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The Race for Iran

THE UNITED STATES AND THE LOST ART OF GRAND STRATEGY–FLYNT LEVERETT AT PENN STATE

Earlier this month, Flynt gave a public lecture at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs and Dickinson School of Law, where he teaches.  His presentation was entitled “Energy, Economics, and the Lost Art of Grand Strategy:  American Policy Toward the Persian Gulf and Rising Asia in the 21st Century,” and can be seen here

In this lecture, Flynt makes a number of points that should be of interest to those who care about Iran and its geopolitics, including its vexed relationship with the United States.  He argues (and is hardly alone in making the point) that “if one considers where America was 20 years ago and compares that to where the United States is today, in terms of its ability to achieve its own stated, high-priority objectives in the world, it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that the United States is a declining power.”  It is declining “because, since the end of the Cold War, American political and policy elites have failed to do their job as strategists.  They have failed to define clear, ‘reality-based’ strategic goals and to relate the diplomatic, economic, and military tools at Washington’s disposal to realizing these goals in a sober and efficacious manner.”  (This is “the lost art of grand strategy” referred to in the lecture’s title.) 

Flynt holds that “over the past several decades, American policy has been pulled in opposite directions by two competing models of what is the optimal grand strategy for the United States.”  On one side, there is a “global leadership model, whereby the United States seeks to maximize its international standing and influence through adroit management of regional and global power balances and through the creation of what economists would call public goods for its allies and for others that it wants to draw into more cooperative relationships.”  (The definitive modern example of adroitly managing the balance of power through diplomacy, in keeping with this model, is the U.S. opening to the People’s Republic of China in the early 1970s.) 

On the other side, there is a “global transformation model, whereby the United States seeks not to manage the balance of power but to transcend it, by becoming a hegemon, in key regions of the world and globally…In the post-Cold War period, this model has helped to drive a plethora of bad policy choices by the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama administrations.” 

To return to the earlier point about American decline, the chief reason why American policy is failing “is because, since the end of the Cold War, the global transformation model has gained almost complete ascendancy over the global leadership model in American policy circles.”  This is seriously problematic because champions of the transformation model—whether neoconservatives on the right or liberal internationalists on the left, refuse to accept, as Flynt says in the lecture,  

“a lesson that balance of power theorists and foreign policy realists, even those of, as John Mearsheimer refers to himself, the offensive realist variety, all know:  that, while hegemony might seem nice to have in theory, in the real world it is unattainableEven a state as powerful as the United States coming out of the Cold War can’t do it.  And, even more importantly, the pursuit of hegemony, in the face of objective, material reality, is not just quixotic—it is deeply counter-productive for a great power’s strategic positionIt inevitably overstretches a great power’s resources…and inevitably sparks resistance and counter-balancing behavior from others.  Pursuing hegemony actually ends up making you weakerAnd that is the story of American foreign policy over the last 20 years or so.” 

Flynt then looks at American policy toward the Persian Gulf (and the Middle East more broadly) and rising Asia (with an emphasis on China) to see how the failure to internalize this timeless lesson is propelling the United States to the brink of strategic failure.  Flynt’s colleague, Amy Gaudion, gives him a beautiful introduction but for viewers who want to cut straight to his presentation, go to 9:45 into the video.  And, for those who want to cut to the substance of his presentation, go to 12:15 into the video. 

–Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett 

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531 Responses to “THE UNITED STATES AND THE LOST ART OF GRAND STRATEGY–FLYNT LEVERETT AT PENN STATE”

  1. Castellio says:

    Photi says:
    May 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

    A good example of how this is going to pan out. As relations “improve”, so different organizations and individuals will work to destroy any forward momentum, all with (ambiguous) approval from the US government itself.

  2. imho says:

    James Canning says:
    April 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    imho.

    Iran warned the Bush administration, in 2002, that an invasion of Iraq could easily bring on a catastrophic civil war. A war Iran wished not to take place.

    James Canning, you don’t play poker or chess, do you ?

  3. Rd. says:

    masoud says:

    “ I just don’t know what more they can sanction.”

    Perhaps they will take steps to further pressure those (India, China, etc.) who go around the sanctions and find ways to change that para dime.

    Seems the Turkmenistan, Afgan, Pak, India gas pipe line may be back on the table as one of such measure to continue their “sanctions/war” with Iran.

  4. Photi says:

    Is Dennis Ross a private individual or a government official? Given his high profile status in the Obama Administration with regards to the Iranian issue, should his group (UANI) be countering Obama and his administration’s stated goal of a negotiated progress with Iran?

    A Dennis Ross group running interference on the upcoming negotiations in Baghdad:

    “There was no immediate comment from Iran. But the effort by Mr. Wallace’s group to pressure the I.M.F. could represent a new challenge to Iran, coming as all sides in the protracted dispute over Iran’s uranium enrichment program have been toning down inflammatory rhetoric in recent weeks and speaking with a measure of optimism about a possible diplomatic resolution.

    Talks held in Turkey last month were described as positive by Iran and the group of six world powers seeking to stop Iran from enriching uranium that could be used to make nuclear weapons. But Iranian officials have also said the Western sanctions should be eased as a sign of good will, and have hinted their mood could darken if new efforts to isolate Iran were introduced. Talks are set to resume in Baghdad on May 23.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/02/world/middleeast/american-group-seeks-suspension-of-iran-from-international-monetary-fund.html?_r=1

  5. Rehmat says:

    Obama’s secret midnight visit to Kabul

    “Obama tried to make a virtue out of absurdity, referring to a “new light” breaking on the horizon for Afghanistan, even as he gestured to the “pre-dawn darkness” in which he was speaking, but even Obama oratorical skills couldn’t disguise the tail-between-the-legs ‘optics’ of the event. It was terrible,” wrote Peter Foster in The Telegraph, May 2, 2012……

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/05/02/obamas-secret-midnight-visit-to-kabul/

  6. Fiorangela says:

    ToivoS says:
    May 2, 2012 at 3:56 am

    A Forgotten Odyssey – The Untold Story of 1,700,000 Poles Deported to Siberia in 1940 Three million Polish Jews killed in holocaust.

    Egad man this is nuts. 1.7 three million is about 10% of the Polish 90.9% of the Jewish population in Poland at that time. The Soviets committed some horrendous atrocities against the JewsPoles, but this is not one of them. Pure fabrication if I might say.

  7. Karl says:

    James,

    “Are you arguing that Iran should continue to enrich to 20 percent, and tell Russia, China, Germany and the other Powers to “get stuffed”?”

    I made very clear what my position is, read my comments.

  8. ToivoS says:

    Fiorangela says:
    May 2, 2012 at 1:39 am
    A Forgotten Odyssey – The Untold Story of 1,700,000 Poles Deported to Siberia in 1940

    Egad man this is nuts. 1.7 million is about 10% of the Polish population at that time. The Soviets committed some horrendous atrocities against the Poles, but this is not one of them. Pure fabrication if I might say.

  9. Castellio says:

    Masoud, you have a grim sense of humour which I appreciate.

  10. Fiorangela says:

    A Forgotten Odyssey – The Untold Story of 1,700,000 Poles Deported to Siberia in 1940

    I was able to purchase a copy of “Forgotten Odyssey” from Aneta Naszynska before she died in 2010. The website does not explain as carefully as the video does that a large number of the deportees made their way to Iran, where, in the midst of the war and Allied occupation of Iran, the traumatized, nearly starved people were cared for by Iranian people. According to one report, British personnel in Iran had initially taken charge of the refugees and overfed them, tragically causing the deaths of some who had survived so much.
    Many of the men formed ‘Anders Army,’ and fought for the Allies. They were not given credit for their bravery.
    Many more Polish deportees remained in Iran. I am told there is a cemetery for the Polish Iranians in Tehran and that the IRI maintains the cemetery with grace and dignity.

  11. masoud says:

    Castellio says:
    May 2, 2012 at 1:17 am

    I say this everytime they pass a new round of sanctions, and end up having to eat my words, but I’m going to say it again: I just don’t know what more they can sanction. I suspect neither to the Americans. This isn’t the 1950′s, Iran isn’t dependant on international firms to distirbute it’s oil. Iran has it’s own(expading) tanker fleet, and worse case scenario, it can make a living supplying the under the radar energy needs of places like east africa easter europe and south east asia. I think one thing they might try is to send out ‘Somali Pirates’ to hijack Iranian ships, and maybe try and force an ‘accident’ to transpire with an Iranian tanker in order to exacerbate it’s insurace situation. I think the recent episode with the Chinese freighter being hijacked just at the mouth of the Persian gulf is one such incident. In the end though I don’t think these things will amount to much. Look at how wildly successful the opium business has been over the last 30 years, and that is with Iranian security forces dying in large number to hinder that trade.

    I think what has been depressing Iranian’s ease in trading on the international market is not any particular set of sanctions, but the fact that they keep rules keep changing. Which is why if I were on the Iranian negotiating team, I wouldn’t even address the issue of unilateral US sanctions in these talks.

  12. Castellio says:

    Which perhaps brings me to another point. Has Iran put western black ops on the agenda for discussion? It should insist on that conversation with all at the table.

  13. Castellio says:

    I suggested that whatever is agreed to, the US will continue to tighten financial sanctions on Iran. No one has commented on this except Jay, who agreed that was probably the case. My position isn’t cynical, just historically informed.

    As partial justification I offer this:

    “Owen sums up the significance of the data… I show that: the total tonnage dropped on Cambodia was five times greater than previously known; the bombing inside Cambodia began nearly 4 years prior to the supposed start of the Menu Campaign, under the Johnson Administration; that, in contradiction to Henry Kissinger’s claims, and over the warning of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, Base Areas 704, 354 and 707 were all heavily bombed; the bombing intensity increased throughout the summer of 1973, after Congress barred any such increase; and, that despite claims by both Kissinger and Nixon to the contrary, there was substantial bombing within 1km of inhabited villages.”

    This refers, of course, to the war that ‘never happened’, the bombing of Cambodia. I could go on, but perhaps the next quote will help: “What happened in 1969 was not the start of bombings in Cambodia but the escalation into carpet bombing.”

    It’s taken almost 40 years for the information (released by Clinton) to be appraised and evaluated. I think it will take the same kind of time frame to understand in a coherent way the black ops and financial actions current against Iran.

    http://walrusmagazine.com/articles/2006.10-history-bombing-cambodia/

  14. masoud says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Iran doesn’t need help enriching fuel to 20% anymore. They don’t even seem to need much help in fabricating the fuel assemblies. If there is a deal, it will be Iran winding down it’s 20% enrichment, after having judged that it has ‘enough’ to provide for the current needs of the TRR. After some reciprocal steps from the P5+1, Iran will start ramping up the process of converting it’s stockpile into fuel assemblies. AP ratification will be paid lip service but won’t be happening, at least not for a good number of years. There is some chance that some transparency measures of the AP will be implemented on an ad hoc basis, but I think the Iranians would hold on to this chip until they can get some broader regional understanding eg cooperatio on the NWFZ conference in the middle east. That is, if there is any kind of a deal at all.

    I think the Obama administration is presently concerned with getting through the summer without any major hiccups, and playing dove unitl November 4th. I’m not sure they can even keep up pretenses that long. I wouldn’t give the May talks more than a 40% chace of not blowing up. The Iranian side of course knows the US side is insencere, but they will go along with it anyway: The geo-political game here is not to reach an agreement but to demonstrate to all an sundry that you aren’t the one blocking one.

  15. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: May 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    This principled stance against NAZI Regime got the late Mr. Khomeini nothing; then or later.

    There were thouands of Poles in Tehran during World War II; refugees from when the blood of Polish people was less worthy than urine.

    And yet Poland is one of those EU countries that have sanctioned Iran – that shows you gratitude.

    Iran’s adherence to CWT got Iran nothing but the dead and injured; dying slowly to this day.

    Let these be signs to those who see.

  16. Photi says:

    Interesting article on Egypt-Saudi relations:

    “Permeating Saudi worries about the Muslim Brotherhood are decades of ideological rivalry.

    “The Brothers offer a religious political discourse that’s in competition with the Wahhabi one. It’s something of a threat to the government because it enjoys a certain legitimacy by virtue of its religiosity,” said Thomas Hegghammer, author of Jihad in Saudi Arabia.

    Since the 18th century, the ruling Al Saud family have enjoyed a close alliance with clerics of the ultra-conservative Wahhabi school of Islam.

    In the modern kingdom, the royal family has bankrolled the clergy and given them wide-ranging influence over government policy. In return, the clerics have espoused a political philosophy that demands obedience to the ruler, a notion that shaped Saudi dismay at last year’s Arab revolts.

    By contrast the Muslim Brotherhood has always promoted an active political role for Islam, first as a revolutionary organization and more lately as a force in democratic politics.

    Some Saudi leaders have accused the Brotherhood of inspiring the kingdom’s main domestic opposition group, the Sahwa movement that in the 1990s agitated to bring democracy to Saudi Arabia.

    “The Saudis are pragmatic enough to realize when things change. Now the Muslim Brotherhood are in power in Egypt. They have to re-evaluate the relationship,” said Khalid al-Dakhil, a political sociology professor in Riyadh.

    Mahmoud Ghozlan, the Brotherhood’s spokesman, said the movement had had no contacts with Saudi Arabia over the recent dispute, which he described as “a summer cloud”.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/01/us-saudi-egypt-brotherhood-idUSBRE8400ZM20120501

  17. Fiorangela says:

    Edit:

    “Germany resisted REACTING VIOLENTLY TO evils imposed on its citizens for many years, until it didn’t.

  18. Fiorangela says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:
    May 1, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    Readily agree with Imam Khomeini, Unknown Unknown.

    Hitler and Nazism should be discussed in real world terms, based on objective historical facts and evidence, accounting for causes and effects. Blanket condemnations substantiated by nothing more than name-calling (aimed at the teller) or “he is pure evil” (aimed at Hitler) is emotional argument, useless in the attempt to figure out what went wrong, why, and how to avoid it in the future.

    One major theme in Herbert Hoover’s notes on his 1938 tour of Europe that included a private interview with Hitler is that Hitler was determined that Never Again would his people be starved to death as happened to Germans in 1915-1919 (800,000 died consequent to Allied blockade), and again during economic stresses during Weimar years (consequences of combination of reparations burdens, poor management, worldwide economic turmoil).

    “Every lover of justice” must seek ways to break the cycle that W H Auden pointed out: “Those to whom evil is done do evil in return.”

    So far, Iran has resisted responding with evil to the West’s evil actions intended to cause Iranians to starve, just as Germans were starved. Germany resisted those evils imposed on its citizens for many years, until it didn’t.

  19. Rehmat says:

    Horowitz: ‘BDS supports new Holocaust’

    Israel-Firster David Horowitz’s Freedom Foundation put an Israeli propaganda ad in the Zioncon-owned New York Times (April 24, 2012), which invoked Holocaust against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).

    Racists and bigot Zionist Jews like David Horowitz – have never interested me. However, what got me interested into this Jew-vs-Jew debate was the summary of past Zionist history in the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network’s response to the ad. It says that the March 1933 call by US Jewish groups for the boycott of German goods failed thanks to the Zionist Jewish collaboration with Nazi Germany…..

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/05/02/horowitz-bds-supports-new-holocaust/

  20. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Couldn’t resist this one from Imam Khomeini (1941) (for Fior and Photi):

    “This Hitlerite mentality you idiotically praise
    from afar, which says, “I will occupy Poland by tank and bayonet, even though a
    hundred thousand families may perish,” is one of the most poisonous and heinous
    products of the human mind.1 Every lover of justice must oppose it, and those wise
    men who are concerned for the future of the world must root out such thoughts as
    these in order for the world to attain tranquillity.”

    Professor Hamid Algar, the translator, notes: “This condemnation of Nazi sympathies is directed not only against the author of the book being refuted, but also against Riza Shah, who cultivated an extreme nationalist ideology akin to Nazism.”

  21. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you arguing that Iran should continue to enrich to 20 percent, and tell Russia, China, Germany and the other Powers to “get stuffed”?

  22. Karl says:

    James,

    “What is your point? Are you arguing that if Iran agrees to stop enriching to 20 percent, the US will then demand Iran stop enriching altogether? Are you in effect insisting that the negotiations fail?”

    -
    I didnt brought it up but yes, like another user said here, the salami-cut. The standard procedure to constantly changed their goals. If Iran show themselves weak once well then US and Israel could say sanctions work and must be remained in place, also open up for more demands on Iran.

    “think you are obsessed about “regime change” and you fail to consider neither China nor Russia wants “regime change” in Iran.”

    I think you are highly naive for not realizing this. Not sure why you bring up China or Russia.

  23. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think you are obsessed about “regime change” and you fail to consider neither China nor Russia wants “regime change” in Iran.

  24. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    What is your point? Are you arguing that if Iran agrees to stop enriching to 20 percent, the US will then demand Iran stop enriching altogether? Are you in effect insisting that the negotiations fail?

  25. Karl says:

    James,
    Its the same principle and goals and we all know sanctions are intended to weak Iran to regime change, remember, the first UN sanctions on Iran demanded to end their enrichment altogether. Now people here say US will accept Iran to enrich to 5%?! Well whats the conflict all about then? The problem isnt enrichment, the problem is nuclear program altogether by a nation like Iran (for the US, Israel).

  26. James Canning says:

    All Sanction against Burma (Myanmar) may be suspended or removed, before too much longer, if things continue on present course in that country.

  27. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think it benefits Iran to have Russia and China exert considerable influence in the Middle East. Even if those countries would be regarded as “non-Muslim” by Khomeini.
    Perhaps more influence by Brazil would be useful too. And South Africa. Even if those countries are “non-Muslim”.

  28. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Iran has new sanctions, thanks to enriching to 20 percent, that it did not have when it enriched to a maximum of 5%.

  29. fyi says:

    Karl says: May 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Iranians will not accept AP; that will not happen even if the Iranian Nuclear file is sent back from UNSC to IAEA.

    I doubt that Iranians will sign another such international instrument; it has been used against them before: CWT, NPT.

    Normalization of Iran relations with US and EU will not be predicated on AP.

  30. kooshy says:

    What is the message behind the Abu Musa visit?
    .
    “While the Iranian nuclear file has resulted in the country coming under increasing pressure from all sides, Ahmadinejad’s sudden visit to the island of Abu Musa has sparked speculation and debate surrounding the reasons behind his decision. One such reason pertains to the weakened position of Ahmadinejad in shaping Iran’s foreign policy, particularly the nuclear issue. Ahmadinejad’s visit to Abu Musa (while even during the time of Shah, no high-level Iranian official had visited the island) has brought about two major results: one, an outpouring of nationalism and, second, returning of Ahmadinejad to the spotlight.”

    http://us-iran.org/content/what-message-behind-abu-musa-visit

  31. Rehmat says:

    Paul Donnachie, 21, former student at St Andrews University, has lost his appeal at Edinburgh’s High Court of Criminal Appeal against his last year’s conviction for insulting Israel and its flag.

    Paul Donnachie was originally charged for attacking Jewish student, Chanan Reitblat, at university hall of residence, desecrated an Israeli flag and called the Lithuanian-born supporter of Israel a “terrorist”.

    Chanan Reitblat had claimed that Paul told him: “Israel is a terrorist state, the flag is a terrorist symbol, and you are a terrorist. Israel has no history here.”

    Donnachie had argued that his attack was not a personal one against Reitblat, or anti-Semitic, but that it was motivated by his political beliefs, which many Judeo-Christian and Muslim historian share. For example, Britain’s famous journalist and authour, Alan Hart, says: “Israel has no right to exist“.

    “The Zionist state which came into being as a consequence of Zionism terrorism and ethnic cleansing had no right to exist and more to the point could have no right to exist unless it was recognized and legitimized by those who were dispossessed of their land and their rights during the creation of the Zionist state. In international law, only the Palestinian could give Israel the legitimacy it craved….”, Alan Hart wrote to David Cameron, British Opposition Leader in 2007.

    On Tuesday, Lord Mackay, in his judgement dismissed Donnachie’s appeal, saying: “There was no substantive miscarriage of justice, nor was there an appearance of injustice in last year sentencing“.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/uk-judge-its-crime-to-call-israel-a-terrorist-state/

  32. Karl says:

    I think Iran would accept more inspections, maybe in form of additional protocol but I dont think they will end their right according to NPT (20% enrichment included) simply because they will get nothing back from such a concession.

    Why would US accept only accept 5% enrichment if Iran at the same time doesnt sign the additional protocol? It makes no sense. Because Iran could according to the US still have undeclared sites.
    So more inspections/addtional protocol will be the object not enrichment. In fact pre 2010 Iran didnt produce 20% (but even 3,5%) and were as much threatened and sanctioned that they are today.

  33. fyi says:

    James Canning says: May 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Iran is not a Western European country after WWII where the Hegemon of Western Europe, helped organize EU after the desposession of UK of her assets.

    Iranians are well advised to follow the late Mr. Khomeini’s recommendations: complete and utter removal of non-Muslim political influence in the Middle East.

    The course of events has been decidedly going that way, in my opinion.

  34. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I agree Iran will suspend enriching to 20 percent but will insist on enriching to 5% or lower. I think Iran does better not to harbour notions of a “stick” with which to beat the West. China and Russia also want an end to the 20%.

  35. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Good grief. How would European countries have formed the Common Market after the Second World War, if they harboured resentment of “ill-treatment” during that war?

    Iran should make decisions based on common sense, and avoid nursing grievances dating from decades ago.

  36. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    No, I do not exopect to witness a repeat of 2010 meeting.

    Iranians will declare that they will suspend 20% production.

    US-EU will not proceed with more sanctions.

    The Financial sanctions etc. will remian.

    This is just cease-fire, in Viet Nam peace negogiations took 4 years.

    Iran has been shabbily treated by US, EU, USSR, China, and India – among others over the last few decades.

    This treatment cannot be un-lived and has startegic consequences that are unfolding.

  37. Arnold Evans says:

    FYI:

    Specifically, do you think on June 1, Iran will not have committed to suspending enrichment to 20%?

    Also do you think the increase in sanctions that are supposedly planned will be in place or in the process of being put in place by then?

    I’m just trying to get an idea of what you expect to see. Do you think it will be anything at all like the Jan 2010 negotiations where the sides left the table claiming to have made no progress?

  38. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I agree a grand bargain this time must start in the west, with an acceptable resolution of IP in the Sunni Arab street level, considering current western domestic politics that’s years away.

  39. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I think the Istanbul negations resulted in agreeing on two basic points, first point is that all negations on nuclear issues would be based on NPT and the second issue agreed is Iran and IAEA will set a modality for inspections as well as resolving “other matters”. This second point buys time for US elections as well as making possible to delay the sanctions while IAEA will work out to resolve the remaining issues.

    Like I wrote to James yesterday what I heard is likely to happen in Baghdad is that Iran will announce a voluntarily halt on producing more 20%U since they now have enough 20% stock to fuel the TRR and will continue to convert to fuel rods with IAEA supervision and a possible third country cooperation, in this case Fardo will be on standstill (Dry Run, which will act as Iran’s stick).

    I don’t think there will be an official announcement of an agreement; the west will announce halting the sanctions (west’s stick) while Iran and IAEA are working to resolve the remaining issues, Iran will halt producing 20% since she has made enough to make fuel rods for TRR. Both sides will claim victory and an agreement to continue setting the agenda by deputies for future high level meeting.

    It seems that US military successfully was able to block the Israelis and their warmongering lobby both in US and Israel at the expense of becoming ready to recognize Iran as the region’s independent power. At the end it looks to me that Ayatollah Khamenei and his advising decision makers played this game real well.

  40. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 1, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I think you are wrong.

    A grand bargain will reovlutionize US position in the Middle East and among theglobal Muslim community.

    Iranians will not do so dur to their position on Palestine.

    Israelis are one or two more wars away from being declared – through a Fatwa by Mr. Khamenei – as enemies of Islam and Muslims.

    Their biggest champion, the United States, is then going to become a co-enemy of Islam.

    Iranians will not extend political cover to US.

    The War in Palestine must end on terms acceptable to Iran before Grand Bargin is struck; the flexibility of 2003 is no longer on the table.

  41. BiBiJon says:

    fyi says:
    May 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    While I think your position jibes with the past pathologies, I think the grand bargain is in. Iran is in a position to humiliate the west by once again calling the decades long bluff; saying ‘bring it on.’ She has insisted on the shift, and the west has agreed there’s no alternative.

  42. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: May 1, 2012 at 11:58 am

    The acceptance of “independent” Iran is still years into the future.

    For years the US-EU leaders were dealing with Iran as though “War is Cheap and Peace Expensive”.

    They have now moved to “War is Expensive and Peace is Expensive too.”

    You will know that they have accepted Iranian power when they state: “War is Expensive and Peace is Cheap.”

    We are not at that point yet.

    We have to wait between 4 top 8 more years for that; the financial sanctions etc. have to run their due course…

  43. Jay says:

    Castellio says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Perhaps bugged – not frustrated. I respect the right of everyone to express their opinions without exception. However, in discussion, I expect rational transparency and full disclosure – I don’t expect agreement.

    With regards to US sanctions and words vs. actions, I tend to agree with you that US foreign policy will not be bound by any agreement or promise of sanctions relief. However, the public pronouncement will enable other countries currently being hurt by sanctions to resume commerce with Iran. In this sense, there will be an easing of sanctions.

  44. BiBiJon says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    “So does anyone want to post a prediction for where you think the Iran nuclear negotiations will stand after the next meeting, which is to say that by June 1 we’ll be able to come back here and see who was closest?”

    I think the deal is:

    The west will accept an independent Iran. And, Iran will promise to recognize some western interests in the region. China will get their “stability,stability,stability”, Russia will get peace & quiet in the south, Europe gets cheaper oil/gas prices.

    Seeing as the nuclear issue was always a pretext, there can be any myriad of ways to make out there have been compromises on both sides. I very much doubt Iran will agree to sending 20% LEU out of the country. It may well ‘sell’ some in lieu of buying prefabricated fuel plates available (today) for ‘sale’ from Argentina. All sanctions will be lifted in exchange for a very easily implementable AP within a Summer time frame.

    Obama has nothing to fear from Netanyahu (whose name actually means Baghdad, by the way). He has cried Holocaust, Hitler, Hezbollah, and whatever else begins with an ‘H’ so much that Likud in Israel and their supporters in the US have only “messianic” credibility left. ‘Conviction’ politics, made fashionable by Blair is no longer tolerated by military/security folks.

    Seeing as I only got scorn for my de-escalation predictions, I’ll settle for more of the same if my guess winds up being the closest.

  45. Karl says:

    Casteillo,

    This has nothing to do with me not respecting his view or not its about hes making claims, back it up with no sources, then ask questions and never approach them instead repeating the argument he never had any sources for. So its nothing mutual here.

  46. Castellio says:

    Jay, I sense your frustration, but one man’s reasonable assertions are another man’s speculative fantasy, and yet another’s relentless propoganda. (FYI tries to step around this by calling his assertions ‘metaphysical certainty’).

    Anyhow, on the issue, Arnold seems to agree that, at this stage at least, the fundamental breaking points are the amount of 20% controlled by the Iranians and the tightening American-led sanctions on the Iranian central bank.

    What Arnold proposes as likely is, I think, reasonable, although very optimistic. However, I would have to add this: while the US may say it will relax its sanctions on the Iranian central bank, it will continue to impose and actually tighten those very sanctions.

    Having watched US negotiations with North Korea in particular, but with Iraq, Pakistan, Japan, and Iran, the US government has absolutely no misgivings about saying one thing in public and doing another behind closed doors. Partially, this is because that’s how the American foreign policy has always worked (say one thing while doing another), and partially because the President doesn’t actually control the policy implementing structures, which are managed by apparatchiks with ideological leanings and ‘other’ masters.

  47. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: May 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Iranians will fuel the TRR themselves.

    The oil sanctions will be removed.

    The financial sanctions, even if removed, is of little value to Iran; she has to create alternate means for strategic reasons.

  48. Jay says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:15 am

    In broad outlines, I agree. The specific aspects of what it means to stop 20% enrichment may be tweaked – for example, there may be a wind down period while the TRR resupply is being negotiated. I think an interim agreement on Fordow will be integrated – for example, temporarily limited to dry runs until further inspection regime is negotiated with IAEA. In addition to putting a hold on further sanctions, I think there will be an easing of the sanctions regime – for example, in terms of Iran’s oil transactions.

  49. Jay says:

    Castellio says:
    May 1, 2012 at 1:20 am

    The essence of what you state is correct. However, it is useful to clearly label assertions as such and not represent them as ordained truths.

    The fact that some UK official has stated some “promise” about 20% enrichment is an assertion. Repeating it by a second, third, fourth person continues to be an assertion. Furthermore, when the words spoken to carry the assertion bear no sign of integrity, the assertions are propaganda. Repeating them by a second, third, etc. person is simply repeating the propaganda.

    My comment is not directed at a specific person, I suggest that open disclosure is the essence of “good” conversation. It does not mean that we cannot discuss such propagandist statements – we need to exercise clarity in acknowledging the source and the value of the statement being made.

  50. Arnold Evans says:

    So does anyone want to post a prediction for where you think the Iran nuclear negotiations will stand after the next meeting, which is to say that by June 1 we’ll be able to come back here and see who was closest?

    My best guess, and I tend to be over-optimistic in making predictions but notwithstanding that, is:

    Iran and the West will announce an agreement where Iran suspends 20% enrichment and the West agrees to convert at least some of Iran’s current 20% LEU into TRR fuel. This will be, unlike the 2009 proposal, structured in a way that would not allow the West to renege without consequence and delivery will be scheduled for this year at the latest.

    Increased sanctions against Iran, including the scheduled isolation of the central bank will be put on hold.

    Another round of negotiations will be announced for July that will be about increased inspections in exchange for further reductions of sanctions.

    That’s my guess.

  51. Photi says:

    “Abdel-Beri Atwan, the editor in chief of Al-Quds al-Arabi, wrote that the dispute over Gizawi, in addition to serving notice to other states that Egyptians can no longer be trampled, sends “a message of warning to all the other Arab authorities that are humiliating Arab citizens because their governments are weak and corrupt and do not defend these citizens the way they should.””

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-30/egypt-s-popular-anger-shifts-to-israel-and-saudi-arabia.html

  52. Castellio says:

    Sara says:
    April 30, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    I like Sara’s contribution as far as it goes, and encourage her to expand.

  53. Castellio says:

    Karl, James isn’t an idiot. And it bears noting that you’ve made it a habit to repeat as often as he does. He feels he has a sense of what will or won’t fly in certain capitals; and yes, that’s an assertion on his part, but he occasionally backs up the assertion with others who are making it as well (usually from the pages of the Financial Post).

    My point is this: you’re arguing for the right starting point to the negotiations, but both sides will enter with red lines. James claims that the accumulation of 20% is beyond the red line for the major western governments. He doesn’t have to agree or disagree with your principles to make the point. And we don’t have to agree or disagree with his assertion.

  54. Rehmat says:

    Lobby: ‘Sarkozy’s defeat is Iran’s victory’

    “Sarkozy has a deep knowledge of Israel and a deep sympathy for this country. France has become the major supporter of Israel in advocating a firm stance against Iran. The feelings of François Hollande towards Israel have always been clearly friendly. However, his stance towards the Iranian threat remains to be tested. The two candidates share similar views regarding the major issues related to the Israel-Palestinian conflict,” wrote Richard Prasquier, the leader of the French-Jewish umbrella group CRIF while endorsing Nicolas Sarkozy’s re-election.

    “Sarkozy has been a stalwart opponent of Iran and its nuclear ambitions, often getting far ahead of the United States on the issue and helping to buttress the shaky determination of the European Union to take a firm stand,” wrote Tobin in Ziocon ‘Commentary’.

    http://rehmat1.com/2012/05/01/lobby-sarkozys-defeat-is-irans-victory/

  55. Rehmat says:

    Karl – Zionist controlled media did not tell you – Iran made an offer which all leaders of the region supported – except the illegal Zionist regime. Iran’s compromise was – “A Middle East free of nuclear bombs”.

    http://rehmat1.com/2011/11/03/nuclear-arms-race-and-nuke-free-muslim-east/

  56. Karl says:

    James,

    Thats not a compromise at all.

    You know, Iran have the right to enrich for peaceful use (which could in theory even go beyond 20%). Iran doesnt have to sign the additional protocol and accept intrusive inspections.

    Ok.

    Now, how could you possibly say its a “compromise”?
    The deal US apparently in the media have leaked is the following –

    1. NPT doesnt mean anything longer to Iran, its scrapped
    2. Iran must end above 5% enrichment (something they could do today)
    3. Iran must sign additional protocol and accept other intrusive inspections (something they dont have to do today as a member of the NPT).

    Thats not a compromise. Simply because Iran doesnt get ANYTHING back from what it is ALLOWED according to NPT to do TODAY! Its ALL concessions from Iran and all demands from the US.

    Do you understand?

  57. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    re: your post of 3.17 pm April 29th: Yes, compromise. Iran stops 20%, but the West accepts 5% or lower.

  58. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I think you have it about right, as best one can ascertain at this point.

  59. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 30, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Gav-

    Have you ever heard of the term “salami slicing” which once was referred by the great American strategist Condi Rice, I think we are on to a period of delicately slicing salami, what I have heard will be agreed to, is western acceptance of Iran’s full right to NPT and Iran’s enrichment of 5% U, fallowed by a confidence building at the IAEA level of voluntarily halting the 20% enrichment by Iran for a period of time, and turning the existing stock of 20% enriched U to TRR fuel with some cooperation from other nations, as per Mr. Broujerdi( Chairman of parliament on security and foreign affairs) the Fardo (which if agreed will operate in dry mode) and AP is out of question for now till the Iran file is back to its normal status in IAEA.

    Saudi Arabia is trying to complicate the negotiations by forming a federal union of Persian Gulf states, including Bahrain

  60. Karl says:

    James,

    You are just repeating stuff over and over again. If you want a debate, start from.

    Message@April 29 / 2012 / 3:17 pm

  61. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Try being more specific. Are you arguing the Six Powers would accept Iranian enrichment to 20 percent? Or are you just changing the subject?

  62. kooshy says:

    Gav James-

    Here is one for you, from the master of hearts and minds his eminence Khwāja Shamsu d-Dīn Muhammad Hāfez-e Shīrāzī or as he is known “Hafez” “His ghazals are the beloved, faith, and exposing hypocrisy.”

    جنـگ هفتاد و دو ملت همه را عذر بنه
    چون ندیدند حقیقت ره افـسانـه زدند

    Translation

    Be all dismissive to the notion of seventy two nation’s war
    Since the truth they could not see, they choose the path to fantasy

  63. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Thanks. The New York Times has several stories today on Iran, and the Israeli squabbling about how to deal with Iran. Ehud Olmert’s experience in New York City is worth noting. (Hostile Jewish audience.)

  64. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    My understanding is that you believe Iran should insist on continuing to enrich uranium to 20 percent, even if this will not be accepted by the Six Powers, because you see this as an item that can be conceded in order to gain concessions from the West regarding Iran’s nuclear programme.

    And I reply that the reports I have read indicate that Iran will have to agree pretty much upfront, to stop enriching to 20 percent. You offer no report indicating otherwise.

  65. Rehmat says:

    UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, in a statement issued last Wednesday put the Zionist entity among world’s top human rights abusers such as such as Belarus, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ethiopia and Venezuela.

    She pinpointed Netanyahu government’s racist laws against non-Jewish minorities, peace activists and restriction on funds by foreign governments to NGOs working in the occupied Palestine.

    “In Israel, the recently adopted Foreign Funding Law could have a major impact on human rights organizations, subjecting them to rigorous reporting requirements, forcing them to declare foreign financial support in all public communications, and threatening heavy penalties for non-compliance,”said Navi Pillay.

    The Jewish ‘UN Watch’ group has criticized Navi Pillay for her anti-Semitic statement. Last year, the group had demanded that UNHRC fire its special envoy for Palestine, professor Richard Falk for exposing Israel’s continuous human rights violations.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/unhrc-blasts-israel-for-human-rights-abuses/

  66. Photi says:

    Castellio says:
    April 30, 2012 at 12:40 am

    Castellio,

    “And this time??”

    With the blessings of the internet, this time High Culture and “the people” will win. The Saudis and the Wahhabis don’t stand a chance against the culture and religion of the Egyptians and the Turks. The question is whether or not the Saudi family will recognize these realities before they are forced out. If they were not such lackeys, they would realize who their true allies are.

    The Saudis should be kneeling in Cairo and Ankara.

  67. fyi says:

    ehleel says: April 30, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Rubbish!

  68. Rd. says:

    “Changing Seasons: The Arab People’s March for Democracy and Freedom” in Istanbul on April 28 and 29. CHP deputies Loğoğlu and Gürsel Tekin organized a press conference ahead of the conference in Istanbul. Loğoğlu, a retired ambassador, harshly criticized the approach of the ruling party to regional affairs. “First they have to manage Turkey’s own foreign policy. We are hostile to Armenia, we are having troubled days with Iran and Iraq, we are at the brink of a war with Syria, we are exchanging threats with Israel and we are threatening Greek Cyprus. What is right about this foreign policy line?”

    Turkey’s Mideast role ‘a dangerous fantasy’

    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/PrintNews.aspx?PageID=383&NID=19463

  69. Fiorangela says:

    re http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/29/israel-yuval-diskin-iran-reaction

    In the written report, Harriet Sherwood fails to mention that Diskin said (at 27 seconds) “I’m not saying, by the way, that it’s an illegitimate decision.”

    By omitting that information from the writeup, Sherwood leaves the impression that Diskin thinks an attack on Iran would be catastrophic. All he is really saying is that for Netanyahu and Barak to lead an attack on Iran would be catastrophic, the implication being that someone less “messianic” should lead an attack on Iran.

  70. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning @ 7:42 pm Apr 29 — the link you posted is incorrect

    try this

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/29/israel-yuval-diskin-iran-reaction

  71. ehleel says:

    U.S. Standing Down on Military Action as Iran’s Internal Power Struggle Unfolds

    http://www.marketoracle.co.uk/Article33957.html

  72. Karl says:

    James,

    Great, just ignore everything I just said and repeat what I approached and just answered to.

  73. Castellio says:

    In the earlier historical face off between the Saudis and the Egyptians, the Saudis won. The Saudis allied with Israel, France and the UK (sorry James, but them’s the facts) to break the pan-Arab movement then best represented by Nasser.

    And this time??

  74. James Canning says:

    Harriet Sherwood, “Israeli government aides attempt to draw sting of former spy chief’s attack”:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/Apr/29/israel-yaval-diskin-iran-reaction

    Follows story of ex spy chief’s attack on Netanyahu and Barak.

  75. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Sometimes you give the impression you think that an Iranian stockpile of 20 percent uranium stregthens Iran. You are quite mistaken.

  76. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iranian leaders see readily that strengthening the NPT is a good thing for Iran and the Middle East. Focus should be on how to pressure Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  77. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Is it possible you forget the FRONT PAGE STORY in the Financial Times March 7, 2012? Reporting by five FT reporters, who talk to people knowledgeable about the P5+1 position? If you think diplomats connected to the negotiations are going to step in front of a TV camera and lay our what they will require, you are quite mistaken. But that apparently is the “proof” you think can or should be available.

  78. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I take it you concede you have ZERO knowledge from diplomats associated with the P5+1 negotiations, that Iran has any option other than to stop enriching to 20 percent.

    Obviously Obama will face heavy attack merely for not objecting to Iran’s enriching to 5 percent or lower.

    You appear to lack a sufficient understanding of the political realities Obama confronts.

  79. Karl says:

    James,

    “I have not seen a single report by a first-rate newspaper, in English, that says the P5+1 are willing to allow Iran to enrich to 20 percent. I have seen a number of reports, conveying the thoughts of diplomts close to the negotiations, that indicate Iran will have to stop enriching to 20 percent. Even if you do not like that.

    Ahmadinejad and Khamenei were not advocating that Iran lose respect, when they agreed that Iran would stop enriching to 20 percent if the TRR fuel was sold to Iran by “the West”.

    If your base your views on what “first rate” newspaper tells you there is no wonder you keep reapting the 20% argument (still you have no proof for it anyway). What do you expect them to say anyway?
    There is one thing to hold an argument or rather a wish or a goal and publicly air it publicly, but you seems to think that this is a request/wish/goal on Iran that MUST be met. Thats not the case. Iran have indeed also goals, do you think they also could force the US to accept all of them? Of course not, thats why we are talking about a compromise because this is supposed to be a dialogue. So as I said, as soon as US understand that Iran also have goals with talks, that is, as soon as US accept Iran as an partner with equal desires for goal, ambitions etc, a peaceful solution will be near.

    Also one basic thing of making a deal is to set the bar too high (for the other side) and work down when compromising is needed.

  80. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    US & UK shredded the Chemical Weapons Treaty during Iran-Iraq War.

    So, all over the world, there are now declared Chemical Weapons states (such as Iran) and US has been trying to shore up CWT ever since with limited success.

    US, UK, France, China, and Russia followed the same path with regards to NPT.

    They shredded NPT in case of Iran and US destroyed it – in effect – with the US-India deal.

    Now, the P5 states, must try to again shore up NPT; their policy on Iran failed, their Nuclear Supplier Group concoction is rife with dissension, their International Fuel Sites is a pipe-dream, and their political use of IAEA has damaged that agency to a considerable degree.

    That they were willing to shred CWT and NPt in case of Iran is a demonstration of the extent to which these states wished to harm and limit the power of a new state with geopolitical autonomy.

    If I were an Iranian leader, I would demand a very very high price for supporting NPT or CWT.

  81. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran supports the strengthening of the NPT. So does Saudi Arabia. Both countries should try to work together to that end. Alastair Burt says UK policy is to seek end of nuclear weapons anywhere in the world. And peaceful cooperation for civilian use of nuclear power.

  82. James Canning says:

    MJ Rosenberg: “What Will Obama Do if Iran Says Yes But the Lobby & Congress Say NO?”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mj-rosenberg/obama-iran-talks_b_1423856.html?ref=iran-war-hype

    To what degree does Aipac threaten the peace of the Middle East?

  83. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    When the Revolution happened, US-EU rejected NPt in case of Iran and began economic sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program, forcing Iran to the black mrket for her nuclear developments.

    May be with a lot of work and a lot of money, US, France, Russia, and China can revive the fortunes of NPT.

    As of today, NPT is a dead-leter.

  84. James Canning says:

    Lysander,

    Perhaps we should be more specific and say that rich political campaign donors in the US will try to pressure Obama into trying to stop Iranian enrichment of uranium to 5% or less.

  85. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I have not seen a single report by a first-rate newspaper, in English, that says the P5+1 are willing to allow Iran to enrich to 20 percent. I have seen a number of reports, conveying the thoughts of diplomts close to the negotiations, that indicate Iran will have to stop enriching to 20 percent. Even if you do not like that.

    Ahmadinejad and Khamenei were not advocating that Iran lose respect, when they agreed that Iran would stop enriching to 20 percent if the TRR fuel was sold to Iran by “the West”.

  86. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    I assume you mean that the people of Iran want their government to continue to enrich uranium to 3.5% – 5%, even if this is opposed by Israel.

  87. James Canning says:

    The New York Times story voicing stronger criticism of Bibi Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, emanating from foremr Israeli intelligence chiefs, is getting good play in various American newspapers apparently.

  88. Rehmat says:

    Karl – FYI, it’s not the P5+1 which “made clear” that Iran cannot pursue its enrichment process – but that’s the view of the Zionist entity and its Christian Zionist poodles controlling most of the western governments.

    The zionist entity knows, the Iranian public never let its government to adandon country’s nuclear enrichment plan – just like Israel’s western financial backers could not stop the Zionist leaders killing over 100,000 Arab Jews by experimenting radiation doses on them in the process of developing Israel’s first nuclear bomb in the 1960s.

    http://rehmat1.com/2010/09/01/can-jews-kill-jews/

  89. Karl says:

    James,

    “The P5+1 have made it rather clear Iran will have to stop enriching to 20 percent. Even if this annoys you.”

    I dont know why you keep repeating stuff?
    You ask questions, you then ignore answer, and keep repeating the argument.

    Your argument is also false on two points

    The P5+1 have not “made it rather clear” that Iran “will have to stop”.
    And even if they ever did that doesnt mean its law or something that you obviously think it is. As I said earlier and as you ignored. You have obviously too little respect for the people in the middle east.

  90. LOYAL says:

    To: Lysander
    I agree with you meanwhile they kept price of oil under control.

    Nothing has changed.

  91. ToivoS says:

    Lysander says:
    April 28, 2012 at 10:12 pm
    Just wanted to be on record saying that the latest optimism on a nuclear deal with Iran will likely disappear in a puff of smoke.

    OK record noted. You are making an easy prediction based on past behavior of the the principles. But something has changed. The US has signaled that it does not want war with Iran and has also signaled that they will allow Iran to enrich Uranium 238. The US will, of course, continue to make many belligerent noises, in order to placate political constituencies, but they will accept Iranian rights. My prediction is that Iran will walk away from these negotiations as the winner. It will take a few months if not a few years to see who is correct, but I have a strong feeling that it is me.

  92. Rehmat says:

    Hollywood Jews defend ‘anti-Semite’ Mel Gibson

    Anti-Semitism is a lose cannon in the hands of the Israel Lobby. It unload the cannon on everyone who challenges Zionism or Israel. Its victims can be found among government leaders, politicians, military officials, academic, writers, authors, bloggers, sports, religious leaders, Nobel Prize laureates and even Jewish-controlled Hollywood……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/hollywood-jews-defend-anti-semite-mel-gibson/

  93. Lysander says:

    Just wanted to be on record saying that the latest optimism on a nuclear deal with Iran will likely disappear in a puff of smoke. Right now the media is talking up the so called concessions the US might be willing to make in order to make the western position seem reasonable and the Iranians intransigent when, inevitably, it all falls apart.

    Right now the discussion is about the US “allowing” Iran to do what it has been doing anyway despite the best efforts to stop them. Namely enrich to 5% or less. In exchange for this generosity, Iran gives up enrichment beyond that, gives up its stockpile of 20%, signs on to the AP, stops building nuclear facilities the west couldn’t bomb with ease, and God knows what else. No mention of sanctions except to say they wont pursue additional ones…for now.

    From what is publicly known, this isn’t much different that every other negotiation except that the US admits it has no means of halting all enrichment, but will continue to keep trying anyway.

    When Iran ultimately rejects this “deal,” they will be blamed for it, as always.

    I’m not predicting any imminent war, just more of the same.

  94. masoud says:

    This piece is about Lebanon, but it could just as easily apply to Iran:

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/aging-leftist

  95. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    You are quite right to suggest Iran has been willing to make a reasonable compromise, for years now.

  96. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The P5+1 have made it rather clear Iran will have to stop enriching to 20 percent. Even if this annoys you.

  97. Karl says:

    Photi,

    I found this pathetic.

    “That said, sovereign nations make decisions based on their own interests. We can’t tell them what to do.”

    Isnt that US usally calls terrorism?

  98. Photi says:

    I will make a guess and say this move will exasperate and prolong the conflict in Syria:

    Middle East Nations Mulling Arms For Syrian Rebels

    “As the death toll mounts, “several countries in the region now believe arming the rebels is the only way to stop Assad,” the council source says. The Middle Eastern nations have discussed providing rebel elements rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47 automatic rifles, and weapons that would be “able to neutralize tanks.”

    U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar have followed Washington’s lead in balking at providing weapons to Syrian rebel forces.

    The White House on Tuesday denied that is pressing those and other Middle East nations to withhold arming the Syrian rebels.

    “We’ve publicly and privately expressed our concerns about further militarizing the situation [in Syria],” a White House official said Tuesday. “That said, sovereign nations make decisions based on their own interests. We can’t tell them what to do.”"

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/dotmil/2012/04/26/middle-east-nations-mulling-arms-for-syrian-rebels

  99. Karl says:

    James,

    “Explain what Iran should wish to enrich to 20 percent, if TRR fuel is sold to Iran by the West. Or, Iran converts its existing 20% U into rods/plates for TRR.”

    Simply because it is there right and this goes beyond the NPT, its there right as a sovereign state.
    Why would Iran accept to be dependent on the same states that want them harm? Iran doesnt take orders from Israel, UK or Israel. As soon as these same states recognize Iran as an equal partner, as soon we will see a solution.

  100. Photi says:

    Arash.e.Kamangeer,

    You are right to highlight Iran’s longstanding willingness to acquire 20% fuel from outside sources. The lack of good faith negotiations on the American side has turned the nuclear file with regards to the Islamic Republic of Iran into more of an issue than it ever was. As has been repeatedly demonstrated by the Leveretts and other participants at this blog, the real issue is not the nuclear issue per se, but is more directly about Iran’s strategic independence and Israel’s discomfort with that independence.

    Lest uninformed Americans begin to think “the sanctions are working” against Iran, it is America’s position that is changing (recognition of the Iranian civilian enrichment program), not Iran’s position. Iran is seeking a recognition of its civilian nuclear energy program and is willing to negotiate on 20%. The Americans seem to be signaling they can accommodate these specific Iranian interests. The Iranians would have agreed to this a decade ago, so what part have the sanctions played in making Iran more “malleable”?

  101. James Canning says:

    Photi,

    Gareth Porter is aware that Obama cannot agree to a “game plan” with Iran, in advance of elections later this year.

    Porter also surely is aware that David Cameron and William Hauge wanted to imporve Britain’s relations with Iran, and very likely (if not certainly) would prefer to improve them now, if conditions allow.

  102. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    And, the American Conservative attacks the idiots, charlatans, and worse, who try to dupe the grossly ignorant American public with “Islamophobic” nonsense.

  103. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    What statement did I make, “without any qualifiers”? Please be specific. I do not think it necessary to post an essay each time I make a comment.

  104. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    The American Conservative magazine was founded by several gentlemen opposed to the impending idiotic invasion of Iraq, and the magazine opposes Israeli expansionism, endless war in the Middle East to “protect” Israel, etc. The magazine opposes any attack on Iran, if Iran is not building nukes. The magazine is staunchly “anti-Zionist-expasionist’>

  105. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Explain what Iran should wish to enrich to 20 percent, if TRR fuel is sold to Iran by the West. Or, Iran converts its existing 20% U into rods/plates for TRR.

  106. James Canning says:

    Arash,

    Khamenei and Ahmadinejad saw that Iran had made a mistake when it announced its intention of trebling production of 20 percent uranium, and in an effort to head off more sanctions, Iran offered to stop enriching to 20 percent. Clearly the trebling of production of 20 percent uranium was a blunder.

  107. Arash.e.Kamangeer says:

    Photi says: April 28, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Photi, A more telling quotes in the article you linked by Gareth Porter are these:

    “3. Iran’s primary negotiating chip in any talks is a stockpile of enriched uranium.”

    “After no agreement was reached on a fuel swap plan, Iran began enriching uranium to 20 per cent, to serve as fuel for its research reactor. That was regarded by the West as a big step closer to weapons grade enrichment, partly on the ground that Iran could not fabricate the fuel rods needed for the reactor. But Iran was really accumulating more bargaining chips for the negotiations it still hoped to have eventually with Washington.”

    This is why James is harping on stockpiling of 20%. The West and Hague want to strip Iran of its bargaining power. That’s all. Porter strips away any pretense surrounding the issue.

  108. Rehmat says:

    US Colonel (Rt.) Douglas McGregor PhD, says that Barack Obama’s anti-Iran rhetoric are to maintain Jewish support for his re-election. Personally, Obama is least interested in starting a war with Iran on behalf of Israel……..

    Last month, Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, all said that they have no proof that Tehran is pursuing a nuclear bomb. Gen. Dempsey even called the Iranian leaders “rational people”.

    Last week, another anti-Semite reared his head. Gen. Benny Grantz, chief of the Israel Occupation Force (IOF), who told Israeli daily Ha’aretz that he believes Iran is a “rational actor” and will not choose to develop nuclear weapons.

    “Once again, we see that the capital of neoconservative hawkishness is not Jerusalem or Tel Aviv but Washington and New York. AIPAC, Commentary, the American Jewish Committee, Newt Gingrich, and the AIPAC-rented Members of Congress all want war with Iran. But none of them will have to fight it (they will, however, enjoy watching it on CNN or Fox News). But Israelis who themselves must fight, or, if not them, their kids, are not so gung-ho. Hey, maybe General Grantz, needs lessons in toughness from Jeff Goldberg or Jennifer Rubin. The real question is: can the lobby get Grantz fired? I mean, can he really say things like this and get away with it?,” posted MJ Rosenberg on April 25, 2012.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/obama-how-to-please-aipac-without-attacking-iran/

  109. Karl says:

    U.S. signals major shift on Iran nuclear program
    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iran-nuclear-20120428,0,353079.story

    Rumours but it makes no sense, apparently obama will refuse Iran to enrich over 5% thus destroying the NPT, in “return” for additional protocol. It makes no sense because if Iran agree to addtional protocols why couldnt they enrich at 20%?

  110. Fiorangela says:

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey-rejects-israeli-participation-in-nato-summit-1.426100

    Turkey has effectively vetoed the right of Israel to be present at a NATO meeting in Chicago, unless Israel formally apologizes and pays restitution for its murder of Turkish citizens on the Mavi Marmara.

    Several other NATO members have criticized Turkey’s stance and demanded that Turkey reverse its decision.

    However, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, author of Turkey’s “Zero Problems” policy,

    “abrogated any possibility of a reversing its stance on the issue. “The army of a country which you call a partner killed our citizens with a political order given by its administration. We do not call this kind of country a partner,” said Davutoglu.

    “I promise that Turkey will be the first to defend citizens of NATO countries in any similar situation. I believe in the principle of solidarity among NATO member nations much more than the principle of discrimination, practiced by some of you,” Davutoglu fired back at his critics. “

  111. Karl says:

    More and more officials/former officials speaking out against threats by netanyahu on Iran.

    Israel’s former Shin Bet chief: I have no confidence in Netanyahu, Barak
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-s-former-shin-bet-chief-i-have-no-confidence-in-netanyahu-barak-1.426908

  112. k_w says:

    @James: Someone you will never accept: Jonathan Cook. You make your statement (without any quantifiers), but reality is different.

  113. Photi says:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/04/2012422833676280.html

    Understanding Iran’s diplomatic strategy

    by Gareth Porter

    “In the present negotiations with the P5+1, Iran is still pursuing the same objectives with the same hope of cashing in its accumulated negotiating chips. That is why Syed Hossein Mousavian, who was spokesman for Iran’s nuclear negotiating team between 2003 and 2005 and foreign policy adviser to the secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, has warned that the “piecemeal approach” so dear to the hearts of US officials is a formula for diplomatic failure.

    Iran “needs to know the entire game plan, including the end goal, before committing itself to anything”, Mousavian wrote. The history of Iranian efforts to achieve a negotiated settlement supports Mousavian’s warning. It is time for the United States to shed its shallow propagandistic view of Iranian strategy, and accept the necessity for real bargaining with Iran on fundamental issues.”

  114. Rehmat says:

    As the first anniversary of the Hollywood-style killing of Osama Bin Laden on May 1 (May 2 in Pakistan) approaches – the White House is planning to use the occasion as a reminder to the American public of Obama’s top accomplishment during an otherwise keep ‘throwing Israel under the bus‘ three years in the White House…..

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/bin-laden-to-help-obamas-re-election/

  115. Castellio says:

    FYI, I want to believe you, but am struggling.

    When else in American history have we seen a period of retrenchment and assessment?

    Maybe 1945 (Poland) up to the firing of General MacArthur (Korea), and arguably, I suppose, immediately post Vietnam and the opening to China.

    However, Guam is being built up; Okinawa remains a US preserve; Taiwan is being supported with military upgrades; black ops are openly funded in Syria and Iran; the ‘de jure’ occupation of Afghanistan is committed until 2014; you can count on CIA movements in Turkey, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, as well as in Venezuela, Argentina (especially now); troops are being stationed in Australia (of all places!); so I’m not so sure.

    I hope that Americans are asking the question “What price Israel?”, and wondering how that price got so high (refusal in Israel to recognize the people of other religions as having equal rights, or to accept the many peace agreements that were possible)… but is that really taking place? I don’t think so. If anything, we may be seeing the opening salvos of a struggle that will lead to the extension of Zionist influence directly into the American military.

    The interview was on RT. Let’s keep that in perspective. RT. When a similar interview is on CNN, followed by others equally forthright on NBC, ABC, CBS, then I’ll begin to think that your comments aren’t an expression of unguarded optimism.

  116. ToivoS says:

    Karl says:
    April 27, 2012 at 6:08 pm
    Sometimes I belive Panetta is rational, sane (compared to the israeli warhawks and proisraeli politicians in america) but here is another dumb scaremongering ridiculous argument.

    This is why it is so difficult to observe shifts in policy from the statements by the political leaders — sometimes they are just regurgitating broiler plate to placate a political constituency and sometimes they are sending a message. When Obama said in the presence of Bibi that the US would not tolerate a ‘nuclear weapons’ Iran instead of ‘nuclear capable’ Iran he signaled a major change in his policy. Subsequent actions support that the change is real.

    But then how do we interpret Panetta’s foolish talk? I don’t know what caused that but it is too indirect to signal a policy change. Maybe the target audience are the South American governments that are engaged with Iran — reminding them who is the boss down there.

  117. Karl says:

    Sometimes I belive Panetta is rational, sane (compared to the israeli warhawks and proisraeli politicians in america) but here is another dumb scaremongering ridiculous argument.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/04/24/iran_terror_to_the_south/singleton/

    “Tehran’s efforts to expand its circle of influence in South America is tantamount to exporting state-sponsored terrorism into the region, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said.”

    So when Iran reach out its “terror” but when America encircle Iran on every border its legitimate? This stems from the ingrained supremacist attitude and views on the people in the middle east, its degrading.

  118. Rehmat says:

    Even though international Jewish banking institutions control most of Swiss banks – Israelis have alway blamed some Swiss politicians and country’s banks for being anti-Semitic to squeeze more money out of Swiss taxpayers.

    A few years ago, Carlo Jagmetti, Switzerland’s ambassador to the United States was forced to resign under pressure from international Jewish lobby groups for suggesting to run a campaign to debunk anti-Swiss lies by the World Jewish Congress and Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) Jewish and US government officials.

    Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League visited Switzerland and convinced Swiss government officials to set up a fund to begin compensating Holocaust victims and their heirs whose assets vanished into the Swiss banking system half a century ago.

    In January 2012, it was Freedom Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache and his associate Klaus Nittmann’s the new Jews rant which angered Jewish groups. Last month Switzerland-based weekly magazine L’Hebdo, published an article accusing Jewish tourists cutting holes in hotels’ bedsheets as their Jewish customs.

    Israeli daily Ha’aretz has quoted two Israeli Jews saying, ‘enough is enough’. They’re planning to sue Swiss banks, the Union Bank and Credit Suisse – and the Swiss government for $260 million – for allegedly refusing to return money and valueables deposited by their rich parents before WW II.

    The plaintiffs say they intend to file the lawsuit next week in US court, under a US law enabling them to sue foreign states in matters pertaining to the Holocaust.

    Jewish organizations claim Swiss banks hold up to $7 billion in assets belonging to Jews killed in the Holocaust. But the Swiss banks say initial searches of their archives have found only $32 million in unclaimed assets.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/israelis-sue-swiss-banks-again/

  119. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – I bet you’re paid by the “Conservative Friends of Israel” to make such darn lie about David Cameron and William Hague. Both of these Zionist poodles have been telling Jewish groups that they will cover Zionist entity from Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas and Syria.

    Who would know these two Muslim-haters than George Galloway and Ken Livingstone? My sincere advice to bigots like you is to stop believing the anti-Muslim propaganda on ‘The American Conservative’, the Zionazi White Supramacist website.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/05/13/hague-i-will-fight-iran-for-israel/

  120. ToivoS says:

    Castellio asks: Is there a genuine pushback starting from within the US military and based on military intelligence which includes a broader view of September, 2001?

    Yes and it began, at least from public sources, with Admiral Fallon when he headed the ME Command in 2005. He worked hard against any military attack against Iran. Recall he told the Saudis that the US was not going to war with Iran. The neocons at the time were pissed and this ended his military career. Petraeus used this dispute to promote himself but since then he too has been advising not to expand the war to Iran. In 2007 the military convinced Bush of this (much to Chaney’s chagrin according to his memoir). Obama seems to be taking their advice now.

  121. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 27, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Yes, very true.

    They should have learnt from the Iranians or the Russians.

    I expected more from their FM.

  122. fyi says:

    Castellio says: April 27, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Americans finally have answered the question: “What price Israel?”

    From now on it will be about re-tenchment and re-assessment.

  123. Rd. says:

    Turkey risks losing its good times
    By M K Bhadrakumar

    “Yesterday, there was a passionate debate in the Turkish parliament over Erdogan’s Syria policy. I am told that not only the Kemalists but also the ultra-nationalists and even the Kurdish party from the eastern region of Turkey were critical that Turkey is interfering in Syria and it is going to provoke a vicious backlash. …….

    I feel sorry for this country and its gifted people. When things have been going so brilliantly well, Erdogan has lost his way.”

    [web]http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/

  124. Castellio says:

    If UU is up and about, I’m curious as to your reaction to the interview on RT posted by Dave…

    http://rt.com/news/israel-iranus-war-068/

    Is there a genuine pushback starting from within the US military and based on military intelligence which includes a broader view of September, 2001? Military intelligence is the only intelligence that might have escaped the Chertoff overview. And the clarity of MacGregor’s comments regarding Israel’s ‘bullying’ are extremely unusual.

    Or not.

  125. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    My understanding is that William Hague and David Cameron still would like to see improved relations with Iran.

  126. James Canning says:

    Rubio, the ignorant freshman senator from Florida.

  127. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Imagine the danger to the planet if Mitt Romney were to choose Rubia as VP and Romney then got into the White House.

    John Lehman, an adviser to Romney, talks about the “Soviet” threat! Encroyable.

  128. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Well, then they should have the decency of leaving office having failed across multiple countries.

    One could only hope.

  129. James Canning says:

    rehmat,

    David Cameron and William Hague came into office with the intention and desire of improving British relations with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas. Full stop.

  130. James Canning says:

    Imho,

    Some of the neocons who conspired to set up the illegal invasion of iraq thought their connections to Challabi would enable them to gain great riches in the wake of the overthrow of the Sunni power structure. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had agreed, prior to the invasion, that the Sunni pwoer structure would be kept intact (as agreed with Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia).

  131. James Canning says:

    imho.

    Iran warned the Bush administration, in 2002, that an invasion of Iraq could easily bring on a catastrophic civil war. A war Iran wished not to take place.

  132. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    One reason it was essential for Britain to consolidate control of India was to ensure France did not do so.

  133. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Over thousands of years, when one country conquered a neighboring country, it was as much to do with preventing that neighbor from taking over or otherwise meddling in the affairs of the conquering country. So, best “defence” was good “offense”. The early Persian empire was based largely on allowing local populations to arrange their own affairs to a considerable extent.

  134. Humanist says:

    fyi

    Thanks for your comment.

    - What do you mean by “I think comparing Norway and US is not an accurate or fair comparison”?

    - I never implied US is the worst place in the world. I am aware crime rates are higher in some other places.

    I notice most of the time our world-view are very different yet I fully respect your views.

  135. Humanist says:

    Correction:

    - In my previous post instead of 21700 please read 2170.

    - Ignore my English errors (it is not my mother tongue and I have learned it just by self-study). I always find errors when the next day I re-read my posts and usually mix up singulars with plurals. I noticed there instead of proof I had used prove.

    - Also at the end of the post, I should have added that it is probably a misunderstand to assume that, all the time, one or a few astute leaders can change the course of history of their nation forever (without full participation of majority of citizens and without accordance of other forces that are part of the whole dynamic). I am not sure that in early 1900s the Swedish fundamental “change of course” was solely due to the efforts of a few visionary intelligent leaders. If majority of founding fathers of America were like Thoms Paine, was America now a just and ultra-civil society? Anyone here can shed some light on this? Castellio?

  136. fyi says:

    Humanist says: April 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    Norway, and indeed the whole Scandinavian races and cultures are very unique; they are very much more honest, hard-working, charitable, tolerant, and egalitarian of any other area of this planet.

    I think comparing Norway and US is not an accurate of fair comaprison.

    You can look at Mexico, which is not a world power, and crime there is much worse than US.

    Likewise in South Africa after the end of the Apartheid Regime; with the formerly oppressed Black South Africans exhibiting the largest amount of criminal behavior.

    The Universal Empire was first established – to my knowledge – by the Ancient Iranians at the point of a sword (Cyrus the Great and others….).

    Arrogance was and has been the ncessary ingredient of the Imperial project. That is because one always has to assume one knows better than others how to arrange for their affairs.

    Western people did not invent this.

  137. Rehmat says:

    Interesting story of Dr. Jeffrey Lang – born into a Catholic family, turned into an atheist – and how his fascination with Mathematics brought him closer to Holy Qur’an and finally converting to Islam.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/dr-jeffrey-lang-and-holy-quran/

  138. Arnold Evans says:

    Interesting article imho.

    I would have dismissed it in 2004 for the same reasons I talked about below, that it is a theory too wild to consider reasonably. But it does have a more detailed story.

    It strongly suggests, the first time I’ve ever seen, that UN inspector Scott Ritter was a CIA agent.

    Chalabi was not shy about his Iranian intelligence connections. “When I met him in December 1997 he said he had tremendous connections with Iranian intelligence,” recalls Scott Ritter, the former UN weapons inspector. “He said that some of his best intelligence came from the Iranians and offered to set up a meeting for me with the head of Iranian intelligence.” Had Ritter made the trip (the CIA refused him permission), he would have been dealing with Chalabi’s chums in Iranian Revolutionary Guard intelligence, a faction which regarded Saddam with a venomous hatred spawned both by the bloody war of the 1980s and the Iraqi dictator’s continuing support of the terrorist Mojaheddin Khalq group.

    The CIA can’t refuse travel permission to just anybody.

    But Iraq was a shameful situation for the United States in many ways. I don’t think anyone in 2003 believed that invading Iraq was the best or a good way to stop an Iraqi nuclear weapons program. The problem was that the US did not like Saddam to be in power as an independent Iraq is a potential threat to Israel and the string of colonial puppet dictatorships that the US at the time and now maintains in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE and others.

    No Iranian project had any impact on the real reasons for the US invasion of Iraq. This article while more vividly detailed than Stratfor’s assertion, is ultimately just as silly.

  139. Karl says:

    Another clear indication that Israel and US are not in “lockstep” on Iran.

    Panetta talk, through the media, to Israel about allegations he are unaware of.
    He repeat that he dont have any evidence that Iran is building nukes.

    When a secretary of defence coming out honest like that, you know on the hand that the evidence is nil, second, you know (atleast from what I read it) that this is also a way to say that there is no reason to attack Iran, like Israel wants.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/panetta-i-hope-that-idf-chief-is-right-on-iran-nuclear-program-1.426872

  140. imho says:

    Karl says:
    April 20, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Arnold Evans,

    “The Islamic republic proved more successful than the shah. It conducted a sophisticated disinformation campaign prior to the 2003 Iraq war to convince the United States that invading Iraq would be militarily easy and that Iraqis would welcome the Americans with open arms. This fed the existing U.S. desire to invade Iraq, becoming one factor among many that made the invasion seem doable. In a second phase, the Iranians helped many factions in Iraq resist the Americans, turning the occupation — and plans for reconstructing Iraq according to American blueprints — into a nightmare. In a third and final phase, Iran used its influence in Iraq to divide and paralyze the country after the Americans withdrew.”

    This is not news. You may have missed a couple of articles in 2004 about this subject like the following:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/may/26/usa.iraq1

    You may well google Chalabi double agent and find much more from Salon, ABC, etc.

    I have no way to know if Ahmed Chalabi was really a double agent working for Iranian intelligence. However I don’t find it hard to suppose he was one and the CIA knew it. Nevertheless, Chalabi being a friend of neocons, even if these people knew about the fabricated intelligence from Chalabi, they have found it very convenient as a pretext to push for Iraq’s invasion, independent of the real reasons.

  141. Jay says:

    ONLYFREEDOM says:
    April 26, 2012 at 8:55 pm
    Report: 38 percent voter turnout in Majles elections

    Does it seem unusual to you that these members of the “high council” told whomever wrote this piece (maybe indirectly) a piece of information that directly undermines their own legitimacy? Is this a way of insinuating that there are fissures in the leadership and these people are trying to undermine each other? Is this another Jeffery Goldberg fantasy?

    By the way, Mr. Goldberg has another one of his gems today at the Atlantic where he tries to tell us how we should “understand and interpret” the Israeli chief of army’s statements. A mere two months ago, this same fortune-teller was telling us that Israeli warplanes were going to Iran – the same as his 2010 piece, etc. I get it now – if at first you don’t succeed, try to sell failure as success!

  142. Castellio says:

    Dave, surprisingly direct interview. Aside from his comments on the terrorism in the US, it’s hard to argue with him.

    This is a bit strange, all in all. Not unwelcome, but strange. He’s got to have permission to say these things.

  143. Rehmat says:

    Labour Jews endorse anti-Zionist Ken Livingstone

    After anti-Israel George Galloway’s surprise return to British parliament – a group of prominent Jewish members of the “Labour Friends of Israel” who ran a smearing campaign against London Mayoral candidate Adam Yosef Ken Livingstone – have now announced to back him over Conservative rival Boris Johnson who is leading by eight percentage points according to latest poll by ComRes. Boris Johnson’s victory is considered ‘a vote of confidence’ for David Cameron’s pro-Israel and anti-Iran policy……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/labour-jews-endorse-anti-zionist-ken-livingstone/

  144. Dave says:

    Dear All,
    You may find this RT interview with Colonel Douglas McGregor interesting.
    http://rt.com/news/israel-iranus-war-068/

  145. ONLYFREEDOM says:

    Report: 38 percent voter turnout in Majles elections

    Reports from Tehran indicate that in a meeting with “the highest officials” — usually code words for Khamenei — two members of the Guardian Council, which certifies election results said that only 38 percent of the eligible voters voted, of which 8 percent were cancelled votes or were blank. In Tehran only 18 percent of the eligible voters voted. The Interior Ministry had previously claimed that 64.4 percent of eligible voters had voted in the election. In a television interview the day after the election, Election Headquarters Director Seyyed Sowlat Mortazavi apparently “slipped” and said that turnout was “34 and a few tenths of a percent,” before “correcting” himself and giving the official 64.4 percent figure.

    Read more: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2012/04/news-israel-military-chief-iran-will-not-pursue-the-bomb.html#ixzz1tCJquInh

  146. Karl says:

    US to “occupy” Afghanistan until 2024.

    US to defend Afghanistan for decade after drawdown
    http://news.yahoo.com/us-defend-afghanistan-decade-drawdown-112505244.html

  147. Castellio says:

    Karl, just quoting from the article to which you just pointed:

    “WASHINGTON — Potential Republican vice presidential candidate Marco Rubio said Wednesday that a unilateral “military solution” from the United States may be needed to stop Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.

    Rubio, a freshman senator from Florida, said in a sweeping foreign policy speech that it was imperative that the United States not “stand on the sidelines” of a simmering Middle East, but instead provide leadership to resolve global crises.

    “Our preferred option since the US became a global leader has been to work with others to achieve our goals,” Rubio said in an address at The Brookings Institution think-tank in Washington. But “America has acted unilaterally in the past — and I believe it should continue to do so in the future — when necessity requires,” he added, alluding to Iran.”

    I love that “our proferred option since the US became a global leader has been to work with others… but, when necessity requires…”

    Never underestimate the powerful forces and ingrained prejudice against peace within American culture.

  148. Humanist says:

    On Flynt’s Lecture:

    I listened to lecture with utmost attention.

    Generally the more I listen to Flynt and Hillary or read their essays the more I become convinced they are courageous, honest patriotic Americans who are convinced there are lots of wrongs in America thus they try to find solutions for the problems at hand, which are most times by no means uncomplicated.

    I also believe Leveretts possess remarkable analytical skills to dissect the political issues. Prove of such assertion is easy. With a few exceptions, their predictions in the last three years have materialized as they had visioned and that is in no small feat.

    Yet occasionally their curves of thoughts and that of many progressives (and amateur observers like me) who were brought up outside the Western world ride in opposite directions.

    In the lecture, narrowing down the American grand strategy options to Transformation model and Leadership model is where such fundamental disagreement are bound to arise.

    I skip explaining WHY such disagreements are intrinsic and expected. Instead I try to explain the core of my thoughts through a few real examples:

    I believe, to evaluate the civility of any society, figures and data of a few topics such as how the nation treats its disadvantaged members, the gap between rich and poor, prisons and rate of inmate returns after their release, etc could provide a solid foundation for an impartial judgment.

    Let us take the latter case: I refer to my notes derived months ago from the sites such as:

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/cri_pri-crime-prisoners

    Please have a quick look at the Bar-chart in the above site before continuing reading.

    If you analyze the numbers you’ll find out the weighted average of incarceration in Scandinavian countries is 1070% less than US (same figure for China is 560%, Iran 310% and Iceland 21700%). I couldn’t find the rate of return of the prisoners after they were released for all countries yet I found out the number for the US is over 50% while in Norway is about 20%.

    There are also differences in the way the prisoners are treated. Please have a quick glance at the pictures shown in the following site:

    ,http://prasetio30.hubpages.com/hub/The-Most-Luxurious-Prison-In-The-World-Complete-With-Pictures

    (Or this link where you’ll see a convicted murderer in Norway is taking a suntan:

    ,http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1384308/Norways-controversial-cushy-prison-experiment–catch-UK.html)

    One can conclude the differences seen above are related to or are indicative of VAST number of other social, cultural differences which are relevant when the subject of “leadership” is in question.

    For the sake of brevity I skip other similarly striking examples. I also skip many pertinent notions such as Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism, Grand Strategies etc etc. Instead I clarify the main items that crossed my mind while watching Flynt’s lecture:

    — I don’t think Empires disintegrate mainly because they overstretch and as a consequence resistance bodies emerge or counter-balancing dynamics take shape. In my mind the (uniquely human?) issue of empire is a complex subject encompassing life after early humans learned primitive methods of organized theft and much more.

    My understanding is that, at this point in history, the energy required for creation or maintenance of any type of Western style empire is like the efforts needed for swimming against very strong torrents that are becoming ever-increasingly more powerful. Even at the present semi-primitive stage of humanity there is no place for archaic systems of governance. For a far analogy one can presume that nowadays setting someone on fire in the town square because of his blasphemy is absolutely unconscionable while this was the norm just a few hundred years ago.

    Nowadays science indirectly proves the element of “arrogance” in the structure of Western style empires is based on absurd assumptions. (Spencer Wells in the dazzling documentary of Journey of Man shows Whites or Reds are no better or no smarter than Indians or Chinese)

    In other terms no type of empire exists that could be in harmony with the present and future existence of our humanity and this is simply because we have evolved. At the moment the first book was printed by Gutenberg the abstraction of Empire suffered its first mar. Now is the age of prevalence of Science over all antiquated ideas, is the age of publication of massive number of books and blogs, is the age of Public Education, radio, TV, satellite, age of computers, sophisticated communications and so on. In such a setting, in the eyes of many outside the Western world, the notion of Empire versus equitable, just and cooperative existence might look as an entirely unacceptable proposition.

    If scientific facts are taken into consideration thedomination of one tribe over the “others”, regardless of the nature of supremacy, be it in the form of forged hegemony or imposed leadership is unfitting and anomalous from any scientific angle you look at it. (especially if such an unwanted supremacy is enforced by threatening the use of monopolized colossally destructive weaponry).

    Also, extrapolation of historical trends shows very vividly, in case humanity survives, in far (or near?) future, there will be no place for any type of empire. As long as cognitive qualities are concerned both history and Genetics show different races or different nations possess very similar weaknesses and strengths.

    In technical terms, from the angle of Genetics the related statistical distribution of humanity is Uniform (rectangular). Hence picking any sample for leadership (like picking French, Eskimos or even the evolved multicultural Americans) to lead the rest of humanity could affect negatively the survivability of our species.

    Physical characteristics such as location or race have no place in qualification for leadership since in any advanced system of world governance each of broadly defined leadership roles will be assigned only to the qualified entities located in different corners of the globe.

    — After writing the above I can’t escape envisioning a powerful semi-spiritual idealistic journey where in it Thomas Paine, one of the greatest citizens of the world, is the only central figure. I am thinking what if instead of the likes of Jeffersons the majority of founding fathers of America were like Paine, what a grand difference, the world was now so unrecognizably different.

    Fast forwarding about 200 years from the times of Paine, I am thinking what if the likes of Marshal’s plan were not just for a few chosen countries in Europe or Japan or Taiwan but were for ALL the countries of the world, what a critical life and/or death situation, not only the world was a peaceful and far more prosperous place than it is now but the humanity (and much more) was not at all in the brink of annihiliation.

    I can’t help imagining, as many thinkers of our time fear, just when this runaway train of US style capitalism is reaching the cliff of boiling seas it downs on some scholars “..what a grand stupidity……what a freak accident of nature….200 years is just a whiff in history……..”

  149. James Canning says:

    Alon Liel, formerly of the Israeli foreign ministry, said recently: “I personally am much more frightened by the silence of the Palestinians than by the verbal back and forth between Obama and Netanyahu.”

  150. Rehmat says:

    Luba Kramrish, a Jewish woman living in Toronto has been formally charged in the US with taking part in a scheme to steal from a Holocaust survivors’ fund.

    The US attorney’s office claims that Kramrish falsified details for her mother’s application to the fund and that once she realized how to cheat the system, she started recruiting applicants, about two dozen of them. In one case, the FBI says, she falsified details to get money for a man who never lived in an area occupied by Nazis. The US indictment says that when he got the money, she took a cut.

    The FBI determined a massive fraud was at play and that it had been going on since the 1990s. The investigation is still underway, but it is estimated that at least $60 million has been siphoned from the fund.

    About $6 billion has been paid out to about 450,000 people since the funds were made available.

    Jew scholar, Dr. Norman Finkelstein in his book The Holocaust Industry has exposed how Israel and Jewish lobby groups have exploited Jewish sufferings to suck billions of dollars and stop criticism of the Zionist entity.

    “The issue over which more innocent, truth-telling people have been imprisoned than any other – is the Holocaust, that Jewish public relations gambit to get people to feel sorry for the Jews by exploiting the suffering of their own people, gaining control of political and legal systems, and passing laws that command everyone to feel sorry for the Jews. (Not to mention reaping billions in reparations!) This effectively conceals or at least deflects discussion about any information about crimes committed by Jews,” wrote American Christian blogger John Kaminski.

    As the saying goes: “Easy come easy go!”. The German taxpayers have been force to pay more than $93 billion as compensation for the crimes of their forefathers against the so-called “Chosen People”. However, Germans are lucky – No one has forced them to pay compensations to Nazis’ major victims, the Gypsies and Christians.

    Last month, heads of Haredi Charity were busted for stealing millions of dollars from the German Holocaust Survivors Fund for buying food for soup kitchens and then selling the food to Haredi schools and other Heradi institutions in a type of money laundering.

    On November 13, 2010 – the TIME reported that FBI had charged 17 Jews for making fraudulent claims for money from a fund established to compensate victims of the Holocaust.

    On August 25, 2011, Jewish TABLET magazine reported the arrest of Rabbi Menachem Youlus for selling copies of Torah purportedly recovered from former Nazi labor (aka concentration) camps.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/no-more-holocaust-frauds-please/

  151. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: April 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

    It is not primarily a religious issue – it is the fact that there exists a strategically independent religious state (the bete noire of Western Political Theorists) against which they do not have any leverage and which sits astride of so much oil and gas.

    That they were willing to take the world into another recession over Iranian strategic autonomy attests to the extreme reluctance of these states to acknowledge the obvious.

    Israel is a religious state as well – conveniently ignored by the Western people – but she has no strategic autonomy.

  152. kooshy says:

    IDF chief: Other nations could strike Iran

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4221211,00.html

    Never less if other nations couldn’t or didn’t want to strike Iran, one should never lose hope on the Martians to do the job.

  153. Karl says:

    I found this interesting.

    Syrian activists turn to Kosovo for advice
    http://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/1239684-syrian-activists-turn-to-kosovo-advice.html

    Who is Ammar Adbulhamid?
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammar_Abdulhamid

    In a interview he said this.

    “Why should the world support the Syrian opposition’s struggle?

    Besides the geopolitical gain of weakening Iran’s grip over the Middle East and containing its rise as a major source of instability there, there is the added humanitarian advantage of preventing a rapid balkanization of our troubled region. The Assads are driving the country and the region to the brink of implosion into warring ethnic enclaves. The world needs to stop them and to help the Syrians in their search for alternatives.”

    joshualandis.com

  154. Karl says:

    The tail is apparently tucked in Israel. After all decades of threats they are now more than ever trying to outsource their war with Iran to be made by someone else.

    IDF chief: Other countries are prepared for possible Iran strike
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/idf-chief-other-countries-are-prepared-for-possible-iran-strike-1.426707

  155. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, I agree there is no “political cover” for attacking Iran merely because Iran continues to stockpile 20% U. More sanctions would be imposed, and if those failed, probably further measures would obtain. Point is: enriching to 20 percent is of ZERO VALUE ro Iran, apart from nourishing the emotions.

  156. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    I agree diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran should be restored to normal. Reopen the embassies.

  157. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The P5+1 appear rather adamant that Iran will stop enriching to 20 percent as part of an interim deal.

  158. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    Can you name any serious commentator who thinks Iran would try to wreck Opec and lower oil prices, if only a different government were in place? The notion is frankly rather wild.

  159. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today reports that Bibi Netanyahu once again claimed Iran wants to kill “millions of Jews”. The FT to attributed this obviously absurd statement to Bibi’s being a politician.

  160. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Most European leaders would welcome a rich, stable Iran, taking a leadership role in the Middle East. Notions of discrimination against “Shia” are wide of the mark.

  161. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    What on earth do the sanctions against Iran have to do with “breaking up Opec”? The sanctions have raised oil prices. Not lowered them.

  162. kooshy says:

    Amanpour interviews former Iranian nuclear negotiation insider about weaponization plans

    AMANPOUR: –thank you for coming in. You heard Senator John Kerry and you’ve heard a lot of people, including Iranian officials, sound optimistic about the talks that have already got underway. Are you – do share that, having spoken to your former colleagues, who know about the negotiations?

    MOUSAVIAN: I am also optimistic. The reason is in Istanbul for the first time, they agreed to find a solution in the framework of NPT before the P5+1, they were asking measures beyond NPT. And the second principle they agreed, reciprocity in previous negotiations, the P5+1 always asking Iran to show confidence-building measures and to take steps. Now the base is reciprocity. The third is mutual confidence building. I believe the lack of trust is mutual, and also the last, which was very important, I believe, they agreed to work on step-by-step plan. These principles are very positive.

    AMANPOUR: So the NPT, the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, is something that is a concession, then to be able to have the basis of negotiations on that. What do you think is an outline of negotiations that could be successful? What is Iran willing to give?

    MOUSAVIAN: The key issue would be whether the P5+1 would be ready to go for a broader package on the nuclear issue or would seek a piecemeal approach, a one-step move. If they have agreed in Istanbul to have a step- by-step plan, they should define a broader package to define all the steps. What is important for Iran?
    First, to recognize the legitimate rights of Iran under NPT, which includes enrichment; second, to remove Iranian file from the agenda of the United Nations Security Council and IAEA, to normalize the file; and third, to remove sanctions. What are the major requirements for issues the P5+1 are looking? First, for Iran not to have nuclear bomb, all assurances that Iranian nuclear program would ever remain peaceful. Iran would remain as non- nuclear (inaudible) state, to add this all IAEA’s ambiguities, technical questions, including possibility of dimensions. These are elements of the package which they should agree about.

    http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/25/amanpour-interviews-former-iranian-nuclear-negotiation-insider-about-weaponization-plans/

  163. Rehmat says:

    Holocaust Day, Iran and Muslim Holocaust survivor

    Benji Netanyahu commented that Holocaust Day might as well be ‘Iran Day’ this year. War-criminals Shimon Peres and Ehud Barak in their speeches called ‘Iran a threat to world peace’. Barack Obama invoked Holocaust to ratchet up war threats against Iran and Syria. Canadian Stephen Harper highlighted Iranian regime’s anti-Semitic rhetoric and recent murder of Jewish children in France as threats the “civilized world” must face. As usual, the murder of tens of thousands of Muslim and Christian children by Jews in occupied Palestine – doesn’t bother Harper’s Christian conscience……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/holocaust-day-iran-and-muslim-holocaust-survivor/

  164. Rehmat says:

    fyI – In other words – you’re admitting that like you, the US/EU leaders are such bigots that they have accepted Jewish/Israel – but not willing to accept Shia/Iran.

    No wonder the EU bigot leaders expelled their Jewish minorities from every European country in the past.

    http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/expelled.htm

  165. k_w says:

    @James:

    “IF IRAN CONTINUES TO STOCKPILE 20 PERCENT URANIUM, it will be attacked.”

    The ridiculous assumption behind this is that the nuclear programme is at the heart of the matter. It is not. It is regime overthrow, it is sowing chaos, it is breaking up OPEC, it is keeping Israel cosy and warm.

  166. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 26, 2012 at 9:33 am

    This is a cease-fire and not Peace.

    Anyway, during Iran-Iraq War there were embassies open in Baghdad and in Tehran.

    You have to understand that US-EU leaders are unprepared for the rise of Shia/Iran; they have not yet formally accepeted that.

    They are still lumping Iran together with Pakistan, Kazalkstan etc.

    That is analogous to thinking of UK as one would of Poland or Romania.

  167. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    You appear to overlook the fact many businesses in Europe do not like the sanctions against Iran.

    May be they should stop thinking in %20 terms!!!!

    “British official has called for resumption of London-Tehran ties “

    http://www.mehrnews.com/en/newsdetail.aspx?NewsID=1586031

  168. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Your understanding is wrong.

    There is no polotical cover for attack on Iran based on the amount of 20% enriched uranium in that country.

    Not by US, not by UK, and not by Israel.

    War possibility collapsed late February when Iranians said that they will close the Straits of Hormuz if they cannot sell their oil.

  169. Fiorangela says:

    Wendy Sherman to negotiate with Iran.
    not a hopeful sign

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendy_Sherman

    “From April 1996 until July 1997, Sherman was President and CEO of the newly recreated Fannie Mae [create new marks for the moneylenders] Foundation, which developed to promote home ownership. She was also a member of the operating committee of Fannie Mae. At the Foundation, she set in place the groundwork for the newly-recreated foundation. She then returned to the State Department as Madeline ["the price was worth it"] Albright’s counselor, with the rank of Ambassador, appointed by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the United States Senate. She advised United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on major issues of foreign policy, provided guidance to the Department and undertook special assignments.

    She has been a Vice Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group, Albright’s international strategic consulting firm, since the group’s formation in 2009. She advised Hillary ["Obliterate Iran"] Clinton during the 2008 presidential campaign,”

  170. Karl says:

    James,

    “I think you are simply dead wrong. Iran will be obliged to end enrichment to 20 percent. I think Iran can insist on obtaining the TRR fuel, as part of an agreement.”

    How many times havent we heard you repeat this stuff? “Iran must do this Iran must do that”, do you really think we live back in slavery-times when the “mighty” western colonial states could play around with the people in the middle east and africa? Really? Have you so little respect for the people in the region (like bush, blair, clinton) that you think in 2012 that you could put demands on others and call it a dialogue?!

    “You appear to overlook the fact many businesses in Europe do not like the sanctions against Iran.

    Thats why they put sanctions on Iran?
    Like I said earlier you are either terribly naive or shortseighted even Leveretts have made it clear many times. The problem US have with Iran is its independent foreign policy and thats what they are trying flip upside down and remove.

  171. ToivoS says:

    Kooshy I see the confusion. William Burns is US Deputy Secretary of State, maybe the second highest position in the State Department. He is Wendy Sherman’s boss. As of last week he was in Turkey discussing Syria and Iran with their FM.

  172. kooshy says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns was replaced by Wendy Sherman last September

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

    “In Istanbul, Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili will be dealing with a new American across the table: Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman, who replaced Burns when he was promoted last year.”

    :http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/enrichment-freeze-fordow-key-progress-iran-nuclear-talks

  173. Rehmat says:

    Iraqi PM concludes his landmark visit to Iran

    In an editorial in Iranian daily Khorasan titled, “Iran, new Iraq and new Middle East order,” refers to Nuri al-Maliki’s visit to Iran as confirmation for establishment of a coalition between Iran, Russia, Iraq and China, and their efforts to implement a new order in the Muslim East.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/iraqi-pm-concludes-his-landmark-visit-to-iran/

  174. ToivoS says:

    kooshy says:

    I would add that William Burns has been put away on the American side.

    What is this? Link? I thought Burns was still quite active in ME policy.

    I agree with you about Hillary. Nothing specific but she has been relatively subdued lately — no more blood curdling threats or warnings of obliterating Iran. The fact that she all ready announced that she will resign at the end of this year is a positive sign. Should Obama win he might be able to put in a somewhat more rational person there at state.

  175. Fiorangela says:

    Dave @ 4:17 pm:

    “One should analyze what conditions (individual, domestic, and global) enabled Nixon to initiate the US-China opening, and what conditions prompted the Chinese to respond positively. Then, one should ask whether similar conditions are present to enable a US-Iran opening during the presidency of Barrack Hussain Obama! For instance, Nixon had an impeccable anti-communist credentials, was from the GOP, did know that an opening-to-China initiative would be killed by the –then powerful China (Taiwan) lobby if revealed prematurely.”

    The key difference — I don’t have a memory of the “powerful China lobby,” but I’m willing to bet Warren Buffet’s tax bill that the China lobby did not exert overwhelming influence over US media, government decision makers, congressional staffers, DoD insiders, defense contractors, Wall Street financiers as does the Israel lobby.

    What John Hagee led “Christians United for Taiwan?” Who was the Chinese Stuart Levy, the Chinese Jeff Feltman, the Chinese Dennis Ross, Haim Saban, Sheldon Adelson, Aubrey Chernick? What cadre of Chinese journalists dominated the pages of New York Times, Wash Post, Wall Street Journal, and the airwaves on NPR, CBS, FOX, etc? How many US Congressmen were taken on expense paid junkets to Beijing?

  176. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    James –

    if Iran accepts your rationale for giving up 20% enrichment – because its navy will be sunk, etc. – then Iran might as well stop enrichment all together.

    The logical extension of your implication leads to a farcical comedy – the west to Iran: give up eating saffron rice or we will sink you navy!!

    Comedy aside, I hope you can see the problem with going along with the logic of your assertion.

  177. kooshy says:

    ToivoS says:
    April 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    “Ross’s removal was Obama’s first step in undoing that error.”

    I would add that William Burns has been put away on the American side. I also suspect HRC is now marginalized on Iran’s file, in last couple of weeks we don’t hear much noise coming from her mouth. All in all it sounds that the Israeli side has been asked (by the military side) to shout the F up.

  178. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    I will try once again to answer your question. My understanding is that Iran will be attacked if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium. Stated another way: IF IRAN CONTINUES TO STOCKPILE 20 PERCENT URANIUM, it will be attacked.

  179. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    I agree with you that Obama wants to avoid war with Iran, if he can. And that politics obviously intrude into Obama’s ability to avoid war.

  180. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    The British foreign secretary is the one saying Iran must end enrichment to 20 percent. It is not an issue that would concern me especially, personally.

  181. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think you are simply dead wrong. Iran will be obliged to end enrichment to 20 percent. I think Iran can insist on obtaining the TRR fuel, as part of an agreement.

    You appear to overlook the fact many businesses in Europe do not like the sanctions against Iran.

  182. ToivoS says:

    Karl and Jay

    Haven’t you yet noticed that James (20%) Canning can only see that one tree in the forest. There is absolutely nothing else for him to consider.

  183. Karl says:

    James,

    “Ending Iran’s stockpiling of 20 percent uranium does ZERO harm to Iran. ZERO.”

    Besides that you have never answered the questions of mine on this you are either shortsighted or terribly naive.
    What you dont understand is that US are looking for regime change. Iran should not bow to american/israeli demands if they dont get anything back. Any unilateral demand on Iran just give US and Israel alot of credits because then they could say sanctions do work, and if Iran agree on unilateral demands once, well then its game over because then they would be pushed to accept another goal and another etc.

  184. ToivoS says:

    Dave says:
    April 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Once you get away from the academic cliche’s you raise some substantive questions.

    The debate inside government is not over “leadership” or “transfomational” models. It is coming from some people inside state, CIA but more importantly the military that have had a few long hard chats with Obama and, if the evidence is properly interpreted, have convinced him that if the US attacks Iran, the price will be unacceptably high. We need not even talk about the potential economic repercussions but also the possibility of an immediate military set-back. For the last three years Obama did not take a hard position and simply allowed political circumstances to dictate events. That is why he put Dennis Ross in charge of the Iran desk — not because he wanted war with Iran but because that was a demand that the big Zionist donors requested. Ross did what he does best and represented Israeli interests and sabotaged the negotiations. Bromwich’s article at HuffPo a few months back captures most accurately how Obama allowed events to simply carry him along without exerting any leadership.

    Ross’s removal was Obama’s first step in undoing that error. The sounds coming out of the April 13th meeting were very encouraging. Obama, I believe, has as a real goal the avoidance of war with Iran and realizes that more than a few nice sounding speeches are going to be required to achieve that goal. Because he must spend some political capital in doing this and must guard his flanks against the Israel firsters, we will very likely here some more confusing and ugly rhetoric in coming months. I find it very difficult to call that kind of policy ‘leadership’ or ‘tranformational’, but it would be realistic to not drive off of the cliff.

  185. Jay says:

    James Canning says:
    April 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    James,

    With the presumption that you are an intelligent reader, I ask you once again, the direct question that I posted.

    I am not interested in what Mr. Hauge said, or anybody else for that matter.

    I am interested in a rational line of thought emanating from your assertion and leading to the question I posed – as stated in my post (restated, in fact) on April 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm.

    Please answer the question I posed, in your words, using your own thoughts, and reason through it for me. Thanks.

  186. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Ending Iran’s stockpiling of 20 percent uranium does ZERO harm to Iran. ZERO.

  187. James Canning says:

    In the Financial Times January 15, 2010, Strobe Talbott claimed: “But having tried engagement and been rebuffed by Iran, Obama is now in a far stronger position to persuade Russia and China of the case for sanctions.” Was Obama “rebuffed by Iran”, as claimed by the head of the Brookings Institution in Washington?

  188. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Richard Nixon blundered by not pulling all US troops out of South Vietnam much more rapidly than he removed them. Reason? Henry Kissinger.

  189. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    William Hague made clear, time after time last year, after Iran announced it intended to treble production of 20 percent uranium, that this was the primary problem. Hague was interviewed a number of times and wrote newspaper articles. Financial Times said March 7th of this year, in front page story, that the primary problem needing to be addressed immediately was the stockpiling of 20 percent uranium

    Iran has ZERO need to stockpile 20 percent uranium. Trebling production was a significant blunder by Iran. Full stop.

  190. James Canning says:

    TheLandOfIsrael.com is promoting an attack on Iran. More to be learned about this effort, surely.

  191. fyi says:

    Dave says: April 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    1- Mr. Nixon was a first-rate strategist and very well in command of the facts. His grasp of the strategic situation was excellent.

    2- You have to understand that in politics, just like in business, sometimes you are powerless to stop the march of folly and you have to let the events proceed to their disastrous ends.

    3- You have no responsibility for thr ensuing disaster.

  192. Jay says:

    Jame Canning,

    in your three posts starting at:
    James Canning says:
    April 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    you respond in a fashion that seems to me to be “redirecting” the subject. Allow me to be more explicit. In your original post, you stated:

    Quote
    … if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, it will suffer the sinking of its navy, destruction of its air force, etc etc….

    The question I ask is: if you are stating a logical implication, with the second part of the implication stated by you as a matter of certainty, why would the west limit itself to demands on the 20% enrichment. Is it just simply out of the goodness of their heart?? A direct response to this specific question is what I am after. Why limit oneself to this one demand?

  193. Dave says:

    BibiJon,

    We seem to have similar, though not identical, understanding of the issues. And, you persist in underestimating the significance of the question posed.

    We agree that the point that FYI, Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer, Flynt Leveretts, and others make is that US adherence to the “transformational model” is not in its long-term interest and, hence, unsustainable. We disagree as to how long it will take for the unaffordability (unsustainability) of the “transformational model” to prompt “American political and policy elites” to replace that model by the “leadership” one. You “… think we are nearing the end of the era of hubris [i.e., adherence to transformational model] reigning supreme”. I do not. And, here is why:

    Let us compare current inclinations of “American political…elites” with those of the same elites in 2007-08. Four years ago, the neoconservatives had lost their prestige and leverage in the GOP and W’s administration, and Robert Gates was the defense secretary. Neo-conservatism is currently dominant in the GOP, and should the GOP win the presidency, it is unlikely that someone with Robert Gates’ way of thinking will be appointed as defense secretary. Four years ago, Obama’s election had raised expectation of “change we [could] believe in”. As foreign policy initiative ,Obama proceeded to push the “reset” button with Russia, initiated “G2” process with China, sent a NowRuz greetings to the Islamic Republic of Iran, promised an end to the Israeli settlements and push for a two-state solutions, delivered a “historic” speech at Cairo, exchanged “hugs” with Ghaddafi in a summit setting, etc., etc. Now. the US – Russia relation is in need of a bigger “re-set”, Chinese are wondering why Obama is “backing away from the grand bargain” they made with Nixon forty years ago, the Iranians are beginning to appreciate the meaning of US greetings, the “settlements” and “two-state” solution” are not even whispered in “polite” company; and Ghaddafi did misinterpret the “hug”, etc., etc. Recently, Bashir Al-Assad was told that his days are numbered. Two days ago, at the Holocaust Museum in DC, President Obama announced the formation of an “Atrocity Prevention Board” (See, Stephen Walt post on the subject in FP). Last week, New York Times reported the formation of a new intelligence agency aimed exclusively at China and Iran. Do these facts indicate that over the last four years the “American political…elites” have become more inclined towards the “global leadership model”? Does the rest-of-the world believe that the US is more inclined towards the “global leadership model” than it was four years ago?

    And, how about shifts in the inclinations of the “American…policy elites”? I am yet to hear that any advocate of the “global leadership model” being nominated – let alone approved for –positions with the foreign-policy making and/or advisory responsibilities. And, I do not believe that the foreign-policy “realists” are more secure in their academic positions than they were four years ago. And, among the “think tanks”, even the “Cato Institute” may no longer tolerate the “global leadership” advocates. [See Stephen Walt posting on Cato in FP]

    I believe that you are underestimating the significance of the question that I originally posed? The question was intended primarily as a message for the “realist” camp (i.e. for the Leveretts, Walt, Mearsheimer, et.al.). The message is that their job, patriotic duty, and intellectual contribution is not complete by them showing that adherence to the “transformation model” is not in the US long-term interests. It is not enough to be told that the failure to adhere to the “global transformation model” is because “American political and policy elites have failed to do their job as strategists”. They should not be content by being proven right over and over again. One should analyze what conditions (individual, domestic, and global) enabled Nixon to initiate the US-China opening, and what conditions prompted the Chinese to respond positively. Then, one should ask whether similar conditions are present to enable a US-Iran opening during the presidency of Barrack Hussain Obama! For instance, Nixon had an impeccable anti-communist credentials, was from the GOP, did know that an opening-to-China initiative would be killed by the –then powerful China (Taiwan) lobby if revealed prematurely. Then ask yourself, what are the chances that Obama – who must prove that he is not ‘closet’ Moslem; who must prove fidelity to the Lobby over and over again; that appointed Hillary Clinton (i.e., someone who threatened to ‘obliterate’ Iran during the 2008 campaign) as Secretary of State; that has to appoint advisors such as Denis Ross, etc., etc.,– would initiate a successful opening to the Islamic Republic of Iran?

    Regards.

  194. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    April 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    What will not escape from the outside observers, is this new edgy split that has now become evident between the military/security forces and the political decision making body of the US and Israel with Israel lagging a bit behind, evident that the US military has effectively said no we don’t want any of it to all parties concerned including Israel military.

    I suspect if Baghdad negotiations don’t go well (a sort of face saving win for Obama) we will back at bomb making rhetoric by late November.

  195. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    They decided that their stupidity had cost them enough.

  196. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    April 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    I suspect this was released for the western audience, to make possible fixing the bed, for coming love making in Baghdad. For 10 years western audience were set to believe that Tehran is making a bomb, now US and Israeli militaries are saying to their citizens that Iran has no intention to make the bomb, why now?

  197. fyi says:

    Neo says: April 25, 2012 at 7:01 am

    This is very significant.

    It has pulled the rug from under Mr. Netanyahu; he would be walking on his current war path with Iran at the risk of his own political future – or perhaps his own life.

    One would wonder what the situation would have been if US and EU had taken a different path in 2007.

    In a way, they strengthened Iran: their policy of lies and slander brought them to the edge of war with Iran and caused a global recession.

    And what do they have to show for all that damage?

    Nothing; back to NPT ….

  198. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    April 25, 2012 at 11:26 am

    “UK goes into recession, soon to be followed by others.”

    This all depends on who’s forced and willing(during an election year) to admit that there is an ongoing recession in western economies, at this time most western governments as long as they can manipulate the numbers will not admit unless they are forced to it, especially now that they have effectively sanctioned themselves to an smaller energy market. Energy prices (which they have stupidly tackled with) will have a larger consequence for large western financed based economies that have not been able to create new jobs and increase employment in almost 5 years and I don’t see how that can be reversed in at least this coming next five years. For now this is the economy of by and for the rich buyers the so called 1%.

  199. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    although neocon warmongers have tried to discredit the 2010 NIE on Iran, itremains in place and it means a US attack on Iran would be illegal. Yes, we saw the warmongers conspired to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, but they have not succeeded so far with fabricating evidence Iran is building nukes.

  200. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Western countries do not want to “destroy” Iran. Neocon warmongers, some foolish liberal interventionists, and other “supporters” of Israel, would like to hurt Iran to make it easier for Netanyahu to continue his programme of ethnic cleansing in the West Bank.

  201. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    The UK, France, the US, Germany, and other countries (including Saudi Arabia) see an attack on Iran as potentially catastrophic for the entire Middle East. Which is my point of view.

  202. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    The head of Iran’s nuclear prgramme said recently Iran might convert back to 3.5% the centrifuges now enriching to 20%. Once Iran has “sufficient” 20 percent uranium on hand.

  203. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Is the Obama administraton claiming a capability to build nukes fast, by Iran, is the same thing as Iran actually building nukes? I don’t think this obtains.

  204. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Has the US objected to Iran’s operation of nuclear power plants, since Obama entered the White House?

  205. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 25, 2012 at 11:45 am

    “The reason Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, like the reason Japan and Brazil do not have nuclear weapons, is not because they have been intimidated away from it but only because their strategists have not decided that a weapon would be useful at this time.”

    Perfectly said, and if I may ad, I don’t think Iran in foreseeable future will or should find a need to WEAPONIZE “only” due to her natural geostrategic position in her region and the Islamic world, even if Pakistan falls to a radical Islamic government like Talban, since Iran will think that in that case the west will be more venerable than Iran will be (Afghanistan pre 2001).

    Being a legally advance nuclear capable country will serve Iran’s deterrence needs without intimidating the Sunni Islam. Making Iran’s nuclear program illegal was not achievable by the US and her allies and so far has not materialized. That is the reason Iran all along has and is insisting on the letter of NPT as ratified.

  206. Arnold Evans says:

    James has raised an interesting point.

    When the US and Israel say they consider a nuclear capability as the same thing as a nuclear weapon, then that is a big gamble because now they are committed to showing what steps they will take to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear capability which, according to them, are the same steps they’ll take to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

    When the US and Israel ultimately admit to themselves, each other and the rest of the world that they are not able to make sufficient credible threats to stop Iran from getting a nuclear capability, then they, because of their previous public position, are also admitting that they don’t have sufficient credible threats to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.

    The reason Iran does not have a nuclear weapon, like the reason Japan and Brazil do not have nuclear weapons, is not because they have been intimidated away from it but only because their strategists have not decided that a weapon would be useful at this time.

    We didn’t have to be here. The US/Israeli position that nuclear capability is the same thing as nuclear weapons has never been sane, legal, reasonable or defensible. But now where we are reaching is a post-threat environment. US threats have been exposed as essentially impotent in changing at least Iran’s strategic considerations.

  207. Kathleen says:

    Last night President Obama came to Boulder where I am visiting family and friends. Did not try to get a ticket have had the good fortune of seeing and hearing him speak many times. Thought I would leave a ticket for someone else. Anyway Occupy Boulder, a pro Romney group, anti Obama group, a save Utah wild lands and others including me with my “Stop U.S aid to Israel ” protested in what Univ of Colorado has now designated “free speech zones” which essentially are NO free speech zones. They stick protesters in a stall of metal barn yard cages (used now at most protest) but in an area where there was little to no traffic and of course they said Obama would be driving by in his motorcades but as I expected did not. So the Univ of Colorado makes sure that the thousands of people attending the Obama talk as well as Obama and team do not see or hear the protesters. Basically castrating any protest effort.

    I walked along side the long line of folks going into the Coors Event stadium with my sign “Stop U.S. aid to Israel” Reactions went from total shock, silence, several young fellows telling me to not stand near them. I asked “are you threatening me?” They shut up right away. To others giving me a thumbs up, to young women saying to me “I was born in Israel” I responded “great” so tell me what you think about the continued expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, illegal housing in E Jerusalem and the abusive treatment of Palestinians. She knew very little to nothing as well as her male friends who said they had been to Israel as if a visit to Israel or citizenship is absolution from the human rights crimes being committed in that conflict. I have noticed this before that somehow some think a trip to Israel makes one know more about the conflict which we all know is not generally the case.

    Talked with a good 30 or so folks who I was able to hand “If Americans Knew” http://www.ifamericansknew.org/brochures as I was headed to the Univ of Colorado’s “free speech zone” where the university had made sure that the thousands in line for President Obama’s speech as well as others would not hear or see the protesters from different groups from around the region. So much for free speech on the Univ. of Colorado.

    Was also able to plug this website many many times.

  208. Castellio says:

    Rd. says:
    April 25, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I agree with you. The terms may be useful in motivational arguments inside America as to how to maintain its hegemony and still be the ‘good guy’, the terms are useless in understanding what actually happened and why.

  209. Castellio says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 25, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Exceptionally well written and clearly thought through, BiBiJon.

    I would argue, though, that your last line is simply deluded: “I suspect the whole saga is a butler-induced bankruptcy. The French, British and Israeli butlers, for their own self-glorification, egged America to throw parties more lavish than she could afford.”

    It’s not as if the American elite floundered because they were “egged on”.

  210. fyi says:

    Dan Cooper says: April 24, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Yes, that was certainly the case with CWT and later NPT.

    The US leaders (and EU, USSR, China) thought they could dispense with them.

    Now, of course, they realize that they need to go back to NPT etc.

    Their Hubris was beyond belief.

  211. Karl says:

    Netanyahu recycles 20-year-old PR material in CNN interview

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/netanyahu-recycles-20-year-old-pr-material-in-cnn-interview-1.426518

    And of course there is no tough questions for this warmonger by cnn.

  212. Jay says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 25, 2012 at 8:30 am
    James Canning says:
    April 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Perhaps you have missed several of my posts saying that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, it will suffer the sinking of its navy, destruction of its air force, etc etc. I prefer this not come to pass.

    Another question, ….

    Carrying it to its logical conclusion James Canning,… This is a serious question.

    Why should the west carry any negotiations on anything she wants Iran to do when it can so readily destroy it? Could it be that the outcome in Iraq and Afghanistan has been less than encouraging? I don’t see why the west is showing any hesitation in carrying out your suggestion. Do you?

  213. Rd. says:

    Dave says:

    Why the United States is not abandoning the “global transformation model” in favor of the “global leadership model” as the basis of its foreign policy?

    Perhaps “one of” those reasons may be the reserve currency? During the cold war spreading the cost of arms race to the rest of the world MAY have been justified. However, once the cold war was over, the US “elites” were not so keen to give up their privilege, specially having defeated their only rival. Implementing their full spectrum dominance seemed to have been the easy/quick way forward.

    And as far as the “global leadership model” time frame, was it really all based on US “smart” FP? Or was it also because certain players in the world were willing to accommodate US? The Europeans were more interested in their social experience, given the hardships of two world wars. So they may have been inclined to have a “protectorate”. And certain other countries and their elites were more than willing to toe US line at the expense of their own people. So was the global leadership model successful? Even from a US perspective? Then how is one to explain events in Iran, (1953, 1979), or Nicaragua, or Chile? And many others. If the leadership model was so successful, there would have been no reason for various covert actions in response to such events. One MAY argue, the German and Japanese experiences post WWII may have been a point of positive to consider. Otherwise, the approach in its core has been flawed.

  214. Arnold Evans says:

    James Canning says:
    April 24, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Perhaps you have missed several of my posts saying that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, it will suffer the sinking of its navy, destruction of its air force, etc etc. I prefer this not come to pass.

    Another question, besides Karl asking why you are legitimizing that.

    If the West can pull off this threat to stop Iran from enriching to 20%, why can it not pull off the same threat to stop Iran from enriching at all?

  215. Rd. says:

    What Iran Will Do With US RQ-170 Sentinel Drone

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/jafari240412.html

  216. BiBiJon says:

    Dave,

    Let me rephrase. Answering the question amounts to a very “useful addition to the subject matter.”

    The point FYI, Stephen Walt, and others were making is that US is acting AS IF she can peruse any foreign policy it felt like perusing; that she is under a vanity-induced delusion that individual ‘errors’ will never accumulate into something unaffordable, unsustainable, etc. In short, the key phrase is “perceptions” which may or may not coincide with reality.

    As Flynt put it “hegemony, in the face of objective, material reality, is not just quixotic—it is deeply counter-productive for a great power’s strategic position. It inevitably overstretches a great power’s resources…and inevitably sparks resistance and counter-balancing behavior from others.”

    The resistance and counter-balancing behavior from others are a cumulative phenomena, an expanding network, a rapidly growing fetus inside a world pregnant with discontent. The upward trajectory of resistance will intersect (or has met) the downward trajectory of what is left of American (actual) power and her will to use it.

    As the US accumulated power relative to others, policies/excuses for using that power gained ascendance. The end result is barbaric acts of attempts to strangulate Iranian economy, slaughter many Iraqis, etc. all intended as a lesson to others. Unfortunately the ‘others’ learned that any one of them could be next. The hyperpower was viewed as a hyper-menace.

    I think we are nearing the end of the era of hubris reigning supreme. American power and the unipolar world order has been tested for 20 years, and the results have forced a refinement of previous unhinged assumptions.

    I suspect the whole saga is a butler-induced bankruptcy. The French, British and Israeli butlers, for their own self-glorification, egged America to throw parties more lavish than she could afford.

  217. Neo says:

    Here’s a surprise:

    “Israel’s military chief said he does not believe Iran will decide to produce an atom bomb, describing its leadership as “very rational” in an interview published on Wednesday.”

    An even bigger surprise was the source:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9225641/Israel-army-chief-says-Iran-not-building-nuclear-bomb.html

  218. Karl says:

    James,

    “Perhaps you have missed several of my posts saying that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, it will suffer the sinking of its navy, destruction of its air force, etc etc. I prefer this not come to pass.”

    Do you support such a attack? If not why then do you continue to legitimize it?

  219. Castellio says:

    Dave, what I thought you might be getting at was that objective conditions were altering the status of the US, and those objective conditions were determining which of the academic attitudes (global leadership versus global hegemon) might be in vogue at the moment. That critique, if it is your critique, would be useful if developed.

    Personally, I’ve never bought into the “global transformational” label, and believe it much too over-stated. Wolfowitz et al, did not want a bright new Iraq a la Sweden, they wanted a destroyed infrastructure and a backwards, fractured regime. To actually buy into the “global transformational model” rhetoric is too many steps too far for me. I can’t get there. It calls for an historical blindness I’m not willing to accept.

  220. Dave says:

    BiBiJon,
    Answering the question amounts to more than “useful addition to the subject matter” Why?

    Let us examine the implications of answers you cite from FYI, Stephen Walt, and those that coined the term “US hyperpower”.

    If the US could pursue a “cost-free foreign policy” based on the “global transformation model”, then the US power should not have declined since the end of Cold War. Similarly, if the US has pursued an erroneous but “affordable” foreign policy based on the “global transformation model” for over two decades, why should the US not find it “affordable” to pursue the policy over the next two or three decades?! And, if “vanity” prompted the “US hyperpower” to pursue the policies it did following the collapse of Soviet Union, what indication do we have that “vanity” is less of motivating factor going forward?

    Note that the implications of the answers are huge, particularly for those who are at the receiving end of US foreign policy (e.g., the Iranians). For them, the US foreign policy is definitely not cost-free, may be unavoidable but not necessarily “affordable”, and the “vanity” of US hyperpower is something that they may find it difficult to factor-in their decisions.

    Regards.

  221. BiBiJon says:

    Dave,

    “at a minimum, one has to show why and how the “American political and policy elites” were exceptionally successful in defining “…clear, ‘reality-based’ strategic goals and to relate…[them to] tools at Washington’s disposal…” in the late 60’s and early 70’s, i.e., at the time of US opening to China.”

    I am not sure about the ‘at a minimum’ part. but, I agree it would be a useful addition to the subject matter.

    Stephen Walt, among other realists, talk about the perception that errors are ‘affordable’ if one perceives one’s own power to be out of the league of others by a huge margin.

    FYI recently coined the delectable phrase: “cost-free foreign policy.”

    Another words, coinciding with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the French acclamation of the birth of the “US hyperpower,” which resonated with American vanity was the genesis of what Dan Cooper quoted.

  222. Dan Cooper says:

    The power that the US government asserts over its subjects and also over the citizens of other countries is unlimited.

    Lenin described unlimited power as power “resting directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws, nor any absolute rules.”

    Washington claims that it is the indispensable government representing the exceptional people and thereby has the right to impose its will and “justice” on the rest of the world and that resistance to Washington constitutes terrorism to be exterminated by any possible means.

    Thus, the American neoconservatives speak of nuking Iran for insisting on its independence from American hegemony and exercising its rights to nuclear energy under the non-proliferation treaty to which Iran is a signatory.

    In other words, Washington’s will prevails over international treaties that have the force of law, treaties which Washington itself imposed on the world. According to the neoconservatives and Washington, Iran is not protected by the legal contract that Iran made with Washington when Iran signed the non-proliferation treaty.

    Iran finds itself as just another 17th or 18th century American Indian tribe to be deprived of its rights and to be exterminated by the forces of evil that dominate Washington, D.C.

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article31167.htm

  223. Fiorangela says:

    Dave, I wrote a response to your comment but the ether ate it.

    I thanked you for the brief tutorial on the distinction between ‘positive’ and ‘normative’ — useful tools.
    The “global transformational” and “global leadership” pigeonholes seem to be important to academics, but, I submit, have little bearing on how policy gets done by the people who do it.

    Today I spent some time reading Eyal Weizman’s “Hollow Land: Israel’s Architecture of Occupation.” Weizman describes Israel’s pre-eminent military concept, “swarming,” a “polycentric” system without hierarchical or linear planning; “A swarm ‘learns’ through the interaction of its constitutive elements, through their adaptation to emergent situations, and in reaction to changing environments. . . .

    The activity of a swarm is based upon simultaneous actions which are dependent but not preconditioned on each other. The narrative of the battle plan is thus replaced by . . .the ‘toolbox’ approach, according to which units received the tools they need to deal with emergent situations and scenarios, but cannot predict the order by which these events would actually occur. By lowering the thresholds of decision-making to the immediate tactical level, and by the encouragement of local initiative, different parts of the swarm are supposed to provide answers to the forms of uncertainty, chance and uncontrolled eventualities . . .”

    It may be that U.S. foreign policy is best understood as swarming in action: there’s no core philosophy, no coherent central authority — indeed, State and DoD are frequently at loggerheads, and hapless Obama is probably kept in a bubble of either fixed or non-intelligence/information; it’s possible he knows less about what takes place in foreign policy arena than the average consumer of MSM infotainment.

  224. Rehmat says:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul was recently interviewed by Benjamin Pauker, senior editor of Ziocon mouthpiece, Foreign Policy magazine. Gul told Pauker that he can understand Iran’s desire to develop their nuclear capacity – and that he is not convinced that Iran is planning to make a nuclear bomb.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/turkish-president-supports-irans-nuclear-program/

  225. ToivoS says:

    Dave argues:

    For this answer to pass “positivist” scrutiny, at a minimum, one has to show why and how the “American political and policy elites” were exceptionally successful in defining “…clear, ‘reality-based’ strategic goals and to relate…[them to] tools at Washington’s disposal…” in the late 60’s and early 70’s, i.e., at the time of US opening to China.

    No it doesn’t. Our foreign policy, probably any FP, is a mix of positivist and normative doctrine. I think these academic distinctions are not that helpful in describing relations among nations since it is obvious that any interaction will have elements of both. What was unique about the early 1970s is that the US broke down and pursued a realist position. Leverettes have been arguing for some time it is time for a little realism to be inserted into US FP with respect to Iran.

    In short, they do not have to answer your silly question.

  226. James Canning says:

    Dave,

    It was obvious for years before Nixon went to China, that the USSR and “Red” China had serious differences. Propagandists for the insane Vietnam War, in the US, played down this split because it undermined the catastrophically foolish US military adventure in Southeast Asia.

  227. James Canning says:

    Mack,

    Russia has been working with neighbors of North Korea in hopes of getting NK to end its nuclear weapons programme.

  228. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Perhaps you have missed several of my posts saying that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, it will suffer the sinking of its navy, destruction of its air force, etc etc. I prefer this not come to pass.

  229. Dave says:

    I have watched Professor Leverett’s lecture, and learned a lot from it. Nonetheless, I find the analysis insufficiently “positive” and/or too “normative”. [A “positive” analysis describes how things are and why. A “normative” analysis describes how things “should be”.]
    At the risk of over-simplification, let me summarize Levertt’s main points. He holds that the US foreign policy strategy since WWII has been “pulled in opposite directions by two competing models…” Before the end of Cold War, US foreign policy strategy was broadly based on what Leverett calls the “global leadership model”. A definitive application of this model to the US foreign policy is said to be the US opening to the People’s Republic of China in the early 1970s. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the US foreign policy has been based on the “global transformation model” — whether in its neoconservative or liberal interventionist variety. The US power in the world has declined since the end of Cold War, i.e., since US based its foreign policy on the “global transformation model. [By contrast, US power was increasing prior to the end of Cold War!].
    Okay. Let us take all the above as analytically impeccable and factually correct. Why the United States is not abandoning the “global transformation model” in favor of the “global leadership model” as the basis of its foreign policy? Leverett answer to this question is “NORMATIVE”. US failure to abandon the ‘global transformation model’, according to Leverett, is “because, since the end of the Cold War, American political and policy elites have failed to do their job as strategists. They have failed to define clear, ‘reality-based’ strategic goals and to relate the diplomatic, economic, and military tools at Washington’s disposal to realizing these goals in a sober and efficacious manner.” For this answer to pass “positivist” scrutiny, at a minimum, one has to show why and how the “American political and policy elites” were exceptionally successful in defining “…clear, ‘reality-based’ strategic goals and to relate…[them to] tools at Washington’s disposal…” in the late 60’s and early 70’s, i.e., at the time of US opening to China.
    Best wishes.

  230. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    “Of course I think Obama blundered badly, in not responding to Iran’s offer last year “

    James, dearest, I think you are a bit behind times.. don’t worry about last year… that one is over… worry about this year.. we have all heard an ear full.. why not go to congress and lobby them with 20% of your afternoon tea and biscuit see what you can get out of it!!!!

  231. MACKATTACK says:

    Good news from the Russians. They too are starting to understand the real threats humanity faces..

    Russian Military Concedes Iran, N. Korea Nuclear Threat
    Nikolai Makarov

    Nikolai Makarov
    © RIA Novosti. Alexey Druzhinin
    19:18 24/04/2012
    MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti)
    Tags: Russian Defense Ministry, Nikolai Makarov, North Korea, Iran, Russia
    Related News

    Russia and the changing world

    Multimedia

    Nuclear threat from North Korea
    Peaceful Nuclear Energy or Nuclear Weapons?
    North Korean nuclear facilities

    Russia’s military leadership has for the first time acknowledged a nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea.

    “The threat is always there, so we closely monitor the nuclear program developments of many countries,” Army General Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the General Staff, told RT television.

    “The analysis that we conducted together with the Americans confirms that, yes, there is a probability that the threat exists. And we agreed that it is necessary to create a missile defense system,” Makarov said.

    The Russian Defense Ministry has previously held that there is no nuclear threat to Europe and Russia from Iran and North Korea, because they do not have the capacity to build nuclear weapons or deliver them.

    “Many countries that claim not to possess nuclear weapons do in fact have them,” Makarov said.

    “Certainly, if it gets into the hands of extremists, it represents a threat to international security,” Makarov said.

    He added that in order to counter these threats, Russia is ready to work together with other countries.

    “Let’s solve this problem. Let us work together to get rid of the threats that may arise, not only for Europe but for Russia because we too are part of Europe,” the general said.

    North Korea has conducted two underground nuclear weapon tests, in 2006 and 2009.

    Earlier in April South Korean media reported that intelligence indicated North Korea was preparing a third in a row underground nuclear test. The information was based on satellite photographs of North Korean test site, where underground nuclear test had been previously conducted.

    U.S. and other Western countries suspect Iran of developing nuclear weapons under the guise of peaceful nuclear energy program. Tehran denies the charges, saying its nuclear program is aimed at meeting the country’s electricity needs.

    http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120424/173017423.html

  232. Fiorangela says:

    addendum: should have drawn attention to Obama’s Freudian slip, just before his “irony” statement.

    Forgive me for hammering away at ‘irony’ — here’s the irony that I perceive:

    Obama said: “And it’s one more step that we can take toward the day that we know will come — the end of the Assad regime that has brutalized the Syrian people — and allow the Syrian people to chart their own destiny.

    Translation: Once WE have achieved OUR goal of removing a leader of whom we disapprove, WE will ALLOW the Syrian people to “chart their own destiny.”

    {fine print: with the proviso that WE, meaning US elites & Israel & other corporate & sovereign beneficiaries, approve of said destiny and retain financial, technological, military, and political control over it.}

  233. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    “Supporters” of Israel within the Obama administration helped to bring on the growing recession, becaue they wanted more sanctions against Iran for use in the elections this year. Thanks, Hillary Clinton.

  234. James Canning says:

    I recommend Jordan Michael Smith’s interesting piece in the May issue of the American Conservative: “Can Democrats Get Realist? Why the best minds of international power politics are leaving the GOP”.

  235. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Of course I think Obama blundered badly, in not responding to Iran’s offer last year to stop enriching to 20%. I think Hillary Clinton and Dennis Ross get much of the credit for this blunder. But Iran did not help things, by going ahead with the trebling of production of 20 percent uranium.

  236. Fiorangela says:

    Who: Barack Obama
    With whom: w/ Elie Wiesel & Michael Oren, among others
    When: Yesterday, Apr 23, 2012; occasion of holocaust remembrance day
    Where: holocaust museum, Washington DC
    What: sign an executive order granting to himself the right to interfere in the communications technologies of other sovereign nations
    Tactics: mendacity; superpower overreach (see {1} )
    Rhetorical techniques: Irony (see {2})

    “We recognize that, even as we do all we can, we cannot control every event. And when innocents suffer, it tears at our conscience. Elie alluded to what we feel as we see the Syrian people subjected to unspeakable violence, simply for demanding their universal rights. And we have to do everything we can. And as we do, we have to remember that despite all the tanks and all the snipers, all the torture and brutality unleashed against them, the Syrian people still brave the streets. They still demand to be heard. They still seek their dignity. The Syrian people have not given up, which is why we cannot give up.
    And so with allies and partners, we will keep increasing the pressure,
    with a diplomatic effort to further isolate Assad and his regime, so that those who stick with Assad know that they are making a losing bet. We’ll keep increasing sanctions to cut off the regime from the money it needs to survive. We’ll sustain a legal effort to document atrocities so killers face justice, and a humanitarian effort to get relief and medicine to the Syrian people. And we’ll keep working with the “Friends of Syria” to increase support for the Syrian opposition as it grows stronger.
    Indeed, today we’re taking another step. {1}I’ve signed an executive order that authorizes new sanctions against the Syrian government and Iran and those that abet them for using technologies to monitor and track and target citizens for violence. These technologies should not empower — these technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to repress them. {2}And it’s one more step that we can take toward the day that we know will come — the end of the Assad regime that has brutalized the Syrian people — and allow the Syrian people to chart their own destiny.

  237. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    Isreal does its best to conceal from the American public the fact Christains in Palestine (and Israel) have suffered greatly at the hands of the Israelis. Israel’s occupation of the West Bank has been a catastrophe for the various Christian communities there. Michael Oren does his best to keep the truth from being comprehended by the very ignorant American public.

  238. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Words of wisdom from Beyyanat, that you linked. Hillary Clinton should read it a few times.

  239. James Canning says:

    “Few Washington insiders even know what a strategy is. [Colonel] John Boyd used to say, ‘Lots of people in Washington talk about strategy [in international relations]. Most of them can spell it. Taht’s as far as it goes.’” Quote is from William S. Lind: “Afghan Exit Strategy”, in the American Conservative magazine May 2012.

  240. Rd. says:

    Empty says:

    “Allow me to deconstruct the language of the site itself:”

    THANK YOU.. thats was my impression, but was curious to get the inside view.. It was interesting that the project was a navy design and development to begin with!

  241. Empty says:

    Rd. says: on April 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

    …do you know anything about the TOR project? or anyone else for that matter! thanks. https://www.torproject.org/

    Allow me to deconstruct the language of the site itself:

    1. “Anonymity Online” is an oxymoron. It’s equivalent to saying “Dressed naked”.

    2. “Protect your privacy.” The only way you could protect your privacy is by actually being private and never getting online. The only way to keep a secret is by never telling it.

    3. “Defend yourself against network surveillance and traffic analysis.” You could zigzag all you want (or you could have your online activities zigzag’ed to the Nth power. Your movement could still be traced.

    4. “Tor protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world.” LOL This is equivalent to saying, “I’ll keep your secret by shouting it on the rooftop of a mosque and a public bath.”

    5. “it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location.” False promise. Internet, by design, defies protection.

    You want to be protected, say and do things that you’re willing to stand by them in public and defend them in front of all eyes. If you can’t, don’t share. Keep it to yourself.

  242. fyi says:

    The way I read it. the current sanctions are not working and more states are needed to support them.

    The author clearly cares not one whit about the recession that has been induced by the current sanctions.

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/getting-iranian-oil-sanctions-right-6840

  243. Rd. says:

    [off topic]

    a shout to Richard S Hack,

    do you know anything about the TOR project?

    or anyone else for that matter! thanks.

    https://www.torproject.org/

  244. kooshy says:

    The West Negotiates with Iran
    by Abolghasem Bayyenat

    http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/23-6

    “Imbalance of Power

    The language and demeanor adopted by Western officials toward Iran reflect the material power disparity between Iran and the Western powers. Such an approach has characterized the relationships of unequal powers since the beginning of history. Yet it is simply anachronous in the 21st century to allow the language of diplomatic communications to be reduced to such paternalism, which creates resistance and resentment in a proud nation like Iran. Iran prides itself for its pioneering history in art, science, and literature, a fact that has deeply influenced Iran’s relations with other states.

    True, many Iranian officials also have a lot to learn about how to properly address Western audiences. But more than 30 years after the Iranian revolution, Western officials have not yet developed a solid understanding of how to properly and effectively communicate with their Iranian counterparts.

    For instance, it should have been evident from very early on that any explicit or implicit display of superiority would put off high Iranian political officials. While describing the talks as constructive and positive, for example, Iranian chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili countered Ashton’s language of superiority by stating that the West should restore the trust of the Iranian nation as part of the ongoing nuclear talks between the two parties. Similarly, the Iranian foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi used the phrases “mutual respect” and “as equals” seven times in his recent short opinion article in The Washington Post, which also demonstrates Iranian obsession with equality in interstate relations.”

    “Given the deep roots of principles of equality and mutual respect in the post-revolutionary political culture of Iran, the success of future nuclear talks between Iran and the West will depend in part on whether the West is able to treat Iran as an equal in word as well as in deed.”

  245. Rehmat says:

    The Kairos, an international Christian NGO group, with branches in 45 nations, has condemned Israeli ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren’s last month Op-Ed piece published in the Wall Street Journal (March 9, 2012). The WSJ is owned by the disgraced media-tycon Israel-Firster Rupert Murdoch.

    “In this inaccurate and manipulative text, Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the US, blames the plight of Palestinian Christians on oppression at the hands of Palestinian Muslims – rather than at the hands of the illegal Israeli occupation itself, as is our reality,” said Kairos Palestine statement dated March 17, 2012.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/christian-group-blasts-israeli-ambassador-oren/

  246. Rehmat says:

    Muslim majority (70%) Sudan has long been under Zionist entity’s radar due to its startegic location along Nile waterway and Khartoum’s close relation with Tehran. Washington’s policy against Sudan is controlled by country’s powerful Jewish lobby groups.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/23/south-sudanese-forces-defeated-in-heglig/

  247. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 23, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    So the answer to “What Price Israel?” was a global recession and near-war with Iran precisely when so many millions are hurting economically alll over the world.

    And these people want to set the global agenda and have others follow them!

    I think not.

  248. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, the US and the EU have apparently produced a recession, thanks to poor handling of the Iranian issue. When Iran offered last September to stop enriching to 20 percent if the TRR fuel was provided, there should have been a positive response. But Israel did not want a positive response to the Iranian offer.

  249. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:
    April 23, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Seems me that Karim Agha with all his false predictions and pseudo analysis was left with no good options but to take the kitchen sink out and see if throwing that will score. It’s desperation in childish scale.

  250. fyi says:

    Castellio says: April 23, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    US and EU have plunged the world into a new recession by their oil sanctions.

    Even if the oil sanctions are removed in the next few weeks there will be a global recession because of US and EU.

  251. fyi says:

    Karl says: April 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    NATO will never admit Israel unless and until she has fixed recognized borders.

    Furthermore, she Israel would not be able to maintain an independent nuclear arsenal outside of NATO.

    Israelis are not interested in joining NATO – they want NATO support without NATO restrictions.

    They want to use NATO the way they use (abuse) US.

  252. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Vladimir Putin prefers good relations with the US, as does most of the Chinese leadership. Arms manufacturers in the US complicate things because they naturally want to grow their businessess, protct profit margins, etc. So they often like to see the American people misled about nonexistent “threats”.

  253. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Israel’s membership in Nato has been a goal of neocon warmongers for many years. It would possibly wreck the alliance.

  254. Karl says:

    So now Israel trying to be a member of Nato and drag now, not only the US but the western world to use in their fighting against palestinians, iranians, lebanese? Even the nato chief got angry when Turkey apparently used its veto, a right according to nato charter and blocked israeli participation.

    Turkey rejects Israeli participation in NATO summit

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/turkey-rejects-israeli-participation-in-nato-summit-1.426100

  255. BiBiJon says:

    What an embarrassment to have known/engaged/debated Karim (camel-lust) Sadjadpour!
    ================================================================================

    Thank you Guess Who1 for highlighting this incredible low point for Foreign Policy mag.

    Wow! Karim’s sexual obsessions are now out of the closet. I’m buying padlock for the barn. Karim might be prowling.

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/the_ayatollah_under_the_bedsheets

  256. Castellio says:

    Or to put my last comment another way: one of the reasons the US hasn’t yet (and may not) attack Iran is that the short term beneit of reduced Iranian industrial capacity is offset by the resulting tightening economic and military rapprochment of Russia-China, a rapprochment that it is essential the US deter.

    But then again, the US had it all not too long ago; where both China and Russia sought friendlier relations with her, but that opportunity was well and truly squandered.

  257. Castellio says:

    I didn’t know Zbig had a twin brother. That would explain it.

    Rd has it right, and its only when thinking in such terms does one begin to grasp how the US is organizing its pieces on the board.

  258. Rd. says:

    James Canning says:

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is quite right to say the proper role of the US in the Far East is to facilitate smooth relations between China’s neighbors and China.

    James, you must be talking about Z Big’s twin brother!!! Right?

    Zbigniew Brzezinski noted,
    “In brief, for the United States, Eurasian geo-strategy involves the purposeful management of geo-strategically dynamic states…To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geo-strategy are to prevent collusion and to maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, 1997,

    The “barbarians” that Brzezinski refers to are China and Russia and all in between. The “imperial geo-strategy” refers to US strategic foreign policy. The “vassals” are countries like Germany, Japan and other NATO allies of the US. That Brzezinski geopolitical notion remains US foreign policy today.

    http://www.voltairenet.org/China-s-Land-Bridge-to-Turkey

  259. kooshy says:

    PG states should not enter political games: Iran Cmdr.
    Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:54PM GMT

    “Be aware that any crisis in the Persian Gulf will engulf you as well,” Safavi warned before reasserting the capability of the Iranian Armed Forces to fully defend the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/237714.html

  260. kooshy says:

    Arnold

    On my last reply (April 20, 2012 at 3:14 am) to your last offer (concentrating on trade of 20%) I tried to be arrogant and a bit rude; I just hope you didn’t think it was personal and directed at you, I was trying to show that it’s not only the strategic significance of the 60kg 20% that matters to Iran’s side, but rather is the defiance of what the west wants, which can have more value for the Iran’s regional standing. At this juncture I don’t think Iran can afford to be seen it is capitulating to west’s demands, which can reduce Iran’s strategic standing in the region. For this reason I don’t think shipping the 60kg of U20% can be agreed to. Iranians have repeatedly said that they are ready to buy the fuel for TRR, but I don’t think this means on the same term as Tehran’s declaration or will go back to renew that deal.

  261. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Zbigniew Brzezinski is quite right to say the proper role of the US in the Far East is to facilitate smooth relations between China’s neighbors and China. This argument is not popular with arms manufacturers and their many stooges in the US Congress.

  262. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Henry Kissinger was trying to get the US out of the Vietnam quagmire without losing too much prestige. Pakistan offered to broker a deal with China, and did so.

    Nixon came into the White House in 1969 with a view toward swift withdrawal from Vietnam. Kissinger prevailed upon him to delay pulling out too many troops, in fear the resulting collapse of the South Vietnamese government would damage the Republicans in the 1972 elections.

  263. James Canning says:

    Di anyone notice that Charles Colson died? Of Watergate fame or infamy. Colson worked for Richard Nixon and helped bring about the collapse of Nixon’s presidency. A friend of mine had worked with Colson in the office of Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, and both went into the Nixon White House in 1969.

  264. fyi says:

    All:

    There is substance to P5+1 and Iran negogiations:

    Mr. Abrams is inveighing – see below -

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/negotiating-iran-1979-and-2012_640478.html?page=1

    And Dr. Sadjadpour is smearing Islam

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/the_ayatollah_under_the_bedsheets

    The case of Dr. Sadjadpour is noteworthy.

    His last name comes when Iranians adopated surnames under Reza Shah. His family claimed descent from the Imam Sadjad – thus “Sadjad+pour” -Son of Sadjad.

    He is clearly ignorant of both Judaic Law (under Thalmud) and Catholic Cannon Law that cover much of the same grounds.

    His aim is not advancements of political understanding but rather smearing of Islam, Shia Islam, and the late Mr. Khomeini and others.

    I find him pathetic – ignorant of other religions and incapable of comprehending that the late Mr. Khomeini was the greated Muslim Thinker and Political Leader of the last 1000 years.

  265. GuessWho1 says:

    “The brutal reality is that Iranians had entrusted their national destiny to a man, Khomeini, who had spent far more time thinking about the religious penalties for fornicating with animals than how to run a modern economy.”

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/04/23/the_ayatollah_under_the_bedsheets

  266. Castellio says:

    This is from an excellent article just published by Japan Focus.

    http://japanfocus.org/-Kimie-HARA/3739?utm_source=April+23%2C+2012&utm_campaign=China%27s+Connectivity+Revolution&utm_medium=email

    “Sino-Soviet confrontation, on the other hand, while bitter, was initially confined to oral and written communications. However, it escalated into military clashes along the border, especially over ownership of Damansky Island on the Ussuri River in 1969. This Sino-Soviet frontier problem did not derive, and was therefore different, from those conflicts that emerged out of the postwar disposition of Japan. Nevertheless, it came to symbolize the height of Sino-Soviet confrontation that defined the Cold War in East Asia, setting the stage for the dramatic structural transformation of the early 1970s when Sino-US rapprochement occurred. Japan also established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) at that time and terminated its official ties with the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan.

    During the détente of the 1970s, Okinawa was returned to Japan, and the focus of the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute shifted to the Senkaku islands, where resource nationalism was accented by the new energy potential discovered in the vicinity of those islands. On the reversion of Okinawa, the US government took “no position on sovereignty” over the Senkakus; it merely returned “administrative rights” to Japan, leaving the dispute to Japan and China. Both Chinese governments (PRC and ROC) then and since have claimed that the islands are part of Taiwan. For Japan, however, because the Senkakus had never been in dispute before, it was a “problem that emerged suddenly” as described in a government pamphlet published in 1972 (Gaimusho johobunka-kyoku, Senkaku-retto ni tsuite, 1972). The ROC government in Taiwan, moreover, held the position that Okinawa was not Japanese territory and opposed its reversion to Japan.

    The Nixon administration entered office with its top diplomatic agenda to normalize relations with China. Inheriting the previous administration’s promise to return Okinawa to Japan, Nixon adopted a policy of “strategic ambiguity” on the Senkaku issue, despite the fact that the US had administered the islands as part of Okinawa (Hara 2007). The rapprochement with China represented US recognition of the political status quo—a shift to an engagement policy rather than an end to the Cold War. Under Nixon, communist China continued to be perceived as a threat to US interests in East Asia and the Pacific, and US bases in Okinawa had to be maintained. The territorial dispute with China helped justify the bases, especially in Japan. Thus, leaving the dispute unsettled, not taking the side of any disputants, and keeping the wedges among the neighboring states met US interests in retaining its presence and influence in the region. Just as the wedge of the Northern Territories problem was set in place with the four-island-return claim between Japan and the Soviet Union during the Cold War thaw of the 1950s, the Senkaku issue was another wedge set in place between Japan and China.7″

  267. Rehmat says:

    ToivoS – calling United States a democracy – shows your ignorance of the very word “democracy”.

    Democracy, like the other slogans such as human rights, freedom, justce, gender equality, etc. – has been corrupted so much by the elites that they have all lost their original meanings. Interestingly, Muslims make the largest minority groups in the US, India and Israel – but they’re the most persecuted ones in those countries. American writer Stephen Lendman wrote: “Is it less true for America or in how Israel treats Muslims, many its own citizens yet denied virtually all rights afforded to Jews, and in Palestine none under military occupation.” Indian writer Arundhati Roy compared Hindu right wing (Hindutva) persecution of Muslims in India to Hitler’s persecution of Jews. She asks: “What kind of India they want? A limbless, headless, soulless torso bleeding under the butcher’s clever with a flag driven deep into her mutilated heart?”

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/it-is-not-a-democracy-stupid/

  268. Castellio says:

    UU… thanks. An integrating economy between Iraq and Iran is a good thing. Hopefully, the leaders is Turkey will know better than to fight this. A high tide lifts all boats, and the suppression of economic development in the Middle East has long been tied to its colonial status.

  269. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:

    I don’t have much more info than The Exposer on Iran/ Iraq trade, but seeing as Maliki is here for a couple of days, the subject will be in the news, and if I hear or read more details, I will let you know. I have heard already that Saipa, Iran’s second largest car manufacturer after Iran Khodro, has signed a deal to build an assembly plant in Iraq. Also, electricity export makes up a decent chunk, as well as PVC pipe and cement. I’ll see if I can get hold of the actual Ministry of Trade statistics, inshallah.

  270. Castellio says:

    Exposing… thanks for the info re Iran-Iraq trade.

    James, its not that the central government of China has territorial ambitions on Russia, as much as the Chinese people who live near the border have them. I’m not trying to exaggerate here, just to point out a constant sense of unease.

  271. ToivoS says:

    James Canning says:
    April 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm
    ToivoS,

    Israel could end the occupation of the West Bank. The problem is simply that Israel’s fractious politics, and foolish American “support”, make this politically difficult.

    What you call fractious Israeli politics is simply the result that clear majorities of MK members, supported by clear majorities of Israeli Jewish voters, support the WB settlement movement. What you call foolish American support is the result very heavy donations by Israel firsters involved in the American political scene. The US is a democracy but before the vote money talks.

    Given that dynamic it is not possible for Israel to give up its goal of controlling, if not outright annexing, the Palestinians lands in the West Bank.

  272. Karl says:

    CNN interview ehud barak, some hard questions but no follow ups…

    http://amanpour.blogs.cnn.com/2012/04/20/amanpour-latest-full-length-edition-ehud-barak/?hpt=hp_mid

    1. barak say Iran have a nuclear program, next minute he say it doesnt
    2. barak reject israeli officials and american officials who say Iran is a rational state
    3. barak reject the truth that Iran didnt call for wiping off Israel. Because barak seems to have recently finished reading some islamophobic, racist pamflett about taqiya, that muslims cant be trusted and are liars.
    4. ehud barak wiping for muslims being killed in syria,…yeah right.

    overall this man seems more and more unstable thinking that Israel have the top moral, being the police, judge, lawmaker and executioner.

  273. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Iran decrypts US drone data

    “said Navy Commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi.”

    “There were “numerous codes, but we obtained all the information on its memory, including protocols, repairs and flight sorties; for instance, the data of a flight after repairs in 2010 or the [drone’s] deployment in the operation against [slain al-Qaeda leader Osama] bin Laden in Pakistan,”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/237466.html

  274. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    “In the past Iranian year ending late March the volume of trade between Iran and Iraq stood around 10 billion dollars, which has grown by 50% compared to previous years. In view of the determination of both sides to boost economic cooperation, the number is expected to reach around 12 billion dollars in the current Iranian year.”

    http://presstv.com/detail/237586.html

  275. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    China imports more oil via the Strait of Hormuz than any other country. I think China has sound grounds for wanting transit of oil tankers to be unimpeded.

  276. Karl says:

    Not sure if this is true but….

    Egypt cancels natural gas deal with Israel
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/egypt-cancels-natural-gas-deal-with-israel-1.425883

    According to other newssources Iran pushed Egypt and also Oman to cancel deals with Israel.

  277. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    China is keenly aware that the US squanders huge sums on unnecessary “defence”, weakening the dollar. China accordingly put much more of its reserves into the euro, giving crucial support to that currency. Aipac and other extremist elements of the ISRAEL LOBBY are willing to have the dollar weaken steadily, so long as this programme allows continuing Israeli suppression of legitimate national aspirations of the Palestinians.

  278. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    China has no territorial ambitions at Russia’s expense. Russia will sell oil etc to China and reap fantastic rewards in decades to come.

  279. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    Israel could end the occupation of the West Bank. The problem is simply that Israel’s fractious politics, and foolish American “support”, make this politically difficult.

  280. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    What is the “zero outcome” that “they” want?

  281. Castellio says:

    UU…. how much of that (lets call it Iraq-Iran trade) is actually going on? Are there numbers and projections?

  282. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nuri al-Maleki in Iran for a two-day visit with a couple of cabinet members.

    سفير سابق ايران در عراق با اشاره به اينكه ميزان همكاري هاي اقتصادي در سال 89، 6/2 ميليارد دلار بود، گفت: در سال 90 حجم همكاري ها به عدد 9 ميليارد و700 ميليون دلار رسيده است كه نشان دهنده رشد حدود 50 درصدي همكاري ها بوده است.
    هدف گذاري همكاري هاي اقتصادي براي سال 91 حداقل 12 ميليارد دلار پيش بيني شده است.

    For non-Persian readers, the above are trade figures. I suspect trade will reach $15 billion in 91, and somewhere around twice that in three years, ishallah.

    Meanwhile, Kayhan is reporting that Maliki suspects Iraqi Kurdistan’s Barzani and Erdogan of plotting to overthrow him. I guess those Turkeys are slow learners.

    سفر نوري مالكي به ايران در شرايطي صورت مي گيرد كه مسعود بارزاني رئيس منطقه كردستان اين روزها در سفري به تركيه با طارق الهاشمي معاون رئيس جمهور عراق كه به اتهام دست داشتن در انجام عمليات تروريستي عليه ملت عراق تحت تعقيب قضايي قرار دارد ديدار كرده است. تحليلگران معتقدند بارزاني و هاشمي در تلاش هستند با محوريت اردوغان نخست وزير تركيه، نوري مالكي را ساقط كنند.

    For those who missed it the first go-around, here’s an oldie but a goodie:

    Enduring America One Weasel at a Time Reports:
    Weasel Exclusive!

    Revealed for the first time: Transcript of Nouri al-Maliki briefing by his Iranian Controller, on the eve of his visit with Captain America.

    “Yes Sir, No Sir, Three Bags Full, Sir!!”

    Iranian Controller: So repeat in your own words, so I know you have understood me.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir! The purpose of the trip is to ensure the conceptual continuity of the idea in the head of the Leader of the Weasel-spined Beebol that he is our master, and to maintain good trade and military relations with them, so that we can get whatever we need from them.

    Iranian Controller: OK. For example?

    Nouri al-Maliki: Well-eh, for examble, the list of military equibment that you gave me.

    Iranian Controller: And what else?

    Nouri al-Maliki: Well-eh, industrial broducts that are classified as dual use, for Iran and Iraq.
    Iranian Controller: No, that’s NOT what dual use means. We’ve been OVER this! Oh, never mind.
    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir!

    Iranian Controller: And don’t forget to tell him that you are no Ahmad Chalabi. That he was an atheist and a heathen, which is why he worked for those tricky Iranian, but that you, being a devout Shi’a who has worked all your life to bring Islamic government to the ‘Iraq, can be trusted.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir!

    Iranian Controller: Oh, and you can cross off the RQ-170 from that list I gave you to give to Leon.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Sir, Yes SIR!!

    Iranian Controller: And don’t forget to tell him that you will be increasing “Iraqi” oil “production” by as many millions of barrels a day as necessary to make up for any of Captain America’s poodles’ boycotting of the Iranian Central Bank. That should make him happy.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir!

    Iranian Controller: But don’t tell him where you plan to get the extra oil from!

    Nouri al-Maliki: No, SIR!!

    Iranian Controller: Good boy. Ma sha’llah. Allahu Akbar!

    Nouri al-Maliki: Khamenei Rahbar, SIR!!

  283. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Nuri al-Maleki in Iran for a two-day visit.

    سفير سابق ايران در عراق با اشاره به اينكه ميزان همكاري هاي اقتصادي در سال 89، 6/2 ميليارد دلار بود، گفت: در سال 90 حجم همكاري ها به عدد 9 ميليارد و700 ميليون دلار رسيده است كه نشان دهنده رشد حدود 50 درصدي همكاري ها بوده است.
    هدف گذاري همكاري هاي اقتصادي براي سال 91 حداقل 12 ميليارد دلار پيش بيني شده است.

    For non-Persian readers, the above are trade figures. I suspect trade will reach $15 billion in 91, and somewhere around twice that in three years, ishallah.

    Meanwhile, Kayhan is reporting that Maliki suspects Iraqi Kurdistan’s Barzani and Erdogan of plotting to overthrow him. I guess those Turkeys are slow learners.

    سفر نوري مالكي به ايران در شرايطي صورت مي گيرد كه مسعود بارزاني رئيس منطقه كردستان اين روزها در سفري به تركيه با طارق الهاشمي معاون رئيس جمهور عراق كه به اتهام دست داشتن در انجام عمليات تروريستي عليه ملت عراق تحت تعقيب قضايي قرار دارد ديدار كرده است. تحليلگران معتقدند بارزاني و هاشمي در تلاش هستند با محوريت اردوغان نخست وزير تركيه، نوري مالكي را ساقط كنند.

    For those who missed it the first go-around, here’s an oldie but a goodie:

    Enduring America One Weasel at a Time Reports:
    Weasel Exclusive!

    Revealed for the first time: Transcript of Nouri al-Maliki briefing by his Iranian Controller, on the eve of his visit with Captain America.

    “Yes Sir, No Sir, Three Bags Full, Sir!!”

    Iranian Controller: So repeat in your own words, so I know you have understood me.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir! The purpose of the trip is to ensure the conceptual continuity of the idea in the head of the Leader of the Weasel-spined Beebol that he is our master, and to maintain good trade and military relations with them, so that we can get whatever we need from them.

    Iranian Controller: OK. For example?

    Nouri al-Maliki: Well-eh, for examble, the list of military equibment that you gave me.

    Iranian Controller: And what else?

    Nouri al-Maliki: Well-eh, industrial broducts that are classified as dual use, for Iran and Iraq.
    Iranian Controller: No, that’s NOT what dual use means. We’ve been OVER this! Oh, never mind.
    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir!

    Iranian Controller: And don’t forget to tell him that you are no Ahmad Chalabi. That he was an atheist and a heathen, which is why he worked for those tricky Iranian, but that you, being a devout Shi’a who has worked all your life to bring Islamic government to the ‘Iraq, can be trusted.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir!

    Iranian Controller: Oh, and you can cross off the RQ-170 from that list I gave you to give to Leon.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Sir, Yes SIR!!

    Iranian Controller: And don’t forget to tell him that you will be increasing “Iraqi” oil “production” by as many millions of barrels a day as necessary to make up for any of Captain America’s poodles’ boycotting of the Iranian Central Bank. That should make him happy.

    Nouri al-Maliki: Yessir!

    Iranian Controller: But don’t tell him where you plan to get the extra oil from!

    Nouri al-Maliki: No, SIR!!

    Iranian Controller: Good boy. Ma sha’llah. Allahu Akbar!

    Nouri al-Maliki: Khamenei Rahbar, SIR!!

  284. BiBiJon says:

    Iran’s Parchin complex: Why are nuclear inspectors so focused on it?
    ===================================================================

    h/t FYI

    The IAEA’s determination to gain access to Parchin, an Iranian military complex that may hold clues to past weapons-related work, is unusual and could jeopardize its credibility.

    By Scott Peterson, Staff writer / April 20, 2012

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0420/Iran-s-Parchin-complex-Why-are-nuclear-inspectors-so-focused-on-it

  285. k_w says:

    @James: With zero outcome. They are not stupid. They want it this way.

  286. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Of the Tribe of the Prophets

    The cry of the newborn filled the house.
    Qabeleh came out of the room and with joy in her voice said, “It’s a boy, sir. A boy!”
    His father, Seyyed Mostafa, whispered the azan [the call to prayer] in the infant’s ear.
    They asked, “What will you name him?”
    “Ruhollah [The Spirit of God]. Seyyed Ruhollah,” he said.

    *

    Aqa Mostafa had studied in Isfahan.
    The people would seek refuge in his house from the tyranny of the local Khan.
    And the Seyyed would do whatever was in his power to help.
    The Khan has gathered a bunch of hoodlums and gunslingers about him.
    He did whatever he wanted to do, and the people were helpless to do anything about it.
    Seyyed Mostafa would go to Arak and tell of the tales of oppression,
    So that maybe the elders in Arak would do something to help the people of Khomein.

    On the way, he came across a little orphan girl.
    Perhaps he knew what fate awaited him when he told her,
    “Soon my children will become orphans too.”

    Ruhollah was five months old then.
    The Khan’s emissaries didn’t let Seyyed Mostafa reach Arak.
    They shot him in the heart.

    *

    On winter nights, everyone gathered around the korsi.
    Ruhollah , whose face would sometimes redden from the cold,
    would tuck his legs under the korsi too.
    And Mother would tell them tales…
    Tales of Prophet Moses!
    Tales of Prophet Abraham!

    *

    He loved writing with a quill.
    He had learned how from Morteza, his older brother:
    How to hone the quill, how to prepare the inkwell…
    He practiced so much that his handwriting was indistinguishable from that of his master.
    Later he would say, “Praise of good calligraphy is praise of the Lord.”

    *

    Ruhollah was now 27.
    One day, Mr. Lavasani asked him,
    “Why don’t you get married?”
    With downcast eyes he said,
    “I want a wife who acts within the confines of the [Sacred] Law,
    Who is passionate about the [religious] sciences,
    And will make do with the life of the wife of a man of the cloth.”
    Mr. Lavasani glanced at Mr. Thaqafi, then turned to Ruhollah and said,
    “Mr. Thaqafi has two daughters.”
    This Ruhollah did not know.
    He had known Mr. Thaqafi for some years now.
    It was decided that Mr. Lavasani would approach Mr. Thaqafi on Ruhollah’s behalf
    To ask for the hand of one of his daughters in marriage.

    In her birth certificate her name was given as Khadijeh, but she was called Qodsi.
    Qodsi lived in Tehran, with her grandmother.
    A few years ago, her father had gone to Qom to continue his studies.
    He was devoted to the [religious] sciences, and had written a few books as well.
    Qodsi had studied up to the eighth grade.
    She would like to have continued on to high school,
    But because [in those days] all the teachers, orderlies and school administrators were male,
    Her father was averse to the idea, and she did not wish to go [against his will].

    The next time her father came to Tehran, he spoke to Qodsi,
    Although he knew her answer was a foregone conclusion.
    Life in Qom would have been difficult for her.
    Each time she would come to visit him in Qom, he would try to keep her there for a few extra days.
    The desert climate didn’t suit her.
    And her grandmother couldn’t bear to be without her for too long.
    But still, he would say,
    “But my daughter, this Seyyed [a man from the family of the Prophet] is a good man.
    He will not let life be too difficult for you.”
    He said this and sipped his tea [waiting for her to change her mind].

    Her father’s persistence didn’t yield any result,
    But neither was Mr. Lavasani satisfied that her answer was final.
    The fifth time Mr. Lavasani asked the father of the bride-to-be, Mr. Thaqafi said,
    “I don’t know anymore, the decision is hers to make.”

    The next morning, when Qodsi awoke, her sleep was still in her eyes,
    As if she did not want to awake and wanted her dream to continue.
    By breakfast she could no longer hold out, and confided in her grandmother:
    “I dreamed three people were sitting right there. One had on a black turban [a privilege exclusive to seyyeds]. The other’s turban was green [the other color of turban which is also exclusive to the family of the Prophet, upon all of whom be the peace and blessings of God]. And there was a third man, who was younger, whose turban was also black.
    I turned around and saw that there was a lady with a chador speckled with flowers sitting next to me.
    I asked her, ‘Who are these gentlemen?’
    She said, “The Prophet, Imam ‘Ali, and Imam Hasan.”
    I was thrilled, and said, “I love them very much!”
    She said, “No, you do not love them.”
    I said, “Yes, I surely do! I love them very much indeed!”
    But she gave me the same answer.
    Grandmother said, “It must be because you have turned down this seyyed that the Prophet is cross with you. Accept that!”

    The day after we made our vows, he said to me,
    “The only thing I ask of you is that you perform your religious duties and avoid sin. Nothing more.”

    *

    One day, I was sitting next to Aqa [Ruhollah].
    A maid had brought in some tea.
    I told Aqa, “This Fatemeh is a good maid; she works very diligently.”
    He said, “Pray do not talk behind others’ backs.”
    “But that wasn’t backbiting,” I said, “I said she was good and diligent in her work.”
    He said, “Yes, but when you say that so-and-so is good, it implies that another is not as good, and that is backbiting.”

    *

    “Be quiet!” Aqa said.
    But the others insisted on hearing Seyyed Mostafa tell of the dream that he’d had the previous night.
    Mostafa’s gaze was to the ground and he was recounting the dream with trepidation and awe.
    “… Farabi, Avicenna, Abu Rayhan-e Biruni, Fakr-e Razi, Khajeh Nasir ed-Din-e Tusi, ‘Allameh Helli, Molla Sadra, and many others were there… When you entered, everyone rose out of respect and ushered you to the front of the assembly. “
    When Mostafa finished speaking, everyone was dumbfounded. No one spoke a word. Their eyes were on the Imam, who was still looking at Mostafa.
    Mostafa finally gathered the courage to raise his head, and when his eyes met those of the Imam’s, Aqa asked him:
    “You really had this dream?”
    “Indeed I did.”
    “Silly boy!”
    Everyone’s laughter filled the room, and Aqa smiled along with everyone else.

    *

    It was my turn to do the dishes, but I was very tired and just wasn’t up to the task.
    I was resting against my cushion and pleading with my sister to no avail to take on my burden.
    Then, of a sudden, it occurred to me that Aqa Jun’s Vuzu (ritual ablution) never took so long.
    When I reached the door of the kitchen, Aqa was drying his hands.
    The dishes were clean and neatly placed in the dishrack to dry.
    When he saw my surprise he said,
    “Today it was my turn.”

    *

    He was never short with the children,
    Except when they didn’t listen to their mother.
    He would say, “‘Heaven is at the foot of mothers.’ “
    Then he would explain, “You must listen to what your mother has to say, constantly
    Effacing your will at her feet up to the time that God deems you worthy of entering Heaven.”

    *

    Once he said, “Those who have ventured on the journey of self-examination and purification
    Will at times be graced with a certain luminosity about them.
    This they must strive to protect with the maintenance of the correct relation to God
    And of His perpetual ritual invocation [zekr].

    *

    The sky was overcast.
    No one had noticed the setting of the sun.
    That day, class has taken longer than usual.
    When the azan [call to prayer] was heard, Aqa immediately brought his lesson to a close.
    The students, upset from having been deprived of the rest of the lesson,
    Took their complaint to the moazzen [the prayer caller]:
    “What kind of thing was that for you to do [in the middle of the lesson]?!”
    The old moazzen didn’t say anything and just lowered his head.
    When Aqa heard of this incident, he suspended his lessons in the great mosque,
    Until the day that his students went to the old moazzen and begged him to forgive them their trespass.

    *

    They were taking him to Tehran.
    On either side of him, a SAVAK agent [the Shah’s notorious secret service] was seated.
    Their legs were trembling from fear.
    They didn’t want the Seyyed to know… but they were afraid.
    He said, “Why are you trembling? What are you afraid of?”
    “If… if the people see that we have taken you [prisoner]…”
    Gently, he placed his hands on their knees and said,
    “While I am with you, there is no need for you to be afraid.”

    *

    Neauphle-le-Château is a small village about 40 kilometers from Paris.
    They had rented a two-bedroom house there.
    His neighbors liked him.
    They had heard that he was the leader of the Iranian Revolution.
    They would see him in his garden, seated under an apple tree
    With reporters gathered around him, asking him questions.
    On Christmas Eve, he sent presents to his neighbors:
    A box of sweets,
    And a long-stemmed rose.

    *

    “Why so many oranges?” he asked.
    The price was reduced, so I bought a couple of kilos to last a few days.
    He said, “You have committed two sins. The first is that there was no need for so many; and some might be wasted. The other is that there might be some people in Neauphle-le-Château who can not afford to buy oranges at the regular price and, now that the price has been reduced and with your having bought so many, you might have deprived them of their chance to buy some [at this reduced price]. Go and return them!”
    “But they won’t take them back,” I objected.
    “So then, peel them and offer them around. Maybe in this way God will see His way to forgive you your sin.”

    *

    [When the plane landed at Mehrabad airport, ending 14 years of exile]
    He descended the stairs slowly.
    Millions had come to greet him.
    People carried the car he was in on their raised hands.
    The first place he went to was Behesht-e Zahra,
    To be next to the martyrs.

    *

    He had asked, “Why are you fighting with Iraq?” and Our ambassador had responded,
    “It is not we who are fighting. The started the war and we are only defending our- …
    Cutting him off, he slapped our ambassador on the face.
    The man was one of the head honchos of the Soviet Union. There was nothing to be done.

    It was midnight when the Imam heard of the incident.
    He said, “… right NOW!”
    They entreated him: “The Soviet Union is a superpower! We cannot …”
    But it was all to no avail. Finally he said, “If none of you will go, let me know and I will go myself.”

    A little later, they rang the doorbell of the Soviet ambassador’s residence, saying they needed to speak to him. They were told that he was asleep, and that they should return in the morning.
    In turn, they said that they had come on an urgent mission from the Leader of Iran.
    The ambassador came with sleep in his eyes. Without a word, they landed a heavy slap on his face.
    “Tit for tat,” they said, and left.

    *

    Iraq was bombing Iranian cities.
    They had built a bomb shelter next to the Imam’s residence for him, but he refused to use it.
    When they insisted, he said, “What is the difference between me and the soldier who keeps watch at the front of the street?”
    He never did use the bomb shelter, no matter what we did.

    *

    In the winter of [13] ’62 I telephoned the Imam’s office and asked why the Imam no longer holds audiences? They told me that the Imam had heard that in the West of the country [at the war front] there is a shortage of gasoil, and he ordered the heaters of Jamaran [his residence] be turned off.
    He is suffering from a severe cold, they said.

    *

    We were installing a railing around the porch of the house when the Imam called out,
    “Ahmad, what are you doing?”
    “We’re installing a railing so that the children don’t fall off the porch.”
    He said the Devil uses just such avenues to enter your hearts. First he says, ‘Your porch needs a railing,’ then, ‘The house needs a coat of paint,’ and then, ‘This house is too small; it is beneath you,’ and before you know it, you are entangled [in his web].

    *

    The Supreme Security Council had a meeting in which the Imam was present.
    It was a very important meeting. Mr. Khamenei, Mr. Hashemi [Rafsanjani], the Minister of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff… everyone was there. In the middle of the meeting, suddenly the Imam got up and left the room. Everyone was surprised and we were concerned that something untoward had occurred.
    Someone asked, “Is everything alright, Sir?”
    “Fine! Its prayer time is all.”

    *

    On the noon of the 13th of Khordad [1368] he awoke from his sleep again and ordered the members of his household to gather round. His wife and his children and his grandchildren gathered around the [hospital] bed. He looked at them all, and with a weak voice said,
    “The path ahead is perilous in the extreme. Try [at all costs] to avoid sin.”
    Then he said, “That is all. Turn off the light. Those who want to stay, stay, and those who want to leave, leave.”
    The light was turned off.
    He closed his eyes.

  287. ToivoS says:

    Fiorangela says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm
    ToivoS, with whom will Turkey & Egypt align?

    I have no idea. The uprising that began last year in Egypt has yet to resolve itself. As of now Turkey is in Nato so that remains it’s de facto alliance. Israel will remain isolated until they abandon their efforts to suppress the Palestinians. It might be too late for Israel to do that without losing their Jewish majority in which case the nation we call Israel will be renamed Palestine.

  288. Castellio says:

    Thanks to all for your thoughtful comments. I’ll get back to this later.

    A quick comment regarding the SCO. It’s not easy living beside Russia. And its not easy living beside China, either. So consider for a minute what it must be like for China and Russia to live side by side, and over such a vulnerable landmass. Such a huge population to the south, such a dispersed population to the north, and tribal affiliations dispersed throughout.

    I am pointing to the unspoken weakness of the SCO, and what Nixon adroitly leveraged when making his overture to China: US aggression pushes those powers together, US diplomacy eases them apart. One could ask, given the stationing of US soldiers in Australia, why the US seems to be foresaking its diplomatic strengths so casually.

  289. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Toivo:

    India too (along with Pakistan and Iran) has for several years now enjoyed observer status on the SCO and has been represented at their meetings with delegations headed at the Foreign Minister level.

    I think you are right to want to shift the Leverettes’ focus on this formation. I also think what is of key significance for the future is the US’s ability (or inability) to maintain the dollar as the exclusive exchange currency of the world. I think the tightrope the US as a waning empire has to walk has on one side the need to continue overspending to maintain its over-extended military reach, and, on the other, the gradual but certain erosion of confidence in the greenback as she prints more and more of them in order to sustain the unsustainable.

  290. Fiorangela says:

    ToivoS, with whom will Turkey & Egypt align?

    And will Israel ultimately decouple from its intense US relationship and join with the region of the world where it is geographically located, adopting, as it does so, a not-western world view? (Not- Western is NOT the same as anti-western, merely a recognition that westernism is not the end all and be all, and that one must bloom where one is planted, or in Israel’s case, where one has planted oneself).

  291. ToivoS says:

    Castellio thank-you for posing an engaging question that has provoked a number of intelligent responses. Though I do not agree with you.

    I cannot prove but the circumstantial evidence supports the notion that the Obama administration has accepted that the costs of war with Iran would be just too high and are now working on avoiding one. What this means, even if not explicitly recognized by US leaders, is that our influence in the ME will lessen. This is perhaps a recognition on the part of the US that the costs of absolute hegemony are too high for the returns. What this further means, even if not explicitly recognized by the US, is that Iranian influence in Mideastern affairs will increase.

    What we are seeing is that the winner of the American War against Iraq is Iran. The US removed Iran’s enemy and turned Iraq into an Iranian ally.

    The central Asian republics see the decline in US influence, are in the process of forcing the removal of US bases in that region and those countries realize that their natural alliance is with China and Russia.

    If the US and the EU continue sanctions against Iran, Iran will have no choice but to join that alliance with China and Russia. This is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization I mentioned in a number of posts earlier. I really do not believe that the EU will continue with a sanctions policy if the net result is forcing Iran into the China-Russian alliance. We know that Pakistan is interested in joining the SCO and once Nato is driven out of Afghanistan that country will also join. Just look at a map — that would be one massive alliance that links Russia, Central Asia, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan with China. China soon to be the largest economy in the world.

    Somehow I do not believe that the EU could be so stupid as to continue serving as Israel-US puppets while such a powerful alliance of Eurasian nations form without seeking accommodation with that alliance. Hence, at some point the EU, in order to protect its own economic interests, will have to separate itself from the self destructive sanctions policies against Iran. This will mark another decline in US influence in the world.

    As bad as all of this may appear to the US, the fact is we do not have the resources to rule the world. The sooner we recognize that fact the sooner we will be in a position to rebuild America’s economy. If we could simply accept that we are not going to rule the world, then we could go back and do what we have done so well for the last 150 years — and that is to strengthen what remains the most prosperous and often inspiring nations on earth.

  292. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    No one here (I think) is questioning the desire and policy of the US to maintain control over the absolute monarchies in the Gulf. The US of course tried to establish Iraq as a convenient base for a larger number of troops than it could maintain in the Gulf States, which would of course have allowed it to threaten and contain Iran. The result was a complete failure by the US which allowed Iran to exert far more influence over Iraq than it did before. The current US instigated and Saudi supported rebellion in Syria is yet another attempt to contain Iran (which is also failing). So the US will indeed try to contain Iran and attempt to minimize its influence while at the same time it attempts to maintain its control over the Persian Gulf oil supply.

    However, the problem the US would have with a war with Iran is that it would lose control of that oil supply for an undetermined period (probably until a cease fire agreement or peace agreement was concluded with Iran). So the result of a war with Iran, unlike the US objectives in the war on Iraq, would be loss of control by the US over the Persian Gulf, not an increase in control. As I stated, the US and the rest of the world would be able to go without oil from the Persian Gulf for at most 3 months. I do not believe that this fact has been lost on US decisionmakers. Indeed, this is the reason the US has so desperately tried and failed to stop development of Iran’s MRBMs and other missiles. And the perspective that a war with Iran would be both futile and counter productive is commonly accepted across even the MSM in the US.

  293. kooshy says:

    Castellio says:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Castelio-

    I agree it’s not all about Israel; Israel’s interest coincides and is used as an excuse, this mostly is about control on the distribution of energy and associated rote’s choke points (Hormoz, Suez, and Malaga).

    What has held the war, is the American calculation that the way of war is more risky with a chance of falling down, rather than more prolonged way by gradually stepping down (losing influence)and possibly having favorable opportunists along the way going down.

  294. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:

    I agree that “America needs to go to war with Iran”, for all the reasons you eloquently stated, as well as for tactical reasons in the cognitive war, which is an adumbration of the cosmic war. But that is not the issue (whether the US wants or needs to go to war: it does). It seems to me that the Screenwriter has placed the hegemon in the unenviable position of not being able to afford NOT to go to war, but at the same time, not being able to afford to wage that ‘necessary’ war either. This, because of the state of the capitalist economy on one hand, and the strategic position of Iran on the other: her ability to cut the jugular vein of the aggressor. It seems to me that is the real question: Iran’s military capability to wreck *fatal* havoc on late capitalism. And I think the answer is positive.

  295. BiBiJon says:

    Castellio says:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    …”Thus, for reasons that go beyond the supremacy of Israel, itself a fundamental and frequently stated foreign policy goal of the US, America must go to war with Iran. It needs to maintain its traditional control over the Middle East oil producing nations to maintain its dominance during the Asian re-emergence.”

    If I may, it is still an ‘optional’ war. No one is more adept at maintaining the delicate balance that must exist in the Mid East to avoid WWIII.

    Iran bends over backwards to accommodate US’ colonies in the region; avoids force projection capability; regularly turns the other cheek for further abuse by KSA, etc.

    I think when Rafsanjani recently talked about the importance of having good relations with KSA he was in fact emphasizing this notion of the ‘delicate balance’, methinks.

    Iran needs to (and largely always has done) be simultaneously a buffer for protection of Russia from the US and a buffer for protection of US interests in PG from Russian encroachment. This stance must leave both Russia and the US perpetually peeved at Iran, while both understand just as well as Iran does that short of WWIII, there is no alternative.

  296. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    All European countries, and the US, support Libya’s territorial integrity.

  297. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    What is “anti-Muslim” about Nato?

  298. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    China develops its own energy policies and does not need support from Iran to accomplish it.

  299. James Canning says:

    Lewis Lapham has a thoughtful essay in the May number of Haprer’s magazine: “Ignorance of Times Past”. Apparently about three Americans out of four cannot identify America’s antagonist during four decades of Cold War.

  300. Castellio says:

    Exposed…. thanks for your comments. I agree you are right to state, and stress, your points. So let me prod a little with an argument not convincing to me but which, I am afraid, may have already convinced others more powerful than I.

    For the US to let the influence of Iran continue to grow is to give up control of the Middle East for decades to come;. It does this by weakening the House of Saud and the regime in Bahrain, as well as other American friendly Gulf States. If the House of Saud goes, and the governments of Iraq and Iran are not US friendly, then India and, most importantly, China, will develop energy policies beyond the sway of US direct influence. That is an important loss for American interests. Such a loss will also lead to a loss of influence in the ‘Stans’, themselves an important part of the encirclement of Russia, which country remains the US’s most powerful and sophisticated nuclear opponent.

    Thus, for reasons that go beyond the supremacy of Israel, itself a fundamental and frequently stated foreign policy goal of the US, America must go to war with Iran. It needs to maintain its traditional control over the Middle East oil producing nations to maintain its dominance during the Asian re-emergence.

  301. Rehmat says:

    Karl – Yes Turkey is a hostile state toward Muslim countries which are trying to get out of Zionist-grip. Turkey still maintains diplomatic relations with the illegal entity Israel and is a member of anti-Muslim warmongering organization NATO – and has very close relations with Jewish lobby groups in the US, Canada and EU – through Crypto-Jewish Turkish community.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/rabbi-frankist-jews-committed-holocaust/

  302. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Sanctions still failing

    Iran extends oil deals with Asian, African refineries: NIOC

    “Iran has no problem exporting or selling crude oil,” said Mohsen Qamsari in an interview with Mehr News Agency.

    He went on to say that one-year contracts had been signed with Asian and African refineries.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/237355.html

  303. k_w says:

    @James: A separate state around Benghazi?

  304. James Canning says:

    Kate Gould’s “What a Diffference a Day (of Iran Talks) Makes”, at Truthout site is worth reading. Senator Rand Paul blocked foolish Senate bill imposing yet more sanctions on Iran.

  305. James Canning says:

    Robert Naiman, Truthout: “The New York Times has suggested to its readers that Iran’s supreme leader is uniquely and intrinsically untrustworthy when he says that Iran will never pursue a nuclear weapon.”

    Fatwa issue. Got to discredit the fatwa. Most Americans, of course, have never heard of it.

  306. James Canning says:

    Simon Kuper in today’s Financial Times has an interesting piece: “Why CEOs shouldn’t run the world”. Quote: “Just before the US invaded Iraq in 2003, I was debating the matter with a friend who is a multimillionaire entrepreneur. “Of course we should invade,’ he said. ‘The Middle East can’t get any worse, so if you change something it’s bound to get better.’”

    “Mitt Romney’s campaign for president rests on the ‘CEO fallacy’.”

    Very true, and an important warning.

  307. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    The western intervention in Libya was very different from the US/UK invasion of Iraq. What rebel group or groups existed in Iraq, at time of the invasion?

  308. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    “Turmoil was the aim”? What sense would it make for France, the UK and other countries to promote “turmoil” in Libya?

  309. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I said Saudi Arabia wants Iraq to increase its oil production substantially. Are you claiming this is incorrect?

  310. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    This statmenet is the only accurate one that you have made in a long time:

    “Iran will have to stop, or the negotiations will fail. Even if the NPT allows enriching to 20 percent.”

    All:

    Iranians will grant that once they have enough for TRR refueling; the Axis Powers will trumpet that as a great victory, and EU states will revise their oil sancions.

    These are the elements of the cease-fire.

  311. Karl says:

    Iraqi PM Maliki says Turkey is becoming ‘hostile state’
    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2012/04/20/209095.html

    Turkey have become a bigmouth not only on Iraq.

    Israel: Turkey played tough against Israel after flotilla massacre and Gaza invasion 2009, however, nothing practially happend. They came out as the loser since it didnt back up any of its threats (sanctions against Israel, the claim Turkey would protect any vessel carrying aid to Israel, taking Israel to ICC).

    US/Nato/EU, installed the radar systems, hostile to the region in general and against Iran the most. Blew atleast some of its relationsship with Iran.
    Turkey is not even welcomed in the west nor to be a member of the EU therefore if they think that their agreement with Nato will benefit them they are wrong.

    Syria, have been one of the staunchest supporter for any kind of outside intervention and have been one of the reasons why there have been no real dialogue.

  312. k_w says:

    @James, Libya followed the Iraq example. Again, turmoil was the aim, turmoil got its support, tribes are fighting each other now, civil war is reality there. You don’t lead war for stability if you don’t care what happens in the country afterwards.

  313. M. Ali says:

    An article on Syria –

    http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/2012/04/21/141–Arab-Spring-in-Syria-Picnickers-tell-a-different-story-.html

    “A shopkeeper in downtown Damascus smiled ironically when asked about whether there is a mass uprising in the country. “Where did you see it? On CNN?” he asked sarcastically.”

  314. Karl says:

    UK’s Cameron backs Bahrain F1
    http://www.tradearabia.com/news/LAW_216273.html

    Along with clinton, he is probably the most despicable and hypocrite man as a foreign minister.

  315. A concerned world citizen says:

    I’ve just been reading about the republican wing in congress pushing for the US to further pour more funding into Israel’s wonder weapon that they claim can hit incoming rockets. The farce!!! I’m just astounded by the way the US congress is in the pocket of a foreign government. Do US electorates really know what their congressmen/women stand for anymore?

    It also seems strange that a “country”(Israel) that touts their economy as one of the best in the world with higher growth rates etc. are incapable of footing the bill for their own defence and have to resort to begging other countries to provide them with the funds.

    But then it struck me! There’s actually method in all this madness. You only need to hear past the usual mantra BS of “unshakable bonds”, “shared interest” etc. to see what it really is. Thing is, the US NEEDS Israel to survive as a viable state in order to continue their control(empire) in the region and Israel also needs the US to be powerful in order to check her enemies. ie; Iran and other non-compliant Arab states/groups. For the US, Israel is a reliable weapons depot/dump that needs to be protected at all cost. It has nothing to do with democracy or the plight of some poor Jews that where killed in WW2.

    Then we have to Saudi angle. The Saudis will align themselves with ANY power that will ensure the survival of their throne and that of their mini-monarchies in the region. So they rely on the US for this and the US expects them to counter Iran in that part of the region for them. Saudi Arabia is the head of the pack in all the Arab monarchies and they set the theme for the others to follow. If the Saudis decided today to align themselves with the Russians, expect all the little monarchies to follow suit. So in essence, it’s in their best interest for the US to be powerful in the region in order to help maintain their control over their own people.This is what happens to regimes that lack legitimacy – they always rely on foreign powers to prop them up. They reward the US by providing them cheap/constant oil supply and massive weapons contracts.

    Now, back to the Israel “missile shield” dupe. So, while the average American can’t afford to pay for their healthcare and other things, the US government deems it necessary to send massive amounts of US tax payers money to Israel so they can protect themselves from a situation they created themselves in the first place.

    There’s been rumours that all the rocket fire into Israel and the reported “interception” by their Iron dome “missile-shield” seems to be staged to get the US into exactly what they want. Nobody knows where these rockets come from except what the Israelis tell us, that they’re fired from Gaza or Sinai. As there’s no way of proving this, people buy into it. Could it be that Israel orchestrates their own rocket launch and then claims VICTIMHOOD again to continue to milk more US tax dollars?

    The funny thing about this whole strategy is that, it’s simply too expensive and not sustainable in the long term. But what do they care? They’ll keep milking the US until she finally runs bankrupt economically and strategically.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/u-s-republicans-seek-to-provide-israel-with-680-million-for-iron-dome-anti-missile-system-1.425638

  316. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

    “There is a persistance in US history, and I don’t think the march of military led expansion and foreign wars for economic interests is at all over.”

    Just to respond to this particular argument individually, the point here is that the US has nothing to gain and a huge amount to lose, economically and otherwise, from a war on Iran. The catastrophic impact of the end of oil supplies from the Persian Gulf on the US economy so outweighs any small profit for the “MIC” that waging such a war from the perspective of economic gain would be literally insane.

  317. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Castellio says:
    April 21, 2012 at 12:05 am

    To clarify, the fundamental issue that makes the war unlikely is how long the US and EU could go without oil from the Persian Gulf states. Given the current reserves of oil that the US and EU have, when oil is cut off, they can probably manage, at most, 2 or 3 months before an economic crisis virtually shuts down their respective economies. Of course China, India, and the US’ Asian allies would also be severly effected. If the war lasted for more than a few months (which is pretty much inveitable) China, India, Russia, and other states would demand that it end.

    Other problems for the US:
    1. What would the US objective be precisely? This has never been defined with sufficient clarity. An invasion of Iran is of course out of the question. If limited air strikes against the nuclear program than this would be problematic because it is far from clear that the US could destroy the deeply buried bunkers and following the attacks, as stated by many, Iran would than simply restart its nuclear program with the open intent of obtaining a bomb.
    2. US forces in Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf would not have a dependable fuel supply. They would have to operate under the serious risk that fuel supply would be cut off for an undetermined period of time, and they would be unable to adequately protect it.
    3. The US would be gambling with permanently losing control of the Persian Gulf as Iran’s huge arsenal of anti ship missiles would make continuing presence of US naval vessels inside the Gulf virtually impossible. As already extensively discussed here, just look at Israel’s defeat by Hezbollah in 2006 to understand how hard it is to destroy well hidden missiles even if one side has complete air superiority.

    If the US thinks that it can wage a short war that will achieve its objectives, than it will do so. However since it cannot (which was recognized even by George W. Bush when he refused to go along with Cheney’s plans to do so) that makes a war very unlikely.

  318. Castellio says:

    I’ve enjoyed the Kooshy – Arnold negotiations, or non-negotiations. Their dwindling kind of proves a point.

    Which is that the true intentions of the US aren’t on the table. The US wants Iran to stop its support for Syria, Hezbollah, Palestine, and any social movement of Shia within the Gulf Arabic states. Until it gets that, it will maintain sanctions.

    It ALSO wants no nuclear weapons program, and thinks the non-enrichment option the best tactic to deal with that specific issue. So Arnold focused on the realities of that, but Kooshy keeps seeing the implications on the larger issue of Iranian sovereignty and national cultural renewal, and sets the negotiation context strictly within the NPT.

    But the NPT is only marginally relevant to the unstated American interests.

    I continue to think, unlike the majority here, but with the cantankerous and absent RHS, that the concerns delaying a hot war are political timing in the US, weakening of the ‘enemy’ through sanctions and political movements in Syria, and improved rocket defense for Israel.

    Many on this board have made it clear that they beleve there will never be a good political moment to go to war with Iran, the economy is not weakening but strengthening due to its improved self-reliance and unique economic foundation, and no amount of improved rocket defense will work against the steady improvements of Hezbollah as an organized force and increasing Iranian missile capacity.

    In short, that its too late for the US and the tide has turned.

    However, every time I hear the argument that Iran has stared down the US and forced it into a stalemate, I can’t help thinking that its the wind of hubris whistling. There is a persistance in US history, and I don’t think the march of military led expansion and foreign wars for economic interests is at all over.

    Hezbollah has offered Israel the one-state solution. If Israel were smart, it would take it and try to build a non-sectarian society upon universal principles of justice. The US would continue to pour money into it. That is not going to happen, however. The Israeli idea of national renewal is built on both separatist and supremacist principles. When you study Israeli history, that conclusion is unavoidable. And when you look at the Israeli political landscape, the Settler/Orthodox movement is ascendant.

    So the most dominant military nation in history is going to hasten its decline by a now almost inevitable war, the rationale and timing of which will be chosen by Israeli interests, either in Tel Aviv or Washington (does it matter, really, which?)

  319. Castellio says:

    “WASHINGTON -The United States would spend an additional $680 million through 2015 to strengthen Israel’s short-range rocket shield under a plan crafted by House of Representatives’ Republicans, two congressional staff members disclosed on Friday.”

    Given the more than 200 million spent to that end already, that’s climbing to a billion dollars on a rocket shield for short range missile.

    Maybe its the US buying time in the negotiations.

    http://www.jpost.com/Defense/Article.aspx?id=266910

  320. Rehmat says:

    It seems Moussa Abu Marzouk’s interview with US Jewish daily Forward proves that some of Hamas leaders may have distant themselves from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for Qatari $250 million bribe – but they’re still part of “Iran’s axis of madness“.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/israel-hamas-and-their-kabuki-politics/

  321. Karl says:

    James,

    For the sake of this board, please stop repeat what you have said probably hundreds of times. Your standpoint is noted over and over again.

  322. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Stated another way, Russia, China, India, Japan, the US, the EU, etc., will ensure Iran stops enriching to 20 percent. Why is this an apparent problem for you?

  323. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I try to explain to you, and others, that if Iran continues to stockpile 20 percent uranium, it will have its navy sunk, its air force destroyed, etc etc. Which I pwrefer to avoid seeing come to pass.

  324. James Canning says:

    ToivoS,

    When Castellio asks how negotiations can succeed, if the starting point is Iran will not be allowed to exercise all its rights within the NPT, what in your view is the appropriate response? Are you actually contending Iran’s enrichment to 20% did not bring on the latest round of sanctions, and higher tensions in the Persian Guld? What is YOUR problem?

  325. ToivoS says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm
    Castellio,

    The primary problem is Iran’s enriching to 20%.

    James, have you ever been diagnosed with some kind of obsessive/compulsive disorder? This might be 25,000th time you have have said that.

  326. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    “Even “if” the NPT allows enriching to 20 percent.”

    Gav-

    Are you sure the word “if” is written in NPT’s enrichment rights related article, if not why you think you can put it there?

    Did you mean to say “even though it is allowed in the NPT”

  327. Karl says:

    Iran’s Parchin complex: Why are nuclear inspectors so focused on it?
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0420/Iran-s-Parchin-complex-Why-are-nuclear-inspectors-so-focused-on-it

    Maybe because the western warmongering states want to keep the suspicious-fire alive?

  328. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I heartily agree Iran’s cooperation is essential, for peace and stability in the Middle East. And Iran would be happy enough with higher Iraqi oil production, I should think.

  329. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    The primary problem is Iran’s enriching to 20%. Iran will have to stop, or the negotiations will fail. Even if the NPT allows enriching to 20 percent.

  330. Castellio says:

    I find Solana’s views either deceitful or incomprehensible, actually, as he states the following: “The objective of the talks, chaired by the European Union’s foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton, and Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, is still to persuade Iran to halt uranium enrichment and to comply with Security Council resolutions and its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.”

    If one starts from the position that the NPT disallows uranium enrichment, how can the negotiations succeed?

  331. fyi says:

    All:

    Mr. Slona’s views:

    http://www.straitstimes.com/Project_Syndicate/Story/STIStory_790823.html

    The key passage is this:

    “Political optics – that is, the management of public perceptions – will be a very important part of this negotiation.”

    The rest of the piece is a report on the order of battle from Axis Powers point of view.

    He is wrong on the order of battle, but there you have it any way.

  332. Castellio says:

    In previous postings by FYI he has shared his opinion of the lack of concern for life in China, and has posited that as a racial characteristic, in which they were firmly rooted in Jahiliyah

    In respect of that, the following is worthwhile:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/chinese-melamine-and-american-vioxx-a-comparison/

  333. Castellio says:

    Perhaps this article has been referenced earlier (by James?) but My God, it is an important precis of an interesting debate in terms of China and the US.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/blog/chinas-rise-americas-fall/

  334. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 20, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    Without Iranian help and active participation, the sort of security that Saudis and Americans crave is not possible.

    That possibility is not probable any time soon; first cease-fire, then peace.

  335. kooshy says:

    This must be the joke of the day, it’s really is making my day more fun. Gav- it all sounds like you guys already had enough,
    It would be even more fun to see what one liner you come up with for this one.

    UPDATE 1-NATO head calls on China, Russia to help fund Afghan forces

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/19/nato-russia-idUSL6E8FJFUO20120419

  336. James Canning says:

    Marc Lynch asks: “Did Gaddafi’s Sex Addiction Destroy Libya?” at the foreignpolicy.com site.

  337. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    The moron in the White House was not even aware he gave Jerry Bremer approval to disband Iraqi army and security services! And the Secretary of State (Colin Powell) and the National Security Advisor (Dondoleezza Rice) were not even informed this was happening!

  338. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    The Saudis want Iraq’s oil production increased substantially. This means promoting stability is essential.

  339. James Canning says:

    k_w,

    My point was that CURRENT POLICY of US & UK is to promote stability in Iraq.

    Jerry Bremer created civil war in Iraq by idiotically disbanding Iraqi army and security services.

    Some of the neocon warmongers who conspired to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq on knowingly false pretenses, saw their chance to gain immense wealth from planned dealings with the Shia-controlled government that could not be installed without destroying Sunni power structure. This aspect of the conspiracy gets far too little attention.

  340. k_w says:

    @James: “Policy of the UK and the US is to seek to promote stability in Iraq. Not to promote sectarian warfare.”

    Definitely not. First of all, everybody from Risen, Bamford, over Woodward, Sniegoski, to McClellan or Escobar confirmed that no one in the White House had discussed the aftermath of the war. There was no planning on who should be installed in power, there was general agreement that Chalabi would not be able to achieve anything as far as politics goes. Secondly, by paying the Awakening Sunnis for crushing the Shiite milicias, and the Kurds for crushing the Sunnis, by paying Shiite and Kurdish milicias as supporting troops for US SpecOps forces, the foundations of a civil war along ethnic a/o religious boundaries were laid. This was done deliberately. Thirdly, if we go back to the underlying strategy of the ziocon hawks in the White House (Ross, Elliott, Feith, Wurmser, Libby etc.) and in the Pentagon (Perle, Rhode and their ilk), namely A Clean Break, and Coping with Crumbling States, the outcome of the war was clear.

  341. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    “Do you favor negotiations with the Taliban, to achieve at least minimal stability in Afghanistan?’

    That will naturally happen once you and your client states had enough and move out, in the meantime the more bloody you get the less likely you come back soon. That is exactly how all empires have gone done.

  342. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Because Iran needed fuel for the TRR and the US/West was prolonging negotiations to no purpose. The choice Iran faced was either to start enriching to 20% or to wait and hope the US would honor such an eventual deal, with the full knowledge that the US had reneged on its agreements with North Korea and would likely do so in the case of such an agreement with Iran. As it happens, the subsequent events have proven that Iran was right in that supposition.

  343. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    No Iran did not “blunder.” The whole point is that the US would have eventually found some other excuse to implement increased sanctions. This is shown by the fact that the US refused to resolve the 20% issue when Iran offered to resolve it in a reasonable way. So simply stated Iran does not gain anything by agreeing to the US’ unilateral demands to stop 20% enrichment. And since the Iranian government is not stupid (unlike the US government) it is not going to stop doing something when it would gain no benefit from doing so.

  344. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Policy of the UK and the US is to seek to promote stability in Iraq. Not to promote sectarian warfare.

  345. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Are you suggesting the Taliban in Afghanistan are behind the attacks on Shia community in Iraq? This seems unlikely.

    Do you favor negotiations with the Taliban, to achieve at least minimal stability in Afghanistan?

  346. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    I agree with you the proposed nuclear exchange should have been pursued. But why did Iran start enriching to 20 percent just at a time when an effort was underway to export Iran’s 3.5% U and obtain TRR fuel in exchange?

  347. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    “You actually think the UK and the US would welcome radical Sunni terrorist attacks on Shia community in Iraq? Amazing.”

    Gav-

    Do you think it was my aunt who started talking to Taliban and opened an office for them in US’s central command headquarters in Qatar?

    Gav- there is Iranian proverb that I learned from my mother which actually had a realistic use in Victorian time in England it translates
    ‘If you can’t get the lady of the house, go for the kitchen’s maid”

  348. James Canning says:

    Expose,

    Warmongering neocons and other “supporters” of Israel in the US do in fact want to punish Iran, even if Iran stopped enriching uranium. But the latest round of sanctions AROSE DIRECTLY IN RESPONSE TO IRAN’S ANNOUNCEMENT LAST JUNE IT WOULD TREBLE PRODUCTION OF 20 PERCENT URANIUM.

    Iran blundered, and warmongering neocons and other “supporters” of Israel took advantage of that blunder.

  349. James Canning says:

    Cherif Bassiouni, speaking at George Washington University this week: “Most people don’t know [it], [but Gaddafi] was almost addicted, he had sexual addiction, consumed enormous amounts of Viagra and other similar pills, which had a very serious negative effect when combined with his other medication.”

  350. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    A concerned world citizen says:
    April 20, 2012 at 2:28 am

    And this in addition to pointing out the obvious hypocrisy of the nuclear weapons states also illustrates another point. US reason for implementing sanctions is not solely or even primarily about Iran’s nuclear program as we can see from the constant refusal of the US to engage in real negotiation and to accept constructive solutions such as the Brazil/Turkey deal. The latest intensified demands by the US also show this. The US would have sanctions on Iran even if the nuclear program did not exist. As long as Iran is independent it fatally undermines US attempts to dominate the Middle East and as such cannot be tolerated. Of course, the continuing failure of the US to accomplish its objectives in this respect also reveal its basic weakness and why the US will never be a “hegemonic” power as the US elite desires.

  351. kooshy says:

    Arnold

    I missed adding this last sentence

    This is the real reason Iran is coming to this meetings with 6 of the most powerful countries in the world to show that they are not giving up what west wants, so in turn you loudly announce that Iran is not scared of our power (in reality it means Iran is not scared of our threats of war).

  352. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    There seems little doubt that some Saudis (and other Gulf Arabs) are not happy with the Maliki government in Iraq, and they see the status of the Sunnis in Iraq as continuing to be eroded.

  353. James Canning says:

    The Financial Times today called for India to join some of the organisations working to prevent nuclear proliferation, even if India does not sign the NPT.

  354. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    You actually think the UK and the US would welcome radical Sunni terrorist attacks on Shia community in Iraq? Amazing.

  355. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Yes, how peculiar that there is so little (or even nothing) in HuffingtonPost on the P5+1 negotiations. Oblique references in some pieces about Israel.

    Tom Friedman apparently is Obama’s favorite commentator on foreign policy in the Middle East. And Tom Friedman is seriously wrong about many things, involving the Middle East. And why was Tom Friedman so adamantly opposed to the nuclear exchange?

  356. kooshy says:

    Arnold

    If I was an Iranian strategist I wouldn’t be too worried with a US overt direct or US inspired third party attack on nuclear sites. My Maine concern would be the radical Sunnis of our region, in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan which recently have again started blowing up the shih in Pakistan and Iraq, most possibly on orders of KSA and Qatar and demanded by UK and US.

    Iran and the Shih communities in the region have generally restrained themselves to retaliate (rightfully and most possibly by collective conscious of senior shih clergies in Najaf and Qom) but obviously they can’t hold off a retaliation forever. To me that’s the most difficult challenge for Iran.

    For this reason alone, any giving in by Iran will not just affect Iran, but the entire shih community in the region (now including Iraq as a shih majority state) which strategically is more important to Iran, with this concept in mid Iran’s resistance and defiance of the west is more valuable to Iran than capitulating for economic gains or preventing a possible attack, since collectively Iran’s resistance is empowering the shish in Islamic world.

    So the more you reject what I offer the more powerful I become, you have no idea how much the west is hated in the region, and who ever resist to west becomes a hero.

    Speaking for Iran’s side

    We wouldn’t give up a gram of our enriched 20%U, so we can send you out there to loudly announce that Iran is not willing to accept our generous offer, because we know on whatever we agree with the west, it will cost us twice as much.

    ——————–

    “That is exactly how Hezbollah won the 06 war (resistance at today’s cost). Was it a price too high in long run I don’t think so. That’s what Empty was referring to yesterday when he wrote think 200-300 years from now. Good luck and next time you are going to make us an offer, make sure we would look like we are the winners.”

  357. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    German intelligence made clear the “Curveball” was a liar. Warmongering neocons apparently used Curveball’s lies as part of their scheme to dupe the moron in the White House, and to dupe the moron’s spectacularly incompetent national security adviser – - CONDOLEEZZA RICE.

  358. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran in fact warned the US that invading Iraq might produce civil war, which Iran wished to avoid.

  359. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    I agree with you that George Friedman’s contention (that Iran duped the US into thinking the Iraqis would welcome the invasion and occupation of their country) is rubbish.

    A large number of Iraqis did in fact welcome the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, but the moron in the White House bungled things beyond belief by allowing the disbanding of the Iraqi army and security services, and by openly occupying the country.

  360. fyi says:

    Arnold Evans says: April 20, 2012 at 11:35 am

    My understanding has been that Iranian Intellgience services are so good that they are quite capbale of what Dr. Friedman alleges.

  361. Empty says:

    fyi says on April 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

    “Success has many mothers, failure is an orphan.”

    Well, if one needs to frame it more precisely in this context, one must paraphrase the statement to read: “Success has many mothers, failure has one: Iran.”

  362. LOYAL says:

    To: Kooshy:
    I agree Iran will only accept agreement within framework of IAEA .Iran may consider freezing enriching uranium to the 20-percent level voluntary with no string attached after production reached her needs and production resume when again need arise.

  363. Kathleen says:

    One hour of the international Diane Rehm show. Not a mention of the P5+1 talks. So much for that news source. Smirk

  364. Karl says:

    Arnold Evans,

    “The Islamic republic proved more successful than the shah. It conducted a sophisticated disinformation campaign prior to the 2003 Iraq war to convince the United States that invading Iraq would be militarily easy and that Iraqis would welcome the Americans with open arms. This fed the existing U.S. desire to invade Iraq, becoming one factor among many that made the invasion seem doable. In a second phase, the Iranians helped many factions in Iraq resist the Americans, turning the occupation — and plans for reconstructing Iraq according to American blueprints — into a nightmare. In a third and final phase, Iran used its influence in Iraq to divide and paralyze the country after the Americans withdrew.”

    -
    Thats not only hilarious, its sickening.
    The fact that US, for decades, have said they would be greeted as liberators by the iraqi people is of course a US invention. However of course the boogeyman Iran must be blamed for coming up with this idea because it showed to be totally false and US wont accept culpability.
    This is really a new low for Friedman, is he joking? I mean its so idiotic one wonder if hes serious. However it follows the usual accusations (Iran was behind 911, Iran is the reason Afghanistan and Iraq is a mess, Iran is the reason there is no peace in palestine).

  365. Kathleen says:

    8 minutes left and not a mention of the P5=1 talks. Not a whisper. One caller brought the possibility that there were mercenaries involved in the Syrian rebellion. The guest dismissed this idea and smirked when the caller brought up his sources. Russian and Iranian outlets
    I asked at the Rehm comment and Facebook page
    Abderrahim Foukara you smirked as you referenced Russian and Iranian news sources. Foreign policy experts Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett wrote a post this week titled IRAN MYTHS PERPETUATED BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL AND THE NEW YORK TIMES

    http://www.raceforiran.com/iran-myths-perpetuated-by-the-wall-street-jou
    Would you apply that smirk to US news sources also?

  366. fyi says:

    Kathleen says: April 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Success has many mothers, failure is an orphan.

    You cannot expect Axis Powers to crow about the failure of their corecive diplomacy with Iran and their reversion to NPT?

  367. Karl says:

    The appaling clinton is out for more blood and ambigtions.
    http://presstv.com/detail/237079.html

  368. An Iranian View says:

    Eric A. Brill,

    April 19, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Slight correction: The Iranian government didn’t temporarily disabled cell phone networks on election day in 2009. They temporarily disabled text messaging, because they were being extensively used for campaigning and according to the law campaigning must stop the day before elections.

  369. Arnold Evans says:

    Kooshy:

    Playing the American side

    I’m interested in finding out what your price would be to limit 20% LEU to 60kgs. You name the price and maybe something can be worked out.

    It is not _THAT_ strategically valuable. 120kgs of 20% LEU in a mountain could, in an emergency, be turned into a weapon a few months faster than one of Iran’s six tons of 5% LEU could. But a ton of 5% LEU in the same mountain would pose just about the same strategic problems to any party considering a provocation against Iran that 120kgs of 20% LEU would.

    We are looking at this 120 kgs, or cutting down to 60kgs as a strategically almost meaningless gesture that can allow both sides to save face.

    Why are you drawing such a solid line there? And if just suspending the sanctions against the central bank is not enough, what would be? I’m assuming you’d be willing to limit LEU to 60kgs in exchange for lifting all sanctions and normalizing. I’m trying to figure out what exactly, short of lifting all sanctions, you’d be willing to trade for holding to under 60kgs.

  370. Arnold Evans says:

    Anybody want to laugh?

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/irans-strategy

    Stratfor’s George Friedman describes the US invasion of Iraq:

    The Islamic republic proved more successful than the shah. It conducted a sophisticated disinformation campaign prior to the 2003 Iraq war to convince the United States that invading Iraq would be militarily easy and that Iraqis would welcome the Americans with open arms. This fed the existing U.S. desire to invade Iraq, becoming one factor among many that made the invasion seem doable. In a second phase, the Iranians helped many factions in Iraq resist the Americans, turning the occupation — and plans for reconstructing Iraq according to American blueprints — into a nightmare. In a third and final phase, Iran used its influence in Iraq to divide and paralyze the country after the Americans withdrew.

    I don’t think the the first phase, the “sophisticated disinformation campaign” ever existed at all. I’ve never seen any indication of anything like that and I think I follow Iran closely enough that I would have been aware if anything had ever been made public.

    Friedman’s second phase looks like it did happen. Iran did provide assistance to the anti-US resistance.

    For the supposed third phase, Iraq has a Shiite majority government. Iran has no interest in it being divided or paralyzed. A strong Iraq would suit Iran’s purposes much much better than a divided one could. A strong united Iraq would have more resources to do everything Iran would like to do in the region.

    Americans seem to have a very strong urge to blame someone else for the Iraq invasion. Hussein supposedly pretended to have nuclear weapons when he didn’t, except that didn’t really happen. A faulty intelligence source codenamed Curveball was responsible, except only parties that already wanted to invade believed him.

    This is the first I’ve seen of some previously unknown disinformation campaign by Iran.

    Other than that, Friedman’s description of Iran as increasing in influence is decent.

    He says the Shah’s strategy was fundamentally the same as the Islamic Republic’s. Maybe in some very fundamental way, but to the degree it is possible for strategies to be different, the Shah’s strategy is different from the IRI’s. One can say Nasser and Sadat pursued the same fundamental strategies in Egypt. But once you do that, then what would be an example of a different strategy?

  371. Kathleen says:

    Not even a mention of the P5+1 talks on the Diane Rehm show so far. One half hour into the international hour. Not a mention.

    Not once did the P5+1 make the front page of Huffington Post this week. And of course never the front page of Huff Po

  372. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says: April 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    In regards to the first link; it is difficult to judge its veracity.

    Given the fact that Mr. Khameneie is deeply involved in the Iranian nuclear file; I doubt that members of the previous governments were used as intermediaries. I would have expected Mr. Khameneie to us Dr. Velayati.

    Likewise, the second link purports collusion between some of the leaders of the Green Movement and foreign elements. This might be true; there are Iranians who are so foolish and so chaotic in their thinking as to collude with foreign powers against legally constituted authority in Iran.

    On the other hand, the accused have not been given the chance to rebutt the charges. And in the absence of free press, one cannot take all these accusation against the Green Movement at face-value.

    The supporters of the Green Movement are people who are tired of 30 years of akhund-bazi, arbitrariness, and this whole Islamic Disaster that the mullahs and tens of millions of their followers have created in Iran.

    They are clealry unhappy with the way they are governed.

    1/3 of population is unhappy – they cannot be coerced or intimidated or slandered into silence.

    In regards to Abu Musa visit; it was a meant to tell the Arabs of Persian Gulf that Iran is very close and US & France are very far indeed.

  373. Kathleen says:

    “James Canning says:
    April 19, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Let’s remember that Tom Friedman of The New York Times denounced the proposed nuclear fuel swap put forward by Brazil and Turkey, calling it “as ugly as it gets”. Obama pays a great deal of attention to Friedman’s viewpoint.”

    Have heard that he read Friedman’s but you think he is following his advice somehow? Friedman has been deadly wrong on so many things in the middle east. Think he donate to the OBama campaign or something. I would think Friedman would have been a “bomb bomb Iran” McCain/Romney supporter.

    Interesting…zero up at Huffington Post about the Iran negotiations. Not one post all week, and certainly not up top on front page

  374. Unknown Unknowns says:

    In my post on the matter of the hijab, I pointed to a distinction that obtains in Iran but no longer does so in secularized cultures (those affected by the corrosive degeneracy of modernity), and that is the distinction between sacred and profane law, or sacred law and common law. What I should perhaps have mentioned and failed to do so is the Islamic terms for these two categories, namely *shar’iyat* (matters relating to Sacred Law, and *’urfiyat* (matters not already decided upon by the sharia). If you bear this distinction in mind, you will come to see and quickly become adept at parsing so-called controversial matters into those whose resolution has been decided upon centuries ago (99% of the “controversies”), and the 1% which might actually be controversial.

  375. fyi says:

    LOYAL says: April 19, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    Could you please post the gist of the differences between the two fatwas?

  376. Karl says:

    Apparently Syria have according to France violated the ceasefire. Very interesting since we havent heard anything from the observers themselves saying this (right?), not to mention the lack of critism against the violent opposition at all. No condemnations here, no sanctions from the hypocrite france.

    No, as we all know, its all about implementing a regime change from outside, first goal was to get syria to accept UN mission and peacekeepers, when this is now done, they move the goal posts again. Is Annan a part of this scheme or have they lured him into this without his knowledge?

  377. Empty says:

    It should read “tobacco cultivation and cigarette production”, rather!

  378. Empty says:

    BibiJon,

    Issuance of fatwa has to have a very strong foundation beneath it. Ayatollah Khamenei fully covered various fiqh and hekmat aspects of it. Challenging it cannot be arbitrary. The challenge, too, must offer a strong well-founded rationale.

    Allow me to draw a parallel to clarify. If a very well established researcher and expert in the field of health outlines and provides justification for a ban on cigarette cultivation, production, marketing, and use based on devastating health consequences, environmental degradation it causes, very strong possibility of exposure to 2nd & 3rd hand smoke by those who innocent bystanders, etc….and if such justifications are corroborated by majority of the experts in the field, then someone who suggests the opposite must also provide real solid evidence. He/she must provide rationale for what critically relevant changes have occurred to make such ban unnecessary.

    Ijtehad does not occur in a social vacuum nor does fatwa. While LOYAL presented the “mechanics” of “taqlid”, he did not go into any details of the “spirit” of such following. My incomplete understanding leads me to believe that “taqlid” cannot be blind and does not make the follower immune to ‘bazkhast_e elehi’ should it somehow lead to a sinful act (e.g., killing of innocent people).

  379. Rehmat says:

    Sudanese President calls SPLM leaders ‘insects’

    Omar’s remarks have angered pro-Israel lobby groups who have called it a slur against Jews and Israel for their SPLM support against pro-Iran Khartoum regime. Last month, during an anti-Khartoum protest rally in front of Sudanese embassy in Washington DC – several Rabbis and Zionist Jews were arrested for inciting hatred toward Muslims.

    South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir is known for his close relations with Tel Aviv. Israel is using South Sudan as ‘Zionist proxy’ in Africa to fight Iran’s growing influence in the Muslim-majority continent.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/sudanese-president-calls-splm-leaders-insects/

  380. Empty says:

    LOYAL,

    I appreciate your statement. However, it fully avoided answering my questions.

  381. Pirouz says:

    kooshy says:
    April 20, 2012 at 3:14 am

    What many Westerners can not fathom is how loosely tuned the Iranian economy is, comparatively speaking. It’s a culture and political majority that can get by on simple rice and bread diets, while sitting and sleeping on the floor.

    And here I am in northern California. grumbling about how the price of premium fuel has very recently reversed it’s 40 cents decline, and is no rising again at $4.50 a gallon.

  382. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 19, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    Arnold-

    I have spoken to many experienced Iranian businessmen in Iran (traditionally every Iranian businessmen always complain on how bad the business is, that’s true even here in LA, like the rug merchants they continually are going out of business forever), they all say sanctions will make life difficult at the beginning, but gradually become more bearable as it start to wear out, beside Iranians have lived with sanction all along and have been able to successfully market and export majority of their non-oil goods to local regional markets which is only cash and carry, and largely it depends on Iranian goods, as for Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemical exports they know in the medium to long run it will damage the fragile financed based western economies more than it will damage Iran’s. One thing the Americans don’t understand about the Iranian economy is that Iran unlike America doesn’t have a financed based economy in large extend Iran is a cash base economy, and easily can finance herself. If it was not for these facts of Iranian economy, Iran should have conceded to US’s economic pressures when Carter sanctioned Iran. But the facts are that Iran managed 8 years of war during sanctions with $7 per barrel oil. Officially Iran’s import of all goods amounts to roughly $60B, export of oil and non-oil goods total to around $120B and Iran’s GDP (PPP) is around $900B, and we expect to manage a real growth rate of 3-5% even with sanctions in place.

    There is this large 7-8 level high computer mall in Northern Tehran which I went to unlock my I phone for $25, it was amazing to see more I phones and mac laptops than our local apple store here in century city, and the prices in average were up to 10% higher than the apple store here. On the ground floor which was the only level I visited there were at least 7 small apple stores with logo and signs etc. filled with apple merchandise. I bought fine Iranian made leather I pad cover which I brought back.

    Playing the Iranian side

    You are asking if we really are not interested to export half of our 20% U which guarantees our strategic backup in exchange for lifting US/EU unilateral sanctions on CBI, that’s correct we are not interested at all, we don’t see going back to 2010 conditions is a progress in moving these talks forward. We are willing to stop enriching 20%U on TRR fuel need bases, only after we have 120Kg stock of 20%U.
    We are also ready to immediately place an order for the TRR fuel and enter in a joint venture for production and export of 20% fuel, in return we expect all US/EU sanctions imposed after Jan 2012 to be lifted and in turn we will lift our oil export sanction on EU. To start this agreement both sides will need to immediately make a joint public announcement they unconditionally will adhere to full implementation of NPT as ratified by their respective states.

    This is our final offer since we believe the other side is only willing to limit our NPT rights and that is a red zone for us.

  383. A concerned world citizen says:

    Off topic..Has anyone noticed the loud silence from the US and her allies regarding the recent successful launch of India’s nuclear capable missile that they claim can strike China? 5000K range..

    Just last week, the UNSC and all the usual suspects lined up to condemn a FAILED North Korean satellite/missile launch.They called it a “provocative act”. Isn’t India’s test also classified as “provocative”? Is it any wonder countries like Iran, North Korea etc. don’t take the UNSC serious anymore?

    Today, India may use China as their reason to build such long range nuclear capable missile but what if tomorrow India and China are no longer at odd on many issues? Who will the target be, then?

    It seems rather strange that China, as part of the UNSC also fail to condemn this latest move by India but always put their name down on any UNSC statement condemning North Korea and/or Iran.

    Nuclear non-proliferation treaty is DEAD..It died long time ago when the US, Britain, France etc. secretly helped Israel and India obtain nukes while the Chinese also helped the Pakistanis do the same..These countries now have the nerve to sit on the UNSC to condemn other states that do exactly what they’ve been doing for ages?

  384. Arnold Evans says:

    Kooshy:

    Playing the American side

    What you offered at

    kooshy says:
    April 19, 2012 at 2:00 am

    isn’t better for us than the status quo.

    [Americans have this idea that Iran is terrified of the expansion of sanctions and aer willing to make important strategic concessions to avoid that. FYI here is one of the main posters in disagreement. I personally understand FYI's points about sanctions being bearable but I have no sense that anyone in the US policymaking community does.]

    Let’s focus just on getting the stockpile of 20% uranium out of the country, or even half of it, leaving you, for now, with 60kgs (to be possibly further negotiated down to zero later). And on stopping further 20% uranium production.

    For that single issue we are able to suspend sanctions on Iran’s central bank for a year during which negotiations can continue and really provide fuel for the TRR – so that we will implement whatever reasonable guarantees you suggest, as long as 60kgs of 20% leave Iran.

    Are you really saying the export of 60kgs of 20% uranium along with a suspension of further production is entirely off of the table?

  385. Persian Gulf says:

    http://www.digarban.com/node/6213

    :http://nedaiedaroun.com/

    fyi:

    what do you think of Abu-Musa incident these days? I have my own thought which could be far off.

  386. kooshy says:

    Arnold

    After careful examination of your proposals, what we have already offered in this meeting, is the maximum we can concede to, and in return what we asked, is the minimum we will accept, in addition, for the sake of global peace and stability we expect all nuclear have weapon states including the Zionist entity will immediately start to implement full NPT obligations including article 4. We will hold US responsible for any ill action by the Zionist entity in our region.

  387. kooshy says:

    Cyrus says:
    April 19, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I agree

  388. James Canning says:

    Let’s remember that Tom Friedman of The New York Times denounced the proposed nuclear fuel swap put forward by Brazil and Turkey, calling it “as ugly as it gets”. Obama pays a great deal of attention to Friedman’s viewpoint.

  389. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Why would European countries be getting tired of Israel and Israeli schemes? HOw could they not be tired of Israel and Israeli schemes?

  390. LOYAL says:

    To: Empty
    Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli is most popular Mujtahid in Iran especially among members of Khobara. By far he is ahead of others and in almost every critical issue his views are sought and published next to Imam Khameniei. His recent comments in regard to nuclear issue were published last week in Iranian journals.
    Ayatollah Montazari at one point challenged almost everything about Imam Khameniei but I am not aware any other GA specific Fatwa about nuclear issue ( different than Imam Khameniei).
    There is no departure. Future VFs or GAs are not obligated to think the same ways and agree with previous Fatwas. They draw their own independent conclusion base on Quran , Hadees and Existing knowledge. That has been the case before.

  391. Cyrus says:

    Iran’s minimum terms for a deal will be one in which Iran is not subjected to restrictions that exceed the NPT. Iran will not agree to be a “special case” outside of the normal NPT boundaries. Iran may be willing to suspend and limit things on a temporary basis but will not accept additional legal/binding restrictions that are meant to be permanent. It will make perfectly clear that any restrictions/limitations accepted do NOT constitute a permanent commitment, and will have a specific end date.

  392. James Canning says:

    Gareth Porter has observed how interesting it is that the Obama administration only recently is paying attention to Khamenei’s fatwa against Iran possessing nukes (or other WMD). New York Times finally addressed this obvious area of inquiry etc etc etc.

  393. BiBiJon says:

    Empty, could please weigh in.

    LOYAL says:
    April 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    To:BiBiJon

    In Shia Islam faithful may follow their chosen grand Ayatollahs. There are occasions where Fatwa of two GA are not exactly the same. They are both acceptable to their followers and Government will follow VF fatwa whoever he is at the time.
    Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli mostly support Imam’s policies.

  394. Those who remember that the Iranian government temporarily disabled cell phone networks on election day in 2009 may appreciate this:

    A controversy has arisen in San Francisco because the local mass-transit authority (BART) recently disabled cell phone networks in BART trains and stations, on public-safety grounds, after a demonstration started in one of the stations to protest a recent killing by a BART policeman.

    Let me assure you that the BART board of directors is not known as an oppressor of human rights. It’s fair to presume that its members eat a lot more watercress and arugula than red meat.

  395. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Gav

    I am asking why?

  396. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with you completely that the US-India nuclear deal was damaging to the NPT.
    I understand one reason for the deal was the expectation arms manufacturers, and civilian aircraft manufacturers, in the US, would benefit.

  397. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Are you asking what European countries are getting rather tired of Israel and Israel’s schemes?

  398. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Iran apparently has the 120 kg. of 20% U already. The question is whether Iran will be forced to export that material, or cconvert it into fuel rods/plates for TRR.

  399. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    April 19, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Gav-

    All of the sudden on what cause, why is that? Can you please elaborate why?

  400. LOYAL says:

    To:BiBiJon

    In Shia Islam faithful may follow their chosen grand Ayatollahs. There are occasions where Fatwa of two GA are not exactly the same. They are both acceptable to their followers and Government will follow VF fatwa whoever he is at the time.
    Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli mostly support Imam’s policies.

  401. kooshy says:

    Should be change to “will not”

    “I also think sanctions will not be lifted but we were confirmed by Arnold’s……………..”

  402. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I think you actually are asking whether Israel and the ISRAEL LOBBY would be satisfied. Answer, of course, is “no”. But other countries are getting a bit tired of Israel’s programme. Including European countries.

  403. kooshy says:

    fyi says:
    April 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Fyi-

    I also think that sanctions will be lifted but we were confirmed by Arnold’s reply last night but we also learned from him that he has a big Syria problem which we know at least two of his partners on the other side of table are not comfortable with him on that issue.

    I also don’t think we are negotiating for peace here, since what we want and what they want are far apart, but I think at this juncture we should negotiate for status quo, and I also think we shouldn’t agree to full stoppage of 20%U we will agree to stop 20% on need bases once we rich 120kg and will not bring that up publicly until there a need be.

    All said I think we are at least 5 years away from peace, but we are playing with stronger cards in hand than what we had in 2003-10

  404. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 19, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    These are cease-fire negogiations.

    Iranians will suspend 20% enrcihment and US-EU will suspend their oil sanctions.

    That is all that is on the cards.

    This process is useful for Axis Powers to try to establish their NPT bona fides will Iranians will aim to normalize their status within IAEA.

    Peace between US-EU on one side and Iran on the other side is off the table.

    This cease-fire agreemnt – even if it is reached – will only encompass a single front.

    Iranians can make a tactical concession (but not now) and announce that they will suspend all uranium enrichment, stop work on Arak, and on on their ballistic missiles.

    Axis Powers would want verification.

    Let us say that step is also taken to the full satisfaction of Axis Powers.

    Do you think sanctions against Iran will be lifted?

    I think not; not in any length of time that would make any difference to Iran.

    Truly, for Iran, the only path forward is to adroitly and at great cost work through the sanctions.

  405. Empty says:

    LOYAL says to Kooshi,

    RE: Fatwa of Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli ( next VF) may not be the same as Imam Khamenei in regard to nuclear issues.

    1. Vali Faqih is elected by Majlis Khobregan. Based on what evidence you have determined who the next VF is and how majority of the Khobregan members would vote?

    2. In what fundamental ways, from fiqh perspective, have the existing mojtehds been on record questioning the fatwa of Ayatollah Khamenei? What are their rationale and justifications for such departure (if in fact it exists)?

    Could you provide valid and reliable evidence for the two major claims you made?

  406. kooshy says:

    Empty says:
    April 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    BiBiJon says:
    April 19, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    fyi says:
    April 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    I agree with you all, but beside the photo ops and to show that we are open to talk, why we would even attend, if we are not going to explicitly tell them what we want, and learn what are they after, so we can fine tune our strategic defense.

    You learn from your enemies more than you can learn from your friends, they are at the table for the same reason we are, and frankly I could be wrong but at the end of the day I don’t see there will be an agreement.

    For Iran is impossible to agree anything on Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Iraq, on nuclear issue Iran for now, will not agree to anything less than original NPT as it was ratified by Iran and others. But in lieu of reducing western regional hegemony they may be willing to give time limited tactical concession for the purpose of other side’s face saving as well an opportunity to restore NPT to its original standing, apparently in Istanbul 2 Iran did brought up the requirement for article 4 to be implemented.

    I believe everyone now knows that Iran is a NCP (nuclear capable country) and that’s what brought them back to the table, they need time to readjust to the fact, and we need time to tighten a few more screws in the region.

  407. BiBiJon says:

    LOYAL says:
    April 19, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    Ayatollahs can reverse fatwas? I had no idea. Really? Wow!

  408. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Yet more sanctions failure, Switzerland refuses to implement sanctions.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236943.html

  409. LOYAL says:

    To kooshy

    Fatwa of Grand Ayatollah Abdollah Javadi-Amoli ( next VF) may not be the same as Imam Khamenei in regard to nuclear issues.

  410. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 19, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Once again you are ignoring the hitorical evidence in favor of a single event.

    And when someone points out that the event in question fits a pattern, you deny that pattern.

    Let us take a separate event – US-India nuclear deal.

    Was that not a clear wrecking of NPT?

    Or China supplying power reactors to Pakistan while Iran is under UNSC sanctions?

    The wrecking of NPT by US was part and parcel of the same unilateral moment; 20-years of thinking in US that foreign policy has zero costs.

  411. fyi says:

    Karl says: April 19, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    Nah, just Iranians signalling to US that they have a card that they have not played.

    Diplomacy at its finest!

  412. Karl says:

    Russia and China helping Iran in the conflict, while Iran give information about the drone?

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/russia-china-seek-info-us-drone-held-iran-16173366

  413. BiBiJon says:

    Kooshy,

    Empty is right! I’m no negotiator. If this shortcoming entitles me to a free trip to Disney, then great!

    Frankly, I don’t see the co-appearances in Istanbul, and later in Baghdad, as ‘negotiations.’ It is endurance enough for Iran to hold her nose and sit in the same room as these merciless, barbarians.

    As far as the nuclear file goes, it is resolved already. P5+1 says we respect Iran’s rights under NPT, and Iran has NEVER been found to be in non-compliance with NPT. What is there to talk about here? UNSC resolutions have no legal merit any way, (perhaps by design). Keeping/rescinding the resolutions only has to do with the integrity of UNSC, the harm to Iran cannot be undone, it is another battle scar to show to our grand kids.

    I think Iran should only demand Amano’s impeachment and removal from IAEA, but then again having a discredited stooge at the IAEA has its uses.

  414. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Russia and China both do not want more countries with nukes”

    Naturally.

    RE: “…and of course they oppose any Iranian nukes ….”?

    Based on what evidence?

    RE: “….and favor an end to Iranian enrichment to 20 percent.”

    No, really?!

    RE: “… Russia and China are sympathetic toward Iran.”

    Yes. So are the US and the UK. Iranians are quite fortunate in that regard. They have so many powerful nations that care so deeply about their well being. Thank you for being the one who voices their sympathy for us.

  415. Empty says:

    James Canning,

    RE: “Russia and China both do not want more countries with nukes”

    Naturally.

    RE: “…and of course they oppose any Iranian nukes ….”</i?

    Based on what evidence?

    RE: “….and favor an end to Iranian enrichment to 20 percent.”

    No, really?!

    RE: “… Russia and China are sympathetic toward Iran.”

    Yes. So are the US and the UK. Iranians are quite fortunate in that regard. They have so many powerful nations that care so deeply about their well being. Thank you for being the one who voices their sympathy for us.

  416. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I strongly disagree with you that blocking Iran’s IAEA application to re-fuel the TRR was part of an idiotic scheme to wreck the NPT.

    It appears highly likely Iran’s application was blocked, as part of a grossly dishonest and dangerous scheme by NEOCON WARMONGERS and other “supporters” of Israel. To provoke Iran. To set up more sanctions.

  417. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I disagree. I think the P5+1 want the NPT to endure, and be stregthened. Which of course is Iran’s own policy.

  418. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    When you say “Americans cannot afford a treaty” with Iran, I think you actually mean that Aipac’s control of the US Congress makes any such treaty an impossibility. Senate would not ratify.

    Obama can enter into executive agreements, without needing Senate ratification.

  419. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 19, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    The Americans destroyed NPT throught their actions in N. Korea, Iran, India, and their inactions with regard to Pakistan, S. Korea, and elsewhere.

    They were calculating that NPT could be replaced by a set of ad-hocbi-lateral and multi-lateral instruments.

    The death of NPT would not have been material to Russia, China, UK, and France; evidently they thought US leaders could succeed through such instrumentalities as Nuclear Suppliers Group.

    The denial of TRR fuel to Iran was part of that “Kill NPT” strategy.

    Two things happend:

    1 – They failed in convincing NAM and some states outside of NAM.
    2 – In the absence of NPT – war was left the only choice for Non-Proliferation; today Iraq, tomorrow Iran, the next day North Korea, the next month Brazil and so on.

    That is why the Americans now have to go through a very costly and long effort to restore NPT as the main Non-Proliferation instrumentality on this planet.

    A foolish and un-ncessary de-tour to Non-Proliferation Never-Never Land.

  420. James Canning says:

    Empty,

    Russia and China both do not want more countries with nukes, and of course they oppose any Iranian nukes and favor an end to Iranian enrichment to 20 percent. Russia and China are sympathetic toward Iran.

  421. James Canning says:

    I recommend Daniel Larison’s “The Nationalist Heresy and the Iraq War”:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2012/04/18/the-nationalist-heresy-and-the-iraq-war/

    Larison fingers Gerson of the Washington Post for helping dupe the American public into supporting the illegal invasion of Iraq.

  422. James Canning says:

    Michael Gerson of the Washington Post now claims Bush invaded Iraq to get rid of a very bad person, Saddam Hussein. So the pretext for the illegal invasion was a giant scam promoted by, among others, Michael Gerson of the Washington Post.

  423. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Yes, the US has very stupidly blocked Iran’s effort to buy TRR fuel from the West. Sheer idiocy, in fact. Unless it was part of calculated scheme by warmongering neocons and other foolish “supporters” of Israel to provoke Iran into enriching to 20 percent, in hopes of getting more sanctions imposed against Iran.

  424. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    p.s. I’d pay for you and BibiJon to go somewhere on vacation very far away from Baghdad where the next round of talks are being held. I wouldn’t mind sending fyi and Irshad to the talks though. At least that way I’d know we won’t secure the future generation’s curse for ourselves. :)

  425. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    I am having much too much fun reading the exchange! While Arnold (on behalf of the US, Inc.) went straight for the jugular, you’ve become کان کرم و داری میدی از پس و پیش [LOL]! And BibiJon ain’t helping the situation either!

    Don’t think today, or tomorrow, or this year or next year. Think in 250-300 years term. In fact, think eternity. When there is no trust, when the opposing side has proven itself to be absolutely untrustworthy over and over again, when the opposing side’s ultimate goal is to bring you to your knees and destroy you (and it has proven this over and over again in words and deeds), and on, and on, then giving up a grain worth of anything of value is lost investment.

  426. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    April 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    James, selling TRR fuel is an US/EU self-imposed prohibition. They can sell, Iran will buy, and thereby obviate the need to enrich and manufacture TRR fuel themselves.

  427. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    Someone in US ruling circles leaked the NIE 2007 on Iran – that is the most that you can say.

    In 2006, when Mr. Khameneie stated his readiness for war, US backed-down.

  428. kooshy says:

    BiBiJon says:

    April 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    “I think Iran ultimately would/should only agree to the following:

    “- Additional protocol
    – Modified code 3.1.
    – On sight human monitoring
    – Cap on the amount of enriched uranium not converted to fuel”

    BiBi-

    Arnold (P5+1) didn’t ask for these concessions yet, why do you think we should bring it up now?

  429. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 19, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    I believe that I have demonstrated with detailed reasoning US goal for Iran during her Unilateral Moment – destruction of Islamic Republic of Iran’s strategic autonomy.

    The legacy of US (and later EU) Cold War against Iran, and the consequences of Iran-Iraq War cannot be ignored, sublimated, or otherwise forgotten.

    In effect, we are in the post WWI world vis-a-vis Iran.

    And Iranians have won – since they are still standing on the battle field.

  430. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You keep forgetting the the CIA blocked the idiot neocons from attacking Iran.

  431. kooshy says:

    Irshad says:
    April 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    In my opinion any agreement with the US and his allies will have an effective life span of only few years ( around 10 years) since I believe US is a declining power, if that’s correct any time limited concisions we make that will not limit our current needs and R&D in the nuclear field will be a tactical consigns, if in return we can get some concession on more important regional issues that enhances our influence in the region and more importantly in the Islamic world, since I believe we currently are the most powerful influential independent Islamic country in the world, a western recognition of this power, will make us capable of influencing future decision making on world affairs.

  432. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Idiot neocons “were on their way to destroying Iran”, when the quagmire in Iraq bogged things down. Idiot neocons and other “supporters” of Israel “right or wrong”.

  433. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Did you in effect ask FYI if Russia or China supports Iranian enrichment to 20 per cent? This seems unlikely.

  434. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    How wonderful for the US, to have Israel be the only country voting with America in the UN regarding Cuba! American stupidity in dealing with Cuba goes on year after year after year.

  435. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Speaking for Khamenei last month, on March 13th and 15th, Mohammad Javad larijani said it was “obvious” that Iran should buy TRR fuel from the West. This logic still obtains.

  436. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: April 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    AP is off-the-table and so is modified Code 3.1.

    Those could only be agreed to after the Iranian nuclear file is closed.

  437. BiBiJon says:

    kooshy says:
    April 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I think Iran ultimately would/should only agree to the following:

    - Additional protocol
    - Modified code 3.1.
    - On sight human monitoring
    - Cap on the amount of enriched uranium not converted to fuel
    - nothing else

    Further I think Iran should do the above whether or not US/EU want to lift the sanctions.

    As for threats of war, if Iran has to say yet again “bring it on”, e.g. inaugurate a couple more Fordow-type sights, so be it.

    I strongly suspect Iran’s moves will be billed as awe-inspiring concessions, and allow US/EU to de-esclate and even possibly cool off on those sanctions that are hurting themselves.

  438. Irshad says:

    kooshy says:
    April 19, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    The Iranian delegation need to raise the following issues with the US as part of these negotiations:

    1. Everyone has mentioned the Palestinian issue and the rights of Palestinian but no one has mentioned Jerusalem and the Judaising of Jersualem that is taking place – after all the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosques is one of the holiest places for all Muslims besides Mecca, medina, Karbala, Kufa, etc. All Muslims must have the right to be able to visit this holy site free of Isreali occupation authorities harassment and intrusion. The place needs to be opened to all.

    2. Siege of Gaza must end

    3. The US must take an undertaking not to use any of the Caspian litoral states as a base to attack Iran and will ensure Isreal does not do so either

    4. US must stop dumping large amounts of weapons to the Isrealis (the good stuff) and to the Gulf Arabs (the rubbish weapons) whilst hindering Irans right to purchase weapons frm foreign countries.

    5. Isreal must be forced in to the NPT and countries must stop supplying it weapons that will enhance her ability to have the full nuclear tria delivery system (I am thinking of Germany here supplying Isreal with the Dolphin submarine).

    6. Iran has the right to own, operate, buy and transport nuclear material from African countries or any other country for it to use in its NPT bound programme.

    7. Force the Saudis to stop using the secterian card as and when they feel like and work with Iran to stop takfiri/salafi terrorism

  439. kooshy says:

    Empty, BiBi, Fyi, UU, Rd, Cyrus, Pirouz and any other Iranian and non-Iranian out here that I did not named including Gav, I really need to read your Ideas on what you think would be acceptable to Iran in Arnold’s (Playing the west) latest proposals tabled. I would also like to read your concerns on Islamic and Iranian national interest issues that should be addressed by the other side.

    If you haven’t read you may want to first read Arnold opening proposal:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 18, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I replied to his initial opening:

    kooshy says:
    April 19, 2012 at 2:00 am

    And he replied:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 19, 2012 at 7:16 am

    Now is Iran’s term to reply, let’s assume we were given three instruction by Iran’s (SNSC), one is a preset of maximum conditions Iran can accept to give, and a minimum conditions Iran needs to accept moving forward. Second instruction we have is that we are only allowed to table two round of proposal in this Baghdad 1 seating, unless the other side makes new proposals and demands that was not previously discussed and we are instructed to take back to the decision makers in Tehran. Which it means, future renegotiation for a new round of discussions, when and if becomes possible. And the third instruction is, any form of agreement between the parties will at first be announced as an understanding and not even an accord. We should reply back to him later tonight with our counter porposals.

  440. Rehmat says:

    Israeli Ambassador: ‘US always agree with Israel’

    The Zionist entity’s ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, delivered a lecture at the Columbia Law School on Monday. Michael Oren was born in USA and studied at Columbia University. Like Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu – Oren also hold dual US-Israel citizenship.

    The event was hosted by the Law School’s Center for Israel Studies – and thus attracted only 200 pro-Israel audience.

    During his 40-minutes speech, Oren recycled the old Israel Hasbara (propaganda) lies, such as – Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East and the only trust-worthy friend of the United States. Oren shied away mentioning all those American Jews caught in spying for Israel including Israeli hero spy Jonathan Pollard. Asked if he feared Pollard might die in prison, Oren replied: “Securing the release of Jonathan Pollard is a top item for us and I hand delivered a letter from the prime minister (Bibi) to the president (Obama) asking for clemency for Pollard.”

    However, Oren did remind his brainwashed audience how Americans have benefited from Israeli ‘inventions’.

    “Israel saves American lives on and off the battlefield. There are Israeli-made components in every American military vehicle and a kibbutz in northern Israel created a kit that allows the military to armor-coat its vehicles. An Israeli-made pressure bandage, designed to stop bleeding, is used to save American soldiers; the same one that was also used when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was short in Arizona last year,” boasted Oren. I guess, Israelis deserve rightfully to be funded over $6 billion by the US taxpayers for such inventions.

    Oren also mentioned how Israelis have honored their American victims with the exception of USS Liberty and USS Cole.

    “Israel has a memorial to John F. Kennedy, a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr., and a memorial to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, he said. There also is a Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem, he added, complete with a replica of the Liberty Bell,” said Oren.

    Although the US and Israel reportedly disagree about when Iran must be stopped in its quest to develop nuclear weapons, Oren said they both agreed that Iran must not be permitted to develop such weapons.

    Oren said the relationship between Israel and the US is so close that he could not think of an instance in the last six years in which the two did not vote together at the United Nations. He noted that when the UN General Assembly voted in October to condemn the US embargo against Cuba by a vote of 186 to 2, Israel and the US cast the only no votes.

    Cuba has refused to release American Jewish spy Alan Gross.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/israeli-ambassador-us-always-agree-with-israel/

  441. Empty says:

    Rd,

    RE: Given IRI’s steadfast and correct approach to follow NPT and international law, can we not assume the position of Russia and China today is more closer to Iran?

    China and Russia (similar to the US, UK, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) are all in violation of NPT. In practical terms, China & Russia could not care any less about NPT. Any apparent closeness of their position to that of Iran is only tactical and self-serving.

    RE: Do we not see India despite having sided with US and against Iran all along, now may be considering her position?

    This, too, is a tactical/self-serving and not a principled decision.

    RE: Do we not see Brazil and the organization of America’s are not always toeing the US line? Not that they are acting more independent because of Iran, but rather, the un-reasonable demand from US on Iran is exposing the US mind set to the rest of the world.

    Similarly, they are jockeying their position and they could turn on Iran in a heart beat should they see it fit. The Brazil of today is not the revolutionary Brazil of yesteryear.

    RE: So at the end, if these known facts, as we presume, then why not for IRI to continues its righteous path and negotiate in faith to help further expose the US.

    Correct. To the masses of people (as it should).

  442. Kathleen says:

    Israeli Illegal actions the norm. Will anyone respond?
    A Palestinian mayor issues desperate appeal to the world to restore his village’s lifeline

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/04/a-palestinian-mayor-issues-desperate-appeal-to-the-world-to-restore-his-villages-lifeline.html

  443. Kathleen says:

    Listened to the lecture yesterday. Spread around. The problem with Flynt and Hillary Mann Leveretts arguments are they are just too logical and based on indisputable facts. That just does not fly these days. Continue to spread to other folks and sites.

  444. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    Such a treaty is not in the cards; Americans cannot afford it and Iranians do not feel that they need it as it would give too much of a political cover to US in the eyes of Muslims.

    Does this play of negotiations have to take place in the vacuum of Iran vs US?

    Your point is well taken as to the fallacy of impractical US demands and IRI’s unwillingness to surrender. This much “seems” to be given. However, this engagement has influence on other actors, does it not?

    Given IRI’s steadfast and correct approach to follow NPT and international law, can we not assume the position of Russia and China today is more closer to Iran?

    Do we not see India despite having sided with US and against Iran all along, now may be considering her position?

    Do we not see Brazil and the organization of America’s are not always toeing the US line? Not that they are acting more independent because of Iran, but rather, the un-reasonable demand from US on Iran is exposing the US mind set to the rest of the world.

    So at the end, if these known facts, as we presume, then why not for IRI to continues its righteous path and negotiate in faith to help further expose the US.
    Iran can continue moving the ball forward, despite US moving the goal post. Eventually, US will run out of real state.

  445. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 19, 2012 at 2:00 am

    After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Americans rightly perceived themselves to be without peer rivals on this planet.

    US planners knew that such unilateral moments will not last and so they set about ordering the world to their liking.

    They destroyed Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia – an un-official NATO ally during the Cold War – as well as the Ba’athist Iraq.

    They were on their way to destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran when they were sucked into the quagmire of Iraq.

    During the 20 years from 1991 to 2001, US leaders felt (rather than thought) themselves to be so powerful and with such deep margin of error that others in the world had to comply with their wishes.

    That is, their Hubris was in their belief that the rest of the world needed them more than they needed the rest of the world. For such people, Grand Strategy – fundamentally rooted in the belief and acceptance of one’s own limitations – did not matter since US was considered to be so powerful and with such deep margin of error that she was, essentially, unbeatable.

    They were wrong, of course.

    They mistook the situations that obtained immediately after World War II with that which obtained in 1991. And even during the Unilateral Moment US met her limits – in North Korea in 1994 when she thought war was an option, during 1990s when she tried to bankrupt Iran, in 2000s when she destroyed NPT in the name of Non-Proliferation, and now with Iran oil sanctions that have harmed every state in the world.

    [When US destroyed NPT in case of India and Iran, the idea was that she could replace it with some other form of Non-Proliferation mechanisms; such as Nuclear Suppliers Group etc. What obtained, however, was in March 14 Istanbul meeting with Iran, NPT was revived to be the basis of negotiations. This was NAM and Iran’s position on Non-Proliferation – but it took 10 years of bitter acrimony and bad blood to get to it; and then only implicitly.]

    American leaders have a long road ahead of them to come back to ta morer realistic view of US position in the world.

  446. fyi says:

    Irshad says: April 19, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Arak, I think, is something that Americans would like to have but will not get.

    For Iranians to stop the work on the Arak Heavy Water Reactor at this stage, 2 or 3 years away from being operational, they have to have much much more from Axis Powers.

    Arak, as an engineering project, is essential to the Darkhovin Reactor project. The lessons of Arak will be applied to Darkhovin.

    [Darkhovin is concieved as a heay-water, natural uranium reactor. As such, its fueling will not need uranium 235. So, for Iranians, once they have the containment vessel built or delivered, they can pretty much complete Darkhovin. Why would they give up that knowledge for the privildege of buying a reactor from higly politicized vendors and fuel suppliers?]

    I can concieve that Iranians might suspend Arak or stop it if they knew – with iron-clad guarantees, that they can be helped with construction of any and all nuclear plants – inclduing the Darkhovin plant that has been on the drawing board since 1970s.

    And they would want to be ablet to diversify their contractor base, their raw uranium imports, etc. Iranians will not want to be dependent on Russia as their prime contractor. [It is not even clear that the Russians have enough staff to deliver on all the business that they have sold all over the world.]

    None of those pre-conditions (from an Iranian perspective) will be forthcoming soon enough to make any difference to a decision on Arak.

    So, in my opinion, Arak is off-the-table; Axis Powers cannot give anything to Iran for it. Removal of sanctions, which Iran has to work through for strategic reasons, is not an incentive for Iranians; in my opinion.

  447. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Thank you for your posting which explicitly states what I had surmised.

    This was the second time in less than 6 years when US essentially forced Iran to declare for war.

    That is the major reason that what is required between Iran and US is a treaty that settles all issues between the two states as an instrument of peace.

    Such a treaty is not in the cards; Americans cannot afford it and Iranians do not feel that they need it as it would give too much of a political cover to US in the eyes of Muslims.

  448. Empty says:

    It was stated in the lecture that “….whatever one may think of shale gas and shale oil revolutions, personally I think it is increasingly clear that the shale gas revolution in which Pennsylvania is so heavily implicated is going to make the United States self sufficient in natural gas. I think the shale oil revolution is unlikely to make the United States self sufficient in oil again but it will, to some extent, perhaps a significant extent, reduce the US dependence on imported oil…”

    One needs to seriously explore the actual facts (on the ground) of shale gas and oil “revolution” free of emotional attachment and painful realizations if one is interested in somewhat of a sober and semi-realistic assessment about “energy self sufficiency” claims. This, too, was a kind of velvet revolution.

    I believe, the optimistic outlook, promoted by the US EIA analysis and estimation, is severely influenced by the “technical assistance” and biases (and agenda) of specific oil & gas companies (e.g., BP, et al) embedded in these estimates. These estimates were never based on actual data but based on mathematical modeling of what is called “risked gas in-place” & “technically recoverable resource”. “Risk gas in-place” is basically derived by first estimating the amount of ‘gas in-place’ resource and then by de-rating it by factors that, in the consultant’s expert judgment, account for the current level of knowledge of the resource and the capability of the technology to eventually tap into the resource. “Technically recoverable resource” is calculated by multiplying the “risked gas-in-place” by factors that are based on geological inputs and analogs that are appropriate to each shale gas basin and formation. Just to simplify the jargon, it means you’d try to find out what sort of rock formations there are, for example, and then try to estimate how difficult (or how easy) it would be to blast it to get the (estimated) trapped gas (or oil) released. If you want a more detailed explanation of the classification and the methodology, see [1] which is EIA’s analysis and projection.

    The reports that are contradicting the above optimistic estimates are being actively suppressed. Even worse, the very entities that have control over the actual data are severely restricting access to these data by independent analysts. We are asked to take the fox’s word for the condition of the chicken coop. Nevertheless, some limited technical analyses are being conducted based on some public data. A technical analysis of the actual (publically available) data from the Barnett and Fayetteville shale plays have challenged the earlier quite exaggerated estimates. Berman & Pittinger, for example, wrote: “Reserves and economics depend on estimated ultimate recoveries based on hyperbolic, or increasingly flattening, decline profiles that predict decades of commercial production. With only a few years of production history in most of these plays, this model has not been shown to be correct, and may be overly optimistic.” ….. “Our analysis indicates that industry reserves are over-stated by at least 100 percent based on detailed review of both individual well and group decline profiles for the Barnett, Fayetteville and Haynesville shale plays. The contraction of extensive geographic play regions into relatively small core areas greatly reduces the commercially recoverable reserves of the plays that we have studied. The Barnett and Fayetteville shale plays have the most complete history of production and thus provide the best available analogues for shale gas plays with less complete histories. We recognize that all shale plays are different but, until more production history is available, the best assumption is that newer plays will develop along similar lines to these older plays.”

    See [3] for a more recent assessment (2012). I recommend a very careful reading of this analysis if you would like to have a more realistic and sober (technical and commercial) understanding. A quote, “U.S. shale plays have many characteristics in common with the gold rushes of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Both phenomena result from extreme promotion. Anyone can join. Every participant believes that he will get rich. Great amounts of capital are destroyed as entrants try to get a position. The bonanza is exhausted sooner than most expected…. and few profit in the end.”

    I believe, however, even the most sober analyses have failed to consider the environmental disaster (and the extreme cost associated with this disaster) related to this velvet revolution in oil and gas shale. It is metaphorically parallel to killing a fly with a 2-ton rock. I am beginning to truly understand the meaning of the Quranic phrase مفسدین فی الارض [the corruptors on earth].

    I also believe the real target of this hype, this false promotion, is the emerging economies. Another contemporary example of “economic hitman” but in the form of “oil & gas technological hitman”. For a list of initial (and potential) targets and victims, see the list of 32 countries in the US EIA “analysis”.

    __________________________________________

    Sources:

    [1] World Shale Gas Resources: An Initial Assessment of 14 Regions Outside the United States, Analysis and Projections, Independent Statistics &Analysis US Energy Information Administration, 2011, Available online at: ;http://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/worldshalegas/

    [2] A.E. Berman & L.F. Pittinger (2011), U.S. Shale Gas: Less Abundance, Higher Cost, Available online at: ;http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8212

    [3] A.E. Berman (2012), U.S. Shale Gas: A Different Perspective on Future Supply and Price. Available online at: ;http://www.stgs.org/article.pdf

  449. Fiorangela says:

    off topic (but related to Empty and Neo’s comments on the ignorance and arrogance of Westerners, esp. Americans).

    How the Middle East Became the Middle East
    http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/historical-revisionism/souren-melikian-islamic-culture-a-groundless-myth/

    QUOTE (from the writing of Kaveh Farrokh).

    “Inventing the Middle East: The term “Middle East” was first invented by American Alfred Thayer Mahan (1840-1914). The term – Middle East – when examined in cultural, anthropological and cultural terms makes very little sense. Iran and Turkey for example are not Arab countries and in fact share a long-standing Turco-Iranian or Persianate civilization distinct from the Arabo-Islamic dynamic. Instead, the Turks and Iranians have strong ties to the Caucasus and Central Asia.
    . . .
    Mahon’s invented term “Middle East” was popularized by Valentine Ignatius Chirol (1852-1929), a journalist designated as “a special correspondent from Tehran” by The Times newspaper. Chirol’s seminal article “The Middle Eastern Question” expanded Mahon’s version of the “Middle East” to now include “Persia, Iraq, the east coast of Arabia, Afghanistan, and Tibet”. Surprised? Yes, you read correctly -Tibet! The term Middle East was (and is) a colonial construct used to delineate British (and now West European and US) geopolitical and economic interests. . . .

    Mahon and Chirol’s nomenclature (Middle East) provided the geopolitical terminology required to rationally organize the expansion of British political, military and economic interests into the Persian Gulf region. After the First World War, Winston Churchill . . . became the head of the newly established “Middle East Department”. Churchill’s department again redefined “The Middle East” to now include the Suez Canal, the Sinai, the Arabian Peninsula, as well as the newly created states of Iraq, Palestine, and Trans-Jordan. Tibet and Afghanistan were now excluded from London’s Middle East grouping.The decision to affirm non-Arab Iran as a member of the “Middle East” in 1942 was to rationalize the role of British political and Petroleum interests in the country.

    END QUOTE

  450. Arnold Evans says:

    Kooshy:

    Playing the American side

    About Israel/Palestine, in the long term, a Palestinian acceptance of Israel will be good for the region as well as for Iran. The US intends to maintain its string of colonies until that time and Israel is the ultimate source of the irregular treatment of the Iranian nuclear file.

    We would like to begin speaking with Iran regularly on ways Iran can be helpful in bringing about the Palestinian acceptance of Israel. For example by joining the colonies of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, etc. in informing Palestinian leaders that tangible support is being scaled down and will increasingly be limited to verbal support. This can be done in secret and we would respect your government’s need for your populations not to know about this.

    The United States, regardless of the NPT, aims to limit and roll back enrichment for all non-Weapons states, not just Iran. So the US cannot and will not publicly agree on any right to enrich.

    The US conditions for returning unilateral sanctions to 2010 levels: Export all 20% uranium, cease production of 20% uranium, dismantle centrifuges in Fordo or move them to Natanz

    For the medium term, the US is not comfortable with Iran having a large amount of fuel or centrifuges at Natanz that could be transfered elsewhere if Iran chooses. The expansion of unilateral sanctions can pause for up to a year, but the US must reserve the right to resume expanding them after a year if progress isn’t being made on guaranteeing that materials at Natanz cannot be moved elsewhere under any circumstances.

    We would be willing to resume civilian airline cooperation in exchange for Iranian concessions to be discussed later. That can be on the table, but not thrown in for free.

    We can discuss a resolution in Syria.

    The US will not commit to notify or request permission from Iran to operate naval forces in international waters.

    Conditions for returning file from UNSC to IAEA: Iran admits work on nuclear capability and disclaims it. Personnel involved in military nuclear applications whether or not permitted by the NPT must be removed from their positions and there must be a statement from Khamenei or his equivalent that such research is not allowed under Iranian law. Iran must also implement the AP and accept limits not only on the number of centrifuges but on the amount of centrifuge components available domestically. A full catalog of such components and their construction and storage facilities must be available to the US.

    Immediate steps for Baghdad: We would be willing to present as a victory an agreement to immediately stop further production of 20% LEU and Iran’s exporting enough to push its domestic stock of 20% LEU to 60kgs. The US would be willing to immediately send TRR fuel in exchange for this. Iran must also express a commitment to further steps to resolve the nuclear dispute.

  451. Irshad says:

    All:

    The US position and view re: nuclear negotiations with I.R. Iran – interview with Gary Samore, who participated in the Istanbul conference.

    http://www.rferl.org/articleprintview/24551477.html

    Arnold/Kooshy/fyi – they want end to 20% enrichment and stop to Arak haevy water reactor. Same he doesnt talk about what the US will do in return!

  452. Neo says:

    James,

    “American stupidity in the Middle East is largely driven by Aipac and other extremist elements of the ISRAEL LOBBY.”

    Yes I would agree to some extent, but I think the lobby is also used as an scapegoat for poor intelligence – in all senses of that word…

    For example, why is USA (or UK) so energy incompetent despite such superior technology?

  453. Neo says:

    Empty says:

    “…it would be more accurate to say that the US (along with whoever like-minded else) falsely perceived itself to have emerged with such supremacy.”

    This is an excellent point. And it relates to a deadly cocktail of ignorance and arrogance on the part of wanna-be ‘hegemons’. And one of the main reasons why a ‘nation’ such as USA can fall victim to such a major blunder on its own part, is the fact that it is not just the politicians or Zionists who are severely deluded about ‘how the world works’ and their own place in the order of things. Far too often, they see a role for themselves when there is none.

    In the end, many ‘realists’ are dreamers who haven’t even woken up from their dream yet. The subject becomes ‘I’, and the object becomes ‘the world’. But ‘the world’ does not revolve around the ‘I’ , and so the actions that follow from such a I-centred perspective are likely to have more unintended consequences that otherwise.

  454. kooshy says:

    Arnold if I was playing Iran’s side.

    -On stopping 20%U, we can do that, for a set period of time once we reach 120Kg, which is to be our guaranteed strategic backup.
    -On shipping the current stock (of 20% U) out in exchange for TRR fuel. As mentioned above we are willing to immediately place an order for TRR fuel but not willing to ship out the 120Kg already we enriched.
    -On not to expand the nuclear program in “other ways”. If you mean increasing centrifuges we can stop at 10000 for a set period of time once we stock 8000kg of 3.5%U and only till when we can supply our own reactor(s) with our domestically produced fuel. But what is the “other ways” you have in mind, you need to be specific on any program you may wish to discuss, we will not agree to any generalized unspecific term.
    -On heavy water reactor, this we will not agree since we need it for Arak reactor, we are way too far in it. Sorry can’t be rolled back.
    -On more centrifuges, as mentioned we will be willing to halt at 10000 for a set period of time.
    -On better centrifuges, we will continue R&D and will be willing to halt at one cascade of 164 for each type in a set period of time.
    -On no new facilities. We will be willing to agree on a set period of time.

    What we will want in return?

    1-On accepting Israel as is, it’s a nonstarter we can’t do that, accepting Israel is morally and strategically not possible for us, for us to strategically be able to accept Israel you will first need to resolve the Palestinian Israeli conflict in meaningful way that is acceptable to Sunni Arab street.
    2-An immediate unconditional declaration by P5+1 on Iran’s full right to enrichment based on NPT.
    3-A guarantee that US/EU will not impose any new unilateral sanctions on Iran.
    4-US/EU will immediately roll back sanctions to where they were before the 2012.
    5-US/EU will guarantee supplied part for Iran’s passenger air fleet and agree to remove all sanctions on Iran’s purchase of passenger airplanes and related parts.
    6-Immediate halt of any interference in Syrian internal affairs by the west and west’s associated regional actors including NATO members
    7-An understanding by NATO members not to navigate in Persian Gulf any naval vessel over 1500 tons without prior notification of Iran
    8-once these steps are completed the P5+1 will send back Iran’s file from UNSC to IAEA and remove UNSC sanctions on Iran.

    Once these steps are agreed, we can start on technicalities how simultaneously each step is to be taken and what constitute a guarantee for a step as completely performed.

  455. Arnold Evans says:

    kooshy says:
    April 18, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    I think here, it would be easy to find posters who can do a decent job presenting Iran’s position and much more difficult to find a poster who could present the US’ bargaining position.

    If I was to try:

    The US’ ultimate objective in the Middle East is for the region to be safe for Israel as a Jewish state. At least that is the ultimate objective that requires effort. The other objective – oil flowing in a way that no power other than the US can threaten to stop it is much easier from where we are.

    The US’ plan or idea is that pressure especially on the Palestinians but also to a much smaller degree on the Israelis will eventually lead to an agreement that will eventually lead to the people of the Muslim world accepting Israel. It is a fantasy, it’s actually bizarre but Americans really believe it. James Canning here believes it. Barack Obama believes it.

    After the people of the Muslim world accept Israel, then the US will be free to stop propping up the embarrassing colonial dictatorships of the region, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and others. So that in the mind of Americans, pressuring Palestine to accept Israeli terms is a noble action done ultimately in pursuit of democracy.

    So the US goal is to get there. One thing that could stop it is supporters of the Palestinians growing too powerful for the Palestinians to be forced into the surrender the US hopes will allow democracy to flourish. This is where the nuclear issue comes in. Kind of.

    The US does not need Iran to permanently be subject to threats in a way that Brazil and Japan are not. Only long enough for the Palestinian surrender. But it needs it for that long, and since it doesn’t know exactly when that will happen, the US needs Iran to be subject to Israeli and US threats until the US is able to declare it no longer wants it.

    So it is intolerable for a situation like 2006 to be able to emerge with the difference that Iran could even possibly say: If Israel does not stop attacking civilian targets, in light of the threat posed by such barbarism, Iran might consider leaving the NPT.

    Iran would not have to act on its implicit threat. Just making the threat would change the US’ ability and willingness to support Israel in attacking Lebanon, in this example.

    The US has really hoped until now that Iran would not enrich at all but that hope seems to have at long last dissipated. Now the US hopes that any token enrichment is on a scale small enough that the US could relatively painlessly remove it and its threat could not impact strategic considerations.

    So the US will come to Baghdad and say: we can fully normalize, lift all sanctions and everything. Iran would have to commit to accept Israel and also stop all nuclear development. Because even if today’s Iranian government accepts Israel, tomorrow’s may not. A mistake the US made with the Shah that it does not want to repeat. We see that in the US’ stronger resistance to Jordanian, Saudi and other nuclear programs in what now are reliable colonies.

    Or the US can offer to suspend the full isolation of the Iranian financial sector from the US and its allies in exchange for stopping 20%. From there, the US will try to minimize Iran’s nuclear program to the degree possible but does not necessarily expect to stop all enrichment.

    The US goal would remain preventing Iran from emerging in any way into a strategic threat to Israel until the unknown day that Palestine surrenders and the Middle East accepts Israel as a Jewish state.

    There are indications that Iran is willing to forego 20% enrichment. I’m pretty sure Iran privately at least made statements in Istanbul that gave the US and Western negotiators hope that accepting the first offer is possible. The US can present that as an improvement over the status quo that was not nearly as costly as an attack would have been.

    So Kooshy, I’ll play the Americans and offer to suspend the planned expansion of sanctions in exchange for stopping 20% and shipping the current stock out in exchange for TRR fuel. You would also have to not expand the nuclear program in other ways. No heavy water reactor, no more centrifuges, no better centrifuges and no new facilities. In short Iran holds its nuclear program where it is today minus 20% enrichment and the current stockpile and the US does not expand its sanctions and can roll sanctions back to around where they were before the US’ most recent moves against Iran’s banking system began.

    This offer, if you take it, we do plan to follow through on and we this time are willing to provide guarantees such as you can actually get 20% uranium back if a reasonable judge, like the Russians or Turkey, say we are not delivering TRR fuel on schedule.

  456. kooshy says:

    So much for sanctions to cut Iran oil production and export

    Iran Boosts Output, Exports of Crude as Saudis Cut, JODI Shows

    By Wael Mahdi – Apr 18, 2012 3:37 PM PT

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-18/iran-boosts-output-exports-of-crude-as-saudis-cut-jodi-shows.html

    .
    “Iran increased output and exports of oil in February as Saudi Arabia cut back on production and shipments, official data posted on the Joint Organization Data Initiative’s website showed.”

    “Saudi Arabia, the largest oil producer in OPEC, pumped 9.853 million barrels a day in February, 0.2 percent less than the previous month, while reducing exports to 7.485 million barrels a day from 7.507 million in January, the data showed.”

  457. kooshy says:

    Fyi-
    you may be interested in this from Kyhan

    According to today’s Kyhan daily editorial, President Obama last winters in a written letter to Iran explicitly said that in view of US a military option is not on the table

    اولا؛ ايران به سرعت در صدد پاسخ برآمد و تمرين هاي نظامي ويژه اي انجام دادكه نشان مي داد نه فقط براي دفاع در مقابل هرگونه حمله آماده است بلكه حتي اگر ضرورت داشته باشد، اين آمادگي را دارد كه قبل از آنكه كار به اقدام بكشد و در حالي كه دشمن هنوز در مرحله تهديد قرار دارد، دست به اقدام پيشگيرانه بزند. در نتيجه آمريكايي ها ديدند كه در حالي كه آنها تلاش مي كردند تنش با ايران را در يك وضعيت كنترل شده نگه دارند، هر لحظه احتمال دارد اين تنش به طور كامل از كنترل خارج شود و ايران با اعتماد به نفس كامل آمريكا را وارد يك درگيري مرگبار و البته ناخواسته كند. علت اينكه باراك اوباما زمستان گذشته در نامه اي مكتوب به ايران صريحا اعلام كرد گزينه نظامي از ديد اين كشور روي ميز نيست، دقيقا همين بود كه آمريكايي ها ديدند ايران نترسيده بلكه خود را براي جنگ آماده كرده است

  458. Rehmat says:

    Assange interviews Hizbullah leader at RT

    “The Palestinian land is the property of the Palestinian people. The passage of time does not turn the right into wrong. If the house was your property, and I occupied it by force, this doesn’t make it my property even after 50 or 100 years. Anyway this is our idealogical and legal opinion,”said Nasrallah.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/19/assange-interviews-hizbullah-leader-at-rt/

  459. Jay says:

    ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:
    April 18, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    The Guardian excerpt, simply put, is tame compared to the real material.

    The level of barbarism in torturing and killing people, negotiating while planning for the demise of the interlocutor, and much more of the same, reveals an undeniable pattern of disregard for human rights.

    Taken in context, and in light of much of the torture and rendition activities by a host of western countries in recent years, it reveals a horrific decades-long tradition of disregard for humanity. An inhumane and unfortunate pattern that has been carried forward with intent, forethought, and planning.

  460. Empty says:

    In the lecture, it is stated, “…twenty years ago, the United States emerged from the cold war with multifaceted supremacy like the world had not witnessed for centuries….”

    It is not correct to say that the US had emerged as such. Rather, it would be more accurate to say that the US (along with whoever like-minded else) falsely perceived itself to have emerged with such supremacy. About a little over 10 years earlier, the US (with all its power and might) had lost its most strategic asset/partner in the Persian Gulf not to a super power, not to a Soviet Union’s ally (and all the support & protection such alliance implied) but to a bunch of, as Imam Khomeini put it, مستضعفین [the oppressed] and پابرهنه [the barefooted] people.

    This false perception (of supremacy), I think, might have been (and is) based on a sort of blindness to the actual signs and symptoms [just because a patient did not recognize the early signs of advancing cancer and had not yet been officially diagnosed, it does not mean he was robustly healthy.] I think where America is today is very much the logical progression of where it was 20 years ago and where it was 20 years ago was very much the logical progression of where it had been 20 years before that and not, as it is implied, on somewhat a more “supreme” trajectory.

    Later in the lecture, it is asserted that “…..in terms of providing global public goods, I would highlight the long-standing American commitment to secure the flow of oil and natural gas from the Persian Gulf to international energy markets. Since WWII, successive American administrations, democrats and republicans have believe the United States has a vital interest in consolidating and maintaining this positive influence over the security, production, and marketing of the Persian Gulf hydrocarbons. But that vital interest has never had that much to do with America’s own demand for hydrocarbon-based energy. The United States came out of WWII self sufficient….etc….etc…etc….”

    Firstly, a significant rationale for the US involvement in the Persian Gulf is omitted. The involvement is packaged as the standard sound bite bundling of the US role to ensure free flow of oil to allies (such as Japan and Europe). Significant factors such as the control of oil prices and, in turn, the price of any and all commodities that directly and indirectly depended on petroleum, the linking of “petroleum” and “dollar” and the need to control such linkage through military force and dependent regimes; and the role such dynamic involvement played (and continues to play) in the stock market games are all omitted. I am not too sure if the omission is deliberate or an oversight but it speaks volumes.

    Secondly, if we accept the premise of the “balance of power” framework (as used in the lecture) and the role the Persian Gulf played (and continues to play) in the grand strategy of the United States, this makes the point about false perceptions above even more real. So, why the continuation of false narratives?

    “…Grand strategies, especially those of great powers like the United States are typically designed to improve state’s positions relative to others by enhancing their ability to shape favorable strategic outcomes, maximizing their strategic influence, and bolstering their long-term economic prospect. A grand strategy, in this sense, has to have embedded in it a theory of how the world works, that instructs decision makers how to pursue these objectives, and guides them in marshalling all the elements of national power to do so. From this perspective, diplomacy, the capacity of the state to increase the number of others to cooperate with it and decrease the number of its actual and potential adversaries is as essential a component of a grand strategy as military power, economic power is the foundation for a nation’s military posture and it’s part of state’s relative attractiveness as a partner is also an important component of a grand strategy….

    It does take deep humbleness, a sense of great humility and awe to really see how the world works and embed it in one’s grand strategy. Anything short of that is a mirage waiting to be arrived at every 20 years or so.

    To re-package once again what’s going on (and what is hoped for) as a “global public good” (what once was sold as) is a gross underestimation of the intelligence of the people in the rest of the planet. To do so for the American public, it only shows a lack of understanding and awareness of what is really brewing right here in many corners of the US.

  461. fyi says:

    All:

    Sorry: meant to say:

    “The warrior’s backer is his sword.”

  462. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 18, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    Rubbish; coming from a man whose country is protected by the nuclear weapons of the vile Americans.

    Understand this Mr. Canning: Iran has the distinction of being the only country since WWI to be attacked by chemical weapons – aided and abetted by US, UK, and others.

    A 10 kiloton nuclear explosion over Tehran will not kill the English; Iranians will be doing the dying and US-EU will be doing their outmost to protect whomever has launched that attack.

    “The warrior’s backer is his word.”

  463. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    George W. Bush was handicapped in 2006-07 by having a grossly incompetent Secretary of State. Condoleezza Rice. Spiegel.de quoted her December 15, 2006 (“US won’t talk to Iran and Syria, Rice says”): “Rice said she did not want to trade away Lebanese sovereignty to Syria, or allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon, as a price for peace in Iraq.” Stupidity on Rice’s part, viruatlly beyond belief.

  464. Karl says:

    Is there really anything to win by talks for Iran?

    The grand strategy on Iran (for US and Israel) doesnt end with ending their nuclear program. The Shah was allowed to have 90% nuclear enrichment facilities because his political stance/ideology (a pro american leader) and a pro american policy for the middle east. Iran has in the eye of US, has NOT this stance. And thats the problem for the US.
    Like the warmonger Dennis Ross tells us, US have many cards on Iran and would continue with the exact same pressure being brought upon Iran today in case the nuclear-file was solved.

    —————————————–

    “In a recent article, Ross makes clear that what he calls “coercive diplomacy” would not involve the promise of lifting sanctions, because the U.S. would continue to demand change in Iran’s “behavior toward terrorism, its neighbors and its own citizens”. ”

    http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=107417

  465. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Jay says:
    April 18, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    That is a very interesting article. I would recommend it to everyone here. The collaboration between British and US imperialism it reveals is especially relevant.

  466. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iranian power would not be diminished in the least if Iran stopped all enrichment. Zero effect on “Iranian power”. Might affect Iranian pride, but certainly not Iranian power.

  467. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Is it not fair to say the commencement of Iranian enrichment to 20 percent “scuttled” the proposed nuclear fuel exchange? Or at the very least made it much more difficult to achieve.

  468. James Canning says:

    Cyrus,

    Bravo. Khamenei makes the final call on the nuclear programme. But Ahmadineajd and Khamenei both saw the wisdom of offering to stop enriching to 20% (in effort to head off new round of sanctions last Sept.) US TV news time and again misleads the viewing public on this issue.

  469. James Canning says:

    William Hague, interviewed in his office July 3, 2010 by The Times (London): “I don’t really see the world in [terms of enemies] any more. The Cpold War is over. But we have countries with whom relations are more difficult than others.

    “I think a military attack on Iran could well be calamitous.”

    Hague is the biographer of William Pitt the Younger, and has a bust of that PM in his office.

  470. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Do you think Obama could agree to Iranian enrichmenbt to 20 percent? Or would it not be certain political suicide?

  471. Cyrus says:

    Report Finds Network News Misrepresents Intelligence On Iran Nuclear Issues

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/201204170020

    A new report from Media Matters released today finds that the broadcast news networks — NBC Nightly News, ABC’s World News and CBS’s Evening News — “frequently” distort or exaggerate key information regarding Iran’s nuclear program. “Two egregious misrepresentations in particular repeatedly came up,” the report says, reports “suggesting that Iran will imminently obtain the bomb and suggesting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has major influence over the country’s nuclear program.”

  472. fyi says:

    A concerned world citizen says: April 18, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    There was a conference in 2002 in Herzliya – MOSAD’s headquarters – which was attended by Sir Michael Quinlan during which he presented a discussion of Iranian nuclear case. See here: http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Walkers_World_Can_Iran_Nukes_Be_Stopped.html

    Sir Michael’s observations, as reported by Mr. Walker, the US brush-off the 2003 offer by Iran, the fact that US-EU leaders chose escalation in 2007 (after the Iran NIE had been released), and the scuttling of 2010 fuel exchange has led me to conclude the nuclear issue is a pre-text for the destruction of Iranian power.

    North Koreans moved their army south after US-Iraq War in 1991 and proceeded to take Seoul hostage with conventional weapons.

    However, the threat to their security evidently was not neutralized to their satisfaction since they had – at the same time – strated on their nuclear program.

  473. A concerned world citizen says:

    Off topic. There’s this back and forth war of words between the US and North Korea.It appears they’re about to detonate another nuclear device.The North Koreans now feel they have something that makes them untouchable and something they could always use to gain US’s attention.

    North Korea is a clear example of the inability of the “major world powers” to do anything if a country really decides to go “rogue” and nuclear. I mean, if the North Koreans have been able to develop and test a nuclear device right under the noses of Russia, China, and the US what makes them think Iran cannot develop one if they really wanted to? It also proves all the threats of “all options on the table” by the US levelled against North are as hollow as can be.

    The US is standing at a crossroad vis-a-vis Iran and has two distinct options – escalate further or de-escalate. One could say it was America’s stupid policy that pushed North Korea into detonating their first nuclear device. Much like the situation they find themselves today with Iran, they had negotiations with the North and AGREED to lift sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of the North’s nuclear program. Again, due to short sightedness, the US double crossed the North and stabbed them in the back by making more demands. They reneged on their end of the bargain to supply the North with heavy oil, food etc. The result was a nuclear armed North Korea.

    The US, with their Likud AIPAC centric policies, could push Iran in a similar direction. At the moment, Iran doesn’t feel the need to develop nukes since she doesn’t feel threatened but the US’s lack of flexibility and common sense could make Iran also go for broke.

    What Western powers fail to realize is that, a destabilized Iran will be far worse for them and the entire region than the gains they hope to achieve. Think about all the drugs that’ll make it through to Western capitals simply because Iranian government could pay salaries of drug law enforcement agencies due to economic sanctions?

  474. James Canning says:

    Rd.,

    Nabucco gas pipeline has been scaled back due to its obviously being too ambitious. It will get built in a much-reduced manner.

    Gas prices in the US have dropped by about 85% in recent years.

  475. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela asks: “Has Connecticut, the state represented by Joe Lieberman, been annexed to Israel?”

    What, only Connecticut?

  476. kooshy says:

    Arnold Evans says:
    April 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Arnold-

    But sanctions will eventually always become exhausted, especially on a large country like Iran, historically no one was able to block or as FYI says put a “siege” on trade between the nations forever, what then?

    I know you are a very well informed resourceful person on geopolitics of US and Middle East, and I sense you have a lot of followers here on RFI, it would be a fun exercise if you be willing to organize a serious structured debate with two teams negotiating on behalf of the two sides.

  477. Kathleen says:

    During the introduction interesting that the host points out that Flynt has been on the BBC, Washington Journal, Charlie Rose, Al Jazeera. But as her introduction points out no appearances on CNN, MSNBC, Fox etc et. Wonder if these outlets are following marching orders from their owners. No Leveretts on our programs

  478. kooshy says:

    Rd. says:
    April 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Rd-

    On the gas to EU, I agree with RFI, unless the west can resolve her regional policy disputes with Iran in an acceptable way to Iran, secondly and as important can change the Syrian government including her military structure, so far none of these two elements were possible to be achieved. More importantly Iranian and the Russians “may” have an understanding for their potential gas markets to maintain pricing without competing. There are very few countries that can export substantial amount of gas; most likely this is what all disputes with Iran is all about. Ayatollah Khamenei put that in very well done perspective in his speech last month.

  479. Jay says:

    Viewed in its historical context, not a single word of what Mr. Hague says is credible.

  480. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 18, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Turkey will get some stablization funds from EU banks, but will have to rely on her own devices for survival.

    What happened in 2011 was the collapse of the financial economy of US and EU – the basis of their power to cajole, persuade, or otherwise intimidate.

    Turkey cannot rely on EU for financial life line any longer.

    Iranians wanted to be strategically independent, Turks could be forced into it as the global financial structures unravel.

    700 trillion dollars or so of I.O.U.s and various other financial instruments of questionable value are carousing through global economy, dissolving, like sulfuric acid, all that is not “gold” on their path.

    The dissolution of these structures also make wars more likely; just as the dissolution of the European economy in the decade before WWI led to that war.

    US leaders are oblivious, that country has degenerated too much to expect much leadership from her at this time.

    Mr. “A concerned world citizen” has reasons to be worried.

  481. Arnold Evans says:

    kooshy says:
    April 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    I think that’s a good idea. I think a problem is that both sides are really not that dissatisfied with the status quo. Iran is becoming nuclear capable which the US would rather not happen as well as Israel, but Iran is not building a weapon and there is no indication that it would in the foreseeable future. In the meantime, the US is getting what it really wants, which is sanctions.

  482. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “While Russians and Iranians may make gas transportation agreements and put them into operation, per the scenario that you have described, it will not materially effect EU dependence on Russia nor the pricing structure since these will not be independent Iranian flows.”

    Fair enough, the part I was most interested in was the intend to by pass Turkey! One has to wonder Turkey’s economic outlook for the reminder of the decade, its impact on their elections, etc and if there are any potentials to re-orient her FP. Given both Russian Interest, Iran’s interest as well as other regional countries. I can’t imagine Iranians giving up on Turkish state of affairs as it is today.

  483. A concerned world citizen says:

    Am I the only one that views the decline of the US power with great trepidation?

    I have a feeling the US will go rogue and try to take down as many countries as she can with her. The EU is a perfect start All these austerity etc. points to one direction. I see the US’s also been instigating chaos in the Middle East after they lost their strategic foothold in Iraq.Syria is a clear case in point. Qatar, Turkey and other Persian Gulf Arab satraps are being used to further this objective.

    They’ve resorted to the “all or nothing” strategy where they destroy that which they failed to achieve. My hunch is that this is aimed at China. The theory here is, “if we can’t have it, then you can’t either”..kindda like a scorched earth policy, if ya ask me.

  484. fyi says:

    Rd. says: April 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    The European gas market had too much competition for Iran to participate in it back in 2001.

    The situation has not much changed.

    There was no reason for Iran to try to compete with Russia, Libya, Algeria in supplying gas to Europe at that time; it obly harmed all the gas producers.

    While Russians and Iranians may make gas transportation agreements and put them into operation, per the scenario that you have described, it will not materially effect EU dependence on Russia nor the pricing structure since these will not be independent Iranian flows.

    Iranians can afford to wait.

  485. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    “There will be no Iranian gas to Europe; now or in the next 20 years.
    There will be no competition to Russia’s dominance of that market.”

    what is the likelihood of Gazprom having some involvement in the Iran, Iraq, Syria pipeline to the Med? Given right international atmosphere. After all, the Russian would love to see Nabucco done for good.

  486. ToivoS says:

    Flynt mentioned: “It inevitably overstretches a great power’s resources…and inevitably sparks resistance and counter-balancing behavior from others. Pursuing hegemony actually ends up making you weaker.”

    I would be very interested in hearing from the Leverett’s their opinions about the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and how that might work out as “counter-balancing behavior”. When SCO first arose 10 years back it looked significant but recently I have not heard much about where it is going.

  487. Fiorangela says:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/17/why-netanyahu-s-afraid-of-diplomacy.html

    “[Benjamin Netanyahu], The hardline Israeli Prime Minister, standing next to Senator Joe Lieberman, accused Obama of having given Iran a “freebie” during the Istanbul talks this past weekend. Iran can continue to enrich uranium “without any limitation” for another five weeks, Netanyahu charged.

    Nothing could be further from the truth, Obama shot back moments later from the other side of the world, at the Latin America summit in Colombia. “The notion that somehow we’ve given something away or a ‘freebie’ would indicate Iran has gotten something,” he said. “In fact, they’ve got some of the toughest sanctions that they’re going to be facing coming up in just a few months if they don’t take advantage of these talks.”"

    Has Connecticut, the state represented by Joe Lieberman, been annexed to Israel?
    Doesn’t the Logan Act restrict Americans from pursuing US foreign policy abroad?

  488. Jay says:

    For those who suggest transparency by the west, and the UK in particular

    Statements by Ms. Ashton’s and colleagues must be viewed in light of the recently released national archives in the UK. Of particular notes are instances where negotiations were ongoing as a facade to support a preordained decision.

    Transparency is a carefully crafted illusion! A brief reading of a few entries makes clear a practice of duplicity throughout. You can read an overview and a find the links at:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/blog/2012/apr/18/national-archives-release-colonial-papers-live-blog?newsfeed=true

  489. fyi says:

    James Canning says: April 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    A lot of things could be good; such as “Peace on Earth”.

    A war has been waged against Iran by US and EU.

    This war has not ended – only a cease-fire has been declared.

    Peace is years ahead.

    People who go to war cavalierly must also be prepared for the consequences of their actions once that war terminates – like all wars do – and face the ensuing peace.

    The ensuing peace, between US and EU on one side and Iran on the other, will not be a return to status quo ante.

    It will not be EU companies modernizing Iranian economy.

    It will not be Iranian gas going to Europe.

    All of those are off the table for the next generations – 20 years.

    I expect the Chinese, Turks, Korean, and Brazilians to be the major economic players in Iran.

    EU will have very little presence in Iran for the next 2 decades.

    She has sanctioned herself out of Iran – just like US.

    I think EU leaders really expected a quick Iranian capitulation.

  490. kooshy says:

    Yesterday I was trying to negotiate with Gavner James to model a possible negotiation between P5+1 and Iran, to see if it can go anywhere, I think it this could be a good exercise if the regulars in RFI who are all well informed and aware of the geopolitics of the region, willing to participate and make two teams, one representing the P5+1 and the other represents the Iranian side each team will have a leader who will post his/her team’s official arguments/response after he/she views his team’s related posts, obviously we will need to have some sort of agreed framework to make this exercise possible in a blog, and I can think that the principles wouldn’t mind the exercise. Let see if we can find participants for both sides of this virtual table. It could be fun to see what each side’s limitations are.

  491. Rehmat says:

    “After some discussion, US President Barack Obama accedes to the position of Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and he urges them to attack Iran. Netanyahu and Barak exchange frightened glances and plead with Obama to stop them (attacking Iran),”Akiva Eldar in daily Ha’aretz, April 16, 2012.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/netanyahu-please-stop-us-attacking-iran/

  492. Castellio says:

    To the Leveretts:

    This is beginning to work. Your message continues to be refined. The Grand Bargain with China is now an example of an historical “truth” to which you point. “we are stronger if we co-operate, weaker if we fight”.

    The US public is open to that message. Stick with it.

    The tactical importance of this refined message is that it:
    - allows patriots to support your position
    - points to past diplomatic (not military) success as important in US history
    - re-establishes national pride based on “leadership” rather than hegemony.

    Your opponents are fierce, ruthless, and extremely self-serving.

  493. James Canning says:

    S Mob,

    I do not say Israel runs US foreign policy. Aipac largely determines American foreign policy in the Middle East. And other elements of the ISRAEL LOBBY, working with Aipac.

  494. James Canning says:

    S Mob,

    Obama last May said Israel needed to allow independent Palestine with Green Line as its borders. Within days, Netanyahu was before a joint session of the US Congress, with an added 600 ardent Jewish donors to Aipac, where he told Obama to stuff it.

  495. James Canning says:

    Is the utter failure of the US, to determine and execute a coherent Grand Strategy, something that we owe to the ISRAEL LOBBY? Why is the head of any Congressional committee that touches on American Grand Strategy, a card-carrying member of the ISRAEL LOBBY?

  496. Cliff says:

    I would love to watch this, but there is no way I am installing Microsoft Silverlight.

    Anyone know of another way?

  497. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    If Iran stopped enriching to 20 percent, converted all existing 20% U into fuel rods/plates, or exported it, maybe Iran could send gas to Europe. Which would be a good thing for Europe and Iran. Pipelines much less expensive than LNG for transport.

  498. James Canning says:

    Neo,

    Much of the talk about US “hegemony” camouflages the brutal fact that American stupidity in the Middle East is largely driven by Aipac and other extremist elements of the ISRAEL LOBBY. “Protecting” Israel has cost the US trillions of dollars, but this fact is suppressed by American news media.

  499. James Canning says:

    An obvious part of any intelligent American “Grand Strategy” would be simply to tell Israel to get out of the West Bank.

  500. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Turkey, India and Japan have been hit hard by high oil prices, resulting from sanctions against Iran. US also hit hard. China is able to sell goods to OPEC countries, sufficient to cover 2/3 of Chinese oil imports from OPEC countries.

  501. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Vladimir Putin yesterday commented on the “fracking” of sites to allow proudcution of natural gas where formerly it was impossible, and consequences for Gazprom. US price is now 20% of that in Europe.

  502. James Canning says:

    George W. Bush’s catastrophic blunder in overthrowing Saddam Hussein and then destroying the Iraqi army and security services, illustrate the utter lack of “Grand Strategy” on the part of the US. Especially considering that Bush and all of his top advisers agreed before the invasion that the Iraqi army and security services would be kept intace.

    How much did the above blunder cost the US? $1 trillion? $2 trillion?

  503. fyi says:

    kooshy says: April 18, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I doubt that the Persian Gulf Arabs will make good Turkey’s losses.

    Saudi reserves are estimated at $144 Billion, Qatar’s $ 40 billion and so on.

    They do not have that high a cash position.

    There are a lot of investments abroad but I doubt that the Arabs of Persian Gulf will liquidate those to help Turkey.

    Turkey has become a victim of the Axis Powers economic siege of Iran.

    Laughable.

  504. fyi says:

    All:

    There will be no Iranian gas to Europe; now or in the next 20 years.

    There will be no competition to Russia’s dominance of that market.

    Sanctions have severly disrupted trade with Iran and have harmed many other states.

    Those states – some US friends and some not – are paying the geopolitical costs of Axis Powers policies.

    From all appearances, the cease-fire between Axis Powers and Iran is going to stick until at least after Novermber elections in US.

    Iranians have a hard long slug to work through the financial sanctions – several years.

    I think Axis Powers will again break rank on Iran in a few years once Iranians have addressed the sanctions and this economic war peters out (2017?).

    Look for EU to try to recover some of her former commercial positions in Iran while US will be remaining aloof.

  505. kooshy says:

    Will this bring about a behavior change, or gulf Arabs are going to finance this as well? This was to be expected. Sounds like the American are willing to step on and weaken their own allies at any cost. The American political establishment believes they are immune to the economic cost, as long as they own and control the dollar printing presses.

    Iran Sanctions Hitting Turkish Economy, Energy Costs
    By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan – Apr 17, 2012 11:08 AM PT

    “Turkey’s exports to Iran have fallen 20 percent this year and the cost of imported oil has soared after sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, Turkey’s Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said.”

    “The price of oil has risen as efforts to restrict Iran’s oil exports have fueled global insecurity over energy supplies. Turkey paid $54 billion for energy imports last year, a 40 percent increase over 2010, he said.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-17/iran-sanctions-hitting-turkish-economy-energy-costs.html

  506. Fiorangela says:

    In a panel discussion recently, Trita Parsi commented that it is not in Iran’s best interest to seek regional dominance but to concede to the US some role in exerting power in the region, because wielding power is a headache. It is advantageous for Iran to retain a second-tier capacity to control events, with the US carrying the major share — economic and political — of the burden.

    (I thought Parsi had made that analysis in a discussion at Wilson Center, but after listening again to that 90 min. panel discussion, it was not that discussion. If anyone knows where Parsi spoke recently, I’d appreciate the information. Here’s a link to the Wilson Center discussion — http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/israel-iran-and-the-arabs-regional-perspective Ephraim Sneh was his usual lovable self; Ghaith Al-Omari’s contributions reflected some of the finest thinking of the 19th century.)

  507. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Sanctions failure 3

    No Iranian oil projects stopped due to sanctions: Qasemi

    Key quote: “about USD 30 billion was invested in Iran’s oil and gas industries during the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 21) and the figure is expected to hit USD 40 billion this year.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236718.html

  508. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Sanctions failure 2

    IMF: Oil price to rise if Iran cuts export to OECD [20 to 30%]

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236841.html

  509. ExposingNeoConWarmongeringStooges says:

    Sanctions failure 1

    Sanctions on Iran driving up Global Oil Prices

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/236811.html

  510. Rd. says:

    “They have failed to define clear, ‘reality-based’ strategic goals and to relate the diplomatic, economic, and military tools at Washington’s disposal to realizing these goals in a sober and efficacious manner.” 

    Struggle over the Middle East: Gas Ranks First

    by Imad Fawzi Shueibi

    “Nevertheless, Moscow hastened to buy up gas in Central Asia and the Caspian in a bid to starve Nabucco at the same time it is ridiculing Washington politically, economically and strategically.

    And with the contract Damascus signed to transport Iranian gas to the Mediterranean through Iraq, the geopolitical space would open and the gas space would close on the scene of Nabucco that used to be Europe and Turkey’s lifeline. Syria, undoubtedly, would be the key to the coming epoch. ”

    http://www.voltairenet.org/Struggle-over-the-Middle-East-Gas

  511. Neo says:

    Superb video. Thank you again Mr. Leverett. Let us live in the hope that such voices of reason will be listened to.

    American economic power is in long-term decline. American military and political power is also declining. Forcing ‘hegemony’ over the world in this context is little more than sheer arrogance and stupidity.