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

The Race for Iran

Liberal Shamelessness on Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran

As President Obama signaled renewed interest this week in a “diplomatic resolution to the problem” with Iran, liberal advocates of soft regime change are again coming out of the woodwork to profess their support for engaging Tehran. The New York Times’ Roger Cohen published a column in this week, see here, that reveals much about the outlook of many liberal political and policy elites regarding diplomacy with the Islamic Republic. As the re-elected Obama administration gears up for another go at nuclear negotiations with Tehran, the kind of mendaciousness and self-deception manifested in Cohen’s piece is all too likely to characterize the Iran policy debate in Washington.

Cohen opens by noting that, “in re-electing Barack Obama, [the American people] voted for peace and against a third war in a Muslim nation in little over a decade.” At the same time, Obama faces “no more immediate strategic challenge” than the Iranian nuclear issue:

“The question of whether the quest for Israeli-Palestinian peace or for a breakthrough with Iran should be the first diplomatic priority for Obama’s second term amounts to a no-brainer. It’s Iran, stupid. (There are no good options in Syria and—as with most Middle Eastern issues—American non-communication with Iran on the matter is unhelpful. Iran’s constructive role in the 2001 Bonn conference on Afghanistan is too often forgotten.) War with Iran would be devastating, to a Middle East in transition, to U.S. interests from Afghanistan to Egypt, and to the global economy. The time available for averting conflict is limited.”

These considerations—and other factors of longer standing—should point the United States toward diplomacy with Tehran. Yet, in Obama’s first term, Cohen writes, “Republican machismo prevailed on many fronts. Demonization of Iran was a never-ending source of rhetorical inspiration. Democrats were not far behind.” Now, “diplomacy is in urgent need of resurrection.”

On the surface, anyway, so far so good. But what Cohen fails to mention is that a cadre of Obama supporters, himself included, are at least as responsible as neoconservatives for sabotaging prospects for successful U.S.-Iranian diplomacy during Obama’s first term.

–And these self-professedly well-meaning liberals did so because, fundamentally, they are no less devoted than neoconservatives to the pursuit of regime change in Iran.

–In contrast to the neocons, liberals don’t think that war is the smart way to go about encouraging regime change in Iran—but they are no less focused on regime change as their ultimate objective there.

Following the Islamic Republic’s 2009 presidential election, Roger Cohen was one of the most assiduous voices in the Western media claiming that the election had been stolen, that incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had lost his popular support, and that the massive electoral fraud required to deprive challenger Mir-Hossein Mousavi of his electoral victory had undermined the Islamic Republic’s legitimacy. See, for example, this piece, from early July 2009, in which Cohen describes the re-elected President Ahmadinejad, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guards, and the basij as “Iran’s ruthless usurpers,” asserting that “the government is now illegitimate” and, therefore, should not be engaged.

Of course, Cohen had no evidence for any of these claims. As weeks and months went by, and no proof of electoral fraud emerged—much less fraud on the scale needed to account for Ahmadinejad’s 11-million vote victory margin—he ultimately fell back, see here, on “sometimes you have to smell the truth.” (For its part, The New York Times seemed all too happy to publish such fatuousness.)

Cohen was certainly not alone in advancing this kind of evidence-free analysis. Other liberal stalwarts—including Ploughshares Fund president Joseph Cirincione, Thomas Friedman (Cohen’s colleague at The New York Times), Barbara Slavin, and Robin Wright—joined in. The West’s “best” and “most respected” Iran analysts—including Ali Ansari, Reza Aslan, Farideh Farhi, Suzanne Maloney, Trita Parsi, Karim Sadjadpour, and Ray Takeyh (several of them expatriates who want the Islamic Republic to disappear so that their vision of a secular liberal Iran might be fulfilled, even though that is manifestly not what most Iranians who actually live in their country want)—gave it their imprimatur.

Virtually all of these figures had anticipated that Mousavi’s electoral challenge to Ahmadinejad would succeed. Their hopeful expectation rested not on dispassionate analysis of Iranian political trends, but on a deeply held, largely unquestioned assumption: that Iran is inevitably headed toward liberal democracy—because that’s what American liberals and many U.S.-based Iranian expatriates want it to become, just like neoconservatives do. (What is the ultimate goal for Parsi and the organization he heads, the National Iranian American Council? According to NIAC’s Web site, “a world in which the United States and a democratic Iran”—no mention of the Islamic Republic—“enjoy peaceful, cooperative relations.”) And when those pesky Iranian voters did not defer to liberal outsiders’ vision for their future—most Iranians, it seems, want a system that seeks to combine participatory politics with principles of Islamic governance—many of the same liberals and expatriates persisted in their penchant for analysis-by-wishful-thinking, cavalierly dismissing the election results as the product of fraud.

This sort of wishful thinking is not benignly incorrect; it has had real (and negative) impact on the prospects for U.S.-Iranian diplomacy—which most liberals say they prefer to U.S. military action against Iran or another ill-begotten American campaign for coercive regime change in the Middle East. Cohen, Parsi, and other like-minded activists and commentators led the charge in pressing the Obama administration to take what Parsi, see here, called a “tactical pause” from diplomacy with Tehran—which had not even commenced at that point—because the Islamic Republic was potentially on the verge of collapse. Or, as Cohen wrote (rather floridly) in early July 2009,

“Obama must leave [Khamenei and Ahmadinejad] dangling for the foreseeable future. He should refrain indefinitely from talk of engagement…To do otherwise would be to embrace the usurpers…

I’ve argued strongly for engagement with Iran as a game-changer. America renewed relations with the Soviet Union at the time of the Great Terror and China at the time of the Cultural Revolution. Operation Jackboot has not, as yet at least, involved mass killings.

But the Iran of today is not the Iran of three weeks ago; it is in volatile flux from without and within. Its Robespierres are running amok. Obama must do nothing to suggest business as usual. Let Ahmadinejad, he of the bipolar mood swings, fret and sweat. Let him writhe in the turbid puddle of his self-proclaimed ‘justice’ and ‘ethics’…The price of Obama’s engagement may just have become Ahmadinejad’s departure. I think it has.”

Deploying such unsubstantiated but inflammatory claims, it was Obama’s liberal base in 2009 which derailed possibilities for U.S.-Iranian nuclear diplomacy—just as Bush’s neoconservative stalwarts did with their designation of Iran as part of an “Axis of Evil” in the wake of 9/11.

–The Obama administration had previously decided to delay serious engagement with Tehran until after the June 2009 election, hoping that it could then deal with a Mousavi-led government. There was, of course, no reason to expect that such a government would have taken a fundamentally different tack in nuclear negotiations with the United States—but that wasn’t the point for Mousavi’s backers in Washington. The point was to enhance Mousavi’s chances for victory, and with that victory, get Iran back on the path toward a more Westernized, liberalized, and ultimately secularized political future.

–With the controversy (fueled by Cohen, Parsi, and others) that followed Ahmadinejad’s re-election victory, the administration did not get back on track to start nuclear talks with Iran until the fall of 2009—even though Obama had promised Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that, if negotiations had not produced results by the end of 2009, the United States would put diplomacy aside and push for new sanctions against the Islamic Republic. This meant that the Obama administration put its (convoluted and one-sided) proposal for a fuel “swap” to refuel the Tehran Research Reactor on the table as a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, thereby dooming prospects for a deal—just as a re-elected Obama administration is today considering making even more one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it proposals to Iran regarding its nuclear activities.

More broadly, the unsubstantiated portrayal of the 2009 election as stolen—the portrayal pushed by Cohen, Friedman, Parsi, Sadjadpour et al.—has helped to enable neoconservative policy outcomes.

–Thus, NIAC’s advocacy of “targeted” or “precision” sanctions, see here, against the Iranian government has served only to facilitate the passage of broad-based sanctions.

–Similarly, by arguing that he was all in favor of diplomacy with the Islamic Republic, just not after a particular election and not with what he alleged (again, with no evidence), were political thieves, Cohen provided de facto legitimation to neoconservatives, supporters of the MEK, the pro-Israel lobby, and others who say that (take your pick) Iranian officials’ rhetoric about Israel, Tehran’s support for groups resisting Israeli occupation, the Islamic Republic’s insistence on including religion in its constitution, its alleged pursuit of nuclear weapons, and/or Iranians’ annual commemoration of Husayn’s martyrdom on Ashura render engagement with Iran a fool’s errand—politically, morally, and strategically.

For U.S. policymakers, the most fundamental question with regard to pursuing diplomacy with Iran should be: Is diplomatic engagement with Tehran, with the goal of strategic realignment between the United States and the Islamic Republic, in America’s interest?

–If it is (as we strongly believe to be the case), then the only question left is: What does the United States need to do to make engagement work?

–Anything else is not just unhelpful; it is dangerously counter-productive, ensuring that diplomacy will fail and that the risks of a strategically disastrous war (disastrous, first of all, for the United States) will rise. But that is what the liberal approach, epitomized by Cohen, Parsi, Slavin et al. has done: it has made real rapprochement between the United States and Iran less likely and war ultimately more likely.

Today, Cohen, Parsi, Slavin, and others have hopped back on the pro-diplomacy bandwagon. But look at what they and other like-minded commentators think diplomacy should entail. As Cohen writes,

“What do we want from Iran? Open up all its nuclear facilities, get rid of all its 20 percent enriched uranium, end all threats to Israel, stop rampant human rights abuses, changed policies on Hamas and Hezbollah, a constructive approach to Syria.”

Outside the nuclear sphere, an Iran that accepted such an agenda would no longer be the Islamic Republic. Indeed, John Bolton wouldn’t have any problem with that agenda; he would simply disagree with Cohen that it is possible to get Tehran to accept, through diplomacy, such thoroughgoing revision of its (internal as well as external) political orientation. Likewise, Parsi and NIAC once again favor diplomacy—but they stipulate, see here, that American engagement with Tehran must include “human rights as a core issue.”

However much they may cringe at the term, the liberals’ commitment to what might be described as a strategy of “soft” regime change in Iran is clear. In his latest Op Ed, Cohen quotes Rockefeller Brothers’ Fund president Stephen Heintz as saying that he avoids “the phrase ‘diplomatic solution’ in conversations about Iran on Capitol Hill” in favor of “’political solution.’ Diplomacy just sounds too wimpy.” For Heintz, it undoubtedly does. For the Rockefeller Brothers Fund has provided funding to Parsi’s NIAC to conduct “nonpolitical trainings” for Iranian oppositionists, see here—just as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund supported efforts to encourage political change in the former Yugoslavia and color revolutions in former Soviet-bloc states. (Also—and, we suspect, not coincidentally—the Rockefeller Brothers Fund underwrote Ali Ansari’s substantively flawed “scholarly” work to delegitimate the Islamic Republic’s 2009 election.)

We are all in favor of a “political solution.” But such a solution requires real rapprochement between the United States and Iran, based on American acceptance of the Islamic Republic as a legitimate political entity representing real (and legitimate) national interests. It would seem that liberals are not any more inclined toward a genuine political solution than neoconservatives are.

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

Share
 

411 Responses to “Liberal Shamelessness on Nuclear Diplomacy with Iran”

  1. Photi says:

    Smith,

    “It is funny though, seeing “arazel va obash” being on the same side as “old fox” and “world arrogance”. “

    Actually smith, it is you who are making the same arguments as the global arrogance. Matthew Kroenig’s and his neo-con masters’ argument is essentially the same argument as yours. Their p.o.v. is this, “look how threatening and tough the Western powers are, of course the Mullahs in Iran are pursuing nuclear weapons and so the Iranians should therefore be attacked for even thinking about nukes. Surgically if possible.”

    You are advocating Iran follow a policy that will give “justification” to powerful warmongers to proceed with impunity against Iran. Why are you doing that, are you qualified to invite war onto your people?

  2. Ataune says:

    Smith

    My perception is that your anger is more pointed toward your fellow Iranians rather than the ones you are presenting as mortal ennemies of Iran.

    It is possible that Iran’s system of governance be in need of reforms – and those should come, in my opinion, with a rational and legalistic approach. But, don’t you think that with the political context in the region, where the same ennemies you mention are assiduously plotting to isolate Iran and polarize the situation between muslims, it is in the overall interest of Iran to have any frsutration and anger among Iranians being directed toward her adversaries.

  3. James Canning says:

    M. ali,

    Thanks. There in fact is no chance Iran would be allowed to build nukes.

  4. James Canning says:

    PB,

    You claim that Iran can acquire nukes and then enjoy the resulting overthrow of the governments of the Persian Gulf monarchies.

    Do you actually believe a different government in Saudi Arabia would be more friendly toward Iran?

  5. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Netanyahu apparently saw political advantage in the coming elections, from agreeing to the cease-fire with Hamas. His chances of winning are higher, because he appeals to the center.

  6. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia would have few objections to an “expansion of Iranian power”, provided Iran does not try to build nukes.

    You ignore the fact Iran is less powerful today than otherwise would obtain, if it had avoided the sanctions.

  7. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You have difficulty grasping the fact the idiotic rantings of Gaddafi did a great deal to bring about western military intervention. Gaddafi ignored the advice from a number of European diplomats to shut his mouth (that is, to stop shouting he was going to “exterminate the cockroaches).

  8. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Why (no who). Typo. Obviously China insists that Iran stop enriching to 20 percent because China does not want Iran to build nukes. Correct?

  9. James Canning says:

    Snith,

    Who do you think China insists Iran stop enriching uranium to 20 percent? To be annoying?

  10. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    There is ZERO reason for the US to attack North Korea, unless NK attacks South Korea with a view toward occupying territory.

    NK would not be attacked even if it had no nukes.

    China wants to avoid any situation generating a large exodus of people from NK into China.

  11. Nasser says:

    M. Ali says: November 26, 2012 at 3:51 am

    “Iran is not North Korea. North Korea had China as big brother behind it to ward of USA, and China itself has nothing to fear from NK.”

    - This is a false assumption. North Korea doesn’t rely on China for her defense but economic/diplomatic support. North Korea has taken Seoul hostage to prevent an attack on itself. Nuclear weapons just add even more credibility to the threat.

    - Similarly, what prevents an attack on Iran is her ability to harm the Southern Persian Gulf Kingdoms and particularly their oil/gas infrastructure, thus threatening the global economy itself. But Iran needs a more potent deterrent over time to be truly safe. I have heard many prominent Americans including John Baker, John Podesta, Henry Kissinger advocate that America will someday have to attack on Iran and just bear the consequences.

    - And no, Iran doesn’t need 100 nuclear weapons, ICBMs, thermo nuclear weapons or anything fancy or complex like that. For the medium term they should simply adopt the North Korean strategy of taking America’s allies hostage to prevent attacks on itself. Iran just needs to point nuclear tipped missiles say with 10-20 kiloton warheads on Riyadh, Kuwait City, Doha, Abu Dhabi, Tel Aviv and Haifa. 10 warheads would be more than enough for this. This is deterrence enough against her current enemies. If someday necessary, this is sufficient to deter Pakistan also.

    - This is well within the means of Iranians to do and if Iran decides to do this, there isn’t a damn thing the international community can do to prevent it. I suppose what is preventing the right course of action is internal disorganization and bickering.

  12. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 25, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Dear, fyi

    I you go back over these people’s comments, they are void of any logic. It is either copy and past or it is full of ethos and pathos but no logo whatsoever.

    Example: Iran will NOT be “allowed” to have nuclear weapons (Ethos)

    Example: Iran does NOT need nuclear weapons (Pathos)

    The only logos, I have seen in comments here are from those who believe Iran without nuclear weapons is under existential threat. Its integrity and sovereignty can not be maintained any longer without nuclear weapons specially now that Iran is almost surrounded with nuclear weapons itself.

    It is funny though, seeing “arazel va obash” being on the same side as “old fox” and “world arrogance”. When that happens, you know what things are really. But any ways, I do not think arazel are the decision makers in Iran. They have only and are only used to clear mines and as androids to put down real humans in Iran. We all know it from the rather open history of Iran. And they have always existed in Iran’s history whether in the form of today’s or in the form of Shaban Bimokh or other forms in other eras. These guys are the strong arm of the regimes in place but hardly the decision makers.

    In the past 3 or 4 threads, I have described in quite detailed by simple ways, the dangers surrounding both internally externally along with the ways to address those dangers. While our “critics” only have tried to use threats, religion or authority to rebuke with no one having the grey cell mass required to get engaged in a logical argument.

    For most part, the Iranian population fully knows this. If you travel to Iran, they will tell you right on the street, that arazel are responsible for the mess, country is in. From medicine shortage to all those missed opportunities, I have discussed in the past threads. In the past 20 years, the total exports both direct & indirect of Iranian economy is close to a trillion dollars. What the arazel have to show for that? Nothing. They did not even make Iran self sufficient in essential medicines. Worse, the meds that are actually shown off as made in Iran, are actually just packaged in Iran, with active ingredients for even the simplest medicines imported eg. insulin, penicillin, cetrizine etc etc. Now these guys are trying to rebut us in logic.

    At any rate, whether it be the US arrogance or canny of the British or the very, very real threat of a wahabi uprising against Iran in the region in collusion by global anti-Iran forces, we have proven that Iran can not survive without nuclear weapons. Those interested should go back and read my extensive posts in this and the past 3 or 4 threads which unlike the one liner, personal attacks of our critics, is full of facts, information and logic. By comparison, the posts of the arazel and the “master race” here are full of rhetoric, threat and belittlement.

    History will judge who is correct. Saddam, Qaddafi, Omar Mokhtar, Tippu Sultan, etc, etc all on different frequencies believed they are on the right side of the ideological divide during different eras. Just like IRI claims to be. All of them were crushed. Rather quite easily. Their ideology and faith was not match against the gun. I remember the saying of an old guy who had challenged for anyone to hold a holy book (Bible, Quran etc) to his chest and stand up against an automatic gun firing into his chest. These arazel want Iranians to believe that the book will save them. But actually it is the gun and the armor that will save Iran.

    Iran can not fight a very expensive conventional war and win against the world’s largest military. Even as today, Iranian air force, navy and even army is outdated and would not probably be able to sustain itself more than Saddam’s army. You can not fight off F-22′s and F-35′s with vintage 1960′s F-4′s and the copies of 1950′s F-5. Similarly you can not fight off the onslaught of tens of thousands of cruise missiles by world war II era 40 mm air defense artillery guns as the arazel want Iranians to believe. There is only one relatively cheap for Iran to secure itself. Either bow to American demand and drink a gallon of poison as Khomeini did in late 1980′s and eventually died of the poison, or develop nuclear weapons and secure Iran physically.

    Because when the war comes, whether by American wahabi robots or by Americans themselves, these arazel can not defend Iran. The humiliation of the defeat will remain for eternity. We can not expect the enemies of Iran, those like British who have been fighting to tear up Iran from the times of Qajar to those who had lent their navy to Saddam to have anything good for Iran in their hearts. To think otherwise is lunacy of highest order. But Iran does not only have external enemies.

    As you can see the aghazadeh here is even in league with them since his import business has been hurt and his access to his Italian clothes each with a price tag bigger than an ordinary Iranian’s paykan (as he himself has admitted in his comments). This is their true reality. Their ideology of calling for simplicity and living like a poor guy helping others, is just a facade to steal more from people of Iran. The result of a war and genocide will remain for ordinary Iranians and the arazel will run away to Europe with their wealth just like Mr Reza Khavari. It is heartening to see, the enemies of Iran finally are bundling together as we have been warning.

    At the end, I want to emphasize your very beautiful saying. I think it should be written in gold and put at United Nations: “…I say better be alive and psychologically scarred than mentally healthy but dead”.

    As for your question about EU and US. It is an old story. The owners of the world along with their lackeys like the arazel, are calculating to see how much benefit will they get by different Iran policies. So EU might be worried that US might reach a deal with arazel, all on its own without sharing the loot coming from Iran with EU.

    That is quite normal in colonial politics. By the way, if Iran backs down and Khamenei drinks two gallons of poison, his time will be up. People will literally tear him into pieces as they did with Qaddafi. His only true supporters among the money hoarding arazel, are those who really believe in a grand destiny of Iran. If he disappoints them by drinking two gallons of poison, then IRI is finished for good and expect Iran to be a colony till its oil and gas runs out dry. IRI has only survived till day because it has atleast maintained a certain level of sovereignty that Iranians cherish. Without that, the fate of IRI is not going to be any different than Mubarak or Qaddafi. This is not 1980′s, Khamenei is not Khomeini and the people are not the same either. Let’s see, if what the obash here says is true. If that is then, the age of IRI even with a US deal is over. Iran will either be attacked or become a colony or most probably both.

  13. fyi says:

    Dan Cooper says:

    November 25, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    In 2002, in Gujarat, hundreds of Muslims were killed by Hindus – aided and abetted by the local police and local government ministers.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Gujarat_violence

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2012/sep2012/guja-s05.shtml

    The Federal Government of India could have tried to stop it by declaring Presidential Rule and sending in the Indian Army; but declined; the PM was Mr. Vajpayee, a Hindu Nationalist.

    Nary a peep came out of Muslim states in condemnation or in protest.

  14. fyi says:

    PB says:

    November 25, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    A cascade of proliferation is a red herring.

    Axis Powers as well as Russia are against the expanded Iranian power after the destruction of the Ba’athist state in Iraq.

  15. fyi says:

    Pirouz says:

    November 25, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    A friend of mine, an Englishman, recently travelling in US compared the qulaity of candy wrappers in US to those of Eastern Europe in 1980s while travelling there.

    He found Manhatan to be shabby and dilapitated, compared to London.

    You yourself can travel in Chicago and DC subways and see.

    And all of this before the 2007 Crash.

  16. fyi says:

    Cyrus_2 says:

    November 26, 2012 at 3:58 am

    Dagan.

  17. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:

    November 26, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Reminds me a group of Iranian students years ago in Malaysia who had invited a popular singer to sing for them on Ashura.

    Then the Muslim Student Society (PSG) heard about it and they organized against it.

    I think the singer or the organizer both showed up in the MSA PSG Ashoura ceremony later.

    The statement: “This (Iran) is Imam Hussein’s country.” is incomprehensible to very many people, most of all to Americans.

  18. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 26, 2012 at 4:41 am

    At the present time, the existence of a nuclear capability without weaponization is sufficient.

    Later that might change.

  19. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    November 26, 2012 at 3:51 am

    Should Iranian leaders decide to assemble nuclear weapons, they cannot be prevented from doing so.

    This has been known since at least 2003.

  20. BiBiJon says:

    You’re so vane, you probably think this song is about you, don’t you?
    ================================================================

    Fiorangela says:
    November 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Going through the MSM spins, I must say rarely has an orphan found this many fathers in such a short time, which tells me Hamas & I.J. must have done something spectacular; Rarely has IDF been forced into ‘restraint’ and scrambled for ceasefire so quickly.

    I guess Nahum Barnea is playing to Mid Eastern vanities, presenting Hamas as a wedge between Egypt and Iran. Reality, however, is that concern for Palestinians’ fate is a point of convergence among the two.

    I would just point to the Yo_Yo of regional adulation-ridicule Erdogan has suffered in recent years to warn anyone filing paternity suits for the resistance orphan, that if you get good press, or more ominously, praise from Clinton, you’re being set up.

  21. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    fyi,
    I would be happy to rebut any logic in his arguments, with logic. But there are none (on the issue of the necessity of Iran getting nuclear weapons). There are only assertions. And more and more done in a maniacal fashion (which is starting to become humorous). I’m certain you know the difference between logical arguments and mere assertions.

    Like I said his repetitive insistence is suspicious.

    What’s your opinion on Andrew W.K. being appointed “cultural ambassador for partying” to the ME/Bahrain on the day of Ashura? Too good to be true, right?

  22. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Officials: Israel’s Gaza Offensive Was Training For A Possible Fight With Iran
    http://www.businessinsider.com/israel-gaza-iran-strike-2012-11

    What is interesting there is that Iron Dome is only intended to defend against missiles fired within 50 miles of the defense. That makes it almost useless against Hizballah’s longer range missiles. This again makes it clear that an Israeli attack on Lebanon is the only possible way to enable either an Israeli or US attack on Iran.

    And since Israel is determined to bring about an Iran war, that means such an attack on Lebanon has to be done at some point. And the best time to do that is when Syria is also under attack – which makes an attack on Syria also a necessity.

    This is the clear strategic necessity of the geopolitical intentions of the US and Israel. It has to happen.

  23. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Castellio: Fyi and Smith are irrelevant. Iran has made the opposite decision from their notions and that situation will remain true because the strategic calculations made by Iran are correct and those by these two are not.

    Iran will never have nuclear weapons barring some major shift in the clerical leadership which walks back Khatemei’s fatwa. And I suspect the US will attack Iran long before that happens in which case Iran will not have nuclear weapons either because it will be impossible to develop them in the middle of a hot war – even if they decide to do so which again is highly unlikely.

    They keep repeating that North Korea was not attacked because it has nukes. First, it doesn’t have nukes – it has duds as far as anyone can tell. Second, any nukes they have are undeliverable by current NK technology (other than submarine). Third, it’s North Korea’s massive military that deters attack.

    I saw the remake of “Red Dawn” Saturday night. Despite the absurd premise of the movie (like the original), it made slightly more sense than the original because in this version it was the North Korean army which attacked the Pacific Northwest. They made a point of mentioning that North Korea has the fourth largest army in the world.

    Pentagon war games show the US suffering fifty thousand casualties within the first ninety days of a war with North Korea (25,000 of them probably within the first 48 hours which is why US troops on the border are being moved south of Seoul.) That is the deterrent which has prevented war so far, not a few measly undeliverable dud nukes.

    Smith’s notion that Iran will be attacked from all sides by Pakistan, Russia, and probably Atlantis as well is just so much fantasy nonsense.

    Both these guys prefer to make up their own “facts” and then regurgitate them as if they were actually true, despite all evidence to the contrary known to everyone else.

  24. Cyrus_2 says:

    fyi

    “there have been at least two Israelis who have publicly stated that Iran needs nuclear weapons.”

    I assume Martin Van Creveld is one of them.
    Who is the second one?

  25. M. Ali says:

    fyi & Smith, I think both of you you seem to ignore the fact that its not easy for Iran to get nukes. As James asks, do you really think Iran would be allowed to get nukes?

    Once there is evidence that Iran wants to get nukes, you think they’ll be left alone? You have Israel, USA and their Euro pups, Saudi Arabia and their Gulfings, and Russia, all probably getting extremely annoyed if Iran has nukes. For others like Turkey, China, India, etc, all wouldn’t mind looking the other way if Iran is attacked for its nukes. Lets say Iran is the sneakiest bastard and gets a couple of nukes b efore the rest noticing, do you still think the major powers would hesitate to attack Iran?

    Iran is not North Korea. North Korea had China as big brother behind it to ward of USA, and China itself has nothing to fear from NK.

    Maybe having 100 nukes will safegaurd in the future, but starting to get to 100 nukes will certainly have Iran be pulvarized.

  26. PB says:

    Those who think a nuclear Iran would lead the Saudis and others down a path of nuclear competition in the region are simply delusional!

    Nuclear development is a complex process that requires many disciplines and advanced Universities that the Gulf States’ educational system simply does not support at this time. Simply said-they can’t compete.

    Secondly, a nuclear Saudi, Turkish, Egyptian armies would not be a threat to Iran, rather they would also empower those nations to be less submissive to US hegemonical demands. They would be contrary to US national interests, thus, any US administration would not allow the proliferation of those weapons. Therefore, even the purchase of such weapons by Saudi Arabia from Pakistan would be blocked. Therefore, a nuclear Iran would remain a dominant force.

    Finally, an arms race is exactly what Iran needs. Contrary to common perceptions, an arms race would force Iran to convert its unused civilian industrial capacity to be converted to military production lines. It would bring Iran an enhanced military industrial capacity and jobs as Iran relies on its own industry for its security. On the contrary, the Gulf States would have to place a greater portion of their economic wealth on purchasing weapons they can’t use and they don’t need. It would lead to their economic demise and final downfall of each regime.

    Most noteworthy of the recent Gaza-Israel conflict was the fact that Hamas admitted publicly it received military assistance for Iran and they want more of it. Here lies the real deal: Even though Morsi backed a seize fire, and even though he pretends to want to help the Palestinians, Egypt does not have the capacity even to arm a small group of Palestinians. We see the same failures by the Qataris when they support the Free Syrian Army. By contrast, Iran remains the only actor in the region that not only has the capacity to support Hamas militarily but also able to back an entire regime in Syria. This means that a nuclear arms race would never occur because these Arab states still don’t have the capacity to compete at the basic level of even arming a small militia like Hamas, much less to compete at nuclear level.

  27. Pirouz says:

    I looked over Susan Rice’s brief biography at Wikipedia trying to discern whether she would be a positive figure in reducing tensions with Iran. I discovered we both studied history as undergraduates. During grad studies, one of her professors at Oxford was noted for “a firm stance against Russian authoritarianism”.

    That last part struck me. As a teenager in the mid-1970′s, I drove clear across Europe and the Middle East. I can tell you at the time (before the economic downturn of the Soviets in the 80′s) that most ordinary people living in the People’s Republic of Bulgaria had it better than most ordinary Italians in northern Italy, Turkey (which had a severe military dictatorship in place) and Shah-era Iran. Obviously Susan Rice had never been exposed to such, nor her professors. If they had, wouldn’t they have pointed out these authoritarian dictatorships were U.S. allies and/or a NATO member?

    But I admit such honesty would cost one dearly towards a career inside the Beltway, perhaps even sink it.

    Anyone have any thoughts on a potential SecState S. Rice and the prospect of reduced tensions with Iran?

  28. PB says:

    “Thus, NIAC’s advocacy of “targeted” or “precision” sanctions, see here, against the Iranian government has served only to facilitate the passage of broad-based sanctions.”

    Very well put, and I put that exact outcome to Trisa Parsi himself as I withdrew my financial support of his organization.

    His reply was that the organization he leads sends a set of questions to his members every year, and that the positions they hold is simply a reflection of the members answers to the questions they send out. Meaning they practice open democracy. But his organization has no open forum to discuss strategy and logic. I think much of his position is cater to certain groups within the organization and in the political elites in Washington where he needs to open doors. But it is backfiring.

  29. Dan Cooper says:

    Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan told a conference of the Eurasian Islamic Council in Istanbul.

    “For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts,” he said.

    http://shoebat.com/2012/11/19/turkeys-erdogan-calls-israel-a-terrorist-state-state-department-spokesman-refuses-to-condemn/

  30. ToivoS says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says:
    November 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm
    Smith/Qazvini/IQ 146

    “All hail IQ 146!

    At first your posts were a refreshing new breeze chalk full of interesting info and insights. But they are increasingly becoming more and more, well, insane,”

    Finally someone is beginning to realize what Smith is bringing to the table.

  31. fyi says:

    Castellio says:

    November 25, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Mr. Smith is not alone in his assessment that Iran needs to be armed with nuclear weapons.

    He might be dramatic in his portraial of dire negative consequences for Iranian security otherwise but I have not heard you or Mr. Bussed-in-Basiji rebutting the logic of his arguments.

    You specifically, Mr. Castellio, remind of Dr. Perkovich’s remarks serveral years ago – at the start of the Saga of Iranian Nuclear File – that Iran’s security is not threatened (without nuclear weapons).

    This was from an analyst who seems to have ignored the lessons of WMD attacks on Iran by Iraq, Kosovo, Iraq, and North Korea – and now Libya.

    Outside of Iranians, there have been at least two Israelis who have publicly stated that Iran needs nuclear weapons.

    Even the paranoid have enemies Mr. Castellio.

  32. Fiorangela says:

    Israeli commentator Nahum Barnea, writing in Yedioth Ahronoth, quoted in an analysis in Al Akhbar:

    ““The US administration is trying to use the understanding to strengthen the Sunni axis in the Arab world against the Shia axis. The enemy is Shia Iran and Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah and Syria. The Sunni alliance consists of Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the Palestinian Authority, and the Gulf emirates, with Jordan on the margins. Hamas will have to choose between Iran and Egypt. If Iran could offer missiles and money, Egypt will offer immunity from Israeli attack, sovereignty over Gaza, and an open door to the world.”” http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/new-hamas-challenges-resistance

  33. Castellio says:

    FYI and Smith have found each other. It makes sense. There is no analysis but the projection of racist or sectarian thought into an abysmal and fallen world. Thus, both misrepresent the present, both miscalculate the future.

  34. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You are virtually incoherent. Are you claiming Saudi Arabia will build nukes and launch an attack against Iran on a first-strike basis? Or are you worrying about al-Qaeda obtaining “loose nukes” from Pakistan?

    You have trouble grasping a simple fact: Iran would not be allowed to build nukes. Nothing to do with “master race”. Zip.

    Iran is lucky you do not make the decisions for the country.

  35. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Smith/Qazvini/IQ 146

    All hail IQ 146!

    At first your posts were a refreshing new breeze chalk full of interesting info and insights. But they are increasingly becoming more and more, well, insane, and I’m glad to see you have successfully crossed the threshold from simple genius to certified nut job in a very brief period. Congratulations on that.

    Your repetitive insistence is a bit suspicious. Like I told you before, we don’t do nuclear bombs and if they attack us with their killer flying robots we have a few things we can pull out of our backside to surprise the living s**t out of them. No need to talk so much about it, you’ll see it when it happens.

    Now take your pills and go to sleep with your imaginary flying friends…shab be kheyr azizam…and read a little Clausewitz on the nature war before you close your eyes and go to sleepy weepy.

  36. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse…on the day of Ashura!

    If true, the incompetence would be breathtaking (God I hope it’s true).

    US State Department appoints Andrew W.K. as cultural ambassador to Bahrain

    http://andrewwk.com/news/us-department-of-state-brings-andrew-to-the-middle-east-as-a-cultural-ambassador-of-partying

    http://www.mediaite.com/online/lets-party-hard-bahrain-andrew-w-k-named-state-departments-cultural-ambassador-to-middle-east/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_W.K.

  37. fyi says:

    All:

    My mistake in the previous post:

    And even if occurs, there are a lot of things that Iranians could do; like organizing and arming Shia communities where they are under constant threat – as they did in Lebanon and Afghanistan

  38. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 25, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Once the religious forces are unleased, they cannot put be back in the bottle until that generation exhausts itself.

    The late Indira Gandhi thought she could do so via a vis Sikhs; she was consumed by it instead.

    Shia-Sunni War, if it ever takes place, will destroy or gravely damage state structures in the states that are nominally friends of US: Kuwait, Iraq, UAE, Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.

    I personally do not see this scenario.

    And even if occurs, there are a lot of things that Iranians could do; like organizing and arming Shia communities where they are under constant threat – as they did in Lebanon and Pakistan.

    My sense of it is that Axis Powers’ analysts and policy makers just do not understand the depth and intensity of emotions involved in all of this. I do not think they have any personal or even indirect experience with religious emotionalism.

    They think that Iranian state is Shia and therefore they try to play a Sunni card. They do not understand or know the extent that Najaf and Qum care about the lot of Shia everywhere.

    They think that Shi in Kuwait will remain neutral while Shia in Pakistan are slaughtered.

    In the Axis Powers, a form of pseudo Rationalism dominates thinking of and about religion. Even Jews, who are an emotional people and therefore should know better, are not immune to this.

    Thus, Western policymakers are walking blind into a policy course the parameters of which they do not comprehend.

    [In the West, the only place that you can observe emotional religiosity is among the Hassidic Jews - and they are shunned by other Jews.]

    What all of this means for Iranians and their allies is that they war against them will continue and they have to wage it for at least after there are new governments in Europe and North America; 5 years, I should think.

    By the way, did you notice how cool was EU to Mr. Obama’s post election speech about negogiating with Iran?

    EU desires an economic crushing of Iran – they seem to be rather angry.

  39. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Yes, certainly the sentiment in Iran – even outside of the governmnet circles – is that Iran is surrounded by wars and conspiracies for war against her.

    And old man told me:”Who knows, may be Turkeministan will attack us.”

    And a military officer stated: “Who knows if the Generals will not come back to power in Turkey?”

    In fact, the Great Powers, historically, have gotten the less powerful and local states to fight their wars for them.

    Americans got that fool Saddam to do so, Russians the Afghan Communists, and US the Pakistanis.

    And if and when a local power so induced stumbles, they would supply him with WMD; Iraq had no chemical weapons until later in the war.

    [For delivery of chemical weapons, one needs special shells - they got those from Germany.]

    Any future war with Iran will almost certianly be initiated by a local state. Once the war drags on, the Axis Powers will supply that state with more and more powerful weapons until they pass the nuclear threshold.

    While many may call you and I paranoid, I say better be alive and psychologically scarred than mentally healthy but dead.

    Iranian planners must plan based on capabilities and not intentions.

    About the solid fuel rockets: their significance lies not only in their military potential but in the fact that there is sufficient industrial capability and organization in Iran to sustain it.

  40. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Insurgents in Syria equipped with American arms: Video
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/25/274383/syria-insurgents-has-usmade-arms-video/

  41. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I agree with you that Iran’s leaders do not worry about a first-strike Israeli nuclear attack on Iran, and that their position is sound.

  42. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    I know that you along with almost everyone else here agrees with me (excluding a few who believe they are the exceptionals on planet earth_ Used to call themselves “master race” a few decades ago).

    The thing is, I worried about the genocide of Iranian people and the cessation of the marvelous Iranian civilization after thousands of years. It would be sad really. The Americans have decided to finish off Iran by slaughtering Iranians and dismembering Iranian territory among various neighboring nations and the wahabi elements. They tried to do that with chemical Saddam who fought the only conflict in cold war where Soviet Union, Non Aligned Movement (NAM) and United States were all on one side helping Saddam. In effect, Iran was fighting the whole world all alone.

    This time with the rise of Atomic Saddam and the full backing of United States of America and its cronies, supplying maximum amount of help to the wahabi Atomic Saddam, Iran will not survive. The planning is complete. The clear signs are there. There will be a genocide in Iran of such huge proportions that Iranians will not survive to compare it with Mongol invasion of Iran. The rest of the world will read about Iran in the adulterated history books describing Iranians as savages whose civilization came to an end by “civilized wahabi atomic saddam” with the help of “civilized united states of america”.

    It is all in motion. As you can see, 9/11 or whatever it was, did not stop the full cooperation of alqaida and wahabis with united states. Syria and Libya are before us as clear examples of taliban and wahabi terror being used again and again in america’s vision for the world. An american made atomic wahabi alqaida will march into Tehran and kill all the babies and adults. Iranians should know these things by now. Their very civilization is under threat.

    Now Iranians can play a stupid game and stop their nuclear program and die out by fighting an eight year futile battle, in the very near future with Atomic Saddam being fully supported by Americans just like their support for Chemical Saddam. Or alternatively they can choose to live and fight it to survive on blue planet earth.

    It is upto Iranians. It is also their decision to fight the menace of American terror dolls the British made wahabis with bare hands with ultimate result of failure and extinction of Iranians, or with MRBM’s with some success or with ICBM’s which will definitely even prevent a conflict from arising since Americans get really scared of ICBM’s and soil themselves upon hearing the other side of conflict has ICBM’s.

    If you go and look up the list, I have put down in this thread showing the American wars, you can clearly see, United States has never gone to a war with a nation that has nuclear tipped ICBM’s. By the way, Iranians are moving towards a sophisticated ICBM (IRGC called it “solid fueled satellite launcher”). So it means at least some Generals in Iran know that the genocide of Iranian people is coming so they are preparing the tools to prevent it from happening. I think they will not allow NPT to become the cause of Iranian extinction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ54x1n5brg

  43. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran’s revenue from natural gas fields to rise to 400 billion USD: minister
    http://www.nzweek.com/business/irans-revenue-from-natural-gas-fields-to-rise-to-400-billion-usd-minister-29206/

    That would buy a lot of McDonald’s or Burger King burgers…and probably a few more long-range missiles which they need to be a credible threat to Israel.

  44. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Your typical US military propaganda piece…

    US aircraft carrier strikeforce readies in case of war with Iran
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9700439/US-aircraft-carrier-strikeforce-readies-in-case-of-war-with-Iran.html

  45. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 25, 2012 at 12:14 am

    That is right. Iran can use that card but I do not think Iran should put down all its cards so fast. Play slowly towards a predefined and clear goal specially when you have in your hand, all the important cards left in the game: http://activerain.com/image_store/uploads/6/3/9/2/5/ar128308568552936.jpg

    Pakistanis actually rejected the Saudi offer, because it was not enough for them. Saudis had offered them a few thousand barrels of oil for free plus the rest of oil to be paid by a high interest loan mechanism funded by European banks.

    It is good to know that you understand the points I make here, otherwise, very few people know what is going on here. Iranian civilization is coming to an end. Iranian people will be massacred. A genocide is coming for the dehumanized and demonized Iranian population.

    This is the greatest danger on planet earth right now. It is exactly like in Saddam’s time before attacking Iran. As soon as the forces of wahabi Atomic Saddam attacks Iran from east, south, west and north, the United States just like during the chemical Saddam era will come in and support the Saddam with all its might. In 1980′s chemical Saddam was being defeated by Iran due to the fact that he did not have a navy.

    But then US navy effectively became the Saddam’s navy and attacked Iran on behalf of Saddam. This time is going to be even more genocidal. US probably will use its nukes in support of Atomic Saddam’s nukes as well. Iranians will be mass slaughtered.

    And the worse part is that Iranians are going to get blamed for their own extinction at the hand of Americans as part of a big game in which Atomic Saddam is going to be but a small player. That is how Americans like it.

    Genocide of Iranians. Nothing less will satisfy them. As now every self conscious soul on planet earth knows, United States made Taliban and Alqaida and used them in its nefarious plans for the America’s strategic goals. The same way, it is doing in Syria now. Here is Ronald Reagan one of the finest American of modern times, dedicating the space shuttle Colombia to Taliban and Alqaida with a smack on his face. These guys will kill all the Iranians and terminate Iranian civilization and even dedicate their space launches to the Atomic Saddam and his buddies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqZ-ToXjCz0

  46. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I think Iranians should drop this all together.

    Let us see how Qatar and Saudi Arabia are going to fuel the engines of growth in Pakistan and in India.

    If those countries become interested, they know the phone numbers of Iranians.

  47. kooshy says:

    Iran and Egypt Won in Gaza

    By Marc Champion Nov 23, 2012 7:45 AM PT

    “The Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, by contrast, was a political winner, emerging as Hamas’s equal partner in the fighting. So were the radical Salafist groups that always benefit from violence and chaos. Unlike Hamas, the Salafists don’t have to govern or deliver salaries. In the past, some were jailed by Hamas for firing rockets at Israel without authorization. For the longer term, Hamas may have little to celebrate.

    For Iran the Gaza conflict was a clear plus. It revived the Iranian regime’s claim, so badly battered by its support for President Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, to carry the flag for revolutionary Islamism across the Middle East, whether Shiite or Sunni in character. For more than a year it had seemed Iran’s ties to Hamas and Sunni radicals fighting against it in Syria had been weakened. After the ceasefire, Hamas publicly thanked Iran for its support.

    For a time, at least, the lopsided Gaza conflict has redirected popular Arab anger at Israel, distracting attention from Iran’s support of the daily slaughter in Syria.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-23/iran-and-egypt-won-in-gaza.html

  48. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Smith: “Even if Israel lays down its nukes, Turkey and Indo-Pak will retain them since one is NATO and the other two are not in middle east.”

    Turkey does not control nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons on its territory are controlled by the United States. Only in a nuclear war would Turkey be allowed to install these nukes on Turkish aircraft – maybe.

    India has no conceivable likely reason to ever attack Iran.

    Pakistan is highly unlikely to attack Iran even with a military coup, regardless of the level of enmity between Pakistani jihadists and Iranian Shia. If Pakistan were to suffer a jihadist coup, and the US detected that Pakistan was intending to use nuclear weapons in a first strike against either India or Iran, the US would capture or destroy those nuclear weapons before they could be used. Iran has obviously already considered this and dismissed Pakistan as a real nuclear threat.

    Iran has also dismissed the possibility of Israel attacking it with nuclear weapons, due to the international geopolitical ramifications which would be entirely negative against Israel.

    Only Iraq’s Hussein constituted a nuclear existential threat against Iran, which is why Iran conducted a “feasibility study” during the time Hussein was considered to possibly have a nuclear weapons program.

    Once again, Iran has clearly and unequivocally rejected the notion of an Iranian nuclear arsenal. Clearly they know more about “Game Theory” than you do.

    I find it interesting that my quite logical extrapolations about war with Iran are considered to be completely impossible and nonsensical by everyone here, but your geopolitical utter nonsense is considered reasonable…

  49. Rehmat says:

    On November 23, Ibrahim al-Amin, editor-in-chief of Lebanese daily al-Akhbar, had warned the Palestinians and their foreign supporters about the US-Israeli plan in motion to demilitarize Islamic resistance groups by creating an Egyptian-lead Sunni block (Muslim Brotherhood, Saudi arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Fatah, Jordan and the Gulf sheikhdoms) against Iran-led Shia block (Islamic Revolution, Hizballah, Syria and Iraq on the margins).

    “Hamas will have to choose between Iran and Egypt. If Iran could offer missiles and money, Egypt will offer immunity from Israeli attack, sovereignty over Gaza, and an open door to the world,” wrote Ibrahim al-Amin. Read full article here.

    If Sunni-majority Hamas chose to join Egyptian block, it had to come hard on other resistance groups like pro-Iran Islamic Jihad and pro-Assad Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and even Fatah’s al-Aqsa Brigade. This will open the door to a civil war which would be Israel’s biggest dream come true.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/11/25/hamas-resistance-committed-to-rearming-itself/

  50. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 24, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    You won’t get any arguments out of me; I agree for the most part.

    However, I do not think Iranians need ICBMs, just MRBs, at this time.

    They have already stated that they will not field missiles with a range more than 2000 Km.

    I do not think that a ME NFZ is either feasible to desirable (for Iran),

    Iranian leaders joined this exercise in futility knowing that they could get some diplomatic mileage out of it.

    And when the Americans cancelled it, Iranians had bagged its meager diplomatic fruits.

  51. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    November 23, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Yes. That is true. But the purpose of Iran’s nuclear program is not to make money. It is to safeguard against extinction of Iranian civilization and Shias all over the world. A genocide is in the offing. Wahabi terror is spreading and if they ever take over Pakistan then Iran will be no more part of this world:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yh_a6NKEwbY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg9WVzVFofI&feature=related

  52. kooshy says:

    Hamas: Jews will think twice before attacking Iran
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4311107,00.html

    “Mahmoud al-Zahar says Iran gives Hamas weapons, money ‘for sake of Allah, no conditions attached’. Occupation needs resistance, not negotiations, Abu Marzook remarks”
    “We have a right to take money and weapons from Iran. They (Iran) give to us for the sake of God, no conditions attached, and I am a witness to that,” Zahar told reporters.

    “If they don’t like it, let them compete with Iran in giving us weapons and money,” he said in an apparent jab at the Gulf states.

  53. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 24, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Well, that is inevitable. But let’s hope that by the time it happens, Iran already has a sizable nuclear deterrence in place pointed at Europe. That is the only thing that will stop the Najd terror to destroy Iran since only Europe specially UK has any say over the Najdi kings and their evilness.

    And by the way, I think Iran should not buy into this middle east nuke free zone. It is just a trap. Even if Israel lays down its nukes, Turkey and Indo-Pak will retain them since one is NATO and the other two are not in middle east. So even with a middle east “free” of nuclear weapons, Iran will have to live with two nuclear neighbors and a third much larger one in Caspian sea.

    If Wahabis take over Pakistan, where there is more than 50% of chance of it happening, then the rise of a Wahabi Atomic Saddam is virtually guaranteed. At that time, the west and the east will support the Atomic Saddam just like they had supported the Chemical Saddam in 1980′s. Iran will as usual be blamed for being nuked. Eventually, Saudi and Kuwait will take over southwestern Iran, the atomic Saddam will invade from south east with Afghan Taliban from east. Azerbaijan and Turkey will bite Iran from north and north west. Whatever remains of Iran then, will be a nuclear waste land.

    The only thing that can save Iran is nuclear tipped ICBM’s. Anything shorter than that, is the end of the long history of Iran. If Iranians want to become extinct like Maya then they should stop their nuclear program. If they want to live then they better hurry. 2014 is getting nearer.

    By the way, wahabis are sharpening their teeth in Pakistan. More and more Shias are being killed there. The genocide is widening in dimension. These guys fingers will be on nuclear red buttons pointed at Iran. Nowadays, it must be scary to be an Iranian military general:

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

  54. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Sibel Edmonds’ book should be read by those who profess concern, or should profess concern, that the US Congress tolerates subversion of the national security of the American people. Provided those doing the subverting enjoy the protection of the ISRAEL LOBBY.

  55. James Canning says:

    Bussed-In Basiji,

    What causes you to think Israel is threatening Iran with a first-strike nuclear attack? Highly unlikely, to say the least. Would truly be insane.

  56. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I think Sunni Fundamentalist flag rank officers are already in Pakistan’s Armed Forces.

    Since I believe that any kind of mindless fundamentalism in any religion is a dead-end I am led to conclude that Pakistan will march to a very likely destructive dead end.

  57. Karl... says:

    Nuclear disarment meeting later this year have been canceld because the only nuclear weapons state might be “pressured”, yeah oh so sad, how can anyone pressure the only nuclear state in the region, how wrong huh!?

    presstv.com/detail/2012/11/24/274233/nuclear-meeting-cancelled-over-israel/

    And check this quote. How is it possible to live with this hypocrisy?


    “We would not support a conference in which any regional state would be subject to pressure or isolation,”

    I guess what she meant was:

    “We would not support a conference in which Israel, the only nuclear weapons state would be subject to pressure or isolation but we can pressure and isolate, single out Iran”.

  58. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    kooshy,

    Israel threatens us with nuclear strikes, we bomb Tel Aviv- via Hamas and IJ- with Fajr artillery rockets. Who needs nuclear weapons…they say Isfahanis are cheaper than Jews…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fajr-5

  59. Sineva says:

    kooshy says:
    November 23, 2012 at 8:55 pm
    It is funny tho` that in the western media it is being spun as morsi`s triumph and that this shows that he and egypt are firmly in the “moderate” camp ie pro western/israeli,a “worthy” successor to mubarak,of course he was able to do more than mubarak ever would have done but not that much more.In many ways he reminds me of an Egyptian obama so much hope and expectations to live up to and not a hope in hell of doing it.

  60. kooshy says:

    Now days here is the answer one would get when US talks about the human rights, we have seen the end of US/ western moral high ground. All thanks to their own ill planning and greed which exposed their true skin.

    Response From Iranian Government to NewsHour Report About Dissidents
    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/11/response-from-iran.html

    PBS NewsHour: The U.S. State Department — in a report on human rights — says the government of Iran has carried out hundreds of executions without due process, arrested and tortured protesters and detained more journalists than nearly any country in the world. How do you respond?

    Alireza Miryousefi: The U.S. has a long list of gross and systematic violation of human rights both at home and abroad. These violations have been repeatedly criticized by different U.N. mechanisms, NGOs and even recently by a former U.S. president, Jimmy Carter.

    Besides the abhorrent story of the Guantanamo prison, there are many more acts and practices that simply count for blatant violation of international humanitarian law and human rights by the USA including but not limited to its unconditional support for the crimes committed by the Zionist regime; killing of innocent civilians by unmanned drone attacks; establishing secret detention centers in various parts of the world; humiliating and torturing detainees and using inhuman interrogating methods such as water boarding; deaths in custody, torture and ill treatment inflicted by United States military and non-military personnel or contract employees in detention facilities in overseas locations.

    At the domestic level, different forms of discrimination against ethnic groups, blacks, immigrants and other people in vulnerable situations; continuation of depriving indigenous peoples of their rights; violation of minority rights; Islamo-phobia, defamation of Islam in the Media, incitement of hatred and insulting acts against Muslims and Islamic sanctity; unchecked power entrusted to the FBI, National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies to tap telephone conversations without court’s sanctions, as well as to intercept electronic and regular mail of individuals and organizations just on the grounds of suspicion to terrorism.

  61. kooshy says:

    In my opinion,the biggest winner in this last Israeli adventure against the Gaza/ Hamas was Iran. Clearly Iran was thanked by all major Palestinian fighting and political resisting groups, that includes prime minister Ismail Haniya, Hamas political leader Khaled Mashal as well as PIJ’s Ramadan Abdullah all three publicly thanked and said that the victory was possible by financial and military support of I.R. of Iran, this alone has achieved Iran’s major policy aim which is elevation of Iran in Muslim/ Arab street public opinion which is what Iran is really after and needs for her strategic aims. Another major victory in this conflict for Iran with regard to Muslim / Arab public opinion was that just before the agreement to a ceasefire Iran publicly and without any fear of US/ Israel/ EU and possibly UNSC announced that is proud to supply military hardware and technology to Hamas which is considered a terrorist organization to most westerners, that will boost Iran’s image in Muslim street since no other Muslim country has ever been willing or even brave enough to announce militry help to Hamas. We clearly are witnessing an emerging power whom has already caused changes in her region and is aware of her power.

  62. fyi says:

    All:

    Why by any other means – yet again pushing Iran and the Iranian people too far.

    Or as Mr. Dagan said, treating them in a shabby manner.

    In my opinion, this type of thing only serves those who were friendly to US and EU to become enemies – among the Iranian population.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20471492

  63. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    November 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Jordan as the Palestinian state has been the dream of many fools in Israel.

    They do not seem to appreciate that as long as they control the Al Haram Al Sharif the war against them will not end.

    Nor do can these people envision the very high likelihood that the “Palestinian State in Jordan” writing into its constitution the liberation of all of historical Palestine as it goal.

    Which is what obtained in the Constitution of West Germany.

    Actually, Joradn as the Palestinian state will make more wars against Israel that much more certain; no doubt.

  64. Sineva says:

    Smith says:
    November 23, 2012 at 11:49 am
    I can remember the russians wanting to do the same thing selling gas to the europeans while powering russia with nukes,I think its a good plan and a good one for iran considering the size of its gas reserves.Iran is a lot more fortunate with its energy resources than most of the arab nations,I`ve always wondered how saudi,kuwait,bahrain etc are going to keep the lights on in their nice shiny new western style cities when the oil runs out

  65. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

    In effect, the chances of a revolution in Pakistan is extremely low but a wahabi mutiny in the Pakistan military has high chances to happen as the Saleem Shahzad report signifies.

  66. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 23, 2012 at 11:36 am

    No revolution is gonna happen in Pakistan. The military is too powerful for that to happen and it is not a draft military like Iranian military. So there will be no revolution. People are also less educated and orgnaized. Also there is no such unity as different religious groups and ethnicity can not find a common goal to rally around. Most are secessionists, others are terrorists. Shias will never rally around a wahabi leader and vice versa.

    The military and the intelligence keep things checked. It is a British trained military which is very secular at its top brass but like play power games through religious flavored tactics. And they do not like to be criticized one bit. But a coup is possible. And if it is done by nut job wahabis, then it is going to be really a hell. And that should be very scary for Iran.

    As an example there was this Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad who was very famous in Pakistan for his investigative journalism about terrorism in Pakistan. In his last report, he had written about wahabis having infiltrated through intelligence the naval units of Pakistani military. He was then swiftly killed. This is his last report. A day later he was killed:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/ME27Df06.html

    And some of his other reports from this dead journalist (Good read):

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LB25Df02.html
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LK23Df02.html
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/LD30Df01.html

  67. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Canning: For once I concur. Everyone should read Sibel Edmond’s book to gain a better knowledge of just how corrupt and venal the US government is.

  68. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    FAS put the number of Pakistani nukes at between 90-110.

    http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/nukestatus.html

    Basically Pakistanis have been enriching Uranium since 1970′s and also have been operating plutonium producing reactors at Khushab Nuclear Complex so they are not short of material for bomb making. They have also tested their designs successfully in addition to the nukes China gave them in 1970′s.

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

  69. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    It is part of the chess game, Iran is playing. Basically there is an older idea as a solution to the Palestinian problem. It is called “Jordan Option”. According to this option, current Jordan is just an artificial state built on the Sykes-Picot agreement and should be converted to Palestine and all Palestinians to go there. Actually some Palestinians had even tried to do that by taking over Jordan years ago but were beaten by Jordan’s army and even today, alot of Palestinians specially those in west bank and in PLO love that option since it would give them a large and fairly developed country almost overnight and they would be the rulers.

    A large portion of Jordan’s population is already Palestinians so Jordanians get spooked when they hear about this option being revived by Israel, international media and US. So here, Iran is trying to push a wedge between Jordan and west/Saudis by exploitation of this situation. Basically Iran is putting out a diplomatic feeler for Jordan. Iran is saying to Jordan that if it ever thinks that its national sovereignty is at risk it can break with Americans and become an Iranians ally. As a further benefit, Iran will protect the king of Jordan while if an uprising is started by MI6 just like in Syria then American will not protect the Jordanian king. So Iran is just giving an option to Jordan to become an Iranian ally and come under influence of Iran. The king is afraid of losing his throne, the Jordanian population is afraid of losing Jordan while Iran wants to add to its territorial influence in the region. Also Jordan has one of the largest uranium reserves in the world.

    Why Iran has done it now? Because, again the Jordan option has been put out as a solution recently with Arab “spring” in motion and the plan for a new middle east being implemented. There seems to be some talks ahead and Jordan must be really afraid, what the world powers are going to decide in those talks.

  70. Smith says:

    Ahmadinejad trying to break the Pakistan nut:

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/23-Nov-2012/ahmadinejad-roars-iran-and-pakistan-won-t-be-scared-off

    “ISLAMABAD – Taking the bar of anti-US sentiments in the regional chart to new heights, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Thursday he believed that the 180 million Pakistanis were against American meddling in their internal affairs. “Enemies of Pakistan don’t want this great nation to prosper. But, I am confident that the people (of Pakistan) will finally defeat their indiscriminate aims,” the Iranian president hoped as he blamed the Americans for destabilising the region, notably Pakistan.”

  71. James Canning says:

    I recommend Philip Giraldi’s review of Sibel Edmonds’ new book.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/sibel-edmondss-secrets/

  72. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    The Iranian ambassador to Jordan, Mostafa Mosleh-Zadeh, in the article you linked, said in effect that there is a “US plot” to convert Jordan into a homeland for Palestinians still to be evicted from the West Bank. In fact, this is a plot or scheme of AIPAC and other fanatical groups supporting Israel right or wrong, but it is not US policy.

  73. Smith says:

    Pirouz says:
    November 23, 2012 at 1:55 am

    This is the German system, they had used in Afghanistan to protect German troops against the incoming Taliban artillery and rockets:

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

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMDJ0bwn4sE&feature=related

  74. Smith says:

    Pirouz says:
    November 23, 2012 at 1:55 am

    That is because Iron Dome calculates the trajectory of an coming projectile and if it is not landing in a populated Iran, then Iron dome does not fire on it to save munition and money. It only intercepts those projectiles which it calculates will fall into populated area. The rockets for Iron dome do not come cheap. Of course that is not the only system in the world. There are even systems that do not use rockets at all like the German Nächstbereichschutzsystem MANTIS system based on Sky shield: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0oHvqIUEmY

  75. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    November 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    These 2 documents estimate the number of nuclear weapons in Pakistan to be 30-50 in one and 60-80 in the other.

    http://www.ndu.edu/library/docs/crs/crs_rs21237_17feb05.pdf

    http://www.npolicy.org/userfiles/image/s%20Min%20Deterrence%20Nuclear%20Force_pdf.pdf

    On the other hand, if you use the publicly disclosed warhead numbers of UK (225) and her GDP ($ 2430 billion) and compare them with Pakistan’s GDP ($ 110.09 billion) you will get 20 for the number of warheads in Pakistan.

    I once read that there were 6 bases in Pakistan that nuclear warheads have been stored – most likely in component forms.

    If we assume that there are 6 or 7 weapons per base, that would give us something like 40 weapons.

    I note here that due to the primarily rural nature of both Pakistan and India, they are not as vulnerable as Iran is to nuclear threats or attacks.

    That is, the 70% urban population of Iran makes her vulnerable to attacks against her cities.

    This also obtains for Syria, Iraq, Persian Gulf Arabs, Egypt, Turkey, and Israel.

  76. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    Some more stuff in addition to my previous post. You can not substitute one for the other. Natural gas is also used as a feed stock (raw material) in chemical industry and is very important. Almost all fertilizers without which modern agriculture can not exist is produced from converting natural gas. Without natural gas a lot of people will go hungry. Also it used to make very important chemicals eg. ethylene.

    You can also use it to make electric power and use as a direct thermal energy source in industries eg textiles/cement and households eg cooking. You can not do such things with electricity. There are costs associated with efficiency too. Converting gas to electricity and then use the electricity for cooking is very inefficient since the most advanced power plants are not more than 50% efficient and there is an average 10% loss electricity during transmission. So it is better to use the gas directly for such purposes.

    But electricity is also needed too. As per United Nations an industrialized nation should have at least one KW installed capacity per person living in the country. Alot of advanced nations have many times of that. As I said below, Pakistan can not build its own plants so, Iran can make electricity and exports it to Pakistan. It would be a value added product and Iran can make more money by exporting electricity.

    Also the stated official policy of Iran is to become an electrical hub for the region exporting electricity to all Iran’s neighbors, though Iran is not exporting much today, but if it builds up its capacity and exports huge amounts with installed transmission capacity of lets say 300 or 400 GW, then Iran can make huge money by electricity exports.

    It is actually an opportunity for Iran. Almost all of Iran’s neighbors have growing populations and are energy starved with lack of technology that import their energy requirements. Even a country like India has huge electricity shortages with a few hours of blackouts in Delhi and Mumbai being common, now you can imagine how the situation is in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    In addition to oil and gas, Iran should start to seriously export large amounts of electricity and this indeed seems to be the official policy of Iran. Gas and oil will run out some day but Iran can remain an energy exporter even after the gas and oil are over by making nuclear power plants and exporting electricity and perhaps hydrogen that is if the post-oil world goes towards hydrogen economy.

    That way, Iran will remain an energy exporter forever, as it is today also with cheap energy available locally. But for that Iran must master the nuclear reactor technology. If Iran does this, the future Iranian generations living in a future Iran will remain thankful to their forefathers today who planned such a system. The countries like Saudi Arabia on the other hand will starve to death in the desert after oil runs out since they can not even grow carrots in the desert. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_economy

  77. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    November 22, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Yes, I meant ECO but wrote D-8.

    But D-8, ECO, MERCOSUR as regional or international economic groupings could be useful for cultivating peace interests.

    At the moment, their weakness – outside of organizational technology – is that they do not produce much that others want – the economic goods that they need is not produced by them.

    And then where there is complementarity, their leaders play foolish political games; such as leaders of Pakistan, or Turkey, or Persian Gulf Arabs.

    For Iran and Pakistan and Iran and Arab states of Persian Gulfs, there is a need for new political dispensations that care more about their own people.

    I personally think that Revolution is over-due in Pakistan – 30 years of currying favor for Axis Powers in Afghanistan has only made the security situation inside Pakistan worse – just look at the way Shia are killed every day there.

  78. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 22, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    You are welcome.

    Pakistan needs both. BADLY. Currently they are facing huge natural gas shortages. Gas is used mostly in households, transportation (Pakistan is only second to Iran in NGV fleet), and industry (mostly textile and fertilizer). In fact Pakistan’s own natural gas reserves are fast depleting and they need to import more and more. There is also huge growth in demand.

    Iran Pakistan gas pipeline, at the start was envisioned to be of 72 inch then it was reduced to I guess 55 inch and now I guess they are thinking about 40 inch pipeline. I do not have exact numbers but it seems that the pipeline has become much smaller than it was supposed to be. Now the pipe line is too small to take care of all the shortage of Pakistan. That is why Pakistani government has said that even if the pipeline goes through, it will only be used in fertilizer and power sector produce fertilizers for agriculture (Pakistan is an agricultural country so fertilizer is a strategic commodity) and to produce 5000 MW of electricity. http://www.brecorder.com/market-data/stocks-a-bonds/0/1253990/

    Pakistan also needs electricity. The current peak shortfall during the summer months is around 10,000 MW. That is huge for a country that has an installed working capacity of less than 20,000 MW. And the shortfall is growing by a huge 8 percent per year. Despite all this, Pakistan does not have the technology to build power plants on its own.

    And since no country was serious to come to Pakistan and invest in power sector due to political instability, terror and financial mess, and Pakistan invited China and Iran to build plants in Pakistan. Both rebuffed Pakistan. Iran does not feel that its plants would be safe in Pakistan in the long run. So it offered Pakistan 10,000 MW to be produced in Iran and transmitted over 500 KV lines into Pakistani Baluchistan, Southern Punjab and Sindh at the rate of 9 cents per KW.

    It was feasible and doable and it could have almost solved the electricity shortage in Pakistan. But Pakistan is under extreme pressure and threat by US not to trade with Iran, specially not in gas and oil. In fact Saudis offered Pakistanis an oil facility if Pakistan gives up its relation with Iran including the gas pipeline and in effect sign a treaty with Saudis to stand up against Iran in the region. Pakistan is now double minded, what it should do. They depend on US for lots of things and on Saudis for lots of others. Pakistanis also are not as brave and independent minded as Iranians. Basically a conspiracy is being hatched by world powers and Saudis to erect Pakistan against Iran. That is why if Pakistan starts buying gas, electricity and oil from Iran, then the chances of that conspiracy winning, is reduced to almost none.

    As said, Iran should push for giving Pakistan both gas and electricity in large amounts. The price does not matter much. In fact Iran can sell it without any profits for now. Let Pakistan become dependent on Iran and the Pakistan’s economy recover then renegotiate the agreement.

    That is how Russia did it with Europe. Just charge enough from Pakistan so that you are not subsidizing it. The rest is ok. Then when Iran is having nice relations with Pakistan and has nukes so that Pakistan does not feel like a bully with regard to Iran, then renegotiate the agreement. Right now Iran should not look for profit but rather to neutralize the conspiracy being hatched to make Pakistan the new Saddam. It is a perfect game from the perspective of Iranian enemies. That is why Iran must push for friendship with Pakistan and at the same time, build atomic warhead tipped ICBM’s just to have an insurance policy in the long run.

  79. Smith says:

    Ataune says:
    November 22, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    You are right. Keep the perception but prepare for the worst.

  80. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Someone is still trying to get Israel to attack Lebanon…

    For third time, Lebanese army disarms rocket aimed at Israel
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/lebanese-army-finds-rocket-aimed-at-israel/

    Hizballah has no motivation to do this. The article claims Palestinian groups in Lebanon might be responsible, which is certainly possible given the Gaza attack.

    I have a different theory, needless to say.

  81. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iron Dome shootdowns of Gaza rockets cost $25mln-$30mln – Israel
    http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/iron-dome-shootdowns-of-gaza-rockets-cost-25mln-30mln-israel/

    Anyone see a problem with the math here?

    Quote

    Israel’s five truck-towed Iron Dome batteries shot down 421 of some 1,500 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip between Nov. 14 and Wednesday’s Egyptian-brokered truce, the military said.

    It put Iron Dome’s success rate at 90 percent.

    End Quote

    Most analysts are saying Iron Dome’s success rate was more like 50-60%.

    Not to mention there’s a difference between 1,500 rockets – most of which were “flying pipes” – from Hamas – and the 40-50,000 more serious rockets Hizballah has – not to mention Syrian and Iranian ballistic missiles.

    Iron Dome is a boondoggle that the US taxpayer is mostly paying for.

    What we see here is propaganda from the Israeli government to its citizens that an Iran war would be “cheap” because Iron Dome works. In reality, it doesn’t and can’t.

    It also emphasizes once again why Israel MUST attack Hizballah in Lebanon before an Iran war can be started.

  82. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Deployment of Patriots to Turkey could take weeks
    http://news.yahoo.com/deployment-patriots-turkey-could-weeks-140418502.html

  83. Pirouz says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/iron-dome-shootdowns-gaza-rockets-cost-25-million-112250657.html

    Can someone explain to me how 421 of 1500 equals 90%?

    Previously I’d heard a 60% success rate but even that I’m skeptical of.

  84. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Russia warns Turkey over NATO missiles along Syrian border
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2012/11/22/273946/russia-warns-turkey-on-missile-system/

  85. Ataune says:

    Smith

    Thats why I said perception and not reality. You have to stick with the perception, for everyone, but be ready for the worse.

  86. Nasser says:

    fyi ,

    You have written before about many of the lies and myths surrounding Israeli nuclear capabilities. Could you please share with us your views on Pakistani nuclear capabilities? I hear varying accounts of Pakistani stockpiles ranging from a mere 10 to 200+.

  87. Nasser says:

    Fyi,

    Looks like Iran has taken your advice on Jordan

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Article.aspx?id=293115

  88. Nasser says:

    Smith says: November 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    That was a very detailed and informative response. Thank you. You are right it does seem the most sensible of the three options available.

    I will ask you one more technical question: What are the advantages and disadvantages for Iran of exporting electricity directly versus exporting natural gas?

  89. Nasser says:

    fyi says: November 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you for your post.

    What did you mean regarding D-8? I think the D-8 is geographically too scattered to be an effective organization. Did you perhaps mean the ECO?

    My point was that there must be a willingness on the other side for any cooperative arrangement to work. In case of Turkey, leaders of both sides seem to be aware of economic benefits to be had from increased cooperation and seem eager to expand ties. I think Pakistan’s attitude to Iran is similar to that of the other Turkic countries – not outright hostile, but no willingness to have close ties either. I think Uzbekistan is uniquely hostile because of water disputes with Tajikistan. But now that Indian leaders have thoroughly rebuffed Iran, I suppose it does make sense to make another push to court Pakistan. But I am not very optimistic about the chances of success.

  90. Smith says:

    Ataune says:
    November 22, 2012 at 11:11 am

    While what you say is certainly true, but the same followers would be asking the leaders tomorrow if their children are attacked by nukes or a larger more sophisticated military force eg. Pentagon’s new toys, the automated killer robots. Hardships are relative. Survival is not.

  91. Smith says:

    Very interesting talk by Dr. Chomsky on Iran: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BK0XIm0DXE&feature=watch-vrec

  92. James Canning says:

    Zbig Brzezinski has called upon Obama to impose a solution of the Israel/Palestine problem before it puts the peace of the world into jeopardy.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/11/brzezinski-challenges-obama-to-put-world-peace-ahead-of-specific-constituencies

    The New Statesman says Israel can either get out of the West Bank or endure endless war.

  93. Smith says:

    A whole new method of armed conflicts are under way and will be deployed by 2020. These conflicts will be fought by technologically advanced western societies such as US, employing autonomous killing robots against the less technologically capable nations such as Iran. The robots which will be in form of flying drones and automated land vehicles will go in and kill all human beings with any American causality so it is going to be politically acceptable since it is going to be the robots killing the dehumanized and demonized Iranian population. It will be a massacre of a proportion that a conventional military can not defend against. Only countries with nuclear nuclear ICBM’s will be able to keep the robots off their countries borders. It is not science fiction. It is already here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20JCGDwBt7A&feature=relmfu

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/20/killer_robots_hrw_and_nobel_laureate

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msHJLwYWX30&feature=watch-vrec

  94. Smith says:

    Smith says:
    November 22, 2012 at 1:06 am

    It is all propaganda. Some useless truth mixed with big lies. Huge amount of intelligence was seized in Iraq in the form of documents, films etc that chronicles the Saddam era. All of them were removed despite being property of people of Iraq and the need for Iraqis to investigate them and learn their history better. But these documents also show the deep side of things, the western support for Saddam and the complicity of countries like France in his brutal tortures.

    If they say the truth, they should release all the documents on the net and put all the videos on internet without any censors. I am sure people of the world can make their mind and have enough thoughtful faculty to dig the truth from it. They do not need a front organization to publish a propaganda report on the issue.

  95. James Canning says:

    Tom Englehardt has a few penetrating comments on the fall of General Petraeus:

    http://rsnorg.com/opinion2/277-75/14667-focus-fall-of-the-american-empire-writ-small

  96. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You think Iran need fear an attack by Pakistan? This is absurd. Pakistan could cause trouble along the lines of the difficulties it creates for the government of Afghanistan, but Pakistan itself has a great deal of difficulty merely keeping control of the country.

  97. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Of course the plan was unworkable, and a good deal of money was wasted. By the South African government. “White” rule was doomed by adverse demographics. Meaning, too few “whites” (including Asians), and too many “blacks”.

  98. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The minority-controlled “white” government of South Africa never contemplated using nukes within SA. This is a “silly” statement?

    Or, do you think it was “silly” for that government to be concerned about support for insurgency within SA, backed by one or another African country?
    .
    Or, do you think it is “silly” to say the white-controlled government was doomed by adverse demographics?

  99. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    “All options are on the table” in fact excludes use of nukes by the US on a first-strike basis. Your claim to the contrary is simply not true.

    ISRAEL LOBBY makes it impossible for Obama to exclude use of nukes by saying :”the US would never attack Iran or any other country with nuclear weapons on a first-strike basis”. Why? Because pressure would then be put on Israel to say the same thing.

  100. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you actually claiming Iran needs to fear attack by Iraq? Or attack by Saudi Arabia? Absurd.

    You have difficulty grasping the simple fact that Iran would not be allowed to build nukes.

  101. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

    1- My guess, is because of technical reasons. Building nuclear reactors is not easy. They are extremely complex machines. In terms of complexity, they are more difficult to build than nuclear weapons since nuclear bombs are just uncontrolled fission devices while the reactor is a controlled fission device. Iran is doing that all alone, since no country wants to be sanctioned by helping Iran. US had even put Russia itself a super power under sanctions for building Bushehr nuclear plant with those sanctions lifted only in 2004.

    But Iranians have only delayed it by 6 months so it is not that big a delay. Also I guess, the work is going very well since the place is under supervision of IAEA and if Iran had huge troubles building it, by now as is the habit of IAEA would have leaked information about it to the demonizing western press in order to ridicule Iran. But the work is going good enough that they can not ridicule Iran since if they do, when Iran starts up the reactor, then the western press itself is going to be ridiculed for its propaganda.

    2- That is a complex question. Rationally Pakistan needs Iran very much more than the other way round. But sometimes the world is not a rational place. First some background over the problem. Pakistan has territorial disputes with both India and Afghanistan and has been at war with both of them. Except these two countries, Pakistan has only two more neighbors. But the Pakistani border with China is short and is extremely mountainous with the only road going to China being a very narrow one (Karakorum highway) snaking through high altitude mountains. The road is closed for more than 6 months each year due to bad high altitude weather and continuous repairing. So Pakistan’s only viable and friendly land neighbor is Iran. And consider the fact that Pakistan does not have a strategic geographical depth with its map outline being a long country with a narrow body.

    It has a comparatively smaller navy than India so it will not be able to keep its sea access open during a war with India for example. So its only route to outside world would be Iran. And indeed that has been the case in both 1965 and 1971 wars. Iran provided fuel, supplies and even allowed Pakistani fighter strategic depth by allowing them to use Zahedan airport as a base during their wars with India. Then there is the very serious case of Baluchistan uprising in Pakistan with a very strong secessionist movement there which rivals the secessionist movement of East Pakistan. Also one of the reasons for Pakistan to try to put in a puppet government in Afghanistan in 1990′s was to have this strategic depth against India. The policy appears not to have worked but Pakistan might give it another try after Americans leave in 2014.

    The majority of the Pakistani public looks up to Iran as an example of independence, sovereignty and resistance since they regard the Pakistani government to be a puppet for western interests. In fact nowadays one of the qualifications for a politician to get public votes is to establish his/her anti-Americanism credentials. I know it sounds weird but if any politician comes out and calls himself/herself pro-American then his/her political career is over. So most politicians keep their pro-American feelings hidden if they have any. It is true even for the most progressive and educated politicians eg. Imran Khan who had even married a Jewish girl and has children with her (she is popular in Pakistan too because of her opposition to American drone strikes).

    This rule of course does not apply to army which is the richest/strongest/largest/most organized institution in the country. Pakistan military is quite a large and modern army and has some 120 nukes at its disposal. The army as a whole is popular in the country since that is the only thing which actually works when it is needed unlike other tools in the country. Since it is not a draft army, and is a volunteer professional one, it can do whatever it wants without fearing the lack of public support and large scale mutiny. In addition, lots of families depend on army since they have some one working in it and need the pay/pension it provides as well as the free medical care for the family of those working in the army.

    So the army is basically the largest “tribe” in the country. But it is not all rosy. Pakistan army is designed to battle India primarily and India in recent years has become so powerful, that Pakistan would never be able to fight it in a conventional manner and a nuclear war is not really productive since India also has nukes. So in a way, Pakistan army is in search of a new enemy which for now has found in internal terrorism and being part of the larger war on terror. Though some day, it might start a search for an external enemy. Something not very good from the perspective of Iran.

    It is true that Pakistan has a substantial Shia population with even high grade politicians who are of Iranian ethnicity eg. late Benazir, Gilani etc. as well as Shias being in military too specially in Pakistan air force. But it is also true that the high echelon of Pakistan who are filthy rich and have large amount of power see themselves closer to Arabs than Iran. These dudes, who were formed during General Zia’s regimes were organized by Zia to check the Iranian influence in South Asia as part of an American plan. Shia killing started then and continues till today. And these guys can steer Pakistan towards enmity with Iran the same way, Saddam steered Iraq despite having even a majority Shia population in Iraq.

    Also keep in mind, that Pakistan is a new state composed of hundreds of different ethnicity, religious groups and languages and never fully recovered after secession of Bangladesh since with that secession the core ideology of Pakistan as a free land for Muslims broke down. So they need a new ideology too. Saudis are trying to fill that void by making Pakistanis believe that they have a destiny to protect Saud family and stand up to Iranians.

    Currently there is a low intensity multi-dimensional civil war going on in Pakistan. These nationalistic/ethnical and religious civil wars are being fought by the army. Taliban is only one of them. Some of these internal conflicts, being Mohajirs in Karachi, Balochis in Baluchistan, Pathans in tribal areas, Taliban in north and central Pakistan and even some tendencies in places like Gilgit. Amid these you have the increasing influence of wahabis in Pakistan who did not even exist in Pakistan 30 years back. These guys are involved in a continuous low intensity genocide of Shias in Pakistan who are 30% of Pakistan’s population and who usually are better educated and richer than the average Pakistanis.

    Now coming to your question with this background. You can make out several scenarios for Pakistan. Some very grim some very hopeful. With a population of 190 million that is to increase to 365 million before 2050, Pakistan is under huge stress both internally and externally. In short the Pakistani public itself is confused where Pakistan is going and the situation is highly unstable. Anything can happen.

    A wahabi take over, a complete collapse, war, etc. In fact some influential Pakistanis say that Pakistan needs an external war to reunite the country. So things are not as pretty as it seems. Inside Pakistan, poverty is really back breaking with per capital GDP (PPP) of less than 10% of Iran’s. In the summer months when the temperatures go above 54 C, there are 18 hour black outs each day in entire country.

    Pakistan has a huge energy problem. In winter months there is a six hour blackout each day. The rich guys have their huge diesel generators. The upper middle class use smaller gasoline generators. The rest suffer. During the winter months, the natural gas pipeline stops working since there is so much demand and not enough gas and since Pakistan depends on natural gas for energy more than any other country in the world (57% of total energy basket), the gas shortage effect hits the economy hard. The rich people buy propane cylinders, while the poorer people buy wood/coal for heating and cooking.

    There is a huge divide between rich and poor. In Islamabad, some avenues are large enough for a space shuttle to land on them easily. In posh areas of Islamabad the sidewalks are larger than biggest streets in poorer cities of Pakistan. Not only that but in north of Islamabad, in addition to the regular road and sidewalk, they have even a middle road, which is for exclusive use of bicycles but is never used since the rich guys always roam around in their air conditioned SUV’s. This is happening while millions of children are out of school and still simple diseases like malaria kills tens of thousands each year.

    Coming to your point why Iran is so much after trying to have a good relation with Pakistan? Well, the reason is that the Iranian planners have to think about far future and take into account the real situation of both countries. There are many reasons and some of them you probably already know by reading the above paragraphs. Pakistan has a large Shia population that Iran can not ignore. Also there is a significant Iranian population living since before World War I in Pakistan, specially in Karachi who are mostly businessmen and ethnically mostly from Yazd. There is also some Pakistani nationals living in Iran too.

    Pakistan as I said needs huge amounts of energy for its growing and large population. Also it needs a dependable trade route to west. Pakistan also wants to keep a balance in its relation with US and west. But Pakistan also depends on Arabs too. The largest export of Pakistan is man power mostly to Arab countries. The second largest is textile. So with almost ten million Pakistanis working in Arab countries, Pakistan depends on them for foreign exchange.

    Iran is in a bad position in this regard. Before Zia came to power, Pakistani government actively encouraged Iranian culture and Persian language in Pakistan. That is why alot of older Pakistanis know Persian and are well versed with Iranian culture. Then Zia came and in order to check the influence of Iran, he banned the teaching of Persian in schools which was compulsory before that, and instead started the process of bringing in Saudi culture and wahabi ideology. The result is a much more violent Pakistan as you can see.

    Now Iran has some options. Leave the situation as is, and see where it goes. Or it can respond violently matching wahabi violence with Shia violence and threat with threat. Or it can try to combat the situation culturally and offer Pakistan energy and trade so that Pakistan becomes dependent on Iran for its daily livelihood. It seems Iran has chosen the last one and is trying to diffuse the situation and keep Pakistan as close and friendly as possible.

    In fact Iran is going out of its way to do that in order to avoid a conflict specially when Iran is demonized, empty handed and non-nuclear while Pakistan is a western ally, armed to the teeth and with the world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal. Also Iran is trying its best now since, after the 2013 election in Pakistan you never know who will come to power, the pro-Saudi wahabi religious groups or something else or maybe even a military coup as has happened many times in Pakistan.

    Of course there is no guarantee that Iran might get its way. Arab countries are encouraging Pakistan to take a stand against Iran. In fact Saudis think of Pakistan as the new Saddam. They think that if they put enough influence in Pakistan, they can make Pakistan to finish off Iran, a job they think Saddam failed to do but Pakistan can do successfully. Saudis are literally pouring in money in Pakistan to spread wahabism and it is working since now wahabism has reached high echelon of Pakistani society. As you know wahabism is like a plague and only spreads and is highly militarized an violent.

    I think, Iran’s course of action should be more cultural exports, more friendship with Pakistan, more trade and energy export and in short go the non-violent way. Treat Pakistan as a teenager growing up and try to understand her situation and her needs. After all Iran has a much longer history than Pakistan. But at the end of the day, Iran should develop nuclear weapons so that if this teenager tomorrow grows into a violent adult enemy of Iran taken over by Saudi wahabis, then Iran is not caught off guard.

    Of course it might not be that way. Pakistanis might reject violence and Saudi sickness and instead become the best of friends with Iranians as they used to be. It can happen if Pakistan can kick start an industrialization plan to combat poverty and solve its energy problems so that less people are poor to join up the rank of fatalist ideology of wahabism. But that is not clear now, and Iran should be ready for either case when Pakistan grows out of its current situation.

    Personally I think if Pakistanis wake up in the morning and fry their breakfast with Iranian natural gas, run their air conditioners on Iranian electricity and a huge trade and movement of people happens between the two along with Iranian cultural influence which Pakistanis by and large love, then the chances of friendship is much higher over the dry and dangerous desert type Saudi influence. Strong economic ties bring in prosperity and decrease the chances of a war between neighbors, that is why United States is so much against Pakistan trading with Iran, literally threatening Pakistan to stop trading with Iran almost every day.

    Most Pakistanis remain Brelvi and Sufi Sunni muslims who are very fond of Iran and shias. But as I said, the Deobandi/Salafi/Ahle Hadis/Wahabi ideology is spreading in Pakistan like wild fire on the back of Saudi petrodollars. Iran can do more culturally but if you have read my posts in the past three threads, you will know that the Khaleh Khaharcheh of Basijis are not doing their proper job in Iran’s embassies and cultural centers. They are sleeping and having fun with little girls in crowded pools of Brazil. Iran needs to have a more pro-active role with regard to Pakistan and other countries in order to battle the Saudi/American/wahabi influence in a global setting.

  102. fyi says:

    Nasser says:

    November 22, 2012 at 12:19 am

    The salient feature for state security is the creation and maintenance of “Peace Interest” and not the trite and incoherent notion of “Balance of Power”.

    The policy of developing economic interdependencies among neighbours’ is undoubtedly the correct policy for Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Arabs of the Persian Gulf.

    This does not require that somehow the populations of these states or their governments to like one – just look at Dubai before the recent sanctions – only that they cooperate – like Armenia and Iran.

    My sense of this is that Turkish, Iranian, and Armenian leaders have understood that.

    Lebanese also understand this.

    [No doubt that Dr. Davutoglu tried to implement this vision; but Axis Powers forced Turkey to harmherself to avoid much more harm later at the hands of the Axis States.]

    But I am not sure that the leaders of the the Central Asian states, Azerbaijan Republic, Pakistan have comprehended that.

    Arabs of the Persian Gulf evidently do not subscribe to this theory.

    So I think Iranians in general are pursuing the correct policy vis-a-vis Pakisatn, specially after their strategic understandings with India were eviscerated by Indian leaders.

    D-8 could become much more active – with visa-free travel etc.being opposed by US, EU, India, Arab states of Persian Gulf and Russia.

    They will do their best to prevent economic peace interest to prevail in this region as they need to continue their political and economic dominance and, to at the same time, sell geopolitical protection to any fool who listens to them.

    I would like to draw your attention to Uzbekistan’s posture against Iran and ask you to please explain why she is against Iran?

    One must accept that part of the strategy of wounding Iran is to preserve one of the last places that Axis States have dominant political and economic influence.

    Likewise for Russia.

    [Last year, Iranian representaives to a conference of Caspian Sea littoral states put forward the idea of creating a Joint-Venture Corporation with full rights to the Caspian riches.

    This corporation, created and owned by the 5 states bordering the Caspian Sea would then disburse its profits to the owners.

    There were no takers of this eminently creative and sensible proposal.]

    The positive vision that I have sketched for you is

  103. Ataune says:

    Smith,

    Political struggles are ultimately, and particularly when polarized to their limit, a battle of wills. In this battle you cannot expect to effectively lead if the perception is that you have breached a pillar of your principles. Your followers will easily disband under hardship and you will find yourself fighting a non-cause just for the sake of material power.

  104. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 22, 2012 at 12:45 am

    That is right. During Iran Iraq war, Israel had helped Iran. Of course its reasons were entirely selfish but the help was there. France in addition to chemical weapons was trying to give nuclear weapons to Saddam too until, Iranian air force and the Israeli air force destroyed those wet dreams. If France had been successful in giving Saddam the nuclear weapons, the Saddam would have nuked Tehran using his Mirage-Etenard fighter bombers which were capable of carrying nuclear warhead.

    At any rate, without nuclear weapons and ICBM’s Iran is toast. It is just a matter of time before Iran is screwed.

  105. Smith says:

    Iran has not attacked another country in 273 years. The last time Iran attacked another country was in 1739 long before United States of America was even born: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Karnal

    Since that time, Iran itself has been under attack with its territory being taken over by larger powers.

    United States meanwhile during its existence has attacked numerous countries. Here is an incomplete list which only includes some of those attacks since 1890: http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/interventions.html

    Here is a brief look at Iran’s neighbors in that regard in whose neighborhood Iran has to live in addition to continuous threats by US and EU:

    Iraq: Attacked Iran 1980 / Attacked Kuwait 1990

    Pakistan: Attacked India 1948, 1965, 1999 / Attacked Afghanistan with almost complete invasion 1997 using Taliban (Considered by almost all Afghans to be a Pakistani force)

    Turkey: Turkish invasion of Cyprus 1974 / Korean War 1950 / Invaded northern Iraq on numerous occasions in 1990 and 2000′s / Libyan Civil war 2011 / Syrian Civil war 2011

    Kuwait: Allied with Iraq invasion of Iran 1980 / Allied with US invasion of Iraq 2003/ Libyan civil war 2011

    Qatar: Allied with Iraq invasion of Iran 1980 / Allied with US invasion of Iraq 2003 / Libyan civil war 2011 / Syrian civil war 2011

    Bahrain: Allied with Iraq invasion of Iran 1980/ Allied with US invasion of Iraq 2003 / Libyan civil war 2011 / Syrian civil war 2011

    UAE: Allied with Iraq invasion of Iran 1980/ Allied with Pakistan invasion of Afghanistan through Taliban 1997 / Allied with US invasion of Iraq 2003 / Libyan civil war 2011 / Syrian civil war 2011

    Saudi Arabia: Allied with Iraq invasion of Iran 1980 / Allied with US invasion of Iraq 2003 / Saudi invasion of Yemen 1934 / Yemen civil war 1994 / Invasion of Yemen 2009 / Libyan civil war 2011 / Syrian civil war 2011

    Azerbaijan: Invasion of Armenian territory (Nagorno-Karabakh War) 1988-1994

  106. Richard Steven Hack says:

    U.S. Considers Increasing Military Presence in Mediterranean
    http://www.kiiitv.com/story/20160265/us-considers-increasing-military-presence-in-mediterranean

    I like the notion of “considering”. Hell, yes, they’re going to it!

    Quote:

    The Navy also previously announced that four warships capable of providing ballistic missile defense will now be based at Rota, Spain, putting them closer to potential threats from Syria and Iran. They are the USS Ross, the USS Donald Cook, the USS Carney and the USS Porter. Four other ships are stationed off the coast of Israel as a hedge against any ballistic missile launch from Iran.

    Short of being ordered into combat, the Navy is looking to beef up its presence in order to conduct humanitarian assistance missions and training exercises with other nations in the region, the sources said.

    End Quote

    Yeah, right, “humanitarian assistance”. You need missile defense for that? No! You need that if you’re going to attack Syria and Iran!

    Also note that four ships are to protect Israel from Iranian missiles! This implies that the US will without doubt enter the war against Iran if Israel were to attack Iran first.

    And those ships will be especially useful if the US and NATO attack Syria and Israel attack Hizballah.

    Also note this: “A U.S. official told CNN that the current assessment by the intelligence community is that surface to air missiles from Libya have made their way into Gaza after being smuggled through Egypt.”

    What does this imply? You put missile defense ships in the Mediterranean to defend against GAZAN SAMs? I don’t think so! Not unless you’re intending for the US to directly attack GAZA! Which is ridiculous that Israel, after spending hundreds of millions of US TAXPAYER DOLLARS, needs US ships to protect against SAMs.

    This increase in US military presence is precisely to prepare for the upcoming attack on Syria (and later, Iran.)

  107. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “I think you are looking at a single item and missing the flow or pattern.”

    Not really, I’m aware that Hamas would like to have the same sort of capability that Hizballah in Lebanon has. But the two are different in terms of their strategic potential.

    Hizballah has a lot of places to hide in Lebanon. Hamas does not, although urban solutions do exist.

    Hizballah has easy access to smuggling routes. Hamas has only recently had some new options as a result of the Egyptian situation.

    Lebanon is a state and Hizballah participates in that state. Hamas is considered a “rogue organization” (despite winning the election), and there is no “state”.

    Hizballah has money, Hamas does not.

    Hizballah has a very intelligent leader in Nasrallah. I’m not sure Hamas has anyone equivalent.

    As I indicated in an earlier post, I think Hamas would be better off trying to attack Israel “from the outside” rather than trying to be an effective threat to Israel from within Gaza. It’s just too easy for Israel to stomp on them every other year. It’s much harder for Israel to do that to Hizballah (if not impossible.)

    I don’t know if Hizballah has been helping Hamas directly with training, equipment, intelligence and such, but Hamas should make a deal for that.

  108. Smith says:

    This is the danger threatening Iran. If Taliban can kill Iranian diplomats, imagine if they can do this then what they are going to do with Iranian cities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c4f4NJSB_4

  109. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Yes, there is a lot of anger in Iran – at all levels of society – about the shredding of CWT during Iran-Iraq War – it is just beneath the surface. Most Iranians are too polite to bring it up when talking to Western people.

    That country was pushed too far during that war and is being pushed too far, yet again, at the present time.

    By the way, Israelis think that way as well.

    I think it there were a few Israelis that actually wrote about the CWT violations during Iraq-Iran War and expressed their concerns.

    But no one else – certainly not in US.

    Axis Powers are making the world more dangerous, even for themselves.

  110. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    Two questions for you:

    What is your reaction to the news that Iran has delayed opening of Arak, yet again?

    What is your opinion on Iran’s futile attempts to forge closer ties with Pakistan when Pakistan clearly has no such intentions and has repeatedly rebuffed Iran? The gas pipeline highlights this of course

  111. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    And Iran will never know when the next Saddam, Bush or Taliban will pop up. The elements are there, the hate is there, the dehumanization and demonization process is complete. It will only take a coup or a lucky day for mullah omar or a little push by US to support the next Saddam and the WMD’s will be raining on Iranian cities.

    Iran actually has seen it before when Saddam was being backed and supplied by west and using German/French made WMD’s on Iranian. If today, some crazy head in east or west nukes Tehran, Isfehan and Shiraz, no body in the world would come forward to protect Iran. In fact, the West might rejoice and UN will call for “restraint”. That is how it works. This is what US made Taliban did to Iranian diplomats and embassy workers in Afghanistan. Pakistan had guaranteed to Iran that the Iranian consulate will be safe and Taliban will do nothing to Iran government representatives (Please note that Taliban were being run from Islamabad at the time): http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=aif7kFl5ptc#t=38s

    With such track records, Iran must not take any risk. Iran should be able to defend itself on its own, without ever expecting the world to come to its aid. Iran is living in a nuclear neighborhood with very tense geopolitical environment and in difficult times. It is continuously being threatened and demonized by west. So any next Saddam will not have any difficulty to attack Iran. Upon such an attack on Iran, and nuking Iranian cities, CNN and BBC among others will actually blame Iran as usual.

    The only way to secure the future of Iranian babies and children, born and unborn is to have ICBM’s tipped with nuclear warheads. Ideally these warheads should be pointed to oil rich areas of the Persian Gulf, Israel and the non-nuclear states in EU specially the smaller ones. That way, the west, the rich Arabs and the Zionists will never allow Iran to attacked by anyone. Iran’s security will be guaranteed. Just like the US and Russian security are guaranteed since they have ICBM’s pointed at each other. I am sorry to say these, since I am myself a pacifist, but the world’s state of affairs have come to such a low level that we can not maintain peace without pointing nuclear weapons at each other’s children. If Iranians ever trust the west with their security, their children will be raped in front of their eyes and then disemboweled alive, while the Iranian themselves will be impaled.

  112. Smith says:

    United States voices grave concern over systemic abuse of human rights in Iran and warns Iranians that all options are on the table including nuking them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVmGWLsn0iM&feature=related

  113. Sineva says:

    BiBiJon says:
    November 21, 2012 at 9:51 am
    Dear BiBiJon,beautiful analogy,I agree completely,slow and steady wins the race but is it a race to the bomb or a deal both sides can live with,that is the question and at the moment I find a bomb or at least a real bomb capability more likely that a deal

  114. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    November 21, 2012 at 1:48 pm
    In that case I would have to say that that plan failed miserably beyond all belief in addition to costing the apartheid state multimillions at a time it could not afford it,personally I think that is one of the sillier statements you have made

  115. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Iranians are mocking IAEA, ISIS, EU, US and others.

    The only thing missing from the pink tents was a “smiley face”!

    Iranians knows that the Parchin site is under satellite scruting and are taunting and titilating the Axis Powers, IAEA, and others.

    “Hurry up and sign to our modality document before we obilterate the rest of the evidence.”

  116. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 21, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I think you are looking at a single item and missing the flow or pattern.

    HAMAS (Palestinians) had nothing – no brains and no technology – until Iranians got to them.

    Iran gave HAMAS some brains and began transferrng technology to them – both military hardware and military organization.

    They are graudally building up their capabilities.

    They started – in Gaza – wiith civilian foundries to forge weapons.

    They evidently have graduated to better and bigger things.

    And I assume HAMAS will field more destructive weapons over time.

    It is to Israel what Israel is to Arabs – a militarized fortress.

    And it is an excellent plaform for Iran to proclaim her Chmpionship of Palestinians and exhibit herself as the Defender of Islam.

    While (Suuni) Arabs and Muslims talk, Shia Arabs and Iranians are helping HAMAS fight.

    Americans have finally grasped this, ergo they pushed for a cease-fire rather than supporting Israel in land operations against HAMAS.

    Every battle against HAMAS by Israel diminishes the political power and influence of US, EU, Saudi Arabia; in my opinion.

  117. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I assume you see little risk of “proliferation” arising from the nuclear power plant the Russians are building and will own and operate in Turkey.

  118. fyi says:

    Neo says:

    November 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Imagine that Iran is attacked by Pakistan.

    Assume that Iran does not posess nuclear weapons.

    Can Iran define her war aims to be Unconidtional Surrender?

    Imagine constant terrorist provocations against Iran from neighboring state(s).

    Imagine those terrotories being subject tp a “Kosovo” option by a “Coalition of the Willing” – hiding behind “Humanitarian” intervention.

    Can Iran maintain her territorial integrity?

    And then there is the case of nuclear blackmail etc.

    I have no doubt that in my mind that the late Saddam Hussein would have threatened to use nuclear weapons against Iranian cities had he had them.

    In that case, he could have forced a cease-fire that in a de facto manner would have given him the control of Iranian occupied territories.

    Just like Israel in the West Bank.

    Iranian nuclear break-out capability is in the supreme interest of Iranian state, Iranian people and the allied states, and allied peoples.

    There will always be enemies.

  119. truthteller says:

    Yes, there was “rush to safety” effect during 1973 oil crisis too, it lasted a month or two.
    The main thing is not oil, it’s the petrodollar system, in which the oil producers choose to support dollar with oil.
    In 1970s, dollar survived, because there was no alternative to the dollar, thus the world choose to continue to support the dollar until an alternative can be developed.
    Thus today we have the Euro. It was designed to be a currency that can supersede the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.

    “The euro, probably more than any other currency, represents the mutual confidence at the heart of our community. It is the first currency that has not only severed its link to gold, but also its link to the nation-state. It is not backed by the durability of the metal or by the authority of the state. Indeed, what Sir Thomas More said of gold five hundred years ago – that it was made for men and that it had its value by them – applies very well to the euro.”
    http://www.ecb.int/press/key/date/2002/html/sp020509.en.html

  120. Richard Steven Hack says:

    What Gaza Says About Possible Iran-Israel Showdown
    http://www.npr.org/2012/11/21/165666439/what-gaza-says-about-possible-iran-israel-showdown?ft=1&f=1001

    And because Iron Dome, like all such systems, is less effective than Israel is claiming is precisely why Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon need to be attacked before Iran.

  121. fyi says:

    THE NATION on Jews, Poles, and the Holocaust
    An interesting article that re-assesses the recent history of Poland, what part the Poles played in the Holocaust, and what actually happened in Nazi-occupied Poland in relation to the Shoah.

    None of it is truly new, really. It confirms what most Jews of Polish origin have thought all along.

    At least, the matter is now openly debated in Poland itself. Many countries in Europe could do with similar soul searching in relation to WWII, and are not prepared to do so.

    It was Mussolini who saved Jews in parts of Southern France there were occupied by Italy.

    On a personal level, I find it ironic that Poland, France, etc. are sanctioning Iran – in support of Israel – where Jews have lived continously for more than 2500 years.

    Why don’t the EU leaders shutup for a spell?

    http://www.thenation.com/article/171262/noble-and-base-poland-and-holocaust

  122. humanist says:

    Long ago I wrote the following here in RFI (or in HuffPo?)

    Has Israel the right to crash whoever stands on its way?

    We often hear Israelis saying “we reserve the right to defend ourselves (in any way we see fit?)”. One can easily see the fallacy of that claim ie in any dispute, that right belongs only to the victimized defenders, not to the aggressive offenders.

    As an example in any civilized society, in a court of law if the killer ([victim] killer such as a badly abused wife) proves she was repeatedly beaten, injured or molested by her husband and that was the motive for the killing, then she will be (definitely) acquitted.

    At times the self-righteousness of right-wing Israelis is mind boggling. I remember in early 70s when I heard on TV a member of Knesset claiming” ..since we are 100% right our enemies must be 100% wrong”.

    ….

    Don’t they know cruelty is the source of more and more cruelty?…

  123. Richard Steven Hack says:

    I would agree that a US or Israeli strike on Iran is unlikely in the near term due to the Syria and Hizballah situation. No surprise here. What is interesting is the estimate of a 33% chance by December 2013.

    Strike on Iran: bets are off
    http://blogs.reuters.com/globalinvesting/2012/11/21/strike-on-iran-bets-are-off/

  124. humanist says:

    To get an idea what is going on in Gaza watch this:

    http://www.democracynow.org/2012/11/21/as_bus_bomb_hits_tel_aviv

    A timely quote from Harold Pinter:

    “How many people do you have to kill before you qualify to be described as a mass murderer and a war criminal?”….

  125. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Another NYT propaganda piece…

    Years of Torture in Iran Comes to Light
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/22/world/middleeast/years-of-torture-in-iran-comes-to-light.html?pagewanted=all

  126. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran supplied Hamas with Fajr-5 missile technology
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/nov/21/iran-supplied-hamas-missile-technology

    These and the Grad rockets are the only significant missiles Hamas has. The rest are pathetically short-range and weak.

  127. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Notice how they keep harping on this even though it is known that you can’t conceal evidence of nuclear material. This is deliberate prevarication.

    Fill brought to Iran site IAEA wants to inspect-diplomatshttp://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/21/nuclear-iran-iaea-idUSL5E8MLM5U20121121

  128. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey made its formal request.

    Nato to consider Turkey’s Patriot missile request
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20427985

    Obviously Turkey expects bigger missiles than mortar shells coming in shortly…

  129. James Canning says:

    Tehran Times reported last week that Turkey will continue its oil and gas imports from Iran after the exemption from US sanctions (as to oil imports) expires next month.

  130. Karl... says:

    Moronic statement by france FM.

    French Foreign Minister Fabius blames Iran for Gaza conflict

    english.rfi.fr/europe/20121121-french-foreign-minister-fabius-blames-iran-gaza-conflict

    I say its France fault that Titanic sunk, that John Lennon was killed and that Jesus was killed.

  131. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    China insists that Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. Are the Chinese, in your view, a “master race” demanding submission by the people of Iran?

  132. James Canning says:

    truthteller,

    The severe inflation in the US in the years after the Arab oil embargo did cause a very painful correction.

    But as crisis in the Persian Gulf intensifies, there is a “rush to safety” that strengthens the US dollar.

    The US gets a fairly small proportion of its oil imports from the Persian Gulf.

  133. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    If you are suggesting there is considerable danger in Pakistan’s manufacture of tactical nukes, I of course agree with you. But how could Iran retaliate against use of a “loose nuke” by the Taliban (or some other group), even if Iran had a few nukes?

  134. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    Iranian leaders recognise that noises about “all options being on the table”, exclude use of nukes by the US, or even Israel for that matter. On a first-strike basis.

    Iran is not being threatened with a nuclear attack. Iran has not been threatened in that way.

  135. James Canning says:

    Nasser,

    The duping of the American public, to support idiotic levels of “defence” spending, to protect Israel, has been most pronounced since the “9/11″ attacks in 2001.
    “Defence” spending has doubled, thanks in good part to the ISRAEL LOBBY.

  136. Neo says:

    fyi says: November 19, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    fyi,

    “The threat of loss of state cohesion and integrity is not from US primarily; it is from Iran’s now nuclearized neighbours.”

    In what way? Can you elaborate? I can’t think which neighbour could threaten Iran’s integrity.

  137. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You are totally delusional if you think Iran can obtain security by trying to build nukes on the sly, or by buying nukes for North Korea or some other sournce. Totally delusional.

    Would Iran be facing any potential for attack if it had not re-started its enrichment of uranium? No.

  138. Neo says:

    Smith says: November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Well Smith, this is exactly where it is you who lacks realism. For the West is not powerful enough to be irrational about attacking Iran.

  139. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The pursuit of nules by the government of South Africa was intended to enable South Africa to stop any other African country from sending significant support to black insurgents in South Africa.

    Israel was helping SA to obtain the nukes.

    Adverse demographics doomed any plan for continued control of SA by the white minority.

  140. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Gaddafi said that Libya began work on nukes because it was the fashionable thing to do at the time.

    Gaddafi also said that nukes are dangerous for the country that has them. Very true.

  141. Karl... says:

    Was analysts wrong about a new time after pro-US dictators fell?
    Take EGyptian gov., have been very silent about Gaza, once again doing the bid for US and Israel interests on the conflict.

  142. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    November 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    I agree.

    However note that years of mutual verbal threats will have its consequences.

  143. Rehmat says:

    Iranian president Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has arrived in Islamabad to join Heads of State and Governments of Group of Eight Developing Nations (D-8) one-day summit on November 22.

    Ahmadinejad is accompanied by Iran’s intelligence minister Heydar Moslehi, senior presidential adviser Mojtaba Samareh Hashemi, vice-president Hamid Baqaei and chief of staff for Ahmadinejad, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei.

    The D-8 nations include Iran, Pakistan, Nigeria, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Egypt and Malaysia.

    The objectives of the organisation, which was established in 1997 to foster developmental cooperation amongst major Muslim countries include promoting trade and economic cooperation amongst its members, improving member states’ position in the global economy, diversifying and creating new opportunities for them in international trade relations, enhancing their participation in decision-making at the global level, and improving the standards of living of people living in the eight member-countries.

    Attending the summit are; Presidents Asif Ali Zardari (Pakistan), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran), Mohammed Morsi (Egypt), Susilo Bambang Yodhoyono (Indonesia) and Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria) – and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dr. Dipo Moni.

    The summit will mark the visit to Pakistan by an Egyptian president after four decades and that of a Nigerian president after 28 years. Dr. Ahmadinejad’s visit will be his first as new head of the 120-nations Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

    On the sideline of the summit, Ahmadinejad will be discussing financing of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline within Pakistani territory with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari. They’re expected to discuss US-NATO forces in Afghanistan and the Israeli slaughter of Gaza people being carried out presently. There are also some reports claiming that Pakistan Army would be interested in Iran’s co-operation in building drones in Pakistan.

    The projected D-8 countries’ share in global trade is $500 billion by the year 2018.

    Pakistan is the only nuclear power among the D-8 nations while Iran has the largest economy and foreign reserves.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/11/21/ahmadinejad-attends-d-8-summit-in-pakistan/

  144. BiBiJon says:

    P.S. Leave NPT, build a bomb, leave UN, build a giant spaceship and leave planet earth
    ==============================================================================

    if sufficiently livid, then thank god it ain’t you who sets policy.
    ————

    Sineva says:
    November 21, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Just to be clear, I was thankful ‘I’ don’t have the responsibility to set policy.

    I agree with Ataune, who describes extreme positions as unwise. His comment at 9:34 pm reminds me of UU’s apt analogy: the boa constrictor method of tightening the coil every time the prey exhales.

    Some recent exhalations/coil-tightening:

    -We (the west) will take you to UNSC even though for 2 years you suspended enrichment and applied the AP… IAEA seals were broken, and UF6 started flowing into centrifuges

    -We’ll threaten you with more sanctions …. more centrifuges are added.

    -We won’t sell you reactor fuel for TRR, nor do a swap … start enriching to 20%

    -We’ll bomb you …. build bomb-proof underground facility

    UU’s boa constrictor is at work in other contexts too. Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Hamas, etc all are examples. Every time William Hague shows his love of Palestinians by letting out air as he mumbles about “Israel’s right to self defense,” the boa constricts some more.

    Clearly the game requires a lot of patience, but undeniably it works The prey’s every breath is shallower than the last, each new flailing is more self-defeating than the last hair-brain scheme.

    Leave NPT? No, the P5 should be thrown out of NPT. Boa constrictor should use every exhalation to go right up to Eric Brill’s two tables side by side scenario.

  145. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Media Distortions on Iran’s Enrichment Program
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/11/21/media-distortions-on-irans-enrichment-program/

    He demonstrates that the increase percentage is not 50 percent, as cited in the media, but only 20 percent. And that Iran appears to be continually pulling out enough 20% LEU for conversion to fuel plates in order to keep the total amount of 20% LEU around 100kg and no higher.

  146. hans says:

    What is happening in the near east is a battle for the final control of the desert religions (yes the 3 religions Christianity, Islam and Judism all we started in the desert). So far Khazar Zionism and Judaism seem to have the upper hand the have stifled any critics by the Sunni’s, majority of Christian (Byzantine Orthodox exception some sectors of Russia, Armenian and Syrian). Syria has always been a micro-ism of these 3 desert religions and that is why it is so important to defeat this current government as it represents this micro-ism (see the thirteen tribe by Arthur Koestler).

    Iran has currently no Islamic governments which support it (not even Iraq and Lebannon), the support is mainly of Christian states, so we should stop all this talk of Shia, Sunni Ummah or whatever it is called. The end result of this current battle is a greater Khazar empire, except this time it will be Greater Occupied Palestine with Haifa as it’s capital. If there is an attack on Iran with massive causalities always remember there are about 2 million NATO citizens living in the near east.

  147. Sineva says:

    BiBiJon says:
    Actually I would think that when the decision to develop the bomb is made it was usually a coldly rational decision taken amidst a backdrop of justifiable concern or even fear over the actions of another state,usually nuclear armed,I don`t think anger would come into it unless it was anger at ones self/political leadership for having been caught off guard like pakistan for instance when india tested its first bomb or when the arabs failed to respond to israels nuclear gauntlet

  148. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    November 20, 2012 at 1:28 pm
    Well James I would have said that a government that thought and ran a nation on the principle that one group of people,the white minority,were superior in every respect to another group,the black majority,just because of skin colour was insane,now one must ask why did SA go to all the trouble and expense of building nukes in the first place when because of their technological limitations they could only build a handful and at huge cost,there were no other nuke states in africa let alone in SA`s neighborhood and five nukes with short rage delivery systems would not have deterred the soviets in the fantastic event that they decided to invade SA also using or threaten to use them against soviet allies would have been little different to using them or threatening their use against the ussr itself,so it doesn`t leave you many options for their use does it james,as I said before SA and israel had similar situations but the biggest difference was that the largest enemy SA faced was the one at home and here the whites were badly outnumbered I for one have no problem seeing a desperate regime watching as the blacks rebelled en masse and began taking one city after another the military helpless to stop them threaten or even use one of those weapons either as blackmail to get the outside world to intervene or to convince the blacks that they had to negotiate

  149. BiBiJon says:

    The Weakening of Syria Emboldens Israel
    by Dan Glazebrook

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/glazebrook201112.html

  150. Smith says:

    My comment at November 20, 2012 at 9:17 pm was addressed to dear fyi.

  151. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 20, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks.

    Fully agreed. Without physical security, Iran is going to be raped. That is for sure. And they say that if Iran gets attacked, and Iranians mass murdered in a gigantic scale then it is going to be the world’s first war filmed and broadcast in HD/3D. Very bad and demoralizing and humiliating for the Iranian history.

    At any rate, the ugly truth in this world is that, you only get respect if you have enormous fire power. If you do not have that, then they demonize you through media and other propaganda tools to such an extent that the genocide of your family becomes acceptable or even desired globally. To stop such a genocide from happening, Iran has only one option which you mentioned in your post. Otherwise nobody in the world would care if millions of Iranians are bombed to death or even nuked, just like nobody cared when Saddam was using German WMD’s on Iranians.

    Today, it is even worse, since Iran has become the most demonized nation in the history of mankind through continuous anti-Iran propaganda broadcast in HD. Just watch western TV’s and go over western internet forums to gauge what the temperature is in western “humanistic thermometer” with regard to Iran and generally for Muslims. With a dead UN, opportunistic China and Russia, no humane feelings around, and certainly no nuclear armed trustable ally, Iran is just a fair game.

  152. Ataune says:

    There are voices here that are unwisely arguing for moves toward extreme positions, either give up under pressure or double-down and go nuclear. In my opinion, in the current political context and from Iran’s national interest perspective, the IRI leadership has still the optimal policy vis-a-vis the Anglo-American aggressive push: stick to your principle, preserve the most and loose the least. This is completely in tune with Iranian’s cultural and religious millenarian mentality and will ultimately win the battle of the wills. An improbable hot war being the unpredictable factor for both protagonists.

  153. Smith says:

    kooshy says:
    November 20, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    That is so true. The most important thing is to be able to think for one self instead of being brain washed by the “master races”. Those who can think are free. Those who get scared are doomed to perpetual slavery of themselves and their unborn children for the benefit of the “master superior race”.

  154. Smith says:

    Fully agreed. Lets see what comes out of it. Every thing has its side effects though.

  155. Nasser says:

    A good article from Professor Walt. An excerpt:

    “By the way, lurking underneath the Establishment consensus on foreign-policy activism is the most successful Jedi mind trick that the American right ever pulled. Since the mid-1960s, American conservatism has waged a relentless and successful campaign to convince U.S. voters that it is wasteful, foolish, and stupid to pay taxes to support domestic programs here at home, but it is our patriotic duty to pay taxes to support a military establishment that costs more than all other militaries put together and that is used not to defend American soil but to fight wars mostly on behalf of other people. In other words, Americans became convinced that it was wrong to spend tax revenues on things that would help their fellow citizens (like good schools, health care, roads, and bridges, high-speed rail, etc.), but it was perfectly OK to tax Americans (though of course not the richest Americans) and spend the money on foreign wars.”

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/04/04/is_america_addicted_to_war?page=0,0

  156. Nasser says:

    Smith says November 20, 2012 at 2:01 pm,

    Bravo.

    Iran has not only suffered from WMD attacks but has been repeatedly threatened with nuclear weapons and mass murder.

    - Iranians have been the greatest victims of WMDs after the Japanese but couldn’t even get a UN resolution condemning those atrocities.
    - President Chirac of France explicitly threatened to “raze Tehran.”
    - The United States constantly threatens Iran with war and has repeatedly stated that all options including the use of nuclear weapons are on the table. And we have all heard the comments from Ms. Obliterator in Chief and Mr. Bush.
    - The Israelis made similar threats.
    - Elchibey of Azerbaijan and the Taliban strongly voiced their intentions of nuking Iran. Yes they didn’t have nukes but the bad intentions were there and just goes to show you Iran has lots of enemies that mean to do her harm and commit mass murder of her citizens.

    Couple this with the fact that many of Iran’s neighbors are nuclear armed and have tense relations with Iran.

    And, as you so rightly state Iran has been so thoroughly demonized in the media that nobody would speak out against the mass slaughter of her civilians.

    Given all this, not building nukes would be a grave strategic mistake and the height of irresponsibility for Iran.

    That is why I say physical security comes first. A modest arsenal of say ten or so 10-kiloton nukes would grant Iran that security. One should separate the “must have” from “nice to have.” In my opinion a small arsenal of deliverable nukes is a must have for Iran. Everything else comes later. Then Iran can play around and experiment with stuff all it wants. Build whatever fancy toys and “advanced civilization” or whatever the hell else after you have taken care of the absolute essentials.

  157. kooshy says:

    Smith says:
    November 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    That was a good analogy

    Iranians will need to be ready to identify and confront them especially when they try to hide themselves in-between them. This is very common in the western Iranian studies academia circles, where usually Iranians are identified as Persians in real term their intention is to alienate half of the Iranians, or when they try to separate the Iran of before Islam and Iran of after Islam, Iranians have to constantly remind their audience that there has been and is only one Iran. Some westerners believe they can make Iranians scared enough to submit to their demands, these are the fools who have no idea of Iranian mentality of identifying themselves with Hazrat Amir, Imam Husain and Rostam and in the same time enjoy the (Gol-o-Bolbol) flower and canary. My father use to tell me, if you want to know how complex Iran is you just need to look at the tiles work in a mosque or the design of the Iranian carpets, that is how interwoven they are the westerners have no conceptual mentality for understanding complexity of the Iranian culture even in academic Iranian studies circles. Is hard to make a westerner understand that a poet to Iranians is like a painter in the west, the difference is that he uses the words to paint a war seen, a landscape, or glorifying portrait of a leader, the difference is that the poet has more colors to work with and the background music comes in the painting.

  158. truthteller says:

    @James Canning
    “The US dollar gets stronger if crisis in the Persian Gulf develops.”

    not likely, dollar was weakened after the 1973 oil crisis, in fact the fear of a dollar collapse triggered a gold/silver bubble that ended in 1980.
    This time, the US economy and US dollar is much weaker than in 1973, an oil shock will cause the US bond market to market to crack.

  159. SanMan says:

    I will never buy that argument that it will cause other countries to go nuclear, because the whole point of the game is to take out not just 1 but multiple countries. Dont just bomb Iran bomb all the muslims

  160. SanMan says:

    The one good thing if Israel does take them out we wont have to hear about them being called Aryans anymore (and for that reason I support the complete annihilation of Iran but hope they have a nuke for Israel as well).

  161. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Yes, that is why the government is trying to impose a certain amount of structure in Qum; trying to get the Hawza organized along the lines that might some day become a sort of quais-Vatican.

    That is because the Islamic Republic, with its Supreme Jurisprudent, cannot permit its rulings be challenged by any upstart mullah; be he an ayatollah or a mere hojjat al Islam.

    The chaotic system of Islamic Legal Opinion cannot be permitted to harm the state of the Shia.

  162. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    The late Benito Mussolini, the man who started his political life as a socilaist newspaper man, once observed that there are 2 kinds of countries; Bourgeois and Proletarian.

    The Western states, for the better or for worse, lack Tao/Balance.

    They want to turn the entire world into Proletariat working for thme.

    That possibility died with World War I.

    The global devolution of power from Western states to their periphery and the spread of the knowledge of empirical sciences – both abstract and applied – are making it impossible to maintain that level of dominance any longer.

    And lastly, the non-Europeans do not believe that Europeans “Know=better” – they cannot be ruled by foreigners; no one wants that anymore.

  163. BiBiJon says:

    Leave NPT, build a bomb, leave UN, build a giant spaceship and leave planet earth
    ==============================================================================

    When UNSC failed to condemn Saddam’s use of chemical weapons, was it time for Iran to leave the UN?

    Does today’s flagrant double standards for applying safeguard agreements justify leaving NPT?

    Do unchecked aggression by US and/or her lackeys require a nuclear deterrent?

    ———–

    The answer depends on how angry you are. And, if sufficiently livid, then thank god it ain’t you who sets policy.

  164. Smith says:

    “He says if we scrap our missile plans, he will get us a spot on Jay Leno….” and then bomb us to death.

  165. kooshy says:

    A comment by Dong in MOA with regard to “Basically they’re just pipes” my guess is that the pipes without the load are fired to overwhelm the ID system, is a cheap effective way to have the enemy fire a 100K anti rocket missile.

    “This comment taken from another thread is interesting.

    “Counter-measures against this system should be easy to cook up. Launch a few dummy rockets that spread chaff and paint your real rockets with radar-absorbing charcoal and watch the multi-million dollar defense system fail. In fact, for Hamas this works out great. Instead of getting hit with a ground invasion right away they can test their new missiles for longer periods of time to figure out possible counter measures. Iron dome can’t last forever, it’s too expensive.” –IanBortner
    Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19, 2012 3:35:40 PM | 13”

  166. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You overlook the fact the American public were deceived by neocon warmongers, into thinking Iraq posed a “threat”. And you overlook this fact because you seem to be aware you are trying to help those same neocon warmongers deceive the American public about Iran.

  167. Smith says:

    Neo says:
    November 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Funny. West does not need a cause or a point or an excuse to bomb a few million of homo sapiens sapiens. I assume you have just arrived on planet earth from a long intergalactic time travel so, you are not know what has been happening on this planet for the past several centuries. The entire genetic lines were wiped off the planet by the west. Not only of homo sapiens sapiens but also of other species as well. The western civilization thinks of itself as “exceptional”. It means it does not consider itself as part of the rest of universe. It thinks of itself as above it.

    Iraq was no threat to US in military terms. But then we got a million Iraqis dead and millions more tortured in places like AbuGharib. I guess your old space ship did not have internet connectivity so you were out of touch, when US termed Iran, the Axis of evil along with Iraq and then invaded Iraq.

    It is so easy for the powerful side to forget about its irrationality. Because the guys who are going to pay the ultimate price for that irrationality are the weak ones, the defenseless ones. Of course Iran is not irrational and that is not the question. The question is if US will remain rational with regard to Iran and when the US goes crazy over made up lies as in the case of Iraq, how many million Iranians have to die? Three million, Five million or maybe 13 million. What is your guess?

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

    At the end the world has changed since the time of Gandhi. Iranians have now to decide whether they will want the Iranians being born in Iran today to live in a peaceful and secured Iran or an Iran under continuous threat whether by American nukes or Pakistani nukes or many other nukes in the world.

    It is good to play pacifist and reject nuclear weapons. But Iran is not Denmark. It is not living in Europe. It does not have a powerful family with nuclear weapons who will protect the non-nuclear Denmark and is not party to a nuclear armed treaty like NATO. Infact the last time Iran was being bombed by WMD’s thar made in Germany and France, to the point that Iran has the largest number of victims of WMD’s after Japan, no body came to Iran’s rescue. Iranians had to suffer silently. If Iran got nuked by any number of countries with nuclear weapons out there. No body will protect Iran. Not Denmark and not China.

    Your examples are faulty. Pakistan is allowing that to happen. In fact as per reports, US embassy in Pakistan has an air force department inside it staffed with US and Pakistani air force officials who coordinate all the drone attacks so that Pakistani air force does not mistakenly shoot down a US drone and creates an international diplomatic mess. And Iran is not Israel. Gaza is not inside Iran. Use google to search for it. Ah, Google is a search engine working in an internet browser environment, that is if you did not know about it after after your time travel.

    The price of not leaving NPT and building nukes is millions of Iranians dead. Just turn on your TV and see how demonized Iranians have become. The media is preparing the world for a mass slaughter of Iranians on a gigantic genocidal ethnic cleansing operation. Yes, Iranians will suffer abit economically by building nukes but if Iranians do not, the price is not going to be a slowed economic growth but in millions of liters of human blood spilled amid ruins of Iranian infrastructure. If that is a price acceptable to Iranians for being pacifists then ok. But if not then they better have the nukes by 2014 when US military gets free from Afghanistan.

    It is very unfortunate but the only thing that keeps peace is nuclear tipped ICBM’s. A few weeks ago a genocide was going on in Myanmar. Now US is president is there shaking hands with perpetrators of that genocide. The same US president who refused to talk to Ahmadinejad after 2009 election riots. US/EU had a chance to promote peace after Soviet Union was gone. They instead chose to play the superior race thing with nuclear weapons in hand and the world’s biggest conventional military. Iran is better be careful, because it is the next in line. The list will go on of course but right now Iran is the very next target.

    Other countries should also think about their strategies. Brazil, Argentine, Japan, South Africa etc etc. They have the capability. And they might not be currently on the list or might be very low in that list. But they should be worried from now on.

    US is going crazy. UN is dead and nobody will save them when their time comes up. In fact if Iran is today nuked, my guess, is that more than four dozen countries will start up their nuclear weapons program immediately and they will be successful since US will not be able to stop the whole world going nuclear. That is the primary reason, why US has not yet nuked Iran, otherwise Bush had played with nuclear bunker busters and Britain had proposed to use neutron bombs on Iran and France had threatened to nuke the city of Tehran. The only thing that stopped them was the fact that the whole world will feel unsecured and will develop nuclear weapons to protect themselves from the “superior races”.

  168. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    I agree with you Obama has clearly signaled he wants a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute with Iran.

    I think FYI’s pride will not allow him to recognise Iran must make a deal with the P5+1, even if it has to be one where “sufficient” explicitly stated returns are not obtained at the outset.

  169. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Would you argue that the Portuguese are not “Aryans”?

    Are you claiming that Persians and Azeris are the same?

    Are you arguing in effect that the Georgians are not Caucasians (as that term is understood in Europe)? Armenians?

  170. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “So lets start calling them siren-inducing-flying-pipes, and then discuss how much payload is necessary.”

    That’s like the Weathermen back in the ’60′s, who vowed not to blow up people, just structures (except for the time they blew themselves up.)

    No one took them seriously either. You only get taken seriously when you KILL people.

    I’ve read a couple article over the last couple days explaining how Hamas wants peace so they can consolidate their political power vs. Fatah. In other words, as I said, once they become the government, they bend over for Israel, just like Fatah did.

    The Palestinians have forgotten that the only time Israel ever even considered “negotiating” was when Israeli civilians were being blown up frequently. Had the Palestinian targets been leading Zionists, Israel would have negotiated more quickly.

    Now Israel has ZERO reason to negotiate because there’s no threat at all.

    Supposedly there are 15,000 THOUSAND Gazans involved in this ridiculous “pipe-laying” exercise. It’s basically a “welfare program for incompetent terrorists” and a PR exercise to establish the lie that Hamas is really committed to freeing Gaza from Israeli domination.

    It’s a joke.

  171. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    The government of South Africa was not contemplating using nukes within South Africa. That would have been insane.

  172. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 19, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    Well, you are true about the disorganization thing in Iran but there are deeper cultural reasons. Iranians have always had disdain for authority of any kind including the positive one. It comes from the old Shia ideology that all authorities are unlawful. Of course if Iran is to build a new civilization then a cultural engineering will be needed to increase efficiency.

  173. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 19, 2012 at 11:21 pm

    Come on. Why did you say that? Let me have fun with these people. I am just part of their therapy helping them to come out of their “humane” shell and be themselves. One is obsessed with trying to prove that Iranians are “Aryans” and thus should not be afraid of getting nuked by other Aryans. As if a country that was less Aryan should not have nuclear technology or is a fair game to be nuked. The other is even more arrogant. He wants to nuke Iran to prevent Iranians thinking about going nuclear.

    At the bottom they do not want any one else to be their equal. They want all of this world for themselves. Iranians should just accept them as superior. That is their end line of their philosophy. One is trying to play nice in “British snobby way” and says: “Iranian should not have nuclear weapons. Period. Preposterous.” The other one is jumpy and says: “We will nuke you if you try to be our equal. And if you do not try to be our equal we will bomb you to wasteland. And if you do not resist the bombing, just watching as the whole infrastructure is destroyed, then Iranians at the end will “win”. Now it is funny. It is just a rapist while raping a victim telling her not to resist and let herself to be destroyed because at the end she is going to “win”. And if she resists then my goodness, she is going to be nuked. Are you scared now?

  174. James Canning says:

    Sineva,

    Obviously an aspect of the “black” taking of power in South Africa, supported by many countries around the planet, was that there would be no nukes.

    Smith argues that Iranians are in effect obliged to feel “racially inferior” if Iran does not build nukes.

  175. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you arguing that Pakistan poses a “threat to state cohesion” of Iran?

  176. James Canning says:

    truthteller,

    The US dollar gets stronger if crisis in the Persian Gulf develops.

  177. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 19, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Well, if you look at Khomeini through the eyes of a believer then yeah, your point is understandable and that might indeed be how Khomeini saw it himself.

    But from a geo-political stand point looking through with no religious colored glasses, what I said makes more sense. Iran is trying to build a sophisticated civilization based on Islam by using adaptive intellectualism. Only through this theory you can explain the behavior of Iran after the revolution in geo-political terms.

    The Ummah actually is misused and abused word in Islamic cultures. The Ummah has been killing each other since its creation. If Iran wanted to part of Ummah then it would have to do away from its project of building a civilization both sophisticated and Islamic. The Ummah you are talking about can either join this civilization or alternatively can remain well, the ummah. As they are today.

  178. Smith says:

    truthteller says:
    November 20, 2012 at 3:52 am

    Well that or the other. A great chess game is being played here. Let’s see what comes out of it.

  179. Smith says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 19, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Your answer was so moronic that it does not need a reply but I will clarify some points here for you. As I told you, without clear understanding of game theory you will be just a banana trying to solve a problem in calculus. So go and study the game theory for the next couple of years and then come here and opine. Before that your rants are not worthy of a reply.

    1- You are trying to play crazy. Your repetition of “Nuke Iran, Nuke Iran” will not get you anywhere. Well, in game theory it has its benefits, but something tells me Iranians can play crazier than you so you will never be able to defeat Iran by going crazy. Actually Shia Islam glorifies death over life. I do not think you can go crazier than that. Again go and read the game theory specially its application to the nuclear deterrence.

    2- It is relevant to Iran, since China, Russia, Pakistan and North Korea have nuclear weapons and in one way or another are all close to Iran.

    3- Iran is not lying. The same way, US was not lying when it was developing nuclear weapons. Iran is just securing the interests of its children so that they do not get bombed and their intestines spilled out of their small belly on the side walk by American bombs. At any rate, US has told many more lies. The last one resulted in the killing of a million Iraqis.

    4- Actually Iranians do not agree with you at all. The “soft power” you talk about is only debated in west. In Iran they do not talk in those terms. Iranian debate is always centered around resistance and not soft power. Iran is not Sweden.

    Iran will not be attacked if it gets the nukes. If it does not or if it stops its nuclear program, it will definitely be attacked. It is guaranteed. The historical precedence is there for every one to see. US never has gone to war with nuclear armed nations even those who had just a couple of them. But it has literally killed millions of people in defenseless countries.

    5- US can never take away the nukes from any nation. Once a nation gets the nukes, its security against pre-emptive wars and US invasion is guaranteed. US military even could not take out 52 hostages from inside Iran, how in the hell it is going to extract 52 nuke tipped ICBM’s? Surely you are kidding or trying to play crazy to scare Iranians into submission. I highly doubt Iranians are scared of you.

    6- You are assuming that Iranians are just gonna sit while US bombs them and the Iranian women running around in the street beating their chest in front of BBC and CNN cameras as it has happened in Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza etc etc. Well, Iranians know that these humiliating scenes will be recorded in Iran, if they do not go nuclear. Without nuclear weapons, Iran will not have any security whatsoever.

    7- Actually, you should read the novel “crash of ’79″. In that novel, the writer who is very anti-Iranian actually, proposes a novel idea. It tells the story that if Iran builds “boosted nuclear weapons” and then upgrade them to “salted nuclear weapons” using nickel then Iran can waste more than half of the world’s oil reserves, putting to end the industrial economy of the world. It is crazy but then so is the idea of nuking Iran.

    8- This is actually the most relevant part of the discussion. US does not have it anymore: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-w-8fXzwQE

    Watch this too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID4xay5RITY&feature=relmfu

    PS. At the end I must remind you that your behavior only proves that a nation like Iran must go nuclear. Your craze and mental instability only highlights the fact that if tomorrow a noe-nut or a nazi leader take over US, then Iran will go to hell. The only that can stop such a scenario is if Iran has nukes. It does not end there either. If tomorrow US gets into a domestic political turmoil or suffers an economic melt down, crazy US leaders might think, it would be a good idea to deflect the local problems and go to war invading a country like Iran and beating the hell out of them, raping their girls, killing their babies and torturing their men. US history is full of such instances. And the only thing that can stop this is Iranian nuclear ICBM’s working as deterrent against any craziness that might develop.

    If something is good for Americans, so is for Iranians. Homo Sapiens Sapiens do not have any superiority to each other.

    A 3 minute video explaining your psychology in context of your domestic history: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipujWRYUjS4

  180. Karl... says:

    RSH,

    Sure americans support Israel no matter what and due indoctrination, but the approval/support is quite “low” on this issue, its about 55%, if one checked earlier polls the approval have been much higher.

  181. BiBiJon says:

    Is religion a factor?
    ====================

    A mere 10 years ago, it was the bad Iraqi Sunnis. All of a sudden, starting in 2006/7 it became bad Shiites. Ghaddafi was the toasted one, before being the roasted one, etc.

    When I see people discussing the minutia of the differences between their respective ‘sect’ identities, I want to dance a jig to celebrate the end of the ‘big’ struggle, which has allowed the luxury of time for such mundane quibbles.

    According to Dr. Chandra Muzaffar:

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article37629.html

    “Unfortunately, there are very few Muslim majority states that are prepared to stand up for Iran. If they are silent, it is because a number of them are close allies of the US and will not want to antagonise the US in any way. Others are afraid of the repercussions if they take Iran’s side. In fact, non-Muslim states such as Cuba and Venezuela have been far more vocal in their defence of Iran in the midst of all the reckless allegations about its nuclear weapons programme. Their expression of solidarity proves yet again that in the struggle for truth and justice, it is not one’s religious affiliation that is the decisive factor.”

    [snip]

    “the prejudiced portrayal of Muslims and Islam in the media serves the interests of the centers of power in the West. When Palestinians resist Israeli occupation and aggression, it is in the interest of the occupier and its allies in Washington, London, Paris and Berlin to project the victim as the wrongdoer, ever ready to commit violence. Likewise, when the hegemon invaded Iraq for its oil, the mainstream media camouflaged the real motive for the invasion by highlighting that monstrous lie concocted by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and former US President, George Bush, about Saddam Hussein’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). It is lies like this pedalled by the media that sully the image of Muslims. Anyone who resists US led hegemony is demonised: Muammar Gaddafi became a mass murderer of tens of thousands of his own citizens — a gross exaggeration— because he stood in the way of the NATO-led operation to usurp Libya’s oil wealth. Today, Bashar al-Assad of Syria is projected in the media as a bloodthirsty monster — another falsehood— because he has chosen to defend the sovereignty and independence of his country in the face of a concerted attempt by Western powers and their West Asian allies to oust him through military force so that a pliant regime that dances to their tune can be installed in Damascus.”

  182. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 19, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    “Basically they’re just pipes”.

    Actually, they’ve always been flying pipes, which western press likes to call “rockets.”

    But, given their completely unpredictable flight path, the flying pipes have had but one purpose: raising the sound of sirens.

    So lets start calling them siren-inducing-flying-pipes, and then discuss how much payload is necessary.

  183. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The ignorant, brainwashed US electorate weighs in…

    Poll: Majority of Americans say Israel’s Gaza offensive is justified
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/poll-majority-of-americans-say-israel-s-gaza-offensive-is-justified-1.479087

  184. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Looks like someone tried to get Israel to attack Lebanon…

    Lebanese army dismantles rockets aimed at Israel
    http://www.thestate.com/2012/11/19/2526150/lebanese-army-dismantles-rockets.html

  185. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Having David Ignatius agreeing with me is somewhat unsettling… On the other hand, with his connections in the US government, he may have heard something. Or he could just be blowing the usual Israeli propaganda smoke… Hard to tell.

    Israel using Gaza as “warm-up” round for Iran?
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57551572/israel-using-gaza-as-warm-up-round-for-iran/

  186. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Baloch militancy resurfaces in Iran
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/NK21Df02.html

  187. truthteller says:

    @smith

    Hamas never really bailed on syria, they have always maintained a line of communication with Assad and Iranian, of course they can’t really be seen by the arabs as supporting Assad, so they have to pay lip service to the opposition.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-11/06/c_131954943.htm

  188. M. Ali says:

    Persian Gulf, “Iran’s population has not been bombarded with anti-Sunni propaganda, at least not at the time of IR, while in part of of Sunni middle east that is clearly the case. the exception may be Turkey. the Sunni world somehow sees Shia people with contempt. you cannot deny this. ”

    On the whole, I actually do agree with what you say. However, my point is that as a minority group, we Sunnis have to take the most steps in reconcillation, so the burden should be on us, not the Shias. I have no issues with the way Shias handle the Sunnis in Iran. Its frankly much better than if it was vise versa. I have no sympathy for Sunni shiekhs that give anti-Shia speeches in Sunni mosques in Iran, and then when they are arrested, the sunni community cry foul. Its the Sunni’s duty to thread the line.

    But, on an international scale, I’m only argueing that its the opposite. I don’t expect the Sunnis to take huge strides towards the Shias. I would like a smart, diplomatic, “moozi” Iran that has the full Islamic world embrace it. And they would, because Iran is hitting everything right on Islamic front (values, self-rule, democratic, independant, etc, etc), but its just this sect difference that keeps the layman slightly away.

    Finally, I do agree that Sunnism is intellectually dead. In Sunnism, there is no progress, there’s just the Sunnat of the Prophet, lets mimic it, that’s done, everyone go home. However, I don’t want to turn this into a thealogical discussion, but in social viewpoint, while there is no fire of progress in Sunnism, I also don’t like two aspects of Shiaism, the full attention on People (Ali, Fatima, Zohreh, the Imams, etc) which I think makes us a nation of people that turns everyone into idols for us to worship (Shah, Khomeini, Cyrus, Ali Daei, etc) due to habit of the religion, and its victimhood mentality (Ali was the victim, Hossein was the victim, multiple of Imams being the victim, etc) has made Iran a society that blames all their woes on external forces.

  189. truthteller says:

    The only thing needed to cause a collapse of the US treasury bond market is something like an oil shock

    http://www.itulip.com/forums/showthread.php/showthread.php?p=238438#poststop

  190. fyi says:

    The Leveretts:

    The imperial impulse was present in the Colonies prior to 1776.

    However, it was kept in check.

    Once the anti-Federalists were defeated in 1864, the imperial impulse faced no constraints on it; the Federalists had won the day.

    That is why John Hay descibed the Spanish-American War – the precursor of Iraq – as “a splendid little war”.

    This impulse cannot be combatted on rational grounds; it will have to exhaust itself through the usual process of imperial overstretch.

    That time has evidently not come yet.

    About the only thing that can be done is to try to nudge it this way or that way – if at all possible.

  191. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    You are correct that the Sunni/Shia divide had existed since the advent of Islam.

    But the division was used for political gains by Teymur the Lame, Ottoman Empire, Safavid Empire, and Sheibanian Kingdom for several hundred years.

    That meant, in practice, that for example, the Ulema in Transoxania would issue fatwa declaring Shia to be Heretics and thus their Life, Property, and Families were halal to the Sunni armies of Central Asia.

    Ottoman Empire fell becuase they failed to create an Ottoman nationality; Islam by itself was evidently not sufficient.

    Safavids, on the other hand, helped usher in a new ethnos – in the sense of the late Lev Gumilev – when they combined Shia Islam and the idea of (Ancient) Iran. The Safavids were the ones who went and gave money to itinerant stroy-tellers to recite the stories of Shahnameh.

    Todoay, that ethnos, considers itself to be the inheritors of the Ancient Iran.

    [There is a lot of similarity in this area of comparison between Israel and Iran, in fact.]

    In regards to the late Mr. Khomeini, you are wrong. Everything he did, he did for Islam. There was nothing that would prevent him from discharging what he believed to be his duty to Islam.

    He was proud to be Shia, and he was certain that that was the right path for all of Ummah – no doubt.

  192. fyi says:

    Neo says:

    November 19, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    The threat of loss of state cohesion and integrity is not from US primarily; it is from Iran’s now nuclearized neighbours.

  193. fyi says:

    Smith:

    You are correct, Iranians are not from the same race as the Nordic people of Northern Europe, including the Russ.

    They seem to be from an 11000-year old stock that spread West from the Iranian plateau to East and South Central Europe; closer to Ancient Elam.

    Iranians are emphatically not Aryans in the sense it is understood in Europe.

  194. fyi says:

    ToivoS says:

    November 19, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    I meant Mr. Sick’s comments and not yours.

    Mr. Khamenei today articulated a pre-condition of Iran: “No armaments to anti-government forces in Syria.”

    Let us see what the Axis Powers do.

  195. fyi says:

    nahid says:

    November 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

    The revolution in Iran is not over.

    It will take several more generations before that happens; looking at China, Russia, France, Cuba, Viet Nam, I should think 3 generations, 60 years, to be a minimum.

    In regards to Israel, religious Iranians – who became leaders of the Islamic Revolution – such as the late Mr. Khomeini, the late Mr. Bazargan, the late Mr. Taleqani, the late Mr. Mottahari, and very many others were opposed to the existence of Israel – the usurper of Arab and Muslim lands.

    I think the artilces in Iranian Constitution regarding Justice – a perennial concern of Iranians must be understood as a lofty goal, a direction (like that of a Compass) to provide guidence for the state and its policies.

    Those articles are not policy by themselves and should not be so construed – in my opinion.

    As a guide to policy, Iranains have been consistent in applying it but not with identical policy instruments.

    In Lebanon in 1982, they saved the Shia by actively intervening in Lebanon; they were not going to let a community with whom Iran has had a 500-years long relationship with ties of religion and blood be destroyed by Israel.

    That intervention and aide, supplied during Iran-Iraq War, paid for itself when Lebanon became a de facto Iranian allie.

    In South Africa, in another case of Injustice, Iranains broke diplomatic relations with the Apartheid Regime, supported Mr. Mandela and the ANC, and stopped selling oil to that country.

    In Afghanistan, Iranians supported the Mudjahedin against what they saw as the Unjust Communist Government.

    In this case, they paid a heavy price for the Communist Government of Dr. Najibullah, had been the best government that Afghanistan had. This was a big mistake for Iranians.

    In Palestine, a grave Injustice has been committed and Iranian leaders and people cannot turn away from it. If they do that means that they are religious hypocrites.

    Now, all these costs to Iran, in my opinion, has also had benefits that were not apparent at the time when these expenditures were made.

    The chief immediate benefit has been that Iran is now capable of defending herself from outside of her borders, something necessary for her defense.

    On the other hand, Iranian leaders have garnered the credentials to speak on Palestine, on Neo-Salfi Extremism, on Justice, and on a New Global Order.

    Iranians should not remains within their own mental, intellectual, religious, or political borders – that would only bring atrophy and defeat; in my opinion.

  196. Persian Gulf says:

    M.Ali,

    I think you are misreading Shia people’s disdain for Sunni here. Based on my personal experiences, it’s actually the reverse one (among Iranian Sunnis and in the rest of Middle East’s Sunnis as well). Iran’s population has not been bombarded with anti-Sunni propaganda, at least not at the time of IR, while in part of of Sunni middle east that is clearly the case. the exception may be Turkey. the Sunni world somehow sees Shia people with contempt. you cannot deny this.

    and I am with “fyi” for Sunni Islam being too rigid and effectively incapable of dealing with the dilemma of modernity. as a Turkish friend, and philosopher, of mine used to say, the Sunni world is intellectually dead. and if there is any little hope, it’s in the Shia world no the Sunni one. even the revolutionary zeal is essentially present in the Shia Islam with the concept of Immam Hossein.

  197. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    November 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm
    Actually James it was the apartheid state that destroyed its own nuclear arsenal,around 5 gun type devices,so as not to have it fall into the hands of the “black” actually ANC government,personally I always had the suspicion that those weapons were meant to be used against the black populace if they ever revolted en masse.The only nation today whos situation mirrors apartheid SA to some degree would be israel

  198. Persian Gulf says:

    Pirouz says:
    November 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    “Cyrus, on many an occasion I pointed out to NIAC the counter-productive nature of their advocacy. But they wouldn’t listen. For many of these Iranian expats, it’s mostly about personal grudge and getting even. Those people really are part of the problem and not the solution….”

    I couldn’t agree more with you Pirouz. I think this guy, Trita Parsi, has delusion of grandeur. I am not really sure if he could communicate with Iranian people of northern Tehrani type more than just asking directions or time. yet, he was giving speech after speech about what Iranian people as a whole wanted and what was their true vote. it’s a shame to have these intellectually dishonest people like him as an advocate of Iran’s policy in Washington.

    Looking back at NIAC’s record after the election, there is no way one could trust these people to have a fig of Iran’s interest in their mind. I think money rules here. they are there, and get funding, for a reason. for them sanctions are ok as long as they can keep their organization and probably take few pics with the president of the U.S. frankly, if I see Parsi in person, I would spit on his face!

  199. fyi says:

    M.Ali says:

    November 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    You are correct that there is too much nitty-gritty discussion here; Shia and Sunni, in practical terms, are distinguished by their legalisms.

    Now some Shia practices are not endorsed by the 4-schools but those practices are not against Islam – they are a kind of spiritual exercises and beyond the reach of the Law.

    Everyone, including Jes, Christains, Jihadists, neo-salafis etc. are Muslims – this much is clear.

    The late Saeb Salam, converted to Shia because he wanted to make sure his only child – a girl – would inherit the most from him in the event of his death.

    I do not think he thought his (Sunni) relatives now considered him condemned to Hell.

    We do not know who is condemned to Hell; even in Christianity the only person condemned to Hell for certain is Judas.

    [I must confess that I feel personally that this makes no sense to me since clearly some one (Judas in fact) had to betray Jesus so that he could be crucified else the entire Creation would be Damned.

    I feel that Judas was the sacrificial lamb here. ]

  200. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 19, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I think that you are underestimating the degree of dis-organization in Iran.

    Iranians have been a chaotic people that are being beaten into becoming more organized (thanks to US and EU).

    It is very difficult to organized team-work in Iran; and collective action has been a fundamental challenge of that society.

    The Western states have much better organizational technology and thus higher labor productivity and efficiency.

    Just consider the road transportation fatalities in Iran, 5-th highest one in the world – accoridng to Iran’s own statistics. It is not because of poor vehicles or poor raods, its cause is the Iranian people who are not willing to conform to rules that protect lives.

    Iranians were elites in the way you descibe centuries ago, but they abused their position and God chastised them.

  201. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “There is always a trade-off between range and payload.”

    Not when one doesn’t HAVE a payload. Then one is just showing how stupid one is.

    These rockets were considered irrelevant even by Palestinian supporters in the past. Now that the same rockets are longer range – because other than the body itself, it can’t hurt anyone – we’re supposed to take them seriously? That just plays into the hands of the Israeli propaganda machine.

    The Israeli guy quoted in the piece said it all: “Basically they’re just pipes”.

    Given how many are being fired at Israel (assuming Israeli isn’t lying about how many), it means the Gazans are wasting hundreds of man hours making crap of no military value! This is just frickin’ stupid. There’s no other word for it.

  202. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Smith: “I guess you do not know anything about the game theory.”

    Yes, I do. It’s the “new bullshit” used to deflect rational thought by people who can’t answer facts…

    “1- As per western sources; Iran if ever decided can build nukes in two months time.”

    And they can’t deliver them in less than a couple of years. More than enough time to waste the entire country…

    “2- Most of the nuclear armed nations got their first nuclear weapons from other sources in the beginning of their nuclear program instead of producing it themselves”

    Which is relevant in Iran’s case how?

    “3- No nuclear armed nation ever came out and clearly said that they wanted nuclear weapons.”

    So you’re implying that Iran is lying when it says it doesn’t want and can’t use nukes? Fine, take it up with Khamenei. Has nothing to do with what I’ve said.

    “4- Nuclear weapons actually are very bad military weapons”

    Correct.

    “But they are the best diplomatic tools ever created by mankind.”

    Only for countries with enough of them to be considered a real threat. Which does not apply to Iran. And Iran has said as much. Again, take it up with Iran. The disagree with you. They believe their “soft power” approach is much more effective without nukes.

    “Iran will benefit greatly if it gets them.”

    Except it won’t get them, as I’ve said. It will be attacked before it can, and if it still manages to get them, it will be nuked. Iran is not Russia, China or even Pakistan.

    “Iran is only interested in defending itself. To do that, it only needs a dozen or a few dozen nukes. And in all probability, US is not going to spend all its 5000 nukes on Iran”

    See, now you’re just blowing pointless smoke. The US would need to use a couple of nukes to destroy the Iranian government and military. The US could launch those nukes from its own soil. Israel could do the same. Iran has no nukes, let alone “dozens”, and could not GET “dozens” before it was attack. It could not make “dozens” WHILE being attacked. And if it did, it would be nuked before they could be used.

    Not to mention once again that Iran has explicitly said it doesn’t need and doesn’t want them. So again, take it up with Khamenei.

    “By the way the number you quoted is wrong. US has more than 8000 nuclear weapons not 5000″

    Take it up with Ahmadinejad. He said it. And it doesn’t matter what the number is as long as it’s more than Iran – which was the point.

    “5- As for Ahmadinejad, no body cares what he says anymore.”

    Which is irrelevant to the point.

    “6- US has only attacked defenseless and weak countries. So the historical record does not support your view. In fact US has been extremely careful not to go to war with a nuclear armed nation or a nation that is very near to develop nuclear weapons.”

    There are only two countries that qualify for this statement: North Korea and Pakistan. BOTH countries have either a massive conventional military or a massive population. Only North Korea has been a clear enemy of the US. So the US has had no reason to attack Pakistan (other than fears over their nukes falling into Islamist hands.)

    So your argument reduces to one country which has the CONVENTIONAL ability to inflict massive casualties on any US invasion force without relying on its (probably mostly dud) nukes.

    All the other nuclear countries with which the US has been in conflict either maintain nuclear arsenals comparable to the US (Russia) or have enough nukes to be a serious threat (China) as well as a massive population.

    None of this applies to Iran.

    “India during the cold war used to be regarded as an enemy nation by US since they were not allied with US.”

    This is nonsense. India was never considered an “enemy” to the degree the US ever considered attacking it. You’re just making up nonsense now.

    “Pakistan was under severe US sanction in 1990’s for its support of terrorism and its nuclear program as well as human rights issues. Pakistan tested its first nuke in 1998, US never attacked Pakistan.”

    Yet. The fact is the US might very well attack Pakistan at some point, if for no other reason than to seize its nuclear weapons. That has been under consideration for some time. The main reason the US would not attack Pakistan is that it has a population around half the size of the US. Any attack on Pakistan would be a limited strike to seize the nukes. There is no other geopolitical reason for the US to attack Pakistan, although I wouldn’t put it past the neocons to come up with one.

    Since Pakistan cannot effectively use nukes against the US, the US would have no difficulty attacking Pakistan WITH nukes, if necessary. The same applies to Iran if it ever did acquire nukes.

    “Both Brazil and Argentine went to the brink of developing nukes (some say they actually did), US never attacked them.”

    This is just stupid. Under what reality would the US attack Brazil and Argentina with nukes, regardless of whether they had nukes.

    “Apartheid South Africa was under sanctions and developed nuclear weapons with US never attacking it.”

    Another stupid example. In what reality would white US have attacked black South Africa with nukes? Especially since they never really had them.

    Bottom line: Under what reality would the US nuke a country which is merely DEVELOPING nukes without actually HAVING them?

    You can’t argue that the US can’t attack a country with nukes when THEY DON’T HAVE NUKES. Let the country GET nukes and THEN be a threat to the US and see what happens, in particular when said country does not have ANY OTHER military assets to threaten the US with.

    All your examples are pathetic flailing with zero credibility. You should be embarrassed to make such an argument.

    “7- With nuclear weapons, Iran does not need to watch as its infrastructure is destroyed.”

    With nuclear weapons, Iran will see its infrastructure destroyed BEFORE it can get them – and if it did manage to get them, it would see its infrastructure destroyed WORSE BY NUKES.

    Seriously, this is your Game Theory? Still waiting for your Game Theory…

    “8-” As this is utterly irrelevant to the entire discussion, I’ll ignore it.

    In short, nothing you’ve said here is even remotely relevant to the reality of the relative situation between the US and Iran.

  203. ToivoS says:

    fyi says:
    November 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm
    ToivoS says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    “Those comments are irrelevant since they will be ignored.
    US policy is to wound Iran at any cost to any an all.”

    My comments and predictions are either accurate or not — they are certainly not irrelevant. You have been predicting quite the opposite results and I will grant the possibility that you could be correct.

    There have been a number of signals coming out of Washington since last Feb suggesting that the Obama admin wants to solve this problem with Iran. If those signals are correct, then the time to do something is now (or as soon as the latest act of Israeli aggression is over, they can delay things considerably).

  204. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You told R S Hack that Iran could build nukes secretly. Again, preposterous.

  205. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Do you think the Japanese are ashamed of their race, when they negotiate with China, because China has nukes? Preposterous.

    You seem to have difficulty grasping the fact Persians are Aryans.

  206. James Canning says:

    Reza Estandiari,

    Clearly, Roger Cohen at best blundered badly by arguing against US engagement with Iran because of issues or alleged issues related to the 2009 election.

    At worst, Roger Cohen colluded in scheme intended to block Obama’s genuine wish to engage with Iran.

  207. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    If you think Iran is “under threat of nuclear annihilation by tghe US and its allies”, you are living in cloud-cuckoo land.

    Why would the US have Boeing build so many colossal bunker-busting bombs (as heavy as a Mercedes Estate wagon), if the idea is to use nukes instead?

  208. Dan Cooper says:

    From the Palestinian perspective:

    What do you do………when you are under military occupation?

    what do you do………when you are controlled by gun and by force.

    what do you do………when the occupier controls your water, gas, electricity and food?

    What do you do…….. when you are imprisoned in your own land?

    What do you do……. when your electricity supply and other supplies are severely restricted by people outside of your territory?

    What do you do……. when you start to run out of food and water?

    What do you do……..when you go to work every day to be humiliated and intimidated or be held up at a check point?

    What do you do ……..when a Berlin type wall built to separate you from your family or from land that was once yours?

    What do you do……… when your back is up against the wall?

    What do you do……..when your father, mother, brother, sister or your children are blown to pieces in front of your eyes by Israel’s solders.

    What do you do…….when you have lost everything?

    You turn to suicide bombs and rockets and the only thing left in your life, your faith and the final act of martyrdom.

    If Israel did not occupy Palestine, and did not imprisoned, terrorized and murdered its population, she would not have received rockets.

    Palestinians and their democratically elected government Hamas have every right to self-defense.

    No government, indeed a democratically elected Hamas government, can stand by while its people are starved and murdered into submission.

    The occupation is violent, racist, inhumane, illegal, undemocratic, and immoral.

    The occupation is a crime and the perpetrator of this crime is not entitled to self-defense.

    In a sick attempt to brainwash the public opinion, the leaders of this apartheid state are still trying to portray that the aggressor (Israel) is the victim and entitled to self-defense!! how low and sick can you get.

  209. Neo says:

    my last comment was related to:

    Smith says: November 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Sorry for missing out your name Smith.

  210. Neo says:

    “Western military machine can bomb Iran back to stone age without ever setting foot on Iran.” What would be the point or cause of that? given the guaranteed political backlash after their ‘stone age’ bash, and the economic cost to the global economy, and regardless of whether they would dare set foot on Iran or anywhere near it after such a treat, what could possibly bring about this ‘end of days’ kind of attack? only an irrational mind would attempt this precisely because Iran is no threat whatsoever to the US in military terms. Quite the opposite. Iran helped the US campaigns in both Afghanistan and Iraq. After all, why refuse the likely outcome?

    Point is, it would be wrong to assume either side of this standoff to be That irrational. i would agree that the US has certainly acted irrationally since all talk of sole superpower-hood clouded its perspective, following an ideologically dislocating divorce from the USSR. But not That irrationally. More likely, it’s the kind of scenario or risk that intelligent analysts would ponder at length. I’d say this is an example of an occupational hazard. Some obvious fundamentals can be ignored in the search for scenarios or risks. If anything, history of the past few decades shows that the US is simply unwilling to engage Iran directly while Iran too has largely avoided any conflict with the US. I don’t think Israel has any real influence in this either. Its remaining influence is receding too.

    Regarding the NPT, I’m not surprised that a growing number of Iranians want Iran to acquire the weapons. They are angry. But the leaders don’t appear to hold that position. I tend to think that there is no net advantage in making the bomb. I know people assume that Iran wouldn’t be attacked if we had nukes, but take a look at Pakistan. Or even Israel. Its enemies are too close for the bombs to be of any use while the greatest threat to Israel’s existence comes from within Palestine, and the Palestinians are winning the demographic war, which is the real game changer. Nukes make no difference to such existential issues.

    They do make a difference in inter-state warfare. But Ahmadinejad was right when he questioned the rationality of having a couple of nuclear warheads against enemies with hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of them. the price of catching up with that is simply not worth it. Best to try and neutralise them through legal binds such as the NPT. So why leave the NPT? You will acquire the capability anyhow, just in case it becomes imperative, as it might. But it isn’t now. So why make the evil, expensive, volatile things?

  211. Smith says:

    M.Ali says:
    November 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    One thing more. Shias are literally being killed in Sunni countries almost daily specially in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan. So it is natural for Shias all over the world who consider Iran to be their protector to expect the Iranian Shias to react to their suffering. So part of what you are describing has actually roots outside of Iran. But that is just reactionism. For true cause of the situation refer to my previous post.

  212. Smith says:

    M. Ali says:
    November 19, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I fully understand what you are saying. I have experience of the situation you are describing. It is not acceptable. But let me analyze it for you, what is going on here. It is complex, but hey so is Iranian thinking.

    Iran is not the nanny of Hamas, Palestinians, sunnis or even Arabs for that matter. In fact Iran could care less what happens there. The reason Iran is sustaining its support for them, is not because of Iranian public’s love for Palestinian children. Realpolitik is as cold as steel. It has no feeling and Iran is playing realpolitik the classic style. In fact if you ever go and talk to the most illiterate Iranian on street, they will tell you that the suffering of Palestinians is their own fault since they gave in to colonial occupation and then they sold their land to foreigners for a couple of shiny British Sterling Pound bank notes, similar to this one: http://numismundi.com/images/616.jpg

    It was the Arabs themselves who brought in the colonialists by siding with the colonial forces fighting against the Ottoman empire. The Ottoman empire itself was Sunni and sufi in nature, but was very moderate and was secular in most of its nature. The Sunnis that rose against Ottoman empire and fought shoulder to shoulder with western colonialists were actually fundamentalist sunnis belonging to Deobandi/Salafi/Wahabi school of thought. The Palestinian people today do not have any choice. They might even hate Iranian Shias and vice versa. The Deobandi/Salafi/Wahabi who today dominate the sunni world will never help people like Palestinians simply because it is against their ideology to do so and having been loyal allies with western powers for more than a century. The rest of Sunnis are secular and actually do not care at all about what happens to Islam in general or to Palestine specifically. That is why you never hear anything from the world’s largest sunni country, Indonesia.

    Now some points to remember here so that the rest of my comment becomes intelligible to you and the rest. Since I am myself not a religious person, I will try my best to be respectful to religion of all not only Islamic ones but also my utmost respect to Christian and Judaism among others.

    1- Shia/Sunni divide has existed as long as Islam itself. But unlike sects in Christianity, their difference is not about the fundamental ideological grounds of Islam. For example they do not have any difference over the prophet/book or the nature of God or number of gods. Their difference is in succession of who should rule Islam. Quite ironic, isn’t it?

    2- Except for Deobandi/Wahabi/Salafi ideology which are new and were formed under British supervision and have always been allied with Britain and its allies no other sunni in his right mind would challenge Shia as being non-muslims. Similarly except for the misled Shias you mentioned, no Shia would ever claim that sunnis would go to hell. In fact, the Shia ulema have unanimously announced through ages that even Umar and Abubakr can not be termed as non-muslims. They might have erred but that is for God to judge. In reality Shia is very similar to Catholicism, in the fact that the individual Shia, the common guys that you mentioned can not open their mouth and opine on religious issues at all. As per Shia Islam only the Ayatollah is authorized to do that. Individualism in Shia is considered a sin. So when confronted with such ignorant people, challenge them with this line: “Bring a ruling from a major Ayatollah saying that Sunnis will go to hell”. They cant. Since there is no such ruling.

    3- Shia Islam was never political. It was a sect for self suffering type. Much similar to the Christianity in its first centuries. The Shias would quietly suffer and take pride in that suffering. They would never voice any political opinion. Now, this does not mean they did not have any political opinion. They did, but they were not allowed to voice it. The situation continued for 13 centuries until Khomeini put forward his new theorem for Shia. Iran being almost 90% Shia, erupted. 13 centuries of wait and patience boiled over and spilled. Pahlavi dynasty was the unfortunate ruling class at the time who had to confront it. But this force was in the making and had to eventually come out whether in their dynasty or another.

    4- Sunni Islam had ruled all the Islamic world since forever. Since Islam was born right till the death of Ottoman empire. But at the end, it could not adopt to modern world. The world of technology. They had two choices, to be like Taliban or to be “secular sunnis” like Turks. The reason for this non-adoption was because of the way sunni Ulema functioned. They lacked the interpretation tools to create new ideologies that could compete in the modern world. The same “almost” happened with Shia sect.

    The Shia Juhala in those days, tried their best to battle modernism the same way as Sunnis. And the Iranian ruling elite (Reza Shah) tried to beat them the same way as Ataturk. But then something strange happened with Shia Islam. Some very educated Ayatollahs emerged like Beheshti. These folks had extreme command over western modern philosophy as well as Shia ideology. Then amidst these modern Ayatollahs, emerged Khomeini who basically altered the whole concept of Shiaism. He had seen that vacuum you are talking about. He saw the opportunity for Shia to come forward and take the leadership of the Islam. But then he went even further and constructed his theory not for leadership of the Islamic world but the whole world.

    At the time there were some scholars in Sunni Islam too, eg. the famous Egyptian Sayyid Qutb. But Khomeini rejected their ideologies as backward and chose to make his own. Those Sunni scholars died and their ideology could not go further than in Alqaida books. Khomenis ideology had to be inclusive and capable of taking in people who were not Muslims to begin with eg. Galloway, Chavez etc. The sunni ideologies lacked this. They were narrow minded. Who would have thought 50 years ago, that a member of British parliament some day would run a program in a Shia Islamic Iran and bad mouth British system of governance. This was something Sunni ulema could not pull off: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WkA8mhjuBs

    Now to the reality of the analysis:

    This might sound crazy, but that is how it is. Iran does not need Muslim world, Hamas or Saudi Arabia. Khomeini never envisioned for Shia to lead Sunnis or the rest of Islamic world. His theory basically is not based on such grounds. Iran could care less if people in Afghanistan were desperate for a leader. You might ask why Iran would not want to be the leader of Islamic world? Very simple, because Iran does not want that responsibility. Why should Iran slow itself by dragging a whole bunch of people who would never in a million years accept Shias as their leader. So instead Khomeini thought of something better. He was really a genius political theoretician.

    He basically put his bets on that, in a modern technological world, no sunni ideology would have traction since the sunni ulema did not have the tools to modify their ideology towards a religion responsive to modern world and modern political systems. Then he proposed a modern Shia state based on Shia ideology. Basically his vision was for a very powerful and modern Shia pole to emerge. Let’s say, an Iran that could build planes, moon going rockets and nuclear weapons. He knew at the time that Iran does not have such a capability. In fact he had said in one of his speeches in 1980′s that he does not expect his followers today to build fighter planes but he urged them to do so later on. In an orthodox sunni state like Afghanistan of Taliban or Saudi Arabia, things are different and I do not need to clarify how.

    In an orthodox Shia state like current Iran, evolution is accepted and taught in schools with a tone that glorifies Darwin and belittles his rivals. This does not mean the Iranian mullahs love Darwin. They do not. Actually they do not like anything out of colonial Europe but they understand that evolution is necessity to explain natural sciences so it must be brought in, domesticated and the children indoctrinated with it. Similarly they endorse stem cell research and playing with human embryos. Iranian Ayatollahs as part of their training are required to read through the entire Greek philosophy. Sunni mullahs could care less. In fact if you ever raise the issue of evolution in front of a sunni mullah, he will go crazy. Here you can seen an ultra-modern Turkish mullah talking about “evil Iranians” teaching evolution in school, just imagine what a wahabi mullah would say about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UoTrG-zze3Q&feature=relmfu

    The process is not yet complete. Khomeini had envisioned Shia Islam to reform itself and produces enough cultural and social science theories out of itself to challenge the Christian generated social sciences and political theories. This has not yet happened to a significant degree but the Iranian rulers believe in it so much that they have literally hedged the future of Iran on it. They do not want just to be another power like India or China. They want the whole nine yards of a new civilization based on Shia ideology.

    So they are not interested in leading anyone including Sunnis. They are in the process of building a new civilization with its own culture, society, military, politics and everything. They really believe it is the destiny of Iran. To be once again a great power globally as the Persian Empire once was. If and when that happens, then Iran does not need to convince, the world with sunnis in it to follow Shia Islam or for Iran to beg or to force to lead them. They will follow Iran regardless as now they are following west.

    The western civilization is not aspiring to convert all the Sunnis or Buddhists to Christianity. They do not need to. Because the Buddhist knows who is in charge of the world just like his grand father before him knew. Iranian mullahs aspire to reach that stage of development. They want rest of the world to look at their civilization with awe and amazement. They want the world to take pride in becoming like Iranians, practicing Iranian civilization rules and culture and maybe, that is just maybe even religion, but it is not necessary. Basically Iranians have started to think of an empire again with a brand new civilization at its core.

    I know, this all might seem a bit dreamy to you, but for the Iranian leaders it is reality. They really believe in this future and almost daily, have intense debates over it. Their ultimate project is not to build a Palestine or overthrow Saudi regime or convince sunnis to become Shias. It is to engineer an advanced Iranian civilization based on Shia and Iranian values. Personally I think it is a hefty goal that might never get accomplished and even if it does, it will not be in our lifetimes. So rest easy.

    You might now ask what is the future of Sunnis in such an Iran. Well, such a grand civilization should by definition be very magnanimous or it will be termed barbarian. So Sunnis like the rest of minorities like Christians and Jews will be around as they are today. And as all advanced civilizations, the public and tools of governance will increasingly become secular in nature with religion building the foundation of the political and economical structure of the society much like the European civilization today which is strongly based on Christian ideology and the ideologies that came out of it.

  213. M.Ali says:

    “Furthermore, if you are a Sunni as you claim you are, then, similar to me, you necessarily believe all Shi’a are destined for hellfire. If you do not, then you simply do not have enough knowledge about your own religion.”

    UU, the basic, fundamental reason behind your post might be true, but we’re not having a theological discussion. I’m not really talking about Sunnism or Shiasm as a religious concept, but as an identity. Strangely, you might as well call me an “Atheist Sunni” or maybe even an “Atheist Sunni with an Interest in Sufism and Zen Buddhism” or whatever. But when I go to my hometown, I’m simply a Sunni like the rest of my hometown community. When I get asked by an Arab in the Gulf or an Iranian whether I’m a sunni or a shia, the answer is “Sunni”. Its not a theocracy proclamation, but the fact that if there are checkboxes to be checked, mine would be checked in front of the “Sunni” one. That’s it. And that’s basically true for most everyone. Do you think if you have a serious theocracy Shia/Sunni doctrine discussion with my grandmother, she would be able to hold her ground?

    We’re discussing geopolitics here, not trying to send people’s souls to heaven. I like Prophet Mohammad’s pragmatic, diplomatic approach to religion, and that’s as far as I know. The nitty gritty details you can discuss it among yourselves and Sunni counterparts. But as far as I know, if Shia Iran, as the government of my country and the hopeful leader of the future, tells me my grandmother will go to hell, it just makes me a tad bit uncomfortable…

  214. Smith says:

    Nasser says:
    November 18, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    I understand what you are saying. But on some levels, Iran has been left with no other choice. Iran is under constant threat of nuclear annihilation by United States and its allies. If that was not enough, Iran is also living in a nuclear neighborhood, with China-Pakistan nuclear axis today to a possible Wahabi-Pakistan nuclear axis tomorrow. People might not know these in Iran, but I am sure, the Generals of Iranian military who are patriotic enough and the military planners of Iran must have literally nightmares every night about such issues at hand. There simply is too much of a risk. If tomorrow Saudi Arabia buys some nukes from Pakistan, goes nuts and nukes Shiraz and Isfehan, I do not think any body would come to Iran’s rescue. Just like when Saddam used more than 101,000 chemical warheads on Iranians. It is going to be same: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNLpkn8b5g4

    As for ICBM, Iran recently released a news that they have built a solid fueled rocket capable of reaching Geostationary orbit. If true, that is an ICBM without a doubt. Something probably similar to India’s Agni-V missile. Iran already has the technology: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYF8uEBlhMA

    Your version of cheap North Korean style deterrence is something Iran is already playing today with no nuclear weapons and western countries were concerned with Iran doing such a thing with nuclear weapons even during the Shah’s time. In fact there is a novel based on this. Paul Erdman’s novel, “Crash of ’79″ basically puts out such a scenario depicting Iranians as sadistic psychopaths with low IQ’s. But he had written the novel in 1970′s in a different era.

    I think, Iran should come out of its shell and stop being a small regional player. Iran should not play like North Korea and be a Chinese puppet. Iran should elevate itself to the world’s stage and be the regional super power and one of the poles in the future multi-polar world. Of course that would need a better military than Iran is having now, more technology, nuclear weapons and a better economy. Yes, it is expensive to have it all but such a scenario has its own benefits too.

    In fact the benefits are so huge that Iran will recover the costs with high interests. There some good things about being an independent super power in the area where most of the world’s remaining oil is. Iran should not play like a slave colony anymore. It needs to set for itself big dreams and goals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwQKhvweL2A

    The future Iranian children should live in an Iran that is one of the ruling elites of the world and not being citizen of Gaza, North Korea or Lebanon. Iranian children being born should feel secured and proud of themselves. They should not feel inferior to those who have been considering themselves the superior races over the past several centuries.

    The current generation of Iranians owe this to the unborn ones to leave them the gift of security and pride. That is only possible if Iran takes the road of high technology, science and nuclear tipped ICBM’s. Anything less and you will have this on your hand with Iranian women running around in the street amid rubble beating their chest in front of CNN and BBC HD/3D cameras: http://www.imemc.org/attachments/nov2012/child_killed_1.jpg

  215. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands was a good friend of a friend of mine. Surely Dean Henderson is aware that Prince Bernhard founded the Bilderberg Group with a view toward promoting good relations between European Countries to avoid yet another catastrophic war. A noble purpose surely.

  216. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Interesting and sensible comments by Arshir Adib-Moghaddam that you linked. He says that Russia and Iran are working together to contain the Taliban after the withdrawal of Nato forces. He also says: “Obama does not want a war against Iran and his administration has repeatedly signaled to Israel that it wants to solve the nuclear file through diplomatic means.” Clearly this is a correct statement.

  217. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Are you claiming that South Africa became a colony, and has remained a colony, because the “black” government got rid of the nukes being developed by the prior “white” government”?

  218. Pirouz says:

    Cyrus, on many an occasion I pointed out to NIAC the counter-productive nature of their advocacy. But they wouldn’t listen. For many of these Iranian expats, it’s mostly about personal grudge and getting even. Those people really are part of the problem and not the solution.

    I mean how on earth is a country like Iran supposed to liberalize when it has such pressing national security concerns?

    Liberals completely sidestep that issue.

  219. Reza Esfandiari says:

    A superb piece and one which needed to be written. I think Roger Cohen’s denouncement of the outcome of the Iranian election was entirely intended to delegitimize the Iranian government and provide justification for not engaging with Iran. After all, why would you deal with a regime that had “usurped” power from the popular choice? Any agreement on the nuclear front would be worthless as it did not have the consent of the people.

    But,as has been noted many times here on RFI, all the evidence indicates that the 2009 election was authentic and the will of the people was expressed in the ballot box.

  220. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 18, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Yeah, that seems to be the case. Here is an interesting angle on the issue: http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/iran-pakistan-jockey-for-afghanistan-influence/

    Afghanistan will descend to civil war much like after Soviet Union left. It is inevitable. Iran can play an important role after the civil war comes to an end in a few decades. History repeats itself in the rest of the world but in Afghanistan history stays the same.

  221. Smith says:

    It is a bit off-topic but this short 3 minute video shows how deep US is in it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID4xay5RITY&feature=relmfu

  222. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I of course agree with you that if Iran tries to build nukes, Iran will be attacked. No risk of Iran being nuked because Iran built nukes.

  223. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Surely the ISRAEL LOBBY is 100% of the explanation for why Obama is likely to do very little if anything for the Palestinians. John Mearsheimer is quite right about this.

    And the ISRAEL LOBBY is virtually 100% of the explanation for the failure of the US to re-establish normal relations with Iran (that is, reopening of Tehran embassy).

  224. Smith says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 19, 2012 at 3:32 am

    I guess you do not know anything about the game theory. Read it. I can not teach it to you here. Without this critical knowledge the rest of my post will be gibberish to you. It will take you a couple of years to understand the width and breath of the theorem so…. Go and Understand it and then opine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory

    1- As per western sources; Iran if ever decided can build nukes in two months time.

    2- Most of the nuclear armed nations got their first nuclear weapons from other sources in the beginning of their nuclear program instead of producing it themselves eg. Pakistan got its first nuclear weapons imported from China in 1970′s. The devices were completely functional and ready for use.

    3- No nuclear armed nation ever came out and clearly said that they wanted nuclear weapons. They all hid their programs and the existence of the weapons till the last moment when they announced it to the world, all with the same excuse: it was necessary for the national defense eg. Pakistan had a nuclear weapons program since 1960′s much like India but always till the day of its nuclear tests in May 1998, maintained that its nuclear program was entirely peaceful. It still maintains it today that it is peaceful strangely. Same as North Korea, India, Israel, US, France, UK, China, Russia.

    4- Nuclear weapons actually are very bad military weapons. They can almost never be used outside of a World War III scenario. But they are the best diplomatic tools ever created by mankind. When diplomats of a nuclear armed nation sit at a negotiating table across from another nuclear armed nation, they do not need to bow their head and get ridiculed. They do not need to be ashamed of their forefather’s race and color of their skin. They do not need to feel inferior because of their religion and beliefs. They do not need to capitulate and accept the slavery of their children to the superior races in the room. They do not need to pay any tax on their natural resources to any foreign party.

    Nukes are the greatest force equalizers ever invented. Iran will benefit greatly if it gets them. For the past several centuries, Iran has either been under attack losing its territories or it has been under threat of an impending attack. Iranian business and psychology has suffered for generations due to this fear. Once Iran becomes nuclear, they will feel completely secured almost overnight. As secured as they used to feel during the time of Cyrus the Great. That must be a relief for Iranians.

    It is not about number of nukes either. Iran if it gets nukes, has no plans to go and invade New York or Utah at all. I will be very surprised if Iranians did have a plan to occupy California or exert a regime change in Washington by invading Capitol Hill through a nuclear “shock and awe” doctrine of pre-emptive strike. Iran is only interested in defending itself. To do that, it only needs a dozen or a few dozen nukes. And in all probability, US is not going to spend all its 5000 nukes on Iran since the nuclear cloud generated will extend to Moscow, Islamabad, Delhi, Beijing, Pyongyang, Paris, London and Telaviv which are all nuclear armed. By the way the number you quoted is wrong. US has more than 8000 nuclear weapons not 5000: http://www.fas.org/programs/ssp/nukes/nuclearweapons/nukestatus.html

    5- As for Ahmadinejad, no body cares what he says anymore. He has only afew months left in office. He is now going back to his old life. Then Iranians only will hear from him as an ex-president with no real power. He will become another “analyst” like us here. He will be able only to opine. In fact, most of the time when Ahmadinejad talks, he does not know what he is talking about. He is like a professor in a classroom talking to his students. Depending on the mood he left his home with, whether his wife made him a breakfast or that she fought with him, he rants in the class. All Iranians know this. You can not take him seriously. Really.
    Here is Ahamdinejad talking as president of Iran in a good mood while thinking he is in a classroom with younger students as audience: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mr16qfvcAA

    If you do not understand Farsi, this is what he is saying. Literally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NktTY0GFtw&feature=related

    6- US has only attacked defenseless and weak countries. So the historical record does not support your view. In fact US has been extremely careful not to go to war with a nuclear armed nation or a nation that is very near to develop nuclear weapons. That has been the core ideology and strategy of United States. India during the cold war used to be regarded as an enemy nation by US since they were not allied with US. India tested its first nuke in 1973, US never attacked it. Pakistan was under severe US sanction in 1990′s for its support of terrorism and its nuclear program as well as human rights issues. Pakistan tested its first nuke in 1998, US never attacked Pakistan.

    Both Brazil and Argentine went to the brink of developing nukes (some say they actually did), US never attacked them. In fact, it was Brazil and Argentine themselves which reached an agreement between themselves not to develop the nukes, but both are keeping their options open and probably can build nukes in matter of weeks if they decide so. In fact, if US/Britain ever threaten/threatened them, they would get/have got nukes today.

    North Korea pulled out of NPT exercising its right under article 10 and became a sovereign nation by rejecting the colonial treaty of NPT and is building nukes. US only watched from a distance and stopped teasing North Korea as it had been doing for the past 40 years. No options are on the table anymore. They offered North Korea the table in six party talks, which North Korea refused. So as of today, there is no option and there is no table either.

    Apartheid South Africa was under sanctions and developed nuclear weapons with US never attacking it. It only gave those nukes up after a non-violent political movement brought white supremacist apartheid rule to an end and the new South Africa having the most powerful conventional military in the African continent and being the super power of Africa did not see any need for those nukes. Since simply there was no other nuclear power in the whole of continent. But the knowledge is of course there and the very advanced military industrial complex in South Africa if given the order can build nukes on short notice if ever there arises such a need.

    7- With nuclear weapons, Iran does not need to watch as its infrastructure is destroyed. For your information, Iran is not Gaza. Neither Iranians think of themselves as Gazans. I guess you have mistaken Iranians for Palestinians or Lebanese who will watch as trillions of dollars of infrastructure built by several generations of Iranians, is deconstructed before their eyes while women run around in the street beating their chests. I do not think Iranians share this vision with you. The Iranians can avoid such pathetic, demoralizing and shameful scenes on international TV by going nuclear. Otherwise, the Iranians will have to watch their women perform such duties on international TV in HD and probably even 3D (actually if it is going to be a Live News feed, it is going to be 4D technically).

    8- As for US and Vietnam and the rest, I have only this to question. What is the speed and what is the distance to the cliff? Will US/Dollar survive the fall? If ever it comes to that, which one US will choose to salvage from the wreck, dollar as a financial tool or the United States as a political entity? Is it going to be like Soviet Union or British Empire? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-w-8fXzwQE

  225. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    There is no chance the US would use nukes in an attack on Iran. So, “all options are on the table” excludes use of nukes. Full stop.

  226. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Very little of the NATO effort in Afghanistan had to do with fighting the government of that country.

    In Libya, Gaddafi might have avoided Western military intervention on behalf of the rebels if he had just kept his mouth shut (avoiding TV rants about “exterminating cockroaches”).

  227. Nasser says:

    fyi says: November 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm,

    Do you perhaps feel a grateful Jordan could help Iran destabilize Saudi Arabia during a future leadership transition?

    I don’t see that as very likely.

    And $5 billion is a lot of money and it would be strategic overreach in the extreme trying to buy Jordan away.

    Lastly, I just don’t see the Saudis wanting to overthrow the Hashemites. Most likely it is just a pressure tactic to force Jordan to act against Syria.

  228. James Canning says:

    Cyrus,

    Good points (re: how “liberals” in US help to prevent a more liberal situation in Iran from evolving). A good number of these “liberals” in the US promote Israel “right or wrong” in order to gain professional advancement, money, power, etc etc etc etc. A good deal of cynicism obtains.

  229. Nasser says:

    fyi says: November 18, 2012 at 11:46 pm,

    Why should Iran bother propping up the Hashemite Kingdom?

    Seems like a waste of money to me – The Americans and Saudis can simply outbid Iran.

    And remember Jordan backed Baathist Iraq.

    If the Hashemite Kingdom falls it would be bad for Israel and Saudi Arabia; I don’t think it seriously concerns Iran. I also don’t believe they want the overthrow of the Hashemite Kingdom.

    I think the Iranians shouldn’t waste their money on Pakistan, Egypt or Jordan. Makes me mad seeing the Iranians beg the Pakistanis to buy their gas, at discounted prices! Iran should instead focus on selling more energy and expanding trade ties with Turkey. And back their existing allies of course.

  230. paul says:

    soft power is soft the way a siege is soft

  231. fyi says:

    M. Ali:

    Please note the anti-science bias documented in this article about Turkey – the most advanced Sunni Mulsim state in the world.

    http://middleeastvoices.voanews.com/2012/11/insight-turkeys-crackdown-on-academic-freedom-60013/

    [There used to be denunciations of Theory of Relativity in Iran bfore the Islamic Revolution; together with its denigration as a Jweish device against Islam.]

  232. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    The only “metrics” that matters is being the manifestation of Divine attributes, to the highest degree possible- the other stuff you mentioned is irrelevant for the goals you are after. Of course you are right that we have to be good, but the issue is not as extreme as you are perceiving it. Have you seen British plumbing?

    Anyway, just as Arab nationalism wasn’t able to liberate Quds, maybe the Sunni Islamists will not either- what do you know what Allah (swt) has planned? But we pray that Allah (swt) gives them victory because they are our Muslim brothers and we love them no matter what. If they are successful- alhamdullilah for a victory for Islam. If they are not- well guess who starts looking really really attractive. Like I said, in time the majority of Sunnis will abandon the Wahabis and Erdogans of the world and grasp the hand of the Ahlul Bayt. And remember Erdogan is a thousand times better than the Wahabis- even though he is currently like a donkey stuck in dirt.

    For the record: we have always welcomed talks with the US without preconditions. It’s the US that has problems with the “without preconditions” part. It would be better if you addressed your righteous anger and comments to the US. Just like any self-respecting nation we have our “red lines” that are not up for negotiation with anyone. Ja oftad?

    M.Ali,
    I respect you personally, but that doesn’t change the fact that you will have a hard time in the next world precisely because you are an Iranian Sunni. The fact that you perceive yourself to be a ping pong is nobody’s fault but your own. That’s what happens when one follows every khalifah-come-lately instead of the Ahlul Bayt (as). Notice a historic pattern? Your only hope- personally and communally- is wilayat Ameerul Mo’meneen Ali ibn Abi Taleb (as).

    The issue of wilayat Ahlul Bayt (as) is not simply a historic, theological or political issue, it’s an existential issue- related to your being and existence, your soul. Do you understand what “existential” is? First try to understand this.

  233. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 19, 2012 at 4:27 am

    There is always a trade-off between range and payload.

    These are tactical decisions.

    One must consider all of this in a long-term perspective; Arabs in Palestine and in Lebanon are learning how to fightt.

    Israelis have been teaching them invaluable lessons over the last 40 years; and I expect that more such lessons will be forthcoming and absorbed.

    The Israelis know that they cannot decisively defeat Palestinians or Arabs, or Muslims.

    Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims also know that they cannot destroy Israel.

    In the absence of Peace, only cease-fires are possible. And thoise will be discarded as the tactical or strategic situation changes.

    The aim of all this vilonece is just to make life miserable for the other side to extract concessions.

    Since neither side is going to win strategically, the war in and for Palestine will continue indefinitely.

    In the meantime, its continuation is useful to many as it poisons the relationship between Axis states and Muslim states.

  234. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    November 19, 2012 at 4:11 am

    Mattei was truly a great man.

    He was assasinated, no doubt; someone left a screw drive in the engine of the plane he was on.

    This was a great loss to Italy as well; but Italy was kept in her place within the hierarchy of Axis States.

  235. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    November 19, 2012 at 8:36 am

    MAny of those installations have been surrounded know by anti-missile sysyems.

    It will continue to be an arena of cometition.

  236. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    November 19, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Iranians are de facto leaders of Islam on the plain of politics.

    But the mullahs are too limited in their vision.

    They are not sending emissaries to China, Korea, and Japan to preach Islam. Their vision is too narrow; vajeb and mustahab seems to be the epitome of religiosity for many in that country.

    Islam is World Religion but Sunni Islam is incapable, in my opinion, in delaing with the Modern World. Shia cannot either in the way they are now but at least they have the tools in their posession to do so.

  237. nahid says:

    As to the Bussed-in Prof and others: look, I’m not saying that Iran should antagonize the non-Shi’a Islamic world. I’m just saying that it is high time Iran came off its revolutionary high-horse and realize that it is NOT responsible for establishing justice in every corner of the globe, including Palestine. Iran should take care of its own problems first and foremost. Once it does that, it will *automatically* become the leader of not just the Islamic world but the world period. But it keeps trying to make supposed short-cuts, which are nothing but distractions from the real task at hand, which is to do better at all of the basic metrics than other contenders for world leadership, including the West, China, Russia, the Alba countries, and India. Yet, it can’t even measure up to Turkey and even that

    Thanks Mr UU . Say it louder

  238. fyi says:

    M. Ali says:

    November 19, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I only disdain Sunni Islam on the plain of ideas; it has no capacity intellectually to deal with Modernity for it lacks both the Doctine of Ijtihad and Philosophy.

    As for Iran herself and her emphasis on Shia identity: it is a Shia Fortress – a country that exists largely (but not solely) because of Shia religion. THat is why Tabriz is an Iranian city and not some sort of Turkic one; eventhough Azeris have more in common culturally with Central Asian Turkic people.

  239. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 19, 2012 at 3:32 am

    “In the end, Iran will win the coming war. It’s just that the damage will make it LOOK like they lost.

    In the reverse manner, the US will lose the war. But the damage will be mostly economic. The US military will remain intact. The US government will be intact.”

    Oh sure it will…other than every US ship and base in the Persian Gulf which will be respectively sunk or levelled by Iranian missiles. Yep, other than that the US military will be just the same. And of course the fact that Iran will successfully stop all oil flow from the Persian Gulf for the entire duration of any conflict will “make it look like Iran lost.” Hack is still in full Pollyanna mode, trying to minimize the devastating impact such a war would have on not just the US, but the entire world economy.

  240. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 19, 2012 at 4:05 am

    So Hack just posted yet another article that disproves his assertions. Let’s repeat the change in his argument. First he asserted that war was inveitable and would happen regardless of any objections from anybody. Now he says that Obama “wants” war. A complete change from his earlier assertion.

  241. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 19, 2012 at 4:27 am

    Yes, because zionists never lie. Anyone here notice how a large percentage of the sources Hack uses are from Israeli media? The fact that he just unquestioningly accepts whatever the Israeli media decides to report reveals a lot about where Hack gets his ideas.

  242. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 18, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Can Hack’s argument become any more contradictory at this point? First he claims that war will inveitably happen, ignoring the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, regardless of public opinion. After all, those “elites” he keeps talking don’t care what the public thinks about them. All they care about are those juicy “MIC” profits they will receive regardlesss. Hack made literally hundreds of posts where he asserted that war was inveitable and would occur regardless of consequences. Now he suddenly changes his argument completely and asserts that Obama “wants” war but is going to wait for Iran to start it. After all he has to avoid “blame.” In other words, Hack just admitted his absurd argument that such a war would not seriously harm the world or US economy and that it could take place without serious negative consequences to the US is wrong. And Hack is the one here who talks about “cognitive dissonance.”

  243. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

    “Uskowi points out that the Iron Dome “success” in shooting down Gaza rockets bodes ill for an Iran war, with Hizballah, Syrian and Iranian missiles in play – as I’ve said.”

    And so Hack’s “solution” is for Israel to attack Lebanon which of course would cause all those missiles to be fired against it. Yet more flawless Richard Steven Hack logic.

  244. Cyrus says:

    The great irony is, of course, that these “liberals” have managed to prevent any movement towards a more open society in Iran by supporting policies that have only strengthened the sense of Anti-Americanism and empowered the hardliners inside Iran. The can’t help but see thing through the filter of their own ideological preferences, nevermind what people in Iran want.

  245. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Oops. I meant to say this last thing before my last post:

    I wish the forum would stop talking about (1) sanctions being lifted, and (2) the immanence of war. As Cyrus said, the sanctions CANNOT be lifted. And as to war being immanent, it is not; not for any of the reasons proffered by the usual suspects, but because of this:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=pipeline+explosion+at+ras+tanura&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Like I have said on more than one occasion in the past, Iran is sitting on the West’s jugular vein with a surgical scalpel in its hand. That jugular vein is called Ras Tanura, where 5 to 6 million barrells of crude head out each and every day, mainly to the US. All the rhetoric serves the interests of the military industrial complex and the banksters who profit from indebting yet another generation of Amerikans into debt servitude, but when all is said and done, the generals will only allow this sort of Kabuki to go on up to a certain point. They will allow the prostitutes in the halls of power to make noises and to gift them thier favorite toys, but will stop short of war, just as they put the kibosh on the Cheyney/ Rummy/ Wolfie plan to attack Iran in 2007. The above link demonstrates that Iran too can respond if it feels a little hot under the collar, as it did back on March 1st of this year.

    If you must talk about sanctions, talk of them as permanent fixtures as long as the Jewish lobby has a stranglehold on US politics and legislation to remove them is nothing more than a fantasy. If you must talk about the likelihood of war, don’t forget, as Richard always does, that Iran is sitting on that jugular vein with scalpel in hand. *That* is why she is no Libya, Iraq or Afghanistan. Otherwise, she is quite similar in many other ways.

  246. Unknown Unknowns says:

    M. Ali, Bussed-in Prof., et al.

    M. Ali: I think you are confusing my not having respect for your views as a Sunni with my not having respect for you as a person or for your right to hold views that I have no respect for. That is – or at least was, at some time during the Middle Ages – one of the major differences between the lands of the Islamic civilization (‘Islamdom’ as Marshall Hodgson called it), and Christendom: whereas Christians lived and died by the views they held, their beliefs, Moslems were more tolerant (and even far more tolerant) of heterodoxy, and put the emphasis on orhtopraxis rather than orthodoxy, letting God be the judge of what might or might not be considered to be heretical on Judgment Day. Furthermore, if you are a Sunni as you claim you are, then, similar to me, you necessarily believe all Shi’a are destined for hellfire. If you do not, then you simply do not have enough knowledge about your own religion. And that is a pretty big lacuna, as it is a basic understanding that defines sects; i.e. sects are are formed on the basis that the others who do not hold the same beliefs are thereby excluded from the ‘saved sect’ (firqe-ye naajiyeh). But don’t fret: hell will not last forever in your case, inshallah :o)

    As to the Bussed-in Prof and others: look, I’m not saying that Iran should antagonize the non-Shi’a Islamic world. I’m just saying that it is high time Iran came off its revolutionary high-horse and realize that it is NOT responsible for establishing justice in every corner of the globe, including Palestine. Iran should take care of its own problems first and foremost. Once it does that, it will *automatically* become the leader of not just the Islamic world but the world period. But it keeps trying to make supposed short-cuts, which are nothing but distractions from the real task at hand, which is to do better at all of the basic metrics than other contenders for world leadership, including the West, China, Russia, the Alba countries, and India. Yet, it can’t even measure up to Turkey and even that bedammned Saudi Arabia in certain indecies. When your public toilets smell not just like shit but like stagnant , putrid, rancid shit, because you have not mastered the basic technologies of the water trap and the flush, it is absurd for you to be talking about freeing Palestine. When your driving etiquette is such that pedestrians cannot cross the road without risking their lives, let alone drivers not staying within their own lanes, it is absurd to think of yours as a superior civilization. Is Western civilization ‘baatel’ (void, defunct, spent, hopeless)? I say: Yes! But that does not mean that therefore ours is necessarily any better. Ideology is not the criterion. The revolution has managed to reverse the trend to some extent of people traveling outside Iran for medical treatment. (To be sure, Iranians still do so, but a considerably larger number travel to Iran for inexpensive world-class operations from all its neighboring countries). Until Iran’s increase in its academic achievements reaches a point where no only has the brain drain stopped (and there are interesting signs that it is slowing) but has reversed; and much more importantly, until Iranian cinema is more popular than Hollywood and Bollywood – until Iran leads culturally, and not just economically and academically – Iran should not even be talking about leading anything, let alone the Islamic world. And these metrics that I mentioned are never going to happen, because Iran is a country with a religion that precludes such a thing. Yet, its leaders, can’t stop yapping about their supposed leadership position, like it is some sort of nervous disease.

    I could go on and on, but I hope you get the point: Iran needs to grow up out of its revolutionary ideology and realize that it is a small country with a small religion: Islam is a world religion; Shi’ism is not! All this huffing and puffing does nothing but hurt Shi’a Islam and its bastion, Iran.

    I would still be interested in reading others’ responses to my original question, which asked about the reason for the failure of Iran to come to some sort of accommodation with the US whereas Venezuela, for example, has been able to do so (or at least to be much better at finessing her policies).

    *

    In other news, one of the reasons I have stopped posting as frequently as I used to is that I have grown tired of our respected hosts’s censorship. I don’t hold it against Flynt-san and Hillary-san, both of whom I have a huge amount of respect for: they are doing what they believe they need to do in order to maintain a certain sense of decorum which they deem necessary for the folk inside the beltway. (Like I said before, don’t hold your breath for the neo-con tide to turn anytime soon, however.) But I like to refer to myself as a Sand-N****r and do not appreciate it when I am censored when I do so. This latest act of censorship was the straw that broke this c***l’s back: (I have inserted asterisks in an attempt to jump over the hurdle this second time around):

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    November 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    Gav-e’nar says: :I take it you agree that no “nuclear option” was ever on the table, and that Iran quite rightly did not fear nuclear attack by Israel or the US.”

    I believe all means all, especially when the Uncle W****l in Chief has used nuclear weapons not once but twice in the past (quite unnecessarily), and has not renounced their first use, like the good b*rb*ri*n that he is.

    Are you weaseling out of the meaning of the word “all” too? Such a supple spine!

    *

    Like I say, I don’t blame Hillary or Flynt, but the political climate in Washington which makes alternative voices (of sanity) such as theirs so vulnerable to attack that they over-compensate by this sort of censorship, lest their website be used against them personally. The blame there lies with the Jewish lobby, of course.

  247. M. Ali says:

    Of course, with all said and done, there is something to be said about Hamas giving up Syria, rushing into the arms of Egypt and the Gulf, and now to be left completely ignored.

    Syria & Iran have never abandoned their allies, even though they both have been screwed multiple times. Yet in the long run, they always have the last laugh.

  248. M. Ali says:

    Smith, regarding your post about Hamas and Iran, I want to say that it goes back to something I brought back in the previous thread. Iran focuses so much on its Shia identity, and has a disdain for Sunnis (Unknown Unknowns, Fyi, and Busses in Basij were extremely disrespectful to Sunnis in the reply to my post, even though I have complete respect for my Shia brethen and more than that, joonam fadayeh Iran).

    Unfortunately, this makes it hard for them to be completely accepted as Islamic leaders.

    There has been a vacuum in the Islamic world, ready for the taking, and Islamic Iran is really not taking the full advantage. You can see how hungry the ullama is for a leader, because whenever someone pops up, they rush to him (like Turkey’s Erogan), and because the leaders are so bad, the people follow them as much as possible until they get disillussioned. You have Turkey, Saudi Arabia, now Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, but no one of them are fit for an Islamic leadership position.

    Iran has the advantage of being truely independant, as a Islamic leader should be. But if they had disdain for Sunnis (as UU claims they will all go to hell), how does Iran expect them to follow them? As a minority sect aiming to lead, Iran should be diplomatic enough to make them feel comfortable and secure. If the Sunni shiekhs tell their followers that Shia Iran wants to oppress them, and Iran proves them right by scaring them, what would the average Sunni do? THey are stuck between Wahabi royalists and Taliban extremists on one side, and Shia’s that don’t like them too much on the other hand, what can they do instead of being played like a ping pong between two sides that don’t satisfy their need?

  249. Richard Steven Hack says:

    This is unbelievably stupid…

    Rockets stripped of explosives to fly further?
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4308023,00.html

    The alleged “long-range rockets” are apparently the same crappy Qassem’s with their explosives REMOVED!

    Naturally the Palestinian insurgents deny this – but I suspect it’s true. It would fit with their general incompetence.

    One has to wonder where are the alleged Iranian Fahr missiles, then?

  250. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Somewhat off topic – except for the fact that Iran has oil…

    Great quote which is appropriate: “When you’re being robbed, it’s always a good idea to be able to identify the perp. Now if only we could get the cops to bring em’ in…”

    The Four Horsemen Behind the Oil Wars
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/11/18/the-four-horsemen-behind-the-oil-wars/

    Should open some eyes as to who runs what and therefore where the power is…

  251. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Interview with an academic on Iran and the Caspian Sea states. I have no opinion other than to dismiss his notion that Obama doesn’t want an Iran war.

    ‘None of the littoral states has an interest in war against Iran’
    http://www.news.az/articles/politics/72019

  252. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Interview with John Mearsheimer on Iran.

    Iran and US should Work toward Reconciliation
    http://www.iranreview.org/content/Documents/Iran-and-US-should-Work-toward-Reconciliation.htm

    He’s very pessimistic about Obama doing anything positive about Iran or the Palestinian question because Obama will always back down due to pressure from the Israel Lobby.

    Other than the fact that I don’t think it’s SOLELY the Israel Lobby that’s involved, I’d say that’s a correct assessment.

    This was a good quote: “Great powers have always been guilty of hypocrisy. The United States, like all great powers, has a rich history of behaving in a hypocritical way.”

    Got that right.

  253. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Photi: “how likely is it that Phase 1 (Gaza) is happening not to degrade Hamas’ missile capacity, but simply to disguise the beginning of phase 2 (Syria/Lebanon/Hezbollah)?”

    Anything is possible, but I doubt it.

    However, I could see a scenario where that could occur. Let’s say Hizballah decides to make a move against Israel while the Gaza war is ongoing, say by kidnapping some more Israeli soldiers or firing some rockets in a show of solidarity. I don’t see Nasrallah doing that, but again who knows?

    In that scenario, Israel might well decide to attack Hizballah again at the same time, or by shutting down the Gaza incursion and switching to the north. But the problem remains that the only effective way to do that is through the Bekaa Valley – which means Israel has to engage Syria. I doubt Israel wants to do that until Syria is under US/NATO attack.

    But again, who knows? Does anyone want to guarantee Netanyahu wouldn’t do such a thing?

    My arguments are based on what *I* would do if I were the Israelis and what is logically the strategically sound thing to do.

    But then again, look at how stupid the US military is just about everywhere. They really thought they could apply their stupid “COIN” policy in Afghanistan and win! How stupid is that? It was impossible. Everyone with a brain and even a little bit of knowledge of Afghanistan or guerrilla war – including me – knew it.

    They did it anyway – because they had no choice. First Bush and then the idiot Obama told them to. But it was the generals who went to Obama and SAID they COULD do it.

    Which means the military leadership of the US are morons. Which I already knew having served in the US Army during Vietnam. Trust me – there is nothing dumber than a military man – except maybe a prison correctional officer (because most of them are washed-out military or men too stupid to even be a cop – which I also know from first-hand experience.)

    As I’ve said before, none of these morons plans are necessarily achievable. What matters is that they will try to achieve them because that’s who these people are.

    People need to realize that their government – EVERYONE’S government – is being run by greedy, venal, dishonest, lying morons. And those are the people who control your life…

    Deal.

  254. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Smith: “This is why Iran must have nuclear weapons by 2014, complete with solid fueled ICBM’s and test its nukes by then.”

    Never happen. First, they can’t do it in time. Second, they don’t want to. Third, it wouldn’t do them a bit of good if they did. As Ahmadinejad has said, “We can’t compete with your 5,000 nuclear weapons.” The sooner Iran tries to get nukes, the sooner they get attacked. The sooner they actually HAVE nukes, the sooner they get nuked. It’s that simple.

    Nuclear weapons are NOT a deterrent unless you can deliver them to the homeland of your attacker, and you have enough of them to do serious damage in that homeland. Iran will NEVER have that capability in comparison to Israel, let alone the US.

    “If Iran did not get a nuclear deterrence by then, then Iran will be toast. Its fate will be worse than Afghanistan:”

    Iran’s infrastructure will be mostly destroyed in the coming war, as Iraq was. But in the end, Iran will win because it’s impossible for the US to occupy Iran and overthrow its government as it did in Iraq. And Iraq itself was mostly a failure. And Afghanistan has been an utter failure. Five minutes after the US leaves, Karzai will be dead, and there will be a civil war between the Taliban and the Northern Alliance. That won’t happen in Iran.

    In the end, Iran will win the coming war. It’s just that the damage will make it LOOK like they lost.

    In the reverse manner, the US will lose the war. But the damage will be mostly economic. The US military will remain intact. The US government will be intact. The US population will be intact. In fact, it will be like Vietnam – a sore point for the moronic US electorate, better left forgotten. But otherwise the US will be mostly unaffected, except for a really bad economy. Whatever impact there is will depend almost entirely on HOW BAD an economy.

    And the ruling elites in the military industrial complex and the oil companies and the banks who finance those entities will be unaffected almost completely. Unless their stock prices tumble because they don’t have another war in the wings to replace Iran…which they probably will because that is what they do. I don’t know who they’ll try to fight with next – maybe Pakistan like the current Last Resort TV show – but they’ll find someone.

    And no one will be able to stop that war either. As I’ve said, the US will not change until either its economy ends up at a Third World level, OR the US military is given an actual physical defeat (or both.) This is the history of empires. There are no exceptions.

  255. Richard Steven Hack says:

    To add to that – these stupid rockets they keep firing. Utterly useless – haven’t killed more than a handful of random Israelis in years.

    They’re wasting their money on useless rockets when what they need is the technology to get into Israel and assassinate and blow up their actual enemies, the Zionist leadership. Hell, assassinate Netanyahu the next time he comes to Washington or New York – there is no security for anyone who’s a target.

    The Palestinians are really professional victims at this point. Look at the Wikileaks papers that revealed how much Fatah bent over for Israel. It’s ridiculous.

    Hamas isn’t much better since they’re trying to be the government as well. So what is Hamas going to do if they WERE the government? Basically what Fatah did – bend over for Israel. What else can they do if they aren’t willing to KILL THE ISRAELI LEADERSHIP?

    Like every such group, they can’t kill the Israeli leadership because they’re scared of being killed themselves – especially since Israel is really good at it. And the reason the Israelis are good at it is because the Hamas leadership – except for what’s his name – are stuck in Gaza with the rest of the human targets.

    They need to get OUT of Gaza by any means necessary and start attacking Israel from elsewhere – also by any means necessary.

    Waste of time, the lot.

  256. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Smith: Re Gaza. Your analysis may be correct. I haven’t been following Hamas behavior, although I did know that they bailed on Syria early on which seemed a bit ungrateful – although it probably makes sense for them not to be caught in the middle of what is happening there.

    “Khomeini who might not even need Hamas anymore”

    I’m not sure Iran sees Hamas as “just” another Iranian agent in the region. But I have no specific evidence otherwise.

    In any event, the Palestinians are screwed no matter what happens. Until Israel is sufficiently damaged to force the Zionists to negotiate seriously – or until my policy of simply disenfranchising Israel altogether occurs (which isn’t going to happen) – no one is going to be able to do anything significant about the Palestinians. They’re on their own and unless they’re prepared to arm their entire adult (and adolescent) population and simply fight a straight-up guerrilla war against the Israelis, they’re frankly doomed to either ethnic cleansing or genocide.

    Their only other option is to collect their pennies and hire someone competent on the outside to conduct a serious terrorist campaign against Israel until Israel has been damaged enough to force negotiations.

    Which is also highly unlikely. So they’re screwed. Period. I read these articles about how they’re “never going to give up”. It doesn’t matter. They aren’t willing to do what’s necessary to kill the Zionists, so the Zionists are going to kill them. It’s that simple. This is how humans work.

    The Palestinians spent years blowing up civilians in buses when they should have been blowing up people like Netanyahu. You kill your actual enemy in competent terrorism – not random people. They screwed up. Now they’re paying the price for their incompetence.

    As William S. Burroughs used to say, “Battles are fought to be won. And this is what happens when you lose.”

  257. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    November 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    And no other country beside Iran gives them arms. Without Iran, Hamas is dead. I think Iran will even use Hamas as a negotiation chip if ever there is going to be a bilateral talks with US. With current behavior of Hamas, Iran might give up its “franchise” and instead get something better from US. Certainly no one wants a franchise that steals from its owners as Hamas was doing with Iran last year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QT_j6E3OeQ&feature=related

  258. Smith says:

    Sineva says:
    November 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I do not think, Egypt is going to help them one bit. Qatar has already announced in a conference in Egypt that no Arab state can help Gaza since all Arabs are [sic] sheep. Egypt can not do anything. This week they were begging Turkey, Qatar and US for aid as well as begging IMF to give them a 5 billion dollar loan. Hamas has hit rock bottom of Turk-Arab “brotherhood”. Here is their reality: http://raztv.ir/video+95lvu6w62x

  259. fyi says:

    Rehmat says:

    November 18, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Yes, the days of Master & Servant nations in the Middle East is past.

    But not evidently elsewhere.

    During 1990s, US was very active in Central Africa, specifically in Zaire (Democratic Republic of the Congo). I do not know what Americans were trying to achieve there or how but evidently they had little success. As is, since 1998, more than 5 million and 400 thousand souls have perished in that unfortunate place.

    At the time, Americans were also going to interfere in Rwanda but found out that the French were active there and thus left it to the French. Of course, we all know what happened with the French plans – the Rwanda Genocide.

    According to Indian news papers – who are truly free as oppsed those in US or EU and covered France’s role in Rwandan Genocide – the French bear much of responsibility for what happened there.

    Over the past few months, French papers have started revealing more and more of what happened there.

    Axis Powers, evidently, have the means and the motivation to project power but not the capability of building anything positive: not in Southeast Asia, not in Central Africa, not in Afghanistan, and not in Iraq.

    Nevertheless their Hubris recognizes no bounds; truly deplorable – Often Wrong, Never in Doubt.

  260. fyi says:

    ToivoS says:

    November 18, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Those comments are irrelevant since they will be ignored.

    US policy is to wound Iran at any cost to any an all.

    Like in Syria.

  261. fyi says:

    Sineva says:

    November 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    Saudi Arabia is not giving Jordan $ 5.0 promised to her.

    It might be because that the Jordanians refused to play their assigned role against the Ba’ath state.

    Or it might be a repeat of the financial campaign against Yugoslavia which began with denial of loans by EU banks – may be Saudis are trying to cause unrest in Jordan to overthrow the Hashemite Kingdom?

    If the stability of the Jordan is thus threatened, it would be a good time for Iranians to step in, provide the $ 5 billion, and rent Jordan.

  262. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 18, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Yes, I think there already is an understanding between Iran and Paksitan on Afghanistan.

    I too think that Israel’s attack, on the propaganda front, has been a God-send for Iran; once again Iran emerges as the Muslim Champion of Palestinians par-excellence.

    I expect Mr. Khamenei gave a speeh on the renewed war within the next week or two; depending on what Israel does.

    US and Britain, both staunch defenders of Israel, have cautioned Israelis not to invade Gaza again.

    In my opinion, there is a very high possibility that Mr. Khamenei will declare Israel to be Enemy of Islam after a few more such acts by Israel against Palestinians.

  263. Nasser says:

    Smith,

    While I agree with your general sentiments and most of the points you make I think I should highlight a disagreement.

    I don’t believe Iran needs ICBMs, nuclear submarines, thermonuclear weapons etc etc to have a credible defense. Iran doesn’t need anything that fancy. Iran doesn’t have the money right now and it will take a long time to develop all these technologies. In fact accomplishing all these might seem so challenging that it can in fact dissuade Iranians from pursuing nuclear weapons altogether.

    I say Iran’s goals should be more modest. What Iran should do is adopt the North Korean strategy of taking America’s allies hostage to prevent an attack on itself.
    I believe what prevents an attack on Iran right now is her ability to harm the Persian Gulf countries, and in particular their oil/gas infrastructure. But Iran needs a more potent deterrent to be truly safe.

    Pyongyang promises to turn Seoul into a “sea of fire” if it is ever attacked. Similarly Iran can point nuclear missiles armed with say 10-20 kiloton warheads on Riyadh, Kuwait city, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Tel Aviv and Haifa; that would be deterrence enough. I say all Iran really needs are about 10 miniaturized warheads. This would be enough. And, this is a task that is actually within the means of Iranians.

  264. Ataune says:

    James Canning

    Here’s one of the main headlines in today’s Debka File, a notorious agitprop site for the hardline section of the israeli military intelligence:

    “http://debka.com/article/22537/Israel-will-strike-Gaza-so-long-as-Khamenei-nixes-talks-with-Obama”

    Several fallacious statements you have propagated here regarding the “bad” influence of Iran’s nuclear dossier on the Palestinians’ fate are almost entirely in the same vein.

  265. Sineva says:

    James Canning says:
    November 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm
    If hamas has given up the fight and become another defeatist/collaborationist bunch of corrupt old men like fatah/pa then yes it is in irans interest and even more importantly its in the palestinians interest that there is a functioning and capable resistance backed by a strong power and at the moment the palestinians appear to have none.I imagine in the event hamas does not see the error of its ways then new groups will come to the forefront just as hamas did when it seem that the plo/fatah had nothing more to offer,after all what other choice do the palestinians have apart from total surrender that is,no matter how much you and the west might like to see that

  266. Dan Cooper says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 18, 2012 at 12:38 am

    I think it is the duty of every peace-loving member of the world community to retaliate against the murderous Israeli atrocities in Palestine and not just the Muslims.

    SIR Gerald Kaufman, UK Jewish MP

    “Israeli leaders are not simply war criminals, they are fools”

    SIR Gerald Kaufman, compared the actions of Israeli troops in Gaza to the Nazis who forced his family to flee Poland.

    This is what he said in the British parliament:

    Clink to see the short video:

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article21781.htm

  267. Sineva says:

    Smith says:
    November 18, 2012 at 6:07 pm
    You are quite right Hamas blundered very badly you`d think that the example of fatah/pa would have shown them what not to do,but it will be very interesting to watch what the egyption government does if there is another “cast lead” rampage by the israelis,I would imagine that morsi and co would be under enormous public pressure to do something this time what they do will determine wether they are just another mubarak or wether they do have some strategic independence.If nothing else it should show hamas the error of its ways and put it back on the only path that is open to it and that is resistance

  268. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Yeah, they might choose to do nothing in Afghanistan but still they can wield 13=88 option so that US knows what is going to happen if it tries to toast Iran for breakfast. At any rate, Iran will try to limit any future US role in Afghanistan. That is a given. That also seems to be the aim of Pakistan so probably Iran will reach some understanding with Pakistan on the issue. No body wants NATO in their backyard, not even Pakistan or China.

    Regardless, Iranian influence will increase in the region and beyond. The impotence of all Iranian rivals has been amplified by the recent Gaza war. All those who were being portrayed by western media as being rivals of Iranian influence in the region eg. Muslim Brotherhood or Turkey or GCC, all have shut up. Only Iran is talking to the Arab street once again the same as 2006 war. This is another sign that the policy makers do not know anything about the street level dynamics of Muslim countries. Iran is benefiting because of this ignorance. That is why Iran has the opportunity to export its philosophy in the region and beyond in effect creating a new pole in the world (specially if Iran acquires nuclear weapons and becomes a true super power): http://raztv.ir/video+hkvs7diuhi

  269. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    Read Hussein Ibish’s comments (that I linked). Is it a good thing for Iran to back an entity in Gaza more militant than Hamas?

  270. James Canning says:

    “Iran…is apparently supplying much less funding and materiel to Hamas than before [Hamas came out in opposition to government of Syria].”

    –Hussein Ibish, at foreignpolicy.com

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/11/14/operation_cast_lead_20

  271. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    I agree with you re: importance of Gary Sick’s comments.

  272. ToivoS says:

    Gary Sick has this: http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/16/opinion/sick-mideast/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

    He is saying that the time is now for negotiations with Iran and he lays out what success would look like. It is a very realistic proposal. This is a significant article — Sick is entirely inside the US establishment and served Republican administrations and means that his position probably has significant support inside the US government.

  273. Smith says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 18, 2012 at 12:27 am

    I think Pepe is wrong on Gaza. It is more complex than that. Yes, Israel is benefiting from it but so is Iran. In fact Iran is probably benefiting more than Israel since it is not paying any price. You see, in the past two years, Hamas (being Sunni) was getting out of hand for Iran. The Hamas head had started to forget all the support Iran had given them in the past 2 decades while they were shunned by the rest of the world as lepers.

    Over the last year, Hamas head had gone to Turkey and had declared Ordogan as the leader of the Islamic world to the dismay of Khamenei. Then he had sided against Assad. Then he sided with Qatar. And then he had praised Egypt at the cost of Iran. Now under bombardment, Hamas has difficulty finding any of those guys. Qatar is no where to be seen, Turkey is not picking up the phone and Egypt is basically telling Hamas to drop the gun and surrender to Israel, since Egypt needs a 5 billion dollar loan from IMF and additional American aid, so they should not expect Egypt to help them at all. In fact the Egyptian border has been closed so that the people remain imprisoned in Gaza and get bombed.

    Now Hamas has one option to go back to Iran and apologize falling to the feet of Khomeini who might not even need Hamas anymore since they have two dozen more such outfits there that they can replace Hamas with. So the situation is not a straight forward one. In the Muslim world with the Arab spring, and now this, Iran will win huge PR points. That is how the Arab street and even the Muslim street see it.

  274. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Ladan Cher’s comments that you linked (at juancole.com) have considerable merit.

  275. Smith says:

    This is why Iran must have nuclear weapons by 2014, complete with solid fueled ICBM’s and test its nukes by then. If Iran did not get a nuclear deterrence by then, then Iran will be toast. Its fate will be worse than Afghanistan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8GsW1ZVlrI&feature=related

  276. Smith says:

    Obama’s imperialist policies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiwAFIgGCkQ&feature=related

    It is only the neo-colonialism. Only countries with high technology and sovereign science and backed up by nuclear weapons can avoid being colonies of more powerful nations. Iran has almost all the elements except nuclear weapons. It is time Iranian leaders and people to decide whether they want to become a colony or to be truly free.

  277. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    How could Iraqi poison gas attacks threaten the national unity of Iran? This is preposterous.

  278. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Gary Sick clearly is correct when he says that “Sanctions have assumed a life of their own and are gradually becoming politically untouchable.”

    Making the sanctions “untouchable” politically is obviously a primary aim of AIPAC and other extremist groups suporting Israel right or wrong. (And subverting the national security of the US in the process.)

  279. James Canning says:

    David Sanger, writing in the NYT today: “Iran…has fueled the Syrian conflict in part to show that it will not sit idly by while sanctions eat away at its oil revenue.”

  280. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 18, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Iranians will do nothing for or against Axis Powers in Afghanistan; they have got their portion and will concenterate on West and Northeast Afghanistan. I suspect that they also have an understanding with Pakistan on Afghanistan.

    I do not think that US will attack Iran, she needs to lower her military, diplomatic, and political expenditures in the Middle East. However, the United States is now at the mercy of Israel in this regard. That is, Americans will very likely attack Iran if Iran retaliates for Israel’s attack on Iran.

    Absence of Israeli attack, I do not see a US attack on Iran.

    Axis States on their way out of the Middle East, the war in Syria is their parting gift.

  281. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    The UN is not dead. Many supporters of Israel right or wrong would like to see the UN dead.

  282. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You claim “the West” “is trying to prevent Iran’s exporting Shia Islam”?

    What country is likely to convert to Shia Islam? Any country?

  283. James Canning says:

    Writing in The New York Times today, David Sanger blamed Iran for the rising level of violence in Syria. What a surprise.

  284. Photi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 18, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Richard, re-phrasing my questions in the context of this comment of yours, how likely is it that Phase 1 (Gaza) is happening not to degrade Hamas’ missile capacity, but simply to disguise the beginning of phase 2 (Syria/Lebanon/Hezbollah)?

  285. Photi says:

    Richard,

    The news (for the last several days) is that Israel is calling up reservists, 75,000 or so. Ostensibly, this is to prepare for a ground invasion of Gaza.

    If Israel’s real plan however is to invade Lebanon through Syria, how many reservists would Israel need to call up in order to both secure its border with Gaza, and to simultaneously invade Lebanon? If the plan is to invade Lebanon, would the Israelis be more likely to just start bombing and then call up the reservists, or would they want those reservists on active duty before the bombing starts? Gaza escalation gives Israel cover to proceed with other military movements while maintaining some element of surprise (against Syria/Lebanon), doesn’t it?

  286. Karl.. says:

    James,

    Yes they deflect, so? They always do that.

  287. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama:`We Are Fully Supportive of Israel’s
    :http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/obamawe-are-fully-supportive-of-israels-right-to-defend-itself/

    Big surprise,,,not,,,

    Of note is his blatant admission that this will allow him to kick the can down the road on the Palestinian issue:

    “what I’ve said to [Egyptian] President Morsi and [Turkish] Prime Minister Erdogan is that those who champion the cause of the Palestinians should recognize that if we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza than the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future,”

    And that’s exactly what he and his backers want – and since his backers ARE the Israel Lobby, what Israel wants. And this is what will happen.

    Netanyahu calls Obama’s bluff
    :http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK17Ak03.html

  288. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Uskowi points out that the Iron Dome “success” in shooting down Gaza rockets bodes ill for an Iran war, with Hizballah, Syrian and Iranian missiles in play – as I’ve said. This is precisely why the Syrian crisis exists, is likely why the present Gaza situation exists, and why Israel absolutely must attack Lebanon before an Iran war.

    Iron Dome Success over Tel Aviv–11/17/2012
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/11/iron-dome-success-over-tel-aviv-11172017.html

  289. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Empty: I agree that the people who have the authority to start a war will suffer no legal or economic cost. None of the neocons have and neither have Bush or Cheney.

    However, I DO think that Obama at least is sufficiently narcissistic that he does not want to be blamed for starting the war after having won a Nobel Peace Prize and very likely before he was assured of re-election based on his retention of his “progressive” electoral base. Now that he no longer needs his political base, at least not for Presidential purposes, I agree with Antiwar.com that he’s likely to reveal his true colors.

    I also think Dick Cheney and George Bush did not want to be blamed for starting a THIRD war on Bush’s watch – especially one that was much riskier than the Iraq war at the time and with both a Congressional election and then a Presidential election coming up around the same time as the war might have been started. There was also the issue of the 2007 NIE which Bush claimed at least undercut his push for war.

    Finally, these are my assumptions based on my observation that, in the case of Cheney and Bush, they offered Israel another $30 billion in foreign aid while they themselves did not start the Iran war, and in the case of Obama, that he has gone to some lengths to “lead from behind” and to be more secretive and cautious in his deployment of military force (so far), relying on drones and secret operations even more than his predecessors and hiding behind NATO in the case of Libya.

    I’m not the only one who has pointed out this characteristic of Obama, that he is very conscious of his public appraisal and his personal appraisal. Other people hae noted this publicly.

    And finally there is the simple observation that the international community, especially outside the West such as the Non-Aligned Movement, knowing how dangerous an Iran war will be for the world economy and regional stability, is going to judge the initiation of an Iran war, especially without UN authorization, as a highly negative action. This will result in almost universal condemnation of the US (or Israel depending on who starts it) and the President in office at the time.

    The simplest way for a President like Obama to avoid that problem, however minor it actually is in terms of his personal consequences, is to get Iran to retaliate at some point, thus shifting the blame to Iran at least in the minds of the ignorant US electorate if not the rest of the world.

    Starting wars DOES have consequences. And while those who WANT them frequently don’t care about the consequences, those who are charged with actually STARTING them occasionally do need to be concerned that “the niceties are observed.” This has always been true, at least in the US.

    In addition, as I’ve said many times before, getting things together for a war that hopefully doesn’t immediately turn catastrophic for the country starting it is not an easy task, and there are a lot of people and social systems in place that have to be addressed.

    As I’ve said before, no one starts a war “willy-nilly.”

    There is also the problem for Obama in that the Iran war is likely to severely damage the US economy. While the military-industrial complex and the oil companies couldn’t care less about that, there is the fact that a downturn in the economy is going to PO the electorate. This could result in the Democrats losing the next election badly. Obama does have to pay SOME attention to this fact, at least in terms of his timing of the war, to the degree that he has any control over that. This is part of “being blamed” for the war. His party may be behind an Iran war all the war, but they still are going to want it handled in a way that doesn’t cost them their position in the power structure.

    Domestic politics does play a part in all this, just as it does in Israel. This is why Netanyahu really can’t afford to attack Iran “willy-nilly” – until he has reduced the threat from Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. It could cost him his political standing to do that.

    Mind you, these consideration are LESS THAN the basic considerations that push these people to start a war. Profit and power trump everything else. But they ARE considerations that have to be addressed in order to reduce the possibility of a negative outcome personally for the parties involved.

    Again, this is common sense. Don’t assume that I am over-simplifying the issue when I suggest that Obama is hesitant to initiate the war on his own initiative. There may well be other issues in play that I am not aware of. But in the case of Obama in particular, I think his unwillingness to be blamed for for starting a war when he has promised to end the first two is indeed a factor.

  290. Photi says:

    Speaking of liberal shamelessness, here is more of it in a different but related context, during Justin Reuben’s appearance at CSPAN this morning (exec. director at move on dot org):

    CSPAN caller on the Republican line: Hi, um, you know, I went to your website and i searched the word “drone” and you have nothing on your website about the drone wars that President Obama is waging and you know it seems like ;Moveon.org was very visible when Bush started his Iraq war and Afghanistan war, had huge rallies in different cities and yet Obama gets away with not only the drone war but attacking, you know being involved in Libya and Syria and so forth and we don’t hear a word out of ;Moveon.org. You know you guys seem like just very partisan and i just don’t buy your argument.

    Justin Reuben: Well, I really appreciate the question. You know i think, um, our members are, uh, peace has been a major issue for our members. The big thing that we have been focused on in the last, um, last 3 years has really been, um, kind of urging, uh, urging the end of the war in Afghanistan and that’s kind of been our main focus. But i will, one thing, just cause i really appreciate the question is that there is a part of our website that we have built recently called ;signon.org. And that’s a place where anybody can launch a campaign and if it resonates with moveon members then we will send it out broadly. And i think there actually is a bunch of stuff there about the issues that you are talking about but also i would just welcome you to go there and to kind of post what you think needs to be done and you know we test everything that goes there. We sort of consult with moveon members and say “is this something that we ought to be doing?” and it’s a way for us to turn more and more of the leadership of the organization over to the seven million people in our membership. So we encourage you to do that.

    Where to even start dissecting this psuedo-liberal sheepishness.

    ;moveon.org is interested in ending the Afghanistan war, but is not sure if drone warfare is part of the anger which keeps fueling the conflict.

    ;moveon.org is not sure if ending the assassination of American citizens and others without the due process of law is a liberal or progressive cause.

    ;moveon.org is not sure if their members are interested in exposing the corrupt violence and enemy-creation that is nurtured by drone strikes.

    ;moveorg. is not sure if they are progressive, but they are definitely pro-Obama to the point of uncritical worship.

    I consider myself a liberal, but that is only despite the liberal ignorance so pervasive in this country.

  291. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran Sanctions may be ‘Crippling,’ but they are not ‘Working’
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/11/iran-sanctions-may-be-crippling-but-they-are-not-working-cher.html

  292. Richard Steven Hack says:

    More escalation on the Israeli-Syrian border…

    Fire exchanges on Syrian border; IDF jeep damaged
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4307409,00.html

  293. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Formal request to be made…

    Turkey to ask NATO for missiles on Syria border: report
    http://dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Nov-17/195352-turkey-to-ask-nato-for-missiles-on-syria-border-report.ashx#axzz2CWsr2gyt

  294. Richard Steven Hack says:

    World braces for Syrian trainwreck
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK17Ak01.html

    Mostly right, but main place he gets it wrong is that the West wants to “extricate itself” from the mess it created in Syria. Nope. The West WANTS that mess to continue and get worse.

  295. Smith says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    Wonderful article. But as the title of this page shows, something went very wrong somewhere. Liberalism no more stands for freedom and peace. As recent years have amply shown it is as pro-war as any neo-nut or old nut ideology. Take the case of Obama. He got his peace prize by literally holding a gun to the whole world. There was not much expectation from conservatives but the liberalism has failed too. West is in clear need of a new ideology capable of housing the new ideas emerging among a growing segment of western population. Right now this segment is confused.

  296. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pepe Escobar on Bomb Iran? No. Bomb Gaza? Yes!
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK17Ak04.html

    I think he’s off on two points:

    1) That the Gaza war is a substitute for an Iran war. I agree with the earlier article that it may well be a “Phase 1″ of an Iran war.

    2) His belief that Obama might be serious about new negotiations with Iran. No way, Jose, er, Pepe.

  297. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Gary Sick on Mideast peace starts with talking to Iran
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/16/opinion/sick-mideast/index.html

    All I can say is: Good luck with that…

  298. Empty says:

    RSH,

    Regarding your post on November 17, 2012 at 1:20 am and all previous posts in which you have discussed the issue of “blame” for [not]starting a war (by some) as a reason for the delay (in starting a war that is actually ongoing), I believe your reasoning are not based on a strong foundation and you do not have any strong evidence to back up the “blame” theory.

    The laws in the US have been [practically] revised/re-written related to initiating/continuing/expanding wars to absolve all and any persons in charge (from the C.in C. on down) from any and all financial, political, and legal liability/consequences of errors (be they deliberate or otherwise). That is, “being blamed” for starting a war does not in way shape or form carry any weight or dire consequences to make that a strong inducement to avoid a war.

    Now, if you mean they care about their name/reputation in history (having become a bit familiar with your perspective, I doubt you’d assume this but in case you do), I must say that these people (including Obama) are proven political prostitutes and would sell their honors and names for much much less. Also, they pay (from the profit they make off of other people’s misery) to pay an editor/writer to polish their name/image in one or two books.

    So, your “blame” theory is not backed by any strong evidence or a logical reason.

  299. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 17, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    You are welcome and thank you.

    I guess, it would not be that difficult to change the position on nukes at all. It is just a policy matter and any attack or its threat can be used to change the policy. Certainly it should not be difficult in Iran. And most of the Arab Public actually supports a nuclear Iran and infact more Pakistani public supports Iran to have (87%) nuclear weapons than Iran’s own public. As for British public, I do not think Iranians give a hoot to what they think.

    I think slowly, the taboo around Iran going nuclear will be broken both in and outside Iran. A few years ago, it was even a taboo to talk about it specially in Iran. With these sanctions, this taboo is going to go down.

    As for defense it is important for Iran to consider 13=88 option. US was going to attack Iran in 2006 but Iran raised the temperature in Iraq and the US troops got bogged down in Iraqi sand. Iran now can do the same in Afghanistan. There is no other option. US did the same with USSR in 88. Iran can remind the US of 88 in 13. It is a cheap and effective way to defend Iran. In the meanwhile Iran should go nuclear and be ready for a test, when US is pulling out of Afghanistan. US will not attack Iran till all the American troops are free and out of Afghan hell. By that time, Iran must have a nuclear deterrence.

    Well, a few years ago, a nuclear Iran was just a luxury. Now it is of existential importance for Iran to go nuclear. That is the only way. And the sanctions are going to go away when Iran tests its nukes too along with all threats of war since no one is going to escalate enmity with a nuclear armed nation. That is how it works.

    And you can already judge it here. People like James here, who get angry just because Iranians aspire to be equal to Chinese, Russians and British. They feel insulted when the slaves demand to have the same thing as the masters. With such people running the world affairs, an Iran without nukes is only a fair game. It is impossible for Iran to defend against almost a billion western population with gigantic defense budgets and high technology. Iran does not stand a chance in conventional terms. Only nuclear weapons would balance the power and make Iran secured. Iran is under existential threat by axis powers.

  300. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israeli Firepower Threatens to Overwhelm Palestinians
    http://original.antiwar.com/deen/2012/11/17/israeli-firepower-threatens-to-overwhelm-palestinians/

    Quotes

    In Middle Eastern politics, it is long established fact that no Arab country – or even a combination of Arab countries – would be able to overpower the Israelis.

    The latest Global Militarisation Index released last week by the Bonn International Centre for Conversion (BICC) listed Israel as “the world’s most militarised nation”, followed by Singapore, Syria, Russia, Jordan and Cyprus.

    Dan Darling, military markets analyst for Asia/Europe at Forecast International, told IPS that “in terms of raw firepower and military technologies Israel remains the most advanced military nation in the region”.

    According to the 2012 Congressional Budget Justification put out by the U.S. State Department, outright U.S. military grants to Israel remained at 2.8 billion each in 2010 and 2011, rising to 3.1 billion dollars in 2012.

    The State Department also said that 2009 marked the first year of a 10-year, 30-billion-dollar military financing memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Israel.

    End Quote

    That $30 billion referenced was handed to the Israelis by Dick Cheney back when he was pushing them to start the war with Iran. But Israel balked because Hizballah in Lebanon was not defeated in the 2006 war.

  301. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel Military Implements Gaza War, Phase1 of Iran Nuclear Attack Plan
    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article37585.html

    I agree with this, although they left out Syria. Syria’s missile arsenal needs to be degraded as well. They also didn’t consider the probability that a US/NATO attack on Syria would be useful in enabling Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon.

    The only reason I’ve never included a Gaza attack in my scenarios is because I didn’t think they had enough useful rockets to be a significant threat compared to Hizballah and Syria. However, it would appear that it does make sense to thrash Gaza first, thus making them spend their time rebuilding and recovering while the Syria and Lebanon situation are worked out.

    As for Israel attacking Iran as “Phase 3″, this might or might not happen. It all depends on whether Netanyahu has enough of a green light from the US ruling elite and their proxies in the US Congress, or whether he is willing to ignore that. In any event, “Phase 1″ and “Phase 2″ (along with Syria) needs to happen first in any event, regardless of how the Iran war starts.

  302. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Thank you for your comments.

    After 1991 war of US and others against the Ba’athist Iraq, the North Koreans moved their divisions south and dug in around DMZ and took Seoul hostage.

    That was a prescient and wise move for them as Mr. Clinton, after discovering a nuclear weapons program in Nroth Korea, was about to go to war with her. At that point, Mr. Carter went to North Korea and forged a deal with the North Korean leaders; one that Mr. Clinton bears a great responsibility in destroying.

    I agree with you about the Light coming out of Iran – perhaps as far back as 8600 years ago – if one believes what Greek and Latin sources for the age of Prophet Zoroaster.

    However, I do not believe that is the essential difference between West and Iran or Russia and Iran.

    Americans, through their revolutionary policy of regime change in Iraq, have created a new power, a Shia/Irani power with the dual religious centers of Najaf and Qum.

    This is irreversible and their planners know it (I should hope).

    Much earlier I had put my estimates for a US war against Iran at 60,000 dead Iranians over a period of 4 years.

    If Mr. Obama starts a war now, he will be leaving office just when the first tentative cease-fire is in place.

    Furthermore, if US goes to war with Iran, she will either have to conquer Iran and occupy her at that time, or come back again – a la Iraq – and try again.

    That is, a war today could be followed by a cease-fire in 2017 and re-started in 2037 – and per Iraq – probably won’t end until 2047 or even later.

    During all of that time, US will have to pay the increased costs of security of Israel.

    Iranians have made too many declarations and promises to many other states to build nuclear weapons now.

    Or to obatin them from North Korea or anywhere else – I am not sure there is a need at this moment.

    I agree with you that Iranians cannot discount potential threats from Pakistan or anyone else.

    As for Saudi Arabia, I discount them as a threat – there is big ditch between them and Iran and they lack the manpower, the moral, the cohesion, and the strategic depth to attack Iran.

    They, like Israelis, wish to have US do something to Iran.

    I agree with your estimation that the Axis Powers have made the world more unsafe. US, in particular, must be singled out for having destroyed CWT and NPT in less than 30 years.

    And I aagree that the global devolution of power and the cavalier way that US and EU in their age of decline are walking all over other states (speaking of the Principle of the Peace of Westphalia in Washington DC would only get you derisive dismissal) is crating a crisis of security all over the world for other states and they will do what they have to do to protect themselves.

    As I stated before, none of US allies and friends truts them – they are hedging their bets and those who can are keeping their nuclear option in the basement (Australia, Japan, Argentina, Brazil) or are outright nuclear powers: Israel, UK, France, Israel.

    I do not think that you are aware of the internal obstacles that have prevented Iranian development; much of it consisted of self-inflicted wounds. Iranian leaders were attempting to prctice a form of Islamic charity, based on oil revenue.

    They fed local consumption and lowered labor productivity while depriving future generations from much needed investments. They were brutally deflected from that path last year – before that no one in Iran would listen to you on this subject.

    Regretably I do no foresee any openings between Iran and Axis Powers and Russia. Americans are too sure of their strategic preponderance guaranteeing victory to contemplate strategic dialogue with Iran.

    And Russians want to make sure that there nascent Shia/Irani power is still-born.

    And EU states, having nothing better to do, are quite happy with that.

    To this must be added the religious dimension of Jewish Fantasy, Protestant Romance with Judaism, the Cult of Shoah on the one side and the Cult of Imam Hussein and Islamic Mititancy on the other.

    West does not have statesmen that can address these issues – thus sanctions. threats. isolation.

  303. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Another point why Iran is not North Korea, is because, North Korea does not have anything to offer in terms of “human civilization and culture”. I am sure you understand what I mean by that. While Iran is effectively engaged in a battle. West is trying to stop Iran’s export of its civilization/culture/religion to the world. No body in the world wants to get any social value or cultural product from North Korea. While Iran’s influence is becoming so great that even with inept and stupid Iranian government, the Iranian soft power has engulfed the whole region and is going global. So there is no comparison. Please see my post below for more on this difference.

  304. Richard Steven Hack says:

    This is a great piece about the recent drone incident… The cartoon is priceless…

    Iran ‘Causing Trouble’ By Being Located Too Near U.S. Drone Flight Paths
    http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/2012/11/10/iran-causing-trouble-by-being-located-too-near-u-s-drone-flight-paths/

  305. Smith says:

    Correction to my previous post:

    “… US can inflict quite a large amount of damage on Iran even without an invasion….”

  306. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    You touched on a very sensitive subject. After India and Pakistan went nuclear, everything changed for Iran. True that Iran had to live in the neighborhood of nuclear armed Soviet Union and now the nuclear Armed Russia, and even the nuclear armed Turkey (there are dozens of American nukes in Turkey), but now things have changed. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal is the world’s fastest growing.

    Turkish and Saudi military might is increasing and Wahabis are becoming more and more prominent in Pakistan. India and China are becoming giants. Israel as always has the utmost say in middle east. France and UK both have threatened Iran with nuclear strikes. So Iran is in a very weak position when it comes to military nuke calculations.

    Since United Nations died in 1980′s and Iran is the only home of Shia’s (much like Israel is for Jews), I guess Iran does not have any other choice but to go nuclear. Anything less is a direct gamble on the lives of 80 million Iranians and one hundred million more Shias living outside of Iran. If Iran falls and is torn into 13 smaller fiefdoms as seems to be the plan of the “old fox”, then all the Shias will suffer.

    The world is a cruel place. There is no rationality or reasons or laws. There is only one thing in modern world. Solid fueled thermonuclear ICBM’s. That is the only thing protecting the humanity against colonization by a race. That is the only path for Iran if it wants its future children to have any respect in the world and be equal to the more equals of the world. There simply stands no other way.

    But I do not agree with your military analysis. US can inflict quite a large amount of damage on US even without an invasion. The only thing that can stop that is either having nuclear ICBM’s or if not then in the short term having a good enough air defense and sea defense to make any aggression very expensive. Of course you can not completely ward off an attack if you do not have nuclear weapons, but you can make it expensive. In that regard, I do not know where Iranian capability stands and whether Iran will be able to defend itself against the largest and most sophisticated conventional military machine in the milky way galaxy and quite possibly the entire universe.

    That is where my arguments for Iran having lost lots of opportunities to buy/develop/steal technology come in. If Iran had used its potential in the last two decades to build a knowledge based economy capable of manufacturing everything from essential medicines to advanced electronics, then today, Iran would have been much more powerful conventionally to make an American invasion expensive. Now, I am aware that Iran has achieved some success stories as well, but my argument is much more could have been done, and STILL CAN BE DONE.

    The other area, I do not agree with you, is the comparison with North Korea. That is erroneous. First United States will not attack North Korea in a thousand years. First it is an outpost of China. Then it does not have oil. And finally and most importantly they have missiles and nukes. That is why US has even stopped teasing North Korea since 2010, the way they are teasing Iran.

    Before 2010, every other week US used to come up with something new on North Korea but not any more. And as North Korea increases the range of its missiles and moves on to solid fueled missiles and eventually ICBM, plus increasing the number of its nuclear arsenal then, you will see that US will moderate its position with regard to North Korea even more and probably will offer unconditional friendship with North Korea. At any rate North Koreans will never attack China or South Korea, and both China and South Korea knows this. If ever things escalate, North will attack places like Japan or Taiwan. Actually the South Koreans think about unification with North Korea deep into future which will result in a unified nuclear armed Korea. So the Koreans as a whole are playing a smart game. In the meanwhile as North Korea manufactures more and more nukes, US can do nothing, since North Korean strategy is solid and is very simple.

    North Korea’s Nuclear War Plan: “Go Nuts” and ‘Dig in”:
    http://thediplomat.com/the-naval-diplomat/2012/10/23/north-korea/

    Then there are other reasons. North Korea does not have the same population as of Iran. According to an anthropological theory, a collection of people (nation, tribe whatever you wanna call them), must number around 80 million in order to be able to absorb and retain the whole spectrum of human knowledge and technology. This is the critical population level at which a nation can theoretically function autonomously. North Korea does not have it. North Korea also does not have the variety of Iranian mineral reserves, oil and gas, enough arable land for agricultural self sufficiency and most importantly, enough political and economic freedom to ever rise to a global force. Iran is a different story. It can not be compared to North Korea at all, at least since North Korea is nuclear armed and Iran is not.

    But your analogy at some level can be applied to Cuba. US effectively blockaded Cuba and I guess this was the aim of US planners to turn Iran into a Cuba. Of course there are some hurdles for US planners. Cuba was too close to US and Iran is very far. Iran has many neighbors and Cuba has only US as a neighbor. Iran is much more technologically sophisticated than Cuba. Iran manufactures its own cars while Cuba had to live with 1950′s cars since it could not produce anything. That is where my earlier argument again comes in. If Iran buys/develops/steals more technology, it would not even need to suffer one bit even if west breaks all the relations. Though again, I think Iran has more potential than Cuba and Iran will pull through if there is no war.

    That is why it is so important for Iran to either secretly make nukes or import them from North Korea. That way, Iran will have a last minute deterrence. If any state goes nuts and try to attack Iran, then Iranians can bring out the nukes and do a couple of underground tests in Iran as well as a couple of medium altitude tests atop missiles in Indian ocean. Then they can pull out of NPT and start a crash program to expand Iran’s nuclear arsenal which I think for a country as large as Iran should stand at something between 500 to 1500 nukes depending on the role Iran wants to play in geopolitics of planet earth. In the meanwhile when Iran would have only afew nukes, Iran can implement the North Korean strategy of “digging in and going nuts” as explained above. This should be the short term goal of Iranian planners, getting some nukes ready.

    In longer term, Iran should wait and see. If the west offers an exceedingly good deal not something shameful as in 2003, then Iran can keep those nukes in the basement and play the Israeli game of having an ambiguous nuclear program. If ever west tries to play Iran, then pull out of NPT, test nukes and manufacture more and more nukes. On the other hand if the west does not offer Iran any deal, then in a long term plan, Iran should eventually pull out of NPT and build more nukes. At any rate, with deal, no deal, sanctions, no sanctions, war and no war, Iran must go nuclear. There is really no other choice. It is not only about Israel or United States. What if Britain goes nuts and tries to nuke Iran. What if North Korea some day goes nuts and tries to nuke an un-armed, non nuclear Iran. Who will protect Iran then? What if Hindu nationalist extremists take power in India and nuke Iran in order to occupy it and have access to its oil and gas reserves for more than a billion Indians?

    What if Wahabis reach power in Pakistan and try to finish off their ideological argument with the only Shia government by nuking it? There are so many dangers surrounding Iran. And there are even more dangers internally inside Iran itself. The only way to keep Iran safe, sound and relevant in a future world, is to have a nuclear armed Iran. Anything less is a bad bet. I hope Iranians understand this. Since failure to understand such an important issue may culminate in the extinction of their religion as well as their unique Iranian history. Iran has made some very bad and powerful people its enemy. These people will not stop till they exterminate Iran as an entity in a future world, the same way, these bad people exterminated lots of other people. With this, now it is upto Iranians to choose their path. And I hope they choose the right path. Just a short 3 minute historical lesson here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipujWRYUjS4

  307. Richard Steven Hack says:

    FIVE PAGES worth of Israeli UN resolution violations… An amazing compilation.

    Rogue State: Israeli Violations of U.N. Security Council Resolutions
    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2010/01/27/rogue-state-israeli-violations-of-u-n-security-council-resolutions/0/

  308. James Canning says:

    “What if powerful Palestinians were bombing weak Israelis?”, by Steve Walt:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/15/first_thoughts_on_the_latest_gaza_war

  309. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 17, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I think after the WMD attacks of Iraq against Iran and the nuclearization of Pakistan and India the future existence of Iran as a unitary and cohesive state became doubtful.

    The Iranian nuclear capacity/capability is essential for the survival of that state, just like Paksitan’s was necessary for the same reasons.

    Now, sometime ago I estimated the casualties and damages that could be inflicted on Iran by US during a war.

    In my opinion, the damage and casualties are acceptable against the alternative; the almost certain future threats against state stability and cohesion.

    To this danger must be added the incredibly adverse security envrionments that Iranian allies – Shia, Sunni, and others – would face in the event of the demise of Iranian state or its substantial weakening.

    Between Hindu Kush and Mediterranean Sea, I would think that upwards of 100 million souls’ physical security is now tied to the existence of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

    Dr. Kissinger, Dr. Bracken, and other Axis Powers commentators and analysts face no such threats.

    Yet they seem to wish that Iranians and others accept all such threats.

    That will not happen.

    I am certain that Israelis will do their best to have US attack Iran.

    No doubt.

    While a bilateral negogiating process between Iran and US at the strategic level will be able to ameliorate the situation, it is not in the cards; in my opinion.

    Iranians will not agree to a nuclear-only agenda and EU, China, and Russia would not accept that either.

    That is why I think the North Korean option is the US’s choice:

    They isolate Iran
    They wound Iran
    And someday they come back and bomb Iran (when they are ready to do so).

    At least, that seems to be the hope of US planners.

  310. James Canning says:

    Iran’s deputy oil minister said this week that Iranian oil production should rise to 5.3 million barrels per day by 2015. He said current production is 4.3 mbpd, which is a considerably higher figure than other sources have reported.

  311. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    An Iran armed with nukes is not in the cards. Full stop.

  312. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I do not agree with the contention that “sanctions [against Iran] will never be removed”.

  313. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    Surely you agree that European countries wanting to pressure Israel to get out of the West Bank, are impeded in pursuing this object if they must work with Israel in view of potential war with Iran. Zero propaganda on this item.

  314. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Sanctions against Burma (Myanmar) have been lifted fairly quickly as the government institutes reforms.

    Obviously you are aware Iran is willing to stop enriching to 20% even if the NPT allows such enrichment.

  315. fyi says:

    All:

    H.R. 1905: Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012

    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr1905/text

  316. fyi says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says:

    November 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I have read the article that you have posted.

    The problematic with this article is that, taken at face-value, it means that no progress is possible.

    Dr. Kissinger wrote:

    “To the extent that Iran shows willingness to conduct itself as a nation-state, rather than a revolutionary religious cause, and accepts enforceable verification, elements of Iranian security concerns should be taken seriously, including gradual easing of sanctions as strict limits on enrichment are implemented and enforced.”

    These statements imply that US requirements are:

    1- For Iran to give up her role in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bahrain, Palestine and elsewhere as the defender of Shia.

    2- Accept limitations or her nuclear development beyond NPT.

    Only if Iran conforms to these two will the Axis Powers gradually (I suppose over decades) unwind their sanctions.

    I think both of these propositions are unacceptable to Iranian leaders and almost certainly this has also been communicated to US leaders.

    The rest of the article about cascade of proliferation, cost of containment etc. are all canards.

    May be he should discuss war as well, since he does not address the costs of war.

    My conclusion: stalemate North-Korean style.

  317. Ataune says:

    James Canning

    “Iran’s nuclear programme enables Israel to deflect attention from its continuing oppression of the Palestinians and its ongoing colonisation scheme in the West Bank.”

    As I said before, this is pure fabrication by neocon propagandist in the UK government. The facts are that the oppression of the Palestinian by Israel is due to the nature of the latter. In the 90′s Saddam was the excuse, before him Nasser or the whole Arabs and sometimes back the “European antisemitism”.

  318. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    If Iran gets the nukes: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324735104578121513378501702.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    The article is examining the issue from the neo-nut angle but even then, the result seems to be favorable to Iranians. At least Iran will not be invaded. As almost all on this forum have reached to this conclusion that sanctions will never be removed ever and ever then I guess a nuclear armed Iran will break this impasse. It will force the western system to accept the Islamic Republic and take it seriously. After a while the sanctions are going to be removed too, since keeping a nuclear armed Iran angry is much more riskier than teasing to death a non-nuclear Iran via sanctions.

    A nuclear armed Iran has many benefits. It will stabilize the nation by balancing the power in middle east. Also it will prevent a blood bath of Iranian citizens besides, helping Iran to reach once again at its lost global role which Iran lost centuries ago.

    I am sure, most of Iranians will dance in the streets the day, Iran tests its nukes and celebrate the dawn of a new super power Iran that will be playing realpolitik at the level of global powers without having to be scared. It will boost the morale of all Iranians around the world and will make them proud. And last but not least, it will solidify the mullahs rule for generations to come. I am sure Iranian mullahs are well aware of this fact and they will use it to their advantage. Most of Iranians inside and outside Iran have become tired of being treated as third class world citizens. The only way to do that is to prove to the world that Iran is a powerful country and not some joke like Saddam’s Iraq. They are tired of being ridiculed.

    Iran can not now roll back. If it does then situation is going to get out of control and Iran will lose. Even if Iran capitulates on nuclear issue, there is no guarantee that Iran will not be attacked and bombed into oblivion. As all options including nuclear strikes remains on table, Iran must move to secure the future of its citizens and the coming generations of Iranians: http://raztv.ir/video+bvz6gnd3nm

  319. Smith says:

    Neo says:
    November 17, 2012 at 6:13 am

    As Khamenei has said, the west does not have much and has not offered anything to Iran. In fact the whole emphasis of western system has been to make Iran capitulate and surrender unconditionally and put Iran’s fate at the mercy of neo-nut ideology.

    This is the real challenge. Western military supremacy can not be denied. Western military machine can bomb Iran back to stone age without ever setting foot on Iran. Round the clock aerial bombing and cruise missile attack for an extended period is a possibility. Iran’s political capital without a proper military defense amounts to nothing. The west still can tighten the noose even further with naval blockades, arm twisting Iran’s neighbors to make them stop trading with Iran while more weapons, drugs and terror are shipped into Iran by CIA proxies.

    Iran has options too. For instance the the 13=88 option. Or that Iran can get some nukes from North Korea and store them for the rainy day. Have enough Uranium to make more nukes in shortest possible of time. Also operate more and more nuclear reactors like IR-40 and accumulating their nuclear waste to be converted to nukes if ever the weather gets rainy. If things start to get wet, Iran can test afew nukes under ground and do a medium altitude test atop one of its missiles in Indian ocean and let all doubts evaporate. Pull out of NPT and be free from colonial agreements limiting sovereignty. With western arrogance, this is the direction things seem to be moving.

    Already public in Iran have started to question the whole scenario. The government will have difficulty to explain to public why Iran should be part of NPT. Basically the public is questioning being part of an agreement that does not give anything, but troubles. The Iranian public is confused. They are paying a heavy price in the form of sanctions without having any added security. So basically, they want to leave NPT as per article 10 of the agreement and build nukes, joining the other 9 countries that have the nukes. The sanctions remain, as they are now but at least, Iran will be more secured, will have more pride and its actions will be taken more seriously in the centuries to come.

    On the other hand without nukes, Iran will keep paying the heavy price, without getting the respect that comes by having nuclear weapons. Today, Iranians have to be scared every day that at some point, neo-nuts in US might decide to invade Iran and do to Iran what they did to Iraq, Vietnam and Afghanistan. But if they get the nukes, then they as well as all the generations of Iranians into the future will be safe and secured with lots of pride and respect on the world stage.

    I am sure, Iranian leaders are well aware of the public mood and the global situation of Iran. The only thing that can quickly the Iranian issue is for Iran to shed its fears and confidently move towards weaponizing its nuclear program. Without this step, there is no solution whatsoever from Iranian perspective that is sane and honorable to Iranians. Only nuclear weapons and ICBM’s will make Iran a truly independent and sovereign country with global voice and respect. Anything less than that is going to be a risky business to Iranian lives and honor today or in the future.

  320. ToivoS says:

    Cyrus_2 says:
    November 17, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Of course Iran has already agreed to those three points. It is the job of the diplomats to make them appear as concessions so the US can spin the resulting agreement as a victory for them. Obama has climbed way out on a limb here so it will be difficult, but shouldn’t be impossible, to come up with some face saving solution. We should know in a month or so if my optimism is unwarranted.

  321. James Canning says:

    The Russian position is that Iran needs to make more clear it is not seeking to build nukes.

    FYI’s position is that Iran should make clear it is getting ready to build nukes.

  322. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Cyrus:

    I agree with you that most of the foreign policy debate is moot, not just because of the nuclear weapons red herring, but more importantly, because of the fact that POTUS is powerless to offer anything thanks to the legislation passed in Congress that cannot be overcome.

    I would appreciate it if anyone had any detailed information about this legislation (the date it was passed, its salient points, and details).

  323. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Bussed-in Prof & Irshad:

    I will try to respond soon. I have recently moved to Qom and my internet access is intermittent at best presently…

    Meanwhile, you can enjoy this debate which aired on Channel 4 about a week ago. My friend Mr. Nasiri, who has a great mind, is one of the reasons I decided to move out here.

    http://mullasadra.blogspot.nl/2011/11/is-irfan-islamic.html

    (Sorry to the non-Persian speakers: the debate is in Persian)

  324. James Canning says:

    Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian nuclear negotiator, in Tehran this week said: “The reasoning behind sanctions, as we hear it, is that they would facilitate progress at [P5+1] negotiations, [but] we do not think this is the case.”

    Clearly the Russian position is sound. but of course AIPAC does not care. AIPAC wants Iran punished for not being friendly toward Israel.

  325. James Canning says:

    Was Ahmad Jabari assassinated by Israel just at a time Jabari was negotiating a permanent cease-fire between Hamas and Israel? Haaretz has comments on this.

  326. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Wow, Kissinger breaks out all the non-sense about the nuclear program including this gem in the WP article.
    “the apocalyptic strain in the Iranian theocracy and the near-certainty that several regional powers will go nuclear if Iran does”

    And this, totally kowtow or else:

    “Tehran must be made to understand that the alternative to an agreement is not simply a further period of negotiation and that using negotiations to gain time will have grave consequences.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/henry-kissinger-iran-must-be-president-obamas-immediate-priority/2012/11/16/2edf93e4-2dea-11e2-beb2-4b4cf5087636_story.html

  327. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Your apparent claim that Brazil wants to build nukes is also dead wrong.

  328. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Let me explain yet again: Iran’s nuclear programme enables Israel to deflect attention from its continuing oppression of the Palestinians and its ongoing colonisation scheme in the West Bank. In this way, Iran regrettably helps Israel to oppress the Palestinians. This is simple fact.

  329. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Any reunification of South Korea with North Korea would be in the context of destruction of the NK nukes.

    Your argument that South Korea wants nukes is simply dead wrong.

  330. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    You appear to be claiming the Khamenei is trying to deceive the world into thinking Iran does not want nukes, when the secret plan is to build nukes?

  331. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Obama does not want war with Iran. He may be forced into war with Iran, partly due to unfortunate choices made by Iranian leaders.

  332. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today in a leader lays blame at the feet of Israel, in part, for the carnage in Gaza. Continuing colonisation of the West Bank and continuing economic blockade of Gaza.

  333. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You appear to argue that if the “Axis Powers” give submarines and tanks to Israel, it will help Israel to keep the West Bank. In fact, even if Israel had 50 nuclear powered submarines, it cannot keep the West Bank if the rest of the world insists Israel get out.

  334. Richard Steven Hack says:

    German soldiers ‘ready to defend Turkish border’
    http://www.thelocal.de/national/20121117-46219.html

    “Defend”… Yeah, right…”Defend” against Syria’s retaliation when the US, NATO and Turkey attack Syria.

  335. kooshy says:

    Tel Aviv residents cheer rocket interception

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2012/11/17/israel-rocket-defense/1711065/

    This headline and the enclosed photo in USA today article should be really educating to majority of Israelis and their EU/US supporters, here the editor of USA today is trying to convince his audience that the residence of Israel are so comfortable and sure of their Iron Dome shield that they let their kids play Russian roulette outdoors? I wonder if this dumb editor would allow his kid to watch missile fired at them.

    I would think a responsible parent after a while will ask himself/ herself if I have a choice to move on and away from this situation should I pass and stay to have my family cheer intercepting missiles, here with this circumstances is just like watching my kid playing Russian roulette on daily bases. That should tell a lot about the level and quality of the USA Today editor who allowed this headline. At the end of the day is scarier than convincing that all is all right.

  336. Neo says:

    Smith says: November 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    “Iran stabilized Iraq, and got nothing in return… Iran helped with Taliban removal and got smacked in face.”

    Viewed from the position of the West, I would partially agree. But the Western view is not just a minority one, it is increasingly detached from reality, and this is why I’d agree with ‘fyi’ despite his relative pessimism.

    The ‘reality’ I’m referring to in this case is the enormous political and economic capital Iran has gained from its role as a stabiliser in the region, and for siding with the more progressive (liberal!) forces in the region. Iran does not need the West or its support. No country really does in this day and age, but most have not woken up to take full advantage of this. It doesn’t help that Western political discourse – despite being detached from reality, and despite being a voice for regressive and anti-democratic forces – is overwhelmingly dominant in the international media, 1984 style. But this ideological power too is on the wane, as it is destined to follow the West’s economic fall.

  337. Cyrus_2 says:

    “that they have the right to produce U235 for their reactors”
    Iran already has the right to do this as a NPT-signatory.

    “Iran will agree not to build nuclear weapons”
    Iran has already agreed not to build nuclear weapons, re ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa in 2005.

    “and will agree to IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities.”
    Iran already gives the IAEA full access to its nuclear facilities.

    In conclusion: the US has very little to offer Iran in order to reverse the sanctions.
    The sanctions regime will continue and even increase.
    Iran has no other choice but to adapt to them.

  338. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    Imam Ali (as), commenting on his assassin: “I want his life, we wants my death”.

    Imam Sajjad (as), said: “If the sword that killed my father was given to me as amaanat, I would return it to its owner.”

    We love our Sunni brothers and we fight the nasebis. That’s the path of the Ahlul Bayt (as).

    In time, our Sunni brothers will reject the Wahabis and join hands with their Shia brothers. Many already have.

    It’s Muharram, go beat your chest and cry for Imam Hussein (as) a little.

  339. ToivoS says:

    fyi says — “I do not think the threat of invasion and occupation of Iran by the United States is credible at all.”

    Of course that is not credible. The one thing that the US can do is bomb the hell out of Iran. We have the power to kill many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of Iranians with our bombers. Should we decide to do that then Iran has only a few options. One of the most realistic is to sink the 4th fleet in the Persian Gulf. That is Iran’s major deterrent against US aggression. Israel is really too far away for any of their missiles to cause militarily significant damage to Israel as long as the Israeli public is willing to put up with an environment of total war. Sure they will suffer casualties but Israel is a militarized society so they will probably be willing to do so. The big question is whether the US public will accept the deaths of a few thousand US sailors and the cost of all those very expensive ships ending up on the bottom of the Persian Gulf.

    Of course, this scenario means that oil shipments out of the ME would cease for at the very least many months if not longer.

    That is why, in my opinion, the US will not go to war against Iran and will be willing to negotiate a settlement today without all out war.

  340. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Alan Hart on an interesting comment by the Chief Rabbi of Britain…

    Chief Rabbi: “I think it has got to do with Iran, actually.
    http://www.alanhart.net/chief-rabbi-i-think-it-has-got-to-do-with-iran-actually/comment-page-1/#comment-62232

  341. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    November 16, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    No they are not Hack. Costs in this context refers to losses the global economy will sustain during an attack on Iran. In other words, the decrease in economic activity that will be an inveitable result of the attack. And of course it will get much, much worse beyone the initial three months should the US be so insane as to continue its aggression beyond that time. Of course, reports like this make the event of such aggression less and less likely.

  342. Richard Steven Hack says:

    All I can say about this is: Good work, guys! Unfortunately, it won’t matter a whit…

    Anonymous takes down over 550 Israeli sites, wipes databases, leaks email addresses and passwords
    http://thenextweb.com/insider/2012/11/17/anonymous-takes-down-countless-israeli-sites-wipes-databases-leaks-emails-addresses-and-passwords/

  343. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Ataune: “If not STARTING the war is not absolute, even though you present them as such, why then you state that a war with Iran is absolutely required.”

    Sigh… Let’s try this step by step so you can comprehend…

    1) A war with Iran is desired by the ruling elites for the reasons I’ve stated.

    2) SOME people – perhaps Obama – would prefer not to be BLAMED for starting the war. This has NOTHING to do with whether they either WANT a war or will ultimately START the war if they have no other choice.

    3) Not everyone is involved in either being BLAMED for the war or STARTING the war. There are various people involved, i.e., the ruling elites BEHIND the war, and the front men such as Obama who will START the war or try to get someone else to start the war.

    “And besides, why the PREFERENCE shouldn’t be to avoid a war and resolve the issue of hegemony without any exorbitant cost, political and financial.”

    If they could, they would. But they can’t. And in addition, FOR THE FIVE HUNDREDTH TIME: NOT EVERYONE WILL PAY THE COST OF THE WAR! SOME WILL PROFIT FROM THE WAR!

    Am I getting through to you? Can you pay attention to the total of the concepts I present rather than cherry-picking one concept at a time to respond to?

    Really, discussing anything with you is like talking to a five-year-old who keeps asking WHY because he doesn’t have the attention span or the knowledge background in ordinary human behavior to comprehend what I’m saying…

  344. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 16, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I do not think the threat of invasion and occupation of Iran by the United States is credible at all.

    US does not have that many soldiers and unless she imposes draft on an unwilling population she cannot muster the soldiers needed for occupation of Iran.

    Furthermore, I cannot concieve of any scenario that Russia will conede Iran to US, that is not an option for them – regardless of how US-EU oriented the elite in Russia are.

    I do however think that US Airforce has weapons that can kill thousands of Iranians over many months and destroy much of the Iranian infrastructure over a similar period of time.

    And the purveyours of strategic victory probably think that they can win.

    Iranian planners must therefore find retaliatory targets that is going to wound US.

    My understanding is that is what they have done; they have spread over many countries and can wage war across them.

    Sort of like US.

    I personally think that the world has entered a dangeorus and complicated situation because both the Economic and the Political foundations of the world that followed the Peace of Yalta (1944) have collapsed.

    The political foundations collapsed in 1991 and the economic ones in 2011.

    Sort of like what obtained in 1899 has obtained since 2011.

    It is likely that there will be more wars and conflicts all over the world; if that happens, and US finds here hands too full, she might try to settle the Iran file.

    Until then, US and EU will do their best to turn Iran into another North Korea, or Cuba, or Myanmar.

    They will, of course, fail, but that is all they have and can concieve of doing; their leaders do not comprehend the concept of “Peace Interest”.

  345. Ataune says:

    RSH

    I was quoting YOU word by word. So you have to resolve your own logical contradiction.

    You added:

    “These are not ABSOLUTES I’m talking about here, but preferences. The requirement for the war is more important than how it gets started. Sooner or later that requirement will push one of the parties to start it.”

    If not STARTING the war is not absolute, even though you present them as such, why then you state that a war with Iran is absolutely required. if ultimately they WILL start the war why even care about who is to be blamed for starting it. And besides, why the PREFERENCE shouldn’t be to avoid a war and resolve the issue of hegemony without any exorbitant cost, political and financial.

  346. Smith says:

    fyi says:
    November 16, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    It is exactly like what you said. Unfortunately, I have lost any hope with US to make the right choice. War seems to be the only option they ever think of. As I said, Iran should be more prominent in Afghanistan next year. Make 13 to be the new 88. Iran stabilized Iraq, and got nothing in return.

    Iran helped with Taliban removal and got smacked in face. At the end my opinion is that Iran will have to become nuclear armed in order to deter an American invasion. These guys will never back down from invasion plans. Sanctions are nothing. Iran should sink itself in local production of everything by buying/developing and stealing technology. If Iran blinks, then it is toast. And I guess Khamenei knows this very well: http://raztv.ir/video+almps9bn8b

  347. Photi says:

    This is what democracy looks like:

    ” Large groups of young Egyptians have been heading for Gaza; my youngest niece is one of them. Like the efforts of the world’s civil society to send ships to Gaza, young Egyptian civilians with a passion for freedom are going to support their friends.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/16/gaza-no-longer-alone

  348. fyi says:

    Smith says:

    November 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    I agree, US wishes to crush Iran – no doubt.

    Thus the sanctions etc.

    The US official here is clearly expressing the consensus US position; that only more sanctions will bring Iranians to the table.

    Note that there was no response to the issue that was raised from the floor on MKO.

    In 2010, Mr. Khamenei stated – when told about crippling sanctions – “Do not try this country and this people with sanctions.”

    Evidently, Axis Powers decided to try just that.

    Last month, Mr. Khamenei articulated the position of Iranian state as no surrender and no retreat.

    Someday, but not soon, there will be a cease fire across in the Middle East between the Axis Powers and the Resistance Axis.

    The aim of diplomacy, in my opinion, is to make that cease-fire possible and more quickly.

    The cease-fire must cover Palestine, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, and also possibly Pakistan.

    That is what is possible now; norma intra-state intercourse and generalized peaceful coexistence are at least a decade into the futre and not during Mr. Obama’s second term.

  349. fyi says:

    Smith & Clint

    The time for Grand Bargain or Sanctions Removal are not available as political choices either for Iran or for the United States.

    US, EU, and Russia cannot put on the table any positive inducement or any positive vision of the future for the people of Iran or the people of the Middle East.

    This is the banse of their policy and – just like USSR in Afghanistan – they will fail. There is a difference however in that USSR wounded a single country; Axis States are waging war or have waged war in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Libya.

    They are promising only more death and more destruction; that is the sum total of Neo-Conservative & Liberal Internationalist schools of International Relations in the United States.

    As for Iran and US: after the Middle-East-Wide cease-fire (still years into the future) only a partial and haphazard way of accomodation – over many years and decades – are available moving forward in time.

    Americans are not trusted by their own friends and allies: Israel is nuclear armed, France is nuclear-armed, UK is nuclear-armed, Japan is nuclear-ready, (South) Korea dreams of unifying with a nuclear-armed North Korea, Brazil is working on hydorgen (thermo-nuclear) weapons, and the list goes on.

    I do not wish to belabor my own views in regards to the necessity of nuclear capability for the survival of the Iranian state.

  350. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Note also that all these articles explicitly point out that the increased production capacity at Fordow refutes Israel’s recent notion that Iran’s conversion of the 20% LEU to fuel plates for use at the TRR means Israel has more time to allow sanctions to work.

    This means the *US* is declaring that Israel is wrong! And the articles also state that Israel “saber rattling” will renew shortly because of this.

    While none of this is new, it shows once again that a push for war is still very much in the minds of the propagandists and the ruling elites in the US. Another propaganda push will be made this month as a result of this report, just like last year.

  351. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ABC is even more explicit in its article:

    UN Nuclear Agency: Iran Poised to Expand Nuke Work
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/nuclear-agency-iran-poised-expand-nuke-work-17740366

    Here’s the lede and second paragraph:

    Iran is poised to double its output of higher-enriched uranium at its fortified underground facility, the U.N. nuclear agency said Friday — a development that puts Tehran within months of being able to make the core of a nuclear warhead.

    The finding also calls into question a tentative new U.S. plan meant to induce Tehran to compromise on its nuclear program by offering a rollback of crippling new anti-Iran sanctions if Tehran cuts back on enriching uranium to 20 percent.

    Thus ABC explicitly propagandizes for not even bothering to talk to Iran!

  352. Richard Steven Hack says:

    And here’s David Sanger, as expected…

    Iran’s Fordow Nuclear Complex Reaches Capacity
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/17/world/middleeast/irans-fordow-nuclear-complex-reaches-capacity.html

    And here’s his lede:

    Iran has finished installing all the critical equipment at a deep underground site where it is producing nuclear fuel that could quickly be converted to use in a nuclear weapon, international inspectors reported on Friday. But they said Iran has yet to ramp up production, leaving several months for President Obama and his allies to work on a diplomatic solution that could avoid a military confrontation.

    Regardless of the rest of the article, this is the paragraph that counts. Note that 20% LEU is once again touted as being “quickly converted for use in a nuclear weapon.” Note also that once again they’re putting a maximum time on negotiations. And of course they have little choice in that since Syria has not been resolved.

    The necessity to take out Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon has pushed the likelihood of an Iran war back probably through much of 2013. Without foreign military intervention, the Syrian civil war by itself could continue, as Pepe Escobar mentions in his radio interview with Scott Horton, for at least another year. This will put the onus on the West to resolve that situation sooner, not later.

  353. kooshy says:

    A great review of what went wrong with regard to Iran’s negotiation in Obama’s first term. A few names are missing in this limited list of Iran/ Middle East analyst one name that should have been on top
    Of this list Is Juan Cole.

  354. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Fox News:

    UN watchdog says Iran still working toward nuclear weapons
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/11/16/un-watchdog-says-iran-still-working-toward-nuclear-weapons/

    See?

    Quote:

    “The agency has obtained more information,” Amano wrote, suggesting that “Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device…that prior to the end of 2003 the activities took place under a structured program; that some continued after 2003; and that some may still be ongoing.”

    In stressing that Iran’s suspected work on late-stage nuclear weaponry equipment “continued after 2003,” the agency effectively rebutted a controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, prepared by the U.S. intelligence community, that concluded the regime had completely halted such work four years earlier.

    Every media outlet in the US will be repeating this crap. Congress will pass new sanctions within a couple months if not sooner.

    There will be no new talks. Even if there are, they will end up like those in 2009.

    This isn’t going to stop.

  355. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran ready to double uranium enrichment at Fordo – IAEA
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20368030

    Of course, if you read the article, it just means that more centrifuges of the total installed at Fordow are being brought online…

    The spin in the media however will be “Iran to double enrichment”.

    Note also that this comes from a “leaked IAEA document” – which means the entire report is propaganda deliberately leaked by one of the IAEA diplomats (guess which) to justify the massively increased sanctions currently being worked on in the US Congress which, as an earlier report I posted here indicates, is intended to cut off all Iranian economic activity with the West.

    Next stop: naval blockade.

  356. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Ataune: “If no one wants to START a war with Iran because they want to AVOID the blame for the aftermath and if Iran is smart enough not to start the war, how the whole thing can start ?”

    Common sense appears to be alien to you.

    These are not ABSOLUTES I’m talking about here, but preferences. The requirement for the war is more important than how it gets started. Sooner or later that requirement will push one of the parties to start it.

    For instance, if the US imposes a naval blockade on Iran, Iran will have no choice but to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation. This will enable the US to start the war while blaming Iran for it, by claiming the blockade was “legal”, despite the fact that a blockade is an act of war under international law. This is only one scenario that could occur.

    Try to use some imagination to see what is possible.

    For instance, try reversing your question to: If no one wants to start a war, then why the hell is everyone pushing for war? The notion that it is all just to divert attention from other matters is silly. You don’t go to these lengths to get a war started just to suddenly say, “Oh, wait, sorry, we didn’t mean it. Let’s just talk.”

  357. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: re http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK17Ak03.html

    Where he, like everyone else, gets it wrong is when he assumes Obama had any intention of solving the Palestinian problem in the first place. Obama is not being held hostage by the Congress, he is being held hostage by the people who financed his entire political career. Just because he is in a second term doesn’t change that. If he doesn’t do what he’s told, they can screw him in his second term just as easily as in his first. And this is what Netanyahu has just proven yet again.

  358. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “Costs: http://www.ksat.com/news/War-with-Iran-could-cost-3-trillion/-/478452/17427012/-/h3yx6vz/-/index.html

    Remember: Costs to someone are profits to someone else… A trillion or three comes from the worlds taxpayers and goes to the “one percent”…

    That’s called “motivation”…

  359. ToivoS says:

    I can’t be too hard on R Cohen since I more or less agreed with him in 2009. It wasn’t until discovering RfI that I realized my error. Cohen should and I hope will realize his error. Right now what he advocates is contradictory — negotiations with Iran but on condition that they accept a set of absurd non-negotiable demands.

    Somehow I believe that Cohen will come around to a more rational position provided the Obama Admin seriously changes track. This is where we can be optimistic. Assuming Obama is rational, he must realize that we will have to enter honest negotiations. This will mean that he will have to accept the IRI as it is, that they have the right to produce U235 for their reactors and that at least some of the sanctions will have to be relaxed. Iran will agree not to build nuclear weapons and will agree to IAEA inspections of its nuclear facilities.

    Of course my rosy scenario could be set back by an escalating IP war (that the US has very little influence over) or some big blow up in Syria (which the US could stop tomorrow if it so ordered). Israel really does remain the wild card in all of this. The Israeli lobby has so deeply penetrated US culture, politics and government that Obama is quite powerless to force Israel to do anything.

  360. Jay says:

    In the larger context of propagandist journalism to sell agendas, shameless liberalism is generous and an understatement. A cursory visit to the headline of this report suggests a silent but active collusion of liberalism with the neocon propagandists.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/11/16/un-watchdog-says-iran-still-working-toward-nuclear-weapons/

  361. Dan Cooper says:

    Soraya Ulrich says:
    November 16, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    I could not agree more with your post.

    I follow your articles in different publications with interest.

    I hope you contribute to this site more often.

  362. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saeed Jalili said Iran hopes the P5+1 will recognise Iran’s rights under the NPT, when talks are resumed. (After he met with Sergie Ryabkov in Tehran)

  363. James Canning says:

    Smith,

    I assume you are aware that Myanmar is succeeding in getting rid of all sanctions against it.

    Are you claiming Iran cannot get rid of the sanctions due to the power of the Israel lobby?

  364. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You too should read more about the origins of the First World War, and how important it was for the German generals (who wanted war) to have the German people think Russia was the aggressor.

  365. Karl.. says:

    James,

    Could you either please stop replying to my messages here or for the 3rd time tell what Iran have to do with the israeli settlements?

  366. Clint says:

    Latest IAEA report (just out!) also confirms Iran diverted no nuclear material — YAWN!!!! Why do we want to bomb them again? Oh Iraq 2.0, yes.

    See:

    http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/Iran_safeguards_report_November_2012.pdf

  367. Clint says:

    The nuclear issue needs to be separated from any discussions of regime change/grand bargain etc.

    What nuclear things does Iran need to do to have sanctions removed? As this piece in F.P. shows, the conditions are not merely nuclear-related:

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

    What needs to be asked by reporters is “Who (e.g. which lobby) wrote the text of the sanctions’ legislation?”

  368. fyi says:

    Nasser (from the previous thread)

    Stratfor is correct; and Israeli leaders also understood all of that.

    But they also believed it to be more important to wound Mr. Obama and to humiliate him publicly.

    They scored against HAMAS and its weapons, they scored against Mr. Obama, and they have also scored in the coming general elections in Israel.

    This was a God-send for Iran – the sole and only Muslim Champion of Palestinians.

  369. fyi says:

    All:

    In regards to P5+1 and Iran:

    This past week Dr. Jalali and Mr. Ryabkov met in Tehran.

    Iranians stated that for talks to resume P5+1 must recognize Iran’s rights under NPT at the start of negogiations.

    Mr. Ryabkov stated – and I suspect this was the P5+1 position – that the acknowlegement of any such rights is to be contingent on the later stages of negogiations.

    I gather that Iranians did not budge and Mr. Ryabkov left without having achieved what the P5+1 expected to be quite achieveable in the light of their sanctions.

    Here are my predictions: there will be no movements on the nuclear front with Iran, on Syria, on Palestine in this second term of Mr. Obama.

    I expect these wars to continue…

  370. fyi says:

    All:

    This is a decent assessment and I am led to think that Iran-US talks , if there were any relaity behind the rumors, are going to be still-born.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NK17Ak03.html

    Mr. Obama has lost again; acorss the Middle East.

  371. Al says:

    Great article, if some of the people who speaks about Iran, would have some real knowledge about the people and country most wishful thinking would stop, but since their are been paid for it, it will not stop. Richard Steven Hack like your post.

  372. Smith says:

    I do not think diplomacy is going to work. Sanctions are never going to be removed ever. So let’s talk about something else here. Something that actually has a chance of moving things forward for Iran.

    What 88 has in common with 13? This is the single most important question that Iranians have to ask themselves, that is if they want to live without being a foreign occupied slave colony in the 21st century. The Iranian life, future and honor literally depends on these two digits.

    Remember 13 and 88: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37U8T8RCBbE&feature=related

    If these numbers do not work, then Iran and US are headed for a “crash” as this Obama administration official promises in this panel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQnLYV3Tv2Y

  373. James Canning says:

    Off-topic but worth noting: Bulgaria has agreed to the South Stream gas pipeline deal, so that Russian gas can bypass Ukraine to reach the Balkans. Italian, French, and German companies are working in syndicate with Russia’s Gazprom.

  374. James Canning says:

    At least Roger Cohen notes that American ‘non-communication with Iran” is unhelpful. And this non-communication is the strategy of the neocons and the Israel lobby generally.

    Jack Hunter on how the neocons used General Petraeus to lobby the American people for permanent US military presence in Afghanistan:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-petraeus-saga/

  375. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    How inconvenient that reality based predictions have once again disagreed with the arguments of a certain poster on this blog that cost of war with Iran for the US would be small and easily contained.

    From the Federation of American Scientists

    http://www.fas.org/_docs/2012_Iran_and_Global_Economy.pdf

    “Sanctions, Military Strikes, and Other Potential Actions against Iran
    Initial Findings from an Expert Elicitation on Potential Global Economic Impacts”

    Key point in the study:

    “The elicitation revealed the rough effects of U.S. action against Iran on the global economy–measured only in the first three months of actualization – to range from a net global economic benefit of approximately $60 billion on one end of the scale and total losses of $1.7 trillion to the world economy on the other end.”

    Note these results are only averages, the high point of the ranges is much higher. The costs discussed only involve those in a particular scenario, if scenarios are combined, the overall costs would obviously be much higher. And to reemphasize the study only examines the costs from the first three months of any conflict.

    “However, it should be noted that several participants expressed the view that limiting the analysis to the first three months actually increased the difficulty – especially in quantifying effect – due to the lag time associated with many potential costs.” In other words, the study understates the costs for the time period following the initial three months because it does not consider costs that would only be felt after the initial three month time period.

  376. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    A diplomatic solution is always possible. The issue is degree of difficulty, price that one leader or another must pay politically, etc etc etc.

    Sergei Rybakov, deputy Russian FM, is quite right when he says the parties have waded into a morass, and need to find a way out.

  377. James Canning says:

    Ataune,

    You should read about the origins of the First World War, and in particular how the German generals who wanted war, needed to have the people of Germany think Russia was the aggressor.

  378. James Canning says:

    Karl..s,

    I say repeatedly that Israel is the greatest threat to the national security of the US. And you claim I “blame every ill on Iran”?

  379. fyi says:

    Ataune says:

    November 16, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I agree.

    The statement

    “The only reason we don’t have a war with Iran by now is that no one wants to START it”

    is silly.

    And it is devoid of analytical content.

    The reason that I am not married is because I did not want to be start getting married.

  380. James Canning says:

    Karl..,

    Did you read the Leveretts’ comments about Roger Cohen? He says Obama must deal with the Iran problem rather than pressure Israel to end the occupation of the West Bank.

    The more Iran enriches uranium to 20%, the more it hurts the Palestinains. You obviously do not care that this is what obtains.

  381. fyi says:

    Karl… says:

    November 16, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Indeed!

    It is certain that Axis Powers, in order to put pressure on Israel to vacate the Occupied Territories, supply them with ample amounts of free weapons; such as tanks, airplanes, anti-missile systems, submarines.

    Only if the Islamic Republic of Iran ceased to do this and that, then surely, Jesus would come back as well.

  382. James Canning says:

    Bravo! Roger Cohen must be included in the ranks of those who helped block Obama’s effort to reach out toward Iran.

  383. Liz says:

    These so called Iran experts in the United States simply say what their funders and the American government want them to say. They are corrupted, dishonest, and useless.

  384. masoud says:


    kathlyn says:
    November 16, 2012 at 9:58 am

    To answer Massoud’s question of why the Leverett’s have

    I wasn’t really asking a question, but valid points nonetheless. Actually Majd has gone further than this in media interviews and publicly derided some of the dearly held beliefs of the American Greens listed above.

    Another point of clarification: For internet-y purposes I always spell my handle with a lower ‘m’ and a single ‘s’.
    Any posts from deviant spellings of this name come from somewhere else.

  385. Soraya Ulrich says:

    Thank you for the exposing the truth behind the feigned compassion or some. Few people with knowledge tend to use their voice to prmote the truth. The Leverrets stand out as role models. Let us hope that others follow suit and learn to respect the truth and principles over self-serving ambitions.

  386. Karl... says:

    James,

    “You appear to be arguing the Palestinians should be pleased that Iran is helping the Israelis to continue to grow their illegal colonies in the West Bank.”

    Again I have no idea why you keep using Iran in the settlements debate. You need to explain this.

    “Sloppy thinking, on your part. EU countries now SEE Israel needs to be forced to end its occupation of the West Bank. But Iran in effect is blocking the needed effort.”

    I dont think that I am the one having a sloppy thinking here.
    Not only did EU just upgraded their business relations with Israel, it was also showed recently in a study publicized in the western press that EU are one, if not the biggest, business partner with products that have been produced in the settlements. Claiming Europeans or americans want an end to settlement is naive to say atleast.

    Obviously UK leaders also want to blame every ill on Iran, no need for you to repeat the propaganda.

  387. kathlyn says:

    What the Leverett’s have said is totally accurate. All one has to do is trace all of the comments, discussions, panel discussions, articles the so called “Iran experts” – which in fact I don’t believe they truly are have stated over the years to determine exactly what their position, agenda has been and how they have switched their statements in the recent year.

    To answer Massoud’s question of why the Leverett’s have left out Hooman Majd – it is because Mr. Majd has been very careful in making statements as if they were facts. He has been pro-dialogue all along, and against sanctions, and he has said that Tehran or better said the upper-class in Tehran does not represent all of Iran.

    Finally many of these so called experts have either not been to Iran, or if they have only for a limited period and then spend most of their time mingling with the class which expressed their opinion and who do not represent the voices of the majority. Most of these liberal expats as Leverett’s have named are no different than the neocons, they simply express their agenda via regime change. And yes, many did complain to Trita Parsi when he asked for sanctions imposed on the Gov. and continued to mix human rights with Iran’s nuclear program. Well the US government took their suggestions and imposed sanctions that hurt the very same people, that these liberals say they are protecting.

  388. Ataune says:

    RSH

    “The only reason we don’t have a war with Iran by now is that no one wants to START it”

    What makes you say such things. What are the arguments backing your incongruous statement. If no one wants to START a war with Iran because they want to AVOID the blame for the aftermath and if Iran is smart enough not to start the war, how the whole thing can start ?

  389. masoud says:

    Good Jesus!

    Previously, i expressed fear that the Leverett’s might get the Ward Churchill treatment. At this rate I’d be suprised if they don’t receive, God Forbid, the al-Awlaki treatment.

    I really wish that the people the Leverett’s have called out had enough integrity to respond directly to challenges like this. I predict that at most some of these people will take some stupid half-hearted swipe back at this post a couple of weeks down the line–just insubstantial enough so as not to be worth a rejoinder.

    I really hope that at the very least, this attack on these these hair-brained liberals is widely-and I mean-widely re-blogged, tweeted etc… If Cohen, Parsi, Ansari and company are too cowardly to engage head on with these arguments, they should at least be made to suffer the ignominity of having it made well known that they can’t seriously defend their positions. I really hope someone finds the time to go arround posting links to this piece on all these people’s articles’ comment sections, personal blogs, twitter feeds, facebook pages, and whatnot.

    I would also like to applaud the Leverret’s for leaving out Hooman Majd, who was just as guilty as the rest of them to begin with, but who started changing his tune about a year after he published his second book(which was a little bit attrocious). I think I heard at some point that he was working on a third book. Anyone know what’s happened with that project? Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he’s having a somewhat harder time getting published.

    Masoud

  390. Pirouz says:

    Could not agree more with this assessment.

  391. Sassan says:

    You are Mullahs.

  392. Richard Steven Hack says:

    In short – liberals and conservatives are both members of the “War Party” – even if liberals claim they don’t want war. They had no problem with bombing the crap out of Libya, as Pepe Escobar mentions in his latest radio interview with Scott Horton. As he points out, if Susan Rice becomes Secretary of State after Clinton leaves, look out for “humanitarian imperialism 2.0″ in Syria and elsewhere.

    “…just as a re-elected Obama administration is today considering making even more one-sided, take-it-or-leave-it proposals to Iran regarding its nuclear activities.”

    Exactly. And he is doing this deliberately to enable further sanctions and a continued push for war.

    The number of commentators who are STILL drinking the Obama Kool-Aid amazes me. Cohen is the perfect example: “Cohen opens by noting that, ‘in re-electing Barack Obama, [the American people] voted for peace and against a third war in a Muslim nation in little over a decade.’”

    This illustrates my point perfectly: First, the US electorate is so ignorant it doesn’t know what it’s voting for, let alone “peace in the Middle East”. Second, the US electorate is so bamboozled they think Obama is some sort of “Peace President” – no doubt influenced by his richly undeserved Peace Prize.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Obama is a “War President” – or perhaps more precisely an “Assassination President” who prefers to “kill from above and afar”. This is due to his – as Norman Finkelstein observed – “stunning narcissim” which makes him wish to avoid any opprobrium at all from sticking to him.

    This is why he wants to avoid starting a war with Iran. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t WANT a war with Iran – he just doesn’t want to START it. He wants IRAN to start it. He probably wants Israel to start it as well – but he can’t admit that since Israel itself – and its Lobby in the US – doesn’t want Israel to start it for the same reason Obama doesn’t want to: to avoid the BLAME when it all goes south. That, too, doesn’t mean Israel doesn’t want a war – it just wants the US to start it.

    The only reason we don’t have a war with Iran by now is that no one wants to START it – and Iran isn’t cooperating by starting it no matter how hard it’s pushed. So Obama will push harder in 2013. Forget about a “diplomatic solution” – it’s impossible given the players.

    What 2013 will see is more sanctions, more threats, more preparation for war – and once the Syrian situation is resolved in some manner – possibly the actual war (although I’m now beginning to think the Syrian situation might occupy all of 2013, pushing the Iran war off a bit.) As usual, the timing of these events is generally impossible to predict.