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The Race for Iran

RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR www.RaceforIran.com

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1,002 Responses to “RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR www.RaceforIran.com”

  1. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Castellio: “Or to put this another way: unless one can see the business dealings and advantages behind the term “regional influence”, one is probably missing the actual relations among the nations and the peoples which happen on a day to day basis.”

    Excellent point!

    It’s about the MONEY – and that money involves more than the military-industrial complex. It involves those ruling elites outside the MIC as well, especially the banks who finance the large corporations.

    Some people may think I assume the MIC controls EVERYTHING in the US power structure. Of course not. As I’ve said many times, there are the oil companies, the multinational corporations who stand to gain from business deals in the region, the banks who finance them, and many other influences, some unrelated to money and more related to power such as the neocons or the Zionists.

    All of them, however, share in the goal of US hegemony over the world. So when it comes to starting a war, everyone who stands to make money – either now or in their view later – and no matter how they make it – comes together to support the goal of the US and Israel controlling the Middle East for the benefit of the ruling elites of this country and Israel (and even other countries such as those in the EU.)

    They may not always agree among themselves but they ALWAYS agree against us and the populations of the world. It’s ALWAYS the “one percent” against the “99 percent.” This is so historically true that there can be no doubt about it at any time. It has been true of every “civilization” since civilization first started. It’s human nature and cannot be altered without altering human nature itself (which fortunately will be done in this century.)

  2. bettertobepickled says:

    James, how can you have good relations with Saudi Arabia but not with the US? Do you have an example?

  3. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely Rafsanjani is quite right to say Iran should seek to have good relations with Saudi Arabia.

  4. fyi says:

    General Tecumesh Sherman says: April 7, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Rubbish!

    There is zero chance of Mr. Rafsanjani being able to perform hat you are suggesting.

    Current Syrian state will survive but Mr. Assad is most likely going to leave office and the Ba’ath with him.

  5. Sineva says:

    General Tecumesh Sherman says:
    April 7, 2012 at 12:31 am
    You seem to be forgetting one minor little detail there general and it starts with I and ends with L and has 6 letters.
    Oh,and begging the generals pardon but you appear to have misspelled your middle name,it should be Tecumseh

  6. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Iran doesn’t need the US for anything…”Imam” Rafsanjani…now that’s a good joke :-).

    Also his brother and “advisor” decided to leave his US wife and come to Iran at the time of revolution even though she actually wanted to come with him. You know at that time having a US wife was not so good for advancing the revolutionary career. That’s the kinda charming guy he is.

  7. General Tecumesh Sherman says:

    My discussion was based on the Iranian media.

    Iran does not need to go head-to-head with the US. Make a deal with them like China did after Mao passed away. Do not be stubborn and hitch your horses to the damn Communist China’s wagon. If Vietnam needs America , so does Iran. Maybe America will offer a sweet deal you can not refuse too. Specially when they are worried sick about China. America is desperate for a deal with Iran and can offer them a deal they can not refuse. They need to walk away from Afghan situation confident that Iran in on their side.

    Do not ever think Imam Rafsanjani is nobody in Iran. He is THE Deng ShiaPing of Iran.

  8. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Sherman,
    Rafsanjani hich qalati nemikone, Syria won’t fall, Larijani won’t be Majlis speaker very soon, and even Ali Motahari’s own Mom doesn’t support his re-election. Don’t comment on things you don’t understand. Stick to burning Atlanta and other confederate cities.

  9. Castellio says:

    Maybe General Sherman can point to a source or two for his information, to help explain why any Iranian, when dealing with the U.S., would slit his throat to find his voice?

  10. Castellio says:

    BibiJon, on April 6, 2012 at 11:17 am, answering rd, writes: “It is this question that I think Arnold would answer with one word: Israel.”

    And prior, Arnold says, “”I’d call Israel the most important constraint on US policy in the Middle East. Its security is not the only US objectives, but all of its other objectives would be easier to reach if the US did not take on a commitment to Israel being a permanent Jewish state.”

    Sometimes I think many have lost sight of the non-military influences of Israel in the Middle East. Israel has played a huge role in determinging Egyptian-American trade relations, for example, and Egypt can’t negotiate an agreement (say, on tariffs on cotton) with the US that is not vetted by Israel (so the agreement reached was no tarifs if the company has Israeli investment, this becoming a lever to actualize Israeli ownership of Egypt’s mature cotton industry).

    Israel is working (has worked) to srengthen its financial control of major industries in the Middle East, and determines American policy in relation to those issues. And as the US determines its polcies to further Israeli economic expansion in the Middle East – which it does – it necessarily creates American policies that undermine and weaken Israel’s competitors in the region.

    I think Gareth Porter was trying to say, albeit clumsily, that the US has partnered with Israel in the economic expansion of Israel, as well as its territorial expansion. This is clearly true, and the interests of the shared Israeli-American economic elites (in many cases, inter-married) are in perfect harmony on this.

    It seems to me Arnold and RSH are aware of this, but others have lost sight of the many-pronged nature of US foreign policy. It’s not only military. I think, too, that Arnold, when he says that the US is guaranteeing the security of Israel, needs to remind people that this includes the economic expansion of Israel.

    Or to put this another way: unless one can see the business dealings and advantages behind the term “regional influence”, one is probably missing the actual relations among the nations and the peoples which happen on a day to day basis.

  11. General Tecumesh Sherman says:

    Repairing US-Iran relations debate in Iran.

    The hottest debate in Iran is a recent suggestion by the number two man in Iran, Grand Ayatollah (Imam) Rafsanjani (a direct descendent of Changis Khan) who proposed Iran should rebuild ties with the US!! Iran is just coming out of the new year holidays, and Rafsanjani is setting the tone of debate for this Iranian new year!!!

    He came under attack by the Friday prayer speaker – the lunatic mullah Ahmad Khatami – on Friday April 6,2012 for proposing repairing ties with US!! The supreme leader’s newspaper, Kayhan also attacked Rafsanjani very brutally. However, Larijani brothers and Mottahari clan are backing Rafsanjani. Larijani’s site, even has a front page piece backing Rafsanjani’s proposal to repair US-Iran ties.

    I think it is a brilliant move by Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani’s brother is a UC Berkeley MBA graduate (1970s) and is his top adviser. Rafsanjani will probably attempt again to remove Imam Khamenei from his position this year if Syria falls. It is very hard for Imam Khamenei to continue if Syria falls.

  12. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You say that Iran is properly enriching uranium for medical and energy purposes. But Iran will not be providing fuel for Bushehr #1 until 2015, and Iran already has enough 20% U on hand to operate the TRR for more than ten years.

  13. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Pepe Escobar overlooks the fact the Saudis see overly-high oil prices as likely to produce global recession and much lower oil prices as a result. The Saudi policy is to keep oil prices as highest sustainable level.

  14. James Canning says:

    “State-dominated media and Iran”, by Glenn Greenwald:

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/05/state_dominsted_media_and_iran/?source=newsletter

    Greenwald bashes The New York Times for repeating the doubtful US claim that Iran tried to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US, tried to assassinate Iraeli diplomats in India and Georgia, etc etc.

  15. James Canning says:

    Russia Today reports that Turkish foreign minister says Istanbul ready to host talks the 13th & 14th, but that Jalili’s suggestion of Baghdad is “intelligent”. Iran not happy about Syria.

  16. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Norman Finkelstein is correct to say sufficeint international pressure needs to be put on Israel to achieve a resolution of Israel/Palestine problem.

    It is curious indeed, if Finklestein thinks the Israel lobby did not produce the Iraq War and block normal relations between Iran and the US.

  17. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Off-topic on Iran, on-topic concerning blog commenting issues…

    Stephen Walt on problems with his blog.

    Quote

    FP is about to inaugurate a new “comments” system, and it will be interesting to see how this change affects discourse on this site and on others. I don’t yet know exactly how the new system is supposed to operate, but I want to use this moment to offer a few comments of my own on the reactions that readers have contributed since I started writing this blog back in 2009.

    On the whole, it has been gratifying that some of my posts have elicited a lot of lively discussion. I don’t read the comments religiously — who has the time? — but when I do, I often find a lot of smart observations and occasionally some useful corrections to things I’ve written. It’s also instructive just to read people scrutinize my ideas from different perspectives, some of them sharply at odds with my own.

    What’s more disappointing, however, is the level of name-calling and gratuitous spleen that some commenters display. This problem is hardly unique to this site, of course, and plenty of other bloggers and online publications have dealt with this problem too. Unfortunately, anonymity gives people the freedom to write a lot of venomous bilge, and some participants here have leapt to exploit that opportunity.

    I welcome pointed arguments, sarcasm, wit, and even the occasional modest dose of snark, but some issues seem to bring out some people’s worst instincts on a consistent basis, and reason and civility just run right out the door. The problem is not confined to people who disagree with me, by the way, as I find some readers’ attacks on my critics to be equally offensive and/or juvenile. It may be cathartic for the person who’s typing, but flame wars do not advance our understanding of difficult issues.

    So by all means take issue with me, or with each other, but why not see if you can do it on the basis of logic and evidence, instead of relying on character assassination and name-calling? Or if you do want to call someone out in a direct and personal fashion, drop the cloak of anonymity, sign your real name, and include your email address.

    A related gripe is the tendency of some participants to paste lengthy articles from other publications into the “comments” thread. Not only does this clog up FP’s servers, it’s a disservice to other readers, as it forces them to scroll through a long entry just to get to the next comment. (Hint: because it’s so annoying, I suspect this practice doesn’t win many converts either.) My view is that readers should feel free to paste in links to articles that support the point they are making, or offer a brief quotation from another source to back up their claims. But as a courtesy to others, commenters would refrain from inserting whole articles from other publications.

    Last point: because I don’t read every comment, I’ve refrained from trying to monitor or censor the comments thread. I have deleted a few comments on occasion, either because I judged them to be bigoted, because they were completely off-topic, or because they consisted solely of an excessively long entry “borrowed” from another publication. But I don’t have time to do that consistently, and while I take full responsibility for what I write, I bear no responsibility for what all of you write. But I will offer the following unsolicited advice: regardless of what views you espouse, you will win more converts with logic and evidence than you will with invective.

    At least I hope so.

    End Quote

    Sorry for the long quote… :-)

  18. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Situation in and around Syria
    http://www.voltairenet.org/The-Situation-in-and-around-Syria

    Quotes

    The goals of leading NATO members and Israel are the elimination of President Bashar Assad, complete about face of the Syrian policy and finally the dismembership of the state. That’s the way to get rid of an ally of Iran and Palestine resistance, to create conditions for a military strike on Iran.

    End Quote

  19. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Report: Iran turns down Ashton’s proposal to hold talks in European states
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2011139.html

    Beginning to look like the latest round of talks won’t even get off the ground…

  20. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Keep all options open on Syria: Blair
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234823.html

    Quote

    On Thursday 29 March, British Foreign Secretary William Hague announced that Britain planned to provide Syria’s armed rebels with half a million pounds so that they would be able to develop themselves as an alternative force inside the country.

    End Quote

    So we have Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the US and Britain all on the same page – arm the Syrian insurgents in order to cause more chaos in Syria in order to justify a foreign military intervention.

    Because it’s obvious that arming the Syrian insurgents alone will not cause Assad to fall. Only foreign intervention can do that. Therefore the goal of arming insurgents is to generate events that “justify” direct foreign intervention.

    This is so obvious it cannot be disputed.

  21. Kathleen says:

    Hope a few folks will join us over at Mondoweiss. Some debate going on focused on a comment that Finkelstein recently made.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/finkelstein-not-going-to-be-an-israel-basher-anymore-but-remains-appalled-and-disgusted.html/comment-page-1#comment-440540
    “On Walt and Mearsheimer:

    “I accept that the lobby is very influential and shapes [U.S.] policy on Israel-Palestine. But when Walt and Mearsheimer start generalizing about the influence of the lobby on Iraq, Iran policy and elsewhere – that’s where I think they get it wrong. I just can’t find any evidence for it.”

    My argument that there is plenty of evidence to back up that the I lobby has had huge influence on US foreign policy when it came to the invasion of Iraq and sanctions against Iran. Hell the I lobby has written most of the legislation

  22. Richard Steven Hack says:

    We want war, and we want it now
    By Pepe Escobar
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND06Ak03.html

    Quotes

    This especially applies to the Saudi pledge to flood the global oil market with a spare oil production capacity that any self-respecting oil analyst knows they don’t have – or rather wouldn’t use; after all, the House of Saud badly needs high oil prices to bribe its restive eastern province population into not even thinking about that Arab Spring nonsense.

    Clinton got the pledge from the House of Saud in person, before landing in Istanbul. Washington’s return gift was of the Pentagon kind; the GCC soon will be protected from “evil” Iran by a US-supplied missile shield. That implies that an attack on Iran may have been discarded for 2012 – but it’s certainly “on the table” for 2013.

    Not missing a beat, Washington has set up its own fund as well, for “humanitarian” assistance to Syria and “non-lethal” aid to the “rebels”; “non-lethal” as in ultra battle-ready satellite communications equipment, plus night-vision goggles. Clinton’s silky spin was that the equipment would allow the “rebels” to “evade” attacks by the Syrian government. No mention that now they have access to actionable US intelligence via a swarm of drones deployed all over Syria.

    This US-GCC weaponizing entirely dissolves the United Nations Syria envoy and former secretary general Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan. The plan calls for a ceasefire; for the Syrian government to “cease troop movements” and “begin pullback of military concentrations”; and for a negotiated political settlement.

    There will be no ceasefire. The Assad government accepted the plan. The weaponized “rebels” rejected it. Imagine the Syrian government beginning the “pullback of military concentrations” while swarms of weaponized “rebels” and assorted mercenaries (from Libya, Lebanon and Iraq) keep deploying their torture tactics and launching a barrage of improvised explosive devices.

    End Quotes

    Exactly as I’ve said – the conflict will continue, escalate and eventually turn into a Western bombing campaign. It may take longer than I expected at first, but there’s still plenty of time, given all the “last chance for Assad to agree” talk.

    I re-iterate that there will be a war in Syria this year, and Israel will use that war as an excuse to attack Hizballah in Lebanon. All this is preparatory for the Iran war which will occur some time after a resolution of the current crisis.

  23. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Clinton’s Loose War Talk
    http://www.fff.org/comment/com1204c.asp

    Quotes

    So why the conflicting signals from the U.S. government? This conflict can be seen in Obama’s own statements. While he calls for diplomacy and warns against loose war talk, he has imposed harsh economic sanctions that make the daily lives of average Iranians miserable, has rejected “containment,” and boasted that he doesn’t “bluff.”

    If Iran is not building a nuclear bomb, if it has not decided to do so, and if Obama wants to use diplomacy to discuss Iran’s uranium-enrichment program (which its government says is for peaceful purposes), why is he pushing sanctions designed to bring the Iranian economy down? Wouldn’t it make more sense, if there is really something to negotiate about, for Obama to treat the Iranian regime with respect?

    The saber rattlers will say that sanctions are needed to get Iran to the negotiating table. But that’s an evasion. The official experts, as well as others, say no bomb is being built. Iran is doing what it is free to do under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty — enriching uranium for medical and energy purposes. It is subjected to inspections and its uranium is under seal by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    There is no constructive purpose to the sanctions and war talk. Clinton aggravates an already dangerous situation when she talks ominously about windows closing and clocks running. She sounds bent on war, with Obama just a bit less so.

    Why?

    Obama says he wants peace not war. When will he begin to act like it?

    End Quotes

    Never. Because Obama is a liar. And apparently there are no end of suckers who still believe him.

  24. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The New Domino Theory: We’re Wrong About an Iranian Nuclear Arms Race
    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/the-new-domino-theory-were-wrong-about-an-iranian-nuclear-arms-race/255489/

    Repeat of The National Interest article.

  25. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Karl and Castellio posted links to Sy Hersh’s new piece in the New Yorker about the US training MEK terrorists IN THE US to be sent back to Iran to kill Iranian scientists.

    This shows you what the US is really about. This is a must read.

  26. hans says:

    “What I would like to propose is a prosecution of settlers here, American settlers, who go to Israel and maim or kill in the Promised Land. Since 2000, 66,000 of the indigenous culture have been killed, many of them by American settlers. This is viewed all over the Middle East and we are hated for this worldwide.”

    Things got heated during a Democratic primary debate for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut on Thursday when one candidate told another that he was “whore” over his support of a pro-Israel lobbying group. Watch Video, wow panic must have set in

  27. Rd. says:

    Off topic;

    For those who were used to travel during the Nouroz holidays, here is a chance to take trip around the country starting with the beatiful desert city of Yazd.

    http://www.gonomad.com/destinations/middle_east.html#Iran

  28. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    fine piece by Stephen Walt that you linked. I continue to believe Palestine can have Jews living in it, provided they obey the laws of Palestine. So that borders need not be changed merely because the area has been occupied by Jewish flats and houses.

    Netanyhau clearly does not want to see a viable independent Palestine.

  29. Kathleen says:

    Staying up to date on Israel-Palestine

    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/

  30. Kathleen says:

    link to walt.foreignpolicy.com
    So Netanyahu’s aim is clear: keeping control of the West Bank forever.

  31. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    A difficult situation, politically, and especially for US diplomats who may think Iran should be allowed to enrich to 3.5% -5%.

  32. Karl says:

    edit.

    Right and thats why US will never accept enrichment for the Islamic Republic Of Iran.

  33. James Canning says:

    Cyrus_2,

    Sir Anthony Eden, British foreign secretary in early 1953 saw things this way: “The [US] State Department was worried by the possible economic consequences of a failure to reach agreement with Iran. They feared that these would be even more dangerous than the repuercussions of a bad agreement.”

  34. Karl says:

    James,
    Right and thats why US will never accept zero enrichment for the Islamic Republic Of Iran.

  35. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I said the US Congress will try to block any deal allowing Iranian enrichment to 3.5%, due to Israeli opposition to such enrichment. You seem to agree.

  36. James Canning says:

    Cyrus_2,

    Sir Anthony Eden, in early 1953 after Eisenhower entered the White House, thought that “Eisenhower seemed obsessed by the fear of a communist Iran. Musdaddiq has evidently again scared the Americans.” (Quote is from Eden’s personal message to the PM, Winston Churchill)

  37. Karl says:

    James,

    Now you are just making up stuff again.

    “And this means the US Congress will try to block any deal that allows Iran to continue to enrich to 3.5%.”
    -
    There is zero proof that US congress approve any enrichment for Islamic Republic.

  38. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I am not sure what you mean in your two comments to me. Obama may not like Netanyahu, but obviously Obama is obliged to consider Netanyahu’s viewpoint. How does this relate to Iran’s “independence”?

  39. James Canning says:

    Anatol Lieven has very thoughtful and excellent piece in the Financial Times March 31/April1: “An end to illusion”. He reviews three new books about Afghanistan.

    Quote: “In particular, the attempt to appeal to sceptical western electorates through the language both of building Afghan democracy and existential Afghan threats trapped the US and Nato in a ‘rhetoric trap’ of their own making.” (From Lieven’s review of “When More is Less: The International Project in Afghanistan”, by Astri Suhkre)

  40. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Yes, Israel opposes any Iranian enrichment. And this means the US Congress will try to block any deal that allows Iran to continue to enrich to 3.5%. The P5+1, and Iran, need to have Iran cease enriching to 20 percent. Khamenei and Ahmadinejad see it as in Iran’s interests to stop enriching to 20 percent if the TRR fuel is provided by the West.

  41. Humanist says:

    A one hour documentary film: Bahrain Shouting in the Dark

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

    There are quite a few striking scenes in this video. Also one might find the inactions of US versus its claims as another outstanding example of its historical hypocritical attitudes.

  42. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 6, 2012 at 11:17 am

    BiBi

    I believe strategically speaking a weaker Israel (even as a Jewish state) with substantial less “decisive political” power in the west, (in this case her current military power no longer would be relevant) was also to be accepted by majority of Sunni street everyday Arabs of Palestinian, not only Iran would not mind her existence, but it rather becomes more beneficial to Iran strategically, in many fronts. But I admit that wouldn’t be an Israel that the Jews or some western nations would accept, at least not for now.

    1-As a lever to balance Iran’s politics vs. Arabs nationalist
    2-For internal domestic use vs. Iranian Jews in Iran and abroad
    3-For Iran’s relations with west/ specially the rich western Jews

  43. BiBiJon says:

    Rd. says:
    April 6, 2012 at 10:50 am

    I would be obliged if someone could enlighten me as to where an independent Iran’s interests could clash with Western interests in the region in a way that is not manageable through non-hostile levers of commerce, and diplomacy?

    It is this question that I think Arnold would answer with one word: Israel.

  44. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/11814/the-realist-prism-u-s-must-move-beyond-binary-approach-to-foreign-policy

    The same [dissonance in US foreign policy] is likely to happen in Egypt, further testing America’s ability to adjust to new shades of gray. The nomination of Khairat el-Shater as the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate for Egypt’s upcoming presidential election further underscores the likelihood that Egypt’s first democratically elected president will regard America with something less than the full devotion currently required in Washington as proof of allegiance. Shater shows all the signs of being a pragmatist rather than an ideologue; given the realities of Egypt’s situation, particularly its perilous economy, he would be unlikely to abrogate the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, provoke a new war with Israel or otherwise sever relations with Washington. But a Shater presidency could easily move Egypt in a direction resembling that of Turkey, whereby a formerly close U.S. regional ally adopts a more independent stand.

  45. Rd. says:

    Iran and the US: Time for Historic Reconciliation

    This attitude to the US was most clearly expressed by Khomeini himself when he first appointed Ali Akbar Velayati as foreign minister in the 1980s. He said at the time: “The breach with America cannot last forever. The day must come when we resolve this issue in a way that is in keeping with higher Iranian interests and with Iran’s honor.”

    But what, from Iran’s viewpoint, would constitute recognition as a regional superpower? Presumably, this would at least mean acknowledging that the Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan are areas of Iranian influence, and that Iran also has its stake in the wider region – from Central Asia through to Lebanon, Egypt, and the Horn of Africa. All this would have to be acknowledged in addition to unambiguously recognizing Iran’s right to possess the know-how and technology to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/iran-and-us-time-historic-reconciliation

  46. Karl says:

    James,

    “Israel wants Iran to stop all enrichment. ALL. Russia and China, and perhaps the other four powers, may well accept Iranian enrichment to 5% even if Israel does not like it.”
    -
    Makes no sense, US/Israel wont accept any enrichment for the Islamic Republic.

  47. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    Perhaps some American negotators acccept that Iran will continue to enrich to max of 5% as part of a deal.

    ====

    You know Anan plans to visit Iran on 4/11 re Syria. Just days before the Iran and P6 mtg. Do you suppose he is delivering Obama’s msg to Iran, please give us 5% of Syria?

    There is a riddle in there somewhere, if you can figure it out!!!!

  48. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    For Eisenhower, the apparent threat of Soviet penetration was the decisive element in his decision to back the scheme

    ===

    … and now Obama is concerned with Natan-yahoo’s feelings, or his elk!!!! seems US FP is very concerned about other’s feelin’ where Iran’s independence is concerned! Ummm… Hello James..

  49. BiBiJon says:

    Cheesy Journalism award (TM) dished out by G.G.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/05/state_dominated_media_and_iran/singleton/

    While you’re checking out Greenwald, listen to his interview of Rachel Maddow

    ,http://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F42043503&show_artwork=true

    At 3:48 Maddow apologizes for the cheesiness of her advocating moral considerations when examining perpetual wars.

    With reference to fyi’s “Age of Darkness”, and recalling people picnicking on hilltops with a commanding view of IDF’s shock-and-awe at defenseless population of Gaza as a way of supporting the troops, and Madeline Albright’s comment about the death of half a million Iraqi children being “worth it,” in case ‘lightness’ does not win out quickly, I’m hording batteries for my flashlight to cope with the darkness, here and now.

  50. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ James Canning

    There was no communist threat in Iran at that time:

    - Outside Tehran, the Tudeh Party hardly had any support in Iran.
    - According to the CIA chief in Iran at that time, Iran’s army counted only a few hundred officers with pro-communist leanings, and most of them were lower-rank.
    - Half of the Tudeh Party, mainly the younger generation, even opposed Mosaddeq, fearing he would simply trade British for American imperialism.
    - The Soviet-Union never gave the semi-outlawed Tudeh Party any substantial support because the Soviets knew the Tudeh didn’t stand a chance to take over Iran.
    - It’s true that Mosaddeq had to rely more and more on Tudeh support, but that’s because the CIA/MI6 bribed his initial supporters away to the anti-Mosaddeq camp.

    The Truman administration supported third-world nationalist movements as the best way to counter Soviet influence.
    Mosaddeq’s National Front perfectly reflected this view.

    However, the incoming Eisenhouwer administration saw a communist threat in everything, so it didn’t take the British many efforts to convince Eisenhouwer of the “communist threat” in Iran.

    It’s also important to know that the US at that time didn’t know the Middle East (and they still don’t know it, if you ask me), and they relied on the British for their “expertise”.

    The British also reminded him of British support for the US in Korea.

    And last but not least, the opportunity to grab a large chunk of Iran’s oil was of course another reason to stage a coup.

  51. Castellio says:

    “Sy Hersh, reporting in the New Yorker, one ups Mark Perry and just about everybody else with a story that the Bush administration provided MEK operatives terror training at secret facilities in Nevada starting in 2005″

    “Though Hersh doesn’t say so explicitly, he exposes Leon Panetta as a bald-face liar in this passage: In mid-January, a few days after an assassination by car bomb of an Iranian nuclear scientist in Tehran, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, at a town-hall meeting of soldiers at Fort Bliss, Texas, acknowledged that the U.S. government has “some ideas as to who might be involved, but we don’t know exactly who was involved.” He added, “But I can tell you one thing: the United States was not involved in that kind of effort. That’s not what the United States does.”

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/04/05/seymour-hersh-bush-approved-mek-terror-training-in-nevada-while-group-was-on-u-s-terror-list/

    ,http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/04/mek.html#ixzz1rEeZZDZw

  52. bettertobepickled says:

    James says “Eisenhower did not support the British scheme to overthrow Mossadeq until he became convinced this was necessary to avoid communist penetration.”

    Ah, so it was to avoid “penetration”.

    And we take the word seriously, as if it means something in a political-historical sense.

  53. Dan Cooper says:

    War, especially an Israeli-US war against Iran is indissolubly linked to the asymmetrical US-Israeli relationship, which sidelines and censors any critical US military and political analysis. Because Israel’s Zionist power configuration in the US can now harness US military power in support of Israel’s drive for regional dominance, Israeli leaders and most of their military feel free to engage in the most outrageous military and destructive adventures, knowing full well that in the first and last instance they can rely on the US to support them with American blood and treasure. But after all of this grotesque servitude to a racist ,isolated country, who will rescue the United States ? Who will prevent the sinking of its ships in the Gulf and the death and maiming of hundreds of its sailors and thousands of its soldiers? And where will the Israelis and US Zionists be when Iraq is overrun by elite Iranian troops and their Iraqi Shia allies and a generalized uprising occurs in Afghanistan ?

    The self-centered Israeli policy-makers overlook the likely collapse of the world oil supply as a result of their planned war against Iran . Do their Zionist agents in the US realize that as a result of dragging the US into Israel ’s war, that the Iranian nation will be forced to set the Persian Gulf oilfields ablaze?

    How cheap has it become to ‘buy a war’ in the US ? For a mere few million dollars in campaign contributions to corrupt politicians, and through the deliberate penetration of Israel-First agents, academics and politicians into the war-making machinery of the US government, and through the moral cowardice and self-censorship of leading critics, writers and journalists who refuse to name Israel and its agents as the key decision makers in our country’s Mid East policy, we head directly toward a war far beyond any regional military conflagration and toward the collapse of the world economy and the brutal impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people North and South, East and West.

    US-Israel War on Iran: The Myth of Limited Warfare

    By James Petras

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31001.htm

  54. Dan Cooper says:

    Sassan

    You support Israel and boast about its human rights and democracy.

    Watch this video and never again talk about the human rights and democracy in other countries.

    Hidden By Our Main Stream Media
    The Real Face Of Israeli Occupation

    Video

    A view of Israel that the US media tends to leave out.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30995.htm

  55. Dan Cooper says:

    Sassan

    This is what your beloved Israel is all about.

    Educate yourself by Watching this video in its entirety.

    learn the reality of this racist and apartheid state.

    Iran Bashing, Terrorism and Who Chose The Chosen People, Anyway?

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

  56. kooshy says:

    Caution- Very graphic pictures, I don’t know how they were permitted to be printed, I know it’s not acceptable to be printed in US publications, unless they are dead Muslims

    ‘We warned them not to roam around the city’: Four U.S. soldiers killed in suicide bomb blast after they went sightseeing and took photos in Afghanistan Park
    Four civilians and two Afghan policemen also killed in midday

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2125068/We-warned-roam-city-Four-U-S-soldiers-killed-suicide-bomb-blast-went-sightseeing-took-photos-Afghanistan-park.html#ixzz1rE1itjfk

  57. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    On something of a tangent, I might mention that the British warned Eisenhower in 1956 (prior to Suez) that Nasser was scheming to overthrow the government of Iraq. That came about in 1958, and the ultimate result was the brutal dictatorshipp of Saddam Hussein, the insane war with Iran, the Gulf War, the Iraq War, etc etc

  58. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Eisenhower did not support the British scheme to overthrow Mossadeq until he became convinced this was necessary to avoid communist penetration. The issue is what the president understood.

    Eisenhower believed that the Soviets made advances in the Middle East because they were seen as “anti-Irmperialist”. Eisenhower himself was anti-Imperialist.

    Maybe it would have been for the better if Eisenhower had allowed the British and Franch to overthrow Nasser?

  59. kooshy says:

    Gav-

    Where is the relevance of Iran’s 1953 coup with Anglo French Israeli takeover of Suez in 1956? Why do you think the Americans feared that Anglo French takeover of the Suez in 1956 will result in a communist takeover of Egypt, than keeping Nasser on control of the Suez, which eventually resulted in a closer relationship between Nasser and the Soviets while Nasser was still in power?

    Gav, that doesn’t make sense, does it? It was easy, to blame all the strategic undertaking and blaming it on fear of communism, like today all the strategic undertakings is to protect the Jewish state’s right to exist. Your reasons are what is been fed to western consumers, and not the reasons that the people of the region experienced and believe.

  60. Rehmat says:

    Pakistanis have a new joke to play around. It’s Washington’s $10 million bounty to find professor Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. The US claims that his organization was behind Mumbai terrorist attacks in November 2008. However, many Indian sources have claimed it to an Israeli Mossad-RAW false flag operation.

    The funny part is that most Pakistanis know Hafiz Mohammad Saeed’s whereabouts who lives in Lahore and have been appearing regularly at public meetings, TV shows and religious gatherings.

    Pakistan’s prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani and foreign minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, has discussed this bounty offer with the visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Thomas Nides (a Zionist Jew).

    Both Gilani and Khar told the National Assembly that the case of Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed is an “internal issue” and any evidence against him should be provided to Pakistan so that the courts can take action.

    Hina Khar told the American delegation that Saeed was a Pakistani citizen and the US should have informed Pakistan before taking such a decision.

    Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, making fun of American bounty – told a press conference: “Come and get me, I’m not in hidding“.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/americas-10-million-fugitive-every-pakistani-know/

  61. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Clearly a good deal of trickery was involved in the matter. For Eisenhower, the apparent threat of Soviet penetration was the decisive element in his decision to back the scheme. You will recall that Eisenhower refused to back the Franco-British effort to overthrow Nasser in 1956. Here again, Eisenhower was concerned about Soviet penetration.

  62. kooshy says:

    Gav- as I wrote the threat of Toudeh party was for western use in Iran they had to convince the religious leaders in other way to make them particicpate, what comes bellow is from the same article I linked earlier.

    ToivoS- thanks for the lesson and sorry for the typos, hope you still could use and understand the debate

    “The exercise did not seem to have much effect. The shah told Mr. Rashidian on July 30 and 31 that he had heard the broadcast, but “requested time to assess the situation.” In early August, the CIA stepped up the pressure. Iranian operatives pretending to be Communists threatened Muslim leaders with “savage punishment if they opposed Mosaddeq,” seeking to stir anti-Communist sentiment in the religious community.

    In addition, the secret history says, the house of at least one prominent Muslim was bombed by CIA agents posing as Communists. It does not say whether anyone was hurt in this attack.

    The agency was also intensifying its propaganda campaign. A leading newspaper owner was granted a personal loan of about $45,000, “in the belief that this would make his organ amenable to our purposes.”

  63. James Canning says:

    Efraim Halevy in The Times (London) March 26th claimed Iran “wasted the time and efforts of the other parties” last time (meeting with P5+1). Clearly Halevy thought it best not to mention that Iran was trying to end Israel’s practice of obtaining information on Iranian nuclear scientists, so that they could be assassinated.

  64. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    You linked Juan Cole’s posting of Rafsanjani’s very intelligent comments, including his call for better Iranian relations with Saudi Arabia.

  65. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Yes, what a lie! (That Iran refused to accept nuclear fuel from “abroad”.)

    Iran at outset of last meeting with P5+1 was focused on getting the Six Powers to stop Israel’s campaign of assassination against Iranian nuclear (and other) scientists.

  66. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Mossadeg had a good deal of support in the US in 1951-52.

  67. ToivoS says:

    Kooshy just a little English lesson. You seem to use the word “cope” when the context suggests “coup”. Also you might want to learn the difference between “enemy” and “enema” — that confusion provided a good chuckle.

  68. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Yes, the piece you linked underscores the concern Eisenhower had, that Iran could “go communist” if Mossadeq was not overthrown.

  69. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Arnold

    “I’d call Israel the most important constraint on US policy in the Middle East. Its security is not the only US objectives, but all of its other objectives would be easier to reach if the US did not take on a commitment to Israel being a permanent Jewish state.”

    To a point I believe on the American side you are correct to assume that accepting “Iran as is” could have been more accommodative to US in middle east if it was not for her Israeli policies, but then consequentially that could not have been an Iran “as is” today, that would have been an Iran like today’s KSA or even like Turkey, which would not fit well in a Shih Iran in her own region surrounded with Sunnis, Iran for her own regional interests have to be very careful with the politics of Sunni vs. Shih, as now is evident, since the Arab awakening the west and her Sunni Muslim client state rulers, out of lack of a sound choices are pushing for regional conflicts based on sectarian religious differences, like in Yemen, Bahrain, Syria and hoping to fish in muddy waters. If US had a hope or a way to inexpensively contain the “future” Sunni Muslim states of the region plus a veto on distribution of Iran’s energy resources (which in that case would have been easier to achieve) by now she would have accepted any form of independent Iran.

  70. Karl says:

    Iran cuts oil to Greek firms over payment: Press TV
    http://www.newsdaily.com/stories/bre8340ba-us-iran-greece-oil/

  71. Karl says:

    James,

    http://presstv.com/detail/234695.html

    Shutting down Presstv in Germany too. You still think shutting down the channel in the UK is not related to politics?

  72. kooshy says:

    Gav-

    I thought you may want to refresh your history of 1953 cope

    “First Few Days Look Disastrous
    The coup began on the night of Aug. 15 and was immediately compromised by a talkative Iranian Army officer whose remarks were relayed to Mr. Mosaddeq.

    The operation, the secret history says, “still might have succeeded in spite of this advance warning had not most of the participants proved to be inept or lacking in decision at the critical juncture.”

    Dr. Mosaddeq’s chief of staff, Gen. Taghi Riahi, learned of the plot hours before it was to begin and sent his deputy to the barracks of the Imperial Guard.

    The deputy was arrested there, according to the history, just as pro-shah soldiers were fanning out across the city arresting other senior officials. Telephone lines between army and government offices were cut, and the telephone exchange was occupied.

    But phones inexplicably continued to function, which gave Dr. Mosaddeq’s forces a key advantage. General Riahi also eluded the pro-shah units, rallying commanders to the prime minister’s side.

    Pro-shah soldiers sent to arrest Dr. Mosaddeq at his home were instead captured. The top military officer working with General Zahedi fled when he saw tanks and loyal government soldiers at army headquarters.

    The next morning, the history states, the Tehran radio announced that a coup against the government had failed, and Dr. Mosaddeq scrambled to strengthen his hold on the army and key installations. CIA officers inside the embassy were flying blind; the history says they had “no way of knowing what was happening.”

    Mr. Roosevelt left the embassy and tracked down General Zahedi, who was in hiding north of Tehran. Surprisingly, the general was not ready to abandon the operation. The coup, the two men agreed, could still work, provided they could persuade the public that General Zahedi was the lawful prime minister.”

    http://www.iranchamber.com/history/coup53/coup53p2.php

  73. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Re Re Porter.

    Richard, the tree has many more cherries than the the particular ones you chose to pick. But, rather than get into a fruit contest with you, let me just say I hear you, but I choose to go with Porter’s (maybe/possibly) assessment seeing as he has taken the trouble to go ask a great many security types in the pipsqueak apartheid loudmouth state.

  74. kooshy says:

    A Correction to last post since it completely changes the message

    “Dr. Mossadegh’s mistake formulating Iran’s policy was, that he was not convinced that the Americans will want to fallow (continue) past Anglo Russian politics of Iran (Politics of Europe in Iran),”

  75. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Gav-

    To add to my previous post, I have personally heard from members of Dr. Mossadegh cabinet and his close friends, that Dr. Mossadegh’s mistake formulating Iran’s policy was, that he was not convinced that the Americans will not want to fallow (continue) past Anglo Russian politics of Iran Politics of Europe in Iran), by the time they knew they were wrong it was too late. That’s a lesson that has not escaped the current formulators of Iran’s foreign policy.

  76. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US aid to Israel: 115 billion dollars
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234620.html

  77. Richard Steven Hack says:

    From the same source…

    Russian warships launch drill from Tartus versus US-Israeli-Greek naval exercise
    http://www.debka.com/article/21886/

  78. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The source is questionable, of course, but for what it’s worth…

    Russia, Iran set to counter US/Israeli strike against Iran. US-led naval drill
    http://www.debka.com/article/21885/

    The important quote (if true):

    The US, Israel and Greece launched a shadowy air-naval exercise in the Mediterranean Thursday, March 29. Codenamed “Noble Dina,” it appears to range across a broad sweep of sea up to Crete and including the waters off Turkey, Cyprus, and Israel Navy bases in Haifa and Ashdod ports.

    None of the participants have admitted the maneuver is taking place, nor given out details. Some sources say it will end April 5, although this is not confirmed.

    Russia and Iran appear to be treating the two events as interconnected.

    Our military sources infer from the unusually broad area covered by the tripartite air and navy exercise – almost the entire eastern Mediterranean – that it is designed to simulate action in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Aden.

    Western naval sources in Naples disclose that the American, Israeli and Greek fleets are supported by a British Royal Navy flotilla cruising around the Straits of Gibraltar. They also report that the exercise is led by the USS Enterprise Strike Force. As soon as it is over, this aircraft carrier and strike group will head through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, raising the number of US aircraft carriers facing Iran to three.

    Those sources also disclose that Israel contributed missile ships, submarines, fighter jets and assault helicopters to the drill.

    End Quote

  79. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Is Iran’s proposal to hold nuke talks in Syria, Iraq, or China brinksmanship?
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Latest-News-Wires/2012/0404/Is-Iran-s-proposal-to-hold-nuke-talks-in-Syria-Iraq-or-China-brinksmanship

    I’d call it “we’re pissed off at Turkey” and nothing more.

    Quote

    Iran and the six last met in Istanbul 14 months ago and left the negotiating table two days later unable even agree on what to talk about.

    Tehran arrived to the talks saying it would not even consider freezing uranium enrichment and kept repeating that mantra. It also pushed two demands unacceptable to the six: a lifting of sanctions and acceptance of its enrichment program before any further discussion of its nuclear activities.

    Iran says the expansion of its enrichment program is meant only to provide nuclear fuel, denies any interest in developing the atomic bomb, and says the right of countries to enrich nuclear power is enshrined in the Nonproliferation Treaty.

    But the U.S. and others say Iran’s nuclear record is causing concern. Tehran started enriching in secret, has refused offers of nuclear fuel shipments from abroad, and last year began enriching to higher levels that bring it closer to point where it could turn its program into producing fissile warhead material at an underground bunker that could be impervious to attack from the air.

    End Quote

    Note the lie about Iran refusing nuclear fuel shipments from abroad. It has never done that.

    Yeah, I’d say these talks are definitely going no where. If they last more than two days, assuming they start at all, I’ll be surprised.

    Then the US will start the next round of escalation of sanctions and threats.

  80. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rafsanjani: Iran does not Want Nukes, Should improve relations with US, Saudi
    http://www.juancole.com/2012/04/rafsanjani-iran-does-not-want-nukes-should-improve-relations-with-us-saudia.html

  81. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    They have failed in that.

  82. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Chinese Insurer Drop Coverage on Tankers Carrying Iran Oil
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/04/chinese-insurer-drop-coverage-on.html

  83. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Then they should not have escalated to UNSC.

    In regards to Iran’s navy etc.

    When the war between US and Iran comes, it will befought all over the Middle East.

    “Let the games begin!” is what Iran told US in 2006 and again in 2012.

    That game is over.

    So is the game of Isreael- Palestine Peace; Iranians will use the religious war in Palestine tofurther damage US, EU, Israel and others.

    Accomodation with Israel is off the table and since US, EU, China, Arab states, and Russia cannot end that war, Iran is again in pretty comfortable position.

    The costs to Iran in all of these have been one of opportunity losses – the losses for her adversaries have been profoundly strategic.

    My recommendation, just like the Leverrets, is strategic accomodation.

    But US planners evidently are not ready for that even though the broad outline of what they need to do has been known since 2006.

    No matter; they will be back in 2018 when the cost of accomodation for them will be even higher.

  84. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 5, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    “Eisenhower backed the British idea of overthrowing Mossadegh because he feared Soviet penetration of Iran. Without this factor, the US probably would not have intervened in the matter.”

    Gav-

    That’s the western excuse like what you constantly blame the rich Jews for current policy, as I have written before according to Mr. Saleh’s memoirs (which was edited and published
    By my own father) who was Iran’s ambassador to D.C. at the time of cope, a few days before the final cope and just after the first cope was unsuccessful he was told by than USOS that the we (US) can’t let Iran to become an example in the region (read ARAMCO), it was all due to economic control reasons the US/UK were well aware that Dr. Mossadegh was fully opposed by the communist party of Iran and the soviets. Gav your western BS is not going to convince the evidence that the Iranian historians have.

  85. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “Well, the CIA estimate is just that, an estimate. It does not take into account the half-life of Plutonium, the half-life of the heavy-water moderator, the periodic shut-down of the reactor – lasting for months – and the enormous costs of separating and maintaining nuclear warheads.”

    Really, are you serious? You think the CIA doesn’t know basic physics? Really? You claim to KNOW how the CIA are conducting their estimates?

    And comparing the arsenals based on GDP is just ridiculous. There is no correlation.

    You simply want to believe Israel can’t nuke Iran into the Stone Age. So you don’t. You come up with these ridiculous theories.

    If you really believe this stuff, provide the sources, the calculations, and results in detail that justify your theory. Otherwise it’s nonsense.

  86. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Iran in 2001-02 agreed to accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders, as part of proposed deal to re-establish diplomatic relations with the US.

  87. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: Re Porter.

    Once again, I point you to the considerable and expensive efforts that Israel is making to find a viable attack plan. Massive military exercises involving 100 aircraft, alleged deals with Azerbaijan (and previously Georgia), increases in Iron Dome spending, distribution of CBW equipment to the Israeli public, and efforts to persuade the Israeli public that an Israeli attack would be “cheap”.

    Netanyahu is quite serious about attacking Iran. The only reason Israel has not attacked Iran by now is the problem of Syria and Hizballah. This is the only reason he’s not attacking Iran this year.

    And that’s only a prediction. He may well attack Iran regardless of the problem of Syria and Hizballah.

    I believe Netanyahu would indeed attack Iran regardless of any complaints by the US (the EU and the rest of the world are irrelevant to him.) Netanyahu knows he can get sixty Senators – if not all 100 (Rand Paul screws that up) – to support any Israeli attack on Iran. He can get the majority of the House to support an attack on Iran. He’s not worried about US reactions. He couldn’t care less what General Dempsey or anyone else in the Pentagon thinks. He probably doesn’t care what his own military thinks, as long as they aren’t in open revolt (which is what Porter is saying – they aren’t.)

    The bottom line: Notions that Netanyahu are “bluffing” are based PURELY on SPECULATION. There is ZERO evidence that he is not serious, except for alleged statements by various people that he is more cautious in private than in public. If I were Iran, I wouldn’t put much stock on that.

  88. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    China bought 1.39 million barrels of oil from Saudi Arabia each day in February of this year. Does this fact reflect “Western” control of Saudi oil? Or does it simply reflect the fact China bought the oil from the Saudis?

  89. kooshy says:

    Arnold

    The way I believe the US and consequently European policy in Middle East is formulated is, to prevent Iran at any cost to be an independent (state) actor in the region which also Israel currently exist. An independent Iran (with or without nuclear capability) becomes an example for the non-Jewish people of the region to make life difficult for the traditional colonial states (who are in control of world’s energy distribution) which is now headed by the US. This colonial political necessity coincides with the Jewish politics of saving Israel’s existence, in turn since the US will not want to openly admit that her policies in middle east is based on her western colonial desires to control world’s energy distribution it makes it easy for the west to blame part of this problem on their commitment to save the only Jewish state. I don’t believe if it wasn’t for economic reason US military was willing to fight number of Muslim states from borders of India to the Atlantic or expand the NATO to as far east as borders of China.

    As for Iran’s policy in Middle East, due to Iran’s own regional geopolitical reasons, an independent Shih Muslim Iran must and will side with general posture of Middle Eastern Sunni street Muslims with regard to Israel which is not to recognizing state of Israel, that obviously is a problem for Israel’s existence which also coincides with the above all policies of the west. Like for the US is not Iran’s nuclear capability that may make Israel’s existence not viable, but it’s Iran’s independence that the Jewish state fears will reduce the US’s overall power in the region and in turn makes US’s security of Israel less possible.

  90. Karl says:

    James,

    They should pursue their own interest, not following what US want them to do. We see a world with no opposition to the US policy on the middle east, that must be broken.

  91. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Israel wants Iran to stop all enrichment. ALL. Russia and China, and perhaps the other four powers, may well accept Iranian enrichment to 5% even if Israel does not like it.

  92. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    What do you think Russia and China should do, regarding upcoming P5+1 talks with Iran?
    Russia wants to maintain unity among the Six Powers, as much as possible.

  93. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You are leaving out of your calculations the simple fact that if Iran continues to stockpile 20% U, it will see its navy sunk, air force ddestroyed, etc etc etc. How would that “strengthen” Iran?

  94. Karl says:

    fyi,

    Yes unfortuantely, Russia, China, EU, Bric have all made things troublesome for themselves by constantly following US and Israel on Iran (and middle east in general). Its time these states take a stance against a policy that hurt their economic, political interest.

  95. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia and China in 2006 were not looking for an Iranian “surrender”, and they are not looking for it now.

  96. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    The Russians, the Chinese, the Europeans and the Americans are in a bind that they themselves hepled create.

    They created a volatile situation in the Middle East by shabbily treating Iran over 3 decades.

    Now a way foreward is very very costly for them.

    Yet, the status quo, in having the potential to lead to World War III as well as the almost certain wrecking of world economy is also intolerable for them.

    [In 1980, in 1995, in 2006 their policies were predicated on Iranian collapse or surrender.]

    On the other hand, Iranians are now sitting comfortably from Hindu Kush and the Mediterranean sea while their enemies are either destroying each other or are are subject to wrath and despisement of Muslim masses.

    The economic sanctions is something that Iranian strategists have determined to work through; so that they can render them irrelevant over the coming years in order make Iran immune to them in the future.

    That is why, fundamentally, there is not much that is really attractive in the declared negogiating position of US-EU for Iran.

    In my opinion, P5+1 need Iran more that Iran needs them.

  97. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Soviet Union told Saddam Hussein in late 1990 that he had to agree quickly to get out of Kuwait, or face destruction of his army. Saddam refused, and of course got his army destroyed.

  98. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Please define what you mean by “strategic autonomy” of Iran, that you claim time and again Obama “wants to destroy”? Is Iranian enrichment to 20 percent that strategic autonomy? You approved of Ahmadinejad’s offer for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent.

  99. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Russia and China both are sensitive to political realities in Washington. Both Russia and China want Iran to stop enriching to 20%.

  100. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Perhaps some American negotators acccept that Iran will continue to enrich to max of 5% as part of a deal. The focus on ending Iranian enrichment to 20% may be taken as suggesting Iranian enrichment to 3.5% – 5% is workable. But Obama cannot say this publicly, and the lead will have to be taken by the P5+1.

  101. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 5, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Don’t be silly.

  102. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 5, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Outside of NATO states, the world does not care one whit about what Mr. Obama wants but he has accomlished.

    What he has done in the Middle East has been a continuation of Mr. Bush’s policies.

    And just like Mr. Bush, he brough US, Iran, the Middle East and the World close to war.

    That is the sum-total of his policies in the Middle East – and just like Mr., Bush – he has wanted to destroy the strategic autonomy of Iran.

    These conclusions cannot be escaped.

    The non-NATO world does not care about Israel, US domestic policy, etc.

  103. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you advocating that Iran continue to stockpile 20 percent uranium, to ensure an American attack on Iran?

  104. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The current situation in Syria would not be conducive to P5+1 meeting with Iran in Damascus. Security situation in Baghdad is not especially good.

  105. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 5, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    That is not going to prevent Iran from assembling a nuclear weapon.

  106. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Obama would like to get rid of nukes world-wide. And he supports a Middle East free of nukes. As do Saudi Arabia and Iran.

  107. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Lebanon accepts the 2002 Saudi peace plan, and growing power of Shia community will not alter that fact.

  108. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely you are not claiming the US would be unable to sink Iran’s navy and destroy the Iranian air force, in a matter of days. The issue obviously is not lack of ability.

  109. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Eisenhower backed the British idea of overthrowing Mossadegh because he feared Soviet penetration of Iran. Without this factor, the US probably would not have intervened in the matter.

  110. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Iran has indicated clearly several times in the past decade or two that it will accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders. You may prefer Iran not to accept Israel, but the fact is Iran likely will accept whatever deal the Palestinians accept. If there is one, of course.

  111. Arnold Evans says:

    Kooshy:

    I’d call Israel the most important constraint on US policy in the Middle East. Its security is not the only US objectives, but all of its other objectives would be easier to reach if the US did not take on a commitment to Israel being a permanent Jewish state.

    In 1953, the US had not fully taken over the role of the British Empire which still existed and was the primary adversary of Mossadegh.

    Today the US could not tolerate a country as independent even as Brazil, Nigeria or Japan in Israel’s region populated by people who, as polls say Iran’s and the rest of the non-Jewish populations of the region’s, do not accept Israel’s legitimacy.

    The US relationships with Brazil, Japan and Nigeria are very far from perfect, very far from benign, but far less intensely coercive as the US’ relationships with countries in Israel’s region. Because of Israel.

  112. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    This is simple because the shih community in Lebanon sees her viable security within the largest and by far the most powerful shih country in the world, Iran, if they are not going to be once more second class citizens like in Bahrain, pre 03 Iraq or in KSA, or in other words like the citizens of Israel that they see their viable security within the US security umbrella. So is not because of the economic reasons that all the Shih communities in the region find it necessary to support Iran’s independence, they know a stronger independent Iran can unlike during the shah’s time better independently protect their interest within their own countries. Wouldn’t the British prefer to be a lap dog of US than say Russia for their own security reasons?

  113. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Arnold-

    If what you say is “entirely” true, and as you believe, the state of Israel’s security is the only concern and consequentially the only reason for the current US’s Middle Eastern policy.
    So if as you believe, this is the only cause that formulates US policy, would you then also believe that the 1953 cope in Iran was due to security of the newly formed state of Israel? As far as I know no so far no worthy Iranian or foreign historian has claimed so, and if not so, why do you believe that the reasons (policies) that brought the 1953 cope in Iran there no longer exist within the current US posture.

    Some may believe that putting the burden of current US policy only on domestic politics of US is way to overlook the border colonial necessities that brings about the policy formulations and in a way is easing off the challenge of confronting this unwise policy in 21st century.

  114. BiBiJon says:

    Pepe Escobar quotes Henry Kissinger
    ==================================

    “The Arab Spring is widely presented as a regional, youth-led revolution on behalf of liberal democratic principles. Yet Libya is not ruled by such forces; it hardly continues as a state. Neither is Egypt, whose electoral majority (possibly permanent) is overwhelmingly Islamist. Nor do democrats seem to predominate in the Syrian opposition.

    The Arab League consensus on Syria is not shaped by countries previously distinguished by the practice or advocacy of democracy. Rather, it largely reflects the millennium-old conflict between Shi’ite and Sunni and an attempt to reclaim Sunni dominance from a Shi’ite minority. It is also precisely why so many minority groups, such as Druzes, Kurds and Christians, are uneasy about regime change in Syria.”

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND06Ak03.html

  115. fyi says:

    Karl says: April 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Nah, Iranians are playing hard-to-get.

    Do not forget, Iran really cannot gain much from these meetings – they are not worth that much to her.

  116. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    That well might be, but it is also irrelevant now.

    Iranians will do what they want and the power to stop them does not exist in the international arena.

    What exists, however, is the ability for a third party to engineer a war between US and Iran.

    US does not want that since she wants to pivot to Asia.

    Another 2 decades of war is not going to help her geopolitical agenda.

    So, she has to stablize her position vis a vis Iran and the nuclear file.

    This is a strategic necessity for her; especially after the implosion of the US-EU Fiance Economy between 2007-2011.

  117. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    There is no such thing as “the people of Lebanon”; there are peoples of Lebanon: Sunni Muslims, Maronite Christians, Shia Muslims, Druze, Alawites, Palestinians, Armenians, Cherkes and a few others.

    Each has got its own militia, political parties, and agenda in a war of all against all.

    The Shia and Palestinians suffered the brunt of the war in 1982.

    That is when Iranians moved in.

    The Shia now have effective veto power in the Lebanese state.

    That which they oppose will not happen.

    As for the Christians – some of their men were drinking to IDF pilots in 2006 – there will be retribution (in time) for that.

    Regardless, before the Shia victory, before 1982, before 1973 civil war, Lebanon, as an Arab country, was opposed to Israel.

    Nothing has changed since then to alter that.

  118. Arnold Evans says:

    To my earlier thing about negotiations, I also want to observe that the US positions on both enrichment and permanence of any limits on Iran’s nuclear program are each held by the US because of, and only because of, the US commitment to Israel having an indefinite regional monopoly on nuclear weapons capability.

  119. Karl says:

    Erdogan is as much as a snake as the Saudi king is to Iran.

    Turkey’s Erdogan: Iran insincere about nuclear talks venue
    http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=265024

    I also question Erdogan’s claim. Why wouldnt parties come to Iraq or Syria?

  120. Arnold Evans says:

    fyi:

    NATO Alliance seeks the ability to wreck its potential opponents by denying them access to available or cheap energy.

    Why would the people of Lebanon oppose that or care about it? Why would they ally with Iran to thwart it?

  121. Arnold Evans says:

    About what negotiations could reach:

    I think an agreement that lifted sanctions in exchange for limiting Iranian enrichment to less than 5% at only one above-ground site would be better for Iran than the status quo of low level conflict.

    Iran has demonstrated that it prefers the status quo over capitulation on the US demand that it cease enriching. I don’t think there is any serious question that denying 3.5% enrichment is not feasible. The US, on the other hand, has not accepted this reality.

    Any agreement to limit its nuclear program could not be permanent and could not subject future Iranian decision makers to a US veto over the expansion of their nuclear program.

    I think the status quo is better for Iran than possibly putting Iranian leaders of 2050 into a position where their options are limited in any way by a deal imposed on the US in 2012.

    The US, I believe, prefers the status quo to allowing enrichment. The US also wants any agreement to put permanent constraints on Iran’s nuclear program, so that effectively the US wants a permanent US veto, under one pretext or another, over Iran’s nuclear program.

    So with the US and Iranian positions as they are, there is really no need for discussions. It is impossible for them to be reconciled on both of these two points – enrichment and permanence. Both sides prefer the current low intensity conflict to conceding either of those points.

    The US is actively trying to increase the cost to Iran of the current conflict. Iran is not actively doing the same as far as I can see, but the cost to the US does in some ways increase on its own. Meanwhile Iraq and the most probable post-conflict Syria – as well as the most probable post-conflict Egypt – seem like they represent developing improvements in Iran’s strategic situation.

  122. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    NATO Alliance seeks the ability to wreck its potential opponents by denying them access to available or cheap energy.

    It is imperative for them to have politico-military control on the Persian Gulf oil.

    They could then harm China, India, Brazil, Japan, Korea and others by either denying them oil or by making oil expensive.

    Alternatively, they could cause Russian oil producers into bankruptcy through over-production in the Persian Gulf.

    This what had been at stake in 2003 when US invaded Iraq and destroyed the Ba’ath state.

    Mr. Bush evidently planned attacking Iran after stablizing Iraq – that is when Iranians saw their chance and moved in, playing their Shia card and establishing the Najaf-Qum Axis.

    For the Iranains, this was a matter of national independence – a project that had been pursued for more than 150 years.

    The alliance opposing NATO states is Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon with hangers on such as Iraqi Kurds, Shia and Tadjik of Afghanistan.

    Russia and China – grasping this – have been supporting, in a zig-zag manner, Iran.

    These differences cannot be resolved unless and until US planners accept the increased power of Iran after 2006.

    They have not yet accepted that.

    Normalization of relations with US is not useful for Iran at the present time.

    Iranians are not going to reward US with something that would revolutionize her position in the Middle East as well as among other Muslim states.

    They much prefer cross-burning Afghans, religious extremists who target US etc.

    Diplomatic relations with US, with the wars in Palestine, in Pakistan, in Afghanistan raging at the same time, has no benefits for Iran.

  123. Arnold Evans says:

    fyi says:
    April 5, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Faced with the destruction of their geopolitical position in the Persian Gulf, in Central Asia, and in the Levant – the Axis Powers threw all that they had in their arsenal at the Islamic Republic – the linchpin of an alliance opposing their geopolitiucal agenda.

    fyi: What do you think the US’ geopolitical agenda (regarding the Middle East) is?

    Relatedly, why does the alliance you refer to oppose that agenda?

    Outside of Israel, any differences between the US and the people of Iran and more broadly the people of the Middle East would be fairly easy to resolve. For example, the US’ demand that Iran not have nuclear technology that is acceptable for Brazil, Japan, Canada and a bunch of other countries comes from, and only from, the US’ commitment to Israel.

    The US’ commitment to Israel comes, more than any other factor, from the influence of supporters of Israel on the US’ domestic political process and that influence, more than any other factor is caused by the fact that Jewish people in the US are disproportionately wealthy and disproportionately concerned with the Middle East compared to non-Jews.

  124. Humanist says:

    Sheldon Richman’s “Hillary Clinton’s Loose Talk of War with Iran” is a good read.

    http://reason.com/archives/2012/04/05/hillary-clintons-loose-talk-of-war-with

    Under its segment of “Why?” I thought “is Hillary paving the way for her 2016 Presidency?”

    If so Richard Steven Hack’s assumption that the talks are destined to fail is backed by one more “reason”. However I, with an overly skeptical mind see a dim light at the end of this dark tunnel. If I am wrong then the world is surely run by some psycho morons who act as rabid wild dogs.

  125. Karl says:

    Netanyahu burst out in emotions again regarding the german Guenter Grass for speaking the truth. netanyahu is so delusional that he urge world to condemn free speech and suppressing the truth – that Israel pose a threat to the world.

    QUOTE.

    “His declarations are ignorant and shameful and every honest person in this world must condemn them,”

    END OF QUOTE.

    Lets break down netanyahu myths, lies, warmongering
    ———————————————-

    “In Iran there is a regime that denies the Holocaust and calls for the destruction of Israel,”

    -Nope, however we have in Israel a regime that deny the Nakba and calls for the destruction of Iran, Palestine. Not to mention palestine have been destructed before just as Lebanon by Israel.

    “This comparison says very little about Israel and a great deal about Mr. Grass. It is Iran, not Israel, which poses a threat to world peace.”

    -Childish argument. Anyone know that the occupation and israeli nukes pose the biggest threat for peace in the region and therefore the world.

    “It is Iran, not Israel, which threatens to destroy other countries.”

    - Right, do you belive in Santa too bibi?

    “It is Iran, not Israel, which supports terror organizations that fire missiles on innocent civilians.”

    - Really? Who support the MEK? Who support Jundallah? Well Israel doesnt have to support groups to begin with, it carry out its terrorism just fine by itself.

    “It is Iran, not Israel, which supports the massacre that the Syrian regime is carrying out on its civilians.”

    - Who not only supported by commited war crimes in Gaza? Lebanon? Who regulary target civilians, assassiante people, bomb people, have a blockade on Gaza using collective punishment?

    “It is Iran, not Israel, which stones women, hangs gay people, and ruthlessly suppresses the tens of millions of citizens in its country.”

    - Comes from a state that is based on terror, colonialism and racism.

  126. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/05/world/asia/irans-efforts-to-stir-afghan-violence-provoke-concern.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

    For those who may have missed it, the New York Times yesterday had a slow news day and so they turned over the newsroom to a Creative Writing class visting from a local high school. They quickly created one of those “What is Iran Up To?” stories we’ve all come to know and love, really one of the best in recent memory since the “Saudi ambassador plot.” It seems that Iran has turned its attention from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan (sheesh, where does it get all this energy)? It turns out, for example, that Afghanis weren’t really all that upset about the Americans burning Korans until some Iranian agents came to Afghanistan and got them all stirred up.

    Before we start handing out Hyperbole in Journalism Awards, however, let’s not overlook this entry from a March 24, 2002 article in the Times:

    “American and Israeli officials said that since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising 18 months ago, Tehran had paid millions of dollars in cash bonuses to the group for each attack against Israel.”



    COMMENT:



    Readers may recall that this was around the same time as when Saddam Hussein was said to be giving pensions to the mothers of Palestinian suicide bombers, said to be as high as $50,000.

I remember thinking at the time: “Iran is paying millions of dollars in cash bonuses for each attack? If I were one of those mothers, I’d not even bother to stop in Baghdad to collect my measly $50,000, especially since Saddam will be stretching his payment over my remaining lifetime. I’d head straight to Tehran and collect my “millions of dollars in cash bonuses.”



    Some stories have “legs;” others don’t. For whatever reason, this “millions of dollars in cash bonuses” never really caught on with the Times’ credulous readership. But a good newspaper never gives up trying. If “millions of dollars in cash bonuses” won’t work, maybe a “Saudi ambassador plot” story will take off. You just never know, and so the key is to keep throwing mud against the wall and see what sticks.

  127. Humanist says:

    A Declaration from the German Peace Movement and Peace Researchers.

    Thirty one German institutions have endorsed it.

    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/04/05/a-policy-of-peace-instead-of-war-in-the-iran-conflict/

    In my view this is a compelling, rational bulletin yet it is not complete since it does not mention crucial facts such as NIEs, IAEA’s bias, US playing hypocritical “diplomacy” game, etc

    It is also not assertive enough. When I read “We ask the United Nations to convene the planned conference as soon as possible, even if it is initially boycotted by Israel or Iran” I thought didn’t they really know Iran is pushing for WMD free ME? Why Iran is going to boycott such confreence?

    Still warmongers have no problem in ignoring these hard to ignore declarations. Seems like t he cries of “NO WAR” are evolving from inaudible mumbles to something perceptible.

    Hopefully this and others like this could act as” the straw the broke the camel’s back”.

  128. fyi says:

    bettertobepickled says: April 5, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Evidently, you are not familiar with Islamic Tradition.

    The Muslim historians referred to the pre-Islamic ages as the Age of Darkness – for those ages were devoid of the Light of (God’s) Revelation.

    Now, you can look at the Far Eastern polities that conclude that they are dynamic etc.

    That is not in dispute.

    But they have no moral compass;; nothing like the teachings of Jesus, the Blessed Son of Mary, or the Quranic Revelations inform or otherwise illuminate their conduct. There is little (moral) constraint on their behavior.

    For it is inconcievable for me to imagine men riding subways in Tehran, or in Paris or in Madrid reading violent pornographic cartoon books and magazines; like they do in Japan.

    That is just one example.

    I realize that I am a minority of one perhaps in my views, but that does not mean that I am wrong.

    About the number of Israeli nuclear weapons: my estimate is based on the ration of GDP of UK and her declared nuclear warheads to those of Israel.

    The CIA estimates are based on this: the reactor has been in existence for Y number of years, it produces X amount of plutonium a year, which if separated and turned into a nuclear bomb, will mean Y.X number of warheads.

    Well, the CIA estimate is just that, an estimate. It does not take into account the half-life of Plutonium, the half-life of the heavy-water moderator, the periodic shut-down of the reactor – lasting for months – and the enormous costs of separating and maintaining nuclear warheads.

    Where is the budget for that?

    Likewise, I cannot

  129. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: April 4, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    The answer is this: half-life of Plutonium. half-life of heavy water. maintenance costs.

  130. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 4, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    In effect, you are stating that the rich influential American Jews have control of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East and through US they have control of EU foreign policy in the Middle East as well.

    So there is a vast Jewish conspiracy against Mulsim states that oppose Israel; in effect a Jewish War against Islam.

    Well, there was the case that EU opposed Iraq War.

    And in the 1990s, before the US-EU position in the Persian Gulf imploded, EU did not join US in her sanctions against Iran.

    Take my alternative explanation:

    US destroyed Iraq’s Ba’ath state, Iranians moved in, defeated US in Iraq, defeated Israel (in 2006) in Lebanon, carved out Northern Afghanistan (while Pakistanis went for the South and Southeast).

    Faced with the destruction of their geopolitical position in the Persian Gulf, in Central Asia, and in the Levant – the Axis Powers threw all that they had in their arsenal at the Islamic Republic – the linchpin of an alliance opposing their geopolitiucal agenda.

    When their economic siege did not cause regime change or surrender, they thought to frighten Iranians.

    Iranians said they will go to war.

    US-EU declared cease-fire.

  131. BiBiJon says:

    Yes folks, the bombed, shot, and otherwise humiliated Iraqis would not mount an insurgency without Persian shiites telling their Arab Sunni buddies to rebel.

    And, now the same thing for the Iran-loving Afghani Taliban, according to NY Times.

    Violence in Afghanistan
    Iranian Agents ‘Exploited’ Public Outrage

    From http://news.antiwar.com/2012/04/04/us-blames-iran-for-post-quran-burning-violence-in-afghanistan/

    “The new take is an interesting one, particularly since the officials don’t seem to interpret the organized burning of large numbers of Qurans as any sort of proximate cause for the protests, and assume that the only reason Afghans would be riled up was Iranian spies told them to be.”

  132. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    “I argue Gareth is grasping at straws again.

    While there are good reasons why Netanyahu may not attack Iran this year, there are no good reasons to believe Israel will NEVER attack Iran, with or without a US green light.

    Apparently some people like Porter can’t keep these two points separate.”
    ———————————————————–

    Richard, Perhaps you didn’t read Gareth Porter’s article to the end. The last paragraph reads:

    “The widespread impression among the Israeli national security elite and press corps that Netanyahu’s threat of war against Iran is a bluff does not guarantee that Netanyahu will not attack Iran. But it does help explain why there has not been a much bigger outcry against a war option that is widely regarded as irrational for Israel.”

    There’s no value in non-time-constrained predictions/assertions such as “Israel will NEVER attack Iran.” To put a smidgeon of worth in these predictions it would be useful to add some real-life caveats. E.g. in the current situation, with Europe, Russia and the US having strongly expressed their not wanting a war, how likely is it that Netanyahu will order an attack. How likely is it that a lengthy process of negotiations and interim agreements with P5+1 will start this year and continue for some months/years? If there were on-going negotiations, how likely is it that Netanyahu will order an attack? etc.

    When you talk about “NEVER” I come away thinking what have I gained from such a nebulous insight: one cannot say Canada will NEVER attack the US? Frankly, nothing.

    Porter, on the other hand, describes a “possibility” that it’s all a bluff. When you include into the equation what little it costs to bluff, and how a cost-free bluff gets you to gatecrash the P5+1 party for Israel’s red lines to be heard, and keep the subject hot, and thereby away from Israel’s own nukes, Palestinian issues, etc., then it would be bloodily grasping at sharp thorny branches, not to even consider the possibility of a “bluff.” Don’t you think?

  133. yemi says:

    Rehmat says:
    April 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Well thanks for the link.

    But i guessed RSH would not have posted
    something like this!

    So busy with his war strategies he can even
    tell us Israel has 5000 nuclear heads ready to
    be launched in August…

  134. bettertobepickled says:

    Richard Steven Hack at 9.50 pm.

    He’s one weird dude, but I’m not sure I agree with you that its only a blind spot on the nuclear weapons inventory of Israel.

    On this thread he also wrote ““The 1.4 billion human beings living in China, Korea, and Japan are living in the Age of Darkness. There is no moral constraint on them and the value of an individual human for them is only comprehended within their racialist collective.”

    And when confronted with the profound and sweeping ignorance of this, defended himself by saying “I have expressed my opinion based on my somewhat initimate knowledege of those countries, their people, and their history.”

    1.4 billion people of some of the most dynamic societies on the globe flicked into the dustbin of history (Age of Darkness) due to “somewhat intimate knowledge”.

    I think he’s consistently making the mistake of presenting what he wants to believe as what must be.

  135. Richard writes:

    “Iran Sanctions Not Working – Netanyahu.”

    Who’d have guessed, eh?

  136. Pirouz says:

    CodePink on Michelle Obama’s message to them in SF: “Keep up the great work”
    by Carla Marinucci

    quote:

    “After Hull handed Mrs. Obama a petition urging peacekeeping not war with Ira[n] — a document signed by luminaries like Gloria Steinham, Alice Walker and Eve Ensler – ”Ms. Obama thanked Hull for her advocacy and said, “Keep up the great work,” writes Benjamin. “As Hull was walking away after her photo with the First Lady, Michelle Obama grabbed her hand, squeezed it and said, “We really need you.”

    (Sorry the URL doesn’t seem to make it past the moderation filter)

  137. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Bibi’s Big Bluff
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/03/bibis-big-bluff/

    Gareth Porter argues Netanyahu is not serious.

    I argue Gareth is grasping at straws again.

    While there are good reasons why Netanyahu may not attack Iran this year, there are no good reasons to believe Israel will NEVER attack Iran, with or without a US green light.

    Apparently some people like Porter can’t keep these two points separate.

  138. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran prefers Iraq as venue for talks with P5+1
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234578.html

    Oh, that will go over REAL well…

  139. Richard Steven Hack says:

    South Africa’s oil imports from Iran surge defying US-led embargoes
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234331.html

  140. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran Sanctions Not Working – Netanyahu
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/04/iran-sanctions-not-working-netanyahu.html

  141. Richard Steven Hack says:

    ‘Hotheads’ in Middle East provoking Iran, Russia says
    http://rt.com/politics/russia-iran-israel-us-middle-east-talks-130/

    Quotes

    Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, warning that the Middle East standoff could boil over into military action at any moment, has called for urgent talks of the Sextet of Middle East mediators with Iran.

    Saying that Russia is “concerned by specific sanctions against companies in Russia and other countries” as a result of the latest round of sanctions against Iran, Ryabkov added that the “scale of the extra-territorial application” of the sanction regime “exceeds anything that was practiced in the past.”

    The sanctions serve as a major hindrance in the “legitimate development of trade and economic ties” between Russia and Iran, Ryabkov noted.

    End Quotes

  142. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iran Nuclear Talks: Disaccord Over Venue
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/04/iran-nuclear-talks-disaccord-over-venue.html

    Turkey shut out by Tehran.

    Any bets that the West will use this as an excuse to cancel the whole thing, then resume the usual propaganda about “Iranian intransigence and refusal to negotiate” while preparing new rounds of sanctions?

    Even if they don’t cancel, I can pretty much guarantee NO deal will emerge from any talks.

    ONLY if the West actually comes to an agreement with Iran – on any otherwise minor point such as 20% enrichment or whatever – which actually recognizes Iran’s right to domestic enrichment can there possibly be ANY notion of “de-escalation” of the situation.

    If these talks do not provide that, you can kiss that nonsense goodbye.

  143. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Bettertobepickled says: ““Rubbish.” Oh, good. I’m relieved.”

    So you know, fyi has this obsession which he’s repeated here before that Israel doesn’t have more than a few nuclear weapons, despite having a nuclear reactor in full production for the last forty years and being recognized as having developed nukes as early as the 1960′s, not to mention helping South Africa with IT’S early nuclear weapons program.

    It’s his version of Canning’s 20% nonsense…i.e., a simply random belief system devoid of evidence or facts.

    Just ignore him on this issue.

  144. Rehmat says:

    Germany’s most famous author and Nobel literature laureate (1999), Polish-born Guenter Wilhelm Grass (born 1927), in his latest poem, “What must be said“, published today – has claimed that a “nuclear Israel and not Iran – presents threat to the world peace“. Gross poem calls Chancellor Angela Markel’s pro-Israel government to cease supply the Zionist entity submarines and warns against a Jewish attack on Iran…….

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/german-nobel-laureate-israel-is-threat-to-world-peace/

  145. James Canning says:

    Roland Watson had a fascinating piece in The Times (London) March 26th: “US ‘has used court secrecy to cover up 9/11 blunder’”. Wrangling between the FBI and the CIA prevented the US from intercepting Osama bin Laden’s telephone communications in the 18 months before “9/11″. Two Englishmen with direct knowledge were unable to discuss the matter even in a court proceeding in England, due to court order in the US.

  146. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The US is not “hiding behind the Jews and Israel.” The simple fact is that Jews control American foreign policy in the Middle East to a very considerable degree. Pretending otherwise accomplishes nothing.

  147. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Call it what you want. It is in Iran’s interests to stop enriching to 20 percent, and this fact is comprehended by Khamenei, Ahmadinejad, Larijani, Mousavian, and others.

  148. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    You linked a piece in which Trita Parsi writes: “[T]hose leveling such accusations [that the top US general serves Iran's intersts] – - whether in the Likud-led government [of Israel] or their supporters in the US – - are the ones that have most to hide.” This surely is a good point to make.

  149. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You linked a piece by Dmitry Kosyrev who claims that the P5+1 “have promsied to lift sanctions against Iran step by step…” I hope this is true.

  150. Jay says:

    Sassan says:
    April 3, 2012 at 12:30 am
    “If you torture a dog in a western country or even in Israel, it is a crime and you go to jail.”

    bettertobepickled says:
    April 4, 2012 at 12:44 pm
    “Israel has the dubious distinction of coming in second in the competition behind Eritrea” (in jailing reporters)

    Fiorangela says:
    April 4, 2012 at 11:53 am
    “When reading Sassan’s thoughts …. , we will never allow functioning brain cells to interact anymore.”

    Forgive the brief interjection of levity, but I could not resist!

    An amalgam of the following two quotes, viewed in the context of the third quote, suggests the brilliant conclusion that the only possible reason for Israel to have earned this distinction is that the reporters must have tortured a dog!!

  151. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    The United States cannot forever hide behind Jews and Israel.

    Neither can Mr. Obama.

    At any rate, in my view, Iranians do not have much of an incentive for negogiating or conceding much.

    We are past diplomacy as you describe.

    We are in a stage that the terms of a cease-fire are going to be negogiated.

    That is all.

  152. Fiorangela says:

    US Congress’ feckless fear of [nuclear] flying

    “BRAKA, United Arab Emirates—The United Arab Emirates, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, is a land of firsts. Dubai, its richest city, has the first indoor ski slope and the first “seven star” luxury hotel. Abu Dhabi, its capital, has the first roller coaster capable of traveling from zero to 60 mph in less than five seconds; now it’s building the first branch of the Louvre Museum outside of France.

    Here at Braka, a windswept patch of desert 167 miles west of Abu Dhabi, a very different kind of first is taking shape. With American support, the Emirati government is building the Arab world’s first—and, for the moment, only—nuclear-power plant. . . .

    From the start, the Emirati government has worked hard to reassure Washington and its allies that its nuclear program would be unlike Iran’s. . . . the company has signed all of the IAEA’s protocols on nonproliferation and promised to open its facilities to random inspections. Its advisory board is chaired by Hans Blix, the former head of the IAEA. Most importantly, the country has voluntarily agreed to forgo the two steps—enriching its own uranium or reprocessing spent fuel—necessary to build a bomb. “Our program could literally not be used in the creation of a nuclear-yield device,” says David Scott, who served as the National Security Council’s director for the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa during the George W. Bush administration and now works as a senior adviser to Abu Dhabi’s crown prince. In exchange for all these pledges, the Bush administration signed during its final week in office an agreement with the U.A.E. to clear the way for American firms to assist the fledgling program; the deal, which didn’t require congressional approval, went into effect in 2009.

    Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, however, were more skittish: They pointed to Dubai’s centrality in Khan’s smuggling network. Khan and his associates had maintained bank accounts and apartments there, which they used for meetings with Iranians and others seeking nuclear technology. Khan considered Dubai to be so safe a base that he even contemplated building a plant in the emirate to manufacture enrichment centrifuges. He later told Pakistani investigators that both Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. had asked him to move to their countries to help jump-start potential nuclear programs. The head of the Emirati armed forces offered “me U.A.E. nationality many times together with a luxurious villa,” Khan wrote in a confession to Pakistani authorities. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, then the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said in May 2009 during a congressional review of the agreement: “The U.A.E.’s long history as a conduit for Iran’s nuclear program and its failure to fully implement effective export controls … make this agreement a dangerous precedent.” “

  153. James Canning says:

    Is the Israel lobby going to wreck a $30 billion Boeing deal with Brazil? See article linked in previous comment.

  154. James Canning says:

    Is Obama actually backing Columbia to be an additional permanent member of UN Security Council? Preposterous.

    “Public diplomacy with Brazil puts Boeing deal at risk” (April 4th):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eric-ehrmann/brazil-dilma-washington-visit_b_1398380.html?ref=world

  155. James Canning says:

    “Turkey ready to host fresh Iran-P5+1 talks – -FM (April 4th):

    http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2231814&language=en

  156. James Canning says:

    “Iraqi foreign minister welcomes proposal for hosting Iran-P5+1 talks”:

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/234532.html

  157. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    If Obama agreed to cancelling the sanctions against Iran, rich and powerful Jews would make sure he lost the elections in 2012.

    Incremental steps are possible.

    Diplomats must work with what is actually possible.

  158. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are virutally delusional about Iran’s “surrendering”. Surrendering what?

  159. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Mohammad Javad Larijani on March 13, 2012 and again on March 15, 2012, suggested Iran will stop enriching to 20% if the West sells Iran the needed fule for the TRR. Dr. Mousavian was a foreign policy adviser to Larijani, and Mousavian also calls for Iran to stop producing 20% U.

  160. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 4, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Iranians will not accept any limit on their nuclear activities; no for 3 months and certainly not for 10 years.

    You are dealing with leaders that twice stared down the barrel of a gun and stated that they will fight rather than surrender.

    You are talking about leaders who have been preparing their country for war and economic siege since 2002.

    The Iranian leaders expect that the current confrontation is indefinite; that is their starting assumption.

    Axis Powers need (sham) negogiations more than Iran does.

    Just about the only thing that P5+1 could do is to find a pretext to send the Iran file back to IAEA from UNSC and rescind the UNSC sanctions.

    Else, they will leave the opportunity for war at any time in the future.

    Let us see if they; US, EU, China, and Russia have thoroughly absorbed the lessons of the last few months.

    It is their choice now.

    But God Damn Them to Hell for having brought the Middle East and the World to this stage.

    I want you to understand that US, EU, Russia, and Chinese planners miscalculated when they took Iran to UNSC.

  161. Arnold Evans says:

    fyi says:
    April 4, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Dr. Moussavian’s 4-point programme has zero support in Tehran.

    I’m more sure Dr. Moussavian’s program has less support in the US than in Tehran. We have not recently seen one public official or unofficial expression of what the US would accept.

    I have no confidence that the US is prepared to accept Iranian enrichment at all.

    I guess the worst that can happen – if talks happen at all, rather than being scuppered under the pretext of failing to find a venue – is that talks are entered and ended shortly later like last year.

    I wonder if Iran would accept being limited to one enrichment facility (above ground) though. That seems to be an important element of every proposal I’ve read.

    My take is that Iran could not accept that indefinitely, could not accept that it in any form would require US permission to change, but possibly could accept that for a short time, maybe up to ten years.

  162. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Dr. Moussavian clearly is a fine strategic thinker, and he joins Khamenei and Larijani in seeing that Iran’s enriching to 20 percent makes no sense if the TRR fule is provided to Iran by the West.

  163. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Dr. Moussavian may well have comprehended that Britain sought better relations with Iran. And did not seek to overthrow the government of Iran.

  164. James Canning says:

    Rick Goldstone, writing in The New York Times today: “Mr. Rafsanjani also reiterated his longstanding suggestion that Iran restore diplomatic relations with the United States”. This clearly is a sensible position, and the ISRAEL LOBBY will of course do its best to prevent it.

  165. BiBiJon says:

    First Signs of Protest by Sunnis in Saudi Arabia

    http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/6245.htm

  166. James Canning says:

    The New York Times today reported that “Khamenei…appears to see any conciliatory gesture [to the US] as a sign of weakness.” No mention, of course, of Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20%.

  167. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Clearly Mousavian’s proposal for Iran to stop enriching to 20% has support from Khamenei and Ahmadinejad.

  168. BiBiJon says:

    fyi,

    What do u think iran’s going to put on the table? Or, will there be a table?

  169. kooshy says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    April 4, 2012 at 10:15 am

    “On the NYT op-ed suggesting that Brazil “CAN” set a good example for Iran by terminating its enrichment program”

    Someone with a cool head needs to compare the NYT op-ed article Eric linked, with what our own secretary of state Clinton suggested, when she said “Because if Iran were ever to get a nuclear weapon, the countries in the region are going to buy their way to one as well,” and come up with a win win solution which is asking the Brazilians if they really care to be a Numero Uno exemplary country of to the world all they should do is to hand over their enrichment plants to the countries that Clinton suggest would want buy their way to a nuclear bomb and be happy ever after.

  170. bettertobepickled says:

    “Rubbish.” Oh, good. I’m relieved.

  171. bettertobepickled says:

    “The Committee to Protect Journalists has published its annual ranking of nations who imprison journalists. Israel has the dubious distinction of coming in second in the competition behind Eritrea, one of the most closed societies in the world. Per capita Israel has imprisoned more journalists than Iran.”

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/04/04/committee-to-protect-journalists-israel-ranks-2nd-per-capita-in-imprisoned-journalists/

  172. fyi says:

    bettertobepickled says: April 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Rubbish.

  173. bettertobepickled says:

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/04/04/the-real-nuclear-outlaws/

    “Make no mistake: despite the media fiction of a small, weak, relatively defenseless country isolated and surrounded by aggressive foes, Israel currently rivals Britain, France, and China as a world nuclear power, central to its shared goal (with the U.S.) of military supremacy in the Middle East. Credible sources indicate that Israel possesses not only neutron bombs but an array of tactical nukes, ballistic missiles, atomic land mines, cruise missiles, nuclear-armed subs, and high-explosive artillery shells. The subs alone are armed with four cruise missiles each, replete with multiple warheads. The general Israeli military arsenal dwarfs the actual or potential armed forces of all other Middle Eastern nations combined. Several U.N. resolutions calling for Israel to join the NPT, open up its nuclear facilities to inspection, and agree to a regional nuclear-free zone have been stonewalled by the U.S. and Israel. After the CIA reported that Israel had the Bomb in 1968 (fully 18 years before Mordecai Vanunu’s insider revelations), no outside visits to Israeli military sites have been allowed.”

  174. Fiorangela says:

    Iran: Hyundai Motor Ends Operations
    By RICK GLADSTONE
    Published: April 2, 2012

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/world/middleeast/iran-hyundai-motor-ends-operations.html?src=recg#

    Noteworthy about this brief article is that an Israel lobby group, United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), is treated as the validating source of the information –

    “United Against Nuclear Iran, an American group that has advocated economic sanctions to pressure Iran over its disputed nuclear program, has reclassified Hyundai Motor, putting it in the “withdrawn” category on a list the group has compiled of foreign businesses that deal with Iran. ”

    In the past, UANI, which is an umbrella organization whose leadership includes Dennis Ross and whose coalition members include Foundation for Defense of Democracy (FDD) and, most notably, the Iran Task Force, have taken private action to bring pressure to bear on international corporations to force them to cease doing business with Iran. That is to say, UANI functioned as a government agency to effect foreign policy objectives. UANI’s website states:

    “UANI’s private sanctions campaigns and state and Federal legislative initiatives focus on ending the economic and financial support of the Iranian regime by corporations, firms, entities and individuals at a time when the international community is attempting to compel Iran to abandon its illegal nuclear weapons program, support for terrorism and gross human rights violations.” :http://www.unitedagainstnucleariran.com/about

    Several of the participants in the UANI coalition also are members of groups that seek to have MEK removed from US terror watch list.

    Iran Task Force participation with UANI is particularly troublesome, inasmuch as ITF is directly connected to the government of Israel, through the World Jewish Congress and World Jewish Diplomatic initiative, organizations funded by the Israeli government. ITF is yet another unregistered foreign agent operating in the United States and affecting US policy and interests throughout the world.

  175. Fiorangela says:

    RFI participants being tortured online by Sassan for being rational. The RFI participants are told to hit themselves on the head, perform inverted sit-ups, and say aloud, “When reading Sassan’s thoughts about Iran, we will never allow functioning brain cells to interact anymore.”
    http://www.raceforiran.com/rules-and-regulations-for-www-raceforiran-com-2#comment-81260

  176. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Dr. Moussavian’s 4-point programme has zero support in Tehran.

    And this is a man who could not grasp or failed to grasp or did not wish to grasp the fact that US-EU were after the overthrow of the Islamic Republic.

    Iranians will not agree to Code 3.1, AP, special inspections etc.

    US-EU cannot un-wind the sanctions against Iran for structural as well as political reasons.

    The worst sanctions, the financial ones, are like a kick to a man’s groin area.

    It is pretty bad at the beginning, one doubles over howling with pain, but after a while the pain subsides.

    Iranians had been preparing for 3 years for these sanctions.

    They were forced (as well as the Chinese and others) to create their own maritime insurance and re-insurance companies.

    Iranians were forced from the US and EU based financial services firms are now basically operating under the radar.

    My guess is that they are still 4 or 5 years away for making the necessary adjustments in order to have reliable conduits for their financial trasnactions.

    Do you seriously believe that Iranians will go back to the status quo ante of using US and EU financial institutions for the bulk of their financial transactions?

    My major point is this: given that the sanctions are not going to be removed (structurally that is not possible) and given that even if they are removed, Iran is not going back to the situation before they were imposed, it stands to reason that their removal is not worth that much to Iran.

    I think Dr. Moussavian is a good bureaucrat but not much of an strategist.

  177. On the NYT op-ed suggesting that Brazil set a good example for Iran by terminating its enrichment program:

    I’m pretty sure the writer was just about to recommend that the US give up its enrichment program too — what better example could there be for Iran, after all? But it turned out that he’d reached the Times’ word limit for op-eds and so he wasn’t able to get to that.

  178. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: April 4, 2012 at 8:59 am

    There is deep prejudice against Islam in Germany.

    And their opinion leaders are thoroughly ill-informed.

    American analysts are better informed, although they mostly write lies.

  179. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: April 4, 2012 at 8:33 am

    The venality, stupdity, and hubris of this piece is, frankly, beyond belief.

    He wants Brazil, an aspiring World Power, to cripple herself strategically.

    As a reward, she will be accorded accolades by the United States and will begive the priviledge of buying her nuclear fuel from a thoroughly politicized body called IAEA – which, incidentally, has no fuel itself and must provison them from US or EU or Russia.

    Thoroughly Americans no longer occupy the same reality as Iran or Brazil.

  180. BiBiJon says:

    k_w says:
    April 4, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Broder aside, I find DER SPIEGEL almost unreadable because of their blatant bias. However, notice the Israeli embassy’s swipe at ‘Germans’ when attacking the poem.

    The fissures that are gaping open all over the place requires somebody, somewhere, to take a leadership role, read the riot act, before it is too late.

    Note to Ban ki-Moon: Read the UN charter and declare the military threats against Iran illegal.

  181. Photi says:

    Karl says:
    April 4, 2012 at 5:01 am

    Karl, note the sophisticated chest thumping of the American diplomats, further proof Americans have abandoned the spoken word in their efforts at establishing delicate diplomacy. ‘Words’ apparently open the door to too much interpretation.

    “The U.S. delegation to the conference, headed by Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Robert Blake, left the hall when Ahmadinejad began to speak and returned after the conclusion of his speech.”

  182. k_w says:

    BiBiJon: Broder writes for DER SPIEGEL. He is one of the nastiest, islamophic idiots (mentioned by Breivik) the German press has to offer and has been found correctly named a pornographer by a German court.

  183. BiBiJon says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    April 4, 2012 at 8:33 am

    I saw that article last night, and I wondered how foresighted, and self-interested Brazil was in drafting the the Tehran declaration which attested to Iran’s right to enrichment.

  184. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/opinion/can-brazil-stop-iran.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

    An op-ed whose writer urges Brazil to provide a shining example for Iran by giving up its domestic enrichment program.

  185. BiBiJon says:

    prosaic grunts @ Günter Grass’ “What must be said”
    ===================================================

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,825712,00.html

  186. BiBiJon says:

    When it comes to his namesake, Jay writes a semi-respectful (for WSJ standards) profile.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577305742884577460.html

  187. BiBiJon says:

    Kathleen says:
    April 3, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Kathleen,

    Surely the sentiment, “Micheal Scheuer is committed to the security of the US period” ought to logically trump his sympathy for “other nations needs to protect their own security” if it means “disaster for the US.”

    Scheuer’s take, as interesting and insightful as it maybe, happens to channel WINEP’s eecutive director, Robert Satloff, who said: “I cannot underscore how deep and visceral the [Israeli] comments of the leaking that came out of Washington were.”
    ,http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2012/04/01/israelis-blame-administration-leaks-for-diplomatic-military-and-even-operational-damage/

    Recalling Putin’s remark: “We are saying that no (Caspian) nations should offer their territory to outside powers for aggression or any military action against any of the Caspian states.” And, recalling that “The five national leaders at the summit later signed a declaration that included a similar statement — an apparent reflection of Iranian fears that the United States could use Azerbaijan’s territory as a staging ground for military strikes in Iran.”
    ,http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21316255#.T3wQvIEkiSo

    Let me cut to the chase here. In case of a blatant abrogation of the agreement signed in 2007 by Azerbaijan, Russian troops will be in Baku faster than you can say Abkhazia.

    The scale of a “disaster” that will engulf the region is difficult to underestimate. So, why go all pedantic about a general right of all nations to defend themselves against ‘a phantom menace?’ ,http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2010/12/phantom-menace-fantasies-falsehoods-and.html

    If this indeed was a US leak, and if indeed it delayed WW III, then for a US-interests-firster it should be regarded as job well done. No?

  188. Karl says:

    James,

    Simple provocateur.

    “The “critical test” will be whether Iran decides “to stop enrichment of higher grades of uranium and to shift stocks out of the country.” Or some other “confidence-building measure”.”

    ——

    “The critical test” according to whom? One side of the parties? Please man this is long overdue. You have to respect BOTH sides demand if you want serious negogiation. Did you miss this?

    Ahmadinejad says U.S. can no longer dictate policy
    http://in.news.yahoo.com/iranian-leader-says-us-no-longer-dictate-policy-072322478.html

    Do you understand?

  189. Karl says:

    Kooshy,

    Clinton still thinks the world is blind. There is already a latent nuclear arms race in the region since her allied Israel alread got them. If the scaremongering Clinton is so scared about an arms race she could end it today by pressuring her friend Israel to either make peace with the arab world or ending their nuclear secrecy, or what kind of relationsship are we talking about? One were one part gets money, support, veto, weapons and the other party is have to sit silent?

    Clinton’s statement is also pessimistic, belligerent which means US doing everything to ruin any chance of a positive outcome of talks. US are still using old techniques and degrading views about iranians (like middle eastern people in general), she obviously still think she could play with them as she want and that they must follow her wicked commands. She should understand aslong as she play foul, aggressive, so will others.

  190. kooshy says:

    Clinton warns of ‘destabilizing’ Iran options

    “There is no clear path. We know that a nuclear-armed Iran would be incredibly destabilizing to the region and beyond. A conflict arising out of their program would also be very destabilizing,” Clinton said.

    “There is no way to balance this. You have two very difficult paths here,” Clinton told a dinner in Norfolk, Virginia; on a day trip to visit the only NATO command in the United States.

    “Clinton, who traveled over the weekend to Turkey and Saudi Arabia, voiced concern that a nuclear Iran would trigger an arms race in the region.”

    “We’re going to be looking for a way to try to convey the legitimate fears that people in the region have about what comes next. Because if Iran were ever to get a nuclear weapon, the countries in the region are going to buy their way to one as well,” Clinton said.”

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hNanx1u7zWEUTTc8GTcixe70aXbQ?docId=CNG.bcd9d9e8f2a78795bfeee5b371920e6b.271

    Comment – Can you believe Clinton actually said, ”The countries in the region are going to “BUY” their way” to one” can you guess who’s selling? Can her secretership expand on what she means, doesn’t this sound like another desperate threat. My god this people have become so pathetically desperate.

  191. Kathleen says:

    Bibi Jon. My take on Micheal Scheuer’s views is that he is committed to the security of the US period. Yet understands other nations needs to protect their own security. I always find Scheuer’s takes very interesting and insightful. Especially since he has been on the inside of the CIA and looks at these foreign policy issues in a way that most of us can only imagine. I have followed what he has to say for years now

  192. Rehmat says:

    On Sunday, Maen Erekat, the Palestinian envoy to Washington hosted a dinner in honor of former White House reporter Helen Thomas. Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi presented Thomas with an award for her outspoken remark against Jewish occupation of Palestine.

    The news of the award irked the US Jewish lobby groups and Israeli ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren.

    “A decision by the Palestinian mission to the United States to journalist Helen Thomas proves the Palestinians inability to meet the basic requisites of peace,” said Oren.

    I believe Oren is living in his Zionist self-denial. Otherwise, Helen explained those “basic requisites” to Rabbi David Nesenoff in 2010 – for which she was forced by Jewish groups to quit her 50-year job at the White House. And they were: “Tell them (Jews) to get the hell out of Palestine. Remember these people are occupied and it’s their land“.

    The international Jewish policeman, Abraham Foxman, national director ADL in his statement said: “How sad it is that Palestinians would embrace a bigot and anti-Semite“. One wonders if the bigot knows that Helen Thomas being of Arab blood has more chances of being a ‘Semite’ – that Abe Foxman with Khazarian Turk blood.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/helen-thomas-honored-by-pa-mission-in-us/

  193. Rehmat says:

    Not long ago, American writer, John Kaminski wrote: “When you read the history of Israel from objective sources, you discover that it’s an outlaw state, created by the powers that be by stealing the land from its original inhabitants, and systematically exterminating them ever since“.

    As the westerner media and political leaders glorify a state established and maintained by foreign Jewish terrorists and gansters – the Jewish Mayor of Las Vegas Carolyn Goodman opened to public The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement’ on February 15, honoring some of America’s most notorious Jewish mobsters. The museum is located in downtown Las Vegas, a city created by crime gangsters. The the project is her husband, the former Mayor of Las Vegas, Oscar Goodman. The museum has already picked a rightful name: the Mob Museum. Watch a video below.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/04/las-vegas-museum-honors-jewish-mobsters/

  194. BiBiJon says:

    Apparently, Indians were not born yesterday.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3278242.ece

  195. Castellio says:

    I came across this and felt that people here might want to consider it. It is relevant to those who consider the Asian factor in the relations of the US to Iran.

    “In his phone conversation with President Lee Myung-bak days after being reelected Russian president on March 4, Vladimir Putin pledged to help improve inter-Korean ties and discussed a deal for Russia to pipe natural gas to South Korea through North Korea.

    Putin was quoted by aides to Lee as saying he would “pay attention” to the project to build a gas pipeline passing through the three nations.

    The remark reflected the Russian leader’s determination to carry out the project, the aides said. They noted that it had not been discussed in consultations on the phone call with Putin, who will return to the presidency in May after serving as prime minister for four years.”

    http://www.koreaherald.com/national/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120403000958

  196. Sassan says:

    Afghans being tortured in Iran by Islamic Republic authorities for being in Iran. The Afghans are told to hit themselves on the head, perform sit-ups, and say aloud, “We will never come to Iran anymore.”: http://youtu.be/HGb_0Mo1B2s

  197. James Canning says:

    “Iranian official presents ’4-point plan’ to end nuclear dispute”, by Yitzhak Benhorin (April 2nd):

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4211124,00.html

    Follows-up piece in Boston Globe by Hossein Mousavian, in which part of “1st phase” is that Iran “should stop producing 20% enriched uranium.”

  198. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Front page story Financial Times, March 7, 2012: “Hopes for Iran talks push oil price down”. By Joshua Chaffin in Brussels, James Blitz in London and Geoff Dyer in Washinton. And also Tobias Buck in Jeruslaem and Jack Farchy in London.

    The “critical test” will be whether Iran decides “to stop enrichment of higher grades of uranium and to shift stocks out of the country.” Or some other “confidence-building measure”.

  199. Karl says:

    Russia may increase oil supplies to EU in case of sanctions against Iran
    http://www.itar-tass.com/en/c32/377712.html

  200. James Canning says:

    Those who think Mitt Romney in the White House would be a foreign policy moron as bad as George W. Bush should have noticed that Romney told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer recently that Russia is the number one geopolitical foe of the US. Amazing. An eager stooge of the arms manufacturers, that is clear.

  201. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The “logic” you should try to follow is the logic of power, especially the ability of American Jews to control American foreign policy in the Middle East, due to their being the primary financers of national political campaigns in the US.

  202. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Which group or groups were “saved” by the 2007 NIE on Iran? The neocons continue to seek to discredit that NIE, and the follow-on 2010 NIE on Iran. The CIA blocked the neocon warmongers in 2006-07.

  203. BiBiJon says:

    Kathleen says:
    April 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    Kathleen, I cannot follow the logic.

    “As far as U.S. interests are concerned an Israeli attack on Iran will be a disaster.”

    But, somehow, US is supposed to watch this aggression unfold, because according to this analytical analyst every nation should be allowed to indulge its paranoia, even when they have couple of hundred nuclear weapons and a second strike retaliatory capacity of their own against a country that has not attacked anyone in centuries.

  204. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I read “hard copy” and do not have a link. I’ll see if I can find one, however.

  205. Rd. says:

    Some of the comments by Jim Baker with Charlie Rose, part 2.

    Will we decline if we don’t get a handle on our debt bomb? Yes we’ll.

    We can not continue on this path.

    Debt to gdp over the next 5 years is 100%, Simply unsustainable.
    We are economically dysfunctional, politically Dysfunctional.

    You can not be strong politically, diplomatically, militarily, if you are not strong economically.

    Without The reserve dollar, we’d be Greece.

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12267

    This last statement I think is the most crucial one. With the implementation of the petro dollars, perhaps, US fate was sealed. When the USSR dis-appeared, it would have been very unlikely for the rest of the world to continue with that scam (protection money). And for US to simply stop its living on borrowed money. So the necons, the establishment, the bankers, the elites, what ever you call them, had a short window of opportunity to secure their American Century project by implementing Full Spectrum dominance. That project seems to have hit its bottom back in 2005-2006. With the Iraq project failing (money drain) and more so, with the Hezbollah defeating the Israeli objectives in its entirety. As fyi, kooshy, others have suggested, the 2007 NIE was their savior. And since, as fyi suggest, they are trying to scare the Iranians to submission, and economically to strangle them. So it seems we are onto the races, economically to see who blinks first.

  206. Humanist says:

    James

    Do you have the link for Efraim Halevy’ comment in The Times of London? Althoug most of us can guess what its content can be yet we’ll appreciate if you provide us the link.

  207. fyi says:

    bettertobepickled says: April 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Nah, just that Israsel owes US plenty and better behave.

  208. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 3, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    US (and EU) position in the world economy cannot be recovered.

    The world of Global Finance as the dominant form of economic activity is over.

    In effect, US and EU are in an economically analogous situation to the disintegration of USSR.

    They are still in a comfortable situation as individual countries but their “Unilateral Moment” is over for good.

    5 years will not do much for US in terms of recovery of that position.

    What it could do is to reduce private debt in US (both household and corporate) while piling on more public debt.

    During the same period of time, US will have to find its position in the global value chain.

    Promisory notes of dubious value have no future in this new economic world; just like ideology died with USSR’s disintegration.

  209. bettertobepickled says:

    “General Dempsey, according to my sources, reminded his Israeli counterpart that in 1991 and again in 2003, when the United States launched “coalition” warfare against Iraq, the US Administrations pressured Israel to sit on the sidelines, and pledged that the United States would guarantee Israel’s safety. Apart from a few stray Scud missiles that hit Israel in 1991, the United States fully lived up to that pledge to protect Israel at all costs. Israel, in contrast, has no capacity whatsoever to protect the 100,000 American soldiers who would find themselves immediately in harms way in Afghanistan if Iran chose to retaliate against the Israeli strikes. The same is true for American soldiers and sailors in Bahrain, Qatar and other Persian Gulf locales where there are known concentrations of US forces (Bahrain is the host of the Fifth Fleet and Qatar is forward headquarters for the Central Command and houses other US military special operations programs).”

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/04/harper-general-dempsey-lays-down-the-law.html

    If correct, what does this imply? That the US will do militarily fight Iran when its ready and on its own time? Has a date been set?

    Given the open payment to Sryian mercenaries, the complete abandonment of the Palestinians, the pressures on Turkey, Egypt and Pakistan, why would anyone think the encirclement and pressure on Iran will lessen?

  210. Sassan says:
    April 3, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Bashar al-Assad cannot survive for long, his uncle says: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17594988

    COMMENT: To enhance your credibility, you probably should mention that this uncle once tried to overthrow his brother (Assad’s father), and how lives in exile.

  211. Rd. says:

    BiBiJon says:

    Assuming any “Strategic stance” has to be practicable. Is it possible that the US, juvenile or not, gets forced/nudged into strategic change?

    James Baker in his part 2 with Charlie Rose says;

    “don’t bet against uncle whiskers, or you loose every time”. No change, just status-qua.

    He also says,
    “We can not continue on this path. Debt to gdp over the next 5 years is 100%, Simply unsustainable.”

    He suggests they have 5 years to get their act together. This election year, plus the next pres term.
    So presumably, they will focus on getting their house in order while maintaining a hold on status-qua, with the hope to continue the neocon dream of the american century. In about a year or so, long after the election, we ought to see and feel the austerity measures, and see the reality.

  212. Kathleen says:

    Former head of the CIA’s Bin Laden unit Micheal Scheuer has a great piece up at his site “Non Intervention” Link not making it up
    « Older posts
    Obama keeps pushing the bipartisan religion of interventionism
    By mike | Published: April 2, 2012
    Too often, I believe, Americans think about Washington’s interventionism only as the actual physical intervention of U.S. military forces abroad in places where no U.S. interest is at risk. That activity certainly is intervention, but President Obama’s despicable decision last week to have his administration leak intelligence claiming that Israel has concluded an agreement with the government of Azerbaijan to allow its use of Azeri airfields for an air strike on Iran is just as much an unwarranted intervention by the United States government.

    Readers of this blog will know that I carry no brief for Israel, that I believe it is a state that is irrelevant to U.S. national interests, and one whose U.S.-citizen supporters are disloyal to America and involved in activities that compromise U.S. security and corrupt the U.S. political system. That said, Israel — like the United States and all other nations — has an absolute right to defend itself when it deems it necessary to do so. The right of self-defense is the first and most important right of both individuals and nations. While Israel has no right to exist — and neither does America or any other nation, for that matter — it has an absolute right to defend its national interests according to its own best lights.

    In the present case, Obama and his leaking-lieutenants have tried to deny Israel its right to self-defense. Washington under Obama may not agree that Israel’s national security and even its survival are threatened by Iran, and they may well be right. But the Obama administration’s leaking of the Azeri airfields data is an arrogant interventionist action that undermines Israel’s ability to defend itself as it sees fit. It as much of an unwarranted and unconscionable foreign intervention by Washington in another nation’s affairs as was the invasion of Iraq.

    This is not, of course, to argue that an Israeli attack on Iran is justified or in the interests of the United States. It seems unlikely that an Israeli air strike can more than marginally retard Iran’s progress toward a nuclear weapon, and such an attack will surely cost Israel something given Iran’s air defense system and its worldwide terrorism capabilities. Justifying the war, then, comes down to balancing gains and losses and, on that score, it seems a close call for the Israelis. Such an attack would also further cement Israel’s unchallenged position as the Muslim world’s most hated enemy. But with all this said, only Israel can decide what its national interests require it to do to cope with or destroy the threat it believes Iran presents.

    As far as U.S. interests are concerned an Israeli attack on Iran will be a disaster. Once underway, all the Muslim world will identify Obama’s Washington as an unqualified supporter of the attack based on the past history of complete and supine bipartisan U.S. support for Israel and the fact that the Israelis will be using U.S. aircraft, ordnance, and technology to kill Iranians. Once Israel’s attack commences, anything Washington has done to stop Israel from acting — be it behind-the-scenes pressure or the Azeri leak — will be irrelevant as Iran and the rest of the Islamic world will attribute ultimate responsibility for the attack to the United States. Iran will surely respond with violence against the oil industry and/or trade in its own region and via its operatives in the United States.

    This surely is not a good result for the United States, and there are those who will argue that anything Washington can do to stop an Israeli strike is therefore justified, including the leak about Israel and the Azeri airfields. That argument, however, would be off the mark. As noted above, Israel and all nation-states — even Assad’s Syria and Omar Bashir‘s Sudan — have an absolute right to defend themselves at home and abroad when and as they see fit. For one nation to put obstacles in the way of another to prevent such an exercise of legitimate self-defense is unjustifiable intervention that the intervener will come to regret. Obama’s leaks, for example, have already ensured a damaging tit-for-tat Israeli leak of sensitive U.S. intelligence information, and has put an Azeri government heretofore friendly to the United States on Iran’s long-term hit list. Obama has incurred these costs for Americans whether or not Israel attacks Iran in the near term.

  213. Arnold Evans says:

    James:

    Some people here link too much. Not you.

    When you say that the financial times reported something, please provide a link and the paragraph that supports your statement.

    If you don’t have your source on the web, please provide the headline and author of the article.

  214. Sassan says:

    Bashar al-Assad cannot survive for long, his uncle says: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17594988

    The uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad believes it is unlikely that he can hold onto power much longer.

    Rifaat al-Assad told the BBC that the level of violence on the streets was too high for his nephew to survive.

  215. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 3, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    US-EU destroyed another independent state and a fomer allie against USSR since she was inconvenient for their containment strategy against the Russia Federation.

    Now they are trying to destroy Iran.

  216. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 3, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    The negogiating position of P5+1 is this:

    1- Majlis approving AP
    2- 20% stopped
    3- Fuel stocks shipped out
    4- Iran confess to the past transgressions – documented in the so-called laptop of death
    5- Prove to IAEA that its program is peaceful.

    Then, and may be not even then, the UNSC sanctions will be rescinded.

    And nothing about US and EU financial sanctions, technological sanctions etc.

    They might as well not bother – Iranians will not agree to any of these without significant upfront quid pro quo.

    These negogiations will go nowhere – but they will go there also very slowly.

    The aim of these negogiations is to create a process that has teh illusion of making progress but leaves everything else the same.

    Just like the negogiations among Israelis and Palestinians.

    Iranians (and Russians and Chinese) just defeated US, EU and Persian Gulf States in Syria.

    Iranians have essentially neutralized “All options on the table” .

    They are adjusting to the financial sanctions and will have completed that in a few more years.

    And oil, being fungible, cannot be sanctioned.

    And Iraq is in their court and they can do as they please in Northern Afghanistan – having reached an agreement with Pakistan; they will not stab pakistan in the back after all the trouble that Pakistan has gone through to please them.

    I do not see any reason for them to negogiate anything since every possible the fruit of the negogiations for them lies years into the future.

    We shall see, I might be wrong.

  217. Karl says:

    James,

    Yes you are making up, just like you made up that Iran offered as a precondition to end 20%-enrichment some weeks ago.

  218. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Assuming Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia, and Kosovo, all get admitted to the EU, will the break-up of Yugoslavia be of less significance?

  219. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Making up what? Financial Times talked to the P5+1 diplomats (or intermediaries) and reported March 7th that they would likely seek an end to enrichment to higher grades (than 3.5% – 5%), and export of the 20% U already produced.

  220. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely Larijani, and Khamenei continue to see it as “obvious” that Iran buy the TRR fuel from the West.

    Iran already has sufficient 20% U to produce TRRR fuel for more than ten years of operations. If that 20% U is converted into rods/plates.

  221. Karl says:

    James,

    “Apparently Russia and China want Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent. How do you think Russia and China should seek to accomplish this objective?”

    Now you are just making up stuff.

  222. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 3, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Iranians could stop 20% U-235 enrichment when they have sufficient quatities for fueling TRR.

    Any EU-US fuel-exchange proposal will almost certainly be rejected by Iran.

  223. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 3, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    You asking the wrong person.

    That was why Yugoslavia had to be destroyed.

  224. fyi says:

    All:

    Swedish FM on Iran sanctions – November 2009

    http://dazzlepod.com/cable/09STOCKHOLM738/

  225. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You linked an interesting story by Elad Benari: “Report: Obama blaming Israel for rising fuel prices”. Netanyahu may well be happy to see gasoline prices rise sufficiently high in the US to make Obama’s defeat in the fall elections more likely.

  226. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You did not answer my question. The Financial Times on March 7th reported that the P5+1 probably will insist that Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. This means Russia and China will insist.

  227. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    April 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Well done! You got to squirt ‘%20′ twice.

  228. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    How is China “injured” when a government is overthrown in the name of “democracy” (or whatever)? China apparently has not lost contracts in Libya due to the overthrow of Gaddafi.

  229. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Are you contending Russia and China should press for the elimination of sanctions, provided Iran stops enriching to 20 percent and ships its 20 percent U out of the country (and receives TRR fuel from the West)?

  230. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I posted a comment by Efraim Halevy that appeared in The Times of London recently, to the effect Iran is the problem because Iran supports Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas – - all of which want Israel removed from the map. This is the core lying done by so many “supporters” of Israel. And it helps explain why the ignorant and rather stupid American public apparently believe Iran already has nukes.

  231. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    April 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    “Apparently Russia and China want Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent. How do you think Russia and China should seek to accomplish this objective?”

    Assuming this is constructive question, as opposed to the usual squirting ’20%’ wherever and whenever, then:

    I think China and Russia should pressure the US/EU to suspend the sanctions.

  232. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What need is there for “strategic containment” of the Russian Federation? Are you referring to those Europeans who would like to see Ukraine admitted to the EU at some future time?

    The Russian Federation has a significant continuing internal challenge of maintaining its territorial integrity. Which is one reason the RF is senstive about Islamic insurgencies.

  233. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Apparently Russia and China want Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent. How do you think Russia and China should seek to accomplish this objective?

  234. fyi says:

    Humanist says: April 3, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Mr. Obama was the instigator of beating fo war drums.

  235. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: April 3, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Iranians are not pro-American.

    They just are not as anti-American as the rest of Muslims.

    The relationship between China, Iran, and US is a mutually reinforcing one; they need one another strategically.

    I do not see this changing until and unless the strategic posture of US vis a vis any (or all) of these states changes.

    I do not see that – US is pivoting unto the Far East and, at the same time, continues with her long-term strategic containment project of the Russia Federation.

    On the other hand, global power is rapidly devolving to other states – including Iran.

    Even under the best of conditions, US will reserve the right to try to overthrow the Islamic Iran at sometime in the future.

    In the meantime, negoguations with Iran can succeed if Americans want to.

  236. Humanist says:

    The following is a catchy Atlantic article about “The Challenge of Selling a War With Iran”. In it there are lots of interesting polls proving the successes of indoctrinating the American public against Iran.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/the-challenge-of-selling-a-war-with-iran/254780/

    In my view it is written by a cool-headed individual who doesn’t see the whole picture clearly yet he strongly rejects the mainstream propaganda.

    Quotes

    First, as Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has repeatedly reaffirmed since late January, “we don’t believe they’ve actually made the decision to go ahead with a nuclear weapon.” Just yesterday, James Risen reported in the New York Times that the IC continues to believe (based on an assessment first made in November 2007) that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei halted his country’s nuclear weapons activities in 2003.

    This might be hard for many to grasp, since polling has found the American people disagree with the collective judgment of the 210,000 civilian and military employees and 30,000 private contractors comprising the IC. A recent poll found that 84 percent of Americans think Iran is developing nuclear weapons, while another from February 2010 concluded that 71 percent of Americans believe that Iran currently has nuclear weapons.

    ……..

    To build up support for a preemptive attack, the U.S. president could play to the widely-held conviction that Tehran is nearing–or crossed–the nuclear threshold, but he will also need to explain why the intelligence professionals, on the receiving end of over $75 billion in taxpayer funds, are wrong.

    End of Quotes

    Since mid November 2011 (when the Israeli hype for war with Iran started) many articles published outside the US revealed the folly of such unjustifiable war. Now more frequently we hear the same echo coming from the Western MSM.

    Encouraging…. but is it instrumental enough to stop the war altogether?

  237. BiBiJon says:

    bettertobepickled says:
    April 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    “why do you think “this paper is a Chinese shot across the US bow that things should not go too far” as opposed to simply being an accurate analysis, by the Chinese, of the current situation?”

    One of the authors of the piece is Mr. Wang, who has an insider’s view of Chinese foreign policy from his positions on advisory boards of the Chinese Communist Party and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His contribution to this paper is not lamenting US’ dead-end policies. He is saying how China sees US behavior: directly or indirectly designed to thwart China’s progress. Given his position/access/influence I think he penned the piece to affect the trajectory of US-Chinese relations in an actual, rather than purely academic sense.

    Such “accurate analysis” is likely to be the harbinger of reflexive actions to counter what is being thusly analyzed. I guess the Chinese do not wish to expend their resources in a cold-war with the US. So, sounding a warning is the way to go, for now.

  238. Karl says:

    Bibijohn,
    Good comment by Ted Turner, honest and realistic.

  239. bettertobepickled says:

    BiBiJon, why do you think “this paper is a Chinese shot across the US bow that things should not go too far” as opposed to simply being an accurate analysis, by the Chinese, of the current situation?

  240. BiBiJon says:

    Talk about “BRICS countries and others ganging together to frustrate the next moves”
    =============================================================================

    Nobuo TANAKA, Global Associate for Energy Security and Sustainability at Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics, sent an email to Steve Clemons:

    “But situation can be worse [for Japan] because if Hormuz strait is blocked, Japan will lose 4 million bd rather than 300kbd of Iranian oil.”

    From http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/04/more-on-japan-energy-death-spiral-illusion-of-saudi-oil-option/255400/

  241. Kathleen says:

    Terri Gross interviewed Peter Beinart. Going to be on today
    “Should American Jews Boycott West Bank Settlements?”

    I don’t think Gross has ever interviewed a Palestinian or an individual who has been stating for decades that the ever expanding illegal settlements are the huge problem. Gross is the quintessential example of someone who promotes her “people.” Someone could create a graduate study program focused on who she interviews, which books and views she promotes. Bet Terri and Beinart’s interview also focuses on “bad bad Iran” Wondering if Terri repeated one of her endlessly repeated false mantras “Iran wants to wipe Israel off the map” during this interview. Will be interesting

  242. BiBiJon says:

    Some excerpts from Eric’s link:

    “China’s criticisms of, and resistance to, some of America’s international
    policies and actions toward the Korean Peninsula,
    Iran, Syria, and elsewhere reflect the suspicion that they are
    based on injustice and narrow U.S. self-interest that will directly
    or indirectly affect China’s interests.”

    “Beijing’s policy toward Iran is also facing a dilemma. On the
    one hand, China supports the principle of nonproliferation
    together with the United States and its European allies. On
    the other hand, the Chinese are concerned that Washington’s
    high-handed position toward Teheran is driven more by an
    American desire to change the political structure of Iran and
    the geopolitical picture in the Middle East than by its declared
    goal of keeping the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons.
    China is not ready to support more U.S. sanctions against Iran
    by cutting off its own trade relations with Teheran.”
    —————————————————-

    To my reading, this paper is a Chinese shot across the US bow that things should not go too far. The question that RSH often poses, “what are they going to do about it?” is a source of my worry: China (and Russia) will end up using Iran as the sharp tip of their sword against the US’ designs. I.e. a country who’s population bucks all regional trends in being ‘pro American’, will wind up as the repository of Chinese/Russian weapons and engaged in a war with US on others’ behalf. A worse outcome for both US and Iran, I cannot imagine.

  243. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2012/0330_china_lieberthal/0330_china_lieberthal.pdf

    This is an interesting Brookings Institution paper entitled “Addressing US/China Distrust.” It touches in several places on China’s relationship with Iran and, more generally, China’s assessment that the US’ policy of overthrowing unfriendly governments in the name of “democracy promotion” has less noble purposes than the US professes — notably from China’s point of view, an effort to weaken China.

    This paper was featured in a New York Times article yesterday. As usual, though, the reader will be better off going right to the source — the paper itself — rather than spending a great deal of time on the Times’ assessment of it.

  244. BiBiJon says:

    Rd. says:
    April 3, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Thanks for the response. Here is a follow up question.

    Assuming any “Strategic stance” has to be practicable. Is it possible that the US, juvenile or not, gets forced/nudged into strategic change?

    I am wondering what set of circumstances may be the catalyst for that change? Not succeeding in Iraq/Afghanistan/Pakistan; Arab/Muslim public opinion; BRICS countries and others ganging together to frustrate the next moves; economic lost opportunity; Risk of further failure and its adverse reputational costs; internal political divisions?

  245. nahid says:

    EI: “As a South African who has lived and suffered under apartheid and spent nearly thirty years of my adult life in its jails for resisting it, I can and do humbly claim to know something about the meaning of apartheid. You do not get to journey as far and as long as I have with the ANC and leaders such as Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela and not recognize apartheid when you see and experience it.”

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/south-africans-recall-their-own-history-during-israeli-apartheid-week/11097

  246. Rd. says:

    BiBiJon says:

    Will the US soften her stance? Or, hang tough, betting that Iranian’s pride will scupper any possible deal, and thereby give the nuclear file a longer shelf life?

    On paper, for US to change her stance, means strategic change, which would require real change in their thinking. Given the dysfunctional state of economy and politics in US, seems unlikely. The best may be a North Korea moment, when a moment of euphoria would be broadcast-ed (as in we beat them), and then the moment Iran continues in her independent path and not toe US line, then here they go again. Then back to square one.

    As Andrew Bacevich called it, It is the short American Century. The world just has to put up with the spoiled juvenile behavior of the neo-cons, hawkish republicans and democrats, till reality sets in.

  247. fyi says:

    bettertobepickled says: April 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    No, they won’t get significant financial support from EU states.

    Furthermore, the power to backup Turkey in the international arena by the NATO states has been significantly decreased.

    Just like the collapse of the Soviet Union, this has altered the geopolitical lanscape.

    It has elimintated options for Turkey and has forced her to expand her ties with Iran as well as Arabs.

    So Arabs give Turkey a few billion dollars of investment and the Turks obligingly make a few noises and some gestures against the Alawite State in Syria.

  248. BiBiJon says:

    Question for the board
    ======================

    What will the US do vis-a-vis:
    —————————–

    Turkish PM statement: “After such a statement from [Ali Khamenei], I cannot claim that Iran is building a nuclear weapon,”…“Does [Iran] not have the right to implement a nuclear program for peaceful means?”

    Russian FM statement: “The CIA and other US officials admit they now have no information about the Iranian leadership taking the political decision to produce nuclear weapons,” Lavrov told Kommersant FM radio. And, during a visit to Armenia: “of principal importance to maintain and boost the presence of IAEA inspectors and monitors in Iran.”
    “They currently work at all nuclear objects of Iran and have uncovered no illicit activities so far.”

    ————————————

    Will the US soften her stance? Or, hang tough, betting that Iranian’s pride will scupper any possible deal, and thereby give the nuclear file a longer shelf life?

  249. Karl says:

    Rehmat,

    Note the anti-democratic discourse in the statement by the ambassador. Whats business is it of the US, if Egypt want to reach out to Iran? Such statements clearly show US have no clue whats going on in the region.

  250. Rehmat says:

    Israel: ‘MB will steer Egypt toward Iran’

    Washington’s ambassador in Cairo, Ann Peterson, has warned the military junta of Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) warming-up relation with Tehran. The warning came after the military junta pardoned MB deputy secretary-general Kheyrat al-Shater who has announced to contest country’s upcoming presidential election as MB’s FJP candidate…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/israel-mb-will-steer-egypt-toward-iran/

  251. Sassan says:
    April 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

    “Iranian trucks with chemicals intercepted en route to Syria: http://www.timesofisrael.com/iranian-trucks-carrying-chemicals-intercepted-en-route-to-syria/

    Sassan,

    You rarely if ever follow up on a story you cite. This one might be a good opportunity. Here is what the Turkish foreign minister said about the contents of this truck:

    “According to Davutoglu, Iran claimed the trucks were carrying ingredients to make fertilizer for Syrian farmers, but the same components can be used to create various types of chemical weapons.”

    Why not find out whether that truck was eventually allowed to go on its way, Sassan? Let us know what you learn.

  252. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/02/don_t_fear_a_nuclear_arms_race

    Don’t Fear a Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East
    The conventional wisdom has it wrong: Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon won’t spur its neighbors to get the bomb.

    “Despite its flimsiness, it is hard to ignore the utility of the Middle East’s nuclear dominoes theory. For those who advocate a preventive military strike on Iran, it provides a sweeping geopolitical rationale for a dangerous operation. But the evidence doesn’t bear this argument out: If Washington decides it has no other option than an attack, it should do so because Iran is a threat in its own right, and not because it belives it will thwart inevitable proliferation in places like Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. It won’t, for the simple reason that there is no reason to believe these countries represent a proliferation risk in the first place.”

  253. BiBiJon says:

    Kaveh L. Afrasiabi:

    “Despite the US official rhetoric, the actual US policy toward Iran is inherenty wedded to preventing a resolution of the Iran nuclear crisis, one that is artificially inflated in order to serve the hegemonic interests of the US superpower and its key allies in the region and beyond.”

    http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51550

  254. k_w says:

    @Sassan: Thanks for reminding me of torture. I’m sure I won’t receice a reply:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qpg2CLT9Fno

    Warning: Graphic footage.

  255. hans says:

    bettertobepickled says:
    April 2, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Is it because the Turks have grasped the failure of the US European finance economy that they’ve sided with the US to bring down Asad?

    No the power of the FED to print dollars which is used by the Zionist as thier personal cash cow to destroy any economy it so desires.

    BTW it still holds no violent overthrow in Syria while Silver is consistently below $35

  256. Sineva says:

    Sassan says:
    April 3, 2012 at 12:30 am
    So what you`re saying is that dogs are treated better and have more rights than the native Palestinians,good to know that the Israelis and yourself have such concern for animal rights now if you and your zionazi friends could have some concern for human rights,but then of course you`re only interested in those when Irans involved otherwise its Guantanimo,abu gharab,bagram no human rights violations there just terrorists being interrogated nothing to see here move along please

  257. kooshy says:

    No date, place yet for Iran nuclear talks: Russia
    By AFP

    Published: April 3, 2012

    “MOSCOW: Russia said Monday that the date and place for talks with Iran on its controversial nuclear programme have not been set, despite a US announcement over the first such meeting in more than a year.”

    “The date and the place of the meeting have not been definitively set,” Sergei Ryabkov, deputy foreign minister, told the Interfax news agency.”

    http://tribune.com.pk/story/359102/no-date-place-yet-for-iran-nuclear-talks-russia/

  258. bettertobepickled says:

    I am referring to the rights of one’s citizens and residents. One’s PEOPLE. Not Muslims, who are all terrorists. Even when innocent, and proven innocent, they are terrorists.

    Muslims in America have all the same rights as other vermin in society, but not as many rights as dogs.

  259. Sassan says:

    I am referring to the rights of one’s citizens and residents. One’s PEOPLE. Not terrorists caught on the battlefield.

    Muslims in America have all the equal rights of others in society.

  260. bettertobepickled says:

    BiBiJon, I wouldn’t put much faith in this “see the growing gap between Israel and the US” kind of reporting. The facts on the ground are quite different. Bibi just claimed another 10% of the west bank, did you hear any US complaint?

    The differences between Israel and the US are for show. You are allowing yourself to be played when you buy into it.

  261. bettertobepickled says:

    If you are an American who organizes the torture of Muslims in Guantanamo or Bahgram or any number of other sites, you win a Presidential Medal of Freedom, as did George Tenant and Paul Bremer. It is the highest prize the US government can give to a civilian. If you organize the torture of even one dog, however, you may be cited for cruelty to animals. Therefore dogs have more rights than Muslims in the United States.

    To torture a Muslim is the greatest virtue, to torture a dog is sometimes a crime.

  262. Sassan says:

    If you torture a dog in a western country or even in Israel, it is a crime and you go to jail. If you torture a human being in Iran or other Islamic countries run by Shariah, it is common practice. Therefore dogs in the west and Israel have more rights than human beings in Iran under the Islamic Republic and other applicable Islamic countries.

  263. Sassan says:

    Afghans being tortured in Iran by Islamic Republic authorities for being in Iran. The Afghans are told to hit themselves on the head, perform sit-ups, and say aloud, “We will never come to Iran anymore.”:http://youtu.be/HGb_0Mo1B2s

  264. BiBiJon says:

    The Obama administration is blaming Israel for the recent rise in global crude oil prices, says its “posturing” on Iran brought the rise.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/154432#.T3pVMoEkiSo

  265. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The latest from Kaveh Afrasiabi.

    Iran still coy on Turkey’s overtures
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND03Ak02.html

  266. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Straining NATO on short Syrian leash
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND03Ak01.html

    NATO overrun its authorization in Libya and now tries to prevent investigations of war crimes it committed there.

  267. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US Mercenary “Took Part” in Gaddafi Killing; Sent to Assist Syrian opposition
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/blackwater-veteran-took-part-gaddafi-killing-asked-us-help-syrian-opposition

    Quote

    US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and Al-Akhbar.

    End Quote

  268. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Canning will love this piece…

    ‘Bovver-boy’ Hague Loves Putting The Boot Into Iran
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/03/23/bovver-boy-hague-loves-putting-the-boot-into-iran/

  269. Rehmat says:

    You got to love the cock-fighting among the Jewish Zionists and the Israel-Firsters. Last week two amusing events happened. First, American academic, author and former editor of Ziocon mouthpiece, The New Republic, Peter Alexander Beinart (b. 1971) was forced to cancel East Bay Area tour to promote his latest book ‘The Crisis of Zionism‘ by a vicious campaign lead by Jewish Federation board member Jonathan Wornick. The function was schedule to be held at the East Bay Jewish Community Center (EBJCC) in Berkeley. The event was to be moderated by Dr. Penny Rosenwasser. However, as a founding member of ‘Jewish Voice for Peace’, Israel lobby groups are very allergic to her. The EBJCC is mainly funded by Israel-Firster millionaire Tad Taube, owner of Koret Foundation.

    The Zionist Jonathan Wornick was so mad at Beinart’s slight criticism of the Zionist regime – that according to Jewish journalist Max Blumenthal, he vowed to kill Muslims……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/chutzpah-peter-beinart-hates-israel/

  270. Pirouz says:

    Interesting how Iraq’s position represented both Iraq and Iran at the so-called “friends” conference over Syria.

    Being as old as I am, I still can’t get over how OIF delivered Iraq over to the Iranian side, particularly in foreign policy matters. Even the Syrian issue serves to push Iraq over to Iran, among other recent developments.

    BTW, the renewed attention to site moderation and rules/regs appear to have paid off. Good job, Leveretts. Thanks.

  271. kooshy says:

    One needs to ad roughly $100 billion plus from oil and gas exports that makes total exports in last Iranian year to roughly 143 b minus total import of 61 billion balance of trade +70b which gets deposited in non-western banks, not bad, close to $1000 per head in national savings.

    with this numbers no wonder why almost half of the country took 13 day Norooz vacation, or some people who were complaining to me that their businesses were bad, but still were building 2 high rise residential apartment buildings were planning to go to London for Norooz vacation to be with their kids.

    Iran’s Non-Oil Exports Rose 28% to $43.7 Billion Last Year

    By Ladane Nasseri – Apr 2, 2012 7:07 AM PT

    “Iran’s exports excluding crude oil increased 28 percent from a year earlier to $43.7 billion in the Iranian year that ended March 19, Mehr reported, citing Abbas Mehmarnejad, head of Iran’s customs administration.

    Iran imported $61.8 billion of goods in the period, a drop of 4 percent from the year before, Mehmarnejad said, according to the state-run news agency.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-02/iran-s-non-oil-exports-rose-28-to-43-7-billion-last-year.html

  272. I was using FYI’s terms, wondering what he actually meant. What did Turkey understand? How did it effect their behavior?

  273. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    EU is world’s largest economy, and US is #2. These rankings will not change in coming years. Casino banking etc. obviously continues to cause problems.

  274. bettertobepickled says:

    Is it because the Turks have grasped the failure of the US European finance economy that they’ve sided with the US to bring down Asad?

  275. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    China’s leaders are very well aware that on a per capita basis, China is still nowhere near as rich as Japan, the EU, the US, etc. Some foolish American commentators think China needs somehow to be “held back”, but this is very foolish indeed.

  276. James Canning says:

    “Playing for time will only bring war closer”, by Efraim Halevy, in The Times (London) March 26th. According to Halevy, Iran in previous meetings with the p5+1 “wasted the time and effort of the other parties, playing for time, which they have used to pursue relentlessly their uranium enrichment and related programmes.”

    No mention, of course, of Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20 percent!

    Halevy also contends Iran “wants license to continue assisting the Assad regime, as well as Hamas and Hezbollah, which are attempting to remove Israel from the map of nations.” What a shameless liar! Halevy obviously knows Syria offered peace to Israel for decades.

  277. fyi says:

    kathleen says: April 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    That is true.

    War is about destruction, this US-EU economic war is no exception.

    Really, what helped Iran was the collapse of the US-EU Finance Economy.

    Very many international actors have not yet grasped that – Turks have.

    EU states are in a state of denial; Americans, on the other hand, pushed the cost of their geopolitcal agenda onto the rest of the world.

  278. kathleen says:

    Over at Foreign Policy
    Israeli official: Sanctions on Iran are ‘much more effective than people think’
    Posted By Colum Lynch Monday, April 2, 2012 – 1:01 PM

  279. BiBiJon says:

    Just another BRI[C] in the wall
    ============================

    “China views the United States as a declining power, but at the same time believes that Washington is trying to fight back to undermine, and even disrupt, the economic and military growth that point to China’s becoming the world’s most powerful country, according to the analyst, Wang Jisi, the co-author of “Addressing U.S.-China Strategic Distrust,” a monograph published this week by the Brookings Institution in Washington and the Institute for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University. ”

    From http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/03/world/asia/chinese-insider-offers-rare-glimpse-of-us-china-frictions.html?_r=1&hp#

    American actions will generate reactions, of course. China will soon be followed by others in taking US’ (mis)adventures in the world quite personally.

  280. kooshy says:

    Some wars are profitable to some people some of the times, but not all wars are profitable to all people all of the times (call this one kooshy’s declaration)
    Never less, as is it’s been our normal posture in this past thirty some years, notching up anxiety level of the targeted audience, via the western state’s propaganda media tools and consequently when a war is to become expected bring the audience’s expectations back down to earth will continue indefinitely.

    Why Israel is even less likely to strike Iran now

    By Dan Murphy, Staff writer / April 2, 2012

    “Mr. Bolton is wrong about the “unprecedented” part; the US has frequently acted to hem in close allies, like Britain or France, when it deemed their military activities a threat to its interests, as the Eisenhower administration did against the joint Israeli-French-British invasion of Egypt during the Suez Crisis in 1956.”

    “But he’s certainly right that the Obama administration is worried about the damage to US interests that could be done by a solo Israeli attack on Iran.”

    “Another leak

    The FP story is far from the first emanating from unnamed US officials that appear designed to push Israel farther away from war. On March 19, The New York Times reported that the US military had just finished a secret war game to test the repercussions of an Israeli attack, and concluded that the chances were high that the US would end up drawn into a broader regional war that would leave hundreds of Americans dead.

    “The results of the war game were particularly troubling to Gen. James N. Mattis, who commands all American forces in the Middle East, Persian Gulf and Southwest Asia, according to officials who either participated in the Central Command exercise or who were briefed on the results,” the Times wrote. “When the exercise had concluded earlier this month, according to the officials, General Mattis told aides that an Israeli first strike would be likely to have dire consequences across the region and for United States forces there.”

    The message was clear: The US is highly unlikely to support an Israeli strike.”

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Backchannels/2012/0402/Why-Israel-is-even-less-likely-to-strike-Iran-now

  281. Karl says:

    Check at 6:25
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s9pIi2qoNg&feature=player_embedded#!

    Whats wrong with these people saying all these lies?!

  282. James Canning says:

    “Shell supports Iran’s murderous mullahs; should we be supporting shell?”, by Raymond Learsy:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-j-learsy/shell-supports-irans-murd_b_1395901.html?ref=worldir=World

    Learsy is ardent proponent of sanctions against Iran.

  283. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    China imported 1.39 million barrels of Saudi oil per day in February while oil imports from Iran were down by half from December 2011 (due to pricing dispute). Thus the Saudis sold four times more oil to China than did Iran for that one month.

  284. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    I am aware of no discounts offered to China, by the Saudis. China of course tries to get discounts from Iran. And from Russia.

  285. kooshy says:

    Sassan says:
    April 2, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I can’t think why Samson and likeminded governments of US/Western/Israeli think that Iranians or bloggers of RFI will be moved or become emotional by news of Iran helping and assisting the legal government of Syria in her struggle with the western instigated domestic insurgencies. These people act and talk like it wasn’t just a few days ago when the supreme leader of Iran directly and face to face told the PM of the country (Turkey) that just hosted this recent friends (some call it enemas) of Syria conference that “Iran will defend Syria” how much more one country’s policy could be more upfront and direct.

    I seems due to lack of good options to counter Iran’s own declared policy, necessarily makes western propaganda agencies to ignore what Iran said it will do and redirect the propaganda for internal domestic use here in the west to convince their domestic audience why their efforts has so far failed. As Hack says “good luck with that” when is the time to vote.

  286. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Kooshy: From the Bill Moyers piece:

    “The so-called military-industrial complex has been bolstered by increased military spending, with hundreds of billions of dollars going to private companies. One company, Lockheed Martin, received $29 billion in Pentagon contracts in 2008 alone — more than the Environmental Protection Agency ($7.5 billion), the Department of Labor ($11.4 billion) or the Department of Transportation ($15.5 billion).”

    That’s what *I* call “profit”…(Of course, it wasn’t ALL ACTUAL “profit” in the accounting sense – but it’s money they got from the government which made its actual profits possible.)

  287. Sassan says:

    This is what the IRI has done to Iran…Iran was NOT like this during Shah’s time: http://youtu.be/e5JjXwBBAQQ

  288. Fiorangela says:

    fyi @ 9:53 am April 2 — re Ephraim Halevey article in Times of Israel —

    ““If I can project an image of a state which is just 6 million citizens strong but has played a role on the international stage devoted to protecting the values of society in their purest sense, then that is worthwhile.”

    more appropriate rephrase:

    ““If I can project an image of a state which is just 6 million citizens strong but has played a role on the international stage devoted to protecting the values of society in their purest sense, then that is worthwhile a masterwork of fiction.”

  289. BiBiJon says:

    A 2007 ‘laptop of death’: Predictor of the Saudi’s stance on “Syrian” rebels
    ========================================================================

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/22/world/middleeast/22fighters.html?ex=1353474000&en=0392b2b051e3b7ee&ei=5124&partner=digg&exprod=digg

  290. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy says: April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    how far we have come from how it was supposed to be

    <a href = "http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Onu&quot; University of Virginia History Professor Peter Onuf examines Thomas Jefferson's ideas on the US Constitution.

    Onuf explained that Jefferson, who was in France while James Madison drafted the US Constitution, argued with Madison that the key concept of the Declaration of Independence, that government rested on the consent of the governed, did NOT mean once and for all time. Jefferson abjured idolatry of the Constitution (and the Declaration of Independence); pegging personal liberties to a document written years ago deprived each successive generation of the right to decide on the way they wished to be governed.
    Jefferson’s thought experiment considered both temporal and spatial arrangements. In the temporal mode, he maintained that each successive generation should have the same rights as the generation before. It being impractical to re-draft a federal charter for every successive generation, he conceptualized government in a spatial arrangement, with most power coming from the smallest/bottom-most division of space — the family or individual, and gradually narrowing up through the community level to the city, county, state, region, federal government, with power lessening at each elevation.

  291. kooshy says:

    Some sobering numbers to consider on cost of war on terror, notice the number of wounded US military personel and military contractor is more than Afghans and Iraqi troops combined.

    The Real Costs of War
    Sunday, 01 April 2012 12:48
    By Bill Moyers
    http://truth-out.org/news/item/8238-the-real-costs-of-war

    The Dead

    6051 U.S. service members
    2,300 U.S. contractors
    9,922 Iraqi security forces
    8,756 Afghan security forces
    3,520 Pakistani security forces
    1,192 Other allied troops
    11,700 Afghan civilians
    125,000 Iraqi civilians
    35,600 Pakistanis (civilians and insurgents)
    10,000 Afghan insurgents
    10,000 Members of Saddam Hussein’s army
    168 Journalists
    266 Humanitarian workers

    Total: 224,475 lives lost

    The Wounded

    99,065 U.S. soldiers
    51,031 U.S. contractors
    29,766 Iraq security forces
    26,268 Afghan security forces
    12,332 Other allied troops
    17,544 Afghan civilians
    109,558 Iraqi civilians
    19,819 Pakistani civilians

    Total: 365,383 wounded

  292. Jay says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    TovioS,

    I agree with you that the presentation of the analysis is simplistic – however, it is necessarily so.

    The notion of profit in the sense of “money” is misleading. For example, money that is made once – even a large sum – is not as useful as influence that can make “future money” over a long period of time. Moreover, there is a “network effect” – competing interests in networks (or groups) redefine the notion of profit. For example, alienating some of your “group” members may cost you future opportunities.

    The subject matter is jargon heavy and mathematically demanding – at least for me. My intent was not to engage in a “nuts and bolts” discussion. Rather I was relaying the information that several groups familiar with the dynamics and variables are now suggesting a definitive change – that war is off for now at least directly with Iran. I hope these suggestions are right – for the sake of humanity!

  293. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jay: “There are fundamental obstacles to continuing a conversation with you at this point.”

    Like being able to point to one single legitimate simulation – or anything else for that matter – which supports your arguments.

    I get it.

  294. kooshy says:

    A Fun article rightly poking at the Jewish Tom boy of NYT

    Thomas Friedman’s “Festival of Lies”

    By Lawrence Davidson

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30956.htm

  295. ToivoS says:

    Jay I just spent some time reading your exchange with Hack. I tend to agree with you to the extent that it seems most likely that the US will avoid war with Iran. Our administration, intelligence and military have communicated to the world that this would be a very bad idea and they will not support it. The fact that Israel announced a few days ago that they have extended their time table for an attack until 2013 indicates that they have gotten the message and are not going to try to start a war as they were threatening just last month.

    However your use of “profit” seems overly reductionist for such a complicated process. The MIC, who will make the decision, is a complex of the military, industrial, administrative (including state and intelligence bureaucracies) and political. Only the industrial measures their success in “profit” as that term is normally understood. The others are struggling to attain high levels of influence in a process where the loss of money is a very low priority. This kind of “influence” cannot be quantitated. Therefore it seems to me it is misleading to call it “profit” which implies a definable quantity

    But in any case, however you got there, I agree that war with Iran is much less likely today then it was a few months ago. This is not to say the current situation is not extremely dangerous and some unexpected circumstance might not set off the powder keg.

  296. Fiorangela says:

    Rahmat at 8:27 pm –

    well well well.
    Israel has it’s own budding Anthony Lawson — http://eranvered.com/blog/?tag=video-saar-szekely-talking-about-the-occupation

  297. Arnold Evans says:

    The US is now presenting the Muslim Brotherhood candidate as the pro-US choice. We’ll see what policies he campaigns on and what terms are written into the constitution.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/02/world/middleeast/attacking-the-west-islamist-gains-in-egypt-presidential-bid.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

    On Sunday, speaking on condition of standard diplomatic anonymity, State Department officials said they were untroubled and even optimistic about the Brotherhood’s reversal of its pledge not to seek the presidency. The Brotherhood’s candidate, Khairat el-Shater, a millionaire businessman considered the most formative influence on the group’s policies, is well known to both American diplomats and their contacts in the Egyptian military. Though in and out of prison, he was the Brotherhood’s main point of contact with Mr. Mubarak’s security services and is now its main conduit for talks with the council of generals who took power at his ouster.

    Mr. Shater has met with almost all the senior State Department officials and American lawmakers visiting Cairo. He is in regular contact with the American ambassador, Anne Patterson, as well as the executives of many American companies here, and United States officials have praised his moderation as well as his intelligence and effectiveness.

  298. kooshy says:

    Britain set for sweeping Internet, phone monitoring
    Reuters UK – ‎1 hour ago‎

    By Stephen Mangan | LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is to allow one of its intelligence agencies to monitor all phone calls, texts, emails and online activities in the country to help tackle crime and militant attacks, the Interior Ministry said on Sunday.

    Not too good news for our own jolly Gave- I bet by now there are more freedom of communication (forget the expression) for our Gav in Tombouctou than the banana kingdom (of not great any more) Britain or any other western (make that anywhere) client states of the US.
    Gav- if I were you I would be more careful on what I post on RFI, seriously her majesty has her eyes and ears on you, please watch out.

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/01/uk-britain-monitoring-idUKBRE8300KL20120401

    I would like to know back in turn of the century (millennia bug days) who expected that the imagined, for fifty years vastly advertised, western “democratic” system be completely gone by 2012 and no one be dared to question it.

    Gav- The way we are going in few years I expect to see repeat of some seen that we had seen in some horrifying WWII Nazi movies passing borders and taking trains and security on info. systems.

    I expected this but not in 2000 but after 911 when Mr. Bush addressed the fire fighters in ground zero, I thought we will get here where we are now and I can see where we are heading.

  299. Rehmat says:

    Karl – 120 NAM members of the United Nations had asked the Zionist entity to prove it doesn’t have nuclear bombs in 2011.

  300. Rehmat says:

    Anthony Lawson, the international prize-winning commercial director, cameraman, writer and author has just released a video, entitled, ‘Iran Bashing: Terrorism and Who Chose The Chosen People’ – exposing how the war-monger US-Israeli leaders are repeating US-Iraq War lies to push Americans for a new bloody war with the Islamic Republic for the dominance of Israel in the Muslim world. A must watch video below…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/iran-bashing-g-d-chose-us-to-do-that/

  301. bettertobepickled says:

    James, is SA offering discounts to China to buy non-Iranian oil?

  302. Jay says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    April 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    RSH,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond. There are fundamental obstacles to continuing a conversation with you at this point.

    I make it a point not to be derisive to people that are engaged in a genuine conversation with me. And, when I recognize that I may be in their domain of expertise, I tend to give them some leeway until I can rationally infer otherwise. Emotions have a way of running away with our logic – marrying them in a humble way keeps them both at our service.

    Good luck to you.

  303. Arnold Evans says:

    About the polls and the Muslim Brotherhood running in the election:

    Egypt’s military, as far as I can see, does not have good leverage over who the next president will be or over the constitution writing process. I’m waiting to see what trick the US has up its sleeve to try to salvage its current colonial relationship, but I’ll be surprised whatever it is. If things continue as they are, a new government will be in Egypt this time next year that is not consistent with the US’ agenda for the region.

  304. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    the Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 27th this year that China’s oil imports from Iran in 2011 were up 30% from 2010, os even if they stay level they are fairly high. More than 500,000 barrels per day.

  305. James Canning says:

    picled,

    The Financial Times has had several pieces recently that said SA would be source of increases in China’s oil imports from the Gulf. China will be largest buyer of oil from Saudi Arabia this year.

  306. James Canning says:

    All terrorists are Muslims”, is the contention of Sheldon Adelson, the gambling billionaire who gave (with wife) $17 million to Newt Gingrich. Adelson is good freind of Bibi Netanyahu. Glenn Greenwald has the video at salon.com today.

  307. bettertobepickled says:

    James, can you verify that? Rumour? Report? What?

  308. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    china rejects the unilateral sanctions against Iran’s oil exports, but it appears future increases in China’s buying of oil in the Fulf will come from Saudi Arabia.

  309. James Canning says:

    Humanist,

    I agree with you that Netanyahu would prefer the P5+1 talks with Iran this month to fail.

  310. Humanist says:

    Hilary Clinton says “Time is running out for Diplomacy with Iran”:

    http://news.antiwar.com/2012/03/31/clinton-time-running-out-for-diplomacy-with-iran/

    and says talk with Iran is NOT open-ended:.

    ,http://www.660news.com/news/world/article/346813–in-shift-away-from-diplomacy-international-coalition-plans-to-fund-syrian-opposition-groups

    How could diplomacy work if the meetings are limited to just one session?

    By above restrictions Hilary Clinton is poisoning the atmosphere of talks. Why?

    Reminds of us of Bush years when unacceptable preconditions were set to avoid any kind of talk or Israel was saying something like “…there must time-restrictions on talk, no talk after November” or in sarcastic way “Israel does not oppose diplomacy with Iran provided at the end it fails”

    Netanyahu before his last visit to US said something like”we oppose negotiations with Iran. How can you negotiate with skilled bazaaris…you always end up losing”. What an amazing logic that presumes Americans are stupid.

    Mid April P5+1 talks? A simple time-graph based on facts proves, before any scheduled talks in the past there were always assassinations or explosions in Iran. Who is the target of assassination this time or which research facility in Iran is going to get annihilated?

  311. Karl says:

    Bibijohn,
    That doesnt bode well for a new US-puppet regime in Egypt. While at the same time Egypt and US wont cut any ties. Still US even thinking of a new war in this region, they wont have any friends left.

  312. Richard Steven Hack says:

    FOREIGN TROOPS INSIDE SYRIA: The Failed UN Brokered “Peace Plan” Sets the Stage for War?
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30031

    Quotes

    The Elites Forces UK website acknowledges that:

    “British Special forces have met up with members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)… The apparent goal of this initial contact was to establish the rebel forces’ strength and to pave the way for any future training operations. … More recent reports have stated that British and French Special Forces have been actively training members of the FSA, from a base in Turkey. Some reports indicate that training is also taking place in locations in Libya and Northern Lebanon. British MI6 operatives and UKSF (SAS/SBS) personnel have reportedly been training the rebels in urban warfare as well as supplying them with arms and equipment. US CIA operatives and special forces are believed to be providing communications assistance to the rebels.” Elite Forces UK, January 5, 2012

    Mercenaries from Arab countries are operating within highly trained terrorist brigades, financed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar. In this regard, Israeli intelligence sources (August 2011) point to the direct involvement of NATO in the recruitment of jihadist “Muslim Volunteers”, in coordination with the Turkish military:

    “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (,http://www.debka.com/article/21255/ Debkafile, August 31, 2011 emphasis added)

    In Homs, the Al Qaeda Faruq Brigade which includes mercenaries from Libya and Iraq have been involved in terrorizing the civilian population. They “have succeeded in expelling most of the Christians in Homs and have seized their homes by force”. “Snipers were stationed in the street … preventing people from leaving their homes for two months, targeting passers-by and cars and anything that moved in the streets, adding that the terrorists also robbed houses, committed massacres, murders and kidnapping.”

    End Quotes

  313. Richard Steven Hack says:

    China rejects Obama’s Iran oil import sanctions
    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-03/D9TRD5T80.htm

    Duh…

  314. Richard Steven Hack says:

    At Summit, Nations Move to Increase Aid for Syrian Rebels
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/02/world/middleeast/us-and-other-countries-move-to-increase-assistance-to-syrian-rebels.html

    Well, that was faster than even I expected!

    From “no foreign intervention” in Syria, the West has now jumped to:

    1) “Arab nations pledging $100 million to pay opposition fighters”

    2) “the Obama administration agreeing to send communications equipment to help rebels organize and evade Syria’s military”

    3) “Mrs. Clinton announced an additional $12 million in humanitarian assistance for international organizations aiding the Syrians, bringing the American total so far to $25 million.”

    4) “And according to the Syrian National Council, the American assistance will include night-vision goggles.”

    ““We are discussing with our international partners how best to expand this support,” Mrs. Clinton said.”

    Which is code for “we will send them weapons next.”

    Erdogan: “If the Security Council hesitates, there will be no option left except to support the legitimate right of the Syrian people to defend themselves.”

    And that obviously means foreign military intervention…

    This is just the current state of affairs. I expect within a couple months at most that the West will begin overtly arming the insurgents and supporting them openly with military advisers (currently being done covertly) and other military means.

    After a suitable period of time passes to prove that the insurgents are unable to overthrow Assad on their own, we will see direct military intervention consisting of an air campaign on the Syrian military.

    The progression here is so obvious it can not be denied. There is no possible resolution of the situation without foreign military intervention and there can be no doubt that the purpose is to weaken Syria militarily sufficiently to render it an ineffective actor in an Iran war and to enable Israel to attack Hizballah in Lebanon.

  315. nahid says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 1, 2012 at 2:14 pm
    Thanks my dear lady that touched deep I appreciate , thanks :))

  316. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Bettertobepickled: “US ‘offered Israel new arms to delay Iran attack’”

    This is the opposite of what Dick Cheney did in 2006 or so. He offered Israel another thirty billion in foreign aid (over ten years) to convince them to attack Iran. But Israel still balked because of the Hizballah problem and Israel’s desire not to be blamed for starting another Iran war.

  317. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jay: “I think you need to familiarize yourself with the economics of “Iron triangle” model in order to understand why simulations are done and how their results are interpreted.”

    I looked that up. A general political theory. So what? It basically describes the situation I’ve described – where people with power manipulate everything else.

    “In the cases of both Iraq and Afghanistan the military equations was well-known but was not the determining factor. The determining factor was the “profit”.”

    Yes.

    “a) profit is always there – the MIC is profiting right now. There is also a positive rate of profit.”

    Correct.

    “b) the driving force is the rate of profit, the potential for increase, and minimizing lost opportunity cost”

    Correct.

    “c) risks are evaluated to measure the potential for higher profit rate amortized over a finite time”

    Correct.

    “Here, one of the risky variables (an aggregated variable) is variable capital – it is a key determinant of the rate of profit. In its simplest form it appears in Marx’s analysis but has since been significantly enhanced. The current barrier to war profiteers at the present is the majority of “economic” models show a “negative” rate for “profits” in case of a war – partly due to large uncertainties in energy costs.”

    PROFITS TO WHOM? You’re saying that the models are specifically designed to show the rate of profit for the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, etc.

    I doubt that very much. Those models are intended to describe the overall economy – NOT the people BEHIND that economy.

    Prove me wrong. Cite a model. Provide a link to one which actually describes in real figures about real people – not just some simulation of real people.

    “The rest — casus belli – human costs — all the rest is manageable.”

    Correct.

    You see, your problem is you don’t understand computer simulation. You’re like the clown who did the Club of Rome simulations back in the ’70′s – which proved to be utterly wrong about just about everything. Those simulations were ripped apart by computer scientists who knew the limitations of computer modeling.

    While the models and the computers they run on may have gotten much better over the decades since then, the flaws in them remain the same. They don’t model REAL PEOPLE.

    And the proof is the behavior of those real people over the last couple decades.

    Fail.

  318. Karl says:

    Classic George Galloway putting a ignorant warmonger in place.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtw5Zy2M6rk

  319. bettertobepickled says:

    James, if you are being paid by a foreign government to fight your own, you are a mercenary.

    And what percentage of the mercenaries are actually Syrian? Not that it much matters…

    The point is that the Gulf States, led by Saudi Arabia, and the West, with the connivance of Israel, the US, France and the UK, are pursuing a policy of changing a government not their own through the prolonged actions and effects of a mercenary army.

  320. bettertobepickled says:

    James, it “arose directly from”, or some people used the excuse, saying “it rose directly from”?

  321. James Canning says:

    Pickled,

    Are Syrian army defectors “mercenaries”? Rebels, surely, but mercenaries?

  322. James Canning says:

    RussiaToday has brief piece on Erdogan’s warning of disastrous consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran, and slamming the West for not pressuring Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  323. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The latest sanctions against Iran arose directly from the very open announcment by Iran last June that Iran would treble the production of 20% U. This obviously was a blunder by Iran because there was ZERO need to treble production.

  324. bettertobepickled says:

    The west and the gulf states are now, quite openly, using mercenaries to overthrow the Syrian government. No longer any pretense.

    Syria this year, prior to the US election if possible, to be spun as the march of US supported “regime changes”. Iran next year, as per the agreement with Israel.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17578248

    “Rebels fighting the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria will be paid salaries, the opposition Syrian National Council has announced.

    Money will also be given to soldiers who defect from the government’s army, the SNC added, after a “Friends of the Syrian people” summit in Turkey.

    Conference delegates said wealthy Gulf Arab states would supply millions of dollars a month for the SNC fund.

    The meeting recognised the SNC as the “legitimate representative” of Syrians.

    Damascus dubbed the gathering of some 70 Western and Arab foreign ministers in Istanbul as the “enemies of Syria”, and key players remained absent, including Russia, China and Iran.”

  325. Fiorangela says:

    April 1, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    from An Article by the late Dr. Ali Shariati on Norooz – (continued)

    “Norooz is the reminiscing of a big memory; the memory of the solidarity of man with nature. Norooz is a reason for the survival of the Iranians since it is itself the beginning of life. It conveys the joy and the secret of living to the humans with its coming.

    Norooz means a new day, a new day means the experience of a new life and this life, for the Iranian people is the day of growth and of flourishing.

    Norooz has been experienced not only under pleasant but also under most unpleasant conditions by our people. At the time when Alexander was setting the Persepolis afire and Genghis and Tamerlane were putting the people of Khorassan to their swords, and during the entire pages of this nation’s history, Norooz was besides and for us as an undeniable institution to be cherished. And even at the time when the agents of the caliphs were hanging Hassan Jouri and his followers, people were celebrating Norooz with all their existence in the ruddy firetemples and on top of the mosques’ minarahs.

    Norooz, both in the distant and near past, has been a celebration of a commendable nature. It is not a celebration of oblivion and of unawareness. It is a firm expression of existence and survival. It is a demonstration of endurance and the connection of the past to the present and their continuity.

    Norooz has been always dear in the eyes of the Iranians; in the eyes of the high priests of the Zoroastrians, in the eyes of the Muslims, in the eyes of the Shiahs and in the eyes of all those who regard this institution as their own. What makes it even more dear is that the selection of Imam Ali (peace be upon him) as the first Imam of the Shiahs was done during Norooz.

    Norooz is the first day of creation. It is the day in which Ahouramazda began to create the world. It is for this reason that the first day of the Persian month of Farvardin (March 21) has been called “Hourmazd”. What a beautiful legend, more beautiful than reality! That day — the first day of the first month of the first season (spring) of the year — has been the day of growing of the grass and of the blossoming both of the plants and the humans.

    Let’s set alight anew the Ahura fire on this day and demonstrate the existence of history with that of our own. By participating in Norooz festivities we display our existence as a nation in the storm of times and of changes.”

    End Quote

    مبارک نوروز

  326. Fiorangela says:

    from An Article by the late Dr. Ali Shariati on Norooz –

    Quote:

    Norooz, the celebration of the first day of the Persian year, which has been taking pride in itself over all other festivities, is not an artificial social contract nor is it an imposed political one. It is the jubilation of a nation and also that of the earth, the sky and the sun. It is the “Beginning” day.

    Norooz awakens the people simultaneously with the awakening of nature. People come out of their homes in the course of this memorable festivity and relinquish themselves in the nature’s lap and in its fragrant environment. Once more they begin to feel life with all of their existence alongside the tender spring rain, the sweet-smelling pennyroyal and the refreshing smell of the soil and the new blooms.

  327. Karl says:

    U.S. calls on Iran to prove its nuclear program not intended for military means

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/u-s-calls-on-iran-to-prove-its-nuclear-program-not-intended-for-military-means-1.421986

    Dumb clinton dont even realize that such a statement made by her really says that US have not a single proof that Iran is working on nukes. While her administration keep saying, sanctioning Iran for the alleged secret program. Now we called her bluff and her propaganda.

  328. Karl says:

    PG missile shield plan will fuel regional tension: Iran MP
    http://presstv.com/detail/234119.html

  329. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Yes, some “pro-Israel” people use Islamophobia as a device, but is “Islamophobia” “racist”? There is no necessary connection between religion and race, in context of Islam or Christianity (or Judaism, for that matter).

  330. James Canning says:

    Goli,

    Syria has offered peace to Israel for decades. Israel wants to keep the water from the Golan that flows into the Sea of Galilee. And Israel wants to keep the entire sea or lake.

    Point is simply that Israel could have peace but refused to take it. And Iran made clear Syria was free to make a deal with Israel. This latter point is crucially important because many of the liars who seek great injury for Iran claim falsely that Iran prevents Israel from achieving peace with its neighbors and with the Palestinians.

  331. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    If March Lynch were to give an honest answer to that caller’s comments and question, would he be out of a job? The truth of the matter is simply that American national political campaigns are to a signficant extent financed by Jews.

  332. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Khamenei’s rejection of nukes and other WMD indeed is an obvious bridge for resolving the nuclear dispute. Sadly, the ISRAEL LOBBY does not want the US to have normal relations with Iran because the ISRAEL LOBBY needs to protect and in effect promote Bibi Netnayhau’s ethnic cleansing programme in the West Bank.

  333. Jay says:

    bettertobepickled says:
    March 31, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Clearly I am in agreement!

    It is this same calculation that is holding the war lovers back – legal, moral, and humanitarian considerations are “indirect” variables; they enter the formula only if they impact the profit equation.

  334. Fiorangela says:

    tune in to this C Span Washington Journal segment, Marc Lynch discussing Syria, and at least two callers confronting him with what American people are beginning to understand

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/JMarc

    At ~25 minutes a caller says a person of his acquaintance went to the US State Department and observed that an Israeli was in charge at every desk related to Middle East policy. The caller expressed the view that US policy offices are under Israeli occupation.

    Lynch responded that — “Israel is an ally to the US; we have a special relationship based on shared values etc etc etc.”

    Humpty Dumpty — is it possible to crack an egg just a little bit?

  335. Photi says:

    Karl says:
    April 1, 2012 at 7:49 am
    “why cant clinton ask Iran itself than using in this case erdogan to gain information from Iran? or doesnt she get money from the lobby by direct engagment with Iran? Pathetic.”

    Karl,

    Perhaps Clinton and Company think they ‘reward’ dignitaries with their presence.

    Talking is so uncouth. Secretary level diplomats have more important things to symbolize, like sticks.

  336. Rehmat says:

    Thanks to Pakistani majority in Bradford West – George Galloway, Britain’s most loathed and loved politicians returns to the House of Commons. The founder of Respect Party, took the Bradford West seat with a majority of more than 10,000 votes, beating Labour councillor Imran Hussain in one of the most Muslim – and Labour – constituencies in the country.

    The British powerful pro-Israel Jewish lobby groups threw George Galloway out of his Labour Party and British politics for criticizing British and Israeli policies in the Muslim world. He voted against Tony Blair’s war on Iraq in 2003. As a result, the Zionist controlled mainstream media ran a smear campaign against Galloway – accusing him receiving money from Saddam Hussein which his accusers failed to prove in a court of law.

    George Galloway’s stunning victory is good news for Labour Party’s London Mayrol candidate Ken Livingstone, occupied Palestine, Hizbullah, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan. Galloway’s support for Hizbullah had angered Israel-Firsters in the West so much that he was banned to enter Canada for a lecture tour by Stephen Harper’s Zionist-controlled government – for supporting Hizbullah and Hamas.

    George Galloway was the driving force behind the Viva Palestina convoy of 550 people from 17 different countries – which carried civilian aid to 1.5 million Gaza citizen under Israeli seige for voting Islamic Resistance Hamas into power. However, Egyptian police deported Galloway under orders from western poodle Hosny Mubbarak.

    George Galloway has also worked with Iranian Press TV which was banned by David Cameron’s pro-Israel government in January 2012.

    Galloway is a practicing Roman Catholic but doesn’t drink alcohol. Due to some of his personal ‘anti-modern habits’ and his support for anti-Israel resistance groups – some Zionist think tanks have called Galloway “Islamist backed” candidate.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/galloways-victory-a-slap-on-israel-lobbys-face/

  337. BiBiJon says:

    Karl,

    From the article you linked:

    “Erdogan has built close economic ties with Iran and has tried to act as a go-between on the disputed nuclear program, breaking ranks with world powers in 2010 by attempting to find a separate settlement with Tehran.”

    ————— Breaking ranks? ————-
    rejecting US criticism, both Brazilian and Turkish officials said they took Obama’s letter as a guide during the negotiations with Iran.
    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-211443-brazil-reveals-obama-letter-in-spat-over-iran-nuclear-deal.html
    ————————————————

    “And Erdogan’s comments upon returning from Tehran suggested further distancing from U.S. and European positions, repeating the verdict of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei that weapons of mass destruction violate Islamic law.

    “After such a statement from such a person, I cannot claim that Iran is building a nuclear weapon,” the Turkish leader said. “Does it not have the right to implement a nuclear program for peaceful means?”"

    ——————-Further distancing?——————————-

    On any other planet, Khamenei’s remark is a bridge; it would serve as the basis for a negotiated solution. I.e. We don’t want you to have nukes; you say you don’t want nukes; all that is left is negotiating a mutually acceptable mechanism for verification.

  338. Karl says:

    why cant clinton ask Iran itself than using in this case erdogan to gain information from Iran? or doesnt she get money from the lobby by direct engagment with Iran? Pathetic.

    Clinton gets Iran update from Turkish leader
    http://news.yahoo.com/clinton-gets-iran-turkish-leader-110630046.html

  339. Sassan says:

    *I urge for all those who have some time to please watch this remarkable investigative journalism which I uploaded myself.. It is based on the tragic end of the life of 16-year old Atefah Sahaaleh whom was executed by the hooligans of the Islamic Republic when in fact she was the sexual abuse victim of a 50-year old pervert ex-Revolutionary Guards thug. The reporters in this film were able to sneak into the town where she was from and speak with her Father & family who risked their own lives to even speak to the undercover reporters. Truly telling of these hooligans…: http://vimeo.com/39467444

  340. Karl says:

    Pirouz,

    Code Pink deserves cred, one of the most active anti-war movements.

  341. son of iran says:

    just finished reading sassans moronic comments. where does this guy get off talking about how the wast majority of Iranians are friends of Israel and support them. this sell out closet Zionist is living in a dream world. hey sassan do us all a favor and keep your trap shut!!

  342. Goli says:

    James Canning says:

    “Israel very nearly achieved peace with Syria in 2008, and at that time Khamenei made clear Iran would accept such a deal.”

    Achieving peace with Israel is an illusion. In 2008, there was much talk about talks mediated by Turkey. Olmert quit, Israel engaged in its usual delaying tactics for a few months and then attacked Gaza, knowing full well Syria can’t continue the so-called talks with Gaza under attack. So no, Israel did not nearly achieve peace with Syria in 2008 and did not intend to do so. Some 80% of the Israelis do not want any compromise on the status of the Golan.

  343. Rehmat says:

    Pro-Israel Neonazis to hold anti-Islam rally in Denmark

    Australian Jewish journalist, Antony Loewenstein, in an article in October 2011 said that Europe’s most successful racist politicians realized long ago that backing Israel was a clever way to hide their racism…….

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/pro-israel-neonazis-to-hold-anti-islam-rally-in-denmark/

  344. Jay, your comments on the rate of profit are relevant.

    The 2008 (and current) financial (banking) crises in America was/is primarily caused by the financial sector using crime to maintain its rate of profit in a much weakened economy (the US). If the US hadn’t comitted to making good the instruments of that crime, the situation in Europe would now be different, but the US chose to accept criminal activity as a legitimate way to maintain the financial sector’s heightened rate of return.

  345. http://news.yahoo.com/us-offered-israel-arms-delay-iran-attack-005157280.html

    US ‘offered Israel new arms to delay Iran attack’

    This was published March 8, almost a month ago, but seems to accurately reflect the current situation. The US gives Israel the munitions it needs to start the war, in exchange for initiating it in 2013. That gives the US time – post elections – to finalize preparations with the public and the Pentagon, and to continue to weaken Syria prior to the attack.

    “The United States offered Israel advanced weaponry in return for it committing not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities this year, Israeli daily Maariv reported on Thursday.

    Citing unnamed Western diplomats and intelligence sources, the report said that during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week, the US administration offered to supply Israel with advanced bunker-busting bombs and long-range refuelling planes.

    In return, Israel would agree to put off a possible attack on Iran till 2013, after the US elections in November.

    Israel and much of the international community fear Iran’s nuclear programme masks a weapons drive, a charge Tehran denies, and it was top of the agenda at talks between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama in Washington this week.

    The United States and Israel are at odds over just how immediate the Iranian threat is. Netanyahu said on Monday that sanctions against Iran have not worked, and “none of us can afford to wait much longer.”

  346. Jay says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 31, 2012 at 6:13 pm

    RSH,

    Thanks again for your responses. I understand your thesis better now.

    You ask some good questions. I think you need to familiarize yourself with the economics of “Iron triangle” model in order to understand why simulations are done and how their results are interpreted.

    In the cases of both Iraq and Afghanistan the military equations was well-known but was not the determining factor. The determining factor was the “profit”.

    Part of the reason for your feeling of “smoke and mirror” may stem from an incomplete understanding of what is considered “profit”. This is not the time and the place to do full justice to the subject, but here are some key thoughts for your consideration.

    a) profit is always there – the MIC is profiting right now. There is also a positive rate of profit.
    b) the driving force is the rate of profit, the potential for increase, and minimizing lost opportunity cost
    c) risks are evaluated to measure the potential for higher profit rate amortized over a finite time

    Here, one of the risky variables (an aggregated variable) is variable capital – it is a key determinant of the rate of profit. In its simplest form it appears in Marx’s analysis but has since been significantly enhanced. The current barrier to war profiteers at the present is the majority of “economic” models show a “negative” rate for “profits” in case of a war – partly due to large uncertainties in energy costs. The rest — casus belli – human costs — all the rest is manageable.

  347. James Canning says:

    “Scrutinizing the Threat from Iran”, by Lauren Feeney:

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8225-scrutinizing-the-threat-from-iran

    Feeney interviews one of the reporters (from Knight-Ridder) who doubted the Bush administration’s case for invading Iraq.

  348. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Sadly, Rudy Giuliani is an ardent stooge of Israel and therefor favors US support for terrorists operating in Iran, such as the MEK.

  349. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The CIA in effect blocked the neocons from attacking Iran in 2006 and later. Lack of a US strategy was not the reason the US did not attack.

  350. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Your contention that “oil companies” are trying to force Obama to attack Iran makes little sense.

    “Oil companies” did not set up the illegal invasion of Iraq. Nor did they cause Obama to treble the US military presence in Afghanistan.

  351. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jay: OK, here is your post from March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm.

    “I appreciate the “intuition” that drives your thoughts”

    There is nothing “intuitive” about it.

    “1. The US does not face a financial constraint in fighting an additional wars with Iran – either because as you say it is not relevant to the elite, or because it is not a resource problem.”

    The former, not the latter. Clearly the economy is in dire straits. However, the US can continue to extract increased taxes from the electorate for some time to come before there is some sort of “tax revolt” or any voting out of incumbents and voting in any new people with a lower taxes agenda.

    In sum, money is not the issue. Even on the US military budget it has, which is something like forty percent of WORLD military spending, the US has plenty of money with which to start “small” wars.

    The US financed the Afghanistan and Iraq wars on foreign investment money over an above the Pentagon budget. But as someone pointed out on another site, given the massive US debt approaching 20 trillion dollars, a hundred billion or more is chicken feed.

    The important thing is where the money comes from and who gets it. As long as it’s the people in the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, and the people who finance them, they couldn’t care less about anything or anyone else.

    “2. The US does not face military limitations in fighting another war with Iran – either because reserve US military resources still have capacity, and/or significant superiority in any given war fighting scenario.”

    Correct. Once Afghanistan has wound down, the situation will be basically most of the US military will be at odds. This is bad news for the military-industrial complex whose profits depend on the military burning up supplies and equipment at an accelerated rate. Afghanistan and Iraq have done wonders for the MIC and they don’t want to see those profits drop back down to pre-war levels.

    “3. The US and particularly Mr. Obama are unable to restrain Israel from attacking Iran (“Just because Mr. Obama may not want war…””

    Indeed. Netanyahu is quite capable of attacking Iran on his own, and it is clear from Israel’s efforts at practicing these attacks and seeking easier ways to launch such attacks such as from Azerbaijan that Israel is SERIOUS about wanting to attack Iran. It’s not a “bluff” or just an attempt to get the US to impose sanctions in order to achieve “regime change”.

    Israel doesn’t want “regime change” in Iran – unless it somehow turns into a US or Israeli client state, which is next to impossible and Israel knows it – it wants Iran destroyed or seriously weakened so it is no longer an effective actor in the region.

    However, I believe it has been clear for some years now that Israel would prefer NOT to be the one to START the war. Israel has become slightly more sensitive about its international relations and its increasing pariah status among the rest of the world due to its overly aggressive behavior.

    Netanyahu also domestic political concerns – he does not want to subject the Israeli electorate to undue “inconvenience” which ends up getting the Likud Party kicked out of power. He noted what happened when Israel failed to defeat Hizballah in 2006. An Iran war is likely to be much worse.

    Also, Israel would prefer the expense of war be borne by the much more powerful and rich US.

    For these reasons, and likely more, Israel would prefer the US take point on a war with Iran. Israel will only consider starting the war if it is convinced the US will NOT do so for ANY reason short of Iran attacking US assets in the region (which Iran will never do, of course.)

    It costs Israel nothing to constantly push the US to attack Iran and so that is what they are doing. Israel is aware that the US cannot attack Iran willy-nilly and must be pushed into doing so, despite the support of the US ruling elites for such a war. Israel would prefer the war to be now, not later. Why not? It costs them nothing.

    Basically it comes down to the ruling elites wanting a war on their time table and Israel wanting them to hurry up and do it on Israel’s time table – which is no time table at all since it costs Israel nothing to demand the US attack NOW.

    The one exception to that “costs nothing” is the existence of Hizballah in Lebanon, and to a lesser degree, Syria. If the US or Israel starts an Iran war, Israel can expect to be attacked by missiles from Iran, Syria and Hizballah. This goes right back to the problem of “inconveniencing the Israeli electorate” which is a domestic political issue.

    Which is why Israel tried to take out Hizballah in 2006. This has been an intractable problem for Israel for the last six years. The only way to take out Hizballah is to take out Syria – or at least hold Syria off long enough to crush Hizballah in the Bekaa Valley – at the same time. This is not really feasible politically, even if it is quite feasible for Israel militarily. Israel could certainly take on Syria and Hizballah at the same time. But the “inconvenience” to the Israeli electorate with Syrian and Hizballah missiles raining down would be a domestic political problem again.

    A solution – the Libya model – has only in the past year become available. And Israel has been very quiet about the Syria situation because it does not want to let on how that plays into the Iran war plans. But clearly it would like to see the US and NATO take out much of Syria’s military capability – especially Syria’s missiles and armor – and thus give Israel the option of attacking Hizballah without having to deal with Syria at the same time.

    Which is why I continue to expect that Israel will NOT attack Iran UNTIL both Syria and Hizballah have been weakened. I see this weakening as the goal of the Syria crisis and I expect the US and NATO to attack Syria and Israel to attack Hizballah sometime this year. Beyond that, there’s no way to predict the timing.

    AFTER the Syria and Hizballah situation has been resolved is it likely that either the US or Israel will start the Iran war.

    “4. According to US/Israel calculations, any retaliation from Iran will be manageable – either because it is irrelevant to the elite, or because it will be limited and manageable.”

    Correct.

    And “manageability” is why Syria and Hizballah are important to Israel. And presumably the US ruling elites are sensitive to that concern as well, since Israel is both a useful ally and also has deep connections with the US military-industrial complex, not to mention the Israel Lobby and the neocons.

    Iranian retaliation against the US homeland is likely to be negligible unless my suggestion that they might export terrorism here is followed. Retaliation against the US in the region is not a significant strategic threat to US forces. Iran has very limited capability in conventional war compared to US capabilities.

    Where Iran can effectively counter the US is in asymmetric war. But by definition such a strategy will do very little to affect those in the US who stand to profit by the war. The more oil facilities Iran screws up, the more money the oil companies make.

    “5. According to US/Israel calculations, any global financial/energy impact resulting from the war will be manageable – either because it is irrelevant to the elite, or because it will be limited and manageable.”

    Correct. This mostly hinges around whether Iran can seriously damage oil production in the region and whether Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz for a significant amount of time, i.e., months rather than days or weeks. But from the point of view of the ruling elites in the military-industrial complex that is not a major problem. And the oil companies will just LOVE the price spike!

    “Are these elements consistent with the thesis that underpins your views?”

    Yes.

    The recap may be useful to you, but you could have picked up all these points from most of my longer posts over the last X threads. I’ve repeated these points often enough. The background for them lies in the available literature on the military-industrial complex and the actions of the US and its ruling elites over the last decades. Basically if you know Andrew Bacevich, Chalmers Johnson or Noam Chomsky, you have the background necessary to understand where I’m coming from.

  352. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jay: “I would appreciate complete answers to the questions I specifically asked.”

    I’ll see if I can find them.

    “why in your opinion a precipitating event is needed?”

    When in recent history has a precipitating event NOT been needed?

    We’ve discussed this before here. The world does not work like that. The US cannot simply wake up one day and attack another country. Not since WWII, the formation of the UN, and the declaration that says attacking another country is the “ultimate war crime”.

    I would think most people would see this as obvious. But every time I point out that the US needs to prepare to start a war, people pop up and ask, “Well, how come we haven’t attacked them by now?”

    Well, how come we didn’t attack Iraq any time between the times we DID attack Iraq? Because other things were going on is the obvious answer. Other purposes occupied the ruling elites.

    As for the last ten years, I’ve repeatedly listed the reasons.

    Israel wanted the US to attack Iran in 2002. The neocons assured Israel the US would do so once the Iraq “cakewalk” was over.

    So then we had the Iraq insurgency. Not an auspicious time to attack Iran, despite the propaganda to do so because Iran was “killing US soldiers.”

    Then we had Afghanistan.

    Then Israel tried to take out Hizballah in Lebanon and failed. That put a dent in Israel’s immediate desire for an Iran war, if not its overall desire.

    Then we had the 2007 NIE which undercut Bush and Cheney’s drive for war.

    And over all that, we’ve had the push back from some members of the Pentagon.

    And over all that, we’ve had the need to prepare the US public for yet another war, given that Iraq and Afghanistan were still ongoing to the tune of $100 billion a year.

    You just don’t start wars willy-nilly. It’s that simple.

    “one has to address the issue of when an “investment” into war in this context becomes “profitable”.”

    In ordinary business terms, when you contract with the US government and receive taxpayer money (or money diverted from foreign investment in US securities, it doesn’t matter) for making weapons for war and you make a profit, I’d say that is “profitable”.

    Are you asserting that the military-industrial complex is NOT making a profit from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Based on what?

    “You refer to elites – these elite’s calculations have told them that the uncertainties in the “variable capital” makes the war unprofitable at this point.”

    Could you elaborate? Because as stated, it sound like blowing smoke to me…

    “Time is needed in order to manage uncertainties – not weeks or months, but years.”

    I’ve never said otherwise. This is why you don’t get wars willy-nilly. But in the case of Iran, we’ve HAD years of preparation. The only question is whether and how many further years are required. But the goal is never in doubt.

    “What you hear in the media and the hoopla about these simulations of war is not all hype – they are carried out seriously, with a large number of options on assumptions, response scenarios, surprise elements, etc.”

    I never said they were.

    What they ALL leave out, however, is the INTENT of the US ruling elites. That is NEVER discussed or simulated.

    I can confidently assert that there never has been and never will be any kind of simulation which takes into account the profit motives of the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the investment banks, still less those of the Israel Lobby or the neocons.

    If you are aware of any such simulations, cite them and provide links. Otherwise it’s more “smoke blowing.”

    “These same models told us Iraq was not a cakewalk, they told Israel that Lebanon had high uncertainty – they tell us now that Iran war is not a good option.”

    And how well did those models STOP THOSE WARS? Not so much…

    So why do you believe they will this time?

    You make a lot of random assertions without the slightest evidence to back them up. I can simply point to the massive literature on the US military-industrial complex, the influence of the Israel Lobby and the neocons, the general literature on the corruption of the US Congress, and the actual history of US and Israeli actions over the last two decades.

    What can you cite to back up your smoke and mirrors?

  353. fyi says:

    Jay says: March 31, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    It is very doubtful that Mrs. Clinton can make significant changes of the “model”.

    The Arabs of Southern Persian Gulf do not want are with Iran or with any one else. They are terrified of war.

    They may, in their Arab racism, despise Iran (one among many; Paksitanis, Indians, Russians, Indians, Ceyloneses, Filpinos, etc.) but they do not wish for war with Iran that leaves them ruined.

    However, they are normally too polite to state that forcefully to the “franji”.

    I do not care how much modern weapons US supplies to them; they will not fight Iran even if Iran attacks them.

    They will run to Cairo or Beirut while Americans (and now the French) and Pakistanis fight and die for them.

    If Americans had a viable militay strategy, they would have gone to war in 2006.

    They do not, thus the Siege Warfare against Iran.

    The thing is, just as their military strategy against Iran fails due to the spread of Iranian power to the neighbouring states, their Siege Warfare is also not viable for the same reason.

    But they have to try, don’t they?

  354. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BRICS: Foreign interference in Syria ‘unacceptable’
    http://rt.com/politics/brics-medvedev-syria-aid-732/

  355. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Could bombing Iran push it to build the Bomb?
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-nuclear-iran-debate-idUSBRE82R1IZ20120328

    Once again, I doubt it, although anything is possible.

  356. Jay says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    RSH,

    I thank you for your partial response. I would appreciate complete answers to the questions I specifically asked.

    As others have pointed out, much of what you propose is ambiguous. It may be the case that it is clear as sunshine to you, but you need to enlighten us. For example, your post on March 31, 2012 at 3:43 pm. Here you state that:

    … “when” is mostly a matter of preparation, most of which has been done at this point both on the domestic propaganda front and in military preparation. Now it’s just a question of how to get the war started in such a way that it continues to allow the facade of being “legitimate” or at least “necessary.”

    Earlier in your response to me, you state:
    b) Whether it will be “profitable” for the US in general is not even a consideration to those parties I have cited.

    In the context of the replies containing these lines, and your thesis regarding “permanent war”, why in your opinion a precipitating event is needed? The US has immense military capacity and can cause significant damage to Iran, can do so now, can muster public opinion, Mr. Obama can become a war president, Military-Industrial complex will make more money, Israel, SA, and host of other M.E. states will be fulfilled, and so on. One answer is that “permanent war” economies must do the hard work of calculating their profit rate – it is cold but true.

    Please read my questions and answer them with some care. When reading them, please consider the following. If one views the “Permanent war” you referred to not as a slogan but as an economic paradigm (I am not advocating here!), one has to address the issue of when an “investment” into war in this context becomes “profitable”. You refer to elites – these elite’s calculations have told them that the uncertainties in the “variable capital” makes the war unprofitable at this point. Time is needed in order to manage uncertainties – not weeks or months, but years. What you hear in the media and the hoopla about these simulations of war is not all hype – they are carried out seriously, with a large number of options on assumptions, response scenarios, surprise elements, etc. These same models told us Iraq was not a cakewalk, they told Israel that Lebanon had high uncertainty – they tell us now that Iran war is not a good option.

    The current plan of action is to try to change the “model”. That is why Mrs. Clinton is making the rounds.

  357. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Uruguay wants to barter rice for oil with Iran
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2008852.html

    Why didn’t China think of that? :-)

  358. Karl says:

    RSH,

    I wonder what Giuiliani would think if Iran supported Al Qaeda that tried plotted to attack United States. Not terror? Not a declaration of war?

  359. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Senator Rand Paul Calls the Question on War with Iran
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/senator-rand-paul-calls-t_b_1386042.html

  360. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Giuliani claims ‘terrorist’ MEK only chance for regime change in Iran
    http://rt.com/usa/news/iran-giuliani-terrorist-mek-798/

    Good luck with that, Rudy…

  361. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Clinton promises U.S. will back Gulf defense against Iranian threat
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2009040.html

    What “threat”?

    She should be honest and say, “We’re selling you all this crap so we can make a bundle of your oil cash”.

  362. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Nice work if you can get it… :-)

    Iran gains over $60 billion annually through raising fuel prices
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2008964.html

  363. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I agree.

    They will just detonate a nuclear device – for digging a canal sometime later.

    But they will give Israel proportionate response.

    If US planners were smart, they would have encouraged the Israelis to attack Iran in order to degrade the power of both sides.

    Next, they would use that opportunity to forge a solution to the war in Palestine and thus take it off the table – an issue that is poisonong US and EU relations with Muslim states.

    Fortunately for Iran, they are not that clever.

  364. fyi says:

    nahid says: March 31, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    Iran has no chance of “claiming Cacasus”.

    There, Russia, EU, US, and Turkey are competing with one another for influence.

    They are all interested in keeping Iran out.

    Furhermore, Iran currently needs transport corridor through Azerbaijan; which, however, is going to diminish as trade with EU diminished substantially.

    The local states do not want Iran: not Georgia, not Armenia, and not Azerbaijan.

    If you look at what Iran has done for Armenia and what Armenia has done for Iran, Iran has been looser.

    In fact, Armenia was saved by Iran and yet the Armenian Diaspora in France and US has done nothing for Iran.

    And the moment that Azerbaijan and Armenia resolve their difference, they will shut Iran out.

    In case of Azerbaijan – another artificial country – the commonality of religion and language has, in fact, created rupture an not friendship.

    For Azerbaijan and many other states, iran should not exist. How dares such a country – based on bonds of Shia religion – to exist?

    When Iranians tried to mediate in Qara Bagh conflict, a plane full of Iranian women and children, the families of Iranian diplomats – was shot down over Azerbaijan. No one claimed responsibility. But the message to Iranians was clear, “Stay out!”

    Iran, as a religious country, cannot appeal to Armenia, Georgia, or Azerbaijan.

    Iran, as a non-Turkic country, cannot compete with Turkey in Azerbaijan.

    Iran, as a country with substantial Azeri Turkic people is a threat to the self-proclaimed delusions of Azeri Nationalism in Aran and Nakhchevan.

    Iran, as country involved in an economic war with US-EU cannot expect to be an attractive economic partner for these states.

    Iranians also have not given serious attention to that region; basically left it – for the above reasons – to US, EU, Russia, and Turkey.

    That game is not worth it to Iran – or may be iran is too busy in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Tadjikistan to pay much attention to the Northwest.

    I think the possibility of cordial and friendly relations exists but I do not think the time for it is not ripe.

    I think the current 8-year old war of Axis Powers against Iran must end before we can see any improvements to the Northwest.

  365. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, Saddam Hussein blundered in thinking Iran would allow Iraq to win a war with Iran.

    The Japanese admiral who attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 predicted certain defeat for japan.

    Sheer over-inflated ego on the part of Saddam Hussein prompted him not to agree quickly to get out of Kuwait – - even when 500,000 troops were massed on the border! Amazing stupidity.

  366. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Gary Sick on What if Israel bombs Iran?
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/30/opinion/sick-israel-iran/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

    Quote

    Iran would almost certainly give the required 90 days notice of its intention to quit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and terminate inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Iranian officials would not necessarily announce that they intended to proceed with development of a nuclear weapon, but they would certainly make clear that as a nonnuclear state that had been attacked by another state with nuclear weapons, that was a decision that was entirely up to them. All enriched uranium stocks would be removed from IAEA seal, and all monitoring cameras would be removed.

    End Quote

    I once again respectfully but completely disagree. I think Iran will do no such thing (although of course the IAEA won’t be in country during a war…)

  367. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Good news for the Brits – if not for Parliament… :-)

    George Galloway wins Bradford West by-election
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17549388

    Quote

    He said the “mammoth vote” represented a “total rejection” of the three major parties in the British political system.

    He said Labour “must stop imagining that working people and poor people have no option but to support them if they hate the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition partners.

    “They have to stop supporting illegal, bloody, costly foreign wars because one of the reasons why they were so decisively defeated this evening is that the public don’t believe that they have atoned for their role in the invasion and occupation of other people’s countries and the drowning of those countries in blood.”

    End Quote

    Only politician that I, as an anarchist, “respect” (pun intended). :-)

  368. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 31, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    There was never a chance of success for Iraq in attacking Iran.

    When they attacked, I knew Iran will not be defeated.

    Just like how Americans felts when attacked by the Japanese.

  369. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jihadists Declare Holy War Against Assad Regime
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,824875,00.html

  370. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 31, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    The flexibility began under Mr. Khatami: “Iran would accept any solution that Palestinians would accept.”

    That is why Iranian leaders moved the goal post.

    In my judgement, Israelis are a few more acts of agression away from Fatwa by Mr. Khamenie that identifies them as enemies of Islam.

    It is their decision.

    I do not think that there will be as much flexibility by Iran on April 13 than EU and US expect.

    Buying fuel for TRR is not possible; the financial mechanisms for paying for it fortunately do not exist.

  371. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Report: Mossad cuts back on Iran operations
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4210322,00.html

  372. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pepe Escobar on War porn: The new safe sex
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC30Ak02.html

    How Fallujah was no different than Halabja, and how “responsibility to protect” is the new justification for war.

    And how it’s all done via “information warfare”.

  373. Karl says:

    RSH,

    “And those missiles will likely be mostly intercepted by the Iron Dome system. My guess is Iran will only score a few dozen hits at most on Israel. So I can understand why Israeli planners think the threat is not that great.”

    I agree and thats why they keep warmongering because they think there would be more or less zero lethal response by Iran. Maybe they are right, however US dont agree with them at this stage privately.

  374. Karl says:

    James,

    First and foremost I was speaking of the statement by the BRIC. But sure I havent seen any statement by Russia nor China that they are denying Iran their right (although sanctions by the same states) to enrichment to 20%. Since Russia and China often speak of respecting Iran’s “civilian use” well then 20% included.

  375. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Kooshy: “Rich- when and how are a lot of unclear questions which equals 2/3 of the way to complete the “want’ part”

    You may have misunderstood me. When I mention “how”, I am referring to how to START the war, NOT whether the war is doable.

    And “when” is mostly a matter of preparation, most of which has been done at this point both on the domestic propaganda front and in military preparation.

    Now it’s just a question of how to get the war started in such a way that it continues to allow the facade of being “legitimate” or at least “necessary.”

    The advantage to the US of Iran over Iraq is that Iran actually HAS a nuclear program, whereas Iraq only had rumors. The fact that Iran doesn’t have a “WMD program” has been rendered irrelevant by propaganda which has conflated the peaceful program with WMDs.

    As I’ve said before, the US is MORE than capable of seriously damaging Iran and weakening it to the point that it is not an effective actor in the Middle East geopolitically or militarily.

    As I’ve also said, Iran will WIN that war eventually as the US is forced to admit it can not achieve regime change. But since the POINT of the war was PROFIT and to weaken Iran for the benefit of Israel, those objectives WILL have been achieved, at least in the short term.

    Those objectives WERE achieved in Iraq, even if the main goal of producing a US client state in Iraq with cheap oil failed miserably.

    The goal of the US ruling elites is “permanent war”. Iran is just the latest target – too weak to be a real military threat to the US homeland, but large enough to make the war a costly endeavor – with the concomitant profits to those making the weapons, along with the oil companies, the investment banks, etc.

    It’s that simple.

  376. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    So, you agree with Nima Shirazi that Iran last year offered to stop enriching to 20 percent, provided TRR fuel was sold to Iran by the West?

  377. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You actually believe Russia and China accept Iranian enrichment to 20%? Or are you claiming they formerly did, but now do not?

  378. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Karl says: “March 31, 2012 at 2:16 pm”

    Agreed, although I think that won’t be terribly effective either. Neither side can do very much against the missile stockpile of the other, especially in war time when security is tightened.

    People also forget that Israel has the most advanced ballistic missile program in the Middle East, with an UNKNOWN number of Jericho-3 missiles which can hit Iran with multiple independently targetable warheads. It is estimated that 42 Jericho-3 missiles could damage a substantial number of Iran’s nuclear facilities. Israel’s missiles are hidden in bunkers carved out of cliffs in the Judean Hills.

    Quoting a 2005 source, “According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, Israel had deployed, by the year 2000, fifty Jericho-I missiles on mobile launchers and one hundred Jericho-II missiles on underground wheeled transporter-erector-launchers or railroad flat cars.”

    The Jericho-I missile doesn’t have the range to hit Iran, and the II has larger range but not quite enough to hit Tehran. The 3 has the range needed to hit Iran.

    It is not known how many Jericho-3 missiles exist, but since they were only introduced in 2008, Israel probably does not have that many. I can’t find anything on production rates, but if we assume something on the order of Iran’s Shahab-3 initial production rate of 25 per year, then Israel should have something like 100 of them by now.

    And Israel won’t be firing them at anyone BUT Iran. So Iran gets the benefit of all 100…and Iran does not have an ABM system to stop all 100 of them from hitting. In addition, if Syria entered the war, Israel would have another 100 Jericho-II missiles to hit Damascus.

    I imagine Israel would like to have quite a few more missiles, but since they can’t afford it, and since their missiles are all designed to carry nuclear warheads, they don’t really need more – since the missiles are mostly intended for the “Samson option.”

    It puts Israel at a disadvantage with Iran in a conventional war, though. But since Israel assumes – undoubtedly correctly – that the US will attack Iran’s missile launch sites, it’s hardly a significant disadvantage.

    If Iran doesn’t launch most of its missiles against Israel in the first couple days, it will never get the chance since the US will take out most of the launchers shortly after. After that, Iran will only be able to fire a couple missiles per day at Israel, similar to Saddam’s situation – those missiles being brought out from bunkers not yet destroyed by the US and loaded on whatever mobile launchers the US has not found yet.

    And those missiles will likely be mostly intercepted by the Iron Dome system. My guess is Iran will only score a few dozen hits at most on Israel. So I can understand why Israeli planners think the threat is not that great.

  379. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 31, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    “1) The US ruling elites want a war with Iran. When and how are the only unclear questions.
    2) Israel wants a war with Iran – preferably mostly fought by the US. When and how are the only unclear questions.”

    Rich- when and how are a lot of unclear questions which equals 2/3 of the way to complete the “want’ part, it seems to us not only them but you also don’t even have the answer to these questions except some prediction, short of that they can “want” all they want.

  380. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jay: “There is no analytically supportable basis for a “profitable” war at this juncture. ”

    And precisely what is a “profitable” war in your hypothesis?

    My definition has been quite clear all along: As long as the US (and international) military-industrial complex turns a profit, and the oil companies turn a profit, and the banks that finance them turn a profit, and Israel gets a weakened Iran, and the neocons get a weakened Iran, and the politicians that enable all this get continued campaign contributions from the aforesaid parties as well as more bribes, I would say that is clearly a “profitable war”.

    Whether it will be “profitable” for the US in general is not even a consideration to those parties I have cited. And it is those parties who are running the foreign policy of the United States.

    Do you deny that those parties have undue influence on the foreign policy of the United States? If so, based on what?

    And even if you believe that, what do you have to say about whether ISRAEL is willing to start a war with Iran?

    Are you going to deny that if Israel gets into a war with Iran that the US will support Israel and also enter the war?

    Based on what evidence?

    Everyone here likes to talk about how the US “doesn’t want a war with Iran”. But they NEVER in the same post talk about whether ISRAEL wants a war with Iran… Nor do they EVER discuss the fact that it would be next to impossible for the US to refuse to support Israel in such a war.

    Why is that, one might ask (rhetorically, of course, since the answer is obvious: it totally destroys their notion.)

    Let me perfectly clear:

    1) The US ruling elites want a war with Iran. When and how are the only unclear questions.

    2) Israel wants a war with Iran – preferably mostly fought by the US. When and how are the only unclear questions.

    3) If the US does not start a war with Iran in Israel’s preferred time table, Israel WILL start a war with Iran.

    4) If Israel starts a war with Iran, the US WILL be drawn into the war – and I suspect in a matter of days, if not minutes.

    If you have an argument which can clearly refute any of those positions, despite the clear history of US and Israeli behavior over the last two decades, bring it on.

  381. Karl says:

    RSH,

    One could assume that Israel will strike (or on the ground place bombs as we have seen been carried out last year) iranian missile caches (the ones they know the locations of) which will in turn reduce even more any “missile threat” against Israel.

  382. Karl says:

    James,

    I very much assume BRIC meant 20%.

  383. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Nima Shirazi:

    Thank you for the following Ahmadinejad quote:

    “We only want the 20% enrichment for our domestic consumption. If they give it to us according to international law, according to IAEA laws, without preconditions, we will cease domestic enrichment. This is not something we wish to produce and sell on the open market.”

    What is not clear here, however, is whether he is referring to selling 20% uranium on the open market to other countries for their research reactors or whether he is referring to giving away or selling medical isotopes produced by the IRR, which is something Iran has said it would like to do and which would help explain why Iran is producing 20% uranium at the rate it is doing.

    We don’t know if the current rate of 20% uranium production will be maintained once Iran has achieved, say, a ten year supply of 20% uranium based on the current production rate of the IRR for medical isotopes. If Iran were to run the IRR more – or construct another medical isotope reactor – for the purpose of supplying the international market for medical isotopes, it would presumably need to continue producing 20% uranium over and above its immediate needs.

    Some people have suggested Iran is producing more 20% uranium than it “needs” – without being able to identify what exactly those “needs” are. This appears to be a PR issue for some of the EU countries – and some of the posters here as well.

  384. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saddam Hussein did indeed blunder in a huge way by attacking Iran. But at least he could claim there was some pssiblity of “success”. In late 1990, faced with guaranteed destruction of his army if he did not agree quickly to get out of Kuwait, he refused! When there was ZERO possibility of “success”.

  385. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    When you claim that “10 years of showing flexibility on Palestine got Iran nothing”, do you mean Iran’s indication it would accept the 2002 Saudi peace plan, if the Palestinians accept it, “got Iran nothing”?

  386. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    When you say “this is not the time to show flexibility”, by Iran, are you now arguing Iran should refuse to stop enriching to 20% even if the West agrees to sell the fuel for the TRR?

  387. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I obviously very much agree with you that Dennis Ross helped to wreck Obama’s outreach to Iran. Which of course was no surprise. Iran’s commencement of enriching to 20% did not help things.

  388. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Eric: “Is Kofi Annan quite all there? He honestly thinks it makes sense for one side just to stop fighting and then “discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side?” I have a hard time believing anyone would even say such a thing, much less believe it sounds persuasive to anyone who might be listening.

    Exactly. This has been the UN approach all along – Assad must pull his troops back to his bases FIRST.

    The obvious result is that the insurgents get to regroup and reorganize and seize territory.

    No government facing an insurgency will accept that. The insurgents have to cease fire, THEN the government troops can pull back.

    Except no insurgency will accept that…

    Insurgencies only stop when the insurgency runs out of public support or are cut off somehow from acquiring new personnel and weapons. Or the insurgency was so small to begin with that all its members get killed.

    None of those apply in Syria. The insurgents have a safe haven in another country, they have arms supplies (not enough according to reports, but some) and financial support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, they have logistics support from smuggling networks, and they have advisers from Britain and France, intelligence support from those countries and the US, and a steady supply of new recruits.

    Insurgencies win if they do not lose. Governments lose if they do not win. This is the common wisdom about insurgencies.

    This is why Syria will never be resolved without foreign intervention. Assad can not crush the insurgency, even if he can drive them out of various cities. And the insurgency can not crush Assad without either a LOT more time and development into a major civil war OR foreign intervention.

    There can be no resolution – which therefore means there HAS to be a foreign intervention. It’s that simple.

  389. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    When you say the BRICs supported Iran’s “right to enrich”, do you mean they support Iranian enrichment to 3.5%-5%? Russia and China clearly are not comforatable with Iranian enrichment to 20% if that means war.

  390. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rd.: “You would think Syria is easy pickings, right?”

    Easy, no. Doable, definitely.

    “What is the hold up? Just an election? Thats 6 months away. Iraq took 2-3 weeks, with a much bigger army.”

    I’m not familiar with the relative composition of Iraq’s army in 2003 (considerably weaker than it was 10-15 years before) and the current composition of Syria’s military.

    It does not matter in any event. The war will be an air campaign just like in Syria. The goal is to weaken the Syrian military and destroy Syria’s missile assets, radars and command and control facilities. This is a task that will simply take a matter of time – probably not more than six months of steady bombing.

    To the degree that ground forces will be used, that will be when Israel decides to launch its attack against Hizballah since that will entail crossing into Syrian territory in order to attack the Bekaa Valley from the flank. The IDF is more than capable of defeating Syria’s military to the limited degree necessary to accomplish that task, especially since ANY concentration of Syrian military will be a target for the West’s air strikes as well as Israel’s air force.

    Basically, the only thing the Syrian military will be able to do is…hide. Their goal should be to hide as much of their military assets as possible to avoid it being destroyed. This was Yugoslavia’s tactic in that NATO campaign and it was pretty successful – because Yugoslavia had considerable forest in which they could conceal their armor. I don’t think Syria has that capability, but they can hide armor in various buildings with some luck. Satellite surveillance is a bitch…

    Nonetheless, you can’t hide command and control, you can’t hide radar installations, you pretty much can’t hide anything needed to conduct a war against another country, e.g., Israel.

    So Israel will get what it wants – a defanged Syria.

    Whether they can get a defanged Hizballah is a much harder proposition since by definition ALL of Hizballah is pretty much hidden. The goal for Israel there is to occupy southern Lebanon and push Hizballah far enough north that most of Hizballah’s missile arsenal will be ineffective against southern Israel.

    Whether that is doable sufficiently to make an Iran war “cheap” for Israel is the question. What is not in question is that it is necessary for Israel to TRY to achieve goal that in order to start an Iran war.

    The timing once again is unclear to me – and to anyone else except those planning the war. And even to them the timing will depend on how events develop on the ground and geopolitically. Libya was an easy one – no one cared about Libya. Syria is a much harder proposition geopolitically. More time has to be taken to prepare the ground internationally.

    But what has to be done is clearly being attempted. Pressure is being put on the insurgents to unite, thus giving the opposition a specific face the West can exploit as being “representative of the Syrian people” despite the fact they they aren’t.

    Once that is achieved, then we’ll see pressure to force Syria to accept “humanitarian relief”, expressed in ways unacceptable to Syria so Syria will refuse. Then we’ll see pressure for “humanitarian corridors”, also expressed in a way so that Syria will refuse. In every case, the details will be set up so that Assad remains the bad guy.

    Once all those “alternative” are exhausted, we’ll see calls for arming the insurgents. After more chaos, we’ll see calls for international intervention.

    Basically, we’re seeing all that today but at lower levels of intensity. Over the next six months, I expect that will intensify. I cannot predict exactly when the air campaign against Syria will start but I remain confident it will occur this year, either before or after the US elections, but most likely before so Obama can claim another “humanitarian war” in his cap, despite the mess that is Libya at the moment.

    What we definitely will NOT see is some sort of negotiated resolution with or without Assad stepping aside. We also will definitely NOT see Assad completely winning against the insurgents, given their external support and Turkish safe have. There’s no way Assad can win that game short of Turkey reversing its stand against Syria and Saudi Arabia and Qatar also cutting off support for the insurgents.

  391. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Israel very nearly achieved peace with Syria in 2008, and at that time Khamenei made clear Iran would accept such a deal.

  392. Jay says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 31, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    “And I expect you to be back here when the bombs drop declaring how utterly wrong you were.”

    RSH,
    I will not be taking pleasure for being right or mourning for being wrong. I do not find such matters as sources of personal ego. I am not a soothsayer either.

    There is no analytically supportable basis for a “profitable” war at this juncture. That is a statement based on a large number of independent scenario studies – it could be wrong; yes!

    However, I ask you once again to clearly articulate your thesis and its assumptions – per my post on
    March 29, 2012 at 3:31 pm (which you may have missed?)
    Or,
    if you mainly rely on your intuition – which is fine – please state it.

  393. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Kooshy: “Israel shields public from war risks with Iran”

    Note the important point of that article:

    Quote

    In December 2008, Western intelligence sources were reported by Israel’s Ynet News as saying the improved version of the Shahab 3 missile had gone into production earlier that year and that Iran was believed to be able to produce 75 of the improved missiles annually.

    General Gabi Ashkenazi, then Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff, told a visiting congressional delegation in November 2009 that Iran already had 300 missiles capable of hitting Israeli targets, according to a US State Department cable released by WikiLeaks.

    Those reports suggest that Iran now has roughly 450 missiles that could reach Israel, half of which were improved models with much greater precision. Even if only one-fifth of those missiles got through Israel’s missile defenses, Israeli cities could be hit by at least 100, most of which would be able to hit targets with relative accuracy.

    End Quote

    A quibble: one fifth of 450 is 90, not “at least 100″. These people can’t even do basic math and I’m supposed to take their arguments seriously?

    I hope these numbers will put to rest the “Iran has thousands of missiles” argument. Iran has perhaps 450 missiles that can hit Israel, and if they build them for the next ten years, they MIGHT have slightly over 1,000.

    More importantly is the fact overlooked in that article is that if Israel attacks Iran, the US will be brought into the war and most of Iran’s missiles will have to be targeted to closer in US facilities of strategic importance (and perhaps oil facilities in the region such as Saudi Arabia) and thus very much fewer than 450 missiles will be targeted at Israel.

    Probably no more than 100 missiles would be fired at Israel, and at least half of those would be intercepted by the Iron Dome system, based on its current success rate of 80% against Hamas rockets. Even if most of those 100 missiles managed to hit their targets, the real issue is WHAT targets.

    Also these missiles are basically only capable of taking out a city block or two. They are not “existential” threats to Israel. The amount of damage done will be quite survivable and rebuildable.

    A 1,000 kg warhead can inflict damage up to 400 feet and if delivering submunitions up to 1,200 feet. The amount of damage inflicted depends on the nature of the target. Israeli missiles are stored in hardened bunkers carved into cliff faces if I remember correctly. I’m not sure where Israeli air fields are located but an airfield is a VERY large space and accurately hitting the most important parts is not easy.

    It also depends on whether the damage is done to the aircraft or the field itself. The field is relatively easily repairable as long as the command and control functions remain intact. To hit those precisely means someone had to have recorded the exact coordinates in some manner.

    Military aircraft in most countries are also generally protected by revetments or hardened bunkers so as to improve survivability against such attacks. A cluster bomb deployment over an airfield should be fairly effective, however, and the new Shahab-3′s can deliver five cluster bomblets.

    In short, the assessment that Iran can do major damage to either Israel’s cities or Israel’s military is probably overstated short of Iran firing absolutely ALL of its missiles concentrated on just a few major targets – which in itself is a tactic which is unlikely to be strategically decisive depending on those targets.

    If I were Iran, I would be interested in hitting targets designed to cause the maximum strategic effect. In Israel, this would be the headquarters of the Israel government, the headquarters of the Israeli military command, Israeli missile sites (if feasible), Israeli airfields, any identified Israeli nuclear sites including the Dimona reactor (which is however considered a war crime to attack).

    In the case of US targets, I would concentrate missile fire on the US Fifth Fleet HQ, and major concentrations of US troops in Kuwait, and any US airfields within reach for which I had useful coordinates of actual targets. The US Embassy in Baghdad would be a target due to the considerable intelligence assets undoubtedly located there. Incirlik in Turkey would also be a target unless it would cause issues with the Turkish government. If Turkey was allowing Incirlik to be used against Iran – and this would have to include intelligence purposes as well, which the US undoubtedly would use – then it would be a valid target. Any US airfields in Afghanistan would also be a target.

    Targeting concentrations of US troops elsewhere would probably be of little value except those in Kuwait and Bahrain. Targeting the US Marines facilities in Bahrain would be a priority since those could be used fairly quickly in securing the Strait of Hormuz.

    The real concern for Israel’s leaders is the perception of the public once the missiles start landing. If there is a domestic political blowback against the government for putting the population in such inconvenience and threat, that is a very serious issue for the Likud Party.

    “Israel’s plan to attack Iran put on hold until next year at the earliest
    U.S. war simulation forces Ehud Barak to reconsider attack plans; Americans pledge more money for Iron Dome antimissile system.”

    I think that piece is complete nonsense. There is little evidence that Israel really intended to attack this year and it makes ZERO sense to just postpone it until next year if in fact one is REALLY concerned about the outcome.

    We all know that the entire purpose of an Israeli attack on Iran is PRECISELY to bring the US into the war to destroy Iran. So how can the fact that US war games show that is precisely what would happen be of concern to Israel?

    It’s ridiculous the sort of basic illogic and the complete lack of common sense and military knowledge one reads in these articles. Two seconds of thought destroys these sorts of arguments.

  394. paul says:

    I promise to be nice to warmongers. I’m sure they pet kittens like normal, decent human beings.

  395. nahid says:

    Dear fyi

    what condition should be that Iran can claim Caucasia . Is it possible or not?

  396. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Jay: “Despite many predictions and prognostications regarding attack on Iran, there are no analytically supportable basis for such an attack for the next 5 years.”

    And I expect you to be back here when the bombs drop declaring how utterly wrong you were.

    “However, there is room for plenty of exotic idle speculation!”

    Which is pretty much what your post represented…

  397. Richard Steven Hack says:

    kooshy: “Rich- no, most people believe the reason Syria was not possible to be taken under is the loyal Syrian military, which they couldn’t get to jump the ship”

    Military personnel don’t jump ship UNTIL they are under military pressure. The insurgents aren’t able to do that because they are not organized and don’t have the firepower – yet.

    “especially since unlike in Libya they could not provide air support to overwhelm the military’s armored divisions.”

    There is nothing stopping the US and NATO from establishing an air campaign against Syria, regardless of Syria’s “sophisticated” air defenses (which never seem to be able to stop Israeli jets from buzzing Assad’s palace periodically or bombing anything Israel wants to bomb such as the alleged “nuclear facility.”.)

    What is stopping the US at the moment – and I stress at the moment – is the inability to provide a (more or less) united opposition. In Libya they had a bunch of insurgent groups which disparate aims as well, but it was possible to represent them as “united” because they were mostly on the eastern side of the country. In Syria, there is no “east vs West” dynamic, and the groups are mostly local and not coordinated at all with the external groups.

    Based on reports I’ve read from news personnel embedded with the insurgents, there are CIA guys in there trying to correct that situation and provide communication between the groups as well as trying to establish a flow of arms.

    “Rebels are supposed to become bigger and more effective with military side defectors joining in, that didn’t happen, and is not happening.”

    There are a number of defectors, but clearly they aren’t enough. Nonetheless, the insurgents have managed to cause enough damage, killing over 2,000 Syria security personnel over the last year. And as long as they are receiving support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Libya, as well as British and French Special Forces advisors, and have a safe haven in Turkey, clearly they can continue to cause chaos.

    Nothing has changed for the bottom line: There will be no resolution of the Syrian situation as long as the insurgents are being supported by external forces. Therefore the Syrian situation will only get worse until the West can organize an external intervention.

    Obama has made it clear that regime change is all the West will accept, which means Assad has to go. And Assad will not go. Therefore there is no possible negotiated resolution short of an air campaign against Syria.

    I remind you that the GOAL of all this has nothing really to do with “regime change” but more with “regime weakening” for the benefit of Israel. The goal is to render Syria militarily ineffective against Israel during an Iran war, as well as enabling Israel to engage Hizballah and accomplish the same goal there. Israel wants a “cheap” Iran war and cannot get that with both Syria and Hizballah able to rain missiles down on Israel in addition to Iranian missiles.

    Both of these goals absolutely require either a massive civil war – which as you correctly point out is not feasible at the moment due to the weakness of the insurgents – or an external intervention. Therefore the only question up for grabs is whether the West is focused as starting a massive civil war – which in turn will justify an external intervention – or focused on developing an external intervention – or both.

  398. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: March 31, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Yes, they are a poorly disciplined army.

    But rest assured, they will meet their Just retribution yet.

  399. BiBiJon says:

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says (today) Iran and six world powers have agreed to meet in Istanbul on April 13 for the latest round of talks about Iran’s nuclear program.

    From http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2017881180_apmlirannuclear.html

  400. Rehmat says:

    Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei, told visiting Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Islamic Republic is vehemently opposed to any initiative the US introduces in regard to the situation in Syria. He also told his visitor that Iran will defend Syria for its resistance to the Zionist entity. He said that he is in favor of reforms in Syria and that Syrian people should be allowed to determine their future through elections. He added that he was in favor of holding nuclear talks with P5+1 in Istanbul………

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/khamenei-iran-will-defend-syria/

  401. Empty says:

    fyi,

    عجب رویی دارین شما! LOL… Never mind. Peace.

  402. fyi says:

    Empty says: March 31, 2012 at 9:11 am

    So you have no answer.

  403. Empty says:

    fyi,

    You said, “Perhaps you could answer the following qustion:

    Does a human being have the natural right to select his own spouse?

    Or better yet; Does a human being have the natural right to commit a sin?”

    Perhaps you could answer the following question first based on your belief system:

    Given that killing innocent people is a sin, does the United States (or any other collective human social system) have the “natural right” to attack Iran?

    When one is forming one’s worldview and expressing it, it would be useful to consider ALL aspects of that worldview. It would be wise to make an attempt to see the metaphorical elephant as a whole as well and not just its trunk or its leg or its tail, etc.

  404. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Karl,

    Indeed, he does. He doesn’t realize that within Israel there is criticism of the racist nature of the Zionist state. There is also a deep divide between secular and religious Jews as well as European and Near Eastern Jews (also known as “Arab Jews”) – the latter have been discriminated against until comparatively recent times. Some immigrants to Israel are not even true Jews, but are really economic opportunists from Russia and elsewhere.

    Reza

  405. Karl says:

    Clinton level the tensions again by pitting the arab gulf against Iran. And the corrupt muslims states go against their muslim neighbour…

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=149748218

  406. Karl says:

    Reza,

    Sassan practice the enemy of my enemy is my friend to very core.

  407. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Sassan says:

    the vast majority of Iranians have no issues or problems with Israel and we recognize their sovereignty and right to exist.

    You don’t speak for the “vast majority” of Iranians. Why do you suppose that Iranians should think like someone who doesn’t even live in Iran?

    The fact is that 60% of Israelis consider themselves secular and an estimated 15-30% of Israelis are atheist Jews whom do not believe in a celestial dictator.

    Israel is a religious state where the official religion is Judaism. Israelis, including the secular folks, like to think that God gave them sovereignty over the holy land. The qualification for gaining Israeli citizenship is being “Jewish”, either through heritage or through conversion to orthodox Judaism. Those Jews who convert to Christianity, Islam or other faiths risk losing their citizenship.

    In addition, 20% of Israelis are Arab-Muslims with the same rights as other Israelis.

    That maybe is what the Israeli government claims but the sorry reality is that Israeli Arabs are discriminated against at all levels. They have limited freedom of movement, cannot reside in “Jewish areas”, receive limited government support for their own areas, can have their land and homes confiscated, and have to swear an oath of loyalty to the Jewish state. They can also be arrested and detained without trial.

  408. Karl says:

    Is BRIC drifting away on Iran (and foreign policy in general)? I know earlier joint statements have been more concrete that Iran has the right to enrich etc blocking any military attack against Iran, this time they didnt push the US, Israel etc at all instead they almost used a hawkish tone by saying:

    “Iran has a crucial role to play for the peaceful development and prosperity of a region of high political and economic relevance, and we look to it to play its part as a responsible member of the global community,”

    Which basically mean that Iran is not a “responsible member” today according to them.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577311312613031458.html

    Is there anyone who have the full transcript of the statement on Iran by the BRIC?

  409. Karl says:

    With the new sanctions by Obama he have once again ruined any possible success from the upcoming talks. A good comment I read on NYT:

    “Shaun Narine
    Fredericton, Canada

    NYT Pick

    It strikes me how counterproductive this all is. Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Iran is probably not developing a nuclear weapon. What is true is that Iran is a country with a long history of being abused, manipulated and occupied by Western powers who are out to steal its oil and dominate its people. Its Islamic regime functions on an ideology that defines itself in opposition to the very Western bullying and aggression that Obama is now exhibiting. To expect Iran to “give up its nuclear ambitions” under these conditions makes no sense. it is expecting it to capitulate to the very countries that it sees as the bullies and thugs of the international system. And, quite frankly, there is a lot of truth to that interpretation.

    I think that people may be underestimating the power of nationalism and pride. Iran is not going to capitulate. The government is afraid of looking weak. But the US has also handed the Iranian regime an issue that will rally the population around it even as it makes it easier for the government to target dissenters.

    All of this comes down to another question: are we prepared to destroy yet another Muslim country just so Israel can keep building illegal settlements in occupied territory? Because, at its core, that is what this whole hysterical thing comes to.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/31/business/global/obama-to-clear-way-to-expand-iranian-oil-sanctions.html#commentsContainer

    —————

    But is Obama bluffing when he hint a military strike?

    From the latest intelligence we have read there is…
    1. No evidence of iranian nuclear weapons program.
    2. No evidence of nuclear weapons capability.
    3. No evidence Iran have secret sites for enrichment.
    4. No evidence that Iran want nuclear weapons.

    From a an american strategical point of view.
    1. A strike against Iran will only if best set back the nuclear program anything from 6 months to 1 year which in other words doesnt “solve” anything.
    2. US are fighting 2 wars and the public opinion is tired of warfare as new polls have showed.
    3. Then the usual stuff that keeps US from engaging in a war with Iran – economy, regional/world(?) war, lacking strategic interest and so on.

    With this being said M.J Rosenberg say common sense will prevail, I hope common sense is what really drives Obama….
    The case for bombing Iran is quickly collapsing
    aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/20123219019858390.html

  410. Sassan says:

    Dan Cooper & the likes :

    You are so ingrained in your delusions (I think that is one main reason you are on here, your supposed opposition to “Zionism” makes you form such irrational beliefs that you then have to support radical Islamicists at all costs (such as Dan Cooper citing his “great admiration” of Ahmadenijad.

    I went ahead and uploaded a book for you guys to read in .PDF version. It is a fascinating book that will enable one to understand the situation in that region not just by imaginations or irrational beliefs but from someone who lived it their entire life. It is entitled, “Son of Hamas” and it was written by Mosab Hassan Yousef, son of one of the founders of Hamas Sheikh Hassan Yousef.

    If you want to be intellectually honest with yourself then you will read this book. And in return I will read a book with comparable pages of your choosing on the topic but you need to give me a couple of months for the reading as I am swarmed with a busy term right now but I will read it within 2-months of you having finished Son of Hamas

    You can download it here: http://www.mediafire.com/?k3wceydaqdys6hb

  411. k_w says:

    Sassan: Israel has been breaching UNSC resolutions for decades. Have a look at this one:

    ——– 8< ——–

    United Nations Security Council Resolution 487
    JUNE 19, 1981

    The Security Council,

    Having considered the agenda contained in document S/Agenda/2280,

    Having noted the contents of the telegram dated 8 June 1981 from the Foreign Minister of Iraq (S/14509),

    Having heard the statements made to the Council on the subject at its 2280th through 2288th meetings,

    Taking note of the statement made by the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to the Agency's Board of Governors on the subject on 9 June 1981 and his statement to the Council at its 2288th meeting on 19 June 1981,

    Further taking note of the resolution adopted by the Board of Governors of the IAEA on 12 June 1981 on the "military attack on the Iraq nuclear research centre and its implications for the Agency" (S/14532),

    Fully aware of the fact that Iraq has been a party to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons since it came into force in 1970, that in accordance with that Treaty Iraq has accepted IAEA safeguards on all its nuclear activities, and that the Agency has testified that these safeguards have been satisfactorily applied to date,

    Noting furthermore that Israel has not adhered to the non-proliferation Treaty,

    Deeply concerned about the danger to international peace and security created by the premeditated Israeli air attack on Iraqi nuclear installations on 7 June 1981, which could at any time explode the situation in the area, with grave consequences for the vital interests of all States,

    Considering that, under the terms of Article 2, paragraph 4, of the Charter of the United Nations: "All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations",

    1. Strongly condemns the military attack by Israel in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the norms of international conduct;

    2. Calls upon Israel to refrain in the future from any such acts or threats thereof;

    3. Further considers that the said attack constitutes a serious threat to the entire IAEA safeguards regime which is the foundation of the non-proliferation Treaty;

    4. Fully recognises the inalienable sovereign right of Iraq, and all other States, especially the developing countries, to establish programmes of technological and nuclear development to develop their economy and industry for peaceful purposes in accordance with their present and future needs and consistent with the internationally accepted objectives of preventing nuclear-weapons proliferation;

    5. Calls upon Israel urgently to place its nuclear facilities under IAEA safeguards;

    6. Considers that Iraq is entitled to appropriate redress for the destruction it has suffered, responsibility for which has been acknowledged by Israel;

    7. Requests the Secretary-General to keep the Security Council regularly informed of the implementation of this resolution.

    ——– 8< ——–

    Apart from that it received its first plutonium reactor after successfully acting as the aggressor in 1956, robbed uranium from the MS Scheersberg A, stole nuclear triggers from the U.S. and repeatedly attacked its neighbours. What would have happened to Iran in the case of such behavour? The Eleventh Commandment: Israel can do anything.

  412. Fiorangela says:

    ToivoS says:
    March 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Well said.
    The notion the Dennis Ross was a positive influence on Obama in dealing with Iran is ludicrous.

  413. Dan Cooper says:

    Sassan says Israel is the only democracy in the region.

    A military occupation which is based on stolen lands with the blood of a innocent and defenceless Palestinian women and children can never be called a democracy.

    Sassan, read this repeat post and educate yourself with reality of what Israel is all about

    Israel “without a doubt” is the biggest existing terrorist nation and the greatest threat to world peace.

    “Occupation and ethnic cleansing is a crime, and the criminals who commit these atrocities must be brought to justice.

    Ahmdinejad is the only leader in the world who has the guts and vision to publicly condemn this racist and apartheid regime and I truly admire him for that.

    65 years ago, Palestinians were happy because there was no Israel.

    Suddenly,Israel brought people from all over the world to Palestine and terrorised the indigenous Palestinian people, stole their land, forced them out of their homes and established this raciest and apartheid state of Israel that we see today.

    The entire world is aware that occupation is a crime, the Israelis are the aggressors and perpetrators of this crime and the Palestinians are the victim.

    So many decent Jewish people in Israel are totally against their governments murderous atrocities in Palestine.

    More than 80 Israeli students announced their refusal to serve in the Israeli military because of what they call their nation’s track-record of oppression in the occupied territories.

    The conscientious objectors issued a letter declaring their determination not to join up during a news conference in Tel Aviv in protest against the government’s policies towards Gaza and the West Bank.

    They publicly declared that:

    “We cannot ignore the truth –

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

    “We, who were educated on the values of liberty, justice, honesty and peace, cannot accept it.”

    It was signed by 84 high school students.

    The biggest problem facing the world and the Middle East peace process are the powerful Israel lobby organisations in USA.

    The US media is a complete mouthpiece for the Israel Lobby. Never a critical word is heard against Israel.

    James Petras is a Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, He wrote: http://petras.lahaine.org/todos.php

    “The great majority of the world’s people are sickened and incensed by Israel’s mass murder of the citizens of Gaza.

    Israel’s embargo, the daily ‘targeted’ assassinations of Palestinians, the ‘targeted’ missile attacks against civilians, the land, sea and air blockades and the blatant ‘targeted’ destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza.

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

    According to the respected Congressmen Bermans, only the lives of Jews matter, not the growing thousands of murdered, dismembered and mutilated citizens of Gaza – they do not count as people!

    Until we neutralize the pervasive power of the Zionist Power Configuration in all of its manifestations – In American public and civic life – and its deep penetration of American legislative and executive offices,

    We will fall short of preventing Israel from receiving the arms, funding and political backing to sustain its wars of ethnic extermination.

    Israel will continue its barbaric ethnic cleansing.

    Israel objective is to obliterate Palestinian civilization and to wipe Palestine off the map.”

    Avi Shlaim is a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford wrote;

    How Israel brought Gaza to the brink of humanitarian catastrophe.

    ,http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine,

    “A wide gap separates the reality of Israel’s actions from the rhetoric of its spokesmen.

    It was not Hamas but the IDF that broke the ceasefire. It did so by a raid into Gaza on 4 November 2008 that killed six Hamas men.

    Israel’s objective is not just the defence of its population but the eventual overthrow of the Hamas government in Gaza by turning the people against their rulers.

    And far from taking care to spare civilians, Israel is guilty of indiscriminate bombing and of a 6-year-old blockade that has brought the inhabitants of Gaza, now 1.5 million, to the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe. ”

    Israel has imprisoned 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza strip.

    They have caged them in like animals, and control their food, water, electricity and more importantly their freedom, and when Hamas tries to defend its people and resist this illegal occupation, Israel call them terrorist.

    Hamas is a democratically elected government.

    Israel wants us to believe Hamas is a terrorist organization, but the truth is that Hamas is a democratically elected government.

    In January 2006, President Carter together with UN and British observers monitored Hamas’s election and categorically confirmed that the election was free and fair.

    I have lost counts of how many times Israel has deliberately massacred the innocent Palestinian civilians during the past 64 years.

    This makes Israel is a terrorist state and the biggest threat to world peace.

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Israel’s leaders are guilty of crimes against humanity and must be brought to the international court of justice and tried as war criminals.

    The most destructive power in the world is the Israel lobby in America, they control the media and they are the reason why Israel kills with impunity.

    Israel disregard for justice & human rights will have far-reaching consequences for mankind

    We already know that Israel genocide in Palestine has created terrorist and fundamentalism around the world, which will indirectly, effects all of us one way or another.

    The whole world is suffering because of Israel desire to exist by force and occupation.

    Why do we all have to suffer because Israel wants to exist by force and occupation?

    When is it going to sink in, that Israel has never wanted peace, it wants the West Bank and Jerusalem without Arabs, and of course, it requires continued hostility to justify the charity and sympathy it receives!

    Israel is a serial killer and will continue to kill until and unless the international community collectively make the leaders of Israel accountable for their crimes.

    Until we neutralize the pervasive power of the Zionist Power Configuration in all of its manifestations – In American public and civic life – and its deep penetration of American legislative and executive offices,

    We will fall short of preventing Israel from receiving the arms, funding and political backing to sustain its wars of ethnic extermination.

    I cannot understand how the world can stand by and make excuses for an Israeli government hell bent on instigating aggression. It’s unfathomable that the people, who were victims of unspeakable crimes in World War 2, are now the perpetrators of equally heinous acts.

    Israel encourages their supporters to hijack public opinion in forums.

    The supporters of Zionist terrorists believe in Brainwashing the international public opinion by playing “the self-defence” card, “rockets”, “Human shield”, “cover ups” and blaming the victim.

    In the age of satellites and television, This does not work anymore, and the international community have called their bluffs.

    Just remember, we are defending the justice and fairness for the innocent and defenceless Palestinian women and children but you are defending Israel’s military and illegal occupation and 65 years of atrocities.

    In the carnage in Gaza, we all witnessed with horror how Israel brutally massacred more than 700 innocent and defenceless Palestinian women and children.

    The Zionist leaders of Israel did not even let the international press inside Gaza because they knew that their atrocities & genocide would be revealed and their propaganda machine would collapse.

    In a sick attempt to brainwash the public opinion in this forum and others, the supporters of this apartheid state are still trying to portray that the aggressor (Israel) is the victim, how low and sick can you get.

    It is time the international community get together and put sever pressure on this apartheid and racist state, as they did to South Africa.

    Those of us who condemn Israel’s atrocities believe in Love, justice, fairness and the rule of law in this world and we cannot tolerate to see the criminal and terrorist leaders of Israel to get away with murder”

  414. fyi says:

    ToivoS says: March 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Yes, agreed.

    The mess will get worse for a while; with oil prices etc.

    I am not sure that Iranian leaders will even negogiate anything or make any concessions.

    We shall see.

  415. fyi says:

    kooshy says: March 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    This is not the time to show flexibility.

    10 years of showing flexibility on Palestine got Iran nothing.

    Likewise on Afghanistan.

    Iranian leaders are quite right in standing by their strategic allies in Syria – perhaps to the bitter end.

    And Hizbullah and HAMAS.

    They will not lose anything and will be enhancing their credentials.

  416. fyi says:

    Empty says: March 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Perhaps you could answer the following qustion:

    Does a human being have the natural right to select his own spouse?

    Or better yet; Does a human being have the natural right to commit a sin?

  417. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    The lateMr. Hussein’s biggest mistake was to attack Iran.

    But, then what could one expect of benighted fools who are very poorly educated in their own tradition and what is and is not possible within it.

  418. kooshy says:

    As I had expected yesterday’s negative reply by Ayatollah Khamenei to a possible proposal on Syria by Mr. Obama delivered personally to Mr. Khamenei by PM Endogen was not well received in Washington. If true as I predicted we will see a lot of negative write ups in major western news outlets in next few weeks.

    Obama: Oil supply enough to keep squeeze on Iran
    By BEN FELLER, Associated Press

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Friday he was plowing ahead with potential sanctions against countries that keep buying oil from Iran, including allies of the United States, in a deepening campaign to starve Iran of money for its disputed nuclear program.

    The world oil market is tight but deep enough to keep the squeeze on Iran, Obama ruled.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hgRQWJ_mMsg9Dxat00Bb6O5Yc8kA?docId=92ef7db5da5a44f0bbbc75cccf190ff2

  419. ToivoS says:

    James Canning says:March 30, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    “Iran HAS NOT BEEN THREATENED NONSTOP. Obama came into the White House hoping to improve relations with Iran.”

    The Leverrets (you know, your hosts here at RFI) are the ones who have most thoroughly documented the FACT that Obama failed to pursue the kinds of diplomatic efforts required to find a solution to this enrichment issue. They also supported Bromwhich’s article that more eloquently described the problem. “White House hoping” does not cut it, it requires seasoned diplomats to make it happen. Obama did not do that. Other than his vague “hope” he put Dennis Ross in charge of the Iranian portfolio — a proven Zionist plant in our government if there ever was one.

    Obama is now responsible for this dangerous war threat that we all face. Hopefully, he has now come to his senses and is trying “walk this f*** mess back”.

  420. Sassan says:

    OCS the white supremacist ignoramus: I wrote that myself. I know how to write and put together my own thoughts through the written language.

  421. Sassan says:
    March 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    I’m not sure you consider yourself sufficiently knowledgeable about this area to comment, but if you do: Do you believe Iran is required to stop enriching uranium? If so, why?

  422. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    All Arab countries accept the 2002 Saudi peace plan, providing for recognition of Israel within its pre-1967 borders. Iran likely would accept it too, provided the Palestinians do so.

  423. kooshy says:

    Samson says

    “the vast majority of Iranians have no issues or problems with Israel and we recognize their sovereignty and right to exist.”

    Samson-
    This statement you make certainly can be true with the private cab driver you hired, but that certainly can’t be as vast as you claim based on my last trip observations, could it be possible that what you claim is just a dream of yours which for that you don’t have any backup except an unjustified claim in thin air, besides, what you claim is not only not true in Iran but I can guarantee based on statistic that can’t be true in any Muslim country in the world.

    Since it’s a Friday night, I suggest if you really want to have someone to agree with your unsubstantiated claims you should take Reza Khalili out and buy him a drink and level at him all your dreamed up claims (just be careful not to spill any drink, otherwise you may get your dreams wet).

    Cheers

  424. OnwardChristianSoldiers says:

    Sassan, Congratulations on running a change-up on the cut-and-paste system.

    Your latest post should be called a Chinese Menu Cut and Paste — one from Hasbara manual column A (Israel Rocks — i.e. Nobel laureates), one from column B – (You suck — Iran/Islam sucks), one from Column C – (a version of “everybody sucks” that is expressed, “Israel sometimes makes mistakes).

    What message will you write for the fortune, Cookie?

  425. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You linked the March 28th interview of Dina Esfandiary, who said: “In my view it is unlikely that Iran would agree to suspend 20% enrichment even for a short period…”
    Reza Akbar, the interviewer, should have responded by saying Iran just recently offered to stop enriching to 20 percent, permanently.

  426. OnwardChristianSoldiers says:

    ToivoS, welcome back. OCS were worried that your threat to ban someone resulted in your being banned.

    Obviously not.

    Since you’ve not been banned, OCS are curious why you had No Comment to the (admitted) cut-and-paste that displayed the worldview of Pastor Hagee and Christian zionists. Any comment?

  427. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    Iran HAS NOT BEEN THREATENED NONSTOP. Obama came into the White House hoping to improve relations with Iran. Unless you take the position that the US “threatened” Iran all these years by making clear Iran will not be allowed to build nukes.

  428. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    It is not clear whether Obama failed to understand Iran well enough so as not to succeed with his effort to reach out. Domestic politics in the US played very large role.

    For some reason you are reluctant to say that Saddam Ussein was a fool to get his army destroyed for no reason apart from false pride.

  429. ToivoS says:

    fyi says: You cannot threaten war, rush to war, retreat when the other side is willing to go to war, and then expect to go back to the status quo ante.

    In general I find fyi a tad too dogmatic but this statement has the ring of accuracy. Iran has been threatened non-stop since 2007 by Israel, Bush/Rice and later Obama/Clinton. They all used uncompromising language and Iran has called their bluff. And now the whole world knows it was all thunder and no lightening. I have no idea what Iran is willing to give up during the negotiations (maybe the 20% enrichment James is so obsessed about) but Iran will get much more in return than they would have gotten in 2009.

  430. Sassan says:

    I wanted to make some commentary and insight on what I believe to be the inherent nature for some people in general and specifically on this website to blame Israel or the “Zionists” for all the world’s problems. Some people preposterously claim that Israel is “just as bad a human rights violator as the barbaric, fanatic, and apocalyptic regime of the Islamic Republic. As most of you know, I am an atheist and an apostate (since “technically” I was born a Muslim); but Israel should be an emulation by the Arabs and Islamicists. In regards to Iran, the Iranian people have both learned under the most brutal of manners of the barbarity of Islamic rule (as well as the fact that our culture is pre-Islamic) therefore the vast majority of Iranians have no issues or problems with Israel and we recognize their sovereignty and right to exist.

    Back to Israel. Islamicists in particular who use Israelis/Jews/”Zionists” as scapegoats for their own societal ills are utterly ignorant. Israel is the only democracy in the entire region and the Israeli and Jewish people have contributed GREATLY to mankind. Simply look at the Nobel Laureates of the last half century and in addition look at all that they provide for science and reason. The fact is that 60% of Israelis consider themselves secular and an estimated 15-30% of Israelis are atheist Jews whom do not believe in a celestial dictator. In addition, 20% of Israelis are Arab-Muslims with the same rights as other Israelis.

    No nation is perfect but the Arab Muslims should learn and understand that their lives will forever remain miserable in their homelands until they realize that the problem to all their miseries is not the Jews or “Zionists”. They need to stop scapegoating and look inside their own culture and infallible beliefs in which they are not only not allowed to think with reason and ask questions about the cosmos and the universe; but they either chase our or kill off most of their great thinkers as they do not “accept atheists” or free thinkers into their societies. In contrast, in Israel they embrace reason and rationality on an institutionalized wide level.

    Moral relativism is getting out of control these days. The Islamic Republic is among the cruelest regimes in the entire world. It is a regime that rapes our young sisters before executing them so that they don’t “die as virgins” as these maniacs believe “virgins go straight to heaven” so to “deny” this to them too. This is a regime that is guided by apocalyptic goals at their core in bringing back the “return of the hidden imam” and for this they require their inherently guided core beliefs ever since Khomeini in bringing terror, death, havoc, and chaos throughout the world through their Islamic Imperialist goals and apocalyptic visions.

    *I suggest to all those who have some time to please watch this remarkable investigative journalism which I uploaded myself.. It is based on the tragic end of the life of 16-year old Atefah Sahaaleh whom was executed by the hooligans of the Islamic Republic when in fact she was the sexual abuse victim of a 50-year old pervert ex-Revolutionary Guards thug. The reporters in this film were able to sneak into the town where she was from and speak with her Father & family who risked their own lives to even speak to the undercover reporters. Truly telling of these hooligans…: http://vimeo.com/39467444

  431. Empty says:

    fyi,

    RE: In effect, you and Mr. Esfandiari are denyong the existence of Natural Rights in Islam.

    Perhaps this is just an inadvertent/subconscious act on your part. You took my sentence, and interpreted it to get something entirely different out of it. I do not know what Mr. Esfandiari accepts or denies. Here is the actual clear point I wanted to make and have regularly made: even if we do direct quotes and translations of books and texts we consider to be divine, it would still be our “interpretation” of a specific text, verse, or concept. That interpretation could very well be wrong and open to dispute. That’s all.

    Perhaps it is your over confidence in your own opinion that makes it look like a fact to you when you compare it to other people’s opinion. You’d be in best position to examine and explore what’s going on in your head.

    RE: That is contradicted by the Quran.

    Or, perhaps you mean to say that you interpret X, Y, and Z verses from Quran to contradict the above (again, the above being what you stated I or Mr. Esfandiary denied when neither of us made any statement of that nature).

    RE: One right that Mankind naturally has is the Right to Moral Choice.

    Perhaps you mean to state that it is your overall interpretation that the above statement must be the case.

    [just a side note (and way off-topic and I request to be forgiven for this infraction), I interpret (very much open to debate and could be wrong) that the free will is a given (as a method with Divine designs, based on my (incomplete)) understanding. The conditions of how that "free will" could be exercised are diverse. An innocent person imprisoned in a Guantanamo Bay prison has just as much a "free will" as the person who is guarding him or the people who jailed him. None of them has "a right" to a given condition but they are all being tested. The question would then be, would each recognize what the right thing to do is(که خدا را خوش بیاد) and more importantly, would they follow through with doing the right thing?

    RE: From that alone other “Natural Rights” follow.

    Perhaps you mean that you interpret that it would be logical if one accepts the premise of the previous statement, then one should logically also agree that the latter would also be true.

    [Again as a side note, my understanding is a bit different. I understand that there are boundaries (حریم ها) that must be kept. If one has chosen to believe in such boundaries (set by God), then he/she will be tested on them so that his/her belief is authenticated and perhaps strengthened. I am not understanding (by extension) that such boundaries are "natural rights" and we've absolute entitlement to them. Or perhaps I am incorrectly interpreting what you mean by "natural rights". As I have understood, our lives is even an امانت in our lives and we cannot even take our own lives without it being a ظلم (an act of aggression against self)]

    Now, is it possible that God might just test us exactly where we’ve come to find ourselves to be quite confident that we are right? In order to give us a chance to manage our egos? Or perhaps some of us don’t believe our egos need any sort of management?

    In any case, I could have chosen not to answer your statement, my brother. Take it as you wish. What I wrote here was not meant to beat you over the head about what you wrote and I don’t think your intent is impure.

  432. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    The key thing to bear in mind was that the late Mr. Hussein, just like Mr. Obama misunderstood Iran.

    So did Indian leaders and the Chinese and Indians of this world.

  433. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The key thing to bear in mind, in contemplating Saddam Hussein’s extraordinary stupidity in late 1990, is that Saddam could have left Kuwait with his army intact.
    The Russians told him he had to get out or face virtually total destruction. Saddam refused!

  434. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Why be angry when it is clear Russia and China do not want war and both countries want the Six Power talks with Iran to succeed?

  435. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Where do you get the idea Russia or China “expected a quick Iranian surrender”? Both countries said sanctions would not succeed and would only make negotations more difficult.

  436. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think Hillary Clinton, Dennis Ross, and others, told Obama he had to guard his flank from attack by idiot Republicans and disgruntled rich Jewish campaign donors, or risk losing the election. What other explanation is on offer for Obama’s failure to respond to Iran’s offer to stop enriching to 20 percent?

  437. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    I am not angry, only frustrated when I see that we are led by fools.

  438. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    Yes, they do now since they realized how dangerous they had made the world.

    Look, in 2006, US, EU, China, Russia, and India all had expected a quick Iranian surrender.

    And each time Iranians told them that they would not surrender, they went on their merry way and escalated…

    Russia and China cannot avoid their own complicity….

    They were (partial) enablers.

    I guess the Iranian threat of war finally concentrated their minds like a death sentence.

  439. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Rather than be angry with Russia and China, why don’t you call for the West to sell Iran the TRR fuel so Iran can stop enriching to 20 percent?

  440. James Canning says:

    Dassan,

    The Russians want the Six Power talks with Iran to succeed, and the statement by the Russian deputy foreign minister can be taken as indicating to Iran there should be no doubting Russian wishes on this score.

  441. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Intentions are immaterial when one’s entire coercive policy misfires.

    Just like the late Saddam Hussein.

    Mr. Obama must bear responsibility for devising and executing a policy that was bringing the world to the edge of war.

    He has been, too clever.

    I suppose some people with more foresight among US ruling circles saw what was happening and got him to change course.

    Likewise, undoubtedly US had been warned by Russia and China and any number of other states in this regard.

    However, those states, the Chinese and Russians of this world, are also complicit – they escalated the Iran nuclear file in 2006 and 2007.

    Damn them all to Hell.

  442. James Canning says:

    Nima,

    I think it is clear that Khamenei, and Ahmadinejad, and of course Larijani, see the advantage to Iran from stopping enrichment to 20 percent and buying the TRR fuel from the West.

    I also think there is little reason to doubt that some haters of Iran in Washington and elsewhere, want Iran to continue to enrich to 20 percent.

  443. James Canning says:

    Nima Shirazi,

    Thanks for the support. Each time I say Iran offered to stop enriching to 20 percent, one or more who post on this site took great offense!

    Larijani March 13th said: “For the nuclear reactor in Tehran…obviously we should be able to buy 20 percent enriched [uranium].” Very true. Yet few who post on this site even say the West continues to be stupid almost beyond belief, by refusing to sell the TRR fuel to Iran.

  444. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama at no time since he entered the White House sought war with Iran.

    The Soviet Union in 1990 saw that Saddam Hussein was a fool bent on destroying his army etc., and thus it left him to his fate.

    That Obama could see war with Iran was something to avoid, IF POSSIBLE, is something you should applaud.

  445. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    China and Russia want the P5+1 negotiations with Iran to succeed.

  446. Humanist says:

    Recently, in Britain a dark secret was suddenly brought into the open shocking millions.

    It was a huge story about the efforts of Rupert Murdoch’s Enterprise to corrupt politicians, to deceive and indoctrinate the gullible public, to bribe the police and so on.

    On March 27, PBS’ Frontline aired a documentary about the scandal. Most of the important segments of the documentary were aired outside the US, thus one suspects hiding that huge story from the US public could’ve had ugly side-effects.

    If you are lucky you should be able to watch the above documentary online using the following link: (the download in my location is not possible because the Website declares “technical difficulties”, I have tried it many times without success).

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/murdochs-scandal/

    The night before the broadcast, Charlie Rose interviewed the producer of the documentary Lowell Bergman. You can watch that interesting interview here:

    ,http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12260

    The story is still an ongoing endeavor in UK. In my view it is a story that has historical dimensions since it can (and will) open the eyes of the masses in a big way. They’ll discover how their politicians are bribed then elected and much much more.

    There is little doubt what happened (and is happening) in the UK can happen in US too. One can imagine the US one can be a real big shocker..

    Amazing stuff. As far as UK, US, France, Germany are concerned it is not hard to anticipate severe political earthquakes on the horizon The fiercest one might take place in the US, especially if it can cause the crumbling of AIPAC’s giant structure.

  447. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: March 30, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    There will be no helping Israel by Azerbaijan.

    That is political suicide for her leaders.

    Those who think Shia Islam is weak or dead in Azerbaijan do not know that culture.

    The elite there are living on the borrowed institutions and ideas of USSR while the country-side is for Shia Islam if not for Khomeini.

  448. fyi says:

    Nima Shirazi says: March 30, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I did not state that these statements were for Western consumption.

    Rather, they were trial baloons to test US-EU and indeed P5+1 intentions.

    Their indifference indicates volumes about their intentions.

    China and Russia were aware of US-EU policy directions.

    They were going to give US-EU enough rope to hang themselves with it.

    Iranians tried to find a way out.

    No one was giving it to them at that time.

    The idea was to break the Iranian resistance.

    What happened next was that Iranian leaders indicated, early this year and during the US-EU Engineered Rush to War, that they are willing to go to war.

    At that point, when that decision had been communicated to US, Russia, EU, Israel, China and others that all of a sudden a concerted effort by China, Russia, and now Mr. Obama was made to stop the rush to war.

    We are, in effect, in a post-war situation in which Iran has not surrendered.

    The 2011 offer is no longer useful for Iran; its purpose and its shelf life has expired.

    You cannot threaten war, rush to war, retreat when the other side is willing to go to war, and then expect to go back to the status quo ante.

  449. Fiorangela says:

    Foreign Policy magazine wrote that Israel has a secret base in Azerbaijan whence it would stage an attack on Iran.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/28/israel_s_secret_staging_ground

    The Foreign Policy article is by Mark Perry, who proved useful to the sanity-inclined members of US Defense and foreign policy community when he exposed Israeli false flag operations in which Israelis masqueraded as US CIA agents. :http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/13/false_flag

    Christian Science Monitor questions whether US “torpedoed a deal with Israel” for a base in Azerbaijan, after a US administration official leaked information about the Israeli-Azerbaijan base, causing John Bolton heart palpitations. Bolton fumed that “one doesn’t do this to allies,” but of course, Israel is not and cannot be an “ally” of the US since it does not have internationally recognized borders and has not signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.

    :http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Foreign-Policy/2012/0329/Attacking-Iran-Did-US-just-torpedo-Israeli-deal-for-a-base-in-Azerbaijan

    “Israel buys oil from Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan recently agreed to buy $1.6 billion in military hardware from Israel, including drones, antiaircraft, and missile-defense systems.
    This week’s report of a possible basing agreement with Israel does nothing to improve the relationship between neighbors Azerbaijan and Iran.”

  450. Nima Shirazi says:

    Regarding the on-going discussion between James Canning and fyi, I believe it is incorrect to say that Iran’s suggestion that it will suspend 19.75% enrichment for the Tehran Research Reactor if provided with fuel rods is merely “implicit,” rather than “explicit.”

    For instance, President Ahmadinejad’s statements to both the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth and the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof in September 2011 were perfectly clear: if Iran obtained fuel for the TRR, it would immediately stop enriching uranium up to 19.75%.

    During a September 13, 2011 interview in Tehran with Weymouth, Ahmadinejad explained, “For power stations, we need uranium of 3.5 percent, and we are producing that fuel. For the Tehran reactor, we need uranium grade of 20 percent, and we are producing that. We have no other requirements. Of course at the beginning we had no interest to produce uranium grade 20 percent. But the West refrained from giving us that uranium, so we had to start producing uranium grade 20 percent.”

    He added, unequivocally, “If they give us the 20% enriched uranium this very week, we will cease the domestic enrichment of uranium of up to 20 percent this very week…We don’t want to produce uranium of 20 percent. Because they did not give us that uranium, we had to make our own investments. If they start to give us that uranium today, we will stop production…If they give us uranium grade 20 percent, we would stop production…I repeat: If you give us uranium grade 20 percent now, we will stop production. Because uranium grade 20 percent can only be used for such reactors, nothing else.”

    On September 21, 2011, Kristoff interviewed Ahmadinejad in New York City and was told by the Iranian president, “If they give us the 20% enriched uranium this very week, we will cease the domestic enrichment of uranium of up to 20 percent this very week. We only want the 20% enrichment for our domestic consumption. If they give it to us according to international law, according to IAEA laws, without preconditions, we will cease domestic enrichment. This is not something we wish to produce and sell on the open market. 20% enriched uranium, as you know, is not useful for much of anything other than the production of cancer treatment medication. It is not useful for a power plant.”

    The next day, on September 22, 2011, Reuters reported that Ahmadinejad had told a small media gathering in New York when he was attending the UNGA, “Any time they can guarantee us this sale…we will stop 20 percent enrichment,” continuing, “Whenever these assurances are given, we will do our part. We will cease domestic enrichment at the 20 percent level. That’s all. But we will continue the building of new power plants.”

    Even Iranian media reported his offer, quoting Ahmadinejad as telling reporters, “If IAEA or those countries with access to the required technology guarantee that will procure Tehran research reactor with enriched uranium, we will stop enrichment up to the level of 20 percent.”

    In early October 2011, Ahmadinejad repeated his offer on Iranian television: “If they give us the 20 percent fuel, we will immediately halt 20 percent,” adding, “we need fuel to 3.5 percent for our plants and research.”

    I don’t believe these statements would be made repeatedly without the express authorization and approval of Khamenei. Obviously this is open to dispute, but the fact that this offer were repeated by Iranian press itself belies the notion that such statements are made only for Western consumption. Seems pretty explicit to me.

  451. Fiorangela says:

    Alex Kane, who writes for Mondoweiss, gave Flynt and Hillary Leverett and RaceForIran front page attention yesterday — The Leveretts, the Iran experts who run the excellent Race For Iran blog, offered this theory before Netanyahu arrived in Washington early this month:

    Kane provided a clip from this RFI post:
    “IS OBAMA PREPARING TO COMMIT THE UNITED STATES TO AN EVENTUAL WAR AGAINST THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN?” at
    :http://www.raceforiran.com/is-obama-preparing-to-commit-the-united-states-to-an-eventual-war-against-the-islamic-republic-of-iran

    Well done Alex Kane and Hillary and Flynt Leverett.

  452. Sassan says:

    *Breaking News* The Russians are calling out Iran for violating United Nations resolutions in expanding the scale of their nuclear program

    The article is entitled “Iran Breaks UN Resolutions on Nuclear Program, Russia Says” (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-29/iran-breaks-un-resolutions-as-nuclear-program-grows-russia-says.html)

    Some quotes in the article:

    Iran is breaching United Nations resolutions and increasing the size of its nuclear program amid an “alarming” escalation in global rhetoric toward its atomic plans, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

    “The scale of the Iranian nuclear program is expanding,” Ryabkov said yesterday in an interview in New Delhi. This “is in direct violation of UN resolutions.”

  453. Rd. says:

    kooshy says:

    “After being wrongly maligned as “assassins” in a Reuters news report last month, female ninjas in Iran “

    they don’t understand Iranian women;

    In Iran, we have a saying: “Women are like tea . . .
    the hotter the water, the stronger they get.”

    by Mahtab Mansour

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/mansour290312.html

  454. kooshy says:

    After all it seems that Iranian female ninjas did kick Reuter’s ass well enough that made Reuter to admit to a usual biased misleading report, a well done job girls

    Iran Suspends Reuters Over Faulty Headline
    By J. DAVID GOODMAN

    Published: March 29, 2012

    “After being wrongly maligned as “assassins” in a Reuters news report last month, female ninjas in Iran may have found the pen momentarily mightier than the sword. But as Reuters discovered after correcting the report, the heavy hand of government can be even stronger in Iran.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/world/middleeast/iran-suspends-reuters-journalists-over-a-faulty-headline.html

  455. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you are mistaken to believe the P5+1 do not have a favorable reaction to Khamenei’s offer this month. And yes, Iran’s offer was implicit, not explicit.

    Khamenei and Larijani clearly see that a compromise on Iranian 20% enrichment will be necessary.

    This does not mean Obama will not screw things up yet again, thanks to ISRAEL LOBBY.

  456. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama likely will win re-election, so he is not “destroyed”. And yes, Obama did not handle the 2010 negotiations well.

    It remains true that it is not in Iran’s best interests, to injure Obama so that an idiot Republican enters the White House in 2013.

  457. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    The dedicated enemies of Iran notwithstanding, US, EU, Iran, Russia, China, India cannot go back to the status quo ante of December 2010.

    The final implosion of US-EU Financial Economy in 2011, comparable in its significance to the Collapse of Communism in 1991, means that the world has changed to the extent that all p5+1 positions – realistaically – must be re-assessed.

    By the way, Mr. Khamenei has not endorsed anything explicitly.

    Mr. Larijani’s offer included a revival of the previous Iranian offer of on-site human monitoring.

    P5+1 are indifferent.

  458. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Mr. Obama injured himself; he destroyed the 2010 agreement of Iran-Turkey-Brazil and dedicated his government to forging a NATO-wide economic warfare against Iran.

    Only a month ago, when his (and EU’s) carefully orchestrated economic warfare started becoming a “hot” war that he realized the disaster that his misguided policies were going to inflict on Iran, US, Middle East, and the world.

    It was his moral choice.

  459. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You ought to consider the apparent fact that dedicated enemies of Iran actually want Iran to continue to enrich to 20 percent.

  460. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Khamenei and Larijani have made clear they want Iran to buy TRR fuel from the West, and implicitly they accept that ending Iranian enrichment to 20 percent will be part of the deal.

    Obama could not agree to any deal by which Iran continued to enrich to 20 percent. It is not in Iran’s best interests to injure Obama.

  461. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    In my opinion, Iranians could offer capping 20% enrichment to the levels needed for TRR fuels needs.

    That is an acceptable position.

    US-EU and P5+1 can then go and herald this as “Iran blinked!” etc. to demonstrate that the negogiations are succeeding.

    There will be very hard-bargaining indeed in the coming weeks and months.

    Iranians have to also make some hard decisions.

  462. James Canning says:

    Sheldon Adelson, the Israel-American gambling billionaire, has conceded Newt Gingich is “toast” and will not get the Republican nomination, despite more than $15 million given to Gingrich by Adelso9n et ux.

  463. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Fundamentally, Iranians wish to develop certain key industries that they consider to be strategic domestically.

    In 1930s, Iranians bought a Steel Mill from Germany, the only country willing to do so in order to produce steel in Iran.

    They plant was never completed, WWII broke out and Iran was never compensated.

    After the war, the late Mohammad Reza Shah revived his father’s steel mill project.

    This time, no Western state was willing to sell that to them.

    But USSR did and once that became operational, others followed.

    Likewise, Russia was the country that supplied Iran with Busher Reactor; a project opposed by US tooth and nail.

    And the same situation obtained for internal combustion engine, nuclear fuel cycle, aerospace technologies etc.

    There is a deep national commitment to the project of Iranian industrialization and modernization for enhancement of Iranian standard of living as well as national power.

    It hass been going on for longer than 5 generations.

    P5+1 cannot successfully oppose that – which they are.

    This is the context of Iran and Iranians that US-EU leaders and negogiators are both too ignorant and too arrogant to acknowledge or accept.

    The fueling of TRR was politicized.

    P5+1 and IAEA cannot go back to the status quo ante and expect Iran to believe in empty promises of 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010.

    Iranians have spent money in developing the fuel assembly manufacture for TRR and other such reactors.

    That is irreversible; the current IAO calls for refueling of TRR with Iranian-made fuel assemblies over the next 2 years.

    I do not believe that the Iranians will now shelf those plans forever.

    Again, I emphasis, US-EU lost politically when they had to admit that war is not an option.

    Evidently, they still belive economic war is an option still.

    We will need a few more years for this stupidity to end.

    In the meantime, it is my sincere hope that there will be energy shortage acorss the world.

  464. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think Hillary Clinton told Obama not to respond to Iran’s implicit offer this month, to stop enriching to 20% if TRR fuel is sold to Iran, and that Dennis Ross also took this position. It has a great deal to do with pleasing rich and powerful Jews who could keep Obama from winning re-election.

  465. James Canning says:

    “Why Peter Beinart’s Book is Driving the ‘Pro-Israel’ Establishment Crazy”, by M J Rosenberg (March 29th):

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/peter-beinarts-book-israel_b_1388264.html?ref=world

  466. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You did not answer my question as to why it would make sense for Iran to continue to enrich to 20% if the West sells Iran the TRR fuel, at least directly. I take it Iran in your view should make this concession provided it receives something in return.

  467. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    Again, trial baloons that went nowhere.

    We shal see by the end of April or May.

    I do not expect any major concessions from Iran without reciprocal ones from P5+1.

    Look, from the Iranian stand-point, they have achieved a major politco-diplomatic victory by forcing Axis Powers to admit that War is not an option.

    They are convinced that they achieved that by steadfastness and by willingness to go to war.

    Now, they need to endure the economic war to make Axis Powers admit tha error of that policy as well.

  468. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Explain why Iran should wish to continue to enrich to 20% even if the West sells Iran the TRR fuel (as sought by Khamenei and Larijani).

  469. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    A great deal of money was made by promoters of suburban sprawl in the US. And getting away from certain minorities in the inner city continues to be a strong motivator.

    UK tax on petrol is ten times higher than US tax. UK approach makes sense, while the US promotes waste on gargantuan scale.

  470. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Mr. Larijani and Mr. Ahmadinejad’s statements were trial ballons which were met with indifference.

    There is no public statement anywhere by US, EU, Russia, and China on these subjects; not even trial baloons except ceasing 20% enrichment.

    It will not happen; capping is the best that p5+1 can achieve.

  471. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Larijani’s March 13th and March 15th interviews indicate Iran may well accept “confidence building measures” as suggested in March 7th front page story in the Financial Times.

  472. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    Much of it is due to the patterns of urbanization in US after WWII.

    US Government encouraged suburban development out of the fear of the return of the Great Depression.

    [Those with financial means left US cities over time, leaving behind the poor Blacks, who then rioted.

    Almost like Liverpool.]

    And since you live in California, you must see how they drive for an hour just to go to a restaurant or a moviehouse.

  473. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    If Iran buys TRR fuel from the West, as sought by Larijani and Khamenei, what reason would there be to continue to enrich to 20%? On March 13th, Larijani said it was “obvious” the West should sell TRR fuel to Iran. And it is indeed “obvious”.

  474. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Erdogan should push harder for Middle East free of nukes. And pressure Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  475. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    I do not think that Iranians will ceasse 20% enrichment.

    That game is also over.

    What they will accept, is capping it to the amounts needed for refueling TRR.

    The Brazil-Turkey-Iran deal of 2010 cannot be revived.

    Confidence-building step – the preferred US-EU strategy – will not work and Iranians will not accept it.

    Only step-by-step actions will work – along the lines of the Russian plan of 2011.

    All interactions between Iran and foreign powers are going to be transactional in nature.

    The days of Iran doing things for free are over for good.

    [I wonder if US, EU, India, Russia, China, Japan are going to like this new Iran that is going to emerge after the US-EU Economic War.]

  476. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Continuing stupidity by the US, in failing to tax gasoline at sufficiently high level, contributes a great deal to rising oil prices. Financial Times today reported the average American drives 12,000 miles per year! Insane.

  477. kooshy says:

    Iran opposes production of WMDs: Erdogan

    “In our meeting tonight, the Leader [of the Islamic Revolution] again made the same remark. Now after hearing such a remark, I cannot claim that Iran is producing nuclear weapons. The [Iranian] president [Ahmadinejad] confirms the same thing. Don’t they have the right to pursue a peaceful nuclear [energy] program?”

    “The IAEA has so far reviewed Iran’s nuclear program and has made different announcements [from] time to time, but they [IAEA] do not say ‘Yes. There are [nuclear] weapons here [in Iran]’. They are talking of possibilities,” Erdogan added.

    Erdogan said he hoped the world would treat Iran in a just manner and show its justice in the same way everywhere in the world.

    “Now, the situation of Israel is known, there are such [a high] number of [nuclear] warheads in Israel, but nobody asks about it. Questions should be asked about it too, [and] the West should ask about it too,” he concluded.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233827.html

  478. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    “Cheesy journalism” by Margaret Warmer? Or vicious lying, by Margaret Warner?

  479. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 30, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    I think a global recession will benefit Iran as the economic war against her will then eviscerate in the conditions of every-man-for-himself.

    Price of oil, with or without recession, is going to go up.

    There are long term secular trends – largely increased consumption.

    Right now, Japan has an 800,000 barrels a day of equivalent energy shortage – a third of it due to Iran sanctions.

    Let us hope for a hot summer in Japan, Korea, and China.

  480. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You linked comments by Dipankar Banerjee [at 9.56am]: “We understand the US interest to get Iran to give up nuclear weapons…”

    Does Banerjee do Iran any favors by saying Iran already has nukes or is about to obtain them?

  481. fyi says:

    Empty says: March 30, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    In effect, you and Mr. Esfandiari are denyong the existence of Natural Rights in Islam.

    That is contradicted by the Quran.

    One right that Mankind naturally has is the Right to Moral Choice.

    From that alone other “Natural Rights” follow.

  482. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    We will see if oil prices decline, as sought by Saudi Arabia. If they go much higher, that in itself likely will cause a signficant decline (if global recession results).

  483. fyi says:

    bettertobepickled says: March 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    I have expressed my opinion based on my somewhat initimate knowledege of those countries, their people, and their history.

  484. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Of course there is no “explicit evidence” of acceptance by the Six Powers of Iranian enrichment to 3.5% – 5%. There is zero chance Iranian enrichment to 20% will be accepted. But the Financial Times report of March 7th is the only thing I have seen in a major newspaper setting out what the diplomats connected to the P5+1 position have let be known.

  485. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    “Peace” is politically expensive, thanks to ISRAEL LOBBY (and idiot Republicans).

    Their object is to make it prohibitively expesnive. And screw the national interests of the American people.

  486. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Surely the only way Obama can accept Iranian enrichment to 3.5% – 5% is by having the agreement accepted by the P5+1. ISRAEL LOBBY (and idiot Republicans) will try to prevent this from happening.

  487. Ah, Empty… while Reza may strive to have informed opinions, FYI achieves “metaphysical certainties”.

  488. Truly, the most racist and grossly ignorant statement yet made on Race for Iran, putting even Sassan and Wilbur in deep shadow:

    “The 1.4 billion human beings living in China, Korea, and Japan are living in the Age of Darkness. There is no moral constraint on them and the value of an individual human for them is only comprehended within their racialist collective.”

    This is self-satisfied delusions of a most extreme kind, breathtaking in its incomprehension of a large set of other cultures, distinct from each other, with rich and active legacies of moral development.

  489. kooshy says:

    Yeh, right, what a brake, last time I was in Iran just a few weeks ago it seems to me that everybody was shivering by a county size isolated country who is a thousand mile away and can’t even fight her own smaller next door adversaries, as W use
    to say they really shouldn’t have postponed and miss the Norooz fireworks over the Israeli skies.

    Israel shields public from war risks with Iran
    By Gareth Porter

    “But the message that Iran is too weak to threaten an effective counter-attack is contradicted by one of Israel’s leading experts on Iranian missiles and the head of its missile defense program for nearly a decade, who says Iranian missiles are capable of doing significant damage to Israeli targets.”

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC31Ak01.html

    Israel’s plan to attack Iran put on hold until next year at the earliest

    U.S. war simulation forces Ehud Barak to reconsider attack plans; Americans pledge more money for Iron Dome antimissile system.”
    By Amir Oren

    :http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-s-plan-to-attack-iran-put-on-hold-until-next-year-at-the-earliest-1.421348

  490. Empty says:

    fyi on March 30, 2012 at 11:14 am wrote to Reza Esfandiari “You wrote: ‘None of us have any “natural rights”, but we do have responsibilities to ourselves and to others.’

    This statement is only an opinion.

    God has endowed each human being with intrinsic rights – such as the right procreation, choosing where to live, what religion to have, etc.”

    I wonder what makes Reza’s statement an opinion but fyi’s statement a fact.
    قربون برم خدا رو…یک بام و دو هوا رو

  491. Karl says:

    Eric Brill,

    Nothing new. Same practice (as always) as used with Libya, urging just one side to put down their weapons. Would US accept a peacedeal i Afghanistan if they have to put down their weapons first? Again we see the Annan effort is just a masked attempt to bring regime change by the strong powers and Russia (China?) who supported Annan now see themselves being backstabbed again since they refused a resolution that sought regime change. While I think regime change is inevitable and a must, pushing one side against the other have nothing to do with “talks” as we are led to belive Annan is there to establish. Its this typical deception by western states that less and less people buy into their obvious lies and propaganda.

    I guess they (US etcetera) put forth Annan just for pure PR, its a better look if a respected and black man try to make peace than the debacle US, UK, France caused in Libya. However the message is the same, step down or we will “step” you down.

  492. Off-topic (Syria):

    Here is what Kofi Annan reportedly has said about the cease-fire agreement in the Syrian conflict:

    “Assad said Thursday that he wants the plan to succeed, but insisted that the opposition must first commit to a cease-fire as well. Annan urged the Syrian government to halt its troops first. “The government must stop first and then discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side,” Annan spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said Friday. “We are appealing to the stronger party to make a gesture of good faith. … The deadline is now.”

    COMMENT:

    Is Kofi Annan quite all there? He honestly thinks it makes sense for one side just to stop fighting and then “discuss a cessation of hostilities with the other side?” I have a hard time believing anyone would even say such a thing, much less believe it sounds persuasive to anyone who might be listening.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/03/30/world/middleeast/ap-clinton-mideast.html?ref=global-home

  493. Rehmat says:

    On March 20, Washington announced that it will excempt ten European countries and Japan from penalities for doing business with Iran’s central bank, fasely claiming that these countries have reduced oil purchase from the Islamic Republic. However, Washington did not provide similar excemption to its four major trade partners, China, India, South Korea and Turkey.

    Under AKP government the Turkish-Iranian trade and cultural relations have become a great concern to Israel and its western poodle governments. The interest of Iranian and Turkish investors and businesspeople in realizing the two countries’ goal will pave the way for increasing trade volume from the current figure of 10 billion dollars to 30 billion dollars in coming years. Ankara is very much interested in participating in development projects of the Iranian gas fields intended to export gas to Europe via Turkey to meet the needs of the European markets.

    Yesterday, speaking at a press conference in Istanbul, US ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, warned Ankara to ‘reduce significantly’ its oil imports from Iran – to avoid western sanctions against Turkey.

    During the recent BRICK conference in New Delhi, both India and China defiantly declared their intention to continue trading with Islamic Republic, rebuffing US attempts to force them and other countries cut economic ties with Tehran over its nuclear program which Israel calls poses an existential threat to the Zionist entity.

    Both India and China received support from Russia, South Africa and Brazil for refusing to by dictated by Washington’s wish to strangle Iran economically for the pleasure of Israel.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/us-anti-iran-sanction-pushing-and-shoveling-not-working/

  494. Karl says:

    fyi,

    Even if Iran would agree to sign the AP, Israel and US still going to say “we cant be sure Iran have declared all sites” the only acceptance US and Israel going to accept is a regime change. Otherwhise it will only keeps on going, therefore as you say US wont accept any enrichment because of the pressure from pro-Israel groups inside the US and pressure from Israel. Not to mention that Iran have been demanded to end any enrichment by the same powers earlier through sanctions.

  495. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: March 30, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Not really.

    They are still on US side and will continue to do so.

  496. fyi says:

    Reza Esfandiari says: March 30, 2012 at 7:59 am

    You wrote:

    “None of us have any “natural rights”, but we do have responsibilities to ourselves and to others.”

    This statement is only an opinion.

    God has endowed each human being with intrinsic rights – such as the right procreation, choosing where to live, what religion to have, etc.

  497. fyi says:

    Jay says: March 30, 2012 at 12:24 am

    That was only part of the reasons.

    The entire US-EU-Israel Approach which was “War is Cheap – Peace is Expensive” showed extreme infantalism.

    And then there was extreme infantalism of never paying any attention to the shape of the post-hostilities world in the Middle East.

  498. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    He is correct that there is no explicit evidence of the acceptance of U-235 enrichment in Iran by Axis Powers.

    We will know in a few weeks.

  499. Karl says:

    Wilbur,

    Please take your prejudice elsewhere.

  500. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 29, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    They cannot do it; they could not do it when Libya went off-line and they would not be able to do it now.

    Israel is short of Natural Gas, due to Egyptian effort to disrupt gas supply [attacks on the pipeline], the USA and the world is suffering the constantly rising oil price, wherein they caused at least 700 to 1 100 000 barrels a day disruption, via:

    1., USA/satraps [Saudi Arabia/Qatar] support of the despots in Yemen via arms, money and Reapers 140 000 barrel per day
    2., as above and EU sanctions on Syrian oil sales – 240 000 barrels per day.
    3., USA EU sanctions of oil export by Iran, at present approx 300 000 barrels per day
    4., Lybia is still short of its pre NATO bombing production approx 300 000 barrels per day

    Other issues effecting oil avalability:
    1., Japan’s need for oil LNG greatly increased since the tsusami, different numbers cited 300 000 barrels per day + increase over pre- nuclear problem.
    2., China and India still have growing appetite for oil, cutting into available export from the 33 oil exporters.
    3., the Oil exporters are increasing their internal use of oil, thus cutting into availble export amount, approx 300 000 barrels per day annually since 2005

    The net effect is rising oil price, without the war.

    God will turn their tricks against them.

  501. Rd. says:

    Wilbur says:

    The harsh reality is Islam does not believe in free speech, freedom of religion, or the primacy of man mad law as understood in the west.

    Does the primacy of man made laws made in the west include the usual practice of sexually abusing children by religious man? Over the many generations? And the many western countries?
    Or you think Muslims have not advanced that far yet?
    Perhaps children are not considered human, so human rights do not apply to them?
    Or how about, there were just a few bad apples responsible for sexually abusing children, so it would be considered bigotry to include the entirety of a people, religious group or nations as habitual sexual abuser of children?

    Allegations of and convictions for sexual abuse by clergy have been subjects of public debate in many countries (see Roman Catholic sex abuse cases by country). After the United States, the country with the next highest number of reported cases is Ireland. A significant number of cases have also been reported in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia

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

    Oh my, all these advanced western countries and their man made laws.. dear wilbur, I sure do hope you survived your childhood.. unless you think it is ok!

  502. fyi says:

    Wilbur says: March 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    In regards to human rights, I submit to you while Amnesty International might have some moral standing is raising it, no state on this planet has the moral standing or the intrinsic right to bring it up much less use it as a wedge to beat on this or that state for political purposes.

    Least of all the United States that has slaughtered tens of thousands of Iraqis in order to advance her strategic agenda against essentially defenseless people.

    God will chastise the leaders of the United States if not she.

    Now, let us get to your other assertions regarding Islam and other religions.

    The 1.4 billion human beings living in China, Korea, and Japan are living in the Age of Darkness. There is no moral constraint on them and the value of an individual human for them is only comprehended within their racialist collective.

    Well, Islam, Judaism, Christianity firmly reject that.

    Secondly, the purported secularism that you seem to prefer is rejected by Islam as well as Catholic/Orthodox/Conservative Judaism precisely because it is devoid of God. Your assertion regarding Islam being alone ii its rejection of secularism – really atheistic Modernity coming from Europe and North America – is wrong, in my opinion.

    I do not know enough about Hinduism and India to comment deeply about it. But that Hindu World is functioning on the basis that the great spirituality permeates the Universe. India might be a secular state (a necessity in country that has many diverse forms of Hinduism) but her society, in my opinion, is not secular at all.

    Now, we get to the part about Islam and Jihad.

    Islam is a religion of inner Peace – a faith in which one undertakes his actions doing his best effort while, at the same time, accepting that the Will of God, in some mysterious way, may thwart all his best laid plans.

    That inner Peace, however, does not translate to an outer Peace. Islam is a religion of external War and External Peace. For sometimes you have to fight Evil Doers and Unbelievers.

    In Africa, where Islam is spreading quite vigorously, wars have not been its instrumentality of propagation.

    NAZI Germany, Pol-Post’s Cambodia, USSR, and the People’s Republic of China – all secular states par excellence – have been places where tens of millions of human beings were murdered in cold-blood.

    Islam or Christianity did not commit those crimes; men imbued with the ideas of Western Secularism did that.

    And finally, the United States has killed tens of thousands of people in Iraq, Viet Nam and elsewhere; people who had not attacked the United States, were not a threat to the United States, and were not seeking a war with the United States.

    And now, collectively with EU – a bunch of secular states which, per yourself, are the epitome of progress, are threatening to destroy Iran and cause great harm and suffering to her population.

    I hope you will admit this much.

    In regards to Islam, accept them the way they are or live them alone. This is sage advice for you on a personal level and for the United States and EU.

    Else, go stitch a cross on your garment and prepare yourself for a decades-long religious war with Muslims.

  503. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Annan plan is unlikely to go anywhere. Once the West produces some order to the insurgents, I suspect “diplomacy” will go by the board and the West will begin arming the insurgents and push once again for an air campaign against Syria.

    You would think Syria is easy pickings, right? You have Israel on one side with the occupied Golan Hts. You have Turkey on the other with a massive US base within minutes of Syria. You have the Mediterranean with the US fleet. US military, plus Israel, plus Turkey, NATO against the little Syria.

    What is the hold up? Just an election? Thats 6 months away. Iraq took 2-3 weeks, with a much bigger army.

    Syrian opposition unites before April 1 meeting

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-275700-syrian-opposition-unites-before-april-1-meeting.html

  504. BiBiJon says:

    Realism with an Indian accent
    =============================

    Given India’s geopolitical position with Iran, economic and security interests in Afghanistan, and tumultuous trading relations with nuclear-armed Pakistan, India sees Iran as a critical long-term partner.

    “The United States is only looking at short-term advantages,” says Gen. Dipankar Banerjee, a senior fellow at the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. “We understand the US interest to get Iran to give up nuclear weapons, but we have to look at India’s strategic interests in having security and trade in the region beyond 2014 when US forces withdraw from Afghanistan.”

    From http://www.minnpost.com/christian-science-monitor/2012/03/why-india-trying-expand-trade-iran

  505. Photi says:

    Wilbur says:
    March 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    “Frankly it is why I believe if Islam does not reform(something impossible when a believer thinks Allah or Muhammed can never be wrong) we will have a conflagration embroiling the world in war.”

    Wilbur, what do you know about Islam and reform? By the tone of your posts i would venture to guess your idea of “reform” in Islam is for the Muslims to altogether abandon their faith in favor of what you define as “rationalism.” Have you never heard of Muhammad Abduh? Syed Qutb? Ayatollah Khomeini? These figures represent just a few of the leaders of the reform movements that have gone on the Islamic world from the 19th Century onward. In fact, if you knew your history, you would know the Secularists, not the “Islamists,” have been the most ideologically violent groups in the Middle East. The secularists foolishly tried to repress Islam and that is where they failed. Just because you don’t know your history does not mean Middle Easterners are in the dark.

  506. BiBiJon says:

    Cheesy Journalism award for Margaret Warner (updated)
    ===================================================

    Last night PBS News Hour had a segment on Israel Bombing Iran.

    ,http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june12/israel-iran_03-28.html

    If you decide to watch it, please do not hold your breath waiting for even so much as an oblique reference to international law. Neither legality, nor morality featured in that war screed.

    This is how Margaret began the segment:

    “Some 1,000 protesters marched in Tel Aviv last weekend, urging the Israeli government not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Bibi, don’t bomb Iran,” the posters read, calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname.

    The protest reflected mounting concern among Israelis that their leaders may be on the verge of launching a preemptive strike against Iran’s expanding nuclear program. Though the Iranian regime has VOWED TO DESTROY the Jewish state, recent polls in Israel show only 19 percent would support their government attacking Iran unilaterally.”

    Vowed to destroy? Wow!

    *Updated with info from someone I respect a lot, Nima Shirazi*

    This one has a compendium of statements by top Iranian officials regarding the condemnation of nuclear weapons and repeated affirmations that Iran will never seek nuclear weaponry:

    http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/02/obama-lies-about-iranian-nuclear.html

    This one compiles similar statements (obvious some are repeated in the above article) made solely by Ahmadinejad:

    wideasleepinamerica.c om/2011/06/two-smart-fellows.html

    This one provides a comprehensive debunking of the ludicrous “wipe off the map” allegation along with an extensive examination of Ahmadinejad’s consistently repeated support for a popular referendum – not a military strike of any sort – to determine the political fate of Israel/Palestine:

    wideasleepinamerica.c om/2010/03/nejad-vu-all-over-again-medias.html#context

    Furthermore, it is instructive to add that Ahmadinejad has not only never threatened to attack Israel militarily, he has specifically spoken out against such a possibility. In September 2007, Ahmadinejad was asked by the Associated Press whether Iran “would ever make a first strike against Israel.” He replied, “Iran will not attack any country,” and insisted Iran has “always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one” and has no interest in territorial expansion, something Israel could never seriously claim.

    At a news conference during the 2008 D8 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Ahmadinejad told reporters that the Zionist enterprise is “inherently doomed” to failure and, as such, “there is no need for Iranians to take action.” He also assured the press, “You should not be concerned about a new war.”

    Even more recently, Ahmadinejad told an Al Jazeera correspondent during an October 2011 interview in Tehran, “We will never enter any war against the U.S. or against any other country. This is our policy…We have never attacked anybody. Why should we do that? Why should we start a war?”

  507. Sassan says:

    Iran’s jailed Baha’i leaders approach 10,000 days of imprisonment

    Members of Baha’i faith – founded in Iran in 19th century – face persecution at every level by country’s state machinery: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/iran-blog/2012/mar/30/iran-bahai-leaders-days-imprisonment?newsfeed=true

  508. BiBiJon says:

    Gareth Porter: Ehud Barak deserves a medal for optimism
    =====================================================

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC31Ak01.html

  509. BiBiJon says:

    More random utterances?
    ======================

    (Reuters) – There can be no time limit on efforts to end the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear programme and Israel appears to be over-estimating the danger posed by Tehran, Russia’s point man for Iran diplomacy, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview on Thursday.

    “I believe that our Israeli colleagues …. over-estimate the degree of danger that Iran may pose,”

    “After all we have no smoking gun that underpins accusations” Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, he said. “Russia is still of the firm belief that there is no credible evidence of (a) military component in the Iranian programme.”

    “Iran is cooperating, now more than before, especially with the IAEA, and we need to back up this effort on Iran’s part with equal readiness for serious negotiations,” he said of the six powers.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/03/29/iran-nuclear-russia-idINDEE82S0HU20120329

  510. Jay says:

    bettertobepickled says:
    March 30, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Unfortunate for the cause of peace, war is the banner of hegemony.

    I did not mean to imply that war is off the table forever, or that it could not happen by accident. The implication of numerous analysis suggests that war is not the “profitable” option at this juncture. Instead, surrogate cross border terrorism and economic terrorism will be used for the time being. If Iran softens, or internal upheaval is brought about, the scenarios will be reevaluated. This is a cold calculation.

    Perhaps what is frustrating the proponents of hegemony is that the volume of the war drumbeat is falling on tired ears. That is why they continue to bang louder – because bluffing Iran to submission is the only “profitable” option left at this point. At least until war calculations show “promise” again.

  511. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Wilbur says:

    Islam is the only world religion that has/still believes in a doctrine of war to spread itself,

    The principle of “jihad” is poorly understood. It means “struggle” as opposed to violent conflict. It it is not for propagating the faith but rather for defending it.

    {i>Categorically rejects secularism while all others have by in large accepted it

    In Islam, there is no separation between politics and religion. This is because Islam is a comprehensive way of life. Moreover, unlike Christianity, Islam has its own laws and jurisprudence for governing a society. Hence, no true Muslim can profess secularism although they can hold a liberal interpretation of Shariah.

    ?and clearly rejects the foundational building blocks of universal human rights.

    Human rights do not exist in Islam because they don’t exist in the first place. None of us have any “natural rights”, but we do have responsibilities to ourselves and to others. However, “civil rights” – the contract between the citizens and the state – is very much part of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran (Articles 19-42).

  512. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Javad (and Leveretts),
    Exactly right. I’ve said before that a better name for this site would be Race for the USA. What the events and discussions over the years have shown is that the real issue is the level to which the Zionist and war lobbies have taken over the political process in the US- and this is not limited to the obvious example of US Iran and Mid East policy.

    Iran discussions on this site are only relevant to the extent that they illuminate the realities that exist in Iran, and in turn, these realities inform US policy towards Iran. I think this has been sufficiently done over the last couple years and there no longer is a need to keep repeating the pointless and futile “discussions” with the Sassan’s of the world. As mentioned I would put most recent posts by the audience on this site in the category of group therapy and indulging personal issues, not serious policy discussion.

    I would advise the Leveretts to take the site in the direction that you suggested, otherwise they risk losing the credit they have rightly earned from it.

    Furthermore, it’s time that the Leveretts and like minded experts move beyond blogging and interviews if the matter of a US war with Iran is as historically significant as they claim. There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind that a US/Israel attack on Iran would end the USA as we know it (as I’ve been saying since the beginning).

    We will do what we have to do to save of our country in case of such madness, but it seems even well-informed Americans don’t know what to do.

  513. Empty says:

    Goli says:

    RE: “They appointed Vali Nasr as the Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Just curious if anyone has a reaction to this?”

    Appointments to positions of dean, provost, chancellor, and chair (to a lesser extent) are decidedly political decisions within the US academia. While some very minor changes have been observed, the positions also remain populated with predominantly white male. What I have also observed is that in some cases when a university makes the decision to do a complete overhaul and purge quite a few programs especially if those programs are populated with certain “types” of faculty, then they usually appoint a non-white person to do the purging. When there are (inevitably) severe backlashes (or also potential lawsuits) from the part of the faculty, the appointed fellow becomes the target of criticism and in essence the fall guy. When the dirty job is finished and the dusts have settled, the university would usually either quietly move the guy/gal around elsewhere or if the backlash is too severe, the administration won’t feel any shame to force a resignation, early retirement, or pressure for step-down by the “tool”.

    With Vali Nasr, I am not too familiar with the internal politics of JH to assess with confidence what’s going on. I am guessing that it’s one of those “dohols” which “farda sedash dar miad” [there is a lag time for the real agenda to become apparent.]

  514. Sassan says:

    *please watch this* I uploaded this myself.. It is based on the tragic end of the life of 16-year old Atefah Sahaaleh whom was executed by the hooligans of the Islamic Republic when in fact she was the sexual abuse victim of a 50-year old pervert ex-Revolutionary Guards thug. The reporters in this film were able to sneak into the town where she was from and speak with her Father & family who risked their own lives to even speak to the undercover reporters. If you watch one video from me, watch this if you have a grain of compassion inside your soul..http://vimeo.com/39467444

  515. Javad says:

    It is a real pity that instead of engaging the ignorant public in the U.S., RaceforIran is trapped in the net of talkative Iranians! Posts should encourage discussions among Americans not Iranians…

  516. masoud says:


    Empty says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:04 am

    masoud,

    Excellent interview. Thank you for posting it.

    You’re very much welcome. If anyone out there cares to return the favor, I haven’t been able to find video of Ahmadinejad’s response to the Parliament’s questions.

  517. masoud says:


    Fiorangela says:
    March 26, 2012 at 11:27 am


    Masoud at 1:35 am:

    “aplogies to the normals”

    !

    That was insensitive of me. Apologies to the normals, and Fiorangela.

  518. masoud says:

    The Awakening comes to Britain.

    http://www.lbc.co.uk/galloways-sensational-bradford-spring-win-52976

    God Bless George Galloway.

  519. kooshy says:

    Mr. Jeffrey Fleishman,
    Los Angeles Times

    I was reading your March 29, 2012, article published on line in Los Angeles Times titled “Mideast upheaval knocks Saudi Arabia off balance” and frankly stopped reading the balance of article after reading the second paragraph due to the usual propagandist tone which now days is accepted in western media when reporting on Iran centered issues. The reason I stopped reading your article after the second paragraph was due to terms you used to describe Saudi Arabia vs. Iran’s where you correctly describe Saudi Arabia as a Sunni Muslim country meaning a Sunni majority county and by contrast describing Iran as a Shiite “controlled” country this tone can be vaguely suggestive to your readers that the Shiite in Iran are of the minority but in control like in Bahrain where the Sunni minority is in control of the state and ruling over the Shiite majority, you should know that according to organization of Islamic cooperation statistics, Shiite population in Iran constitute 90% of the total population of 75 million therefore any democratically elected government in Iran possibly and naturally will be in control just like where in Saudi Arabia very likely a Sunni government will be in control. Another note of importance that you may want to let your readers know is that the minority constitutionally accepted religions are represented in Iranian parliament like in case of the Iranian Jews with population of only 25000 they are parliamentary represented by one elected representative of their own in comparison the kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not allow any other religion being practiced in the state and does not even have a parliament.

    Unfortunately due to the political atmosphere the tone of US/Western media has become one of demonization of Iran for state propaganda purposes rather than true honest reporting and quite likely you feel a duty to be a participant rather than a true journalist.
    I plan to post this letter on line, and I hope in future you will consider being fair and balanced when reporting on my countries issues.

    “Mideast upheaval knocks Saudi Arabia off balance”

    “The decades-old rivalry between Sunni Muslim Saudi Arabia and Shiite-controlled Iran for prominence in the region is one of the volatile subplots embedded in the “Arab Spring. “This was evident Thursday when Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf countries, which have complained of Iranian manipulation of the Shiite-majority government in Iraq, sent lower-level delegations to the Arab League summit in Baghdad.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-saudi-worries-20120330,0,1293608.story

  520. Wilbur says:
    March 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Thank you for your comment. I will look carefully at the link you provided. I promised fyi a reply, which I intend to provide, and I’ll reply as well to your comment. It may be a while, but I will.

  521. bettertobepickled says:

    Jay, I’ve read your comments. I appreciate them. However, how many Americans died in the unprovoked attack on the Liberty? Were there any repercussions you know about?

    How many, then, would the American government see of their own killed to “protect Israel”? I would hazard a guess of many thousands. Wouldn’t you?

  522. bettertobepickled says:

    How can someone write

    “Frankly it is why I believe if Islam does not reform(something impossible when a believer thinks Allah or Muhammed can never be wrong) we will have a conflagration embroiling the world in war”

    and then write

    “The Leverett’s made it pretty clear they would not tolerate racist remarks. Once again you have used the “N” word when you said “house n….” I would kindly ask you to desist from using this kid of openly inflammatory language.”

    and pretend he’s rational?

  523. Jay says:

    Post was in reply to:
    bettertobepickled says:
    March 29, 2012 at 11:58 pm

  524. Jay says:

    I refer you to what I wrote at:
    March 29, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    In part, I said ” … there are no analytically supportable basis for such an attack for the next 5 years. However, there is room for plenty of exotic idle speculation!”

    Numerous simulations on multiple scales have now suggested US casualties on the scale of thousands early in the war. A lot more public support must be manufactured before this becomes acceptable.

  525. Jay says:

    Wilbur,

    read Fiorangela’s response to you punctiliously. Avoid conflating practice with ideals and rhetoric with action.

    If memory serves, the US is one of the two countries (the other is Somalia) that has not ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This is the most widely and rapidly ratified human rights treaty in history. What does this say to you? The US is one of only seven countries (others are Iran, Nauru, Palau, Somalia, Sudan and Tonga) that has not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. What does that say to you?

    Your original statement in your post was: “…the majority of the states identified for concern happen to be Muslim majority countries.” Here you are conflating the fact that there are muslim majorities with the notion that these majorities have a say in the practices and rules enforced – this is not necessarily the case, for example, for our friend and ally SA.

    You are so steeped in your sense of righteousness that you do not even recognize when you tar an entire segment of human beings by accusing them to be the bearers of the bitter fruits of neocolonialism. You are not cognizant that as much most human beings wish to be free to exercise their lives in peace – and practice their beliefs in peace – they can be deprived because of factors they do not have control over: geopolitics.

    Muslims, Christians, or Jews, Buddhist, Atheist, and many other private form of belief can peacefully coexist. Acts of aggression is committed by human beings, beliefs are used to provide cover for the act. In neocolonialism, citizenry is not afforded the tools of democracy by design – the many years of bloodshed amongst the Irish was not a product of Islam. Atheists have had their share of binges of violence.

    Learn some tolerance before you preach tolerance to others. Start by not tarring vast groups with a broad dirty brush!!

  526. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Wilbur says:
    March 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm
    Did you forget to read the article? The Leverett’s made it pretty clear they would not tolerate racist remarks. Once again you have used the “N” word when you said “house n….” I would kindly ask you to desist from using this kid of openly inflammatory language. It serves no purpose.

    *

    I’ll tell you what, cuz: I’ll stop referring to myself as a nigger when your ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ culture stops thinking of me and treating me like one.

    Love,

    Ishmael.

  527. bettertobepickled says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-s-plan-to-attack-iran-put-on-hold-until-next-year-at-the-earliest-1.421348

    “At 8:58 P.M. on Tuesday, Israel’s 2012 war against Iran came to a quiet end. The capricious plans for a huge aerial attack were returned to the deep recesses of safes and hearts. The war may not have been canceled but it has certainly been postponed. For a while, at least, we can sound the all clear: It won’t happen this year. Until further notice, Israel Air Force Flight 007 will not be taking off.”

    not a terribly convincing article…

  528. Fiorangela says:

    Wilbur wrote:

    “. . .Instead you must find the evil Zionist angle behind everything akin to your theories on WW II (your best one to date was your argument the Nazis weren’t trying to colonize europe seemingly oblivious to the fact they occupied most of Europe by force–ah but that was the Jews fault as well right?). For once can you try to address my points instead of trying to morally equivocate with the transgressions of others.”

    _________

    from Freedom Betrayed: Herbert Hoover’s Secret History of the Second World War and Its Aftermath, George H. Nash, ed.

    in 1938 Herbert Hoover spent seven weeks traveling through Europe and meeting with heads of state. “The sojourn loomed large in his eventual Magnum Opus . . . Particularly revealing for insight into his developing geopolitical vision was his interview with Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain . . . [in which Hoover] told the British leader quite bluntly that another world war would probably destroy the British empire and that war must be avoided if at all possible. To accomplish this objective (he advised), the expansionist urges of Nazi Germany must be accommodated to some extent. Germany was a ‘virile nation’ (he told Chamberlain), which felt itself to be ‘in a cage’ encircled by France and its allies. In the opinion of the American ex-president, Germany would remain a ‘menace’ so long as this ‘cage’ existed.

    Hoover was convinced, however, that, if ‘given a certain freedom,’ Germany would not cause trouble in western Europe. He did not believe that Germany intended to attack in the West. Just back from his conversations with Hitler and other German leaders, Hoover opined that Germany was now looking eastward, toward Ukraine, and that its pressure in that direction should not concern the British. According to Hoover, Neville Chamberlain concurred. . . .

    ‘It would be a disaster if the western Democracies were dragged down by a war the end result of which would be to save the cruel Russian despotism,’ argued Hoover, who stated that ‘Chamberlain agreed completely.’ “ pp. xx-xxi
    - – - -

    Hoover watched, sidelined and furious, as Roosevelt manipulated events to provoke a Japanese reaction that would involve the United States in a war.

    - – - – -

    Document 13, [written by Hoover in 1947]
    “As the result of my combined experience in World War I, as President, and my personal examination of Europe in 1938, I began then to warn our people of the dangers of Roosevelt’s foreign policyies and the consequences of our being involved in this war. . . .I endeavored, by appeal to reason, to establish certain principles and conclusions. Any reading of those addresses and writings . . .will show repeated public statements in various forms of the following specific arguments and prophecies. . . .[I]n major essence every one has proved true.

    1. In 1938, I stated that there was danger of another explosion in Europe, but that this explosion was heading primarily toward war between the leaders of rival and aggressive militarized ideologies: Hitler with Fascism, and Stalin with Communism.

    2. I stated that the Western European Democracies would be involved only if they interfered in this struggle; that if they kept out, the mutual exhaustion of the two great military states would leave the world safe for democracy for a long time.” pages 850- 851

    Roosevelt’s and Churchill’s reasons for involving their respective nations in a war in Europe, based on lies, as John Mearsheimer discloses in “Why Leaders Lie,” is an inglorious tale and yes, it does, in part but irrefutably, involve zionists, including, among others, Benjamin Netanyahu’s father; Samuel Untermyer; and Rabbi Stephen Wise.

  529. Rehmat says:

    On Friday, tens of thousands of Jewish, Christian and Muslim protesters will join the Global March to Jerusalem, which coincides with the ‘Land Day’ the annual day to commemorate six Israeli Arabs who died while 100 others injured in 1976 while protesting over what they claimed were Israeli government plans to steal Palestinian land……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/global-march-to-jerusalem-2012/

  530. Fiorangela says:

    Wilbur says:March 29, 2012 at 9:04 pm
    wrote:

    “Well I guess the simple concept of change, reformation, or progress escaped your notice. Pray tell me which of those practices you mentioned are still widely carried out to today let alone are law in any western world? Those practices have almost entirely have been abandoned and most assuredly are not on the books of any western state.”
    _____________

    Jews who celebrate no other religious holiday celebrate Purim, the feast of the slaughter of 75,000 innocent men, women, and children.

    Benjamin Netanyahu brought the celebration to the attention of the president of the United States before an international audience just a little over a fortnight ago.

    Did that escape your notice?

  531. Wilbur says:

    Fiorangela,

    Well I guess the simple concept of change, reformation, or progress escaped your notice. Pray tell me which of those practices you mentioned are still widely carried out to today let alone are law in any western world? Those practices have almost entirely have been abandoned and most assuredly are not on the books of any western state. The same is decidedly not the case for the Islamic world largely due to the inviolate nature of their scripture. It is why the Islamic world collectively has no equal in terms of violating the human and and religious rights of it’s citizens/religious minorities. It is a well substantiated fact almost solely due to the fact their scripture not only mandates it but places such emphasis on it that it has become institutionalized. Try building a church, calling others to a faith other than Islam, or daring to critique/mock Islam in any Islamic country and get back to me that is if your still alive or not in jail.

    Yes Israel has done some horrible things but I can’t help but come to the conclusion your obsession with Judaism has completely blinded you to the abuses of others. Instead you must find the evil Zionist angle behind everything akin to your theories on WW II (your best one to date was your argument the Nazis weren’t trying to colonize europe seemingly oblivious to the fact they occupied most of Europe by force–ah but that was the Jews fault as well right?). For once can you try to address my points instead of trying to morally equivocate with the transgressions of others.

    Thx
    Bill

  532. Wilbur says:

    Arnold Evans,

    Frankly I am stunned by your response but I do agree the US has at times supported worse human rights abusers than Iran. As for my juxtaposition I was trying to frame my argument to illustrate a point. Yes it is not the reality today but it was in the past which clearly supports my position. Now do you honestly think Iran supports human and religious rights better than the the US? As for Iran’s violations look no further than free speech, freedom of assembly, the due process of law, and the most important that being one’s right to life. Iran has been a serial abuser of the rights of it’s citizens since it’s inception. For god’s sake they killed tens of thousands of their own under the auspice “enemy of god.”. What more evidence do you need that these violate the very essence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and a number of other covenants Iran has signed. Please address and forgo the deflection through moral equivalence. The US has a long list transgressions but unlike Iran they are truly free instead of under the yoke of religious doctrine that will take their life if they fall out of line.

    Thx
    Bill

  533. Wilbur says:

    Fyi,

    Thank you for your posts. In response to your post about human rights:

    1). Most assuredly the US has hypocritically used it as a club while supporting a myriad of violators over the years. Two that come to kind as of recent are Yemen and Bahrain. However it doesn’t make it wrong to call them out when they are abusers as well. It’s just evidence of a ugly double standard.

    2). Religion: again you are correct regarding each wanting to spread their “truth” they believe they uniquely hold. The difference when it come to Islam is three fold. Islam is the only world religion that has/still believes in a doctrine of war to spread itself, categorically rejects secularism while all others have by in large accepted it, and clearly rejects the foundational building blocks of universal human rights. In short Islam tragically is not in harmony with the rest of what the world believes in but instead is in direct opposition to it. Frankly it is why I believe if Islam does not reform(something impossible when a believer thinks Allah or Muhammed can never be wrong) we will have a conflagration embroiling the world in war.

    Thx
    Bill

  534. Wilbur says:

    Exposing warmongering neon stooges,

    Thank you for your reply. In response to you points see below:

    1). Multiple IP and email addresses – I have only used my gmail account here but I do go through multiple IP addresses. I don’t use the multiple IP on purpose it is just a factor of device, network, and my general location at any given time-in short I don’t control that aspect.

    2). Iranian sponsored terrorism: if you call it unsubstantiated because Iran has never allowed those linked with credible evidence to terror to be brought to trial then their is no need to continue this conversation. The fact remains Iran has been directly linked to providing arms, expertise, and at times manpower for terror numerous times by various governments over the years. Playing the game of “you have no evidence” while simultaneously refusing to allow access to those accused does not equal innocent. Your just playing the plausible denial game Iran is so well know for-it is also a sad game many such as the US have played numerous times for various reasons.

    3). Saudi Arabia: glad we concur on this point. As much as I would like to cut these nitwits off I fully recognize we are addicted to their oil. Until that day comes they will continue to poison Islam and the world with their hateful ideology.

    4). Your name: Please accept my apologies. Your prose looked very similar to Reza’s and I obviously jump to soon based on a poorly substantiated body of evidence-or should I say lack of! :)

    Take care
    Bill

  535. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Iran will soon be negotiating with the Six Powers, and let’s hope those negotiations meet with some success.

  536. Fiorangela says:

    How very open-minded of you to eschew political correctness in favor of robust and realistic critique of the actual practices of various religious groups.

    Given that sense of open-mindedness, certainly you will not be offended by an argument the finds the Jewish celebration of ‘Purim’, in which Jewish children are taught to celebrate the collective punishment — slaughter, actually — of 75,000 innocent Persians, based on the hearsay of an ambitious man who refused to acknowledge lawful authority; concealed his identity and advised his young charge to do the same in order to gain financial and political advantage; and acted as a spy and a snitch.
    For her part, his young charge, Esther, took advantage of the noble gesture of Vashti, the king’s wife who refused to allow herself to be cheapened. To insert herself in the vacuum Vashti created, Esther prostituted herself to gain power and wealth. Having achieved those goals, she persuaded the king, now her husband, to kill his ten sons, kill his prime minister, kill 75,000 innocent Persians, convey half his kingdom to herself, and name her uncle Mordecai to be prime minister.

    Maybe you have no problem with teaching children such notions. I think it sends so many wrong messages to young minds. Such teaching really should be banned, don’t you think?

  537. Wilbur says:

    Paul,

    Gee thank you for the feeble attempt at intellectual snobbery. The use of all caps was especially cute considering it’s a tactic a five year would be proud of. Have a nice life.

    Bill

  538. Fiorangela says:

    btw,Wilbur, we’ve discussed USCRIF (Star Chamber?) hearings before, most notably when the esteemed Jeffrey Feltman was called upon to testify as to the many offenses against ‘religious liberty’ being committed by Iran. At that time, Feltman promised to “look into” what evil notions Iranians might be incorporating in their children’s elementary school textbooks.

    Interested as you are in the religious liberties of diverse peoples, you may be dismayed to learn that no such request was made of Israel’s textbooks.

    But you are in luck, Wilbur!
    After extensive research, last December Nurit Peled-Elhanan, discussed her forthcoming book Palestine in Israeli School Books: Ideology and Propaganda in Education. Nurit Peled-Elhanan argues that the textbooks used in the school system are laced with a pro-Israel ideology, and that they play a part in priming Israeli children for military service. She analyzes the presentation of images, maps, layouts and use of language in History, Geography and Civic Studies textbooks, and reveals how the books might be seen to marginalize Palestinians, legitimize Israeli military action and reinforce Jewish-Israeli territorial identity.”

  539. Wilbur says:

    Jay,

    With all due respect what did I say or post that you thought was bigoted? Pray tell me are you part of the post modern cultural elite enthralled to political correctness that daring to critique Islam and the actions of it’s followers makes one bigoted? The PDF I referenced is highly sourced and the specific evidence cited within it can easily be substantiated by just googling the topic items. The Cario Decleration of Human Rights was signed by every single Muslim Majority state clearly attesting to the the fact these states endorse the institutionalized religious bigotry Sharia promotes. Maybe just maybe you should read both of those items before you tar me as a bigot. I am more than willing to debate the subject and when wrong I will own up to that. However in this case I clearly am not and the evidence on the ground supports this.

    The sad fact as attested to by an inumberable number of human rights groups the worst human and religious rights abusers year after year are always dominated by Islamic states. Why is the question you need to be asking yourself. With all sincerity read what I referenced, pay attention to the human rights abuses endemic across the Islamic world, and most importantly don’t make the mistake of looking at Islam through then lens of your own societal/religious upbringing. The harsh reality is Islam does not believe in free speech, freedom of religion, or the primacy of man mad law as understood in the west. It categorically rejects all of the aforementioned and makes all of your rights even your right to life conditional on conformity to it’s dictates. After all it is why all four of the Sunni and the two Shia schools of jurisprudence all concur that death is the penalty for apostasy, blasphemy, adultery, and homosexuality. If you still believe I am a bigot after reading what I suggested then I guess we can agree to disagree.

    Thx
    Bill

  540. Fiorangela says:

    Wilbur,

    Inasmuch as you seem to be concerned with evolution of religious liberties of diverse peoples, you may find enlightenment in the practices of those men to whom the United States traces its religious foundation.

    John Winthrop is credited with establishing the United States notion of exceptionalism, based upon his sermon proclaiming the plantation at Massachusetts Bay to be “a shining city on a hill.” Winthrop was not a clergyman– though he had hoped to be, and was an exceptionally pious individual; rather, he was the selected governor of the Massachusetts Bay plantation.

    According to John M. Barry in “Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul,” under Winthrop’s authority, these actions were carried out (a few of many, many such punitive actions employed to enforce the authority of plantation’s leaders and conformity to the “will of God”):

    Barry writes:
    “Thomas Morton . . .arrived in Massachusetts in 1624 [years ahead of Winthrop] as one of a group of about thirty men, most of them indentured servants. . . . He offended [colonizers at] Plymouth . . .by encouraging the servants in his own settlement to free themselves of their indenture. . . .He offended them even more in his manner living. He flaunted being, in his own words, “a carnal man,” sleeping with Indian women and calling his small settlement “Merry Mount.” In this, he mocked them . . .

    “Plymouth deemed his way of living “licentiousness” and “a school of atheisme.” . . .Although he lived outside Plymouth’s territory–where it had no jurisdiction–the colony arrested him and sent him back to England.”

    Morton twice returned to the colonies and twice was arrested and sent back to England. Each time, his goods and property in his settlement were confiscated or destroyed, including his homes for himself and his Indian servants.

    Barry continues:

    “The punishment of Morton was symptomatic of a Calvinist order Winthrop and the other magistrates imposed. They quickly built a jail. They forbade dice and card playing. They forbade smoking in public. They fined a man who drank too much and ordered him to wear on his back a sign with “drunkard” . . .written in great letters.
    But what most offended the magistrates was any affront to their authority. . . .Typically, Henry Lynn was ‘whipped & banyshed, for writeing Lettres into England, full of slander against our government, & orders of our churches.’
    Banishment was an extreme measure; anyone who returned after banishment risked severe punishment, including hanging, at the discretion of the court.
    . . .[Also] of particular note was the case of Philip Ratcliffe. . . .who, according to Winthrop, uttered ‘most foul, scandalous invectives against our church and government.’ . . .[For this,] Ratcliffe ‘was censured to be whipped, lose his ears, & be banisshed the plantation, which was presently executed.’ ”

    ___________

    Winthrop and his Puritans fled England for the freedom to practice religion as they deemed proper; in the case of Winthrop, that meant free from Roman Catholic influence. While Winthrop was whipping, imprisoning, and banishying offenders against Puritan conformity, back in the mother country, Bishop Laud “began defining offenses against the church as treason, which brought defendants into the Star Chamber–where defendants could neither have an attorney nor refuse to answer even self-incriminating questions. . . .
    . . .One [such] victim was William Prynne. He had written a lengthy attack on the morality of stage plays and had called female actors ‘notorious whores.’ After his work was published, the queen acted in a play. . . .[Prynne] was arrested. In February 1634, he was brought before the Star Chamber and sentenced to a £5,000 fine, expulsion from the Inns of Court, deprivation of his Oxford degree, the loss of part of his ears and time in the pillory, and life imprisonment. . . .In the Tower, he continued to write attacks on Laud . . .he suffered more torture and a second sentence of life imprisonment.”

    The men and women who sit on the USCRIF panel are direct ideological/religious descendants of Winthrop and even Bp. Laud.

    The moral of the story is, dear Wilbur, people who live in glass houses ought not throw stones.

    Nations and peoples evolve at their own pace and in accord with their own polity’s wishes.

  541. Jay says:

    Despite many predictions and prognostications regarding attack on Iran, there are no analytically supportable basis for such an attack for the next 5 years. However, there is room for plenty of exotic idle speculation!

    The threat of force, psychological warfare, intimidation is all that is left in the short term. And, yes, increasing support for terrorist operations against Iran is highly likely. However, the louder the bark the hollower the bite!

  542. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Re: Your comments March 29th, 3.05pm – - Israel was using a Georgian airbase in 2008, for drones overflying Iran, according to my understanding. Israel was also training Georgian troops, and lobbying in Washington for admission of Georgia to Nato.

  543. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    At 3.28pm March 29th you wrote: “There is zero evidence that the West would seriously consider [accepting iranian enrichment to 3.5%].”

    Let me quote once again from the Financial Times March 7th (front page story): “The critical test will be whether Iran agrees to what [P5+1] diplomats call confidence building mesures, such as a decision to stop enriching [to 20%].” This implies acceptance or potential acceptance of enrichment to 3.5%-5%.

  544. Nima Shirazi says:

    @BibiJon –

    As per your request, here are some of my relevant articles. (I have broken the url links on most so that this comment will pass the RFI filter.)

    This one has a compendium of statements by top Iranian officials regarding the condemnation of nuclear weapons and repeated affirmations that Iran will never seek nuclear weaponry:

    http://www.wideasleepinamerica.com/2012/02/obama-lies-about-iranian-nuclear.html

    This one compiles similar statements (obvious some are repeated in the above article) made solely by Ahmadinejad:

    wideasleepinamerica.c om/2011/06/two-smart-fellows.html

    This one provides a comprehensive debunking of the ludicrous “wipe off the map” allegation along with an extensive examination of Ahmadinejad’s consistently repeated support for a popular referendum – not a military strike of any sort – to determine the political fate of Israel/Palestine:

    wideasleepinamerica.c om/2010/03/nejad-vu-all-over-again-medias.html#context

    Furthermore, it is instructive to add that Ahmadinejad has not only never threatened to attack Israel militarily, he has specifically spoken out against such a possibility. In September 2007, Ahmadinejad was asked by the Associated Press whether Iran “would ever make a first strike against Israel.” He replied, “Iran will not attack any country,” and insisted Iran has “always maintained a defensive policy, not an offensive one” and has no interest in territorial expansion, something Israel could never seriously claim.

    At a news conference during the 2008 D8 Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Ahmadinejad told reporters that the Zionist enterprise is “inherently doomed” to failure and, as such, “there is no need for Iranians to take action.” He also assured the press, “You should not be concerned about a new war.”

    Even more recently, Ahmadinejad told an Al Jazeera correspondent during an October 2011 interview in Tehran, “We will never enter any war against the U.S. or against any other country. This is our policy…We have never attacked anybody. Why should we do that? Why should we start a war?”

    Cheers.

  545. Cyrus_2 says:

    @ James
    Do you actually believe that Saudi-Arabia can quickly lift its current oil production from 10 MBD to 12 MBD, as they claim they can?
    If that’s the case, then why haven’t they done this yet?
    Even if they can, the Saudi’s need to keep oil prices close to 100 USD to balance their budget and to bribe their subjects when they become a tat to restive.

  546. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I like much of what Richard Falk writes, but his March 27th piece on Aljazeera that you linked makes the curious claim that North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme only met with “muted response” from the US and other countries. Falk is well wide of the mark on that item.

    Falk should have noted that polls show most Israelis favor a Middle East nuclear-free zone even though it means Israel would get rid of its nukes.

  547. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I think Obama would like better relations with Iran but he obviously is unwilling to put his re-election at risk. Which is a good thing, if one pauses to think about it, even for Iran.

  548. James Canning says:

    The Saudi oil minister, Ali Naimi, writes in the Financial Times March 29th (“Saudi Arabia will act to bring down high oil prices”): “We want to see stronger European growth and realise that reasonable crude oil prices are key to this.”

  549. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    “Apparently the big problem for the West’s regime change plans is the fractured nature of the Syrian insurgents. Since there is no organization, the West doesn’t know who to arm.”

    Rich- no, most people believe the reason Syria was not possible to be taken under is the loyal Syrian military, which they couldn’t get to jump the ship especially since unlike in Libya they could not provide air support to overwhelm the military’s armored divisions. Rebels are supposed to become bigger and more effective with military side defectors joining in, that didn’t happen, and is not happening. Short of that a 1000 more friend’s conferences makes no difference. Even if that was to happen I am sure there would have been a cope before Armey brakes away.

  550. kooshy says:

    It is possible that Ayatollah Khamenei telling Mr. Erdogan that “Iran strongly opposed to any U.S. initiative on Syria” and “The Islamic Republic of Iran will defend Syria due to its (Syria’s) support for the line of resistance against the Zionist regime and is strongly opposed to any intervention by foreign forces in Syria’s internal affairs,” was a direct response to a message sent by Mr. Obama and delivered by Mr. Erdogan since these two had meet in Seoul a few days earlier, perhaps the message was a plan of kind proposed by the US side, which outright, got rejected by Iran. I strongly believe that was a main reason for Mr. Erdogan traveling to Iran and Travelling all the way to Mashhad to see Ayatollah Khamenei face to face. If true we can expect that Iran bashing in western media will get intensified.

  551. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Kooshy: The Syrian situation is moving rather more slowly than I expected, given the fast track to the UNSC earlier.

    Apparently the big problem for the West’s regime change plans is the fractured nature of the Syrian insurgents. Since there is no organization, the West doesn’t know who to arm.

    There’s also no one to “negotiate” with – assuming negotiation is even in the cards. For PR’s sake, however, I think the West would like to have a “front group” they can officially support so they can claim they are supporting the “Syrian people” when they try to overthrow Assad.

    The apparent goal of the upcoming “Friends of Syria” meeting is to correct this situation by forcing the disparate groups to come together under some sort of umbrella organization.

    The Annan plan is unlikely to go anywhere. Once the West produces some order to the insurgents, I suspect “diplomacy” will go by the board and the West will begin arming the insurgents and push once again for an air campaign against Syria.

    They still have some months available to get a war going by the US elections. A lot can happen in the next six months.

    What exactly Russia, China or Iran can do to derail that plan is open to question.

    What is clear is that the bottom line has not changed: If Israel wants a “cheap” Iran war, with minimal impact on Israel’s population and the consequent domestic political blowback, they have to take out Syria and Hizballah in Lebanon prior to attacking Iran.

  552. kooshy says:

    And this is how that same news about Erdogan visiting Ayatollah Khamenei was presented by AP to western readers

    Iran, Turkey sharply differ on Syria

    (AP) – 34 minutes ago

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s top leader says Tehran strongly supports reforms in Syria under President Bashar Assad, but the visiting Turkish prime minister says Assad can’t be trusted and must go.

    The sharp differences emerged on the second day of a state visit by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, as leaders of the two countries discussed how to deal with the crisis in Syria.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told Erdogan that Tehran is opposed to intervention of foreign forces in Syria. Later Thursday, Erdogan told Iran’s state TV that Assad must step down.

    Turkey has built close economic ties with Iran and prefers diplomatic means rather than sanctions in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program.

    Even so, Turkey has agreed to host a NATO defense shield radar that would send a warning if Iran fires missiles.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iiHDitEIzrDedz0K0wF8r5oyMBdw?docId=5d86b03bc82f48a78e733312b38b2d79

  553. kooshy says:

    This is important since Ayatollah Khamenei directly (up front and personal) told Endogen that IRI will defend Syria

    “Iran strongly opposed to any U.S. initiative on Syria”: Leader

    MASHHAD, Razavi Khorasan Province – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran is vehemently opposed to any initiative that the United States introduces in regard to the situation in Syria.

    The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the holy city of Mashhad, in the northeastern Iranian Razavi Khorasan Province, on Thursday.

    “The Islamic Republic of Iran will defend Syria due to its (Syria’s) support for the line of resistance against the Zionist regime and is strongly opposed to any intervention by foreign forces in Syria’s internal affairs,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.

    http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/96480-iran-strongly-opposed-to-any-us-initiative-on-syria-leader-

  554. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Phil Giraldi on Good Night, America, and Good-Bye
    http://original.antiwar.com/giraldi/2012/03/28/good-night-america-and-good-bye/

    Quote

    Unwillingness to talk directly to the officials who actually can make a difference is what the White House is all about because Obama intends to get re-elected and he is not about to rock the boat with the Israel Lobby. It means that nothing will happen this year, unless Israel decides to drop the first bomb. No war, no peace is precisely what the administration desires.

    End Quote

  555. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Scott Horton Interviews Muhammad Sahimi

    Muhammad Sahimi, Professor of chemical engineering and political columnist for PBS’s Tehran Bureau, discusses his article on the IAEA chief, “Yukiya Amano: Minion of the Empire;” the former IAEA officials accusing Amano of a pro-Western bias on Iran; how Amano has fallen into the “Cheney trap” by relying on a small group of advisors and eliminating dissent within the IAEA; and the latest bogus allegations that Iran “refuses to cooperate” with the IAEA’s attempt to inspect the Parchin facility.

    MP3 Here: http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_03_26_sahimi.mp3

  556. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Scott Horton Interviews Trita Parsi

    Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, discusses how Iranian sanctions block peaceful diplomatic solutions, making war more likely; the “risk premium” in oil prices, exacerbated by hawkish foreign policy, that hurts Iranians and Americans alike; the daunting resources and time commitment required to eliminate Iran’s nuclear program through invasion and war; the media’s increasingly conflicted narrative on the Iran “threat;” and why the Obama administration is amenable to a deal centered on Iran’s re-implementation of the NPT’s Additional Protocol.

    MP3 Here: http://dissentradio.com/radio/12_03_27_parsi.mp3

    As for that latter part, I think Parsi is delusional…

  557. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Attacking Iran Would Bring Results Warmongers Supposedly Want to Prevent
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/03/28/attacking-iran-would-bring-results-warmongers-supposedly-want-to-prevent/

    Video of Thomas Pickering, former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN under George H.W. Bush, testifying before Congress.

  558. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Iranian nationals freed in Syria
    http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/2008382.html

    Thus ends that saga…

  559. Richard Steven Hack says:

    U.S. sets sanctions on Iran shipping, engineer firms
    http://en.trend.az/regions/iran/2007893.html

    Fairly narrow ones at this point, targeting shipping connected to the IRGC. I can see that being expanded later to include ALL Iranian shipping – effectively preventing Iranian ships from being serviced at any port in the West. This would be a necessary step to justify a further naval blockade at a later date.

  560. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Report: Iran’s Centrifuge Workshops Are Well Hidden
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/154267

  561. Richard Steven Hack says:

    IDF to Remain on Full Alert Over Passover
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/154265#.T3PT4NV2P2m

    Interesting – the IDF has canceled all leaves and will remain on full alert over Passover…

  562. Richard Steven Hack says:

    A good read, but nothing we don’t know here.

    Why not get law and politics right in Iran?
    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/201232581442685748.html

    Notable Quotes

    In his important article in the New York Times on March 17, 2012, James Risen summarised the remarkable consensus of the intelligence community in the United States that Iran abandoned its programme to develop nuclear weapons in 2003 and no persuasive evidence exists that it has departed from this decision.

    It might have been expected that such news – based on the best evidence on which billions was spent due to sensitive security issues – would produce a huge sigh of relief in Washington and Tel Aviv. On the contrary, it has been totally ignored, including by the highest officers in the government, and the opposite reality has been confirmed.

    The US president has not even bothered to acknowledge this electrifying conclusion that should have put the brakes on what appears to be a slide toward a disastrous regional war.

    But no persuasive international law argument or precedent is available to justify attacking a sovereign state because it goes nuclear.

    As it is, there is no legal foundation in the Non-Proliferation Treaty or elsewhere for the present reliance on threat diplomacy in dealing with Iran. These threats of a military attack violate Article 2(4) of the UN Charter that wisely prohibits not only uses of force, but also threats to use force.

    End Quotes

    Note that this guy is a Professor Emeritus in International Law at Princeton University…

    He also quite correctly notes that despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama and the media continue to talk about Iran’s “nuclear weapons program”. But he doesn’t go further and draw the obvious conclusion: that the situation has NOTHING to do with an alleged “nuclear weapons program” and everything to do with regime change/weakening.

  563. Jay says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    You have consistently predicted war with Iran for some time and I have read your comments attempting to understand your thesis. I appreciate the “intuition” that drives your thoughts, but I would like to appeal to your intellect to help me, and possibly others, connect with your ideas.

    To begin the discussion, I’d like to see if I understand (in summary) what you have stipulated so far. Please articulate on each one of these if you’d like in order to make them reflect your views accurately.

    1. The US does not face a financial constraint in fighting an additional wars with Iran – either because as you say it is not relevant to the elite, or because it is not a resource problem.

    2. The US does not face military limitations in fighting another war with Iran – either because reserve US military resources still have capacity, and/or significant superiority in any given war fighting scenario.

    3. The US and particularly Mr. Obama are unable to restrain Israel from attacking Iran (“Just because Mr. Obama may not want war…”

    4. According to US/Israel calculations, any retaliation from Iran will be manageable – either because it is irrelevant to the elite, or because it will be limited and manageable.

    5. According to US/Israel calculations, any global financial/energy impact resulting from the war will be manageable – either because it is irrelevant to the elite, or because it will be limited and manageable.

    Are these elements consistent with the thesis that underpins your views?

  564. Richard Steven Hack says:

    And I might add that it is ONLY such a deal that would clearly establish a desire to “de-escalate” the situation and seriously mean that the West does not want a war. Anything less is completely irrelevant.

  565. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Why the ‘Dual Track’ Strategy Derailed
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/loren-white/obama-iran_b_1376479.html

    Notable Quote:

    Rather than relying solely on pressure to coerce Iran into acquiescence, we must offer real incentives — as perceived by Iran. A notable incentive that has been hinted at by the administration — but not sufficiently spelled out to Iranian decision-makers — is a guarantee of Iran’s right to enrich uranium to the 3.5 percent level if they allow sufficiently stringent verification measures to be put in place.

    End Quote

    I would point out that the ONLY “hint” that the West would consider recognizing domestic enrichment was an off-the-cuff comment by Hillary Clinton some time back. There is zero evidence that the West would seriously consider it as official policy. And in any event, the West would insist that Iran adhere to the UNSC Resolutions requiring Iran to suspend ALL enrichment as part of the negotiation process. That won’t fly, either.

    Nonetheless it’s important to realize that virtually everyone outside of the US and EU governments recognizes that the best deal would be to acknowledge domestic enrichment in exchange for Iran adhering to the Additional Protocol.

    Since the goal of the West is regime change or regime weakening, however, there is ZERO chance that such a deal will ever be reached. No way, Jose. Fergeddaboudit.

  566. Richard Steven Hack says:

    US senators file resolution to arm Syrian rebels
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233599.html

  567. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Here is the Foreign Policy article by Mark Perry being complained about.

    Israel’s Secret Staging Ground
    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/03/28/israel_s_secret_staging_ground?page=0,0

    The important point to take away from this – if any of this is true – is that Israel is SERIOUS about attacking Iran. It’s NOT just a bluff to threaten Iran or to threaten the US to impose more sanctions – which Israel clearly does not believe will ever work (and they have said so repeatedly.)

    Anyone who thinks there will be no war with Iran just because Obama MAY not want one is ignoring the very real threat of Israel starting the war.

  568. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Azerbaijan Denies Giving Israel Access to Air Bases on Iran Border
    http://www.uskowioniran.com/2012/03/azerbaijan-denies-giving-israel-access.html

    I’m not sure I believe them.

    This is probably why that Israeli newspaper guy complained about “Obama leaking intel”. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Obama, but someone in the intel community who leaked this info about the air bases.

    We know Israel tried to get Georgia to give it air facilities a couple years ago. So it’s easy to believe they tried it with Azerbaijan.

    They might try to use Kurdish air fields in northern Iraq next, but that’s less likely to be successful since it will stir up trouble between the Kurds and the central government. Plus those fields might be unilaterally attacked by Iran with the central government playing possum about it.

    Clearly Israel is looking for better ways to attack Iran than just flying from Israel.

  569. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “US & EU cannot fund the Afghan War past 2014.”

    Because that is what Congress says. If Congress decides otherwise, they would. There will be funding for a continued US presence in Afghanistan in any event because the US is trying to get a negotiated long-term presence agreement (whether the Afghans will agree is debatable, however.) But the Afghan war is winding down, so I expect Congress will not fund major operations past 2014. That will allow Congress to gear up for funding an Iran war. There is absolutely nothing stopping Congress from doing so.

    “They certainly cannot shift non-exitsnt and non-allocated funding to a war with Iran.”

    They certainly can terminate one set of funding and initiate another. You think if a war starts the US Congress will just “run out of money”? Not if they want to fund it, they won’t. The US effectively has “unlimited” funds for war if Congress wants it that way. Alternatively, if Congress doesn’t want a war, yes, they can “defund” it. Given Congress behavior on Iran, you really think they would defund a war with Iran? Seriously?

  570. Jay says:

    Wilbur says:
    March 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    In attempting to address issues of potential racism, and more broadly prejudice, you forgot your immediately preceding post in which you make similarly bigoted remarks. Once again, conflating practice with ideals, you tar muslims of the world with religious bigotry with little more than one document produced from one point of view and mostly directed at state practices rather than individual practices. You seem to forget that very recently Mr. Romney has had to defend himself for his religious beliefs in the US, and that when muslims wished to build a mosque in New York, they were subjected to much bigotry.

    There is an intellectual benefit in separating practice from Ideal – it often protects one from inadvertent bigoted statements. Jefferson’s ideal of Church-state separation was and remains admirable, correct, and achievable in my view – but, so long as state practices, and individual practices propagate subtle bigotry and bias in the form you have practiced, it will remain an ideal; albeit a desirable one.

  571. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rd.: “there is that little problem of all those guys without jobs and hungry running about in the streets of US and China and else where to deal with.”

    That might be a problem in China – it certainly won’t be in the US, primarily because US citizens are sheep. Not to mention that the US has the most powerful and efficient national security state in the world, compared to which the Russian and Nazi Secret Police are nobodies.

    Short of ten to twenty percent of US citizens taking to the streets with guns, nothing will happen here except the citizens will bow down to whatever happens – as long as they get their American Idol shows…

  572. paul says:

    Say, Wilbur, my dear, dear, HIGHLY RESPECTED colleague, so genteelly casting stereotypes upon muslims, would you explain why the US and UN and Nato are so busy busting the chops and invading and killing the leaders of the muslim countries that are most secular?

    I mean, if that’s a ‘respectful’ question? I wouldn’t want to say anything that disrespected your fine intellectual endeavors.

  573. paul says:

    You Leverettes want me to ‘respect’ the ‘viewpoints’ of liars, warmongers and imperialists? Ah, no.

  574. Wilbur says:

    Unknown unknowns,

    Did you forget to read the article? The Leverett’s made it pretty clear they would not tolerate racist remarks. Once again you have used the “N” word when you said “house n….” I would kindly ask you to desist from using this kid of openly inflammatory language. It serves no purpose.

    Thx
    Bill

  575. Wilbur says:

    Eric Brill,

    First off I hope all is well with you and family. I noticed on the last thread your discussions on the rights of religious freedom. In that context I would encourage you to take a look at this PDF link from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom:

    http://www.uscirf.gov/images/Annual%20Report%20of%20USCIRF%202012%282%29.pdf

    The section covering Iran is from page 84 to 100 when viewing it as a PDF. The actual pages on the report say 78 to 94 which do not account for the header pages.

    While some here will discount this as propaganda or the work of those “evil Zionists” that seemingly control the world the findings can be easily corroborated with other source material. On an anecdotal point you will also notice the majority of the states identified for concern happen to be Muslim majority countries. This is not a coincidence but a fact that Islam and by extension the states applying it’s law (sharia) do not practice true religious freedom. Instead as the report notes these laws in effect relegate religious minorities to a “second class status.” For further perspective on why this problem is endemic across the entirety of the Islamic world read the The Cairo Declaration of Human Rights. Just google the name and you will be able to find it. When you read it note how it does not address true religious freedom (including the right to leave it), replaces the word you would expect to see ‘rights’ with ‘dignity’ and clearly states those with greater piety (i.e. Muslims) have greater rights(all of which are in accordance with the Quran and accepted jurisprudence in Islam.) Interstingly Iran signed the universal one then ratified the Cairo one which is yet another example of the duplicity the regime is so known for when it advances their cause.

    In closing when you take the above into context ask yourself “if said government will so overtly oppress religious minorities is it not at least plausible they would partake in fraud to secure their power base?”. The question may seek somewhat spurious but when you add in the inviolate nature of Islamic law that says it is the only truth it is not just plausible but in fact expected in my opinion.

    Take care

    Bill

  576. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    If North Korea ended its nuclear weapons prgramme, the sanctions very quickly would be wound down.

  577. James Canning says:

    “Israel Encircles Iran”, by Philip Giraldi (March 27th):

    Quote: [T]he FBI is investigating persistent reports that Israeli intelligence officers operating in the US are again pretending to be FBI or CIA…”

    (use link posted with previous story, amconmag.com)

  578. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Sanctions against Burma (Myanmar) are being wound down, and conditions in that country are fast improving.

  579. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says: March 29, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Trita Parsi occasionally makes the point that the history of US sanctions tends to show they have never been “wound down.”

    If sanctions on Myanmar are removed, it will a) signal an historic shift in this State Department’s philosophy, or b) indicate a sinister agenda at work.

  580. James Canning says:

    “Election Year Islamophobia”, by John Feffer (March 20th):

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/the-muslim-manchurian-candidate/

  581. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    I think most observers of Burma (Myanmar), and the sanctions imposed by the West, would say today it looks like the people of the country are benefiting from reforms instituted by the government on understanding the sanctions will be wound down.

  582. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Islamophobia in the US is employed as further means of duping the grossly ignorant American public, to facilitate Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing programme in the West Bank.

  583. James Canning says:

    Bussed-in Basiji,

    Was it not a good thing for Vali Nasr earlier this month to point out Khamenei issued a fatwa against Iranian possession of nukes as far back as 1995, and that Khamenei reiterated that fatwa just this month?

  584. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    The Wasp foreign policy elite in the US included some Catholics. You are of course quite right that Jews have largely displaced Episcopalians (Anglicans) and Presbyterians. Nasr is a great addition, no?

  585. Karl says:

    Between Mearsheimer and Walt, I have always belived that Mearsheimer is the more rational and correct one regarding foreign policy.

  586. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Obama is being a true friend of Israel if he makes it impossible for Israel to launch an insane attack on Iran.

    Obama was being a true friend of Israel last May when he said the Green Line would be the border of an independent Palestine.

  587. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Steve Walt says that “escalating pressure on Iran has yet to convince its leaders to abandon their [nuclear] enrichment program.” Walt obviously is aware Iran offered last September to stop enriching to 20 percent. Walt surely is aware Iran insists on enriching to 3.5%-5%, but enrichment to higher grades is negotiable.

  588. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Would it be too much touble for Margaret Warner to say, after “the Iranian regime vowed to destroy the Jewish state”, that such threats by Iran do not include military attack on a first-strike basis? Or would that end her career on PBS?

  589. fyi says:

    All:

    Professor Walt (or How Power Asymmetry Breeds Coercive Diplomacy)

    http://walt.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/03/29/whatever_happened_to_arms_control

  590. BiBiJon says:

    Cheesy Journalism for Margaret Warner

    Last night PBS News Hour had a segment on Israel Bombing Iran.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/jan-june12/israel-iran_03-28.html

    If you decide to watch it, please do not hold your breath waiting for even so much as an oblique reference to international law. Neither legality, nor morality featured in that war screed.

    This is how Margaret began the segment:

    “Some 1,000 protesters marched in Tel Aviv last weekend, urging the Israeli government not to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. “Bibi, don’t bomb Iran,” the posters read, calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname.

    The protest reflected mounting concern among Israelis that their leaders may be on the verge of launching a preemptive strike against Iran’s expanding nuclear program. Though the Iranian regime has VOWED TO DESTROY the Jewish state, recent polls in Israel show only 19 percent would support their government attacking Iran unilaterally.”

    Vowed to destroy? Wow!

    I recall Nima Shirazi had taken the trouble of listing the innumerable times Iranian government officials have said officially that Iran has no intention of attacking Israel or anyone else. Does anyone know where Nima’s article is?

  591. Photi says:

    *oops, forgot the quotations. italicized text is from Fiorangela’s comment at the time stamp.

  592. Photi says:

    Fiorangela says:
    March 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm
    Photi says: March 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Photi, you fail to give cognizance to a fundamental reality: ISRAEL has placed Palestine under “siege;” that is, by your own claim, Israel has declared war on Palestine.

    ISRAEL and the US have placed Iran under “siege;” that is, by your definition, Israel and the US have declared war on Iran.

    Yes, i agree with these points. I do not know how best to make the distinction between a hot war where military forces are in open conflict, and a less hot war where the aggression is cloaked within clandestine services. However best to make the distinction, clearly there is a war of aggression being waged against Iran and clearly the Occupation is oppressive in itself and is used by the Israelis to justify their dreams of permanent war and violence.

    Are Palestinians and Iranian permitted to defend themselves against these unlawful wars that have been declared against them?

    If No, Why not? Isn’t that the promise a nation’s government makes to its people?

    If Yes, How? With what levels of defensive or retaliatory force?

    Absolutely people have a right to defend themselves. Please note that i am neither Palestinian nor Iranian and do not pretend for a moment to know how Palestine or Iran should best defend themselves.

    My point with sanctions, which is more of a question, is at what point do sanctions become moral? Sanctions in their most “effective” form like in the case of those imposed against Iraq throughout the 1990s are murderous to civilian populations. If sanctions in extreme form cause such misery how can any sanctions be acceptable even if imposed to a lesser degree of intensity?

    shouldn’t people–people not directly involved in the conflict–people who hope to see an end to these wars abandon sanctions altogether as a tactic? Sanctions are warlike, how can they promote peace?

  593. BiBiJon says:

    Analysis: US thwarting Israeli strike on Iran

    Obama betraying Israel? US making deliberate effort to hinder Iran strike by leaking classified info, intelligence assessments, says Ron Ben-Yishai in special Ynet report

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4209836,00.html

  594. Fiorangela says:

    Nasr might be the world’s first Shi’ia Episcopalian.
    He does soooo long to be part of the US white-collar elite — that vanished about 60 years ago, when zionists took over.

  595. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Never claimed the IRI is beyond criticism, nor did I ever say that there aren’t good things about the US- Satan is quite smart. Being smart and misguided are not mutually exclusive.

    The question is whether Americans can save their country from the Zionists and corporations. That’s the only relevant question. I doubt they can.

  596. fyi says:

    Humanist says: March 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

    This will take years, if ever.

    But US and EU certainly have exposed the degree to which other countries are dangerously dependent on them for financial services.

    A single bank is not sufficient; you need multiple such banks that are domiciled over vert many different countries.

    You also need insurance and re-insurance companies.

    All of this will take years but it will happen.

    There is no other way.

  597. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: March 29, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Do not take offense when someone brings to your attention that the Great Satan could be superior to the Islamic Republic of Iran in this or that area.

    Emulate.

  598. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    You might want to ask Trayvon Martin’s parents about the American virtue of not discriminating. You realize how debatable your suggestion is. Yes, “white” Iranians who don’t practice their Islam publicly or who don’t let their religion inform their political and social views (i.e. Israel, abortion, etc.) are not discriminated against in US academia, that much is true…

  599. Humanist says:

    Is the following BRICS’ major act of defying US / Israel a historical event?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcMn0EtxprU&feature=player_embedded

    …and to materialize it BRICS is setting up its own Banking system!

    ,http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/03/29/325–BRICS-to-set-up-joint-bank-for-dialogue-on-Iran-Syria-.html

    Hundred twenty NAM countries (the real International community) consistently support Iranian nuclear program The above introduces a powerful muscle into that supprot.

    Apparently what many were predicting is happening much sooner.

    Thanks to intensive, shallow, stupid and deceptive hype of Israel to push US towards war with Iran. That has awakened many in the world….including US?

    Likudniks now badly need frequent visits to cool-headed psychoanalysts. Their habitual endless call for schizophrenic WAR…WAR…WAR is eliciting smiles of pity.

    It seems the world is not as brainless, as cowardly as Israeli and US policy makers expected them to be.

    Great News for Iran. Hopefully this won’t cause any serious tension between the world and crazy Israeli and US bigheads….. since that could be Bad News for all.

  600. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: March 29, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Americans have the chief virtue of not discriminating; Iranians lack that virtue.

  601. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Rubbish!
    First of all Daneshmand is no bearded Basiji, so you might want to use another example…

    Also, I said departments, not heads of universities or ministers. In state-dominated university systems the heads are political appointments and rarely are they as qualified as one would like. Also remember university ADMINISTRATION is different than being a university researcher/instructors. In my experience, most great researchers/instructors make awful administrators. In other words, a good university administrators does not necessarily need to be good researcher/teacher.

    Alas, we accept this problem on the one hand because on the other hand the state-run universities have allowed millions of Iranians access to higher education- which they otherwise wouldn’t have. And this my dear fyi is the real story in Iran over the last thirty years, not whatever you seem to be obsessed with…please stick to your good strategic analyses.

  602. fyi says:

    Bussed-in Basiji says: March 29, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Rubbish!

    What qualification does Mr. Daneshmand have for his post?

  603. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    UU,
    The fact that Vali Nasr is considered an “expert” on Shiasm and Iran in the US, while not having a single original thought on these matters says it all. In the land of the blind, the one-eyed is king…lets’s just hope he doesn’t confuse “sangak” and “sanjak”…

    FYI,
    Plenty of clean-shaven non-practicing Muslims running the various deptarments in Iranian universities, it’s us bearded basijis which get black-balled- especially in political science departments. You’ve been living in the US and in your own personal complexes for too long…stick to your good strategic analyses.

  604. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: March 29, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Nah, he must have been angling for an administrative position and he must have shown a modicum of competency and interest in it.

    This is the path for advancement in academia; reaching eventually to become the president of a well-known college of university and have major policy impact as well as making more money than many Chief Executive Officers in American corporations.

    Evidently, Americans are not discriminating against a man of Iranian origin regardless of 33 years of confrontation.

    On the other hand, I am certain, with metaphysical certainity, that Dr. Nasr would not have had any comparable chance of advancement in Iran.

    You see, he does not conform outwardly – like a good pharisee Muslim should – to an Islamic demeanor.

  605. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 29, 2012 at 4:28 am

    Syria cannot go back to the status quo ante of early 2011.

    There will be a new government in Syria that will not be identical to what obtains there now.

  606. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    US & EU cannot fund the Afghan War past 2014.

    They certainly cannot shift non-exitsnt and non-allocated funding to a war with Iran.

    War with Iran, per the Iranians’ defensive strategy, will not be fought in Iran alone.

    But, that is all hypothetical; the “All Options on the Table Game” is over.

  607. Rd. says:

    “Bloomberg reports that a Congressional Research Service report on Iran’s nuclear program by Kenneth Katzman states that the lack of knowledge about the location centrifuge manufacturing workshops in Iran makes the prospects of any bombing run on Iran more complicated, since Iran can then easily reconstitute its centrifuge manufacturing if the workshops escape bombings.

    Isn’t it funny then that the IAEA has been pressing Iran to gain access to the location of these workshops…EVEN THOUGH these workshops fall OUTSIDE of the IAEA’s inspection authority, and there is no real reason for the IAEA to want to inspect them anyway?”

    http://www.iranaffairs.com/iran_affairs/2012/03/about-iaea-access-to-irans-centrifuge-facilities.html

  608. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    They’re spending $100 billion a year in Afghanistan, which is winding down. They can easily shift that $100 billion to Iran. And they can easily find another $100-300 billion on top of that if they have to, even if it means jacking up taxes. Who’s going to stop them?

    Agree that can be done. However, not with gas prices skyrocketing! With sustained high gas prices, the US economy would be wrecked so as China’s. And yes, the elites, as you say, can continue printing money out of the tin air and keep the war going.. However, with the wrecked economies, there is that little problem of all those guys without jobs and hungry running about in the streets of US and China and else where to deal with.

  609. Rehmat says:

    The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has published its intelligence Report exposing the ten top Islam haters in America. They all have one thing in common – they’re ‘Israel-Firsters’…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/splcs-top-10-islamophobes/

  610. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy-san:

    sorry to have misunderstood. For some reason I thought you’d be here over the Nowrouz break. Well, like you said, you’ll be back :)

  611. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Goli says:
    March 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm
    They appointed Vali Nasr as the Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Just curious if anyone has a reaction to this?

    *

    Yeah. House-niggers get first dibs.

  612. Sassan says:

    BBC Persian/Farsi’s Nowruz/New Years special which I personally uploaded on youtube for all Iranians to enjoy :)

    http://youtu.be/JlWNNc-cawc

    Very entertaining and great singers as well. Enjoy fellow mihanparasts! May we soon be free.. :P

  613. Karl says:

    Here we go again, US use Kofi Annan as a veil but the real intention is not serious negogiation (have the opposition even accepted Annan’s peace plan?) but again only regime change.

    http://www.startribune.com/nation/144687625.html

  614. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.salon.com/2012/03/28/guest_op_ed_mek_and_its_material_supporters_in_washington/singleton/

    … What the media has generally failed to mention is that these former officials [shilling for MEK] are now in the national/homeland security business.

    For people in the national/homeland security business, war with Iran would be a cash cow. They and their clients stand to benefit handsomely. Just stoking fears of war can get money flowing, from studies to retrofitting naval vessels. Bombing would be better, as even something as small as the Libyan war involved spending more than a billion dollars. But full-on war, that’s the mother lode. An invasion followed by an Iraq-style lingering occupation and reconstruction would open up hundreds of billions and possibly even trillions of taxpayer dollars for the grabbing.

    Hopefully these Treasury Department investigations are a sign that the Obama Administration has finally decided to rein in the warmongers. Ignorance, profit, and the dreams of a terrorist-cult group are lousy reasons to start a war.

  615. kooshy says:

    So much for US/EU sanctioning themselves out of a big chunk of world market

    29 Mar, 2012, 03.34AM

    BRICS refuses to side with US in showdown with Iran

    “NEW DELHI: India and China have defiantly declared their intention to continue trading with Iran, rebuffing US attempts to force them and other countries to cut economic ties with Tehran over its nuclear programme.

    As both countries raised a banner of revolt at the US-led efforts to economically strangle Iran, they received support from Russia, South Africa and Brazil, in what could resonate around the world as a flexing of muscles by the BRICS powers, the new grouping of emerging powers whose leaders are holding their fourth summit meeting in Delhi this week.

    While India and China have reasons to chafe at the US, not least because Iran is a big source of oil to their economies, the apparent sympathy for their stand from the other BRICS countries could drive a wedge in the Western efforts to isolate Iran. Russia and Brazil are self-reliant in oil, while South Africa has other import sources, and all three have no particular reason to humour Tehran.

    China minced no words in decrying what it said were attempts by the US to impose its domestic laws on other countries. Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming said his country, which imports 20% of its crude oil requirements from Iran, was “not obliged to fulfill any domestic law or rules of any particular country”.

    “We also do not want to see any negative implication of domestic rules of any particular country on the entire international community,” Chen said at a joint press conference attended by all BRICS trade ministers on Wednesday. The trade ministers met a day ahead of a summit of their heads of the state. “

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/policy/brics-refuses-to-side-with-us-in-showdown-with-iran/articleshow/12448688.cms

  616. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Rd.: “If they can’t afford engaging(waring) Syria, how are they to engage Iran? At least till the funding issue is resolved, among others.”

    Baker is blowing smoke.

    They couldn’t fund the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, either. All of those wars were paid for by “extra appropriations” over and above the Pentagon budget, and basically financed by China buying US debt.

    They’re spending $100 billion a year in Afghanistan, which is winding down. They can easily shift that $100 billion to Iran. And they can easily find another $100-300 billion on top of that if they have to, even if it means jacking up taxes. Who’s going to stop them?

    You have to keep in mind that the people who are running things GET MONEY FROM WAR. What makes anyone think these people are going to suddenly stop getting that money just because it puts more pressure on the taxpayer to fund it?

    I repeat yet again, NONE of these things are deal breakers because THEY DON’T AFFECT THE PEOPLE WHO WILL PROFIT FROM THE WAR.

  617. Reza Esfandiari says:
    March 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    “It is important to realize that the April 13th talks will not just be about the nuclear issue. Iran will use the meeting to bring up other matters such as the NATO defense shield in Turkey and the crisis in Syria. It will try and appeal to the Russian and Chinese interlocutors, who are close to Iran’s position, about this.”

    COMMENT:

    I hadn’t heard this.

    What might Iran want to raise concerning the NATO defense shield in Turkey? Ask that it be reduced in some way? If so, on a list of election-year no-nos for Obama, that might well claim the very top spot — his Republican candidates would have a field day with it. I can’t imagine NATO would have even a slight interest in talking with Iran about this, nor that Iran’s anticipated Russian and Chinese support would be anywhere close to strong enough for Iran to ask for their help on this issue.

    Nor does this seem like a propitious time for Iran to ask to discuss Syria. I can’t imagine any Western country changing its position on Syria in any way that would favor Iran, nor accepting any suggestion that Iran help to broker a settlement. The US would probably much prefer continued bloodshed to any peace deal for which Iran receives even a smidgin of credit.

    I recognize I may be overlooking other aspects of these two issues. In any case, I’d appreciate more details.

  618. James Canning says:

    Goli,

    Vali Nasr makes many sensible comments on international affairs. Just this month on Bloomberg (March 13th) he noted that Khamenei had approved of Obama’s call for diplomacy and reiterated his 1995 fatwa against Iranian possession of nukes.

  619. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    The neocons most definitely wanted to use the 9/11 attacks as a pretext for illegal invasion of Iraq. A number of times, G W Bush said at national security meetings that it made no sense to attack Iraq when Iraq was not behind the 9/11 attacks.

    The core of the conspiracy was in the Office of Special Plans in the Pentagon, where all top four officials were Jewish neocons closely connected to Israeli militarists.

  620. Goli says:

    They appointed Vali Nasr as the Dean of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Just curious if anyone has a reaction to this?

  621. James Canning says:

    Earlier this week, former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert told J Street dinner crowd in Washington that “Time is running out for us, not for them.” He is quite right. Netanyahu’s solution is to step up his ethnic cleansing programme in the West Bank.

  622. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think Panetta has a fairly clear understanding the military adventure in Afghanistan will be drawing to a close, partly due to lack of support for the war among the American people.

  623. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Since Iran may well stop enriching to 20% as a policy choice, it would be foolish beyond belief to try to achieve this object by an attack on Iran.

  624. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Jim Baker told Charlie Rose he did not think we would see an Iraq that is subservient to Iran. A very good point. Friendly, but defintely not subservient (as Charlie Rose had suggested would obtain).

  625. Karl says:

    Iran could recover from attack on its nuclear sites within six months, says U.S. report

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/iran-could-recover-from-attack-on-its-nuclear-sites-within-six-months-says-u-s-report-1.421344

    An attempt to warn Israel/and warmongers inside the US of the non-solving of problem by attacking Iran?

    —–

    Israel trying to reach out to China and Russia on Iran.

    After three years of negotiations, Netanyahu to visit China

    haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/after-three-years-of-negotiations-netanyahu-to-visit-china-1.421343

    Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin to visit Israel in June

    haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/russian-president-elect-vladimir-putin-to-visit-israel-in-june-1.420873

  626. Fiorangela says:

    EDIT

    “In 1978 “The Jonathan Institute,”

    should read:

    “In 1979 “The Jonathan Institute, . . .”

  627. Fiorangela says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm
    posted a link to an Haaretz article concerning “Clandestine war’s pressure on Iranian leaders”

    That article said:

    “The series of mysterious bombings at key locations throughout Iran and assassinations of nuclear scientists over the last few months have obviously got under the skin of the regime’s intelligence services.

    This morning, the official FARS News Agency tells us of a “terrorist team” that was arrested in an operation by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC); the news was also broadcast last night on Iranian state television. ”

    In other words, Israel is carrying on terrorist activities against the sovereign state of Iran and its citizens.
    +++++

    In 1978 “The Jonathan Institute,” named in honor of Jonathan Netanyahu, killed in Israel’s raid at Entebbe airport on July 4, 1976, conducted the first ever “Conference on International Terrorism.” “World leaders, including former President George Bush and former Secretary of State George Shultz, participated in this conference and a subsequent one in 1984. Mr. Netanyahu has been credited by Mr. Shultz for his central role in effecting a change in American policies on international terrorism.” ( :http://www.ashbrook.org/events/memdin/netanyahu/home.html)

    The papers read and speeches delivered at that 1979 Conference are collected in “International Terrorism: Challenge and Response,” edited by Benjamin Netanyahu and introduced by Ben Zion Netanyahu.

    Richard Pipes spoke on the “philosophical origins of modern terrorism,” which he “found in the Catechism of the Revolutionary by the Russian Nechayev.

    At the conclusion of his overview of the Russian “origins” of terrorism, Pipes said:

    QUOTE
    “Are there any objective criteria by which we can judge what is legitimate terror and what is not? I personally believe that it is illegitimate to use terror anywhere at any time as a means of fighting what is perceived, rightly or wongly, [sic] as political, national, or economic oppression. It is legitimate, in my opinion, only as a means of fighting terror itself, whether it emanates from the state . . .or from political organizations dedicated to terror.” [emphasis added] p. 63.
    END QUOTE

    Two points on the significance of Pipes’ statement:

    1. Given that, as the Haaretz article concedes, Israel is conducting terror acts against Iran, by Pipes’ logic, Iran may “legitimately” use terror to fight Israel’s acts of terror.
    That there exists no credible evidence to suggest that Iran IS using terror to fight Israel’s terror activities against Iran speaks in Iran’s favor.

    2. Further background on the Entebbe raid, international and United Nations reactions to it, and Israel’s response to the UN reaction, provide clarifying background for Pipes’ carefully parsed parameters for the use of terror.

    In his speech at the 1979 Jonathan Institute conference, Chaim Herzon, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, bitterly decried the actions of the UN Security Council which convened to condemn Israel’s actions in the Entebbe raid, and further decried the “Deliberate Failure” of the UN to pass a resolution to prevent terror. Calling the by-then seven-year long effort to draft a resolution an “international joke . . .emptied of all content . . .which only emphasizes the impotence of the U.N.,” Herzog reads the title of the draft resolution:

    “Measures to Prevent International Terrorism Which Endangers or Takes Innocent Lives or Jeopardizes Fundamental Freedoms, and Study of the Underlying Causes of Those Forms of Terrorism and Acts of Violence Which Lie in Misery, Frustration, Grievance and De3spair and Which Cause Some People to Sacrifice Human Lives, Including Their Own, in an Attempt to Effect Radical Changes.”

    In other words, the U.N. drafters seemed to acknowledge that terrorism was not an uncaused cause, and that to root out terrorism it was necessary to uproot the grievances underlying terrorism.

    The second paragraph of the Resolution “urges States to continue to seek just and peaceful solutions to the underlying causes which give rise to such acts of violence.

    The third paragraph of the Resolution “Reaffirm the inalienable right to self-determination and independence of all peoples under colonial and racist regimes . . .and upholds the ligitimacy of their struggle . . .in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter . . .;” and the fourth paragraph “Condemns the continuation of repressive and terrorist acts by colonial, racist, and alien regimes in denying peoples their legitimate right to self-determination. . . .”

    Former Israeli ambassador Herzog thought these “if’s and but’s and maybe’s [sic] of the terrorist organisations” to have a “vitiating” effect that would fail to include any “bite,” and he was particularly incensed that a 1979 draft report of a UN Committee on International Terrorism had the unmitigated gall to name “connivance of states with groups or organizations of Fascist, neo-Fascist and Zionist countries, including racism, racial domination, policy of apartheid and genocide” as “one more cause [that] should be added to the list” in the working paper against international terrorism.

    In summary, the 1979 Conference on International Terrorism convened by the Jonathan Institute, whose president was Ben Zion Netanyahu, sought to condemn and seek measures to prevent acts of “terrorism” committed by others against Israel, but decried any measures that imposed similar restraints on Israel, and further decried and refused to acknowledge that oppressive actions of Israel (among others) might play any role in provoking retaliatory outbursts of terror against Israel.

    In 1979, Ben Zion Netanyahu and Benjamin Netanyahu drew the blueprint for the war on terror that has caused turmoil in the Middle East and the United States ever since.

    It bears noting that Ben Zion Netanyahu lived in New York City, was very active in zionist organizations, and was an acolyte and close aid of Vladimir Jabotinsky in the first months of 1933 when Samuel Untermyer and other organized zionist leaders and groups imposed a crippling boycott on Germany with the intention of destroying the German economy.

  628. Rd. says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    Sanctions – and war.
    That’s it. That’s the limit of US “strategy”.

    you can also add funding for war?!?!?

    Here is Jim Baker with Charlie Rose on Syria;

    “We need to proceed cautiously, we are broke, we don’t need another major engagement, we really don’t need that, that we can’t fund right now, and pay for.”

    min 16:00-19:00

    http://www.charlierose.com/

    If they can’t afford engaging(waring) Syria, how are they to engage Iran? At least till the funding issue is resolved, among others..

  629. Karl says:

    RSH,

    Israel have most certainly had agents/spies in Iran for many years.

  630. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israeli spies ‘step up missions into Iran seeking proof of nuclear plans’
    The Sunday Times: Israeli special forces clad in Iranian uniforms infiltrate regularly from base in northern Iraq
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/report-israeli-spies-search-iran-for-proof-of-nuclear-plans/

    Quote

    The Sunday Times suggested that the cross-border operations might signify an imminent Israeli military strike. Prior to Israel’s strike at a Syrian reactor in 2007, it noted, Israeli troops carried out a clandestine mission to collect information at the site.

    End Quote

  631. Karl says:

    Panetta outright reject the democracy principle, its not up to the american people but the israelis to decide which wars that should be fighten.

    http://presstv.com/detail/233470.html

  632. Karl says:

    RSH,

    The sanctions have totally lost its intention. The rabid, frantic pushers of sanctions have gotten way out of hand. Now (if not always) the sanctions is the goal itself in form of a penalizing/regime change tool.

    US Senate fails to pass new bill to increase Iran sanctions

    http://presstv.com/detail/233527.html

  633. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Israel gauges fallout from Iran strike
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC29Ak04.html

    What is the likelihood of a major chemical or radiation release as a result of an airstrike.

  634. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Clandestine war’s pressure on Iranian leaders
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/clandestine-war-s-pressure-on-iranian-leaders-1.421327

    Worth reading for information on Israel’s moves in Kurdish Iraq and Azerbaijan.

  635. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Pentagon to seek additional Iron Dome funding, U.S. official says
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/pentagon-to-seek-additional-iron-dome-funding-u-s-official-says-1.421113

    Gotta get more antimissile systems up and running before the Iran war…

    Quote

    In a statement released by the Pentagon on Tuesday, spokesman George Little said that “supporting the security of the State of Israel is a top priority of President Obama and Secretary Panetta,” adding that last year the US provided 205 million dollars for the system.

    End Quote

  636. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Obama’s Foreign Policy Guru
    … is a neocon
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/03/27/obamas-foreign-policy-guru/

    Quote

    Of course, a militarist regime, one that cares only about its own power and the wealth and well-being of its sycophants, wants us on our knees, quaking in fear lest the “terrorists” get us – while the banksters, the crony-capitalists, the war profiteers, and the foreign lobbyists have their snouts firmly buried in the public trough. If economics doesn’t matter, and the elites can always grab their outsized share of the loot through political connections, then who cares about the increasing immiseration of the masses?

    Remember, it’s all about “national greatness,” beside which the fate of the ordinary individual pales. As far as our President is concerned, it’s all about his own greatness. After he beats the pants off of Romney, it will be all about his Legacy – and you can bet, given his enthusiasm for Kaganism, it will be a legacy well-lubricated with blood.

    Once Obama is unleashed, in his second term, we will see the true face of this President, whose tyrant’s temperament and imperious sense of mission will come to the fore, unabashed and militant. In which case, the rest of the world had better hope the economic collapse will come sooner rather than later – because the US army will be too busy keeping order on the home front to launch any new wars abroad.

    End Quote

  637. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Guess the oil export sanctions weren’t enough, eh?

    US Senate to soon move on new Iran sanctions-Reid
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/27/usa-iran-sanctions-idUSL2E8QR2HX20120327

    Quote

    The legislation would focus on foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran’s national oil and tanker companies, and include a host of measures aimed to close loopholes in existing sanctions.

    End Quote

  638. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The Spectacle of Fearsome Acts
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/03/28/the-spectacle-of-fearsome-acts/

    Quotes

    The Senate is preparing to consider yet another package of harsh economic sanctions on Iran as punishment for the nuclear weapons program they don’t have. Despite the intelligence consensus that Iran has no weapons program and has not even made the decision to start one, crippling sanctions and the threat of aggressive war is essential to terrify the Iranians into compliance. This is even more revealing: Iran has not committed the transgression supposedly justifying this aggressive approach, so paralyzing them with fear of attack has little to do with having a nuclear program and much to do with refusing to be subservient to Washington.

    “If the United States doesn’t broadcast determination all along the road, both in sanctions and in the threat of military action, Tehran is liable to mistakenly understand from this that 2012 is a lost year for the international community, so its nuclear program can advance as usual,” a senior Israeli official told Ha’aretz.

    “At the moment,” the official continued, “largely because of the administration’s contradictory messages, the Iranians assume that nothing military will happen before the U.S. presidential elections in November.” Fear of all out war is the most valuable diplomatic tool when dealing with Iran, the thinking goes.

    It should be noted that, even though officials in Washington and Tel Aviv readily admit the purely rhetorical use of warmongering in instilling fear into our enemies, this does not mean an actual attack is out of the question. In fact, an attack would serve the same purposes. The Iranian nuclear program (which is purely civilian in nature) is far too redundant across the country and in some cases protected underground for a bombing campaign to completely wipe it out. And not even the most rabid warmongers are explicitly arguing for a ground invasion, regime change, and extended occupation of Iran. So it seems the only purpose of an actual military strike would be to cause fear, to signal we mean business.

    End Quotes

  639. BiBiJon says:

    From http://www.indianexpress.com/news/brics-wont-snap-ties-with-iran-despite-us-sanctions/929658/

    BRICS won’t snap ties with Iran despite US sanctions

    India and China today asserted that they would pursue normal trade relations with Iran despite US sanctions over Tehran’s nuclear programme. The strong response comes in the wake of exemption given by the US last week to Japan and 10 European nations from financial sanctions for significantly reducing their purchase of oil from Iran.

    In fact, given the energy security requirements and rising crude prices, BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa — decided not to snap ties with Iran despite the US sanctions, according to officials present at the trade ministers’ meeting ahead of the BRICS leaders’ summit in New Delhi tomorrow.

    ————-

    A collective stance by BRICS is going to negate one of the sanction policy goals that Iran would be forced into offering deep discounts to get to sell any oil.

    But, more broadly, with the new BRICS development bank getting traction, it looks as if the Western financial coercion tool is going to get challenged.

  640. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “If the idea of sanctions is to weaken Iran, just like Iraq oil sanctions, as a prelude to war, then one has to figure that the oil-for-food sanctions were put on Iraq in 1995. Apparently, it took eight years for Iraq to be weak enough.”

    There are naturally other factors involved in terms of timing. Clinton was not interested in invading Iraq and the ruling elites were occupied with places like Czechoslovakia. It was Bush and the neocons and the oil companies and the Israel Lobby which redirected the interest to Iraq and the Middle East.

    The other reason for sanctions is simply to provide a “justification” for going the next step to war. The government gets to claim, “Well, we tried everything short of war. It didn’t work. So we ‘have to’ go to war.” It’s just another excuse.

    “you’ll see how short fyi’s “time interval” is before such sanctions become an unsustainable act of self-impalement.”

    Which only means the war will start sooner than later…

    “Besides, unlike the UNSC sanctions against Iraq, the ones penalizing Iran are unilateral US/EU affairs.”

    Given that ALL the threats of war from the West and Israel are illegal, so what? The unilateral sanctions are themselves very likely illegal under international law if some articles I’ve read on the subject about “appropriate remedies” are correct.

    “The real argument is whatever their hidden, but very real intentions, what CAN they do about it, at what cost, in what international/regional context?”

    What they can is exactly what I’ve said – start a war. It will cost the people who START the war ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Whatever effect is has on the global economy will not affect those people at all (or so they believe, at any rate.)

    Someone on another site recently made the point that with the US debt approaching 20 TRILLION dollars, the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, $100 billion a year, is basically chicken feed. Although the impact on the economy is great over time, the reality is that $100 billion is “welfare for the rich”.

    The cost of an Iran war is likely to be half a trillion dollars a year. That, too, is simply going to be handed over to the rich in the US.

    So why do they care if the US economy goes into recession – or even depression? They are RECESSION-PROOF by definition. They get their money from the US government regardless of economic conditions. Taxes just go up even as the available taxable income of the population goes down. Short of an insurrection by at least ten or twenty percent of the US population, what is going to stop that from happening?

    “FYI has cited a string of recent statements by the POTUS, Sec. Def. and Gen. Dempsey which you dismiss as “random” utterances. If random, then why at that time, at that place, and with that consistency, and for what possible gain?”

    God, your naivety is astounding. You really take the pronouncements of politicians seriously?

    Not to mention that I’ve repeatedly pointed out how those pronouncement in fact are edging ever closer to shifting the line on when war becomes “justifiable”.

    Once again: the statements of military leaders are irrelevant to anything. They do what they’re told.

    And again: Politicians will tell you they don’t want war right up to the moment they launch it. Go back and review what Bush was saying before Iraq. Did he EVER come out and say, “OK, we want a war!”? Of course not. But he was PLANNING the Afghan war for a year BEFORE 9/11. And according to Sibel Edmonds, Perle and Wolfowitz were talking to the Turkish ambassador about how the US intended to invade and divide up Iraq FOUR MONTHS BEFORE 9/11!

    “So the POTUS, according to you, moves the red line to actual weapon development, which he and his secdef say Iran is not engaged in, just to remove any excuse for why they suddenly attack?”

    As I said, what constitutes “actual weapon development”? Whatever the POTUS says, right? Which does not depend on any actual evidence from the IAEA or anyone else. What part of this is more dangerous than the previous line of “an actual weapon” don’t you get?

    Not to mention that he never actually said “an actual weapon” – he just said the red line was “working on a nuclear weapon”. It’s easy to argue – and most of the discussion these days in the MSM explicitly DOES argue this – that Iran is RIGHT NOW “working on a nuclear weapon” BECAUSE they have an enrichment program! It’s wrong, it’s a lie. But that’s the implication of the entire crisis – merely having an enrichment program is considered a “nuclear weapons program.” The average US moron doesn’t know the difference because he’s been conditioned by this approach not to.

    The US claims Iran has stopped its alleged nuclear weapons program, does not have a nuclear weapons program, and has not decided to start a nuclear weapons program. SO WHY ARE WE THREATENING IRAN AT ALL?

    The obvious answer is that the nuclear weapons program is nothing but “the excuse”. We all know the real goal is to destroy Iran by any means necessary and make a profit by doing so, just as the goal in Iraq was exactly that. Every one has a stake in the war.

    So now you think because of a few statements by politicians, not one of which has backed down from threats of further action, that the people with stakes in the coming war are going to just back off, take their military toys and go home and sulk?

    Including ISRAEL? Really?

    “As for the military build up in the PG, well, could it be they’re being sent to keep the peace?”

    Seriously? You’re actually suggesting that? Seriously?

    “Or, to put a bottom to their strategic losses, as opposed to be angling for any new strategic gains?”

    What the hell does that statement even mean?

    “Yes, I find the idea of war abhorrent enough to subconsciously clutch at ‘comfort’ straws.”

    Glad you admit it. But it’s completely unrealistic.

    Fyi has the same problem. He can’t contemplate the damage the coming war will do to Iran, so he blocks it out and assumes it’s just another “Cold War”.

    It’s ridiculous. You only get a “Cold War” when a hot war is too dangerous for BOTH sides. This was the case with the US versus Russia, and for the most part is the case with the US versus China, and to a lesser degree with the US versus North Korea.

    It is not the case with Iran. The US can do untold damage to Iran and Iran can do little damage to the US comparatively speaking, regardless of what happens to the US economy due to an oil price spike – which, again, will have little to no effect on the people who stand to PROFIT from the war.

    I’ve pointed all this over and over again here. But every time some people insist are repeating the same Pollyanna points which I’ve explained away repeatedly. Which is why I generally don’t bother engaging you or fyi much any more. It’s a waste of time.

    As fyi said, “We’ll see.” And we won’t have to wait too much longer in my opinion.

  641. Photi says:

    James, here is a quote from the Larijani article on ABC News, I saw the CNN interview and will watch the ABC interview now

    “Mohammad Javad Larijani, who serves as secretary-general of Iran’s Human Rights Council and key foreign policy advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei, said the West should sell Iran 20-percent enriched uranium and provide all the help that nuclear nations are supposed to provide to countries building civilian nuclear power plants. He also said the U.S. and the West should accept his country’s right to continue what Iran calls its peaceful nuclear program. In return for cooperation from the West, he said, Iran would offer “full transparency.”"

    Read On ABC News Radio: http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/tag/mohammad-javad-larijani#ixzz1qRAynQS8

  642. Karl says:

    Another way to smear iranians.

    http://presstv.com/detail/233567.html

  643. BiBiJon says:

    Who Speaks For Iranian-Americans?
    March 27, 2012 6:07 pm ET — MJ Rosenberg

    http://politicalcorrection.org/fpmatters/201203270010

  644. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Yes, and I think that was the primary point made by Larijani in his two interviews this month (March 13th and March 15th) with Western news agencies. Iran should receive assistance with its domestic nuclear power programme and fuel for TRR. Larijani said it was obvious the West should sell Iran the fuel. And it is obvious.

  645. Fiorangela says:

    Photi says: March 28, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Photi, you fail to give cognizance to a fundamental reality: ISRAEL has placed Palestine under “siege;” that is, by your own claim, Israel has declared war on Palestine.

    ISRAEL and the US have placed Iran under “siege;” that is, by your definition, Israel and the US have declared war on Iran.

    Are Palestinians and Iranian permitted to defend themselves against these unlawful wars that have been declared against them?

    If No, Why not? Isn’t that the promise a nation’s government makes to its people?

    If Yes, How? With what levels of defensive or retaliatory force?

  646. Photi says:

    James Canning says:
    March 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    James, i agree with a commentor here who recently said the 20% enrichment has now become an issue which Iran can ‘step down’ from in negotiations. In my amateur opinion that looks like a diplomatic victory on Iran’s part, as they have always been willing to purchase the fuel for the TRR on the international market.

    Iran will be compromising to get where Iran would have preferred to be all along, which is Iranian low enrichment for energy production purposes (which is quite reasonable given Iran’s ‘energy producer’ status).

  647. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Be more specific, please. Are you arging Iran did not offer to stop enriching to 20%? That claim would obviously not be true.

  648. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, Libya did not have the technological and industrial basis for developing nukes. Gaddafi conceivable could have obtained a “loose nuke”, but for what purpose? Gaddafi noted from time to tome that nukes were “dangerous for the country that has them”.

  649. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Did you approve of Ahmadinejad’s offfer last September for Iran to stop enriching to 20%?

  650. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Libyans did not have a nuclear program.

    All they had were unworkable parts in crates and design documents that they could not do anything with.

  651. Photi says:

    James,

    “This message should have been repeated virtually daily, month in and month out. For years.”

    stockpile 20% stockpile 20% Jews lobby neocons Saudi Arabia is great

    James, what and for whom are you repeating? or are you still looking for takers?

  652. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The simple truth is that detractors of Iran in the US and the UK try to suppress information they see as putting Iran in a good light. Part of ongoing propaganda campaign fostered by the ISRAEL LOBBY.

  653. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Some idiots argue Pakistan should be attacked. Many commentators in the West say the US undermines stability by attacking Taliban in Pakistan. Pkistan’s nukes serve zero purpose in this regard.

  654. bettertobepickled says:

    “TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 8 (UPI) — Israel is reported to be seeking to deploy fighter aircraft in Cyprus, its partner in developing a natural gas bonanza under the eastern Mediterranean, to protect the vital energy resources.

    Turkey is seen as one of the main threats.

    The move follows the announcement Sunday by the Noble Energy Co., of Houston and its Israeli partner the Delek Group, that they had made a new discovery off the Israeli coast that could contain 1.2 trillion-1.3 trillion cubic feet of gas.

    Israel is already preparing to launch a major security operation to protect the offshore fields and the attendant facilities in its waters.”

    Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Energy-Resources/2012/02/08/Israel-seeks-Cyprus-base-to-guard-gas-zone/UPI-72471328722889/#ixzz1qQwsPFmm

  655. Karl says:

    Karl,

    I think people doesnt care, they dont trust anything coming from Iran and are determined to think so regardless of fatwas etc.

  656. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Gaddafi said Libya commenced a nuclear weapons programme in the 1970s “when it was the fashionable thing to do.”

  657. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Why are so few Americans even aware Khamenei issued a fatwa against Iranian possession of WMD including nukes? I was astonished that Trudy Rubin, the sydicated foreign policy writer, was not aware of the fatwa when she says she talks to the best-informed person on matters regarding Iran and the Middle East.

  658. Karl says:

    James,

    So Libya didnt have a nuclear wepaons program?

    If Pakistan didnt have nukes, there would have been sanctions and talk of war against that state too.

  659. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Of course sanctions are intended to inflict pain. Sometimes they are successful, sometimes not so successful. US sanctions against Cuba have perpetuated the government and delayed needed reforms.

  660. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    If Gaddafi had tried to proceed with building nukes, he would have been overthrown at that time. Having nukes was not an option for him.

    Pakistan’s nukes have ZERO use in helping the government resist subversion from numerous groups operating within the country.

  661. Karl says:

    James,

    As I said sanctions are to weaken unfriendly (to the US policy) states.

  662. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Saddam Hussein should have hired a good PR firm in the US, and another in the UK, to put out the message Iraq destroyed its WMD in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War. This message should have been repeated virtually daily, month in and month out. For years.

  663. Karl says:

    James,

    If Libya hadnt given up their nuclear program they would probably hadnt been attacked.

  664. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    So, we agree the sanctions had been largely wound down in Libya, prior to the outbreak of the revolt.

  665. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Do you think Burma (Myanmar) has “bowed down”? Or, that Burma is finally acting in the best interests of the people of the country?

  666. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think the key issue (since Netanyahu claimed Roosevlt in 1944 refused pleas from the American Jewish community to bomb Auschwitz), is that almost all American Jewish leaders opposed bombing Aushwitz. Netanyahu’s contention is not true, but he used it to justify his programme of taking any measure he sees necessary “to prevent Holocaust”.

  667. Karl says:

    James,

    Right and go figure why sanctions had been mostly removed from Libya? Because he bowed down. If not, the sanctions would have been in place.

  668. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The sanctions against Libya had largely been dismantled. Prior to the outbreak of the revolt.

  669. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Bombing death camps would have only helped Germans kill more Jews.

    It would have been immaterail.

    A much more effective tactic would have been to bomb the railways.

    But no one had that abiliy in 1940, 41, 42, 43.

  670. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    The US has had strong sanctions against Cuba for decades now. No war.

  671. Karl says:

    James,

    What should Saddam have done to avert war?

  672. Karl says:

    James,

    Didnt west just invaded Libya?
    Of course sanctions are a introduction to regime change and possible war. The whole thing sanctions is to weaken/remove the current power from one state.

  673. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Astounding incompetence, stupidity, arrogance, etc., on the part of Saddam Hussein played directly into the hands of the promoters of the illegal invasion of Iraq.
    You appear to dislike focusing any attention on the blunders of Iraq caused directly by extremely poor leadership at the top.

  674. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Obama has been clear since he entered the White House he did not want war with Iran. I agree of course with you he does not want war now, or next year for that matter. Provided Iran does not try to build nukes or appear to be too close to doing so.

  675. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    The West imposed sanctions against Libya for many years. And they were wound down. No war.

  676. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    The West imposed sanctions against Myanmar (Burma) for years, and those sanctions are in the process of being wound down. No war.

  677. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The US had the ability to overthrow Saddam Hussein in a matter of weeks, even if there had been no sanctions. Before Saddam tried to annex Kuwait, his generals told him the US would not allow the scheme to succeed and the result would be the destruction of the Iraqi army.

  678. James Canning says:

    In an editorial today, The New York Times claimed “it is assumed” that Israel will annex the illegal Jewish colonies in the West Bank that adjoin Israel. Assumed by whom?

    Shaul Mofaz, the new Kadima Party leader, thinks Israel can keep 40% of the West Bank. Sheer delusion.

    And Helene Cooper, in the NYT today, repeated without challenge the false claim by Netanyahu, at the Aipac annual convention in Washington this month, that Roosevelt refused the plea of the American Jewish community to bomb Auschwitz.

  679. Reza Esfandiari says:

    It is important to realize that the April 13th talks will not just be about the nuclear issue. Iran will use the meeting to bring up other matters such as the NATO defense shield in Turkey and the crisis in Syria. It will try and appeal to the Russian and Chinese interlocutors, who are close to Iran’s position, about this.

  680. BiBiJon says:

    Richard,

    If the idea of sanctions is to weaken Iran, just like Iraq oil sanctions, as a prelude to war, then one has to figure that the oil-for-food sanctions were put on Iraq in 1995. Apparently, it took eight years for Iraq to be weak enough.

    From a (war) bird’s view it might be difficult to see the differences. But, take it from me, Iran, her economy, and her population’s sense of nationalism is no Iraq. Add to that the current oil market, and new guzzlers (China/India), absent in the 1990s, you’ll see how short fyi’s “time interval” is before such sanctions become an unsustainable act of self-impalement. Besides, unlike the UNSC sanctions against Iraq, the ones penalizing Iran are unilateral US/EU affairs. See http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/brics-agree-not-bound-by-unilateral-sanctions-on-iran-191153

    No one (UK excepted according to James) is denying Western malintent towards Iran. Similarly, no one is arguing that politicians don’t dissemble 24/7 (except Hague according to James).

    The real argument is whatever their hidden, but very real intentions, what CAN they do about it, at what cost, in what international/regional context?

    FYI has cited a string of recent statements by the POTUS, Sec. Def. and Gen. Dempsey which you dismiss as “random” utterances. If random, then why at that time, at that place, and with that consistency, and for what possible gain? So the POTUS, according to you, moves the red line to actual weapon development, which he and his secdef say Iran is not engaged in, just to remove any excuse for why they suddenly attack?

    As for the military build up in the PG, well, could it be they’re being sent to keep the peace? Or, to put a bottom to their strategic losses, as opposed to be angling for any new strategic gains?

    Yes, I find the idea of war abhorrent enough to subconsciously clutch at ‘comfort’ straws. Be better than me. I’m hoping you’ll address fyi’s points substantively enough to make a case for inevitability/immediacy of war.

  681. Rehmat says:

    Yesterday, US Senate freshman and son of Rep. Ron Paul – Senator Rand Paul, formally blocked a bill which would have brought Washington closer to war with Iran and Syria – pushed by Israel-Firster lawmakers in all three US political parties. Sen. Rand Paul represents the Tea Party in the Senate.

    The legislation, which had the backing of many Democratic and Republican Senators, focused on foreign banks that handle transactions for Iran’s national oil and tanker companies, and included a host of measures aimed to close loopholes in existing sanctions.

    “These sanctions are a key tool as we work to stop (Iran) from obtaining a nuclear weapon, threatening Israel and ultimately jeopardizing U.S. national security,” Majority leader Harry Reid said earlier on Tuesday. Reed’s wife Landra Gould was born into a Jewish family.

    Rand Paul blocked the passage of the bill when Sen. Reed refused to add his one-sentence amendment to the bill that would ensure the bill could not later be construed as congressional permission for a war in Syria or Iran.

    Paul’s amendment reads: “To clarify that nothing in the Act shall be construed as a declaration of war or an authorization of the use of force against Iran or Syria.”

    In justifying his demand for the addition, Paul recalled the war drums beat by senators including John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) in the lead-up to President Obama’s unilateral decision to participate in NATO’s war on Libya, and suggested there are several members of the Senate who are now itching to begin a new conflict abroad.

    “Many in this body cannot get boots on ground fast enough in a variety of places, from Syria to Libya to Iran,” said Paul. “I urge that we not begin a new war without a full debate, without a vote, without careful consideration of the ramifications of a third or even a fourth war in this past decade.”

    Even after 31-year of Western sanctions, independent international economic reports indicate that Iranian have more disposable income than ever before, and are enjoying the modern amenities of life, such as housing (63%), education (78%), medicare (70%), automobile (37%) and mobile phone (88%). they, are however, spending more than their income, probably as a result of rising inflation, with least saving.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/sen-rand-paul-no-war-against-iran-for-israel/

  682. Photi says:

    Fiorangela,

    “Sanctions” to some degree are defined prior to intent. The use of sanctions is a tactic employing coercive means to achieve somebody’s definition of a desired end.

    The coercive nature of sanctions i find objectionable, and that recognition comes before the ‘intent’ of sanctions is discussed. One man’s act of war is another man’s fight for humanity. Though i understand the distinctions in intent you are making, less scrupulous people are able to manufacture distinctions at will.

    Sanctions is just another word for siege, and as i think we agree, siege is war.

  683. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

    That statement “sanctions always lead to war” is not true.

    Sanctions against India, Pakistan, and Vietnam did not.

    Axis Powers had their chance for war this past 2 months.

    They did not take it then.

    They won’t take it now.

    That game is over.

  684. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “The approach to Iran makes sense if the planners of that approach predicated them on eventual Iranian surrender or implosion.”

    Despite the fact that everyone told them it wouldn’t work… Except of course that they KNEW that and in fact there never was an intention to make it work. It was just another step in the process of weakening Iran to set it up for war.

    “When neither occurs within their expected time interval, they will devise yet another strategy.”

    Yeah – it’s called “war”.

    How many other “strategies” has the US tried in the last twenty years?

    Sanctions – and war.

    That’s it. That’s the limit of US “strategy”.

    And as Trita Parsi points out in the article I cited below, sanctions have ALWAYS led to war historically except in the case of South Africa where other factors were allegedly more important.

    How anyone can look at Iraq and the progression from sanctions to war and not comprehend that the same process is involved in Iran is just amazing to me. The US and the EU are flooding troops, ships, aircraft and armaments into the region daily and yet for some people war just isn’t possible.

    And you have never ONCE mentioned Israel in your calculations. You apparently believe that Israel is a complete paper tiger and will never attack Iran for any reason, despite all the efforts Netanyahu and Barak are pouring into convincing the Israeli government and population that a war with Iran is necessary and all the efforts they are putting into preparing the Israeli military for that war.

    It’s a wonder to me, cognitive dissonance is.

    Well, as you said below, we’ll see. As William S. Burroughs said once, “May not have to wait long…”

  685. Fiorangela says:

    Photi says: March 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Photi, Point taken: if sanctions against Iran are immoral, is not the BDS movement against Israel immoral just as Rabbi Hirsch claimed?

    I, too, am not keenly in favor of the BDS movement in Israel (but for different reasons), and I am utterly opposed to sanctions against Iran. Sanctions are acts of war; I have argued that position many times and supported conferences where that argument was the core concept.

    But there are distinctions to be made.

    Sanctions against Iran are genuinely and categorically immoral because they are acts of aggression. Inasmuch as Hirsch asserts that “boycott seeks to destroy Israel,” we can reasonably argue that sanctions against Iran seek to destroy Iran. Such measures are in violation of UN Charter resolutions. Iran is in a defensive posture; Israel and the United States are aggressors without a cause in imposing sanctions on Iran.

    The BDS movement against Israel is NOT an act of aggression, it is an attempt at nonviolent resistance to Israeli aggression. That gives it a different moral and legal aspect.

    Moreover, as a Jewish Journal response to Beinart’s OpEd observes,

    QUOTE

    Even if it were a good idea, it probably would have no economic effect.
    . . . How much settler money really comes from the sale of goods and services? How much would a successful boycott deprive them of? How easily could it be replaced?
    The settlers’ well-heeled American supporters and friends will happily make up the funds they lack (If Sheldon Adelson can give $10 million to a failed presidential candidate, imagine what he’ll give to a thriving settlement). Israeli supporters who control government purse strings will make sure they suffer no pain.

    If Gershom Gorenberg has taught us anything, it’s that when it comes to the settlements, Israeli budgets are highly fungible.”

    :http://www.jewishjournal.com/rob_eshman/article/5_reasons_peter_beinarts_boycott_is_wrong_20120319/

    END QUOTE

    A boycott against Israel, no matter how stringent, will not and cannot cause pain. On the other hand, sanctions against Iran are intended to cause pain, are causing pain, and are carefully crafted and calibrated as if by Torquemada himself to increase the pain should the victim accommodate himself to a lesser level.

    Beinart must be aware that a boycott against Israel cannot effect any real change in Israel’s behavior, just as he — and Jeremy Ben-Ami of J-Street, for that matter — must know that a two state solution is no longer possible, though each still argues for that solution. Thus it is reasonable to question the good faith of Beinart’s proposal of boycott against the settlements.

    The case of Germany will be addressed in another comment.

    :http://www.jewishjournal.com/rob_eshman/article
    /5_reasons_peter_beinarts_boycott_is_wrong_20120319/

  686. fyi says:

    All:

    An American attempt at coming back to reality – it is a start but does not go far enough

    http://csis.org/files/publication/0312_MENC.pdf

  687. fyi says:

    Karl says: March 28, 2012 at 7:38 am

    The approach to Iran makes sense if the planners of that approach predicated them on eventual Iranian surrender or implosion.

    When neither occurs within their expected time interval, they will devise yet another strategy.

    At the highest level of the state, Mr. Khamenei, publicly stated in 2010: “Do not try this nation with sanctions.”

    By US-EU leaders – I think out of hubris – discounted him and his warning.

    The achievement of US-EU Planners has been that they brought the world to the edge of war when Iranians stated that they will go to war.

    At that point, US-EU retreated and with that retreat, their negogiating position and their latest tactics was destroyed.

  688. Photi says:

    Fiorangela says:
    March 28, 2012 at 8:46 am

    “4. Finally, and most significantly, in a sermon of all places, does the Golden Rule apply?
    a. Is a boycott “immoral” when it is applied to Iran?”

    Fiorangela,

    The point you make/question you ask is one of the reasons i have never been able to get too excited about the BDS movement. Sanctions deliberately target civilians with the intent to cause strife. Civilians are not appropriate targets. How can sanctions be moral anywhere, even if aimed at Israel?

    (secondly and tangentially, if Germany has a beef with the Jews over what happened in 1933, shouldn’t it be Germany who makes it an issue? You are making a point about sanctions and in my opinion using Nazi Germany in your example introduces emotions for people which ultimately degrade your argument.)

  689. BiBiJon says:

    Cannot think of an appropriate headline
    =======================================

    Today’s NY Times, front page, above the fold, had an article by ex-Jerusalem beauro chief, Ethan Bronner:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/28/world/middleeast/netanyahu-and-barak-bond-over-israels-iran-crisis.html

    According to Bronner:

    “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have turned into the odd couple of Israeli politics in whose hands sits the prospect of an attack on Iran. From opposite political traditions with distinct experiences and worldviews, the two have forged a tight bond, often excluding the rest of the Israeli leadership. ”

    So much for “it’s not Israel’s problem, it the whole world’s problem!” I remind you, front page, above the fold, NY Times is saying it’s not Israel’s problem, it’s only two guy’s problem. Dear citizens of the world just think about that — two guys, and only two guys.

    One of the two guys, according to Jeffrey Goldberg is driven by his DNA and he

    “… goes on to say that PM Netanyahu feels a deeply personal mission too. His duty is not just to save his people from (what he see as) renewed risk of extinction but also to honor his 102-year-old father’s scholarship on the Spanish Inquisition and his older brother Yonatan’s death in the famous raid at Entebbe.”

    ,http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/magical-thinking-in-israel-about-iran/255147/

    Again, think about that! The level of a personal ego-trip and self-aggrandizement Goldberg is attributing to Netanyahu is only shared by luminaries such as Idi Amin, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi. I want to fall to my knees in prayer, and thank God that those characters were not armed with nuclear weapons, and did not have the Wests’ MSM megaphoning their every phobia and fantasy. The issue here is that to fulfill his (imagined) calling, Netanyau can be relied on with clinical certainty to IMAGINE the circumstances for which his DNA was designer-made to handle. Without a doubt, circumstances he imagines have nothing to do with reality.

  690. Karl says:

    Fiorangela,

    I came to the conclusion that we are dealing with people that think they are always right in their asessment and others are always wrong. It is a kind of supremacism and the result of decades of indoctrination and lies that have become facts for them.

  691. Fiorangela says:

    Rabbi says “Boycotts are Immoral!

    On March 18, 2012 the New York Times published a op ed by Peter Beinart in which Beinart advocated FOR a boycott of Israel. :http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/19/opinion/to-save-israel-boycott-the-settlements.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&pagewanted=all

    Reactions from the Jewish establishment in the US and in Israel have been fierce.

    Ammiel Hirsch, a Reform Jewish rabbi and lawyer, is the senior rabbi of Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and former Executive Director of the Association of Reform Zionists of America/World Union for Progressive Judaism, North America. Several days ago Hirsch preached to his New York congregation a sermon in harsh opposition to Beinart’s boycott proposal (video at hotlink).

    About 9 minutes into the sermon, Rabbi Hirsch said:

    QUOTE

    “Two. Boycott. Therefore the call to boycott israel — Even in the lame effort to distinguish between boycotting israel in the green line and boycotting israel beyond the greenline is troubling in itself. It is also hopelessly naïve. How would one actually mount such a boycott, how one could limit it to products beyond the green line, how it would end at the green line and not become a boycott of israel is an interesting thesis that is good for a master’s degree program but not a serious political proposal.

    But it is even worse than that, it is immoral. Because it gives aid and comfort to israel’s worst enemies, those who seek to destroy the jewish state. By using the word boycott beinart has crossed a red line. He has granted legitimacy to the delegitimizors of israel. Boycott is the language of israel’s enemies. Boycott means to mobilize [?] people to destroy israel through international diplomacy and economic strangulation,. It is an extreme position. There really are people who hate israel and hate jews no matter what we say or do. We saw another example of this this week in Toulouse france.

    . . .the timing of Beinart’s op ed which is based on his new book . . .is particularly devastating to his argument. While thousands are being butchered in Syria by the Syrian dictator as the world stands by impotently; at a time when Americans should be devoting as much attention as we possibly can to a democratic Egypt; and while Iran is rapidly developing nuclear weapons, at a time when the Palestinian national movement is hopelessly divided among itself and has no interest or desire to engage in peace talks, now, now American liberal jews should be devoting our financial and political resources to boycotting democratic israel? Are you serious?”

    END QUOTE

    1. Is a synagogue sermon an occasion for a political argument or are churches and synagogues tax exempt in order to grant special privileges to spiritual ministry? Rabbi Hirsch’s sermon urges his congregation concerning a “financial and political” agenda they should be pursuing, but I didn’t hear any spiritual exhortation.

    2. Is it usual that sermons deviate from the truth and facts, as Rabbi Hirsch’s sermon does in several ways? For one example, he stated, “Iran is rapidly developing nuclear weapons,” but there is no basis in fact for that statement.

    3. Do sermons typically rely upon dictionary definitions different from standard English to define common words such as “diplomacy” and “peace”?

    4. Finally, and most significantly, in a sermon of all places, does the Golden Rule apply?
    a. Is a boycott “immoral” when it is applied to Iran?

    b. Is Rabbi Hirsch, preacher and lawyer, prepared to apologize for the boycott that Jews imposed on Germany between 1933 and 1938 inasmuch as it was both “immoral” and illegal, and caused grievous harm?

    c. Is it as appropriate to preach these words against sanctions on Iran as lawyer and Rabbi Hirsch stated against a boycott of Israel –

    “Boycott is the language of israel’s Iran’s enemies. Boycott means to mobilize [?] people to destroy israel Iran through international diplomacy and economic strangulation,. It is an extreme position.”

  692. Empty says:

    sorry…it’s “vahy_e monzal”

  693. Empty says:

    Karl says, “Would EU/US accept such a act of war approach? Nope. So why do they belive they could play around with Iran with the same insincere, irrational approach?”

    Because they perceive: 1) themselves to be superior to the Iranians; 2) themselves to be entitled to such perception of superiority; 3) themselves to still have the “absolute” power/force with which to support their sense of superiority should Iranians not yield; 4) themselves to be living under the rule and regulations of the yesteryear when what they said used to be “vahy_e monazl” [a divine and indisputable decree]; 5) themselves to be immune and invulnerable to both intended and unintended consequences of their games; 6) others to be incapable of having options; 7) others to be imbeciles; 8) others to be weak, vulnerable, and helpless….and the list could go on.

    These “has beens” of history can no longer imagine a constructive approach. War and coercion remain their beaten path.

  694. Karl says:

    Reza,

    Right, I mean, the approach to Iran is multilayered (talks on the hand and sanctions on the other that cant/wont be reversed) and makes no sense. Why should Iran have talks if they arent getting any concession back in the form something that really matter in type of reduced sanctions?
    The EU/US approach makes no sense at all.

    Lets try this reversed, just imagined if Iran said “Sure we have talks but this summer after the talks are finished we are still going to hurt you because then we will end selling oil to you”. Would EU/US accept such a act of war approach? Nope. So why do they belive they could play around with Iran with the same insincere, irrational approach?

  695. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Karl,

    I absolutely agree that the EU/US must lift some sanctions in order to secure the cessation of 20% enrichment by Iran. After all, the oil ban is hurting their economies by pushing up the price of crude. EU exports to Iran are also in sharp decline. The whole standoff is pointless. I was just pointing out that both sides can avoid losing face by reaching an agreement of the suspension of 20% enrichment rather than 3.5%.

    Reza

  696. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Humanist: “I hope the present RFI software is secure”

    Doubtful. Most Web software is painfully insecure. At least if you’re using one of the main open source systems you have a certain number of people examining it for security flaws and regular updates when they’re found. A smaller system maintained by only a few people may not be inspected as well.

    If the current system is developed in house or based on some small open source or even commercial project, it is highly likely to be insecure because little thought was given to security in its development.

    “most times the cost of coding the WebPublishing software is way less than the cost of building a sophisticated Security for it.”

    It’s more the effort of making sure the person maintaining it is up on any security issues the software has and how to configure it to take advantage of whatever security features it has.

    “I guess hypothetically, it is possible to send a Torjan and in a period of weeks or months gather all the necessary information (in small pieces) to attack the site and cause serious damage.”

    It’s usually easier than that. The main avenue of attack into a Web system is any user input process such as a login dialog. Since the system is usually based on a database of some sort such as MySQL, if the input is not carefully inspected before being used to produce a database query, one can manipulate the input to cause the system to produce a query which reveals details of the system to the end user. This is called a “SQL injection attack”. It only requires a fair amount of time – sometimes not much time – for the hacker to prod and poke and craft an input string that produces an unconsidered result.

    Once an ingress has been obtained, THEN you find a way to install malware on the system which can capture things like user IDs, passwords, or instead can be used to do a “drive by attack” on the end user’s computer.

  697. Karl says:

    Reza,

    Talks are usless from that point of view since Iran already produce their enrichment themselves and arent dependent on any external state go get its uranium anymore.
    Also EU/US have already decided to go on with their cleanched fist since they will not remove the oil ban this summer in the talks. THAT should be a concession EU/US for example should give Iran if it offers to cease enrichment at 20%.

  698. Karl says:

    James,

    Yes thats right Iran have never offered this a precondition, could we remove that argument now?

  699. Humanist, go back to the post and note that OCS was quoting the pastor John Hagee.

  700. http://open.salon.com/blog/addisonpg/2012/03/21/why_barack_obama_is_the_more_effective_evil

    “They had vetted Obama, thoroughly, before he even set foot in the U.S. Senate in 2004.

    He protected their interests, there, helping shield corporations from class action suits, and voting against caps on credit card Interest. He was their guy back then – and some of us were saying so, back then.

    He was the bankers’ guy in the Democratic presidential primary race. Among the last three standing in 2008, it was Obama who opposed any moratorium on home foreclosures. John Edwards supported a mandatory moratorium and Hillary Clinton said she wanted a voluntary halt to foreclosures. But Barack Obama opposed any moratorium. Let it run its course, said candidate Obama. And, true to his word, he has let the foreclosures run their catastrophic course.

    Only a few months later, when the crunch came and Finance Capital was in meltdown, who rescued Wall Street? Not George Bush. Bush tried, but he was spent, discredited, ineffective. NotJohn McCain. He was in a coma, coming unglued, totally ineffective.

    Bush’s bailout failed on a Monday. By Friday, Obama had convinced enough Democrats in opposition to roll over – and the bailout passed, setting the stage for a new dispensation between the American State and Wall Street, in which a permanent pipeline of tens of trillions of dollars would flow directly into Wall Street accounts, via the Federal Reserve.

    And Obama had not even been elected yet.”

  701. Humanist says:

    OnwardChristianSoldiers

    Re: Your March 26, 2012 at 9:19 pm Post

    Are you sure about what you have written in your post?

    You write:

    Israel now finds itself with only two options, neither of which is good.

    The first option is to do nothing. Just wait until Iran develops a nuclear bomb and hope and pray there will not be a nuclear holocaust. History proves that when someone threatens to kill you, you should take them seriously. When Hitler threatened to kill the Jews, world leaders overlooked his threats as “he’s upset today.”

    Ahmadinejad of Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map many times. He has the will to do it and as soon as he has the power…the nation of Israel will live under the threat of nuclear annihilation.

    The second option is a direct military attack on the nuclear facilities of Iran. Obviously this is what Israel was considering last week when the secret plan was leaked to the press by a person not yet identified.

    If Israel defends itself, war will come and the world will blame Israel for everything that happens for the next ten years. Why am I telling you this?
    Because if Israel takes a military action to remove nuclear facilities to prevent millions of Jews from being exterminated, WE will stand with Israel without apology!”

    There are 12 sentences in the above segment. What if one can argue with you 11 of them are either dubious or outright wrong?

    It takes a lot time and effort to show you why your assertions are iffy. Do you strongly believe there is an old man up there watching everything you do and when you die he will send you either to heaven or hell? If you do forget all about this comment.

    However if you are not absolutely sure can I humbly recommend studying a little bit about Brainwashing, Indoctrination and how the main stream media is trying to fool the people.

  702. Humanist says:

    Richard

    You write “The software can be completely free. The question is the time required by someone familiar with the software to convert the existing post database to the new database format as well as set up the new software’s interface.
    Since the Leveretts teach in universities, it shouldn’t be hard to find a student in the Web curriculum who needs some extra credit and hopefully has the smarts and experience to do a competent job. They just need to make sure they have a backup!”.

    I hope the present RFI software is secure else I have heard, for cases like RFI, most times the cost of coding the WebPublishing software is way less than the cost of building a sophisticated Security for it. I guess hypothetically, it is possible to send a Torjan and in a period of weeks or months gather all the necessary information (in small pieces) to attack the site and cause serious damage. I am also thinking of a few other tricks that the credit seeking student you are suggesting might not have the expertise for it.

    I hope I am wrong and your thought of “The software can be completely free” is quite feasible

  703. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Iran’s decision to go ahead with 20% enrichment is interesting because:

    1) There was a genuine civilian need to produce it for the TRR.

    2) It now allows Iran the ability to make a climbdown by suspending 20% enrichment, now that it has produced enough of it, but fall short of suspending enrichment altogether.

    However, I expect Iran to go into the talks in April initially not willing to suspend 20% enrichment at all. You only make concessions at the end and at not at the start if you want to succeed in getting the best deal for yourself during any negotiation.

  704. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Why don’t you be more specific, and say, if this is what you mena, that in your view the two interviews given by Larijani do not indicate Iran is willing to stop enriching to 20%, in advance of negotiations.

  705. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I readily agree US should guarantee no Israeli attack on Iran using nukes. Absolutely. And US needs of course to force Israel to get rid of its nukes.

    US (and rest of West) should cooperate with Iran’s domestic nuclear power programme, supply TRR fuel.

  706. Fiorangela says:

    BiBiJon, Thanks for link to Glenn Greenwald’s essay on Dina Temple Raston’s reporting on the new focus of the vast US intelligence apparatus — state sponsor of terrorism © Iran.

    At the end of his evisceration of Temple Raston, Greenwald mentioned a lecture he had delivered at U Penn recently. A U Penn newspaper article about the lecture quoted

    “Monika Nagpal, a Penn State University graduate who attended the lecture, [and said that] Greenwald’s lecture did not raise any ideas she had not already considered.

    “He surprised with me new facts, but nothing that I didn’t already know,” Nagpal said.”

    Considering the thesis of Greenwald’s Mar 27 column –

    “There’s one prime reason why Americans are so uninformed about what their government does in their name around the world (Why do they hate us?). It’s because “news stories” from “even liberal media outlets” like NPR systematically obscure those facts, disseminating pure propaganda from America’s National Security State masquerading as high-minded, Serious news.”

    Ms. Nagpal is uncommonly well-informed. I wonder if she was a student of Dr. Flynt Leverett at Penn State. I hope there are many more like her.

  707. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 27, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    There might be some flexibility shown by Iranians on the NPT in April.

    But any resolution of US-Iran problems must start with 2 things:

    1 – US dropping any and all opposition to Iranian nuclear projects within NPT.
    2 – US guarantee that Israel will not attack Iran with nuclear weapons.

    No progress on the resolution of biltaeral issues are possible until these 2 conditions are met.

    If they cannot be met, no amount confidence building exercises are going to ameliorate the situation.

    None.

  708. Karl says:

    James,

    You have not read what I have stated.

    Again, Iran has NOT offered to end 20% enrichment as a PRECONDITION.

  709. James Canning says:

    “Newly released FBI documents support Sibel Edmonds’ allegations (March 18, 2010):

    http://www.disinfo.com/2010/03/newly-released-fbi-documents-support-sibel-edmonds-allegations/

    For those interested in ways and means of protecting spies operating in the US against the US.

  710. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    What precisely am I “fabricating”? As an intelligent man, and well-versed in diplomatic nuance, I assume Larijani is strongly suggesting Iran will stop enriching to 20 percent if the West sells Iran the needed TRR fuel.

    If your argument is that Iran will not stop enriching to 20 percent unless the latest sanctions are cancelled, by all means say this is your argument. Or whatever else is your contention, based on Larijani’s interviews of March 13th and March 15th OF THIS MONTH.

  711. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    I agree with you Iran can not proceed to build nukes without expelling the IAEA, withdrawing from NPT, as you say.

    Iran’s enemies exploit the stockpiling of 20% uranium to argue Iran is getting ready to build nukes.

  712. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    “The critical test [for P5+1 talks with Iran] will be whether Iran agrees to what diplomats call confidence building measures, such as a decision to stop enrichment of higher grades of uranium and to shift stocks out of the country.” Financial Times, March 7, 2012, front page. You think this is comedy?

  713. Karl says:

    UAE next in line?

    Dubai says Islamists trying to weaken UAE via Twitter
    http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/37865/World/Region/Dubai-says-Islamists-trying-to-weaken-UAE-via-Twit.aspx

    If so, another proof how US have totally missread the uprisings.

  714. Rd. says:

    kooshy

    Turning Point on the Syrian Front:
    Dealmaking in Search of a Face-Saving Exit
    by Sharmine Narwani

    Group A is looking for a face-saving exit from the promised escalation in Syria.  It consists of the United States, the European Union, and Turkey.

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/narwani220312.html

  715. Kathleen says:

    Hillary and Flynt thank you for all of your efforts to inform the public about the situation in Iran and foreign policy having to do with Iran. Why is it we never see you on MSNBC, CNN, Fox, NPR programs etc..clearly you are qualified. Are there some type of road blocks up in the MSM against the Leveretts?

  716. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    I am not the one insisting Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. This apparently is the viewpoint of the Six Powers (P5+1). Surely the point of view of those Powers is of considerable importance.

    James, are you playing who’s on first, whats on second??? :-)

    you might want to ask Larry Curley Mo (US, UK, Israel) plus the juniors to watch this piece to figure out the %20 deal…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sShMA85pv8M

  717. Rd. says:

    kooshy says:

    I didn’t know if this news was announced previously, anybody knew he will be traveling to Iran? I think it is more due to Syria rather than the nuclear issue
    Turkish PM due in Tehran to discuss mutual ties, regional developments

    Today’s Zaman had announced a few weeks back, along with an analysis as you suggest, turkey may be “re-considering” its approach to Syria.

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    Turkey to establish buffer zone on Syria border: Syrian opposition
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233328.html

    I “wonder” if this was meant to encourage Turkey to deny such efforts publicly.

  718. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Wilbur says: Exposingwarmongeringneconstooges? Or should I just say Reza?

    Sorry, but I don’t erect sock puppets and certainly have no need to do so on this site. There is no need to be so paranoid like Sassan and to level false accusations at me.

  719. Reza Esfandiari says:

    James,

    As long as Iran is locked into the NPT it cannot divert its civilian resources for a military end. I just don’t see how it is possible. The only way for it to do so would be break out of the treaty and expel IAEA inspectors. But if Iran wanted to acquire a nuke, or a dirty bomb, it need only buy some plutonium on the black market.

  720. Karl says:

    James,

    Yes you are fabricating if you still say that Iran have said they would end 20% enrichment as precondition.

  721. James Canning says:

    “How Washington Encourages Israel to Bomb Iran”, by Reuel Marc Gerecht in the Wall Street Journal March 26th.

    Quote: “Given Mr. Khamenei’s rejection of engagement…” What a shameless liar! Gerecht obviously is aware Iran last Sept. offered to stop enriching to 20%. In clear effort to engage.

    Gerecht continues: “Mr. Obama has backed sanctions because they are the only plausible alternative to war or surrender.”

    Shameless liar, Gerecht. What in fact Gerecht wants is to keep sanctions even if Iran stops enriching to 20 percent. Because Gerecht wants Netanyahu to be able to do as he pleases with the Palestinians in the West Bank.

  722. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    I agree with Mark Fitzpatrick that it is not inevitable that Iran will build nukes. While FYI says a replacement for Khamenei can revoke his fatwa, or issue new one rendering it inoperative, the current situation must be that Iran is not building nukes even if it gets closer to being able to build them quickly (by stockpiling 20% U).

  723. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    And Larijani also stressed the West should provide Iran with what Iran is owed, as a signatory to the NPT. He linked this to his implicit offer for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent (if TRR fuel is provided by the West).

  724. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    You once again accuse me of fabricating a statement by Larijani that Iran is willing to stop enriching to 20 percent, as a precondition. In fact, I have stresssed time and again that Iran’s offers to stop enriching to 20 percent are always accompanied by statement the West should sell Iran the nuclear fuel needed for the TRR.

    If you believe Larijani’s March 13th and March 15th interviews did not indicate Iran is willing to agree to stop enriching to 20 percent, even if the West sells Iran the needed fuel for the TRR, you should say that.

  725. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Of course the Israel Lobby wants the US to get out of UNHRC. Don’t want any UN investigators in the West Bank drawing attention to the hundreds of colonies of Jews illegally planted in the West Bank to oppress the Palestinians.

  726. James Canning says:

    Reza,

    I agree with you the Economist is daydreaming if it expects an Arab Spring in Iran this year. Or next. Thanks, and I will read that article you linked (by Mark Fitzpatrick).

  727. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today stated that Iran “defies international demands for it to halt a nuclear programme that many believe is aimed at building a bomb.” No mention of Iran’s offer last September to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent, and no mention of Larijani’s implicit offer this month, for Iran to stop enriching to 20 percent provided “the West” sells Iran the nuclear fuel for the TRR.

  728. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Are you familiar with Trudy Rubin of the Philadelphia Inquirer? She tries to follow events in the Middle East closely for her syndicated column, but she recently wrote that she was not even aware Khamenei had issued the fatwa against nukes.

    Israel lobby suppresses that fact, keeps it out of newspapers in the US.

  729. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Clearly Obama is sincere in his belief sanctions will deter Iran from building nukes, and that if this policy fails, there is another option.

    Obama was quite right last May to say the Green Line would be the border of Palestine. US Congress immediately invited 600 Jewish supporters of Netanyahu to attend joint session and show contempt for Obama’s position.

  730. BiBiJon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    March 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

    At least we are not alone in our indignation at cheesy NPR reporting.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/03/27/what_npr_means_by_reporting/singleton/

  731. James Canning says:

    R S Hack

    If you Google marc grossman congressman you will find more stories of gross corruption, including important stories that appeared in British press (but were suppressed in American newspapers).

  732. James Canning says:

    Onward,

    Ahmadinejad has not threatened to “wipe Israel off the map”. If you believe this, you are seriously misinformed.

    Israel’s problem is self-created: FAILURE TO GET OUT OF WEST BANK.

  733. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The “missile shield” is a giant scam, by arms amnufacturers, their stooges in the US Congress, and the Israel lobby.

  734. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today in a leader commends Obama for being “rightly ambitious in pursuing his dream of a world without nukes.” (“Obama and Putin should talk nukes”).

  735. BiBiJon says:

    Fiorangela says:
    March 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Did Americans watch too many Godzilla movies to have become so addicted to fear? Or is it only ever since CNN?

  736. James Canning says:

    At the recent Aipac convention in Washington, Bibi Netanyahu claimed the US refused to bomb Auschwitz in 1944 despite appeals from the World Jewish Congress. Netanyahu used this claim to buttress his contention Israel needed to be free to attack Iran because it could not rely on the US.

    In his letter to the Financial Times today (“World Jewish Congress did not want Auschwitz bombed”), Richard Levy of Seattle points out: “David Ben-Gurion and all but one of his colleagues on the Zionist executive are on record as opposing any request to the US to bomb Auschwitz.”

  737. BiBiJon says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    March 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

    Richard, I too come up empty when I try and think of ANY emergency that Iran (or any other non-nuclear) country could possibly use a nuclear weapon and for it not to mean regime suicide, and possibly “total annihilation” of a nation.

    Also, by the way, fatwas have never been reversed through the ages as far as I know.

  738. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Gaddafi’s own gigantic blunders brought about his destruction.

    Companies from all over the world were engaged in various deals in Libya. There was zero need to get rid of Gaddafi to open Libya to foreign business opportunities.

  739. James Canning says:

    Gideon Rachman has some comments of considerable merit today in the Financial Times (“The west has lost in Afghanistan”):

    Given the radicalisation of opinion in [Pakistan] and the amount of fissile material it is producing, the American nightmare of ‘loose nukes’ is looking uncomfortably realistic.”

  740. kooshy says:

    I didn’t know if this news was announced previously, anybody knew he will be traveling to Iran? I think it is more due to Syria rather than the nuclear issue

    Turkish PM due in Tehran to discuss mutual ties, regional developments

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to arrive in Tehran for an official visit on Wednesday, heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation.

    Diplomatic sources at Turkey’s embassy in Tehran announced on Tuesday that ministers of foreign affairs, economic affairs, energy, urban development, and environment will be accompanying the Turkish Premier during the visit, IRNA reported.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233401.html

  741. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Unconfirmed by Turkey, so far, note. Nonetheless, I suspect something of the sort will be attempted. Turkey is the US’ stalking horse in setting up a war on Syria.

    Turkey to establish buffer zone on Syria border: Syrian opposition
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/233328.html

  742. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Bomb Iran and it will surely decide to pursue nuclear arms
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/25/bomb-iran-nuclear-arms-iraq-israel?newsfeed=true

    I disagree with the premise of the title of this article.

    I don’t think Iran will pursue nuclear weapons ever for any reason, except in the possibility of some hard(er) line cleric becoming Supreme Leader and reversing Khamenei’s fatwa against nuclear weapons.

    I did find this paragraph interesting:

    “This article was amended on 26 March 2012. It originally stated that the 1981 attack was the world’s first air strike on a nuclear facility. It was the first successful strike, but the Iranian air force had also tried (and failed) to destroy Osirak a year before. This has now been corrected.”

    I wasn’t aware that Iran had tried to destroy Osirak. That, too, was a waste of time since Iraq couldn’t have built a bomb with Osirak in any case.

    So the Iranians weren’t any smarter than the Israelis in that regard.

  743. Richard Steven Hack says:

    BiBiJon: “Hans Blix interview…Highly recommended.”

    I agree.

    It was also interesting to me that Blix appeared to agree with the DIA assessment in the run up to the 2007 NIE that the only threat Iran was concerned about was Iraq, and not Israel or the US. He stated that Saddam was definitely interested in nukes and this would be a threat Iran would have to be concerned about.

    He also in an extension of that indicated that he agreed with my assessment that Iran has no need for nuclear weapons in that there is no threat to them which would push them toward nuclear weapons once Iraq was destroyed in 2003.

  744. Arnold Evans says:

    Thanks Bibijon.

    I’ve written down Blix’ response to a question about the IAEA’s focus. Starting at 6:08 in his link.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/03/2012323161458267958.html

    Interviewer: What should the IAEA be focusing on now then?

    Blix: I think they should focus on the fissile material. That’s always been the IAEA’s job. That without enriched uranium, enriched up to, say, 90%, or plutonium you cannot make a bomb. That’s why the whole system of control of the IAEA is focused on this nuclear material. That’s what they are inspecting in Natanz in Iran where they enrich uranium and that’s what they focus upon in Fordow which is the other site. I don’t know if they have any other sites. They have the places where there is nuclear fuel, research reactors and so forth. The IAEA should keep track of all this material to ensure that nothing is diverted away for bomb-making.

  745. Fiorangela says:

    fyi — Libya paid reparations for the Lockerbie bombing, but Qaddafi was still slaughtered and Libya taken over by US proxies in service of Western capitalists.

  746. finance says:

    I learned something newthis week now I’m fulfilled for now. Thanks!

  747. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: March 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Khobar is a dead issue.

    Mr. Richard Clarke publicly stated that US retaliated against Iran for Khobar bombing; “..we did something very bad to them…”.

  748. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 26, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    We shall see.

  749. Fiorangela says:

    Count the holes in the NPR [National Propaganda Radio] ‘report’ on how “US intelligence experts” see a “shift” in focus from Al Qaeda to state terrorism, with Iran being the leading state sponsor of terror, based upon 1980s assassinations, and allegations of Iranian involvement in Hezbollah, 1996 Khobar, 2012 used car plot, 2012 bombleting in India and Mumbai, the cumulative impact of which caused the “light of Iran’s intent to come on in the head of an intelligence analyst in Washington. :http://www.npr.org/2012/03/27/149408570/for-u-s-analysts-rethinking-the-terror-threat

    In counting the holes, Dana Priest’s extensive study of US intelligence proliferation is an essential tutorial. http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/a-hidden-world-growing-beyond-control/

  750. BiBiJon says:

    Hans Blix interview http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/03/2012323161458267958.html

    Interestingly, Blix confirms Arnold Evans’ take on the conceptual framework of NPT and safeguards agreement. I.e. it was designed to be and should continue to be confined to monitoring fissile materials.

    Highly recommended.

  751. patent says:

    Thanks for any other informative website. The place else may just I get that type of info written in such an ideal method? I’ve a mission that I’m just now operating on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

  752. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    That is very beautiful and appropriate. Happy Norouz to you as well!
    It is work, travels, conferences, and other events all combined. Keep up the good work.

  753. Fiorangela says:

    NPR 5:45 am Al Qaeda is old news; it’s over; now, pendulum swings back to state sponsors of terrorism, and particularly Iran state sponsorship.

    The threat to Saudi ambassador, attacks on Israeli diplomats in India, Mumbai = Iranian sponsored strikes

    – Phil Mudd at Oxford Analytica no way you conduct that number of attacks without deep pockets of a state; . . .in 1980s Iran conducted thousands of assassinations; 1996 Iran suspected of truck bombing Khobar, Iran sponsors Hezbollah

    9/11 happened and al qaeda became focus now swinging back to state sponsorship in particular Iranian. Shift will require a different set of skills for next several years different from metastasized
    Iran uses pro
    Brian fishman terror fellow at new America foundation — US needs to shift focus; need not just drones but skilled operators to insert themselves and operate offensively against these groups in country spies diplomacy sanctions
    Phil mudd the way US chases people is light years different. Agencies using new technologies — cell phones, social media, etc.
    Deana temple raston NPR news

  754. Karl says:

    Another sign that proves that US havent learned one thing, still commited to an arms race and irrational projects like missile shields.

    http://presstv.com/detail/233334.html

  755. “The politeness of the exchanges, the small courtesies extended when we needed a break, the idle asides that took place during the brief recesses, masked the deadly seriousness of the proceeding. If there is no rolling back of the NDAA law we cease to be a constitutional democracy.

    Totalitarian systems always begin by rewriting the law. They make legal what was once illegal. Crimes become patriotic acts. The defense of freedom and truth becomes a crime. Foreign and domestic subjugation merges into the same brutal mechanism. Citizens are colonized. And it is always done in the name of national security. We obey the new laws as we obeyed the old laws, as if there was no difference. And we spend our energy and our lives appealing to a dead system.”

    http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/8095-chris-hedges-|-totalitarian-systems-always-begin-by-rewriting-the-law

  756. Persian Gulf says:

    Reza Esfandiari says:
    March 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I think Khamenei was very clever in reinstating Hashemi in the expediency council with very few supporters left for Hashemi in that house. in effect, he contained Hashemi without actually pushing him to a radical position. Hashemi just lost the struggle for Azad Univ and is now cornered in a not at all important chamber. either Hashemi is happy with this ceremonial position and will have to talk in support of the system at critical junctures simply b/c of his official position, or at some point in future will decide to retire.

  757. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Canning: “Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?”, by Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi”

    Thank you for that link. You finally did something useful on this site.

    That is a must read for everyone to get a glimpse of the depth of corruption in the United States government.

    bin Laden family members being flown around in NATO planes, delivering heroin into the US on military planes…all fully known by the US government…

    Perle and Wolfowitz discussing with Turkey how to invade and divide up Iraq FOUR MONTHS BEFORE 9/11…

  758. OnwardChristianSoldiers says:

    “First, I would like to pay tribute to the millions of American veterans who throughout our great history placed their lives on the line for liberty. At every critical stage in America’s history, these men and women stepped up when they were needed, and their efforts to preserve the freedom we know have made an impact here in the United States and abroad.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of our military service personnel and their families that sacrifice so much while protecting this county and our freedom. Your noble act of serving in honor of our country is more appreciated than you will ever know.

    Secondly, let me give you a report of the “Night to Honor Israel” conducted last night in Lubbock, Texas at the Civic Center. The Civic Center holds about 1800 people and the building was packed thirty minutes before the event started. One of the managers of the event told me as we were being driven back to the airport, “There were 1500 people who were turned away.”
    This was a living demonstration of how alert the American people are to the crisis Israel faces in the Middle East right now. Last week, the national news was suggesting that Israel was considering a nuclear attack on Iran.

    Israel now finds itself with only two options, neither of which is good.

    The first option is to do nothing. Just wait until Iran develops a nuclear bomb and hope and pray there will not be a nuclear holocaust. History proves that when someone threatens to kill you, you should take them seriously. When Hitler threatened to kill the Jews, world leaders overlooked his threats as “he’s upset today.”
    Ahmadinejad of Iran has threatened to wipe Israel off the map many times. He has the will to do it and as soon as he has the power…the nation of Israel will live under the threat of nuclear annihilation.

    The second option is a direct military attack on the nuclear facilities of Iran. Obviously this is what Israel was considering last week when the secret plan was leaked to the press by a person not yet identified.
    If Israel defends itself, war will come and the world will blame Israel for everything that happens for the next ten years. Why am I telling you this?
    Because if Israel takes a military action to remove nuclear facilities to prevent millions of Jews from being exterminated, WE will stand with Israel without apology!”

    http://www.jhm.org/Resources/ViewNews/1

  759. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “I think you have completely misread the evnts of the last 2 months.”

    No – you have.

    Nothing has changed on the ground. People are merely taking random comments by Obama and interpreting them to fit their belief that he’s not a liar and a war monger.

    Unfortunately for them, he has been proven to be so – and it will be proven again with Iran either this year or in his second term if he gets one.

  760. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Sassan says:

    My point was simply that the majority of Iranians now live in big cities.

    Nope. You are a hopeless demographer as well. The 8 big (millionaire) cities of Iran (Tehran, Esfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad, Shiraz, Ahvaz, Karaj and Qom) are home to 25-30% of Iranians. The rest live in smaller cities and towns (some with as few as 20,000 people such as Ashtiyan) and 31% live in the villages.

    There is also a big social divide in the major cities. The working class and poor tend to be more religious and more supportive of the ruling establishment than the middle class. Of course, this is a very general rule.

    A useful comparison is Turkey where the ruling AKP party has broad support in the rural heartland of Anatolia but is much less popular in Istanbul and the major cities.

  761. Reza Esfandiari says:

    James (Canning),

    I picked up a copy of the Economist magazine’s The World in 2012 and browsed through it to see what predictions have been made for Iran. It so happens that they are claiming that there is going to be a revolution in the country inspired by the Arab Spring. Reminds me of what George Soros predicted a year ago but which failed to occur. I don’t understand whether these people are just deluded or just given to wishful thinking.

    Also, Prospect magazine has a feature article written by Mark Fitzpatrick, who apparently has contributed to RFI, about how “Iran can be stopped”:

    http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2012/03/iran-nuclear-programme-uranium-enrichment/

  762. kooshy says:

    Reza Esfandiari says:
    March 26, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Reza, is slowly being chipped off just read this news came out today, expediency council does not have any executive power is only an advisory body it’s a parking place.

    http://jahannews.com/vdcgwn9xuak9qq4.rpra.html

  763. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Kooshy:

    Mousavi and Karroubi, as you know, are just proxies of Rafsanjani. Mousavi tried to reach out to the Iranian middle class, and promise them this and that to make them happy, but the struggle he wages is not one of ideas and policies but of power and position. However, despite his willingness to rock the boat and cause great havoc, Rafsanjani remains one of the pillars of the system – he and his mafia empire cannot be eliminated. That is why he has been reappointed as the chairman of the Expediency council for another 5 years.

  764. Karl says:

    James,

    You are not reading.

    “Iran hasnt said they would end 20% enrichment as any precondition. Why do you make things up?”

  765. James Canning says:

    “Andrew Bacevich on Changing Our Military Mindset”:

    http://truth-out.org/news/item/8099-andrew-bacevich-on-changing-our-military-mindset

    Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich talk about the insane endless war in the Middle East, promoted by the Israel lobby.

  766. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Iran in fact last September offered to stop enriching to 20%, provided TRR fuel was sold to Iran.

    Larijani said several times this month Iran should be able to buy the TRR fuel from the West. And you apparently think this means he expects Iran would continue to produce fuel for the TRR even if the West sells it to Iran?

  767. ToivoS says:

    OnwardCS has hurt feelings: March 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    I didn’t respond to you because my original post were directed at others to have you banned. White supremists and holocaust deniers are not worth debating. You have established your credentials by cutting and pasting a message:

    “This site is about information and education of White people and the preservation of our unique Heritage”

    and in defending Zukel, the premier holocaust denier. End of debate. You will soon be banned, I do hope. If not and more of your kind come here to profit off of Leverett’s popularity, then the place is not worth visiting.

  768. Karl says:

    James,

    Iran hasnt said they would end 20% enrichment as any precondition. Why do you make things up?

  769. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    The Six Powers include China and Russia. The Six Powers, or Six Parties, or P5+1, apparently insist Iran stop enriching to 20%. Since Iran already offered to stop enriching to 20 percent, it is odd that you resent the P5+1 for wanting something already agreed to by Iran.

  770. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I am not the one insisting Iran stop enriching to 20 percent. This apparently is the viewpoint of the Six Powers (P5+1). Surely the point of view of those Powers is of considerable importance.

  771. James Canning says:

    “Sibel Edmonds Case: Marc Grossman in Congress” (Jan. 22, 2008):

    http://mydd.com/users/oldeurope/posts/sibel-edmonds-case-marc-grossman-in-congress

  772. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Let’s hope Pakistan can carry the project forward (extending Iranian gas line).

  773. James Canning says:

    “Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?”, by Sibel Edmonds and Philip Giraldi:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/article/2009/nov/01/00006/

    Improtant read for those not aware of what Sible Edmonds learned while serving as a translator for the FBI.

    Giraldi is former CIA.

  774. Rehmat says:

    Barack Obama’s Ziocon Jewish pointman for Pakistan and Afghanistan Marc Grossman is well prepared for his task. He has to make sure that if and when US-NATO occupation forces leave Afghanistan – the country like Iraq doesn’t become Tehran’s ally.

    Recently, both Afghan president Hamid Karzai and Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari are courting Iranian president Dr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to resolve several conflicting issues between Kabul and Islamabad. For that purpose, a trilateral summit was held in Islamabad in February 16-17.

    On Sunday, a quadrilateral summit was held in Tajik capital, Dusghanbe – attended by Tajik president Emonali Rakhmon, Ahmadinejad, Zardari and Karzai to discuss the Afghan situation and economic cooperation.

    Last month, Grossman held meeting with Afghan deputy foreign minister Jawed Ludin and Pakistan’s foreign secretary Jalil Abass Jilani to discuss the trilateral summit. Grossman told them thay Washington doesn’t want Iran to use its historic ties to Pakistan to spread its influence over Afghanistan after the western troops withdraw from the country.

    Grossman should have understood Ahmadinejad’s warning at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2008: “Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan are part of one large family and they have historic ties and cultural links”.

    Dr. Ahmadinejad held meetings with Presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan on the sidelines of the fifth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan in Dushanbe on Sunday-Monday. He told both leaders that Tehran will support any plan to establish peace and security in Afghanistan.

    President Ahmadinejad said on Sunday, holding the Nowruz celebration is an effective step to ensure peace and security in the world and strengthen cultural ties among the nations.

    On Monday, the US delegate by Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake walked out of the conference when Ahmadinejad, in his address, blamed Washington’s policies as source of Afghanistan’s all troubles.

    “The cause of all the ills in Afghanistan is the presence on Afghan soil of NATO forces and above all those of the United States,” the Iranian president told the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA).

    Referring to the killing of 17 Afghan villagers earlier this month by a US soldier, Ahmadinejad said: “Afghan women and children were subjected to an attack in their own home. What were they guilty of?”

    Mar Grossmen, according to two former FBI officers, Philip Giraldi and Sibel Edmonds had been involved in shady business involving Turkish and Israeli armed forces.

    A long-time neocon, a Jewish-American with questionably strong ties to Israel, a long-term target of FBI counterespionage and counterintelligence investigations, a lobbyist, a foreign agent, an employee of a shady foreign business, a man associated with major treason scandals, Marc Grossman, is making his way back to the ‘new’ administration, following his several other co-species who’ve been sitting inside, leading the way for the rest of the co-species who’ve been eagerly waiting to be granted official entry cards. Thanks to the media, while the public is sitting in the dark, the Obama-Hillary White House is changing color to pastels, getting ready for their Neocon Easter and the resurrection of the previously, and dubiously, advertised as long-gone and dead breed – Neo-cons,” Sibel Edmonds in Boiling Frogs February 16, 2011.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/grossman-to-stop-iranian-influence-over-kabul/

  775. Karl says:

    Pakistan to push ahead with IP gas pipeline project
    http://presstv.com/detail/233275.html

  776. OnwardCS says:

    re:

    ToivoS says:
    March 26, 2012 at 2:45 am (rRR)

    Onward Christian Soldiers says:
    March 25, 2012 at 6:53 pm (rRR)
    Sassan says: March 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Onward Christian Soldiers says:
    March 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm (rRR)
    Sassan says: March 25, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Onward Christian Soldiers says:
    March 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm (rRR)

    Onward Christian Soldiers says:
    March 25, 2012 at 8:40 am (UTW)

    ToivoS says:
    March 25, 2012 at 4:22 am (rRR)

    ToivoS says:
    March 24, 2012 at 10:19 pm (UTW)

    = = = = =

    ToivoS – You objected to posts by OCS.
    OCS responded to your objections three times.
    You either failed to notice the responses or paid no attention to their content.
    You posted a third criticism of the same content.

    At this (final) time you given the benefit of the doubt, that you did not see the responses to your criticisms.

  777. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    Because they are more powerful than Iran.
    In the international arena, Force and Legitimacy go together.

    yes, that was to be my followup question to james;
    if his nuclear war heads were taken, would he continue insisting on his %20!!!!!!

  778. kooshy says:

    Reza Esfandiari says:
    March 26, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    “The Green movement was never about regime change, or about democracy and civil rights, but about a struggle for power and influence among the ruling establishment.”

    Or more precisely, it was for Mr. Rafsanjani, to effectively taking control of the executive branch of the government.

  779. Reza Esfandiari says:

    Sassan says:

    “Do not forget the millions that came out in 2009 demanding the overthrow of this regime. Iranians will come out once again, but this time the international community must stand side-by-side with the Iranian people.”

    That is what you believe. But the reality was the protests were over the re-election of the President. Those protesting were misled into believing that their votes had been stolen and were demanding a re-run. Neither Mousavi nor Karroubi, both pillars of the system themselves, have called for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic. Indeed, their argument is that the Islamic Republic is gravely at risk because of the polices of the Ahmadinejad administration and its allies in the Revolutionary Guard. The Green movement was never about regime change, or about democracy and civil rights, but about a struggle for power and influence among the ruling establishment.

  780. Reza Esfandiari says:

    If Sassan plays by the rules and stops spamming this site with unrelated garbage then he can become part of the debate. Is that so much to ask?

  781. Pirouz says:

    I admit I got sucked into watching two of Sassan’ video links, as one was from San Francisco. What a waste of time. Those kid of madcap scenes in San Francisco are something one sees in my city every day, and are certainly not newsworthy. I’d even go so far to say it was non-substantive. But I guess if you’re now constrained to links, you’re forced to provide such, in an effort to generate posts.

    I say again: this is a site dedicated to U.S. policy advocacy. The advocacy is pretty much the same regardless of who is in power in Iran.

    For those advocating change in Iran’s domestic affairs or even a change in system of government, this isn’t the venue for such. There are many, many sites operated by disgruntled members of the self-exile community seeking such changes, with which you can vent your personal disappointments, as a self-exiled Iranian.

    There are even sites where neocon supporters or supporters of Zionism advocate war. If this fits into your views, seek your own I say.

    But this is a place where rapprochement is sought on America’s behalf toward Iran. That’s even the purpose behind the name of the site. If you find something substantively wrong with a certain piece or comment, point it out. But just spamming or linking to material contrary to the purpose of the site really isn’t acceptable. Might I suggest Iranian.com. Over there, you’ll find just about everybody will entertain your hate, as they’re self-exiles of many years, just like you.

  782. fyi says:

    Rd. says: March 26, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Because they are more powerful than Iran.

    In the international arena, Force and Legitimacy go together.

  783. Karl says:

    Rd,

    Indeed, Iran is not going to be dictated and played around with. People like think so are caught in a neocolonial thiking.

    Iran warns U.S.: Stop dictating world policy

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/iran-warns-u-s-stop-dictating-world-policy-1.420772

  784. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    Iran should continue to stress it is willing to stop enriching to 20 percent if the fuel needed for the TRR is sold to Iran by “the West”.

    you mean while the west continues to interfere in Iran’s affair (i.e. financial transaction with other countries)?????

    Why?

    who made the west to be the judge and jury James?

  785. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Sina says:
    March 26, 2012 at 12:22 am

    That is hilarious. So even the troll’s youtube videos reveal he is a liar. It illustrates something about his lack of self awareness that he does not realize his own youtube videos show his opinions are so absurd that they are not even shared by his own family.

  786. khurshid says:

    Could SASSAN be Scott Lucas in disguise?

  787. fyi says:

    James Canning says: March 26, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Mr. Obama and his minions in Europe blundered greatly when in 2010 concieved and in 2011 executed of a corecive diplomatic policy the aims of which was to bring about regime change or Iranian capituation.

    They not only brought the world to the edge of war, in the effort to salvage the disaster of their own making were forced to concede publicly all the points that Iranians had been making for years (as I observed below).

    They destroyed their own diplomatic (and negogiating – if such it could be called) strategy and were reduced to back-channel communications.

    In effect, they also destroyed the efficacy of public P5+1 forum.

    Truly, yet again, God turned their tricks against them.

    Now they US-EU states have to make P5+1 sessions drag on over months – perhaps years – in order to make it so routine that no one takes note of its ups and downs.

    And all of this could have been avoided at any time since 2003.

  788. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Let’s hope Obama is re-elected and he stops the idiotic “missile defence” system the arms manufacturers are trying to install in Eastern Europe.

  789. James Canning says:

    “Trudy Rubin: Time ripe for talks” (March 23rd):

    http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2012/03/23/v-print/1876188/trudy-rubin-time-ripe-for-new.html

    Quote: “Larijani…last week…repeated that Khamenei had issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons. (If true, the Iranians should publish the fatwa.)

    Remarkable, to me, that Trudy Rubin would not have known about the fatwa since it was issued.

  790. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Nader says:
    March 26, 2012 at 3:18 am

    So here is yet another person who agrees with our resident troll and makes an assertion that is not supported by facts. Do you have any proof that your statement, using data from an accepted polling firm, is true? And note the demonstrations of 100,000s (not millions) of people 3 years ago is not proof of your other statements. Many larger demonstrations have been held since that fully support Iran and the Iranian government. And note that it does not matter if those supporters were “bussed in” as our resident troll alleges with no proof. If you believe demonstrations are the only reliable indicator of public opinion, than the subsequent demonstrations clearly show that public support for the government is at least as great or greater than support for the “opposition.”

  791. Karl says:

    Obama apparently will lower his guard on nato shield post election (if he is elected).

    Obama caught on tape assuring Russian President more ‘flexibility’ after U.S. election
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/u-s-elections-2012/obama-caught-on-tape-assuring-russian-president-more-flexibility-after-u-s-election-1.420841

  792. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    An Iranian View says:
    March 26, 2012 at 7:48 am

    Exactly, very well written and accurate response. Note in addition the hypocrisy of those people on this board you refer too when they support terrorism and violence when it agrees with the objectives they support.

  793. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I obviously agree Obama and his generals do not want war with Iran, or even a worsening crisis. But Iran should continue to stress it is willing to stop enriching to 20 percent if the fuel needed for the TRR is sold to Iran by “the West”.

  794. James Canning says:

    “Netanyahu’s Machine”, by Scott McConnell (March 26th):

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/netanyahu-machine/

    Touches on issue of adverse affect on American Jewish opinion, caused by Jewish oppression of non-Jews in the West Bank.

  795. ExposingWarmongeringNeoConStooges says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    March 26, 2012 at 9:17 am

    The only problem with your question to the board’s resident troll is that it poses as a hypothetical rather than discussing actual fact. The actual fact is that the overwhelming majority of Iranians support the current system of government. This is shown by polls conducted by Western polling firms and the participation of a large majority in the most recent elections. Those polls show that the Islamic Republic would win by an overwhelming margin if another referendum was held. The participation in those elections dwarfed that of similar elections in the US. Of those opposed, polls reveal that the overwhelming majority support the same basic system with some reforms. The election results are especially important because if Iranians believed that their votes did not matter, they would certainly not participate in elections for a parliament that, if the opposite side is to be believed, has little or no power. The reality is of course different.

    By contrast, and note the dishonesty of our local troll’s response, he supports an invasion that would kill millions of people and turn the country into something worse than Iraq. His arrogance in actively supporting and trying to provoke such an invasion is apparent in every post he makes here. The problem here is obvious. On one hand, the troll believes that one country can invade another simply because it claims to care about human rights and democracy. On the other, he claims that another nation has the right to decide for the people of an independent sovereign nation what government is acceptable to it by invading and overthrowing that government. The problem here is obvious and because of the inherent hypocrisy of his statement he will not be able to address this question honestly.

  796. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 26, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I think you have completely misread the evnts of the last 2 months.

    Mr. Obama – indeed US & EU – walked away from war.

    Mr. Obama has made the following points over the last few weeks (or the officials of his administration have done so).

    1- Iran does not have a nuclear bomb
    2- Iran is not working on a nuclear bomb
    3- There is no (military) power to prevent Iran from building a nuclear bomb
    4- War with Iran is bad for the United Stated
    5- Iranian leaders are rational.

    He, in effect, has endorsed all that Iranians had been saying all the time.

    He (and EU) leaders cannot revive the drive to war at will.

    Iranian leaders must decide what face-saving item to provide to him and his counterparts in EU.

    I am not sure that the Iranian leaders have a lot of pressure now to concede anything since sanctions will not be removed, war is not going to be pursued, and the status quo of hight oil prices is not hurting them.

    What I read is that Mr. Obama has made an offer through back channels and he is asking Iranians to take his offer.

    Iranians do not seem to be too eager.

  797. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Do you have any explanation for Iran’s stockpiling of 20 percent uranium?

  798. Richard Steven Hack says:

    The latest from Kaveh Afrasiabi.

    Iran not keen to walk Turkey’s red carpet
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC27Ak01.html

    Tensions between Iran and Turkey over Syria may shift the venue for the talks from Turkey to Europe.

  799. Richard Steven Hack says:

    “wrong of talks” s/b “round of talks”…

  800. Richard Steven Hack says:

    fyi: “Nah, it is actually a plea for Iranians to make some serious decisions. War and threat of war are over.”

    Nope. This is what Obama would like you to believe.

    In reality, Obama is – as usual – talking out of two sides of his mouth.

    First he claims that the “red line” is Iran actually OBTAINING – or at least actually WORKING ON – a nuclear weapon.

    But then he claims that the “diplomatic window is closing” DESPITE the fact that NOTHING HAS CHANGED about Iran’s nuclear energy program.

    And what CAN the phrase “the diplomatic window is closing” actually MEAN, if it does not mean that the US is prepared to go to war with Iran over the CURRENT state of the Iran program, i.e., WITHOUT actually working on a nuclear weapon.

    It will be easy for the US and Israel to CLAIM that Iran is “working on a nuclear weapon”. They can easily make up that intelligence, which is why the IAEA has renewed an emphasis on the previously dismissed “weapons studies”. The latter are much easier to fake than actual conditions on the ground in Iran which have to be reported to the IAEA and which clearly do not justify any attack.

    So Obama has subtly shifted his stance from “acquiring a nuclear weapon” to “working on a nuclear weapon”, and from “we prefer diplomacy” to “we will stop diplomacy at some point.”

    This is clearly a shift towards war. There is no other interpretation.

    Unless you think the idea of “diplomacy closing” is intended to mean that Obama and the West intends to simply maintain (and perhaps increase) the current state of affairs so as to cause “slo-mo regime change” rather than an actual war.

    The problem with that notion is that it is quite clear that Iran will NEVER experience regime change – certainly not in the next decade or two – as a result of ANY sanctions regime.

    And the West has explicitly acknowledged that over and over again, while still ratcheting up the sanctions every year.

    The only conclusion one can come to is that the intent is war, not regime change by sanction.

    So, no, you’re wrong. And it’s getting very close to being obvious that you’re wrong. When the next wrong of talks in April fail – as they certainly will – Obama will start the next round of sanctions and war talk. All the talk about “de-escalation” will evaporate just as it did in 2010 after the Tehran Declaration was soundly rejected by the West.

  801. kooshy says:

    Empty says:
    March 26, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Empty Aziz

    First of all Norooz Mobarak, secondly missing you here I hope is due to a real Norooz vacation and not a vacation from the friends of RFI.

    خـــــرم آنروز کـــزین منـــزل ویـــران بـــروم
    راحت جــان طلبــم و ز پـــی جــــانان بـــــروم
    گــرچه دانم کـــه بجـــائی نبـــرد راه غــــریـب
    من ببـــوی سر آن زلــف پــــریشان بـــــــروم
    دلم از وحشت زنــــــدان سکنــــدر بگـــــرفـت
    رخت بـــر بنـــــدم و تـــا ملــک سلیـمان بروم

    Unlike Hafez, me being a Yazdi, I shouldn’t have left for the Suleiman’s land.

  802. Fiorangela says:

    Masoud at 1:35 am:

    “aplogies to the normals”

    !

  803. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: March 26, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Nah, it is actually a plea for Iranians to make some serious decisions.

    War and threat of war are over.

  804. fyi says:

    nahid says: March 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The one-state solution has, in fact, became the reality.

    The 2-state solution died more than 10 years ago.

    What has to happen is the creation of a new constitution for the post-Zionist state in the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

    The Zionist enterprise is clerarly a threat to world peace and to the peace in the Middle East.

  805. Arnold Evans says:

    Clarifying to Sassan:

    Looking over this thread we can see a whole lot of reasons you don’t like the government of Iran. If the majority of Iranians did like their government, would you put all of the reasons you’re repetitively listing here aside and support the government, or would you want to overthrow it in favor of a government that did not do all of these things you don’t like about the Iranian government even if that government was not supported by as many Iranians?

  806. Arnold Evans says:

    Sassan. You’ve now dodged the question twice. Many countries have never had national referendums about their constitutions, including the United States and almost every country in the West.

    I’m asking the question a third time.

    If it was true, if, hypothetically, the polls were right or the election results were right or the experiences of people here other than you were right, if more Iranians supported the regime than opposed it, if that was true, would you favor a dictatorship over Iran that reflects your values or not?

  807. Empty says:

    masoud,

    Excellent interview. Thank you for posting it.

  808. An Iranian View says:

    The problem with a couple of people here is that they create there own alternative reality (like the western media and western governments) and they assume that the rest of us will accept that world as reality.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran commands a large amount of support from the public throughout the country and fabricated stories about rape and muder carried out by the baseej may influence how certain people in the west think about the country, but they have no effect on the country itself.

    So what these people really do is that they help western governments to keep western public opinion in check, as they continue to pursue hostile policies (and human rights violations)towards ordinary Iranians through embargoes, sanctions, and military threats.

    These are the people who have no moral values, not the majority of the contributers here and especially the Leveretts who have been both honest and courageous.

  809. Neo says:

    It should also be said that the attacks against RFI are a reflection of its noteworthy impact on the discourse on Iran. It is one of the few sites with quality info and analyses worth reading.

  810. Neil M says:

    I’ve changed my mind. Regular Open Threads won’t solve the problem of a deluge of full-time trolls with considerable resources at their disposal. The Leveretts have careers and multi-faceted lives and have stated that they’d prefer the comment facility to operate without the need for 24/7 oversight and micro-management. The sheer volume of comments on the average thread makes micro-management impractical.

    At present, the trolls seem to be winning. The best solution I can suggest is to suspend ALL comments except those from a list of registered/approved commenters. I can see that this could be circumvented but it would require some effort to do so. At present it’s just too easy to comment.
    Imo, many of the current crop of inanities masquerading as comment weren’t worth writing – let alone reading.

  811. Neo says:

    Great move RFI!

    All,

    IMHO, the best thing to do with the ‘devil’ is to ignore him while allowing him to have his say…

  812. Sassan says:

    Arnold, I haven’t ducked anything. IF the Iranian people decided to keep the Islamic Republic in a national referendum, then I would absolutely respect their wishes. That is why we call for a national referendum. Let the Iranian people decide whether they want to keep the regime or whether they want some alternative form of government (secular democracy) based on either republican, parliamentary, or parliamentary with limited constitutional monarchy as in the U.K.

    Let the Iranian people decide. Let each side campaign freely in Iran and Iranians will decide their future leaders (or if they choose to keep the current regime. The reason why this will obviously not come into fruition without intervention is due to the fact that the regime knows that it has no popularity among the people. That is why this regime operates from terror, fear, oppression and tyranny. A regime that has the support of its populace doesn’t arrest its own journalists, filmmakers, lawyers, and even individuals who have been very loyal to the Islamic Revolution itself. A regime that operates with the most primitive and brutal tactics operates out of fear as they know without this, their regime would fall within a day. Do not forget the millions that came out in 2009 demanding the overthrow of this regime. Iranians will come out once again, but this time the international community must stand side-by-side with the Iranian people…. but what is happening in Syria with the bloodshed and genocide is not a good sign of this President’s willingness to assist people when they are in dire need.

  813. Neo says:

    Great move RFI!

    All,

    As mentioned before: IMHO, the best thing to do with the ‘devil’ is to ignore him…

  814. Bussed-in Basiji says:

    Sassan and Nader are challenged to clearly say whether they would impose their views on Iranians if the majority of Iranians opposed their views on religion and politics. Come on, have the courage of your convictions. Going by experience they will in socio-path fashion not answer directly to the posed question.

    It is clear with every post by Sassan and now Nader that they are completely out of touch with Iranians, Iranian society and Iranian history. The bad thing is not that these mental patients say these things, the tragegy is that so-called experts in the US believe them and then design policies based on this that damage US national interests.

    Leveretts, get on it, save your country from the Zionists and other assorted lobbies.

  815. Arnold Evans says:

    Nader says:
    March 26, 2012 at 3:18 am

    At least 75% of Iranians are opposed to the IRI, and those who aren’t are involved or have some benefit from the existance of the IRI.

    Nader, you just made that number up. You have no objective reason to believe a majority of Iranians oppose the IRI.

    But same question as for Sassan: If most Iranian disagreed with you, (if), then you would advocate a dictator like the Shah ruling Iran according to your views rather than those of the Iranian people. True or false?

    I’ll say also that until you answer false I’ll believe it is reasonable to assume the answer is true and you are just trying to avoid the implications of your position.

  816. Arnold Evans says:

    Sassan:

    You claim your own personal experience is not only a valid indication of the views of the majority of Iranians, but it is the only valid indication of the views of the majority of Iranians. Professional polls (administered by scientists who know a lot more about polling than you do) are wrong. Other people who have more extensive experience are wrong.

    We have to trust you and only you on this.

    Obviously I’m not going to penetrate this delusion you’ve built for yourself but you’re still ducking the question:

    What if the people of Iran didn’t agree to you by a 20 to 1 margin? What if, hypothetically speaking, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who himself has spent vastly more time in Iran than you, traveled vastly more extensively in the country than you and interacted with immensely more Iranians than you, what if most Iranians agreed with his views rather than yours?

    If that was the case, if, then you would advocate a dictator over-ruling the will of the Iranian people in favor of policies in line with your views. True or false?

    You’ve ducked the question 1 time in this thread because you are profoundly anti-democratic. Let’s see how often you continue to duck this question.

  817. Nader says:

    It is Iran’s right to have Nuclear technology, however, the world has every reason to be concerned about a terrorist sponsoring country having access to it.
    The IRI meddle’s in every problem in the world especially islamic one’s, while her own people are in dire need.

    At least 75% of Iranians are opposed to the IRI, and those who aren’t are involved or have some benefit from the existance of the IRI.

    In 2009 , 3 million Iranians showed their discontent with the IRI, and in fact was the prelude to the arab spring. However, they seem tpo be making the same mistake as Iranians did in 1979 with islam.

    Islam is the root of all the problems in Iran. No Iranian, can be a moslem after the way it was forced on our ancestors via rape and pillaging.