logo Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
2023-03-20 08:09:55 CoV Wiki
Learn more about the Church of Virus
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Open for business: The CoV Store!

  Church of Virus BBS
  Mailing List
  Virus 2006

  Iran.
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
   Author  Topic: Iran.  (Read 6134 times)
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4272
Reputation: 8.95
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Iran.
« on: 2006-02-15 14:04:46 »
Reply with quote

US prepares military blitz against Iran's nuclear sites

Source: Telegraph
Authors: Philip Sherwell
Dated: 2006-02-12

'10,000 would die' in A-plant attack on Iran

Strategists at the Pentagon are drawing up plans for devastating bombing raids backed by submarine-launched ballistic missile attacks against Iran's nuclear sites as a "last resort" to block Teheran's efforts to develop an atomic bomb.

Central Command and Strategic Command planners are identifying targets, assessing weapon-loads and working on logistics for an operation, the Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

They are reporting to the office of Donald Rumsfeld, the defence secretary, as America updates plans for action if the diplomatic offensive fails to thwart the Islamic republic's nuclear bomb ambitions. Teheran claims that it is developing only a civilian energy programme.

"This is more than just the standard military contingency assessment," said a senior Pentagon adviser. "This has taken on much greater urgency in recent months."

The prospect of military action could put Washington at odds with Britain which fears that an attack would spark violence across the Middle East, reprisals in the West and may not cripple Teheran's nuclear programme. But the steady flow of disclosures about Iran's secret nuclear operations and the virulent anti-Israeli threats of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has prompted the fresh assessment of military options by Washington. The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B2 bombers, each armed with up to 40,000lb of precision weapons, including the latest bunker-busting devices. They would fly from bases in Missouri with mid-air refuelling.

The Bush administration has recently announced plans to add conventional ballistic missiles to the armoury of its nuclear Trident submarines within the next two years. If ready in time, they would also form part of the plan of attack.

Teheran has dispersed its nuclear plants, burying some deep underground, and has recently increased its air defences, but Pentagon planners believe that the raids could seriously set back Iran's nuclear programme.

Iran was last weekend reported to the United Nations Security Council by the International Atomic Energy Agency for its banned nuclear activities. Teheran reacted by announcing that it would resume full-scale uranium enrichment - producing material that could arm nuclear devices.

The White House says that it wants a diplomatic solution to the stand-off, but President George W Bush has refused to rule out military action and reaffirmed last weekend that Iran's nuclear ambitions "will not be tolerated".

Sen John McCain, the Republican front-runner to succeed Mr Bush in 2008, has advocated military strikes as a last resort. He said recently: "There is only only one thing worse than the United States exercising a military option and that is a nuclear-armed Iran."

Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat, has made the same case and Mr Bush is expected to be faced by the decision within two years.

By then, Iran will be close to acquiring the knowledge to make an atomic bomb, although the construction will take longer. The President will not want to be seen as leaving the White House having allowed Iran's ayatollahs to go atomic.

In Teheran yesterday, crowds celebrating the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution chanted "Nuclear technology is our inalienable right" and cheered Mr Ahmadinejad when he said that Iran may reconsider membership of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

He was defiant over possible economic sanctions.
Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
JD
Adept
****

Gender: Male
Posts: 542
Reputation: 7.23
Rate JD





View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #1 on: 2006-02-15 17:56:59 »
Reply with quote

What is your take on this Hermit?

Do you think this Iran has a right to it's nuclear program?

Do you think they intend to make nuclear weapons?

What would you do if your were say US or EU President.

JD
Report to moderator   Logged
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4272
Reputation: 8.95
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Iran.
« Reply #2 on: 2006-02-16 16:29:46 »
Reply with quote

[Hermit] It should be noted as a context to my response that IMO:
  • Iran is not a nice place.
  • Iran is far from a "democratic" society.
  • Iran has a long history of engaging in aggressive disinformation campaigns.
  • Most of the Iranians I have met have been wonderful people
Then again, the above is also true of Afghanistan and Iraq under the US. It is also true of the country which appears to be benefiting most from the USA's recent (and apparently about to be extended) stupid, expensive and illegal activities in the Middle East, i.e. Israel. Finally, to my regret, it seems to me to be largely true these days of the USA herself.

[Jonathan Davis] What is your take on this Hermit?

[Hermit] My take is that even if nuclear weapons are legal to own (and that is arguable), they are not legal to deploy under current International law. Refer the advisory opinion, July 8, 1996, General List No. 95 on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons by International Court of Justice which, lest you have forgotten, and no mattter how much they hate being reminded, is an US instituted body. The court's opinion was, in essence, that the design and production and threat to use nuclear weapons is a crime against peace (Nuremberg Principle VI a), while the use of nuclear weapons would be a war crime and a crime against humanity (Nuremberg Principle VI b and c). Nevertheless, they are owned, by founders of the NPT such as the US, by signatories to the NPT such as Pakistan and India, and by non-signatories to the NPT such as Israel. Contrary to the current yammering in what passes for news media and in spite of the IAEA's blatant willingness to permit itself to be used by the US and Israel for propaganda purposes, the NPT does not bar development of a nuclear capacity - from radiation therapy up to and including thermonuclear devices (commonly known as "The Bomb"), it only prevents (supposedly) the transmission of equipment or information that could be used for nuclear purposes to non signatories, and baring the transfer of weapon related technologies and information from weapon holding to non-weapon holding signatories. The cynical abuse of process, which I will document on this thread if I have the time, in order to turn Iran into a bogeyman is yet another example of unequal treatment inspired by the USA. Unfortunately, as the US has repeatedly demonstrated, it is quite clear that International law no longer applies, or if it does apply, it applies only to whom onto whom others can project force or the threat of force. For North America and the EU which will eventually be of less significance than Asia unless we engage in mutual destruction to a level where primordial slime appears advanced, setting precedent by engaging in such wholesale bully tactics appears utterly insane. This is the primary consideration behind the steps I advocate below.

[Jonathan Davis] Do you think this Iran has a right to it's nuclear program?

[Hermit] Indubitably. Under International law, every nation has this right. Under any new regime, nuclear power will have to substitute for a major portion of fossil fuel usage if we are to have any chance of establishing a sustainable future.

[Jonathan Davis] Do you think they intend to make nuclear weapons?

[Hermit] Like India, Pakistan, South Africa and Israel (to name a few) they say not (and I am skeptical of this claim). Nevertheless, I'm not going to attempt to second guess the merits of the claim. The IAEA despite looking very hard (at Washington's insistence), and despite Washington's clear preference that they should announce that such a desire exists (including the attempted insertion of very tainted, provenance and chain-of-evidence bereft exhibits by Washington) says that they have found no supportable evidence of Iran having such an agenda. In the absence of evidence, with Iran's clear statements that they have no such intention, and the knowledge that even if they had such an intention, it would be at least as legal and possibly more sensible (If Iran attacked Israel, it is likely that the US would nuke Iran out of existence (and pity all of those downwind of such retribution). As the world demonstrated when Israel attacked Iraq, when the boot is on the other foot nothing happens.) than Israel's program (Speaking of the Israeli program, notice Israel's brilliant obfuscation of this through starting Mordecahi Vanunu's trial on the day of the Palestinian elections 2006-01-25), I'd have to say that we should accept Iran's assurances - and hope that they are lying - that despite the evidence being that they are at least 5 years from demonstrating implosion and 10 to 15 years from having a deliverable weaponized system, that they can demonstrate it tomorrow. I suggest we should hope this, because it is likely the best path to a quick re-balancing of power, and prevention of more expensive, unnecessary, escalating wars. Unfortunately, it would, courtesy of the US' prior and existing ill-considered interventions, leave power in the Middle East in the hands of the more extreme Shiite groupings. Which also has unfortunate implications, but at least probably more economic than martial, unless Iran went for Egypt's throat (preventable if the UN can promise reprisal IMO) which is IMO much more likely than Iran attacking Israel.

[Jonathan Davis] What would you do if your were say US or EU President.

[Hermit] I'd take my primary task as increasing happiness. As such I'd work to eliminate unhappiness. Security would follow. While I do think that the last 10 to 15 years of Western hypocrisy, perfidy and paranoia have largely undone 150 years of somewhat halting progress - and thereby have probably irretrievably harmed hopes for mankind’s future by increasing the  perception of ultimate necessity for a nuclear confrontation between China and the West, I am not unhopeful that this could still be avoided by very rapid, very sincere action designed to empower individuals and increase individual expose while minimizing nationalistic urges. In other words, by reversing the current trends so far as possible. There would naturally be limits to what any leader could achieve, though not, I think as limited as most people might imagine if it were done effectively and rapidly (ask Dick Cheney or Frederik Willem de Klerk (for opposite extremes)). Certainly, what could not be achieved would pale into insignificance in terms of what could be achieved if global thermonuclear MAD can be avoided. Following list in approximate order of urgency/achievability/strategic necessity. Numbered for your convenience of response e.g to reply to [Hermit 2.3] respond with [Jonathan Davis 3.3]. To introduce a new thought use, e.g. [Jonathan Davis 3.31]

[Hermit 2.1] One of the largest problems in the world today is the "single voice" phenomenon which destroys the ability for media to inform citizens or counter government effectively. This is a growing issue. To counter this effect, any media group with assets exceeding $20 million might sensibly be broken up into such pieces. No individual or group should own or control more than one media entity. Advertising space, if sold through consolidators, should be made available to anyone seeking such space at the same rate as provided to consolidators. Other similar rules can be developed and applied until the situation improves and the media becomes an effective multivoice provider as established by a panel to be appointed (Punishment will continue until morale improves).

[Hermit 2.2] Another issue is that the democracies have "disrepresentation" through representatives largely "owned" by special interests (who can afford to target the representatives who usually know very little about the subjects on which they vote). To cure this, I would implement systems allowing people to establish their level of knowledge (by showing qualifications or through taking a test) and encouraging people to vote directly on each and every issue. Each vote to be be weighted by "knowledge score". This would effectively preclude special interests or demagoguery from playing a major role in determining outcomes, and would probably result in informed decisions. People could appoint representatives, but their representatives would effectively be voting only with proxies, in other words, a representative would be voting the sum of the "knowledge scores" held by proxy. Voters would be empowered to establish issues (some number of votes) and bureaucracy would be tasked with establishing educational material and tests for each issue prior to voting. A quorum would be formed at 2/3 of the possible knowledge score. This should result in a much more representational and enlightened system of governance than any currently available.

[Hermit 2.3] The unspoken reality of the TheJudeoChristianWorld v TheIslamicWorld (both of which are more splintered than coherent except on this issue) is that the US and UK, working through the UN, perpetrated an immense injustice on the people of the Palestine by establishing Israel, at least in part due to the actions of Jewish terrorists, in part due to fanatical Christian religious agenda, and in part due to the over-representative influence of the "Jewish vote" in the US. This injustice continues to rankle and inspire violence. Had there been no Israel, there would quite likely not have been a 9/11. Unfortunately, there are now more Palestinian refugees, all with the US inspired "right-of-return", than will fit into the Palestine, even if nobody else were living there. This creates a permanent cause-de-guerre which needs defanging. Nuking Jerusalem not appealing to me, to begin with, I'd end the Israeli tragedy by coupling a cessation of all aid to Israel, with the offer of free immigration rights to all people holding an undergraduate degree or better, Jew and non-Jew alike, away from that miserable patch of sand, and an extension of the offer to all qualified Palestinians. I'd even sponsor people to get undergraduate degrees to help them emigrate. I estimate that that would implode the state within 10 years and the ability to end the right-of-return within 15. To preempt a (not entirely unexpected) violent reaction from Israel or Arab states, I'd let them all know that an attack on any nation, including unattributed attacks, would result in either a nuclear response or a full blockade. And mean it.

[Hermit 2.4] Our ability to deal with Middle Eastern (and Russian) issues is compromised by our dependency on oil. Additionally, the unequal distribution of resources and shortage of energy ensures that, at least in the medium term, those conflicts not driven by environmental issues are likely to be motivated by competition for oil resources. So I would concentrate on establishing realistic "alternates" to fossil fuels particularly nuclear, oceanographic and space-solar systems generating electrical and Hydrogen power. This implies immediate expenditure on getting a real, sustainable space program into effect. Given the recent development of Buckminster Fullerene based ribbon structures, probably based on the space elevator. Meanwhile distributed co-generation, probably based on piped Hydrogen would replace classic power generation, reducing dependence on fossil fuels, heat and gas pollution, while simultaneously improving availability, cost efficiency and resilience. Traffic, which uses a disproportionate amount of energy would be migrated to a system combining independent hybrid vehicles with high-efficiency monorails capable of carrying individual vehicles at low cost and efficiencies two orders of magnitude better than current cars (including hybrids). This would be supplemented with investment intended to produce a fleet of airships each capable of transporting thousands of tons of goods about the planet at costs similar to the cost of rail shipping - which if I were in the US would also receive attention to ensure that obstacles - financial and legal - to the shipment of goods by rail were eliminated.

[Hermit 2.5] Much of the current resistance to globalization as well as internal unrest, is driven by the blatant inequality of the world today. Largely because we haven't done a very good job of distributing goods or services. To counter this I'd focus on establishing - at a global level, simple, fair, tax structures (flat transaction taxes, resource usage taxes (e.g. for mines and cropland), alternate asset taxes (which would apply when the annual transaction taxes paid by an asset holder amount to less than the transaction rate applied to the entire asset base), anti-social taxes (for goods which cause additional costs to society e.g. tobacco, opium)) with a primary objective of redistribution of wealth to flatten the disparity between the haves and the have-nots (which, as Europe showed, can be rapidly achieved through financial equalization or through social provision of goods and services, and, most efficiently, through a combination of approaches).

[Hermit 2.6] Given that a major source of protein, the seas, appear from rapidly declining fish takes, to be extremely sick, if not (we hope) terminally ill, I'd establish huge fish farms (probably in desert regions) to provide alternative protein sources, and then ban most forms of ocean harvesting until we have better information on sustainable harvest volumes and stock levels recover. This would be coupled by an increase in agricultural production to "sustainable optimums" (i.e. not managed for maximum "profit") and shipping to ensure global access to sufficient food. As bioreactor technology allows us to convert "waste" food into synthetic oil, waste levels would not be nearly as high as previous models have suggested. The need to distribute produce effectively would motivate development of mega-airships which would ultimately reduce shipping costs by two orders of magnitude.

[Hermit 2.7] No matter how well we solve problems, some people would still seek to foist their ideas and standards on others, while others will seek to maintain their "right" to own slaves (of the actual or economic variety) even when this costs them more than paying fair rates to perform the same functions. These issues are another major source of unhappiness and social unrest. So I'd work very hard at ensuring adoption of Helsinki based "individual rights" at a global level as a precursor to other peer interactions (i.e. I would place tariffs on goods from nations that did not adopt an individual rights program and would not include such groups in wealth leveling programs until they did so.

[Hermit 2.8] Given that nationalism is a primary driver to UTism, which in turn leads to hostilities, I would evaluate alternate political systems to the "nation-state" seeking the solutions which would work fastest to wean us from that poor fourteenth century choice - and then implement them. I'd create forums for people to express their ideas - and listen very carefully with an eye to implementing or enabling the implementation of as many of them as possible.

[Hermit 2.9] War and the threat of war are major obstacles to happiness, so the elimination of war through a multi-modal approach, eliminating motivation as well as capability would be a major objective. To that end, I'd focus on strengthening International Law and the illegality of war, and ensuring that the successor body to the UN possessed sufficient teeth to enforce such law against
anyone - including myself. Membership of this UN successor would be predicated on the surrender of all ABC and non-man portable weapon systems to the successor organization, along with the commitment to provide sufficient troops and other resources to ensure its effectiveness against any non-member. Say in the body, which would be at the individual level, would be commensurate with this commitment (i.e. money, training, willingness to assist). My estimate is that this has the potential to reduce global spending on "defense" by a factor of 30 to 50 in the short term, and several hundred in the long term. Which would, naturally, pay for everything else proposed here. In addition, the provision of two years service to this organization, in carefully blended groups, in roles from policing to teaching, from emergency aid to tree planting, by every child transitioning to adulthood on the planet would rapidly break-down UTism and prejudice - while serving to provide rapid response capability to tragedies whether natural or man made.

[Hermit 2.10] Another major inequality easily dealt with is that of health-care and longevity. I'd look to the provision of universal health care with a realistic implementation agenda - probably 25 years - based on the development and deployment of diagnostic, care giving and surgical robots, mass production of standardized hospital and drug production modules and the introduction of training programs resulting in sufficient medically competent staff from around the globe to make health care cheap. If Cuba can achieve – and export this – albeit on a primitive basis, despite continuous US sanctions, then the US or EU could do it globally, were there a political will to it. I'd couple this with a pragmatic legalization of all drugs, but with restrictions on their sales.

[Hermit 2.11] Given the clear failure of the market to either sponsor new developments or to make them generally available, I'd end both copyright and patent systems, replacing them with direct payments/subsidies to innovators and creators based on a Meridion like system. I would also end the allocation of radio spectrum, replacing it with broadband collision avoiding systems employing frequencies based purely on bandwidth and distance requirements, with a strong preference to short distance systems. This would be coupled with saturation bandwidth availability effectively obsolescing telephone, cell-phone, satellite and cable systems, with huge increases in communication availability and cost effectiveness.

[Hermit 2.12] Given existing education systems’ utter failure to create responsible global citizens (at least in the US where no negative comment on US actions or even analysis of US motives  (lest it arrive at same)is accepted in school history books, let alone mentions of social class (making meaningful sociological analysis impossible)) or even rational adults capable of constructing or analyzing an argument, I’d replace it almost in its entirety with a centrally supported, highly diversified, one-room schoolroom environment as previously described on the CoV.

[Hermit 2.13] I suggest that, at the end of the day, the above steps would reduce the motivation to war and increase happiness.

[Hermit 2.14] I do think that it is important to observe that the above are not prerequisites to a non-martial outcome in the Middle East (no matter how desirable I think most individuals would find them.). If the UN/International law were to be impartial and have sufficient teeth to make itself felt, nobody need worry overmuch about nuclear groups. The trick is to identify the holders with a believable MAD response in the event of use until such time as everyone other than the UN successor body had given up these expensive toys as being more trouble than they are worth. Which they are, unless some highly clustered group such as the US and Europe is your enemy (strategic) or if your enemy is likely to present you with the opportunity to devastate his ability to project power with expensive targets of opportunity (tactical), e.g. carrier groups. (You may be interested to note that there is a third possibility, "Gotterdammerung" or the "If I have to go, I will destroy everyone else with me" option, but AFAIK, that position is held by only two countries, Israel (by intent) and the US (by default) and I won't address it on the grounds that it is inherently an utterly insane position).

[Hermit] Now, how about you take the time to answer the same questions Jonathan?

Regards

Hermit

A belligerent state permits itself every such misdeed, every such act of violence, as would disgrace the individual. – Sigmund Freud
« Last Edit: 2006-02-18 17:57:39 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
JD
Adept
****

Gender: Male
Posts: 542
Reputation: 7.23
Rate JD





View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #3 on: 2006-02-19 19:09:33 »
Reply with quote

Dear Hermit,

Thank you for a truly brilliant response.

I will of course answer my own questions but unfortunately I am too short of time to respect your reply, but please take my word that I am grateful for it.

I think every country ought to have a nuclear power program. 

I think it should be a matter of priority for the world to establish a world standard reactor design (like in France where 80% of the nations electricity is generated by network of very well designed nuclear reactors using the same design and parts) and a sensible policy for global nuclear energy and allocation of uranium as well as the storage of waste.

[Then again, I am a Catastrophist who is completely sold on the Oil Peak, global aquifer depletion (and its consequences for the Green Revolution which has defied Malthus for 200 years), fish stocks depletion, (re)emergent diseases and the global economic bubble].

I think Iran does intend to make nuclear weapons. I think I would too if I were an Iranian.

I do not want Iran to have Nuclear weapons. I am for non-proliferation generally and specifically I think the Iran is gravely dangerous because of nature of its rulers, current political culture and regional neighbours.

I want the Russians and Chinese to solve this one. If it means destroying nuclear facilities,  as a last resort I support it.

Kind regards,

Jonathan
Report to moderator   Logged
Mermaid
Archon
****

Posts: 770
Reputation: 8.62
Rate Mermaid



Bite me!

View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #4 on: 2006-02-20 04:17:36 »
Reply with quote


Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-02-19 19:09:33   


I want the Russians and Chinese to solve this one. If it means destroying nuclear facilities,  as a last resort I support it.

Kind regards,

Jonathan

yea..yea..let them take care of it. after all, the iraqi wmd/nuclear weapons have already been taken care of....
Report to moderator   Logged
JD
Adept
****

Gender: Male
Posts: 542
Reputation: 7.23
Rate JD





View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #5 on: 2006-02-20 10:07:36 »
Reply with quote


Quote from: Mermaid on 2006-02-20 04:17:36   


Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-02-19 19:09:33   


I want the Russians and Chinese to solve this one. If it means destroying nuclear facilities,  as a last resort I support it.

Kind regards,

Jonathan

yea..yea..let them take care of it. after all, the iraqi wmd/nuclear weapons have already been taken care of....

Well Iraq does not have a nuclear program today, now does it. Well done those Americans!

The Iraq round is on the US/UK bill,  it is only fair the Iran round goes on the Ruskie and Sino tab. 
Report to moderator   Logged
Mermaid
Archon
****

Posts: 770
Reputation: 8.62
Rate Mermaid



Bite me!

View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #6 on: 2006-02-20 10:34:31 »
Reply with quote

i see. the axis of evil is being fixed by the forces of good? who should pick up north korea's tab?


Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-02-20 10:07:36   


Quote from: Mermaid on 2006-02-20 04:17:36   


Quote from: Jonathan Davis on 2006-02-19 19:09:33   


I want the Russians and Chinese to solve this one. If it means destroying nuclear facilities,  as a last resort I support it.

Kind regards,

Jonathan

yea..yea..let them take care of it. after all, the iraqi wmd/nuclear weapons have already been taken care of....

Well Iraq does not have a nuclear program today, now does it. Well done those Americans!

The Iraq round is on the US/UK bill,  it is only fair the Iran round goes on the Ruskie and Sino tab. 
Report to moderator   Logged
Salamantis
Neophyte
*****

Posts: 2845
Reputation: 0.00



I'm a llama!

View Profile E-Mail
Re:Iran.
« Reply #7 on: 2006-02-20 16:36:30 »
Reply with quote

[[ author reputation (0.00) beneath threshold (3)... display message ]]

Report to moderator   Logged
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4272
Reputation: 8.95
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Iran.
« Reply #8 on: 2006-02-20 19:26:11 »
Reply with quote

Some slightly less than random thoughts possibly caused by the background noise on this thread and most nearly by:

[Jonathan Davis] I want the Russians and Chinese to solve this one. If it means destroying nuclear facilities,  as a last resort I support it.

[Hermit]

This is, I suggest, the drumbeat to war being established here in the US, so not too unexpected from the same sources as cheered us to war in Iran - a war so unsuccessful that even Israeli intelligence is now saying that Saddam Hussein was preferable to what we have now (Yuval Diskin, OC Shin Bet), where the political process is veering strongly toward the creation of an ethnically divided sectarian government in which the ministries are carved up along the lines of religion and race, a template similar to that which propelled Afghanistan into a quarter-century of civil war and grossly complicated by Iran's powerful dominance of the Iraqi Shiites.

Perhaps the "real threat" to the USA from Iran is not truly nuclear (or terrorism), but the unmentionable "Arabic Bourse". This would not particularly worry anyone else. In any case, Russia is probably too busy killing Chechans to worry about Iran - and has good models on what radionuclide plumes tend to imply that will tend to dampen enthusiasm for remote bombing, and too recent a memory of a Middle Eastern debacle to get reinvolved in putting boots on the ground - especially in a landscape sufficiently similar to Afghanistan's to dissuade them from imagining that any amount of conventional bombing will have any useful effect.

Speaking of Russia, Iran is big. Bigger than Afghanistan and Iraq together (try using Google Earth to look at 32N 54E from an altitude of 2500 miles to see what I mean). But the Soviet Union was bigger yet. And the Soviet Union was not nearly big enough to contain the accidental release of a small amount of fuel, moderator and coolant from a commercial reactor (Refer  e.g. http://www.chernobyl.info/).

If Iran is attacked by anyone (despite this undoubtedly being as illegal as the attack on Iraq), then the outcome may well depend on what is targetted, what it contains, what kind of bombs are used and which way the wind is blowing (and at what altitudes). If military grade radionuclides are vaporised in an attack and possibly injected into the stratosphere, then the consequences for the world might well make conceivable "dirty bomb" scenarios look positively benign.

Turkey and Europe are enjoying a new film, "Valley of the Wolves" - which may turn out to be the film of the year in terms of policy impact - although US Virians should probably not look for it in a cinema near them anytime soon - it is a look at the USA's foot-perforating activities in Iraq, from the perspective of our ally, Turkey. Unfortunately, any amusement caused by US embarrassment in Iraq will almost certainly evaporate should a radioactive cloud settle on their shoulders.

I suspect that culpability for such a release would belong primarily to the attacker. I wonder what the probability of third-party victims or their families or estates successfully bringing actions against such an attacker might be. Probably in the nuclear hostile International court in the Hague, but if any property or the persons of another nationality were involved, I'd imagine that a private action could be brought in almost any jurisdiction. Particularly in countries such as France, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Norway and Germany which passed laws allowing local jurisdiction for transnational radiation releases after Chernobyl. Assuming that a judgement could be obtained in such nuclear hostile jurisdictions, how easy would it be to have national (and possibly personal accounts) seized and liquidated to service such a judgement. Given the possible number of zeros in such a judgement what might this mean for international economies?

If Iran has done what I would have done under their circumstances (and especially given the non-reaction to Israel attacking Iraq in 1981), which would have been to place as much infrastructure as possible under or near the primary oil fields (or created the impression of doing so), what might an attack on such facilities do to oil availability - and thus prices - and the international economy? Especially given the fact that China and Europe would likely be forced to replace Iranian supplies from an alternative - and thus into fierce competition with the US? Which given current shortfalls would push overall shortages to levels exceeding those seen in the west in the 1970s and a dollar per gallon price in the $6 to $10 range.

If the above scenario is even slightly realistic, the consequent increase in revenue to Islamic nations may well tilt global power balances towards the East much earlier and faster than I had expected. Then again, numbers and scenarios like this might inspire somebody not completely numerically challenged to suggest that perhaps "dealing" with Iran will cost far more to the dealer than any plausible threat scenario.

But don't listen to me, listen to Ron Paul who has a bigger research department and is making similar noises:

A Sense of Déjà Vu
Anti-Iran legislation seems quite familiar

Source: http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=8576
Authors: Congressman Ron Paul, R Texas

I rise in strong opposition to this very dangerous legislation. My colleagues would do well to understand that this legislation is leading us toward war against Iran.

Those reading this bill may find themselves feeling a sense of déjà vu . In many cases one can just substitute "Iraq" for "Iran" in this bill and we could be back in the pre-2003 run-up to war with Iraq. And the logic of this current push for war is much the same as the logic used in the argument for war on Iraq. As earlier with Iraq, this resolution demands that Iran perform the impossible task of proving a negative – in this case that Iran does not have plans to build a nuclear weapon.

There are a few things we need to remember when thinking about Iran and this legislation. First, Iran has never been ruled in violation of its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations.

Second, Iran concluded a Safeguards Agreement more than 30 years ago that provides for the verification of Iran's fulfillment of its obligation to not divert nuclear energy programs to nuclear weapons development. Since this agreement was reached, the International Atomic Energy Agency has never found any indication that Iran has diverted or attempted to divert source or special nuclear materials from a peaceful purpose to a military purpose.

But this does not stop those eager for conflict with Iran from stating otherwise. As the Washington Post reported last year, "U.S. officials, eager to move the Iran issue to the UN Security Council – which has the authority to impose sanctions – have begun a new round of briefings for allies designed to convince them that Iran's real intention is to use its energy program as a cover for bomb building. The briefings will focus on the White House's belief that a country with as much oil as Iran would not need an energy program on the scale it is planning, according to two officials."

This reminds us of the quick move to justify the invasion of Iraq by citing Iraq's "intentions" when actual weapons of mass destruction could not be found.

The resolution's second resolved clause is a real misrepresentation of the Iran/EU3 talks. The "efforts of France, Germany, and the United Kingdom" were not "to seek … suspension of enrichment and reprocessing related activities." As the EU3-Iran Paris Agreement makes very clear, the suspension of enrichment is a purely voluntary measure taken by Iran and is "not a legal obligation."

This is similar to the situation with Iran's voluntarily observation of the Additional Protocols (allowing unannounced inspections) without legally being bound to do so. Suspending voluntary observance of the Additional Protocols is not a violation of the NPT. But those seeking to push us toward war with Iran are purposely trying to connect the two – to confuse voluntary "confidence-building" measures taken by Iran with the legally binding Treaty itself.

Resolved clause four of this legislation is the most inflammatory and objectionable part of the legislation. It lowers the bar to initiating war on Iran. This clause anticipates that the U.S. may not be successful in getting the Security Council to pass a Resolution because of the potential of a Russian or Chinese veto, so it "calls upon" Russia and China to "take action" in response to "any report" of "Iran's noncompliance." That is right: any report.

This resolution is a drumbeat for war with Iran. Its logic is faulty, its premises are flawed, and its conclusions are dangerous. I urge my colleagues to stop for a moment and ponder the wisdom of starting yet another war in the Middle East.
« Last Edit: 2006-02-21 14:01:40 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
JD
Adept
****

Gender: Male
Posts: 542
Reputation: 7.23
Rate JD





View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #9 on: 2006-02-22 12:40:22 »
Reply with quote


Quote from: Hermit on 2006-02-20 19:26:11   
Soviet Union was bigger yet. And the Soviet Union was not nearly big enough to contain the accidental release of a small amount of fuel, moderator and coolant from a commercial reactor (Refer  e.g. http://www.chernobyl.info/).

If Iran is attacked by anyone (despite this undoubtedly being as illegal as the attack on Iraq), then the outcome may well depend on what is targetted, what it contains, what kind of bombs are used and which way the wind is blowing (and at what altitudes). If military grade radionuclides are vaporised in an attack and possibly injected into the stratosphere, then the consequences for the world might well make conceivable "dirty bomb" scenarios look positively benign.

Interestingly, Chernobyl was not nearly as bad as they claimed. It was one of the most exaggerated disasters of all time.

"In September 2005, a report by the Chernobyl Forum, comprising a number of agencies including the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Health Organization, UN bodies and the Governments of Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine, put the total predicted number of deaths due to the accident at 4,000. This predicted death toll includes the fifty workers who died of acute radiation syndrome as a direct result of radiation from the disaster, nine children who died from thyroid cancer and an estimated 3,940 people who could die from cancer as a result of exposure to radiation. (see the World Health Organisation News Release)"


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_accident#Long-term_health_effects

Try not to lose sleep over radionuclides. Chances range from just this side of impossible to extremely improbable. 

Your are more likely to die from AIDS contrated from Santa Claus.

JD
Report to moderator   Logged
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4272
Reputation: 8.95
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Iran.
« Reply #10 on: 2006-02-22 16:39:00 »
Reply with quote

I agree that Chernobyl was and to an extent is vastly over-hyped in certain quarters. As I noted the Chernobyl release was small. Nevertheless, I don't regard 4,000 unnecessary deaths (and billions of dollars wasted) as trivial, no matter where it happens. I also fundamentally disagree that an unsought, unpleasant death is ever unimportant. Whether accidental (as in Chernobyl) or with malice aforethought (as is, potentially the case here).

You appear unaware that the low-expulsion velocity release of transuranic radionuclide from the matrix of a civilian reactor is extremely different in scale, type, distribution and effect from the explosive gasification, release and distribution of radionuclides from a military or processing source - which would be far, far worse. Potentially significantly worse than the deliberate atmospheric detonation of a conventional nuclear weapon however dirty.

There are a number of reasons for this, for example, highly enriched uranium largely in the form of Hexafluorides, Iodides and other Halides from a ruptured centrifuge or device production center would have a much higher PoK per density-volume than Uranium Oxide released from a reactor, due not only to much higher gamma rates and half-life, but also due to the increased likelihood of take-up by and retention in the body. And it only takes one particle to cause a genetic mutation such as the trans-locations between 13 and 22 which result in ALS. The more high energy sources there are, the higher this probability becomes. Now consider the respective half-lives of these very different classes of contaminant (In any non-critical release, the median half-life differences between civilian fuels and military materiel are likely to be at least three to five orders of magnitude). Bear in mind that for so long as a particle is active, it is dangerous (i.e. unlike poisons, one particle can kill repeatedly). This is why, as any actuary can tell you, half-lives are the critical factor in any radionuclide risk assessment, and I think that your evidence bereft assertions about the lack of risk are astoundingly naive. Observe that the above predictions are, to some extent, predicated on assuming that Iran is indeed engaged in (not yet shown) processing of Uranium for military purposes. The stronger that the probability of this becomes (and thus, to some minds, no doubt, the greater the "justification" for a "preemptive" (i.e. illegal) strike), the higher the probability of really nasty unintended consequences. A large fraction of that risk would be born by Iran's neighbors - but I suggest that the fallout (in every sense) will be global, mechanically because once a molecule is injected into the stratosphere by a thermonuclear plume, there is no real limit on where fallout would occur.

Finally, let me reiterate that Israel, perceiving herself to be gravely threatened, with a stockpile of 200+ devices, in addition to a hells-kitchen of biochemical weapons, the means to deliver such munitions, an extreme level of anti-US intelligence activity, a much higher technological capacity than Iran, and a proven willingness to attack US assets, presents much more of a threat to the US than Iran - even if Iran had the nuclear capacity that she does not currently have, says she is not developing, and for which there is no credible evidence. So your concern over this phantom threat seems to fall into as unconsidered a statistical and assessment gap as your estimates of the risk to me from an HIV positive Santa Claus. Were these perhaps based on personal experience? I should caution you that like the non-cost-value estimation based on unsubstantiated threat assessment which resulted in the Iraq debacle, that projecting such anecdotal "behavioral evidence" onto others is seldom valid.

Hermit
Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
Blunderov
Archon
*****

Gender: Male
Posts: 3160
Reputation: 8.92
Rate Blunderov



"We think in generalities, we live in details"

View Profile WWW E-Mail
Re:Iran.
« Reply #11 on: 2006-02-22 18:23:23 »
Reply with quote

[Blunderov] In the grip of maniacs as we are, it's difficult not to be nervous about the possible folly that is apparently being considered in Iran. Unless the attack is instantly and completely effective, the boot may very well end up on the other foot. Taking cognisance of the military dictum that no plan of battle ever survives contact with the enemy, this seems quite likely.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/douglas/douglas15.html

Iran’s Eco-Nukes

by Jack D. Douglas

"An attack on, say, Ras Tanura, an important oil processing centre in Saudi Arabia, could remove up to 4m barrels a day from the market and overnight send the price of oil well above $100 a barrel. Such a sharp disruption could last up to a year and could lead within weeks to the meltdown of the Japanese economy, due to its almost total dependence on imports, and before long to the collapse of other industrialized economies."

Robert McFarlane and James Woolsey,
Former NSA advisor and Director of the CIA, Financial Times, January 24, 2006

The President of Iran has proclaimed repeatedly that any attack by the U.S. and Israel (which are now seen largely as one by the Muslim World) would lead to full-scale Iranian resistance. Like any intelligent strategist, he does not spell out what counterattacks they would make, but he states calmly and strongly that Iran has all the power needed to resist any attacks or invasion. Anyone who carefully considers the many "powers" that Iran has to counter-attack can see that they have many powerful economic and military weapons that could have as much destructive power as nuclear weapons. In fact, their economic weapons are immensely more powerful than any weapons of mass destruction they might be able to develop and deliver, and the economic weapons would not necessarily have great blowback effects on Iran, as nuclear weapons would.

The NSC advisor to Reagan and the director of the CIA under Clinton (1993–95) give one powerful example of what a small, conventional attack by Iran on oil from one point in Saudi Arabia could do. The Iranians have a great many excellent short and intermediate surface-to-surface missiles imported from China. One well-placed missile might knock out Ras Tanura's oil shipment facility. But they would use a good number to make sure. They can also knock out Saudi Arabia's other important shipment points in the Persian Gulf and on the eastern side. They could do the same for the oil emirates that are now part of the U.S. Imperial Centcom. confederation run from Qatar and D.C. (I am using realistic, descriptive titles, not the Agit-Speak propaganda terms the U.S. uses. The Persian Gulf emirates and Saudi Arabia are in fact colonies of the U.S. in the same way hundreds of the supposedly "independent" states of India were independent of the British Raj in India. They are "independent" in name and as long as they do what they know they are required by the Empire to do – send us oil and docilely go along with the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and so on. The U.S. Central Command was moved from Tampa to Qatar to symbolize the U.S. command of the pseudo-independent colonies of the Empire.)

They do not even have to attack these other Muslim states. They can declare a U.N.-sanctioned defensive war against the attackers, in accord with all U.N. and other treaties, call on the U.N. to support their legal, defensive war, then declare a wartime emergency allowing them to legally shut down their coastal waters to all attackers and their allies. They can then shut down the Strait of Hormuz, which at its narrowest point is only 35 miles wide, so old-fashioned missiles, Exocets, or whatever can knock out any oil super-tankers trying to run their wartime economic blockade. The first super-tanker to go up in flames will lead immediately to prohibitive insurance rates for the entire War Zone, which will send oil prices sky high. They can also mine the Strait, attack it with low-flying planes and fast, small boats, and clog it with flammable gas and oil. They can also attack shipping at any point along their long coast with the Gulf.

They do no even have to take these measures. If for any reason (see below) they cannot do so or choose not to do so, an attack on them will lead to a shutdown of their vast oil and gas exports to the global economy (but probably not to their ally, China). This would have roughly the same effect as knocking out Ras Tanura. Energy prices would sky-rocket immediately worldwide.

If for any reason the Japanese economy plunges because of high energy costs, it might have to sell its $800 billion in U.S. dollar reserves, mainly U.S. bonds. That would send U.S. rates sky-high. Ditto for China with its $800 billion in dollar reserves and many other nations with lesser amounts – Korea, Taiwan, also totally dependent on imported oil and gas.

The U.S. is aware of this. Every analyst in the CIA, DIA, ONI, NSA, and beyond has certainly told them so. Previous military war games and strategic analyses have concluded, therefore, that the U.S. has no good military options against Iran. Their economic power is of nuclear proportions. Their conventional power to shut down the Persian Gulf and maybe exports beyond that are vastly greater than the shutting down of a mere 4m bd of oil by shutting down Ras Tanura. MacFarlane and Woolsey may just be pointing out to the world what is obvious to any political economist or military analyst. Or they may be trying to make sure Bush, Cheney and the other people at DOD and in the White House who find it hard to read larger reports get the big news.

I'm sure Cheney and Rumsfeld have gotten this news. (Bush may still be out to lunch. I have no way of knowing, since everything he says implies he has not gotten the news, but it's hard to believe anyone could be that totally ignorant of the simple truths the analysts are reporting.) Therefore, if there is an attack on Iran it will probably be an all-out U.S. attack with massive air and space weapons. This will not be a pin-point attack such as the Israeli attack on the Iraqi nuclear power plant. The attackers would have to assume they can absorb the huge losses from shutting down the Iranian oil and gas, but no one would think they could absorb the costs of shutting down the Gulf. The Iranians know the U.S. will attack massively to knock out all the command and control assets, all of their air and missile forces, all of their big artillery, and boats. The Iranians have already built deep-underground, hardened facilities for at least one huge nuclear plant and probably more. (This facility is like the US Norad control center in Cheyenne Mountain.) They most likely are using hardened, underground facilities to protect their missile and air forces. The U.S. attack will have to be immense to get all of these and it seems very unlikely they can do it, unless they begin with tactical nuclear weapons of the sort the Bush people have been developing for exactly these purposes of hitting hardened, underground facilities.

Attacking Iran would probably be an Economic Doomsday Scenario. No reasonable person would do it. But that is what I and a vast number of other people, some in the CIA, were screaming when the U.S. invaded, annihilated, and got stuck catastrophically in Iraq. The Bush people have produced catastrophes over and over again at home and around the world. They literally turned the world against the U.S. and seem to think that's great. They do not reason as we human beings do. They may push onward to the Economic Doomsday hoping it will trigger that Armageddon and Second Coming Bush seems so anxious to see during his three remaining years in absolute power.

January 27, 2006

Jack D. Douglas [send him mail] is a retired professor of sociology from the University of California at San Diego. He has published widely on all major aspects of human beings, most notably The Myth of the Welfare State.

Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com





Report to moderator   Logged
Hermit
Archon
*****

Posts: 4272
Reputation: 8.95
Rate Hermit



Prime example of a practically perfect person

View Profile WWW
Re:Iran.
« Reply #12 on: 2006-02-26 20:29:07 »
Reply with quote

I think that we will likely see the benchmarks go above $100/bbl even without Iran. Not because oil is becoming more scarce (although it is), nor because it has been made more expensive by the Iraq war (although it has), but because the dollar is collapsing in value. I think that an Iran war will more likely push the value of Brent crude above $200/bbl unless as seems possible the cost of such a war caused an implosion of global economies (which it might). In which case, predictions become a lot more difficult due to the huge increase in significant variables.

We've known for a while that the dollar is balanced on a high wire and scheduled for a dive, largely because US government financial data no longer bears any relation to financial reality. It can't. The stupid wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even more stupid "War on Terror" (misnamed, as terrorism is merely a strategy (which appeals to the oppressed and the unempowered), not a defeatable enemy one can have a war with) have now cost far more than even the most pessimistic predicted. This, coupled with soaring CPI costs, unsustainable individual debt loads, removal of bankruptcy shelters, decreased income and a collapse in production has resulted in a government engaging in, on the one hand producing vast amounts of inflationary money to paper over the collapsing edifice, while, with the other, attempting to hide this by buying up its own debt.

Google for: M3 dollar Federal Reserve

Many analysts found it challenging to comprehend the motivation of the Federal Reserve for discontinuing publication of the M3 index. Many theories were put forward for this - particularly in the light that the Federal Reserve decided to stop producing M3 data just as the M3 exploded (average annual increase in the M3 over the past 20 years was 5.9% (about double the official inflation rate), this has now increased to an annualized rate of over 10%).



I suggest that the above is probably relevant. The idea that reality should threaten the NeoCon's global domination by reducing the willingness of American consumers to sustain debt must have been seen as deeply offensive.  And reality threatens us in the form of both inflation and in exposure of the move away from the Eurodollar, the 30% decline in the Petrodollar and most importantly, in the threat to expose the fact that the US government has been quietly buying (and hiding these purchases) its own notes, in addition to massively intervening in the stock- , equity- and bond-markets through the Caribbean centers. Which also may support the conclusion that the US government has been getting its hands very dirty enriching itself. The M3 was one of the give-aways of this activity to smart investors.
Quote:
the Master Planners expect to have to increase the Money Supply very rapidly, to extraordinary levels next year. Obviously because they believe they are going to need to buy equity and bond markets aggressively next year. Do they see a catastrophe coming that will require hyperinflation to bail the U.S. out? Maybe. Every time we've had a tragic event of mass proportions in 2005, the equity markets have mysteriously risen out of the blue, sharply, taking shorts to the cleaners. London bombing, Katrina, Rita, indictment of a top administration official, etc... Yes, the Master Planners have learned that they have the wherewithal and the gall to buy the markets - and get away with it. They have learned that at those times when markets are at greatest risk, when shorts have their positions lined up, a little S&P futures index buying, a select few large cap stock buys, a leak to the trading floor that their golden boy trader is buying is enough to send the shorts scurrying for cover and buy the market. You see, the PPT only needs to kick start the buying. Then the shorts buy. Then the Hedge Funds jump on the bandwagon in search of that elusive trend - either up or down - deciding it is going to be up, and keep the rally going. But by the time the Hedgies are buying, the PPT is able to get out (and their Wall Street friends who took the risk and bought with them early) at a nice profit, the shorts are out licking their losses, and we watch a waning rally with low upside volume, low advance/decline ratios, and a high number of New Lows - kinda like right now.
(Refer to http://safehaven.com/article-4108.htm for more on this).



The M3 rate shows very clearly the discrepancy between US' assertions about inflation and reality. For example:
Quote:
While M1 and M2 are measurements of money that are held for the most part by the general public M3 adds the huge institutional funds to the equation. These funds are generally the most liquid funds. It does not capture all of the institutional funds but it does capture an important part of it sufficient enough to measure the growth of money in the financial system. It is M3 that has experienced the most explosive growth in the past decade. Since the end of 1995 M1 has increased a paltry 18.8% while M2 is up 89.5%. But M3 is up 130%. GDP by comparison is up roughly 67% in the same period so M3 growth is almost double GDP growth. Consumer debt has grown about 123% in the same period or about equivalent to M3 growth. Business debt is up 97%. It has taken an incredible amount of debt and money to obtain GDP growth over the past decade. This is monetary inflation at its best.
Source: Gold Eagle.

Another important issue may possibly be inferred from the interesting coincidence that the Fed's announcement of the discontinuance of the M3 data releases, in November last year, occurred just a few months after Iran announced their Oil Bourse opening date - for 2006-03-20. And the discontinuance is set for three days after. Makes you think, doesn't it. Certainly it made gold investors think. Look closely at Gold price to see what happened to the gold price. The M3 announcement was made on November 10th, but no one really noticed until a few days later, and then on the 16th, the Russian and South African central banks made announcements about buying gold.
.

Fun. Isn't it. Naturally, given that we live in an environment where government lies as a matter of policy, it is difficult to tell whether the above explains everything - or if there is another lurking issue buried underneath the figures. My strong suspicion is that the US government is hoping to profit from more of their dirty work. For example, war in the Arabian gulf is best executed in the March to June window to avoid the worst of the weather. Considering that the British have sold off enough gold to prevent further sales in terms of the  European Central banks (which are limited by treaty to selling 500 tonnes per year) and that both Asia and Russia appear to be selling off dollars in order to buy into the Dinar and Gold blocks as well as the Euro, I think we will see gold continue to soar.

I'll post more on this issue when I get a chance. In the meantime, I do think that there are signs that at least some in the US may be seeing a war with Iran as an ideal way of burying some of the economic catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq - and possibly even to make it turn a profit.
Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
JD
Adept
****

Gender: Male
Posts: 542
Reputation: 7.23
Rate JD





View Profile
Re:Iran.
« Reply #13 on: 2006-02-28 04:43:27 »
Reply with quote


Quote from: Hermit on 2006-02-26 20:29:07   
I'll post more on this issue when I get a chance. In the meantime, I do think that there are signs that at least some in the US may be seeing a war with Iran as an ideal way of burying some of the economic catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq - and possibly even to make it turn a profit.

Not even you can blame this economic mess on Bush. This is the culmination of 20 years of fiscal policy. 

I invite you to read "The Truth About Markets : Why Some Countries are Rich and Others Remain Poor " by John Kay for a sound overview of the facts undistorted by any anti-Bush biases.

I do not believe the US will attack Iran. I agree with Stratfor's assessment that the Iranians have learned from North Korea that the best way to get US attention is to threaten with the nuclear issue.

Iran knows Israel will destroy it if it develops weapons (capability plus delivery system). An Israeli attack on Iran, particularly a nuclear attack, is a doomsday scenario and all the players know it.

Since you appear to understand economics, I find it odd that you would think that a war with Iran will "[bury] some of the economic catastrophe caused by the war in Iraq" yet fail to explain why that mechanism does not work with Iraq?

In short, war stimulates the US economy. That stimulation comes at a cost of more debt, but that net cost is masked by the fact that compared to the debts accrued over the last 20 years, the outflow from Iraq is tiny.

The global economic situation is not good. The US is the powerhouse of the global economy and it *appears* to be running on vapours.

There are contrarian voices calling people like you and me Cassandra's (e.g http://www.foreignaffairs.org/20050301facomment84201/david-h-levey-stuart-s-brown/the-overstretch-myth.html). I hope they are right.

In the meantime, it does not help that the Democrats are back to their old protectionist selves over the Dubai Ports International affair.

Kind regards

JD
Report to moderator   Logged
Casey
admin
Adept
***

Gender: Male
Posts: 343
Reputation: 7.65
Rate Casey



Revere the skeptic.

View Profile E-Mail
Re:Iran.
« Reply #14 on: 2006-02-28 09:57:57 »
Reply with quote

[Jonathan Davis]In the meantime, it does not help that the Democrats are back to their old protectionist selves over the Dubai Ports International affair.

Kind regards

JD

[Casey]
I'm not sure what your sources are to support the above assertion, but living in the United States offers one a dearth of information; whether it be in the form of newspaper articles, tv interviews, or official government statements.  Suffice to say, it's not the Democrats alone who oppose this transaction.  There has been quite the uproar by Republicans who've sided with Democrats who happen to dispute handing over operations to the UAE owned, Dubai Ports World. 

Kind regards,
Casey

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/22/AR2006022201609.html

Republicans Split With Bush on Ports
White House Vows to Brief Lawmakers On Deal With Firm Run by Arab State

By Jim VandeHei and Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, February 23, 2006; A01

Faced with an unprecedented Republican revolt over national security, the White House disclosed yesterday that President Bush was unaware of a Middle Eastern company's planned takeover of operations at six U.S. seaports until recent days and promised to brief members of Congress more fully on the pending deal.

One day after threatening to veto any attempt by Congress to scuttle the controversial $6.8 billion deal, Bush sounded a more conciliatory tone by saying lawmakers should have been given more details about a state-owned company in the United Arab Emirates purchasing some terminal operations in Baltimore and five other U.S. cities.

"This is one where we probably should have consulted with or briefed Congress on sooner," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters.

But congressional Republicans renewed their vow to prevent the sale from being finalized next month and warned Bush, sometimes in taunting terms, that an overwhelming majority of lawmakers will oppose the sale on national security grounds. "Dear Mr President: In regards to selling American ports to the United Arab Emirates, not just NO but HELL NO!" Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.) wrote to Bush in a one-sentence letter.

The administration on Jan. 17 approved the sale of a London-based company that manages terminals at the U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World, owned by the United Arab Emirates.

The U.S. government reviews business transactions with national security implications and decided after a 23-day review by mid-level officials that Dubai Ports World posed no threat . McClellan said Bush learned about the sale in recent days, after it had been widely reported.

In seeking to assuage critics, administration officials noted that the local or state ports authorities and the U.S. Coast Guard would be responsible for security at the six ports -- not Dubai Ports World, which would be responsible for running terminal facilities and loading and unloading ships and storing the containers they transport.

All dock workers are union members who must undergo background checks, officials stressed. Bush said that those attacking the sale were holding a Middle Eastern company to a different standard than the British port operator that is being acquired by Dubai Ports World.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) rejected Bush's call to allow the sale to go through early next month and they remain committed to delaying it, their spokesmen said yesterday.

Republican lawmakers have been flooded with phone calls and letters from constituents encouraging them to fight Bush over the port deal, even at the expense of GOP unity on combating terrorism -- possibly their best political issue. As a result, Bush and Republicans are divided over a national security issue as never before and bracing for a possible showdown that could force Bush to either delay the sale or veto a Republican bill against it, according to congressional and White House officials.

With the president's ratings mired around 40 percent approval, some Republican lawmakers who face tough reelection bids in November have been looking for ways to distance themselves from Bush without appearing to be soft on terrorism. [color=Yellow}The president, who once enjoyed near unanimous support from GOP allies on Capitol Hill, has seen a steady rise in Republican criticism over Iraq, Iran, warrantless domestic spying and now the port deal.[/color]

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter T. King (R-N.Y.) said political pressure from constituents is driving the debate. Lawmakers, he said, are "responding to incredible local political pressure."

In a bid to defuse the controversy, Bush has instructed aides to brief members of Congress on Dubai Ports World, its operations and the intelligence community's findings that the firm poses no risk to national security. The briefings began yesterday.

Some of the big names on K Street have joined the Dubai Ports World fight on the side of the United Arab Emirates-owned company.

These include former Senate majority leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.), and a Democratic power couple in Washington, former representative Tom Downey (D-N.Y) and Carol M. Browner, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency. Dole's law firm, Alston & Bird LLP, led the effort by Dubai Ports World to steer its proposed acquisition of Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. through the U.S. government approval process.

A senior White House official, who discussed internal strategy under the condition of anonymity, said Bush realizes that Republicans are dug in and that he may have to compromise. "We are sensitive to the fact that people have taken firm positions," the official said. But that effort was complicated by the disclosure that Bush and Treasury Secretary John W. Snow were unaware until this week about the purchase agreement and the administration's approval of the transaction last month.

Snow, whose department chairs the secretive executive branch panel that reviewed the proposed sale, told reporters in Torrington, Conn., that "I learned of this transaction probably the same way as members of the Senate did, by reading it in the newspapers."

Scores of lawmakers have complained that the transaction was not sufficiently scrutinized. Some lawmakers said Snow's comments reinforced the image of a quick and easy approval process.

At the Treasury Department, the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS), which includes Cabinet officials and White House aides, examines sales with potential national security risks and usually attracts little attention.

Administration officials did not consider the sale of port terminal management to a Middle Eastern company dangerous or potentially controversial, White House aides said. Foreign-owned companies including a Chinese operation have controlled terminals at various U.S. ports for years -- and lawmakers have rarely complained. The White House said intelligence officials reviewed the sale and raised no concerns.

In a private briefing for House aides late yesterday, administration officials from the departments of State, Defense, Treasury and Homeland Security said the CFIUS met only once during a 23-day review of the sale and that the few objections raised were quickly addressed.

A Homeland Security official, for instance, argued successfully that the UAE company should be required to open its books without the threat of subpoena, participants said. Dubai Ports World agreed. Administration officials said they were trying to get a copy of that agreement to provide to lawmakers. The Associated Press reported last night that the administration, before approving the ports deal, secretly required the firm to cooperate with future U.S. investigations.

Under a 1993 amendment to the law that helped create the review panel, a more rigorous 45-day investigation is automatically required if "the acquirer is controlled by or acting on behalf of a foreign government" and the acquisition "could result in control of a person engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S. that could affect the national security of the U.S."

Patrick Mulloy, a member of the government-appointed U.S.-China trade commission and a critic of the approval process, said that Treasury officials throughout the Clinton and Bush administrations have routinely ignored the 1993 language.

"The culture of the department is to oppose [the longer review] as an impediment to foreign investment," he said.

Joseph King, who headed the customs agency's anti-terrorism efforts under the Treasury Department and the new Department of Homeland Security, said national security fears are well grounded.

He said a company the size of Dubai Ports World would be able to get hundreds of visas to relocate managers and other employees to the United States. Using appeals to Muslim solidarity or threats of violence, al-Qaeda operatives could force low-level managers to provide some of those visas to al-Qaeda sympathizers, said King, who for years tracked similar efforts by organized crime to infiltrate ports in New York and New Jersey. Those sympathizers could obtain legitimate driver's licenses, work permits and mortgages that could then be used by terrorist operatives.

Dubai Ports World could also offer a simple conduit for wire transfers to terrorist operatives in the Middle East. Large wire transfers from individuals would quickly attract federal scrutiny, but such transfers, buried in the dozens of wire transfers a day from Dubai Ports World's operations in the United States to the Middle East would go undetected, King said.


But Robert C. Bonner, a former top U.S. customs official, said that the security concerns surrounding the purchase agreement have been "greatly exaggerated."

"The reality is the major terminal operators are all foreign-owned," Bonner said. "This one happens to be owned by Dubai, but Dubai . . . has been very supportive in the counterterrorism efforts."

Staff writers Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Paul Blustein and Walter Pincus contributed to this report.

--------------------------------------------------

[Casey]
Another source reveals the constituent perspective on the Dubai Ports World sale.  I offer you Rasmussen Reports and their analysis below.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/2006/February%20Dailies/Dubai%20Ports.htm

Just 17% Favor Dubai Ports Deal

February 24, 2006--Just 17% of Americans believe Dubai Ports World should be allowed to purchase operating rights to several U.S. ports. A Rasmussen Reports survey found that 64% disagree and believe the sale should not be allowed (see crosstabs).

Just 39% of Americans know that the operating rights are currently owned by a foreign firm. Fifteen percent (15%) believe the operating rights are U.S. owned while 46% are not sure.

From a political perspective, President Bush's national security credentials have clearly been tarnished due to the outcry over this issue. For the first time ever, Americans have a slight preference for Democrats in Congress over the President on national security issues. Forty-three percent (43%) say they trust the Democrats more on this issue today while 41% prefer the President.

A related survey found that confidence in the overall War on Terror has declined significantly since the Dubai Ports deal has become a major news story.

It is important to note that the question about trust on national security issues was asked first, before any mention was made of the Dubai Ports issue.


The preference for the opposition party is small, but the fact that Democrats are even competitive on the national security front is startling. In Election 2002, the President guided his party to regain control of the Senate based almost exclusively on the national security issue. On Election Day that year, just 23% rated the economy as good or excellent, but the President's Party still emerged victorious.

In Election 2004, national security was again the decisive issue as the President won re-election. Voters consistently expressed a preference for George W. Bush over John Kerry when it came to issues surrounding the War on Terror.

Twenty-seven percent (27%) of Americans do not believe foreign firms should be allowed to buy any companies in the U.S. Fifty-five percent (55%) disagree. However, even among those who believe foreign ownership should be allowed in general, 61% oppose the Dubai Ports transaction.

Seventy-two percent (72%) of Americans say they have been following news about the Dubai Ports deal somewhat or very closely.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Rasmussen Reports was the nation's most accurate polling firm during the Presidential election and the only one to project both Bush and Kerry's vote total within half a percentage point of the actual outcome.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an
independent pollster for more than a decade.

The telephone survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted by Rasmussen Reports  February 22-23, 2006.  The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. 37% of survey respondents were Republican, 37% Democrat, and 26% unaffiliated
« Last Edit: 2006-02-28 10:24:28 by Casey » Report to moderator   Logged
Pages: [1] 2 Reply Notify of replies Send the topic Print 
Jump to:


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Church of Virus BBS | Powered by YaBB SE
© 2001-2002, YaBB SE Dev Team. All Rights Reserved.

Please support the CoV.
Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS! RSS feed