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   IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for War!
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #45 on: 2008-10-07 13:38:23 »
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[Fritz]: "Step away from the gold or we plug the lady in Alaska; are'ya with me comrades"

Seems some folks are trying to activate those Hollywood emplanted Memes ... everyone needs a Bogeyman or was that needs to boogy .....

Source: DEBKAfile
Author: n/a
Date: October 4, 2008

Russian live missile fire air exercise near Alaska

DEBKAfile Special Report

Not since 1984, just before the fall of the Soviet Union, has Russia ventured to launch dozens of nuclear bombers for an exercise in which Tu-95 Bear bombers will fire live cruise missiles. Exercise Stability 2008 will take place Oct.-6-12 over sub-Arctic Russia uncomfortably close to the US state of Alaska, and Belarus.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the exercise is part of a month-long war game described by Russian air force spokesman Col. Vladimir Drik as “practicing the strategic deployment of the armed forces including the nuclear triad.”

As part of the exercise, our sources reported exclusively on Oct. 1, that Russian ships armed with nuclear missiles will dock at Syrian ports Oct. 8, on the eve of Yom Kippur, before continuing to the Caribbean for joint maneuvers with Venezuela.

More than 60,000 troops and 1.500 tanks and APCs, as well as land-based and submarine-launched nuclear missiles, were tested in the first phase of the war games.

(“Nuclear triad” refers to three tiers of a national nuclear arsenal, usually strategic bombers armed with bombs or missiles, land-based missiles and ballistic missile submarines. These weapons must have a first- or second-strike capability.)

Col. Drik stressed that the Tu-95 and Tu-160 Blackjack strategic bombers will “carry their maximum combat payload and fire all the cruise missiles on board.” Also taking part in the air force exercise are Tu-22M3 Backfire strategic bombers, air superiority fighters, interceptors and aerial tankers.

The locations of the war games were deliberately chosen to underline three messages from Moscow to Washington:

1. Russian leaders are willing to brandish their nuclear strength in America’s face - to the north (Arctic) and south (Caribbean) – to challenge America’s position as the world’s No. 1 superpower.

2. Russia is powerful and rich enough to rise above the shockwaves rocking the world’s financial markets while carrying on developing its military muscle and expanding its spheres of influence.

3. By docking at the Syrian port of Tartus, the Peter the Great nuclear missile cruiser is Moscow’s marker on the Mediterranean to betoken the end of US Sixth Fleet’s sway. Last week, the Russian Navy united its Black Sea and Mediterranean fleet commands.

Friday, Oct. 3, Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Russian Security Council, announced that

20,000 kilometers of the Russian border passes through the Arctic. Moscow therefore claims 18 percent of its territory and is preparing a plan to implement this policy.

Laying down an earlier marker, the Russian nuclear powered submarine Ryazan docked at the Kamchatka Peninsula Sept. 30, after completing a one-month voyage under the Arctic Ocean without surfacing. The Project 667BDR Delta III class strategic nuclear submarine with a crew of 130 is armed with sixteen R-29RM (SS-N-23 Skiff) ballistic missiles with a range of 8,000 km.

Russian Navy Commander Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky welcoming the Ryazan’s arrival said: “The navy continues to play an important role in safeguarding Russia’s maritime economic and research activity throughout the world, including in the Arctic.”

Laying down these markers and challenges is clearly the prelude for Moscow’s presentation of political demands and an enhanced role as global player.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that, for now, Russia’s air and naval strength does not match America’s military might. However, although Russian president Dmitry Medvedev stated emphatically last week that there is no cold war or any other war with America, Moscow’s actions tell a different story.

In addition to their demonstrations of air and naval strength, the Russians have more than doubled their military spending on armaments – especially to upgrade and modernize their navy.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #46 on: 2009-03-14 23:11:19 »
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The American Rome Is Burning - So Let's Attack Iran

[ Hermit : The people who have been here a while know that while Eric and I disagree on many issues, that I have a great deal of respect for his expertise as a war correspondent, foreign analyst and mid-east expert. Here he weighs in with some very pithy comments on the ongoing efforts by Israel and their hard working lobby, including Clinton's Zionist movement in the Office of the  Secretary of State, to embroil the US in another unjustified and unjustifiable war on Israel's behalf in the Middle East. Notice that Eric makes the same points as I have been doing for years. That's simply because these facts are relatively obvious to anyone not wearing a blindfold or watching Faux TV. ]

Source: Huffington Post
Authors: Eric S. Margolis
Dated: 2009-03-11

Iran has haunted every U.S. administration since the days of President Jimmy Carter. While running for president, Barack Obama proposed opening talks with Tehran and trying to end the long Cold War between the United States and Iran.

Obama's sensible idea was greeted with the deepest dismay by ardent supporters of Israel and Rambo Republicans who want to see the US go to war with Iran, a nation of 70 million, and destroy its nuclear infrastructure.

Now, as the United States fights for its economic life, the Iran question and its alleged nuclear weapons program have again become an issue of major contention. Officials in the Obama administration and the media issued a blizzard of contradictory claims over Iran's alleged nuclear threat, leaving us wondering: who is really charge of U.S. foreign policy?

This awkward question was underlined during a visit to Washington by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Britain is supposed to be America's most important ally and partner in their 'special relationship.'

Brown's reception was dismal and Obama's obvious lack of interest in Britain's leader was quite embarrassing. The British media slammed America's cold reception as an 'insult,' and claimed that Brown had been treated like the leader of a 'minor African state.' White House aides excused the huge diplomatic faux pas by claiming President Obama was worn out from dealing with the financial and economic crisis. I'm sure he is worn out, but this still does not bode well for the conduct of US foreign policy.

Much of the uproar over Iran's so-far non-existent nuclear weapons must be seen as part of efforts by neoconservatives to thwart President Obama's proposition to open Tehran and to keep up the pressure for an American attack on Iran.

Israel's government and its American supporters insist Iran has secret nuclear weapons program that the West has not yet detected. We heard the same claims about Iraq before 2003. Israel certainly knows about covert nuclear programs, having run one of the world's largest and most productive ones.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lived up to her growing reputation for Mideast hawkishness when she named prominent Israel supporter Dennis Ross as her Special Advisor on Iran and the Gulf. This questionable appointment suggests that she may be more interested in building future domestic political support than securing balanced advice on the Mideast.

At least Ross is considered something of a moderate on the Israeli spectrum, having long been regarded as the Labor Party's 'man in Washington.' During the Bush years, Israel's centrist Laborites were replaced by partisans of the right-wing Likud Party, who quickly came to dominate administration Mideast policy.

In recent weeks, official Washington has been locked in confusion over Iran.

The new Central Intelligence Agency director, Leon Panetta, said in a recent interview, 'there is no question, they [Iran] are seeking [nuclear weapons] capability.'

Pentagon chief Adm. Mike Mullen claimed that Iran has 'enough fissile material to build a bomb.' Fox News claimed Iran already has 50 nuclear weapons.

While the American Rome burns, here we go again with renewed hysteria over MWMD's - Muslim Weapons of Mass Destruction. The war drums are again beating over Iran.

The czar of all 16 US intelligence agencies, Adm. Dennis Blair, stated Iran could have enough enriched uranium for one atomic weapon by 2010-2015. He reaffirmed the 2007 US National Intelligence Estimate that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is not pursuing them. Defense Secretary Robert Gates backed up Blair. So did the United Nations nuclear agency.

Some of the confusion over Iran comes from misunderstanding nuclear enrichment, from domestic politics, and from recycled lurid scare stories from the days of Saddam Hussein.

Iran is producing low-grade enriched uranium-235 (LEU), enriched to only 2.5%, to generate electricity. Tehran has this absolute right under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NNPT). Its centrifuge enrichment process at Nantaz is under 24-hour international inspection. The soon-to-open nuclear plant at Bushehr cannot produce nuclear weapons fuel. All of its spent fuel, which is under international safeguards, will be returned to supplier Russia.

Today, some 15 nations produce low-grade enriched uranium 235 (LEU-235), including Brazil, Argentina, Germany, France, and Japan. I visited the Japanese Defense Ministry in Tokyo, and I saw plans for an atomic weapon. Experts believe Japan could produce a nuclear warhead in within three months, if it so decided.

I also believe - though cannot prove - that Switzerland may have produced a few nuclear warheads in the early 1960s and currently keeps them in one of its secret mountain forts as a sort of doomsday device.

Israel, India, and Pakistan are all covert nuclear weapons powers and have refused to submit to international inspection. North Korea abrogated it.

Interestingly, rather than the much pilloried Iran, it is the original nuclear powers who are all in violation of the nuclear arms treaty. These countries are: the United States, USSR/Russia, Britain, France and China. The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty called for all nuclear powers to rapidly eliminate their nuclear forces. President Dwight Eisenhower championed this position. Far from eliminating their nuclear forces, all of the nuclear powers have expanded and modernized them.

UN inspectors report that Iran has produced 1,010 kg of 2-3% enriched uranium. Iran insists it is for energy generation. Theoretically that is enough for one atomic bomb. But to make a nuclear weapon, uranium-235 must be enriched to over 90% in an elaborate, costly process. Iran is not doing so, say UN inspectors, though they have raised certain technical questions about Iran's nuclear process. Some believe Iran may go up to 'breakout position' - that is, having the components to assemble a weapon on fairly short notice.

Highly enriched uranium-235 or plutonium must then be milled and shaped into a perfect ball or cylinder. Any surface imperfections will prevent achieving critical mass. Next, high explosive lenses must surround the core, and detonate at precisely the same millisecond. In the gun system, two cores must collide at very high speed. In some cases, a stream of neutrons is pumped into the device as it explodes.

This process is highly complex. Nuclear weapons cannot be deemed reliable unless they are tested. North Korea recently detonated a device that fizzled. Iran has never built or tested a nuclear weapon. Israel and South Africa jointly tested a nuclear weapon in 1979.

Even if Iran had the capability to fashion a complex nuclear weapon, it would be useless without delivery. Iran's sole medium-range delivery system is an unreliable, inaccurate 1,500 km ranged Shahab-3. Miniaturizing and hardening nuclear warheads capable of flying atop a Shahab missile is another complex technological challenge.

It is inconceivable that Iran or anyone else would launch a single nuclear weapon. What if it didn't go off? Imagine the embarrassment and the retaliation. Iran would need at least ten warheads and a reliable delivery system to be a credible nuclear power.

Israel, the primary target for any Iranian nuclear strike, has an indestructible triad of air, missile and sea-launched nuclear weapons pointed at Iran. An Israeli submarine with nuclear cruise missiles is on station off Iran's coast.

Iran would be wiped off the map by even a few of Israel's estimated 200 plus nuclear weapons. Iran is no likelier to use a nuke against its Gulf neighbors. The explosion would blanket Iran with radioactive dust and sand.

Finally, while Washington keeps invoking the specter of a nuclear armed Iran, India has quietly developed a large nuclear arsenal and will soon test an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of delivering a nuclear warhead to North America.

Compared to America's titanic economic and financial mess, whatever goes on in Tehran is of pipsqueak magnitude. The real danger to America comes from its Wall Street fraudsters, not from Tehran.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #47 on: 2009-03-15 05:12:46 »
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Quote from: Hermit on 2009-03-14 23:11:19   
This awkward question was underlined during a visit to Washington by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Britain is supposed to be America's most important ally and partner in their 'special relationship.'

Brown's reception was dismal and Obama's obvious lack of interest in Britain's leader was quite embarrassing. The British media slammed America's cold reception as an 'insult,' and claimed that Brown had been treated like the leader of a 'minor African state.' White House aides excused the huge diplomatic faux pas by claiming President Obama was worn out from dealing with the financial and economic crisis. I'm sure he is worn out, but this still does not bode well for the conduct of US foreign policy.

If I were Obama, I could come up with a better reason Brown got a chill. It could be that British Labour was the only political faction in the world (outside US) that might have been able to talk Bush out of the Iraq war, and they failed to even try. Perhaps if it were me, I'd give the British a chilly reception because they deserve it. Of course that is not to excuse US for Iraq (Hillary could have taken a braver stand for starters), but it does perhaps signal that we should rethink the ordering of our "friends list". We haven't exactly been a good influence on each other lately.
« Last Edit: 2009-03-15 05:31:37 by MoEnzyme » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #48 on: 2009-03-17 16:17:09 »
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The War Drummers Continue

[ Hermit : I am posting this tissue of lies simply to show exactly how ludicrous this really is, and upon what a mishmash of plumbing "the depths of dishonour and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth" is required to keep the American branch of the Likud barking ]

Washington Times EDITORIAL: Obama and the Iranian bomb

Source: Washington Post
Authors: Not attributed
Dated: 2009-03-17

Pro-Gazan Iranian demonstrators burn a photo of President Obama during a demonstration in front of the former U.S. Embassy in Tehran in January 2009. (Associated Press)

[ Hermit : Clearly this image is supposed to show Iranian "hatred" of the United States, by showing "Pro-Gazan" Iranians engaged in burning a picture. The unstated, and untrue, assumptions are that the protesters have no reason for this, that the protesters represent all Iranians, and that burning a picture indicates a desire to have nuclear weapons with which to attack a country. Very special. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Iran's mullahs are set to achieve what decades of western diplomacy could not - bring about Arab/Israeli détente.

[ Hermit : Plays on "Mad mullahs." Adds a $2 word which many readers probably will not comprehend and will view negatively. Clearly the editor of the Washington Times has a challenge understanding it. "De'tente", a relaxing or easing of tensions, might well be regarded as something desirable by any rational person. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100%]

Fears of nuclear weapons in the hands of Tehran's revolutionary Shiite regime are forcing a shotgun marriage of Tel Aviv and the Sunni Arab states in a stunning triumph of power politics over historical hatreds.

[ Hermit : Fear... shotgun marriage (forced) ... triumph of power politics ... historical hatreds. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The Washington Times recently had an opportunity to sit down with an Israeli source who told us, “You'd be amazed at how we see eye-to-eye with the moderate Arab states.”

[ Hermit : This has been the case for years - as long as you define "moderate" as having a government sufficiently dependent on the USA not to be able to publicly oppose Israel. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The prospect of an Iranian A-bomb is not the stuff of neocon fantasies.

[ Hermit : As we have seen, repeatedly, in this thread, it indubitably is. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

In February the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has sufficient raw materials to build a nuclear weapon,

[ Hermit : Having a pile of Uranium, enriched to 2.5% for use in a civil reactor, completely  under International controls, which is all that the IAEA has reported, is a far cry from an assertion that Iran has weapons grade Uranium enriched to the more than 95% required for a weapon, or the capability to perform such enrichment, or the ability to apply the completely accounted for and controlled stockpile, or the means to build or deliver a weapon, or even the will to do so. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

and noted that the “continued lack of cooperation by Iran ... gives rise to concerns about possible military dimensions of Iran's nuclear program.”

[ Hermit : After the cancellation of the additional protocols due to American pressure, and reversion to the NPT reporting requirements, the IAEA has no right to any information from Iran that does not pertain to nuclear materials - where the IAEA has received full and complete answers and accounting. Without unaccounted for nuclear material, Iran has, by definition, no nuclear program. So this exegesis of the IAEA documents comprises only "selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth." Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The centre-left Institute for Science and International Security reported in December that Iran “is expected to reach [the nuclear capability] milestone during 2009 under a wide variety of scenarios.”

[ Hermit : But on March 12, ISIS reported that people were confusing low enrichment and weapon's grade stockpiles (supra) and further, "ISIS’s own conclusion (PDF) remains that Iran has not made the political decision to build a nuclear arsenal, though the technical and material impediments to developing a weapons capability are quickly falling away." So either the editor of the Washington Times researched ISIS' position and misunderstood it or is misrepresenting it, or the editor didn't research beyond cherry picking incorrect information. Again these assertions about ISIS comprise "selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth." Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Even the much (and rightly) derided December 2007 U.S. National Intelligence Estimate found that the earliest Iran would have a nuclear capability was in 2010, which if you haven't checked your calendar lately is about nine months from now.

[ Hermit : Asserting that "derision" was "right" doesn't make it so. There is still a burden of evidence and as this thread shows, there is no credible evidence that Iran has ever pursued a nuclear weapons capability. While the 2007/12 NIE referred to clandestine programs, and these were inferred to be military, Iran explained to the satisfaction of the IAEA that these programs were clandestine in order to prevent illegal American obstruction (in terms of US NPT obligations) of Iran's civilian programs, and as the programs involved no nuclear materials they did not fall under the purview of the IAEA (except while the additional protocols, sabotaged by the USA, were in force.). As there is no evidence that Iran has any unaccounted for weapons grade material, any assertion that Iran will have a (military) nuclear capability is spurious. So again we have "selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth." Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

While the administration is fixated on the Palestinian problem,

[ Hermit : Israel engages in ethnic cleansing, apartheid, genocide and highly illegal actions against an entire people they have trapped in the world's largest concentration camp, while having assembled an arsenal of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, in the eyes of the Washington Times, this is somehow "the Palestinian Problem." Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Iran is changing the strategic map of the Middle East in its drive for regional hegemony.

[ Hermit : The Washington Times does not offer any evidence that Iran is "driving" for "regional hegemony," let alone that it has "changed the strategic map" and conveniently ignores the fact that the USA and Israel have actually and unarguably  radically changed the strategic map of the region, and not for the better. This cannot be blamed on Iran. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

In fact, the Palestinian issue is rapidly becoming an extension of Iranian ambitions.

[ Hermit : Assertion that when a dog barks at the pained squeals of an anguished mouse under the paw of the cat, that the fact that the dog will bark is what forces the cat to be cruel is disingenuous at best, and scurrilous at worst. Nonetheless, it appears typical of the Washington Times. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak noted archly that Tehran's considerable support for Hamas means that in practical terms Egypt “shares a border with Iran.”

[ Hermit : A glimpse at the map shows that, as Ambrose Bierce noted, "Literal, cf figurative" Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal has decried Iranian support for non-state actors like Hamas and Hezbollah.

[ Hermit : So the Washington Times thinks that Prince Saud al-Faisal is a competent commentator. I wonder why this editorial fails to mention that Prince Faisal's opinion of Israel is much lower than his opinion of Iran and that he sees Israel as the aggressor, not Iran. For example, in his speech to the UN SC on 2009-01-09, he said, "The fierce siege of the Palestinian people, and the closure of the passages is the full responsibility of Israel." and "Israel violated the truce the two parties agreed to in June 2008 that called for a ceasefire in exchange for opening the passages and lifting the siege. The Palestinian side fulfilled its obligations under the agreement, whereas Israel continued its stranglehold on a million and half Palestinians in Gaza, in an immoral action and without response from the international community to this human tragedy." Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

At this point no peace with Israel will be possible without Iran's permission, and the Arab states would be happy to see this issue go away.

[ Hermit : The theft of Palestinian land and assets, destruction of property, discrimination worse than apartheid ever was, brutal ethnic cleansing, atrocities against a defenceless civilian population, starvation of millions of people and the decades for which Israel has ignored UN resolutions are in no way shape or form dependent on Iran. These are the issues which prevent peace. So while the Arab States - and civilized people everywhere - would like to see this "issue go away," it depends on Israel and her enablers around the world. Like the USA which contributes billions for Israeli weapons for illegal use against her population and neighbours each year, while ignoring Israel's nuclear stockpile which makes it illegal for the US to provide this aid. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

While we would prefer a diplomatic rather than military solution to the Iranian problem, time is running short and the United States is losing its ability to shape events.

[ Hermit : Force and threats of force are indubitably illegal. Asserting that an "Iranian problem" exists does not mean that it does. Asserting in the absence of any evidence that "time is running sort" is facile. The loss of US prestige, capacity and influence is complex, but indubitably in large part a consequence of decades of piss poor choices made by the leadership of the USA to the cheering of its media. Nothing to do with Iran, although Iran has benefited to some extent from some of these bad decisions.  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Other states will act if the U.S. does not.

[ Hermit : "Other states" is clearly a euphemism for Israel. If Israel were to attack Iran, it will undoubtedly be as illegal as threats to attack Iran. Presumably the USA will then condemn Israel's actions as forcefully as it condemned Israel's illegal attacks on Iraq. And the consequences to the world - and Israel - will be very difficult to predict. Israel threatening, even by means of its proxy, the editor of the Washington Times, does not speak to Iran. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The Israeli source told us that a nuclear Iran would be an existential threat to Israel, and that Israel cannot allow the Iranians to have the bomb.

[ Hermit : Even if we made the insane, unwarranted and entirely unsupported assumption that Iran were gifted a functional, weaponized nuclear device, which at the moment is the only way Iran will end up with such a device, a "nuclear Iran" (as dubious as the phrase is) would still not pose any threat at all to Israel, let alone an existential one, absent an unproven intent to attack, capacity to deliver an attack and ability to withstand a response. Particularly given Israel's vast arsenals of illegal nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, proven illegal homicidal aggression against others and ability to deliver its weapon systems anywhere in the world. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

“We take seriously their statement to wipe Israel from the map,” our source said. “Given our history we take it very seriously.”

[ Hermit : If this "statement" were taken seriously, they would know that it was an historical quote, used by Ayatollah Khomeini at a time when Israel was supplying Iran weapons on behalf of the USA, and when correctly translated, not that anyone would "wipe Israel from the map,"  but that "the current regime ruling Jerusalem will vanish from the pages of time". Nobody was worried about it then, so it seems disingenuous in the extreme to claim that this shows intent when Khomeini is quoted today. Given that the CIA is predicting that Israel will collapse into a unitary secular state within 15 years, it seems that Khomeini was correct. Does this mean that the USA poses an "existential threat" to Israel?  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Nor do we suspect Israel will be acting alone. Saudi Arabia faces its own existential threat from Iran. Tehran is seeking to undermine the legitimacy of the Saudi regime and establish a protectorate over Mecca and Medina. The notion of Persian Shi'ites in Mecca is far more alarming to the Arab Sunni states than Israeli control of Jerusalem. The depth of the schism between Iran and the Arab states was evident during the recent Gaza War when most sided with Israel. We presume that Israel can count on their assistance if military action against Iran becomes necessary.

[ Hermit : Given the speeches made during the last ethnic cleansing of Gaza in the General Assembly and Security Council, and the near universal condemnation of Israel as a worse than apartheid state, this is so far from any reality that it has to be categorized with the assertions that Iraqis would welcome the USA's attack and destruction of their country with dancing in the streets. Too delusional to be dealt with in any short response. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Some believe that Iran will stop short of weaponization, that Tehran will be satisfied with the deterrent effect of having the building blocks for nuclear weapons without actually assembling them. But that is a naïve suggestion; in fact it would be more destabilizing than actually having a working bomb, because Tehran would be under constant threat of attack with no credible response.

[ Hermit : While it is true that the US "allies," Israel, India and Pakistan all took the path of illegal development of outlawed  weapons outside the purview of International Treaty, and that the USA is seriously in breach of its obligations under the NPT, so far as any evidence is concerned, none of this is true of Iran. Just because the Washington Times keeps repeating it, does not make it so. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Also dismissible is the idea that should Iran go nuclear the Cold War-era deterrence model would apply, with Israel and Iran achieving a sustainable balance of terror.

[ Hermit : It seems implausible that Iran could produce a deterrent effect that could begin to match Israel's hundreds of fully weaponized nuclear devices. But this undermines the Washington Times' putative arguments. The simple fact is that without weapon's grade fissile material, much better missiles and suitable weapon platforms, Iran is not able to achieve any deterrence vis a vis Israel. This means that Israel poses an "existential threat" to Iran and all of the claims made here should be inverted. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

This assumes of course that Iran's millenarian mullahs are as rational as the Soviet Politburo, a risky assumption at best.

[ Hermit : Back to the implied ad hominem of the "mad mullahs." Something that the 2007 NIE proved through analysis of decades of Iranian action was completely without factual basis. Yet it resurges here. It would be interesting, to put it mildly, to see the Washington Times attempt to sustain their use of "character assassination, selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth".  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Of course there is no reason to believe that Israel and Iran will be the only nuclear players. In the past few years all the major Arab states have declared their intentions to seek some form of nuclear capability, reversing years of policies seeking a nuclear-free Middle East. Should Iran get the bomb the world faces the probability of a massive and destabilizing regional arms race. The Cold War chess match would be replaced with a free-for-all gang war which the U.S. would be powerless to stop. Throw in the possibility of terrorists being given a nuclear weapon for a strike at the American homeland and the threat becomes even more dire.

[ Hermit : Given that even though Iran has no nuclear devices, no prospect of getting any, and apparently no desire for them, due to Israel's arsenal of nuclear devices and the fact that Saudi Arabia funded Pakistan's development of weaponized nuclear devices, and almost certainly holds at least a number of pits if not devices, the Middle East is not now nuclear free, and without the US applying pressure on its partners, probably will not be. That doesn't mean that Iran and many other Islamic and International bodies have not and do not call for it to be nuclear free, it just means that the Washington Times is apparently focusing its attention in the wrong direction. Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The United States approaches this issue as though it can control events, but Iran, Israel and other countries in the region will not wait for the stately processes of American diplomacy.

[ Hermit : Perhaps not. Is the Washington Times advocating the illegal use of force, just as the Bush Administration used against Iraq? Or something else? Given that Iran is a much larger nut, and the USA has blunted itself and destroyed its economy in part because of its futile wars in the Middle East, who does the Washington Times imagine will fund the next war? It seems unlikely that China will bother to extend us further credit. Its strategic objectives are already largely fulfilled, given that the collapse of the USA has already vastly exceeded the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The strategic map in the Middle East will change with us or without us. The time is rapidly approaching when there will be no best-case scenarios, only a dwindling number of very hard choices.

[ Hermit : This is largely a consequence of the Bush Wars. Which the Washington Times supported. Vociferously. Despite the predictions that this would be a consequence. What is the Washington Times advocating with its "hard choices"? That the Obama administration act as illegally, unethically, brutishly, stupidly and against its own best interests as did the Bush administration? Just as the Washington Times advocated be done by the Bush Administration?  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

Meanwhile, Iranian arms continue to kill U.S. troops in Iraq, and there are reports of weapons from Tehran surging into Afghanistan.

[ Hermit : The evidence for this appears to be sparse. The evidence that Israel is using American weapons against its population and that of the Lebanon is proven. The fact that the USA is the largest arms supplier in the world and that the arms they have poured into the Middle East often end up used against them might also be relevant in determining apportionments of weapons supplies. It seems rather likely that the US is supplying most of the weapons surging into the area, and paying for even more, although some are supplied by other countries. Certainly, if the Washington Post can sustain this assertion it will be more than the Bush Administration ever managed to do. Which leads me to suspect, that like everything else in this editorial, this allegation is comprised of "character assassination, selective misquotation, the wilful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth".  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

The Obama administration's “grand bargainers” seek an opening to the Islamic Republic while a confident President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sneers at “childish” U.S. sanctions and has declared Iran a space power and nuclear power. “You take your decisions, and we do our work,” he said. “You are too small to block our path.” The Obama administration has yet to prove him wrong.

[ Hermit : Why ever should we "prove him wrong"? What legal basis does the Washington Times have for this bombast? And does the Washington Times have some suggestions as to how we could "prove Ahmadinejad wrong"? Given that Iran has managed, in the absence of the assistance owed to it in terms of the NPT, to get as far as it has in the production of nuclear fuel (not weapons grade material), and that it has undoubtedly managed to achieve space launches, like inter alia, Israel and the US before it, is Ahmadinejad wrong in fact?  Relevant Factual Content 0%. Emotional Content -100% ]

[ Hermit : And that should take care of the Washington Times for another few years. ]
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #49 on: 2009-05-06 08:01:18 »
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US hides behind Iran sanctions threat

Source:Asia Times
Authors: Kaveh L Afrasiabi
Dated: 2009-05-02

Kaveh L Afrasiabi, PhD, is the author of After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy (Westview Press) . For his Wikipedia entry, click here. His latest book, Reading In Iran Foreign Policy After September 11 (BookSurge Publishing , October 23, 2008) is now available.

Whereas United States President Barack Obama promised in his new year message to Iran that he was committed to a new diplomacy that "will not be advanced by threats", a month later this is precisely what is happening. This is in light of new White House-backed legislation in the US Congress that aims to impose "crippling sanctions" on Iran by targeting its energy imports.

The Iran Sanctions Enhancement Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of US senators, states in its preamble that its purpose is "to enhance US diplomatic efforts with respect to Iran by expanding economic sanctions against Iran to include refined petroleum, and for other purposes".

Before adopting this bill, Congress ought to pause and think more seriously about the likely adverse results lest it gets implemented and, indeed, it causes significant disruption in the Iranian economy. In that case, Iran would retaliate where it could in the region by threatening US interests where they are the weakest, hardly a fulfillment of Obama's current quest to enlist Iran on regional security.

The United Nations has already imposed several rounds of sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, which many say is geared towards building a nuclear bomb, although Tehran has consistently maintained that its enrichment of uranium is for peaceful purposes and in accordance with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The US has also imposed sanctions unilaterally.

Coinciding with an Iran-focused annual conference of the powerful pro-Israel lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), over the weekend, [1] the purpose of this pending legislation is to provide "a powerful new weapon to use against Iran", to paraphrase Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, one of its sponsors.

Another key sponsor, Senator Joseph Lieberman, has also referred to it as "another stick" and, according to reports in the US media, has solicited the approval of the Obama administration's point man on Iran, Dennis Ross
, who is touring the Persian Gulf region to whip up support for the US's diplomacy on Iran. He is an avid supporter of the "tougher sticks rather than carrots" approach toward Iran.

The Senate bill was introduced shortly after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's appearance before a Senate committee warning of "crippling sanctions".

Interestingly, at the same time, Clinton admitted that the past "stick and carrot" policy of the George W Bush administration toward Iran was a "failure". Now somehow she wants to have it both ways, that is, pretend that the US has a new diplomacy toward Iran while simultaneously recycling the old pattern of coercive diplomacy.

So much for a "paradigm shift" in US foreign policy, one that would put the much-anticipated US-Iran dialogue in a post-hegemonic frame of reference by the promise of "mutual respect" and "common interests".

Instead of opposing the new bill, which puts US diplomacy squarely in the coercive mode, the White House has tacitly nodded to it, particularly since the bill cites several past campaign statements of Obama in support of hitting the supply of gasoline to Iran in order to "squeeze" the country. The expectation is that such an "interruption" would "significantly bolster current diplomatic initiatives".

But, such optimistic predictions about the likely utility and impact of the proposed new sanctions ignore the obverse possibility that it could impede any new diplomacy, deflating its momentum, and causing such apprehension on the other side that, as a result, it would spell doom for the yet-to-start US-Iran dialogue.

The White House's consent to this legislative initiative robs the administration of the self-cultivated perception of a paradigm shift from the pattern of coercive diplomacy. Moreover, it fuels the argument of Iranian hardliners who have raised objections to President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's olive branch toward the Obama administration.

In turn, this raises a serious question: is the Obama administration deliberately self-torpedoing the promised "engagement" with Iran, in part by dragging its feet on jump-starting dialogue and also by relying on its congressional proxies to throw obstacles on the path of this dialogue? This is precisely at a time when Iran-European Union dialogue is showing promising signs, in light of the latest statement by Javier Solana, the EU's foreign policy chief, that praises messages from Tehran as being "constructive" and in presenting "a new opportunity for the advancement of talks".

Why should the Obama administration talk engagement while steering directly or indirectly clear from it? One possible answer is that, despite all talk of a win-win situation, Iran may actually come ahead in any such talks, especially if they are anchored in the "clear-cut framework" of the NPT and "the [International Atomic Energy] Agency", just as Ahmadinejad demanded in his recent interview with the American television network ABC.

Iran's pursuit of a nuclear fuel cycle is authorized under the articles of the NPT and that means transparent and open uranium-enrichment activities are difficult to shut down legally as long as they remain within the full-scope verifications and surveillance mechanisms of the IAEA.

As a result, lacking any evidence that Iran has abused its NPT right to channel its much-cherished nuclear fuel cycle for "weaponization purposes", the US and its Western allies are now caught in a serious conundrum: how to foster a multilateral dialogue with Iran and insist on Iran's long-term if not permanent suspension of its nuclear fuel program without having the benefit of international law on their side?

Better then not to have the dialogue or have it right away and simply pay lip service to "engagement" when, in fact, the real engagement is between the Obama administration and its Republican predecessor with its one-dimensional and unhealthy toeing to Israeli policy on Iran.

Concerning the latter, given Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's explicit deferment of the "two-state" solution for Palestine to "progress in negotiations on Iran's nuclear issue", it is clear that Israel's formidable allies in Washington are intent on preventing meaningful progress on those negotiations. This is simply because such progress would by definition force Israel to make concessions with respect to the Palestinians.

It appears that pseudo-engagement has replaced true engagement with Iran and the new legislation camouflages its true intention - to restrict, postpone and ultimately nip in the bud the flashes of a diplomatic change in the US's hitherto coercive diplomacy toward Iran.

1. See AIPAC policy conference to push Iran bills.

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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #50 on: 2009-06-03 07:23:31 »
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War With Iran: Has It Already Begun?

Obama talks peace with Iran, but what's he doing under the radar?

Source: Antiwar.com
Authors: Justin Raimondo
Dated: 2009-06-03

In public, when it comes to the Iranian question, President Obama is all sweet reason and kissy-face. His recent video message to the Iranian people was just what the doctor ordered. However, this public performance is severely undercut by an ongoing covert program aimed at regime-change in Tehran – or, at least, at undermining the Iranian regime to such an extent that it must respond in some way.

This covert action program, reported by Seymour Hersh last year, was started by the Bush administration and funded to the tune of $400 million. The U.S. is, in effect, conducting a secret war against Tehran, a covert campaign aimed at recruiting Iran’s ethnic and religious minorities – who make up the majority of the population in certain regions, such as in the southeast borderlands near Pakistan – into a movement to topple the government in Tehran, or, at least, to create so much instability that U.S. intervention to "keep order" in the region is justified. Given recent events in Iran – a suicide bombing in the southeast province of Sistan-Baluchistan and at least two other incidents – the effort is apparently ongoing.

A suicide-bomber blast, which occurred inside a mosque in the city of Zahedan, killed at least 30 people: a rebel Sunni group with reported links to the U.S. claimed responsibility. The Iranian government immediately accused the U.S. and Israel of being behind the attack. The violence was very shortly followed up by attacks on banks, water-treatment facilities, and other key installations in and around Zahedan, including a strike against the local campaign headquarters of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Add to this an attempted bombing of an Iranian airliner, which took off from the southwestern city of Ahvaz, and you have a small-scale insurgency arising on Iran’s eastern frontier.

The Iranians, confronted with peace overtures from Washington, can be blamed for wondering if the war against them has already begun.

A recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett opines that President Obama’s "Iran policy has, in all likelihood, already failed" due to America’s covert actions in Iran. In the current debate within the administration over what course to take with Iran, hard-liners like Dennis Ross – special envoy for the region – argue that Iran’s lack of a positive response to Obama’s overtures are evidence the whole effort is futile, and that it’s time to start thinking about harsh sanctions and military action. The Leveretts, however, have a different take:

"But this ignores the real reason Iranian leaders have not responded to the new president more enthusiastically: the Obama administration has done nothing to cancel or repudiate an ostensibly covert but well-publicized program, begun in President George W. Bush’s second term, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to destabilize the Islamic Republic. Under these circumstances, the Iranian government – regardless of who wins the presidential elections on June 12 – will continue to suspect that American intentions toward the Islamic Republic remain, ultimately, hostile."

Last year, the same terrorist group behind the Zahedan suicide bomb blast kidnapped 16 Iranian policemen and videotaped their execution. The video was played on al-Arabiya television.

Imagine if, say, the governments of Mexico and the U.S. were engaged in talks aimed at improving relations between the two countries and all the while the former was funding and arming terrorist groups that were sowing death and destruction in America’s southwestern cities. Imagine if these terrorists seized 16 American cops and, when the U.S. refused to negotiate with the hostage-takers, murdered them and posted the grisly proceedings on YouTube. The reaction would be so swift and deadly that the Mexicans wouldn’t know what hit them.

Little wonder, then, that there hasn’t been much of a response to Obama’s peace feelers. In this context, it’s only a matter of time before hard-liners in Tehran gain the upper hand and launch a provocation – aimed, perhaps, at U.S. forces in Iraq – that precludes any negotiating process and sets us on a course for war.

In mounting a campaign to destabilize Iran, the U.S. is allying itself with some pretty loathsome elements. Jundallah, for example, is a Sunni militant organization, created to establish a Baluchi Islamic state in southeastern Iran and parts of Pakistan. One of the founding members of Jundallah was allegedly Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the al-Qaeda operational commander of 9/11 attacks, who was arrested in 2003 in Pakistan and is now in U.S. custody.

The current leader of Jundallah, Abdolmalek Rigi, is a bloodthirsty maniac even by the standards of the region. In an interview with Dan Rather, Rigi showed a video in which he personally beheaded his own brother-in-law, al-Qaeda-style.

Rigi denies having a separatist agenda and claims he wants to establish a "United States of Iran," presumably with more autonomy for Iranian Baluchistan. He also denies links to al-Qaeda and the Taliban, and he characterizes Jundallah – which has since changed its name to the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement – as an Islamic "awakening" movement.

This "awakening" parlance should be all too familiar to Middle East observers: it is the same sort of "awakening" that energized the U.S. military "surge" in Iraq, made possible by an American alliance with Sunni tribes who claimed to have been awakened to the danger posed by al-Qaeda. Substitute Iran for al-Qaeda, and you have the echoes of the Sunni-card strategy being played by the U.S. and Israel throughout the region. Support for Jundallah fits in nicely with the effort to forge an anti-Iranian united front, bringing together the U.S. and its Sunni allies in the region, with the Israelis providing backup and (largely covert) support.

Obama, with his peace overtures, serves as the smiley-face mask for some pretty loathsome activities. The U.S. government claims to be fighting terrorism, yet is sponsoring groups that plant bombs in mosques, kidnap tourists as well as Iranian policemen, and fund their activities with drug-running in addition to covert subsidies courtesy of the U.S. taxpayers. The recent suicide bombing in Zahedan was the work of Jundallah. These are war crimes, carried out with the full knowledge of the leaders of both parties in Congress, paid for by you and me, and conducted in our name.

What’s even more outrageous is that the Obama administration, far from decrying or even trying to distance itself from such activities, is endorsing and expanding this style of warfare by appointing Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to head up U.S. military operations in Afghanistan. McChrystal was formerly commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), a secret army of special-ops commandos who murdered, tortured, and kidnapped suspected terrorists throughout the world.

McChrystal’s appointment is part of the "new thinking" in the Pentagon that goes under the general rubric of COIN [.pdf], which emphasizes the political alongside the military as an essential element of successful counterinsurgency operations. The Jundallah operation reeks of this new counterinsurgency doctrine – championed by Democratic think-tanks and Iraq commander David Petraeus – that’s all the rage in the Obama administration. I’m thinking, in particular, of Jundallah’s recent name-change: I wonder what Pentagon contractor came up with "Iranian People’s Resistance Movement."

[b]What’s going on in Iran today – a sustained campaign of terrorism directed against civilians and government installations alike – is proof positive that nothing has really changed much in Washington, as far as U.S. policy toward Iran is concerned. We are on a collision course with Tehran, and both sides know it. Obama’s public "reaching out" to the Iranians is a fraud of epic proportions. While it’s true that our covert terrorist attacks on Iran were initiated under the Bush regime, under Obama we’re seeing no letup in these sorts of incidents; if anything, they’ve increased in frequency and severity.

Of course, we hear nothing about this from the U.S. media, Seymour Hersh excepted. All we get from them, and from the "progressive" community, for that matter, is cheerleading for the administration. Every time he betrays them, the limousine liberals and their media amen corner blame it on bad advisers, the Republicans, or the iron necessity of "moderating" his liberal politics in the name of "pragmatism." Yet in a situation such as this, when the first shots of a war against Iran are being fired, one has to ask: doesn’t the president know about this – and, if so, does he approve?

Well, of course he knows, you dummy – it wouldn’t be happening if he didn’t give the green light, now would it?/b]

Those who dread the prospect of war with Iran and hope to avoid it are a bit tardy in their concerns. I have news for these people: we’re already at war with Iran, and have been for quite a while. It’s only a matter of time, and circumstance, before it becomes official.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #51 on: 2009-07-05 13:04:09 »
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Biden: US not stand in Israel's way on Iran

Biden says US will not stand in Israel's way in how best to counter nuclear threat from Iran

[ Hermit : The last time the US did something this stupid was to give a green light to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and eighteen years later we are still paying for that and the cost of changing our mind about it. ]

Source: AP News
Authors: Not Credited (AP News Staff)
Dated: 2009-07-05

Vice President Joe Biden seemed to give Israel a green light for military action to eliminate Iran's nuclear threat, saying the U.S. "cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do."

Israel considers Iran its most dangerous adversary and is wary of hard-line Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who just won a disputed re-election. He repeatedly has called for Israel to be wiped off the map and contends the Holocaust is a "myth." [ Hermit : He has not done either of the above, but AP never misses an opportunity to repeat either calumny. ]

Israel and the U.S. accuse Iran of seeking to develop weapons under the cover of a nuclear power program. Iran denies that. [ Hermit : Israel is not even a signatory to the NPT, and the USA is a repeated flagrant violator of the NPT. Iran is a signator in good standing and the IAEA which manages the peaceful use of nuclear power under the terms of the NPT agrees with Iran that there is no evidence that Iran has ever breached the NPT in any aspect. ]

"Israel can determine for itself — it's a sovereign nation — what's in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," Biden told ABC's "This Week" in an interview broadcast Sunday.

"Whether we agree or not. They're entitled to do that. Any sovereign nation is entitled to do that. But there is no pressure from any nation that's going to alter our behavior as to how to proceed," Biden said.

The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it prefers to see Iran's nuclear program stopped through diplomacy but has not ruled out a military strike.

"If the Netanyahu government decides to take a course of action different than the one being pursued now, that is their sovereign right to do that. That is not our choice," Biden said. [ Hermit : Of course the UN has determined that even threatening to attack another country is illegal, never mind doing it. No matter the reason. Israel counts on the USA protecting it from the consequences of its repeatedly violating the UN Charter, meaning that it is the US which has become the renegade state making the principle body intended to prevent war ever less irrelevant.]

While most experts are in agreement that there's a good chance Iran could have a usable nuclear bomb sometime during his presidency, President Barack Obama told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday, "I'm not reconciled with that."

A nuclear-armed Iran, Obama said, probably would lead to an arms race in the volatile Mideast and that would be "a recipe for potential disaster." He said opposing a nuclear weapons capacity for Iran was more than just "a U.S. position" and that "the biggest concern is not simply that Iran can threaten us or our allies, like Israel or its neighbors."

Israel is also concerned about Iran's close support for two of its most committed enemies, Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

Obama said in May, after his first meeting with Netanyahu at the White House, that the Iranians had until year's end to get serious about international talks on curbing their nuclear ambitions. "We're not going to have talks forever," he said.

But Obama sees movement on Israeli-Palestinian peace as key to building a moderate Arab coalition against Iran, while Netanyahu says dealing with the Iranian threat must take precedence over peacemaking with the Palestinians.

Most experts believe that wiping out the Iranian nuclear program is beyond the ability of Israel's military. In 1982 the Israeli air force destroyed Iraq's nuclear reactor in a lightning strike. [ Hermit : The Iraq reactor was a legal and IAEA controlled facility. Even the USA agreed that Israel's attack on Iraq was unprovoked and illegal. ]   But Iran's facilities are scattered around the country, some of them underground.

Biden was asked in the interview that if the Israelis decide they need to try to take out Iran's nuclear program, would the U.S. stand in the way militarily?

"We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do," the vice president replied. "Israel has a right to determine what's in its interests, and we have a right and we will determine what's in our interests."
[ Hermit : What Biden appears to have missed is that the US has a position on the UN Security Council and an obligation to uphold international law. His statements here are not in accordance with International law. In addition Israel could not carry out an attack on Iran without the complicity of the US which controls Iraq air space (meaning that the US would be automatically guilty of an act of war against Iran) and without using US supplied weapons systems (which would be a major breach of US law). As such, the US has not only the ability but the necessity to "dictate" to Israel whjat they do if they wish to remain in accordance with International and US law. ]

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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #52 on: 2009-07-05 13:15:57 »
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IAEA Board Goes Bonkers

Source: Antiwar.com
Authors: Gordon Prather
Dated: 2009-07-04

[iPhysicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.][/i]

Members of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, evidently representing those nations who want to finish the job Bonkers Bolton began – gutting the Treaty on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons – have, according to the New York Times, emerged victorious.

According to the IAEA Statute, the agency’s primary objective is to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world."

The current Director-General, Mohamed ElBaradei, has just made his report to the IAEA Board at the beginning of their quarterly meeting.

At the top of his list were Technical Cooperation Programme activities with participating IAEA member states in the safe application of nuclear energy to human health as well as to food and agricultural production.

Second, came his assessment that the IAEA should expect "continued high demand for its assistance" from member states "exploring the nuclear power option," despite the "global financial crisis."

Hence, ElBaradei emphasized the need to have a "robust, well-funded and independent" IAEA safeguards and physical security program.

ElBaradei went on to lament what he considers to be inadequate funding, especially with respect to the IAEA’s ability to respond effectively to "pressing human needs in developing countries."

Next, ElBaradei put in a plug for a Russian-proposed internationally-controlled reactor-grade enriched-uranium fuel bank "to provide assurance of supply" to IAEA safeguarded facilities in the event of a politically-motivated disruption of existing or anticipated supply contracts.

Finally, ElBaradei addressed some "lingering difficulties" he faced in complying with the requirements (illegally) placed on him – at the instigation of Bonkers Bolton – by the IAEA Board and, in turn, by the Security Council, involving North Korea, Iran and Syria.

At this point, it’s worth quoting at some length from the highly relevant Statement presented to the IAEA Board on or about that same day by the Vienna Chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The NAM statement begins by reiterating these "principled positions."
    [1] NAM reaffirms the basic and inalienable right of all states to develop research, production and use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes, without any discrimination and in conformity with their respective legal obligations. Therefore, nothing should be interpreted in a way as inhibiting or restricting the right of states to develop atomic energy for peaceful purposes. States’ choices and decisions, including those of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the field of peaceful uses of nuclear technology and its fuel cycle policies must be respected.

    [2] NAM recognizes the IAEA as the sole competent authority for verification of the respective safeguards obligations of Member States and stressed that there should be no undue pressure or interference in the Agency’s activities, especially its verification process, which would jeopardize the efficiency and credibility of the Agency.

    [3] NAM emphasizes the fundamental distinction between the legal obligations of states to their respective safeguards agreements and any confidence building measures voluntarily undertaken to resolve difficult issues, and believed that such voluntary undertakings are not legal safeguards obligations.

    [4] NAM considers the establishment of a nuclear- weapons-free-zone (NWFZ) in the Middle East as a positive step towards attaining the objective of global nuclear disarmament and reiterates its support for the establishment of such a zone in accordance with relevant General Assembly and Security Council resolutions.

    [5] NAM reaffirms the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities – operational or under construction – poses a great danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of international law, principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and regulations of the IAEA. NAM recognizes the need for a comprehensive multilaterally negotiated instrument prohibiting attacks, or threat of attacks on nuclear facilities devoted to peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

    [6] NAM strongly believes that all safeguards and verification issues, including those of Iran, should be resolved within the IAEA framework, and be based on technical and legal grounds. NAM further emphasizes that the Agency should continue its work to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue within its mandate under the Statute of the IAEA.

    [7] NAM stresses that diplomacy and dialogue through peaceful means must continue to find a comprehensive and long term solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. NAM expresses their conviction that the only way to resolve the issue is to pursue substantive negotiations without any preconditions among all relevant parties.

The NAM-statement then "takes note" that Director-General ElBaradei, in his latest report on the implementation of Iran’s NPT-related Safeguards Agreement, has verified that no NPT-proscribed materials have ever been diverted to a military purpose.

But, what about Iran’s compliance (or lack thereof) with UN Security Council resolutions 1737, 1747, 1803, and 1835? [ Hermit : Which Iran rejected, stating, probably correctly, that the SC had no authority to pass them and has no legal authority to enforce them. It appears that the NAM agrees. ]

Well, re-read the NAM "principled positions," focusing particularly on the second.

NAM clearly believes, as a matter of principle, the IAEA Board should never have required – in violation of the IAEA Statute – Iran (or any other NAM-member) to give up its "inalienable rights" to the fullest possible enjoyment of the benefits of atomic energy.

Nor should the IAEA Board have attempted – in violation of the IAEA Statue and the UN Charter – to interfere in the internal and foreign policy affairs of Iran or any other NAM-member.

Why should the IAEA Board pay any attention to the NAM statement?

Well, NAM-members comprise nearly 2/3 of UN membership and IAEA membership, and comprise more than half the world’s population.

However, they are not proportionately represented on the 35-member IAEA Board of Governors

So, that Board has reportedly selected – by just over the required 2/3 majority – Yukiya Amano, a Japanese diplomat, who was actually Chairman of the IAEA Board in 2005-2006, to succeed ElBaradei as IAEA Director-General.

According to David Kay, a former mid-level munchkin in the IAEA Secretariat, Yukiya Amano is "a nonproliferation and disarmament guy… He has been around in trying to keep the [UN Security Council mandated] inspections in Iran going, and I expect him to continue very much in that line."

According to Amano’s IAEA biography, he "has been involved in the negotiation of major international instruments such as the NPT extension, the Comprehensive Test BanTreaty [CTBT], the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention [BTWC] verification protocol, the amendment of the Convention on Prohibitions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons [CCW] and the International Code of Conduct Against Ballistic Missiles [ICOC]."

Obviously, that extensive experience will enable Director-General Amano to accomplish his principle objective; namely to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health, and prosperity throughout the world."

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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #53 on: 2009-07-12 19:22:30 »
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More Bonkers Bolton Legacy?

Source: Antiwar.com
Authors: Gordon Prather
Dated: 2009-07-11

Last week, two-thirds of the thirty-five member Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency voted to select Yukiya Amano — a Japanese diplomat, who had actually been IAEA Board Chairman between September, 2005 and September, 2006 — to succeed Mohamed ElBaradei as IAEA Director-General.

Do the sins of Bonkers Bolton haunt us, still?

Recall that, way back in October 2004, Iran had entered into negotiations with France, Germany and the United Kingdom with the explicit expectation of obtaining normal relations with the Europeans, secure against Bush-Cheney-Bolton economic, political and military interference.

Iran had signed and had immediately begun to adhere to — in advance of its ratification by the Iranian Parliament — an Additional Protocol to its IAEA Safeguards Agreement

Iran also extended its voluntary suspension of all uranium-enrichment related activities — taken almost a year before "as a confidence building measure" — suspended uranium-conversion activities, and invited the IAEA to monitor the suspensions.

Now, bear in mind that the IAEA was never a party to the negotiations, themselves. Never should have been; never could have been.

But, Iran had suggested the Europeans ask the IAEA to develop "technical, legal and monitoring modalities" for Iran’s enrichment program above and beyond those required under their Additional Protocol with the IAEA, to be monitored by the IAEA, to provide "objective guarantees" to the Europeans that all Iran’s nuclear programs would remain exclusively for peaceful purposes.

The Europeans declined the suggestion.

So, the Iranians assembled their own expert advisor group and on March 23, 2005, offered the Brits-French-Germans a collection of "objective guarantees" which included a "limitation of the extent of the enrichment program to solely meet the contingency fuel requirements of Iran’s power reactors." 

Bonkers Bolton and Condi Rice intervened to prevent the Brits-French-Germans even acknowledging the Iranian offer, much less accepting it.

So, in a Note Verbale of August 1, 2005, Iran informed the IAEA that, because of the failure of the Brit-French-German talks, Iran had decided to resume its IAEA Safeguarded uranium-conversion activities – voluntarily suspended almost two years before – at the Uranium Conversion Facility at Esfahan. 

When this resumption of Safeguarded activity was duly reported by Director-General ElBaradei to the IAEA Board of Governors, some Board members reportedly announced their intention to refer these perfectly legal IAEA Safeguarded activities to the UN Security Council for "possible disciplinary action." 

Now, according to the IAEA Statute, in the performance of their duties, "the Director-General and the staff shall not seek or receive instructions from any source external to the Agency."

Furthermore, each IAEA Board member "undertakes to respect the international character of the responsibilities of the Director-General and the staff and shall not seek to influence them in the discharge of their duties."

When IAEA inspectors do determine that safeguarded materials have been used "in furtherance of any military purpose," they "shall" report such "non-compliance" to the Director-General who "shall" thereupon transmit the report to the Board of Governors.

As of this writing, IAEA inspectors have made no such report about Iran. In fact, in their most recent report "all the declared nuclear material in Iran has been accounted for."

Nevertheless, shortly after Yukiya Amano became Chairman of the IAEA Board of Governors, in September 2005, the Board adopted resolution GOV/2005/77 wherein, in violation of its own statute, it "urged" Iran:
    (i) To implement transparency measures, as requested by the Director General in his report, which extend beyond the formal requirements of the Safeguards Agreement and Additional Protocol, and include access to individuals, documentation relating to procurement, dual use equipment, certain military owned workshops and research and development locations;
    (ii) To re-establish full and sustained suspension of all enrichment-related activity, as in GOV/2005/64, and reprocessing activity;
    (iii) To reconsider the construction of a research reactor moderated by heavy water;
    (iv) Promptly to ratify and implement in full the Additional Protocol;
    (v) Pending completion of the ratification of the Additional Protocol to continue to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol, which Iran signed on 18 December 2003;
And if that wasn’t bad enough, that resolution officially even "called" upon Iran to return to those economic-political-military negotiations with the Brits-French-Germans, deliberately sabotaged by Rice-Bolton.

Then on 4 February, 2006, Amano’s Board went further, "deem[ing] it necessary" that Iran comply with every one of the above "urged" actions.


Well, in the meantime, the CIA had provided the Amano Board some additional – but still limited — access to "alleged information" contained on the so-called "smoking laptop."  [ Hermit : Which has now been shown to have come from Israel! ]

Now, as best ElBaradei and the Iranians can discover, none of that "alleged information" was in any way connected – directly or indirectly – to Iran’s IAEA Safeguard programs.

Nevertheless, the IAEA Board repeated its previous "requests" that Iran "cooperate" in "following up on [smoking laptop] reports relating to equipment, materials and activities which have applications in the conventional military area and in the civilian sphere as well as in the nuclear military area," and "requested" Iran "extend full and prompt cooperation… which the Director-General deems indispensable and overdue…to help the Agency clarify possible activities which could have a military nuclear dimension." 

Now, in making such "requests" Amano’s Board had not only violated the IAEA Statute, but in "calling" upon the Iranian Parliament to ratify the Additional Protocol, Amano’s Board had violated the UN Charter, itself.

Amano’s Board went on to "request" Director-General ElBaradei "report to the Security Council of the United Nations that these steps are required of Iran by the Board and to report to the Security Council all IAEA reports and resolutions, as adopted, relating to this issue." 


The request by Amano’s Board that the Director-General "report" to the Security Council the "steps" that Amano’s Board had [illegally] required of Iran soon resulted in UNSC Resolution 1696 July 2006.

According to the UN Charter, whenever an issue is ‘referred’ to the UN Security Council for possible action under Article 39 of Chapter VII;
    "The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security."

How could Bonkers Bolton and Chairman Amano expect the Security Council to "determine" that Iran’s properly IAEA-safeguarded activities constituted a "threat to the peace or breach of the peace" to say nothing of an "act of aggression"?

Or expect the Council to take measures under Article 41 [possible imposition of sanctions], much less Article 42 [possible use of armed forces]?

Now, what the Security Council should have done – if anything – after considering the IAEA "requests" and "demands," would have been to cite Article 40, which says;
    "In order to prevent an aggravation of the situation, the Security Council may, before making the recommendations or deciding upon the measures provided for in Article 39, call upon the parties concerned to comply with such provisional measures as it deems necessary or desirable. Such provisional measures shall be without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned."
But, thanks to Bonkers Bolton, the Security Council simply ignored Article 39 making no determination at all with respect to whether Iran’s IAEA Safeguarded activities constituted a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression.

Instead, in UNSC Resolution 1696 [July 2006] the Council claimed to be

    "Acting under Article 40 of Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations in order to make mandatory the suspension required by the IAEA,
      "1.  Calls upon Iran without further delay to take the steps required by the IAEA Board of Governors in its resolution GOV/2006/14, which are essential to build confidence in the exclusively peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme and to resolve outstanding questions,"
      "2.  Demands, in this context, that Iran shall suspend all enrichment-related and reprocessing activities, including research and development, to be verified by the IAEA,"
    and to make matters worse the Council
      "6.  Expresses its determination to reinforce the authority of the IAEA process, strongly supports the role of the IAEA Board of Governors, commends and encourages the Director General of the IAEA and its Secretariat for their ongoing professional and impartial efforts to resolve all remaining outstanding issues in Iran within the framework of the Agency, underlines the necessity of the IAEA continuing its work to clarify all outstanding issues relating to Iran’s nuclear programme, and calls upon Iran to act in accordance with the provisions of the Additional Protocol and to implement without delay all transparency measures as the IAEA may request in support of its ongoing investigations,"

    So, if the IAEA General Conference confirms the IAEA Board’s choice of Yukiya Amano to be the next IAEA Director-General, expect the sins of Bonkers Bolton to haunt Iran, members of the Non-Aligned Movement, and small peace-loving creatures for years to come.

    [ Hermit : And, of course, with American and Israeli efforts (remembering that Israel is not even a member and the US is in violation of the NPT by supporting Israeli nuclear efforts!),  it has. ]
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #54 on: 2009-07-25 03:48:43 »
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Israeli: Iran nuke program could set off arms race

[ Hermit : At this point all that can be concluded is that Associated Press is owned by Israel or they have gone completely nuts. ]

Source: Associated Press
Authors: Not Credited

If Iran develops nuclear capabilities it will start an arms race in the Middle East that would threaten the world, Israel's foreign minister said Thursday. [ Hermit : Iran is a signatory to the NPT in terms of which the IAEA has certified that Iran has a peaceful nuclear power program, that all its nuclear material is secured, that there is zero evidence any materiel has been diverted or that Iran has a military nuclear program. In addition, There is no evidence that Iran has attacked any other nation for Centuries. Apartheid Israel has never acceded to the non-proliferation treaty, is known to have vast stocks nuclear warheads, as well as biowarfare agents, along with multiple means of delivering attacks using these weapons. Apartheid Israel has repeatedly attacked its neighbours, is in breach of dozens of UN resolutions including Security Council resolutions, is guilty of horrendous warcrimes and is engaged in running the world's "largest open air concentration camp." And Associated Press assert that Iran will "start an arms race" if they develop nuclear capabilities - where, unlike Apartheid Israel, the only nuclear capacities they have developed so far have been exclusively peaceful? Do they not have reporters working for AP any longer, is their first loyalty to Israel or have they all gone mad? ]

Avigdor Lieberman said at the start of his four-day trip to Argentina that "Iran is the biggest sponsor of world terror organizations such as Hamas, (Islamic) Jihad and Hezbollah."

"If Iran would achieve nuclear capacity, we'll see a crazy nuclear-armed race in our region that will be a threat not only to Israel but to the rest of the world," he told reporters. [ Hermit : The only apparent credible threat to world peace, a crime according to the UN Grand Charter, seems to have emanated from Apartheid Israel and the USA, which not only have repeatedly threatened to attack Iran, but actually have, unlike Iran, the capacity to implement their threats and so are a threat to world peace. This technique by Apartheid Israel of attempting to throw sand in everyone's eyes is becoming very repetitive. Nevertheless, repetition does not increase the truth content of an assertion. ]

Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Israel and the U.S. reject that.

Argentina is the second stage of a 10-day tour of four South American nations aimed at staunching Iran's growing influence in the region. [ Hermit : Iran has things to offer the region. Oil. Investment. What does apartheid Israel to offer? Once the Argentine was seen as an alternate to the Palestine as a suitable "homeland" for Zionist aspirations. Had this happened, how would the Argentine look today?  ]

Lieberman also met with Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana to discuss preparations for Israeli President Shimon Peres' visit in November, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

Argentina is home to the largest Jewish community in Latin America. Argentine prosecutors say Iran and Hezbollah were behind the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in the city that killed 85. Iran has denied involvement.

There was also another bomb attack in 1992 against the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people. None of the attacks have been solved.

During a Wednesday meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Lieberman asked Latin America's biggest nation to use its influence to help halt Iran's nuclear program. Lieberman noted that Brazil has good ties both with Muslim countries and with Israel.

The Iranian representative in Bolivia, Masoud Edrisi, accused Israel of using Lieberman's trip to try to undermine Iran's relations with Latin American nations.

"Its objective is propaganda against the good relations that exist between Iran and Latin America," Edrisi told The Associated Press.

Israel sees Iran as a major strategic threat, fearing it is developing a nuclear weapon and noting its development of long-range ballistic missiles. Concerns have been sharpened by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's repeated references to the destruction of the Jewish state. [ Hermit : No matter how many times this gratuitious lie is respun by Associated Press, it will not alter the fact that the closest Ahmadinejab has come to saying this is to quote Khomeni's statement, itself possibly a quotation, that the regime occupying Jerusalem will be erased from the sands of time. In other words, at some time, the Apartheid governement in Israel will cease to exist. The CIA predicts that this will happen within 15 years if Israel does not come to an accommodation with the Palestinians that Israel has displaced. Is this also "a repeated reference" to the "destruction of the Jewish state?" ]

Israeli officials also have expressed concern over Iran's growing ties with leftist-led nations in Latin America. Iranian companies are building apartments, cars, tractors and bicycles in Venezuela and the two countries' leaders have exchanged visits. Iran has also opened new embassies in Bolivia and Nicaragua.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #55 on: 2009-07-28 09:02:01 »
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Middle East Show of Farce

[ Hermit : I don't know if I have said how much we like Jeff Huber whom we met when he was still at NWC before the Bush purges began. This article goes a long way towards explaining why. ]

Source: Antiwar.com
Authors: Jeff Huber
Dated: 2009-07-28

A July 17 article at The Guardian leads with “In preparation for a possible attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities, two Israeli missile-class warships have sailed through the Suez Canal 10 days after a submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile strike.”

The fifth paragraph begins, “The deployment into the Red Sea, confirmed by Israeli officials, according to the Associated Press yesterday, was a clear signal that Israel was able to put its strike force within range of Iran at short notice.”

This is utter bosh.

Israel’s German-made, diesel-electric powered Dolphin class submarines supposedly carry nuclear missiles with a range of over 900 miles. If that’s the case, the subs don’t have to deploy to the Suez to hit Iran; they can do that pierside in their home port in Haifa. Israel’s Sa’ar class corvettes carry self-defense weapons and the Harpoon anti-ship missile that has a range of between 58 and 196 miles, far too short to hit Iran from the Suez.

Israel and Iran both possess sea-denial navies that are glorified coast guards. To attack Israel’s navy, Iran’s navy would have to pass down the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, steam west across the North Arabian Sea into the Gulf of Aden, then hike up the Red Sea and through the Suez Canal and enter the Mediterranean. Israel’s navy would have to take the reverse route to attack Iran’s. Either navy would likely run out of gas or sink of natural causes before it reached the other one. They might agree to meet in the middle, but in an expanse the size of the North Arabian Sea they probably couldn’t find each other. We might give Israel’s navy a lift to the Gulf of Oman on a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, but as soon as its puddle paddlers unloaded and drove into the Hormuz, the Iranians would shoot their tokheses off with shore-launched missiles (the Iranians might stick one up the carrier’s fantail as well).

Israel’s cardboard-saber-rattling supposedly signals concerns about Iran’s intentions to develop nuclear weapons. That would be well and good if Iran had intentions to develop nukes, but all indications are that they don’t. As I’ve often noted, our own intelligence admits that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program, and the International Atomic Energy Agency can’t find a trace of one. For the Iranians to develop nukes would be astronomically stupid, tantamount to painting a bull’s eye on their backs. Israel would have a perfect excuse to schwack Iran’s nuclear energy infrastructure with a preemptive strike, and from what we just saw the Israelis do to Gaza, they’d likely firebomb Iran’s cities as well.

Despite what hate radio and Fox News and the Polly-cracker mainstream media have told you over and over, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has never said Iran would use nukes to destroy Israel, or anything remotely like that, and neither has anyone else in Iran’s government. Iran is incapable of projecting land power more than a few miles from its border, its navy is as potent as root beer outside of the Persian Gulf, and its air force is almost as old and broken down as North Korea’s.

Demonizing Iran has been a long-term project of Dick Cheney’s. Through his Iranian Directorate and his lip-lock with the Likud and neoconservatives cabals, he was able to have Iran declared to be our greatest “challenge,” even though Iran’s military budget is less than 1 percent the size of ours and less than half the size of Israel’s, and despite the Cheneyacs’ failure to prove a single one of their assertions regarding Iran’s nuclear intentions or its meddling in Iraq and the Bananastans.

Iran-baiting has become so popular that it’s practically a national pastime. Maybe that’s why Hillary Clinton has joined the likes of Newt Gingrich aboard Cheney’s crazy train.

I voted against Hillary in the Virginia primary because she’d so clearly rolled over for the neocons for fear they’d call her a girly-man if she didn’t. As secretary of state, lamentably, she’s still putting on a tomboy act for them. In a July 22 speech in Thailand, Hillary said the U.S. would extend its “defense umbrella” to protect its Middle East allies from a nuclear-armed Iran. “We’ll take actions,” she said, “crippling action, working to upgrade the defense of our partners in the region.”

A little song, a little dance; a little seltzer down your pantsuit. The Iranians don’t have a nuclear weapons program and common sense says they never will, they’re surrounded by U.S. forces and outgunned by their neighbors, if they ever did acquire a nuclear weapon and use it on someone our retaliation would mean the virtual end of the millennia-old Persian culture, and Hillary wants to further cripple our economy by dumping more American-made arms into the region. Where do we find such women?

Bush/Cheney foreign policy turned the Middle East into an analog of Cold War Europe, and incredibly, they managed to cast pismire Iran as the second coming of the Soviet Union. That the Obama administration is conducting the same clownish statecraft is a sure sign that the American Empire will end not with a bang or a whimper, but with pie on its face.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #56 on: 2009-08-13 08:27:50 »
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Wag The Dog, Again

[ Hermit : I wasn't sure whether this belonged on this thread or the dismal failure one, and decided by a small margin to place it here due to its still speculative nature. Nonetheless, it raises some very important issues about the total abysmal failure of the Obama Administration to progress towards any diplomatic solution to this Israel established impasse, particularly in the light of calls by Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), amongst others warning that "the biggest mistake the U.S. can commit is to begin setting deadlines that no one - including the U.S. itself - believes can be held up.". ]

Source: Antiwar.com
Authors: Philip Giraldi
Dated: 2009-08-13

Israeli media reports that visiting National Security Adviser General Jim Jones and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have told the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop complaining about Iran because the US is preparing to take action "in eight weeks" demonstrate that even when everything changes in Washington, nothing changes.  President Barack Obama has claimed that a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is a high priority but the Israelis and their allies in congress and the media have been able to stonewall the issue.  Israel has made no concessions on its settlement policy, which is rightly seen as the single biggest obstacle to eventual creation of a Palestinian state, and has instead pushed ahead with new building and confiscations of Arab homes.  Obama has protested both Israeli actions but done nothing else, meaning that Israel has determined that the new US president’s policies are toothless, giving it a free hand to deal with the Arabs.  Vice President Joe Biden’s comments that Israel is free to attack Iran if it sees fit was a warning that worse might be coming.  If the Israeli reports are true, it would appear that the Obama Administration has now bought completely into the Israeli view of Iran and is indicating to Tel Aviv that it will fall into line to bring the Mullahs to their knees.  In short, Israel gets what it wants and Washington yet again surrenders.

President Obama’s ultimatum that Iran must start talks and quickly "or else" may be based on the belief that pressuring the government in Tehran will produce a positive result.  If that is the judgment, it is wrong.  Sanctions did not force Italy to change its policies in 1935, nor those of Japan five years later.  Saddam Hussein survived them in the 1990s, and they have most certainly not brought the Cuban government down after fifty years of trying.  The Iranian government will only respond by closing ranks against foreign pressure.  Quite possibly, the only result an enhanced sanctions regime backed by a military threat will produce is a war, which would be catastrophic both for the United States and for Iran.  Nor would it be particularly good for Israel in spite of what the current crackpot regime in Tel Aviv might think.

And the usual characters are lining up to play ball.  The US mainstream media is united in supporting without any examination the view that Iran is intending to develop a nuclear device and will likely soon have one.  It is clear that leading members of the Obama Administration, including Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton believe the same thing.  And Congress is never far behind when it comes to supporting any nonsense coming out of Israel.  On July 30th the Senate passed a bill that prohibits companies that sell gasoline and other refined oil products to Iran from also receiving any Energy Department contracts to provide crude oil for the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut is also drafting a bill to block all oil imports to Iran.  Yes, the same Joseph Lieberman who has never hesitated to put Israel first even as he wraps his rhetoric in the American flag.  A pusillanimous Democratic Congress failed to strip Lieberman of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee even after he ran for the Senate as an independent and campaigned actively for Republican John McCain.  Lieberman therefore remains a powerful senator instead of a political turncoat who should be rightly shunned by his former colleagues.

Lieberman’s bill, which already has in draft 67 co-sponsors in the Senate, is a de facto declaration of war which could easily start World War III.  It would block all imports of refined petroleum products to Iran, which sits on sea of oil but has only limited refinery capacity.  Its economy would grind to a halt.  According to the Israeli media, other sanctions such as banning trade insurance are being considered, which would make it difficult for Iran to do any business internationally. Sanctions might also be extended laterally and placed on any company that trades with Iran. Iranian-flagged ships might also be refused docking permission in Western seaports and the country’s airplanes could be denied landing rights at European and American airports.

Lost in the shuffle is any United States national interest.  Congress seems to be convinced that Iran threatens the United States and must be dealt with, a fiction no doubt generated by a barrage of "position papers" emanating from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  But the facts tell us otherwise.  Iran’s leadership may be an unpleasant crew and the currently unfolding show trials complete with possibly coerced confessions is a disgraceful spectacle, but it just might be that claims that the US and some western Europeans have been meddling in the country’s politics have more than a grain of truth to them.  Iranian paranoia vis-à-vis the rest of the world, and particularly the United States, is all too understandable.  And its alleged nuclear ambitions are far from a proven case.  In its quarterly reports on Iran’s monitored nuclear program, the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency continues to assert that there is absolutely no evidence that Iran has a weapons program.  The most recent examination of the Iranian nuclear program was conducted by the highly respected US State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR).  Its report, released last week, stated that there is  "…no evidence that Iran has yet made the decision to produce highly enriched uranium, and INR assesses that Iran is unlikely to make such a decision for at least as long as international pressure and scrutiny persist." It concluded that even if Iran makes the essentially political decision to construct a nuclear device it will not have enough fissile material to do so before 2013.  The INR assessment used current intelligence to update the CIA National Intelligence report of 2007 that concluded that there could not be a nuclear device until after 2010 even if an accelerated program of development were to be initiated.  Military analysts have also noted that Iran would be unable to deliver the weapon on target even if it were able to overcome the considerable technical obstacles to building the bomb itself.

It is curious that in spite of the fact that there is a consensus that Iran is not yet seeking a nuclear weapon and has no capability to accumulate sufficient weapons grade uranium to do so for some time to come, US politicians and media accept without question the Israeli argument that Iran is hell bent on obtaining such a device and will do so soon.  Perhaps American politicians should stop listening to the Israelis and should start reading the reports being prepared at great expense by the United States intelligence community.  All of which leads to another way of looking at the issue and that is, of course, that it is all about Israel.  Iran is without doubt a major power in the Persian Gulf region even if it does not threaten the United States or Europe.  It potentially does threaten Israel even if the track record shows the Iran has not attacked anyone since the seventeenth century while Israel itself has been engaged in something like perpetual warfare with all its neighbors.  So the assumption must be that Israel and its very effective lobby are driving the push for war with Iran against the real interests of the United States.  But the real question has to be, "Why is Obama, who must know that the argument against Iran is essentially bogus, buying into it?"  Has he already surrendered to AIPAC?  If it is true that at the end of September the US government will begin to tighten the screws on Iran we Americans will all know the answers to those questions and we will quite likely be set on the path for yet another "preventive" war.
« Last Edit: 2009-08-13 10:18:43 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #57 on: 2009-08-15 05:38:31 »
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Response posted to Newsweek article, infra:

This article appears to be blatantly biased against Iran, repeatedly using highly prejudicial phrasing, to the point where it is difficult to accept that the author and editors were acting through ignorance rather than with malice. The article reminds me of nothing so much as Newsweek's echoing of anti-Iraq provocation and calumny prior to the illegal and unjustifiable invasion.

It is important to note that the IAEA first duty is to assist signatories, such as Iran, to use nuclear power effectively, its second duty to oversee the disarming of nuclear armed states (which is yet to happen) and its third duty to ensure that treaty members, such as France, the United Kingdom and Germany, do not provide non-member states, such as Israel, with nuclear expertise or materials (a requirement which has been largely ignored). The IAEA, which enjoys the same access to Iran's facilities as it has to those of the USA, no longer enjoys "unfettered access" to Iran's programs, due solely to intervention by the USA having resulted in the non-extension of additional (not-obliged by the NPT) access which Iran previously provided to the IAEA to build confidence in their peaceful intent and programs, but it would be a better comparison to note that the IAEA enjoys full mandated access to Iran - and none at all to Israel's half-century of clandestine nuclear weapons programs. It is also important to recognize that the IAEA has not complained of the access provided to them, or, despite frequent American accusations - found Iran to have engaged in any forbidden programs or to have suspected Iran of having diverted any controlled materials to any prohibited programs - and a nuclear weapons program, without nuclear material is an oxymoron.

Meanwhile both the USA and Israel have breached the Grand Charter of the UN in that they have repeatedly threatened to attack Iran, which has continuously asserted that it would prefer a "nuclear weapons free" Middle East and considers (as does the ICC) nuclear weapons illegal (and unIslamic). Faced with opponents such as these, who don't care for International law but act as rogue states at their pleasure, Iran may be naive in seeking to bolster its legal protection against illegal attacks on its sovereignty by nuclear armed states (and what could be more prejudicial to the NPT than that?) but it most certainly is acting a great deal more diplomatically and in line with its international obligations than those opposing it.

More knowledgeable authors - or editors - might allow Newsweek to communicate the reality of this situation rather than cheering for a war that hasn't yet started. Officially.

Artless Dodger

Why Iran's latest excuses make no sense.
Source: Newsweek.com
Authors: John Barry (Newsweek Web Exclusive)
Dated: 2009-08-14

"Chutzpah" is probably not a term often batted around inside Iran's diplomatic corps. But how else to describe Iran's latest effort to sidestep the offer from President Obama for negotiations on its nuclear-weapons program?

Iran, its semi-official news agency Fars has announced, is seeking a U.N. resolution banning military strikes against nuclear targets. A letter to this effect has reportedly gone to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna—the U.N. agency with oversight of nuclear activities. Iran wants its demand to be considered at the next IAEA meeting in September.

Wait a minute. Iran hid its nuclear programs from the IAEA for a decade. Now, with its efforts revealed, Iran refuses to give the IAEA anything like a full account of its nuclear facilities; it refuses to give it unfettered access to those facilities, or to Iranians involved in this work; and it has rejected multiple efforts by the agency to broker a compromise deal whereby all of Iran's facilities would come under heightened IAEA monitoring.

But suddenly, fearing an Israeli strike on its facilities, Iran wants U.N. protection against the consequences of its intransigence. (Why Tehran thinks a U.N. resolution would deter Israel, which has ignored U.N. resolutions for years, is, of course, baffling.)

The irony is that if the purpose of Iran's nuclear program is entirely peaceful, as the government insists, then its facilities already enjoy the protection it now seeks. Article 56 of Additional Protocol One to the Geneva Convention of 1949 bars military attacks on "nuclear electrical generating stations"—and presumably, by extension, attacks on related sites (such as those enriching and fabricating fuel rods for those power stations). So what have the Iranians to fear? Simple: Article 56 excludes nuclear plants "in regular, significant, and direct support of military operations."

Efforts to extend the prohibition—to include strikes against any nuclear plant whose destruction could spread radioactive particles—have been stymied for years in the U.N. Committee on Disarmament in Geneva. The advocates of this extension have declined to meet two reasonable demands by Western powers: first, any ban must be accompanied by another on the production of radiological weapons; and second, protection can be given only to nuclear sites under full IAEA inspection. Iran knows this; it's been a party for years to these discussions in Geneva. Iran's letter to the IAEA is an effort to short-circuit them.

It's safe to say that this request to the IAEA will get nowhere. It's true that IAEA members, including its director-general, Mohamed ElBaradei, harbor deep suspicions of what they see as America's nuclear hegemony. But ElBaradei steps down in November, to be replaced by a Japanese nuclear expert with stronger views on the need to stop proliferation. Moreover, the IAEA secretariat, having felt burned by Iran's refusal to give inspectors full access, is unlikely to give Iran a sympathetic hearing.

But the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is up for review at a conference under United Nations auspices in New York next May, and Iran may reasonably hope for a more supportive audience there. A sizable bloc of "nonaligned" nations use these NPT reviews to target the nuclear programs of the United States and Israel. Capitalizing on this sentiment, Iran had a big hand in reducing to chaos the last review conference in 2005. President Obama has been clear about his desire to see the 2010 conference agree to tougher measures against nuclear proliferators—with Iran and North Korea explicitly in his sights. (One of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's more consequential missions on her trip through Africa was to persuade South Africa's government to support Obama's goals for next year.) The realists' bet must be that Iran's letter to the IAEA is the first shot in its campaign to derail Obama's agenda in New York.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #58 on: 2009-08-17 01:21:44 »
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Arab states seek int'l inspection of Israel's nuclear program

Source: Ha'Aretz
Authors: Not Credited (Associated Press)
Dated: 2009-08-15

Arab states are lobbying the European Union for support in their drive to force Israel to open up its secretive nuclear program to international perusal, documents show.

In a letter addressed to Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, Amr Moussa, secretary general of the 22-nation League of Arab States, urges Sweden to back an Arab resolution entitled Israel's Nuclear Capabilities. The document is to be submitted for a vote at next month's 150-nation general assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Sweden currently holds the EU's rotating presidency. Diplomats from EU member countries and from other nations accredited to the IAEA said Thursday that the same letter was sent to the foreign ministers of the other 26 EU member countries. They demanded anonymity for commenting on a confidential issue.

While Israel has never confirmed its status, it is commonly considered to have nuclear weapons, and Arab states regularly push at the annual IAEA conference for it to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and open its facilities for IAEA perusal.

But the efforts are regularly defeated, and the league's lobbying efforts reflected Arab determination to push the measure through come September.

The votes of the 27 members of the EU are important for both opponents and proponents of censuring Israel at the conference - the motion critical of Israel was only narrowly defeated last year. That indicated growing support for the Arab initiative, particularly among developing countries.

General conference resolutions sponsored by the Arab League express concern about Israeli nuclear capabilities and ask the IAEA to help implement the nonproliferation treaty regime on Israel.

A draft of the resolution prepared for next month's conference that was attached to the letter to Bildt gives voice to those same concerns and demands.

But in a new twist, it - an allusion to President Barack Obama's April call to abolish nuclear weapons that appeared calculated to generate extra support for the anti-Israel resolution. [ Hermit : Interesting that attempting to strengthen NPT controls over non-member nuclear armed states is referred to here as an anti-Israel resolution.  Perhaps that says more about Israel than is generally acknowledged. ]

While the Americans are not expected to end their support for Israel at the weeklong conference, which opens Sept. 14, the phrase was expected to give a platform for U.S. rivals such as Iran in their criticism of Washington's backing of Israel.

Muslim nations consider Israel the region's main nuclear threat. The United States and its allies see Iran's defiance of the UN Security Council in its development of technology that could be used to make the bomb as the greatest menace to Middle East peace.
[ Hermit : Blatant hypocrisy - particularly when it involves massive irregularities which massively weaken the NPT - should not be remarked upon? ]

Iran says it wants to perfect the technology - uranium enrichment - not to make the fissile core of nuclear warheads but for fuel to generate power.

"We are hopeful that your country would support the Arab draft resolution, says the June 29 letter to Bildt. Unfortunately, Sweden was among the EU nations voting to block action on the document last year," Moussa wrote.

In Stockholm, Swedish foreign ministry spokesman Anders Jorle said Thursday the Swedish EU presidency was preparing an answer on behalf of the European Union but no final stance had yet been decided.
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Re: IAEA Again Verifies Iranian Compliance-Neo-crazy Media Sycophants Drum for W
« Reply #59 on: 2009-08-19 07:31:28 »
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Sources: UN watchdog hiding evidence on Iran nuclear program

[ Hermit : Given that the last pile of supposed "evidence" of a nuclear material free "weapons program" apparently arrived  via the Americans and an anti-Iranian terrorist group from Mossad, it remains amazing what one can manage to get printed and agreed to by otherwise sensible people after redefining common sense. For today's lunacy this competes rather nicely with the Church of Virus BBS, General, Serious Business, Bizarre memetics and exceptionalism run amok, Hermit, 2009-08-19 thread. ]

Authors: Barak Ravid (Haaretz Correspondent)
Dated: 2009-08-19

The world's nuclear weapons watchdog is hiding data on Iran's drive to obtain nuclear arms, senior Western diplomats and Israeli officials told Haaretz.

The officials and diplomats said that the International Atomic Energy Agency under Director General Mohamed ElBaradei was refraining from publishing evidence obtained by its inspectors over the past few months that indicate Iran was pursuing information about weaponization efforts and a military nuclear program.

ElBaradei, who will soon vacate his post, has said that the agency does not have any evidence that suggests Iran is developing a nuclear weapon.

But the sources told Haaretz that the new evidence was submitted to the IAEA in a classified annex written by its inspectors in the Islamic Republic. The report was said to have been signed by the head of the IAEA team in Iran.

The classified report, according to the sources, was not incorporated into the agency's published reports. The details, they said, were censored by senior officials of the IAEA in the organization's Vienna headquarters.

American, French, British and German senior officials have recently pressured ElBaradei to publish the information next month in a report due to be released at the organization's general conference.

"We expect the details to appear in the new report and to be made public," a senior Western diplomat told Haaretz.

The efforts to release the allegedly censored report is being handled in Israel by Dr. Shaul Horev, director general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, and the Foreign Ministry. Asked about this sensitive subject, several Israeli diplomats declined to comment. The Prime Minister's Bureau also declined to comment, but the report was not denied.

Israel has been striving to pressure the IAEA through friendly nations and have it release the censored annex. It hopes to prove that the Iranian effort to develop nuclear weapons is continuing, contrary to claims that Tehran stopped its nuclear program in 2003. A confirmation of these suspicion would oblige the international community to enact "paralyzing sanctions" on Iran. [ Hermit : Important to understand that despite the innuendo seen here and elsewhere, the only "nuclear program" which Iran is known to have "stopped" in 1983, and which the reader is supposed to interpret as a "clandestine nuclear weapons program", was in fact not a nuclear weapons program at all, although it was kept secret to minimize (illegal) American attempts to interfere, but rather  the nuclear material free preliminaries to the Iranian Uranium enrichment project, where the IAEA agreed Iran had no need for disclosure until shortly before they introduced Uranium to the system. Which they IAEA agrees that they did do. ]

Throughout his term, Israel has accused ElBaradei of not tackling the Iranian nuclear issue with sufficient determination. As the end of his term in December nears, Israeli diplomats are concerned that he will become less responsive and continue to hide the classified report. [ Unsubtle. I think the hysteria is palpable here. ]

Jerusalem is hoping, however, that his successor, Japanese diplomat Yukiya Amano, will take up a tougher line on the Iranian nuclear program.

In its recent references to Iran, the IAEA criticized Iran for barring inspectors from its nuclear facilities, but did not accuse Tehran of developing nuclear weapons. Most of the reports were concerned with efforts to enrich uranium or to produce heavy water, without making conclusions as to where these resources might be applied.

The international community is expected to examine the issue of nuclear proliferation during three major international conferences over the next six months.

On September 14, the IAEA general convention will commence in Vienna, where the next report on the Iranian nuclear program will be officially presented.

On September 24, the UN Security Council will meet for a special discussion of weapon control and nuclear weapons proliferation, at the initiative of U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama is also calling an international conference on the security of nuclear installations in Washington on March 9, 2010.
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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
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