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The Race for Iran

IRAN, CHINA’S RISE, AND AMERICAN STRATEGY

Earlier this week, Hillary went on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story to talk about the United States’ “strategic pivot” (as the Obama Administration describes it) toward Asia, from the Middle East, see here or click on video above.  The other panelists are Barry Pavel, a former National Security Council defense policy staffer for both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, and Gordon Chang, a political analyst who focuses on China. 

The program is revealing about the cultural drivers that, ultimately, contribute so heavily to the formulation and conduct of American foreign policy.  It also provides a prism for considering some interesting developments in Chinese thinking about the United States that have potentially significant implications for Beijing’s policy on the Iranian nuclear issue and other Iran-related controversies involving the United States

Barry Pavel begins the discussion by explaining some of the historical context for the current effort to “rebalance” American forces in the Middle East and Asia.  He claims that the United States was headed in this direction more than a decade ago, before 9/11, but was compelled by the 9/11 attacks to devote more military resources and strategic energy to the Middle East than would otherwise have been the case.  While holding that the logic for a pivot toward Asia is sound, after “the long 10 years of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Pavel predicts that it is likely to turn out to be largely “rhetorical”—it is “not going to happen,” he says, because developments in the Middle East will continue to draw substantial commitments of American military power. 

Hillary responds by noting that many strategic elites in Beijing would agree with Pavel that the United States was beginning to concentrate its strategic attention and military resources on Asia in the late 1990s and beginning of the 2000s, for the purpose of preventing China’s rise as a regional and even prospectively global power.  After 9/11, Chinese elites calculated that they might have as much as 20 years to focus on their country’s domestic growth and political development, while the United States was preoccupied in the Middle East.  Now they see this window being cut short by Washington’s pivot away from a failed effort to consolidate its hegemony over the Middle East to trying instead to reinstate a more clearly hegemonic posture for the United States in Asia

Furthermore, Hillary notes, China sees the Obama Administration retreating from important parts of the “core bargain” that Beijing and Washington struck in the early 1970s, when President Richard Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, worked with the first-generation leadership of the People’s Republic to realign Sino-American relations.  Among other things, this bargain posited that the United States was no longer going to pursue outright hegemony in Asia (an approach that had ensnared it in the tragedy/strategic stupidity of the Vietnam War).  Instead, it would, in effect, share strategic leadership with China, recognizing the People’s Republic as a legitimate political entity with legitimate national interests.  Now, from a Chinese vantage, the United States looks to be getting back into the hegemony business in Asia.  (On this point, consider Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s article in Foreign Policy in November 2011, see here.) 

Gordon Chang, who has long been a sharp critic of the People’s Republic of China on multiple fronts (he published a book in 2001 anticipating its collapse), argues that the pivot is a perfectly reasonable reaction to “conduct that is unacceptable” by the Chinese.  Aside from being the People’s Republic, this conduct, according to Chang, consists of asserting territorial claims in the South China Seas with which other regional states disagree and continuing to insist that Taiwan is part of China.  In light of this behavior, other Asian countries have been compelled to ask the United States to build up its military presence in the region. 

Hillary observes that this is the same sort of explanation offered by Washington to justify expanded U.S. involvement in the Persian Gulf:  American allies like Israel and Saudi Arabia feel threatened by the growing influence of a rising regional power—the Islamic Republic of Iran—committed to protecting and enhancing its strategic independence. 

–From this perspective, Washington never takes into consideration how these allies’ policies have themselves contributed to regional insecurity. 

–It also never takes into consideration how rising regional powers committed to defending their strategic independence—whether the People’s Republic of China in Asia or the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Middle East—interpret the historical record of America’s involvement in their regional neighborhoods and how that affects their perception of current U.S. policy. 

Additionally, Hillary notes that there is a difference between aspiring regional powers, like China and the Islamic Republic, that act in ways they judge necessary to protect their core interests and enhance their regional and international standing, and an expansionist power like the United States which believes that its own security ultimately requires it to transform as much of the rest of the world as possible to look like itself.  In this regard, it appears that China is reaching a turning point in its perception of America’s strategic intentions, not just in Asia but also in the Middle East, which is increasingly important to the People’s Republic in a number of the same ways it has long been important to the United States

A powerful account of this shift is provided by a new monograph published earlier this week, Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust, see here, co-authored by Wang Jisi, Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University and one of China’s most eminent strategic thinkers and academic specialists on the United States.  Prof. Wang’s portion of the monograph has already drawn considerable attention, including an article in The New York Times.  We highlight some of its many important points below:

Prof. Wang notes that, in the post-Cold War world. China’s approach to the United States “was premised on the fact—and the assessment—that China’s power and international status were far weaker than those of America, and that the global balance at that moment tiled toward Western political systems, values, and capitalism.”  Since 2008, however, “several developments have reshaped China’s views of the international structure and global trends, and therefore of its attitude toward the United States.”  Prof. Wang than elucidates several of these developments: 

“First, many Chinese officials believe that their nation has ascended to be a first-class power in the world and should be treated as such.  China has successfully weathered not only the 1997-98 global financial crisis; the latter, in Chinese eyes, was caused by deep deficiencies in the U.S. economy and politics.  China has surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy and seems to be the number two in world politics, as well…Chinese leaders do not credit these successes to the United States or to the U.S.-led world order. 

Second, the United States is seen in China generally as a declining power over the long run.  America’s financial disorder, alarming deficit and unemployment rate, slow economic recovery, and domestic political polarization are viewed as but a few indications that the United States is headed for decline…It is now a question of how many years, rather than how many decades, before China replaces the United States as the largest economy in the world. 

Third, from the perspective of China’s leaders, the shifting power balance between China and the United States is part of an emerging new structure in today’s world.  While the Western world at large is faced with economic setbacks, emerging powers like India, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa join China in challenging Western dominance…

Fourth, it is a popular notion among Chinese political elites, including some national leaders, that China’s development model provides an alternative to Western democracy and experiences for other developing countries to learn from, while many developing countries that have introduced Western values and political systems are experiencing disorder and chaos.” 

These shifting views of the international structure overlap with longstanding Chinese concerns about the American posture toward the People’s Republic: 

“It is strongly believed in China that the ultimate goal of the United States in world affairs is to maintain its hegemony and dominance and, as a result, Washington will attempt to prevent the emerging powers, in particular China, from achieving their goals and enhancing their stature.”

All of this, in Prof. Wang’s reading, affects Chinese views of American positions on a host of security and economic issues.  On top of that, “the perceived changing power balance between China and the United States has prompted many Chinese to expect, and aspire to, a more ‘can-do’ PRC foreign policy, and the Chinese leadership clearly recognizes these sentiments.”  Focusing on the Middle East more particularly, Prof. Wang notes that Beijing’s policy toward Iran is

“facing a dilemma.  On the one hand, China supports the principle of nonproliferation together with the United States and its European allies.  On the other hand, the Chinese are concerned that Washington’s high-handed position toward Tehran is driven more by an American desire to change the political structure of Iran and the geopolitical picture in the Middle East than by its declared goal of keeping the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons…

Although the turbulence in the Arab world since early 2011 is not viewed in Beijing as necessarily stirred up by, and beneficial to, the U.S., the Chinese government was perturbed by the forceful intervention of the Western world in Libya in 2011.  Further advance of U.S. schemes in the region, now being unfolded in Syria, would be seen as detrimental to regional stability at the expense of China.” 

We have already witnessed Beijing taking a more “can-do” approach to the region, coordinating with Russia to veto a U.S.-backed Security Council resolution on Syria and making clear it will not facilitate Libya-style intervention in Syria or endorse any political process there stipulating upfront that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave officeNow, according to Prof. Wang, “China is not ready to support more U.S. sanctions against Iran by cutting off its own trade relations with Tehran.” 

For its part, of course, the Obama Administration has committed itself to a policy under which it will be under enormous pressure to sanction important Chinese companies and financial institutions of the People’s Republic does not cut off—or at least radically reduce—its trade relations with the Islamic Republic.  Does the administration really believe that, by threatening such sanctions, it can compel Beijing to do serious damage to Chinese interests—and surrender its strategic independence, to boot—by cooperating with unilaterally asserted U.S. and European sanctions, which are already driving up the price of oil?  The Iranian nuclear issue is likely to turn out to be, on many levels, a major turning point for America’s relative standing as a great power, in the Middle East and globally

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 

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691 Responses to “IRAN, CHINA’S RISE, AND AMERICAN STRATEGY”

  1. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    Arnold has urged Iran to stockpile a large amount of 20% U, to make it easier to rush to build nukes should Iran chhose to do so. Do you agree with Arnold that this is a wise course to take?

  2. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    I oppose an attack on Iran, unless it is clear Iran is building nukes. That said, when I warn that Iran will likely be attacked even if it has ZERO inention of building nukes, if it stockpiles too mcuh 20% U, I am not endorsing an attack.

  3. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    April 16, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Your endorsements of threats and naked imperialism are becoming offensive. Unfortunately for you, Iran has the means to defend itself from any attempt by the West to wage an illegal aggressive war against it.

  4. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Interesting comments by Jalili that you linked. The head of Iran’s nuclear programme said last week that once Iran has sufficient 20% U, it might stop (and covert facilities to enrich to 5%).

    I guess we will see. If Iran continues to stockpile 20% U, I very much doubt it will avoid the sinking of its navy, destruction of its air force, etc etc. But perhaps you would welcome that.

  5. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama does not want war with Iran, and will not attack Iran unless it appears Iran is determined to stockpile sufficient 20% U to enable a quick rush to build nukes.

  6. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The fatwa was issued even earlier, was it not (against Iran having nukes)? The key element here, however, is PRESS COVERAGE in the US. It is a GOOD THING if the fatwa is finally called to the attention of the grossly ignorant American public. And journalists, for that matter.

  7. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    The Fatwa had been issued in 2005.

    P5+1 and Axis Powers ignored it.

    Only when the coercive diplomacy of Axis Powers forced Iran to declare for War – a war that Axis Powers were not prepared to wage this year – that all of a sudden their memory was jolted; so to speak.

  8. BiBiJon says:

    Public Service
    ============

    There’s a new thread/post btw.

  9. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    Glad to hear you’re feeling better. Thanks for the “esteemed”. Right back at you. Kun-e Sassan misooze when you write stuff like that :-)

    Group therapy doesn’t work for everyone. I recommend a lobotomy…and I volunteer to perform it :-)
    but after I have slept with my 4 pre-teenage wives and countless temporary wives (…and goats, sheep, donkeys…during their menstruation :-)

    We shouldn’t talk to you-know-who, but who said we can’t indirectly mock? Come on, give us some funny samples :-)

  10. Fiorangela says:

    edit

    missing a K

    thanK you, kooshy.

  11. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Note: Off-topic. The topic is a loose translation of parts of one of Imam Khomeini’s speeches as presented by Hasan Asghadi. It is what I would call a New and Improved and Fully Updated version. I have not only played loose with the style and anachronisms, but have also taken the liberty to “improve” on the speech, deleting and elaborating at will, as is my style. My idea was that I wanted to make the thoughts of the Imam more accessible to a western audience. I have no idea if I have succeeded, so any feedback would be appreciated. If there is a feeling that people like this approach, I’ll probably end up doing a series of them. I was interested in this particular excerpt as the part where I end it ties in nicely with that aspect of Islam that I am currently interested in, namely, *wilayah*, political Islam and the concept of the separation of church and state – which is of course the area where Imam Khomeini had his greatest impact and triumph.

    *

    This speech of the Imam’s was given about seven months after the triumph of the revolution, right before the universities reopened. This was a time that was witness to clashes in the streets and universities between different parties and factions, battles against separatist groups, conspiracies and terrorist plots… Various problems arose between the Imam’s revolutionary movement and the counter-revolutionary forces which wanted to defeat it. The Imam warns of these reactionary elements and the powers and ideologies behind them.

    “They will not let Iran out of their clutches. Western imperialism does not want to allow the country to come into its own, to stand on its own two feet. You should know that all of the disturbances that are currently being created have been created by them in order that the calm and stability necessary for the development of the country does not obtain.”

    He warns against these forces of reaction, which want fundamentally to change the nature and direction of the revolution. “Beware! Do not let them dupe you into accepting a non-Islamic republic *under the name of* a (fake) Islamic Republic bereft of the reality that is Islam.” Here the Imam is cautioning against the influence of deviant and reactionary elements in positions of power and in positions to influence the revolutionary ideology of the universities’ student cadres, and that of the broader revolution generally.

    “America and the West *fear* the Islamic Republic. Much effort was expended by their forces to prevent the Islamic Republic from taking root. They fear not the republican aspect but the Islamic one. Those whose pens were at the service of the West, and those who were not paying sufficient heed and had become westoxicated started to say, ‘What do we want with Islam anymore [now that the revolution has triumphed]? ‘ ‘A republic will do us just fine,’ they said, ‘a democratic republic.’ But now that Islam has dealt them a blow that they will not soon forget, they fear it. The Shah’s regime was dismantled by *Islam* – not by anything else. Whereas it was the *musta’zafin* (the weak and the downtrodden) who brought about this revolution by gathering in the streets and placing their lives at the mercy of tanks and canon and machine-gun fire, now others who played no role in this movement want to seat themselves at the table and eat of its viands. Now that the revolution has borne fruit, we see of a sudden, from America and from Europe, and from every God-forsaken nook and cranny of the country itself, people who were supporters of the Shah and his regime have become “revolutionaries” and say things like ‘We were always with the revolution,’ and ‘There are things that we have seen and know that you know nothing about.’ They think that I have just landed from Mars [sic!] and don’t know them and their shenanigans, who they were and who they are pretending to have become.

    “You’ve just arrived on the scene – johnny come latelies one and all – and from Western universities to boot, and want to lay claim to the revolution?? It was the blood of our Moslem kids that was shed, and now you come, in all your arrogance and say, ‘OK, so you shed some blood and made some sacrifices. Swell. Now be so kind as to step aside, deliver the reins of your revolution to your betters and be on your merry way. Here; here’s your receipt for it! Now be good boys and go back to your homes. We have important business to attend to here, executive decisions to make. Surely you can’t be expected to make executive decisions, to be the boss?’
    “They will try to take over the revolution and co-opt it. Beware! Stand up to them! It is the height of absurdity to tell a nation, 98% of whom voted for an Islamic Republic in a general referendum, that we do not want the “Islamic” in Islamic Republic. It goes against the expressed will of the people. It is as absurd a proposition as saying that ‘Well, yes, the people want an Islamic Republic, but *we* want a monarchy (or *we* want a secular liberal democracy), and to hell with the people – the people are stupid. These types are accusing the people at large of ignorance and stupidity! The people have spoken and they say ‘We want Islam to be the basis of the laws that govern our lives,’ but they say, ‘No, that is *not* what you (really) want. You don’t understand and *we* know better!’ – whereas the people have made their choice and are resolved on it after having fully considered all other options, and being of sound mind and body.”

    The Imam goes on to caution us not to be tricked by forces who want to fool us into accepting an “Islamic” Republic without the key element of *Velayat-e Faqih* (The Sacred Governance and Guardianship of the Religious Elders and Doctors of Law), for without this, the Islamic Republic would be counterfeit and bogus [note the example of Pakistan, for example, whose full name is The Islamic Republic of Pakistan]. Those who say they do not want *Velayat-e Faqih*, that it is just another form of dictatorship, etc…. in truth, what they are actually saying is that it is Islam that they do not want. If the *Vali* becomes dictatorial, he is no longer fit to be the vali and will be replaced by the Guarding Council whose constitutional duty it is to monitor and if need be, to check the vali’s performance….
    “Needless to say, the whole point of the theoretical framework and edifice of the *Velayat-e Faqih* system is that it is a mechanism crafted precisely to *combat* dictatorship and the forces of tyranny. In its infinite wisdom, Islam has afforded its Elders, its Jurisconsults and Doctors of Law (those with high expert knowledge of Islam who have devoted themselves to and spent their whole lives in Islam – submission to the will of God and whose expertise has been validated by a sacred consensus of the community at large), Islam has afforded these learned men the authority not to allow any Tom, Dick or Harry to go about town doing whatever his heart desires. To be sure, the liberal clap-trap that “*Velayat-e Faqih* is nothing but a thinly-disguised dictatorship” has itself been dictated to these lost souls who simply turn around and regurgitate it back, parrot-like.

    “Another tactic they will use is to call us reactionaries. Yes… it is we reactionaries who cut off the hands of the traitors from the reins of the country [where the communists and nationalists, and the constitutional monarchists before them failed to do so]. It is we reactionaries who returned freedom and independence to the land. It is we reactionaries who kicked the thieves out of the country and returned the Treasury to the people, its rightful owners.

    “And when that doesn’t work for them, they’ll switch tact and one of their spokesmen will sham concern for our religion and say they are concerned for the loss of sanctity of the clergy. ‘Let them hold on to their sacrosanctity! Let religion vouchsafe its sanctity! Do not interfere in the dirty business of politics lest you sully your hands!’ they say. ‘Let the clergy remain holy and hold on to their aura of sanctity,’ they say, whereas what they are really saying is, ‘Let them stay in their mosques and prayer niches and not stick their noses where they don’t belong. Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and God’s will be done *on Earth* as it is in heaven be damned and let the Devil take the hindmost. *This* is their *wilayah*, and no mistake. This is secularism laid bare: the political realm for the politicians and laity and those not concerned with religion, and religion as a private and personal affair with its ambit limited to the four walls of the church and mosque. ‘Go there and stay there, where you belong! Go there and pray. And if you want to teach and preach, no problem. Go for it! Preach ‘till your heart’s content!! But be reasonable. Know your limits and stay within them. This “freedom of religion” is not to say that you are thereby given license to take a position against that of the grown-ups, upsetting the whole apple cart. Want to take religion into the classroom? Into the universities? Fine! No problem! Just as long as you don’t make *our* lives difficult. Remember Rule #1: Don’t rock the boat. We got it working like clockwork, see? Milking it and skimming the cream for all its worth.

    “ ‘No, suffice it that your “holiness” be preserved; act out the role you have been assigned to the extent that the masses call you “Your Holiness”, to the extent that the veneer of sanctity is maintained. Let them say, “This is a holy man! An ascetic. So much so, in fact, that if they steal his oil, he does not say a word. If anything, he would say, “So they take our oil. What possible value can the material possessions of this world have? Let them have at it, if that is what they want!” *This* is how they want us to safeguard the sacred! This is *their* idea of sacrality and sacrosanctity!!

    It is as if they want us to believe that our Prophet and Imams (upon whom be peace) never engaged in political matters, social matters, matters of social justice; whereas of course their whole purpose, the entirety of their project was to bring about justice in the social realm, to forge a better, more just community. The Prophets and Imams waged war with social injustice and sub-human acts and conditions. Not only did this striving not take an iota away from their sanctity, but it defined and enhanced it. It is the very definition of their ministry.
    There is no contradiction between sanctity and political involvement. To the contrary. Do they mean to say that us latter day saints and holy men are holier than, say, Imam Ali, as we keep our hands clean of the dirty business of politics and he didn’t? Is *this* what they maintain? Or do they not consider Imam Ali and his politically intertwined actions sufficiently holy? That he falls short on that count – is that it? ‘Let religion maintain its sanctity by not interfering in politics and matters of state,’ they say! What? So then did the Prophet and the Prince of the Believers, Imam Ali, both of whom were heads of the Moslem polity in turn, compromise their sanctity thereby? These matters, social matters, politics in other words, power relations between individuals and groups, between the rich and the poor, the weak and the strong, these were issues that were *central* to their ministries! [iin haa *kaar* dashtand baa iin masaael!] Yet, those who excoriate the clergy for being concerned with and engaged in the public sphere and urge them not to do so on pain of losing their holy sanctity must needs also hold that the Prophet and Imam Ali (upon both of whom be peace) lacked sanctity and were not therefore holy people, lacking a holy character, for they engaged in political behavior which – so their logic has it – is unbecoming of holy men and men of the cloth.

    And so, it becomes evident that you have no interest in saving and preserving our sanctity and our sacred values. All you are really up to is some treacherous mischief designed to push us aside in order to pave the way for your foreign paymasters to come in and take back the reins of the country.

  12. kooshy says:

    For David Sanger’s and our own one and only, his highness Gavner James of all 20% U’s

    Iran has no intention to halt 20% enrichment: Jalili

    http://tehrantimes.com/politics/96949-iran-has-no-intention-to-halt-20-enrichment-jalili

  13. kooshy says:

    New Middle East taking shape: Mehmanparast

    “Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast says a new Middle East is taking shape; one that is not based on the scenarios written by Washington but based upon popular rule.
    Referring to US plans for change in the Middle East, Mehmanparast said on Sunday that Washington has many plans for the region which are unrealistic and in most cases have failed, IRNA reported.
    The Iranian official added that the rule of the nations over their own destinies and resistance against hostile US and Israeli policies in this regard are among the features of the new Middle East.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236389.html

    This I agree with, yesterday I wrote why I think Baghdad was chosen by Iran as the next meeting place between the P5 and the most powerful country in the Middle East region, Iran. I think Iranian planers are now more able to effectively use Iran’s resistance political ideology to empower Arab resistance against western colonialism and its ring of client states in the region, Iran believes regardless of how long and how much the west in this past year tried to redirect the energy accumulated in this popular Arab uprisings, (especially now that the Syrian dilemma is been somewhat controlled), regardless of various techniques used and is being used the west was incapable to reduce and effectively control the mistrust energy that has been accumulated within the Arab streets.

    As per Israel’s new favorite phrase what has happened now, is that the Arab street resistance to western colonialism has entered a “zone of immunity” where no deceptive elections or hard and soft crackdown techniques will restabilize the Arab streets, till the entire governing system in effected countries has been changed to the street’s acceptance. Once this process in a major Arab Sunni country is completed and in place, a new true exemplary Sunni country becomes available to other Arab countries to emulate from. And Iran very much likes to expedite this process.

  14. kooshy says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 15, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Fior- They told me that they will place a link to the English lecture on their website. But I have not found it yet. I will try to post a link to the Persian and the English texts of both lectures when I find out where I can upload the texts.

    Best,

  15. James Canning says:

    Some press reports on the P5+1 mmeting with Iran in Istanbul yesterday, carried in American newspapers, mentioned the fatwa against nuclear weapons that Khamenei had issued, and that this fatwa was called to the attention of the diplomats represeting the Six Powers. Too few Americans are even aware the fatwa was issued.

  16. Fiorangela says:

    A concerned world citizen says:
    April 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    As long as it’s just “fits” that Netanyahu throws, the world — and US-Iran negotiations — can proceed apace. The world views with increasing comprehension and apprehension the spectacle of a 60+ year old man-child, joined by many in the state he leads and most in the nation he has seduced, who have not yet adjusted to the reality that they and their patch of sand are not the center of the universe.

    It is fully to be expected that Bibi will throw something stronger than a ‘fit’ in an attempt to disrupt the possibility of resolution of the West’s estrangement from Iran.

  17. Sassan says:

    Loving the haters…keep it flowin!

    And I find it extremely amazing and ironic that a self-proclaimed thug member of the Basiji and Revolutionary Guards is taken on here for respect. It says a lot about the other members of the site including certain members openly sympathizing with Hitler and not being called out on it…

    Hey! These are after all (Basiji and Revolutionary Guard hooligans) who find it acceptable to have as many temporary wives as possible and as young as 9 and 12-years of age (one without court permission and one with).

  18. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBi Khanum:

    Sorry, but I can’t get involved in that exchange right now. And while your efforts to respond the the veil of lies put out by the MSM by logic and accessible common sense is laudable, I think it is ultimately misguided as the war for the cognitive field that is ongoing requires more complex treatments. And the issue of minorities rights is a complex one which I have thoughts on, but which I have not put in writing as yet. I will one day soon, inshallah. The Islamic view of minority rights is that they should be as great as possible within two bounds: the bounds required by the majority in order for *its* rights not to be violated, and the laws of the religiously recognized minority in question (they do not have a right to act against their own sacred laws, in other words). I have started writing something and hope to finish it in the next day or two, and will post it then. It is about the difference between Sacred Law and Common Law, among other things, and I think it will not clear up any of the confusion that the MSM spreads about as its daily ritual, but it will at least, I hope, allow you to see the depth of the issue in a different light.

  19. A concerned world citizen says:

    Netanyahu’s throwing fits on the recent talks..It’s clear he’s praying hard banging his head against the temple wall for the talks to fail..

    I believe there’ll come a time when the US will have to really decide what’s in their best interest..That time will come when it becomes economically unsustainable to keep this charade of “unbreakable bond with Israel” going.

  20. Kathleen says:

    “Also, consider how outlandish and ahistorical the suggestion is that any “oppressed minority” would attempt to better their lot by habitually lying through their teeth, as opposed to striving to be seen as forthright, honest, keepers of their words, etc.”

    Israel

  21. A concerned world citizen says:

    Responding to Sassan’s(Yossi or Avi) drivels is like watering a plant and exposing it to a bit of sunshine to grow..

    Like a junkie, he relies on your response to get his daily fix..To kill this plant, it’s best to stop watering it and exposing it to sunshine. ie; stop responding to his postings.He’s not the kinda guy to have a debate with as he’s not here to debate or to be convinced of anything but to throw a wrench in discussions and muddy the waters. In his mind, he’s totally convinced and doesn’t need any lecturing from anybody – yet he feels he has the absolute right to set people straight. In fact, anything that’ll take away from the discussion is what his mission is. He enjoys and revels in “pissing” people off by his absurd drivels. But he doesn’t care because it get people’s attention and generates response.

    It’s really not worth responding to his BS. Like a little kid throwing tantrums, the best way to fix it is to just ignore him.

  22. k_w says:

    @Sassan:

    ‘In an interview with Yedfoi Aharonot (Tel Aviv), Ruth Beloy (formerly Ruth Ben David, nee Madlene Lust), the widow of the late leader of Neturei Karta, described Khomeini as “a genuine leader, a man of principles, like de Gaulle. I sympathize with him and wish we (Jews) would have such a leader who would turn us all religious. Then the Messiah would surely come.” See Amos Nevo, “Ruth Beloy Awaits the Messiah,” Yedi’ot Aharonot, Shiv’a Yamim (December 13, 1985), pp. 16-18.’

    Emmanuel Sivan, Menachem Friedman: “Religious radicalism and politics in the Middle East”, p. 221.

  23. BiBiJon says:

    UU,

    Talking of the moron, or even worse talking to the moron is haram, as per the Leveretts’ fatwa one thread ago.

    But, in reality I meant to engage James Risen. I raised a few commonsense questions that I think ought to be answered by Risen if he wants to put out there about religiously sanctioned dissembling “some analysts” in Shiieh’s DNA.

    What do you think of those points, and can you add to them? I’m very interested in finding ways of thoroughly refuting the crap MSM prints with reference to only logic and accessible commonsense.

    One example is Risen’s justification for his insult: “oppressed minority.” Can you, or anyone else tell me why on earth a down-trodden minority would want on top of being a despised as a Shiie, Jew, Armenian, Turk, etc. want to be associated with deceitfulness, laziness, cowardice, etc?

  24. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBi Khanum:

    Thank you for bringing Empty’s post to my attention (and my apologies to Empty-san for having missed it. I have not been monitoring RFI as closely as I used to, as I have been feeling better and am starting to work again, inshallah, and so between reading and writing, I just don’t have the time I used to have during my year-long plus convalescence. Thank you all for bearing with all my drivel during that time!
    It was great group therapy, as our esteemed Bussed-in Professor has stated :)

    I am sure what Empty-san has stated regarding the Imam’s take on taqiyya is correct. the main thing to bear in mind is that taqiyya is a highly technical concept in Shi’i jurisprudence, and it is (undeservedly) controversial or even highly controversial in the eyes of our Sunni brethren, let alone anyone else. That does not bother me in the least, let alone what some hasbara freak-show has to say about it… And talking of the moron, it boggles my mind to see so many regulars still engaging the weaseling weasel-lover of a weasel, even after Flynt and Hillary took pains specifically to ask everyone not to engage him in any conversation. Oh well.

  25. Humanist says:

    White House lauds Iran-P5+1 talks as ‘positive first step’

    http://presstv.com/detail/236321.html

  26. BiBiJon says:

    While I wait interminably for any credible citations to support Sassan’s drivel, I want to note a couple of common sense aspects of this for James Risen, if no one else.

    When Risen uses the well-worn phrase, “some analysts”, people of character, and integrity ought immediately ask what do some ‘other’ analysts might say, and why didn’t Risen feel an opposing view is warranted to balance such a radical claim. Folks might suspect a demonizing agenda; that Risen is throwing out insults for the sake of insults.

    Iran’s support emanates not from the western elite press, but from the non western world. One has to imagine how Iran would be tarred and feathered by the 120 countries that are the members of NAM (non-aligned movement) who have gone out on a limb supporting Iran in this nuclear conflict, if Iran after such explicit, unequivocal denials then turned around and actually tested a nuclear weapon.

    Also, consider how outlandish and ahistorical the suggestion is that any “oppressed minority” would attempt to better their lot by habitually lying through their teeth, as opposed to striving to be seen as forthright, honest, keepers of their words, etc.

    Finally consider the dual but inseparable roles of a supreme leader who has responsibility for the upkeep of the reputation/integrity of both the state and the religion he represents. How does it make sense for him to dissemble on a matter this grave? Is his time horizon that short?

  27. Rehmat says:

    Sassan – How would you like to defend Ammesty Internatioal’s year after year accusations that 3000-5000 White European Christian women are sold openly as sex slaves for the Israeli Jews each year?

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/americas-child-sex-slaves/

  28. k_w says:

    @Sassan: Khomeini was kosher. That was the result of his talk with Ruth Ben-David, who had been sent to Paris by Menachem Begin.

  29. Sassan says:

    In regards to what? Him stating that he would come to Iran and “not get involved in politics” and “only be a spiritual adviser”? This is a well known fact so I don’t think this is what you are actually referring to?

    I think you are referring to his sex with children and I think the following short clip (which is in Arabic but with English subtitles) is a must to watch for all..: http://youtu.be/KVRPA-7d5ZA

    No wonder he wrote so much on the acceptable methods of having sex with children and donkeys.

  30. BiBiJon says:

    While I wait interminably for any credible citations to support Sassan’s drivel, I want to note a couple of common sense aspects of this for James Risen, if no one else.

    When Risen uses the well-worn phrase, “some analysts”, people of character, and integrity ought immediately ask what do some ‘other’ analysts might say, and why didn’t Risen feel an opposing view is warranted to balance such a radical claim. Folks might suspect a demonizing agenda; that Risen throwing out insults for the sake of insults.

    Iran’s support emanates not from the western elite press, but from the non western world. One has to imagine how Iran would be tarred and feathered by the 120 countries that are the members of NAM (non-aligned movement) if Iran after such explicit, unequivocal denials then turned around and actually tested a nuclear weapon.

  31. BiBiJon says:

    Sassan says:
    April 15, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Any citations you’d care to provide?

  32. Sassan says:

    Khomeini the pervert (it is known that he had sex with a child) did what taqiyya asks for in 1979′ by lying to gain power. He had said that he would “simply be a religion adviser” and “would not get involved in politics” but would simply “operate out of qom”. His very gaining power in Iran was through lies and he did this and justified it through the concept of taqiyya.

  33. BiBiJon says:

    Empty says:
    November 29, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Unknown Unknowns,

    “Taqiyyeh” [تقیه] from the root word تقی like in تقوی، متقی، متقین etc. literally meaning پرهیز [avoidance], in terms of words and in its most general meaning could be interpreted as a parallel to “you have the right to remain silent….” (the 5th Amendment in the U.S.) The key difference here, as I understood from Imam Khomeini’s interpretation, is that this “avoidance” of open expression is not to save one’s own ass but to avoid stepping into unnecessary (from Fiqh’s perspective) danger that might jeopardize Islam. In fact, he considered it absolutely ‘حرام’ [forbidden] to “taqiyyeh” if doing so would jeopardize Islam. For example, in رساله تقیه he is narrated to say that:

    «اگر مورد تقيه، اسلام بوده باشد و اسلام به خطر بيفتد، آن تقيه حرام است». به همين دليل بود كه در حمله رژيم پهلوي به مدرسه فيضيه، خطاب به علماي اسلام فرمود: «حضرات آقايان توجه دارند كه اصول اسلام در معرض خطر است، قرآن و مذهب در مخاطره است، با اين احتمال تقيه حرام است و اظهار حقايق واجب است و لو بلغ ما بلغ»

    “If the case for taqiyyeh has been Islam and Islam is in jeopardy, that taqiyyeh is “haram” [forbidden]. On the Pahlavi’s attack on Fayziyeh seminary, he told the Islamic scholars that, “distinguished gentlemen need to pay attention that the very principles of Islam is in danger. Quran and the religion is in jeopardy. Even if this to be a probability, taqiyyeh is ‘haram’ [forbidden] and open announcement of the truth is ‘vajeb’ [required].”

    The most significant and deliberate تحریف [misrepresentation] of taqiyyeh, I think, has been for either the misinformed or the deceitful to equate “avoiding to speak” on the matter with “lie”.

    May God guide the misinformed.

    From http://www.raceforiran.com/tom-donilon-and-the-myth-of-iran%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cisolation%E2%80%9D#comment-63534

  34. BiBiJon says:

    Not a peep from NY Times about Iran today
    ===========================================

    http://www.google.com/search?q=iran+site:nytimes.com&hl=en&lr=&prmd=imvnsul&source=lnms&tbm=nws&ei=xryKT670Hsnr0gG90-3ZCQ&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=5&ved=0CB8Q_AUoBA&biw=785&bih=361&cad=cbv&sei=z7yKT9XrAbC20QHm6cn3CQ#q=iran+site:nytimes.com&hl=en&lr=&tbm=nws&prmd=imvnsul&source=lnt&tbs=sbd:1&sa=X&ei=z7yKT_m_FabY0QHtsujfCQ&ved=0CBQQpwUoAQ&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=8e3b7563eae62623&biw=785&bih=361

    ——–

    I wonder what the deafening silence is all about?

    As Hans points out, as late as yesterday NY Times was busy casting doubt on the veracity of anything Iran has said in the past, and therefore the worthlessness of any accord in the future. You cannot say MSM didn’t try to derail the latest round of negotiations. But, today there’s silence. Is the Times shell shocked?

  35. Sassan says:

    “Complicating matters further, some analysts say that Ayatollah Khamenei’s denial of Iranian nuclear ambitions has to be seen as part of a Shiite historical concept called taqiyya, or religious dissembling. For centuries an oppressed minority within Islam, Shiites learned to conceal their sectarian identity to survive, and so there is a precedent for lying to protect the Shiite community.”

    Finally someone speaking the complete truth. :)

  36. hans says:

    “Complicating matters further, some analysts say that Ayatollah Khamenei’s denial of Iranian nuclear ambitions has to be seen as part of a Shiite historical concept called taqiyya, or religious dissembling. For centuries an oppressed minority within Islam, Shiites learned to conceal their sectarian identity to survive, and so there is a precedent for lying to protect the Shiite community.”

    –James Risen, “Seeking Nuclear Insight in Fog of the Ayatollah’s Utterances,” New York Times, April 14, 2012, p. A4. (This was a news report, not an opinion piece or editorial).

    This Zionist weasel, the mere fact he has changed his name to sound Christian makes him the liar. The whole Jewish people is a massive fraud full of lies and deceit. This news item mind you not an opinion piece should never have been allowed to be published.

  37. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy, do you know if Prof. Mahmoud Omidsalar’s lecture on March 12, 2012 was videorecorded?

  38. Fiorangela says:

    Dr. Fatemeh Keshavarz is an expert in the poetry of Rumi, but provides for readers of her blog insights into Iranian political activity. In the most recent update to Windows on Iran, she posted her thoughts on the negotiations between US and Iran:

    “To read more on what has happened in the very first round of the negotiations, read this Guardian article. For a real in-depth analysis of the political conflict between Iran and the United States, see this piece by Professor Juan Cole of Michigan University here. The Huffington Post also has good piece on the Istanbul nuclear negotiations, here. Okay, let me now give you an overview of my observations about what is going on. What is different about this round of negotiations? First, the American side. I believe that President Obama is very willing to go the extra mile to make the negotiations work this time because allowing for the oil embargo to come into full effect means another serious hike in the price of oil and a kind of gas price that no president would like to deal with during an election year. On the Iranian side, the sanctions have begun to hurt in a deeper way. Shortage of many things – including drugs – are being felt by a large segment of the population. Nonetheless, in my opinion, the Iranian change of approach to these negotiations is more the result of the new internal political dynamics which have consolidated the power of the Supreme Leader, Mr. Ali Khamenei, and left Mr. Ahmadinejad fairly week after the parliamentary elections in early March. There is every indication that Mr. Khamenei would like to solve – or at least reduce – the political tension between the two countries whereby revealing his superior diplomatic wisdom to that of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s uncompromising ways. With most reformist figures languishing in jail, and Ahmadinejad’s camp in disarray, the credit for any success in finding a diplomatic solution to the Iran/US conflict will clearly go to the Supreme Leader. This explains why Mr. Sa’id Jalili has been given the added title of the Supreme Leader’s special envoy.”

  39. Castellio says:

    Unknown Unknowns: Greetings from a distance. Good to hear from you.

  40. bettertobepickled says:

    For those who want to take a quick look at the growth of anti-Islamic organizations:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/14/breivik-trial-norway-mass-murderer

  41. Unknown Unknowns says:

    On Purity (or the Separation of Church and State)

    I woke up at 5:45 this morning, right around the time for the azan, the call to prayer, and prayer time. I was a little sleepy and had till 6:30 before dawn to make my morning prayers. But I wanted to make my prayers first thing, as that is what the Prophet, Lady Fatimah, and the 12 Purified Imams did, and that is what the great religious leaders of our time and all the times before them, back to the days of the Presence of the Imams did and recommended. When making my aab-dast (or wuzu, which is the Arabic; the ritual ablutions), I wanted to make sure that I had the correct presence of heart and mind, the correct intention and focus, and that all my movements, how my hands caused the cleansing water to run along my arms and feet were correct, in accord with the teachings and tradition of my community. I wanted every motion to be as close as possible to that which is most pleasing to God. Similarly, of course, when I called the azan, and during the prayer itself, my intention was the same. And of course this mindset, this Way, this Mazhab, this Life Transaction, did not stop after the prayer. To the contrary, one reason why I made my morning prayer as soon as possible was that the closer I conduct my life in accordance with the teachings and examples of the Fourteen Infallibles (the Prophet, Lady Fatimah, and the 12 Imams), with whom be the peace and blessings of God, as handed down by my Sacred Community, which is the Project of those Fourteen blessed souls, and the project of all the Prophets and Imams before them… the closer I train my heart, mind and body to the morphogenetic field of their Way, their Example, their Sunna, the better chance I have of warding off the tempting of evil between prayer times (which are sacrosanct). As I sit here writing this, I am conscious of my desire to remain in a state of ritual purity. If an impurity befalls me, I hasten to cleans myself as soon as possible, the more to remain in a ritually purified state (motahhar). If an impure thought crosses my mind, I hasten to chase it away. If an impure desire or urge enters my heart, God forbid, I turn away from it (tawbah), repent of that sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and pray that He keep these desires and urges from welling up in me. In conducting my part of the bargain of that entreaty, I do my level best to make myself a worthy vessel for His Grace: as best I can, I lower my gaze from phenomena which might induce undesirable thoughts, desires, urges, be they actual women or virtual ones as in those on billboards, mannequins or images on the television, movie theater or computer screen. Images of violence… Movies which, tacitly or overtly, encourage the viewer to profane ways of thinking about and acting in the world; which take me away from the ideals and values of my Sacred Community. As well as my mental and emotional diet and regimen, and as importantly, I try my best to ingest physical food that is ritually pure, and which is good for me; wholesome food, food provided for us by God, and not those laden with poisonous chemicals brought to us by our wayward cousins, the profit-jockeys.

    So tell me how I can separate this Temple, my body-mind, from the State in which I find myself, the Community which is my cognitive-moral-emotional-physical field and environment, and I will accede to your petulant demand to separate Church and State. In the meanwhile, I am grateful to God that I live in a community whose elders understand that the phenomena which might or might not be present in our environment, what obtains and what does not, is, to a large extent, in our own hands. And I give thanks to God every day that the elders of our community, imperfect and ‘fallen’ as they are, are in their turn, doing their best to ensure that our community is kept as ritually, cognitively, emotionally and spiritually pure as possible, so that it is a nurturing and wholesome environment for us, for our children, and for our posterity. Ameen.

    Until then, lakom dinokom wa li ad-din, ya kafirun (to you be your sacred community and to me, mine, oh ye coverers-up [of God’s Truth).

  42. Rd. says:

    Mansour Salsabili is a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. A senior political expert on leave from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, he participated in a number of efforts ranging from UN reforms to the Non-Aligned Movement.

    Iran talks: Why time is ripe for compromise

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2012/0413/Iran-talks-Why-time-is-ripe-for-compromise

  43. Rd. says:

    kooshy says:

    In my opinion Iran’s proposal for next round of nuclear negations to be held in Baghdad (which now officially has been accepted by the 5 UNSC permanent members) is a clever move by Iranian planers,

    To add, the irony to be at the place where;

    -the Suadi/GCC man, sadam was supported in his war against Iran.
    -the west and many of the p6 where responsible for providing sadam with WMD.
    -the very same WMD’s excuse brought down “their” man.
    -And last but not least, to be at the place where the empire kneeled down.

  44. Karl says:

    US air traveler treated in Iran after heart attack
    http://www.times-standard.com/ci_20396640/us-air-traveler-treated-iran-after-heart-attack

    What relations should be between Iran and the US. Friendship, not hostility. Then there was the lobby…

  45. Rehmat says:

    “George Galloway will hopefully be a strong voice against the war on Iran which Israel wants its proxies to fight for them. Enough war and enough pointless deaths – it’s time politicians concentrate in getting Britain back on its feet,”says Laura Staurt…

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/galloway-im-better-pakistani-than-hussain/

  46. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    when Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani said this week that Iran might stop enriching to 20% at Fordow and other sites, “once sufficient fuel was obtained”, clearly he did not mean Iran would try to stockpile enough 20% U to build a few nukes.

  47. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    If Iran tries to stockpile 200 kg of 20% U, I would expect a US attack. But perhaps Iran can go for 300, or 400, or even more, as you recommend, and not lose its navy, air force, etc etc etc.

  48. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    The Saudis welcome and encourage greater oil production and wealth in Iraq.

  49. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Karl,

    The 10 disqualified candidates can appeal the decision of the elections commission. But time is not on their side: The final list will be presented on April 26th.

    I suspect the MB may decide to boycott the election if the ruling is not reversed, which will hand the presidency to Amr Mousa. He is a sort of compromise candidate.

    I doubt Washington will make any objections or raise any concerns about the process. They just don’t want the MB or the salafis to win the presidency.

  50. Karl says:

    UK refuse to pay back egyptian money.
    http://presstv.com/detail/236274.html

  51. Karl says:

    On Hazem Salah Abu Ismail he was free to run just some days ago, changed?

    Egyptian Islamist presidential candidate can run, mother not American, court rules
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/egyptian-islamist-presidential-candidate-can-run-mother-not-american-court-rules-1.423943

    Interesting that Amr Mousa, a politican under mubarak regime still are free to run…

  52. A concerned world citizen says:

    Reza Esfandiari says:
    April 14, 2012 at 4:47 pm
    @ A concerned world citizen

    The decision to exclude Hazem Salah Abu Ismail seems to have been at the instigation of the Americans who brought up the issue of his mother’s holding of a U.S passport.

    True, but why will they choose to blatantly interfere in the internal affairs of Egypt? It’s almost as though the US is willing to make even more enemies in the region for the benefit of Israel. Is it really worth it???

    Lets face it, all this US running around in circles trying to get the “right man” in Egypt’s presidential race is all about getting someone that can continue Mubarak’s legacy vis-a-vis Israel..They want someone that can accommodate Israeli aggression on the Palestinians and also someone that will honor the peace treaty without question.

    Almost All the MB candidate won’t honor the peace treaty fully and that’s where the problem is..US’s Israel centric view of the region will drag them down in the long run..

  53. kooshy says:

    In my opinion Iran’s proposal for next round of nuclear negations to be held in Baghdad (which now officially has been accepted by the 5 UNSC permanent members) is a clever move by Iranian planers, by empowering Iraq (an ally of Iran and Syria in axis of resistance to colonial west) as a stable nation state at the expense of Arab client states of the west, particularly Saudi Arabia, this an indication by Iran and her allies in the region that a new middle east has in fact been lunched, where the new stable empowered Iraq will be economically and politically in position to balance the Saudi’s block with regard to Arab world.

  54. Reza Esfandiari says:

    @ A concerned world citizen

    The decision to exclude Hazem Salah Abu Ismail seems to have been at the instigation of the Americans who brought up the issue of his mother’s holding of a U.S passport.

  55. kooshy says:

    This new book soon to be available is very much related to the subject of this site (Iran’s relations with US), as a matter of fact, this site and its principals have been positively quoted in the this book where the US/western relations concerning Iran are discussed.

    Iran’s Epic and America’s Empire
    Mahmoud Omidsalar

    The Shahnameh is Iran s national epic. It is a compendium of Iranian myths, legends, and history. Unlike other Indo-European epics, it is not about a war, like the Iliad, or an individual, like the Odyssey, Beowulf, or the Ramayana. The central character of the Shahnameh is Iran, which it glorifies both as subject and hero. Unlike other classical Indo-European epics, the Shahnameh is not in a dead language. It is intelligible to every speaker of Persian in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia.
    Following a brief survey of Iranian history from its beginning in the 7th century B.C. to Ferdowsi s time in the 11th century, it provides a history of the poem and a biography of its author. It offers an explanation of the Shahnameh as a national icon and considers the implications of the poem for the present political tensions that mark Iran s relationship with the West.

    Mahmoud Omidsalar obtained his Ph.D. in Persian Literature from the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of California, Berkeley, where he also studied Folklore under Alan Dundes. In addition to publishing many essays on Persian literature and folklore, he has also edited the 6th volume of the new critical edition of the Shahnameh, under the general editorship of Professors Khaleghi-Motlagh and Ehsan Yarshater. He has served on the editorial board of the Encyclopeadia Iranica since 1990, and was appointed to the Supreme Council of the Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia (Tehran) in 2006. Together with Iraj Afshar, he edits the series Folia Medica Iranica and Persian Manuscripts in Facsimile. In 2004, the first volume of his collected English and Persian papers received the book of the year award of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0962766496

  56. Humanist says:

    Chomsky talks about why victims of American ME policy detest American ruling establishment.

    It is a seven minute video entitled “If Iran Had Nuclear Weapons Most Arab People Would Feel Safer”:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31041.htm

    The latest Brookings Poll revealed similar facts. Acoording that poll Ahmadinejad (who is mostly despised in the West) is among the top three “most popular” leaders of the world!

    Also search for University of Marylands “2010 Arab Public Opinion Poll” (conducted together with Zogby). There you’ll find some real shockers.

  57. A concerned world citizen says:

    Egypt’s election commission has disqualified 10 prominent candidates

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/14/uk-egypt-presidency-idUKBRE83D0CF20120414

    If the decisions stand, Amr Mousa will almost certainly win next month.

    The military council is really playing with fire here..Just because the Egyptian revolution largely remained peaceful doesn’t mean the triggers for bloody chaos didn’t/doesn’t exist.The people chose to remain peaceful but it seem the Military junta is seeking a confrontation that will create chaos in order to seal their dominance and control. The decision to disqualify the key members can be read as the implementation of Saudi/US plan..As if the US is not despised enough in Egypt.They just keep digging.

  58. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Egypt’s election commission has disqualified 10 prominent candidates

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/14/uk-egypt-presidency-idUKBRE83D0CF20120414

    If the decisions stand, Amr Mousa will almost certainly win next month.

  59. A concerned world citizen says:

    General Tecumesh Sherman, I like you comment but I think you’re too optimistic about US-Iran relationship.

    The US is simple incapable of reaching a peaceful settlement with Iran simply because AIPAC and neocons don’t want this. Fact is, any peaceful settlement between US and Iran will make Israel and all the monarchs and their assorted puppet regimes in the region very nervous. They can’t use the Iran boogeyman story anymore and they’ll have to prove their rule to their own people. For Israel in particular, they can’t use Iran’s nuclear issue as a distraction to build more settlements and kill more Palestinians anymore.

    You have to understand that there’re people on both sides that want the status quo to remain. I’ll say more in the Western camp than in Iran. Iran, during the reformist years, offered to re-establish peaceful relations with the US. Bush responded by tagging Iran with the “axis of evil” mark and things went downhill from then on.

    Iran could’ve made life a little less difficult for US troops in Iraq but Bush’s stupid Axis of Evil speech sounded alarm bells in Tehran that, just as Bush use to say, “We have to fight them there(Iraq) than at home”, Iran had to scuttle or fight US presence/plans in Baghdad before they reach could Tehran. That proved successful..

  60. A concerned world citizen says:

    It appears to me the US, ie Obama needs these talks to succeed more than Iran..Obama has basically talked himself into a corner by making stupid threats to attack Iran to please Netanyahu and his Likud idiots and AIPAC agitators. He knows the US simply cannot afford a war with Iran so he’ll need some concession from Iran to show his republican rivals that “see, my threats worked..the Iranians have bulked at my threats and sanctions”..If Iran doesn’t give anything after the talks, Obama is toast!!!

    The republicans will have him for breakfast and Netanyahu and his Likud idiots and AIPAC agitators will make sure he doesn’t win in the elections.

    The US government has merely become the head and representative of the myriad of interest groups that use US power for their own gain.

    Interesting development: the next round will be in Baghdad..Seems the Iranians are trying to tell Turkey they have other options and therefore shouldn’t think of themselves as indefensible to anyone in the region.

    Turkey’s role in playing the arsonist and fireman at the same time in Syria hasn’t gone unnoticed in Tehran and that matter will be taken up in due time.

  61. fyi says:

    General Tecumesh Sherman says: April 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    There was no deal on Iraq between US and Iran.

    Iranians pursued their policy of “Active Neutrality” a well as they could.

    US left Iraq with no lasting strategic advantage.

    Axis Powers and Iran cannot come to an agreement on Syria.

    Syria is also supported by China and by Russia.

    This is a slow burn – we have to watch and see what the Syrian government and Iranina governmnt will do over the next 2 years.

  62. General Tecumesh Sherman says:

    Iran wants to promote more Iraq and less hostile Saudi regimes in the Arab world . In return , Iran is willing to offer assurances to Israel and the US that Iran will absolutely and certainly NOT weaponize and will not solve problems through aggression. Iran is very passionate about the Arab world movements and that is their main goal in these talks to pave the way for cooperation with the US to achieve more Iraq even in Syria too.

    Behind all the tough Israeli talks, the facts are that Israel has no choice but to recognize that Issac Rabin’s vision for peace is the only way to secure Israel’s future. After Rabin’s assassination, his widow was so sick of Israeli Sharon warmongering that she left Israel and vowed never to return as long as she is alive.

    If US can make a deal with Iran in Iraq, why not for the rest of the region? The only obstacle is how to get rid of the Saudi criminal monarchy who was behind the 911 tragedy. And Saudi Arabia has not been punished for its 911 crimes yet!!!

  63. Photi says:

    Professor Marandi in Tehran providing background on the current negotiations. Interesting video footage of Iranian representative Saeed Jalili in where i assume must be Istanbul.

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/236221.html

  64. Empty says:

    None. They order Chinese and eat it with chop sticks.

  65. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Can someone explain how these talks work? According to Fars, several rounds of talks will happen today and conclude later this evening:

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9101141787

    Btw, do they eat Persian, Turkish or Western food?

  66. fyi says:

    Reza Esfandiari says: April 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Yes, Mr Evans all true and all could have been achieved in 2006 had US planners accepted the rise of the Shia/Irani power after US destroyed the Ba’ath stte in Iraq.

    As is, you have a risen power, alienated from Axis Powers, embittered and shabbilu treated, ruthlessly pursuing her own agenda.

    In practical terms, this means no cooperation on Syria, on Afghanistan, or on energy development projects with Axis Powers for the foresseabl future (>10 years).

    By the way, there will be no agreement in this session except to meet again: there will be no joint communique or press conference; tell-tale signs of no agreements on substance.

  67. Arnold Evans says:

    I guess it’s looking as if the US is looking for an extended period before it accepts Iranian enrichment, except that Iran is going to continue enriching during that extended period.

    The remaining details, does Iran keep the about 120kg of 20% uranium it has now, and what happens to Fordow are less important than the US learning to live with Iranian enrichment.

    I don’t expect Iran to meet US demands that it specifically design its nuclear program to be easy to attack from the air. On the other hand, zero enrichment seems pretty dead and I haven’t seen indications that I saw in 2009 and 2010 that the Obama administration is still aiming for that in any effective sense.

    We’ll see. What seems to be coming into shape is an agreement to disagree about enrichment, while Iran continues to enrich.

    The other thing is that Iran has six tons of 3.5. Maybe when it reaches 12 it will just stop on its own, it’ll reach the point where it doesn’t need more, there’s no strategic advantage to more – it’s in a way at that point now.

    Now that Iran has close to 120 kgs of 20%, Iran’s planners might want to go ahead and get to 360 or 480 kgs. Like Japan, if you don’t want Japan to build a weapon, don’t attack or threaten to attack Tokyo. If you don’t want Iran to build a weapon, just don’t attack or threaten to attack Tehran.

    We might be looking at an Iranian victory on this issue. Once enrichment is a fact, the other details are less important. Attacking Tehran, or threatening to attack Tehran could well result in Iran building a nuclear weapon. With that established, there’s not much more Iran strategically wants, in the nuclear field, as far as I can tell.

  68. fyi says:

    Reza Esfandiari says: April 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Only number 1 of your list would be on the table.

    UNSC sanctions on Iran will have to be rescinded before anything else could happen.

    US and EU financial sanctions cannot be removed in any time interval that would make any difference to Iran.

    Iran has been shabbily treated for too long; she is an embittered rising power which will not agree to anything that would crimp her power.

    The game of sanctions and threat of war have had the paradoxial effect of enhancing her power as she has been kicked into standing on her own feet (her own resources).

    Strategic accomodation is still possible but not on US-EU terms.

  69. Reza Esfandiari says:

    I think Iran could agree to any of the following:

    1. Suspending 20% enrichment.

    2. Either converting their stockpile of 20% into fuel or selling some of it.

    3. Freezing the number of centrifuges at Fordow and the assembly of any more.

    4. Agreeing to resolve all outstanding issues with the IAEA.

    5. Agreeing on modalities for the limited inspection of non-nuclear military sites like Parchin.

    But Iran will never agree to dismantle Fordow or to suspend enrichment at 3-5%. Neither will it agree to dismantle the Arak heavy water reactor.

  70. fyi says:

    Humanist says: April 14, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The US representative is too low on the US Government hierarchy to be of any influence.

    Meeting with her would have not adbanced Iran’s cause; noone in Washington would have listened to her any way.

    If US were serious, they would have sent the Secretary of State or the National Security Advisor.

    Furthermore, there have been – apparently – secret messages between Mr. Obama nd Mr. Khameneie: one must surmise that a low level functionary from US will not be needed.

  71. Humanist says:

    After the end of P5+1 talks Iran holds bilateral talks with Russia and Turkey but rejects same with US:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236199.html

    Anyone here can explain the main reason for that rejection?

  72. Fiorangela says:

    Thank you for your response, Kathleen.
    However, it seems I did not make my question clear (most likely out of fear of big bad sassan calling me a nazi sympathizer. ooooh).

    The statement of yours that I challenged was:
    ““April 11, 2012 at 11:46 am
    3 million poles were massacred in Hitlers killing machine. Sure some Poles participated in the slaughter. Similar to the Bush administrations smaller but similar genocide in Iraq. Team to go along and push the invasion, team to implement the disaster then those that do the killing or set up the environment for the killing to take place. Not gas ovens, not as many people perished but systematic genocide one way or the other””

    My questions were:

    Could you please provide sources for this information, and also the context and chronology of events? Was “Hitler’s killing machine” a precursor of drones, or more along the lines of white phosphorus & incendiary sticks, or plain old guns?

    That is, I wanted more information about “Hitler’s killing machine” and your assertion that that “machine” “massacred” 3 million Poles. (Your last sentence referring to “gas ovens” and “systematic genocide” tossed another ringer into the mix.)

    You answered a different question entirely; your focus was, apparently, on making a comparison of some group in Iraq to Poles who might have participated in “massacres in Poland” in the 1940s.

    My focus is on your statements about “Hitler’s killing machine” and the “massacre of 3 million Poles.” I simply don’t know about this event, so I requested that you point me to your sources for the information, and provide context and in a timeline for the event. What were the circumstances; when did it happen; what was the nature of the “killing machine” — Rwanda-like machetes or US-like drones? The use of the words “killing machine,” followed up by “gas ovens” and “systematic genocide” suggests planning on the level of the US Airforce-Erich Mendelsohn & Harvard architects’ planning in the Utah desert at Dugway in which the firebombing of 150 German cities, and incineration of 600,000 German civilians, was carried out. Was there such a plan for the “Hitler killing machine” that “massacred a million Poles?”

    I challenge you, of all people, on this because of your praiseworthy demand that media in the US provide honest information about US, Israel, and Iran. We should also demand honest information about the history of the situations that got the United States, the Middle East, and indeed the whole world into the mess it is in in the first place.

  73. fyi says:

    All:

    Mr. Moussavan’s views are clearly devoid of strategic context.

    But he does ask Axis Powers to accomodate Iran strategically.

    We shall see shortly if they will.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/13/backed_into_a_corner?page=0,1

  74. Kathleen says:

    Fio I responded to your question about what were my sources for an my earlier statement about a smaller genocide (systematic) in Iraq by the Bush administration. Just protected themselves with new laws, breaking of international treaties, agreements, changing the definition of torture etc so their asses can not so easily be drug in front of the International court of justice like the Nazis

  75. Kathleen says:

    “James Canning says:
    April 12, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Kathleen,

    Are you forgetting that Iran supports the NPT, wants to strengthen thee NPT, and wants a Middle East free of nukes?”

    Not sure why you asked this? Never forget this and remind many of this. In fact this week at the at the 64th Univ of Colorado Conference on World Affairs. Brought this up many times in different ways during question and answer sessions. Also brought up how Israel continues to refuse to sign the NPT. That Iran has the right to enrich uranium up to 20% for peaceful purposes as a signatory to the NPT. Brought up this site many times and Hillary and Flynt. Absurd that at a conference like this that the moderate or what they kept referring to as the “liberal” view is sanctions against Iran (Joe Cirincione and a Heather Hurlbert (full of contradictions this lady). As if sanctions are absolutely necessary and not drummed up on unsubstantiated claims. Did hear Cirincione finally say that military action against Iran is basically insane. That the very same people who pushed/lied the US into the Iraq war are the ones pushing for a military confrontation against Iran.
    The panel that Cirincione and Hurlbert were on together really beat up Stephen Walt. Sort of smirking (especially Hurlbert) about what Walt has to say about Iran etc

  76. Karl says:

    What a pathetic article, trying to frame it like its Iran who have ruined talks in the past. Iran have showed flexibilty, US have not, they are the ones even demanding pre-conditions on the topics that are the are supposed to be talked about in these talks! No flexibility havent been showed by the US on the loosing of sanctions neither.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/14/us-nuclear-iran-atmosphere-idUSBRE83D06220120414

  77. Rehmat says:

    Mel Gibson: ‘Beware of Jewish vengeance’

    Abraham Foxman, national director ADL in a statement issued on April 12 – called Mel Gibson “a serial offender, a serial hater, and a serial bigot”. He also speculated that Gibson’s anti-Jewish animus “was carefully taught” to him by his father, Hutton Gibson, a well-known Holocaust denier in his own right.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/14/mel-gibson-beware-of-jewish-vengeance/

  78. BiBiJon says:

    Empty,

    AP is reporting that the preordained success has been miraculously successful!

    http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Diplomat-Iran-6-power-nuke-talks-promising-3481997.php

  79. Empty says:

    RE:I have my hunches as to the explanation — one obvious, another maybe obvious but maybe not — but I’d prefer to hear what reasons others may think the US has for this distinction.

    One answer is provided in the excerpt BibiJon posted from the same article. Ask for restrictions and halt to advancement in facilities that appear to be more difficult targets for attack and show an apparent compromise for facilities that have been evaluated to be easier targets. The statement below from a WSJ article (from last night) also supports this thesis:

    “Military officers and defense analysts say the U.S. could quickly overwhelm Iran’s air defenses, leaving evenly spaced bomb craters, for example, on runways to disable Iranian air bases. Pinpoint airstrikes would attempt to destroy all Iran’s known nuclear facilities—a goal complicated by the fact that the regime has buried some of its production sites. The Pentagon is rushing to upgrade its largest conventional bomb to better penetrate fortified underground facilities.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304177104577314444082569820.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

  80. BiBiJon says:

    Also appeared in NY Times:
    =========================
    “shuts down or downgrades its enrichment site at Fordo, which, because it is built inside a mountain, would be difficult to bomb.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/world/europe/iran-begins-nuclear-talks-with-six-nations.html

    ————————

    So, Steve Erlanger believes that downgrading Fordo to only produce 3.5% LEU will be hailed as success by Obama. Which is like saying if only the Pope would confess to being Catholic ….

    “The enrichment of 20-percent uranium is done “based on our needs and once the required fuel is obtained, we will decrease the production and we may even totally shift it to the 3.5 percent,” Abbasi said in a televised interview [last] Saturday night, IRNA reported.”

    ,http://www.presstv.ir/detail/235318.html

    It’s like telling the job applicant to write the requirements section of the job advert himself based on his resume ensuring when the ‘requirements’ are published, the pre-ordained candidate miraculously will match the job requirements perfectly.

    Call me a cynic, but I think no one could afford a public failure, so they per-agreed the moves towards a pre-agreed conclusion. So when China says they are confident Iran will show flexibility, they are really saying the agreement is at hand, we just need to go through the motions for appearances sakes.

    Pre-agreement or not, Iran signaled its level of trust by ordering record amounts of wheat, and soya, etc. preparing the silos for blockade/war.

  81. This sentence appeared in a NY Times article on the Iran nuclear negotiations:

    “Anything less than early Iranian gestures on suspending higher levels of enrichment and conducting enrichment outside its commercial facility at Natanz would most likely doom the negotiations to failure.”

    This is hardly the only example of a distinction being drawn by Western journalists between enrichment at Natanz and enrichment at Fordow, and one certainly can argue it’s a step in the right direction since the distinction previously drawn by the US has always been a lot less subtle: enrichment versus no enrichment. Even so, unless there’s some reason to believe that inspections would be sufficient at Natanz but insufficient at Fordow, it’s hard to know for sure what the US’ rationale is for this new Natanz/Fordow distinction.

    I have my hunches as to the explanation — one obvious, another maybe obvious but maybe not — but I’d prefer to hear what reasons others may think the US has for this distinction.

  82. funnythinghappenedonthewaytoashwitz says:

    The way I see it, if the west kept going on this path, the path of zionist-israel worship, it will end in oblivion. The filthy “jewish State” will drag the west with it, and it is already started.

    Ask the 1+ million Jewish revers-migrants From israel, they are smart enough to see what’s comming: israel is doomed.

  83. funnythinghappenedonthewaytoashwitz says:

    “Sassan says:
    April 7, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    Bottom line: it’s time for regime change in support of the Iranian people and Iranian nation.”

    ….Dream on.

    This regime is going no where, while the filthy regime of judenstan is the one which will be doomed.

    Laughable when zionists express their care for the Iranian poeple. Just drop the pretence, it’s not even ammusing.

  84. bettertobepickled says:

    FYI, James and Photi all mention the ubiquitous Eliot Abrams, distinguished ex-Under-Secretary of State in the illustrious US government. Perhaps we should remind ourselves of the views publicly expressed by Rachel, his kind and sophisticated wife, as written on her blog:

    “Celebrate, Israel, with all the joyous gratitude that fills your hearts, as we all do along with you. Then round up his [Gilad's] captors, the slaughtering, death-worshiping, innocent-butchering, child-sacrificing savages who dip their hands in blood and use women—those who aren’t strapping bombs to their own devils’ spawn and sending them out to meet their seventy-two virgins by taking the lives of the school-bus-riding, heart-drawing, Transformer-doodling, homework-losing children of Others—and their offspring—those who haven’t already been pimped out by their mothers to the murder god—as shields, hiding behind their burkas and cradles like the unmanned animals they are, and throw them not into your prisons, where they can bide until they’re traded by the thousands for another child of Israel, but into the sea, to float there, food for sharks, stargazers, and whatever other oceanic carnivores God has put there for the purpose.”

    http://badrachel.blogspot.ca/2011/10/gilad.html?spref=tw

  85. funnythinghappenedonthewaytoashwitz says:

    Al-jazeera is as reliable as fox news; it’s mostly propaganda.

  86. Dan Cooper says:

    Sassan

    The Iranian leadership, along with many and varied forces in the world (including some Israeli Jewish historians), believe that the state of Israel was established through savage violence at the expense of the indigenous Palestinian population.

    They believe the refugee problem was due to Zionist terrorism–which is in fact not a terribly controversial thesis on this planet.

    (There seems little question that between April 9, 1948 when the terror began and May 15 when Arab armies “invaded” on Palestinians’ behalf over 300,000 had fled for their lives, while the Israeli Haganeh forces systematically wiped 170 Palestinian towns and villages off the map.)

    Iranians like many people around the world do not like the concept of a “Jewish state” established at others’ expense and feel a sense of solidarity with the Palestinians.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31065.htm

  87. Rehmat says:

    Karl wants to know what the heck US is doing in Bahrain?

    Mark Dankof says ‘US is in Bahrain for Israel’

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/mark-dankof-us-is-in-bahrain-for-israel/

  88. Dan Cooper writes:

    “What is the logic of offering Iran a “last chance” to stop doing what it is legally entitled to do?”

    I’ve wondered much the same thing. The “last chance” is usually defined to mean “last chance to give up its development of a nuclear weapon.” But if Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon in the first place, it’s already doing what the US insists it must do.

  89. Here is the link to the NY Times article I mentioned earlier (which noted some apparent willingness on the US’ part to negotiate in good faith toward an actual deal):

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/world/middleeast/us-hopes-iran-nuclear-talks-will-reduce-tensions.html

  90. Karl says:

    On Bahrain

    The western and gulf states have given green light to proceed with the F1 racing in Bahrain…

    And this week US put a new Bahrain statement.

    Statement by the Press Secretary on the Situation in Bahrain

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/04/11/statement-press-secretary-situation-bahrain

    -
    Lets break it down.

    “The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the situation in Bahrain, and we urge all parties to reject violence in all its forms. ”

    > This is a classic case where US on the one side fully support one side but cannot say so publicly so they have to urge both parties to reject violence. Thats interesting statement since the only ones using violence is the side US are supporting…with guns and bullets…that prolong the violence they say they reject.

    “We condemn the violence directed against police and government institutions, including recent incidents that have resulted in serious injuries to police officers.”

    > Ouch “serious injuries” for the cops that must have hurt compared to almost 100 dead civilian protesters, kidnapped doctors, tortured youths.

    “We continue to underscore, both to the government and citizens of Bahrain, the importance of working together to address the underlying causes of mistrust and to promote reconciliation.”

    >Really? And how do you do that? By keep selling weapons? Because something else US are clearly not doing.

    ” In this respect, we note our continued concern for the well-being of jailed activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and call on the Government of Bahrain to consider urgently all available options to resolve his case.”

    >Only “resolve”? Shouldnt he be freed like you urge syria to release thousands of political prisoners?

    “More broadly, we urge the government to redouble its ongoing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, and renew our call for the government, opposition parties, and all segments of Bahraini society to engage in a genuine dialogue leading to meaningful reforms that address the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.”

    > No you dont urge anything and you arent concerned one bit about bahrainians, democracy or human rights the only standing away from democracy is the puppet regime US support.

  91. Fiorangela says:

    sassan — couldn’t find the David Irving references you’re so upset about; here are the sources I’ve used in the last several days/posts:

    April 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm
    Jorg Friedrich, author of “The Fire”
    Richard Overy, Literary Review
    Gideon Levy, Haaretz

    April 10, 2012 at 7:32 pm Comment on CBS News website responding to Ben Stein: Israel faces another Holocaust

    April 11, 2012 at 8:05 am comment to an Editorial in Bloomberg News

    April 12, 2012 at 1:09 pm Patchwork quotes, 1; (U.S. Naval Postgraduate College professor) R. H. S. Stolfi, “Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny,” 2011; pp 122-123.
    April 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm Patchwork quotes, 2; NIZKOR, a website “Dedicated to 12 million Holocaust victims who suffered and died at the hands of Adolf Hitler and his Nazi regime
    April 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm Patchwork Quotes, Edwin Black in Jewish Virtual Library
    April 12, 2012 at 1:40 pm Patchwork Quotes, “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,” by Timothy Snyder, 2010
    April 12, 2012 at 2:29 pm Patchwork Quotes, Ephraim Sneh, Israeli member of Knesset AIPAC conference, June 2 2008
    April 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm Patchwork Quotes: Charlie Rose, Mohammad Javad Larijani
    April 12, 2012 at 4:20 pm Patchwork Quotes, TaNaKh
    April 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm Patchwork Quotes, Ephraim Sneh, ‘Navigating Perilous Waters”
    April 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm Patchwork Quotes, Friedrich Nietzsche, as quoted by Joan Peters in her history of Palestine, “From Time Immemorial.”
    April 12, 2012 at 6:10 pm Patchwork Quotes, “The Transfer Agreement,” Edwin Black
    April 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm Thomas Jefferson
    April 13, 2012 at 7:16 am I quoted material you posted, focusing on a statement by and Israeli psychiatrist
    April 13, 2012 at 7:16 am Cited material you posted, especially a statement by an Israeli psychiatrist that a guilty conscience has a surprising way of manifesting itself through aggression and claims to victimhood,” and tested the thesis by contrasting statements by:
    1. the German author of a book that collected the remembrances of children who had grown up in Germany during the second war – he observed that they grew up and lead productive and well-adjusted lives.
    2. observations by Israeli-born & raised psychologist Avigail Abarbanel, who noted that Israelis are “out of touch with reality” and mean to each other, only coming together when Israel is fighting with someone.

    It’s been a while since I used Irving as a source; he’s generally reliable or at least fact-checkable. Do facts disturb you?

  92. Karl says:

    James,

    “I am not sure that Hague says Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. ”

    Yes he does, from your own quotation/link:

    “…..fact Iran’s programme is not designed for purely peaceful purposes.”

    And so do apparently you.

    “Which obviously is correct.”
    Stop playing around with all these spams. Give us sources or end this.

  93. Photi says:

    fyi says:
    April 13, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    According to Mr. Abrams:

    “As the nuclear talks begin, it is worth recalling that Iran’s nuclear weapons program is today the most dangerous aspect of the regime”

    As we all know, Iran’s “nuclear weapons program” is not real, it is a fabrication by the zionist warmongers.

    Therefore the most dangerous aspect of the Iranian “regime” is a fabrication, a figment in the imagination of Mr. Abrams and others.

    Mr. Abrams is afraid of the bogeyman, and we are supposed to take him serious?

  94. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the P5+1 are intent on having Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. Maybe enriching to 3-5 % will be accepted, down the road.

  95. James Canning says:

    Steve Walt says that his students at Harvard know less and less about history, as the years go by. Most American leaders seem to know very little history.

  96. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Mr. Obama needs sustained meetings to get past his re-election campaign.

    Iranians might obliged him for a price.

    If, as I had stated, this is just an elaborate process that aims to go nowhere but to legitimize a cease-fire, then you will see many meetings with very little tangible results.

    If I am wrong and US planners have indeed revised US strategy, then we could see very quickly, before this November, concrete results.

    We would know within 2 months; in my estimation.

  97. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I am not sure that Hague says Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. Hague wrote last July that Iran’ announced intention to treble production of 20% U raised questions. Which obviously is correct. The questions were raised, even if you are confident Iran is not stockpiling 20% U to make a dash to a bomb easier.

  98. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I do not insinuate that Iran has a nuclear weapons programme. Others do, however. And one reason others do, is simply that Iran has stockpiled an amount of 20% U that converted to rods/plates would fuel the TRR for at least ten years, if not 20. And Iran in fact trebled production of 20% U. Up from 3 to 5 kg per month, to apparently 14.

  99. kooshy says:

    I agree with Eric and BiBi, on sudden unexpected change of the tone in western MSM, one wants to keep her fingers crossed for the hope that we may have reached the picked, a small hope is that the MSM will sing the administration’s tune and not the lobby’s and Obama be able to put the leash on his own discredited staff’s prior policy recommendations.
    On the MSM part one only hope is not just a tactical change again.

    First Step at Iran Nuclear Talks Is Rebuilding Trust

    By STEVEN ERLANGER
    Published: April 13, 2012

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/world/europe/iran-resumes-talks-over-its-nuclear-program.html

  100. Humanist says:

    Gareth Porter: Iran Talk Hinge on Isaeli Demand:

    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/04/13/iran-talks-hinge-on-israeli-demand/

  101. BiBiJon says:

    MEK could do with some of Richard’s love
    ======================================

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4215663,00.html

  102. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    April 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Thank you.

  103. kooshy says:

    Here is new very well written Book soon to be published by Dr. Omidsalar on Iran’s epic Shahnameh and the America’s empire, I have read the preview and I recommend this book especially to all expatriate Iranians.

    Iran’s Epic and America’s Empire
    A Handbook for a Generation in Limbo
    By Mahmoud Omidsalar
    Soon to be released.

    “What follows is a meditation on Iran’s national epic. It is addressed to the Iranian community abroad, and more importantly to that community’s children, many of whom don’t speak or read Persian but think of themselves as Iranian. This is an old man’s gift to the young in order to help them seize that chain of memory which makes us one people. It is an exhortation to remembrance because human beings are made of memories; recollections of events that happened and also of those that did not. Mankind achieves its humanity and its community in its real and imagined memories, and for us Iranians, the Shāhnāmeh is the highest poetic expression of that communal remembrance that connects us to one another and anchors our present to a shared sense of the past. It links us to a time of myth and legend that exclusively belongs to us, and to the land that we have inhabited for the past three thousand years. If Iran is our Jerusalem, a place of unrelenting longing in our soul, and if Persian literature is our Torah, then in that Torah, the Shāhnāmeh is our Psalms. For these reasons and a thousand others no Persian can say anything “impersonal” about the Shāhnāmeh and no “other” can say anything about it that is not taken personally.

    To the extent that the Shahnameh is Iran’s national epic as well as her “ethnic history,” all scholarship on the Shahnameh is by nature a comment on Iranian nationhood and ethnicity. In these disordered times when lies are routinely passed off as truth, and when descendents of those whom our ancestors freed from their Babylonian bondage can presume to threaten us with “preemptive” military strikes and nuclear extinction, the lines have been drawn very clearly.[1] A poem about wars and heroic combat becomes itself a battlefield, a place of confrontation between Persians and those who encroach on the Iranians’ sense of self. This is not a time for weakness, for compromise, or for pseudo-civility. There is nothing civil in military threats.”

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=366730473365074

  104. Karl says:

    James,

    “I suggest you say what amount of 20% U Iran has produced to date, and we can calculate the average monthly amount produced. Surely you have access to a search engine. Or go back and look at the links I posted.”

    No dont shift this to me. I asking you a question based on your continued accusation of “trebling” and insinunation of nuclear weapons program in Iran.

  105. Karl says:

    James,

    “you believe Hague is incorrect to say that Iran’s decision to treble enrichment of 20% uranium raised questions about Iran’s intentions.”

    I havent seen any proof for the treble claim and I reject hague’s insinuation of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.

  106. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    That horse is left the barn.

    Axis Powers meet with Iran to work on a prolonged diplomatic process that is – in effect – a cease fire.

    We are most likely going to see the diplomatic analogous outcome to Cuba after the Cuban Missile Crisis o North Korea after 1953.

    Axis Powers’ financial sanctions against Iran will remain; their removal is not possible for political reasons within Axis Powers. In any case, even the potential for their removal in a few years makes them worthless as bargaining chips – by that time Iranians and their trade partners will have adjusted to those sanctions.

    Oil sanctions may be rescinded by EU, again it is not worth that much to Iran as it benefits EU more than Iran.

    US CBI and oil sanctions are off the table; there is no way that they can be removed; not now and not in any time in teh future as long as the Islamic Republic exists (my estimate – another 80 years).

    What P5+1 can do is to set the stage for eventually returning the Iran file back to IAEA.

    Once the UNSC sanctions are removed and Iran file is normalized in IAEA, then there could be some progress with Axis Powers.

    US planners and leaders are showing no sign of accomodating the reality of Iranian power; a power which they themselves had helped to create.

  107. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Elliott Abrams is one of the wildest neocon warmongers to be found in Washington. Of course he wants Iran punished, hurt, whatever. Abrams conspired with Israel to subvert the results of the Palestinian elections (won by Hamas).

  108. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I suggest you say what amount of 20% U Iran has produced to date, and we can calculate the average monthly amount produced. Surely you have access to a search engine. Or go back and look at the links I posted.

  109. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    To clarify: you believe Hague is incorrect to say that Iran’s decision to treble enrichment of 20% uranium raised questions about Iran’s intentions.

    Spiegel.de today: “This weekend the international community will undertake diplomatic efforts to convince Iran to back down in its pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

  110. Karl says:

    James,

    “I linked sources that establish Iran produced ”
    Please re-link those.

    “Your quotation from the unnamed diplomat is word-for-word identical to the quotation I made”
    No, you said.

    “Confidence building steps are needed beforehand,”

    The envoy said the confidence step will not be beforehand but AFTER Iran has bowed down to preconditions.

    “I gave you the Guardian (UK) as source of comments by William Hague July 11, 2011. Hague wrote the article in question. What more do you need?”
    I dont doubt what hague he said, I reject the accusation/insinuation he did.

  111. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I gave you the Guardian (UK) as source of comments by William Hague July 11, 2011. Hague wrote the article in question. What more do you need?

  112. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani said this week that Iran might stop enriching to 20% at Fordow. FT report yesterday that I have previously mentioned.

  113. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Your quotation from the unnamed diplomat is word-for-word identical to the quotation I made (via FT).

  114. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I linked sources that establish Iran produced 3 to 5 kg of 20% per month, from commencement of such enrichment, until the production rate was trebled. R S Hack caluclated 11 to 12 kg of 20% were produced in December last year and January this year.

    For some reason I find hard to understand, you appear to reject the idea Iran would have announced its intention to treble production of 20% U. Does anyone who posts on this site doubt the fact Iran did treble such production?

  115. Karl says:

    James,

    No thats not what the unnamed diplomat said at all. Quite the opposite.

    “The steps Iran might take could involve shipping out of the country a large proportion of its stock of more highly enriched uranium, which – at the 20 per cent concentration – is very close to weapons grade. It will also come under pressure to halt all operations at a highly protected enrichment site at Fordow, where much of the US and Israeli concern is focused.

    “If Iran takes these confidence building steps then it stops the clock on Israel’s military plans,” says a western diplomat.

  116. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    There is virtually ZERO chance Iran would be attacked with nuclear weapons, by Israel. And ZERO, by the US. Pontentially loose Pakistani nukes are another matter.

  117. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The FT today quotes “one western diplomat” who says, “We will thn have the time we need to forge a deeper settlement over issues like the basic right to enrichment.” Confidence building steps are needed beforehand, according to this diplomat (unnamed).

  118. James Canning says:

    James Blitz, writing in the Financial Times today (“West hopes for serious intent from Iran over nuclear impasse”): “The steps Iran might take could involve shipping out of the country a large proportion of its stocvk of more highly enriched urnaium, which – - at the 20 percent concentrastion – - is very close to weapons grade.”

  119. kooshy says:

    Iran: We do not want nuclear weapons

    By Ali Akbar Salehi, Published: April 12
    Ali Akbar Salehi is foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/iran-we-do-not-want-nuclear-weapons/2012/04/12/gIQAjMNnDT_story.html

  120. k_w says:

    Sassan: Broder about Broder: Ich bin kein Dichter, ich bin ein Kotzer. And this is what he does.

  121. Sassan says:

    Ignoramus: what was relevant two years ago is EVEN more relevant today. That’s why after the 2009 protests it was a huge mistake of Obama not to stand with the Iranian people in getting rid of this regime when we had the opportunity to do so.

    I do read EVERY article and watch every video I post.

  122. BiBiJon says:

    Can’t say we weren’t warned by Jamal Abdi
    ======================================

    So, if the talks this weekend yield progress, hawks will say, “Ah ha — that progress was only because of sanctions, so we need more and we need to shift the goal posts to achieve maximalist ends.” If the talks don’t yield progress, hawks will say, “Ah ha — that stalemate is because the sanctions are not crippling enough, so we need more and we need to shift the goal posts to ensure maximalist ends.” Either way, Congress is pushing its sanctions. And if a new Congressional sanctions push is successful, the president may be blocked — either politically or perhaps even legally — from leveraging sanctions in exchange for Iranian concessions, killing any deal.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamal-abdi/iran-talks_b_1423434.html

  123. Sassan says:

    In the delusional minds of people such as Fiorangela, Iran under the Islamic Republic the last 30+ years has “never been an aggressive actor”. I guess all their support for terrorists, partaking in terrorist attacks including both mass-scale terrorist attacks in foreign countries as well as the murders of hundreds of dissidents in foreign countries is not “being aggressive”. Supporting suicide bombers in the sole act of killing civilians is not “being aggressive”.

    As I said Fiorangela, you have demonstrated on here with your comments that you are a Nazi sympathizer including citing your beloved David Irving. That’s where your anti-Semitism comes to play.

    And I will say it again, I do not support and would not support Israel attacking Iran for numerous reasons but foremost being that this would play in the hands of the regime. If we end up needing military intervention, it must be led by the United States and the west and the target should not be solely the nuclear sites but the entire regime apparatus in supporting the Iranian people in getting rid of this terrorist regime.

    We are in the year 2012. Others such as Empty can keep repeating a dead horse in citing the horrendous attacks against Hiroshima and Nagasaki but the fact remains is that we have one nation in the Middle East that is nearing the acquirement of nuclear weapons in which “mutually assured destruction” would play no deterrent. It constitutes religious fanatics whom execute homosexuals and adulterers, and rapes young girls before execution so that they don’t “die as virgins” as “virgins go straight to heaven”. Throughout the history of humanity, time and time again for every step every step forward subsequently it then set itself back through such ignorance constituting superstition and religious dogma in massacring unimaginable numbers of people. The west went through its Dark Ages and subsequently went through the Enlightenment and put religion where it belongs separated from politics and government. In this era we are now in, such a setback could threaten the existence of human civilization itself in a countless number of ways. Therefore, under NO circumstances will we allow such regimes to possess such capabilities. If the Shah was in power, I would reckon the fact that not many nations would be concerned with a nuclear armed Iran as the Shah was not a suicidal Islamic fanatic. It is THE REGIME which we have a problem with and will not allow such weaponry. Human civilization simply can’t afford the risk this would create on all of us and all our children.

    BTW, if you want to actually learn about the history between Iran and Israel, watch this following documentary entitled “From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad”: http://youtu.be/V6aBnpSxZkA

    Again, I would not support an Israeli strike but one can easily understand Israel’s concerns with such belligerence from Islamic Republic officials in their discussions of apocalyptic scenariors time and time again.

  124. Humanist says:

    A Radio interview with Stephen Kinzer (25 minutes)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT_zm7MLiJ0&feature=player_embedded

    I think he is an admirable decent American scholar, yet I wonder why he overlooks the basics of American Foreign Policy in the middle East and ignores the influence of Israel in shaping that policy.

    Isn’t time to boldly expose the impending obstacles facing a mutually beneficial rapprochement with Iran?

    I haven’t read his “Reset” which was regarded by trustworthy analysts as a book about a courageous proposition. Anyone here has read the book? Does he discuss there the consequential AIPAC’s influence in American foreign affairs?

  125. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Sassan:

    It may have escaped your notice that the article you cite on disarming Iran is 2 YEARS OLD and that the author, Christopher Hitchens, is dead!

    Before you spam this site with hundreds of articles, it might help to actually read them.

    Reza

  126. Empty says:

    Fiorangela,

    RE: In fact we’ve known for some years now how destabilising it is to world peace when “a real nutbag [has] hold of a nuclear weapon.”

    Well, in fact, the real real real nutbag has already used (full blast) and continues to use it (in depleted form).

    –”Little Boy” @ 8:15am, August 6, 1945
    –”Fat Man” @ 11:02am, August 9, 1945
    –First Iraq war (1991), 315-350 tons of DU
    –Second Iraq war (2003), 1,525 tons of DU
    – Afghanistan and Pakistan – unknown quantities

    The US Dept. of Energy had about 14,200 MTU (declared) in 2002 that needed to get rid of (there is also an unspecified amount, undeclared). They have determined the cheapest way to dispose of it is to use it in weapons. The good news is that I could tell you with very much a physical (and not just metaphysical) certainty that every single speckle will come back to the US through transoceanic and transcontinental air and water currents.

  127. Karl says:

    Eric Brill,

    I hope you are right about a willingness to compromise, because if US are going to be proposing what US spokespersons have said the last week, there is no point in having talks and quite frankly I dont see how obama pre election is going to be compromising, I think we are going to hear alot of demands on Iran but no concessions offered back. To reach a deal both parties must respect each others goals with talks, and then find a solution somewhere in the middle, this seems to be a very big problem for US to accept that insist on termination of the nuclear program.

  128. Humanist says:

    Review of ElBaradei’s “The Age of Deception” by Kaveh Esfandiari:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND14Ak04.html

    Kaveh believes it is “a must read” book.

  129. fyi says:

    Karl says: April 13, 2012 at 4:09 am

    He has never made any argument; he none.

    He just has mantras.

    Last year, I went through a lot of trouble convincing him, by finally supplying a link from the BBC, on how UK had impunded 1.5 billion pounds of Iran’s funds.

    He was denying it until then.

    He is also quite uninformed about the geo-politics of oil in this Iran nuclear saga.

    I had to refer him to the speech of Mr. Khamenei in Mashahd – on March 20-th of this year – on the occasion of Noruz – so that he may get educated.

    Furthermore, he absolutely disregards the security threats to Iran:

    a nuclear Pakistan, a nuclear Israel, a nuclear Iran, and the fact that Iran had been attacked by WMD.

    And UK and US were instrumental in killing the Iranian protest to UNSC when she was attacked by Chemical Weapons.

    And if Iran could be attacked by chemical weapons, she could also be attacked by nuclear weapons.

    Do you think any one would care or do something to proctect Iran?

  130. Fiorangela says:

    Sassan says: [in bold letters -- always more persuasive]
    April 13, 2012 at 3:08 am

    quoted the gratefully dead Christopher Hitchens “. . . what would happen if a real nutbag got a hold of a nuclear weapon. Now we’re about to find out.”

    - – - -

    In fact we’ve known for some years now how destabilising it is to world peace when “a real nutbag [has] hold of a nuclear weapon.”

    -1967: according to Foxbats over Dimona authors, Russia schemed with Egypt to distract Israel so that Russian jets could take out Israel’s nuclear weapons facility at Dimona.

    -1973: Israel picked a fight it was about to lose. In order to force the US to supply weapons so that Israel could survive, Golda Meier opened nuclear silos at a time when she knew US satellites would be observing Dimona. Then she requested aid from the US/ Nixon administration; Kissinger suggested that the US comply with her wishes.
    In retaliation, OPEC imposed an oil embargo, plunging many of the world’s states into economic turmoil and nearly causing a bankruptcy in Great Britain. Iran did not join the embargo. Marc Rich made a fortune selling Iranian oil to states desperate for energy. Iranian students protested the Shah’s decision to break the embargo.

    -2011 — in a Hill Forum on Israel and Iran relations, panelists Hillary Mann Leverett, Ian Lustick, Paul Pillar, and Martin Indyk fielded a question from the audience from Michelle Steinberg of Federal News service (iirc). Steinberg said, “The most important issue we face is the danger of Israel attacking Iran. How can we make sure that won’t happen?”
    Israel can get away with making those threats because it has nuclear weapons.

    -2012 – Gunter Grass gave words — ink — to what everyone has known for years: nuclear Israel is a threat to world peace.

    too bad you missed it, Hitch; you picked the team anyway.

  131. Karl,

    When I say “compromise,” bear in mind that that means compromise from a position that has first been stated in a very extreme form earlier in the week, so that, even after the “compromise,” the US is far from an open-minded bargaining position. It’s just less irrational.

  132. Karl,

    No US official has mentioned compromise, or ever would if he/she wants to keep his/her job. Where one sees is it is in the New York Times article yesterday about hints of compromise, which undoubtedly reflects what the author’s unnamed source told the Times writer. I don’t have the link handy, but one can easily find that Times article from yesterday.

  133. Fiorangela says:

    Sassan says: April 13, 2012 at 3:53 am
    quoted –

    “This sort of reading is supported by the famous ironic observation from Israeli psychiatrist Zvi Rex, which Grass’s critics are citing over and over: “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Or in other words, a guilty conscience has a surprising way of manifesting itself through aggression and claims to victimhood.

    - – - -

    Which group manifests a “guilty conscience” through “aggression and claims to victimhood?”

    Germans:

    The War of Our Childhood, Memories of World War II by Wolfgang W. E. Samuel

    “”My focus,” Samuel writes, “is on the astounding ability of a generation of German children to . . .[eschew self-pity and] emerge from debilitating circumstances as sane and productive human beings.”

    or Israelis:

    “Sunday 4th January 2009 [in the midst of Israeli attack on Gaza]
    One of the things that is not being discussed much in the media is how much talk there is in Israel about attacking Iran. Word on the (Israeli) street is that an air attack on Iran’s nuclear reactors is imminent.

    Israel has been itching for a ‘good war’ for a while now. The botched attack on Lebanon in 2006 was a psychological disappointment that did not fulfil its purpose, and only led to a deepening chasm between the political and military arms in Israel. An Israeli friend told me in disgust the other day, that there is an atmosphere of ‘national orgasm’ in Israel about the prospect of attacking Iran. While people are being bombed in Gaza, all Israelis can talk about is the coming attack on Iran. But there is a link between the two.

    Israel’s social problems have grown exponentially over the past 15 years. It’s a very different Israel now than the one I grew up in. There is more violent and organised crime than ever before, and more domestic violence and abuse of children than ever. There are more drugs and drug use . . .” :http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/gaza-2009-01-04.html

    and

    Israel’s Growing Insanity

    I wrote this on 9th February 2009, the day before Israel’s election, after seeing an interview with Benjamin Netanyahu’s father on Israeli TV.

    Benjamin Netanyahu’s father—described as “sharp as a razor” at the ripe old age of 99—gave a rare interview to Amit Segel of Israel’s Channel 2 to support his son’s election campaign (Channel 2 website. 7 Feb. 2009). At some point in the interview Professor Ben-Zion Netanyahu said,

    “Today we are facing plain and simple, a danger of annihilation. This is not only the ongoing existential danger to Israel, but a real danger of complete annihilation. People think that the Shoah (Holocaust) is over — but it is not, it is continuing all the time” (My translation from the Hebrew).

    The views of Netanyahu Senior do not represent a lunatic fringe, but the Israeli mainstream. When I was growing up in Israel, things were much the same. I and everyone I knew believed in earnest that we were always at risk of annihilation. Fear of annihilation is at the heart of Jewish, not just Israeli culture and it pre-dates the Holocaust. But the climate in Israel today is far more extreme than it was in my time, as Israel on the whole moves further and further to an irrational fanatic position.” :http://www.avigailabarbanel.me.uk/growing-insanity.html

  134. Fiorangela says:

    Sassan says:
    April 13, 2012 at 3:53 am

    quoted: “This sort of reading is supported by the famous ironic observation from Israeli psychiatrist Zvi Rex, which Grass’s critics are citing over and over: “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Or in other words, a guilty conscience has a surprising way of manifesting itself through aggression and claims to victimhood.

    Precisely.
    Sassan confronts a truth:

    Israelis have spent the past 40 to 65 years displaying aggression while simultaneously claiming victimhood.

    In the past 65 years, neither Germans nor Iranians have taken aggressive action nor claimed victimhood, even though both nations were subjected to war crimes perpetrated against them by Western powers (Germans were starved and firebombed; Iranians were attacked with chemicals proscribed since World War I).

    Israeli psychiatrist, heal thyself.

  135. Karl says:

    Eric brill,

    “Is this amateurish media manipulation, or what? Are grown-ups on duty in the Obama Administration?

    Which US official have mentioned anything about a possible compromising?

  136. Karl says:

    James,

    “did you claim this, did you claim that”

    Here we go again, make us all a favor and stop making your argument regarding this until you are serious enough to provide any sources for your claims.

  137. Sassan says:

    Germany’s National Debate Over Guilt, the Holocaust, Israel, and Gunter Grass:

    “Grass’s problem is that he has twice now seemed to do just that: compare the Holocaust to the actions of other states. In the summer of 2011, when Grass gave an interview to Israeli journalist Tom Segev over his drafting into the Waffen-SS (despite spending many years urging Germany to confront its past crimes, he kept his participation in the Waffen-SS a secret for a very long time), he said some things about Russia that deeply troubled German observers. Here’s how Henryk M. Broder, writing for Die Welt, picks apart that earlier interview, which he feels illuminates this latest poem. It’s crucial for understanding how Grass’s rhetoric can look to a critical eye:

    When Segev wanted to know why the Holocaust was only at the edge of the “onion” [i.e. many-layered phenomenon of World War II], Grass answered: “The madness and the crimes didn’t just occur in the Holocaust and didn’t stop at the war’s end. Of eight million German soldiers that were taken prisoner by the Russians, only perhaps two million survived. The rest were liquidated.”

    One doesn’t need to be a trained mathematician to figure out Grass’s numbers game: six million German soldiers were liquidated by the Russians. That only around three million German soldiers found themselves Soviet prisoners of war, of which around 1.1 million didn’t survive, plays no role. Because Grass isn’t talking about numbers, but a cipher. Six million. That is the number everything’s always about. The Lucky German Number. Six million Jews dead on one side, six million dead German prisoners on the other, that gives on balance a clean zero.

    Why is this relevant now? Because just as the notion of Russians killing an equal number of Germans reverses the perpetrator-victim roles, the notion of Israel “annihilating the Iranian people” does the same, turning Jews from victims into the perpetrators of a new genocide. Or as another German journalist puts it, Grass is saying “the Jews want to do what we did.” By downplaying Iran’s wish to destroy Israel, and playing way up Israel’s possible strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, Grass starts to look like he’s got an agenda, even if it’s a subconscious one.

    This sort of reading is supported by the famous ironic observation from Israeli psychiatrist Zvi Rex, which Grass’s critics are citing over and over: “The Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz.” Or in other words, a guilty conscience has a surprising way of manifesting itself through aggression and claims to victimhood.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/germanys-national-debate-over-guilt-the-holocaust-israel-and-gunter-grass/255682/

  138. Sassan says:

    Christopher Hitchens before his death speaking on the threat the Islamic Republic poses to all of us..: “Ever since any of us were children, one of the sort of late night in the dormitory discussions was about what would happen if a real nutbag got a hold of a nuclear weapon. Now we’re about to find out.”

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/08/hitchens-us-obligated-to-defeat-the-iranian-regime/61501/

  139. Sassan says:

    Azerbaijan arrests suspects in arms smuggling“(Reuters) – A group of Iranians and Azeris has been arrested on suspicion of smuggling arms and military supplies from Iran into Azerbaijan, the Azeri National Security Ministry said on Thursday.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/12/azerbaijan-arrests-idUSL6E8FC5GZ20120412

  140. Sassan says:

    Fiorangela, sorry if the facts owned you. Aren’t you supposed to be preoccupied reading another Holocaust denying/Nazi sympathizing David Irving book?

  141. kooshy says:

    Very informative article on trusting secrecy of IAEA, it should be read

    Iran nuclear talks: Why the trust gap is so great
    Part of the reason for Iran’s distrust lies in the CIA’s infiltration of a UN weapons inspection team in Iraq in the 1990s.

    By Scott Peterson, Staff writer / April 12, 2012

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0412/Iran-nuclear-talks-Why-the-trust-gap-is-so-great

  142. Rehmat says:

    Guenter Grass compares Israel to Burma

    German Nobel Laureate, Guenter Grass, who was declared persona non grata by Israeli government last week for his poem in which he criticized the Zionist regime for its warmongering against Iran – has compared the Zionist regime to the military-ruled Burma (Myanmar).

    Writing in the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Grass said the decision puts Israel in the company of Communist-ruled East Germany and junta-ruled Myanmar – the only two regimes that ever have barred him entry.

    Grass in his poem, entitled, “What must be said“, had called nuclear Israel the greatest threat to world peace.

    In the poem, Guenter says he is worried that the Zionist regime “could wipe out the Iranian people with a first strike“- and that Iran’s accusers have no proof that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear bomb.

    “Why do I only say now, aged and with my last ink: the atomic power Israel is endangering the already fragile world peace?” reads the poem, which was published in the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

    Grass said that while Burma seemed to offer a glimmer of hope for change, Israel was an “unchecked nuclear power” that regarded itself as immune to criticism.

    The poem led to accusations of anti-Semitism and prompted Israeli interior minister Yishai to declare him persona non grata. Grass compared Yishai to Erich Mielke, head of East Germany’s dreaded secret police, Stasi.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/guenter-grass-compares-israel-to-burma/

  143. Dan Cooper says:

    The Irrationality of the Case against Iran’s Nuclear Program

    “The Stupidest Idea I Ever Heard”

    By Gary Leupp

    What is the logic of offering Iran a “last chance” to stop doing what it is legally entitled to do?

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31065.htm

  144. There is a slight but unmistakable whiff of a cooperative attitude evident in the very most recent New York Times stories on the nuclear negotiations, which undoubtedly reflects faithfully the guidance it has received from the Obama Administration. In other words, after leaking outrageous preconditions earlier in the week (shut down Fordo, stop enrichment), the Obama Administration now seems to be expressing some willingness to compromise.

    Is this amateurish media manipulation, or what? Are grown-ups on duty in the Obama Administration?

  145. fyi says:

    James Canning says:

    April 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    No.

  146. Rehmat says:

    Israeli concentration camp for African workers

    Last month, Netanyahu government began the construction of world’s largest concentration camp for these African immigrants to maintain the ‘Jewish nature’ of Israel. It’s being build in Negev Desert on the ground of notorious military Ketziot Prison for detaining and torturing Palestinians captured and abducted by Jewish soldiers. The Atlantic Magazine’s Middle East ‘expert’, Jeffrey Goldberg, served as prison guard at Ketziot Prison during first Intifada. The new concentration camp will be large enough to hold 8,000 migrants and asylum seeking refugees fleeing from Sudan, Nigeria and Eritrea.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/israeli-concentration-camp-for-african-workers/

  147. Fiorangela says:

    sassan your comments have all the cogency of Jeffrey Dahmer’s pointers on social interaction.
    save you energy for someone who is not sickened by the garbage you write.

  148. paul says:

    The Late Great Demented Warmonger Christopher Hitchens…

  149. Sassan says:

    Fiorangela: Any individual who has read about Thomas Jefferson’s life including his private letters, it is obvious what he wrote in public compared to what he wrote in his personal letters were much different. Why? In fact, he was once accused of being a heretic and a non-believer and in his private letters he specifically would always mention to his closest of friends to keep their correspondence private.

    I recommend as a start to read the great short book on Thomas Jefferson by the great and late Christopher Hitchens, “Thomas Jefferson: Author of America.”

    Here is a great letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew Peter Carr:

    Jefferson’s letter to his nephew, from Paris, August 10, 1787.

    Dear Peter, — I have received your two letters of December 30 and April 18, and am very happy to find by them, as well as by letters from Mr. Wythe, that you have been so fortunate as to attract his notice & good will; I am sure you will find this to have been one of the most fortunate events of your life, as I have ever been sensible it was of mine. I enclose you a sketch of the sciences to which I would wish you to apply, in such order as Mr. Wythe shall advise; I mention, also, the books in them worth your reading, which submit to his correction. Many of these are among your father’s books, which you should have brought to you. As I do not recollect those of them not in his library, you must write to me for them, making out a catalogue of such as you think you shall have occasion for, in 18 months from the date of your letter, & consulting Mr. Wythe on the subject. To this sketch, I will add a few particular observations.

    1. Italian. I fear the learning of this language will confound your French and Spanish. Being all of them degenerated dialects of the Latin, they are apt to mix in conversation. I have never seen a person speaking the three languages, who did not mix them. It is a delightful language, but late events having rendered the Spanish more useful, lay it aside to prosecute that.

    2. Spanish. Bestow great attention on this, and endeavor to acquire an accurate knowledge of it. Our future connections with Spain and Spanish America, will render that language a valuable acquisition. The ancient history of that part of America, too, is written in that language. I send you a dictionary.

    3. Moral Philosophy. I think it lost time to attend lectures on this branch. He who made us would have been a pitiful bungler, if he had made the rules of our moral conduct a matter of science. For one man of science, there are thousands who are not. What would have become of them? Man was destined for society. His morality, therefore, was to be formed to this object. He was endowed with a sense of right and wrong, merely relative to this. This sense is as much a part of his nature, as the sense of hearing, seeing, feeling; it is the true foundation of morality, and not the to kalon [beautiful], truth, &c., as fanciful writers have imagined. The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or less degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted, indeed, in some degree, to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman and a professor. The former will decide it as well, & often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules. In this branch, therefore, read good books, because they will encourage, as well as direct your feelings. The writings of Sterne, particularly, form the best course of morality that ever was written. Besides these, read the books mentioned in the enclosed paper; and, above all things, lose no occasion of exercising your dispositions to be grateful, to be generous, to be charitable, to be humane, to be true, just, firm, orderly, courageous, &c. Consider every act of this kind, as an exercise which will strengthen your moral faculties & increase your worth.

    4. Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand, shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. You will naturally examine first, the religion of your own country. Read the Bible, then as you would read Livy or Tacitus. The facts which are within the ordinary course of nature, you will believe on the authority of the writer, as you do those of the same kind in Livy & Tacitus. The testimony of the writer weighs in their favor, in one scale, and their not being against the laws of nature, does not weigh against them. But those facts in the Bible which contradict the laws of nature, must be examined with more care, and under a variety of faces. Here you must recur to the pretensions of the writer to inspiration from God. Examine upon what evidence his pretensions are founded, and whether that evidence is so strong, as that its falsehood would be more improbable than a change in the laws of nature, in the case he relates. For example, in the book of Joshua, we are told, the sun stood still several hours. Were we to read that fact in Livy or Tacitus, we should class it with their showers of blood, speaking of statues, beasts, &c. But it is said, that the writer of that book was inspired. Examine, therefore, candidly, what evidence there is of his having been inspired. The pretension is entitled to your inquiry, because millions believe it. On the other hand, you are astronomer enough to know how contrary it is to the law of nature that a body revolving on its axis, as the earth does, should have stopped, should not, by that sudden stoppage, have prostrated animals, trees, buildings, and should after a certain time gave resumed its revolution, & that without a second general prostration. Is this arrest of the earth’s motion, or the evidence which affirms it, most within the law of probabilities? You will next read the New Testament. It is the history of a personage called Jesus. Keep in your eye the opposite pretensions: 1, of those who say he was begotten by God, born of a virgin, suspended & reversed the laws of nature at will, & ascended bodily into heaven; and 2, of those who say he was a man of illegitimate birth, of a benevolent heart, enthusiastic mind, who set out without pretensions to divinity, ended in believing them, and was punished capitally for sedition, by being gibbeted, according to the Roman law, which punished the first commission of that offence by whipping, & the second by exile, or death in fureâ. See this law in the Digest Lib. 48. tit. 19. §. 28. 3. & Lipsius Lib 2. de cruce. cap. 2. These questions are examined in the books I have mentioned under the head of religion, & several others. They will assist you in your inquiries, but keep your reason firmly on the watch in reading them all.

    Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but uprightness of the decision. I forgot to observe, when speaking of the New Testament, that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us, to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration, as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, and not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost. There are some, however, still extant, collected by Fabricius, which I will endeavor to get & send you.

    5. Travelling. This makes men wiser, but less happy. When men of sober age travel, they gather knowledge, which they may apply usefully for their country; but they are subject ever after to recollections mixed with regret; their affections are weakened by being extended over more objects; & they learn new habits which cannot be gratified when they return home. Young men, who travel, are exposed to all these inconveniences in a higher degree, to others still more serious, and do not acquire that wisdom for which a previous foundation is requisite, by repeated and just observations at home. The glare of pomp and pleasure is analogous to the motion of the blood; it absorbs all their affection and attention, they are torn from it as from the only good in this world, and return to their home as to a place of exile & condemnation. Their eyes are forever turned back to the object they have lost, & its recollection poisons the residue of their lives. Their first & most delicate passions are hackneyed on unworthy objects here, & they carry home the dregs, insufficient to make themselves or anybody else happy. Add to this, that a habit of idleness, an inability to apply themselves to business is acquired, & renders them useless to themselves & their country. These observations are founded in experience. There is no place where your pursuit of knowledge will be so little obstructed by foreign objects, as in your own country, nor any, wherein the virtues of the heart will be less exposed to be weakened. Be good, be learned, & be industrious, & you will not want the aid of travelling, to render you precious to your country, dear to your friends, happy within yourself. I repeat my advice, to take a great deal of exercise, & on foot. Health is the first requisite after morality. Write to me often, & be assured of the interest I take in your success, as well as the warmth of those sentiments of attachment with which I am, dear Peter, your affectionate friend.

    P.S. Let me know your age in your next letter. Your cousins here are well & desire to be remembered to you.”

    ( Thomas Jefferson, letter to his nephew Peter Carr, from Paris, August 10, 1787; Merrill D. Peterson, ed., Thomas Jefferson: Writings, New York: Library of America, 1994, pp. 900-906. )

  150. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you actually claiming Iran did not announce its intention to treble production of 20% U? Early last June?

  151. James Canning says:

    Tzipi Livni was quoted in The Times (London) November 15, 2011: “Even before it gets nuclearweapons, Iran is a threat to the search ofr progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

    The process Netanyahu tries to assist, by having Israel build more illegal colonies in the West Bank.

  152. Karl says:

    See how the talks in Syria is not serious from NATO/US and their allies.

    1. Ceasefire – Check
    2. Buffert zone – Awaiting
    3. No fly zone – Awaiting
    4. Regime change

    US Considers Syria ‘Buffer Zone’

    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/04/11/us-conquering-buffer-zone-in-syria-getting-another-look/

  153. Karl says:

    Time for Pakistan to kick out the US and take care of its own problems.

    Pakistan to US: Get Out and Stay Out
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/04/12/pakistan-to-us-get-out-and-stay-out/

  154. Karl says:

    James,

    “I guess we have a question of nuance. Hague says Iran’s trebling of production raises questions. Which obviously is an accurate statement when no reason for the trebling has been advanced by anyone connected to Iran’s nuclear programme.”

    Illogic statment since neither you or hague have any proof for what you are saying plus insinuating.

  155. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Why did Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani say this week that Iran might stop enriching to 20%? Good idea, obviously.

  156. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I guess we have a question of nuance. Hague says Iran’s trebling of production raises questions. Which obviously is an accurate statement when no reason for the trebling has been advanced by anyone connected to Iran’s nuclear programme.

  157. Fiorangela says:

    Sassan says: April 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    Fiorangela: Your problem is that your narrative is false. Our Founding Fathers (most notably the likes of Thomas Jefferson,
    Thomas Paine, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and even George Washington) just as a start, were not Christians and had a disdain for Christendom.

    http://www.angelfire.com/co/JeffersonBible/jeffbsyl.html
    Jefferson’s Syllabus of an Estimate of the Merit of the Doctrines of Jesus,
    Compared with Those of Others.

    In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Jefferson described his views on Jesus and the Christian religion, as well as his own religious beliefs. He appended to this description a Syllabus that compared the teachings of Jesus to those of the earlier Greek and Roman philosophers, and to the religion of the Jews of Jesus’ time. This letter and the appended Syllabus are interesting to anyone studying the Jefferson Bible because they explain precisely Jefferson’s views which later led him to make the compilation of the moral philosophy of Jesus in the form presented on this website. Both the letter and the Syllabus are presented below, and may be found in the Memorial Edition of Jefferson’s Writings, Vol. 10, pg. 379. Following the syllabus is a letter to William Short, which contains further discussion of the syllabus. This letter is found in Vol. 11 of the Memorial Edition, pg. 243.
    ________________________________________
    Letter To Dr. Benjamin Rush.
    Washington, April 21, 1803.
    DEAR SIR,
    In some of the delightful conversations with you in the evenings of 1798-99, and which served as an anodyne to the afflictions of the crisis through which our country was then laboring, the Christian religion was sometimes our topic; and I then promised you that one day or other I would give you my views of it. They are the result of a life of inquiry and reflection, and very different from that anti-Christian system imputed to me by those who know nothing of my opinions. To the corruptions of Christianity I am indeed opposed, but not to the genuine precepts of Jesus himself. I am a Christian, in the only sense in which he wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to his doctrines in preference to all others, ascribing to himself every human excellence, and believing he never claimed any other.
    . . .
    In a comparative view of the Ethics of the enlightened nations of antiquity, of the Jews and of Jesus, no notice should be taken of the corruptions of reason among the ancients, to wit, the idolatry and superstition of the vulgar, nor of the corruptions of Christianity by the learned among its professors.
    Let a just view be taken of the moral principles inculcated by the most esteemed of the sects of ancient philosophy or of their individuals; particularly Pythagoras, Socrates, Epicurus, Cicero, Epictetus, Seneca, Antoninus.
    I. Philosophers.
    . . .
    II. Jews.
    1. Their system was Deism; that is, the belief in one only God. But their ideas of him and of his attributes were degrading and injurious.
    2. Their Ethics were not only imperfect, but often irreconcilable with the sound dictates of reason and morality, as they respect intercourse with those around us; and repulsive and anti-social, as respecting other nations. They needed reformation, therefore, in an eminent degree.
    III. Jesus.
    In this state of things among the Jews, Jesus appeared. His parentage was obscure; his condition poor; his education null; his natural endowments great; his life correct and innocent: he was meek, benevolent, patient, firm, disinterested, and of the sublimest eloquence.

  158. Castellio says:

    Sassan, if you are a man of word, your “and finally” is a blessing to us all. Inshallah!

  159. Karl says:

    James,

    “Who said I “believe” William Hague? I agree with him that Iran’s trebling of production of 20 percent uranium raised questions.”

    Thats call believing someone.

  160. Sassan says:

    And finally:

    For example, Thomas Jefferson wrote to his nephew not to be afraid if he comes to disbelief.
    “Fix Reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason than of blindfolded fear…. Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you.” (Jefferson’s Works, Vol. ii., p. 217)

    “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter. But may we hope that the dawn of reason and freedom of thought in these United States will do away with this artificial scaffolding, and restore to us the primitive and genuine doctrines of this most venerated reformer of human errors.”
    —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites”
    –Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782.

    “I do not find in orthodox Christianity one redeeming feature.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “History I believe furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This marks the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their political as well as religious leaders will always avail themselves for their own purpose. ”
    -Thomas Jefferson to Baron von Humboldt, 1813

    “The clergy converted the simple teachings of Jesus into an engine for enslaving mankind and adulterated by artificial constructions into a contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves…these clergy, in fact, constitute the real Anti-Christ.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “Rogueries, absurdities and untruths were perpetrated upon the teachings of Jesus by a large band of dupes and importers led by Paul, the first great corrupter of the teaching of Jesus.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    “One man with courage is a majority.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

  161. Karl says:

    Slavin gets it wrong as generally.

    “Iranian officials have been offering to curb enrichment at the 20% level since last fall, when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad raised the subject with reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. However, Iran dithered over accepting new talks with the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany) until February 2012, when the pressure of new economic sanctions began to mount. ”

    FACT: US didnt offer talks, Iran offered talks way back, in fact on the 11th septenber 2011 and offered ending 20% enrichment some months later.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/11/us-iran-nuclear-letter-idUSTRE78A24B20110911

    -
    Slavin also mention that US hav replaced its envoy.

    “In Istanbul, Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili will be dealing with a new American across the table: Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who replaced Burns when he was promoted last year. Sherman, an expert on the North Korean nuclear program in the Clinton administration, has been studying hard to master the Iranian brief. ”

    Anyone got any info on this woman?

  162. Sassan says:

    Continued:

    “Lighthouses are more helpful than churches.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “I have found Christian dogma unintelligible. Early in life I absented myself from Christian assemblies.”
    -Benjamin Franklin, in Toward The Mystery

    “The way to see by Faith is to shut the eye of Reason.”
    -Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard, 1758

    “Think how great a proportion of Mankind consists of weak and ignorant Men and Women, and of inexperienc’d Youth of both Sexes, who have need of the Motives of Religion to restrain them from Vice, to support their Virtue, and retain them in the Practice of it till it becomes habitual, which is the great Point for its Security.”
    -Benjamin Franklin, 1757, in Edwin S. Gaustad, Faith of Our Fathers: Religion and the New Nation, San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987, p. 61

    “None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Revealed religion has no weight with me.”
    -Benjamin Franklin

    “Improvement in religion is called building up and edification. Faith is then the ground floor, hope is up one pair of stairs. My dear beloved Jenny, don’t delight so much to dwell in those lower rooms, but get as fast as you can into the garret; for in truth the best room in the house is charity. For my part I wish the house was turned upside down”
    -Benjamin Franklin, 1758, to his sister, Mrs. Jane Mecom, Works, Vol. VII., p. 184

    “Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them.”
    -Benjamin Franklin, quoted by Joseph Lewis in “Benjamin Franklin – Freethinker”

    “It is much to be lamented that a man of Franklin’s general good character and great influence should have been an unbeliever in Christianity, and also have done as much as he did to make others unbelievers”
    -Priestley’s Autobiography, p. 60, on Benjamin Franklin

    “If belief in the miraculous revelation of the Old Testament and the New is required to make a man religious, then Franklin had no religion at all. It would be an insult to say that he believed in the popular theology of his time, or of ours, for. I find not a line from his pen indicating any such belief.”
    -Theodore Parker

  163. Sassan says:

    Per your request:

    I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving; it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe. It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    Priests and conjurors are of the same trade.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    The Bible is a book that has been read more and examined less than any book that ever existed.
    -The Theological Works of Thomas Paine

    Every phrase and circumstance are marked with the barbarous hand of superstitious torture, and forced into meanings it was impossible they could have. The head of every chapter, and the top of every page, are blazoned with the names of Christ and the Church, that the unwary reader might suck in the error before he began to read.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason, p.131

    Accustom a people to believe that priests, or any other class of men can forgive sins, and you will have sins in abundance.
    -The Theological Works of Thomas Paine, p.207

    The adulterous connection between church and state…
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    The declaration which says that God visits the sins of the fathers upon the children is contrary to every principle of moral justice.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we call it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    ..but the Bible is such a book of lies and contradictions there is no knowing which part to believe or whether any…
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    The NT, compared with the Old, is like a farce of one act…
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not.
    -The Life and Works of Thomas Paine, Vol. 9 p. 134

    ..we must be compelled to hold this doctrine to be false, and the old and new law called the Old and New Testament, to be impositions, fables and forgeries.
    -The Life and Works of Thomas Paine, Vol. 9 p. 282

    Revelation is necessarily limited to the first communication– after that it is only an account of something which that person says was a revelation made to him; and though he may find himself obliged to believe it, it can not be incumbent on me to believe it in the same manner; for it was not a revelation made to ME, and I have only his word for it that it was made to him.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    The story of the whale swallowing Jonah, though a whale is large enough to do it, borders greatly on the marvelous; but it would have approached nearer to the idea of a miracle if Jonah had swallowed the whale.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory to itself than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, t renders the heart torpid or produces only atheists or fanatics. As an engine of power, it serves the purpose of despotism, and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests, but so far as respects the good of man in general it leads to nothing here or hereafter.
    -Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason

    As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men.
    -Thomas Paine, writing to Andrew Dean August 15, 1806

    Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
    -Thomas Paine

    My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
    -Thomas Paine

    The story of Jesus Christ appearing after he was dead is the story of an apparition, such as timid imaginations can always create in vision, and credulity believe. Stories of this kind had been told of the assassination of Julius Caesar…
    ¬-Thomas Paine

    The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authority; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.
    -Thomas Paine

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
    -Thomas Paine

    Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.
    ¬-Thomas Paine

  164. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Who said I “believe” William Hague? I agree with him that Iran’s trebling of production of 20 percent uranium raised questions. Why did it benefit Iran to raise questions needlessly? I was quoting from handwritten notes I made from the Guardian last July.

  165. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Wouldn’t Iran be richer and stronger today if it had not commenced enriching uranium? Have the nuclear power plants, but obtain fuel from Russia. Etc.

  166. Karl says:

    James,

    Is there are reason to even apporach you on the 20%? You keep ignoring any questions about your unsourced claims (and dont give me “what questions?”).
    The fact that you believe hague wasnt really surprising since you keep using the warmongerings rhetoric.

  167. Sassan says:

    BTW Fiorangela, I think it is well apparent that you are a Nazi sympathizer.

  168. James Canning says:

    Writing in the Guardian July 11, 2011, William Hague noted that Iran had announced plans to treble production of 20% enriched uranium, and stated: “It was an important statement because it makes clearer the fact Iran’s programme is not designed for purely peaceful purposes.” Has anyone offered a good explanation for the reason Iran ramped up production of 20% U so markedly?

  169. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    = = = =

    The Transfer Agreement is the . . .account of the deal . . .made in 1933 between the Jewish leadership in Palestine and the Third Reich. The terms: that the Jewish-led boycott of German goods would cease in return for the transfer of German Jews to the Holy Land. Eventually one-tenth of Germany’s Jews [emigrated], thus helping to form the seedbed of modern Israel.”

    -flyleaf, “The Transfer Agreement,” by Edwin Black

    + + + + + + +

    “Jewish Palestine in 1933 was still little more than a collection of unconnected enclaves between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. The nearly 200,000 Jews living in Palestine accounted for only 19 percent of the population. If the enclaves were to grow into an actual homeland and fulfill the promise of God, Abraham, and Balfour, the orange groves . . .that were the economic basis for Jewish survival in the Holy Land . . .would have to prosper. For that, more hands and more lands were needed.

    But in 1933, Jewish prosperity in Palestine was in danger of shutting down, In a tense world, the British were once again making strategic plans for the Middle East. These plans were dependent upon the Arab potentates England had been stringing along for a decade with conflicting promises of Arab nationalism in Palestine. So Palestinian immigration regulations had been pointedly revised a few years earlier [1922, to be exact; see Winston Churchill's White Paper]. Severe quotas applied to all Jewish immigrant categories, except the so-called capitalist settler with proof of £1,000 (about $5,000) in hand.

    Few Palestine-bound Jews possessed that much money. Most were poor European workers. Moreover, the ‘worker immigrant’ quota itself was limited by ‘absorptive capacity’ or the ability of the Palestinian economy to expand and provide new jobs. In this way, existing Arab jobs theoretically would no longer be threatened by new Jewish arrivals. The British didn’t really expect the Palestinian economy to grow, because quotas restricted immigration for all but the wealthier Jews, and the great majority of wealthy Jews were uninterested in emigrating to Palestine. With little or no new capital, the Jewish economy in Palestine would stagnate.”

    -”The Transfer Agreement,” by Edwin Black, p. 6

  170. Karl says:

    What a disgraceful man.

    With West focused on Iran, Netanyahu moves to expand Israeli settlements
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0412/With-West-focused-on-Iran-Netanyahu-moves-to-expand-Israeli-settlements

  171. Castellio says:

    It’s not “or”, Fiorangela, it’s “and”.

    mind-numbingly ignorant and frighteningly psychopathic

    They might have had a certain amount of measured disdain for aspects of the mystery cult (or miracle cult) of Christianity, but an affection for, and deep understanding of, those Christian traditons infused with a search for ethical behaviour rooted in concepts of love and justice for all.

    Interestingly, the founders of America admired those aspects of Christianity which are most despised and scorned by the Christian Zionists, who avidly seek a return of Christianity to the status of mystery cult, rooted in predestined superiority.

  172. Fiorangela says:

    Sassan, Your latest comment has no basis in reality or fact; you offered no evidence, no examples, no anything to support a wild and desperate statement.
    Either provide some evidence to back up your claims, or be forever branded here as merely mind-numbingly ignorant or frighteningly psychopathic.

  173. Sassan says:

    Fiorangela: Your problem is that your narrative is false. Our Founding Fathers (most notably the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and even George Washington) just as a start, were not Christians and had a disdain for Christendom.

  174. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Witness Quilt

    = = = =

    “Every tradition grows ever more venerable – the more remote is its origin, the more confused that origin is. The reverence due to it increases from generation to generation. The tradition finally becomes holy and inspires awe.” –Nietzsche, in Human, All Too Human</aI

    Used as Introduction to Joan Peters (discredited) history of Palestine, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arabs.

    = = = = = = =

    what is the point of taking up so much space on this forum with random quotes from diverse sources?

    The point is to create a record, so that no one has the luxury of saying, I did not know. To provide tools, to empower thoughtful readers to peel away “awe” and “reverence” for “remote traditions” in order to deconstruct essentially dishonest narratives and begin a rehabilitation and reconstruction of American culture and politics, and indeed a renaissance of the best of what America’s founders relied upon in Christian tradition as the United States was established.

  175. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Guilt

    = = = =

    “First of all, one must remember that Israel will always be different from its neighbors in the region. Israel is a Jewish state in the composition of its population, in its character, and in the fact that the Jewish people as such does not enjoy sovereignty anywhere else in the world. Israel’s surroundings, both close and farther away, will always be Arab-Muslim, and the Middle East is known neither for its tolerance toward minorities nor for the ability of its minorities to survive here. The Lebanese Christians’ fate is but one example.”
    Israel’s perennial “otherness” will not change even if a state of warm, true peace – full of practical measures that strengthen and stabilize the peace – is achieved. It seems obvious to me that we, the Israelis have an interest in preserving this special identity, in not allowing it to disappear. Because Israel is, as I have noted, the only place where the Jewish people is sovereign, we must never forget that the difficulties Israel faces as a Jewish state in Arab-Muslim surroundings, even should they wane or fall dormant for many years, may one day reawaken. This is not paranoia, nor is it a desire to invent danger where none exists. It is, rather, the only responsible attitude for ensuring the continuation of a people that for most of its existence has not enjoyed sovereignty on its own soil, and was the victim of the most terrible and murderous cruelty known to the human race.”

    - Ephraim Sneh, Navigating Perilous Waters: An Israeli Strategy for Peace and Security by Ephraim Sneh, 2002, 2005, Routledge, Curzon, an imprint of Taylor and Francis, New York.

  176. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    = = = =

    50 Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh[e] and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim[f] and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

    53 The seven years of abundance in Egypt came to an end, 54 and the seven years of famine began, just as Joseph had said. There was famine in all the other lands, but in the whole land of Egypt there was food. 55 When all Egypt began to feel the famine, the people cried to Pharaoh for food. Then Pharaoh told all the Egyptians, “Go to Joseph and do what he tells you.”

    56 When the famine had spread over the whole country, Joseph opened all the storehouses and sold grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout Egypt. 57 And all the world came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe everywhere.
    Joseph’s Brothers Go to Egypt
    1 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you just keep looking at each other?” 2 He continued, “I have heard that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and not die.”

    3 Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 4 But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph’s brother, with the others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him. 5 So Israel’s sons were among those who went to buy grain, for there was famine in the land of Canaan also.

    6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the person who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground. 7 As soon as Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he asked.

    “From the land of Canaan,” they replied, “to buy food.”

  177. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: April 12, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Good, now you are understanding geo-politics.

    Jews and Israel are peripheral; as Ambassador Jenkins has observed:

    “Has the administration understood that Iran’s nuclear programme is a symbol of a geostrategic shift–Iran is slowly returning to the ranks of Asia’s greater powers–and that wisdom lies in accommodating a shift that can only be prevented at the cost of hardship to much of mankind? Time will tell.”

    [The late General Odom had understood this back in 2006.]

  178. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    = = = = =

    Charlie Rose: “There is, uh, a, uh, report that the sanctions are having an impact on Iran. Uh, the cost of food is up; inflation is up; it is having a a serious impact on the people of Iran. The food that they want to buy cost [sic] a lot more because of these sanctions.”

    Mohammad Javad Larijani: “Well, even if this is true – - -

    Rose (interrupts): “Well it is true, isn’t it? Your own central bankers said that — Buhmani –”

    Larijani: “Well suppose this is true. Why the United States will be interested in putting pressure on our people? Why the language of threat is so interested?”

    Rose: “Because they believe that you have this capability, as you know.”

    Larijani: “I don’t think so. I think that they know that our technology is not toward that. I think their worriness is from somewhere else.”

    Rose: “And where is that worry from, do you think?”

    Larijani: “— and this is coming from the whole Middle East area. American policy in the Middle East is stumbling; America is falling apart while their strategic allies are collapsing one after another. They are afraid that Iran is going for fishing in this area, that Iran is gaining.”

    - Charlie Rose interviews Mohammad Javad Larijani, Nov. 18 2011. http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12000

  179. Fiorangela says:

    Karl,
    Sneh makes my blood boil. I have to steel myself to listen to him — Rafeef Ziadah provides chastening balance.

    Parsi did, indeed, handle Sneh pretty well — internalizing the “patience” that Ziadeh coached herself to reflect.

    “No sound bite
    No sound bite
    No sound bite
    Will bring them back to life.
    We teach life, sir.
    We Palestinians teach life, Sir.”

    —–

    Sneh, the physician, teaches hate and starvation and killing.

    —–
    Sneh said something else interesting in that panel discussion — he said that the situation in Israel may change in the next year because the ruling party will change. I assume that means that, in Sneh’s opinion, Bibi will be out of power. That’s doubly interesting because it was my perception that Sneh was an acolyte of Netanyahu, but he suggested in that statement that he is not currently a supporter of Netanyahu. My speculation is that there is a sick bond between Sneh & Bibi; Sneh was the physician in charge of medics when Yoni Netanyahu died at Entebbe. That Yoni was shot was the result of his own stupidity — his comrades told him, twice, NOT to react to the challenge of the guards at the airport in Kenya. After shots were fired, initially, no one was aware that Yoni had been shot; the next thing that is reported is that Sneh was unable to save his life. If I were a playwright I’d have a field day with that scenario. What are the possibilities that Sneh bungled the attempt to save Yoni, he knows it, Bibi knows it, Ben Zion Netanyahu knows it. History is made by accretions of human motives and emotions. Yoni’s death certainly changed the trajectory of Bibi’s life — it cast him in the role of the son who, in his (otherwise already sick) father’s eyes was not as courageous as his martyred and mythologized brother.

  180. Karl says:

    Fiorangela,

    sneh is another lisping warmonger (ehud barak). He uttered his love for sanctions aka economic sanctions in this c-span conference too, however parsi put him somewhat to place.

    Check at 01:18:38
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/304533-1

  181. Fiorangela says:

    “We have to understand; the problem is not the nuclear projects. The problem is the regime; the regime which is –which is based on Islamist fascism. That is the problem now. The regime must be eliminated; it’s the regime that should be eliminated. Who should do it–the Iranian people; the Iranian people doesn’t like this regime. Just for you know an example–in the recent Election 70-
    percent of the Iranians didn’t show up in the–in the voting booth–70-percent. So what is possible or feasible is not reform; the regime would not allow reform but it can be forced out; it can be toppled by the people. It’s feasible but there are two–three conditions in order to accelerate it. One–real effective sanctions; sanctions that would be–make it impossible for the regime to govern, to run their economy, to feed 70 million hungry people–this is one thing. . . .”

    - Ephraim Sneh, former member of Knesset; at AIPAC Conference June 2008 in discussion with Dan Senor (video at :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/USIsraelRelations35 )

  182. Karl says:

    James,

    “You make a good point that Iran previously offered to stop enriching to 20%, and you apparently suggest this offer by Iran should receive more credit in press reports. (?)”

    Yes, while US and France trying portray itself as pro-dialogue Iran have offered a new stance (while US and france deny this). US and france however has not change its course.

  183. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    = = = = =

    “The Soviet Union was the only realistic source of calories for Germany and its west European empire, which together and separately were net importers of food. As Hitler knew, in late 1940 and early 1941 ninety percent of the food shipments from the Soviet Union came from Soviet Ukraine. Like Stalin, Hitler tended to see Ukraine itself as a geopolitical asset, and its people as instruments who tilled the soil, tools that could be exchanged with others or discarded. For Stalin, mastery of Ukraine was the precondition and proof of the triumph of his version of socialism. Purged, starved, collectivized, and terrorized, it fed and defended Soviet Russia and the rest of the Soviet Union. Hitler dreamed of the endlessly fertile Ukrainian soil, assuming that Germans would extract more from the terrain than the Soviets.

    Food from Ukraine was as important to the Nazi vision of an eastern empire as it was to Stalin’s defense of the integrity of the Soviet Union. Stalin’s Ukrainian ‘fortress’ was Hitler’s Ukrainian ‘breadbasket.’ The German army general staff concluded in an August 1940 study that Ukraine was ‘agriculturally and industrially the most valuable part of the Soviet Union.’ Herbert Backe, the responsible civilian planner, told Hitler in January 1941 that ‘the occupation of Ukraine would liberate us from every economic worry.’ Hitler wanted Ukraine ‘so that no one is able to starve us again, like in the last war.’ The conquest of Ukraine would first insulate Germans from the British blockade, and then the colonization of Ukraine would allow Germany to become a global power on the model of the United States.”

    -from “Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin,” by Timothy Snyder, 2010. p. 161

  184. James Canning says:

    Financial Times today reports that Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani said this week Iran would be willing to cut production of 20% U once it had enough, and even convert production back to the 3.5% level.

  185. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You make a good point that Iran previously offered to stop enriching to 20%, and you apparently suggest this offer by Iran should receive more credit in press reports. (?)

  186. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    Could We Have Stopped Hitler?
    by Edwin Black

    In the enormous shadow of guilt that seized American Jewry after the Holocaust, the answer all too often has been, “We didn’t do enough.” We are quick to shoulder the onus of self-blame for having been timid citizens, afraid to stir the waters in uncertain prewar times. But this version of history is untrue. Immediately after Hitler’s rise to power, American Jews mounted a formidable economic war to topple the Nazi regime.

    Just weeks after Hitler assumed power on January 30, 1933, a patchwork of competing Jewish forces, led by American Jewish Congress president Rabbi Stephen Wise, civil rights crusader Louis Untermeyer, and the combative Jewish War Veterans, initiated a highly effective boycott of German goods and services. Each advanced the boycott in its own way, but sought to build a united anti-Nazi coalition that could deliver an economic deathblow to the Nazi party, which had based its political ascent almost entirely on promises to rebuild the strapped German economy.

    The boycotters were encouraged by the early successes of their loud, boisterous campaign, complete with nationwide protest meetings, picket signs, and open threats to destroy Germany’s economy if the Reich’s anti-Jewish actions persisted. Skilled organizing from unions, political groups, and commercial trade associations carried the boycott’s message to every facet of American society and abroad. Depression-wracked nations around the world quickly began to shift their buying habits from the entrenched German market to less expensive, alternative goods.
    * * *

    The anti-Hitler protest movement culminated in a gigantic rally at Madison Square Garden on March 27, 1933, organized by Rabbi Wise and the American Jewish Congress. More than 55,000 protesters crammed into the Garden and surrounding streets. Simultaneous rallies were held in 70 other metropolitan areas in the U.S. and in Europe. Radio hookups broadcast the New York event to hundreds of cities throughout the world.

    The boycott unnerved the Nazis, who believed that Jews wielded supernatural international economic power. They knew that in the past Jews had used boycotts effectively against Russian Czar Nicholas II to combat his persecution of Jews, and automaker Henry Ford to halt his anti-Semitic campaign. Whether or not this new boycott actually possessed the punishing power to crush the Reich economy was irrelevant; what mattered was that Germany perceived the Jewish-led boycott as the greatest threat to its survival–and reacted accordingly.

    Relentless in exploiting the Nazis’ vulnerability, Rabbi Wise and the other boycott leaders were determined to form one cohesive international movement under the banner “Starve Germany into submission this winter.”

    -from Jewish Virtual Library

  187. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    “Daily Express. London, March 24, 1933, pp. 1-2.

    J U D E A D E C L A R E S W A R O N G E R M A N Y

    [A composite photo with Hitler before a presumably Jewish court]

    JEWS OF ALL THE WORLD UNITE

    BOYCOTT OF GERMAN GOODS

    MASS DEMONSTRATIONS

    “Daily Express” Special Political Correspondent.

    A strange and unforeseen sequel has emerged from the stories of
    German Jew-baiting.

    The whole of Israel throughout the world is uniting to declare
    an economic and financial war on Germany.

    Hitherto the cry has gone up: “Germany is persecuting the Jews.”
    If the present plans are carried out, the Hitlerite cry will be:
    “The Jews are persecuting Germany.”

    All Israel is rising in wrath against the Nazi onslaught on
    the Jews. Adolf Hitler, swept into power by an appeal of
    elemental patriotism, is making history of a kind he least
    expected. Thinking to unite only the German nation to race
    consciousness, he has roused the whole Jewish people to
    national renascence.

    The appearance of the Swastika symbol of a new Germany has
    called forth the Lion of Judah, the old battle symbol of
    Jewish defiance.

    Fourteen million Jews, dispersed throughout the world, have
    banded together as one man to declare war on the German
    persecutors of their co-religionists. Sectional differences
    and antagonisms

    [strip-shaped drawing with alternating swastikas and lions]

    have been submerged in one common aim – to stand by the
    600,000 Jews of Germany who are terrorised by Hitlerite
    anti-Semitism and to compel Fascist Germany to end its
    campaign of violence and suppression directed against its
    Jewish minority.

    ——————————————————————–
    P l a n s F o r A c t i o n M a t u r i n g

    I n E u r o p e A n d A m e r i c a
    ——————————————————————–

    World Jewry has made up its mind not to rest quiescent in
    face of this revival of medieval Jew-baiting.

    Germany may be called on to pay a heavy price for Hitler’s
    antagonism to the Jews. She is faced with an international
    boycott in commerce, finance, and industry.

    The Jewish merchant prince is leaving his counting-house,
    the banker his board-room, the shopkeeper his store, and
    the pedlar his humble barrow, to join together in what has
    become a holy war to combat the Hitlerite enemies of the Jew.

    Plans for concerted Jewish action are being matured in Europe
    and America to strike back in reprisal at Hitlerite Germany.

    In London, New York, Paris, and Warsaw Jewish merchants are
    waiting for a commercial crusade.

    Resolutions are being taken throughout the Jewish business

    ——————————————————————–
    B R I T I S H J E W S P R O T E S T
    A T N A Z I T A C T I C S

    MERCHANTS AND FINANCIERS RALLY TO MOVEMENT

    GERMAN LINERS AFFECTED?
    ——————————————————————–

    world to sever trade relations with Germany.

    Large numbers of merchants in London have resolved to stop
    buying German goods, even at the cost of suffering heavy loss.

    A meeting of the Jewish textile trade in London has been called
    for Monday to consider the situation and to determine what steps
    should be taken.

    Germany is a heavy borrower in foreign money markets, where
    Jewish influence is considerable. Continued anti-Semitism in
    Germany is likely to react seriously against her. A move is on
    foot on the part of Jewish financiers to exert pressure to force
    anti-Jewish action to stop.

    The Organisation of Jewish Youth in Britain are organizing
    demonstrations in London and the provinces during the weekend.

    The Board of Deputies of British Jews, representing the entire
    Jewish community of Great Britain, are meeting in special
    session on Sunday to discuss the German situation, and to decide
    on what action should be taken to counteract the attacks on
    their German fellow-Jews.

    World-wide preparations are being made to organise demonstrations
    of protest.

    EMBARGO IN POLAND

    A concerted boycott by Jewish buyers is likely to involve grave
    damage to the German export trade. Jewish merchants all over the
    world are large buyers of German manufactured goods, chiefly
    cotton goods, silks, toys, electrical fittings, and furniture.

    In Poland, the trade embargo on Germany is already in operation.
    In France, a proposed ban on German imports is being widely
    canvassed in Jewish circles.

    German Transatlantic shipping traffic is likewise threatened.
    The Bremen and the Europa, the German crack liners, may suffer
    heavily from a Jewish anti-German boycott. Jewish trans-ocean
    travellers form an important part of the patrons of these liners
    because of their extensive part in international trade. The loss
    of their patronage would be a heavy blow to Germany’s Atlantic
    trade.

    In New York yesterday 10,000 Jewish ex-soldiers marched to the
    City Hall to hold a protest demonstration.

    Large crowds watched the men, some of whom wore old British
    uniforms, petition the mayor to support them in a boycott of
    German goods.

    Another petition was handed in at the British Consulate-General
    requesting that Palestine should receive refugees from Germany
    without restriction.

    Members of the American House of Representatives are introducing
    resolutions protesting against the anti-Jewish excesses in
    Germany. The American trade unions, representing 3,000,000
    workers, have also decided to join in the protest.

    A rabbinical decree in New York has made the next Monday a day
    of fasting and prayer over the Hitler campaign.

    Fasting will begin on Sunday at sunset and finish at sunset on
    Monday.

    All Jewish shops in New York will be closed on Monday during a
    parade.

    Apart from a monster meeting in Madison-square Garden, meetings
    are to be held in 300 American cities.

    Madison-square Garden will see the remarkable sight of Bishop
    Manning speaking from a Jewish platform appealing for an end of
    the Hitler “terror.”

    DAY OF SERMONS

    It had been arranged to charge a shilling admission and 5 s.
    for box seats, but a public-spirited Jew, Frank Cohen, an
    insurance broker, gove [sic] a personal cheque for L 1,000 to
    cover all expenses, so admission will be free.

    Every rabbi in the city of New York has been placed under a
    sacred obligation by rabbinical decree to devote Saturday’s
    sermon to the plight of Jews in Germany.

    Representative Jewish organisations in the European capitals
    are understood to be making representations to their various
    Governments to use influence with the Hitler Cabinet to induce
    it to call a halt in the oppression of the German Jews.

    The old and reunited people of Israel are rising with new
    and modern weapons to fight their age-old battle with their
    persecutors.”

    - from © The Nizkor Project, 1991-2011
    This site is intended for educational purposes to teach about the Holocaust and to combat hatred.

  188. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The Financial Times today reports that the Six Powers “are not expected to put forward specific proposals during the first meeting this weekend, hoping instead that Iran will come with a willigness to show a change of mindset…”

  189. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Are you forgetting that Iran supports the NPT, wants to strengthen thee NPT, and wants a Middle East free of nukes?

  190. Fiorangela says:

    Patches of Quotes toward a Quilt

    “The Allied governments . . .with the British as executioners, maintained in place the food blockade of Germany that had been in effect since 1917. A British authority would note that ‘in the last two years of the war, nearly 800,000 noncombatants died in Germany from starvation or diseases attributed to undernourishment. The biggest mortality was among children between the ages of 5 and 15, where the death rate increased by 55 percent . . .a whole generation’ –the which had been born and lived during Hitler’s rise to power — ‘grew up in an epoch of undernourishment and misery such as we (British) have never in this country experienced.’ A distinguished American authority on the United States foreign policy in the first half of the twentieth century, Stanford University professor Thomas A. Bailey, noted that ‘the Allied slow starvation of Germany’s civilian population was quiet, unspectacular, and censored.’ The Englishman Gilbert Murray, writing in 1933, noted that future historians would probably regard the establishment and continuation of the blockade as one of those many acts of almost incredible inhumanity which made World War I conspicuous in history.

    With a hint of defensiveness, the Allies noted in their June 16, 1919, ultimatum to the German government to sign the Versailles treaty that, although they had imposed on Germany an exceptionally severe blockade, they had sought consistently to conform to the principles of international law and had imposed the blockade because of ‘the criminal character of the war initiated by Germany and of the barbarous methods adopted by her in prosecuting it.’ This official statement is noteworthy for its self-assured but nevertheless unhistorical assumption that Germany initiated World War I and prosecuted it in a criminal and barbarous manner. Notwithstanding, however, the self-assuredness about German guilt, the allies revealed a bad conscience about the blockade. They noted, for example, that they sought to conform with international law in the imposition of the blockade and then, straining for justification for so cruel and inhumane a policy, they claimed a criminal character to the war imposed on them by Germany.

    How can this moderately complex but important issue of the blockade be summarized in order to prevent the various details from intruding on the historical interpretation of an issue so significant for the postwar German condition and the rise of Hitler? It can be generalized that the Allies inflicted a cruel wartime blockade on Germany, affecting almost entirely noncombatants. As it extended into the period of the peacetime treaty negotiations, this action became criminally inhumane. It can be further generalized that the misery and revulsion in Germany over the enormity of 800,000 human being dying from the immediate effects (e.g., direct starvation and malnutrition-induced fatal disease) of the food blockade is indispensable for comprehending Hitler’s success as the leader of an extreme nationalist political movement. Yet in the latest major biography of Hitler, we can find only understated reference to the existence of such a blockade, a troubling cloudiness that suggests acceptance of either a historical theory of a morally justifiable food blockade or the author’s conscious rejection of such an action as significant for comprehending the rise of Hitler.”
    -from, (U.S. Naval Postgraduate College professor) R. H. S. Stolfi, “Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny,” 2011; pp 122-123.

  191. Karl says:

    James,

    Please your 20% is pathetic. You have given plenty of time to provide sources and information about this but you have rejected.

    When Iran say:

    “We do not produce more 20 percent fuel than we need,” Abbasi told the Iranian Students’ News Agency.

    They are lying according to you?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/us-iran-talks_b_1415819.html

  192. Karl says:

    The self-glorification is on.
    Sarkozy, Obama call on Iran to hold “serious” nuclear talks

    http://www.nowlebanon.com/NewsArticleDetails.aspx?ID=385749

    -

    Why should they “call” on Iran to hold “serious” talks taking in regard Iran have offered to cease 20% enrichment in talks? Have offered entrance to Parchin?
    Who on the other side say they will keep sanctions intact, have put pre-conditions before the talks have began and have their ship in the gulf?

    I think the world clearly see who is “serious” about talk and who is not.

  193. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The problem is Iran’s stockpiling of 20 percent U. If Iran had withdrawn from the NPT and moved toward building nukes years ago, Iran likely would have been attacked at that time.

  194. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times report today (“Iran to resume talks on nuclear aims”) stated: “The resumption in negotiations – - the first in more than a year – - is aimed at delyaing the risk of an Iranian dash towards nuclear weapons by putting an end to the accumulation of 20 percent enriched uranium…”

  195. Unknown Unknowns says:

    A week or so before Iran cut off Spain’s oil, I asked the #2 man at their embassy here what their intentions were. He said that the only country that can supply Spain with the kind of crude that is compatible with Spanish refineries is Russia, and the price she is asking is “way too expensive”, and so, (he continued) we will have to re-tool. Iran’s recent action has left them no time to do so. I also suspect that now that Germany (and probably Italy soon too) will be joining the line, Russia will not be able to meet that demand irrespective of the price. I also suspect that this surge in European demand will put the lie to the Saudi bluff of being able to make up the difference. The best they will be able to do (if that) is to use up the production buffer which the West depends on to rationalize price fluctuations in order to prevent spikes in spot oil pricing. At a minimum, in other words, we can expect higher volatility in oil prices.

    IRIB is also reporting that Iran has banned imports from 100 European companies. Hopefully, in keeping with the Rahbar’s emphasis on 1391 as the year of supporting locally-manufactured products, the government will take this opportunity to ban everything but needed raw materials from Europe, inshallah.

  196. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: All:Dr. Maloney on Iran:….

    I have come to deeply appreciate and understand Quran’s promise and what it might mean when it says, ‘when we want to destroy the aggressors, we make (among other tricks) their shortcomings appear to them as strength’.

    Cognitively speaking, a 6-year-old could injest a couple of ounces of steamed broccoli for lunch and defecate, before dinner time, a more politically astute analysis than what Ms. Maloney has submitted as a policy paper.

  197. fyi says:

    Kathleen says: April 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    That is why Iran should not have signed NPT.

    Another one of Shah’s irresponsible actions.

    Iran should have left NPT in 1998.

    150 states support Iran and her stand on NPT.

    Iran has become the Champion of NPT.

    US is the Destroyer of NPT.

  198. Kathleen says:

    When Israel and the I lobby demand that Iran stop enriching uranium up to the 20% that Iran is legally able is that demand basically undermining the Non Proliferation Treaty? What is the purpose of signing the NPT and basically following the NPT if other nations demand that you give up the legal right to enrich up to the legal limit?

  199. imho says:

    “Does the administration really believe that, by threatening such sanctions, it can compel Beijing to do serious damage to Chinese interests—and surrender its strategic independence, to boot—by cooperating with unilaterally asserted U.S. and European sanctions, which are already driving up the price of oil?”
    I wonder why everyone links the driving up the price of oil only to the ME instability. Quantitative Easing has nothing to do with it?! As dollar worth less, not only the oil but the price of everything is driving up. Not that the ME instability is not a factor but it is more a smokescreen in my view.
    The US empire being a continuation of (if not the same as) the Great Britain’s one, looking back at history may bring some answer.
    The GB empire (as US now) has been a Trade empire by opposition to an industrial nation empire. This can explain the financial nature of it and the fact that the real Iran sanctions became with those affecting banks and trades.
    The GB empire (as US now) had control over all seas militarily and financially. The financial nature of this control can be seen on insurance companies dealing with oil tankers (among other goods). Recently Hong Kong insurers refused to insure Iranian oil tankers. The military nature is obvious now with US as was before with GB’s empire since its first days. The GB being a isle, can surely explain it. If I have to guess what would be the future of US-China relations based on GB’s relations with the continental Europe in 20th century, I’d say it is not so bright. The GB, again being off continent saw the condition to maintain its power on some principles of which preventing the emergence of another industrial power (read Germany) and preventing strategic alliances between continental European countries. This was exactly what was promoted by PNAC. So the rise of China is seen by US as its fall. Something it will try to prevent by shifting focus on Asia as the article suggests. But before, it had to prepare the ME. As Prof. Wang say: “Further advance of U.S. schemes in the region, now being unfolded in Syria, would be seen as detrimental to regional stability at the expense of China.”, one can wonder to whom benefits more the so called Arab “Spring” and what is this all about

  200. fyi says:

    All:

    NPT & Non-proliferation (Or Mr. Obama’s Disasterous Iran policy)

    http://www.thenation.com/article/167196/thinking-unthinkable-iran

  201. TinDrum says:

    Sassan, what are you up to with your pimping of that video– collecting IP addresses for Mossad?

  202. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizen says:

    April 11, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    You wrote: “.. I bet if they take blood samples of them and compared it with the blood sample of the REAL Jews who’re still living peacefully in Iran and refuse to be bribed to make Alliya, they will be totally different.”

    See here:

    http://www.cell.com/AJHG/abstract/S0002-9297(10)00246-6

    You are only partially correct.

  203. Sassan says:

    For the previous link of the groundbreaking documentary “From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad” that I had provided, the English subtitle was WAY too short deeming it impossible to enjoy. I have increased the length of the subtitle substantially as this is a truly groundbreaking documentary everyone must watch.

    You can access the updated video with the subtitle here: http://youtu.be/V6aBnpSxZkA

    Enjoy. :)

  204. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 11, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    If you had bothered to read the text of Mr. Khamenei’s speech the link to which was posted on this thread:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    April 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Translation of Rahbar’s speech in Mashhad.

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1620&Itemid=4

    You would have noted the following:

    “Currently more than fifty percent of the world’s oil flows out of the Persian Gulf and in the future the global flow of oil will depend on three oil-rich countries in the Persian Gulf region. Of course, Iran is one of the three oil-rich countries and I will explain this point later. Among all the countries of the world and not just the Persian Gulf region, the Islamic Republic of Iran has the greatest sources of oil and gas. Some countries have more natural gas than we do and some others have more oil than us. We are the second country in the world in terms of our gas reserves and Russia is the first. In terms of our oil reserves, we are the fourth country in the world. There are three countries in the world which have more oil than we do. However, in terms of total amount of oil and gas reserves, the Islamic Republic, your dear homeland, has more proven oil reserves than any other country in the world. This is very interesting for the consumers of oil in the world and for the arrogant powers whose survival depends on energy sources, on oil and gas. This is the wealth that Iran enjoys. They will run out of oil in four, ten, fifteen years, but considering the proven oil reserves, the Islamic Republic will have oil and gas for another eighty years. A country that ranks first in terms of its oil and gas reserves is very interesting.

    What do the arrogant powers want? They want our country to be ruled by a government whom they can easily control, just like certain countries in the region which have a lot of oil, yet they are like putty in the hands of the Americans. The Americans order them to produce certain amounts of oil and they say, “Yes, sir.” The Americans order them to sell their oil at a particular price and they say, “Yes, sir.” The Americans tell them where and where not to sell their oil and they say, “Yes, sir.” In our oil-rich country, which has the largest proven oil and gas reserves in the world, they will oppose any government that safeguards this national wealth in a proud way, does not allow other countries to plunder this wealth and does not follow the policies of the enemies. This is why Islamic Iran is faced with so many enmities.”

    So, the highest state authority in Iran, explains Axis Powers policy in terms of control of Iran’s oil & gas wealth.

    Now, you might use your usual refrain and call him delusional.

    That might be true, or it might not be.

    But his views are the political reality of the Iranian state.

    The burden are on Axis Powers to demonstrate to him and others in Iran that is, in fact, not the case.

    [In my opinion, it is you who is delusional and does not have a firm grasp of geo-politics.]

  205. Karl says:

    Sneaky offer by US.
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-12/clinton-says-still-time-for-a-nuclear-deal-with-iran

    “World powers negotiating with Iran in Istanbul may discuss postponing a planned European oil embargo against the Persian Gulf nation in exchange for Iranian promises to stop refining uranium, a former diplomat said.”

    There are two kind of sanctions on Iran 1. Oil embargo (proposed) 2. Economic sanctions.
    What US basically say is that “ok stop enriching and we drop the oil embargo”. But whats in it for Iran? Because if they accepted that they would still have the economic sanctions imposed, they would still be sanctioned in fact they would accept the status quo! Also why have economic sanctions to be kept in place if Iran stop enriching? Isnt the sanctions imposed just because of the enrichment? Also since the oil embargo havent been imposed yet and maybe never will – (maybe they are bluffing or understand that saudiarabia cant make it up), US really give Iran a pathetically bad deal.

  206. Karl says:

    Apparently, heinonen made these statements on C-span.
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/305342-1

  207. Karl says:

    Reading BASIC’s twitter messages, I found out that Heinonen is apparently hellbent on war(mongering).
    http://twitter.com/#!/basic2010

    “Iran will have 250 kilos of 20pc enriched uranium by yr end which cd be weapons grade 2 mths later if Fordow centrifuges modified: Heinonen”

    “”If u really want to eliminate the prog u need to use a sledgehammer” like in Iraq in 1991: Heinonen on possible military strikes on Iran”

    No mention that there is no proof that Iran is not seeking nukes. No mention that a “sledgehammer” attack on Iran would be illegal.

  208. Empty says:

    As I watched the video Dan Cooper posted below, I found it still amusing to hear the oxymoron, “the most powerful country is forced to….etc.” The jig is up, baba. The emperor has no cloths.

    Meanwhile in real life……..http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsXHzzUM_fE

  209. Dan Cooper says:

    Sassan

    You need to return to the world of reality by Watching this video ?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eptPeSmA37U&feature=youtu.be

  210. Rehmat says:

    Sassan – Like Pahlavi family – Zionist entity is DOOMED too!

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/pahlavi-royals-pay-for-crimes-against-iranians/

  211. Rehmat says:

    After meeting with Iran’s foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi in Tehran – the UN-Arab League envoy for the armed foreign insurgency in Syria, Kofi Annan, held a news conference in Tehran. Speaking at the news conference, Kofi Annan blasted Saudi Arabia and Qatar for arming anti-government rebels in Syria. He warned the two western-puppet regimes that arming rebels would be ‘disastrous’ and undermine peace efforts as the deadline for ceasefire to begin on April 12.

    Kofi Annan praised Iranian government for supporting his six-point peace initiative. Tehran agrees with Annan’s six-point plan as long as it doesn’t bless US-Israel agenda of removal of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

    Annan expressed the hope that Iran will be a part of the solution to the Syrian crisis…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/annan-blasts-gulf-states-for-arming-syrian-rebels/

  212. Empty says:

    Arash.e.Kamangeer,

    I am 20% sure that if the overall amount of food eaten in one setting is reduced by 20%; and if the size of each bite is reduced by 20%, and if the chewing time for each bite is increased by 20%, then the burping might be reduced by approximately 20% (the type of food not withstanding, of course).

    That reminds me….what do you want on your tombstone?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ouwr_p95XQ8

  213. Empty says:

    BibiJon,

    Thank you for posting the Bloomberg article. One thing that is often overlooked in the articles (as well as the comments) is that by refusing to negotiate, the US (and by extension its “tail”) wants to have, in practice, a freedom of action to continue its overt and covert terror activities.

  214. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    RSH presented us with quite a dilemma. If we wish him back, we must also know that we’re, unwittingly, wishing for an attack on Syria. If we wish for absolutely no attack on Syria ever, then we must know that we are resigning ourselves to never see RSH. Meanwhile, however, as he shows his deepest regards and affection for everyone here, I cannot help but to think, similar to the US’ fire power, he might just be overestimating his own stamina.

    In situations such as this, I’m afraid Hafiz does not offer a cure. He suggests laughing and moving on.

  215. Sassan says:

    Reza Pahlavi’s message to the Israeli people on Israel’s TV 10: http://youtu.be/AAYAw8oG_nQ

  216. Castellio says:

    Well, ToivoS, I have a very hard time understanding your optimism, but Robert Naiman agrees with you:

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/8456-a-contrarian-optimist-view-of-the-upcoming-iran-nuclear-talks

  217. Castellio says:

    ToivoS writes: If Iran is willing to accept some posturing from us then it should be possible for these negotiations to end successfully.

    Wow!!

  218. Photi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    April 11, 2012 at 5:00 pm
    Translation of Rahbar’s speech in Mashhad.

    http://english.khamenei.ir//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1620&Itemid=4

    Bussed-in Basij, jazakallah khair, thank you for the link. The Imam’s words are hopeful and enlightening. I hope other Americans get around to reading this speech. Clearly these are not the words of a “mad mullah” (as the warmongers like to say).

  219. ToivoS says:

    Eric says: <i.Whatever makes the US feel good, I suppose. I have a hunch Iran can live with such posturing.

    My feeling exactly. Obama made a series of dumb mistakes, blundered into them by being too passive as Bromwich as described so eloquently. I really believe that Obama does not want a war with Iran. Unfortunately, he made series of errors that included bloodcurdling threats against Iran over the last few years that it is now difficult for him to make the concessions that will be needed for an agreement with Iran. If Iran is willing to accept some posturing from us then it should be possible for these negotiations to end successfully.

    I have felt for some time that Iran has already won, but the art of these negotiations will allow the Iranians to let Obama to walk away from the deal with some of his face still intact. Somehow I believe that the Iranians are more subtle negotiators than we are and will permit a certain level of face saving.

    After all, the Persians and today’s Iranians have 2000 years experience in dealing with this problem with powerful nations and have preserved their national integrity.

  220. kooshy says:

    Interesting report on recent robotic competitions in Iran, wow can them Iranians make robots?

    “Robots face off in soccer competitions in Iran “

    “The only human interaction in the soccer matches are by the referees, while robots sweat it out on the field”

    By Ehab Zahriyeh / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 10:00 PM

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/robots-face-soccer-competitions-iran-article-1.1059516#ixzz1rn6HFmyY

  221. kooshy says:

    Eric A. Brill says:

    April 11, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    “Hasn’t Iran always said this is the only reason it’s enriching to 20%? If so, this strikes me as the US simply dressing up Iran’s long-standing position as a “concession,” which the US can promptly accept and then pat itself on the back for bringing Iran to its knees.”

    Eric- now that you brought this up, here is a new article on negotiations by Zakaria in WP which is in line with now official make a deal on 20% since they are under presure, more interesting is one of the comments which I will copy here.

    “The shape of a deal with Iran”

    By Fareed Zakaria, Wednesday, April 11, 4:53 PM

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2012/04/11/gIQAAmaQBT_story.html

    ———————————-

    comment as posted on WP online

    “quinterius wrote:

    5:21 PM PD

    Zakaria completely misunderstand the situation. The proposed deal that he talks about could have been obtained by the US more than two years ago without all this warmongering, assassinations, acrimony and imposition of ridiculous sanctions. Iran has always been willing to negotiate and it never wanted to enrich uranium to 20%. Obama’s stupid rejection of the Tehran Declaration was what prompted Iran to go for the 20% enrichment.

    It is the characteristic of the US to demand the impossible and then settle eventually for what it could have gotten in the first place by being reasonable. In fact, the Western powers refused to agree that Iran can have even a few experimental centrifuges a few years ago. Now, they have more than 8,000. Similarly, they demanded absolutely no enrichment capability when now they have to settle for what Iran wanted in the first place. It is simply stupidity and lack of understanding of international politics.

    It is time for Obama to have a completely new foreign policy team. Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, David Cohen and other Iran “experts” have to go. Dennis Ross and Stuart Levey were two other disasters who have fortunately already left.”

  222. Sassan says:

    For the previous link of the groundbreaking documentary “From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad” that I provided, the English subtitle was WAY too short deeming it impossible to enjoy. I have increased the length of the subtitle substantially as this is a truly groundbreaking documentary everyone must watch.

    You can access the updated video with the subtitle here: http://youtu.be/V6aBnpSxZkA

    Enjoy. :)

  223. M. Ali writes:

    “Heard of [Reza Khalili]? Sassan is in love with him.”

    I’ve never been quite sure whether Reza Khalili actually exists or, if he does, whether he’s actually a different person from Sassan. We could be talking about self-love here. And there’s no question, after all, that one’s words have greater weight when one attributes them to someone else and then quotes that “someone else.”

  224. This appeared in a NYT article today on the upcoming negotiations:

    “A hint of possible compromise from Iran emerged this week, when Ferydoon Abbasi, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, was quoted by Iranian news agencies as saying that Iran was prepared to enrich uranium to a maximum 20 percent purity just to meet the needs for a medical research reactor.”

    Hasn’t Iran always said this is the only reason it’s enriching to 20%? If so, this strikes me as the US simply dressing up Iran’s long-standing position as a “concession,” which the US can promptly accept and then pat itself on the back for bringing Iran to its knees.

    Whatever makes the US feel good, I suppose. I have a hunch Iran can live with such posturing.

  225. Rehmat says:

    Mofaz: ‘Israelis can trust Obama on Iran’

    In a recent interview, Israel’s new opposition leader, Gen. Saul Mofaz, told the New York Times (April 6, 2012) that Israel has bigger fish to fry than Iran’s nuclear program. He said that Benji Netanyahu is using Iran’s nuclear program to divert public attention from solving Israel’s evergrowing Palestinian problem. Mofaz said Netanyahu government’s priorities should be making peace with Palestinians, ending building illegal Jewish settlements in most of the West Bank and reducing the country’s acute economic disparity. According to 2011 survey, one out of every three Jewish children in Israel lives below poverty line.

    “Let President Obama handle Iran. We can trust him,” said Mofaz, the Tehran-born Iranian Jew.

    I’m sure, no friend of Palestinian people can trust Mofaz after learning his idea of “peace with Palestinians“. In November 2009, Mofaz laid out his vision of a separate Palestinian State to Uriel Heilman of Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA). Mofaz’s plan for the annihilation of the remaining native Muslim and Christian Palestinian population is no different than any other Zionist leaders.

    Mofaz’s plan went like this – First establish a Palestinian state with temporary borders on 60% of the West Bank. Then in the course of 4-6 years, the two sides would negotiate the final-status issues, including permanent borders. The final deal would be put to national referendums in Israel and Palestine.

    During Mofaz’s “waiting period” – no illegal Jewish settlement would be dismantled and both the West Bank and Gaza Strip would be united under a “moderate” Palestinian government – acceptable to the US and Israel ofcourse!

    And after Zionists ’great offer’ becomes a reality – Jerusalem would remain united under Zionist entity’s sovereignty, the large Jewish settlement blocks in the West Bank would be annexed to the Zionist entity – and the Palestinian state would be completely demilitarized.

    In other words, Mofaz’s plan for the occupied Palestine is no different than Obama’s plan for the Islamic Republic – as desribed by former head of the IAEA, Dr. Mohmed ElBaradei: “The were not interested in a compromise with the government in Tehran, but regime change – by any mean necessary“. That’s No DEAL except SUBMISSION to Zionist Jews – watch-movie below.

    The latest USraeli pre-conditions set on Iran’s nuclear program are so humiliating that no Iranian government would dare to submit to -fearing it being toppled by a second 1979 Islamic Revolution.

    1. Israeli defense minister Gen. Ehud Barak (famous for dressing-up as a woman while working for Israeli military intelligence) has demanded that Iran must halt its 20% enrichment processing activities and transfer already enriched uranium material to a USrael trusted neighboring country, such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan or Turkey. The con-Jew also demanded that Iran’s underground nuclear facility, Fordo, be extensively suprvised by IAEA officials. Since Barak (wanted for war crimes in several countries) was being interviewed by an Israeli Hasbara organ CNN – he was assured the interviewer would never ask if Israel would transfer its 400 nuclear bomb to Turkey, Pakistan or Nigeria – and open its five nuclear sites for IAEA inspections.

    Later, Hillary Clinton, took her Israeli master’s demands as Washington’s pre-condition to accept Tehran’s claim that its nuclear program is not for military use – but for power-generation and medical research.

    So, the bottom line is – the P5+1 warmongers want the new negotiations to fail and USrael will naturally blame the Islamic Republic for that.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/mofaz-israelis-can-trust-obama-on-iran/

  226. masoud says:

    From Bussed-in-Basiji’s link:


    Reliable scientific centers of the world also report that Iran is the top country in the region in terms of its scientific level and that it ranks 17th in the world. These reports are prepared by those who would not refuse to present false reports against us if they could, yet they acknowledge our growth like this. In the year 1390 we made progress in biotechnology. We made progress in nanotechnology. We made progress in aerospace and we launched the Navid satellite. We made progress in nuclear industry and managed to enrich uranium to 20 percent. In the year 1389 the Americans and others proposed certain preconditions for this 20-percent uranium. We had to prepare it for our research reactor in Tehran, which has been built to produce radiopharmaceuticals: we had run out of 20-percent enriched uranium. They proposed certain preconditions for providing this uranium. They said that we had to ship our uranium abroad to be enriched to 20-percent. But we did not accept their offer. The Americans used the Brazilian and Turkish governments as intermediaries in order to reach an agreement with us. We accepted their offer of negotiations. Turkish and Brazilian officials travelled to our country and arranged meetings with the President. They spoke and signed an agreement. After the agreement was signed, the Americans broke their promise: the agreement was not the kind of agreement they wanted. They wanted to win many concessions. They wanted to bully and blackmail us. Because the Americans broke their promise, the Brazilian and Turkish governments were embarrassed in front of us. This is the story of the 20-percent uranium.

    I suspect the Rahbar reads RFI, and felt the need to intervene and end James’ games once and for all.

  227. Aarash.e.Kamaangeer says:

    For Ms. Leone and Empty,

    A rhapsody in t w e n t y p e r c e n t:

    Let’s see, just got home, it’s 18:42 GMT. Burp. Darn that Indian restaurant sure makes some spicy food. Not sitting well with me tonight. Burp…
    Computer on, Financial Times site, check. Does Gideon Rachman have anything to say so that I can repeat on RFI. Burp, No. Oh well.
    How about NYT? Check. Nothing new there either.
    I know, let check HuffPo. Darn it, it must be a slow news day. Burp.
    I just need to get into the 20% thing, but I just don’t know how to get going today. What to do? What to do? Did anybody at RFI say anything that could get me started? Maybe a newbie?
    Note to self: spell 20% in different ways so that the word count programs cannot pick up the number of times it’s been repeated. 20 percent, twenty %, twenty percent. And for a good measure, fat finger it as, tawenty percent. Also, use qualifiers like *beyond* 20% to make it sound more ominous.
    I so want to get into it. 20, 20, 20, %, %, %. Ah that feels so good. 20, twenty, percent, %. Oh yeah! Burp, dang it.
    I know, Photi or Karl are good to pick on and usually oblige. fyi sometimes let’s me engage too.
    “You argue the US & EU must “formalize” a ceasefire. Meaning? Iran stops enriching to 20%, and the West sells Iran the TRR fuel?”
    Oooooh, just like drips of honey down my throat. There, there, now. That leaves me feeling good. Burp, have to re-think this Indian food thing though. Burp.

  228. Karl says:

    James,

    “Are you saying that political expediency demands Obama say publicly Iran must end all enrichment, even if Obama believes to the contrary?”

    No? I am not saying that at all.

  229. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you saying that political expediency demands Obama say publicly Iran must end all enrichment, even if Obama believes to the contrary?

  230. M. Ali says:

    “He’s the British version of his US clone,Reza Khalili(I’m sure you’ve heard of him).”

    Heard of him? Sassan is in love with him. He posted an article by Khalili with the headline “Ayatollah: Kill all jews” which I asked Sassan, probably 50 times, to find me a quotation where Khameini says that, but he just dodged the question and went on unrelated topics, but mostly subjects that involved rape.

  231. A concerned world citizen says:

    Sassan(Avi or Yossi???)..I think having a debate with you is an exercise in futility and a waste of time. I genuinely believe you’re a good person but your youthful exuberance clouds your judgement on things.

    You made this statement:
    Again, I am an apostate, someone who was “technically” born Muslim but does not subscribe to the murderous ideology which constitutes Islam.

    From this statement, I assume both your parents where Muslims? No? If that’s the case, does it mean they were murderous or had murderous ideologies when you were growing up? If your parents religion is based on murderous ideologies, surely they would’ve murdered you long time ago when they sensed you’re becoming an apostate.No?

    I suggest you watch this beautiful documentary entitled “From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad” which was put together by Maziar Bahari for the BBC. I personally included the English subtitles so that everyone could enjoy this groundbreaking documentary. Enjoy here..: http://youtu.be/OqP_EdSREo8

    Your last paragraph deserve little attention but I’ll attempt a response. That Maziar Bahari dude is a known charlatan who makes a living by prostituting himself to any Western government that hates Iran and he makes a killing out of his anti-Iran campaigns. He’s the British version of his US clone,Reza Khalili(I’m sure you’ve heard of him). You see, there’s a huge anti-Iran industry that attracts all sorts of people. Any idiot that claim to be Iranian and lands in any Western capital and professes his hatred for Iran is given full media coverage. I won’t be surprised when I see you on Tv someday doing the same thing. It comes with a lot of added “benefits”.You get to be hosted by war criminals in Israel and free trips to the US and many European capitals ;)

    And Oh, about that video – There’s nothing “groundbreaking” about it.The Persian empire died ages ago and this tool, Bahari, trying to use it by invoking it for cheap political ends won’t wash.The “Jews” in Israel today have absolutely no connection to the Jews Cyrus saved from Babylon. They’re mainly European imports who claim to be “Jewish”. I bet if they take blood samples of them and compared it with the blood sample of the REAL Jews who’re still living peacefully in Iran and refuse to be bribed to make Alliya, they will be totally different. Like all propaganda videos made against Iran, this one too will pass and nobody will even notice. You remember that scary documentary, “Iranium”, that was also supposed to be “groundbreaking”???

  232. Karl says:

    James,

    “Do you think the White House could openly say it is prepared to see Iran continue to enrich to 3.5 – 5%? Would you argue this is politically feasible for Obama?

    No? Thats why they say Iran must end ALL enrichment.

  233. M. Ali says:

    It seems this time, it is Iran that is using the carrot and stick approach.

    On one hand, they are talking about how they will be presenting new initiatives in the meeting. On the other hand, they are cutting off oil supplies to the west.

  234. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Do you think the White House could openly say it is prepared to see Iran continue to enrich to 3.5 – 5%? Would you argue this is politically feasible for Obama?

  235. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    If you think the nuclear dispute is part of a scheme by the US and the EU to “control” Iran’s energy, you are virtually delusional. Does China “control” Iran’s oil, if China is the largest buyer of Iranian oil? Control Saudi oil, because it is largest buyer?

  236. Karl says:

    James,

    “Israel demands an end to all Iranian enrichment. So, to have Obama’s spokesman say this is minimum acceptable, probably must be expected (especially since this is an election year in US).”

    Yes and now US have give in to this.

  237. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    It has been many decades since the UK controlled Iran’s oil. When did the US try to control it? Briefly, to some extent, prior to the overthow of Mossadeq in 1953.

  238. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    In the area of oilfield equipment, the sanctions do bite because the Iranians are obliged to buy inferior Chinese equipment instead of what they would prefer to obtain from the US or European countries.

  239. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I don’t think Netanyahu sees himself in a “strategic cul-de-sac”. He probably thinks Iran is going to do himself a huge service by getting hurt badly for failing to end enrichment to 20%. Netanyahu continues his ethnic cleansing programme in the West Bank.

  240. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Israel demands an end to all Iranian enrichment. So, to have Obama’s spokesman say this is minimum acceptable, probably must be expected (especially since this is an election year in US).

  241. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What “concessions” do you think the P5+1 are trying to “squeeze” out of Iran? End to enrichment to 20%? Israel wants an end to Iranian support for Hamas and Hezbollah. But this is not on the agenda of the Six Powers.

  242. fyi says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says: April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    I am very doubtful of the possibility of Ambassador Jenkins’ prognostications.

    You have see this for the war that is and thus discount the possibility of a quick peace.

    8 years of pressure, an ongoing economic war, and twice – in less than 6 years – forcing Iranians to declare for a hot war cannot be undone in one or two meetings.

    The US-EU approach has been identical to Israel’s approach to Plaestinians – trying to leverage their strategic advantages into squeezing concessions.

    When that did not happen, they got themselves into the strategic cul de sac.

  243. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    April 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    De-escalation?

  244. kooshy says:

    Reading all these new analysis and opinion pieces coming out of the western state supported MSM, make one to think that on the eve of coming nuclear negations many of the opinions expressed are becoming closer to Leverett’s above all position vis-a-vis Iran. It sounds like majority in one form or other support “a” formulation to bargain with Iran based on accepting Iran’s domestic enrichment as starter to a (hopefully) possible future negations on broader regional security issues( a grand bargain). Time will tell if next week we are back to this current standstill or if an opening has been made possible. Overall in my opinion the tone in majority of opinions that have recently (last week on) been published in MSM are more realistic than before.

    That all could just be tactical, what’s your sense of it?

  245. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    And here is yet more evidence of how wonderful EU stupidity is.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/235697.html

    Yep, adopt sanctions against Iran and the result…Iran will just ban the products you make and make them itself. And of course since the comparable products it will make are cheaper…yep, Europe has nothing to worry about.

  246. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    “Sassan” says:
    April 11, 2012 at 3:07 am

    Our favorite local Zionist troll detachment is providing a lot of nice humor to distract us from the serious topics being discussed on this blog. Witness his latest attempt…

    First he refers to “your ad hominems” and than

    “It seems if in your peanut sized brain that constitues your thought processes you can not hold two converging thought processes together and somehow believe them to be contradictions.”

    I was personally amused by that glorious display of inadvertant humor and ignorance of irony. He constantly hits new milestones with every post he makes. I can hardly wait for the next record breaker.

  247. Photi says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    ToivoS, from your link:

    “Iran will expect an easing of those sanctions in return for any significant concessions. It will also require guarantees that the US is not seeking regime change, a fear that drives Iran’s alleged pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability.”

    Look at how ridiculous the situation is. First, America threatens Iran with regime change, and consequently based on that threat of regime change the American analysts determine the Iranians will respond to the fear thus created by pursuing a nuclear weapon. therefore their nuclear program must be destroyed even if that means regime change.

    Where in this scenario did the Iranians have any input?

  248. kooshy says:

    Iran nuclear talks offer opportunity if the US wants it

    April 11th, 2012
    By Peter Jenkins

    http://www.lobelog.com/iran-nuclear-talks-offer-opportunity-if-the-us-wants-it/

  249. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Karl says:
    April 11, 2012 at 7:34 am

    “Its interesting that you support collective punishment and sanctions let alone support this escalation for war. I bet your extremists idea have much support on the streets of Iran…”

    So our resident troll on one hand supports an actual and blatant violation of international law and on the other falsly accuses a sovereign nation of doing it on the other. What would we do without the amusement our local troll provides?

  250. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    April 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    They have tried and failed to regain control over the resources of Iran, but they are still obsessed with regaining that control. They will, however, continue to fail.

  251. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 11, 2012 at 7:49 am

    You make a very good point here. In addition, it is important to recognize the limits of the powers of the Security Council. This is something the US consistently and persistently ignores. It seeks to use the powers of the UNSC as a blank check to deprive other nations of their rights and powers as sovereign states. In fact the UNSC does not have the power to do this.

    The only power the UNSC has, as specified by the relevant articles, is to give states PERMISSION to take actions that are in agreement with its resolutions. In the relevant portion you quoted it may “call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties [sovereign states] concerned.”

    It does not have the power to COMPEL states to follow its resolutions or to deprive those states of their rights as sovereign states. “It may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures”, but it has no power to force sovereign states to do so. And in addition, the actions taken by states in pursuit of such resolutions (“measures shall be without prejudice to the rights”) cannot exceed the requirements given in the UN Charter and other relevant treaties.

    As an example take the “Arms embargo” imposed on Iran by the UNSC. Iran is not obligated under international law to follow this embargo. As a sovereign state, it has the right to continue to conduct trade and foreign affairs with other sovereign states. If those sovereign states choose to purchase arms from it, they may do so, since that is within their rights as sovereign states. The UNSC resolution in this case only gives other states the right to follow and maintain that embargo themselves, and it does not prevent Iran and other sovereign states from exercising their rights as sovereign states. This is an important principle that is virtually always ignored by the MSM, and even by some so called legal scholars who should know better when they talk about “violation” of UNSC resolutions, sanctions, etc.

  252. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    US & EU would not control the energy of the Persian Gulf, even if Iran were friendly with the US and all EU countries.

  253. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    I think Obama would accept Iranian enrichment to 3.5% -5%, if that were politically feasible. Perhaps tacit acceptance, arranged via Turkey?

  254. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Mitt Romney boasts that he takes guidance from Bibi Netanyahu, as to how to how the US should act in the Middle East. Obama does not like Netanyahu. And you think Romney would make a deal more likely?

  255. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran would stop enrichment to 20%? Or “beyond 20%”? Iran is not enriching “beyond 20%”, but that enrichment is guaranteeing catastrophe for Iran if it continues.

  256. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 11, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    A formalized cease-fire means that Iranians will not enrich beyond 20% – when not needed.

    UNSC sanctions will remain.

    Axis Powers finacial sanctions will remain.

    Oil sanctions will remain.

    Iran will continue on its nuclear path and Axis Powers will refrain from threatening her with war.

    New UNSC sanctions or Axis Powers sanctions will not be attempted.

    Fuel Exchange, limit on centriguges, access to nuclear technology etc., AP – all those things are off the table.

    A cease-fire but not a peace.

    For that, we have to wait for new governments in EU and US.

  257. ToivoS says:

    All the crazy talk about unreasonable US demands against Iran might very well have been prenegotiation posturing.

    http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/behind-the-rhetoric-iran-and-us-hint-at-nuclear-compromise

    reports that Obama has sent word, through Turkey that he would be willing to accept Iran keeping its enrichment program.

  258. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Of course not, due to the existence of the Islamic Repulic of Iran.

  259. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    China is not eager to sustain large losses due to depreciation in the value of the US dollar. And China has commented a number of times, that the dollar gets weaker because the US spends too much money on weapons and other unnecessary “defence”. Which of course is all too true.

  260. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with you the US should offer Iran a guarantee Israel will not attack Iran with nukes. And the US should pressure Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  261. James Canning says:

    In The New York Times today, the Russian FM, Sergei Lavrov, is quoted as saying the US and other countries are encouraging rebel elements in Syria to be unreasonable. This clearly is true.

  262. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You argue the US & EU must “formalize” a ceasefire. Meaning? Iran stops enriching to 20%, and the West sells Iran the TRR fuel?

  263. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US & EU do not “control the energy resources” of the Persian Gulf.

  264. Fiorangela says:

    to Kathleen –

    Photi linked to an article on Mondoweiss, and while reading it I noticed your comment on another thread –

    You wrote —

    “April 11, 2012 at 11:46 am
    3 million poles were massacred in Hitlers killing machine. Sure some Poles participated in the slaughter. Similar to the Bush administrations smaller but similar genocide in Iraq. Team to go along and push the invasion, team to implement the disaster then those that do the killing or set up the environment for the killing to take place. Not gas ovens, not as many people perished but systematic genocide one way or the other”

    Could you please provide sources for this information, and also the context and chronology of events? Was “Hitler’s killing machine” a precursor of drones, or more along the lines of white phosphorus & incendiary sticks, or plain old guns?

    To your great credit, you have been at the vanguard of demanding accuracy in media reporting about Iran. On that basis, I’m assuming you probably have sound support for the above claims.

    Thanks.

    Thank you.

  265. Photi says:

    fyi says:
    April 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    “There is no “US Paranoia” at the level of US planners and leaders.”

    at the level of the public there is paranoia, sustained by a biased media whose financial interests seem to depend on creating the paranoia. a less paranoid public will be anticipating the embassy exchange between the United States and the Islamic Republic. The paranoia on the part of the American public creates the political space for the US planners and leaders to operate. ‘Move the space’ by changing the narrative and the planners are forced to move their operations.

  266. fyi says:

    Photi says: April 11, 2012 at 11:54 am

    There is no “US Paranoia” at the level of US planners and leaders.

    They know what they need to do.

    But they have tried to leverage their strategic preponderance to squeeze concessions out of Iran.

    They have not been able to get much yet they have continued to pay the high cost of their policies because so much depends on the ability of US-EU to unilaterally exercise political control over Persian Gulf’s energy resources.

    That their Finance-based economy has imploded does not make this imperative to go away, it makes it even more urgent.

    That is why a cease-fire is the only thing that can be negogiated and formalized.

    Just like the situation on the Korean Penninsula – 60 years of neither war nor peace – over 3 generations.

    Rupture with Axis Powers cannot be mended until Axis Powers concede “defeat”,per Mr. Marashi’s comments on Mr. Khamenei.

  267. hans says:

    Iran scores the biggest hit in the ‘War on Piracy’

    “… The war on piracy in the Horn of Africa has received a major boost following the capture of one of the world’s most wanted Somali pirate leaders, Mohamed Garad.
    Garad, a former British soldier, is said to have been arrested together with 12 other suspected pirates on April 4 by Iranian commandos after they hijacked a Chinese cargo ship.
    The co-ordinator of the East African Seafarers Association, Mr Andrew Mwangura, said Garad was captured after the seizure of the Chinese vessel, Xianghuamen, last week.

  268. Castellio says:

    Photi writes: Only a conscious deconstruction of the narrative will do.

    That’s true, which is why I jumped in with the comment on popular American beliefs. There must be a conscious and sustained deconstruction of the false narratives. It is sustained and heavy lifting.

  269. Photi says:

    For those interested in Israel’s “democracy” see the following:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/sheizaf-shreds-oren-op-ed-touting-israeli-democracy.html

  270. Photi says:

    fyi says:
    April 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

    “For US to seriously negogiate with Iran towards rapproachment she has to do 2 things:”

    fyi,

    i would say for the us to begin to seriously negotiate with Iran, the US must first drop its paranoia towards Iran. This cannot happen without deconstructing the narrative which creates the paranoia to begin with. Given the global consequences of this conflict, i do not think any of us have the luxury of becoming “inured” with the narrative. Only a conscious deconstruction of the narrative will do.

  271. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: April 11, 2012 at 11:25 am

    The problem with this item and others such as it is that they are predicated on the tacit assumption of Iranian weakness.

    That is not how Iranian leaders see themselves and their country, as the article by Mr. Marashi elaborates.

    I think halt to 20% enrichment is the only theing that is on the table.

    Lifting of sanctions (which ones exactly? the article never says) is not on the table.

    But let us be patient and see; we would know more by next week.

  272. fyi says:

    Photi says: April 11, 2012 at 11:05 am

    I am inured now to such language.

    Mr. Marashi used to work for US State Department and I imagine his mentality is that of an American; no surprises there in his choice of phrases.

    I think the gist of the meeting is how to make this cease-fire into something that can endure while leaving the major problems unresolved.

    By that I mean that clearly there is no good offer for Iran on the table.

    So, the best outcome would be an agreement to meet again over several months.

    By the end of that period, there could be some treaty that establishes a sort of Virtual DMZ in analogous manner to what obtains on the Korean Penninsula.

    Until and unless US planners acknowledge and accept the increased power of Iran since 2006, that is all that is possible; a formalized rupture between US-EU on the one side and Iran on the other.

    For US to seriously negogiate with Iran towards rapproachment she has to do 2 things:

    Drop – unconditionally – all her oppositions to any and all Iranain nuclear activities within NPT.

    Guarantee to Iran that she will not be attcked by Irael with nuclear weapons.

    I do not see US leaders being at the stage to commence true detente with Iran.

  273. An op-ed suggesting a step-by-step approach toward negotiations. Food for thought, even if not all of it is tasty.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/opinion/if-at-first-iran-says-no-try-try-again.html?ref=global-home

  274. Photi says:

    fyi,

    from the Atlantic article you linked:

    “Iranian hard-liners argue that these factors will ultimately force the United States to accept Iran’s nuclear program, abandon its desire for regime change and recognize Iran’s regional clout. More pragmatic-minded officials acknowledge these factors are in Iran’s favor but caution that Iran is repeating its 1982 mistake, when it should have maximized its gains and sought an earlier end to the war with Iraq before the tide turned. Khamenei’s response is telling: unlike 1982, there is no good offer on the table for Iran to consider.”

    fyi, on the one hand i think i agree with the thesis of this article, that now is the time for true diplomacy, but i disagree with much of the language the authors use which essentially capitulates to the narrative of the “mad mullahs” the warmongers have been weaving.

    For instance, in the quote above, why is it a “hard-line” position for these simple expressions of Iranian sovereignty? Also, the above quote sounds to me like a false dichotomy.

    Iranian nationalism and pragmatic negotiation are not mutually exclusive.

  275. Rd. says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 11, 2012 at 7:31 am
    From http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND12Dj03.html

    “Currency wars
    By 2007, the sheer scale of US dollar liabilities to China led to the opening of a new front. I believe that at this point – in the same way that the US, as principal creditor, vetoed further British adventurism at Suez in 1956 – the Chinese called a halt to US adventurism by using an economic veto – ie mutually assured economic destruction. “

    So if this was indeed the case, then what was the relationship to the banking scandal? Did the bankers panic once realized there will be no more ‘fee’ money and scrambled to save their own grace? Hence creating a financial panic? And the ensuing results?

    Was there some old saying? Once you got your hands dirty, don’t try to pull up your pants in a hurry, you will leave marks all over!!

  276. BiBiJon says:

    Does one get to get to deem which United Nations Security Council resolutions are valid/invalid?
    ====================================================================

    P.S.

    An interesting thought:

    The UNSC resolutions’ fallacious legal premise must have been obvious to the West. It appears that once again the West was looking for a pretext, no matter how tiny a fig leaf, to go ahead with unilateral economic war against an adversary.

    On top of the Iraq/UNSC fiasco, it really takes some blinding bias to blame Iran, and not the West for the diminishing stature of the UNSC.

  277. BiBiJon says:

    fyi,

    glad you noticed this article too. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND12Dj03.html

    A found it a refreshing ‘cut through the crap’ exposé of the OIL motive to all the shenanigans.

    The discussion on how self-penalizing both the oil and financial sanctions against Iran are is well worth read.

  278. fyi says:

    Cyrus_2 says: April 10, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    The EU states will have to re-configure those refineries that process Iranian crude.

    It probably will take 6 months.

    So, they have an incentive to settle with Iran now to avoid that contingency.

    We shall see; a lot is at stake this weekend.

  279. BiBiJon says:

    Does one get to get to deem which United Nations Security Council resolutions are valid/invalid?
    ========================================================================

    Nation states do, individuals can offer baseless opinions, and some individuals can offer opinions based on chapter and verse of what is foundational to and constitutes international law.

    Nation states get to ignore UNSC resolutions, among whom, Israel holds the record. Nothing unprecedented about that.

    However, the fact of the matter, whether or not one deigns to consider them before spouting profundities about “international law,” is that the resolutions against Iran cite neither article 39, nor article 40, making the resolution’s references to article 41 a total nonsense. Add to that the fact that UNSC has no authority to enforce IAEA safeguards agreements in the first place, then the resolution is an exercise in fatuity.

  280. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio,
    April 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for the link –

    “From the mouths of babes…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=axS-QdUkMqk

    What a smart little girl!

    (But then, she IS female. Eat your hearts out, yous guys; you can wash it down with a beer.)

  281. Photi says:

    Rehmat says:
    April 11, 2012 at 9:26 am
    “Photi – The problem in the Muslim East is the European Zionist Jewish occupation – as German Nobel Laureate Grass said in his peom last week.”

    Likewise, the problem in the American West is our uncritical support for the Zionist occupation. Israel needs to learn to stand on its own and that means negotiating (ie, not ‘demanding’) with its neighbors, and for our own sake (America’s) it also means for America to block the Israelis from any further infiltration into American politics. Our uncritical support for Israel threatens our own earned-in-blood liberal democracy, Americans have a duty to stop the Israeli occupation for our own national security.

  282. Rehmat says:

    Photi – The problem in the Muslim East is the European Zionist Jewish occupation – as German Nobel Laureate Grass said in his peom last week.

  283. Rehmat says:

    Moscow: ‘Israel cannot defeat Iran’

    Russian Defense Ministry sources say that Israel does not have military assets to defeat Iran and further believe that US military action will be necessary.

    On December 16, 2011 – Former British Foreign Secretary David Owen, wrote in daily Mirror that US military defeat in Iraq has made Iran the most powerful country in the region.

    Russian deputy Russian prime minister Dmitry Rogozin who was former Russian ambassador to NATO – has warned both the US and Israel to keep their dirty hands off Iran and Syria.

    To back-up the warning, Russia is in the process of moving its forces along Iranian borders to protect its regional interests in case America decided to jump into war against Iran to save its Zionist masters from a worse military humiliation than the Jewish army received at the hands of Hizbullah fighters in Summer 2006.

    “Iran is our neighbor. If Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security,” says Dmitry Rogozin.

    Informed sources say that the Russians have warned of “unpredictable consequences” in the event Iran is attacked, with some Russians saying that the Russian military will take part in the possible war because it would threaten its vital interests in the region.

    The influential Russian Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper has quoted a Russian military source as saying that the situation forming around Syria and Iran “causes Russia to expedite the course of improvement of its military groups in the South Caucasus, the Caspian, Mediterranean and Black Sea regions.”

    Russian sources say that the Russian military believes that if the U.S. goes to war with Iran, it may deploy forces into Georgia and warships in the Caspian Sea with the possible help of Azerbaijan, which since has stated that it will not allow its territory to be used by Israel to launch an attack on neighboring Iran

    There had been speculation that given the improved relations between Israel and Azerbaijan, the Zionist entity may use bases from which to launch air attacks on neighboring Iran’s nuclear sites. Israel recently agreed to sell Azerbaijan $1.6 billion in military equipment.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/moscow-israel-cannot-defeat-iran/

  284. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    No, you are wrong.

    There is no such virtual certainity.

    The game of war is over.

  285. Photi says:

    The least hostile action the international community can take towards Israel, one which would likely preserve Israel and Jewish sovereignty in the centuries ahead, is to encourage Israel to become a liberal democracy. A “liberal democracy” means equal citizenship for all.

    No exceptions to occupiers.

  286. Sassan says:

    BiBiJon: It is great that you get to deem which United Nations Security Council resolutions are valid/invalid. You don’t get to decide that, the United Nations and the international community does and subsequently has.

  287. Photi says:

    *correction: the following sentence from my previous comment “Is there any *serious* doubt by any world leaders the problem is the Occupation?”

    is less vague worded this way : “Is there any *serious* consideration by any world leaders the problem in the Middle East is other than the Occupation? “

  288. Photi says:

    Castellio says:
    April 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Castellio, in the absence of the bullying of sovereign nations and other diplomatic cover the US provides to Israel at the UN, would the World’s leaders have a difficult time determining exactly what the problem is in the Middle East? Is there any *serious* doubt by any world leaders the problem is the Occupation?

    You wrote:

    “That is what the majority of Americans believe, if and when they think about it at all. Politicians from both parties gain from being “hard on Iran” because that is what the majority of Americans think is needed, for the reasons above.”

    Obviously America only represents about 5% of world public opinion. That said, it has been my experience that in America, support for Israel is maintained by the false belief that Israel is a liberal democracy. Anyone who is not ideologically or economically motivated and who puts in the effort to learn about the conflict inevitably comes to the conclusion that Israel is the aggressor.

    “There is a thin crack widening in the foundation, but that building remains standing.”

    If i remember correctly, several months back, you (Castellio) were involved in a discussion wherein you quoted another who had said America’s support for Israel is wide and shallow. If it is true America’s support for Israel is wide and shallow (and in my opinion maintained by the false belief Israel is a liberal democracy), then at best the support for Israel is a veneer and could hardly be described as a “building”. A “crack” will ruin the whole damn thing.

  289. Fiorangela says:

    BiBiJon @ 5:16 AM –

    re the Bloomberg editorial, “closest thing to sensible in MSM.”

    Leave the editorial.
    Take the comment by Quinterius:

    “In conclusion, it is certainly a pity that years of phony accusations, belligerence, billions of expenditures of weapons and troop movement and conspiratorial plots by the US against Iran have all amounted to absolutely nothing. The choice now for the US is to settle for what it could have gotten at no cost years ago. Amazing!”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-10/iran-talks-must-yield-a-deal-even-reagan-could-accept.html

  290. BiBiJon says:

    “obey by international law?”
    ===========================

    Chapter vii of the UN charter:

    Article 39

    The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security.

    Article 40

    In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned. The Security Council shall duly take account of failure to comply with such provisional measures.

    Article 41

    The Security Council may decide what measures not involving the use of armed force are to be employed to give effect to its decisions, and it may call upon the Members of the United Nations to apply such measures. These may include complete or partial interruption of economic relations and of rail, sea, air, postal, telegraphic, radio, and other means of communication, and the severance of diplomatic relations.
    From ,http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter7.shtml

    Note the reference to article 41 in article 39. Sanctions imposed by UNSC are meant exclusively as remedy to first finding a “threat to peace and security” under article 39.

    ———————

    Here is the text of UNSC resolution 1737 (2006):

    “Unanimously adopting resolution 1737 (2006) under Article 41 of the Charter’s Chapter VII, the Council decided that Iran should, without further delay, suspend the following proliferation sensitive nuclear activities: all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development; and work on all heavy-water related projects, including the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water. The halt to those activities would be verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).”
    From ,http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/sc8928.doc.htm

    Note the absence of reference to article 39. Another words UNSC has NOT determined a threat to peace and security, making its adoption of the resolution pursuant to article 41, a total nonsense.

    From ,http://brillwebsite.com/writings/Irannuclear.html

    “In early 2006, the International Atomic Energy Agency referred Iran’s nuclear file to the UN Security Council, which has since ordered Iran to comply with numerous IAEA requests. Though nearly all commentators overlook this, the Security Council has no authority to enforce Iran’s Safeguards Agreement. Although the Security Council has also imposed harsh sanctions on Iran, the UN Charter authorizes punishment only if the Security Council determines that a threat to the peace exists, which it has never done.”

  291. M. Ali says:

    Bibijon, I read the link you provided, but it still has certain lines that are bullshit, such as,

    “Were it not for the ramped-up sanctions, Iran would probably not have agreed to discuss its nuclear program this weekend at all. ”

    When has Iran ever refused to discuss its nuclear program? They were always open to meetings. But the west likes to pretend that sanctions have changed Iran’s attitude.

  292. Rehmat says:

    Sassan,

    In regards to world conflict with Zionist regime, this regime has only one option to end its deligitimization, Zionazifascism and the nuclear program – is to obey by 72 international laws as deemed by the sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council which calls for Israel as a prerequisite to be accepted as a civilized society in the world.

  293. Rehmat says:

    Lobby: JEWBAGS slur for fun; is Okey!

    As long as the caller is a Jewish person, whose family contributes to buy American politicians for Israel.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/lobby-jewbags-slur-for-fun-is-okey/

  294. Karl says:

    Sassan,

    “In regards to the conflict with this regime, this regime has only one option to end the hostilities regarding its nuclear program and that is to obey by international law as deemed by the sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council which calls for Iran as a prerequisite to stop uranium enrichment. Anything short of that is continuing the violation of international law as deemed by the United Nations and the international community. If other countries are willing to allow Iran to enrich at 5%, the regime should understand that in itself is a gracious incentive for peace given by the west.”

    No politically motivated sanctions have no legal basis whatsoever.
    Its interesting that you support collective punishment and sanctions let alone support this escalation for war. I bet your extremists idea have much support on the streets of Iran…

  295. Karl says:

    Sassan,

    Maybe you should actually read the links instead of spreading hate and lies.
    The presstv link didnt say anything more than the link you provided.

    If you are going to make an argument, get it right!

  296. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/ND12Dj03.html

    “I believe that energy security is a red line issue for China as much as for the US, and China was prepared to pull the plug on the US economy unless they pulled out of Iraq, and refrain from attacking Iran.

    We have entered into a new era of policy and diplomacy as a result: an era of currency wars.”

  297. Sassan says:

    In regards to the conflict with this regime, this regime has only one option to end the hostilities regarding its nuclear program and that is to obey by international law as deemed by the sanctions passed by the U.N. Security Council which calls for Iran as a prerequisite to stop uranium enrichment. Anything short of that is continuing the violation of international law as deemed by the United Nations and the international community. If other countries are willing to allow Iran to enrich at 5%, the regime should understand that in itself is a gracious incentive for peace given by the west.

    And Karl, that is what happens when you rely on the terrorist regime’s mouthpiece “PressTV” for your news.

    Read this article (Exiled son of shah of Iran calls on Israel to aid opposition, not bomb nuclear program sites) to understand accurately what Reza Pahlavi said and has called for..: http://www.rezapahlavi.org/details_article.php?english&article=590

    Do you see how PressTV blatantly LIES by comparing the PressTV nonsense in comparison to what Mr. Pahlavi actually stated? Quite comical.

    ‘ The exiled son of the toppled shah of Iran called on Israel not to bomb his home country, but rather to help the opposition to the ruling system, in an interview aired Monday on Israeli television.

    Prince Reza Pahlavi told Israel’s Channel 10 TV from his home in Washington that bombing Iran would play into the hands of the regime. Instead, he appealed for help saying the Jewish state should put its “technological, financial and other resources at our disposal.”

    “The best thing you can do for the regime is to tell that, ‘We are going to attack you,’ or in fact attack you,” he said. “You will be giving Khamenei and all his clique, when they have no answers anymore to the country’s ills, the greatest gift of all by doing that. That is just crazy. That just doesn’t make sense.”

    Pahlavi called the current Iranian regime “fanatic,” but said real Iranians would appreciate Israeli assistance rather than a strike against the nuclear sites, which he said could lead to all-out war in the region.

    “Who in this planet doesn’t know that there is a military option, but are there other options?” he said. “The best option is to utilize the best army in the world in place ready to strike, which is the Iranian people themselves. And if you don’t help that, God help us all.” ‘

  298. BiBiJon says:

    Bloomberg editorial is the nearest thing to sensible I’ve read in MSM.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-10/iran-talks-must-yield-a-deal-even-reagan-could-accept.html

    Do read Quinterius’ comment on that editorial too.

  299. Karl says:

    Son of deposed begs Israel to help Iranian opposition
    http://presstv.com/detail/235576.html

  300. Karl says:

    Israel holds secret talks on involvement in Mideast nuclear disarmament conference
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-holds-secret-talks-on-involvement-in-mideast-nuclear-disarmament-conference-1.423642

    So the only state that actually have nuclear weapons in the middle east doesnt have to come to a conference that has the intention to dismantle nuclear weapons in the middle east? Obviously fools run this world.

  301. Karl says:

    James,

    “Are you asking whether I think Iran should heed the wishes of Russia, China, Japan, India and other important countries, regarding ending enrichment to 20%?”

    I dont know why you bring up the argument, so why are you doing it?

  302. Sassan says:

    A concerned world citizen:

    It seems if in your peanut sized brain that constitues your thought processes you can not hold two converging thought processes together and somehow believe them to be contradictions.

    In addition, your ad hominems are quite useless and demonstrates your lack of brain processing.

    This is a terrorist regime that has threatened to wipe out Israel. This is a regime that is guided with the notion that all the actions they are undertaking is for the “return of the hidden imam” in which 2/3rd of humanity must perish. Again, I am against Israel striking Iran as I believe that this is exactly what the Islamic Republic regime hopes to happen. Any strike must be led by the United States and its western European allies and its target must not solely be the nuclear sites but must target the regime itself including all of its apparatus.

    And you can call me whatever terms as you wish but it doesn’t make me “Israeli” or “Jewish” other than those with peanut sized brains as yourself. Again, I am an apostate, someone who was “technically” born Muslim but does not subscribe to the murderous ideology which constitutes Islam.

    I suggest you watch this beautiful documentary entitled “From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad” which was put together by Maziar Bahari for the BBC. I personally included the English subtitles so that everyone could enjoy this groundbreaking documentary. Enjoy here..: http://youtu.be/OqP_EdSREo8

  303. A concerned world citizen says:

    But, I DO understand Israel’s conern with Iran developing nuclear weapons and would blame any strike from Israel on the belligerence of the Islamic Republic.

    Hello Sassan(Avi or Yossi???), See, I said it. On one hand you’re against a strike on Iran and on their other you said you’ll fully support an Israeli strike on Iran and that Iran will be to blame.NO??? How you manage to fit these two notions in the same context is just breathtaking – but this is Sassan(Avi or Yossi) being Sassan(Avi or Yossi). The resident Hasbarite.

    So let me see if I get this. If Israel somehow manages to fulfil their death-wish of striking Iran’s nuclear sites, it would be Iran’s fault and they deserved it? Let me ask you Sassan(Avi or Yossi??), is it an Israeli thing to always blame the victim and play victim at the same time? The logic you’ve displayed here is exactly what the IDF does when they murder Palestinians. They always blame them for their deaths and even worse, label them “terrorists”. Of course the dead can’t speak to defend themselves so …there you go.

    You know, I would’ve actually taken you serious if you where convincing anybody here with your version of Hasbara but you’re not. Nobody takes you seriously. Like I said earlier in my post, people who come here are matured and intelligent enough to tell BS trolls from intellectual debate – of which they don’t teach you in Hasbara class. Hasbara depends on the notion that people are stupid and will believe anything.I think you got the wrong crowd. Go to Yahoo forum where you can meet your kind.

    Sassan(Avi or Yossi), don’t take this personal but do you suffer from bipolar? You’re always contradicting yourself.

  304. Sassan says:

    Ignoramus (AKA A concerned world citizen):

    I never stated that I like Rafsanjani. I simply stated that his comments were interesting and extraordinary spoken from an individual within the Islamic Republic.

    Additionally, I have never stated that I wanted or would support an Israel strike against Iran. In fact, I believe this is what the Islamic Republic leadership would want. Any military intervention needs to be led by the west, namely the United States and western Europe. But, I DO understand Israel’s conern with Iran developing nuclear weapons and would blame any strike from Israel on the belligerence of the Islamic Republic.

  305. Humanist says:

    I think the issue discussed here by Leveretts has great importance. The recent defiant declaration of BRICS countries is just the start of a process that is going to stay on top of the list major political propositions.

    I lack the basic knowledge to address this complex topic. However in the following I share just a few of my thoughts relevant to the article:

    —-

    In a low-circulated Technology Magazine I read Chinese GPS system in now up and running. The world community will be able to use CGPS by early 2013.

    From militaristic perspective any modern fighting force can be debilitated without a functioning GPS. Thus it is understandable why Chinese had heavily investment in the technology of GPS to become self-reliant. After US, Russians were the first who built their own GPS. Europeans were next..Now the Chinese have joined the club. Experts doubt Indians will joint them soon.

    After gaining the ability to annihilate [spy] satellites, is this another major step for Chinese to elevate their militaristic power? What about the ongoing construction of their Aircraft Carrier? Or their suspected Space Defense systems?

    In my amateurish view these steps are like building different types of their ancient “Great Wall”. I can not imagine they are for any sort of offensive strategy. In the eyes of Chinese (and many others), numerous events in the last 70 years have proven American ruling establishment, possess formidable will to fulfil its hegemonic dreams. They would settle for nothing but incontestable superiority and total victory in wars. In wars nothing for them is off the table….anything goes.

    Long ago I read someplace in the Western media that the cadets in the Westpoint are taught something like: “The goal is to win the war at hand, thus every possible means is neither illegal or immoral”. Hence the Chinese, like many others, never ignore the fact that for American Military Industrial Ccomplex, Firebombing enemy’s cities, Hiroshima style destructions, Iraqi style demolition of civilian infrastructure etc etc are all OK.

    In my view, in this age of the superiority of scientific arguments over archaic thoughts, these are tragic frightening facts, logically there is no need to be brutally formidable. We can all coexist in peace and divert all of the astronomical military funds towards the betterment of life all over the world.

    In our times one has to be mentally retarded not to realize the hubris, stupidity and brutality of colonial and imperial entities from the ways they are trying to impose their will on others.

    Is the bloody destructive efforts of building the empires an inherent part of our humanity? I strongly doubt the validity of that idea. We are not baboons. If we dream of visiting the moon we have the cognitive power to make that happen. If we dream of living in a civilized peaceful world we can achieve that goal. We have awesome mental powers….trouble is we are not using it, we are only using the animalistic part of our brain…. the chimp brain.

    Hopefully this can not last for long. The age of darkness is bound to come to an end…..else as Chomsky warns our survival is in serious danger.

  306. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, I’m repeating myself, but you may not have noticed this earlier. From the mouths of babes…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=axS-QdUkMqk

  307. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio says: April 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    “Photi, . . .You say “The whole effing world knows the Israelis are the belligerent ones”.
    But the people of the US, by and large, haven’t a clue that’s true. They believe, as they are told by their media, their politicians and their educational establishments, that Israel is small and persecuted, that Palestinians are terrorists who refuse to accept the Jewish presence, and that Iran is on the verge of initiating a second holocaust using its nuclear weapons.”

    If only Americans, Palestinians, Arabs, Iranians would come to their senses and acknowledge the advantages of submitting to their obvious superiors

    ” THE JEWISH MINORITY PEOPLE ARE DENIED EVEN ONE SMALL COUNTRY
    Isn’t 23 Arab countries with some 13,500,0000 Sq Km of land enough,
    while the country of Isreal [sic] only has about 21,000 Sq KM?
    It’s nothing short of amazing, that those who espouse hate and incitement, slander and libel, against the well-educated and progressive Jewish minority people, are dooming themselves as well as the entire world, to a very dismal and miserable future, not experienced by the world since the Dark Ages, by supporting those fascistic regimes like Iran, which plan to FORCE Strict Islamic Law onto every nation, and onto ALL people and their progeny.”

  308. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    k_w says:
    April 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    Your point is well taken. Like any other source, Wikipedia should be viewed with skepticism and the original source of any claims made on it must be examined.

  309. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    A concerned world citizen says:
    April 10, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Good points. It is clear that the US wants to continue sanctions for a variety of reasons. The whole idea is to make demands that Iran cannot accept (for example the absurd demand that Iran must spend money dismantling a facility vital to its national interests) and thus to continue to “tighten” sanctions in order to force Iran to capitulate to Western domination. Of course, the problem the US/West has is that in addition to being arrogant it has consistently underestimated Iran and its ability to deal with such sanctions. In fact, the current round of sanctions, US claims to the contrary, has had only a minor effect on economic growth in Iran. Non oil Exports are still growing, and manufacturing is continuing to increase as well.

  310. k_w says:

    @ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    Have a look at this one:

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/139189#.T4S-7NlAN8F

  311. James Canning says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    Why should Iran stop enriching to 20%? You are of course aware Iran offered last year to stop enriching to 20%, and that Mohammad Javad Larijani, with approval of Khamenei, twice last month suggested Iran would end enrichment to 20% if TRR fuel was sold to Iran by the West.

    If Iran continues to enrich to 20%, I think it is a virtual certainty that Iran’s navy will be sunk, its air force destroyed, etc etc.

  312. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you asking whether I think Iran should heed the wishes of Russia, China, Japan, India and other important countries, regarding ending enrichment to 20%?

  313. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    When Iran offered last year to stop enriching to 20%, did we hear anything from Netanyahu calling for Iran to receive fuel for the TRR is that happened. Don’t think so.

    Some polls show a majority of Israelis support Middle East free of nukes, even though that means Israel gets rid of its nukes.

  314. Dan Cooper says:

    Video – Posted April 10, 2012

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31041.htm

    If Iran Had Nuclear Weapons Most Arab People Would Feel Safer

    By Noam Chomsky

    The Arab dictators may be in America’s pocket but, says Noam Chomsky, polls show repeatedly that it is the United States and Israel that are viewed as the greatest threat to the vast majority of the Arab populations. This is why when asked they say they would feel safer if Iran did have nuclear weapons.

  315. Cyrus_2 says:

    Thanks for the link Karl.

    This
    “Iran says cut oil supply to Spain, may halt flow to Germany, Italy”
    combined with
    “Eurozone crisis is back and here to stay”
    really made my day.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/apr/10/eurozone-crisis-back-ecb

    Regarding Spain, this was excellent timing from Iran’s part, if you ask me.
    Now it’s time to pull the oil plug from Italy as well.
    Oh well, they can always ask Saudi-Arabia to please pump a little bit more of oil :-)

  316. Castellio says:

    Photi, aren’t you an American? You say “The whole effing world knows the Israelis are the belligerent ones”. But the people of the US, by and large, haven’t a clue that’s true. They believe, as they are told by their media, their politicians and their educational establishments, that Israel is small and persecuted, that Palestinians are terrorists who refuse to accept the Jewish presence, and that Iran is on the verge of initiating a second holocaust using its nuclear weapons.

    That is what the majority of Americans believe, if and when they think about it at all. Politicians from both parties gain from being “hard on Iran” because that is what the majority of Americans think is needed, for the reasons above.

    There is a thin crack widening in the foundation, but that building remains standing.

  317. BiBiJon says:

    Empty says:
    April 10, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    “It’s always fun to watch these initiation ceremonies the newcomers go through. One doesn’t have the heart to tell them early on. They’ll realize soon enough.”

    I wonder if Richard’s unbridled love extends to new comers?

  318. Photi says:

    Look at Netanyahu, acting too big for his britches. Does he not realize how small he is? Those who rely on deceit to achieve their ends will be the losers in the Information Age. With Netanyahu boasting statements like the following, the rational conclusion in a rational world would be to put Israel’s nuclear program on the table. A nuclear-weapons-free Middle East has been Iran’s desire for some time now, what is Israel’s position on that? The whole effing world knows the Israelis are the belligerent ones, but no one in power in America has the balls to say so, and so the rest of the Western world acts like nothing is going on. Why are we supposed to play the fools? I say no more exceptions for the two-bit occupiers.

    “Netanyahu laid out demands Sunday in Jerusalem: “One, stop all enrichment of uranium, both 20% and 3%. Two, move all enriched material out of Iran’s territory; it is possible to give them alternative material for peaceful purposes. Three, dismantle the illegal facility in Qom.”"

    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/04/09/world/meast/iran-nuclear-talks/?hpt=wo_bn11

  319. Karl says:

    James,

    “Russia, China, Japan, India, and other very important countries apparently want Iran to stop enriching to 20%.”
    -
    You keep saying this over and over again? Whats your argument?

  320. Empty says:

    It’s always fun to watch these initiation ceremonies the newcomers go through. One doesn’t have the heart to tell them early on. They’ll realize soon enough.

  321. A concerned world citizen says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    Russia, China, Japan, India, and other very important countries apparently want Iran to stop enriching to 20%.

    I find this statement very telling..One expects this statement from someone with a colonial mindset. How do you classify some countries as “very important”.Isn’t every country important in their own right? Just because Japan, China and the “other important” countries you’ve mentioned don’t like something doesn’t mean they’re right.If anything, how many countries are there in the world and how many are these “very important” countries?

    What if tomorrow these “important countries” demand Iran commit suicide because their sick of Iran being there. I hope they’ll also do exactly as Iran demands on them..Oh wait,I forgot, Iran’s not part of the “very important” countries.

  322. A concerned world citizen says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    Germany would do the planet a service if it insisted that Iran be allowed to buy TRR fuel from the West, if Iran stops enriching to 20 percent.

    James, nice to meet you..You make a very good point but what you’re suggesting will only be possible if the world was flat.Iran has very little to no reason at all to trust the West when it comes to their nuclear program.They’ve been screwed over many times before by these same actors to be trusted again.

    Germany, who’re in charge of building Iran Busher reactor, dropped Iran like a hot brick when it suited them and packed up and left the Iranians to their own fate. Iran also has issues with France regarding this same issue. The reason the nuclear program cannot be resolved is because the West have proven themselves to be duplicitous and untrustworthy over the years for Iran to hand anything to them. This was their own doing. Back then, they chose short term gains over long term strategic diplomacy and screwed Iran over – thinking that was the end. If you understand Iranians/culture very well, you’ll know they never forget.

    Anyway, why should Iran even stop 20% enrichment and instead buy it when it can produce the damn thing themselves? Isn’t Iran a sovereign country? Does Britain/US etc need permission on how much it can enrich uranium from say, China,Russia or India for that matter? Why is it “OK” for these countries to enrich but not Iran? Could you please explain this to me? Who determines who’s evil and therefore cannot be trusted with nuclear technology and who’s not?

  323. James Canning says:

    Sanctions against Burma (Myanmar) are being dropped, and this will continue if the government continues its current course.

  324. James Canning says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    Russia, China, Japan, India, and other very important countries apparently want Iran to stop enriching to 20%.

  325. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I thought it very interesting to read in The New York Times today that Iran has only 100 kg of 20% U. A number of reports in February said Iran would have 120 kgby the end of that month. Maybe production has been slowed? I don’t know. Wall Street Journal reported in February that Iran had enough 20% U to fuel the TRR for at least ten years.

  326. James Canning says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    Why did Obama ignore Iran’s offer last September to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent? This is a question German leaders should discuss.

  327. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    George Friedman should have mentioned that Britain wanted Persia to remain a buffer between the Indian Empire and the Russian Empire. Persia would have done better in its wars with Russia if it had followed advice from military advisers (from Britain) who said resort to guerilla war was only option because confronting Russian army in the field in formal battle stance meant certain defeat.

  328. James Canning says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    Germany would do the planet a service if it insisted that Iran be allowed to buy TRR fuel from the West, if Iran stops enriching to 20 percent.

  329. A concerned world citizen says:

    Germany backs Iran’s nuclear Rights:

    http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/64573-germany-backs-irans-nuclear-rights

    How this could play out in the coming P5+1 talks?

    They’ve been saying that for year and yet they always go along with sanctions..One has to see these statements as a “feel good” statement to paint themselves in a good light.Purely for domestic audience..Do you expect this guy to say he supports war against Iran to his German constituents?
    You realize this statement being made after Iran threatens to cut oil supplies to Germany??

    In the world of international politics, actions speak louder than words.Take this statement as just a passing and move on..Germany could back their words by pushing for the lifting of sanctions.

  330. Rd. says:

    Speaking of the over priced western powers, they can’t even get their old battered worn out equipment out of Afghanistan without getting on their knees. this commentary by the ambassador might be fitting;

    Tashkent demands place in the sun

    Honor comes in. The Uzbeks expect British Prime Minister David Cameron to visit Tashkent to sign the formal accord on transit facility. Besides, they’d hope Cameron to invite Uzbek President Islam Karimov to visit Britain – not a ‘working visit’ but a full-fledged state visit with bugles sounding on the ramparts of the Buckingham Palace and the lords of the manors and the ladies-in-waiting lining up in full attendance.
     
    But that may pose a protocol problem for Queen Elizabeth II. She is the head of the British Armed Forces and their commander-in-chief. And she has still not received an explanation from the Khan of Bukhara Nasrullah Khan or his illustrious descendants as to whereabouts of the two valiant officers of the imperial army Colonel Charles Stoddart who set out from Britain’s East India Company outpost of Calcutta to Bukhara in reconnaissance missions related to the great game and Captain Arthur Conolly (who went in search of Stoddart) who simply disappeared in that ancient city circa June 1842.

    http://indrus.in/articles/2012/04/09/tashkent_demands_place_in_the_sun_15401.html

  331. kooshy says:

    Sounds like George has finally opened Iran’s geography and history books to write this new analysis

    April 10, 2012

    Iran Exploits American Paralysis in the Mideast
    By George Friedman

    http://www.realclearworld.com/printpage/?url=http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2012/04/10/iran_exploiting_american_paralysis_in_mideast-full.html

    “For centuries, the dilemma facing Iran (and before it, Persia) has been guaranteeing national survival and autonomy in the face of stronger regional powers like Ottoman Turkey and the Russian Empire. Though always weaker than these larger empires, Iran survived for three reasons: geography, resources and diplomacy. Iran’s size and mountainous terrain made military forays into the country difficult and dangerous. Iran also was able to field sufficient force to deter attacks while permitting occasional assertions of power. At the same time, Tehran engaged in clever diplomatic efforts, playing threatening powers off against each other.

    The intrusion of European imperial powers into the region compounded Iran’s difficulties in the 19th century, along with the lodging of British power to Iran’s west in Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula following the end of World War I. This coincided with a transformation of the global economy to an oil-based system. Then as now, the region was a major source of global oil. Where the British once had interests in the region, the emergence of oil as the foundation of industrial and military power made these interests urgent. Following World War II, the Americans and the Soviets became the outside powers with the ability and desire to influence the region, but Tehran’s basic strategic reality persisted. Iran faced both regional and global threats that it had to deflect or align with. And because of oil, the global power could not lose interest while the regional powers did not have the option of losing interest.”

  332. fyi says:

    Humanist says: April 10, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    You misunderstand him and indeed the Europeans.

    What they mean is a coded message: Iran will have no nuclear enrichment, no Heavy Water Reactor (which does not need enriched fuel), no fuel fabrication facilities.

    Only light-water reactors supplied by Russia.

    And that is their final offer.

    Be not decieved by a man in a suit and tie.

  333. A concerned world citizen says:

    “Sassan says:
    April 10, 2012 at 2:32 am
    Quite interesting statements made by Rafsanjani:”

    Sassan, you’re a very funny person and would like to meet you in person for a beer.One moment you’re pro-Atheist and anti-Muslim and another moment, here you are cheering on the statement of a staunch Muslim who’s very much part of the very establishment you hate want Israel to bomb so all the majority non-practising Muslims in Iran that you have met and spoken to, can be saved.

    Rafsanjani is a shrewd politician..Read whatever he says in a totally different light.This guy could sell sand to the Saudi Sheiks in the middle of the desert if he could.If you think this statement from Rafsanjani means he’s taken off his Mullah turban and will soon be putting on a brand spanking new kippah, you’re very mistaken.

    Did I also mention he’s hardcore Muslim who’s lead many Friday prayers? Seems strange that you find his statements kosher… Who would’ve thought?

    You see, the problem with you hasbarites is that your lies always catch up with you. The next time you post anything here, make sure you go through all your previous posts so you don’t end up contradicting yourself.Ok, now report to base.

  334. Humanist says:

    Germany backs Iran’s nuclear Rights:

    http://www.davidicke.com/headlines/64573-germany-backs-irans-nuclear-rights

    How this could play out in the coming P5+1 talks?

  335. A concerned world citizen says:

    M. Ali, you make some very good point but I’m afraid we have to agree to disagree on certain issues..I remember in one interview an Iranian commander said they’ve studied US military capabilities based on their recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and have concluded that US military power is way overestimated. He said they found US military power constitutes about 60-70% psy-ops(aka a lot of deception,propaganda and media hype). But anyway, it doesn’t really matter. Lets just move on.

    In other news, Iran’s just cut oil supply to Spain and considering Germany and Italy next. I just keep wondering. For how long do European have to suffer economically in order to please Washington and Tel-Aviv? Did their leaders really think through their sanctions before initiating them? Did they miscalculate by hoping that they could somehow coerce China/India to back them up and follow suit? Why did they have to escalate things to this level when all the elements involved where too “volatile” to rely on? To whom did they have to prove themselves? Why should the average European have to pay heavily at the pump so that Israel can continue with their illegal occupation and settlement expansion? Has Europe lost her soul?

    I also find it very strange that in just about two decade, right-wing extremist leaders, whose allegiance is first and foremost to Washington than their own country, seem to be popping up all over Europe. What’s the “maths” behind this?

  336. kooshy says:

    M. Ali says:
    April 10, 2012 at 8:18 am

    In my opinion you are correct to say Lebanon incurred a lot more loss of life and martial than Israel did, but on the other hand in a month Israel lost a lot of her strategic dominance which will take many years to rebuild if ever. For Israel going to war was to reestablish her strategic dominance over Lebanon, it wasn’t for destroying bridges and killing innocent people or was it?

    For the same reason US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was to expand her dominance in the region especially over Iran did she achieve her goals? Looking at the current results by all means I say no she didn’t, if so was US actions enhanced her strategic dominance of the region or is it actually reduced, that is the whole reason the US military is unwilling to start a new war with Iran regardless of what the elites and profiteers want, in reality US’s unwise actions has enhanced Iran’s position unlike anything she has experienced in last three centuries.

    Iran and the Iranians will owe a lot to the heroic generation of Iranians (with exclusion of Samson’s cab driver) who fought in Iran Iraq war they established a new strong Iran that no one would dare to mess with. The lesson learned from all this wars is that one can’t establish strategic dominance based on superior air power. If one wants to have “real” estate one needs to own it, you wouldn’t own it if you are renting.

  337. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    These kinds of statements from EU diplomats are not reliable.

    For one thing, EU states are very very dependent on American Intelligence (and not just in case of Iran).

    Secondly, IAEA is the only place with accurate data – what do they say?

    Do you know?

  338. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says: April 10, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Dresden was not a “fluke”

    from The Fire, The Bombing of Germany 1940-1945, by Jörg Friedrich

    QUOTE
    ” Before fire raids, never in the history of war had the development of a weapon been guided totally by scientists, and in a sense, the air war was itself the research and development of the weapon. Without such a comprehensive extermination strategy, the fire weapons would have never had a chance to be tested, adjusted, and refined. Through trial and error, the weapon groped its way toward perfection; by the time technology and capability fully meshed, the war ended.” [p. 15]
    END QUOTE

    = = = = =
    The bombers may have been British but the weaponry, the tactic, was “Anglo-American,” with significant developmental assistance from (among others)German-schooled Jewish architects Erich Mendelsohn and Konrad Wachsman:

    QUOTE
    “During World War II, the Allied armed forces began developing methods to test new weapon systems in situations close to reality. The low effectiveness of conventional air raids led the US Army to intensify the testing of incendiary bombs. At first, already existing farm buildings on army sites were used for the tests, but the resulting data proved unreliable because the way in which the bombed structures burned was not comparable to the burning patterns of actual targets. In order to gain useful data from the tests, the military started to build its own test structures, and in the spring of 1943, began erecting detailed reproductions of typical German and Japanese housing forms at a Utah site called the Dugway Proving Ground.

    The development and construction of this building complex, the so-called German-Japanese Village, produced an architecture that represents an inversion of the original buildings’ function: transforming them from environments intended for dwelling to test objects of destruction. From the arrangement and spatial plans of the buildings to their furnishings, the design plan of the German-Japanese Village follows a logic that results from the objectives and requirements of the incendiary bombing tests—it is a realistic simulation, yet it creates its own building type within a particularized set of military parameters.

    . . .The emigré Jewish architects Erich Mendelsohn and Konrad Wachsmann consulted on the planning of the German Village—Mendelsohn, well known for his buildings in Berlin, . . . emigrated [in 1933] first to London, later to Israel and, in 1941, to the United States; Wachsmann fled to France and reached the US shortly before the occupation with the help of Albert Einstein, where he joined Walter Gropius to work on the development of prefabrication systems. Several unnamed architects affiliated with the “Gropius Group” at Harvard also participated in the research studies on typical German city structures and building constructions that accompanied the planning of the German Village.”
    END QUOTE
    from Burning Down the House, :http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/12/an_architektur.php

    Nor was the firebombing tactic confined to the destruction of Dresden. One hundred fifty — nearly three-quarters of Germany’s cities, towns, and villages and as many as 600,000 of the civilian children, women, and men who inhabited them were incinerated. Ancient cultural monuments were obliterated; Ernst Junger mourned:

    “The link back to the Middle Ages has now also broken off. . . .Never before had all the cities been destroyed at the same time. When that happened between 1940 and 1945, a bridge to a landscape collapsed, and that landscape no longer exists.” (Friedrich, p 153)

    Mendelsohn’s expertise was particularly helpful in the destruction of Berlin.

    QUOTE
    “[During a bombing campaign of over nine months] Berlin would not burn, even if three-quarters of the damages there were due to fire. Much to Churchill’s and Harris’s dismay, they could not make the city into Hitler’s funeral pyre. ‘There was a good deal of consternation in the RAF as to the reason that Berlin didn’t burn as well as other German cities,’ wrote U.S. fire protection engineer James K. McElroy, who was working with the RAF. ‘The real reason . . .in my opinion, was the fact that the city was honeycombed with parapeted firewalls.’ It lacked the inner-city structure that existed in medieval fortification walls. Even the tenements had a resistant, stable courtyard structure.” (Friedrich, p 99)
    END QUOTE

    QUOTE
    “Mendelsohn [and] Wachsmann . . . developed the planning concept—Mendelsohn provided a survey of typical constructional organization of German industrial and residential buildings, as well as information on construction details; Wachsmann gave advice on the choice of wood for the German Village and confirmed Mendelsohn’s data . . .

    More important than the simulation of specific German or Japanese dwelling forms was the faithful reproduction of construction methods and material characteristics, both of which obviously influence the way the buildings react to fire. . . . The two elements of the German Village were constructed as one solid stonework building with a ceiling of wooden beams, . . . with two different roof types—one corresponding to a slate-over-sheeting construction style found in the Ruhr Valley, the other featuring tiles, a method predominant in Berlin mietskasernen [tenement house].”

    END QUOTE
    from “Burning Down the House,” linked above

    = = = =

    In the furor over publication of Gunter Grass’s poem warning the world that nuclear Israel is a “threat to the peace of the world,” Israeli journalist Gideon Levy responded with the criticism, among others, that “Israel will never destroy Iran.” :http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israelis-can-be-angry-with-gunter-grass-but-they-must-listen-to-him-1.423194
    With that unsupported assertion in mind, consider some of the statements of Winston Churchill that Richard Overy quoted in his review of “The Fire,” (Literary Review, linked above). Overy wrote:
    ” . . . Churchill had authorised the bombing campaign from its puny beginnings in 1940 to the massive Combined Offensive launched with the American air forces in the last two years of war. His language was always intemperate and flowery – ‘extermination’, ‘annihilation’ and so on. Did he mean it? Did the British military machine set out deliberately in the Second World War on a path to the genocide of the German people?

    Carrying out the annihilatory rhetoric of Churchill, Germany was destroyed,

    Benjamin Netanyahu is an admirer of Churchill; he mentioned Churchill’s “courage” when he spoke to a U.S. Congressional panel on Sept. 12, 2002, and urged them to support George Bush in his plan to wage war on Iraq, to eradicate the “keystone” in the “international terror network,” Iran being a premier element in that “network.” Netanyahu’s words are not empty rhetoric, nor were they misconstrued; action was taken just as Netanyahu urged, and Iraq was destroyed.

    Lebanon was destroyed.
    Gaza was destroyed.
    Ferkan Dogan was destroyed.
    Five Iranian scientists have been destroyed.
    Thousands of Palestinian homes and lives have been destroyed.

    The destruction of these people and places were not “flukes.”

  339. James Canning says:

    The New York Times today reported that a European diplomat who follows the IAEA said in February that Iran had enough 20% U to fuel the TRR for twenty years. SAme story said Iran had 100 kg of 20% U.

  340. kooshy says:

    Commenting on

    Richard Steven Hack
    April 10, 2012 at 3:35 am

    Empty says:
    April 10, 2012 at 8:59 am

    ….Until then, F all of you.
    LOL….all at once or one at a time?

    I think we should expect to hear same end result coming from the American/Israeli side as the final result of this week’s negotiations with Iran, this time the F word will be leveled at the real international community, on the other hand if the health care program ever gets past the supreme court I hope it will cover anger management, for sake of not just America but the entire planet. At times like this a little bet of Hafez poetry could also help.

  341. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizen says: April 10, 2012 at 5:32 am

    The tactic of slughtering civilians pre-dates the existence of the United States.

    It has a long and successful history among the oriental potentates as well as European ones.

    Dresden was a fluke – and the bombers were British.

  342. fyi says:

    M. Ali says: April 10, 2012 at 4:05 am

    The Americans did not respond when their spy ship was captured by North Koreans and the crew kept for a couple of years.

    The Americans did not respond when their boat was attacked by Japanese in China – they did not wish for a war then.

    The so-called “Syrian Reactor” is a very murky item – a zero-output heavy water reactor using natural uranium could be put in the parking structure under a multi-story building.

    And Syria did not have heavy water or natural uranium.

    Could it have been an intelligence operation by the Syrians?

  343. fyi says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says: April 10, 2012 at 2:30 am

    Yes, in 2006, the Israelis escalated to the strategic nowhere and were defeated strategically.

    They taught (Shia) Arabs (at least in Lebanon) how to fight.

    I also think that they will fail against Jordanian Army.

  344. BiBiJon says:

    Amalek anyone?
    ============

    Jeffrey (kefalotyri)Goldberg,

    -who’d proudly reported Netanyahu’s attitude towards Iran is: “think Amalek,” i.e. ‘Now go and strike Amalek(Iranians) and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’
    ,http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2009/05/the-specter-of-amalek/201298/

    - and, ignoring countless Israeli commentators/politicians/academics including Benny Morris who in 2008 urged Washington, and Tehran to say their prayers:

    “ISRAEL will almost surely attack Iran’s nuclear sites in the next four to seven months — and the leaders in Washington and even Tehran should hope that the attack will be successful enough to cause at least a significant delay in the Iranian production schedule, if not complete destruction, of that country’s nuclear program. Because if the attack fails, the Middle East will almost certainly face a nuclear war — either through a subsequent pre-emptive Israeli nuclear strike or a nuclear exchange shortly after Iran gets the bomb.”
    ,http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/18/opinion/18morris.html?pagewanted=all

    is now of the cheesy opinion that:

    “Perhaps [Gunter Grass' poem] reads better in the German, or perhaps Grass is simply T.S. Eliot’s inferior in anti-Semitic poetry, but put aside the poem’s aesthetic shortcomings and consider the idea advanced in the first two lines: That Israel, which in reality is contemplating targeting six to eight nuclear sites in Iran for conventional aerial bombardment, in fact wants to annihilate the Iranian people in a “first strike.” ”
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-09/israel-iran-history-holocaust-perverted-in-grass-s-poem.html

    Serious competition Warning to Wisconsin: American journalism is no longer about wielding a pen, it is now all about churning goat milk.

  345. Empty says:

    ….Until then, fuck all of you.

    LOL….all at once or one at a time?

  346. fyi says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says: April 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    US will not attack Syria; the Americans have no political vision for the day-after-bombing-begins let alone for the day-after-bombing-ends.

    Turks will not attack: who will pay them for the cost of the war, not EU, which is broke – and certainly not US.

    Israelis will not attack, they are constrained at the time since Axis Powers have told them to lie low while they go about their Siege War against Iran.

    The game in Syria is up; it is finished.

  347. Rehmat says:

    M. Ali – but, but darling – when was the lost time you saw the map of the Middle East. Both Lebanon ard Israel are still shown the map – with 5,000-year-old Palestine “wiped off the map”.

    The lesson the Jewish army learned is still haunts it for the last six years. Zionist Jew Jeffrey Feltman, US under-secretary had confided to US ambassador in Lebanon, fellow Zionist Maura Connelly that THE JEWISH ARMY CANNOT DEFEAT HIZBULLAH.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/hizbullah-changed-the-me-in-2006/

  348. Rehmat says:

    On April 8, Kuwait’s Arabic daily, Aljarida, quoted General Majdi Abd Al-Ghaffar, the head of Egyptian National Security Apparatus saying that his forces have succeeded in foiling two spy cells ahead of the country’s presidential election – operating in Egypt and have arrested seven members of those cells who are being interrogated by security authorities……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/egypt-two-israel-spy-rings-busted/

  349. M. Ali says:

    Also, its important to lose ourselves in our wishful thinking. For example, Israel might not have reached their aims with Hizbollah in the last war, but its not like Israel was destroyed. So it is in the other examples you mentioned. I’m not as proud as you are to be the Vietnam example or the Afghanistan example.

    I still consider my country to be weak, if victory is to be considered as a war that leaves us retaining our land, but no real way to retaliate when faced with an attack. To me, the Iran I envision, is an Iran where no one dares make threats such as “all options are on the table”. The Iran I want is one if the US kidnaps an Iranian diplomat in Iraq, Iran will bring an army to rescue them, not make a complaint to the UN. I want an Iran that for every nuclear scientist killed by Israel, one nuclear station is destroyed with all its scientists and workers. The Iran I would call powerful is one that if the US “accidently” bombs a civilian aircraft, we’ll flatten New York, unless congress is on its knees, begging for forgiveness and providing the Lady Liberty as compensation.

    If you think Iran is powerful just because a country can come and bomb us to bits, and then leave, but we can’t really do much, then you set your standards low.

  350. M. Ali says:

    I think you are misunderstanding my point.I’m not saying that Syria won’t do anything now. I’m just saying that Syria isn’t as powerful as some of you make it out to be.

    I’m not sure why we always face this issue in debates. We always want to believe the things we want. I want Syria to be strong, I want Iran to be strong, but the fact is that they are not as weak as anti-Iranians claim them to be, but at the same token, not as strong as we would like them to be.

    If there is a NATO war on Syria, what could Assad do? As it is, he can’t really contain a civil war, and he isn’t that confident of his own ability to take the war outside his border. If syria was very powerful, you think he’d sit idly while a neighbouring country was used as a base for attackers? No, he’d move in their territory. But he knows how limited his strength is.

    An war on Syria would cripple him instantly. His army doesn’t even need to be directly killed for him to be weakned, just the prospect of Assad being the losing side, would mean many generals and soldiers would change sides, just to be on the winning side.

    Do you think Iran would get itself involved? Do you think Hezbollah would, when they aren’t even getting involved now?

  351. A concerned world citizen says:

    M. Ali, I think you make too much of Israel’s capabilities. Siting Israel’s strike against the “suspected” Syrian nuclear site and Syria’s lack or action/reaction thereof and using that as yardstick for what Syria may or may not do today doesn’t really hold water.

    You have to take into account the circumstances and the political climate around that time. During that time, Bush was in power and was looking for the slightest pretext to invade Syria after his stint in Iraq. Now, that Israeli strike wasn’t conducted in a vacuum. It was a collaborated effort with full Turkish-US knowledge, however much they like to deny it. They used Turkish airspace on their way in and out. Israel basically hid under Bushes(umbrella) threat to launch war on Syria to strike that “suspected” nuclear site knowing full well that Syria couldn’t retaliate given Bush/Chenny’s thirst to get any pretext to attack Syria. Even there’s doubt that site was in fact a nuclear site – unless you want to believe Washington-Tel Aviv’s script. Syria simply didn’t bite the bait. It would’ve been stupid for Syria to go to war because a building was bombed.

    Do you seriously think Israel can get away with such strike again inside Syria given the current political situation in the region? With all the Arab spring and their deteriorated relations with their onetime “allies”, Turkey?

    Now, on US ability to wage war. Lets not kid ourselves. The US will struggle against a well organized military force let alone win. US war doctrine is based on maximum slaughter of civilians to scare the masses into submission/capitulation.This tactics has it flaws but was used effectively against Germany in Dresden and also in Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia.It didn’t work so well in Vietnam because the people could resist. Any form of armed resistance to their troops forces them into defensive mode. Iraq is a clear example. The US army literally had to make deals with their supposed enemies when they couldn’t take the heat anymore. They ended up paying people not to fight their troops. In Afghanistan, it’s a similar situation. They pay off some faction of the Taliban no to attack their convoy and troops. If winning war was based on just bombing and destroying civilian infrastructure, there’ll be no need to use troops. Just hired a couple of demolition squad and you’re good to go.

    On Iran’s military, I won’t base my analysis on some fancy online ranking. If we’re to base our analysis on that online ranking, Israel reins supreme against Hezbollah, yet they managed to take a good spanking which has drilled some sense of reality into them. So can we rate Hezbollah higher than Israel in terms of military capability in that regard? Certainly not!!!

    Most of Iran’s army generals have tasted and smelled war and know what real war is. These guys cut their teeth in the bloody trenches on the frontlines against Saddam’s well armed(thanks to uncle Sam and her assorted poodles) army on the Iran-Iraq border. They were right on the frontlines using kerosene lanterns and pretty much nothing – unlike US generals who hide in their nice air-conditioned command centers, stationed miles away from the battle zone with their fancy flat screens. They’re barley scratched by bullets or shrapnel so have no idea what real war is. Pounding a country that can barely fight back isn’t considered war, it’s terrorism.

  352. M. Ali says:

    Exposing, I mean, if US does a solo attack like Israel’s solo attack on Iran. What would Iran do? Attack New York?

  353. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    M. Ali says:
    April 10, 2012 at 4:05 am

    Than I will have to disagree with you. Iran’s forces have been systematically prepared and armed to retaliate in the case of an attack by the US. Its development of sophisticated anti ship missiles, its huge bunker network, its acquisition and development of anti air defenses that can intercept cruise missiles/guided bombs, and its drones and MRBMs show this.

  354. hans says:

    @M. Ali says:
    April 10, 2012 at 2:57 am
    All these talk of war this and war that, made me want to google military strength by country, and came upon this

    Let me remind you the price of Silver is $31.5 nothing major will take place, Syria has huge support internally and it is not a cake walk like Libya, which was stabbed internally by it’s leadership and bribes. Maybe Iran now regrets supporting the bigots and rats of the NTC. As they say one bigot supports another, when war comes they same bigots will at Iran’s door. What goes around comes around.

  355. M. Ali says:

    If Syria was sufficiently strong, Israel would not have dared make such an attack. The fact that they knew Syria wouldn’t respond, is why they dared to do so. If someone attacks a country on purpose, one would want to respond in kind, unless they think they wouldnt be able to handle the war.

    I would say that if Israel does this on Iran, Iran might respond, but if America does it, I’ll bet Iran wouldn’t do anything. But if Bahrain or Qatar did it, Iran would respond.

  356. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:35 am

    You seem to have a serious problem with accepting views that disagree with your own.

  357. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    M. Ali says:
    April 10, 2012 at 2:57 am

    And this gives me a chance to show that the sources that are commonly found on the internet on military issues are often (unfortunately) not trustworthy. So looking at the Israeli entry it claims that the “total aircraft” number is 1,964. It does not provide a source for this. So let us look at Wikipedia.

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

    A quick look reveals that Israel does not have 1,964 total combat aircraft, and it also does not have 689 helicopters.

  358. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    M. Ali says:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:43 am

    Since Israel did not do any damage to important military or civilian assets in that case, Syria had no reason to respond. What I was talking about in my previous posts is an all out assault on Syria with the intent, sooner or later of destroying it as an indpendent state. In that case, Syria would indeed respond. And I am not making any assumptions about what Iran would or would not do in the particular case you cite. Of course, Israel would not have any reason to attack Iran in this manner anyway, so the point is largly irrelevant.

  359. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:26 am

    The fact you do not know what a TEL is and apparently do not remember your previous post indeed say a lot about your knowledge of this subject. And note it works both ways. You have not presented any evidence (which means, proof that can be independently verified, from reliable sources) that your arguments regarding Iran are accurate.

  360. M. Ali says:

    “With respect to Syria you are talking about two different situations. Obviously when Israel attacked an abandoned textile factory their was no rational reason to respond. ”

    What do you mean, no rational reason to respond? A foreign country attacking your country is reason enough!

    So, lets say, one day, Israel decides to bomb, I don’t know, some random abandoned factory in Iran for no reason. Should Iran just ignore it?

  361. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:35 am

    By the rational outcome of your argument. Once again, you are logic chopping. If Israel, as you claim, wants to defeat Hezbollah, it would have to attack and OCCUPY the Beqaa Valley. If it did not OCCUPY it, than Hezbollah would still be able to use the huge bunker complexes it has there to attack Israeli troops in Southern Lebanon. Just because you want to make a petty distinction between “attacking and occupying” does not mean this distinction exists in reality.

  362. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    M. Ali says:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:11 am

    With respect to Syria you are talking about two different situations. Obviously when Israel attacked an abandoned textile factory their was no rational reason to respond. And Iraq is also not an accurate parallel. In addition to its MRBMs Iran also has many drones, etc that can target US facilities. A more accurate parallel is Serbia in 1998 and Lebanon in 2006. In Serbia, despite NATO’s success in inflicting suffering on Serbia’s civilian population, it failed to destroy any significant part of Serbia’s military (This was confirmed by MSM reports at the time). Of course, Serbia is tiny in comparison to Iran. With respect to Afghanistan, the US has shown its weakness. It has not defeated the Taliban (a poorly armed, poorly organized militia) with all of its supposedly sophisticated firepower.

    Note that of course the US could inflict damage on Iranian civilian infrastructure, etc. However, it would not succeed in destroying, or even severly damaging Iran’s nuclear program, and it would not succeed in weakening Iran’s capability to inflict massive damage on US ships in the Persian Gulf and its ability to retaliate against US airbases or the Saudi oil industry. And in return the US would lose many airbases (and grounded aircraft) to those accurate MRBM’s I was referring to earlier. In fact most key US air bases across the Persian Gulf can be targeted by shorter ranged Iranian missiles. So Iran would of course suffer casualties, but the US would lose far more, both in terms of actual military assets, and more importantly by losing oil shipments from the Persian Gulf for an undetermined period.

  363. Richard Steven Hack says:

    All right, I’m done with this site yet again.

    When the bombs drop on Syria, I’ll be back. Until then, fuck all of you.

  364. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “You just said directly that Israel would only occupy SOUTHERN LEBANON and than you claim it would “attack” the Beqaa Valley which is in East Lebanon. Seriously, you seem unable to even look at a map before you issue your opinions.”

    And YOU CANNOT READ ENGLISH< YOU FUCKING IDIOT!

    Where does the word "OCCUPY" EQUAL THE WORD "ATTACK" IN ANY ENGLISH DICTIONARY?

    JESUS FUCKING CHRIST, ARE YOU BRAIN DEAD?

    You're fucking pig witless! You're too busy running your mouth to READ WHAT I WRITE.

    Fuck off.

  365. Richard Steven Hack says:

    This idiot keeps mis-stating my positions and then telling me I’m the bad guy here?

    He relies on his posting over and over again repeatedly just as he did with Sassan to beat down all argument without actually ever citing anything to support his assertions. He just claims, claims, claims without anything whatever to back it up.

    Fine. Whatever. I’m done discussing it.

    When Syria gets its ass kicked, we’ll see who was right. We won’t have long to wait because Syria WILL get its ass kicked this year.

  366. M. Ali says:

    Richard, of course they aren’t very precise, there is no way it would be. It’s just interesting, nothing more.

    Because how do you compare expertise? How do you compare know-how? How about heart? Since I quoted Rambo in my previous post, let me quote another golden line by the sage Stallone with his Rocky character, the issue with military strength might even be, “But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get it and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! “

  367. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “in a previous thread, quoted and argued that a source was reliable that absurdly claimed that “Iran has only 6 TELs capable of launching “advanced” missiles.” Any one who has ever watched an Iranian military parade knows this is untrue. (Hint, look on youtube for evidence that refutes this). You have also made similar claims in quite a few other instances that ignore publically available evidence to the contrary.”

    I repeat, you cannot cite one single source yourself which is considered in any way accurate that suggests that Iran has more than 1,000 missiles of any range.

    I also never specifically stated at any time that Iran can only launch “6 TELS” (whatever that is). Point me to where I actually said that.

    I’ve said before that Iran has an estimated fifty or so mobile launchers for their IRBM’s which means at most they can launch 50 missiles at a time. Which is why the claim that they can “rain hundreds of missiles” down on israel is so much bushwa.

    I can cite sources for anything I’ve said here. You can’t cite sources for anything you’ve said here.

  368. Richard Steven Hack says:

    M. Ali: “They rank Iran as 12th.”

    Based on what? They rank Iran higher than North Korea? Makes no sense to me. North Korea’s armaments may be older than Iran’s newer ones but North Korea has more of it. It also has more men under arms, over a million, with 120,000 Special Forces alone. so I suspect these ranks are not very precise.

    They have a page you can compare two countries. I compared Iran and North Korea. Do it yourself and see if the numbers make sense. I can’t see it. Other than total military manpower theoretically available based on Iran’s larger population, North Korea massively outweighs Iran in armaments and number of troops and reserves. It also has over a 1,000 ballistic missiles of various ranges at least as good, if perhaps not as accurate, as Iran’s.

    Interestingly Israel is ranked tenth and Syria is ranked 35th. So if one believes that site, Syria is in big trouble if it attacks Israel…

  369. M. Ali says:

    Richard, we all appreciate your comments, they are insightful and full of information most of us don’t know, but dude, you get impatient very fast. I’ve seen you lose patient with Eric, fyi, etc.

    We love you, man.

  370. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

    No, you are the one that makes unsubstantiated assertions. If you find a random claim online that is unsourced or unsupported by hard evidence that supports your views it does not automatically become true. Just as one example, you, in a previous thread, quoted and argued that a source was reliable that absurdly claimed that “Iran has only 6 TELs capable of launching “advanced” missiles.” Any one who has ever watched an Iranian military parade knows this is untrue. (Hint, look on youtube for evidence that refutes this). You have also made similar claims in quite a few other instances that ignore publically available evidence to the contrary.

  371. M. Ali says:

    To jump uninvited in the debate, I strongly doubt Iran would atcively participate in any wars that involve Syria. They might sent support, financial and military, but not officially declare war. That really would be suicide.

    Exposing, sometimes, our pride blinds us to our weaknesses. The western world is still powerful enough to destroy Iran’s infrastractures easily, without regime change or boots on the ground. I remember when US wanted to attack Iraq, everyone in the middle east was saying how Saddam wouldn’t bow down so easily, but the initial phase of the war was a piece of cake, its the stability of the conqeured land that is the real challenge, but Saddam fell easily. Then I remember Afghanistan, where people were saying Afghanistan is not like Iraq, and that the Afghanis have resisted foreign conqeust for decades, and I remembered the quote from Rambo 3 (when the Mujahideens were the good guys),

    Mousa: This is Afghanistan… Alexander the Great try to conquer this country… then Genghis Khan, then the British. Now Russia. But Afghan people fight hard, they never be defeated. Ancient enemy make prayer about these people… you wish to hear?
    Rambo: Um-hum.
    Mousa: Very good. It says, ‘May God deliver us from the venom of the Cobra, teeth of the tiger, and the vengeance of the Afghan.’ Understand what this means?
    Rambo: That you guys don’t take any shit?
    Mousa: Yes… something like this.

    But what happened to all the bravado? And the Afghan machoness?

    And now we have Syria and Iran. Assad cant stand against the western world, unless Russia and China support it, not Iran. When Israel attacked Syria’s sites, why didn’t Assad respond? Because he knew he couldn’t resist a full on retaliation from the west, and if he called Iran and asked them, “Hey guys, Israel bombed my site, if I go over there to kick their asses, will you guys help me out?”, they probably said, “ummm…we’re busy”

  372. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Castellio: “I don’t understand your aggression to Exposing. Why not accept the questioning or disagreement in a positive light? Why the personal animosity (“you’re a waste of time”). His perceptions are worth considering, which is why you spent the time doing precisely that.”

    No, they aren’t. Which is precisely why I spent so much time debunking them.

    His statements don’t even begin to be logical.

    He also mis-states my position repeatedly, making it up out of his own perceptions rather than what I said.

    He repeatedly makes flat assertions without an ounce of sourced support. When I debunk them, he ignores my (standard) sources and claims they’re “absurd” without offering any of his own.

    This is precisely the sort of lame debate I can’t stand.

    “There are, however, historical facts and new developments on that side of the argument, and I for one want to hear that analysis.”

    You won’t get any facts from him, only blind opinion.

  373. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    By the way, any significant attack by Turkey against Syria is very unlikely. This would result in, among other things, Iran cutting off its oil exports to Turkey.

  374. M. Ali says:

    All these talk of war this and war that, made me want to google military strength by country, and came upon this,

    http://www.globalfirepower.com/countries-listing.asp

    They rank Iran as 12th.

  375. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 9, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    “Syria has a large population that will not accept Sunni Triumphalism. The country will have to be occupied for quite a while to make that “stick.” The US will not occupy Syria. The Arab states lack the capability.”

    This is a very good point.

  376. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    “The POINT is that Iran would be STUPID to ALLOW the US to attack it over Syria. Whether Iran would APPEAR to be weak is considerably less important than INVITING a US full scale attack on Iran.”

    This ignores how things work in the real world. A show of weakness invites attack. By not supporting Syria, Iran would provide an explicit green light to an Israeli/US attack against itself. Iran cannot allow this, and so it would indeed support Syria.

    “It has deeply buried bunkers and an extensive, modern air defense network.”
    So did Saddam. And where’s he now?
    So did Libya. And where’s Gaddafi now?”

    I would urge you to think before you post. Gaddafi had an extensive, modern air defense network? Really? And Iraq’s air defenses were not updated, at all, since the early 80′s when they were first installed. Iraq relied on unmodernized original production SAM systems (No digitization, etc). That air defense network also had other key weaknesses which Syria’s does not. And even with this, it took 10 years of US bombing and sanctions that denied Iraq the ability to repair or update it.

    “Although the Scud-Bs must be launched from forward positions near Damascus, where they are susceptible to detection and destruction prior to launch, Scud-Cs and Scud-Ds can reach targets in Israel from launch sites anywhere in the country”

    One, this source has a problem because any SCUD can be mounted on a TEL. Second, US capabilities were used to provide intelligence to Israel in 2006 and they failed. (See some interesting Wikileaks cables that prove the US was conducting U2 flights over Lebanon at this time). There is no evidence that the US would be any more successful than Israel in this case.

  377. Sassan says:

    For those interested and having heard of the new BBC Persian documentary “From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad” which was created by Maziar Bahari (the Islamic Republic threw a fit in regards to this groundbreaking documentary) – I went ahead and created the English subtitle for it and uploaded it on youtube (since the original one was only in Farsi and had not included English subtitles). It is a truly informative documentary that teaches you a lot of key facts that you may not have known of in regards to the relationship of Israel and Iran both before and after the revolution. You can access it here..: http://youtu.be/OqP_EdSREo8

    Enjoy. :)

  378. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    A concerned world citizen says:
    April 10, 2012 at 2:30 am

    “Hezbollah of 2006 is not the same as Hezbollah of today. Israeli military official have even confirmed the group is much more powerful now than they were during 2006..Israel cannot fight without US backing and they’re not stupid to go into Lebanon unless Washington gives them green-light – which is turning red with each passing day.”

    Exactly my point. Note that Hezbollah has clearly stated they now have the ability to target all of Israel and will do so in the event of another conflict. This logically includes targeting Israeli airfields with drones, Fateh 110 missiles, etc. Israel will not be able to rely on the overwhelming air superiority it maintained in 2006.

  379. Sassan says:

    Quite interesting statements made by Rafsanjani:

    In an interview published last week in the Iranian quarterly “International Research,” Rasjafani said that Iran’s “current foreign policy regarding the U.S. – by which we do not speak with them and they do not speak with us, cannot continue.”

    Rasjafani, who served as Iran’s president from 1989 to 1997, said that the “U.S. is the strongest nation in the world. What really is the difference between the U.S. and Europe, or Russia, or China? If we speak to those countries, why not speak to the U.S.? It does not mean that we are giving in. Discussions are meant to understand if the U.S. accepts our position, or if we accept theirs. Nothing more.”

    Since being president, Rasjafani said that he wanted to “establish relations with Egypt, but I could not. I wanted to start negotiations with the U.S., but I couldn’t. I couldn’t, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to.” In his statements, Rasjafani hinted that the supreme leader did not allow him to.

    Among other things the most curious was what seemed his criticism of the terrorist and military wings of Hamas and Hizbollah:

    Rasjafani made another unusual comment for an Iranian official on the nature of Tehran’s ties with Hezbollah and Hamas, saying that if the Islamic Republic continued “providing support to Lebanon and the Palestinians [Hezbollah and Hamas] within the correct framework of international policy, there would be no problem.”
    “If we want to improve our relations with the world, we must make a distinction on this subject. It is possible to defend aid to Lebanon and the Palestinians as long as they aren’t using it to create problems for others, and without deciding how aid should be used. When the Iranian government is not being adventurous, aid to Lebanon and the Palestinians becomes tolerable,” the former Iranian president said.

    You can read the entire article entitled “Former Iran president criticizes Ahmadinejad ahead of nuclear talks” here: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/former-iran-president-criticizes-ahmadinejad-ahead-of-nuclear-talks-1.423425

  380. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    You just said directly that Israel would only occupy SOUTHERN LEBANON and than you claim it would “attack” the Beqaa Valley which is in East Lebanon. Seriously, you seem unable to even look at a map before you issue your opinions.

    “And you now ignore what I said – that Iran will NOT be able to successfully resupply Syria during a US/NATO air campaign, and even if it could it would not be strategically relevant to the outcome.”

    This is circular. You simply assert this with no evidence. Iran would indeed be able to successfully supply Syria, and if the US attacked it with intent to stop that supply, Iran would respond.

    “The point of attacking the Bekaa Valley is to reduce Hizballah’s “strategic depth”. I don’t expect Israel to try occupying it. A military doesn’t necessarily occupy everything it attacks.”

    Which is the same thing in practice. You are now dancing around and trying to argue on petty technicalities.

    “The US and NATO will be – and the US and NATO have the long-range and satellite detection systems to spot Syrian missiles the minute the emerge from their bunkers, as well to detect and destroy the more vulnerable mobile launchers.”

    No they do not. This claim shows your lack of understanding of the uses of satellites to gather intelligence. Mobile launchers are not “vulnerable” as you claim. You are once again trying to deny facts here. Syria has stated in the past that it would use its deterrent arsenal agains Israel if it is attacked. It rightly recognizes that it would not be attacked by the US without Israeli connivance. And it further recognizes that if its own survival is threatened, it has the ability to respond overwhelmingly against Israel. That is, among other things, what keeps it from being attacked. So we return once again to my initial argument that Syria is different from Libya and thus will not be attacked because Israel is fully aware of this.

    “And since the Shahab was only introduced a few years ago – particularly this latest variant – the most reasonable total based on an initial production rate per year when it was introduced up to the current production rates is the estimate I have repeatedly used here – about 300-450 at most.”

    Nope, wrong again. Full scale production of the Shahab 3A started in 1998 or earlier. Shahab 3B started a short time after that. The Shahab 2 was already being produced at this time. And once again, it is entirely rational to conclude that Iran is producing more than those extremely conservative figures admit. On the other hand, I am not aware of the justification or proof for your argument to the contrary.

    “There is little doubt, however, that such a conquest could eventually have been achieved–even with the under-trained, problematic IDF that went to war in 2006. The fact is that such an assault was not ordered at a point when there was still time for it to be achieved.”

    This and the rest of the extremely long quote you posted are denials of reality. The reality was that Hezbollah was attacked with at least 30,000 or more Israeli troops. It defeated them. Israel, despite having overwhelming airpower AND heavy armor was unable to supply them adequately AND tanks, etc still suffered a very high rate of loses. As I stated before, their is no hard evidence, outside of propaganda, that Israeli capacity has actually improved. Hezbollah, however, has since obtained a wide array of additional, modern weapons from Iran. These include drones that can strike Israeli armored columns, far more accurate longer range missiles (as well as rockets), etc, etc. Hezbollah has also trained infiltration elements that will go behind Israeli lines to disrupt supply, etc, which it did not attempt in 2006.

    “Israel has three armored divisions and I predict all three will be in action in the next war, with one pushing north into southern Lebanon, a second pushing into Syria to defend the flank of the third which will go north along the Lebanon-Syria border then cut left into the Bekaa Valley.”

    If so, Hezbollah will mobilize its entire reserve and defeat them just as it did in 2006. And no, Syria will not tolerate being attacked by Israel. Once again, we are going in circles. The sources you give are the same kind of sources that boasted about Israel’s supposed invincibility before 3,000 lightly armed guerilla troops defeated Israel’s “elite” commandos and armored forces. Their claims at this point lack credibility. And by the way the sources you cite also admit the deficiencies of attempting to win a war by the use of airpower alone. Somewhat ironic considering your other arguments.

  381. A concerned world citizen says:

    Richard Steven Hack, not to undercut you but I think you give too much credit to the warmongering idiot generals running the Pentagon. These guys couldn’t win a successful war even if you gave them the full battleplan and blueprints. They’ve managed to successfully loose in Iraq and still struggling to loose in Afghanistan after ten years of fighting(TEN YEARS!!!) what can only be classified as village goat herders(aka Taliban).

    Could you believe after all the B2s, B52s etc(u name it, they’ve used it.except nukes) and all the massive carpet bombardment of Afghanistan, the Taliban still controls more land than all of NATO forces combined? These shiny toys can only do so much but not against a determined opponent.

    If the US could attack Iran they would’ve done so long ago – dito Syria. They simply cannot and won’t do it. They keep talking about the “negative consequences” of a conflict with Iran. Since when has “negative consequences” prevented the Pentagon from ever initiating wars? It’s coded message for “we’re gonna get our asses kicked”. See how quick they rushed into Libya and how they’re dithering on Syria trying to pass the buck to Turkey to do the deed. And the Turks are not stupid. Don’t be fooled by Erdogan’s bombastic statements.That’s Erdogan being Erdogan – all hats and no cattle. He needs to say stuff like that to keep his image in the Arab world going and to please Washington. It stops right there. A war with Syria has more chance of disintegrations Turkey itself than Syria and I’m sure Turkey’s military planner know this.

    As for the tiny patch of land call Israel, the least said about them the better. They cannot afford another escapade in Southern Lebanon let alone Lebanon proper. They’ve had their asses handed to them TWICE – a third will be a charm. The significance of the 2006 Lebanon war, which Israel is still reeling from, is that it put a sudden stop to Zionist wetdreams of expansion and conquest. They had to fire a couple of top generals – that’s how bad it was.

    Hezbollah of 2006 is not the same as Hezbollah of today. Israeli military official have even confirmed the group is much more powerful now than they were during 2006..Israel cannot fight without US backing and they’re not stupid to go into Lebanon unless Washington gives them green-light – which is turning red with each passing day.

  382. ToivoS says:

    BiBiJon says: April 9, 2012 at 4:57 pm
    “ToivoS says: April 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    While you wait, here’s Paul Pillar’s take about the subject.”

    Yep I read his piece, and I hope he is right in this one paragraph, but he goes on to express some serious reserve in the rest of that article.

  383. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela… this is for you. There is hope out there. From the mouths of babes…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=axS-QdUkMqk

  384. Castellio says:

    This from the colonel:

    “The process of creeping along in “baby steps” towards active intervantion in Syria continues. The US has already declared regime change to be the goal in Syria. Turkey is “on board” for that. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are providing money for the effort. All the talk of “agreements” is just a ruse.

    Bashar Assad knows that if he makes an agreement with the Sunni insurgents he gives them legitimacy far beyond the description of them as “armed gangs” that his government has insisted on until now. Down that road lies his fall from power, trial, an iron barred cell and the end of everything for him.

    Syria has a large population that will not accept Sunni Triumphalism. The country will have to be occupied for quite a while to make that “stick.” The US will not occupy Syria. The Arab states lack the capability.

    Turkey is the only possibility. The Ottoman past is still a factor but only one factor. pl”

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/04/what-next-in-syria.html

  385. Castellio says:

    RSH, I don’t understand your aggression to Exposing. Why not accept the questioning or disagreement in a positive light? Why the personal animosity (“you’re a waste of time”). His perceptions are worth considering, which is why you spent the time doing precisely that.

    There are many on this board who believe that the balance of financial powers and political fortunes are shifting in the Middle East (I tend to agree) and that this must translate into a rebalancing of military power (I tend to disagree). There are, however, historical facts and new developments on that side of the argument, and I for one want to hear that analysis.

  386. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey Says Syria Killed Refugees on Its Side of Border
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/10/world/middleeast/turkey-accuses-syria-of-firing-across-border.html

    And who knows if that’s true? But it makes a nice excuse for Turkey to escalate again, right?

    At this point, I think it’s clear Turkey has every intention of supporting a war with Syria by the US and NATO – and might even join in directly. It is actively attempting to increase tensions with Syria by Erdogan’s pronouncements.

  387. Richard Steven Hack says:

    kathleen: It’s my experience from reading Cirincione that he’s a waste of time. I don’t know who the other two are.

    The problem with these panels is they’re usually produced by someone with zero knowledge of the subject matter. So they go to some organization that supplies speakers and ask to get someone “knowledgeable” on the subject – and they end up with “the usual suspects”.

    And the reason these people ARE “the usual suspects” is because they toe the party line – whatever that line is on whatever subject is under discussion.

    People like the Leveretts, who don’t, aren’t even on the radar because they aren’t equally represented, by definition.

    This will never change.

  388. kathleen says:

    In Boulder Colorado visiting family. The 64th Conference on World Affairs happens to coincide with my trip. Have attended this conference before. Attended several of the panel discussions today. But this one was the most interesting that I attended:
    http://www.colorado.edu/cwa/search_results.html?date=4&year=2012

    1711 AL SMITH MEMORIAL SESSION From Fukushima to Tehran: Terror of the Atom

    3:00-4:20 on Monday April 9, 2012
    UMC 235
    Panelists:
    o Joe Cirincione
    o Heather Hurlburt
    o Robert G. Kaufman

    o Moderator: Paul Gordon

    Talk about lack of diversity of opinion. All three of the panelist basically were on the same page about Iran having a nuclear weapons program. So there was basically a bit of a disagreement on sanctions (Cirincione) vs attacking Iran (Kaufman). Heather Hulberts argument was focused on why should one country have nuclear weapons and another not. Joe Cirincione did say that Iran does not have nuclear weapons. But again basically the conversation started on the assumption that Iran has a nuclear weapons program. I was able to ask a question about Iran being a signatory of the NPT and having the right to enrich uranium up to 20%. Also brought up that the Leveretts,(mentioned this website) as well as former weapons inspector Robert Kelly have said that much of the information in the recent IAEa report on Iran was information that former head of the IAEA El Baradei would not let into the report when he was director because it could not be verified and that Amano had let it in to the lates report. Kaufman went off on some tangent about how most intelligence can not be adequately verified But repeated that he thought negotiations with Iran had been exhausted (all 15 minutes of negotiations..my add) Cirincione said it was a good question but that he believed the latest report was on target. Nut did say that the report was misleadiog by inferring that the Iranian plan in 2003 has been continued which he said it has not.

    Heather Hulbert ended this talk by saying that she agreed with both on the above pointa.

    Talk about lack of diveristy of opinion on a panel. All basically coming from that Iran has a nuclear weapons plan Did the Leveretts, Prof Cole, former weapons inspector Robert Kelly get invited to be on this panel? Doubt it

  389. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “note that if the US did not attack, than Iran would successfully resupply Syria”

    And you now ignore what I said – that Iran will NOT be able to successfully resupply Syria during a US/NATO air campaign, and even if it could it would not be strategically relevant to the outcome.

    “And no, responding to an act of aggressive war by one country that attacks another is not “initiating an attack.” The attack would be “initiated” by the unprovoked and unlawful US attack on Syria.”

    “Unlawful” to WHOM? It is the US and NATO who decides what is “lawful” in practice.

    The POINT is that Iran would be STUPID to ALLOW the US to attack it over Syria. Whether Iran would APPEAR to be weak is considerably less important than INVITING a US full scale attack on Iran.

    I’m certain all Iranians are glad you’re not in charge of Iran, with this sort of attitude.

    “Another assertion from you about the almighty US airforce that you cannot prove. Note that in all recent conflicts, most notably in 1998 and in 2006 (And also during the Gulf War) such attempts failed completely. They were not partially successful, they did not achieve some of their objectives and not others, they completely failed.”

    They did not fail in Libya.

    And I am not talking about any previous conflicts. I’m talking about Syria – which does not have the capacity to hide its military assets in the manner than Yugoslavia did, nor does it have the capability to hide its assets as Hizballah did in 2006. Those conflicts are utterly IRRELEVANT to the scenario I’m describing.

    In any event, the point is that WHILE Israel is conducting its assault on Hizballah, Syria will be unable to ENGAGE Israeli units because its military forces will be under air attack. This means Syria will unable to MOVE its assets to engage Israel WITHOUT being attacked from the air. This is the same situation that occurred in Libya.

    What matters is not whether you can destroy ALL of Syria’s (or any other country’s) military assets, but whether those assets can be DEPLOYED effectively. Under a US/NATO air campaign, any concentrated Syria assets will be destroyed. Any FIXED Syrian assets – such as missile sites, radar installations, etc. – will be destroyed. This is the necessary outcome of ANY conflict between a relatively weak nation and the overwhelming firepower of the US and NATO combined.

    “The whole point is that key facilities such as this are hardened against such an attack, they are underground, and the relevant missile forces are ready to fire in an extremely short period.”

    An analysis by the Washington Institute claims the following as of 2007:

    Quote

    Syria currently possesses about 200 Scud-Bs, 60-120 Scud-Cs, and a smaller number of Scud-Ds, which are kept in hardened underground shelters located in hillsides and tunnels in various parts of the country. Although the Scud-Bs must be launched from forward positions near Damascus, where they are susceptible to detection and destruction prior to launch, Scud-Cs and Scud-Ds can reach targets in Israel from launch sites anywhere in the country. This fact would significantly complicate any Israeli efforts to locate and destroy these missiles (though Israeli forces performed well against Hizballah’s long-range rockets during the summer 2006 war in Lebanon, destroying many before they could be launched).

    End Quote

    The problem for Syria is that Israel is not the one targeting these missiles. The US and NATO will be – and the US and NATO have the long-range and satellite detection systems to spot Syrian missiles the minute the emerge from their bunkers, as well to detect and destroy the more vulnerable mobile launchers.

    Just as in the 1991 Iraq war, Syria will be able to launch only a few dozen or perhaps a score or two of missiles before most of its launchers and storage sites are destroyed by bunker buster bombs and cruise missiles.

    And I repeat, ANY attempt to launch them at Israel will bring Israel into the war BEFORE Israel’s attempts to attack Hizballah brings it into the war. And Israel will then devote ALL its military forces – including ITS 100 or more Jericho missiles – to destroying Syria.

    If Assad wants to GUARANTEE that he will be overthrown and Syria’s military destroyed, let him attack Israel first.

    “The Syrian government is not stupid as you seem to assume.”

    While I didn’t say that, I wouldn’t put it past Assad to be stupid enough to initiate an attack on Israel.

    If he does so, he’s toast for sure. And that’s a fact, missiles or no missiles. Any attempt to use chemical weapons on Israel will result in Syria’s total destruction. I wouldn’t put it past Israel to nuke in that case.

    “Syria’s army is twenty times larger than Libya’s.”

    So what? The comparison is irrelevant. It’s the number and nature of air targets that matter. The US and NATO aren’t targeting random concentrations of troops in Syria’s case – although I’m sure they will to some degree. They will be targeting Syria’s ability to affect Israel in an Iran war. Only once that is done will they target Syria’s conventional forces in an effort to aid the Syrian insurgents.

    “It has deeply buried bunkers and an extensive, modern air defense network.”

    So did Saddam. And where’s he now?

    So did Libya. And where’s Gaddafi now?

    “And once again, my point as already stated is that in any such war Syria will indeed use its chemical and biological weapons if it nears defeat.”

    You can repeat this until you’re blue in the face, it doesn’t change the fact that the US and NATO can blunt Syria’s ability to do so within 48 hours if that is their intent.

    “No, that is what you are doing. Did I not just inform you that the sources you rely on are not based on concrete information, and frequently make claims that are laughably absurd?”

    Whereas you have not cited ONE SOURCE at ANY time.

    “My assumption follows logically from Iran’s industrial capacity, and its demonstrated ability to manufacture a wide range of military and civilian products.”

    Without ONE SINGLE NUMBER being put on actual missile production rates.

    “Shahab 3C “The missiles were indigenously developed, and are being mass produced. Iran has a production capacity of 70 units per year.” Just one type of several currently being produced.”

    And since the Shahab was only introduced a few years ago – particularly this latest variant – the most reasonable total based on an initial production rate per year when it was introduced up to the current production rates is the estimate I have repeatedly used here – about 300-450 at most.

    This is not “thousands”.

    So you’re using the SAME production figures I’ve used here in the past to support your claim that Iran has “thousands”? Seriously?

    You’re a waste of time.

  390. Castellio says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    April 9, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    For the record, I don’t believe the US elite have to all be in agreement for there to be (a hot) war, nor do I believe that some reluctance in the military will dissuade a committed political class.

  391. Humanist says:

    try to be respectful of those who recently pass away…. at least for sometime but this one is an exception.

    Mike Wallace got 21 Emmies.

    Now they call him a legend.

    Legend? Really? Watch this video to find out why the public media is so deeply corrupt(ed) and why the sheeple are so easily taken to slaughterhouses by a bunch of truly remorseless apathetic liars:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onNzrNEFs1E&feature=relmfu

    In it you could watch the edited version of Wallace’s interview with Ahmadinejad which is a (master) piece for warmongering and watch the unedited version which is certainly a prescription for a lasting peace in the Middle East.

    After I watched the video I thought why the deceptive Zionists like Wallace are so clearly on the wrong
    side of history….remember the following historically affirmed proverb:

    “One can cheat all the people for a short time, one can cheat a few for ever but no one can cheat all the people forever”.

  392. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “There is no evidence that Syria’s missiles could be so easily destroyed.”

    Where did I say “easily”? I said this war might take six months of continual bombing.

    “And if attempts were made, as I said before, Syria would indeed retaliate with full force.”

    Against whom? Israel? Israel would proceed to destroy Syria if they did so. Against the US and NATO? HOW?

    “Good, glad we agree on that. Your earlier statement was not clear. And the Bekaa Valley is in Eastern Lebanon, not Southern Lebanon.”

    sigh…You keeping MAKING UP THINGS THAT I HAVE NOT SAID!

    The whole POINT of attacking the Bekaa Valley is that is NORTH of southern Lebanon.

    Bloody hell…you’re next to impossible to discuss anything with…

    “Thus it seems the logical outcome of your argument here, contrary to your earlier argument, is that Israel would indeed try to occupy more than just Southern Lebanon.”

    But I did not SAY that, did I? STOP MAKING UP MY WORDS!

    The point of attacking the Bekaa Valley is to reduce Hizballah’s “strategic depth”. I don’t expect Israel to try occupying it. A military doesn’t necessarily occupy everything it attacks.

    The goal is to push Hizballah out of southern Lebanon and to reduce it support further north. In essence, to catch Hizballah in a “pincer movement”. Classic military strategy.

    “The logical conclusion of your statement is that the intent is to prevent Syria from aiding Hezbollah.”

    That is NOT the “logical conclusion”. It has NOTHING to do with Syria supporting Hizballah. It has to do with Syria and Hizballah not being able to act in concert during an Iran war.

    You really aren’t capable of reading what I said, and you insist on making up my opinion as a straw man.

    “Since Syria does not have any troops in Lebanon, the goal, according to your original statement, would be to prevent supplies from reaching Hezbollah in order to aid that Israeli attack.”

    No, that is not it AT ALL. I never said that. It does not logically follow from anything I DID say.

    “How the hell was the Libya air campaign “limited”?

    In the sense that it involved a small number of aircraft (which by the way still strained NATO’s capacity to the limit) and it attacked a very small, poorly equipped army that had no prepared defenses or ability to respond outside Libya. Syria is an entirely different case.”

    No it is not. There is zero difference. It merely will require more time to reduce Syria’s military assets than it did Libya’s.

    And whether it “strained” NATO or not is irrelevant. The US will do the bulk of the attacking on Syria, just as it did in the early days of Libya. Except the US will attack Syria for much longer than it did Libya.

    So what? The end result is the same: Syria will be weakened.

    “No it does not.”

    Seriously? You REALLY think Israel is weaker than Syria? That’s just delusional.

    “Why do you think no Israeli aircraft have intruded into Syrian airspace since Syria upgraded its air defenses?”

    What part of the attack on the alleged Syrian nuclear facility didn’t you understand? Syria has the latest Russian air defenses and Israel hacked into them, turned them off and did not lose one aircraft.

    “In the case of such an attack, Syria has explictly stated what its response would be.”

    And I called it a bluff. If Assad is stupid enough to initiate an attack on Israel, Israeli will destroy Syria’s military within a month.

    “It than tried a massive invasion with heavily armored forces. That failed.”

    I quote one analysis of that effort:

    “Finally, because of the mistaken belief that air power could deliver victory, Israel failed to follow through with the massive commitment of ground forces, which alone would have enabled it to conquer the area of land up to the Litani River and then to hold this land for sufficient time to clear it of short-range rocket launching teams and Hizballah fighters.[35] The completion of such an operation would have taken several weeks and would have required a larger commitment of forces by Israel. As noted above, Israel’s ground operations for the greater part of the war consisted of sporadic operations in an area up to ten kilometers from the border. The IDF in fact began a more extensive ground operation only in the period immediately preceding the ceasefire. This more extensive ground operation made some headway, but with considerable losses, and with questionable political purpose, and was called off 24 hours before the ceasefire on August 14, 2006.”

    In other words, Israel NEVER committed sufficient troops. And in the earlier operations, according to this analysis, Israel committed troops only in narrow areas, which enabled Hizballah to bring in troops from adjacent sectors to counter. Whenever Hizballah directly engaged Israeli troops, they mostly lost, although they did manage to inflict casualties.

    Link:
    http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2008/issue1/jv12no1a1.asp

    “Thus Israel was defeated.”

    None of which is relevant to the scenario I outline. The analysis concludes as follows:

    Quote

    This critique, which could be called the “military critique,” thus lays down some serious but manageable criticisms of the IDF –criticisms which point to an erroneous strategy, hesitant execution, and considerable tactical errors. These errors reflect back to an erroneous conception that took hold in the IDF in the years preceding the war of the likely nature of future conflict. There was a general sense that the likelihood of Israel’s needing to commit large numbers of conventional infantry and armored forces in a future conflict was very low. Rather, future conflicts would be dominated by air power and would involve relatively small numbers of highly trained specialists on the ground.[36] This, combined with the demands made by the intifada after September 2000 for large numbers of men for what were essentially constabulary duties in the West Bank, meant that the training regimen for reserve units in particular, but also for regular infantry and armored units, was deficient. Resources were not put into this, because it was assumed that they would not be needed.

    The result was that when in 2006 the IDF was faced with a very different kind of war from the one anticipated, it was ill-prepared–on every level. Among the more extreme examples: Some reserve armored units were called into combat having taken part in only one full-scale training exercise in the preceding five years. Such a force might well have incurred heavy losses against Hizballah if called upon to take part in a large scale conquest of southern Lebanon to the Litani– given the impressive showing of Hizballah’s village fighters.

    There is little doubt, however, that such a conquest could eventually have been achieved–even with the under-trained, problematic IDF that went to war in 2006. The fact is that such an assault was not ordered at a point when there was still time for it to be achieved.

    End Quote

    The Winograd Report after the war concluded: “Till the first week of August, Israel did not prepare the military capacity to start a massive ground operation.”

    Another analysis I found states: “By 5 August, the IDF had approximately 10,000 soldiers in southern Lebanon.”

    It also states:

    Quote

    By the last days of July, however, Halutz remained convinced that his method was still viable. Choosing not to follow the counsel of senior staff and initiate a massive ground offensive, Halutz implemented a more conservative “enter and pull out” strategy. This was met with some skepticism. Major General Ido Nehushtan advised Halutz on 26 July:

    . . . that without a major ground campaign, the IDF could not stop the Katyusha rockets. You must bring this before the government. You need to tell them straight that without a major ground operation, we cannot remove the Katyusha threat. If the government does not approve it [a large pre-planned ground offensive], we should tell them that they must stop the campaign now. The fact is that the war between the IDF and Hezbollah we can describe as a draw. . . . We should tell the political echelon that we cannot limit [the Katyusha attacks] any more than we are now doing, except if we take over [the ground] up to the Litani [River].23

    Despite these observations, by 1 August, the IDF was still conducting only small battalion- and brigade-size raids into southern Lebanon.

    End Quote

    It states:

    Quote

    Incredibly, even the reserve division commanders lacked training and appeared to be both tactically and technically deficient. Brigadier General Erez Zuckerman, who commanded the reserve armored division, had spent most of his career as a marine commando and had never received training in the use of tanks or mechanized forces. Brigadier General Eyal Eizenberg, the commander of the reserve paratrooper division, was singled out for “harsh criticism” for his apparent lack of tactical proficiency.32 There can be little doubt that the IDF reserve forces lacked leadership, training, and equipment. This was a serious detriment as these citizen soldiers comprised nearly 80 percent of the IDF’s ground forces.

    End Quote

    Clearly at that time, the IDF was in deep trouble. However, today, it is six years later and after quite a bit of rolling heads in the IDF. We can expect – without speculating much – that the IDF has improved its game somewhat in the last six years.

    The current size of the Israeli Ground Forces is estimated at a rough 125,000 active soldiers and 400,000-600,000 soldiers in reserve. Therefore, if Israel wishes, they can call up as many as 725,000 troops to devote to the next war. That is quite a bit different than pitting 10,000-15,000 troops against 3,000 guerrillas.

    Israel has three armored divisions and I predict all three will be in action in the next war, with one pushing north into southern Lebanon, a second pushing into Syria to defend the flank of the third which will go north along the Lebanon-Syria border then cut left into the Bekaa Valley. I suspect all three armored divisions will be supported by one or two full infantry brigades as well, not to mention full air support (which won’t be used to bomb pointless Lebanese civilian facilities either this time.)

  393. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Here is Wikipedia’s list of the products produced by Iran’s military industry. The list is incomplete and omits some important products, but it does give an idea of Iran’s capability in this regard.

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

  394. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 9, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Clearly Israel is pushing for war because that is its nature and the way it tries to solve all its problems. The question is whether all the US elite, as Mr. Hack argues, agree with this. I would argue that this is not at all clear, and that the US military is clearly very worried about any order it might receive to attack Iran. Multiple statements from US military officers show this. In addition, the MSM has expressed doubt about whether such an attack would be effective.

  395. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    You are logic chopping. The effect I referred to was the war that would result. And note that if the US did not attack, than Iran would successfully resupply Syria and it would be the US that ended up looking weak. And no, responding to an act of aggressive war by one country that attacks another is not “initiating an attack.” The attack would be “initiated” by the unprovoked and unlawful US attack on Syria.

    “Sigh…At that point, Syria will be UNABLE to respond because the US and NATO will already have reduced Syria’s missile capacity and command and control facilities.”

    Another assertion from you about the almighty US airforce that you cannot prove. Note that in all recent conflicts, most notably in 1998 and in 2006 (And also during the Gulf War) such attempts failed completely. They were not partially successful, they did not achieve some of their objectives and not others, they completely failed. The whole point is that key facilities such as this are hardened against such an attack, they are underground, and the relevant missile forces are ready to fire in an extremely short period. Once again, such an attempted attack against Syria’s deterrent capability would generate an immediate response, because the final intent is clear. The Syrian government is not stupid as you seem to assume.

    “Second, as I said, the odds of the conflict lasting long enough for Iran to strategically affect the outcome by arms shipments is slight. The war will last no longer than six months, if that.”

    Syria’s army is twenty times larger than Libya’s. It has deeply buried bunkers and an extensive, modern air defense network. And once again, my point as already stated is that in any such war Syria will indeed use its chemical and biological weapons if it nears defeat. If those weapons were immediately attacked, than they would be immediately used. Of course, as I stated before, the rest of the world is well aware of this, which is why it will not happen.

    “Pure speculation. This is not FACT and you cannot rely on this sort of speculation to predict the outcome. You cannot cite one single source to support this concept.”

    No, that is what you are doing. Did I not just inform you that the sources you rely on are not based on concrete information, and frequently make claims that are laughably absurd? My assumption follows logically from Iran’s industrial capacity, and its demonstrated ability to manufacture a wide range of military and civilian products.

    Here is one example (and note the source is not likely to exaggerate Iran’s capability).

    Shahab 3C “The missiles were indigenously developed, and are being mass produced. Iran has a production capacity of 70 units per year.” Just one type of several currently being produced.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shahab-3

  396. Castellio says:

    Exposing… your posts are important in clarifying the assumptions being made. Thank you.

    I think we are in a period of time where Israel and the US are again pushing for war. I think we have to ask why they are doing so and what they hope to gain.

    I know that many on this board disagree with that assessment.

    It would be a relief to be wrong.

  397. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “It would not be “initiating an attack” it would be responding to an attack against another nation.”

    sigh… Seriously? You’re going to seriously suggest that won’t be considered “initiating an attack on US forces”? Really?

    You’re just flailing now.

    “But let’s say you are correct and Iran would only, for example, supply Syria with arms, ammunition (including missiles) etc. If the US than attacked it in an attempt to prevent this, than Iran would respond with full force.”

    Of course.

    “The result would be the same.”

    No, it would not. While the result – i.e, the US and Iran at war – is the same, the CAUSE of the war would be vastly different.

    The US could clearly claim that Iran INITIATED an attack on US assets. That would NOT be the case in the scenario you outline where the US INITIATES an attack on Iran as a result of Iranian shipping arms to Syria.

    First of all, I doubt Iran will be able to ship arms to Syria under the scenario I see coming. Once Syria is under attack by the US and NATO, there will be ships from Iran or anywhere else putting in to port in Syria (with the POSSIBLE exception of any Russian war ships that might put in at Tartus IF Russia was willing to risk that, which I highly doubt.)

    Second, as I said, the odds of the conflict lasting long enough for Iran to strategically affect the outcome by arms shipments is slight. The war will last no longer than six months, if that.

    AFTER Syria’s military has been reduced significantly, and US/NATO forces have pulled back from attacking, and whatever the insurgents are capable of has occurred, IF Assad is still in power, THEN Iran might be able to resupply Syria’s forces.

    Which is irrelevant to my scenario.

    “Wrong. The goal is to weaken Syria’s MILITARY, NOT its political structure. That could quite easily be done by a sufficiently long air campaign, as well as further support to the Syrian insurgents, and possibly by some additional assistance from Israel as I outlined below.”

    “That is the same thing. “Weakening” (or attacking with the intent to stop the Syrian Armed Forces ability to defend the Syrian government from armed insurgents) will inveitably weaken its “political structure.””

    Yes. But as I said, that is IRRELEVANT TO THE MINIMUM GOAL.

    “Obviously, “assistance” from Israel would be a declaration of war on Syria and would cause the response I referred to earlier.”

    Sigh…At that point, Syria will be UNABLE to respond because the US and NATO will already have reduced Syria’s missile capacity and command and control facilities.

    Israel is NOT going to attack Hizballah UNTIL Syria’s capacity to intervene against Isrsael has been significantly reduced. That is the POINT.

    You’re just not getting the timeline or the point at all.

    “Let me explain to you again that Iran DOES NOT HAVE “thousands of MRBMs”.

    “Yes it does. Note that even those very conservative internet sources that you rely on (which never provide any hard evidence for their predictions) acknowledge that Iran has been manufacturing MRBMs for more than 20 years. (10+ years for advanced Shahab B/C, etc). Those sources routinely give a figure for individual missile types of 100 per year. A very conservative prediction is that Iran has at least 2,000 MRBM, with 1,000+ being very accurate.”

    No they do not. I don’t know what sources you’ve been referring to but the maximum number of ALL Iranian MRBMs and IRBMs totals NO MORE THAN 1,000 at the best estimate.

    You cannot cite on single authoritative source for any figure over 1,000. If you can, do so.

    “In reality Iran has the capacity to manufacture far more than this. And since Iran’s defense budget doubled recently (which entirely excludes missile development and production) it is rational to conclude that it is doing so and has been doing so for a number of years.”

    Pure speculation. This is not FACT and you cannot rely on this sort of speculation to predict the outcome. You cannot cite one single source to support this concept.

    You’re just making up stuff now in an attempt to prove your point.

  398. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Syria’s missiles will be taken out early. That leaves Hizballah as the main problem for Israel. So Israel will hold southern Lebanon for as long as possible.”

    There is no evidence that Syria’s missiles could be so easily destroyed. And if attempts were made, as I said before, Syria would indeed retaliate with full force.

  399. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    “Also, AS I SAID – do try to read what I write – it is likely that Israel will be unable to crush Hizballah. I think Israel knows that as well. Therefore the goal is more along the lines of pushing Hizballah north and denying it the luxury of the Bekaa Valley as “defense in depth.” This is the minimum necessary.”

    Good, glad we agree on that. Your earlier statement was not clear. And the Bekaa Valley is in Eastern Lebanon, not Southern Lebanon. Thus it seems the logical outcome of your argument here, contrary to your earlier argument, is that Israel would indeed try to occupy more than just Southern Lebanon.

  400. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    The point logically follows from your statement. You claim the goal is to weaken Syria militarily “so that” Israel can attack Hezbollah. The logical conclusion of your statement is that the intent is to prevent Syria from aiding Hezbollah. Since Syria does not have any troops in Lebanon, the goal, according to your original statement, would be to prevent supplies from reaching Hezbollah in order to aid that Israeli attack.

  401. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    “How the hell was the Libya air campaign “limited”?

    In the sense that it involved a small number of aircraft (which by the way still strained NATO’s capacity to the limit) and it attacked a very small, poorly equipped army that had no prepared defenses or ability to respond outside Libya. Syria is an entirely different case.

    “A pointless bluff from Assad. Syria does not have the capability to take down Israel. Israel has the capability to take down Syria and Assad knows it.”

    No it does not. Why do you think no Israeli aircraft have intruded into Syrian airspace since Syria upgraded its air defenses? And I made clear in my post that I was referring to a wholesale attack by the US and Israel. In the case of such an attack, Syria has explictly stated what its response would be. Of course it would be a final attack if Syria was on the verge of defeat, but that does not mean it would not happen.

    “While Israel was defeated, it was defeated mostly by domestic politics. Once the Israeli death toll began to exceed one hundred with no impact whatever on Hizballah missile launches, the Israeli public soured on the war.”

    Israel tried to destroy Hezbollah with airpower, it failed. It than tried a small invasion with a limited number of troops. That failed. It than tried a massive invasion with heavily armored forces. That failed. On the last few days it tried to airdrop troops near the Litani River. That failed. On the last day Israel’s elite troops were still fighting in small border villages with local Hezbollah units. Hezbollah’s fighting ability was not exhausted in any way, and it did not have to call its reserves at any point. Thus Israel was defeated.

  402. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    Here you go…

    “You still don’t get it. The point is NOT to enable Syrian insurgents to overthrow Assad. The point is to WEAKEN Syria militarily so it can not be an effective actor in an Iran war and also to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon for the same reason.”

    Clearly you can’t read. No where in that statement am I claiming that the goal is to prevent Syria from supporting Hizballah.

    The two points are SEPARATE.

    To clarify:

    1) Goal one is to remove Syrian missiles from being a factor in an Iran war.

    2) Goal two is to remove Hizballah missiles from being a factor in an Iran war.

    The two goals are united by the fact, as Colonel Lang has pointed out, that the only way for Israel to defeat Hizballah (if at all) is to attack Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley. This entails going through Syrian territory to do so.

    I’ve repeated this often enough here that it should have been clear if you’d bother to read what I write rather than rewording it into something you can attack.

  403. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Castellio: “If Israeli ground forces do take land in Southern Lebanon and in Syria, I doubt very much they will be withdrawn to “today’s” borders.”

    That’s an interesting point I hadn’t considered. Clearly Israel has a history of not withdrawing from territories it has seized in war unless it is militarily forced to do so as in Lebanon by Hizballah. Also clearly Israel would LOVE to have the Litani River resources in southern Lebanon.

    “If Israel leaves the Sinai alone then Egypt won’t do anything. Jordan won’t, SA won’t, Iraq can’t… and both Syria and Iran will be steadily bombed.”

    Agreed.

    I do think Israel will attempt to hold southern Lebanon for at least some time during the Iran war. As long as Iran can launch missiles against Israel, Israel does not want Hizballah to do the same, nor Syria.

    Syria’s missiles will be taken out early. That leaves Hizballah as the main problem for Israel. So Israel will hold southern Lebanon for as long as possible.

    Clearly Hizballah will regroup and begin guerrilla war against Israel as it did in the ’80′s and 90′s. This will be costly for Israel. So I think eventually Israel will be forced back out of southern Lebanon.

    In some respects it depends on HOW Israel occupies southern Lebanon. If Israel starts building massive fortifications equivalent to “The Wall”, and ethnically cleanses the territory it holds of Lebanese civilians, it could hold southern Lebanon for a long time.

    Obviously it’s stated position would be the same as its position on Gaza, i.e., as long as there was a “threat” from Hizballah, Israel would claim to be justified in occupying the territory, regardless of UN Resolutions if any.

    As for Syria, I think Israel probably would not attempt to retain significant amounts of Syria territory. The Golan Heights has strategic value, being “high ground.” Attempting to hold further territory would probably result in major guerrilla war from the remnants of the Syrian military and possibly even from the Syrian insurgents who otherwise benefited from Israel’s weakening of Syria’s military.

    So I think Israel would back off from holding captured Syrian territory, but would definitely attempt to hold southern Lebanon for as long as possible.

  404. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Here you go…

    “You still don’t get it. The point is NOT to enable Syrian insurgents to overthrow Assad. The point is to WEAKEN Syria militarily so it can not be an effective actor in an Iran war and also to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon for the same reason.”

  405. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    “That is just ridiculous. The one thing that would invite an attack on Iran is Iran INITIATING AN ATTACK ON US FORCES. That should be obvious to anyone with a brain.”

    It would not be “initiating an attack” it would be responding to an attack against another nation. But let’s say you are correct and Iran would only, for example, supply Syria with arms, ammunition (including missiles) etc. If the US than attacked it in an attempt to prevent this, than Iran would respond with full force. The result would be the same.

    “Wrong. The goal is to weaken Syria’s MILITARY, NOT its political structure. That could quite easily be done by a sufficiently long air campaign, as well as further support to the Syrian insurgents, and possibly by some additional assistance from Israel as I outlined below.”

    That is the same thing. “Weakening” (or attacking with the intent to stop the Syrian Armed Forces ability to defend the Syrian government from armed insurgents) will inveitably weaken its “political structure.” Obviously, “assistance” from Israel would be a declaration of war on Syria and would cause the response I referred to earlier.

    “Let me explain to you again that Iran DOES NOT HAVE “thousands of MRBMs”.

    Yes it does. Note that even those very conservative internet sources that you rely on (which never provide any hard evidence for their predictions) acknowledge that Iran has been manufacturing MRBMs for more than 20 years. (10+ years for advanced Shahab B/C, etc). Those sources routinely give a figure for individual missile types of 100 per year. A very conservative prediction is that Iran has at least 2,000 MRBM, with 1,000+ being very accurate. In reality Iran has the capacity to manufacture far more than this. And since Iran’s defense budget doubled recently (which entirely excludes missile development and production) it is rational to conclude that it is doing so and has been doing so for a number of years.

  406. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “Of course the goal of Israel is to “CRUSH” Hezbollah. That was its goal in 2006. And it was completely defeated’

    As usual, you over state the case.

    While Israel was defeated, it was defeated mostly by domestic politics. Once the Israeli death toll began to exceed one hundred with no impact whatever on Hizballah missile launches, the Israeli public soured on the war.

    After the war, heads rolled in the IDF and extensive criticism of the Israeli forces was proffered by just about everyone. The IDF was accused of being “weak” from decades of serving as an “occupation police force” rather than a war-fighting military.

    The IDF clearly has no desire to repeat that experience. In the next attack, it will commit major ground forces from the outset.

    Also, AS I SAID – do try to read what I write – it is likely that Israel will be unable to crush Hizballah. I think Israel knows that as well. Therefore the goal is more along the lines of pushing Hizballah north and denying it the luxury of the Bekaa Valley as “defense in depth.” This is the minimum necessary.

    And AGAIN AS I SAID I don’t even necessarily predict success at that. What I SAY is that Israel HAS TO TRY.

    You keep arguing that Israel will fail while I keep arguing Israel will nonetheless TRY.

    Try to keep the difference in mind before responding.

  407. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges:

    “Who said “limited air campaign”? And who said the goal was to limit Syria support for Hizballah?”

    “You did, in the preceding post.”

    Quote me.

    Go ahead. Quote me. I never said it.

    “And the only air campaign that would be even slightly feasible politically would be a limited one similar to Libya.”

    How the hell was the Libya air campaign “limited”?

    Are you even reading what you’re typing?

    “from Syria because it has made it very clear that if it goes down Israel will go down as well.”

    A pointless bluff from Assad. Syria does not have the capability to take down Israel. Israel has the capability to take down Syria and Assad knows it.

  408. Castellio says:

    Is another war of Israeli expansion shaping up, as in 48, 56, 67? If Israeli ground forces do take land in Southern Lebanon and in Syria, I doubt very much they will be withdrawn to “today’s” borders.

    If Israel leaves the Sinai alone then Egypt won’t do anything. Jordan won’t, SA won’t, Iraq can’t… and both Syria and Iran will be steadily bombed.

    There are new opportunities opening for Israeli expansion as the US continues its policy of regional hegemony through military means.

  409. Karl says:

    James,
    Block and demand Iran to capitulation that is regime change.

  410. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you claiming the US will continue to block supplying Iran with TRR fuel, if Iran does any enrichment? This would mean the US would be in effect preventing Iran from ending enrichment to 20 percent?

  411. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Of course the goal of Israel is to “CRUSH” Hezbollah. That was its goal in 2006. And it was completely defeated by a force that was far smaller, less well trained, and less well equipped than Hezbollah is now. In fact in 2006 Hezbollah did not even call up any reserves. It fought, and defeated, 10,000s of heavily armed Israel troops with 3,000 lightly equiped guerilla fighters, most of whom were equipped with 30 year old weapons.

  412. Jay says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    April 9, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    “Internal Look” and two other forecasts I am indirectly familiar with agree (to a reasonable extent) with the view you have expressed. US intelligence and military officials believe that Iran’s response to any threat to its interest will be highly robust. There is a sense that the political leadership in Iran has decided that any weakness in response would be perceived as a surrender signal.

  413. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    “Who said “limited air campaign”? And who said the goal was to limit Syria support for Hizballah?”

    You did, in the preceding post. You are now changing your position. And the only air campaign that would be even slightly feasible politically would be a limited one similar to Libya. Such a campaign would indeed fail, even without Iranian intervention. On the other hand, a full scale camapaign would indeed involve a full scale response from Iran and Syria. From Iran for the reasons I already stated, and from Syria because it has made it very clear that if it goes down Israel will go down as well. That, among other things, is why it is not going to happen.

  414. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges: “The Israelis will not be able to reoccupy Lebanon”

    sigh…Read what I said.

    The goal is not to “occupy Lebanon” but to occupy SOUTHERN Lebanon to prevent Hizballah from using that area as a base to launch missiles during an Iran war.

    “while Israeli capabilities are about the same.”

    Israel did not commit sufficient ground forces to the 2006 campaign because they overestimated the ability of air power to destroy Hizballah. They will not make that mistake this time. They will commit at least one or two armored divisions to the task from the outset.

    Note that I do NOT predict Israel will be SUCCESSFUL in either crushing Hizballah or preventing Hibzallah from launching missiles against Israel in an Iran war to SOME degree.

    But the goal of Israel is OBVIOUSLY to derail Hizballah’s ability to launch hundreds or thousands of missiles against Israel during an Iran war and also to insure that few of those missiles can reach the more sensitive areas of Israel.

    In any event, Israel has NO CHOICE but to TRY. It is a strategic NECESSITY prior to an Iran war if the Likud Party does not want to be blamed by the Israeli population for subjecting it to daily hours long stays in bomb shelters which will cause enormous hardship for Israelis and the Israeli economy.

  415. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges: “Yes, Iran would indeed target US or NATO bases used to attack Syria with its 1000’s of MRBM’s”

    Sigh…

    Let me explain to you again that Iran DOES NOT HAVE “thousands of MRBMs”.

    “If it did not, than its lack of response would invite an attack on itself.”

    That is just ridiculous. The one thing that would invite an attack on Iran is Iran INITIATING AN ATTACK ON US FORCES. That should be obvious to anyone with a brain.

    “This is not a matter of speculation as Iran has explictly stated multiple times that it would defend Syria in the case of such an attack.”

    Iran has NEVER said it would INTERVENE MILITARILY to defend Syria. It has said it would “defend” Syria which is a much vaguer statement. Find me one quote from any senior Iranian official which EXPLICITLY states that Iran will MILITARILY defend Syria.

    You can’t do it.

    “No limited air campaign could prevent Syrian support for Hezbollah from continuing.”

    Who said “limited air campaign”? And who said the goal was to limit Syria support for Hizballah?

    The goal is first of all to eliminate Syria’s missile and command and control systems so Syria will be unable to fire missiles at Israel during a general Iran war.

    The second goal is to push Hizballah further north in Lebanon (if not be able to crush Hizballah, which is highly unlikely to be achievable) in order to prevent Hizballah from firing enough missiles at Israel to be an effective actor in a general Iran war.

    Neither of these goals has anything to do with preventing Syria from continuing to supply arms to Hizballah – although in the context, that will be rather difficult as well.

    “Among other things, you seem to forget that Syria has chemical and biological weapons”

    Which will be targeted in any US/NATO air campaign.

    “might well use them on Israel if it is subject to a full scale attack.”

    Syria will not attack Israel if Syria is attacked by the US and NATO. That would be even more idiotic. That would bring Israel into the war – and by invitation of Syria at that, which would be STUPID beyond belief – and Israel would make short work of the remainder of Syria’s military forces in that event.

    “The only way that Syria would be weakened militarily in the way you describe would indeed involve overthrowing Assad.”

    Wrong. The goal is to weaken Syria’s MILITARY, NOT its political structure. That could quite easily be done by a sufficiently long air campaign, as well as further support to the Syrian insurgents, and possibly by some additional assistance from Israel as I outlined below.

    Whether Assad is overthrown is irrelevant at this point. With Syria’s military being seriously weakened, the likelihood is that the Syrian insurgency will spread and Assad will fall at some further point down the road. That is irrelevant to the initial purpose of the campaign.

    “And the only way to do that would be a full scale invasion.”

    No. As I indicated above, once Syria’s military is weakened too much to effectively resist the insurgents, the insurgency can spread over a period of time. Whether the result is just a long-term civil war as in Iraq or a direct overthrow of Assad is irrelevant. In both cases, Assad and Syria will be rendered irrelevant to Israel’s goals.

    “There has also been a clear difference between the NATO statements on Libya and Syria. In fact NATO countries openly supported and promoted a “no fly zone” from the earliest stages of the rebellion.”

    They did not. EU official explicitly stated that they had received no request for international intervention and did not anticipate doing so.

    NATO has no plans to intervene in Libya: Rasmussen
    February 24, 2011
    http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/02/24/139087.html

    “In the case of Libya, those who supported the war were able to sell it as a short, relatively cost free operation that would pay for itself. Syria is different for a variety of reasons.”

    Irrelevant. The current approach is different only in the PR. Since NATO and the US clearly overstepped the bounds of the UNSC Resolution authorizing a no-fly zone in Libya and turned it into regime change, they clearly have motives to avoid similar criticism in respect of Syria.

    All this means is that they will rely on supporting the insurgents until the chaos in Syria has grown great enough that they can claim they “must act”.

    The end result will be exactly the same: a full-scale US/NATO air campaign against Syria.

    As I’ve said, this is NECESSARY in order for Israel to achieve its goal of a “cheap war” with Iran. Israel’s leadership does not want the Israeli population to be subjected to missiles attacks from Iran, Syria AND Hizballah as a result of Israel attacking Iran. Therefore Israel must take out Hizballah, and the only way to do that is by going through Syrian territory to attack the Bekaa Valley from the flank in a pincer movement. This in turn requires engaging the Syrian military. It would be much easier for Israel to do this if the Syrian military cannot move without being bombed by the US and NATO.

    Therefore this is the plan.

  416. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    fyi says:
    April 9, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Absolutely. I agree.

  417. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    The Israelis will not be able to reoccupy Lebanon regardless of their delusional fantasies to the contrary. Hezbollah’s military capabilities have enormously increased since 2006 (when Israel was defeated) while Israeli capabilities are about the same.

  418. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More Syria escalation threats from Turkey…

    Turkey warns of ‘steps’ if Syria mayhem doesn’t end
    http://news.yahoo.com/turkey-warns-steps-syria-mayhem-doesnt-end-080259528.html

    Quote

    “We will patiently follow the process until April 10,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by daily Hurriyet.

    But “we will implement steps” if violence does not stop after that, he added.

    End Quote

    And how exactly is the violence to stop if Turkey is providing the insurgents with a safe haven and allowing them to be armed and paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, as well as trained by French and British and CIA military advisors?

    If Turkey wants the violence to stop – which is clearly a lie – then it needs to round up and seize all the arms of the insurgents and intern them. Absent such a policy, we know Turkey is lying.

  419. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 9, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Yes, Iran would indeed target US or NATO bases used to attack Syria with its 1000′s of MRBM’s and otherwise if Syria is attacked. If it did not, than its lack of response would invite an attack on itself. This is not a matter of speculation as Iran has explictly stated multiple times that it would defend Syria in the case of such an attack.

    “You still don’t get it. The point is NOT to enable Syrian insurgents to overthrow Assad. The point is to WEAKEN Syria militarily so it can not be an effective actor in an Iran war and also to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon for the same reason.”

    No limited air campaign could prevent Syrian support for Hezbollah from continuing. Among other things, you seem to forget that Syria has chemical and biological weapons and might well use them on Israel if it is subject to a full scale attack. The only way that Syria would be weakened militarily in the way you describe would indeed involve overthrowing Assad. And the only way to do that would be a full scale invasion. That is beyond the current resources and willingness of the US and it is also beyone what either the US public or other NATO countries would support or be capable of.

    There has also been a clear difference between the NATO statements on Libya and Syria. In fact NATO countries openly supported and promoted a “no fly zone” from the earliest stages of the rebellion. In this case, even though some NATO countries might possibly support such an attack, it is clear that other countries have opposed such a move. NATO has to operate by consensus. In the case of Libya, those who supported the war were able to sell it as a short, relatively cost free operation that would pay for itself. Syria is different for a variety of reasons.

  420. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Exactly as I predict – when Israel attacks Hizballah, they will have to occupy southern Lebanon to prevent Hizballah from re-introducing its missiles facilities. The entire point of the Syria-Lebanon conflict is to prevent Hizballah from being able to launch missiles at much of Israel from southern Lebanon.

    Special IDF units preparing for mass Lebanon incursion if war breaks out with Hezbollah
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/special-idf-units-preparing-for-mass-lebanon-incursion-if-war-breaks-out-with-hezbollah-1.423178

  421. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel ‘satisfied’ with Iran’s rejection of West’s demands
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4214015,00.html

  422. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Saudi Arabia’s Syrian jihad
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND06Ak01.html

    Quotes

    If there was any doubt as to Saudi intentions in Syria, that veil was ripped away on Sunday at the Istanbul “Friends of Syria” conference. The Saudis and their Gulf allies spearheaded an effort to create a formalized pay structure for the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and privately ruminated on the possibility of setting up official supply conduits to forces fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. This decision went much further than what the West, or even neighboring Turkey, seemed willing to embrace.

    Reports that Saudi agents have been working in Jordan and Iraq to finance smuggling routes appear to have a substantial amount of circumstantial evidence, and is certainly a view endorsed by those taking part in such activities on the ground. While unsubstantiated and likely untrue accusations that Saudi Arabia has played a role in the spate of suicide attacks in Damascus belie a more likely fear that the Kingdom is strengthening its ties amongst Islamist groups in Syria.

    End Quotes

  423. fyi says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says: April 9, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Existing sanctions are now strategically irrelevant.

    Iranians in any case have to work through them and render them ineffective over the coming years.

    There is no way that EU, US, and Iran – indeed the world – can go back to status quo ante of last September.

  424. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Hillary’s Middle East Scare Campaign
    http://agenceglobal.com/Article.asp?Id=2769

    Quote

    Clinton’s missile shield proposal might be good for U.S. defence contractors but would seem to have little local relevance. It bears an uncanny resemblance to a U.S. scheme to defend Europe and the United States from a hypothetical Iranian nuclear missile attack — a scheme dismissed by William Pfaff, one of the wisest of U.S. commentators, as ‘a make-work project for the American aerospace industry.’

    Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, is attempting to re-launch negotiations over the nuclear issue between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (the so-called P5+1). But instead of lending America’s full support to these efforts, Hilary Clinton insists on throwing doubt on Iran’s sincerity in wanting to reach an agreement. ‘It is up to Iran whether they are ready to make the right choice,’ she declared belligerently in Riyadh. ‘What is certain,’ she added, ‘is that Iran’s window of opportunity to seek and obtain a peaceful resolution will not remain open forever.’ This is precisely the threatening language we are used to hearing from Israel’s hard-line Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu.

    Annan called for a simultaneous ceasefire by both the regime and the armed opposition. But Clinton has accused President Bashar al-Asad alone of having failed to keep his promise to pull back his troops. Instead of urging the opposition to put aside its weapons and accept a ceasefire, she has put the onus of stopping the fight on Asad alone. Her demand that Annan impose a ‘time line’ on Asad risks subverting Annan’s peace mission.

    End Quotes

    Seale has it right on all points. The US goal in all cases is aggressive, not peaceful. The US intends to sabotage ANY efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.

  425. Karl says:

    Richard Steven Hack,
    Reckless and warmongering statements by the furios cameron.

  426. Karl says:

    James,

    Precondition: 20%
    End of talk: No enrichment for Iran
    According to the US.

  427. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    To what extent did the “war party” in the US celebrate the fact Iran trebled production of 20 percent uranium?

  428. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran’s general: Some Persian Gulf Arab states turned into U.S. weapons depots
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2012262.html

  429. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    China intervened in the Korean War to prevent the reunification of Korea by destruction of the government of NK. Now, China might accept a unified Korea if the US withdrew all troops, or perhaps just agreed not to station them any further north than the courrent border between NK and SK.

  430. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Russia to hand over Bushehr NPP control to Iran in autumn
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2011856.html

  431. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Brit poodles weigh in…

    PM: Iran building missile to hit UK
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/politics/4177173/PM-Iran-building-missile-to-hit-UK.html

    Quote

    He said: “Nothing is off the table. If sanctions don’t work there will come a moment for a very difficult decision.”

    End Quote

    So now the goal post is being moved from “Iran acquiring a nuclear missile” to “Iran acquiring an ICBM.”

  432. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US to Iran: Surrender Dorothy!
    “Negotiations” preceded by ultimatum
    by Justin Raimondo
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/04/08/us-to-iran-surrender-dorothy/

    Quotes

    The conventional wisdom is that if the President strikes, he will wait until after the election, but there are two factors militating against this: 1) He has pretty much lost control of the timing by issuing this “last chance” ultimatum. If the Iranians don’t surrender Dorothy, the Witch has vowed to descend on her broomstick and command her flying monkeys to attack. If she doesn’t she’ll lose credibility – and the Republicans will be handed a campaign issue. 2) Speaking of the campaign, it is far easier for a wartime President to be reelected than a peacetime one presiding over a sputtering economy. With patriotic cries of “unity” in wartime and the atmosphere of manufactured crisis constraining his opponents, Obama will have a far easier time of it if he just relaxes, sits back, and lets the Israel lobby have its way with him.

    If the President’s record in office demonstrates any consistency, it is that his default strategy is to take the path of least resistance. Of course, the resistance of the American people is neither here nor there, in this instance: the political system, which is designed to keep out “dissident” candidates, has fulfilled its function for the 2012 contest.

    When it comes to the question of war and peace, the American people are largely excluded from the discourse, except for references to polls of dubious merit. This is a non-debate taking place almost exclusively among the political elites, a group that bases much of its inflated self-regard on the conviction that Washington is the epicenter of an empire grander and more enduring than any before it. Any attempt to scale down – or, Heaven forfend, even dismantle – this global imperium is nothing less than an attack on their status and their precious self-esteem. You’re about as likely to have a real foreign policy “debate” among this crowd as you are at a Soviet party congress, circa 1933.

    I have to hand it to the War Party: a mere decade after ginning up a war based entirely on lies and manipulated “intelligence,” they’re on the verge of pulling it off again, in a nearly identical manner. Only this time the stakes are much higher, the “enemy” is a lot more formidable, and the chances of the conflict becoming regional or even worldwide are near certainty.

    End Quotes

  433. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Is the US actually “challenging” any real interest of China?

  434. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Re: the story you just linked, about Obama the super-hawk & fraud. Has Obama recently said Iran must stop all enrichment, virtually as a “pre-dondition”?

  435. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Can Brazil Stop Iran?
    :http://www.campaigniran.org/casmii/index.php?q=node/12444

    Discussion of Brazil and its nuclear program vis-a-vis Iran.

    The article to which this is a response.

    Can Brazil Stop Iran?
    :http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/opinion/can-brazil-stop-iran.html?_r=2&ref=opin

  436. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges: “Iran and Syria have a mutual self defense agreement. If one is attacked the other is bound by treaty to come to its aid. Examine history to see how dangerous it is to ignore such things.”

    It will be ignored here. Iran is not stupid enough to expose itself to attack by directly aiding Syria.’

    And how will Iran aid Syria? Sending in weapons covertly or even overtly is one thing, but as I said it will be both difficult and unlikely to be a strategic asset.

    But what else can Iran do? Start launching missiles against US assets and Israel? You REALLY believe Iran will INVITE a full-scale US attack on itself by doing so over SYRIA? Really?

    You’re delusional.

    “Your belief that NATO will attack Syria is also mistaken. It is obvious from NATO’s public statements that multiple members of NATO have explicitly refused to participate or support any such attack.”

    They also denied any such attack was intended on Libya initially. Within weeks, they reversed that decision. You really believe politicians? Seriously?

    “If any attack was launched it would have occurred several months ago when Syrian terrorists were being evicted from Homs and other cities. Since those terrorists now hold no territory an air campaign would not be able to accomplish anything in any case.”

    You still don’t get it. The point is NOT to enable Syrian insurgents to overthrow Assad. The point is to WEAKEN Syria militarily so it can not be an effective actor in an Iran war and also to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon for the same reason.

    It has NOTHING to do with overthrowing Assad.

  437. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    To clarify my previous post, I don’t think there is any detailed plan beyond keeping the sanctions in place and engaging in wishful thinking that they will be effective. Obama obviously wants to avoid relaxing the sanctions or coming to a meaningful diplomatic settlement in an election year because this would lead Republicans/Israel lobby to attack him for being “weak on Iran” etc.

  438. BiBiJon says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 9, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    While you wait, here’s Paul Pillar’s take about the subject.

    “We ought to hope that the description in a New York Times report of the U.S. position going into negotiations with Iran about nuclear activities does not fairly represent what U.S. and other Western negotiators will bring to the table. Perhaps we can take heart in the absence of a good reason to expect that leaks to journalists of negotiating positions will be complete and entirely accurate. Leaks, after all, are designed for various audiences, and not necessarily the one that will be faced across the conference table.”

    ——–

    I suppose the leaks are intended for domestic audiences, specifically the neocon branch, to assuage their fears about Obama not being tough enough, and thereby get some alarming-headline-free space/time to actually do a deal.

  439. Castellio says:

    ToivoS writes: “I don’t understand what the Obama administration is doing.”

    Really?

  440. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I think the most likely scenario is a justification for continuing sanctions against Iran. The most likely reason for this is that it will allow Obama to look “tough” in an election year and thus appeal to the Israel lobby and more conservative voters. An additional factor is no doubt a continuation of the US policy of threatening Iran with attack if it does not give in to US demands. Of course, this policy has been an absolute failure over the last 10+ years but failure never seems to deter the US government from continuing to pursue such a policy.

  441. Castellio says:

    For a little bit more information on Libya, terrorism when acceptable and terrorism when not, oil, rendition, the UK, and the incorruptible glories of Tony Blair, see:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/08/special-report-britain-rendition-libya?INTCMP=SRCH

  442. ToivoS says:

    Rapidly changing events have segued this thread into the upcoming negotiations between the US and Iran. Suddenly, the US has now presented up front non-negotiable demands which if Iran accepted would surely mean complete capitulation. I don’t understand what the Obama administration is doing. So far all of the information has been provided by unnamed sources, so the demands are not yet official policy.

    Iran has called the proposals “irrational” and the Israelis are delighted.

    I eagerly wait for the Leverett’s read on this development.

  443. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Karl says:
    April 9, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Interesting aspects of the article:

    1. Note the arrogant demand that Iran must meet preconditions. This is not “diplomacy” by any sane standard. Thus Obama’s statement that the “time for diplomacy is ending” is irrelevant since what the US is doing is not diplomacy.

    2. Note the addition of yet more demands, now Iran, an independent sovereign state must “prove” a negative rather than the US proving that its absurd claims are correct. Of course, the US will than appoint itself as the overseer of establishing this “proof” and will continue to make absurd claims that accuse Iran of various things for which it will never present any actual verifiable evidence.

  444. Karl says:

    Here we have it.
    US demands that Iran not only ending 20% enrichment as a precondition BUT also the ending of ALL enrichment by Iran.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/u-s-time-for-reaching-diplomatic-solution-to-iran-nuclear-standoff-limited-1.423448

  445. Castellio says:

    Reza, I don’t know enough about the historical situation with India, Vietnam and Tibet to comment, but I agree with your current assessment of China. That is what I was trying to say to BiBiJon as well: a very cautious foreign policy married to a robust (and increasingly technological) spirit of defense.

    America, on the other hand, is being very aggressive in its on-going challenge to Chinese interests: flying warplanes right up to the borders; stationing and patrolling Chinese coastal waters with nuclear weaponized armadas; controlling the chokepoints of Chinese trade; and most importantly, supplying weapons to Taiwan, a territory of traditional China… I mean, seriously, who is the US trying to fool with this needless aggression?

  446. Castellio says:

    ExposingNCWS, a brief question:

    If, as you say, “It is obvious at this point that the US is deliberately making absurd demands that any rational country would reject out of hand so as to justify its sanctions against Iran.”… what is the next step after the unsuccesful negotiations?

  447. Reza Esfandiari says:

    @ Castellio:

    Yes, the Chinese did invade the Korean peninsular in order to restore the borders between North and South and prevent the Allies from occupying Pyongyang. However, China did invade India, Vietnam and Tibet when there was no imminent threat posed to their country. But, in any case, I think that today’s China is neither aggressive or expansionist, but will defend its own interests and security robustly.

  448. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    This latest demand just shows how irrational and illogical they are. It is obvious at this point that the US is deliberately making absurd demands that any rational country would reject out of hand so as to justify its sanctions against Iran.

  449. BiBiJon says:

    Why closing Fordo enrichment plant should not be on the agenda
    ===========================================================

    “The Western message to Tehran seems pretty clear: we might be willing to tolerate some sort of Iranian nuclear program, but only one consisting of facilities that would suffer significant damage if we, or the Israelis, later decide to bomb it. In other words, we insist on holding Iranian nuclear facilities hostage to armed attack. Not the sort of formula that inspires trust among Iranian leaders and gives them much incentive to move toward an agreement.”

    ….

    “But given the stakes, the administration cannot afford to risk messing up the process by focusing on demands that seem to have more to do with simplifying the task of Israeli military targeteers than they do with anything else.”

    By Paul Pillar http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/hostages-iran-6749

  450. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    April 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    By the way, if you examine our favorite local Zionist’s posting history, you can easily see that a disproportionate amount of the things he links to are from monarchist sources. Funny that he cannot see that this exposes his claim to support “democracy” as a complete fraud.

  451. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    April 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Ah, what a surprise “Sassss” spammed another link without bothering to actually watch it first. It is now obvious he is not being directed and paid to post such things.

  452. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 8, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    Iran and Syria have a mutual self defense agreement. If one is attacked the other is bound by treaty to come to its aid. Examine history to see how dangerous it is to ignore such things.

    Your belief that NATO will attack Syria is also mistaken. It is obvious from NATO’s public statements that multiple members of NATO have explicitly refused to participate or support any such attack. If any attack was launched it would have occurred several months ago when Syrian terrorists were being evicted from Homs and other cities. Since those terrorists now hold no territory an air campaign would not be able to accomplish anything in any case.

  453. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Scott Lucas says:
    April 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    So I see the troll Lucas has discovered the use of internet proxies and decided to start harassing people on this site again with his fantastical anti Iran views. Just two facts are enough to dispel his nonsense.

    1. Last year Iran exported $48 billion dollars worth of non oil goods and services. At the current rate of increase, its export of non oil goods and services will exceed its oil exports in less than 5 years.

    2. $4.3 billion dollars of those exports were engineering and technical services. In other words, construction of power plants, dams, water purification facilities, and industrial facilities. If a country is “isolated” it does not have major engineering contracts with over 10 nations that made over $4 billion dollars in a single year. In addition, if a country is not a rapidly expanding and developing economy with a large industrial base, it cannot provide those services.

    And what a surprise Lucas could not be bothered to respond to the previous posts that disproved his assertions. Does anyone else here sense a connection with a certain other troll on this site?

  454. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    If you are asking whether ExxonMobil makes more money with less oil production, due to the hgih prices, clearly the answer is affirmative. I very much doubt Big Oil wants an attack on Iran, however.

  455. Castellio says:

    James, maybe not by the US government… but how about US “interests”?

  456. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I agree with you that the US would not control the energy of the Gulf even if Iran is attacked, Iran”s navy sunk, air force destroyed, etc. I also agree Israel would like to see this happen, to give Israel more scope for its programmes regarding the Palestinans, etc.

  457. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Perhaps Frydoon Abbasi should say how many years the TRR can be operated with the 135 kg of 20% U already produced by Iran.

  458. James Canning says:

    Castellio, BiBiJon,

    The US is the largest importer of oil on the planet. Higher oil prices are not sought by the US government.

  459. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    The US obviously squandered more than $1 trillion on the unnecessary Iraq War. A Shia-controlled government in Iraq was certain to be friendly toward Iran, and this fact was made known to the Bush administration before it launched the invasion in 2003.

  460. James Canning says:

    Kathleen, fyi,

    Persia had hopes in 1918-1919, of obtaining a portion of Georgia, to achieve a port on the Black Sea (in wake of collapse of Russian Empire). Bit Persia clearly was not in a position to attempt to achieve this by force.

  461. BiBiJon says:

    On literature, and the human soul
    ===============================

    “The poet’s business is not to save the soul of man but to make it worth saving,” observed James Elroy Flecker, a poet who died young in 1915. At the age of 84, Gunter Grass is living up to that credo.

    from http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/andwordsisallihave/entry/should_poets_speak_out_on_world_issues

  462. fyi says:

    Kathleen says: April 9, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    Iranians were just too weak for while to invade anyone.

    They could not even keep parts of their country together.

    Weakness does not translate into moral choice.

  463. Rehmat says:

    On Sunday, Israel’s interior minister Eli Yishai declared German Nobel Laureate, Guenter Grass, persona non grata, for his poem claiming that Israel and not Iran, is the greatest threat to world peace. The paranoid Zionist has advised Grass to publish such anti-Israel material in Iran to find audience. He also demanded the Nobel Prize Committee should withdraw Grass’ 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/israel-bans-german-author-in-desperation/

  464. Kathleen says:

    Israeli communication companies accessing 95% of all American phone calls was Fox News reporter Carl Cameron four part report on Amdocs and Comverse Infosys not only accessing, data mining etc but the report included alleged claims that this system had been infiltrated through some back door. There were also claims that those intercepting (allegedly Israeli intelligence agents) had not released all information about the 9/11 terrorist communications that had been intercepted to US intelligence officials in that four part report. Cameron came out with this report soon after 9/11. Supposedly Fox was hammered for this report and took it off their website.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7545.htm

  465. Kathleen says:

    Fio…first to report about these Israeli based communication companies was For reporter Carl Cameron way back in 2001. Fox news was hammered for this report. Watch all four reports
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7545.htm

  466. Kathleen says:

    No one argued when Hillary said “Iran has never invaded another country”

    But when Hillary said China is not an “expansionist country” she went off the cliff of denial

  467. Castellio says:

    Drift suggests an undirected movement determined by currents and winds. How about “rapidly escalating investment in totalitarianism”? Or, more succinctly, “Race Towards Totalitarianism”?

  468. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: April 9, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Yes, it is called drift towards totalitarianism.

  469. Fiorangela says:

    Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA By James Bamford April 3, 2012

    “NSA greatly expanded eavesdropping network — the new $358 million CAPT Joseph J. Rochefort Building at NSA Hawaii, . . . the 604,000-square-foot John Whitelaw Building at NSA Georgia. Designed to house about 4,000 earphone-clad intercept operators, analysts and other specialists, many of them employed by private contractors, it will have a 2,800-square-foot fitness center open 24/7, 47 conference rooms and VTCs, and “22 caves,” . . .
    Menwith Hill, the NSA’s giant satellite listening post in Yorkshire, England that sports 33 giant dome-covered eavesdropping dishes, is also undergoing a multi-million-dollar expansion, with $68 million alone being spent on a generator plant to provide power for new supercomputers. And the number of people employed on the base, many of them employees of Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, is due to increase from 1,800 to 2,500 in 2015, according to a study done in Britain.
    Closer to home, . . . Fort Meade will close its 27-hole golf course to make room for a massive $2 billion, 1.8-million-square-foot expansion of the NSA’s headquarters, including a cybercommand complex and a new supercomputer center expected to cost nearly $1 billion.

    The climax, however, will be the opening next year of the NSA’s mammoth 1-million-square-foot, $2 billion Utah Data Center. The centerpiece in the agency’s decade-long building boom, it will be the “cloud” where the trillions of millions of intercepted phone calls, e-mails, and data trails will reside, to be scrutinized by distant analysts over highly encrypted fiber-optic links.”

  470. fyi says:

    Lysander says: April 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

    There is no possibility of a false-flage attack against USN vessels and other assets.

    An attack could be launched agaunst Iranian assets but I suppose US leaders would know the origin of the attack and deal with it.

    Russia and China do not wish for a war but will aide Iran indirectly in that case.

    US and EU leaders finally have changed their tune from “War is Cheap” to “War is Expensive”.

    That leaves Israel out; we shall see what they do.

  471. Lysander says:

    After a few months of hearing about a potential Israeli false flag attack on the USS Enterprise, the headline on yahoo news is:

    “Navy deploys 2nd carrier to Persian Gulf
    The move comes amid rising tensions with Iran over its nuclear program.”

    That’s right, the soon to be decommissioned Enterprise is joining the Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf in its “Last Mission.” This along with designed to fail negotiations that are Iran’s “Last Chance.”

    And while this could be a bluff, like several times in the past, it could also be the real thing. I like the false flag idea. That way, none but an anti-semite could say we are fighting Iran for Israel’s sake. Pity about the sailors, but they will have a beautiful death, long remembered.

    The only hope is that not everyone will believe it. I’m always amazed at the number of 9/11 truthers I run into. Outside of the US, its much more. We can only hope that the Russians and Chinese will openly disbelieve the official narrative that comes out. They were willing to do that for North Korea when the SoKo navy ship was sunk a couple of years back.

    Better yet, the plotters will start to get cold feet that their story wont fly and abort in advance. Nothing wrong with hoping.

  472. Karl says:

    According to Presstv 2 meetings are to be held, first in Turkey, second in Iraq.

  473. M. Ali says:

    Richard, but I still wouldn’t be surprised if most of them are just doing it for fun.

    Also, speaking of bias against iran,
    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/photo-the-bravest-craziest-most-ironic-voter-in-irans-election-today/253915/

    Look how the article struggles to find so many meaning in a person wearing a tshirt.

  474. Richard Steven Hack says:

    M. Ali: “It shows the way the media reported and blogged about women practicing maritial arts in Iran.”

    That was interesting to me. I’ve followed the rise of Togakure-ryu ninjutsu internationally for the last thirty years or so. Back in the ’70′s Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi opened the art to international students, with some of the first coming from Israel, the US and Germany. Steven Hayes became the most well known US student, writing a number of books on the subject. Today Togakure-ryu is practiced in many countries around the world. So it’s not too surprising that there is an Iranian branch (I’m assuming it is a branch of the Bujinkan, although there are other less legitimate schools.).

    The article is a little incorrect in that ninjutsu in the Togakure-ryu tradition is not actually a “sport”, but more of a “lifestyle” or a “self-development program”. It is a combat art with no sport applications, although some have tried to develop it into a sport. It focuses on comprehensive survival with an emphasis on spiritual and mental development. It’s exactly the sort of martial art that would do well in restrictive societies, since such a society is similar to the feudal Japanese one where it originated.

  475. ToivoS says:

    Kooshy’s comment: kooshy says:
    April 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm.

    At one level we agree. The US was defeated in Iraq and Iran was the victor. That seems to be an outcome that you relish. But that is not one that I believe is good for the US. BTW I am an American citizen and I do support my nation. On the other hand, there are powerful forces inside the US that continue to urge the US to engage in self destructive wars. Since I happen to be part of the antiwar movement here in the US, I am not unhappy to see that my pro war enemies have lost big time and have led us into a strategic defeat in Iraq and now Iran. I hope that they will have lost their influence in making more war, specifically war against Iran.

  476. M. Ali says:

    I was just doing some reading and came across this:

    http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/4923/covering-irans-ninjas

    It shows the way the media reported and blogged about women practicing maritial arts in Iran.

  477. k_w says:

    Castellio,

    As far as I know, the US pressured the Saudis to flood the market with cheap oil to reduce Russia’s profits. This happened during the Afghanistan war, at the end of the eighties.

  478. Castellio says:

    BiBiJon writes: “Think about the meaning of a vanquished Iran for Russia and China. Other than the geostrategic security nightmare, think what the total control of the PG’s hydrocarbon resources by US will mean to Russia and China economically. US will be able to jack the prices up at no cost to herself to pressure China. And, once she is done with China, she can reduce price of oil to bankrupt Russia. Do you seriously think Russia and China are just going to sit there and be nice potted plants watching the middle east be gobbled up? Even Bush said he understands it will be WW III.”

    Well, yes an no. There was a time, not long ago, under Yeltsin, when the “oligarchs” (I won’t go into it) representing Israeli and American interests had (through criminal means supported by the ‘west’) taken control over all of Russia’s oil and gas… the struggle to get some of it back took years. And, to be fair, one has to layer this on top of two world wars where Russia (or the Soviet Union) was the primary target of the world’s then greatest western military power (Germany).

    Russia is engaged in a life and death kind of struggle as well as is Iran. Russia’s freedom to move is more proscribed then we think, although Russian ‘independence’ is more rooted and fierce then we usually give it credit for.

    Ditto China. It wasn’t that long ago in historical terms that China was occupied by the Brits, and was being carved up by both western and Japanese governments. The struggle for Chinese independence cost millions of lives in both internal and external wars. They have been both bold on the economic front and cautious on the foreign affairs front. Their engagement in Korea was part of their caution, as they correctly assessed American interests as then firmly anti-Chinese.

    What am I saying? France, Germany, the UK have folded their tents and moved in with the Americans. whose policy is greatly determined by their financial caste (elite if you prefer). They believe they have the wind in their sails (this is where I disagree strongly with FYI, who assumes they must agree with his analysis of their financial failure – they don’t). The so-called pivot to China is to “hold” the Chinese at bay while Iran and Iraq are both re-integrated into the western financial system. They will, quite literally, stop at nothing to effect this.

    I don’t like how RSH uses current events to keep the score card of his own brilliance, but what he does get right is the tenacity, methodology, and single mindedness of the interests of the American-Western (dare we say capitalist) elite. (I’ve begun to prefer caste to elite – people are born into it.)

    So while Russia and China are not ‘potted plants’, neither do they have the freedom of action you’re envisioning. Their histories have cautioned them – they are defensive in intent, organization and ideology. Can they live with a vanquished Iran? Yes, they both can. Do they want it? No.

    Let me turn this around so you can see what I’m driving at. Do you think the Islamic Republic of Iran could survive living beside a vanquished Russia? Of course you do.

  479. Arnold Evans says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    April 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Eric, thanks for watching Sassan’s video.

  480. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Fiorangela: “C Span…The topic was Religious Liberty in the US. The ‘expert’ called upon to enlighten the C Span audience was Robert Jones.”

    One has to laugh. C-Span is clearly a joke.

    “C Span…a program about religious impacts on Arab Spring…Eliot Abrams, Stephen Hadley, and Dennis Ross”

    One has to laugh harder.

    Who actually controls C-SPAN?

    Wikipedia says this:

    C-SPAN is operated by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, a non-profit organization[11] whose board of directors consists primarily of representatives of the largest cable companies.[91] Early chairmen of C-SPAN include Bob Rosencrans, John Saeman, Ed Allen and Gene Schneider.[92] Funding for C-SPAN does not come from advertising; instead, it receives nearly all of its funding from subscriber fees charged to cable and Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) operators.[91] As the network is an independent entity, neither the cable industry nor Congress has power over the content of its programming.[36]

    According to one site I found, C-SPAN’s Board of Directors is a Who’s Who of media companies, mostly cable companies.

    Wikipedia also says this:

    Despite its stated commitment to providing politically balanced programming, C-SPAN and its shows such as Washington Journal, Booknotes, Q & A, and Afterwords have been accused by left-leaning organizations of having a conservative bias. In 2005, the media criticism organization Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) released a study of C-SPAN’s morning call-in show Washington Journal, showing that Republicans were favored as guests over Democrats by a two-to-one margin during a six-month period that year, and that people of color are underrepresented.

    Here’s the link to that study:
    :http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=2764

    Center for Economic and Policy Research did a study, too:
    Tilting Rightward: C-SPAN’s Coverage of Think Tanks
    :http://www.cepr.net/content/view/1402/8/

    Wikipedia: “A 2010 survey of C-SPAN’s viewers found that the network’s most-valued attribute was its balanced programming.”

    Yeah – sure sounds like it…

    “Let’s start with Pappa Wisner. Frank Wisner, Sr., was in OSS in World War II; merged with OSS into CIA where he created the covert action division whose first successful mission that Wisner designed was the overthrow of Mossadeqh. Frank_Wisner Wisner helped create “Operation Mockingbird, — a program to influence the domestic and foreign media.”

    Yup. This is the ruling elites typical “henchman”.

    “until his suicide in 1965″

    Yeah, I’ll bet it was “suicide” – more a case of “the man who knew too much…” The ruling elites don’t like leaving around “loose ends” who might write memoirs some day.

    “Enron, like most US corporations, uses its close association with the state (both its elected and bureaucratic arms) for its own ends. US campaigns are financed by corporations whose money not only enables politicians to win elections, but it also buys businesses the state’s power both for domestic subsidies and for the use of US power in the international arena.”

    Yup. Perfect statement of how things work.

    “Wisner is now Vice Chairman of American International Group (AIG), the re-insurance group that figured largely in the banking scandal/bailout of 2008.”

    From state henchman to corporate henchman. Not much difference between the two. These are the kinds of guys that need to be taken out, along with their paymasters, if anyone wants the US to ever become a “democracy” again.

  481. kooshy says:

    Head of Iran’s atomic energy organization Frydoon Abbasi reject’s David Sanger’s (you read BiBi’s) Request to close Fardo enrichment site and to halt enriching 20%U, he said the westerners are better off not request as such, he added we are enriching to 20% because the IAEA was incapable to fulfill her obligation to supply the fuel for TRR, therefore we had to make our own. So much for David’s one whole day ménage à trois (David, Obama, Bibi).

    http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13910120001635

  482. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “Don’t ascribe a desire to me for de-escalation. I simply see it as a TINA (there’s no alternative).”

    Uh, first of all, you’re the one always talking about de-escalation.

    Second, if “there’s no alternative”, then clearly you think war is, if not actually impossible, sufficiently unlikely to be the equivalent. “No alternative” means “no alternative.”

    “Do you really think a couple of IDF divisions will roll into Damascus and a general regional war will not start?”

    See now, nowhere in my comments did I say that. You constantly misstate my positions.

    What I SAID was that:

    1) The US and NATO will bomb Syria.

    2) During this process, Israel will attack Hizballah in Lebanon under one excuse or the other, since the point of the exercise is to weaken both parties and by weakening Syria Israel gets a shot at weakening Hizballah.

    3) In the process of attacking Hizballah, Israel will have to enter Syrian territory, which implies that Israel will engage Syrian troops to the degree Syrian troops are able to respond, given they’re ALREADY under NATO bombardment at that point.

    4) Since Israeli troops are ALREADY IN COUNTRY, there is no reason they can’t be used to assist the Syrian insurgents. They do so already simply by engaging Syrian troops for their own purposes. They can just as well do so in a manner which enables the insurgents to gain ground and perhaps even gain control of Damascus (if they are numerous enough by that time to make that feasible.)

    And, no, under that scenario, a “general regional war” will NOT start. Or, taking the opposite tack, a “general regional war” has ALREADY started once NATO started attacking Syria and Israel attacks Lebanon.

    Iran will not – directly – come to the defense of Syria in that scenario. Neither will anyone else. Hizballah will be busy dealing with Israel. Hamas is not a factor. Egypt will do nothing, as will Jordan.

    So where do you see a “general regional war” being started?

    Where you might get something resembling a “general regional war” is when the US attacks Iran. THEN Iran will activate all its assets in the region and the conflict may well spread into the GCC, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.

    Iran is unlikely to activate its assets in the region just to protect Syria. There would be no strategic benefit to Iran since those assets would not be able to do anything to protect Syria and the blowback would probably end up exposing Iran to attack.

    Which is not to say Iran will do nothing under this scenario of a US/NATO attack on Syria. But there’s not much Iran can do that will alter the strategic balance.

    “Think about the meaning of a vanquished Iran for Russia and China. Other than the geostrategic security nightmare, think what the total control of the PG’s hydrocarbon resources by US will mean to Russia and China economically.”

    I don’t see that as a viable outcome of an Iran war and I doubt either Russia or China does either. It simply is not feasible for the US to defeat Iran in that complete a manner.

    The goal – AGAIN – is to weaken Iran so it is not a viable actor in the Middle East in terms of opposing Israel via its proxies in Lebanon or Gaza or Iraq. That goal is probably not permanently achievable either, in my view, but clearly it is in the view of Israel. It is why Israel wants the US to attack Iran – to remove Iran as a viable opponent in the region.

    The goal is NOT to achieve regime change in Iran to the degree that Iran’s oil and gas assets are placed under the control of the US. Even if some of the neocons or the oil companies have that as a goal, it is not achievable and the US will not achieve it. And Russian and Chinese strategists know that.

    “So yes anything is possible. But at least paint a scenario that has a speaking part for all the actors.”

    A “speaking part” is all Russia and China will have, other than covert support for Iran and Syria. I don’t see Russia, even under Putin, attempting a direct military confrontation with the US over either country. It might have done so back in the ’60′s or ’70′s, but that Russia and its military no longer exists.

    And again, both Russia and China know the US cannot achieve in Iran the sort of regime change it got in Iraq (and look how that turned out.) Therefore they have no incentive to intervene and a lot of incentive to let the US burn itself out in Iran. They will help that along but they won’t confront the US directly. The military reality is that neither Russia nor China is in a position to confront what is still the only military nuclear superpower in the world.

    No one is going to risk nuclear war over Syria or Iran. So you will not see either Russia or China engaging in any conventional military moves over those countries, either.

  483. kooshy says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    I truly can understand why westerners with just the media’s knowledge of Middle East, would not have expected what would be the end game in Iraq. But at the same time I wonder why Roger would prefer to believe there was a conspiracy with regard to Iraq’s turn out, when there are strong strategic reason, how the shih would have reacted, when a cost effective opportunity becomes available, one with minimum knowledge of Iraq should have known that Iraq is the holiest of all places in the shih Islam, there are more shih pilgrims traveling to holly cities of Iraq than to Mecca ever year , how should have shih reacted when there was an opportunity to secure a majority shih Iraq, handed back to Sunnis or to the Americans or stick with the Iranians to keep it secure for the shih. This was clear from the beginning is clear in Lebanon would be clear in Bahrain.

  484. Dan Cooper says:

    Must watch video

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article14055.htm

    Sassan: watch How your beloved Israel manipulates and distorts American public perceptions.

  485. BiBiJon says:

    Richard,

    “Look, if you think like fyi that a US war with Iran is “impossible”, then clearly it doesn’t matter if Iran negotiates or not. They can just sit back and, as you quoted Ahmadinejad, let the Israelis get so angry their head explodes.

    Similarly, it doesn’t matter if the US “escalates” or “de-escalates”. Iran is not affected – IF an Iran war is really impossible.”

    Nothing is impossible. The “stupidest” things will happen, as Murphy guarantees just because they can. Don’t ascribe a desire to me for de-escalation. I simply see it as a TINA (there’s no alternative).

    Your arguments about US will do this and Israel will do that sounds great in a greenhouse full of potted plants. Sorry to drag this dead horse out to kick around some more, but be reasonable. Do you really think a couple of IDF divisions will roll into Damascus and a general regional war will not start?

    Think about the meaning of a vanquished Iran for Russia and China. Other than the geostrategic security nightmare, think what the total control of the PG’s hydrocarbon resources by US will mean to Russia and China economically. US will be able to jack the prices up at no cost to herself to pressure China. And, once she is done with China, she can reduce price of oil to bankrupt Russia. Do you seriously think Russia and China are just going to sit there and be nice potted plants watching the middle east be gobbled up? Even Bush said he understands it will be WW III.

    So yes anything is possible. But at least paint a scenario that has a speaking part for all the actors.

  486. Castellio says:

    Reza, I don’t know who you’re reading for your history of Korea, but if you’re going to conclude China invaded Korea, I hope you will agree that the US, Britain, and Canada invaded the country first.

    A history in English of the war worth reading is written by Bruce Cumings, simply called The Korean War.

  487. Rehmat says:

    The Democratic primary for four-term Islamophobe Jewish incumbent Joseph Isadore (Joe) Lieberman’s open Connecticut seat got interesting on Thursday night. Lee Whitnum, a former software engineer, writer, author and politician from Greenwich, Connecticut, who reminds Jewish lobby groups of former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, called one of her four opponents, Rep. Chris Murphy, “whore” for Murphy’s blind support for Israel Lobby (AIPAC)…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/senate-hopeful-calls-opponent-israeli-whore/

  488. Sassan says:
    April 8, 2012 at 5:12 am

    “Here is a very interesting video from that era to ponder: http://youtu.be/MD1P2q3DsfE

    Sassan,

    That video was an odd choice for you. The interviewer noted that roughly 5,000-6,000 people were participating in the pro-Shah rally being filmed, and pointed out to his first interviewee that 1,000,000 people had participated in a pro-Khomeini rally the day before. The interviewee nonetheless insisted that the people at her rally represented the “silent majority,” which, she assured us, longed for the Shah to return.

    You cited this video. Why?

  489. Reza Esfandiari says:

    I tend to agree with 99% of what Hilary says, but I think she is mistaken that China has never invaded or threatened her neighbors. China did invade Tibet in 1950, Korea also in 1950, India in 1962 and Vietnam in 1979. China did have her reasons for intervening, such as the defense of communists in Pyongyang, and would certainly not repeat these military adventures again, but it is misleading to compare China with Iran which has never invaded its neighbors (since the 18th century).

    However, China has not been overly aggressive over Taiwan as Sassan suggests. It has just stated that Taiwanese independence is out of the question in much the same way as Abe Lincoln regarded southern secession in 1860/1 as a casus belli.

  490. Rehmat says:

    Britain’s top gay policeman, Brain Paddick, former deputy assistant police commissioner, says that being a gay he always felt comfortable among Jews.

    “The gay and Jewish communities have some common heritage of being scapegoats and being picked on. I’ve always felt comfortable among the Jewish community. I have an affinity with Jews and know what it’s like to be completely wrongly discriminated against simply because you come from a particular background or community.”

    Brian Paddick, is Liberal Democrats’ London mayoral election candidate opposing Labour Party candidate, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone. Brian slammed Ken Livingstone calling Jews “rich” – calling it “dog- whistle tactics to play divide and rule game with Jewish voters.

    Last week, British Israel lobby groups had slammed Ken Livingstone, a socialist, for telling a group of pro-Labour Jewish Londoners that “Jews will not vote for me because they’re rich“.

    Brian Paddick’s claim of similarity between Jews and gays, reminds me Canadian Jewish columnist and author who writes for Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram. During 2004-2006, he used publish a blog from Uzbekistan under pen-name Simon Jones. He posted a column, entitled ‘Jews and gays – birds of a feather?‘

    “Like Jews, gays have ancient roots of persecution and have been mostly outcasts since the rise of Christianity (though the roots of persecution, ironically, are in Torah). The persecution complex – I know it first-hand – leaves an endelible mark on one’s character – defiance of a hypocritical, unjust society, a desire for revenge, a feeling of superiority, a lack of patriotism. So gays automatically emphasize with Jews. At the same time, gays often crossed path with Jews professionally – in the arts, as writers, philosophers, councilors, etc……”

    Eric Walberg writes on Middle East and Muslim world. Eric’s website can be reached here.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/paddick-gays-and-jews-have-common-heritage/

  491. Fiorangela says:

    Trying to make sense of some recent programming and conferences on religion that have taken place in Washington recently is overwhelming.

    This morning, C Span was on in the background as family gathered. The topic was Religious Liberty in the US. The ‘expert’ called upon to enlighten the C Span audience was Robert Jones. His presentation contained not one whit of discussion about what religion is, what its history is, how the religious background of the American people has evolved — none of that. C Span introduced the program with a poll, and later Jones elaborated on the political implications of ‘religious’ polling in the US, particularly relative to religious-ish pronouncements of presidential candidates.

    C Span noted on its website that it had assembled an archive of programming on religion-politics; I selected a program about religious impacts on Arab Spring, a forum held at the great Jesuit university, Georgetown, on March 16, 2012. :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Berkl

    The keynote speakers, the men (yes, all men) who spoke for religious traditions in Islamic countries seeking national sovereignty, were fulsomely introduced by moderator Stephen Farr as three stunningly brilliant US policy analysts — Eliot Abrams, Stephen Hadley, and Dennis Ross (Benjamin Netanyahu had a previous engagement, I presume).

    Farr praised Ross, Hadley, and Abrams for recognizing that what extremist religious cultures like the states of the Arab spring needed and deserved was not — yet — full religious liberty — that would take awhile; the US should first seek religious tolerance; then, as if if US assistance is sought, US should help them find full religious liberty and democracy.

    I stopped listening after Ross mentioned that a) he had spoken with a cross section of Tunisians, Moroccans, Egyptians, etc. just weeks before the precipitating event in Tunisia that set off the ‘Arab Spring.’
    When Egypt erupted, Ross continued, the US State Dept. counseled Mubarak that he really had to go, that it would be better for him to go quietly. Then, Ross said, “I sent Frank Wisner to talk to Mubarak.”

    I tuned out Ross and did some research on Wisner.
    Interesting fellow.
    Let’s start with Pappa Wisner. Frank Wisner, Sr., was in OSS in World War II; merged with OSS into CIA where he created the covert action division whose first successful mission that Wisner designed was the overthrow of Mossadeqh. :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Wisner Wisner helped create “Operation Mockingbird, — a program to influence the domestic and foreign media. There’s lots more; until his suicide in 1965, Wisner Sr. was involved with nearly every bad act and actor that Andrew Bacevich points to with concern as antithetical to what we thought were “American values.”

    What about Sonnyboy Wisner — did the seed fall far from the tree? No. :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_G._Wisner
    After nearly 30 years in various US government foreign service posts, Wisner joined the board of directors of ENRON –

    “”On 28 October 1997, Enron Corporation announced the entry of Frank G. Wisner Jr. onto its board of directors. Most of the business press did not find this untoward and it certainly did not emerge as part of the US discussions on corruption at the highest level. Frank Wisner, as we know in India, was the US Ambassador from 1994 until this year and his entry into Enron must be seen in light of the scandal of Dabhol. Enron, like most US corporations, uses its close association with the state (both its elected and bureaucratic arms) for its own ends. US campaigns are financed by corporations whose money not only enables politicians to win elections, but it also buys businesses the state’s power both for domestic subsidies and for the use of US power in the international arena.” :http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Frank_Wisner

    After participating in planning for post-Invasion Iraq and recreating Afghanistan, and after blundering in the post that Ross assigned him to in Egypt, Wisner is now Vice Chairman of American International Group (AIG), the re-insurance group that figured largely in the banking scandal/bailout of 2008.
    _______
    Perhaps it is the case that only those who have less than noble motives strive for public office, and also, ironically, are called upon to define the religious values of not only the United States but also of other sovereign nations. One longs in vain for Cincinnatus.
    _______

    I think I’m going to go for a walk with the children and look at the tulips.
    Frank Wisner Jr. followed in his father’s

  492. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Arnold: “Obama can lie. He’s a lawyer and a politician and lying is basically his job. But there comes a point where lying crosses into insulting his audience’s intelligence.”

    Such as when Clinton said that supplying night vision gear to the Syrian insurgents was to help them “evade Syrian forces” – as if that wasn’t military support? As I said below, she should have been laughed out of the press corps room… That lie was about as bald-faced as I’ve heard from her.

    Obama lied deliberately to Brazil and Turkey – in an actual letter at that, not just some back channel communication.

    Obama is as Norman Finkelstein calls him a “stupifying narcissist” who is quite capable of lying like a rug, even if the lie is clearly stupid. He’s like most politicians who will lie to your face regardless of the fact that you know he’s lying. Because what are you going to do about it? Nothing – and he knows it. People act like that all the time.

    “Russia’s air defenses make a NATO aerial intervention untenable”

    Not true. Difficult, but doable. “Air defense” is a misnomer, like “computer security”: it doesn’t exist. The advantage is ALWAYS with the attacker.

    “Russian and Iranian resupply of the Syrian army ensure that irregular forces would not, unlike in Libya, be able to take and hold territory.”

    Irrelevant. The goal is to weaken Syria, not even regime change, although the latter would be perfectly fine with the US and Israel – as long as the country’s military was no longer a significant actor in an Iran war. That is the main goal, not necessarily regime change.

    Besides which, there is the possibility that once Israel uses the Syrian war to engage Hizballah, it may well cooperate with the insurgents to enable them to occupy Damascus – at which point, it is game over. If the US and NATO have bombed the Syrian military into being relatively unable to engage Israeli forces effectively, it would not be difficult for an Israeli armored division or two to deal with enough of the remaining Syrian forces to enable the insurgents to gain and hold significant territory in the west of the country – including Damascus. That might be enough to enable re-supply of the insurgents from the ground via Turkey and enable them to take and hold a portion of the country, including the capital.

    I’m not necessarily predicting that, merely saying that it is a possibility that cannot be excluded once the Syrian war begins. Certainly Israel would love to be able to take down a significant part of Syria’s military prior to an Iran war. That’s the whole point of the exercise.

    A US and NATO bombardment will also make it difficult for Russia or Iran to resupply Syria’s forces sufficiently to make a difference.

    In any event, this conflict is unlikely to continue long enough to be an issue with Syria’s forces running out of military equipment. Either the insurgents get crushed – next to impossible as long as they have a safe haven in Turkey and external support – or Syria’s government has to sue for peace eventually due to the air bombardment.

    “Obama has so far blocked Western intervention? I am amazed, even from my position of no expectations, that he could send a message like that.”

    I agree. The Iranians must have laughed at that one.

    But I suspect this was leaked – IF it was leaked – merely for public consumption. What Obama says and what he does “ain’t ever been exactly similar”, as Jayne might put it in the movie “Serenity”.

  493. Karl says:

    The US side keep telling “its the last chance” for diplomacy.
    But no real diplomacy have been tried, also what “last chance”? There could be no “last chance” the dialogue must be the only way unless these people really want war which they keep saying they wont. Its like Iran say, “This is the last time for US to show its commitment, if not we will use force to make them..”. Would US accept such belligerent attitude? Politicians in the west are so cocky yet so dumbed down its pathetic. Like a jock basically. Big muscles, but no brains.

    Albert Einstein once said (found this quote in an article about the sanctions against Iran, think its fitting very good):

    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. ”

    Which is exactly what US and their lackeys and puppet master have done for decades when it comes to sanctions, using 1 tool which have proved useless.

  494. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “If US/EU leak their negotiating positions, and Iran gets to reject them, why even bother meet?”

    As I said, it’s going through the motions. It’s like a Slashdot joke…

    1) US or Iran calls for negotiations.

    2) ???

    3) Negotiations fail.

    4) PROFIT! (i.e., US gets to impose more sanctions while blaming Iran for being “intransigent” and “undoubtedly buying time to develop nuclear weapons.”)

    “Your Debka report which now gives Obama credit for, in addition to staying Israel’s threats against Iran, also staying Arab despots murderous designs for Syria,”

    Which, by the way, makes no sense since Obama has committed to supplying what he euphemistically refers to as “non-lethal equipment” to the insurgents. Well, support is support. Supplying night vision gear is specifically supplying military support. Clinton actually tried to suggest that such gear was so the insurgents could “evade Syrian forces” – as if THAT alone wasn’t an attempt to militarily support the insurgents. She should have been laughed out of the room by the press corps…

    Look, if you think like fyi that a US war with Iran is “impossible”, then clearly it doesn’t matter if Iran negotiates or not. They can just sit back and, as you quoted Ahmadinejad, let the Israelis get so angry their head explodes.

    Similarly, it doesn’t matter if the US “escalates” or “de-escalates”. Iran is not affected – IF an Iran war is really impossible.

    And once again, all this discussion leaves out ISRAEL – as if Israel is completely incapable of starting a war on its own, as if Israel is completely a poodle of the US in the same manner as the EU is.

    Well, Israel isn’t a poodle. Israel may have concerns over and desires to carefully manage its relations with the US in general, but the strategic advantage of having the US weaken Iran (as well as Syria and Lebanon) is so great that clearly it is worth risking a (temporary) political conflict with the US over an Iran war. Such a conflict won’t last longer than a couple years, if that. Once another President comes in, all will be forgiven. There’s no way the US ruling elites – many of whom are Zionists or who do business with Zionists or Israeli companies, especially in the military-industrial complex, are going to permanently turn against Israel over an Iran war – not when they’re profiting from such a war and have been pushing for it themselves.

    So even if there are factions of the US ruling elites who oppose an immediate Iran war or who don’t want Israel to start one on Israel’s time table, that isn’t going to permanently restrain Israel.

    There WILL be an Iran war because Israel WILL start one if the US doesn’t.

    I note you have yet to deal with that issue. Do you really believe Israel is going to go along with any “de-escalation” on a permanent basis? Do you really believe Israel believes that sanctions are “good enough” to permanently weaken Iran to a level Israel believes is sufficient? DO you really believe the US can permanently restrain Israel from attacking Iran?

    Within the next two weeks or so, you’re going to see how these current talks pan out. (Unless of course these current talks just lead to more talks in the future, and nothing is agreed other than that.) Once these talks are OVER, however, IF the US makes a serious offer to Iran, to which Iran agrees, and that agreement involves either the US committing to recognizing Iranian domestic enrichment, or the US agrees to reduce existing sanctions (say, by postponing the implementation of the oil export sanctions scheduled for June), THEN and ONLY THEN might you be able to make a case for “de-escalation”.

    You have 2-4 weeks to be proven right – or wrong. If you’re proven wrong, I suggest you rethink your belief in “de-escalation” being on the table.

    If I’m proven wrong and an agreement such as I outline above occurs, I will be prepared to consider that de-escalation in the cards – at least for this year and at least for the US/EU.

    But even then, the issue of Israel will remain, as well as the issue of what happens if a Republican becomes President and also what happens with regard to the Syria/Lebanon situation. You’ve got a long row to hoe to get to “de-escalation” in that case.

  495. Arnold Evans says:

    Generally, I don’t expect it, but I have not read much that would lead me to positively confirm that the Russian proposal that would end with a short 3 month suspension of enrichment after which it would resume is not the basis of any negotiations.

    Iran would not actually export any 20% uranium or suspend further production of that until the US is on record at least with the other P5+1 and with Iran if not publicly, that Iranian enrichment would resume.

    I do not believe it is absolutely impossible that a deal could be reached.

  496. Arnold Evans says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Erdogan was asked to explain the US President’s strategy of drawing a close linkage between the shifts in US policy on Iran and its nuclear program, on the one hand, and the Syrian crisis, on the other. This approach had guided Obama’s hand in his thus far successful moves to block Muslim-Arab-Western military intervention in Syria.

    Obama can lie. He’s a lawyer and a politician and lying is basically his job. But there comes a point where lying crosses into insulting his audience’s intelligence.

    Russia prevented the UN resolutions, Russia’s air defenses make a NATO aerial intervention untenable. Russian and Iranian resupply of the Syrian army ensure that irregular forces would not, unlike in Libya, be able to take and hold territory.

    The US Obama administration has criticized Russia and Iran for each step, lobbying to prevent them from happening.

    Obama has so far blocked Western intervention? I am amazed, even from my position of no expectations, that he could send a message like that.

  497. Fiorangela says:

    Happy Easter, “Christian Norooz,” to All.

  498. Arnold Evans says:

    fyi says:
    April 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    You see Mr. Canning: there is an illegal drug economy on this planet with its own financing mechanism, payment channels, banking, and insurance. Iranians, in effect, are in the process of devising an analogous system that is by-passing US and EU mechanism.

    This is a very interesting illustration of a concept that I would not have thought of myself if I had not come here.

    Alternatives to Western-based finance are physically possible. The question is does there exist the motivation to create them.

    I just wanted to express appreciation for that.

  499. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 8, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    To my question, “Why do you suppose the two sides are airing their “OPENING negotiating positions” through the media a week ahead of schedule?”

    You replied:

    “To make sure they know each side’s initial demands so they can come to the table prepared to insure that no agreement takes place.

    Obviously.

    Keep hoping for an agreement from these talks. It ain’t gonna happen. “De-escalation” is a fantasy.”

    ————-

    Richard, quite possible, but …

    If US/EU leak their negotiating positions, and Iran gets to reject them, why even bother meet? Unless, of course, these are not ‘real’ negotiating positions/rejections. They could be just a smoke screen for public consumption, i.e. dear neocons don’t fret we’ll be tough. Another words, if it’s in the public domain, it means nothing at all. They are making elbow room domestically to get on with fixing the fix they are in.

    The “de-escalation” which seems to get under your skin, needs a little repeat explaining on my part. It has everything to do with the only option left, and nothing to do with western desires/change of heart, sudden blossoming of even-handedness, etc.

    Your Debka report which now gives Obama credit for, in addition to staying Israel’s threats against Iran, also staying Arab despots murderous designs for Syria, is not going to wash with Iran. As fyi says repeatedly, and I agree with him, that Iran, Syria, and Lebanon are fully prepared to meet the challenge of a war should one be imposed on them. The days of threats, diktats are over. Iran realizes any climb down is tantamount to national suicide.

    Shortly after Ahmadinejad first came into office, he was asked if he worried some of his pronouncements might make the US angry. I recall he said: let them get so angry they explode with anger. Ask anyone who knows anything about Iran what Ahmadinejad’s comment represents, how deep it goes, and how fully prepared they are for a mob of hypocrites blowing up with anger.

    Eric,

    I think Roger means surely all the western missteps these past 10 years which have led to a straight line empowerment of shiites in Iraq, empowerment of Iran, etc. have been so consistent that perhaps they are not a coincidence; it was intentional all along.

  500. ToivoS says:

    Roger asks a very good question about the rise of Iran. I too marvel at her progress while being opposed for so long with such formidable opponents. I will not entertain for an instant that there were some nefarious Western conspiracies that made it happen. I cannot answer the question, but part of the answer is Imperial arrogance or hubris on the part of the US. The war against Iraq is one bit of evidence I have for this. In 2003 when we “defeated” Iraq it was generally believed by the neocons that administered that war that this “victory” would be the spring board to defeat the Islamic Republic of Iran. What a total reversal. It turns out that not only did we not defeat the Iraqis, but we were forced to negotiate with and empower the Iraqi Shiites in order to find a face-saving exit plan. Big winner here was Iran. And all they had to do was sit back and let the US shoot itself in the foot and then to offer them an out if they empowered their allies in Baghdad.

    This has to be a cock-up of historic proportions. After 10 years of war, 4000 US soldiers KIA and $1 trillion drained from our economy Iran walks away more influential and powerful then ever. All this without them firing a shot but just sitting back patiently watching the raging bull exhaust itself.

  501. Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 8, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    One can find some good sense in Debka’s six-point list, but Iran won’t and shouldn’t consider agreeing to #3: put a freeze on (but not dismantle) all nuclear projects. Why in the world would Iran agree to that?

    Even if that were a fair request for the US to make if it truly were temporary, Iran presumably has learned by now that “temporary” means “permanent.” Whatever Iran agrees to (if anything), at these negotiations (highly unlikely) or later, it had better steer very clear of “temporary” concessions.

  502. Roger,

    “I have my own suspicions about the truth of the matter, but I would reasonably be accused of being delusional if I elaborated here.”

    I second M. Ali’s suggestion that you elaborate. We’re quite accustomed to the presentation of delusions here.

  503. ToivoS says:

    CyrusII and Kooshy

    The info on Iranian membership in CSO came from wikipedia for what that is worth.

    I think Muslim nations like Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan would fit comfortably in SCO. Four of the six members today are predominantly Muslim as it is. The goal is an economic zone that is outside of direct US control, this has to be in the interests of all of these states.

    Perhaps it is China that is slowing the growth of SCO because they do not want to hurt their economic ties to the US market. It might be prudent for them to let all of the Nato forces to exit Afghanistan before expanding the SCO membership.

  504. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “Why do you suppose the two sides are airing their “OPENING negotiating positions” through the media a week ahead of schedule?”

    To make sure they know each side’s initial demands so they can come to the table prepared to insure that no agreement takes place.

    Obviously.

    Keep hoping for an agreement from these talks. It ain’t gonna happen. “De-escalation” is a fantasy.

    I agree with fyi that Iran no longer has anything to gain from negotiations except an official acknowledgment of Iran’s domestic enrichment right – which the US will NEVER give because it undercuts the US entire rationale for the crisis.

    Right now Iran is just going through the motions and frankly I think they shouldn’t bother at all. Iran should simply declare “Look, we’re not talking to you any more until you get serious. And we know you’re not going to get serious.” After all, this is what the West tells Iran – and soon it will be official US law not to negotiate at all if Congress has anything to say about it.

  505. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Well, so much for disliking Turkey over Syria…

    Press TV: Istanbul to host nuclear talks
    http://www.iranwpd.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=3357:press-tv-istanbul-to-host-nuclear-talks&Itemid=65

  506. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Six points Obama sent Iranian Leader, Debka Files
    http://www.iranwpd.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=3356:six-points-obama-sent-iranian-leader-debka-files&Itemid=65

    They are:

    Quote

    1. Tehran must come to the talks ready to show it is seriously and genuinely open to a compromise deal on its nuclear program;

    2. A negative attitude on Iran’s part would result in President Obama merging the back-channel US-Iranian dialogue with the formal diplomatic negotiating track. He asked the Turkish prime minister to inform the Supreme Leader that the Russian and Chinese presidents, had agreed to go along with this position if Khamenei found it acceptable.

    3. Any deal would require a commitment from Khamenei to freeze – though not dismantle – all aspects of Iran’s nuclear program from the moment an accord was reached. No new projects must be initiated and all progress arrested.

    4. President Obama asked Erdogan to convey a personal message from him to the Iranian leader: He was favorably impressed with the ayatollah’s comments in the New Year speech he broadcast live on state television Tuesday, March 20: “We do not have nuclear weapons and we will not build them,” said the ayatollah. “But in the face of aggression from enemies, whether from America or the Zionist regime, we will defend ourselves with attacks on the same level as our enemies attack us.” To this, the US President answered that neither he nor America entertained any such intention.

    5. Tehran must change the hostile anti-US tone of its speeches and publications and stop calling America an enemy and the Great Satan.

    6. Erdogan was asked to explain the US President’s strategy of drawing a close linkage between the shifts in US policy on Iran and its nuclear program, on the one hand, and the Syrian crisis, on the other. This approach had guided Obama’s hand in his thus far successful moves to block Muslim-Arab-Western military intervention in Syria.

    End Quote

    Clearly Obama is lying about virtually every point. And his demand that Iran stop using “bad language” is just bizarre.

    Of course, all this comes from DebkaFile which is an Israeli front, so who knows how much of this is true…

  507. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 8, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Why do you suppose the two sides are airing their “OPENING negotiating positions” through the media a week ahead of schedule?

  508. Richard Steven Hack says:

    As expected…

    Iran rejects West’s ‘demands’ before elusive talks
    http://www.iranwpd.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=3359:iran-rejects-wests-demands-before-elusive-talks&Itemid=65

    So much for talks…So much for “de-escalation”…

  509. Karl says:

    netanyahu try to ruin talks, make no misstake this man is hellbent to get his war. he would love to see the talks failed. this man is not sane.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-iran-will-use-nuclear-talks-to-deceive-the-world-1.423278

  510. Karl says:

    James,
    I dont think Saudi arabia have a sovereign foreign policy to do what they want. They must ask US first if its ok with them.

  511. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I believe that very many people in Saudi Arabia and other Arabs states hate Iran – it is visceral hatred for Shia mixed with Arab racism towards non-Arabs, with a good dose of envy against those whom God had favored with an earlier form of his Revelations.

    I believe that once Iran NIE came out in 2007 and Axis Powers decided to escalate nevertheless, war had been declared to be the EU-US preferred course of action.

    And in war, one has to endure destruction, damage, and attendant costs.

    The various Iranian funds that US, and EU states are stealing in the guise of UNSC sanctions must be understood as casualties of war.

  512. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Mr. Obama finally discarded his Iran policy when it became clear that war was its inevitable conclusion.

    In terms of strategic ramifications, just like the Iran-Iraq War, it pushed Iran even further on the path of strategic automomy at any cost.

    Mr. Obama and EU leaders have succeeded in burning all those bridges that mattered between the Axis Powers and Iran in 3 short months.

    Do you seriously believe trade between Iran and EU will ever go back to the levels of 2001?

    Do you think that the Western Oil Majors will ever be in Iran again to any substantial degree?

    Do you think it concievable that the financial institutions created in Iran, China and other places to facilitate iran trade are going to be dismantled?

    the orientation of Iran has been turned – away from US and EU.

    I am certain that no advocate of better relations with US or EU within Iran will be listened to for at least another 20 years.

    Or until the bitterness of this economic war is dissipated.

    Axis Powers have lost the Iranian people.

  513. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The issue right now is whether it makes sense for Iran to have one of the richest countries on earth, Saudi Arabia, frightened needlessly? You favor it. Rafsanjani opposes it.

  514. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The impounded Iranian funds are the result of sanctions.

    Do you agree Iran should not have decided to treble production of 20% U?

  515. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    The enemies of Iran have been unified as much as possible in the last 30 years.

    What I write will not materially impact that.

    And again, you are mistaken to think of this as a solely Iranian matter.

    You must think of this as the non-Sunni/non-Arab Block.

    Or Shia/Irani block.

  516. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Yes, of course.

    When do you suppose UK will relase the 1.5 billion pounds of Iranian money?

    When is Mr. Straw, the lone sane voice on Iran, scheduled to fly to Tehran?

  517. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You propose that Iran seek to unify the enemies of Iran, and to make it easier for them to injure Iran badly.

  518. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Of course. Some Saudi leaders virtually detest the US for its foolish encouragement of continuing oppression of the Palestinians by Israel.

  519. fyi says:

    Karl says: April 8, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    The destruction of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has to be a long-term project for Iran.

    Better relations with that state is not possible.

  520. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    William Hague made clear that from Britain’s point of view, in July-August 2011, the primary immediate problem was Iran’s announced intention to treble production of 20% U. Obviously it is regrettable that Iran decided to treble production.

  521. Karl says:

    James,

    “But Iran can seek better relations with the Saudis without getting US advance approval.”

    Could Saudis accept such moves by Iran without approval by the US?

  522. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China is a huge importer of oil and has not benefited from Obama’s ignoring Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20 percent.

    I think Obama ignored the Iranian offer due to foolish advice from Dennis Ross.

  523. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    (From previous thread) Rafsanjani thinks Iran should seek better relations with both the US and Saudi Arabia. But Iran can seek better relations with the Saudis without getting US advance approval.

  524. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    You know my answer.

    Mr. Obama and EU leaders were ready to start their political, diplomatic, and financial war against Iran when iranians made their offer.

    They would not let facts stand in the ay of their fantasies.

    Their fantasy being that they could break Iran or make her malleable to a deal on Axis Poers terms.

    What they got was this:

    1- Almost certain war with Iran once Iranians statd that they will close the Straits of Hormuz if they cannot sell their oil.

    2- Harm to US, EU, and the world economy due to the oil sanctions

    3- High probability of WWIII in due course.

    4- Ancilar harm to other states who could not sell products to Iran

    5- Forcing the Iranians to go off US-EU financial institutions; losing even that leverage

    Now Axis Powers and Iran are in the process of negogiatng some sort of cease-fire under the guise of P5+1.

    Since neither China nor Russia wishes for a war either.

    Loosers: US, EU, Israel, Saudi Arabia
    Winner: Iran, Russia, China

  525. Jay says:

    It appears that I missed the “fireworks” resulting from Mr. Sanger’s writings in the NYT. Mr. Sanger’s writings are best interpreted from the viewpoint of his previous writings. He seems to have a knack for writing alarmist articles intended to derail any progress. Mr. Sanger’s writing should be interpreted in light of his unstated but transparent (based on his writings) agenda. For your enjoyment, here are some of the previous pronouncements from Mr. Sanger in the NYT.

    On the eve of the talks, Mr. Sanger writes (Oct 2009):
    Senior staff members of the United Nations nuclear agency have concluded in a confidential analysis that Iran has acquired “sufficient information to be able to design and produce a workable” atom bomb.

    Ahead of the drive for more sanctions, Mr. Sanger writes (Sep 2010):
    The Obama administration, citing evidence of continued troubles inside Iran’s nuclear program, has persuaded Israel that it would take roughly a year — and perhaps longer — for Iran to complete what one senior official called a “dash” for a nuclear weapon, according to American officials.

    Administration officials said they believe the assessment has dimmed the prospect that Israel would pre-emptively strike against the country’s nuclear facilities within the next year, as Israeli officials have suggested in thinly veiled threats.

    A month earlier (Aug 2010):
    The administration’s opening to Iran comes as evidence mounts that gasoline shipments to the country have slowed; that at least some banks, from Europe to Pakistan, have cut off dealings with the country for fear that they will lose access to the United States financial system; and that Iranian officials have been unable to get foreign investment for several multibillion-dollar oil and gas projects.

    While a few month earlier he suggests that Iran is operating more “undiscovered” enrichment sites (April 2010):
    That answer seemed to suggest that intelligence agencies believed that other enrichment sites, like the one discovered last year outside the holy city of Qum, might also be operating.

  526. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    During the period of Cold War, USSR never ever used the gas supply to EU states as a threat.

    For her leaders new that once they put such a threat into action, they will have destroyed their commercial poistion as an energy supplier to Europe; if not permanently at least for many decades.

    The Axis Powers financial and oil sanctions against Iran had been predicated on their efficacy to destroy the Iranian economy and with it the iranian resistance.

    The leaders of Axis Powers assumed that Iranians would not be able to impovise or to otherwise mitigate the effect of those sanctions.

    What happened was that Iranians survived and continued on their path; commercial life in Iran has not come to stand-still. What has happened was the devaluation of the Rial – something that should havebeen done a few years ago. As a consequence, there are fewer Iranian tourists in Turkey and Dubai this new year. The reduction of imports was also a necessity for Iran.

    The oil sanctions have the paradoxial nature of damaging US, EU and indeed the world economy. How much are Axis Powers are willing to hurt themselves – and the “innocent” by-standers – is something that we will have to wait and see.

    The Iranian leaders, just like those of USSR in connection with the Third reich, saw the economic war coming against them and did their last feeble effort to prevent it.

    This war that Axis Powers began against Iran cannot be stoppsed. It will continue on its own path as Iranians and other devise mechanisms to circumvent them.

    You see Mr. Canning: there is an illegal drug economy on this planet with its own financing mechanism, payment channels, banking, and insurnce. Iranians, in effect, are in the process of devising an analogous system that is by-passing US and EU mechanism.

    For Iran, the construction and the functioning of thee alternate mechanism have become a strategic necessity. This is analogous to USSR having cut the gas flows to EU state.

    So, even if the Axis Powers sanctions against Iran are lifted on the morrow, Iranians will not be rushing back into SWIFT, or Lloyd’s etc. There are a few more years of hardship facing Iran as 100-year old mechanisms and relations are destriyed and uprooted to be replaced with alternate ones that are opaque to anyone execpt the financial sleuths.

    There is no other way than to fight a war to its bitter end when it starts in spite of your best effortts to avoid it.

  527. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the key point is simply that, according to the April 8th Reuters report, Israel would accept the P5+1 trying to talk Iran into stopping enrichment to 20 percent, when Iran already offered to stop enriching to 20 percent.

    In other words, why was Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20 percent ignored by the Obama administration?

  528. BiBiJon says:

    Short, sweet, and simple
    ======================

    From http://www.irna.ir/News/Politic/President,-Iranians-will-continue-their-path-even-if-whole-world-stands-up-to-Iran/80067711

    Ahmadinejad said the Iranian peopl’s resistance to pressures is much more valuable than their access to nulcear technology.

    By resisting the enemies’ pressures, the Iranian nation are in fact safeguarding their dignity, said the president

  529. James Canning says:

    Don Bacon,

    Prior to the Brazil-Turkey proposal, the nuclear “exchange” was derailed by Iran’s commencing of enrichmenbt to 20 percent.

  530. James Canning says:

    Cyrus_2,

    French oil interests, Royal Dutch Shell, and others, tried to be included in a deal with Iran regarding marketing of Iranian oil. Certain US oil interests hoped to take the entire deal for themselves, leaving the British out.

  531. Don Bacon says:

    As Hillary Mann Leverett implies, this concocted issue is all about ME hegemony and has nothing to do, really, with nuclear. Putting it in current U.S. domestic terms, the U.S. wants to strip-search Iran — ‘spread ‘em.’

    One key marker was two years ago when the Brazil-Turkey nuclear swap deal was scotched by additional US-UN sanctions.

  532. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    In order for Iran to buy fuel fom the West, certain legalities have to be met; among them rescinding of certain UNSC sanctions against Iran, rescinding of sanctions against Bank Markazi, etc.

    In effect, he saying that if you remove these sanctions, we will buy fuel from you.

    That will not happen in time to make any difference to Iran for refeling of TRR.

    The AEI is proceeding with their announced plans of fabricating fuel assemblies for TRR.

    Sanctions are easy to impose but extremely difficult to remove.

  533. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You linked a Reuters report of April 8th stating that Israel would accept “world powers focusing on persuading Iran to stop higher-level uranium enrichment…”

    The report should have mentioned Iran has offered to stop such enrichment.

  534. James Canning says:

    Pirouz,

    Ahmadinejad (and Khamenei) tried to forestall the latest round of saanction by agreeing to stop enriching to 20% (if TRR fuel is sold to Iran). Why would Iran not accept this deal now?

  535. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Any realistic discussion of Iran being allowed to continue to enrich, should make clear this would only extend to enriching to 3.5% -5%. None of the Six Powers wants Iran stockpiling 20% U.

  536. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Mohammad Javad Larijani on March 13th and 15th made clear Iran would buy TRR fuel from the West if the West will sell it to Iran, and this in turn implies Iran would stop enriching to 20 percent. Which is a goal Iran should seek.

  537. James Canning says:

    Concerned world citizen,

    I agree with you that the so-called “pivoting” toward East Asia is cover for yet more squandering of vast sums on unnecessary weapons. More duping of the ignorant American taxpayers.

  538. Iranian says:

    The animosity of Scott Lucas towards Iran is never-ending. His predictions about Iran, which have always been based on ignorance, dishonesty, and self-interests, have on every occasion been shown to be completely inaccurate. These characteristics of his have constantly blinded him to the reality of the country, making his claims worthless. Last year Scott Lucas also made silly claims about Egypt, mostly because they ran against Iranian perceptions and views of the Revolution (which turned out to be accurate), and again he made a fool of himself. This is also why he has such an obsession with Flynt and Hillary. He’s dishonest and he’s even become like a stalker of sorts on this website.

  539. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 8, 2012 at 11:45 am

    That the Amercans have veto is not in question; that they could dictate the P5+1 negogiating position is.

    The link below grasps some of the complexities of the situation.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/on-eve-of-iran-nuclear-talks-international-coalition-struggles-to-present-unified-front-1.423274

    P5+1 have every incentive to be accomodating; they have fired their shots and if they do not settle now they will be leaving an irritation that could readily explode into a world war.

    The real question is what Iranians are willing to offer – given the fact that much of the sanctions will remain in place during the life-time of any deal.

  540. Arnold Evans says:

    fyi says:
    April 8, 2012 at 11:03 am

    US demands cannot be construed as P5+1 demands.

    I may have missed the context of this, but the US effectively has a veto over any offer the P5+1 can make, so effectively P5+1 demands are the same thing as US (or Israeli) demands.

    This is just how the P5+1 was constructed. The US would not be outvoted so that the P5+1 could accept enrichment, or possibly there would have been an offer of domestic enrichment by now.

  541. Arnold Evans says:

    Sassan:

    You’ve dodged this question three times now. You claim most Iranians agree with your positions about what Iran’s policies should be, despite what every available poll says and despite the reports here of people who have spent much more time in Iran than you, speaking with many more people in many more places than you.

    For the sake of a hypothetical argument, what if you were wrong about Iranians agreeing with you? If most people of Iran supported the policies of the Iranian government, would you support Iran’s government reflecting those preferences, or would you believe the preferences of the Iranian people should be overruled by a dictator, like the Shah, who thinks more like you?

  542. fyi says:

    M. Ali says: April 8, 2012 at 5:01 am

    2 reasons:

    They are largely ignorant of their own country’s history.

    They compare their governance with that of the United Stats or United Kingdom or France.

    The fantasy project of of Islamization of the Iranian society largely alienated many people who resened government forcing religiosity down their throadts.

  543. fyi says:

    Karl says: April 8, 2012 at 4:33 am

    US demands cannot be construed as P5+1 demands.

    This is just propaganda.

  544. Pirouz says:

    I see the framing of the next round of discussions in the media as “demands that Iran give up its stock and cease enrichment of 20% LEU, and dismantle Fordu, but I don’t see anywhere in the media what Iran gets in return.

    If it’s just a suspension of the latest round of unilaterally imposed sanctions, I doubt the Iranians will accept.

  545. Rehmat says:

    Karl – Do you expect Israel to be admitted in SCO – as the Zionist entity has never been sanctioned by UN or UNHRC?????

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/un-slams-israel-on-gender-inequality/

  546. Karl says:

    Cyrus_2,

    SCO have said that they couldnt grant Iran membership due UN sanctions.
    http://in.reuters.com/article/2010/05/22/idINIndia-48714020100522

    It seems like a cover up argument though.

  547. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ ToivoS

    I dind’t know UN sanctions prohibit Iran from joining SCO.
    Are you sure about this?
    Because in the past years Russia did its best to grant Iran (and India as well) full membership, however the Chinese are blocking Iran’s full admittance, fearing this will damage its trade relationship with the US.

  548. BiBiJon says:

    Free translation service
    =======================

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/08/us-iran-nuclear-israel-idUSBRE83703O20120408

    “(Reuters) – Israel has signaled it would accept, as a first priority, world powers focusing on persuading Iran to stop higher-level uranium enrichment when they resume stalled nuclear negotiations this week with Tehran.”

    ————— Translation —————

    Israel has been told to go with the de-escalation flow, or else. The low hanging fruit, cessation of 20% enrichment offer by Iran recompensed with a suspension of oil sanctions will be allowed to dominate headlines for several months.

    US’ international political capital is insufficient for purchasing acquiescence with the global-economy-destroying higher oil prices.

    The higher oil prices not only soften the impact of sanctions, but keep precious Iranian oil in the ground (where it belongs) and deplete Saudi oil, and potential future excess production capacity. Some of the aging Saudi fields being tapped are likely to be one shot deals, therefore unavailable for future needs.

    Attacking Iran is not doable. From anywhere in the 636,372 sq miles (99.27% land
    0.73 % water) of her territory Iran has the missile force to disrupt shipping in the Persian Gulf.

    The world has told the US de-escalate or be humiliated by wide-spread sanction busting. US has told Israel we’ll de-escalate no matter what your crazies say.

    ————– End of translation ——————-

  549. A concerned world citizen says:

    Sassan, or can I call you Yossi or Avi?

    “nuclear weapons should never be permitted to be in the hands of apocalyptic madmen who want to bring an end to humanity in which “mutually assured destruction””

    So you accept nuclear weapons but not in the hands of “apocalyptic madmen”?? right, do you want some fries with that too??
    So tell us Sassan(Avi or Yossi), who determines these “apocalyptic madmen” then? Is it you? Do you consider your president Netanyahu as a rational person with no apocalyptic instincts?

    The question I asked required a simple yes or no answer..Again, by trying to be evasive and dishonest, you’ve thrown a whole lot of words around that pretty much says a “YES” to my question. Thank you very much for your response. Given all the reasons you’ve given to justify Israel’s possession of nuclear weapons, don’t you think Iran can also make a similar claim in that regard? If anything, it’s Israel that keep attacking and bullying her neighbours. Their last stunt, which was basically an attempt to redeem their “invincible” image was 2008 Gaza war after they were soundly defeated by a few thousand Hezbollah fighters in 2006. Even in that onslaught they still failed to achieve their objective – which was to topple Hamas.

    Israel continues, almost on a weekly basis to threaten Iran with a “strike”(if you don’t consider them as apocalyptic, I don’t know what else). Don’t you think Iran will be justified to pre-emptively strike Israel now given all the Israeli threats?In fact, under UN charter Iran will be justified to do so. Or is it that pre-emptive actions are only reserved for Israel and the US?

    You come here only to wreck discussions and that’s it. You’re not fooling anyone here. People who come here are intelligent enough to know BS trolls from sound intellectual debate so stop trying to “convince” us of your view.We know you hate Iran and love Israel – we get it. All you do is rehashing and regurgitation of baseless pronouncement by people who’ll otherwise by considered nobodies in any normal society. But how can I blame you? You’re not from a “normal” society so, there you go.

    Your much beloved Israel only exists because of the benevolence and generosity of the United States(right or wrong).Even with all the massive US funding, they’re still ungrateful and keep making more demands. Israel’s entire economy is fully subsidized by the US(however much they like to boast about their economy) and any cuts in that funding will bring a quick end to that charade called Israel – much quicker than any Palestinian bottle rocket.

    Anyway, it’s lovely weekend so I guess you should go to the beach and get some sunshine..It help ;)

  550. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ James Canning

    Are you aware that some American oil interests saw the Iranian nationalisation of Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. as opening up significant opportunities for them, if they could keep the Britsh from re-taking control.

    Yes, I believe the US and the British agreed on a 50/50 profit split, with 50% for Iran, 20 for the US, 20 for the British and 10 for a few others.
    However, it’s important to note that the consortium still didn’t allow an Iranian in its Board of Governors and that Iranian auditors didn’t have access to the accounts.
    So basically, although a 50/50 split seemed better than the previous 90/10 in favour of the British, the British could still screw Iran as much as they wanted (and no doubt they did).

  551. Neo says:

    It’s hard to understand why it’s taken the US so long to turn its imperial attention to the rise of China. Well, poor intelligence (in various senses of that term) comes to mind. However, it’s all good news for Iran and the Middle East. It would have taken the ME far too long to bring the predatory empire to its knees, but a full fledged competition between China and USA will weaken both with positive consequences for the rest, apart from those whose existence is too tied up to USA, like Israel.

  552. BiBiJon says:

    Iran’s soooooooooooo isolated?
    ==============================

    http://www.expatica.com/de/news/german-news/pro-peace-rallies-back-gunter-grass-israel-iran-poem_220090.html

    Traditional Easter rallies for peace across Germany on Saturday backed Nobel literature laureate Gunter Grass’s poem in which he accused Iran’s nemesis Israel of plotting its annihilation.

    “Gunter Grass is right”, and “Thank you, Gunter Grass” read banners in the northern city of Bremerhaven, the venue of one of about 70 demonstrations organised.

  553. BiBiJon says:

    Iran is sooooooooooooo isolated?
    =============================

    http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2012-04/08/content_14999655.htm

    “The Iranian warship ignored the warning and continued to follow the cargo ship.

    After capturing the communication signals between Xianghuamen and the Iranian warship, another cargo ship nearby asked Meng to report in Chinese the exact number of pirates on board. The English-speaking pirates could not understand Chinese.

    “In this way we finally sent related information that helped the later rescue operations successfully to the outside world,” said Li Shengming, the chief engineer.

    At around 5:00 pm (1230 GMT) the Iranian warship exchanged fire with the pirates. Five crew members shut down the engine system of the vessel and jumped into the sea.”

    “They (Iranian navy) treated us well, providing us with clean and dry clothes. We were served the same food as they had,” Li Chaoqun, one of the crew members who jumped into the sea, told Xinhua.

  554. Karl says:

    edit.

    “Thinking they arent in the front run on Iran but the very ones who master the puppets.”
    Should be
    “Portraying they arent in the front run on Iran but the very ones who master the puppets.”

  555. Karl says:

    Israel think they could fool the world. Thinking they arent in the front run on Iran but the very ones who master the puppets.

    Israel signals willingness to accept Western plans for next round of Iran nuclear talks
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-signals-willingness-to-accept-western-plans-for-next-round-of-iran-nuclear-talks-1.423259

    Well of course you “signal willingness”, YOU are the ones who have brought up the plans.

  556. Karl says:

    UK prove its still commited to unelected brutal rulers. Bahrain king pay UK a visit while at home the demonstrators getting smashed.
    http://presstv.com/detail/235154.html

  557. BiBiJon says:

    Richard,

    Thanks. Here’s my take.

    Sanger (anger) is a fomage ala fomage of MSM ‘journalists.’ Any diplomats that bother to share their thoughts with Sanger, are those who know their ax is Sanger’s ax to grind. No opposing views were sought, or if accidentally volunteered they were fogged out by the cheesy fumes that surrounds Sanger’s mind.

    The only thing that Sanger (anger)’s piece correctly presages is a behind the scenes monumental, no holds barred, effort on the part of Israel-firsters to keep the Iranian nuclear file topical. Lying thru his teeth, is par for the course for Sanger.

    If he happens to be right, it is a complete coincidence. Methinks.

  558. Sassan says:

    Here is a short 8-minute clip demonstrating this EXACT point: http://youtu.be/EfAwG4kPOLY

  559. Sassan says:

    Richard Steven Hack the Ignoramus. The Iranian people are NOT a religious people. This is a fact. I suggest conversing with some Iranians in real life in realizing this fact. “It is the fool who laughs at the other person who is the fool himself”.

  560. Richard Steven Hack says:

    And I’d say in addition: “You want to attack us for having a legal domestic enrichment program and no nuclear weapons program that you have even the slightest evidence for as your own intelligence agencies agree? Fine. Bring it on! When we’re through shipping ten thousand terrorists to the continental US, your nation’s economy will evaporate – and your ruling elites will be dead. Have a nice day…”

  561. Richard Steven Hack says:

    I’d add that if I were the Iranians at this point in setting up the talks, after that article I’d just say, “Fine, forget about it, we have better things to do than play this charade over and over. You’re going to demonize us no matter what, so have fun with that. But we’re not going to participate.”

  562. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “Is it an attempt to preordain that position? I.e. set the scene for a later branding of Obama as a weak appeaser if in fact he comes up (as is widely feared in neocon circles) with an ‘opening position’ with slightly more chances than that of snowball’s in hell?”

    If there were any evidence whatsoever that Obama did not agree with this position, that might be possible. As it stands…no.

    “Is it to soften up Iran’s position? I.e. by misleading the Iranians into anticipating the worst, prime them into huge sigh of relief when in fact faced with much more ‘accommodatable’ requests, and thereby create an initial convivial negotiating atmosphere that will allow the negotiations to last until 2013?”

    Again, if there were any evidence whatsoever… As it stands…no.

    “Is it to soften up Chinese and Russian (and other BRICS countries observing)? I.e. help move the P5+1 consensus needle slightly away from too much compromise and acceptance upfront?”

    I’d say it has nothing to do with the Chinese and Russians. There position is known and no longer relevant – if it ever was…

    I could just see it as being a way to pressure the EU into not even considering acknowledging domestic enrichment.

    “Or, is it as you guys seem to have interpreted? I.e. the Sanger (anger) piece is an accurate reflection of the first words out of the P5+1 mouth?”

    I’d say so. They wouldn’t be using Sanger to push anything that would help Iran in any way. Sanger is merely doing his part in setting up the subsequent New York Times stories – to be written by him, of course – declaring Iran as still “intransigent” and “unwilling to negotiate”, yada, yada.

    One thing that isn’t mentioned in these pieces is why it is that when Iran comes to the table with a list of demands, such as acknowledging its domestic enrichment right, it’s an unacceptable “condition”. But when the West comes with a list of demands, it’s a “basis for negotiation” – despite the fact that not one single carrot is being offered except Obama’s deceitful “acceptance of a peaceful nuclear energy program” – that doesn’t include any independent technology capability (i.e., no domestic enrichment) and that means absolutely nothing in real English, let alone one word about sanctions being lifted.

    Really, the whole exercise is so painfully transparent that it is only the stupidity of the US public which allows them to engage in this nonsense at all without being laughed out of the negotiating room.

  563. Richard Steven Hack says:

    “the majority of Iranians are no longer religious and do not practice Islam in any way.”

    One has to laugh…

    The level of stupidity represented is a condemnation of the entire human species…

    One has to wonder at the level of degradation of the entire species when a member of it behaves in this manner. This is the sort of thought one expects to find reflected in a history of, say, the Dark Ages…

    A chimpanzee has a more organized thought process than that.

    This is not a “personal attack”. It’s a statement of fact.

    Someone who comes on a Web site and makes statements on this level must be considered a troll and nothing more.

    The rule on the Internet remains: DO NOT ENGAGE TROLLS!

    At this point, the Leveretts really need to ban this guy. He brings down the entire site with this sort of nonsense.

  564. BiBiJon says:

    Eric, and Richard:

    On that NY Times article, penned by Sanger(anger), dutifully reporting on the musings of unnamed European and US diplomats, I have to wonder why some diplomats might leak out what the “OPENING negotiating position” will be.

    - Is it an attempt to preordain that position? I.e. set the scene for a later branding of Obama as a weak appeaser if in fact he comes up (as is widely feared in neocon circles) with an ‘opening position’ with slightly more chances than that of snowball’s in hell?

    - Is it to soften up Iran’s position? I.e. by misleading the Iranians into anticipating the worst, prime them into huge sigh of relief when in fact faced with much more ‘accommodatable’ requests, and thereby create an initial convivial negotiating atmosphere that will allow the negotiations to last until 2013?

    - Is it to soften up Chinese and Russian (and other BRICS countries observing)? I.e. help move the P5+1 consensus needle slightly away from too much compromise and acceptance upfront?

    - Or, is it as you guys seem to have interpreted? I.e. the Sanger (anger) piece is an accurate reflection of the first words out of the P5+1 mouth?

  565. M. Ali says:

    It is interesting to the note the mainstream public reactions to the usual MSM coverages. Look at the jpost article on Glass’ poem, as of this post, there is only 6 comments, but all of them are, in a way, against the mindset of the article.

  566. M. Ali says:

    In the sense that you have an rigid belief system based on faith and emotion.

  567. M. Ali says:

    Sassan, you are one of the most religious people on this website.

  568. Sassan says:

    One last thing I have to add. Isn’t it quite comical how Hillary Leverett is not taken seriously by any of the other two on the program she posted? She tries to claim that China and the IRI are not “aggressive” in their objectives when the underlying character of the regime in Iran is “Islamic Imperialism” and China has been a threat to Taiwan and its neighbors. It was quite interesting to note that Hillary is a “visiting professor” for a university in China. Hence, she is paid by a Chinese university? Her naivety was always known but this certainly puts into question her objectivity.

  569. Sassan says:

    Great article to read: German Noble laureate Günter Grass loves Iran’s clerical regimehttp://blogs.jpost.com/content/german-noble-laureate-g%C3%BCnter-grass-loves-iran%E2%80%99s-clerical-regime

    Quite interesting that Gunter Grass was a volunteer for the SS.

  570. Sassan says:

    And it is quite a masochistic and anti-Iranian thing to say to claim that the war in Iraq was justified. That was a war in which nearly a million Iranians died in which it could have been avoided if it wasn’t for the sick perversions of the kos kesh madar gende named Khomeini. IT was guided by his belief in his “Islamic Imperialism” in taking over “Karbala, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, and the west” in “bringing back the hidden imam” from his well that he has been “hiding in for 900 years”.

    In addition, the fact is back then Iranians were still brainwashed with Islam to an extent in which parents were willing to send their kids to “jeppah” in which they were sent under the tanks of Saddam with a “key to Paradise” provided to these young souls. The Iranian people no longer are willing to give up their lives for Islam or religion. You have an extremely minute base of fanatical Basiji and Revolutionary Guards Basiji in which even most of them are scared gendes whom at the end of the day would not give up their lives for this terrorist regime.

    Iran has become the prostitute of China and Russia rather than anything else. Iran has even signed away their territorial rights to parts of Iran to China and Russia which is quite extraordinary. I have stated this before that as a matter of fact, dogs in the United States and Israel has more rights than human beings in Iran. Iran is currently run by individuals whom we Iranians do not consider as Iranians but rather Islamic perverts whom have no interest in Iranian culture or the future of Iran but rather for their fanatical and apocalyptic terrorist beliefs.

  571. Sassan says:

    A concerned world citizen:

    I didn’t see your original post so I will reply to it now.

    First of all, to your original post, the majority of Iranians are no longer religious and do not practice Islam in any way. So while the majority may not be atheist, I would reckon that there are more atheists in Iran than in the U.S. and a free Iran, will have Islam having no role in politics and government.

    People don’t realize that pre-1979′ Iran was a progressive country in which people did not dress in hijab and were free to do as they wished. In addition, I would argue that the Revolution wasn’t solely an Islamic revolution but was hijacked by the Islamicists.

    Here is a very interesting video from that era to ponder: http://youtu.be/MD1P2q3DsfE

    And I am not evasive at all in my answers. In a perfect world, there would be no nuclear weapons. It is a horrible thing that we have such weapons but we do not live in a perfect world. Therefore in the world that we do live in, nuclear weapons should never be permitted to be in the hands of apocalyptic madmen who want to bring an end to humanity in which “mutually assured destruction” would play no real deterrent. In regards to Israel, they are surrounded by fanatics whom want to destroy Israel at every cost possible. In addition, they have demonstrated that they are a responsible party when it comes to nuclear weapons being in their hands as they are run by secular leadership and not rabbis. If rabbis were at the helm in Israel as leaders, I would be advocating for Israel being required to dismantle their nuclear arsenal. But since they are run by secular leadership in a society in which 15-30% of their citizens are atheist and decisions are made “in this world” and not “another world” (such as Khamanei claiming he has “met with the Hidden Imam to discuss issues”) I understand their needs for such weapons for the purposes of the survival of the very existence of their homeland from the destructive goals of Islamic fanatics.

  572. M. Ali says:

    For example, look at the conditions of this treaty –

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

    This is the norm in Iran’s history. However, Iran now stands strong, not even willing to give up its nuclear rights, when in the past, it would not only have given up its nuclear rights if asked, but given up the lands surrounding the nuclear plants too, and maybe throw in a few virgins too.

  573. M. Ali says:

    I don’t understand how any Iranian reading Iran’s history can not feel proud of the post-Iranian government. It is the only one, in a long time, that has not bowed down to foriegn powers, has not lost any wars (see how many times Iran got its ass routinely kicked by the Russians), and has not lost one inch of territory.

    Any Iranian that does not appreciate this is not a true Iranian.

  574. Karl says:

    Richar Steven Hack,

    In fact the US/EU demand is a blueprint of what Israel wants as Arnold Evans link showed earlier.

    “The Israeli official on Saturday reiterated demands that Israel’s Prime Minister issued last month: Iran must stop enriching uranium, remove all military-grade enriched material from the country, and dismantle its Fordo nuclear research site. ”

    What a puppet’ry

  575. M. Ali says:

    There are those that attribute Iran’s 8 year war with Iraq as the leadership’s fault for prolonging the war. To a casual observer that may be the case, but isn’t it interesting that after that, no country has ever dared set foot in Iran’s soil again? FOr the past century (centuries?) Iran’s terrotorial land used to be a joke, facing army boots from Britian, Russians, and anyone else that might have wanted to passby, but after Iran’s sucessful defense against Iraq (and the world!), Iran has finally closed its door to foreign invaders.

  576. Karl says:

    Richard steven hack,

    “In other words, the EU poodles like to lie about their intentions, while the US is too arrogant to lie…

    These talks are officially dead. There is NO possibility they will last long. Iran will completely dismiss these demands and the US will use that to promote more sanctions.

    And when the sanctions have clearly failed, by end of this year, the US will start demanding a naval blockade. And then the war will be on, depending on how the Syria/Lebanon war turns out.

    -
    Indeed, US playing tough setting demands they know Iran wont accept while offering nothing in return. Standard practice. Then they will say that Iran doesnt want to have dialogue and move on. Just a charade where the US/EU side want to portray itself as the rational, pro-talk side to gain more support and isolate Iran.
    Amazing that these people never learn….

  577. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Off-topic, but illustrative of how the US government is utterly out of control by its citizens…

    America’s new data centre makes UK surveillance plans seem petty
    http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/04/02/americas-new-data-centre-makes-uk-surveillance-plans-seem-petty/

    Hey, for me, this is good news – another nice place to hack into and suck all the secrets out for sale to the highest bidder…

    Trust me – there is no such thing as “computer security”. If data gets in, it can get out…

  578. M. Ali says:

    It seems to be me that Turkey has made a big mistake with Syria. For the last few years, Turkey became the new darling of the Arab world, and initially it seemed like the right thing to support any uprising, because it was the thing to do. But how ocmfortable will the Arab world be if Turkey takes a more direct approach to Syria?

    Did Syria get too confident too fast?

    Turkey has now placed themselves in a corner. With flows of militants taking refuge in Turkey, it has placed its country in sensitive position. Look at Iran, in both the Iraq & Afghanistan war, it did not open its door to insurgents rushing in the country. This is Turkey making amatuer hour mistake. What if Syria war doesn’t go as planned? Are these angry insurgents, who risked their lives & positions, going to be peaceful members of the Turkish society? Or are they going to contiune their attacks in Syria, and if Syria becomes stable, how will it react towards Turkey?

    And these Islamists that are finding refugees in Turkey, if they don’t succeed, won’t they forge alliances with Islamists in Turkey itself, challenging the secular government of Turkey?

    Turkey approached this situation with a western mentality. Short-term gains, with no long term forecast, something the US has been doing for the last few decades, while Asian countries like China & Iran have been patient and more forward thinking.

  579. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Interesting…Iran is clearly a country that thinks big…

    Iran to Connect Caspian Sea to Persian Gulf
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2011824.html

  580. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Yet another report of CNN and Al Jazeera faking Syria “news”…

    Journalist exposes intl. media war on Syria
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/235121.html

  581. A concerned world citizen says:

    Sassan, you still haven’t answered my question so I’ll repeat.

    Do you think it’s right for Israel to have nuclear weapons?

  582. Sassan says:

    “survive an 8-year war with Iraq that was designed to help overthrow them”

    The Iraq war lasted for 8-years due to the actions of the terrorist Khomeini. Khomeini had two chances to end the Iran-Iraq war (once early on and another time before the war reached its apex) but he refused as he instead proclaimed, “on to Karbala, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem, & the west”. In fact, Khomeini used the Iraq war to crack down on dissidents and to prolong his regime.

  583. M. Ali says:

    Where does the west go after this? How much more can they sanction Iran, who has slowly pushed forward? There is news that Hyundai, Nissan, and Peugeut have been forced to sanction Iran, but how does that harm Iran? Were Iranians harmed because they couldn’t import American cars for the last decades? Iran’s car production is 13th in the world, just below Russia, and at 1.6 million cars produced per year, is double that of Italy, and two ranks above UK.

    US production of cars was 12 million in 2000 and reduced to 8.6 million by 2011, a decrease of almost 30%. On the other hand, Iran was only 0.27 million in 2000 and increased to 1.6 million, an 493% increase. Actually, take all the countries that produce cars and compare production in 2000 and 2011 and see who has the most increase in the decade? China, followed by Iran, followed by India. And there are some who post here who constantly see economical doom in Iran’s future, but statistics, not op-pieces not blogs not anecdotes show clear facts. These three countries show their strength as new emerging economical powers, while look at the percentages of the western countries that stand against Iran. US’s car production fell by 32%, France by 31%, Canada by 28%, Spain by 22%, UK by 19%, Italy by 55%, Belguim by 46%, Australia by 35%, Sweden by 37%, Portugal by 22%, Japan by 17%. The only exception in that is Germany increasedb 14%, but how does that compare to Iran’s 493%, India’s 391%, and China’s 790%?

    And with car manufacturers being forced to sanction Iran, does Iran lose out? New reports say that Peugout would have to fire 500 of its staff if it continues with the sanctions, instead for Iran, this would probably mean more jobs. Iran already employes 500,000 in its auto industry. As it is, Iran already restricts access to cars imported, and their 90% tariff is to discourage imports, so who loses out here? I bought a car before Noyruz, and it was an import, but it was a Chinese import.

  584. A concerned world citizen says:

    It seems to me that the US is setting the upcoming P5 + 1 talks for a massive fall/fail..They’re simply not interested in getting any peaceful resolution this artificially generated “crisis” and it’s already showing.They even flatly rejected the Russian proposed step-by-step approach. Which leads me to conclude that it serves their interest(logically/illogically) to prolong their confrontation with Iran until one side capitulates.The Iranian nuclear issue has almost become a foreign policy project or toy for many EU/US governments and I believe the purpose is to boost their image domestically. It’s the only game in town and the only one they know and good at. If things don’t go well, they can always place more sanctions on Iran which is easy to do as it has no substance(Iran doesn’t have massive assets, in any at all in these countries to be affected by sanctions). What it does though, is that it makes European and American diplomats “feel important”.

    Reading from their latest bogus demands in the Reuters, it’s almost a given that Iran won’t even look at them let alone agree to them. It’s almost as though the script was written in Tel Aviv and sent to Washington for approval.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/08/us-iran-usa-nuclear-talks-idUSBRE83701F20120408

  585. M. Ali says:

    Roger, I’d be interested to hear your delusion.

  586. hans says:

    Fukushima Nuclear Accident Update Log

    The last update is…June 2, 2011! Nothing added since then. This is the goofy international organization that is supposed to be the world’s nuke cops! They are supposed to be protecting us. They are the ones the US and Israel have been using heavily to howl at Iran nonstop. But is this criminal outfit yelling at Japan? Now why would you want to be in an organisation like this one!

  587. Roger says:

    I am going to (mis)use this forum to voice my suspicion that there is a whole deeper level to the manouverings than what everyone is debating. How did the British-nurtured Islamists get this far over 32 years in deposing the US-supported shah, survive an 8-year war with Iraq that was designed to help overthrow them, defy the “west” for this long, and now be making progress with their rise in the region, their nuclear program, and their assertion of “independence” when much greater powers such as Germany, Japan and Russia were ultimately brought to heel?

    I have my own suspicions about the truth of the matter, but I would reasonably be accused of being delusional if I elaborated here.

  588. kooshy says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 7, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    I believe it’s way too soon for SCO to become a challenge to NATO, ever wondered what’s SCO’s position on NATO in Afghanistan, I don’t see SCO will welcome a strong Muslim country in to the mix, with capability to form policy (specially a Sunni Muslim country). For Iran can be easier because it’s shih

  589. Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    “Well, that ends any possibility of any agreement…

    U.S. Defines Its Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/middleeast/us-defines-its-demands-for-new-round-of-talks-with-iran.html

    COMMENT:

    Exactly what I was about to say. According to this NY Times article, here’s how the P5+1 intend to open the talks with Iran:

    QUOTATION FROM TIMES ARTICLE:

    “The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain, according to American and European diplomats.

    They are also calling for a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and the shipment of existing stockpiles of that fuel out of the country, the diplomats said.

    That negotiating position will be the opening move in what President Obama has called Iran’s “last chance” to resolve its nuclear confrontation with the United Nations and the West diplomatically.”

    END QUOTE.

    COMMENT:

    Well, that should work out pretty well. I can’t imagine Iran will have any objection to that.

  590. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    Not only that but there are rather wide variety of views on the national security council Just compare Mr. Rohani’s view with Mr. Jalieli’s in a similar way Mr. Daiee of Ettelat appointed by SL vs. Mr. SharieatMadari of Kyhan also a SL appointee, both with completely two opposing views on internal and foreign affairs.

  591. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: April 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I just realized this P5+1 position is really the eralier Israeli position.

    It is almost certainly not the position of China or Russia.

    Israelis pressured US and EU to impose sanctions on Iranian oil, Central Bank fo Iran, Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, etc. prematurely.

    They fired their guns too early to make the desired impact due to israel.

    Mr. Sanger’s article must be understood as Israeli propaganda.

    There are no more sanctions left.

  592. Pirouz says:

    Sassan says:
    April 7, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    Actually, Kasravi ran afoul of my Azari-Iranian great grandfather who was Minister of Justice at the time, and also ran afoul of my Persian-Iranian grandfather while he was Minister of Education.

    Kasravi was seen as a discordant thinker and activist.

  593. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: April 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    If this is indeed the starting position, then Iranians will almost certainly not show up in any meeting.

    That is, there will be no meetings.

  594. Pirouz says:

    bettertobepickled says:
    April 7, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Actually, an ROK artillery barrage preceded the DPRK invasion of ROK. This is largely seen here in the West as a technicality.

  595. fyi says:

    Castellio says: April 7, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    “Full Spectrum Dominance” is a pipe dream.

    It died with the rest of the Finance Economy in 2011.

    There is no money to pay for it; US has a 60 trillion dollar hole in her government accounts coming from the defaulted mortgages in the United States alone.

    The issue with the United States, strategically, is that she has to get out of Northeast Asia, the Levant, and Central Asia.

    But she cannot without ceding power.

  596. Sassan says:

    One of the greatest Iranians of the modern era to have lived, Ahmad Kasravi. Amazing man. http://kasravi.info/

  597. Sassan says:

    Bottom line: it’s time for regime change in support of the Iranian people and Iranian nation.

  598. Richard Steven Hack says:

    By the way, note that there is not ONE SINGLE WORD about what the P5+1 is prepared to offer IRAN in exchange for all this.

    Nothing about recognizing domestic enrichment, except to say it must be suspended under the UN Resolutions. Meanwhile, Obama continues to deliberately LIE about “accepting a peaceful domestic nuclear energy program…”

    If you can’t see the setup here, you’re hopeless…

  599. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Well, that ends any possibility of any agreement…

    U.S. Defines Its Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/world/middleeast/us-defines-its-demands-for-new-round-of-talks-with-iran.html

    Quote

    The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain, according to American and European diplomats.

    They are also calling for a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and the shipment of existing stockpiles of that fuel out of the country, the diplomats said.

    Uranium enriched to about five percent does not pose as imminent a risk, but the United Nations Security Council has required that Iran halt all enrichment.

    “Our position is clear: Iran must live up to its international obligations, including full suspension of uranium enrichment as required by multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions,” Tommy Vietor, spokesman for the National Security Council, said Friday.

    Others, however, are more willing to allow Iran some enrichment capabilities.

    “What we are looking for is a way to acknowledge Iran’s right to enrich, but only at levels that would give us plenty of warning if they moved toward a weapon,” one European diplomat familiar with the internal debates said.

    End Quote

    In other words, the EU poodles like to lie about their intentions, while the US is too arrogant to lie…

    These talks are officially dead. There is NO possibility they will last long. Iran will completely dismiss these demands and the US will use that to promote more sanctions.

    And when the sanctions have clearly failed, by end of this year, the US will start demanding a naval blockade. And then the war will be on, depending on how the Syria/Lebanon war turns out.

  600. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US-Israel War on Iran : The Myth of Limited Warfare
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30150

    Quotes

    The US propaganda war operates along two tracks: (1) the dominant message emphasizes the proximity of war and the willingness of the US to use force and violence. This message is directed at Iran and coincides with Israeli announcements of war preparations. (2) The second track targets the ‘liberal public’ with a handful of marginal ‘knowledgeable academics’ (or State Department progressives) playing down the war threat and arguing that reasonable policy makers in Tel Aviv and Washington are aware that Iran does not possess nuclear weapons or any capacity to produce them now or in the near future. The purpose of this liberal backpedaling is to confuse and undermine the majority public opinion, which is clearly opposed to more war preparations, and to derail the burgeoning anti-war movement.

    Needless to say the pronouncements of the ‘rational’ warmongers use a ‘double discourse’ based on the facile dismissal of all the historical and empirical evidence to the contrary. When the US and Israel talk of war, prepare for war and engage in pre-war provocations – they intend to go to war – just as they did against Iraq in 2003. Under present international political and military conditions an attack on Iran , initially by Israel with US support, is extremely likely, even as world economic conditions should dictate otherwise and even as the negative strategic consequences will most likely reverberate throughout the world for decades to come.

    The US government has now overtly committed itself to supporting an Israeli assault on Iran when it is launched. More specifically, Washington claims it will come to Israel ’s defense ‘unconditionally’ if it is “attacked”. How can Israel avoid being ‘attacked’ when its planes are raining bombs and missiles on Iranian installations, military defenses and support systems, not to mention Iranian cities, ports and strategic infrastructure? Moreover, given the Pentagon’s collaboration and coordinated intelligence systems with the Israel Defense Forces, its role in identifying targets, routes and incoming missiles, as well as integrated weapons and ordinance supply chains will be critical to an IDF attack. There is no way that the US can dissociate itself from the Jewish State’s war on Iran , once the attack has begun.

    It should not be forgotten that the Iranians are probably more aware than anyone in the region of the total devastation suffered by Iraqis after the US invasion, which plunged that nation into total chaos and devastated its advanced infrastructure and civilian administrative apparatus, not to mention the systematic obliteration of its highly educated scientific and technical elite. The waves of Mossad-sponsored assassinations of Iranian scientists, academics and engineers are just a foretaste of what the Israelis have in mind for Iran ’s outstanding scientists, intellectuals and highly skilled technical workers. Iranians should have no illusions about the Americans and Israelis who seek to thrust Iran into the brutal dark ages of Afghanistan and Iraq . They will have no more role in a devastated Iran than their counterparts had in post-Saddam Iraq .

    End Quotes

    I especially agree about the “dual-track” propaganda campaign, which, sadly, appears to have infected quite a few here and elsewhere in the blogosphere.

  601. ToivoS says:

    I am puzzled by something that seems highly relevant to any discussion of China, Iran and the West. Why is the Shanghai Cooperative Organization not mentioned? For those that don’t know this consists of China, Russia and four Central Asian nations. Iran, Pakistan and India have observer status. Russia supports observer status for Afghanistan. This was set up to build a common economic zone but is also explicitly designed to keep Nato troops out of those countries. It is not a military alliance but the partner countries have been holding joint military exercises.

    The SCO could help integrate the Iranian economy into Eurasia. At the present time Iran cannot be a member because of the UN sanctions but it seems only a matter of time before they are admitted. At that point the SCO would control about half of the world’s hydrocarbon production.

    In geopolitical terms this group seems to have tremendous strategic potential especially since it was, in part, explicitly set up to counter US hegemony in that part of the world. Does anyone have any ideas on why the existence of the SCO is not part the current foreign policy discussion?

  602. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Syria escalation puts Russia’s security interests in danger: Analyst
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234982.html

    Quote

    Malouf: I think Kofi Annan is trying his level best through diplomacy in as far as he can go, but I think he is very aware of the realities on the ground and I think he’s under no assumption that what any diplomatic approach is going to prevail as long as you have the opposition being armed from the outside.

    He should be pointing fingers at those elements outside who are continuing to provide arms and support to the opposition. The Syrian government has every right to protect itself. As long as it’s being shot at, it’s going to shoot back – it’s just that simple.

    End Quote

    Exactly as I’ve said. There can be no resolution as long as foreign powers are supporting the insurgents. The entire game plan is as someone mentioned “import a terrorist” and use the resulting chaos as an excuse for direct foreign intervention. It’s a slight refinement of the Libya model, necessary because Syria is not Libya.

    Every month this year the US and the EU have ratcheted up the Syrian situation. At this point the US and the Saudis are paying the insurgents and supplying them with weapons, military gear, and tactical intelligence in addition to the training and manpower importation from Libya and elsewhere which has been going on since last May.

    In a few more months – six at the outside, I would say – we’ll be at the point where calls for direct – and unilateral, i.e., outside the framework of the UN – foreign intervention will be made.

  603. Richard Steven Hack says:

    EU advisor: with Iran sidelined, if Russia doesn’t sell oil to EU, prices can increase by 10-15 percent
    http://en.trend.az/capital/business/2011389.html

  604. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The usual Obama con game…

    Obama offers to accept Iran’s civilian nuclear programme
    http://paktribune.com/news/Obama-offers-to-accept-Irans-civilian-nuclear-programme-248933.html

    The important quote:

    However, “Obama didn’t specify whether Iran would be allowed to enrich uranium domestically as part of civilian program the United States would endorse. That delicate issue evidently would be left for the negotiations.”

    End Quote

    In other words, Obama plays the name game again, by suggesting he is open to a “civilian nuclear program” while denying Iran a basic requirement to have an INDEPENDENT civilian nuclear program.

    This sort of thing just demonstrates once again how Obama is an inveterate and deliberate liar. How anyone can take what he says at face value is amazing.

    Now exactly WHAT is meant by THIS statement from Obama?

    Quote

    According to Ignatius, Obama asked Erdogan to tell Khamenei “that the Iranians should realize that time is running out for a peaceful settlement and that Tehran should take advantage of the current window for negotiations.”

    End Quote

    Given the Obama KNOWS that Iran is NOT making nuclear weapons and does NOT have a nuclear weapons program, what can possibly be meant by “time is running out for a peaceful settlement” – if not that unless Iran bows down to the US demands to suspend domestic enrichment, the US will attack Iran (or agree to Israel doing so and then supporting that attack)?

    This can’t be any clearer. Obama is explicitly stating that the US and/or Israel WILL attack Iran unless Iran agrees to the UN Resolutions requiring suspension of enrichment. This, despite the fact that there is absolutely NO legality behind such a threat under international law or the UN Charter.

  605. James, yes, it was North Korea with, and this has been disputed, some degree of Soviet backing… China was a bystander until it became convinced that the war was developing into an attack on China, which, under General MacArthur, was the actual case.

    If you believe the US is somehow above history you end up with the weirdest interpretations.

  606. Rehmat says:

    A few days ago, German Nobel Prize winner, Guenter Grass, published a poem – in which he praised Iranian government and slammed Israeli regime for being threat to world peace. Grass is facing scurrilous attacks from Jewish groups for his poem which is labeled as ‘Blood Libel’. Below is English translation of the poem, entitled, ‘What must be said’, by Alessandro Ghebreigziabiher.

    Why I am silent, silent for too much time,
    how much is clear and we made it
    in war games, where, as survivors,
    we are just the footnotes

    That is the claimed right to the formal preventive aggression
    which could erase the Iranian people
    dominated by a bouncer and moved to an organized jubilation,
    because in the area of his competence there is
    the construction of the atomic bomb

    And then why do I avoid myself
    to call the other country with its name,
    where since years – even if secretly covered -
    there is an increasing nuclear power,
    without control, because unreachable
    by every inspection?

    I feel the everybody silence on this state of affairs,
    which my silence is slave to,
    as an oppressive lie and an inhibition that presents punishment
    we don’t pay attention to;
    the verdict “anti-Semitism” is common

    Now, since my country,
    from time to time touched by unique and exclusive crimes,
    obliged to justify itself,
    again for pure business aims – even if
    with fast tongue we call it “reparation” -
    should deliver another submarine to Israel,
    with the specialty of addressing
    annihilating warheads where the
    existence of one atomic bomb is not proved
    but it wants evidence as a scarecrow,
    I say what must be said

    Why did I stay silent until now?
    Because the thought about my origin,
    burdened by an unclearing stain,
    had avoiding to wait this fact
    like a truth declared by the State of Israel
    that I want to be connected to

    Why did I say it only now,
    old and with the last ink:
    the nuclear power of Israel
    threat the world peace?
    Because it must be said
    what tomorrow will be too late;
    Because – as Germans and with
    enough faults on the back -
    we might also become deliverers of a predictable
    crime, and no excuse would erase our complicity

    And I admit: I won’t be silent
    because I had enough of the Western hypocrisy;
    Because I wish that many will want
    to get rid of the silence,
    exhorting the cause of a recognizable
    risk to the abdication, asking that a free and permanent control
    of the Israel atomic power
    and the Iran nuclear bases
    will be made by both the governments
    with an international supervision

    Only in this way, Israelis, Palestinians, and everybody,
    all people living hostile face to face in that
    country occupied by the craziness,
    will have a way out,
    so us too.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/israel-lobby-slams-hungarian-mp/

  607. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Bussed-in Basiji: “they began to rely more heavily on the Israelis and Saudis who drove them into this ditch in the first place.”

    Interesting point. I’m not sure how much of this is “out-sourcing” as opposed to merely being too deeply in bed with both foreign countries as a matter of hegemonic policy (not to mention financial concerns.)

    It’s also possible that, under Obama, this has been a deliberate policy of his. It has been said that Obama prefers to operate in secret, “leading from behind”, as a means of deceiving people into thinking someone else is at fault. As I’ve suggested repeatedly, this is the thought process of a “plantation foreman” rather than a statesman.

    The end result is that that Obama allows the Saudis and Israel to run the show because he knows the end result will benefit the US ruling elites (as well as the Saudi and Israeli ruling elites) while leaving him more or less blameless. This is different from George W. Bush who preferred to be an aggressive President, starting wars on his own initiative. Obama operates differently.

    But “different” is not “better”. As Don Rickles would say, “What, that’s better?!”

    “The challenge for US experts like the Leveretts is whether they can confront this outsourcing of US foreign policy and the sad end it will have for the US. I’m not sure they’re up to this task.”

    I don’t think this methodology of Obama changes much. The Leveretts and other antiwar forces never had a snowball’s chance in hell of altering events anyway.

    As I’ve said before, the only thing that could bring US hegemony to a halt at this point in history is either: 1) losing a war – and I mean LOSING it militarily, not just withdrawing mostly intact because it does not “win” it; or 2) a major economic collapse, or 3) both (one resulting from the other or occurring simultaneously.) I predict one of those two events will occur before the year 2050.

    The Iran war has the potential to end up producing either of the two main outcomes.

  608. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You seem to be forgetting that Germany opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003, and did not support military intervention in Libya.

    Germany is a strong backer of Israel, and gave Israel two submarines (Dolphin class).

  609. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Israel is not one of the Six Powers that will be negotiating with Iran. We have known all along Israel wants ZERO enrichment, by Iran.

  610. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the Russian Federation, with China, sees Iran as continuing to be independent, even if it is attacked.

  611. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I see we agree Iran will remain independent, even if miscalculations cause the loss of the navy and air force. China surely sees things this way.

  612. James Canning says:

    Cyrus_2,

    Are you aware that some American oil interests saw the Iranian nationalisation of Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. as opening up significant opportunities for them, if they could keep the Britsh from re-taking control.

  613. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    It is curious that Chang said China and North Korea started the Korean War. Actually, the Soviet Union was involved, not China. At the outset.

  614. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Obama has been pulling US troops out of Germany. Surely, however, Germany is not an “occupied” country.

  615. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Does Pavel favor drome strikes on all “terrorists”? The MEK, perhaps? Just kidding.

  616. James Canning says:

    Cyrus_2,

    I quoted from “Full Circle”, the memoirs of Sir Anthony Eden, Earl of Avon. He was Britsh foreign secretary in the first months of the Eisenhower administration, and he says Mossadeq had convinced American leaders that he was a bulwark against communist penetration. Later, Eisenhower was persuaded that getting rid of Mossadeq was the safer course to follow. Due to fear of Soviet penetration. It may well be that those fears were unfounded, as you say.

  617. Castellio says:

    Arnold writes: “If that is correct, any glimmer of hope that Obama secretly intended to resolve the dispute by accepting Iranian enrichment had been an illusion.”

    I for one gave up on that illusion what seems like a long time ago.

    FYI, I agree that Germany, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia do not exercise sovereignty or strategic autonomy. No argument with that. (Although I would add I expect them to challenge US hegemony this century, and sooner rather than later. The US, however, will not willingly give up its military occupation of any of these three countries.)

    Where I disagree is that I’m not confident China sees Iran’s independence as “necessary” or “critical” and therefore would do much to support it. I suppose we shall see.

    I do not see the American “pivot” to the East as a pivot, but as the coordination of activities in Asia to support activities in the Middle East. To put it bluntly, the US feels it needs to pressure Asia to succeed in the Middle East, and similarly feels it needs to control the Middle East to pressure Asia.

    Not a pivot, then, but the continuing pursuit of full spectrum dominance. Pavel lied (or to be nice, misrepresented the situation) every time he opened his mouth, and I agree with Pickled that Chang chooses to be historically ill-informed.

  618. I thought Hillary was excellent. As a good analyst she attempts to see the issue from the other side. She is largely right in everything she says.

    Gordon Chang says that the Korean war was initiated by North Korea and China attacking the South. This is contrary to historical fact. The North did attack, but the Chinese engagement only happened after the US, the Brits, etc.. co-ordinated the invasion of the North. The Korean war was not caused by the Chinese. How is it possible that Gordon Chang mischaraterizes even the Korean war?

    Barry Pavel pictures the growing American military presence in Asia as “a return of the American military as a stabilizing force”. That’s comparable to telling your neighbour, “I have put locks on your doors and stationed police in your yard to ensure you don’t harm yourself.” That is, his very definition of stable is equivalent to US hegemony, and Hillary is right to say that’s a breach of the previous US-China understanding.

  619. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    No longer relevant.

    Israelis lost the game when Mr. Obama back-tracked on his war path with Iran last month.

  620. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 7, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Losses of Iranian naval and air units will not end the status of Iran as a risen power nor her strategic autonomy.

    The military assets can be rebuilt and re-acquired.

    The Iranian strategic autonomy has been built over time and across the Middle East over 30 years. Iran has paid a very heavy price during 1980s and 1990s to establish teh foundations of that autonomy.

    The strategic autonomy of Iran is irrversible and the massive economic warfare of US and EU against Iran attests to the very seriousness of Iran as an obstacle to US and EU.

  621. fyi says:

    Castellio says: April 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    The strateic autonomy of Iran means the ability of her leaders to pursue Iran’s state interests – regardless of external powers.

    Japan, South Korea and Germany are not even sovereign states; they are semi-sovereign states occupied by the United States.

    They have zero (“0″) strategic autonomy.

    The significance of Iran’s strategic autonomy to China is predicated on China’s energy dependence.

    40% of World Energy is shipped through Straits of Hormuz; US-EU will not be permitted to recapitulate these strategic heights again (before the islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979).

    Saudi Arabia has very little strategic autonomy; she is a dependency of the United States as far as security is concerned.

    The Russian Federation is dependent on the existence of independent Iranian power to secure her southern flank. Just look at the map.

    For US-EU, the strategic prize is the re-orientation of the Iranian state towards the NATO Allinance. China and Russia – through helping US and EU in UNSC with Iran sanctions – have succeeded in making that strategic objective unreachable for US and EU.

  622. Karl says:

    Arnold Evans,

    Israel playing God as always, thinking they are the police of the world, the chosen.
    While its hilarious to realize that they think they could demand things like this, it also clearly show what a threat they pose to the world. They dont follow the law, they follow personal preferences and demand that this should be the law for all of us.

  623. Arnold Evans says:

    An Indian publication reports Israel’s demands of Iran’s nuclear program:

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-nuclear-claim-shows-threat-says-israeli-official/933906/

    The Israeli official on Saturday reiterated demands that Israel’s Prime Minister issued last month: Iran must stop enriching uranium, remove all military-grade enriched material from the country, and dismantle its Fordo nuclear research site.

    I hadn’t seen these demands when they were first made, but seeing them in print, I consider it a safe assumption that Barack Obama has not authorized a US deviation from them.

    If that is correct, any glimmer of hope that the Obama secretly intended to resolve the dispute by accepting Iranian enrichment had been an illusion.

  624. Sassan says:

    *Syria: Arrested member of Iranian regimes revolutionary guard confess crack down*: http://youtu.be/minNLceuFSc

  625. Don Bacon says:

    It has become obvious that China’s economic model is superior to the U.S.’s.

  626. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    One might ask why Iran would lose its strategic independence, even if it were attacked and suffered the loss of its navy, air force, etc. Iran would remain independent.

  627. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US was demonstrating strategic stupidity on a grand scale, when it invaded Iraq. Strategic stupidity driven by “supporters” of Israel in the US.

    Iranian leaders on moral grounds hoped to avoid the invasion and subsequent vicious civil war.

    Idiot neocons who made clear they hoped to use Iraq as a staging base for further wars in the region, in effect forced Iran to take precautionary measures.

  628. Castellio says:

    FYI, as you know, I am wary of your thinking and statements. However, I have a few simple questions I hope you will answer.

    What do you mean by “Just like the Russian Federation, the strategic autonomy of Iran, is a necessity for the Chinese. ” I would understand very clearly if you are saying “the strategic autonomy of Iran is a necessity for the Chinese”, but what do you mean by adding “Just like the Russian federation”?

    In any case, lets assume you are making the statement: “The strategic autonomy of Iran is a necessity for the Chinese.” What do you mean by strategic autonomy and what do you mean by necessity?

    The strategic autonomy of Japan and Korea are not “necessities” for China. Nor, if we are talking strictly energy, is the strategic autonomy of Saudi Arabia a “necessity” for China? We can add Indonesia, VietNam, etc..

    Why, of all the countries in the world that China deals with, is it the “strategic autonomy” of Iran which is a “necessity”?

  629. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, low productivity by labor, and management for that matter, helped to erode the economic strength of the USSR. But a shockingly high percentage of the economy was controlled by the military or was diverted to various foreign policy matters and drained needed capital from housing etc.

  630. James Canning says:

    Dan Cooper,

    Is Israel blocking negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran, or interfering with them, by helping MEK terrorists assassinate Iranian scientists? Iran wanted an end to this campaign, as a “precondition” before last negotiations with the Six Powers.

  631. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Their major problem, in my opinion, was labor productivity.

    The same problem afflicts Iran but to a lesser extent thanks to the private enterprise in other sectors of the economy.

  632. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 7, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Iranian planners were trying to avoid war in Iraq because they were concerned about its ramifications to Iranian security.

    Once it became clear that US was going to invade Iraq and that her other aim was destruction of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranians adoptd their “Active Neutralty” policy and moved into Iraq.

    In effect, US taught Iranian leaders and planners how to think in Grand Strategic terms.

    The rest, as they say, is “History”.

  633. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I seem to recall that Israeli companies helped provide oil to South Africa during the sanctions, by transferring oil from one tanker to another, at sea.

  634. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The pricing dispute with Iran caused China to import only half as much oil from Iran in February as had been imported in December. Perhaps that dispute has been resolved?

  635. fyi says:

    Jay says: April 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    My sense of it is that Saudi Arabia is at capacity.

    Anyway, oil is fungible, you take it to the middle of sea and pump it into another tanker and it is no longer “Iranian” oil.

    Or you take it elsewhere and get it blended with oil from other sources, same story.

    Agree with the over all oil demand projections as well – even the sanctions against investment in Iranian oil projects in 1990s were considered harmful to US in the long term.

    EU leaders were atcually aware that the oil sanctions would be ineffective and that financial sanctions, initially very painful to Iran, would erode over time.

    But they were hpoing for a quick victory; just like WWI – or Hiltler in WWII, or US in Iraq or Israel in Leabanon (1982).

    So US-EU leaders are no facing the prospect of a prolonged war of economic attrition against Iran that harms them as well as iran.

    However, the strategc imperatve for Iran – at this time – is to work through the sanctions so that they cannot be re-imposed in some future time.

    So, even if there is progress in P5+1 negogiations, I do not expect Iran to quickly re-route her financial trasnactions through SWIFT, Asian Clearing House Bank, etc.

  636. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iraq posed no threat to Iran in 2003. In fact, Iran offered to help the US to assess whatever “threat” Iraq posed, and to deal with that “threat”, hoping to avoid a US invasion and subsequent civil war in Iraq.

  637. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China apparently wants Iran to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent and does not view an end to such enrichment as causing Iran to lose its status of being “independent”.

  638. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Vladimir Putin has observed that the decline of the economic power of the Soviet Union was in part caused by spending far too much on “defence”. The US has been making this serious mistake for many years now.

  639. Arnold Evans says:

    Has this been discussed yet?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/07/iran-can-produce-nuclear-weapons-politician?newsfeed=true

    Iran has the technological capability to produce nuclear weapons but will never do so, a prominent politician in the Islamic republic has said.

    “Iran has the scientific and technological capability to produce (a) nuclear weapon, but will never choose this path,” Moghadam told the parliament’s news website, icana.ir.

    Sanctions one way or another are eventually going to end. It very unlikely that Iran will fail from here to emerge from sanctions, any attack or whatever the US wants to do as a nuclear capable power.

  640. James Canning says:

    Does Barry Pavel think the events of 9/11 “compelled” the US to invade Iraq?

  641. fyi says:

    Scott Lucas says: April 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I think you are both theoretically and factually wrong.

    Theoretically, as far as I can tell, you are predicating a state’s power on the strength of her economy. Now, that is true in general and up to a certain point, but not decisive. For Russia was never a great economic power but has been a great power for more than 300 years.

    In regards to Iran, I think she has a diversified economy that could benefit from more privatization. Thanks to the lates economic attack on her, her leaders have now concluded that they need to encourage private enterprise and capitalism.

    In other words, as I predicted before, US-EU War against Iran is teaching her how to fight – disabusing her of unworkable notions – however cherished.

    Iran, in fact, is a risen power – much more so than South Africa – pet of US-EU.

    Needless to aay, Iranians owe their rise to US war against Iraq, in an analogous manner that US owed her rise to the destruction of the Axis Powers by USSR in WWII.

    The rise of Iran, the fact that she is exercising state power (soft and hard) from Hind Kush to the Mediterranean Sea – is an empirical fact that attests to her increased power.

    It is this power that US-EU have been trying to destroy or roll-back for the past 8 years.

    In my opinion, the Iranian power cannot be rolled back because at the very fundamental existential level, US-EU cnnot offer anything workable. In effect, the US-EU war against Islamic Iran is also a war against actual non-Iranian human beings whose physical exustence – themselves and their families – will be threatened by Iranians’ defeat.

    Your country, US, cannot put any working political dispensation in place: you failed in Viet Nam, in Cambodia, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Cuba, in Somoza’s Nicaragua, and in Shah’s Iran.

    Once US-EU planners accpet these limitations, and the rise of the Iranian power, the basis of strategic accomodation can be explored.

    In my opinion, US-EU planners are deluding themselves if they think they can get any enduring strategic benfits from “China’s complex game”.

    Just like the Russian Federation, the strategic autonomy of Iran, is a necessity for the Chinese.

    They cooperate with US-EU project on Iran up to a certain point, but not beyond that.

    My sense of the Chinese leaders and people is that they are very suspicious of US-EU intentions towards them. At the present moment, they are busy buying – with dollars – any tangible asset that they can all over the world. They are firends to all and open for business.

    Contrary to the United States, which has become a net negative force on this planet, China is the positive fore – the Middle Kingom on planetary scale.

  642. Jay says:

    Some individuals continue to cast their wishful thinking regarding Iran’s oil sanctions as factual information.

    A good college sophomore with access to the web and basic analysis skills can use the charts and spreadsheets at the International Energy Agency for the oil market to reach the conclusion that:

    a) The current growth rate of demand (~4-5%) for oil is increasing
    b) Accounting for the increase in non-OPEC output of (~2% relative – not total), the rate of demand will far outpace the supply rate
    c) SA at its peak output will not be able to replace the current oil demand and will not be able to keep up with the increased demand
    d) The removal of the Iranian oil supply cannot be maintained for long without significant economic repercussions due to tight supplies

    Search for payment mechanisms is the main driving factor for the short term purchase fluctuations in Iran’s oil. Oil prices are expected to go up due to tight supplies. Iran’s income from crude is expected to show a small decrease. And, average Iranians will face more challenges due to sanctions.

    However, not a single independent international independent analyst (one that has performed real analysis with real numbers) has concluded that sanctions will have a significant or lasting impact.

    The sanctions umbrella (hoopla) appears to be a device that serves the purpose of diverting attention from the terrorist recruitment activities by the US and allies – “Imported terrorists” appears to be the current preferred method for regime change. After having concluded that overt war is not a good workable option, whisperings have emerged to suggest that the recent consultations of Secretary Clinton in the Middle East is aimed at convergence on the schedule for extending the Syria imported-terrorist model to Iran. However, there is recognition by the Chinese that destabilizing northwestern Iran will be detrimental to their interest. Chinese foreign ministry has not only issued public warnings, it has also had sent private messages to indicate that it will protect its interest.

    The US rank-and-file military and intelligence community is not on board with the “import a terrorist” plan. The chatter and leaks in order to get public to pay attention to these plans appear to be intended as a way to push back against accelerating plans in this direction.

  643. Rehmat says:

    Scott Lucas – Iran has a weak economy?? Are you sure you’re talking about Iran or parasite Jewish state – where one out of every three Jewish children live in poverty? And that’s surprising considering that the Zionist entity has sucked $3,000 billion out of US taxpayers since 1970s.

    “Iran, which was ready to sue for peace negotiations with America over nuclear weapons in May 2003, when they thought the invasion would be successful, has gained massively from the insurgency inside Iraq and is left as the most powerful country in the region,” Lord David Owen, former UK foreign secretary, December 1, 2011.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/12/17/lord-owen-iran-is-the-most-powerful-country-in-the-region/

  644. Karl says:

    Scott Lucas,
    ““The weak economic position of the Islamic Republic to the Syrian crisis to the complexities of local movements in the Middle East and the North Africa to the regime’s illusion that the IRI’s “Islamic model” is a dominant regional force”

    All of these are reasons why the Islamic Republic is not currently a “rising regional power”. Without significant economic and political changes, especially inside Iran, they will continue to prevent any claim of “rising power” from coming to fruition.

    -
    1. Iran have been under sanctions for 30 years, people have said it will fall flat ever year since the revolution, but have just been proving wrong – instead Iran have become stronger. While the sanctions have been indeed accelerated the past year, they are no where to be bring regime change atleast analyzing the situation today, rather they will probably maintain a status quo for some time. That isnt to say that sanctions impede and make lifes difficult.

    2. Polically Iran still have power outside their borders. In Afghanistan with militias and even the ruling gov. In Iraq with militias and the ruling gov. In Palestine with atleast Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In Lebanon they have continuned to establish power with Hezbollah and also other ruling parties. In Syria they will probably have good ties even if Assad falls, and we could go on.

    3. Iran have never said that their islamic type of governance is now being exported to the uprising. However the uprising is indeed islamic in nature, Islam is obviously what the people want and therefore proved western pundits wrong, the arabs didnt want secular democracies, they wanted societies in which Islam get a vital role in politics, judiciary. ‘
    This will, create states with a foreign policy very similar to the one of Iran. So that is one thing that will bring Iran and the uprising states together.

  645. Scott Lucas says:

    Karl,

    “The weak economic position of the Islamic Republic to the Syrian crisis to the complexities of local movements in the Middle East and the North Africa to the regime’s illusion that the IRI’s “Islamic model” is a dominant regional force”

    All of these are reasons why the Islamic Republic is not currently a “rising regional power”. Without significant economic and political changes, especially inside Iran, they will continue to prevent any claim of “rising power” from coming to fruition.

    S.

  646. Karl says:

    Scott Lucas,

    You said.

    “That is why Chinese imports of Iranian oil have halved since January”

    And then you responded with ‘China have supported UN sanctions’. I dont think anyone deny that. What I was saying was that they will not go ahead on unilateral sanctions.

    Also you didnt respond to why you think Iran couldnt be a rising power. You just gave some topics but didnt really developed your theory.

  647. Scott Lucas says:

    Karl,

    A specific follow-up on your question….

    Even Tehran’s ties to Turkey — which has a far stronger claim to be a “rising regional power”, if that term has to be used — are under strain. Consider the latest episode in the nuclear talks.

    “In the fuss over the location for nuclear talks, are Iranian State media resorting to made-up quotes? From Press TV, “Proposing Iraq as Venue for P5+1 Talks, Wise Iran Decision: Turkey”:

    ‘The Turkish foreign minister has lauded Iran’s proposal for Iraq to hold the upcoming talks between Tehran and the six major world powers as “wise”, while reiterating Turkey’s readiness to host the negotiations.

    ‘In a phone conversation with Iran’s Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili on Friday, Ahmet Davutoglu described the relations between Tehran and Ankara as strategic and friendly.’

    ‘Wise’? That seems curious from Davutoğlu, given that an angered Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday: ‘Because of the lack of honesty they (the Iranians) are continually losing their international prestige. This is not the language of diplomacy. The name of this is something else, but I won’t say it here.’

    According to State news agency IRNA, Davutoğlu made the comments to Jalili on Thursday evening (not Friday, as Press TV “reports”). IRNA continues:

    ‘Following the conversation, the Turkish Ambassador to Tehran, Umit Yardim, met with Assistant Secretary of SNSC for foreign policy and international affairs, Ali Baqeri, and presented some explanation concerning published news by certain western media about recent statements of Turkey’s officials.

    ‘The ambassador said that Turkish president and prime minister have special respect for Iran’s supreme leader and president and support Iran’s wise policies.

    ‘He also stated that Turkey supports Iran’s nuclear stance and in spite of US pressure cast a negative vote to the UN Security Council resolution.

    ‘Referring to the statement of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan following his return from Iran, the ambassador said that the premier has praised Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s stances.’

    The Turkish press, however, has a different version of the conversation: ‘Turkish diplomatic sources said Davutoğlu reiterated Turkey’s position on negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program, underlining the importance Turkey attached to the continuation of the talks.’ The leading newspaper Hurriyet writes:

    ‘The Turkish minister’s call brought up Tehran’s proposal for the negotiations to be held in Baghdad or Beijing, instead of Istanbul, a venue Iran had suggested previously. Iran said Turkey’s stance on the Syrian crisis caused it to change its position.

    ‘As for the Turkish Ambassador, he was summoned so “Iranian officials [could express] unease…about Turkey’s premier criticizing its neighbor as being dishonest”.’

    The word ‘wise’, in reference to the Islamic Republic or anyone else, does not appear in the Turkish accounts.”

    S.

  648. Scott Lucas says:

    Karl,

    China is already involved with multilateral sanctions on Iran, dating from the 2010 UN Security Council decision — it has balked publicly at expansion of those sanctions within the UN, but privately it is not necessarily standing in the way of the US-led pressure on Tehran.

    That said, I agree with you that both economic and political issues are important to keep in mind.

    Re the question on “rising regional power”, pages could be written on the challenges for Tehran right now — from the weak economic position of the Islamic Republic to the Syrian crisis to the complexities of local movements in the Middle East and the North Africa to the regime’s illusion that the IRI’s “Islamic model” is a dominant regional force.

    S.

  649. Karl says:

    Scott Lucas,

    “That is why Chinese imports of Iranian oil have halved since January.”

    Which is due payment issues rather than polically issues? China have said they wont follow unilaterla sanctions on Ira.

    “Iran as “rising regional power” (a wishful, rather than thoughtful, analysis of recent and current developments) does not do it justice.”

    -Let us know more on why you not agree on this.

  650. Dan Cooper says:

    Five Iranian nuclear scientists have been assassinated since 2007.

    M.E.K.spokesmen have denied any involvement in the killings, but early last month NBC News quoted two senior Obama Administration officials as confirming that the attacks were carried out by M.E.K. units that were financed and trained by Mossad, the Israeli secret service.

    NBC further quoted the Administration officials as denying any American involvement in the M.E.K. activities.

    The former senior intelligence official I spoke with seconded the NBC report that the Israelis were working with the M.E.K., adding that the operations benefitted from American intelligence.

    He said that the targets were not “Einsteins”; “The goal is to affect Iranian psychology and morale,” he said, and to “demoralize the whole system—nuclear delivery vehicles, nuclear enrichment facilities, power plants.”

    Attacks have also been carried out on pipelines.

    He added that the operations are “primarily being done by M.E.K. through liaison with the Israelis, but the United States is now providing the intelligence.”

    An adviser to the special-operations community told me that the links between the United States and M.E.K. activities inside Iran had been long-standing. “Everything being done inside Iran now is being done with surrogates,” he said.

    Our Men in Iran?

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31013.htm

    By Seymour M. Hersh

  651. Rehmat says:

    Guess who is preparing Washington for its new military adventure in S-E Asia?

    The Washington-based Ziocons think tank, CNAS, in its recent report has stated: “The geostrategic significance of the South China Sea is difficult to overstate. To the extent that the world economy has a geographical center, it is in the South China Sea.”

    Nearly 50% of the goods transported between continents by ship go through the South China Sea, accounting for $1.2 trillion in US trade annually. The area has vast, largely untapped natural resources – including oil reserves of seven billion barrels and an estimated 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/20/asia-pacific-and-coming-us-war-for-oilgas/

  652. Rehmat says:

    AHA – the good old Zionists’ Arab propaganda organ – the Al-Jazeera.

    “I wish all Arab media were like Al-Jazeera,” – Gideon Ezra, former deputy head of Israeli General Security Service, quoted in ‘Foreign Policy (FP)’, July/August 2006 issue.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2008/12/11/al-jazeera-pro-israel-arab-network/

  653. Scott Lucas says:

    The best part of the post is Wang Jisi’s analysis of Chinese foreign policy, not only vis-a-vis the US but also in other regional and international contexts.

    In contrast, the gloss on this from RFI is strained and shallow. To take the specific issue of sanctions, the Chinese leadership is not going to offer public support to extended sanctions — although the post fails to note that they accepted the UN Security Council measures in 2010 — but privately, they are playing a far more complex game with the US and European powers, as well as manoeuvring for economic advantage.

    That is why Chinese imports of Iranian oil have halved since January. It gives Beijing an advantage if they want to pick up cheaper Iranian oil when Tehran cannot sell elsewhere — so far, the Islamic Republic has balked at this — and it means that it can privately show some accommodation with Washington’s pressure on Iran in advance of the nuclear talks this month.

    Indeed, RFI’s post would probably be better without any reference to Iran — running this feature to smuggle in yet another reference to the American approach to Tehran (a valid point, but one not really supported here) and Iran as “rising regional power” (a wishful, rather than thoughtful, analysis of recent and current developments) does not do it justice.

    S.

  654. Empty says:

    RE: “testing the ban…”

    When in the pool, please don’t urinate. Others are using the pool, too.

  655. Empty says:

    1. Good discussion by Hillary Mann-Leverett. I think her willingness to try to look at the events also through the other side’s lens makes the positions she takes far more accurate and close to reality than the others in the group. This is not easy to do at all but she managed it quite well in this discussion.

    2. Pointing to a pattern of behavior and drawing parallels between the US behavior and posturing in the Middle East and those in the Asia Pacific region was clever.

    3. Missing from the discussion was pointing to a preponderance of evidence that Chinese have cooperated so closely with the US at so many levels from their financing of the US national debt, to the wars, to the security council resolutions on Iran, and so much more. That the US should always be in the position of “always take” and “never give” is itself part of a hegemonic and expansionist mindset to which it was correctly referred.

  656. Scott Lucas says:

    Testing the ban….

  657. hans says:

    H.E. BASHAR JA’AFARI PRESS CONFERENCE ON VIOLATIONS COMMITTED BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNGA, APRIL 5, 2012

    This could just as be Iran holding a press conference with regards to the UNSC, UNGA, IAEA. Good, bit long but worth hearing.

  658. Karl says:

    Sassan,

    You coming here with no respect for this site or the Leverett spreading hate and xenophobia. Dont you have anything better to do?

  659. A concerned world citizen says:

    Sassan, first of all, can I say nice to meet you :^). I’ve been reading this forum for a while and you “stand out from the rest”. I happen to have a sense that you hate Islam and anything Muslim. Well, that’s your right and choice.But maybe you should also consider that Islam, like Christianity or any other religion has been around for thousands of years and won’t be disappearing simply because you don’t like it. Hoping and praying all Iranian become atheist as you claim you are, is like Iranians also hoping and praying all Italians Roman Catholics or English Anglicans will become Muslims. FAT CHANCE!!!

    I don’t know you personally but from your postings here you seem more an Israeli shill than an Iranian as you claim. I don’t have facts to prove but I’m only saying from you postings. You could be Bibi’s cousin for all I know.

    Let me ask you a simple question and please, provide a simple yes or no answer since I know you’re very evasive when it comes to answering straight questions.

    Do you think it is right for Israel to have nuclear weapons?

  660. Sassan says:

    I find it hilarious how ‘Islamic Imperialism” is completely ignored as this is the CORE that is driving the policies of terror and havoc that constitute the Islamic Republic.

  661. A concerned world citizen says:

    This is the epotiome of empirical hubris..The US has taken it upon themselves to be the world’s policeman – I say good luck with that. This strategy is very expensive and therefore not sustainable in the long term.

    You have to keep in mind that the US basically has to spend stupid amounts of American tax dollars to keep this charade of global dominance going while countries that the US is seeking to “contain” are pretty much playing on home turf. They have the wherewithal of time and will outlast any US strategy simply because that’s where they live and have been for thousands of years. Empires come and go..The land remains.

    I see this whole “pivoting” thing as another pork barrel defence spending aimed at making the fat cats at the MIC more fat while the average American, who probably can’t even point China on the map rot in the social hell-hole called USA today.

    The US is having a hard time trying this silly “containment” strategy with Iran.How much/longer do they expect to survive this same approach vis-a-vis China???.Their confrontation with Iran continue to cost them more and more strategically and economically and has brought them closer to a war they didn’t intend to fight.

    Just a hint, the Chinese military tend to under-report their military strength and capabilities. I don’t see how the US can withstand any confrontation with the PLA in the pacific. The have satellite killers..A single CENTCOM satellite downed by the Chinese will be the end of US dominance in the pacific.

  662. Photi says:

    Unknown Unknowns and Bussed-in Basiji,

    Good to see both of you commenting.

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    April 7, 2012 at 12:34 am

    “Instead of reaching the logical conclusion that [the US elites] need to get more personally educated and aware of the Middle East after the uprisings, they did the reverse, they began to rely more heavily on the Israelis and Saudis who drove them into this ditch in the first place.”

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    “While it is true that Iran’s foreign policy is not determined solely by President Ahmadinejad and his Secretary of State (Dr. Salehi), neither is it true that the Supreme Leader “authorizes” foreign policy decisions. These decisions are made by the Supreme National Security Council (Persian: شورای عالی امنیت ملی‎ Shoraye Aliye Amniate Melli), which meets at least once a week, and which is presided over by the President.”

    Please, if you guys keep saying these things, it will become increasingly difficult for Americans to indulge our own fantasy that Iran is run by an evil dictator. The story of the Mad Mullah helps us to delude ourselves into believing the United States has mostly benevolent intentions towards Iran. “War might suck” we say, but it is for your own good. We will save you from the mullahs.

    To say there is a ‘procedural’ state in Iran whereby competing interests come together to form policies not only complicates the issue for the Americans, it also declares victory before the war even starts, for if the Rule of Law is what the West is after in Iran (among the ostensible reasons for these wars of preemption in the western propaganda), the rule of law is already there.

    But as we all know, war itself is the goal, and for the US to recognize the complexity in Iran is to destroy the American-built narrative of the mad mullahs, a narrative which “justifies” the war to begin with. From the American perspective we are currently setting the stage where Act 1 is War and Act 2 is the Rule of Law. Iranian rationality is messing up the narrative. Those pushing for a tragedy say Rationality belongs in act two, after the chaos. The destruction must come first.

  663. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ James Canning

    I repeat, those fears were completely baseless.
    There was no communist threat in Iran at that time.

    [quote]
    Throughout the crisis, the communist danger was more of a rhetorical device than a real issue i.e., it was part of the cold-war discourse. The British and American governments knew Mossadeq was as distrustful of the Soviet Union as of the West. In fact, they often complained to each other about his neutralism. They knew perfectly well that the so-called fellow-travelers were staunch nationalists (after the coup some of them obtained refuge in the United States). They also knew that the Tudeh, even though the largest political organization, was in no position to seize power (F0 371/Persia 1952/ 98597; FO 371/Persia 1953/104573; Declassified Documents/1981/CIA/ Doc 276). Despite 20,000 members and 110,000 sympathizers, the Tudeh was no match for the armed tribes and the 129,000-man military. What is more, the British and Americans had enough inside information to be confident that the party had no plans to initiate armed insurrection. At the beginning of the crisis when the Truman administration was under the impression a compromise was possible, Acheson had stressed the communist danger and warned if Mossadeq was not helped the Tudeh would take over (FO 371/Persia 1051/1530). The Foreign Office had retorted that the Tudeh was no real threat (FO 371/ Persia 1952/98608). But, in August 1953, when the Foreign Office echoed the Eisenhower administrations claim that the Tudeh was about to take over, Acheson now retorted that there was no such communist danger (Roosevelt, 1979, 88). Acheson was honest enough to admit that the issue of the Tudeh was a smokescreen.
    [/quote]

    http://www.webcitation.org/5kg6nFIXE

  664. hans says:

    Iran’s Efforts to Stir Afghan Violence Provoke Concern – NYTimes.com
    The most visible rioting that American officials say bears Iranian fingerprints occurred in Herat Province, along Afghanistan’s western border with Iran. In a melee after the Koran burning, 7 people were killed and 65 were wounded, Afghan and American officials said. That violence peaked when a police ammunition truck was hit by gunfire from a rioter and exploded.

    But the absence of a sustained record of clear success in these plots, including Iran’s suspected role in the riots in Herat and in similar disturbances in Kabul, has stirred a vigorous debate among Western intelligence agencies about the country’s surprisingly low level of professionalism, and about whether Iran maintains the ability to carry out effective strikes against rivals beyond its traditional networks in the Middle East.

    “The attacks failed, so clearly there are kinks in Iran’s planning and tradecraft,” one United States official said….“They’re learning from each of these incidents and becoming more dangerous,” Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said in a telephone interview.

    With zero proof, unnamed ‘Pentagon spokesmen’ talk about how Iran, not the natural fury of the Afghani peasants, is responsible for causing riots when they burn the Koran or butcher sleeping children. Since most of these ‘Pentagon spokesmen’ are actually dual Mossad agents working in the Pentagon, the refusal of the Jewish owners of the NYT to name these Zionists is no surprise.

  665. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    In addition to the Israelis, the US is increasingly outsourcing its Mideast policy to the Saudis. The reason is very simple: this administration and US elites in general no longer are competent enough to determine and implement their own foreign policy. Just see how US elites were dumb-founded by the uprisings in the Arab countries.

    Instead of reaching the logical conclusion that they need to get more personally educated and aware of the Middle East after the uprisings, they did the reverse, they began to rely more heavily on the Israelis and Saudis who drove them into this ditch in the first place.

    The challenge for US experts like the Leveretts is whether they can confront this outsourcing of US foreign policy and the sad end it will have for the US. I’m not sure they’re up to this task.

  666. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nima Shirazi says: (on March 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm, in the context of Irnian foreign policy decision-making): “I don’t believe these statements would be made repeatedly without the express authorization and approval of Khamenei…”

    *

    While it is true that Iran’s foreign policy is not determined solely by President Ahmadinejad and his Secretary of State (Dr. Salehi), neither is it true that the Supreme Leader “authorizes” foreign policy decisions. These decisions are made by the Supreme National Security Council (Persian: شورای عالی امنیت ملی‎ Shoraye Aliye Amniate Melli), which meets at least once a week, and which is presided over by the President. Major policy decisions are decided by vote. The Supreme Leader never attends the Council’s weekly meetings (he does not have a constitutional brief to do so), but is represented by two representatives (currently Dr. Saeed Jalili and Dr. Hassan Rowhani, President of the Center for Strategic Research of the Islamic Republic of Iran). In addition to the incomplete list of members below (taken from Wikipedia, which references a link from Yale University which is no longer functional), and Hassan Rowhani, I know of at least one other person who is a member of the Council, and that is the current head of IRIB, Ezzatollah Zarghami.

    Head of the Executive- President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
    Head of the Legislative- Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani
    Head of the Judiciary- Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani
    Chief of the Supreme Command Council of the Armed Forces (SCCAF)- Major General Ataollah Salehi
    Vice President and Head of Management and Planning Organization, formerly the Plan and Budget Organisation (PBO)- Farhad Rahbar
    First Vice President- Mohammad-Reza Rahimi
    Secretary of Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) and Chief Nuclear Negotiator- Saeed Jalili
    Minister of Foreign Affairs- Ali Akbar Salehi
    Minister of the Interior- Mostafa Mohammad Najjar
    Minister of Information (Intelligence and Security)- Heyder Moslehi
    Chief of the Army- Brigadier General Mohammad-Hossein Dadress
    Chief of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps (IRGC)- Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari
    Head of the Guardian Council- Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati
    Minister of Defence- Rear Admiral Ahmad Vahidi
    Vice Pres. for Atomic Energy- Fereydoon Abbasi
    Minister of Science, Research, & Technology- Kamran Daneshjoo
    Minister of Energy- Majid Namjoo