Temporarily Close by Iran

Strait of Hormuz Shipping Lanes

Strait of Hormuz Shipping Lanes

UPDATE:

They just had a 5.0 quake in Iran, and I noticed that the fault runs right along the shore…

Quake 5.0 Iran 5 Feb 2012 55_25

Quake 5.0 Iran 5 Feb 2012 55_25

While watching C-Span, a meeting of security agencies and congress focused on ‘Threats to U.S. National Security'; there was an interesting exchange.

When questioning someone in uniform with a LOT of medals (that I think was Lt. General Burgess) there was a question about Iran and closing the Strait of Hormuz. His answer was along the lines of ~”Iran could close the Strait for a limited time.” and any statement beyond that he would want to take ‘to closed session’. That engendered a modestly innocuous question for clarification ( how long is a ‘limited time’?), that was again met with ‘I would rather go to closed session’…

So why would that length of time issue be so sensitive?

Nature of threat: Perhaps the good General did not want to tell Iran where we were most worried. Which threat would work best.

Nature of response: Perhaps the way we would mitigate that threat, or recover from it, is secret.

Position of forces: A statement of ‘we could open it in a week’ says too much about what capabilities are positioned ‘nearby’.

Intelligence capabilities: To say “it could be closed by land missiles from FOO for a month” would show what we knew and hint at how we knew it.

Potentially embarrassing and / or encouraging to Iran: To say in open session that ‘temporarily’ might be 1 year would be highly encouraging to Iran, demonstrate our weakness, and show just how little we could do to reopen the strait in any economically sensitive time window.

Work In Progress: To say they could close it for ‘a few days or weeks’ might imply we have a work in progress that they did not desire to expose. Perhaps to properly explain the ‘issue’, the good General would need to say “Iran has a fleet of mini-subs that can lay mines and some shore missiles being put in place. We are taking those assets out of action in May, so until that time they can close the gulf for a month or two, after that date, it will be much harder for them to effectively close the strait”.

Yes, all of this is just rampant speculation based on one ‘decline to comment’. Yet, something about ‘how long is short’ was a sensitive issue.

Looking At The Map

In looking at the map of shipping lanes, they are about 5 km wide, each way. A very large tanker is about 1/3 km long. Even if a couple of them were ‘dropped’ perfectly perpendicular to the lane, it would not be completely closed. The largest tankers take about 34 meters of depth (height) and 25 meters of draft (below waterline), so a shipping lane of 50 m depth is preferred, but even that 25-50 meter depth range could be used in an emergency (with some very careful bottom mapping and navigation).

Basically, you can’t block the strait with a few tankers sunk. It has to be a more ‘dynamic’ blocking.

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

Specifications:
Built: 2002/3
Type: ULCC (Ultra Large Crude Carrier) (V-Plus)
Gross: 234,006 GT
Net: 162,477 NT
Dwt: 441,585 DWT
Displacement: 67,829 long tons light ship; 509,484 long tons full load
LOA (Length overall): 380 m (1,250 ft)
Breadth: 68 m (223 ft)
Depth: 34 m (112 ft)
Draught: 24.525 m (80.46 ft)
Capacity: 441,585 DWT, 3,166,353 barrels (503,409,900 l)

The distance to the shipping lanes is about 20 to 30 km per my eyeball of the graph. That implies a pretty good missile in both range and accuracy. That the bottom of the navigable channels is about 25 to 50 meters below the bottoms of the shipping implies simple bottom mines would be ‘workable’ especially if they have a large explosive charge, and a tethered mine would need to be on a modest tether. (A full oil tanker is not a very robust structure to a ‘lifting charge’ mid keel…)

Laying mines in the alternative channels as an ‘area denial’ approach is likely of value, closing the shipping channels with mines would be more difficult, but quite workable. Tethered mines can work in a few hundred meters of depth, but are fairly easy to ‘mine sweep’. Still, if even one sinks a tanker the oil will stop for weeks. We have some mines that will ‘pursue’ a ship for several km, but I don’t know if Iran has such an ability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_mine#Moored_contact_mines

Generally, this mine type is set to float just below the surface of the water or as deep as five meters. A steel cable connecting the mine to an anchor on the seabed prevents it from drifting away. The explosive and detonating mechanism is contained in a buoyant metal or plastic shell. The depth below the surface at which the mine floats can be set so that only deep draft vessels such as aircraft carriers, battleships or large cargo ships are at risk, saving the mine from being used on a less valuable target. In littoral waters it is important to ensure that the mine does not become visible when the sea level falls at low tide, so the cable length is adjusted to take account of tides. Even during the Second World War, there were mines that could be moored in 300m-deep water (Example: The U.S. Mark 6).
[...]
Moored mines

The moored mine is the backbone of modern mine systems. They are deployed where water is too deep for bottom mines. They can use several kinds of instruments to detect an enemy, usually a combination of acoustic, magnetic and pressure sensors, or more sophisticated optical shadows or electro potential sensors. These cost many times more than contact mines. Moored mines are effective against most kinds of ships. As they are cheaper than other anti-ship weapons they can be deployed in large numbers, making them useful area denial or “channelizing” weapons. Moored mines usually have lifetimes of more than 10 years, and some almost unlimited. These mines usually weigh 200 kg (440 lb), including 80 kg (175 lb) of explosives (hexatonal). In excess of 150 kg (330 lb) of explosives the mine becomes inefficient, as it becomes too large to handle and the extra explosives add little to the mine’s effectiveness

Clearly the whole Strait is vulnerable to such mines. Yet they are fairly easy to detect and remove.

Bottom mines

Bottom mines are used when the water is no more than 60 meters (180 ft) deep or when mining for submarines down to around 200 meters (660 ft). They are much harder to detect and sweep, and can carry a much larger warhead than a moored mine. Bottom mines commonly utilize multiple types of sensors, which are less sensitive to sweeping.

These mines usually weigh between 150 and 1,500 kilograms (330 to 3,300 pounds), including between 125 and 1,400 kg (275 to 3,090 pounds) of explosives

So I could easily see the deployment of a set of bottom mines to deny the shallower alternative shipping areas, and even in the main channel to assure no US subs could enter / leave.

Then there is the question of “Does Iran have swimming mines or ‘torpedo mines’?”

The torpedo mine is a self-propelled variety, able to lie in wait for a target and then pursue it e.g. the CAPTOR mine. Other designs such as the Mk 67 Submarine Launched Mobile Mine[38] (which is based on a Mark 37 torpedo) are capable of swimming as far as 10 miles through or into a channel, harbor, shallow water area and other zones which would normally be inaccessible to craft laying the device. After reaching the target area they sink to the sea bed and act like conventionally laid influence mines. Generally, torpedo mines incorporate computerised acoustic and magnetic fuzes.

The U.S. Mark 24 “mine”, code-named FIDO, was actually an ASW homing torpedo. The mine designation was disinformation to conceal its function.

A mixed set of bottom mines and tethered mines in the main channel with bottom mines in the shallower area would certainly present difficulties to our military naval vessels and even one explosion would likely halt oil shipping based just on insurance being withdrawn and the risk to shipping being unacceptable to the ship masters. IF they have torpedo mines as well, things could be unstable for a very long time.

Add in shore launched missiles ( at both shipping and US naval vessels such as mine sweepers) and you have a fairly effective closure.

This link has an in depth exploration of Iranian mine laying abilities:

http://inegma.com/reports/special%20report%204/Iranian%20Mining%20of%20the%20Strait%20of%20Hormuz.pdf

They have 3 different submarine classes that can lay mines and up to thousands of surface ships that might do so. It also has a data table on the Iranian anti-ship missles ( Raad, Noor, Kosar) with ranges of 360 km, 150 km, and 20 km respectively. There is also a very nice 3-D map of the Gulf that helps to understand the mountainous terrain of Iran and the way that the gulf rapidly shallows on the side of Arabia. Basically, the deep water is next to very mountainous and hard to capture land in Iran.

But: For how long and: why is that a sensitive issue?

The Shore

My bald assertion, and with nothing much to support it, is that it all comes down to the shore launched missiles acting as ‘top cover’ to the mining operation. To clear mines would require surface operations. To conduct surface operations would require removal of shore launch facilities. To remove shore launch facilities would require attacking (and most likely capture) of the shore. By my estimate, over about a 500 km length of shoreline. That is, IMHO, effectively an invasion of Iran. The start of a new regional war and, given the nature of the Iranian regime as hard core fanatics, would necessarily escalate to a full on occupation of Iran.

I suspect THAT is the reason that they wanted to go to closed session. To explain that “it would be temporary” in that we could win a war in Iran after a large quantity of damage was done.

There is some support for this conclusion from that Inegma report:

What is unclear is if the conflict escalates or not and if it does then to what extent (if its remains limited to the Strait of Hormuz or spreads to ‘other’ fronts) when Iranian ports, supply depots, and military bases housing missile launch sites are attacked – because they would necessarily need to be neutralized if pre-emptive or preventative military action was taken. Under these circumstances, would Iranian nuclear facilities also be attacked? If this was done, Iranian ballistic missile storage and launch sites would also have to be destroyed in order to neutralize the retaliatory capability of Iran. Under such circumstances, the conflict would probably escalate to total war and the U.S. and its allies will encounter Iranian-linked groups in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Afghanistan unleashing a wave of attacks against U.S., Israeli and Western targets and destabilizing the wider region stretching from Egypt to Pakistan. Gauging possible Iranian reaction to having its core military and critical national interest sites attacked can only be hypothetical, but it is vitally important in weighing up the emerging regional security environment and forecasting the balances of power that will exist within it. While the nature and complexities of the possibility a total war between the United States and Iran are too complex to summarize here, they are too important to not mention as a passing note

Hmmm… One wonders if ‘passing note’ is a euphemism for “lets take this one private to discuss”…

I had this following link in a comment on another thread (the 700 miles to Hose Iran posting I think). It does a very nice job of illuminating the Iranian naval vessels:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/57412768/12/Fast-Attack-Craft-and-armed-speed-boats

Conclusions and Speculations

In this context, it is important to remember the theology (of the FOLKS IN CHARGE) of Iran includes an ‘end times’ catastrophe and then the arrival of the Twelfth Imam:

Twelver Shi’as cite various references from the Qur’an and reports, or Hadith, from Imam Mahdi and the the Twelve Imams with regard to the reappearance of al-Mahdi who would, in accordance with Allah’s command, bring justice and peace to the world by establishing Islam throughout the world.

Mahdi is reported to have said:

Shi’as believe that Imam al-Mahdi will reappear when the world has fallen into chaos and civil war emerges between the human race for no reason. At this time, it is believed, half of the true believers will ride from Yemen carrying white flags to Makkah, while the other half will ride from Karbala, in Iraq, carrying black flags to Makkah. At this time, Imam al-Mahdi will come wielding Allah’s Sword, the Blade of Evil’s Bane, Zulfiqar (Arabic: ذو الفقار, ðū l-fiqār), the Double-Bladed Sword. He will also come and reveal the texts in his possession, such as al-Jafr and al-Jamia.

Shi’as believe that Jesus will also come (after Imam Mahdi’s re-appearance) and follow the Imam Mahdi to destroy tyranny and falsehood and to bring justice and peace to the world.

These folks (running Iran) fundamentally desire the return of the Twelfth Imam and for the world to fall “into chaos and civil war”. This mythology is at the core of their being and religion. There can be no dissuasion of them from confrontation leading to war and chaos as that is their ultimate goal. Peace and international civil order is anathema to them.

So, my speculation and conclusions:

I think ‘total war’ with Iran is inevitable. They desire it. They are working toward it. They are sowing Chaos everywhere they can and peace is NOT on their agenda. WHEN they get a nuclear weapon, it will be used. Israel will be dramatically damaged. Oil supplies globally will be disrupted for months, if not a year or two. That would, quite certainly, throw the world into civil war and chaos in many areas, if not most of them.

There is little the USA can do to prevent this. Iran is setting it’s own trajectory, and that trajectory is toward the “chaos” and “civil war” they desire and laud. They know it is their holy destiny to bring about the return of the Twelfth Imam, and for us to say “let’s be peaceful and delay that day” is just silly in their eyes (IMHO).

The longer we wait, the more Iran builds, and the worse will be the outcome. Yet, we wait.

I think THAT is what the good General did not want to state in public. That we are, inevitably, going to have a major war with Iran and it will not go as easily or as well as Iraq or Afghanistan. Waiting makes it worse, and moving faster makes for terrible politics. We are going to be pulled into a conflict on the battle ground and at the time of choosing of our opponent. That is typically a very bad thing.

But this is based on a fair amount of speculation and ‘projection’ ( I’d call it ‘prediction’ but that term seems to be falling from use, at least in “climate science” circles ;-) so could easily be quite wrong.

I’ve left out the dynamics from the other Gulf States. Saudi Arabia, for example, has a decent army and lots of capabilities. (I’m not up to speed on their Navy, however). The Sunni typically see the Shia as being worse than infidels as they corrupt the true faith (in their eyes). So there is the potential for an inter-Muslim war aspect (that both sides might actually want…) The disruption THAT would bring to oil shipping is hard to quantify but quite large.

I’ve left out the European involvement and what that might mean.

I’ve left out the UN (but since they rarely managed to actually accomplish anything, that’s a minor omission ;-)

And I’ve left out the potential for global jihad / terrorist attacks. (But aren’t we already in that realm?…)

At any rate, it looks to me like we’re on a collision course with Iran, that it will be set off when Iran wants it to happen and via mine laying / shore missiles – UNLESS we take preemptive action unilaterally. That could not be said in public. Nor could we detail the ‘methods and means’ either of gathering the intelligence or crafting the response. But I could be wrong, so the question for you you all is “What have I missed?”…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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336 Responses to Temporarily Close by Iran

  1. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    If this war happens will be interesting. The whole Iraqi air force is in Iran now. The population of Iran is much greater then Iraq and its very mountainous. It’s not flat like Iraq. Tehran is also quite far from the coast.

  2. david says:

    More to say later, but a brief comment for now. I agree, and this is why I am hesitant of the isolationist route.

  3. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Might be worth loading up on US weapons stocks, the US taxpayer is about to be fleeced

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-01/israel-must-be-ready-to-hit-iran-if-sanctions-fail-gantz-says.html

  4. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    What I want is often in conflict with what I understand. For the US Democrats, they seem to choose what they want. For me, I tend to actually ‘go with’ what I understand. I think that is a fundamental difference between “my group” and “them”. It’s just defining what “my group” might be that is the ‘hard bit’ ;-)

    So while I want to be more isolationist, I can see that is just not going to happen… Maybe politics ought to get a name, like economics has “the Dismal Science”, that reflects this… “The Deceptive Science”? “The Evil Science”? “The Disappointing Science”? “The Art Of The Unhappy Possible”? …

    @S.P.:

    Tanks don’t work so well in mountainous terrain…

  5. kakatoa says:

    Do you think China, or India, will have an ACTIVE role in this?

  6. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Will be another North Korea with all the mountains and never ending guerrilla war. Sure they can bomb it for a while, but that doesn’t win the war.

    Of course Russia will have an active role in this with China lol. They are the main traders with Iran weapons/tech lol

  7. lordsofathena says:

    The Pentagon are probably still haunted by Paul Van Riper and Millennium Challenge.

    Iran could try to launch a Shia ‘Tet’ offensive using terrorist, unconventional and proxy warfare. But it will be against western forces and their allies with many years experience of asymmetric warfare.

    The weakness of the regime will be the serious threat of internal revolution and the need to keep the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps available for repression.

    A further weakness might be the Artesh. Its commanders know that if it attacked the US conventionally it would be annihilated. It must surely be susceptible to instigating a coup against the regime and the IRGC, which its leaders probably despise.

    Whatever does happen it is likely that it will be, as always, unpredictable.

  8. John Silver says:

    The Russians will certainly support the blocking of the strait.
    They are the biggest oil producers now. Maybe this was Vladimir Putin’s
    plan all along?

  9. Libertarian says:

    EM, please dont talk about Iran as if it is a single entity. Esp with regard to the religious side. There are a whole range of opinions inside Iran. Again, I recommend “Empire of the Mind”.

  10. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    U see Russia just increased the price of gas, it’s running low LOLOL payback for Syria and Iran to NATO.

    And they just announced they will be building 1 aircraft carrier and 6 subs a year again

  11. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Russia is playing the Standard oil game (limiting supply) but on the other hand is playing its own game by going for the deep oil as well

    http://www.rense.com/general58/biot.htm

  12. Ian W says:

    Libertarian is right. It is the weakness and divisions within Iran that are important. However, the more peaceful factions have been deliberately unsupported by the current administration, unlike the rapid action in Egypt and Libya. Perhaps Iran is running to the Mayan calendar.

  13. cm says:

    Maybe the General didn’t want to say “we’ll Nuke them if they close the straits” while joe public was watching or (call me cynical)but maybe the General will tell them in “in closed session” how long the Iranians have agreed to “disrupt” the oil supply for.
    I wonder if there is a “tactical Nuke” designed to vaporise sunken ships?
    That would be a sight to see.From a distance. :)
    Religious maniacs say maniacal things. You shouldn’t judge a whole country by religious gibberish..America’s religiosity scares me more than Iran’s. Iran has been becoming more secular every year for a couple of decades now, while America has been doing the opposite. “One nation under God”,”twelfth Imam”,”Megido” and “Red Heifers” all seem very scary thing’s to me.I don’t believe in self-delusion so it would be the stake for me if the lunatics ever get control of the asylum AGAIN!!!.

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    @Kakatoa:

    No.

    China plays for China. There only role will likely be to demand (in private) that we arrange alternative oil supply for them during any event (or they won’t loan us the money to do it…) So I’d expect to see some ‘odd deal’ where China suddenly finds oil available from, oh, Nigeria or Venezuela…

    India pretty much only gets involved in it’s own area or as a UN contributory.

    Mostly I’d expect to see North Korean (and some Chinese) weapons being shipped in…

    @John Silver:

    Yup. I expect Russia to play “no, no war for you USA” only up to the point where Iran is ready to block the shipping, then it will both encourage Iran to block things (while selling them more goodies…) and a bit later privately approve for the USA to go get it’s nose bloodied and its economy more in debt to China..

    @Libertarian:

    Please, feel free to enlighten us. Do not feel free to tell me what to do or say… I am happy to admit to poor knowledge of the internal dynamics of Iran. In large part I’m limited to what is ‘common knowledge’ in the west (and that is likely wrong). THAT is why I asked for input as to ‘what did I miss?’ Just saying “You missed something, don’t do that.” is not very helpful.

    @Ian W:

    Well, if the Iranian Government is not driven by Shia fanatics, what IS driving it?

    IF these unnamed and undescribed ‘factions’ inside Iran are so important, please tell us HOW and in what way they can be helped?

    I’m sorry, but I’m just seeing them as prisoners of their government. If you see some other path through this mess, please please please expound!

    (BTW: No, I do not think 100% of Iranians are Shia Nutcases. The supporters of the Shaw for one and those wanting modernity for another, stand out. Yet “Do they matter?”. Near as I can tell, they don’t have any ability to change things, so exit the equations of prediction… But also, like I said, I’d love to see another path… )

  15. cm says:

    Maybe politics ought to get a name, like economics has “the Dismal Science”, that reflects this… “The Deceptive Science”? “The Evil Science”? “The Disappointing Science”? “The Art Of The Unhappy Possible”? …
    “POLITICS” comes from the joining of the word’s “POLI” meaning MANY and “TICS” meaning BLOODSUCKING INSECTS.
    I heard the line in a film once,i cant remember what film,but it sure does ring true.

  16. E.M.Smith says:

    @cm:

    OK, you ‘make three’. Three different folks thinking I’ve indicted all Iranians. I’ve gone back and re-read what I wrote. To me, it’s talking about the folks RUNNING Iran, and their peculiar beliefs. I talk about “Iran” (the nation / government) and I reference the Shia ( and refer back to the Shia as ‘these people’ or ‘these folks’).

    At NO TIME do I say “All PEOPLE OF IRAN”. I’ve put parenthetical qualifiers in a couple of places to make it more clear that I’m talking about the decision makers of Iran.

    Isn’t it kind of obvious that EVERY and ANY nation has a lot of factions?

    What matters is “Who is in control?”. For Iran, that’s the Religious Nuts as evidenced by everything they say and do.

    I don’t know how to make it more clear, but here’s a try at it:

    NO! I AM NOT indicting ALL Iranians. ( A good friend is married to one, for one thing…) NO! I DO NOT think Iran is homogenized internally.

    YES! I think the Iranian leadership is a strongly skewed group.
    YES! I think they are all that matters to what Iran does in the next few months to a year+.

    Hope that clear things up…

    Per religion in the USA: We talk a good game, but look at the facts on the ground of church closings and low attendance, and, well, it’s not as much a deal as it looks… Mostly just a ‘big deal’ in the Bible Belt of the south. Roughly East Texas to Florida.. Even then, there’s plenty of strip joints, bars, etc. etc. They just have to stay closed on Sunday ;-)

    UPDATE:

    Love the “many ticks” line… Reminds me of subpoena: “Below the Penis – i.e. by the balls.”…

  17. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/13/false_flag

    Buried deep in the archives of America’s intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush’s administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the terrorist group Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.

  18. George says:

    We have already waited too long. Had we hit them three years ago, we might have had a better chance of success. Now I am not so sure. We ignored their uprising, we could have more actively supported that, I think. This President is a sorry sack.

    We are going to have a lot of people dying for a very long time, possibly decades, because of this idiot.

  19. Put simply, I think he meant – only for as long as we permit!
    @ George, To what uprising are you referring?
    I am in agreement that Obama is a sorry sack, and an idiot. But he is under orders, is he not?
    Today, I heard on the Aussie radio, Obama was extolling the recent employment figures and the recovery of the US economy. Yeh, right!

  20. George says:

    I am talking about the Green revolution in Iran.

  21. @ George. In that case, I think you are referring to the now-common and seemingly acceptable, government takeover procedure of inciting riots and blaming the government when they retaliate, instigated by the UN, NATO, CIA etc, as demonstrated in Egypt, Libya and Syria.
    Perhaps there hasn’t been enough government retaliation (by Iran), to justify “official” intervention (by the US), so they now rely on other fictional provocations to build up the excuse for attacking Iran.

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    Iran just had a 5.0 quake next to the short near the straight. I’ve added an image up top. That’s an interesting quirk. Their shore defenses have to sit right on top of a fault line…

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I think that The Green Revolution was an entirely home grown deal. There is not a whole lot of contact between Iran and the USA…

    I don’t know enough about the internal politics of Iran to comment on how big or pervasive it was / is, or what it believes in. Frankly, I didn’t notice it when it happened; only later when folks complained that we didn’t ‘do enough to support it’ (but I’m not sure what we could do… even voicing support might just put them at risk of being branded with ‘pro western’…)

  23. There has been a great deal of evidence that the US, by various nefarious methods, has tried to influence and /or control Iran. Years ago, it actually had control via the Shah who was a US puppet.
    More recently: “It was subsequent to the provocative statements to the House that the CIA was given a presidential approval to launch it´s covert operations inside Iran in 2007. Approximately 400 Million USD were allocated to “Deal a Blow to the Iranian Government”.The above mentioned, and todays cold blooded murder of Iranian Scientists are part of this criminal campaign. The response by Interpol to Iran was tha lapidary remark that it will refer the case to it´s Washington Office. (3)”
    Ref. ” http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/us-assassination-in-teheran-and-the-axis-of-evil/
    Much to be learnt. If you would like more information , I would be pleased to look it up.

  24. Pascvaks says:

    In the midst of Great Chaos there is Great Danger AND Great Opportunity (aka: Never let a Good Crisis Go to Waste, it might be fatal.). No one is going to sit idly by and let opportunity, in all its many guises, slip away; especially when a protracted SNAFU like this is going to present opportunity upon opportunity, and danger upon danger galore. Perhaps these are the Biggest reasons that mankind has not foresaken war; simple, little, inescapable facts.

    kakatoa (23:57:55) : “Do you think China, or India, will have an ACTIVE role in this?”

    They’re chomping at the bit; they will be Super Players. Madness knows no bounds and they will see truly GREAT opportunity in the chaos. They won’t even try to “resist temptation”. Indeed, they’ve been preparing for it for years. A Mideast World War gives India the dominent role on the ground by virtue of position; good bye Pakistan, etc. It gives China “Lend-Lease” bigtime; good bye Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Alaska, Kalifornia, and the Old Louisana Purchase acreage. Europe will shrivel up and die (a’la Fall of Rome, Middle Ages). I don’t expect we in the US will be able to afford bananas anymore after China wins the last pot on the table. (I’m being more than a little funny, I know, but when you think about it, really, I’m probably closer to the mark than even I realize;-)

  25. Pascvaks says:

    PS: Something that really bothers me these days is American Character (the “Intestinal Fortitude” kind of character). Not talking about the few good men and women we have in uniform, or a few more like them waiting on the sidelines or in the wings or on the street trying to hold or find a job these days. I don’t know and/or see that we have the collective guts and wherewithall to pull off another WWII anymore. We’ve changed. We’ve grown soft and real stupid. Let me attempt to give you a picture of what I’m perplexed about – before WWII we had steel mills and factories, today we don’t, how much steel can all of our McDonald’s roll out on any given day of the week? OK! Throw in Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s, PapaJohn’s and Domino’s, KFC and TacoBell? There’s something very European about the US these days. I even get the impression, reinforced every day by the Boob Tube, that while we’ve maintained a shimering facade the last fourty years, and while we still have an ICBM and Nuc Warhead (or two) that might work in a pinch (I don’t know that we do, haven’t seen one or touched one in fourty years), that there isn’t much left to the Great American Industrial Behemoth we used to be. I don’t see it in the White House or Congress, not since Reagan. I don’t see it on Wall Street or Main Street or anywhere. It ain’t in church, synagogue, or temple, classroom, dorm room, or bar room. Where’s it at? Anyone know? I think it evaporated maybe.

  26. david says:

    CM days…”Religious maniacs say maniacal things. You shouldn’t judge a whole country by religious gibberish..America’s religiosity scares me more than Iran’s”

    This line of thinking I do not agree with. Their are fundmental problems with the current Muslim perception of Islam, which far out weigh anything seen in Budhism, Hinduism, Cristianity, or the Jewish faith. Additionaly the 20th century is sad testimony to a world where secular powers rose to throw off the yoke of “religion”, and millions followed this secular lead, only to find they were still married to the same bride of human failures, just one wearing a different “secular” dress. I am, of course, refering to Russia, China N Korea, Cambodia and many other expeiences in secular rule where large percentages of the population experienced democide (death by government)

    What E,M is outlining is a problem with Islam, which in it current state represents an unavoidable conflice, and has nothing to do with actions of the west.

    If terrorism is caused by the “harm by the West to Muslims,” why then do Sunni Muslims burn Shi’ite mosques in countries like Pakistan and Iraq? Why is it that Islamists have been throwing acid on the faces of women in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria and Iran? Consider the genocide in Darfur as well as the unending violence in India (Historicaly this is as bad as Stalins purges) like the recent killings in Mumbai, the slaughter of Russian school children in Breslan, as well as the terrorist bombing in Bali. In the 90’s, in Algeria, in a conflict most Americans never heard of, 150,000 Muslims were killed by Jihadi. What of the blowing up of Buddhist sculptures as well as terrorism in Indonesia. Islamists bomb school houses with children inside. They stone women to death. They do not believe in property rights or religious freedom. They have thousands of schools (In the middle east, Africa, Europe and the US and Palestine) that to various degrees teach their children to hate people of other faiths as well as people of different views within their own faith. The list is long indeed and begs the questions; are these brutalities also committed because the West harms Muslims? Westerners are not the primary target of the Jihadi and it is unreasonable to blame the west or assume that terrorism would end if the west capitulated to Islamist, who are as violent against more moderate Islamic views as they are against the west.

  27. cm says:

    Yes David , Islam is crazy. In my opinion ALL religions are Crazy.There’s no hope for me : ) I’m Scottish and the Scot’s know all about sectarianism,unfortunately.
    E.M. you are forgiven.I still think your generalising a wee bit too much though but i’ll blame my reading of it(how’s that for diplomatic).

  28. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    I wonder how the 100 soldiers in Uganda are going? http://kabiza.com/US-Troops-arrived-in-Uganda.htm

    They secured the oil field that could be bigger then Saudi yet? 100 special forces can’t find one guy again lol?

  29. Jeff Alberts says:

    “Tanks don’t work so well in mountainous terrain…”

    But helicopters and UAVs do. ;)

  30. Adrian Ashfield says:

    And I make four. I too read your piece as lumping all Iranians together as some stupid bunch of religious fanatics and in particular, calling for pre-emptive war. Iran hasn’t attacked anybody for over a century. Compare that with the US and Israel. Neither do they practice apartheid like the latter does.

    You are blaming the Iranians for the threat of imminent war with no proof. The fact is America overthrew their democratic government and installed the Shah. The oil embargo is an act of war. America gives Israel the weapons to attack Iran: what other purpose do the bunker buster bombs have? How about murdering their scientists, sabotaging their installations, supporting opposition to the government? If it ends in war, the US/Israel started it. You should read up about the farce of US negotiations or lack of them.

    Why do you think the Iranian people are any more powerless against their government than many other countries? They managed to overthrow the Shah didn’t they? Look at the countries of the Arab Spring all around them. Their politicians will die or be replaced in the fullness of time. I don’t like their government, but I like Israel’s even less.

    War is the worst possible solution causing the greatest mutilation, deaths, infrastructure damage and cost. No one really wins except the munitions makers. The religious nuts have great influence in this country. Possibly the mainly Jewish, Israel first, neocons even more. They can’t wait to bribe our politicians into doing their dirty work for them, as laid out in “A Clean Break.”
    I didn’t believe Iraq had WMD before the invasion: the evidence was quite good that it was fabricated and America was just looking for an excuse. Were the American people to blame for invading Iraq or just the government? Now Israel is looking for an excuse and America possibly backing off a little, but pushing Iran so close to the edge of the cliff it’s only a matter of time before an “accident” happens.

    Why can’t Iran have their own domestic nuclear power industry? They signed the Non Proliferation Treaty and allow inspection of their enrichment process and to track the uranium. You can hardly blame them for being reluctant to show their military bases in view of IAEAs record of spying. They know they are likely to be bombed – do they want to paint bulls eyes on the targets? Even if they did develop a nuclear weapon, it really needs plutonium to make one small enough to put on a missile and Israel already has hundreds. One thing is clear, the Iranian government wants to survive very much and they know that if they used a nuclear weapon on Israel they would be vitrified. Iran is no threat to America at all.

    The threat to America is that the government keeps spending more than it can afford. We need a war with Iran. with unforeseeable consequences, slightly less than a hole in the head.

  31. Paul Hanlon says:

    Personally, I think America should stay away altogether from a confrontation with Iran, or anyone else for that matter. The US has come very close to bankruptcy policing the world with very little to show for it.

    America’s interests aren’t really hurt by what goes on in the Middle East. Very little of that oil reaches the US. Other than military hardware and some food, America doesn’t export very much there either.

    I can understand this desperate need to save people from themselves, I see it all the time in Europe where we’re now strangled with bureaucracy and red tape to “save” us from ourselves, but sometimes you’ve just got to hold your hands up and conclude that some people are beyond redemption.

    The country whose interests are most likely to be threatened is Saudi Arabia, the same place the 911ers came from. Let them and Iran sort it out between them, and if America does want to get involved, then contain it such that it doesn’t affect neighbouring “friendly” countries.

    There was one of those “End Times” books in the late ’70s called the Late Great Planet Earth, a modern day interpretation of the Books of Revelations and Daniel. It postulated that the first phase would end with a war between Europe and North Africa. We’ve seen the intervention of largely French and British airplanes in the war in Libya. Sure, they were “invited” to help, but emboldened by that they’re now looking to get involved in Syria. You could easily see them getting more and more involved until it starts looking very like the prediction.

    Most of us Europeans have been brought up with the idea that if there is any trouble, the US will sort it out, and as a result, with the exception of Britain, our armies are tinker toy entities. Instead, we’ve focused on wrapping our citizens in cotton wool. Sure, they issue all the platitudes about entrepreneurs and being “dynamic”, and then bury it all in a pile of paperwork. On balance, about 55% of GDP goes to governments all over Europe, and this is the reason we are so sclerotic

    There’s lots of shale oil been found all over Europe, but we’re putting up all sorts of barriers to extracting it because the Russians have made it very easy to use their gas, but once they have us hooked on it, expect that to change. Our most technically advanced country, Germany, instead of bending their technical prowess to making nuclear acceptable, are banishing it outright. Absolute madness.

    My point is, that despite your best efforts and all the money that’s been spent keeping us safe, we’ve still managed to screw things up in a different way. Because we have a single currency, and because we mostly owe money to each other, we’re going to have to take the deflationary route, and it’s going to be painful, and beggaring the Euro won’t help us much.

    And that is why I say stay out of it. Sometimes we just all have to be forced to look down the abyss, in the hope that we make the right decisions and step back.

  32. Pascvaks says:

    Wait! Wait! Are all Iranians stupid, crazy, fanatics? No, no one said anything like that, They said there’s enough crazy, stupid, fanatics in Iran to say Iran is crazy, stupid, and fanatical. I e-heard it too. With my own e-ears. Now, if I said that there’s enough Americans who are crazy, stupid, fanatics, would you guys think I was lying? Certainly not, never in a million years would you ever accuse me of something like that, would you? So, if’n ya know what’s good fer ya, ya better be real nice and clam up and sit there like nice little Europeans before I get mad, and I do mean MAD. Understand? (SarcOff;-)

    Chiefio, I think something got lost in translation. I have no flippin idea what they’re talking about. Really.

  33. u.k.(us) says:

    Jeff Alberts (21:26:02) :
    “Tanks don’t work so well in mountainous terrain…”

    But helicopters and UAVs do. ;)
    ==============
    I’ll bet there are some tankers that might disagree.

  34. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    You gave a quote, but not from whom it came… can you say who claimed we were funneling that money into Iran? It would be interesting in its own right.

    Per ‘looking up more’, by all means! I’ve been very focused elsewhere for a long time (about since Daddy Bush) and paid little attention to what is happening INSIDE Iran. About the limit of it is that the younger generation is not keen on the Ayatollahs, the folks who were feeding at the trough with the Shaw were not happy, and some (ill defined for me) other religious minorities were not so happy. Details have I nearly none…

    I know the Shaw was pretty much our boy ( IIRC, we aided in his ‘creation’…) and his ruthless oppression was ‘not good’… thus the revolt that did him in. ( I fear we’re doing a repeat with Egypt, Libya, et.al. and the clerics moving in there, too). But after that, I basically stopped looking at internals. (They didn’t matter to the behaviour of the regime, so had no external impact).

    BTW for WordPress to detect a link, it needs to have no non-link characters touching it. Your quote marks made that link non-functional. I’ll fix it…

    @Pascvaks:

    China I could see (history of arms sales, likes stirring the pot where it causes us grief) but India? Other than border issues with Pakistan and China they have generally been stay-at-homes. What are you seeing that would make them suddenly adventurous?

    BTW, we were thought of as a bit backwards at the start of W.W.I and II as well. We had Singer Sewing Machine company making guns and Cadillac making tanks… it was a mad scramble…

    The notion is that modern wars don’t have time to ‘gear up’ so we have a large standing armed force (and if it isn’t enough, there isn’t enough…). Given how long Iraq has taken (20 years now total?) I doubt that reasoning…

    At any rate, IF it took multiple years, we could adapt pretty quick. (My son knows how to overhaul motors, even though he works in marketing, and I know how to make explosives in the garage if pushed, even though I bake bread these days…though my sourdough needs work… not enough loft…) My mechanic could knock out STEN sub-machine guns by the dozen given the small machine shop he has (and an old book on my shelf with ‘exploded diagram’ to guide him) though he mostly turns brake drums and makes missing parts.

    So, IMHO, we’re “still here” just doing other things…

    But the real issue isn’t technical ability, it’s the will, the desire to try… that does seem lacking.

    @CM:

    Unacceptable. It is the duty of the writer to be clear. At the point where “it’s three”, then it isn’t you, ’tis me. So it’s unacceptable for you to blame your reading. (Now, had you been the ONLY one… ;-)

    I added some parentheticals, but if you could re-read it and tell me if it STILL reads like I’m saying “Iranian Citizens all types” and needs more “Religious Crazies Running the Place” markers, I’d appreciate it. (As, at “it’s three so me” the implication is: I’m just not seeing it… and need help.)

    @David:

    More or less in agreement. I’d not state it quite as strongly and I’d toss in a sop or two to “Moderate Islam” (that, IMHO, largely means folks who attend to services, but not to the messages very much – rather like most Catholics and Protestants don’t know what the Bible really says and find ways to avoid things like keeping Kosher and Snipping Mr. Happy… Same kinds of rationalization, but just to different ends. Yes, I’ve heard all the strained arguments about why Leviticus doesn’t apply anymore… My son now has a bible verse tattooed on his arm…).

    At any rate, “I’ve read their book” and it pretty much says “Give Christians a chance to convert, but Jews are hopeless, just ‘do them in’. If anyone blocks, hinders, or even just insults Islam, kill them if you can. When Muslims are a minority, it’s ok to keep your head down and pretend. Lying to non-Muslims is approved. Killing non-Muslims who do not convert is OK, but try to drum up a reason first. Once someone is IN Islam, if they leave, kill them. etc. etc. etc.” It reads much more like a cult handbook than a guide to happy peaceful living. (Then again, parts of the Bible can be as bloody…) So the question for “Moderate Islam” is simple: To what extent do they violate the Koran by ignoring parts of it, and are a peaceful and kind people, vs, to what extent are they pretending in order to ‘get along’ until they are a majority (as the Koran directs)?

    Yes, I could dig out the citation for all of those points. No, I don’t care to. I’d rather not dwell on the “Evil Islam” notion as it isn’t very helpful or productive (much like the Protestant / Catholic wars of the past were not very helpful) and I do hope we can find a way to share the world in peace. That something near 20 plots to blow things up / kill folks in America have been thwarted this year and most of THEM due to ‘moderate Muslims’ tipping about the nut-jobs, I have a hard time tossing rocks at all Islam…

    To my mind, the question is NOT “How to stop evil Islam?”, rather it is “How to help Islam moderate to modernity?” Basically, in the 700 AD or so time frame, Christians were just as bloodthirsty and had just as many evil behaviours ( Spanish Inquisition anyone?). We’re just running a few hundred years ahead of them. (And, IMHO, Buddhism is running a thousand or so ahead of us..)

    So, with that context, back at Iran:

    The Crazy Imams are in charge. Some (number? kind?) citizens are not so keen on living in 700 AD and would like to live in 2000+ so how can we help them? CAN we help them? Is the theology so fixed that there is no hope of modernity? (In that case, how can we ‘wall it off’ so it doesn’t hurt us?)

    In particular: In the next year we are likely to be bombing things in Iran. Is that the best we can do? Will even that work for more than a couple of years (and at what cost in resentment? Though it would earn brownie points with the Sunni in Saudi…)

    Well, I think I’m starting to ramble, so I’m going to break here…

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    A statement of a conditional is NOT an advocacy for either path. When I said:

    “At any rate, it looks to me like we’re on a collision course with Iran, that it will be set off when Iran wants it to happen and via mine laying / shore missiles – UNLESS we take preemptive action unilaterally.”

    That is not advocating for either side. When I advocate, I say things like “I think we ought to do FOO” or “FOO is the better choice, IMHO”.

    To simply say “They will chose the time or place, unless we act before then unilaterally” is a simple tautology (given the assumption that ‘war is inevitable at this point’. If fact, I only put in the “unless we act unilaterally” to forestall the folks who would immediately jump on the LACK of a statement that we could move first.

    I think folks are bringing far too much ‘sensitivity’ and personal POV to a piece that is mostly just a dispassionate looking at ‘facts on the ground’. Heck, even the fact that the leaders are Religious Zealots is only noted as background that helps predict their actions. I studiously avoided giving my opinion of what we ought to do. (As I don’t have one yet… Preemptive attack would be politically suicidal and inaction is choosing to be knifed in the back.) I’m looking for some alternative that I’ve missed…

    I really really do not want EITHER a preemptive attack / war OR a nuclear Iran shutting down global oil sales. Yet the ‘facts on the ground’ (as listed above) indicate the intention of The Iranian Leadership to get nukes and close the strait. ( You don’t accumulate a force that is loaded with mine layers and anti-shipping missiles to wage a ground war against Iraq…) So, I”m not “blaming” anyone. I’m observing ‘facts on the ground’.

    The force structure indicates a clear intent in what the structure is to DO.
    The enrichment to 20% (and preparations for beyond) along with the documented gathering of bomb tech from Pakistan indicates a clear intent to ‘go nuclear’.

    The sudden movements of US troops and ships indicates a ‘worry’ about strait closure.
    The present statements by US officials confirms the worry (which may not be founded in fact), and confirms the intent not to allow it. (Vis the above reference to the C-Span broadcast).

    I’m just noting that these two trends are in inevitable conflict. I do not want it.

    With that said:

    What do you mean ‘not attacked anyone’? Does that exempt funding Hamas and Hezbolla for attacks by proxy?

    If your point is that the CIA is conducting a ‘war by other means’ against Iran: I have no way to confirm nor deny it. However, as Israel has posed as CIA agents before, it’s not clear who is doing the bombing and destabilizing. (Weapons sales are clearly biased to Israel, then again, how much stuff did we just sell to Saudi? Oh, yeah, $Billions… but they are against Iran too… so are you saying we are part of a grand Israeli, Saudi, Western Conspiracy against Iran? Or just everybody is very worried because WHEN they get The Bomb you can kiss off the capitals of Israel and Saudi? And maybe DC if they can run a ship up the Potomac…)

    Per war ‘being the worst’, no, it isn’t. Often it is the only reasonable solution. PLEASE do not misinterpret that as some kind of war lust or emotional thing. It is simply a fact. Sometimes life gives us two horrible choices where war is the least horrible. So, have the whole world convert to Islam as, once country after the other has their capital and major cities nuked, or have a war to stop it? Which kills more people?

    Accept Jewish extermination, or “Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran” (to quote one of our presidents…) Which kills more people?

    Yes, I’d rather have a peace where both sides “just get along”. For that, though, both sides must WANT to get along. MANY different Islamic leaders have called for the destruction of Israel and attacking The Great Satan of the USA. That can not be ignored and turning the other cheek usually just gets you two sore cheeks. (Yes, I’ve tried both ways. Karate is better than two sore cheeks…)

    Please also note: NONE of that is to justify what the USA has done, is doing, or will do. It is just recognition that, for example, taking down Hitler was better than waiting for him to Nuke New York City (which plans were on the drawing board…).

    That I don’t LIKE that doesn’t make it go away.

    Per “this country” which would that be? USA? UK? Israel? Assuming USA: Um, the present attack on Christianity in the public square argues against a whole lot of religious dominance here… We’ve got about 6% each Jews and Muslims and about 43% attend church (per the wiki). As I’m in that ‘attenders’ group (via spousal influence) I have to wonder how many of THEM are like me. (I’m officially agnostic verging on atheist, but the spouse wants to me sit with her…) That leave about 1/2 as not very religious… Now you get to allow for the fact that the various religions pull in opposing directions…. So I’m not seeing a whole lot of “Religion running America” when teachers can be fired for wearing a crucifix at work but not for assigning a ‘let us pretend to be muslims day’ complete with Islamic names, dress, etc.

    Per Iraq and WMD. That’s an old worn and wrong argument. Repeating it does not give it truth. Iraq most definitely DID have WMD. They used poison gas on the Kurds. Poison gas is a WMD. No Doubt About It.

    If you want to say WMD == Nukes, well, that’s changing the definition. It is nukes, and gas, and biologicals.

    Did they have nukes depends on what was in the convoy that bugged out to Syria… We many never know, or may know in a few months… But it’s very clear they were working TOWARD nukes. Either they didn’t get as far as we thought, or some stuff is still under the desert (either in Iraq or moved to Syria).

    No amount of flogging the point will prove if they did / did not have significant progress to nukes (until something is dug out of the sand). BUT, that they had WMD is absolutely true in that they USED gas, and it is well documented. (Arguing if gas alone is sufficient to justify invasion belongs in some other “Angels and Pins” forum…)

    Um, you need to learn some more about ‘designer nukes’. I can design a passable layout for a very small nuke using U233. (Yes, it has been done by both the USA and India for sure). It has roughly the same behaviour as Plutonium. I”m pretty sure I can make a miniature ‘gun type’ with proper application of shaped charge explosives – that Iran has shown skill at using – in that I think I can explosively form and move the ‘rod’ into the ‘cylinder’… Also, read McPhee on Taylor per Pu. From memory: “There is good Pu and mediocre Pu for making bombs, but there is no bad Pu”. That means you can use chemical separated Pu from nuclear power plants to make a bomb. Oh, and India has done this, too. Oh, and with a CANDU type reactor OR the research reactor Iran already has, you can make Pu. The rate is modest, but doable…

    The facilities Iran has are very readily used to make bombs. They have stated their desire to wipe Israel off the map. They don’t show any desire to accept offers of proliferation resistant approaches to nuclear power (light water reactors), etc. etc. The indicia is pretty clear: They don’t wan the electricity as much as they want the ability to make bombs. That is what the KINDS of reactors and facilities says. As to “Is that fair or not given that Israel has bombs?” I have no answer. Israel has not threatened to wipe it’s neighbors off the map on a whim, nor has it funded armies on their borders to toss missiles at it by proxy, so I lean toward Israel, but that still doesn’t answer the ethical dilemma…

    The “vitrified” comment is an allusion to the MAD doctrine. That only works if the other party finds Destruction unacceptable. When that is seen as a direct pathway to heaven that is a questionable assumption. It is unfortunately true that Islam has a long history of “suicide bombers”…

    Per spending being a major threat to America: Absolutely.

    Frankly, were it up to me, I’d have signed the Keystone pipeline and at the same time announced that the USA was leaving the Middle East, if the Europeans would like to defend the oil, there would be a 4 year ‘wind down’ and they could step in. Since most of it goes to them (or China) I see NO US interest in being there. Swap our “buys” to Brazil (where China just bought) or maybe even just drill the Gulf of Mexico where the BP blowout showed there are millions of barrels / day waiting to be produced.

    WHY the USA is defending oil for the rest of the world is another interesting question…

    But, in fact, my desire is to simply pack up and come home from the overseas adventures. I have ZERO desire for the USA to be police to the world. It’s been 60 years now since W.W.II and it’s time to move on from that post war role. But that’s what I want, not what the fact on the ground will allow to happen in the next couple of years…

  36. LOL mountains. Good luck. USA can’t even win a guerrilla war in Afghanistan when they are fighting Goat Poppy herders. How will they win in Iran? Mountains are big problems in wars.

    But Saudi covertly has attacked USA more times then Iran has. But we keep ignoring the facts. Even in Iraq, most insurgents come from Saudi.

    If you want the oil, lets just go for it. Lets stop all this pretending about threats and things like that. How seriously is Iran going to attack USA? What they are going to take their navy over and start a land invasion in NYC or Miami?

    There will be a conflict 100%. It’s only because Iran in 1979 took all the oil assets of the major oil companies. USA was pretty much pretty bankrupt then from Vietnam so couldn’t attack them. So got Saddam to do it then fed both sides and caused nice spikes in Oil and gold.

    USA went of the gold standard earlier in the 1970s so that it could pay back the French in worthless paper dollars. So it wasn’t really in a position in 1980 to go into Iran and take back the oil assets. But this conflict has been coming for 30 years.

    But we should take Saudi, it has more ready oil then Iran. But this doesn’t serve the objective of reducing supply and keeping the price high. The whole point is to keep all the major countries with oil in ever lasting conflict to keep the price of oil artificially high. Yemen, Somalia, Uganda, Iraq. Then have every lasting wars to stimulate the weapons companies in a revolving door war. Problem is, we’ll have to attack all the weapons we sold to them LOL!

    Same trick with drugs. Afghanistan the poppy war. Notice Burma is getting more in the limelight as it’s the 2nd biggest poppy producer in the world, and if you can’t control Afgan, then Burma is a good place for another war? Watch that space as well, Clinton has made a few recent visits. Funny how she visits Burma and not Vanuatu lol???

  37. E.M.Smith says:

    @Paul Hanlon:

    If I might be allowed a religious reference, despite being agnostic:

    Amen to that!

    I know the history. WE are the world police because of sensitivity to prior colonial powers and because those powers didn’t trust each other. But that was long long ago. I would rather a new ‘new deal’ with the USA NOT being police to the world.

    More later, gotta run…

  38. kakatoa says:

    E. M. Smith says “WE are the world police because of sensitivity to prior colonial powers and because those powers didn’t trust each other.”

    I concur, especially after having recently finished reading ” Paris, 1919 Six Months That Changed The World” on how the peace treaty to end WW1 negotiated. The sections on “Setting the Middle East Alight was new to me. I concur that it’s time to find a new role for the USA.

  39. Watch for the false flag?

    It started the Iraq war, the Vietnam war, almost every war lol

  40. cm says:

    Everything is OK till the first paragraph of The Shore where(Even Though) you make it clear that it’s your opinion,the line “given the nature of the Iranian regime as hard core fanatics” seems to be the first thing that makes me suspicious. I’m hesitating to use this,BUT,it screams BIGOT at me.(forgive the word i’ve used,i’ve tried many other words but it’s the feeling i get reading that ONE line,i’ve never had cause to read bigotry into your words before but that one sentence seems to be the start of my unease).
    Conclusions and Speculations start’s off all doom and gloom about the “theology of the Folks In Charge” (yes,it does make a difference, but that’s an oxymoron in the truest sense to me.see my religion below ;-).and i think the absence of comparable End of Days fables from other religions seems to add more bias against Muslims as i read it.Also,an American writer accusing Iran of “sowing chaos and destruction” around the world.Can’t you see the irony in that? (I thought that’s what governments do.Remember “The Great Game”,every country in the world plays)
    Personally,what i honestly believe (my religion if you like ;-) is.The people that rule/govern a country ,DO NOT BELIEVE whatever mumbo-jumbo the state religion happens to be. PRAGMATISM rules. The higher up a civil,religious or government organisation you go,the more cynical and pragmatic you must become(if you want to advance or sometimes even to just survive). Pick an organised Country,any Country at any time in History and i’ve always found this to be true.Cynical i know,but true none the less.
    I’ve re read your post 4 times now and it seems to be ONLY the bits above that “bug ME” for want of a better saying.
    I suppose i find it hard to accept that you really believe that the religious/government/business bigshots (of any faith) actually practice any of the bullshit they preach,except collecting money ,or, that ALL the positions of Power in the government of Iran are filled with these same religious bigshots.
    As for Clarity of Writing. I wish you luck :-) .It doesn’t matter how well you think you’ve explained something,there’s always somebody that doesn’t understand. The literary greats are full of complaints about being misunderstood.
    This is my first ever “literary critique”. Hope it comes across as constructive and not nasty. Time to test out my clarity of writing now :-).

  41. @ EM, re US funding and fomenting destabilization of IRAN. Hopefully not too lengthy. You might choose to edit it for publication. Anyway the information is there for you to see, with the source link. The whole article is of interest.

    Washington’s Black Ops against Iran

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=27364

    “In point of fact, the anti-Iran moves practically started in 2007 when US Congress agreed to George W. Bush, the then US president, to fund a major increase in covert operations against Iran. According to the intelligence officials who spoke to the Blotter on ABCNews.com, the CIA was then given a presidential approval to commence its covert ‘black’ operations inside Iran. To that effect, over four hundred million dollars were allocated in a Presidential Finding signed by George W. Bush. The ultimate goal of the finding was to cripple Iran’s religious government and the operations involved throwing support behind minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchis and other opposition groups as well as amassing intelligence about Iran’s nuclear sites.
    Speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the subject, the intelligence officials confirmed that Bush had signed a “nonlethal presidential finding”, giving the CIA carte blanche to engage in any sabotaging activities including a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran’s currency and international financial transactions in order to destabilize and eventually achieve regime change in Iran.
    “I can’t confirm or deny whether such a program exists or whether the president signed it, but it would be consistent with an overall American approach trying to find ways to put pressure on the regime,” said Bruce Riedel, a retired CIA senior official, an expert on Iran and the Middle East (ABCNEWS.com May 22, 2007).
    In June 2007, The New Yorker magazine also ran a similar story by Seymour Hersh, confirming that the finding had been signed by Bush and intended to destabilize the Islamic government. “

  42. Re US desbailization etc – prior to 2007:
    “The Iran Agenda: The Historical Truth of Our Relations with Iran ”

    http://www.alternet.org/story/69701/?page=entire

  43. Ralph B says:

    One thing to consider, if the US were to strike first you can be assured the airwaves will be filled with wounded/suffering women and children. Having to conduct a “humanitarian” war throws a big set of handcuffs on. The flip side…if Iran were to close the strait I don’t think world sympathy would be on their side. It would only take a few days of very heavy bombing to remove all of Irans air and naval capability. That is of course if the gloves are allowed to come off. There is a lot to be said for letting them make the first move.

  44. I usually pride myself on spelling and writing, but I really cocked-up with “destabilization” Please, EM edit it for me and cut this comment. Thanks.

  45. George says:

    Problem #1:

    Iran and Russia have a mutual defense treaty that the Russians signed for the specific purpose of deterring any attack on Iran. Anyone attacking Iran finds themselves potentially at war with Russia.

    Problem #2:

    China is the world’s 800lb economic gorilla right now and is solidly behind Iran. In fact, they have tens of thousands of Chinese in Iran right now working in various industries in compounds defended by Chinese soldiers.

    The situation is shaping up in many ways like the situation prior to World War I where a web of alliances could be tripped by some minor act someplace. Argentina takes a shot at the UK near the Falklands, Venezuela sides with Argentina, NATO sides with the UK, Iran sides with Venezuela, Russia and China side with Iran, all hell breaks loose.

    The Russians are also in Venezuela and Syria. It is like the old Soviet Union all over again. Obama has destabilized the entire region in a very passive-aggressive manner by simply doing nothing and has placed a lot of people at risk of a major war.

  46. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pasxvaks:

    I used pronouns like “they” that referenced back to a non-qualified reference to “Iran” ( implying the country, so the rulers, not Iranians in general). That was vague (and possibly more so to folks where ‘Merican is a second language ;-) and violates one of my general rules (“Use a proper noun when ambiguity is possible”).

    I didn’t foresee the ambiguity. “My bad”.

    I’ve come to realize that there is a general truth about what makes me ‘different':

    I make a hard wall between what I want and what I expect.
    I make a hard wall between what I feel and what I think.
    I make a hard wall between what I advocate and what I foresee.

    Most folks blend all of those things.

    If they say they ‘expect’ something, it has an air of wanting it.
    If they say they ‘think’ something it has an air of emotion attached.
    If they say they ‘foresee’ something, it has advocacy in it.

    So I simply stated “I foresee these things and expect these results and think this will happen for these reasons” and that is read as “I advocate these things and want these results and feel this is a good thing.”

    Then compounded it with an ambiguous “they” when pointing out that the Religious Nutcases running Iran are, well, Religious Nutcases (as evidenced by their statements and stated goals, objectives, and advocated beliefs). This was interpreted as “I think (and thus feel) all Iranians are ONE sect of Religious Nutcases”.

    That gave the opening for folks to leap off a cliff of conclusion that I was emotionally engaged with a dislike of Iranians. ( In fact, I have nearly no emotional attitude at all toward Iranians. I have a sample size of one – the friends wife – and she is a wonderful person – but a sample of one is too small to reach any conclusions generally.)

    Unfortunately, while I can see how it happened to be read that way, I can’t see where I wrote it that way. Without decorating the piece with dozens of PC disclaimers ( as I do in several OTHER contexts…) I see little that can be done to prevent folks from leaping to ‘advocacy’ from stating “it is” and leaping to ‘wanting’ from “I expect” and leaping to ‘feelings’ from “I think”.

    The pronoun I can fix…

    At core, I am mostly a thinking machine that sometimes feels things and occasionally arrives at positions to advocate; but first and foremost simply process facts and observations into probabilities (and care little about where the results end until it is all done, when a ‘what do I feel about it?’ question gets asked…THEN the feelings are allowed to run..) At core, most folks do that exactly backwards. Wanting first, feeling first, expecting first, advocating first; and only last (or sometimes never) bothering with dispassionate analysis…

    Oh Well. I guess I’ll just have to be more careful about always using unambiguous proper nouns and descriptive noun phrases instead of pronouns and decorate with constant disclaimers of the form: “I have no emotional engagement with FOO” and “I don’t FEEL anything about BAR” and “I am only doing logical analysis here, probability projections, not advocating for any outcome” and…

    Makes things flow horridly, but on ‘touchy’ subjects prevents folks running off that cliff of conclusion… sometimes…

    One example of The Wall that I think makes it clear (and the title of a posting I’ve been contemplating):

    “I hate capitalism”.

    No, I really do. That’s my emotional response to it.

    Yet I advocate for it and defend it.

    Why? Because what I think is not what I feel. Hard wall.

    I know that Capitalism works, better than anything else so far tried. I know the history of Socialism is one of repeated collapses and end point poverty (typically with Dictatorial Strong Men taking over in the end).

    I LIKE the ideas of Socialism. I THINK it is prone to inevitable failures (due to a large number of ‘existence proofs’…)

    For me, THINK wins over LIKE or WANT.
    For most other folks, it seems that WANT comes first, then rationalizing…

    I THINK first, then accept whatever emotion comes later.
    Others EMOTE first, then work up whatever thoughts justify the feeling.

    (And no, that broad generalization is NOT aimed at any poster or posting here. It is a dispassionate observation of how the available data fits into the most compact and predictive rule, based on all such experiences I can cross correlate from my past. Yes, this is an example of the ‘gratuitous disclaimer’ that ought not to be needed; but seemingly is…)

    At any rate, this is drifting far from the topic I’d rather be discussing:

    What can be done, if anything, other than what looks to me like ‘inevitable war”?

    What, if anything, have I missed that makes this analysis broken?

    If it IS correct, what is the likely timing and outcome of the event (and how do I make money off of it or find a way to prevent my meager holdings from being lost due to it?) Basically, what’s likely to come?

  47. david says:

    E,M, says…@David:

    More or less in agreement. I’d not state it quite as strongly and I’d toss in a sop or two to “Moderate Islam” (that, IMHO, largely means folks who attend to services, but not to the messages very much….
    ===================================================
    I actually come from a background with deep respect for most all religions, including Omar Kyam and several other Muslims. My religious focus is based on an attempt (sucessful I think) to strip religions of their various tenants and dogmas, and focus on what they fundementaly have in common, which careful study reveals to be a great deal. I would moderate my defense of the other world religions relative to Islam, to their contemporary practice, which is nothing like the extreme agressivness of Islam as practiced by Islamic nations.

    I actually have much admiration for Israel and do not consider them to be the agressors in what is clearly a fight for survival. I also think that a Muslim of any sect has greater freedom and rights in Israel, then in most all Islamic nations. A little study of the real nature of political Islam would help some of the posters here, as saying Political Islam is just another Govt, and they are all bad, is to be blind to reality, which has an ugly way of asserting itself in time. This is the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood, from their own documents…”The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. (This is a direct reference to stealth or non violent community organizing Jihad as well as overt terrorism. However the goal of the M.B. is clear, no matter how politely placed by CAIR or the Libyan or Egyptians rebels)…”eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other” Here is a documentary of stealth Jihad operating in the UK…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYq6_5GYxBM&feature=related

    There are two primary branches to the Jihadi movement, the Iranian wing and the Salafist branch. The Salafists have three main components: the Wahhabis, co-rulers of Saudi Arabia, the Ikhawn or Muslim Brotherhood, originating in Egypt but active throughout most parts of the world including the US (CAIR Council on American Islamic Relations and the Muslim Students Association which is active in a large number of colleges), and the Deobandi which is very active in Pakistan currently, think Taliban. The Salafist movements started almost 100 years ago. They preach world domination using violence. While they are only a small percentage of all Muslims, they still number in the tens of millions. They would not be taken seriously except for the petrodollars and their willingness to kill anybody who disagrees with them.

    Those who are searching for a moderate Reformation of Islam are likely to be disappointed;(I hope I am wrong, but I have been told this is not a strategy) the Islamic Revival is coming in the form militant expansion of Islam rather than in the form of a tolerant, spiritual form of Islam. I mentioned in my earlier post a short list of violence from Islam. Anyone who thinks this will all go away after the Jihadi murder the last Isrealis are sadly mistaken. Spain used to be Andulusia and has to be returned to Muslim control. Yugoslavia used to under the control of Muslims and will have to be returned to their control; etc etc, Heck, Obama said onone occasion “we are not a Christian nation, and on a different occasion said we are a Muslim nation. He should know that this gives Islamists, under Islamic view, the right to convert the infidels.

    Islam is more than a religion in the Western sense. It is also a political ideology which does not accept separation of Church and state, advocates a theocratic, totalitarian form of government, despises democracy which places man made laws above their God’s laws, promotes second class status for women and capital punishment for gays. Under Sharia Law, infidels (non-Muslims) are given three choices: convert to Islam, accept second class status (no legal rights against a Muslim), or death.

    There are prerequisites to overcoming this. First is to stop purchasing their oil; we are funding their war against us. The Green movement, whether intentionally or through ignorance, is pushing us further into the grasp of the Petropowers by preventing the adoption of nuclear energy, by substituting natural gas for coal (Qatar, Iran, and Russia hold the maority of the world’s developed natural gas reserves while the supply of coal in the US is sufficient for the next 200 years), and by promoting unrealistic, intermittent, expensive alternatives (windmills and solar power). It is impossible for our government to identify Saudi Arabia and Islamic extremism as a threat when the West is so dependent upon oil.

    The second prerequisite is education within the US. There are many people within the US who do not think that we are at war with “Radical Islam”. Saudi petrodollars have bought many of the “Middle East” scholars in the universities. These professors are now pushing the “Religion of Peace” view into the high schools. They claim that jihad is an internal struggle for a virtuous life (It is for some, but far to few) rather than the conversion of countries to Sharia Law via terrorism and internal subversion. The Muslim art of war advocates deception and penetration of a society before it is taken over.

    For an accurate portrayal of the Muslim practice of war, based upon the Koran, hadith, and Sharia Law as developed over the centuries, check out

    http://www.strategycenter.net/include/docFormat_list.asp?docRecNo=725&docType=0

    by Major Coughlin who teaches in the military academies.

    For a review of how Mosques are used to recruit young men as terrorists in the West, please check out

    http://www.nypdshield.org/public/SiteFiles/documents/NYPD_Report-Radicalization_in_the_West.pdf

    by the NYPD based upon an analysis of the background of several groups who carried out terorist attacks primarily in Europe.

    For a review of what 10 history textbooks in junior and senior high school are teaching our children about Islam. try

    http://www.historytextbooks.org/islamreport.pdf

    by the American textbook Council.

    For a review of the Mulim Brotherhood in the US, try

    http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/nefahlf0807.pdf

    based upon documents used in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for supporting terrorism.

    For general academic information untainted by Saudi dollars, try the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa (ASMEA) founded by Bernard Lewis and Fouad Ajami at http://www.asmeascholars.org

    E.M is correct, conflict with this mentality is unavoidable.

  48. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    Thanks, reading it “now”… will take a while…

    @Ralph B:

    Yup. We’ll most likely take the first whack… And yes, we can pretty much bomb what matters. It’s the subs laying smart mines that I worry about…

    Then again, a couple of weeks without oil and I think much of the world would pick sides pretty quick ;-)

    @George:

    Your comment will take some think-time, so I’ll get back to you on that ;-)

    @S.P.:

    Please please please make a distinction between The House of Saud, Sauidi Arabia (the country) and Saudi Nationals. They are all three quite different.

    Bin Laden was from Saudi Arabia. By definition he will know more Saudis than non-Saudis.

    There are a great many disaffected Saudi Nationals who hate the House of Saud as much as they hate the USA. They think that, were it not for our closeness with the House of Saud, that Saudi Government would change or fall (and they could be free of Royals). Of course those folks are going to wish to attack the USA.

    But to NOT realize that THEY are not Saudi Arabia or the House of Saud just lets THEM do exactly what they want: Drive a wedge between the House of Saud and The West.

    Lump them all together and Bin Ladin wins.

    (Part of the reason so many 911 guys were Saudi Nationals was EXACTLY for the reason of causing disaffection between the USA and the House of Saud. Please do not fall into that trap. And it IS a deliberately laid trap.)

    Per “taking the oil”: There really is no need what so ever. The notion that we are there to ‘take the oil’ is another fantasy. Whoever owns the dirt will be selling the oil.

    IMHO, we are there due to some “deal” cut between us and Europe and The House of Saud. I THINK it goes along the lines of: The USA will protect the House of Saud, and assure the region is not shut down due to machinations of ‘the locals’. In exchange, Saudi Arabia will assure consistent oil supplies ( i.e. no more Arab Oil Embargo). Europe will ‘stay out’ (thus keeping old sores from past occupations and colonialism away) but still get reliable oil.

    As the USA gets very little Saudi Oil, we are the “honest broker” or “trustworthy cop”.

    And the deal has worked well since about 1977 or so.
    34 years is not a bad run.

    If we just wanted the oil, we’d invade Canada and Mexico ;-)

    Or, more likely, we’d let the whole place go up in a local war and they would be selling oil like crazy to fund it…

    IMHO, the whole ‘game’ is about assuring a STABLE oil supply and price. That means all of: stopping threats to shipping AND knocking off tin pot dictators who want to take over (Saddam) AND knocking down excess supply as needed ( Libya / and maybe soon Iran). NOTE: All that is speculation and has no advocacy nor emotional content for me.

    @Kakatoa:

    Thanks for the affirmation… I was beginning to wonder if I was the only one …

    @CM:

    Thanks for the review. I’m going to digest it ‘dispassionately’ then see what I can do to adjust.

    If one dispassionately looks at the words the regime speaks, it is not exactly something that says “sane good guys”… ( “Death To America”, “USA is the Great Satan”, etc. etc.)

    I see no reason to ‘compare and contrast’ with other religions as other religions are not in charge in Iran. I don’t care how their religion compares to others, I care that it is in charge and is deciding based on theology what to do.

    Were the government run by a non-Theologic cast with a free hand, I’d have no interest in it. The key thing, for me, is that it’s the religious order that calls the shots, so we must pay attention to what they believe. I’ve stated what they believe, I don’t see any way to avoid that and still reach correct conclusions. What I FEEL about it is not relevant. (What I feel is “mild disappointment’ mixed with vague worry. Frankly, I don’t care, nor have any emotional response to, anyones religious beliefs other than when they are in control of power directed toward me. Folks can go worship a Golden Frog and believe in Magic Oak Spirits for all I care and I’m fine with that. Until it is directed against me. Then I worry.)

    So if you are projecting “bigot” due to mentioning religion, I dare say that looks to me like you are being a bit blinkered by PC worries more than reality… (Again: Zero Grade Emotions in that statement. A statement of DISPASSIONATELY how I see interpretation being skewed by sensitization.) Frankly, I don’t really care if someone (anyone) thinks me a ‘bigot’, I know I’m not. So that just means they are in error and, well, other folks errors are not too important to me…

    I am not bigoted toward Muslims. I’ve worked in a Muslim dominant company (about 75%) and like the folks (frankly, I was there when 911 happened and offered to my boss that I, and my guns, were available to him if some nutcases threatened him or his family). I have read their book and will accurately relate what it says. NOT from any emotional baggage, but because so many Muslims take it as direct orders from God Almighty and act on that belief. To ignore that, gloss over it, or pretend that it’s some kind of “Christianity Lite” is just delusional, so I won’t do it.

    To say one country sows ‘chaos and destruction’ does NOT imply others do not do so. If I said “Germany starts wars” does that mean Russia doesn’t? Or China? Again, I’m seeing more ‘overly sensitive’ that demands disclaimers against what was not said…

    Per pervasiveness of religion and actual embracing: I’ve seen all flavors. Many “top dogs” do believe their religion. Yes, I’ve seen a lot that seem to be play acting at it (many recent US Presidents, for example).but you can’t just generalize. That said, I’m going to generalize… In working very closely with a bunch of Muslims for a fairly long time, they generally make Mormons and Catholics look like ‘light weights’ in terms of tenacity of actual belief.

    As I’ve said, I’ve read their book (no, not all of it. Started to glaze after a few hundred pages and started skimming ;-) and it’s in many ways a ‘micromanagement guide to running your life’. Then you look at how folks live, and they follow the guide… Failure to follow the guide is punishable by such things as death, stoning, loss of body parts, etc. Oh, and you can’t leave. That’s punishable by death too… (Yes, I know you can find some sects that say you can ignore those bits. However, it also says it’s just dandy to lie to infidels in advancement of Islam…)

    So, can I say that they all absolutely believe, or do they simply follow all the rules so as not to wake up dead or dismembered? Frankly, it doesn’t matter much, now does it? (BTW, I didn’t have any particular expectations before heading into the Koran. Just wanted to see what it said. Yes, it has a load of “Allah the merciful” and “Peace” scattered all through ti. Often just after saying ~”Off with their heads!” … It is a bit skitzo at times…)

    Were I raised in a Muslim country (or even just living in one) I would strictly follow the requirements of the Koran as well (not wishing to wake up dead either…) You will not find me carrying a Bible, drinking beer or wine, or saying anything negative about Allah in any Muslim country. (As in theory Allah is Yahweh is God, you won’t find me saying anything much negative in any case…)

    But you can’t just ignore what it says, and what the Ayatollah and Mullahs say, just because it make you uncomfortable to think negative thoughts about something placarded with “religion”. (I have equally strong negative things to say about what Christianity did during the last couple of thousand years and how it has been used to justify all sorts of crimes. Maya library burning anyone?…)

    It is what people say and do that matters, and in this case the guys in charge in Iran say strongly negative things using the Koran as their justification and guide. That must be factored in or you will reach wrong conclusions. Look at the thousands of young boys Iran sent against Iraq in a ‘holy war’ move… to die as ‘martyrs’. We have an existence proof of how they run their military… Ignore that an you miss that their 3000 gun boats can all be suicide bomb boats.

  49. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    WW3 will probably start in the Balkans or Turkey again. I mean Obama armed up Turkey with all these attack helicopters because the new gas pipeline that bypasses Russia is going to go through there. Problem is, Turkey might do something silly, like attack Syria or something, or be encouraged to be the west. Then you have, Iran and Russia fighting with Syria and it could start to spread.

    Also, the predators, and the new generation aircraft are also being sold to Turkey

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/10/02/obama-turkey-attack-helicopters/

    ====

    By the way OBL is very close to the House of Saudi.

    http://web3.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/saudi-arabia/110902/saudi-arabia%E2%80%99s-highway-15-revisited

    I mean everything in Saudi for the King is built by the Bin Laden family. Mecca redevelopment, the new airport, all the palaces. The new towers.

    [ He also had his citizenship revoked, advocated for the overthrow of the royal family, and is generally an embarrassment to his family. Please read up on that bit of realty before pushing the "Saudi is Al Qada" meme... -E.M.Smith ]

  50. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/08/03/worlds-next-tallest-building-to-be-built-by-bin-laden-group/

    http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/saudi-royal-backs-imam-and-fox-news/

    I mean Saudi likes it both ways, they are money making in both directions. Seriously the richest arms dealers on earth come from there, 911 came from there. Ok so what the House is Saudi is all ok, but the people are not. So in Iran the leaders are bad but the people are not but in Saudi the leaders are ok but the people are not LOLOLOL??

    The whole Iran thing is just made up by Saudi. Think about it, it all started off with this fake assignation plot in DC of Iran and Saudi

    ====

    READY FOR BOMBING $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  51. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    The Koran specifically states that once ANY land has been converted to Islam it MUST be kept so. If lost, it MUST be regained. So there is NO choice for Andalusia (or even Greece and on up toward Austria…)

    ANY land that has EVER been Islamic MUST be Islamic again. It is the direct order of Allah.

    One can only wonder if the Mosques being built here are declaring this land to be a Muslim land…

    It’s a very interesting interlocking set of beliefs…

  52. George says:

    The bin Laden family has always been close to the House of Saud and is one of the major engineering firms in the Arab world. That the tallest building in Saudi Arabia would be built by bin Laden Group is neither surprising nor unexpected. They would be the logical choice to build such a thing.

    No not associate OBL with the bin Laden family.

  53. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KMlXVpUAwAA#! This is pretty funny

    Nah the OBL has no associated with the Bin Laden Family, he just got his money from washing windows of cars

  54. @ George: “No not associate OBL with the bin Laden family.”
    More likely with the Bush family, unless the photo was doctored.
    Don’t ask me for the link to the photo but I have seen one.

  55. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Bin Laden Holy Mosque

    Oh look Bin Laden makes its own movies

    Big one!

    Mega clock from Bin Laden

    Mega tower

    I guess the Bin Landens are not close to the King at all?

  56. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Basically if you think about it, the Northen Alliance were the drug lords, and they were pushed out by the Taliban who were anti drugs. Bin Laden is part of the anti-drug lord group, the Taliban lol

    Osama bin Laden, one of 20 sons of a billionaire construction magnate, arrived in Afghanistan to join the jihad in 1980. An austere religious fanatic and business tycoon, bin Laden specialised in recruiting, financing and training the estimated 35,000 non-Afghan mercenaries who joined the mujaheddin.

    The bin Laden family is a prominent pillar of the Saudi Arabian ruling class, with close personal, financial and political ties to that country’s pro-US royal family.

    Bin Laden senior was appointed Saudi Arabia’s minister of public works as a favour by King Faisal. The new minister awarded his own construction companies lucrative contracts to rebuild Islam’s holiest mosques in Mecca and Medina. In the process, the bin Laden family company in 1966 became the world’s largest private construction company.

    Osama bin Laden’s father died in 1968. Until 1994, he had access to the dividends from this ill-gotten business empire.

    (Bin Laden junior’s oft-quoted personal fortune of US$200-300 million has been arrived at by the US State Department by dividing today’s value of the bin Laden family net worth — estimated to be US$5 billion — by the number of bin Laden senior’s sons. A fact rarely mentioned is that in 1994 the bin Laden family disowned Osama and took control of his share.)

    Osama’s military and business adventures in Afghanistan had the blessing of the bin Laden dynasty and the reactionary Saudi Arabian regime. His close working relationship with MAK also meant that the CIA was fully aware of his activities.

    Milt Bearden, the CIA’s station chief in Pakistan from 1986 to 1989, admitted to the January 24, 2000, New Yorker that while he never personally met bin Laden, “Did I know that he was out there? Yes, I did … [Guys like] bin Laden were bringing $20-$25 million a month from other Saudis and Gulf Arabs to underwrite the war. And that is a lot of money. It’s an extra $200-$300 million a year. And this is what bin Laden did.”

    In 1986, bin Laden brought heavy construction equipment from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. Using his extensive knowledge of construction techniques (he has a degree in civil engineering), he built “training camps”, some dug deep into the sides of mountains, and built roads to reach them.

  57. Pascvaks says:

    One planet, in the middle of nowhere, composed of a thousand and one worlds, made up of billions of “people” living short little lives as best they can based on the local rules, customs, and standards of acceptable behaviour. It will be quite sometime before they are capable of living under one roof in peace. Right now, and for the next thousand years in all likelihood, expect more of the same: a lot of little wars and the occassional BIG war and eventually one planet, in the middle of nowhere, perhaps with a couple worlds living in harmony, made up of billions of “people” living short little lives as best the can based on the local rules, customs, and standards of acceptable behaviour, living in peace, and moving out into the universe to settle new planets where everything starts all over again. Meanwhile, the Dominoes keep falling, on and on.

  58. david says:

    “One can only wonder if the Mosques being built here are declaring this land to be a Muslim land…”
    ===============================

    This is so pecisely yet another reason I consider Obama to be the most devisive President EVER. To declare at one time “We are not a Christian nation”, and to declare on another occasion, “we can be considered one of the largest Muslim nations” is astounding, and Obama, being raised Muslim, must understand the repercussions of such statements.

  59. david says:

    To better understand US policy decisions in Iraq I still recommend
    “The Threatening Storm,” by Kenneth M. Pollack. Even after reading this book I was not convinced we should have invaded this brutal dictator’s empire. Pollack fairly outlines the risks of all options. My thoughts was that it was more important to suceed in what one does do, to not bite off more then one can chew, and place all our resources in making Afganistan work. In reading Pollack’s book I was grateful that I did not have to make such decisions. Only time will tell if the idea of freedom can win out against the age old dominance of violent control. One thing is certain, a reformation of such entrenched idealogy will not happen without violent turmoil.

  60. Coldish says:

    @ Chiefio: “They have stated their desire to wipe Israel off the map.” What is the source of this quotation?

  61. Pascvaks says:

    @Coldish – Maybe I don’t understand the question, so I’ll take it at face value; per Drudge OK?

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

    I’m sure they’ll happily take back the real estate, was that what you were leading up to? I don’t think they’ll give up the property and throw it all in the Med and make new beachfront in Jordan.

  62. Adrian Ashfield says:

    re Pascvaks

    Juan Cole, who knows more about the M.E. than I do, explains that Ahmadinejad’s famous quotation has been mistranslated.

    “It bears repeating as long as the accusation is made. Ahmadinejad did not “threaten” to “wipe Israel off the map.” I’m not sure there is even such an idiom in Persian. He quoted Khomeini to the effect that “the Occupation regime must end” (ehtelal bayad az bayn berad). And, no, it is not the same thing. It is about what sort of regime people live under, not whether they exist at all.”

    I have no doubt that various Iranian leaders have said nasty things themselves, but I tire of this one. Hardly different than Bush branding Iran as part of the “axis of evil.” More to the point, PC America, unlike Iran, drops more bombs than words.

    Likewise, I think Pascvaks’s link to WND that puts a blog’s words in Ali Khamenei’s mouth means little.

  63. david says:

    Adrian Ashfield, please do a google search on your own, and read Pascavaks link. Also for some greater historical understanding of Islamic history please read here. http://www.strategycenter.net/include/docFormat_list.asp?docRecNo=725&docType=0

  64. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    It’s like the recent UN speech, from Iran, it went on for like 30 min. They take 6 words he said and magnify them over and over. It’s like Saddam, they keep showing that pic with him with the gun firing it in the air, which was from the time of the Iran/Iraq war. The same applies to the “terrorist” camps with the monkey bars, which was from the 1980s war with Russia in Afghanistan.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/iran-israel-u-s-killed-pro-mousavi-nuclear-scientist-1.261306

    I mean http://www.presstv.ir/detail/225277.html

    U can find competing articles on both sides now for the propaganda war.

  65. R. de Haan says:

    While all eyes are focused at the Strait of Hormuz, the real elephant in the room is the close proximity of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to a potential war front.

    These cities hold massive amounts of foreign assets poured in real estate hotels, shopping mauls, entertainment parks, and extremely costly infra structure, container harbor’s, oil harbors and distribution networks.
    It’s a play ground for the rich and famous and home of one of the biggest air carriers in the world.

    But it’s also the headquarter of many international operating companies, one of them is Halliburton.

    Nobody can afford to lose it or have it covered by a nuclear cloud.

    Europe and the US are subject to a Globalist agenda which includes the so called energy revolution.

    This energy revolution is now hit by bankruptcies.
    Both governments believe they have a stake in higher oil prices.

    Europe threatened Iran with an oil boycott which was postponed by six months.
    In the mean time the Iranians took the initiative and canceled all oil deliveries to Europe.

    As a consequence gasoline prices have spiked to record levels.
    The media blame the high prices on high demand for oil on the world market but the true driver is EU and US policies towards Iran.

    If a war between Iran will be fought it not only will jeopardize the Emirates economies but it will completely undermine the world’s energy security and our fragile economies possibly resulting in a Global economic crash.

    It will put the Globalists into power.

    That’s why everything possible has to be undertaken to prevent this war.

    Iran has learned it’s lesson when it was attacked by Iraq.

    They will restrain themselves and won’t start any war.

  66. R. de Haan says:

    This said, we should focus at the process that’s going on in Europe and the USA.

    It is in all our interest to rid ourselves from the environmentalist doctrine that is suffocating our economies and undermining our wealth, our prosperity and our freedom.

    For the USA the only politician who holds the bag of sand to rig the globalist agenda is Ron Paul who will defund entire departments and the UN.

    In Europe our only hope is a total collapse of the Eurozone eliminating all funding of the European Commission before they acquire an independent source of income through carbon and bank taxes.

    The onslaught of the socilaists/fascists can only be stopped when they run out of other people’s money.

  67. david says:

    Adrian Ashfield (19:18:54) :

    re Pascvaks

    Juan Cole, who knows more about the M.E. than I do, explains that Ahmadinejad’s famous quotation has been mistranslated.

    “It bears repeating as long as the accusation is made. Ahmadinejad did not “threaten” to “wipe Israel off the map.”
    ======================================
    really???
    Ahmadinejad
    “But whether they want it or not, with God’s grace, this regime will be annihilated and Palestinians and other regional nations will be rid of its bad omen.”

    (In a speech in southern Iran

    “If the Zionist regime wants to repeat its past mistakes, this will constitute its demise and annihilation…With Allah’s help the new Middle East will be a Middle East without Zionists and Imperialists.”

    (At a news conference in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.)

    “The Zionist regime wants to establish its base upon the ruins of the civilizations of the region…The uniform shout of the Iranian nation is forever ‘Death to Israel.’…”

    (As quoted by Fars News Agency)

    “They (the Western powers) launched the myth of the Holocaust. They lied, they put on a show and then they support the Jews…. If as you claim the Holocaust is true, why can a study not be allowed? … The pretext for establishing the Zionist regime is a lie… a lie which relies on an unreliable claim, a mythical claim, and the occupation of Palestine has nothing to do with the Holocaust…This claim is corrupt and the pretext is corrupt. This (the Israeli) regime’s days are numbered and it is on its way to collapse. This regime is dying.”

    (at the annual Al Quds Day rally in Tehran)

    “I have heard some say the idea of Greater Israel has expired….I say that the idea of lesser Israel has expired, too.

    “Our nation has no problem with other nations, but as far the Zionist regime is concerned, we do not believe in an Israeli government or an Israeli nation.”

    Selected remarks at a press conference in Tehran, as quoted by news services)

    We will witness the dismantling of the corrupt regime (Israel) in the very near future.”

    (Speech marking “World Mosque Week in Tehran, as quoted by the official IRNA news agency)

    This terrorist and criminal state (Israel) is backed by foreign powers, but this regime would soon be swept away by the Palestinians.”

    (Remarks at press conference in Tehran, as quoted by dpa)

    “Those who think they can revive the stinking corpse of the usurping and fake Israeli regime by throwing a birthday party are seriously mistaken.”

    “Today the reason for the Zionist regime’s existence is questioned, and this regime is on its way to annihilation.… (Israel) has reached the end like a dead rat after being slapped by the Lebanese.”

    (Remarks on Israel’s Independence Day, as quoted by Iran’s official IRNA news agency)

    “With God’s help, the countdown button for the destruction of the Zionist regime has been pushed by the hands of the children of Lebanon and Palestine . . . By God’s will, we will witness the destruction of this regime in the near future.”
    (Speech, as quoted by the Fars News Agency)

    Really, shall I go on?

  68. E.M.Smith says:

    @Coldfish:

    A few dozen various speeches at a variety of times over the last couple of decades. Just about any search on “Ayatollah Israel” ought to give a lot of hits. One new one is:

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2012/02/03/iran-khamenei-threat-israel-new-york-times/

    However, there was something missing from the Times report of Khamenei’s speech that was reported elsewhere. Other accounts noted that in addition to threatening the United States, Khamenei said this: “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” While we don’t know how or why a mention of this element of the speech managed to get excised from the account in the Times, it’s a question worth pondering.

    No, I don’t have the original Arabic. ( I looked at learning Arabic once but it was just not that interesting a language… Not fond of languages where the vowels are missing, but critical to exact meaning, and ‘an experienced speaker’ somehow ‘just knows’ what to fill in… so Jihad can mean internal struggle or holy war depending on what you like… I also don’t know if the original was in Arabic or Persian.) At any rate, as I don’t DO Arabic or Persian, I can’t point to the original, only other folks translations.

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Ayatollah%20Israel

    Search results 2,420,000 results

    Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel
    The Iranian government, through a website proxy, has laid out the legal and religious justification for the destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its people. The …
    http://www.wnd.com/…/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel – Cached

    Ayatollah warns US, Israel against strikes – World News | IOL …
    Iran’s supreme leader has pledged to aid any nation or group that challenges Israel and said any military strikes over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program would …

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/world/ayatollah-warns-us-israel... – Cached
    Iran’s Supreme Leader Threatens Israel, U.S. – Middle East …
    Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatened Israel on Friday, saying the Islamic Republic will help any nation or group that confronts the Jewish …

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/152408 – Cached
    Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warns US, Israel …
    TEHRAN: Iran’s supreme leader has pledged to aid any nation or group that challenges Israel and said any military strikes over the Islamic Republic’s …
    economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/… – Cached
    Ayatollah Khamenei says Iran will back ‘any nations, any …

    TEHRAN — A fiery anti-Israel speech by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, delivered shortly after a successful Iranian satellite launch, added to growing global …
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/iran-says-it... – Cached

    I’m sure you can narrow it down from a couple of million hits to something more manageable by adding terms like “destruction”, “kill”, “exterminate”, etc…

    Or just visit their web site as the first link indicates they are rather up front about their desire to eliminate Israel…

    As I’m “catching up” on the other comments, just note that on CNN just now were two interesting sets of announcements:

    1) Obama announced the USA is Freezing Iranian Assets. (In Arab quarters this is considered very dishonorable and close to an act of war.)

    2) Hillary denounced the Russian veto of the UN resolution per Syria and said all the death there is on Russian hands. Implied non-UN action would happen,

    In one or the other ( IIRC the ‘freeze assets’ one) a Spring timing was given per expectations of escalation… but as I was ‘en passant’ with the TV I don’t have a good capture of what exactly was said. A small ‘dig here’…

  69. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM
    I understand your point of view better since you elaborated on it, but it doesn’t excuse this.

    You wrote: “There can be no dissuasion of them from confrontation leading to war and chaos as that is their ultimate goal. Peace and international civil order is anathema to them.”
    And
    “I think ‘total war’ with Iran is inevitable. They desire it. They are working toward it. They are sowing Chaos everywhere they can and peace is NOT on their agenda. WHEN they get a nuclear weapon, it will be used. Israel will be dramatically damaged.”
    And
    “The longer we wait, the more Iran builds, and the worse will be the outcome. Yet, we wait.” Not one ounce of uranium has been diverted under the watchful eyes of the UN inspectors.

    I don’t think there is any proof for your comments about their desires and I don’t like the implication of “Guilty until proven innocent,” particularly as war would mean >100,000 killed or injured.

    It seems to me that Israeli and America position is that Iran can’t have their own civil nuclear industry. Iran has signed the Non Proliferation Treaty that was supposed to even help them to do this. Their uranium supply is being monitored and that is what really matters. They offered to have their supply of enriched uranium turned into fuel rods but the US wouldn’t agree to having it done half at a time. They wanted it all out of Iran and Iran reasonably supposed they might not get it back. Likewise they would not have enriched to 20% if they could have bought fuel for their small medical reactor, but America wouldn’t allow that, leaving them no option but to enrich to that level themselves.

    You wrote: “The enrichment to 20% (and preparations for beyond) along with the documented gathering of bomb tech from Pakistan indicates a clear intent to ‘go nuclear’.”
    That is nonsense. They need that for their medical reactor as the US blocked them buying fuel for it. What evidence do you have for “preparation for beyond”? It has always been possible to reconfigure the cascades to do this, but the UN inspectors have not seen that.

    You wrote. ”If your point is that the CIA is conducting a ‘war by other means’ against Iran: I have no way to confirm nor deny it.” Apart from the known things like overflights with drones, Bush authorized the CIA to spend $400 million in 2008 to destabilize Iran’s government. Who knows how much more since, but you can bet it continues. How would you like it if another country was spending that kind of money to destabilize our government?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/2218623/George-W-Bush-raised-400-million-for-action-against-Iran.html

    re arming Saudi as well as Israel, Saudi is not saying they will bomb Iran if they don’t stop their civil nuclear program. It makes a difference.

    There is a huge advantage in using plutonium for nukes. If you don’t know that, it is you who should be reading up on the subject.

    You wrote. “The “vitrified” comment is an allusion to the MAD doctrine. That only works if the other party finds Destruction unacceptable. When that is seen as a direct pathway to heaven that is a questionable assumption. It is unfortunately true that Islam has a long history of “suicide bombers”…”
    Yes I believe the MAD doctrine works. You have no proof for your speculation the Iranian government lacks instincts for self preservation.

    “”My point is, if another country does to us what we do to others, we’re not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a golden rule – in foreign policy. Don’t do to other nations what we don’t want to have them do to us” ~ Ron Paul

    The war-crazed conservatives in the crowd at one of the Republican presidential debates recently held in South Carolina booed and jeered when Ron Paul called for a golden rule in U.S. foreign policy. “We endlessly bomb these other countries and then we wonder why they get upset with us?” added Dr. Paul.

    Word War I started with a single shot, then grew and grew and became an immense war that killed tens of millions, maimed scores of millions, destroyed vast empires and many nations, and set the stage for the more immense and destructive WW II, many later wars and our global dilemma today of Nuclear Mad.

    Israel and the U.S. look to me to be like that crazed, paranoid assassin who fired one shot in the Balkans which led in vastly complex, interdependent, inherently uncertain ways to a global catastrophe that still endangers all of mankind.”

    My preference is to keep militarily strong but NEVER initiate the attack on another country. That is supposed to be the worst war crime, but apparently laws do not apply to the “Country of laws” if it is strong enough to ignore them.

    In passing, I’m usually very skeptical of such things, but I think the chances are good that LENR has actually arrived. So with luck oil and the M.E will become less of a problem Read the article I wrote here: http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2012/01/06/opinion/doc4f067013eebca165410177.txt
    Defkalion is allowing third parties to test their bare reactor cores for the next two months. I find it very unlikely they would do that unless they were confident they worked with a COP >20.

  70. E.M.Smith says:

    @S.P.:

    OK, you made your point that OBL was a Saudi. Now, go do your homework on that family. Continued smears with no foundation are not welcome…

    From the wiki:

    “When Mohammed bin Laden died in 1967, his son Salem bin Laden took over the family enterprises, until his own accidental death in 1988. Salem was one of at least 54 children by various wives.”

    Think about that for just a moment. One kid of a minor wife, out of the line of succession, looking to give his life some kind of meaning, finds ‘religion’ and goes off the deep end. One out of 54 that we know of. In any group of 50 to 100 folks you are likely to find one a bit ‘bent’. Oh, and that he was still given his inheritance (prior to becoming a major issue, IIRC) is more a statement about Saudi Moral Obligation than anything evil or nefarious. Once he was found to be “a problem child” he had his citizenship revoked and was substantially disowned by his family.

    There is ZERO foundation to:

    Smear the Bin Ladin family.
    Smear the House of Saud.
    Smear the average Saudi National.
    etc. etc. etc.

    YES, there will be some (perhaps very significant) percentage of Saudi Nationals who hate the USA and Israel and support Religious Nutcases. So WHAT! There’s a significant percentage of US Nationals who hate the USA and Israel and support Religious Nutcases. (Does KKK ring a bell? How about Louis Farrakhan? David Duke? Is everyone name Duke evil?)

    Decorating sniditudes with an excess of “LOL LOL LOL” does not change what they are.

    Either present some EVIDENCE that the Bin Ladin FAMILY or more than 25% of Saudi Nationals are anti-American and / or supporting terrorism or drop it. (Why? Because things without foundation that are likely incorrect are Red Herrings that distract from finding the truth and predicting what will really happen. They inflame misdirected emotion while contributing nothing to understanding.) You’ve tossed your ‘smear bombs’. They are “up” and folks can see them. Now present something of substance please…

    (And yes, I do not like being forced into a position of defending Saudis as they DO ‘have issues'; but minor and subtle ones generally. My “bias” lies with Israel as I have a “Jewish Uncle” (by marriage) and several Jewish friends. To be forced into defending folks who would like to hurt my friends is not a pleasant place to be. The House of Saud has also generally acted favorably to US interests, post Arab Oil Embargo, so absent any evidence, they ought to be trusted as OK. So I’m also finding myself stuck between two arguing friends and saying “that one is OK”… Not Nice…)

  71. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    The statements of Obama per Islam in America fall into the class of ‘double speak'; meant to say one thing to the typical American, something quite different to The Muslim World…

  72. R. de Haan says:

    The Iranians won’t close the Strait of Hormuz.

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/02/06/tehran-wont-block-hormuz-says-diplomat/

    Also read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran–Iraq_War

    Iran has had enough war for a generation to come.

    The harsh diplomatic language is all that remains to oppose the sanctions, the oil boycott and the financial isolation.

    There is absolutely no need for a war with Iran.
    There are too many countries with an economic stake in Iran’s economy and it’s oil is much needed.

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

    This is exactly why a war with Iran has a high potential of escalation.

  73. david says:

    Those were all quotes from Ahmadinejad as a counter to claims that he never threatened Israel.

    I do not know if I agree that Iran is not a threat, or will take what a person of the west considers rational actions to avoid war. History is full of leaders instigating what appear to be insane actions. In the middle east these are numerous.

    Saddam considered himself al-qa’id ad-darura, the “indispensable leader” the new Nebuchadnezzar and al-Mansur, the caliph who built Baghdad. He was also Salidin, the Islamic general who defeated the Crusaders and retook Jerusalem for Islam. He even placed his image on school books as a representation of Saladin. These and other appellations show that Saddam considered himself to be the leader of the Arab nation, the restorer of past glory. He stated this goal often and did not hesitate to explain his desire to lead a new super power, and he intended to use the military to achieve his goals. His intention to liberate Jerusalem was also often stated. Saddam’s actions time and again showed that his megalomania resulted in radical choices, and if he achieved control of the gulf oil fields he would use this wealth for his political ambitions and war machine, and he would use both oil and WMDs as a tool to bend the world to his will.

    Saddam was a supporter of international terrorism and he competed with Egypt for control of the PLO, later switching his support to the more radical ANO. Only the fact that Iraq was losing the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980s caused Saddam to back off of his most open support for terrorism in hopes of western support against Iran. Previous to the 2002 US invasion Iraq was providing a home for the PLO and the ANO and other Islamist groups. They were supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party and their operations against Turkey, the Mujahedine-e Khalq and their operations against Iran, Hamas and other PLO organizations. He provided refuge for the hijackers of the Achille Lauro. He attempted to assassinate Bush 1 in 1993.

    At one time Saddam had a robust WMD program. After the gulf war it was learned that he had predeceased orders to launch missels with biological and chemical weapons into Tel Aviv if the coalition marched on Baghdad. The threat of a Nuclear exchange with Israel was a threat to the world. Post Saddam one learns, if they read the post war report, that the infrastucture for WMD was in place.

  74. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    I fear you are right… (And I’m glad someone is looking at the intent of this piece! To find fundamental drivers and look for fixes.)

    It does look like it is a deliberate attempt to manipulate energy supply / cost issues. It also looks like genuine fear of an Iran with intercontinental ballistic missiles (they orbited a satellite…) and nukes.

    I’m still hopeful (in an every shrinking way) that we can find some way to not have a war with Iran… but the Religious Nutcases in charge are hell bent on being a belligerent. (That they ARE does not imply the US is NOT. That I have omitted a specific assertion that the USA is also acting in a belligerent manner does NOT mean I think the USA is being all peaceful. Yet Another Gratuitous Disclaimers… )

    Near as I can tell, there is some bigger “Great Game” driving things; outside or above the level of the EU and USA, and just beyond grasp… but the general image of who is picking fights with whom does not match a ‘Natural US interests” map… Someone is pulling puppet strings on the EU and USA…

    IFF you are correct and Iran refrains from ‘first blood’, it will be pretty clear. The USA can’t act first for political reasons (and some legal ones – but they pay ever less attention to the law…); so what will be the “casus belli?

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    It’s not just one translation of one statement. There are dozens (hundreds?).

    There is no doubt whatsoever what the Iranian religious leaders think of Israel. Also, realize that any disclaimer from a Muslim of the form “He was misunderstood” or “It was mistranslated” has the hurdle that the Koran authorizes lying to the infidel in furtherance of Islam. You simply can not trust the veracity of any such statement. You must go to a non-muslim translation to avoid that question. (Yes, Muslims can do honest translations. No, not all Muslim translations are suspect. Yes, to avoid the QUESTION of contaminated translation under religious dispensation you have to get a non-Muslim. YA-Gratuitous Disclaimer…)

    Frankly, in one older version of the Koran that I’ve read it said, roughly: ‘Christians may be converted, so give them a chance. Jews will never convert, so just kill them.’ I’ve not been able to find that verse in my newer Koran, so don’t know if I’m just not doing a good read of it, or if this translation has softened it. (Unfortunately, due to the nature of Arabic, you can ‘multipath’ the meaning sometimes. SOME versions of the Koran do vowel marking to limit the choices and, in fact, there is a specialized Koranic Arabic that means you get to learn Yet Another Arabic to have a clue how things are being understood. Disclaimers that “The Koran can not be translated” are also subject to the “lie to infidels” rule, so not to be trusted…) So who knows if it’s a PC Thing in recent Korans or just an extreme interpretation from the past. HOWEVER, that the Koran is generally “down” on Jews is not at all in question.

    Per your ‘inexcusables':

    Sorry, but they need no ‘excuse’. It is an evaluation of where the particular “end times” doctrine leads.

    You also seem to focus on the preambles and leave out the rest.

    “Waiting makes it worse, and moving faster makes for terrible politics.”

    Yes, we ARE waiting. Is that a sin? Is that in some way also inexcusable? Is observing it inexcusable? (NOTE: Observing it does not say ANYTHING about what I WANT. What I WANT is for the USA to pack up and get home, now. That I am not in power means that what I WANT is irrelevant, so we must look at what OTHERS want and are likely to do. Yet Another Gratuitous Disclaimer…)

    Is is somehow inexcusable to observe facts on the ground when they are not PC enough?

    Look at the actions of Iran. They are building toward nuclear weapons and ICBMs to deliver them. Listen to the words of Iran. They say they intend to destroy Israel AND her supporters. They wish to strike at the heart of America. Ignoring those things does not make them go away.

    “We are going to be pulled into a conflict on the battle ground and at the time of choosing of our opponent. That is typically a very bad thing.”

    This, too, is just my conclusion of what is most likely. It has nothing to do with ME or what I WANT. Your statements seem to imply a belief that I have some ax to grind in this (other than being at the other end of a de-orbiting nuke in a decade or so…) rather than just looking at what these loons believe (BOTH sides loons) and what the likely outcome will be (a war AGAINST MY WILL at the time and place of some others choosing.

    Please don’t project your fears, PC value structure, and worries into my words. IF you can show that the poor innocent Ayatollahs are just misunderstood and have no real power in Iran, they they really just need a hell of a lot of nuclear medicines and like doing space research and have a severe shortage of energy supplies, then make that case.

    Tossing rocks at me and saying what looks like a logical conclusion of the presented premises is ‘inexcusable’ is a waste of time. Present alternative premises, data, input, whatever you call it, or an alternative reasoning from the given premises that reaches a better conclusion.

    Realize, too, that I don’t like the conclusions. They are not at all what I WANT. I want a peaceful Middle East with folks just working together to create a common prosperity. I absolutely and unequivocally hate war. That it will happen anyway, and that it is sometimes the only reasonable solution is not subject to my not liking it and not wanting it.

    “The longer we wait, the more Iran builds, and the worse will be the outcome. Yet, we wait.” Not one ounce of uranium has been diverted under the watchful eyes of the UN inspectors.

    You have no clue what Uranium is where. Nor does anyone else.

    Iran has native deposits of ore. Diversion is easy. Having a ‘show site’ where inspectors watch does not in any way prevent having other sites that are buried and functional as we have seen being built on satellite images.

    Frankly, that’s one of the biggest problems with attacking Iran (for any of the potential attackers: Israel, Iraq, Saudi, USA, etc.) in that we don’t know what is being done where.

    To trust the a handful of identified inspectors can do anything much beyond rubber stamping Potemkin Villages is naive.

    (No, that is not proof of any nefarious activity. Yes, it is suggestive. No, we can’t get good information. No, we can’t afford to never act unless we have good information. Yes, I despise that problem set as I like only acting on good information. No, I don’t know what the folks with power will do in that circumstance. Yes, I’m quite sure it will not be what I WANT. Yes, it might still be what is most reasonable. Yes, this is a problem statement, not an advocacy. Yet Another Gratuitous Disclaimer.)

    It seems to me that Israeli and America position is that Iran can’t have their own civil nuclear industry. Iran has signed the Non Proliferation Treaty that was supposed to even help them to do this. Their uranium supply is being monitored and that is what really matters.

    “I hold in my hand this paper, guaranteeing Peace In Our Time”…

    ( The correct quotes are:

    The settlement of the Czechoslovakian problem, which has now been achieved is, in my view, only the prelude to a larger settlement in which all Europe may find peace. This morning I had another talk with the German Chancellor, Herr Hitler, and here is the paper which bears his name upon it as well as mine. Some of you, perhaps, have already heard what it contains but I would just like to read it to you: ‘ … We regard the agreement signed last night and the Anglo-German Naval Agreement as symbolic of the desire of our two peoples never to go to war with one another again.
    [...]
    My good friends, this is the second time in our history that there has come back from Germany to Downing Street peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. And now I recommend you to go home and sleep quietly in your beds

    but it is commonly shortened in modern near-quotes… YAGDisclaimer)

    Your faith in agreements and paperwork is, er, ‘refreshing’?

    You also seem to think that nobody is spending $$$$ to destabilize the USA. Um, need I point out the number of “Mosques” being built all over the USA? That they are often staffed by folks with radical ideas. That there is an established pattern of using Mosques to coordinate and fund radicals? Hmmm??? (No, not all Mosques. No, not all Muslims. Yes, most Muslims are ‘just plain folks’ like the rest of us. Yes, a lot of radicals use the cover of mosques to hide destabilizing and plotting activities. YAGD.)

    (I won’t go into other folks funding or attempted funding of various political and economic machinations. Frankly, the whole Agenda21 thing can be seen as an attempt to destabilize the USA.)

    It’s a fairly standard thing in ‘international relations’. (No, recognizing that does NOT mean I endorse it or want it. Yes, it is just recognizing what is the reality on the ground. No, I don’t like it. Yes, I accept that it is and must be recognized to reach correct answers. Yes, I would eliminate it if I could. No, I can’t. YAGD).

    Saudi would never say they would attack another Muslim nation. It is forbidden by the Koran – so would take a finding by an appropriate level of Cleric first that Iran was ‘not Muslim’. That they don’t say anything says nothing about what they think or might do. (No, I don’t expect Saudi to attack Iran. Yes, they have the USA to do it for them by proxy. Yes, I think that was part of the ‘post Arab Oil Embargo deal’. No, I don’t like it. Yes, I have to recognize it. No, ‘the deal’ does not prevent Saudi from wanting to be able to ‘do the deed’ if the USA became ‘unreliable’. Yes, I expect they are more likely to bomb Israel. No, that does not mean I want that either. YAGD)

    There is a huge advantage in using plutonium for nukes. If you don’t know that, it is you who should be reading up on the subject.

    I know it (and far more than I’m willing to state publicly) including the design of nuclear triggers, the value of Beryllium in triggers and in reflectors, and that U233 is about as useful as Plutonium.

    I suggest that it is not me that needs to learn more about nuke design. No, strike that, I flat out state it. ( I once was queried by my cousin – who had the nuclear keys in part of Europe for a US Army group – about how I would make a small nuke. I described how I would make a ‘satchel nuke’ of small size including rough size estimates. He blanched and asked me how I knew such things as they had been classified. He, btw, has a Ph.D. But no, I’ll not describe the techniques to anyone who has not been cleared to carry the nuclear keys… )

    There are aspects of nuke design that are carefully NOT discussed in non-classified materials. IMHO this is done deliberately to funnel folks into the ‘expected path’ (that is very hard and costly). Beyond that, I will not go.

    However: Be advised that India made nuclear bombs using:

    1) Reactor Pu of ‘power reactor’ grade.
    2) U233 from Thorium
    3) Their “research reactor” is the likely source of the material.

    You see, a medical or research reactor is a great way to make Special Nuclear Material. It isn’t just for making medicines… (Yes, quantities / production rates are limited. No, that doesn’t mean much. Yes, Israel is small enough that a couple of nukes could wipe it out. Yes, the ‘first test’ might well be in a ship approaching Israel. Yes, Israel knows this – thus stopping approaching ships… No, I’m not interested in tossing rocks at them for doing what they need to do. Yes, a ‘research reactor’ can crank out a few bombs worth of SNM. Yes, Pakistan is thought to have done this too. Yes, the USA made a U233 nuke – part of the “mike” test IIRC. Yes, shortly after that we began talking dirt about U233 and Thorium reactors. Yes, that’s suspicious. No, I won’t say beyond that. YAGD)

    Per Iran and MAD: Read your Koran.

    Per Ron Paul:

    I’m on his side, so I’d be booed too. That you want to put me on the other side is a petty annoyance.

    That I recognize what’s happening ‘against my will’ does not mean I advocate it. Something you still have not grasped.

    As to the W.W.I allusion:

    That’s an interesting metaphor but not a very good one. The lone gunman as trigger doesn’t map to a superpower tossing its weight about.

    It would be more apt to say that the assassinations of Iranian scientists was an analogous event.

    I do agree (especially given the statements above about Russia and mutual defense pacts) that we are dancing around the edges of a similar event.

  75. R. de Haan says:

    @E.M.

    Iran shows restraint all right.
    As far as I know they haven’t start any war so far even when their scientists are killed in the streets although any of the emerging press articles should be regarded as “propaganda” the fact remains that the killings have happened.

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/225277.html

    As I said before, I trust Obama Media, the Israeli media and the Iran Times just as much for the content of their articles.

  76. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, I found a ‘published source’ so I can talk:

    http://www.torium.se/res/Documents/9_1kang.pdf

    However, just as it is possible to produce weapon-grade plutonium in low-burnup fuel, it is also practical to use heavy-water reactors to produce U-233 containing only a few ppm of U-232 if the thorium is segregated in “target” channels and discharged a few times more frequently than the natural-uranium “driver” fuel. The dose rate from 5-kg solid sphere of U-233 containing 5 ppm U-232 could be reduced by a further factor of 30, to about 2 mrem/hr, with a close-fitting lead sphere weighing about 100 kg. Thus the proliferation resistance of thorium fuel cycles depends very much upon how they are implemented.
    [...]
    Uranium-233 is, like plutonium-239, a long-lived fissile isotope produced in reactors by single-neutron capture in a naturally-occurring abundant fertile isotope (see Figure 1). The fast critical mass of U-233 is almost identical to that for Pu-239 and the spontaneous fission rate is much lower, reducing to negligible levels the problem of a spontaneous fission neutron prematurely initiating the chain reaction — even in a “gun-type” design such as used for the U-235 Hiroshima bomb (see Table 1).

    That is the ‘back door’ I’ve alluded to from time to time. I first thought of it about 1985 or so. The neutron cross section of U233 is 7.4 barns while Pu-239 is 2.7 barns. Think about it…

    Why does Uranium enrichment to 20% matter and why is it not just a ‘medical’ use?

    Production of U-233 requires the addition of the fertile material Th-232. If the fuel is natural uranium, only a relatively small percentage of thorium can be added before it becomes impossible to sustain a chain reaction.
    [...]
    For a country with uranium-enrichment capabilities, the balance between plutonium and U-233 production could be shifted almost all the way toward U-233 by fueling production reactors with highly-enriched uranium. Indeed the U.S. produced much of its weapons plutonium in the Savannah River heavy-water-moderated production reactors, using highly-enriched uranium fuel and depleted uranium targets in mixed-lattice arrangements.3

    It opens the back door to “that other great bomb stuff” that makes bombs as easily as Pu for implosion types and that can even be used in a primitive ‘gun type’. Basically, it lets you make a crude bomb style with the size advantages of Pu… Yeah, “that’s a problem” and likely why it has been so ‘obvious in its absence’ in anything published…

    Given that Iran is modeling on Pakistan (and used the same originator / scientist) and Pakistan modeled on India (and it’s pretty well known they used a ‘research’ reactor to make their ‘boom stuff’ and used U233 in at least one bomb) it’s not a very big leap to think “they know this”.

    Especially given that I found that paper in no time flat with a search on “U233 barns”…

    So yes, that 20% enrichment is a Red Flag issue….

    (But at least now I can talk about the ‘back door’ without fear of spilling the beans, seeing as that paper was published about 2001).

    It will be seen that the critical mass of a sphere of uranium 20-percent enriched in U-235 and surrounded by a 4-cm thick layer of beryllium is about 400 kg. A U-233/U-238 mixture has a corresponding critical mass when the U-233 percentage is approximately 12 percent.

    and

    For LWRs with feasible target replacement schedules (on the order of ten times the frequency for maximum driver-fuel burnup) the concentration of U-232 will be above 100 ppm. At such contamination levels, remote production operations would be required to produce fuel or weapons on a large scale without incurring large occupational doses. However, it could still be feasible for a highly motivated group to make a few nuclear weapons with this material without remote processing facilities.

    Even a LWR can ‘do it’ if you are willing to rotate staff a lot in the build room and only need ‘a few’…

    YAGD: Recognizing that this ‘problem’ faces the folks trying to prevent non-proliferation does not constitute endorsement of any particular military or economic or political solution. It is ONLY “admiring the problem”.

    But at least now I can more openly admit WHY I’m worried about 20% enrichment Uranium and WHY a ‘research reactor’ is now a sensitive issue…

    Cook some Thorium. Add it to the 20% enriched. Get “Boom stuff”.
    Cook a lot of Thorium, extract U233: “Great Boom Stuff” simple bombs.

    Yeah, it matters.

  77. cm says:

    It would be a boring world if everybody agreed about everything.E.M. “viva la difference”
    I know what you mean about reading the Koran.So far i’ve only ever failed to finish reading 2 books in my life the Koran and the Bible, just skimmed through them and no plans to go back.
    I usually keep my mouth shut when it comes to religion as i tend to look on it as Marx did.I should have took my own advice. As we say in Scotland, “it’s a nippy sweety”.
    I base my thoughts on muslims on the experiences i’ve picked up in my life so far with muslims that i’ve met.Mostly Paki’s and Paki shops..Adam Smith would be proud of every one of them.(think of a muslim version of Apu in the Simpsons).
    I’ve only ever met one real religious maniac in my life and he thought he was Jesus and tried to walk across the Firth of Forth after taking too many magic mushrooms. I can only base my opinion on my own experiences.Maybe i’m naive about pragmatism being the ruling thoughts going through the heads of the upper strata’s of the power in Iran. I hope not.
    At the end of the day, it turned out to be an interesting topic,judging by the amount of reponses it’s got. Just out of curiosity,do the muslims you meet in America on a daily basis really take the Koran seriously? A yes or no would be an ample answer.I’m feeling guilty for your poor fingers,they must be sore with all the replies to replies you’ve been doing.
    Changing the subject. Ever heard of the SSDT at Fort william?, i tried to enter this year but i didn’t get lucky in the ballot.Oh well,maybe next year.

  78. A lot of rhetoric with a lot of substance. But there are sort of two sides. The Islamic side are not necessarily peaceful people, their sects are forever fighting. These days it is often with a bit of intervention from the West.
    Rarely have they ventured outside their boundaries, except when the US incited the Iran-Iraq war.
    All the talk about their violent intentions against outsiders has amounted to very little.
    But consider this – it is the Western powers who have done all the invading, often with unsound reasons, and with dire consequences.
    You guys speak is if the US are the goodies and can do no wrong.
    Nothing could be further from the truth.

  79. @EM,
    It seems we agree on the important things, ie that attacking Iran is a bad idea, but there is nothing we can do to stop it. Also, agree to disagree about the ability to read/forecast Iran’s future actions.

    OK, so you know something about nuclear bombs. So do I. What either of us know is probably more than the recovered info from Iran that is used a proof positive of their intent. In passing, Iran’s medical reactor is also monitored by UN inspectors so it would not be easy to do what you suggest. Not impossible. Israel fooled the US inspectors, or at least that is the story. (I find it difficult to believe. They wouldn’t have fooled me.) Also, getting tritium could be a problem for Iran. That is one of the dangers of “safe” hot fusion reactors – they make liters of the stuff.

    I know it is off topic, but how do you read LENR developments? They could be a real game changer. The first Defkalion results should be known inside a month.

  80. Sabretoothed says:

    Come on, most of the problems come from Saudi, but seriously what is done about it? All Saudi investigations are censored, just check the 911 report, why are all the Saudi things missing?

    Saudi never attacks anyone, people were wondering why a shoe bomber appeared, ummmmmmmmmmm I wonder why?? Because USA/Saudi were attacking the border region of Yemen a few weeks before.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8344394.stm

    Why are the Saudi militants keep popping up. Seriously, how many Iranian militants have you seen?

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/1/underwear-bomb-maker-believed-dead-yemen-strike/

  81. R. de Haan says:

    But reading the Teheran Times it’s nice to hear that the Omani Navy Chiefs are seeking more cooperation with the iranian Navy.

    Looks like a friendly act to me especially if we take into consideration that Oman is situated right across the Strait of Hormuz.

    http://www.tehrantimes.com/politics/95224-iranian-omani-navy-chiefs-call-for-closer-military-cooperation-

    What we also can read in the Teheran Times is that Iran in response to the boycotts is kicking out all foreign (read Western) oil companies.

    I don’t think the Chinese are waiting for a repeat of the Libyan scenario when 40.000 chinese oil workers were expelled from the country leaving a few billions worth of investments behind.

    The same goes for the Russians who also have a stake in Iran’s oil industry and who deliver a great part of the hardware.

  82. Sabretoothed says:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2003/aug/02/nation/na-saudi2

    “The 27 classified pages of a congressional report about Sept. 11 depict a Saudi government that not only provided significant money and aid to the suicide hijackers but also allowed potentially hundreds of millions of dollars to flow to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups through suspect charities and other fronts, according to sources familiar with the document.

    One U.S. official who has read the classified section said it describes “very direct, very specific links” between Saudi officials, two of the San Diego-based hijackers and other potential co-conspirators “that cannot be passed off as rogue, isolated or coincidental.”

    Said another official: “It’s really damning. What it says is that not only Saudi entities or nationals are implicated in 9/11, but the [Saudi] government” as well.”

  83. R. de Haan says:

    Saudi Arabia guarantees oil price not to exceed 100 USD per barrel.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/46285933

    That’s a nice gesture if Saudi Arabia would be in control of the oil price.

    For now even with a lower demand and increased stocks oil prices floated around 97 USD today.

  84. R. de Haan says:

    Salafi, the nationalist version of Islam.

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

  85. George says:

    OBL intentionally chose 9/11 hijackers from Saudi Arabia with the intention that it would create problems between the US and Saudi Arabia. The overthrow of the Saudi government is another one of AQ’s goals.

    AQ always did have rich Saudi backers. Mainly people who thought that the House of Saud is too liberal and would want to close off the society even more.

    The only thing “troubling” about those “facts” is that they are designed to appeal to an ignorant population.

  86. R. de Haan says:

    Obama still tries to stop Israeli Iran strike. West confronts Iran in Syria
    DEBKAfile Special Report February 6, 2012, 3:35 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Barack Obama Israel Iran Syrian uprising Bashar Assad UN Security Council

    Barack Obama
    US President Barack Obama, by asserting Sunday, Feb. 5, he doesn’t think Israel has made a decision on whether to attack Iran, indicated he preferred to keep Israel back from military action and set aside as a strategic reserve, while at the same time using the broad presumption of Jerusalem’s assault plans to intimidate Iran into opting for diplomatic talks on its nuclear program.
    To this end, the president directly contradicted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s statement six days earlier that he expected Israel to strike Iran in April, May or June.
    In Israel, no knowledgeable source any longer doubts that the Netanyahu government has already reached a decision. It was instantly assumed that Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, whose appointment as the next Israeli Air Force commander was announced Sunday, would lead the coming operation against Iran.
    Obama also said, “We are going to be sure we work in lockstep as we proceed to try to solve this – hopefully diplomatically.” DEBKAfile’s analysts report that by “lockstep” he meant the role to which he had assigned Israel in the massive disinformation contest underway between the West and Iran.
    Tehran responded to this verbal assault with one of its own, publishing a paper which suggested for the first time that Iran would not wait to be attacked but was preparing pre-emptive action of its own against Israel. The paper spoke of a surprise missile offensive targeting Israel’s military installations, which were said to be concentrated between Kiryat Gat and the South, and the central Lod-Modiin district in the center, which Iran considers to be the soft urban-military belly of Israel.
    Two features stood out from the verbiage of the last 24 hours:
    1. Iran has no intention whatsoever of abandoning its drive for a nuclear bomb. According to the information in Israeli hands, its program has passed the point of no return and capable of producing a weapon whenever its rulers so decide. This situation, American and Israeli leaders year after year had vowed to avert.
    Iran underscored its negative on diplomacy by contemptuously refusing the IAEA inspectors visiting the country this week access to any of its nuclear facilities.
    2. The US-led confrontation against Iran by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar has made Syria a major hub of the conflict, especially since the Russian-Chinese blockage Saturday of their UN Security Council motion to remove President Bashar Assad and end his brutal crackdown.
    Israel has no role in this clash of wills, and President Obama is doing his best to keep Israel on the sidelines of the Iran controversy too, while he continues to angle for nuclear dialogue.
    He was supported in this course by the veteran ex-diplomat Thomas R. Pickering who wrote in the New York Times on Feb. 2 that US relations with Iran remind him of the old Afghan adage: “If you deal in camels, make sure the doors are high” – meaning that to strike a deal, both President Obama and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would have to make concessions.
    Obama’s latest words indicate he is willing; Khamenei shows the opposite tendency.
    Israel could if it so decided upset this unequal diplomatic applecart before it started rolling by a surprise attack on Iran without prior notice to Washington.
    For the Obama administration the Security Council defeat was a major policy setback on top of reversals in Cairo.
    Tehran in contrast was buoyed up by what it saw as the lifebelt Moscow and Beijing cast to rescue the Assad regime, for now at least, from the onslaught of its enemies and the stabilization of their Mediterranean flank to the west and direct front against Israel.
    The Syrian ruler’s fall would rob Tehran of its most powerful military ally for taking on Israel without direct Iranian involvement. It would also cause the Lebanese Hizballah’s disempowerment as a military force. Severance of its geographic link to Tehran via Syria would expose the Shiite militia to Western and Arab diplomatic pressure and an Israeli attack.
    Sunday, Feb. 5, Tehran followed up with a large-scale, three-week long military exercise in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Ocean. The Iranians were showing Washington that after stabilizing their Syrian front, they were braced for any military surprises the US or Israeli might spring on their most vulnerable region.
    Monday, Feb. 6, opposition sources reported that the Syrian army had redoubled its deadly artillery and mortar offensive against Homs and, for the first time, bombarded the national financial and business capital of Aleppo. French sources reported Syrian armored cars were attacking Zabadani between Damascus and the Lebanese border.
    If all these reports are confirmed, it would mean that Bashar Assad is taking ruthless advantage of the respite granted him by the Russian and Chinese Security Council veto to stamp out the uprising against him once and for all.
    On the diplomatic front Monday, the US-led Western and Arab camp was reported to be pushing hard for the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Internal Security chief Mikhail Fradkov to use their visit to Damascus Tuesday and compel Assad to abandon his brutal attacks, pull his troops out of Syrian towns and step down.
    To this end, the Western-Arab bloc is trying to set up another Council session before the end of the week – hopefully to reverse its contretemps of Saturday.
    The Six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council foreign ministers meet in Riyadh this week for another round of consultations on the Syrian crisis after the Security Council fiasco and failed attempt to deploy monitors in the war-stricken country.
    The West is also threatening to supply the rebels with heavy weaponry, at the risk of an escalation to full-scale civil war. This is an indirect admission that only light arms were given the anti-Assad forces until now. By boosting rebel strength, the West would tell Moscow that tolerance for the Assad regime to continue to rule Syria had dropped to zero.
    The Russians are being called upon to back away from their support for Assad and reverse the policy which actuated their veto vote at the Security Council. Whether or not this is realistic will become known as the week unfolds.

  87. E.M.Smith says:

    @cm

    I got further in the Koran than in The Bible. (At the Begats I started skipping around ;-) Found trying to read it in Latin more interesting as that took some effort…

    Thanks for the moral support… Yes, fingers getting worn ;-)

    Not heard of the SSDT before. A Yahoo! search was interesting… The wiki:

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

    A motorcycle trial running since 1909… Gotta love it!

    Per ‘local muslims': Can’t generalize. It varies. Some are quite bound by it, some not so much.

    Also realize that the Koran specifically says that Muslims ‘sojourning’ in non-Muslim lands can violate the Koran to blend in and ‘get by’, but once it is consecrated to Islam must be strict observers. This means you can NOT generalize from Islam seen in dilution, but only once at 50%+ (Viz Lebanon, as one example of Christian converted to Islamic majority. Viz Egypt as another and their present attacking of Coptic Egyptians. Viz, well, just about anywhere once 50% is reached and the Clerics declare Sharia Law…

    So, as I noted above, I “get along well” with Muslims and bear no ill will toward any I have met ( though do toward a few I’ve seen on TV in places I will never go…). Overall, about the same feelings I have toward various Christian sects (and about as variable). My bias is toward Buddhists where I’ve generally found a more comfortable theology… (No, bias toward one does NOT imply bias against the other. Neutral exits. The empty vessel just is… YAGD).

    @R. de Haan:

    Saudi has been drilling more wells and has said they will produce as needed. They are the ‘swing producer’ so DO influence prices rather directly.

    That DEBKAfile report is very distressing. If true, there is less hope than I’d expected….

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    We are all prisoners of our biases and environment.

    FWIW, I’m of the opinion that much of this mess comes as consequence of how W.W.I ended and how the UK designed the area to be unstable as nation states were created out of mixed ethnicities. I think that was done for the purpose of facilitating future casus belli.

    I have no illusions that the USA has also been a pot stirrer. ( In fact, it’s a significant part of why I want to ‘just go home’ – resentment about the USA acting as a UK analog pot stirrer. I ‘take rocks for it’ but I do feel that it is not our place to tell others how to live.

    That said: We’re already in the soup and going home now is unlikely to change that. So I have to presume a) We won’t go isolationist. b) If we did, we stay a target for past sins.

    In either case, the predicted outcome is continued risk to the USA, rising over time.

    How to fix it? I don’t know.

    (Most likely, that’s what bothers me most. Not having any decent idea how to “fix it”. I WANT “go home” but I THINK “bombing may be all that works” and I don’t LIKE any of the choices. Skitzo? Yeah, kinda… 8-\
    )

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    We do not disagree on predicting Iran. While I have my ‘most likely IMHO’ stated in the conclusions, I also freely admit I don’t know nearly enough about REAL Iranian internal dynamics to know; which, frankly, was WHY I made this posting and asked for ‘other ideas’ and things I’d missed. I really really want to be comforted that I’ve missed something and, for example:

    1) The Clerics are toothless tigers and everyone knows it.
    2) They just have PR, no real nuke / missile ability (though putting that sat on orbit is kind of an existence proof)
    3) Everyone is just posturing as part of some other game, chill.
    4) The USA is gracefully leaving under cover of PR noise.
    etc.
    etc.

    I just don’t SEE any of those as at all likely… and I KNOW that I don’t know enough to be comfortable…

    (Maybe would could just give Russia the old ‘wink wink nudge nudge’ and tell them they can have Syria as part of ‘greater Slavia’ if they just clean it up and keep Iran busy ;-)

    Per research reactors: The problem isn’t THAT reactor (IMHO) so much as them slowly building a duplicate in a hole in the ground by replicating parts over time. Then the enrichment becomes ‘dual use’. The other possible, of course, is that they evade the inspectors ala Israel…

    (Were I doing it, I’d make a ‘water pool’ research reactor. Fueling that with 20% enriched is fairly easy. The whole thing takes 1950s technology. You can ‘pipe’ the neutron flux to a fuel exposure / creation bay with simple empty PVC pipes making ‘holes in the water’… Yeah, slow, but when you have a decade… and if you only need to turn a modest amount of Th into U233 to ‘juice’ your legit 20% up to ‘boom stuff’… [ and beyond that I will not go sans cited public info...] All that can be easily done out of sight… And the presence of the exiting research reactor ‘justifies’ the enrichment to 20% facilities – then it’s just a minor ‘pilfer a few kg a year’…)

    Basically, IMHO, there is no proliferation proof nuclear power industry. Only resistant, and 20% research reactors with home grown enrichment are not very resistant…

    As to the morality of forbidding others to do what we (and much of Europe) do, well, were I on the other side I’d resent it…

    Pre LENR:

    I think it’s real, and ‘soon’ if not already here. I think I’ve figured out how it works ( metal latices with M-H bond length less than ionic radius of M and with electrical charge pressure on the matrix; then H gets quantum-wiggled occasionally into the local of the nucleus of M, and LENR happens).

    I expect that there will be many { unexplained deaths, explosions, etc | buyouts of companies | sudden ‘classification’ | Regulation that makes it unacceptable | surprise patent fights that take decades | etc. } as folks with $Trillions on the line will not go quietly. I HOPE that I am wrong.

    @Sabertoothed:

    Interesting, and suggestive. Raises a ‘concern and watch’ flag on some Saudis

    Adel al-Jubeir, a chief Saudi spokesman, said in an interview that there were thousands of members of the royal family, and that while an internal government investigation had uncovered “wrongdoing by some,” such lapses were certainly not part of any government conspiracy.

    The report itself cautions that its findings are inconclusive and require further investigation.

    “On the one hand, it is possible that these kinds of connections could suggest, as indicated in a CIA memorandum, ‘incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists,’ ” one passage from the unclassified section states. “On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and
    innocent, explanations for these associations.”

    But falls short of indictment. IMHO it shows the end case (of which we are likely to see much more over time) of a House of Saud funding of Wahabi theology starting to show up in the present generation. Those who were not part of the history of The Arab Oil Embargo and the subsequent “deal”…

    I expect that eventually Saudi Arabia will end up so much radicalized by the Wahabi funding that the House of Saud will either not stand, or will need to become radicalized too to survive. The question of ‘are we there yet?’ is, I think, answered with a “not yet”; but IMHO, not that far off either…

  88. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  89. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://news.yahoo.com/iran-boosts-nuclear-bunker-diplomats-184920735.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

    Sorry about the Killer Whales post, I put it here instead of T3

    By the way, look above, they are using the old Afghanistan Cave trick again. Whats the bet there is nothing in the mountains when they get there, maybe a camel or a goat?

    But the simulations are starting http://rt.com/news/uss-enterprise-iran-treasure-coast-621/

  90. R. de Haan says:

    “Bold Alligator 2012″ drills 20,000 troops on US East Coast for Persian Gulf action
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 7, 2012, 9:53 AM (GMT+02:00) Tags: US military action US sanctions for Iran Iran nuclear Iranian war game Strait of Hormuz

    Bold Alligator 2012 exercise
    Some 20,000 marines, seamen and air crews from half a dozen countries, a US nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and three US Marine gunship carriers are practicing an attack on a fictitious mechanized enemy division which has invaded its neighbor. It is the largest amphibian exercise seen in the West for a decade, staged to simulate a potential Iranian invasion of an allied Persian Gulf country and a marine landing on the Iranian coast. Based largely on US personnel and hardware, French, British, Italian, Dutch, Australian and New Zealand military elements are integrated in the drill.
    Bold Alligator went into its operational phase Monday, Feb. 6, the same day as a large-scale exercise began in southern Iran opposite the Strait of Hormuz. This simultaneity attests to the preparations for a US-Iranian showdown involving Israel behind the words on Feb. 5 of US President Barack Obama (“I don’t think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran”) and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Feb. 3 (“The war itself will be ten times as detrimental to the US.”).
    Monday, Feb. 6, the US president ordered the tightening of sanctions by freezing Iranian assets in America and blocking the operations of Iranian banks including its central bank.
    US Rear Adm. Kevin Scott and Brig. Gen. Christopher Owens are coordinating the exercise over large stretches of coastal terrain in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida and Atlantic Ocean from the USS Wasp amphibian helicopter carrier. It is led by the USS Enterprise nuclear carrier with strike force alongside three amphibian helicopter carriers, the USS Wasp, the USS Boxer and the USS Kearsage. On their decks are 6,000 Marines, 25 fighter bombers and 65 strike and transport helicopters, mainly MV-22B Ospreys with their crews. Altogether 100 combat aircraft are involved.
    The exercise is scheduled to end on February 14, a week before the winding up of the Iranian drill, after which the participants are to be shipped out to Persian Gulf positions opposite Iran. Altogether three American aircraft carrier strike groups, the French Charles de Gaulle carrier and four or five US Marines amphibian vessels will be posted there, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.
    On Feb. this site first disclosed a flow in unprecedented numbers of US military strength to two strategic islands, Yemeni Socotra and Omani Masirah, within range of the Strait of Hormuz and Iran.
    US naval officials insist that the exercise has nothing to do with Iran, but the scenario is a giveaway. A mechanized division from the fictitious hostile country of Garnet (Iran) has invaded its neighbor, Amber (Saudi Arabia), which has asked for coalition assistance to halt the enemy’s northern advance. Garnet has already mined harbors (Hormuz) and established anti-ship missiles on its coastline.
    Coalition forces are required to develop strategy for defeating the enemy and carry the combat onto its (Iranian) soil. Hence, the preponderance of amphibian Marines in the exercise.

    End of article.

  91. E.M.Smith says:

    From that RT article:

    The 50-year-old aircraft carrier Enterprise, leading the naval exercise, is to join two other US strike groups in the Persian Gulf by March. This will be the final deployment for the oldest carrier in Washington’s fleet.

    So if you were going to put a carrier at risk by parking it in the gulf and maybe having some attack flights from it, wouldn’t you choose to use one that was on its “final deployment”?

    If it gets damaged, so what?…

    Strange thought, that…. A ‘disposable’ aircraft carrier…

    Add that the “forward floating base” was scheduled for decommissioning too, and it was sent over, I think we’re seeing the start of a pattern…

    ( I was about 8 years old when she was commissioned… about 50 years ago…)

    @R. de Haan:

    My statement about ‘Do it on April 15th and folks would be distracted by taxes’ is looking worrisome…

    Maybe even sooner, though. Practice done Feb 14. Two weeks to get in position. Mid March? Ides of March, anyone? Sigh…

  92. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM
    IMHO you have it backwards. Iran doesn’t want war but Israel/US does. Obama talks about diplomacy being the first choice but as far as I can find there has been only one direct meeting (40 minutes) between Iran and the US in recent years. The US insists that Iran must agree to stop enriching uranium before any more meetings. This is diplomacy?

    When you consider America’s recent major wars:
    Korean war. Justified because the N.Koreans attacked first.
    Vietnam You know what a disaster that was.
    Iraq (in my opinion the attack was a war crime) Still no electricity in the capital much of the day.
    Afghanistan See http://armedforcesjournal.com/2012/02/8904030 for a more realistic report on the lack of progress.
    The universal result of these wars has been hundreds of thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands killed, devastation of infrastructure, immense cost and no long term advantage to the US. Why would anybody think attacking Iran would be any different?

    Re LENR. Andrea Rossi claims he is currently building a highly automated plant to produce a million domestic 10kW E-Cats a year, with sales starting late this year, through Home Depot amongst other places. His behavior is possibly calculated to throw off the competition from recognizing the seriousness of the threat until it is too late. At least I hope so.

  93. david says:

    E.M. for some more insight into Iran’s nuclear program, I suggest previewing this on Google books

    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6578831-the-rise-of-nuclear-iran

    (I suspect Adrian has not read this material or he would not think the Iranian nuclear program to be limited to energy and medical needs)

  94. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @David,
    I didn’t see any meaningful reviews on the site you linked, but I can imagine what Mr. Gold would write.

    Ambassador Dore Gold is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was the eleventh Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999). Previously he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.

  95. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Nobody likes a cop when they are beating someone with a baton, even if the person is a criminal…

    Look at the USA through the lens of “Europe’s Elected Cop” and it makes more sense (even the ‘bad bits’).

    Korea: Stopped Communist China from just running on down to the end of the peninsula (and maybe points beyond). Ask the South Koreans if they would be happier as part of North Korea right now. UN sanctioned “police action” BTW. (YAGD: I’m no fan of the UN…)

    VIetnam: The exit was a mess, but was it still of benefit? EXACTLY what the hard line ‘right wingers’ said would happen, happened when we left. The domino effect of several countries falling to communism. Yet… It happened many years later than it otherwise would have. Late enough in The Game for the USSR to be already in decline. Did the time they were sucked into the area help? Did it stop further attempts elsewhere? The history of ‘what would have been’ is not available to read; but I’m pretty comfortable speculating that a triumphant communism would have been spread much further and taken longer to collapse. (YAGD: I’m no fan of that war, or any war, either. I was ready to go to Canada when I got my draft number of 340ish and didn’t have to go. Observation of probable geopolitical impact is not a statement of advocacy.)

    Iraq: You failed to say “which one?” ;-)

    As noted before, the use of WMD happened in that Saddam was gassing Kurds. I think they were glad we finally showed up (even if it was a few years late and thousands were killed by the delay). The “No WMD” was a ‘left wing’ lie (Yes, LIE) based on a deliberate confounding of WMD with “Nukes Only” when is actually is “CBNW” chemical, biological, nuclear. Ask the Kuwait how they felt about Saddam. Ask the Saudi’s. For that matter, ask Iran. Would it be better to leave him in power? Oh, wait, Daddy Bush did that and so Jr. had to finish a half done job… (UN Approved, BTW… so are you saying the UN are a bunch of war criminals? YAGD: I feel like they are…)

    Afghanistan: So, just leave the Taliban in charge and Osama training attackers by the thousands ( millions? Hey, with a whole country to work with, no telling how many he could get processed. IMHO he would still be alive today but for our going after him with ‘boots on the ground’). Leave them destroying Heritage Sites like the giant Buddha? Oh, and Iran was rather happy we got rid of them, too. (Though not happy about how long we stayed after). On this one I have no qualms. The guy who whacked us a half dozen times ( don’t forget the Nigerian embassy among others) is running a camp there; we clean it out. No apology. No disclaimer. Per “progress”: I don’t really care. Frankly, IMHO, we ought to have gone in twice as hard up front, caught OBL in the hills (Pakistan be damned) and then packed up and left years ago (just after the ‘kill shot’). If it ‘resurrected’, then go back in.

    per “The universal result of these wars has been hundreds of thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands killed, devastation of infrastructure, immense cost and no long term advantage to the US. Why would anybody think attacking Iran would be any different?”

    You seem to think wars are going to be pretty and nice with fluffy bunnies and nobody hurt. Fantasyland. Wars are horrible dirty mean nasty and evil things. By Definition. THAT is not the standard on which to measure them. By that standard everyone in Europe would now be speaking German as the USA would never have gone into Europe during W.W.II (having not been attacked by Germany and all…). The standard is “avoidance of a worse outcome”.

    In each of the above “Police Actions” and wars, the avoided outcome was clearly worse (or highly likely to have been worse), with the interesting case of VIetnam where it WAS worse when we pulled out. Yes, eventually it got better as communism in general went down the drain. So even the delay was likely ‘worth it’.

    Look: I’m no fan of doing Europe’s dirty laundry. What I WANT is for Europeans to deal with their messes themselves. But I’m not in charge. Coming out of W.W.II there were a couple of decisions made. Decisions I’d like to get rid of, but that are still ‘in effect’. One was that the USA would be the World Cop. Cleaning up ‘little Hitlers’ before they became big ones and started W.W.III. (You do know that the Baathist party was modeled on the Nationalist Socialist format of the Nazi party and that Saddam was an admirer of Hitler?… Oh, the Baathists are also the dominant party in Syria right now… YAGD: As Europeans created the doctrine of National Socialism, I’d rather they dealt with the aftermath, but I don’t get a choice.)

    After the Arab Oil Embargo the decision was made that the USA would be “cop in the Gulf” and keep oil stable. That deal was cut with Europe, Saudi, and the USA. We were not ‘colonialists’ so there was less of an issue with folks thinking we would want to build an empire in the area.

    After W.W.II the USA was left to keep Soviet Russia from just doing a ‘walkover’ all the way to Britain. Old Joe Stalin was quite capable of doing so. (Remember the little thing called the Cold War? Guess what, no USA: it would have been a very hot war for a tiny little while then a communist Europe from USSR to the Atlantic… That Communism is a European creation and I think Europeans ought to deal with the consequences does not change what happened.

    Do I like any of that? NOT AT ALL. As noted before, my desire is to be an isolationist and tell the rest of the world to go fight it out and kill each other if they want; we will trade with the victors.

    BUT: I also realize that the principle of “lesser harm” has been met by the USA being the Global Cop. Even if that has meant shooting a couple of thugs in front of the children and getting in some brawls with the street gangs. Analytically I can see a ‘greater good’ even if a messy one. ( I’ll leave it for you to find how to fight a nice clean war or shoot thugs without a mess…)

    Quite Frankly: I’m not only tired of the lives and treasure this country has spent in service to the “Global Community”, I’m darned near fed up with being slapped in the face by that same ‘community’ for protecting them. Personally, I’d be quite happy to let Europe and the Middle East and Russia go back to their periodic squabbling and empire swapping. (See the history of the Ottoman Empire, Napoleonic Empire, British Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Russian … )

    So, in summary: Yes, wars are messy. Here is your choice:

    1) We do it for you, and much better than most.
    2) You can do it for yourself, though you never seem to finish / end…
    3) Learn to love Sharia.

    Pick one…

    Oh, BTW, it will be a highly nuclear world if you don’t pick #1. At least for a little while… then it will be cold and dark and empty…

    (YAGD: IMHO the Game as presently practiced has at most 20 or so years to go, perhaps as few as 10 years. At that point the USA will not have enough money / wealth / credit to continue business as usual.

    At the same time, a 1940’s technology can not be kept under wraps much longer. Heck, I’m pretty sure I could make a passable nuclear bomb out of that 20% enriched Uranium right now. Yes, it would take a moderately large ship to deliver it, so “stealth” is the only way to go. But just how many ships are inspected 20 miles out to sea?… So in many ways we are arguing about an ending phase of “Global Governance”. One way or the other.

    For me, I’d love to see it end sooner than later. It’s time for this cop to retire… I just don’t see anyone else stepping up able to do the job.

    Don’t believe me on the nuke thing? Read that paper I linked. 400 kg of 20% with Beryllium reflector. Yeah, it’s a big lump. About 21 liters (or about 5 1/2 US Gallons). To the extent you can enrich more, or add U233, you can shrink the size. After that it’s largely just conventional explosives and accurate shaped charges / timing. As Iran has done shaped charge IED design, and the electronics of today make the timing near trivial, well, lets just say it isn’t that hard any more. Think you could fit a device about the size of a refrigerator on a ship and run it to inside 10 miles of Israel?… Or up the Potomac to Washington DC? That’s the world we are looking at in about 5 years, or that may already be here…

    Oh, and guess what, it’s going to be messy and cruel and have “hundreds of thousands wounded, hundreds of thousands killed, devastation of infrastructure, immense cost and no long term advantage”… Welcome to the real world. One I very much do not want. )

    BTW, putting such a nuke in the bottom of an oil tanker intensifies the effect as the surrounding water acts as a neutron reflector… How many places in Europe have oil tanker ports?…

    @David:

    Thanks, I’ll take a look. (But I’m pretty sure I have a handle on it already. All you need to know is that at the skinny bit Israel is less than the radius of one modest nuke, and that about 1/2 dozen and the place is gone. Oh, and most of it is inside one nuke radius of the sea…)

    Well, maybe that and the awareness to be able to ask: If a nuke goes off 1/2 mile inside the Jordanian border, who ought Israel (assuming some of it is left functional) attack? Jordan? Pakistan? Iran? Who sent the truck? Or was it a Russian Nuke bought by Syria? Or Saudi Arabia? That is the key problem with delivery by stealth. You have no idea who did it, and waiting to find out means you are extinct. It’s a ‘scale’ thing, with Israel small and the nuke blast radius large…

  96. Pascvaks says:

    FWIW – It occures to me to offer the following few words of wit to this long discussion: What you see and feel depends on where you stand (or sit) and how awake you are to what’s happening around you, but –and this is kind’a important– if’n ya ain’t all there, or you’re kind’a retarded, you’re going to miss an awful lot and probably screw up more than your own life and the lives of a lot of folks who for some stupid reason rely on you to sail the ship (or drive the bus). (Sarc/WitOff)

    PS: There’s stringphysics, quantumphysics, nuclearphysics, molecularphysics, plainphysics, engineering, rocketscience, astrophysics, and several hundred more up the lane. They all have their own set of rules. Politics is a lot like physics in that the rules and tools you use depends on where you are and what you’re doing, and if you’re any good at it. Is Iran misunderstood and mistreated by others? Of course! Does it really matter? It depends.

  97. david says:

    Adrian Ashfield (15:33:12) :

    @David,
    I didn’t see any meaningful reviews on the site you linked, but I can imagine what Mr. Gold would write.

    Ambassador Dore Gold is President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was the eleventh Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations (1997-1999). Previously he served as Foreign Policy Advisor to the former Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
    ===============================================
    Yes, and this is suppose to mean what? As Israel is vastly more threatened then any other country by Islamic extremism, then perhaps his position has enabled him to be very knowledgeable. At any rate, if one is not willing to listen to two sides of an issue they are not likely to have a balanced and informed perspective. I ask you to consider a wider perspective as earlier you asserted that Ahmadinejad never threatened Israel via your dispute over one translation of one quote. I offered you a dozen or so, yet have not seen you acknowledge this. Did you know that expansion of Iran’s borders via Islam is in the Revelutionary party founding doctrines? Have you studied the terrorist groups that Iran supports?

    Here is another book that you may wish to consider that well supports Dore Gold’s.

    http://books.google.com/books/about/Iran_and_the_Bomb.html?id=uusveSsv_9AC

    Instead of a review of Gold’s book read sections of it here on Google Books

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CC8QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fbooks.google.com%2Fbooks%2Fabout%2FThe_Rise_of_Nuclear_Iran.html%3Fid%3DBuvEzASMq3UC&ei=9W4xT5G8HMHjiALxqbTVAw&usg=AFQjCNGCGXZ-aYXRggwMuD8EtZjZE2Gqhg&sig2=61HHSCMY3agfXB4TEkCGgQ

    I saw numerous facts of which you clearly have no awarness.

  98. kakatoa says:

    I was on the N. Caroline coast during the last big amphibious training effort a decade ago. It looks like our troops will have a bit of practice in if they are needed anywhere in the near future.

    “Photos of the Day: Amphibious War”

    “Military officials say the operation being conducted in Virginia and North Carolina is the largest amphibious training exercise they’ve attempted in at least a decade.”

    http://pddnet.com/photos-of-the-day-amphibious-war-020712/?et_cid=2466045&et_rid=217802272&linkid=http%3a%2f%2fpddnet.com%2fphotos-of-the-day-amphibious-war-020712%2f

  99. david says:

    “Well, maybe that and the awareness to be able to ask: If a nuke goes off 1/2 mile inside the Jordanian border, who ought Israel (assuming some of it is left functional) attack? Jordan? Pakistan? Iran? Who sent the truck? Or was it a Russian Nuke bought by Syria? Or Saudi Arabia? That is the key problem with delivery by stealth. You have no idea who did it, and waiting to find out means you are extinct. It’s a ‘scale’ thing, with Israel small and the nuke blast radius large…”

    From the State of Irael’s perspective this makes perfect sense. They know Iran tried to keep their “peaceful” nuclear program secret for two decades. They know they deny or delay inspections while facilities are torn down, or yards thick of top soil are removed. The know and belive the statements from the Iranian regime concerning the destruction of Israel. Iran has guarantees of nuclear fuel from Russia, and further guarantees from Europe, and so no need of a enrichment program. If Iran refuses (they have) to back down on this program they force Irael’s hand. The world has limited choces. Accept a nuclear armed Iran providing cover for terrorism and the eventual destruction of Israel. Or stop it now (very soon). Israel has only one choice and Iran’s actions are making their choice unavoidable.

  100. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @David,
    You wrote that I “asserted that Ahmadinejad never threatened Israel via your dispute over one translation of one quote.” I’m not sure I can parse that, but what I said was I’m tired of that particular mistranslation. If that can be so widely used, and it is, why should I trust any of the other claims of what “Iran” said without looking at the source?

    I’m a Canadian citizen resident in the US. I don’t think I’m biased about Israel. I don’t like the bellicose Likud government. I didn’t like Bush Jnr’s government either. Jews say all kinds of nasty things too. Does Gold believe a Jewish nail clipping is worth more that a thousand goy lives? I’m sure he would be too diplomatic to say so. Why do so many Israelis call Palestinians “cockroaches”?

    The bottom line for me is that all politicians lie and say things to please the crowd and get re-elected. What counts is what the government actually does. Iran is no threat to Israel for years and certainly no threat at all to the US. Israel will probably bomb them. The only thing holding them back is the difficulty of the raid, not any moral qualms. Israel bombed Iraq’s civil nuclear power plant and Iraq could surely do with the power. Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs but won’t let Iran have a civil nuclear energy industry because Iran might do what they did?

  101. R. de Haan says:

    E.M.Smith (17:12:29) :

    I think the US military desperately needs a break.
    Not only to recuperate from the past and current fighting missions.
    But also to solve a number of problems that are related to the political rot and corruption we have observed in our political system.

    Accidently Drudge today has carried a few articles about the war in Afghanistan that provides some insights.

    Truth, Lies and Afghanistan

    http://armedforcesjournal.com/2012/02/8904030

    US provides false information about Afghanistan

    http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=CNG.956cc047c755305c8ad4580183554bcc.941&show_article=1

    And the biggest challenge of all, the environmental goals for the US Military:

    http://www.energy-daily.com/reports/US_Military_Sets_Ambitious_Environmental_Goals_999.html

    The Obama administration recently announced a joint partnership between private-sector companies, the Department of Agriculture, U.S. Navy, and the Department of Energy to invest $510 million in biofuel production over three years
    [SEPP Comment: Changing the term invest to spend or waste would be more accurate. The Secretary of the Navy suggesting using 336 million gallons of biofuel by 2020 from 300 thousand gallons today should be grounds for dismissal with dishonor. With Pew leading the change, the US military is sure to fail in its major purpose – defense of the nation.

    It has become clear to me that the political rot that brought us the Climate Change doctrine which infested our finest institution with bias non science and fraud, the financial crises triggered by a corrupt Wall Street, the Fast and The Furious scandal involving the head of the Department of Justice with a passive Congress and a passive Senate, this rot has reached the Pentagon and the top military leadership. We have now entered a phase where we face big risks as all our values are undermined and we can no longer trust our leadership.

    For the US military this mens the end of the line.
    There is no way we can engage in another conflict if the soldiers no longer trust the commander in chief and their military leadership.

    That’s why the Russians lost Afghanistan and why we will loose Afghanistan as well.

    The priority for now is to restore the Republic and eliminate the corrupt and destructive powers that have triggered the rot,

    The only candidate who can restore the process of collapse is Ron Paul.

    Unfortunately the elections have been rigged from the beginning just like the Obama Media once called the Independent American Free Press.

    I really think we are in serious trouble.

    The biggest threat the USA is facing today isn’t Iran, China or Russia but the corrupt gang that is screwing up the USA from within.

  102. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM,
    I said the Korean war was justified, because N. Korea attacked first..

    Don’t agree with you about Vietnam. It reformed itself with no help from the US war. Wiki says:
    “Emerging from this prolonged military engagement, the war-ravaged Communist nation was politically isolated. In 1986, the government instituted economic and political reforms and began a path towards international reintegration.[10] By 2000, it had established diplomatic relations with most nations. Its economic growth has been among the highest in the world since 2000.”

    Iraq: I don’t class the poison gas Iraq had as WMD. Not in the same league. Not only had the British used poison gas against Iraq but it was used in the Iraq/Iran war. What happened at Halaba is still not clear and beware of history written by the victor.
    Anyway, Saddam had indeed destroyed what poison gas he had long before the US invasion. The stories of portable poison gas plants, used by Powell in his presentation the UN, originated from a nut case code named “curve ball,” held in Germany – and known to be doubtful by the CIA.
    So that one won’t fly.

    Afghanistan: Panetta stated there were perhaps 50 – 100 al Qaeda left in the whole country. Sure there are Taliban around. Are you suggesting we should impose what religion people follow? Oh. Osama happens to be dead, so I doubt he will be training too many troops.
    What we should have done is just have gone after Osama with special troops and from the air. And then got out. The US has never shown any talent for nation building.

    You wrote. “You seem to think wars are going to be pretty and nice with fluffy bunnies and nobody hurt. Fantasyland..” You ARE kidding I hope. It is you who is so keen on wars not me.

    Don’t agree with much of the rest of your post either. You seem to be in favor of Big Brother and War is Peace.

    I think the greater danger is that some Israeli in a sub, who has swallowed the poisoned Coolaid that many Israelis believe, fires a bunch of nuclear tipped cruise missiles at Iran, because he feels certain that Iran is going to do that to Israel. Certain like you are. Sigh.

  103. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian:

    ” Iran is no threat to Israel for years and certainly no threat at all to the US. ”

    Um, I’ve almost given you a blueprint of how to make a nuke with the materials Iran already has and how to deliver it with substantial impunity to either Israel OR the USA. After THAT you can make such a claim?

    They have put a satellite on orbit. The only difference between that and an ICBM is scale. It is considered the marker for being an ICBM capable country.

    They have the knowledge to make a nuke (the guy who made the Pakistani bomb gave it to them. This is well attested in the Pakistani publications, if you don’t want to believe the western ones.)

    They have enrichment technology (running, demonstrated, and observed).

    They have REPEATEDLY said they desire the destruction of Israel and anyone who supports it (MANY examples given, that you have chosen to ignore). There is NO DOUBT AT ALL about that intent.

    The only thing standing between them and an ICMB and / or truck or ship based bomb is a very small amount of time and effort (for the truck / ship sized) or running an enrichment cascade for a somewhat longer period of time.

    Frankly, I’m not willing to wait until an Iranian ICBM de-orbits on New York City to think maybe they actually believe what they say (and fund in great amounts…)

    Perhaps you would like to move to TelAviv and then give your opinion?…

    (YAGD: Yes, I’d rather we just walked away from the whole middle east quagmire; it’s not our fight and we’re carrying water for Europe and Israel: But I don’t have that choice and at this point Iran is unlikely to leave us alone anyway. Recognizing that is simply seeing reality.)

    Here are over 18 Million hits on “Iran website Israel Cancer”:

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=iran%20website%20israel%20cancer

    I’d intended to fish out the Iranian web site directly, but it looks like you get to wade through a bunch of others to find the original. I’m sure you can find one in there that is acceptable…

    This one has a .ca domain (yes, its an AP article):

    http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/world/khamenei_tehran_will_help_confront_cancer_israel/31da573e

    Khamenei: Tehran will help confront ‘cancer’ Israel

    03/02/2012 8:30:58 AM
    The Associated Press
    Iran will help any nation or group that confronts the “cancer” Israel, the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Friday.

    He also said in remarks delivered to worshippers at prayers in Tehran and broadcast on state TV that the country would continue its controversial nuclear program, and warned that any military strike by the U.S. would only make Iran stronger.
    [...]
    Any statement by Iran’s Supreme Leader, who has final say on all matters of state, makes it all the more unlikely that Tehran will switch tack.

    Khamenei affirmed that Iran had assisted militant groups like the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas — a well-known policy, but one that Iranian leaders rarely state explicitly.

    “We have intervened in anti-Israel matters, and it brought victory in the 33-day war by Hezbollah against Israel in 2006, and in the 22-day war” between Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip, he said.
    [...]
    “From now on, in any place, if any nation or any group confronts the Zionist regime, we will endorse and we will help. We have no fear expressing this,” said Khamenei.

    He said Israel is a “cancerous tumour that should be cut and will be cut.”

    The remarks are a rare direct acknowledgment by an Iranian leader of Tehran’s intervention against Israel in armed conflicts. Iran has usually said in the past that it offers political support to Hezbollah and the Palestinian groups.

    An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said he wasn’t surprised by Khamenei’s remarks. “It’s the same kind of hate speech that we’ve been seeing from Iran for many years now,” Yigal Palmor said.

    Khamenei also said that the U.S. will suffer defeat and lose standing in the region, if Washington decides to use military force to stop the country’s nuclear program.

    “Iran will not withdraw. Then what happens?” asked Khamenei. “In conclusion, the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. “The hegemony of Iran will be promoted. In fact, this will be in our service.”

    Both U.S. and Israel have not ruled out a military option against Iran’s nuclear facilities, which the West suspects are aimed at developing weapons technology.

    Iran says its nuclear activities have geared toward peaceful purposes such as power generation and medical isotopes.

    Another potential military flashpoint is the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Iran has threatened to close the strait in response to U.S. and EU sanctions targeting the country’s oil exports.
    [...]
    Half of Khamenei’s nearly two-hour speech was delivered in Arabic, an apparent nod to the Arab world. Iran has applauded the victory of Islamist groups in elections in 2011 and 2012 that followed the toppling of authoritarian regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

    The Supreme Leader said the Islamist electoral victories will “weaken and isolate” Israel, and that they represented the failure of what he said was U.S. policy based on “anti-Islam” propaganda.

    So, may I take it that you assert AP is just propaganda, the Ayatollah is a peace loving individual with no animosity toward the USA and no ill will toward Israel, and is just misunderstood? That a cancer to be cut out is just a badly translated metaphor for “my friends over there”? That folks have mangled both the translation of Persian before and of Arabic now?

    Just how far are you willing to push this belief?

    (YAGD: Demonstrating how absurd one set of beliefs might be does not constitute endorsement of the antithesis, nor advocacy of any particular path or remedy. Establishing a common premises matters, THEN one can reason to outcomes and remedies. )

  104. R. de Haan says:

    By the way, the same goes for Europe.
    In Europe however the rot has been rampant over a longer period of time.

  105. david says:

    Adrian Ashfield (19:42:14) :

    @David,
    You wrote that I “asserted that Ahmadinejad never threatened Israel via your dispute over one translation of one quote.” I’m not sure I can parse that, but what I said was I’m tired of that particular mistranslation. If that can be so widely used, and it is, why should I trust any of the other claims of what “Iran” said without looking at the source?
    =================================================
    You should look at the source, and this blog provided you with many, My point was that you have not acknowldged any, although they have been provided.
    ———————————————————————————————

    “The bottom line for me is that all politicians lie and say things to please the crowd and get re-elected. What counts is what the government actually does. Iran is no threat to Israel for years and certainly no threat at all to the US. Israel will probably bomb them.”
    ———————————————————————————-
    You have been provided information to show you that Iran is clearly a threat to Israel, and clearly a terrorist threat to the US, and a nuclear armed Iran is a thret to the US and the world. You have choosen to not investigate what has been provided.
    =========================================================

    “The only thing holding them back is the difficulty of the raid, not any moral qualms. Israel bombed Iraq’s civil nuclear power plant and Iraq could surely do with the power. Israel has hundreds of nuclear bombs but won’t let Iran have a civil nuclear energy industry because Iran might do what they did?”
    ======================================================
    It is well known that Iraq had a nuclear arms program at the time Israel destroyed their plant. They did the world a favor. Israel is not attacking their nuclear energy industry, but their enrichment program which includes the capacity to deliver., What Iran has spent on their nuclear program has been far more then the cost of any peaceful program and greatly exceeds the cost of developing said energy via conventional methods. These are facts which you choose not to look into. Israel has a moral obligation to stop Irans nuclear wepons development.

  106. E.M.Smith says:

    @Adrian:

    Do I really need to point out that the USSR ended in 1991 and by 1986 it was pretty clear communism wasn’t cutting it and that the Vietnam war ran for many years in the middle?

    Sheesh, you do like your revisionist history.

    From the wiki on WMD (who, one can presume, is biased against Bush)

    A weapon of mass destruction (WMD) is a weapon that can kill and bring significant harm to a large number of humans (and other life forms) and/or cause great damage to man-made structures (e.g. buildings), natural structures (e.g. mountains), or the biosphere in general. The scope and application of the term has evolved and been disputed, often signifying more politically than technically. Coined in reference to aerial bombing with chemical explosives, it has come to distinguish large-scale weaponry of other technologies, such as chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear. This differentiates the term from more technical ones such as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons (CBRN).

    So no, you do not get to custom tailor definitions to your own ends.

    Chemical weapons ARE WMD. Period. Full stop. Get over it.

    During the ‘rationalization’ presentation at the UN, the prior use of gas was part of the ‘pitch’. The US went out of its way to prep for poison gas attacks. Chemical munitions were found (but thankfully not used). It’s in the mix and you simply can not redefine it away. To do so is LYING about HISTORICAL FACTS. If you can’t accept that, I suggest dropping out.

    Per Afghanistan: You now switch time frames to talking about the present. Before it was all in the past. Sorry, no bait and switch allowed either. Yes, we ought to be leaving now (and a timetable is in place for it as I understand it). Yes, it ought to have been completed far earlier IMHO. But NO, that does not in any way mitigate against the benefit of going in when Osama was alive and the Taliban ruled the country. The question was about going in then, not about how to get out now. Attempting to change the premise or time scope is a poor tactic…

    “Don’t agree with much of the rest of your post either. You seem to be in favor of Big Brother and War is Peace.”

    Apparently you can’t read what I write. First off “agreement” is not needed, nor even very important. Recognition is. How many times have I said “not what I WANT”? That recognition of something is not endorsement of it?

    Wrap your head around that, please.

    I can RECOGNIZE how others are thinking, processing, and acting. I can see their POV and that it has some merit. That does NOT make me “in favor of it”.

    Per insults like asserting I believe in “War is Peace”: You really think that someone as careful as I am about not letting folks swap definitions (such as the WMD one above) accepts that level of idiocy?

    That I recognize that a greater evil (such as, for example Hilter) can sometimes only be stopped by a lesser evil is simply being in touch with reality. THAT is not in question. Yet that is what you assert is in question.

    The only ‘wiggle room’ is over “Did Saddam rise to that level of evil?”

    I would assert that evidence leans that way, but frankly have fairly little of my own sources to work from so must allow for some degree of propaganda contamination.

    Yet you want to
    a) Make it personal to me.
    b) Assert I believe idiocy such as “war is peace”
    c) NOT bring citations or evidence to the discussion.
    etc
    etc.

    Frankly as well:

    I’m getting tired of what is increasingly looking like mindless trolling and bull baiting.

    Ether bring something of substance to the ‘debate’ or stop.

  107. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f23uQr7TIMo&feature=youtu.be Yippppppppeeeeeeee Obama wants the war. Lets load up on the relevant stocks so we can get rich too

  108. R. de Haan says:

    @ E.M.Smith (20:50:48) :

    E.M, I share your worries about a “nuclear stealth attack” a container bomb, a single missile fired from a ship close to our coast, or a bomb launched from a satellite from space. These are similar worries we had with with the Russian suitcase bomb, a scare that was hyped during the last decade of the past century.

    The point is that we have handled threats from countries like the USSR and Russia involving thousands of nuclear arms.

    Our big fear today is the scenario of a terrorist group like AQ performing such an attack. This is the most real scenario but the nuke can come from Pakistan, North Korea or even India.

    If Iran as a nation would be so stupid to use the concept of a nuclear attack on Israel or the USA, it would be their last.

    We would find out where the nuclear material came from and we would wipe them off the face of the earth.

    I really don’t think this is a realistic scenario.

    Here’s why.
    Although Iran has made threats towards Israel, the Jews, Teheran is home to a flourishing Jewish community of over 40.000 people who also have political representation.

    We know Iran has played the rough card of building geo political stress to influence oil prices many times.

    We also know that the Iranian religious powers are sensitive to what they consider blasphemous cartoons, language writings towards the Koran and Mohammed.

    This even resulted in a Fatwa against the author of the Satanic verses, Salmon Rushdy in 1989. This was the first time I became aware of the extreme Islamists. When the Danish Cartoons were published Teheran responded with an exhibition of cartoons about the holocaust.

    As far as I know none of the incidents have led to Iranian violence directed at Israel and the West.

    Now if we look at our own media and all that’s going on in the West we really have to be careful to draw any premature conclusion based on media reporting.

    Just like this:

    David Rockefeller (allegedly) at
    1991 Bilderberg conference in Baden-Baden, Germany

    “We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries.”

    Just saying.

  109. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    WMD lol

    Remember before the Iraq war. It was like WMD feast on TV. Remember how many times they said the word WMD. It was like the nightly news WMD WMD WMD WMD WMD WMD. It’s like Global Warming, if you say it enough times people might believe it.


    This was funny


    This was funny too

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

    International sources for technology and chemical precursors

    The know-how and material for developing chemical weapons were obtained by Saddam’s regime from foreign firms. The largest suppliers of precursors for chemical weapons production were in Singapore (4,515 tons), the Netherlands (4,261 tons), Egypt (2,400 tons), India (2,343 tons), and West Germany (1,027 tons). One Indian company, Exomet Plastics (now part of EPC Industrie Ltd.) sent 2,292 tons of precursor chemicals to Iraq. The Kim Al-Khaleej firm, located in Singapore and affiliated to United Arab Emirates, supplied more than 4,500 tons of VX, sarin, and mustard gas precursors and production equipment to Iraq.

    The provision of chemical precursors from United States companies to Iraq was enabled by a Ronald Reagan administration policy that removed Iraq from the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. Leaked portions of Iraq’s “Full, Final and Complete” disclosure of the sources for its weapons programs shows that thiodiglycol, a substance needed to manufacture mustard gas, was among the chemical precursors provided to Iraq from US companies such as Alcolac International and Phillips. Both companies have since undergone reorganization and Phillips, once a subsidiary of Phillips Petroleum is now part of ConocoPhillips, an American oil and discount fossil fuel company, while Alcolac International has since dissolved and reformed as Alcolac Inc. Alcolac was named as a defendant in the Aziz v. Iraq case presently pending in the United States District Court (Case No. 1:09-cv-00869-MJG)

    Then Iraq war 1 didn’t use WMD it used babies out of incubators

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nayirah_%28testimony%29

  110. R. de Haan says:

    Here is a link about the “Persian Jews” I failed to add in my last posting.

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

  111. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    But if Iran attacked Israel with Nuclear. They would be attacking themselves, as the fallout would hit Iran. So it wouldn’t make sense.

    Basically if Iran got the nuke, then it would be difficult to invade it. That’s why there is a rush to stop the nuke.

    Look at North Korea, nobody wants to invade it again now as they have nukes, every time it needs some more oil it sends a empty missile test in the air then we send some more oil or money into it’s bank account.

    What about Pakistan, should we not be worried about them? They have lots of nukes and it’s leader hangs on a thread.

    But attacking Israel would be the same as attacking itself.

  112. Adrian Ashfield says:

    No more room for debate.
    Iran will nuke Israel unless they are nuked first.
    Therefore Israel & the US should vitrify Iran. QED

  113. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Adrian Ashfield has bragged to being a plant and demonstrated to being the same. Accomplishing nothing but wasting our time.

    It would appear that Syria is the next to fall to the strategy of the gods and this will leave Iran alone as the Pakistani will continue to ride the fence even with the resultant saddle sores. As to the Russians and Chinese backing the Syrians and Iran, they just want to be on record as being on the winning side whichever one that is. They will not directly confront the Americans as that is a no win for them and they know it. As well as they have much more to lose if the Islam-o-Natzies prevail.

    The Nation of Islam have sown the seeds of religious war against all those that are not correct thinking. They will reap their harvest in their own blood. Even now revolt will follow revolt as the Muslim third of the world destroys itself. We merely need to help them along until the people grow tired of that game and drive the clerics out of politics as the Christians did 300 years ago. pg

  114. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Generally, yes, I think we ought to have done the “getting out” shortly after the “going in”.

    Something I’ve seen way too often is this silly notion of “Nation Building”. Look, nobody likes an occupation army nor do they respect the sock puppet they install as ‘local government’. Yet that is what the US Govt continues to do. Just nuts.

    Go in. Kill who needs killing. THEN LEAVE. The locals will make their own government and respect it. It will keep the peace. IFF it comes at you again, REPEAT UNTIL DONE. Folks will ‘give it up’ pretty quickly. And with far less animosity than a decade long occupation and being abused by a sockpuppet with a greedy hand.

    IMHO, that is THE biggest consistent error we make. Not just handing the keys back to the locals and saying “It is your country, we are leaving now, please do not harbor evil folks as we don’t want to come back again.”

    All I can figure is that some aspect of the political approval apparatus does not allow for that (that whole UN gets to decide thing…)

    On the ‘environmental goals': One exception. The Navy bought a ‘biodiesel maker in a shipping container’. It works really well. Reduces logistics, too. Where they formerly had to haul IN a bunch of fuel and haul OUT a bunch of used cooking oil, they now just turn the crap into Diesel. Nice, very nice.

    I also applaud the effort to placard the jet fleet to be ABLE to use biofuels. It’s always nice to have options (and Rentech is providing such fuels made from trash, BTW). It is any mandate to buy and use them instead of decent petroleum based fuels that’s silly…

    Per military morale and “leadership”: I counseled my son not to enlist, when he asked me what I thought of his interest. For exactly those reasons. Expect to see a ‘draft’ needed if Obama gets reelected. The Democrats have always wanted one anyway and the conservative base of the heartland is not going to be enlisting for “more of the same”…

    BTW, I don’t see it as “losing Afghanistan”. I see it as just going home. “We” never wanted it in the first place. At some point you have to say to the locals: It is your country, live or die, but by your own hand. And walk away.

    A lesson we in the USA never seem to learn (as we have bases in Germany, Japan, Korea, … )

    If the folks in a particular country can’t prevent it from becoming a launch pad for jihadis and terrorists and what all, we can always go back in, or just bomb them into the stone age (though I’ve heard that for Afghanistan that would bring them 1000 years closer to modernity ;-)

    Per Europe:

    One of the reasons I want a more isolationist US stance is so that Europe has to learn to deal with its own problems on its own dime and with its own lives.

    When the USA was nicely protected by 2 large oceans and with no colonial baggage AND most of the global industrial capacity, it made a kind of sense for us to be The Global Cop. ( I still did not LIKE it nor did I WANT it, but I could see why those in power did…)

    At this point we’ve got way too much historical baggage from having BEEN that cop for too long, the industrial base has fled the taxation it caused and run to China, the population is sick of it (viz Me. Who keeps on saying we ought to just go home, despite folks tossing rocks at me for wanting that. Which, BTW, makes it all the more bizarre to have Adrian accusing me of being some kind of war monger… Somehow he can’t make the distinction between what someone WANTS and what they can see as a reasonable argument by those in charge and that the two can be diametrically opposed. But I digress…) Add in that our oceans are now a few minutes of missile flight time and that daily volume of transit of all sorts is so large as to make oceans almost irrelevant.

    Like it or not, we’re part of the “European Village” now…

    For those reasons (and more) what I want is for the USA to pack up and come home. Tell the Europeans it’s their turn. Tell the Muslims to sort out their own problems. Tell OPEC we’re doing massive GTL CTL etc. and don’t need any of their oil. And suggest to Russia that if they would like some troublesome provinces in south west Asia, that would be fine with us… but they ought to discuss it with the EU and UK first…

    HOWEVER:

    I know that will never happen.

    Too much money and ego tied up in the status quo.

    (This is the point where the “peace in our time” folks and isolationists toss rocks at me for ‘wanting the status quo wars’ and the status quo folks toss rocks at me for ‘wanting to be isolationist’… neither able to see that recognition of reality has nothing to do with what one wants… in either direction…)

    BTW, I’ve had a thesis for a while now that the primary process is “managed”. The ‘tell’ I look for is pretty simple. There will be the “machine desired” candidate and some populist fodder. If the machine guy is winning, nothing ‘bad’ happens. If losing, all sorts of “dirt” gets dug up and thrown at the winning populist. IFF, despite that, he wins the primary: The VP will be a ‘machine candidate guy’. (That way if the candidate wins the presidency, and then gets out of line, there is a ‘spare’ standing by…) Notice that Biden said truly horrible things about Obama, yet Obama got stuck with him as VP… Reagan got Daddy Bush, from CIA guy…. Baby Bush got Cheney as baby sitter (he was supposed to be ‘show’ and set-up for Jed to run later, but upset things by beating out the chosen one of AlGore)

    Then, when the election comes, it’s about 75% odds it will be a choice of “My left pocket or my right pocket” from the ‘establishment’. 25% odds of “My left pocket or my questionable populist I’m trying to manage who was assigned a minder / spare”… Then they push for the ticket with the machine guy in the Pres. spot. IFF the other ticket wins, they have the minor problem of trying to bend the new president to their agenda – or worse case having an ‘accident’… (Kennedy, Regan got shot too, but recovered… and got on board ok)

    Yes, just rampant speculation based on nothing but looking at who is Pres and who VP and what their histories are. Note that Daddy Bush chose a completely non-threat Quayle as his “second”… no risk of someone being ‘promoted’ there ;-)

    So watch the race. Note who gets flak, and who doesn’t. Note who is there just for ‘show’ and what happens if they move up too much too fast in response to public opinion (like Kane). And if ‘the right guy’ doesn’t get the nod, notice how a machine VP gets ‘assigned’…

    Why mention this? Because Ron Paul has no chance at all. He is to play the role of populist attractor for the libertarians, not to actually get the nomination. It’s to be a choice between hard core insider Gingrich or connected by money and contacts Romney. IF by some odd chance, either Ron Paul or Santorum starts to pull out front, watch for the knives to come out and the dirt to fly. IFF one of them gets the nomination, watch for the ticket to be manipulated to either favor an Obama 2nd term or to put a ‘spare’ and ‘spirit guide’ in the VP slot.

    As I said, it’s just a fringy speculative thesis right now. I’m still in the gathering data phase. Yet, it does fit the data…

    So while my hope would be for a Ron Paul style result, I’m pretty sure we will have a choice between Left Wing Socialist Obama and Right Wing Progressive Romney… and both in favor of continued Business As Usual…

    I take some solace in the thought that inside a decade The Game will unravel anyway. “Demographics is Destiny” and the productive capacity has fled to China…. I do how the “powers that be” understand what that means… If things are not managed as I suspect, then we’re in for a terribly disruptive chaotic brittle failure with no plan nor safety net behind it…

  115. P.G. Sharrow says:

    I had a vision a few years ago, Iran launches a small nuclear ICBM at Israel, They succeed in wiping the Temple Mount clean of the Muslim monuments and reveal the foundations and walls of the Jewish Temple that were filled with dirt by the Romans when they rebuilt the top of the mount for their own use.

    It is also the last hurrah of the Muslim war against the Jews. pg

  116. david says:

    Scarlet Pumpernickel (21:51:43) :

    But if Iran attacked Israel with Nuclear. They would be attacking themselves, as the fallout would hit Iran. So it wouldn’t make sense…
    ============================================
    Scarlet, as I see it your logic does not apply to the same Iran which sent thousands of teen children to battle to clear minefields during the confrontation with Iraq. The quotes from the Iranian leadership concerning a complete lack of care over how many die, or what world chaos results, are numerous, and the manical leaders of many Arab nations have demonstrated their irrational comments with irrational actions. That being said covert action is probably desireable for them. Hezbellah is of course Govt (Iranian) sponsored terror, and if the terrorist organizations can draw Israel into a conventional conflict with more then one nation, and slip in a nuke in the mist of chaos, by the time the identity of the source is found, if it is found, and the western world debated what do do, it would already be a different world. In such a senario do you see Europe or the US just launching a retailatory nuclear strike? I do not.

    I hope PG is correct and the Islamic extremist world will self destruct. I am not certain however that the egyptian spring will succeed. Egypt appears to have moved more Islamic. As I mentioned, even after reading several books concerning the Iraq conflict, I felt that Bush would have been brilliant if he had accepted last minute sanctions that were offered, and backed off Iraq, instead using our limited resources to make Afganistan work if possible, of do as E.M. suggested, destroy the offensive forces and equipment of the taliban, and get out under the promise to come back if they reconstituted their camps. As my earlier post presented, (david (17:35:28) : Islamic violence is not the result of actions of the west, it is a result of their religious political ideology, and as long as this prevails, violent conflict will result. Although what I have read strongly indicates Iran’s intent to become nuclear armed and , at the very least, use this for an umbrella for instigating greater terrorist actions and ultimately to destroy Israel, were I actually making a decision in this matter I would engage in hundreds of additional hours of research and consultation with experts in the field.

  117. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Iraq attacked them first. Iran has never attacked anyone.

    What about Pearl Harbour, USA knew it was going to be attacked, it sent the good fleet out to sea?

    Was anyone sacrificed?

    What about nuclear tests?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/16/soldiers-deliberately-exp_n_463579.html

    Oh look the evil French dictators

    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/jul2001/mara-j09.shtml

    Oh look the evil Uk/Oz government

    So if the Iranians send a nuclear weapon to Israel to wipe out their holiest site. Do you think Mecca will still be standing after?

    Wow this looks pretty scary too? They have 200 nukes watch out LOL

  118. E.M.Smith says:

    @R de Haan:

    Although Iran has made threats towards Israel, the Jews, Tehran is home to a flourishing Jewish community of over 40.000 people who also have political representation.

    We know Iran has played the rough card of building geo political stress to influence oil prices many times.

    Got a pointer to info about the Iranian Jews? It’s an interesting twist.

    If they are accepted, then that raises some very interesting questions about why Iran has such a bug about Israel…

    If treated as second class citizens and “accepted as long as they pay the infidel tax”, well…

    FWIW, my major ‘doubt’ is over just such ‘crazy talk’ as the idea that Iran might WANT to raise prices by saber rattling and WE might be in on the game… Never forget that the Rockefeller family made their loot out of Standard Oil and monopoly practices… They know how to ‘play the game’…

    There is a very annoying fact that we’ve gone around knocking off line one oil supply after another that might be in competition with the ‘approved ones’ of Saudi Arabia, Canada, Mexico, … Places where “insiders” can invest.

    So Iran gets taken down. Prices rise nicely. Lately it was Libya and a modest price bump. Then the Canadian Pipeline gets scratched. Now it’s Iran in the sights… Oh, and suddenly (after decades) ‘fracking’ is “suspect” just after it creates more cheap natural gas than the USA can consume.

    No, no evidence. Just a very suspicious pattern… (And just because I don’t like it that does not let me ignore it…)

    Yet we know that “world leaders” meet and reach common goals. It would be called “collusion” were it not called a “summit”. We know that “the powers that be” want a managed world and we know that free will of the people scares them to death… (else why spend so much time and effort to thwart it?…)

    So while I put no store in any “quote” that comes with “alleged” attached, I also put no store in assurances that “my vote counts”. There just isn’t any decent evidence to support either conclusion..

    Perhaps what bothers me most is that I can’t decide which is worse:

    A world like pre-W.W.I and pre-W.W.II where nations kill millions based on the personal greed and avarice and powerlust of their leaders; or a world where nations kill hundreds of thousands based on personal greed and avarice and powerlust of their colluding leaders… with millions more effectively enslaved but unaware of it.

    I guess in the end all I want is one little corner somewhere that lets folks be left alone to live a libertarian life… And I guess that’s just one acre too many for the Powers That Be to allow…

    Ah, see a followup with the Persian Jews link… Thanks…

    @S.P.:

    So what’s your point?

    That all sides indulge in propaganda? That says nothing about what was actually known and believed by the US Government (nor about what Saddam actually had or planned to do).

    That the USA provided the materials so is somehow culpable? (A point I’d agree with…) Or that it was a ‘set up’? (A point I can not refute…)

    At the end of the day, Iraq DID USE WMD. Just not on the US / Coalition troops. (At the time there was speculation he might be deliberately hiding or destroying some of them as a propaganda gambit; something else that can not be determined. Then there was the convoy of trucks that ran off to Syria… reputed to be taking the best bits off to a fellow Baathist regime).

    Look, it’s a flat out GIVEN that every single government on the planet will used propaganda and try to manage popular opinion. They will LIE about their secrets and motivations and will particularly lie about military matters.

    None of that is a surprise. ( or at least it ought not to be…)

    But if you want to justify Saddam, go right ahead and argue for his virtues…

    But if Iran attacked Israel with Nuclear. They would be attacking themselves, as the fallout would hit Iran. So it wouldn’t make sense.

    “Fallout” is muchly overrated. Israel could be flattened with so little fallout damage in Iran as not to matter. Yes, it would be good to pick a time when winds were more favorable. No, it’s not a major concern. (We had troops go into ground zero shortly after detonations. Net result, a few more cancers. Look at how many folk did just fine in areas just outside the blast zones of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, see the definition of “martyr”…

    Basically if Iran got the nuke, then it would be difficult to invade it. That’s why there is a rush to stop the nuke.

    Look at North Korea, nobody wants to invade it again now as they have nukes, every time it needs some more oil it sends a empty missile test in the air then we send some more oil or money into it’s bank account.

    That IS a concern, but the bigger concern is a shipping container showing up in NYC or an ICBM dropping on Chicago in a few years.

    And if you don’t think we have a lot of folks watching every move N. Korea makes, well, there’s more for you to look into…

    What about Pakistan, should we not be worried about them? They have lots of nukes and its leader hangs on a thread.

    We ARE worried about them.

    So far they have been ‘staying bribed’ with a few $Billion and not sharing weapons with other countries (causing other Muslim states to be cranky with them…) India is even more worried, and more watchful.

    But attacking Israel would be the same as attacking itself.

    Nope. Not at all. Again, though, revisit how MAD doctrine works. Not so good if the other side wants to be martyrs….

    Now consider that a modest sized yield nuke can take down a 10 mile kill radius but leave folks 15 to 20 miles away just fine. Now measure Israel. Now measure the distance to Iran…

    (Though Jordan might get upset…)

    Adrian Ashfield (21:54:31) :

    No more room for debate.
    Iran will nuke Israel unless they are nuked first.
    Therefore Israel & the US should vitrify Iran. QED

    Going for absurdum ad reductam?

    There is room for debate (in that debate has presentation of evidence, examination of it, comparison of premises and logical connections, exploration of fallacies, etc.)

    What there is not room for is: Deliberate misconstruance of others stated positions. Failure to inspect evidence. Changing established definitions to suit ones own ends. Argument “to the person”. And all the other tactics of trolls and politicians.

    Show some EVIDENCE that Iran is not “going nuclear”. All the facts on the ground say it is. Yes, it’s a hard sell in that you have to ‘prove a negative'; but frankly, all I see is Iran SAYING it isn’t, while doing everything needed to make nuclear ICBMs.

    In essence: Simple gain-saying of the other person’s positions isn’t an argument. Ignoring their evidence is not working toward understanding or truth. Asserting they believe what they have specifically disclaimed is bating, not debating.

    Heck, even a discussion of the MORALITY of a preemptive strike against a rogue nation going nuclear would be more interesting that mindlessly asserting they are not; when all presented evidence including their own words says they want to destroy Israel, attack the USA, and are building tools suited to the task.

    Denying that reality is pointless. And largely just a waste of time.

    See what R. de Haan has done as a good example. I’m off to look at the link of his about Jews in Iran. He could well be onto something and it’s an obligation on me to evaluate it. IFF Iran has free and equal jews inside their border, then it isn’t just “jewishness” that has them pissed at Israel. That then raises the question of “What is the cause of Iranian upset with Israel, and is it just?” That could well end up shifting opinion toward what you simply assert (that somehow Israel is not just being justly worried for their own survival – having been attacked by surprise a few times by all their “muslim neighbors”…)

    So a “debate” is going to go on. A non-debate of mindless gainsaying will not…

    @P.G. Sharrow:

    Hope springs eternal ;-)

    But I fear you may be right…

  119. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM
    “Which, BTW, makes it all the more bizarre to have Adrian accusing me of being some kind of war monger… Somehow he can’t make the distinction between what someone WANTS and what they can see as a reasonable argument by those in charge and that the two can be diametrically opposed.”

    I think your earlier statement goes beyond the facts that can be verified and strays into feeding the warmongers, even if you don’t personally want it. You wrote:
    ““I think ‘total war’ with Iran is inevitable. They desire it. They are working toward it. They are sowing Chaos everywhere they can and peace is NOT on their agenda. WHEN they get a nuclear weapon, it will be used. Israel will be dramatically damaged.”
    I don’t think they want it, nor are likely to nuke Israel. We were able to prevent the USSR from doing something nasty, who had much higher expertise and power. Who‘s leaders also claimed they wanted to destroy us. Why get so worried about Iran?

    I think Iran is making those statements because what we are doing to them are acts of war and they don’t have the ability to do anything about it, or to stop Israel from bombing them. Are you then really surprised they would like to see Israel disappear?

  120. E.M.Smith says:

    A consistently shrinking population and being defamed? Doesn’t sound all that positive on first look… I’ll dig a bit more, but it’s not real encouraging…

    Iran

    Iran’s Jewish population was reduced from 100,000–150,000 in 1948 to about 80,000 immediately before the Iranian Revolution, due mostly to immigration to Israel. While immigration to Israel had slowed in the 1970s and the Jewish population of Iran had stabilized, the majority of Iran’s remaining Jews left the country in the aftermath of the overthrow of the Shah. The current Jewish population of Iran is estimated by most sources to be 25,000,[11][12][13][14] though estimates vary, as low as 11,000 [15] and as high as 40,000.[16] Notable population centers include Tehran, Isfahan (1,200),[17] and Shiraz. Historically, Jews maintained a presence in many more Iranian cities. Jews are protected in the Iranian constitution and seat is reserved for a Jew in the Majlis.[12] Iran hosts the largest Jewish population of any Muslim-majority country.[18] After Israel, it is home to the second-largest Jewish population in the Middle East.[11]

    Jews in Iran are generally regarded as having been subject to less discrimination than in the Arab world, however after Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution, the Jewish people and religion have been regularly defamed by the Mullahs.[19]

    “Having been subjected to less discrimination than in the Arab world” is indeed damning with faint praise…

    The point about protected by the constitution and having representation is promising.

  121. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    It’s PARTY TIME!!!

  122. R. de Haan says:

    @E.M.Smith (22:32:47) :

    I agree, no Nation Building.

    As for the use of cooking oil, read palm oil, this is total madness.
    We’re cutting down pristine tropical forests to plant the palm trees that produce the oil. There really is no advantage in the use of bio fuels in terms of Co2 reduction or price compared to fossil fuels so why continue this charade?

    Coal to liquid, gas to liquid all viable solutions to keep us rolling sailing and flying for centuries to come.

    The latest about Paul is that he moved to a second position after expanding his base by another 5%.

    The Republican primaries have shredded more “popular candidates and I really wonder if Romney, Gingrich or Santorum are going to make it to the end election. There is no consistency in winnings, to many gaffs and to much flip flopping on subjects. In fact Paul is the only consistent candidate.
    So who knows…

    As for Europe I think matters are much more complicated.
    First we have the historic reality of two World Wars with US involvement.
    The distrust of Germany was so big that the Americans (and the British) kept basis and troops operational. But over the past twenty years a considerable number of basis have been closed.

    All US troops in Europe today are concentrated around Frankfurt which has become a huge operational hub in support of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Much of the former deployments had to do with the cold war.
    The US thought of Europe as a battle field in a Cold War Scenario and thought it could escape any military confrontation on US soil.

    As for the price paid for military protection you have to consider the fact that the US had an still has a big stake in the European economies, especially in Germany and the UK but also the Netherlands which varied from chemical, pharmaceutical and manufacturing industries and many companies and joint ventures that were part of the Industrial military Complex. Tied financial interests that took off with the Marshall Plan allowing for the rise of the “Wirtshaftswunder” in Germany but also Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium etc. What also should be taken into account is the massive technology transfer that took place between the UK and Europe (and Canada) from the second world war up to the early eighties. For this national an military projects, missile and aircraft development were transfered to the USA from which moment on the USA was the only supplier o military equipment like fighter jets etc. etc. Finally, during the Cold War, the US did not allow Germany or any other non nuclear nation to operate tactical nuclear weapon systems which were stationed all along the border of Western Europe with the Warsaw Pact. So Dutch, Belgium, German, Austrian, Italian defense units (mostly Air Force Units) worked in close cooperation with US military to man the missile defense systems that exited of Hawk Missiles and the Nike Hercules System with nuclear war heads.
    The Americans took care of the training for all military equipment that came from the USA. Many Americans spend years of service in Europe, retired and never returned to the USA.

    Just to provide you some more insight in a very complex and diverse relationship between the US and a number of European countries.

    France and the UK always remained their nuclear autonomy.
    France never gave up the development of fighter jets or any other defense system and their socialist view of a United States of Europe now dogs us all.

    Most of us think it would have been better for us if France hadn’t been liberated from the Germans. Little Napoleons are just as bad as little Hitler’s if you know what I mean.

    That said, Germany doen’t know any better than walking at the hand of the USA in terms of Defenses. They still have no nukes and the fact that they now have fighting military in Afghanstan is nothing short of a miracle.

    The Dutch had their colonial war in Indonesia, they were in Korea and answered to any call of the US or the UN and participated in any operation they were asked for.

    During WWI the Netherlands remained neutral and was not invaded.
    In WWII that was different and I don’t think they will never risk a situation where they have defend their borders with wooden guns and bicycles.

  123. R. de Haan says:

    The Eu is making us weak.
    We can’t even expel a known terrorist

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2012/02/another-cast-iron-bites-dust.html

  124. R. de Haan says:

    I already posted the experiences of a US Left. Col. in Afghanistan.
    Here is another article that highlights the British experiences calling it a wasted sacrifice.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2012/02/terrible-truth.html

  125. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    USA is just fighting China via Afghanistan. China is anti drugs (Like Facebook) as it’s always fighting to keep internal stability

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

    Nothings changed. You think Opium Goat herders can fight the most powerful military for almost 10 years and cause them so many problems?

  126. R. de Haan says:

  127. Jason Calley says:

    @ R. de Haan

    Thank you for posting the video link. I cannot help but be impressed by the apparent sincerity and high motives of the speaker, but I would disagree strongly with him on a matter which I think is fundamental to the discussion of the uses of violence. I think that he has a certain mental scotoma, a sort of conceptual blind spot. At about nine minutes in he makes the point that murder rates in Europe have dropped dramatically over the past few centuries, and credits that to the growth of constitutional governments which have (at the citizen’s request) taken for themselves and their armies a monopoly on the legitimate use of violence. Let me be blunt and say that he is completely wrong. The fact is, the great majority of murders of the last century (the 20th) have been committed by the very governments which have taken up that monopoly of violence. Best estimates are that during the 20th century, somewhere between 150 million and 200 million people were murdered by their own governments. It is ludicrous for him to claim that the European murder rate has dropped by a factor of 30 in the last five centuries. The only way he could have gotten those numbers are if he is blind to the deaths done by organized murders working for national governments. Looked at on a longer term scale, I suspect that Europe has one of the higher murder rates on the planet.

    I am a big believer in the use of violence (when needed). If I had my way, every man, woman and responsible child would be armed, and every weapon up to and including shoulder launched missiles would be available for purchase, no identification needed. No, I am not joking. The decentralisation of violence (such as a Swiss Militia model) has historically always proven to be a much better safeguard than a monopoly of violence by a big standing army with modern weapons. Every government, every officer, every soldier always thinks they are the exception, that they will never abuse the trust of their own citizens. History shows this is often an error. Ask the Congolese. Ask the Armenians. Ask the Ukranians. Ask the Roma. Ask the Jews.

    What is it that actually makes for a peaceful population? Here, I think the speaker in your video is correct about (at about 11:00 minutes in). Certainly religion has been a factor (some religions, some of the time!) but prosperity and free trade — as the speaker says — are probably more important.

  128. P.G. Sharrow says:

    An armed society is a polite society. pg

  129. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    I guess Australia is rude then LOL. No Automatic and semiautomatic weapons? :P

  130. david says:

    Scarlet Pumpernickel (23:33:17) :

    Iraq attacked them first. Iran has never attacked anyone.
    ====================================

    My comment was about the religiousley insane Iranian leaders making teen children martyrs sending them over mine fields. Who attached who in the Islamic world is not relevant here, Saddam was likewise irrational. In Iran’s 30 plus years they have been state sponsors of terror around the world.

    It is apparent, from watching the video you linked, that the military thought the soldiers were safe, I have not seen reports in regard to how high or unusual the incidence of radiation induced illness was in the men participating in these experiments.

    One can always point to past actions of terror by all men, all races. I am concerned with current attitudes and actions. In general the US was, through their appointed and choosen role, the western point representive in the middle east, always trying to choose the lesser of two evils, bumbling along with perhaps many mistakes. I say perhaps because one does not get to see what Iraq may have done if Israel had not destroyed their early nuclear program, we do not know what would have happened if we had never supported Murbarack, or the Shaw, one does not get to see the results of history that did not happen. Sometimes the only choice, is a bad choice.

    I do however know that under the immature and violent world of the dark and middle ages, nuclear power, if it had existed, would have resulted in total destruction, and I do understand that much of the middle east still resides in that dark ages mental state and can not be trusted with such power.

  131. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Oh I see.

    So the religiously insane leader at the time when Iran/Iraq war was on. Why does the USA want that leader back in power again. I mean he’s the favored one they want back in power?

    Weird hey?

    http://rt.com/usa/news/have-us-marines-murdered-in-beirut-been-forgotten/

    Lets check Saudi again to see if they are insane or not or if they live in the middle ages too? I thought it was only Iran LOL

  132. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDOUeniCNKM This is also interesting about the testing in Australia

    They actually tested nuclear on the population of Australia

    “Set against a backdrop of the Cold War, the saga follows celebrated scientist, Hedley Marston, as he attempts to blow the whistle on radioactive contamination and challenge official claims that British atomic tests posed no threat to the Australian people. Marston’s findings are not only disputed, he is targeted as ‘a scientist of counter-espionage interest’.

    In 2001 tons of ashed human bones were found in Melbourne, contaminated by Strontium 90, a toxic residue of nuclear weapon tests in Australia and around the world.”

  133. david says:

    S.C.; since I have never defended any Islamic Sharia regime I have no idea what you are talking about or how it relates to anything I presented.

  134. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Your saying that Iran is crazy because it send children to minefields. But the solution to the problem is the put back the leader in power whom did this, since this is the leader who USA supports now.

    “Some in the US and the West have painted Iran’s opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi as a beacon for democracy, but he has a darker page in his biography, marked with the blood of Americans.

    Last seen as the Iranian Prime Minister during the 1980s, Mousavi’s sudden explosive return to the world political stage comes after what the media dubbed “20 years of silence”.

    Mousavi, who lost to a reelected President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claimed the vote was rigged and has demanded a recount.

    He led a wave of massive anti-government rallies, which saw fierce clashes before a clampdown by the Iranian government, which rejects any accusations of voting irregularities.

    The Iranian Interior Ministry has warned opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi to respect what it described as “the law and the people’s vote” and to stop calling for further protests after his presidential election defeat.”

    I mean I don’t like any religion either really. But the motives for all this excitement from Iran look strange. About the same as the Global Warming information they are supplying us.

    Here’s some more stuff on Australian Nuclear http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WMsJxTe-hU

    Wonder why they didn’t test it in UK instead if it was so safe ;)

  135. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Is The American Mainstream Media A Watchdog For The People Or A Lapdog For The Elite?

  136. Pascvaks says:

    “Is The American Mainstream Media A Watchdog For The People Or A Lapdog For The Elite?”

    How about ‘The People are a Lapdog and the Media are Watchdog of the Elite’?. Understand that printing presses, radio and TV stations, never were very cheap. Maybe, now, the people are a watchdog and the media are a lapdog? (You know what I mean, with all the changes the web has brought on things are a little kattywampus now;-)

    PS: reality is what the Biggest, Baddest, @#$%#!#@ says it is. AND… this is important, really… on this planet there are many worlds.

  137. david says:

    Scarlet Pumpernickel (11:12:26) :

    Your saying that Iran is crazy because it send children to minefields. But the solution to the problem is the put back the leader in power whom did this, since this is the leader who USA supports now
    —————————————————————————————————–
    S.P. The religious leaders of Iran are, in my view, insane in the sense that they are promoting an ideology, (radical Islam) that by it very structure can only lead to violence with any culture not submissive to Sharia.. Using ones children as mine field sweeps was only one example as a warning not to expect what a western mind set would consider rational action, and to therefore be cautious about the virtues of MAD.

    I never said “the solution to the problem is to put back the leader in power whom did this, since this is the leader who USA supports now” or anything remotely like that. I consider Obama to be the most devisive President ever, and by a long way. His words and actions have increased racial tension, religious tension, international tension, and the tension of increased poverty plus class warfare. I do not support his R2P Samantha Power’s foreign policy in the least, and I doubt I would support any personage he would like to see in power in Iran.

    What Austraila did with nukes in the past is not, in my view, cogent to the conversation. All nations with any real history are dark with many shames. In the west we rightly condemm what the cast system in India became.

    The E.M. solution of energy independence and withdraw from such regions of Islamic radicals (of any sect) is logical if done properly. The very foundation of the the Department of Energy was instituted on 8-04-1977. It’s purpose was to lessen US dependence on foreign oil. Currently, 34 years later, the budget for this “necessary” department is over 18 billion a year with 16,000 federal employees and 100,000 contract employees. Energy, the life blood of any economy is not so complicated. The incredible benefits of inexpensive readily available energy are well documented in numerous studies and lead to cleaner energy, lower population, and increased wealth available for real needs and problems. The current administration is destroying America’s wealth and dividing it population into class warfare.

    I actually respect certain aspects of all the worlds religions and do not consider “religion” under a US system to be a problem, but a great benefit, as secular leadership in the last 20 years has been more violent then even the religious violence of the past . The problems inherent in human nature manifest diffferently in different systems. For instance the secular elite in the west have always condemed the cast system of India.Cultures will naturally divide according to a true understanding of the caste system. This is inevitable, and something all Marxist and most socialist fail to grasp. In unenlightened times these natural divisions (which in ancient India people were not born into or assigned in any way) are greatly misunderstood and develop a social division never intended.
    What degenerated into the rigid cast system as practiced in India also degenerated into the aristocracy of the western world during the same time frame. Thus the secular “elite” in many cases develop there own negative form of sectarianism. However the founding father’s were not guilty of most of the negative aspects of sectarianism. Instead they demonstrated an ability to separate the wheat from the chaff. (They recognized the true import of various doctrines and set up a system where the essence could be more easily practiced without easily falling victim to competing external forms and dogma.)

    The deeply thoughtful moral founders of the United States, via the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, including separation of church and state, wrote a document that had fundamental spiritual non-sectarian truths, and was so all inclusive as to provide the basis for all that followed… the abolishment of slavery, Women’s rights, the civil rights movement, etc. These men were deeply thoughtful, and politically astute, they in all likelihood knew that the basis of individual freedom from all forms of tyranny (political, economic and religious) which they wrote and deeply embedded in the political structure of the US, would probably result in many of the freedoms that were later won due to the structure they created.

    The fact that many diverse groups from the generally less educated population, as well as from the “elite” would and did resist a broader literal interpretation of phrases such as “all men are created equally, with an equal right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness“ is natural, but the system created allowed these prejudices to be overcome via indiviual freedom and responsability and of course, limited govt and limited power of any form. This is why I say that in a world ever smaler, we will ever have violent discord until the rest of the world understands and in some manner practices the US experiment in a republic, and adopts an international form of the US principals. However I fear that this understanding is being lost even within the US. Islamic sharia, is by it very nature against the founding principles of the US system of freedom. Iran is an organised supporter, founder, and instigator of terrorist groups around the world. Their dark age mentality, fused with nuclear wepons, is a threat to the world.

  138. Adrian Ashfield says:

    The Sun reports:
    “Tough-talking Mr Hasan also declared Pakistan would have no choice but to support Iran if “aggressive” Israel attacks it.”

    I wonder if Pakistan gave Iran even a single nuclear weapon, that would be enough to deter Israel from bombing them.

    I wish Russia had allowed them to buy their latest anti-aircraft missiles as a less drastic measure.

  139. R. de Haan says:

    Iran’s arsenal of Sunburn Missiles are more than enough to close the Strait of Hormuz.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/irans-arsenal-of-sunburn-missiles-are-more-than-enough-to-close-the-strait-2012-2#

    @Jason Calley (03:07:22) :
    In his speech he clearly referred to a research paper and when he mentioned the low murder rates in Europe he talked about the peace time murder rates.

    As for the State Monopoly on the use of fire arms this is true for the Netherlands but that doesn’t mean we don’t have citizens with a license to possess fire arms. There are many shooting clubs and a huge number of active hunters who all have a license which allows them to poses one or more fire arms.

  140. R. de Haan says:

    Adrian Ashfield (18:16:11) :
    The Sun reports:
    “Tough-talking Mr Hasan also declared Pakistan would have no choice but to support Iran if “aggressive” Israel attacks it.”

    “I wonder if Pakistan gave Iran even a single nuclear weapon, that would be enough to deter Israel from bombing them”.

    “I wish Russia had allowed them to buy their latest anti-aircraft missiles as a less drastic measure”.

    Adrian, if you take a look at the demographic data of Pakistan you will see that many people from Iranian descent, tribes and religion live in Pakistan.

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

    Shia make up the majority of the population in Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Bahrain, and they are the largest religious group in Lebanon (all together called the Shia Crescent), while Pakistan has the second-largest Shia Muslim population in the world.

    When the US invaded Iraq the Shia population and their leadership regarded the invasion as an attack on the Baath Party and Saddam Hussein.

    When the US and/or Israel and the Eu allies attack Iran every Shia inside and outside Iran is going to take this very personal.

    The Pakistani Government, already on a collision course with the USA will be under severe stress to support iran.
    The same goes for Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Azarbijan and the Shia populations living in Saudi Arabia and Bahrein, now under Saudi control.

    Iran will be supported by the Russians and the Chinese who are waiting for the opportunity to see how the missiles they delivered to Iran will effect the US fleet off the coast of Iran.

    A military conflict with Iran is IMO total madness for three reasons.

    1. We risk a regional war with a high potential for escalation including Western Europe.

    2. We certainly risk the world economy.

    3. The number of casualties will be horrendous.

    Almost all Iranian targets are found in dense populated area’s.
    An Iranian counter attack directed at Israel, is a profound possibility.
    We run a serious risk of losing entire ships and high losses among the aircraft involved in operations over Iranian territory.

    For now Iran has allowed IAEA inspections of it’s nuclear installations.

    If Iran doesn’t initiate any hostilities there is a (high) chance for a false flag incident to justify the attack.
    This because of the Russian/China interests.

    We should not want something like that to happen.

  141. R. de Haan says:

    CNN: US preparing military contingencies for Syria

    http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=256941

  142. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkiJltNsZ-M Maybe the Pentagon can vaccinate Iran, then we’ll get the Oil back and we don’t have to go to war?

  143. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, last night we had a ‘plumbing issue’ and I got to spend some time working with caustics and a plunger… Eventually got things fixed, so the family was, er, ‘relieved’… and showers all around this morning.

    But I come back here, after a bit of sleep, and find an ongoing “does so / does not” continues. Sigh.

    At this point (prior to breakfast) I’ve not got the time to read all of it in depth (never mind reply) so just a couple of short snippets:

    @R. de Haan:

    Per plant oils and biodiesel – First off, notice that the Navy use I was talking about was USED COOKING OIL. You know, the crap left over after cooking french fries for 20,000 sailors?

    While I agree that cutting down rain forest to plant palm oil plantations to feed cars is madness: It is also true that taking used corn / cottonseed / soybean oil (and it’s partially hydrogenated forms) that would otherwise go to a landfill and finding a good use for it is a Very Good Thing!

    This is not palm oil. (A solid shortening used in baking and fully consumed in the baked goods). The most common oils used in deep fat frying in the USA are the three listed above (plus some sporadic others like safflower – it does depend a bit on what is grown in your area – and peanut oil -often for high temperature uses like frying turkeys. Yes, folks deep fat fry whole turkeys in gallons of very hot peanut oil… occasionally with spectacular results.)

    So the stuff is put in a deep fat fryer and used to make french fries, taco shells, fried fish, whatever. EU regs require faster replacement by US tends to run it for about 40 hours. Then too many acrylomides have been formed. Flavor starts to go off and risk of cancer starts rising. At that point it is dumped in a large bin out back….

    If you have a pet food plant nearby, or somebody who needs to make nitroglycerine, it might have a use (so would be processed by a renderer and sold to them) or in China it can be cleaned up a bit and sold as “olive oil”… (Yes, such adulteration has been found)…. But if you are parked in a desert in the Middle East, or even just in BumBurk Texas, it can just as likely end up in a landfill. It’s pretty nasty stuff and huge quantities get dumped.

    For the Navy, in particular, they often have complex international issues around any base and especially so for mobile operations and temporary bases. So it’s typically “Ship in TONS of fuel AND cooking oil; ship OUT TONS of USED Cooking oil. Dispose ‘somehow’… often after lots of expensive and risky shipping during times of conflict.”

    It is HIGHLY beneficial to instead have a shipping container processor box where you just dump in the Used Cooking Oil (called UCO ) and get out Diesel. No UCO shipping outbound nor handling and disposal costs. Similar quantity of inbound Diesel does not need to be handled and shipped. NO NET INCREASE IN Cooking Oil USED… Reduction in Diesel needed.

    It really is a wonderful thing all around. (This is diametrically opposed to making bioDiesel out of Virgin Cooking Oil…)

    UCO disposal is a major issue in many places (not just the Navy) and especially so for the US diet that is so fond of deep fat frying…

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    If Pakistan gave a nuke to Iran, I think we would see many places “glowing in the dark”, including Pakistan. I won’t go into the “who and why” as that seems to cause you to boil. But lets just say India and China would not be fond of the idea nor would most of Europe.

    @S.P:

    You seem to be of the opinion that finding one group that is bad makes another bad group better…

    Look, Saudi Arabia is known to be skitzo on the issue of Religion vs Cooperation. That’s part of the problem I admired above with The House of Saud being “friendly” toward the west and cooperating on managing oil supply to be stable, yet funding Wahabi expansion (partly just to keep their necks away from Radical Islamic Critics…)

    The question is just “Is it a coping mechanism to retain power?” vs “Is it a ruse to fool the west and they ARE radicals?” As custodians of Medina and Mecca they are under harsh criticism for any western cooperation.

    The cope with this by ‘showing off’ how pure (read harsh) they can be as Islamists. I’ve found no way to disambiguate the degree to which that is “show” for survival vs “real” and with us being mislead. (Other than the fondness the House of Saud shows for booze, fine dining, fast women and playing in European Vacationlands…)

    Simply pointing at some particularly ‘extreme’ thing done by Saudi Nationals or the Saudi Government does not answer that question, so it ends up being fairly useless as “input”.

    Realize that I am no supporter of “all things Saudi”. I do have to recognize, though, that since the Arab Oil Embargo and the wars with Israel about then: The Saudi Government and The House of Saud have been relatively good and reliable partners to the USA and Europe.

    They do not run around chanting “Death to America” nor “Death to Israel” (though I suspect they may mutter it in private) and they do not threaten to shut down global commerce via blockading the gulf. These things matter.

    So, second time: Please do not just gratuitously toss smears and smear bombs at Saudis. It accomplishes nothing. There is an essential subtlety that must be recognized in order to have predictive value: House of Saud, vs Saudi Arabia (the govt) vs Saudi Nationals (sub groups of people). Place your “smear attacks” in some kind of context that recognizes the importance of that dynamic. Is it the House of Saud that is demanding (or even tacitly encouraging) discrimination against jews? Or just some functionary? Is it recent or of long duration? Does it have use to support their claim to guardians of Islam, but otherwise not really important to them? Or is it a blood feud?

    FWIW, I think the moral issue that IS raised by your smear bombs (but would have been better served by a direct statement and with less sniding…) would have been to just ask:

    Is not Saudi Arabia more intolerant of Jews? Yet we are “friends” with them? What makes them so special / good and Iran so ‘evil’?

    THAT question is one I have to think about, as I don’t have any answer.

    (First off, I’ve never thought about Jews in either Saudi or Iran… Second off, it does raise the question of “are we just bought by Saudi oil and they don’t like Iran / Shiia?” or rephrased “Are we just accepting Saudi propaganda?”)

    I’ve got a bit more plumbing check to do, and then a meal and… well “I’ll be back” but it may be a few hours…

    You may all now return to pointless bickering and not bothering to find ways to extend understanding of the likely start of W.W.III …. /sarcoff>;

  144. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    You left out that WHEN Iran attacks Israel (either from a reprisal for an Israeli first strike or from a retribution for a USA attack posture) there is the very real chance for an Israeli nuclear response (depending on how bad things get and how many other surrounding Muslim countries join in).

    This has a very real chance to escalate into a W.W.III scenario fairly rapidly.

    We’ve got two personalities with a “don’t push me” chip on their shoulders (Obama and Putin Via Proxies) and if they start to collide I can’t see either one backing down… Similarly, if a fight breaks out in the Middle East with Shiia vs Israel I’d not be surprised to see the Turkish Airforce headed into Syria… for gas on their way to Israel… That drags in NATO in some odd ways. Just such a toxic mess… But I can’t see Iran backing down either; and their clear quest for a nuclear weapon will not be allowed to stand by the extant nuclear powers.

    (YAGD: Admiring that it CAN happen and even ‘role playing how others will decide / act’ is NOT advocating that it happen nor APPROVING of the thought processes of the folks involved. Recognition that “reality just is” does not require that I LIKE it or WANT it (usually I don’t either like or want it). Recognition that the Leadership Of Iran sure TALKS like it wants to destroy Israel and kill Americans (and has provided lots of material and financial support to radical proxy groups to do so) matters, and recognition that the House of Saud sure TALKS like it supports the USA (and has had actions commensurate with that talk) matters too; but does NOT mean I trust either to continue in their respective modes; but that’s the way to bet. Placing a bet is NOT endorsing the dice…)

  145. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM
    “f Pakistan gave a nuke to Iran, I think we would see many places “glowing in the dark”, including Pakistan. I won’t go into the “who and why” as that seems to cause you to boil. But lets just say India and China would not be fond of the idea nor would most of Europe.”

    Geez, I can’t even ask a what-if without you going nuclear. Did I say I wanted it? ;-)

    OK. Let’s suppose Iran said they had acquired a nuke from an unspecified source. Assuming they said it convincingly, would that be enough to deter Israel from bombing them?
    (I suppose the argument would then be, well we can’t let them have TWO bombs. Etc.)
    In passing, you never replied to my comment that the greater threat was some Israeli sub deciding to do the “logical” thing with a few nuke tipped cruise missiles. (Well, Israeli government consensus logic anyway.)

  146. E.M.Smith says:

    Dang…. Can’t get the thought out of my head (so I can go ‘play with pipes’) …

    The issue of Saudi layers being important ( House of Saud acting as our “friend”; Saudi Arabian Government neutral, Saudi Nationals mixed – but often not ‘pro west’ at all…) vs Iran (and how to understand it) has lead to a thought:

    The Curious Inversion of Saudi and Iran:

    In Iran, the “stack” is exactly backwards…

    People: Near as I can tell, especially the younger ones, kind of pro-west and interested in modernity. Not particularly prone to violence nor war.

    Gov’t: Not actively attacking folks, but doing a LOT ‘by proxy’ via funding Hamas, Hizbolla, and shiping IEDs to anyone who has Americans nearby.

    Leadership: (In this case the Ayatollahs and religious clerics who call the shots). Highly anti-western and hateful toward Israel and the USA. (Hey, THEY are the ones damned by their own words, so don’t throw rocks at ME about what THEY said…) Clearly radically disposed and clearly “hard core”.

    So this prompts the question:

    WHY does one stack running one way vs the other stack running the other make “all the difference in the world”?

    It has biased my opinions of both (favorable toward Saudi, worried about Iran) and it has clear strong impacts on the behaviour of the USA Government and Israel.

    Is it that “the leaderships is all that matters”?

    Is it a subjective evaluation error?

    Is it something else?

    In any case, it’s a curious thing… If you just took “The average radicalism of the population” and used that metric, the “answer” to “who to fear” would be exactly reversed.

    Could this be the key to understanding the polarized views being tossed around by several folks here? Those who look at ‘the average Saudi and Iranian” vs those who look at “what the leadership says”?

    Hmmmm….

    I’d hate to think that the potential for W.W. III and the fate of the world hung on “people vs leadership” coefficient in an unexamined kind of way…

  147. George says:

    Here is the fundamental problem with Iran having nuclear weapons:

    They are a theocracy in a martyrdom culture. The notion is that if they believe they have the means by which to destroy Israel, they will feel a religious obligation to use it even if it means they themselves are all killed in the process. In other words, there is no deterrent. Conventional means such as mutual assured destruction have no value to a martyr. It becomes the ultimate suicide bomb.

    Now put that in the context of statements by the Iranian “Supreme Leader” and others earlier this week

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/

    It then becomes clear that we can not live with a nuclear Iran because they will very possibly feel obligated to use them regardless of the consequences.

    And to get at the very underlying problem of why they want to annihilate Israel in the first place is because the very existence of Israel invalidates one of the Hadiths and if one is wrong and capable of being flawed, then how may others might also be flawed? So the existence of Israel represents a crack in one of the primary foundations of their religion. Basically it goes like this:

    According to the Hadith, the Jews lost Israel because they would not accept the Quran as the word of God and Mohammad as His prophet. Furthermore, the Jews would never regain Israel until they do so. Well, here we are. There is an Israel, but they have not converted to Islam. So either the Haddith is flawed or Israel must be destroyed in order to fix that crack in the foundation. Because if one Hadith is flawed, how many others are, too? The existence of Israel presents a fundamental existential challenge to a major pillar if Islamic thought. So this has nothing to do with “land for peace” or the Palestinian question, those are simply tools used to constantly keep the pressure on Israel. A devout Muslim can never recognize the state of Israel because doing so would invalidate one of the Hadiths. This is also why an Islamic government can not recognize Israel but a secular government (such as Egypt and Jordan) may.

    So we can have any number of various “Middle East Peace Processes” and they are all going to fail. It isn’t going to matter. It is all a big circle jerk of political leaders attempting to justify their own paychecks and attempting to be seen as “doing something” about the problem. But the problem is not going to go away unless something very key happens.

    There is a way out. What it would require is something of a reformation of Islam. The various respected leaders of all the Islamic schools of thought would have to come together and decide that while divinely inspired, the Hadiths are still the products of mortal, fallible, human beings and are subject to human misinterpretation. The Hadith in question was valid at the time and remained true over the duration of the lifetime of the author of that Hadith. It was correct. What was incorrect of our interpretation of the word “never”. We (mortal humans) have interpreted it to mean forever into perpetuity when maybe the scope if “never” was in the duration of the lifetime of the person authoring the Haddith. Or something along these lines. Once that determination is made and ALL of the schools of thought agree on the wording of the clarification and give it their blessing without changing the actual wording of the Hadith itself, only then can peace with Israel be found.

    Until then, we are pissing up a rope.

  148. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055402/Saudi-Royal-offers-1million-reward-captures-Israeli-soldiers-exchange-Palestinian-prisoners.html

    Wow I’m really worried that the brother of a Major Owner of Fox News wants to catch Israel Soldiers for $1million

    “A member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family has offered a $1million reward offered to anyone who captures an Israeli soldier to swap him for Palestinian prisoners.

    Prince Khaled bin Talal, the brother of business tycoon and Fox News co-owner Walid bin Talal, made the offer during a telephone call to a state television station yesterday.

    The move by the Prince raises questions about who media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who part owns the news channel, is willing to do business with.
    Prince Khaled’s offer comes hours after Sheik Awadh al-Qarani, a prominent Saudi cleric, promised $100,000 for capturing an Israeli soldier.

    Speaking on the phone, Prince Khaled told the television station: ‘I tell Sheik al-Qarani that I support you and I will pay $900,000 to make it one million dollars to capture an Israeli soldier to release other prisoners.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055402/Saudi-Royal-offers-1million-reward-captures-Israeli-soldiers-exchange-Palestinian-prisoners.html#ixzz1lqOXOpS9

    Time to invade Saudi just in case?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/07/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-may-seek-nuclear-weapons-prince-says.html

    What happens if the brother prince gets hold of the button and attacks Israel????

    “Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reserves in the world. It is the world’s top oil exporter and producer. The Saudi Ghawar oil field is the largest in the world and accounts for about half of Saudi’s oil production. Ghawar is estimated to produce 6.25% of global oil production. The problem is that Ghawar is located near the Persian Gulf, just opposite Iran. To hurt the world’s oil supply, Iranians need not block the Strait of Hormuz and face the huge flotilla the U.S., the UK and France are assembling near the Strait. Why engage in a maritime war with no chances of winning when the Iranians can torch the worlds’ largest oil field in a matter of hours with short range missiles? Obviously, such an attack would not be taken lightly by the US 5Th fleet docked close by. However, the immediate damage to world’s economy would be significant. With that attack, the Iranians could send a double message: To the U.S. – if you continue to hurt us with the sanctions, we will hurt your economy by sending oil price to the stratosphere. And to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States the message would be: the Americans can’t protect you. Therefore, you’d better come under our wings, recognizing that Iran is the leader of the Ummah el Islam, the Islamic Nation. That term was coined by Ayatollah Khomeini when he aspired to crown Iran as the leader of the Islamic world. And the Iranian nuclear bomb? That would be a shield rather than a dagger. Iran will use it as a deterrent against the West from attacking it for subjugating the major oil producers of the world. With the Ayatollah’s hands on the world’s major oil spigots, the Iranians could doom Western economies unless their new conditions are met. Among them, a coveted seat as a permanent member in the UN Security Council with veto powers. ” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/haggai-carmon/its-saudi-arabia-stupid_b_1261057.html

    Oh I’m just wondering too, why do all dictators end up going to Saudi when they go in Exile?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/3155925.stm

  149. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @George,
    It is dangerous to use WND as a source. They have more than their share of religious nut cases, some of whom prophesy the end of the world for reasons unconnected with Iran.

    The Western press cherry picks quotations and tends to print the threats. Like the popular one I objected to earlier, that is simply a mistranslation. But it pops up everywhere.

    Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i, leader of Iran, has issued a Fatwa against Iran building an atomic bomb. Why do you believe his threats against Israeli and not that? See what I mean?

    They are all politicians. There is NO evidence they want to commit suicide. There are many nut cases HERE seeking Armageddon, so why do you not believe them? As far as I can tell the general population is pro western, quite well educated and democratic. Certainly the younger ones. Given time it will all work out.

    We are being fed pro war propaganda, in many ways similar to the run up to the war with Iraq. The Likud government of Israel is really keen to have America bomb Iran (and Syria and were the driving force for invading Iraq) for various reasons. There is NO advantage for us to do that and the consequences simply cannot be foreseen. They are certain to be nasty and very expensive.

  150. Oh nooooooooo look out Saudi suicide bombers, they are different to Iran ones? Why don’t we just take over so we can control them, since so many seem to be coming from there the powers don’t seem to be able to control them.

    http://www.securitymanagement.com/news/saudi-suicide-bomber-hid-ied-his-anal-cavity-006178

    http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jul/17/opinion/op-suicidebomb17

    “Most of the suicide bombers in Iraq are coming from Saudi Arabia. The rise in Saudi bombers stems from a split within the Saudi jihadist movement, according to some Al Qaeda experts. One faction wants to attack the Al Saud monarchy directly, while another contends that U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq should be the prime target. Because Al Qaeda views Saudi Arabia as its primary source of money for global jihad, it has concentrated on striking in Iraq.

    The hundreds of accounts of Saudi suicide bombers in Iraq featured on websites provide some information about the bombers and foreign fighters who are playing an ever larger role in the insurgency. An online magazine, named Jihadweb, published a “road to Iraq” guide that advised recruits traveling through Syria to “wear jeans” and “use a portable music player” so they would appear more Western.

    Reuven Paz, an Israeli expert on terrorism, concluded that of the 154 foreign fighters killed in Iraq over a six-month period, 61% were Saudis, with Syrians and Kuwaitis together accounting for another 25%. But the jihadist websites claim that 70% of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi nationals.”

    Lets check Iran, seems like the only suicide bombing going on happens to them???

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-10655900

    But don’t worry, they found the book so it’s time to start the war?

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/27/iranian-book-celebrating-suicide-bombers-arizona-desert/

  151. But the Known Known Unknown WMD better start a war just in case about the Unknown known?

  152. Did they find the 2.3 Trillion yet announced on September 10th 2001?

  153. George says:

    “It is dangerous to use WND as a source. ”

    I generally agree when they are publishing opinions but if they are publishing quotations of others, I generally accept that as they can generally be verified. In this case I had an alternative source ready:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097252/Kill-Jews-annihilate-Israel-Irans-supreme-leader-lays-legal-religious-justification-attack.html

  154. George says:

    I’m sorry, SP, I’m just not an anti-Saudi bigot. There are plenty of misguided Saudis as there are misguided people all over the Arab world.

  155. Here’s another source. I’m just saying there is a double standard with Iran and Saudi.

    The textbooks were printed for the 2010-2011 academic year and translated from Arabic by the institute.

    In one, for ninth-graders, students are taught the annihilation of the Jewish people is imperative.

    One text reads in part: ‘The hour (of judgment) will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. There is a Jew behind me come and kill him.’
    School prayers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where children learn how to chop off the hands and feet of thieves, it is claimed

    School prayers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where children learn how to chop off the hands and feet of thieves, it is claimed

    According to the translations, women are described as weak and irresponsible.

    Mr Al-Ahmed said the textbooks also call for homosexuals to be put to death ‘because they pose a danger at society, as the Saudi school books teaches’.

    Mr Al-Ahmed said: ‘If you teach six million children in these important years of their lives, if you install that in their brain, no wonder we have so many Saudi suicide bombers.’

    The Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. was approached for comment, but there was no immediate response.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2077658/The-Arabic-textbooks-children-chop-hands-feet-Sharia-law.html#ixzz1lqTU6uzn

  156. https://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/saudi-arabia-racist-society-terrorism-exporter-nuclear-weapons-capable/

    Fed incessant propaganda on the dangers of Iranian ownership of nuclear weapons-and still upset about the Shah’s fall and the Iranian hostage crisis–Americans have long since forgotten just how brutal, conniving, and dangerous that Saudi Arabia actually is.

    And as cunning and wealthy as the House of Saud is-and with nuke heavy Israel right down the street–it seems very likely that Saudi Arabia is in possession of nuclear weapons either provisioned by the United States or, more likely, Sunni Pakistan. Whatever the case, the US has always had the nuke umbrella open over Saudi Arabia. To put a fine point on that for all to see-mainly Iran—during joint exercises between American and Saudi forces in April 2010, the US decided to launch a nuclear capable TRIDENT ballistic missile from a US submarine operating in Saudi territorial waters.

    It is Iran that has eleven operating Jewish synagogues in various enclaves in that country. And it is in Iran’s Constitution that Christians and Jews are, by law, to hold one seat in Parliament. At least it is a start. Such activity is forbidden in Saudi Arabia.

    The Economist’s Intelligence Unit 2011 survey of democracy examined 167 countries based on the effectiveness of a particular government and its citizens to handle an open society with press freedoms and free and fair elections, among other categories. Saudi Arabia placed 161st and was tied with Equatorial Guinea and Myanmar for the honor (Iran was 159th).

  157. E.M.Smith says:

    @S.P:

    The move by the Prince raises questions about who media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, who part owns the news channel, is willing to do business with.”

    It does no such thing.

    Once shares are sold, the company has no control over who buys them. The only influence such a person has is via the voting rights of the shares. As the stock comes in two classes and old Rupert and family hold a lot of the voting shares, the Saudi is slightly less important than I am. ( As I sometimes watch Fox, they would like me to watch more and buy stuff from advertisers).

    This is a common fallacy, that shareholders have political import. It’s wrong.

    @Adrian:

    I’m dealing with pipes and such. So not commenting much. That I ignored your point is, well, not as important and the “poo” issue last night…

    Per my YAGD: They seem to be needed to make clear that folks leaping to conclusions (from “expect” to “want”) is unjustified. They will continue as long as I think such risk exists. So if it’s POSSIBLE for you to leap to an expectation of ‘nuking’, I’m going to disclaim as needed.

    Per Israel and subs: I would presume they have effective control of their Subs and captains of them. That level of responsibility is not handed to unreliable folks. Beyond that is an irrelevant hypothetical. I don’t do irrelevant hypotheticals (only relevant ones ;-). Doing the irrelevant hypothetical: I think we’d see W.W.III as a high probability and an Islam vs Israel (and friends) as an almost certain. (YAGD: No, I don’t want the world to “go there”. Yes, that may mean taking down Iran. No, I don’t want us to do it. Yes, I think it will be us. But I could be wrong…)

    Per Iran and a ‘free nuke': While speculative, I suspect you would see several parts of Iran suddenly glow in the dark. Which ones and from whom would take time to work out, but it would, IMHO, be a ‘race condition’ between several parties. I could even see Russia not wanting a Nuclear Iran offering gifts to Chechins…

    @S.P:

    Per Saudi Nukes: That’s part of the problem with a “Nuclear Iran”. As soon as that happens, the whole region goes nuclear. That pretty much assures that the whole place will be destroyed in a nuclear war in a modest period of time as the folks there have a long history of dying first and thinking later…

    Would we (USA) be happy with it? Not at all. Would we ‘nuke them’? I doubt it. But Israel might. Or Iran. Or…

  158. R. de Haan says:

    It looks like we will concentrate on Syria first.

  159. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2012/02/20122511363735905.html

    Oh by the way, remember Iran has lots of mountains ;)

    Could be a problem?

  160. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @EM Smith I like Murdoch. At least his papers expose people particularly in Government. The are not lapdog papers/media.

    But I must saw that Buffet of Saudi is a bit weird lol. But his Citibank investment isn’t going too well LOL

  161. Jason Calley says:

    A quick 2 minutes and 13 seconds. General Wesley Clark gives some background and opinion on intervention in the Middle East:

  162. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM
    You wrote. “Per Israel and subs: I would presume they have effective control of their Subs and captains of them. That level of responsibility is not handed to unreliable folks.”

    That is funny to a cynic. The Israeli government itself seems to have determined Iran is a threat that must be destroyed, but you think a sub captain would be more responsible than the government? You yourself have stated that it is inevitable that Iran would nuke Israel if they had some with which to do it, which certainty implies a pre-emptive strike is logical..

    @S.P.
    Your link adds some confirmation to my suspicion that the rebellion in Syria is being actively encouraged by Mossad and various Western powers including America. Also, that the reports death and destruction by the Syrian government are exaggerated by the Western press.

    It was always part of the Israeli policy to weaken/destroy Iran, Iraq & Syria. It is a pity that our Congress is so beholden to circulating money to Israel that they get back as gifts from AIPAC.

  163. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Syria just looks like a couple mercenaries have been given machine guns to cause chaos. It’s basically probably the same guys that started Libya. Russia says this as well. Why they basically vetoed the UN thing. UK has admitted that they are “supporting” the resistance. Who knows whats going on.

    It’s bit of a dangerous situation as we have all these warships from different countries off the coast of Syria now.

    Its a bit like the Branch Davidian in USA fighting government troops and everyone is saying that the whole country is at war. It looks like a very small group are causing the chaos in Syria.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-iran-syria-navy-idUSTRE71N5CZ20110224 Not sure where the Iran Warship has gone.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/10/c_131353164.htm The Russians are there

  164. adolfogiurfa says:

    @SP: They are playing the “arab spring” during winter. Russians opposed at the UN because somebody wanted to play the same game over there.
    It seems Russia, sooner or later , will reestablish monarchy which will be backed by the majority as the people will become identified with the “Great Russia” and then it will be impossible such kind of games for a long time. (Of course Putin will be the Chancellor). Not only that but they believe Moscow it is and will be “the Third Rome”….
    Plenty of fun to come.

  165. Jerry says:

    Here is some info on the US mine sweeping capabilities.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/can-the-u-s-navy-cope-with-iranian-mines/

  166. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  167. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Who is threatening whom?

  168. E.M.Smith says:

    @R. de Haan:

    Yes, Syria looks like it’s up to bat. Iraq on deck…

    @SP:

    You really want to claim that the CIA is behind folks in Syria being shot at by their own government? Really?
    Look up the history of the Ba’ath party (derivative of the Nazi philosophy) and the nature of the oppression inside Syria ( Assad is from a small minority, about 12% IIRC, dominating the rest of the country.) At MOST the CIA could say “Sure, we’ll back you if you make a fuss”. Though we usually follow that with doing nothing. (Look at the history with the: Kurds, Afghans, Libyans, Iranians, …)

    Sheesh… Look, conspiracy theories need something beyond matching propaganda goals to have any hope of veracity…

    @LG:

    Ask SP, I’m sure he can show it’s a CIA plot…

    That they were critical of the Religious Leaders was just a coincidence…

    Or maybe he can find a way to blame it on the Saudis…

    @S.P.:

    You DO realize that the things in their text books that you are criticizing are right out of the Koran? That stoning, chopping off hands and feet, killing infidels, etc. are all mandated by Sharia? That it’s not a Saudi thing at all, it’s much more generic… No, that would not fit narrative of “Evil Saudi”…

    FWIW, that was EXACTLY the point I was making when I mentioned the teaching / spreading of Wahabism and pushing a very conservative form of Islam… And that as those children grow up, The House of Saud has a major issue. Selling their ‘sinful western lifestyle’ to an increasingly conservative Saudi National base.

    That this inherent and growing conflict between the citizens and the House of Saud (that dominates the Saudi Government) is exactly why I’ve repeatedly asked you to make a distinction between the Saudi Nationals and the House of Saud.

    @All:

    I can see that my point about the inversion of people vs leadership in Saudi vs Iran is being dutifully ignored. Oh well… Just because it may hold the answer to WHY all parties are behaving as they are, that’s no reason to stop taking sides and throwing rocks…

    @Adrian:

    You do know that nuclear “go codes” have not been in the hands of individuals for a very long time? That the enabling codes are only sent during times of expected use? That Sub Captains are a highly specialized group and vetted for discipline and reliability? That failure to be spot on can result in dismissal ( or worse)? That the doctrine that had them in the hands of folks with titles like “Captain” ended some time ago? (When technology improved for post first strike response / control.)

    These things can’t just be launched by one guy with an attitude…

    (Heck, even in our Nuclear Missile Silos we put 2 guys and 4 keys that all had to be turned together. No one guy can do it and you can’t put a gun on someone WHILE you do it…)

    AND I see you like self confirming propaganda more than abstract reasoning skills. I suppose all the photos of Syrian government artillery pointed at civilian cities are just faked by the CIA. Yeah, that’s it… it’s all a CIA plot, and all the evidence is faked… and the Ba’ath Party is really just misunderstood… and the citizens of Syria don’t really want the same thing all the other Arab Neighbors have been getting… and…

    You really think we can get enough agents and hard core CIA guys into a place like Syria to move the whole population and Government? Oh, yeah, I’m sure you do…

    I think I’ll just watch how far paranoia and conspiracy theories can drive folks around the bend…

    In the mean time, I’ll watch the cell phone video out of Syria that shows groups of ordinary citizens holding street protests and the government pronouncing it is forbidden followed by government attacks. (Unless, of course, you think we are shipping artillery to a couple of guys running around the country with howitzers…)

    (Oh, I’m SURE the cell phone video on Al Jazeera is a CIA Plot… we all KNOW the CIA is running everything… even them, and it’s the JEWS, yeah, the JEWS running the CIA and making America take down Iraq, and Syria and…… /sarcoff;> Yes, that’s just how loony that conspiracy theory sounds. Do you really think that OBAMA is doing the bidding of Israel? Sheesh…)

    @Adofo:

    Russia is PISSED at us over our telling them they were evil for taking unilateral action to suppress Chechins (Muslims who were killing Russian school kids). We wanted them to get UN approval.

    IMHO, the “game” here is to force the USA into doing things without UN approval. That establishes a precedent for them to use…

    Until then, they can sell lots of goodies into the Middle East, book some good revenue, get some good will, maybe some pipeline concessions. Then, in the end, more US folks get killed, more US money burned up, we lose ‘good will’ in the region. And at the end of it the war, they get a lot of ‘rebuild contracts’ and any competing pipelines will likely have been destroyed anyway… What’s not to like?

    Frankly, I admire the Russian Skill at playing The Great Game. I wish our folks were 1/10th as smart.

    In the end, they will end up with effective control of a lot of the areas closest to them and strong influence in the areas further away; plus a lot of business deals. While we get bloodied and impoverished.

    Frankly, part of why I’d like us to “just go home” is that we ARE so bad at The Great Game. I think a lot of the time we don’t even know we are in it…

    And that’s also why I’d rather have it handed back to the Europeans. They at least know what they are doing (even if not very moral about it.) They also like using us as their tool. They’ve been happy to haul us into most of their dirty laundry ever since W.W.I (and II and via the UN we got Korea, then France handed us that Vietnam war they were tired of.. )

    It’s a European Progressives wet dream. They get to remake the world as they like, and we do the funding and dying… It’s time to just say no…

    But we won’t…

    Which was sort of the whole point of the posting. What WILL happen, not what I WANT to have happen…

  169. George says:

    This might be huge:

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2012/02/hezbollah_renounces_its_suppor.php

    Hezbollah says it might not support Iran if Israel attacks.

  170. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Wow! Have to think about that one..

    time passes….

    OK, here’s my take on it: Translated, it says “We will be in reserve while you fire missiles, bomb things, harass Americans, and generally do whatever you want. Don’t worry about ‘friendly fire’ as we will be oiling guns and prepping logistics. We will not give Israel ‘diplomatic cover’ via a ground attack either. Not until we all coordinate.”

    So I’m not seeing it as a ‘break’ so much as a “not going to complicate until we can all coordinate, based on what actually happens”…

    BTW, given how much effort I’ve put into trying to get folks to understand that PREDICTING is not WANTING nor ENDORSING…. and still seeming to fail… And saying “I weight Saudi actions as FOO in prediction” then needing to endlessly say that doesn’t mean I love Saudi (nor does it mean Saudi are The Problem either as the government calls the tunes and usually does so to our advantage). Which then degenerates into “picking sides” and “tossing mud” about Saudi is / isn’t (whatever)….

    I’d been hoping to think of A Better way. Then…

    I was looking at some grammar issues (due to the whole Celtic / Hamitic thing) and was looking up some bits of obscure Celtic grammar that inevitably led to a sidetrack.. that led to a synthetic language.

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

    Initially I thought their ‘attitude’ marker stupid. It comes from another artificial language where it was first promulgated as a “women’s language” so they could have a language to solve the “I know I said foo but I meant bar” common issue of the mood, voice, emotion et al not being in the words…

    Seemed silly to me. (Hey, I’m a guy. OF COURSE a female brain centric language would sound silly to me… precisely because of it’s design goal.. my brain is deficient in those parts…)

    But on further pondering, and reading the below quote, “I was enlightened”. It would have eliminated a whole lot of mindless bickering and saved a whole lot of “But I MEANT” and “EXPECTING isn’t WANTING” and…

    Dan Parmenter:
    The removal of grammatical ambiguity from modification [...] seems to heighten creative exploration of word combination. [...] Other areas of possible benefit are (surprisingly in a ‘logical’ language) emotional expression. Lojban has a fully developed set of metalinguistic and emotional attitude indicators that supplant much of the baggage of aspect and mood found in natural languages, but most clearly separate indicative statements from the emotional communication associated with those statements. This might lead to freer expression and consideration of ideas, since stating an idea can be distinguished from supporting that idea. The set of possible indicators is also large enough to provide specificity and clarity of emotions that is difficult in natural languages.

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

    is the language that started the whole intent / mood marker thing…

    Láadan contains a number of words that are used to make unambiguous statements that include how one feels about what one is saying. According to Elgin, this is designed to counter male-centered language’s limitations on women, who are forced to respond “I know I said that, but I meant this”.
    [...]
    The speech-act particle – this occurs at the beginning of the sentence and marks it as either a statement (bíi), a question (báa), et cetera; in connected speech or writing, this particle is often omitted. They are:
    Bíi
    Indicates a declarative sentence (usually optional)
    Báa
    Indicates a question

    Indicates a command; very rare, except to small children
    Bóo
    Indicates a request; this is the usual imperative/”command” form

    Indicates a promise
    Bée
    Indicates a warning
    The grammatical tense particle – this occurs second in the sentence and marks it as either present tense (ril), past tense (eril), future tense (aril) or hypothetical (wil); without the tense particle, the sentence is assumed to have the same tense as the previous sentence.
    The evidence particle – this occurs at the end of statements and indicates the trustworthiness of the statement. They are:
    wa
    Known to speaker because perceived by speaker, externally or internally
    wi
    Known to speaker because self-evident
    we
    Perceived by speaker in a dream
    wáa
    Assumed true by speaker because speaker trusts source
    waá
    Assumed false by speaker because speaker distrusts source; if evil intent by the source is also assumed, the form is “waálh”
    wo
    Imagined or invented by speaker, hypothetical
    wóo
    Used to indicate that the speaker states a total lack of knowledge as to the validity of the matter

    So much of my “conclusions” would have been marked with “-wil-” or “=wo” with some bits (such as internal Iraqi social dynamics) marked with “-wóo” and that it was largely a “projection thought game” OF FIGURING OUT WHAT IS LIKELY TO HAPPEN and not endorsing or wanting any of it nor carting around any emotional baggage about any of it (unlike SP and Adrian who are clearly pulling trainloads of baggage.. that then confounds the logical argument / question / projection aspect).

    Some bits could have been marked with Báa- indicating a questioning aspect (wondering if this projection will happen) and others with Bée- as a warning aspect (so some of it would be questioning-warning and other bits hypothetical-warning).

    Basically, I’m seeing the value in this system…

    (No, I won’t be adopting it, internally or externally. It ‘has issues’ as do all constructed languages. First off, it is ‘tone based’. Not very useful for folks who don’t already have Asian tone based structure in their heads. Second, I think the set of markers is too small. I’d really like an “Explorational / Modeling / Predictive” marker that says “I’m projecting that this is the likely outcome (or input or state or motivation), and think it is caused by these things, but neither do I want nor endorse any of the predicates nor the results; it’s just futurology.” and I’d like a set of “strength of conviction” markers on predicates, so you could ‘tag’ them as “known”, “probable”, “reasonable”, “maybe”, “had to pick something neutral unendorsed”, “don’t know and worried”, “dicey”, “unlikely but used in this scenario”, “no way do I believe this”…

    At any rate, the emotive markers would also solve a lot of ‘/sarc>” issues as well…

    So added to my “infinite to do, likely never to be completed” list is come up with a ‘tagging’ system for normal standard English that does just those things. Someday…

    I’m pretty sure it would improve the language. (hypothetical, reasonable, predicting, nil-emotional)

  171. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @EM
    You don’t know what the launch code protocols are for the subs any more than I do. But if the Israelis really fear a pre-emptive strike that might kill most in Israel, how would they then send out the signal to fire? My guess is that the subs already have the ability to do that.

    Of course I believe the Syrian government is pointing artillery weapons at civilians. You do not explain what they should do when faced with an armed insurrection. How did the insurgents GET the weapons in the first place? I’m inclined to believe the reports that they are being supplied with them by western powers (and Israel?). There is no question that the US did this with Iraq and Afghanistan, why should Syria be any different?

    Then you are accusing me of things that you complain about. I don’t like the Baath government, I don’t like secular governments etc etc. Do I have to spell that out each time?

    I note the claim that the Syrian government set off those two bombs that killed 22 and injured 200 and damaged there own buildings. Really?

    Of course from my point of view I am not pulling loads of baggage but consider you biased on this matter. Strange because I have never really disagreed with you before, which is why I started commenting.

    To repeat: my suggestion is to simply wait. If it is proved that Iran is starting construction of a nuclear weapon it will not be too late to do something about it. I don’t believe that it would be possible to hide such activity with all the suspicion now and modern sensors. I don’t see that Iran having a couple of nukes is much of a risk to anyone anyway. There is increasing hope that the Rossi/Defkalion LENR is real, in which case the problem goes away, at least for the US. I’m informed both NASA and the Naval Academy are planning to visit Defkalion for the bare reactor test, so we should know quite soon.

  172. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_the_Nuclear_Non-Proliferation_Treaty

    The only countries on earth we should be worried about are Pakistan and India.

    I mean North Korea whatever. But the 2 above countries never get inspected.

  173. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4123736/UK-to-help-Syrian-rebels-with-non-lethal-military-equipment.html

    Joke of the day. Non lethal? What from one of the biggest arms makers on earth, and they will send laptops???????? Yeah right LOLOLOLOLOL

  174. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  175. George says:

    my suggestion is to simply wait. If it is proved that Iran is starting construction of a nuclear weapon it will not be too late to do something about it.

    It may well be too late by the time we discover it. It may already be constructed. They might decide to construct 10 of the first model before they even test one figuring they can always modify the remaining 9 if there is a problem. They are likely operating with Pakistan’s and North Korea’s accumulated knowledge in this area so they aren’t having to do everything from scratch. It is also quite possible that the two previous tests in North Korea were actually Iranian tests and that their weapons are assembled there or even Venezuela for all we know.

  176. Adrian Ashfield says:

    George
    All the known Iranian sites are visited by UN inspectors. If you claim the development is being done somewhere else, that you don’t know about, how can you bomb it?

    Iran doesn’t have enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.
    Getting highly enriched uranium is difficult and would take a couple of years.
    They probably don’t even have enough raw uranium to do much.
    No matter what EMS says, you really need plutonium to make a light enough warhead for a missile. Israel monitors its shores & borders.

    It is immoral to kill others just because you think they MIGHT do something. Where on earth would stop?

  177. George says:

    If you claim the development is being done somewhere else, that you don’t know about, how can you bomb it?

    Can you point me to where I said anything about bombing anything?

    Iran doesn’t have enough enriched uranium to make a bomb.

    You seem quite sure of that. What is your source of information? I doubt the real amount of enriched uranium has ever been reported publicly, only various and wildly varying estimates.

    Getting highly enriched uranium is difficult and would take a couple of years.

    Yes, I agree. So? It doesn’t mean Iran has to be making it there. Maybe they are getting some from Pakistan or North Korea.

    They probably don’t even have enough raw uranium to do much.

    Again, what is your source of that information? Iran doesn’t need to import uranium, they can produce it domestically and have about a dozen mines currently operating.

    It is immoral to kill others just because you think they MIGHT do something. Where on earth would stop?

    It is also immoral for them to kill us. In fact, since they have openly laid out the justification for killing an entire nation of people and since they have actively killed our people in Iraq (and were caught and then subsequently freed), I am not going to stand here and be all moral and stuff while people are being killed. You can’t wait until after they do something because their culture is one of martyrdom, they don’t care if you kill them after. You have to prevent them doing it in the first place. The bottom line is I don’t trust Iran not to use such a weapon as soon as they have it because it gives them the capability to do just exactly what they have said they would do if they had such a capability. Anyone who believes Iran can be trusted not to use such a weapon if they posses one is either a moron or extremely naive, in my opinion.

    I am not prepared to be all moral and allow them to kill people, which I believe they will do as soon as they are capable. That would be the worst immorality possible. Standing by and not doing anything to prevent it is to be an accessory to it.

  178. George says:

    Furthermore, Iran has as of Friday US time cut off Internet access to the people of the country and announced that a “big nuclear announcement” will be made next week.

    Now why would they cut off Internet access?

  179. Bruce Ryan says:

    many a slip between cup and the lip, goes the other way too.

  180. Adrian Ashfield says:

    @George,
    If Iran can obtain nukes from Pakistan there isn’t any point in bombing Iran.

    The difference I see is that Iran does not have nukes and is not powerful enough to attack Israel, no matter what they say,
    Israel says they will attack Iran if Iran doesn’t do precisely what Israel tells them to do, ie give up nuclear power, and DOES have the power to do it. They say “no cards off the table.” I wonder if that includes using atomic weapons on them.

    No. “That would be the worst immorality possible” would be killing Iranians because of something some one quoted, not something they did. There is a big difference between an idle boast without the power to do it and a real threat that can be carried out.

    This post from WRH today sums it up.

    “Iran Ready to Cut a Deal.

    “Speaking today at the CSIS, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu insisted that a deal could be relatively quickly struck between the P5+1 and Iran, if the two sides were willing to negotiate in good faith.

    Davutoglu, who said there was “mutual distrust” keeping the talks stalled, said he figured the whole matter “could be resolved in a few days” and that he has seen clear indications Iran was ready to cut a deal.”

    The US and Israel, undoubtedly and unfortunately, will skewer the possibility of such a deal moving forward ASAP.”

    I think the US has already made it clear they don’t want to negotiate.

  181. George says:

    If Iran can obtain nukes from Pakistan there isn’t any point in bombing Iran.

    You seem to be the only one talking about bombing anyone.

    if the two sides were willing to negotiate in good faith.

    And that is the key. Iran has heretofore used negotiations as a stalling tactic. They will talk until all parties are blue in the face while pursuing their stated goals which include the murder of an entire race of people.

    Iran’s government has stated officially as a matter of policy that its goal is genocide. The government of that country is a cancer in civilization and should be treated as such. Attempting to bomb the nuclear program would be futile. They would simply reconstitute the program and make it even more difficult to target in a few years time. What needs to happen is the government of that nation needs to face the specter of the same fate as the last nation that made genocide as a matter of national policy.

    Nuclear negotiations are a waste of everyone’s time. They have been at war with us for over 30 years. They have slaughtered hundreds of our people and those of other nations (France comes to mind as their barracks was blown up in Beirut the same day as our Marines were). Negotiating with that regime is an exercise in futility and is simply part of their game. It would be about as useful as Chamberlain’s negotiations. The government of Iran needs to be eliminated.

    Sanctions will not do it. Not once in history have sanctions ever produced the desired result. We are still waiting for the desired result in North Korea and Cuba. Sanctions are a waste of everyone’s time. The government of Iran needs to be eliminated.

  182. George says:

    “The US and Israel, undoubtedly and unfortunately, will skewer the possibility of such a deal moving forward ASAP.:

    That is hilarious. Iran is the responsible party here. They have lied time and time again. They lied to the UN, they have lied to everyone to whom they have spoken to on this question. We should not have to do a thing on our part. They need live up to the agreements that they signed on to. The onus is not on us to do a damned thing to stop their development of nuclear weapons. That is simply cognitive dissonance to believe that we are in any way responsible for Iran deciding to develop nuclear weapons.

    That is pure idiocy. Iran must stop and must allow inspections. The onus is 100% on them. We don’t owe them anything whatsoever. They are a criminal government that needs to be treated as such.

    The sort of approach you seem to be advocating is exactly what has got us to this point. More of it would simply be a disaster. I honestly believe that you will not be satisfied until Iran obtains and uses them. I am sick of the attitude you seem to present, quite frankly. It is moronic. It is not intelligent thinking.

  183. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    What are you talking about no inspections, they have inspections all the time?

  184. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Maybe someone in Africa is thinking about a bomb. We should bomb them to prevent them in the future from what they might do?

    Look how many nuclear weapons have been used and everyone is still alive. People worry too much. It’s like the Climate Change argument, OMG we might explode if we don’t do anything. USA’s problem is sending all it’s work overseas not some silly nuclear weapon that nobody will use.

  185. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Indian and Pakistan have ZERO, lets spell it out clearer in case you missed it —- Z – E – R – O inspections and have lots and lots of Nuclear Weapons. Spectra, I mean the Taliban live in Pakistan. Are you not worried that they will attack you with their nuclear weapons? I mean you are at war with them in Afghanistan. They attacked once supposedly with 911, since Saudi had nothing to do with it of course since they are the most democratic country in the world and can do no wrong, it was all the Taliban and Afghanistan. With the ZERO inspections Pakistan has shouldn’t you use preventive war and flatten it not make sure nothing happens? Remember supposedly the Anti-Drug Taliban are using all the drug money to attack everyone, you not worried they will get a nuclear weapon from Pakistan which has heaps of them already and were keeping Osama Bin Laden (the 5th fake one twice removed) right next to an army base that nobody knew about?

  186. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://rt.com/news/al-quaeda-syria-support-103/

    Oh nooo does this mean we are fighting with Al CIA again?

  187. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/alqaeda-behind-syria-blasts-us-20120211-1syc0.html

    Oh I get it, so Al Qaeda is the regime in Syria, then they bomb themselves as well at the same time

  188. Adrian Ashfield says:

    G: “You seem to be the only one talking about bombing anyone.” Apart from Israel and the US and many proponents of doing that in the press.

    G: “Iran’s government has stated officially as a matter of policy that its goal is genocide.”
    Let’s see some reference for that claim. The earlier one used was wrong.

    G: “The government of Iran needs to be eliminated.”
    And you claim not to be talking about bombing! That is precisely how Iranians feel about Israel’s government. I don’t like the belligerent, apartheid Likud party either. They also bribe our Congress with organizations like AIPAC. Foreign powers should not be allowed to influence US policy.

    You really need to read up on what happened with the negotiations. The US idea of negotiations appears to be “You must first give up nuclear energy and do the other things we want, and then, maybe, we will talk.”

    “Over the course of the past three days, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has succinctly summarized the four-year arc of her Administration’s diplomatic efforts to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. On Friday, she told CNN that the decision to reverse four years of U.S. policy and meet with Iranian negotiators in Geneva was a one-time event, designed solely to hear Iran’s response to the latest European negotiating offer. “We have one chance to receive the Iranian response,” Rice said. “That’s going to be on Saturday when [Under Secretary of State] Bill [Burns] receives that response.” (ref Time)

    After four years, the US deigns to meet with Iran ONCE (for 40 minutes) as a special concession? Negotiations – don’t make me laugh.

    “With continued pressure mounting, the idea of a negotiation between parties has yet to be fully considered. Ironically, it is exactly what needs to happen. Negotiation will yield a better result than the combative tactics that the U.S., EU, and the Iranians are currently pursuing.
    Snip
    Once the parties are aware of the need to bargain, the next step is to come to an agreement as to how they are going to conduct the negotiation – to define the rules of play. Establishing a common understanding as to how the sessions will be conducted, who will be in attendance, what issues will discussed and in what order, and a set of ground rules regarding the interpersonal dynamic will enable the delegates to progress in a more structured and collaborative manner. This approach is a radical departure from what has transpired previously between the U.S. and Iran.” (Forbes 2012)

    “Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was recently in Tehran, says Iran is ready to return to negotiations on its nuclear program – but he offers no assurances that Iran is prepared to meet the West’s DEMAND that Iran verifiably suspend its uranium enrichment activities to secure a restart of talks.” CS Monitor 2/12/2012

    Give up enrichment and we can string you out for 20 years of negotiations like we did to Palestine. Really good deal. Can’t imagine why Iran doesn’t jump at it.

    Then consider the sanctions that are designed as collective punishment, Something learned from the Israelis with their actions against Gaza.

    Spring 2003 Proposal
    According to Tim Guldimann, former Swiss ambassador to Tehran, Iran issued a proposal to the United States in May 2003 calling for negotiations on a variety of contentious issues between the two countries. The document listed a number of agenda items that the two countries would negotiate and proposed the creation of three parallel working groups to carry out negotiations on disarmament, regional security, and economic cooperation. Key among the agenda items were:
    • Relief of all U.S. sanctions on Iran
    • Cooperation to stabilize Iraq
    • Full transparency over Iran’s nuclear program, including the Additional Protocol
    • Cooperation against terrorist organizations, particularly the Mujahedin-e Khalq and al-Qaeda
    • Iran’s acceptance of the Arab League’s 2002 “land for peace” declaration on Israel/Palestine
    • Iran’s full access to peaceful nuclear technology, as well as chemical and bio-technology

    The Bush administration dismissed the proposal in favor of placing additional pressure on Iran.
    Ref Armscontrol.org

    There have been several other reasonable offers from Iran, all of which have been refused. It is clear Iran does not want to “wipe out” Israel and is prepared to talk. US/Israel is not interested in negotiations.

    You didn’t answer my previous question. Where on earth would Israel stop in order to feel safe? It looks like they are prepared to attack half the world with their current paranoia.

  189. Adrian Ashfield says:

    George,
    Further to your comment about Iran officially wanting genocide, how do you explain their official offer through the Swiss Ambassador?
    “Iran’s acceptance of the Arab League’s 2002 “land for peace” declaration on Israel/Palestine.”

    I can see Israel not agreeing as they want to keep the Palestinian land they have stolen by force.

  190. E.M.Smith says:

    @SP:

    Yes, it’s true, we’re on “the same side” as Al Queda.

    I’m sure that someone (que Adrian who seem impervious to facts that do not fit his narrative…) will find a way to say it’s a CIA plot. Or you could always run with your favorite that it’s the Saudis.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/02/2012212144046479368.html

    Yes, that’s Al Jazeera reporting that The Arab League is requesting action…

    (So which of these are run by / controlled by / under the thumb of / influenced strongly by { The CIA, Jews globally, Israel, George Bush, Republicans, Stereotype Of Your Choice } ?

    Oh, yeah, none of them….

    Ever think that maybe, just maybe, there really ARE some Evil folks in the world, that they grasp after power, that they often manage to rise to power, especially in political parties modeled on the Nationalist Socialist model (though certainly not restricted to it, vis Stalin and Old King George…) and that maybe, just maybe, some things really ARE just a popular revolt by the oppressed against the wicked?

    So we have Al Quada and The Arab League and a load of other Arabs and Muslims not keen on the leadership of Syria. Think about it.

  191. @EM
    ” (que Adrian who seem impervious to facts that do not fit his narrative…) ”

    What facts are thos, pray tell.

  192. E.M.Smith says:

    @S.P.:

    Pakistan has not stated a desire to destroy Israel or America (just cranky at India as near as I can tell, after India got The Bomb).

    So there is no justification for doing anything to Pakistan.

    Frankly, it stands as a great example of WHY Iran ought not be going for a nuclear bomb.

    We already have India / Pakistan on a short fuse. Adding nukes to the issue made things rather worse in that WHEN they eventually get in a hot war again, it’s much more likely to end very badly. (Oh, and China ‘has their back’ with it’s nukes…)

    So would it HELP or HURT the world to have that same level of “Aw Shit” in the Middle East? As soon as Iran “goes nuclear” there will be another two or three nuclear nations in the Middle East. (In very short order there would be a Nuclear Saudi Arabia and a Nuclear Egypt. Think that makes things better? Do YOU want a Nuclear Saudi Arabia?…)

    It isn’t about inspectors ( they are largely useless anyway – I could plan a credible bomb program that would completely bypass ‘in country inspectors’ ) or about monitoring “peaceful use”. It’s about intentions and destabilizing dynamics that let events turn into ruin.

    It isn’t about what “side” is favored either.

    I have no qualms at all saying that the Indian Bomb was what destabilized things and led to a Pakistani Bomb. ( The Indian Bomb being to some extent a response to the Chinese Bomb that was itself a response to the Russian Bomb that was a response to the US Bomb…. We won the race with Germany that was looking into it and with Japan that is reputed to have tested one in Korea just before the war ended. Part of why they were a bit slow about surrender after we nuked them… there was a question of how many and how fast on both sides.)

    So either we find a way to stop the spread / escalation or we can pretty much guarantee a nuclear war in our lifetime. I’m for stopping any spread we can. (Crying about the places where we failed to stop it does not accomplish anything, so I don’t do that. I neither cry over Pakistan nor over Israel. Both are now of historical interest, but not much can be done about it.)

    So back to Iran:

    It’s a simple choice. Let it go ahead and get nuclear bombs. Be happy that Saudi Arabia and Egypt will join (at various times) and that most likely this will put Iraq and Turkey “on deck” for “soon”. That is likely to result in various other destabilizations as the dynamics play out. It becomes a near certainty that Israel ceases to exist in that world. (Look at a map. How much of Israel is within the 20 – 30 mile destruction radius of a large nuke from a ship at sea and from trucks on the Arab borders. That it would also kill millions of Muslims just makes them Martyrs and gives them a guaranteed place in heaven so “good to go”… from an Islamic Law perspective.)

    OR:

    Do something to stop the spread. Probably kill a few thousands, and likely a few 10s of thousands in the war aftermath that would happen. Assure a higher degree of ‘stability’ in the reason. Preserve the (risky and difficult, agreed) current survivability profile of Israel. Likely prevent a future nuclear war between Shiia and Sunni factions of Islam (Iran / Saudi) and generally keep on dealing with the present level of “Aw Shit” in the region.

    Go ahead, your choice…

    Yes, they are both “sucky”. Reality is like that.

    Oh, if you really believe Iran doesn’t want a nuclear bomb and is just a peace loving country with an energy shortage… well… There’s a great bridge near New York for sale cheap…

    Oh, I also forgot to mention that shortly after a nuke is made by Iran, you can expect to see one in a ship pulling into a port in the USA…

    Note that NONE of that requires “picking sides” or “advocating” for one country over another. All it takes is an ability to see how folks have acted in the past and predict how they will act in the future. DISPASSIONATELY helps that process to be more accurate. (Part of why I generally try to stress dampening emotional loading in comments…)

    Is it JUST or FAIR? As near as I can tell, not at all. (In either case and for all of the parties involved. Reality is often that way, too…) It’s just a mess and going to stay a mess. We have a choice of which bad outcome we pick…

    Is it MORAL to bomb Iran for a nuclear weapons program? I suspect so, but have some reservations. ( Is it moral to shoot a burglar before they break into your home? How about a guy who hangs around your daughters window too much, but hasn’t hurt anyone yet? Some guy who TALKS about lynching other races, but never has done much more than sit at the bar and get drunk? An armed guy with a crowbar prying at your front door? What if he’s really an undercover cop and YOU are the target of a raid? And what did YOU do to justify such a preemptive raid? Yeah, it rapidly turns into muck. So I’m not even sure it is a valid MORAL choice to attack Iran for a nuclear program. But it may well give the best outcome… but do the ends justify the means?…)

    And all of that is why I try to emphasize dumping the emotional baggage. It’s hard enough to sort through the issues of reason without having all the emotional crap in the way too…

    So in the case of Pakistan, the “calculus” was that Pakistan had not been threatening toward others, was not funding radicals, was not destabilizing neighbors, and was mostly responding to an Indian Bomb. So no moral grounds to “jump them”. (Yet we’ve put a boat load of money and political pressure on them for several years… ) Similarly Israel has clearly been ‘over matched’ by the Arab states around it in men and tanks and guns and… It has been threatened with destruction continually. (If you doubt that, I suggest a history lesson…) So they “got the bomb” (and oddly, have not been invaded since…) but have not threatened their neighbors with destruction nor called the USA The Great Satan and worked to have us attacked…

    In both cases, the US Government has been upset about it, but didn’t have enough grounds to do much about it. Morally or legally.

    Frankly, I suspect that once Iran succeeds at making a nuclear bomb, we’ll similarly be pissed, but not do much once it is a ‘done deal’. (Other than park a nuclear weapons equipped sub near Saudi Arabia and announce they are protected by our nukes – while we try to talk them out of buying a few dozen from Pakistan and Russia and China and Korea… Think China would sell Saudi a nuke or three for a few billion bbl of oil?…)

    So, you have your two choices: Let it happen. Stop it. Pick one…

  193. George says:

    What bothers me is the cognitive dissonance and how it creeps.

    So first the notion was that we should “negotiate”, so we did. Then we learn that the entire time we were negotiating with them, they were lying and cheating. So then we went to sanctions, which have never once in history ever been effective against anyone, not once. Now it is back to negotiations again. It’s stupid, quite frankly. What it is, really, is a bunch of political academics projecting their own sense of the world onto other people and assuming everyone else thinks just like they do. They don’t.

    Not once before Iran developed nuclear weapons had America even once mentioned that they would ever attack Iran. We even offered to build nuclear power for Iran if they wanted it. Iran refused to accept the inspection and fuel requirements. Their objections were precisely along the lines of a nation that wanted to develop nuclear weapons. Then later they admit that they were working on a nuclear weapons project and had hidden it from the UN inspectors. They aren’t doing this because they need nuclear power. They can have nuclear power coming out of their ears and we would gladly build it for them. That isn’t the point.

    It is only AFTER Iran has obviously embarked on a weapons project that there were any rumblings of a US or Israeli attack. Their work has made them less secure, not more secure. But we are wasting our time attempting to knock out this specific weapons program. That is basically just a symptom of the problem. We need to eliminate the theocracy running the country. That is the fundamental underlying issue.

    And this is all Jimmy Carter’s fault. Rather than engaging and pushing hard for the creation of a constitutional monarchy, he simply ran away leaving a vacuum for evil to fill. He did the same thing in Nicaragua. His answer to everything was to “run away”. There is a lot of blood that has been spilled due to Carter’s incompetence and naivety and that continues today.

  194. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Gearge,
    “Not once before Iran developed nuclear weapons had America even once mentioned that they would ever attack Iran. We even offered to build nuclear power for Iran if they wanted it. Iran refused to accept the inspection and fuel requirements. Their objections were precisely along the lines of a nation that wanted to develop nuclear weapons. Then later they admit that they were working on a nuclear weapons project and had hidden it from the UN inspectors. They aren’t doing this because they need nuclear power. They can have nuclear power coming out of their ears and we would gladly build it for them. That isn’t the point. ”

    That is 100% wrong. Clearly there is no point in discussing this with you any further. I guess if it is a religion with you nothing can shake your faith.

    @EM,
    See above. If that is a typical Jewish point of view war is inevitable.
    There is a third choice but you won’t consider it.

  195. George says:

    What is bothering most is the fact that Iran is building a fast neutron breeder reactor. This would allow them to convert natural uranium 238 directly to plutonium 239 simply by exposing the U238 to the neutrons. No slow, expensive enrichment process required.

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/GA06Ak01.html

  196. Sabretoothed says:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=389571081058910&set=o.6499393458&type=1&theater Maybe ask Obama’s foreign adviser, he can sort this out?

  197. George says:

    “That is 100% wrong. Clearly there is no point in discussing this with you any further.”

    Correct, because you appear to be part of the problem that got us to this point to begin with. Continuing that idiotic path will result in nothing but horror for millions of people. That is the path that kills people.

  198. Sabretoothed says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zo17biJzRtc Or maybe we can get the Taliban to attack Iran for us, I mean they worked for us last time, I think they just want money?

  199. Sabretoothed says:

    But USA liked them having reactors before. Now it’s ok for Saudi to get weapons, will that change next week or in the next 20min?

  200. George says:

    To reiterate:

    1. Negotiations are not going to produce anything. Iran’s goal is to produce the capability to destroy Israel. They have stated this publicly. They will negotiate for as long as it takes them to produce weapons or not negotiate, it doesn’t matter. The “negotiations” would be for no purpose other than to give a politician political coverage that they are “doing something” about it. Such negotiations would end as soon as Iran developed their weapon. They would be just as successful as such “negotiations” were with North Korea. Nothing would be gained. It would be a waste of time. It will get people killed.

    2. Sanctions are not going to work. They have never worked in the past and we have no indication that they will work in the future. An irrational “hope” than maybe ‘they might work this time” is simply naive. No goal has ever been reached through sanctions in the history of the US. Besides, there really isn’t anything the US can do. Iran can produce uranium domestically and are on their way to building a breeder reactor that allows them to produce great quantities of plutonium in a short period of time.

    3. We have nothing to offer Iran in a trade for stopping their nuclear program. Their goal is religious. It is the destruction of Israel even if it means the destruction of Iran. They are a martyr culture. They don’t care if their country is incinerated. The only option is the removal of the theocracy and installing a secular government. At that point, maybe we can live with a nuclear Iran but not with its current government.

    4. Iran is currently lead by a particularly weird strain of Shiite Islam that believes they can precipitate the coming of the Mahdi if they simply create the right conditions. It is akin to a Christian that believes they can precipitate the coming of Christ by simply creating the conditions in the book of Revelations. It is insanity. It has to be stopped. There is no role for logic when dealing with a religious fanatic and projecting your logic on them does not work. They aren’t dealing from a position of logic. They are, in fact, dealing from a very illogical position and convinced that they will find national paradise from the global destruction of an ethic group from the face of the Earth. It is pure insanity that must be destroyed before it can act.

  201. Sabretoothed says:

    For the last 30 years Iran is always 3 years away from a weapon.

    It’s basically an excuse to justify getting Shell/BP oil assets back. As if we said that nobody would support the war, but if we make up the end of the world climate change motivational argument, then we can go in and save us and them and get the oil…

    http://truthaholics.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/iran-us-war-drums-beating/

  202. Sabretoothed says:

    Do u you think Saudi is normal? Why do we need to change Iran and not Saudi? Saudi rates right next to Iran in Human rights watch? Why does Saudi get off the hook a Iran not?

  203. Sabretoothed says:

  204. david says:

    George is accurate in his comments and Iran’s leaders have stated they do not care if the land is devastated.

    From the day the Oslo agreement and that political process which began in 1993, there has been almost continual terrorism and suicide bombing against Israeli men, women and children. Terrorism against Israel has been constant since Israel came into existence in 1948. Even when Judea, Samaria and Gaza were under Arab control, there were three wars (1948, 1956, and 1967) and continual terrorism. Thus, there was terrorism and violence before the Oslo Agreement and after the Oslo Agreement, whether talks and Israeli concessions were proceeding quickly or were not proceeding at all. During the Oslo process (1993-2000) and after, Israel handed over to the PA half of Judea and Samaria and all of Gaza, uprooting 10,000 Jews from their homes in the process, but this did not bring peace or even a reduction in terrorism. On the contrary, it has brought even more terrorism and hatred. The issue is not one of territories or Palestinian statehood, but rejection of Israel’s existence.

    The US would not risk WWIII over a little oil, and we are not making any fortune now from Iraqi oil. Stability, not shells oil fortune, is a US goal, and if stability is not attainable then winning a confrontation is a better outcome then letting the Islamic extremist suceed.

  205. George says:

    Sabretoothed, that is basically a bunch of web-conspiracy baloney. The Revolutionary Guards have basically taken over the oil production in the country. They aren’t going to see their corrupt profits diluted by any outside companies. There might be some service contracts, but that’s about it. The IRGC has 12 out of the 18 cabinet seats, too. There is no regaining of profits by any outside oil company.

    http://www.meforum.org/3153/iran-revolutionary-guards-strike-oil

  206. George says:

    Basically there is no real elected government in Iran. The Majlis has no power. The current President stole the elections and everyone knows it. Besides, the “Supreme Leader” or chief Ayatollah holds the real power anyway. The Revolutionary Guards have taken over the Cabinet and the Intelligence services and the oil industry. They are the real power in the country and they are not elected. They answer directly to the Supreme Leader. The current “elected” government is a sham and everyone knows it. It has no power over the Supreme Leader at all.

  207. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Oh I see, and the media tells the truth does it? WMD/Bird Flu/Swine Flu/Global Warming/Climate Change/Y2k?

    http://mondoweiss.net/2010/12/the-phantom-menace-fantasies-falsehoods-and-fear-mongering-about-irans-nuclear-program.html

    “To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.”

    – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

  208. George says:

    I’ve been pretty careful not to quote too much US media.

  209. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Guess it was pretty good that we got rid of Saddam, I mean he had all those WMD’s he found that they were so sure would kill us all yesterday.

  210. George says:

    SP, actually, there is some evidence that Saddam

    A: moved what WMD that he had to Syria
    B: intentionally mislead the world to believe he had them to keep Iran from attacking him.

    We *know* with 100% certainty that he had WMD after the first Gulf War because we inventoried it. Inspectors left for a while, when we came back, it was gone. We asked where it was, they said they didn’t know. Then they said they destroyed it. We asked when, where, how. They said they didn’t know. You tell me. If you know with absolute certainty that they had X quantity of various WMD (including anthrax, and the US had not so long ago experienced and anthrax attack and we weren’t sure yet of the origin of it) and then when inspectors return it is gone without explanation, are you just going to take someone’s word for it? Particularly with British and French intelligence are telling you the same thing US intelligence is saying?

    Think, man.

  211. George says:

    And actually, getting rid of Saddam, may have a hugely beneficial impact, but that might take 30 years or so. Najaf may become the new Qom.

  212. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Yeah pretty good, reduced the population of Iraq by over 500,000. Depleted Uranium all over the country. And can bomb and rebuild the infrastructure over and over and use the oil to pay for it lol

    Should we get rid of the Sultan of Brunei too. He’s not nice to his people either?

    http://curiousphotos.blogspot.com.au/2009/09/wealth-of-sultan-of-brunei-20-pics.html

  213. George says:

    Yeah pretty good, reduced the population of Iraq by over 500,000.

    No it didn’t. You must be quoting that Lancet study that has been discredited six ways to Sunday. And depleted uranium is completely harmless. Actually, it is potentially nuclear fuel, though, if the Iranians collect it up and put it into a breeder. It is pure U-238 which turns into P-239.

    No more toxic than lead.

  214. George says:

    Depleted uranium is less toxic than natural uranium because the more radioactive components have been removed from it. I would sooner eat a spoonful of DU than a spoonful of lead.

  215. Jason Calley says:

    @ George
    “SP, actually, there is some evidence that Saddam (snip) moved what WMD that he had to Syria”

    I looked in to that some years back and found the evidence much less convincing than most reports portrayed. The primary Iraqi source, a man named Georges Sada, was a former high ranking office in the Iraqi Air Force, an officer who had been kicked out by Hussein. He claimed in 2006 that he was approached by two pilots (whose names he could not disclose) who had flown earthquake relief supplies to Syria. Among the supplies they flew with were sealed barrels with “skull and crossbones” on them. These barrels, he said, must have been WMD. Mr. Sada released this information while touring the US selling his then-new book “Saddam’s Secrets.” I do not see how that can be taken as a reliable source of information.

    There were also some reports from Israeli officials prior to the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, but it is difficult to see them as reliable sources of information either.

    As for “there is some evidence that Saddam (snip) intentionally mislead the world to believe he had them to keep Iran from attacking him.”

    You may be right, but even here we have a subject that is certainly open to discussion. I am working from memory here, but IIRC, Hussein sent (in fall, 2002 as I remember) a 12,000 page document to the US with information on disposition of his weapons. US officials redacted 8,000 pages, then released the other 4,000, saying, “This is an incomplete accounting.” It was only through leaks within the UN that the original document’s size was reported.

    Anyway… I have really tried to stay out of this discussion; the levels of emotional certainty on both sides reminds me of way too many encounters I have had with the CAGW subject. There have been so many claims and counter claims that the truth of the matter is buried in what seems to be a Gordian Knot of politics. My suspicion is that the Muslim threat (whether national or sub-national) is being used on the conservative/Christian part of our population the same way that the CAGW threat has been used to lead the liberal/environmentalist part of our people.

    George, Adrian, E.M., et all, I have great respect for the intelect and morality of you all; I do not mean to denigrate or disrespect any of you. I just wish I had more RELIABLE information about Iraq, Iran, Syria, etc., but the subject is one huge muddle, and “what if?” is not a good basis for either war or peace.

  216. Jason Calley says:

    “Yeah pretty good, reduced the population of Iraq by over 500,000.

    No it didn’t. You must be quoting that Lancet study that has been discredited six ways to Sunday. ”

    I do not know, but Adrian may have been thinking of the UN (UNICEF, I think) report that used a 1.5 million figure that included 500,000 children. This was pre-Bush. I remember when Clinton gave the order for the US Air Force to bomb the water works and treatment plants. Here is soon-to-be-Secretary of State Madeline Albright saying the the death of 500,000 Iraqi children “was worth it.”

    Whether the numbers are correct or not, the fact is, this video clip got huge play in the Arab and Muslim world. Not so much in the US.

    Seeing the Secretary of State be so cavalier about half a million Muslim children dying was like matches and gasoline to much of the world. Again, are the numbers right? I do not know, but I know what people around the world thought after seeing this clip.

  217. TIM CLARK says:

    [My suspicion is that the Muslim threat (whether national or sub-national) is being used on the conservative/Christian part of our population the same way that the CAGW threat has been used to lead the liberal/environmentalist part of our people.]

    That’s garbage!

  218. Jason Calley says:

    “Depleted uranium is less toxic than natural uranium because the more radioactive components have been removed from it.”

    I think it may be more complicated than that. My understanding is that other nuclear waste may sometimes be mixed with the uranium prior to processing so that any remaining U235 in the waste will be recycled. This may introduce other nucleotides in the depleted uranium, elements which may be in very small percentage, but which are more dangerous than the depleted uranium. In addition, uranium has a pronounced affinity for attaching itself to the genetic structure of the cell. Many of the stains used for microscopy of dividing cells are uranium based. It turns out that uranium oxides (such as those produced by burning depleted uranium) have a strong bonding with the phosphate backbone of DNA. This close association with genetic structures means that while depleted uranium may be only slightly radioactive, its actual effects within an organism are greater than expected.

    Here is Major Doug Rokke; he was in charge of the US Army’s depleted uranium clean up after Gulf War 1. If he is a reliable source of information, depleted uranium is very toxic. I, personally, am not qualified to decide whether he has the proper experience or trustworthiness.

  219. Jason Calley says:

    @ Tim “That’s garbage!”

    That is emotion talking, not reason. That sort of response is, to me at least, a clear marker that the subject is not really open to rational discourse. It has been propagandized (either pro or con, probably both) at a level which makes people do a knee-jerk reaction without thinking, but instead respond with a two word tantrum. Thanks for the response, but I do not see any value in discussing our emotions.

  220. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    hahahahha yep Depleted Uranium is so good, lets use it instead of lead as a weight.

    How come when you go to the hospital and your given a lead apron when you have an xray, why don’t they use depleted uranium apron, I mean it’s more dense and it’s so good for you???

    WMD in Syria, yeah right lol. You should have said Iran, I mean the airforce went to Iran.

  221. E.M.Smith says:

    @George

    There’s a MSDS for it (as it is used ‘industrially’ in making the shells):

    http://www.ibilabs.com/URANIUM-MSDS.htm

    Uranium 7440‑61‑1 ca 100 * OSHA PEL: 0.05 mg/m3, 8‑hr TWA

    Summary of Risk: Uranium and its salts are both toxic and radioactive. Dermatitis, renal damage, acute necrotic arterial lesions, and possibly death may occur from extreme exposure. Inhalation of fine uranium particles presents increased radiation hazards; isolated uranium particles in the lungs may be a long‑term cancer hazard. The more soluble uranium compounds are considered most toxic to the kidneys; the lung is the critical organ for insoluble respirable dusts or fines such as oxide powders. Uranium dusts are respiratory irritants, with coughing, shortness of breath as possible outcomes. Prolonged skin contact can cause damage to the basal cells. Radioactivity is the property of the spontaneous emissions of alpha or beta particles and gamma rays, by the disintegration of the nuclei of the atoms.

    Medical Conditions Which May Be Aggravated by Contact: None reported.

    Target Organs: Respiratory system; skin; eyes; kidneys; liver; blood; lymphatic system; and bone marrow.

    Primary Entry Route(s): In solid forms, ingestion, skin, or eye contact. Inhalation of dusts or fines.

    Acute Effects: Nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, and coughing.

    Chronic Effect(s): Primarily the effects of radiation from insoluble compounds. Possibilities include pneumoconiosis, pulmonary fibrosis, lymphoma, osteosarcoma, and lung cancer.

    It is “less Toxic” than natural, but that’s a relative thing. It is still a toxic heavy metal and has been depleted in the heavy U isotopes, but not the lighter daughter isotopes…

    Yes, MSDS text is written in an ‘over the top scary scary’ way, so I’d happily have a 10 lb chunk of DU sitting in a display case on my desk if I could get one… Just don’t let it soak in water or be made into dust by, oh, I don’t know, firing it at 4000 ft/min into a steel tank…

    @S.P.:

    We DO use it for shielding.

    Used in research and in applications where its high density and/or high atomic number is advantageous. Uses as counterweights, radiation shields or collimators, armor piercing munitions, and armor are common.

  222. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Glad to see there are some Israelis who are not hawks.
    See this video interviewing an (ex) Israeli Ambassador.

    http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=17757

  223. Adrian Ashfield says:

    Definition of neo-conservatives, by Ron Paul

    1. They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
    2. They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
    3. They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
    4. They accept the notion that the ends justify the means – that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity.
    5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.
    6. They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
    7. They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
    8. They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
    9. They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
    10. They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.
    11. They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
    12. They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
    13. Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.
    14. 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
    15. They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists).
    16. They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
    17. They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud Party.

    Let there be no doubt, those in the neocon camp had been anxious to go to war against Iraq for a decade. They justified the use of force to accomplish their goals, even if it required preemptive war. If anyone doubts this assertion, they need only to read of their strategy in “A Clean Break: a New Strategy for Securing the Realm.” Although they felt morally justified in changing the government in Iraq, they knew that public support was important, and justification had to be given to pursue the war. Of course, a threat to us had to exist before the people and the Congress would go along with war. The majority of Americans became convinced of this threat, which, in actuality, never really existed. Now we have the ongoing debate over the location of weapons of mass destruction. Where was the danger? Was all this killing and spending necessary? How long will this nation-building and dying go on? When will we become more concerned about the needs of our own citizens than the problems we sought in Iraq and Afghanistan? Who knows where we’ll go next – Iran, Syria or North Korea?

  224. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  225. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Yeah we use depleted uranium in the military. Problem is if it gets hit by something ;)

    Why do they have special clean up kits if it gets hit? For fun?

  226. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://rt.com/news/iran-boats-uss-lincoln-hormuz-279/

    Iran boats shadow USS Lincoln as strike group passes Hormuz Strait

  227. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  228. TIM CLARK says:

    @ Tim “That’s garbage!”
    That is emotion talking, not reason.

    And my emotion is not open to debate.

  229. Jason Calley says:

    @ Tim Clark
    “And my emotion is not open to debate.”

    That, I agree with, and my apologies if I inadvertently offended you. Honest disagreement is not something I have a problem with, having been heavily exposed to it for many years! :)

  230. TIM CLARK says:

    No offense taken. Sometimes I don’t have the time or energy to support an argument. Just time enough for an opinion to be entered into the record. Or as Ken McMurtrie earlier stated:

    [ I don’t even want to debate this, but just go on the record as saying -..........
    of course, I may be wrong.
    All the talk in the world will not alter the actual situation, the main basis for not wishing to debate the issue. ]

  231. R. de Haan says:

    @E.M.Smith (21:02:16) :

    @R. de Haan:

    “Per plant oils and biodiesel – First off, notice that the Navy use I was talking about was USED COOKING OIL. You know, the crap left over after cooking french fries for 20,000 sailors?”

    Have been there.
    In 1989 I collected used baking oil, mixed it with methanol and poured the mixed product through a filter.

    I had an MB 300 diesel, placed a heating coil in the fuel tank to keep the stuff liquid. It worked perfectly but I sold the car and the mixing unit after a few weeks just because of the horrible smell that came from the exhaust.

    The car smelled like a fast food kitchen from the Sixties but it was a fun experiment that showcased the opportunity to make your own home made brew for cheap driving.

    Here is a link that describes the process.

    http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryhowtoguide/a/makebiodiesel.htm

    P.s.
    I took an industrial blender I bought for scraps from an old cheese factory.
    The mix was pumped in two old milk drums the milk framers used after the war. I had welded the drums together and used a propane burner to control the temperature. I used a cheese cloth to filter the the stuff. Worked perfectly producing around 100 liters of perfectly usable fuel per badge.

    The guy who bought the car and the mixing unit started a taxi service specialized in the transportation of handicapped and disabled people and today has a fleet of 400 cars on the road.

    He claims the home made brew allowed him to generate the starting capital for his company. It’s a kind of public secret story told by insiders as the story goes that the founding of the company was based on second hand fuel.

  232. George says:

    “It is still a toxic heavy metal and has been depleted in the heavy U isotopes, but not the lighter daughter isotopes”

    Sure. But lead is more toxic in smaller amounts. It just amazes me that people freak out about DU (just because it’s *uranium*) and have no problem with lead bullets.

    It doesn’t take a lot of lead to cause serious problems.

    [I don’t figure your retort was aimed at me, but… Just to be clear: I’m not worried about U. For about 40 years I had a cap as one of my front teeth with the glaze being a Uranium Glaze. Turns out it gives just the right shade of yellow to match tea stains ;-) At any rate, that was NOT DEPLETED, it was whole fully radioactive Uranium. Sitting right there in my mouth. As I’d asked the Dentist, I knew. Most folks didn’t ask, so didn’t know. Yes, the same U glaze that was used on Chinaware for decades, and now gets a warning sticker. Yeah, that’s paranoia… Me? I kinda liked my radioactive tooth… Alpha particles are stopped by the first layer of dead cells, so not very important… -E.M.Smith [

  233. George says:

    Am I on moderation for some reason? Every thing I post goes to the mod queue. Oh, I think I see what it is … I must have accidentally bumped the keyboard and munged my email address so maybe it thinks I am “new”

  234. George says:

    So as I was going to reply to the DU thing: Sure, it’s toxic, but people have an irrational fear of it because it is uranium. Mercury and lead are more toxic. They have no problems with using lead bullets. But because DU has *uranium* it must be worse, right? No. Not really. It doesn’t take much mercury or lead to mess someone up seriously. All it takes is vapor from either of them.

  235. George says:

    A lot of people have eaten from orange Fiesta plates glazed with uranium oxide.

    I would never eat from one glazed with lead or mercury.

  236. George says:

    here you go. There’s a lot of this still in use today.

    http://www.orau.org/ptp/collection/consumer%20products/fiesta.htm

  237. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Of course Uranium was used in the past. It’s like how radioactive elements where painted on clocks etc.

    Feet were xrayed to check size.

    Just because it was done in the past doesn’t mean its ok to do it now. Mercury and lead are also toxic. Uranium is heavy too and also radioactive as well. U238 (U235/U234 –> U235 is still in present in it)

  238. George says:

    To the best of my knowledge, nobody was ever made ill from Fiesta Ware and it is still in everyday use today.

    I would have no problems eating from it. I would not eat from lead glazed plates.

  239. George says:

    There is an irrational fear of anything having to do with uranium that is simply due to ignorance.

  240. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    I like plastic plates. Plastic is natural

  241. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  242. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gleiwitz_incident I bet they use the Poland Technique to start the war against Iran.

  243. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    This looks familiar, like the ones that are happening now in India/Thailand

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1939_Tarnow_rail_station_bomb_attack

  244. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelling_of_Mainila I mean almost every war is started with one

  245. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  246. R. de Haan says:

    From Zero Hedge: Is US/Iran War inevitable?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/doug-casey-us-iran-war-inevitable

  247. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Of course it is, Sanctions = WAR. They just have not got round to it.

  248. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=468

    Al Gore likes a lot of mining in case people didn’t know?

  249. E.M.Smith says:

    @S.P.:

    Please think a bit more about what you say. By your logic, a spanking is the same as murdering a child.

    Sanctions are a “do it or else”. The person can do it. The “or else” can be toothless so nothing bad happens. OR it MIGHT escalate to something more (that can then also be many layers short of war).

    Sheesh, the world is simply not as simple as you make it…

  250. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Sanctions are just the start of war. Weakening the country before the attack? Which country in which USA has put sanctions on has it not had a war with?

    Hey you see Greece, gets all it’s oil from Iran pretty much and now Iran is saying no more Oil to the EU lol

  251. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  252. R. de Haan says:

    US gets Barak to backtrack and deny Iran has reached nuclear point of no-return
    DEBKAfile Special Report February 16, 2012, 1:59 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Iran nuclear US Ehud Barak uranium enrichment

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak with Army Chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz
    By suddenly stating, contrary to all informed estimates, that Iran’s nuclear arms program has not yet reached the point of no return, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak implied that Israel was in no hurry to strike its nuclear facilities, a message for which Washington has been angling for months.
    In a Kol Israel interview from Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 16, the defense minister’s pronouncement contradicted every reliable evaluation, including those of Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi on Feb. 2 and his predecessor Amos Yadlin who wrote on Jan. 26 that Iran had passed the point of no return four or five years ago. But his words were a perfect fit for the recent assertions by US President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that Israel had not yet made up its mind to attack Iran.
    Kochavi’s information was detailed: He reported that Iran had amassed 10 kilos of 20-percent enriched uranium and four tons of uranium enriched to 3.5 percent. In his view, nothing remains to stop Iran building a bomb but a decision by its ruler. Once taken, Iran’s nuclear program could produce its first bomb or warhead by the end of this year or early 2013 and four or five by 2015.
    The defense minister backtracked on a second issue: While noting that Iran was scattering or burying its nuclear facilities to “impede a surgical strike,” he avoided his previous estimate that no more than three to six months were left before all those facilities had been hidden in what he himself called “zones of immunity.”
    Before these changes in outlook, Barak was indirectly criticized by Obama administration officials for underlining the mortal threat to Israel of a nuclear Iran. One official complained, “Israelis are looking at the problem too narrowly.”
    The defense minister also toed the Washington line on the show Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad put on Wednesday by inserting a home-made 20 percent grade nuclear fuel rod in a research reactor in Tehran. Listing its nuclear successes, the Iranians also claimed they had installed 3,000 fourth generation centrifuges in Natanz to speed up enrichment to 20 percent.
    The US State Department spokesperson dismissed Iran’s claims as “not terribly new and not terribly impressive” – implying there was no cause for rushing into military action.
    Barak put it this way: “They are describing a situation that is better and more advanced than the one they are in, in order to create a feeling among all the players that the point of no return is already behind them, which is not true.”
    DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources recall that, when two years ago, Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials boasted they were on the way to self-production of nuclear rods and ending their reliance on Russia, American and Israeli insiders belittled the claim. Two years on, Iran has indeed made the leap and is also advancing rapidly on the plutonium-based weapons track.
    If Iran can supply all the nuclear fuel rods for fueling the Bushehr reactor, which is now running on recycled fuel rods from Russia, it will be able to use these rods to produce plutonium for nuclear bombs or warheads.
    Why the defense minister suddenly changed course is unclear. It is also hard to know if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu okayed his radical departure from Israel’s information strategy on the nuclear Iran issue.
    What is apparent, DEBKAfile’s sources report, is that the change of tune coincides with the reports circulating in Washington and Jerusalem that the US and Iran have agreed to resume nuclear talks shortly.
    Those sources point to an article in the New York Times by Dennis Ross, President Obama’s former senior adviser on Iran, entitled “Iran is ready to talk.” Ross is too experienced to go out on a limb and make this sort of statement without being sure of his facts.

    end of article.

    With Brent oil hitting USD 120 a barrel, despite high reserves and declining economic activity it looks like Obama pulls the plug on further squeezing Iran.

    Remarkably this 180 degree turn comes right after Iran boycotts Europe with further oil deliveries.

    Next big thing: Greek default, followed by a collapse of the EU financial system with a very broad fall out for the Global Financial System.

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2012/02/fat-lady-clears-her-throat.html

  253. R. de Haan says:

    Syrian conflict spreads along sectarian lines to neighboring countries like Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan etc.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204792404577227152279201334.html?mod=WSJEurope_hpp_LEFTTopStories

  254. R. de Haan says:

    The UN General Assembly has voted in favour of a resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria and calling for an end to the violence.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17065056

  255. R. de Haan- “The UN General Assembly has voted in favour of a resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria and calling for an end to the violence.”
    Does this mean that all Western influences and assistance are to be removed from Syria? That would be a good move.

  256. R. de Haan says:

    @Ken McMurtrie (09:07:51) :

    No, you should consider the UN vote as a further justification for their involvement.

    We know that Russia has a Navy harbor in Syria and Iran and Russia support the current regime.

    This is nothing more but an escalating proxy war.

    Think about “the US list” of countries and Governments they were set to topple. When they’re done with Syria it’s Iran’s turn.

    Unless the US gets that “other” president whi is regarded unelectable.

  257. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Wonder how the bombing will go and Iran, good luck lol, longest conventional war in the 20th century, I wonder why!

    Therefore air strikes were used instead to attack in depth. The first waves of the invasion were a series of airstrikes targeted at Iranian airfields. Iraq also attempted to bomb Iran’s capital (and command centre) Tehran into submission. Iraq also had much to gain economically, such as oil reserves and access to trade routes by taking over Iran.

    This strategy did not succeed as planned. Saddam Hussein underestimated the importance of the vast distances that made up Iran and overestimated the firing capacity and range of his nation’s aircraft. The Iraqi air force barely hit Iranian airfields and was only able to slightly damage Tehran’s airport and take out a few planes there. The airstrikes were largely ineffective due to the sheer size of Iran. This was a costly mistake for Iraq as they had wasted large sums of money to carry out these strategies only to fail. This did not deter Hussein, as the potential gains kept him going.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War

  258. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  259. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    It (UN Vote) largely just means they made it tame enough to mean nothing so folks would pass it. Real action now moves to The Arab League. US will continue to ‘lobby’ Russia and China to find out what bribes they like, but expect non-US lead and then we’ll decide to provide air cover under some treaty obligation or other…

    @S.P.:

    I’d put it at about 1/2 this list has sanctions ( some of long standing) and no war.

    Some are more problematic in that we HAD fought there, then left and have sanctions, but no new war. Such as N. Korea and Cuba. Balkans is a bit unclear on relative timing too.

    http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Pages/Programs.aspx

    but last I looked we didn’t have a war with Ivory Coast or Sudan or Zimbabwe or Congo or Belarus, or Burma or…

    It took me all of ONE web search (and not a very smart one either) to get that on the first page:

    http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=US%20Sanctions%20country%20list

    The quality of your argument would be well over doubled if you did ONE fact check and dropped the 1/2 of links you post that are irrelevant or just wrong.

    “Dial it back” a bit, please. Quantity of stuff that’s just wrong and / or just for bull baiting doesn’t “win” it just drives away the rational folks….

    Per bombing Iran: Not very hard at all. That Sadam was incompetent as a general and had worse aircraft with less support (i.e. tankers and intelligence) doesn’t say a thing about the Israeli or US abilities.

    WE were sized to take down the USSR from the opposite side of the globe, remember…

    @George:

    Did you notice my inline comment above about Uranium glaze?

    I had a metal with glaze tooth cap for over 40 years. The glaze was made with natural Uranium (nothing “depleted” about it).

    Yes, for at least 2/3 of my life ALL food and ALL drink has washed over Uranium on it’s way down the old gullet.

    So no, I’m not afraid of Uranium, and yes, I’d eat all my meals on “China” with Uranium glaze and not worry a bit…

    Part of why all the hysteria about Uranium is a bit silly.

    Yes, when burned it’s nasty stuff. Lead is worse. The Arsenic based bug powders used for decades were even worse than that. Some tobacco land was so contaminated they can no longer grow food on that land, so it’s dedicated tobacco land… And don’t even get me started on the Dioxin levels from old transformers ( I managed to ‘pop’ one once…)

    BTW, I’ve also held about 3 cc of pure naked mercury in my bare hand (and played with it for a few hours…) but have no plans to be near any more methylmercury than the absolute minimum.

    It would be fun to get a DU Round from a Warthog, though…

    (Alpha particles are stopped by the first layer of dead cells, so just don’t breathe the stuff. It’s hard to breathe a pound or two solid object so having a trophy round on the desk is just not much worry.)

    BTW, we had the Thorium Coleman Lantern mantels when I was a kid too. Lots of them. Changing them got a decent amount of dust on the hands… No, not worried at all. Liked the color better than the new ones and I’d buy them again if available.

  260. George says:

    “The Arsenic based bug powders used for decades were even worse than that. ”

    Actually, anyone using “organic” food with rice syrup as the sweetener is getting a pretty good dose of arsenic. Rice naturally takes up arsenic from the soil and fixes it in its grain. Rice syrup is often many times higher in arsenic than the maximum safe level for drinking water. So you can find “bad” stuff everywhere. Playing with mercury in the hand isn’t so bad, it’s the vapor that gets you.

    The “environmental” movement has done a lot to spread ignorance and fear in the population as they engage in their program of economic suicide. We could end all coal power production today if we set out to. We could have electricity so cheap it would be nearly free and all of these regulations concerning “energy conservation” could be made obsolete. We could recycle our nuclear waste and have plenty of power for thousands of years. But no. And the same organizations that would oppose such development in the US support it in China, India, even Iran. Interesting, isn’t it.

  261. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  262. One could not be blamed for drawing meaningful conclusions from this:
    1. Abdulaziz al-Hijji, clearly had dealings with two of the “terrorists” blamed for 9/11 direct involvement.
    2. He was given “clearance” to depart the US when departures were banned.
    He was therefore being protected and assisted by authorities inside US.
    3. He has not been “invited back” to help with enquiries, in circumstances that normally require such actions. Therefore the investigation was not thorough (to say the least).
    4. Saudis may be clearly involved but not without US official organizations’ knowledge, assistance and maybe contrivance.
    5. A very different story to “bin Laden organised it all without US knowledge”
    (Apologies, EM.)

  263. George says:

    I wonder why so many on this blog are so interested in playing the role of “rodeo clown” in order to divert attention away from Iran and toward Saudi Arabia?

    Why I have no doubt that Saudi citizens have engaged in some pretty bad stuff, I do not believe that the government of Saudi Arabia has specifically targeted the citizens of the US for murder. The opposite is true for Iran. We see a government there which has murdered hundreds of our citizens as a matter of national policy. The difference is important.

  264. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Which American’s have Iran murdered lately? They let the hikers go recently too lol http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-15000563

    Most of the insurgents in Iraq fighting USA are from Saudi?

  265. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M. and George Like both of you, I would not be frightened by having a chunk of depleted uranium on my desk. I would like to know that it really was depleted uranium, as opposed to depleted uranium with a bit of plutonium, neptunium and who-knows-what-else mixed in. And breathing in an aerosol of microscopic uranium oxide particles is right out. But DU itself or uranium glazes are no problem, they are safe as houses.

    It does bother me to see DU used as a weapon. Totally aside from its dangers as a biohazard (which Army Major Rokke spoke of) it is more useful as a fuel in some of the more modern reactors. The integral fast reactor can use it as a fuel, and though I did not find the reference in a quick Google, IIRC, the amount of DU sitting in US warehouses right now has the energy equivalence of several times the total fossil fuel resources of the entire USA. The stuff is valuable, useful and I hate to see it wasted.

    We have the technology and resources to power this country with our own materials, but we don’t do it.

  266. @ George.

    “The opposite is true for Iran. We see a government there which has murdered hundreds of our citizens as a matter of national policy.”
    Sorry George, have I missed something? Where and when did this happen?

    I know this is petty (sarc), but what about the US government which has murdered thousands of other countries’ citizens, plus collaterally damaged thousands of their own, as a matter of national policy?

    I respectfully suggest that it is EM’s place to criticise diversions from topic, not yours.

  267. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    And you shall know them by what they do…

    The ability to not detect or react to inconsistencies seems basal to The Green Movement, Islamic Extremists, Nazi / Fascist movements, and most Socialisms. (among many others)

    At times I think the only thing that sets me apart is that I can’t abide contradictory inconsistencies in Truths very well… so tend not to let them go by un-addressed..

    So yes, I find that consistent pattern of talking about reducing US dependence on OPEC oil while doing everything possible to assure such dependence speaks volumes. Fixing it is an ongoing question to which I have no answer. ( I have a way – an import tariff such that oil must pay tax to raise it just above the breakeven point of the competition. So $50 oil pays a $30 or $40 tax but $80 or $90 oil gets zero tax. But not figured out how to get it done…)

    All I can figure is that The Club Of Rome, from back in the “Limits To Growth” days, have the power and do not wish a ‘fix’…

    Per “Rodeo Clowns”: Yes, one wonders. I’m generally very tolerant, and was hoping ‘this too would pass’, but…

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I’m generally not too hung up on the sporadic drift of topic, as long is it is interesting or tangentially related.

    Per the USA killing folks. Yeah, we’ve done far more of it than I like. But I’m sure someone figured “they all needed killing”… Sadly, I can see the Ron Paul point that we’re causing as much grief as we’re fixing and pissing off a lot of the folks out there in the process. Such is the life of The Cop (and why I’d like us out of the Global Cop business…)

    I’d rather avoid a ‘duel of the body counts’ as that leads to an unending moral argument about which were ‘good murders’… But if you folks want to amuse yourselves that way, go ahead. I’ve pretty much given up on keeping this thread focused on WHAT will happen and how to deal with it; and accepted that folks want to toss rocks over WHY, and WHO is BAD (even though those things are not relevant to changing the outcome – beyond our reach – nor have an impact on WHAT WILL HAPPEN, as ‘what will be will be’.)

    I’ve pretty much got what I need for planning purposes: Iran will be attacked prior to having a nuke. It will most likely be Israel. ALL the locals are ‘ok with that’ with the possible exception of Syria, so it goes down first. (Vis the Iranian ships now in the Mediterranean, so perhaps seeing the same thing…) Heck, we might even have an Israeli air strike refueling at Saudi bases… This will all cause a crisis between the USA, Russia, China, and various Islamic Factions. I think we can avoid Armageddon, but could easily see a major multi-party war at Megiddo after all. So it’s all “High Risk Profile” in the region, with Turkey as a “wild card” and Greece / Israeli cooperation ‘greecing the skids’ ;-)

    No need for apologies to me for saying negative things about Saudi Nationals. I’ve already stated that I think:

    1) Some individual Saudi Nationals have involvement.
    2) The House of Saud, while our ‘friends’, have a long term problem as their funding Wahabi Expansion grows a crop of home grown resistance.
    3) This will occasionally cause terrorist acts inside or outside the kingdom.

    They made a Faustian Bargain to be left alone to live extravagant lives (that from a conservative Wahabi point of view are sinful) by overfunding over conservative organizations. It is inevitable that this will lead to Saudi Nationals indulging in terrorism.

    I’ve no complaint at all with exploring where those connections lead and with finding what terrorists DO originate from Saudi Arabia.

    My “complaint” is only with mindless mudslinging at “Saudis” unadorned. That ignores things like the recent “Printer Bomb” events. The Saudi Government phoned up and said they had caught wind of a plot, and to stop some shipments of printers. Two were found, and barely managed to be disarmed. (One, at least, by accident. They took the printer cartridge out and still could not find the bomb. When they finally figured it out, after a few MORE phone calls to Saudi and continued confirmation and TRUST of the Saudis, it was 3 hours AFTER the timer has sent the “explode” signal. Removing the cartridge had broken the power circuit to the detonator… Lucky, that…

    So we have saved at a minimum two full passenger planes (these were shipped in air cargo in passenger planes) of innocents from “terrorist bombs” precisely because there is trust between the House of Saud, the Saudi Government, and the western anti-terrorist agencies.

    It is the mindless repetition of, frankly, crap, that doesn’t recognize that the distinction is CRITICAL, that I find a bother.

    Rather like ” Iran Nukes Iran Nukes Iran Nukes keep saying it over and over and” that shows a complete lack of reasoning skills and a willingness to indulge in propaganda techniques. Little ‘working to truth’ and a lot of ‘advocacy of emotional position’. There is no doubt what so ever that Iran is working hard to get a deployable nuclear weapon. Not from what anyone says, but from what they have clearly done.

    A missile program of just the sizes and types needed to drop such a weapon in the USA. Rockets sized for dropping one on Israel. Local enrichment of fuel with exploration of techniques to enable “Boom Stuff” creation, despite fuel being widely available for power reactors. Use of a research reactor of just such a type and in just such a way as India / Pakistan did for their program of bomb making. Hardening and hiding of modularized systems as is done for bomb programs. Visitation and lauding of the Pakistani scientist that designed THEIR bomb program (that got him in trouble back home in Pakistan…) and so much more.

    So I have a dilemma. “Shut down the noise”, so reasonable people find a more comfortable place to discuss and reason, or “let it run” as folks can see what it is. So far I’ve opted for “let it run” (as S.P. does post some interesting links from time to time, even if you do have to skip over about 2/3 of them to find the interesting bits, and prior to now has not been deliberately offensive). But I’m open to a “Vote them off the island” moment if folks are being annoyed. I know my tolerance is greater than most, and don’t want the place turned into a shouting match…

    @Jason Calley:

    Yes, I’d rather see them using things like Tungsten penetrators. Then again, the total mass is fairly small, and it’s not like it’s “gone”. Eventually it ends up back in the ocean and then into new rocks… But I think there are plenty of less wasteful alternatives and the stuff is usable as fuel in ANY common breeder program. (Just add a U breeder blanket outside any neutron rich core, or, as noted above, you can pipe neutrons to a chunk of U with PVC pipe making a hole in the water…)

    This, too, comes under “Judge them by what they do”. Someone is far more worried about ‘proliferation’ than they are about ‘cheap available nuclear power’… CANDU discouragement shows that. Breeder shutdown shows that. etc. etc.

    So some “powers that be” are interested in:

    1) Hobbling the USA.
    2) Slowing the use of nuclear power / bomb proliferation.
    3) Advocating India and especially China growth.

    To me, I see an internationalist agenda, not an American Agenda… That this just happens to also match the UN agenda writ large and Agenda 21 in particular leads me to think I know what vessel delivers “the problem” (but I don’t know where it originates to get there… so somewhere up stream The Great Game is being played. Behind closed doors. By very powerful people. And we are not invited. That it favors the EU, UK, and is neutral, net to Russia ‘gives clue’ IMHO.)

    In summary: Just look at what folks do, and what is the effect.

    Most other stuff is noise or at best weak confirmation.

    Oh, and what I like or don’t like has no worth at all…

  268. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Hey look I found the script…

  269. R. de Haan says:

    Obama to try and talk Netanyahu out of Iran strike after his advisers failed
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2012, 9:14 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: US-Israel Iran nuclear Barack Obama Binyamin Netanyahu

    Natanz nuclear site air defenses
    After a high-ranking US delegation headed by White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon failed in three days of tough talks (Feb.18-20) to dissuade Israeli leaders to back off plans for a military strike against Iran’s nuclear sites, the White House invited Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for talks with President Barak Obama on March 5. He will try and break the stalemate which ended his advisers’ talks with Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz.
    The defense minister, addressing his Independence Party later Monday praised Israel’s security relations with the US as very good and very important for a strong Israel. The dialogue between the two governments, he said, is marked by openness, mutual respect, understanding and attentiveness. At the same time, Barak hinted at discord by adding, “Both are sovereign nations which are ultimately responsible for their decisions in relation to themselves and their future.”
    DEBKAfile reported earlier Monday, Feb. 20:
    White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon faced an acrimonious Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in two hours of stormy conversation in Jerusalem Sunday, Feb. 19, according to updates reaching senior US sources in Washington. The main bones of contention were Iran’s continuing enrichment of uranium and its ongoing relocation of production to underground sites.
    Israeli officials declined to give out any information on the conversation. Some even refused to confirm it took place.
    According to DEBKAfile’s sources, Netanyahu accused the Obama administration of drawing Iran into resuming nuclear negotiations with world powers by an assurance that Tehran would be allowed to continue enriching uranium up to 5 percent in any quantity, provided it promised not to build an Iranian nuclear weapon. The prime minister charged that this permit contravened US administration guarantees to Israel on the nuclear issue and, moreover left Tehran free to upgrade its current 20 percent enrichment level to 90 percent weapons grade. This Israel cannot tolerate, said Netanyahu, so leaving its military option on the ready.
    He warned the US National Security Adviser that no evidence whatsoever confirms Washington’s claim that Tehran intends suspending enrichment and other nuclear advances when negotiations begin. Quite the contrary: Even before the date was set, Iran started working at top speed to build up its bargaining chips by laying down major advances in its nuclear program as undisputed facts.
    Tehran now claims to have progressed to self-reliance in the production of 20 percent-enriched uranium, the basis for the weapons grade fuel, in unlimited quantity. Once the talks are underway, Netanyahu maintained, there would be no stopping the Iranians without stalling the negotiating process. Going by past experience, Tehran would use dialogue as an extra fulcrum for its impetus toward weapon production without interruption.
    Monday, Donilon and his delegation meet Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
    The mission of this high-powered US delegation in Israel takes place to the accompanied of a resumed US media campaign for discouraging Israeli military action against Iran’s nuclear installations.
    Sunday, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, offered this opinion to CNN: “Israel has the capability to strike Iran and delay the Iranians probably for a couple of years. But some of the targets are probably beyond their reach.”
    Monday’s New York Times carried an assessment by “American defense officials and military analysts close to the Pentagon” under the caption, “Iran Raid Seen as a Huge Task for Israel Jets.” DEBKAfile’s military sources report the main argument, dredged up from the past and long refuted, is that Israeli Air Force bombers cannot cover the distance to Iran without in-flight refueling.
    That array of “analysts” apparently missed the CNN interview and therefore contradicted the assessment of America’s own top general that “Israel has the capability to strike Iran…”
    Reality has meanwhile moved on. Four events in the last 24 hours no doubt figured large in the US delegation’s talks with Israeli leaders:
    1. Monday, the IAEA sent to Tehran its second team of monitors this month for another attempt to gain access to nuclear facilities hitherto barred by the Iranians. The inspectors will also demand permission to interview scientists which according to a list drawn up at the agency’s Vienna headquarters hold key positions in their nuclear program.
    2. The Russian Chief of Chaff Gen. Nikolai Makarov estimated that the attack on Iran would be “coordinated” by several governments and “a decision would be made by the summer.”
    3. Moscow recalled Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kutznetsov from the Syrian port of Tartus to its home base at Severomorsk on the Kola Peninsula.
    4. Turkey is beinding over backward to assure Iran that data collected by the US missile shield radar stationed at its Kurecik air base will not shared with Israel. It is especially anxious not to annoy Tehran after foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi announced that the resumed nuclear talks with the five Permanent Security Council members and German (P5+1) would be held in Istanbul.
    However, the Iranians certainly know exactly what is going on after watching the recent joint US-Israeli radar test which demonstrated that Israel is fully integrated in the missile shield radar network and that the US radar station in the Israeli Negev interfaces with its station in Turkey and Israel’s Arrow missile Green Pine radar.
    When he visited Ankara last week, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen assured his Turkish hosts that “Intelligence data collected within the missile defense system will not be shared with third countries. It will be shared with the allies within our alliance.”
    His statement was quite accurate – except for the fact that the radar stations collecting the intelligence data are not controlled by NATO but by US military teams, both of which, including the Turkish-based radar, are integrated and coordinated with Israeli radar and missile interceptors.

  270. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Check out this, oh no technical error in the war machine lol

    Pakistan bases ?

    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/227892.html

  271. R. de Haan says:

    Tehran steps into US-Israel Iran row with threat of pre-emptive strike
    DEBKAfile Special Report February 21, 2012, 2:58 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Iran nuclear US-Israel

    Iran General Mohammad Hejazi
    Deputy Chief of Iran’s Armed Forces Gen. Mohammad Hejazi issued a new threat Tuesday, Feb. 21: “Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests… we will act without waiting for their actions.”
    DEBKAfile’s military sources report that an Iranian preemptive attack on Israel has been in the air for some weeks. It became realistic because the dragging out of the argument between Washington and Jerusalem over a military strike and the two government’s indecisiveness gave Tehran a golden opportunity to further its interests.
    It bestowed on Iran the gift of entering into talks on its nuclear program with the six world powers (P5 plus 1) free of a military threat and therefore in a superior bargaining position. For openers, Tehran has already pocketed the Obama administration’s promise of permission to continue to enrich uranium up to 5 percent in any quantity and will be more than ready to lay down more demands.
    Gen. Hejazi’s threat of a preemptive strike against Israel also serves the Islamic regime in its run-up to a general election on March 3. It aims to show the Iranian voter and Middle East public that Iran has successfully turned US and Israeli aggression against Iran against them and demonstrated they are no more than paper tigers incapable of carrying through on their rhetoric. The military initiative therefore stays in Iran’s hands.
    In Tehran, the standard Israeli cliché of “We don’t’ advise anyone to test our resolve” has worn thin.
    By letting two Iranian warships bearing arms for Assad pass Israel’s coast on its way to Tartus without interference, Israel encouraged Tehran to assume that, in the last reckoning, it will abstain from a unilateral strike to eradicate Iran’s nuclear facilities without Washington’s blessing.
    The Netanyahu government’s resolve is expected to melt away under the bulldozer assault of one American emissary after another touching down at Ben-Gurion airport to corner them into backing down.
    Once Israel lets its hands be tied, Tehran calculates, it will become progressively harder to break them loose, so that if Tehran does carry out a limited “preemptive” missile attack on the Jewish state, Jerusalem will again bow to Washington and let itself be coerced into not responding.
    Thursday, Feb. 23, US National Director of Intelligence James Clapper arrives in Israel to tackle its military and intelligence chiefs on the question, after US National Defense Director Tom Donilon spent three days in fruitless discussions with government leaders Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff tried his hand at persuasion earlier this month. This cycle of pressure will peak with Netanyahu’s White House talks with President Obama on March 5.
    The Iranians felt confident enough to safely deny requests from the team of IAEA inspectors who arrived in Tehran Monday for access suspect nuclear locations and meetings with scientists employed in their nuclear program.
    Gen. Hejazi’s words were backed up by a four-day air defense exercise, dubbed Sarallah (God’s Revenge), in the south of the country. The Islamic Republic also took another initiative by cutting off oil exports to Britain and France and so turning the tables on the European Union’s oil embargo on Tehran.

    End of article.

    IMO a preemptive strike by Iran is exactly what Israel and the USA are waiting for.

  272. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    So we need to attack Iran, get all their oil and gas, then run the pipeline via Syria to Europe.

    ;)

    That way we can screw Russia twice with their gas and their arms sales to Iran.

  273. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    I checked the bible and it looks like it’s time to bomb Iran? :P

    http://www.arkcode.com/custom3_199.html

    Seriously, those agents from the other side losing their legs in Thailand, then blaming the Iranians on it was a classic,.

  274. R. de Haan says:

    Latest news from the IAEA inspection: Iran provides no access to key military complex, no agreement

    http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=258840

  275. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    How’s the IAEA inspections going in Pakistan, India and military areas of Israel ?

  276. R. de Haan says:

    Iran cuts down to six weeks timeline for weapons-grade uranium
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2012, 9:06 AM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Iran nuclear Israel US-Iran US-Israel

    Parchin nuclear center
    Tehran this week hardened its nuclear and military policies in defiance of tougher sanctions and ahead of international nuclear talks. The threat by Iran’s armed forces deputy chief Gen. Mohammad Hejazi of a preemptive strike against its “enemies,” was accompanied by its refusal to allow UN nuclear watchdog inspectors to visit the Parchin facility, following which the IAEA chief cut their mission short.
    Western and Israeli intelligence experts have concluded that the transfer of 20 percent uranium enrichment to the underground Fordo site near Qom has shortened Iran’s race for the 90 percent (weapons) grade product to six weeks.
    The International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano said Tuesday night, Feb. 21: “It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin.” This is the site were Iran conducts experiments in nuclear explosives and triggers.
    This diplomatic understatement came amid three major reverses in the quest for a non-military solution to halt Iran’s drive for a nuclear weapon:
    1. Iran placed a large obstacle in the path of resumed negotiations with six world powers on which US President Barack Obama had pinned his strategy for averting a war to arrest its nuclear weapon program. This strategy depended heavily on Iran eventually consenting to making its nuclear projects fully transparent, as his National Security Adviser Tom Donilon assured Israeli leaders earlier this week.
    The day after Donilon wound up his talks in Israel, the UN inspectors were sent packing empty-handed from Tehran, putting paid to any hope of transparency.
    They were also denied an interview with Mohsen Fakrrizadeh, director of the Parchin project and also believed in the West to be the paramount head of Iran’s military nuclear program.
    2. The transfer of 20 percent uranium enrichment to Fordo is taken by Western and Israel intelligence experts to have accelerated the pace of enriching large quantities of 20 percent enriched uranium to weapons grade and shortened to an estimated six weeks the time needed for arming a nuclear bomb after a decision in Tehran.
    Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz explained to the US official that Israel cannot afford to live with an Iran capable of build a nuclear bomb in the space of few weeks.
    3. The threat that Iran will not wait for “its enemies” – Israel and/or the US – to strike and will act first.
    White House spokesman Jay Carney responded to these reverses by saying Tuesday night: “Israel and the United States share the same objective, which is to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon,” adding, however, “There is time and space for diplomacy to work, for the effect of sanctions to result in a change of Iranian behavior.”
    Seen from Israel, Iranian behavior has already changed – and for the worse. Its tactics in recent days have exacerbated the threat hanging over its head from Iran and brought it that much closer.
    Senior Israeli military and intelligence sources said Wednesday, Feb. 22, that Israel’s strategic and military position in the Middle East has taken a sharp downturn. The failure of the IAEA mission and the threat of preemptive action from Tehran present the double threat of Iran’s earlier nuclear armament coupled with military action to sabotage Israel’s preparations for a strike on its nuclear facilities.
    As one Israeli source put it: “Since Wednesday the rules of the game have changed.”

    End of article.

    Israel has approx. 300 nukes available and never has been inspected by the IAEA.

    So where is this fear for Iran coming from?

  277. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.idsa.in/idsacomments/PakistanagainstsigningtheNPTasanon-nuclearweaponsstate_cvsastry_080310

    Pakistan lol

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/09/18/us-nuclear-iaea-sb-idUSTRE58H3QW20090918

    Israel lol

    So, do you think the oil has anything to do with this? 1979?

    USA couldn’t go and get them in 1979 as it was broke from the Vietnam war. So it send Saddam against them as punishment. But now they have Obama in charge, he loves war and can Fix It

  278. George says:

    And here we have the typical “world domination” theme that seems to be indicative of most catastrophically maniacal regimes:

    http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/23/irans-grand-ayatollahs-earth-belongs-to-muslims-end-is-near/

    This regime has to be eliminated.

  279. This is the author: Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award-winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).
    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/02/23/irans-grand-ayatollahs-earth-belongs-to-muslims-end-is-near/#ixzz1nHAetLrV

    Could he possibly be professionally inciting support for the war against Iran??
    Why believe this interpretation when there must be hundreds of millions of Muslims with not the slightest interest in taking over the world.
    That would be an absolute impossibility whilst the West, Europe, Russia, India and China have any say in the matter, not to mention Israel.

    I believe that Iran’s boasting about nuclear capability is exaggerated and either provocation, mis-information like the above, or both. If they did have nuclear capability, they would well know that even a first strike advantage would not save them from a suicidal retaliation and probable annhilation.

    Past history supports this view. The US has continually invaded other countries on the pretext of defence or introducing “democracy”. Neither have been justified, neither have seen a successful conclusion.

    EM calls them the “cops”. But they are self elected and self seeking, They play God without compassion. Apparently the Old Testament variety. When you make a statement like “This regime has to be eliminated”, you too are playing God. The right has not been bestowed upon them or you.

    Future history, if written accurately, will again ascertain the truth.

  280. E.M.Smith says:

    @George:

    Hey, watch it, I said their belief would cause them to use ‘the bomb’ and got grief for weeks…

    That link says:

    The religious leaders believe it is their responsibility, as foreshadowed by the Quran, to bring about nuclear war to facilitate the coming of the last Islamic Messiah.

    Two Iranian grand ayatollahs are now saying that the Earth will soon be under the feet of Muslims, as promised by the Quran.
    [...]
    Many in the Islamic regime believe that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who became the Iranian supreme leader after Khomeini’s death, is the chosen one to pass the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi. In fact, statements made by close associates of Khamenei indicate that the supreme leader himself is convinced that he is the one who will trigger the coming.

    Mahdi, in Shiite belief, will reappear at the time of Armageddon.

    So just because they SAY then want Armageddon, that they expect it now, and that THEY have been selected to bring it about, and THAT brings the heaven on earth that they want… that’s no reason to think they would actually use a nuclear bomb to bring about the Armageddon they want… /sarcoff>;

  281. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    The problem with your analysis is that you are presuming:

    1) Most Muslims are representative of the folks running Iran. They are not. The folks running Iran are a very narrow religious order with extreme views.

    2) They care about their own “destruction”. Their theology teaches that to die in the furtherance of Islam is a guaranteed path to heaven. ‘The Big Win’, if you will. To be a Martyr is one of their greatest accomplishments, per their religious leadership (see the thousands of young boys sent in waves to charge Iraqi positions sometimes through mine fields armed with a Koran and head band. It’s historical fact.)

    3) They are not crafty enough to find a way to hide blame. (When they have a very long history of deception and using proxies.)

    4) They would not “take the big hit” for bringing an end to Israel.

    So look at a map of Israel, then look at the population density map. With decent sized nukes you can get a destructive radius of 5 miles pretty easy. 10 to 20 if you enhance the yield by any of many means (including the various radiological enhancements).

    Now figure out how many bombs, in ships, upwind, offshore 3 miles, does it take to kill 80% of Israelis. (Those in Jerusalem are likely to survive, but all the cities near the coast are gone.) I place it as between 3 and 6.

    Now ask yourself: Is Iran crafty enough to put 3 to 6 bombs on other flagged ships as they show up for oil, run them around the world for a while, then have them show up off shore of Israel. And after the blasts, just who do you pin it on? The Panamanian and Liberian registry of the ships? The Greek leasing company? The Egyptian captain? The Turkish pilot? The Shi’ia crew? (of mixed nationalities). You will have an isotopic ‘signature’ to work from, but since nobody has the results of an Iranian test, we have no baseline. As their program is modeled on Pakistan and India, the isotopic mix will likely look similar (or be adulterated to be confusing).

    At its thin point, Israel is about 10 miles wide. At the thicker points, it gets about a 20 mile band of habitation. BUT, the population stays nearer the shoreline side… And that makes all the difference in the world. It simply can not be ignored.

    So WHY am I willing to entertain that Iran might do this, but don’t really care that Israel has a couple of hundred nukes? Am I in love with Israel? Why am I so unfair? Because the two parties say different things and have a history of divergent behaviour.

    I have no particular feelings one way or the other about Israelis. I’ve met a couple and they seemed like OK folks. I have some “Jewish Cousins” via an Aunt who married an east coast Jew. I’ve met them maybe 1 hour of total contact time in my whole life. (When you have 20 aunts and uncles who married, for a total of about 40, then had kids, well, it’s a couple of hundred of 1st cousins. My Mom and Dad were both near the youngest of their families, so most of these folks are very old, meaning it’s the 2nd cousins that are about my age… or about 400 of them. Frankly, I’ve met maybe a dozen of my cousins. And most of them for not very long. And most of that when I was 3 and taken to Iowa for “show and tell” or at age 11 when a car load of them came out here.) They, frankly, don’t influence my thinking much (or nearly at all…) I have even less ties to Israel.

    With that said, they don’t threaten to kill me. They don’t call me The Great Satan. They don’t push their religion on me. They don’t insist that I walk on egg shells about their religion or they will start chopping off body parts and having riots. And, frankly, while they are a little more “cranky” than most English, Australians, Canadians, and Americans that I’ve met, they are far less cranky than the “Arab Street”. Oh, and they generally honor agreements, follow the rule of law, and “play well with others”.

    Compare that with the likes of the Imams and Ayatollahs. Deception of the infidel is endorsed by their most sacred text, the Koran. They insist it is their duty to “convert” me, or kill me. (AND have had “conversion by the sword” in the past). Go ballistic if you do any of a hundred things that are relatively normal in a free society. Just LOVE chopping of body parts (typically without the benefit of agreement of the parties …) have an Armageddon death wish. Frequently demand the destruction of Israel. Sporadically blow up dozens or hundreds of innocent people (including hijacking airplanes and killing thousands of people at a crack with them). Oh, and insist that it is their right to kill me, strangers, or even family members for insults to “honor”. That, and they have had collusion to surprise attacks on Israel many times.

    Now, which of those two groups is going to make me nervous holding a nuclear bomb? Decisions decisions…

    You see, “It isn’t about me”. It isn’t even about Israel (to the extent that they are not significantly different in behaviour from any other western nation, nor even from the Christians of Lebanon that were driven out or killed in several waves of Muslim attacks in an externally driven ‘civil’ war…) It is, at core, about what the various radical states have done to demonstrate that they can be trusted, or not.

    No, it has NOTHING to do with the USA, who we are, nor even what the government might have done (and be it good or despicable). This isn’t a contest for who is the most evil or malicious.

    It simply comes down to this:

    Is it likely that Iranian leadership can be trusted with a nuclear bomb. Israel has already demonstrated that it IS moral and HAS been able to show restraint in use. The Muslim neighbors of Israel have repeatedly shown themselves desirous of the destruction of Israel and willing to attempt it on several occasions. (NOTE: This is not a statement about the justification of those acts, nor even the validity or invalidity of the State Of Israel. It’s just a statement about “Whom can you trust?”) The Iranian leadership fails that test of trust. (As, btw, would that of Iraq, Syria, Egypt and several others. Pakistan has shown maturity so far and I’ve even expect the House Of Saud and the Saudi Government be trustworthy (though the general populace ‘has issues’…)

    Basically, are you willing to “roll the dice” on the destruction of Israel based on what the Leadership Of Iran says, or not? Remember the Iranian hostages. Remember their leveraged destabilizing with funding of Hezbollah and Hammas. Listen to their words. Read their book…

    Frankly, I’m not willing to trust them to be moral and wise. Israel has shown that it is. (modulo some relatively small stuff – like keeping lands won in battle – which used to be the norm, but now is frowned upon. Unless you are China in TIbet, or the USSR in Eastern Europe, or Russia in Japan, or (until recently) the USA in some Pacific Islands, or Peru vs Boliva, or, well, we won’t even mention Alsace as I’m not sure who to start with and when… or that 300 km slice of Poland that went to USSR, compensated by a slice of German that went to Poland, or…

    It is the asymmetry of the two parties beliefs and actions that results in asymmetry of treatment.

  282. George says:

    Oh, I have no doubt whatsoever that:

    A: they are working toward a bomb.
    B: they will feel it is a religious duty to use it when they get it.

    And I don’t believe they will make just one, either. They probably won’t even test one until they have several. Sometimes the naivete of politicians simply amazes me. This inaction on Iran is going to end up getting many people, possibly millions of people, killed. And they just dilly-dally seemingly in the hope that if they just ignore it, it will go away.

    A couple of other interesting links:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/formerly-secret-telexes-offer-window-into-irans-nuclear-deceit/2012/02/11/gIQAOiBlTR_print.html

    http://pjmedia.com/michaelledeen/2012/02/23/dear-general-dempsey/

    There *IS* going to be a war. The only question is who strikes first.

  283. @ George,
    Much of what you say has merit.
    Much has less.
    I will try to get more responsive but a few comments come quickly to mind.

    Ref your link to Washington post telexes – suspiciously unreliable source! (Just like your previous ‘dailycaller’ link.

    Your comment about most Muslims attitude does not influence the psychopathic leader(s). Agreed. We all know some friendly and decent people from all countries, and most are, you have touched oon this point. So we should only be holding the leaders responsible for inciting and making wars. Even elected leaders, because few of the leaders are carrying out the wishes of the public, just convincing, with various degrees of success, the public that their way is best.

    “Israel has already demonstrated that it IS moral and HAS been able to show restraint in use” Here we are in complete disagreement. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can’t believe that you actually believe that!

    “No, it has NOTHING to do with the USA, who we are, nor even what the government might have done (and be it good or despicable).” Again we disagree, It has a lot to do with the USA. They provide Israel with finance, their military power and the confidence to attack Palestine. In return, Israel provide the US with controlling influence, the media to cover up the truth and the orders to do untold damage overseas.

    WE have our own opinions and our own reasons for our beliefs. It is unlikely that we will influence each other greatly. On the whole, my bases of beliefs are on actual current behaviour and actions and a choice of of sources leaning away from the establishment. Mostly gut feeliing about what is likely to be true and what is not.

    As I previously suggested, only future history will reveal the truth. What either of us say now, is just for our own ? Now here I am stuck for a word – it could be ‘satisfaction’, ‘ego’, ‘desire to be right, pride maybe.

    Whatever, it is a bit of harmless fun and actually educational. Regards, Ken.

  284. George & EM.
    Apologies are due. My last contribution (12:36:27), was made past bedtime and is seriously flawed,
    All my comments except the one regarding the Washington Post link, were related to EM’s comment 08:06:45.
    The WP link comment was obviously for George relative to his comment 08:09:03.
    I agree Iran is not to be trusted, neither are any of them. It’s just a matter of which is stupid enough to actually fire the first weapon.
    That is more than likely to be a false flag action IMHO.
    Sorry for confused structure of my previous comment.
    I agree that the chances of a war are frighteningly high. Whatever we say is of little importance to such an outcome, but it disappoints me that you guys seem to be very laid back about it, maybe a lttle dispassionate.
    Unfortunately that applies across the world where war seems to be an accepted part of life.
    Not for me!
    I abhor it and consider the warmongers a disgrace to what would otherwise be our civilization.
    Regards to you both.
    (My usual thanks, EM., for acceptance of my “something”).

  285. George says:

    . It’s just a matter of which is stupid enough to actually fire the first weapon.

    1: There is no room for logic in matters of religious faith. If one believes deeply enough that they have a religious obligation to sacrifice even the entire population of their country to satisfy that obligation, there is no room for “negotiation” or logic.

    One mistake people often make is to project their own logical thought process onto other people. What might appear “stupid” to one person might be the only viable course of action that the other has.

    2: Nothing has ever been solved by peaceful negotiation. Not ever in the history of humans. We might avert hostility for a short period of time but eventually the matter is settled by a good spanking of one side or the other. A weaker side may accept a settlement for some period of time, but their goal will remain. History is full of instances of nations breaking such agreements and settlements.

    3: Sanctions, short of a total blockade/seige, have never worked. Why do we expect them to work now? They didn’t deter North Korea. They didn’t deter Cuba. They didn’t deter Iraq. They don’t work. In this case Iran has a large land border with other nations who aren’t likely to pay any attention to such sanctions.

    Sometimes war is the only answer. If it is inevitable, which I believe it is in this case, he who chooses the time and the place has the advantage at least initially. The major problem here is that without any credible threat of consequences for their actions the Iranian regime is not going to cooperate. I don’t believe they are going to do something just so people will “like” them. I also don’t believe Iran is going to be persuaded by strongly worded memos and negative press and scowls. Right now they have paid very little consequence for their actions.

    I also believe they are not worried about the long term because they believe the end of the world as we know it will come within the next 5 years or so. They believe they can create the nuclear weapons, bomb the crap out of Israel, likely be obliterated themselves, but that is OK because the Mahdi will come. Things like logic and common sense do not apply to this situation and if you continue to apply them, you will find yourself completely surprised by the outcome. Do not attempt rational conversations with irrational actors. It wastes time.

    The only way to avoid a major holocaust in the region right now is to eliminate the regime, chop off its head. Attacking the nation as a whole, attacking its economy, attacking its nuclear program will have the opposite of the desired result. Eliminating the regime is the only way to avoid war.

  286. @ George,
    Regimes and regime changes – You mean like Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Greece, and the attempt on Syria?
    They have resulted in, in Syria’s case apparently will result in, take-over of the country by foreign powers.
    This is fine as long as you are not a citizen of that particular country!

    I was going to say, how would you like another country to do this to the US?.
    Now realizing that this is exactly what has already happened in the US, by Israel, and you are blissfully unaware of it, the question becomes irrelevant. In the US case, the take-over was by stealth and cunning, without violence.

    The psychology is interesting. Does that mean that the US citizens, used to a peaceful co-existence, sort of, since the civil war, have become so apathetic and self-satisfied, and relatively unified that they have allowed another country to control them, as I said either because of apathy or ignorance, without lifting a finger of protest?

    Other countries, used to eternal bickering and even hostilities, do at least understand who the real enemy is, and are prepared to put their lives on the line. Genuinely and for justified reasons, unlike the poor US cannon-fodder losing their lives overseas on pretexts of humanitarianism.

    An unfortunate global mess!

    My God!, shades of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, “chop off his head”!
    A fantasy, no less. There, and now here!

  287. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    I know you said, in essence, ‘never mind, I was short slept’, but your followup seemed to endorse the original positions stated.. so…

    “Israel has already demonstrated that it IS moral and HAS been able to show restraint in use” Here we are in complete disagreement. Nothing could be further from the truth. I can’t believe that you actually believe that!

    Um, since I was talking about use of nuclear weapons, exactly when HAS Israel blown up someone with a Nuke?

    I’m waiting…

    My point, that Israel HAS NOT used a nuke, and is therefor shown to have practiced restraint (and presumably has the moral basis to have done so) can be attacked in three ways (as I see it):

    1) They really did nuke someone, and I didn’t notice.
    2) They really don’t have nukes, or have not had them long enough to use them.
    3) They have them, and are planning to use them, but have non-moral reasons for holding off.

    Of those three, only #3 seems remotely possible. We’d have seen #1. On #2 the evidence in the public domain is rather extensive that they have had nukes for a long time (present estimate 300 nukes and about 2 decades). I also have private communications from “A reliable source” from inside Israel that tends to the same conclusion of ‘possession for a long time’.

    That leaves #3: They are holding off for non-moral reasons. I think you could run with that one (as what they have done with internal policing of Muslim Minorities leaves much to be desired in the morality department).

    I suspect that you simply “projected” beyond my words to presume I was saying “Israel is Moral and Just on ALL things they have done”, when the reality was much more limited, being only about their nuclear force use. That being the topic of most of that comment.

    Perhaps you would like to re-read and re-comment?

    Similarly, the “It’s not about the USA” comment is referring back to “why do I give Israel a pass and not Iran” analysis. That it isn’t a decision that comes from being an American nor from anything the USA has done. ( I suspect you are taking it to mean I was asserting something like “The Muslims have no reason to hate us for perceived bad behaviour on our part”. That was not what was said. The referent is to “why do I evaluate as I do?”, not to “why do MUSLIMS evaluate as they do”…

    I evaluate as I do NOT based on any American Attribute. If asked “Would I trust Iran with a Nuke and lived in {France, Bosnia, Athens, Spain,…} my evaluation would be the same and would rest on the same reasons: What the Islamic Nations around Israel have done, vs what Israel has done. I am judging their “trustworthiness” based on THEM, not on ME or the USA.

    OK, rather than continue to say the same thing, 20 different ways, I suggest a re-read …

  288. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    OK, I’ve re-read my prior comments and yours. I stand by my last comment. But along the way, One of your statements got more of a reaction (as ‘buffers were cleared’ from the prior issue):

    Whatever we say is of little importance to such an outcome, but it disappoints me that you guys seem to be very laid back about it, maybe a lttle dispassionate.
    Unfortunately that applies across the world where war seems to be an accepted part of life.
    Not for me!
    I abhor it and consider the warmongers a disgrace to what would otherwise be our civilization.

    Pardon, but you seem to be dramatically “projecting” again… This SEEMS to be implying you think I’m in favor or war, or by recognition of the probability I am in some way ENDORSING it. That is a grievous error, if that is what you are implying.

    Several points:

    1) For some reason, folks with strong emotional responses (or, perhaps, emotional responses that can not be set aside to allow reason to run uninfluenced) seem to think others MUST have the same emotion driven behaviour OR they are somehow defective. Either defective in cognition, humanity, or evaluation skill (as they are not properly emoting about it).

    I find this most obvious (and most offensive) in legal proceedings. The judge will sentence someone for more time if they do not ‘emote obviously and correctly’. Just Nuts.

    Penalizing someone for having self control is STUPID. But it happens in court rooms every day. Just tonight a news report referenced that some woman didn’t ‘cry’ when informed of her husband’s death (so was clearly guilty of something based on inappropriate lack of emotional display). Well, guess what, some of us have a DEEP and INTERNALIZED understanding of the inevitability of death. WE have come to grips with it and accepted it. Even when hurt by the arrival of it, it is not a surprise. Being BALANCED and WISE is now seen as indicative of CRIMINAL INTENT. Lunacy.

    I did not cry when in the room with my Mother In Law as she lay there dead. Yes, I was emotionally afflicted. My wife was more traumatized. She did not cry either. We’ve both lost many in our life. We “know this space” and know how to cope with it.

    Extreme examples? I don’t think so.

    Since when has being SANE, having a deep UNDERSTANDING, and being IN TOUCH WITH REALITY, and maybe having some SELF CONTROL, been cause for increased penalty, suspicion of crime, or assertion that one is unfeeling? Those who have no depth, have not understanding of their place in the universe, and have not come to grips with it have NO PLACE telling those of us who have reached that state that we are somehow defective.

    One need not be an emotional basket case to be human.

    So, with that preamble:

    Yes, when doing analysis I ‘set aside emotional influences’. That does not mean that I have no emotion. It does not mean I LIKE the results of the analysis. It does not mean I WANT the results. It does not mean I am UNCARING about what those results indicate.

    What it DOES indicate is that I’m deliberately preventing my emotional issues from COLORING or CONTAMINATING the analysis. Why? Because it reliably and repeatedly gives SUPERIOR RESULTS. I don’t want my surgeon weeping into an open wound. I don’t want my Cop quivering in fear in a corner of the room. I don’t want my teacher screaming at me in rage. And I don’t want my analysis colored by my WANTS.

    EVALUATION first, emotional response SECOND and LATER.

    (FWIW, I’ve noticed a spectrum where NTs have more “emotion first, then conclude what makes you happy” and Aspes being more “what IS first, emotions as they fall later”. It’s speculative, but seem to fit many cases.)

    So yes, I’m “Laid back about it” as that gives the most accurate answer.

    BUT, if you would like my EMOTIONAL GUSH: I hate war. Viscerally and totally. It is about as stupid and wasteful as you can get. It destroys lives, bodies, souls, wealth, families, nations. It is an absolute EVIL.

    BUT, there are times when it is the only rational course. To NOT defend against the Hitlers and Stalins of the world means they will inevitably win and dominate, and that is a WORSE and MORE EMOTIONALLY OFFENSIVE outcome. Being afraid to recognize that, or unable to see such people due to a dislike of the implied required “fix” is not a benefit and does not improve the world.

    What I see in the Ayatollahs vs Israel is that war to stop the destruction of Israel is likely unavoidable, and ‘the lesser evil’ to the destruction of Israel. If I allow myself to feel about it (yes, I have a ‘mental switch’ I can flip to turn on, or off, emotional reaction. Highly useful and it took me years to build it. “Be the empty vessel”… ) it becomes a profound and overwhelming sorrow for the stupidity of humanity. That level of emotion is nearly debilitating if allowed free run, so I quench it. That I choose sanity over emotional disability is a feature, not a fault, so Get Over It….

    Per what we say here having no meaning or impact:

    It is important, to me, as a kind of ‘crowd sourced’ visioning of the future. I’m pretty good at it ‘solo’ but others here add some very good points, bring in bits I’ve missed, add other perspectives, and, yes, challenge some of my conclusions such that I have to polish them some more… All of that is for the better.

    WHY do it? Well, I don’t have a large chunk of money. I hope to live a long time. To get enough to live on, from that smallish pot, takes about a 15% to 20% gain per year, every year. That’s hard. EVERY bit of future visioning I can get right is important. Big bits (like a war in the Middle East or the collapse of the Euro Zone) more than the little bits. So for me to have food, a roof, and gas in the car I must do it and do it right.

    And it IS all about “getting it right”. NOT what I “feel” about it. One of the first, middle, last, and essential things you learn as a trader is be emotionally detached from the trade. Never “marry your position”. Never “be afraid to take a loss” or “afraid to admit a mistake” or a dozen other emotional faults.

    So I own a small chunk of an Israeli Cell phone company (or, rather, my wife does). A while back I owned some Turkish Cell phone too. I’ve sold the Turkish when they shifted toward an Islamic East bent from an EU Wannabe. Now I have to decide on the Israeli stock. Yeah, it’s only about $1000 bucks worth. But as noted above, when you only have a small stake, and it MUST perform spectacularly, there is little room for error even on small positions.

    I’ve also got some money in other things that would move (some up, some down) on various military stupidities. I can not change those investments based on what I want, feel, or emote about (which is why I never trade Apple – too much emotional baggage to be able to ‘dampen’ it well enough).

    Now I could get all paralyzed by emotional state (and have, at times, just pushed away from the trading table and gone to cash when I can’t stay objective and start to trade from fear or greed – both are lethal to success). But then I don’t eat. I get cranky when I don’t eat… and it’s hard to trade if the electricity is shut off…

    So, like it or not, I have to decide what to do with my (meager) money. When to be in, and in what. When to be out (and into what currency). And what “surprise” is likely to upset my grand trading plans. And all of it MUST be done DISPASSIONATELY or the trades will not be good enough.

    Yeah, it’s hard. Emotionally hard too. (Nothing like betting on a nuclear war when you have a kid in the region who is likely to be killed by it… About 25 years ago a lady from Israel had a kid by me. It’s a long story, but I have no idea if the lady in question or the kid are still there, or not. So do I become paralyzed by such things, or stick that emotion in the “do not open until later” box? Which is more sane?) So think about that for just a few minutes before you ACCUSE me of being emotionally too disengaged….

    Look, the world is a sucky place. People are evil, mean, and disgusting vermin doing despicable things. Nature adds a worse layer with diseases and death, plagues and misery. You can wallow in that, or you can accept it and MOVE ON with LIFE. Find what good you can in the times as they exist.

    So NO, I don’t bleed that kind of emotional gush onto postings or comments. It achieves nothing. This is not a soap opera and this life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Right NOW, one of the big issues is simple:

    Is Iran likely to make a nuke and use it to destroy Israel?

    The clear answer is “Yes, to about 80% probability” per my evaluation.

    Doesn’t matter who I am. Doesn’t matter what I feel. Doesn’t matter if I have family on the ships in the area, in Israel, or friends in Jordan (which I do, not close friends, but still folks I know). All that matters is “Is it correct”.

    What can I do with that?

    First off, I can plan such that I can eat and pay bills.

    Second, I can then know where to advocate to prevent the evil parts.

    Third, I can help my family and friends, wherever they might be, to avoid the worst of it.

    Forth, I can explain what is likely to be to others, and perhaps THEY can do more than I can…

    Last: I can be prepared for the inevitable sorrow, should I be right, so I am not caught unprepared and can maintain my emotional center despite what is likely to be an extreme pain.

    And no, I’ll not ‘cry’ when millions are killed. Even if one of them may be mine.

    “We are all dead already. We just haven’t found out when yet. -E.M.Smith”

    (Time is a dimension. We travel through it to an inevitable conclusion. We do not know when the moment of our death will be, but we know that it WILL be. That some of us are surprised at the arrival of that moment does not change anything about it. So in a very real sense, we are all, already, dead at that personal moment in time. We just haven’t got to it yet. But by the same token, the entirety of our life continues to exist for all of its duration on that axis of time. That other beings do not overlap with it, being elsewhen on that time axis, does not diminish the existence of that life. Nor does it enhance those other persons’ brief episode on that same time axis. Yesterday is gone forever, tomorrow is not yet here. All we ever experience is the “now”. And that “now” exists for eternity on the timeline, even as everyone else moves away from it into a different “now”. So I see no reason to “cry” over which moment of “now” someone is in, and how long a segment on that line of time any given person happens to occupy. If in fact they even ARE the same person as “you can never cross the same river twice”… In the end, the entirety of the solar system will be consumed in solar fires. In the very end, the universe cools to a cold dead ash. Should I weep for that now? Or ought “now” be devoted to better things?…)

  289. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4195342,00.html

    Already destroyed, bomb them twice???

  290. Hi EM. I really appreciate the effort you have gone to in responding to my previous comment. I guess I am honoured in a way, that you think it deserves substantial comment.
    Given that it involves disagreement with my, or some of my, earlier comment, I wish to make some further comment although I think it will be not too serious.
    Nevertheless it will take a little time and soul searching so will come back in a couple of days with my response.
    Regards, Ken.

  291. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    So guess we don’t have to bomb them now? Already destroyed, can’t bomb it twice?

  292. @EM,
    I started my “right to reply” response by opening a wordpad “doc” but quickly became overwhelmed by the amount of ground we have covered and not resolved.

    There are many issues so I think I will concede a few points, in particular my stating that Israel had not shown restraint when in fact you were referring to their use of nuclear weapons and I to their killing Arabs.
    Many of the other areas are less clear-cut and I am neither backing off nor pushing my “barrow” further.

    A lot of assessment is based on written information which needs to be judged as reliable and relevant to today’s situations. And it has to be interpreted in our respective brains and thought processes. In my case, emotions do come into play, not necessarily biassing conclusions but flavouring them.
    We do “see” things differently, you and I. You can explain your conclusions in depth, I see and feel situations and cannot always clearly describe the conclusions I reach. Does this mean they are necessarily incorrect?

    On paper, your conclusions are very well drawn. Mine are often based simply on whose information I feel is making sense as I understand it.
    I think my conclusions are sometimes potentially open to bias but might just nevertheless be true. I always like to think they are true, but I think I am sensible enough to realize they may not be. Constructive criticism is always in order.
    Yours might logically be true but may sometimes be too theoretical, too reliant on sources like Wiki and possibly sometimes remote from the real world. Please keep in mind that you are mostly right so this is not a harsh criticism, at least not intended to be.

    The real world as I perceive it, is not what it seems to the general public, it is far more underhanded and riddled with lies and distortions and rotten behaviour.
    Therefore we are unlikely to see the same thing in the same way, and debating an issue is fraught with complications.

    We are bound to disagree on various issues, but is it ok for me to offer different points of view, which indeed might merit questions by you and George et al, but which can be then, judged if you like, by readers without the necessity to further explain myself and more importantly, having to question your arguments?

  293. Jason Calley says:

    NB: I see that Ken has posted while I was writing this. Consider this post uninfluenced by his last.

    @ E.M. (and Ken)
    Per E.M. “Is Iran likely to make a nuke and use it to destroy Israel?
    The clear answer is “Yes, to about 80% probability” per my evaluation.”

    I would respectfully submit that THAT is the point about which this discussion rotates. Is it, in fact, true that Iran is in the process of constructing and then aggressively using a nuclear weapon with which it will destroy Israel? As E.M. points out, emotion – either for or against – should have no place in deciding what the facts are. Let me try to be very unemotional in this.
    It would simpler if we could take a poll or a vote and use that as a basis for determining what is true. A quick think back to the last ten years of Global Warming discussion shows that that (unfortunately) is not a good way to find out. But in speaking of Iran, one of the factors that makes it nearly impossible to have a defining debate on the subject is the absence of reliable data. Only with some confidence in our data can we decide what the facts are – which brings me to an elephant in the room that is dangerous to discuss. That elephant is Israel, or more correctly the question of whether Israel is influencing both the news which is promulgated on MSM and also US public foreign policy decisions.
    And please…. I know that the regular crowd here at Chiefio’s is far too nuanced and bright to think that the secular, UN-established, state of Israel is somehow synonymous with Judaism. No. But just in case anyone lurking needs to be reassured, I am NOT talking about “the Jews” but rather about a specific nation that happens to exist in the Middle East, a nation that was established by men and is controlled by men. Also, please note that I have no problem with Israel working to increase their own security. Neither do I have a problem with Iran working to increase THEIR security. It is what states do. I do have a problem when other states manipulate MY country to achieve their ends.
    E.M., I would respectfully disagree with your post that emotions, or lack of them, are the major cause of differing views on Iran. I would contend that the more basic reason is that the two sides are strongly – I almost said “violently” – divided on what sources of information are trustworthy and what sources are propaganda. To me, at least, the parallel with the Climate debate is gobsmackingly obvious. I have even gone so far at times as to simplify that “CAGW is a meme to catch liberals, Islamic terror is the meme to catch conservatives.” In the case of Global Warming (and yes, I am simplifying again), one side distrusts WUWT and the Heartland Institute; “Anything they say can be discounted! They are ^&%& liars and want to destroy the planet!” The other side distrusts the IPCC and GISS; “Anything they say can be discounted! They are &*^& liars and want to destroy our economy!”
    Note that I am not claiming that each side is equivalent to the other. I think one side is right, and the other side is wrong. As far as the Climate subject goes, you know which side I support. I only bring it up as an example that which sources we choose can make a world of difference, even when all people involved are absolutely sincere and of otherwise equal mental stature.
    So, back to Iran… and Israel.
    I have noticed that two of the main sources for the “Iran is a danger” crowd are MEMRI and Debka. Both sources, MEMRI, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_East_Media_Research_Institute and Debka http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debka.com have been often accused of pro-war and pro-Israel bias. Many people believe them to be associated with Israeli Intelligence, Mossad. I personally do not trust them. If you track down the stories of “Iran wants to destroy Israel. Iran wants to destroy America.” You will find that a large number of those stories originate with those two sources. Similarly, I see what to be seems to me to be obvious pro-Israel bias in MSM coverage. Additionally, I know from past experience that the MSM will lie about major life-or-death issues; I have seen how they handle CAGW. I do not trust them. As for official governmental sources, politicians and bureaucrats… do I even need to comment? And yes, this goes for Iranian leaders. And Israeli leaders. And Russian. And Chinese, etc. I ignore what they say, and try to just find out what they DO, and what they have done in the past. I am especially suspicious when the reportage of the news starts “An un-named official said today…”
    Where do we get our data? Whom do we trust? Is it possible that there are subjects (like Iran) where we really, really, honestly, do not have access to verifiable information? I would say that yes, there are such subjects, and that Iran is one of them. In such a case, do we follow “the precautionary principle”, and attack them on that basis? Why? And why is an attack on Iran considered to be something that WE (the US) have any stake in? Israel has what is perhaps the fourth most powerful military on the planet. Israel has nukes, submarines, missiles (ballistic and cruise), bombers, and some of the best intel in the world. They could destroy Europe and the US if they wished. They could certainly destroy Iran, a nation with about 1% the military budget of the US. I am not so naïve as to think that fighting in the Middle East would leave the US unaffected, but if the people of the Middle East wish to fight (regardless of whether the Iranians or the Israelis start it), then at least let us stay out of it. That is doubly true if one believes that the push for US involvement is a case of “Let’s you and him fight!”

    We each decide what to believe and whom to trust. Our “facts” depend on that choice.

  294. Adrian Ashfield says:

    EM
    I read that Israel threatened (to the US government) that they would use atomic weapons if the US didn’t immediately resupply them with ammunition as they were running low in the war.
    I don’t have a link and doubt it is worth searching for as some will undoubtedly claim it needs more verification.
    But, if that were true, how would that alter you view of Israel being so moral?

    I have no doubt that Israel would use nukes if they thought their existence threatened.

  295. Jason Calley says:

    Suppose a leading Iranian military historian and strategist stated:

    “We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Iran goes under.”

    Suppose a leading Israeli military historian and strategist said the same thing about Israel.

    “”We possess several hundred atomic warheads and rockets and can launch them at targets in all directions, perhaps even at Rome. Most European capitals are targets for our air force…. We have the capability to take the world down with us. And I can assure you that that will happen before Israel goes under.”

    Would the news be carried the same way for either incident? Would most Americans (or Europeans) respond the same way for either incident? Why, or why not?

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

  296. E.M.Smith says:

    @S.P.:

    “Mox” news is Mock as in fake as in mocking. It has entertainment value only, and even that is hard to find in it, being largely political propaganda theater.

    Hopefully you don’t use it (or comedy like Colbert or SNL or…) as your basis for thinking…

    @R.de Haan:

    Interesting article. Comes to roughly the same conclusion I do, a little longer and with a wider and slightly lower range of probabilities. Even if it is a bit rabidly anti-us in places.

    @George:

    WRT an older item, I was happy with my Uranium Enamel tooth. I’d have had them yank out a lead one. My mercury fillings have been slowly removed over the years and I feel better with each reduction. ( I’m down to just one or two left now).

    @David (reaching way back up stream):

    You are wrong that Jews have been subject to attack since the Oslo Accords. They were under attack in British Palestine long before Israel existed. Check out Yasser Arrafat’s ‘uncle’, the old Grand Mufti who ran off to help the Nazi’s and gave advice to them, including to suggest that other European countries NOT be given Jews wanting to leave, they ought to be sent to Poland and the camps. Yeah, THAT Grand Mufti… Don’t know how long before THAT that the attacks on Jews started in Palestine, but suspect it was likely shortly after the Ottoman Empire broke-up. A check of W.W.I history might help…

    Adrian Ashfield (14:22:00) :

    @EM
    IMHO you have it backwards. Iran doesn’t want war but Israel/US does.

    Adrian, I think things have ‘moved on’ from this point. See the “Islam last hope” posting… At this point I’m pretty sure it’s an international consortium driven by non-visible folks that want the “take down” of non-compliant states.

    Unfortunately, Iran is helping them by saying they want to destroy Israel and are doing all the right things to make a nuke while claiming they are not.

    In any case, the results stay the same…

    @George:

    It’s interesting to note that the Iranian leadership are on record as ‘passing the flag’ in either this leader or the next one’s term. As they are old geezers, that’s about 20 years tops…

    So how do you argue with someone who has a 20 year time horizon, and if he DOES start the war of Armageddon, gets to meet the right hand of God? To be forever enshrined as the one who ‘passed the flag’…

    @Adrian Ashfield:

    Doesn’t change my opinion at all. I have it “from a very reliable source” that Israel had ‘prepositioned’ a nuke in a strategic place and ‘suggested’ that Moscow back off on some support for Arab destruction of Israel some decades back.

    Probably the best way to use them. Demand peace through superior fire power. Right up my alley…

    Count how many nations surround Israel. Count the number of people. Count the astounding financial resources of Saudi and Iran and Iraq. Look at the times they have been attacked BY SURPRISE by those same folks. Look at how often “Death To Israel” is shouted at government sponsored rallies.

    I admire the restraint Israel has shown so far in NOT using them. But to say “Look, if we run out of what we need to survive in terms of conventional weapons, we’ll use our nukes before we get slaughtered”, and it WOULD be a SLAUGHTER, is exactly what I would do in the same circumstances.

    It is a simple and rational statement of the reality of the facts on the ground.

    1) We prefer to be left in peace (modulo some internal Abuse of Arab Minorities…)
    2) We will settle for enough conventional weapons to prevent our destruction.
    3) If 1 & 2 don’t cut it, well, we have nukes and know how to use them.

    Other than the Arab Abuse (substitute your Minority Of Your choice, Blacks being the traditional one) that’s basically what the USA has done since about 1950 and up until the fall of the USSR. Then we started having undeclared wars in the Middle East… Oh, pardon, “Kinetic Events”…

    For the life of me I can’t think of a better policy statement… for them or for us. Now if we could just get our President to stop having ‘adventures’ and our Congress to assert THEY get to declare war and NOBODY ELSE, not even the UN and NATO…

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    “Now realizing that this is exactly what has already happened in the US, by Israel,”

    You mean like Mr. (bow to Islamic Kings) Obama (educated in a madras) is in love with Israel? (who have announced they trust him so much they will not tell him if they do decide to attack Iran…)

    I think you need a reality check…

    Yes, there is a vocal Israeli lobby. No, they are not in control, just influential, as in “we won’t ship you any replacement airplanes, Israel)” from the USA…

    Per “feeling” vs “reasoning” as thought styles and “which is right”:

    I have a story to support your side…

    Once upon a time, the spouse and I decided to buy a new vehicle. We did it very analytically and very reasonably. Loads to carry, seats for 4 to 6, safe, etc. etc. The spreadsheet ended with a set of 3 or 4 choices. We found a ‘good deal’ on a Ford F-350 4×4 (skiing) Pickup (loads) truck (me) with a crew cab (seating for 6) and Very Large (safety)…

    Long story short, neither of us was in love with it, but that’s what “reason” said was right. We bought it. Worked out OK for about a month.

    Turned out it had a ‘heavy duty spring kit’ on it. Rode like a Brick Outhouse on anything but the smooth asphalt were we had done the test drive. Got about 7 mpg. Then news reports said that year had paint that would self destruct and that the ignition wiring sometimes set it on fire… About 4 (suffering) years later, we got a ‘smoke smell’ in the cockpit and I rapidly shutdown the ignition. 2 days later, it started OK.

    We had no entry on the spreadsheet for “ride quality”. A minor oversight…

    Traded it in on a Mercedes Station Wagon (without spousal discussion) that the spouse found in the garage when she came home. We still have it, about 20 years later ;-) Chosen (almost) entirely by ‘wanting’ it. (with some minimal ‘reason’ on things like 7 passengers, safe, etc. etc.)

    So yes, I do “analytical rational thought”. I also do what I call “visioning”. Just play the mental simulation forward. ( It can include things like ‘ride quality’ ;-)

    Use both Left Brain and Right Brain…

    I am quite certain that a large part of the failure in the world today is the dominance of Left Brain modes of analytical thinking to the exclusion of Right Brain “just knowing”. BOTH make horrible errors, yet when both are OK with a choice it’s usually a pretty good one…

    So no argument from me about which style of thinking is right. Use ‘em all… And arguments of the form “I just feel that is immoral.” are perfectly valid…

    Asking “Have you thought about the ride quality?” is always in order
    8-{

    @Jason Calley:

    Sorry. don’t see the point of your hypothetical nor the link to the guy in the wiki page. Did I miss something upstream? Is somebody claiming to be threatening Rome with nukes? Absent any ‘reality anchor’ I’m not keen on playing “dueling hypotheticals”…

    I thought that several times I’d said “what is likely to happen” was the point, but by now, who knows… it’s been a very long thread…

    FWIW, I’m watching Al Jazeera right now, as I do most nights, followed by Mosaic World News that canvasses all major countries in the Middle East (their official / national news broadcasts), exactly for the reason of avoiding any systematic bias in the US Media. I figure when Al Jazeera is giving me a translation of an Arab, well, they probably know how to speak nuanced Arabic ;-)

    Per “emotions”: My “rant” on emotions was not about Iran, it was about the folks who emote condemning folks like me for when I choose not to emote (as Judges in courtrooms regularly do, and as I’ve frequently experienced in person in the Real World). Yes, I think that most of the time taking ‘passion’ out of it lets ME make better decisions. That’s why I do it. For others: YMMV. While I can project that it would likely help a lot of folks, I don’t have any way to prove that as it depends on what others can do or can’t do well.

    So no, I don’t think “I’m right because I’m emotionally dampened and he’s wrong because he is emoting”. I think “I’m making better decisions and analysis when I’m emotionally disengaged (and I’ll emote later and note if the ride feels rough…) and other folks ought not attack me for that; they can emote if that works for them (though it’s a harder sell to convince me their feelings are the best decision tool for me to just ‘sign up’…)”

    Part of why the Iran Specific stuff was in one comment and the Emotional Rant was in a different one. Different topics. (though related by proximity)

    FWIW, I don’t read MEMRI or Debka other than the occasional link put here (mostly by R. de Haan, I think..) Most of my “bias” comes from watching Al Jazeera, Fox Business, CNBC, CNN, Mosaic News, and the sporadic visits to PBS / NPR and occasionally the BBC. Generally that’s been enough variety that the bias of one shows up in the ‘compare and contrast’ between them.

    I’ve tried watching MSNBC but it’s just so “Gotcha Radical Right Wing is IDIOTS!! Ha Ha Ha LOL!!!” that I can’t take it… To smarmy even for me.

    Then I’ll hit the web and look for written stuff. For the middle east, I usually start with Al Jazeera. I’ll put WIki quotes in articles if there is generally no conflict with the other sources; mostly as I can quote without thinking about copyright issues. If there is a clear bias, I’ll point that out, or I’ll quote someone else and try to get enough attribution and ‘fair use’ validation to not worry.

    For things involving the Russian POV, I’ll try to hit R.T. as well. For India, the India Times. For … well, you get the idea. Cast the net broadly, then toss out the old boots and empty beer bottles and see how the fish look…

    So, my source for “Iran wants to destroy Israel” is watching the Iranian Leadership on Al Jazeera saying it. I figure I can trust them to get the translation right… My source for “Iran is doing things to make a bomb” comes from watching the film from inside Iran showing their enrichment cascades and their leadership handling their new home made fuel rod and them saying that they worked with the Pakistani “father of the bomb”. (And the Pakistanis punishing him for doing it, BTW, even if only “house arrest”: here, have a palace, and let us know when to send the limo with a ‘guard’ in it for ‘supervised’ outings…)

    It is one of my specific style behaviours. “If you hear a slam from one side, see if the OTHER side is in agreement”. If FOX says “Israel is at risk”, jump to CNN and they are saying “Israel is at risk”, jump to Al Jazeera and SEE their leaders saying “Death to Israel, Death to America” and SEE the enrichment cascade in THEIR film… ( I think they need about triple what was shown, but they have multiple sites…)

    I do this specifically for the purpose of bias detection / propaganda filtering.

    I’ll sometimes pick a key phrase and do a web search on it. When it shows up in 10 articles, I discount it: it’s from a PR effort… When it’s a ‘single’ it is likely that station’s or author’s actual position.

    SO, back on Iran, I found a web site that listed their naval capabilities, complete with pictures. I compared that with film on the nightly news (ALL of them that had the story) and saw the same types of ships playing chicken with US ships. That partly validates the original site. That the original site was just “this is what they have” not “what we think they will do with it” was also comforting…

    I do this far faster than I can type about it. (so, for example, the Arab news has ended and I’m now on CNN, Fox was just nattering about Greece…) Whatever comes by gets cross checked against ALL other things “in storage” and flagged for “matches, new, partial match, lumpy, WTF?”… as it gets stored too.

    If that’s bias, then I can see no way to eliminate bias…

    Though I do have to admit that a “look in the eye” of the various Iranian Leadership as they say things on Al Jazeera does tend to bias my interpretation. I have a pretty good “BS” detector, and when they say “We have no plans to make a nuclear weapon” with that “Bit of glee / smirk twinkle in the eye nudge-nudge-wink-wink” followed by a load of leading the sea of thousands in rousing chants of “Death To America! ” well, maybe I’m just not being ‘culturally sensitive enough’ and letting that bias me…

    Per “why is it our dog in the M.E. fight?”

    In general, yes, I agree with you. We ought to have handed it over to Europe as their issue just before the first ‘goods’ were sold to Saddam in his efforts to conquer Iran and never looked back.

    But we didn’t.

    Now we have this One Little Problem:

    Iran shouts “Death To America” then “Death To Israel – AND ALL who support it”….

    Iran is clearly, by MY estimation of what I’ve seen in film from Iran produced by them and shown on Muslim TV channels building a bomb (or more likely several). I was of this opinion a few years ago long before the recent hype (and it IS hype in the US media).

    Iran has orbited a missile.

    Put it together and you get a nuke dropped on Washington DC. They are likely about 3 years from that (need to shrink their nuke a bit, IMHO).

    Now, if I was SURE it would only be on DC, and we could schedule a meeting of all the government at the same time, I might be OK with that ;-) but as some of them would likely survive to start W.W.III and / or get Iran to drop one on SFO or LA where my kid lives, I’m not so much in favor…

    BTW, I’ll not share my ‘visioning’ of how I would take down the USA with a dozen nukes from Iran. It’s too ‘doable’… Yes, it would likely get Iran nuked, but… well… some of it would not.

    So, you see, I’ve had the nuclear threat over my head before. I grew up with it. I know what it feels like (and here I am ‘emotions on’) and I don’t like it. It is exactly the feeling I get watching Iranian leaders on Al Jazeera… The same look as Khrushchev and his “we shall bury you!” speech. The same attitudes toward the people as Stalin. The same ‘belief in destiny’ as good ol’ Hitler. The same desire to “put a nuclear sword over our head and see how we like it” as they undoubtedly feel from Israel.

    Nothing from Debka. Nothing from whatever that other one was. Not even what Fox says or what CNN says. They are background color, at most, to the Arab News and the words and image of the Iranian Leadership themselves. The “facts on the ground” up in space… I’m just ‘running the model forward’ and seeing that we lose a few cities… or we lose Israel. Or both.

    I first saw this ‘movie’ about a decade back. I just figured we or Israel would not have waited until we were rolling dice on ‘too late’ or not…

  297. @EM., on your (directly above) various comments directed at various commentors:

    Thanks for your usual comprehensive and descriptive explanations. You do yourself proud.
    Yet there is still a lot of speculation involved and, as I keep on reiterating, only time will reveal the future.

    Thanks for your response to my recent comments.

    Re US, Israel and Obama: I strongly believe that Israel does control much of the US decision making, through Congress and the media in particular. Obama shapes up against Israel but he is not necessarily controlling the US, and bows down to external pressure. (Maybe if you present a relevant post we can get serious on that issue).

    Re reasoning methods. I appreciate your fair and liberal view on my comments.

    Re information sources. Your research is impressive, yet I fear that, even using several sources might still result in a bias, given the sources you listed. At one stage I believed Al Jazeera to be a balance against all the other MSM’s but I no longer have any confidence in them either,
    Whilst I tend to respect the “underground” sources and am influenced by them, I still try to assess their credibility and am only confident in this if at least one independent source confirms the story.
    Usually it is possible to see all, or most, of the pieces fitting whilst there are inconsistencies in the other viewpoints.

  298. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  299. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4196357,00.html

    Looks like Israel getting ready to bomb?

  300. R. de Haan says:

    A different view on Syria and Iran by Spengler

    Conjuring the ghost of Richelieu

    “Make it brief,” said Armand Jean du Plessis, Cardinal-Duc de Richelieu. He looked rather like the portrait by Phillipe de Champaigne, but sounded like Maurice Chevalier.

    “We are a bit confused about Syria,” I began. “Its leader, Bashar al-Assad, is slaughtering his own people to suppress an uprising. And he is allied to Iran, which wants to acquire nuclear weapons and dominate the region. If we overthrow Assad, Sunni radicals will replace him, and take revenge on the Syrian minorities. And a radical Sunni government in Syria would ally itself with the Sunni minority next door in Iraq and make civil war more likely.”

    “I don’t understand the question,” Richelieu replied.

    “Everyone is killing each other in Syria and some other places in the region, and the conflict might spread. What should we do about it?”

    “How much does this cost you?”

    “Nothing at all,” I answered.

    “Then let them kill each other as long as possible, which is to say for 30 years or so. Do you know,” the ghastly Cardinal continued, “why really interesting wars last for 30 years? That has been true from the Peloponnesian War to my own century. First you kill the fathers, then you kill their sons. There aren’t usually enough men left for a third iteration.”

    Read he entire story here:

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NB28Dj06.html

  301. E.M.Smith says:

    @Ken McMurtrie:

    It’s not that impressive. Just keep the satellite jump loop full of news stations, running in the background of life. When a commercial comes on, hit “jump”. When a boring story is on (like the status of J-Lo’s NipSlip at the oscars) hit “jump”. When an important story shows up, check all the loop for compare / contrast. As they each repeat most things a lot, jumping when you get a repeat on one station usually picks up the others.

    Al Jazeera and Mosaic are the odd ducks… News just runs pretty strait, most all of it interesting Current Middle East Events, and no re-runs. So the automatic timer takes me to them when they come on and I don’t “jump”… If you’ve not seen Mosaic, they take news feeds from the major Middle East countries national news (including the token Israel from time to time) and play about 5 minutes of the ‘highlights’ from a selected half dozen. Sporadically the BBC M.E. too. Pretty much can’t ‘time share it’ with other stuff as it’s already cut down to “valuable” and densely packed.

    When “stuff happens” they will often have the same story from each POV. A Very Rapid compare / contrast of Israel, Saudi, Iranian, Iraqi, Egyptian, etc POV so bias stands out fast. and when Egypt says “See, no riots” while Iranian TV has pictures of riots from cell phones and BBC Arabic has interviews with the rioters, well, its pretty quickly a clear image ;-)

    (I’m usually working on a blog posting or comments while the news is running so I can just stop typing if a ‘juicy bit’ comes along and needs more than one hemisphere to watch it. That is, I’m time sharing and doing 2 at once… so it’s not really a time consumption… so not all that impressive… Most impressive to me is when I swap to typing ‘one handed’ and use the other to hit ‘jump’ without stopping the typing. Took me a while to learn to type one handed, either hand. Would drive my typing teacher nuts to see it. Kind of floating around, no home keys.. Started doing it when helping folks at their desk. Had to reach in and just type something some times, and didn’t want to wait for them to move over… so I actually started doing it ‘sideways’ from the end of the keyboard…)

    Back at Al Jazeera:

    So, what makes them ‘suspect’ as a fair representation of the Arab / Muslim voice? They seem to have done a pretty good job of advocating the Muslim POV (in a ‘no particular country or sect’ kind of way… that is, sympathetic to all Muslim issues, near as I can tell.)

    Then again, using your ruler of bias to check for bias in your ruler of bias, er, “has issues” ;-)

    @R. de Haan:

    Interesting snippet… off to read the link next…

    @S.P.:

    I’ll look at yours right after that one. (The image of a French guy smirking about ‘you got them to fight each other for free?’ hooked me on the other one ;-)

  302. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    This is funny

  303. R. de Haan says:

    Looks like Spengler is getting his way:

    Obama rules out military intervention in Syria, weighs humanitarian corridors
    DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 29, 2012, 9:51 AM (GMT+02:00) Tags: Barack Obama Bashar Assad military operation Russia Turkey

    Baba Amr, Homs, after three-week bombardment
    Despite his strong words against Bashar Assad’s horrendous treatment of the opposition to his rule, US President Barack Obama Tuesday, Feb. 28, has vetoed plans submitted to him last week for Western-Arab military intervention to stop it, DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report. He is weighing an alternative plan for setting up “humanitarian corridors” in the most embattled areas. That too would be contingent on Russian endorsement, because Obama believes Moscow holds the key to Assad’s consent – or at least abstention from sending his army to attack the aid routes.
    The Russians have not so far responded to feelers on this from Washington. Neither have they rescinded their threat to block any such plan if tabled at the Security Council.
    Ankara provided the clincher for the US president’s decision against military intervention in Syria by its evasiveness over participation in the operation. The plan has nowhere to go without Turkey’s cooperation and the use of its bases from which Western and Arab forces would mount the operation.
    DEBKAfile’s sources note that Turkish leaders are vocal about the pressing need to save the Syrian people, but when it comes to the brass tacks of operational planning, they develop cold feet.
    The eight-point military plan rejected by Obama was first revealed exclusively in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 530 of Feb. 24. We are rerunning those points here since at some point – if the “humanitarian corridors” project fails to take off- the plan may be put back on the table.
    1. A group of nations led by the United States will reserve a quarter of Syrian territory (185,180 sq. km) as a safe haven for protecting more than a quarter of the nation’s population (5.5 million people) a under a collective air shield.
    2. The operation will be exclusively airborne. No foreign boots will touch the ground in Syria. American, Turkish, French, Italian and British Air Force planes will fly out from three Middle East air bases – Incirlik and Diyarbakir in Turkey, where the US maintains substantial air force strength, and the British facility in Akrotiri, Cyprus.
    3. France has offered to make its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle available but accepts that without US air power, spy satellites and operational and logistical resources, the operation will not be feasible.
    4. The safe haven will range from Tarkush on Syria’s northern border with Turkey and include the besieged towns of Jabal Al Zaweya, Idlib, Hama, Homs and their outlying villages.
    5. The safe haven will be placed off limits to Syrian military and security personnel and its air space declared a no fly zone. Syrian intruders will be challenged by the Western fighter-bombers shielding the protected area.
    6. The makeup of the coalition force for saving Syria is still a work in progress. Sarkozy has obtained the consent of Britain, Italy, Turkey and Qatar and is in discussion with Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Participation of the last two would make it possible to expand the safe haven to southern and eastern Syria, to include the restive towns of Daraa, Deir a-Zour and Abu Kemal.
    7. A regional Syrian administration assisted by Western liaison officers would run the safe haven’s day-to-day affairs. The coalition would take care of the population’s food, medicines and medical care needs.
    8. The Western-Arab expedition would not seek Bashar Assad’s ouster as a mission goal or engage in combat with Syrian forces outside the safe haven.

  304. WHEN IS AN INVASION NOT AN INVASION?
    When it is a Safe Haven? – don’t make me laugh!
    Taking control of part of the country, on this premise, is an illegal invasion.

    “The coalition would take care of the population’s food, medicines and medical care needs”.
    I hope they do a better job of looking after the country’s people than the “Coalition of the Warring” has done in Iraq.

    Turkey, with their alliance with the US must have an enormous problem, not really wanting any part of a war with Syria.

  305. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The nations of the world are being gathered to do battle in western Syria…..
    …………..Maggedo.
    The Mahdi can not show himself until Imams destroy themselves, because the Mahdi walks with Christ.
    Don’t these people read their own prophecies?
    Some of history has happened, some is happening and some will happen.
    Buy more popcorn and watch the show. pg

  306. david says:

    E.M.Smith (05:08:19)
    ——————————————————————l

    A very interesting post on how you come to your perspective. My resources have not been as intensive or thourgh as yours, yet I have come to similar viewpoints, slowly moveing to your postion of wishing we had followed a more isolationist policy with regard to our political activity there, just politely, or not so politely told the Arab world to bugger off, except for some clearly defined guidelines/limitations on behaviour, and when you are ready to join the civilised world, lets talk.

    I have watched with fasination the absolute liberal left, and Ron Paul far right vitrol directed at Israel, and cross checked facts of Israel’s behaviour when they had far more control of Palestine, (The population was far better off) as compared to Arab control and manipulation of the Arab people, and came to the view that the Arabs within palestien , as long as they are not trying to destroy Israel, were under far better and more equitable living conditions.

    I have watched Israel again and agin make concessions to people who openly claimed their objective was to destroy Israel, and to “kill the Jews” Every concession and comprimise from Israel, followed by just that, terrorism and rejection/sabotauge of any plan of co-exisistence.

    I have watched the Progressive left and the Ron Paul right claim over and over that it is the harm done to the Arab world by the left that causes them to hate us, while they both completely ignore Arab history , culture and behaviour. If this were true the you would think that the invasion of Iraq and Afganistan would have increased Arab public support of suicide terroist acts. However Pew Research surveys in 2008 show that in a range of countries – Jordan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Bangladesh – there have been substantial declines in the percentages saying suicide-bombings and other forms of violence against civilian targets can be justified to defend Islam against its enemies.

    The Progressive left and the Ron Paulright both need to study some more history and culture. The Islamsists Hadith declares war on non-Muslims and commands to subjugate them under Islam, irrespective of their deeds. If terrorism is caused by the “harm by the West to Muslims,” why then do Sunni Muslims burn Shi’ite mosques in countries like Pakistan and Iraq? Why is it that Islamists have been throwing acid on the faces of women in countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Algeria and Iran? Consider the genocide in Darfur as well as the unending violence in India like the recent killings in Mumbai, the slaughter of Russian school children in Breslan, as well as the terrorist bombing in Bali. In the 90’s, in Algeria, in a conflict most Americans never heard of, 150,000 Muslims were killed by Jihadi. What of the blowing up of Buddhist sculptures as well as terrorism in Indonesia. Islamists bomb school houses with children inside. They stone women to death. They do not believe in property rights or religious freedom. They have thousands of schools (In the middle east, Africa, Europe and the US and Palestine) that to various degrees teach their children to hate people of other faiths as well as people of different views within their own faith. The list is long indeed and begs the questions; are these brutalities also committed because the West harms Muslims? Westerners are not the primary target of the Jihadi and it is unreasonable to blame the west or assume that terrorism would end if the west capitulated to Islamist who are as violent against more moderate Islamic views as they are against the west.

    So perhaps, after 911, sans dividing our resources into Iraq. we should have cleaned out the Taliban more brutaly then we did, spent some time rebuilding and explainling to the Afgan people (note, I did not say having left speak dialogue) that we would indeed be leaving soon, and you have a choice of your type of rule, but, whaever you choose, you do not get to have a military of terrorist traing camps. If you choose to be lead by the Taliban and start training camps and supporting terrorism, we will be back, this time with no funds to help rebuld, We will then leave again, and you can, then again, have whatever goverment you wish, under the same terms, with less infrastructure.
    .

  307. P.G. Sharrow says:

    When Muslim mothers love their children more then they hate “others” they will put an end to this love of warfare.

    Only the prince of darkness loves war. For many of us war is something that we have to do as one would shovel out the pig sty.It has to be done by someone and even the pigs appreciate it! pg

  308. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Contrary to those gross exaggerations, the fact is that the most serious threat in Iran’s maritime arsenal is its three small, aging, Soviet-era Kilo-class submarines. It is believed that at best, only two of the vessels are even still seaworthy, and the shallow, narrow Strait of Hormuz would preclude the effective use of any submarines.

    As for its surface fleet, Iran does possess a few fast missile patrol boats and an additional ad hoc flotilla of designated suicide attack boats. The majority of these craft are little more than rigid-hulled inflatables mounted with a variety of light machine-guns, packed with explosives and crewed by militia zealots.

    Opposing this cockleshell Flintstones navy is the mighty U.S. Fifth Fleet. Consisting of more than 20 warships, including aircraft carriers and missile cruisers, the Fifth Fleet operates out of its major naval base in Manama, Bahrain, where it is strategically positioned to control the skies over Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The firepower and technological advantages of the Fifth Fleet would also enable it to eliminate the Iranian navy and air force within hours of any full-blown conflagration.

    It is worth noting that the Iranian threat, based on outboard-powered open boats, is only feasible because the boats would be operating from their home ports, in their own territorial waters. http://thechronicleherald.ca/opinion/47978-us-double-standard-surfaces-strait-hormuz

  309. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    How can you have less infrastructure than they had in Afghanistan before we started building it? I thought they had something like on highway with the paved part just in the capital… Isn’t the “old joke” that we’d bomb them into the stone age but that would put them ahead? ;-)

    Generally, yes, I find the notion that it’s “Our Fault” Islamists are attacking {anyone near them not hard core their sect of Islam} to fail Occam’s Razor…

    @P.G.Sharrow:

    I think Meggedo was in ancient Assyria / Syria but now is located at the upper edge of ‘the West Bank’ in northern Israel, about 1/2 way in from the ocean. See the map here:

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

    Does sit strategically overlooking a T between two valleys. One from Sea to inland river, the other a gap in the mountains on the approach to it.

    If you are going to march an army through Israel, you pretty much have to go through that gap… If you land at sea and want fresh water, you pass the area on the way to the river.

    So folks in {Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt,…} have a problem attacking Israel thanks to geography. Cross a large open desert to the south (Sinai), or cross a deep river valley bounded by mountains (river Jordan), or cross through that area near Tel Magiddo ….

    Ceding the West Bank to “others” would be handing to them a very nice High Ground overlooking all the rest of Israel… and turn a naturally defensive position into an exposed and fragile one. (No political ‘feeling’ in that, just military strategy / troop positioning.) Yes, modern air power makes that less of an issue, but it is still an issue.

    The geography also gives you a pretty good handle on why history ran as it did. If you are an Egyptian Pharaoh wanting to attack Assyria or a Hittite wanting to Rumble With The Pharaoh, you pretty much want to march through there. (The valley has the dead sea in the middle of it.. nice pictures at the wiki but I’d not want to march 20,000 men and chariots down that narrow twisty rocky shore under the mountain overlooks http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dead_Sea )

    It’s been a popular place to fight and die for a while:

    Megiddo was a site of great importance in the ancient world. It guarded the western branch of a narrow pass and trade route connecting Egypt and Assyria. Because of its strategic location, Megiddo was the site of several historical battles. The site was inhabited from approximately 7000 BC to 586 BC (the same time as the destruction of the First Israelite Temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians, and subsequent fall of Israelite rule and exile). Since this time it has remained uninhabited, preserving ruins pre-dating 586 BC without settlements ever disturbing them. Instead, the town of Lajjun was built up near to the site, but without inhabiting or disturbing its remains.

    Megiddo is mentioned in Ancient Egyptian writings because one of Egypt’s mighty kings, Thutmose III, waged war upon the city in 1478 BC. The battle is described in detail in the hieroglyphics found on the walls of his temple in Upper Egypt.

    Mentioned in the Bible as “Derekh HaYam” or “Way of the Sea,” it became an important military artery of the Roman Empire and was known as the Via Maris.

    Famous battles include:
    Battle of Megiddo (15th century BC): fought between the armies of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition led by the rulers of Megiddo and Kadesh.
    Battle of Megiddo (609 BC): fought between Egypt and the Kingdom of Judah, in which King Josiah fell.
    Battle of Megiddo (1918): fought during World War I between Allied troops, led by General Edmund Allenby, and the defending Ottoman army.

    Kibbutz Megiddo is nearby less than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) away to the south. Today, Megiddo Junction is on the main road connecting the center of Israel with lower Galilee and the north. It lies at the northern entrance to Wadi Ara, an important mountain pass connecting the Jezreel Valley with Israel’s coastal plain.

    If Syria were to overrun the Golan and head downslope with all it has, the place I’d set the first defense would be from the hills overlooking the River Jordan but if pushed out of the hills on the Western side, next defensive place is Megiddo…

  310. david says:

    Scarlet, P, I think you are undersestimating the limited Iranian capacity to affect shipping if they choose. Remember only a few of hundreds of missiles have to get past defenses.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cts=1330556176218&ved=0CCwQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Firanprimer.usip.org%2Fresource%2Fconventional-military&ei=bKpOT_WGFuORiQLy3N2XCw&usg=AFQjCNGVLcBS4807J0domi3kRZUq5VbCzw&sig2=eYz4QQhjDVAqmQU7O5G3JQ

    “Despite claims of indigenous production of major weapons systems, Iran has actually only deployed some 100 Zulfiqar main battle tanks (roughly equivalent to the T-72), a small number of Townsan light tanks, 140 Boragh armored personnel carriers and small numbers of self-propelled artillery weapons. But it has produced large numbers of towed artillery weapons and short- to long-range rockets. It has updated and modified many of its older weapons systems, and does produce a variety of effective short-range anti-tank, man-portable surface-to-air, anti-ship and other guided weapons. It is also producing unmanned aerial vehicles, some of which have been modified to carry a conventional warhead.

    Iran has modified and updated some aircraft, acquired relatively modern Russian air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, has Chinese anti-ship missiles, and has tried to equip its F-14s with modified I-Hawk missiles for long range air-to-air combat to make up for the fact that they can no longer operate the Phoenix MISSILE. It is producing its own unmanned aerial vehicles. Tehran is also trying to produce its own light Saegheh and Azarakhsh fighters and has apparently introduced some into its active force. Yet, its air force lags behind the technology, readiness, and sustainability of U.S. air units and obsolete compared to the Saudi Air Force and rapidly modernizing U.A.E. Air Force. Iran has reportedly bought large numbers of modern Russian and/or Chinese fighters, but none have been confirmed. Purchases are now sharply restricted by U.N. sanctions.

    The navy does, however, have three Russian Kilo-class submarines—which some reports indicate can lay smart mines and fire long-range homing torpedoes. The IRGC has four to seven North Korean/Iranian-made Yono and Nahand-class midget submarines, and is producing four more. It also has small, semi-submersible craft. The navy also has an aviation branch with three aging P-3F maritime patrol and airborne command and control aircraft, three Falcon aircraft modified for electronic warfare and intelligence, and anti-submarine and mine warfare helicopters.

    The IRGC has a wide range of mine warfare and smaller, more modern missile patrol boats armed with Chinese and Iranian-made anti-ship missiles. It also has land-based anti-ship missile batteries, including HY-2s with ranges of approximately 100 kilometers, which can be directed to a target by an aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicle. (China has anti-ship missiles with 200-280 kilometer ranges, but it is not believed these have been sold to Iran.) U.S. experts note that Iran can attack targeted ships with C-701, C-801, C-802 and Iranian-made anti-ship cruise missiles from its own shores, islands, and oil platforms using relatively small mobile launchers.”

  311. Sabretoothed says:

    Yeah, I guess if they do something just blow them up. They are only doing stuff if the US parades 1/2 it’s fleet in the area. If Iran had it’s Navy going up and down the coast of USA what would they do?

    Seriously just leave them alone. Israel wants to bomb them without telling the USA so let them all have their little wars if they want them.

    USA should have attacked them in 1979, but was too broke to do so, so it got Iraq to do the dirty work.

    If USA wants the oil reserves, just attack them and take them, stop all these childish pretend games which amount to Climate change fake arguments..

  312. Sabretoothed says:

    It’s all hypocritical

    First USA ranks this guy another Gaddafi

    http://www.africandictator.org/?p=5253

    Oil is found which is bigger then Saudi maybe, and guess what, he is our friend

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2011/10/obama-sends-100-us-troops-to-uganda-to-combat-lords-resistance-army/

  313. adolfogiurfa says:

    @All: Would anybody shut the front door of his own house?

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