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The Race for Iran


Last week, Flynt appeared on Antiwar Radio to talk about the P5+1 nuclear talks with the Islamic Republic; it can be heard here.  As in previous interviews, see here [link to previous post], Flynt emphasized that President Obama and his foreign policy team seem no more prepared to deal with the major issues that must be addressed to enable a meaningful agreement—accepting internationally safeguarded enrichment in Iran and recognizing that a negotiated solution will necessarily entail significant sanctions relief—than it was during its previous attempt at nuclear diplomacy during 2009-2010.  And as long as this is the case, there is little chance of “success” in the negotiations.      

In response to a constructively provocative question about why the Obama Administration persists in an approach that is doomed to fail, Flynt argued that the Administration felt compelled—by rising oil prices, Israeli threats to attack Iran, and the perceived need to demonstrate America’s ongoing leadership role in international affairs—to come back to the negotiating table.  But this was a purely tactical decision; it did not prompt any reconsideration of the Administration’s larger Iran strategy (such as it is). 

Flynt pointed out that, while domestic politics is obviously part of the Administration’s reluctance to pursue a policy grounded in reality, a more fundamental element is the Obama team’s ongoing commitment to American hegemony in the Middle East.  A determination to dominate the region badly warps the Obama Administration’s diplomatic approach, for it treats nuclear negotiations with Tehran as a venue for making the Islamic Republic surrender to American demands, not as an important element in realigning the U.S.-Iranian relationship. 

As Flynt explained, there is “no serious argument” for not recognizing Iran’s right to enrich.  But President Obama and his team “don’t want the deal that would actually work,” which would entail recognizing Iran’s right while Tehran accepted more robust safeguards and verification measures.  And they don’t want this deal because it would require treating the Islamic Republic as an important country with legitimate national interests—including protecting its right to enrich—that the United States needs to accommodate

Of course, a willingness to accommodate the legitimate interests of a rising revolutionary power is precisely what enabled the realignment of Sino-American relations in the early 1970s.  When Richard Nixon entered the White House in 1969, twenty years of unremitting hostility toward the People’s Republic of China as part of a quixotic pursuit of hegemony in Asia “ended up getting us into the Vietnam war” and had damaged the United States’ broader strategic position, in Asia and globally.  Nixon and Henry Kissinger believed deeply that “the United States has interests in Asia; we’re not going to withdraw” from the region.  But they also recognized that “trying to be the hegemon, trying to be the guy who runs everything” had not simply failed—it had left the United States weaker.  Moreover, they were courageous enough to draw the right conclusion from their analysis for American policy—that the United States had to “come to terms” with the People’s Republic.   

There is “a very analogous logic at play in the Middle East.”  The United States “tried being the hegemon” in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places in the regionThe results are clear:  America’s pursuit of hegemony in the Middle East “doesn’t work”; in fact, “it actually makes us weaker.”  Just as the United States had (and has) interests in Asia, it has “critical interests” in the Middle East.  And it can only protect and promote those interests by “having positive relations with all of the important players in the region—and especially with Iran.”  This, however, is “a strategic logic” that the Obama Administration “seems no more capable of embracing than its predecessors in the Bush 43 Administration.”  (Or, one might add, the Clinton and Bush 41 administrations.)  It is a profound “strategic failure.”            

In the interview, Flynt also critiqued myths of Iranian “irrationality” and of the Islamic Republic as too unreasoningly hostile toward the United States for real improvement in U.S.-Iranian relations to be possible.        

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 



  1. James Canning says:


    I think Richard A. Falkenrath is simply dead wrong (in piece you linked). Falkenrath claims that Iran would still build nukes even if it stops enriching to 20 percent!

  2. James Canning says:


    William Hague wanted to improve UK relations with Iran. If possible. This improvement likely would require Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent.

    Apparently you want more sanctions.

  3. James Canning says:


    France obtained the League of Nations mandates for Syria and Lebanon. France created Lebanon so that Maronite Christians could have their own country. Maronite Christians accept the authority of the Pope in Rome. They are not Protestants.

    France wanted Syria as an imperial way-station between Algeria and French Indo-China. The project had nothing to do with any conflict between Protestants and Muslims.

  4. James Canning says:


    I assume Netanyahu is not pretending to be angry about what the P5+1 are prepared to offer Iran.

    I too had not heard that a proposal was made for all of Iran’s 5% (or less) enriched uranium to be shipped out of the country even as more was produced. A bit absurd.

  5. hans says:

    James Canning says:
    June 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Most military experts think fewer than one thousand Israelis would be killed if war with Iran erupts. This would be painful but obviously would not “destroy” Israel.

    Experts as in so called nuclear experts or global warming experts, or financial experts. Experts where are they when you need them?

  6. Arnold Evans says:

    From fyi’s link:


    The major powers are on record, via UN Security Council Resolution 1696 of 2006, demanding that Iran cease all enrichment operations for uranium. That policy, embodied in the Security Council resolution, has been rejected by Iran. Short of a cessation of enrichment operations entirely, there are a number of scenarios being talked about in Western diplomatic circles that could be considered. The one that reportedly was proposed to the Iranian negotiators in Baghdad was that Iran would be permitted to continue some enrichment operations, but that the low-enriched and medium-enriched uranium that they produce would be removed from Iran and taken to other countries. The Iranians in Baghdad rejected that proposal categorically.

    I had not heard of this offer, but hearing of it now the US must have expected this to be rejected. There is no reason for hope that any Obama administration will ever be able to make an offer that the Iranians will not reject categorically.

  7. Castellio says:

    FYI writes: The specific mechanisms are only of interest to historians who have to untangle the threads of events that led to the 100-year war of Protestants and Muslims.

    Right! The French – Algerian war, the Italian – Libyan war, the Italian – Somalia occupation, the French Egyptian occupation, the creation of Lebanon and Syria, all early manifestations of the 100 year Protestant – Muslim war.

    We’re on solid ground there, explains a lot.

  8. fyi says:

    Castellio says: June 1, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    And pray tell me where are the Baptists, Methodists, Evangelicals, Christian Reformed Church members?

    The denominations that you have enumreated are a minority among American Protestants.

    The historical fact cannot be finessed by such arguments.

  9. Karl says:


    You are way out if you think US, UK will become friends with Iran even if one of the many problem these same states have with Iran. The reason why is because Iran’s policies is the complete opposite of the one US and UK foolishly pursuing in the middle east.

    There is zero sources for what you are saying. UK having a problem with international law aka Iran’s right to enrich, is a problem for the UK.
    As you know UK were the harshest critics of Iran on this side of the atlantic, before they even contemplated on enriching to 20%. Using “20%” as a argument is only a way to justify UK’s, US and Israel approach on Iran.

    This debate is outdated and meaningless since you have earlier implied that sources of what Hague have said doesnt matter, you have refered mystically to talks behind the scenes. With such arguments there is of course no reason to have a debate at all.

  10. Castellio says:

    It’s clear that you, FYI, have no personal stake in the pro-Palestinian movement.

    If you did, you’d know that on the ground there are Presbyterians, Quakers, Lutherans, Mennonites and United Church members doing the hard work, putting their bodies in the way to support the harvesting of olives by Palestinians, accompanying their children to schools against attacks by Settlers, etc., working hard in all aspects of their own communities to forward the Palestinian cause. No one actively engaged in the pro-Palestinian movement in North America would make the same simplisitc mistake that you do of representing the situation as a Protestant-Muslim war.

    If you had any more than a religiously doctrinaire and armchair approach to these issues you’d bite your tongue. You haven’t the sociological/historical tools to actually frame what is happening, other than with the same religious rhetoric as a Pastor Hagee.

    You and he are pushing the same war for the same reasons. Fools.

  11. fyi says:


    I do not necessarily share this view – future would tell.


  12. James Canning says:


    Most military experts think fewer than one thousand Israelis would be killed if war with Iran erupts. This would be painful but obviously would not “destroy” Israel.

  13. fyi says:

    James Canning says: June 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    US – the seuclar state – pushing a religious cause (of Jews) and Protestant Christians.

    We understand that.

    The specific mechanisms are only of interest to historians who have to untangle the threads of events that led to the 100-year war of Protestants and Muslims.

  14. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: June 1, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Will not happen.

  15. James Canning says:


    You should bear in mind that in early 1948, after Truman’s military and diplomatic advisers told him not to recognise Israel, the powerful Congressman, Emanuel Cellar of New York, went to the White House to tell Truman he and his rich Jewish friends in New York “would ride [Truman] out of town on a rail” if he did not recognise Israel immediately. (Reference was to the obsolete practice of tarring and feathering an unwanted interloper, who then would be “ridden out of town or a rail” so that theose transporting the man were not covered in tar too.

  16. James Canning says:


    Deal with the fact the new UK government two years ago wanted to improve relations with Iran, and Iran wrecked the effort by announcing its intention to treble production of 20 percent uranium.

  17. Arnold Evans says:

    James Canning says:
    May 31, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I will say it again: very rich and very powerful Jews in the US will succeed in having Iran smashed, if Iran is stupid enough to continue to stockpile 20 percent uranium.

    By strategically autonomous, I assume you mean willing to give support to Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran would be even better able to provide such support if it had not re-started the enrichment of uranium.

    That’s pretty backwards. Israel’s objection to the Iranian nuclear program, and therefore the US’ objection ultimately boils down to the idea that Iran could constrain Israeli options in attacking Gaza and Lebanon if it was nuclear capable. Israel is very open that Iran is achieving the ability to give a form of support that is intolerable because it is strategically significant.

    Your claim that Iran will be attacked for 20% but not for 5% has not support from anywhere. Obama has never said that. Nobody in Europe has said that.

    The newest sanctions did begin around the same time Iran increased its capacities to enrich to 20% and also to 5%. Does that mean they would not have been passed if Iran had not increased it capacity to enrich to 20%? None of the laws say they are aimed at stopping 20%. The West did not present a proposal in Baghdad to stop the sanctions of Iran stops enriching to 20%.

    Let me be clear. Israel has never said it distinguishes between 5% and 20% enrichment. If there was an effective military option to prevent 20% enrichment, Israel would demand that option be used also to prevent 5% enrichment. If there was an effective sanctions option that would prevent 20% enrichment, Israel would demand that option be used to prevent 5% enrichment.

    As a matter of fact, if there was no nuclear program, but there was an effective military option or sanctions option that would damage Iran’s government with little cost to the US, Israel would demand that military or sanctions option under any pretext it could invent regardless of enrichment. And it is basically always possible to invent a pretext.

    If Iran maintains an ability to retaliate against targets that the US considers valuable in response to an attack, Iran will not be attacked for 20% or 5% enrichment, and in fact would not be attacked unless it takes far more provocative steps such as leaving the NPT or removing cameras and surveillance equipment from its nuclear program.

    If the US learns that it can pressure Iran to drop 20% enrichment, it will do whatever worked to accomplish that to pressure Iran to drop 5% enrichment. This is the public US position after Baghdad, and the position I was naive not to understand the US has had throughout the entire Obama presidency and also before.

  18. BiBiJon says:

    The Solstice Bet is still on!

    If you’re one of those cannot-throw-anything-away types, with symptoms such as several glass jars full of bent nails in the garage, then one good remedy is:

    Organize your possessions into three piles, a, b, and c.

    Pile (a) is for things like the glass jars above. Pile (b) is things you haven’t used for some time, but you foresee a use for it imminently. And, pile (c), likely to be the largest pile, is for things you use regularly.

    Now throw away all three piles.

    Something is afoot that will not be explained by any of the well known IR theories, much lamented injustices , and glaringly obvious cures. The dysfunction will be organized into piles a, b and c and will be tossed out. I’m working backwards from a future event which I think is a useful way of shaking up our assumptions a little.

    Iran leaves the Moscow meeting and refuses to schedule another round of talks. Clinton and Salehi get to have a bilateral meeting shorty after. Iran announces she will suspend all enrichment.

    If this utterly impossible set of events transpire, dear board, what do you think got discussed, what promises were made, etc in that bilateral meeting?

  19. Karl says:


    You put the finger on it – exceptionalism.
    If Iran conducted cyberterrorism against U.S. or Israel, European states, it would have been condemned and probably even used as one casus belli. But when it comes to some states, they seems to think that no one will notice their sheer hypocrisy and obvious hatred and violation of international law.

    There is a clear difference between bush and obama, what bush did openly, obama make in secret. Atleast the war criminal bush had the guts to publicly let the world know about his lunacy and appaling behavior compared to obama that play a double game.

    And people wonder why Iran have problem trusting US….

  20. Irshad says:

    kooshy says:
    June 1, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Kooshy that article also claims that IAEA surveillance cameras were used to spy on the reaction of the Iranians.

    We seemt to be going back to the Iraq scenario of using the IAEA as an spying agency by US/EU before taking it out.

    No wonder Iran is not letting the IAEA enter Parchin.

    But as they say, Karma can be such a bitch!

  21. kooshy says:

    Obama Order Sped up Wave of Cyber-attacks Against Iran


    Published: June 1, 2012


    One would wonder, if what NYT is reporting is true, and then the American people should learn not to mind if Iran retaliates with cyber-attack on American energy installations, and transportation management systems, since unlike the culture of exeptionalism that they are brought up with a just retaliation is considered fair everywhere else in word, especially Iran.

  22. Karl says:


    Deal with the fact that I just pointed out, there will be no solution even if, for the sake of argument, the nuclear issue would be solved.

  23. hans says:

    Rehmat says:
    May 31, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    Janet C. Phelan (Jewish of mother side), an investigating journalist, author and poet says:

    Your bigotry is getting annoying.

  24. Photi says:

    MJ Rosenberg:

    “The Israeli government’s contempt for international opinion, for its only ally and for half of its own population is a recipe for suicide. Even the United States, the world’s only superpower, does not live by the law of the jungle (well, not all the time). But for a country of six or seven million surrounded by tens of millions of people who are infuriated by its behavior to begin with, it’s insane.”


  25. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: May 31, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    The burden is on you to prove me wrong.

    The burden is on you to disprove and otherwise rebutt the observations and arguments in the book: “the Dark Crusade”.

    The burden is on you to demonstrate an alternative explanation for support of a state by US when that state has no (zero) strategic value to US.

    Pshaw Mr. TivoS – “Islamic Mind” has nothing to do with it – it is clear to any unprejudiced mind.

    You are – perchance – too close to see it.

    But you have heard it from here – you can no longer plead ignorance.

  26. Rehmat says:

    Janet C. Phelan (Jewish of mother side), an investigating journalist, author and poet says:

    “Israel was very likely set up to be destroyed. The government of Israel is just itching to get into this war with Iran, a war for which Israel is poorly prepared, defensively speaking. The much touted “Iron dome”, Israel’s primary missile defense system, only works for incoming projectiles that are launched from nearby, like Gaza (or Lebanon or Syria). Israel is largely unprotected from a fly-over. Factor in the state-of-the-art S-300 defense system possessed by Iran, and the odds that Israel will survive this war appears to be almost non-existent.

    Israel wiped off the map due to all the trouble formented by the United States in the Middle East, culminating with a manufactured war with Iran and then a fatal bug, released through a selective mechanism such as the double line water system or the imposter pharmaceuticals – and there you have another Holocaust in making“.


  27. James Canning says:


    I would not be surprised if the “Turkic” element of the population of Turkey were no higher than the “Turkic” element of the population of Iran.

  28. James Canning says:


    I will say it again: very rich and very powerful Jews in the US will succeed in having Iran smashed, if Iran is stupid enough to continue to stockpile 20 percent uranium.

  29. James Canning says:


    Yes, many Israeli leaders would like “regime change” in Iran. And, if Iran is sufficiently foolish enough to follow your advice ,Iran will get smashed.

  30. James Canning says:


    By strategicallly authonomous, I assume you mean willing to give support to Hamas and Hezbollah. Iran would be even better able to provide such support if it had not re-started the enrichment of uranium.

  31. Photi says:

    Castellio says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:32 am
    “It is what you need to resolve your own religious framework.”

    Interesting observation Castellio.

    fyi,if you’ll excuse the anecdote, my own upbringing is such that when you say “white protestant” i say “who’s not?”. I can think of one uncle who has firm Christian Zionist views. Other than that, affinity for Israel in my family (if expressed at all) is either expressed or understood in a ‘team spirit’ sort of way. Go team. This is shallow support, next week the teams will be different. Among the generation of my cousins, we are quite open minded to an interpretation of events which are more in line with peace and justice. ‘Mainstream’ ideas are often scoffed. Eventually our ideas (generation x and beyond) will become the mainstream in politics.

  32. ToivoS says:

    Castellio says:
    May 31, 2012 at 11:32 am
    “FYI, you seriously misunderstand Christianity in America and Europe, both Protestant and Catholic, as well as the general breadth and multiple centres of support for Israel, and why they exist. You think in rigorously sectarian ways, and imagine the rest of the world must as well.”

    Very well said. I had a brief exchange with FYI on Protestantism in the the US and his only reply was these dogmatic assertions. It is frustrating to see how inflexible the ideological Islamic mind can be — it does not bode well if that misunderstanding of American culture extends throughout the current leadership and Iranian population.

  33. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    I think closer to 5 or 6 years.

    The other chief advantage of the sanctions is that it will have eviscerated all of leverage that EU has had with Iran.

    Truly astonishing when you watch over a span of 40 years a new strategically autonomous state emerging – aided by her enemies.

  34. fyi says:

    Castellio says: May 31, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Let me re-state this.

    A Protestant Christian – as the President of the United States – instructs the US Government to lobby for the creation of the religious State of Israel at UN and later is purported to have said “I am Cyrus (the Great)”.

    The name of the State is “Israel” – not Hebrew Republic of Palestine (like the Hebrew University), not the Hebraic Republic of Palestine, and not even Judaic Republic of Palestine – think here of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for example.

    No, the name of the state that the United States has been supporting to the hilt over the last 70 years is “State of Israel”.

    “Israel” means the Jewish People – so named after God was claimed to had made a deal with Jacob etc.

    Like in “Shema Israel” – “Hear O Israel”.

    This is akin to a Muslim state calling herself “Umma” or a Christian State calling herself “Corpus Christi” – “The Body of Christ”.

    And then the national anthem of that state sings of the “Longing in the Soul of a Jew”.

    And I am not even going to discuss the role of Rabbinate there.

    Am I to understand that this state is not a religious one?

    That US is not supporting a religious cause (against Islam)?

    That there is no religious war in Palestine?

    That US, whose Protestants are so enamored of Ancient Israel, is only accidently supporting Israel?

    That I should ignore these facts:

    That among Arabs, they use the word Jew and Israeli interchangeably.

    That only a small minority of members of Organization of Islamic Conference have diplomatic relations with Israel.

    That US was attacked in 2001 because of “Towers of Beirut”.

    That the US Congress gave standing ovation last year to the PM of the Jewish apartheid state.

    And I am not even going to mention the anti-Islam sentiment in US etc.

    No my friend, I see things clearly.

    It is others that are deluding themselves and think that they can ride a religious war to victory.

    You believe it is not religious, you tell me why US cannot settle this war.

  35. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    You are mistaken.

    The notion of “White” in the United States is rather complex.

    It is a combination of religion and race and has been subject to historical change.

    80 years ago, a Turk, an Armenian, an Italian, or a Jew would not be considered “White” in the United States.

    40 years later, the Jew and the Italian had become “White” but the Turks and the Armenian were still considered “Darkie”.

    I can tell you for certain that if a pale-complexiond person is discovered to be a Turk or any type of Muslim, then due to that religious affiliation, that person will be excluded from “White”-ness.

    Turks are almost certainly a polglot people like Iranians.

    And like Iranians (and Afghans etc.) they are not Aryan; for certain.

    Just like Sicilians are not Aryan.

  36. Karl says:


    I note that you didnt approach my questions/statements you just repeated what you said earlier.

    You miss the US a grand scheme on Iran. Why do you think US have sanctions on every major topic regarding Iran?

    Sanctions on enrichment
    Sanctions on government people
    Sanctions on human rights
    Sanctions on banks
    Sanctions on arms
    Sanctions on oil

    You cant seriously belive that US will stop bothering Iran even if, for the sake of the argument, nuclear issue would ever be solved in moscow.

    US goal is the regime change option, its a slow technique where they try to deprive and weaken Iran every day.

  37. James Canning says:


    You might do well to read the entry on the Khazars at Wikipedia. They had a polyglot empire.

    Tell me: do you consider the Aryans as “non-white”?

  38. James Canning says:

    “The Stupid Party – – How Bill Kristol Purged the Arabists”


  39. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm


    “Iran’s achieving acceptance of Iranian enrichment to 5% is not “cowering” like some fearful dog.”

    Yes, but had Iran caved to the threats to suspend all enrichment, then their behavior would have been considered as “cowering” by the Americans and Israelis. Had the Iranians caved to the “pressure” the Americans would have pressed Iran to cower even further. Domination is not a game of courtesy.

    Iran now has bargaining leverage because they decided not to rely on finicky outside powers for its enrichment needs. The Iranians may indeed agree to something in exchange for suspending 19.75% enrichment, but had they not pursued enrichment in the first place they would have no leverage across from the Western powers and they would still be looking at sanctions.

    As it happened, the Islamic Republic of Iran is self-sufficient in its enrichment needs, has leverage at the negotiating table, and is the inheritor of a blossoming prestige throughout the Middle East, all of which is due to Iran’s long-standing principles of independence and self-determination, principles any American can admire. I would say the long-term prospects for Iran are looking good (assuming we get past the current Israeli belligerence).

    In this light James, being “richer” by Western standards does not have much importance.

  40. fyi says:




    Note that only the destruction of the Islamic Republic will end concerns such as these insinuated by this author.

  41. James Canning says:


    I doubt most Americans view Turks as “non-white”. Apparently you do.

  42. James Canning says:


    Do you consider Ukrainians “non-white”? Millions of Ukranians descend from Tatars, Kazars, etc.

    Do you view the Bulgarians as “non-white”? Origal homeland was on the Volga.

    Do you view the Sicilians as “non-white”?

  43. James Canning says:


    Interesting comments by Rafsanjani you linked. Yes, Iranian rapprochment with the US was an important objective, and it was blocked by the ISRAEL LOBBY.

    Rafsanjani should be able to see that Obama cannot offer to suspend sanctions against Iran, prior to Iran’s suspension of enrichment to 20%. Need to to work with P5+1 to get around the grave political difficulties faced by any American president in an election year. Thankd to the cleverness of Aipac and the gross stupidity of most American Christian Zionists.

  44. James Canning says:


    Obama entered the White House in early 2009. Election in Iran was coming up. Obama’s advisers talked him into avoiding dealing with Ahmadinejad, in hopes a Green would defeat him in the coming election. Then, after Ahmadinejad won, there were those claims the election was “stolen”. So, Obama was told not to deal with Ahmadinejad.

    Obviously, agents of ISRAEL were involved in spoiling Obama’s effort to reach out to Iran.

    You should be pleased Obama apparently will accept Iranian enrichment to 5%.

  45. James Canning says:


    Millions of Evangelcial Christians in the US believe Noah was on his ark with a male and female of every species of animal on the planet, including dinosaurs.

  46. James Canning says:


    The Israel/Palestine problem is not one of Protestants vs. Muslims. Ignorant and rather stupid Evangelical Christians in the US are manipulated by Jewish groups, headed by Aipac.

  47. Arnold Evans says:

    About James’ contention that Iran would be richer if not for enrichment:

    I think in the long term, that’s just wrong.

    As easily as Iran could have suspended enrichment in 2006 to prevent/remove enrichment-related sanctions, it could suspend enrichment today or five years from now. The difference is that today Iran has something like 5 tons of 3.5% LEU and five years from now it will have all of the LEU that it wants. It will have enriched enough, over a dozen tons, some to 3.5, some to 20%, that further enrichment provides little additional strategic value.

    It can suspend then and sanctions will one way or another effectively dwindle, and Iran will have put itself into Japan and Brazil’s position – no country can invade or attack their cities because those countries can retaliate even if right now they are meeting their NPT obligations – instead of Riyadh’s position – Israel could destroy Riyadh, Mecca and Medina with no consequence from Saudi Arabia because Saudi Arabia cannot defend its interests as an indpendent country but is part of a string of US colonies that also includes Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Kuwait and others.

    Eventually sanctions will end whether Iran stops enriching under US pressure or whether it stops enriching because it doesn’t have more uranium to usefully enrich. Not only is Iran ensuring that when they end, Iran will have the strategic advantage of nuclear technology, but Iran is also destroying the rationale by which the US broadly denies access to nuclear technology to every country in Israel’s region.

    I also want to add for James that while James is hysterical about 20% enrichment, the general level of alarm over 20% enrichment is much lower, it seems to me, than it was in 2009 when Iran passed 1 ton of 3.5% LEU. That was the original point of no return and the projections of an imminent Israeli attack, while I never believed them, were, from memory, more forceful and more confident then than they are now.

    Regardless of options on the table and limited windows for diplomacy, it does not make more sense to attack Iran over 20% enrichment than it does over 3.5%. Neither is an actual weapon, both are too close for Israel’s comfort.

    By ten years after the sanctions, Iran will have regained at least all of the economic ground lost, will have improved its strategic position and will be in a position to use the full spectrum of nuclear technology as well as to help other countries avoid the US-led denial of legal technologies that Iran is suffering from now.

  48. Castellio says:

    FYI, you seriously misunderstand Christianity in America and Europe, both Protestant and Catholic, as well as the general breadth and multiple centres of support for Israel, and why they exist. You think in rigorously sectarian ways, and imagine the rest of the world must as well.

    I would point out that a religious war between Protestantism and Islam is what you are devoutly wishing for, it is not what is happening.

    It is what you need to resolve your own religious framework.

  49. hans says:

    Karl says:
    May 31, 2012 at 9:25 am
    Interesting that the same state states that are now burdend the most with economic difficulties (spain, italy, greece) is the same states that will feel the most if an oil embargo is applied since they are the biggest european importer of iranian oil today.

    India will be hit more then the European countries, there is already huge debate going on why India has decided to go with the Sanctions. Watch for demonstrations and violence to break out.

  50. fyi says:


    Why democratic transition is so difficult – the case of Russia –


  51. Karl says:

    Interesting that the same state states that are now burdend the most with economic difficulties (spain, italy, greece) is the same states that will feel the most if an oil embargo is applied since they are the biggest european importer of iranian oil today.

    Is EU irrational enough to impose an oil embargo in about 1 month? I guess so.

  52. fyi says:

    Irshad says: May 31, 2012 at 4:25 am

    Thank you for sharing these.

    In the United States, in fact, the view among similar Christians is that Israel must exist, so that it may be destroyed, so that Jesus would come again.

    They have succeeded in not converting Muslims, but in bringing US into a religious war with Islam.

    Right now, the war is being phrased in terms of security (US) and Palestine (Mulsims).

    Eventually, as this war continues, it will be stripped of its covers and will be distilled into Protestanism against Islam.

  53. Irshad says:

    fyi says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    I recently was in an Oxfam bookshop where I cam across an old book, titled: “Palestine, Syria and Egypt – a Travellers Guide” – the word Palestine caught my eye so picked it up. The book was published in 1912 by a Protestant missionary lady writing about the holy sites and places in the near east.

    In the introduction she says, on Palestine, that the Children of Isreal must be allowed to return to their homeland, so that they all then can convert to Christianity – the true religion – and then Christ can return to earth. She went on to say, the rising influx of Jews in Palestine, and the failure of the children of Ishmaelite to stop this influx, is a sign that Islam is no longer the dominant force and will slowly wither away. The Jews returning to Palestine is the symbol of the weakness of Islam (and its falsity).

  54. Karl says:


    You didnt respond.
    If Obama accept 5% why then were there no peace and acceptance by the same Obama when Iran didnt enrich above 5%? Again, the UNSC resolution on sanctions demand Iran to end ALL enrichment.

  55. Castellio says:

    The “China” argument presented elsewhere, somewhat strangely without any reference to the Leveretts. More interesting, perhaps, are the two comments:


  56. fyi says:

    Lysander says: May 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Nah, the contradictions is meant to advance the cause of war.

    That war option does not exist for US-EU has not yet peneterated the “Yellow” journalists.

    They will get a war, in Syria, once Iranians intervene on behalf of Syria against Axis States.

  57. Rehmat says:

    Israel daily The Jerusalem Post reported on May 30, that Yoram Cohen told Knesset committee: “Iran is the central actor behind the world-wide terrorist attacks against Jews and Israel – most of which are not publicized“. He also claimed that Shin Bet, Mossad and IDF had been successful in gleaning enough intelligence about the terror plots and infrastructure to stymie their operations.

    Shin Bet chief claimed that Iranian agents have also entered the Gaza Strip, imparting military knowledge to Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups. Cohen refereed to Gaza as a “giant arms warehouse,” with Hamas possessing some 8,000 rockets with a range of four to forty kilometers.


  58. Lysander says:

    Just a quick comment regarding the recently disclosed cyber attack on Iran AKA the “flame” virus.

    I have no idea about the nature of the attack or how much (or little) damage it has caused. I did notice that these events occur during negotiations, or more precisely, are made public during negotiations.

    The reason, I suspect, is that the west has two contradictory goals. On the one hand, they want to portray Iran’s nuclear program as advancing rapidly and being very dangerous. However, that gives Iran a stronger bargaining position come negotiating time. It also enhances Iran’s regional prestige as the resistance leader.

    And therefore we have stories of allegedly successful sabotage against Iran’s program. As if to say Iran’s program really isn’t all that and there is no need to make any compromises.

    Just my hunch.

  59. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – Your ignorance of history always amuses me. European Jews are non-White because they belongs to Khazarian Turkish tribes. On the other hand, most of Eastern Jews are from Berber tribes who converted to Hebrew religion in the 4th century.


  60. Kathleen says:

    Justin Raimando on the soldier “hero” “villain” debate
    link to original.antiwar.com

  61. Kathleen says:

    Much needed conversation about Iraq invasion, “heroes” can we have this conversation?
    Statement from Chris Hayes
    Mon May 28, 2012 5:26 PM CDT

    On Sunday, in discussing the uses of the word “hero” to describe those members of the armed forces who have given their lives, I don’t think I lived up to the standards of rigor, respect and empathy for those affected by the issues we discuss that I’ve set for myself. I am deeply sorry for that.


    Conversation about Hayes statements going on over at Huff Po too.
    10,ooo comments

  62. Fiorangela says:

    CAMERA supports killing jihadists

    CAMERA monitors media on Middle East topics; one segment of its activism is devoted to monitoring C Span programming and callers. This just appeared on CAMERA’s website:

    “C-SPAN May – June 2012
    • May 29, 2012 – 7:44 AM
    Host: LIBBY CASEY ).

    Topic: Secret kill list: President Obama on counterterrorism.

    Caller: Robin from Louisville, Kentucky

    Caller: “I am definitely against the kill list. Our intelligence on weapons of mass destruction was bad. It doesn’t make sense so I don’t think we will make appropriate strikes without making a mess. We are already seen as too cozy with Israel by many in the Muslim world and around the world. I’m afraid this whole anti-Islamist scare that’s going on in this country will provoke some more irreparable damage and to start killing American citizens because of associations that may have nothing to do with anything threatening could hatch a new generation of homegrown terrorists. God knows we don’t need that.”

    [CAMERA’s] NOTE: Caller’s solution, unchallenged by host, to the worldwide Islamist Jihadist war on much of the world especially the West, is to stop trying to take out Jihadist terrorist leaders and to stop being “too cozy with Israel” because many Muslims dislike Israel. Never mind that the assassination of al Qaeda leaders is known to have seriously weakened al Qaeda. Would the caller have America abandon its only reliable ally in the Middle East in order to assuage “many in the Muslim world” and cozy up to them? Host does not ask. Would “making nice” with Islamists cause them to abandon their religious fanaticism and cease their pursuit of worldwide Islamic rule? Host does not ask. Can host be replaced by an automated device? Don’t ask.

    • May 28, 2012 – 7:23 AM
    Topic: America’s role in the world.
    Caller: Jeremy from New York, New York

    Caller: “Good morning, how you doing? I was here September 11 [2001], I lived in downtown Manhattan. I watched 3,000 people die in front of me. It was a terrible, terrible day. But after that I traveled a lot around the world. I thought – why would people hate us so much as to do this? I would meet people abroad and a lot of times tell them I’m Canadian. You would be amazed what kind of unbiased views you get when you tell people you’re Canadian as opposed to American. Anyways, a lot of people don’t understand that the big picture. If we were to stick up for the Palestinians in Israel, that adds fuel to the fire like Hitler incorporated the Germans after World War II. You can’t even mention this because you’re considered antisemitic. I think we have a very, very big problem. If we would step in and solve the problem in Israel, we would – I don’t know, the world would be a better place. Pretty much that’s all I’ve got to say.”

    Host: “Jeremy from New York, New York on his thoughts on what America should be doing in the coming years. A lot of stories today on veterans issues …”

    [CAMERA] NOTE: Caller poses an anguished question, “[W]hy would people hate us so much as to do this [Jihadist attack on Sept. 11, 2001]?” Caller responds to his own question with the implication that Israel is to blame for the worldwide Islamic Jihadist frenzy by asserting that “If we were to stick up for the Palestinians in Israel… and solve the problem in Israel… the world would be a better place.” Thus, the caller’s solution to America’s problems in the world is apparently to force Israel into a potentially dangerous accommodation. Israel has asked the Palestinians to come to the peace table but is repeatedly rebuffed by Palestinians on the settlements issue while the Palestinian leadership refuses to consider recognition of Israel as the only Jewish state in a world containing 22 Arab Islamic states.

    There are several possible pertinent questions the host could ask of the caller, particularly “What are your news sources for informing your opinion about the Middle East?” But Host McCardle does not ask. McCardle, like other C-SPAN hosts, often interjects questions during calls and often provides follow-up comments. But for McCardle and his fellow Journal hosts, this never or rarely happens when Israel or Jews are lambasted and defamed.

    At C-SPAN, it’s always open season on defaming Israel and Jews.

    • May 28, 2012 – 7:31 AM
    Topic: America’s role in the world.

    Caller: Joy from Memphis, Tennessee
    Caller: “The role of America in the world is destabilizing. I agree with so many of the other previous callers, especially the one that said you can’t say the word Jew or you get cut off [caller laughs]. The rich and powerful want all of the money and power in the world for themselves alone. That’s causing decision satisfaction abroad and at home. So much killing is causing an atmosphere of despair here, so the children are killing themselves; children, seven years old, because of bullying. Children who are bullying are following the examples of what they see people around them doing who have seen that might is right and nothing else matters if you win. There is a ripple effect for every action. There is an equal and opposite reaction. America can change laws of this country and of other countries to benefit the rich and the powerful, but America cannot change the laws of nature, and if America does not start to obey the laws of nature, America will be destroyed by the laws of nature.”
    Host: “Joy from Memphis, Tennessee, calling in this morning on the independent line. We’ll also go to Middletown, Connecticut …”

    [CAMERA] NOTE: Caller offers analysis of what’s wrong with America (including a bizarre explanation for why “children are killing themselves”), seeming mostly to read from a prepared script, but interjects, referencing the 7:23 AM caller, “[Y]ou can’t say the word Jew or you get cut off [on C-SPAN].” Host McCardle characteristically fails to challenge the patently false claim.

    I thought it would be a good idea to document what really happened, against that day five or ten years from now when the Israel lobby denies that it advocated FOR granting kill powers to the US chief executor executive.

  63. James Canning says:


    The Central Asian states do not make hostile noises about Israel. So, they are not on Aipac’s list of targets.

  64. James Canning says:


    You appear to be missing the various signals sent out by the Obama administration, that the US might accept Iranian enrichment to 5%. That Netanyahu appears to be angry about this should be confirmation of a sort.

  65. James Canning says:


    Iran’s achieving acceptance of Iranian enrichment to 5% is not “cowering” like some fearful dog.

    I do think Iran will have to agree to stop enriching to 20 percent, before sanctions are lifted. I am not saying I think this is fair. We can thank the ISRAEL LOBBY, and rich and powerful Jews in the US who have too much of an ability to deny Obama re-election.

  66. James Canning says:


    I did not say Iran must rely on “western” countries to fuel the nuclear power plants. I did say that if Iran relied on Russian nuclear fuel, it would today be a richer and stronger country because most of the sanctions would not have been imposed.

    Iran may succeed in achiving P5+1 acceptance of Iranian enrichment to 5%. Netanyahu was complaining about this on May 29th.

  67. Photi says:

    From here(h/t to “lysias” @ mondo):

    Leon Panetta:

    “PANETTA: Well, there’s no question that if a cyber attack, you know, crippled our power grid in this country, took down our financial systems, took down our government systems, that that would constitute an act of war.

    But what we’re involved with here is the effort to make sure that never happens. And in order to do that, we’ve got to engage. You know, I think it’s important for us to engage China in this effort. That’s one of the issues I raised when the minister of defense came here from China. How can we better engage on this issue, to share information and to ensure that those kinds of attacks never happen, because this is an area where the technology is developing quickly and where clearly it is becoming an adjunct in terms of any country that moves against another country militarily.

    This is something we’ve got to pay attention to. And it’s not only with China. We’ve got to engage Russia. We’ve got to engage other countries in an effort to try to develop some kind of standards here that will assure us that just as we did in the nuclear area, we can take steps to prevent a mistake that could be very damaging to our security.”

  68. Kathleen says:

    “James Canning says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm


    Yes, Israel slaughtered civilians by the hundreds in Gaza and Lebanon. And what did one hear about this slaughter on mainstream news in the US?”

    Collateral damage when the U.S. or Israel kill innocents. A “massacre” when Assad allegedly kills innocents. The images from those killed in Syria made it onto MSNBC etc within days. How often has anyone seen the dead killed by the invasion of Iraq displayed on U.S. MSM outlets. They keep telling the public that over a hundred people have been “massacred” in Syria in the last week. How many Americans know how many Iraqi people have been killed as a direct consequence of that invasion. The Obama administration will never release how many innocent people have been killed by Obama’s drones…..”collateral damage” Sickening

  69. fyi says:

    Photi says: May 30, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    There will be no sanctions relief for Iran.

    Once Iranians determine that even tactical gains are unobtainable, they will walk away from the negogiating process.

    I would expect them to walk when the next meeting after Moscow does not produce any tangible gains for them.

    At that point; say August of this year, US, Israel, and EU will be exposed for not having a milirary option.

    And 5 years from now, the coercive diplomatic option will have been eviscerated as well.

    [Mr. Khamenei explicitly advised them not to go down that route back in 2011 when he had been informed of the European threats.

    But EU states just had to try, didn’t they?]

  70. Dan Cooper says:

    James Canning says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    yes, you are correct. The criminal and the terrorist leaders of Israel slaughtered more than 700 innocent and defenceless Palestinian women and children in GAZA carnage back in Jan 2009, but the “so called” democratic western countries did not take any action against these racist and apartheid Zionist murderers.

    The hypocrisy is unbearable, the western colonial project with the help of Qatar and Saudi Arabia have give arms to the Syrian oppositions, created a civil war which has result in the massive civilian casualties.

    Now the west is brainwashing the international community through its corrupt media that the Asad’s government is responsible for everything.

    If the west did not arm the uprisings, there would not have been so many casualties.

  71. Photi says:


    About the “Flame” virus:

    “‘Wired’ comment board is consumed by Israel/Palestine argument”

    yet another act of war by “unknown” assailants.

    What would President Obama’s responsibility to the American public be if the Iranians decided to introduce some “pistachio” virus into American computer networks? Israel, the untouchable. Ridiculous.

  72. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    May 30, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Despite U.S. opposition, Iran to be transport hub for North-South Corridor

    From http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3473943.ece

    “A multi-nation transport corridor that would radically reduce cargo transportation time between India on one side and Central Asia and Russia on the other with Iran being the pivot could see dry runs beginning next year.

    A three-day meeting of experts from 16 countries discussed ways to smoothen the way for the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and at least six supplementary routes despite the U.S. pushing its Silk Road proposal in which its bete noire Iran has been excluded.

    In stark contrast, Iran plays a crucial role in the multi-modal North-South Corridor as its port Bandar Abbas will be the hub of all activity. Experts proposed the setting up of two four-nation groups to resolve many of the ssues. Iran along with Russia and India (all three initiators of the project) will be in both groups.”

  73. Cyrus_2 says:

    For our American posters here: https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/create-do-not-kill-list/HwqFwRtG :)

    At salon.com Glenn Greenwald has written three superb articles about Obama’s definition of foreign suspects. In short: all military-age males in a strike zone (according to a NYT article).

    Some key quotes:

    Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.

    Counterterrorism officials insist this approach is one of simple logic: people in an area of known terrorist activity, or found with a top Qaeda operative, are probably up to no good. “Al Qaeda is an insular, paranoid organization — innocent neighbors don’t hitchhike rides in the back of trucks headed for the border with guns and bombs,” said one official, who requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.

    The Philadelphia Daily News‘ Will Bunch makes a very provocative though important point about that last passage. As I wrote about yesterday, the most significant new revelation from The New York Times article is that the Obama administration now considers “all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants,” on the ground that such individuals “are probably up to no good.” As Bunch points out, this was the exact language used by George Zimmerman in his 911 call about Travyon Martin (“it looks like he’s up to no good”). Moreover, at exactly the time that President Obama was poignantly observing that Martin looks like a son that Obama might have had, he was classifying all males in the vicinity of suspected Terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia — including teenagers — as “militants” and “combatants,” and deeming them fair game to be killed solely by virtue of their physical location, gender and age. Those are someone’s actual sons. Bunch writes: “Since they chanted ‘Drill, baby, drill!’ at the 2008 RNC, maybe they could chant ‘Kill, baby, kill’ at the 2012 DNC when they re-nominate President Obama.”

  74. Photi says:

    James, it is a ridiculous chauvinistic attitude for you to expect Iran to rely on the Western powers to supply the raw materials needed for the future of the Iranian economy. Because everyone likes a knife to the throat.

    What should Iran expect to receive for this groveling that you suggest, besides a boot to the face? Any perceived Iranian weakness will be used by the West to smear the Iranians into the ground. This game is much too old for the West to think they can get away with their deceptions and bad-faith negotiations.

    Sanctions relief for Iran will in fact be sanctions relief for the global economy. Win-win.

    The symbolic victory that “sanctions relief” will award to Iran as well as the recognition of Iran’s enrichment program will be the impetus needed to bring this so called “crisis” (a crisis manufactured by Israel and its transparent brinkmanship) to a peaceful end.

    Expecting Iran to cower like an abused dog will lead the region and possibly the world to war.

  75. Karl says:


    Central asian states are already more or less puppets to american interests. The azeri state seems to be the next to go with US and even Israel.

  76. Karl says:


    It doesnt make sense for Iran to enrich at all according to Israel and therefore US.
    When sanctions from UN were applied some years ago they demanded stop of ALL enrichment and thats what Israel and US try to impose to this day. There was no acceptance of Iran enriching under 20% until they started doing it and there is not such acceptance today neither.

  77. fyi says:


    The Central Asian states are now supporting Iran – in my estimation.

    They are afraid that if Iran falls, they will be next on Western states’ “democratization” agenda (“Whiteman’s Burden”).

    Astonishing how things change in less than 20 years.

  78. James Canning says:

    William Kristol, the leading neocon Republican, claims Israel can remain in the West Bank for another 45 to 60 years! Luncacy!

  79. Karl says:

    Dagan gives another reason why there should be no attack on Iran.


    And iranian president think that there will be no major breakthrough in moscow.


  80. James Canning says:

    Ahmadinejad has told French TV that Iran has a right to enrich to 20 percent. This is of course true, but the issue is whether it makes sense for Iran to enrich to 20 percent.

  81. fyi says:


    This is a chronicle of the previous Siege War of Axis States; against Iraq.

    They aim, in my opinion, to replicate its success in Iran.


  82. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    May 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm


    Iran is not a dependent island like Great Britain that must exploit the resources of others, and so has become accustomed to exploiting the resources of others rather than become totally self-reliant.

    As I understand Iran, it has neither an exploitative nor an island mentality.

  83. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    Can there be any guarantee that Iran will not be attacked by nuclear weapons?

    Can P5+1 give absolute, iron-clad guarantees that a 10 kiloton nuclear explosion over Tabriz, or Tehran, or Mashad, or Isphahan will never ever take place?

    I doubt it.

  84. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says: May 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    The US could supply all its uranium needs by purchasing on the open market as well. Why should US, or any other country, be privileged to control its own purchasing vs self-production decisions, but Iran should not be?

    Iran, particularly, has had enough experience with other countries and their promises that it would beggar reason to expect Iran to be anything less than extremely cautious about entering into a deal with another country to provide so vital a resource.

    Muamar Qadaffi RIP.
    Mohamad Roshan, RIP.

  85. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    There is no guarantee that Russia will not cut fuel to Iran for political purposes.

    This factual possibility was demonstrated when fuel to TRR was denied 2 years ago.

    The P5+1 have killed NPT.

    Now they have to try to resurrect it.

    They killed for Iran and they have to revive it now with Iranian cooperation.

    That cooperation will carry a steep price for P5+1.

  86. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    All in good time my dear fellow, all in good time.

  87. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    Millions of Americans who did not sell their houses at or near the peak of the market in 2006 wish they had done so. Even if they would have taken “toilet paper” in exchange. Millions more wish they had not bought houses at or near the peak of the market.

  88. fyi says:

    Castellio says: May 30, 2012 at 1:26 pm


    2 things:

    The Church never supported Israel to the hilt; the Vatican had no diplomatic relations with Israel until Oslao Agreements.

    The American Protestanism’s attachment to Israel (but not Judaism) may be traced back to Protestant Revivalism of England in 19-th century, where it began.

    The Church did not experience that.

  89. James Canning says:


    Yes, Israel slaughtered civilians by the hundreds in Gaza and Lebanon. And what did one hear about this slaughter on mainstream news in the US?

  90. James Canning says:


    I did not question the value to Iran of its domestic nuclear power programme. I simply made an obvious point: that Iran was not obliged to provide its own nuclear fuel for those plants. In fact, Iranian-sourced nuclear fuel will not go into Bushehr #1 until 2015 or 2016. But, Iran’s decision to enrich uranium has been very expensive for Iran.

    Granted, there is emotional sustenance for many Iranians, in the fact Iran is enriching uranium.

  91. James Canning says:


    Persia would have controlled what is now Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, and the western shore of the Persian Gulf, and Oman, if the Ottoman Empire had been weaker.

  92. James Canning says:


    Stated another way, the economic beneift to Iran from its domestic nuclear power programme is far less, simply because Iran re-started its enrichment of uranium.

  93. James Canning says:


    The issue is not the value of Iran’s domestic nuclear power programme. Iran is operating Bushehr #1 with fuel provided by Russia. Russia would be happy to provide fuel for all Iranian nuclear power plants.

    Iran’s intention to provide its own fuel, after 2015, has cost Iran far more than would have obtained if the fuel were simply bought in from Russia or another supplier.

  94. Castellio says:

    FYI.. do you think there’s not solid support in the US for Israel among Catholics? Do you have any support for your contention?

  95. James Canning says:


    Where do you get the idea the Jews expelled from various European countries were “non-white”?

  96. Photi says:


    The following youtube video gives a good glimpse into Iranian solar panel research:

    Solar Energy in Iran

    or this article:

    Iran Opens Major Solar Power Plant

    I don’t think it is any secret that Westerners are the ones fascinated with weaponry. Should Westerners be worried that Iran might be pining for a Solar Ray Gun?

  97. Kathleen says:

    On MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning (Wed)Dr. Brzezinski wiped up the floor with the Ignatius, Senor, Carl Bernstein fake outrage about the “massacre” in Syria. Amazing to see how quickly images of the killings in Syria make it onto MSNBC etc and the numbers of dead …yet these same outlets barely ever whispered about the thousands killed in Iraq as a direct result of the Bush administrations invasion…hundreds of thousands or the Israeli attack on the Gaza and the 4500 etc killed by Israel. Not a whisper on these MSM outlets yet Ignatius, Carl Bernstein, Senor etc are outraged by the Syrian killings that they have been quick to keep repeating are “massacres” Ever hear these same people call what took place in Iraq or the Gaza a “massacre’ Then this same crew kept saying the U.S. needs to pressure Russia into behaving on Syria. The immoral asking the immoral to be moral does not fly around the world. The U.S. and Israel telling Syria stop “killing” innocent people…..They clearly do not like competition

  98. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: May 30, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    The Ba’athist Iraq was expelling Iranians during 1970s.

    I recall once incident that entire families were dumped a few kilometeres from the Iranian border in knee-deep snow and ordered to march towards Iran.

    Needless to say, they only had the clothers on their backs.

  99. Rehmat says:

    fyi – YES – Arabs always have problems with non-Arab Persians. However, it’s not much different than White Christians having centuries old problem with the non-White Jews living in European countries. I don’t recall any Arab country expelling its Persian communities – but the White Christians did expel Jews from European countries 108 times.


  100. Fiorangela says:

    Photi responded to James Canning @ 2:57 am

    “James, you underestimate the long term value of a civilian nuclear energy program.”

    from the way back machine:

    Greening the Desert in Iran

  101. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizen says: May 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I agree.

    Before the Islamic Republic, there was the Shah of Iran and the Arabs of Persian Gulf had an anti-Iran posture even then.

    So did Syria, Iraq, and many other Arabs – under the guise of Arab Nationalism or Arabism.

    As though Iran, since the collapse of the Sassanian, had done anything to the Arabs.

    Instead of turning the Persian Gulf to a “Gulf of Friendship”, they turned it into another militarized body of water.

    Their demise will help everyone, no doubt.

  102. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: May 29, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I think you do not understand the Protestant America outside of the Episcopal and Presbyterian denominations there is very solod support for Israel.

  103. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    May 29, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    The issue is how much Iran would have gained, by devoting the effort that has gone into enriching uranium (and suffering sanctions), by putting that effort toward other objectives.

    James, you underestimate the long term value of a civilian nuclear energy program.

    What is the world going to do when it runs out of oil?

    Something will have to replace oil. Nuclear energy is the obvious answer– it has the potential to supply nearly all of the global power demand as we head into an uncertain and oil-sparse future.

    Iran is actually quite visionary as it looks after its needs into the future. Nuclear research has so much potential, who knows where it will lead, it may be that one day nuclear power reactors are as compact and personal as the home computer.

    Why should Iran, currently one of the world’s largest energy producers, be excluded from the future of energy production?

    Iran’s oil industry subsidizes their nuclear research. Given the urgency on the global scale for acquiring new means of energy production, this is a pragmatic use of the Iranian oil proceeds.

    James, do you have a good reason why Iran should be excluded from the future of energy production? Why are those production means not valuable to you?

  104. Voice of Tehran says:

    Sorry guys , seems I am fixed on ‘Uncle Gordy’ these days. My simple logic is that he is a true American , a war veteran , a military expert and on top I see him often on PressTv :-)


    By Gordon Duff, Senior Editor
    One problem we are all ignoring, while we are told to worry about Iranian nukes that do not now nor never will exist, is that the money in your pocket is toilet paper, your home is worth less than yesterday and probably belongs to someone who lost the paperwork and has been bankrupt themselves for 30 years…

  105. Castellio says:

    This good American has a conscience, and for that very reason engages in what used to be called killing without trial and the height of totalitarian rule…


    [Obama] joins his advisers as they pore over the biographies and profiles of potential targets to decide who is a sufficient threat to the United States to be killed.

    “He is determined that he will make these decisions about how far and wide these operations will go,” Thomas Donilon, his national security adviser, told the New York Times.

    “His view is that he’s responsible for the position of the United States in the world.” “He’s determined to keep the tether pretty short.” Dozens of advisers who spoke to the newspaper said the process began with around 100 counter-terrorism officials sifting biographies and “nominating” suspects in Yemen and Somalia during a secure video conference run by the Pentagon.

  106. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    May 29, 2012 at 6:02 pm


    Using Amir Taheri as a source worthy of quoting is indicative of a lack of nuanced understanding regarding words vs. deeds vs. subterfuge.

    The goals of the United States foreign policy does not waver from one president to the next. Changes are mainly in the use of sources and methods.

    US with its massive defense spending has many levers to push – private armies, young volunteers, local mercenaries, paid internationals, destructive espionage, over war, ….etc.

  107. James Canning says:

    More on how Aipac controls the US Congress, in “Daniel Pipes says he and Steve Rosen drove Senate re ‘so-called’ Palestinian refugees”, by Philip Weiss


  108. James Canning says:

    I recommend “How William Kristol Purged the Arabists”, by Pat Buchanan (May 29th):


  109. James Canning says:

    Brett Stephens, the neocon propagandist of the Wall Street Journal, today argued that Dennis Ross was too trusting toward Iran! (Ross is a primary Obama adviser re: Iran, and Israel lobby).

  110. James Canning says:


    You fail to account for the ISRAEL LOBBY. If the ISRAEL LOBBY opposed lifting of sanctions against Burma, maybe those sanctions would not be lifted.

  111. James Canning says:


    The issue is how much Iran would have gained, by devoting the effort that has gone into enriching uranium (and suffering sanctions), by putting that effort toward other objectives.

  112. James Canning says:


    I did not say enriching uranium has made Iran “poor”. I did say that Iran would be richer than it is, if it had not re-started enrichment of uranium. This seems beyond question. Economic value, to date, from enriching uranium, is close to zero.

  113. James Canning says:


    Obama’s policy is to have an independent Palestine emerge. That one has not is a failure of policy, not an achievement.

  114. James Canning says:

    “Having concluded that they made a mistake in wrecking Jimmy Carter’s chances of re-election in 1980, the mullahs are determined not to make the same mistake with Mr Obama, who has all but acccepted their nuclear programme.” – – Amir Taheri, in The Times (London) May 16, 2012.

  115. James Canning says:


    A country is stronger for being richer. Look at Germany. Strongest country in Europe. And largest economy in Europe.

  116. ToivoS says:

    fyi says:
    May 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

    “White Protestant Americans are committed to the Israel to the hilt.”

    fyi you often have interesting things to say about Iran and her position in the diplomatic world. But you do not understand Protestant America. There many different trends. A majority really do not spend much time thinking about the ME at all. This lack of attention is what makes it possible for dedicated minorities to so heavily influence US ME policy. You are probably referring to what are called Christian Zionist — a relatively minor but very noisy sect that has some political influence but not that much.

  117. A concerned world citizen says:

    fyi, the destructions of Ba’athis Iraq served Iran’s interest in the end. Had the US known what the outcome would’ve been, I bet they wouldn’t have launched that war..Qaddafi’s ouster will also serve Iran’s interest in the long run..Qaddafi became the main funder of Arab separatist movements in Iran after Saddam, the main anti-Iran supporter, was ousted…His ouster was “godsend” to Iran..Wonder why PRESSTV was vigorously supporting the rebels from the beginning?

    Saddam’s irrational anti-Iran/ anti-Shia foolishness cost him in the end..It played well into the hands of his former ally turned enemy, US..

    I see a similar fate for most of the Persian gulf monarchies..Their irrational hatred of anything Iran/Shia plays well into the hands of the West who in turn use it to further their destructive policies in the region..But they’ll also be caught up in their own mess like Saddam did.

  118. Karl says:

    I sense a renewed cockiness among the warmongering states.
    Primary because of the actions west have taken against iranian allied – Syria in the recent days. France new president said today for example that military actions against Syria may become true and many western states expelled the syrian envoy, this proves they are working towards war.

    Israel screaming for more pressure on Iran. Total stop of enrichment, no ending of sanctions and hint they are behind the new cyberterrorism in the MENA.


    These, among other things lower any successul outcome in Moscow.

  119. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizen says: May 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    He is not completely wrong – Iran would have been richer having avoided the costs of this Economic Siege Warfare against her.

    All wars cost money, you see.

    As for Iran being more powerful; I do not believe that he is right.

    Fiorangela says: May 29, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Lustick is noty all wrong.

    US has been rather successful in her negative agenda:

    1- Prevent a Palestinian State to Emerge
    2- Prvent an industrializewd Iran to Emerge
    3- Destroy Ba’athis Iraq.

    But these have mot translated into beneficial results for her; only made things worse for her and her allies.

    As for the Turks, Dr. Lustig is completely wrong – Turkey has nothing to show for her anti-Assad posture yet.

    May be she hopes that she will sometime in the future.

    [Iranians have been the most successful local state – very many of the ideas of the late Mr. Khomeini which were in a minority position in 1980s are now mainstram Muslim positions.

    US is out of Iraq, she will be out of Afghanistan shortly (and that is when Iran and Pakistan will move in – nothwithstanding the empty strategic deal between US and Afghanistan) and there is 50/50 chance of a war with Iran caused by Israel.

  120. A concerned world citizen says:

    Iran today would be richer and stronger if it had never re=started the enriching of uranium. Granted, a good deal of national pride is achieved by enriching uranium, but it adds next to nothing to the wealth and power of Iran.

    James, I beg to differ..That argument is nonsense..There’re many states in the world that are not even contemplating uranium enrichment yet inherently poor to the core. So to say uranium enrichment has made Iran poor is being disingenuous. I think you should do yourself a favor and realize that this whole Iran-West tensions have absolutely nothing to do with a nuclear Iran or a nuclear capable Iran. It’s everything to do with an empire who feels threatened(fear) by a rival local power that refuses to submit to her whims(It’s normal.everything empire goes through that process)..And the fact that this rival power may be an inspiration for other states to also take a firm stance against the empire’s wishes. When you read through most US sanctions wording, a lot of it has nothing to do with nukes and everything to do with stopping Iran’s ability to influence regional states.

    If it were about Iran’s nuclear issue, the West have had many chances to resolve it and on all occasions, blew it to bits. A clear example is the recent Baghdad talks..If the US was concerned about nuclear capable countries, Brazil would be an immediate threat as they can assemble a nuclear device in short order and won’t need Shahabs to deliver it to US soil as their close enough – any medium range rocket will do.

    Iran’s economic mess is purely due to mismanagement -although sanctions do play a part but only marginally. In fact, most European economies today could only dream on having Iran’s economy(no external debt, no banking crises etc). It’s stupid to think sanctions against a country of 70+ million people, sharing land/sea borders with many countries in the region and endowed with many natural resources that most countries all over the world NEEDS, will ever work. But the US, short of war, has only sanctions to rely on – hoping that it may achieve the desired effect(regime change). This is the “shot-gun” strategy. fire anywhere and hope the pallets hit something.

    I mean, this is not Cuba where’re talking about. If the US, with all her resources couldn’t manage to bring that tiny Island,Cuba, into her sphere of influence in Latin America despite all their efforts, what chance do they stand against Iran? This is not some banana republic where’re talking about.

    Ps: Iran just refurbished one of their subs which will now be added to their naval inventory. Another headache to war planners in Pentagon.

  121. Fiorangela says:

    Disappointing analysis from Lustick.

    “Uncharacteristically for any great power operating in the Middle East, the United States seems to be performing considerably better than most of the regional powers, who have seemed particularly awkward in their responses to regime transformations and continuing turbulence. Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran are all viewing regional events through old prisms.
    [1.]Israel operates as if caught in a nineteenth-century time warp of romantic nationalism and the confrontation of Jews with the vicious forms of anti-Semitism unleashed in a rapidly modernizing Europe. Key Zionist principles of Jewish self-reliance, national egoism and opportunistic expansionism that served the Jewish nationalist movement well in its heroic period are dangerously out of place in the rapidly changing Middle East. Yet these principles seem to hold Israeli political culture and the outlook of many Israeli leaders in an iron grip.
    [2.] Saudi Arabia sees the region through the bifocal lens of monarchical solidarity and an increasingly sectarian conflict with Iran for regional influence.
    [3.]Iran, which one might assume would be the regional power best suited to take advantage of revolutionary upheaval, has been flummoxed by the changes in the Arab world. Tehran has stuck by its blood-soaked Syrian ally and continues to roll back freedoms at home while resorting to increasingly tired anti-American and anti-Zionist tropes to rally support domestically and regionally.
    [4.] Only Turkey has nimbly adjusted to the Arab Spring, pivoting from a policy of “zero problems with neighbors” that led it to good state-to-state relations with Asad, Qadhafi and Israel, to a stance in support of democratic change in the region. Having undergone its own democratic transition, however imperfect, Turkey is best-positioned of the regional powers to play a leading role in a more democratic Middle East.”

    [1.] Characterizing what Israel has done and is doing as ‘romantic nationalism’ dangerously distorts reality. Verdi was a romantic; Jabotinsky was a thug; Netanyahu is not a romantic nationalist, he is a passionate follower of Jabotinsky; i.e. a thug.

    [2.] Saudi Arabia — concede the point.

    [3.] “Tehran has stuck by its blood-soaked Syrian ally” assumes that Assad’s regime is responsible for the is the blood-letting. There are too many contending reports, not least the Russian ambassador’s on-the-ground observation that foreign forces are acting against both Syria’s military and civilian populations — to accept uncritically that false flag operations are not in place to take down Assad. Moreover, inasmuch as Hillary Clinton has stated numerous times that a weakened Syria will weaken Iran, one would have to be romantically naive to not suspect that the US State Department does not have a hand in attempting to remove Assad, by “bloodying” Syrian civilians.

    “Tehran . . .rolls back freedoms at home while resorting to tired anti-American and anti-zionist tropes to rally domestic support . . .”

    In a hastily assembled panel last week, organized by NIAC to discuss the Baghdad summit, toward the end of the conversation Trita Parsi raised the issue of human rights in Iran. Bijan Khajehpour, who had himself been jailed by the Iranian government, stated that Iran will ‘roll back’ repressive measures when outside pressures on Iran stop threatening Iran’s government as well as its civilians. Aaron David Miller countered that Khajehpour’s notion “infantilized” the Iranian people and their government. Panelist George Perkovich supported Khajehpour’s perspective; so do I. Iran is not paranoid; as the widow of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan can attest, people really are out to get Iranians. :http://www.niacouncil.org /site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=8270

    [4.] Turkey’s zero problems policy was admirable. It’s difficult to see who has benefited, and to what advantage, from Turkey’s “pivot” from Zero Problems to “supporting democracy.” Former Zero Problems neighbor Qadafi is dead, as are thousands of Libyans, and Libya remains in under-the-radar turmoil. Hundreds if not thousands of Zero Problems neighbor Syrians are dead and the tenure of Assad is threatened by that entirely democratic process known as false flag/coup d’etat. A Turkish court just passed judgment on 10 Israeli generals, holding them responsible for the deaths of Turkish nationals on the Mavi Marmara. A judicial process became necessary after Israel refused Turkey’s zero problems diplomatic demands for an apology and reparations for the killing of the nine Turkish citizens.

    Try again, Dr. Lustick.

  122. Voice of Tehran says:

    @ Fiorangela

    Somehow my posts to you in the last thread would not come through , although I tried many times. So I’ll try again.
    Last week I came across the speech of Benjamin H. Freedman in 1961 which was mind-bloggling (at least for me).
    I would like to have your opinion on this particular speech.
    I guess little has changed since then , on the contrary , who in the US today would dare to make such statments , please evaluate further (and the role of the newspaper ‘Common Sense’)



  123. Karl says:


    Ashton represent the view of the EU, so of course she has the power to remove sanctions. Also sanctions from EU is not from every EU state separately but from the EU as a combined organ/union.

    Not sure whats your point with Burma is.

  124. akehleh says:

    If I were Levrettes I would follow what Ayatollah Hashemi has to say and is saying. Because he is the most pragmatic and realistic politician in Iran and still is the closest person to Ayatollah Khamanie.

    Interview with Hashemi Rafsanjani
    Ayatollah Hashemi: We are not supposed to be angry with America until Armageddon!

    – Finally, we should see a goodwill of the Americans (5 +1 talks on the subject). The hostility of the talks if they want to use does not respond, the answer is negative, really good show if one day the situation varies. The Imam said to be the American people, then we can solve problems, not the resurrection to be angry with America. Americans do not want to make the position of sanctions and pressure. They have the upper hand in negotiations. The sanctions imposed. Have pressure on us. UN sanctions have been imposed. Now when you say you do it sit for talks until we reduce our sanctions. This is not a negotiable conference!

    – In the case of negotiations in Baghdad, The statements after Istanbul from both sides Iranians and Westerners were with an optimism that the Iranians and Westerners who hope to be true. We wished our people would find hope in our country and the Westerners due to their economic problems needed the optimistic talks. Both sides tried to say the space of conference was positive atmosphere and tried to create hope. But indeed Baghdad turned out not to be good. Currently we still have not a lot of information and assessment of Westerners. It is unclear what weapon they arise and they say with sanctions on Iran we have been able to exercise in negotiations. It also indicated that Iran and threats of sanctions in the field not to. So we must wait until the real information comes to hand.


  125. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Karl says:
    May 29, 2012 at 11:56 am


    “Statistics from the state-run Korea National Oil Corp. revealed on Tuesday that the East Asian country imported a total of 7.5 million barrels, or 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), of Iranian crude in April, compared with its term import agreement at 200,000 bpd this year, Reuters reported.”

    So not only is South Korea not reducing imports, it is importing more than its contract specifies.

  126. James Canning says:


    The ISRAEL LOBBY will not allow an untying of what you call the “Gordian knot”. P5+1 must try to work around it, without being too obvious.

  127. James Canning says:


    Iran today would be richer and stronger if it had never re=started the enriching of uranium. Granted, a good deal of national pride is achieved by enriching uranium, but it adds next to nothing to the wealth and power of Iran.

  128. Fiorangela says:

    Thank you Empty. I’ll study the website you mentioned.

  129. Fiorangela says:

    Voice of Tehran says: May 29, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Gordon Duff introduced a claim that Jonathan Kay relied upon in a discussion about “truthers” and Kay’s book, Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground, with Webster Tarpley. http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/FalseF Tarpley was interviewed and written about in the book.

    The event was moderated by David Frum. Frum distinguished himself by his lack of basic respect for the Dr. Tarpley, a posture that did not go unnoticed by even neutral members of the audience.

    Kay explained that “man is a creature who seeks meaning;” “millions of people find that meaning in the monotheistic religions;” “having caught their government in one lie [the missing WMD], truthers have lost all faith in their government;” “but they still seek meaning, and so in the place of the monotheistic god, truthers have created a demon. They call this demon “Bilderberg” or “zionism” or —–, but it is a demonic spirit.”

    Squelching his inner Dan Brown, Dr. Tarpley appeared on the program in a business suit — no black cape, not even a Jesuitic collar or evidence of an Opus Dei cilice biting into his thigh. Tarpley insisted on presenting evidence, and evaluating it on the basis of sound reason (something Jesuits used to do when one of my children attended a Jesuit high school).

    We report. You decide.

    The USA is pretty screwed up. Christianity — mainstream denominations as well as more recent vintage evangelicals, as well as Roman Catholics — bear a heavy burden of complicity in their acquiescence to and support of the zionist project, whether through ignorance, self-interest, or delusion. I read Malachi Martin a hundred years ago; I’ve forgotten his schtick. What I do know is that the fault lies not in our attempts at rationality, dear Brutalized world, nor even ALL at the door of your wealthy local Jesuit, but at our reliance on delusion and intellectual laziness.

  130. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty says, “If one pays close attention of how the lives of local populations, whose very livelihood depends on these lands are destroyed, one cannot help but to think this is the state of the art of 21st century cannibalism and human sacrifice at the alter of gods of finance and money.”

    Nicely done.

    Yes, tyrants continue to exist in 21st century secular democracies, taking different forms such as that of accumulated capital and its exigencies, such as emotional concupiscence no loner bound by spiritual modesty (hayaa) before God…

  131. James Canning says:


    Are you arguing that Iran in fact is getting ready to build nukes quickly? And that Iran will try to build nukes despite the Khamenei fatwa?

  132. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today had some comments on the fact the US spends nearly $1 trillion annually on “defence”. Not something one would find in the Wall Street Journal.

  133. James Canning says:


    Are you arguing that the strength of the US dollar is enhanced by its use in many international transactions involving oil? If you are contending there is essentially a glut of dollars, but that the serious decline of the dollar’s value is being postponed by the economic problems in the EU, I agree.

  134. James Canning says:


    Many of the white Protestant Americans I know think Israel is a greater threat to the US than Iran.

  135. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    Do you agree with Gordon Duff, that Osama bin Laden died in 2001?

  136. James Canning says:


    Lady Ashton could not offer to suspend sanctions that were being adopted by the EU because the various countries in the EU are independent.

    Burma (Myanmar) is achieving the lifting of sanctions, and did not do it by tough negotiations about each and every step that would be taken.

  137. James Canning says:

    “For 33 years, Iran has dealt with us as an enemy.” — Brett Stephens in the Wall Street Journal today. Raising once again the ridiculous cr*p about the hostages.

  138. Castellio says:

    It’s good to keep in mind that facts and history never get in the way of FYI’s predictably extreme generalizations.

  139. Kathleen says:

    “A determination to dominate the region badly warps the Obama Administration’s diplomatic approach, for it treats nuclear negotiations with Tehran as a venue for making the Islamic Republic surrender to American demands, not as an important element in realigning the U.S.-Iranian relationship.”

    Surrender to Israel’s demands.

    Never a mention anywhere in the MSM about Iran’s legal right to enrich as a signatory to the NPT. Never a whisper about Israel’s continued unwillingness to sign the NPT while sitting on massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Never a whisper on those so called liberal MSNBC outlets. Well Dylan Ratigan will go there sometimes.

    When the U.S. and the U.K invade a sovereign nation based on a “pack of lies” and hundreds of thousands are killed, maimed and millions displaced they define it as “national interst” When Israel attacks Gaza and kills children, women, men i…(tharr be more)t is defined as a “national interest” In both instances you seldom see pictures of dead children streamed across MSM outlets. But in the case of the crimes of the Assad regime these killings are refered to as “massacres” and images of dead children are shown repeatedly. Can anyone explain how what took place in Iraq, the Gaza in Syria are not all defined as “massacres?” U.S. “massacres” in Iraq. Israeli “massacres” in Gaza. Assad “massacres” in Syria

    The U.S. and Israel do not want competition in the “massacre” arena.

  140. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Persian Gulf is correct.

    The Iranians took the lessons of Chile in 1973 and Iran in 1953 into account have rearranged their affairs in such a way that day-to-day economic life of Iran cold continue without any major issues.

    Long term investments and technology transfers still is an issue that will take years to address.

    The Iranian strategy is to do all that they can – by hook or by crook – to render the sanctions ineffective.

    I expect EU to be where US is vis-a-vis Iran in 6 more years – having sanctioned herself out of influence with Iran.

    Stratgeically, Iran absolutely must work through the sanctions lest be they reimposed again and again.

  141. yousaf says:

    indeed that is the most puzzling things: if the P5+1 were really, really concerned about 20% enrichment, they blew their chance to limit it. Odd. Like, Iraq, we have sanctions on now — likely permanently – no matter what Iran does with its nuclear work.

  142. Karl says:

    Persian Gulf,

    I disagree. I have yet to see any arguments for that. I hope you are right though.

    I dont imply that Iran somehow will breakdown in the 2nd of July but as sanctions and oil embargo sature more and more + isolation from business and reduction it could have a really devastating effect. This could also led to social unrest, demonstrations. In such a situation I think Iran may be more willing to accept some of US demands. But they must of course get something of substance in return, for example lifting of sanctions otherwhise they will never change its course.

  143. Voice of Tehran says:

    Heavy ‘stuff’ by Gordon Duff , Senior Editor of Veterans Today :


    As many know, I am the preferred voice chosen by Press TV, the Iranian news network, when discussing military issues. The answer is simple, I am the only one who will talk with them, the only one not terrified at reprisals by the ADL, a Pseudo-Jewish Lobby group I see as intellectual terrorists…

  144. fyi says:

    Empty says: May 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    You are wrong.

    White Protestant Americans are committed to the Israel to the hilt.

    They will cause the United States to carry any burden on behalf of Israel – because they think they can.

    Only hunger will tame them.

  145. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm


    US Federal Reserves has injected $ 16 trillion into a varitey of financial institutions in the United States and elsewhere.

    There is also the known $ 60 trillion dollars of mortgage liabilities assumed by US Government.

    US Government is broke.

    Then there is another $ 160 trillion financial instruments that directly impact US and they are the true Unknown Unknowns.

  146. Empty says:

    For those who might be interested: “Outcomes of Iran’s Resistance on Nuclear Issue”


  147. Empty says:

    Thanks to the hosts for maintaining a site with integrity. And thanks to everyone for all that you taught me (whether you knew it or not) over the years.

  148. Empty says:


    You might be interested in this website (GRAIN) in general (I think I had liked to it some times back) and if you scroll down to the database of land grab deals report for Jan. 2012. ;http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4479-grain-releases-data-set-with-over-400-global-land-grabs

    You’d want to pay particular attention to the ‘landgrabber’, ‘base’, and ‘hectares’ of land columns. If one pays close attention of how the lives of local populations, whose very livelihood depends on these lands, are destroyed one cannot help but to think this is the state of the art 21st century cannibalism and human sacrifice at the alter of gods of finance and money.

    Hopefully, exploring myths of the past does not detract us from exploring the contemporary myths that are unfolding before our very eyes. Or perhaps studying the current human sacrifice practices lend us a different lens through which to look at the past human sacrifice practices.

  149. Rehmat says:

    With the rise of anti-Muslim extremists in power in the US, UK and Israel – there is a very slim chance of Iran’s achieving its rightfull position in the region and the world at large. Even though Iranians have not invaded or occupied any of its neighbors for the last 150 year (something one cannot claim about the US, UK and Israel) – Iran is projected as the greatest threat to the world peace by the Zionist gangsters.

    So why the West keep on threatening Iran with war? The answer was provided by no other than Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, head of the Israel Occupation Force (IOF) planning department, told reporters in Jerusalem that once Iran poseses nuclear arsenal, it will make hard for Israel to defeat Hamas and Hizbullah.

    ”If we are forced to do things in Gaza or in Lebanon – under the Iranian nuclear umbrella it might be different,” said Amir Eshel in January 2012.


  150. Empty says:


    I’d be rather surprised if Iran doesn’t begin to raise issues with the actual talks themselves because now, “talks for the sake of talks” are an advantage to the west at this time and they wouldn’t make much material difference to Iran. I guess we just have to wait and see how things develop.

  151. Empty says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    They used to write (in the midst of the US second war with Iraq) that in a region where Iran is playing chess, the US is playing poker. My view is that they think Iran is playing chess but in fact, she is playing Persian backgammon (which sees their chess and raises it by a few ‘unknown unknowns’)….

  152. Persian Gulf says:


    I think you are counting too much on sanctions. Sanctions have damaged Iran’s economy undoubtedly, but there is no chance for sanctions to bring down Islamic Republic or change its major policies. As a friend always says, it won’t be worse than the Iran-Iraq war time. I doubt Obama Admin. even expects that. He is obviously unable, or doesn’t see it beneficial enough, to have an overhaul in this regard. I think James is pretty honest here that sanctions are there to constrict Iran’s otherwise rapid growth.

    In fact, I am not sure if sanctioning Iran to the hilt would ever work. coincidentally, I was talking to a close relative in Dubai today. based on his observations, and he has a very good grasp of business and links over there, Dubai is basically f***** up. one can explain it in different ways, but obviously a place like Dubai,and UAE, can’t simply digest the Iran sanction dilemma for long.

    A couple of months ago I was invited to a friend’s house here. the man has been conducting a successful business between Iran and UAE for decades (more than my entire life time). there were also a couple of typical greens there in that house too. and apparently the greens were predicting doomsday is coming very soon. to my surprise the old man was contradicting them; that sanctions won’t work and the west has no other choice than to come to the term with the I.R of Iran. he is a very pragmatic person and by no means an IR,if any, supporter. he was pointing out mainly on real economy, Iran’s internal market, and her ability to conduct business in her neighborhood against the U.S wishes.

    I also think the analogy to China is wrong or won’t work, at least not for a decade to come that the U.S doesn’t see,or internally entangled, Iran on a par with China of 1972. I am, however, interested to know how Brazil’s nuclear status has become acceptable and apparently normal. any idea?

    p.s: India’s rupee has just depreciated rapidly.

  153. Castellio says:


    Africom with its painted on mask… Forcing Monsanto, Coke, etc, into all aspects of African life will surely win adherents to ‘Western ways”.


    For the Real News:

  154. Rehmat says:

    The Islamic Republic doesn’t need Washington’s “sweetner”. The 32 year Western sanction have enabled Iran to produce all of the conventional arms it need to fight its enemies with far less military budget ($6 billion) as compared to the US ($687 billion) and Israel ($13.7 billion + $3 billion military handout from the US).

    Furthermore, as former British foreign minister Lord David Owen wrote in Op-Ed in UK daily Mirror last year – The US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan along with Tehran’s shrewed diplomacy has made Iran the most powerful country in the region.


  155. Jay says:

    yousaf says:
    May 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    You are correct to point out that P5+1 are unconcerned about the alleged nuclear-weapon related work in Iran.

    Several people here, including myself, have intimated that the concern of P5+1 is much more about the potential strategic realignment in the M.E. as a result of the rise of Iran than any nuclear work.

    That is why, I believe, it is unlikely that any serious or lasting agreement will be reached at this time. The US must first resolve the puzzle of how to untie herself from the Gordian know she is entangled with.

  156. Fiorangela says:

    Castellio says:
    May 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Petrodollars are evolving into hunger dollars as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agree on a formula for “the moral imperative to end hunger in N Africa” by forming public-private (read: US military guarantees private corporate access to African markets) alliances to ensure food security for Africans.

    It is very difficult not to be cynical.

  157. James Canning says:

    “Rioting in Tel Aviv”, by Philip Giraldi:


  158. James Canning says:

    The US foolishly embarked on the Vietnam War because American leaders were acting under the delusion that a Vietnam re-unified under the Communists posed a threat to America’s national security.

    Nixon campaigned in 1968 on basis of ending US involvement in the war quickly. Kissinger blocked that plan.

  159. James Canning says:


    The fact that oil prices are quoted in US dollars does not do much to “strengthen” the dollar. The dollar weakens because the powerful ISRAEL LOBBY demands that hundreds of billions of dollars get squandered, to “protect” Israel.

  160. James Canning says:


    and let’s remember that Leonid Brezhnev virtually begged Nixon and Kissinger to tell Israel to get out of the Sinai, to avoid the war that otherwise would take place.

  161. James Canning says:


    How much have the people of Europe and North America been penalised, by the gigantic rise in oil prices that resulted from US support for Israel durign the 1973 Arab-Israel war?

    The big oil companies are not promoting the sanctions against Iran. For that you can thank the ISRAEL LOBBY.

  162. Karl says:

    Obama administration so predictable, after the talks last week Israel was furious that US doesnt push Iran harder (in their warmongering sense) and urged US to back its claim with military threats (something which is illegal by the way under UN charter). US nuclear envoy then traveled to Israel, which by the way was the first government to be notified about the talks. Not the american state.

    Anyway some days later US did just that. Threat.

    US Pentagon has plans for military strike on Iran: Panetta


  163. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    May 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    As I have intimated before, and making it plain now, it is very naive to believe that your personal beliefs have a basis in the reality of geopolitics.

    Mr. Obama, and Cameron, are engaged in a charade! Evidence suggests that 5%, 15, or 20% – all irrelevant. US has refused to accept a deal over and over again.

    I would be more than pleased to see your analysis (not assertion) to the contrary.

  164. Empty says:


    Thank you for the link and the excerpt. It seems that the US government is serving everyone’s interest except for that of the American people.

  165. Empty says:

    RE: “Iran’s leaders should be able to see that Obama cannot openly endorse Iran’s right to enrich to 5%”

    They see and find it irrelevant. That’s Obama’s problem. Iranian leaders need to look out for the interest of the Iranian people not Obama’s self serving interest. If Obama had a shred of dignity in him, he would resign.

  166. Pirouz says:

    Empty, I disagree. I think Arnold is correct in that the Iranians will likely continue to come to the table, but the terms they’re likely to agree upon will continue to rise, also.

    James, a Romney win in my opinion will only decrease the likelihood of an agreement with Iran. Iran is prepared for war in order to protect its issues of sovereignty. War with Iran is a very high risk affair in terms of economic effects it would bring on. It would also be a unilateral action, as there’s little chance the EU would come on board. And ordinary Americans like myself will be pretty darn disappointed with fuel prices exceeding 6 dollars a gallon and corresponding price increases at the local supermarket.

    So those analysts in Iran that claimed Obama lacks the political capital to make a deal with IRI before the Nov. election are being proven correct. The big question is whether our president can pull it off following the ’12 election, if he wins, and if he actually has the political “stomach” for a deal. Say what you will about Nixon, for better and worse the man had guts. And he had an intelligent SecState. These days our hopes for peace are pegged to Obama/Clinton. Clinton has her eyes on the presidency and the ’16 election. She’ll kick and scream against a deal with IRI, needing the Israel lobby as an ally for her election to POTUS. We really need a new SecState should Obama win in ’12. He also needs a new advisory team.

    Those of us seeking peace and rapprochement with IRI have some waiting ahead of us.

  167. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Empty says, “and I thought they were playing poker.”

    No, Empty-san. The game is chess. Except Iran’s problem is that it is playing chess against an 800 lb. gorilla.

  168. yousaf says:

    I mentioned this on the previous blog post but repeat it here as it is even more relevant to this post — it speaks to the implicit lack of worry in P5+1 re. any alleged Iranian nuclear weapons work — if P5+1 was worried they would be desperate to strike a deal and stop 20% enrichment:


  169. Castellio says:

    If one is interested in the issue of US’s quest for hegemony then Peter Dale Scott’s recent article at Japan Focus is worthwhile:


    “Washington serves the interest of western oil companies, not just because of their corrupt influence over the administration, but because the survival of the current U.S. petro-economy depends on western domination of the global oil trade. A passage in Drugs, Oil, and War describes this policy, and how it has contributed to recent American interventions, and also the impoverishment of the Third World since 1980. In essence, the U.S. handled the quadrupling of oil prices in the 1970s by arranging, by means of secret agreements with the Saudis, for the recycling of petrodollars back into the U.S. economy. The first of these deals assured a special and on-going Saudi stake in the health of the U.S. dollar; the second secured continuing Saudi support for the pricing of all OPEC oil in dollars. These two deals assured that the U.S. economy would not be impoverished by OPEC oil price hikes. The heaviest burdens would be borne instead by the economies of less developed countries.

    The U.S. dollar, weakening as it is, still depends largely on the OPEC policy of demanding U.S. dollars for payment of OPEC oil. Just how strongly America will enforce this OPEC policy can be seen by the fate of those countries that have chosen to challenge it. “Saddam Hussein in 2000 insisted Iraq’s oil be sold for euros, a political move, but one that improved Iraq’s recent earnings thanks to the rise in the value of the euro against the dollar.”9 Three years later, in March 2003, America invaded Iraq. Two months after that, on May 22, 2003, Bush by executive order decreed that Iraqi oil sales would be returned from euros to dollars.

    Shortly before the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, Qaddafi, according to a Russian article, initiated a movement, like Saddam Hussein’s, to refuse the dollar for oil payments. Meanwhile Iran, in February 2009, announced that it had “completely stopped conducting oil transactions in U.S. dollars.” The full consequences of Iran’s daring move have yet to be seen.”

  170. James Canning says:


    I think the P5+1 are taking into account Obama’s need for political cover. There have been several indications Obama would accept Iranian enrichment to 5%. It is not in Iran’s own best interests to enable Mitt Romney to win the fall election. Or for Iran to enable the Republicans to capture the US Senate.

  171. James Canning says:

    Obama’s Iran “strategy” is indeed properly qualified as “such as it is”. Don’t get the Israel lobby fired up to the extent it removes Obama from the White House. Remember Jimmy Carter.

    Iran’s leaders should be able to see that Obama cannot openly endorse Iran’s right to enrich to 5%, if Israel continues to oppose it.

  172. Karl says:

    Arnold Evans,

    I didnt find any specific comment by “fyi” on this. So please elaborate.
    Also, do you agree/disagree with my short counter-arguments on the cuba-iraq-northkorea sanctions vs Iran?

  173. Empty says:

    Like the previous post, I disagree with the point that for the Iranian side the time frame for talks is as open ended as it is portrayed by these last couple of posts. If the P5+1 position remains the same, I think there would be significant shift in Iran’s approach (and it is not in the direction of appeasement).

  174. Empty says:

    LOL…that looks like a checkmate to me…..and I thought they were playing poker (or at least the P5+1 side was).

  175. Reza Esfandiari says:

    I think the word “sweetener” says it all about America’s approach to the talks. They think Iran should surrender to its demands in return for a few sweeteners such as easing the sale of aircraft parts. This is candyfloss diplomacy.