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The Race for Iran

HOW MUCH WILL AMERICA’S ANIMUS AGAINST IRAN DISTORT U.S. POLICY TOWARD SYRIA?

 

Across most of the American political spectrum, policy elites are urging that the United States double down on the Obama administration’s failing Syria policy.  America’s reliably pro-intervention senatorial trio (Lindsay Graham, Joseph Lieberman, and John McCain) recently argued that the “risks of inaction in Syria,” see here, now outweigh the downsides of American military involvement.  Last week, the Washington Post  prominently featured a piece by Ken Pollack, see here, asserting that negotiated settlements “rarely succeed in ending a civil war” like that in Syria—even though that it precisely what ended the civil war in Lebanon, right next door to Syria.  From this faulty premise, Pollack argues that the only way to end a civil war like that in Syria is through military intervention.  (After his scandalously wrong case for the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, we wonder why the Washington Post or anyone else would give Pollack a platform for disseminating his views on virtually any Middle Eastern topic—but especially not for a piece dealing with the advisability of another U.S. military intervention in the region.  In this regard, we note that the bio line at the end of Ken’s op ed makes no mention of his book that made the case for the U.S. invading Iraq, The Threatening Storm, describing him instead as “the author of A Path Out of the Desert:  A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East.) 

A more chilling—and, in some ways, more candid—indicator of the direction in which the debate over American policy toward Syria is heading was provided last week in Foreign Policy by Robert Haddick (managing editor of the hawkish blog, Small War Journal), see here.  Remarkably, Haddick argues that,

“rather than attempting to influence the course of Syria’s civil war, something largely beyond Washington’s control, U.S. policymakers should instead focus on strengthening America’s diplomatic position and on building irregular warfare capabilities that will be crucial in future conflicts in the region.  Modest and carefully circumscribed intervention in Syria, in coordination with America’s Sunni allies who are already players in the war, will bolster critical relationships and irregular warfare capabilities the United States and its allies will need for the future.” 

And why is bolstering these relationships and capabilities so critical?  Because, as Haddick writes,

“The conflict in Syria is just one front in the ongoing competition between Iran and America’s Sunni allies on the west side of the Persian Gulf…The Sunni countries have a strong interest in stepping up their irregular warfare capabilities if they are to keep pace with Iran during the ongoing security competition.  The civil war in Syria provides an opportunity for the United States and its Sunni allies to do just that…U.S. and GCC intelligence officers and special forces could use an unconventional warfare campaign in Syria as an opportunity to exchange skills and training, share resources, improve trust, and establish combined operational procedures.  Such field experience would be highly useful in future contingencies.  Equally important, it would reassure the Sunni countries that the United States will be a reliable ally against Iran.” 

Foreign Policy has become arguably the leading online venue for topical discussion of key issues on America’s international agenda.  And it is giving its platform to an argument that Washington should leverage the “opportunity” provided by the civil war in Syria to help its regional allies get better at killing Shi’a.  And Washington should do this for the goal of prevailing in “the ongoing security competition” between the Islamic Republic and the United States (along with America’s “Sunni allies). 

Such trends in the American policy debate show an appalling incapacity to learn either from either current experience or history.  And these trends are, in fact, influencing actual policy.  Late last week, during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Turkey, Ankara and Washington agreed that “a unified task force with intelligence, military and political leaders from both countries would be formed immediately to track Syria’s present and plan for its future,” see here.  After meeting with her Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoğlu, Secretary Clinton said that the United States and Turkey are discussing various options for supporting opposition forces working to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad, including the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over rebel-held territory in Syria, see here

In the wake of Clinton’s remarks, Flynt appeared on CCTV’s World Insight weekly newsmagazine to discuss the internal and international dimensions of the Syrian conflict, see here.  Flynt and both of the other guests on the segment—Jia Xiudong from the China Institute of International Studies and our colleague Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran—agreed, contra Pollack, that the only way to resolve what has become a civil war in Syria is through an inclusive political process. 

Getting to the heart of the matter, Flynt pointed out that “the United States and its regional partners are trying to use Syria to shift the balance of power in the Middle East in ways that they think will be bad for Iran.”  This strategy is “ultimately doomed to fail”—but, as long as Washington and others are pursuing it, “the international community is going to be challenged to find ways to keep the violence from getting worse and try to get a political process started.”  Flynt also observed that China and other players in the international community have historical grounds for concern about the imposition of a no-fly zone in Syria to create so-called “humanitarian safe havens” could lead to:  since the end of the Cold War, every time that the United States has imposed humanitarian safe havens—in Somalia, Bosnia, Iraq, and most recently in Libya—this has ultimately resulted in a heavily militarized intervention by the United States and its partners in pursuit of coercive regime change. 

In part, American elites persist in their current course regarding Syria because they continue to persuade themselves that, in the “security competition” between America and Iran, the United States is winning and the Islamic Republic is losing.  At roughly the same time that Pollack and Haddick were holding forth last week, the New York Times offered an Op Ed by Harvey Morris purporting to explain Iran’s “paranoia” over Syria’s civil war by describing “What Syria Looks Like from Tehran,” see here.  Morris claims that

“the impact of regime change in the Arab World has in fact been largely negative from Tehran’s perspective.  The Muslim Brotherhood leadership in Egypt is closer to Saudi Arabia than it is to Iran.  If the Alawite-dominated regime in Damascus were to fall, it would mean the loss of a non-Sunni ally.”

Our analysis—of both of Tehran’s perspective on and the reality of how the Arab Spring is affecting the regional balance of power—is diametrically opposite to Morris’s.  For an actual (and genuinely informed) Iranian view, we note that Al Jazeera devoted last week’s episode of its Inside Syria series to the topic, “Can Iran Help End the Syrian Crisis?,” see here.  Once again, our colleague from the University of Tehran, Seyed Mohammad Marandi, gave a clear and concise exposition of Iranian views on the imperatives of and requirements for serious mediation of the struggle in (and over) Syria.              

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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73 Responses to “HOW MUCH WILL AMERICA’S ANIMUS AGAINST IRAN DISTORT U.S. POLICY TOWARD SYRIA?”

  1. Photi says:

    *i still think it was an orchestrated “leak” though (by Barak and Netanyahu themselves).

  2. Photi says:

    re: the Richard Silverstein document link, he has this (and more) to say at his blog:

    “Because I care about whether Israel attacks Iran, I published this document. My mission is focused on preventing a disastrous war. One way of doing this was to publish this document. If it has raised a debate inside Israel and in the international media on the issues, all to the good.”

    I would just like to say that i have never read anything at Silverstein’s blog that would suggest anything other than what he says above. He is openly a Zionist but understands the Palestine/Israel issue is a civil rights issue at heart (at least that is how i interpret him). I do not recall ever feeling deceived after reading his news.

  3. Lysander says:

    Richard,

    “The whole operation will be over in 6-8 weeks or the Israelis will pull back.”

    6-8 weeks is an awfully long time for a large scale mobilization. The only large scale operation ever mounted that was anywhere near that long was 1982, and the Israelis are still regretting it. If the Israelis think it could take that long, and with no guarantee of success at the end, they wont do it.

    “so at most 30-50,000 men and approximately 900 tanks.”

    30,000 is what they used in ’06. I think it unlikely they will mount a large scale invasion of Lebanon and not just a border skirmish AND go through Syria at the same time with basically the same amount of troops that **LOST** against a much weaker HA 6 years ago.

    “This will be a “blitzkreig” “pincer” attack with Israel’s full capability.”

    Blitzkrieg attacks are meant to separate and cut off conventional military formations and then to seize a political objective such as a nation’s capitol. When there is no such objective and you are fighting against a guerrilla force, you are just exposing your supply lines to punishment.

    “While it probably will NOT “destroy” Hizballah, it can conceivably force Hizballah to abandon Southern Lebanon to a significant degree and significantly degrade its ability to launch long-range missiles from there – which is really the only significant Israeli goal for this attack.”

    Fine, but all that means is that HA will DEFINITELY fire all those missiles now instead of MAYBE firing them later during an Iran attack. Israel would in effect be saving HA the political trouble of making a difficult decision. HA would be under tremendous domestic pressure NOT to join Iran in any war. But it would be under no pressure whatsoever to not respond to an Israeli attack on Lebanon.

    “Not really. The supply lines are relatively short – a matter of a few score miles. It’s not like the Kuwait to Baghdad run…or Pakistan to Afghanistan. And Israel can commit plenty of forces to guarding a short line if they call up their reserves – which they will.”

    They’ve tried that before. They invaded Lebanon, installed a puppet government and found the occupation of central Lebanon untenable and fairly quickly withdrew to their “security zone.” This was before HA even really existed, when it had to be invented from scratch while under occupation. It can only be worse this time. The logistic challenge is big. True, not as big as Kuwait to Baghdad, but Israel doesn’t have anything like the transport and logistics capabilities of the US military. No one does.

    “They’re not going to Beirut.”

    But what if a lot of the missiles are there? A lot of the longer range similes that are likely in HA’s arsenal can hit south of Tel Aviv from north of Beirut.

    “I don’t know what the transportation infrastructure is like near the Bekaa Valley, but regardless, Hizballah will be against a full armored division of 350 tanks or more plus support troops. The real fighting will be in the villages of the Valley itself. That is where the Israeli offensive might be bogged down and beaten.”

    The highway runs through the Bekaa. If the Israelis are sending that many tanks, they need roads. And they’ll need a supply line through Syria, which they will also have to defend. It will be very hostile territory, even after NATO bombardment.

    The key fact to remember is that this has been done before. 2006 was not the first time but the 3rd. The **EXACT** same thing happened in 1993 and again in 1996. Israel gets made because a few of its soldiers are ambushed. They start bombarding civilians. HA responds with a rocket barrage. Israel vows to end the barrage. After a few weeks of NOT ending it, they ask the US to negotiate a ceasefire. The only thing different is the scale.

    Now, just because it happened the same way every time in the past, doesn’t mean it will happen the same way in the future, but still you have to notice the pattern.

  4. Lysander: “RSH, the problem the Israelis have, should they try to implement that plan, is that they can’t tolerate a large mobilization for a long time.”

    The whole operation will be over in 6-8 weeks or the Israelis will pull back. And they probably CAN do it in that time frame if they really commit their forces rather than haphazardly relying on air power as they did in 2006. They won’t repeat that mistake.

    “What you’re describing is a force of 100-150k troops.”

    No. Three armored divisions – one to engage any Syrian forces, one to hit Southern Lebanon, one to hit the Bekaa Valley. Plus massive air support. And possibly air support from the US and NATO as well…

    A division usually has from 10,000 to 30,000 men, and although I can’t find any numbers on Israeli armored divisions, my guess would be the low end, so at most 30-50,000 men and approximately 900 tanks.

    “And they also have to keep a substantial force on the borders with Egypt and Jordan.”

    Not really. Neither country is a real threat and we can expect Israel to pull up quite a few reserve divisions to handle border security elsewhere. Really, no one is going to engage Israel in a conventional military attack given Israel’s nuclear capability.

    “The point being, is if the Israelis don’t win quickly, they have to withdraw.”

    Yes – but unless Hizballah has strong enough defensive positions – which again, guerrilla groups tend not to rely on – Israel is going to commit significant forces to this attack. They can’t afford to fail this time as in 2006. This will be a “blitzkreig” “pincer” attack with Israel’s full capability. While it probably will NOT “destroy” Hizballah, it can conceivably force Hizballah to abandon Southern Lebanon to a significant degree and significantly degrade its ability to launch long-range missiles from there – which is really the only significant Israeli goal for this attack.

    “They can’t afford to spend months rooting out HA guerrillas.”

    They won’t. As I said, all they want to do is push Hizballah further north and seize and hold enough of Southern Lebanon to prevent Hizballah re-infiltration of its missile arsenal into Southern Lebanon. They only need to hold this territory long enough to get the US involved in the Iran war and for the US to take out most of Iran’s missiles.

    And if the US/NATO/Turkey attack Syria, Syria’s military and missile capability will be degraded as well.

    Then Israel can deal with what is left of Hizballah’s missile arsenal, much of which is likely to be captured during the initial attack.

    “This time, they may decide NOT to defend every inch at the border.”

    They won’t be able to, against a solid Israeli “scorched earth” invasion with full armor support. They will have to move north into the Bekaa Valley, where they will be met with yet another Israeli armored division.

    “Their task would be to fire lots of the simple Katyusha’s into northern Israel”

    Israel doesn’t care that much about the short-range Katyusha’s. They can only hit northern Israel which is a lot of Arab villages Israeli doesn’t care about. It’s the long-range stuff that can hit the major Israel cities that matter.

    “while ambushing supply lines. Which will be a target rich environment for them since a 150k man army requires lots of supplies.”

    Sure, but that won’t stop this sort of invasion in the short term. And Israel only care about the short term, i.e., six months to a year, long enough to get the Iran war started.

    “The Israelis would have to devote lots of troops to defend supply lines, which could become a war within a war.”

    Not really. The supply lines are relatively short – a matter of a few score miles. It’s not like the Kuwait to Baghdad run…or Pakistan to Afghanistan. And Israel can commit plenty of forces to guarding a short line if they call up their reserves – which they will.

    “And if they swing around to the Bekka through a post NATO Syria, it’s more like 200-250k troops.”

    Not if Syrian troops are being pinned down by US/NATO/Turkey/Israel air strikes. Remember, this all takes place under the cover of the attack on Syria.

    “They would have to pass a fair distance through the densely populated Damascus suburban area and risk guerrilla attacks by both pro and anti government Syrians.”

    Not if US, NATO, Turkey and Israeli air cover is available. Again, one armored division’s sole purpose will be to cover the Bekaa Valley division’s flank from exactly that eventuality.

    “Then seize the Beirut Damascus highway and hope that HA hasn’t prepared for that eventuality as well.”

    They’re not going to Beirut. I don’t know what the transportation infrastructure is like near the Bekaa Valley, but regardless, Hizballah will be against a full armored division of 350 tanks or more plus support troops. The real fighting will be in the villages of the Valley itself. That is where the Israeli offensive might be bogged down and beaten.

    “It sounds a lot easier just to attack Iran and absorb the missiles that come their way, bomb Lebanon from the air and await the inevitable ceasefire.”

    And Netanyahu might well do that, I agree. However, as I say, it’s a risk for the Israeli leadership if the Israeli population sits in bunkers most of every day – 45,000 Hizballah missiles is a LOT of missiles that can be fired hundreds a day for months – with the resulting damage to the economy and irritation of the population which might result in the Israeli government collapsing in the next election.

    “And while Israeli commanders can’t be sure that HA wont fire their missiles at them during an attack on Iran, they can be absolutely certain HA WILL fire if Israel attacks HA.”

    True – which is why the attack will be committed to pushing through into Southern Lebanon as fast as possible – “scorched earth” sufficient to drive Hizballah and the rest of Lebanese out of the area as fast as possible in order to minimize the amount of time Hizballah has to fire missiles during the offensive.

    In any event, with the US taking out Syria’s missiles, and Israel damaging at least some of Hizballah’s arsenal, the situation during the Iran war will be much easier for Israel.

    It’s not so much the “strategic expense” of the war – it’s the POLITICAL expense of starting a war with Iran WITHOUT taking out Syria and Hizballah first.

    We’ll see in the next 3 months. Or we’ll see Israel attack Iran in that same time period, quite likely.

    And rumor from an Israeli TV show says today that Obama will in the next month or so tell Netanyahu that the US WILL attack Iran by summer 2013 if Iran has not capitulated by then. Whether that’s true or not is irrelevant – it puts even more pressure on Netanyahu and Obama to take more steps to make the threats credible.

  5. Re Bibi’S Secret War Plan:”:

    “A barrage of hundreds of cruise missiles…”

    Israel doesn’t HAVE “hundreds of cruise missiles” since they only have three subs…unless they’re suggesting they will be fired from Israel directly OR from at least a hundred Israeli aircraft within 250km of Iran.

    See here:
    Delilah (missile) Wikipedia Entry
    :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delilah_%28missile%29

    They also have the Popeye Turbo which is the only one with the range to hit Iran from Israel – however, it’s unlikely they have “hundreds” of these they would be willing to expend in a first strike:

    Popeye Turbo
    :http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/world/israel/popeye-t.htm

    More here from the BBC:

    Leaked Israel memo: propaganda or Iran war plan?
    :http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19272737

    Bottom line: I don’t buy the document as legit, not least of which is the claim that Israel can essentially paralyze all of Iran’s communications and other systems – short of a nuclear EMP strike. I agree with Silverstein that this is more a “sales document” than a real strategic plan.

  6. Photi says:

    No one in power in Israel believes Israel is capable of directly confronting Iran, they know their effort will only be instrumental to the real effort against Iran supplied by American blood and treasure.

    Israel’s calculation,

    B i b i ‘ s

    calculation, is to get this war started, because the minute it starts, their tail can safely go between their legs as their American “shield” goes up.

    The Silverstein “leak” may indeed be a leak, but my mind is already made up, this is an orchestrated leak being used to further the emotional blackmail of Americans and their politicians. If there are any American politicians left with red blood, they need to bring the babi bibi down a notch a two.

    since when is America bullied?

  7. Rd. says:

    humanist says:

    “Richard Siverstein is a respectable man of conscience. He is one of the most credible bloggers of our time. He was instrumental in revealing secrets about activities of the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC.”

    humanist,
    Richard may very well be reliable, but isn’t this sound more like a sales pitch replacing the old one? being feed thru reliable source?

    Bibi uses this sales pitch to persuade the recalcitrant ministers of the cool, clean, refreshing taste of war.

    and this comment on the same article hits the nail.

    “Glad to see they’re completely delusional. The crazier they are, the more dissenting voices we’ll see coming out of the woodworks. But, the ‘invisible planes’ take the cake though… Maybe they can hide Tel-Aviv and Haifa too when the missiles start raining down. “

  8. James Canning says:

    1 persian,

    I asked if anyone had information regarding whether Iran had replaced the old fuel plates for the TRR. Seems that some of them have been replaced with plates made in Iran from rods made in Iran from 20% U made in Iran.

    Are you suggesting I do not believe Iran has the technical ability? Or that I did not believe it? Silly.

  9. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    August 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    More of the same – Americans call it Blow-back.

    http://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/2012/aug/15/saudi-arabia-orders-its-citizens-to-leave-lebanon/

  10. fyi says:

    humanist says:

    August 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    A transparent attempt at manipulating US leaders; the Israelis and their partisans in US must be feeling desparate.

  11. humanist says:

    Castellio,

    You ask “Here’s a question for you: how can any one group maintain control of the US without bombing Iran?”

    For me, that is a really tough question.

    What I can be sure of is this:

    Such a control is so extraordinarily abnormal it is bound to dissipate under the immense pressure of historical dynamism.

    The Kissinger quote that “if you control money you can control the world” is true but is time dependent. It just can’t be universally true under all circumstances and forever.

  12. James Canning says:

    1 Persian,

    The policy toward Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas, and Iran, of the UK’s new government that took power in 2010, was to seek an improvement in British relations. Was that an “imperialistic” scheme? Or simply good sense?

  13. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    What gives you the notion Iranian stockpiling poses a problem for me? Do you mean it poses a dilemma for those wishing that Iran would stop stockpiling? A dilemma for China and Russia? (And the entire P5+1)?

    Khamenei apparently believes Iran strengthens itself by demonstrating that sanctions cannot work. Do you agree with him?

  14. James Canning says:

    The Financial Tims reported today that Iran is enjoying a considerable degree of success in avoiding too much damage from the sanctions, and that Khamenei believes Iran is stronger for showing its ability to avoid too much damage. Oil prices are higher due to the sanctiosn, obviously. So this helps offset the damage.

  15. Abdullahi Olayinka says:

    Salam to everyone on this forum. I have been an avid follower of RFI and I always found the exchanges on this site educating and highly reasonable, even though some are below par. Keep up the good work guys even though I don’t see anybody in the US admin. responding positively to suggestions on this site as there seems to be no sane person remaining in the US govt. only jackals and boot-lickers. Looking at the history of IRI and US engagement since the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, IRI as always come out on top and I believe the Syria crisis would no different as the IRI is Stand firm in spite all odds.

  16. humanist says:

    Very Alarming!

    Richard Siverstein is a respectable man of conscience. He is one of the most credible bloggers of our time. He was instrumental in revealing secrets about activities of the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC.

    Today, in his essay of “Bibi’s Secret War Plan” he is revealing and discussing a truly frightening outlook.

    He starts with:

    In the past few days, I received an Israeli briefing document outlining Israel’s war plans against Iran. The document was passed to me by a high-level Israeli source who received it from an IDF officer. My source, in fact, wrote to me that normally he would not leak this sort of document, but:

    “These are not normal times. I’’m afraid Bibi and Barak are dead serious.”

    Read the rest of this captivating article here:

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/08/15/bibis-secret-war-plan/

    This is frightening since in the last couple of days Ray McGovern and Phillip Giraldi in the Scott Horton radio shows have discussed the inevitability of the pre-November Israeli attack on Iran.

    Listen to Phillip Giraldi

    http://scotthorton.org/2012/08/13/81012-philip-giraldi/

    I can’t find Ray’s piece on the same site where ho expressed his fear by saying “I am scared stiff”

  17. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Interesting development. Press TV’s Maryam Saleh is reporting that the family of some people who are being held hostage by the so-called “Free Syria Army” have kidnapped 20 members of that NATO front terror group (captured on the Lebanese side of the border), and are threatening to start kidnapping Saudi, Qatari and Turkish nationals if their loved ones are not returned safe and sound.

  18. 1 persian buckaroo says:

    “rebel says:

    August 14, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    How much will Iran’s quest for regional hegemony distort their policy on Syria?”

    You can call it (hegemony) anything you desire. However, as US strategic needs and interests dictates to formulate a policy based on those interests, so does Irans’.

    They live in a region first faced with 20th century colonialism and now with imperialistic ambitions of US and to lesser extend European Powers. Every possible instability in the region would effect them directly as is the case with Syria.

    For Islamic Republic to abdicate its responsibility in terms of geo-srategic interests would be insane and foolish.

  19. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    August 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Mr. Talaie is not an intellectual living in Qum and trying to alter human nature and behavior by force.

    He has first-hand empirical knowledge of Iranian society.

    Now pay attention here:

    Empirical data must be accepted before any theoretical models; they take precedence.

    Western people, specially the English variant, are quite good at this – they do not live in some sort of make-believe world.

  20. fyi says:

    yemi says:

    August 15, 2012 at 4:51 am

    Nah, he is another variant of post-Christian intellectuals who wishes to escape the constrictions of the Fall of Man.

    To wit, he proposes and aspires to a Trans-Human future in which Humanity, with all its warts and faults, has been overcome and replaced with a wonderful Hybrid.

    Just another monstrosity; like other such dreams: the Age of Reason of the French Revolution, Communist Utopia, the Free Market, Islamic Just Society, etc.

  21. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    In fact, “being righteous” is meaningless without adhering to the law- which in our era is the divine sharia revealed through Prophet Muhammad (sawa). Everything else is delusion on your part.

  22. 1 persian buckaroo says:

    James:kooshy,

    I think Iran has shown itself able to enrich to 20%, and to manufacture fuel rods and plates for the TRR, and to re-fuel the TRR. Is anyone challenging this?

    This is the same debate you And I had two threads ago. You were of the mind, at that time, that Iran was incapable of fabricating the needed fuel plates for TRR.
    In fact you seemed not to know that Argentine supplied fuel in 1992 was running At 10% capacity.

    Now, you have totally reversed your stance on that issue.

  23. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    How many votes did Talaee get in the recent parliamentary elections? Look it up.

    He is preparing the grounds for the presidential campaign of his boss Qalibaf who is banking on the north Tehran kafir vote. They also need somebody to vote for. He has already started his campaign. Nothing extraordinary there.

    Aghaye Talaee is a nice enough guy but not an authority on Islam or its rules. I’ll follow Prophet Muhammad (sawa), Imam Ali (as) and in their ghaybat Imam Khomeini, Rahbar, Allamah Tabatabai, Shahid Motahhari, Shahid Sadr, Ayat Khoi on the issue of hijab and effat.

  24. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    Remember Seyyed Hassan said that the result of the next war with Israel will be that Hezbollah fighters will drive into Jerusalem like they drove into the south at the end of the occupation: ON A BUS! (Honestly, no pun intended)

  25. fyi says:

    Off Topic:

    FOr Mr. Unknown-Unknown and Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji

    http://www.fardanews.com/fa/news/215433/انتقاد-طلایی-از-نوع-برخورد-با-مسئله-حجاب

    Note that Mr. Talaie makes the distinction between Veil (external appearance) and Chastity (Interior condition).

    In other words, Law and Righteousness are not the same – hope Pharisee Muslims take note.

  26. fyi says:

    ThickFaceBlackHeart says:

    August 15, 2012 at 3:36 am

    Iran, Russia, and China are all helping to the extent that they can for Syrian Government to survive.

    I think it does not cost Russia much to provide financing or other financial services to Syria.

    But I think you are mistaken in assigning a central role to her; that role is being acted by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    In my opinion, Syrian Government will not fall as long as Iranians support it the way they have so far.

    The war will go on until the 20,000 to 30,000 armed opposition to the Ba’ath state are killed.

  27. Unknown Unknowns says:

    yemi says:
    August 15, 2012 at 4:51 am

    You don’t know Richard, Yemi. He does not give a damn if Iran is isolated or not. All he cares about is transitioning from the Ballpark franks to the Hebrew National Kosher ones, and maybe saving enough money to get the latest model George Foreman grill one day.

  28. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    August 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    12-16.

  29. Rd. says:

    Lysander says:

    “The point being, is if the Israelis don’t win quickly, they have to withdraw. “

    The operative word in your sentence is “if”. That by itself is sufficient to suffice there is no intent to go to war.

    The US/Israel empire inc is only interested in the divide and conquer. By igniting the sectarian, Arab/iran/turkish/kurdish strife is their goal in manipulating and controlling the region. Actual mass military assault is not in their cards. There is no intend to create a no fly zone in syria when they can have a protracted civil war to weaken not just syria, but the neighboring countries as well. This has the potential to fuel the turkish/kurdish fued, then arab-turkish, turkish-iran and arab-iran fueds.

    Iran’s approach continues to be one to unify the region. Unfortunately, the other players, turkey, saud, PGCC, etc, are playing the hands of the empire inc and promoting the divide and conquer not realizing, when the time comes, they too would be cut down.

    The script;

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=32351

  30. yemi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    August 14, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Well, Mr RSH you have the capacity to think what you like and say anything you like.
    Because, these days i believe no one really take your comments so seriously as there
    is an indication of various “dark prophecies” in your analysis as Stephen M. Walt used to call it!

    Stephen M. Walt even said that “those prophesying war may be trying to reinforce the global sanctions effort and keep Iran isolated”.

    And i strongly believe without any doubt you are one of them.

  31. ThickFaceBlackHeart says:

    A few realities: In the geopolitics chessboard, events in the ME don’t represent a real threat to Washington. Washington feels it has a lot of room to maneuver. It doesn’t matter if Washington kills, wreaks other countries or natives do it themselves. All these events are far away from Washington. Thus illusions & hubris abound. It would be years if not decades when Washington realises that its pieces on the chessboard are dwindling or have been captured by the other side (Iran, china, Russia or Asian countries).
    For example, Washington is confident that it has contained Egypt and its prerogatives have prevailed. This is true in a sense but its too close to call. Egypt will eventually become sensitive to its peoples opinions. Those sentiments don’t flow with Washington & Israel.
    Saudi Arabia is becoming unstable, its leadership is dying off. In years to come, its unlikely the new younger leadership (if the monarchy is not toppled by then) will be placid with Washington. They are more blackberry, iPhone internet junkies who know Washington and its policies towards Palestine well. And a host of other grievances.
    In sum, Washington wont seriously reconsider its policies yet.
    Syria will have to yield or burn.

    Absent is how exactly is Russia & china are playing their pieces. How far will they go to protect Assad? China seems content to protect Assad diplomatically. Wether Assad falls or not is not a strategic defeat to China. The same cannot be said of Russia & Iran.

    Thus the most crucial player here is Russia.How far will it go? How much support is Russia giving Assad and what will Russia do if US/NATO impose a no fly zone ( aka lets-join-in-and-kill-him). Unless Russia has already informed them that there wont be a-no-fly-zone, US/NATO may as well go for it. Remember there’s nothing to lose.

    Indeed Assad stands to lose either way: If Washington fails to remove him (aka kill him), it will distablise Syria and set Syria economically backwards. So Washington is going to escalate the civil war, till either Assad wins or loses. Its disadvantageous for Washington to settle for a peace treaty that lives Assad in power! Either Russia knows this or they should.

    Iran would help but how if they don’t share a border with Syria? Is the Iraq corridor OK? Am not sure if Iraq has control of its airspace, or if the US has withdrawn altogether so Malik can maneuver as he wishes. So i think Iran’s hand is limited to some extent.

  32. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Thank you, Richard. Now I’m wondering that if it will unfold as you say, i.e., Hizbollah and even Syria attacked as a prelude to the larger war, so that Syria and/ or Hizbollah have nothing to lose by lobbing missiles at Israel anyway, whether either has the capability (in terms of fire-power and accuracy) to take out a major piece of Israeli infra-structure such as a power plant that supplies a good chunk of the power of the Israeli grid. You know, like Israel does to Gaza routinely. Or even to do some major damage to Damona. That wouldn’t go down so well either. I think Israeli morale is their Achilles’ heel.

  33. Lysander says:

    RSH, the problem the Israelis have, should they try to implement that plan, is that they can’t tolerate a large mobilization for a long time. What you’re describing is a force of 100-150k troops. And they also have to keep a substantial force on the borders with Egypt and Jordan. Of course neither will join any war, but the Israelis wont risk it anyway.

    The point being, is if the Israelis don’t win quickly, they have to withdraw. They can’t afford to spend months rooting out HA guerrillas. And yet, that’s what they would have to do. I have no idea what HA’s strategy for the next war will be, but I doubt they are planning the same war as last time. This time, they may decide NOT to defend every inch at the border. They may have a strong defense north of the Litani, while keeping several three man teams in the south. Their task would be to fire lots of the simple Katyusha’s into northern Israel, while ambushing supply lines. Which will be a target rich environment for them since a 150k man army requires lots of supplies.

    The Israelis would have to devote lots of troops to defend supply lines, which could become a war within a war. And if they swing around to the Bekka through a post NATO Syria, it’s more like 200-250k troops. They would have to pass a fair distance through the densely populated Damascus suburban area and risk guerrilla attacks by both pro and anti government Syrians. Then seize the Beirut Damascus highway and hope that HA hasn’t prepared for that eventuality as well.

    Honestly, that sounds like a whole lot of trouble to go through. It sounds a lot easier just to attack Iran and absorb the missiles that come their way, bomb Lebanon from the air and await the inevitable ceasefire. And while Israeli commanders can’t be sure that HA wont fire their missiles at them during an attack on Iran, they can be absolutely certain HA WILL fire if Israel attacks HA.

    Mind you, I’m not saying Israel will never attack Syria/Lebanon. Only that it probably wont make attacking Iran any cheaper or easier. It only adds to the expense.

  34. kooshy says:

    UU jan , I hope you are well, and healthy

    Little by little Gavenar and his dilemma with the 20% U, has made me to think of him as our own uncle Napoleon and the coming war with Engilisiha.

    Salamat va Shad Bashi

  35. Dan Cooper says:

    The US in Syria: Hiding behind the CIA

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/08/201288113045172386.html

    The CIA is being used to reconcile the inherent contradictions in the administration’s approach to the uprising.

    Washington, DC – “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    “In the vale of tears which Syria has become, one can neither aspire to the good, nor attempt to minimise or attenuate evil without running serious and inevitable moral risks.”

  36. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy-san:

    Best comment in months! Made me laugh uncontrollably :o)

    گاو نر یا گاو پیر؟

  37. Rehmat says:

    Every political aware person knows that Israel is the only country in the Middle East which has nuclear bombs (240-400) – but American lawmakers including president Barack Obama are afraid to talk about it. Watch below Obama and other pathetic anti-Iran lawmakers making excuses for the Zionist regime.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/08/15/us-lawmakers-are-afraid-to-admit-israels-nukes/

  38. Unknown Unknowns: Since you asked nicely…

    “Do you have any idea what kind of weapons Iran has been able to get to Hizbollah?”

    I haven’t been following it that closely. And I doubt anyone outside of Hizballah, Iran and probably Israel knows for sure. Based on Israeli claims, they have much better and longer range missiles, possibly some surface-to-air missiles capable of taking out Israeli jets, and probably better anti-tank missiles.

    “And is Iran able to use a land route via southern Iraq now that the Americans are gone?”

    Probably, although my guess is it’s mostly shipping into Lebanon or Syria ports and then smuggled by truck. Air shipments are too easy to inspect. There are tons of places to hide stuff on ships. Bribes are endemic in the Middle East.

    “if Hezbollah as the super-big, super-accurate 4th generation Fateh 110 missile in significant numbers OK, so that has just gone into mass production, but something of a similar caliber)”

    I doubt Iran has sent their latest stuff to Hizballah. Iran will need it to deal with the US. Also, Hizballah can’t use really big missiles – too long to set up and they’re vulnerable to Israeli air strikes. They need something they can set up within 30 minutes, or preferably ten minutes, fire and then split. The larger missiles take an hour or more to set up. During a war, with Israeli aerial surveillance and jets within five minutes of their target, it’s not feasible to use that stuff.

    It’s irrelevant anyway. When Israeli attacks, its goal will be a fast, deep push into southern Lebanon and also into the Bekaa Valley. The goal will be to push Hizballah out of both areas as fast as possible to minimize the number of missile volleys Hizballah can get off. Unlike the 2006 attack, this will be a major invasion intended to take and hold much of southern Lebanon and destroy as much of Hizballah infrastructure as possible. In the article I cited below, Israel explicitly says they intend to “destroy” parts of Lebanon.

    Whether they can do this effectively is questionable, depending on Hizballah preparations, and it may be costly to Israeli ground forces to do it – but Israel has no choice if they want to attack Iran without incurring the “bloody nose” you refer to.

    “Another way to put the question is: has Hizbollah’s *offensive* capabilities increased by orders of magnitude”

    They supposedly have over 45,000 rockets and missiles – and better ones – compared to the 10-15,000 back in 2006, so I’d say that is a major improvement. But these really aren’t “offensive” in nature. They are “defensive” in that they are intended to cost Israel public support and thus act as a deterrent to adventurism by Israeli leaders, much like Iran’s missile program is.

    The problem for Hizballah is that Israel can’t afford to have those missiles available during an Iran war, regardless of whether Hizballah would enter the war at all. Israel can’t assume Hizballah will stay out of the war. No commander worth his salt would leave a heavily armed enemy on his borders while contemplating a far-off war. Israel absolutely MUST attack Hizballah before starting an Iran war. The same applies to Syria.

    So Hizballah’s missiles are no longer “defensive” – they are a casus belli for Israeli attack. So Hizballah hopefully has other strong enough defenses to blunt a full-scale Israeli armored invasion. Because this time Israel will be going for broke in Lebanon. There will be no pull-back once Israeli casualties start exceeding one or two hundred as in 2006.

    Keep in mind that while Hizballah has strong, concealed defensive positions, it is still primarily a guerrilla force. And guerrillas don’t defend territory – they move when faced with a massive attack. So Israel might very well be able – at some cost to their ground troops – to push Hizballah further north so that their missiles will be less effective at attacking all of Israel. That is the strategic goal of the next Israeli attack, and if Israel commits enough forces, they might be able to pull it off, temporarily at least, long enough to start an Iran war with the US.

  39. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I think Iran has shown itself able to enrich to 20%, and to manufacture fuel rods and plates for the TRR, and to re-fuel the TRR. Is anyone challenging this?

  40. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Are you referring to China and Russia? I think both countries are likely to say Iran can only blame itself, if Iran gets attacked.

  41. kooshy says:

    Gav James

    As your excellency is aware, after numerous attempted negotiations by the ever fair “powers” to convince these scientifically backward Iranian’s to stop their illegal and blundering attempt at production of 20% U, one comes to think of an Old Iranian proverb which is often used to explain what it takes to achieve a difficult task. If your highness may, per these Iranian’s saying: to stop Iran enriching to 20% U it will take a Gav-e-nar and a wise (old) man.

  42. rebel says:

    How much will Iran’s quest for regional hegemony distort their policy on Syria?

  43. kooshy says:

    Your Excellency Gav-e-nar James of all +5% U’s

    With due apology to your highness, the site’s moderators are not aware of the urgency of your excellent continued 20% U comments.

    This “blunder” on their part is diminishing every reader of this site to instantly be reminded of your excellent insight on the matter of 20% U’s.

    As your Excellency have continually and numerously been pointing out, this 20% U blunder on part of Iran will require an urgent and instant posting of your Excellency’s highly valued comments, if we are to avoid a naval and military destruction of the blunderers by her majesty’s excellent, financially and militarily very capable armed forces.

  44. Rd. says:

    from moon of Alabama;

    “The US, Israel and the Gulf countries who pay, train and command the foreign fighters today have a different objective. They want the current war in Syria, which they see as just an aspect of their war on Iran, to continue as long as possible: ……….

    While keeping Syria in chaos and thereby weaken it is the preference for the U.S. and Israel”

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  45. James Canning says:

    Why are comments on this site cleared so slowly? Other sites do it in minutes.

  46. James Canning says:

    Reuters reported June 26, 2012, that Prince Saud al-Faisal, the Saudi foreign minister, “underlined the right of the countries in the region to seek nuclear power for peaceful purposes.” Why then, does The New York Times in a report today state that Saudi Arabia “strongly opposes” Iran’s nuclear power programme? Is the NYT well aware this is not true, but simply does not give a da*n about accuracy?

  47. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    I think what obtains, re: apparent US “support” of al-Qaeda in Syria, is simply that many US foreign policy makers, influencers, etc etc are willing to overlook this problem because they want to injure Iran by helping the insurgents.

  48. James Canning says:

    Annie Robbins has excellent piece, re: effort of Netanyahu and Barak to force Obama into making pledge to attack Iran, if “necessary”.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/08/israel-demands-statement-from-obama-about-iran-attack-by-yom-kippur.html

  49. James Canning says:

    I too note with dismay the many pieces on ForeignPolicy that help drive US foreign policy in ways reflecting “an appalling incpacity to learn either from current experience or history”.

    It is too simplistic to say that a convergence of Israel lobby and military-industrial-Congessional complex offers the best explanation, but I am aware of no other way to describe why this dreadful and dangerous situation obtains.

  50. kooshy says:

    Beside all usual arguments for a need and a preferred overt military attack on Syria by US and or her Arab/ western like-minded coalition to change the regional balance of power and weaken Iran’s influence in the region, still after a year and half US and her allies have not been able to accomplish a declared overt military attack on Syrian government, obviously this is not due to lack of military capability on the side of US and her allies, but rather its now obvious this setback is due to a continued lack of political capabilities by the westerners and their political partners.

    A direct illegal US military attack for a Libyan style regime change in Syria, will expedite the process of regime change and if its outcome matches the goals it will change the balance of power in eastern Mediterranean region to the betterment of US position. But that all is possible and depends on a worldly political price that US has not yet been ready to pay. As it seems due to various past mistakes, especially since the Iraq war and the case of Libya at UNSC, and a dire western economic situation which after all is reducing US’s political capital in the world arena, US’s capability to force the world to adopt her usual double standard politics is less possible and is diminishing rapidly.

    So if the US and her allies are not or were not capable or willing to pay and spend their international political capital to achieve their goals in Syria, one would think if the Syrian situation was to drag out say another one or two more years like it did back in Lebanon, considering the regional developments and balance of forces on the ground three years into this Syrian situation, would there still be a strategic need to change the regional balance of power in the same way US is trying now.

    I would argue time would work against US’s goals besides US no longer can afford to spend any more of her diminishing international political capital, that is what seems to be the new quagmire which US and her allies have created and are now in due to their desire to preserve if not change the balance of power in the western part of the region after the loss of Iraq.

  51. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Philip Giraldi says US intelligence agencies believe it is impossible to know at this time what government would emerge in control of Syria if the Assad regime is overthrown.

  52. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    To clarify: are you claiming Iran can continue to stockpile, and “succeed in neutralising the sanctions”? Virtually by definition, if Iran continues to stockpile, there will be more sanctions. And still more.

  53. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Recently you said you expected Iran to be attacked by Feruary 2013. I take it you changed your mind.

  54. James Canning says:

    A report in today’s New York Times claims that Saudi Arabia strongly opposes Iran’s “nuclear power programme”. I think this assertion is false. Any comments?

  55. Fiorangela says:

    “On Monday, the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) accused London-based Standard Chartered PLC (SCBFF) of concealing transactions worth $250 billion (£160 billion) pertaining to Iran. According to the DFS, these transactions, which took place in the last decade, were in contempt of the U.S. laws and regulations, and would be dealt with sternly.

    As per the DFS, Standard Chartered had set up an operation named Project Gazelle to funnel Iranian money through American financial system. The company duped the regulators by removing the codes of transfer and carried out nearly 60,000 transactions with the Iranian government in the last ten years. This resulted in huge fee income for the bank at the cost of the national security of the U.S.”

    On the other hand, if New York-based DFS manages to impose fines on Standard Chartered, in the process of “dealing sternly” with the miscreant bank, New York stands to realize a windfall.
    Several years ago NYC Attorney Robert Morgenthau’s office discovered other international banks that were doing ordinary banking business with Iran that also, presumably, “resulted in huge fee income for the bank at the cost of the national security of the U.S.” Courageously, the New York attorney’s office stepped into the breach, leveling stern fines amounting to tens of millions of dollars against the accused.

    Shortly thereafter, the offices of the State of New York and the City of New York sued each other over the division of the ‘take.’

    Rest easy, America; the state and city of New York are protecting your “national security” interests.

  56. Castellio says:

    Humanist: Here’s a question for you: how can any one group maintain control of the US without bombing Iran?

  57. humanist says:

    Richard,

    You say “….This is the plan. The US, NATO and Turkey will attack Syria within a few months, concurrent with an Israeli attack on Syria and Lebanon. There can no longer be any doubt.”

    Within a few months?…No longer any doubt?

    Were Russia, China, world economy and many other complicated relevant factors on your radar screen when you were writing the above lines?

    Don’t you think sharp, very assertive claims like the ones above must accompany compelling data, supportive evidence, sound analysis, references and so on?

    On the humorous side, I wouldn’t be surprised if I find out you were a straight A student in school, what surprises me is your overassertive and at times intolerant attitude as far as any serious and complex political dialogue is concerned.

    Regardless, I for one value your comments here and hope you’ll never abandon this site again!

  58. Rehmat says:

    On Monday, Iranian President Dr. Ahmadinejad arrived in Medina on King Abdullah’s invitation to attend the extraordinary meeting of Ordanization of the Islamic cooperation (OIC) representing 57 Muslim majority countries. The meeting is scheduled for August 14-15 in Makkah.

    President Ahmadinejad is accompanied by Supreme Leader’s Advisor for International Affairs Ali-Akbar Velayati, President’s senior advisor Mojtaba Samareh-Hashemi, Head of Presidential Office Esfandiar Rahim Mashaee and Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi.

    “We hope that this conference which is highly important for the Muslim world will pursue empathy among Islamic countries and wean off grudge and hatred among them,” Ahmadinejad said before leaving Tehran for Saudi Arabia on Monday morning. Ahmadinejad also said on Monday his country opposed the expected suspension of Syria’s membership in the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), ahead of a key meeting of the body. King Abdullah, along with Turkey, Qatar, UAE and Jordan, most probably, have called the extraordinary OIC meeting to expel Syria from OIC. Last year, Saudi-Qatar regimes had bribed Arab League (AL) member-states to suspend Syria’s membership in the organization.

    As far as the role of OIC is concerned, I could not have said better than Raja Mujtaba, editor ‘Opinion Maker’ website – who wrote: “OIC is an appology of the Muslim World; it only follows the dictates of the Zionist Masters who manipulate it as they wish“.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/08/14/ahmadinejad-arrives-in-saudi-arabia/

  59. fyi says:

    Photi says:

    August 14, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Look no further than the Mr. Allen’s 1971 movie “Bananas”:

    -”Sarge, who are we fighting this time?”
    -”Half of us are fighting for them, half of us are fighting against them.”

  60. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    August 14, 2012 at 6:29 am

    In 3 or 4 years, Iranians will have neutralized the sanctions against them.

    During the same time period, the Syrian situation will have been settled one way or another.

    I do not think you are saying anything useful.

  61. fyi says:

    Photi says:

    August 14, 2012 at 3:10 am

    The late Ayan Rand is another intellectual who was seduced by the prospect (or vision) of a Secular Order.

    Very many other European Jews shared her desire for a non-religious non-Christian order since such an order coould liberate them from the confines of the Medieval Synthesis that had kept Jews in a state of oppression and discrimination for centuries.

    Very many communists and socialists were Jews, in Russia, in Hungary, in Germany all seeking to complete the Enlightenment Project of a secular order.

    [When NAZIs took the Enlightenment Project and replaced its Humanism by Racialism (against non-Aryans) Jews were left with no mental anchor.]

    Her views may be understood as a reaction to communism in Russia – perhaps. Nevertheless she ought to be pittied, a crypto-Jew who rejected Revelation and tried to substitute her own wishes for it.

  62. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy-san:

    Great link to the Mehdi Mohammadi article. Thank you. The guy knows a lot of details, and the outlook is optimistic. The translation was pretty good too :o)

  63. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Richard (et al),

    Do you have any idea what kind of weapons Iran has been able to get to Hizbollah? And is Iran able to use a land route via southern Iraq now that the Americans are gone? Or is it still airlifts to Damascus (or Beirut?)? What I’m trying to get at is, if Hezbollah as the super-big, super-accurate 4th generation Fateh 110 missile in significant numbers OK, so that has just gone into mass production, but something of a similar caliber), then Israel might get more than just a bloody nose. Another way to put the question is: has Hizbollah’s *offensive* capabilities increased by orders of magnitude since they whupped Israel back into their hole, and if not, why not? What is preventing Iran from really giving them a boost?

  64. There will be no mediation.

    The Jerusalem Post just confirmed my analysis of the reason for the Syria crisis:

    ‘We could destroy parts of Lebanon to stop rockets’
    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=281066

    That’s it in an nutshell – no war on Iran until Hizballah’s missile arsenal has been degraded (which implies Syria’s military and missile arsenal must also be degraded.) It was true in 2006 and it remains true.

    This is the plan. The US, NATO and Turkey will attack Syria within a few months, concurrent with an Israeli attack on Syria and Lebanon. There can no longer be any doubt.

  65. smashturkey says:

    not many people noticed Morsi’s meeting with iranian vice president in Cairo?

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/aug/08/world/la-fg-egypt-iran-20120809

  66. Photi says:

    What is the status of anti-Assad al-Qaeda operatives in Syria, from the perspective of the United States? Are these al-Qaeda fighters friends of the US when they are in Syria? If these al-Qaeda operatives came from Iraq or Afghanistan, will the US grant them amnesty when they reach Syria? Everything used to be so black and white, it is getting harder and harder telling friend from foe.

  67. Photi says:

    In case you all have not seen today’s (8/13/12) Mondoweiss story concerning Paul ryan and Sheldon Adelson, it is definitely worth the trip over there to read it. The following quote is lifted from a link “MRW” at mondoweiss gave in the comments section:

    “That’s what makes it so creepy how Rand and her followers clearly get off on hating and bashing those they perceived as weak–Rand and her followers have a kind of fetish for classifying weaker, poorer people as “parasites” and “lice” who need to swept away. This is exactly the sort of sadism, bashing the helpless for kicks, that Rand’s hero Hickman would have appreciated. What’s really unsettling is that even former Central Bank chief Alan Greenspan, whose relationship with Rand dated back to the 1950s, did some parasite-bashing of his own. In response to a 1957New York Times book review slamming Atlas Shrugged, Greenspan, defending his mentor, published a letter to the editor that ends:

    Parasites who persistently avoid either purpose or reason perish as they should.

    Alan Greenspan

    As much as Ayn Rand detested human “parasites,” there is one thing she strongly believed in: creating conditions that increase the productivity of her Supermen – the William Hickmans who rule her idealized America: “If [people] place such things as friendship and family ties above their own productive work, yes, then they are immoral. Friendship, family life and human relationships are not primary in a man’s life. A man who places others first, above his own creative work, is an emotional parasite.”

    http://exiledonline.com/paul-ryans-guru-ayn-rand-worshipped-a-serial-killer-who-kidnapped-and-dismembered-little-girls/

  68. Photi says:

    The Islamic Republic of Iran has been pushing for the political Islamization of the Muslim World since the Islamic revolution. Are we to believe now that SA and America are themselves pushing for the political Islamization of the Arab world? Looks to me that either the interests between Iran and the West are finally merging, or America and SA and the rest of the zio-arab-american triumvirate are falling on their own sword.

    I don’t know whether to celebrate this turn of events, or to cry for those who will surely perish.

    Now is the time Americans will wish we would have benefited from our future hindsight, hindsight we now already have with Iraq. This war is an incredibly bad idea.

  69. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Here’s a link to an article on the Turkish Debt Bubble, courtesy of Nikon at MoA:

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3265/turkey-foreign-borrowing-bubble

    *

    Empty-san: I left a brief response to your last post in the last thread.

  70. kooshy says:

    Syria’s Developments and Iran’s National Security Equation
    Sunday, July 22, 2012
    Mehdi Mohammadi
    Expert on International Issues

    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Syria-s-Developments-and-Iran-s-National-Security-Equation.htm

  71. fyi says:

    To think that Christian states can manipulate Muslim sects during a period of Islamic Awakening and Ferment is foolish beyond belief.

    Truly, US leaders and planners have lost all sense of Reality.