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The Race for Iran

WHO’S RUNNING COVERT OPS AGAINST IRAN? THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROTESTS TOO LITTLE.

Iranian Scientist Killed January 11, Fars News Agency Photo

A rising tide of commentary attributes the most recent assassination of a scientist connected with Iran’s nuclear or missile programs—and perhaps previous killings of Iranian scientists—to Israel.  The Obama Administration has publicly disavowed any involvement in the killings.  Today, Mark Perry published an important article, see here, citing multiple current and retired U.S. intelligence officials as saying that what the Iranian government, several other foreign governments, and any number of Western journalists have perceived as clandestine U.S. support for the Balochi separatist group, Jundallah, is, in fact, a “false flag” operation conducted by Israel’s Mossad without Washington’s approval. 

We know and respect Mark Perry, and we do not question his reporting on his contacts and conversations with current and former U.S. intelligence officials.  However, in order to assess U.S. involvement in the ongoing covert war against the Islamic Republic, it is important to put Mark’s story in a wider context. We have written, on multiple occasions, see here, here and here, about America’s dangerous dance with Jundallah and, more broadly, anti-Iranian covert action.  That the Obama Administration is now trying to distance itself from some aspects of this dance, by fobbing it off on Israel (to be sure, anything but an innocent party), does not extricate it from its past decisions or current actions.

First, that Israel was (and still may be) conducting a false flag operation using Jundallah to carry out lethal attacks inside Iran does not say anything, in itself, about possible U.S. support for the group.  Prior Western media reporting on the issue indicates that U.S. support for Jundallah was “indirect”—meaning that, as with Nicaraguan contras in the 1980s, Washington relied on third parties to deliver funding to Jundallah.  Moreover, Perry’s sources say that, since the United States learned about this Israeli false flag operation, neither the Bush Administration nor the Obama Administration has done anything to convey its displeasure to Israel.  So, one must ask, just how displeased is official Washington?

Second, Washington’s handling of Jundallah’s designation as a foreign terrorist organization remains highly suspicious.  Mark’s sources, as well as our own contacts, in the U.S. government, indicate that U.S. intelligence has had sufficient information on Jundallah to warrant its designation as a foreign terrorist organization for years. Yet, both the George W. Bush Administration and the Obama Administration refrained from doing so.  In fact, the Obama Administration reviewed the question in detail in February 2009 and again later that year.  But, while the Administration designated the Kurdish separatist group PJAK (primarily as a gesture to Turkey, although PJAK has also acted against Iran), it refused to designated Jundallah.  U.S. officials have told us that the reason was ongoing interest in maintaining Jundallah as an anti-Iranian card.  Washington only designated Jundallah in November 2010, months after Iran had captured and executed its leader. 

Third, Mark’s sources say that within weeks of taking office, the Obama Administration “drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran.”  We are skeptical that this claim is correct; if the Obama Administration had taken such a decision, the Netanyahu government (which took office in 2009), would almost certainly have leaked it as a way of pressuring Washington.  But, even if the claim is correct, as the Administration was supposedly ratcheting down its anti-Iranian intelligence activities with Israel, it was ratcheting up its unilateral intelligence activities against the Islamic Republic, primarily through the U.S. military.  In May 2010, the New York Times reported on a “Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order”, signed by then CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus in September 2009 authorizing the sending of U.S. Special Operations personnel to Iran “to gather intelligence about the country’s nuclear program” and “identify dissident groups that might be useful for a future military offensive.”

Since early in Obama’s presidency, we have criticized, see here, his initial decision to continue the anti-Iranian covert programs he inherited from President Bush, comparing his lack of strategic vision to the statesmanship of President Richard Nixon—who, on coming to the White House in 1969, ordered the CIA to stand down from a longstanding covert action program in Tibet, to show Beijing that he was serious about rapprochement with the People’s Republic of China.  For all that parts of the Obama Administration are trying to distance themselves from particularly outrageous Israeli operations, Obama’s overall policy on anti-Iranian covert action continues to head in the wrong direction. 

And, in terms of distancing itself from outrageous actions, we think that the Obama Administration could very easily show its seriousness on the point.  As Paul Pillar points out, see here, “the killing of an individual foreigner overseas, if carried out for a political or policy purpose by either a non-state actor or clandestine agents of a state is an act of international terrorism”, according to U.S. law.  So, Secretary of State Clinton should announce that, if the United States identifies any group involved in caring out politically-motivated murders inside Iran, it will designate that group as a foreign terrorist organization.  Furthermore, if the United States identifies any foreign government carrying out, instigating, or facilitating politically-motivated murders inside Iran, it will designate that government as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

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771 Responses to “WHO’S RUNNING COVERT OPS AGAINST IRAN? THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION PROTESTS TOO LITTLE.”

  1. Harald says:

    An unique article:

    An analysis of the events in the Arab world should take the Iranian perspective into account, argues Mahmoud Ayad

    The Arab Spring: Has Iran Passed its Peak of Power in the Middle East?

    http://www.fairobserver.com/article/arab-spring-has-iran-passed-its-peak-power-middle-east

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  5. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I think the Duke of Edinburgh got things right when he said, decades ago, that if the Chinese all decide to live like middle-class Americans, the planet is doomed.

  6. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Is population “density” especially relevant? As a “standard”?

    Russians stopped having children because their flats were too small. Too much “density” within the small space.

  7. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    UK would have stable or slighly declining population, without immigration. Most illegal immigrants into the EU come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria and other African countries.

    Italy’s population, stable or declining, without immigration. Spain too. And Portugal. And Germany. Russia. Need more?

  8. Castellio says:

    You did get to one of my points, Jame. Population control policies on the “darker” nations should also be applied to the “whites”. The UK being just one example.

    You still haven’t recognized the second point, which is what the standard for correct population density (and it’s boundaries) should be? Is it the nation state, the metropolitan area, the continent as a whole?

    China has been successful in limiting its population growth. I welcome that, as do, in general, the Chinese people themselves.

  9. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    China did an excellent job of controlling the growth of the population of the country. We’ll see what approaches are taken in years to come.

    Japn’s population likely will decrease by 20 million in coming years. The country will only be richer for that.

  10. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    Iranians are “white people”.

  11. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Do you welcome an India with 2 billion people? Pakistan with 300 million? Nigeria with 400 million?

  12. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    David Attenborough argues the UK should have a population of 20 million. I am among those who think the population of the UK already is too high.

  13. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Eric Cantor is a whore of Israel. But he is not president.

  14. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Bruce Riedel should be calling for Israel to get rid of its nukes. And encouraging the international community to work together to achieve this.

  15. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree with you a deal might be possible, along lines you suggest.

  16. Fyi: “I only commneted on Mr. Obama’s public statements and interpreted those statements as indicating a change in US stand regarding “No Enrichment on Iranian Soil”.
    If, as you claim, that is not the intent of his comments – we would very soon learn that.
    We just need to wait a few days or weeks to have those statements clarified.”

    Ah, but Obama is not into “clarification”. That’s the whole point. The U.S. has never actually said OFFICIALLY that the policy is “no enrichment whatsoever” by Iran – although numerous people have indicated unofficially that is the goal. But that IS what Obama claimed he wanted during his election campaign. And that IS the current policy of the U.S. government with regards to any new countries who wish to start a nuclear energy program: that no enrichment occur on the country’s soil but instead all fuel needs are handled by external parties.

    By not OFFICIALLY claiming that Iran cannot enrich, Obama can continue to maintain the fiction that he supports a “peaceful nuclear energy program” – while simultaneously demanding that Iran suspend all enrichment, as required by the UN resolutions, prior to lifting any sanctions, and then should that ever happen hamstringing any further negotiations over the issue when Iran demands its right to enrich be recognized and restored.

    Not to mention that the fact of enrichment, as has been mentioned here many times by the Leveretts and others, is the (alleged) main issue – that Iran has “breakout capability”, not that Iran is actually making any nuclear weapons (although of course the U.S. continues to IMPLY that Iran is doing so by the very fact of enrichment.

    And that, as you know, Iran will never agree to based on their history of being double-dealt with by France and others, and the basic fact of the insincerity over the Tehran Reactor deal demonstrated by Obama’s reaction to the Tehran Declaration. Not to mention that Iran views mastery of the fuel cycle as a testament to Iran’s scientific progress and a matter of national pride.

    The whole issue of “right to enrich” is the core of the West’s stonewalling of the entire crisis and the West’s means of continuing and ratcheting up the crisis.

    So Obama will NEVER agree to change the stance on enrichment. That would amount to the U.S. “blinking” and backing down on the entire issue.

    And Israel would throw a fit if Obama did so. The entire AIPAC-controlled Congress, Democrat and Republican, would turn on Obama if he did so, even more than they are already doing.

  17. Unknown Unknowns says:

    A reminder of what the sanctions are all about. Sorry, its in Persian.

    http://farsi.khamenei.ir/audio-content?id=18626

  18. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: January 19, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I only commneted on Mr. Obama’s public statements and interpreted those statements as indicating a change in US stand regarding “No Enrichment on Iranian Soil”.

    If, as you claim, that is not the intent of his comments – we would very soon learn that.

    We just need to wait a few days or weeks to have those statements clarified.

  19. Fyi: “where they say, we’re not going to produce weapons”

    Note that they’ve already said that…

    “we won’t stockpile material that can be used for weapons.”

    You misinterpret Obama’s meaning here. What he means is: NO enrichment on Iranian soil. Period. Full stop. That is what he wanted during his campaign and that is what he wants now, but he refuses to admit it by claiming he still wants Iran to have “a peaceful nuclear energy program.”

    Well, but he wants that program to have no enrichment whatsoever.

    This deal will never be agreed to by Iran, with the possible exception of a “Grand Bargain” in which full diplomatic recognition is given to Iran, all sanctions going back thirty years are lifted, and the U.S. agrees under the NPT to ASSIST Iran in its nuclear program.

    Good luck with that…

    “This is not difficult to do. What makes it difficult is Iran’s insistence that it is not subject to the same rules that everybody else is subject to.”

    Since U.S. policy at this time is NOT to assist ANY country with nuclear energy programs that entail enrichment on that country’s soil, this is what Obama means when he says “the same rules that everybody else is subject to.”

    “Now, the issue of tockpiling of materials can be addressed through various modalities:

    - Export of excess 20% or 3.5% enriched uranium to another country (say Russia)”

    Iran will never agree to this, short of a “Grand Bargain”.

    “Fabrication of Fuel elements for various Iranian reactors (say through partnership with Foreing Manufacturers).”

    Same problem.

    “This deal, I imagine, could be acceptable to Iran if the details do not attempt to take sovereign rights from Iran.”

    Which is precisely what Obama intends to do: prohibit ANY enrichment whatsoever, which IS under the NPT (and indeed, outside it as well) Iran’s sovereign right and in addition is necessary for Iran’s security.

  20. fyi says:

    All:

    Interview of Mr. Obama by Mr. Zakaria:

    http://swampland.time.com/2012/01/19/inside-obamas-world-the-president-talks-to-time-about-the-changing-nature-of-american-power/

    The key passage reads:

    “….the Iranians have a very clear path where they say, we’re not going to produce weapons, we won’t stockpile material that can be used for weapons. The international community then says, we will work with you to develop your peaceful nuclear energy capacity, subject to the kinds of inspections that other countries have agreed to in the past. This is not difficult to do. What makes it difficult is Iran’s insistence that it is not subject to the same rules that everybody else is subject to.”

    Now, the issue of tockpiling of materials can be addressed through various modalities:

    - Export of excess 20% or 3.5% enriched uranium to another country (say Russia)
    - Fabrication of Fuel elements for various Iranian reactors (say through partnership with Foreing Manufacturers).

    This deal, I imagine, could be acceptable to Iran if the details do not attempt to take sovereign rights from Iran.

  21. fyi says:

    All:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA20Ak01.html

    So, US is to strengthen a non-NPT member’s strategic capabilities against an NPT member.

  22. Photi says:

    *for the record, it is my belief that with proper planning and management, Mother Earth could support double her population.

  23. Photi says:

    kooshy says:
    January 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

    lol, good one. social Darwinists unite!

  24. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio and Gavner James:

    Please start with Birmingham. Ta.

    Rule Brittania!

  25. Castellio says:

    James, I know this is a difficult choice, but we could save all of metropolitan Liverpool, or go for Bournemouth and Bradford.

  26. Castellio says:

    FYI, thanks for the article. I read and appreciated it. I have comments to add but, despite the message below as evidence to the contrary, I have things to do and will get back to you when I can.

  27. Castellio says:

    Kooshy, given that Mr. Canning estimates India as carrying a population roughly a third too large (400 million too many of approx. 1.2 billion), and given that the UK’s pop. is roughly 62 million, perhaps the UK could also lose a third, roughly 20 million?

    Thus reduced, the population density of India would then become similar to the UK today (Was that the standard which determined the desired estimate? But who would use the UK today as a standard?)

    Thus reduced, the population density of the UK would then become similar to Nigeria.

    But why use Nigeria as the standard? If we want the UK to have a population density closer to Canada’s, eh?, then we need to reduce the UK population to 800,000 and change. A whole 61.2 million British need to either die or emigrate.

    Pity.

  28. Kooshy: “God Save the Queen”

    I’m reminded of William S. Burroughs, some of whose characters motto in one of his stories was “Bugger the Queen!”

  29. Castellio says:

    Honestly, I’m not so sure one can distinguish the CIA from the Mossad, or the American government from the Israeli. That’s not rhetorical. Consider:

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/cantor-who-promised-netanyahu-congress-has-your-back-is-named-3rd-most-powerful-man-in-d-c-by-gq.html

    From Dov Zakheim to Paul Wolfowitz to Eric Cantor… has anything really changed?

  30. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    January 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    “Kooshy- Do you think it a good thing, for Pakistan to have at least 50 million too many people? India has maybe 400 million to many.”

    Guv-

    I think UK is over populated only by 1 person (possibly a male)

    Can you think of any volunteer who wants to save her majesty’s Kingdom?

    God Save the Queen

  31. WTF: “I meant “throw Israel under the bus” a little less literal than you are taking it. I’m not talking about the US taking real action against Israel; I just meant that if the US was simply trying to deflect (as others including the Leveretts have alluded to), why would they go so far as to implicate the Mossad in a false flag operation jeopardizing US interests. They could have blamed Israel for the assassination without throwing in the whole “false-flag” angle.

    I think that the Iranians have some evidence implicating the CIA…”

    That may answer the question. If the Iranians think the CIA did it, and the CIA wants to avoid a “tit-for-tat” – especially since Iran recently rolled up a CIA operation in Iran (and Hibzallah did in Lebanon, which also puts CIA assets at risk there) AND they just sentenced an alleged CIA asset to death – and the CIA knew that Israel was using a “false flag” operation, the CIA may have simply decided to warn off Israel from doing that.

    My point is that it doesn’t MEAN anything in the long run. First, because Israel is likely to ignore such a warning because the CIA really isn’t going to do anything about it, and second, because after a suitable amount of time and Congressional papering over the situation with the CIA under AIPAC control, things will go right back to normal.

    Look, the FBI and the CIA both know that Israel is one of the main countries conducting espionage operations IN and AGAINST the United States. Have been for years.

    That hasn’t stopped the CIA from running covert ops against Iran, and it hasn’t stopped the Israelis from running their ops, whether “false flag” or not. And it hasn’t stopped both sides from cooperating against Iran, even if neither side believes what the other tells it as a matter of course.

    I just don’t think any of this means anything at all. It’s not a sign of “disengagement”, or Obama having second thoughts about U.S. policy, or anything else – not without a LOT more direct action proving same.

    It’s grasping at straws, and it’s not warranted. The only thing that matters is actual U.S. diplomacy toward Iran on an honest level – and so far we’ve seen ZERO evidence of that. Until we see a diplomatic action that results in a direct lessening of tensions – and not just another round of “we have no negotiating partner because Iran is intransigent so we need more sanctions” – none of this side stuff matters.

  32. masoud says:

    Nato top honcho urges Iran to keep Strait of Hormuz open:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9023637/Nato-urges-Iran-to-keep-Strait-of-Hormuz-open.html

    All this stuff about Iran being able to close down the straits of Hormuz, ‘for a while’, is utter bullshit peddled by feckless analysts who can’t bring themselves to admit that white people aren’t quite as superior in reality as they are in their personal fantasy lives. Once Iran closes the strait, it’ll stay closed until Iran opens it back up again.

    About the US hanging Israel out to dry, i think it’s strong circumstantial evidence that either Iran is hot on the trail of their assassin team, or that they really are taking Iran seriously when their threatening retaliation.

    About talk of an imminent attack: there are many signs that are worrying. But I think the absolute maximum time line the Us has to launch such an attack is 15 months. After that, it will be too late to attack Iran, because there will be several Arab countries who will be openly taking stances just as uncompromising as Iran’s, but will be much closer to Israel to deal with. By next march we can expect that Egypt, Tunisian and Yemen will have joined the ‘resistance front’, and that Lybia will not be far behind, if it has any kind of a normal functioning polity at all. This will put the Persian Gulf Sheikdoms under incredible pressure confront Israel, which will constrain them vis-a-vis Iran.

    Another interesting element goings-on in the domestic US political scene is that Netenyahu affiliates in the US are giving giant amounts of money to Republican run Super Pacs. I wonder if the Likudnics would actually be stupid enough to throw Obama under the bus for not attacking Iran? AIPAC commands a lot of well earned fear in the ranks of government, but they just might find that they don’t have the bankroll to compete with Citizens United money. If they did however go full out in support of the Republican candidate, this might begin the process of huge shift in how Israel is perceived among self identified liberals and independents in the US.

  33. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Just thought I’d cross post this from b’s excellent Moon of Alabama blog. The basic gist that I was not aware of is that talk of uranium itself is completely bogus. Pay attention, Gavner 20%!

    The post is in response to Lysander’s question: “In your opinion, how long it would take Iran to build one deliverable bomb if they decided to do so as fast as possible?” Here’s the post:

    @13 Lysander–

    There is so much wrong with the entire Iran-bomb-building scenerio that one does not know where to begin. Just a few points:

    Enriching uranium is not so much hard as it is intensive and tedious. You need good technicians and good industrial plant, but it is in no way high tech. It was all doable and done in the first half of the twentieth century, and not just by the US. BUT . . .

    Enriching uranium is tedious and very energy intensive. Modern centrifuges are a real improvement over gaseous diffusion but still do not change the basic situation. And enriching from 20% to 90% is much more tedious and intensive than enriching to 20%. This is why no one takes this approach to building bombs: Creating plutonium is much easier and cheaper. The US built the uranium bomb–the gun-triggered Little Boy–in 1945 because at the time nobody was sure that the more intricate implosion-trigger required for a plutonium bomb would work. By the summer of 1945 the US knew that the implosion-trigger would indeed work (that is what the Los Alamos “Trinity” test was about–the uranium bomb was never tested before deployment, and didn’t need to be), and never looked back. Neither did anyone else. This is one reason why all this talk about uranium bombs is so absurd: Plutonium made uranium obsolete for fission bombs over sixty (60) years ago. [Emphasis mine.]

    How long would it take for the Iranians to utilize uranium in a bomb? (Assuming that they, unlike everyone else, would want to!) Well, if people are right brandishing enrichments of 20% by this date, it will take them several times longer to reach bomb-grade uranium than they have already spent.

    Did I mention plutonium is faster and cheaper? Did I mention that it allows higher production rates? (It does.) When the Iranians start working with plutonium then you will be able wonder if a bomb is immanent. Until then, it either lies far in the future, or not at all.

    –Gaianne

    Posted by: Gaianne | Jan 18, 2012 11:33:20 PM | 16

  34. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fior Jaan. Good post, but you are wrong here: “If Iran had to hold its nose to reach out to some of its neighbors–if Saudi Arabia could be turned from the US sphere, Iran would be better off. It’s a far more natural alliance than is an American-Saudi alliance.”

    Iran will never ally itself with Wahhabism, which is the poison dagger that was inserted into the soft underbelly of Islamdom by its own ignorance and spiritual, cultural and juridical decadence, but which was eagerly fostered by Britain and now by Uncle Weasel, Inc. Imam Khomeini’s last will and testament has ensured that a reconciliation with the Wahhabism generally and with the Saudis in particular will never happen, thank God.

    *

    WTF Jaan:
    No, ’twas not me, mein freund. I was thinking of cutting back on use of handles to maintain their novelty value :) Besides, my policy is that it will always be obvious its me when I do so.

    *

    Kooshy Jaan:
    With your permission, I will continue to refer to our Sahib as Gavner, as I have a deeper (ghaleeztar) cockney accent :)

  35. WTF says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    January 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    OTOH, Israel probably couldn’t care less as long as it leads to increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran, provided it doesn’t also lead to the U.S. retaliating against Israel in some significant way.
    The problem with the latter is that Congress won’t allow it. So I don’t think Israel is really in any danger of being “thrown under a bus” by the CIA.

    I meant “throw Israel under the bus” a little less literal than you are taking it. I’m not talking about the US taking real action against Israel; I just meant that if the US was simply trying to deflect (as others including the Leveretts have alluded to), why would they go so far as to implicate the Mossad in a false flag operation jeopardizing US interests. They could have blamed Israel for the assassination without throwing in the whole “false-flag” angle.

    I think that the Iranians have some evidence implicating the CIA, and some in the US administration saw the situation slipping out of control and needed to quickly scale things back a bit. I must admit though, I often feel that because there is so much about the US/Israeli “special” relationship that we don’t even know (on top of the mounds of unnerving things that we do know), it is near impossible to interpret current events in the public domain.

  36. Jay says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm
    in response to
    deathtoiran says:
    January 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Brilliant!

  37. WTF says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 18, 2012 at 9:37 pm
    deathtoiran says:
    January 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you for your articulate contribution to the discussion. Well sourced and logically presented information and perspectives always serve to advance the cause of justice.

    ————–

    Fior, this guy has to be a joke. UU, is that you using a new handle to get a rise out of us?

  38. Fiorangela says:

    deathtoiran says:
    January 18, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Thank you for your articulate contribution to the discussion. Well sourced and logically presented information and perspectives always serve to advance the cause of justice.

  39. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – I’m affraid Chinese hate to follow Jewish “shrinkage” policy which has kept Jewish population below 13 million even after 3500 years.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2009/04/12/jewish-population-is-shrinking/

  40. Rehmat says:

    Ehud Barak: ‘Israel is not ready to pick fight with Iran’

    According to several US sources, the US-Israel joint anti-missile excercise, code name Austere Challenge 12, was delayed on Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak’s request. The pro-Israel lobby groups in the US blame Barack Obama for getting cold feet. However, speaking off the record, officials in the United States and Israel confirmed published reports that Iranian threat in the Strait of Hormuz factored into the decision.

    The other lame excuse made by both Israeli and American officials – are lack of funds for such joint military excercise.

    “Some Washington observers found both cited Israeli rationales for the delay–budget cuts and Israeli concern about further raising tensions with Iran – as conspicuously thin,” wrote Laura Rozen in The Envoy on January 17, 2012.

    Critics of the Obama administration are insisting that the delay revealed a fissure between President Obama and Netanyahu over how to handle Iran. Some suggested that the Obama administration feared the joint exercise would further ratchet up tensions with Iran.

    Danielle Pletka, vice president of the AIPAC sidekick, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) has claimed that Obama do believe in Iran’s threat to close the Starit of Hormuz which would cut off almost 60% of oil supply to Europe.

    One Israeli report, on the country’s Channel 2, quoted unnamed Israeli officials as saying that it was the U.S. that requested the postponement, although U.S. officials and other Israelis have pushed back, insisting that it was Israel that made the request.

    Pentagon officials reached out to journalists Tuesday to reinforce their claim that it was Israel, not the United States, that requested the delay. According to Atlantic’s former Israeli prison-guard Jeffrey Goldberg, Barak requested to cancel the exercise because he feared the Israeli military lacked the resources to carry it out effectively.

    Eitan Barak, an assistant professor of international relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, suggested that the delay request could ba Israeli move to blackmail the US to fight Iran alone on behalf of Israel. He said that Israel has in the past ratcheted up its defensive posture as a means of pressuring the United States and the West to confront a regional threat. He noted that during the first Gulf War, in 1991, Israel pulled its missiles out of their silos after suffering a barrage of Iraqi Scud missiles. Israel was signaling impatience with the failure of allied forces to take out Scud missile launchers in western Iraq.

    “Once the US satellites detected the missiles, the United States took Israel seriously” and started hitting western Iraqi targets, the Hebrew University’s Barak said. “It was a clear signal, if you don’t do something, we will.”

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/01/19/ehud-barak-israel-is-not-ready-to-pick-fight-with-iran/

  41. deathtoiran says:

    The whole concept of accusing the US of being behind attacks because they aren’t shedding tears for an Iranian scientist who was a part of the Iranian nuclear weapons effort is another preposterous thought from a pathetic Tokyo Rose wanna be. Do they honestly expect the US to weep for an Iranian scientist while the Iranians provide weapons to terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan that has cost the lives of thousands of US servicemen? I don’t expect the traitorous Leverett’s to mention them. How much do the Leverett’s get paid to write propaganda for the mullahs? I mean really because one day I may want to buy my own propagandists as well. How much does it take to make swine like the Leverett’s betray their country and write the garbage of a country that has declared itself our sworn enemy? This site is among the finest collection of retards,hypocrites, and delusional losers that I’ve ever seen.

  42. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Do you think it a good thing, for Pakistan to have at least 50 million too many people? India has maybe 400 million to many.

  43. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    China has maybe 1.4 billion people. It would have had 2 billion if strict controls had not been adopted. Actually, China needs to shrink its population.

  44. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    At least Evan Bayh warned of the danger Israel would drag the US into war with Iran, in some recent TV comments. He needs to study Bacevich carefully.

  45. Fiorangela says:

    link to the Al Jazeera discussion with Raad Jarrar, mentioned below –

    http://www.raceforiran.com/taking-stock-of-america%E2%80%99s-defeat-in-iraq%E2%80%A6and-iran%E2%80%99s-regional-role

    link to Ralph Raico on Churchill
    :http://mises.org/daily/2973

    Americans — and Iranians — would do well to study the work of Andrew Bacevich, who provides a strenuous critique of American foreign policy and the “long war.” This is an interesting introduction to Bacevich’s thinking; Evan Bayh’s jackassitude puts the clarity of Bacevich’s analysis in bas relief. :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Presidentsat

  46. Fiorangela says:

    What can Iran do to deescalate?

    1. Study very carefully the zionist tactics, propaganda, and especially subversion/seduction of Great Britain and US in drawing those states into WWI and WWII — use the Raico, Irving, Weber fact-based version of the history, not the tons and tons of US-zionist sponsored and approved versions of the “greatest generation.”
    Why? Because in Bibi’s mind, Ahmadinejad IS Hitler and this IS 1938. Bibi KNOWS this because his father, Vladimir Jabotinsky’s right-hand man, tells him just exactly how zionist did it — drag an unwilling Germany still smarting from a devastating war that US joined due to zionist control of a weak-minded and morally compromised Woodrow Wilson; a busted and fragmenting, intellectually flabby British empire threatened by rising German power; led by an easily bought, witless, and bloodthirsty Churchill, eager for war fame; aided and abetted by a mendacious, vainglorious FDR who could not pull himself out of the enmeshment of the zionist and banksters-induced depression without revving up US industrial capacity to arm for war. The propaganda machine was Made in Zioland and beamed out of Great Britain as well as US. References to “Goebbel’s propaganda” are, as is usual with the zionists, a feint — in Mein Kampf Hitler observes that Germany lost the propaganda campaign in WWI; he sought to improve German ‘appeal to the masses’ by imitating zionist propaganda tactics. Zionists ginned up propaganda against Germany beginning in 1933, Nazis played catch-up.

    2. Iran should GIVE its oil away — well, almost, to China, Russia, and Japan, if that’s what it would take to cement China, Russia, and Japan on Iran’s side. Brazil & Venezuela should also be carefully courted. FDR was not able to cross the threshold to war without a casus belli that he knew he could engineer Japan into providing.

    Perhaps Syria is today’s Japan. Iran will have to play Syria in a very gingerly fashion. I’m clueless how Iran can support Syria, keep Assad un-toppled. Turkey is another wild card. Egyptian outreach to and engagement with Iran is a very good sign; US imperialists see Egypt as the new anchor in the region, replacing the role in the Islamic world that Iran did/would like to play. Iran should not be overconfidant that Iraq is in Iran’s camp; as Raad Jarrar said in the Al Jazeera discussion with Hillary Leverett and Mark Kimmit, Iraqis seek their OWN interests and are not eager to be seen as siding with either Iran or US, which will be a tough posture for Iraq to maintain, and one that Iran will also have to play very carefully.

    Khomeini sought to unify the region under what he perceived to be their common denominator, Islam and Islamic pride. It would be a mistake to repeat that approach. Without at all abandoning the Islamic foundation, Iran would be well advised to inspire in Egypt, Turkey, Iraq and the smaller gulf Arab states a sense of regional cultural, historic, and economic shared power and pride. I believe Iran has made several moves in that general direction, enlivening the ‘Silk Road’ trade corridors, for example. Leading a bid for confederation would not be a bad idea, even if Iran had to hold its nose to reach out to some of its neighbors–if Saudi Arabia could be turned from the US sphere, Iran would be better off. It’s a far more natural alliance than is an American-Saudi alliance. The world is tilting south. Iran ought not seek to tilt in its own direction, but would do well to share power with its southern neighbors for their mutual benefit, security, and prosperity. US has peeled off India, but that might be able to be adjusted, and it seems to me Pakistan would be happier in alliance with Iran than being bombed by US drones.

    But the most important thing is not so much ‘What can Iran do to deescalate, but what can we Americans do to call off the mad dog that our government has become. It is time for American citizens to show some courage and leadership. (I nominate —> THAT guy to do it first!)

  47. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    January 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    “I am not the most ardent exponent of “one man, one vote”.

    Guv-

    Although I know it would be painful for your structured mentality to accept, but I think you ardently should become an exponent to the fact that the British Empire’s sun has fortunately sat many many years go, meanwhile in the dim of evening light which fallowed, the empire has been made to a lap dog client state of her previous colony.

  48. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – China with its fastest economy in the world – can feed its two million population. India is not “choking” due to overpopulation but due to its 1% population using 90% of country’s natural resources.

    Pakistan is second largest Muslim population (160 million) after Indonesia (220 million). Pakistan’s problem is also not overpopulation but Ziofascism. During first decade of country’s indepedence, Pakistan was self-sufficient in food and energy.

    The US has never ‘one person one vote’ rule. The country has always been ruled by its local 1% vulture population. However, now the local vultures are controlled by the Zionist vulture occupying Palestine.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/pakistan-victim-of-ziofascism-not-islamic-extremism/

  49. Canning: “The US would have been destroyed if “one man, one vote” was the rule of the day two centuries ago.”

    Spoken like a true Tory…

    I think it’s time everyone here completely ignored you. You’re out beyond Pluto…

  50. Eric: “I doubt there would be a Nato operation in Syria without UNSC resolution, which Russia will not allow as things stand now.” I think you’re right about that, and I’m grateful that that’s the case.’

    Except it isn’t. A UNSC resolution will not be needed if a UN General Assembly resolution is passed. Also, Russia’s Lavrov made it clear, as cited below, that if the U.S./EU want a war with Syria, they’ll get it.

    NATO is ALREADY operating against Syria covertly and thus illegally. What makes you think NATO cares about a UNSC resolution they already KNOW they won’t get?

  51. James,

    “I doubt there would be a Nato operation in Syria without UNSC resolution, which Russia will not allow as things stand now.”

    I think you’re right about that, and I’m grateful that that’s the case.

  52. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Do you think China would be better off with 2 billion people today? India is choking in its overpopulation. Pakistan too had terrible problem. And Egypt.

    The US would have been destroyed if “one man, one vote” was the rule of the day two centuries ago.

  53. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Gelb surely comprehends the American public was all-too-lazy in the run-up to the illegal and idiotic invasion of Iraq in 2003.

    Warmongers are having a more difficult time now, simply since their lies are broadcast widely almost immediately.

  54. James Canning: “I am not the most ardent exponent of “one man, one vote”.China has been fortunate not to be a democracy the past several decades.”

    I think that comment removes you from any further consideration here…Once a statist, always a statist…

    Especially a British statist…

  55. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I doubt there would be a Nato operation in Syria without UNSC resolution, which Russia will not allow as things stand now.

  56. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Aipac and other powerful Jewish groups will ensure the US is supportive toward Israel, no matter how much damage Israel does to the national security of the American people.

  57. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I like what Zbig Brzezinski said when he learned Obama was stationing 2500 marines in northern Australia: “I was not aware the Papua New Guinea or Indonesia was about to invade Australia.”

  58. Karl says:

    James:

    I dont think there is any trouble finding supporters to Israel no matter how extreme or immoral that regime become, they support that state no matter what, 60 years have showed that.

  59. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Colin Kahl is an idiot for even mentioning nukes. And obviously there is zero “need” to bring nukes “forward”. How does the Pentagon come up with such turkeys?

  60. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think Israel is confident the US will remain supportive. The real question is whether Israel can continue its illegal colonisation of the West Bank, with an expectation of keeping the illegal colonies that are being grown. Iran is a welcome distraction.

  61. Pentagon’s Ex-Mideast Chief: We Might Need Nukes to Deter Iran
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/colin-kahl-nukes-iran/

    Not to attack Iran – yet – but to stash them in the Middle East to “deter Iran”…

    This is complete idiocy…what part of hundreds of IRBM’s on U.S. subs doesn’t he – and Iran – already know about it? Not to mention Israel’s 200+…several of which are likely already on Israeli subs cruise missiles…or soon will be…

  62. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I am not the most ardent exponent of “one man, one vote”.

    China has been fortunate not to be a democracy the past several decades.

  63. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    January 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    “Kooshy- You obviously do not like the Emir of Qatar but he is most certainly not commonplace. Have you watched him during a lengthy TV interview?”

    Guv- Certainly and obviously unlike me you do like the Amir of Qatar.

    My jolly and dear Guv- although you say you principally believe in democratic values of one man one vote, but unfortunately, unlike what you say in public what your believes are , in private you do not wish to have the same set of values and principles for the people of Qatar. One obvious reason for this kind of double standard which you have chosen to adopt is for the financial and political benefit of the traditional clonal western powers which you see yourself as a member and beneficiary.

  64. Karl says:

    david cameron sits down with one of his bud doing some typical propaganda.

    youtube.com/watch?v=xry-pfuJxME

    And being the hypocrite he is…

    David Cameron accuses Iran of supplying Syria weapons

    telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9023322/David-Cameron-accuses-Iran-of-supplying-Syria-weapons.html

    I have very hard accepting such a immoral claim taking in regard that his own state and US sell weapons to gulf states ALL THE TIME.

    Here he sits with the saudi dictator which he and the west supports with guns for billions of dollars, supporting politically, never sanction etc. Not to mention his support for Yemen regime, Bahrain regime, Jordanian, Oman, Egypt (mubarak), Kuwait and other places where there have been no sanctions. Instead they ante up the selling of weapons to these corrupt regimes.
    Have he lost it completely?

  65. Karl says:

    bibjohn:

    Unfortunately Iran cannot deescalate the situation of multiple reasons.

    1. Since US and its allies refuse Iran to enrich which is a fundamental right for any nation.

    2. Since Iran have been sanctioned not only for nuclear works but for human rights crimes too. Its not like US and its allies just are going to drop that until the regime is dethroned.

    3. Since the pro-israel camp and Israel itself refuse to settle this peacefully. Israel reject diplomacy because Israel is afraid of loosing US as an allied.

    4. Since the anger, plots etc stemming from US and its allies have crossed the rubicon long time ago. US cant afford as a superpower to settle this peacefully. Remember after 911 US became in shock, they had to something, but what? Violence and wars of course. US could neither tolerate a strong state that goes against their (israeli) interests so they have to start a war.

    One could add more but I think these are the most vital ones.
    With that being said, it doesnt matter what Iran do. Thats is:

    1. Lets say Iran sign the additional protocol. Lets say IAEA is let in in every corner, there will still be a constant voice from US and its allies that will say: “Iran is hiding something, we dont trust them”.

    2. Iran could even suspend its nuclear cycle and US and its allies will still attack them.

    ************************************************************************************

    So what Iran should do? Play along as before. Be professional, dont be unnecessary provocative, dont fire the first bullet even if provoked.

    Iran could sign the additional protocol if it get something in return.
    Other than that, they shouldnt offer anything, there is no doub there will be a clash later this year and if you come out as weak, they will strike you direct.

  66. Russia rejects sanctions on Syria
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221712.html

    But note this…

    “We will hardly be able to prevent (force) if someone really wants to do something like that. But let that be on their own initiative and rest on their conscience. They will not receive any mandate from the UN Security Council,” said Russia’s top diplomat.

    In other words, Lavrov already knows the U.S. and the EU will go it alone, if necessary.

  67. Fyi: “The Russians will re-supply Iran and either prolong the war or stalemate it or both.”

    I’d say that’s a good probable prediction. It would be in Russia’s interest. I think China would – covertly – supply Iran as well. Might not be easy, though, stuff would have to come in via Iran’s northern or eastern borders since everything else will be under surveillance. No ships or aircraft will get in, so stuff will have to be trucked in overland.

  68. Even the Council on Foreign Relations doesn’t want war with Iran…or so their head says…

    Leslie H. Gelb: Think Before Acting on Iran
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/16/leslie-h-gelb-think-before-acting-on-iran.html

    Quote

    We’re doing this terrible thing all over again. As before, we’re letting a bunch of ignorant, sloppy-thinking politicians and politicized foreign-policy experts draw “red line” ultimatums. As before, we’re letting them quick-march us off to war.

    In every major war of the last decades, the public assumed the government and the experts knew what they were talking about and proposing to do. But after a year or so, that faith collapsed. Except for those who would bless the sound of the cannon wherever it led, everyone soon realized the terrible truth: that government leaders had little or no idea what they were doing, what the invaded country was really like, and what could and could not be accomplished at what cost. By then, it was too late. Once our truly precious troops had been sacrificed and our prestige had been cast upon the waters, patriotism and politics overwhelmed reason.

    End Quote

    Yeah, and if you think we’re gonna have “carefully planned and extended public hearings on the pros and cons of war with Iran”, you’re living in a dream world…

  69. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: January 18, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    The Russians will re-supply Iran and either prolong the war or stalemate it or both.

  70. fyi says:

    Richard Steven Hack says: January 18, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    The Clsoing of Straits of Hormuz is almost certainly a ruse, a red-herring.

    It served its purpose and got the Axis Powers attention.

    US cannot afford a war in the Middle East from a geopolitical point of view.

    If they do – an act of strategic folly – they will be in the Near East bleeding blood and treasure for several more decades.

    US needs to concentrate on East Asia – it is he call if she wants to dissipate her energies against Iran.

    But there are enough jingoistic yahoos in US that could make that happen, no doubt.

  71. Any attack on Iran unacceptable: Russia
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221541.html

    Yeah, but what are you going to DO about it – as we say in Federal prison…

  72. How to Re-Open the Strait of Hormuz After Iran Shuts It
    http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2012/01/18/how-to-re-open-the-strait-of-hormuz-after-iran-shuts-it-down/

    Quote

    Executing a Joint Amphibious Landing.
    …a force of two Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEBs), supported by SOF [special operations forces] and possibly Army airborne and air assault units, could seize and hold a lodgment at a time and location of Central Command’s choosing. An objective area for an amphibious landing should be located where enemy A2/AD [Anti-access/area-denial] threats have been suppressed, and may not be in proximity to “existing ports, airfields, and logistics infrastructure.” Immediately after landing, SOF, Marine Corps, and Army forces would concentrate their efforts on expanding their operating perimeter and preventing the enemy from closing within range to use G-RAMM [Guided-rockets, artillery, mortars, missiles] weapons. Non-lethal capabilities and mobile high-energy laser weapons could help deny hostile forces access to key areas and create a defensive “barrier” against G-RAMM attacks. U.S. forces could then use this secure lodgment as a jumping off point for follow-on assaults up the coastline of Iran to clear areas that could be used by the enemy to launch attacks against vessels in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz, including vulnerable U.S. MCM [Mine countermeasures] forces.
    Throughout a theater-entry operation, Air Force and Navy surveillance and strike aircraft, along with Army ATACMS [Army Tactical Missile System ] stationed in the UAE or Oman, if available, could help suppress Iran’s long-range ballistic missile and ASCM [Anti-ship cruise missile] threats, provide close air support to expeditionary forces, and prevent enemy ground forces from massing to execute counterattacks.

    End Quote

    Which is exactly what I said the U.S. could do in earlier posts – dump a ton of Marines in one area, and suppress any large Iranian forces that could move against them.

    The hard part, they acknowledge, would be this:

    Quote

    Clearing the Path in to the Persian Gulf.
    Completing mine clearing operations would likely be a key task for Littoral Combat Ships equipped with MCM modules, UUVs [Unmanned underwater vehicles], rotary wing aircraft, and supporting sensors. To prevent Iran from regenerating its maritime exclusion defenses, U.S. air forces would need to continue attacks against known mine storage and distribution sites, and destroy or suppress small craft, helicopters, submarines, and enemy “commercial” vessels capable of dispensing mines.

    Although it is unknown to what extent Iran will expand its inventory of smart mines in the future, history has shown that even a small number of mines placed in shipping lanes “have been able to halt surface traffic when their presence was known.” Moreover, as mine countermeasure operations in 1991 and 2003 suggest, clearing large areas in the Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf of mines could require a month or even longer.

    End Quote

    So we CAN expect oil prices to shoot up for a minimum of several months, if not longer…enough to damage the fragile economies of the West, certainly.

  73. Iran says in touch with powers on new talks, EU denies it
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/18/us-iran-idUSTRE80H15Z20120118

    Quote

    A spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, representing the six powers, denied there were any fresh discussions with the Islamic Republic to organize a meeting.

    “There are no negotiations under way on new talks,” he said in Brussels. “We are still waiting for Iran to respond to the substantive proposals the High Representative (Ashton) made in her letter from October.” Iran has yet to respond formally.

    SERIOUS NEGOTIATIONS

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Iran had to be ready for serious negotiations. “It is significant that when we are discussing additional sanctions in the European Union an offer of negotiations emerges from Iran,” he said.

    “We will not be deterred from imposing additional sanctions simply by the suggestion there may be negotiations. We want to see actual negotiations,” he told a news conference in Brazil.

    “In the absence of such meaningful negotiations, of course, the pressure for greater peaceful but legitimate pressure will continue,” he said, referring to a meeting on Monday of EU ministers that will discuss an oil embargo on Iran.

    EU foreign ministers are expected to approve a phased ban on imports of Iranian oil at the meeting on January 23 – three weeks after the United States passed a law that would freeze out any institution dealing with Iran’s central bank, effectively making it impossible for most countries to buy Iranian oil.

    “On the central bank, things have been moving in the right direction in the last hours,” one EU diplomat said on Wednesday. “There is now a wide agreement on the principle. Discussions continue on the details.”

    End Quote

    In short, Iran has to bow down or more sanctions to come… Same as it ever was…

  74. Iran nuclear: Russia’s Lavrov warns against
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16613485

    Quotes

    The Russian foreign minister has warned that a Western military strike against Iran would be “a catastrophe”.

    Sergei Lavrov said an attack would lead to “large flows” of refugees from Iran and would “fan the flames” of sectarian tension in the Middle East.

    Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak earlier said any decision on an Israeli attack on Iran was “very far off”.

    But the UK Foreign Office said that there were “no dates or concrete plans” for talks, as Tehran was “yet to demonstrate clearly that it is willing to respond to [EU foreign policy chief] Baroness Ashton’s letter and negotiate without preconditions.

    “Until it does so, the international community will only increase pressure on it through further peaceful and legitimate sanctions.”

    A Western diplomat told the BBC that Iran was “chasing headlines” and “pretending that it was ready to engage”. Tehran was “more interested in propaganda” than in sitting down without preconditions, he said.

    BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus says Mr Barak’s comments can be seen as an attempt to placate the Americans, who are growing concerned that Israel may take military action against Iran without alerting Washington in advance.

    The Israeli defence minister, speaking on Israel’s army radio, implied that any plans would be co-ordinated with the US.

    “I don’t think our ties with the United States are such that they have no idea what we are talking about,” he said.

    End Quotes

    Read that last sentence again.

    So much for “de-escalation”…

  75. Mohammad says:

    Sassan,

    Sorry for late response; I’ve been quite busy these days.

    1. Protecting the hundreds of engineers and scientists involved in Iran’s nuclear program is easier said than done. There are already many security provisions for these people, but full surveillance represents a major, expensive extension of operations by Iran’s Intelligence. It will need hundreds of new personnel, many CCTV cameras and other electronic surveillance equipment, and seamless interoperability and cooperation among the different security agencies involved (Ministry of Intelligence, Police, IRGC and Bassij). That’s a huge undertaking, taking many years to implement (esp. for a developing country like Iran), and these kind of assassinations only turned serious last year. Plus, how do you know if there was no attempt to quickly arrest the assassins? Perhaps they tried but failed (and naturally didn’t publicly acknowledge the failure); presumably Mossad uses well-trained agents and well-planned plots. I don’t think it is improbable that motorcyclists can quickly dissapear in rush-hour Tehran (I’m familiar with the area where assassination happened.)
    There are some other issues involved in enhanced security measures for Iran’s engineers and scientists. First, these measures are inherently restrictive for the experts and serve to discourage their cooperation with the sensitive projects. I knew of a fellow student in our department who spent her internship at Atomic Energy Organization of Iran; she complained of the measures involved although she was only an intern in a non-sensitive project. Another one worked at a well-known state-owned hi-tech company and was on the team which built the Omid satellite, but she quit her job thereafter because of the security restrictions, although the project was entirely civilian.Second, the assassinations don’t seem to only target nuclear engineers and “top-tier” scientists; Masoud Alimohammadi was a physics professor who apparently wasn’t involved with any applied nuclear technology project other than the SESAME accelerator project (in which Israel is also a member) and other similar pure science projects. Darioush Rezaeinejad was an electronics engineer who apparently worked with the defense industry. And Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan seems to only have been a young administrative director at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Center with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering (probably not exactly a “top-tier scientist”). Possible targets for the hitmen may very well be in the many thousands. Iran has never in its history had to protect so many high-probability assassination targets, except perhaps during Forqan Group and MKO’s catastrophic and very painful terror campaigns after the 1979 revolution. I guess deterrence (i.e. credible threat of hitting back on Israeli targets) would be much more cost-effective than trying to protect all these people using special measures. Just look at how balances of military power are kept stable; pure defense alone is never effective.

    2. Your comparison with Mousavi and Karroubi’s house arrest is, obviously, off the mark. Perhaps if the assassins issued public statements and gave meetings to journalists and politicians they could be also put at house arrest as well? I wonder if you were serious in that part.

    3. Let’s conduct a simple thought experiment: suppose that the assassins were
    immediately chased and arrested by Iran’s intelligence after the terror attempt. What would your reaction to this news be? Wouldn’t you be more likely to easily dismiss the incident as wholly staged? That’s the problem with conspiracy theories: whatever happens, a conspiracy theory can be always crafted to explain it.

    4. You said that Iran doesn’t need to try its best to retain nuclear scientists and talents, since it has the blueprints bought from the Abdolqadir Khan network. It appears to me that you’re not an engineer or haven’t been closely involved in serious engineering projects, since what you said is at odds with real-world requirements of large, complex engineering undertakings. Blueprints, esp. premade ones, never suffice in such cases. There are many pecularities and context-dependent details which are rarely if ever outlined in such blueprints. The knowledgeable and experienced engineers are indispensable and much more important than mere blueprints in real-world large, complex engineering projects. In fact, people in the arms control community apparently believe that one of the reasons Ghaddafi gave up his nuke project was that he only had a set of blueprints obtained from the AQ Khan network, but he did not have qualified engineers and scientists to be able to use them. (look that up e.g. In armscontrolwonk.com) He only had access to some blueprints, not real expertise. Plus, Iran certainly wants to upgrade existing work to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the equipment, processes and facilities beyond what it has obtained from AQ Khan. It has already developed some centrifuges more advanced than the P-2′s, and IAEA has confirmed Iran’s indigenous efforts in this area.
    Iran should be fool to kill its people to scare its own engineers from working on such sensitive projects. And it’s a major humiliation for Iran’s security and intelligence if they’re not perceived to be able to protect high-value specialists, in broad daylight in Tehran. It’s foolish to believe that they did this for supposed “benefits”. If you are merely recounting “possibilities”, then as Glenn Greenwald has aptly said, there is also the “possibility” that the assassination was the work of Senegal or Singapore. We’re talking about plausible possibilities, not negligible ones.

  76. James Canning says:

    “Israel’s demography obsession has historical echo”, by Ben White:

    http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ben-white/israels-demography-obsession-has-historical-echo

  77. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: January 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Some Shia claim that there is a book; “The Book of Fatima” that chronicles such things as the conversations of Fatima with the Angels.

    The ascribe to it being also Revelation.

    yet there has never been any substance behind such claims – just like the Golden Tablets of Joseph Smith and the Mormons.

    Now, you laugh at the Deeds/Works/Words of Jesus being his Injil – you are entitled to your opinion.

    And I am not a Christian since I do not believe in Resurrection; which is the central dogma of Christainity and of which an intellectually provincial mind such as yourself is clearly ignorant.

  78. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I have argued for years the US should work together with Iran in the interests of stablity and economic development in the greater Middle East.

  79. James Canning says:

    Phip Weiss has interesting story on his site Jan. 18th: “US Congress stomps on Palestinian ‘Sesame Street’ but funds Israeli version”.

    Weiss makes clear that Eric Cantor and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are two of the most aggressive stooges of Israel to be found in the US Congress.

  80. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 18, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    The People’s Republic of China is the only major power with no constraints on her.

    Every other great power has major constraints to deal with.

    As is, US is contained and constrained in the Middle East.

    If I were an American planner I would settle with Iran forthwith since otherwise that confronation could be used by any internal or external actor at any time to further suck US into a Middle Eastern quagmire.

  81. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Isn’t your question more precisely stated: “Will numerous stooges of Israel lobby in US Congress do what they can to block any deal with Iran that allows Iran to enrich uranium, even to 3.5%?”

    Would Mitt Romney be another foreign policy moron, in the manner of George W. Bush? If Romney gains the White House?

  82. James Canning says:

    “Israeli drones are reported spying on Turkey for the Kuridsh group PKK”, by Annie Robbins:

    http://mondoweiss.net

  83. fyi says:

    Castellio says: January 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    No, it does not mean negogiations of substance.

    Only a de-escalation.

    Ask yourself, will US ever agree to the Iranian nuclear enrichment?

    Ask yourself, has US-EU indicated in any manner that they are correcting the oath they took with Iran in 2007?

    Ask yourself, can US negogiate any deal with Iran – given the Laws past against iran by US Congress?

  84. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I do not have a solutiona and I really do not care.

  85. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Dennis Ross was certainly a roadblock.

  86. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Solution to Nagorno-Karabakh.

  87. Castellio says:

    So, with a more positive interpretation, some guy named Thomas made the following comment over at:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/01/the-2003-iranian-overture.html#more

    “It looks as if the Obama administration is trying to engage in diplomacy with Sec Clinton denying involvement in the recent assassination, the announcement of the US-Israeli war game postponement, the Mark Perry Foreign Policy article saying it was the Israelis posing as CIA supporting Jundallah, and a formal letter sent to the IRI about closing the Strait of Hormuz as a red line for the US. The last can be used as a basis for Khamenei to engage in talks without losing face.

    As for the Administration blowing previous opportunities, wasn’t that why Dennis Ross was removed from his position?”

  88. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    You obviously do not like the Emir of Qatar but he is most certainly not commonplace. Have you watched him during a lengthy TV interview?

  89. fyi says:

    To what problem?

  90. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    What is the solution you would favor, apart from open war?

  91. James Canning says:

    Sergei Lavrov, the Russian FM, says the latest unilateral sanctions against Iran erode the common front the P5 +1 should keep.

  92. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    No, there is no effort; just talk.

    Let Turks, NATO, Russia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia (and Armenian Diaspora) go at it.

  93. James Canning says:

    Ali Akbar Salehi, Iranian FM, says talks between Iran and the Six Powers will likely take place in Istanbul.

  94. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Actually, Iran has been trying to help resolve the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, even recently.

  95. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    “Iran should continue its effort to help resolve the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”

    In 1994, an Iranian plane whose passengers were families of the iranian diplomats was shut down over Azerbaijan.

    No one claimed responsibility.

    That was during the Iranian mediation efforts led by Mr. Rafsnajani.

    The message to Iran was to stay out of that dispute.

    Iranaians have complied.

  96. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    In the piece you just linked, Robert Malley says that “the question of Palestine still resonates more deeply than any other” issue in the Middle East. This seems correct, to me at least.

  97. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Many Russia-watchers would say Putin has kept the #1 power position all along.

  98. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    You asked for policy recommendations for Iran, in pursuit of de-escalation. Fiorangela had good response. Iran should continue to promote strengthening of the NPT, and pressure on Israel to sing NPT and get rid of nukes.

    Iran should continue its effort to help resolve the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia.

  99. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    January 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Jesus, the Immaculate perfect Man, born of the Virgin, was the Word/Spirit of God – his Deeds/Acts/Speeches was that of God since he was not in the State of Fall

    You do not seem to understand that Enjil was Jesus himself

    Thus what is in the 4 Gospels are not the hadiths of Jesus per se – they are recordings of Divine Word as expressed by Jesus.

    *

    Sooooo gay.

  100. fyi says:

    Rehmat says: January 18, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Turks do not enjoy the oil wealth of iran; thus they cannot afford strategic defiance of Iran.

    They value their NATO membership which protects them against Iran, Israel, Russia or any other state at the pain of nuclear war.

    They are also dependent on EU for financial aide.

    So, they move a little bit to accomodate this or that US-EU fantasy while getting money from Saudi Arabai, UAE, and Qatar.

    They are doing what they can to advance their country.

    Overt opposition to US-EU hare-barined strategies by Turkey cannot be compensated by Iran.

    Iran needs to have a 2 trillion dollar a year economy so that she can rent Turkey and Pakistan.

  101. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:

    Ah yes, that’s it. Thanks.

  102. kooshy says:

    Qatari Emir secretly visited Israel: Clip
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221741.html

    This new video clip should get one US supported everyday Arab dictator a lot of street support in the Arab Middle East.
    This is the same guy who is worried for Syrians safety and wants to send his troops for support of democracy there.

  103. Castellio says:

    pale #2
    noun
    1 a wooden stake or post used as an upright along with others to form a fence.
    • figurative – a boundary : bring these things back within the pale of decency.
    • archaic or historical – an area within determined bounds, or subject to a particular jurisdiction.

  104. Rehmat says:

    The US has now somehow convinced AKP leadership that the only way Turkey can lead the Muslim East – is to counter Iranian inflence in the region – And which can only be achieved by rekindling its old love affair with Israel and maintaining membership in NATO. As far Turkey’s membership in European Union is concerned – well Turks have waited for 20 years and I am sure they can wait another 20 years to join the exclusive “Christian Club”.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/us-turkey-is-not-run-by-islamic-terrorists/

  105. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    January 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Yawn…. You didn’t understand a word I said. Nuf sed. But I did like your “Kike yourself” Freudian typo.

  106. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: January 18, 2012 at 10:55 am

    The recovery of the Message of Jesus, in fact, was initiated and maintained by Sufis.

    In regards to the views of Muslim Doctors of religion in respect to Jesus etc.; they are just wrong.

    Kike yourself, they cannot explain why the Quran recognizes the Christians and others as “People of the Book” if they are – indeed corrupt.

    And, by the way, everyone is a Muslim – Christians, Jews, Zorastrians, Sabeans, and many others who have yet to be so recognized.

    There is a world out there filled with wonderful things, frigthening things, and astonishing things. But you will not get there by staying in your mental prison that was constructed by limited and falliable men a millenium ago.

  107. Unknown Unknowns says:

    fyi says:
    January 18, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Unknown Unknowns says: January 18, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I have stated my opinion.

    Yes, that’s your opinion, which is your business. But in the post that I objected to, you made two mistakes. This is what you stated:

    From a Muslim point of view; the Revelations of Jesus were his deeds, acts, and speeches as described in Enjil – the Gospels.

    1. That is not a Moslem point of view. The Moslem point of view (for better or worse) is what I stated, namely, that the Gospels are to be discarded as unreliable.

    2. You also equated the Enjil with the Gospels. Another gross error when asserted as a Moslem POV, which of course is the whole point of contention. It seems that you are so unaware of the doctrines and dogma and creeds of your own tradition that you keep assigning extraneous and deviant thoughts (such that you hold) to it.

    Look, if you don’t like what the Moslem tradition believes (and you obviously don’t), and you have exited the community (become part of the neo-Khawarij), that’s fine, and that’s your call. But why do you insist on saying what YOU believe is a Moslem POV, which it obviously is not? You are a minority of one. Don’t you realize that by conflating your decidedly unique opinions with that of Moslem tradition, you are impugning that tradition? Whatever… I think by now everyone knows that your views are heterodox at best. The truth is that you are a Christian, whether you realize it or not, based on your values and beliefs. Kinda like gays who walk around not even realizing they are gay. They, like you, will one day come out of the closet to themselves, or – not! You are certainly not a member of the Twelver Shi’a community, all of whom believe that their fellow members are either an imam or a ma’mum (or, as you would not be familiar with that terminology – not being in our community – I will translate these “technical” terms: technical only to outsiders, you understand – mojtahid or moqallid). You are certainly no imam or mujtahid (you don’t have a single follower or muqallid), and equally certainly, you obviously do not follow any imam or mujtahid (excepting your spiritually puerile ego, of course). QED.

    Go ahead and tell the world what it is that you believe, but at least realize that your views are so unrepresentative as to put you beyond the pail (pale? I can never remember) of Islam.

  108. fyi says:

    Here’s Johnny says: January 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

    You are wrong on 2 accounts:

    1- Your assumption of a “a limited and small confrontation”

    2- and that Iran can prevent a US attack based on her internal Human Rights record.

    In fact, its is the rural yahoos in US whose jingoism and belief in US Invincibility that is a driver of war with this or that country.

  109. Here's Johnny says:

    The US has never been closer to a military confrontation with Iran. I believe we are at a point in time that any shot fired by either side will set off a limited and small confrontation. The US will not actually go to war against Iran until it gets approval from Joe Six Pack. It will be the American public that will decide if it is willing to pay the blood dollars for a war with Iran.
    Ever since the Vietnam war Americans have become reluctant to send their sons to foreign lands to be killed. The US government has to judge the willingness of its people to pay the blood dollars. The Black Hawk down battle in Somalia was a huge cost over run in blood dollars that the Clinton administration could not account for.
    To get around paying the blood dollars, US forces use standoff weapons and drones. The NATO aerial campaign in Libya may have cost the US billions of dollars but zero blood dollars. There were no flag draped coffins returned to the US and Joe Six Pack remained content in front of his TV.
    A war with Iran cannot be fought without ground troops. Unlike Iraq, Iranian troops will not be out in the open waiting to be killed by apache helicopters from 2kms away. Iranian troops will be well dug in and mobile in a terrain that is easy to defend. The US will require troops on the ground to take control. This will come at a high blood dollar cost.
    The American government must now raise the blood dollars to spend. They will do this by using all their PR apparatus to vilify Iran.
    Iran must clean up its optics to reduce the blood dollars being built up in the US. A good start will be increasing its human rights; Stop stoning women, hanging gays and illegally imprisoning people. Iran must dig itself out of the dark ages and present itself to the world as an example of tolerance, freedom and justice.
    All it takes is one YouTube video of a woman being stoned to death, to buy the blood dollars needed to take Iran out.

  110. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: January 18, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I have stated my opinion.

    Muslim tradition speaks of the Greater Quran (which is with God) and the Lesser Quran (which is revealed).

    Are these supposed to be physical books?

    And again, you do not seem to comprehend that the form that t he Word of God takes is not pertinent; it is the Word itself that is.

    Jesus, the Immaculate perfect Man, born of the Virgin, was the Word/Spirit of God – his Deeds/Acts/Speeches was that of God since he was not in the State of Fall and thus could participate with God in Creation (Khalife – Vice Regent on Earth – as the Quran states).

    You think of a physical book and have to claim – against all historical evidence to the contrary – that Enjil was revelaed and then was lost.

    You do not seem to understand that Enjil was Jesus himself (and his deeds etc.).

    Thus what is in the 4 Gospels are not the hadiths of Jesus per se – they are recordings of Divine Word (Actions since God’s actions and words are identical) as expressed by Jesus.

    You can stay within the current dead-end Muslim Tradition and deny Islam to everyone else; going against the Quranic statements themselves.

    For, if the Enjil is lost, and that Jews have altered the Torah, and the Zorastrians are Dualists; why does Quran treat them as “People of the Book”?

    Intellectual laziness will not get you anywhere.

  111. Unknown Unknowns says:

    BiBiJon says, “all these years of coaxing/bribing Russia and China to confront Iran, is now changed to coax/bribe Iran to help put the breaks on Russian/Chinese encroachment in the mid east.”

    Methinks ’tis a case of counting your chicken-hawks before they hatch [at the end of paaeez.]

    *

    Fiorangela says:
    January 18, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Great post. And of course Bernays and Sigi were related by marriage, if memory serves. Adam Curtis of “The Power of Nightmares” fame did an excellent documentary series on Bernays and propaganda (for the BBC? – or maybe Channel 4) called “The Century of the Self”, but you have probably seen it already.

  112. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 17, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    In US, it started with a former Harvard University president who wanted to help integrate Jews into US society.

    Thus such fabrications as Judeo-Christian Tradition.

    In fact, nothing like that exists.

    There is a Jewish Tradition and then there is Christian Tradition.

    But people want to live a lie; like so many Iranians who wish to live the lie of the Glorious pre-Islamic Iran.

  113. Empty says:

    RE: “to enflame the audience and incite them to action or cause them to be paralysed by fear into quiescence.”

    …incite them to [mindless, uncritical, devoid of vision and foresight] action….

  114. Fiorangela says:

    BiBiJon

    “How should Iran play the game of deescalation?”

    Ahmadinejad has already thrown out the first pitches –

    On Apr 17 2010 Ahmadinejad convened a summit meeting in Tehran to discuss disarmament and nuclear nonproliferation. :http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1982962,00.html

    On Dec 24 2011 Ahmadinejad met with Armenian leaders who then issued a joint statement stressing that that ALL states have the right to peaceful use of nuclear technology and that all states should respect the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty. :http://www.armtown.com/news/en/azg/20111224/2011122401

  115. Empty says:

    Melrose Place.

  116. Fiorangela says:

    edit

    “to enflame the audience and incite them to inaction or cause them to be paralysed by fear into quiescence.”

    SHOULD READ

    “to enflame the audience and incite them to action or cause them to be paralysed by fear into quiescence.”

  117. Fiorangela says:

    RSH at 12:34 am, re Israeli newspaper publication of anti-Syria, anti-Iran propaganda:

    There is only one power which really counts. The power of political pressure. We Jews are the most powerful people on earth, because we have this power, and we know how to apply it.” – Vladimir Jabotinsky, Jewish Daily Bulletin, July 27, 1935.

    Conspiracy theory Corner: the proposed SOPA and PIPA legislation are bids to restrict internet access in the United Stated from overseas sites. The argument is that the restrictions are necessary to protect the revenue rights of music and entertainment producers (SOPA) and intellectual property rights.

    It should be recalled that Warner Brothers studios and four or five other Hollywood studios, all owned/directed by Jews, were the dominant force in creating and disseminating anti-German propaganda in the lead-up to the first world war and also the second world war. The latter campaign began as early as 1933, was organized by Samuel Untermyer, was financed by Jewish bankers and business moguls. The studios worked with the support of and coordination with the US government’s Creel commission, which similarly worked to engage and incite the masses of the American polity in “kill the Hun” pro-war propaganda.

    In his lectures on the “bloodiest century,” the twentieth century, Gabriel Liulevicius observes that the characteristics of the wars of that century were the first use of propaganda to motivate masses. Liulevicius does NOT, however, include in his lectures the crucial fact that Sigmund Freud and Edw. Bernays conceptualized –Freud — and turned into a protocol and practice — Bernays — mass propaganda.

    In a powerful lecture discussing his book, “Empire of Illusion,” Chris Hedges declares that the techniques of propaganda introduced by Freud and Bernays relied on emotional appeal, not rational thought, to enflame the audience and incite them to inaction or cause them to be paralysed by fear into quiescence. :http://fora.tv/2009/12/08/Chris_Hedges_Empire_of_Illusion

    The studios and producers of this propaganda have dominated American culture ever since their debut in the first years of the 20th century. In comments to a US Congressional subcommittee on Sept 12, 2002, Benjamin Netanyahu said that the young people of Iran should be bombarded with broadcasts of “Beverly Hills 90210″ and (another similar series whose name escapes me). He explained that the images of fancy houses and clothes and swimming pools would cause Iranian young people to desire these things, and question why their government was not making these things available to them. “That’s subversive,” Bibi concluded, to nervous titters from the Congressmen. Did those congressmen make the connection that American young people, who rank 47th in educational achievement, have been bombarded with those very images and programming all of their lives? I think not. Most of the “leaders of the free world” on that panel were too busy reminding Bibi how much they admired him (exceptions were Dennis Kucinich, Connie Morella, and Barbara Waters) :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Conflictw

    Since the inception, in 1913, of this means of moving the masses, no propaganda campaign, once deployed, has failed to achieve its objective.

  118. BiBiJon says:

    (of) course change you can believe in (for a change)
    ===========================================

    Take the pulse
    ————-

    Isolating Iran has not worked beyond the western ‘civilization’ which needed no further isolating itself from Iran. ‘Has not worked’ isn’t the half of it. The unrelenting campaign to demonize Iran, coerce international bodies into sanctioning Iran, etc. have delegitimized domestic and international institutions who are at the front lines of ostracizing Iran.

    It is not just the cumulative effects of the hard-to-believe steady stream of propaganda which has cheesed off most thinking westerners and almost all non-westerners. Iran’s steadfast resistance has done much to accord her street credibility.

    War was never an option. Even less so today. Hardly anyone doubts that Iran would make good on the threat of closing the Hormoz, and no one thinks an attempt at reopening it would involve anything less than an all out war.

    When in a Republican primary Ron Paul ties Mit Romney and Barack Obama for an hypothetical race for president you have to concede attempts at ostracizing Iran any further, will blow back even harder on public opinion.

    You can read what you like in the cancellation of “Austere Challenge 12.” Its planning was a ruse to tie up Israel’s military hands, and its cancellation required Israel conceding: a) the war is “far off”, and b) Iran hasn’t even decided to build a nuclear weapon. BTW, Amano’s report that was based on Israeli supplied ‘laptop of death’ is now not worth the paper it was written on. Amano, who has just been discarded like a used piece of toilet paper ought to have the self-worth to resign from IAEA.

    United States’ vociferous and vehement distancing herself from war-provoking acts of murder in Tehran tells me a course correction is afoot, and the publicity is designed to make sure Iran knows the course has changed. While the mid east is in open revolt against the West, the best that can be hoped for is that China and Russia don’t wind up filling the vacuum. The real targets need to be China, and Russia. all these years of coaxing/bribing Russia and China to confront Iran, is now changed to coax/bribe Iran to help put the breaks on Russian/Chinese encroachment in the mid east.

    What to do, Iran?
    —————–

    As the tense situation with Iran is quickly deescalating, Iran needs a very different tack in managing the deescalation. The poker face, the ‘I see you and raise the bet’ escalation paradigm does not fit and has to give way to a ‘trust, but verify.’

    For the board:

    How should Iran play the game of deescalation?

  119. settman says:

    Russia warns west and correctly points out the dirty game being played by west to escalate the conflict and triggering shia-sunni violence.

    Russia warns West against Iran strike, sanctions (updated)

    kyivpost.com/news/russia/detail/120724/

    Will US, United kingdom/NATO, Israel care? Today Israel said it wasnt sure Iran wasnt developing nukes. Like we all know. They dont, atleast facts arent showing that and I think facts is what people like barak should focus on, not hearsay, lies, warmongering.

    haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/barak-israel-very-far-off-from-decision-on-iran-attack-1.407953

  120. Uncle Weasel says:

    I just want briefly to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming to offer a word of thanks to Pirouz. Without his diligence and tactful entreaties, that shameless bastard Unknown Unknowns would have continued to refer to me using my Christain name Uncle Weasel, instead of the happy situation that now obtains, viz., showering me with all the various accolades and superlatives with which I am honored each and every day and to which you have become used. Never a dull moment, as they say.

    Let’s hear it for another great American: Pirouz, ladies and gentlemen!

  121. Unknown Unknowns says:

    OK, that’s better. This time, this last comment posted right away also, but Kayhan didn’t time out (came up like Mashreq News, slowly). The headline read:

    For 10 years, the US [Amreeka] has been saying “Iran will build a nuclear bomb next week”. LOL

    I thought it was Shariatmadari (Kayhan’s in/famous editor) lashing out, but upon closer examination was amused to learn that it was a quote from Nikolai Patroshev (sp?), the head of Russia’s National Security Council.

    دبير شوراي امنيت ملي روسيه مطرح كرد
    آمريكا 10 سال است مي گويد ايران هفته آينده بمب مي سازد

    Between that and the Chavez-Putin joint statement, Uncle Has-been is really getting hosed today.

  122. Unknown Unknowns says:

    This is truly bizarre. My internet connection posted my last post immediately (almost without delay, even though, the page, with over 600 comments, is pretty heavy), but it refused to bring up a fresh google page, timed out when I hit my Kayhan (Persian) bookmark, but brought up Mashreq News (another conservative Persian daily), albeit very slowly. Must be those confounded “International” Bankers!

  123. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio:
    Thanks for the recommendation (Cultural Materialism by the anthropologist Marven Harris). The internet has slowed to a crawl here for some reason (not uncommon) and google searches are out altogether, but I will definitely check it out when I can.

    Richard:
    Your time to do this and time to do that (actually occupy the NYSE) betrays an absence of strategic thinking. That is the correct tactic, no doubt. But the strategy? Is it the correct form of “direct action” at this time? I don’t think so. Not enough people, and those who show up would simply be jailed. What is needed is the hard work of organizing at the grass-roots level, educating and de-programming and raising political consciousness at the trade union halls and churches. Only when there is a critical mass of union workers willing to strike at the vital organs, a critical mass of churchgoers willing to make a seemingly inocusous decision to divest their portfolio from Israel-related holdings, etc., will it be “time to do this and time to do that”. I don’t know how she does it, but my sister has spent the last 15 years trying to get this very motion passed in her church, (the Presbyterian, which I guess is the most progressive of the churches in the US). It is a Herculean task. But that is the kind of work that is required. But of courese it is much easier to escape to anarchism and the equally preposterous “transhumanism”, isn’t it? (I’m sorry if I have raised a point which requires delicacy, which is a quality I am obviously incapable of, but I do it not out of spite or to make a point in a game of one-up-man-ship, but because I sincerely believe that your great talents are wasted in your current paradigm. So I am sorry if I have offended, but I meant well.)

  124. Chavez, Putin censure meddling in Iran
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221657.html

    Quote

    During a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Putin and Chavez agreed on the need for “the defense of the independence and sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Islamic Republic of Iran, against the harassment and interference by the colonial powers.”

    End Quote

    I think Putin is going to change the game once he takes power again.

  125. The Absence of International Law in Iran Terror Incidents
    http://www.irdiplomacy.ir/en/news/20/bodyView/1897170/The.Absence.of.International.Law.in.Iran.Terror.Incidents.html

    Diplomats are protected, not scientists, unfortunately. It should be the other way around.

  126. Iran’s nuclear scientists are not being assassinated. They are being murdered
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/16/iran-scientists-state-sponsored-murder?newsfeed=true

    See, we anarchists have no problem with this. It’s called “direct action.”

    We only complain depending on who the “direct action” is taken against and by whom. As long as it’s an individual and he takes responsibility and bears the consequences, we deal with it as appropriate. But when it’s a state and it doesn’t, well… Time for some “direct action”…

    Time for Iran to man up and take down some Israelis…

    Time for the Palestinians to man up and take down some IMPORTANT Israelis, not some lames on a bus…

    Time for the Occupy Wall Street movement to man up and actually occupy the New York Stock Exchange…

    Unlike the Israelis, when it’s time to oil up the Uzis and waste someone, make sure its someone worth wasting…

  127. Castellio says:

    UU, no, I’ve not read the John G Jackson. I’ll get on it. You use emic and etic. Useful terms. Did you read Cultural Materialism by the anthropologist Marven Harris? Kind of a necessary primer, I think.

    All: GO TO http://WWW.WIKIPEDIA.ORG You will be met with the following notice:

    Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge

    For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.

  128. Castellio says:

    RSH, regarding the Herons, what to do with a quote like this: “a possible link between Israel and the PKK”

    Oh, you think maybe?

    But the point, however, as sad as it is, remains valid. The Kurds fight the Turks, the Turks fight the Syrians, the Saudis fight the Iranians, etc etc.

    Not exactly all pulling together, this ummah

  129. Castellio says:

    RSH, regarding the Herons, what to do with a quote like this: “a possible link between Israel and the PKK”

    Oh, you think maybe?

    But the point, however, as sad as it is, remains valid. The Kurds fight the Iranians, the Iraqis and the Turks, the Turks fight the Syrians, the Saudis fight the Iranians, etc etc.

    Not exactly all pulling together, this ummah

  130. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Kooshy says, “could it be called the Hormouz shock.”

    The Hormoz Shock Doctrine. I like that! IF there is a reality to your detection of a change of tone, then I think that yes, the military expercises and development and successful testing of new missiles and other military systems has something to do with it, but also, the fact that Uncle Samuel Huntington laid his last card on the table (embargoing Iran’s Central Bank), and it turned out to be nothing but a deuce (China, Japan, South Africa and South Korea had already told Uncle Sam to pound Salt, and now Press TV is reporting that even the slavish India has told Uncle Brahmin to do the same).

    *

    fyi says, “From a Muslim point of view; the Revelations of Jesus were his deeds, acts, and speeches as described in Enjil – the Gospels.”

    Tired, tired, TIRED of constantly having to correct the misinformation you continue to spread in the face of plenty of evidence that you should cease and decist. From a Moslem point of view, the Gospels are something very different from the Enjil. The latter was a book of divine revelations now lost whereas the former are a collection of ahadith all of which have been correctly categorized as weak (dhaif or zaif) and have thus rightly been discarded in toto since about 1200 years ago by the Moslem community, outside of which you obviously stand.

    *

    Castellio says: “Do you have a prejudice against ethical thinking of an Egyptian origin, or simply a lacuna?”

    Methinks both. Our mutual friend fyi has demonstrated his prejudice towards the Arab semites, and I would not be in the least surprised to read that he holds the negro race in similar uninformed disdain.

  131. Castellio says:

    UU, I love your email address. Very U. I don’t have a pdf version of the book, otherwise I would be glad to send it. (Breasted – you left out the ‘s’ but I imagine that was a typing error)

    I can give you the ISBN: 0-684-14741-6

    I’m not crazy over the Armstrong, maybe for different reasons.

  132. Tell me how Israel is “trying to reduce tensions”…

    ‘World should bomb Syria’
    Special: In first interview with Israeli media, two Syrian exiles urge world to wake up
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4168102,00.html

    Can you believe this garbage?

    Quotes

    Why are you telling your story to the Israeli media? Do you wish to convey a message to the government in Jerusalem?

    “We do it so that you bomb Assad’s palace,” Amar quips. “But seriously now: I’m not a captive of the myth that Jews run the world and America, but Israel does have power and influence. We are engaged in a public relations campaign worldwide to put Bashar Assad on trial for crimes against humanity and for war crimes. If Israel supports the move, it would be greatly helpful.

    “The Syrian opposition and Israel share a joint interest. We have no ideological hatred for Israel or for Jews. I know that’s what you think, but it’s not the case. It’s true that for years they taught us to hate Israel and fight is, but many Syrians already realized that they are being taught to hate Israel to divert attention away from the oppression in the country. We realized that Assad senior and junior educated people to hate Israel in order to stay in power; to blind us with hate for Israel so that we don’t channel our energies to the fact that we live with no freedom or future.

    “This is over. People got it. Assad still has his supporters, the Alawites who depend on him, because if he falls they will fall too. Yet among other groups, and there are very diverse ethnic groups in Syria, he lost support. In the army too there are thousands of defectors by now, and they left with their weapons. They are hiding away, getting organized, and at the right moment they will act.”

    ‘Most Syrians despise Iran’
    We head to the computer. Amar opens his encrypted files, which contain photographs and videos smuggled by the rebels. On the screen we see protestors in the city of Homs burning Hezbollah flags with fury and also burning Hassan Nasrallah’s photos. This is a new phenomenon in Syria, which for years allowed the group to arm itself.

    “In all protests thus far, an Israeli flag wasn’t burned even once,” Amar says. “This uprising demonstrates that the Syrian people’s hatred is reserved for Assad’s tyrannical regime and for those who support it and safeguard it. They realize that Hezbollah caused Syria grave damage.”

    “They also burned Iranian flags in the protests. I can promise you that the alliance between Syria and Iran that threatens the Middle East will come to an end after Assad is gone. Most Syrians despise Iran, because it dragged Syria into becoming an ostracized state. The protestors are also burning Russian flags, because Russia supports Assad in the United Nations,” he says. “It’s not as though there are no disagreements with Israel. There are. A dispute over borders. The Golan is ours and we shall demand it back under any regime. Yet there is no hatred for Israel and for the Jews. We, the young people’ proved it.”

    End Quotes

  133. More provocation over Lebanon…

    Report: Hezbollah fires rockets at Syrian civilians
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4176181,00.html

    Anyone for a simultaneous war on Hizballah AND Syria, exactly as I’ve predicted?

  134. More propaganda against Syria…

    Syrian ‘chemical, biological’ weapons concern Israel
    IDF’s planning division head says chemical, biological weapons still flowing into Syria, wonders ‘what will be transferred to Hezbollah?’
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4176929,00.html

  135. More on this potentially explosive reveal…

    PKK using Israeli drones to attack Turkish troops’
    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=254076

  136. This could prove to be a major problem for Israel… Turkey could go ballistic over this.

    Israeli Herons give intelligence to PKK, intelligence officers say
    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-268815-.html

  137. Is Assassinating Iranian Nuclear Scientists ‘Characteristic of the Mossad’?
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/01/13/is-assassinating-iranian-nuclear-scientists-characteristic-of-the-mossad/

    Quote

    One document that hints to this cooperation is a diplomatic cable from Aug. 17, 2007 disclosed first by WikiLeaks that details a conversation between then Mossad chief Meir Dagan and then undersecretary of state for political affairs, Nicholas Burns.

    The cable says there are five pillars to Israel’s approach to Iran: “Political Approach,” “Covert Measure,” “Counter-proliferation,” “Sanctions,” and “Force Regime Change.” Under the section of the memo that deals with “covert action,” there is this tantalizing sentence: “Dagan and the Under Secretary agreed not to discuss this approach in the larger group setting.”

    End Quote

  138. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm
    James Canning, I’m working on a hypothesis that there is a chicken-egg relationship between zionism’s remake of itself, from its scriptures to Jewish physiognomy to Hebrew culture and beyond — in the 19th century, and the impact of that reinvention of people like Lord Shaftesbury.

    In working your hypothesis, Fior Jaan, remember that the chiken (and chicken-hawk) is Humpty Dumpty’s way of reproducing itself.

    *

    Kooshy Jaan:
    I trust that the production of the 1/80th scale models will be outsourced to our trusty allies, the Chinese? LOL.

    *

    Castellio Jaan:
    I tried searching for the PDF of the Breated book but all I got was a 30-page Biographical Memoir of him by John Wilson. IF you have the book in PDF form, I would be grateful if you would email it to me (humptydumptywozpushed@gmail.com)

    Karen Armstrong’s History of God is queued on my Kindle, but to tell you the truth I am not too eager to get to it, as I find her alleged theism exceedingly (and eerily) secular. If you are not familiar with John G. Jackson, you might enjoy his *Christianity Before Christ* from American Atheist press.

  139. Pepe Escobar on Sinking the Petrodollar in the Persian Gulf – The Myth of “Isolated” Iran
    http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2012/01/17/sinking-the-petrodollar-in-the-persian-gulf/

    Quotes

    What if, however, there is no “red line,” but something completely different? Call it the petrodollar line.

    Iranian intellectuals, far more familiar with Persian smoke and mirrors than ideologues in Washington, totally debunk any war scenarios. They stress that the Tehran regime, adept in the arts of Persian shadow play, has no intention of provoking an attack that could lead to its obliteration. On their part, whether correctly or not, Tehran strategists assume that Washington will prove unable to launch yet one more war in the Greater Middle East, especially one that could lead to staggering collateral damage for the world economy.

    In the meantime, Washington’s expectations that a harsh sanctions regime might make the Iranians give ground, if not go down, may prove to be a chimera. Washington spin has been focused on the supposedly disastrous mega-devaluation of the Iranian currency, the rial, in the face of the new sanctions. Unfortunately for the fans of Iranian economic collapse, Professor Djavad Salehi-Isfahani has laid out in elaborate detail the long-term nature of this process, which Iranian economists have more than welcomed. After all, it will boost Iran’s non-oil exports and help local industry in competition with cheap Chinese imports. In sum: a devalued rial stands a reasonable chance of actually reducing unemployment in Iran.

    “Isolated” Iran has $4 billion in joint projects with Venezuela, including, crucially, a bank (as with Ecuador, it has dozens of planned projects from building power plants to, once again, banking). That has led the Israel-first crowd in Washington to vociferously demand that sanctions be slapped on Venezuela. Only problem: How would the U.S. pay for its crucial Venezuelan oil imports then?

    This is especially true now that the leaders of the European Union have managed to remove themselves from a future negotiating table by shooting themselves in their Ferragamo-clad feet. In typical fashion, they have meekly followed Washington’s lead in implementing an Iranian oil embargo. As a senior EU official told National Iranian American Council President Trita Parsi, and as EU diplomats have assured me in no uncertain terms, they fear this might prove to be the last step short of outright war.

    In this context, it’s worth remembering that in September 2000 Saddam Hussein abandoned the petrodollar as the currency of payment for Iraq’s oil, and moved to the euro. In March 2003, Iraq was invaded and the inevitable regime change occurred. Libya’s Muammar Gadhafi proposed a gold dinar both as Africa’s common currency and as the currency of payment for his country’s energy resources. Another intervention and another regime change followed.

    Washington/NATO/Tel Aviv, however, offers a different narrative. Iran’s “threats” are at the heart of the present crisis, even if these are, in fact, that country’s reaction to non-stop U.S./Israeli covert war and now, of course, economic war as well. It’s those “threats,” so the story goes, that are leading to rising oil prices and so fueling the current recession, rather than Wall Street’s casino capitalism or massive U.S. and European debts. The cream of the 1% has nothing against high oil prices, not as long as Iran’s around to be the fall guy for popular anger.

    End Quotes

    Read that last – what did I just say in a post below?

  140. Castellio says:

    I have to say that supplying Israel with nuclear capable submarines has to be the very worst idea. It is an insane and criminal act.

    How is it that a belligerent, unstable, racist regime, without declared borders, a terrorist state, with a population about the size of Lima, Peru, and seeking to expand, is being supplied nuclear capable subs for its nuclear weapons?

    Think about that.

  141. Argues that Russia, while supporting Iran in the UNSC, cannot be relied on to support Iran in keeping enrichment.

    Iran Cannot Rely on Russia
    http://www.iraniandiplomacy.ir/en/news/20/bodyView/1897070/Iran.Cannot.Rely.on.Russia.html

  142. Castellio says:

    Just a nice little everyday story about Dershowitz and the complete corruption of the US media.

    http://www.nicholasurie.com/news/?p=641

  143. Pointing out that while Iran is accused of getting nukes Germany is supplying Israel with submarines capable of launching nuclear missiles…

    Iran Should Summon Germany’s Top Diplomat in Tehran
    http://www.iraniandiplomacy.ir/en/news/93/bodyView/1897133/Iran.Should.Summon.Germany%E2%80%99s.Top.Diplomat.in.Tehran.html

  144. Press TV has interviewed Mohammad Marandi, a professor at the University of Tehran, on the assassination of the Iranian scientist. Transcript:

    ‘US, Israel backed Iran scientist killing’
    http://www.barackobama.ir/en/news/800/us,-israel-backed-iran-scientist-killing

    Quotes

    It is obvious that Western intelligence agencies are carrying these attacks out, or if the Israelis are carrying them out, it is with the knowledge of the Europeans and Americans. Because these agencies are very closely aligned to one another, they cooperate extensively, they exchange information.

    So it is really impossible to accept the argument that the Americans or the Europeans do not know what is going on. What is basically happening is that, the IAEA is being discredited at all levels.

    Because after all -as you pointed out- IAEA officials had met him earlier on, we have had -in the past-a lot of Iranian intelligence and information have been given to intelligence sources as well as terrorist organizations by this organization in body.

    So it is very difficult for the Iranians to even cooperate with the IAEA when it is putting its own people at risk, and then again you also have the organization which is dominated by Western countries at all levels bureaucrats and the board itself.

    And the head of the organization which, according to the WikiLeaks documents owes his job to Americans, is completely biased, it’s reporting is biased.

    And in fact just a few days ago I met a well-known American journalist Mr. Seymour Hersh and he was saying that American senior officials know without a doubt that Iran is not pursuing nuclear weapons and the issue is Iranian sovereignty.

    The issue is Iran’s independence. So it’s quite clear that the policies of the United States and its European partners are not really directed at Iran’s nuclear program. It’s directed at Iranian independence and sovereignty.

    If you want to find information- unbiased information on Iran’s nuclear program or Iran’s foreign policy, you’d have to look into obscure websites and so on, maybe websites like raceforiran.com, Complex Forum and others.

    You will not find this sort of information in the mainstream press. The UN Security Council has fired prominent members. They will never condemn themselves; they will never condemn their allies.

    The major international bodies such as the IAEA are dominated by western countries. There is no accountability there.

    There is no democracy and their allies in the region are the most despotic regimes around where women cannot even drive as they cannot have independent bank accounts. Yet these are America’s closest allies.

    Accountability, if one wants to wait for the, you know, the so called international community to do something about it nothing will happen.

    End Quotes

  145. Blind Man’s Bluff in the Middle East
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/17/blind-mans-bluff-in-the-middle-east/

    I’m not so sure everyone is “blind”. But this quote reminded me of something…

    Quote

    A lot of people with important sounding titles pontificate on what lies ahead, but who are they kidding? It’s like we’re watching kids playing around with vials of highly volatile chemicals. No one’s sure when an explosion will come, nor how calamitous might be the chain reactions it ignites.

    End Quote

    It reminds me of the line in the movie “The Losers”, where Robert Patrick tells his henchman over plans to give advanced weapons to terrorists: “It’s like giving a handgun to a kid, Wade. You don’t know how it’s going to end…but you know it’s gonna make the papers.”

    Read the article. It also describes how Jimmy Carter didn’t want the truth of what happened with the Shah’s fall revealed to the U.S. electorate.

    Quote

    When questioned by Leonard, we argued that it was difficult to understand how our report could upset the hostage negotiations. We were not revealing any secrets to Iran. The Iranians already knew well the role of the U.S. in their own history. The people we were informing were 20 million Americans—who didn’t understand what was really roiling Iran.

    And still don’t.

    End Quote

  146. More on the Thailand plot…Tellingly, Hizballah denies the suspect is one of theirs…

    US, Thailand tussle over terror plot
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/NA18Ae02.html

    Quotes

    Atris holds a Swedish passport issued in 2005, according to a scan of the document published by Ynet, an online news website of Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth daily newspaper. Atris married a Swedish woman in 1996 and reportedly owned a hair salon in Gothenburg, Sweden, before he returned to live in Lebanon, according to media reports.

    Lebanese media reports quoting Hezbollah members contested that assessment, however. The arrested man “is not one of Hezbollah’s members”, said Ghaleb Abu Zeinab, a Hezbollah political bureau member, according to the Lebanese Broadcasting Corp.

    End Quotes

  147. Latest from M K Bhadrakumar in Asia Times…

    China weighs ‘right side of history’ in Gulf
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NA18Ad02.html

    This was the interesting point:

    Quote

    In sum, the commentary (which appeared on the eve of Wen’s tour) seemed to imply that any Russian-Chinese coordination over Syria is a limited one and both countries are independently pursuing their own interests.

    End Quote

  148. Canning doesn’t believe it, of course…But I do.

    British PM plotting invasion of Syria
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221619.html

    Quote

    While discussing the future of Syria, Cameron said in a statement that he hoped to see a UN Security Council resolution “condemning the actions of the regime and imposing international sanctions if the regime did not abandon its repression.”

    End Quote

  149. Now Israel is manipulating Obama’s schedule… Clearly they expect him to bow whenever ANY Israeli visits the U.S. And since this is an election year, clearly he will…

    Synced AIPAC trips by president and PM may force Obama to play favorite
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/synced-aipac-trips-by-president-and-pm-may-force-obama-to-play-favorite-1.407690

  150. I don’t understand this news at all… Someone explain to me how Israeli analysts are going to tell Dempsey that Iran hasn’t decided to build a bomb…

    Does Netanyahu know this?

    Israeli analysts: Iran still mulling whether to build bomb
    http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/israeli-analysts-iran-still-mulling-whether-to-build-bomb-1.407866

    Then there’s this…

    Quote

    Israeli intelligence sees signs that the regime in Tehran is genuinely worried about the possibility of an opposition victory in March. Should that happen, the regime will have to choose between conceding the loss or falsifying results – as it apparently did in the 2009 presidential election – which could incite anti-regime protests thanks to the tailwind provided by the Arab Spring, which toppled the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

    End Quote

    We know that’s not true, so clearly Israeli intelligence is going to be lying again. But why not about the bomb program? That’s all they’ve been saying for years now.

    Or is this the intent…to claim Iran is going to “sprint for a bomb”…

    Quote

    All this makes it increasingly hard to predict what Iran will do. Recently, for instance, it threatened to shut down the Straits of Hormuz, and thereby choke off a major portion of the world’s oil supply. And under certain circumstances, it could also decide to make a sprint for a nuclear weapon.

    End Quote

  151. And in more “tit-for-tat” news…

    Israeli hackers bring down Saudi, UAE stock exchange websites
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-hackers-bring-down-saudi-uae-stock-exchange-websites-1.407846

  152. I love it…assuming it’s not another “false flag” operation…

    Israel rattled as hackers hit bourse, banks, El Al
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/16/us-israel-hackers-idUSTRE80F0V220120116

  153. Iranian Student Activist Shot to Death in Texas
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/iranian-student-activist-shot-death-texas/story?id=15380227

    How much longer before it is assumed that Iranians did it? Another “false flag” operation?

  154. Israeli embassy, U.S. tourists among likely targets of Bangkok bomb plot
    http://openchannel.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/17/10176623-israeli-embassy-us-tourists-among-likely-targets-of-bangkok-bomb-plot

    Suspiciously, the “suspect” is SWEDISH? “a Swedish national of Lebanese origin with alleged links to pro-Iranian Hezbollah militants”?

    Or another “false flag” operation?

  155. And let’s remember – it was OBAMA who during his election campaign said that he would favor a BLOCKADE of Iranian gasoline imports – an act of war – and that his goal was no enrichment whatsoever on Iranian soil. (This was back before Iran had sufficient gasoline refineries to not need to import gasoline for the domestic market.)

    And yet, now we are to believe that he didn’t favor the recent sanctions on Iranian oil exports? That he’s willing to accept Iranian enrichment? Based on what?

  156. Fiorangela says:

    Empty says:
    January 17, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Namaste.

  157. Syria ‘absolutely rejects’ calls for Arab troops
    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/01/17/syria-absolutely-rejects-calls-for-arab-troops/

    But the running dog lackeys (sorry for the old Communist Chinese language, I couldn’t resist!) are ratcheting up the pressure…

    Quote

    On Tuesday, the Dutch foreign minister called on Assad’s opponents to form a “united, representative and inclusive” opposition to the regime, an indication that the fragmentation of the opposition movements is itself an issue.

    Uri Rosenthal also said he would keep pressing for further European Union sanctions and a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. He spoke after meeting Burhan Ghalioun, leader of the Syrian National Council, an umbrella group for the opposition.

    Ghalioun’s visit came a day after Russia circulated a revised Security Council resolution on the violence in Syria. Western diplomats said the draft fell short of their demand for strong condemnation of Assad’s crackdown.

    End Quote

    And the propaganda continues…

    Quote

    The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 18 people were killed in Syria on Tuesday, most of them shot dead by troops or pro-government gunmen. The Local Coordination Committees, another activist group, said 24 people were killed, 17 of them in the restive central province of Homs.

    It was impossible to resolve the discrepancy or to independently verify the death toll. Syria has banned most foreign corespondents and restricted local coverage, making it impossible to get independent confirmation of the events on the ground.

    End Quote

    But it doesn’t stop the MSM from reporting all these alleged “massacres”…does it?

  158. And does Obama disavow THIS message…?

    Strong signs Iran is supplying Syria with weapons, US says
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/01/17/strong-signs-iran-is-supplying-syria-with-weapons-us-says/

    Tell me again how Obama is not in favor of war with Syria…and Iran. Actions speak louder than words.

  159. Apparently liberal Tony Karon still thinks Obama wants to avoid war with Iran… But he’s also correct that Obama has little say in the matter, compared to Israel and the U.S. Congress – not to mention – which he doesn’t – the people who own and operate Obama…

    War with Iran: A Conflict Obama Hopes to Avoid May Be Imposed on Him
    http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/01/17/war-with-iran-could-obama-have-the-decision-imposed-on-him/?iid=gs-article-mostpop1

  160. Castellio: “Well, Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Washington denial is a clear sign war is on. http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

    “The Obama regime is using its Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the American media, to spread the story that President Obama, Pentagon chief Panetta, and other high US officials are delivering strong warnings to Israel not to attack Iran.

    For someone as familiar with Washington as I am, I recognize these reports for what they are…

    What these “leaked” stories of Washington’s warnings and protests to Israel are all about is to avoid Washington’s responsibility for the war Washington has prepared.””

    I’m inclined to agree. See my analysis below of Gareth Porter’s appraisal.

    Dan Cooper: “Iranian planners must come up with a clever strategy to push up the price of the oil in the market. if the oil reaches $150 or more per barrel, the already fragile economy of the west will collapse together with their war warmongering threats.”

    I disagree. While it would be an effective blow against the general U.S. and EU economies, the end result would not differ. The military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the banks, not to mention the Israel lobby, would not change their approach to Iran. The MIC makes its money from wars. An increase in the oil price just means higher profits for the oil companies. The banks who finance the MIC and the oil companies will continue to profit. The banks that don’t will be merged with the banks that do once they’ve failed. The U.S. taxpayer will continue to pay through the nose even while being dispossessed from their homes for non-payment of their mortgage.

    There may be a limit to the damage the U.S. economy can suffer that even affects the military-industrial complex and the oil companies, but the fact remains that the best way – in their opinion and the opinion of a lot of U.S. citizens – to remove the threat of Iranian oil price hikes is to take out Iran.

    The threat of Iranian-induced economic doom is just another reason to attack Iran and that is how it will be sold to the electorate if nothing else works. Everyone remembers the 1970′s oil crisis, except this time it won’t be the Saudis to blame.

  161. While I usually agree with Gareth Porter’s analysis of events, I’m not sure the cancellation – or delay, whichever it actually is – actually means much.

    In Signal to Israel and Iran, Obama Delays War Exercise
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30268.htm

    Let’s analyse this a bit.

    “U.S. participation in such an exercise, obviously geared to a scenario involving an Iranian retaliation against an Israeli attack on its nuclear facilities,”

    First of all, I suspect this exercise was not merely to integrate U.S. and Israeli military capabilities with regards to Iranian missiles, but also with regard to Hizballah and Syrian missiles in the event of a war with Syria followed by an Israeli attack on Hizballah. After all, Iranian missiles have to be fired from a long way off and aren’t likely to be that accurate or that numerous, compared to the estimated forty thousand missiles Hizballah has next door to Israel, as well as Syrian missiles.

    “would have made the United States out to be a partner of Israel in any war that would follow an Israeli attack on Iran.”

    Does anyone doubt that the U.S. IS a partner to Israel in any war would follow an Israeli attack on Iran? I think Iranian military officers have already made it quite clear that they believe an attack on Iran by Israel will necessarily entail U.S. involvement. So why would the U.S. assisting Israel in exactly the manner that the U.S. has repeatedly SAID IT WOULD be any surprise?

    Is Obama so stupid that he thinks delaying a war game with Israel is going to make the U.S. immune to Iranian retaliation if Israel attacks Iran? Does he really think this would play in any international circles, even if it plays to the domestic electorate?

    “Obama and U.S. military leaders apparently decided that the United States could not participate in such an exercise so long as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to give the administration any assurance that he will not attack Iran without prior approval from Washington.”

    Now this suggests that Obama is trying to use this exercise to pressure Netanyahu to agree to not attack Iran without at least notifying, if not coordinating with, the U.S. first.

    That is plausible. But is it likely to be effective, given what we know about Netanyahu’s fairly contemptuous attitude toward Obama and the U.S. in general?

    “Both Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Mark Regev, spokesman for Netanyahu, suggested that it was delayed to avoid further exacerbation of tensions in the Gulf.”

    That would seem doubtful. Israel would love to see tensions ratcheted up at all times.

    “However, Rozen reported Monday that “several current and former American officials” had told her Sunday that the delay had been requested last month by Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak. One official suggested privately that there is concern that the alleged Barak request could be aimed at keeping Israel’s options open for a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities in the spring.”

    This is significant. If indeed it WAS Israel requesting the delay, the ONLY explanation I could envision is precisely that Israel wanted to keep its options open for an early strike.

    “But it would make little sense for Netanyahu and Barak to commit Israel to war with Iran before the shape of the U.S. presidential election campaign had become clear.”

    On the contrary. Either way the U.S. elections goes, Israel wins. If a Republican wins, Israel gets its Iran war sooner. If Obama wins, and IF and ONLY IF Obama really doesn’t want a war with Iran, Israel can still get its war with Syria and Hizballah and thus set up for the war with Iran. The war with Iran, if Israel decides to bide its time, can take up to another four years to set up – which means Obama will be out of the picture, and a likely Republican President will be available at that time.

    If Israel decides to attack Iran during Obama’s second term, what is Obama going to do about it? Is he going to stand down the U.S. response to an Iranian retaliation on Israel? Really? Does anyone believe he can do this even as a lame duck President? Remember, Obama has to support his party’s re-election capabilities both in the mid-term and the next President election. His party alone would force him to support Israel in an Iran war.

    So what does Israel have to lose by ignoring the election results? They win either way.

    “And Barak would want to have knowledge gained from the joint exercise in tracking and intercepting Iranian missiles with the U.S. military before planning such a strike.”

    Yes, that is probably true. It’s a much better reason than the lame election reasons cited. And that is probably why the exercise is reported as “delayed” rather than “cancelled”.

    “The idea that the Israelis wanted the postponement appears to be a cover story to mask the political blow it represents to the Netanyahu government and to shield Obama from Republican charges that he is not sufficiently supportive of Israel.”

    We don’t know that. That is pure supposition. The fact remains that according to reports it was ISRAEL that requested the delay, not the U.S.

    “Nevertheless, the signal sent by the delay to Netanyahu and Barak, reportedly the most aggressive advocates of a strike against Iran in Israel’s right-wing government, could hardly be lost on the two leaders.”

    Gareth just answered his own question. It can certainly be “lost” on “the most aggressive advocates” of an Iran war. In fact, it could stimulate them to redouble their efforts.

    “The decision to postpone the exercise may have been timed to provide a strong signal to Netanyahu in advance of this week’s visit to Israel by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey. Dempsey reportedly expressed grave concern at a meeting with Obama last fall about the possibility that Israel intended to carry out a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities without consulting with Washington in advance.

    Obama has been quoted as responding that he had “no say” in Israel’s policy, much to Dempsey’s dismay.”

    So why would Obama be sending Dempsey if Dempsey doesn’t agree with Obama’s policy. And if Obama told Dempsey he has no control over Israel, then how likely is it that Obama is REALLY trying to restrain Israel?

    “The coincidence of the announced delay with Dempsey’s mission thus suggests that the new military chief may inform his Israeli counterpart that any U.S. participation in a joint exercise like “Austere Challenge ’12″ is contingent on Israel ending its implicit threat to launch an attack on Iran at a time of its own choosing.”

    Perhaps. Or this could ALL be a cover story to cover the fact that the U.S. and Israel are working out the details on how to attack Syria and Lebanon in preparation for the attack on Iran.

    “The administration’s reluctant embrace of sanctions against the oil sector and the Iran’s Central Bank”

    I didn’t see any “reluctance”, other than some – rational – concern that immediate implementation might ratchet up oil prices with a negative effect on the economy. Clearly, the oil companies couldn’t care less.

    “The risk of a naval incident suddenly exploding into actual military conflict suddenly loomed large.”

    No larger than it loomed a while back when Iranian boats were playing “chicken” with U.S. naval craft. Are we to believe Obama never took the closing of the Straits seriously BEFORE this week? Once again, is he that stupid?

    “It was the first time the U.S. government had chosen to distance itself so dramatically from actions that mainstream media has generally treated as part of a joint U.S.-Israeli policy.”

    And we still don’t know if that was done with relation to the report of Mossad impersonating the CIA in Iran. I’m not sure we can draw a more definite conclusion, especially given Phil Giraldi’s report that Obama recently signed TWO Presidential findings authorizing covert action against BOTH Iran AND Syria.

    If you’re ratcheting up covert ops against Iran, wouldn’t you WANT to “distance yourself” from the results? Especially if you’re concerned it would lead to a “tit-for-tat” by the Iranians?

    “The killing of the nuclear scientist also came in the context of what appears to be an intensification of diplomatic activity that most observers believe is designed to lay the groundwork for another P5+1 meeting”

    Like anyone expects that to go anywhere… It’s just another round of “see, Iran is intransigent, we have no negotiating partner (where have we heard that before?) and we need another round of sanctions – such as actually blockading Iran’s coast…”

    “While recent published stories about Washington’s communicating with Tehran through intermediaries stressed U.S. warnings about its “red lines” in responding to any Iranian move to close the Strait of Hormuz, those same communications may also have conveyed greater diplomatic flexibility on the nuclear issue in the hope of achieving some progress toward an agreement.”

    This is just pure speculative nonsense. There is ZERO evidence that the U.S. wants to back down from its position on Iran. I note that Porter has been one to believe that the U.S. and Obama specifically doesn’t really want a war with Iran, despite all evidence to the contrary.

    “Mossad is believed to have assassinated at most a handful of Iranian nuclear scientists – not enough to slow down the Iranian programme. And the timing of those operations has strongly suggested that the main aim has been to increase tensions with the United States and sabotage any possibility for agreement between Iran and the West on Iran’s nuclear programme, if not actually provoke retaliation by Iran that could spark a wider conflict.”

    Probably true. But remember, Obama HIMSELF signed a finding authorizing more covert ops against Iran. And that said nothing about using Mossad to imitate the CIA…

    The bottom line: Any presumption that any of this means the U.S. is about to “blink” in the Iran crisis is premature in the extreme.

    And once again, Israel has the ultimate say in this. Israel can attack Iran at any time and be GUARANTEED of U.S. support in that endeavor. This hasn’t changed and will not change any time in the foreseeable future. The U.S. military industrial complex, the oil companies, the banks and the Israel Lobby OWN the U.S. Congress – AND they own Obama as well – and they can force Obama to do whatever they want at any time.

    It’s purely Israel’s strategic requirements that are controlling events in the Middle East. Which is why Syria continues to heat up, as a prelude to a war with Syria and then a war in Lebanon – and then a war in Iran.

    But if Israel ever thinks the U.S. government is not on board with a war with Iran, Israel will demonstrate that the U.S. in the form of any specific person – even including the President – has no say in the matter.

  162. Richard,

    Those are all fair points about Justin Raimondo. And I agree he’s a sharp guy, and generally on “our side.”

    Eric

  163. Castellio says:

    Well, Paul Craig Roberts thinks the Washington denial is a clear sign war is on.

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/

    “The Obama regime is using its Ministry of Propaganda, a.k.a., the American media, to spread the story that President Obama, Pentagon chief Panetta, and other high US officials are delivering strong warnings to Israel not to attack Iran.

    For someone as familiar with Washington as I am, I recognize these reports for what they are…

    What these “leaked” stories of Washington’s warnings and protests to Israel are all about is to avoid Washington’s responsibility for the war Washington has prepared.”

  164. Dan Cooper says:

    Iran can win this war without firing a single missile.

    The notion of: “It is the economy stupid” plays a major part here.

    Iranian planners must come up with a clever strategy to push up the price of the oil in the market.

    if the oil reaches $150 or more per barrel, the already fragile economy of the west will collapse together with their war warmongering threats.

  165. James Canning: “Jonathan Steele says most Syrians continue to support the government.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda

    Glad to see Steele being one of the few people citing Phil Giraldi’s report on U.S/UK/France military support for the Syrian opposition. Once again, actions speak louder than words. Sending arms and mercenaries to overthrow Assad speaks volumes more than mere sanctions and makes the game plan clear.

    Steele says this isn’t the “Libya model” since there is no U.N. authorization. He claims this is more the Reagan Nicaragua model. I think that’s a quibble. The overall propaganda is definitely on the “Responsibility to Protect” Libya model. Also, it’s still possible, as I cited earlier, to get the UN General Assembly to authorize an intervention in Syria, even if Russia and China veto a UNSC resolution.

    In any event, the end result will be the same. At some point, the U.S. and EU and Turkey will be bombing Syria, whatever gyrations they have to go through to get to that point. It’s a necessary precondition to the attack on Iran and so it will be done.

  166. Karl: “Your thesis about US, Israel, UK etc is about to attack not only Iran but Syria, Lebanon doesnt seems too distant.”

    Not very distant at all, most likely. As I’ve said, I expect the U.S./EU/Turkey to be at war with Syria within the next six to nine months, certainly by end of the year, followed by an Israeli attack on Lebanon at some point once Syria’s military is tied down sufficiently, also very likely this year or next.

    After that, it will depend on whether the U.S./EU/Israel have achieved relative success in these endeavors, and whether other geopolitical crises (such as Pakistan or North Korea) have erupted in the meantime, to determine the war on Iran. My guess is within two to five year the Iran war will occur, possibly much sooner. But I still can’t predict that more accurately than that. I can only assess what the strategic requirements are and see if they have been met.

    The need for Israel to defang Hizballah before attacking Iran is clear, and the need for Syria to go to enable that need is also clear. Beyond that, things are not so clear.

    Also, it IS POSSIBLE that Israel may decide to attack Iran WITHOUT defanging Hizballah first. Anything is possible, depending on how stupid and how venal the Israeli and U.S. leadership actually are. I’m just looking at it from how I would do it, given some assumptions about how Israel would like a “war on the cheap” instead of subjecting its citizens to Hizballah missiles as well as Iranian missiles, and the likelihood of its citizens revamping the government as a result, similar to the 2006 Lebanese failure.

  167. James Canning: “Are you in effect arguing that when Leon Panetta travels to Israel to tell Israel bluntly not to start a war with Iran, this does not reflect the thinking of Obama?”

    First of all, we do not KNOW what Panetta is telling the Israelis. He could be telling them not to attack Iran – or not to attack Iran FIRST, which is not the same thing.

    Second, he could be coordinating U.S. actions against Iran with Israel.

    Third, Panetta, once AGAIN, is a flunky. What he’s told to tell the Israelis may not at all reflect what Obama is thinking.

    Your naivity in how the world works is amusing, but not helpful here.

  168. James Canning: “I think Israel would be foolish to smash Lebanon yet again. Hezbollah is unlikely to attack Israel unless Israel attacks first.”

    I’ve already clearly explained why Israel would wish to attack Lebanon first. It has to in order to prosecute the war on Iran without suffering the possible attacks from Hizballah during such a war.

    Again, while Nasrallah is not certain to attack Israel if Israel attacks Iran, ISRAEL can NOT ASSUME that. Therefore Israel’s strategic imperative is to defang Hizballah BEFORE a war with Iran.

    And Israel can only do that if SYRIA is taken out of the picture first (or during.)

    Which is precisely why the Libya model is being applied to Syria at this time.

  169. Fyi: “Dr. Friedman on Ira, US, and the Strategic Situation in the Near East
    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/iran-us-and-strait-hormuz-crisis

    Friedman tells us nothing we don’t already know, but he appears unable to discern the strategic calculus I’ve identified – that a war in Iran, for Israel, requires the “defanging” of Hizballah and Syria first – and that is precisely what we are seeing as the Syrian crisis continues on the Libya path.

    Actions speak louder than words. Unless the West backs off from Syria, I can not see any reason for believing that the conflict between the U.S. and Iran will settle into a stalemate revolving around covert operations, as Friedman suggests will be the immediate outcome. The conflict with Syria MUST heat up into an actual war in order for Israel to achieve its strategic aims vis-a-vis Hizballah and Syria. And those strategic aims are a prerequisite to a real actual military war with Iran.

  170. Dan Cooper says:

    In Signal to Israel and Iran, Obama Delays War Exercise

    By Gareth Porter and Jim Lobe

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30268.htm

  171. Jay says:

    James,

    In my dealings with political figures I am very much moved by evidence and not rhetoric.

    The point I attempted to illustrate by the example of Mr. Powell, notwithstanding his personal failings or motivations, was that words are not necessarily indicators of deeds.

    Mr. Obama passionately promised many things – barely delivered on anything – words absent deeds matter little.

    It would be fair to assume with high likelihood that I do not follow Mr. Hague as much as you do – irrespective – deeds contrary to words matter a great deal.

  172. WTF: “It sounds like you are attributing these assassinations to the Israelis?”

    I am, at this point, with no evidence to the contrary.

    “The idea of these being orchestrated by Mossad as a false flag is plausible, but it really is interesting that it’s being leaked from the CIA right now. It seems like the US is really trying to avoid Iranian retaliation against US assets (thus potentially forcing war) in the face of this latest assassination.”

    This may well be true. In the Cold War, generally both sides tried to avoid assassinating each others agents for fear things would get out of hand. Israel is known not to abide by those rules, as their assassinations of the Black September movement proved, as well as their repeated use of “false flag” operations in Egypt in earlier decades and their attempts to recruit “Al Qaeda” cells in Palestine in recent years.

    So it’s not impossible the CIA would like to put the Mossad on notice not to jeopardize U.S. assets in the region by setting up a “tit-for-tat” situation with Iran.

    OTOH, Israel probably couldn’t care less as long as it leads to increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran, provided it doesn’t also lead to the U.S. retaliating against Israel in some significant way.

    The problem with the latter is that Congress won’t allow it. So I don’t think Israel is really in any danger of being “thrown under a bus” by the CIA.

    “I may be way off base here, but I am thinking that all of this combined with the cancellation of the war games in Israel may be indicative of some misunderstandings between Washington and Tel Aviv.”

    It’s possible that various factions of the U.S. and Israel have conflicting views on how things should be done. But I don’t see this as indicative of any major overall policy change on the part of either country. The war is still on. If Israel has temporarily overstepped its bounds according to protocol, that just means they need to ratchet up their Congressional stooges to smooth it over.

  173. Eric A. Brill: “I was once an admirer, but now I place Raimondo in a special category:”

    In general, I find Raimondo’s articles to be on the money, although occasionally hyperbolic. I’m aware that you don’t like him because of his presumption that the Iranian elections were fraudulent.

    All I can say is, “Nobody’s perfect.” Raimondo doesn’t like authoritarian governments and Iran qualifies in his opinion.

    It was Raimondo who kept up the pressure on Israeli involvement in 9/11 and I think he was virtually the only one who noted the Israeli spies connection. So for every incident where you can cite his “shoot from the hip”, I can probably cite cases where he was right.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on Raimondo. As long as he argues against a war on Iran, I think he’s worth having “on our side”. I’d say he’s better than Juan Cole, who opposes Middle East wars only when it’s convenient for his liberal concepts.

  174. James Canning says:

    Jonathan Steele says most Syrians continue to support the government.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/17/syrians-support-assad-western-propaganda

  175. Photi: “If Israel is expecting a war with Hizballah anyway, wouldn’t it make some sense to fight that war at the same time the US is fighting its war with Iran? Presumably the Hizballah missiles will be a factor in either case. Why is the Israeli strategy to have the events occur separately in time?”

    Simple. First of all, if Israel attacks Hizballah first, it won’t be dealing with Iranian missiles at the same time as Hizballah missiles. The whole point of attacking Hizballah is to push its forces north so that their missiles can’t hit Israeli cities (or destroy it completely, unlikely as that is to be realized) during an Iran war.

    Second, if Israel attacks Hizballah as part of the war on Syria, it has the U.S. covering it, whereas if it attacks Iran first (and without notifying the U.S. in advance, which will telegraph its intention to attack Iran), it doesn’t have that cover. That cover of U.S./EU airstrikes is critical to keeping the Syrian military occupied while Israel deals with Hizballah.

  176. Karl says:

    Richard Steven Hack:

    UK, US have this week pushed for regime change and more sanctions on Syria, while the next week will bring more sanctions on Iran from EU. Your thesis about US, Israel, UK etc is about to attack not only Iran but Syria, Lebanon doesnt seems too distant.

  177. Empty says:

    “seem”…

  178. Empty says:

    Quran, Chapter 16 (Al-Nahl – The Bee), Verse 36; interpretation/translation:

    “We have sent to every community a messenger, saying, ‘Worship God and beware of idol-worship.’ Subsequently, some are guided by God while others insist on straying. Roam the earth and see the consequences for the disbelievers.”

    ——

    Why does it seems so far-fetched or surprising to find evidence of belief in One God (alongside the evidence of idol worshiping) and codes of ethical conducts (about killing, lying, cheating, charity work, taking care of the poor, etc.) in ALL human societies in ALL of history? Who ever claimed that one group had a monopoly on these?

    Quran, Chapter 3 (Ali-Imran), Verse 75-76; interpretation/translation:

    “Among the people of the scripture there are some you can entrust with a whole lot, and they would pay back. And you may entrust others with one Dinar [small unit of money], but they would not pay it back unless you keep after them. That is because they say, ‘We do not have to observe the commandments when dealing with the Gentiles.’ Thus, they deliberately/knowingly invent lies about God.”[75] “In fact, whoever keeps his vows and leads a righteous life, then God loves the righteous.”[76]

  179. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Colin Powell was a willing dupe or stooge of the neocon warmongers, when he made his disastrous presentation at the UN in 2003.

  180. Karl says:

    Stop arguing with James hes too emotional attached to his homeland, hes been refuted all too many times.

  181. James Canning says:

    Kate, citing Richard Siverstein of Seattle, writes that the number of illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank is now 722,000.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2012/01/number-of-israeli-colonists-now-approaches-750000.html

  182. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    In early June 2011, Iran announced plans to treble production of 20% U. The Saudis immediately told Nato if Iran build nukes, they will too. Hague went to Saudi Arabia, met with the relevant leaders, and UK said that response would be more santions.

    Previous saanctions did not target oil exports or the central bank. Iran blundered, in my view.

    There are a number of statements by Hague on record, where he stresses the UK is not the enemy of Iran, that the UK seeks better relations, etc.

  183. James Canning says:

    Jay,

    Do you read comments on foreign policy, made by William Hague? Do you read articles on foreign policy, written by Hague? Do you know much aboutt him?

  184. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    January 17, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    “William Hague has taken pains to make clear the UK does not see Iran as an enemy”

    Since in cockney slang short for Guvnor is Guv, due to a profound personal laziness for using GUV instead of Guvnor which I am hoping will ease up my future typing efforts in reply to Guvnor’s comments, and especially since this same pronunciation in Persian (with a minor tweak) coincides with the title to one of my all-time favorite Iranian movies, I am tempted to use GUV in my future address to his highness the Guvnor 20%U.

    Please decode-

  185. Castellio says:

    FYI, Read the Dawn of Conscience, you’ll find what you need from pages 336 to 386. If you want to argue then, we can do that. Most historians accept and many highlight the relationship of Egyptian moral thought to the Hebraic. Many contemporary archeologists are adamant about it.

  186. Jay says:

    Mr Canning,

    I am very much interested in your assertions and I would like to ask you to guide us through the evidence that supports them. For starters, would you kindly help me understand how you have arrived at the following:

    “William Hague has taken pains to make clear the UK does not see Iran as an enemy.”

    Colin powell took pains (and a powerpoint presentation) to make clear that Iraq had WMD. How does the “pains” Mr. Hague has taken convince you of his deeds?

    “Iran brought on the latest sanctions, by deciding to treble production of 20% U.”

    Iran was sanctioned before the 20% production. Moreover, it was sanctioned after it agreed to the deal Mr. Obama has signed on to with Brazil and Turkey. What steps guided your reasoning and helped you arrive at this conclusion.

  187. Karl says:

    James:

    “I think you are simply quite lacking in understanding of the matter. Powerful Jews control the US Congress, in matters involving Israel/Palestine. Powerful Jews do not control the British Parliament. They would like to, but do not.”

    I am not talking about the lobby I am talking about the same policies being pushed by US, Israel, UK.

  188. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think you are simply quite lacking in understanding of the matter. Powerful Jews control the US Congress, in matters involving Israel/Palestine. Powerful Jews do not control the British Parliament. They would like to, but do not.

  189. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I agree China is happy to do business in any country in the Middle East. China complains that its efforts in Iran are impeded by the sanctions.

  190. Karl says:

    James:

    “William Hague has taken pains to make clear the UK does not see Iran as an enemy. If Iran wants to force hostilities, that of course would change things.”

    As stated, there is zero difference between US, UK, Israeli policy towards Iran. You need to let go of your emotions for your homeland regarding this.

  191. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    William Hague has taken pains to make clear the UK does not see Iran as an enemy. If Iran wants to force hostilities, that of course would change things.

  192. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you actually arguing that David Cameron and William Hague want Iran “to commit suicide”? I think this is beyond absurd.

  193. Karl says:

    James:

    Right so if you admit US and Israel as enemies there is no difference labeling UK an enemy for Iran.

    Yes you adhere to the US, UK, Israel camp denying Iran its right we know that.

  194. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Chaim Weitzman thought Athur Balfour knew the “wrong kind of Jews”. Balfour knew the upper-class Anglo-Jewish grandees who opposed Zionism.

    I think the programme to promote the notion of a “Judeo-Christian” culture, in America, was a subtle effort to promote the Zionist project. So that Christians would be so foolish as to encourage Jews to destroy Christian communities in the Middle East.

  195. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Iran brought on the latest sanctions, by deciding to treble production of 20% U.

  196. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Israel and enemy of Iran? Yes, so long as Iran supports Hamas and Hezbollah.
    US an enemy of Iran? Yes, if Aipac and other powerful Jewish groups call the shots. Maybe not, otherwise.

  197. fyi says:

    Mr. Castellio:

    Do you have in mind the Book of the Dead when you refer to the Pyramind Texts?

    Will you please supply a reference to the Psalms and these texts?

    I do not believe that the innovation of monotheism came out of Egypt – I see no evidence of that.

    Even Akhnaten’s one god was the elevation of the Sun-god above others.

  198. Castellio says:

    FYI. The Psalms? You’re kidding, right? There are word to word equivalences between certain psalms and Egyptian pyramid texts. And the Book of Job is another suspect choice.

    Do you have a prejudice against ethical thinking of an Egyptian origin, or simply a lacuna?

  199. Karl says:

    James:

    Is Israel an enemy to Iran?
    Is US an enemy to Iran?

  200. Karl says:

    kooshy:

    There is no shock. The hostility and warmongering by US, UK, France coming in waves. Next stop is EU sanctions next week which might even lead to war.

  201. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: January 17, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    In regards to “the entire edifice of Abrahamic…” etc.; that will not happen.

    Christianity does not depend on the Old Testament and neither does Islam.

    From a Muslim point of view; the Revelations of Jesus were his deeds, acts, and speeches as described in Enjil – the Gospels.

    And the Quran rmains the uncreated Word of God regardless of the status of Old Testament.

    The Old Testament has much material that does not exist in Egyptian and Sumerian Literature: Such as the Book of Job, the Psalms, and the Book of Isiah.

    And there is no evidence that Zarathustra was influenced by Egyptians; his conception of moral Righteousness as conformance to the Will and Plan of the Wise Lord has no antecendants in Ancient Egypt or Sumer.

  202. kooshy says:

    fyi says:

    January 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    “I agree with Dr. Friedman’s overall understanding.”

    I also recommend reading the Friedman analysis; looks like heads are getting more sober than past, could it be called the Hormouz shock.

  203. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, when you have a moment, do read “The Dawn of Conscience” by James Henry Breasted, reprinted 1968, and then for a more contemporary reading of the same issue of the Egyptian roots of monotheism read the “Bible Myth” by Gary Greenberg, 1996.

    Karen Armstrong did us all a service in her History of God, to an extent.

  204. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy, that is a riot! Toy drones. I KNEW Iran would think of some way to pique the Empire’s bull.

  205. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, I’m working on a hypothesis that there is a chicken-egg relationship between zionism’s remake of itself, from its scriptures to Jewish physiognomy to Hebrew culture and beyond — in the 19th century, and the impact of that reinvention of people like Lord Shaftesbury. I also speculate that at least part of Jewish rage against Germany in WWI – WWII era, and surely Jewish rage against Iran today, has deep religio-biblical roots. Jews are extremely jealous of their position as creators of the monotheistic creator, but two phenomena that emerged in the 19th century — German biblical literary criticism and the concomitant search for the “human” Jesus, and archeology and artifacts that came to light beginning in the 19th century that suggest that the Old Testament that has had primacy of place for ~2000 years is just one among several or many versions of Near Eastern mythologies.
    If, for example, we label as “myths” Sumerian stories that track with and perhaps predated Hebrew stories on the same topic and tenor, why is it the Sumerian stories are myths but the Hebrew stories “divine revelation?”

    the entire edifice of the Abrahamic facade comes tumbling down.

    Spooky, isn’t it, that major elements of the Washington National (Episcopal) Cathedral, “the Nation’s Cathedral,” were badly damaged by an earthquake. Several years ago, folks at the National Cathedral had spearheaded an attempt to reconcile the “Abrahamic family,” but they ran out of money.

  206. kooshy says:

    It all looks like that the Iranians are finally going to fill Mr. Obama’s order, it might be that they are thinking to send a scaled model to see if O likes it, if so a full size production will fallow.

    Iran Mocks US With Toy Drone

    “The Iranian government, which captured a U.S. stealth drone in December, has agreed to give the top-secret spy craft back, but with a catch.

    Instead of the original RQ-170 Sentinel drone, the Islamic Republic said Tuesday that it will send President Obama a tiny toy replica of the plane.

    Iranian state radio said that the toy model will be 1/80th the size of the real thing. Iranian citizens can also buy their own toy copies of the drone, which will be available in stores for the equivalent of $4.

    The White House formally requested return of the drone after the Iranians displayed it on state television. The U.S. says that the craft was operating over Eastern Afghanistan.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/iran-give-us-drone-back-toy-form/story?id=15379182

  207. fyi says:

    Mr. Canning:

    I agree with Dr. Friedman’s overall understanding.

    I expect Iranian leaders to push their agenda – a millenianl opportunity – as much as they can.

    Please note US aerial war against Iran cannot prevent Iranians from realizing their agenda.

    That is why US-EU Leaders are so shrill; they are hoping to frighten Iranians so that they would commit suicide.

    He is also correct that US (and EU) are unwilling to acknowledge the enhanced Iranian power that their own actions have brought about (like the 2006 war against Lebanon).

    What he does not discuss is the Chinese diplomatic/commercial incursion into the Middle East; that she is painting precisley a positive picture of future (relationships ) with China for everyone in the Middle East – Iranians, Arabs, Turks and others.

  208. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:
    January 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Gave-

    In my two cents considering this new Middle East, which if your highness cares to remember came out of the famous birth pang, which once again unconditionally and collectively was supported by UK/US/EU. With that episode in mind I don’t believe that Israel/US and her majesty’s government seat in UK are any longer in a position to even dream of venturing a new attack on Hezbollah, but regime change if all possible, by way of utilizing her majesty’s good deed spreading offices of MI6 is always a habit of un recoverable possibilities that shoots enzymes up to one’s brain my dear Gavner.

    Sincerely,

    The high admiral of controlling Hormouz and beyond

  209. James Canning says:

    Fio,

    British “Christian Zionists” in the 19th Century, like the Earl of Shaftsbury, hoped to see the day when Jews adhered to the Christian faith. He would not approve of the oppression of the Christians in the West Bank that foolish evangelical Christians in the US make possible.

  210. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Aipac and other powerful Jewish groups “own” the US Congress to an alarming degree. Thanks to stupidity beyond belief by some fundamentalist Christian groups.

    Netanyahu wants to dupe the American public into thinking there are no Palestinians, so Israel should be able to keep “Greater Israel”. So he has his pal, Sheldon Adelson, give $5 million to Newt Gingrich. Appalling.

  211. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: January 17, 2012 at 2:01 pm
     
    OK, James, so you agree that Andrew Jackson wan an enemy of the British.
     
    I have asked you to show why UK is NOT an enemy of Iran.
    To be fair that may equate to proving a negative, so, here is a better question: show me anything that UK has done to show that she is a friend of Iran, in say over the last 100 years.

  212. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Zbigniew Brzezinki said the other day: “Does Obama have it in his guts to strategise as well as sermonise? I don’t know the answer to that. I really don’t know.”

  213. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning, I would like to join you in saying that “the Israelis are the bad guys.” I definitely think they are, but they have willing accomplices in the American Congress, Administration, and polity. It is my argument — perhaps deluded, to serve my own needs — that US behavior is antithetical to its foundational values, and that it has been seduced by a false religion, or at least a god that is alien to what Thomas Jefferson believed should be the ground of US intellectual-moral life.

    But the US is where it is; that place is greatly at variance with the moral values the US tells itself it supports; the US got to that place by hyphenating itself to another god — in my view, “Judeo-Christian” is an impossibility; Jews insist on monotheism for themselves — Elijah killed 450 priests who worshipped another god — but Christians have been willing to bifurcate their commitment to a godhead.

  214. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Are you in effect arguing that when Leon Panetta travels to Israel to tell Israel bluntly not to start a war with Iran, this does not reflect the thinking of Obama?

    By defnition, when the defence secretary carries out a specific mission like this, he is acting on direct instructions from the president.

  215. James Canning says:

    pirouz,

    I very much agree the cancellation of the joint US-Israeli war games, is good news.

  216. Fiorangela says:

    An example of Spider thinking:

    What if Iranians Start Killing Scientists?

    “If there are assassinations on one side, it must be assumed that there will be assassination attempts on the other side too. If Iranian scientists are not immune, then neither are scientists from the countries suspected of carrying out the assassinations. While Iranian officials had previously pointedly refrained from accusing any particular country, within hours of the attack this time, the government in Tehran and the Iranian media named Israel and the United States as the responsible parties, and promised revenge.”

    I don’t think Iranians think in those terms of tit-for-tat — or eye-for-an-eye — revenge; that’s Old Testament thinking. It’s also strategically dumb, and Persia proved to Croesus that it could defeat the Lydians by outsmarting them, not reacting to their massed troops or ships. Faced with a cavalry that far outnumbered Persian resources, Cyrus’s army put camels at the head of its force, knowing — by having observed the nature of things — that horses are afraid of camels.

    But at Haaretz, the only material that is available for use in foreseeing a possible response to the killing of Iranian scientists is the Spider stuff of Israel’s own mental processes, which many Israelis believe to be superior to the thinking of all others in the Nobel sphere.

    Moreover, this self-defeating — but hideously destructive — cycle correlates with Sanho Tree’s discussion of the process by which soldiers are both dehumanized and trained to dehumanize the adversary, in order to enable the soldier to kill a fellow human, and act which in the natural course of things he would not be able to carry out. (see :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/Dower at about 20 min –>). However, the dehumanizing process simultaneously makes it impossible for the Perpetrator to comprehend the needs and human reality of the Adversary, the better to tailor the Perpetrator’s offers and responses to the Adversary, and so the Perpetrator and the Adversary/Victim are trapped in the Spider’s web.

    The same system points out why propaganda is so important, so lethal, and so readily effective: propaganda is the process of trying to force the entire world to view itself as the Spider does, since the only perspective on the world that the Spider has is that which emanates from his own stuff. Remember, the Spider is convinced that the stuff of his mental processes are god’s revelations.

  217. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    Very interesting post about the 1919 Anglo-Iranian agreement.

    The Indian Government sometimes took positions that were contrary to what the British Government in London wanted.

    I think David Cameron and William Hague would very much like to see an Iran that was not isolated, and free to engage in whatever business deals it wished to with companies all over the planet.

  218. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    There do seem grounds for believing that Israel exploits a lack of adequate confidentiality within the IAEA, regarding inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities, to target Iranian nuclear scientists. This should be a front-page story in American newspapers. But I am not holding my breath.

  219. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    I think Israel would be foolish to smash Lebanon yet again. Hezbollah is unlikely to attack Israel unless Israel attacks first.

  220. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    The “enemies” Andrew Jackson was eager to kill included Indians and of course the British, during the foolish “War of 1812″. One of the primary reasons for the American war of independence was that the British were protecting the Indians, and trying to prevent westward migration of settlers into Indian lands west of the Appalachian Mountains.

  221. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Yes, “clergy” as a description of Iranian religious leaders is not accurate if the reference is meant to suggest an organized religious entity where the “faithful” are controlled by priests who are intermediares between those faithful and God.

    But the mullahs are the religious leaders of the country, who insisted that Reza Khan become a monarch, and who helped to bring about the overthrow of Mossadeq.

  222. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    In the piece you linked, George Friedman claims that US withdrawal from Iraq “allowed Iran to secure its western boundary”. That Iraq would have government friendly toward Iran was virtually guaranteed back in 2003 when the idiot Jerry Bremer disbanded the Iragi army and security services.

    Friedman seems to want to suggest that Dempsey is visiting Israel to plan military action against Iran, when the primary purpose may very well be to underline yet again the US does not want Israel to attack Iran.

  223. James Canning says:

    Persian Gulf,

    Am I “begging” Iran to stop producing 20% U? I have suggested strongly that if Iran has enough 20% U on hand to build the fuel plates for the TRR, sufficient to allow for five or ten years of operation, that enriching more is unwise.

    When the US and allies had massed 500,000 troops on the border of Kuwait, to me it obviously was unwise for Saddam Hussein not to agree quickly to withdraw. Saddam’s gigantic ego caused him to bring catastrophe to his own military. Which was unwise, in my view.

  224. Fiorangela says:

    psychiatric/moral perspective on the impact of propaganda:

    Is AIPAC Persuading Americans to Break the Law?

    “It is crucial then that we, the right minded, faced with propaganda “habitually” spewed forth by the State, organs of the State and influencers of the State like American Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to become “Enmeshed in a propaganda system of awesome effectiveness.” (Chomsky), in “locutions” pernicious and with a distinct narrative of organized violence, sucking us into the undertow of American Israeli hegemony, that we ask this simple question if “There is an intimate interdependence of intellect and morals. Given the equality of two intellects-which form the most reliable judgments, the good, or the bad hearted?” (Emerson). Having answered this satisfactorily, to know then “by our public force can we share and know the nature of things” (Emerson) we thereby free ourselves from the propagandists, and come upon this aphorism: it’s the law stupid! For “the law is the basis of the human mind. In us, it is inspiration; out there in Nature we see its fatal strength. We call it the moral sentiment” (Emerson).”

    _____

    I consider Zoroaster to be the prototype of the ethical dimension in Christianity. It is my understanding that the ‘quickie’ explanation of the Zoroastrian worldview is, “Good thoughts, Good words, Good deeds.” Expanded slightly, Zoroaster taught that a person was called upon to impose a moral character to his thoughts, words, and deeds.

    In a series of lectures about myths in the ancient Near East (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Levant/Canaan) Shalom Goldman makes a distinction between a Canaanite creation myth and its Hebrew bible counterpart. He emphasizes, “Notice the pattern in the Hebrew bible: first, the thought; then the writing, then the action.” In other words, Thought, Word, Deed.
    The differentiation I would make, based on Goldman’s subsequent explanations, are that the mere presence of the thought in the human consciousness (ie. BiBiJon’s “flash” on the Fareed Zakaria thread, January 11, 2012 at 2:25 pm) , that is then reified by putting it into words, upon which action is then taken, does not appear to me to have a moment when a moral evaluation is imposed; the very existence of the thought is assumed to be moral per se inasmuch as it is attributed to a revelation from god, and god acts through history and has ordained his chosen people to be moral leaders of humanity.

    Taking the Thought Word Deed Trinity one step further, Francis Bacon turned the process around a bit and ushered in the English Enlightenment, one of the essential bases of the thinking of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Monroe, Franklin, and other framers of the founding documents and philosophy of the United States. Bacon observed that the Aristotelian reasoning that was required by his intellectual teachers relied upon the authority of the Roman church, heirs, as it were, of the Old Testament thinking pattern that Shalom Goldman recited. Bacon thought that the logic of that process was upside down; he thought that observations of nature should serve as the ‘first premise,’ the authority, upon which human thinking should operate, in a logical fashion.

    Bacon enjoyed metaphors and constructed a concise way of differentiating these varied thinking processes, the Ants, Spiders, and Bees analogy: Ants go about very busily gathering information but are incapable of processing it effectively themselves.

    Spiders produce information/thoughts from within their own being and spin it out to ‘create their own reality.’ I think of Spiders when I recall Ron Suskind’s quotation about a member of the Bush administration who said, “We are history’s actors; we create reality. You just try to keep up, and when you figure out what we have just done, we will have created a new reality” (or words to that effect). Spider thinkers believe that their thinking exists in a self-defining moral universe; that is, by its nature Spider thinking defines its own moral code and is not compelled to subscribe to any other moral set of values.

    Bees — those creatures that, as fyi pointed out recently, may be among the creatures under attack by mind-altering parasites — propaganda? — are Bacon’s delightful creatures, and the model for how an enlightened intelect structures his thinking. Bees travel from flower to flower, gathering pollen (information), then transmit it back to the hive where, with the assistance of fellow bees, the information gathered from nature is processed into a productive and beneficial (ie moral) good.

    Zoroaster was a bee.

  225. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    The UK has made it clear it is associated closely with Saudi Arabia. And that the UK does not want a Saudi Arabia armed with nukes.

  226. fyi says:

    All:

    Dr. Friedman on Ira, US, and the Strategic Situation in the Near East

    http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/iran-us-and-strait-hormuz-crisis

  227. Rehmat says:

    The Jewish-controlled mainstream media in the US and Canada reported last week that a Canadian military intelligence officer, Jeffrey Paul Delisle 40, was arrested on charges of alleged espionage on behalf of a “foreign entity”.

    Since Jeffrey’s religion (as is normal in case of alleged Muslim criminals) and the name of the “foreign entity” (Iran, Pakistan, Hizbullah, etc.) was not mentioned – my thoughts went to the US espionage network where if Jews are involved spying for Israel – Israel is usually named as Country X. For example, on October 7, 2010 – Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post reported that the FBI has arrested a Jew employee of Akamai Technologies Elliot Doxer for providing confidential information over 18-month to a FBI agent he thought worked for Israeli Consulate in Boston. The US Justice Department named the benefactor of the espionage Israel as “Country X”. Furthermore, US Justice Department charged Doxer with a single count of wire fraud and the Zionist entity being not behind the espionage.

    On January 17, 2012 – Russian daily RIA Novosti reported that Jeffrey Paul Delisle was in fact spying for Russia. However, it did not mention if Jeffrey was Jewish or Christian.

    The foreign entity in question was Russia, Canadian news CTV broadcaster quoted unidentified sources as telling its Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife.

    “Sources say that Russian espionage in this country is as extensive and aggressive as it was during the Cold War,” Fife was quoted in the report as saying.

    The secret information allegedly passed to Russia could deal with ship movements and data about Canada’s allies, Fife said.

    None of the allegations have been proven in court, the report said.

    A spokesman for the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergei Ivanov, refused to comment on the report when asked by RIA Novosti.

    The Canadian Defense Department earlier said Delisle was an intelligence officer and a Navy Sub-Lieutenant, CTV said.

    The military has launched a probe to find out the extent of the alleged leaks, it said.

    Delisle’s trial may take place behind closed doors because of the sensitivity of the case, the report quoted sources as saying.

    The maximum punishment for offenses under the Security of Information Act is life in prison.

    It seems the Israel-Firster Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper is trying to send a ‘message’ to pro-Iran Russian leader Putin.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/canada-arrests-a-foreign-entity-spy/

  228. fyi says:

    Gavner says: January 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    You need to be clear to the audience who may not know the differences.

    I do not, personally, accept the Shia Doctrine of Vicarage.

    There is no justification for it that I could find credible.

    In case of the Christians, the Vicars of Christ obtained that Authroity directly from Jesus through an unbroken chain of transmission of that spiritual authority.

    The Shia Doctors of Religion lack that chain of transmission from the Twelfth Imam; in my opinion.

  229. Fiorangela says:

    Thank you for the link, Clint, at 8:47 am, to an article in National Interest.

    this from the article:

    “why won’t Tehran cooperate with the West and allow more intrusive inspections of its nuclear facilities?”

    Dr. Larijani answered that question on Charlie Rose’s show Nov 18 2011 (between 4:30 and 6:14 min., transcript my own):

    Larijani: “People ask, why don’t you open up your country for inspection? Well, it’s a vast country. I joke and say, “They can start with my bedroom.”

    Rose: “They don’t want to go to your bedroom, they want to go to certain sites that they would like to look at and they’ve asked permission again. Dr. Amano has asked permission to come back, with a group of people from IAEA. Is it in your interest?

    Larijani: “Well definitely, but if they [talk over]
    Rose: “But he hasn’t been invited.
    Larijani: “The point is that, when they [declare??] they want to visit a site, they should at least justify it for us. Why they want to visit — they should give justification that — We are also suspicious of the activities of the agencies. So uh –

    Rose: “You are suspicious of the IAEA?
    Larijani: “Oh definitely. There is no confidentiality in the works of this agency.
    Rose: “You don’t have confidence, is that what you said?
    Larijani: “Confidentiality.
    Rose: “Oh, in other words, the information they have is not confidential.
    Larijani: “Whoa, they can leak it to everywhere. So the same way they’ve done it before and so we should have justification. They cannot just cross their fingers and say, ‘Well, we want to visit this point.’ They should give us justification.

    Rose: “[If]They want to look at these sites —
    Larijani: “They cite information that they got it from others, never relieving [sic revealing??] that information to us. If they don’t release the information to us it doesn’t have any value for us.
    Rose: “So it would be sufficient for you if they would show you the information that they have.
    Larijani: “Exactly. Yes.
    Rose: “And then you might allow them to come.
    Larijani: “Oh definitely.
    Rose: “[If they] show you the information that they have about your activities, then you will invite them to come.
    Larijani: “Definitely.
    Rose: “Okay.”

  230. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Oops. LOL.

  231. Gavner says:

    fyi says:
    January 17, 2012 at 9:52 am
    The word “clergy” is conceptually incorrect. Etc.

    And you seriously think I don’t know this? Have you been out to lunch during the extensive posts that I have posted regarding this and other issues relating to the theological and juridical history of Shi’a Islam? Actually, with the concept of velayat-e faqih, with the fuqaha not only acting as vicars to the Imam of the Age, but also, with their taking hold of the reins of power, the situation is quite a bit more complicated than the picture you posit, with very interesting and subtle ramifications for the future of Shi’a Islam.

    If you are interested in reading about the theological history dating back to Akhund-e Khorasani, I recommend the 2nd volume of Javad Tabatabai’s *Ta’amoli dar bareh-ye Iran – Nazariye-ye hokumat-e qanun dar Iran”. Akhund=e Khorasani was the greatest marja’ of his time (during the Constitutional Revolution), and was of course against (what was then the mere) theory of velayat-e faqih.

  232. Fiorangela says:

    Kathleen — (my Mondoweiss conduit, since Phil has banned me) –

    quite a bit of excitement about a 17-year old “brainy Jew” who wrote an essay about the contradictions between the image of Israel that he’d been taught and the reality of Israel that he sees in real life.

    Here’s the comment I would have posted on Mondoweiss if I had not been censored from doing so:
    How would the Jewish community — and Phil–react if that “brainy young Jew’s” life were snuffed out on the streets of his own home town, while he was on his way to work or school or temple?

  233. Kathleen says:

    The Mossad/CIA/Jundallah/kill Iranian scientist story was not whispered about on any of the Sunday News programs. Can you imagine if any other intelligence members from another country had been exposed doing this…Chris Matthews, Fox, Joe Scarborough, Rachel Maddow, Richard Engel would have been all over the story

  234. Kathleen says:

    Clinton health care kill the Bill and pusher of Iraq has WMD’s Bill Kristol was on Washington Journal this morning (Tuesday) discussing the South Carolina election. Chickenhawk Bill was hammered about his push for the war in Iraq as well as his push for military strikes on Iran. He was hammered over and over again..several times by Vets and his chicken hawk status. He ended the segment saying that Rep Paul is “anti Israel” And that Rep Paul wants Iran to access nuclear weapons. Which is not the case what so ever. Rep Paul wants foreign policy decisions to be based on facts.

    Warmonger Kristol also kept repeating that Rep Paul is into “conspiracies” Bloody Bill was one of the biggest pushers of the WMD’s in Iraq conspiracy in the media. WMD’s in Iraq one of the biggest conspiracies of all

  235. Karl says:

    hague&cameron keep doing their warmongering routine. Trying to portray themselves as peacemakers while they work a continued basis to wreck Iran.
    now also showing true colors once again by visiting saudi arabia.

    http://www.tert.am/en/news/2012/01/17/iransanctions/

  236. fyi says:

    Sakineh Bagoom says: January 17, 2012 at 8:23 am

    My understanding was that Dr. Takyeh is a Bahai and therefore has no place in the today’s virulently religious Iran.

  237. fyi says:

    Unknown Unknowns says: January 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

    The word “clergy” is conceptually incorrect.

    The mullahs are not like Priests of Christianity – who are ordained to be intermediaries between man and God in an unbroken chain from Jesus himself.

    Mullahs are Doctors of Religious Sciences of Islam; that is all.

  238. Iranian@Iran says:

    A very good discussion on the current situation between Iran and the US:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8GlXhgF-8I

  239. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Sakineh Khanum:

    I agree with you entirely, and especially about the traitors Sajjadpour, Takeye, etc. When W used the phrase taken straight out of the Gospel of Matthew (or is it Mark? Never mind, Mark was Matthew’s source anyway…) that “you are either with us or agin’ us”, that was a barbaric thing to say, as the US was not in a state of war, under seige or anything else. But Iran IS under seige, yet these people cheerlead for an Empire bent on Iran’s destruction.

    It seems to me the situation here in Iran is like a football game between Liberal Democracratic Capitalism on the one hand and Shi’a Islam on the other. If you are not a player on one or the other teams, then you aare either in the stadium cheering your team on, or watching on TV doing the same, or you are unattached and don/t even have the TV turned on. IN other words, you are irrelevant as it relates to the game. Some people, of course, are worse than irrelevant: they switch sides, or pretend to do “objective, scholarly” analysis of the moves, the game formations, etc. They are worse because while the symbol is a game, the symbolized, i.e., life, is not. And then you have Agents and fools like Scotty Boy and Binam, the latter of whom does not even know what he is doing. But, in fairness, he is young.

    Liz: I’ll try to bee-hive. But like I said, for Binam, what I said was a term of endearment, not an insult.

  240. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Binam says:
    January 17, 2012 at 6:25 am
    “UU – When cornered – you distract. Classic case of making my points for me!”

    Binam Khareh: What part of

    “But I know that there is not enough common ground between us for any conversation to bear anything but bitter fruit.”

    didn’t you understand?

    Besides, if you had any sense of nuance, you would know that what I called you was a tern of endearment, Agent Jaan.

    And besides besides, do ta mohandes ke daran sohbat mikonan, yeh amaleh nemiad bege “bilam ku?”

  241. Persian Gulf says:

    Binam,

    I think his foreign policy achievements need not be mentioned. Iran is now an important player in the world stage. We have never been in that stage ever. Latin America is now within Iran’s reach. He has also brought the nuclear program to a rallying point of the nation and gave a new dimension to Iranian identity. “Nuclear Iran” would be his main legacy for decades to come, and for a good reason. James is begging to stop 20% enrichment b/c at the end of this year Iran might reach the point to produce 10 bomb if she desires to do so. Back in 2003 we were begging to keep 300 or so research centrifuges. Militarily the same….

    Internally, he added a new dynamism to the politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran. I remember Khatami’s gov. was sometime even afraid of holding a soccer game between Esteghlal and Persepolis. In my view he narrowed the gap between the populace and the governing polity. historically, there has always been such a gap between the rulers and the ruled in Iran. for better or worse, he somehow eliminated that gap or narrowed it down substantially. and don’t forget he was the one with the courage to tackle subsidy issue. He might not have done it perfectly but made the first important step. He achieved far more than one would expect of him or any recent head of the government.

  242. Clint says:

    Looks like we got us a Fatwa on Iran from US Congress:

    http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/are-sanctions-fatwa-iran-6363

  243. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    UU,
     
    Thanks for the link!
    I consider Sadjjadpour, Takeyh, and other sellouts among such recruits as well.
    I can’t believe I am going to quote Newt G., but as such there it is. He cited the seventh US president, Andrew Jackson, as an example of how to deal with America’s foes. “Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear-cut idea about America’s enemies: kill them.”
    Americans as the British before them, create enemies, then kill them. Let that be a lesson to Iran. Those who assist them are nothing but the enemies of Iran.

  244. kooshy says:

    Israeli army says a nuclear Iran could deter Israeli military action against Hamas, Hezbollah

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/israeli-army-says-a-nuclear-iran-could-deter-israeli-military-action-against-hamas-hezbollah/2012/01/17/gIQAjLbB5P_story.html

    By Associated Press, Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 3:58 AM

    JERUSALEM — A senior Israeli military official says a nuclear Iran could make it tougher for Israel to act against enemies closer to home.

    Military planning division chief Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel says a nuclear-armed Tehran could constrain Israel from striking Iranian-backed Islamists groups in Lebanon and Gaza — Hezbollah and Hamas respectively.

    Eshel said Tuesday that if Israel is “forced to do things in Gaza or in Lebanon, under the Iranian nuclear umbrella it might be different.”

  245. Liz says:

    Binam,

    The reason most don’t respond to your comments is because you are talking nonsense and it’s not worth wasting one’s time responding to you and some others who are on the side of the Empire. Nevertheless, I don’t approve of insults.

  246. Liz says:

    I’m sorry if this makes Iran bashers unhappy, but Rached Ghannouchi praises the handling of the situation after the Iranian presidential elections by Iranian authorities. He adds that as a result no one could cast doubts on the election results and he calls Iran a model for the whole region:

    http://www.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=13901027000183

  247. Fiorangela says:

    In the video I posted earlier, at 11 minutes, the Ommanis make the point that the assassinated scientist Roshan was among those interviewed by IAEA at that agency’s recent inspection of Iranian facilities.

    Recall that in his interview with Charlie Rose last November http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12000 Mohammad Javad Larijani said that Iran could not throw open its doors to IAEA inspectors because IAEA could not be trusted to maintain confidentiality. Larijani said that if IAEA submits the questions it has, Iran will provide answers.

  248. Binam says:

    UU -

    When cornered – you distract. Classic case of making my points for me!

  249. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Binam says, “He who feels the need …”

    Desire, Agent Jaan, deisre.

  250. Binam says:

    Dear Castellio,

    Thanks for your respectful tone. I wish others would learn… I find most of what you say in this regard agreeable. Our differences are too minor to flush out.

    Unknown Unknowns – or He who feels the need to use “motherf*%k@r” in a weak argument.

    “THe greens are a minority (albeit a sizable and important one, which the government ignores at its peril), but it thinks that it is “the 99%, to use the current vernacular). Well, let us grant, for the sake of argument, that this is the case. Now all of a sudden the “99%” claim they were the 1% when the 99% voted for the constitution! Oh, y’all *did* vote for the constitution, did you, in the heat of the moment? And awwww, it was a mistake, was it? Well then, be man enough to live with your mistake, motherf*%k@r!”

    Even if newborns were allowed to vote I couldn’t vote – because I wasn’t even born yet! Neither was some 70%+ of today’s population. And suppose all the people who did vote it in were still alive and for some odd magical reason stood by their vote – 33 years later – they would still be a minority. Furthermore, the constitution isn’t so much the problem – the problem is a government that does not even abide by it. There’s a Supreme Leader that answers to no one and no one can question (unconstitutional), there’s a parliament that is not a true representation of the people (unconstitutional), there are people in prisons and on house arrest without charges or trial (unconstitutional) and not once has any group been given the right to hold a peaceful rally (unconstitutional).

    All that said… In the words of Ayatollah Khomeini:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulLv0Pxcdd0&t=2m5s

    Persian Gulf,

    Still waiting for the list of Ahmadinejad’s accomplishments in the past 6 years and why you think he’s the next Mossadegh.

  251. kooshy says:

    James Canning says:

    January 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    “My understanding is that Hague, and the UK, have a deal with the Saudis: the Saudis do not start a nuclear weapons programme and the UK sees to it that the Saudis have no need for one.”

    Gavner James-

    That sounds like an interesting deal, what would you say UK will want from Iran if it was to enter a deal similar to what Hague and the UK currently have with the Saudis which you outlined above, would you think if Iranian parliament was to finally ratify the 1919 Anglo – Iranian Agreement which I am sure you have been tasked to study be sufficient for UK to “see that Iran have no need for one” (to guarantee their security). Fallowing is a refresher as what the 1919 agreement covered. As a personal note my own grandfather was barred from traveling back to Iran using British protected territories for publishing and organizing opposition to this agreement back in 1920, while he was working on his thesis in Switzerland his PhD thesis was about this agreement titled “ European policy in Iran” sadly not much has been changed since.

    “Signed at Tehran on 9 August 1919, the Anglo – Iranian Agreement provided for Britain to supply, at a cost to Iran, administrative advisers, officers, munitions, and equipment for the formation of a uniform military force; to assist in the construction of railways and a revision of customs tariffs; to cooperate in the collection of war compensation from belligerent parties; and to lend Iran £2 million at 7 percent annual interest. In return, Britain obtained a monopoly in supplying administrative advisers as well as military experts and equipment, and Iran’s customs’ revenues were pledged to repay the loan. The agreement produced bitter controversy. The Iranian negotiators believed that it would finance administrative and military reforms, avert social revolution, and assist in maintaining order. The opposition and most foreign observers believed that the agreement would make Iran a virtual protectorate of Britain. Following the 1921 coup d’état, the new government of Seyid Ziya Tabatabaʾi and Reza Khan (the future Reza Shah Pahlavi) abrogated the agreement.”

    “The Anglo-Iranian agreement of 1919 was a major turning point both in the modern history of Iran and in her relations with Britain. It was the brainchild of Lord Curzon and the Foreign Office in which the other British government departments eventually acquiesced with reluctance, although the government of India retained its opposition to it. It failed because of the fears it created for the loss of Iran’s independence, mainly as a result of the secrecy with which it had been negotiated, and the rigidity with which it was upheld. A vigorous campaign was conducted against it by Iranians as well as the United States, France and Russia. Yet it might not have failed had India, the India office, the Treasury and the War Office provided the requisite instruments for its success. Its failure resulted in the 1921 coup, the rise of Reza Khan and the Pahlavi state, and a new chapter in Anglo-Iranian relations.”

    “The West” in the Eyes of the Iranian”
    http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/mborouje/PDFs/West%20in%20the%20Eyes.pdf

  252. Unknown Unknowns says:

    For Sakineh Khanum. More of what the Gavner’s and Her Majesty’s Government and Secret Service have been up to:

    http://www.mashreghnews.ir/fa/news/92567/آگهی-آنلاین-پدر-دستگاه-های-اطلاعاتی-دنیا-برای-استخدام-فارسی-زبانان-عکس

  253. Gavner says:

    Methinks Adelson is 20% appealing and 20% appalling.

  254. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Voice of Tehran says:
    January 16, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Couldn’t agree more.

  255. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Binam says:
    January 16, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Binam (or should I say Agent Binam?) :

    Your above-referenced post is informed and informative, and were I less battle-scarred, I would be tempted to engage in a conversation with you. But I know that there is not enough common ground between us for any conversation to bear anything but bitter fruit.

    As to your first paragraph, yes, the clergy have always been involved in politics. That is the nature and way of the Shi’a religion, of which you apparently know nothing (together will all the other fools who insist in the separation of mosque and state in Iran). So with regard to your first and second paragraphs, even from your own blighted perspective, you have no-one to blame but yourselves. THe greens are a minority (albeit a sizable and important one, which the government ignores at its peril), but it thinks that it is “the 99%, to use the current vernacular). Well, let us grant, for the sake of argument, that this is the case. Now all of a sudden the “99%” claim they were the 1% when the 99% voted for the constitution! Oh, y’all *did* vote for the constitution, did you, in the heat of the moment? And awwww, it was a mistake, was it? Well then, be man enough to live with your mistake, motherf*%k@r!

    Oh, and by the way, you make the same mistake over and over again. Imam Khomeini might be an extremist from your perspective. But your perspective is itself extreme compared to the statistical norms of the Iranian bell-shaped curve, within which he was and remain a voice of moderation and progress.

    *

    Castellio says:
    January 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    While much of what you say rings true from a etic perspective on Iran, one has to put Iran’s revolution in perspective. It was a massive seismic event in world historical terms (and even more so for Islamdom specifically), on a par with the revolutions of France, Russia and China (and the US Civil War). As such, it has been practically bloodless in comparison. Only the Glorious Revolution of 1688 was as bloodless.

    And no, you are wrong about the conservatives having gone rogue, and “killing” the labor movement, etc. Those movements were nothing but sprouts and saplings which grew in an atmosphere fostered by exogenous conditions and forces. Are they reactionary? Yes, of course. But relative to the tail end of the spectrum that is occupied by Tehrangeles. But relative to the massive center, they are merely conservative.

    And I believe (and hereby predict) that the regime will redeem itself from the ridiculous banning of the 50 or so sitting members of the majlis from running in the upcoming elections through the appeals process.

    We sometimes forget that a *revolution* has taken place and everything is upside down (i.e., the pressure cooker has exploded and there is shit all over the kitchen walls). And that it will take time for things to right themselves up, for technocrats to replace commissars and for meritocracy to take root and replace nepotism. Needless to say, the fact that Agent Binam and his ilk support the enemy, the sanctions regime, etc., does not help but rather hinders the situation, and slows progress. Everyone here knows this and is made aware of it in excruciating ways on a daily basis. That is why we resent these interfering outsiders, who are irrelevant except for their malfeasance.

    From Wikipedia:
    An “emic” account is a description of behavior or a belief in terms meaningful (consciously or unconsciously) to the actor; that is, an emic account comes from a person within the culture. Almost anything from within a culture can provide an emic account.
    An “etic” account is a description of a behavior or belief by an observer, in terms that can be applied to other cultures; that is, an etic account attempts to be “culturally neutral.”

  256. kooshy says:

    Eric A. Brill says:

    January 16, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    Thank you for that, correctly said the presumably antiwar leftist who approve imperialism for a supposedly conceptual humanitarian reason (like Juan, and Obama) are more dangerous and harder to expose than John Bolton and Gorge Bush.

  257. Pirouz says:

    Did Obama blink?

    http://old.news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20120116/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_us

    If so, that’s welcome news for ordinary Americans and Iranians.

  258. WTF says:

    Photi says:
    January 16, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    If Israel is expecting a war with Hizballah anyway, wouldn’t it make some sense to fight that war at the same time the US is fighting its war with Iran? Presumably the Hizballah missiles will be a factor in either case. Why is the Israeli strategy to have the events occur separately in time?

    I have been thinking the same thing. RSH’s theory seems good, except that from Israel’s perspective I don’t see the need for the Iran war to happen after Lebanon/Syria. In fact, it would seem that Israel would rather take on Hizbollah while Iran is tied up with the Americans, thus rendering Iran less capable of resupplying Hizbollah. In that light, it would seem like the Israeli trigger to attack Lebanon is the US/Iran war starting, not the other way around. That also seems to mesh with the Israeli/Neocon efforts to fast-track the Iran war.

  259. WTF says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    January 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Which raises another question. Why the hell are the Israeli using these complicated magnetic bombs?

    ———————-

    Quote
    Baer makes clear his view that these assassinations, … have little to do with setting back Iran’s nuclear program in any meaningful way, but are rather designed to provoke an armed response that would increase the likelihood of a U.S. or U.S./Israeli attack.

    RSH,
    It sounds like you are attributing these assassinations to the Israelis? The idea of these being orchestrated by Mossad as a false flag is plausible, but it really is interesting that it’s being leaked from the CIA right now. It seems like the US is really trying to avoid Iranian retaliation against US assets (thus potentially forcing war) in the face of this latest assassination.

    It looks like Russia has raised the stakes in Syria, likely giving Axis powers some reason for pause. The Iranians appear to have called the bluff and made it known that they are intending to escalate things in light of the pending oil embargo followed by the murder of another Iranian scientist.

    Couple that with the latest arrests and likely evidence that Iran has implicating the US in the latest assassination, and it seems that the US is on the defensive trying to make it be known that not only was this NOT the CIA, but it was the Israelis that did it in order to spark a US/Iran war. This could be bullshit after getting caught red-handed, but it is more than peculiar that they would be deflecting by throwing Israel under the bus. (I am wondering how long before congress orders an investigation…to get to the bottom of how these memos got illegally leaked.)

    I may be way off base here, but I am thinking that all of this combined with the cancellation of the war games in Israel may be indicative of some misunderstandings between Washington and Tel Aviv.

  260. Persian Gulf says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BNaU79bX44

    پس چرا با تو غریبست، نسل بی خاطره من
    یادمون نیست که چه جوری، واسه همدیگه می مردن
    پاش بیوفته باز دوباره، روی مغربت می بارم
    باز توی منطقه مین، دست و پامو جا می زارم

  261. Richard,

    I notice you cite a Justin Raimondo piece. I was once an admirer, but now I place Raimondo in a special category: “With friends like this, who needs enemies?” You will search high and low in vain for another writer more cocksure than Raimondo in his insistence that the 2009 Iranian election was stolen. Here is a portion of the final footnote in my “election” article that I devoted to Raimondo and a few others like him:

    “Undoubtedly it pleased these writers [John Bolton and similar writers] to receive support from staunch anti-war advocates who normally oppose them instinctively. See, for example, Justin Raimondo, at [citations omitted]. The long-time webmaster of Antiwar.com was more strident in his denunciation of the 2009 Iran election than any other writer mentioned in this note, though he nonetheless emphasized that he “anticipate[s] with horror the prospect of war with Iran.” One suspects these writers [again, John Bolton and others like him] were grateful for Mr. Raimondo’s fervent support of their position on the election, but were confident they could fashion a proper remedy without further assistance from him.”

    Some readers may recall that, much as Raimondo “anticipates with horror” a US attack on Iran, the New York Times published an editorial opposing the US attack on Iraq — just days before the invasion, but after roughly a year of publishing dozens of strongly anti-Iraq stories that helped set the US public mood firmly in favor of war, written by such facts-be-damned reporters as Judith Miller and Michael Gordon (the latter of which managed to survive and even flourish, it’s worth noting).

    If it’s acceptable to you for a writer to publish a rash of shoot-from-the-hip stories, without bothering to check any of his facts, and then “absolve” himself from any responsibility by assuring his readers that he nonetheless takes an “anti-war” position flatly contrary to the views to which his “factual” assertions would lead most readers, then Justin Raimondo is your man.

  262. Photi says:

    Actually, wouldn’t a simultaneous war between Israel and Lebanon and between the US and Iran blur the distinctions between Israeli and American interests all the further? Wouldn’t this be a boon to [wrong-headedly] perceived Israeli interests?

  263. Photi says:

    Richard,

    “Depending on how these events resolve themselves, i.e., whether Israel can really defeat Hizballah effectively enough to avoid Hizballah missiles during an Iran war, and whether Assad is actually overthrown and some sort of puppet government installed in Syria, THEN we will see an Iran war within the next couple of years after, most likely.”

    If Israel is expecting a war with Hizballah anyway, wouldn’t it make some sense to fight that war at the same time the US is fighting its war with Iran? Presumably the Hizballah missiles will be a factor in either case. Why is the Israeli strategy to have the events occur separately in time?

  264. kooshy says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:

    January 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    RSH

    I would hope that unlike US/UK and allies Iran will not get involved with state sponsored acts of terrorism, if agents of foreign governments are inedited by the Iranian judiciary system they will be dealt with accordingly.

  265. Fyi: “Axis Powers do not wish to have a war with Iran if internal factions in Iran can be induced to do the regime change for them – a la the late General Pinoche.”

    Of course, that would be true if there were any real possibility of that.

    “But as is, their policy is at a dead end – static Siege War afainst Iran.”

    No, there is nothing “static” about it – steps are being taken every day to ratchet up the casus belli for actual war.

    “They entered this policy with open eyes , in 2007, expecting quick folding of Iranians (long before the 20% enrichment).”

    They entered into this policy long before 2007. In fact, it started with the neocons PNAC documents, and then after 9/11 when the neocons seized control of the Bush White House. The neocons genuinely thought that the U.S. could take down Iraq, then Iran would fold once Iran saw what a “cakewalk” Iraq was.

    Israel didn’t even want the U.S. to attack Iraq in early 2002. They wanted the U.S. to attack IRAN, and only came on board to attack Iraq when the neocons assured them that Iran would be next.

    Except it didn’t happen. Iraq turned into a disaster.

    But that did NOTHING to blunt the neocons, nor did it have any effect on the military-industrial complex, the oil companies, the banks or the Israelis. They STILL want Iran taken down and there has been a concerted effort ever since to ratchet up the process to achieve a war with Iran.

    But as I’ve said, there were delays. First, between 2003 and 2006 was the mess of the Iraq insurgency.

    Then in 2006 there was the failure to dislodge Hizballah from southern Lebanon.

    Then came the 2007 NIE which undercut Bush and Cheney’s thrust for war – as well as some limited Pentagon pushback since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were still going badly.

    Then came the condemnation of Israel over Cast Lead in 2008.

    Once Obama was in, the push began again, once Obama had delivered his fake “engagement” speech. Plus the “Arab Spring” distracted Israel, causing concerns over the status of Egypt.

    But the main problem for Israel remained: Hizballah. Israel continues to push for the U.S. to start the war, but refrains from attacking Iran solely because Hizballah might make it an expensive war, not an “on the cheap” war borne mostly by the U.S.

    So then came Libya – the “dry run” for the “new model” of regime change in the Middle East.

    This model is now being applied to Syria, no doubt with modifications to suit. Once Syria has been weakened, then Israel will attack Hizballah.

    After that, the war in Iran will be started.

    There is nothing “static” about these events. They are proceeding according to a specific strategy.

    We will see Syria at war by the end of this year, if not within six months. After or during that, we will see Israel attack Lebanon – and probably Gaza again.

    Depending on how these events resolve themselves, i.e., whether Israel can really defeat Hizballah effectively enough to avoid Hizballah missiles during an Iran war, and whether Assad is actually overthrown and some sort of puppet government installed in Syria, THEN we will see an Iran war within the next couple of years after, most likely.

    However, things may go differently if 1) either the Lebanon or Syria interventions fail, or 2) things heat up in Pakistan, distracting the U.S., or 3) some other geopolitical crisis erupts which distracts the U.S., such as North Korea or North Africa.

    All other things being equal, namely none of the events I outline occur, we can expect to see an Iran war within the next two to five years. Especially if a Republican President is elected.

  266. kooshy says:

    Empty says:
    January 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I can guess that they cut the suspect on video camera, as you may know major cross streets in Tehran especially around the collages are equipped with cameras,
    And I also guess because of the location the Americans knew they are going to get cut soon. I think we can expect to see a video soon.

  267. James Canning: “It does seem clear Panetta does not want war with Iran, nor do the senior US generals etc.”

    And I’ve repeatedly said Panetta is irrelevant and so are those generals – if they exist, which has never been proven by name, other than Fallon and others who are now GONE.

    “What do you think Obama can do, to reduce tensions?”

    And as I’ve repeatedly said, I see ZERO evidence that Obama has ANY interest whatsoever in reducing tensions.

    Can’t you READ?

  268. Oops, I didn’t disable the links, so this ended up “awaiting moderation”…

    Is President Obama sending 12,000 U.S. troops to Libya?
    :http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/317943

    Cited article:

    Cynthia McKinney: 12,000 U.S. troops bound for Libya
    :http://sfbayview.com/2012/cynthia-mckinney-12000-u-s-troops-bound-for-libya/

  269. Rehmat says:

    Study: Israeli nukes safer than China, Pakistan and Iran!

    A few days ago, the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) released the findings of it latest survey on security conditions of weapon-usable nuclear materials held in 32 different countries. Israel ranked 25th in the study, scoring 56 out of 100. China scored 52, India 49, Pakistan 41 and Islamic Republic 46 out of 100. The only problem is – IAEA has no proof that Iran has weapons-usable nuclear materials……

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/17/study-israeli-nukes-safer-than-china-pakistan-and-iran/

  270. Kooshy: “TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian news website is reporting several suspects have been arrested over last week’s killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.”

    This raises an important point.

    Sooner or later Iran’s intelligence forces ARE going to nail an Israeli asset – either an actual Israeli or someone working for them. Then all hell is going to erupt.

    Right now, the U.S. and Israel can smirk and hint – but once Iran has an actual live Israeli or Israeli asset body in tow, Iran will make propaganda hay out of it.

    Meanwhile, I’m fairly sure Hizballah – still smarting over the Mughniyah assassination in Syria – is looking for payback and has probably been supplied with more Iranian intelligence support to get it. Sooner of later, Israeli scientists are going to turn up dead while overseas at conferences. It would be trivial to do it. No fancy magnetic bombs are necessary – just a quick bullet in the head.

    Which raises another question. Why the hell are the Israeli using these complicated magnetic bombs? The assassins of the Black September group used suppressed pistols. It’s the quietest, most efficient way to kill someone. Walk up behind them, shoot them quietly in the head, and walk off.

    And Israel probably has fewer nuclear scientists than Iran does. Killing a few would hurt Israel’s program more than Iran’s.

    It’s clear that Israel doesn’t care about any of that – they just want Iran to react in some way that justifies a U.S. attack. In fact, if Hizballah did kill an Israeli scientist, Israel would probably attack Lebanon again in response. Ditto if Iran’s agents do it, Israel would probably bomb Iran.

    But Iran can’t continue to just absorb these attacks without responding in some way.

  271. James Canning: “The UK does not want war with Iran. Full stop. I can say this from personal knowledge.”

    I call BS. You do not have the connections to know what Downing Street is up to. If you do, cite them by name.

    How you can read something as stupid as Hague’s remarks and not comprehend that this is just meaningless propaganda is beyond me. No one is that stupid.

    The UK knows precisely what the end game is here. The UK is precisely supporting that end game by sending military advisers to stir up trouble in Syria. The UK is precisely supporting that end game by sending its most advanced destroyer to the Persian Gulf in support of heightening tensions in the Gulf. The UK is precisely supporting that end game by agreeing to embargo Iranian oil. The UK WILL precisely support that end game when the time comes to impose an actual naval blockade on Iran. The UK will send its ships to do so, an act of war.

    You’re an idiot for believing the statements of politicians – especially British politicians.

  272. Castellio: The important sentence from the Korean article:

    “According to the Israeli source, targeting nuclear scientists is a precursor to a military strike and not an alternative, in an ongoing attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program.”

  273. fyi says:

    James Canning & Richard Steven Hack:

    Axis Powers do not wish to have a war with Iran if internal factions in Iran can be induced to do the regime change for them – a la the late General Pinoche.

    But as is, their policy is at a dead end – static Siege War afainst Iran.

    They entered this policy with open eyes , in 2007, expecting quick folding of Iranians (long before the 20% enrichment).

    Voice of Tehran:

    I never believed that regime change in Iran is a possibility; the moment for revolutionary change had come and gone; with the Iranian people voting for Islamic Republic and then taking a de tour in the Nevwe-Never Land of Islamic Utopia.

    Evidently, Iran’s enemies are advised differently.

  274. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 16, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    Nobody asked Iranians what they thought.

  275. moshe says:

    all nuclear armed regimes whose representatives utter the words “all options are on the table”. You make the list.

  276. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    It does seem logical to see no connection between Sunni terrorism in SE Iran, supported by Israel, and the nuclear dispute. At least to me. Great post.

  277. James Canning says:

    moshe,

    Who is the “tyrant” that you see as a wolf that wants to gobble the lamb?

  278. The False Flag Story and Provocations
    http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2012/01/15/the-false-flag-story-and-provocations/

    Quotes

    This story naturally raises a host of questions, among them, why Jundallah was not put on the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list before November 20, 2010; how much control the Mossad has exercised over Jundallah and its operations; whether Mossad may be operating another “false-flag” operation with PJAK, the Iraqi Kurdistan-based Iranian branch of Turkey’s PKK. (PJAK was designated an FTO 15 days after Obama’s inauguration, reportedly as a gesture to both Ankara and Tehran, and, as Mark reminded me Friday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reportedly recommended last summer that Israel begin providing assistance to the PKK in retaliation for Ankara’s decision to downgrade relations with Tel Aviv.) And hanging over all this is the big question of why, if Washington knew of Israel’s sponsorship of one or more FTOs, particularly one as bloody-minded as Jundallah, did it not do more to discourage that relationship? Deliberately averting one’s eyes to terrorist activity is, after all, a form of complicity, particularly if you know that this terrorist activity is being done in your name.

    Meanwhile, a remarkably and unusually candid discussion (for a mainstream medium) of Israel’s strategy of provocation took place yesterday with an interview by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews of former CIA officer Robert Baer and can be seen here. It runs about five minutes. Baer makes clear his view that these assassinations, about which I hope to write more later, have little to do with setting back Iran’s nuclear program in any meaningful way, but are rather designed to provoke an armed response that would increase the likelihood of a U.S. or U.S./Israeli attack.

    I think that these two forms of terrorism — support for Jundallah and possibly other terrorist groups, and the assassination of scientists associated with Iran’s nuclear program — share the same goal. (Killing a handful of scientists will not stop Iran’s nuclear program, and Jundallah is essentially a ragtag group with no hope of seriously destabilizing the regime.) The primary aim of these programs, therefore, appears to be provocation. And, so long as the U.S. is seen as supportive of or at least complicit with these efforts (as Israel clearly wishes the U.S. to be seen), hard-line forces in the Iranian regime will always have a leg up in internal discussions about whether Washington can be trusted in any negotiation. That’s why it seems to me that it’s incumbent on the Obama administration, if indeed it wishes to avoid war, to make as clear as it possibly can that it has absolutely nothing to do with these covert programs. In that respect, public denials, no matter how categorical, by Clinton, Panetta, and the White House to that effect are not nearly sufficient.

    End Quotes

  279. moshe says:

    Once upon a time a Wolf was lapping at a spring on a hillside, when, looking up, what should he see but a Lamb just beginning to drink a little lower down. “There’s my supper,” thought he, “if only I can find some excuse to seize it.” Then he called out to the Lamb, “How dare you muddle the water from which I am drinking?”

    “Nay, master, nay,” said the Lamb; “if the water be muddy up there, I cannot be the cause of it, for it runs down from you to me.”

    “Well, then,” said the Wolf, “why did you call me bad names this time last year?”

    “That cannot be,” said the Lamb; “I am only six months old.”

    “I don’t care,” snarled the Wolf; “if it was not you it was your father;” and with that he rushed upon the poor little Lamb and ate her all up. But before she died she gasped out:

    “Hear James, ANY excuse will serve a tyrant!”

  280. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    It does seem clear Panetta does not want war with Iran, nor do the senior US generals etc.

    What do you think Obama can do, to reduce tensions? Keeping in mind how foolish the American people are, and the warmongering Republicans seeking the White House.

  281. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James,

    I repeat. Show me why UK is NOT an enemy of Iran.

  282. Qatari Leader: Send Arab Troops Into Syria
    http://news.sky.com/home/world-news/article/16149164

    Of course, he really means send Turkish troops and U.S./EU air strikes…

  283. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Zbig Brzezinki said the other day that Obama is good at giving sermons but short on ability to execute strategically.

    I think Obama does not want war with Iran. But Obama has people around him whose primary object seems to be to placate Israel if at all possible.

  284. Justin Raimondo on Under a False Flag
    Our “friends,” the Israelis, implicate us in war crimes
    http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2012/01/15/under-a-false-flag/

  285. Herding Americans to War with Iran
    http://consortiumnews.com/2012/01/12/herding-americans-to-war-with-iran/

    Only complaint I have about this is it repeats the notion that Obama “really doesn’t want a war with Iran.”

    I still see ZERO evidence for that concept.

    I CAN see that it’s possible that Netanyahu thinks Obama isn’t willing enough to start a war with Iran. Who knows?

    But the idea that Obama is steadfastly refusing to move ahead with the preparations for the Iran war is just naive in the extreme to me, and reflects more the continued stupid liberal obsession with Obama which characterized his election.

  286. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    I think you are dead wrong. The announcement of Iran’s plan to treble production of 20% U triggered the latest round of sanctions. It was a blunder on the part of Iran.
    Why treble production of a controversial product?

  287. James Canning says:

    WTF,

    David Cameron and William Hague are leery of the religious fanatics that have taken near-control of the Republican Party, and the warmongering neocons who are closely associated with the religious fanatics.

  288. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James,

    I have shown why UK is an enemy of Iran. You have not.

    Try harder!

    You are sucking the air out of all discussions with the enrichment non issue. This is becoming akin to the antisemitism charge leveled against anti-Zionists.

    If Iran stopped enrichment altogether tomorrow, nothing will change.
    Location, location, location. You can’t roll up Iran and put it elsewhere on the map, and for as long as it is where it is, and has rulers who stand up for their people, issue will persist. Full stop!

  289. Alan Hart on the Israeli assassinations and the likelihood of an Obama Iran war.

    When is a terrorist not a terrorist? & War with Iran or not?
    http://www.alanhart.net/when-is-a-terrorist-not-a-terrorist-war-with-iran-or-not/comment-page-1/#comment-27068

  290. James Canning says:

    WTF,

    The 20% is not “garbage”. It is issue that could produce war.

  291. James Canning says:

    WTF,

    I completely agree William Hague should have prodded Obama (and Hillary Clinton) to stop blocking Iran’s IAEA application to refuel the TRR. Completely agree. Am not sure if in fact he did not do so. Open to comments.

  292. James Canning says:

    The Saudi oil minister says his country will try to keep oil at $100 per barrel. Former target was $70-$80.

    Libyan oil production quickly returning to normal, apparently.

  293. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    Thank you for extended explanation at 3:45.
    The same for the article re; the suspects’ arrests.

  294. kooshy says:

    I think this is the reason for the false flag article came out to hedge the news ahead of the Iranian announcement.

    TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian news website is reporting several suspects have been arrested over last week’s killing of an Iranian nuclear scientist.

    Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, said the suspects are being interrogated, and the investigation is continuing. He talked to Iran’s state Arabic language TV channel Al-Alam, and his comments were carried on the Tabnak.ir site.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57359670/iran-arrests-suspects-in-nuke-scientists-death/

  295. WTF says:

    James Canning says:
    January 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm
    Sakineh,

    I can say with confidence William Hague genuinely sought to improve relations with Iran. What do you think Hague’s response should have been, to the Iranian announcement it would treble production of 20% U?

    He could have prodded the US to allow Iran to purchase the TRR fuel (as Iran insisted it would rather do).

    James, with any due respect, you have gone off the deep end with this 20% garbage. I am 220% sure that Sassan is a paid troll, yet I have honestly read more of his posts in the last 30 days than I have yours. You have frankly become annoying with your persistence, and either your pride won’t allow you to admit your error or you have a hidden agenda.

  296. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    I can say with confidence William Hague genuinely sought to improve relations with Iran. What do you think Hague’s response should have been, to the Iranian announcement it would treble production of 20% U?

  297. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James,

    UK wants better relations with Iran as a slave to the British master. Nokar/sarvar in Farsi. Period.

    Like I said, UK is an enemy of Iran. You have not disproved me on that point.

  298. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    After William Hague made clear the UK sought better relations with Iran, it was unfortunate that Iran announced it would treble production of 20% U.

  299. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    My understanding is that Hague, and the UK, have a deal with the Saudis: the Saudis do not start a nuclear weapons programme and the UK sees to it that the Saudis have no need for one.

  300. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I rather think you are not alone in your view of Adelson.

    What interests me, almost in a morbid way, is how Newt Gingrich could claim the Palestinian Authority seeks to destroy Israel, when Abbas is attacked as an Israeli stooge time and time again.

  301. Fiorangela says:

    James Canning says:
    January 16, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    James, the Good Me knows that I should respect the humanity in all persons.
    The real me finds Adelson a disgusting human being in every way.

  302. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    ”william Hague does not support the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, or government officials.”

    My bad James. He doesn’t support killing of one here, two there. He supports policies that strangle an entire population. Policies like like, sanctioning CBI, and embargoing Iranian Oil.

  303. James Canning says:

    Sakineh,

    william Hague does not support the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists, or government officials.

  304. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Warmongering American Congressmen are not one and the same as the US itself, or the UK, or France, or Germany. I think very few who post on this site would say the US Congress is not a collective stooge of the Israel Lobby.

  305. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    James Canning says: January 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    ” When William Hague said the UK seeks a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute, but that “all options remain on the table”, he did not imply the UK would try to assassinate nuclear scientists, or Iranian officials, or anything of that sort.”

    James,

    What part of “all” in “all options” don’t you get? What does the word “all” mean to you?

    UK has been an enemy of Iran at least since, if not before oil was discovered there.

    UK is responsible for theft of Iranian resources.
    UK is responsible for famine / genocide of millions of Iranians. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Famine-Genocide-Persia-1917-1919/dp/0761826335
    UK is responsible for overthrow of a democratically elected government of Iran.
    UK is… Well, nuff said.

  306. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I know William Hague was quite sincere when he said the UK did not seek “regime Change” in Iran. And when he said the UK sought better relations.

    However, as an alternative to war, one might expect a natural preference for an internal regime change. But only as an alternative to war, and not as a course to follow independent of seeking to avoid war.

  307. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I am not sure what you mean when you say China expected Iran to “surrender”. China said openly the sanctions would fail.

  308. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Nato countries have about reached their limit in Afghanistan, yes. De facto “partition”? I don’t know.

    and yes, Iran has no interest in seeing a partition of Iraq.

  309. Castellio says:

    Talking about worthwhile agendas, one might want to consider these cases of drug proof tuberculosis in India (also cases in Iran).

    http://www.koreaherald.com/lifestyle/Detail.jsp?newsMLId=20120116001235

  310. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Iran offered a more attractive supply route to the Soviet Union than did Turkey.

  311. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    Yes, Adelson has appalling agenda etc. Personally appealing, but with appalling agenda.

  312. Fiorangela says:

    James at 2:47 pm:

    “One might add, that Adelson personally is an appealing individual, and obviously hugely successful.”

    Was that a mistype? Did you mean to type “appalling” individual?

    Adelson is an ex-taxi-driver who parlayed schmooze into wealth by building gambling casinos, that is, institutions that prey upon the addictive self-destructive habits of people, usually those who can least afford the habit. He pays his non-union workers low wages because he can get away with it. He overuses scarce resources in the Nevada desert and will likely leave behind an environmental catastrophe when, not if, he pulls up stakes in the desert.

    He uses his “highly successful” situation to support Benjamin Netanyahu, one of our generation’s most dangerous psychopaths. Adelson does this by, among other things, publishing a newspaper in Israel that is distributed without charge; the paper is Bibi’s mouthpiece and cheering section, and has the capacity to sway opinion among Israelis.

    Adelson also uses his wealth to support blatantly Islamophobic activists and others intent on subverting the political process in the United States.

    Other than that, I agree, Adelson is a helluva good cheese.

    PS Stick to 20%.

  313. Voice of Tehran says:

    fyi says:
    January 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    fyi , yes you are right , the axis powers are obsessed with Regime Change and the scenarios which you described ( especially the UK in its imperial lechery ).
    I think in a sense the 2009 events were a divine blessing for the survival of the Islamic Republic , as they exposed the enemies of the revolution.
    However due to those events the axis powers are deceived ( again a divine blessing ) that they are close to the final victory and they are putting a burden on the shoulders of the internal and external opposition forces , which they will never be able to absorb and carry and this would be the final nail in the coffin of Regime Change dreams of the Soroses and Co.
    In my opinion , once the parlamentary elections are conducted successfully , no force in the world will be able to shake the foundations of the IRI for decades and may be centuries to come , a historical chapter will be closed.

  314. fyi says:

    kooshy says: January 16, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I think that the occupation of Iran was illegal and immoral.

    It was not Iran’s war but the Iranians were too weak to defend themselves – but Turkey was not.

    The outcome of WWII, in rearranging the Master Countries of the world, was immaterail to Iran.

  315. kooshy says:

    Empty says:

    January 16, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    kooshy,

    Re; your post “January 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm”, if you explore some work around the concept of اجنبی you’ll actually see how most of the population and ordinary people viewed the foreigners of any background in a way that does not support your assessment. Beyond the obvious and hidden atrocities that were committed by various foreign groups (be they Russians, American, British, etc.), they were still اجنبی ها. As you know, this is a very loaded term with great many historical baggages.

    Empty/UU/fyi Jaans

    I tend to believe that the term اجنبی is generally used to label a foreigner (or outside of the circle) who might be considered to have a hidden ill intentions.

    Now if even today, one travels to rural and less educated parts of Iran will see that foreigners are usually called as Kharaji or Frangi (European) which simply does not contain a label for ill intentions attached to this terms.

    Now consider rural Iran in 1920’ and 30’s not many Iranians would have been very familiar with America and Americans never less to label them as Ajnabi except for newly formed educated leftist that where mostly backed by USSR. The rest of Iranian urban educated class did no see the Americans as Ajnabi since the American imperialism had not yet openly been moved and directed at Middle East till after the WWII.

    Now one can label the Americans as one wish, but that will not change the fact that Americans imperialistic intentions toward Iran was not viewed hostile by majority of Iranian educated class till after the 1953 cope. Even though that there was instances that some of their actions was not tasteful for this class.

    I have yet to read that the Todeh party or any religious movement actually denounced the occupation of Iran in 40’s for the purpose of supplying the UUSR which indeed did cause a famine in Iran.

  316. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 16, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    My intent was to share a different perspective from a non-Western source.

    I agree with you that neither Iran nor the Marja’aiyah in Iraq support federalism let alone partition of Iraq – why dilute Iraqi power?

    But it is a different stroy in Afghanistan.

    I think it will make sense for Iranians to arrange for a de facto partition of Afghanistan.

    It seems to me that Dr. Velayati’s recent mission to India has been a failure.

    It seems to me that the Axis Powers are on their way out of Afghanistan.

    Iranians have publicly stated that they are willing to work with all Islamic political groupings except Wahabis.

    Northern Alliance has stated that it opposes US-Taliban talks.

    So, Iranians could move to rationalize their relationship with Taliban; keeping them out of Northern Afghanistan. This will give South and Southwest to Taliban and Pakistan while keeping a nominal weak central government for the disbursment of foreign aid and rudimentary government services.

    Iranians will need to re-assure Pakistan that there will not be any Indian presence in the Northern Afghanistan territory and I think that the Iranians will be forthcoming.

  317. fyi says:

    Eric A. Brill says: January 16, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    All along, the Axis Ppwers, China, and India expected a quick Iranian surrender back in 2006.

    When that did not happen, they did not go back and question their premises – they assumed that they needed more pressure.

    And since the assumption is always a cost-free (to Axis Powers) Iranian surrender, murdering Iranians with nuclear knowldge became another cost-free escalation = expecting never to have to engage Iranians in a dialetical process of negogiations.

    Just consider how this war is going to end – imagine a negogiating session between Iranian and the legates of the Axis Powers, how would that session proceed when Iranians are sitting across legates of their enemies?

  318. Castellio says:

    Eric Brill proves recent assassination a “domestic understanding”!

    Writing at Race for Iran, the lawyer and acknowledged Iran expert said:” … they’d painted his front porch and he’d refused to pay them what he’d agreed because he claimed they’d used the wrong color of paint.”

    Hillary Clinton, when asked about Brill’s contention, thought it highly likely, and added that the misunderstanding between the scientist and his porch painters was evidence of the effectiveness of the sanctions. “You see,” she is quoted as saying, “things are not going well in Iran.”

  319. fyi says:

    Voice of Tehran says: January 16, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Mr. Canning is not completely wrong.

    UK does not want to go to war with Iran – she much prefers someone to overthrow the legitimate and duly legally consitutional authroity in Iran and replace it with a rehime compliant to Axis Powers wishes.

    As the possibility of such a coup receeds (frightening one group of Iranians to kill another group to effect a change in regime) they have become more and more shrill and belligerent.

    Under these circumstances, I expect the Iranian leaders to ruthlessly deal with any activity that even remotely smells of sedition – both inside and outside of Iran.

    Note the internal laws of the United States that precludes any rapproachment with Iran unless she has surrendered; these indicate that Axis Powers want to destroy Islamic Iran, otherwise why eliminate any legal scope for negogiations.

  320. settman says:

    Speaking of UK, today they really condemned Israel.

    Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister: Israeli settlement construction is ‘vandalism’

    Link to article >

    haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/britain-s-deputy-prime-minister-israeli-settlement-construction-is-vandalism-1.407630

    Its like calling murder a misdeamnor. Which of course showing UK support for the occupying state.

  321. James,

    “David Cameron and William Hague do not approve of Israel’s assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. DO NOT APPROVE.”

    That’s comforting. I wonder whether they’ve expressed their displeasure to anyone in a position to ensure that such a thing never happens again. I’ll wager that your answer to that question won’t be expressed in ALL CAPS.

    Nobody anywhere seems to think this assassination was a good idea, much less claims to have had anything at all to do with it. I’m beginning to think that those two guys on the motorcycle who attached the bomb to the scientist’s car just had a personal dispute with him. Maybe they’d painted his front porch and he’d refused to pay them what he’d agreed because he claimed they’d used the wrong color of paint. (Remind me never to hire those two guys to paint my porch.)

  322. Voice of Tehran says:

    James Canning says:
    January 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm
    R S Hack,
    “The UK does not want war …

    James , recently when I was reading an article about the NWO , by coincidence I ran into this ‘weird’ commentary regarding the British oligarchy.
    I think the article was written before the Iraq invasion , your opinion please.

    The British Strategy For Global Conquest

    http://www.voxfux.com/features/global_conquest.html

    ..’The military strategists of the British Empire have long had an actual plan for the military conquest and enslavement of the entire planet, and this plan for global conquest was based on the military realities which they believed any would-be world conqueror would encounter.

    The British strategic plan for world conquest and the military perspective which it is based upon both predate World War One, and both probably existed long before that. The earliest known statement of this plan for world conquest was expressed by imperial strategist Halford Mackinder, who outlined the central global strategic problem in 1904 in a letter to the British Royal Geographical Society. The letter was entitled, “The Geographical Pivot of History.” The most pertinent part of this letter is quoted later on, and requires only a minimum of reading between the lines.

    The most recent significant restatement of this plan for world conquest was made by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who asserted that world domination would require the conquest of the center of the Eurasian landmass. They also believed that if they did not seize the Eurasian interior, whoever was in possession of it would have the global strategic edge, and would thus likely ultimately go on to conquer the world.

    Here’s why they formed this military perspective. Britain was a naval power, and therefore, as a rule of thumb, they could apply military force with relative ease near the shores of the oceans anywhere on the globe. That was the good news. The bad news was that the further from the coast their military objective was, the harder it was to apply force to it. The invading British armies were tethered to their fleets, because their armies needed the re-supply and the firepower support of their navy.’..

  323. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    That is also irrelevant – the man is dead and MI6 Director is the person who publicly alluded to such methods in 2010.

    From Mr. Straw’s statement about the prepostrousness of attacking Iran we are now in a position of UK leaders publicly including that in their choices of policies.

    As the Axis Powers position – due to their own policy choices – has deteriorated and Iran’s has improved; their belligerence towards Iran has increased.

    That is the trajectory that I see,

    Iraian leaders have succeeded in unmasking – publicly – the “Regime Changes” agenda of Axis Powers.

    This was a major victory for them.

    They also have thwarted the Axis Powers and Suadi Arabia in Syria as well.

    Axis Powers clearly are not yet ready or willing to go to war.

    They will continue with their Siege War – they have sanctioned themslves out of influence with Iran (first US did that and then EU).

    Becuase they do not believe that they need influence with a regime that is going to be replaced soon (through a Palace Coup by elements of the Revolutionary Guard etc.) That is, they need not have influence – needed for negogiations – when they expect (or expected) to be able to dictate the terms of Iranian surrender.

    Static siege warfare is not stable – either one has to attack or go home.

    For defenders, they also have to endure but be prepared for limited excusions of siege-breaking.

    I expect that the Axis Powers will eventually pack and go home but I cannot tell you how many years it will take.

    Most likey, once they see that there is no Palace Coup that the Iranians are functionaing normally – while the Axis Powers financial position erodes more and more. Then may be they will retreat.

    I do not think we are there yet.

  324. James,

    “I think the question would be, why does the UK think Iran is enriching much more 20% U than needed to build fuel plates for the TRR?”

    I suppose that’s interesting, just as it’s interesting why you think that. Even more important: Are the UK and you correct?

    “Did you read the comments of Ollie Heinonen in Foreign Policy?”

    Yes, carefully.

    “[Heinonen] claims Iran’s entire production of 3.5% U is being sent for further enriching to 20%…”

    So what? That doesn’t answer our question –- which is, to repeat yet again: “Is Iran producing more 20% uranium than it needs for the Tehran Research Reactor (giving Iran a very large benefit of the doubt concerning how much 20% fuel it needs, in light of the complete absence of non-Iranian fuel sources for the TRR)?” What Heinonen points out may mean (and I suspect it does mean) that Iran has a pressing need for 20% uranium to fuel the TRR.

    “[Heinonen claims] that by the end of 2012 Iran will have enough 20% U to build 10 nukes.”

    So what? If Iran doesn’t enrich its uranium to 20%, won’t Heinonen be able to say, instead, that Iran has enough XXX% uranium (XXX being some percentage less than 20) to build 10 nukes? Presumably Iran will have the same amount of uranium whether it further enriches it or not. Of course there’s some risk that 20% uranium will be further enriched to bomb grade. But that 20% uranium might also be used to fuel the TRR. That’s the point.

  325. Castellio says:

    James, you are frustrating. If they do not approve, what are they doing about it? They are in the relevant positions of power. What are they doing, and what have they done, about the long standing Israeli assassination policy of scientists in Egypt, Iraq and Iran? (This is not new.)

    Oh, they’ve supported Israel to the hilt, have they? Militarily, diplomatically, with intelligence, arms and money?

    Words can’t simply mean what you want them to mean by writing them in caps. The UK has supported and continues to support Israeli policies in the Middle East, which includes now, and has included for at least forty years (probably longer) the assassination of scientists in foreign countries.

    Good, sweet, ruddy cheeked anglo-saxons, educated, affluent, CofE or Papist (makes no difference), all hell bent on policies of assassination and economic siege.

  326. settman says:

    James Canning wrote:

    “David Cameron and William Hague do not approve of Israel’s assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. DO NOT APPROVE.”

    Like I said, UK warmongering duping is working.

  327. settman says:

    James canning wrote:

    “The point I make, and which you find it hard to understand apparently, is that Saddam Hussein destroyed Iraq’s WMD in response to the UN sanctions.”

    Did you miss the between 350000-500000 iraqis died? Did you miss the 2003 invasion?
    1+1=2 isnt it?

    Do you imply just like madeleine albright that it was simply “worth it”?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbIX1CP9qr4

  328. James Canning says:

    settman,

    David Cameron and William Hague do not approve of Israel’s assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. DO NOT APPROVE.

  329. James Canning says:

    settman,

    The point I make, and which you find it hard to understand apparently, is that Saddam Hussein destroyed Iraq’s WMD in response to the UN sanctions.

    The conspiracy to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq rested on deceiving the public into believing the UN sanctions had failed. This was a deception. It was not true.

  330. James Canning says:

    Fiorangela,

    I thought it was interesting that Sheldon Adelson gave the $5 million to Newt Gingrich when it seemed Gingrich was already in a terminal decline.

    One might add, that Adelson personally is an appealing individual, and obviously hugely successful.

  331. settman says:

    James Canning wrote:

    “When William Hague said the UK seeks a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute, but that “all options remain on the table”, he did not imply the UK would try to assassinate nuclear scientists, or Iranian officials, or anything of that sort.”

    You not only seems to be deluded, you seems to be “into” patronizing too. Hague, Cameron have indeed been successfull in duping minds…

    “The UN sanctions against Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War were successful. You seem to claim they failed. Why would you give cover to warmongering neocons who conspired to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq?”

    James Canning saying that: The killing of between 350 000 – 500 000 (not to mention the effects of the war and sanctions causing death and trauma to millions of iraqis) iraqis prove sanctions were successfull? Have you forgot that US invaded Iraq?

  332. Rd. says:

    Cost of EU embargo on Iran – IMF loans to Greece, Italy, Spain?

    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/on-exceptionalism-and-deviance/

  333. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    The UK does not want war with Iran. Full stop. I can say this from personal knowledge. This does not mean that some UK politicians and other leaders have not been agressive in their approach to Iran. Would the current government of the UK stand by and watch Iran build nukes? I doubt it.

  334. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    Zbigniev Brzezinski, who you of course know was Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, was quoted in the Financial Times this past weekend saying that the Republican presidential contenders are an embarrassment.

  335. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    I will get the numbers Heinonen used in his Foreign Policy article. I of course agree the US very stupidly virtually forced Iran to seek to build plates for the TRR, and thus to enrich to 20% as part of this programme.

    And the US very stupidly, arguably, continues to block Iran’s IAEA application to buy the plates. I say “arguably”, to reflect potential for an idiot Republican to get into the White House if Obama acts sensibly to a proposal made by the president of Iran.

  336. James Canning says:

    Eric,

    I think the question would be, why does the UK think Iran is enriching much more 20% U than needed to build fuel plates for the TRR? Did you read the comments of Ollie Heinonen in Foreign Policy? He claims Iran’s entire production of 3.5% U is being sent for further enriching to 20%, and that by the end of 2012 Iran will have enough 20% U to build 10 nukes. (After one month’s further enrichment to 90%).

  337. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    A while back, I said that the dispute with Iran had more to do with wealth and power, than it did religion. But I was not referring to national power. Instead, I was referring to private power and wealth.

  338. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I think you are right on target. Israel would love the US to attack Iran to take out Iran’s conventional weapons. Or, more precisely, some Israeli leaders would love to see this come to pass.

  339. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    For those who overlooked your comment at 8:37 am, you said: “Canning speaks of Jews in US [as] a group of alien people who have crawled out of nowhere”.

    How am I arging that Jews “crawled out of nowhere”, when I observe that Jews have provided more than half of total campaign finance for Democrats seeking national office in the US, over the past 40 years? Is this “crawling out of nowhere”, in your view?

  340. Castellio says:

    FYI at 1.06 pm.

    Yes, you’re right. I should have written: Isreal is wlling for the US to attack and destroy Iran for the existence of its conventional weapons. Fact.

  341. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    A number of times I have noted that a majority of Jews who marry in the US, marry a non-Jew. Yet you claim I argue that Jews are not part of American society! Your contention is the exact opposite of the point I made.

  342. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You linked a story with comments by a retired Turkish ambassador, who suggests that Iran may seek to partition Iraq. Iranian and Turkish policy is to keep Iraq intact.
    Neither country wants an independent Kurdistan. This equation is unlikely to change.

  343. James Canning says:

    masoud,

    Do you support the programme recommended by Shibley Telhami in the NYT that you linked? “Preventing a nuclear Iran, peacefully”. A Middle East free of nukes has been an Iranian objective. This is the reason I thought Iran blundered by not attending the conference in Vienna this past November, because it focused on ways and means of getting Israel to get rid of its nukes.

  344. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    when you say Nasser was “defeated”, what do you mean? Are you referring to the 1967 Arab-Israel war? Or to the break-up of the UAR (union of Egypt and Syria)?

  345. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Where do you get the idea I think it is “illegitimate” for Jews to provide half of campaign finance for Democrats seeking national office? This is a fact, and this fact explains why Obama does not have the freedom to act you expect of him.

  346. Castellio says:

    Binam, I feel as if we are actually communicating. This is welcomed. Thank you.

    I don’t think Mossadeq came too early. He came when he came and was defeated by a union of American, British and conservative Islamic forces. The same forces that defeated Nasser. The same forces, in fact, including France, that defeated all of the nationalist secular movements of the left (even vague left) in the Middle East.

    And any Mossadeq-like character or movement waiting in the wings will have to defeat and defend itself from the same forces, American, British and conservative Islamic forces (the latter financially supported by Saudi Arabia).

    When one begins to understand, historically, the allignment of the Euro-American forces with the most conservative of Isalmic ideologies, the present moment becomes much more transparent. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the desire for the US to deal directly with the Taliban, the desire (not yet public, but on going) for the US to support the Islamic movement in Egypt if they are willing to accept a limitation of democratic powers in foreign policy), all that becomes clear.

    But, the Iranian conservative Islamic movement has gone “rogue”. Yes, it killed and destroyed all those anti-Shah people and movements with whom I most identified (the labour movement, the human rights “liberal” movement, the pro-democratic social democrats, the pluralists, etc.) but it also lined up firmly against the American and British conservative colonial traditions, and it didn’t abandon the poorer sections of Iranian society.

    In other words, there is an evolution of conservative Islamic thought indigenous to the area, shaped by historical forces, that is trying to marry resistance to its destruction (actively pursued by foreign powers as we speak) with the economic and social development of its own people.

    I could go on, but lets leave it there for the moment.

    I am strongly against the pursuit of the destruction of this Islamic movement from the outside, the intent of which is to re-implant a strongman government (Mubarak, Maliki, the Shah, etc.) with a ‘formal’ existence of democratic structures, the intent of which is to delay the development of an indigenous and popular response to the actual challenges in the area. Those challenges include the drive for American global hegemony, the conflation of the American and Israeli governments (with all the racist policy priorities which stem from that), and issues of social justice in the 21st century.

    I am also against the destruction of the Iranian Islamic movement through foreign intervention because it is pursued as a religious war from this side, and strengthens the conservative anti-democratic forces of reaction in North American society.

  347. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do you blieve the UK thinks that a change of government in Iran will result in an end to production of 20% U, allow the replacemnt TRR to be provided, with fuel, etc.?

  348. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Is it not fair to say that the overthrow of Mossadeq could not have been accomplished if the Iranian clerics had supported him?

    And is it not fair to say the father of the late Shah, became a monarch (rather than secular president in style of Ataturk) because the Iranian religious leaders insisted on it?

  349. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 16, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Yes.

  350. James Canning says:

    settman,

    The UN sanctions against Iraq following the 1991 Gulf War were successful. You seem to claim they failed. Why would you give cover to warmongering neocons who conspired to set up the illegal invasion of Iraq?

  351. James Canning says:

    settman,

    When William Hague said the UK seeks a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute, but that “all options remain on the table”, he did not imply the UK would try to assassinate nuclear scientists, or Iranian officials, or anything of that sort.

  352. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Are you claiming the UK thinks a change of government in Iran would enable a resolution of the nuclear dispute to be achieved?

  353. fyi says:

    Mr. Binam:

    Mr. Khoemini became a leader by acclamation of the Iranian people.

    You are not addressing why people chose him and not another one of the other Ulema.

    In fact, there was nobody with his level of learning and piety and mystical knowledge among the other members of that class.

  354. TheDonkeyInTheWell says:

    Meanwhile. . .

    Israeli economy on verge of collapse
    http://www.presstv.com/detail/221395.html

  355. James Canning says:

    Kooshy,

    I will look for any questions posed, and answer them.

  356. Empty says:

    kooshy,

    Re; your post “January 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm”, if you explore some work around the concept of اجنبی you’ll actually see how most of the population and ordinary people viewed the foreigners of any background in a way that does not support your assessment. Beyond the obvious and hidden atrocities that were committed by various foreign groups (be they Russians, American, British, etc.), they were still اجنبی ها. As you know, this is a very loaded term with great many historical baggage.

  357. Unknown Unknowns says:

    The 9 o’clock news stated that 300 students at Sharif University (Iran’s MIT) have requested to change their major to Nuclear Physics as a result of the most recent murder of one of our scientists.

  358. Binam says:

    UU,

    “It is precisely because of Mossadeq’s failure, and the failure of the illegitimate 25-year rein of Md Reza Pahlavi (to fulfill the aspirations of the Iranian nation for independence (cultural, political, economic and most of all religious) and a more inclusive and representative form of government that the clerical class felt the need to involve itself in political matters. So you are right: it is a false trichotomy as the choice does not obtain: Khomeini was a creation and symptom of the clash of (imperial) modernity with traditional Iran. The nationalists and the puppet monarchy didn’t cut it, so the clergy had to take off the gloves.”

    The clerical class have always been involved in one way or another. You can’t deny their role in Constitutional revolution, Reza Shah’s rise to the throne and later his fall from grace, then their role in the 1953 Coup and Mohammad Reza Shah’s rule all the way up to the Islamic Revolution. It’s just that the Shah unintentionally empowered them. When the Shah came to power there were only 500 mosques in Iran. By the 1979 revolution there were more than 2500. And while the Shah was busy stressing over the communists and the nationalists, he left the mosques for the most part unchecked – with the exception of the more extremist elements, Khomeini being one of them. The moderate Ayatollahs of Qom even tried to warn the Shah of the rise of extremists in early 1970s – but by then the Shah had surrounded himself with too many yes men and had therefore developed a massive blind-spot.

    Meanwhile his land reforms (which the mullahs were also against) together with his fast industrial developments resulted in masses of people leaving villages and farming lands and come to the cities for a better life. When their expectations were not met they often ended up in the mosque, dissatisfied, uneducated and at the mercy of whatever the mullahs told them.

    Another mistake that the Shah made vis-a-vis Khomeini is that he expelled him while also banning his books. This gave Khomeini a chance to re-package himself from abroad and with the help of other political parties rise up to the occasion of being the Leader of an all-encompassing revolution. I highly doubt that if the communists, socialists, nationalists, intellectuals and technocrats had read his books or even heard his speeches on a live TV setting they would have actually rallied behind him. There were much more charismatic, moderate and even qualified ayatollahs than Khomeini – but by the time Khomeini took the reigns of power they were too afraid to speak up. And ever since the revolution it has been a battle between the extremists on the right (whom the Leveretts support) and the moderates.

  359. fyi says:

    Castellio says: January 16, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    No.

    Israel want US to attack Iran.

    They are supreme realists and have no illusions of what a millenial Shia wrath woul do to them.

    They want US to carry the weight of that wrath.

  360. fyi says:

    kooshy says: January 16, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Then they are generous to the point of foolishness.

    Why be hospitable to a country whose every action has been designed to bring misery to the Iranian people for over 50 years?

  361. Castellio says:

    I think it would be helpful if people realized that the assassination campaign is intensely directed at the ballistic missile capabilites of Iran. It is presented as against the development of nuclear weapons, as there will have to be a marriage of warhead to missile at some point, but the real point is that the conventional missiles, as they become both more numerous and accurate, limit Israel’s desire to dominate and expand.

    Israel is willing to destroy and attack Iran for its conventional weapons. Fact.

  362. kooshy says:

    UU Jaan

    I still think that Americans were not generally viewed as a hostile country by the Iranians (except the educated lefties, a small minority) especially in view of the Truman’s help to extract Russians from the NE territories. And by implementing, some economical, developmental and financial help for Iran.

  363. Z.P. says:

    @Unknow Unknows:
    “True: Prior to teh ‘53 coup, Americans were also up to no good. But there was a time (turn of the century) when they were loved in Iran thanks to the work of Morgan Shuster and others (that guy who got martyred in Tabriz).”

    True Morgan Shuster was a good guy, at least as long as he didn`t screw up to hard the financial ministry of the Shah. But he was not the famous US-martyr of Tabriz. This honor fell on Howard C. Baskersville, a school teacher from Nebraska. When he tried to slip through the lines of the royalist and Russian troops to obtain badly needed medicine he was shot death from a sniper. He received even a bronze bust in the Constitution House in Tabriz with following signature: Howard C. Baskersville – Patriot and Maker of History.

  364. Castellio says:

    This is taken from the Korea Times today: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/special/2012/01/182_102997.html

    “”What is seen in espionage films as a simple operation is a result of hard work, many months of intelligence gathering and a well trained team,” an unnamed Israeli source said.

    The source was describing the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist and Natanz official Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan in Tehran.

    According to the London-based UK Sunday Times, Mossad agents are responsible for the targeted attack which killed the Iranian scientist last week. “There is zero tolerance for mistakes. By nature, every failure not only risks the neck of the agents but also risks turning into an international scandal,” the source told the newspaper.

    It was a classic assassination mission for Israel, it claimed. According to the newspaper, Israeli Mossad agents gathered in small groups to observe key locations across Tehran. The agents monitored Roshan’s every move from an improvised control room in a safe house nearby.

    Meanwhile, the Iranian intelligence headquarters in the city center was also under observation, less than a mile away from the assassination location.

    Suddenly, they noticed a number of cars and people running. The streets quickly filled with police officers. One of the agents, listening to the radio communication between Tehran police and security forces confirmed the irregular activity.

    Later that day, the paper claimed, Roshan’s bodyguard and driver checked the state-issued silver Peugeot 405, for explosives. He then proceeded to slip into the driver’s seat and waited for the scientist.

    Just before 8 a.m., an Israeli observer reported the objective had left via an intercepted message. Then the assassins’ commander made the final decision, telling agents who were standing by with a motorcycle in a hidden garage to “go.”

    At around 8:20 a.m., the agents tracked down the scientist’s car, the Sunday Times reported. The masked man made sure the passenger was in fact Roshan before proceeding to attach a magnetic bomb to the vehicle, intended primarily to injure Roshan. Nine seconds later an explosion was heard. The scientist was killed instantly. The driver was badly injured and died in the hospital later that day.

    New information also reveals that killed nuclear scientist also had a hand in developing Iran’s missile program, claimed Roshan’s commander from Basij, a volunteer organization under the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

    According to him, Roshan initially worked for the defense ministry and after sometime was “responsible for other sensitive things” at the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). Roshan studied chemistry at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, which has been previously linked to the development of arms and missiles, with the help of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

    According to the Israeli source, targeting nuclear scientists is a precursor to a military strike and not an alternative, in an ongoing attempt to stop Iran’s nuclear program.”

  365. fyi says:

    Rd. says: January 16, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Probably.

    But you have to understand that Turkey does not have the freedom of action that Iran enjoys; she is constrained by her political and economic relationships with US and EU.

    In a less polarized regional situation, the Turks and the Iranians would have cooperated to ease Mr. Assad out of power and to help usher in a new political dispensation into Syria – perhaps a confessional one.

    As is, Iranians and Turks are working at cross-purposes; there are limits to their cooperation. The major obstacle is the presence of the political, military, and economic power of the Axis Powers in the Near East.

    This power is harmful to the regional states and must be readicated; it can only bring war and misery to these states.

  366. kooshy says:

    settman says:
    January 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I didn’t know that MLK’s holiday is also observed by her majesty’s foreign office; otherwise I see no reason why Gavner James has not checked in yet, or it could be that yesterday, you guys asked him for too many links, possibly your demands for links amounted way more than what one man could search and find on her majesty’s Google account in one working shift.

  367. fyi says:

    settman says: January 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

    The Western strategy is to cause a regime change inside Iran through an overthrow of the current constitutional dispensation via a “Palace Coup” as is.

    That is, they fervently wish for an Iranian faction to replace Mr. Khamenei and other like-minded people.

    The threats, the sanctions, etc. are all designed to repeat the successes of 1953 and 1973 in Iran and in Chile.

    As you can see, scant thought is given – at least publicly – to how this war with Iran will end.

    I surmise then that the expectation is for a total victory against Iran.

    Because, equally clearly, the relationship between EU states and Iran cannot go back to what obtained before 2007.

  368. Unknown Unknowns says:

    kooshy says:
    January 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Kooshy jaan & Empty jaan:
    True: Prior to teh ’53 coup, Americans were also up to no good. But there was a time (turn of the century) when they were loved in Iran thanks to the work of Morgan Shuster and others (that guy who got martyred in Tabriz). That was before the End of the Innocence of Uncle McGuilty.

    *

    Castellio says: Binam, given the choice between Mosadeq, the Shah, or Khamenei, I would immediately choose Mossadeq. But that’s not a choice we can make, is it?

    It is precisely because of Mossadeq’s failure, and the failure of the illegitimate 25-year rein of Md Reza Pahlavi (to fulfill the aspirations of the Iranian nation for independence (cultural, political, economic and most of all religious) and a more inclusive and representative form of government that the clerical class felt the need to involve itself in political matters. So you are right: it is a false trichotomy as the choice does not obtain: Khomeini was a creation and symptom of the clash of (imperial) modernity with traditional Iran. The nationalists and the puppet monarchy didn’t cut it, so the clergy had to take off the gloves.

    *

    paul says:
    January 16, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Spot on, as usual.

  369. fyi says:

    Empty says: January 16, 2012 at 11:47 am

    The concept of Trinity stood for the God, Man, Love.

    That is, the relationship between God (the Father) and Man (the Son) was mediated by Love (the Holy Ghost).

    It applies to all Men at all times – even in their state of Fall.

    Christians specialized it to apply only to Jesus, claiming that he was the exclusive “Son of God”.

  370. Binam says:

    Persian Gulf,

    “I guess is: he appeared again, with a little different style and you people again tried to topple him. alas, this time you guys failed. I think future historians will write about you guys,(I mean the internal ones in this case), as they currently write about the executors of 1953 coup.”

    And I mean this with utmost sincerity – please elaborate. How is he similar to Mossadegh? Most of what Mossadegh accomplished he did in 3 years or so. What has Ahmadinejad accomplished in the 6 years that he has been in power? What promises has he delivered on? Most importantly – what will be his legacy? What positive steps did he take for Iran and Iranians? How will history remember him?

    I’m all ears…

  371. settman says:

    william hague:

    “We have never ruled anything out. We have not ruled out any option, or supporting any option. We believe all options should be on the table, that is part of the pressure on Iran,” Hague told Sky News on Sunday.

    Britain and other Western states have stepped up sanctions over Iran following the release of a nuclear report by the International Atomic Energy Agency in November.

    The British official also admitted that imposing sanctions could not curb Iran’s peaceful nuclear program.

    “Sanctions policies do not always succeed,” Hague said. “But this is the best means we have of increasing the pressure.”
    ———————————————————————————–

    2 fundamental contradictary claims:

    1. If all options could be on the table for UK towards Iran. Does Hague then accept if all options are on the table for Iran towards the UK? Does Iran have the right to kill scientists belonging to the UK nuclear weapons program? Does Iran have the right to fly with drones over UK? Does Iran have the right to bomb and kill UK military leaders? Etc. Doesnt UK understand that the time of colonialism is over? That they cannot decide the politics of states thousands of miles from home?

    2. He admit that sanctions doesnt work (always) but then say its the best way.
    Sorry did I miss something? Have Iran changed its ways during the sanctioning? Did Saddam Hussein? Hague doesnt even know why he sanction Iran, Hague are so desperate that he cling fast unto sanctions thus lacking any logic whatsoever since sanctions DOES NOT change iranian behavior.
    UK total lack of knowledge of Iran and their total lack of knowledge of rationality is striking. Didnt brits learnt anything from their former warmaster tony blair?

    Anyone knows UK very much aim for warfare and the replacment of the Islamic republic of Iran.

  372. Empty says:

    Nothing is more amusing to me than the myths surrounding “secularism”, what “secular” really means, and specific political systems that are dubbed as “secular”. I have come to realize that most people bandy about or perhaps advocate (explicitly and implicitly) something that they have very little understanding of, or what it really means. Equally amusing is a prevalent perception that “secular” is in fact the political systems currently governing the US and many European countries.

    I am not talking about religious beliefs and opinions of specific people hired/assigned/elected for/to specific posts and positions (whatever those positions might be). No. I am actually talking about all socio-political systems and their sub-systems that form the foundation of a society from local neighborhoods to the highest national/international level. I am talking about the education system, the judicial system, the arts and humanities, the state and political systems, the medical system, and all other social systems that exist. I am talking about the fundamental principles based on which the rules and regulations of these systems are defined; how the relationships are defined; and these systems are designed to work no matter who is in a given position.

    The best way, and the least confusing way, is to always start with an examining of definitions and core principles. That is, to make explicit the hidden assumptions that lurk beneath these definitions and principles.

    Merriem Webster defines the word “secular” in several ways: 1) “of or relating to the worldly or temporal”; 2) “not overtly or specifically religious”; 3) “not ecclesiastical or clerical”; 4) “not bound by monastic vows or rules”; and 5) “of, relating to, or forming clergy not belonging to a religious order or congregation.” Before jumping too quickly into the discussion of “secular” political systems and evaluation of evidence about their “secularist” natures, I think it is important to deconstruct each definition and clarify its assumptions:

    Definition (1), “of or relating to the worldly or temporal,” tacitly assumes: a) there is something that is “of or relating to non-world or non-temporal” (whatever that means); and b) a solid separation between something that could be conceptually defined as “worldly or temporal” and something that could be conceptually defined as “everything else” or perhaps “non-worldly or non-temporal”. Again, whatever that means, I’ll leave for later.

    Definition (2), “not overtly or specifically religious,” what does it mean by “religious”? Is it what is conceived as Judaism? Christianity? Or, as the new versions go “Judo-Christianity”? Is it Islam? What does it mean by “overtly”? Could be “covertly”? Sort of like, we are not “overtly” in war with Iran but don’t mind to “covertly” assassinate, kill, undermine, impose blockades, etc.? What does it mean by “specifically”? So, secular could be defined as “generally” religious but not “specifically”? What are the “specifications” that need to be avoided? Thou shall not kill innocent people? Thou shall not lie? Thou shall not cheat? Thou shall not steal? Though shall not transgress? Thou shall be charitable? Thou shall be kind to your neighbor? Thou shall wipe tears and not shed bloods? Which one specifically?

    Definition (3), “not ecclesiastical or clerical, appropriate to a church or to use in a church”, in which it further defines “ecclesiastical” as “Of or relating to a church, especially as an organized institution.” So, it should not relate to church or organized institution. Keep this “organized institution” in mind. We’ll come back to this.

    Definition ( 4), “not bound by monastic vows or rules”. So, something that does not, I repeat does NOT, relate to monks, nuns, or others living under religious vows, or the buildings in which they live. Again, M.W.’s definition and not mine.

    Definition (5), “of, relating to, or forming clergy not belonging to a religious order or congregation.” Not clear what it means by “religious” order as the definition of what constitutes “religious” is murky and unclear.

    The US and the Europeans societies have more or less identified with Judaism (mostly drawing from what they identify as the old testament ) and Christianity (mostly drawing from what they identify as the new testament), and the churches as the “institutions” and most recently synagogues rearing their heads. As a side note, I must say that many who begin to explore the roots of these two religions also begin to obscure from their own views the sight of the actual jungle for the numerous trees they begin to discover. In our exploration of the “mechanics” of the evolution of any concept, it is extremely important not to lose the sight of the transformation of the “nature” of the core principles that underlie any religious belief.

    Three core principles underlie the religious belief system that has come to be known as Judaism/Christianity with old/new testament as its cookbook for social recipes. First is the concept of duality. This abstract thought has manifested itself in the form of “good-evil”/ “heaven-hell” in the book. This “either-or” concept, a false dichotomy in my view, is programmed solidly in every system, every institution, and every policy that the western nations have created in the past two- to three-hundred years. It’s rather ironic that the most solid infiltration of this concept has come under the rubric of “secularism” and so-called “enlightenment”.

    Without going into too much details, I’d like to provide a handful of examples in various social institutions (supposedly secular) currently in place: In educational system: Pass-Fail (applied to education and learning); reward-punish; hire-fire (applied to teachers, faculty, administrators); fund-defund (applied to school systems, universities, educational institutes); A-F (grading system). In states/governments: Remember the carrots-sticks approach with people and nations? In sports and games, win-lose? In nearly all social events, programs, movies, ratings, etc.: thumb up-thumb down. In all institutions and organizations: promote-demote.

    In fact, can anyone review his/her life and find that this method, this mindset, this principle has not been in one way or another the most prominent and overarching “feedback” that he or she has received to the age that they are now? I would love to see specific examples and a brief description of how it has worked. Remember that in a river of society, any pockets of people that appear to go the opposing direction of the river are inevitably still moving in the same direction of the river.

    Second is the concept of trinity in which the actual Unity (or as we say “Towheed”) was broken down into the three concepts of god (the father), Jesus (the son), and the holy spirit (the go-between). Once this is broken down, it becomes more malleable and more prone to manipulation. [In foreign and domestic policies, Brits are the master of this divide and rule thing!] I am not going to go into the details of this concept/doctrine but to use the most prevalent description to find “secular” parallels that may exist. Here is what is said about the trinity: The father creates (Isaiah 44:24), the son redeems (Gal. 3:13), and the holy spirit sanctifies (Rom. 15:16). In this sense therefore, the legislative branch (the father) creates, the judiciary branch (holy spirit) sanctifies, and the son (black or white executive) redeems. So, buy the father, you would, in essence, be able to determine “that which is created”. Buy the son, you would have a “fall guy” (pun very much intended) to compensate your poor performance; and buy the holy spirit (judiciary) to legitimate your poor deeds and performance.

    Third is the concept of “confession”. While this is intimately linked to the 2nd concept, it is also, by far, the most loved one by the “seculars”. The confessionals are now the books that publish autobiographies, psychiatrists’ chairs/benches, live TV shows, just to name a few. This is just the question of geography. Everyone is confessing to their own and everyone else’s sins and thank god that the “holy ghosts” of the national/international scenes have no aversion to bribery, coercion, and the like.

    If we link back the operationalization of these principles to the definitions outlined above, we safely arrive at the clear image of these “secular” systems to be very much modeled in an extremely religious fashion in all areas except in: killing the innocent, cheating, lying, stealing, aggression, humiliation, bribing, oppressing, abusing power, bullying; excesses in eating, drinking, and sex; deception; abandonment of responsibilities to oneself, to one’s neighbor and brother/sister, to one’s society; an over pampering of egos and inflated concept of self; a deep feeling of entitlement. And at the end, confessing (when caught, of course) with the full expectation to be forgiven.

    This is, in a nutshell, the so-called “secular” society that some very much like to shove up the rear end of the Muslim people. Fortunately, not all Muslims are just as delusional as their “enlightened” western counterparts. Meanwhile, feel free to reward those who are deluded. God forbids if you were to spend a bit of that money to educate your young minds so that they do not get so trapped into the false emotional dichotomies and the organic cages of their amygdalins.

    For those who might be interested, the counter-doctrine to “duality” in Quran appears to be the concepts of “Ijtehad” and “Taqwa”. The counter-doctrine to “trinity” is “Towheed”. The counter-concept to “confession” is “Tu’beh” in absolute privacy with God and absolutely no intermediary. “Haq” [truth/justice] appears to be the glue that binds.

  373. Rehmat says:
    January 16, 2012 at 9:21 am
    “The ‘Champ’ turns 70″

    Rehmat,

    After an 8-month low-budget trip around the world in 1976, I drew four certain conclusions from what I’d seen. I won’t bore you and others with three of them, but the fourth is relevant here:

    Beyond doubt (at least in 1976), the most well-known and well-liked human being on the planet was Muhammad Ali.

    And this was after his fighting career had ended.

  374. Pirouz,

    Off-topic: Looks like Ross Mirkarimi is not starting his career as San Francisco’s sheriff with quite the flourish he’d probably had in mind.

  375. Rd. says:

    An encouraging perspective on limited chances of war, but continued statement. Only the regional powers have the ability to bring an end to this state of

    “As a result, rather than a military conflict between the US, the EU3, Israel and Iran, a sustained escalation of tensions, military confrontations and proxy wars are likely to ensue between Iran, its allies and the rest of the region. In the end, it is up to Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the emirates and other regional actors to allow this second scenario materialize. “

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-268714-the-so-called-iranian-nuclear-threat-by-mehmet-kalyoncu*.html

  376. Rd. says:

    fyi says:

    All:

    Ambassador Temel İskit views:

    =======================

    are these signs that the Turks are struggling to decide to turn left or right?

  377. fyi says:

    Persian Gulf says: January 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

    The Oil Nationalization Movement was an emotional one since Iranians – at that time – could not operate that industry.

    Even now, it is perhaps more efficient to privatize the oil extraction and distribution industries and invite foreign and domestic bidders.

    One flaw of the late Dr. Mossadeq was his inflexibility and over-reliance on his own counsel.

    But the fact remains that US destroyed Iranian independence and democracy while he was Prime Minister but US failed to do so during the Presidency of Dr. Ahmadinejad.

    In American parlance: “You cannot arge with success.”

  378. fyi says:

    paul says: January 16, 2012 at 8:37 am

    The way many Iranians speak of Mullahs is the way Mr. Canning speakso of Jews in US; a group of alien people who have crawled out of nowhere (or landed – aliens perhaps?) and taken power illegitimately from the wider body politic.

    This is absolute rubbish and a lie; in both cases (mullahs in Iran and Jews in US) these groups are part and parcel of their societies.

    Mullahs play overlapping roles with US lawyers in Iran.

  379. Persian Gulf says:

    Binam:

    I don’t want to compare Ahmadinejad with Mossadaq for an obvious reason that Mahmood is way more intelligent than what Mossadeq was at his time, but the answer for this sentence of you:

    “Before the next Mossadegh comes we have to make sure to fight all ideologues who would oppose his rise to power.”

    I guess is: he appeared again, with a little different style and you people again tried to topple him. alas, this time you guys failed. I think future historians will write about you guys,(I mean the internal ones in this case), as they currently write about the executors of 1953 coup.

  380. Rehmat says:

    Binam – It all depends how one like to interpret “intervention” in foreign countries. If means supporting anti-imperialist forces – then Iran has been doing that in Iraq, Palestine, Lebanon, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Venezuela, Philippines, etc. – as part of its government’s duty under Constitution.

    On the other hand, if “intervention” mean regime change – then Iran is not involved in any foreign country. However, the US and Israel have done that in over a dozen countries in the past and are actively pursuing the same in Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Venezuela, Cuba, Nigeria and several other countries. America also have military presence in over 145 foreign countries.

  381. Binam says:

    Paul,

    The “we” was used in a conversation between two Iranians. A conversation in which I explicitly said “without foreign intervention.” You forgot the American-backed Taliban in your list! But let’s be real here, if Iran had the means and resources to meddle in the affairs of other countries it would. So far it’s sphere of influence is limited to occupied Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. In today’s co-dependent world where countries are interconnected socially, economically and to an extend politically, you can’t have full independence.

    As for your state of the Union – well that’s democracy for you. It’s basically the best democracy you can get with a country of 350 million people. You just gotta find ways to have your voice heard without sounding like a conspiracy theorist. You gotta live with it and take advantage with freedoms/platforms you do have that would otherwise not be available to you in other countries (like my classic argument that Iranian version of the Leveretts would be in jail right now).

    Z.P.

    You may be right. But the more I read about the events of 1953, the harder it becomes to make up my mind about it. I am just confident that the Americans and the British were not the only culprits behind the coup and even if they left Iran alone, either the Russian, the tudeh party, the mullahs (under Kashani) or the military generals and Shah royalists would have in fact either toppled Mossadegh or assassinated him… (Islamists by that point already had committed various such assassinations). Furthermore, if we are to condemn Israeli Jews for always playing the holocaust victim card – we should stop ourselves from playing the tired foreign-plot victim card (dayi jaan napeloni!). It gets us nowhere… Half the people who post here are great admirers of dayi jaan napelon!

  382. paul says:

    Notice that Binam declares that “we” should force out the mullahs in Iran. What “we” is this? The US has no place telling the people of Iran who should govern them, but we use a wide range of clubs to do this, or try to do this, to every single country in the world. Even Russia!! Yes, WE FINANCE AND CONTROL THE OPPOSITION IN RUSSIA! And we foment dissent to try to overthrow or pressure Putin. We were almost certainly involved in supporting the Chechen war too. If they do it to Russia, that means they do it to every other country, and they don’t just stop at covert operations. They also deploy economic war, and as Saddam and Gaddafi saw, overt hot war too. ALL THIS IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE TO SELF DETERMINATION. Every single American knows this. When the US dictates to other countries, we are taking away their democracy. But then again, Americans who are paying any attention know that at this point we have no democracy at home. The media are controlled by a few interconnected corporations. The pols are controlled by corporate money, in various forms, without which they can’t credibly run for office. Elections are rigged in a thousand ways, from obstructive regulations to electronic voting machines and tabulators that are designed to be easily hackable. At this point the vast majority of Americans no longer consider the government to be legitimate, but they can do nothing about it.

    So who are we to ‘export democracy’ anyway?

  383. Z.P. says:

    @Binam: I can agree with your opinion about the actual “desaster” with Khamenei. But where I can`t agree is with “Mossadegh came a few decades too early. He was way ahead of his time. If the British or the Americans didn’t topple him, the mullahs, the royalists or the communists would have.”
    Mossadegh was not way ahead of his time, he only played a very intelligent game but would have been stopped from his own corner because of his ever authoritarian behavior in the last stage of his MP, or from his own military because of the drastic budget cut. I`m not even sure if the mullahs really would have toppled him because at this stage they were not as strong as 10 years later.

  384. Binam says:

    Castellio,

    “We must choose what comes after Khamenei. Well, I don’t choose a foreign imposed seige or bombardment.”

    I couldn’t agree more. I would go a step further and suggest we must FORCE OUT Khamenei. But without foreign intervention. I couldn’t be any more strongly opposed to a war with Iran as I am sure you – and I concede – most people on this panel are. But I guess we have a difference of reasoning. Aside from the human tragedy and the destruction that it will bring to our country a war would strengthen the hardliners and extreme-right elements of the current regime. The very people the Leveretts have time and again defended and have never criticized. The way I see it the Leveretts are teaming up with the IRGC guards and pushing everything towards a full confrontation. Never trust a former CIA agent.

    Mossadegh came a few decades too early. He was way ahead of his time. If the British or the Americans didn’t topple him, the mullahs, the royalists or the communists would have. Before the next Mossadegh comes we have to make sure to fight all ideologues who would oppose his rise to power. Heck the next Mossadegh could very well be in Evin as we speak…

  385. Castellio says:

    The “forgotten Fatwa” (nice title) now has its own thread over at:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/01/the-forgotten-fatwa.html

  386. Castellio says:

    Binam, given the choice between Mosadeq, the Shah, or Khamenei, I would immediately choose Mossadeq. But that’s not a choice we can make, is it? We must choose what comes after Khamenei. Well, I don’t choose a foreign imposed seige or bombardment.

    And I am against the forces in my society that privilege the misrepresentations, easy talk, and collective punishment of others.

    I don’t think I am blind to the crimes (and limitations) of the Islamic Republic.

  387. masoud says:

    Things are starting off oddly this week. Yet another hiccup in the matrix:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/16/opinion/preventing-a-nuclear-iran-peacefully.html

  388. masoud says:

    Binam says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:58 am

    I was kind of disappointed that ‘a truly Islamic people’ had no relevant hits on google. But I think I’m going to stick to my guns until the big man clears it up himself.

    Whatever he said, Congratulations to the cast and crew!

  389. Binam says:

    Actually people are saying he said “peace-loving people” which would make more sense than either one of our interpretations. That’s what Amanpour quoted him as saying on her twitter.

  390. masoud says:

    After listening to it ten times it almost sounds like what your interpretation is. I still think what I originally heard was what he said. If it counts for anything, his grammar was flawless, and I think the grammatical context supports my interpretation more than it does yours.
    I think it’s funny how much his short speech has turned out to be like his movie, people painting on to it what they want to hear.

  391. Binam says:

    Not sure what I conceded – but sure.

    This video might be better:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6zP1xCFeUM

    He says “I think they are truly this loving people.” Blame it on his accent.

  392. masoud says:

    Binam says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:31 am,

    That’s very kind of you to concede. I wonder whether Sassan would concur. On the subject of what Mr. Farhadi said, could you kindly tell me what you hear at time index 1:16?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJF1VChLG9Y&feature=share

  393. masoud says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:27 am,

    I never claimed it would cure cancer. But as far as ‘just a movie’ goes, maybe it’s been too long since you’ve walked into a theater in North America and had to choose between ‘Transformers 3′ and ‘The Hangover 2′.

  394. Binam says:

    masoud jaan!

    Pay close attention before you go on your tired racist Aryan motherland rant! Farhadi does not say “Islamic people” he says “this loving people.” So first get your quotes right. Second, you should know that Iranians by now have an Islamic-Iranian identity. Even a secular atheist like me.

  395. Persian Gulf says:

    masoud says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:21 am

    common on, it’s just a movie.

    it’s your choice. you might have different taste. I watched it in Tehran with my family and we liked it. I barely watch Iranian movie. this was one in months, a good one though.

  396. masoud says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:17 am,

    I am not a Persian movie buff, but I have seen ‘A Separation’. I can’t say enough good things about it.

  397. masoud says:

    Binam says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Binam, you and yours should check out Persian Gulf’s link to the Golden Globe ceremonies before you praise Mr. Farhadi. He dared to impugn the reputation of our Aryan homeland by calling us ‘Islamic’. Everyone knows that is truly a lie, and that in reality we are a Zarathrustian people who have been oppressed into worshiping the Arabs!

  398. Persian Gulf says:

    masoud says:
    January 16, 2012 at 12:12 am

    I couldn’t care less about who he personally is. have you seen the movie?

  399. Persian Gulf says:

    fyi says:
    January 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    totally agreed. a fearful is gonna die. if the war is necessary, it shouldn’t be turned down. the worst thing for Iran now would be back off just b/c a war might erupt.

  400. masoud says:

    Persian Gulf says:
    January 15, 2012 at 11:51 pm,

    Asgar Farhadi is a real class act. I can’t say enough good things about A Separation .

  401. Binam says:

    Castellio,

    “When the bodies of dead Iranians begin to line the street, what will Pak, Binam and Sassan do? Emulate the marines? Perhaps. They speak of those who might have been their compatriots, in the case of Sassan at least, with open revulsion and contempt.”

    As I recall bodies of dead Iranians did in fact line the streets in 2009. I guess those dead Iranians didn’t count for you as you and others here cursed the likes of me and Pak for daring to cry foul. I’m glad you’ve since come around and are now against the idea of dead Iranians – from whatever background. Unless in your book the only people who have the right to kill Iranians are the hardliners in power.

    Let us all for now take a moment to celebrate Asghar Farhadi’s win at the Golden Globes. Even though in your guys’ book he too is probably a paid agent of CIA and a supporter of sedition. After all he’s not a government sanctioned filmmaker.

    Here’s to “A Separation” that unites…

  402. Pirouz,

    “It really pains me to say war appears likely.”

    Virtually everyone predicted the war rhetoric would be ratcheted up during the election campaign, which is happening. I suspect you made the same prediction. If so, at the time you made that prediction, did you think the chances of war actually happening were lower than you now think they are? Based on your comment, I’ll venture a guess the answer is “yes.”

    If so, has anything really happened that warrants your having boosted the odds of war actually happening? Or is it merely the materialization of the ratcheting-up you predicted long ago?

  403. fyi says:

    Pirouz says: January 15, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Sometimes you have to give war a chance.

    It might yet turn out like the Israeli War against Lebanon in 2006.

    One could only hope…

  404. Pirouz,

    “Eric, the Iranians are convinced an attack is coming within the next eighteen months, or alternatively an effective blockade puts them in the position of initiating strikes at energy corridors in their region.”

    I’m trying to recall the last time a US president launched a new war during an election year — no luck so far. After that, my crystal ball gets blurry.

    On the other hand, if we don’t limit our definition of “attack” to traditional war-starting events, it may be that we won’t even notice when it happens — in fact, it’s probably been going on for some time already.

  405. Pirouz says:

    Eric A. Brill says:
    January 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Eric, the Iranians are convinced an attack is coming within the next eighteen months, or alternatively an effective blockade puts them in the position of initiating strikes at energy corridors in their region.

    It really pains me to say war appears likely.

  406. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Congrats to Iran for winning a Golden Globe (A Separation). Politically motivated (for subject matter)?

  407. Karl asked James,

    “[If you approve of Iran enriching to 3.5-5%], why do you deny Iran the right to enrich according to the full spectrum, that is up to at least 20%?”

    I was about to ask you essentially the same question. Presumably you think it’s OK for Iran to enrich up to 3.5%-5% because that is the percentage needed to operate a nuclear power plant. If 20% is the percentage needed to operate the TRR, why do you not approve of that too? Why do you find that provocative? The only possible distinction I can see is that it’s enriching excessive amounts of 20% uranium, which brings us right back to the question I’ve asked several times: What persuades you that that is what’s happening?

  408. fyi says:

    Castellio says: January 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    And I suppose the 9/11/2011 attacks were orchestrated by US Government, or was it the Trilateral Comission, or FEMA.

    Dr. Sadjadpour clearly has much to learn.

  409. Castellio says:

    Your writing on the election results have proved useful, and sometimes pivotal, in discussions with those willing to question the American MSM. Thank you for that, and thank you for your response.

    Best with your writing.

  410. Castellio,

    I have been doing some new writing, though not on the subject of potential deals between Iran and the US. Frankly, it baffles me that people think any deal at all between Iran and the US is possible, much less a deal that Iran would find attractive.

    As I’ve written before, I do think Iran should make some efforts to affect US public opinion — not because I think it could ever be successful enough at that that a deal with the US could be reached, but merely because it could be successful enough to slow down the US march toward war. That’s all Iran can hope for, given the virulently anti-Iran sentiment in the US, but that may be good enough if my “rope a dope” strategy turns out to be the right approach. That plan calls for Iran merely to keep the US at bay, and especially to keep the war-mongers from persuading the rest of Americans to pull the trigger, until the relative strengths of the US, on the one hand, and Iran and its new best friends (whomever they turn out to be), on the other hand, have shifted enough in Iran’s favor that the threat of a US attack is no longer a serious worry. That will take a good long while, and I can’t imagine any meaningful Iran-US deal being struck in the meantime.

  411. Castellio says:

    Eric, have you considered UU’s suggestion?

    He claims, correctly, that we need another stepping stone in the waters of ignorance, this in regard to Iran’s history of offers to deal directly with the US,

  412. Castellio says:

    Just for the record, and to clarify the originality and motivation of certain occasional visitors to this site:

    http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2012/01/dumbest-israeli-propaganda-i-have-read.html

    “”For instance, Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said he believed that at least some of the murdered scientists might have been killed by the Iranian government. Some of them had shown sympathy for the Iranian opposition, he said, and not all appeared to have been high-ranking experts. “I think there is reason to doubt the idea that all the hits have been carried out by Israel,” Mr. Sadjadpour said. “It’s very puzzling that Iranian nuclear scientists, whose movements are likely carefully monitored by the state, can be executed in broad daylight, sometimes in rush-hour traffic, and their culprits never found.”” Gary Sick on Charlie Rose responded to this dumb Mossad propaganda line being circulated. David Ignatius parroted the same line and attributed it to an “Iranian student” leader, I presume. So the Iranian government selected scientists who are sympathetic to the opposition and made them work on its most secret program? Oh, and after it permitted them to work on the top secret program, it decided to kill them? I mean, how dumb is this Israeli propaganda?”

  413. James wrote to Karl,

    “Karl,
    Is your position the P5+1 should say, Iran, go ahead and enrich enough U for fifty nukes. Or maybe 100. None of our business?”

    James,

    As I’ve written now numerous times, I’m probably closer to your position on this than are some others. I do agree that Iran should not enrich to 20% more than what it needs for the TRR. Where we differ, though, is on whether that’s happening. I give Iran a very, very large benefit of the doubt on how much it needs, since it can’t count on getting 20% fuel from anyone but itself. I still haven’t seen any reason to think Iran is producing more than it needs, and remain baffled at how easily you seem to be convinced that it is.

    I found some Heinonen statement that Iran is enriching more 20% fuel than is required for its “civilian needs” but, frankly, I don’t know what that statement means; Heinonen didn’t mention any numbers at all in that article.

    I also am aware of Ahmadinejad’s statement that it doesn’t make economic sense for Iran to be enriching to 20%, but I don’t know how you get from that statement to your conclusion. Without knowing the context of Ahmadinejad’s statement, I can speculate that he might have meant several different things by it. For example, he might have thought it wiser for Iran to buy 20% fuel from other countries. If so, that’s exactly what Iran offered to do back in early 2009, and it was jerked around by the US and European countries. As a result, it had no choice but to make the stuff itself. I don’t understand how you can fault Iran for that. Nor do I understand why you accept what appear to be nothing but vague and unsubstantiated statements that Iran is making too much 20% fuel, and thus must be trying to provoke the US. If you really believe that, exactly why do you believe it?

  414. Fiorangela: “RSH, so is Germany going to block Siemens sales to Iran?”

    Who knows? What I do know is that Germany will support the U.S. in a war with Iran.

    There comes a time when you fish or cut bait. The UK, France, Germany, they can all clearly see the goal here: the U.S. and Israel attacks Iran. Full stop. So if these countries keep supporting the run up to the war, they are complicit in the war.

    It’s pointless to suggest, as Canning does, that the UK doesn’t want war with Iran. They do. Full stop. And so does France and Germany. The other EU countries are too small to matter.

    It’s not just the U.S. that is corrupt to the bottom, it’s the entire West. In fact, it’s all nations, including Iran. But it’s the corrupt nations with the power to initiate wars that are the problem. And that includes all of the U.S., Israel, the UK, France and Germany.

    They all have people who stand to profit from this war and therefore the war is inevitable.

  415. BiBiJon: “Israel, U.S. postpone joint anti-missile exercise”

    “Sources in both countries said that the exercise, the largest of its kind, would be delayed from its planned spring date until the summer at the earliest.”

    Summer would make sense to me, because trying to start the Syria war in the next three or four months seems to be pushing it for me.

    They need to ratchet up the situation in Syria, then spend some time going through the motions at the UN Security Council, then in the General Assembly, to get authorization. And then if they don’t get it, they have to spend more time justifying the attack.

    They need more time. They can’t have all those troops just standing around under the cover of a “war game” for months on end.

    So they pushed it back. Makes perfect sense to me.

    There’s also the U.S. elections which are involved in the timing. They need to attack Syria to give Obama some “war cred” that he can use against the Republicans, among other things. So it has to be timed right so that if it goes sour he doesn’t get blamed before the elections are held.

    The question is whether Israel would like Obama canned in order to get in some crazy Republican. The problem for Israel is they can’t be seen to be involved in overthrowing Assad, otherwise Syria will unite behind him. So they really can’t start anything. But Netanyahu might consider attacking Hizballah first, and then force the U.S. and EU to attack Syria to cover Israel’s attack, citing the situation in Syria as justification. But this seems really risky, when all Netanyahu has to do is wait until the U.S. and EU have ramped up the Syrian situation enough to justify an attack. So I don’t anticipate that approach.

    “Reasons for the postponement principally had to do with budget cuts in Israel, an Israeli official said.”

    Very, very doubtful that was the reason.

  416. More provocations…

    EXCLUSIVE: U.S. harassed by Iranian boats
    http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/01/13/exclusive-u-s-harassed-by-iranian-ships/?hpt=hp_t3

    First you tell the public Iran is harassing U.S. ships…then you have a U.S. ship get attacked by “someone”…

    I wonder whether those guys who suggested the Vincennes is being set up are right. This article would seem to be clear propaganda for precisely a “false flag” operation.

  417. Rd. says:

    “Stop the violence,” Ban said yesterday at a conference in Beirut, Lebanon. “Stop killing your people. The path of repression is a dead end. The winds of change will not cease to blow.”

    Ban Ki-Moon’s (last gasp) announcement comes at the heels of his meeting with Davutoğlu.

    Davutoğlu offered his views ……..

    “If this [amnesty] is applied sincerely, we will evaluate it accordingly, but our experience says such great pledges usually go unfulfilled,” he added, while at the same time hinting that the move might be a strategy “to gain more time.”

    During his stay in Lebanon, Davutoğlu also held a meeting with Lebanon-based Hezbollah’s parliamentary group chairperson Mohammad Raad on Saturday, as developments in Syria dominated the leaders’ gathering. Davutoğlu stressed again that a clash among sects should be avoided vehemently and that everybody should seek an end to the bloodshed in Syria.

    ===========================

    As an Azari, I sure do hope that thick Turkish skull of Erdogan is finally cracking up and realizing zero problems with your neighbors, means zero problems. And those neighbor’s are Syria, Iraq and Iran..

    IF there is a sense of change in Turkish stand, one wonders if this change had anything to do with the Israeli budgetary problems!!!!!

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-268645-davutoglu-offers-turkish-perspective-on-arab-spring-in-un-address.html

  418. Syria and Iran: The Great Game
    Regime change in Syria is a strategic prize that outstrips Libya – which is why Saudi Arabia and the west are playing their part
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30248.htm

    Quotes

    This summer a senior Saudi official told John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former chief of staff, that from the outset of the upheaval in Syria, the king has believed that regime change would be highly beneficial to Saudi interests: “The king knows that other than the collapse of the Islamic Republic itself, nothing would weaken Iran more than losing Syria.”

    The origins of the “lose Assad” operation preceded the Arab awakening: they reach back to Israel’s failure in its 2006 war to seriously damage Hezbollah, and the post-conflict US assessment that it was Syria that represented Hezbollah’s achilles heel – as the vulnerable conduit linking Hezbollah to Iran. US officials speculated as to what might be done to block this vital corridor, but it was Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia who surprised them by saying that the solution was to harness Islamic forces. The Americans were intrigued, but could not deal with such people. Leave that to me, Bandar retorted. Hannah noted that “Bandar working without reference to US interests is clearly cause for concern. But Bandar working as a partner … against a common Iranian enemy is a major strategic asset.” Bandar got the job.

    The transitional council model, which in Libya has displayed the weakness of leveraging just one faction as the government-in-waiting, is more starkly defective in Syria. Syria’s opposition council, put together by Turkey, France and Qatar, is caught out by the fact that the Syrian security structures have remained near rock solid through seven months – defections have been negligible – and Assad’s popular support base are intact. Only external intervention could change that equation, but for the opposition to call for it would be political suicide, and they know it.

    The internal opposition gathering in Istanbul demanded a statement refusing external intervention and armed action, but the Syrian national council was announced even before the intra-opposition talks had reached any agreement – such was the hurry on the part of external parties.

    The external opposition continues to fudge its stance on external intervention, and with good reason: the internal opposition rejects it. This is the flaw to the model – for the majority in Syria deeply oppose external intervention, fearing civil conflict. Hence Syrians face a long period of externally mounted insurgency, siege and international attrition. Both sides will pay in blood.

    But the real danger, as Hannah himself noted, is that the Saudis might “once again fire up the old Sunni jihadist network and point it in the general direction of Shiite Iran”, which puts Syria first in line. In fact, that is exactly what is happening, but the west, as before in Afghanistan, prefers not to notice – so long as the drama plays well to western audiences.

    As Foreign Affairs reported last month, Saudi and its Gulf allies are firing up the radical Salafists (fundamentalist Sunnis), not only to weaken Iran, but to do what they see is necessary to survive – to disrupt and emasculate the awakenings that threaten absolute monarchism. This is happening in Syria, Libya, Egypt Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

    End Quotes

  419. Quiet U.S. Middle East Military Build Up
    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/?p=41367

    To paraphrase Everett Dirksen, 10,000 troops here, 100,000 there – pretty soon you’re talking about a real invasion of Iran…

  420. Fiorangela says:

    RSH, so is Germany going to block Siemens sales to Iran?

  421. Fiorangela says:

    Based on Richard Land’s comments about a meeting of evangelical leaders & influence peddlars at a Texas ranch to come to a consensus candidate, Sheldon Adelson bet on the wrong horse; the evangelicals picked Santorum to win, by a long nose.

    Coming out of the Republican Jewish Coalition meet-n-grovel, Gingrich seemed to have the edge, and Santorum was scarcely mentioned. Indeed, as Richard Land said in the comments mentioned above, evangelicals are swooning over every aspect of Santorum — he hates gays, loves foetuses more than living, breathing human beings, is a “devout Catholic” and consistent in his views (Santorum may have invented the term Islamofascism, in his election campaign in 2006; he’s still using it as a whipping boy; that’s consistency). But, laments Land, Santorum has no money. That may change with a positive outcome for Ricky in South Carolina, hopes Land.

    I do too. I hope Adelson is forced to see his $5 million gift to Gingrich as lost money, and that he feels compelled to double down on Santorum. The higher Santorum gets, the harder the fall. And he WILL fall. Catholics are stupid, weak, and divided, but I don’t think they’ll support a Santorum presidency. He’s too full of hate.

  422. Another article on Patrushev’s remarks… Basically a rehash of other articles quoting the head of Russia’s Security Council.

    Putin Confidant: Israel Will Push U.S. Into Iran Attack
    http://www.infowars.com/putin-confidant-israel-will-push-u-s-into-iran-attack/

  423. ‘Obama ready to give Iran strike order’
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221208.html

    Of course, this comes from Joe Lieberman, so…

  424. And the Germans aren’t any better…

    Quote

    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the new sanctions would help to choke off funding to Iran’s nuclear program.

    “Even just the option of nuclear armament by Iran would have far-reaching negative consequences far beyond the Gulf region, so it is not acceptable,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was quoted as saying in a weekend interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper.

    “So, with new sanctions that we want to approve this month, we are now targeting the heart of the Iranian nuclear program: its oil and, with that, its sources of financing,” he added. “But the door to dialogue with Iran remains open at the same time.”

    Westerwelle also dismissed discussion of possible military action if Iran continue to defy international demands to halt its weapons work. “We should not further charge an already tense situation in a turbulent region,” he was quoted as saying.

    End Quote

    Sure, you want to choke Iran’s economy to death, but no military action… Right, we believe you…

    Note that Germany explicitly says that even having “breakout capability” will never be allowed to Iran – which means by definition NO enrichment whatsoever will be allowed.

    And how does Germany expect to achieve this without military action?

    Anyone who believes these diplomats are speaking truth is a complete witless idiot.

  425. Vague Hague again contradicting himself in the same sentence…

    “We have never ruled anything out. We have not ruled out any option, or supporting any option. We believe all options should be on the table, that is part of the pressure on Iran, but we are clearly not calling for or advocating military action,” Hague said.”

    Well, which is it, ALL options or ALL options minus military attack? Make up your friggin’ mind!

    See, this is why Canning’s defense of Hague is just stupid. Hague is a nobody whose opinion no one cares about, either in the U.S. or Israel or France or Germany or Saudi Arabia. He can’t even make a coherent statement.

  426. UK: Europe Will Adopt Sanctions on Iranian Oil
    http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/uk-europe-adopt-sanctions-iranian-oil-15364805

    Apparently it’s decided, according to the UK anyway.

  427. Iran warns of consequences if Arabs back oil sanctions
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/15/iran-idUSL6E8CF0CS20120115

    Iran is now warning the Arab countries not to replace Iranian oil taken off the market by oil sanctions.

    General Dempsey is going to Israel to try to persuade Israel not to attack Iran. Personally I doubt that is his purpose. I think his purpose is to coordinate with Israel the attack on Syria and Lebanon. I suspect most of these official visits in recent months have been for that purpose, NOT what has been alleged is “begging” Israel not to attack Iran – or at least begging Israel to coordinate so the U.S. isn’t taken by surprise.

    China is in Saudi Arabia right now trying to make oil deals to offset the loss of Iranian oil. That’s not surprising and is probably why Iran made its threats – to coerce China to keep buying from Iran and not Saudi Arabia.

  428. Rehmat says:

    James Canning – Iran has not attacked its neighbors for over 150 years. Even if it has nukes, it would not attack Israel as Ehud Barak admitted last year. Tehran will keep providing moral and financial help to Palestinians against Israel as long as they need it.

    Here is the Israel-Palestinian solution from two of my Jewish bloggers pals.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/palestine-the-third-option/

  429. Karl: How should one read this?

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-and-u-s-postpone-massive-defense-drill-in-fear-of-escalation-with-iran-1.407466

    1. US and Israel prepare an attack and will have to use all its soldiers for this.
    2. US and Israel recognize that Iran wont back off, signing off the wargames to ease tensions.”

    I read it as strictly an issue of timing. The games have been postponed until later in the year. To me, this indicates that the Syrian situation has not progressed enough to make it feasible to initiate the Syrian war – yet. There are too few armed combatants on the dissident side to make it feasible to hold them up as a replacement for the Syrian military. The U.S. and EU need a few months more to push the Syria file to the UN and either get a General Assembly resolution authorizing an attack (under the guise of a “no-fly” zone) or to organize to go it alone. They know they won’t get Russia to not veto such a resolution in the UNSC.

    Also, the U.S. and EU may be pondering Russia’s direct warning that an attack on Iran would be considered a threat to Russian security.

    Whatever is going on, it doesn’t change the actual strategic calculus: Israel and the U.S. want a war with Iran and Israel won’t initiate it while Hizballah is still in business, which means Syria has to go first. And if Syria has to go, then the U.S. and EU have to be involved, and Israel wants protection from Syria’s and Hizballah’s missiles – which is what the “war games” are supposed to provide.

    So unless Israel and the U.S. have decided to call the whole thing off as a stalemate, things will continue to heat up. We just don’t know what they regard as feasible timing.

  430. James Canning says:

    Max Boot, an advisor to Mitt Romney, in a January 2012 piece entitled “Slashing America’s defenses: a suicidal trajectory”, claimed that reducing the growth of military spending would damage the US more than al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Amazing.

  431. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Tell me again your proposal to resolve Israel?Palestine. Have Iran get nukes and threaten nuclear war if the Jews do not leave Israel?

  432. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Surely you are aware that Jews provide half of all campaign funding for Democrats in national elections. There is nothing “anti-Semitic” about noting the importance of money in US politics.

  433. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    My “agenda” is seeking a resolution of the Israel/Palestine problem. And getting rid of Israel’s nukes. And getting rid of North Korea’s nukes.

  434. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    In case you have not noticed, Newt Gingrich claims the Palestinians are an “invented people” and that the Palestinian authority has “a tremendous desire to destroy Israel.” Gingrich got $5 million recently from Sheldon Adelson, whose agenda is to protect Israel.

    I think most American Jews in fact do not approve of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians.

  435. Fiorangela says:

    Gentlepersons -

    Should 20% of Palestinians be permitted to return to 20% of their homes in exchange for Iran allowing 20% of its young scientists to be killed and 80% of its economy to be ruined and 20% of its future delayed for 20 more years?

    /snark

    Richard Land — on Rick Santorum — “he is squeaky clean morally and a devout Catholic that evangelicals totally embrace” — “a majority of Americans now describe themselves as pro-life; pro-life is the defining issue of United States culture . . .”Romney is (thought by some to be) not Mormon enough . . .social conservatives see heterosexual marriage and the life issue as defining issues for evangelicals . . .” “Being pro-life and pro-marriage is not enough for social conservatives; they have to have some street cred; some expertise on the economy . . .” Social conservatives believe in “American exceptionalism, that America has a special role to play as defender of freedom and defender of human rights throughout the world.” (with some minor exceptions — the Middle East, China, Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Syria, Russia, Balkans, Africa, Sudan, Viet Nam, North Korea, Turkey-depending upon whether or not it submits to US perquisites, etc.)

    Social conservatives are also pro-war and pro-killing people “over there” so we don’t have to kill ‘em over here. That’s a big plus for an evangelical Christian social conservative. Although, as protections of for US citizens against acts of their government are increasingly eroded, no doubt social conservatives will soon have to change their platform to endorse killing ‘em over there AND over here.
    Also, unquestioning support for Israel is the sine qua non of social conservatism.

    What’s astonishing about evangelicals’ support for Israel — Israel is pro-gay and Jewish/Israelis are probably at the vanguard of abortion rights. Israel is a socialist society — Ephraim Sneh, who earned a standing ovation when he told an AIPAC audience that Iran’s leaders should be forced to worry about their 70 million people starving, splits his passion equally between hatred of Iran and advocacy for Israel’s increasing socialization. Israel has socialized health care, state-supported higher education (for Jews only), state support for orthodox religious practitioners, state subsidies for housing, etc. of new immigrants. Compare all those metrics to evangelical’s preferences in US.

    It’s a supernatural mystery.

  436. BiBiJon says:

    Aqgent 20%, James Canning, Palestine Schtick says:
    January 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    “You seem reluctant to admit that Iran helps Israel f*ck the Palestinians, by deflecting world attention from Israel/Palestine problem.”

    No, I am just reluctant to accept that you give a damn about Palestine. And your incessant anti-Semitic slurs, e.g. “rich jews”, is nothing but a subterfuge for whatever your agenda happens to be.

  437. kooshy says:

    Empty says:

    January 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Empty Jaan

    I don’t think prior to 1953 Iranians viewed the USA as a hostile country to their independence aspirations, but on the contrary the British and the Russians were generally viewed as hostile countries to Iran’s independence aspirations due to their historic imperialistic intentions with regard to Iran.

    With regard to the early 1940’s occupations of Iran by US and others, I think the reason that it was not firmly encountered by both leftist and the Nationalist was due to a hope for possibility of get reading of Reza shah for possible afterword tossup, which to some general point it did work on a more constitutional way, that’s how it was possible to have Dr. Mossadegh as PM.

    For this same reasons Iranian generally didn’t and still to a point don’t view Germans, French, and Chinese as hostile countries, they are not historically viewed as they have interfered in Iran’s internal affairs.

  438. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    The Six Power game is over.

    US and EU will not agree to any Russian Step-by-Step plan or any other such acts that would end the nuclear confromtation.

    The aim is to cause one faction in Iran to overthrow the other faction – including Mr. Khamenei who has been instrumental in advancing Iran’s interests so far.

    In that light, extra 20% enrichment is irrelevant.

    You may think it was a blunder, and clearly Iranians had their own reasons that they are no sharing.

    One has to understand that you are beating a dead horse.

    For you have empirical evidence of absence of inetrest in suspensiin of that enrichment.

    Yes, Russia can complain about Fordu, but they need Iran as much if not more than Iran.

    The nuclear confronation and the Axis Powers Siege of Iran will continue indefintely because the prime instigator – the United States – wishes to continue it.

  439. Karl says:

    James:

    “It appears the Six Powers will not tolerate Iranian accumulation of 20% U. In your view, the correct response is to say scr*w yourselves.”

    The six powers are dictated what US wants. The other 5 doesnt have any power or in some times the will (UK, France, Germany) will to go against the US.

    Does Iran have the same right to demand legal rights that UK have for example?

  440. Karl says:

    James:

    “Is your position the P5+1 should say, Iran, go ahead and enrich enough U for fifty nukes. Or maybe 100. None of our business?”

    Another horrendus argumentation flaw since Iran is not seeking nukes.

  441. Karl says:

    James:

    “On January 10th, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement deploring Iran’s new facility to enrich 20% U. This is a Six-Power matter.”

    What did you reply to?

  442. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Is your position the P5+1 should say, Iran, go ahead and enrich enough U for fifty nukes. Or maybe 100. None of our business?

  443. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    It appears the Six Powers will not tolerate Iranian accumulation of 20% U. In your view, the correct response is to say scr*w yourselves.

  444. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    On January 10th, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement deploring Iran’s new facility to enrich 20% U. This is a Six-Power matter.

  445. Karl says:

    James:

    “Bear in mind that apparently 20% U is nine-tenths of the way to weapons-grade. 20% U thus is not two-ninths of weapons-grade U. As many think.”

    So?
    Horrendus argumentation flaw, you are just adhering to UK, US, Israel warmongering and scarmongering.

  446. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The current high level of tension is the fault of ISRAEL LOBBY. And of ISRAEL. And of rich and powerful Jews in the US and elsewhere who block better relations between Iran and the US. Other parties also responsible.

    You seem reluctant to admit that Iran helps Israel f*ck the Palestinians, by deflecting world attention from Israel/Palestine problem.

  447. Karl says:

    James:

    “My understanding is that the Saudis will build nukes if Iran did. And that Russia, China, the US, UK, Germany and France do not want the Saudis to have nukes, or for Iran to have nukes.

    It is not my call on this.

    You are saying: Because Iran is soverign state (that is amongst other things, they have the legal right to enrich to 20%), they shouldnt be allowed to enrich.

    To drive a car is also ‘legal’, do you claim Iran should stop driving cars too? After all saudis might want them to?

  448. James wrote:

    “Ollie Heinonen and Robert Kelley seem to have been the most active commenters on the issue of how much 20% U is needed to build the plates for the TRR for next ______ years.”

    Forgive me if you’ve already posted them, but I’d appreciate a few links where Heinonen or Kelley discusses whether Iran is producing 20% uranium in quantities far beyond its needs. As I’ve written before, the answer to that question strikes me as very important.

  449. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Bear in mind that apparently 20% U is nine-tenths of the way to weapons-grade. 20% U thus is not two-ninths of weapons-grade U. As many think.

  450. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    My understanding is that the Saudis will build nukes if Iran did. And that Russia, China, the US, UK, Germany and France do not want the Saudis to have nukes, or for Iran to have nukes.

    It is not my call on this.

  451. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Iran announced trebling of production in early June. Saudis then told Nato they would build nukes if Iran did. Hague went to Saudi Arabia, and agreement was made for more sanctions in response to 20% U trebling. What is not true about the above?

  452. BiBiJon says:

    Agent 20%, James Canning, hopeless dissembler says:
    January 15, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    “The announcement of Iran’s intent to treble production of 20% U is what brought on the latest sanctions.”

    No it wasn’t. Next lie?

  453. Karl says:

    James:

    “I think Iran should be able to produce 3.5%-5% U. Without interference from other countries, sanctions, etc etc.”

    Why do you deny Iran the right to enrich according to the full spectrum, that is up to atleast 20%?

  454. BiBiJon says:

    Agent 20% James Canning, Racist warmonger says:
    January 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    “Can we agree you think Iran must enrich to 20% to demonstrate it is not a colony of the US or the US, or China for that matter?”

    There’s no need to demonstrate anything.

    It is with utter disregard, mostly out of bemusement rather than concern that Iran might watch the bumbling western fools making bigger fools of themselves while THEY try and demonstrate why they should be regarded as the masters of the universe.

  455. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think Iran should be able to produce 3.5%-5% U. Without interference from other countries, sanctions, etc etc.

  456. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    The announcement of Iran’s intent to treble production of 20% U is what brought on the latest sanctions. Was it good idea? I say no, you say yes.

  457. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Can we agree you think Iran must enrich to 20% to demonstrate it is not a colony of the US or the US, or China for that matter?

  458. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    Are you asking why the UK has not accepted Iran’s offer to cease production of 20% U/ Or why the US has not? Actually, it would be a matter for all Six Powers.

    CBS News Jan. 15th quotes Ollie Heinonen as saying 25 kilos of 20% U is enough to produce one nuke (with one month of further enriching).

  459. Arnold Evans says:

    Agent 20%:

    Forget the US. Why has your country not accepted what you’re presenting as a reasonable offer to end 20% enrichment. If this 20% enrichment is seen by your country as provocative?

  460. BiBiJon says:

    Agent 20%, James Canning says:
    January 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    “Given the obviously high level of tension, why do you support the trebling of the rate of production of 20% U?”

    This one may not have come up before, so I’ll take a stab.

    “Given the obviously high level of tension”

    Whose fault is the current level of tensions? Sorry, obviously if Iran had not invaded Mexico and Canada, and started telling US to stop doing what is her right, and she has a pressing need for, then there would be no tension. But who other than agent 20% would insist that the victim remedy the tension or else she’d more victimized. This, dear agent, is the definition of war mongering.

    “why do you support the trebling of the rate of production of 20% U?”

    Outside of Agents’ minds it may not be obvious that being pro or against sovereign right of other nations is a disease called colonialism. When the disease persists past the capacity of the afflicted to wield any power, then it is sometimes refereed to as a colonial mentality disease, or head-way-up your-colon syndrome.

    Of course trebbling the production rate has a couple of possible motives.

    a) Iran arrives at point of ceasing production, and dismantling the configuration of cascades to that purpose.

    b) It puts the production in line with scheduled plate fabrication efforts, itself scheduled for when TRR needs a fresh supply.

  461. Karl says:

    James:

    Do you argue that Iran should be sanctioned, condemned and invaded for enriching below 20%?

  462. Karl says:

    James:

    I told you earlier at 3:08.

  463. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I was trying to ascertain what you meant when you predicted Iran “would not back off”.

    Do you mean Iran will only pretend to be willing to negotiate? And this would accomplish something positive for Iran?

  464. James Canning says:

    Arnold,

    What would you suggest is the reason the US failed to respond to Iran’s recent offer to cease production of 20% uranium? I have said ISRAEL LOBBY is the reason. You?

    Ollie Heinonen and Robert Kelley seem to have been the most active commenters on the issue of how much 20% U is needed to build the plates for the TRR for next ______ years.

    Given the obviously high level of tension, why do you support the trebling of the rate of production of 20% U?

  465. Karl says:

    James:

    “Do you advocate that Iran pile up large amounts of 20% U, to make it easier for Israeli warmongers to injure Iran further? So the Palestinians can be screwed even harder?”

    What did you reply to?

  466. James Canning says:

    “Why is it open season on Palestinians in US presidential race?”, asks Hasan Abu Nimah:

    http://electronicintifada.net/content/why-it-open-season-palestinians-us-presidential-race/10801

  467. Arnold Evans says:

    OK Agent 20%:

    You still haven’t found that link though, even though not finding it has made you more insistent on repeating that Iran has enough for ten years.

    I’m going to assume the source was hostile to Iran. But how was that measured? That estimate easily might leave out important factors such as wastage.

    There was another later estimate of 4 to 5 years that you linked to and then began ignoring.

    The most important question though, is why is 20% enrichment so provocative that your country wants to embargo Iran’s oil, but not provocative enough that your country would just accept Iran’s standing offer of trading it all away for TRR fuel?

    How does that work, Agent 20%?

  468. BiBiJon says:

    Agent 20%, James Canning says:
    January 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    “What other than pride explains your wish that Iran enrich 20% uranium, even if Iran already has enough on hand to build fuel plates for TRR for next ten years?”

    If you claim you read the posts and comments that you respond to, how’s about YOU tell me all the possible/probable/likely sound/rational reasons why Iran would be enriching to 20%, why she has decided to increase the rate of enrichment, why she might be stockpiling a quantity of it beyond what is for immediate use. Many people have given you these. You appear to agree it makes sens. And, then you go on merrily being the Agent 20%.

  469. Nasser says:

    “FYI seems to think, sometimes at least, that the decision of the “Axis Powers” to “destroy Iranian power” was taken years ago, so perhaps the best thing is just to get on with it. But othertimes, FYI says it is a “frozen confrlict” that could linger in stalemate for decades.”

    - Those terms are not mutually exclusive or contradictory. The West wants to destroy Iranian (or any independent Muslim) power and has tried to do so for quite some time. The West is unable to fulfill its wishes but still persists in its efforts. Same as in Cuba or North Korea or Palestine. Hence we have a frozen conflict.

  470. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    Pride, or false pride, wass the ruination of Gaddafi. He thought he could run Libya as he pleased, and spurned pleas of a number of European diplomats to tone down his rhetoric or public pressure would bring on western military intervention.

  471. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    What is “ugly” at suggesting pride is at the heart of the matter? Pride, or false pride, was the reason Saddam Hussein refused to get out of Kuwait in a timely fashion even though there was an army of 500,000 soldiers waiting to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. Saddam’s vanity was catastrophic for the people of Iraq.

  472. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    What other than pride explains your wish that Iran enrich 20% uranium, even if Iran already has enough on hand to build fuel plates for TRR for next ten years?

  473. James Canning says:

    William Hague said Jan. 15th: “We are clearly not calling for or advocating military action.”

    German FM, Guido Westerwelle, said Jan. 15th: “We should not further charge an already tense situation in a turbulent region.”

  474. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    “I am not “peeved”. I do think it extremely foolish to encourage the formation of a strong alliance against Iran, on grounds of wounded pride.”

    Being peeved or not, and whether or not you want to share how you feel is entirely your prerogative.

    However, throwing out innuendos such as “wounded pride” is the type of ugly, disgusting, baseless fearmongering and warmongering that makes me want to change your name to Agent 20%.

  475. James Canning says:

    Voice of Tehran,

    FYI seems to think, sometimes at least, that the decision of the “Axis Powers” to “destroy Iranian power” was taken years ago, so perhaps the best thing is just to get on with it. But othertimes, FYI says it is a “frozen confrlict” that could linger in stalemate for decades.

  476. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I am not “peeved”. I do think it extremely foolish to encourage the formation of a strong alliance against Iran, on grounds of wounded pride.

  477. Voice of Tehran says:

    BiBiJon says:
    January 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    Hi BiBijon , thanks for the brilliant explanation the other day .
    Yes fyi is definitely on solid ground and I am afraid that Gavner James is not.

  478. BiBiJon says:

    James Canning says:
    January 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    “BiBiJon,

    OUr point of departure is whether it makes sense for Iran to pile up unneeded 20% U, solely in order to foster sanctions against Iran and deflect attention from continuing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.”

    Dear 20% James,

    I decline to go any further into this with you than I, and pretty much everybody else has done already.

    Of course “unneeded” was Dick Cheney’s line: with all that oil & gas, nuclear power is …. you guessed it, “unneeded.”

    Various other fear-mongers have thrown the “unneeded” jab referring to Iran’s then lack of a nuclear power plant.

    Then we had the very same “unneeded” from folks who insisted Iran should just buy fuel from existing suppliers. That crap came a cropper when Iran could not refuel a tiny IAEA-monitored research reactor without all manner of strings attached, even then they would not sell the darn thing.

    Once Busheir came online after much unanticipated Russian foot dragging, “unneeded” was thrown referring to Iran’s inability to produce fuel rods.

    Trust me on this. Your “unneeded” is indistinguishable from all those other “unneededs”. Only time will tell what after all was needed, and unneeded. In the meantime only a sovereign authority can decide what makes them comfortable. Others are totally welcome to feel as provoked, angry, confused, etc. as they feel they can bear. They are welcome to go bankrupt sanctioning Iran. They are welcome to cede any meaningful relationship to Iran, and her region to China and Russia. They can have their arses handed to them by attacking Iran. Feel as peeved as you can bear to feel. It shall not make an iota of a difference.

  479. Empty says:

    Kooshy,

    “1-Prior to 1953 (I call this trust building period with the Iranians)”

    Good one. They sure did that well by joining the Russians and the Brits in occupying Iran during Qavamosaltaneh. And then by the dreadful works of Arthur Millspaugh in Iran in 1920s. They then nailed it with Millspaugh brilliant works in Iran in 1940s.

  480. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Do you advocate that Iran pile up large amounts of 20% U, to make it easier for Israeli warmongers to injure Iran further? So the Palestinians can be screwed even harder?

  481. Karl says:

    James:

    “You predicted Iran “would not back off”. By this you meant that . . .”

    I meant that Iran wont back off from its right. To enrich.

  482. kooshy says:

    Unknown Unknowns says:

    January 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    Jannab-e UU

    Sorry to insert in without prior written permission from his Excellency the Gavner James of all 20%Us and beyond.

    In my opinion we first need to generally divide the historic relation between US government and the street Iranians for this one should consider three periods

    1-Prior to 1953 ( I call this trust building period with the Iranians)
    2-1953-1979 ( I call this taking advantage of the trust made for imperialism )
    3-1979-Now ( open hostility to turn Iranians against their own choice, for lack of a real military or cope option)

  483. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    I think the joint military exercise was cancelled to avoid needlessly adding to the tension.

    You predicted Iran “would not back off”. By this you meant that . . .

  484. Karl says:

    James:

    What did you reply to?

  485. James Canning says:

    Karl,

    Are you predicting the IAEA visit to Iran later this month will not accomplish anything positive?

  486. James Canning says:

    Stressing it was his personal viewpoint, Dmitry Rogozin said Jan. 13th: “The example of Libya should have cooled everybody down in matters dealing with foreign civil wars.” I agree with him, obviously.

  487. Empty says:

    RE: “Fax Letter from Ayatollah Khamanei”

    This is incorrect.

  488. Karl says:

    How should one read this?

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israel-and-u-s-postpone-massive-defense-drill-in-fear-of-escalation-with-iran-1.407466

    1. US and Israel prepare an attack and will have to use all its soldiers for this.
    2. US and Israel recognize that Iran wont back off, signing off the wargames to ease tensions.

    ?

  489. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I think neocon warmongers blocked Iran’s IAEA application, so that Iran would be provoked into enriching to 20%. So this fact could be used to bring on more sanctions and make it more difficult for relations between the US and Iran to be repaired.

  490. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    I have argued that Iran should have put more time into calling attention of the world to the US blockage of Iran’s IAEA application to re-fuel the TRR, before proceeding with enriching to 20%.

    And there seems little doubt that Iran’s June 2011 decision to treble production of 20% U was a blunder.

  491. James Canning says:

    “US, Israel in open rift over Iran”

    http://www.presstv.com/detail/221253.html

  492. James Canning says:

    BiBiJon,

    OUr point of departure is whether it makes sense for Iran to pile up unneeded 20% U, solely in order to foster sanctions against Iran and deflect attention from continuing Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.

  493. BiBiJon says:

    I agree with FYI.

    But, the strange thing is that so does 20% James.

    In fact 20% James agrees Iran was forced into producing the stuff; that Iran had no other choice; he agrees that situation could have been resolved in May 2010 with the Tehran Declaration; he agrees it could have been resolved in Sep. 2011 with AN offer to cease enrichment at that level; he agress with everything.

    But he likes to do some fear-mongering, and war-mongering of his own, as well as provide an excuse for UK’s hostile attitude.

  494. James Canning says:

    Unknown Unknowns,

    Re: your item No. 5 in any article about course of US-Iran relations. Key point is that ISRAEL vetoed the proposed deal between Iran and the US. THIS IS THE REASON THE STORY IS SUPPRESSED.

  495. James Canning says:

    Fioangela,

    Bravo. The EU clearly sees Israel as the problem, with its insane Greater Israel programme. This is one reason Iran should not be doing Israel a huge service by deflecting attention from continuing insane programme of growing illegal colonies of Jews in WB.

  496. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saddam’s generals told him that if Iraq occupied Kuwait, the result would be expulsion by US and allies.

    What would have been your advice to Saddam, once the US & Co had massed 500,000 troops on the border of Kuwait? Get out of Kuwait?

  497. Fiorangela says:

    QUOTE
    “Nazareth – Already-strained relations between Israel and Europe hit an all-time low this week after a leaked internal European report on the so-called peace process criticised Israel in unprecedented terms.

    The document, which warned that the chances of a two-state solution were rapidly fading, appeared to reflect mounting exasperation among the 27 European member states at Israel’s refusal to revive talks with the Palestinians.

    Israeli newspapers, reporting on the developing crisis, have led with headlines such as “Israel vs Europe.” One, Israel Today, known to be close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, recently announced “Europe becomes irrelevant,” in an echo of a rebuff to the Europeans issued by Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s far-right foreign minister.

    Israeli observers have warned that a falling-out with Europe is the last thing Israel needs, following its recent fallout with key strategic allies in the region, such as Turkey and Egypt.

    The tensions have been provoked by the emergence of what appears to be an increasingly independent European approach towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, suggesting a possible break with the EU’s traditional submissiveness towards the United States’ Middle East agenda.

    European powers appear to be balking at the prospect that the two-state solution is about to slip out of grasp, as Netanyahu’s rightwing government refuses to make meaningful concessions and speeds up the pace of settlement-building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.”

    END QUOTE

  498. Unknown Unknowns says:

    Castellio, Eric, Arnold, et al:

    Castellio: Thanks for the link to the Sic Semper Tyrannis blog. I have not had a chance to read through it, but just glancing at it, I was fascinated to read that our very own Flynt Leverett had a prominent (and of course positive) role in the whole sordid and pitiful affair. Here’s the link to the OpEd piece written by Flynt

    http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2006/0124middleeast_leverett.aspx

    So, I guess I’ve reached the conclusion that an article that covers all the major pieces of the big picture of US-Iran relations is missing and badly in need of being written. I’m hoping somebody here will take this ball and run with it, else I might have to do it myself, which is a fackin’ ‘eadache!

    C’mon Eric, you got nothin’ better to do! It might not pay $500/ hour, but it would complete the hat-trick. Arnold? How about it?

    Here is the outline, in case anyone is interested:

    Everything you Know about Iran is Wrong (or: Yes, Your Suspicions are Hereby Confirmed: Uncle Sam IS an Asshole)
    1- Nuclear program (,http://www.raceforiran.com/the-iran-nuclear-dispute-a-new-approach and Eric’s article, ,http://irannucleardispute.blogspot.com/)
    2- 2009 Elections (Eric’s article, plus a tidbit from Chossudovsky’s site explaining the Velvet Revolution Coup aspects)
    3- A summary of the most salient points of the 4 opinion polls carried out by Western (= hostile) organizations
    4- Other empirical data such as Iran’s Human Development Index ranking (which I have read is 13 notches above Turkey’s), Scientific Development ranking (fastest growth rate in the world for two years running), and other comparative empirical data such as the kilometers of roads built, railroads, built, domestic (potable) and wastewater (sewerage) pipelines installed, electricity generation, number of dams built, industrial capacity indicators, indigenous military capacity indicators, education, health & human services, etc., etc.
    5- The fact that all this has been achieved despite sanctions, and that it is the US which is the unreasonable party that refuses to come to the negotiating table – a summary of the whole 2003 Fax Letter from Ayatollah Khamanei, and Uncle Asshole’s reaction.

    Have I missed something? If not, that’s five elements. If someone can do a bang-up job of summarizing each on no more than one page, I believe this article would be a 5-page mini-nuke, whose production and deployment on this site would be mustahab and not haram.

  499. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    A quick and rapid capture of Riyadh by paratroopers was doable by the Iraqis in 1991.
    Next would have come the tanks and heavy weapons – US could not have reacted fast enough to prevent the overthrow of House of Saud.

    Once the House of Saud were overthrown by Iraq, US could not re-install them.

    That is what the late Mr. Hussein should have done – but, then again, like most Arab leaders he was breft of strategic depth.

  500. nahid says:

    “I agree with FYI.”

  501. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    You are quibbling.

    EU states could have issued a few positive remarks in September.

    EU states could have supported the Russian step-by-step plan.

    And then there was the Iranian negogiation offer of 2003 that Mr. Castellio has posted here on this thread. Reading that, one is left with the conclusion that US either cannot or does not want negogiations with Iran – not under Mr. Bush and not under Mr. Obama.

    At any rate, I suggest taking a vote -

    Those who agree with my assessment, please post a comment saying “I agree with FYI.”

    Those who agree with Mr. Canning, please post a comment saying that “I agree with Mr. Canning”.

  502. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I can asssure you the UK does not want to destroy Iran’s power. Full stop. Unless Iran forces war.

  503. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Saddam Hussein himself would have been blown to smithereens had he invaded Saudi Arabia in 1990 or 1991. His invasion of Iran was insane. Opportunistic, but seriously stupid.

  504. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Of course it has to do with wealth and power, that is why UK wants to destriy Iran’s power.

    But then, again, UK was the polity that is as indulgent towards the Jwish fantasy in Palestine as US or France.

  505. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Where do you get the idea that Obama would be able “immediately” to respond favorably to the Iranian offer to cease production of 20% U?

    I think you should read Zbig Brzezinski’s informal interview with Ed Luce of the Financial Times (in this weekend’s Weekend FT). Obama seems not to have much strategic thinking ability. And we know Hillary Clinton has very very little.

    I agree entirely with you that Obama should have given a strong signal immediately that the Iranian offer was very welcome and that the US and the rest of the P5+1 would consider it at the earliest opportunity.

  506. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    If I were the late Mr. Hussien’s advisor, I would have advised him to conquer all of the Arabain Penninsula rather than just Kuwait in 1991.

    That is, overthrow the House of Saud and establish a republic there.

    If I were his advisor in 1980, I would have advised him to avoid a war with Iran.

  507. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The Iranian nuclear issue has much more to do with wealth and power than you seem able to discern. The religious angle you focus on is a smokescreen to a large degree.

  508. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Axis Power do not care about 20% enrichment; otherwise they would have taken – immediately – the September offer of Mr. Ahmadinejad.

    Or, earlier, they would not have scuttled the Turkey-Brazil-Iran deal.

    Their aim is the destruction of Iranian power.

    Their tactic is the Siege Warfare of Iran in order to achieve regime change in Iran through the manipulation of the internal dynamics of that country.

    This tactic was first used by UK against the nationalist government of the late Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq. The Siege of Iran at that time, with nudging by US CIA, led to the overthrow of that government. [which created the Shia back lash 25 years later].

    The Americans, under the late Mr. Nixon, practiced the UK workbook against the nationalist government of the late martyred President Dr. Salvadore Allende in Chile. The economic warfare of US government brought housewives into the streets and created the sense of chaos, which, nudged by US, led to the coup against the legitimate government in Chile. A coup that destroyed everything that was good in Chile from which Chile is yet to recover fully.

    Now they are applying it to Iran again.

    But the strategic situation globally has changed – there are these colored races that have no stake in the White-man’s game. And then there is the Russian Federation for which the independent Iran is essential for its security.

    And, of course, the Iranians are also familiar with this Siege Warfare from the days of the late Dr. Mossadeq – and observed its effects on Iraq during 1990s.

    This is war, just like the siege warfare of Mongols in Iran and in Russia was war.

    UK is at war with Iran – that is all.

  509. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Bravo, re: apparent treason by the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. All four top officials were neocon Jews closely connected to Israeli military. The conspirators were protected and rewarded. Paul Wolfowitz was given the presidency of the World Bank.

  510. Fiorangela says:

    Sheldon Adelson’s newspaper reports that Israel cancelled military drill scheduled for April

    report intimates Israel miffed at US restraints on Israel’s quest to attack Iran.

    My guess is Israel sniffed out that US wanted to get US boots on Israeli ground in a bid to defang the zionist dragon, and that crossed a red line.

  511. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Tell me, if you had been Saddam Hussein’s primary military adviser, watching the US and allies assemble 500,000 troops on the border of Kuwait, would you have told him he needed to agree to withdraw? Or would you have said, it is a matter of pride and honour, and getting crushed militarily is the only option?

  512. Fiorangela says:

    Kathleen, you foxy lady. Way to go.

  513. Fiorangela says:

    fyi– in the Vali Nasr video linked a few days ago, Nasr explained how he applies a political analysis to Islam, esp. post-Revolution Iran Islam. A very helpful process.

  514. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    I share your fascination at the suppression of the story, that Israeli intelligence recruited terrorists operating against civilians in Iran, but posed as CIA while doing the recruiting, grooming, etc.

  515. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Earth to FYI: come in please. What is the basis of your “thinking” that Iran should pile up 20% U to stir up antagonism gratuitiously?

  516. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    I know next to nothing about that site, but there is no dispute I am aware of, that in fact Khamenei issued a fatwa against Iran’s possession of any weapons of mass destruction including nukes.

  517. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Earth to James Canning, Earth to James Canning: Come in please, come in please!

  518. Kathleen says:

    Not a whisper about the Mossad posing as CIA and hiring(?) Jundallah to kill an Iranian scientist. Not a whisper on Face the Nation, GPS, CNN, Meet the Press, Washington Journal, MSNBC’s UP program on Sunday. Nada.

    Fareed Zakaria made a terribly insensitive comment about the numbers of Iraqi deaths caused by the invasion “how many ever Iraqi lives”. This was after he specified numbers of Americans who were killed and injured. So dismissive and arrogant. No need to wonder why folks in that part of the world are pissed off with us.

    On GPS this morning learned that Max Boot is working for the Romney campaign.

  519. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I obviously do not agree with Andrew Cummings, that it is necessary to murder Iranian nuclear scientists or remain quiet if Israel is murdering them.

  520. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    William Hague makes it clear beyond any doubt the UK wants to see negotiations with Iran, to resolve the problem.

    And you continue to argue that if Iran does not pile up large amounts of unneeded 20% U, Iran’s industiral progress will be retarded.

  521. Fiorangela says:

    fyi says: “Mr. Panetta serves at the pleasure of the president of the United States.”

    exactly.

    “when soldiers are lied to, they have been known to turn on their leaders and “storm the castle.””

    Panetta, aka Fred Flintstone ;D , stood in front of his soldiers and said “We do not do this.” Of course he knew that WE have behaved ignobly, have assassinated in the past, and, it may happen, will do so again — Rick Santorum is running his despicable campaign on precisely that failure of morality — but Panetta has to keep the trust of the soldiers — you know, those guys whose job it is to kill people and break things? — lest they turn their weapons on perfidious leaders. THAT is why Obama will keep Panetta where he is — at Obama’s side, with the military loyal to the US and not rebellious.

    Larger question is Who can educate the American people, smack them out of their ignorant stupor and regain their trust in a rule by process and law, not ideology. They’ve been bathed in propaganda for nearly a century.

    The religion question is more complex than you set forth, and for another time.

    _______
    thank you, Castellio. I appreciate that you defined categories more clearly than I did.

  522. Castellio says:

    Can anyone tell me if the site below is reliable? It carries information on the Iranian anti-nuclear fatwa.

    http://zenpundit.com/?p=4504

  523. Castellio says:

    FYI, I agree with your post of 12.13 entirely.

  524. Castellio says:

    FYI and I agree that the US government is too corrupted to reverse gears.

    If there has been a de-escalation, it has not been due to Israeli budgetary concerns. If anything, I’d look to Russian resolve as finally waking up some of the duller minds.

    With the Office of Special Plans in the Bush administration Israeli-American operatives took over and manipulated government policy in regards to Iraq. That much is fully documented history, but due to a corrupt judiciary (Mukasey et al.)and corrupt congress nothing has been done about this act of treason.

    The OSP is a good example of what I mean by over-lapping areas of Israeli-US
    jurisdiction within the US governments, and I think it’s continuing.

    If anything, Perry’s article is useful for creating the illusion of a separation of Mossad and the CIA when, in fact, in certain critical branches, it might not exist.

  525. Voice of Tehran says:

    Fiorangela says:
    January 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Nice video Fiorangela , I trust you in your assessment.
    BTW , the good man looks like Fred Flintstone , every time I see him I must laugh :-)

  526. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: January 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    Mr. Pannetta serves at the pleasure of the President of the United States.

    Let him run for that office and get elected and see what he would do then.

    You have to understand that the Iran-US confronations is one of two religios:

    Shia Islam vs. America (the New Jerusalem).

    When the late Mr. Khomeini called US the Great Satan, he attacked the Americans’ self-image of themselves.

    And 20 years later, Mr. Bush, by calling Iran part of the Axis of Evil, offended Iranians in their self-image.

    Now, here is the major difference, as time has passed, the late Mr. Khomeini’s characterization has clearly found more currency among Sunni Muslims.

    That is why I think the leaders of the United States are best advised to seek rapproachment with Islamic Iran and obtain the political cover to shieldd themselves against the charge of being Enemy of Islam.

    I know that I am a minority of one in my world-view, but I could be (partially) correct.

  527. Fiorangela says:

    fyi wrote:

    “Mr. Obama is not capable of a “Nixon to China” undertaking.
    My estimation is that US politics right now is too degenerated for that.”

    Mr. Clinton was not capable of keeping his pants zipped, but Leon Panetta kept his administration on track.

    your next sentence, fyi — the one with the word ‘degenerate’ in it??

    nuf said

    My Man Panetta can do this! He’s a dago, fer pete’s sake, not some wimpy Eye-rainian! Not only that, a Calabrese! Calabria was colonized by every tyrant in the region — Greeks, Arabs, Turks, French, Spanish, you name it, Leon’s people have dealt with ‘em. For an Italian, resisting tyranny (and avoiding taxes) is a badge of patriotism. When Titus closed off Jerusalem to Jews after the Maccabees thought they could outfox the Roman legion, some Jews exiled to Apulia (ok, it’s on the other side of the Boot, but it’s Calabria-like). Jews have lived in southern Italy for a millenia or more — with Leon’s people. He knows the mental landscape. and ssssshhh, don’t tell Obama’s hero worshippers, but Leon is smarter than Barack. I haven’t prayed a rosary since Sr. Joseph left the convent — she could get through the whole thing in in about four minutes flat. But I am praying the rosary for Leon Panetta — slowly and thoughtfully. Our nation needs help. We’ve tried killing and lying, maybe praying will help us ground ourselves in reality.
    Bella ciao
    Bella ciao
    Bella ciao ciao ciao
    Vittorio Arrigoni RIP

  528. Castellio says:

    Fiorangela, good post. You have found a way to do a few things simultaneously: there are lies that must be exposed; the lies are based in an historical conception which is NOT the primary mindset of the founders of the US; the lies fit an ancient pattern and the pattern must be identified and taken seriously; the rage of those who are lied to must be managed; Jesus is not necessarily the chief magician in a miracle cult, but was perceived by Jefferson as an exemplar of divine reason (the Greek influence) due to the sustained understanding of grace rooted in reciprocity.

    You are, in fact, identifying the Christian revolution that happened 2000 years ago, pointing to its most consequential meaning and value back then, and by implication, also now.

    You have been working at getting this right for some time. I hope you continue.

  529. WTF says:

    Over at MofA, b is also revealing that the Qatari Emir’s interview calling for military intervention in Syria was conducted back in November, but sat on for 2 months before being released.

    http://moonofalabama.org/

    The interview was given after Syria in early November agreed to an Arab league cease fire plan which the rebels immediately rejected.

  530. WTF says:

    Israel’s response to the Perry piece. Essentially Israel is saying that if there were any truth to Perry’s piece, then Meir Dagan would not have been allowed in Washington…

    Good enough for me!

    http://www.emptywheel.net/

    Now, if it weren’t for the latent lethality behind all this posturing (and if weren’t so clear that, whatever Iran has, Israel surely has evidence of our complicity here, if they ever feel the need to reveal it), this might be a somewhat amusing and overdue spat between Israel and the US.
    But as it is, it seems the winner of this conflict between Israeli and US neocon Hawks (some of who presumably remain in government positions) on one side, and those trying to avoid war (if not regime change) on the other threatens may depend most on who wins the infowar that has broken out. Clearly, all sides have the goods on the others, but no one can risk having all this damning information come out.

  531. WTF says:

    http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/01/is-the-false-flag-piece-a-false-flag.html#more

    B over at MofA is going through the same wrangling of the Perry piece (he even mentions RFI and quotes the Leveretts’ piece). One of the comments on his blog post hits on my curiousity.

    My main take on it is that ForeignPolicy.com being one of the publications that serve as a voice for the elite this piece attacking Mossad is a sign that some within the foreign policy community are pissed at Israel.

    You would also wonder how Mark Perry came into possession of “a series of CIA memos” from the last years of the W. Presidency including “CIA field reports”. CIA memos would be classified for a 30 year period so the only way someone could share them with him is with permission.

    Again, no one with half a brain believes that the US is above assassinating civilian scientists, but why leak stories implicating Israel?

  532. fyi says:

    Empty says: January 15, 2012 at 9:04 am

    There is a de-salination plant in Saudi Arabia – on the Persian Gulf – that supplied Riyadh’s water 250 miles away.

    Enough said.

  533. fyi says:

    Fiorangela says: January 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Mr. Obama is not capable of a “Nixon to China” undertaking.

    My estimation is that US politics right now is too degenerated for that.

    May be once every Mulsim in the World has come to consider US an Enemy of Islam Americans would feel compelled to seek rapproachment with Iran in order to salvage themselves from an on-going religious war.

    Right now, my sense of it is that US and EU planners think that they can live with the consequences of tens of millions of people hating US as the Enemy of Islam and do not need Iran for much either.

    As that un-named French official said: “We are out of options but we are not prepared to make concessions (to Iran).”

    The best you can read into Mr. Pannetta’s remarks is that some circle of US leaders are not interested in War with Iran at this time and they have the upper hand.

  534. fyi says:

    All:

    German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle:

    “Even just the option of nuclear armament by Iran would have far-reaching negative consequences far beyond the Gulf region, so it is not acceptable,”

    in a weekend interview with the Rheinische Post newspaper.

    “So, with new sanctions that we want to approve this month, we are now targeting the heart of the Iranian nuclear program: its oil and, with that, its sources of financing,” he added. “But the door to dialogue with Iran remains open at the same time.”

    The Siege of Iran will go on.

  535. fyi says:

    BiBiJon says: January 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Per Dr. Hibbs’s comments, all of this was supposed to be used to frighten Iranians.

    When Iranians responded by stating their willingness to go to war, Axis Powers had to escalate or de-escalate.

    Mr. Obama and the United States Government is incapable of diplomacy with Iran – US domestic politics is too degeneraed for that. In a way, it is now the obverse of what obtained in Iran in the first 25 years after the Islamic Revolution.

    In practice that means that Iran cannot gain anything by making any concessions: US sanctions will remain in place for decades – ine should expect.

    The UN sanctions alos will remain since US (or EU) will torpedoe or veto eny easing of them at UNSC.

    Mr. Obama has done a lot for Israel and Jews (in US); but they still do not appreciate what he has done for them.

    No, I do not think budgets have anything to do with this; it was de-escalation, most likely.

  536. settman says:

    UK and EU once again showing its hostile’ness.

    jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=253696

    This is the same corrupt states that are getting into deep economic crisis in 2012.
    statestimes.net/2012/01/9-eu-countries-downgraded-on-black-friday-13th/

    And like economy they dont know anything about the middle east.
    eubusiness.com/news-eu/finance-economy.eji

  537. Fiorangela says:

    Panetta said that he told Iranian leaders, thru secret channels, that closing Hormuz would cross a red line.

    That’s two messages: it says “we laid down the law to Iran” for Israeli consumption and to calm oil markets, and it says, “We ARE in communication with the Iranian government.”

    that’s a hopeful sign. It COULD be a sign that, in small measures, Panetta and Obama are signalling to Iran that they are attempting to do just as Flynt and Hillary Leverett have been urging US policymakers to do: emulate Nixon; call off subversive activities. It could be that Israel knows this and, in fashion similar to jettisoning the 2003 letter and the 2007 NIE, Israel is acting to derail the sub rosa gestures of the Obama admin.
    incredibly, however, US Congress has tied the administration’s hands on negotiating or even communicating with Iran.

    BE AWARE that the British government was constrained under similar laws between 1911 and all through WWI and WWII.

    When Bibi says ‘it’s 1938 and Iran is Germany,’ believe him. This is not a new scheme for zionists; they’re working from an old playbook. The same combine has organized to destroy Iran, whose has the potential to displace US-Israeli dominance in the region, as was organized to destroy Germany, whose industrial might threatened the dominance of the British empire, and whose control of Alsace – Lorraine was bitterly resented by France, similar to the way Iranian influence in Iraq is resented by Saudi Arabia.

    When that equation is examined from the other direction, that is, when it is recognized that the claims against Iran are baldfaced lies, then it may become apparent that the earlier ‘Germany in 1938′ claims were lies in 1938, and a whole lot more of lies will be exposed and a whole lot of history will come undone.

    The question and the challenge is to manage the process. We have seen what happens when people realize they have been lied to and exploited — they react with outrage, often violently vented against the perpetrators of the lies and anyone associated with them by some affinity or other. I’m not talking about Iranians here, I’m talking about Americans. Somehow, truthtellers have got to simultaneously shine the light of honesty on the situation; prevent an attack on Iran by all means; expose the liars; and create an atmosphere in which the liars are exposed in a non-violent, law-abiding, justice-seeking and righteous punishment meting climate.

    The alternatives are to maintain the status quo, which can no longer hold, or to devolve into that holocaust scenario that Dennis Ross waved. Jewish people and Israel are going to be a part of this world, and these United States, for years to come. Iran is going to be part of this world for years to come. We have GOT to figure out a way to climb down from this madness without holocaustian violence.

    As I read the old testament stories, I see the type of conflict that we are witnessing today, and the demand for supremacist rights by a vocal minority, to be deeply embedded in the ancient history of the Jewish people as it is rehearsed, recited, and celebrated to this day. Esther was resentful of the position of Vashti and she and Mordechai were resentful of the power and position of Haman, so they wangled their way into the king’s favor, then managed affairs to the point that the king permitted Esther and Mordechai to lead Jews in the slaughter of 75,000 Persians as well as the death by impaling of the king’s own sons.

    Elijah was so convinced that only HIS god was the correct god that he had the 450 or more of the priests of other people’s gods killed.

    Be aware that Benjamin Netanyahu is a committed Torah scholar, and that Torah is a defining element of observant religious Jews. Jewish children are raised on these stories, and celebrate and recite them in everyday liturgies.

    Because it is repeated, celebrated, and taught to Jewish children as part of their heritage, the fearsomeness of the Purim story is as immediate today as if it had just happened. In “Cultures of the Jews,” Ivan G. Marcus discusses the deeply embedded tendency of Jews to perceive of their experience in Christian Europe as a time of persecution, despite the historical reality that actual events of persecution were extremely rare. He writes:

    “Historians of the Jews . . .usually pay attention to Christian authorities and their laws or to officials or mobs only when they are hostile and aggressive agents of a “persecuting society.”
    Why has this been so? In the wake of the first horrific anti-Jewish riots . . .in Europe at the beginning of the First Crusade, in the spring of 1096, liturgical texts did record the Jews who died then as witnesses or martyrs for their religion in central Europe. Traditional Jews recite these texts to this day. As a result of the ideology of remembrance and martyrdom that synagogue poets created in the twelfth century, Jews in Ashkenaz remembered only those times when they were persecuted and forgot others when they were not.2 Modern historians proceeded to construct their accounts based on those preserved records and have forgotten that they were not the norm. Influenced by their own contemporary agendas as well, they lost track of the fact that they were relying on how medieval survivors wanted their own past to be remembered as part of a strategy to build group solidarity. That ideology of persecution does not express the past itself in all of its complexity.” (p. 451)

    In a compelling segment of a videod conference of Jewish leaders on college campuses, (see :http://mondoweiss.net/2011/12/beinart-says-israel-must-give-citizenship-to-palestinians-under-occupation.html) ‘Dana,’ an Israeli woman, daughter of committed zionists raised and schooled in Israel and now a coed at University of Maryland, tells the panel, “We were lied to.” She explains that Jewish students in Israel are taught that the land of Palestine was empty; she explains that Jewish students in Israel are taught from books whose maps do not show the Green line post-1967 borders; they are taught that the land belongs to Jews by right. At the end of video, after the panel has adjourned, a “reporter” interviews Dana. He begins the conversation by stating that hers was the most important statement made at the conference. He gives her an opportunity to state her concerns, then, (listen carefully, he’s brilliant) he maneuvers Dana into reinforcing her belief in the right of Jews to own the land of the Palestinian people.

    In an earlier videod event, Jeremy Ben Ami encounters a similar situation, and that, from the man who teaches Ben Ami’s children in Hebrew school. The teacher, an audience member as Ben Ami discusses his new book, “A Voice for Israel,” asks, “How shall we teach our children?”

    Ben Ami replies, “We have to tell them the truth. Palestine was not an empty land. If you lie to them, if they find out, there will be resentment.” :http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/ANewVo

    If it is a lie that the land Israel now occupies was NOT an empty land, and that the borders are not as Jewish Israeli students are led to believe, what else is a lie?
    Ahmadinejad is not Hitler and did not say that that Jews should be killed. Will Ben Ami insist that THAT lie be unwound? Was Haman really plotting to kill Jews, or was that a lie invented by a restless teenaged Esther eager for recognition and a place to belong?

    How do Dana’s elders and Jeremy Ben Ami etc. propose to recompense all those who have been harmed by the lies?

    In his book, “The Way of the World,” Ron Suskind recounts how the head of Britain’s intelligence service, Sir Richard Dearlove, took great risks by sending his agent to interview Saddam Hussein’s intelligence director to discern whether Hussein was pursuing development of weapons of mass destruction. Over the course of numerous meetings, the Iraqi provided persuasive information that convinced the agent, and Dearlove, that Saddam was NOT engaged in WMD pursuit and did NOT possess WMD. Dearlove himself flew to Washington to communicate the finding to CIA, who then passed the information to Condi Rice.

    Rice dismissed it as meaningless and buried it, to the deep distress of CIA agents who had found the information compelling. The US, of course, went to war, based on lies that were known to be lies.

    But the Bush administration did not just bury the information in order to proceed with their pre-ordained plan, Suskind continues. Operatives with direct connections
    to Dick Cheney order US agents and operatives to plant phony documents that undercut the information that Dearlove’s men had obtained, and also implicated Saddam as supporting AlQaeda.

    Dearlove was distraught that the information his team developed and presented in time to prevent a terrible blunder was not only disregarded by buried under a mountain of lies. Suskind writes that Dearlove, “classically educated,” was keenly aware that when soldiers are lied to, they have been known to turn on their leaders and “storm the castle.”

    Undoing the structures in American culture that have sustained lies as religious orthodoxy will be extremely destabilizing — but not nearly as destructive as war on innocent people and the ensuing, inevitable blowback. We have to break the cycle.

    In the United States, we have structures underlying our founding documents to fill the vacuum that will exist when alien beliefs are extracted from the US intellectual and moral landscape. Thomas Jefferson built our founding documents on his intellectual framework that recognized Jesus as the “greatest exemplar of moral values the world has ever known.” He codified his thinking in “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.” In years gone by, in a practice begun by the family of the late Senator Frank Church, new members of the US Senate were presented with a copy of “Jefferson’s Bible,” “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.”

    We have to break the cycle. It is time for the people of the United States to reclaim their representative democracy from overlearned acclamation of the false gods of ancient mythologies and present greed and lust for power, without slaying the priests and adherents of those who would lead the people of the United States astray, but certainly by once again enshrining the unique insights of our own founding fathers, such as Thomas Jefferson’s “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth.”

  538. Rd. says:

    Will You Occupy AIPAC?

    “The time has come for the Occupy Movement to demand an end to the Occupation of Palestine…”

    They should add, end occupation of congress by apiac as well…
    OCCUPY AIPAC are under way and we hope you will join us March 2-6 in Washington DC.

    http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/will-you-occupy-aipac/

  539. Rd. says:

    BiBiJon says:

    “budget cuts” or deescalation?
    =============================

    Perhaps they realized the bluff was called, so they decided better to fold!!!

  540. Rehmat says:

    What if they were Iranian or Chinese dual citizen?

    There is no denying the fact that a great majority of the 535 US lawmakers (100 Senators and 435 members of the Congress) take their marching orders from American-Israel Public Affair Committee (AIPAC). Several of these lawmakers and members of Obama administration carry US-Israel dual citizenship. One such person is the Jewish Sen. Carl Milton Levin (D-Michigan). He is Chairman of Senate Committee on Armed Services. He has been a major player behind US sanctions against Islamic Republic. In October 2011, Carl Levin called the bogus Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador in Washington “an act of war against the US“.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/what-if-they-were-iranian-or-chinese-dual-citizen/

  541. BiBiJon says:

    “budget cuts” or deescalation?
    =============================

    Fyi, What do you think?

    “Israel, U.S. postpone joint anti-missile exercise

    By Ron Kampeas · January 15, 2012

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States and Israel have delayed a major joint anti-missile exercise against a backdrop of heightened tensions with Iran.

    Sources in both countries said that the exercise, the largest of its kind, would be delayed from its planned spring date until the summer at the earliest.

    Reasons for the postponement principally had to do with budget cuts in Israel, an Israeli official said.”

    http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/01/15/3091184/israel-us-postpone-joint-anti-missile-exercise

  542. Empty says:

    “During a training flight, during which they simulated a combat situation, a two-seat fighter French Air Force Mirage collided with a Saudi F-15 aircraft according to the report by the Defense Ministry of Saudi Arabia. All three pilots ejected successfully and were picked up unharmed during search and rescue operations.”
    http://english.ruvr.ru/2012/01/15/63867906.html

    There goes another hundred million dollar in a new set, delivery, and assorted fees to be pocketed by the US and France.
    خاک تو سر عربستان سعودی که اینقدر ابله تشریف دارن.

  543. Empty says:

    fyi,

    Thank you for the good example you posted (January 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm). On the mark.

    [Quran, Sura 2, Ayat 26 - interpretation/translation: "Indeed God does not avoid using any kind of lesson/example/allegory from a mosquito to above/beyond it; the believers know that it is a truth from their "Rabb" (The Processor) while the disbelievers wonder what God meant by such an allegory/example. It is thus that God misleads many and guides many but never misleads except those who are corrupt."]

  544. settman says:

    why do you keep seeing Dan shapiro everywhere making statements like he were the president of america? Seems like a man with hubris and who have hijacked the voice from America, and hes not arguing for american interests.

  545. Castellio says:

    Regarding the 2003 offer I am cross posting a relevant comment from “harper” over at: http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/01/the-2003-iranian-overture.html#comments

    “First, the offer was fully vetted by the Supreme Leader Khamenei, so the same Iranian leadership that sent the 2003 letter is still in place, and available for negotiations if the Obama Administration chooses to enter into a serious diplomatic track this time around, as people like Tom Pickering and Paul Pillar are urging. Today, Gary Sick on CNN added a further update to the negotiations to date, indicating that the Turkish and Brazilian offer, accepted more recently by Iran, would involve Iran turning over their 20 percent enriched uranium in return for the actual fuel rods they need for their medical isotope reactor. Note that Iran has accepted Turkish mediation with the P5+1 and Larijani, who will likely emerge as the most powerful political figure in Iran, coming out of the March 2012 majlis elections, was just in Ankara, following the Turkish foreign minister’s visit to Tehran.

    The line I get from Administration officials is that we are conducted harsh sanctions, strangling economic warfare and covert assassinations and cyberwar as a “war avoidance” policy. This makes no sense to me. We clearly have a narrow window of opportunity to resume real diplomacy, without the low intensity war to get the Iranians to modify their behavior. The 2003 letter would be a sensible starting point, even at this late date. The Obama adminstration has badly blown the diplomatic opportunities, almost as badly as the Bush administration a few years earlier. The consequences of failure are pretty grave–a war in the Persian Gulf in which vital Russian and Chinese interests will be directly challenged. Note recent Russian statements by Rogozin and Primakov, just the latest to warn about the larger war dangers stemming from a U.S. or Israeli/U.S. hit on Iran.

    Gen. Wesley Clark has a favorite stump speech, in which he recounts two Pentagon encounters. One was right after 911, when he was told by JCS people that the U.S. was going to war against Iraq. In 1992, he was told by Wolfowitz that there was a 10-15 year window to change regimes in Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, while the Soviet Union was gone and the next superpower challenge was still waiting in the wings to emerge.

  546. Castellio says:

    K_W, the only other thing I’d add is that the only western leader now in power with the intellectual acumen to place the collapse of American democracy in historical perspective is Putin. (Angela Merkel is no Willy Brandt.)

    If people have more information about Turkey (in English, or Russian for that matter) and where to find it I’d like to know. Something isn’t ringing right with the support of Turkey for a changing of the Syrian regime. For Turkey to support a Saudi led conservative Islamic movement is insanity itself.

  547. Castellio says:

    k_w, who has a reach long enough to rap Israeli knuckles at the end of the American arm?

    The more I go over the facts, the more I’m convinced we’re seeing the planning of overlapping governments, not just the co-ordination of two separate governments, but a series of seemingly separate command centres (CIA, Mossad) which are actually joined somewhere within or above.

  548. k_w says:

    Castellio,

    I’ve forgotten the second thing that Silverstein missed: The soldiers’ families in the southern bases have been sent home.

  549. k_w says:

    Castellio,

    what is missing from the original article (read with Google translator) is the fact that the Russian sources didn’t wanted to deny nor confirm the presence of the Russian North Sea nuclear submarine fleet. My feeling is that the whole thing is getting out of control. Someone has to rap the Israelis’ knuckles soon.

  550. kooshy says:

    Sounds like our zero problem guys are getting themselves in more problems than they can chew on, at one point the Turkish military is going to wonder if it can allow to be souranded by so many nighoubors who have real difficulty with new Ottomanisem , and that could be when feel to take over the government once more.

    “Iraq’s Maliki slams Turkey, claims it can bring civil war to region”

    “If it is acceptable to talk about our judicial authority, then we can talk about theirs, and if they talk about our disputes, we can talk about theirs,” Maliki said in the interview, claiming that Turkey is playing a role that might bring disaster and civil war to the region, and that Turkey itself will suffer because it has different sects and ethnicities.”

    http://www.todayszaman.com/news-268558-iraqs-maliki-slams-turkey-claims-it-can-bring-civil-war-to-region.html

  551. WTF says:

    Castellio says:
    January 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm
    WTF. Your question you ask RSH is good – why now – I’d like to know how you would answer it.

    I see the Perry piece as interesting, because (assuming his sources are legit) you have 2 current and 4 retired CIA officers basically saying: the Israelis used to come to us for approval, but not only are they going rogue and conducting these activities without our approval, but they were actually impersonating us to make it seem as if we orchestrated these attacks.

    Even if Perry’s CIA sources are legit, they could still be full of shit. But even if that were the case, the question still remains: Why does the CIA seem to be “throwing Israel under the bus” (in Mitt Romney’s voice) over this assassination, when they could certainly deflect in other ways? I’m not disillusioned to think that there has been a dramatic shift in Washington, but in the leaks from Perry’s piece:

    the Mossad operation sparked a divisive debate among Bush’s national security team, pitting those who wondered “just whose side these guys [in Israel] are on” against those who argued that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    Along with these from the WSJ piece I linked earlier:

    Some American intelligence officials complain that Israel represents a blind spot in U.S. intelligence, which devotes little resources to Israel. Some officials have long argued that, given the potential for Israel to drag the U.S. into potentially explosive situations, the U.S. should devote more resources to divining Israel’s true intentions.

    American intelligence officials seem to be going public that Israel may be deliberately jeopardizing American interests. Obviously, as RSH has proposed, this could simply be disinformation, but still – why are they implicating Israel in addressing this assassination?

  552. Castellio says:

    IMPORTANT: Silverstein is also wondering about Russian strategy and has linked to an interesting site.

    http://www.ng.ru/nvo/2011-12-15/1_gruppirovka.html

    This is from his blog:

    It’s hard to know how much credibility to lend to this report. But I think it’s worth giving it some attention given that Israel and the U.S. seem to discount the response that might come from parties outside Iran to an attack against that country.

    The Russian media reports (Hebrew translation) that the country’s defense ministry and military forces are preparing contingency plans for a likely Israeli military attack against Iran, possibly involving the U.S. as well. Russia is reinforcing its armed forces in the southern Caucuses, Black and Caspian Seas and the Mediterranean. Government sources tell reporters that they see evidence of preparations for an Israeli attack on Iranian nuclear sites with the support of the U.S. The strike, when it comes, will be sudden, with profound consequences and the possibility for a regional war ensuing. Russia is preparing military procedures which would minimize any losses it could incur in the event of an Iran attack.

    Russia has been preparing such contingency plans for over a year and they are now nearing completion. The Russian military base in Armenia has been upgraded. Other bases in South Ossetia and Abkhazia are also battle-ready. Russian naval forces near the Georgian border can also come to the aid of the Iranians. Russia also has naval squadrons equipped with aircraft that are expected shortly in the Syrian port of Tartous in case there are military threats to Syria.

    A Russian military analyst interviewed for the story says that if Iran faces a full-scale assault and appears to be losing, Russia would lend military assistance, at the military-technical level at the very least. The article also notes the possibility that an Iran attack might encourage many other parties like Armenia and Azerbijian to take advantage of the breakdown of order to advance their own territorial ambitions. Any one of these could lead to a much broader conflict in the region.

    richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/01/14/russia-prepares-for-possible-israeli-u-s-strike-on-iran/

  553. fyi says:

    Castellio says: January 14, 2012 at 11:51 pm

    I think in terms of energy and food production Iran is more or less secure.

    There are certain food stuffs that are imported from abroad: tea, cooking oil, wheat, etc. I do not see any possibility of that being stopped.

    Likewise for production of gasoline, natural gas, etc.

    Over the last 8 years, Iranian government has been stroing critical items in case inports are disrupted due to war.

    And I think Iran has enough gold inside the country for the next 15 years.

    The financial sanctions of Axis Poweres over the years actually helped Iran: Iranians bought a lot of gold (per above), repatriated their money into hard currency inside Iran and – furthermore – were insulated from the Great Depression II that hit the Axis Powers in 2007 significantly.

    But, Mr. Shapiro has to sya what he has to say to Israelis.

    In regards to the US Pivot; US wants to do it.

    But she cannot; she is stuck in the Middle East for the next few decades.

  554. Castellio says:

    I, too, tried posting it without the spaces and it didn’t work.

    In any case, thanks for the links.

  555. Must be something about the Rediff blogs URLs – everything else seems to work.

  556. He also has an article on the head of Russia’s Security Council saying war is imminent…

    Russia sees Middle East drifting to war
    http://blogs .rediff.com/ mkbhadrakumar/2012/01/13/ russia-sees-middle-east-drifting-to-war/

  557. Castellio says:

    I’m posting this to see if its accepted.

    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/michael-hastings/all/1

  558. Let’s try it with the link broken up into pieces by spaces…

    http://blogs .rediff.com/ mkbhadrakumar/2012/01/14/ india-has-no-issues-with-political-islam/

  559. Castellio says:

    FYI, regarding the thwarting of Ambassador Shapiro’s stated goals for the economic annihilation of Iran, I’m sincerely hoping you’re right.

  560. Nope, even with the link disabled by a colon, it didn’t work…

  561. Castellio says:

    Nasser, thanks for that clarification. I agree with you that India would be much wiser to be neutral, in speech and deed.

    I didn’t know Bhadrakumar had a blog!

    RSH, try posting it again, and tell us what happens.

  562. That’s odd – seems to be a problem posting here. I tried to post the link to the article Nasser cited, but my post seems to have vanished…

  563. WTF: “but in your opinion, why are these “false flag” leaks coming out now? Do you write them off as intended for US public consumption?…While these types of stories are often put out there for public consumption, these seem like they may have a different intended audience.”

    In the realm of espionage, it’s frequently hard to discern why certain things are done. Also, there may be no “either-or” involved, i.e., such stories could be put out for several different reasons, even by people with differing agendas. Also, the best lies are those with a grain of truth to them.

    So I can’t say for certain what might be behind it. My guess is that the general rule that most of this sort of thing is “disinformation” probably applies. The question always is: “disinformation” for whose benefit?

    In the end, the bottom line is always: actions speak louder than words. The assassinations, bombings, etc. point to the ends desired, and we know the answer to “cui bono” – who benefits? – in the long run. That will have to suffice.

  564. Nasser says:

    Castellio,

    “The Indian government believes that aligning with Israel assures them of all the power and diplomatic privileges that a close and preferential alliance with the US can bring. And they aren’t wrong.”

    - You are right in that India thinks it can win some brownie points in Washington by pandering to Israeli interests. I think they are wrong though because no matter what India does the US like China still wants to maintain a balance of power between Pakistan and India. Also the final settlement the US pushes in Afghanistan with the Taliban would be in Pakistan’s favor; again no matter what India does.

    Of course India should do whats best for their country and try to maintain good relations with US and Israel but as the ambassador notes India gains nothing and risks much by some over the top emotional entanglement with Israel over supposedly some shared hostility towards Islamist terrorists. As he notes: “Does he think India can settle its Kashmir problem with Israel’s help? What can israel do to ameliorate the alienation of the Kashmiri people? Will israel provide us with the wherewithal to control the north-eastern states?”Also he rightly points out that there is much danger with getting too close with Mossad and having India’s soil used as a launching pad for their operations.

    India will be much better served with taking a much more neutral stance in Middle Eastern politics like China does.

    P.S. I found the article on his blog and not on Asia Times but for some reason I cannot post the web link to it.

  565. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 14, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    What part of “regime changes at any cost” you do not comprehend?

  566. fyi says:

    Castellio says: January 14, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Ambassador Shapiro’s goals cannot be realized.

  567. Rd. says:

    Ahmadinejad, Iran, and the Yankee Empire
    by Fidel Castro Ruz

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2012/castro130112.html

  568. Sakineh Bagoom says:

    Zzzzzzz
    Ding!

    Wow, I always thought that 20%U was about Iranians “standing tall” and showing those Saudi monkeys not to walk on all four. Now, it is confirmed.
    Well done Iranians! Well done indeed!

  569. Rd. says:

    A Turkish perspective on zero sum;

    “When Turkey pushes the Alawite-backed Bashar al-Assad regime away, it also pushes Maliki away,”

    “Turkey should first fix its relations with Syria, which went sour because of sanctions Turkey rushed to impose, not only damaging bilateral ties, but also disrupting Turkey’s political clout in the entire region,”

    “The best possible strategy is for Turkey to maintain strong contact with all regional actors, especially with Iran and the Shiite blocs elsewhere,”

    “We have to acknowledge Iran’s existence and power in the regional scene.” Agreeing that Turkey should draw closer to the key Shiite actors for the sake of its balanced strategy

    http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action;jsessionid=4DFBF048DDD598D9976351508E46A151?newsId=268590

  570. Castellio says:

    WTF. Your question you ask RSH is good – why now – I’d like to know how you would answer it.

  571. Castellio says:

    Nasser, I appreciate you posting Bhadrakumar’s article (I assume from the Asia Times).

    However, the one important fact that Bhadrakumar misses is that India sees no light between Israel and the US.

    The Indian government believes that aligning with Israel assures them of all the power and diplomatic privileges that a close and preferential alliance with the US can bring. And they aren’t wrong.

    Most countries (but not most commentators) now realize that the US and Israel share overlapping governments.

  572. Nasser says:

    M K Bhadrakumar writes an excellent piece on the dangers of India getting too palsy walsy with Israel. Reminds me when that scumbag Henry Kissinger went on and on about how US and Israel’s war on terror has grave consequences for India’s Muslims and how they could be emboldened if the West were to lose and other such idiocy. It seems India’s present strategic leadership bought into such propaganda and nonsense.

    “India has no issues with political Islam

    The External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna’s statement in Tel Aviv that India and Israel will together wipe out international terrorism from the face of the earth will certainly come to haunt him and New Delhi every now and then.

    Such as when you come across the kind of information that the Foreign Policy magazine has just brought out. Put succinctly, Israel’s Mossad cheated on the US’s CIA and under the pretension of being American spooks, Mossad agents mounted subversive operations against Iran. (Interestingly, FP’s story differentiating the CIA from Mossad coincides with the latest assassination of an Iranian scientist by Mossad.)
    Funnily, Mossad went to the extent of manipulating the Sunni Wahhabi outfit Jundullah to carry out attacks on Shi’ite pilgrim centres inside Iran and used Pakistani territory for the operation — presumably, without Pakistan’s ISI being aware of it. (By the way, Pervez Musharraf’s keenness to have Pakistan establish formal ties with israel assumes new meaning.)

    The FP report has an interesting take on how Iran nabbed Jundullah chief Abdolmalek Rigi in February 2010 with Pakistan’s cooperation and US’s acquiescence.
    Of course, we are on a safer wicket, arguably, because even the most fair-skinned north Indian cannot be mistaken for an ethnic Israeli and Mossad will have a hard time to come down from its high professional pedestal and pose as its Indian counterpart. But intriguing questions do arise.

    If israel can get away with murder and the Americans couldn’t do much about it, what is the guarantee that India’s security czars can keep their Israeli security partner in tight leash? We have a notoriously inefficient and flabby security apparatus, our resources are far too limited in comparison with CIA, and unlike the CIA and the Pentagon or the White House, South Block’s leverage over Mossad is very little.
    So, EAM needs to seriously ponder over what he said in such a cavalier fashion. The heart of the matter is that India can be a great playpen for the Israeli intelligence in fighting their battles with political Islam. At the end of the day, take a few million observant Muslims this way or that, and we still would have a 150-million Muslim population in India and that is not going to elude the Israeli intelligence’s attention. Israel has a consistent history of using any or all turfs in the world of Islam to settle scores with its adversaries.

    The risk of bonding with Israel on the security front is enormous. And the raison d’etre of the bonding is highly debatable. Neither the Hezbollah nor the Hamas, neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor Islamic Jihad has ever harbored any hostility toward India.

    Even during the peak of the insurgency in J&K in the 1990s, even after running a fine comb through the Valley, we never came across a trace of Hezbollah messing around in India. The then Prime Minister Narasimha Rao went on to hail Iran as a “factor of stability” in the region. Even the BJP stalwarts appreciated the thoughtful impulses behind Rao’s historic visit to Iran in 1993.

    Okay, Palestinians do harbor a deep sense of hurt that neo-liberal India has careered away from the era of Nehru and Indira Gandhi, but they never display it and are far too gracious whenever they accost India. Last week, Krishna did receive a cordial welcome in Ramallah.

    So, what is this business of India and Israel being “natural allies” as EAM put it? Does he think India can settle its Kashmir problem with Israel’s help? What can israel do to ameliorate the alienation of the Kashmiri people? Will israel provide us with the wherewithal to control the north-eastern states?
    Or, is it that Israel knows something that we don’t know as to why these Maoists keep appearing from time to time — like Krishna says in Bhagavat Gita about his own reappearance — on our country’s political landscape?
    India needs to be far more thoughtful about the New Middle East that is struggling to be born. No matter the US’s frantic efforts to connect with the Islamist groups in the region at this stage (when it becomes abundantly clear that these groups enjoy mass support and their continued exclusion is inconceivable), the fact remains that these groups represent popular aspirations and these aspirations almost one hundred percent revolt against Israel’s aggressive conduct.

    There is really no need for India to collect Israel’s dirty linen and offer to wash it in the Ganges — or Krishna river. Especially when we pay hard cash for all transactions with Israel, have never defaulted on payments, and we quietly pay the asking price — and it is already amounting to a huge budgetary support for the Israeli economy. There is really no need to get so uncharacteristically emotional.”

  573. WTF says:

    Richard Steven Hack says:
    January 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Given that Iran rolled up a bunch of CIA assets in Iran recently, I suspect they really do have evidence that the CIA was directly supporting whoever committed the assassinations.

    This is a good point. I was wondering how the recent issues the CIA has had in Iran and Lebanon could play into the backdrop of this most recent assassination.

    Regarding the Jewbonics critique of Perry’s piece, obviously the CIA isn’t an innocent bystander in all of this (and is likely directly responsible); but in your opinion, why are these “false flag” leaks coming out now? Do you write them off as intended for US public consumption? I think you might tend to agree that the US elites don’t give a shit about what the US public thinks. So why leak stories that seem to expose Israel, when they could simply hold the standard “We regret the loss of life” press conference, and the American Sheep would nod their heads and continue watching Jersey Shore. Even if Iran presents evidence proving CIA complicity, the American public won’t care. While these types of stories are often put out there for public consumption, these seem like they may have a different intended audience.

  574. A bit off-topic… Interesting interview with Michael Hastings over at Wired Danger Room on Afghanistan and the relationship between Obama and the Pentagon.

    Michael Hastings: McChrystal Was ‘Complex,’ Obama Was Naive, Afghanistan Is Hopeless
    http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/01/michael-hastings/all/1

  575. Castellio says:

    When the bodies of dead Iranians begin to line the street, what will Pak, Binam and Sassan do? Emulate the marines? Perhaps. They speak of those who might have been their compatriots, in the case of Sassan at least, with open revulsion and contempt.

    I know that on this site, should it still exist, James will inform us that the British foreign office sincerely regrets any and all inconveniences. In the midst of the ruins, will he also add that Saudi Arabia is doing “what it can” for the Palestinians?

    America can’t “correct” itself. It is much too late for that. It needs a free press: it doesn’t have one. It needs an independent judiciary: it doesn’t have one. It needs a democratically elected Congress responsive to an informed public: please, even the idea seems laughable.

    A mature polity and functioning democratic institutions can be quickly lost, but they are not so easily rebuilt.

    The pivot to the Pacific, I’m beginning to see quite clearly, has nothing to do with trying to leave the Middle East behind, it’s simply a cover for the build-up of active forces in the Pacific to encourage China to lay low. The US, in fact, is threatening China with stopping the flow of oil to it. That’s all that the pivot to the Pacific really means. It means flexing one’s muscles to intimidate one neighbour (China) while beating up another (Iran).

    Nothing can be expected from Europe. It and Japan have acceded to their lack of sovereignty.

    Obama is on board with all of this. He believes he is vigorously defending American interests (a contemporary military mercantilism… which is, it now seems clear, all that the much vaunted “third way” has become).

    The only hope in this situation, and its very slight, extremely slight, is that the Russians will join in a de facto military pact with Iran, freezing a ‘tolerable’ situation until it is the economic disturbances in the US which begin to reorient that society.

    This brings us to the recent demonstrations against Putin.

    I am not a believer in the great man theory of history. I am simply looking for cracks in the edifice.

  576. Germany urges nationals to leave Syria
    http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/europe/news/article_1685396.php/Germany-urges-nationals-to-leave-Syria

    Plans to close its consular office. Obviously doesn’t want to bomb its own people…

  577. Another lyin’ beyatch weighs in…

    Rice: Assad pushing Syria to ‘civil war’
    :http://thehill.com/video/sunday-shows/194703-rice-assad-pushing-syria-to-civil-war

    And Russia states explicitly that NATO plans Syria regime change:

    Syria: Nato ‘planning direct military intervention’, Russia claims
    :http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/syria/9010349/Syria-Nato-planning-direct-military-intervention-Russia-claims.html

    Quote

    The head of Russia’s security council said he had seen intelligence indicating plans for a military incursion were well advanced.

    “We are getting information that Nato members and some Persian Gulf States, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention,” Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Kremlin security body said in an interview published in Russia’s Kommersant newspaper on Thursday.

    “This time it is true that the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the UK or Italy, but possibly by neighbouring Turkey which was until recently on good terms with Syria and is a rival of Iran with immense ambitions.” America and Turkey were even now possibly already refining options for a no-fly zone that would allow armed Syrian opposition fighters to mass in the designated areas, he added.

    End Quote

  578. Another addition to the “Iran will have nukes in five years” time line…

    Gen. McCaffrey: Iran will have ‘a dozen’ nukes within 5 years
    http://thehill.com/video/policy-areas/204043-former-gen-mccaffrey-iran-will-have-a-dozen-nukes-within-5-years

    “The existence of Israel is at stake,” McCaffrey said Friday on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown.”

  579. Along the lines of Qatar supporting a war with Iran:

    Rep. Cantor: US allies have doubts about policies trying to control Iran
    http://thehill.com/homenews/house/204151-cantor-us-allies-have-doubts-about-obama-policies-stop-iran

    Once again, we see the “usual suspects” in Congress pushing for war with Iran.

    Not to mention Syria:

    Quote

    Cantor praised the French government and President Nicolas Sarkozy for being “more vocal” than the Obama administration in trying to oust the Assad regime from power in Syria.

    “I would urge this administration to get serious and focus on the situation in Syria,” he said.

    End Quote

  580. WTF: Sorry about misreading you. But it helps to restate the obvious around here, given what some people believe. :-)

  581. James Canning says:
    January 14, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    “R S Hack, Are you in effect encouraging Iran to continue to enrich uranium to 20%, in hopes this will make war inevitable (assuming, down the road, Iran further enriches to 90%, etc etc)?”

    James,

    If you insist on enough assumptions, sooner or later one is forced to agree with you. But why should Richard assume that Iran would “further enrich to 90%?” There is an obvious peaceful reason for Iran to enrich to 20%, no obvious peaceful reason for it to enrich to 90%. But for that very reason, it’s unreasonable for you to ask Richard simply to assume that Iran will do what it has no reason to do: enrich beyond 20%.

  582. WTF says:

    RSH,

    RE:
    “Qatari leader says he favors sending Arab troops to Syria to stop violence”
    This is shocking! A Persian Gulf Arab dictator wants military action in Syria. That just blew my mind.”

    I was being sarcastic, but thanks for explaining the obvious.

  583. Castellio: This quote from Silverstein’s article is even more important:

    Quote:

    “When asked whether U.S. options also included a military one, Shapiro responded:
    “Because stopping a nuclear Iran is so important, we’ve said this before and I’m saying it again, all options are open. All the possibilities.” said Shapiro. “And I’ll say more than that, we are examining these possibilities actively, and we are drawing up the necessary plans to ensure that all these options exist, and I’m not ruling out any option…”

    Caspit said he asked the ambassador what he meant by “planning the options,” and whether they are also training for the implementation of these options, as foreign reports say the Israeli air force has been doing for some time. “Shapiro was quiet, and then said that America doesn’t need all that much training: ‘We have a massive military presence in the Persian Gulf, right?’”

    End Quote

    There it is – the U.S. admits it is ready and able to attack Iran at any time. It’s only Israel’s problem as to how to initiate such an attack. And as I’ve said, Israel will only do so once Syria and Hizballah are out of the equation. Although that is not “definitive” – should the U.S. and EU fail to destroy Syria and/or Israel fail to destroy Hizballah, Israel and/or the U.S. will still attack Iran at some point. They have no choice but to do so if they want to realize their aims in the Middle East as well as their war profits.

  584. Russia ups the ante, declaring an attack on Iran to be a “threat to Russian security.”

    Russia says would be threatened by Iran military action
    http://en.trend.az/regions/world/russia/1979873.html

    “Iran is our neighbor,” Dmitry Rogozin told reporters in Brussels. “And if Iran is involved in any military action, it’s a direct threat to our security.”

  585. Phase three of the ‘war on terror’
    http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/news/content/view/full/114103

    “Phase three in the “war on terror” now looks closer than ever. An attack on Iran.”

  586. Iran target of ‘false flag’ strategy?
    http://presstv.com/detail/220979.html

    These guys are asserting that the USS Vincennes, supposedly scrapped in November of last year, has been towed out of its berth and likely taken to the Fifth Fleet HQ in Bahrain, where it will be used as the “sacrificial target” of an alleged attack by Iran.

    The irony is that it was the Vincennes which downed an Iranian airliner in 1988 during the Iran-Iraq war (something which I have always believed was a deliberate attack, NOT an “accident.”0

    I can’t vouch for this scenario, but it wouldn’t surprise me, either.

  587. Castellio says:

    Definitely worth reading. Not because “it is new”, rather that the nature of the planning is ever more obvious.

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/01/14/u-s-ambassador-to-israel-u-s-ready-for-iran-strike/

    “Time Magazine publishes a new report that the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, has reinforced the unity approach between Israel and the U.S. toward Iran. He puts in the starkest terms yet our expectation of the economic contagion we’re hoping to result from economic sanctions:

    We need to show the Iranian government that it must choose between the nuclear plan and the country’s economic existence.

    Two things seem clear from this statement. We don’t merely want to exert economic pressure on Iran, we actually want to sow ruin, the equivalent of economic genocide. The U.S. wants to see Iranians suffer, and do so on such a massive scale that the entire country will be brought to its knees. We appear not to care whether babies starve as they did by the hundreds of thousands in sanction-era Iraq.

    The other aspect of his remark that appears clear is that while the U.S. has denied participating in the sabotage campaign against Iran’s nuclear program, we know of it and approve it. We’ve compartmentalized our efforts so the U.S. puts the squeeze on economically and Israel does it militarily. But this is a coordinated program and we are willing participants in it. Whether or not we planted bombs in Teheran, we are accessories after the fact and share in the culpability for this egregious conduct.

    It is also clear that sanctions as defined by Shapiro are NOT an attempt to forge a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear “threat.” Rather, they are an attempt to bring Iran to its knees and force it to accede to western demands. Make no mistake, we’re not trying to avoid bloodshed. Sanctions are part of a calibrated series of actions which will lead inexorably to war. Because there is no way that sanctions alone will bring the result the U.S. demands. And our policymakers have to know this. The only possible next step will involve force. But even force will not work unless we are prepared to put boots on the ground and violently topple the regime. This means that this policy can only fail ultimately.”

  588. Jewbonics on the Mark Perry article:

    Another Mark Perry Exclusive
    http://www.maxajl.com/another-mark-perry-exclusive/

    Quote

    If you didn’t shake your head when the “retired intelligence officer” beatifically claimed that “we don’t political assassinations,” check your coordinates, please.

    Israel regularly proposes conducting covert operations targeting Iranians, but is just as regularly shut down, according to retired and current intelligence officers. “They come into the room and spread out their plans, and we just shake our heads,” one highly placed intelligence source said, “and we say to them — ‘Don’t even go there. The answer is no.’”

    That Perry has just documented instances of Israeli plans being roundly rejected by US officialdom has escaped the notice of those getting excited about this story. About that phenomenon I am not sure what to say. But I have interrupted your search for a right-populist savior who will put the Jewish state on its leash and save American democracy. Consider the interruption over, and you may now return to your regular hallucinating habits.

    End Quote

  589. US raises concerns with Moscow over Syria-bound ship
    http://en.trend.az/regions/world/usa/1979834.html

    This, while the U.S. is shipping $30 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, sending billions more of arms to Israel, etc., etc.

  590. This is a correct assessment.

    Truth about Syria: Crazy Men in Grey Suits
    The west is on the hunt for another war in the Middle East.
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30242.htm

    Quotes

    Bringing down the Syrian government, rupturing its strategic relationship with Iran and Hizbullah, is an end in itself for the US and its western and gulf allies. Insofar as Iran is concerned, removing Syria from the calculus of war by throwing it into such turmoil that it could not respond would significantly strengthen the US-Israeli position and perhaps make war more likely.

    What parties say when in opposition and what they feel obliged to do in office are usually two different things and the Islamist parties are no different. On the critical question of relations with Israel, Rashid Ghannushi, the leader of Tunisia’s Al Nahda party has held quiet talks with the Israelis in Washington and has indicated that Palestine will not be a priority for the new Tunisian government. Conflicting signals are coming from the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. According to the US State Department, the brotherhood has given an assurance that it will uphold the 1979 treaty with Israel. Almost immediately this was denied, with senior brotherhood figures saying that the treaty could not be regarded as sacrosanct and repeating the possibility of a referendum being held so the people could decide. This will be the trickiest of questions for the new government to handle but as the new Egyptian government will need the billions of dollars of aid pledged by the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the IMF (last year an offer of $3 billion was not taken up but will be discussed again this January), pragmatism is likely to win out, in the short term and perhaps for as long as Israel itself does not put the treaty at risk through another savage attack on Gaza or Leb

    Last week the Guardian hit a new low point with the accusation by of a London-based ‘activist’ that the Syrian security forces are packing detainees into container ships and dumping them at sea. It had no evidence for this claim, but then this is how the Guardian has been ‘reporting’ this crisis throughout. When Damascus was bombed, both the Guardian and the BBC led with the claim that these bombings were the work of the government – according to activists. They had no evidence for this accusation either, literally made while Syrians were still washing the blood off the streets and picking up the body parts of the civilians who had been killed. When the Arab League issued an interim statement on the work of its monitors in Syria, it called for an end to the violence by the state and by armed gangs. On its web page, the BBC reported only that it called on the Syrian government to end the violence.

    The clear intention is to goad Iran into retaliating, providing the pretext for the armed attack that many in Israel and the US want. There is no question that Syria needs to reform but anyone who thinks that the US, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are campaigning against Syria for the cause of reform is living in a dream world.

    End Quotes

  591. West ‘out of options on Iran stand-off’
    http://www.france24.com/en/20120113-west-out-options-iran-stand-off

    In essence, France is saying war is the only option left…

    Expect the next move, once oil export sanctions fail, to be an oil blockade of Iran – which Iran will be forced to respond to militarily, thus “justifying” a U.S. attack on Iran. This is precisely what Obama said he was willing to do in his election campaign.

  592. James Canning: “Are you in effect encouraging Iran to continue to enrich uranium to 20%, in hopes this will make war inevitable (assuming, down the road, Iran further enriches to 90%, etc etc)?”

    Let me ask you a similar rhetorical question: Are you a complete moron?

  593. James Canning: “I very much doubt the Qatar wants to turn Syria over to Israel. Qatar maintains good relations with Hamas.”

    Oh, please. Qatar is a lapdog of the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. They want Assad overthrown. The end result will be Israel controlling Syria via the U.S. just like the U.S. controls Qatar.

    Do you really think the rulers in Qatar don’t know who will benefit from Assad being overthrown? Yet they support it anyway.

    Actions speak louder than words. Anyone supporting the overthrow of Assad is handing Syria, Lebanon and the rest of the Middle East to Israel and promoting a war with Iran.

    It’s that simple.

  594. James Canning: “How would the Lebanese tribunal on Hariri assassination bring about the “disarming” of Hezbollah?”

    The entire point of the Tribunal is to accuse Hizballah of guilt in the Hariri assassination, thus leading to a reduction of their influence in the government, with the aim of getting them disarmed by UN fiat. The Lebanese government cannot disarm Hizballah, so if Hizballah is kicked out of the government, a government of “lapdogs” could ask the UN to forcibly disarm Hizballah.

    This will never happen, of course. Nasrallah is no fool. The Tribunal is a weak side effort, which I believe the U.S. and Israel have already ignored as it’s doomed to fail.

    Which is why the U.S., the EU and Israel are working to overthrow Assad and militarily weaken Syria, so that Israel can attack Hizballah again, this time by crossing Syria territory to attack the Bekaa Valley, the main stronghold of Hizballah.

  595. Rehmat: “Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-General of United Nations met Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati in Beirut on January 13, 2012. Trying to be tough guy during his next term at the UN – he advised the Zionist entity to cease violating Lebanese sovereignty and UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1701. As if Benji Netanyahu gives a damn what this Washington poodle says!”

    Correct.

    “Ban Ki-Moon also discussed STL aka Israeli Project and disarming of Hizbullah with the prime minister and Nebih Barre, the Speaker of country’s parliament.”

    You see how this ties in with the Syrian crisis? The UN Secretary General is reminding the world that Hizballah is the main constraint on Israel starting the Iran war, and that Israel can only take out Hizballah after weakening Syria.

    “The remarks come one day after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a news conference in the Lebanese capital of Beirut commented on Hezbollah’s military might.”

    Nasrallah knows what’s going on. He knows that if Syria falls, Hizballah is next on Israel’s hit list. And since Nasrallah is not the kind of guy to let weeds grow under his feet, I wonder what he plans to do to derail the Syrian overthrow. I’m not sure what he can do, but I suspect Hizballah may make moves of some sort to prevent the overthrow of Assad.

  596. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    Are you in effect encouraging Iran to continue to enrich uranium to 20%, in hopes this will make war inevitable (assuming, down the road, Iran further enriches to 90%, etc etc)?

  597. Canning: Re M.J. Rosenberg’s piece, I think this is the noticeable point:

    Quote

    Any doubt that Netanyahu and the lobby want war can be eliminated not just by the fifth assassination of an Iranian scientist in the streets of Tehran this week but by an AIPAC-drafted resolution that calls on the president to deal with a nuclear Iran through no means other than war.

    Introduced by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the resolution states that should Iran develop nuclear weapons, the U.S. response must be a military attack, even nuclear war. Read how Sen. Graham explains the legislation.

    Some have suggested that — should economic and diplomatic pressure fail to force Iran to abandon its pursuit of acquiring nuclear weapons — the next best option is for the United States to accept and then contain a nuclear-armed Iran. That would be a catastrophic mistake.

    The resolution we intend to introduce will put the Senate on record as opposing containment in the strongest and clearest terms, detailing why the consequences of a nuclear-armed Iran cannot be ‘contained’ like the threat of the Soviet Union.

    When it comes to addressing the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran, all options must be on the table – except for one, and that is containment. … Containment is failure, and failure cannot be an option.

    Imagine. The only option the lobby-initiated Senate resolution would prohibit is the very policy that prevented the world from being destroyed during the Cold War. It is also the option the United States applies in the case of every other nation with nuclear weapons, including North Korea.

    End Quote

    Here we see the U.S. Congress EXPLICITLY CALLING FOR AN IRAN WAR!

    What more do we need to know about U.S. intentions? Here it is in black and white!

    Does anyone here really think that this resolution would have been put forward if the U.S. Congress were sure to defeat it? AIPAC has often claimed it can get 60 Senators in a heart beat on any issue they put forward. They will get them on this one as well.

    Once again I say war with Iran is INEVITABLE.

  598. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I very much doubt the Qatar wants to turn Syria over to Israel. Qatar maintains good relations with Hamas.

  599. James Canning says:

    In the Sunday Telegraph, William Hague calls on Iran to negotiate a resolution of the nuclear dispute.

    I think Hague is genuine in his wish for a negotiated solution to the problem.

  600. WTF: “Qatari leader says he favors sending Arab troops to Syria to stop violence”
    This is shocking! A Persian Gulf Arab dictator wants military action in Syria. That just blew my mind.”

    No surprise to me. Qatar wants Assad taken out, just like the rest of the GCC. These rulers want Iran pushed back and to do this they support taking out Syria and Lebanon. They do what the U.S. and Saudi Arabia tell them to do, even if it means handing the Middle East over to Israel. As Arnold has repeatedly said, these rulers are lapdogs of the U.S.

    This is just another example of how the U.S. wants to fast track the Syrian war during this election year. Overthrowing Syria would be a feather in Obama’s cap during the elections – assuming, of course, that it succeeds, which is far from certain. But it’s also a requirement for starting the Iran war, as I’ve said.

    I re-iterate my opinion that the U.S. and EU will be bombing Syria probably within the next six months, if not sooner.

  601. Given that Iran rolled up a bunch of CIA assets in Iran recently, I suspect they really do have evidence that the CIA was directly supporting whoever committed the assassinations. They have undoubtedly been interrogating and tracking back the movements and actions of these captured assets for weeks now. No doubt something was shook loose.

  602. Hans: “Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan met with the IAEA inspectors shortly before his assassination. Iran has previously charged the IAEA with releasing the identities of nuclear scientists, so that they can be assassinated. Is the IAEA complicit?”

    I don’t think it necessarily means the IAEA is OFFICIALLY complicit, even with Amano clearly on the side of the U.S.

    The U.S. has “diplomatic” personnel assigned to the IAEA. Some of these are undoubtedly either CIA or in communication with the CIA, just as some of the UNSCOM inspectors during the 1990′s were CIA agents. They would have access to all of the IAEA information on Iran. They would be prohibited by the IAEA from revealing that info but probably do so anyway.

  603. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    Bravo for linking those comments by Adam Silverman (“The 2003 Iranian overture”). Condoleezza Rice “denied ever having knowledge of Iran’s offer”! Rice, we should note, denied responsibility for the knowingly false claim in Bush’s State of the Union address in 2003, that Iraq had tried to buy uranium “in Africa”. Apparently Rice was responsible for this incredible bit of dishonesty.

  604. Fiorangela: This from your cited articles:

    “According to our sources, the second objective of Feltman’s visit to Cairo to request in particular the Secretary-General of the Arab League Nabil Elaraby to withdrew Arab observers from Syria and move the Syrian file to the United Nations. Here Feltman failed because we revealed the US-Arab plot three days before the submission of Arab observers report; consequently the Committee postponed this step.”

    makes it clear the U.S. wants to fast track the Syria file to the UN in order to get the attack on Syria going.

    Apparently they’re having trouble getting the Arab League to do so, and they’re also having trouble getting Turkey to turn on Iran. We’ll have to wait and see how things will go, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the U.S. and EU will continue to push for war on Syria. My guess is we will see very shortly more terrorist bombings in Syria to put pressure on the Arab League and Turkey to refer Syria to the UN. And if that fails, the US and the EU will do it themselves. They only need the League and Turkey as “front men” so as to not make it obvious that the Libya model is being applied to Syria.

  605. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    I strongly disagree with Mark Hibbs contention Russia and China do not want a negotiated resolution of the Iranian nuclear dispute. Rich and powerful Jews, and others in the US, obviously want the impasse to continue. They want Iran hurt so Israel can continue f*cking the Palestinians.

  606. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    The so-called “pivot to Asia” is a cover story for continued squandering of vast sums on “defence”, even if the US greatly reduces its Middle Eastern military presence.

  607. James Canning says:

    settman,

    I too saw the ambiguity in Rogozin’s statement. I doubt it reflects a change in the Russian position, however. P5+1 do not want nuclear weapons proliferation.

  608. James Canning says:

    Rehmat,

    How would the Lebanese tribunal on Hariri assassination bring about the “disarming” of Hezbollah?

  609. James Canning says:

    Ed Luce in the financial Times Jan. 14/15 has lunch with Zbig Brzezinski. Brzezinski says that “Americans. . . don’t study world history . . .and they don’t study geography.” This helps make them susceptible to demogoguery. “Brzezinski quotes a senior Chinese official who reportedly said of America: ‘Please don’t decline too quickly.’”

  610. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely you can comprehend that Iran enriching to 3.5% or 5% is not the same thing as Iran enriching to 20%. Enriching to 20% seems intended to inflame the Saudis, force Saudi Arabia to make common cause with Israel. Etc. And for what? To “stand tall”?

  611. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    “Arak, 20% enrichment etc. are all bogus issues.”

    - I never doubted that. I just doubt if Iran can survive the challenges facing her without nuclear weapons.

    Several times you have cited the Russian experience and their confrontation with the Germans. I fear the Iranian leaders might have learned the wrong lessons from history. I have heard Mr. Khamaenei several times criticize the Russians for spending so much on their defense. Iranians should brace themselves for future economic hardships and devote more of their resources into building a credible deterrence.

  612. fyi says:

    Nasser says: January 14, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Ypu might be right – I do not recall the details.

    But a reactor based on CANDU design makes a lot of sense for Iran since she has natural uranium fuel and need not rely on outside fuel services.

  613. fyi says:

    fyi says: January 14, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Arak, 20% enrichment etc. are all bogus issues.

    In fact, you can build a zero-out put heavy water reactor in the garage of an apartment complex and burn the natural uranium fuel to produce plutonium.

    Iran has all the expertiese and materials to do so.

    As is, the nuclear case has been useful for Axis Powers to justify any future war to destroy Iranian power.

    Just like in Iraq.

  614. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    It was my understanding that the Darkovin reactor is to be a Heavy water Reactor.

  615. fyi says:

    Nasser says: January 14, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Probably another 3 years.

    I think that the Iranians are also serious about building a reactor – light-water- at Dar-khovin “even if it takes us 20 years”.

  616. Nasser says:

    fyi,

    Thank you for posting the article by Mark Hibbs.

    Do you have any updates on the Arak Heavy Water Reactor? How soon can Iran have it up and running? I didn’t expect the kind of reaction that the opening of the Fordow facility generated. I wonder what kind of shrill threats once Arak becomes a fact on the ground.

  617. Rehmat says:

    Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-General of United Nations met Lebanese prime minister Najib Mikati in Beirut on January 13, 2012. Trying to be tough guy during his next term at the UN – he advised the Zionist entity to cease violating Lebanese sovereignty and UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1701. As if Benji Netanyahu gives a damn what this Washington poodle says!

    “Lebanon has always respected its obligations even in the toughest times including those related to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), but only that does not safeguard stability and peace; the international community should face Israel and force it to commit to its resolutions,” Mikati’s press office quoted Ban Ki-moon as saying.

    Resolution 1701 reiterates the UNSC’s strong support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence of Lebanon within its internationally recognized borders.

    Ban Ki-Moon also discussed STL aka Israeli Project and disarming of Hizbullah with the prime minister and Nebih Barre, the Speaker of country’s parliament.

    Ki-Moon is considered a US-Israel puppet by the Islamic Resistance Hizbullah which has three members in Najib’s 30-member cabinet. Days ahead of Ban’s visit to the region, which will also take him to Israel, top Hizbollah official Sheikh Mohammed Yazbeck said the UN leader was “not welcome” in Beirut.

    Israel violates Lebanon’s airspace on an almost daily basis, claiming the flights serve surveillance purposes.

    Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, secretary General, Islamic Resistance Hizbullah said today that armed Resistance is the only way Lebanon can maintain its security and sovereignty.

    In a televised speech aired on Saturday, Nasrallah said that Hezbollah would keep up its resistance against the United States and Israel.

    While welcoming national dialogue aimed at increasing the country’s stability, Nasrallah added that the Lebanese resistance group would never lay down its arms.

    The remarks come one day after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a news conference in the Lebanese capital of Beirut commented on Hezbollah’s military might.

    Nasrallah said he was pleased that Hezbollah’s growing military capabilities had been noticed by Ban.

    Israel’s 30,000-strong Jewish military suffered its first military humiliation at the hands of Hizbullah fighters in Summer 2006.

    http://rehmat2.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/nasrallah-resistance-will-never-put-down-arms/

  618. settman says:

    I find this quote by Russia interesting:

    “We are definitely interested in the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction,” Rogozin said on Friday. “But at the same time, we believe that any country has the right to have what it needs to feel comfortable, including Iran.”

    http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=84292

    Doesnt he basically say “we understand if Iran want this nuclear capability”?

  619. fyi says:

    All:

    This article is worth reading as it spells out, in great deatil, why the Axis Powers and Israel cannot afford negogiations.

    It is clear, at least to me, that no deal acceptable to Iran will be acceptable to US and Israel.

    The Siege of Iran must be considered an indefinite project for Axis Powers.

    US cannot pivot to Asia – that is impossible.

  620. Castellio says:

    I suggest people interested both in 1/ Flynt Leverett and 2/ the 2003 Iranian offer for direct negotiations with the US go to:

    http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2012/01/the-2003-iranian-overture.html#more

    Its interesting to note how the offer became public, who (Rove?) killed it, and the irrelevance/incompetence of Rice.

  621. fyi says:

    Dor James Canning:

    How a parasite can control the mind of its host

    http://the-scientist.com/2012/01/01/animal-mind-control/

  622. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Mr. Khamenei has decide to answer pressure with pressure.

    You must argue with him.

    He has essentially stated that if Iran cannot sell her oil, no one else in Persian Gulf could either.

    Now, US can go to war or can de-escalate.

  623. fyi says:

    fyi says: January 14, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    OK, I concede that I was wrong in my prediction that Iranians would no offer to suspend 20% enrichment.

    The fact that the repeated Iranain offers since my wrong prediction did not interest the axis Powers, China, an Russia clearly indicates that the 20% enrichment is a non-issue for these states.

    Negogiations with Iran are possible but US planners mnust first accept and acknowledge the increased power of Iran since 2004. Until and until that admission is made and acted upon, no progress can be made.

    In fact, Iran can offer to suspend all enrichment, it will matter not.

    US cannot negogiate – as I observed in the case of Mr. Bush in a posting below.

    I am not advocating war, I am saying that Iranian leaders essentially have dared US-EU to go to war (in case Iran could not sell her oil).

    Their call.

  624. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 14, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Starting in October 2011, Axis Powers and Saudi Arabia began a campaign to ratchet up pressure on Iran.

    This coincided with the US defeat in Iraq and the orientation of Iraq as another Shia-influenced state in addition to Iran and Lebanon.

    The crescendo clearly indicated a desperation in ruling cirecles in US, Saudi Arabia, and in Israel as to the strategic situation in the Middle East.

    I cannot phatom what they expected to gain through this campaign: delaying of US departure from Iraq, Iranain concessions on nuclear case, etc.? I suspect that they themselves did not know; I suspect the aim was to harm Iran in the short term; driven, it seems to me, by a form of visceral hatred for Iran and the Shia Muslims.

    Be as it may, I think the architects of this recent policy, were taken aback when Iranians came back and stated that they are ready for war and further that they will go to war under certain circumstances.

    In effect, Iranians did not play chess – if they were ever doing so – they called the Axis Powers, Saudi Arabia, and Israel’s bluff. They said: “You call (for war).”

    This is the way I see things.

    And it seems that the Axis Powers, Saudi Arabia, and Israel have beat a tactical retreat.

    But in Syria, they still think they can win.

    There, however, half the Sunni Muslims and ALL of the Minorities (Christian, Alawites, Druze, Kurds) have coalesced around Mr. Assad’s regime against the Salafi Muslims.

    Did you know that some Syrian Salafi leaders have publicly threatened to clear Syria from Druze, Alawites, and Christians?

    Did you know that they have threatened to raze the Shrines of Ruqqiyah and Zeynab?

    Do you think Shia are indifferent to the threat against those shrines and they are going to just shrivel up and run away?

    Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey – at the instigation of Axis Powers (like such other previous fools as Lon Nol, Thiew, Saddam Hussein, Zia) – created a situation that will have major consequences for the political situation in the Middle East; all negative for these states.

    Do you think Syria-Turkey relationship will go back to status quo ante?

    Or Iran vs. Qatar and Saudi Arabia?

    This is just the beginning of the beginning.

  625. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Your thinking brings to mind the utter lunacy of Saddam Hussein, after the US and allies massed 500,000 troops on the border of Kuwait. Did Saddam do the intelligenct thing and agree to withdraw? No.

  626. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Months after you claimed that Iran would never offer to stop enriching uranium to 20%, Ahmadinejad went to New York and offered that Iran stop producing 20% U.

  627. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    You advocate that Iran enrich U to 20% in order to trigger sanctions, which if successful you hope will bring war. Amazing.

  628. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I expect that Axis Powers and their satrapies to stop buying oil from Iran while Iran sells her oil elsewhere.

    Cleraly the 40% reduction in purchases of Iranian oil by Japan has not created a market surplus.

    My position has been very clear from the start: this is not about 3.5% or 20% or anything else; it has to do with Iranian power. And so far, I have not see any indication to the contrary.

    And again, there is snow-ball’s chance in hell of any movement on the nuclear front. That game is over.

    Axis Powers and their satrapies have thrown all that they have at Iran an they are at the end of their rope, as is.

    If Iran cannot sell her oil, there will be war.

    Their call (Axis Powers).

  629. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    I have noticed that the Huffington Post edits out posts hostile toward Israel, in many instances. Someone screens the posts and takes them out days later even if they are sound positions backed by known facts. And the same screening takes place on pasts hostile to American stupidity in the greater Middle East.

  630. fyi says:

    Irshad says: January 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Mr. Roshan names was known to IAEA.

    NAM has condemned that terrorist attack.

    Expecting impartiality or higher standards of morality and decency from Americans and European governments is foolish. They will do anything to advance their agenda and they are not – due to their strategic superiority – confident of their immunity to retaliation. Just like their pet, Israel.

    While it is useful to lodge protests in international fora and invoke this or that international instrument, these activities will not delay, retard, diminish the Axis Powers war aims.

    The best tactic is to ignore them (outside of the diplomatc fora etc.). They are making themselves more and more irrelevant in the political/ideological arena in the Muslim World.

  631. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Over the past five years, Japan has decreased its imports of oil from Iran by 40%. I would expect further decreases.

    I personally oppose the latest sanctions, as I have opposed earlier sanctions.

  632. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Surely you are aware I have advocated that Iran make more noise about the blocking of its IAEA application to buy replacement fuel for the TRR.

    You sweep under the rug the fact Iran’s trebling its production of 20% U led directly to the sanctions against the Iranian central bank, pressure on Iran’s oil exports, etc.

  633. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    No ab initio technological development makes any sense.

    That is, the initial investments in new production facilities cannot be easily justified when the same products could be purchased on the open market.

    If we take that position, Russia and US would have remained – and should have remained – agrarian societies. And likewise Korea, Japan, and any number of other states.

    And in Iran, there should not have been any automobile manufacturing, airplance manufacturing, or anything else – Iran should just sell her oil and learn how to treat the excrement of her population in an environmentally sound manner – per EU 2003 deal – to promote her agricultural production.

    Secondarily, there is no open market from which Iran could purchase 20% enriched uranium. I believe this is so established a fact that even someone like you who seems to be spending an inordinate amount of time in Outer Space would be willing to admit.

    So, to answer your question – yes, perhaps; but the point is irrelevant.

    Since 1980, ust about any co-dependency of between Iran and the global market has been used by US, EU, Russia, China, and India for political leverage and harm to Iran and the Iranian people.

    Under such circumstances, any responsible government in Iran – democratic or dictatorial – must work to systematically eliminate as many of such dependencies as possible. Which is what happended during the Iran-Iraq War and continued since.

    Costs no longer matter in this type of situation; these wages of conronation and war.

    There is no other way – as Japanse are fond of saying.

  634. Kathleen says:

    The racist and hate filled comments that Huff Po filterers are allowing through on the thread about Iran is astounding. Real double standard when they actually post anything criticizing Israel. Very careful filtering then. They are allowing comments like “did anyone pee on him, good work boys, faster please” Serious double standard over there
    Huffington Post
    “Iran Claims CIA Behind Nuclear Scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan’s Death”

  635. James Canning says:

    fyi,

    Do you agree with Ollie Heinonen that Iran’s enriching to 20% does not make economic sense? Do you agree he is correct to say Ahamdinejad also sees the programme as not making “economic sense”?

  636. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    Your belief that the fact Panetta did not openly condemn Israel, regarding terrorist activities carried out by agents of Israeli agents posing as CIA, argues that Israel in fact was behind the programme, is sound.

  637. kooshy says:

    Juan Cole is also feeling the urge to put his two cents in, with regard to the alleged false flag operation claiming this will endanger US, like he has so much credibility inside Iran that he will be believed.

    Form what I have heard from real academic scholars of Middle East studies, unfortunately with the political stands that Juan Cole has taken, he has made himself irrelevant in real scholarly circles of Middle East studies.

    http://www.juancole.com/

  638. James Canning says:

    Kathleen,

    Yes, how remarkable the lack of reporting on the story (Israelis intelligence masquerading as CIA, to set up terror strikes in SE Iran). Or maybe not so remarkable.

  639. James Canning says:

    numerous warmongers in “the West”.

  640. James Canning says:

    Castellio,

    “The West” in fact does want a negotiated resolution of the nuclear dispute. There are numberous vicious warmongers, however, in the US, the UK, and elsewhere, who want to use the nuclear dispute as cover for their programme of seeking to damage Iran in order to “benefit” or “protect” Israel.

  641. James Canning says:

    kooshy,

    What position do you think Britain should take toward Saudi Arabia and Bahrain?

  642. fyi says:

    WTF says: January 14, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    This is the first public move to try to pave for military intervention in Syria by external actors.

    I think this statement indicates that the Emir of Qatar believes that the outcome of the struggle for Syria will be going his way.

    I do not know for certain but I think he is wrong.

    Be as it may; Qatar and Saudi ruling houses are clearly enemies of Iran and Iranians must seek to neutralize them.

    There is no other way.

  643. Bob Marshall says:

    You would have to be a complete idiot to not believe that the US and Israel was not involved with these assassinations.

  644. kooshy says:

    For Gavner’s afternoon tea (Leaf) reading

    UK’s utmost hypocrisy in Saudi Arabia

    “British Prime Minister has apparently forgotten his claptrap about human rights and democracy after he held talks with the most authoritarian regime to boost Britain’s political influence and arms contracts.

    Right after the British royal family accepted the lavish sets of jewels given by the despot Bahraini regime and endorsed the kingdom’s brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, David Cameron arrived in Saudi Arabia, turning a blind eye to the surprising disrespect for the basic human rights in the country to increase bilateral trade with the absolute monarchy.”

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/221031.html

  645. Kathleen says:

    If intelligence agents from another country were exposed as having posed as CIA agents hiring terrorist to kill a third countries officials our MSM would be all over the story.

    Interviewer in the Al Jazeera interview:

    Video of Mark Perry on Al Jazeera.

    link to youtu.be

    “how important is the release of these memos”

    Perry: “The US has not been lying. We do not target foreign nationals. Especially officials of a foreign government. And especially considering the sensitivity of our relationship with Iran. We would not do this”
    ————————————————————————–

    The timing of this is something. After the Obama administration accused upper level Iranian officials of being involved with Iran’s alleged plan to knock of the Saudi Ambassador.

  646. WTF says:

    UU and any others familiar with the Bay Area will be interested (if they don’t already know)

    Very off topic, but:

    Ross Mirkarimi, the first American of Iranian descent to be elected sheriff in the US, has been charged with domestic violence, child endangerment and dissuading a witness related to “an apparent New Year’s Eve fight with his wife”.

    This could be politics as usual, but it strikes me as something else. As an Iranian American myself, my view may be jaded, but they sure are gunning for Ross for some reason. Perhaps they want to prevent him from imposing Sharia Law in SF. lol

    But seriously, while the DA claims that he is handling this case just as he would any other case, he is moving to have Mr. Mirkarimi removed from his home and kept away from his children, all while his wife denies the charges and is standing by her husband.

    San Francisco sheriff vows to fight domestic violence, other charges

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/01/san-francisco-sheriff-wife-vow-to-fight-domestic-violence-charge.html

    Gascon also said that a judge was signing an emergency protective order that would bar Mirkarimi from his home and prohibit any contact between him and his wife, and their toddler son, Theo.

  647. kooshy says:

    WTF says:
    January 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    It’s not important who carries out the sanction, but it’s important to know who is putting out the sanction, in this case I think Iranians have good evidence that the US administration has authorized the undertakings, further, for the first time I see that Iranians are now internally pressured to respond ( see Ayatollah Khamenei’s condolence note) , and that’s what has prompted the US to acknowledge that perhaps they have gone too far and the urgency to deny and send out decoys to limit possible coming damage, it’s not a good time to be a scientist of a kind anywhere these days.
    WTF says:
    January 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    It’s not important who carries out the sanction, but it’s important to know who is putting out the sanction, in this case I think Iranians have good evidence that the US administration has authorized the undertakings, further, for the first time I see that Iranians are now internally pressured to respond ( see Ayatollah Khamenei’s condolence note) , and that’s what has prompted the US to acknowledge that perhaps they have gone too far and the urgency to deny and send out decoys to limit possible coming damage, it’s not a good time to be a scientist of a kind anywhere these days.

    Never less this had a typical US covert sanctioned operation using fully uncontrolled insurgent proxies including other foreign security services.

  648. WTF says:

    Qatari leader says he favors sending Arab troops to Syria to stop violence

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle-east/lebanese-man-killed-in-border-village-by-bullet-fired-from-syria/2012/01/14/gIQA5Yo6xP_story.html

    This is shocking! A Persian Gulf Arab dictator wants military action in Syria. That just blew my mind.

  649. WTF says:

    Kooshy,

    You answered my question as I typed it. But I must say, I am not certain that this is strictly for domestic consumption. Frankly, most Americans don’t care that Iranian scientists are being murdered.

  650. WTF says:

    Kooshy,

    What is your take on those articles? Do you see this latest assassination as a CIA job, and now they are deflecting? Or do you see a real possibility that this was a false flag? If there is evidence pointing to the CIA, and considering Panetta’s remarks, I don’t see any other real possibility (ie a joint CIA/Mossad hit).

    Iranian officials are smart to push as hard on the US if there is evidence implicating the CIA. If it was a false flag, make the Americans prove it.

  651. kooshy says:

    Seeing the way that the Iranian intelligence agencies are incrementally releasing the stories on Mr. Roshan’s assassination, I think that the assassinators have been captured, and are currently in interrogation process, in the meantime Iranians like how they did with the drone capture news release are bating the Americans, and American s know this and are releasing decoy news to at least set the stage for a plausible deniability for the western audience.

  652. WTF says:

    More bluster, though I did find the closing paragraph interesting.

    U.S. Warns Israel on Strike

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204409004577159202556087074.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

    Some American intelligence officials complain that Israel represents a blind spot in U.S. intelligence, which devotes little resources to Israel. Some officials have long argued that, given the potential for Israel to drag the U.S. into potentially explosive situations, the U.S. should devote more resources to divining Israel’s true intentions.

  653. WTF says:

    I am curious what others here think. It looks like Iran may have something tangible pointing to CIA involvement in the most recent assassination. The US seemed to already know this, and headed off the charge by explicitly denying involvement, and more interestingly, leaking stories of Israeli agents posing as CIA working with Jundallah.

    Is there really any light showing between Israel and the US, or is this just muddying the waters? It is possible that the US sees Israel escalating things and is genuinely attempting to distance itself from Israel’s actions (possible but not likely). What are others take on what could be going on?

    Iran Says CIA Behind Nuclear Scientist’s Killing

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/iran-cia-nuclear-scientists-killing-15361142#.TxGvfW-0wQo

    The IRNA state news agency said Saturday that Iran’s Foreign Ministry has sent a diplomatic letter to the U.S. saying that it has “evidence and reliable information” that the CIA provided “guidance, support and planning” to assassins “directly involved” in Roshan’s killing.
    The U.S. has denied any role in the assassination.

  654. kooshy says:

    Iran Condemns CIA, MI6 for Assassination of Scientist

    TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran said on Saturday that it has evidence Washington and Britain were behind the latest assassination of one of its scientists.

    “We have reliable documents and evidence that this terrorist act was planned, guided and supported by the CIA,” the Iranian foreign ministry said in a letter handed to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran.

    “The documents clearly show that this terrorist act was carried out with the direct involvement of CIA-linked agents.”

    http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9010171151

  655. Kathleen says:

    Over at Huff Po unable to put up comments on the these two threads. Able to get on all other threads. Usually put up links over there to Race for Iran, INformed Comment, Mondoweiss, Non Intervention etc when it applies to the story. Could someone else try to put up a comment on these two Huff Po threads
    *Iran Claims US Behind Nuclear Scientist’s Death
    *Bomb Kills At Least 53 Shiite Pilgrims In South Iraq

  656. kooshy says:

    It seems all yesterday’s tactical moves by the US, we are not behind the killings of Iran’s scuntists, the assacination was done by Jundhla which is supported by those bad Israeli rouge elements didn’t work and Iranians are not buying the BS,

    Iran Says CIA Behind Nuclear Scientist’s Killing

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/iran-cia-nuclear-scientists-killing-15361142

    “In the clearest sign yet that Iran is preparing to strike back for Roshan’s killing, Gen. Masoud Jazayeri, the spokesman for Iran’s Joint Armed Forces Staff, was quoted by the semiofficial ISNA news agency Saturday as saying that Tehran was “reviewing the punishment” of “behind-the-scene elements” involved in the assassination.

    “Iran’s response will be a tormenting one for supporters of state terrorism,” he said, without elaborating. “The enemies of the Iranian nation, especially the United States, Britain and the Zionist regime, or Israel, have to be held responsible for their activities.”

    Jazayeri also accused the International Atomic Energy Agency of being partially to blame, saying that the U.N. nuclear watchdog made public a list of Iranian nuclear scientists and officials that “has provided the possibility of their identification and targeting by spy networks.”

  657. Kathleen says:

    Interviewer: “how important is the release of these memos”

    Perry: “The US has not been lying. We do not target foreign nationals. Especially officials of a foreign government. And especially considering the sensitivity of our relationship with Iran. We would not do this”

    The timing of this is something. After the Obama administration accused upper level Iranian officials of being involved with Iran’s alleged plan to knock of the Saudi Ambassador.

  658. Castellio says:

    The key line in Cummings article. overlooked in most of the comments on it, is this:

    “No one should doubt that the west (and Israel) desire a negotiated settlement to Iran’s nuclear programme.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

  659. Kathleen says:

    Al Jazeera has an interview up with Mark Perry (unable to link but worth the listen)
    “Mark Perry speaks about allegations of Israeli spies posing as CIA agents” You tube

    Mark Perry in that interview:
    ” I think that there is a real effort on the part of the American government to communicate to the Iranians that we do not want a conflict with them. (uh that is sure hypocritical what would you call sanctions based on unsubstantiated claims and Victoria Nuland announcing over and over again the “US wants to tighten the noose around Iran”) And I think this butteresses that argument. The question is are they listening. I hope they are.

    I can tell you from my own experience and people that I talk to in the US government especially in the military simply don’t want a conflict. They would like to find a way to stop a conflict. Now I have always believed that the way to do that is to talk to them directly. May be the Iranians aren’t interested in that.”

    Mark Perry sure puts forth some odd thinking. That there is a “general conspiracy that we (US) works closely with Israel” Conspiracy? Really?
    He also puts forth that it is the Iranians who do not want to talk. This is a myth that Dennis Ross puts forward all of the time. Perry sure does hammer on the idea that Israel’s illegal activities (killing Iranian scientist) “places US citizens in danger”

    The Leveretts sure object to that spin that Dennis Ross has kept repeating…that there has been plenty of efforts to directly communicate with Iran. The exchange between the Leveretts, Ross, Barbara Slavin and Parsi is worth listening to
    Over at Race for Iran (unable to link)
    FLYNT LEVERETT DEBATES OBAMA’S IRAN POLICY WITH DENNIS ROSS

    ANYONE HEAR ONE WHISPER ABOUT THIS STORY ON MSNBC, CNN, FOX NEWS? Can you imagine any other intelligence agents from another country posing as CIA or other US officials to hire terrorist to kill officials of a foreign government? Can you imagine how this would be all over the MSM if this involved another nation?

  660. fyi says:

    Castellio says: January 14, 2012 at 3:59 am

    Israelis working in Iraqi Kurdistan are almost certainly on their own.

    The Barzani and Talibani clans that control Iraqi Kurdistan, are not going to antagonize Iran.

  661. Irshad says:

    Interestingly and rather conveniently Amano and IAEA are rather silent about this murder!

    Say was Mostafi’s name included in any of the IAEA report? how is it that Mossad/CIA can indentify scientists and then arrange for them to be murdered?

    Re: Mr Panneta’s speech to the US soldiers denying US was behind it, but they have an idea who was. The lack of the words “terrorist attack” ” murder” or any condemnation, leads me to believe that Isreal was behind it. Also the lack if any condemnation in the Western media and officials. So much for human rights, democracy, rule of law, etc.

  662. Castellio says:

    BiBiJon…. and Cummings takes these murderous positions despite the fact that Iran is a member of the NPT and has not been found in contravention of it.

    At heart, I think, it’s simply a hidden (to the holder) racism, justified through a manipulation of language.

  663. fyi says:

    James Canning says: January 13, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    In the same shallow and stupid article he put forward his suggestions:

    -Permanent suspensions of enrichment by Iran
    -Abandonmnt of the Arak Reactor (this one implicitly)
    -Vague offer of a light water reactor from somewhere for radio-isotope production
    -Reliance on foreign fuel services

    This is what EU Offered in 2003 – plus help in teching environmental science to Iran (harvest your excrement) and agriculture (use that excrement as fertalizer).

    Stupid; Iranians turned that insulting offer in 2003 – even more stupid in that he think US, Iran, EU can go back to the status quo ante.

  664. Castellio says:

    Rahmat Haghshenas, you are right. That perspective is too often minimized.

  665. hans says:

    Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan met with the IAEA inspectors shortly before his assassination. Iran has previously charged the IAEA with releasing the identities of nuclear scientists, so that they can be assassinated. Is the IAEA complicit? given that agency’s recent complicity with the US on vacuous charges about an Iran nuclear weapons program.

    We need more focus on the IAEA which, after El Baradei was forced out as chief, has been turned into not only a political instrument but possibly also a killing one under the US puppet Yukiya Amano.

  666. BiBiJon says:

    Photi says:
    January 14, 2012 at 9:13 am

    With reference to Andrew Cummings article, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/12/covert-campaign-iran-nuclear

    “A covert campaign is the only way to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions

    The death of another Iranian scientist has led to criticism of such actions, but Tehran’s refusal to co-operate leaves little alternative”

    I was wondering where such satanic logic ends. According to Andrew, the objective justifies the means. Well, sometimes the instruments to achieve an objective become equally important. E.g. the CBI sanctions, oil embargo, etc. It is not clear to my why Andrew’s logic will not at some point of desperation equally apply to a Chinese bureaucrat in the ministry of energy if the Chinese haven’t yet cooperated on the embargo.

    I just don’t see the boundaries of this. Which makes me think Quran’s injunction, that killing one is like killing all, is as usual right on the money.

  667. Photi says:

    Sassan,

    As far as i can tell, Zionism rests on the idea of causing in one way or another the disappearance of the Palestinian people. The ideology seems particularly robust and not prone to change. This reality has led many of us on this board to conclude that Israel’s main goal is to keep the war, any war, going.

    What are your thoughts on that?

  668. Rehmat says:

    Jewish magazine: ‘White House occupied by neo-Nazis’

    Several Jewish groups have criticized Jewish weekly Ami Magazine’s publisher, Rabbi Yitzchak Frankfurter, for using Nazi imagery on magazine’s front page of this week’s issue. It depicts the White House draped in Nazi flags with Nazi storm troppers marching in front. See magazine’s cover-page on left.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/jewish-magazine-white-house-occupied-by-neo-nazis/

  669. Photi says:

    Outstanding, powerful post by the Leveretts. Accountability means exactly that.

    At 32 years of age, Shahid Mustafa had his entire career and contribution ahead of him. This act of terrorism is a preemptive attack against a young man’s life. If he is ‘open season’ then so are the rest of us.

    Truth to power. Justice is an awareness, not an individual. Kill one or ten of us and there will be a hundred more to take our place.

  670. Arnold Evans says:

    The cover is steadily coming off of the US drive to prevent democratic control of foreign policy in Egypt. Jimmy Carter endorses the effort in a private meeting with Egypt’s dictator Tantawi and then in an interview with the New York Times.

    :https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/12/world/middleeast/jimmy-carter-expects-egypt-military-to-keep-some-powers.html?_r=1

    :http://mideastreality.blogspot.com/2012/01/jimmy-carter-democracy-for-egypt-is.html

  671. hans says:

    @RSH
    The bottom line in all of this is that the U.S. and Israel absolutely don’t want to attack Iran until Hizballah is weakened – and that can only be done once Syria is weakened. So I don’t see the U.S. and the EU not going for broke in Syria. They cannot afford to let Assad crush the rebellion and they will not.

    As to the EU, Iran has the goods that most people want. Oil and Gas. It is pretty clear if price of crude went to $135 ($150 for the USA) then the EU will be in severe recession. There is only so much that the USA can release from it’s Strategic resources. Iran should go for a full effort to passing this message to the people of the EU rather then use silly threatening language to get it’s point across. As to the Kurdish and their support for Israel, yet again their leadership have let their people down. It seems nobody is thinking about the what happens after scenario. The end of the Age of Pisces, our present age, to The Age of Aquarius will be earth shattering.

  672. Fiorangela says:

    Richard, Castellio, several sources that discuss Davutoglu’s visit to Tehran –

    http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2012/01/mr-zero-problems-left-left-tehran-empty.html

    Our man Feltman is on the case –
    :http://whatreallyhappened.com/blogs/uprootedpalestinian/12/01/13/feltman-oglu-hamad-maneuver-and-victory-assad

    sorry, the old brain is not up to digesting these articles — I don’t know all the parties and issues involved, but you might be interested in tracking these birds.

  673. Castellio: I heard about Israeli personnel training Kurdish forces several years ago. Israel has been going great guns up in Kurdistan since the fall of Saddam – partly because it wants to make nice with an oil-rich area and partly to use the Kurds against Iran. So the Le Figaro article is no surprise.

    As for the Weiss article, the important point, as I indicated earlier, is that Weiss shows a way around Russia’s veto in the UNSC to allow the UN to authorize a no-fly zone in Syria. It’s not certain to be successful, but it could be and probably will be used to at least give a fig leaf of authorization to the U.S. and EU to attack Syria.

    It’s not clear whether Turkey is prepared to go to war with Syria, although it does seem clear that it is prepared to enforce a “buffer zone”. But the reality is likely to be that it will not do either unless it is fully supported by the U.S. and the EU.

    A comment in Silverstein’s piece says that Iran threatened Turkey with outright war if Turkey uses it military forces against Syria. The cited articles don’t clearly prove that, merely quoting an unnamed retired Turkish general. Most of the articles cited merely suggest that Iran threatened Turkey with reduced economic interaction in such a case.

    I don’t think Iran wants a war with Turkey, and I’m fairly sure Turkey doesn’t want a two-front war with Syria and Iran, and probably no war with Iran at all.

    But I still see it as likely that Turkey will be used as a “front man” for the U.S. and EU in some respects.

    The bottom line in all of this is that the U.S. and Israel absolutely don’t want to attack Iran until Hizballah is weakened – and that can only be done once Syria is weakened. So I don’t see the U.S. and the EU not going for broke in Syria. They cannot afford to let Assad crush the rebellion and they will not.

  674. Rahmat Haghshenas says:

    I fully concur with the Leverette’s superb analyses. Nevertheless there’s often a major deficiency here, namely blaming the US client state Israel but deflecting attention away from the equally vicious client state Saudi Arabia and its Gulf cronies. I’m convinced that Jundulla is materially and diplomatically supported by the Saudis as much by Israel, just like much of the Israeli-brokered weaponry and training for Nicaragua’s contras were clandestinely purchased with Saudi-brokered $$ when the Boland Amendment barred direct US military aid to the terrorists. I fully believe that despite Tehran pretending otherwise, the Saudis also had a major hand in arranging the phony Iranian assassination plot against their ambassador in Washington in order to help demonize Iran.

  675. Interested says:

    Beautiful picture. Painful to look at.

  676. Castellio says:

    Clear evidence of US funding and co-ordination of Syrian rebels and their turn to violence:

    “The very specificity of the proposals that Weiss advances and the detailed blueprint he offers indicates the intensity of his coordination with the pro-interventionist Syrian forces. Among the leadership of this group is Ausama Monajed who, MoA notes, is the former director of a Syrian opposition TV station. It was operated by the Movement for Justice and Development, a Syrian exile group which Wikileaks revealed as recipient of a $6-million State Department grant. In fact, the original position paper Weiss wrote, on which the FP article is based, was commissioned by the Strategic Research & Communication Centre, a group founded by Monajed.”

    http://www.richardsilverstein.com/tikun_olam/2012/01/12/michael-weiss-pro-israel-neocon-authors-blueprint-for-western-military-intervention-in-syria-approved-by-syrian-ex-pats/

  677. Castellio says:

    From Le Figaro in France:

    http://intelnews.org/2012/01/11/01-906/

    ” …The Iranian assets are being prepared for conducting operations inside [Iran] as part of Israel’s undercover intelligence war against Iran’s nuclear energy program. The Baghdad source told the French daily that part of Israel’s sabotage program against sensitive Iranian nuclear facilities, which includes targeted assassinations of Iranian nuclear experts, is directed out of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan, “where [Mossad] agents have stepped up their penetration.” For this, “the Israelis are using Kurdish oppositionists to the regime in Iran, who are living as refugees in the Kurdish regions of Iraq”, the source told Le Figaro.

    Although the article makes no mention of official or unofficial sanction of the Israeli operations by the Iraqi Kurdish authorities, it implies that the alleged Mossad activities are an open secret in Iraqi Kurdistan. This is not the first time that allegations have surfaced in the international press about Israeli intelligence activities in Kurdistan. In 2006, the BBC flagship investigative television program Newsnight obtained strong evidence of Israeli operatives providing military training to Kurdish militia members. The program aired video footage showing Israeli expects drilling members of Kurdish armed groups in shooting techniques and guerrilla tactics.

    The Israeli government denied having authorized any such training, while Iraqi Kurdish officials refused to comment on the report. But Israeli security experts told the BBC that it would be virtually impossible for Israeli trainers to operate inside Iraqi Kurdistan “without the knowledge of the Kurdish authorities.””

  678. Sassan says:

    *Pay careful attention and notice that none of the posters whom have thrown personal insults towards me or Binam (apparently we are the same person) have refuted any of the facts or arguments we have brought forth, but rather have resorted to ad hominems. That should immediately raise an eyebrow of the careful and rational observer in questioning their objectivity and bias.

    I will repost the previous issues and arguments I brought forth. I request all rational individuals to ask themselves one key point of contention: how is it that after these repeated assassinations over a long period of time and over several years, these “top-tier” of scientists to this day remain unmonitored without having 24-hour surveillance/security at the very least patrolling their every move? These assassins have been so brazen to not only stick magnet bombs to the vehicles of these scientists during the daytime; but must have been able then to at least provide surveillance themselves for their terrorist operations. Is it too much to ask the question as to why the regime is able to provide an even more extensive apparatus in the house arrests of Mousavi and Karrubi (particularly Karubi with his age) but are not able to protect their own scientists? If one does not at least RAISE the possibility that the regime themselves might be culpable; then they are mistakenly fooling themselves in a self-deception. One must at least ASK these questions and ask for the evidence to be released to the public.

    Here was my previous post:

    “Until the regime is able to provide real evidence to prove that they were not behind the assassinations, the whole issue of who has been behind the killings of the scientists is up in the air. Don’t forget Masoud Alimohammadi ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672522,00.html ) (one of the top scientists) who was against this regime was subsequently assassinated.

    Why would the regime be doing this? They may be trying to get rid of individuals who have too much information and whom they are afraid are a security liability for such reasons. Remember what happened with Shahram Amiri leaking info? No one really knows, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit. In addition, isn’t a little bit of a coincidence that this killing happens just when the international community is uniting with an oil embargo against Iran? This killing in addition to other reasons is a way for this regime to try to play the victim card. I bet it won’t work. :)

    I truly believe that these assassinations could only happen with the support of elements from within the Iranian state apparatus itself. How could this type of campaign of assassinations be sustained against scientist after scientist? How is it that the “illusive” Jundullah leader Abdolmalek Rigi was caught and landed midair flying out of Pakistan on a chartered jet while heading to a meeting with CIA operatives somewhere in Caucasia, but that same intelligence organization is incapable of protecting Iranian scientists living in the Capital who can easily be put under 24-hour protective surveillance?

    How can the so called Zionists kill Iranian scientists so easily? The Islamist regime spends billions on materials and yet it can’t protect its most valuable assets?

    Not only that, but the Islamic Republic in all its “Supreme Power” can’t even produce any hard evidence of who is responsible for these attacks. Therefore, their complaints to the U.N. are useless. Think about it: in the middle of the day two guys on a motorbike blow up the vehicle of a scientist doing sensitive work and then escape into thin air. Then what happens to the crime scene? The regime sends people over to clear blood off the pavements with a hose. There goes destroying any sort of forensic evidence necessary for any crime scene, especially one of this importance. In any serious country they would pick up these guys a few blocks away from the site; especially since after all these assassinations, these “high profile” and “top” scientists would be followed under 24-hour patrol.

    At the end of the day, this regime is great at capturing drug traffickers and other innocent victims into confessing that they were involved with the “Mossad, CIA” & the likes. They do this so gleefully in parading them in front of the cameras for the whole world to see. They are also great at orchestrating the sieging of embassies.

    Again, we MUST either be astonished at the incompetance of this regime or at least CONSIDER the possibility that the regime was behind such assassinations.”

  679. Sassan says:

    Mohammad: Interesting and rational points you bring up my friend. Unlike the comments from most of the individuals on these comments section, they actually made me think and analyze my own thoughts and viewpoints. I will address your comments/questions below:

    “1. Why isn’t Israel denying the allegations?”

    Actually, Israel (Shimon Peres I believe it was) did deny Israel’s involvement. Saying this, does it matter if Israel denies it or not? If Mossad was involved, Israel would deny it irregardless if they really were involved or not.

    “2. How would blowing up scientists in Tehran affect the morale of other existing and aspiring Iranian scientists in sensitive areas? Wouldn’t it harm Iran’s nuclear program much? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for “the regime” to silence the supposedly nonconformant scientist through a less harmful way?”

    First, I would think that there are several possibilities to this very interesting set of questions you bring forth to the discussion. In one sense, it could send a very strong message to not even think about crossing the regime. This sends a very clear and profound statement, even if the other existing/potential scientists do not know 100% if it is the regime behind these attacks. Merely the possibility strikes this fear into the heart of such individuals. In addition, our most capable scientists have already left Iran for some of these very reasons. In addition, scientists value freedom in all levels, hence, mostly the one’s with less potential are left remaining in Iran. Think about it: the individuals with the greatest educational achievements and merits throughout the years and even now were afforded great opportunities and even paid scholarships to study at universities of their choice throughout Europe and the United States.

    But you do raise some good points but I don’t think it harms their nuclear programme. After all, they bought and received complete blueprints of the nuclear process from A.Q. Khan. They have the know-how, what is really left is the assembly. Again, you raise very interesting and rational points but all I am arguing is for us to CONSIDER the possibility that the regime was behind this. I think so far as to this, the possibility remains very open.

    “3. You seem to contradict yourself. Wouldn’t you readily dismiss any evidence presented by “the regime” as fabricated and self-serving? How then, do you expect it to “prove” what it says? Get Israel to openly admit it’s role?”

    The regime is the one whom should be careful to collect as much systematic evidence as possible. I am talking about REAL sound proof evidence that it can demonstrate to the United Nations and the international community. Sure, any and all such evidence can be considered to be “self-serving” but if REAL evidence is there, then it cannot be denied by other rational individuals. All it has to do is present such sound evidence and make the argument of this evidence by letting the actual evidence do the arguing for them. Enough for cheap talk – it is time for real evidence. And real evidence includes anything that is systematic such as forensic evidence or the residue of the bomb itself (which can be traced back to certain makers of the material). For example, through such techniques we have determined the roadside bombs in Afghanistan (IED’s) were manufactured in Iran. But conspicuously, the regime quickly hoses down the crime scenes soon after the bombing takes place..

    “4. How do you see the arrest of Majid Jamali Fashi, compared to the capture of Rigi? Remember, it took more than four years and hundreds of victims (including many IRGC members, including it’s deputy ground force commander) to finally capture Rigi, a well-known and very active terror leader. Jamali Fashi, an unknown lonely terror operative, was arrested in less than a year and only after one victim.”

    To be honest, I don’t have enough information to state my opinion on this. This is something that I will now research and get back to you at a future date regarding this.

    But I will raise this issue one more time: after all these assassinations, how is it that there is no 24-hour guard/monitoring of these “top-tier” scientists? How is it that assassination after assassination has happened and there still has not been continuous monitoring of these individuals whom should have at least someone follow them to work each morning? They are able to house arrest Mousavi and Karoubi on the clock 24-hours a day but not monitor, protect, or at least identify the culprits of these attacks who leave “magnet bombs” in broad daylight without apparent fear of capture?

  680. Castellio says:

    Binam, happy to oblige. You will have to contact someone first to arrange the pick up. Do persist.

    By postal mail:
    Central Intelligence Agency
    Office of Public Affairs
    Washington, D.C. 20505

    By phone:
    (703) 482-0623
    Open during normal business hours.

    By fax:
    (703) 482-1739
    (please include a phone number where we may call you)

  681. Binam says:

    Still – no facts and no solid proof of anything. As predicted, just accusations, name-calling and conspiracy theories.

    “One should ask them, should somebody from your own circle of friends and family die this way before you give up your dirty agenda?”

    Oh look who suddenly has a soul. If I asked that question in response to the people killed during the violent crackdown of the peaceful protests of 2009 you’d accuse me of being too emotional and sentimental. A police truck running over a protestor is okay with you I suppose, but a scientist assassinated is not. To me all are wrong – and I hold the Islamic Republic responsible for their deaths. Whether they kill their own citizens themselves using their loyal thugs or fail to protect a treasured scientist – ONLY THEY CAN BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

    Now someone please tell me where I can go pick up my CIA paycheck. I wonder if it’ll be more than what Flynt Leverett gets from his former employer.

  682. Binam: “Also, you just need to get a life. You’re glued to your computer screen and you have turned this forum from a place of discussion to a link-sharing site without an ounce of useful input. A simple search for your name reveals timestamps from every hour of a 24 hour period. Seriously dude, go out, get a beer, get some sun. It’ll be good for you.”

    My posts on this site for many months before YOU showed up stand by themselves. My contributions to this site are well known to everyone here.

    That you suggest that the Iranian government has assassinated a slew of their own nuclear scientists because of “non-cooperation” is proof that you’re an imbecile.

  683. Persian Gulf says:

    Richard Steven Hack

    Let people like Sassan and Binam (in case they are not one) repeat their BS. This is not new. It’s actually a good one, I think. By doing this, they are exposed to the Iranian public better as the claim is so absurd that only crackpots like them would believe it. It would be more dangerous to see these people showing fake sympathy.

    When Dr.Ali Mohammadi was killed they said he was against the system and part of the greens. They did not realize how ridiculous their claim is; that a government,even if determined to remove somebody, won’t do it this way that has psychological effect on the populace.

    To some extent, these guys are somehow naive version of the oppositions. for the supposedly smarter ones the tactic is why the government doesn’t protect these people. somebody should tell them, oh really? good to know, it was totally forgotten. in fact, the tactic now is to show the system as an incompetent one. per se, it’s a tacit approval of the official claim of Iran. it’s, however,unfortunate to see 5 great men are lost before the tactic to change. One should ask them, should somebody from your own circle of friends and family die this way before you give up your dirty agenda?

  684. kooshy says:

    I forgot to add this to the end of my last post

    You go to any restaurant in LA you get better script writers serving you, than this bunch of interns our own Professor Scott hires on a promise of scholarship paid by the taxpayers.

  685. kooshy says:

    This story that US was not involved with Jondlah organization doesn’t add up, it looks like our CIA propaganda operators have short memory they have forgotten when Mr. Regi’s plane was forced down over Iranian air space his commercial flight was on its way to US base in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan to meet a high level official of US, besides there were photos of Mr. Rigi published in a US base in Afghanistan.it all sounds like budget cuts due to economic conditions in US has also effected the training of propaganda script writers at our good agency, one that I had already suspected by the quality and level of reasoning of professor Scott’s new helping entourage which he sends to RFI for spreading low quality propaganda. At least before he used to claim (very much like NYT or WP continually having anonymous sources on Iran stories) he has well informed sources on the ground.

  686. Binam says:

    RSH -

    Thanks for proving my point with your actions – not words.

    “exactly WHO ELSE would be assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists? Of course we don’t have “proof” – because clandestine assassinations are by definition CLANDESTINE. Unless the responsible party admits to it, you never know for certain who was behind it.”

    You said it – Israel must be behind it because who else would be?! Except that now the opposition is claiming the Islamic Republic itself is killing them off for non-cooperation:

    http://sefaratesabz.blogspot.com/2012/01/blog-post_12.html

    They show as much solid proof as you do. But if the Islamic Republic does have something to gain from this then they are as guilty as the next guy. And I say they do have a lot to gain, just as they would gain from an all-out war (that would help them kills off all voices of internal opposition.)

    Furthermore one could argue “we have no proof because rigged elections by corrupt governments are by definition corrupt to begin with and need not proof.” Though holding Mousavi for 322 days without a single shred of evidence to prove him guilty of anything or without taking him to court is proof enough.

    I’m an idiot, a moron, a CIA agent and whatever else you want me to be. It doesn’t change the fact that you and the Leveretts are all hypocrites.

    Also, you just need to get a life. You’re glued to your computer screen and you have turned this forum from a place of discussion to a link-sharing site without an ounce of useful input. A simple search for your name reveals timestamps from every hour of a 24 hour period. Seriously dude, go out, get a beer, get some sun. It’ll be good for you.

  687. Binam might want to read this:

    Has Israel Been Killing Iran’s Nuclear Scientists?
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/01/13/has-israel-been-killing-iran-s-nuclear-scientists.html

    Quote

    William Tobey, a former deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration and a National Security Council specialist on nuclear issues, said four of the six attacks on the scientists since 2007 used magnetic limpet bombs that would be attached to a vehicle carrying the target.

    Tobey, who just published a paper on the assassinations for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, would not speculate on the country responsible for the attacks, but Patrick Clawson, the director of research at the Washington Institute for Near Policy, said the signs point to Israel.

    “This sophisticated technique is uncharacteristic of the Iranian armed opposition and the Iranian government, it is characteristic of the Mossad,” he said. “I am unaware of episodes when Americans and Europeans have done this kind of assassination. Of course, the Americans are involved in assassinations using predators, but not this kind of operation with agents on the ground, the natural suspect is the Mossad.”

    A former Mossad officer now living in Canada who goes by the pseudonym Michael Ross said the attacks bore the hallmarks of an Israeli operation. “This tactic is not a new one for the Mossad, and worked very effectively against Egypt’s rocket program in the 1960s. During that period, the scientists involved in that project were assassinated and the program suffered immensely.”

    End Quote

  688. Japan wary of oil embargo on Iran
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/220804.html

    Quote

    “The United States would like to impose sanctions. We believe it is necessary to be extremely circumspect about this matter,” Gemba told a press conference on Friday.

    He said the Japanese government had come to no conclusions on the sanctions issue, adding, “We must look at this extremely carefully and find an intelligent solution.”

    The Japanese foreign minister expressed concern over Japan’s possible reduction of oil imports from Iran, saying the sanctions could lead to a major hike in crude oil prices.

    “One can imagine there would be negative effects (from this scheme) not just on Japan, but on the world economy.”

    End Quote

  689. Fiorangela: There’s little doubt in my mind that Israel would use its “Samson Option” against the U.S. if it had to. I alluded to this in an earlier post when I said Israel intends its nuclear weapons to be a deterrent to EVERYONE, not just Arabs. And that includes the U.S. Israel already threatened to use its nukes to destroy the Aswan dam in 1973 if Kissinger did not authorize the resupply of Israel. That was using Israel’s nukes to threaten the United States indirectly. I have no doubt Israel would threaten the U.S. directly if necessary.

    It reminds me of the movie “The Soldier” in which the plot went as follows:

    Russian rogue intelligence agents steal nuclear material from the U.S., make it into a bomb and place it in a Middle Eastern country under a false flag group demanding the U.S. throw Israel off the West Bank or it will be detonated. Simultaneously they assassinate the head of the CIA before he can assign his elite intelligence group, “The Soldier”, into action. “The Soldier” team goes into action on their own (much like the current Mission Impossible movie). The U.S. President is advised that if the U.S. attacks Israel, it will lose. Nonetheless the President authorizes an air strike against Israel. In a meeting, the Israeli Prime Minister declares that the minute U.S. planes enter Israeli air space, Israel will launch a “full-scale nuclear attack on the Saudi oil fields.” The war is avoided only because “The Soldier” team seizes control of a U.S. missile silo in Kansas and threatens to nuke Moscow if the Middle East bomb explodes. The Russians back down and defuse the bomb.

    Probably not a realistic scenario, but it was a great movie! :-)

    However, the notion that the U.S. would ever directly threaten Israel in any way is so ludicrous at this point as to be pointless. Israel has gotten away with more crimes against the U.S. than any other government: the Liberty attack, stolen nuclear materials, being one of the top nations accused of spying against the U.S. every year by the FBI, etc., etc.

    And all that achieved was the sight of U.S. Congressmen bouncing up and down to applaud every word Netanyahu said in his speech to them.

    It’s ludicrous to think the U.S. will ever act against Israel, even if Israel drags the U.S. into another disastrous war. As long as it isn’t “disastrous” for the military – industrial complex, the oil companies and the banks, no one is going to do anything to Israel.

  690. Alexander Cockburn on War on Iran: It’s Not A Matter of “If”
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/01/13/war-on-iran-it%E2%80%99s-not-a-matter-of-%E2%80%9Cif%E2%80%9D/

    Quotes

    As with sanctions and covert military onslaughts on Iraq in the run up to 2003, the first point to underline is that the US is waging war on Iran. But well aware of the US public’s aversion to yet another war in the Middle East, the onslaught is an undeclared one.

    The analogy here is the run up to Pearl Harbor. Let me quote from a useful timeline. On October 7, 1940, a US Navy IQ analyst Arthur McCollum wrote an 8 point memo on how to force Japan into war with US. Beginning the next day FDR began to put them into effect and all 8 were eventually accomplished.

    On February 11, 1941 FDR proposed sacrificing 6 cruisers and 2 carriers at Manila to get into war. Navy Chief Stark objected: “I have previously opposed this and you have concurred as to its unwisdom.

    As Pierre Sprey remarked to me, “Note also that this is one of those rare but dangerous moments in history when Big Oil and the Israelis are pushing the White House in the same direction. The last such moment was quickly followed by Dubya’s invasion of Iraq.”

    It’s somewhat immaterial to ask whether Obama really wants war with Iran, thus interfering with the “strategic pivot” to Asia. Presidents are creatures of circumstances and lobbies, and Obama is certainly no exception. We have to hope that the traditional prudence of Iran’s leadership prompts them not to make some desperate retaliatory lunge, such as mining the Straits of Hormuz, or offering some kindred excuse to the US to up the tempo of the undeclared war it is already waging.

    End Quotes

    All that is quite correct.

  691. Fiorangela says:

    there’s an explosive issue inside Flynt and Hillary Leverett’s closing paragraph:

    What if Israel IS found to be the perpetrator of the assassination of the Iranian scientist, and IS declared a terrorist state. Then what happens?
    -Does US aid to Israel cease?
    -Do Israeli corporations become delisted from US stock exchanges?
    -Do Israeli corporations doing business in/with US become sanctioned?
    -Does the Fed close its overnight window to Israeli banks?
    -Are loan guarantees to Israel rescinded?

    But most explosive of all, would US be prepared to militarily intervene in Israel to ensure that Israel ceases activities — such as the alleged false-flag activities that directly impact Americans?

    I posted this lengthy quote from a current Mondoweiss article on the previous thread — http://www.raceforiran.com/flynt-leverett-debates-obama%E2%80%99s-iran-policy-with-dennis-ross#comment-68122

    This portion of it is compelling:

    QUOTE:

    “Dan Crowther says: [Crowther is a former US Marine]
    January 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    eee’s [a commenter on Weiss's blog who is a zionist Jewish Israeli] comments are worth taking seriously – and they also speak toward the point I was attempting to make earlier.

    Do not worry about American Jews, if anyone lays a finger on them me and thousands of others will quickly come to help them set up militias and fight along side them to protect them. You can bet on it.”
    —–
    Now, we can feel any number of ways about the E’s statement here. But I would say, why is it unacceptable for Americans to feel that way about Americans when Israeli aggression is involved? The Israeli’s are unabashed about their willingness to resort to violence, but here we voluntarily neuter ourselves, why?

    I think part of the reason is– and this is what I was getting at with my question to Phil earlier– most of the I/P discourse in this country is lead by Jews.

    If an ally like Indonesia for example was threatening to start a war with its neighbors, knowing that the retaliation would be directed at US installations etc – would we even be discussing what the US response would be? Of course not. the US –with the support of most everyone here I would assume– would have an aircraft carrier group over there in an instant, and there would be a declaration that Indonesia risks military engagement with the US if its continues its course. But where Israel is involved, that is completely off the table.

    So, even among non zionist jews there seems to be somewhat of a double standard for Israel. Israel can kill, maim, exploit etc – we can only discuss it. Or we can plead with them to stop, plead with american jews for them to stop etc – but again, would mexican americans even be involved in a conversation about Mexico actively endangering americans? To ask the question is to answer it.

    So, when my main man phil posts a “israel is trying to start a war between the US and Iran” – I have to wonder, would Phil Weiss support (at least the threat of) military “intervention” in Israel? And I also have to wonder whether the Rome”just war” Slaters of the world would support such a thing. I think not. (at least slater wouldn’t, honestly dont know about phil)”

    END QUOTE

    We can bet Hans’ silver that if it were to be discovered that a Syrian or Pakistani was really the false flag agent, US would not think twice about punishing Syria or Pakistan. But if Israel IS the culprit, what will come of it? Will US seriously take measures against Israel? If so, should Americans expect to see Americans targeted in a cycle of Israeli Jewish retaliation, similar to what eee asserted in the comment above? Is that the threat that is hanging over the Obama administration, not personal harm to Obama or even his family, but the Samson option levied against the US or possibly Iraq, or Iran, or Palestine?

  692. Binam: You’re a complete idiot.

    In the case of the elections, specific accusations of fraud were made and zero evidence was produced to prove them, even by Mousavi’s own election observers, while plenty of evidence was produced by analysts to show Ahmadinejad had overwhelming support in the electorate.

    In the case of the assassinations, exactly WHO ELSE would be assassinating Iranian nuclear scientists? The Greenpeace people? Anti-nuclear activists? With two-man assassination teams armed with magnetic bombs? How about Angelina Jolie? Is she a suspect?

    Of course we don’t have “proof” – because clandestine assassinations are by definition CLANDESTINE. Unless the responsible party admits to it, you never know for certain who was behind it. You have to go by “cui bono” – who benefits. There are only three parties who benefit from assassination of Iranian scientists – the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia.

    It’s entirely different in the case of a massive election. All the evidence that the election was not fraudulent was right out in the open and easily available to analysts. Only people whose emotional makeup towards Iran prevents them from thinking clearly – such as Trita Parsi – can’t see the facts.

    You’re a moron – worse, a moron with an agenda. The majority of Iranians couldn’t care less what you “exiles” think about them. As one Iranian “Green” student was quoted in the last thread, “We’re sick of these exiles telling us what to do. why don’t they come back and do it themselves?”

  693. Rehmat says:

    Karl – Anyone who doesn’t take David Cameron or Stephen Harper – is certainly an anti-Semitic. Both of the warmongering Zionists are listed as ‘Author’ on Israel Hasbara (propaganda) Committee.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2010/08/23/cameron-iran-has-nuclear-bomb/

  694. Rehmat says:

    Wall Street connected western multi-national oil corporations have been practicing the policy of ‘divide and rule’ among Nigeria’s Muslim north (51%) and Christian south (42%) for decades. In the past, the western vultures have assassinated Muslim government leaders to bring pro-West military regime changes. Last month, Nigerian went into ethnic frenzy; killing each other and burning mosques and churches.

    However, something strange happened on January 1, 2012 – when country’s Christian President Goodluck Jonathan lifted fuel subsidies as demanded by the IMF, leading to doubling of petrol prices overnight. As result mass protests began immediately, uniting both Muslim and Christian communities. On Friday, Muslims held 1 Million March Occupy Ojota for Friday prayers.

    http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/2012/01/14/poverty-unites-nigerian-muslims-and-christians/

  695. ‘Standard’ duty? More US battle ships head to Persian Gulf
    http://rt.com/news/us-iran-conflict-hormuz-581/

  696. Binam says:

    Sassan,

    The contributors to this forum have their heads stuck in the clouds and are oblivious to reason…

    I remember in the aftermath of the Iranian elections the Leveretts and their band of contributors all rallied behind a report by a blogger named Eric who claimed to “prove” that there were no irregularities in the Iranian elections. If you pressed them on the topic, after the usual round of calling you agents of CIA, MI5 and Mussad, they often ended with this statement (and I paraphrase):

    “Mousavi never presented any facts in his baseless accusations and if you claim election fraud you should have proof to back your claims and prove your case. You can’t claim there was election fraud just because you feel like it must have been.”

    Very well. Let us forget about the fact that Mousavi has been illegally on house arrest without a charge or a trial for close to a year. Let us not question the Leveretts’ motive behind the fact that they have not once mentioned, questioned and or even acknowledged this and the arrests and imprisonments of hundreds of other innocent people who have never been taken to court or proven guilty on such absurd charges as being agents of CIA, etc. Let us also ignore the fact that the Leveretts only care about the internal politics of Iran if they have to defend the hardliners and justify their actions – but as soon as they are put in the position to speak out against injustice done to voices of the opposition (ie. illegal arrests and or killings and torture of students, journalists, lawyers, filmmakers, etc.) suddenly internal politics becomes off limits and just a domestic issue they are not interested in.

    Now consider the assassinations… The Leveretts and their cronies here are saying that Israel and or the US were behind the assassination because they must have been. Ask for the proof – they come attacking you with the same old charges – as demonstrated by comments after this!

    Moral of the story… According to the Leveretts, if you criticize the Islamic Republic and you accuse them of something such as election fraud, you have to have solid proof and you can’t just say the elections were fraudulent because they must have been! But if the Islamic Republic accuses the US and Israel of assassination of its nuclear scientists – no need to present solid proof. It is safe to just assume this to be true without a shred of evidence, because they must have been behind it!

  697. James Canning: “I think Cameron comprehends why Russia is reluctant to back another Libya-style UNSC resolution.”

    What kind of response is that?

    Cameron has explicitly called Assad “an appalling dictator” and has emphasized that the UN MUST take action and – by cear implication – that action can ONLY be some sort of military operation against Syria a la Libya and that the UK is fully prepared to agree with that.

    And you can’t comprehend this? Really?

  698. Ex-Israeli Intelligence Officer: “Pearl Harbor” Style Attack Will Be Pretext For War On Iran
    :http://www.prisonplanet.com/ex-israeli-intelligence-officer-pearl-harbor-style-attack-will-be-pretext-for-war-on-iran.html

    The cited article:

    The looming war with Iran
    :http://www.jpost.com/Magazine/Opinion/Article.aspx?id=252675

    This guy is a complete idiot – OR he’s laying the groundwork for a “false flag” attack on the U.S. Navy as a means of starting the war. Take your pick…

  699. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I think Cameron comprehends why Russia is reluctant to back another Libya-style UNSC resolution.

  700. James Canning: “The 20% solution” by Ollie Heinonen

    You’re quoting this biased source, now, in support of your 20% BS? Seriously?

  701. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    If Churkin thinks Condoleezza Rice is a horse’s arse, I agree with him wholeheartedly.

  702. James Canning: “I think the UK has next to no interest in attacking Syria.”

    Your Prime Minister has just said otherwise, you idiot.

  703. One-sided Reuters propaganda piece claiming Obama only wanted peace with Iran but was rebuffed – right out of Dennis Ross’ talking points…

    Obama’s olive branch to Iran turned into sanctions hammer
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/13/us-obama-iran-idUSTRE80C26V20120113

  704. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I think the UK has next to no interest in attacking Syria.

  705. James Canning says:

    “The 20% solution” by Ollie Heinonen

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/11/the_20_percent_solution

    Heinonen claims Ahmadinejad conceded last September that Iran’s enriching to 20% did not make economic sense.

  706. Syria Uprising: Arab League Chief Warns Of Civil War
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/13/syria-uprising-arab-league_n_1204016.html?igoogle=1

    Quote

    British Prime Minister David Cameron called the bloodshed appalling and urged the Russian government to reconsider its stance in support of “someone who has turned into such an appalling dictator.”

    Russia, a traditional Syrian ally, has blocked a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Assad’s regime and threatening sanctions.

    “The whole Arab League has come together and said it’s unacceptable and others need to listen to that and act on that at the UN. Britain stands ready to do that,” Cameron said in an interview with Al-Arabiya.

    End Quote

    In other words, Britain is as ready as the U.S. and the rest of the West – plus Turkey – to attack Syria as soon as possible…

  707. CNN blames Russia for why the U.S. hasn’t invaded Syria yet…

    Why won’t the U.N. Security Council intervene in Syria?
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/13/world/meast/un-security-council-syria/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_world

    This article is such a hatchet job – including jokes about the Russian ambassador to the UN – that it’s almost unbelievable.

    If you don’t understand NOW that the U.S. and EU intend to attack Syria, I don’t know what to tell you.

  708. Obama drags Middle East baggage to Asia
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA14Ak04.html

    Quotes

    Obama joins the dismal, unbroken series of recent US presidents whose only option is to demand Iran’s head on a plate as part of a zero-sum win for Israel’s Likud and the House of Saud … and unambiguous loss for the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

    The idea of a nuanced dance between the American eagle and Chinese dragon, not driven by ideology or security anxieties, but a realist tango of interest orchestrated by the intellectual brilliance of Beltway international relations wonks has understandably engaged the fancy … of Beltway international relations wonks.

    But Iran won’t go away: Israel, Saudi Arabia, and their US supporters in both parties won’t let it.

    Because these powerful stakeholders want to make sure that plans to widen the US diplomatic and military footprint in East Asia don’t come at the expense of their perceived existential interests in the Middle East.

    So Obama has to drag his Middle Eastern baggage to Asia and make the case that Asia-Pacific should help America work through its Iran obsession.

    Instead of exporting American solutions to Asia, the US seems to be exporting American problems.

    It does not appear that the Obama administration has figured out how to make lemonade from this sackful of citrus.

    One can imagine that the Obama message to Asia is “Believe the policy, not the politics”, ie, the United States knows where its interests and future lie, and is not going to drive the world off a cliff because election year politics demand appeasement of the anti-Iran cranks.

    However, Asia has zero votes in US politics. On the other hand, the people who are caught up in the rhetoric of war with Iran do have the votes, interest, and money to make their influence felt in US politics.

    And the growth of that influence is undeniable, not only in the Republican Party.

    Within the Democratic Party, the chant that “something must be done about Iran” is a mantra that draws strength from political strategy as well as private conviction of the burgeoning and influential neo-liberal wing that essentially went into hiding after the interventionist debacle of the Iraq War but has now re-emerged.

    Several commentators have also noted the “If you build it they will come” argument ie if one talks enough about war with Iran, the regime is sufficiently demonized and delegitimized, war with Iran looks less like an undesirable option and more like a justified imperative.

    It is also true that Obama has also nibbled cautiously yet happily at the apple of (undeclared, unilateral) warfare in the Libyan conflict; and a crowd-pleasing limited conflict with Iran that manages to discommode China at the same time might be just what the electoral campaign doctor ordered for a frustrated and constrained American chief executive.

    But, as Agence France-Presse reported, “China Says War Over Iran Will Bring Disaster” and quoted a PRC diplomat, Wang Xiaodong, as saying:
    Everyone knows that 40 percent of the oil shipped daily to every part of the world goes through the Strait of Hormuz, so once war starts in this region not only will the relevant nations be affected and attacked, it would also … bring disaster to a world economy deep in crisis. [8]

    That’s a message that Obama would do well to heed … even if he dislikes the messenger.

    End Quotes

  709. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    Did you ask me if King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia lets the UK know of his concern about growth of illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, thefts of water, etc.? You can be sure this concern is made known to British officials.

    If enriching uranium to 20% is indeed nine-tenths of what is required to enrich to weapons-grade, is it not logical for the Saudis to be concerned?

  710. Iran has pay back in mind
    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA14Ak01.html

    Quotes

    This silence in the face of a clear act of terrorism, attributed to United States and Israel intelligence services by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his message of condolence on Thursday, speaks volumes about the UN, the fact that it is under the sway of the US and other Western powers that pay-lip service to human rights when it comes to victims of terrorism in Iran.

    According to a source in Iran, Tehran is on the verge of making clear that “all bets are off and one more incident like this and then their [US and Israeli] scientists will be fair game”

    End Quotes

  711. Fiorangela says:

    According to his friend and biographer, Vladimir Jabotinsky found his “soul” in Rome, and was highly influenced by Italian “propaganda of the deed” and the muscular militarism of Mussolini.

    Similarly, the father of Jeremy Ben-Ami, founder of the so-called “pro-peace” alternative to AIPAC, was an acolyte of Jabotinsky’s, studied in Italy in Jabotinsky’s footsteps, and functioned with terror gangs in Israel.

    That is one more reason I believe Leon Panetta is suitable for contending with zionist Israel. What does Barack Obama, or Hillary Clinton, know about vendetta as statecraft, in any elegant sense? They are retail — as in MacDonald’s — franchise politicians. Most people get Machiavelli wrong because they do not read his first premise: he is passionately in love with his homeland, Italy, and wrenched by the fact that it is overtaken by foreign powers. That is the passion, the dynamo, and the gears and levers — strategy and tactics– must be aligned in sync with the dynamo, not the other way around. Clinton fails and will always fail because her ‘dynamo’ is bifurcated, it drives in opposing directions.

  712. James Canning says:

    Ledeen said they are NOW working against us (not NOT working ….)

  713. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    I 2005 I was traveling from Italy to the US west coast and a very large, extremely fit young man sat next to me, after boarding in Atlanta. He told me he was part of a team going into Iran to do just what you mentioned. I told him he would be wise not to help set up another illegal war.

    Michael Ledeen, writing in the National Review Sept. 2002: “Let’s hope they’ve learned their lesson and realize that Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia are not working together against us.”

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/07/04/127750/-Niger-Forgery-and-Michael-Ledeen

  714. Mohammad says:

    Sassan,

    1. Why isn’t Israel denying the allegations?

    2. How would blowing up scientists in Tehran affect the morale of other existing and aspiring Iranian scientists in sensitive areas? Wouldn’t it harm Iran’s nuclear program much? Wouldn’t it be more beneficial for “the regime” to silence the supposedly nonconformant scientist through a less harmful way?

    3. You seem to contradict yourself. Wouldn’t you readily dismiss any evidence presented by “the regime” as fabricated and self-serving? How then, do you expect it to “prove” what it says? Get Israel to openly admit it’s role?

    4. How do you see the arrest of Majid Jamali Fashi, compared to the capture of Rigi? Remember, it took more than four years and hundreds of victims (including many IRGC members, including it’s deputy ground force commander) to finally capture Rigi, a well-known and very active terror leader. Jamali Fashi, an unknown lonely terror operative, was arrested in less than a year and only after one victim.

  715. Fiorangela says:

    Thank you kooshy.

    With people like Greenwald, and the Leveretts, Pillar, Paul Craig Rogers, Chas Freeman pushing in the same direction, there’s at least a change that a broad conversation will open up about the meaning of terrorism:

    from Greenwald’s article (your link):

    QUOTE

    “Terrorism is one of the most consequential words in our political lexicon. The term designates Supreme, Unmitigated Evil. Once someone is successfully branded a Terrorist, it means that anything and everything can and should be done to them without constraints (e.g., sure, I don’t love the idea that the President — in secret and with no due process – can target my fellow citizens for assassination, but I support its being done to Anwar Awlaki because he’s a Terrorist; I don’t like detention without trial but I can live with it as it’s being used to imprison Terrorists; it’s terrible when we slaughter children with drones but it has to be done to get the Terrorists, etc. etc.).

    As I’ve said before, Terrorism is simultaneously the term that means nothing and justifies everything. That’s why such strong emotions are evoked when it is used in a way that deviates from mandated orthodoxies. It’s a meaningless term, but incredibly (perhaps incomparably) significant in governing how power and violence can be wielded and against whom.”

    END QUOTE

  716. James Canning: “US could carry out covert acts in Iran that did not involve arranging for Sunni terrorists in SE Iran to murder civilians.”

    That’s true. The U.S. could send in Special Forces to sabotage Iranian facilities without killing anyone. Actually, I don’t doubt that they have done so. Or at least have sent in Special Forces to pinpoint Iranian facilities for later air strikes. That is one of the main functions of Special Forces in war time – collecting pre-battle intelligence. It was done in Iraq in 1991 and in 2003 and I’ve no doubt it’s being done now in Iran.

  717. Greenwald’s discussion of the meaning of “terrorism” was interesting.

    As I have mentioned in other venues, the term “terrorism” was almost immediately co-opted by the state. Despite the history of “terrorism” going back to the Jewish Sicarii – that’s right, Jews “invented” terrorism, at least in historical context – most people ascribe the origins to one of two sources: the French “Terror” or the People’s Will revolutionary group in Russia in the nineteenth century.

    From an article on the latter:

    Quote

    Its chief progenitor was arguably the Italian republican extremist, Carlo Pisacane, who had forsaken his birthright as duke of San Giovanni only to perish in 1857 during an ill-fated revolt against `Bourbon rule. A passionate advocate of federalism and mutualism, Pisacane is remembered less on this account than for the theory of `propaganda by deed’, which he is credited with defining — an idea that has exerted a compelling influence on rebels and terrorists alike ever since. `The propaganda of the idea is a chimera,’ Pisacane wrote. `Ideas result from deeds, not the latter from the former, and the people will not be free when they are educated, but educated when they are free.’ Violence, he argued, was necessary not only to draw attention to, or generate publicity for, a cause, but to inform, educate and ultimately rally the masses behind the revolution. The didactic purpose of violence, Pisacane argued, could never be effectively replaced by pamphlets, wall posters or assemblies.

    Perhaps the first organization to put into practice Pisacane’s dictum was the Narodnaya Volya, or People’s Will (sometimes translated as People’s Freedom), a small group of Russian constitutionalists that had been founded in 1878 to challenge tsarist rule. For the Narodnaya Volya, the apathy and alienation of the Russian masses afforded few alternatives to the resort to daring and dramatic acts of violence designed to attract attention to the group and its cause. However, unlike the many late twentieth-century terrorist organizations who have cited the principle of `propaganda by deed’ to justify the wanton targeting of civilians in order to assure them publicity through the shock and horror produced by wholesale bloodshed, the Narodnaya Volya displayed an almost quixotic attitude to the violence they wrought. To them, `propaganda by deed’ meant the selective targeting of specific individuals whom the group considered the embodiment of the autocratic, oppressive state. Hence their victims — the tsar, leading members of the royal family, senior government officials — were deliberately chosen for their `symbolic’ value as the dynastic heads and subservient agents of a corrupt and tyrannical regime. An intrinsic element in the group’s collective beliefs was that `not one drop of superfluous blood’ should be shed in pursuit of aims, however noble or utilitarian they might be. Even having selected their targets with great care and the utmost deliberation, group members still harboured profound regrets about taking the life of a fellow human being. Their unswerving adherence to this principle is perhaps best illustrated by the failed attempt on the life of the Grand Duke Serge Alexandrovich made by a successor organization to the Narodnaya Volya in 1905. As the royal carriage came into view, the terrorist tasked with the assassination saw that the duke was unexpectedly accompanied by his children and therefore aborted his mission rather than risk harming the intended victim’s family (the duke was killed in a subsequent attack).

    End Quote

    This was the “high point” of terrorism in history: the specific definition that terrorism was the methodology of using violence against oppressors with the specific purpose of making them afraid and thus disrupting their ability to oppress – while at the same time minimizing “collateral damage”, as it’s currently referred to whenever the U.S. wipes out masses of civilians in its efforts to kill “terrorists”.

    But it is the other definition that rules today: the use of violence to strike terror into the masses. This is the definition that almost all terrorist groups – and state sponsors of terrorism – use today – including the U.S. and Israel.

    The notion that a targeted assassination is not “terrorism” only applies if you’re using the latter definition. By the former definition, ONLY a targeted assassination is true terrorism.

    The problem of course, as Greenwald points out, is that the term “terrorism” is no longer used as a concept, but as a propaganda item, a smear, an attempt to dehumanize one’s opponent so that anything YOU do becomes acceptable no matter how many un-involved civilians get killed in the process.

    I don’t bother arguing for a return to the former concept. It’s a waste of time. Words in languages end up being defined by their current usage, not their conceptual basis.

    Nonetheless, there is no doubt that, as Greenwald points out, when you’re killing un-involved civilians in the process of your “targeted assassination” – you’re a terrorist.

    And when a state engages in mass slaughter, as the U.S. has on many occasions in its history, as has Israel, there is no doubt that such a state is “terrorist”, according to the current definition.

    But until someone has the power to call such states to account, it’s pointless to make this point.

    Bin Laden was a terrorist. Obama is a terrorist. Netanyahu is a terrorist. Only the former didn’t have enough military assets to prevent himself from getting killed for it.

  718. Fiorangela says:

    Nial, maybe you can point to the paragraph where Flynt & Hillary wrote, “Based on Mark Perry’s reporting, we should fly drones over XYZ and kill the head of their assassination unit.”

    What I read was that the situation should, indeed, be investigated, as you suggest, tho a congressional investigation is the equivalent of Israel conducting its own review of the Mavi Marmara killings (IDF did a splendid job, they were attacked), and, the Leveretts (note the two Ifs)
    QUOTE
    if the United States identifies any group involved in caring out politically-motivated murders inside Iran, it will designate that group as a foreign terrorist organization. Furthermore,

    if the United States identifies any foreign government carrying out, instigating, or facilitating politically-motivated murders inside Iran, it will designate that government as a state sponsor of terrorism.”

    that seems embolism-neutral to me.

    And even if it is hyperventilating and jumping to conclusions, to paraphrase Uncle Akiva from Exodus, justice is an abstraction . . .the American people have been forced to take a back seat and watch a lot of injustice carried out in their name . . .it’s about time someone else bore the injustice.”

    If Israel is innocent of the implied charge, let them (ahem) provide real evidence to prove they didn’t do it.

  719. James Canning says:

    Nial,

    “Ex-CIA types with an agenda”. Do you mean ex-CIA types trying to prevent another catastrophe like the illegal invasion of Iraq?

  720. James Canning says:

    Prominent neocon warmonger, Michael Ledeen, wrote Nov. 28th (“Who’s blowing up Iran?”): “I would really love to believe [that] Obama, at long last, has ordered a response to the Iranian war against the west. . . but I don’t believe it.”

    I think Ledeen played a role in the deception of G W Bush with the Niger forgeries.

  721. Nial Cole says:

    Lots of hyperventilating here – as usual – but before the usual crew of conspiracy theorists suffer a collective embolism, how about we calm down and take a more sober view of this report. The reporting sounds more like an orchestrated leak by ex-CIA types with an agenda. Are they accurate? Beats me but sounds like there needs to be a helluva lot more reporting or official congressional investigation before we know the facts. I’m in less of a rush to believe breathless reportorial exclusives. Anybody remember Judy Miller and her Iraq WMD “scoops?” Yeah, though so. We glom onto stories that we like to fit our ideological biases. But right now, we’ve got a lot of chickens squawking w/o their heads.

  722. James Canning says:

    R S Hack,

    US could carry out covert acts in Iran that did not involve arranging for Sunni terrorists in SE Iran to murder civilians.

  723. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    Re: hacking of Israeli credit cards, by Saudi apparently. I think most countries take a dim view of this sort of thing.

    Thanks for letting me know I missed the piece by Donald MacIntyre in the Independent Jan. 12th, regarding EU cocnern at continuing growth of illegal colonies of Jews in the West Bank, theft of water, etc. Myo wn view is that if Jews find themselves on the “wrong side” of the border, that is their problem and other Jews can help relocate them. But growth of illegal colonies of Jews should not change borders of Palestine.

  724. “Third, Mark’s sources say that within weeks of taking office, the Obama Administration “drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran.” We are skeptical that this claim is correct; ”

    Phil Giraldi has explicitly stated that just recently, according to his intelligence contacts, Obama issued TWO Presidential “findings” authorizing further anti-Iranian covert ops as well as covert ops against Syria.

    So whatever Obama might have done in the early days of his administration is irrelevant. He is fully on board with covert ops against these nations now.

  725. James Canning says:

    Irshad,

    Sorry, I missed the comment about EU and change of position on Israel/Palestine. I’ll read it and get back to you. Thanks.

  726. kooshy says:

    Fior-

    You may want to read this well written and very pointed article by Glen which came out yesterday, it shows extend of the double talk.

    Iran and the Terrorism Game
    By Glenn Greenwald
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article30230.htm

  727. Fiorangela says:

    cottage cheese boy wrote: “provide real evidence to prove that they were not . . .

  728. James Canning says:

    The obvious problem is simply that the ISRAEL LOBBY is so strong, it can promote state terrorism by the US in order to help “protect” Israel.

  729. Fiorangela says:

    kooshy says:
    January 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    “Never let a crisis go to waste.” – R Emanuel

    Panetta & Clinton might be lying thru their teeth (hard to imagine) but that tragic dead young Iranian bought the administration some maneuvering room to shove Bibi into a corner.

    Panetta stood in front of his soldiers and said, “We don’t do this; we have an idea who did . . .” He created distance between slavish obeisance to Israel and US interests.

    Taking back assertion of US interests over Israel’s interests has to start somewhere; this might be that starting point. I am so sorry it cost the life of that young man and father.
    Congratulations to the Leveretts for stepping out in front of the situation with a clear and concise policy prescription: The perpetrators MUST be named as terrorists.

  730. Sassan says:

    I will repeat:

    Until the regime is able to provide real evidence to prove that they were not behind the assassinations, the whole issue of who has been behind the killings of the scientists is up in the air. Don’t forget Masoud Alimohammadi ( http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,672522,00.html ) (one of the top scientists) who was against this regime was subsequently assassinated.

    Why would the regime be doing this? They may be trying to get rid of individuals who have too much information and whom they are afraid are a security liability for such reasons. Remember what happened with Shahram Amiri leaking info? No one really knows, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit. In addition, isn’t a little bit of a coincidence that this killing happens just when the international community is uniting with an oil embargo against Iran? This killing in addition to other reasons is a way for this regime to try to play the victim card. I bet it won’t work. :)

    I truly believe that these assassinations could only happen with the support of elements from within the Iranian state apparatus itself. How could this type of campaign of assassinations be sustained against scientist after scientist? How is it that the “illusive” Jundullah leader Abdolmalek Rigi was caught and landed midair flying out of Pakistan on a chartered jet while heading to a meeting with CIA operatives somewhere in Caucasia, but that same intelligence organization is incapable of protecting Iranian scientists living in the Capital who can easily be put under 24-hour protective surveillance?

    How can the so called Zionists kill Iranian scientists so easily? The Islamist regime spends billions on materials and yet it can’t protect its most valuable assets?

    Not only that, but the Islamic Republic in all its “Supreme Power” can’t even produce any hard evidence of who is responsible for these attacks. Therefore, their complaints to the U.N. are useless. Think about it: in the middle of the day two guys on a motorbike blow up the vehicle of a scientist doing sensitive work and then escape into thin air Then what happens to the crime scene? The regime sends people over to clear blood off the pavements with a hose. There goes destroying any sort of forensic evidence necessary for any crime scene, especially one of this importance. In any serious country they would pick up these guys a few blocks away from the site; especially since after all these assassinations, these “high profile” and “top” scientists would be followed under 24-hour patrol.

    At the end of the day, this regime is great at capturing drug traffickers and other innocent victims into confessing that they were involved with the “Mossad, CIA” & the likes. They do this so cherishfuly in parading them in front of the cameras for the whole world to see. They are also great at orchestrating the sieging of embassies.

    Again, we MUST either be astonished at the incompetance of this regime or at least CONSIDER the possibility that the regime was behind such assassinations.

  731. Karl says:

    Could one take david cameron serious?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/01/13/david-cameron-criticises-russia-over-syria_n_1204966.html?ref=uk

    Although an old pic.

    Here he is condemning Russia for supporting Syria with weapons, while UK keep selling weapons to Saudiarabia, Bahrain, Israel etc.
    While the syrian semi-war must end no doubt, cameron is the last person to criticize anyone else.

  732. kooshy says:

    Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett

    “That the Obama Administration is now trying to distance itself from some aspects of this dance, by fobbing it off on Israel (to be sure, anything but an innocent party), does not extricate it from its past decisions or current actions.”

    Thank you very much for this post, but all said, your analysis does not conclude as to WHY all of a sudden the administration feels the need to distance herself with being directly involved with acts of terrorism inside Iran, and is willing to point her finger directly at Israeli for being responsible for acts of terror inside Iran.

  733. kooshy says:

    “That the Obama Administration is now trying to distance itself from some aspects of this dance, by fobbing it off on Israel (to be sure, anything but an innocent party), does not extricate it from its past decisions or current actions.”

    That is how I saw it and posted on previous tread with regard to this story coming out today, here is my earlier comment in reply to fyi posting the URL to Perry’s story. Folks American/ Western media will not publish a story like this if they are not permited and only will publish when they are asked to do so.

    fyi says:
    January 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    “The actual url to the National Interest article on Israel & Jundullah:”

    I think this story was spread around today to hedge for what will come out of Iran later, because probably soon there would be a big story coming out of Iran with regard to the recent assassination of the Iranian nuclear scientist, otherwise Ayatollah Khamenei would not have so explicitly (this time) would have pointed directly at US/Israel in his condolence note which made Panetta to go on and completely deny US involvement twice in one speech. See Panetta says we have some idea who did it and at the end video the Iranian analyst says we have documents that we are going to turn in.

    Basically the Americans administration is saying like when someone wants to deny when it’s cut “ it was not me, it was my hand, it was all my sleeve’s fault”

    US did not kill Iranian nuclear scientist, claims Leon Panetta – video

    “The US defense secretary, Leon Panetta, denies his country was behind the assassination of a nuclear scientist in Tehran. Iran blames the US and Israel for the murder of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, 32, but says the killing will not derail its nuclear programme, which has raised fears of war and threatened world oil supplies”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2012/jan/13/us-iranian-nuclear-scientist-panetta-video

  734. fyi says:

    The Leverett:

    Mr. Obama also did not relent on adverserial approach to Iran in diplomatic fora – from the first day of his presidency.

    Mr. Khamenei publicly complained about it.

    Later, Mr Khamenei stated that “If you change, we will change too.”

  735. Irshad says:

    James Canning – you rather conveniently ignored my questions in a previous thread when I linked 2 articles – one about how the EU is about give up on the idea of a Palestinian state because of Isreals land grabs and 2. How a Isreali hacker has released the credit card details of Saudis – both actions clearly showing how Isreal is a threat to Arabs and Saudis rather then Irans 20% thingy!

    Has the Saudi FM or King told Mr Cameron about these threats? What is UK going to do about it?

  736. Fiorangela says:

    I don’t know if RFI is looking for funding or not, but I am going to make a contribution.

    money meet mouth.

    Thank you for driving policy, Drs. Leverett.

  737. Kathleen says:

    Who the hell believes Secretary of State Clinton when she says the US was not involved?

  738. Irshad says:

    Keep up the good work Leveretts, for God does love the peacemakers NOT the warmongers. At the end of the day we all will be held accountable for our actions.

  739. ToivoS says:

    Just a short note to thank you two about your excellent service to mankind.

    My initial reaction to the Perry piece was similar to yours though you have considerably more expertise to back it up. But after reading the above I have a question. Your assertion that the Obama administration never considered negotiations with Iran in any serious way seems solid. It also seems fairly clear that he really never cut down on the clandestine war against Iran.

    The question: Could this leak to Perry signal that at the highest levels of the administration they might be starting to seriously worry (if not panic) that events are starting to run out of control? I am presupposing that Obama really does not want to go to war with Iran but has so far has been very foolishly strutting around macho style showing the world he is a tough guy and won’t take s… from nobody?

  740. Neo says:

    5 cold blooded murders of scientists in 2 years. i wonder how iran is going to retaliate…

  741. Neo says:

    Solid analysis. Loved the last para!

  742. Castellio says:

    Note, you are missing the hyper links in the first line of the second to last paragraph. Please address that small shortcoming in an otherwise clear and bold post.

    You are standing firm on the actual events and policies. You are making a difference.