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The Race for Iran

HYPE OR REALITY: WILL ISRAEL ATTACK IRAN BEFORE THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?

Today, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius devoted his column, see here, to growing concerns within the Obama Administration that “Israel will attack Iran militarily over the next few months.”  Ignatius describes U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta as believing “there is a strong likelihood that Israel will strike Iran in April, May or June—before Iran enters what Israelis described as a ‘zone of immunity’ to commence building a nuclear bomb.”  Ignatius goes on to note,

“Very soon, the Israelis fear, the Iranians will have enough enriched uranium in deep underground facilities to make a weapon—and only the U.S. could then stop them militarily.  Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to leave the fate of Israel dependent on American action, which would be triggered by intelligence that Iran is building a bomb, which it hasn’t done yet.” 

Ignatius’ column comes, of course, on the heels of the publication of Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman’s article in the current New York Times Sunday Magazine, “Will Israel Attack Iran?”, see here, in which Bergman concludes, “After speaking with many senior Israeli leaders and chiefs of the military and the intelligence, I have come to believe that Israel will indeed strike Iran in 2012.”  In our own conversations, around Washington and elsewhere, we are hearing many of the same expressions of concern echoed by Ignatius—the American military, in particular, is increasingly inclined to believe that Israel will strike, perhaps even earlier than the time frame suggested by Panetta. 

We will consider below various strategic and political factors affecting an Israeli decision to attack Iran.  The immediate, tactical variable driving Israel’s apparent push toward war is the ongoing installation of centrifuges in the new enrichment facility at Fordo, near Qom.  The Fordo facility is, according to reports, located inside a small mountain, making it very difficult to destroy from the air, at least not without using nuclear weapons.  The installation and operation of centrifuges at Fordo is proceeding under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring, but, from an Israeli perspective, that does not matter—for it is Fordo that is creating the “zone of immunity” (the phrase, it seems, was coined by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak) over which the Israelis are so agitated. 

All of the relevant unclassified assessments and, it would seem, the U.S. military believe that Israel would strike Iranian nuclear facilities primarily from the air.  The operation would be at the outermost levels of Israel’s military capability.  The number of Israeli strike aircraft that can operate at the necessary ranges (assuming no problems with aerial refueling) is such that Israeli forces could not strike very many targets inside Iran.  For Natanz (Iran’s first and most developed enrichment site) as well as Fordo, Israeli pilots would have to hit their aim points not just with precise aim but also with precise timing, tightly sequencing their bombs so that the blasts penetrate deeply enough to damage their intended targets.  To be sure, multiple sources have told us over the past several years that the Israeli air force has been practicing this sort of mission intensively.  Nevertheless, with Fordo now in the picture, reports, e.g., see here, that Israel has set up a new commando unit charged with carrying out missions “deep inside enemy territory” suggest that the Israeli attack plan might include the deployment of commando forces on the ground, with the assignment to fight their way into the new facility and ensure that it was truly destroyed. 

All of these considerations have made us skeptical that the Israelis would take a decision to strike Iranian nuclear targets on their own—and to do so in the face of nearly universal assessments that even a maximally successful attack would not inflict that much damage on Iran’s nuclear program.  Periodically intense speculation about an Israeli military campaign against the Iranian program has seemed to us as highly useful for leveraging the United States and its international partners to impose ever tighter sanctions against the Islamic Republic, launch ever more covert operations against Iran, and so on.  But actually to decide to strike, with all of the attendant and enormous risks—for Israel, for oil prices and the world economy, and for America’s position in the Middle East—has seemed to us a low-probability outcome. 

We remain skeptical that the Israelis will take such a decision.  No less than Jeffrey Goldberg noted, in commenting on Bergman’s article, that the same sources which persuaded Bergman that Israel will attack in 2012 had persuaded Goldberg, in 2010, that Israel would strike Iran by July 2011. 

However, we must note that Israeli “spin” (if spin is all it remains) about the risk of an attack has reached levels and taken forms that we have not seen in several years.  So, we thought it timely to re-evaluate the factors that might plausibly lead Prime Minister Netanyahu and other senior Israeli leaders to opt for preventive war.  Beyond development of the Fordo facility, three factors strike us as especially relevant in this regard. 

–The first is the prospect of President Obama’s re-election.  Israelis with access to the Prime Minister’s office tell us that Netanyahu and his inner circle have long believed that Obama is politically vulnerable.  From this perspective, ordering an Israeli strike before the U.S. presidential election in November could seem the “smart” play:  it would be very hard for Obama to try to distance himself from the Israeli action (something that, according to Ignatius, the Obama Administration seems to believe it can do) without seriously jeopardizing his re-election; at the same time, if Obama were to win re-election, it is better, from an Israeli perspective, to have this potentially unpleasant business of an illegal war against Iran out of the way before he is sworn in for a second term.  (Recall that, the last time that the Israeli military invaded Gaza, it did so at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, to ensure that the campaign would be over before Obama was first sworn in.) 

–The second factor is Israeli perceptions of the strategic fallout from the Arab spring.  Mubarak’s fall, especially, has spooked Israeli political and military leaders.  One might think that, at such a time of tumultuous change and uncertainty in the region, Israel would be best served by hunkering down and staying out of (more) trouble (than it is already in).  But, based on a lot of experience dealing with Israeli national security professionals while we served in the U.S. government, we can envision a scenario in which Israeli decision-makers persuade themselves that this is precisely the time to re-establish the credibility of what Israeli elites like to call their “deterrent edge”—a misuse of the term deterrence, for it really refers to Israel’s ability to use force first, whenever, wherever, and for whatever purpose it wants. 

Third, with the withdrawal of American military personnel and assets from Iraq, Iraq is left with, effectively, no air defense capability—which means that Israeli planes would have a more-or-less clean shot into Iran through Iraqi airspace

We are going to watch this one very, very closely. 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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1,150 Responses to “HYPE OR REALITY: WILL ISRAEL ATTACK IRAN BEFORE THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?”

  1. Humanist says:

    RSH

    1- Although in my view a lot of things you are saying makes sense, at times I just cant accept your ideas. For instance you write “It is not the US electorate that Iran needs to be worried about, it’s the US ruling elites. Put THEM DIRECTLY at risk, and the war will end. It’’s that simple.”.

    I fully agree with the first part, ie about US electorate. I believe they are also victims of the ruling elites. That is why when ordinary Americans travel to Iran, most times, they get surprised from Iranian hospitality. What I totally disagree is to put them at risk by terror or assassination. Apart from the ugliness of anarchic destructions Iranians know so well if they carry out a large scale assault on American politicians or on super greedy profiteers they’ll get totally crushed.. That will be a suicidal lunacy.

    Our differences are understandable. We were born, raised and educated in the two opposite corners of the earth. That is how we humans are, we are influenced not only by our genes but also by the environment we live in.

    2- I insist on the assertion that “Computer Models prove beyond any doubt that resolution of conflicts by pacifistic methods are always ‘constructive’ while combative approaches are ALWAYS ‘destructive’.
    Under all circumstances actions of logical and fair persons are in the constructive category while activities of psychopathic, self-righteous bullies are in the opposite class. If you run a simulation of all possible conflicts among all types of individuals and calculate cost (destructiveness) for billions of possibilities you could see a curve similar to curve of light wave where the minimum point is for the first group..

    In formulating such simulations there are no winners or losers. The number of interactions in these type of simulations must be very large in order to get a reliable average. At beginning of the process (state of least reliable result), temporary winners might end up to be the losers (at state of most reliable result).

  2. Humanist says:

    James

    Re: your February 7, 2;49pm post

    I am a very skeptical person, I do not trust Obama. I wish I am wrong.

    In my view at best he is a very weak President. However he was the first American President who, in his UN speech referred to Israel as a Jewish State, who vetoed the condemnation of WB settlements and so on.

    I am just hoping the next P5+1 negotiations with Iran bears fruit. Depending on an positive outcome I might revise my impression of Obama, else I believe he and Congress have set the relation with Iran on a heinous path of WAR which is detrimental to both US and Iran.

    That I think is truly alarming and shameful

  3. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    I don’t think the Syrian government wanted the Arab League to pull its observers out of the country.

  4. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    By “nuclear Iran”, do you mean Iranian operation of nuclear power plants and control of fuel cycle for those plants?

    Or do you mean an Iran free to stockpile as much 20% uranium as it sees fit to stockpile?

  5. fyi says:

    Irshad says: February 9, 2012 at 5:22 am

    The United States, UK, France, Israel, and Saudi Arabia do not have the power to undo a nuclear Iran.

    Nor can they do anything to prevent Iran from building nuclear weapon if her leaders believe it to be in the national interest of Iran.

  6. Here's Johnny says:

    As some of you had mentioned the US president will wait until he has public support for the attack on Iran. The president will have to earn the blood dollars through a PR campaign. He will have to do this if they expect to loose American lives. However, if a standoff aerial bombing campaign is planned, the president will just order it. The American public will just see a newspaper headline the next morning outlining the glorious victory. CNN will have video shots of smart bombs going through elevator shafts and levelling a touted nuclear facility. The American public will think nothing of it and go about with their lives.

    If Iran retaliates, by shutting down the straight of Hormuz, it will lead to a naval conflict with casualties on both sides. The Americans will loose some ships and hundreds of sailors, and the American public will be outraged. Iranian land based anti-ship missiles will keep the US fleet at bay and force them to land troops to take them out.

    Shutting down the straight of Hormuz will force the Americans into a direct fight with the Iranians. A fight the American public does not want to pay for in lives or dollars.
    Obama will have to have his PR people working overtime to get the public encourage to take on a third country in the ME.

  7. Voice of Tehran says:

    Fiorangela says:
    February 9, 2012 at 6:53 am
    Voice of Tehran says:
    February 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    .. Would consider trading him for our UN ambassador, Susanne Rice? We’ll even toss in some saffron…

    Oh my God NO !! , another Susanne Khanoom ?? Not with tons of saffron , I would rather prefer to watch her from a safe distance behind bars in a zoo :-)

  8. Photi says:

    Congratulations to Professor Marandi for clearly winning (to the informed viewer) his opponent in the Inside Story debate (and thank you Liz for the link). Barbarism is barbarism. How can that Israeli punk talk about oppression when the sanctions he is endorsing are specifically aimed at hurting the ordinary Iranian?

    If he were a chef he would be the one to spit in your food or worse. The Israelis are serving nothing but lies and distortions seasoned with more lies and distortions.

    It may have been Empty or someone else who the other day was discussing the large amounts of energy that is required in order to perpetuate lies, especially in the age of the internet. Their grandly absurd delusions of hegemony are reaching their logical end. Props again to Marandi.

  9. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Cross-posting a post from Yossi at ACW which I thought was illuminating, both in terms of the whole irrationality of the deterrence of a break-through only capability, and possibly as well as the question of Syria: why now?

    Here it is:

    Suppose for example that Syria does buy the two Amur-1650 submarines to be safely stationed in the Russian section of the Tartus port. Suppose further that the subs are bought with Iranian funds. Now in the case of a nuclear attack on Iran it can quickly build a crude bomb inside a 533 mm diameter long-range torpedo and fly it to Syria. This one torpedo launched from a submarine to a certain shore practically creates a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) situation thus “neutralizing” a nuclear arsenal of hundreds of warheads from being used offensively.

    Such a scenario ensures that the Samson Option really become a last resort defensive measure and never used as a means to compel others to give up vital interests.

    I wonder if this may be one hidden agenda behind the Iran debate that otherwise seems quite irrational. It may fill up some logical lacunae in the arguments.

    My personal view as an Israeli is that such a situation is good for Israel but very destructive to US interests.

  10. Fiorangela says:

    Voice of Tehran says:
    February 8, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Voice of Tehran, first, thank you for your kind words; they are undeserved.
    Second, The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaee was interviewed on NPR this morning. He referred to Khamenei’s speech and affirmed your point, that the Iranian people will remain unified and strong. In very forthcoming, deeply humane and wise words, he stated Iran’s policy never to attack or even threaten another country but that it is human nature and also the right of a threatened people to defend themselves by all means necessary.
    The NPR host seemed taken aback by Khazaee’s response to a question about Israel’s stance on Iran’s nuclear development. Khazaee stated the obvious: Israel has no standing on Iran’s nuclear affairs. Ambassador Khazaee’s presentation was very impressive, in tone and content. You and Iran are well served and deserve to be very proud. Would consider trading him for our UN ambassador, Susanne Rice? We’ll even toss in some saffron.

  11. Sineva says:

    Just watched the BBC evidently the arab league wants to return its observer mission to Syria.I wonder what the chances are that Syria will agree to that request??

  12. Irshad says:

    correction – *develop and DEPLOY nukes

  13. Irshad says:

    James Canning says:
    February 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Have the Brits and Saudis not heard the Iranians say they will never develop and develop nukes? Have they not what Ay. Khamenie said that building nukes is “haram” – forbidden – in Islam and Iran will never do this.

    The problem with the Saud-UK alliance against Iranian nuke is that they both have something in common with the Iranians and the Ayatollah – but both refuse to sit down and talk with them like normal civilised human beings. They rather scream and shout abuse at the Iranians and threathen them with an US/Isreal attack.

    What have constructive proposal have they made so far to deal with this? They havent – instead they have been busy antagonising the Iranians.

    The Saudis are weak in every sense of the word – they have nothing poisitve to offer the Muslim world hence they are deficent in “soft power” – all they can do is buy people and promote an intolerant brand of Islam that is nihilistic (remember the old mantra – “15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia” – interesting everyone seems to have forgotten that and are busy demonising the Quds Brigade and its head).

    James what has Britain done to help the people of Bahrain? Have they asked the Saudis to withdraw?

  14. Unknown Unknowns says:

    1. The page is taking minutes not seconds or tens of seconds to load here in Tehran. I think 500 should be the goal in terms of maximum posts per thread if possible.

    2. The latest post on ArmsControlWonk.com is by Mark Hibbs and is on the subject of Iran. He brings an insider’s view to the fore on many of the issues being a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment), including being wet on the issue of the Brazil-Turkey Tehran Declaration (unless I am quite mistaken). Someone with more patience than me might want to point him to the Leveretts’ devastating post on the subject. I was also disappointed to note that his insider position has not really made him privy to anything new on the Lavrov plan.

    http://hibbs.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/675/engage-iran-what-does-it-mean#more-2247

  15. Pirouz says:

    Eric, in Persian, that would translate to:

    They’re not divaneh, etc, etc, etc.

  16. Arnold Evans says:

    I just watched the Al-Jazeera Marandi debate. My one concern is that the host left the show not understanding that while the Israeli guy kept saying weapon, what he meant was that Iran must not have legal capabilities like Brazil and Japan have.

    An argument like “Brazil and Japan have nuclear technologies and they do not have nuclear weapons. If Israel and the United States would accept Iran having the same legal technologies, in the NPT, as other countries like Brazil and Japan, there would be no nuclear dispute. We could resolve this issue in one day.” I feel would have clarified the issue for the host.

    But the connection to Apartheid, and explaining what it means for a regime to stop existing without being a threat to the people. Also his statement that Iran’s policy is for equal rights for Muslims, Jews and Christians including a right to return of Palestinians was a very well made point.

    I loved that he suggested anyone interested to look to raceforiran.com for a balanced view of the issues, including the election issue. His saying that will make me more careful not to waste posts here.

    Overall I found it excellent. But the US position that Iran must not have the technological capabilities other NPT countries have is so thoroughly indefensible that no partisan of Israel should feel comfortable getting into a debate with an Iranian over the nuclear issue.

  17. Liz says:
    February 8, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Thank you for the link to the YouTube video, Liz, a 25-minute Al Jazeera Inside Story segment on the subject of this Race for Iran piece. It consisted mostly of a moderated debate between Professor Mohammad Marandi and an Israeli defense analyst named Jacov Katz.

    I’ll leave it to others to watch it if they’re interested (well worth it, I thought), but it was amusing enough to mention here how Dr. Marandi responded to one particular charge by Mr. Katz.

    In essence, Katz said:

    “If Iran has nothing to hide, why did it build its Fordow facility 100 meters deep in the ground?”

    Dr. Marandi responded that that was a very difficult question, since there are four possible answers, which I’ll paraphrase here:

    1. The Iranians are not crazy.

    2. The Iranians are not crazy.

    3. The Iranians are not crazy.

    4. The Iranians are not crazy.

  18. Unknown Unknowns: “The first few sentences are a good summary of why Richard is probably wrong.”

    Buchanan is wrong. The nuclear issue has always been a red herring. It is useful only as an “excuse”.

    What does it matter if Clapper says Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program before Congress and shortly after the President goes on national TV before the Superbowl and says Iran DOES have a nuclear weapons program?

    Which person do you think the bulk of the population pays attention to?

    Clapper doesn’t even say that. He says Iran hasn’t decided to BUILD a nuclear weapon yet. Yet every newspaper piece in the country – as well as the President and every single Republican candidate – says Iran has a “nuclear weapons program.”

    The distinction is lost on the entire public.

    And the notion that because some flunkies may not want war that the ruling elites don’t – well, Buchanan should know better than THAT! He’s not a complete idiot…

    If no one wants war, why are we rushing headlong toward one?

    War with Iran is inevitable. Everyone in power wants it, no one not in power can stop it.

    It’s a FANTASY that Obama doesn’t want a war with Iran. He just doesn’t want one he didn’t start.

  19. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Good short article by Pat Buchanan

    http://lewrockwell.com/buchanan/buchanan215.html

    The first few sentences are a good summary of why Richard is probably wrong. Buchanan’s piece implies if not actually positing that the country has not gone entirely bonkers, and that it is only the Republican wing of the polity that has been kidnapped (and that the Democrats do not want war with Iran).

  20. Dan Cooper says:

    Tom Burghardt says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Good article.

    Israel to the United States: “We’ll Give You the War, You Give Us the Cannon Fodder”

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/02/israel-to-the-united-states-well-give-you-the-war-you-give-us-the-cannon-fodder/

    Needless to say, a boycott of Iranian financial institutions by SWIFT would be catastrophic to Iran’s economy, a provocation fully intended as a step towards war.

    As the World Socialist Web Site noted, “if Israel does attack Iran, it will not simply be ‘a surgical strike’ that destroys Iran’s key nuclear facilities. Any Iranian retaliation will be used by the US as a pretext for a massive air war aimed at destroying the country’s military and infrastructure. As a result, any conflict carries a real danger of becoming a regional war that could embroil the major powers.”

    Despite the evident madness of countenancing an Iran attack, political calculations by capitalist elites during a critical election year in the United States, with “conservative” and “liberal” factions angling for advantage by currying favor with the powerful Zionist and U.S. defense lobbies, Israel’s unambiguous message to the White House is: “We’ll give you the war, you give us the cannon fodder.”

  21. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    February 8, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    James,

    you are engaged in semantic gymnastics! The UK government wanted a “changed regime” in Iran be it by regime change or by the regime capitulating to the demands of the west.

    Jack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Jack,

    IAEA with Amano as its head is effectively a new branch of the US policy machine – a la wikileaks. It does not need any new evidence, information, inspection, or facts to issue reports critical on Iran. Iran knows it, IAEA knows it, the West knows it, and so does everybody else.

  22. Nasser says:

    Charlie Rose interviews Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. Pretty interesting; he speaks quite frankly on many issues including on Iran.

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12140

  23. Jack says:

    Harsher IAEA report on Iran nuclear program expected next month
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/harsher-iaea-report-on-iran-nuclear-program-expected-next-month-1.411806

    QUOTE

    “The agency’s board of governors is scheduled to convene on March 5 in Vienna, the same day on which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to give a speech in Washington at a meeting of the annual policy conference of the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee”

    END OF QUOTE

  24. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with John Limbert who says US negotiators “need to be talking [with Iran[ about Afghanistan, Iran, terrorism, drugs, piracy…”

    Rabid “supporters” of Israel in US Congress want to prevent any talks.

  25. James Canning says:

    New York Times reported today the Obama administration will cut the size of the colossal US embassy in Baghdad by 50%. This will be a very good thing, and let’s hope it happens asap.

  26. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    My understanding is that the UK and the Saudis agree that Iran will not be allowed to build nukes.

    Has anyone seriously doubted this, since this past June or July?

  27. James Canning says:

    Wes,

    The key issue last year was Iran’s decision to treble production of 20% U, and the resulting response from the UK.

    The UK clearly was not seeking regime change in Iran. But regime change would obviously be better than war with Iran.

  28. fyi says:

    All:

    On regime-change in Iran – the Truth from the Horse’s Mouth (as is said)

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/envoy/senate-resolution-rule-containing-nuclear-iran-221907797.html

    This was almost certainly a pre-emptive strike by one US faction against another to prevent any movement on Iran by US Government.

  29. Wes says:

    James oh sorry I thought you wrote that bolton didnt seek regime change.
    UK and US of course seek regime change in Iran. That non debatable.

  30. James Canning says:

    Wes,

    The New Statesman called Gingrich the most dangerous American, in part because he promised to make the warmonger John Bolton sec of state if he gets into the White House.

  31. James Canning says:

    Wes,

    William Hague went to considerable lengths last year to make clear the UK did not seek regime change in Iran, but was deeply concerned about Iranian production of 20% U.

    You may recall that Ahmadineajd offered for Iran to stop production of 20% U but Obama foolishly failed to respond to the offer.

  32. James Canning says:

    Wes,

    John Bolton does want an overthrow of government of Iran. And Syria. And Gaza.

  33. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Yes, it will be interesting. Maybe buy gold in India? Sell it for euros? Iranian oil minister said Iran will work out barter deals if it becomes necessary. So far, no discounts given to China or other countries.

    Too much oil in western Canada these days; some oil is selling in low 60s.

  34. Wes says:

    James you cant be serious?

    John Bolton on Iran – Regime change or military force!

    http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/1668¨

    If you claim that a guy like Bolton doesnt want regime change in Iran, who wants?

    You must have missed that UK push for regime change in Iran, what kind of books do you read giving you such a badly analysis?

  35. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    What is “total capitulation”?

  36. James Canning says:

    John Limbert sees the same problem I mention from time to time: Iran does not have diplomats in Washington, nor does the US have them in Tehran. This makes things much more difficult.

    “Thirty-two years of sanctions and bluster haven’t worked. It’s time to try something different.” Says Limbert.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/02/07/we_need_to_talk_to_iran_but_how

  37. Nasser says:

    James Canning,

    “I do not doubt that neocon warmongers like John Bolton or Elliott Abrams want to destroy the “Islamic Republic” (meaning, they would like to see the government overthrown). This is not US policy, however. Nor is it the policy of the UK.”

    – The only difference between so called neocons and people like Obama is that the neocons bare their fangs while Obama and others are much better at hiding their intent. They all want the same thing regarding Iran, total capitulation.

  38. k_w: “First foreign troops in Syria back Homs rebels”

    Even though it’s from DebkaFile, I don’t doubt it. This is exactly what happened in Libya…except it appears to be moving much faster. Of course, the Syria crisis has been building for ten months or more, but still events appear to be rushing toward a war faster than Libya did. At least that’s my perception.

  39. fyi says:

    James Canning says: February 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Rubbish!

    I suggest you listen to Ambassador Limbert’s interview very carefully.

  40. James,

    “The Financial Times reported today that Iran has agreed to allow Indian companies to pay 45% of the purchase price for Iranian oil, using rupees. Balance still to be determined.”

    That’s interesting. Not quite sure what Iran will do with all those rupees, but I’m sure they’ll come up with something.

  41. fyi says:

    James Canning says: February 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    It matters not.

    US leaders have taken their country to the verge of war in their confrontation with Iran; incorrectly assuming that Iran was on the verge of internal regime change.

    We will see more interesting stuff in the coming weeks and months as this see-saws.

  42. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I do not doubt that neocon warmongers like John Bolton or Elliott Abrams want to destroy the “Islamic Republic” (meaning, they would like to see the government overthrown). This is not US policy, however. Nor is it the policy of the UK.

  43. Eric: “I regret that your last post was impossible for me to understand, much less respond to.”

    That’s a new one…

    “I suggest that others read it carefully.”

    Me, too.

  44. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Funny post re: Newt Gingrich’s idiotic warning of Iranian nuclear attack. Cover of the New Statesman Jan 30th had a picture of Gingrich and the line: “10 things you need to know about America’s most dangerous man.”

  45. fyi says:

    James Canning says: February 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    You have too understand this:

    That US policy – per the statement of Ambassador Limbert, is the destruction of the Islamic Republic.

    In that he is correct.

    You also have to understand that conversations with Ambassador Burns wee useless; US State Department does not set Iran’s policy.

    In that Ambassador Limbert is wrong – talking to Ambassador Burns was like talking to the Butler; he could carry a mesaage and the Lord wo(of the manor) would make the decision.

    In case of Iran, the Iranians correctly estimated that there was not much to discuss.

    After all, what useful thing can one say to the messenger of the fellow who aims to destroy him?

    [I imagine that if professional diplomats had anything to do with the conception, formulation, and execution of US Iran policy, the matters would not have progressed this far.

    But the hard men who run US policy belive that victory is achieveable.]

    let us see what Mr. Obama’s new messages will bring about.

  46. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times reported today that Iran has agreed to allow Indian companies to pay 45% of the purchase price for Iranian oil, using rupees. Balance still to be determined.

  47. James Canning says:

    Limbert notes also, in his article Feb. 7th, that the Iranians would not talk to William Burns last year even though in 2009 Burns had been involved in the discussions with Iran regarding re-fueling the TRR.

  48. James Canning says:

    John Limbert has piece at ForeignPolicy.com Feb. 7th (“We need to talk to Iran, but how?”), where he notes, “for Americans, the concern is technical and legal matters such as the amounts of low- and high-enriched uranium. . .”

    Limbert appears to be labeling 20% U as “high-enriched” uranium.

  49. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Wall Street Journal Feb. 8th, Charles S. Robb notes that “Iran’s nuclear program [has] advanced drmatically – – doubling its uranium enrichment rate, enriching uranium to ever higher levels. . .”

    Also: “Providing Israel with advanced bunker-buster munitions and refueling tankers to extend the range of its jets would help convince the Iranians to pursue a diplomatic solution.”

    There it is: Iran’s enriching to 20% is cast as “enriching to ever higher levels”.

    Some of us remember when Robb married the elder daughter of Lyndon Johnson.

  50. Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I regret that your last post was impossible for me to understand, much less respond to. I suggest that others read it carefully.

  51. kooshy says:

    According to Iranian site Tabnak, in reply to Turkey’s request( apparently Turkey has confirmed 49 officers are being held by Syrian army) Syria has set 3 conditions to release 49 Turkish inelegant officers currently captured by Syria

    1-Turkey to return to Syria, Syrian army officers who have deserted to Turkey including some members of FSA
    2-Turkey’s guaranteed to prevent FSA entering Syria from Turkey and to stop training of the FSA in Turkey
    3-For Iran to be present and be the arbiter of this agreement

    http://www.tabnak.ir/fa/news/225621/شروط-سوریه-برای-آزاد-کردن-49-افسر-تُرک

  52. fyi says:

    All:

    Ambassador Limbert’s Interview

    http://www.electricpolitics.com/podcast/2012/01/one_of_the_other_cold_wars.html

    If you listen to it, half-way through, the US policy goal is clearly stated – destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

  53. Voice of Tehran says:

    Fiorangela says:
    February 8, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Dear Fior , you are so knowledgable , beyond imaginatinon to begin with.
    Today the Leader of the Revolution spoke to the armed forces and I was watching his speech live on IRIB.
    He might NOT be the ” Hero ” and the Grand ‘conqueror’ , Ayatollah Khamenei is the BEST we have and may God bless him !
    I know RSH would declare me as insane , but the most effective weapon against our enemy is our will and our resistance. ( Not only of Iranians , but 1.2 bilion Muslims , where ever they live )
    Dear Fior , once ‘awakened’ there is no way back….

  54. Fiorangela says:

    A Suggestion —

    DO NOT POST ANY ADDITIONAL COMMENTS ON THIS THREAD

    Post on this earlier thread instead:

    Defending RFI From Theft and Misappropriation

    to relieve overload

    Please do not post above this comment.

    post comments at
    :http://www.raceforiran.com/defending-race-for-iran-from-theft-and-misappropriation

    until the Leveretts post a new article.

  55. k_w says:

    First foreign troops in Syria back Homs rebels:

    http://www.debka.com/article/21718/

  56. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    I think once the Russian elections – and the immediate aftermath of complaints about them – are over,

    Russian have been busy installing camera at all voting stations to record none-stop. For some $500M

  57. Wes says:

    Richard you wrote:

    Really, Syria is on a fast track to air bombardment. At this rate, it could happen by April.

    *****

    Reminds me what ehud barak belive or maybe even know…
    http://www.forward.com/articles/148113/

  58. Wes says:

    The usual warmonger state in the west (US, UK, France) are furious that they didnt get their wish accomplished by invading another state due the russian, chinese veto. So now they are obviously plotting to reject international law and try to get an intervention another way, the intervention must go on, blood must spill…. They cant simply accept that all states doesnt agree that they could invade whoever they want. As always western deals are always take it or leave it, they are so ignorant and self-centred.

    What we will see is more arm funding for the violent rebellion that create more instability, then they will send nato in, possibly with russian and chinese acceptance since they might be persuaded. We have seen it before…

  59. Fiorangela says:

    Voice of Tehran,
    wrote:

    “And as the elitists are losing on all fronts there is a general awakening in the mind of the masses of almost all countries in the world , it is a god given thing.”

    I wish I could find as much hope in the awakening of the masses as you do.
    Millions of people protested against war in Iraq, but it happened anyway.

  60. Russia denies deal with Iran over military cooperation
    http://en.trend.az/regions/world/russia/1989867.html

    What do you think? Did Russia make a deal and is keeping it secret to avoid being blasted for supporting Iran AND Syria? Or was there no deal?

  61. Signs build that Iran sanctions disrupt food imports
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/08/us-iran-idUSTRE8171T720120208

    Starve em! We think it’s worth it! – Madeleine Albright…

    Quote

    Energy is not the only Iranian export that has been hurt. Traders said that China is likely to cut its purchases of Iranian iron ore as well, worth $2 billion a year.

    “There is a huge risk ahead, and many haven’t realized it yet,” said a senior executive at a Shanghai-based trading firm that has a long-term partnership with an Iranian ore supplier.

    “It is easy for the United States to freeze our business, forcing large Chinese Iran ore traders, which have large trading volumes with Iran, to be more cautious when making bookings. It’s not worth taking the risk.”

    A Chinese iron ore buyer based in eastern China’s Shandong province said some of his Iranian suppliers had rushed shipments, a sign that they too were worried about potential payment problems. Shipments booked in February had arrived early, and he expected imports to decline by March.

    End Quote

  62. fyi says:

    Nasser says: February 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Yes, you are correct.

    There are multiple problems here:

    LNG stations are more hazardous since they could be more easily blown up.

    For security reasons, they are usually outside of cities.

    Next comes the fact that the LNG has a much lower octane number and thus necessitates more frequent re-fueling for vehicle so-equipped.

    Currently mostly taxis and city buses are in the various stages of being adjusted to running on LNG.

    Another attempt, using lighter vehicles, for example by using carbon fiber for fuel tanks, has been hit by sanctions since carbon fiber is dual use (according to the same people who prevented Iraq from receiving sweage treatment equipment in 1990s.)

    The major problem, in my opinion, is in the wasteful way the Iranian people use fuel.

    That has to be changed, and is chaniging, by price increaes.

    There is no other way.

  63. And I missed this quote:

    “U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay called for urgent international action to protect civilians in Syria, saying she is “appalled” by the government’s “willful assault on the city of Homs.” Pillay also said is it time for the international community to “cut through the politics and take action” to protect the civilian population.”

    If that isn’t a call for military intervention, I don’t know what is. What other kind of “protect civilians” measure can possibly be implemented without using force?

    Really, Syria is on a fast track to air bombardment. At this rate, it could happen by April.

  64. Turkey Wants International Conference on Syria
    http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Turkey-Wants-International-Conference-on-Syria-138957454.html

    This is the key point buried in the article:

    “The diplomatic move is seen by some as an attempt to circumvent the U.N. impasse and build an international alliance similar to the Libya Contact Group, which helped Libyan opposition oust Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.”

  65. By the way, that iraqwar link I accidentally posted isn’t correct. It’s actually http://www.iraq-war.ru/

  66. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    I think it would be best for Iran if she would force Iranian consumers to turn away from gasoline consumption as much as possible to CNG consumption. Oil is much much easier to export than natural gas. This would have the added benefit of clearing up the air in Iran’s streets.

  67. Unknown Unknowns: Much as I hate to contribute yet another off topic post to this thread with over 1100 posts in it already…

    Tim Allen had a joke in one of his books re snails. This is a joke you’re supposed to tell fast and wait for people to get it.

    Guy coming home at night walking up his sidewalk sees a snail crawling across the sidewalk. He kicks it into the grass, goes in to the house.

    Three years later, he hears a knock on the door, looks out, no one there, looks down, it’s the snail, snail says, “What the hell was that all about?”

    I appear here most evenings…

  68. fyi says:

    Nasser says: February 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Russians, Chinese, Uzbecks do not want Taliban near their borders.

    The world has changed since Taliban won; Russia, Iran, Uzbeckistan are not as weak as then.

    Iranians have a geopolitical stake in the developments in Northern Afghanistan; they are concerned about Tadjkistan with whom they have an emotional relationship.

    Then there is the tran-Asian trasnportation routes that is going across Central Asia – partly through Afghanistan.

    You are correct that Taliban could still try to win the control of the rest of Afghanistan.

    My expectation is that Iran, India, China, Russia, Uzbeckistan will try to oppose it by any means necessary.

    And so will the Hazara, the Turkoman and the Tadjik (of Afghanistan).

    [Even in 1990s, the Taliban could not advance through Panj Shir Valley.]

    Regarding Iraq:

    I cannot specifiy detailed information since I do not have them. I could only observe that as Iranians have increased their trade and investments there, their trade with UAE has declined.

    It is much easier to bust sanctions through Iraq now than through Dubai.

    Dubai’s own sanctions have accelerated the re-routing of the flow of goods and money to and from Iran.

  69. Voice of Tehran: “If you and I know correctly that the elitists won’t give a whit ( a shit , a damn ) of how a war would cost the lives of whatever number of dead US and IR soldiers , the ‘real’ parties involved know better than you and me.”

    Which “real parties” are you referring to? The grunts on the ground? When was the last time they stopped a war? When was the last time in the last ten years they stopped a war? Half the Pentagon generals might not look forward to an Iran war, but I can assure you the other half do.

    And they’re not calling the shots either. They will do what they’re told if they want that cushy military-industrial complex board job when they retire.

    “It is a huge ( most absurd ) marketing game and the elistist are losing on all fronts in my opinion..”

    Good luck with that impression.

    I will re-iterate: There will be a Syria war this year, followed by an Iran war within the next couple years. There will be NO “de-escalation” of any kind.

  70. OFF-TOPIC WARNING!

    Unknown Unknowns: “LMAO at the George Foreman grill! Must have been one of those impulse buys on HSN. You must be the first Transhuan with a freakin’ consumer streak.”

    Nope. A co-worker, when I was working at City College of San Francisco while taking courses there, gave it to me.

    Now I HAVE just recently purchased a new compact refrigerator AND a new compact microwave. I’m so poor all I had to cook with until now was the grill and a hot pot. The microwave will help my diet a lot – once I get some more microwave safe bowls and stuff. I need a microwave popcorn popper – I love popcorn. :-)

    “Have you seen *William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers*?”

    No, thanks for mentioning it. It’s on Youtube, so I’ll download it. That also shows me other Burroughs stuff on Youtube. I may download some of those, too.

  71. fyi says:

    Nasser says: February 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Yes, another strike against the rulers of Pakistan as they compromise the well-being of Pakistan’s people in their pursuit of illusions and chimeras.

    When they start freezing, I suppose they will be completing the pipeline.

    [There has already been riots due to electricity shortages in Pakistan.]

    The problem with Pakistan is much deeper than just this; consider the trade between Iran and Afghanistan (2 billion dollars) compared to Pakistan (1 billion) in 2011.

    It is my personal opinion that the leaders of pakistan, since the murder of the late Mr. Bhutto, have served Pakistan poorly.

    At any rate, Iranians will be working with Russia to maintain Northern Afghanistan away from Taliban.

    I note here that Iran has been successful in creating a Win-Win situation in Northern Afghanistan.

    Pakistan, and later the United States, could never create a Win-Win situation for Afghans.

  72. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    “Almost certainly Iran (with the help of Russia) will carve out Northern Afghanistan and leave the South to Taliban, Indians, and Paksitanis to play their (stupid) game.”

    – Please what makes you say this? I have seen no evidence to support this conclusion. It seems like the Taliban with the help of the Pakistanis and acquiescence of China and Turkmenistan is just going to over run all of Afghanistan just like before. Why do you believe it will be different this time? With that being said it is certainly in Iran’s interest that NATO forces withdraw swiftly no matter what the post settlement outcome.

    “In Iraq, the process is in palce to tie the 2 countries closely together. There the Iranians will ruthlessly crush any vestiges of Sunni power and destroy Saudi Arabia’s influence.”

    – I would appreciate it if you would elaborate on this a bit more.

  73. Tom Burghardt: “Israel to the United States: “We’ll Give You the War, You Give Us the Cannon Fodder”

    This piece was more interesting to me. I’d forgotten about the plans to attack Syria in the ’50’s.

    US, UK Targeting Syria: Revisiting 1957 Attack Plans?
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/02/us-uk-targeting-syria/

    Quote

    In late 2003, the year of the Iraq invasion, Matthew Jones, a Reader in International History at London’s Royal Holloway College, discovered “frighteningly frank” documents — 1957 plans between then UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and then President Dwight Eisenhower endorsing: “a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion (of Syria) by Syria’s pro-western neighbours.”

    At the heart of the plan was the assassination of the perceived power behind then President Shukri al-Quwatli. Those targeted were Abd al-Hamid Sarraj, Head of Military Intelligence; Afif al-Bizri, Chief of Syrian General Staff: and Khalid Bakdash, who headed the Syrian Communist Party.

    The document was drawn up in Washington in September of 1957:

    In order to facilitate the action of liberative (sic) forces, reduce the capabilities of the regime to organize and direct its military actions … to bring about the desired results in the shortest possible time, a special effort should be made to eliminate certain key individuals.

    Their removal should be accomplished early in the course of the uprising and intervention, and in the light of circumstances existing at the time.

    In light of President Assad’s current allegations of foreign forces, interventions and cross-border incursions, this document contains some fascinating, salutary phrases:

    Once a political decision has been reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS (MI6) will attempt to mount minor sabotage and coup de main (sic) incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals.

    Incidents should not be concentrated in Damascus … care should be taken to avoid causing key leaders of the Syrian regime to take additional personal protection measures.

    Further, a “necessary degree of fear … frontier incidents and (staged) border clashes”, would “provide a pretext for intervention” by Iraq and Jordan – then still under British mandate.

    Syria was to be “made to appear as sponsor of plots, sabotage and violence directed against neighbouring governments … the CIA and SIS should use … capabilitites in both psychological and action fields to augment tension.”

    Incursions into Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon would involve “sabotage, national conspiracies, and various strong arms activities”, were, advised the document, to be blamed on Damascus.

    In late December 2011 an opposition “Syria National Council” was announced, to “liberate the country”. Representatives met with Hilary Clinton. There now seems to be a US – endorsed “Syrian Revolutionary Council.”

    The Eisenhower-Macmillan plan was for funding of the “Free Syria Committee” and “arming of political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities”, within Syria.

    CIA-MI6 planned fomenting internal uprisings and replacing the Ba’ath Communist-leaning government with a Western, user-friendly one. Expecting this to be met by public hostility, they planned to “probably need to rely first on repressive measures and arbitrary exercise of power.”

    The document was signed off in both London and Washington. It was, wrote Macmillan in his diary, “a most formidable report” — a report which was “withheld even from British Chiefs of Staff …”

    End Quote

    Note that last bit about how even the Chiefs of Staff didn’t know about these plans!

    THAT’S how the ruling elites work! Remember that the next time this idiot Panetta has anything to say…

  74. Nasser says:

    Ambassador Bhadrakumar writes: “Pakistan ditches Kabul, Tehran.” Apparently Pakistan is dragging its feet on the pipeline project, AGAIN.

    “The tensions in the United States-Pakistan ties are fast subsiding. The surest sign is that the drones are back on the Pakistani skies, raining death in the tribal tracts on the Afghan border and the folks in Islamabad and Rawalpindi couldn’t care less. The Pakistani leaders know that the drone attacks now carry President Barack Obama’s imprimatur.

    Notionally, Pakistani army chief Pervez Kayani has ordered the Pakistani troops to shoot down anything that violates the Pakistani air space but that is only theatrics meant to assuage the agitated Pakistani public opinion. A few hours ago, the US’ drone aircraft struck again — for the fifth time in the past 4 weeks.
    Two other signs that US-Pak ties are ‘normalising’ also may be noted. One, Pak Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar has held out the assurance that Pakistan proposes to reopen the transit routes for the NATO convoys. Mukhtar put on a brave face saying NATO should fulfill certain conditions, but he made it clear that it is a political call: “There should not be any misunderstandings with America, the two countries have enjoyed good ties and it is our duty to mend relations.”

    The second indication is Washington’s decision to repair the mil-to-mil ties by dispatching the chief of the US Central Command Gen. James Mattis to meet Kayani. Mattis would probably tell Kayani ‘We’re sorry we killed your chaps on Nov 26′ — knowing beforehand that Kayani wants to hear just those few words and is sure to be in a forgiving mood for ever thereafter.

    Pakistan has made its point that only with its cooperation, Washington can make substantial headway in the peace talks with Pakistan. In fact, the next phase of the talks is stuck without the green signal from Kayani. On the other hand, US also made its point to Pakistan that the goodies will be available only with strings attached. The truth is that the Pakistani economy is packing up and beggars can’t be choosers.
    So, it suits both Mattis and Kayani to kiss and make up. Meanwhile, the political leadership is also doing its bit with PM Yusuf Gilani is visiting Qatar, which is going to be the scene of action between the US and Taliban diplomats. If US is willing to share a piece of the action with Pakistan, the latter would play footsie in Qatar. No doubt on that score.

    Gilani would also probably explore with Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani as to what is there in the fabulous Qatari kitty for Pakistan. (Maybe a joint bid for hosting Olympics 2020?) The ISI chief Ahmed Pasha already visited Qatar to check out. By the way, Mattis too is based in Qatar as the head of the US Central Command. He might invite Kayani to drop by before he retires — and even bring Mullah Omar along.
    Thus, it is Qatar, Stupid! Afghan President Hamid Karzai can have a sideshow with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia if he so wishes (provided Omar agrees, which he won’t), because for Pakistan it’s now Qatar, Qatar, Qatar.

    But there is a catch. Karzai was hoping to have a joint track with Pakistan to reconcile the Taliban. Actually, this was originally a Pakistani suggestion to spite Washington. Thus, Karzai agreed to visit islamabad on Feb 16 to revive the joint Pak-Afghan commission. Now, Pakistan has since had a change of heart.
    Pakistan now prefers to work with the US rather than with Karzai. So, what to do? Therefore, Pakistan is making Karzai’s Islamabad visit a grand ceremonial occasion with state banquets, grandiloquent speeches, photo-ops, by inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to join in. But diplomats in islamabad have already ‘leaked’ that it is going to be all show and no real substance – lest Washington took offence.

    In sum, Pakistan is trading Ahmedinejad and Karzai for Mattis. The sure sign of Islamabad’s bazaari deal with Washington is apparent from the cold feet Pakistan is developing on the Iran gas pipeline. Consider the following. Iran has completed the construction of its part of the pipeline. Pakistan originally said it would complete its work by end-2013, but the date is now mentioned as ‘2014′. Meanwhile, it suddenly occurs to Pakistan that it should check out whether Iran (which has the second largest gas reserves in the world) would have sufficient gas to supply! After all, it is a buyer’s prerogative to know the supplier has the wares to supply!

    Over and above, Pakistan now wants an independent third party to audit Iran’s gas reserves. Which, of course, Pakistan knows well enough is like asking for the moon. No auditing party worth its name on the planet will come forward when President Barack Obama is watching Iran’s energy reserves with an eagle’s eye. The funny part is that Pakistan expects the auditors to certify that Qatar is not stealing what Iran claims to be its gas reserves in South Pars! Obviously, Pakistan is shelving the Iran pipeline project. Energy security can wait but Obama’s goodwill cannot. And all this when Iran is bending over backward and offering generously to Pakistan that it could undertake the construction work of the pipeline on the Pakistani side as well so as to speed up the project.”

    blogs . rediff . com/mkbhadrakumar/2012/02/08/pakistan-ditches-kabul-tehran/

  75. kooshy says:

    Riche- Thank you for your reply on Nam

  76. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Richard says, “Only if Putin is REALLY willing to draw a MILITARY red line in the sand will the US and NATO back off this campaign.”

    Well, how about if Russia and Iran agree that Syria is where they have to take a stand, and make it known through backdoor channels to Uncle In Your Face From Outer Space that if he tries to pull a Daffy on R U Syrious, that Daddy Long Legs will have the backing of Iran and Hizbollah (with Iraq providing transportation services), and the backing of Russia (and China via Iran) in terms of all the arms and hightech gizmos they need? In other words, what if the Bear decides the snare is closing too closely in on him and tells Uncle Weasel enough is enough. Don’t go there, girlfriend. High noon at the OK Coral.

    With that, its bedtime for this Bonzo.

  77. BiBiJon says:

    I think this qualifies fro another $5 million check, Adelson!

    “Newt Gingrich [moonbase towrds the end of his 2nd term] asserted on Wednesday that an Iranian nuclear attack on the United States was “a real danger” and that it could kill and wound hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/gingrich-warns-of-iranian-nuclear-attack-on-u-s/

  78. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela … and to Ted Turner and CNN earlier. Is no one writing the history of American media and its capitualtion to the ownership and threats of the neocons?

  79. Kooshy: “If someone believes that the Iranian elections were rigged consequentially they would believe that the current Iranian government is illegitimate and not a representative government of Iranian people”

    If they BELIEVE that the elections were rigged due to their own analysis of the available information, then they are RIGHT to believe that government is illegitimate.

    The question is whether they BELIEVE this. Bolton does not, he just ACCUSES Iran of it. He doesn’t CARE whether it’s true or not.

    Raimondo DOES care whether it’s true or not, as far as I know. He just happens to have decided that it IS true. You can’t blame a guy for a sincere conviction if he hasn’t been exposed to sufficient counter arguments. You can say he’s still WRONG, but he’s not a lying neocon like Bolton.

    “it makes it worse if they are proven wrong and for some personal reason they refuse to change their stand.”

    I don’t know that Raimondo has or has not changed his stand. I don’t know if he’s seen all the studies and arguments that the elections were not rigged. So we can hardly condemn him without knowing that.

    “At the end of the day I stand by my opinion on the American anti-war left (regardless of their political alignment and labels) they all like to keep the empire but some want a bit softer gentler one. Is too late for this kind of crap from the left, they have not obtained a meaningful public support since they don’t have a viable media.”

    I agree with that. I just remind you that Raimondo is not like Cole; he’s not a “leftist interventionist.”

    By the war, the phrase “left (regardless of their political alignment and labels)” is a contradiction in terms, which I what I’m pointing out to you.

    “One question I always wanted to ask you, is since I know you served in Vietnam, did you become discounted with the system after you returned and because of the way the war was ended, or you became discounted because you were forced to it by way of draft.”

    Neither. I was an Objectivist libertarian when I entered the Army in March, 1967. I was not drafted, I “enlisted to avoid the draft” as we used to say. If you were drafted, you were sent to the infantry, and I wasn’t THAT stupid. If you enlisted, you got to choose your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) and hopefully you wouldn’t get reassigned to infantry.

    I tried to get into Military Intelligence but didn’t have a high school diploma (at the time, got my GED in basic training), so I got stuck in supply. Then I was reassigned out of that when I got to Vietnam and managed to worm my way into a soft job as a clerk in the company office at Cam Ranh Bay, and later assigned as a radio operator for a petroleum detachment 100 miles north at Phung Ro Bay. Upon return to the states, I was assigned to a clerical job in the Adjutant General’s office at Fort Rucker, Alabama, until my discharge in March, 1970.

    I didn’t have much knowledge of what the war was about – but I DID know I didn’t like the way the military is run, the degree of stupidity involved, the regimentation, etc. Most of the people in the Army at that time were draftees, and most didn’t want to be there. Also one could see every day on the ground how stupid the war was, if not the overall geopolitical or domestic political reasons, let alone the military-industrial complex reasons. That came much later for me.

    If anything, the military is what turned me into an anarchist, though I didn’t switch from Objectivism to anarchism until after getting out. Transhumanism came in much later, in the early ’80’s.

    I didn’t follow US foreign policy much until the Iraq invasion in 2003. I was an anarchist, so anything the government did was wrong in my view. The real reasons for US foreign policy I learned as a result of getting interested in the Iraq war and reading up on the alternative war news sites.

    I started with http://www.iraqwar.ru (which is still in operation), mostly because the word was they had connections to the Russian GRU military intelligence and were getting reports from Iraq that the war wasn’t going the way the US media were telling. The site covered other foreign policy matters, and eventually I discovered antiwar.com and the like.

    I don’t recall exactly when Iran became the issue of focus for me rather than Iraq. Maybe it was around 2006 when the rhetoric really started heating up.

  80. kooshy says:

    Apparently there is a clip of Russian UN ambassador warning the Qatari foreign minster during the Syria debate last Saturday if anyone has access to it a link is appreciated

  81. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy & Richard:
    “I think this web site is getting to its limit, is becoming harder to upload”

    You should try downloading 1000+ comments pages in Iran. The internet speed here crawls slower than the freakin’ traffic, which is treacle slow when not gridlocked. It reminds me of a scene I saw when I was in Central Park back in the day.

    This turtle was flailing around on its back when a cop turns him over. The turtle thanks the office and tells him he was just mugged by a couple of snails. The cop asks him to tell him all about it, starting from the beginning, and the turtle says, “I don’t know, officer. Everything happened so fast.”

  82. Voice of Tehran says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    Voice of Tehran: “No Richard , there will be no war as you imagine it.”
    Yes, there will.

    Richard , you are underestimating the forces of logic, even in an apparently complete mind-controlled environment.
    If you and I know correctly that the elitists won’t give a whit ( a shit , a damn ) of how a war would cost the lives of whatever number of dead US and IR soldiers , the ‘real’ parties involved know better than you and me.
    It is a huge ( most absurd ) marketing game and the elistist are losing on all fronts in my opinion..
    And as the elitists are losing on all fronts there is a general awakening in the mind of the masses of almost all countries in the world , it is a god given thing.

  83. kooshy says:

    Russia warns France over Syria crisis
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/225696.html

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy against “unilateral” action with regards to the Syria crisis.

  84. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior-san:

    Big hug right back at you :)
    I used to listen to Floyd, Genesis, Tull and Deep Purple as an early teen while my sister listened to David Casidy, the Osmonds, Jim Croce and James Taylor. Needless to say, we didn’t get along. LOL. But now, I like (the older) James Taylor :)

    *

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    LMAO at the George Foreman grill! Must have been one of those impulse buys on HSN. You must be the first Transhuan with a freakin’ consumer streak.

    Have you seen *William S. Burroughs: Commissioner of Sewers*?

  85. heinz says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    is anybody starting to get a sense of what the German people were up against?

  86. Eric: “My point is that Raimondo sides 100% with people like John Bolton on the “facts” of the 2009 Iran election, but then distances himself on the “remedy.””

    Oh, this is utter bullshit. There is ZERO comparison with people like Bolton or Cole.

    Raimondo has in NO sense EVER “distanced himself from the remedy” which by your implication means that he favors regime change as a foreign policy prescription.

    He explicitly does NOT.

    *I* would like to see the Iranian state brought down! I’m an ANARCHIST! Of COURSE I want to see that state brought down – just like every OTHER state in the world including the US!

    That doesn’t mean I intend to “fake” not wanting a war with Iran!

    You’re an idiot on this issue. Raimondo has nothing whatever to do with Bolton or Cole.

    You’re just ticked off that Raimondo doesn’t pay any attention to you on the election fraud issue.

    “which I’m surprised is not getting across to you”

    I know EXACTLY what you’re doing! You do the SAME THING EVERY TIME! You put forward one argument in an attempt to bolster an argument on one of your other positions.

    You think I’m too stupid to see through this “lawyer’s trick”? Sorry to burst your bubble…

    Raimondo is in no way comparable to Bolton even if they both think the elections were fraudulent. And there is no way either one could successfully use the argument of the other to support their OTHER positions on Iran without deliberately obfuscating their REAL positions – as YOU are trying to do.

    Nice try. Take a hike with this.

  87. Kathleen says:

    Fio “Neocons are doing a similar thing to Brian Lamb and C Span.” Know that the Israel firster organization Camera has a website up now totally focused on Cspan. Cspan watch. Clearly they must be having some effect. Four military action against IRan guest in one month. Two of those individuals from WINEP who were repeating many unsubstantiated claims about Iran. But one positive thing is that many callers are not buying it. Washington Journal posted a poll the other day that said that 49% of Americans would support an attack on Iran. If the levels of unsubstantited claims about Iran continue to be repeated not long before those scales are tipped to over 50%

  88. Castellio: “RSH, we seem to be on the same page even if we had different paths to it.”

    Yup. Agree with that post.

    As for Israel business, I have some peripheral interest because Israel has set itself up as THE country to go to for “security products.” Israel clearly decided early on that the best way to spy on every country was to be the country that produced the best spying systems.

    Israel supplies security products like surveillance cameras to the London Underground – which is nice if you want access to the underground to set up a “false flag” “Muslim terrorist” attack… It supplies wire tap hardware to the US government – which is nice if you want to sell wiretap information to drug gangs in Los Angeles – or of course tap into the US ruling elites phones… It also sells the hardware used by the Bush and Obama administrations to mass surveill US citizen telephone and Internet conversations… Israel wants to sell its “Wall” technology to North Korea to help NK fence in its defectors…

    And on and on…

    Most of Israel’s high tech and security related corporations are directly invested in and financed by the IDF.

    People in the US really have no idea what a massive and direct threat Israel is to the security of the US. As I’ve mentioned before, they want those hundreds of nuclear weapons not to threaten the weak Arab states but to potentially threaten the US. Compared to Saddam Hussein, Israel is a couple hundred times the threat Iraq ever was to the US.

  89. Kathleen says:

    oops on the Bolton question I meant to write Secretary of State Colin Powell

  90. Kathleen says:

    James Canning says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    Kathleen,

    But Zbig Brezinski is right to say that “the susceptibility to demagoguery is still there” (in the US), due to gross ignorance. Zbig: “Americans don’t learn about the world, they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography.”

    Yep and Dr. Zbig also said that the American public is “woefully ignorant” about US foreign policy. And the MSM seems committed to keeping it so. Hell you can watch MSNBC for four hours straight and you will hear Chris Matthews, Al, Ed, Rachel, Lawrence do the same spin on the last thing Romney said with a twist. Then repeat the same story about birth control issues with a twist. And seem to refuse having folks like the Leveretts, Robert Kelly, etc who would offer fact based information about Iran etc.

    The MSM is complicit in keeping the American public “woefully ignorant” about many critical issues

  91. Fiorangela says:

    February 8, 2012 at 2:29 pm <— /\ (Ignore button)
    i \/

  92. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Rich – To me they are all the same regardless of what they personally believe or not. If someone believes that the Iranian elections were rigged consequentially they would believe that the current Iranian government is illegitimate and not a representative government of Iranian people, it makes it worse if they are proven wrong and for some personal reason they refuse to change their stand. At the end of the day I stand by my opinion on the American anti-war left (regardless of their political alignment and labels) they all like to keep the empire but some want a bit softer gentler one. Is too late for this kind of crap from the left, they have not obtained a meaningful public support since they don’t have a viable media.

    One question I always wanted to ask you, is since I know you served in Vietnam, did you become discounted with the system after you returned and because of the way the war was ended, or you became discounted because you were forced to it by way of draft. You don’t have to reply if you don’t want to, I do have a lot of respect for your views and contributions.

  93. Kathleen says:

    Eric and others…on Bolton. What ever happened to those NSA intercepts that then former Senator Biden, Kennedy, Kerry, Lincoln Chaffee etc were demanding that the NSA release before and during Boltons UN nomination hearings? Allegedly those intercepts were about Bolton and team wiretapping Secretary of Defense Colin Powells communications with Iran (I believe). Watched those nomination hearings on CSpan and I could not believe the faces of Biden, Kennedy, Kerry even Lincoln Chaffee and Voinovich (who looked very very worried) when Biden was demading access to those intercept records. I thought Kennedy, Kerry, Biden etc were going to jump over those tables and try to kick Boltons smug and arrogant ass. Were those NSA intercept records ever released to the Senate?

    Sydney Blumenthal wrote about this situation here

    The general’s revenge – United Nations – Salon.comwww.salon.com/2005/04/28/powells_revenge/Cached
    Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 4:32 PM 14:31:23 EST
    The general’s revenge
    Colin Powell, no longer the loyal soldier, rises up to help stop conservative hard-liner John Bolton from becoming U.N. ambassador.
    By Sidney Blumenthal
    “When British Foreign Minister Jack Straw complained to Powell that Bolton was obstructing negotiations with Iran on its development of nuclear weapons, Powell ordered that Bolton be cut out of the process, telling an aide: “Get a different view.” The British also objected to Bolton’s interference in talks with Libya, and again Powell removed Bolton. But much as he may have wanted to, Powell could not dismiss Bolton because of a powerful patron: Vice President Dick Cheney.

    The Bolton confirmation hearings have revealed his constant efforts to undermine Powell on Iran and Iraq, Syria, and North Korea. They have also exposed a most curious incident that has triggered the administration’s stonewall reflex. The Foreign Relations Committee discovered that Bolton made a highly unusual request and gained access to 10 intercepts by the National Security Agency, which monitors worldwide communications, of conversations involving past and present government officials. Whose conversations did Bolton secretly secure and why?

    Staff members on the committee believe that Bolton was likely spying on Powell, his senior advisors, and other officials reporting to the secretary of state on diplomatic initiatives that Bolton opposed. If so, it is also possible that Bolton was sharing this top-secret information with his neoconservative allies in the Pentagon and the vice president’s office, with whom he was in daily contact and well known to be working in league against Powell. If the intercepts are ever released, they may disclose whether Bolton was a key figure in a counterintelligence operation run inside the Bush administration against the secretary of state, resembling the hunted character played by Will Smith in “Enemy of the State.” Both Republican and Democratic senators have demanded that the State Department, which holds the NSA intercepts, turn them over to the committee. But Rice so far has refused. What is she hiding by her coverup? “

  94. Voice of Tehran: “No Richard , there will be no war as you imagine it.”

    Yes, there will.

    This will be a Cold War between Russia/China and the US/NATO. But it will also be a hot war in the Middle East.

    Only if Putin is prepared to directly threaten military intervention (and China will never do so) is the US and NATO likely to back off from starting an Iran war.

    And I don’t mean saying vague statements like “a war in Iran is a threat to Russia’s security”. I mean directly stating, “Russia will not allow the US, NATO OR Israel to attack Iran, by military means if necessary.” That will have to be conveyed from Russia to the US, secretly if not publicly.

    You will KNOW that has happened when the US starts pulling the BULK of its naval and ground forces OUT of the Persian Gulf region.

    And I don’t see that happening, even if back in the Cold War days it would definitely have happened.

  95. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio at 2:08 pm,
    wrote

    “We do not cover on this site, and I don’t have the time to do it, the relations of Israeli business to these issues. I’m thinking of the arrangements negotiated by the US for special privileges for Israeli business in neighboring states. If people only knew what the US government was doing for the privileged class of Israel… anyhow. Some historian will eventually cover it, but I wonder in which language they’ll be writing.”

    That’s in addition to the privileged business arrangements Israelis have with individual US states — Israelis have ‘consulates’ in many states of the union — no doubt they are registered as foreign agents, just as AIPAC, ZOA, etc are registered as agents of a foreign government.

    Israel’s Bypass Foreign Policy “The right-wing government of Israel has embarked on a novel foreign policy, one that seeks to develop close relations with sub-national state and provincial governments, thus by-passing national governments and avoiding the increasing hostility of national foreign ministries and local grass roots movements to Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

    The establishment of state-to-state relations between Israel and such sub-national governments as American states, Canadian provinces, and even Native American tribal nations has increased under the ultra-nationalist Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. The new aggressive policy by Israel to seek allies at sub-national levels results in internal pressure on national governments to take a less critical approach to Israeli policies on the West Bank and Gaza.”

    :http://www.jisoc.com/israel-business-relationship-with-the-usa.php

    :http://www.usisraelbusiness.com/

    US-Israel state-to-state business agreements
    :http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/states_with_MOUs.html

    Mississippi business news:
    :http://msbusiness.com/businessblog/2012/02/07/march-mda-trip-aims-to-expand-states-israel-business-ties/

  96. Sassan says:

    Christopher Hitchens owning and destroying Justin Raimondo: http://youtu.be/HbjKVZr3nKI

  97. Fiorangela: ” Haven’t checked to see what Thierry Meysen knows about the trouble makers in Syria.”

    I just checked. He has a post up on Voltaire.net to the effect that Russia and China have called the US/NATO bluff and the US and NATO have backed down on Syria.

    I think he’s utterly wrong. This isn’t even close to being over yet. He has jumped the gun.

    If the US and Israel want a war with Iran, they have no choice but to weaken Syria and Hizballah. This is going to go many extra innings. The only effect the Russian veto has is to sideline the UN – and the US and NATO are perfectly happy with that.

    As I said below, the US and NATO and the GCC can get a war going faster than Russia can get the parties to a negotiating table. Only if Putin is REALLY willing to draw a MILITARY red line in the sand will the US and NATO back off this campaign.

    And even if THAT happens, Israel will go ahead and attack Syria and Lebanon anyway under some casus belli they cook up. The Russians can do nothing to influence Israel.

  98. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    But Zbig Brezinski is right to say that “the susceptibility to demagoguery is still there” (in the US), due to gross ignorance. Zbig: “Americans don’t learn about the world, they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography.”

  99. Kathleen says:

    Casteillo “Slowly, ever so slowly, people are waking up to the fact that Israel’s existence in predicated not only on a policy of moving out the Palestinians, but economic domination of the region, and that it has no intention of changing that policy, even if it includes the systematic degradation of other economies and societies.”

    On Washington Journal this morning Yochi Dreazen said this almost the same thing about Iran….want “domination of the region”

    Sure seems like both the Bush and OBama administration are following all of the recommendations stated in the Project for A New American Century’s blueprint for the New American century.

    Where is Ahmad Chalabi?

  100. Fiorangela says:

    re C Span —

    In this discussion of his book They Knew They Were Right, Jacob Heilbrunn mentioned that in gathering material for the book, he had lunch with William F. Buckley. Buckley was disengaged from the discussion; not forthcoming and detached from the conversation.

    Consider, that Heilbrunn was asking Buckley to provide him with information about a movement that had subverted Buckley’s life’s work, had taken over his magazine, National Review, and had turned American conservatism into a recipe for foreign adventurism and slaughter. How cooperative would you be with a representative of the gang that did that to your life?

    Neocons are doing a similar thing to Brian Lamb and C Span.

  101. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    I agree with you (re: ability of most people).

  102. Eric: “As I clearly explained, he agreed with Bolton entirely on the 2009 Iran election: Bolton thought the election was fraudulent, and so did Raimondo.”

    That is not “agreeing” with Bolton nor is it Bolton “agreeing” with Raimondo except in the general sense of holding the same positions for different reasons – and that ONLY about the fraud. Raimondo does not agree with Bolton about Iran in general, and intimating that Raimondo is some sort of anti-Iran neocon is not correct.

    You accused Raimondo of being “Bolton on steroids” which was not the case. Raimondo took on various studies and other sources vis-a-vis the election and argued a case against the Leveretts. While I don’t have a time line, my guess is that this was before the full statistical studies the Leveretts currently cite were available.

    A LOT of people argued back and forth that the elections were fraudulent based on varying sets of facts. Raimondo can’t be blamed for thinking one set of facts were more decisive than others before the full facts were known.

    In any event, as I pointed out, his current position is not known. I can’t recall his having mentioned anything about it recently.

    In no sense was he advocating regime change either by the US or in general. He merely supported the Greens based on his own libertarian principles.

    “That’s my entire point: assuming Bolton knows what Raimondo thinks on the subject (which I made plain I don’t assume), I’m confident that Bolton would cite Raimondo’s strong support for Bolton’s position in a heartbeat.”

    And the only reason you’re making that claim is to bolster your notion that the enemies of Iran can make a case for war based on Iran’s not adhering to the AP. In short, you’re mixing the argument for one thing to support your position on another. You’ve been making that same argument since the beginning, claiming that people arguing against Iran can make their arguments because Iran isn’t providing enough “proof” to the contrary, which you then distort to suggest that Iran should unilaterally adhere to the AP.

    This argument you’re making here about Bolton is precisely of the same whole cloth.

    In fact, I suspect what really bugs you is that Raimondo cites the Leveretts on the election fraud issue, but doesn’t bother to mention YOU.

    Bolton and Raimondo are not remotely comparable and suggesting they are because Raimondo doesn’t bother to cite your election study is just wrong.

    I don’t always agree with Raimondo, either, but he’s more right than wrong on most issues related to foreign policy. And I’m pretty sure he’s not dumb enough to suggest that Iran adhere to the AP without getting some concession in return, or to believe that hand waving will change the US electorate’s view of Iran, let alone divert the ruling elites from starting a war.

  103. Richard,

    “[Raimondo] also explicitly rejected the notion that the US government should have anything to do with the internal affairs of Iran. And of course he’s totally opposed to any war with Iran OR Syria.”

    You’re making my point better than I could. My point is that Raimondo sides 100% with people like John Bolton on the “facts” of the 2009 Iran election, but then distances himself on the “remedy.” Bolton says “Bomb Iran” because he favors war; Raimondo says “Don’t bomb Iran” because he opposes war.

    On the second part, they disagree. You emphasize that, and I freely admit it. My point, which I’m surprised is not getting across to you, is that the Bolton/Raimondo agreement on facts enables Bolton (assuming Bolton has even heard of Raimondo and feels that citing Raimondo would be useful) to say “My view of the facts is fully supported even by Justin Raimondo, the webmaster of Antiwar.com. Mr. Raimondo and I disagree on what ought to be done, but I’m comforted to know that we agree 100% that Iran’s government is entirely illegitimate.”

  104. Kathleen says:

    Eric…yep.

    My thing is observing the MSM and what it will and will not cover even close to accurately. I am naive enough to believe in the ability of most individuals to stand on the right side of critical issues if they are provided with as close to accurate information as possible.

  105. Castellio says:

    RSH, we seem to be on the same page even if we had different paths to it.

    You write: “Some have written that it’s not even clear whether Israel wants real regime change in Syria. What Israel wants in ALL the Middle East countries is internal chaos and weak, divided states with limited military potential to threaten Israel. While Israel may not like the fact that the “Arab Spring” has overthrown dictators who were US clients who supported “peace” with Israel, it doesn’t mind that it also replaced them with weakened states more concerned with getting their act together than with Israel at all. This gives Israel some maneuvering room to take on their REAL enemies in the region – Hizballah, Syria and Iran.”

    Yes, I agree completely, and I notice on Arnold’s site that is his analysis of the situation in Syria as well.

    Slowly, ever so slowly, people are waking up to the fact that Israel’s existence in predicated not only on a policy of moving out the Palestinians, but economic domination of the region, and that it has no intention of changing that policy, even if it includes the systematic degradation of other economies and societies.

    We do not cover on this site, and I don’t have the time to do it, the relations of Israeli business to these issues. I’m thinking of the arrangements negotiated by the US for special privileges for Israeli business in neighboring states. If people only knew what the US government was doing for the privileged class of Israel… anyhow. Some historian will eventually cover it, but I wonder in which language they’ll be writing.

    As to Putin, on a one to one against Obama in a matter of strategic analysis and follow through there is no contest: Putin has proven himself historically in a way that Obama has already forsaken. However, he is playing with the much weaker hand.

    I’ve never understood the disparagement of all things/people that are Russian. They have lived at the encounter point of Europe-Asia-the Middle East for a long time, have absorbed many influences, won the war against Germany (twice), did not firebomb foreign cities nor use atomic weapons, threw off their own totalitarian government, and somehow manage to maintain their own cultural through-line.

  106. Kathleen says:

    Fio…Clinton is a warmonger. Would never vote for her for a higher office come hell or high water. Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter wrote in great detail that both Clintons knew there were no WMD’s in Iraq. Hell Senator Durbin who was on the intelligence committee voted against the Iraq war resolution. Clinton knew the WMD intelligence out of Feith’s Office of Special Plans was hooey. I don’t doubt that Clinton has been part of stirring up trouble in Syria

  107. Fiorangela says:

    Kathleen — see my rant here — February 8, 2012 at 4:30 am

    In his Rolling Stone piece that brought down McCrystal, Mike Hastings said that everyone knows that Petraeus is possessed of war lust and an overwhelming ego. He is vicious — “he leaves a dead dog on the doorstep” of those who get in his way.

    That is what CAMERA and Deborah Lipstadt did to C Span in 2005 (see Feb 8, 4:30 am).
    C Span has become increasingly compliant ever since.

  108. Kooshy: “My take with regard to left antiwar group in US likes of Juan Cole and Justin Raimondo”

    Here’s your fundamental mistake here: Raimondo is NOT a “leftist”. There is no comparison between him and Cole.

    Raimondo is a “Paleo-Conservative” which is a complicated way of saying “libertarian”. He adheres to more “old school conservative” positions than the modern Republican fascist conservatives. He is more libertarian than conservative in terms of the Republicans. He’s to the left of someone like Dana Rohrabacker, the California Republican who used to be a libertarian and WAY to the left of ANY regular Republican. He’s aligned with Ron Paul more or less.

    But he’s not a “leftist”. He’s still on the “right”, just on the “rational right”, not the extremist right.

    He has absolutely no interest in interfering with Iran via regime change, despite his dislike of the regime on libertarian grounds. He said so explicitly in those articles Eric references where he takes the regime to task over the elections. He also explicitly rejected the notion that the US government should have anything to do with the internal affairs of Iran.

    And of course he’s totally opposed to any war with Iran OR Syria.

    Yes, he disagrees with the Leveretts (and Eric, although he doesn’t mention Eric by name – which is probably WHY Eric dislikes hims) on the elections – or at least he did in 2009. I don’t know if his position has changed any; I would guess not.

    He supports the Greens because he supports freedom. Not hard to understand. But he does so as a private individual who is a libertarian, not a leftist interventionist who desires regime change like Juan Cole does when it suits him.

    “I think this web site is getting to its limit, is becoming harder to upload”

    Agreed – hundreds of posts per thread is not what the software was designed for. The Leveretts need to either change the software or post more frequently to start smaller threads.

    They’re a victim of the site’s success. It’s not rocket science. Find some Web site freak kid to implement a better software package. It’s not like there aren’t tons of free options.

  109. Kathleen says:

    James hell Obama’s administration, our Reps, the MSM do not like to remind Americans about what has really taken place in Iraq. Most Americans do not have a clue as to how many people have been killed in Iraq since the invasion. The MSM did not air US soldiers who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan who testified on the hill about some of the crimes that they had committed in those countries and what had really been going on. Nope no coverage of those hearings. I think Cspan may have aired some of them. What have we heard from Obama and team “move on , move forward,next chapter” What do we heard from our Reps “don’t be about retribution, witch hunts, vengeance” This from individuals who went after a President for lying under oath about blowjobs. These same individuals are not interested in an intelligence snowjob that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, injuries, millions displaced. Young men sitting in VA’s in Dayton Ohio and across the US (have been out there a bunch) with one, two, three missing limbs as a direct result of the Bush administrations intelligence snowjob. This country is rotting from the inside out and the outside in. The only hope is for the world to hear real apologies from our leaders having to do with these purposeful and horrendous actions. Real accountability. That is the only way to move forward

  110. Voice of Tehran says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 1:23 pm
    fyi: “There will be no war.”
    Yes, there will

    No Richard , there will be no war as you imagine it.
    The wars are already fought.
    It will be like the times of the Cold War , where the Germans on both sides had this very significant quotation :
    “Stell Dir vor es ist Krieg und Keiner geht hin ! ”
    Imagine there is war and no one shows up….

  111. Fiorangela says:

    Kathleen — “Clinton is almost as guilty as those in the Bush administration who knowingly created, cherry picked and then dessiminated false intelligence about Iraq. She has the Iraqi people and American soldiers blood all over her”

    ALMOST as guilty?
    she’s guilty as sin. She set this up. She might as well have hired the snipers herself; she announced the plan several months ago to involve the middle class and business class in revolt against Assad. She wanted Assad to “step aside” last December or November. She made a brief speech saying that it was only the poorer class that was agitating — Homs is a poor section of Syria, if I understand correctly. ( That’s apparently where she and whatever Felmaniac is managing this particular Arab spring figured they could hire ‘rebels’ most quickly & cheaply.) But, she said, the middle class and business class that supported Assad was still “comfortable,” and until that changed, those classes would not join the rebellion. She intended to change their comfort level. That approach has apparently not been successful.

    Check out some of the research Franklin Lamb has produced, over several months’ on-the-ground visits to Syria — turmoil was very isolated, probably less than a bad night in my home town. The biggest complaint, and a very serious one, was that snipers were threatening citizens, usually at times when parents taking children to school, and end-of-work-day: snipers on roof tops in black face masks shoot at ordinary civilians, killing 1, 2, 3 each day. Syrian citizens Lamb spoke with said they were positive the snipers were from outside Syria — not unlikely they were mercenaries hired by the Israeli company that specializes in that sort of thing and that supplied mercenaries on both sides of the Libya ‘rebellion.’ Haven’t checked to see what Thierry Meysen knows about the trouble makers in Syria.

    The report of the Arab observer team that the Russians used to make their decision to vote against the Clinton-Rice scheme said that they witnessed armed and shooting elements among the “peaceful” rebel protesters, that those “protesters” attacked a bus and killed 8 or 10 — don’t remember the details, apparently some Syrian state security personnel were killed. Sergei Lavrov considered all these factors — rebels are targeting civilians and state security that is trying to protect the people from snipers; Syrian security is overreacting and killing civilians. Lavrov said a state has a right to defend its authority and a duty to defend its citizens, but it may not kill wantonly. Lavrov said “Russia is not in the business of regime change; we will not take sides.” It should be noted and emphasized: it is the REBELS who refuse to negotiate with Assad. Same and with Iran, same as Israel ‘negotiates’ with Palestine: first comply with our conditions, then we will negotiate. That’s not a negotiation that’s a kangaroo court.

  112. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Elliott Abrams is a steady promoter of foolish American policies in the Middle East. He was at the heart of the conspiracy to subvert the results of the Palestinian elections (won by Hamas) during the G W Bush administration.

    Small wonder he attacks Tom Friedman of the New York Times for making the very true comment that Aipac controls the US Congress. Which explains the foolish standing ovations give to Bibi Netanyahu last May. (After Obama endorsed the Green Line as the border of Palestine.)

  113. Kathleen,

    “Did not say I would not read the NYbloody Times just said I would not pay for it.”

    Fair distinction. I have to admit I do pay for it, which I’m not happy about, but I think it’s important enough to follow it that I’m willing to do it.

    Again, though, I agree completely with you about its slant. It’s just that I’m confident I can (and that you can) “adjust” for the slant and gain something by understanding the thinking of the people that write for that paper and the people who read it — and especially the extent to which particular arguments made in that writing appeal (or don’t appeal) to its readers.

  114. Kathleen says:

    Eric I am also saying that CSpans Washington Journal is promoting myths and a military strike on Iran. Look at that guest list over the last month focused on Iran. Micheal Singh, Anas Jain, Yochi Dreazan, Anne Marie Slaughter all in one month. If they really want to help inform the American public or even just air different views about Iran why is it they choose individuals from the same think tank in less than a month who were both promoting an attack on Iran

  115. Richard,

    “That is REALLY overstating Raimondo’s position on Iran. Naturally he is opposed to the Iranian state and is thus predisposed to believe elections there are fraudulent. This is no surprise. There is no way he would agree with Bolton on anything, and no way Bolton would ever cite him as supporting any position on Iran.…Taking one of Raimondo’s positions out of context is not doing your case any good.”

    I didn’t take anything “out of context,” Richard. Raimondo was writing about the 2009 Iran election, and it was those writings I commented on. Nor are you correct to say “there is no way he would agree with Bolton on anything.” As I clearly explained, he agreed with Bolton entirely on the 2009 Iran election: Bolton thought the election was fraudulent, and so did Raimondo. As for whether Bolton would ever cite Raimondo as supporting any Bolton position on Iran, I couldn’t disagree with you more. That’s my entire point: assuming Bolton knows what Raimondo thinks on the subject (which I made plain I don’t assume), I’m confident that Bolton would cite Raimondo’s strong support for Bolton’s position in a heartbeat. Why point out that, say, Michael Ledeen agrees with you when you can point out that even a certified anti-war type agrees with you as well?

    I’m not sure whether there’s anything left of your quoted statement above that I’ve left out, but if I’ve overlooked anything, let me reserve the right to disagree with that too.

  116. Kathleen says:

    Did not say I would not read the NYbloody Times just said I would not pay for it.

  117. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Don’t give up on Erdogan. Just this week, he reminded the world that the largest prison camp on the planet is in Gaza.

  118. Kathleen says:

    sorry about all of that other stuff below. Guess it was the Bush administration/CIA that was holding back the op ed. But what the NYT holds back and allows to go through sure does not seem to have to do with facts or danger to national security. Since they let Judy “I was fucking right” Miller’s pieces go through without question or confirmation

    What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran ByFLYNT LEVERETT and HILLARY MANN
    Published: December 22, 2006

  119. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today gave a cautious endorsement of the Hamas-Fatah deal, and noted that Netanyahu himself had wrecked negotiations by continuing the settlement programme in the WB.

  120. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Many American interests align well with those of Russia. Neocons try to camouflage that fact.

    Was it a good idea for Putin to decide to return to the presidency of Russia? Maybe not.

  121. Kathleen says:

    Op-Ed ContributorsWhat We Wanted to Tell You About Iran Twitter
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    DiggRedditTumblrPermalinkBy FLYNT LEVERETT and HILLARY MANN
    Published: December 22, 2006
    Washington

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    Go to the Redacted Op-Ed »
    Citations
    “Iran’s Leader Condemns Saudi Attacks,” The Washington Post, May 15, 2003
    (Articles on The Washington Post are preview only. Full versions require purchase.)
    “Time to Deal With Iran,” The Washington Post, May 6, 2004
    “Foreign Minister Briefs MP’s on Talks With the United States,” BBC Monitoring, May 20, 2003
    “In 2003, U.S. Spurned Iran’s Offer of Dialogue: Some Officials Lament Lost Opportunity,” The Washington Post, June 18, 2006
    “U.S. Ready to Resume Talks With Iran, Armitage Says,” The Washington Post, Oct. 29, 2003
    “U.S. Eyes Pressing Uprising in Iran: Officials Cite Al Qaeda’s Link, Nuclear Program,” The Washington Post, May 25, 2003
    “Iran, Afghanistan Juggle Hot Potato Hekmatyar,” Time, Feb. 23, 2002
    “The Gulf Between Us,” The New York Times, Jan. 24, 2006
    “Dealing with Tehran: Assessing U.S. Diplomatic Options Toward Iran,” (PDF) Century Foundation, Dec. 4, 2006
    “Iran, U.S. Holding Talks in Geneva,” USA Today, May 11, 2003
    “Mutual Terror Accusations Halt U.S.-Iran Talks,” USA Today, May 21, 2003
    “Press Briefing on Board Plane, En Route Moscow,” State Department Web site, Dec. 9, 2001
    HERE is the redacted version of a draft Op-Ed article we wrote for The Times, as blacked out by the Central Intelligence Agency’s Publication Review Board after the White House intervened in the normal prepublication review process and demanded substantial deletions. Agency officials told us that they had concluded on their own that the original draft included no classified material, but that they had to bow to the White House.

    Indeed, the deleted portions of the original draft reveal no classified material. These passages go into aspects of American-Iranian relations during the Bush administration’s first term that have been publicly discussed by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice; former Secretary of State Colin Powell; former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage; a former State Department policy planning director, Richard Haass; and a former special envoy to Afghanistan, James Dobbins.

  122. Kathleen says:

    James remember reading about it
    What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran – New York Timeswww.nytimes.com/2006/12/22/opinion/22precede.htmlSimilar
    You +1’d this publicly. Undo
    Dec 22, 2006 – By FLYNT LEVERETT and HILLARY MANN … HERE is the redacted version of a draft Op-Ed article we wrote for The Times, as blacked out by …

  123. Kathleen,

    “Would never spend a penny on the New York Bloody Times. Remember when they turned down Flynt Leverett’s piece.”

    We agree on the New York Times’ slant, though I consider it important to read because I know how much influence its slant has on people here. It’s also worth noting that the Time does not turn down every piece offered to it by Flynt Leverett. He’s had several in the Times, and one of them impressed me so much that I found my way here.

  124. UU: ” They’d rather gather round the BBQ and watch football while shoving Ballpark dogs down their throats”

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

    Well, aside from the football…and the BBQ (although I DO own a George Foreman grill)…

    Mostly it’s the hot dogs…and I can’t even afford Ballpark beef all the time, I usually get the cheaper mixed meat dogs… :-)

    I DO watch TV (downloaded from file sharing sites to my hard drive as I have no cable) while stuffing hot dogs down my throat… I have Nikita, Hustle, Pretty Little Liars and The Vampire Diaries still waiting to be viewed right now…

    Can’t be concerned about Iran ALL the time… :-)

  125. kooshy says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    February 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Eric

    My take with regard to left antiwar group in US likes of Juan Cole and Justin Raimondo and others is a bit more different with consequential different expectations than yours.
    That is, the way I view them on this issue is that they generally don’t accept and agree with the nature of Iranian revolution as whole, since they correctly view the Iranian revolution as hostile movement ultimately limiting US’s strategic freedom in the region( which is an orientalist view), for that they agree for a need to change the revolution’s direction by way of a regime change but not by way of war( they think a war will further reduce US’s regional standing which is correct), that’s where they come to agree with the green movement for a possible regime change regardless if it the movement has a wide legitimacy or not.

    I think this web site is getting to its limit, is becoming harder to upload

  126. Kathleen says:

    Castiello, Richard the other night on Charlie Rose the Russian ambassador to the US Vitaly Churkin lambasted Thomas Friedman and other guest talking about Syria and China and Russias veto of inflammatory and unnecessary language. He really verbally and skillfully beat the previous guest up. He brought up the US crimes in Iraq. He also said that Russia has been attempting to negotiate with Syria in a non confrontational way

    Charlie Rose – Vitaly Churkinwww.charlierose.com/guest/view/6099Cached – Similar
    You +1’d this publicly. Undo
    What’s on Charlie Rose: Tomorrow: Benjamin Brafman Tonight: Vitaly Churkin, Adam Schefter, Thomas L. Friedman and more 2/03: Henry Kissinger, David …

  127. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Remind us which piece by Flynt Leverett was turned down by the New York Times.

  128. Kathleen says:

    Eric Brill
    “I think you’re correct to say that the New York Times is promoting a war on Iran, just as it did in Iraq. Just as it did before the Iraq war, though, we can count on the Times to publish a hand-wringing editorial shortly before the attack on Iran (if one ever occurs), insisting how disappointed the Times is that war is about to happen.”

    You can say that again and again. Would never spend a penny on the New York Bloody Times. Remember when they turned down Flynt Leverett’s piece

  129. Castellio: “The difficulty is that the US actively works to undermine Putin.”

    Agree.

    “The US truly sees no limits to its power, nor does it have any desire to reconcile with the limits others claim. To think it does is to fundamentally misunderstand the situation.”

    Agreed.

    “Can Putin help consolidate Syria, help it implement democratic reform, and defend it from western backed militias working with CIA money and CIA tactics? That’s a very tall order.”

    Agreed. Putin is clever, smarter than Obama in my view, and may be able to pull some rabbits out of a hat. I think once the Russian elections – and the immediate aftermath of complaints about them – are over, as in Iran in 2009, things will settle down and Putin will be able to turn his attention to outwitting the US.

    But I tend to doubt he can save Syria from being bombed, even if he saves Assad from being overthrown or any real regime change.

    Remember, the goal is not NECESSARILY to do regime change in Syria – although if the US and NATO can do that, they will. The goal is to WEAKEN Syria – and Hizballah – sufficiently to allow the Iran war to be started.

    That is the minimum outcome desired, and I don’t think Putin can prevent that.

    Some have written that it’s not even clear whether Israel wants real regime change in Syria. What Israel wants in ALL the Middle East countries is internal chaos and weak, divided states with limited military potential to threaten Israel. While Israel may not like the fact that the “Arab Spring” has overthrown dictators who were US clients who supported “peace” with Israel, it doesn’t mind that it also replaced them with weakened states more concerned with getting their act together than with Israel at all. This gives Israel some maneuvering room to take on their REAL enemies in the region – Hizballah, Syria and Iran.

  130. Fiorangela says:

    it was sentimental nonsense, UU — James Taylor singing You’ve got a friend. a better use of guitar strings might be as a substitute for piano wire.

  131. Castellio says:

    Kathleen writes: “Why is it that the horrific images of what is going on in Syria are making their way onto MSM outlets far far more than the horrific images of what was going on Iraq as a direct consequence of the US’s unnecessary and immoral invasion of that country.

    Why is it that Americans now know the numbers of dead killed by the Assad regime but do not know the numbers of dead, injured and displaced in Iraq since the invasion?

    Why is it that MSNBC’s Morning Joe team member Willie Geist expresses horror about the women and children being killed in Syria but we have never heard one of those MSM members on that show express horror or even cover the numbers dead in Iraq. Sickening the double standards are just sickening and the US MSM are complicit in the American public being “woefully ignorant” about US foreign policy and the results of that invasion. They do not want an informed public about what the US has done in Iraq.”

    Those are the right questions. And I don’t think they’re rhetorical. Where was the press during the bombing of Lebanon, or the attack on Gaza? No no no… there is a co-ordination within the US media of the most venial sort. To ignore this is to turn away from looking at your adversary in the eye.

    And James, of course I mean that. It doesn’t mean I support that, but it means I am aware that Israel has no intention, ever, of giving up the west bank to an independent Palestine, other than a Palestine operating as a kind of municipal government for separated and locked down towns.

  132. fyi: “Future will tell now, won’t it?”

    Yup.

    And the Syria war will be this year, not some unspecified years down the road.

  133. fyi: “There will be no war.”

    Yes, there will.

  134. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric A. Brill says: “You should consider reading the New York Times more often, UU — not for facts, but to understand the prevalent thinking about Iran in the United States.”

    Nah. I know the prevalent thinking. The oligarchs want full spectrum dominance and so they believe in MI-6/ Princeton’s Bernard Lewis’ and Huntington’s Clash of Civilization’s. And the sheeple, well, I gotta tell you, I’m with Richard on that one: it doesn’t matter what they think. If you are talking about the nuances and minor strategic adjustments of teh thinking of the oigarchs, you are right: that and Foreign Affairs is the place to go to. But I am not willing to turn my stomach on a daily basis to get to that level of subtlety which is irrelevant to the big picture anyway. Also, when you read that shit on a daily basis, you start to see the trees, which means you are no longer focused on the forest.

    Interesting about Raimondo. To me, it tells me how powerful CIA psyops are. Have you posted on his site or emailed him your work?

  135. BiBiJon says:

    Castellio says:
    February 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I guess the latest military strategy is:

    Screw the element of surprise!

    Methinks It’s all show and no substance.

  136. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Are you claiming Israel will not get out of the West Bank, ever?

  137. Eric: “If one reads his articles about the 2009 election, it’s hard not to characterize him as “John Bolton on steroids.”

    That is REALLY overstating Raimondo’s position on Iran. Naturally he is opposed to the Iranian state and is thus predisposed to believe elections there are fraudulent. This is no surprise.

    There is no way he would agree with Bolton on anything, and no way Bolton would ever cite him as supporting any position on Iran.

    We’ve had this discussion before. Taking one of Raimondo’s positions out of context is not doing your case any good.

  138. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Bravo. And I think you know the answer to your rhetorical question. Warmongering neocons, and other supporters of Israel right or wrong, do not like to have the public reminded of the continuing carnage that is the result of their conspiracy to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq.

  139. Kathleen says:

    Castiello and remember how Isreal blocked journalist from going into the Gaza?

  140. Kathleen says:

    What is taking place in Syria is a tragedy. But listening to Secretary of State Clinton calling it a “tragedy” is absurd. Clinton is almost as guilty as those in the Bush administration who knowingly created, cherry picked and then dessiminated false intelligence about Iraq. She has the Iraqi people and American soldiers blood all over her

    Why is it that the horrific images of what is going on in Syria are making their way onto MSM outlets far far more than the horrific images of what was going on Iraq as a direct consequence of the US’s unnecessary and immoral invasion of that country.

    Why is it that Americans now know the numbers of dead killed by the Assad regime but do not know the numbers of dead, injured and displaced in Iraq since the invasion?

    Why is it that MSNBC’s Morning Joe team member Willie Geist expresses horror about the women and children being killed in Syria but we have never heard one of those MSM members on that show express horror or even cover the numbers dead in Iraq. Sickening the double standards are just sickening and the US MSM are complicit in the American public being “woefully ignorant” about US foreign policy and the results of that invasion. They do not want an informed public about what the US has done in Iraq

  141. Eric: Re the American article.

    Quote

    Mofaz, Dagan, and Uri Lubrani, former Israeli ambassador to Iran, all expressed their firm belief that if the military option is necessary, it is infinitely better for everyone involved if the United States takes the lead. Israel will pay a painful price no matter who attacks, but the chances of landing a significant blow are much higher if America strikes.

    End Quote

    This is exactly what I’ve been saying. It’s not that Israel – or these guys like Dagan – don’t WANT a war with Iran. They just don’t want to be BLAMED for STARTING IT!

    They also don’t want to take the hits from Hizballah and Syria if they can avoid it.

    This has been true since Bush was in office. Cheney got the US to offer Israel another $30 billion in arms sales over the next ten years to try to get Israel to launch the attack. Israel refused, although it DID try to defang Hizballah in 2006, but failed, which led to much teeth-gnashing and head rolling in Israel.

    Now they have a better plan – let the US/NATO take out Syria so Israel can take out Hizballah.

    Then and only then will Israel attack Iran if they don’t think the US is moving fast enough to do so. Of course, that might change if Netanyahu decides he doesn’t care about Syria or Hizballah. But I think he DOES care because he saw what happened to Barak after 2006 – and I’m sure Barak never stops reminding him, because if Netanyahu goes, Barak will go as well.

    “Experts in both government and academia agreed that the real solution to the Iranian nuclear problem is regime change… Indeed, more than one expert I spoke with opined that a nuclear-armed Iran is not necessarily the greatest danger per se, rather it is this particular regime.”

    And that makes the entire nuclear issue a non-issue, although they will never admit it. The ONLY reason Israel cares about Iran’s nuclear program is because it provides “the excuse” for regime change.

    Quote

    On several occasions, I heard reservists say they felt war would break out within the year. Sitting in the kitchen of a junior reserve officer in his kibbutz home, I spoke about the security situation with him and another reservist friend. Conversation soon turned to Iran, and the officer’s friend said to him, “Who knows what will happen, but I’d suggest you check your equipment, make sure everything still fits.” He certainly believed war might come sooner rather than later.

    End Quote

    Of course, the grunts know. They’re the ones training for the war every day.

    “Managing the conflict, while not at all an ideal option, is seen as quite reasonable.”

    Of course – it’s not the Israelis who are suffering. Until they deal with Lebanon, Syria and Iran, they don’t have quite the freedom to get back to ethnic cleansing so for now that’s put on hold. Besides, the settlements are expanding, all is well.

    “Netanyahu adviser Ron Dermer finds this charge ridiculous, and asked how Americans would react “if Code Pink was funded by the French.”

    Wow – talk about hypocrisy! After what the Israel Lobby has done for decades in the US…

    “segregated buses.”

    I don’t think any comment is necessary, but then there’s always the burgha issue the anti-Muslims always bring up.

    Interesting piece, thanks for the link.

  142. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior-san:

    I can’t access youtube now, as I can’t be bothered to install anti-filtering software (which is available for free, thanks to Voice of America), so I don’t know what you linked for me. Sorry.

  143. Castellio says:

    The US press are getting ready for the war. From Silverstein’s site: http://www.richardsilverstein.com/

    “That’s what the foreign press corps appears to be doing now in Tel Aviv in preparation for an attack on Iran. They’re renting the right to put film crews and reporters on the city’s rooftops (Hebrew) during the upcoming war in order to cover the anticipated Iranian counterattack. That way they can get great photo ops and pictures of missiles wreaking havoc on the city. What a story! What a feast for the eyes! Other news organizations like CBS, Fox News, and NBC are sending their senior producers to Israel to scope out the place in case they have to send in the big boys–the news anchors and senior correspondents (especially since no one can report from Teheran!).”

  144. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    February 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Eric:
    My personal take is that there is oppression and in justice in every system of governance, even the ones that are the most representative and the least repressive. The reason is not the “state of fall” or some other postlapsarian nonsense. It has to do with the bell-shaped curve. Those on the tail ends get chumped. I should know. I’m on the tail end of the tail end, OK? LOL. The difference is I recognize that there is only so much a government can do.

    Iran is no exception. The focus of this representation deficit is sharpest in Northern Tehran. I don’t know if there is a law on the books that prohibits insulting the leader. I would not be surprised if there was. Actually, I would even go “as far” (it is not “far”) to say that if there is no such law, there *should* be, because the leader is not just the leader of the revolution and the head of state, but also the highest religious authority for many millions of Moslems, and of the country as a whole, and this is not a country whose citizens take lightly to their religious leader being insulted. Regardless, insulting is one thing, criticizing is another. There is no question that the SL can be criticized on policy matters, and is criticized at times in the papers (for excessive support of Ahmadinejad, for example, by the president’s detractors). Taxi drivers and merchants have bitch sessions from dawn till dusk regarding how things are, and they include the leader in their criticisms, although they are never disrespectful. So I guess what I am saying is that this business about “fear of speaking out” and all that crap is just complete nonsense. Criticism is OK, insults: not ok. I mean, the *culture* would not allow it. In this country, if you insult a person, that is ok, but insult his mother or sister, and he will likely get violent with you. It is a similar thing with the Leader. If you insult him, you are insulting the revolution, its achievements, the sacrifices of its martyrs, its values and its goals. More than anyone or anyting (with the possible exception of Imam Khomeini’s mausoleum), the SL stands for the revolution and its values, as well as for the religion of Islam as understood by the average Iranian Shi’a.

    Having said all that, the SL himself has said on many occasions (occasioned by the riots of the last elections) that nothing should be done to those who insult him; that they should be left alone. He said these things as those who were insulting him were being beaten and abused. But Iranians will not stand for that kind of behavior, even if their Leader tells them to abide it. Think of it as the Overton Window in operation.

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

    Anyway, getting back to the tail-end of the curve, and because the regime (rightly) feels not 100% secure in its foundations thanks to Team Weasel’s efforts to undermine it, many of the leaders of the rioting, all of whom have refused to accept the constitution of the Islamic Republic, (rightly or wrongly) are languishing in Evin prison, where they have been since the Soros riots two years ago. It is unfortunate, but there it is. I imagine that they will be released or be confined to house arrest soon, inshallah. They do not deserve to be in jail. For what its worth, there is no doubt in my mind that they are the victims of the historical struggle between a rising regional power and a declining world power, in the sense that were it not for Team Weasel’s efforts at not recognizing the Islamic Republic and trying to destabilize and destroy it, that these people would not be in prison. Put another way, if by some miracle the Noble Prize winner, Captain America, decided to recognize the Islamic Republic and its right to a peaceful nuclear program, and was to lift the sanctions and normalize relations, these victims would be released from jail shortly thereafter.

    All these considerations aside, the IRI enjoys huge popular support (much, much more so than the government or the US, for example.) Watch for 10 million plus people marching in the streets a few days from now on the 33rd anniversary of the revolution. 10 million of a population of 75 million marching in the streets in support of their revolution and system of governance. That is about 13%, which would translate to about 40 million Americans pouring out on the 4th of July in support of how the 1% have been running the lives of the 99%. Not gonna happen. They’d rather gather round the BBQ and watch football while shoving Ballpark dogs down their throats (Hebrew National in ?ew York, of course).

  145. Castellio says:

    Kathleen, it’s great that you’re pushing the rock. Sisyphus wasn’t wrong, just committed. Leaders like you are necessary.

  146. Castellio says:

    Kooshy, thanks for your thoughts, both on Turkey and on oligarchic tendencies in Iran and elsewhere.

    I hope, at some point sooner than later, Erdogan will make some kind of clear statement as to why Turkey is supporting the armed militias in Syria, and how this is to Turkey’s advantage. But I won’t hold my breath.

    As to oligarchies… I think you are pointing to the same place UU pointed, that is, moral fundamentals. I wonder…

  147. Kathleen: “Why are they recycling warmongers like David “axis of evil” Frum, Bill Kristol those who were terribly ( I believe purposely) wrong about Iraq”

    Because that’s the MSM’s job…

    You’re pushing a really large rock up hill and you won’t win that game. The Leveretts are marginalized. Sy Hersh can get a hearing sometimes because he’s a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist working for a major US magazine. The Leveretts can’t get the time of day except from shows like Russia Today. And if they DO get on a main stream show, there will be four other war mongers to make sure they don’t get a word in edgewise…

    It’s quite hopeless, which is why Eric’s notion that Iran signing the AP would somehow change the spin in the US is so stupid.

  148. Castellio says:

    FYI writes: “Americans must take the HAMAS hudna deal; create the Palestinian state with a provisional capital at Ramallah (a formerly Christian city that Americans depopulated of its Christian population by supporting Jewish fantasies in Palestine).
    There will be a wall between Israel and Palestine – much like the Berlin War for teh DMZ in North Korea. In the meantime, Israelis can go and do what a small country like them should do – make deals with other small countries around them – like with Cyprus.”

    I can only say, with metaphysical certainty, that this is wishful thinking of the first order.

  149. Kathleen: “One other thing that I noticed is when Washington Journal would put up charts of how many nuclear weapons Russia, China, US, Israel have. The number for Israel was “80″ I have read over and over again that Israel has close to 200 nuclear weapons. Thought that “80″ number was odd.”

    The intelligence agencies estimates are all over the place. The minimum is usually 70-80, but the figures go as high as 400. Allegedly the US doesn’t know and are basing the estimates on the amount of fissionable material Dimona has churned out over the nearly fifty years it’s been in operation. So 200-250 is probably the median, 400 is the high end.

    The important thing is that even 80 is eighty times what Iran has (aside from the fact that Iran has ZERO which doesn’t multiply well!)

  150. fyi says:

    hard Steven Hack says: February 8, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Future will tell now, won’t it?

  151. kooshy says:

    Castellio says:

    “It wasn’t that long ago that many were praising Turkey on this site. I think it was Kooshy (among others, including myself) who supported Endogen most strongly. What happened?”

    Castellio, sorry I guess I missed your earlier post and since on a separate post you also raised the question on oligarchy I try to respond to both

    One- on the question of Turkey’s policy vis-a-vis the Region plus Iran, which I also believe Iran’s unofficial policy toward Turkey should be the same, is that there always is and was a suspicion as if Turkey genuinely wants to become more independent of US, or due to her size, and demographic mixture is elected to be a pawn of US to absorb regional sentiment away from Iran, in any way Iran welcomes and should use any change in Turkey’s softening position even if is superficial, since that itself will change the internal dynamic of Turkey and little harder to step back later, see what is happening to Egypt or other places in the region, Egypt today will be much less hostile than it was last year. I don’t think in any way instability in Turkey is in Iran or the regions benefit. Economically Turkey has a lot in common with Iran, except one major and most important one that is lack’s energy resources and because of that can’t be a self-financed economy therefore more vulnerable to outside influence especially from the western financial system that alone will make Turkey less capable to be fully independent country like Iran is.

    Two- on the question of oligarchy, I think that’s part of human being and nature of the beast, in Iran same as any place else, but in her traditional Iranian form, was always there and I think it would not go away the difference is that the Iranian version unlike here in the US does not start from exeptionalism, to expands to a group of living elites.

  152. fyi says:

    Jay says: February 8, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Please read the last paragraphs where she mentions US-EU discussing what to offer Iran.

    [An Iranian MP, a Mr. Motahhari, has stated that Mr. Obama has offered negogiations to Iran in his letters.]

  153. fyi: “There will be no Axis Powers intervention in Syria.”

    You’re wrong. (I can make assertions, too.)

    “Mercenaries and special forces of NATO states or Qatar cannot change the tide of war.”

    But a full scale air bombardment can, just as in Libya, especially if Turkey can be persuaded to add troops.

    “The reason is simple: Alawites and their allies are fighting for their physical existence.”

    And Saddam wasn’t? As Stalin said, “How many battalions does the Pope have?” Motivation is valuable in war, but it doesn’t replace physical reality.

    Besides, as I’ve repeatedly said, it doesn’t even matter if Assad goes. What MATTERS is that Syria’s military capabilities are weakened so that Israel doesn’t have to worry about Syria during an Iran war – as well as allowing Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon.

    The political outcome in Syria doesn’t even matter as long as those objectives are achieved – IF they can be, which I agree is not certain; but as I said, Israel and the West have no choice – they have to try.

  154. Castellio says:

    This is good news on a lot of fronts. As always with regimes which depend on foreign policy initiatives to hold the loyalty of their constituents, the domestic situation eventually forces itself forward. More than the ‘Unity” government of Hamas-Fatah this is an impediment to Israeli action abroad.

    “Israel’s main labour union declared a strike on Wednesday that shut airports, ports, banks and the stock market after talks with the government failed to produce an agreement on the status of workers employed through labour contractors.

    The Histadrut labour federation, the umbrella organisation for hundreds of thousands of public sector workers, said the strike – estimated at causing economic damage of around $500 million a day – also included trains, the Bank of Israel and government offices.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/08/uk-israel-strike-idUSLNE81602P20120208

  155. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    February 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Great! But you did not answer my question!

  156. Castellio says:

    RSH. The difficulty is that the US actively works to undermine Putin. It’s a bit odd that one of the things Russia wanted in the Syria negotiations was for the US dogs to stop biting their leader: is it that open and well understood that its a negotiating point? Well, yes.

    The US truly sees no limits to its power, nor does it have any desire to reconcile with the limits others claim. To think it does is to fundamentally misunderstand the situation.

    Now that Russia is more clearly “in”, the American elites in both parties will join in a feeding frenzy to “out” them.

    Can Putin help consolidate Syria, help it implement democratic reform, and defend it from western backed militias working with CIA money and CIA tactics? That’s a very tall order.

  157. fyi: “Israelis cannot execute a classical conventional war.”

    We’ll see. I think most military analysts would disagree and say that the problem for Israel is that they can’t do anything BUT a conventional war.

    There are analysts – including Israelis – who complain that the IDF has spent so much time acting as a police force and concentration camp guards in Gaza that their military capabilities have been reduced. There may be some truth in that.

    But I think a lot of that was in reaction to the 2006 Lebanon failure when the IDF’s failure to anticipate Hizballah’s degree of preparation and thus the inability of the Israeli air force to resolve the situation resulted in a lot of heads rolling in the IDF subsequently. Israel committed its ground forces too late in the campaign and those forces as well were not prepared to deal with the dug-in Hizballah forces and the new tactics Hizballah used (such as using anti-tank missiles as anti-personnel weapons), as well as Hizballah’s SIGINT capabilities.

    Israel has presumably applied the lessons from that war to their training and strategy and tactics over the last six years. They will not be as easily surprised this time.

    This time they will commit a full armored division to southern Lebanon, another to Syria and another to the Bekaa Valley. They will not bother bombing Beirut as much as in 2006, but concentrate on rooting out Hizballah from southern Lebanon.

    It’s not clear whether they will succeed, or at what cost, but they have no choice if they want to avoid Hizballah missiles during an Iran war.

  158. Jay says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    February 8, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I think a warning regarding postings of entire (or majority) of content of other’s writings on a regular basis is appropriate.

    Noteworthy is that one of his latest posts contains the line “The report could not be independently verified.” I wonder if he has ever heard of the gossip game? I read it after a reporter printed what he had heard from somebody who had heard it from another person that had seen what happened!! Now seriously, forgetting the character that posted it, how does that pass for journalism?!! And, how does a self-proclaimed rationalist read that and does not say to himself….Huuuuuhh!!

    I opt for not banning him unless he refuses to stop the practice of wholesale postings.

  159. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    There will be no war.

  160. fyi says:

    Jay says: February 8, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    Unipolar moment died in Iraq; sometime in 2005.

    The weakening of Iran might be their desire but that is unachievable.

    The existence of an independent Iran is essential to Russia security.

    And then we have the interests iof China and others.

    The Axis Powers cannot win this one.

  161. Kathleen says:

    Ask CSpan about their choice of guest about Iran. Why two guest from WINEP Micheal Singh and Ash Jain) in less than a month who were promoting a military confrontation with Iran. And two other guest (Anne Marie Slaughter, Yochi Dreazen) who repeated unsubstantiated claims about Iran in that same month.

    Ask them when they will have the Levertts Prof Cole, former weapons inspector Robet Kelly on to discuss the situation with Iran
    Washington, DC offices: (202) 737-3220
    journal@c-span.org

    Push other MSM outlets to do the same. Educate the public

  162. The Money Rules
    Will Iran Be Attacked?
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/08/will-iran-be-attacked/

    Quotes

    Washington has made tremendous preparations for a military assault on Iran. There is speculation that Washington has called off its two longest running wars–Iraq and Afghanistan–in order to deploy forces against Iran. Two of Washington’s fleets have been assigned to the Persian Gulf along with NATO warships. Missiles have been spread amongst Washington’s Oil Emirate and Middle Eastern puppet states. US troops have been deployed in Israel and Kuwait.

    Washington has presented Israel a gift from the hard-pressed american taxpayers of an expensive missile defense system, money spent for Israel when millions of unassisted americans have lost their homes. As no one expects Iran to attack Israel, except in retaliation for an Israeli attack on Iran, the purpose of the missile defense system is to protect Israel from an Iranian response to Israeli aggression against Iran.

    Juan Cole has posted on his blog a map showing 44 US military bases surrounding Iran.

    Porter interprets Dempsey’s warning as a strong move by President Obama to deter an attack that would involve Washington in a regional conflagration with Iran. A different way to read Dempsey’s warning is that Obama wants to hold off on attacking Iran until polls show him losing the presidential election. It has generally been the case that the patriotic electorate does not turn out a president who is at war.

    On February 5, President Obama canceled Dempsey’s warning to Israel when Obama declared that he was in “lockstep” with the Israeli government. Obama is in lockstep with Israel despite the fact that Obama told NBC that “we don’t see any evidence that they [Iran] have those intentions [attacks on the US] or capabilities.” By being in lockstep with Israel and simultaneously calling for a “diplomatic solution,” Obama appeased both the Israel Lobby and Democratic peace groups, thus upping his vote.

    As I wrote previously, this spring is a prime time for attacking Iran, because there is a good chance that Russia will be in turmoil because of its March election.

    On February 4 the former left-wing British newspaper, The Guardian, reported a pre-election protest by 120,000 anti-Putin demonstrators marching in Moscow and demanding “fair elections.” In other words, Washington already has its minions declaring that a win by Putin in March can only signify a stolen election. The problem for Obama is that this spring is too early to tell whether his re-election is threatened by a Republican candidate. Going to war prematurely, especially if the result is a stiff rise in oil prices, is not an aid to re-election.

    In the course of the conversation I asked how Washington got so many other governments to do its bidding. He answered, “Money.”

    I asked, “You mean foreign aid?”

    He said, “No, bags of money. We buy the leaders.”

    As long as the dollar rules, Washington’s power will rule.

    As Rome debased its silver denarius into lead, Rome’s power to purchase compliance faded away. If “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke inflates away the purchasing power of the dollar, Washington’s power will melt away also.

    End Quotes

  163. Jay says:

    fyi says:
    February 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

    The relationship between the link you posted and the comments below the link is unclear to me.

    The article at the link is a farse that was also propagated at the time when draconian sanctions were imposed on Iraq.

    Negotiations for the West’s allies is a tactic of delay and decay – no measurable negotiation probability exists until and unless the west believes that Iran has entered the “zone of immunity”. I do not mean the same “ZOI” as the one they have floated in the media. The real meaning of ZOI for the west is that the west can take on a weak opponent so as to achieve its aims with acceptable cost.

    At the present, the costs are unacceptable. Therefore, sanction, delay, negotiate, sanction, delay….. until your opponent is sufficiently weakened OR you realize that your opponent continues to innovate itself into a ZOI. At that point, the west may choose to negotiate – or it may not – look at NK.

    While on the topic, it is my opinion that Iran will gain no benefit from signing the AP, stopping enrichment at 20%, or for that matter stopping enrichment all together. At the core of this, the conflict is not about technology or nuclear enrichment etc. It is about Iran accepting the dictate of a unipolar world.

  164. Kathleen says:

    Photi the other thing that Yochi promoted on Washingotn Journal this morning was that all channels of diplomacy to negotiate with Iran have been totally exhausted. He really pushed that myth.

    Now we all know how the Bush administration was able to convince the American public to support the invasion of Iraq was by endlessly repeating the WMD lies over the air waves. If you turned on the nightly news before the invasion MSNBC, CNN, etc etc you would hear Condi “mushroom cloud” Rice, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Bush, Kristol, Frum, Gaffney, Woolsey, Reuel Marc Gerecht, Feith etc etc repeating the created, cherry picked false intelligence over and over again. You could watch and listen to a complicit media roll over to these lies. Seldom if ever challenged the questionable intelligence. Now if you were obsessed with finding out the truth and had the time you could hear former weapons Scott Ritter on a few media outlets that would have him on give solid reasons why the intelligence was questionable. You might have read Jason Vest early article in the fall of 2002 in the Nation “The Men From Jinsa and The CSP” which said that those who were cherry picking this alleged WMD intelligence had twisted intentions and were willing to do almost anything to manipulate intelligence that would be used to convince the American public into supporting that invasion. You might have noticed that the former head of the IAEA El Baradei came out in early March of 2003 and said the Niger Documents were false. Millions of Americans who marched, lobbied, petitioned our Reps, were arrested before the invasion heard and read some of the warnings from experts. 30 million world wide protested against an invasion. But those sitting at home watching the news for an hour in the evening had no opportunity to hear these warnings from experts. The MSM did not show those at home who were really out on the streets across America questioning the validity of the intelligence.

    We have watched and listened to most of our MSM outlets fail the American public, Iraq and those against wars based on lies. We have been watching and listening to most of our MSM outlets failing the American people and the truth about the situation with Iran once again. Are you seeing or hearing Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, Former weapons inspector on MSNBC, Fox, CNN, Washington Journal, Talk of the Nation, the Diane Rehm show? No. But still callers into Washington Journal are questioning the need for military action against Iran. They are questioning the validity and the sources of the intelligence about Iran. They are wondering why more diplomacy is not used. Good signs.

    Folks I hope you will call into or contact CSpans Washington Journal, Hardball, Rachel Maddow, Diane Rehm etc etc and ask them why they are not doing their very best to help inform the American public about the situation with Iran based on hard facts, verifiable evidence. When will they have the Leveretts, Professor Juan Cole, former weapons inspector Robert Kelly, Seymour Hersh etc etc on their programs? Why are they recycling warmongers like David “axis of evil” Frum, Bill Kristol those who were terribly ( I believe purposely) wrong about Iraq

    Contact these msm outlets. Demand accurate information

  165. Unknown Unknowns says:
    February 8, 2012 at 11:28 am

    You should consider reading the New York Times more often, UU — not for facts, but to understand the prevalent thinking about Iran in the United States.

    I think you’re correct to say that the New York Times is promoting a war on Iran, just as it did in Iraq. Just as it did before the Iraq war, though, we can count on the Times to publish a hand-wringing editorial shortly before the attack on Iran (if one ever occurs), insisting how disappointed the Times is that war is about to happen.

    What is more unfortunate, however, is that the very same behavior can be observed in others whose anti-war credentials appear to be impeccable. The best example is Justin Raimondo, the webmaster of Antiwar.com. If one reads his articles about the 2009 election, it’s hard not to characterize him as “John Bolton on steroids.” Yet Raimondo ended each rant about the “fraudulent” election with an earnest assurance that he “anticipates with horror” the prospect of a war with Iran.
    One can just imagine the glee of the real John Bolton in reading Raimondo’s venom-spitting articles on the “fraudulent” 2009 election (assuming Bolton did read them — doubtful, of course). If Bolton were to comment, he’d probably say:

    “Justin, I’m pleased as punch to find that we agree completely that the 2009 Iran election was a total fraud, which has left the helpless Iranian people under the thumb of a war-crazed band of illegitimate mad mullahs. I understand you nevertheless think that the rest of the world should just do nothing to change that, and I guess we’ll just have to disagree about that. But I want to thank you again for confirming that you and I agree 100% on the facts.”

    Raimondo would be well-advised to spend more time getting his facts right, rather than agreeing with pro-war drum-beaters on the facts but expecting that his anti-war opinions will be given more weight.

  166. Libya Intervention Exacerbated Suffering. Syria Would Be Worse.
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/02/08/libya-intervention-exacerbated-suffering-syria-would-be-worse/

    You won’t see Juan Cole covering the UN report on how Libya became a mess…

    You’ll also never see Juan Cole answering the question whether 30,000 deaths was sufficient cost to cover the never-happened “massacre” the intervention was supposed to prevent…

    Or whether the torture now ongoing by the new “administration” in Libya – a group that doesn’t even reveal their NAMES – matches that conducted by Gaddafi…

  167. From Juan Cole’s site…

    Chinese Envoy: Veto aimed at Protecting Syria from Civil War
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/02/chinese-envoy-veto-aimed-at-protecting-syria-from-civil-war.html

    Quotes

    He noted that finding solutions to the Syrian issue must proceed from Syria’s actual conditions. He visited Syria after the UN Security Council voted on the Syrian issue on 4 0ctober last year. During his visit, he conducted in-depth conversations with leaders of the two opposition organizations. They said that they understood China’s veto and explained that if external interference was allowed, be it the Iraq type of land attacks or the Libya form of air strikes, the ultimate victims will be Syria and its people. Resolving the Syrian crisis through its own efforts may be a little slow and take longer, but it involves much smaller risks and aftermaths. In the long run, this conforms with the interests of Syria and its people.

    He added: “Some Western media reports assert that China and Russia are supporting ‘dictatorship.’ This is misleading and confusing the essence of the issue. On the contrary, China is safeguarding the entire interests of the Syrian people, instead of protecting one side and opposing the other.” Time and history will make a fair judgment, he said.

    End Quote

  168. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: February 8, 2012 at 11:32 am

    The article is useful in that it clearly shows the limitations of Israeli power and the real issues facing that polity.

    That state should not and cannot be allowed to have any influence whatsoever to trigger a chain of events that could – under the proper circumstances – lead to World War III.

    I think the Americans – inspite of their love affair with Israel – have finally grasped that fact (if not Europeans).

    Americans must take the HAMAS hudna deal; create the Palestinian state with a provisional capital at Ramallah (a formerly Christian city that Americans depopulated of its Christian population by supporting Jewish fantasies in Palestine).

    There will be a wall between Israel and Palestine – much like the Berlin War for teh DMZ in North Korea.

    In the meantime, Israelis can go and do what a small country like them should do – make deals with other small countries around them – like with Cyprus.

  169. Seamus Milne on Intervention in Syria will escalate not stop the killing
    http://m.guardian.co.uk/ms/p/gnm/op/sg4u0_RHotex_ev4Q2pP53Q/view.m?id=15&gid=%2Fcommentisfree%2F2012%2Ffeb%2F07%2Fsyria-intervention-escalate-killing

    Quote

    By decreeing a “political process” with a predetermined outcome, the withdrawal of the Syrian army from the streets with no parallel demand on armed rebel groups, and full implementation within 21 days – with a provision for “further measures” in the event of “non-compliance” – it also paved the way for foreign military intervention.

    It’s been widely claimed that the double veto has given Assad the green light to intensify repression and made full-scale civil war more likely. But by ruling out UN-backed intervention, it could just as well be argued that it puts pressure on the main opposition group, the western-backed Syrian National Council, to negotiate – given that its whole strategy has been based on creating the conditions for a Libyan-style no-fly zone.

    But none of that will stop the killing. It will escalate it. That is the clear lesson of last year’s Nato intervention in Libya. When it began, the death toll was 1,000 to 2,000. By the time Muammar Gaddafi was captured and lynched seven months later, it was estimated at more than 10 times that figure. The legacy of foreign intervention in Libya has also been mass ethnic cleansing, torture and detention without trial, continuing armed conflict, and a western-orchestrated administration so unaccountable it resisted revealing its members’ names.

    End Quote

  170. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: February 8, 2012 at 11:28 am

    During the War with iraq, there was a time that there was sufficient wheat in Iran for only a single month.

    That problem was addressed and the war continued.

    NYT is out of touch with what is going on in the world.

    It used to be reliable and accurate but not any more.

    Al Jazeera is more honest.

    But you have to understand what has happened – the regime change agenda of US-EU states was finally exposed for the entire world to see.

    And just in case of Iraq, the rest of non-NATO world cannot do anything to directly thwart this.

    But what they can and are doing is to help Iranians survive the siege warfare against them – in Iraq, in Africa, in South East Asia.

    You have to watch the Iranian Parliament as teh indicator of the state of the war.

    If they pass the sanctions law against EU in the next few weeks, that means that US-EU states are still hoping for regime change.

  171. Unknown Unknowns,

    You mentioned the recent article in the New York Times, which highlighted the open public criticism of Khamenei and Ahmadinejad, by name. The article quoted several critics, some of whom had harsh things to say. While the author didn’t mention last names of these critics, I doubt it would be difficult to figure out the last name of a guy identified as “Javad, the 45-year-old manager of a travel agency in north Tehran.”

    In light of claims by many here that even mentioning the name of Khamenei can result in a knock on the door in the middle of the night, life imprisonment, or a quick trip to the gallows or firing squad, I’m surprised that so many Iranians were not only willing to criticize the Iranian government, openly and without any effort to hide their identities, but were actually willing to do so in conversations with a New York Times writer that they must have known would end up in a story read all over the world.

    I remain impressed that so many young protesters in late 2009 were willing to openly set fire to police and civilian vehicles in downtown Tehran while chanting “Death to Khamenei” and “Death to Ahmadinejad.” I’ve received no response from Scott Lucas or Sassan (or anyone else) to my invitation to identify one of those protesters and tell us what happened to him or her. There certainly were many to choose from, and certainly at least a few of them must have been punished in some way or other. (Even in the US, a protester who set fire to police vehicles in downtown Washington, D.C. probably would be punished, whether or not he was chanting “Death to Obama” outside the White House as he did so.)

    If Scott and Sassan have no luck tracking down any of those vehicle-burning protesters, it might be the next best thing for them to find out whether “Javad, the 45-year-old manager of a travel agency in north Tehran,” received any punishment for saying critical things about the Iranian government to a New York Times reporter. Very few totalitarian states are inclined to allow such criticism, after all. Makes one wonder.

  172. Kathleen says:

    Was also able to get in another request on the Diane Rehm show for them to have Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on as well as plugging this site. Now I tried to spin it that the Diane Rehm Team actually want to educate the public about this critical issue (I don’t really believe this because if they were they would have all ready had the Leveretts, Kelly, Prof Cole, Seymour Hersh and others on their program to discuss the situation with Iran and they have not as of late)

    Just look at the way the Rehm team decided to frame the issue. Look at the guest list
    “Efforts to Stop Iran from Developing a Nuclear Bomb
    http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2012-02-06/efforts-stop-iran-developing-nuclear-bomb
    ListenComments (49)TranscriptOrder a CDShareMonday, February 6, 2012 – 10:06 a.m.

    My comment question is at 33:46
    From the Transcript
    “ANN10:40:13Thanks. Diane, hey, most of us know that you and your team are really dedicated to educating the public about this Iran issue in particular. I hope you have former administration officials Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on. And their website is Race for Iran. They know so much about this issue. I recently went online and watched a video of an interview with former weapons inspector Robert Kelley where — and I encourage your listeners to go watch that on Real News. ANN10:40:50That’s, again, former weapons inspector Robert Kelley. He said that much of what’s on that recent IAEA report about Iran that there’s a lot of material in there that ElBaradei, the former CIAEA, would not allow in, and that the new head Mr. Amanu allowed in. And then — so if your guests would discuss that and also the fact that Iran has the right to enriched uranium up to a certain — because they are signatories, as Robin Wright said, of the NPT. REHM10:41:24All right. Thanks for calling. Karim. SADJADPOUR10:41:28What’s — the challenge, which Iran poses, in the context of domestic American politics, going back to the issue of Israel — and I think that George W. Bush’s former speechwriter David Frum put it best. He said that in the context of domestic American politics, a country can enrich uranium, and it can call for Israel’s demise. But it can’t do both at the same time. And that’s really one of the great challenges which Iran poses. I don’t think that anyone thinks that Iran poses an existential threat to the United States.

  173. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I was looking through the “Experts” list of the Brookings Institute, and I found this.

    Sassan might be gay, but this guy is Gayer:

    http://www.brookings.edu/experts/gayert.aspx

  174. Interesting article by a Lazar Berman of the American Enterprise Institute, reporting in great detail on his recent two-week trip to Israel:

    http://www.american.com/archive/2012/february/is-time-on-israels-side

    As with any such article, every reader will find some virtues and many faults, or many virtues and some faults. But regardless of one’s point of view, the article contains a great deal of useful information. Well worth the read.

  175. A struggle set to run and run
    By Sami Moubayed
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB09Ak01.html

    Quotes

    Russia does not do things for free – it never has, and never will. And it supports its own interests in Syria, rather than the interests of any particular regime in Damascus. Syria and Russia after all, have been close allies ever since 1957. Its number one man in Damascus was Salah Jadid, the military strongman of Syria during the years 1966-1970. When Moscow got assurances that his main contender Hafez al-Assad was going to preserve Russian interests in Syria, it simply looked the other way when a coup d’etat toppled Jadid in 1970 – and kept him in jail for over 20-years – not lifting a finger to help him.

    The Americans and the EU were pushing Russia to accept a clause that said: “The United Nations Resolution supports the Arab League Initiative.” The clause would not go into details, and this, it was believed, would leave the door open for expanded interpretation of the Arab League Initiative. “Constructive ambiguity” is the word used at the UN, hoping that “delegating powers to his vice” could be interpreted in the future as a call to step down. The UN resolution on Libya, for example, did not authorize a military strike, but only to “protect civilians”.

    The “ambiguity” of the Libyan resolution allowed the international community to use it to justify a war last March that eventually toppled Gaddafi, and similar ambiguity might lead to gradual regime-change in Syria, with Russia’s fingerprints all over it. Russia, it must be noted, is very impressed by the Yemeni solution, which provided a win-win scenario for Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Yemeni opposition, and was planning to hammer out a similar deal for Syria.

    Due to Russian support for the Initiative, as of mid-Friday, the Security Council meeting was changed from Monday and made two days earlier, on a Friday. The presence of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Minister William Hague and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe were all indicators that the international community was very serious about Syria, and wanted maximal Russian cooperation, which the Russians were originally, willing to offer. Then came three important developments that changed the course of events. They were related more so to Russian-US relations, than to Syria.

    Lavrov asked the US to stop lobbying against presidential candidate Vladimir Putin ahead of the March 4 elections in Moscow. They asked the US for guarantees and concessions on the US missile defense plan in Europe, which dates back to the 1980s, that calls for a system of interceptors based on land and sea around Europe.

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) had to date refused to give Russia any guarantees on the matter. At the Munich Conference, Clinton reportedly failed to give Lavrov those guarantees, which prompted the Russians to change course on the Syria Resolution.

    Very important was the fact that joining Lavrov on the Syria visit was the director of Russian intelligence Mikhail Fradkov, who knows the Syrian scene inside-out, and who is very close to Putin himself.

    Most ground activists were now saying: “Enough with diplomacy. It did not work. Now it is arms vs. arms, and we will see who wins.” The veto, no doubt, greatly plays out in favor of the Free Syrian Army.

    The crisis in Syria now is snowballing into a stand-off between Russia and the US. Foreign policy, Iran, and America’s support for democracy are becoming a central part of Obama’s election campaign, ahead of the November elections. Restoring Russia’s influence, and its counter-balance to the US, is becoming a crux of Putin’s presidential campaign for elections in March. According to heavyweight Lebanese chief Walid Jumblatt, who recently visited Moscow, Lavrov told him that “Assad will stay so long as Putin stays.”

    There is of course a completely different option on the table, and Clinton went to the UN knowing perfectly well that the Russians would veto the Resolution. The West needed the veto to tell the world: “We tried to do it through diplomatic channels, under the UN umbrella, but that did not work.” If that happens, it would give the US and the EU the pretext to take unilateral action on Syria, just like Kosovo and Iraq in 2003.

    End Quotes

    Read the whole thing. Basically it’s coming down to a proxy war between Obama and Putin. Russia will try to hijack the negotiations altogether, sidelining the West and the GCC, but the West will now initiate a Libya-style military intervention.

    I bet on Putin, but unless he’s willing to threaten military intervention by Russia the West has the edge in terms of their ability to destabilize Syria on the ground.

    Moubayed thinks this will drag on for a while, but I see the West as fast-tracking Syria to the bombardment stage. They can put together a war faster than Russia can get the Syrian opposition to the table. And the West needs to because they need to give Israel what it wants – a weakened Syria and Lebanon – so the Iran war can start.

  176. Kathleen says:

    Photi watched and listented to Yochi and got in a comment and request at the end of the show. Anna (my middle name) from Dayton. Not time on the program to go through each one of the myths that he repeated and Greta allowed him to get away with. He did not come right out and say “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” but kept inferring this. Going to listen again to all of the myths he repeated.

    I only had a few seconds so I shared my objection with the host that the last three (and I meant to say four) guest that Washington Journal has chosen to have on to discuss Iran have been promoting and attack on Iran (I threw in that Yochi seemed more moderate than Mr. Singh and Mr. Jain) but questioned Washington Journals choice in guest to discuss this issue. Then asked that Washington Journal have former Bush administration officials Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on their program to discuss Iran. The refreshing thing was that the majority of callers were objecting to this push for a military strike on Iran. One other thing that I noticed is when Washington Journal would put up charts of how many nuclear weapons Russia, China, US, Israel have. The number for Israel was “80” I have read over and over again that Israel has close to 200 nuclear weapons. Thought that “80” number was odd.

    The last four guest that Washington Journal has had on to discuss the situation with Iran have been:
    #Yochi Dreazen, National Journal, Senior National Security Correspondent

    Topic: Yochi Dreazen writes in the recent National Journal that “Persian Gulf states want nuclear energy. Will they build peaceful programs, or will they respond in kind to Iran?”

    #Anne-Marie Slaughter, Princeton Univ. – Politics & Int’l Affairs Professor, Fmr. State Department Director of Policy Planning. SHE HAS OFTEN REPEATED UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIMS ABOUT IRAN

    Topic: Guest – a foreign policy expert and former key aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – will respond to the recent rising of tensions between the U.S., the international community – and Syria and Iran.

    #8:30am – Ash Jain, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Visiting Fellow

    Topic: Discuss the future policy options the United States could use against Iran over concerns of its nuclear program. Currently sanctions are in place but Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has been quoted saying the U.S. is “prepared to respond if we have to”.

    ASH JAIN REPEATED SO MANY LIES ABOUT IRAN IT WAS TOUGH TO KEEP UP

    #Michael Singh, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Managing Director

    Topic: Earlier this month, Iran warned the U.S. not to return its aircraft carrier that left the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz. Guest will discuss where the Strait of Hormuz is, how much of the world’s oil passes through the Strait on a daily basis and what impact the closing of the Strait could have on the world oil supply.

    U.S., Iran, and the Strait of Hormuz – C-SPAN Video Library

    ► 38:06► 38:06 http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/303566-8

    Mr. Singh repeated many lies about Iran

    SO WITHIN LESS THAN A MONTH CSPAN’S WASHINGTON JOURNAL CHOSE TWO GUEST TO SPEAK ABOUT IRAN WHO REPEATED LIES ABOUT IRAN. BOTH ARE FROM THE WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY. Mr. Singh the director of WINEP on Jan 8,2012 and then MR. Ash Jain on Feb 5 also from WINEP. And then mixed in during that month (Jan 5- Feb 8) the two other quest that Cspans Washington Journal chose to speak about the situation with Iran were Anne Marie Slaughter, who I have heard repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran as well as always repeat that US national security and Israel’s national security are one and the same. Today as Photi pointed out they had Yochi Dreazen who was also repeating myths about Iran and pushing the idea that a nuclear arms race is starting in that neighborhood due to Irans alleged efforts to produce nuclear weapons.

    What is up with CSpans Washington Journals choice of guest? At the very least they could mix it up a bit and not continue to only choose guest who are promoting a military conflict with Iran. When will they have on Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett, former weapons inspector Robert Kelly, Professor Juan Cole. Seems like the producers or those that choose the guest at Washington Journal need to be contacted by folks

  177. Unknown Unknowns says:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/world/middleeast/irans-middle-class-on-edge-as-international-tensions-rise.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    My sister sent me the above hasbara piece from the ?ew York Times, asking me for my “take” on it. As most of you know, I don’t “do” the ?ew York Times, and so, when I force myself to read something from it which is a tissue of lies, it gets under my skin and I go off. So, in case you were wondering, this is just me letting off steam and ranting about the evils of that evil institution. The piece could be written by Scotty Boy: it is that bad. You can skip this post knowing that there is nothing new in it for *this* audience (though I am sending the link to my sister, whose email chain might bring a few stray travelers thisaway.

    *

    What’s my take? It reaffirms my decision of many years ago not to read that hasbara rag, the ?ew York Times. Like the rest of that rag, the article is a tissue of lies.

    1. It takes the position that it is OK to be “unattached” and “objective” in the process of demonization and sanctioning of a weaker nation by the bully on the block, Uncle $cam. It is not. That is a big lie. People of conscience have a moral imperative to resist empire.
    2. It pretends to be “objective” and unattached, which is bad enough, whereas in fact, true to its function as the loudmouth for Team Weasel, that is just a sick pretense and lie, and the truth is that it is fully cognizant of and complicit in Team Weasel’s Project Empire and its “In your Face from Outer Space” philosophy of “Full Spectrum Domination.”
    3. NIE 2007, NIE 2011, DefSec Panetta and now the Israelis themselves are on record as saying there is no evidence that Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and yet this disgusting rag carries on as if the emperor is wearing clothes, and talks about the Iranian nuclear program as if it is illegal and as if the sanctions are fully justified.
    4. This rag was instrumental in spreading the lie that the 1388 elections were fraudulent and that Ahmadinejad “stole” the election, and it continues to perpetuate that pernicious lie, which was nothing more than a CIA/ NED (Soros) putcsh. It does so in its continual efforts in cooperation with other organs of empire to bring about a change in the duly elected government of Iran, and failing that, to weaken it as much as possible.
    5. Then, it is positively gleeful about the “targeted” sanctions and gloating about how they are harming the lives of ordinary citizens.

    It is a shameful, disgusting, sociopathic article.

    So you probably weren’t asking for those kinds of general statements. But here we are 10 years after the 9/11 coup, and a million Iraqi dead later. Here is a paper that acts as a cheerleader for those million plus murders. (Recall that the half million children dead – UN numbers – that Albright said was “worth it” predated this post-9/11 million and took place under Clinton’s watch.) So what do I think about the ?ew York Times? I think that as a cheerleader, it has blood on its hands, and as such, its owners and senior editorial staff should be hung from lamp-posts outside their headquarters in mid-town Manhattan. That’s my take.

    Now to the details. Look, every sentence is a lie. I’ll limit myself to 10.

    1. Economy/ dollar. While it is true that the Ahmadinejad government made mistakes that caused the dollar to spike, and that the sanctions on the central bank hurt the economy and are an outrageous violation of Iran’s rights as a sovereign nation, the fundamentals of the economy are in good shape, and it is buzzing along at a growth rate of around 4.5%, which, considering the sanctions which amount to nothing less than siege warfare, is much better than the growth rate of the US or EU economies. Under Rafsanjani and Khatami, the price of oil varied between $20 to $40/ barrel, which yielded an average of $30 billion per year in hard currency, and we had no non-oil exports. Now the price of oil is $100+/ barrel, and last year we had $35 billion in non-oil exports. This year it is projected to reach $45 billion. This means that we have an ADDITIONAL $100 billion hard currency coming into the country every year. Those who see the spike in the dollar fail to see this fundamental fact, and fail to realize that the vast majority dollars used by Iran is by its industry, which is at a fixed rate of 1,226 tomans/ dollar, which is unaffected by the black market in cash dollars.

    2. “businessmen are sometimes forced to board planes carrying suitcases full of American dollars” Utter hasbara trash.

    3. “the rial, collapsing by the day” Hasbara wishful thinking. See #1, above.

    4. “bitter divisions within Iran’s political elite; latest sign of a rift between the president and the supreme leader” Hasbara trash. Ahmadinejad and his followers love the Supreme Leader. In fact, if you go to their many websites and news outlets, such as Raja News (Persian), you will see that they refer to the Supreme Leader as “Imam”, which even Kayhan and Jomhuri-e Islami don’t do. All of the pro-Ahmadinejad commenters are staunchly pro- the Supreme Leader, as are all the factions except for the ridiculous westernized greens of northern Tehran that no one but the ?ew York Times takes seriously. They want their cake and they want to eat it too They say that the place is a “brutal dictatorship” that does not allow for any dissent, and then when there is genuine disagreement in the press between the parliament and the executive and how the latter is handling the economy (a task made more difficult by the nasty hegemon, Uncle $cam), they say there are “bitter” divisions. The hasbara scum are just angry that despite 33 years of hitting us with their best shots, they haven’t gotten anywhere. Well, like the late Imam said, let them eat their anger, and let them be consumed by it.

    5. “They criticize Ahmadinejad and even the supreme leader by name now; it’s not like before,” said Javad, the 45-year-old manager of a travel agency in north Tehran. Two phrases: Travel Agency & Northern Tehran.” Pitiful. The guys only problem is that Uncle Weasel won’t give him an immigration visa.

    6. “Many wealthy Iranians made huge profits in recent weeks by buying dollars at the government rate (available to insiders) and then selling them for almost twice as many rials on the soaring black market.” The big lie here is that we are dealing with a bunch of sand-niggers whose government is so corrupt that the “insiders” can make money that easily. No. It is only in the West, where the “insider” oligarchy is completely out of control, where that kind of shit can and does happen every day, to the tune of trillions of dollars, and only those who protest against it are arrested and put in jail. Don’t send me anything from the ?ew York Times again. It is laughable that anyone can take it seriously.

    7. “Some analysts and opposition political figures contend that Mr. Ahmadinejad deliberately worsened the currency crisis so that his cronies could generate profits this way.” If only this guy was just out of touch. Ahmadinejad works tirelessly, about 14 hours a day for the past 6 years. He is a God-fearing man. He prays five times a day. Unlike US politicians who are nothing but whores, selling themselves to the interests of the Fortune 100 which is their only constituency (while living a bald-faced lie that they serve their country and its people), Ahmadinejad actually cares about his country and serves it to the best of his ability. Just because Uncle $cam’s politicians are all whores, and you project that affliction on the politicians of the rest of the world, doesn’t mean it’s true.

    8. “The truth is, we’d like to have good relations with the West. What is the point of ‘Death to the U.S.A.’? But what can we do about this?” Another hasbara cherry picker, who has either found some hapless fool who has been brainwashed by VOA and BBC Persian, or has just made the story up. It amounts to the same thing. The lie here of course is that Iran is portrayed as the stumbling block. Its the hegemony, stupid! As the right honorable Reverend Wright ‘wrightly’ said, “No! Not ‘God *bless* Amerikkka’, God DAMN Amerikkka as long as she sanctions Iran and threatens to bomb us to the Stone Age. As long as she continues to kill innocent civilians with her hegemonic policies. God DAMN Amerika! A million here, a million there, pretty soon you’re talking some real numbers. DEATH to Amerikkka whether it does any good or not, because God knows she deserves to die, and good riddance!

    9. At Shohada Hospital, one of the country’s premier institutions, about 1,200 cancer patients a year go without radiological treatment, because the radiology equipment is no longer working and replacement parts cannot be brought into Iran, said Pejman Razavi, a doctor at the hospital. I don’t know if this is true, but if it is, where is the indignation of the ?ew York Times? Where is its editorial demanding that the administration sell Iran that equipment so that the 1,200 patients can get the treatment they need? I’ll tell you where it is. It is swept under the same rug that they then stood on to cheer the sanctions imposed on Iran when it started to enrich uranium to 19.75% so that they could make fuel rods to power the TRR (Tehran Research Reactor) so that they could continue making medical isotopes for the 500,000 cancer patients who need that medicine annually. The fuel rods and nuclear medicine was denied Iran by the barbaric Uncle Weasel and his just as barbaric Euro-FreakShow accomplices. I suspect it’s a lie anyway. We sand-niggers are self-sufficient in nuclear medicine, thanks to Team Weasel’s sanctions which finally forced us off our butts. Another visa reject choking on his own bitter fruit. The reality is probably that things do not go as smoothly as they should, and this idiot is blaming the victim, or 1,200 victims, if that figure is to be believed.

    10. “That’s when these guys will really be in trouble.” That is how this guy is ending his article. It is disgusting gloating based on wishful thinking that is never going to happen. The Islamic Republic is here to stay. Again: We’re here; we’re queer; get used to it!

  178. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

    There will be no Axis Powers intervention in Syria.

    Mercenaries and special forces of NATO states or Qatar cannot change the tide of war.

    The reason is simple: Alawites and their allies are fighting for their physical existence.

  179. Pepe Escobar on Syria through a glass, darkly
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB09Ak02.html

    Quotes

    An extra dividing factor is that the UN death toll of over 5,000 people (so far) does not identify pro-regime and opposition victims, and simply ignores the over 2,000 dead Syrian army soldiers (their funerals are on state TV virtually every day).

    Borzou Daragahi from the Financial Times has just confirmed that militias in Misrata, in Libya, announced the deaths of three Libyan de facto mercenaries in Syria. These Libyan Transitional National Council assets landed in Syria – alongside weapons stolen from Gaddafi’s warehouses – courtesy of NATO cargo planes.

    For months now, as Asia Times Online has reported, French and British special forces have been training fighters in Iskenderun, in southern Turkey. The Central Intelligence Agency is involved in intel and communications.

    The FSA uses the ultra-porous Syrian-Turkish border at will. Turkey built several refugee camps; and Ankara hosts the leaders of both the SNC and FSA. There’s also the Jordanian front – the connection to the heavy Islamist (and backward) Daraa. But the Syrian-Jordanian border is infested with mines and heavily patrolled; that implies a long 200-kilometer detour in the middle of the desert.

    Most of all FSA fighters go back and forth from Lebanon. The privileged smuggling route is from the northern Bekaa valley in Lebanon toward the opposition strongholds, the Sunni-majority cities of Homs and Hama. There’s another route from the central Bekaa valley going south toward the suburbs of Damascus (that explains how both strongholds are being supplied). But the whole thing is very dangerous, because Syrian ally Hezbollah is very strong in the Bekaa valley.

    Yet the usual, unnamed “government officials” have already leaked to CNN that the White House has asked the Pentagon to simulate game scenarios for a direct US military intervention in favor of the rebels. So a NATOGCC intervention bypassing the UN remains a solid possibility; a false flag operation blamed on the Assad regime might be the perfect casus belli.

    The bulk of Washington elites see regime change in Syria as a crucial way to hurt Iran. So this goes way beyond Syria. It’s about shattering the Iranian regime, which is not a Western satrapy; energy flows from the Middle East to the West; the West’s grip on the GCC and the intersection between the Arab and Persian worlds; and preserving the role of the petrodollar.

    End Quotes

  180. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 8, 2012 at 11:08 am

    Israelis cannot execute a classical conventional war.

    They are a poorly trained and poorly disciplined army.

    Their glory days are behind them.

  181. Castellio says:

    I agree that Sassan should be banned. It is spamming the site with hate, and I think the Leveretts negligent to not deal with it.

    BiBiJohn, well, yes, there is a point of marginalized returns, and I think you make that point well, but unlike FYI and Arnold, I am less convinced that the US government is a rational actor. Also, as RSH points out, those who push the policies never pay any price for failure.

  182. fyi says:

    All:

    http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/new-sanctions-aimed-averting-wider-conflict

    As I thought; US-EU are back in negogiation game to ratchet down the nuclear confrontation (after the overthrow scenario a la Mossadeq in 1953 did not pan out.)

  183. Hans: “Pat lang give me a break!”

    What’s wrong with Pat Lang? He’s had the same US military training every other senior officer has had in the US, plus he’s a Middle East expert. What he suggests as Israel’s only reasonable move against Hizballah is not rocket science, it’s common sense and classic conventional war.

    “What is wrong with the IRRG, they after all trained Hezbollah.”

    Uh, I wouldn’t assume that the IRGC is the sole reason Hizballah defeated Israel in 2006. Hizballah had a decade of fighting Israel on their own soil, plus another decade to prepare for the war in 2006. Give them some native credit. Nasrallah is no fool.

    In any event, all this is irrelevant. A pincer movement by two armored divisions is classic war. Whether it will work or not against a dug in guerrilla force may be problematical but it is not certain to fail either. Predicting the outcome at this stage is being overly confident. And that leads to the sort of failure the IDF experienced in 2006.

    Wait and see. The important thing is that Israel has to try. Whether they succeed or fail, they will STILL attack Iran at some point if the US does not. If they want to achieve their goals in the Middle East, they have no choice but to do so.

  184. Rehmat says:

    Abbas returns to enact ‘Mother of Treasons’

    Hamas’ acceptence to let Fatah chairman, Mahmoud Abbas, lead the Palestinian Authority (PA) interim unity government is a victory for Israel. Not only that Abbas is a wellknown USraeli ‘double agent‘, the so-called ‘Doha Declaration’ was given birth by no other than Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar’s emir. He is leading the Arab Government Counter Country (GCC) revolution against the emerging anti-USrael political power. Al Thani funded anti-Qaddafi murderers in the destruction of Africa’s richest and most liberal country. Now, he is funding anti-Assad armed thugs in Syria – and threatening Lebanese Islamic resistance Hizbullah and Islamic Republic of Iran.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/abbas-returns-to-enact-mother-of-treasons/

  185. BiBiJon: “Just today NY Times is reporting that the state department is about to cut her ‘diplomatic’ presence in Iraq by half. Why?”

    How about because they’d like fewer personnel to get killed during an Iran war? Just as I noted an article below that says Israeli embassies are preparing for an Israel strike.

    You keep talking about “glaring defeats” and you still don’t comprehend that while these were “defeats” in some rational sense that such “defeats” have ZERO impact on the ruling elites in the US. NONE of those people have lost a dime on these wars. Instead, they’ve made billions of dollar.

    What you call a “defeat”, I call the expenditure of $100 billion a year in Afghanistan. It’s the $100 billion that matters, NOT the “defeat”! Do you think that money just floated away on the breeze? In terms of effect on the war, it did. In terms of where it went in reality, it went into someone’s pocket. The same someone who now wants to replicate that PROFITABLE SUCCESS in Iran – and any other country they can convince the stupid electorate needs to be attacked.

    And unlike Eric’s fantasy, that is very easily done as is currently being done in Syria. And no amount of “counter-propaganda” from the likes of the Leveretts or this site or any other has a snowball’s chance in hell of altering that.

    It’s $100 billion on one side, and the Leveretts on the other.

    Who do you think is going to win that game? In the real world…

    Yes, you remain delusional.

  186. Eric: “But I didn’t do that, did I?”

    What part of “I was forestalling” didn’t you understand?

    “I think discussions of any Iran/US deal in which the US explicitly approves enrichment by Iran, in Iran, are pointless, since either (1) no such deal will happen (by far the most likely); or (2) Iran would have to give up so much for the deal that it would not be even worth discussing, much less agreeing to.”

    Once again, I’m not talking about this.

    You have an amazing ability to derail a debate into areas which are irrelevant. It’s almost Canning-like…

    The discussion is very simple: answer the charges I’ve in INNUMERABLE posts here in this thread.

    You can’t do it.

    You can’t answer Arnold’s straightfoward questions.

    All you can do is handwave and divert the discussion to other questions.

    “What most others seem to miss is that the measure of success of a suggested course of conduct is not whether it yields a deal with the US that approves Iran’s enrichment of uranium.”

    It is for the rest of us. You are the only one who believes that some mystical method of changing the perception of the US electorate which then in some further mystical manner changes the course for war by the ruling elites in the US is the only valid outcome of any deal – and in fact there should BE NO DEAL – merely capitulation by Iran to adhere to the AP without getting anything in return at all.

    “But if another measure is used — such as whether a suggested course of action reduces the risk of a devastating war, allowing breathing space during which Iran can strengthen itself and its ties to other strong countries, while the US declines in relative strength — my suggestion may prove to have considerably more merit than what I understand others propose: hold out for an explicit US recognition of Iran’s right to enrich.”

    Except you’ve never made ANY case WHATSOEVER to show that your course of action has ANY chance of producing ANY of those results. It’s all hand waving. It’s all plain assertions with ZERO evidence.

    And no matter how many times Arnold and I crush this argument by asking you to explain who, what, when, where OR why any of this could take place, you have not answered us with ANY detail once.

    “I’m going to take a look at some historical poll numbers, but my strong hunch is that I’ll find the risk of war is considerably higher today than it was a few years ago.”

    DUH!

    “Whether that reflects Iran’s reversion to a limited-disclosure approach is, of course, far from provable.”

    No shit…

    “Many other factors could account for the increased risk — sheer inevitability alone might account for it, in the view of some.”

    Not in my view. The reason for it is glaringly clear to anyone with a brain. The US and Israel are deliberate ramping up a war just like before the Iraq invasion.

    If YOU can’t ascribe the current state of affairs to that fact, you clearly are delusional.

    “But (assuming I do find that more Americans want to attack Iran now than was true back in, say, 2007) it may be that Iran’s limited-disclosure position over the past several years has been a major reason that US public opinion toward Iran has turned substantially more negative during that same time frame.”

    And I call BULLSHIT once again. The REASON public opinion has turned is PRECISELY because the government and the MSM have deliberately misrepresented the situation PRECISELY to cause a war. And NONE of this have ANYTHING to do with whether Iran is currently an adherent to the AP.

    Really, your argument is becoming even more ridiculous than Canning’s 20%. At least he can cite his “timeline” in support of his “argument.” You can’t even come up with anything that specific.

    You’re on crack, Eric, and every one here can see it. I asked for people to weigh in on this and as far as I can read, no one agrees with you. They all see that this is a pipe dream – a crack pipe dream.

  187. Pirouz says:

    Sassan, that’s your response to my comment? So you’re not even going to try to advocate a U.S. foreign policy of war against the Iranian people, with trillions of dollars spent and upwards of $6 a gallon gas. You’re not even going to try to advocate sanctions against the Iranian people.

    Your only purpose here is to defame Iran, mostly by cut/pasting any negative article you come across elsewhere on the internet. And you’re being abusive to other commenters here by using the persian suffix “joon.”

    Sad to say this, but it appears comment moderation is now a necessity here at RFI.

  188. hans says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 10:36 am

    If they’ve read Colonel Pat Lang or have some conventional military people advising them, they might. If not, well…

    Now if you said General Nguyen Duc Huy then I would say you know what you are talking, Pat lang give me a break! What is wrong with the IRRG, they after all trained Hezbollah.

  189. Hans: “You are giving far too much credit to the IDF”

    Note that I didn’t say they would necessarily succeed. But there’s no guarantee they will fail this time either if they go for broke with sufficient forces.

    All the IDF has to do is get Hizballah pushed far enough north that they can occupy southern Lebanon and prevent Hizballah missiles from reaching most of Israel. And they only need to blunt Syrian forces long enough to accomplish this. Then they can pull back from Syria and only occupy southern Lebanon long enough to get the Iran war started.

    This would seem to be very feasible, but of course it depends on how well Hizballah has prepared for the eventuality of a pincer movement between southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley. If they’ve read Colonel Pat Lang or have some conventional military people advising them, they might. If not, well…

  190. Since my last post around 2Pm last night, Sassan has made EIGHTEEN posts. The person responding to Sassan under SassanIsAJoke has made 12 posts.

    That is THIRTY useless posts in the last FIVE hours.

    NOW do you see why Sassan should be banned? Or at least why you people need to STOP TALKING TO HIM!

    Sassan is destroying the value of this Web site.

  191. fyi says:

    Photi says: February 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

    You always have to ask yourelf, “Who will pay for this war?” and “What is the Shape of Peace to come after this War?”

    On the Axis Powers side, nobody is supplying any answers to these 2 questions.

    Neither Americans nor Israelis are going to go to war against Iran.

    The internal factions in US have fought against one another on this issue for years.

    May be in 2006 they could start a war, but not now when Iranians have succeeded (and Axis Powers themselves have demonstrated) that there is no justification for war with Iran due to her nuclear program.

    That is, politically, US, EU, and Israel stand naked for any agression against Iran on the basis of her nuclear program.

    But it is alos clear that one faction of the United States leaders has been sufficiently deperate to create such lies as the “Saudi Ambassador Plot” and to likewise hasten the US sanctions on the Iranian Central Bank and Energy sales.

    Significantly, these factions have succeeded in diminishing US bargaining scope with Iran for a comprehensive deal.

    The faction responsible for the US Congressional sanctions, preempted the US Executive branch’s sanctions time table.

    They forced the issue and thus had to make the EU states also declare their intentions pre-maturely.

    In this, they alerted the Iranians and gave them a window into their tactics.

    Basically, for the United States, the only way forward is the Russian Step-by-Step plan or some variation thereof.

    And the reason for it is that US leaders cannot afford a war or an incident leading to war in the Persian Gulf; not now and not in the near future.

  192. Photi says:

    The most truthful thing I heard Dreazen say is that a nuclear-armed Iran would take away the freedom of action in the region that the Americans and Israelis think they currently have. In other words, because the Iranians appear to be able to defend themselves, they should be attacked. crazy logic.

  193. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: February 8, 2012 at 1:30 am

    The power to undo a nuclear Iran does not exist in the international arena.

    It did not exist then (in 2003) and it does not exist now.

    Nor the power to undo the expansion of Iranian power since 2003.

    Iranians have made themeselves immune to war and siege warfare.

    It is clear to me that their geopolitical agenda is going on in spite of all the pressures put on them.

    To wit, the consololidation and expansion of their power from Hind Kush to the Mediterranean Sea.

    Almost certainly Iran (with the help of Russia) will carve out Northern Afghanistan and leave the South to Taliban, Indians, and Paksitanis to play their (stupid) game.

    In Iraq, the process is in palce to tie the 2 countries closely together. There the Iranians will ruthlessly crush any vestiges of Sunni power and destroy Saudi Arabia’s influence.

    In Syria, they have already defeated Saudi Arabai and Qatar and Axis Powers (again with the help and assistance of Russians) and their strategic position in the post Assad Syria will remain intact.

    Likewise in Lebanon where nothing can get done without the cosent of Hezbullah.

    The Iranian leaders also have made sure that there will be no peace in Palestine on American terms (although they probably won’t stop HAMAS from a HUDNA deal with Israel.)

    The US-EU sanctions (oil and otherwise) will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

    Iranians will be forced to adjust and so will the world.

  194. Photi says:

    OMG! As we speak, Yochi Dreazen of National Journal is on CSPAN’s Washington Journal crying his guts out for his beloved Israel in order to bring death and destruction onto the Iranian nation.

    If there is anything to be hopeful about, those who are calling into the program are overwhelmingly against this war.

    Why is it so easy to bring these warmongers and those advocating for war crimes on a place like Washington Journal, and yet the much more reasonable positions of the Leveretts is never represented?

  195. Rd. says:

    Castellio says:

    And what start date do we give the military actions within Pakistan?

    according to ambassador Bhadrakumar

    Pakistan ditches Kabul, Tehran

    The tensions in the United States-Pakistan ties are fast subsiding. The surest sign is that the drones are back on the Pakistani skies, raining death in the tribal tracts on the Afghan border and no one in Islamabad or Rawalpindi could care less. The Pakistani leaders know that the drone attacks now carry President Barack Obama’s imprimatur. 
    Notionally, Pakistani army chief Pervez Kayani has ordered the Pakistani troops to shoot down anything that violates the Pakistani air space but that is only theatrics meant to assuage the agitated Pakistani public opinion. A few hours ago, the US’ drone aircraft struck again — for the fifth time in the past 4 weeks.
    Two other signs that US-Pak ties are ‘normalising’ also may be noted. One, Pak Defence Minister Ahmad Mukhtar has held out the assurance that Pakistan proposes to reopen the transit routes for the NATO convoys. Mukhtar put on a brave face saying NATO should fulfill certain conditions, but he made it clear that it is a political call: “There should not be any misunderstandings with America, the two countries have enjoyed good ties and it is our duty to mend relations.” 
    The second indication is Washington’s decision to repair the mil-to-mil ties by dispatching the chief of the US Central Command Gen. James Mattis to meet Kayani. Mattis would probably tell Kayani ‘We’re sorry we killed your chaps on Nov 26′ — knowing beforehand that Kayani wants to hear just those few words and is sure to be in a forgiving mood for ever thereafter. 
    Pakistan has made its point that only with its cooperation, Washington can make substantial headway in the peace talks with Pakistan. In fact, the next phase of the talks is stuck without the green signal from Kayani. On the other hand, US also made its point to Pakistan that the goodies will be available only with strings attached. The truth is that the Pakistani economy is packing up and beggars can’t be choosers.  
    So, it suits both Mattis and Kayani to kiss and make up. Meanwhile, the political leadership is also doing its bit with PM Yusuf Gilani is visiting Qatar, which is going to be the scene of action between the US and Taliban diplomats. If US is willing to share a piece of the action with Pakistan, the latter would play footsie in Qatar. No doubt on that score. 
    Gilani would also probably explore with Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani as to what is there in the fabulous Qatari kitty for Pakistan. (Maybe a joint bid for hosting Olympics 2020?) The ISI chief Ahmed Pasha already visited Qatar to check out. By the way, Mattis too is based in Qatar as the head of the US Central Command. He might invite Kayani to drop by before he retires — and even bring Mullah Omar along. 
    Thus, it is Qatar, Stupid! Afghan President Hamid Karzai can have a sideshow with the Taliban in Saudi Arabia if he so wishes (provided Omar agrees, which he won’t), because for Pakistan it’s now Qatar, Qatar, Qatar. 
    But there is a catch. Karzai was hoping to have a joint track with Pakistan to reconcile the Taliban. Actually, this was originally a Pakistani suggestion to spite Washington. Thus, Karzai agreed to visit islamabad on Feb 16 to revive the joint Pak-Afghan commission. Now, Pakistan has since had a change of heart. 
    Pakistan now prefers to work with the US rather than with Karzai. So, what to do? Therefore, Pakistan is making Karzai’s Islamabad visit a grand ceremonial occasion with state banquets, grandiloquent speeches, photo-ops,  by inviting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to join in. But diplomats in islamabad have already ‘leaked’ that it is going to be all show and no real substance – lest Washington took offence.
    In sum, Pakistan is trading Ahmedinejad and Karzai for Mattis. The sure sign of Islamabad’s bazaari deal with Washington is apparent from the cold feet Pakistan is developing on the Iran gas pipeline. Consider the following. Iran has completed the construction of its part of the pipeline. Pakistan originally said it would complete its work by end-2013, but the date is now mentioned as ‘2014′. Meanwhile, it suddenly occurs to Pakistan that it should check out whether Iran (which has the second largest gas reserves in the world) would have sufficient gas to supply! After all, it is a buyer’s prerogative to know the supplier has the wares to supply! 
    Over and above, Pakistan now wants an independent third party to audit Iran’s gas reserves. Which, of course, Pakistan knows well enough is like asking for the moon. No auditing party worth its name on the planet will come forward when President Barack Obama is watching Iran’s energy reserves with an eagle’s eye. The funny part is that Pakistan expects the auditors to certify that Qatar is not stealing what Iran claims to be its gas reserves in South Pars! Obviously, Pakistan is shelving the Iran pipeline project. Energy security can wait but Obama’s goodwill cannot. And all this when Iran is bending over backward and offering generously to Pakistan that it could undertake the construction work of the pipeline on the Pakistani side as well so as to speed up the project. 

  196. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: February 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    There is a chapter in the last novel of Thomas Wolfe titled “The Black Messiah”.

    He wrote it based on his experiences in Hiltler’s Germany at the time.

  197. Sassan says:

    He treated the League, as he did so many parts of life, with a slightly detached and amused air. Each member was supposed to give an address to Geneva University students, but Einstein gave a violin recital instead. One evening at a dinner, Murray’s wife asked him why he remained so cheerful given the depravity of the world. “We must remember that this is a very small star,” he responded, “and probably some of the larger and more important stars may be very virtuous and happy.”

  198. Rd. says:

    masoud says:

    Just who in the US, aside from the Leveretts, or analysts that largely agree with them, could Obama be responding to here?

    To add, I think Dr Brzezinski has also made public statements re US is in decline. Also, Dr Kissinger very recently was hinting as some of the wrong policy formulation rather indirectly. In a matter of speech, he said Libya was a mistake and its effect will be felt for years.. The interview was on Rose.

  199. BiBiJon says:

    In defense of the Absurd
    ======================

    Castellio says:
    February 8, 2012 at 1:11 am

    “Yes, someone here was talking about deescalation. Not happening. I think we have to acknowledge that the war in Syria is no longer a covert action.

    2001 Afghanistan. 2003 Iraq. 2006 Lebanon. 2008 Gaza. 2011 Libya. 2012 Syria.

    Am I missing something within the decade, other than the on-going covert? And what start date do we give the military actions within Pakistan?”
    ———————

    Guilty as charged. But, a few points in defense of the absurd.

    Looking back to the 90’s NATO expansion, and the wars since 2001 seems to demerit any hope of de-escalation. But, surely all inflection points, especially sudden retreats, seem incongruent with past events.

    Just to be sure I’m not accused of being even more delusional than I actually am, I don’t think there’s any desire on the part of escalatioists to de-escalate. I see/hope that the outcome is forced on them — kicking and screaming, nonetheless they will de-escalate because they HAVE to.

    I regard Zionism is beyond discredited. It is dead, exactly as communism, faschism, ect. That demise is always proximately preceded by more petulance and belicosity — remember apartheid South Africa — but the fact that it is dead as a door nail is sloshing around in the subconscious of all.

    It’s the costs, stupid
    ———————-

    Fixated on freedom of action purchased with superior military might, the west indeed has been escalating. But lately, inversely to the diminishing benefits, the costs are increasing, the defeats more glaring, and the proclivity to continue on the path of escalation is more unjustifiable than ever before.

    Just today NY Times is reporting that the state department is about to cut her ‘diplomatic’ presence in Iraq by half. Why? The west has run of lipstick to put on the pig of defeat. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/08/world/middleeast/united-states-planning-to-slash-iraq-embassy-staff-by-half.html

    Look at the 2006 attack on Lebanon. What was achieved, and at what cost? Look at Gaza of 2008; costs: international opprobrium, benefits: demonstrate defenseless people can be killed in large numbers. Seriously, what was achieved that justifies the costs.

    Russia’s deployment of Admiral Kuznetsov to Tartous is a tripwrire for WWIII. These are the costs. What is the benefit?

    Sanctioning the world to get sanctions on Iran to work is already creating out-in-the-open defiance of American leadership, relegating her influence in the world firmly to the confines of Obama’s own imagination.

    So, yes I think escalation has run its course. If its Israel’s security, then 1967 borders are a reasonable start to an eventual one-state solution. If it is oil, yes there is a serious shortage, and it has to be managed, not horded. If it is the rise of rivals, then what realistic, affordable options are there other than getting used to it.

    All of above truisms pale compared with the bind Obama finds himself in. The only way he can wriggle out of the electoral noose around his neck is to take the initiative. I think he will go for de-escalation, rather than kick off WWIII.

    I think the probability for de-escalation is sufficiently high to force Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, e.g. to start hedging visibly, further adding to the braking momentum.

  200. Richard,

    “No, I DID NOT. I said that you would pop up to suggest [in response to Glaser’s article] that Iran would benefit from such a deal.”

    But I didn’t do that, did I? I think discussions of any Iran/US deal in which the US explicitly approves enrichment by Iran, in Iran, are pointless, since either (1) no such deal will happen (by far the most likely); or (2) Iran would have to give up so much for the deal that it would not be even worth discussing, much less agreeing to.

    What most others seem to miss is that the measure of success of a suggested course of conduct is not whether it yields a deal with the US that approves Iran’s enrichment of uranium. If that were the only measure, my suggestion indeed would be pointless — as would be, and has been, every other suggestion ever made.

    But if another measure is used — such as whether a suggested course of action reduces the risk of a devastating war, allowing breathing space during which Iran can strengthen itself and its ties to other strong countries, while the US declines in relative strength — my suggestion may prove to have considerably more merit than what I understand others propose: hold out for an explicit US recognition of Iran’s right to enrich.

    I’m going to take a look at some historical poll numbers, but my strong hunch is that I’ll find the risk of war is considerably higher today than it was a few years ago. Whether that reflects Iran’s reversion to a limited-disclosure approach is, of course, far from provable. Many other factors could account for the increased risk — sheer inevitability alone might account for it, in the view of some. But (assuming I do find that more Americans want to attack Iran now than was true back in, say, 2007) it may be that Iran’s limited-disclosure position over the past several years has been a major reason that US public opinion toward Iran has turned substantially more negative during that same time frame.

  201. M. Ali says:

    I mean, “Ayatollah: Kill all jews”, “

  202. M. Ali says:

    With all of Sassan’s constant talk of rapes and virgins, am I the only one who thinks he has some dark fetish?

    Sassan, I’m still waiting for the source of “Khomeini: Kill all jews”, in case you forgot about it.

  203. hans says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 2:33 am

    Israel will stay out of the Syrian crisis right up to the moment when two Israel armored divisions punch into Syria (and a third into southern Lebanon) to take out the Syrian military to cover the attack on the Bekaa Valley.

    You are giving far too much credit to the IDF, people keep forgetting the 1967 war and Israel attack and occupation of Sinai is now known to have been successful because
    of a leak of battle plans by An Eyyptian general who happened to be Nasser son inlaw (recently murdered in London).

    I think the Syrian army have been well trained by Hezboallah and the IRRG forces for such an eventuallity. The IDF have suffered a lot of setbacks as well as Mossad.

  204. Unknown Unknowns says:

    VoT:

    1. Re: Sassan Khanoum – Just because Sassan Bala has a boyfriend in the IDF, it does not necessarily follow that he is a she. This is just logic, nothing personal :D

    2. It was just announced that the captured drone will be displayed in the 22nd of Bahman celebrations. Accordingly, I have applied for and expect shortly to obtain permission to set up a small RFI booth right next to the drone, where RFIers can gather at the end of the march and wave hello to the Uncle Weasel satellites above. Iran-based RFIers: be there or be square! It will be a great Kodak moment.

  205. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    Finally to respond to your oil for food scandal stuff. Yes, no one denies that Iraq did in fact obtain funds through smuggling. That is irrelevant to the fact that the sanctions deprived Iraq of revenue needed to sustain its economy, and take care of its people. This has been acknowledged by every unbiased observer, including by the former heads of the program itself. Thus, the sanctions, and not the very minimal smuggling that took place caused the deaths. So sorry to have to say this, but you are wrong once again.

  206. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    No, your belief that Afghanistan under NATO is better demonstrates your complete inability to comprehend reality. And no, Saddam did not “curtail” the oil for food program. So to summarize, its fine to kill 1,000,000 people as long as something you consider beneficial happens. Sorry to break this to you, but that is moral relativism. Of course, you already demonstrated your belief in that with your endorsement of the collective punishment of Palestinians. And thank you for the ad hominem attack, doesn’t take long for that to occur with you does it. (Yep, you are still WINNING, keep it up).

  207. Fiorangela says:

    /\
    (++) <– ignore button
    \/

  208. Sassan says:

    Enjoy your delusions. The fact alone that there are no more sanctions along with Saddam’s barbarity in illegally curtailing the oil-for-food program (which is responsible for the countless deaths of his own people from the sanctions) is reason enough to make the claim that if there was no disposal of Saddam Hussein, more people would be dying under Saddam’s tyrannical grip. The Iraqi people now have a freedom and a future for themselves unlike under Saddam’s tyranny. And for you to claim that the Karzai’s government is just as “bad” as the Taliban demonstrates the despicable morals you possess as a human being. You cannot even self-identity yourself with a username of your own choosing.

  209. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan the human rights defender

    So your response to my correct point that Palestinians are being abused and denied their basic human rights by Israel is…an attempt to justify their collective punishment by Israel, which, as you so obviously do not realize, is a crime against humanity and a war crime under those international human rights laws you know so well. You are really going strong, please continue to make a fool of yourself as it is providing me with some considerable amusement.

  210. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    “Millions of Iranians have died.”

    I did not even need to read your entire post to expose your farcically absurd opinions for what they are once again. But thank you for justifying my description of you so promptly. Funny how you counter my statement of fact with one that is completely unproven, and still expect to be taken seriously. (At a minimum 500,000 CHILDREN were killed by the sanctions on Iraq alone before 2003. This does not include adults who also died during the same period due to lack of medical care, etc. And every study that has been conducted in Iraq has revealed that the number of deaths far exceeds the deaths reported in the media, which is what those UN figures you cited are based on. My figure was in fact conservative, as some studies count the deaths under US occupation alone at over 1,000,000).

    Your arguments are so transparent…it almost isn’t worth it to counter them.

    So you like to cite UN figures, fine. Funny that you have missed the UN statistics that show that the population of Afghanistan, under the enlightened Western leadership of NATO, in every significant respect, is either (A) in the same condition it was under the Taliban or (B) significantly worse off. So, although this was not your intention, you have just demonstrated that the Western powers you so adore are in fact no better than the Taliban, which despite your absurd assertion I in no way support. Congratulations, you won the prize again.

  211. Sassan says:

    “The cult of individual personalities is always, in my view, unjustified… It strikes me as unfair, and even in bad taste, to select a few for boundless admiration, attributing superhuman powers of mind and character to them. This has been my fate, and the contrast between the popular estimate of my achievements and the reality is simply grotesque. This extraordinary state of affairs would be unbearable but for one great consoling thought: it is a welcome symptom in an age, which is commonly denounced as materialistic, that it makes heroes of men whose ambitions lie wholly in the intellectual and moral sphere.” -Albert Einstein

  212. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    Ah I see you are also concerned about completely unproven claims about human rights abuses in Syria. SO MUCH SO YOU THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO LEAVE A POST IN BOLD LETTERS ABOUT THE REFUSAL OF THE SECURITY COUNCIL TO ENDORSE A US LED ATTACK ON SYRIA. Given that the subject of this blog is not Syria, your repeated posts about it once again expose your desire to push Western propaganda on this blog. Even leaving aside your disgusting and hypocritical defense of gross Israeli human rights abuses, which alone exposes you as a hypocrite since you do not seem to believe your “Western universal” human rights apply to Palestinians, let’s consider some other cases that also expose your hypocrisy. Hmm…strange that the gross human rights abuses in Bahrain, whose odious royal dictatorship is a US ally, and where abuses, unlike in Syria, have been extensively proven and documented, do not give rise to any concern on your part. I do not recall you spamming this site with full length articles documenting these abuses, or trying to intimidate those who posted opinions that did not discuss them. Yep, so apparently those “Western universal” values you cherish only apply to those countries that the West wants to demonize and destroy and not to reliable Western allies. Thanks for proving you are a very bad joke once again.

  213. Sassan says:

    Mr. Jokester:

    First off: freedom of speech means being able to voice one’s opinion without fear of retaliation; irregardless of what that opinion may be. Freedom of expression extends to actions such as burning a flag (as we are allowed to burn our own flags here in the U.S.) or burning holy scripture/text.

    Second, “fictional victims” are no “fiction”. There are millions of Iranians who have died needlessly under this regime and the thousands and thousands systematically massacred through executions by these madmen.

    In regards to Iraq, there is no need to make up false numbers. Even U.N. estimates put the death toll from the war between 100-150,000 with the VAST MAJORITY of those deaths not as the result of U.S. or allied bombs or weapons but rather from the actions of terrorists such as suicide bombs whom kill far more of their own people than kill members of the coalition. In fact, many of these actions were funded and supported by the Islamic Republic whom have been responsible for a large portion of the deaths of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    And in your cruel world the Taliban would be continuing being the oppressive government in Afghanistan in which women would continue being stoned to death on a daily basis as well as Afghani women and little girls remaining without any rights or an education. Today, 40% of Afghani girls receive an education and Afghani women are now employed in the Parliament and are allowed to have jobs outside of the home. While things are not perfect, I am proud of the fact that we have helped liberate Afghanistan and Iraq and have helped provide an opportunity and future for the Afghani and Iraqi people. Of particular significant, I am ecstatic and happy for the great Kurdish people of Iraq whom have always stood on the side of liberty and freedom despite the innumerable difficulties that they have suffered over the years and decades. In fact, the freedom movement of the region resulted to a large part in the liberations of Afghanistan and Iraq. Once Saddam was caught in a hole these tyrants were no longer seen as untouchables. As a consequence, Ghaddafi gave up his nuclear program and in fact, looked vulnerable to his people. Democracy is never easy at its beginning and it surely has been difficult and will be difficult for the people of the region; but now they will be able to build a future for their nations without tyrannical tyrants at their helms.

    The end is very near for Bashar al-Assad followed by Khamanei. History tells us, these tyrants can only delay the inevitable through bloodshed. Once the people have risen in not being afraid in expressing their discontent with the ruling tyranny; the end cannot and will not be avoided.

  214. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    Funny, but your every post says otherwise.

    Also funny that your overwhelming concern for human rights does not apparently extend to any Western leaders. Yes, you care so much about the fictional victims of Khamenei you want to prosecute him but you could care less about those who caused the deaths of 1,000,000 Iraqis and launched an aggressive war. Funny how your majestic concern for human rights does not extend to them. (Just to make this clear, I just exposed the absurdity of your statements and positions once again).

  215. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    Let’s examine another of your absurd statements, accusing someone of being a “Hezbollai” and than trying to smear them with conclusory statements. Note that you do not have a monopoly on what it means to be Iranian, or a right to demonize someone based on your own personal view of what that means. It is funny that you, who constantly claim to respect free speech and “human rights” immediately resort to mindless vlification when someone disagrees with your views. I know that this comes as a shock to you, but you represent no one but your own delusional worldview. You do not represent the vast majority of the Iranian people or their views on any matter whatsoever.

  216. Sassan says:

    I hate no one :). Hate is not in my dictionary. I do not even want to see Khamanei dead or executed. In fact, I want him to be afforded due process and the rule of law in having the legal protection that he himself denied the Iranian people during his evil tenure. Hence, I want to see him prosecuted at the international tribunal at the Hague for crimes against humanity in which he along with his cronies have perpetuated against the Iranian people the last 30+ years.

  217. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan Re: Hatred

    The only one who constantly displays hatred here, of a marked and pathological type, is you. Every post you make displays this irrational hatred of anything that dares to disagree with your particular (fake) insulated worldview and desperate need to believe that everything that mindlessly vilifies Iran MUST BE TRUE. IF SOMEONE SAYS THAT A SOURCE THAT MAKES ABSURD CLAIMS THAT HAPPEN TO AGREE WITH MY WORLDVIEW IS WRONG THAT MEANS THE PERSON DOING IT HATES THE WONDERFUL, PERFECT “WEST” AND IS AUTOMATICALLY EVIL.

  218. SassanisaJoke says:

    @Sassan

    Really Sassan, you do realize when you dump sources found on the internet on this website that never prove any of their claims you are not in a position to criticize the sources others use right? It’s funny that you entirely missed the point the other poster was making when he posted that fascinating dispatch directly from the pen of a reliable source in Syria about the presence of a leprechaun army. The point is that if something is posted on the internet and it happens to agree with your point of view, but the source provides no evidence to support the factual claim or point of view it raises, than it is a joke and it can be dismissed as a credible source without further delay. And just to be clear, this applies to all the nonsensical sources and claims that you have made in your ongoing, increasingly desperate attempt to disrupt this blog and spread mindless hate. The only question remaining is whether you are really dumb enough not to realize this, or if you do realize this and are continuing to do this at this point in order to deliberately disrupt this blog and the ongoing attempts of people who are actually intelligent to discuss serious issues. Given your facility for finding sources that vilify Iran, no matter where they hide, and your refusal to consider anything that proves those sources are false, combined with the shortlived adjustment of your behavior when you thought a ban was imminent, I believe the second is the case.

    Just so you understand this (and you do of course you do since your mission here is to disrupt this blog in any way you can), let’s expose one of the latest farcical claims from you. In this you copy/paste a report from an extreme right wing, neocon site in the US, a site that has rarely seen a conservative conspiracy theory that it did not approve of and report with the greatest sincerity. You post an article by a man who makes a completely unproven claim to be a member of the CIA. This article contains a facially absurd claim that 15,000 EVEEEELLL Iranians are in Syria, without providing any evidence or proof of this. This absurd claim, re transmitted without any criticism, completely destroys your previous argument that this source is reliable. This has of course completely escaped your attention. Sometimes it seems your are deliberately trying to discredit yourself by first claiming that a source (as revealed by your all knowing and all seeing mind) is reliable, and then posting the most absurd, ludicrous claim that you can produce from that same source.

    Ah but it’s fine for you to transmit absurd conspiracy theories as long as they agree with your vindictive and hateful point of view isn’t it? Of course, no one else on this blog can post anything that questions or disproves your point of view without being potentially insulted or accused of spreading a non Sassan approved conspiracy theory by the Sassan truth squad.

  219. Sassan says:

    Pirouz says: “You see, Sassan, RFI benefits from having a highly informed audience. We’ve heard all the dubious claims by haters like yourself, many times before.

    That said, persons here generally have an open mind”

    Pirouz joon, both you and I know that you don’t believe the crap that you wrote. People on here are “highly informed” and “have an open mind”? You mean an open mind to hating Jews and blaming everything on the “evil Jews and the imperialist Americans and west”?

    Give me a break…this is a site of hatred of the west and a denial of the atrocities that take place both inside of Iran by the illegal regime occupying our homeland as well as the atrocities that are now taking place against the Syrian people. That had to be quite a comical statement by you Pirouz. You are better than that.

  220. Sassan says:

    LMFAO @ the people who take the anti-Semite “Nazi historian” David Irving seriously.

  221. Kooshy: Re Robert Fisk:

    “Oddly, I repeat yet again, only Israel has remained silent.”

    I can explain that. Israel is waiting for Syria to get bombed so it can attack Lebanon. So Israel won’t say anything about Syria because it doesn’t want to get blamed for that, too.

    But as I indicated with a link below, Israel is already producing propaganda about Hizballah benefiting from Syrian weapons – without explaining how a Shia movement like Hizballah could benefit from a mostly Sunni Syrian insurgency…

    But of course, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense. All that matters is that Hizballah is sufficiently demonized about Syria to justify an Israel attack at some point.

    Israel will stay out of the Syrian crisis right up to the moment when two Israel armored divisions punch into Syria (and a third into southern Lebanon) to take out the Syrian military to cover the attack on the Bekaa Valley.

  222. Arnold Evans: “Who is this guy Sever Plocker?”

    Sever Plocker is chief economics editor and deputy editor-in chief of Yedioth Aharonot, the newspaper.

    “Even the Leveretts don’t say the United States can live with a nuclear capable Iran”

    Yes, I thought this guy was being very generous in saying that. On the other hand, maybe he agrees with those who think Iran having a nuclear capability is NOT an “existential threat”.

    “the US policy community has an understanding of that, and expresses this understanding publicly continuously.”

    None of which matters, of course, because the policy wonks aren’t calling the shots.

    “US policymakers are just in denial about the fact that there are limits to US power that are relevant regarding Iran’s nuclear program.”

    A lot of people are in denial about a lot of things…

    “it could be an indication that the US/Israeli denial of this situation where they cannot prevent Iran from attaining legal nuclear weapons capabilities is if not dissolving then straining.”

    Again, I think this is one guy’s opinion and is irrelevant from a power standpoint.

    I found the article interesting mostly for the statement that an Iran war is “inevitable” unless Iran basically gives in.

    In other words, the guy agrees with me on that, at least. :-)

  223. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio says:
    February 8, 2012 at 12:54 am

    Hitler’s war in pdf format should be available for download right off Irving’s own publisher’s website. If it no longer is and you would like to peruse it, let me know and I will email you a copy.

    As far as the question of oligarchy, I is a good one but one that I can’t respond to in a short answer. I will see if I can put something together and keep it as short as possible, but the two word response if you want it is: moral foundations.

    And as far as Turkey, I think it might be as simple as the fact that they are schizoid. They can’t decide whether they are a Moslem state, or a Western one. Given that, their military high council’s regularly scheduled meetings with their NATO masters will do the trick every time.

    They need to get rid of their suits and ties.

  224. Eric: “But even though it worries me “more than anything else,” it doesn’t worry me very much, since I think the odds of Israel attacking Iran this year are extremely low.”

    I wasn’t referring specifically to this year. In fact, I don’t expect an Israeli attack this year either – not that I would be surprised to be proven wrong.

    What I DO expect this year is a war in Syria and Lebanon, followed at some point afterwards by either an Israeli attack on Iran on its own or by the next US President ramping up an air and naval blockade of Iran’s oil exports.

    Also, your assumption that Israel has the excuse that the US held it back is relevant only if Israel intends to be held back. I don’t believe Israel is holding back NOW. I believe Israel is ramping up the pressure on the US but in the short term is merely intent on taking out Syria and Lebanon. There is no “holding back”. The amount of warnings Israel is generating is not necessarily relevant to the actual timing of any strike Israel may intend.

    I believe Israel’s current threats are intended to influence the US elections more than anything else, as well as keeping the pressure on Iran so it is not deflected by the elections. I believe Israel sees the end game coming after Syria and Lebanon are taken out (IF they succeed at that), and wants to make sure that the next US President is prepared to come into office ready to proceed with the next step against Iran.

    But should Israel believe that next step is NOT coming from Washington within the next couple of years, if not sooner, they will take it themselves, I have little doubt.

  225. Nasser says:

    On a lighter note, Rami Khouri ponders from his recent visit to Singapore what East and South East Asians can teach Middle Easterners. I wish he would have wrote about what American militarism has done to SE Asia in the past decades but a good piece overall.

    “Shopping in Singapore:

    SINGAPORE — In the delightful world of newspaper columnists, the rule of thumb is that a successful column should include some news, some analysis and some opinion, all rolled into one. Today I want to offer only some impressions and personal reflections after a three-day stay in Singapore that included two university seminars, some travels around the city, and discussions with colleagues, professors, students, journalists and a particularly endearing Indian silk merchant on Arab Street who sold me all sorts of things that I really did not need, but that I bought nevertheless because the encounter with him was such a pleasure.

    After 45 years of being a newspaper reporter, columnist and editor, I have learned that first impressions are significant, because they tend to hide deeper realities. My first impressions in Singapore confirm one of the issues that my colleagues and I have been discussing in Beirut for some years: We need to engage more with people, institutions and values in East and Southeast Asia. There are many reasons for this, including the sheer human bulk of this region that accounts for nearly a quarter of the world’s population and the economic wealth and influence it exerts, especially in China.

    While I was happily discussing the value of silk tablecloths and scarves and other significant things with my new partner in rhetoric and trade at Dilip Textiles shop in Arab Street in Singapore, our transaction of just under $100 was just a blip on the global economic radar screen, but it generated immeasurable satisfaction in our two little worlds. I noticed the same day that perhaps the two most important people in the global economy were meeting nearby for their own talks. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met in Beijing Thursday, where the Chinese leader made it clear that China was considering “more participation” in the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism that are critical in efforts to contain the potential fallout from the European financial crisis.

    As I following this news from Singapore, I did so with a new perspective that essentially reflects a sense of satisfaction that the Chinese are being consulted more closely on this and other issues, such as the political situations in Syria and Iran. I say this because my main impression from my interactions with a wide range of people in Singapore is that the Western and Middle Eastern worlds that I inhabit can learn much from East and Southeast Asian societies and cultures.

    The most striking thing that I take away from Singapore is the combination of two related phenomena: the sustained economic growth and wellbeing of the population, and the almost mathematical manner in which inter-ethnic relations are managed. The dominant Chinese ethnic community here and the smaller Malay, Indian and Anglo communities exist quite harmoniously, because they have all benefited from sustained economic growth and an orderly society that provides them with their basic rights. It also asserts their ethnic identity (by teaching their languages in school, alongside English, or proportionally allocating new state-subsidized housing units to all groups) rather than trying to suppress ethnic identity and forcing everyone to adopt the common Singaporean identity that does not necessarily capture one’s cultural sentiment. There are hidden warts and issues to resolve, to be sure, but they are overwhelmed by the positive achievements that prevail on the surface.

    Had Singapore been a poor society riddled with corruption and nepotism, I am sure that inter-ethnic relations would be more strained. The country’s experience suggests that focusing on citizenship rights in a context of economic expansion and the rule of law is one good way to minimize ethnic or sectarian tensions. The other critical asset that I noticed during my visit is the very high quality of Singapore’s human talent. I spent time with faculty, staff and students from the Middle East Institute and the Honors Program at the National University of Singapore, and interacted at seminars, media events and casual encounters with many other nationals. I came away impressed with the capabilities of the professionals I met, but also with the quality work and positive attitudes of workers in more basic professions, like hotels, taxis, shops and restaurants. Investing in human capital, it turns out, is the foundation for any national success in other areas, like economic growth or racial coexistence.

    The combination of self-confidence and commitment to quality work that I noticed at every turn in my encounters with Singaporeans was striking. Discussions on the democratizing experiences of countries in the region, especially Malaysia and Indonesia, opened new avenues of analysis and learning for me. I left Singapore with much to ponder and absorb about the lessons we can learn from this region’s national development experiences, far beyond the Western world’s tendency to relate to East Asia primarily in terms of its economic clout. Chancellor Merkel can handle that side of things, I thought to myself on my way back to Beirut, with a head full of new ideas to consider, a nice group of new friends, and more silk scarves from my Indian merchant pal than I can consume in several lifetimes, to his and my mutual glee.”

    http://www.agenceglobal.com/article.asp?id=2729

  226. Eric: “I’m not getting my point across clearly. You speculate I’d agree with Mr. Gardner’s suggestion, or even prediction, that the US would agree to reduce sanctions if Iran were to observer the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1.”

    No, I DID NOT. I said that you would pop up to suggest that Iran would benefit from such a deal. I EXPLICITLY DID NOT say that the US WOULD agree to such a deal.

    Apparently you are not only having trouble putting forth your concept, you can’t even read.

    This is a direct quote from my post:

    Quote

    Before Eric pops in to claim this proves what he’s been saying, let me point out that this has nothing to do with that. Gardner is nowhere stating that the fact that Iran does not adhere to the AP has anything to do with the perception that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. He’s only stating that if Iran were to agree to the AP (i.e., “intrusive inspections”), then it would behoove the West to ease the sanctions.

    This is obviously an approach the West could take, but has refused to do so consistently all along. So Eric’s notion that Iran’s unilaterally doing so remains completely ridiculous in light of that fact.

    End Quote

    Nowhere there do I say that you believe Iran unilaterally adhering to the AP would make the West agree to anything. What I referred to is your notion that Iran doing so would have ANY effect on the West, let alone a reduction in sanctions, and specifically would have no effect whatever on public perception in the West.

    I was merely forestalling any attempt on your part to interpret the author’s statement that the West should offer Iran an easing of sanctions in return for adherence to the AP as meaning that the author believes adhering to the AP is a sign of the importance of Iran doing so in terms of perception of Iran, as you allege.

    I really don’t like having to plow through hundreds of posts to find quotes to correct your misreading of my words. Please avoid this in the future. I thought I was quite clear in my statements, but if you do have a question about my meaning, ask, don’t assume.

  227. masoud says:

    Pirouz says:
    February 8, 2012 at 1:28 am

    I don’t think I’ve read much of Tom Englehardt, or if I had it’s been years and years. But the one thing I do now abou him, is that he is a dyed in the wool leftist, who is therefore completely ignored by any within 10k radius of Obama. Do you know of any Foreign Policy Respectables speaking in those terms? I have a vague notion that maybe Stephen Walt has writting remarks along these lines, but even that, I’m not sure about.

  228. Eric: “‘Glaser is not saying public opinion doesn’t matter. He’s saying that public opinion favors war with Iran, and that that gives the “decision makers in Washington” the green light they need. Why would Glaser even mention that “they have their mandate from the electorate” if it makes no difference what the electorate thinks?”

    I never said and I don’t believe Arnold has ever said that public opinion IN GENERAL does not matter. In fact, I explicitly said so in an earlier post.

    On the 6th I said:

    “Which is mostly irrelevant anyway because the ONLY thing the US ruling elites NEED is for the US electorate to believe that Iran HAS or IS PURSUING nuclear weapons.”

    On the 6th at 2:45 PM I said:

    Quote

    “You [Here you refer to Arnold], by contrast, believe that swaying the US public is entirely unnecessary — indeed, that it is altogether irrelevant.”

    In my case, I wouldn’t agree that it’s ENTIRELY irrelevant. There always has to be “the excuse”. But the fact remains that in the case of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, “the excuse” worked just fine. And as has already been proven, it has worked fine in the case of Iran. And nothing Iran can do can alter that – which is precisely how “the excuse” works in every case.

    Because “the excuse” is ONLY that – an excuse. What MATTERS is the amount of EFFORT the government and the MSM puts into cementing it AS “the excuse”. ANY excuse would do if “nuclear weapons” were to fall over for some reason.

    And that is WHY Iran can do nothing. Because convincing the US population is NOT in Iran’s hands, it is in the hands of the US government and the MSM. And as long as they DO NOT CARE what Iran is doing, NOTHING Iran does will EVER matter.

    My own answer is different. I point to the events of the last ten years as reason enough to have delayed the attack, as well as the need to ratchet up “the excuse” to sufficient levels.

    I do NOT deny that a PR campaign is needed.

    End Quote

    And here you are misrepresenting my position completely in order to knock down a straw man.

    What we have said – and what you apparently deny – is 1) that public opinion is not influenced by a technical matter such as whether Iran adheres to the AP or not, and 2) that public opinion HAS ALREADY BEEN SET ON IRAN – which is PRECISELY what Glaser is saying.

    Now you try to spin his remarks to mean that your proposition is supported. This is precisely wrong.

    “You may also think that it’s too late to change public opinion here, and that may be correct, though I’ve made clear I believe that it can be changed sufficiently to slow down the march to war — all that can be hoped for and all, I think, will be necessary.”

    And you have YET to mention ANY mechanism how this can be done, except hand-waving over “influential persons” – persons whom you can not enumerate either in numbers or identity, nor by what mechanism these persons could possibly influence the ruling elites of the US.

    “To conclude that it doesn’t matter — especially based on what Glaser writes here — is a different matter. He is not saying that.”

    And neither am I. Your attempt to spin my words and Glaser’s is intellectual dishonesty at its finest.

  229. kooshy says:

    On situation in Syria from someone lives nearby Frisk

    From Washington this looks like Syria’s ‘Benghazi moment’. But not from here

    Look east and what does Bashar see? Iran standing with him and Iraq refusing to impose sanctions

    By Robert Fisk

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30466.htm

  230. Arnold Evans says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 8, 2012 at 1:00 am

    War with Iran is coming
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4186698,00.html

    What an interesting link. Who is this guy Sever Plocker? I ask because I’ve never read this before from an Israel, or even from anyone who would presume to speak for the United States:

    Israel can live with the current Iran: A state capable of producing a nuclear bomb, while being two to three years away from arming the first missile with the first nuclear warhead. However, Israel will not allow Iran to cross the military nuclear threshold. There is no way in the world Israel would compromise on that.

    Even the Leveretts don’t say the United States can live with a nuclear capable Iran, even though from a strategic standpoint it is true, Israel aside, the Leveretts know that most US leaders are still committed to Iran not being nuclear capable.

    About Iran, war will not result in Iran giving up legal nuclear weapons capability like that Brazil has. Sanctions won’t. There is nothing the US could to that would “work”, and everything the US could do would be counter-productive, and the US policy community has an understanding of that, and expresses this understanding publicly continuously.

    But the logical conclusion, “in that case, I guess we have to accept Iran having legal nuclear weapons capabilities like those Brazil has, even though we don’t want that and Israel doesn’t want that” seems very difficult for US policymakers to reach.

    US policymakers are just in denial about the fact that there are limits to US power that are relevant regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

    I don’t know if this Israeli guy is influential, but if he is, or even if he’s not but this statement has been put out as a trial balloon it could be an indication that the US/Israeli denial of this situation where they cannot prevent Iran from attaining legal nuclear weapons capabilities is if not dissolving then straining.

    On the other hand, it could be that across languages and cultures I’m just interpreting something incorrectly.

  231. Castellio says:

    This is from http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/02/harper-truth-in-media-is-dying-in-america.html

    Its worth reading. But we need this sort of thing everyday from many sources.

    “Years ago, I always enjoyed the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour on PBS. Whether I agreed with the news analysis and commentaries or not, I always had the sense that the personal integrity of the two anchors was on the line at all times, and that there was some greater depth to the coverage than one would otherwise find on the major networks. This was the pre-CNN and Fox 24-hour news cycle era.

    It was from this mental image that I watched, in horror, as the same PBS News Hour last night delivered a typical neoconservative propaganda line, under the pretext of giving news. It was a short news update on the Iran situation, centered on the announcement of new U.S. sanctions against Iran. In the course of the report, the news anchor slipped in the formulation that the United States and Israel are in full agreement that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon.

    Hold the phone! Yes, that has been the persistent mantra of every Netanyahu government mouthpiece for months and months, and it has been echoed in every American neocon propaganda front for even longer, dating back to the bad old days of Bush and Cheney.

    But, the truth is: In October 2011, the National Intelligence Council, the premier agency of the U.S. intelligence community, issued an update to the November 2007 NIE on Iran’s nuclear program. Both the published/declassified 2007 study, and the classified 2011 study reached the same conclusion: Whatever work Iran was doing on weaponization was halted in late 2003, and has not resumed. Iran is engaged in enrichment, and is constantly improving their ballistic missile capabilities. But the vital part of any nuclear weapon program–the actual work on converting enriched uranium into a bomb–has been suspended for almost a decade, and the best U.S. intelligence community estimate is that it remains suspended.”

  232. Pirouz says:

    Masoud, Tom Engelhardt also speaks in those terms. There are a few others, as well. But the Leveretts are the most visible among the Iran foreign policy advocates.

  233. The Consequences of Sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank
    Mohammad-Hossein Adeli, former head of Iran’s Central Bank
    http://irdiplomacy.ir/en/news/27/bodyView/1897602/The.Consequences.of.Sanctions.on.Iran%E2%80%99s.Central.Bank.html

  234. Petra Flori says:

    so how in the heck is this darn scam created? http://bit.ly/card_magic_trick_think

  235. Iran Preparing to Counter All Western Scenarios
    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran_Preparing_to_Counter_All_Western_Scenarios.htm

    Quote

    “The Russians are aware now that the Western states are interfering in the Middle East to draw a new map for the region,” he said.

    End Quote

  236. Castellio says:

    Yes, someone here was talking about deescalation. Not happening. I think we have to acknowledge that the war in Syria is no longer a covert action.

    2001 Afghanistan. 2003 Iraq. 2006 Lebanon. 2008 Gaza. 2011 Libya. 2012 Syria.

    Am I missing something within the decade, other than the on-going covert? And what start date do we give the military actions within Pakistan?

    I think the Americans are speeding things up to limit the amount of time Russia has to seriously arm Syria. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Security Council negotiations were simply designed to delude Russia a bit longer.

    The most surprising information (it shouldn’t have been) was that the western countries were against all party talks in Moscow.

    And no one has come forward to help explain the actions of Turkey and Erdogan (although RSH reminds us of its “deep state”). Something there is extremely unsettling to me, and it has nothing to do with Neo-Ottoman.

  237. ‘Israel to ask for military facility in Cyprus’
    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=256844

    Maybe Georgia didn’t work out, so…

  238. Starting up the propaganda about Hizballah and Syria…right on cue…

    Israel fears Hezbollah could get arms from Syria
    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120207/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_syria

    Obviously starting to build up the justification for an attack on Lebanon during the upcoming Syria war…

  239. Getting ready for the shores of the Strait of Hormuz…

    Marines practice amphibious war, storm US beaches
    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120207/ap_on_re_us/us_military_assault

  240. masoud says:

    I sometimes find myself questioning how irrelavent this site really is. For the longest time, I had thought of this corner of cybersapce as a kind of support group of Iran observer realists trying to keep sane in the era of the assendance of the Hyper-Idealogue to all relevant western power centers.

    Two recent events have lead me to question whether or not the Leveretts protestations have been falling on completely deaf ears. First there is this snippet of Obama’s state of the union address:

    The renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper. Our iron-clad commitment to Israel’s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history. We’ve made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope. From the coalitions we’ve built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we’ve led against hunger and disease; from the blows we’ve dealt to our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back.

    Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn’t know what they’re talking about. That’s not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That’s not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they’ve been in years. Yes, the world is changing; no, we can’t control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs – and as long as I’m President, I intend to keep it that way.

    Just who in the US, aside from the Leveretts, or analysts that largely agree with them, could Obama be responding to here? Certainly, no main stream political figure in either the Democratic or Republican parties had dared made this claim. All proffesional pundits and analysts that I’ve read outside this little bubble of our are too busy pontificating on whether or not the US has been using it’s limitless capacities valarously enough to bother considering whether or not the US’s age is catching up with it. The Leveretts are the only big fish I know how constantly come back to this point. It almost sounds as if Obama had taken exception with, and had decided to use the SOTU to respond to Flynt and Hillary’s resent post on the coming of the ‘post american’ age.

    Exhibit two
    ;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_icQvWULn4

    Listen to David Axelrod speaking here, addressing Obama’s decision to set up a super pac to compete with Romney. Time index 3:00-3:25.

    He brings his recitation of talking points to a close by declaring “…And we have to live in the world as it is, not as we wish it to be.”

    Does that sound familiar at all? I mean that could just be a fluke, or maybe this kind of binary formulation is much more common in English than I had imagined. But could it be that some of the heavy hitters from Team Weasel itself might finally be sampling some of the medicine the Leveretts are hawking?

  241. Europe Fears a Summer Attack on Iran
    http://original.antiwar.com/julio-godoy/2012/02/07/europe-fears-a-summer-attack-on-iran/

    Quote

    The very number of warnings to Israel, and the emphasis with which diplomats have expressed concern, suggests that Israeli plans to attack Iran are real and scheduled to be carried out this June or July, analysts say.

    Declarations by U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman about a consensus among Israeli allies that the sanctions recently imposed should make a visible impact on Iranian nuclear policies “before the end of next June” if military strikes are to be avoided are also seen as pointers that the attacks could take place in the summer.

    Experts on foreign relations say that the Israeli government’s military plans against Iran might also be seeking to influence the U.S. presidential election in November.

    According to Francois Heisbourg, president of the French International Institute for Strategic Studies, Israel would carry out the attacks against Iran long before the U.S. elections.

    This way, Heisbourg said, Israel would not have to fear “any immediate political consequences, since none of the U.S. candidates would dare to oppose the attack during the campaign.”

    An Israeli attack would seek to destroy Iranian nuclear research and production facilities. The governments in Israel, the United States, and Western Europe accuse Iran of secretly working to build a nuclear weapons arsenal.

    However, the actual objective is to force regime change in Tehran, former Israeli leading diplomat Avi Primor admits.

    In a comment in the Munich-based daily Die Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Primor said “many people [in government circles in Tel Aviv] urge the attacks be carried out before June.”

    End Quote

  242. Dan Cooper says:

    James Canning says:
    February 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    There is no doubt that the Aipac control US FOREIGN POLICY in Iran.

    You seemed to have a sound knowledge of how the Zionist operate and how they conduct their dirty and destructive work against the IRI but somehow naively insist that if Iran stop enriching to 20% the dispute will somehow be resolved.

    Sanctions have nothing to do with nuclear program but everything to do with crippling Iran economically in order to turn its people against its government.

    The US ultimate objective is the “regime change” in Iran period.

    You are wasting your time to keep going on about the 20%. Even if Iran had no nuclear program, the Zionist would have fabricated another story to impose crippling sanctions.

    In my experience of international politics, no matter what Iran does, the Zionist would force Obama to impose more sanctions, unless Iran capitulate and give up its independence.

    Knowing the Iranian psyche and how proud they are about their independence, they would never capitulate nor there will be a rapprochement between the US and Iran so long as the Zionist stranglehold of the western countries remains intact.

  243. War with Iran is coming
    Op-ed: Israel will bomb Iran’s nuke sites earlier than predicted, with Western and Arab support
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4186698,00.html

    Quote

    “Cannot live with” and “cannot accept” are diplomatic phrases marking a declaration of war. And it will be a predictable war; at this point, commentators and gamblers are giving it 90% chance of materializing. Hence, preparations for it must be accurate. In practice, they have been completed already. Unless Iran caves in, an Israeli operation against Tehran’s nuclear sites is inevitable.

    End Quote

    And this is the idiot concept presented to prevent the war:

    Quote

    Can the Iranian leadership cave in? Yes, it can. The regime in Tehran is not being asked to curb the entire nuclear project, but rather, to pursue what Iran itself said was its legitimate aspiration: Nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. This means an immediate halt to the secret military program, willingness to fully open nuclear sites to foreign inspectors, and agreeing to transfer the enriched uranium overseas.

    End Quote

    Email me when Iran agrees to that…

  244. Castellio says:

    UU, no I haven’t read “Hitler’s War”. I’ll see if I can find it, at least the first 40 pages. I thought I had passed through that long (interminable?)phase of reading about Germany and Italy, but I suppose we never really do “get to the other side”.

    I was hoping you (or Kooshy, or FYI, or Pirouz, or M Ali or Massoud) might point specifically to features that are anti-oligarchic within the current Iranian system, or, to flip the concern, allow yourself to point to features that might inevitably lead to oligarchic features.

  245. Israel embassies preparing for Iran strike?
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4186799,00.html

    Quote

    Diplomats stationed in Israel request gas masks, prepare contingency plans in case of missile attacks; envoys fear that thousands of dual-citizenship Israelis will seek evacuation

    End Quote

  246. Justin Raimondo on Our Bloodstained Hands
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/02/07/our-bloodstained-hands/

    Quotes

    The stage is set, the actors are in their places, and the orchestra strikes up the prelude: all that remains is for the curtain to rise on Act One of “World War III in the Middle East.”

    The big issues dividing the opposition are 1) The prospect of dialogue with the Assad regime, and 2) the prospect of foreign intervention, either by NATO, or some other agency. The Islamists organized around the SNC refuse all negotiations short of arranging for Assad’s abdication, while the largely secular and minority-oriented NCC insists on talks. On the issue of foreign intervention, the SNC is for it, the NCC against it – although they invite Arab League mediation.

    Yet it is clear the Western powers have decided on pursuing a policy of regime change no matter what the cost to the people of Syria. The simultaneous withdrawal of the US, British, and French embassies, and the cutting off of diplomatic relations with the nations of the Arab League, is a clearing of the decks for the coming assault – which is going to be the bloodiest and most vicious yet. All of which raises a question: why now? After all, Syria has been a charter member of the infamous “axis of evil” ever since the Bush era, and the US has been overtly hostile to Assad in spite of the post-9/11 intelligence-sharing between Washington and Damascus.

    The reason, in a word, is Iran.

    End Quote

  247. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Richard says, “Russia tried it with their plan and failed so far. Only if all four of them get together and HIJACK the negotiations is there the slightest chance.”

    Alternatively, Russia (with China on board, of course) can say, OK, we tried the step by step program, Iran complied, and the US didn’t, so WE, the Russian and Chinese coalition of the willing, are going to roll back the sanctions associated with this particular step. India might be coaxed into going along with it too. Maybe Putin can time the announcement to coincide with the granting to Iran of full membership status at the SCO, just to see what Uncle $cam thinks of them reset apples.

    I’m not saying the above scenario is probable, but it is certainly possible, and would be welcomed by the entire world save New Atlantis and associated Euro-Freaks: NAM, ALBA, BRICS, ASEAN, Africa, and of course, the whole of the Moslem world.

    At any rate, this is what’s on the horizon.

  248. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio says, “I think Ian Kershaw’s two books (Hubris and Nemesis) are now considered standard. That’s who I have ended up trusting more than others, in any case.”

    I’m curious to know what you thought of David Irving’s “Hitler’s War” if you’ve read it. If you haven’t, the introduction (about 40 pages) to the second edition is a delight. The pdf is readily available on the web.

  249. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior-san says, “How will Israel respond/retaliate?”

    Bibi Jan has already told the Palestinians to either chose peace with Israel or chose a unity government. Let me translate that for the likes of Wilbur and other neo-Crusading Neoconservatives: Live as a divided people under our terms (slave labor bantustans) or we will crush you like the insects you are.

    *

    Castellio says, “So, assuming that Iran can maintain its economy and its system for a hundred years or so, how will it evolve? Will it end up with the situation of the US and the UK where the upper strata exist to recreate oligarchic patterns? Is that already the case?”

    No, I am hopeful that this will not be the case. It certainly isn’t the case now. That does not mean to say that oligarchy has not and does not rear its ugly head here. It does. (It is the nature of the *dunya* [lower world] that injustice will prevail unless something is done about it.) Call me a hopeless optimist, but I believe these patterns to be atavisms of times past and (to a lesser extent) effects of outside interference, rather than a permanent dynamic instituted by an elite designed to appropriate and maintain disproportionate privilege.

  250. Castellio says:

    Arnold at 10.08.

    Thank you for the link to your site. I don’t get there nearly often enough. Perhaps I can change some of my habits.

  251. Castellio says:

    Rd, I finally listened to the Charlie Rose, and to the Democracy Now with Patrick Seale.

    I found the Charlie Rose interviews painful. Sometimes I think I must live in an alternate universe, the assumptions and reasoning of Thomas Friedman is so threadbare and silly that I can’t imagine why his advice is sought out. Slaughter had nothing to say. Landis was good, trying to slow down overt US involvement, but quite happy to support the covert involvement. Ditto Fraud Ajami.

    But its odd, everyone is supporting a covert policy of supporting the opposition all the while pretending they don’t know who that opposition might be. The hypocrisy is tangible.

    Churkin has a clear relationship to the real world, and I think all of his points were worthwhile. I thought his frustration with Europe and America sincere, and I thought his comment that Friedman was not a serious analyst entirely deserved.

    Patrick Seale at Democracy Now was very good. (RSH, it’s worth listening to the interview, not because you will learn something new, but rather there is a succinctness to his presentation which proves that it’s not a lack of time that hobbles the US commentators, rather a simple lack of historical accuracy and openness. Call it good faith.)

    Yes, Seale does make that odd comment at the end about senior Saudis questioning their relationship to Iran and, hence, Syria. I tend to believe Seale, but I have heard nothing else to that effect.

    I think the Saudis might well think that their days are numbered with allies like the US and Israel, but its hard for puppets to think new thoughts, enmeshed as they are within their confusion of strings.

  252. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: February 7, 2012 at 10:46 am
    UU,
    You bad boy you, teasing James. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Purrr, purrr, purrr…

  253. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    RSH,
    On AP and Code 3.1,
    Well, I think you already know what I’m going to say: the issue is not about percentages (e.g. enrichment). I’ve been going over this with James 20% for awhile now without much success. I recently pointed out a Tony Karon article in Times which he clarified Obama’s position on this matter – zero enrichment on Iranian soil.
    Eric, I love you man! You have done some great work with regards to the elections, enrichment, and other writings and I am a better person for having read them. However, I have not seen a shred of evidence that this (enrichment) is not red herring – something to scare people in believing that Iran is a messianic monster – hell bent on destroying Israel.
    The issue in my view IS hegemony. Hegemony is as hegemony does. The US simply cannot see Iran as an equal regardless of what Iran does with regards to enrichment. Iran could stop all enrichment tomorrow and it wouldn’t matter.

  254. Sassan says:

    “Two- if Hezolahis went and fought an 8 years of war for Iran’s integrity and its independence I wish I was a Hezolahi, I have no problem being labeled with that.”

    Sure, you mean fighting a war for 8-years when it was unnecessary? When there were two proposals of ceasefire (once early on during the war and later by the U.N. before it had reached its bloodiest apex) but Khomeini refused and sacrificed the lives of up to a million Iranians when it was unnecessary? You call that courageous? I call that cowardly and a traitorous act by the child pedophile and madar gende Ayatollah Khomeini.

    And my foremost worry is the survival and advancement of humanity. If Iran starts a war against Israel to annihilate them, Israel would be sure to attack Iran with all their nukes wiping out tens of millions of Iranians on the spot. This regime just like Khomeini does not care – as the lives of Iranians mean NOTHING to them.

  255. James,

    “To me, the primary issue that causes such trouble is Iranian enrichment, and I think Iran could obtain a deal allowing 3.5% but doubt the 20% is possible. For the present, I think Iran should refrain from producting more 20% U than strictly needed to build fuel plates for TRR.”

    You make two points here, James. On the 20%, I agree with you entirely and always have. What frustrates me, though, is that you assume that Iran is producing more 20% uranium than it “needs.” I just haven’t read enough to conclude that. I’ll concede, though that what Iran “needs” varies considerably among analysts. Some feel it needs less than it’s producing since it can always get more down the road, somehow or other. Others, like I, don’t think Iran has any reason, much less obligation, to assume it’s going to get any cooperation down the road, and so I think it “needs” a great deal more than you may. I suspect our difference of opinion owes greatly to our different views of what Iran “needs.”

    On the prospects of a deal regarding 3.5% enrichment, I think the chances are not zero, but very close to zero. I wouldn’t bother even trying for such a deal if I were Iran. I’ve argued for cooperation by Iran, but I’ve also argued for it to maintain its dignity. To reach any deal on enrichment, in a dignified manner, is utterly impossible in my view, and will be for the next several years and possibly for a decade or more. If Iran wants fuel to run its reactors, it had better count on making it itself. And if it decides to make it itself, it had better count on doing so without any deal in place with the US.

    In short, I think Iran should “upgrade” its disclosures to match other countries, and it should go on its merry way enriching 3.5% and 20% uranium as needed to run its reactors — offering to cooperate if and when other countries want to cooperate, but not groveling in the forlorn hope of striking some deal under which the US blesses any element of its nuclear program. It should take steps to avoid being bombed, but that’s all it can hope for and all it can have any influence over.

  256. Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 7, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    You mentioned Bret Stephen’s remark: “Israel can’t cry wolf again.”

    That worries me more than anything else when I consider the possibility of an Israeli attack this year. B

    But even though it worries me “more than anything else,” it doesn’t worry me very much, since I think the odds of Israel attacking Iran this year are extremely low.

    So for now, I think Stephens is not quite right. More accurately: “Israel can’t cry wolf again, unless it comes up with a plausible excuse for doing so.” But I think it’s got one: It can pound its chest, but then let the US “hold it back,” to give sanctions “one more chance.”

    Next year, of course, that excuse won’t work any longer, at which point Mr. Stephens’ remark may have all the merit he thinks it has today. Something else probably would be needed then to hold Israel back — such as, for example, the one and only thing that has ever held Israel back and ever will hold it back: doubt that the US will step in and finish the job for it. No matter how much Israel worries about having its bluff called, it will not let that concern rush it into war if it’s not sure the US is behind it. Conversely, the moment it’s sure the US will back it, there won’t be any “bluff” to call.

  257. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:
    February 7, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Sassan

    For sure unlike you I don’t have a Israel first view,
    One- I believe, me and you have two different nationalities you naturally as you have said support and are worried for Israel’s existence and I am for Iran’s.
    Two- if Hezolahis went and fought an 8 years of war for Iran’s integrity and its independence I wish I was a Hezolahi, I have no problem being labeled with that.
    Three – Make my day.

  258. Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 7, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I’m not getting my point across clearly. You speculate I’d agree with Mr. Gardner’s suggestion, or even prediction, that the US would agree to reduce sanctions if Iran were to observer the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1.

    Where do you get this idea? I don’t think that at all and have never written anything to suggest I do. Quite the contrary: I don’t think any US leader, today or for the foreseeable future, will agree to any reduction in sanctions against Iran, no matter what Iran does.

    What did I write that led you to conclude precisely the opposite?

  259. Richard,

    You cite an article by John Glaser to prove I am “wrong again.” But the only conclusion I can draw from that article is that I’m correct. Here is how it ends:

    “This leads me to believe that getting outside the bubble of elite foreign policy wonkery is not a worthwhile exercise. If the people in the halls of power in this country want to launch another war of aggression in the Middle East, they simply will. They have their mandate from the electorate. People talk about there being little appetite for war after the terrible experience in Iraq. They talk of so-called Vietnam syndrome – the technical term for a mental disorder associated with “sickly inhibitions against the use of military force” – but where is this society-wide malady? I don’t see it. And neither do the “decision-makers” in Washington. And that, more than anything else, makes this next war increasingly possible.

    Glaser is not saying public opinion doesn’t matter. He’s saying that public opinion favors war with Iran, and that that gives the “decision makers in Washington” the green light they need. Why would Glaser even mention that “they have their mandate from the electorate” if it makes no difference what the electorate thinks?

    I’ve said all along that US public opinion is strongly in favor of war with Iran — a point that I think is sometimes overlooked by those who don’t live here and hear what’s said about Iran. We agree entirely on that, and the poll figures Glaser cites come as no surprise at all. You may also think that it’s too late to change public opinion here, and that may be correct, though I’ve made clear I believe that it can be changed sufficiently to slow down the march to war — all that can be hoped for and all, I think, will be necessary.

    But to conclude US public opinion can’t be changed at this point is one matter. To conclude that it doesn’t matter — especially based on what Glaser writes here — is a different matter. He is not saying that. To the contrary, he’s saying it does matter, but that the “decision makers in Washington” appear to have won the public opinion battle already. If this were the 15th round of the fight and the referee’s decision were about to be announced, I’d concede he’s right. But I don’t think we’re anywhere near the 15th round yet.

    Fortunately for Iran, the analogy to a prize fight has an important flaw. Prize fights are timed. The 15th round is reached after a certain number of minutes have passed. In Iran’s effort to avoid being bombed until enough time has passed that the practical risk of a US attack decreases to an insignificant level, Iran has some control over how quickly the remaining rounds pass. All it needs to do is stretch them out a bit.

  260. Richard,

    Interesting remark by John McCain in an article you mentioned:

    “U.S. Sen. John McCain… said Tuesday that the United States “should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The bloodletting has got to stop.””

  261. Sassan says:

    Kooshy, you should clarify you are giving a Hizbolli terrorist view and not an Iranian view. Those are two separate and different things. You cannot be pro-Hizbolli and be pro-Iranian. Being pro-Hizbolli is opposing the Iranian people, the Iranian nation, and inherent Iranian values.

  262. kooshy says:

    Regarding Arnold and Eric’s ongoing discussions on AP and 3.1

    I would like to offer my perspective on this issue from the Iranian point of view, considering years of reading opinion, analysis and the policy maker’s discussion on the nuclear subject in various Persian publications specially the editorial on Kyhan daily which I belive is generaly more on target with regard to security and international relations matters.

    1-I don’t think Iranian policy makers consider any value (close to zero) in western public opinion to form Iran’s policy, since they correctly believe that public opinion in the west on international matters is easily manipulated after the policy is made. They actually do give credence to public opinion on US internal matters, especially the economy since they believe economic conditions in the west, especially in US, will reduce maneuverability for US on international matters. Therefore, as a consequence if they are going to give up something they would want something tangible in return from the US Government and not the US public or even the European governments since factually they consider the Europeans as US pawns with no power to formulate policy.

    2-On the contrary they do give very high value for public opinion in Muslim countries especially in their immediate region of influence which is the Middle East. They know that Iran’s stand and scientific achievements has elevated Iran’s image in their region and in the Muslim world (regional public opinion polls proves their point), The reason is that they see the public in the region as a layer of shield and harder to be manipulated by the west due to general public feeling in the region against the west. In the Middle Eastern mind when an oppressed stand to fight the oppressor easily will win the public support (that is part of Muslim shih mentality).

  263. Arnold Evans says:

    Castellio says:
    February 7, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Yes, I think the US has committed to some kind of date for regime change in Syria, and believe they have the wind behind their sails. To place this in Arnold’s favourite world, there is a consensus among people at Secretary of State and the Pentagon that there will be a manageable downside to replace Bashir and a strong upside, in that a weak regime friendlier to Israel can be installed, and support for Hamas and Hezbollah can be stopped.

    Either that or Syria can be destroyed and nullified as a regional actor the way Iraq was, which would be a good thing from Israel’s point of view as it was in the case of Iraq.

    The United States is a monstrously evil nation, in my opinion because of Zionism, especially in the Middle East.

    mideastreality.blogspot.com/2012/02/barack-obama-and-united-states.html

  264. Arnold Evans says:

    James, I’ve asked the question directly more than once and you’ve danced around it more than once.

    Read one of the earlier posts and answer yes or no, please.

  265. Castellio says:

    Yes, I think the US has committed to some kind of date for regime change in Syria, and believe they have the wind behind their sails. To place this in Arnold’s favourite world, there is a consensus among people at Secretary of State and the Pentagon that there will be a manageable downside to replace Bashir and a strong upside, in that a weak regime friendlier to Israel can be installed, and support for Hamas and Hezbollah can be stopped.

    The elites will be delighted as they see their world vision vindicated and the cash flow constant.

    Obama will crow about the tides of freedom in the Middle East.

    There is no end to this, is there, no moment of self-reflection and restraint? It is hubris.

  266. Castellio says:

    RD, thanks.

  267. Rd.: “Patric Seale on democracy now seemed to suggest “some” senior level Saudi’s feel the regional security is best served with their cooperation with Iran to secure the region. Obviously any regional war would be devastating to all..

    anyone else heard more on this?”

    I’d say Seale is hallucinating. Saudi Arabia SHOULD be making common cause with Iran on regional security. Instead it’s doing everything in its power to make a war happen and suppress the “Arab Spring” everywhere.

    Email me when Saudi Arabia cooperates with Iran. Never happen.

  268. ‘Your days are numbered,’ U.S. official tells al-Assad
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/07/world/meast/syria-unrest/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

    Note this quote:

    “Before we start talking about military options, we … want to make sure we’ve exhausted the diplomatic methods at our disposal.”

    BEFORE we start talking about military options…

    And there’s THIS:

    Quote

    Her remarks came as two senior administration officials told CNN that, while the U.S. focus remains on exerting diplomatic and economic pressure on Damascus, the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities in order to prepare options in the event that President Obama calls for them.

    Also Tuesday, U.S. Sen. John McCain, a leading Republican and ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the United States “should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The bloodletting has got to stop.”

    But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland did not rule out the possibility of arming the opposition. “We never take anything off the table,” she told reporters.
    “However, as the president himself made absolutely clear and as the secretary has continued to say, we don’t think more arms into Syria is the answer. We think the answer is to get to a national democratic dialogue, for the violence to stop, for the regime’s tanks to come out of the cities, and then for monitors to be able to go back in.”

    The council may pursue another step. Use of the term “collective massacre” in the statement indicates the members are ready to begin building a case against the Syrian regime for consideration by the International Criminal Court, a council diplomatic source told CNN.

    End Quotes

    Oh, here we go…”no options are off the table”…

    Where have we heard THAT line before?

    There can be no doubt, despite denials in the article, that the US is now preparing for military intervention in Syria.

    The Syria war is going to happen – and soon, almost certainly by summer.

  269. Rd. says:

    Castellio says

    “The Western governments did not understand this change of mood in Moscow when they demanded to vote on their draft Syrian resolution in the UN Security Council

    Vitaly Churkin was on Rose.. the short segment (15 min) is worth the time.
    He was none too happy, to say the least and seemed to make it clear, if they want to pick on Russia, there will be trouble.

    The first segment was with Ann Slaughter who was just beyond herself in promoting more slaughter in Syria. Plus the ever intelligent Friedman who had nothing worth while to say except referring to faud Ajamy as the expert on Syria.. and Faud commenting he gets his info from Jushua Landis blog!! A very entertaining clawns.

    http://www.charlierose.com/

  270. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, I’m very skeptical of the ontological truths of revelations, messiahs (then, now or future) and spiritual prophets. I am interested in how values and virtues are formed, exchanged, and passed to following generations, and hence am very open to the discussion of revelations, messiahs and prophecies in that context.

    However, although I think reason does exist and broadly so throughout our species and further, I think we manically overestimate the role of reason in the world around us.

  271. Rd. says:

    Patric Seale on democracy now seemed to suggest “some” senior level Saudi’s feel the regional security is best served with their cooperation with Iran to secure the region. Obviously any regional war would be devastating to all..

    anyone else heard more on this?

  272. Fiorangela:

    “2) Hitler, like Muhammad, was “not a political figure but “had the intense psychological makeup of a prophetically styled messiah — one whose office he believed was to reveal a message of salvation to the Germans and to become the savior-hero himself. To think of Hitler as a German politician engaged in national politics would be like thinking of the quintessential Prophet Muhammad as an Arab politician engaged in similar political endeavors. Bot must be comprehended as intense visionaries with their feet planted firmly several feet above the ground. . .”

    I’d agree with that in the sense of Hitler being a “radical”. I don’t know if I’d call him a “religious visionary”. If that’s true, then I’m a “religious visionary” and I don’t see that at all. Although there are plenty of critics of Transhumanism who think it’s a “religious concept”, that isn’t the case at all.

    Hitler was a radical in the same sense that an anarchist is a radical, but in the opposite political direction. Most people consider anarchists to be loony tunes, but in fact they’re mostly quite rational and dedicated to logical thinking. Hitler was a radical because his approach to solving Germany’s and the world’s problems was basic and very different from conventional political solutions.

    Hitler did adopt the trappings of religion and did refer to himself in messianic terms, but mostly he did so because he saw clearly and rationally that a political movement with religious overtones would succeed better than one that was merely political. In short, it was a strategic and tactical decision more than an emotional one, however it might have agreed with his own personal worldview.

    “RSH — I was not aware that Hitler had a brother who died.”

    Yup. IIRC, it was due to some respiratory ailment. Oops, nope, measles. Here is Wikipedia’s mention:

    The death of his younger brother Edmund from measles on 2 February 1900 deeply affected Hitler. He changed from being confident and outgoing and an excellent student, to a morose, detached, and sullen boy who constantly fought with his father and teachers.[20] – Payne, Robert (1990) [1973]. The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler. New York, New York: Hippocrene Books. ISBN 978-0-88029-402-7.

    I think that’s the book I read back in the early ’70’s after I got out of the Army, the 1973 edition.

    “Talk about psychological basket cases.”

    Pretty much everyone is a “psychological basket case” – just some more than others.

    As someone once said, “Normal is that which no one quite is”, statistically speaking.

  273. Castellio says:

    RSH at 7.41 pm. I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you.

  274. Rehmat: “Ahmadinejad raises defense budget”

    Amusingly, the more the West sanctions and threatens Iran, the more the oil price rises, the more money Iran takes in and the more it can spend on its military defenses. :-)

    Talk about the West shooting itself in the foot…

  275. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio, Richard Steven Hack,

    Thanks, Castellio, for the recommendations. Coincidentally, I just borrowed a new book on Hitler, “Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny,” by R H S Stolfi. Amazing material in Introduction:
    1)No biographer has adequately interpreted Hitler — until now.
    2) Hitler, like Muhammad, was “not a political figure but “had the intense psychological makeup of a prophetically styled messiah — one whose office he believed was to reveal a message of salvation to the Germans and to become the savior-hero himself. To think of Hitler as a German politician engaged in national politics would be like thinking of the quintessential Prophet Muhammad as an Arab politician engaged in similar political endeavors. Bot must be comprehended as intense visionaries with their feet planted firmly several feet above the ground. . .”

    I wonder if Stolfi would make the same comparison of Hitler to the “quintessential prophet Elijah, or Joshua?
    ____

    RSH — I was not aware that Hitler had a brother who died. Theodor Herzl’s life was bent by the death of his sister–he never really got over it; it shattered his family and their idyllic life in Prague ?? or Vienna??.
    Benjamin Netanyahu has been massively deranged by the effort of trying to replace his dead brother in the eyes of his ideologically driven father. Bibi’s brother died in the rescue at Entebbe. Ephraim Sneh, a physician, was also on the mission. Sneh got the ball rolling in 1992 that Iran should be stopped from getting nukes. Now, he’s eager to starve Iranian children. Talk about psychological basket cases.

  276. Canning refers to this article: “Writing in the Financial Times Feb. 7th, David Gardner called for western acceptance of the fact Iran is very close to “threshold” nuclear weapons capability, but “demanding that Iran accept intrusive monitoring in exchange for an easing of sanctions”. I assume Gardner means the AP etc.”

    Before Eric pops in to claim this proves what he’s been saying, let me point out that this has nothing to do with that. Gardner is nowhere stating that the fact that Iran does not adhere to the AP has anything to do with the perception that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. He’s only stating that if Iran were to agree to the AP (i.e., “intrusive inspections”), then it would behoove the West to ease the sanctions.

    This is obviously an approach the West could take, but has refused to do so consistently all along. So Eric’s notion that Iran’s unilaterally doing so remains completely ridiculous in light of that fact.

    No one is saying that Iran should NOT adhere to the AP IF Iran is offered something in return – least of all Iran.

    What Arnold and I and apparently others here deny is that the argument that Iran is not adhering to the AP has anything significantly to do with the perception in the US electorate or the actions of the US government about the situation. There is NO evidence – or even logical argument – that shows that Iran’s adherence to the AP would in any way change the progression toward regime change in Iran either in the minds of the US electorate or the actions of the US government, still less that of Israel.

    It is a superficial concept that ignores the fact that the primary aim of US and Israeli actions is regime change and that the nuclear issue is a red herring cover story, i.e., “the excuse”. And as long as that is true, NOTHING Iran does on its own initiative can delay or prevent the course for war.

  277. Rehmat says:

    Ahmadinejad raises defense budget: Israel frets

    The proposed increase in Iran’s defense has sent a shiver through the Zionist regime and its Hasbara outlets in the western world. Iran’s (pop. 70 million) current defense budget stands a little over $6 billion which will make it over $13 billion in the new year. It’s still far less than Israel’s (pop. 6.2 million) defense budget of $18 billion including $3 billion annual US military aid, US (pop. 303 million) military budget of $698 billion and Saudi Arabia’s (pop. 26.2 million) $60 billion.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/ahmadinejad-raises-defense-budget-israel-frets/

  278. Castellio: “I think Ian Kershaw’s two books (Hubris and Nemesis) are now considered standard. That’s who I have ended up trusting more than others, in any case.”

    I read a really great deal about Hitler, the Nazi Party, and the rise of National Socialism in Germany way back around 1968 or so, while I was in the Army. I read the theory about Hitler’s testicles which was stupid Freudian stuff.

    I read extensively about Hitler’s family life, social life as a child, his reaction to his younger brother’s death which clearly had an impact on him, and his subsequent development. I think I understand Hitler about as well as anyone. I once found nearly 23 explicit comparisons of behavior and belief between Hitler and myself in one of the histories. I’d say it’s also clear that Hitler had a certain degree of manic-depressive syndrome which I have suffered from to some degree in the past (not so much in the present.)

    In my view, Hitler was someone who was so negatively impacted by the fact of human death as a result of his brother’s death that he subsequently went on to despise the human race, much as I do, as a flawed species. This may have been a less then conscious choice.

    Once his basic subconscious viewpoint changed, his personality changed and all the subsequent events resulted from that. Of course, his political path was subsequently heavily influenced by the political and sociological influences of Germany, as you correctly note. But his radicalism as compared to more “conservative” social and political approaches stemmed directly from his basic radicalism with regard to people and life itself in general.

    He was someone who rejected the reality most people accept and labor under, just as I do. Except he was influenced in one direction by German authoritarianism, and I was influenced in the opposite direction by church, school and US military authoritarianism and by libertarian and anarchist influences in my reading.

    It could have gone either way for either of us, by chance. I think that’s mostly true of most people.

  279. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    My understanding is that the warmongers conspiring to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq were concerned the UN weapons inspectors had made it too obvious that Iraq posed no threat, (thus the invasion was illegal).

    G W Bush appears to have been duped, so the warmongers were, in this line of thinking, worried Bush would realise what had been going on.

  280. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Writing in the Financial Times Feb. 7th, David Gardner called for western acceptance of the fact Iran is very close to “threshold” nuclear weapons capability, but “demanding that Iran accept intrusive monitoring in exchange for an easing of sanctions”.

    I assume Gardner means the AP etc. And he implicitly refers to the Russian proposal for staged reductions in sanctions.

  281. Re Bret Stephens, writes Feb. 7th: “(How) should Israel bomb Iran?”

    Quote: “Israel can’t cry wolf again.”

    That’s the part he gets right. If Israel doesn’t force an Iran war within the next couple of years, and Iran continues to clearly NOT have a nuclear weapons program, let alone any actual nukes, NO ONE will believe either Israel or the US that Iran is a threat.

    This crisis, as I’ve been saying for years, has a “shelf life”.

    Random accusations over the last thirty years about Iran having nuclear weapons is one thing. A concerted effort to ratchet up hostilities to the point of war is another. That CANNOT be kept up for another decade or more. And it can’t credibly be walked back.

    Can anyone imagine George Bush and the neocons in March, 2003, saying, perhaps after the UNSCOM inspectors issued some report saying definitely that Iraq no longer had any “WMD” programs, that “Well, we were wrong, now we’re going to back down from attacking Iraq”?

    Never happen. Can’t happen with Iran, either.

    There’s already PLENTY of clear statements that Iran does NOT have a nuclear weapons program and there has been NO attempt to “de-escalate” the rhetoric or the preparations for war. There is no way the present Administration in an election year is going to back down from Iran threats.

    And there is no way in hell Israel will ever back down from this. And there is no way in hell the US administrations, whether Democrat or Republican, are going to tell Israel to buzz off about Iran. That’s simply not politically possible given the influence of the Israel Lobby, let along the influence of the military-industrial complex.

  282. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Who are the “ruling elites” you think control the US and its foreign poloicy?

  283. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Perhaps I should add that Russia says the US can cooperate with Russia in the operation etc of radar stations near Iran, for purpose of advance warning of any attack (which Russia clearly sees as highly unlikely).

  284. fyi: “That might be, but he still could work on the Russian Step-by-Step Plan.” We’ll see.

    “The strategic imperative for US is to leave the Middle East. That will happen.”

    Not before a lot of war…

    “I think Dr. Cordesman’s quantitative analysis is valuable.”

    Agreed. He has to at least have his numbers right to be taken at all seriously.

    “I think his strategic perscriptions are sometimes sound.” As long as there’s no political risk in it for him, perhaps.

    “By they are ignored by US leaders.”

    Of course. It’s the ruling elites who run the show, not the “policy wonks”.

    “I think he comprehends that war with Iran is a disaster for US but he also cannot state that clearly – perhaps because of Saudis.”

    I’d agree with that. Which makes his pronouncements on the subject both useless and actually counterproductive.

    “What is clear that the course of events have passed the suggestions of Dr. Cordesman, Dr. Sadjadpour, Dr. Takyeh, Dr. Pollack, and Dr. Afrasiabi.”

    Agreed.

    “Comprehensive negogiations with Iran are still possible, in my opinion.”

    Disagree. Who’s going to start them and why? Only if some other nations manage to jump start them, such as Turkey and Brazil or perhaps Russia and China (or all four of them together), and thus FORCE the US/NATO to re-enter the negotiations is that possible.

    Turkey and Brazil tried it and failed. Russia tried it with their plan and failed so far. Only if all four of them get together and HIJACK the negotiations is there the slightest chance.

  285. Arnold Evans says:

    James, you’ve read the discussion.

    By how much time do you think Iran unilaterally implementing the AP and code 3.1 would delay a US attack?

    If you don’t think it would delay an attack at all, just go ahead and say it. If you think it would delay it, go ahead and say that.

  286. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I think Obama wants good relations with Russia, but he is unable to see the strategic sense of cancelling the (to me) idiotic “missile defence” system.

    The new American ambassador annoyed some Russian legislators by meeting with dissidents. I hope he can get things right, which I would say means establishing good relations with Russian leaders.

  287. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    I do not think a US attack is inevitable. At this time, it would be illegal (unless Iran attacked first).

    I continue to believe Ahmadinejad was quite right to offer to stop producing 20% U, if the IAEA application went through (to re-fuel TRR).

    To me, the primary issue that causes such trouble is Iranian enrichment, and I think Iran could obtain a deal allowing 3.5% but doubt the 20% is possible. For the present, I think Iran should refrain from producting more 20% U than strictly needed to build fuel plates for TRR.

    There is very little discussion of AP etc in the newspapers etc, so the PR value of ratification seems to me to be less than would be the case if the AP etc issue were better understood.

    If Israel agreed to stop killing Iranian scientists, that would obviously help.

  288. Castellio says:

    James, what America says it is doing and what it actually does are two separate things. It said it was resetting the relationship with Russia, but it didn’t. It took a few steps backwards, and it goes well beyond a few missile salespersons.

    You tell me how to explain it.

  289. Arnold Evans says:

    James Canning says:
    February 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Well James, I don’t know if your endorsement would be helpful or harmful to Eric’s argument, but are you saying you believe that if Iran implemented the AP and Code 3.1, that would delay a US attack?

  290. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, I’m actually writing this to point towards a strange book that might interest you for its failures. It’s called Explaining Hitler by Ron Rosenbaum, an established American writer whom you can find at Slate. His book deals with the one testicle thesis, the cousins-in-love thesis, the mysterious stranger thesis, the ‘primitive’ thesis… everything you can imagine, but not the sociology nor history of Germany. It’s such a strange book that it has stuck with me.

    I think of it as contemporary mysticism. A smooth and stylish mysticism, but mysticism none the less.

    John Lukacs wrote an interesting small book called the The History of Hitler, which doesn’t try to determine who Hitler was, but to determine how he has been used by different historians.

    I think Ian Kershaw’s two books (Hubris and Nemesis) are now considered standard. That’s who I have ended up trusting more than others, in any case.

  291. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    How do you explain Obama’s sending as US ambassador to Moscow the man who was in charge of “resetting” America’s relations with Russia?

    Obama does seem rather feeble in standing up to pressure of arms manufacturers who have pushed the “missile defence” programme for decades.

  292. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    I of course agree with Eric about the importance of public opinion, in the US and other countries. Propagandists for Israeli militarism claim Iran will soon have too much enriched uranium on hand for it to be prevented from building nukes.

  293. Castellio says:

    FYI, the idea that the US might use the Russian initiative with Iran is a non-starter. It would make sense but the US is very much “beyond that”.

    I also think that the US has burned its bridges with the Russian government. US support of the radical “liberal” opposition will not easily or soon be forgiven. This goes back to Putin’s role in curtailing Israeli and US interests in the Russian oil and gas fields, but its taken on a new dimension with the new administration (Obama’s) continued reliance on Bush’s doctrines of China and Russian containment coupled with a global first strike and second strike dominance.

    It’s hard to imagine a less responsible US foreign policy than the one in place…

  294. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Israel inflicted $7 billion in damage on Lebanon in 2006, in revenge for the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. Killed perhaps 1500 people? And the grotesquely incompetent Condoleezza Rice proclaimed “the birth pangs of a new Middle East”!

  295. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    The Aipac-controlled US Congress forced the latest sanctions on Obama, though he could have delayed implementing them for six months.

  296. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Ahmadinejad offered to have Iran stop producing 20% uranium, so he obviously saw that the June 2011 announcement of a trebling of production of it was a problem.

    I have said time and again the US has foolishly blocked Iran’s IAEA application to re-fuel the TRR. That is not “blaming Iran”.

  297. Dan Cooper says:

    Obama Declares “Threat” From Iran a National Emergency:

    Video

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f23uQr7TIMo&feature=player_embedded

  298. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with you that comprehensive negotiations with Iran are still possible.

  299. James Canning says:

    One of the Wall Street Journal’s stable of neocon propagandists, Bret Stephens, writes Feb. 7th: “(How) should Israel bomb Iran?”

    Quotes: “Diplomacy has run its course, sanctions are too late, and Israel can’t cry wolf again.”

    “Iran is within a year of getting to the point when its will be able to assemble a bomb essentially at will.”

    “The Islamic Republic means to destroy Israel.”

  300. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 7, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    That might be, but he still could work on the Russian Step-by-Step Plan.

    The strategic imperative for US is to leave the Middle East.

    That will happen.

  301. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I think Dr. Cordesman’s quantitative analysis is valuable.

    I think his strategic perscriptions are sometimes sound.

    By they are ignored by US leaders.

    I think he comprehends that war with Iran is a disaster for US but he also cannot state that clearly – perhaps because of Saudis.

    What is clear that the course of events have passed the suggestions of Dr. Cordesman, Dr. Sadjadpour, Dr. Takyeh, Dr. Pollack, and Dr. Afrasiabi.

    Comprehensive negogiations with Iran are still possible, in my opinion.

  302. Fiorangela says:

    Public relations — preparing the psychological battlefield — does not employ finely parsed reason it uses fear, emotion, and repetition. An idea implanted emotionally, especially through the emotion of fear, cannot be erased by use of reason — not without expending years of time and effort. Crowds are not moved by reason, they are moved by appeal to emotion. Managing a democratic society requires molding the masses into the desired mind set. The masses are not called upon to think, they are not offered reasons or even information, they are manipulated emotionally and led to believe that their emotional responses are the equivalent of the acquisition of knowledge.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYCvSntOI5s Chris Hedges, Death of the Liberal Class

  303. fyi: “I expect it him to try to revieve a face-saving solution (for US) on the nuclear front – perhaps hanging onto the Russian Step-by-Step plan.”

    I don’t see that as at all likely, especially after the Russian Syria veto. We’ll see. What I expect is that Obama will “double down” on his Iran rhetoric and sanctions throughout the election year in an attempt to out talk – and out act – the Republicans.

  304. Castellio: “Don’t take it personally, RSH.”

    Oh, I don’t. It’s just that the intellectual dishonesty is overwhelming… It’s like skunk odor to my nostrils…

    “Eric has his future position already chosen: Iran did not do all that it could”

    Yup. He’ll sound like Canning blaming Iran for the sanctions by enriching to 20%. Or these people who claim Saddam “deliberately misled the US that he still had WMDs”.

  305. fyi: “Coming from him, it means that War is not a solution.”

    Which makes him an idiot, since his argument only reinforces the propaganda for war. If he thinks Iran can be forced to “negotiate” based on this sort of thing, he’s a moron.

    I really don’t take Cordesman seriously. He’s just a flunkie for the West (or the Saudis.)

  306. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    February 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    Just to be clear, you’re saying Bill Smith does not exist, but is a hypothetical person that you’re claiming, for your own argument’s sake, would be persuaded by Iran implementing the AP and code 3.1.

    I didn’t ask you to make up a name. I asked for an actual person. You’re admitting, not only that you can’t find one sentence in one article advocating attacking Iran that would not have been written if Iran had been doing as you suggest.

    You’re also admitting that you cannot name one actual person who whose opinion would have been changed. Not one.

    Not one line of advocacy for bombing Iran would change. Not one identifiable person would have changed their mind.

    Somehow still powerful enough PR value to by itself delay a US attack by 1 to 4 years.

    I don’t think anything I can write further can make your argument look weaker than it looks now. You’re still convinced by it and I have to be fine with it.

    Can you name a person, other than yourself, who you think did or would have read this exchange and decided that you’re right about the PR value of Iran implementing the AP and code 3.1 delaying any attack?

  307. Russia’s ‘green light’ for Syria peace
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/225394.html

    Quote

    Babich:

    As for the response of the Syrian government to the insurgency… Yes indeed, maybe there is a lot of cruelty and there is a lot of bloodshed on both sides, but I would like to remind you that the bombardment of Hama that we have seen in the last few days – it was triggered by the fact that 13 soldiers of the Syrian army were kidnapped by the insurgents.

    I would remind you that just five years ago in 2006 because several Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hezbollah in the north of Israel, Israel destroyed Lebanese infrastructure. In fact, it damaged Lebanon very badly; destroyed parts of the country. And then the US did not call for any UN resolutions against Israel. So, again we see the double standard here.

    End Quote

  308. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 7, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    The Obama policy has been at Cul de Sac for more than a year.

    I expect it him to try to revieve a face-saving solution (for US) on the nuclear front – perhaps hanging onto the Russian Step-by-Step plan.

    Outside of that narrow scope, US and Iran cannot have any relationship, not even transactional until US planners admit the reality and durability of Iranian power and move from that basis.

    EU, as has been the case, will be the great looser, no doubt.

    All of this lies months, perhaps years, into the future.

  309. US weighs options as Syrian violence rises
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB08Ak02.html

    Quotes

    Bassam Haddad, director of the Middle East Studies program at George Mason University and co-founder of the popular website Jadaliyya, recently wrote an article decrying the ways that foreign intervention may undermine the goals of the initial uprising, prompting a heated exchange between proponents and opponents of foreign intervention.

    In a recent interview with al-Jazeera English, Haddad warned that the Syrian uprising had been gradually transformed “from a legitimate domestic fight against dictatorship to something far more cynical”. Haddad and others have accused the US of supporting the Syrian uprising to suit its own regional interests, while ignoring or undermining similar uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen and elsewhere.

    Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s ambassador to the UN, capitalized on this contradiction during his remarks on Saturday, asking Rice why she failed to feel equally “disgusted” with the numerous US vetoes protecting Israeli military operations in Gaza, Lebanon and against the Palestinian people in general.

    “The veto will diminish the relevance of the United Nations and increase the odds that Syria will descend even further into a civil war fueled by a flood of weapons and aid to all parties,” wrote Marc Lynch, a Middle East expert at George Washington University, on his foreignpolicy.com blog after the Security Council vote

    “The UN’s failure won’t end regional and international efforts to deal with the escalating brutality, but it will now force those efforts into other, less effective and less legitimate channels. The already slim prospects for a ‘soft landing’ in Syria, with a political transition deal ending the violence, are now closer to complete collapse.”

    End Quotes

  310. Meanwhile, Haveh Afrasiabi sees something good on Iran’s pro-game interview… I disagree. All I see is Obama allegedly contradicting two of his flunkies and continuing to insist that he supports Israel whatever it does…

    I agree with other articles that say Obama’s statements do NOT mean that he is some kind of “dove” on Iran.

    I’ve seen this sort of “grasping at straws” in some of Afrasiabi’s earlier pieces.

    Obama switches play on war with Iran
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB08Ak01.html

  311. Calls for US intervention in Syria grow louder…

    Kerry: We have many options to help the Syrian people fight back
    http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/06/kerry_we_have_many_options_to_help_the_syrian_people_fight_back

  312. Castellio says:

    The article that RSH posted in terms of Romney’s man on Iran is definitely must reading.

    It says the obvious, but also the “not so obvious”, which is this: how do these limited people end up in such positions of power? What is the role of critical thinking and mastery of the facts and the morality involved versus simple ideological agreement?

    There is a sociology not only to power but to knowledge. What is the sociology of current trends in American knowledge and power projection?

  313. Eric Brill is wrong again…

    The Myth of the Vietnam Syndrome
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/02/07/the-myth-of-the-vietnam-syndrome/

    Quote

    But as I read that FPI piece, it occurred to me that these elite neocons don’t represent the country. Right? What do Americans think of a war with Iran?

    Released just two weeks ago, this Pew Research Survey found voters strongly in favor of aggression towards Iran. “Of those following the Iran situation,” Pew finds, “54% say the U.S. should take a firm stand against Iran’s actions, while 39% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran.” Trevor Thrall at The National Interest picked up on this at the time, noting that “support for military action against Iran today is almost exactly the same as support for the invasion of Iraq right before the war began.” And that was after one of the most coordinated and aggressive propaganda efforts in American history.

    This leads me to believe that getting outside the bubble of elite foreign policy wonkery is not a worthwhile exercise. If the people in the halls of power in this country want to launch another war of aggression in the Middle East, they simply will. They have their mandate from the electorate. People talk about there being little appetite for war after the terrible experience in Iraq. They talk of so-called Vietnam syndrome – the technical term for a mental disorder associated with “sickly inhibitions against the use of military force” – but where is this society-wide malady? I don’t see it. And neither do the “decision-makers” in Washington. And that, more than anything else, makes this next war increasingly possible.

    End Quote

    HEY, ERIC, READ THIS PART AGAIN!!

    “support for military action against Iran today is almost exactly the same as support for the invasion of Iraq right before the war began.”

    And YOU just said that would be sufficient for Obama to start an Iran war.

    Hack: 1 Eric: 0

  314. Castellio says:

    Don’t take it personally, RSH.

    I believe that both Eric and Arnold are sticking with this now silly conversation (in which Brill has not been able to substantiate his claims and in which Evans continues to push for that which will not come) to delay or avoid tackling the more pressing questions concerning the positions they take : for Eric, why are the beliefs and concerns of many intelligent and well informed Americans of so little or no consequence? and for Arnold, who exactly is in this layer of foreign policy experts and how come so many administrations (including this one) have managed to either ignore or co-opt them?

    Eric has his future position already chosen: Iran did not do all that it could.

  315. Romney’s Man on Iran
    Eliot Cohen and the Return of the Neocons
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/07/romneys-man-on-iran/

    The main guy advising Romney on Iran is a “classic neoconservative” who advocated regime change in Iran by any means necessary.

  316. The policy cul-de-sac of the Iran sanctions
    http://drezner.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/07/the_cross_purposes_of_the_iran_sanctions

    Argues that the sanctions policy has closed off any chance of negotiations and the end result is regime change will be the only option.

    Of course, WE know that regime change always WAS the ONLY intention.

  317. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 7, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Coming from him, it means that War is not a solution.

    And since CSIS owes so much to Saudi Arabia, he is not going to suggest anything that would be more aligned to Iranian interests.

  318. By the way, look at the picture at the top of the article, captioned:

    “Iranian soldiers chanting anti-Israeli and anti-U.S. slogans at a ceremony in Tehran on February 1”

    In other words, “crazy Iranians threatening Israel and the US”…

    Anyone who can’t see this CNN piece as deliberate propaganda for an Iran war is clueless…

  319. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: February 7, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Austro-Hungarian Empire was more democratic and more liberal than anything that replaced it; to this day.

  320. Here’s an “influential person”…Anthony Cordesman…

    Iran could lessen risk of war by negotiating
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/07/opinion/cordesman-iran-israel/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

    Quote

    In October 2011, an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States became public. A month later, the International Atomic Energy Agency issued a report that showed Iran had experimented with virtually every element of nuclear weapons production and studied how to put nuclear weapons on its missiles.

    Iran is now far closer to making real nuclear weapons — perhaps 2 to 3 years at most if it were to act decisively. Iran is also hiding its nuclear efforts and bringing new deeply sheltered facilities to full production.

    Last week Iran’s Supreme Leader, the Ayatollah Khamenei, issued new threats to Israel.

    Iran could pause its programs and receive benefits in terms of cheaper fuel for its nuclear reactor program, a mix of trade and investment incentives, and an end to sanctions. Last week, visits by United Nations officials to Iran may have failed, but future visits may succeed as Iran comes under greater pressure.

    Unless Iran begins to negotiate with the West and halts its nuclear program, every passing month will raise the threshold of risk of some kind of serious clash in the Gulf. Israel may feel it ultimately cannot compromise.

    End Quotes

    In other words, THIS “influential person” is already committed to the notions that 1) Iran has a nuclear weapons program; 2) that Iran must negotiate and halt its enrichment.

    Nowhere is it mentioned that it is Iran who has repeatedly offered to negotiate and that it is the US which has done nothing but offer “take it or leave it” offers ALL preconditioned on the suspension of Iran’s legal right to domestic enrichment.

    This is a deliberately misleading article which is promoting the war under the guise of trying to prevent one.

  321. US eying humanitarian aid for Syrian people, White House says
    http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/07/10338371-us-eying-humanitarian-aid-for-syrian-people-white-house-says

    The article alleges that this does not include military aid, but THEN says “without offering details”…

    This is the first public intimation that Obama is preparing to “go it alone” without a UNSC resolution authorizing intervention in Syria…

    What kind of “humanitarian aid” can the US do that does NOT involved militarily intervening in Syria?

  322. Eric: “It’s not such writers that I think would be affected by a change in Iran’s disclosure stance, since such writers tend to have more or less immutable positions on Iran. It’s the readers of those writers — the “Bill Smiths” — that I believe will be affected.”

    Previously Eric argued that there were “many” – unnamed, unspecified even by any characteristics at all – “influential people” who would be influenced by Iran’s decision to unilaterally adhere to the AP and who would – by some mechanism never explained by Eric – “somehow” find a way to delay the war by up to four years.

    NOW Eric is saying that just about anyone reading an article about Iran not adhering to the AP would be influenced in the opposite way.

    So apparently “influential people” are no longer the target of Eric’s propaganda, it’s now just about anyone, presumably meaning the US electorate in general.

    Perhaps it’s because, as Eric says, such writers ALREADY have “immutable beliefs” about Iran.

    If that’s the case, then how is it that he thinks there are “many” “influential” people who do NOT have already have “immutable beliefs” about Iran, especially at this stage of the propaganda campaign, which the polls have already established?

    Nor has Eric managed to come up with ONE such “influential person” who he can point to as having said that Iran’s not adhering to the AP is a significant factor in said person’s belief that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.

    And Eric STILL hasn’t mentioned ANY mechanism by which the ruling elites of the US could be constrained by “influential people” – let alone the US electorate in general – from prosecuting an Iran war.

    And Eric CONTINUES to IGNORE EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT I have presented here in multiple posts going back months which utterly destroys this argument of his. He continues to engage in round about vague exchanges with Arnold about hypothetical circumstances without addressing the specific charges I’ve made.

    In fact, I wish Arnold would stop bringing up these hypothetical issues since it only allows Eric to continue to dodge the main arguments.

    This argument is becoming as useful as arguing with Canning about his 20% enrichment nonsense… It’s about as useful as arguing with Sassan…

  323. Fiorangela says:

    Richard Steven Hack, re Qatar —

    any clues in the personnel at Brookings Saban Center, Doha?

  324. M. Ali: “Remember, even though Qatar is very close to the west and USA, it has been trying to be positive in regards with Iran.”

    Unfortunately I have to disagree. Qatar has been at the lead in the case of Libya and is now one of the leads in the case against Syria.

    I find it hard to believe that Qatar does not understand that one of the goals of destabilizing Syria is to empower Israel, directly reduce the influence of Iran in the region, and indeed by doing those two things to make a war with Iran MORE likely than not.

    It believe Qatar is lying about its view on Iran, hoping that Iran won’t target it directly when the war starts. As I said before, good luck with that, Qatar. Iran will not be fooled.

  325. M. Ali says:

    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/news/article/lavrov-in-syria-to-strongly-back-assad/452593.html#no

    It seems most officials, even presidential candidates, support Russia’s backing of Syria, which is interesting, sort of like Iran’s commitment to the nuclear program, regardless of the party.

    The post-Cold War era, where USA was the sole power, seems to coming to an end. If Russia starts growing in power and confidence, I wonder what China would do. China has been on the sideline for a long time now, and it has been a smart strategy, but it soon needs to build strong allies and stand up for them.

  326. Humanist: On Ray McGovern’s piece…

    Quote

    We need to add two important new factors since then:

    1- Somehow the main focus has shifted from (a) how soon Iran could get a nuclear weapon to (b) how soon Israel is likely to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities — whether they are shown to be related to nuclear weapons development, or not.

    2- The evolving discourse in the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) has accustomed many Americans to assume that the Israelis would be within their rights to start a war on a convenient “IF” — i.e., IF the Iranians are working on a nuclear weapon. Never mind that Defense Secretary Panetta stated publicly just four weeks ago that they are NOT.

    A few days ago, I was given eight full TV minutes on RT to discuss whether it is a good idea to start wars in the subjunctive mood, and what I believe are Israel’s true aims vis-à-vis Iran. In my view, the principal aim, pure and simple, is regime change in Tehran, not the destruction of Iran’s notional nukes.

    Remember, there have been U.N. inspectors crawling all over Iran, which has yet to be shown to be in violation of the basic Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which Iran has signed and Israel has not. (Another relevant fact that is typically left out of FCM articles about the theoretical possibility of Iran building one nuke is that Israel has a sophisticated – and undeclared – arsenal of some 300 nukes.)

    Is it conceivable that this kind of information has been kept from President Obama?

    End Quote

    Eric needs to read that part. Because Eric thinks all Iran has to do is sign the AP and everything will be delayed until the US is too “weak” to attack Iran – without explaining how that will happen – and Israel will just fall into line with that.

    Also note how McGovern asks the very same question I do: “IS IT CONCEIVABLE that this kind of information has been kept from President Obama?”

    The answer of course is absolutely not. Obama KNOWS the story and as McGovern points out CONTINUES to state that 1) Iran has a nuclear weapons program, and 2) continues to refuse to admit that the goal is regime change, NOT nukes.

    That makes Obama a LIAR and a war monger plain and simple. There can be no doubt whatsoever any more about this issue.

  327. Arnold writes:

    “We can always just point to the Yoo article advocating bombing Iran, or we can point to the Kroenig article. My contention is that you cannot point to a single sentence in either article that Yoo or Kroenig could or would not have written if Iran had unilaterally begun implementing the AP and revised code 3.1 a year ago. And of course, both articles would have still been written.”

    I don’t doubt for a second that Messrs. Yoo and Kroenig would have written their articles, and that they probably wouldn’t have changed a word in them. It’s not such writers that I think would be affected by a change in Iran’s disclosure stance, since such writers tend to have more or less immutable positions on Iran. It’s the readers of those writers — the “Bill Smiths” — that I believe will be affected. Some (and forgive me if I can’t give you an exact percentage) will be more skeptical of arguments from the likes of Yoo and Kroenig that Iran needs to be bombed immediately if not sooner. They will have come to understand that Iran is no longer withholding information that other countries disclose, and so they will conclude that the civilized world just might survive after all if Iran is not bombed back to the Stone Age by next Tuesday.

    Arnold writes:

    “I think I’m right. What do you think?”

    Take a guess.

  328. Castellio says:

    All, I love this: “February 1st 2012 the entire parliamentary group of The Movement of the Icelandic Parliament nominated Private Bradley Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize. Following is the reasoning we sent to the committee explaining why we felt compelled to nominate Private Bradley Manning for this important recognition of an individual effort to have an impact for peace in our world.”

    http://joyb.blogspot.com/2012/02/bradley-manning-nobel-peace-prize.html

  329. fyi: On EU insistence on their ships being in the flotilla.

    Note this: “The revelation that US defence chiefs saw little military value in UK participation will raise new questions about Britain’s international clout after Coalition defence cuts.”

    This is exactly why I think Canning is so adamant about the UK not wanting war with Iran. and why he constantly blames Iran for the recent sanctions. He realizes that the Brits are nothing but a poodle to the US – and not a particularly USEFUL poodle any more, either. This opinion insults his British class mentality.

  330. Castellio: By the way, I just read that link and the guy makes a good case that the current situation is similar to the run up to WWI.

    And this guy is a REPUBLICAN! If even HE can see what’s going on…

  331. Castellio says:

    UU, no I don’t think its counter-intuitive at all.

    For a very long time there has been a struggle to find a representative democracy that non-the-less has constraints. In England it was not the constitution, it was precedent and the upper house. While the upper house represented the landed gentry, it was also the landed gentry that provided most of the leading religious figures. This was the case until very recent times, and remains somewhat the case, although the role of the Upper House is much reduced, and has been replaced, effectively, by the state administrative structures.

    Is the situation in contemporary Iran that different?

    The American Senate has become the voice of Corporate America (a few exceptions to the rule do exist – Sanders comes to mind). In this respect America is not all that different from the corporatist state that Mussolini worked hard to establish during the 1920s and early 30s. What is good for business is good for the state and vice versa. Obama’s role in the Medicare legislation is a prime example.

    The financial industry in the US is subsidized by the public purse, as is the entire military industry, as is, now, and increasingly in the future, the medical insurance industry. The US doesn’t have the wealth to subsidize these industries at the level of growth to which they have become accustomed. This can’t end well, for it is precisely the state/corporate fusion which controls the evolution of the American system. The actual rights of, and living conditions of, the people has become secondary, for no other mediating institution other than the profit-making corporation is thought to “exist” as a means of appropriate social organization.

    So, assuming that Iran can maintain its economy and its system for a hundred years or so, how will it evolve? Will it end up with the situation of the US and the UK where the upper strata exist to recreate oligarchic patterns? Is that already the case?

  332. Castellio: Excellent post at February 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm.

    I agree completely.

  333. M. Ali says:

    James, I think it is a positive development, and frankly, I do commend Qatar for taking the initiative in recent years to proactively get involved in regional concerns. Frankly, its moronic that the middle east always expected the west to fix their problems for them. What Qatar is doing, should have been done by a country like Saudi. Qatar, so far, lacks a real regional power, but it does seem to be creating some goodwill with its neighbours. Remember, even though Qatar is very close to the west and USA, it has been trying to be positive in regards with Iran.

    I don’t expect much out of Qatar, but I think it is to be respected that we have a Arab leader that at least is trying to help out.

  334. Humanist: “We are diametrically opposed on the subject of “Iran in retaliation must assassinate large number of American and Israeli politicians”.”

    Looks that way.

    “You advocate anarchism dismissing and belittling Pacifist approaches.”

    Yup.

    “I strongly believe under great majority of circumstances pacifism proves to be the most intelligent instrument for resolving the disputes.”

    For resolving disputes where one side is not initiating force against another, I would agree. Where one side ALREADY has the capability, the intent and is planning to initiate force against the other side – absolutely NOT. In that situation, only defensive force (and perhaps “trickery”) – preferably preemptively – can resolve the situation.

    “Computer Models prove beyond any doubt that resolution of conflicts by pacifistic methods are always ‘constructive’ while combative approaches are ALWAYS ‘destructive’.”

    Some computer model… Common sense says that in a combative model, someone loses. If you define that as a “destructive” outcome, well…duh… The problem is that in the situation I’ve outlined above, someone is already going to lose. The outcome is already defined as “destructive”. The issue is whether the destruction is yours or theirs…

    Forgive me for operating on the desire that it be “theirs” rather than mine.

    “Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What you would have done if during Iran Iraq war you were in full charge of Iranian armed forces finding out thousands of your soldiers were subjected to atrocious slow death by Iraqi chemical weapons, also knowing that Iran could easily obtain or manufacture those weapons?

    What would you have done? A more forceful and ferocious retaliation?.”

    As a hypothetical, it’s worthless because 1) I wouldn’t have conducted the war in that manner in the first place – I would have assassinated Saddam Hussein early on; and/or 2) I would have found a way to use Iraq’s chemical weapons against them, just as I suggest that some smart terrorist figure out how to steal an Israeli nuclear weapon and threaten Israel with its own weapon.

    “Iranians decided not to use those type of weapons or any type of WMD. Were they stupid? I believe not.”

    They weren’t because such weapons were not decisive in the war anyway. And such weapons usually aren’t decisive strategically. “Weapons of mass destruction” is a useless term, because very few weapons qualify and most of them are not strategically significant in the long run. Only nuclear weapons should qualify for that term and even those might not be decisive in many hypothetical cases.

    In any event, the entire argument you present here is completely irrelevant to what I am suggesting 1) the Iranians should do, and 2) what Iranians have suggested they MIGHT do.

    Assassinating the officials of a country attacking your country is a tactic that does not contravene either Muslim theology, as someone else mentioned, or common sense, nor is it a tactic that the Allies refused during WWII although it is alleged that they did because they thought Hitler was bungling the war and it was better to keep him alive. But the Brits didn’t think so…

    See here:

    Britain Reveals Elaborate Plots to Kill Hitler as War Neared End
    http://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/24/world/britain-reveals-elaborate-plots-to-kill-hitler-as-war-neared-end.html

    Not to mention that the US made SEVERAL attempts to bomb Saddam Hussein directly in the early days of the attack on Iraq in 2003.

    Not to mention the number of times they wanted to send cruise missiles to kill bin Laden and eventually did kill him (allegedly since there are still odd components to that mission) using a kill squad of SEALS.

    All I’m saying is that if the goal of the West is to not merely overthrow the Iranian government and replace it with a more “compliant” government but in fact is to crush the Iranian country and destroy it in a manner similar to what was attempted in Iraq, then if Iran wants to survive it will have to take the war DIRECTLY to the ACTUAL enemy it faces in the US, EVEN IF its attempts to do so are interpreted as “terrorism” and actually INCREASE the US electorate’s belief that Iran should be destroyed.

    It is not the US electorate that Iran needs to be worried about, it’s the US ruling elites. Put THEM DIRECTLY at risk, and the war will end. It’s that simple.

  335. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric:

    If you don’t want to provide your own link, we can always just point to the Yoo article advocating bombing Iran, or we can point to the Kroenig article.

    My contention is that you cannot point to a single sentence in either article that Yoo or Kroenig could or would not have written if Iran had unilaterally begun implementing the AP and revised code 3.1 a year ago. And of course, both articles would have still been written.

    If my contention is right, then if Iran had implemented the AP and revised code 3.1 a year ago, it would have provide no PR benefit as far as the actual arguments we see in the US for attacking Iran.

    If my contention is wrong, you can provide a link to an actual article, copy the actual sentence that Iran unilaterally implementing the AP and code 3.1 would have pre-empted, and put that sentence in italics.

    Then of course, we’ll look at the sentence and see if removing that sentence from the article would translate to 1 or 4 years worth of delay of a US attack.

    I think I’m right. What do you think?

  336. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    February 7, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Agreed, it’s an important and courageous development that Hamas and Fatah have formed a unity.

    How will Israel respond/retaliate? Will pressure on Iran increase or decrease? Rational diplomacy would suggest pressure on Iran would decrease, since Palestinians would be nearing an actual, long-sought resolution. But since Israel really does not seek a peaceful resolution but rather the expulsion of Palestinians to
    jordan, expect tensions to increase.

  337. Eric: Your February 6, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Quote

    1) Specifically, what successful PR campaign do you think has to happen before a US president would bomb Iran?

    ANSWER: One resembling the PR campaign conducted before the Iraq war.

    End Quote

    Already done, as I’ve repeatedly said and you’ve repeatedly ignored.

    Quote

    “Meaning about what proportion of what population has to believe what before an attack has the green light from the public that you believe is necessary before the attack is ordered?

    ANSWER: Precisely 53.4657% (give or take .0001%) of the American adult population has to believe that it’s necessary for the US to attack Iran in “self defense” before Iran gets so far in its development of a nuclear bomb that it’s “too late.”

    [MY NOTE: So now you think it’s funny you can’t answer the question properly. We are not amused, as they say. – RSH]

    Less facetiously: roughly the same proportion that believed essentially the same thing about Iraq”

    End Quote

    Already done, again. And again you ignore that fact as expressed by every poll.

    Quote

    2) Which argument by a proponent of bombing Iran, and we have several or even many actual examples so please link to one, would be refuted if Iran implemented the AP or revised code 3.1?

    ANSWER: All arguments that Iran’s refusal to make the same disclosures as other countries is evidence that Iran is trying to hide something. With all due respect, Arnold, I should not have to provide a link to such an argument, as I’m confident that both of us have read dozens, hundreds or even thousands of articles over the past several years making such a claim.

    End Quote

    Yes, you should have to provide a link. Our precise accusation was you could not – and clearly you cannot. And I state explicitly I cannot remember every having read such an article making that precise accusation against Iran – certainly not one that considered that to be a “decisive” issue.

    So you admit you can’t do it – which completely undercuts your entire argument.

    Q.E.D.

    Quote

    3) What is the name or identifying information about one person who you believe supports bombing Iran but would not support bombing Iran if Iran implemented the AP or revised code 3.1?

    ANSWER: Bill Smith.

    End Quote

    We are still not amused.

  338. James Canning says:

    I find it interesting there seems little interest here today on the agreement between Hamas and Fatah, to form a unity Palestinian government. The emir of Qatar should be congratulated.

  339. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I should think Larijani liked the profile that appeared in The New York Times. Good photo, and his self-sacrifice in giving up his graduate programme at Berkeley to return to Iran is cited in favor of Larijani.

  340. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I agree with Ray McGovern Obama blundered by saying Iran “needed to stand down on its nuclear weapons program.”

    Clapper just the other day made clear there is no evidence Iran is building nukes or about to do so.

    But Obama obviously is keenly aware of extreme ignorance of the American public, and the appeal of warmongering neocons who accuse Obama of “appeasing” Iran.

  341. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says:
    February 7, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    not World War I.
    “Prepping the battlefield” for that war saw the creation of the US Office of Information/Creel Commission, for the first time ever, a US bureau tasked with creating and disseminating war propaganda.

    Warner Brothers studios, financed by the same Wall Street financiers who wanted the war, rocketed to the head of the studio pack and produced numerous anti-German pro-war propaganda films. Ronald Reagan was a part of that system, as it recreated its propaganda techniques to set the stage for the second world war.

  342. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy-san:

    Exactly, or as we say, سنگ مفت گنجشك هم مفت

    *

    Castellio:

    As counter-intuitive as it might sound, I dare say that the Islamic Republic is more democratic that the United States, which is obviously a deeply entrenched oligarchy, and this in spite of the fact that the constitution of the Islamic Republic (thankfully) has solid anti-democratic checks in place. In other words, a system that is not suppose to be *fully* democratic (there are supervisory institutions – which are religious-meritocratic – to ensure that laws are in accordance with the country’s religious values) turns out to be more democratic *in practice* than the American system which is ostensibly a democracy but oligarchic in practice.

    The other (definitional) point is that if one defines democracy as a system where the will of the people is reflected transparently in the actions of their government (as opposed to a stricter definition of one-person one-vote, under which the Electoral College would disqualify the US as well), then Iran’s constitution and system in practice (always with exceptions to the rule, of course) easily will qualify under this criterion, based on the Iranian people’s expressed will to have their government and day to day laws be informed by their religious values, as well as their centuries old tradition of deferring to religious experts to guide them in interpreting their sacred sources and extracting, interpolating and extrapolating the values therein and (having a supervisory role in) hammering laws out of those sacred sources.

  343. Humanist says:

    Ray McGovern’s interesting piece:

    Obama’s Super-Bowl Fumble on Iran

    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/02/07/obamas-super-bowl-fumble-on-iran/

  344. Fiorangela says:

    M. Ali asked earlier, “What can Iran do?”

    Read the google blurb to this NYTimes article about Larijani’s session with Rose: “Mohammad Javad Larijani never finished graduate studies at Berkeley. … He has calmly faced questioning by journalists like Charlie Rose . . .” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/world/middleeast/mohammad-javad-larijani-seeks-to-counter-irans-critics.html

    wow. a giant among men. An O-ree-en-tul, who didn’t even finish GRADUATE studies, can you believe it? — and STILL he can control his bladder while sitting across from Rose the magnificent.

    This hypervaluation of exalted degrees from exalted institutions is a billboard-sized indicator of insecurity. And it should suggest something about a) the fundamental insecurity of the NYTimes crowd and b) the notion registered the other day that Israel fears an Iranian bomb because should that happen, “200,000 of Israel’s brightest would leave the country.”
    Nonsense.
    Ephraim Sneh made a similar argument about four years ago. Not gonna look it it; trust me or check it out yourself. Sneh said the ‘existential threat’ nuclear Iran posed to Israel was that Jews would not feel comfortable living in Israel and would not make aliyeh, or would leave.
    In fact, many Israeli Jews hold passports to the United States or European states. Might be some opportunities in Greece these days.

    The more recent voiced fear, of an Israeli brain drain, is not so straightforward. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In his discussion of the post-expulsion history of Jews in Italy, ;http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=4652 Prof. David Ruderman points with pride to the young Jewish students in the medical school at the University of Naples. Jews worship intellectual achievement, and since Jewish emancipation in 1789 have sought to enroll Jewish children in the finest universities in the world that was accessible to them. The primary motivation for The Haskalah movement in Russia was the quest to attain a university education. Jews in Russia felt that Russian institutions were inferior; they sent their children to Germany, France, and Vienna where the universities were the best in the world, and Jews were enrolled in numbers disproportionate to their presence in the host society, as Jacob Raisin writes (in The Haskalah Movement in Russia):

    “For the studious, Germany possessed the attraction which the “land of universities” exerts upon seekers after knowledge the world over. To whom, indeed, could the profound and abstruse speculations of Leibnitz and Kant make a stronger appeal than to the Jew who had been initiated into metaphysical abstractions from his very childhood? It is no wonder, then, that immigration from Russo-Poland into Germany was constantly on the increase”

    and

    “Their numbers in the German universities grew to such proportions, and their material condition became so wretched, that a society was organized in Berlin for the express purpose of helping them. On the other hand, the authorities protested (1906) against expending the funds granted each year for German educational institutions on the education of non-Germans, and the Akademischer Club of Berlin passed resolutions demanding a regulation against their admission. In Leipsic alone, of the six hundred and sixty-two foreign students who attended the university, three hundred and forty, or over one-half, are Russian Jews (1906). Of the five hundred and eighty-six students enrolled in the Commercial University, three hundred and twenty-two are foreigners, among whom Russians predominate, and of the {299} eight hundred students who attend the Royal Conservatory of Music, three hundred are foreigners, also mostly Russians. Russians constitute two hundred and two of the three hundred and forty-seven pupils in the Dresden Polytechnicum, and sixty out of one hundred and thirty-seven in the Dresden Veterinary College, while in the Freiberg School of Mines and in the Tharand Forestry Academy they are in a majority.”

    This background helps in developing a more accurate assessment of the nature of “persecution” endured by Jews in the period 1933-1938, that motivated Samuel Untermyer to organize a boycott on the German people in an attempt to “destroy the German economy.” The most crucial form of “persecution” that Jews endured was severe constraints on their ability to enroll in or teach in German universities. (The 1935 Nuremberg laws further qualified this practice: Jews who had participated in the war between 1914-1918 were permitted to keep their university positions). A docudrama titled “The Restless Conscience,” about German men who tried to assassinate Hitler, repeatedly makes the point that the would-be assassins were disturbed by Hitler because Nazism blocked Jewish access to university education and also opportunities to work as lawyers in German government. (The men who attempted to kill Hitler were hanged or otherwise executed.)

    What Israel fears is that Iran will surpass Israel in intellectual achievement. Jews want access to Iranian universities, because Israeli universities — in fact, the entire Israeli Jewish education system, is turning out students of less than world class standard. My hunch is that Netanyahu is eager for “200,000 Israeli Jews” to leave Israel and acquire an education at universities finer than those Israel has to offer. Increasingly, those schools may not be in the United States.

    An ugly flip side should also be understood. Keep in mind at all times that zionism seeks redress for the Roman army’s conquest of the Maccabees. The zionist mental blueprint traces the tribal myths of Judah; those myths include Sampson, who sought to destroy that which he could not possess — or compete with on level ground. Netanyahu seeks to harry Iran and maintain Iran in a state of dystopia in order to disadvantage Iranian young people seeking intellectual excellence, in order to advantage young Jews.

    “Mohammad Javad Larijani never finished his mathematics studies at Berkeley. Instead, he became one of the quotable, English-speaking, official defenders of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

  345. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    And we should bear in mind Iran’s oil minister made clear this week there would be no problems in the Strait of Hormuz.

  346. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Sarkozy and Cameron have been working on extensive military coordination between France and the UK. To increase efficiency and allow lower spending on “defence”.
    This is one reason Cameron backed Sarkozy in his wish to attack Gaddafi even though William Hague opposed it.

  347. James Canning says:

    I recommend “Jesus versus the Gop”, by Gary Kamiya:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/07/jesus_versus_the_gop/?source=newsletter

    Quote: “The man from Nazareth would have been appalled by the ‘Christian’ Republican candidates [for president].”

  348. Castellio says:

    James, and may he lose it. So, what’s Cameron’s excuse?

    Truly pathetic.

  349. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Sarkozy is in midst of difficult campaign for re-election.

  350. Castellio says:

    FYI at 1.23

    “British ministers initially signalled they would accept the Washington’s conclusion that did not need allies to take part. But the British position changed after Mr Sazkozy insisted to the US that a French warship must be present in the flotilla. Sources said that Philip Hammond, the defence secretary, concluded that if the French were sending a ship, Britain must do so too. His decision to was then endorsed by David Cameron, the Prime Minister.”

    Truly pathetic. Truly… pathetic.

  351. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The German General Staff believed that Germany’s security required maintaining the territorial integrity of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and this belief led them to think Austria should try to destroy Serbia, using as a pretext the assassination of Francis-Ferdinand. This was the direct cause of the outbreak of the First World War, because the Russian generals insisted on going to Serbia’s defence. (And Russia wanted to annex part of Silesia, and all of Galicia (foremrly part of Poland).

  352. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Writing in the Financial Times today, David Gardner says Iran is less delusional than Israel or the US, regarding ability to control events in the Middle East. He cites Israel’s failed 1982 invasion of Lebanon and the 2006 war with Hezbollah.

  353. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    Bravo (your comments to R S Hack). Iran should strive to keep the high ground morally.

  354. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Iran has indicated in the past it will accept the 2002 Saudi peace plan if the Palestinians accept it.

  355. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Didn’t Sergei Lavrov make clear Russia objected to a UNSC resolution that in effect demanded the government relinquish power? A reasonable position, surely. Lavrov says Russia cannot prevent an overthrow of the Syrian government by the people of the country.

  356. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Historians generally agree that the German General Staff was largely responsible for starting the First World War.

  357. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Warmongering neocons trying to set up an illegal attack on Iran were frustrated by the CIA.

  358. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Financial Times today, David Gardner makes an important point:

    “Remember that the leader of the now largely suppressed Green opposition, Mir-Hossein Moussavi, lambasted President Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad during the 2009 election campaign for selling out to the west on the nuclear question.”

    But the American Jewish Committee claimed yesterday: “The regime rigged Iran’s national elections in 2009 to defy the will of the people”. [Seattle Times]

  359. James Canning says:

    The American Jewish Committee apparently takes the line that Iran “almost succeeded in assassinating the Saudi ambasador to the US in a crowded Washington restaurant”.

    “Almost succeeded”.

  360. fyi says:

    All:

    Why EU will follow US:

    http://www.acus.org/natosource/britain-and-france-had-insist-us-allow-their-warships-join-iran-flotilla

    This demonstrates how hollow EU pretensions to be another global center of power has been.

    And as they weaken economically, their reliance on US increases.

  361. fyi says:

    Castellio says: February 7, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Excepting the American revolutionary War, the War of 182, the American Civil War, the Boer War, the Franco-German War, and World War I.

  362. Castellio says:

    It used to be said that democracies never went to war. But the US goes to war regularly. So either the saying is wrong, or the US is not a democracy, or both.

    I don’t understand Eric’s contention that the US public has to be ready for a war to happen, and that it is not ready now. I believe that organized and vigorous vested interests claim the day. The understanding of the American people is not a precondition to war but an effect of the march to war. The two are not the same.

    And I don’t trust Arnold’s contention that there is some functioning level of decision makers who can be counted on to deter the goals of powerful vested interests through reasonable and rational conclusions based on America’s long term interests. Recalcitrant realists can always be fired, redeployed or ignored. (Few of them will sacrifice their pensions or positions.)

    Talking about vested interests, here’s a quote from http://www.truthout.org/iran-war-drums-beating/1328560738

    “In the past, I have been skeptical about imminent war, e.g., in 2003-06, when the neoconservative chicken hawks around President Bush were crowing about how “real men want to go to Teheran,” meaning somebody else’s husband or son should suit up and invade Iran. At the same time, Seymour Hersh was churning out articles in The New Yorker about the possibility of an attack on Iran. After about the third article, I began discounting the possibility of war. But present circumstances have a different quality. During this presidential campaign season, there is, on the GOP side, the most toxic warmongering political dynamic imaginable: one that makes Bush look like a pacifist in retrospect. President Obama for his part is trying to triangulate à la Bill Clinton among the GOP, a Democratic base that is mostly antiwar but politically ineffectual, Israel, the military-industrial complex and his polling numbers. Obama may feel he can slide through the next nine months with ever-tightening sanctions and a strategy of tension short of war, but the government of Israel is attempting to force the pace with increasingly hyperbolic predictions. It is also evidently manipulating Congress (e.g., the director of Mossad meeting with the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee last week). Whether it is sources in Tel Aviv, sources in Washington, or both, that are feeding Iran stories to the US news media is unclear. Whoever they may be, they are playing much of the press – The Washington Post and CBS News are standout examples – like a Stradivarius. In Pentagon-speak, this is known as “prepping the psychological battlefield.””

    Note to Eric: prepping the psychological battlefield does not mean that the support of the majority of the American public is needed, it just means that the battlefied is “prepped”. This “prepping” is done in the complete confidence that after the missiles start flying the majority the public will come strongly to the government’s side.

  363. Voice of Tehran says:

    Sheikh Nasrallah Live on PressTV , always worth watching….

  364. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    February 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

    To put it in more simple term, when one’s options are below the 50% one would gladly accept tossing the coin in the air.

  365. Pirouz says:

    Kathleen says:
    February 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I haven’t watched cable TV news in years. Most of the perspective is objectionable. And persons like Octavia Nasr that attempt to present a more balanced approach are fired.

  366. fyi says:

    Sassan says: February 7, 2012 at 11:37 am

    I respectfully decline to engage with you in any conversation.

    I do not find it profitable.

  367. Castellio says:

    Just to take a small paragraph on the article I cite below about the Russian demonstrations:
    “The Western governments did not understand this change of mood in Moscow when they demanded to vote on their draft Syrian resolution in the UN Security Council. They expected that the Heath rally would frighten the Russian government and make it more pliable. They had a good reason: this was the general feeling in diplomatic circles.. When President Medvedev visited Moscow State U a few days earlier, a student (a Heath protester, apparently) asked him whether he was ready to meet the fate of Gaddafi or Saddam Hussein, or would he escape to his friendly North Korea. After the Hill demo this Saturday, he would not ask this question: it seems now too far-fetched. Nor will the Russian government feel it should give in to Western pressure on Syria: if the Hill speakers are to be judged by their rhetoric, Russia is now more likely to send its anti-aircraft missiles to Iran.”

  368. Castellio says:

    Kathleen, much worse than a nuclear armed Iran is a nuclear armed Israel, and a nuclear armed United States.

  369. Castellio says:

    Interesting article on the demonstrations in Russia.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/07/the-tug-of-war-in-moscow/

  370. Kathleen says:

    Hope folks go listen to MSNBC’s Hardball host Chris Matthews segment on Syria and Iran last night. It was absurd

    He said that the “Un guys playing games” on Syria As if US administrations have not played very serious games at the UN.
    Secretary of State Clinton calling the situation in Syria a “tragedy” . That warmonger is almost as guilty as those in the Bush administration who lied this nation into Iraq based on a “pack of lies” Clinton is covered with the Iraqi people and American soldiers blood.

    He ends the segment by saying “is there something worse than Iran having nuclear weapons”. Think about that. If there isn’t anything worse. Strike them.”

    Sure hope he does not try to spin this promotion for an attack on Iran after the fact like he did on the Iraq invasion. He has tried to pretend that he asked responsible and indepth and challenging questions before the invasion of Iraq. Sure he will try to do the same thing after an attack on Iran. That he played hardball by asking tough, challenging questions of those who repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran. That he had experts like former Bush administration officials Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on his program to discuss the situatin with Iran. Chris Matthews is being complicit by promoting a strike on Iran. And as Dr. Zbig recently said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and NPR’s Diane Rehm show “the American public is woefully ignorant about US foreign policy” Yep and Chris Matthews doing his part to keep the public “woefully ignorant”

    Go over to Hardball and listen for yourselves

    Chris Matthews “is there something worse than Iran having nuclear weapons. Think about that. If there is not anything worse. Strike them”

    Holy shit Chris Matthews you said “strike them” As if there is solid evidence to back up the claims that Iran is after nuclear weapons. “strike them” as if innocent people in Iran would not be killed in such illegal and pre-emptive strikes by Israel.

  371. Sassan says:

    FYI at 10.50

    The counter argument would be that Israel has in fact been accepted by the governments of all countries that are majority Muslim, with one exception. And it seems that the people of Palestine, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan have, by and large, accepted the existence of Israel, and the Indonesians, Pakistanis, Bangledeshis etc. don’t care one way or t’other. And that the umma remains seriously divided along numerous fault lines, and that Iran will as likely exhaust itself fighting the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, let alone Israel or the United States, against which it offers little real power of projection and minimal powers of defense.

    More, a major party in the US claims, as part of its platform, that the entirety of Palestine is Israeli, and its just a matter of time before that party is elected. And while it was contentious in 1948 to have roughly 55% of Palestine as Israel, the “one state” solution is now seen as likely.

    Does the Arab League care one iota? And should it care, which it doesn’t, what will it do about it?

    Where is this Islamic unity?

  372. Humanist says:

    Richard,

    We are diametrically opposed on the subject of “Iran in retaliation must assassinate large number of American and Israeli politicians”.

    You advocate anarchism dismissing and belittling Pacifist approaches.

    I strongly believe under great majority of circumstances pacifism proves to be the most intelligent instrument for resolving the disputes. This is universally true for every unit, ranging from small unity of single family to larger units of nations or religions. If husbands and wives learn how to respect others, how to compromise and how to avoid confrontation, then in time, they would enjoy a more enamored, peaceful and enjoyable life no matter how superficial are our isolated joys. I have no doubt humanity is slowly advancing forward and in future top decision makers of countries will adapt the above rules. (similar to what Germans and French did after WWII).

    Pacifism is not an attractive choice just because it sounds poetic or amorous. Computer Models prove beyond any doubt that resolution of conflicts by pacifistic methods are always ‘constructive’ while
    combative approaches are ALWAYS ‘destructive’.

    Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What you would have done if during Iran Iraq war you were in full charge of Iranian armed forces finding out thousands of your soldiers were subjected to atrocious slow death by Iraqi chemical weapons, also knowing that Iran could easily obtain or manufacture those weapons?

    What would you have done? A more forceful and ferocious retaliation?.

    Iranians decided not to use those type of weapons or any type of WMD. Were they stupid? I believe not. When Olaf Palme the prime minister of Sweden found out about Iranian strategy he must have been impressed since he took steps to help Iranians. Were some of his steps illegal? Why someone committed suicide? The is a long story.

    Yesterday I read the present (right wing?) prime minister of Sweden, strongly disagreed with any type of military action against Iran as you can read it here:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/224799.html

    Is this the first payback for Iranian refusal to use chemical weapons? I don’t think so. Indeed Iran by that refusal earned a very high place in human history …maybe at the very peak……that alone, in a subtle way, might keep Iranians proud forever and that is not insignificant or inconsequential from any angle you look at it.

  373. Unknown Unknowns says:

    hans says:
    February 7, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Hans-sahn

    It seems you are still having difficulty getting over your fixation. Let us see if Dr. UU can come to the rescue, shall we?

    Your error lies in your assumption that the Islamic resistance movement is Libya is (1) monolithic, and (2) that the monolith is CIA/Wahhabi affiliated. While it is true that there are these Salafi-Takfiri elements in that country, the reality is that this has nothing to do with traditional Islam which has roots that go back over a thousand years in that country. While Daffy had socialist/ anti-imperialist trappings and even claimed Islamic bona fides, (and was in some senses a better leader for his country than, say, the deposed leaders of Tunisia, Egypt or Yemen (not a high bar, to be sure), the truth is that his was still a dictatorial system which acted like a bottleneck through which everything had to pass. I imagine that to the extent that the Iranian leadership had any contact with or support of Libyan rebels, it was not with Salafi-Takfiris (obviously), but with the traditional Moslem grass roots which had been marginalized and persecuted under the Daffy regime.

    As far as Sadr, it is obvious to all (except you, apparently) that he died over 30 years ago. Why you keep on bringing him up is beyond me.

  374. Empty says:

    Rd. says: February 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

    1995 recommendations. Which means, sober and realistic analyses and recommendations have always been at their disposal (just this one for 17 years), yet, they choose to go astray.

    چندین چراغ دارد و بیراهه می رود
    بگذار تا که افتد و بیند سزای خویش

    [Provided with many lights and guides, Yet, he chooses to go astray.
    Let him come to his fall, so he may see the consequences of his actions.]

  375. Rehmat says:

    Islamic Republic’s Cartoon House, an internationally well known art organization, is holding a cartoon contest in support of the Global March to Jerusalem (March 30, 2012) and the march of the representatives of various nations towards occupied Palestine’s borders, titled as ‘International Return to Home Cartoon Contest 2012‘.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/irans-jerusalem-march-2012-cartoon-contest/

  376. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    No amount of bombing by your country or EU or Israel can make her acceptable to Muslims.

    At least there are “some” who are beginning to see the above failures..

    Falcons against the Jihad

    Israeli Airpower and Coercive Diplomacy in Southern Lebanon

    KENNETH C. SCHOW, JR., LT COL, USAF School of Advanced Airpower Studies

    http://aupress.au.af.mil/digital/pdf/paper/t_0040_schow_falcons_against_jihad.pdf

  377. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: February 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    The late Vladimir Ilytch Uliyanov (a.k.a. Lennin) wrote the best book on the causes of World War I:

    “Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”.

  378. fyi says:

    Wilbur says: February 6, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    You are conflating the Sunni and Shia eschatology; they are not the same and there are significant differences; one being Jesus accompanying Al Mahdi in the Shia Tradition.

    To my knowledge, there is nothing in the Shia Eschatology that bears on the fate of Jews or Christians or any other non-Muslim populations.

    The fact remains that the late Gen. Marshall advised the late President Truman against the creation of the State of Israel; that it would cause stability in that part of the world.

    But no, you, Americans, had to lobby heavily to create because you thought, and evidently you still think, that you can impose your will on alien races and religions in spite of them.

    Well, the results are here for everyone to see:

    60 years of low intensity warfare that has dragged you into the affairs of emotional people with emotional religions from which, by reasons of ignorance and prejudice, you cannot extricate yourselves nor you can end it.

    When you entered the scene, in 1948, there was a communal warfare between European Jews and resident Arabs (Christian and Muslim) in Palestine.

    At that time, in Muslim polities, the Jews were despised (just like other minority religions) but otherwise living their lives.

    By the time you got through with your program for the New Middle East, you had succeeded in presiding in the removal of ancient Christian and Jewish communities all over the Middle East (including Iraq’s).

    Significantly, the only place Jews are left in any large number is in the virulently anti-Israel Islamic Republic of Iran.

    But, of course, that contradicts your program and your ideology – so your government has hired the Jewish Agency to encourage and help Jews and Christian to leave Iran and re-settle in US. And, in the meantime, your government tries to make life miserable in Iran, just like in Iraq, I suppose to convince more Jews to leave?

    It is easy to take a quotation out of this or that sermon or writing; but the fact remains that it has been your government that has slaughtered Muslims in Iraq for the sake of Jewish Fantasy Project in Palestine – as Ambassador Bhadrakumar has observed.

    Another fact that you must bear in mind is that your project for Israel has failed, that country is isolated and will remain isolated among Muslims. It will never be recognized (as a Jewish state), that horse has left the barn.

    Mr. Khamenei has expressed the political reality of the hardened regional and global Muslim response to Israel and your cuddling of that state: European Jews have to go back to Europe and free elections held by the remaining people to select the form of government for the future Palestinian state.

    No amount of bombing by your country or EU or Israel can make her acceptable to Muslims.

    On Israel, on Shoah, on anti-Semitism, your actions have caused Muslims to no longer believe you.

    These are facts that you have to deal with, that tens of millions of Muslims consider Israel and US (and EU) as co-conspirators against Islam. You cannot live that down.

    Now, you can scream and rave about Muslim anti-Semitism, anti-Israeli posture etc. but it will not materially make any difference.

    At this time, 2012, there are still a few positive things your country can do:

    One is to take the HAMAS Hudna deal and make it a reality. In that way, injurious intercourse between you and Israel on the one side, and Muslims on the other side could be reduced to a bearable level.

    Your country can also try to settle the confrontation with Iran over the nuclear program and Iraq.

    She can leave Afghanistan unconditionally.

    She can leave Syria alone.

    But you will not; because you think exercise of power, for the sake of power, is more important than solving problems.

    In the meantime, you will injure Muslims more and they will fight back against you.

  379. Unknown Unknowns says:

    James:

    It seems the Financial Times piece that you quoted was either using an uninformed or poorly source, or, less likely, was spewing off wishful thinking as is the practice of much of the press here.

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9010173956

    Larijani’s statements take on significance when you read them together with Qasemi’s statements (at the end of the piece). It seems what is going on is that certain countries will definitely be cut off, whereas there might be others (Greece? Spain? Italy?) with whom secret negotiations are ongoing (which explains the delay).

    But onto the much more important issue of the 20%, which you have failed to elaborate on despite my twice having asked you in the past to talk about the donkey the 20%. Like I said, I’m just itching to hear more about how and why Iran has brought on all these woes onto herself. I would really appreciate it, and i am sure many others here are itching to hear all about it to. I know or a fact that Sakineh Khanum and BiBiJon Khanum need a brush-up on the subject.

  380. Fiorangela says:

    From Florida to Iran, with hate

    btw congrats to sassan & wilbur for goal achieved — distracting & derailing discussion.

  381. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Sassan says: “i>This is not the first time Khamanei and other members of the regime has stated their desire to destroy Israel and eradicate the Jews.”

    No Iranian official has called for the eradication or extermination of Jews. They have instead called for the demise of the Zionist state, and in the same manner as they called for the demise of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Iran has only threatened Israel militarily if the latter attacks Iran first.

    Btw, the words “Marg bar” means “Down with” more than they literally mean “Death to”.

  382. BiBiJon says:

    My 2 cents on Richard’s invitation to weigh in on AP.
    =================================================

    The wall of mistrust is such that one cannot usefully talk about drug trafficking, environmental issues, security, space exploration, or the AP in the context of Iran vs West war.

    Iran has made a couple of forays in an alternative direction. Building on her past invitations to regional countries, Russia and China to come, visit, etc. may eventually become an avenue for confidence building measures such as an AP-like modality directed at anyone but the west.

    I can imagine that if the provisions of AP get voted to be an integral (not ‘additional’) part of the NPT, then Iran would ratify the NPT 2.0.

    Otherwise, it is a waste of time.

  383. hans says:

    Empty says:
    February 7, 2012 at 7:21 am

    Not so long ago Iran was congratulating the rats and bigots of Libya, recently it’s foreign minister was praising the Muslim Brotherhood. Well the same rats in Libya have now shown their true colours causing havoc in Syria, similar the MB via Hamas. The truth is Iran has no Islamic allies just Christians (ALBA group of nations, BRC). What has happened with the initial euphoria with regards to an investigation of Ayatollah Musa Sadr disappearance? Gone quite has it. I will say no more.

  384. Fiorangela says:

    I wish my kids were still small enough to sit on my lap as we read stories. There were some wonderful stories. I recall an alphabet book (I guess) that started out, “Big brown bear; blue baboon; blowing bubbles biking backward.”

    This morning Daily Beast posted an article by Peter Beinart that sounded for all the world like Blowing bubbles biking backward. Beinart lives in his own fragile color-swirl, floating where the winds blows between the United States and Israel. He wants his American children and all Jewish American children to love Israel as much as he does, and urges that more young American Jews should take Birthright trips, which he notes almost always encourage “R-rated encounters with Israeli soldiers,” who together with Israeli spies, are the heroes of Jews everywhere. Beinart observes, “Go to American synagogues—especially Orthodox synagogues—and you’ll find boys wearing green-and-yellow skullcaps bearing the Israel Defense Force’s Hebrew acronym.” Yes indeedy, support our troops. Always that problem with bubbles, controlling where the floating pronoun will finally land and stick –or burst.

    Beinart’s article followed the publication in Daily Beast by an erudite article by Niall Ferguson, who encouraged the bombing of Iranian children, 99.9642857% don’t wear yarmulkes to synagogue, IDF-marked or otherwise, by American soldiers, 98% of whom don’t wear IDF-marked — or even US Marines or Navy-marked yarmulkes to synagogue. Bearing witness to his deep commitment to principled economic theory, Ferguson, Shumpeter’s trumpet, tooted Joshua’s jingle and concluded that bombing Iran would be an act of “creative destruction.”

    second part to come

  385. Irshad says:

    Question for Eric:

    You argue that Iran should sign the AP to delay an attack by 1-4 years. Why should Iran sign the AP when:

    1. Her nuclear programme is still under IAEA supervision
    2. Iran is allowed under the NPT to do what she is doing
    3. Is still in the NPT
    4. When she stopped her nuclear activity and signed the AP when negotiating with the EU3 in 2003 – the end result was what? “We will teach you how to collect your urea to use as fertilizer to grow food” (as fyi says)
    5. Obama ignored Khameni when he stated in a public speeach in Mashad in 2009, “you change your behaviour and we will do likewise” (me paraphrasing)
    6. Signing the AP will only DELAY an attack – NOT stop it.

    I rather Iran continue on the path she is on whilst been ready for serious negotiations – and let what may come, come and that may be nothing – but as Priouz et al. have mentioned Iranian military planners have made plans and expect an attack within the next 18months (maybe even sooner by Isreal if you read the Leveretts above).

    So why do you continue to argue this point?

  386. Irshad says:

    Richard Steven Hack says, “I still want posters here to weigh in….”

    If Iran signed the AP now – this will be seen by US and EU as “tough” sanctions are now working and even tougher sanctions (even a blockade) needs to be imposed so the “regime” either collapses due to internal uprising or implodes.

    (This is based on the assumption – which I believe is true – is that this is all about regime change in Iran and NOT the nuclear issue which is a red herring for the public).

    Remember a majority of the people were against the Iraq war – in Britain millions protested against it – did it matter – war criminal – “get me” – Bliar went ahead and joined the illegal attack and invasion of Iraq. He got re-elected again as PM afterwards.

    And Canning’s Conservatives went along for this ride to hell (for the Iraqi people).

    Eric says sign AP to “delay” attack.

    Canning says stop 20% enrichment and stop influential people supporting supporting the march to war.

    Ohbummer and gang say “all options are on the table” – stop ALL your nuclear activity

    Isreal says regime is illegitimate, corrupt and messianic – it needs to be deposed.

    Who should Iran listen to? OR should she ignore all this hoohaa and continue along the rod she is on knowing full well that whatever she does will not be enough for some “a$$hole” out there who will scream “WAR!” anyway.

  387. Empty says:

    Catellio says, It wasn’t that long ago that many were praising Turkey on this site. I think it was Kooshy (among others, including myself) who supported Erdogan most strongly. What happened?

    Just a reminder….. a country whose economy and financial system is fully run by the west and a Zionist network, whose university professors’ monthly checks are signed by elements within the same network, cannot and will not make independent decisions. They wanted to paint a donkey black and white and sell it as a zebra. It didn’t take.

  388. Empty says:

    I took out the “but also”…..so, the “not only” should be taken out, too.

  389. Empty says:

    BibiJon,

    Something like that….

  390. Empty says:

    Richard Steven Hack says, “I still want posters here to weigh in….”

    Iran’s signing of AP at this time not only would not make a material difference in Iran’s favor (such as delaying an all-out attack in an ongoing war). Iran’s engagement in discussions around it though provides Iran with a platform to further expose the hypocrisy of the opposing sides.

    It would not delay an all-out attack because such undertakings have never relied on public opinions, the behavior of the states under attack, or anything of that nature. When (not if) the calculation is made that the costs of these attacks fall just about below their benefits, then they happen. Full stop. You could have 99% of the population marching in the streets shouting “no war”, they will still move forward with it. And, afterwards, when all hell breaks loose, they line up and profess their regret and how they were deceived, and how it was not well-thought out, and on and on and on. Then a new series of corrupt politicians rise up and do the same thing over and over again….

  391. BiBiJon says:

    Dissociative identity disorders?

  392. Empty says:

    Sybil?

  393. BiBiJon says:

    Wipe [emotions] off the Map
    =========================

    Way, back when, in 2005 when the BBC had rendered (not to be confused with translated) Ahmadinejad’s remark into English as ‘wipe Israel off the map’, the controversy was as its height.

    See ‘Lost in translation’ by Jonathan Steele, June 14, 2006 (Guardian Unlimited)

    Quote: The fact that he compared his desired option – the elimination of “the regime occupying Jerusalem” – with the fall of the Shah’s regime in Iran makes it crystal clear that he is talking about regime change, not the end of Israel.
    End Quote ,http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2006/jun/14/post155

    By the following year, 2007, the matter got ‘resolved.’ The BBC Governors’ Complaints Committee responded to a viewer’s indignation at the continued use of the mistranslation came up with this:

    “The Committee felt that the language used by the Iranian President was highly emotive by its nature and had been recognised as such in the international condemnation of what he had said.”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2007/03/wiped_off_the_map.html

    Worth repeating. “Highly emotive”; “Highly emotive”; “Highly emotive”; “Highly emotive.”

    Surely it is understandable if someone is attached viscerally to Israel, breaths its air, and walks its ground then their emotional response to ‘this regime must disappear from the page of time, like the Shah’s regime’ and ‘wipe Israel off the face of the map’ is pretty much the same, but not interchangeable. You see the ‘wipe off’ variety captures the ’emotions’ better.

    Which reminds me of the a Seinfeld episode. Phone rings, Seinfeld answers, and it’s a marketing call.
    Seinfeld: I’m busy right now. Can I have your home number I’ll call you back?
    And, then you here Seinfeld say ‘now you know how I feel about being called at home.’

    Point being that if folks are going to play the thin-skinned emotional game, then they should tell us what people beholden to Iran, who breath its air, and walk its ground should ‘feel’ about the way Iran and her leaders have been treated these past 6 decades?

  394. M. Ali says:

    Bill, you said,

    “M Ali,

    With all due respect I never attributed the quote you referenced to anyone. Actually I questioned it because if he had said that it would be a first. Now the article itself does clearly call for the annihilation of Israeli people in one it’s paragraph headers. The question then remains who is the author and is his mindset that truly of the regimes? ”

    You say the “the question then remains”, but I’ve leared that it is better to discuss some things step by step. Unfortunately, people on the internet sometimes argue just for the sake of argument, this is why I have learned that it is better to have focus.

    When Sassan quote the Reza K. article, I did not focus at all on the author or the content of the article, much less argue the complexities of the situation. First, I decided to just stick to the headline, and even that, use the first part of the headline, which said, and I quote, “Ayatollah: Kill all jews”.

    What do you take away from that statement? One would assume that when someone is making such a bold statement, then it should be a piece of cake to back it up. I didn’t even touch anything else in the article. If we can’t first establish the most basic thing, how an two people ever discuss anything? The unfortunate thing about online discussions is that people change the goalposts in discussions, change subjects, or add new subjects, losing focus.

    I’ve tried not to fall into this trap this time, so I have just stuck to this one point, for the last, say, 20 posts at least. Not one has Sassan come back to me with either a confirmation on that quotation or a backtrack. Instead he posts articles that does not state that, repeats the claim, or change the subject to a different quotation from Khameini or quotations regarding Jews from different people from different timelines (and sometimes, different nationalities).

    When you made your post to me, you said,
    “In reference to sassan’s links please find below the actual verbiage in English. Note it did not attribute anything to Khamenei by quote it did however make itself clear one goal is the “Israeli people must be annihilated.”. ”

    Before I move on to the new goal posts, I had to first make the first claim clear. As you state, it doesn’t have anything that says that Khameini said, “kill all jews”. Therefore, what Sassan posted was clear misinformation. Can we agree on this? Can we not agree that, no matter what side we are on, what arguments we hold, we should try not to falsify information? Shouldn’t this be the first goal of any of our discussions, and if we quote something, and we later realize it was misquoted, shouldn’t be be truthful enough to admit it?

    None of us have perfect knowledge, and if we are not online to aquire new information, why waste time posting? I personally admit that I can be wrong and have been wrong and will be wrong in the future. My mindset has changed multiple times throughout the years. When I say something like, “I don’t think there is a God, but I’m open to be proven wrong”, Sassan was almost offended by that stance. There have been other times, where he has said, that certain subjects are not “open to debate” or how we can even question certain other subjects.

    We disagree on many things, and have in the past, and will certainly continue to disagree. But I think it is crucial that all sides hold themselves to high standards and try their best to present their case honesty and with as little emotion as possible.

  395. Wilbur says:

    sassan,

    Thanks for the comments. However I wouldn’t stoop to name calling. Calling someone an idiot then trying to convince them of your point usually does not work out so well. Believe me I have learned the hard way! :). Now having said that I would say we do have quite the eclectic crowd here and one I might add that seems oddly detached from the concept of universal human rights. Heck the Leverett’s in a post awhile back make it clear their focus is not human rights. Must be nice to overlook a regime that will “eat it’s own” to stay in power in the hopes of striking some grand bargain with them. It beggars ones mind and it’s why I am generally not fond of bureaucrats. So keep up the good work and never let universal human rights take a back seat to anything.

    Thx
    Bill

  396. Wilbur says:

    M Ali,

    With all due respect I never attributed the quote you referenced to anyone. Actually I questioned it because if he had said that it would be a first. Now the article itself does clearly call for the annihilation of Israeli people in one it’s paragraph headers. The question then remains who is the author and is his mindset that truly of the regimes?

    Thx
    Bill

  397. M. Ali says:

    Wilbur, did you find the “kill all jews” part? Can you point it out to me please?

  398. Sassan says:

    Eric A. Brill: This is not the first time Khamanei and other members of the regime has stated their desire to destroy Israel and eradicate the Jews. Here is a compilation that I have had put together in the past and even shared on here before. Please read it and then tell me with some reason and rationality that this regime poses no threat to the free world..

    Ahmadenijad constantly states “marg bar Israel” which means “death to Israel”. Ahmadenijad in a speech on February 20th, 2008 stated, “In the Middle East, they [the global powers] have created a black and filthy microbe called the Zionist regime.”

    More importantly, what comes out of the Supreme Animal’s Khamenei’s mouth? On December 15, 2000, he declared on Islamic Republic State TV: “Iran’s position, which was first expressed by the Imam [Khomeini] and stated several times by those responsible, is that the cancerous tumor called Israel must be uprooted from the region.”

    During military parades, they have slogans draped “Israel must be wiped off the map” over the missiles in military parades. In addition, similar slogans and signs are present at every Friday prayer.

    In an address to the “World without Zionism” conference in Tehran on October 26, 2005, Ahmadenijad said, “Va Imam-e-aziz-e-ma farmudand ke in rezhim-e- eshghalgar-e Qods bayad az safhe-ye ruzegar mahv shaved. In jomle besyar hakimane ast” which translates to “Our dear Imam [Khomeini] ordered that this Jerusalem-occupying regime [Israel] must be erased from the page of time. This was a very wise statement”.

    In addition in the same speech he added: “Be-zudi in lake-ye nang ra az damane donya-ye Islam pak khahad kard, va in shodani’st” which translates to: “Soon this stain of disgrace will be cleaned from the garment of the world of Islam and this is attainable”.

    Further examples include a speech on April 14, 2006 which he stated, “Derakht-e khoshkide va puside’i ast ke ba yek tufan dar ham khahad shekat” which translates to: “A dried, rotten tree that will collapse with a single storm”. Furthermore during a military parade on April 17, 2008 referring to the U.S. and Israel he stated: “Mantage-va jehan amade-ye tahavolat-e bozorg va pak shodan az doshmanan-e ahrimani’st” which translates to: “The region and the world are prepared for great changes and for being cleansed of Satanic enemies”. Again, on May 14, 2008 in a city called Gorgan he stated: “Israel’s days are numbered” and that “the people’s of the region would not miss the narrowest opportunity to annihilate this false regime” and he continued, “Thanks to god, your wish will soon be realized, and this germ of corruption will be wiped off the face of the world”.

    THIS IDEOLOGY IS AT THE CORE OF THIS REGIME SINCE KHOMEINI as Khomeini always declared he would destroy Israel as the “reconquering” of Jerusalem is necessary for the “return of the hidden imam”.

    To go back to the Supreme Animal Khamenei, he stated on January 15, 2001 at a meeting with organizers of the International Conference for Support of the Intifada, “The foundation of the Islamic regime is opposition to Israel and the perpetual subject of Iran is the elimination of Israel from the region” and in fact the original translation by Islamic Republic journalists were “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region”.

    One of Khamenei’s top Ayatollah’s, Ayatollah Shariatmadari stated on October 4, 2007: “Death to America and Death to Israel are not only words written on paper but rather a symbolic approach that reflects the desire of all the Muslim nations”.

    Ayatollah Janati: “The blind enemies should see that the wish of these people is the death of America and Israel”.

    General Safavi (Revolutionary Guards): “With god’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence” (February 2008). and in Hamadan on February 23, 2008 he stated: “Death of this unclean regime [Israel] will arrive soon following the revolt of the Muslims”.

    The thug Mohammad-Ali Ramin: on June 9, 2006: “Among the Jews there have always been those who killed god’s prophets and who opposed justice and righteousness. Historically, there are many accusations against the Jews. For example, it was said that they were the source for such deadly diseases as the plague and typhus. This is because the Jews are very filthy people. For a time people also said that they poisoned water wells belonging to Christians and thus killed them”.

    Ayatollah Nuri Hamadani in April 2005, “One should fight the Jews and vanquish them so that the conditions for the advent of the Hidden Imam will be met” and he continued, “at present the Jews’ policies threaten us. One should explain in the clearest terms the danger the Jews pose to the [Iranian] people and to the Muslims. Already from the beginning the Jews wanted to hoard the world’s goods in their greed and voracity. They always worked in important professions and now they have hoarded all of the wealth in one place. And all of the world, especially America and Europe, are their slaves”.

    General Mohammad-Ali Jafari in February 2008 in a message to Hassan Nasrallah: “In the near future, we will witness the destruction of the cancerous microbe Israel by the strong and capable hands of the nation of Hizbollah”.

    Former foreign minister Mottaki on February 18, 2008: “The west has tried to impose a fabricated regime on the Middle East, but after sixty years, the Zionist regime [Israel] has neither gained any legitimacy nor played any role in this region”.

    Majles speaker Adel in February 2008 stated, “The countdown has begun for the destruction of the Zionist regime”.

    What the hell else do you want to prove this regime is a threat?? How about a documentary produced by the regime in which Khamenei, Hassan Nasrallah, and Ahmadenijad are portrayed as key members of the Hadith whom will usher in the return of the “Hidden Imam” in which conquering Jerusalem is a prerequisite and the end-goal is to spread Islam to “all corners of the Earth” in a worldwide chaos in which 2/3rd of humanity will “perish through death, havoc,and famine? And they believe that the Middle East freedom movements are all a part of an “Islamic Awakening” for this end…: http://youtu.be/WwiadYT-N9k

  399. Sassan says:

    Eric: Let’s see. Anyone being sentenced to death for drugs, or locked up for “insulting the quran or supreme leader” or the such are automatically unjust. Especially imprisonments for religious purposes or free speech purposes violates international norms and human rights. I’ve been too busy with my classes to respond with specifics of the cases but I have not forgot. I will do so in the next few days – I surely have not forgot.

  400. Sassan wrote to Wilbur:

    “Wilbur, I am so glad that you are here. It is lonely fighting these idiots by myself. These people know nothing, think nothing, can barely read.”

    Sassan,

    You owe it to yourself to consider whether you might be to blame. Let’s pick just a few recent examples:

    1. Illegally detained persons. After a great deal of pressure, you finally provided a long list of Iranians who you claim were improperly detained. For most, you didn’t say what crime they were charged with. You described the actual alleged misconduct for only a handful, and usually in just a word or two – no detail at all. For the vast majority of them, you reported merely “Whereabouts unknown,” or “No further data available.” What can our response be, Sassan, other than a shrug? You need to tell us WHY you think they were mistreated, if you even know. If you don’t know why, how can you fairly ask anyone to agree with you?

    2. Ashraf Kalhour was an exception on your list. She happened to be the only person with whose case I am familiar. In response to my accusation, you admitted you had altered her record to report that she was convicted only of adultery. You omitted what many would consider important: she was also convicted of murder. Murder, Sassan. You said you didn’t consider that relevant, but some of us consider “adultery and murder” to be just a bit different from “adultery.” Why not just report the truth? How can you expect people to take you seriously when you lie, get caught in a lie, and admit to the lie but tell us that it’s not important to know this person committed murder?

    3. You spent the greater part of today insisting that Khamenei had urged the “killing of all Jews.” You put quotation marks around that. But he never said that, or anything like that. You just made it up, and repeated it over and over and over.

    4. Finally, you praise Wilbur, solely because he cuts and pastes an entirely unsourced story that doesn’t support you even if it were true.

    You’ve wasted everyone’s time, Sassan, including your own. You come across as very close to how you describe others in your quotation above.

    My patience with you is wearing very thin. I feel as if I’m talking to a child. I’ve put in my time trying to give you a fair chance. I plan to ignore you from now on.

  401. Fiorangela says:

    Selected Readings
    for compilation in
    “The Little Blue Book”
    the sayings of Benjamin Netanyahu & others
    #5

    “The Transfer Agreement: ” Edwin Black

    “After the war, the question of who would represent Jewish interests at the Peace Conference was bitterly contested. A delegation cutting across Committee and Congress lines finally did assemble at Versailles. . . .Specifically, when Versailles mapmakers were redrawing boundaries based on religious, linguistic, and other ethnic affinities, popular Jewish sentiment demanded to be counted among the minority groups targeted for self-determination. That meant a Jewish homeland in Palestine–Zionism. American Jewish Congress leaders returned from Versailles in triumph. They had helped create a Jewish homeland, as well as secure international guarantees for minorities in Europe. p. 5

  402. Unknown Unknowns says:

    James Canning says:
    February 6, 2012 at 6:01 pm
    Hitler’s annexation of Austria clearly posed a threat, but some important British leaders thought that Soviet Russia posed the greater threat at that time.

    How was that a threat to anyone? Austria held a plebiscite and over 90% of Austrians chose to unite with Germany.

    But let’s get back on track with issues of substance. I asked you to elaborate on the 20% enrichment issue and you have thus far demurred. I’m itching to know more.

  403. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric:

    I do need a link because I’ve been saying all along that the arguments for bombing Iran do not claim Iran is hiding a weapon today. Please pick one example of this argument that you say is typical so that we can look at the words the author used. Then we would be able to resolve this issue.

    The US bombed Libya and other places, for example Serbia without the level of support the US had for the Iraq invasion, and without higher levels of support than exist for bombing Iran today. Are you sure support anywhere near that for Iraq in 2003 is necessary to attack Iran? If you contend that, I’d be very comfortable with that being a basis of our disagreement.

    OK. What makes you think Bill Smith would change his mind about bombing Iran if Iran implemented the AP and revised 3.1? Did he tell you? If so, what exactly did he say?

  404. Fiorangela says:

    Selected Readings
    for compilation in
    “The Little Blue Book”
    the sayings of Benjamin Netanyahu & others
    #4

    “Propaganda” Edward Bernays
    Chapter 1 Organizing Chaos

    “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government whis is the true ruling power of our country.” p. 37

  405. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm
    I speak Farsi, I can’t read or write except my name. :)

    *

    Sorry, but no, you can’t even do that. If you could write your name in Persian, you would know that the S in the middle of your name does not have a *tashdid* (sheddah in Arabic), which would mean that it would be written as a double S in English.

    I’m sorry you are a potato head. But hey, there are a lot of your type out there. You can blend in. Just not on this site.

  406. Fiorangela says:

    Selected Readings
    for compilation in
    “The Little Blue Book”
    the sayings of Benjamin Netanyahu & others
    #3

    from “How Has Saddam Hussein Survived? Economic Sanctions, 1990-93.” by Patrick Clawson. McNair Paper 22, August 1993. Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University, Washington, DC.

    “The Iraqi experience has been humbling for believers in the use of sanctions to accomplish U. S. foreign policy aims, if those sanctions covered enough of a target country’s trade, if they were enforced with sufficient vigor, and if they were applied long enough. In fact, sanctions have made only a limited contribution toward U. S. goals vis-a-vis Saddam. And the sanctions have come at the price of heavy suffering inflicted on the Iraqi people, those least responsible for Iraq’s aggressive policies bearing the greatest burden. (90) Sanctions would therefore appear to be a policy of dubious morality and limited efficacy. In the face of aggression, sanctions may look like a wonderful compromise response that avoids the two extremes of doing nothing and responding with military force. Unfortunately, in practice sanctions can combine the worst of both alternatives. Like doing nothing, sanctions do not reverse the aggression, and like military force, sanctions cause heavy suffering to civilians.” (p. 78)

    90. On the morality of the Iraqi sanctions, see Patrick Clawson, “Sanctions as Punishment, Enforcement, and Prelude to Further Action,” Ethics and International Affairs, vol. , 1993.

  407. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio says:
    February 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Like prostitutes the world over, he is paid hourly. Of course, in today’s rapidly changing world, it is possible that some prostitutes with a strong entrepreneurial streak charge by the inch, but I don’t think our resident troll has enough spunk or enterprising spirit in him for that.

  408. Jay says:

    Sassan,

    Your master Joseph is pleased!

    JOSEPH GOEBBELS
    Rule 14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
    a. They must evoke desired responses which the audience previously possesses
    b. They must be capable of being easily learned
    c. They must be utilized again and again, but only in appropriate situations
    d. They must be boomerang-proof

  409. kooshy says:

    This a must read

    Truth, lies and Afghanistan

    How military leaders have let us down

    By LT. COL. DANIEL L. DAVIS

    http://www.armedforcesjournal.com/2012/02/8904030

  410. Fiorangela says:

    Selected Readings
    for compilation in
    “The Little Blue Book”
    the sayings of Benjamin Netanyahu & others
    #2
    “The Transfer Agreement: The Untold Story of the Secret Pact Between the Third Reich & Jewish Palestine,” by Edwin Black

    (The Transfer Agreement of 1933 was an arrangement whereby zionist leaders arranged for 60,000 Jews and their wealth to leave Germany for Palestine, and another 20 000 or 30 000 German Jews to move to New York City, with their wealth. The infusion of wealth and talent formed the backbone of zionist Israel, without which its acquisition of weapons to declare statehood and fight Arabs in 1948 would have been impossible.)

    from Chapter 4, “The Weapon Hitler Fears”

    Black writes:

    ” The deterioration of the once powerful German economy really began in World War I, when German military and political leaders simply did not calculate the economic effects of a prolonged war. The Allied blockade cut off Germany’s harbors and most of her land trade routes. Trade was decimated. Industry couldn’t export. War materiel and civilian necessities, including food, could not be imported.

    Before the blockade was lifted, 800,000 malnourished German civilians perished. Actually, the blockade created less of a food shortage for Germany, which was 80 percent food self-sufficient before the war, than did the short-sighted policy of pulling Germans off the farms to fight without conpensating for the reduced food production. But the popular perception among Germans was that they had been starved into submission, defeated not on the battlefield but by political and economic warfare and connivance, by what became known as the ‘stab in the back.’ “ p. 21.

  411. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    “Wilbur, I am so glad that you are here. It is lonely fighting these idiots by myself. “

    Sassan for once I agree with you, I think you are assigned to a tough site, if I were you I would call Manosheh Amir asking him for a little more for working this site,I would tell him, hey Manosh, look these guys on RFI are constantly asking me for a proof here, proof there , link for this link for that even with the name of a freaken bread they have problem, Manosh, look you never said is going to be like this, you said is easy like the freaken Houfington, this is nothing like that, don’t you see Houfington I can be the baker make my own bread they never ask for a proof.

  412. Fiorangela says:

    Selected Readings
    for compilation in
    “The Little Blue Book”
    the sayings of Benjamin Netanyahu & others

    from “The Pity of War, World War I” by Niall Ferguson. p. 140-141

    ” In February 1914 the American ambassador Walter Page warned the State Department: ‘Some government (probably Germany) will see bankruptcy staring it in the face and the easiest way out will seem a great war. Bankruptcy before a war would be ignominious; after a war it could be charged to “Glory”.’ . . .And there was the rub. The danger — in Churchill’s words — was that the German government, rather than try to ‘soothe the internal situation’, might ‘find an escape from it in external adventure’. The Rothschilds too saw that financial constraints might positively encourage the German government to pursue an aggressive foreign policy, even at the risk of ‘incur[ring] fresh military and naval expenditure on a grand scale’. The Social Democrat leader August Bebel made essentially the same point in a memorable Reichstag speech in December 1911:

    “There will be armaments and rearmaments on all sides until one day: Rather end in horror than horror without end . . .They might also say: Listen, if we wait longer, we are the weaker side instead of the stronger . . .The twilight of the gods of the bourgeois world is in prospect.”

    This analysis was all too shrewd. Not for nothing did Moltke argue in March 1913 that ‘things must be so built up that war will be seen as a deliverance from the great armaments, the financial burdens, the political tensions’. [emphasis added] ”

  413. Sassan says:

    M Ali, I am not here to fight you. But you turn everything into a battle.

    I don’t care that your mother had sex with the antichrist. I wonder who enjoyed it least.

    How was your hat?

  414. M. Ali says:

    “Wilbur, I am so glad that you are here. It is lonely fighting these idiots by myself.”

    Ah, thats our misunderstanding than here buddy. I thought you came here to debate, not fight. In a fight, one might say, “Your mom is such a slut that the Ayatollah had sex with her”, and no one is expected to respond with, “Really? Please provide a reputable source that mentions my mother engaging in sexual intercourse with the Ayatollah”, but instead probably respond with his own insult.

    So, I guess, my apologies for misunderstanding your intentions. when you mentioned an article that says, that Khameini said Kill All Jews, you weren’t expecting us to hold you to a reasonable standard, it was just random fightin’words.

    “can barely read.”

    I admit that I am starting to doubt my reading cabalities in both my English & Farsi, when i couldn’t find the quotation “Kill all jews” in any of the sources you linked nor the other articles you later posted, nor in your good fighting buddy, Bill’s article. However, I wouldnt mind you pointing it out to me, so that I can improve my reading abilities.

  415. M. Ali says:

    Bill, I didnt read the full speech you posted, but can you please tell me which paragraph says, “Kill all jews”?

    What I did though, is copy and paste the full speech in notepad, and do a search for “jews”. No result.

    As you can hopefully see from my multiple posts, I kept my question very simple. I just asked a source for the quotation, which I expect, when an article a poster posts with the headline, “Khameini: Kill all jews”. Did you see any reply from Sassan claiming that there was no such quotation? Instead he tries to shift the conversation to every other topic that helps, including analogies to Hitler.

    You are doing the same thing. If I post an article saying, “Obama: I enjoy raping little Iraqi boys”, wouldn’t you want to know where i got that quote from, rather than me answering you with an article that talks about Obama’s role in the Iraq war, without any mention of Obama’s taste in forced sex with young Iraqi boys?

  416. paul says:

    I think there are several corrections needed here. Firstly, it is brazenly false to continue to give any credibility whatsoever to Israel’s patently insincere claims of concern about Iran’s supposed nuclear program. Whatever Israel’s reasons, they have nothing to do with fears about the program it knows Iran doesn’t have, a program which it knows would make little difference in any case. Secondly, it must be pushed forward that there is already now, and has been for a long time, an ongoing war against Iran. This war has been both economic and (covertly) hot. It has been intensifying. When your enemy bombs your installations, that means the war is already very, very hot, however covert it may be. Thirdly, I think it is foolish logic to assume that because the threats of war have risen and subsided before that this establishes a pattern that makes war less likely. NO, the opposite is true. Each escalation of the threats and the economic and covert war makes a shooting war more inevitable. The sides may yet climb down again, but I think the situation has gone beyond that. It is rather apparent, I would say, that Israel and the US are hoping that they can provoke Iran into striking first. That’s all they are waiting on, that and timing. Obama wants it timed so as to maximize his re-election chances. For this reason, the war is more likely to take place closer to the election, so Obama can take advantage of the rally-around-the-leader effect.

  417. Rehmat says:

    Wilbur – Ignorance in no excuse to blame Muslims for not believing in Talmud which suggests annihiliation of every non-Jew.

    Here is an eye opener for every Islamophobe.

    http://www.thepopeinred.com/antichrist.htm

  418. kooshy says:

    M. Ali says:
    February 6, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Here is what I think happened to have this new sanctions just imposed today

    In Eric Brill style

    9 am Feb 6th oval office
    The phone on president Obama’s desk rings, President picks up the phone and is the Press Secretary Jay Garney

    Jay Graney WH Press secretary -Mr. President this Jay
    President Obama – Yes Jay what can I do for you
    J- Mr. president David sanger of New York times just called, he says we are running out of subjects to knock Iran down we desperately need a new fresh something anything even a new sanction any sanction can help, so I called David Cohen at the treasury and he thinks there really is nothing left to freeze or sanction except some pickles that are being imported from Iran for the expatriate market.
    O- Ok
    J- Then I called and told Thom Donilon what the problem is, he actually thinks the idea of freezing and blockading the import of Iranian pickles is great idea, he was amazed how come nobody yet not even our Think Thanks haven’t thought of that idea before.
    O-Did he say why he thinks this one works
    J- Yes sir, Tom thinks once you freeze and blockade the import of pickles from Iran, the expatriate Iranian community here will become so enraged that they will start calling their moms in Iran complaining that no more Iranian pickles are available here in the US, the way he see it is that the expatriate community will eventually complain enough to make their parents go out to the street and eventually overthrow the government there so the embargo on the pickles can get lifted.
    O- That sounds like a working plan did you call Hilary
    J- Yes sir she is on board specially anything green will work both ways, if you know what I mean.

  419. Rehmat says:

    JohnH – As a friend of the “people of book” – I suggest you put that question to Jewish kids in Israel. As recently, the Israel Lobby (AIPAC) told its members: “Some Americans believe if the Israelis strike Iran, the U.S. will pay the political costs anyway, so it would be better for the Americans to do the job and do it properly. Their clock is a bit different from the one the Israelis hear. Because of their vastly superior firepower, the Americans could strike Iran later, more devastatingly and more sustainably.”

    In other word, the Jewish Army has got no stomach to fight Iranians.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/israel-behind-us-iran-nuclear-conflict/

  420. JohnH says:

    the tragedy of Trita Parsi & NIAC is that Parsi thinks he doing another dissertation. He’s not. His job now is to influence masses of people.

    With his database and $2.45 X each person on it, here’s what I would do:

    I would have X plastic keys made. I would distribute them to the NIAC membership list. I would request each member on the membership list to send a key to his/her congressman. I would explain that these are the same type of keys that Iranians gave to their children before they told them to go clear mine fields in a war against Iraq in which US supported Iraq. I would mention that Iranian parents rather prefer not to do this again — or even be falsely accused of doing this again.

    I would ask the US Congressperson to take a poll of Iranian children: Which do you prefer,

    A. to die for democracy that the US will bring to you in the form of nuclear bunker busters –> no key for you, because your reward will be democracy!!!

    B. to die for a key. You get a key.

    C. You stay alive. Your parents stay alive. Your grandma stays alive. The US Congress gets to keep the key. And the bombs.

    How about that poll, America; whaddya say: Should Iranian kids get a key, a bomb, or a future?

  421. JohnH says:

    National Survey of 1,000 Likely Voters
    Conducted February 2, 2012 By Pulse Opinion Research
    real men go to Tehran 53% of men would attack Iran
    women are dragging their feet — only 46% want to attack Iran
    http://thehill.com/images/stories/news/2012/02_february/crosstabs_20120202_thehill.pdf

    another 4 2/3 men and we’re there. Geehaw
    = = = = = =

    If Israel Attacks Iran, 48% Want U.S. to Help Israel
    Monday, February 06, 2012
    http www dot rasmussenreports dot com/public_content/politics/current_events/israel_the_middle_east/if_israel_attacks_iran_48_want_u_s_to_help_israel

    = = = = = =

    because as you can see Ahmadinejad is scary and has facial hair. Hitler had facial hair.
    http www infowars com/polls-half-of-americans-support-attacking-iran/

  422. Wilbur,

    You neglected to mention the source for the long passage you quoted. Can you provide a link?

  423. Sassan,

    I’ve not yet had any luck finding a full transcript of Khamenei’s remarks at last Friday’s prayers, but at least the sentence you’re referring to is quoted on the English-language page of his website:

    “One of the outcomes of these [Arab Spring] movements is decline and isolation for the Zionist regime, which is very important, because the Zionist regime is truly a cancerous tumor in the region and it must be, and will be, cut off.”

    If one really wants — as you clearly do — to characterize such a remark as a call for the “killing of all Jews,” I suppose you’re free to say that. But if one feels constrained at all by reality, that is more difficult, Sassan.

    Khamenei is arguing that the Arab Spring movements will lead to the “decline and isolation” of Israel. He describes Israel as a “cancerous tumor,” to be sure, but it’s clear that the “cutting off” he predicts would result from Israel’s further “decline and isolation” in response to the uprising of Muslims in the Middle East — not from the violent act you have ascribed to his words: the “killing of all Jews.” I’m not at all sure how you get from this remark to such an interpretation — especially such an interpretation that you feel confident enough about that you fabricate quotation marks to put around it.

    Again, Sassan, you should understand that all but a very few people here would object strongly to Khamenei (or anyone else) advocating genocide, or even murder of a single person. But we also object to you claiming that Khamenei (or any other important person) said things he didn’t say.

    As my mother used to say to me when I misbehaved, Sassan: “Straighten up and fly right.”

  424. Wilbur says:

    M Ali,

    In reference to sassan’s links please find below the actual verbiage in English. Note it did not attribute anything to Khamenei by quote it did however make itself clear one goal is the “Israeli people must be annihilated.”. It is also significant that Islamic end of days theology calls for the genocide of Jews–Yusuf al Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, made reference to the aforementioned end of days theology and the holocaust after operation cast lead when he called for genocide of the Jews at the hands of the believers. Probably won’t be the last time we hear this crap and it is doubly said scripture is interpreted by some Muslims as supporting this. Here it is:

    In the name of Allah
    Iran must attack Israel by ۲۰۱۴

    The necessity of Israel annihilation in Imam Khomeini’s view
    “Today, the first Qibla of the Muslims has been occupied by Israel, a cancerous tumor for the Middle East. Today, Israel is causing division using all evil means. Every Muslim is obliged to equip themselves against Israel . For about ۲۰ years, I have been warning about the danger of international Zionist, and right now its danger for all the liberation revolutions in the world and the recent Islamic revolution of Iran is not less than the past .I have already warned that the Israeli usurping government, with the aims which it is seeking for, is a great danger for Islam and all Muslim nations, and it is likely that if Muslims leave Israel alone, the opportunity could be lost and it may not be possible to stop them; and since the potential danger is facing the foundations of Islam, it is necessary for the Islamic governments in particular and other Muslims in general to remove this corrupting material by any means . All our troubles are due to Israel! And Israel results from America too
    Some points regarding the upcoming approach
    Point ۱: This article discusses tow THE JURISPRUDENTIAL JUSTIFICATIONS OF NECESSITY OF AN IRANIAN MILITARY ATTACK ON ISRAEL, and the necessity of attacking Israel and its military aspects
    Point ۲: In this approach, only the first step of the first curtain for Iran military invasion to Israel will be discussed and the complete explanation of ۲ curtains and ۸ steps will be published in the proper time
    Point ۳: This approach is just the personal opinion of the author and there is no guarantee whether the government of Islamic republic of Iran will accept and apply it or not

    THE JURISPRUDENTIAL JUSTIFICATIONS OF NECESSITY OF AN IRANIAN MILITARY ATTACK ON ISRAEL

    Fight those in the way of God who fight you, but do not be aggressive: God does not like aggressors.(holy qoran ۲:۱۹۰) And fight those (who fight you) wheresoever you find them, and expel them from the place they had turned you out from. Oppression is worse than killing. Do not fight them by the Holy Mosque unless they fight you there. If they do, then slay them: Such is the requital for unbelievers. (holy qoran ۲:۱۹۱

    Literary Jihad means working and trying for the sake of God. Jihad can be considered with economic, political, cultural and military aspects but using this word alone usually means military jihad. This kind of jihad is being divided into to general divisions
    – Primary jihad
    – Defensive jihad

    I.Primary Jihad
    The Primary Jihad can only be considered and done in the cases when polytheist and infidels use force against the propagation of Islam by Muslims
    Indeed the philosophy behind this kind of jihad is to fight with those who fight against the dissemination of Islam and the goal of that is to liberate peoples from the intellectual and mental captivity and guide them to Islam and despite some quotations and propaganda, this kind of jihad doesn’t have any relations to world conquering

    Primary Jihad in the Time of infallible imam’s absence
    There is some disagreement between shiite jurists about the possibility of doing primary jihad in the age of absence of infallible imam and some of them consider the presence of infallible imam or his appointee as a necessary condition for doing primary jihad but others don’t consider such condition for doing primary jihad and belive the order of Vali Faghih as enough for doing primary jihad

    Among the greatest shiite jurists who belive that doing primary jihad in the age of absence of infallible imam is possible we can refer to Sheikh Mofid, Sheikh Najmodin Halabi and Sheikh Sallar ibn Abdolaziz
    In this regard imam khamenei also has issued a fatwa in which His Excellency has mentioned that it is possible to carry on primary jihad in the age of absence of infallible imam under the authorization of Vali Faghih

    II.Defensive jihad
    Defensive jihad is another kind of jihad in which Muslims must fight and confront with the aggressors to Muslims and Entity of Islam who threaten the interests of Muslims and muslim must defend Islam against those aggressors who want to gain domination over the Muslims and kill them
    In this regard it is noteworthy to take note of ۲۷th speech of Imam Ali’s in Nahgolbalghah in which His Excellency emphasize on fighting with Moavieh
    According to interpreters based on this specific speech, waging war against the enemies with whom war is inevitable and there is a strong possibility that in near future they will attack Muslims is a must and duty of Muslims and is not considered a primary jihad

    III. Attacking Israel, Primary or Defensive Jihad
    With respect to the definition of two kind of jihad and based on that and as we describe hereunder, Iran’s military attack on Israel is not a primary jihad but is an example of defensive jihad however if we consider such attack as primary jihad as mentioned before it can be carried on in the age of absence of infallible imam and under the authorization of Vali Faghih

    III-۱.confronting Israel aggression to Muslim’s entity
    As described before the goal of defensive jihad is to ward off the enemy’s aggression to Islam and Muslims and contrary to primary jihad’s goal which is to invite polytheists and infidels to Islam and is not compulsory for all Muslims the defensive jihad is a must and all Muslims must take part and carry on this kind of jihad
    In this regard the late imam Khomeini issued a fatwa in which His Excellency said
    “If enemy attack on Muslim countries and their borders it is a must for all Muslims to defend with all in their power and there is no need to permission of Vali Faghih

    It should be noted that in Islamic point of view the political borders can not divide Muslims and earth is being divided into two parts, Muslim countries and non Muslim countries so in this regard defending the territorial integrity of Muslims and Islamic entity in all parts of the world based on the conditions of defensive jihad is a must and duty of all Muslims in all over the world
    So since Israel has attacked Palestine and occupied this part of Islamic Entity, defending the oppressed Palestinian Muslims is compulsory and dosen’t need to the order or even the permission of vali Faghih

    III-۲.confornting the expansionism of Israel
    Regardless of occupation of Palestine, it is crystalclear and never has been denied by the heads of the fake government of Israel that they want to gain control of other Muslim countries and want to expand their occupied territory to include other parts of Islamic entity between Nile river to Euphrates and every day they try to achieve this evil goal

    The Late Imam Komeinei in this regard issued a fatwa in which His Excellency stated
    “if Muslims fear that foreigners hatch the plot to gain control of muslim countries it is a must [for all muslims] to defend the islamic countries with all means
    Also His Excellency in another fatwa belives that the threat of political domination of infidels enemy over the muslim cities makes it compulsory for muslims to defend
    So regarding this points that have been described it seems that military attack to Israel is an example of defensive jihad and is a mustfor all muslims

    Military Aspects of Iranian Attack on Israel
    In order to attack Iran, Israel needs western and US assistance, permission and coordination. In the current situation and passiveness of US and west, Iran should wipe out Israel. Considering unique characteristics of Mr. Ahmadinejhad’s administration and Islamic awakening of region’s countries which are influenced by the policies of Iranian regime and ۱۰th administration, Iran must attack Israel before ۲۰۱۴ and end of the work of current administration

    Based on preemptive defense doctrine, Israel should get under heavy military strikes through first and final strikes. In the primary step of first scene, ground zero points of Israel should be annihilated by Iranian military attacks. To get this end, Iran can use long range missiles. The distance from Iranian eastern most point to western most point of Israel is about ۲۶۰۰ km. strategic targets deep inside Israeli soil are in the range of Iranian conventional missiles.

    Some Israeli critical points which should be attacked

    Israeli People Must be Annihilated
    Israel is the only country in the world with a Jewish majority. According to the last census of “Israel Central Bureau of Statistics” this country has a population of ۷.۵ million including ۵.۷ million Jews. The other ethnicities in population structure are Muslims, Christians, Druzes and Samarians. The largest ethnic minorities are so called Israeli Arabs

     Northern District (Mehoz HaTzafon). Population: ۱,۲۴۱,۹۰۰; District capital: Nazareth
     Haifa District (Mehoz Heifa). Population: ۸۸۰,۷۰۰; District capital: Haifa
     Central District (Mehoz HaMerkaz). Population: ۱,۷۷۰,۰۰۰; District capital: Ramla
     Tel Aviv District (Mehoz Tel Aviv). Population: ۱,۲۲۷,۹۰۰; District capital: Tel Aviv
     Jerusalem District (Mehoz Yerushalayim). Population: ۹۰۷,۳۰۰; District capital: Jerusalem
     Southern District (Mehoz HaDarom). Population: ۱,۲۰۱,۲۰۰; District Capital: Beersheba

    Residents of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Hifa can be targeted even by Shahb ۳. Population density in these three adjacent areas composes about ۶۰ % of Israeli population. Sejjil missiles can target power plants, sewage treatment facilities, energy resources, transportation and communation infrastructures; and in the second stage Shahab ۳ and Ghadr missiles can target urban settlements until final annihilation of Israel people

    Destruction of Israeli Infrastructures
    Destruction of Israeli infrastructure like railroad stations, airports and nuclear facilities by Sejjil missiles must be in order. In the past ten years Iran could perform this operation in depth of Israeli soil

    Destruction of Israeli Nuclear Bases
    “Rafael” nuclear plant is one of the oldest power plants in Israel. This power plant is the main nuclear engineering center of Israel. “Eilun” nuclear plant is the other Israeli reactor located in “Nebrin”. Residents of this village were forced to leave their homes in ۱۹۴۸. This plant is considered to be Israel’s tactical nuclear weapons arsenal. “Eriha” surface to surface mid and long-range missile, capable of delivering nuclear warheads, is stored in this facility. The range of this missile is ۵۰۰ up to ۱۴۰۰ km

    According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Ron Ben Yashal, Israeli military affair analyst, said; “There is not any place in Israel which is out of Iranian missile range.” He added: “Although Israeli missile arsenal is quantitatively and qualitatively much more advanced but its stock which amount to ۱۰۰ thousands missiles are constantly within the range of Iranian missiles

    Facilities like Dimona reactor in the nuclear research center in Neqeb are one of the targets. Dimona is the most critical nuclear reactor in Israel and consists of ۱۰ building and ۳۰۰۰ scientists and technicians. Israel’s plutonium plant is located there
    Dimona produces ۹۰% enriched fuel for Israeli nuclear weapons and bombs. Besides, US-Israeli joint lab for testing cyber operations against Iranian nuclear facilities is based in this site

    StuxNet was a computer warm that was tested in Dimona with the aim of disturbing and stopping activities in Iranian nuclear facilities. StuxNet was designed to penetrate in C&M computers based on Siemens technology. This warm was delivered in systems by a Russian technician and through memory storage tools, and then spread rapidly in nuclear facilities but was detected by Iranian cyber defense experts
    According to the strategy announced by Obama two weeks ago, deploying ground forces like what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan is substituted by other strategies like cyber war. Therefore, targetin dimona should be of high priority in attacking Israel

    Israel’s air bases

    Destruction of Israel’s Air Bases
    There are ۱۲ airports in Israel but just three of them are civil air ports and the rest are under control of IDF. Sedot Mikha Air Base contains Jericho ballistic missiles and is located in southwest of Tel Nof Air Base, where  aircrafts equipped with nuclear weapons are nested. F-۱۶ jets are stationed in Roman Ari Base F15

    Destruction of Israel’s surface vessels
    Destruction of Israeli surface vessels and submarines can be done by
    ۱. Missile attacks in waters which are under influence of Islamic Republic
    ۲. Special operation forces in all over the world
    ۳. Variety of sea mines including subsurface and remotely controlled variants. These weapons can be deployed by Iranian vessels and submarines in Israeli offshore

    Missiles that Can Destroy Israel
    After years of imposed war, considering regional conditions, results of missile attacks to Israel and available technology, Iranian defense officials decided to base main part of defense and deterrence strategy on developing mid and long-range missiles. In this process, significant efforts were concentrated on precision, efficiency and variety of warheads
    In this report, we will offer concise description of mid and long-range ballistic missiles that can target territories of this regional cancerous tumor i.e. Quds occupying regime

    After testing Shahab ۳ missiles an late ۹۰th and announcing its specifications especially the range of ۱۳۰۰ km, enemy’s perception on Iranian missile capability changed and gradually cased concerns among the military officials and then Zionist politicians, as introducing newer, longer ranges and more precious variants of Shahab was a sign of accomplishing higher levels of missile technology and more dreadful missiles in the future 3

    Shahab ۳ Missiles
    Shahab ۳ was designed as a continuation to Shahab ۱ and ۲ missiles with some changes in designing different systems. There are many technical similarities between shahab ۲ and ۳, but the latter is mor sophisticated and enjoys new electronic technology and advanced computer guidance soft and hardware. The range of this missile is said to be ۱۳۰۰ km, which means that luonching from western parts of Iran it can target Palestinian occupied territories

    Different variants of Shahab ۳ missiles were produced and introduced to military arsenals. Ranges and subsystems of new versions are promoted but they all use single stage liquid fuel engines and inertial guidance systems
    Different types of warheads, especially cluster warheads, can be used in this missile. Length of this variant is about ۱۶.۵ meters up to ۱۷ meters and their range is up to ۲۸۰۰ km. considering that the least distance from western parts of Iran to farthest point in occupied territories is barely more than ۱۲۰۰ km, Shahab ۳ family is a serious threat against every enemy and aggressor

    Ashura
    This missile has been developed based on Shahab ۳ and is a liquid propellant long-range missile. Shape of warhead is similar to late versions of Shahab ۳ and has a reduced diameter in upper portions. The missile makes use of indigenous subsystems and the capability of carrying various types of warheads is a characteristic of this missile. Domestic resources have announced a range of ۳۵۰۰ km for this missile, though foreign experts’ estimates of its range are ۲۵% to ۵۰% greater. Due to similarities in dimensions between Ashura and Shahab ۳, it is feasible to use previous launch systems for this missile. Its range allows it to hit targets in the westernmost points in occupied Palestine from eastern Iran

    Ghadr
    The Ghadr ۱ missile, introduced in mid ۲۰۰۰s, was produced as a sequel to development of Shahab liquid propellant long-range missiles and indeed is considered a member of Shahab family. This single stage missile has been reported to have a range of about ۲۰۰۰km and a shorter preparation time compared with previous versions is one of its characteristics. This gives the missile a greater response speed. Some variants of this missile equipped with cluster warhead have been introduced. The warheads are of detachable type. The F variant of Ghadr has a length of ۱۵.۸۶m and a range of about ۱۹۵۰ meters and enjoys an inertial guidance system

    Sejjil
    Like Ghadr and Ashura missiles, the Sejjil was introduced in the second half of the ۲۰۰۰s and some experts consider it Iran’s most prominent ballistic missile, as enemy experts acknowledge that Sejjil has not a foreign equivalent. Sejjil is Iran’s firs solid propellant ballistic missile and most probably Iranian missiles’ pioneer on its way to wipe Israel off the map (in case of unavoidable military action). This is realized because of its mobile launcher system with an ability to carry a ready-to-launch missile
    Due to use of solid fuel, the missile would be prepared to launch within a few minutes and the launcher could move quickly afterwards. This decreases the probability of the preemptive destruction of missile before launching. Furthermore, due to Sejjil’s extremely high acceleration, the possibility of its detection in the early stages of launch would be very low and the enemy would literally have no chance to intercept the missile

    Sejjil has been reported to have a range of ۲۰۰۰ km and until now two variants of Sejjil ۱ and Sejjil ۲ have been developed, which is an indication of the related industries’ efforts to improve it. The sejjil missile is a two-stage vehicle which upon depletion of firs stage fuel, the motor detaches and the second stage motor ignites. The detachment of the first stage decreases the weight of missile and help increase the range

    Iran could destroy Israel in less than ۹ minutes
    Sejjil belongs to the series of Iranian ballistic missiles which flies above atmosphere and after traveling its trajectory in such altitude enters the atmosphere and heads towards target at a velocity of Mach ۱۰ to ۱۲ (around ۳۴۰۰ to ۴۰۸۰ m/s), which makes it impossible for air defense systems to incept it. This remarks the country’s missile technology progress towards attaining achieving such an important achievement. Moreover, the combined solid fuel technology used in this missile provides desired propulsive characteristics as well as storing lifetime

    The ۲۳,۶۲۳ kg Sejjil has a ۱۷.۷۵ m length, ۱.۲۵ m diameter, and a ۵۰۰ kg detachable warhead. The missile reaches its maximal range within ۸۳۵s (۱۳ min ۵۵s). The Sejjil’s targeting, navigation and guidance systems provide high accuracy and precision, which makes it operationally invaluable.

    The aforementioned ballistic missiles guidance system is of propulsion vector control, which through blades at the rocket exhaust changes the exhaust gases direction and corrects the missile direction. This system does much better than flap based control systems and the optimization of this system and is one of the factors contributing to Iranian missiles precision.

    Four advantages of Sejjil ۲ compared to Shahab ۳
    Chief of Center for Srategic Defense Research, Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani, congratulating Islamic Republic’s triumph in achieving modern technologies in various fields including missiles, told Fars News Agency defense service that after the imposed war Iran specially concentrated on design and development of liquid and solid propellant surface to surface missiles and developed various generations of missiles

    “Development of a missile defense capability began in late ۹۰s in two phases after establishing the Aerospace Agency in defense ministry and included liquid propellant missile force and solid propellant missile force,” Added Shamkhani, who has served as defense minister in the ۷th and ۸th administrations

    He went on adding that “first we started our research and development in the field of liquid fuel which culminated in development of liquid propellant surface to surface missiles production line and Shahabs, Shahab  specially, Ghadr and the others were developed in this phase 3
    Stating that the second phase of missile development was initiated in order to boost country’s defense capability against certain enemies in the region, chief of center for strategic defense research told: These enemies speak the language of threat and predicate the survival and sustenance of their regimes upon use of this language; so is it possible for Iran to overlook the threatening rhetoric and hideous defamations expressed by leaders in Tel Aviv and Washington

    Asserting that Iran aims to provide deterrence against threats from enemies, including Zionists, Vice Admiral Shamkhani went on to comment on western media propaganda that such Iranian defensive achievements are antagonistic stressing “Iran’s missile capability is a defensive shield against any kind of plausible foreign aggression and is never deemed a threat to states in the region and across the world

    Why it is not possible to use anti-missile systems against Iran
    Stressing that an intelligent and knowledgeable military man would act cautiously, chief of center for strategic defense research asserted “Iran possesses a huge geographic depth and this implies that Iran has surpassed its capability beyond certain objectives and this capability diminishes the chance and possibility of any anti-missile action or capability and countering the Islamic Republic’s missiles

    “The project for development of Sejjil ۲, which was successfully fire-tested recently, started in ۹۰s under the name Project Ashura. This missile is completely based on native scientific knowledge, which indicates domestic experts’ self-sufficiency in upgrading and boosting the country’s defense capability,” added vise admiral Shamkhani

    Regarding differences and advantages of Sejjil ۲ compared with Shahab ۳ ballistic missile he observed “Sejjil ۲ uses solid fuel – an advanced generation of missile propellants. Moreover, the missile has a greater velocity and precision and possesses a unique function in terms of navigation system compared with other Iranian surface to surface missiles

    “Liquid propellant missiles take longer to be prepared due to the time needed for charging the fuel before launch. In this case there is a possibility that missile be detected before launch. To tackle this problem, underground silos have been constructed in different sites in the country to contain charged and ready-to-fire missiles for monthes

    Given the great number of these silos, once the eviction time for each missile comes, there would still be a huge number of missiles in other silos which are ready to fire. Thus, the liquid propellant missiles could also be used in primary response to enemy action

    All of the before-mentioned ballistic missiles have been improved in terms of guidance systems and reduction in radar reflection and are ready to fire to enemy. Regarding the number of missiles, foreign experts acknowledge that Iran could fire tens of missiles per day toward Israel and sustain the attack for several months. Looking to the psychological effects of striking Israel by some Iraqi imprecise missiles, and addition of high precision and destruction power of Iranian missiles, the enormous impact of Shahabs and Sejjils to the body of Qods occupying regime can be deemed conclusive

    Thx
    Bill

  425. Arnold:

    “I’ll answer your questions. I still have three questions for you:

    1) Specifically, what successful PR campaign do you think has to happen before a US president would bomb Iran?

    ANSWER: One resembling the PR campaign conducted before the Iraq war.

    “Meaning about what proportion of what population has to believe what before an attack has the green light from the public that you believe is necessary before the attack is ordered?

    ANSWER: Precisely 53.4657% (give or take .0001%) of the American adult population has to believe that it’s necessary for the US to attack Iran in “self defense” before Iran gets so far in its development of a nuclear bomb that it’s “too late.” Less facetiously: roughly the same proportion that believed essentially the same thing about Iraq, possibly a bit higher percentage, for several reasons: (1) we’re a bit farther away in time from 9/11; (2) we have a president less inclined to stretch the truth about threats posed to the US by Middle Eastern countries; (3) the economy is somewhat weaker now than it was in 2003, and fewer people probably believe that another war will provide just the sort of economic stimulus this country needs; (4) we already have an expensive war going on now (Afghanistan was much cheaper back in 2003), which isn’t going very well; (5) we just finished up another expensive war in the Middle East that didn’t go very well; and (4) at least some people are a bit wary of being sold another bill of goods about “weapons of mass destruction.” Unfortunately, all of these reason are likely, at best, to boost the required percentage by no more than 4.569872%.

    2) Which argument by a proponent of bombing Iran, and we have several or even many actual examples so please link to one, would be refuted if Iran implemented the AP or revised code 3.1?

    ANSWER: All arguments that Iran’s refusal to make the same disclosures as other countries is evidence that Iran is trying to hide something. With all due respect, Arnold, I should not have to provide a link to such an argument, as I’m confident that both of us have read dozens, hundreds or even thousands of articles over the past several years making such a claim.

    3) What is the name or identifying information about one person who you believe supports bombing Iran but would not support bombing Iran if Iran implemented the AP or revised code 3.1?

    ANSWER: Bill Smith.

  426. Sassan,

    The “cancer tumor” remark was reported not only in the Telegraph but also in other Western publications (e.g. Washington Post). Others chose not to quote it (the New York Times, for example), though I don’t know what their reasons were. It may be that the remark meant something different in context, and the NY Times was reluctant to make more of it than was fair (you know how scrupulous the Times is about such things).

    In any case, even the most extreme anti-Iran publications (e.g. the Weekly Standard) have not interpreted this remark, even out of context, as calling for the “killing of all Jews,” or even the killing of any Jews. If that is what it meant, I and many others here would find such a remark entirely objectionable (some would not, regrettably). But whenever I see the Weekly Standard exercise such self-restraint, I can’t help but wonder whether the remark meant something considerably different from what you are claiming.

    Do you have something more than was available to the editors of the Weekly Standard that makes you interpret the remark as you have even though the Weekly Standard has declined to do so?

  427. James Canning says:

    M. Ali,

    Aipac and allies want to interfere with Iranian business deals taking place anywhere on the planet.

  428. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Obama did not want this bill, but Aipac forced it on him. Obama asked for six months delay in putting it into effect, but seems to have buckled under pressure from ISRAEL LOBBY.

    Aipac wants to prosecute bankers in South Korea who do deals through Iran’s central bank, even if that deal takes place in Singapore.

  429. M. Ali says:

    I was thinking the same thing, Kooshy. What exactly non-frozen assets does Iran have in USA anyway?

    By the way, I always thought freezing assets is like stealing. I mean, how can you hold someone’s property, and not it be stealing? Morally, the country should go, “Here, take back everything you have with us, and we wont work with each other anymore”

    Imagine if you have a contract with a company and you have a dispute, and not only do you cancel the contract, but you keep their assets and refuse to pay your invoices.

  430. James Canning says:

    “Netanyahu to Abbas: Choose Hamas or peace with Israel”:

    http://rt.com/news/netanyahu-abbas-hamas-peace-637/

  431. kooshy says:

    Obama orders Iranian Central Bank freeze in new wave of sanctions

    Executive order halts transactions by Iranian bank in US, despite concerns that it may drive up petroleum costs
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/feb/06/obama-orders-central-bank-iran-sanctions

    “Barack Obama has ordered the freezing of Iranian government assets in the US, including transactions by the Iranian Central Bank, in tightened sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programmer.”

    I thought all Iran’s government assets were frozen during the hostage crises back in carter administration, am I missing something or since we are running out of Iranian thing to froze (for god sakes few months back he even froze the Iranian pickles we used to buy from Iranian markets here in LA) we are just pulling old news stories and reprint for domestic public consumption? I think I can run my own “give me my pickles back campaign” even Hillary may like that specially since pickles are green and Willy is going wild again.

  432. M. Ali says:

    Sassa,

    ““Sorry I am typing short sentences – I am in class right now.”

    Ah, there’s your problem, child. Maybe you should actually listen in class, so you’d understand that when you get yourself involved in a debate, the most basic requirment that is expected of you is that when you say something such as, “Khameini said, ‘Kill all Jews'” you’d be actually to source it, before the discussion even starts.

  433. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:

    February 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    “Sorry I am typing short sentences – I am in class right now.”

    I hope the lecture is on “Principals of evidence and expert rating-Law 101
    If not, I hope Eric will give you some online lectures on this important subject.

  434. resk says:

    sassan – dont you know that all three abrahamian religions await the Messiah? Some muslims await the Messiah, some Jews await the Messiah, some Christian await the Messiah.
    What you try to do is trying to play on islamophobic theories.

  435. Arnold Evans says:

    So Sassan, you do admit that it does not say “kill all Jews”, right?

    It says other things that you consider bad, but it doesn’t say that, right?

  436. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Is it necessary for Jerusalem to be “reconquered”? Simpler to have Israel get out of the West Bank including East Jerusalem, surely.

  437. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    February 6, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    I’ll answer your questions. I still have three questions for you:

    1) Specifically, what successful PR campaign do you think has to happen before a US president would bomb Iran? Meaning about what proportion of what population has to believe what before an attack has the green light from the public that you believe is necessary before the attack is ordered?

    2) Which argument by a proponent of bombing Iran, and we have several or even many actual examples so please link to one, would be refuted if Iran implemented the AP or revised code 3.1?

    3) What is the name or identifying information about one person who you believe supports bombing Iran but would not support bombing Iran if Iran implemented the AP or revised code 3.1?

    To your question:

    Iran’s retaliation against the US would have been more disastrous when there were 100,000 troops in Iraq. It will be at least somewhat less disastrous when there are a much smaller number of troops in Afghanistan.

    Iran has other vectors of retaliation that I consider less effective than actual US troops in neighboring countries. My feel, without looking into them closely, is that even without troops Iran can ensure that the US does not feel at attack would be worth it for the foreseeable future.

    I’m actually not very worried about seeing a direct covert US or Israeli attack on Iran. Iran is doing pretty well regionally right now, with a primary focus, I would guess, on consolidating control by its friends over Iraq.

    I follow news closely enough that I feel confident that if the US consensus among policy-makers changes away from what Suzanne Maloney described, I’ll see it happening and I would revise my expectation that no attack is foreseeable in that case.

  438. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Wasn’t Rick Perry supported strongly by the Rev. John Hagee? And Hagee hopes to see the entire world destroyed, so that he can go to heaven with his followers. A lunatic?

  439. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    What “ideology” do you think is being expressed by Khamenei? A determination not to allow Israel to crush Palestinian nationalism?

  440. Sassan says:

    James Canning: to bring the “return” of the Hidden Imam…”reconquering” Jerusalem is a prerequisite as accorded by the Hadith.

    Read the writing of this lunatic who is a member of Khamanei’s inner circle: http://www.alef.ir/vdcepw8zwjh8ewi.b9bj.html?142262

  441. Sassan says:

    James Canning & Arnold Evans: On the link I provided you have to scroll down and the info is also provided in English. Sorry I am typing short sentences – I am in class right now.

  442. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Very few historians of the Middle East would agree with your contention Iran would launch a first-strike attack against Israel.

    What would it accomplish? Flatten some apartment buildings in Tel Aviv? Wreak havoc at the airport? And for what reason?

  443. M. Ali says:

    Kooshy,

    “Sassan just throw the Hitler card in, isn’t that enough for you to establish the link?”

    That DOES make sense. I mean, Hitler probably said something along those lines, and Hitler was a man, Khameini is a man, Hitler has facial hair, Khameini has facial hair, so Hitler saying it probably means that Khameini might as well have said it. Potahto, zibzamini.

  444. James Canning says:

    David Bromwich in the New York Review Feb. 9 also noted:

    “The majority of Israel’s intelligence establishment has actively argued against or publicly spoken to oppose the adventurist policy of Netanyahu and his description of Iran as an ‘existential threat’.”

  445. Sassan says:

    James Canning & Arnold Evans:

    Alef.ir is a site run by the Revolutionary Guards. The author of the article Alireza Forghani is an individual inside of Khamanei’s camp. In addition, this “article” was reposted on another Revolutionary Guards site “Fars News”.

    http://www.alef.ir/vdcepw8zwjh8ewi.b9bj.html?142262

    Simply read the writing and you will see how it focuses on killing all Jews and destroying Israel.

  446. resk says:

    sassan wrote:

    I believe that it is a possibility. This regime would not care if Israel retaliated and nuked all of Iran. The lives of Iranians mean nothing to them.

    ——

    Thats sickening, clearly shows what a degrading view you got for the people in the middle east.

  447. resk says:

    sassan wrote

    people also dismissed the threat of Hitler. Have we not learned from history’s perils?

    —–

    It seems that you havent learned one bit since you support Israel which have commited ethnic cleansing and annexation.

  448. kooshy says:

    M. Ali says:
    February 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Sassan just throw the Hitler card in, isn’t that enough for you to establish the link?

  449. Arnold Evans says:

    Sassan, I have to say, I am curious.

    1) Did you say there is a link where an Iranian official says “kill all Jews”?

    2) After saying that, did you provide a link?

    3) Does the link say “kill all Jews” as reported?

  450. Sassan says:

    James: I believe that it is a possibility. This regime would not care if Israel retaliated and nuked all of Iran. The lives of Iranians mean nothing to them.

  451. M. Ali says:

    Guys, I think Sassan might not be getting my posts. Can you please help me out by asking him where he got the “Kill all jews” quotation? I’ve written a smashing article and i just need to source that little quotation, and I can’t find it. I’m sure Sassan can help me out. Thanks, guys.

  452. Sassan says:

    James Canning: It means not taking the threats of our enemies seriously. It means undermining their actual intentions in providing excuses for it such as “it was just for boosting morale”. Hence, not taking their expressed ideology seriously.

  453. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Do you actually believe Iran would launch a first-strike attack against Israel? Or against any other country?

  454. M. Ali says:

    Sassan, why are you not answering my question. Where does in say in Alef or Fars that Khoemini said these three magic words, Kill All Jews?

  455. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    It would help if you were more specific. For example, Hitler’s annexation of Austria clearly posed a threat, but some important British leaders thought that Soviet Russia posed the greater threat at that time.

  456. James Canning says:

    Writing in The New York Review Feb. 9th, David Bromwich observed that in American politics, “Jewish votes” is a euphemism for Jewish campaign finance. (“The Republican nightmare”) “It is millions of dollars and just just a few thousand votes that the pandering Republican [presidential candidates] are trawling for.”

  457. Sassan says:

    James Canning: people also dismissed the threat of Hitler. Have we not learned from history’s perils?

  458. James Canning says:

    Sassan,

    Iran’s oil minister is quoted in the FT today as saying there will be no problems in the Strait of Hormuz.

    I think you recognise Khamenei was trying to boster morale.

  459. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:

    February 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Sassan if you go back to posting full length articles, as you promised not to, I may end up footing your cab fare for a full tour of Tehran during morning rush.

  460. As per the translation Empty posted:

    “One of the effects of these movements has been the weakening and isolation of the Zionist regime. This, too, is rather significant. Because this regime is like a cancer tumor in the region and it must be eliminated, and it will be eliminated, these movements weakened it. They isolated it more than ever. The Palestinian youth got rejuvenated. They acquired hope. They gained hope about themselves and their future. The nations became hopeful.”

    Nothing about “cutting it out”, nothing about the Israeli people, as usual, only “the regime” is mentioned, i.e., the Zionist crazies like Netanyahu.

    Clearly Sassan has a pro-Israel viewpoint – which is what one would expect from a Zionist troll…

    Insult this jerk and send him on his way.

  461. James Canning says:

    Ed Luce, writing in the Financial Times today about Robert Kagan (“The reality of American decline”), noted that “Mr Kagan denies America is in relative decline – – and mistakenly insists there is no economic evidence for it. Yet he argues that America’s decline is being actively willed by unnamed ‘politicians and policymakers’.”

    (ft.com)

  462. M. Ali says:

    If you cant prove the Kill All Jews one, why don’t you man up, and say you were wrong on that one, Mr Follower or Science & Reason?

  463. M. Ali says:

    Sassan, instead of posting new articles we can rip apart, why don’t you just stick to the one that quoted Khameini saying, “Kill All Jews” that you refuse to show me the exact source of that quotation.

  464. Sassan says:

    Eric A. Brill: In regards to the “Israel will be cut” quote from Khamanei the other day, here is an article provided just for you:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9059179/Iran-We-will-help-cut-out-the-cancer-of-Israel.html

  465. fyi: “At this moment, China is in the process of making herself the “Indispendsible Country” on this planet. The United States has made herself the “Negative Country” – which can dealy, prevent, oppose, but cannot put anything positive on the table.”

    Agree completely.

    “Dr. Cordesman’s final statements are expressions of “hope” rather than realistic expectations of what has to happen which could happen.”

    Agreed.

  466. Sassan says:

    This was affirmed by anyone who watched his speech the other day. This is not even in question or in dispute.

  467. Sassan says:

    lmfao @ kooshy and castellio.

    I have Khamanei’s own words…Khamenei said Israel was a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut”

    He added, “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this.”

    He affirmed that Iran had provided assistance to terror groups Hizbullah and Hamas, AP reported.

  468. Sassan,

    “And Eric, is it appropriate for Khamanei to say that the “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut”..?”

    Did he say that, Sassan? That’s the question. You say he did, and certainly none of us doubts you know what you’re talking about. Even so, it would be comforting for us to have some independent basis for accepting what you ask us to take on faith.

    Humor us, Sassan. Find something that actually establishes what you claim. Maybe just a slip of paper you find on the sidewalk — just something.

  469. nahid says:

    Here, Sassan I found it read it and be proud that you are humane .

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/225277.html

  470. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    China has become the Middle Kingdom on the scale that she never was before the era of European Expansion.

    At this moment, China is in the process of making herself the “Indispendsible Country” on this planet.

    The United States has made herself the “Negative Country” – which can dealy, prevent, oppose, but cannot put anything positive on the table.

    [Free trade with her satrapis such as Korea are not what I have in mind.]

    US has been successful in preventing Iran emerging as an industrialized state.

    This and other such negative accomplishments do not an “Indispensible Nation” make.

    To this litany must be added the hatred of tens of millions of Muslims against her; while Chinese are going around speaking of common social values: family etc.

    US cannot offer anything to China (or Russia) that would wean them away from their position in Iran.

    Dr. Cordesman’s final statements are expressions of “hope” rather than realistic expectations of what has to happen which could happen.

  471. kooshy says:

    An example of self-contradiction
    seen 1

    Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I speak Farsi, I can’t read or write except my name. :)

    Seen 2

    Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Eric: Nothing can be published under alef.ir without the express support of the regime.

  472. Castellio says:

    Sassan is quite aware that he has no argument, but his work is by association. You hear the word Iran, you’re supposed to answer terrorism, or sex with children. His job is to take up space on the site and re-iterate time and time again associations that his handlers hope will become “axiomatic”.

    Sadam = WMD ISLAM = sex with children IRAN = nuclear attack on israel

    If you expect an argument, logic, reason, new information, considered debate…. well, that’s not how it works.

  473. Eric: “If I’m correct about that, and you’re correct that that assessment is what underpins American policy on Iran (specifically, not to attack), doesn’t it follow that Iran is essentially home free — that it has nothing to worry about from this day forward? It just needs to keep on keeping on, without any fear that the US will ever attack?”

    I would say that’s what Arnold believes. Needless to say, I don’t agree.

    “my confidence in that conclusion depends on my hopeful assumption that the pro-war advocates will fail to persuade the American public that Iran should be attacked”

    Once again, the pro-war advocates have ALREADY DONE SO! Read the polls! Most Americans believe that Iran has (HAS!) or is pursuing nuclear weapons. While most polls show Americans not supporting a war UNLESS sanctions fail, this is a reflexive position. OBVIOUSLY most Americans don’t want a war, and certainly don’t want one where other options are available.

    The problem is sanctions WILL fail and then the American electorate has ALREADY MADE ITS DECISION.

    Which is mostly irrelevant anyway because the ONLY thing the US ruling elites NEED is for the US electorate to believe that Iran HAS or IS PURSUING nuclear weapons.

    And THAT IS ALREADY TRUE based on EVERY US poll!

    Keep ignoring my arguments in favor of Arnold’s less stringent arguments. You’ll end up looking foolish here.

  474. Sassan says:

    And Eric, is it appropriate for Khamanei to say that the “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut”..?

  475. Sassan says:

    Eric: Nothing can be published under alef.ir without the express support of the regime. This is not the United States or countries with press freedom. That in itself (along with the fact that the author of the article Alireza Forghani is in Khamanei’s inner circle)clearly demonstrates it reflects sentiments of the regime itself.

  476. fyi: “Dr. Cordesman’s Assessment”

    I’m surprised anyone reads his stuff. Five minutes of Google and anyone could come to the same conclusions.

    Well, anyone except Sassan.

    His final conclusion that the West needs to come up with a “better mix” of penalties and the cooperation of the GCC to persuade Russia and China to throw Iran under a bus reduces basically to “good luck with that, Anthony”… Neither Russia nor China want the US to win without cost in the Middle East…and preferably not win at all.

    I don’t see anything the US can offer Russia OR China to cause them to dump Iran. The US has too many conflicting intentions with both based on the US’ hegemonic desires – and both countries know it. Iran is one major chip they can play against the US. Seeing the US bled dry fighting Iran and much of the rest of the Muslim world is definitely a win-win for both countries, even if both countries have to worry about some blowback via indigenous Muslims in their own countries.

    I can’t wait for Putin to get back into (full) power and see how he hardlines the US over Iran and Syria. I think the US hasn’t seen anything yet in terms of the UN veto.

  477. Sassan says:

    I speak Farsi, I can’t read or write except my name. :)

  478. Sassan,

    “Simply go to the links I provided which are links to the own regime!”

    I think the point the others are making is that these are NOT “links to the own regime.” You’re just making that up, and you must know that you are. None of your sources actually points to any statement by Khamenei, or any other government official. They merely point to websites hosted by others, and then they assure your readers that the Iranian government agrees with those websites — that the material posted on these websites is actually the official position of the Iranian government, which apparently hasn’t gotten around to posting it on its own website yet.

    When someone describes it (accurately) this way, do you understand why you seem a bit silly to many people?

  479. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    My very first post to this forum was about the absurdity of an attack by Israel on Iran without coordination with US. How ironic (or maybe not) that here we are a couple of years later still talking about the very same thing. As I said then, and which is true now, make no mistake about it: in any attack on Iranian soil, great (I called ‘im big then) Satan = little Satan, indistinguishable.

  480. Arnold,

    “I think the after-effects would be disastrous for U.S. interests and, for that matter, for Israeli interests, and it would not set back the program significantly enough to justify those after-effects.”

    I can’t say that I disagree with her (and your) assessment, but I don’t think it supports the conclusion you’re drawing from it.

    Let’s suppose for the moment you’re correct that that assessment is what underpins American policy (i.e. to refrain from attacking Iran). Do you anticipate that something will change down the road that would cause you to conclude instead that “the after-effects would [not] be disastrous for U.S. interests?” Or instead, as each additional day/week/month/year passes, do you think it will become even more likely than it is today that the “the after-effects would be disastrous for U.S. interests?”

    I don’t want to answer these questions for you, and so please feel free to state a different answer. But I’ll confidently venture a guess that you’d choose the second of my two alternative answers. If I’m correct about that, and you’re correct that that assessment is what underpins American policy on Iran (specifically, not to attack), doesn’t it follow that Iran is essentially home free — that it has nothing to worry about from this day forward? It just needs to keep on keeping on, without any fear that the US will ever attack?

    If that is what you believe, you’re more optimistic than I. I too don’t think Iran will ever be attacked by the US, but my confidence in that conclusion depends on my hopeful assumption that the pro-war advocates will fail to persuade the American public that Iran should be attacked, and that assumption, in turn, reflects some hope that Iran will not play into the hands of the pro-war advocates by continuing to resist making disclosures about its nuclear program. that other countries routinely make.

  481. hans says:

    Lots of talk about USA?Israel attack on Iran. I say the following will happen when the price of silver is

    $35+ : Major escalation of Syrian crisis
    $50+ : Attack on Iran

    If anyone has been watching the price of silver you will see some interesting abnormalies taking shape. Silver today is @$33.60.

  482. M. Ali: “no one can be this stupid, can they?”

    Oh, hell, yeah, they can!

    We have two well known quotes to prove it:

    “You can never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.” Scott Adams, (American Cartoonist, b.1957)

    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
    H. L. Mencken US editor (1880 – 1956)

    On the latter, there’s some question of whether he said “taste” or “intelligence” or both, but most people quote it as above.

    While there may be merriment in engaging with this freak show, I still say it clutters up the site and distracts from more serious discussions.

    I still want posters here to weight in on whether they believe Eric’s proposals as I outlined them below, for instance.

  483. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    “Kooshy, Ali, Castellio: You guys are idiots.”

    Thank you for the strong logic you use, Sassan early on I knew you don’t speak Farsi, remember “sanjack’ that blew your cover.

    Have a nice life, stay away from riding cabs in Tehran streets these days, one would never get to know how bad traffic is.

  484. M. Ali says:

    SASSAN, SHOW ME ANYWHERE IN THE LINK YOU MENTIONED THAT THERE IS A SENTENCE THAT SAYS “KILL ALL JEWS”.

    THATS IT. It can NOT be simpler than that. Can you comprehend this simple request?

  485. kooshy says:

    Castellio says:
    February 6, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Back in 09 election period I learned from some expatriate Iranian high school students that they get paid by number of posts and not by the hour since they can work from home.

    Scott’s crew are different they get scholarship, and a bit more informed with the language.

  486. M. Ali says:

    You know, I was just thinking. Maybe we all got it wrong. Sassan might be an IRI agent, posting here to make us believe the anti-IRIs are this stupid. thats the only explanation I can think of, because no one can be this stupid, can they?

  487. M. Ali says:

    I still dont see you responding to my question, Sassan.

    Where does it say on Fars or Alef that Khameini said “Kill all Jews”.

    Find me those three words. Thats it.

  488. Castellio says:

    Sassan probably works a couple of sites with different sign in names. I wonder if he is paid by the hour or by the length of inches he manages to post?

  489. Sassan says:

    In addition, here is from Khamanaei the other day:

    Khamenei said Israel was a “cancerous tumor that should be cut and will be cut”

    He added, “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this.”

    He affirmed that Iran had provided assistance to terror groups Hizbullah and Hamas, AP reported.

  490. Sassan says:

    kooshy: IT was posted on a Revolutionary Guards website and the only way an article can be posted on a Revolutionary Guards website is if it has the support of the Revolutionary Guards and top regime authorities. This author in addition is known to be directly inside of Khamanei’s circle. The article was also republished in farsnews website which is also another tool for Khamanei and the Revolutionary Guards.

  491. M. Ali says:

    Sassan, I have not made it simpler for you. I’m not discussing the complexities of a full article, I’m not talking about media bias, I’m not discussing any of the things that you slip out of past debates.

    I’m making it very simple.

    I’m ignoring everything, the article & the author, and just on the headline. And even that, just the first half of it.

    Just these three words attributed to the Ayatollah, “Kill all Jews”. This can not be simpler. I honestly would wish someone would ask me such simple challenges in my posts, I’d be kicking ass left and right. So, I’m putting my ass forward to be kicked. I’m putting on the kiddie wheels on the bicycle for you. This can’t be easier.

    Instead of linking me to Fars and Alef, just show me exactly where it says that the ayatollah mentioned Kill all Jews. I even tried to make it easier for you after I made my post. I searched the farsi word for Jews in the Fars article, and didn’t even find a mention of it, much less killing them, much less it being attributed to the Ayatollah. But I am ready to be proven wrong, I have been proven wrong before, and I expect to be proven wrong many more times in the future. thats how I learn.

    So, teach me. Show me exactly where it says what the headline says he said.

  492. Nasser says:

    Richard Steven Hack, Irshad:

    Thanks for the pictures. Iran is apparently working on this plane:

    http://www.defenceaviation.com/2007/09/iranian-stealth-plane.html

  493. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Sassan I thought you said you don’t know how to read Persian the Fars News article you linked is in Persian and apparently you have not read it and you had to take Reza Khalilie’s words as is more convenient and align your line of thinking, but I suggest you have it translate and read it, it is about attacking Israel but not because they want to kill all Jews more importantly point 3 by the author explicitly says the fallowing:
    نکته ۳- این طرح تنها نظر شخصی نویسنده آن است و از طرف دولت جمهوری اسلامی ایران هیچ گونه ضمانتی بر پذیرفتن و اجرای آن وجود ندارد.

    Translation: This is the personal opinion of this author and there is no guarantee that the Islamic republic of Iran will accept or will adopt plans put forward by this opinion.

    Have your friend Reza to add this to the propaganda he is assigned to write, if you can

  494. Sassan says:

    I went ahead to post the portion on alef.ir (Revolutionary Guards site) which refers to their agenda of destroying Israel:

    In the name of Allah
    Iran must attack Israel by ۲۰۱۴

    The necessity of Israel annihilation in Imam Khomeini’s view
    “Today, the first Qibla of the Muslims has been occupied by Israel, a cancerous tumor for the Middle East. Today, Israel is causing division using all evil means. Every Muslim is obliged to equip themselves against Israel . For about ۲۰ years, I have been warning about the danger of international Zionist, and right now its danger for all the liberation revolutions in the world and the recent Islamic revolution of Iran is not less than the past .I have already warned that the Israeli usurping government, with the aims which it is seeking for, is a great danger for Islam and all Muslim nations, and it is likely that if Muslims leave Israel alone, the opportunity could be lost and it may not be possible to stop them; and since the potential danger is facing the foundations of Islam, it is necessary for the Islamic governments in particular and other Muslims in general to remove this corrupting material by any means . All our troubles are due to Israel! And Israel results from America too
    Some points regarding the upcoming approach
    Point ۱: This article discusses tow THE JURISPRUDENTIAL JUSTIFICATIONS OF NECESSITY OF AN IRANIAN MILITARY ATTACK ON ISRAEL, and the necessity of attacking Israel and its military aspects
    Point ۲: In this approach, only the first step of the first curtain for Iran military invasion to Israel will be discussed and the complete explanation of ۲ curtains and ۸ steps will be published in the proper time
    Point ۳: This approach is just the personal opinion of the author and there is no guarantee whether the government of Islamic republic of Iran will accept and apply it or not

    THE JURISPRUDENTIAL JUSTIFICATIONS OF NECESSITY OF AN IRANIAN MILITARY ATTACK ON ISRAEL

    Fight those in the way of God who fight you, but do not be aggressive: God does not like aggressors.(holy qoran ۲:۱۹۰) And fight those (who fight you) wheresoever you find them, and expel them from the place they had turned you out from. Oppression is worse than killing. Do not fight them by the Holy Mosque unless they fight you there. If they do, then slay them: Such is the requital for unbelievers. (holy qoran ۲:۱۹۱

    Literary Jihad means working and trying for the sake of God. Jihad can be considered with economic, political, cultural and military aspects but using this word alone usually means military jihad. This kind of jihad is being divided into to general divisions
    – Primary jihad
    – Defensive jihad

    I.Primary Jihad
    The Primary Jihad can only be considered and done in the cases when polytheist and infidels use force against the propagation of Islam by Muslims
    Indeed the philosophy behind this kind of jihad is to fight with those who fight against the dissemination of Islam and the goal of that is to liberate peoples from the intellectual and mental captivity and guide them to Islam and despite some quotations and propaganda, this kind of jihad doesn’t have any relations to world conquering

    Primary Jihad in the Time of infallible imam’s absence
    There is some disagreement between shiite jurists about the possibility of doing primary jihad in the age of absence of infallible imam and some of them consider the presence of infallible imam or his appointee as a necessary condition for doing primary jihad but others don’t consider such condition for doing primary jihad and belive the order of Vali Faghih as enough for doing primary jihad

    Among the greatest shiite jurists who belive that doing primary jihad in the age of absence of infallible imam is possible we can refer to Sheikh Mofid, Sheikh Najmodin Halabi and Sheikh Sallar ibn Abdolaziz
    In this regard imam khamenei also has issued a fatwa in which His Excellency has mentioned that it is possible to carry on primary jihad in the age of absence of infallible imam under the authorization of Vali Faghih

    II.Defensive jihad
    Defensive jihad is another kind of jihad in which Muslims must fight and confront with the aggressors to Muslims and Entity of Islam who threaten the interests of Muslims and muslim must defend Islam against those aggressors who want to gain domination over the Muslims and kill them
    In this regard it is noteworthy to take note of ۲۷th speech of Imam Ali’s in Nahgolbalghah in which His Excellency emphasize on fighting with Moavieh
    According to interpreters based on this specific speech, waging war against the enemies with whom war is inevitable and there is a strong possibility that in near future they will attack Muslims is a must and duty of Muslims and is not considered a primary jihad

    III. Attacking Israel, Primary or Defensive Jihad
    With respect to the definition of two kind of jihad and based on that and as we describe hereunder, Iran’s military attack on Israel is not a primary jihad but is an example of defensive jihad however if we consider such attack as primary jihad as mentioned before it can be carried on in the age of absence of infallible imam and under the authorization of Vali Faghih

    III-۱.confronting Israel aggression to Muslim’s entity
    As described before the goal of defensive jihad is to ward off the enemy’s aggression to Islam and Muslims and contrary to primary jihad’s goal which is to invite polytheists and infidels to Islam and is not compulsory for all Muslims the defensive jihad is a must and all Muslims must take part and carry on this kind of jihad
    In this regard the late imam Khomeini issued a fatwa in which His Excellency said
    “If enemy attack on Muslim countries and their borders it is a must for all Muslims to defend with all in their power and there is no need to permission of Vali Faghih

    It should be noted that in Islamic point of view the political borders can not divide Muslims and earth is being divided into two parts, Muslim countries and non Muslim countries so in this regard defending the territorial integrity of Muslims and Islamic entity in all parts of the world based on the conditions of defensive jihad is a must and duty of all Muslims in all over the world
    So since Israel has attacked Palestine and occupied this part of Islamic Entity, defending the oppressed Palestinian Muslims is compulsory and dosen’t need to the order or even the permission of vali Faghih

    III-۲.confornting the expansionism of Israel
    Regardless of occupation of Palestine, it is crystalclear and never has been denied by the heads of the fake government of Israel that they want to gain control of other Muslim countries and want to expand their occupied territory to include other parts of Islamic entity between Nile river to Euphrates and every day they try to achieve this evil goal

    The Late Imam Komeinei in this regard issued a fatwa in which His Excellency stated
    “if Muslims fear that foreigners hatch the plot to gain control of muslim countries it is a must [for all muslims] to defend the islamic countries with all means
    Also His Excellency in another fatwa belives that the threat of political domination of infidels enemy over the muslim cities makes it compulsory for muslims to defend
    So regarding this points that have been described it seems that military attack to Israel is an example of defensive jihad and is a mustfor all muslims

    Military Aspects of Iranian Attack on Israel
    In order to attack Iran, Israel needs western and US assistance, permission and coordination. In the current situation and passiveness of US and west, Iran should wipe out Israel. Considering unique characteristics of Mr. Ahmadinejhad’s administration and Islamic awakening of region’s countries which are influenced by the policies of Iranian regime and ۱۰th administration, Iran must attack Israel before ۲۰۱۴ and end of the work of current administration

    Based on preemptive defense doctrine, Israel should get under heavy military strikes through first and final strikes. In the primary step of first scene, ground zero points of Israel should be annihilated by Iranian military attacks. To get this end, Iran can use long range missiles. The distance from Iranian eastern most point to western most point of Israel is about ۲۶۰۰ km. strategic targets deep inside Israeli soil are in the range of Iranian conventional missiles.

    Some Israeli critical points which should be attacked

    Israeli People Must be Annihilated
    Israel is the only country in the world with a Jewish majority. According to the last census of “Israel Central Bureau of Statistics” this country has a population of ۷.۵ million including ۵.۷ million Jews. The other ethnicities in population structure are Muslims, Christians, Druzes and Samarians. The largest ethnic minorities are so called Israeli Arabs

    Northern District (Mehoz HaTzafon). Population: ۱,۲۴۱,۹۰۰; District capital: Nazareth
    Haifa District (Mehoz Heifa). Population: ۸۸۰,۷۰۰; District capital: Haifa
    Central District (Mehoz HaMerkaz). Population: ۱,۷۷۰,۰۰۰; District capital: Ramla
    Tel Aviv District (Mehoz Tel Aviv). Population: ۱,۲۲۷,۹۰۰; District capital: Tel Aviv
    Jerusalem District (Mehoz Yerushalayim). Population: ۹۰۷,۳۰۰; District capital: Jerusalem
    Southern District (Mehoz HaDarom). Population: ۱,۲۰۱,۲۰۰; District Capital: Beersheba

    Residents of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Hifa can be targeted even by Shahb ۳. Population density in these three adjacent areas composes about ۶۰ % of Israeli population. Sejjil missiles can target power plants, sewage treatment facilities, energy resources, transportation and communation infrastructures; and in the second stage Shahab ۳ and Ghadr missiles can target urban settlements until final annihilation of Israel people

    Destruction of Israeli Infrastructures
    Destruction of Israeli infrastructure like railroad stations, airports and nuclear facilities by Sejjil missiles must be in order. In the past ten years Iran could perform this operation in depth of Israeli soil

    Destruction of Israeli Nuclear Bases
    “Rafael” nuclear plant is one of the oldest power plants in Israel. This power plant is the main nuclear engineering center of Israel. “Eilun” nuclear plant is the other Israeli reactor located in “Nebrin”. Residents of this village were forced to leave their homes in ۱۹۴۸. This plant is considered to be Israel’s tactical nuclear weapons arsenal. “Eriha” surface to surface mid and long-range missile, capable of delivering nuclear warheads, is stored in this facility. The range of this missile is ۵۰۰ up to ۱۴۰۰ km

    According to Yedioth Ahronoth, Ron Ben Yashal, Israeli military affair analyst, said; “There is not any place in Israel which is out of Iranian missile range.” He added: “Although Israeli missile arsenal is quantitatively and qualitatively much more advanced but its stock which amount to ۱۰۰ thousands missiles are constantly within the range of Iranian missiles

    Facilities like Dimona reactor in the nuclear research center in Neqeb are one of the targets. Dimona is the most critical nuclear reactor in Israel and consists of ۱۰ building and ۳۰۰۰ scientists and technicians. Israel’s plutonium plant is located there
    Dimona produces ۹۰% enriched fuel for Israeli nuclear weapons and bombs. Besides, US-Israeli joint lab for testing cyber operations against Iranian nuclear facilities is based in this site

    StuxNet was a computer warm that was tested in Dimona with the aim of disturbing and stopping activities in Iranian nuclear facilities. StuxNet was designed to penetrate in C&M computers based on Siemens technology. This warm was delivered in systems by a Russian technician and through memory storage tools, and then spread rapidly in nuclear facilities but was detected by Iranian cyber defense experts
    According to the strategy announced by Obama two weeks ago, deploying ground forces like what happened in Iraq and Afghanistan is substituted by other strategies like cyber war. Therefore, targetin dimona should be of high priority in attacking Israel

    Israel’s air bases

    Destruction of Israel’s Air Bases
    There are ۱۲ airports in Israel but just three of them are civil air ports and the rest are under control of IDF. Sedot Mikha Air Base contains Jericho ballistic missiles and is located in southwest of Tel Nof Air Base, where aircrafts equipped with nuclear weapons are nested. F-۱۶ jets are stationed in Roman Ari Base F15

    Destruction of Israel’s surface vessels
    Destruction of Israeli surface vessels and submarines can be done by
    ۱. Missile attacks in waters which are under influence of Islamic Republic
    ۲. Special operation forces in all over the world
    ۳. Variety of sea mines including subsurface and remotely controlled variants. These weapons can be deployed by Iranian vessels and submarines in Israeli offshore

    Missiles that Can Destroy Israel
    After years of imposed war, considering regional conditions, results of missile attacks to Israel and available technology, Iranian defense officials decided to base main part of defense and deterrence strategy on developing mid and long-range missiles. In this process, significant efforts were concentrated on precision, efficiency and variety of warheads
    In this report, we will offer concise description of mid and long-range ballistic missiles that can target territories of this regional cancerous tumor i.e. Quds occupying regime

    After testing Shahab ۳ missiles an late ۹۰th and announcing its specifications especially the range of ۱۳۰۰ km, enemy’s perception on Iranian missile capability changed and gradually cased concerns among the military officials and then Zionist politicians, as introducing newer, longer ranges and more precious variants of Shahab was a sign of accomplishing higher levels of missile technology and more dreadful missiles in the future 3

    Shahab ۳ Missiles
    Shahab ۳ was designed as a continuation to Shahab ۱ and ۲ missiles with some changes in designing different systems. There are many technical similarities between shahab ۲ and ۳, but the latter is mor sophisticated and enjoys new electronic technology and advanced computer guidance soft and hardware. The range of this missile is said to be ۱۳۰۰ km, which means that luonching from western parts of Iran it can target Palestinian occupied territories

    Different variants of Shahab ۳ missiles were produced and introduced to military arsenals. Ranges and subsystems of new versions are promoted but they all use single stage liquid fuel engines and inertial guidance systems
    Different types of warheads, especially cluster warheads, can be used in this missile. Length of this variant is about ۱۶.۵ meters up to ۱۷ meters and their range is up to ۲۸۰۰ km. considering that the least distance from western parts of Iran to farthest point in occupied territories is barely more than ۱۲۰۰ km, Shahab ۳ family is a serious threat against every enemy and aggressor

    Ashura
    This missile has been developed based on Shahab ۳ and is a liquid propellant long-range missile. Shape of warhead is similar to late versions of Shahab ۳ and has a reduced diameter in upper portions. The missile makes use of indigenous subsystems and the capability of carrying various types of warheads is a characteristic of this missile. Domestic resources have announced a range of ۳۵۰۰ km for this missile, though foreign experts’ estimates of its range are ۲۵% to ۵۰% greater. Due to similarities in dimensions between Ashura and Shahab ۳, it is feasible to use previous launch systems for this missile. Its range allows it to hit targets in the westernmost points in occupied Palestine from eastern Iran

    Ghadr
    The Ghadr ۱ missile, introduced in mid ۲۰۰۰s, was produced as a sequel to development of Shahab liquid propellant long-range missiles and indeed is considered a member of Shahab family. This single stage missile has been reported to have a range of about ۲۰۰۰km and a shorter preparation time compared with previous versions is one of its characteristics. This gives the missile a greater response speed. Some variants of this missile equipped with cluster warhead have been introduced. The warheads are of detachable type. The F variant of Ghadr has a length of ۱۵.۸۶m and a range of about ۱۹۵۰ meters and enjoys an inertial guidance system

    Sejjil
    Like Ghadr and Ashura missiles, the Sejjil was introduced in the second half of the ۲۰۰۰s and some experts consider it Iran’s most prominent ballistic missile, as enemy experts acknowledge that Sejjil has not a foreign equivalent. Sejjil is Iran’s firs solid propellant ballistic missile and most probably Iranian missiles’ pioneer on its way to wipe Israel off the map (in case of unavoidable military action). This is realized because of its mobile launcher system with an ability to carry a ready-to-launch missile
    Due to use of solid fuel, the missile would be prepared to launch within a few minutes and the launcher could move quickly afterwards. This decreases the probability of the preemptive destruction of missile before launching. Furthermore, due to Sejjil’s extremely high acceleration, the possibility of its detection in the early stages of launch would be very low and the enemy would literally have no chance to intercept the missile

    Sejjil has been reported to have a range of ۲۰۰۰ km and until now two variants of Sejjil ۱ and Sejjil ۲ have been developed, which is an indication of the related industries’ efforts to improve it. The sejjil missile is a two-stage vehicle which upon depletion of firs stage fuel, the motor detaches and the second stage motor ignites. The detachment of the first stage decreases the weight of missile and help increase the range

    Iran could destroy Israel in less than ۹ minutes
    Sejjil belongs to the series of Iranian ballistic missiles which flies above atmosphere and after traveling its trajectory in such altitude enters the atmosphere and heads towards target at a velocity of Mach ۱۰ to ۱۲ (around ۳۴۰۰ to ۴۰۸۰ m/s), which makes it impossible for air defense systems to incept it. This remarks the country’s missile technology progress towards attaining achieving such an important achievement. Moreover, the combined solid fuel technology used in this missile provides desired propulsive characteristics as well as storing lifetime

    The ۲۳,۶۲۳ kg Sejjil has a ۱۷.۷۵ m length, ۱.۲۵ m diameter, and a ۵۰۰ kg detachable warhead. The missile reaches its maximal range within ۸۳۵s (۱۳ min ۵۵s). The Sejjil’s targeting, navigation and guidance systems provide high accuracy and precision, which makes it operationally invaluable.

    The aforementioned ballistic missiles guidance system is of propulsion vector control, which through blades at the rocket exhaust changes the exhaust gases direction and corrects the missile direction. This system does much better than flap based control systems and the optimization of this system and is one of the factors contributing to Iranian missiles precision.

    Four advantages of Sejjil ۲ compared to Shahab ۳
    Chief of Center for Srategic Defense Research, Vice Admiral Ali Shamkhani, congratulating Islamic Republic’s triumph in achieving modern technologies in various fields including missiles, told Fars News Agency defense service that after the imposed war Iran specially concentrated on design and development of liquid and solid propellant surface to surface missiles and developed various generations of missiles

    “Development of a missile defense capability began in late ۹۰s in two phases after establishing the Aerospace Agency in defense ministry and included liquid propellant missile force and solid propellant missile force,” Added Shamkhani, who has served as defense minister in the ۷th and ۸th administrations

    He went on adding that “first we started our research and development in the field of liquid fuel which culminated in development of liquid propellant surface to surface missiles production line and Shahabs, Shahab specially, Ghadr and the others were developed in this phase 3
    Stating that the second phase of missile development was initiated in order to boost country’s defense capability against certain enemies in the region, chief of center for strategic defense research told: These enemies speak the language of threat and predicate the survival and sustenance of their regimes upon use of this language; so is it possible for Iran to overlook the threatening rhetoric and hideous defamations expressed by leaders in Tel Aviv and Washington

    Asserting that Iran aims to provide deterrence against threats from enemies, including Zionists, Vice Admiral Shamkhani went on to comment on western media propaganda that such Iranian defensive achievements are antagonistic stressing “Iran’s missile capability is a defensive shield against any kind of plausible foreign aggression and is never deemed a threat to states in the region and across the world

    Why it is not possible to use anti-missile systems against Iran
    Stressing that an intelligent and knowledgeable military man would act cautiously, chief of center for strategic defense research asserted “Iran possesses a huge geographic depth and this implies that Iran has surpassed its capability beyond certain objectives and this capability diminishes the chance and possibility of any anti-missile action or capability and countering the Islamic Republic’s missiles

    “The project for development of Sejjil ۲, which was successfully fire-tested recently, started in ۹۰s under the name Project Ashura. This missile is completely based on native scientific knowledge, which indicates domestic experts’ self-sufficiency in upgrading and boosting the country’s defense capability,” added vise admiral Shamkhani

    Regarding differences and advantages of Sejjil ۲ compared with Shahab ۳ ballistic missile he observed “Sejjil ۲ uses solid fuel – an advanced generation of missile propellants. Moreover, the missile has a greater velocity and precision and possesses a unique function in terms of navigation system compared with other Iranian surface to surface missiles

    “Liquid propellant missiles take longer to be prepared due to the time needed for charging the fuel before launch. In this case there is a possibility that missile be detected before launch. To tackle this problem, underground silos have been constructed in different sites in the country to contain charged and ready-to-fire missiles for monthes

    Given the great number of these silos, once the eviction time for each missile comes, there would still be a huge number of missiles in other silos which are ready to fire. Thus, the liquid propellant missiles could also be used in primary response to enemy action

    All of the before-mentioned ballistic missiles have been improved in terms of guidance systems and reduction in radar reflection and are ready to fire to enemy. Regarding the number of missiles, foreign experts acknowledge that Iran could fire tens of missiles per day toward Israel and sustain the attack for several months. Looking to the psychological effects of striking Israel by some Iraqi imprecise missiles, and addition of high precision and destruction power of Iranian missiles, the enormous impact of Shahabs and Sejjils to the body of Qods occupying regime can be deemed conclusive

  495. M. Ali: ““Ayatollah: Kill all Jews” I just respectfully ask you to please find me an actual quotation that has the Ayatollah saying this.”

    Sassan says: “I have provided the links of the Revolutionary Guards themselves (alef and farsnewsagency) and they are listed below.”

    See why it’s pointless to engage this freak show?

    There’s not only no intellectual honesty here, there’s not even anything intellectual there. He can’t even respond rationally to a simple direct request.

    Because he knows he can’t. He’s not even TRYING to be rational here. It’s pure pathology.

    Just because he has responded to a couple comments here doesn’t mean anything more than the fact that you can occasionally get a coherent response from a drunk or a nutcase.

    He’s still a freak show.

  496. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric:

    What you claim I don’t say is exactly what I DO say: a successful PR campaign is necessary before any US president would order an attack on Iran. I understand you don’t agree with that, but I’m puzzled that you claim not to understand that I am saying that; I think I’ve made it pretty clear.

    We’re not going to agree on this.

    But what exactly do you think has to happen before a US president can attack Iran, that has not already happened?

    If a successful PR campaign is necessary before any US president would order an attack, what does a “successful PR campaign” look like. How can you tell if one has been achieved?

    My contention is that if US generals thought that a successful attack could be accomplished next month, Barack Obama could attack Iran next month.

    Your contention, if I understand you, is that Obama could not attack next month because there has not been a successful PR campaign.

    Please clarify your contention. What has to happen, about what percentage of what population has to believe what to allow Barack Obama or a US president to attack Iran?

    To what do you attribute the absence of an attack on Iran so far?

    I attribute it to the fact that what Suzanne Maloney said at the Brookings Institution meeting was both correct and the conventional wisdom of US policymakers.

    http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/events/2012/0202_iran_syria/20120202_iran_syria.pdf

    I think the after-effects would be disastrous for U.S. interests and, for that matter, for Israeli interests, and it would not set back the program significantly enough to justify those aftereffects.

    I think that is the only direct question you’ve asked me. I have not seen answers to questions I’ve asked you. I’ll repeat two of them:

    1) Of the many actual articles you’ve seen advocating attacking Iran, and the many actual arguments inside of these articles, which of the arguments – and I’m asking for a name or a link – would be refuted if Iran implemented the AP or code 3.1?

    2) What is the name or identity of a specific person who you believe currently favors attacking Iran but would not favor attacking Iran if Iran implemented the AP or code 3.1?

    I don’t think you can provide answers to either of those questions and I think your inability to provide answers to either of those questions, in different ways, fatally damages your argument. I’m sure you disagree, but I also think you will continue to be unable to persuade any reasonable observer to this discussion to your position if you cannot answer both of these questions.

    If pressed to declare a winner so far, I’d pick my side — just as you, apparently, would pick your side.

    Oh please. Nobody here has ever disliked you personally, unlike, say, Scott, but this AP/3.1 idea that you’ve repeatedly advocated for over a year has convinced, as far as I can tell, nobody. Because your argument has not been persuasive.

  497. Sassan says:

    If you go to the Alef Revolutionary Guards site and scroll down, for some reason they translated portions of the page into English and you can all read their very own intentions for yourselves: http://www.alef.ir/vdcepw8zwjh8ewi.b9bj.html?142262

  498. fyi: “I have: to frighten one group of Iranians into overthrowing the Khamenie-Ahmadinejad government.”

    While I think it’s possible that the US believes that could be done, it will become apparent if it isn’t already that it isn’t going to work. Once that is known to be true, the US will not back down. It will simply try other measures.

    And I tend to doubt the US ruling elites believe that anyway. Certainly they read the intelligence reports and the reports by Iran experts and ex-pats that there is not enough support in the Iranian population for any significant “overthrow” of the regime. Not to the degree of actual “regime change”. Changes in leadership are possible, but “the regime” isn’t going anywhere and only fools would believe it, any more than China’s “regime” is going anywhere.

    So I don’t see that as the US ruling elites game plan any more than it was in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    “But, by threatening war, they also made war possible by incident or miscalculation or by false-flag operations.”

    True. But I continue to insist it’s more than that. It’s a deliberate progression toward war by the same mechanisms that were used in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Iran is not going to fold without a war and the US knows that. There may be flunkies who believe that but at the highest ruling elite levels, I don’t think they believe that.

  499. Kooshy: “I think the proxy war in Syria is now out in open and is going to drag in the Levant as well, which everyone will have to openly take side and contribute and participate including Israel and gulf Arab states”

    I agree. I think with the rumor that Hizballah will openly support the Assad regime even at the cost of a war with Israel that it is virtually certain that Lebanon will be drawn in.

    The STRATFOR article on the Syrian insurgent smuggling routes clearly identifies the people in Lebanon who are supporting the insurgents. With Lebanon and Syria’s history, clearly sides will be taken in Lebanon over the Syria civil war.

    In fact, I now suspect that this is an intended benefit which Israel might eventually be able to use to justify an attack on Hizballah.

    Or it’s possible that Israel expects a renewed civil war in Lebanon caused by the taking up of sides by Hizballah and the Sunni Lebanese factions. This, too, would be a benefit to Israel because it might weaken Hizballah sufficiently to enable Israel to attack Iran – although I doubt it. I think Israel would prefer to crush Hizballah (if it can) on its own. But it would welcome some Lebanese help, I’m sure. It would also welcome some US/NATO help, and that might be forthcoming once the Syria campaign starts up.

    Even if the US and NATO don’t immediately start a bombing campaign, they might well start funneling arms and insurgents into Lebanon to destabilize that country in order to assist in destabilizing Syria. If Hizballah is assisting Syria by attacking Syrian insurgents, as has been suggested to be occurring by STRATFOR, then it’s logical for the US and NATO to start supporting the Sunni armed factions to attack Hizballah.

    This could then escalate with the escalation to a US/NATO Syria bombing campaign to include Hizballah in Lebanon as a US/NATO target. Israel would LOVE that!

    In any event, I suspect Israel will use the renewed conflict in Lebanon over Syria to assist it with its plan to attack Hizballah at some point.

  500. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    “Israel will never stop trying to get Iran destroyed.”

    Likewise, Iran will never stop trying to destroy Israel.

    That is just business as usual.

  501. fyi: “So, Axis Powers had to de-escalate or go to war.”

    I see zero evidence of any current “de-escalation”.

    “all paths except de-escalation will lead eventually to war.”

    That I agree with. But de-escalation does not exist. Certainly not with regard to Israel. Israel will never stop trying to get Iran destroyed. And frankly the US ruling elites will also never agree to not start a war with Iran – unless of course they can get a bigger war going with someone else, like Pakistan, or North Korea, or China.

    BUT those wars are much further off because those wars will be much bigger and hotter than the Iran conflict and might (in the case of the latter two countries) threaten the US homeland directly. Iran on the other hand is a “nice” war – not too hot, but likely to go for a decade or longer, like Vietnam, like Afghanistan, like Iraq. That is the kind of war the US ruling elites like – lots of money rolling in for a long time, nice consistent cash flow, and almost no risk the US public will be able to do anything about it because the intensity of the war is too low to get the somnolent US public up in arms.

    The US will continue to push for an Iran war. And they’ll get it. But Syria is first.

  502. Castellio: Re Turkey What happened?”

    Don’t ask me. I don’t understand Turkey’s internal politics.

    All I know is they decided to support the overthrow of Syria, despite the obvious fact that it’s just another step to an Iran war, which they claim they don’t support.

    Someone explain why. I can’t. The only thing I know about Turkey is that they have a “deep state” which is highly corrupt. So I can only assume there is some corrupt reason for this turn of events, i.e., someone made a deal with the West for something.

  503. M. Ali says:

    Sassan, everyone has already told you that Reza K. is a worthless source. An unnamed, confirmed CIA spy does not seem like the most objective analyst.

    However, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt, and won’t really go into the article, just lets do this step by step. I know going towards the full article will confuse the matter and in two posts, you’ll be talking about raping 8 year olds, which I prefer not to go into detail again. However, as even talking about just the headline will be difficult, lets shorten that even furthur, and just focus on half of the headline, the first half,

    “Ayatollah: Kill all Jews”

    This should be easy, right?

    Okay, before we continue this further, I just respectfully ask you to please find me an actual quotation that has the Ayatollah saying this.

    If you do, I will not only eat my hat, but I will fuck it too.

    Go ahead. I have my hat in hand, ready for action.

  504. Sassan says:

    kooshy: the problem is Reza Kahlili provides the direct sources of the Islamic Republic including sources and names such as the website Alef (http://www.alef.ir/vdcepw8zwjh8ewi.b9bj.html?142262) and FarsNews including the writer Alireza Forghani who has strong ties with Khamanei along with the websites.

  505. Castellio says:

    FYI, given your assumptions, I find your comments at 2.42 very cogent.

  506. fyi: “Axis Powers will not attack Syria. They will intensify their Siege War against the Alawite state, hoping for its overthorw by the military.”

    I agree that this may be the initial thrust of the West in the immediate future. But this is likely to fail. And in any event, it will not achieve what Israel wants – a badly militarily weakened Syria which cannot prevent Israel from attacking Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley.

    “It is up to the Syrian Government, Iran, and Russia to affect regime change in Syria in such a way that the interests of the Alawites, Iran, and Russia are respected in the post-Assad Syria.

    The Arabs and Turks will try to sabotage this; just like EU and US repeatedly blocked various viable agreements among the various Lebanese factions in the past years [until Hezbullah started calling the shots.]”

    I agree with that. The problem is that the West, not just the Arabs and Turks, will be involved in sabotaging a viable outcome. The West, along with the Arabs, will continue to arm and supply the insurgents and cause chaos which will undermine any attempt to resolve the situation.

    Look at the West’s UN resolution and why Russia opposed it. It was entirely directed at Assad and NOTHING was demanded of the insurgents. It required Assad to pull all his troops back to their home bases and did not demand the same of the insurgents. As the Russian envoy said, no government would tolerate that.

    Therefore I can only re-iterate that the situation on the ground will grow worse in Syria, and nothing Syria, Iran and Russia can do will alter that.

    The goal of the West is NOT merely Assad’s ouster, but a militarily weakened Syria and full scale regime change. The West will not stop trying to achieve that regardless of any short term difficulties which may arise.

  507. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:

    February 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Shalom Sassan Joon-e-mamani

    Guess you just came to work and started the shift

    I believe you, specially seeing your recent post from Reza Khalili, if you are willing to every time accept the western propaganda at face value why not to have some decency for the other side for whatever it is worth.

  508. Unknown Unknowns says:

    James Canning says:
    February 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Interesting. Care to elaborate (specifically about the 20%)?

  509. By the way, anyone notice how Eric is avoiding engaging me at all on this AP nonsense? He only answers Arnold.

    He knows better.

    Since he thinks “his side” has won this argument, how about the rest of the readers weighing in on it.

    1) Does everyone here think that if Iran unilaterally agreed to adhere to the Additional Protocol that this would prevent a war campaign for up to four years?

    2) And does everyone there think that derailing the war campaign for up to four years would be sufficient to make the US so weak and Iran so strong that a war would henceforth be “impossible?”

  510. Castellio says:

    RSH. Agreed. Mostly.

    The elites do “hire” people. They usually hire among those already committed to the values of the elite. (Many of the hired don’t actually understand that, and believe they were hired for their individual virtues and exceptional abilities, and they may even deny the existence of the elite that has hired them.)

    Too much cognitive dissonance among the hired executive class and the elites don’t necessarily get what they want, there is confusion among their operatives as they begin to operate according to their own understanding, which has become ambivalent.

    Eric and Arnold are both discussing this question: What is confusing the executive class hired to sustain the values of the elite? To a great extent, this is what American democracy now looks like.

    The answer, as shown so clearly by Cheney and the Office of Special Plans, is that you simply hire a different executive class and empower them over the older set. This is what Homeland Security was about as well.

  511. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Paul Craig Roberts on the state of the US economy.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2012/02/02/the-real-economic-picture/

  512. fyi says:

    kooshy says: February 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    No single non-Iranian state will go unscathed in the Levant.

    Specially those states with substantial Shia populations.

    And iran has not even played her Shia cards.

  513. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I have: to frighten one group of Iranians into overthrowing the Khamenie-Ahmadinejad government.

    But, by threatening war, they also made war possible by incident or miscalculation or by false-flag operations.

  514. Eric: “What you claim I don’t say is exactly what I DO say: a successful PR campaign is necessary before any US president would order an attack on Iran.”

    And what *I* claim is that this has already been done – to the degree it even NEEDS to be done, since most polls explicitly state that the bulk of the US population knows NOTHING about the issue.

    Someone below just cited yet ANOTHER poll which says 48% of the population supports a a war with Iran.

    Yet YOU claim that if Iran adhered to the AP, this would magically “influence enough people” to force the government to postpone everything for up to four years.

    Which you FURTHER claim that “one to four years” would be ENOUGH for the US to grow weak enough and for Iran to grow strong enough that the US would be UNABLE to attack Iran.

    And you can’t back up that latter concept any better than the first concept!

    “While I believe that the US will not attack Iran unless and until the president gets a “green light” from the US public”

    Which THEY ALREADY HAVE!

    “I tend to think Obama is sincerely opposed to attacking Iran”

    Fantasy.

    “You, by contrast, believe that swaying the US public is entirely unnecessary — indeed, that it is altogether irrelevant.”

    In my case, I wouldn’t agree that it’s ENTIRELY irrelevant. There always has to be “the excuse”. But the fact remains that in the case of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan, “the excuse” worked just fine. And as has already been proven, it has worked fine in the case of Iran. And nothing Iran can do can alter that – which is precisely how “the excuse” works in every case.

    Because “the excuse” is ONLY that – an excuse. What MATTERS is the amount of EFFORT the government and the MSM puts into cementing it AS “the excuse”. ANY excuse would do if “nuclear weapons” were to fall over for some reason.

    And that is WHY Iran can do nothing. Because convincing the US population is NOT in Iran’s hands, it is in the hands of the US government and the MSM. And as long as they DO NOT CARE what Iran is doing, NOTHING Iran does will EVER matter.

    “To what do you attribute the absence of an attack on Iran so far?”

    Arnold has already answered that – often. He thinks the negative consequences of an attack are sufficient deterrence. So does fyi, I believe.

    My own answer is different. I point to the events of the last ten years as reason enough to have delayed the attack, as well as the need to ratchet up “the excuse” to sufficient levels.

    I do NOT deny that a PR campaign is needed.

    What I DENY is 1) that the PR campaign is not already successful, and 2) that anything Iran (or any other state targeted by the US such as Syria) can do can change that PR campaign in the slightest, let alone something as “esoteric” to the US electorate as adhering to the AP.

    YOU, on the other hand, have this fantasy that there are sufficient “influential” people in the US who, if convinced that Iran was adhering to the AP, could “somehow” force the PR campaign to be derailed – despite the UTTER lack of evidence of anything like happening in the past. And further that this derailment would “somehow” last long enough so that US is so weak and Iran so strong as to make an attack “impossible” without specifying ANY mechanism as to how this could come about.

    It’s utter bullshit.

  515. kooshy says:

    Regarding the situation in Syria

    I think the proxy war in Syria is now out in open and is going to drag in the Levant as well, which everyone will have to openly take side and contribute and participate including Israel and gulf Arab states, which are more venerable to be destabilized as the result than anyone else in the mix. I also think this is what the western planers final solution to subvert and slow down (spreading further) the Arab spring is, which is very very risky and may eventually end the western strategic position in the region, but I guess there are not many options left. This region wide war based on ethnic, religious, ideology to determine the political direction of the region will take many years to be finished.

  516. fyi says:

    James Canning says: February 6, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    In the summer of 2011, Axis Powers were on their way to escalation.

    Mr. Ahmadinejad’s offer was brushed-off since it interfered with the Axis Powers plans for increased pressure and sanctions to effect regime change in Iran.

    That they went the way of escalation, in my opinion, indicates the extent to which they are ignorant of internal realities of Iran.

    Next came the Iranian responses during the last 2 months.

    So, Axis Powers had to de-escalate or go to war.

    They have started their de-escalation at the same time that their expectation of a quick victory in Syria was thwarted by Russia and China.

    For the United States, who wants to “Pivot to Asia” but is effectively contained in the Middle East, the worst situation is to be sucked back into another war – this time with Iran – there.

    However, she had foolishly given Israel the ability as well as political cover to destroy US’s global position by launching a war against Iran.

    I surmise that the American planners (probably because they heard Mr. Khamenei loud and clear) are now trying to resolve the nuclear stand-off with Iran. This is their best option, in my opinion.

    The Russians are not prepared to start WWIII becuase of US_Iran War.

    But the threat to their security is such that they also need to solve the Iranian nuclear stand-off. Leaving a potential flash point that would cause WWIII is not in their interests.

    US, EU, Russia, China, and India all thought that they could manage and control the contours of their stand-off with Iran.

    Over the last 6 years, it has become clear that they cannot – all paths except de-escalation will lead eventually to war.

    [I have discussed before why.]

    Their P5+1 approach was based on intimidating Iran and harrasing her into giving up her sovereign rights.

    When that failed, they piled on pressure until they reached this impass.

    For Iranians leaders have spelled out that they will not surrender their rights.

    For the Americans, even within their brain-damaged political system, the possibility of resolving the Iranian nuclear case exists via the Russian Step-by-Step plan.

    US Congress cannot do anything to derail it legally.

    [Such an effort will lead to a Separation of Powers isse within US Constitutional Framework.]

    For the first time over the last 80 years, the question “What Price Israel?” has also been answered by US leaders.

    The loosers in all of this are EU states, India, and Israel.

    [Assuming that I am correct in my assessment that US leaders have concluded that the usage fo the nuclesr issue as a wedge against Iran has become too dangerous for US global position.]

  517. Sassan says:
    February 6, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Sassan,

    I notice the article you linked to provides no citations for its claims, which I agree are awfully damning. Do you know what the source of those claims is, so that we can evaluate that source?

  518. Castellio says:

    James, do you have a url for this Financial Times article??

  519. Castellio says:

    It wasn’t that long ago that many were praising Turkey on this site. I think it was Kooshy (among others, including myself) who supported Erdogan most strongly.

    What happened?

  520. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    The most highly regarded financial journal in the world, in English, is the Financial Times, which strongly opposed the newest round of sanctions against Iranian oil and gas exports.

  521. James Canning says:

    Robert Kagan is a leading neocon warmonger and proponent of grotesquely large “defence” spending by the US, to “protect” Israel. Ed Luce shreds Kagan in today’s Financial Times.

  522. Castellio: “He’s not on crack, just holds that a thin slice of America is more important than it is. Or should be more important than it is. And doesn’t feel good about letting that go.”

    You might be right. A lot of people simply can’t handle the cognitive dissonance that the US electorate no longer controls the US government in any substantial way – if it ever did since the 18th century…

    “However, Arnold, too, has his preferred thin slice of society that makes a difference.”

    Arnold also has extreme cognitive dissonance that yet another Iran war is possible, although he believes it’s because Iran’s “deterrence” is overwhelming. But in reality, Iran’s “deterrence” is minimal. It might influence the timing of the attack (as per Israel’s concern with Hizballah), but it can never prevent an attack.

    Arnold (and others such as fyi) can’t explain why there is a continued push toward war if in fact war is not possible. They’ve never attempted to explain that because they can’t.

    My “obsession” is what I view as fact: that the US pursues its foreign policy based on greed and power lust by a faction of the rich power elite and supported by the Israel Lobby and a bunch of idiot Christian Zionists.

    And since that is the case, there is nothing that can stop an Iran war once those ruling elites have decided it’s in their favor (as opposed to the actual rational interests of the US as a country.)

    This agrees with the behavior of just about every other state in human history, so I tend to believe I’m on more solid ground than other people in this argument.

    “As we know, Arnold argues that the issue is enrichment, period, Eric argues that the issue is nuclear weapons. But the strange elephant in the room is that the US goes to war for reasons and in ways that bypass that thin slice of “reasoning” individuals, be they concerned about the one or about the other.”

    Exactly. We all know why the US attacked Afghanistan – a pipeline (and in my view, the CIA wanted the heroin revenue back) and war profits. 9/11 had little to do with it. We all know why the US attacked Iraq – oil, and war profits, and Israel. “WMDs” had nothing to do with it. We all know why the US wants to attack Iran – regime change for Israel’s benefit, plus oil, plus petrodollars, plus war profits. “Nuclear weapons” have nothing to do with it.

    In every case, we have real reasons and then we have “the excuse”. But in these forums, “the excuse” gets most of the discussion. And then people start thinking “the excuse” is what determines whether there will be a war.

    Well, “the excuse” IS important because…well, it’s “the excuse”. So it has to at least SEEM to stand up in order to justify the war – or if not stand up at least be repeated enough that it is unquestioned by the bulk of the population. But there’s no guarantee that even if “the excuse” fails to stand up that is sufficient to prevent the war. There can always be another “the excuse”. And the US has plenty to choose from with regard to Iran: “support for terrorism”, poor civil rights, yada, yada. Just as once there were no WMDs found in Iraq, “the excuse” became “Saddam was a bad guy who killed his own people” and “supported Al Qaeda” and “was connected to 9/11” (by nothing, but that didn’t matter a whit once the charge was leveled.)

    Eric has this fantasy that “the excuse” can be undermined despite all the massive MSM and government efforts to cement it as “the excuse”. It’s a farcical notion.

    Arnold thinks the ruling elites are deterred by consequences that won’t affect them at all, just as the negative consequences of Afghanistan and Iraq have not affected them at all. Which is why all the usual suspects are right back at it pushing an Iran war.

    Eric thinks that Iran adhering to the AP will “somehow” delay the war long enough for the US to get so weak and Iran to get so strong that war becomes “impossible.”

    Arnold thinks Iran’s “deterrence” is so strong now and will get stronger that it will “somehow” deter the ruling elites forever.

    Neither are correct. Iran will never unilaterally agree to the AP without something in return and rightly so. Iran will never be strong enough to deter the largest and most powerful military in the world – even if said military loses in the end, as I believe it will. The US can lose and the US ruling elites won’t even care as long as the money flows in for the duration of the war. Then, assuming the US economy isn’t totally destroyed, the US will pay those ruling elites to rebuild the military and start another war – probably with Pakistan, or North Korea or China.

    And if the US economy IS totally collapsed, the ruling elites will just retire with their riches and move to Switzerland. The whole debacle won’t cost them anything.

    They won. We lose. That’s the way it’s been for most of human “civilized” history.

  523. James Canning says:

    I recommend strongly Edward Luce’s comments in the Financial Times today, challenging Robert Kagan’s recent contention the US has not declined, relatively, economically, over the past 40 years. And Obama seems to have liked some of the remarkable rubbish being put out by Kagan!

  524. Sassan says:

    Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel
    Iran lays out legal case for genocidal attack against ‘cancerous tumor’

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

  525. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree the US and the UK will not attack Syria.

  526. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Is it known where the two bomds were made? And does the reference to “the US” in the Press TV report mean agents in Iraq who were Americans? Or other people who could have been working for Mossad?

  527. fyi says:

    Sassan says: February 6, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Your favorite country – the United States – slaughtered a million Iraqis for the sake of Israel.

    Pray tell me, what was the rationality in that?

  528. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Axis Powers will not attack Syria.

    They will intensify their Siege War against the Alawite state, hoping for its overthorw by the military.

    It is up to the Syrian Government, Iran, and Russia to affect regime change in Syria in such a way that the interests of the Alawites, Iran, and Russia are respected in the post-Assad Syria.

    The Arabs and Turks will try to sabotage this; just like EU and US repeatedly blocked various viable agreements among the various Lebanese factions in the past years [until Hezbullah started calling the shots.]

    years ago.

  529. Sassan says:

    kooshy: No one in this world that has an inch of rationality in them takes seriously the claims of the regime and their propaganda news outlets. We have a free media unlike of that in Iran.

  530. Arnold,

    “It is somewhat offensive because you could just copy and paste actual arguments or you can admit you don’t have responses to the actual arguments that you can stand behind. Instead what you do looks like an attempt to mislead other people about the state of the disagreement.”

    When I read something like this, it is clear that you consider this “debate” to have been conclusively resolved in your favor long ago. If so, I don’t question the sincerity of your belief, but I don’t agree with that at all. If pressed to declare a winner so far, I’d pick my side — just as you, apparently, would pick your side. I’m not insisting I’m correct, but I’m certainly not conceding that you are. Obviously I feel that you are not.

    It’s a free country, of course, and so you’re free to hunker down, insist that this was all “resolved” in your favor long ago, and accuse me of sneaky behavior for “re-opening” the settled matter. But the winner of a “debate” isn’t selected by one of the debaters. I don’t consider this matter to have been resolved at all. I am both mystified and amused to learn that you do, but also a bit offended that you would suggest I’m behaving improperly by disagreeing with you that the matter has long since been settled.

  531. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    I think Ahmadinejad was right on target this past September when he offered that Iran would stop producing 20% U if the application to refuel the TRR was approved.

    I think Obama blundered by not responding to Ahmadinejad’s offer.

    I find it peculiar that R S Hack, and others, try to avoid discussing the merits of Ahmadinejad’s effort to renew negotiations with “the West”.

    Clearly, Ahmadinejad saw the problem created by the early June announcement of a planned trebling of production, and he sought to head off a new round of sanctions.

  532. kooshy says:

    According to Iran the bomb that killed the Iranian scientist was made in US and was transferred through Kurdistan to Iran

    US-made bomb killed Iran expert: Report

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/225277.html

  533. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    One of the core opinion makers in the British government, regarding how to deal with Iran, is Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Sir Malcolm thinks Iran intends to build nukes, and that enriching to 20% and stockpiling 20% U is part of the programme. Surely this is important.

  534. Unknown Unknowns says:

    James:

    I think Iran brought the latest round of sanctions onto itself by trebling enrichment of 20% U. What do you think?

  535. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    What explains your reluctance to say whether or not you believe Iran will refuse to stop encriching to 20% even if the IAEA aplication to refuel the TRR were approved?

  536. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Sensible comments. Did the US launch the invasion of Iraq when it did, because it was becoming too obvious the pretext for the war was being exposed as bogus? In other words, the “deniability” of the neocon warmongers, and others, was on verge of being lost?

  537. James Canning says:

    A poll in the National Journal had 17% supporting an American military attack against Iran.

  538. Arnold,

    “Do you believe the reason the US has not attacked Iran is that a PR campaign has not yet been successful? If you believe that, we disagree and maybe we can look at what would make you believe something like that. But you haven’t even said you believe that.”

    You’re setting up straw men and knocking them down.

    What you claim I don’t say is exactly what I DO say: a successful PR campaign is necessary before any US president would order an attack on Iran. I understand you don’t agree with that, but I’m puzzled that you claim not to understand that I am saying that; I think I’ve made it pretty clear.

    You do overstate what I say a bit, though. While I believe that the US will not attack Iran unless and until the president gets a “green light” from the US public, I do not believe that the US necessarily will attack Iran if the president is given that green light. I tend to think Obama is sincerely opposed to attacking Iran, for example. His backbone could stand a little stiffening, to be sure, and thus it’s possible that an extremely successful pro-war PR campaign — one which persuades the American public not only to give Obama a “green light” but also to press hard for an attack — would cause Obama to order an attack Iran even if he would prefer not to. Assuming, though, that Obama is not that quite that weak (and I believe he is not), persuading the American public to give him a “green light” will be (in my view) a necessary but not a sufficient condition to a US attack on Iran.

    You, by contrast, believe that swaying the US public is entirely unnecessary — indeed, that it is altogether irrelevant. But that leaves an important question unanswered: To what do you attribute the absence of an attack on Iran so far? You don’t seem to place much stock in Obama’s peaceful tendencies. Is it the weak economy? Uncertainty about the outcome? There must be some reason, after all.

  539. Rd. says:

    borzou Borzou Daragahi
    Wow – Misurata revolutionaries announce combat deaths of three #Libyan fighters in #Syria on.facebook

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/

  540. fyi: “I think this might be a reference to visiting Parchin.”

    Possibly. But the article is talking about a “work plan” that the Iranians allegedly handed over to the IAEA team which the team rejected as being a “delaying tactic”.

    We already know the Western diplomats are complaining about the Parchin visit. I think this was something else – or made up entirely for PR purposes.

  541. fyi: “Mr. Nasrallah (“God’s Victory”) will not initiate any hostilities against Israel unless and until Iran is attacked.”

    That was my assumption, too, but that was before it became clear Syria was going to be attacked as part of a plan to surprise attack Hizballah.

    Nasrallah is NOT going to let Hizballah be surprise attacked again. If he’s smart, he’ll take the initiative even if it means he gets blamed for starting the war. What does it matter who gets blamed if your survival is at stake? This is the excuse Israel has used in the past about 1967. Hizballah can use it as well.

    On the other hand, even if he doesn’t want to start such a war, he can always THREATEN to do so as a deterrent to Israel. Which is what I think he’s doing. I don’t think it will work, though. In such a case, you have to be willing to follow through.

    Otherwise it puts Nasrallah between a rock and a hard place – either he does and gets blamed or he doesn’t and lets Israel have the initiative. Nasrallah presumably believes he can afford the latter, given Hizballah’s preparations to defend Lebanon. But this time Israel is going to throw at least two, maybe armored divisions into Lebanon.

    The goal is to disrupt Hizballah’s ability to fire missiles. So if I were Nasrallah, once any hint of an Israel attack is apparent via SIGINT or other intelligence, I’d start launching those missiles first to have maximum effect. Or at least threaten to immediately do so as a last ditch means of deterrent.

  542. fyi: “They are a nation of tribes, each with its own agenda.”

    OK. I naively thought most of them were into getting their own country out of each of the existing countries. So I assumed none of them were into supporting the existing governments since all of those governments are opposed to Kurds getting their own country.

    If you say that’s not the case, I’ll take your word for it.

  543. Irshad: “Russian Knights Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker in Iran!”

    NICE pics! As someone said in the comments, must have been strange for the Russian pilots to be escorted by US model jets…

    I remember watching Phantoms in Vietnam doing bombing runs in the hills across from Phung Ro Bay in 1968. Amazing that Iran is still flying those despite the sanctions.

  544. Castellio says:

    RSH writes: Here’s the bottom line: This is your “crack obsession”, like Canning’s 20%. It’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit. But for reasons of your own, you keep raising it like a bad penny no matter how many times Arnold and I smack you down.

    He’s not on crack, just holds that a thin slice of America is more important than it is. Or should be more important than it is. And doesn’t feel good about letting that go.

    He believes in the role of reason and debate in US society. He believes it makes a difference. And to an extent it does. But mostly in the lives of those individuals, not in the actions of the government, guided as it is by forces much more powerful than the opinions of that extremely thin slice of the chattering classes.

    However, Arnold, too, has his preferred thin slice of society that makes a difference. He wrote: “As long as the mainstream US foreign policy community believes (I think correctly, Eric may disagree) that the after-effects would be disastrous and also that the benefits from the US’ point of view would be comparatively minor, then there will not be a strike. Not in 2012 or 2013.”

    Who is this mainstream US foreign policy community? What views and opinions are they listening to? How are their opinions changed? How is it that they are more powerful than the Congress, as enthralled as it is by AIPAC and Bibi? How is it that they will be more pwerful than President Romney, say?

    As we know, Arnold argues that the issue is enrichment, period, Eric argues that the issue is nuclear weapons. But the strange elephant in the room is that the US goes to war for reasons and in ways that bypass that thin slice of “reasoning” individuals, be they concerned about the one or about the other.

  545. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You appeared to claim I did not expect William Hague to offer criticism of Russia and China if they vetoed the UNSC resolution on Syria. I expected the veto and also the criticism that followed.

  546. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Simple yes or no. Do you think Iran would refuse to stop enriching to 20% even if the IAEA application were approved (to refuel the TRR)?

  547. James Canning says:

    Uknown Unknowns,

    The Financial Times today quotes the Iranian oil minister as saying the cut-off of oil to the EU will be symbolic, and that countries relying on Iranian oil imports will not be cut off.

  548. Canning: Don’t waste your time addressing your usual pointless questions to me because I’m ignoring your nonsense. If you can’t engage in a logical manner, I can’t be bothered with you.

    I have enough trouble keeping up with Eric’s nonsense which at least can be engaged directly.

  549. Arnold: “It is somewhat offensive because you could just copy and paste actual arguments or you can admit you don’t have responses to the actual arguments that you can stand behind. Instead what you do looks like an attempt to mislead other people about the state of the disagreement.”

    Exactly. This is why I’m very harsh on Eric about this. It’s intellectually dishonest to keep bringing this up over and over as if he can win by attrition by making us too tired to keep rehashing the same argument over and over.

    He’s like Canning and his 20% crap. I don’t know what his emotional reasons are for doing this. Canning at least I can partially understand – he’s British and he keeps trying to prove Britain isn’t a US poodle, so he has to explain why Britain keeps going along with an Iran war while claiming it doesn’t want one. So he blames Iran for enriching to 20%.

    As for Eric, I can only assume he has “lawyer’s disease” – arguing for arguing’s sake.

  550. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Are you actually arguing that the US is trying to control the oil and gas of Iran? How would this be accomplished, when it was impossible under the Shah?

  551. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You claim Iran “will not give up enrichment”. Do you mean Iran will not end production of 3.5% U, and would not end production of 20% U even if its IAEA app;ication to refuel the TRR were approved?

  552. Eric: “I can’t “prove” anything;”

    White of you to admit it…

    “What I consider to be important is my clear impression”

    Your impression is in your own mind. There is zero evidence for it anywhere in the actual polls.

    “those who would like to attack Iran can say, correctly”

    Except you can’t find any proponent of an attack on Iran who actually says that. What they ACTUALLY SAY is that Iran is hiding a nuclear weapons program, that Iran has violated its IAEA obligations, that Iran is enriching uranium (without admitting Iran’s legal right – which as I’ve repeatedly told you is obviously FAR MORE IMPORTANT to acknowledge than the AP), and a bunch of yada, yada about “terrorism” and “mad mullahs threatening Israel.”

    You can’t find anyone talking about, “Gee, Iran won’t adhere to the AP.” They don’t even mention that Iran used to adhere to it but then backed out of it – you’d think someone concerned about the AP would mention that little fact as a slam against Iran. But no, you don’t see that anywhere, either.

    “Since the disclosure of the Qom/Fordow enrichment facility in late 2009, they have an especially useful example”

    Which is also NEVER cited in any discussion or article I’ve seen.

    “Perhaps you don’t think it matters what the American public thinks. You may be right about that, but I disagree.”

    Based on what? More hand waving on your part, which is completely and totally unsupported by every single poll on the issue.

    Here’s the bottom line: This is your “crack obsession”, like Canning’s 20%. It’s bullshit. You know it’s bullshit. But for reasons of your own, you keep raising it like a bad penny no matter how many times Arnold and I smack you down.

    Keep it up, you’ll end up like Canning – being universally ignored here.

  553. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Are you suggesting I am surprised that William Hague would offer criticism of the Russian and Chinese veto of the UNSC resolution on Syria? I expected it.

  554. Unknown Unknowns says:

    I guess the press in the land of the free failed to report the Syrian representative’s response to ‘Disgusting’ Susan Rice’s outburst, which was that rather she should be disgusted at the 60+ solitary veto votes her country cast against otherwise unanimous measures aimed at stopping Israeli atrocities against the Palestinian people, which continue unabated.

  555. Run-up to proxy war over Syria
    By M K Bhadrakumar
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NB07Ad01.html

    Quote

    If Washington knows the ground realities in Syria, Moscow and Beijing know them, too. Thus, a test of will is developing over Syria. The US and its allies and Turkey can raise the pitch of the overt operations. But Russia can also raise the political and military ‘cost’ of the covert war. Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said over the weekend that Moscow will “do its utmost to avert a heavy-handed interference in Syria”, although it “cannot prevent a military intervention in Syrian affairs if this decision is made by any country.”

    End Quote

  556. Syria and those ‘disgusting’ BRICS
    By Pepe Escobar
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NB07Ak02.html

    Quotes

    United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the double veto a “travesty”. Then Clinton duly incited “friends of democratic Syria” to keep working for regime change, which was the object of the resolution. The copyright for this idea is held by the liberator of Libya, neo-Napoleonic French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who

    said Paris was already working to create a NATOGCC “Friends of the Syrian People Group” in charge of implementing the Arab League’s regime change plan.

    Right on cue, Paris puppet Burhan Ghalyun, the head of the Syrian National Council (SNC) – the opposition umbrella group – also summoned these countries “friendly to the Syrian people”. Everybody knows who they are; the US, Britain, France, Israel and GCC members Qatar and Saudi Arabia. With “friends” like these, the “Syrian people” certainly don’t need enemies.

    Even the venerable stones of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus know that only Washington has the right to wield veto power at the UN – overwhelmingly to protect the state of Israel’s right to kill Palestinian men, women and children with tanks and shelling without bothering about pesky UN resolutions.

    To understand what’s at stake, it’s crucial to keep in mind who’s defecting from the Syrian army. Syria’s top military – also members of the Ba’ath Party – are almost all Alawis, the folk Shi’ite sect (10% of the overall population). They are not defecting.
    The defectors are overwhelmingly Sunni troops (70% of the overall population); they are forming militias, Libya-style, heavily infiltrated by mercenaries weaponized by the GCC, and fighting government troops. The government’s response has been to target the neighborhoods where the families of these defectors live. The center of Homs nowadays is controlled by the rebels.

    So what’s really happening on the ground in Homs? Here are sections from a crucial e-mail sent by a trusted Syrian Christian source:

    Many Syrians are ecstatic about the double veto but Homs is very worrying. The opposition spread news about a massacre just before the vote and they quoted numbers in the hundreds … unbelievably quoted by all news channels (all based on “activists”) without any verification, only to bring the number down to something like 33 later. They never showed any bombing or taking people under rubble or any injured people … just clean-bodied men with their hands and feet tied up and shot mostly once and only in their underwear. Whatever the Syrian government has in its arsenal it seems there are very intelligent bombs that can strip and tie up people then shoot them in the head!!

    The thing that we know fully well is that there are no army presence in Homs. My parents left the city then came back Saturday morning on the day of the alleged massacre and there was nothing. They usually call a hotline (115) and ask if the roads are safe and security operator will tell you to come to Homs or not. This time they told them to come and indeed there was nothing to be seen or heard. This of course doesn’t mean that most of the city and particularly the old city is under the control of the gunmen. Our old neighborhood where I grew up (the Christian Bustan al-Diwan) was completely taken over by the gunmen. YouTube videos show how the FSA cleared the army roadblock in the previous neighborhood (Bab al-Dreib) and then proceeded to destroy the one guarding our neighborhood.

    People in my neighborhood did not complain of any major harassment or problem, however the “revolutionaries” did indeed break into a couple of homes that their people left either days earlier or at the time, also into a school, Homs Newspaper (operated by the Orthodox church for more than 100 years) and a few other restaurants but no other complaints. I mean, considering what these FSA do to Alawites, then the Christians are really getting very fair treatment so far.

    What many believe now is that the bodies shown tied up and shot in Khalidiya and which are alleged to be “men, women and children” killed by a bombardment of the Syrian army were nothing but kidnapped Syrian soldiers. Add to them kidnapped Alawites who were not liberated (or actually exchanged). When the FSA kidnap some people, Alawites started to kidnap in return to exchange the prisoners. This doesn’t always work and some people who weren’t “exchanged for” turned up dead in Khalidiya.

    All this dovetails with an explanation by fine journalist Nir Rosen, author of the indispensable Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World ; Homs is essentially a question of rebels seizing government checkpoints – and government forces shelling a few neighborhoods with mortars. According to Rosen:
    There was no fighting in Homs, just shelling from these safe locations (from the point of view of the regime), suggesting they are unable to actually attack Khalidiya with regime fighters … No opposition fighters were killed in the attack. And up to 130 people in Khaldiyeh were killed and 800 wounded (like I said not fighters). Now that’s a lot of people but if you were watching the news … you would think that Homs was destroyed while in fact this attack can also be seen as a sign of the regime’s weakness in the city.

    End Quotes

    But this is not what you can read today in every US media outlet – which says Assad’s regime is “brutally cracking down on Homs”, killing dozens of people, yada, yada. ALL of it based on “opposition sources”…

  557. Castellio: “In public, at least, there is absolutely no anxiety of the US being threatened by Iran, and likewise there is absolutely no concern that Iran is being threatened by blockades and military action.”

    Yup. This agrees with all the polls that say at least 75 percent of Americans know “little” or “nothing” about the Iran crisis.

    This is why the ruling elites can start any war they want – the US public doesn’t care because they are incapable of connecting their economic woes to US foreign policy and the dominance of the military-industrial complex (for whom most of them are working for, I might add.)

    I had a talk with one of my clients (not the Israeli one!) about what is going on in Syria, and he knew nothing except what he’d heard on the evening news and was surprised when I told him nothing he had heard on the news was true.

    Trust me. Next to no one in the US knows what is going on with their own government and no one cares a whit about how many brown people get bombed in other countries. They reflexively state in polls that they are “opposed to a war” – but do absolutely nothing – and CAN do absolutely nothing – to prevent a war.

    And this is the crowd Eric thinks will stop the US ruling elites from starting an Iran war if Iran unilaterally signs the AP.

    It’s a joke. Eric is on crack.

  558. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I think this might be a reference to visiting Parchin.

    Iranians may or may not permit a visit to a miliatry site which is not part of their nuclear sites again – they did that in 2005.

    But IAEA is not a disarmament agency and cannot legally ask for such access.

    Nor Iran is obliged to provide it.

  559. kathleen says:

    “Stop blabbing, already,” he reportedly told the officials. “This chit-chat causes huge damage, puts Israel on the front line, and damages sanctions” imposed by the United States and Europe on Iran, the premier reportedly said.”

    If Netanyahu said this…just more absurdity. Netanyahu has been using dangerous “blabber” about Iran for years now. He is such a hypocrite

  560. U.N. nuclear talks in Tehran: frustrated hopes
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/06/us-nuclear-iran-iaea-idUSTRE8151H820120206

    Quote

    Then, on the evening before the third and final session of last week’s meetings in the Iranian capital, the visiting U.N. nuclear watchdog delegation was handed an envelope that dealt a blow to any hopes of substantive progress.

    According to one Vienna-based diplomat briefed on the discussions, it contained a procedural “new work plan” at odds with the nature of the discussions until then, in which the U.N. experts had tried to focus on concrete steps required by Iran.

    In the view of Western officials, the Iranian move was further proof of the kind of stalling tactics Tehran has often used during the decade-long dispute over its nuclear program.

    “It is delay. It is talks about talks,” a senior Western envoy said about the Iranian negotiating strategy.

    The team from the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, headed by Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts, was forced to use much of the last day of the January 29-31 meeting to push back against the Iranian initiative.

    “The agency had to spend a great deal of time getting over Iranian obfuscation,” said another diplomat. “It wasted a lot of time, at least a day.”

    Neither Iran nor the IAEA have commented on the Iranian proposal or given details about it.

    End Quote

    So in other words, since neither the IAEA nor Iran have said anything about this, we must conclude that “Western diplomats” are once again trying to sabotage any progress, rather than Iran…

    In any event, I think we can safely conclude that any further talks will go no where…

  561. Rick Rozoff of Stop NATO on RT on the Syria crisis.
    :http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/02/06/rick-rozoff-of-stop-nato-on-rt/

    Taking sides: Major split in UNSC after Syria veto
    :http://rt.com/news/lavrov-clinton-syria-resolution-517/

    Quote

    Russia’s UN ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, justified the veto by saying the proposed resolution “sent an unbalanced signal to the Syrian parties.” The resolution puts pressure on the Syrian regime to immediately withdraw its forces from cities and towns – but nothing of the sort applies to the opposition.

    “No president would leave a residential area to armed extremists without any attempt to resist,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

    Later in the day, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on “friends of a democratic Syria” within the UN to form a group similar to the Contact Group on Libya, which oversaw NATO operations in the country and international aid and to the forces opposing the regime of the late Muammar Gaddafi.

    Clinton also vowed to “expose” those who are funding Assad’s regime and sending arms shipments to the Syrian government.

    End Quote

    You can bet Clinton will expend NO effort “exposing” those who are arming the insurgents…

    Anyone who can’t see where this is going after Libya and before that Yugoslavia has to be deaf, dumb and blind…

  562. Report: Israel PM Tells Officials to Stop Iran ‘Blabber’
    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/29086-report-israel-pm-tells-officials-to-stop-iran-blabber

    Netanyahu is unhappy about all his people proclaiming things about whether Israel will attack Iran.

    Quote

    “Stop blabbing, already,” he reportedly told the officials. “This chit-chat causes huge damage, puts Israel on the front line, and damages sanctions” imposed by the United States and Europe on Iran, the premier reportedly said.

    Maariv’s sources said there was concern that Israel “might be perceived as dragging the U.S. into a war with Iran against its will and endangering the U.S.’s national interests.”

    End Quote

  563. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Mr. Nasrallah (“God’s Victory”) will not initiate any hostilities against Israel unless and until Iran is attacked.

  564. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Yes, finally it downed on them that escalation to strategic Nowhere Land is going to hurt them more than it would the Iranians.

    The whole thing was stupid, but then those whom gods wants to destroy they first make stupid.

  565. This could be important if true…

    Hizbullah Will Defend Syrian Regime Even at Price of Sparking War with Israel
    http://www.naharnet.com/stories/en/28977-hizbullah-will-defend-syrian-regime-even-at-price-of-sparking-war-with-israel

    Quote

    This position echoed Israeli fears that a war with the party may be ignited in order to divert attention from the current developments in Syria, said the newspaper.

    The Israeli leadership is mulling “the need to issue an open threat to Hizbullah as part of a wider strategy adopted by the Israeli government.”

    “This strategy aims at deterring Hizbullah and Iran from carrying out any attack against Israeli targets,” stated several sources, including the Jerusalem Post.

    End Quote

    In other words, interpreting the above, Israel is now concerned that Nasrallah may start a war with Israel BEFORE Israel can surprise attack Hizballah with cover from a US/NATO Syrian bombardment.

    In still other words, Nasrallah, who is no fool, knows that Israel would use a Syrian war to cover an attack on Hizballah, and is warning Israel that if the situation in Syria proceeds that war, Hizballah will derail that by attacking first.

    Whether Hizballah would attack first is problematical – BUT Israel cannot COUNT on that. This introduces a new factor into the game.

  566. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    This is not new; they just made public a warning that they had made privately several years ago.

  567. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: February 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    You do not understand Kurds.

    They are a nation of tribes, each with its own agenda.

    And some Kurds are Shia and some are Sunni.

    Even in 1980, there were Kurds whp fought the central government of Iran and others who supported and fought for that central government.

    Likewise in Iraq under the Ba’ath rule.

  568. Juan Cole on How an Israeli Strike on Iran could radically weaken Israel
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/02/how-an-israeli-strike-on-iran-could-radically-weaken-israel.html

    He makes some good points, but the problem is I doubt Netanyahu cares about most of them except to the degree that he understands Israel needs an “excuse” to attack Iran.

  569. China defends Syria veto, doubts West’s intentions
    http://news.yahoo.com/china-paper-defends-syria-veto-doubts-wests-intentions-020735548.html

    Quote

    “This vote by China was above all a vote on trends on the Middle East,” the Global Times said in an editorial.

    “The Chinese people are starting to believe that Western opinion is habitually hostile to China and there’s no use at all in trying to curry favour.”

    End Quote

    Got that right…

  570. Suck on this, Canning…

    Hague attacks China and Russia over UN Syria veto
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-16895264

  571. More on new US sanctions on Iran’s Central Bank.

    U.S. imposes stricter sanctions on Iran’s central bank
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/u-s-imposes-stricter-sanctions-on-iran-s-central-bank-1.411417

  572. Report: Top Iran military official aiding Assad’s crackdown on Syria opposition
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/report-top-iran-military-official-aiding-assad-s-crackdown-on-syria-opposition-1.411402

    More likely, he’s there to tell Assad, “Hey, if you lose, we’re next. So you aren’t allowed to lose…”

    This quote I don’t understand, though…

    “Parallel to these efforts, however, the opposition seems to be facing a new and violent civilian group that is comprised mainly of Syria’s Kurdish minority. This group is working as strongmen for the regime, both in Damascus and in Kurdish population centers.”

    Why would the Kurds, who presumably want their own country out of Syria just like the Kurds in Iraq, support the Assad regime? Makes no sense to me.

  573. Irshad says:

    Russian Knights Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker in Iran!

    Some beutiful photos of the Russian planes flying over Iran with Iranian F14, F4s and Mig-29 flying alongside them!

    http://englishrussia.com/2012/01/30/the-russian-knights-flying-over-iran/

    This sums it up for me – if there is regim change in Syria and Iran – then the Russians are trapped – they will have no outlet either via airspace or sea routes to the warmer southern countries. Those markets will be closed off to Russian goods as well.

    I remember when the Russians wanted to fly in troops to Serbia during the Nato bombing of Kosovo – the yankees got the Bulgarians to deny them flight rights – i.e. no you cannot fly over our country – and the Russians couldnt do nowt!

  574. Iran vows to attack any country used by ‘enemies’ to strike its soil
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/iran-vows-to-attack-any-country-used-by-enemies-to-strike-its-soil-1.411191

    Quote

    Meanwhile,Turkey and Qatar urged the West on Sunday not to attack Iran to solve a nuclear row, but rather to make greater efforts to negotiate an end to the dispute.

    End Quote

    So why is Qatar trying to overthrow Assad in Syria? They have to know that this is part of the Israeli game plan to enable an Iran war. Or, of course, Qatar’s leaders are just stupid… Or they’re lying and really would like to see an Iran war, but are denying this in hopes Iran won’t target them during the war. Good luck with that, Qatar…

  575. New York Times hypes Israeli threats some more…

    When Talk of War Transcends Idle Chatter
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/06/world/middleeast/in-israel-talk-of-attacking-iran-transcends-idle-chatter.html

    Quote

    But Israel’s top leaders also worry that the sanctions are too late and that, in the end, a military assault is the only way to accomplish their goal — stopping Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. So the talk in this crisis is not made instead of action, but in addition to it — and perhaps as a prelude to it.

    End Quote

    The problem with that is that Israel KNOWS Iran doesn’t have and isn’t going to have nuclear weapons. Therefore BY DEFINITION any Israeli threat to attack has to be based on some OTHER motivation.

    This does NOT mean that Israel WON’T attack, however. Because Israel always needs an “excuse” to attack someone – even if it’s a relatively lame excuse. So Israel NEEDS the hype on a bogus Iran nuclear weapons program to JUSTIFY the attack Israel will make REGARDLESS.

    And therefore it needs to make that attack when the hype is at its height and BEFORE the hype becomes meaningless because it becomes a “boy cried wolf” phenomena.

    This is why I’ve said for years now that the crisis CANNOT continue forever without it being resolved either by the US and Israel backing down or war. And neither the US nor Israel – especially Israel – will back down. And Iran certainly won’t give up enrichment. So the crisis MUST be resolved before it goes on so long WITHOUT Iran having nuclear weapons that eventually NO ONE believes Iran will EVER have nuclear weapons.

    So Israel MAY well think that it needs to attack NOW – or SOON – because tensions are approaching their height and thus provide the best “cover” for Israel to attack and thus provoke the US to attack and thus accomplish Israel’s REAL goal of weakening or destroying Iran.

  576. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric:

    You’ve answered a hypothetical of mine once so:

    If John Bolton picks up tomorrow’s paper and it says Iran is implementing the AP and 3.1, he’ll forward it to Gary Samore, and ask, with this new information Iran is committing to, let’s see if there is anything there that we incorporate into our sabotage programs. Let’s also look for ways to argue that Iran is not complying with these obligations.

    As far as bombing Iran, Bolton wants to prevent Iran from enriching uranium. In a PR battle between Iran’s UN ambassador and Bolton over a US audience, Bolton will win regardless of the AP and 3.1, not that it matters. Obama will bomb Iran before any PR campaign, and do the PR campaign afterwards given the opportunity.

    Bolton is not somewhere thinking he needs to convince more people not to trust Iran. PR just is not the limiting factor of a US military strike.

    You’re not even saying it is.

    Do you believe the reason the US has not attacked Iran is that a PR campaign has not yet been successful?

    If you believe that, we disagree and maybe we can look at what would make you believe something like that. But you haven’t even said you believe that.

    If, contrary to my belief, PR was actually important, that would raise the second question of how much PR value would implementing the AP and 3.1 actually have.

    You say a small but positive amount. How small? I’ve asked you for the name of one person whose view on attacking Iran might change. If you can’t give one name, even you have to admit there is no tangible reason to believe the amount is larger than zero.

    Masoud asks you how many people do you think would change their opinion on bombing Iran because of this PR gesture. You say enough to delay an attack by 1 to 4 years. How many is that? Is that 5% of the population? 1%? 1 person?

    Same thing again. It would change the opinion of some small number of people, but you can’t guess how many, but you can guess that it will delay an attack by 1 to 4 years.

    It’s been more than a year. I’m never going to have the satisfaction of ever reading you write that there’s no reason to believe implementing the AP and 3.1 would delay a US attack.

    You’re never going to have the satisfaction of reading me write that there is reason to believe implementing the AP and 3.1 would delay a US attack.

    Recently you’re saying you can’t prove implementing the AP and 3.1 would delay an attack and I can’t prove the opposite. It’s not only that you can’t prove the position you’re advocating. You can’t provide an argument supporting it that withstands scrutiny. You say it will change many people’s minds. Name one. You can’t. But if you can’t name one your statement that it will change many is at least called into question. This is not a matter of failing to prove it, this is failing to establish that it is even plausible.

    We could just let the subject drop, except you like bringing the topic back up, mischaracterizing my and others’ arguments and acting as if you have valid responses to them. You really don’t.

    It is somewhat offensive because you could just copy and paste actual arguments or you can admit you don’t have responses to the actual arguments that you can stand behind. Instead what you do looks like an attempt to mislead other people about the state of the disagreement.

  577. Robert Parry on Return of Cheney’s One Percent Doctrine
    Just as happened before the Iraq War, those who want to bomb Iran are scaring the American people with made-up scenarios about grave dangers ahead, new warnings as ludicrous as the “mushroom cloud” tales that panicked the U.S. public a decade ago, reports Robert Parry.
    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/02/04/return-of-cheneys-one-percent-doctrine/

    Quotes

    “‘This is happening in order to smuggle ordnance into the United States for the carrying out of terror attacks. Imagine this regime getting nuclear weapons to the U.S.-Mexico border and managing to smuggle it into Texas, for example. This is not a far-fetched scenario.’”

    But it is a far-fetched scenario. Indeed, there is zero intelligence to support this fear-mongering about such an Iranian plan. That the New York Times would publish such a provocative assertion without a countervailing pushback from serious U.S. intelligence analysts represents the kind of irresponsible journalism that the Times, the Washington Post and much of the mainstream U.S. news media displayed during the run-up to war with Iraq.

    The fact is that U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded – and the Israeli Mossad apparently agrees – that Iran has NOT even decided to build a nuclear bomb, let alone that it would do something as nutty as give one to people outside its direct control to attack the United States, thus guaranteeing Iran’s own annihilation.

    In a New York Times report on Friday, Ya’alon was back again, pushing the claim that Iran had been developing an intercontinental missile that could travel 6,000 miles and strike the United States. “That’s the Great Satan,” he said, using Iran’s epithet for the United States. “It was aimed at America, not at us.”

    In response to that claim, even the Times felt obliged to add some factual counterweight, noting that “the assertions went far beyond what rocket experts have established about Iran’s missile capabilities, and American officials questioned its accuracy.” There is also the point that such a hypothetical missile attack on the United States would be detected immediately and ensure a devastating counterattack on Iran.

    End Quotes

  578. Rehmat says:

    Richard Steven Hack – PITY, Iranian have survived under the US sanctions for the last 32 years – while the Zionist entity cannot survive without $6 billion annual American aid. Ironically, even after robbing US taxpayers of $3 trillion since 1970s – according to Israeli daily – one out of every three Israeli Jewish children live in poverty.

  579. An attack on Iran must be stopped
    As the US and UK gear up for another senseless war in the Middle East, one thing is certain – it will end in disaster
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/04/attack-on-iran-stopped

    Quote

    Libya, far from being the war that went well, was bombed to “protect civilians” with the result that 30,000 died and thousands more remain in prison reportedly being tortured by the regime Nato installed.

    “They couldn’t be so crazy” is therefore not an unreasonable response to the speculation about yet another Middle East war. But here we go again.

    The US national intelligence director James Clapper’s unsubstantiated claim that Iran is preparing attacks in the US itself – without even a 45-minute warning, apparently – is one sign among many that the familiar spook-media propaganda coalition is in overdrive again, selling another cock-eyed conflict.

    End Quote

  580. From the managing editor of The Progressive.

    Bombing Iran Is not the Answer
    http://www.progressive.org/bombing_iran_not_answer.html

  581. Rehmat says:

    “Criticism of Israel is like old-fashioned anti-Semitism,” Stephen Harper, Canadian Prime Minister, listed as “Author” on Israel Hasbara Committee.

    Moroccan-Canadian sales manager, Saad Allami 40, was arrested and detained last month by Quebec provincial police for sending a text message to his colleagues urging them to “blow away” the competition at a trade show in New York City.

    “The Quebec man says he was arrested by provincial police while picking up his seven-year-old son at school. A team of police officers stormed into his home, telling his wife she was married to a terrorist. And his work colleagues were detained for hours at the US border because of their connection to him,” The Globe And Mail, February 2, 2012.

    Allami is seeking $100,000 from the Quebec provincial police force, one of its sergeants, and the provincial government for unlawful detention, unlawful arrest, loss of income and damage to his reputation.

    Now compare this incident with Andrew B. Alder, the Jewish publisher of Atlanta Jewish Times in United States. The Zionazi calls for the murder of US President Barack Obama, but no FBI official even dared to knock his office door.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/how-a-muslim-becomes-terrorist-in-canada/

  582. An analysis of Israel’s capabilities against Iran – conclusion: not so much…

    ANALYSIS-Subs, silos, UAVs: Rumours cloud Israel’s Iran clout
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/analysis-subs-silos-uavs-rumours-cloud-israels-iran-clout/

    But just like Iran, it would be wise not to underestimate Israel, which is known for pulling off difficult one-off attacks.

  583. Iranians bemoan sanctions hardship as vote approaches
    http://news.yahoo.com/iranians-bemoan-sanctions-hardship-vote-approaches-130207046.html

    Quote

    “America uses the nuclear issue as an excuse to replace our regime with a puppet regime to control our energy resources. But we will not let them. Nuclear technology is our right and I fully support our leaders’ view. Death to America,” said student Mohammad Reza Khorrami in the northern town of Chalous.

    End Quote

    Well, at least one guy got it right.

  584. kathleen says:

    The Rehm show focused on Iran this morning. Got on and asked them to have Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett on as well as former weapons inspector Robert Kelly to discuss Iran. Spun it like this “know that Diane and her team are committed to educating the public about these issues” Might have even said “based on facts” The transcript is not up yet. Which is really in many ways bull because Diane has allowed unsubstantiated claims about Iran to be repeated on her program and has not challenged. Anyway that is the way I stated that if they want to educate the public they will have the Leveretts on to discuss the situation with Iran.

    This morning on Washington Journal they read a poll that said that 48% of Americans would support an attack on Iran. Will Diane Rehm and other MSM outlets continue to help build that support for an attack on Iran by having guest on who repeat unsubstantiated claims about Iran? Tipping that support for an attack to over 50%. Or will the MSM ask challenging questions and provide accurate information about Iran, Israel and the US history of meddling in Iran

  585. A talk by David Henderson to the Rotary Club in Monterey. Nice recap of why war with Iran is a bad idea. Would be nice to every social organization in the US held such a talk.

    Is Iran a Threat?
    http://original.antiwar.com/henderson/2012/02/05/is-iran-a-threat/

  586. Justin Raimondo on The Syrian Crucible
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/02/05/the-syrian-crucible/

    Quotes

    Under the rubric of the National Endowment for Democracy, and USAID, Washington ships billions of US tax dollars overseas to promote the work of government-funded NGOs, in effect creating the American equivalent of the old Soviet Comintern. With its agents ensconced in “civil society” all over the world, Washington uses these groups to pursue its foreign policy agenda of “regime change” in countries whose rulers are insufficiently subservient to American aims. We saw this during the Bush era, when various “color revolutions” from Ukraine to Kyrgyzstan were sparked by US-funded –and-trained groups. The US strategy is clearly to co-opt rather than oppose the revolutionary upsurge and use it as a means to advance American interests in the region, but this raises two questions:

    1) Who and what are we backing, and 2) Is this a boon or a bane for those suffering under the dictatorship of, say, Bashar al-Assad of Syria? As Jacob Heilbrunn, writing in The National Interest, puts it:

    “Apparently the State Department has financed Syrian groups and television programs attacking the Assad regime. U.S. diplomatic cables, the Post says, reveal that the State Department has disbursed at least $6 million to a group called the Movement for Justice and Development–a grouping of Syrian exiles living in London.

    The Libyan “National Transitional Council” announced its support to the Syrian rebels, and sent 600 fighters to the Turkish border. Financed and supported by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, the “Free Syrian Army” is intent on sparking a sectarian war, pitting Sunnis against Alawites and Christians. Their “Abu Bakr Brigade, which originated in Libya, and is said to be recruited from Al Qaeda, is posting anti-Alawite videos as part of their propaganda operation. This group has claimed responsibility for various attacks on Iranian targets, notably blowing up an Iranian military aircraft carrying 302 soldiers in 2003. The rebels are especially angry over what they characterize as growing Iranian influence in Syria, another factor that frames their cause in sectarian terms.

    End Quotes

  587. Syrian Rebels’ Supply Lines
    http://www.stratfor.com/analysis/syrian-rebels-supply-lines

    Quote

    Syria’s allies in Hezbollah have been assisting Syria’s crackdown efforts by kidnapping and intimidating suspected FSA collaborators in Lebanon. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps presence in Lebanon and Syria is also believed to be crucial in reinforcing the Syrian regime’s efforts to track down FSA rebels and their sponsors.

    End Quote

  588. ‘Israeli attack will prompt Pakistani response’
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4185684,00.html

    Quote

    Nick Witney, former head of the EU’s European Defense Agency, said “the political and economic consequences of an Israeli attack would be catastrophic for Europe” since the likely spike in the price of oil alone “could push the entire EU, including Germany, into recession.”

    He said this could lead to “messy defaults” by countries like Greece and Italy, and possibly cause a collapse of the already-wobbly euro.

    Meanwhile, Iran continued to raise the bar, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander on Sunday warned that the Islamic Republic will target any country where an attack against it is staged.

    Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard, Iran’s most powerful military force, did not elaborate.

    End Quote

  589. Arnold,

    “Eric, … I don’t think you can point to one link that presents Iran’s failure to follow 3.1 as a reason to attack Iran or even as a reason to believe Iran is actively working to build a nuclear weapon. Prove me wrong and find one.”

    Can I find a link that “proves” Iran would not be attacked if it would merely start following new Code 3.1? No, of course not. I said that in my preceding post. I can’t “prove” anything; nor can you or anyone else. All we can do is speculate about the future, based on whatever information we consider to be important.

    What I consider to be important is my clear impression that very many Americans reject the arguments of those who point out that claims of Iranian bomb-development are mere speculation. One important reason they reject those arguments is that those who would like to attack Iran can say, correctly, that Iran doesn’t disclose its nuclear activities according to the same rules as other countries. Once they point that out, the usual next sentence is something like this: “If Iran has nothing to hide, why doesn’t it demonstrate that by disclosing what other countries disclose?”

    Since the disclosure of the Qom/Fordow enrichment facility in late 2009, they have an especially useful example, which often gets translated into something like this: “What about Iran’s secret enrichment facility near Qom, built hundreds of feet deep into the side of a mountain? If Iran had followed the same rules as everyone else, it would have disclosed that facility about two years earlier. If Western countries hadn’t discovered that facility, forcing Iran’s hand, can we be sure even that Iran would have disclosed it by now? What is Iran trying to hide there? Why did it not want the IAEA inspectors to come in earlier, as they would have in any other country?”

    It might be a sufficient answer for you if Iran responds simply: “We’re not required to disclose more because we haven’t agreed to the same broad disclosure scheme as other countries, and we prefer not to do so.”

    That answer is not sufficient, however, for many observers, and it shouldn’t need to be explained why that is so.

    Perhaps you don’t think it matters what the American public thinks. You may be right about that, but I disagree. I think it matters a great deal, and Iran’s restricted-disclosure approach makes it easy for its critics to drum up support for an attack on Iran.

    You and others also argue that the nuclear dispute is merely a “smoke screen” — that the real objective of Iran’s critics is regime change. Let’s assume that’s true. Even so, the vast majority of the American public doesn’t understand this. They tend to think Iran’s critics are serious when they express skepticism and fear about Iran’s nuclear program. And that impression — which, again, we’ll assume here is mistaken — enables Iran’s critics to exploit the nuclear dispute to further their regime-change ends.

    Let’s again use John Bolton as an example (poor John: he’s unfairly singled out, when there are so many other candidates). Suppose John Bolton were to pick up his newspaper tomorrow morning and read that Iran has agreed to start observing the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1. Would John be happy or sad?

    I say “sad.” The last thing John Bolton and his ilk want to see is for Iran to do anything at all that undercuts its critics’ argument that is most persuasive to the American public: “What is Iran trying to hide?”

  590. Obama sanctions Iranian Central Bank
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-16914690

    All Iranian assets held or traded in the US frozen.

  591. US begins preparation for war on Syria…

    U.S. Embassy in Syria Halts Operations as Violence Flares
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/07/world/middleeast/violence-in-syria-continues-after-diplomacy-fails.html?_r=1

    Usually when the US pulls its people out, it’s getting ready to bomb somebody…

    This quote: “It said the closure reflected “serious concerns that our Embassy is not protected from armed attack” is so much bullcrap. The Syrian opposition isn’t interested in attacking the US Embassy, not when it’s getting arms from the US and US client states to keep attacking Assad.

  592. Russia and China Challenge the West on Syria: What Implications for Iran?
    http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/02/06/russia-and-china-challenge-the-west-on-syria-what-implications-for-iran/

    The implications should be obvious – there won’t be any more UNSC sanctions on Iran. Not that it matters much, since the most important sanctions have already been imposed. But there won’t be an authorization for war at the UNSC either. Not that THAT matters, either…

  593. Rehmat says:

    Student groups held a three-day national conference advocating a boycott of the Zionist entity at the University of Pennsylvania on February 3-5, 2012 against protests from pro-Israel academics at the Campus, local and national Jewish groups lead by Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

    Penn’s professor of psychiatry, Ruben Gur, likened the organizers of the conference to “Nazis” and conference’s Jewish participants to “Capos” in a column published in the Daily Pennsylvanian, Penn’s student run paper. The Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia responded to the BDS by hosting America’s top defender of the Zionist regime, professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz recently blasted fellow Jewish professors Richard Falk and John Mearsheimer for endorsing the book The Wandering Who?, written by Israeli-born Jew Gilad Atzmon……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/penn-bds-2012-conference-irks-israel-lobby/

  594. Unknown Unknows: “I think they would be wise to concentrate on US infrastructure.”

    Won’t work. “US infrastructure” spans three thousand miles across. While Iran can definitely take down the US airlines with a couple SAM shots from outside airports, and it can derail trains and maybe knock out some critical power distribution centers, all this stuff can rebuilt.

    What can’t be rebuilt is dead people (yet, anyway).

    Nobody cares when “stuff” gets blown up (except the direct owners of the stuff and their insurance companies.) People get scared only when people are dying. 9/11 was a successful terrorist hit not because it brought down two symbolic buildings, but because it killed three thousand Americans in one shot – a first in US terrorism.

    “My very limited understanding is that the US has two deep sea ports capable of accommodating oil supertankers.”

    Probably next to impossible to take those out without a lot of work that could be better expended elsewhere on softer targets.

    “If Iran was able to take both of those out, using missiles launched from a housing disguised as a container on a cargo ship, or using a mini-submarine launched from a customized cargo ship or even by an elite team of frogmen or what have you”

    Won’t work. Iran is not going to transport missiles thousands of miles to attack the US directly. Frogmen can’t do it.

    I suppose if they could figure out a way to SINK a supertanker IN PORT that would do it. Highly unlikely, though. Besides why bother? The oil price will already be as high as it can get. Who cares if the US isn’t getting the oil? They can’t pay for it anyway…

    “Similar techniques can be used to take out aircraft carriers, half of which are at dock on any given Sunday.”

    Not once the war starts. And why bother to take out a carrier that’s not in the war? Might help the Chinese or wherever that carrier was intended to go, but it won’t help Iran. Even if you assume the US will have to rotate that carrier during the next ten years of war…

    No, you need to think smaller. A thousand guys smuggled into the country with access to AK’s, suppressed pistols, grenades, and tons of C-4 or Semtex as well as more mundane equipment is all that is needed. Forget missiles and all that complicated stuff which is likely to be detected. Just fan out across the country and start killing people, preferably important people so it stays in the news on a daily basis. A thousand men assassinating one important person a week? Plus maybe a larger operation on a weekly basis, like blowing something important up? That will bring the US to a standstill within a very short time.

    The US has never ever dealt with sustained, effective terrorism. It simply doesn’t know how to react, despite having the best and largest law enforcement facilities in the world. It’s a target rich environment and there’s no chance of defending it all.

    The main problem for Iran’s personnel will be avoiding being spotted and reported by paranoid US citizens. The smart thing would be for Iran to HIRE professional mercs to do the work – white guys that no one would suspect.

    But of course even if Iranians are used and they eventually get arrested or killed (which they will, of course), Iran can always send a thousand more. It’s not like they will run out of volunteers any time soon.

    “I’m the farthest thing from an expert on anything let alone military matters”

    As you’ve demonstrated…no offense.

  595. Voice of Tehran says:

    M. Ali says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm
    “Is it just me or has Hillary Clinton looks crazy scary nowadays?”

    M.Ali, Very good point , I have the same feeling.
    Apparently she is not hiding her repitian/draconian/illuminati true nature anymore.
    Kind of 33 grade freemason ‘Grande Dame’ sort of thing.
    I see a gruel destiny for her.

  596. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Thierry Mayssan’s voltairnet.org editorial on the second set of double vetos on Syria:

    This quadruple veto seals the end of a period of international relations that began with the collapse of the Soviet Union and witnessed the undivided domination of the United States over the rest of the world. It does not signify a return to the previous bipolar system, but the emergence of a new model whose contours are yet to be defined. None of the New World Order projects have been achieved. Washington and Tel Aviv have failed to institutionalize the unipolar governance they intended to impose as an inviolable paradigm, while the BRICS fell short of creating a multipolar system that would have enabled its members to rise to the highest level.

    States of the Third World are sure to draw their conclusions from these recent events: those who choose to serve the United States, like Saddam Hussein, or to negotiate with them, like Muammar el-Qaddafi, could be executed by the imperial troops and their country destroyed. On the contrary, those who resist, like Bashar al-Assad, and build alliances with Russia and China will survive.

    Ultimately, the GCC and NATO invented and kept alive through the media for ten months a revolution that existed only in words and images, while on the ground Syria had to face a low intensity war conducted by the Wahhabi Legion supported by NATO. However, with Russia and China having made use of their veto already once and Iran having announced its intention to fight alongside Syria if required, the United States and their vassals had to recognize that pursuing their plans would draw them into a world war. After months of extreme tension, the U.S. admitted they were bluffing and didn’t have good enough cards for their game.

    Despite a military budget of over $ 800 billion, the United States is a giant with feet of clay. … they are no longer in a position to occupy a territory, or measure up to a State capable of responding and taking the war to America.

    It is this model that combines unashamedly massive crimes and humanitarian discourse, which was defeated by Russia and China; two States whose record on human rights and democracy, though very questionable, is infinitely superior to that of the GCC and NATO.

    By making use of their veto, Moscow and Beijing have defended two principles: respect for the truth, without which justice and peace are impossible, and respect for the sovereignty of peoples and states, without which no democracy is possible.

    The time has come to strive to rebuild a human society after a period of barbarism.

  597. Irshad says:

    Empty,

    Thank you for your translation of Ay. Khamenie speech!

  598. Irshad says:

    @Pirouz

    Did you write about the $11b arms deal between Iraq and USA as been an arms deal between US and iran?

    If not – are you going to write it?

    Thank you

  599. Irshad says:

    Iran Navy ’18th Task Force’ docked at Saudi Arabia

    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/02/iran-navy-18th-task-force-docked-at.html

    Interesting that Iranian ships docked in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – weren’t the Saudis and Iranians meant to be arch-enemies across the Sunni-Shiah divide? Didnt the Iranians plot to smoke the Saudi ambassador in USA? Hmm, like I said in an earlier post – the weakest link in all this is Saudi Arabia – the factions supporting dialogue and ending the Syrian crisis must be supported and strengthen in the Royal family as opposed to Bandar and his neo-Ayrab-con war party!

  600. Castellio says:

    Madonna’s half time performance ends with “World Peace” across the stage.

    A message from the unseen sponser, I suppose. If you scroll down on the link below you can review the whole half-time performance, all the way to the gospel singing at the end and then the disappearance of the goddess in light and smoke.

    I think discussing religion in American is never out of place. But what to call it?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2097020/Super-Bowl-2012-Madonna-suffers-small-slip-spectacular-halftime-show.html

  601. Castellio says:

    I spent two days travelling by train through western US. Heard many people at numerous stops. Heard them talking to each other, heard them talking on their cells. Lot of talkative people. Super Bowl was the major topic. Mit Romney was the second most commonly discussed topic. In two days I heard one guy mention Israel and Palestine, a white student-type talking to a Middle Eastern student-type, getting the information of what happened in 1967 wrong and not being challenged on it, and I heard not one comment on Iran.

    Not one.

    In public, at least, there is absolutely no anxiety of the US being threatened by Iran, and likewise there is absolutely no concern that Iran is being threatened by blockades and military action.

    Football continues, American democracy is alive and well, both are on television, and the sun is shining.

  602. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Tehran in ‘constant contact’ with Brotherhood, says Iranian FM

    Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

    [Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi speaks during a press conference, Muscat, May 04, 2011, where he welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation between leader Mahmud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal ending years of bitter rivalry.]

    Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood maintain close contact, Iran’s foreign minister has said in an interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm. “Tehran is in constant contact with the Muslim Brotherhood,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. He said Iran is ready to promote its diplomatic relations with Egypt to the ambassadorial level, paricularly in light of the Muslim Brotherhood’s recent ascendancy to power. The group’s party, the Freedom and Justice Party, controls 43 percent of parliamentary seats. Salehi told the paper that Iran would immediately send an ambassador to Cairo if Egypt agreed. Some countries “are not happy about improving relations between Egypt and Iran,” he said, adding that if Egypt, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia cooperated, all would benefit.

    Egypt and Iran severed official ties in 1979, when Iran underwent an Islamic revolution and Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. However, relations have improved since a popular uprising forced former President Hosni Mubarak from power early last year.

    Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

  603. Unknown Unknowns says:

    From the Tehran Times piece Richard linked:

    “So far a number of ambassadors of European countries, including France, Greece, Italy, and Germany, have frantically come to the parliament and the Foreign Ministry asking the Majlis to practice self-restraint in regard to the ratification of the plan to cut oil exports to Europe,” Soudani, who is a member of the Majlis Energy Committee, told the Persian service of the Fars News Agency on Saturday.”

    Seems to me this is THE story to watch. The article ended by saying that the parliamentary sub-committee was unpersuaded by the EU diplomatic entreaties, and was pushing ahead, reasoning (rightly) that Europe brought this on herself.

    Is Iran really going to cut Europe off in the dead of winter with no way for the EU to retool their refineries for months? Will that in turn make Greece and Italy cry Uncle? Can Iran do without spare parts and industrial technology from EU, which will see this as an act of war? The possibilities are fascinating to consider.

  604. Unknown Unknowns says:

    M. Ali says:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I would be careful about what you download. Anti-filtering software is common and people generally download anything they want to, assuming that they have full anonymity, but this is not the case. And just because the authorities have not been enforcing the law in Iranian cyberspace, it does not mean that Big Brother is not watching, which he most definitely is, and it does not mean that he will not wake up one morning with a spring in his step, which could be any day now.

    *

    kooshy says:
    February 5, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    Ah, *that’s* what they mean when they say she’s “gone bananas”! LOL

  605. Pirouz says:

    Iran’s already been through a period of AP, suspension of enrichment and more. They got nothing in return. Nada. You want them to go through that wasted effort again?

    In their minds, they’re better off building up stocks of SSMs, AShMs, FACs, midget submarines and more.

  606. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Voice of Tehran says:
    I will post the link to the RAZ show later , however his live appearance in the Tehran PressTV studios should be available now I guess.

    Dear VoT: see if you can find the interview with Md. Javad Larijani, which was aired at around 7:30 or 8 last night on Channel 3. Well worth watching. I thought it was so good that if I could find someone (the gorgeous Homa Lezgee?) to dub it, I would translate it and provide him or her with the script.

    *

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    February 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Yes, you are right of course that the correct response would be to make it costly for the elites, and not the grunts. Either way, Iran will try to keep to an absolute minimum civilian casualties, and will avoid a policy whose AIM is to kill civilians, such as car bombs and blowing up malls. I think they would be wise to concentrate on US infrastructure. My very limited understanding is that the US has two deep sea ports capable of accommodating oil supertankers. If Iran was able to take both of those out, using missiles launched from a housing disguised as a container on a cargo ship, or using a mini-submarine launched from a customized cargo ship or even by an elite team of frogmen or what have you, that would have an instantaneous affect on gas prices and gas station lines. Similar techniques can be used to take out aircraft carriers, half of which are at dock on any given Sunday. The Jew York Stock Exchange would be a good target for a missile strike as well, again, on a Sunday.

    I’m the farthest thing from an expert on anything let alone military matters, but those are the lines which I would think they should be thinking about. Whether they have been thinking along those lines, I cannot say. But it would not surprise me to see that they were.

    A few weeks ago I saw an interview on TV here with a very senior officer who said that it has been two decades now that the enemy the Iranian armed forces have been preparing to fight has been the US – not Iraq, or Israel or Saudi Arabia or Pakistan or even Russia, but the US. And he seemed to be confident that we could hold our own. Time will tell, I guess. Another element in all this is that time is on Iran’s side.

  607. hans says:

    Something probably you will not read in the MSM

    Sunni Islamists, including Salafists, took 23 seats compared with just nine in the dissolved parliament, while liberals claimed only two places against five previously, according the official results.
    And no women were elected, with the four female MPs of the previous parliament all losing their seats…Only two of 13 former MPs who the public prosecutor questioned over corruption charges were re-elected, and the rest either lost or did not contest the poll.
    …Speaking after his victory, new opposition MP Obaid al-Wasmi warned all “corruption files will be opened,” including claims that hundreds of millions of public funds were stolen.
    “I tell the decision-makers that the Kuwait of tomorrow will not be the same as of the Kuwait of yesterday,” said the outspoken independent opposition figure.
    “The law will be applied to all, and those who do not want the law to be applied to them should leave Kuwait,” the professor of law told cheering supporters.

  608. Arnold Evans says:

    The usual rejoinder is: “Then why doesn’t Iran make the same disclosures as everybody else? It knows people are suspicious and yet it refuses to follow the same rules as everyone else? If Iran did follow the same rules as everybody else, for example, it would have reported, two years earlier, that secret enrichment facility it built in that mountain near Qom. Why did it try to hide that for so long?”

    Eric, not only is that not the usual rejoinder, I don’t think you can point to one link that presents Iran’s failure to follow 3.1 as a reason to attack Iran or even as a reason to believe Iran is actively working to build a nuclear weapon.

    Prove me wrong and find one.

    In fact of the advocates of bombing Iran, I don’t think any are still claiming, contrary to the US’ own intelligence estimates, that Iran is or even may be building a weapon. Or hiding the fact that it is building a weapon.

    The thing is you know this. You’ve read Ron Bergman’s prediction that Israel will attack Iran. It does not mention 3.1 or the AP. It says Israel could not tolerate Iran being a threshold state. 3.1 and the AP wouldn’t prevent Iran from being a threshold state.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/magazine/will-israel-attack-iran.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

    The rejoinder you claim is usual not only isn’t usual, it doesn’t exist even once. And you know that because you’ve read all of the articles calling for attacking Iran and you’d have noted if any mentioned either 3.1 or made any argument that could be refuted by Iran implementing the AP or 3.1.

    Also, why describe our arguments to Jack when I and Masoud left comments that you can respond to directly and Jack can see your response to our actual arguments rather than your interpretations of our arguments?

    You not only can’t prove that it would not gain 1 to 4 years, you can’t even explain yourself why you think it would gain 1 to 4 years or any time.

    You also can’t give a number of people you think would be persuaded not to attack by Iran implementing the AP and 3.1. You also can’t give a name of one person you think would be persuaded by Iran implementing the AP and 3.1.

    You say the AP and 3.1 would make it harder for the US to elect leaders who would attack Iran. Barack Obama was already elected. Are you saying he would not attack Iran? He says he would. He’s never said he would not if Iran implemented the AP and 3.1. He’s never said anything that gives any indication that his calculation would be impacted at all by the AP or 3.1.

    Prove me wrong. Link to Obama mentioning the AP or 3.1 at all, ever.

  609. Jack,

    “I am kind of surprised to see that you think that the issue will be settled if Iran sign the additional protocol.”

    I didn’t say it would be “settled” by Iran’s agreement to observe the AP and new Code 3.1, merely that it would slow down the march toward war. I don’t think anything will “settle” the issue, since any US leader who even thinks of striking a deal with Iran will soon be a “former” US leader. I think the issue will die down, if at all, only with the passage of a great deal of time, during which Iran can become stronger and strengthen its ties to existing and future strong countries outside of the US and Western Europe, which in turn will have diminished in relative power by then.

    I think most of those who would like the US to attack Iran also recognize that time is on Iran’s side. Some of those people believe (and even more of them claim to believe) that this is so only because (they insist) Iran will soon pass the “point of no return” in its presumed development of nuclear weapons. But I think most of those people also recognize that the passage of time will strengthen Iran’s hand for the broader “non-nuclear” reasons I have mentioned: Iran will grow stronger; the US will gradually grow weaker (relative to other important countries), and Iran will strengthen its ties to other powerful countries so that, years or decades down the road, any US/Iran deal will be struck, if at all, only when each country anticipates that positive benefits will flow to it from the deal — not because Iran will feel any need to secure the US’ blessing of its nuclear program.

    A great deal of time probably must pass between now and then, however. I certainly don’t think Iran should spend the intervening years groveling for US approval. Indeed, I often find it ironic and disappointing that many who press for Iran to take a harder line inevitably come up with proposals that call for the US to “recognize” various nuclear rights of Iran. Why must US approval always be the objective of these “tough” proposals? Such proposals always raises this more detailed question in my mind for the proposer: “What makes you think that, in the next several years (more likely, the next decade or more), any US president, much less the US Congress, will approve any agreement that recognizes any Iranian “nuclear rights” whatsoever, and, if you agree that no such agreement is feasible, and presumably believe Iran should not kowtow to the US, why is your proposal framed with the objective of US approval in mind?”

    As this question suggests, if I were Iran, I wouldn’t waste my time trying to change my ways so that the US might like me enough to want to strike any meaningful agreement with me. That is hopeless and, even if it were not, would require Iran to concede much more than it should or would.

    I would, however, take prudent steps to keep myself from being bombed by the US (or Israel) during the long time that must pass before the US no longer poses a practical military threat to Iran. I would be especially concerned that many in the US who press for war understand that time is on Iran’s side, and thus want to strike soon, before the scales have tipped too much. It is those people, and the near-desperation some of them exhibit lately, that drives the US (and Israel) closer and closer to war these days. And it is in the near-term — the next year or two or three — that those people and their desperation pose the greatest danger to Iran. For this reason, if Iran can do something — without sacrificing its dignity — to dial down the tension during this near-term period, I think Iran should do that.

    At the moment, it’s not. Those who press for war in the US insist that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Many who oppose war respond that this is mere speculation. The usual rejoinder is: “Then why doesn’t Iran make the same disclosures as everybody else? It knows people are suspicious and yet it refuses to follow the same rules as everyone else? If Iran did follow the same rules as everybody else, for example, it would have reported, two years earlier, that secret enrichment facility it built in that mountain near Qom. Why did it try to hide that for so long?” At the moment, there is no good response to this. Regrettably, it’s correct to say that Iran does not make the same disclosures as everybody else. I’m merely suggesting is that it start doing so, so that people like myself have a strong response to make to such arguments.

    Bear in mind that the disclosure demands that irk Iran the most are those that probe for military information — questions about the “alleged studies” and the like. Agreeing to the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1 would not require that Iran answer those questions. Indeed, it might make more clear the line between legitimate questions under the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1 (which Iran really didn’t mind answering during the several years it voluntarily complied with them) and improper questions about military matters that need not be answered under the Additional Protocol, new Code 3.1, Iran’s original Safeguards Agreement, or the NPT.

    If Iran would agree to observe the the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1 — without holding out for some quid pro quo that certainly will never come — its supporters could respond to the questions posed two paragraphs above: “Iran does disclose what all other countries disclose, without exception. You are mistaken to say it does not. The West is not demanding that Iran disclose the same as what other countries disclose. It is demanding that Iran disclose much more than other countries disclose, and it is only those excessive demands for information — demands made on no other country — to which Iran objects.”

    I am not naive. I understand that war-mongers such as John Bolton wouldn’t slow down their push for war at all after hearing such a response. But John Bolton doesn’t decide if or when the US goes to war — at least not until he convinces John Q. Public, who will elect (or not) the US leaders who will decide if and when the US goes to war with Iran. If Iran’s agreement to observe the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1 makes it more difficult for John Bolton to persuade John Q. Public, I think Iran would be very wise to observe the Additional Protocol and new Code 3.1. It would slow down the march toward war considerably — by no means eliminate the risk of war, but significantly reduce that risk, especially during the critical next few years.

    Many here disagree with my prediction. So be it. I’m confident my prediction is correct, but I certainly can’t prove that. Nor, of course, can those who disagree with me on this prove that it will make no difference. They argue simply that Iran should not give something for nothing, and my response is always the same: observing the AP and new Code 3.1 is not really a big burden. That being so, unless you think it has some “bargaining chip” value, why not give it a try? Iran would be doing nothing more than what most other “nuclear countries” have been doing for many years — none of which countries would consider itself to be “groveling.”

  610. kooshy says:

    Fisk is perhaps the most knowledgeable western journalist on Middle East, a good and entertaining article to read.

    Robert Fisk: An attack on Tehran would be madness. So don’t rule it out
    After invading Iraq over weapons of mass destruction, we plan to clap as Israel bombs Iran

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-an-attack-on-tehran-would-be-madness-so-dont-rule-it-out-6358872.html

  611. Humanist: “You write often about tactics or strategies of a defensive war in Syria or Iran. Don’t you think that wars, especially the modern wars, are the most heinous, the most moronic and the most destructive acts of human beings. I believe you do.”

    I do. But I’m not fighting a war, Iran is. I’m simply saying what Iran needs to do. They need to take out the people who are causing this war. But since I don’t think they’re that smart, they probably will attack civilians. It’s better than nothing, but it probably won’t work.

    “Iran should use every possible means in media to let the people of the world know what US and Israel are doing to them.”

    Won’t be much media left once the electric power is out, the Internet is down, and only ham radio is left to talk to the world… Besides, Iran is doing that now and so are we…not having much effect…

    “Keeping its head high and playing a high moral role in the conflict is what Iran should adapt as its main policy, not the barbarous acts of mass assassination without a due process.”

    That’s absurd. All you get from pacifism in a war is dead. They need to assassinate the people who are their enemies. If the civilians in Israel and the US don’t understand why Senator so-and-so’s car got blown up in Washington, well, that’s just too damn bad for the US civilians.

    No one in the US takes any responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of dead civilians the US has murdered all over the world for decades. They go to the polls every four years and vote in the worst mass murderers in history – people like Bush and Cheney and now Obama who has authorized the actual extrajudicial murder of US citizens.

    So when are US citizens going to wake up and understand what’s going on? When their enemies start killing THEM, that’s when. And if not, well, then it just means some more civilians have to die.

    It’s a question of mistakes. When humans make a mistake, the next thing they do is make more mistakes in order to “correct” the first mistake. So US citizens will allow their government to murder Iranian civilians, and then Iranian citizens will allow their government to murder US civilians. And this will go on until someone gets tired or financially broke and calls it off.

    It’s like that Star Trek episode where two countries were fighting for centuries because the war was “bloodless”. So Kirk forced it to become bloody, so they’d realize the real cost and stop fighting.

    Until US citizens are made to pay IN BLOOD for the blood their government has spilled all over the world for the last century, their government will continue to spill blood all over the world.

    The other alternative is a complete economic collapse turning the US into a Third World country. That pain, too, might cause them to wake up.

    An Iran war is likely to produce BOTH outcomes: terrorism AND an economic collapse. The one can lead to the other. So Iran had better use that tactic.

  612. masoud says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    February 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

    How many do you believe can Americans will be swayed by Iran signing onto the AP and additional code 3.1?

    Enough to slow down the march to war by 1-4 years — my rough estimate. Given the consequences of guessing wrong about the likelihood of war, that strikes me as an attractive combination of…

    Well Eric, that’s a little dissapointing. I can’t imagine that you don’t have some range of figures in mind. Apparently, you feel that omiting that number from the discussion somehow strengthens your argument. I say you would likely do better if you gave us your range of possible figures, and then proceed with constructing an argument as to why the range is neither too little to make any possible difference in the march to war, nor to large to be a beleivable outcome of the adopting the AP, for most people who are familiar with the level maleability of the US public.

    What you are offering us instead are the kinds of circular shenanigans we’d expect from Scotty and Sassan.

  613. From Obama’s statement: ” I think they, like us, believe that Iran has to stand down on its nuclear weapons program,”

    There it is. An explicit statement from Obama that Iran HAS A NUCLEAR WEAPONS PROGRAM!

    Now answer me this: Has Obama read or not read the 2007 and 2011 NIEs? Has he not read the Mossad estimate? All of these state unequivocally that Iran does not have a nuclear weapons program?

    Or is he just plain lying?

    But he also says the US will “act in lockstep” with Israel. That obviously means that if Israel attack Iran, so will the US. That was a very clear signal to Israel. All the rest of the crap about, “Gee, we’d really rather not have a war” was just so much bullcrap.

    Obama wants a war. He is pushing for war. He is ratcheting up the cause for war. He is proclaiming “all options are on the table” which is code for war every day.

    There can be no doubt. It’s war.

  614. M. Ali: “I think you will find it interesting that assassination is allowed in Islam. Prophet Mohammad engaged in it”

    Hope so. They need to crank out thousands of “Hashishin” as much as missiles. Take some of those chicks learning ninjutsu that someone mentioned earlier and send ’em over here! :-)

  615. Arnold: “Suzanne Maloney”

    And how much stock does she own in the military-industrial complex? If it’s not in the millions, her opinion doesn’t count.

    “As long as the mainstream US foreign policy community believes (I think correctly, Eric may disagree) that the after-effects would be disastrous and also that the benefits from the US’ point of view would be comparatively minor, then there will not be a strike. Not in 2012 or 2013.”

    Bullshit. As long as the military-industrial complex, the oil companies and the banks who finance them expect record profits for the next ten years from a major war in the Middle East, THOSE benefits are all that matter to the ruling elites. Not to mention the Israel Lobby, the neocons, and the politicians whose campaign contributions come from rich Jews who own MIC companies.

    The foreign policy community are nothing but whores who have no real say in the matter. No offense to the Leveretts… :-)

  616. Another Mickey Mouse translation…

    Russian source: the heading of foreign intelligence chief to Syria indicates that there is a significant security event is expected to take place.
    :http://iraqwar.mirror-world.ru/tiki-read_article.php?articleId=264955

    Anyone translate this better?
    :http://www.syriatruth.org/news/tabid/93/Article/6636/Default.aspx

    Apparently the rumor is Russia expects the Free Syrian Army to launch a massacre via chemical weapons to be blamed on Assad. Russian intelligence is coordinating with Syrian intelligence on preventing this.

    Quote

    The source said in this context that “Moscow has information security good documentation indicates that the Israelis will attack Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip, most likely, at the same time, immediately after the outbreak of the confrontation with Iran, and perhaps before that. It is clear that they have the green light to this matter from the U.S. and its allies After that Russia and China used the veto against the draft resolution the Arab West, as the only means remaining to topple the Syrian regime by armed force. ”

    End Quote

    Since this is exactly what I’ve been saying, let me emphasize that I am NOT the source! :-)

    And this:

    Quote

    And detect the source in this context that the large units of “NRF Russian / Spetsnaz Спецназ mobilized during the past few days at the base of “Sebastopol” Marine on the Black Sea (Crimea), pointing out that these forces have already trained troops, “Republican Guard” and “special forces” in Syria in the earlier periods.

    End Quote

  617. Heh, heh, mess with Russia, freeze like it’s Siberia!

    As Anger Over Russian Syria Veto Mounts, Putin “Briefly” Leaves Europe In The Cold
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/anger-over-russian-syria-veto-mounts-putin-briefly-leaves-europe-cold

  618. War on Iran? Most American, Israeli Citizens Oppose
    64% of Israelis favor a nuclear-free zone
    http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/03-1

    Only 17 percent of American support a war – so I guess if Iran unilaterally implemented the AP, it wouldn’t make any difference – maybe on 15% of the same usual yahoos would then support it…

    Especially since according to the polls I cited in earlier threads, about 75% of Americans “know little or nothing” about the Iran issue and wouldn’t know an AP from an APC or PVC pipe.

  619. Joe Lieberman strikes again… Expect this call to be taken up by the usual suspects…

    US should mull arming Syria rebels: senator
    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Feb-05/162224-us-should-mull-arming-syria-rebels-senator.ashx#axzz1lX95wK1Q

  620. Humanist says:

    RSH

    Re: Your post on Feb 5, 5:53am

    You write “This is why I say when the Iran war starts, Iran had better go for broke and make every effort possible to assassinate the people who started it –– the ruling elites of Israel AND the US. That means full scale terrorism in Israel and the US. Make the people who started the war suffer and there’’s a chance they might back down. But Iran is going to have kill quite a few important people to achieve that. They need to kill the leading politicians in the US, their financial backers like Adelson and Saban and every other Jewish billionaire they can find, they need to take out Netanyahu and the rest of the crazed Zionists in Israel, they need to take out Sarkozy and Cameron and the US neocons. The list is long”

    Your post are interesting but I had a hard time believing that the above recommendation is coming from you.

    Assassinations, individually or en mass, are appalling acts that are planned and carried out only by ‘low forms of life’.

    You write often about tactics or strategies of a defensive war in Syria or Iran. Don’t you think that wars, especially the modern wars, are the most heinous, the most moronic and the most destructive acts of human beings. I believe you do.

    In my early adult years, as a thought experiment I envisaged superior extraterrestrials vising the earth. I tried to figure out what will be on the top of their list of the most absurd thing humans do. My first conclusion was: WAR. After many decades I still believe war is the manifestation of grandest folly of our genre.

    Especially the scale of destructiveness and barbarity of modern warfare is simply ‘astronomical’.

    Instead of your suggestion I would propose to Iranians defending themselves by all decent defensive means available. Since they are in no match to US or Israel their ammunition will run out very quickly. With high probability US would keep on demolishing their military, economic, industrial, civil and educational infrastructure. During this disproportionate use of force by Israel / US, Iran should use every possible means in media to let the people of the world know what US and Israel are doing to them.

    The world then judge the US / Israel as ruthless aggressors and Iran as a victim. In the long run such a judgment might play a consequential role of ending the apartheid in Israel and terminating US’s superpower status..

    Keeping its head high and playing a high moral role in the conflict is what Iran should adapt as its main policy, not the barbarous acts of mass assassination without a due process.

    Ahmadinejad and Salehi have often said. “We don’t need nuclear weapons, our mightier weapon is our culture and our respect for humanity”. Apparently . Kha’menei’s world view is not the same. In 1987 when in Persian Gulf US was hurting Iranians badly Kho’meini ordered IRGC to hit back. As far as I remember Kha’meni was involved in ‘speed boat’ tactics and shooting down a US helicopter. That, sort of worked and US noticeably reduced its destructive operations against Iran in the Gulf. I think events of those days are in the mind of Kha’meni.

    He and his advisers just cant understand the situation today is drastically different.

    Today Iran is facing an extremely determined adversary (think Amalek). They are aggressively pursuing the goal of ‘Total Obliteration’ of Iran. They will not sit still until ‘the job is done’

    Iran will then become like Germany and Japan after the last days of WWII. They surely will rebuild their country far better than it is today….hopefully in the fully civil environs of federal democracy.

    Please study Iran-Iraq war. Those were truly hard days, Iranians suffered tremendously. Some of their cities were ruined worse than Dresden but they survived…….they are survivers.

  621. Jack says:

    Egypt to try american instigators.

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/attackers-blow-gas-pipeline-egypts-sinai-15516316

    If true, US gov have showned their hatred for the democratically elected gov. in egypt trying to destabilize it.

  622. Rehmat says:

    “We are in no danger at all of having an Iranian nuclear weapon dropped on us. We cannot say so too openly, however, because we have a history of using any threat in order to get weapons – thanks to the Iranian threat, we are getting weapons from the US and Germany,” Martin Van Creveld, Play magazine, Jine 2007.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/02/06/whither-the-war-on-iran-zioncons/

  623. M. Ali says:

    I would argue that the government addressed the concerns to a reasonable extent. Remember we had an investigation, a report, and 10% recount on live camera. They also had meetings with the losing party (that is, if they attended). They even, for the first time ever, showed the results of each voting box. But I remember Mousavi wanted a complete re-election, and Karoubi had the genius idea of having all his supporters in one area, and all Ahmadenijad’s supporters in another area, and seeing which was more. And the house arrests of the losing party, came after more than a year after the protests.

    Its difficult handling such situations. Lets say we agree, for a second here, that the results were accurate, and the minority protested and claimed they didn’t lose. Wouldn’t the IRI, in such a situation, act the exact same way? In what situation, would have the IRI acted even more lenient with the daily accusations?

    But this is all besides the point, as I was originally talking about the polls. I stuck to the western polls, because it would be more difficult to claim that the Mullas were behind it. The fact that it is neither 20% or 99% is whats interesting. The fact that it is not ranging from 20% to 100% between different western polls is whats interesting. If completely false, it is a somewhat unique phenomena that different polls randomly and by chance, gave similiar responses.

    by the way, I did not copy & paste the wiki opinion part of it because it was not relevant to my link, as I’m only focusing on the western polls, to make it less open to claims of internal influences.

  624. Binam says:

    M. Ali.

    First of all – thanks for your respectable tone. I wish others adhered to this when faced with an opposing view…

    “Binam, what would be so strange about the polls being correct? This doesn’t mean that we should all pack up and go home, just because the people didn’t vote the way you wanted them to vote. You can still defend your people’s right against inside & outside oppression, and you can still work within the people to explain to them that they voted wrong, and they should vote for a different party next time.

    Have you ever even considered that you might be wrong in doubting that the people’s wishes were reflected in the results? What if you ARE wrong?”

    I have in fact considered that I might be wrong and I may in fact BE wrong in my general FEELING towards the matter, or when quoting polls that might help prove my case. But that doesn’t change the fact that the protests that took place were mishandled and suspicious. It’s like going up to a guy and wanting to arrest him for theft. If the guy starts running, then he appears to be more guilty – even if he’s some innocent bystander who has never stolen anything. The regime has never given the opportunity for the opposition to prove their case and in fact has done everything in its power to keep them from making speaking out. Unlawful house arrest of Mousavi/Karroubi is just one of many such activities. If they are so strongly sure that a majority of Iranians support them, why not give the opposition a platform to make fools out of themselves?

    Thanks for the Wiki link. It starts out with a reference to my previous post:

    “The opinion polls in Iran have been considered unreliable.[50][51] A number of polls conducted between relatively small voting groups, like university students and workers, have been reported as election propaganda. More general polls reported in the media do not state the polling organization nor the basic facts about the methodology. The results show a high variance and depend heavily on who is reporting the poll.[50][51] In 2002, the polling organization Ayandeh and another polling organization was closed and its directors were arrested.[52] The director of Ayandeh, Abbas Abdi, spent several years in prison.[53]”

    Later, look at the discrepancy between the polls conducted in Iran by Iranian outlets. ILNA (close to Rafsanjani) and Tabnak (close to Mohsen Rezai) both have Mousavi winning by a comfortable margin. Does that prove anything more than the questionable Western polls? No. Polls in general should in fact be thrown out the window when it comes to Iran. It’s not like in the US, when Obama lifts a finger one way or another and you see it reflected in the polls.

    The Majlis [s]elections are coming up. Considering how divided Iran has become in the past 2 years (just look at the position Mr. 63% Ahmadinejad is in with his deviant current, or the position the Leader is in with his daily attempts to distance himself from Ahmadinejad)- you would think the polls would reflect some of these divisions. But as this Fars suggests and as other upcoming polls are likely to suggest, it’s “hamoon aash o hamoon kase…”

  625. Fiorangela says:

    M. Ali says:
    February 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    too bad you can’t post photos here.

    I visited the tombs & monument of Ferdowsi in Khorasan province http://iran.fouman.com/Y/Picture_View-Toos_Ferdowsi_Mausoleum_IRI.htm

    If I recall correctly, Ferdowsi’s tomb is inside the monument, in the center of cathedral-like space that has tableaus of scenes from Shahnameh. You couldn’t really see the tomb itself because young boys were all over it, climbing, sitting, sprawling, smiling, laughing, so very happy to be alive and to be in contact with the man who devoted over 30 years of his life to writing their nation’s epic. I don’t have words enough to convey how delightful those schoolboys were.

    Everywhere you went around the monument there were schoolchildren, with their teachers, wonderfully behaved — but mischievous as all get-out. They talked with us, asked for pictures, made faces, clowned, offered us sweets.

    beautiful children.

  626. James Canning says:

    Sheldon Adelson and wife, who have given $17 million to political campaign of Newt Gingrich, are worried no other deep-pocketed person has joined them in their expesnive effort to get Gingrich into the White House. They will of course back Romney, if he gets the nomination. Romeny makes clear he regards it as entirely the fault of the Palestinians that peace has not been acheived with Israel. In other words, Romeny promises to be a whore of the ISRAEL LOBBY worse than George W. Bush.

  627. kooshy says:

    M. Ali says:
    February 5, 2012 at 5:58 pm
    Is it just me or has Hillary Clinton looks crazy scary nowadays?

    This may explain your concern, In the Rite Aid’s checkout line, on the cover of one of the tabloid magazines I saw a headline that said Slick Willy just got cut again in another affair, my guess is this time bananas instead of Cuban cigars was used.

  628. James Canning says:

    Interesting take by Gareth Porter: “US leak on Israeli attack weakened a warning to Netanyahu”

    http://www.truth-out.org/us-leak-israeli-attack-weakened-warning-netanyahu/1328462237

  629. kooshy says:

    M. Ali-

    “probably not knowing that Saadi was not only during Iran’s Islamic era, but that he was greatly influenced by Islam”

    I don’t think Sassan would appreciate to know that Saadi actually fought in a religious war against the crusaders (in recent time George W comes to mind) and was held a slave for 7 years by the crusaders.

    “Saadi was captured by Crusaders at Acre where he spent 7 years as a slave digging trenches outside its fortress. He was later released after the Mamluks paid ransom for Muslim prisoners being held in Crusader dungeons.”

  630. M. Ali says:

    Is it just me or has Hillary Clinton looks crazy scary nowadays?

  631. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    William Hague, British foreign secretary, and Sir Malcolm Rifkind, former British foreign secretary (and a close friend of an old friend of mine), both care deeply about the issue of Iranian enrichment to 20%.

  632. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    Why do you try to give cover to the Obama administration? I should think you would be eager to expose stupidity etc.

  633. M. Ali says:

    I dont think Sassan would think that. I think he just probably assumes that Hafez & Saadi lived in pre-Islamic times, and maybe had a couple of beers together with Zoroastrian, before the savage Islamic arabs came and knocked down their beers and glued beards to their faces.

  634. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: February 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm
    ”I find it interesting you are apparently unable to comprehend why US leaders would try to bury the issue, or hide it under the rug.”

    Precisely James! Because nobody, but you, cares about this.
    Scratch, scratch, scratch…

  635. Reza Esfandiari says:

    M. Ali,

    Our illiterate troll, Sassan, likely thinks that Hafez and Rumi were anti-Islamic in nature. I have heard this argument before by some Iranian-Americans. They seize upon words such as “Pir-e-Moghan” and claim that the poets were really Zoroastrians.

  636. M. Ali says:

    Richard, (more knowledgeable people on Islam can correct me here) I think you will find it interesting that assassination is allowed in Islam. Prophet Mohammad engaged in it, I think the explanation is that it is better to kill the few than engage in a war that kills the many. However, I don’t think assassinations would be okay for civilians (like scientists) but leaders, whose death, will prevent war.

  637. M. Ali says:

    Reza, you said to Sassan,

    “Perhaps you should read some Islamic poetry authored by the likes of Hafez, Sa’adi and Rumi. ”

    Interesting, Sassan said,

    “I have already discussed before the way they destroy out ancient sites in both a cunning matter as well as having no qualms about it in simply destroying certain sites and replacing them with Islamic edifices.

    So while our people love our poets, language, and culture – often times this regime is ashamed of it and try to eradicate it (but of course it has not and will not work). ”

    Do you think we can challenge him to mention any famous poets from pre-Islamic Iranian era? For someone who hates the Islamic era of Iran, he seems to not know that almost all our famous poets came from post-Islamic era. He did quote Saadi a few times (the same poem), probably not knowing that Saadi was not only during Iran’s Islamic era, but that he was greatly influenced by Islam (as were Rumi, Hafez, etc).

  638. M. Ali says:

    By the way, when I say that Iran is bad at marketing, I mean it. When I linked that election website at wiki, it was blocked by Iran, in an act that I would consider incredibly bad judgement. I have no real issue with censorship, because it is done in every single place on earth and in our personal lives, directly or indirectly, but my issue is being stupid.

    By blocking the wiki page, it means they are automatically reducing the visits from in Iran, who might want to fix the wiki to better reflect their viewpoints. Specially, the kind of Iranians. The ones who are very anti-IRI will have their anti-proxy softwares, so they will access it. The ones who might be pro, might not really have much need of it. I’m not really neither. I need it for my porn.

  639. M. Ali says:

    Binam, I dont think I understand your statement,

    “I would say being fed by one common source could result in that. As Pak suggested in an earlier post, one professor Marandi could be the common supplier. ”

    Are you claiming that Prof Mirandi answered all the telephone calls that the polls called?

    This might help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_presidential_election,_2009#Polling

    We know that the official result was 64% and 33%. As we can see, the interesting thing is that the results are interesting similar to each other. Unless western polling organizations were also part of the conspiracy,. I think there might be more western polls not reflected in the wiki page such as TerrorFreeTomorrow’s poll, but I can search it out for you, if you don’t this is not convincing enough that we shouldn’t throw polls completely out of the window.

    So, if the answers of the respondents were fake, it was a heck of a coincidence.

    When we have so many polls giving us such information, why are we willing to discount it, but we rush to base our understanding of the Iranian people, based on a taxi driver we met or an unnamed source in a western article, or our bazari uncle’s complaints?

    Its saddening the way many people debate. They always start with a fixed mindset, and then try to find information that defends their position. I would have hoped it was the opposite. We first look at the information, then come to a conclusion, rather than use filtered, handpicked information to help our already predefined conclusion.

    Binam, what would be so strange about the polls being correct? This doesn’t mean that we should all pack up and go home, just because the people didn’t vote the way you wanted them to vote. You can still defend your people’s right against inside & outside oppression, and you can still work within the people to explain to them that they voted wrong, and they should vote for a different party next time.

    Have you ever even considered that you might be wrong in doubting that the people’s wishes were reflected in the results? What if you ARE wrong?