he was discussing sanctions on Iran and the need to hammer the Iranians and other coercive measures being used to influence Iranian behavior. His main message was the need to “liaise” with different systems, ensuring dignity between the parties, and the creation of atomospherics conducive to new relationships.

    Halevy twice brought up his 2000 year outlook for the region. Maybe i am crazy, but Halevy sounds like he is speaking from the pro-peace camp and sincerely wishes to see an agreement with Iran. He is also quite rational when he discusses the so-called Iranian “threat.” The “existential threat” has been a ridiculous talking point and he shows it for what it is, an irrational figment of the Israeli imagination.

  55. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 19, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    “Personally I’ve decided to simply believe pretty much everything that Nasrallah says. :-) He’s generally been correct.”

    Really, so you accept that Hezbollah has missiles that can target every part of Israel and that it will conduct offensive operations inside Israel in the case of further Israeli aggression. Good to know.

  56. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    October 19, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    So you just linked to an article that disproves your own assertion. That article is an admission that Turkey got scared by the prospect of a real war with Syria and decided to back down and admit it violated international law by stopping the plane. I strongly suspect that Russia had a serious discussion with Turkey about what would happen to Russian oil and gas exports to Turkey if it engages in a full scale attack against Syria.

  57. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Don’t know if this was posted here before.

    No panic in Iran despite currency collapse, international sanctions
    http://www.capebretonpost.com/Opinion/Columns/2012-10-15/article-3099046/No-panic-in-Iran-despite-currency-collapse-international-sanctions/1

  58. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Background on one particular piece of media nonsense about Iran…

    “You are mistaken” if you believe the media about Iran’s nuclear program
    http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2012/10/oliver_kamm_mistaken_media_iran_nuclear.html

  59. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Some of the more interesting reports from Syria come from Franklin Lamb at Counterpunch. He’s actually in Syria.

    Damascus Street Notes
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/10/19/damascus-street-notes/

  60. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Interesting, but draws no real conclusions. An “abstract thought exercise” not really defining the critical elements of INTENT. In that respect, similar to a lot of (poor) thinking here…

    Personally I think the “pundits” are going to be surprised by how little “dilemma” there is.

    NATO dilemma: Turkey and Article 5
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NJ20Ak01.html

  61. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    October 19, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    So basically acknowledging that he was the one who actually planned the assassination and that the Zionist stooges in the commission ignored it because it interfered with their plans to frame first Syrian and than Hezbollah for the crime.

  62. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Guess who…

    Israel lobby groups press sat providers to ban Iran channels: Report
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/19/267571/sat-providers-pressed-to-ban-iran-channels/

  63. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Provocations continue…

    Turkey Shells Syria Again in Retaliationhttp://www.turkishweekly.net/news/143999/turkey-shells-syria-again-in-retalitation.html

  64. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey “Admits” Russian Air Cargo Legal
    http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/143993/turkey-admits-russian-air-cargo-legal-.html

    Duh… Of course the damage is done PR-wise…which was the point of the exercise.

  65. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Castellio: “It’s hard to get clear info out of Lebanon.”

    Personally I’ve decided to simply believe pretty much everything that Nasrallah says. :-) He’s generally been correct.

    I think this quote from the article you link to pretty much explains everything:

    “The newly-formed security apparatus was largely trained and supplied by US and pro-US Arab intelligence services, including Saudi Arabia.”

    In short, it’s a CIA/Saudi Intelligence front.

    OTOH, the article says the branch broke up Israeli spy rings. That seems odd if it’s a CIA front. OTOH it would make sense if it were mostly a Saudi front.

    What makes no sense is the notion that Assad is trying to foment civil disorder in Lebanon. I don’t see any benefit to him in doing so. The notion that it would serve as a “diversion” is just lame.

    What makes more sense is the notion that the CIA, Saudi Arabia, and especially Israel would like to see Lebanon back into a civil war to aid in justifying an attack on Lebanon and to aid in justifying an attack on Syria by blaming Syria for the Lebanese problems.

  66. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    I think from the US perspective the Obama administration did a good job of handling relations with Russia and managed to adopt wide ranging sanctions against Iran with international consensus.

    Please read the article below in the National Interest. I think the author of the article is wrong and in fact Tehran has rightly judged that there is no fundamental difference between Obama and Romney. But, Romney if he follows through on his electoral rhetoric would end up alienating China and Russia which will give Iran some breathing room.

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/why-tehran-wants-neocon-7616

  67. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BibiJon: Re Flame…

    I don’t think there’s any evidence of DoS capability in Flame. It was an intelligence-gathering tool focused on Iran and I think Lebanon. I suppose it’s possible that it could be used to download a DoS utility as a payload and turn the infected machines into a bot-net to conduct a DoS attack, but that would quickly expose it to detection.

    So far there is ZERO evidence that proves either that the earlier bank attacks were either from within Iran or had any involvement with the Iranian government.

    Incidentally, the latest bank attack HSBC has been claimed by the Anonymous hacker group, not the alleged “Muslim hackers” supposedly involved in the earlier attacks.

  68. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Yemi/Neo: “am coming to the conclusion..that their Real position is this:”

    And when THEY say that, I’ll listen (and probably disagree)…

    They haven’t made their position clear – although note in the above that Hillary says: “That is exactly what happened with Iraq, and this is, unfortunately, the road we’re on with Iran.”

    Well, that sounds to me like she expects the current “road” to lead to war… It’s also exactly what I’ve been saying – that the historical fact of Iraq leads to the likelihood of war with Iran – absent a FUNDAMENTAL change in US Middle East Policy – which I don’t see any actual EVIDENCE of in the statements and actions of the US leadership, but which a number of people here EXTRAPOLATE from what THEY regard as important circumstances (usually based on whatever happened in the past week…)

    Sorry. I stand by my position.

  69. Castellio says:

    It’s hard to get clear info out of Lebanon. This is one site that seems to be trying.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/who-was-wissam-al-hassan

    “Al-Hassan said he was studying for an exam at the Lebanese University on the day of Hariri’s assassination, and therefore excused himself from tending to his bodyguard duties. Phone records showed that al-Hassan made 24 calls in the morning of the assassination, though he claimed he was studying.

    The UN’s commission’s management decided not to proceed with investigations for fear of damaging relations with the ISF.”

  70. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Obama damaged his “reset” of relations with Russia by not spiking the idiotic “missile Defence” scheme.

    But Romney would be dangerous in the White House, given his total lack of understanding of Russia and its role in international relations.

  71. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    How pathetic that Al Jazeera Engish is available in only s few TV markets in the US.
    We can thank the ISRAEL LOBBY.

  72. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Iran has indicated in years gone by that it will accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders if the Palestinians accept that result.

    It is a bad idea to promote the Likudist propaganda that Iran must be hammered in order to coerce its acceptance of Israel.

  73. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    The purpose of the illegal US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was not to gain control of Iraq’s oil. This idiotic notion was simply one of the deceptive selling points used by neocon warmongers to manipulate Geoge W. Bush.

  74. fyi says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    October 19, 2012 at 4:00 am

    The critical goal for Iran is the achievement of increased labor productivity. As it is, they are spending their money raising a lazy population used to government hand-outs.

    It is called Islamic Economics – subsidize the lazy and the incompetent now while robbing the future generations from much needed investment.

  75. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times has a very good report from the West Bank today, by Tobias Buck, regarding the delusions of many illegal Jewish colonists that they can remain in Israel by forcing a change in borders.

  76. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 19, 2012 at 3:22 am – From Previous Thread

    Turkey is economically dependent on financial assistance from EU states for decades.

    Yes, Russian Empire/Red Tsar are no longer there to threaten Turkey.

    But you do not understand how much Turkish leaders are mentally and intellectually and emotionally dependent on being partners of the West.

    If they take the same independent path that Iran took after the Iranian Revolution of 1979, it would mean that they – the Turks – have been marching in the wrong direction for the last 100 years.

    Of course, that is an exaggeration but they are very uncomfortable discarding all their mental and strategic pillars.

    Being member of NATO is a cheap way for them to have a say in Europe.

    The independent path – however costly – that Iran has taken has been a direct response to the desires of the Iranian people – across the class and political spectrum.

    I do not think something like that obtains among Turks.

  77. BiBiJon says:

    MARGARET WARNER: And you didn’t mention Iran [my journalistic life is not worth living if we don't implicate Iran every which way we can]
    =======================================

    MICHAEL LEITER: I didn’t mention Iran, and I should have. So thank you.

    The CEO of PNC Bank, one of those banks that was attacked over the past couple of weeks, blamed hackers in Iran for this most recent attack. And it’s been widely, widely reported that the attacks did emanate from Iran. Whether the government was involved, it’s hard to know.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/science/july-dec12/cyber_10-18.html

    —————

    From wikipedia

    Flame,[a] also known as Flamer, sKyWIper,[b] and Skywiper,[2] is modular computer malware discovered in 2012[3][4] that attacks computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system.[5] The program is being used for targeted cyber espionage in Middle Eastern countries.[1][5][6]

    Its discovery was announced on 28 May 2012 by MAHER Center of Iranian National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT),[5] Kaspersky Lab[6] and CrySyS Lab of the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.[1] The last of these stated in its report that it “is certainly the most sophisticated malware we encountered during our practice; arguably, it is the most complex malware ever found.”[1]

    Flame can spread to other systems over a local network (LAN) or via USB stick. It can record audio, screenshots, keyboard activity and network traffic.[6] The program also records Skype conversations and can turn infected computers into Bluetooth beacons which attempt to download contact information from nearby Bluetooth-enabled devices.[7] This data, along with locally stored documents, is sent on to one of several command and control servers that are scattered around the world. The program then awaits further instructions from these servers.[6]

    ——————–

    Could “further instructions” have been to start a ‘Denial of Service Attack’ on PNC Bank? Just asking, Maggy.

  78. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    For those that think war with Iran is an option, here is a tool/game to try your strategy. See how you’d do…
    http://tellmehowthisends.com/

  79. yemi says:

    Neo says: October 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

    May be RSH should learn from this…

  80. BiBiJon says:

    India Journalist Accused in Israeli Bombing Gets Bail
    ===================================================

    India’s top court has granted bail to a journalist arrested in an attack on the car of an Israeli diplomat earlier this year. . . Syed Mohammad Kazmi is the only person arrested in connection with the February bomb attack in New Delhi.

    From http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2012/10/19/india-journalist-accused-in-israeli-bombing-gets-bail/

    If you want to know how strong the case (frame) was against the poor soul check this:
    http://niqnaq.wordpress.com/2012/08/31/gareth-porter-delhi-bomb-fraud-pt-2/

    Hey but Arbabsiar has plead guilty, so I guess the ‘deep state’ has one in the bag. My only gripe is about the reputation of used-car salesmen descending to the level of journalists. We do have lemon laws protecting us from used-car salesmen. No such law to protect us from Margret Warner if the “lemon” winds up being a multitrillion dollar carnage.

    I think I understand US journalists’ malady. The general public has little respect for journalists. http://www.people-press.org/2009/09/13/press-accuracy-rating-hits-two-decade-low/

    If only lobbyist and their paid-for politicians have time of day for you, wouldn’t you find yourself promoting their interests at the expense of commonsense, common decency, and dare I say, professionalism?

  81. Neo says:

    Hillary was superb in this debate. I’ve been trying to read between the lines of the Leverett’s views on the likelihood of an American attack against Iran for some time, and am coming to the conclusion – especially at this critical juncture – that their Real position (leaving aside the obvious moral case for peaceful relations among nations) is this:

    USA deals with the rest of the world almost purely in raw power terms, but this is an increasingly untenable position for a fading power in a changing world. While the formula ‘crippling sanctions followed by a military attack’ may have worked in effecting a regime change in Iraq, this in fact resulted in a strategic failure, as Iraq was handed to Iran on a plate while the US couldn’t even get a SOFA out of a trillion spent in Iraq, let alone usurping its oil, as was intended but failed to materialise for the simple fact that Iraqis simply and justifiably hate the Americans. Similarly, overwhelming military superiority failed the US in Afghanistan (and Vietnam). In the case of Iran, however, there is no overwhelming military superiority at the same time as Iran possesses enormous soft power (that Iraqi and Afghani foes didn’t). It is therefore militarily impractical to attack Iran, and in terms of the political ramifications, it would be simply stupid to attack Iran.

    So the Leveretts are really trying to save USA from nuking itself in the foot.

  82. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Yet another sanctions fail…

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/10/17/267246/pharmaceutical-production-sanctions-pellets/

    Key points in the report: Iran already manufactures more than 97% of the drugs it uses, and exports drugs to more than 30 countries.

  83. Fiorangela says:

    Hillary Clinton spoke at length about the massive effort to cut off Iranian oil exports in order to create “extreme hardship” for the Iranian people, while attempting to manage the collateral damage to the rest of the world, including the people of the United States, who must pay more for fuel and by extension, for food and every other good and service.

    http://www.c-span.org/Events/Secretary-Clinton-Discusses-Energy-Diplomacy/10737435098/

  84. Fiorangela says:

    Ephraim Halevy at Woodrow Wilson center Oct 18 2012.
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/308901-1

    In a nutshell, Halevy imposes the Iron Wall doctrine on Iran until Iran comes to its senses and “recognizes the existence of Israel.”
    Halevy believes a military attack should be used “only as a last resort.” Quoting Sun Tzu, the former Israeli intelligence chief said there are many ways short of military attack to win a war — sanctions, diplomatic isolation, etc., in other words, war by other means: when the Allies blockaded Germany 1914-1919, it was in the context of war and considered by the blockading force to be not only an act of war, but possibly an offense against international norms and rules of war then in place. The difference between that situation in which the British intended to and did starve German civilians, killing 800,000, in WWI, and the economic sanctions intended to economically cripple Iran and starve its people, is that in the former a genuine casus belli existed, a state of war had been formally declared, and both sides were militarily engaged. None of these conditions apply to the situation between Iran and the US-Israel cohort.

  85. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Oh, and yes, Hillary did a great job as usual…

    Unfortunately it was on Al Jazeera. I just looked at that network’s coverage in the US:

    “Al Jazeera English, as of early 2011, was still only available in a few markets — Washington, D.C.; Toledo, Ohio; and Burlington, Vt. – or about 2% of American households. In April, Rhode Island cable provider Full Channel TV announced it too would carry AJE.”

    And just because it’s in 2% of the markets it doesn’t mean that it’s seen by EVEN 2% of the US population… My guess is the figure is more like .001%…

    The Muslim population in the US is slightly over 2%…but how many of them are in the 2% of the markets AJE is in? And it’s not Muslims the antiwar crowd needs to reach.

    The Leveretts HAVE to get out of the “sandbox” and start getting interviewed by mainstream US media. They have the “Very Serious People” credentials. Maybe they need someone with greater “Very Serious People” credentials who agrees with them to start “running interference” for them with the MSM.

  86. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Dan Cooper: Re “Tell Me Lies”

    And the amusing thing is now the EU is saying they never ordered dropping the satellite links and that it was the company’s decision alone!

    Apparently the EU is no more organized than the US government in terms of the sanctions (with reference to the point that US exports to Iran have grown as noted in the video.)

  87. Richard Steven Hack says:

    I note that Sadeq Zibakalam in the video also pointed out that even if Iran HAD a couple nuclear weapons, they would be basically worthless against Israel’s arsenal, let alone the US arsenal.

    This is a point that is too little emphasized by antiwar activists: Iran absolutely has no effective strategic or tactical use for nuclear weapons (except in the one case of providing a deterrent against attack by a SIMILARLY-EQUIPPED state, i.e., Iraq in the time of Saddam) – and hence obviously has no desire for them. There may be some people in the Iranian leadership who don’t understand that as well, but it is clear that both the Supreme Leader and Ahmadinejad (who has repeated this point at least twice publicly) understand it.

    But you almost never hear this point mentioned by anyone even in the pro-Iran camp. Instead you hear this constant refrain in the antiwar camp that if Iran is attacked it will then withdraw from the NPT and begin building nukes. And I continue to insist it will not because 1) it doesn’t need them and can’t use them, and 2) if attacked, it will not be able to build them at least until the war is over and Iran has reconstructed its damaged infrastructure – at which point the nukes will again be useless.

  88. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi:

    let’s see Turkey from the perspectives of her current leaders. why isn’t it in Turkey’s interest to change the regime in Syria when Morsi attended an inter party gathering in Turkey? and this stupid man just stopped 4 hours in Tehran, more than 80% of which was perhaps spent in airport and inside the conference room giving speech. obviously Arab leaders of all classes are moron. a Brotherhood party in power in Syria that is friendly with Turkey will just complete the belt from north west of Africa to the heart of the middle east. Turkey probably sees it as a new crescent for itself. what is the danger toward Turkey in this? Kurds are, and have been, different story not necessarily related to what Turkey thinks of the Arab world. the only danger to Turkey, I believe, would be the stupidity of Arab leaders. you cannot bank on retarded minded people (with all due respect to Arabs, nothing will come out of that Arab world even if you wait 1000 years! Their tumultuous history has just made any positive outcome impossible).

    Nasser:

    You just make me sick.

  89. Richard Steven Hack says:

    OTOH, re previous on oil-spill plan… Iran hasn’t denied the “giant flying robot” plan…. (Anyone seen the movie “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”?)

  90. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Scary Iran Plotter Pleads Guilty
    :http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/10/17/scary-iran-plotter-pleads-guilty/

    FBI’s Shrink-for-Hire Undermines Their Case While Trying to Rebut Manic Defense
    :http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/10/06/fbis-shrink-for-hire-undermines-their-case-while-trying-to-rebut-manic-defense/

    The problem now is that this nutcase has plead guilty. You can imagine how the media is going to spin up the anti-Iran propaganda based on that and continue to refer to the “plot” as a “fact” in later news reports.

  91. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    October 18, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    During 1980s, very many Iranian Baluch young men went to fight in Afhanistan.

    They were fools of course but like very many young men everywhere they liked the excitment of war.

    Sort of like this Canadian fellow who enlisted in US Army and spent sveral years in Iraq as a sharp-shooter; a mad man, no doubt.

  92. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Breaking: Albright Discovers That After Covering Buildings at Parchin With Pink Tarps, Iranians Now Removing Tarps!
    http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/10/18/breaking-albright-discovers-that-after-covering-buildings-at-parchin-with-pink-tarps-iranians-now-removing-tarps/

    Once again David Albright is exposed as an idiot.

  93. Nasser says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/21/magazine/the-corner-where-afghanistan-iran-and-pakistan-meet.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=global-home

    The anti Iran bias is too much. Revolutionary guards using Baluch teenagers to launch suicide attacks. Seriously? And there wasn’t much mention of Pakistan. Iran really isn’t too well liked in Afghanistan.

  94. Nasser says:

    This is unrelated to the title of the post. But this is funny: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/19/opinion/putins-new-fortress-russia.html?ref=global-home

    Managing relations with Russia has been one aspect of foreign policy Obama did right. Now some like Mitt Romney are calling for an end to “reset.” If they are indeed stupid enough to seriously alienate Russia, Russia might feel compelled to provide more substantive assistance to Iran to get back at US.

  95. Don Bacon says:

    The United Nations, chartered to promote international peace and security, to develop friendly relations, to achieve international co-operation and to harmonize the actions of nations has instead been used by the major powers who first chartered it to promote conflict and insecurity against their appointed enemies. The UN is now merely an imperialist tool and is not a conciliation organization. Specifically the UN Secretary-General and the chief UN nuclear inspector are enthusiastic de facto employees of the largest source of funds of the United Nation, the USA.

    This wrongful, illegal activity by the United Nations has been mostly directed against Iran, resulting in economic aggression against a country which, unlike the countries sponsoring it, has been in complete compliance with the UN Charter.

    UN Charter:
    The Purposes of the United Nations are:

    To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;
    To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
    To achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and
    To be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends.

  96. Photi says:

    Good job Hillary. The logic and seriousness of your position was communicated well.

  97. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    October 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    James,

    What is the Israel lobby’s position regarding Iran’s nuclear program?

    Is the Israel lobby’s problem with the Iranian nuclear program, or is their problem a strong, efficient and independent Iran?

    If this is the case, that the lobby’s problem with Iran is their national strength and independence, then in reality the problem with the lobby is that Iran is a threat to Israeli impunity. Iran’s nuclear program is only the most visible and controversial symbol of that strength and independence and so this is where the lobby has focused.

    My view is that Iran’s strength and independence is a threat to Israeli impunity regardless of a nuclear program, and so in the absence of a nuclear program on Iran’s part, the Israel lobby will still have a problem with Iran because Iran will still be strong and independent and therefore a deterrent against Israeli impunity.

    Looks to me the real issue is Israeli impunity.

  98. Karl... says:

    Leverett’s is spot on. Today we heard this from Israel:

    Peres: World leaders must encourage Iranians to revolt
    i4u.com/2012/10/shimon-peres/peres-world-revolt-iranians-encourage-leaders-must

    Could those here who are still stuck in their mindset that the sanctions or pressure on Iran is about the nuclear issue but Iran itself finally stop using their incorrent assessment and recognize that sanctions is imposed to create regime change?

  99. Castellio says:

    Somewhat off topic, I apologize, but this confrontation continues to grow. The roots of it aren’t simply in Palestine, but are also rooted in the fact that many Americans don’t want to enter into hot a war with Iran.

    Israel Lobby Threatens Church Groups With Congressional Investigation Over Call for Restricting U.S. Military Aid.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/2012/10/18/israel-lobby-threatens-church-groups-with-congressional-investigation-over-foreign-aid-initiative/