A Glimpse at America’s Brewing Nightmare with Iran

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I suspect that we will soon see more collisions between US military squads and Special Force operations against suspected Syrian and Iranian convoys and personnel — civilian and military — inside Iraq as well as more border interdiction. At some point, these units will go into Syria and Iran to accomplish their “disruption” missions.
At that point, Syria and Iran will make a calculation as to whether they should respond with proportionate military force against US military assets — or whether they respond in lateral ways against other players in the region — like American allies in Afghanistan or Iraq, or Israel. Alternatively, Iran could pump up the sophistication of weaponry it is supplying to Shiite groups and design and organize higher profile assaults on the Sunni population and American and British forces — operating through proxies.
Despite Vice President Cheney’s desire to see Iran directly fire a few missiles at our troops in response to provocations from the U.S. — thus firmly establishing a casus belli for a full-fledged American attack against Iran — Iran will probably be craftier than that and will respond in fuzzy, indirect, but highly disruptive ways — through Hezbollah, Shiite militia, and other agents.
Also, expect to see Iran’s top tier diplomats, theocrats and political elite make “mutual interest” trips to Moscow and Beijing. Iran will offer highly lucrative “energy arrangements” that major powers focused on further global ascension won’t be able to resist. Unless America is willing to figure out and pay the diplomatic price desired by China and Russia for uniform action against Iran, then Iran will cultivate these two rising peer competitors and balancers against American power.
Given Japan’s and Europe’s direct dependence on Iranian oil exports, as the heat in the region rises and direct military collisions occur, Japanese and European diplomats will attempt to wedge themselves between the conflicting parties.
America may again find itself diplomatically isolated as it wages a subtle war against Iran — which despite Iranian funding of destabilizing non-state forces in many parts of the Middle East — may find that it has a diplomatic edge because America never engaged in credible diplomatic engagement with Iran over its nuclear program and about its regional misbehavior.
Just to be clear, I feel that a significant portion of the Iranian political elite wants Iran to develop nuclear weapons — mostly as a shield to protect itself from perceived threats. I don’t buy the “peaceful use” line fully — but there are ways to make the “peaceful use” option work. The problem is we aren’t really trying. With Iran, we are perceiving its program as an “all or nothing” event. That kind of Manichean view of this problem by the United States is something that most other global powers won’t accept and which will further erode America’s leverage in this process.
Ahmadinejad wants an attack on Iran nearly as much as Cheney does. An American or Israeli bombing of its nuclear facilities and the killing of 6,000 of its top engineering talent (and the many tens of thousands who happen to be near them at the time of the bombing) will consolidate his power inside the country — something he is no where close to at this point.
The nightmare scenario — as if this was not bad enough — is that Iranian-backed agents in the region roll out disruption plans across moderate Sunni regimes — particularly Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Many I have spoken to from the defense and foreign affairs sectors from various Middle East states worry about well-disguised yet successful assassination attempts against Saudi or Jordanian leaders — throwing the Sunni regimes into turmoil and igniting national and regional rage that they feel will ultimately be anti-American, anti-occupation, anti-colonial, and of course, anti-Israel.
This is the course we seem to be on now. And it doesn’t need to be this way. There are alternatives — but nearly all of them require a creative, bold approach that might enable us to leap-frog over our massive failures in the region.
We need to consider an alternative plan, and I’ll be posting my thoughts on that soon — but we need to have squarely in our mind how nasty and brutish the results of our current policy course are to help muster the consensus needed to make the President and Congress uniformly change course. . .and change course for real.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

79 comments on “A Glimpse at America’s Brewing Nightmare with Iran

  1. TradeTang Cellphones says:

    Good bolg, thank you for sharing! I will come back and read the other article. I wish everyone in there has a good time.

    Reply

  2. Den Valdron says:

    Ah, unfortunately, my mother was frightened by TS Eliot, so I cannot read Ulysses.

    Reply

  3. MP says:

    Thanks, Den, good post. You explain a lot in a little bit of space.
    If we could get money out of politics–good luck–many of these issues would dissolve or, at least, change radically.

    Reply

  4. MP says:

    Pruf = Prufrock, as in J. Alfred Prufrock, which Rich had quoted.
    I thought he might enjoy an English major’s joke.

    Reply

  5. MP says:

    POA writes: “Stop throwing straw, MP. I do not base my assertion that they are lying about Iran on the fact that they lied about Iraq. I base my assertion on the evidence I am aware of, and that evidence, most notably, is the IAEA report, and the CIA report.”
    Look, I’m not throwing straw or attacking anyone. I’m giving you my reactions. I’m not debating you here, questioning your post, or even questioning how you come to your conclusions. I’m telling you how I come to mine and giving you my reaction. You OVERLOOK my main point–the site was posting lies–and you fasten onto my relatively minor caveat.
    Let’s get real: Maybe a few thousand people read this blog daily. The vast majority don’t post. Of those who post, ZERO have ever responded to me except in a pretty negative way. (Sorry, I was able to convince one person that that Bush did call opponents traitors.) They certainly aren’t convinced or swayed by what I say. And I can tell you that, in my personal life, I have ZERO impact on national or international affairs. So it’s pretty clear that my sotto voce “I hope” is going to dissolve into cyberspace the way a drop of water dissolves into the ocean. Leave it alone: Your beating a drop of water.

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  6. Den Valdron says:

    Ahhh

    Reply

  7. ET says:

    Pruf (German) translates Examine

    Reply

  8. Den Valdron says:

    pruf?

    Reply

  9. rich says:

    absolute Pruf

    Reply

  10. Den Valdron says:

    Y’know, P.O.A., a relatively small group of Cuban exiles down in Florida pretty much dictate American policy towards Cuba. They’re small numerically, small in terms of total wealth, but they’ve had a disproportionate impact on Cuban-American relations, and indirectly, they’ve had an impact on American foreign policy vis a vis latin America. The Cuban exiles, with their extremist, near-fascistic views suffused American foreign policy advisors and intelligence operatives and operations in Latin America. Their fingerprints can be found in Chile in 1973, in the Dominican Republic, in El Salvador, Columbia, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina. These scumbags, steeped in hatred, pining away for a dream of triumphal return, have done their share to paint the world red.
    There’s a lesson here. Because of the peculiar nature of American politics, a sufficiently motivated interest group can swing immense weight in the political system, manipulating American foreign policy.
    It is neither unusual nor remarkable that AIPAC should perform this role. If anything, the Jewish American constituency is far more populous and far wealthier and better connected than the Cuban Exile constituency.
    So, despite its protestations, AIPAC is a big swinging dick in American foreign policy.
    What does that really mean?
    Well, it means that Israel gets four billion dollars a year in foreign aid and an open line of credit to the American treasury when other countries have babies starving in the streets and get butkus. The immoralities and illogicalities of that are plain to see.
    It means Israel gets favoured nation status, an exemption from any sort of criticism by the United States, and support no matter how regressive and wrong headed its foreign and domestic policies.
    It means that in the event of Israel being seriously endangered, the United States would weigh in and raise the stakes to superpower confrontation.
    It means that American foreign policy in the middle east is biased towards Israeli interests, that Israeli support or opposition can influence that foreign policy, and that there are close links between Israeli and American intelligence, covert operations and military structures.
    It also means that American foreign policy towards Israel and Israeli interests tends to be uniform as between Republicans and Democrats. Anyone who doubts this should take a look at Hillary Clinton’s lips pressed firmly against Ohlmert’s sphincter.
    But the more constructive question is to ask what the limitations are.
    AIPAC did not persuade the Confederacy to go with slavery, it wasn’t behind the Indian Wars or the Cold War.
    AIPAC, perhaps despite its own delusions, is not the sole determinative or shaping force in American foreign policy in the middle east.
    Ultimately, the overriding drive is domination of the region, and control of strategic resources. This is what the US has sought and mostly obtained since WWII. It’s been a consistent policy through FDR, Truman, through to Reagan, Bush I and Clinton.
    If it came down to a confrontation between Israel’s interests and America’s need for domination of the region… well, so much for Israel.
    That doesn’t mean the little power can’t drag the big power around. Serbia did that to Russia in the 1900’s, right into WWI. But there you go.
    The truth is that even without the Cuban Exile movement, the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Pinochet Regime, Operation Condor, the Columbian Cartels, the Contra War, the Central American dirty wars would have all happened, and would all have had America behind it.
    Like the Cuban exiles, the AIPAC groupies are just riders on the beast, feeding its worst impulses, helping strangle its better judgement, but the beast has its own will and its own hunger.
    Ultimately, the face of George W. Bush is the face of America. There is no one to blame but the mirror.

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  11. Pissed Off American says:

    The fact that I added any caveat was because I realize that we’re often right about the “last” crisis and mistakenly apply what we’ve learned to the “current” crisis.
    Posted by MP
    Stop throwing straw, MP. I do not base my assertion that they are lying about Iran on the fact that they lied about Iraq. I base my assertion on the evidence I am aware of, and that evidence, most notably, is the IAEA report, and the CIA report.

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  12. Pissed Off American says:

    POA writes: “Of course, the caveat. Unable to cloud or conceal the truth because it is hard evidence that confronts them, now they get down to suggestion, the insidous implantation of doubt. “Gee, golly, looks like lies to me, but hey, maybe they know something we don’t.”
    Who’s “they” POA?
    Posted by MP
    “They” are any that wish to advance a deception in the manner I describe. Its pretty standard MO for the act of supporting that that cannot be honestly supported.

    Reply

  13. ET says:

    “Without question, there was a calculated campaign by the govt to lie to us and actively mislead us about WMDs & nukes. That included Bush, Cheney, and Condi…” posted by Rich
    Video retrospective of their lies:
    http://www.bushflash.com/right.html

    Reply

  14. mr.ed says:

    Iran has numerous Chinese made anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles. What will it take to prod them into using a few?

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  15. MP says:

    Rich wrote: “What’re you, T. S. Eliot? “Do [you] dare to eat a peach? [You] shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”
    Just to be clear: When it comes to pointing out lies, I don’t require absolute Pruf–but I do when it comes to wars and bombing.

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  16. MP says:

    Rich wrote: “You get the point: responsible rhetoric, adherence to fact, and transparent operations & directly stated agenda would make a healthier AIPAC and a more respected and responsible one. And it would do much to improve the national security of the US.”
    I agree with your post and, in particular, what you say here. And no, I’m not engaging in an epistemological debate. That’s why I agreed with POA that what I saw on the site I was “lies.” The fact that I added any caveat was because I realize that we’re often right about the “last” crisis and mistakenly apply what we’ve learned to the “current” crisis.
    But just to be clear: I would IN NO WAY use any of this to support an invasion or bombing of Iran by the US or Israel and feel strongly that the constant drumbeat for war with Iran is a 360-degree mistake of incalculable proportions.

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  17. rich says:

    I have to say MP, AIPAC’s assertion on that web-page is pretty damning. To their own credibility as responsible actors, that is.
    Our own intelligence experts and the US intel community says Iran may be as much as 10 years from working nukes.
    That’s been widely documented in credible news sources (NYTs, WaPo) & elsewhere.
    When AIPAC comes to us with facts and evidence –(though there’s no reason to think they should have a voice in the debate)–THEN their opinion can get a hearing.
    Saying ‘we really none of us know’ is a cop-out. We DO know AIPAC’s PR line is not offered with any integrity, nor in good faith. It’s clearly intended to inject fear, & push the debate towards the impression of crisis.
    We can speak of the facts that we DO know to be likely, and come from reasonably reliable sources. We do that all the time. Unless you’ve suddently become a moral relativist, or a post-structural literary theorist, appealing to what we cannot know is just a cop-out.
    What’re you, T. S. Eliot? “Do [you] dare to eat a peach? [You] shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.”
    I’ve never really had a ‘thing’ agaisnt AIPAC, but who can like what they see or hear when they look closer? The folks angry about some poster’s rhetoric have a LOT of self-examination to do. I happen to agree that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories are pernicious. I’ve read a couple times that AIPAC doesn’t fund politians directly, but funds other groups who lobby & donate. Don’t have to research yet another thing in-depth. And certainly many groups operate that way. But it is ALSO true that naming that method does NOT indulge conspiracies. You get the point: responsible rhetoric, adherence to fact, and transparent operations & directly stated agenda would make a healthier AIPAC and a more respected and responsible one. And it would do much to improve the national security of the US.

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  18. MP says:

    Rich wrote: “Winnipeger wrote:
    >>>”NOBODY, including bushco accused or even thought that saddam had nukes.”<<< BushCo went right up to the line, saying everything BUT that Hussein had nuclear warheads positioned in Anne Arundel County.”
    This is true. Bush and friends cleverly dissembled to leave the clear impression that Saddam had nukes…while leaving themselves room to later deny they ever said it per se.

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  19. rich says:

    Winnipeger wrote:
    >>>”NOBODY, including bushco accused or even thought that saddam had nukes.”<<<
    BushCo went right up to the line, saying everything BUT that Hussein had nuclear warheads positioned in Anne Arundel County. (don’t despise my hyperbolae, it’s there to make a point)
    Bush & Cheney & Rice expressly communicated that idea–but presented NO evidence. Bush’s Cincinnati & SOTU speech contained documented falsehoods, which Bush was scolded by Tenet for including in the former, and urged to remove from the latter. The yellowcake docs were forged.
    BushCo knowingly putting forth falsehoods, and it isn’t just tantamount to lying–it is lying. For you to resort to hair-splitting on this point is unacceptable and takes an enormous amount of effrontery. Without question, there was a calculated campaign by the govt to lie to us and actively mislead us about WMDs & nukes. That included Bush, Cheney, and Condi.
    You can’t hide behind the post-hoc rationale that “it depends on what the meaning of ‘is,’ is” and expect to excuse the greatest breach of trust in American History. While you’re very Clintonian, even the claim of weapons programs is bankrupt of any credibility. Having lied about biolabs, aluminum tubes, yellowcake, and about his own reassurances of due process to the American people–citing “programs”–even if they existed, elides the issue. BushCo’s credibility was shot by the time he started talking about nukes. What he wanted to do and ‘why’ was clear. What he said was utterly dishonest. Some frantic post-hoc semantic spackling isn’t going to turn George W. into Abe Lincoln.
    -BEFORE the 2003 invasion, the media reported US weapons experts Houghton Woods & Greg Thielman
    blew away the aluminum tubes claim. Each of Bush’s claims turned to dust with minimal examination, but Bush kept upping the ante. He never “made his case” by presenting facts and argument to Congress, and asking for a Declaration of War. Had he done that, honestly, poor evidence or misguided cause wouldn’t have mattered. But the process was never entered into with any honor, or integrity, or legality. Weak men resort to lies, others pay the cost. Citing “programs” rather than actual complete nuke warheads is just another kind of semantic lie. You’re well-aware of how this worked. Don’t keep telling yourself it was a good thing–internally to our form of governance, OR externally in world relations, Israeli or American security, or improving life in Iraq. Bitter fruit, from a rotten tree.

    Reply

  20. MP says:

    …or rather, humility about what we think to be true and what we know to be true.

    Reply

  21. MP says:

    POA writes: “Of course, the caveat. Unable to cloud or conceal the truth because it is hard evidence that confronts them, now they get down to suggestion, the insidous implantation of doubt. “Gee, golly, looks like lies to me, but hey, maybe they know something we don’t.”
    Who’s “they” POA?
    I’m not “implanting” doubt in anyone.
    Everyone is free to come to his or her own conclusions.
    I told you what mine were.
    Sitting behind our computers, we are all working “in the dark” to some degree. This should be obvious. And it should also instill a certain amount of humility in each of us about what is true and what isn’t.

    Reply

  22. Pissed Off American says:

    I took a look at this…and it is pretty bad, I have to admit. As far as I can tell, total lies. I hope.
    Posted by MP
    Of course, the caveat. Unable to cloud or conceal the truth because it is hard evidence that confronts them, now they get down to suggestion, the insidous implantation of doubt. “Gee, golly, looks like lies to me, but hey, maybe they know something we don’t.”
    They’re lying their asses off. Just like they did in the lead up to the Iraq invasion. Any acquital you issue to them is done so because of who they are, not because of innocence. And there you have it, the exact same kind of prejudice you have consistently accused others on this blog of holding.
    You claimed they were like any other lobby. Your claims have been shredded here. You claimed Israel was not instrumental in helping herd the American people into a climate of fear that allowed this administration to attack Iraq. That claim too, shredded.
    So now, all thats left is this attempt to plant some ethereal cloud of doubt, in an attempt to salvage a false accusation that is 100% bogus.
    They’re lyin’. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
    Now defend them, MP.

    Reply

  23. MP says:

    POA writes and links: “From the AIPAC website…
    Iran’s persistent refusal to end its illicit nuclear programs is a direct threat to countries around the world. Iranian ballistic missiles are currently capable of delivering a nuclear warhead more than 1,200 miles. http://www.aipac.org/iran/nuclear_status/escalating_threat.html
    I took a look at this…and it is pretty bad, I have to admit. As far as I can tell, total lies. I hope.

    Reply

  24. Den Valdron says:

    I’m not going to cater to your efforts to disrupt this thread with your childish antics.

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  25. Winnipeger says:

    quit with the name calling, den. steve already said that it has no place here.
    den wrote:
    “The administration asserted on a multitude of occasions that Iraq was maintaining an active nuclear weapons program”
    well, there’s a *BIG* difference between having a nuclear weapons *PROGRAM* and possessing nuclear weapons.
    please choose you words more carefully.

    Reply

  26. Den Valdron says:

    Condoleeza Rice “I don’t want proof to be a mushroom cloud.” The administration asserted on a multitude of occasions that Iraq was maintaining an active nuclear weapons program. Among the fictional assertions brought by the administration were alleged centrifuge tubes, niger uranium black market deals. The administration was so dedicated to its argument of Saddam Hussein’s quest/procurement of a nuclear weapon that they simply falsified evidence, citing International Atomic Energy Reports that did not exist. The administration consistently described Iraq as an ‘imminent’ threat. In short, the administration worked damned good and hard to leave the impression that if Saddam Hussein did not actually possess nuclear weapons, he was on the verge of obtaining them, perhaps even weeks or days away.
    Another administration tactic was conflating nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, treating them interchangeably and in some intangible respect as essentially the same.
    An American public fed a steady stream of lies and propaganda by the administration, and by a compliant media, believed in large numbers that Saddam Hussein possessed wmd’s of undefined and potentially nuclear nature. Certainly Rice’s comment about Mushroom clouds could only be understood by the Public as a nuclear threat.
    That there was not actually anything to these assertions, that the case was a tissue of lies from start to finish, and that the lies were a deliberate campaign by the administration did not change the fact.
    Saddam Hussein had been so thoroughly demonized that the public was well prepared to believe the worst of him. Thus they were conditioned to accept lies. The point was that ‘feelings’ in the end offered poor substitutes for facts and evidence.
    You’ll recall, you little troll, that we already went down this road and you lost the debate pretty conclusively. If you’d like to reopen the argument, fine with me, it won’t turn out any differently.

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  27. Michael says:

    The Australian Government once again proves itself to be nothing more than the worthless parasitic sucker fish on the belly of that voriferous international shark,the Republican “Oil for the future” US oligarghy – George Bush’s lunatic tribe – The Wild Bunch…
    David Hicks has been subjected to PUNISHMENT without trial for over FIVE YEARS.Justice? Democracy? Truth? The American Way?He has never fired a shot in anger.He has never been involved in armed conflict.Pre 1998 the Taliban were the preferred ally of the US in Afghanistan! Hicks does not speak Urdu or Arabic.How much do you really think he knew? I’m with Ruddocks daughter on this one – both he and Howard have an abyssmal record on Human Rights and the future looks even bleaker with famed slapstick comedy duo Abbott and Costello set to make us laugh (cry) well into the next decade.God help us! But most of all God help David Hicks ..because as sure as hell there is no-one in the Federal Government prepared to display the slightest shred of humanity…
    Hang your heads in shame

    Reply

  28. Winnipeger says:

    den wrote:
    “Feelings’ are unreliable. A lot of people had a ‘feeling’ that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. It just seemed so logical that he would have them, he was a bad guy and all that. In the absence of evidence one way or the other, the natural impulse would be to suspect that he had something salted away.”
    this is an untruth, den. NOBODY, including bushco accused or even thought that saddam had nukes. but you knew that, right?

    Reply

  29. Pissed Off American says:

    Remember Scott Ritter? Just another guy that was villified and demonized by this administration, all because he dared tell the truth. And, to top it off, he was right, where Bush was wrong.
    Well, he’s written a book. And will surely be called anti-semitic for doing it.
    Book: Israel, Lobby Pushing Iran War
    Nathan Guttman | Fri. Dec 29, 2006
    A former United Nations weapons inspector and leading Iraq War opponent has written a new book alleging that Jerusalem is pushing the Bush administration into war with Iran, and accusing the pro-Israel lobby of dual loyalty and “outright espionage.”
    In the new book, called “Target Iran,” Scott Ritter, who served as a senior U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and later became one of the war’s staunchest critics, argues that the United States is readying for military action against Iran, using its nuclear program as a pretext for pursuing regime change in Tehran.
    “The Bush administration, with the able help of the Israeli government and the pro-Israel Lobby, has succeeded,” Ritter writes, “in exploiting the ignorance of the American people about nuclear technology and nuclear weapons so as to engender enough fear that the American public has more or less been pre-programmed to accept the notion of the need to militarily confront a nuclear armed Iran.”
    Later in the book, Ritter adds: “Let there be no doubt: If there is an American war with Iran, it is a war that was made in Israel and nowhere else.”
    continues at…….
    http://www.forward.com/articles/book-israel-lobby-pushing-iran-war/

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  30. Pissed Off American says:

    AIPAC focuses its attention on United State’s citizens and politicians. They are here to directly influence general perception, and manipulate American foreign policy. And they will LIE their asses off to do it. Even by such lies as we see below, where the lie is not the statement itself, the lie is the insinuation. Why has an entity that has been caught red-handed in acts of espionage against the United States and has blatantly lied to us about both Iraq’s and Iran’s weapons programs, still allowed to operate freely on American soil? Exempt from the new ethics rules. It defies the imagination.
    From the AIPAC website…
    Iran’s persistent refusal to end its illicit nuclear programs is a direct threat to countries around the world. Iranian ballistic missiles are currently capable of delivering a nuclear warhead more than 1,200 miles.
    http://www.aipac.org/iran/nuclear_status/escalating_threat.html

    Reply

  31. Anton says:

    Condoleezza Rice is starting to bear an uncanny resemblance to Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf (remember Comical Ali from Iraq?). Now that the US is waking up to the realisation that its age-old strategy of using a bulldozer to do the weeding in the neighbours’ gardens is again not producing the expected results, it is Dr Rice’s job to convince everyone that things are going swimmingly, and are going so well the weeding task should be “augmented” by an even bigger bulldozer.
    Anton

    Reply

  32. Jim says:

    Socking it to George — with decorum
    I TAKE exception to wild statements claiming that US President George Bush is “an idiot” — or similar. As former Labour leader Mark Latham learned, such irrational outbursts merely upset American ambassadors to Australia who are personal cronies appointed by said President Bush. They then seek to interfere in the Australian democratic process. No, what we want, surely, is a more measured appraisal.
    In the interests of promoting Australian-American scholarship I offer the following: President G. W. Bush is the most intellectually ineffectual US president since Warren G. Harding (1921-1923), and presides over the most dysfunctional and corrupt administration since that of Ulysses S. Grant (1873-1877).
    If we are going to engage in abusing world leaders, let us show the world that Australians can do so with dignity, decorum and intellectual rigour. Which is more than can be said for the current US Administration!
    Jim McLennan, Heathmont

    Reply

  33. kathleen says:

    7.
    Whereas all Arab States have acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Israel continues to defy the international community by refusing to become a party to the Treaty or to place its installations under the Agency?s comprehensive safeguards system, thus exposing the region to nuclear risks and threatening peace. Israel?s possession of nuclear weapons is likely to lead to a destructive nuclear arms race in the region, especially if Israel?s nuclear installations remain outside any international control

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  34. kathleen says:

    HAVE YOU EVER READ THE LAST LETTER THE ARAB COUNTRIES THAT HAVE SIGNED THE NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY WROTE TO THE INTERNATIONAL ATOMIC ENERGY AGENCY. WHERE THEY ASK ISRAEL TO SIGN THE NPT (AGAIN) THIS IS AT THE IAEA WEBSITE.
    Israeli Nuclear Capabilities and Threat
    1.
    On 22 May 2006, the Director General received a request submitted by the Ambassador of the
    Sultanate of Oman on behalf of the Arab States that are members of the Agency, for the inclusion of
    an item entitled ?Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat? in the agenda of the 50
    th
    regular session of
    the General Conference.
    2.
    The letter from the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman, and the accompanying explanatory
    memorandum relating to the inclusion of this item, are attached hereto.
    Page 2
    GC(50)/17
    Attachment
    Page 1
    Text of letter received on 22 May 2006 from the
    Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
    On behalf of the Arab States that are members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (the
    Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, the Republic of Tunisia, the Republic of
    Algeria, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Sudan, the State of Qatar, the Syrian Arab
    Republic, the Republic of Iraq, the Sultanate of Oman (observer), the State of Kuwait, the Republic of
    Lebanon, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Kingdom of Morocco, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the
    Republic of Yemen and Palestine (observer)), I have the honour to forward to you the request of those
    countries kindly to include an item entitled ?Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat? in the agenda of the
    fiftieth session (2006) of the Agency?s General Conference.
    The explanatory memorandum relating to the request for inclusion of the above-mentioned item is
    enclosed herewith.
    We hope you will be so kind as to take all the necessary steps in this regard.
    (signed) Salim Mohammed Al-Riyami
    Dean of the Arab Diplomatic Corps
    Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman
    Page 3
    GC(50)/17
    Attachment
    Page 2
    Explanatory Memorandum on Israeli Nuclear Capabilities And Threat
    Submitted by the Member States in the League of Arab States
    1.
    An item on Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat has been on the agenda of the General
    Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency for a number of years, and the Conference has
    time and again adopted resolutions calling upon Israel to place its nuclear installations under Agency
    safeguards.
    In 1992 the Conference endorsed the President?s statement, which included the following: ?… in view
    of the peace process already under way in the Middle East, the aim of which was to conclude a
    comprehensive and just peace in the region, and which included in particular discussions on the
    establishment of a nuclear-weapon-free zone in the Middle East, it would be desirable not to consider
    the present agenda item at the thirty-sixth regular session.?
    2.
    The policies of the present Israeli Government have obstructed the peace process in the Middle
    East and all initiatives to free the region of the Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, and in
    particular of nuclear weapons, have failed.
    3.
    The Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of
    Nuclear Weapons which was held in May 1995 adopted a resolution on the Middle East expressing the
    concern of the States Party to the Treaty at the dangerous situation in the Middle East resulting from
    the presence in the region of nuclear activities not subject to IAEA safeguards, which put regional and
    international peace and security at risk.
    4.
    In May 2000, the sixth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation
    of Nuclear Weapons, which followed developments in the implementation of the resolution on the
    Middle East issued at the previous Review Conference, issued a Final Document which, inter alia,
    requested Israel to accede to the NPT as soon as possible and welcomed the accession to it of a
    number of Arab countries during the period 1995?2000, while Israel remained the only country in the
    region that had not acceded to the Treaty. The Conference reaffirmed the importance of Israel’s
    accession to the NPT and the placement of all its nuclear facilities under comprehensive IAEA
    safeguards, in realizing the goal of universal adherence to the Treaty in the Middle East.
    5.
    In 1997, the Member States of the International Atomic Energy Agency reinforced its control of
    nuclear activities through the Board of Governors? adoption of the Model Additional Protocol to
    enhance the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of the safeguards system, in respect of States
    which have concluded comprehensive safeguards agreements, in order to provide assurance that no
    undeclared nuclear activities or installations exist.
    6.
    Arab States have always shown their readiness to take practical steps towards creating in the
    Middle East a zone free of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, and to
    refrain from taking any measures which could hamper the attainment of this goal.
    7.
    Whereas all Arab States have acceded to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
    Weapons, Israel continues to defy the international community by refusing to become a party to the
    Treaty or to place its installations under the Agency?s comprehensive safeguards system, thus
    exposing the region to nuclear risks and threatening peace. Israel?s possession of nuclear weapons is
    likely to lead to a destructive nuclear arms race in the region, especially if Israel?s nuclear installations
    remain outside any international control.
    Page 4
    GC(50)/17
    Attachment
    Page 3
    8.
    The International Court of Justice?s Advisory Opinion of July 1996 on the legality of the threat
    or use of nuclear weapons stressed that there existed an obligation on the part of all States to pursue in
    good faith, and to bring to a conclusion, negotiations leading to nuclear disarmament in all of its
    aspects under strict and effective international control.
    9.
    At the forty-second, forty-third, forty-fourth, forty-fifth, forty-sixth, forty-seventh. forty-eighth
    and forty-ninth sessions of the Agency?s General Conference (September 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001,
    2002, 2004, 2003 and 2005), an item entitled ?Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat? was reinscribed
    on the agenda of those sessions at the request of a number of Member States. The Agency?s General
    Conference endorsed at a plenary meeting of its forty-ninth session held in September 2005 the
    following statement by the President:
    ?The General Conference recalls the statement by the President of the 36th session in 1992
    concerning the agenda item ?Israeli nuclear capabilities and threat?. That statement considered it
    desirable not to consider that agenda item at the 37th session.
    ?The General Conference also recalls the statement by the President of the 43rd session in 1999
    concerning the same agenda item. At the 44th, 45th, 46th, 47th, 48th and 49th sessions, this item was,
    at the request of certain Member States, re-inscribed on the agenda. The item was discussed.
    ?Several Member States requested that this item be included in the provisional agenda of the
    50th regular session of the General Conference.?
    All Member States of the Agency are invited to cooperate in order to remedy this situation
    resulting from the fact that Israel alone possesses nuclear capabilities, which are undeclared and not
    subject to international control and which constitute a permanent threat to peace and security in the
    region.
    The General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency must take appropriate
    measures to ensure that Israel places all its nuclear installations under Agency safeguards and accedes
    to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
    A list of some international resolutions issued on this subject is attached hereto.
    A number of resolutions issued by the United Nations General Assembly and the General
    Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency call upon Israel to place all its nuclear
    installations under Agency safeguards and to accede to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear
    Weapons. These include the following resolutions:

    Reply

  35. TonyForesta says:

    I was hoping for something a little more insightful Arun, and/or something new that would allay my dread concerns, that after exhausting all these suggestions you put forward, and quite a few others, – the system itself is broken, there is no stopping the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government from pursuing thier full steam ahead imperialist, fascist, and exceedingly narcissistic designs, – and tragically – the only available options or potential remedies left to the peoples are increasingly…… unorthodox.
    I appreciate your response.

    Reply

  36. Arun says:

    TonyForesta,
    Become politically active, support and campaign for politicans who share your values, or if you can lead, then lead. Get the people around you to be politically active and aware. Don’t let the opinion makers get away with lies. Organize, organize, organize. There are umpteen legitimate means of expressing your opposition to this administration. Exhaust them.
    Yes, this won’t turn things around overnight. But isn’t expecting that like expecting your crashed car to be fixed in a jiffy and to be totally like new? Or a sedentary man to suddenly be able to run the marathon?
    In any case, the ultimate betrayal of your values will be wearing the mantle of victimhood. I’m not saying people aren’t victims; I am saying that being a victim does not confer any moral weight to anybody.

    Reply

  37. John says:

    I agree, the whole nuclear issue is not worth discussing–it masks the real intentions of the former oil execs occupying the White House, whose goal is to control Iranian energy assets, hand them over to Houston, and perhaps borrow another trillion from the Chinese to pay Lockheed and others for weapons to seize the assets. Having said that, an Iranian bomb could well become a self fulfilling prophecy. The former oil execs all know that they would want nukes if they were Iran’s shoes, facing the American and Israeli military machines. The solution to Iran’s nuclear program is to remove any threat of military action against Iran.
    But even if Iran were to develop nukes, no one has any basis for claiming that Iran would make first use of them. No one but the US has ever made first use of nukes, and then only when there was no threat of nuclear retaliation. Iranians certainly comprehend the concept of mutually assured destruction, like all the other nuke holders.
    All the alarm over Iran’s program is just hype, produced from the same template that got us into Iraq.

    Reply

  38. The Ugly American says:

    I’m sorry Steve doesn’t the nightmare scenario involve Iran using nuclear weapons against Israel or the United States?

    Reply

  39. TonyForesta says:

    Would you, could you pretty please answer a couple of question Arun –
    If as you assert “Nothing is wrong with the system, it is us, us, US.”, – then what recourse do “us, us, US” ie, the American people have to prevent the fascists in the Bush government from hurling our daughters and sons into another ill concieved, poorly planned, unaccounted for, costly, bloody, noendinsight military engagement, and yet another opportunity for wanton profiteering against yet another ME country?
    In short, how it is possible to reign in, or constrain the fascists warmongers and profiteers in the Bush totalitarian dictatorship – I mean government?
    Secondly, if as you assert “Nothing is wrong with the system, it is us, us, US”, then what recourse or remedy can “us, us, US” apply to hold the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush imperial monarchy – I mean government accountable?
    In short, what remedy within the system exists that would allow “us, us, US”, ie., the American people to right the terrible costly bloody wrongs of the fascist warmongers and profiteers in Bush totalitarian dictatorship, – I mean imperial monarchy, – I mean despotic tyranny, – I mean government?

    Reply

  40. TonyForesta says:

    As in 2002 before the horrorshow in Iraq began and the Bush government war pimps were terrorizing the American people with a relentless spew of unsubstantiated, uncorroborated, single sourced, unvetted, exaggerations, hype, disinformation and partisan propaganda, bespeaking of mushroom clouds, known stock piles, and days of horror like none we have ever known – now again we see the same deceptive, PATETNLY FALSE pimping of Iranian nuclear threats.
    Iran does not now have an nuclear weapons. Imagining the intentions of Iranains may make for lively discourse, – but it does not and should not provide the basis, or any justification for the Bush governments reckless provocations and threats cloaked threats of another ill-concieved, poorly planned, bloody, costly, noendinsight war, occupation, and opportunity for wanton profiteering against another ME country.
    The nano-second there exists any real evidence (as opposed to conjured hype) that Iran has any real nuclear weapons capability, – Israel will eliminate that capability. I realize any mention of Israel is like to stir the hornets nest of anti-Israel commentarians here, which is not my intention, – but the point I am hoping to make is that Israel has far more visceral, immediate, and legitimate concerns with Iranian nuclear capabilities than any nation on earth, and will allay those concerns the nano-second those concerns evolve into actual threats.
    In the meantime, intiating another conflict, or escalating existing crisis in the ME at this moment will not enhance the security of America or anyone else in the world.
    There is no sound reason to rush helter skelter into any military exchange with Iran. Though the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government will profit wantonly from an escalation of war, – such madness does NOT serve America’s best interests

    Reply

  41. rich says:

    Wendy Connors wrote:
    >>>”Intelligent people never resort to war. If war does one thing, it decimates a lot of less intelligent people.”<<<
    So, George Washington was not intelligent?
    Sounds like it’s time to form a more perfect union. It’s that, or re-establishing enforcement of the original “more perfect union” and the binding Constitutional contract that sealed the foundation of this country.
    The Founders had the right idea. Current Washington Establishment is laboring under the mistaken impression that the Constitution isn’t operative, is obsolete, or that they’re not obligated to live up to it or enforce it. The whole rationale for being in Iraq is a wholesale betrayal of that contract–as was the way we got into that invasion and occupation.
    There’s a tacit agreement in DC that we don’t gotta live up to it. And THAT’s what’s been killing this country.

    Reply

  42. Carroll says:

    Why are we even discussing Iran’s nuclear intentions?
    When they are sitting next door to Israel who definitely has nukes and has been telling the entire world to blow Iran off the map for how long now?
    The whole discussion about whether they do or don’t want nukes and should or shouldn’t have nukes is ridiculous. Since others have nukes they are within their right to have them too.
    Who is the US to tell everyone who and can’t have nukes? Don’t like nukes?…then get rid of everyone’s. We want the right to decide who is crazy enough to use nukes and who isn’t?…well let us consider the only country in the world who actually used the A-bomb.

    Reply

  43. dan says:

    Steve
    Further to DV’s comments about your “feelings” regarding the internal Iranian debate about the pros and cons of nuclear weaponry, perhaps you could try to square your feelings with the fact that the Iranian position and debate is not exactly a secret, Iranian representatives/analysts do actually make statements/give interviews to the Western media, and are usually quite open about Iran’s policy.
    The position is this: the NPT guarantees Iran the right to develop the nuclear fuel cycle, in return Iran stays within the NNPT, maintains the standard inspection, monitoring and safeguards and should by rights be allowed technology transfers/techncical cooperation from the NSG ( a provision that the US has been opposed to since the early 1990’s when it successfully pressured Germany, Russian and China not to do business with Iran over the development of civilian nuclear power programmes ).
    During the suspension period of 2004-2005, Iran allowed no-notice inspections under the additional safeguards protocols; the IAEA was unable to find any trace of a weapons programme. Iran is aware that the “rights” it enjoys under the NNPT give rise to anxieties, and is prepared to commit to the no-notice inspection regime in return for an explicit recognition of its rights.
    How do your “feelings” square with the explicit condemnation of nuclear weaponry from Khomeini back in the early 1980’s, Khamenei’s fatwa against nuclear weapons in 2004 and Majlis resolutions against the development of nuclear weapons.
    What are your “feelings” about the history of NIE’s regarding Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, which have predicted since 1982 that Iran “could” have a nuclear weapon within 5 years. Clearly, the key cumulative error in all these NIE’s is the attribution of an intention that didn’t exist. De minimis we can conclude from this one very, very significant point: the IRI has no “ideologically grounded” intention to develop nuclear weapons, and that any such intention to do so, should it occur, will likely be based on an objective calculation of its security/survival interests.

    Reply

  44. CathiefromCanada says:

    I think we can all count on the inability of the Bush administration to change course. They are ineffective bumblers who are unable to lead or manage any long-term project effectively, particularly anything that their “base” would disagree with.
    Given that reality, the goal is not to solve any of the larger problems of the Middle East but only to somehow survive the next two years without a regional war — given the Bush administration’s attitudes and provocations, just doing that would be an outstanding achievement. So how is that to be accomplished? Steve, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts.
    My only suggestion is that the other nations of the world have to step up to the plate and bully the US into backing off. I’m not sure that other nations would be capable of stopping Bush and Cheney, or even would be willing to do this — several, actually, would be happy to see the US squander and lose its wealth, its military, and its status as a superpower. So are there any other means to deflect a regional war?

    Reply

  45. myxzptlk says:

    The Democratic leadership needs to take a page from the pre-1980 election Republican play book.
    Democrats don’t control the administration, but they can meet privately with the Iranians and work together to resist Cheney’s war provocations through the end of 2008. A side benefit would be to establish an effective back-channel on Iran’s influence on regional terrorism.

    Reply

  46. Pissed Off American says:

    And BTW, if anyone reading Steve’s blog has Mirengoff’s ear, I challenge him to come here and speak the same lies. Because it would take about thirty seconds to show him for what he really is. Then he could crawl off somewhere, and whisper vagueries and thinly concealed accusations, indirectly offered, without fear of confrontation. Simply, its just the way its done with these guys.

    Reply

  47. Den Valdron says:

    I note that Steve clarifies his position on Iran’s nuclear weapons program. He ‘feels’ that a significant portion of Iran’s political elite wants to develop nuclear weapons.
    And there you have it. It’s a ‘feeling’. Steve is not an expert on Iran’s political elites (Washington elites, quite a different story). He doesn’t speak Farsi, he doesn’t read their newspapers, watch their TV, he doesn’t go to their cocktail parties, he doesn’t know the players.
    But he has a ‘feeling.’
    Please understand, I’m not mocking Steve. I’m merely delineating the limitations of his viewpoint.
    ‘Feelings’ are unreliable. A lot of people had a ‘feeling’ that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons. It just seemed so logical that he would have them, he was a bad guy and all that. In the absence of evidence one way or the other, the natural impulse would be to suspect that he had something salted away.
    But that wasn’t good enough to have a war without evidence. And when the evidence kept turning out to be false or fishy, that eroded the case.
    So it goes with Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The impulse, the feeling, is to say that they must have one. It just seems so logical. The ‘feeling’ is that they probably do.
    But we’ve seen how unreliable that is.
    There are, on deep thinking, logical reasons why Iran would not be developing a nuclear weapon. Formost among these is that a nuclear weapon program does not fit in with their current threat situation. They are much better off putting every dime they’ve got into civil defense and missile systems given the current American threat.
    Particularly since it may boil over at any moment.
    But although it is a serious existential threat, there’s little likelihood that it will be stable and long term enough to justify the investment.
    The bottom line on the Iranian Nuclear Weapons program is that there is no evidence for it, and no reason for it. All there is, is a feeling, albeit shared by many. And that’s not good enough.

    Reply

  48. Pissed Off American says:

    I notice that Condi just stated that she has heard alot of criticism of Bush’s “plan”, but that she hasn’t seen any alternatives. I guess she musta missed the ISG report.
    This morning I was watching some schmuck named Paul Mirengoff, from powerlineblog.com, lie his ass off on national TV, on CNN’s Washington Journal. In response to a caller’s comments, “Paul” stated that Israel was “ambivilent” as to whether or not America attacked Iraq, and that Isreal really didn’t see Saddam as much of a threat. Now, to make comments like that, blatant lies, one has to KNOW they are lying. I have posted here many links containing the official posture of Israel, in the lead up to war. In one news release, they said that the United States must attack Iraq “now sooner than later” because of the threat it posed. In another, they stated that Israel’s intelligence agencies had “proof” of Saddam’s WMD programs.
    I ask you, what would such a man do when having the truth rubbed in his lying scheming mug? Would he apologize, explain how he got his “facts” so horribly wrong? Would he go before CNN’s audience and admit wrongdoing, admit to his lies, try to reinform those that don’t know better, that believed his purposeful deciet? How many Americans walked away from that broadcast with a LIE inmplanted, a LIE they do not have the knowledge to disbelieve? How many are spreading his lies today, like some nasty flu?
    No. Such a man would hunker down, try to defend his bullshit. He must conceal what he truly is at all costs; a weasel, a liar. And when he can no longer support his “facts”, what then can he do? Well, attack YOUR character, of course, you, who dare try to insert the sunlight of truth into his dark little hidey-hole of deception. Failing that, whats left? Become the victim. And that is what the canard of “anti-semitism” has become, the defense of last resort.
    Tell me, if a war with Iran goes as disastrously as many many of us believe it will, when it is seen for the crime many of us see it as, when the lies that are being put forth about Iran’s nuclear program by Israel are shown to be the same kind of empty horseshit they drooled about Iraq, will they do what this lying coward on CNN did, will they deny deny deny, ignoring and refusing to recognize their own culpability?
    You bet. And for pointing it out, I will be called an anti-semite.

    Reply

  49. casual observer says:

    Steve,
    I will look forward to future posts outlining positive policy steps that can be taken. In the meantime, it seems clear that provocations will take place in Iraq against Iranian interests and personell. The Irbil raid simply the opening act.
    Regarding hostilities within Iran itself, hopefully the congress will keep a very close watch on this. The War Powers Resolution clearly states that if armed troops enter foreign sovereign lands or airspace, congress must be notified, in writing, within 48 hours. Failure to do so would be a violation that the american people could clearly understand, freeing the congress to take much stronger action.

    Reply

  50. TonyForesta says:

    Just because you were somnabulant over the last few years, Arun does not mean many of your fellow Americans were so easily duped, or that we were not fightinig against, sounding alarms, and shining hot lights on the deceptive, abusive, failing policies and wanton profiteering of
    Bush government.
    Many American, myself included have been active as bloggers and in other (legal community) ways since this criminal regime hijacked the 2000 election.
    Like all the wingnutsia truebelievers, lockstep partisans, and Bush government apologists, – you choose to attack and slime the messenger, an somehow ignore the grim message. This partisan crowd continually leaps to ridiculous extremes attempting to blame everyone or anyone else for the deceptions, failures, abuses, derelictioin of duty, and wanton profiteering of the fascists in the Bush government.
    The Bush regime ghoulishly exploited the dead and the horrors of 9/11 to deceptively terrorize, SELL, and justify the horrorshow in Iraq to the American people, and conducted this perfidous disinformation warfare campaign based on a festering and yet to be thoroughly investigated litany of deceptions, disinformation, propaganda, sexedup, dodgey, uncorroborated, unsubstantiated exaggerations, hype, and PATENT LIES conjured in the extra governmental fascist OSP/OSI/Chalabi concocted cabals.
    The list of Bush government deceptions, abuses, catastrophic failures, derelictions of duty, wanton profiteering, fascist policies and ideologies, grotesque perversions of the core principles that formally defined America, radical betrayal of the peoples trust, and endemic criminal behavior is long, festering and expanding every day, and there is not sufficient space, nor is there the time to review these issues to the un-informed. Do a little research beyond NewsMax, Limbaugh, and the gospel according Fox, and get back to me.
    Finally as Leslie Pool above mentions, – people like you, and the fascists in the Bush government, and rapturist freaks in the evangelical churchs and the wingnutsia hordes in redneck America all blindly bowed to and glorified the fascists in, and fascist policies of the Bush government in lockstep unison over these long bloody, costly years – repeatedly and systemically slimed your fellow Americans as unpatriotic, anti-American, communist, Frenchloving, effete, lunatic, spawns of the devil giving aid and comfort to the enemy. The complicit parrots in the socalled MSM relentlessly reguritated this nonesense and unsubstantiated patently FALSE and scurrilous slime and venom effectively silencinig and/or negating any debate, and every question, challenge, alternate opinion, or voice of dissent or opposition.
    The same parrots and partisans then curiously FAILED or refused for whatever unknown unknown reason to question or examine or investigate any of the critical, relevent, and disturbing issues your fellow Americans on theleft, and in the DNC were and are raising.
    We, and I personally will accept blame for not failing to physically remove this criminal regime though we excercised and exhausted all available legal means to remedy these horrors including the 2004 elections, – but those who are singularly and exclusively responsible for the ghoulish exploitation of 9/11, the deceptive, bloody, costly, noendinsight horrorshow in Iraq, the nebulous and failing neverendingwaronterror, the wanton profiteering, and the systemic nazification of America and grotesque pervesion of our core principles – are the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush government.
    “Deliver us from evil!”
    Anyone paying attention over the last few years

    Reply

  51. MP says:

    Carroll wrote: “And here’s an idea…let’s take all people who claim an “ethnic” homeland and give them an ethnic homeland somehere…on the condition that that is the ONLY place they can live..they won’t be allowed to live in any other country. All the Kurds have to live in their ethnic homeland and all the jews have to move to their ethnic homeland and all ethnic muslims have to live in their ethnic homeland. That is one way to solve the problem and shut them all up once and for all. Just send them all to their own corners and let them stay there.”
    I LOVE this idea. Can’t wait for all the Native Americans to send all the Anglos back to England, Ireland, Scotland. Is that what it will take for them to get that they, too, are an ethnic group? Question: Should they be forced to sail BACK on the Mayflower–or should they be allowed to fly? I wonder if there’s enough oil in Saudia Arabia to pull this off?

    Reply

  52. bob h says:

    The Iranians have a huge inventory of Silkworm-class missiles, as the Israelis found out this Summer in Lebanon. Will we see an American carrier at the bottom of the Gulf before all this is over?

    Reply

  53. tomz says:

    I notice you conveniently fail to mention the very real possibility of an Israeli false-flag operation against the US and blamed on Iran. Lavon affair, USS Liberty ring a bell with you?
    Squashing dissenting opinions by “banning” is so not 1st amendment.

    Reply

  54. Carroll says:

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L12896544.htm
    The Turkey Kurd problem & Iraq
    And here’s an idea…let’s take all people who claim an “ethnic” homeland and give them an ethnic homeland somehere…on the condition that that is the ONLY place they can live..they won’t be allowed to live in any other country. All the Kurds have to live in their ethnic homeland and all the jews have to move to their ethnic homeland and all ethnic muslims have to live in their ethnic homeland.
    That is one way to solve the problem and shut them all up once and for all. Just send them all to their own corners and let them stay there.

    Reply

  55. sarah says:

    There has been some suggestion that Hicks and all other detainees currently held in Guantanamo Bay should be detained until the cessation of hostilities as a prisoners of war. Though Guantanamo is to the layman’s perception a prisoner-of-war camp, the US has craftily avoided using any terminology which would lead to a recognition of this status, for should detainees be recognised as prisoners-of-war, they would be entitled to the protections of the 3rd Geneva Convention of 1949. Many common practices that occur in Guantanamo directly contravene this treaty, as well as many other international agreements, such as the Convention Against Torture and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Why does our Government persist in the delusion that the US is meeting its international obligations and treating its detainees humanely, when there is substantial evidence to the contrary?
    Posted by: Sarah Holloway at January

    Reply

  56. Leslie Pool says:

    You forget Arun that America’s free and independent press has been shackled by a media oligopoly — with an intense hatred for the Democrats (half of America’s electorate). Far too many of our fellow citizens are being entertained by FNC, politicizing the news by providing the opinions of unqualified “experts” and politicians in lieu of the facts (whilst spewing intolerance, racism, hatred, and misogyny over the air). FCC Chairman Powell has consistently allowed the entertainment and news industries to consolidate, creating a media oligopoly that has been detrimental to an independent free press, guaranteeing Americans are benighted.

    Reply

  57. Arun says:

    Or like the person who fell asleep at the wheel, and the car crashes, and he blames the car manufacturer, the highway designer and the highway patrol – system failure, system failure. When the Founding Fathers created this thing, they did provide a warning that one could not stop paying attention.

    Reply

  58. stickler says:

    There will be no martial law in the United States, and Bush will issue no suspensions of the Constitution.
    Why? Well, for one thing, there is not (yet) a national Police to implement such a thing. And the armed forces are not going to enforce such a ridiculous order. Hell, half the National Guard is busy in the sandbox.
    No, Bush is flailing about, and there are precious few tools available for what he really wants to do.

    Reply

  59. Arun says:

    What I mean to say is, at least face the disaster with some dignity and grace. The piper must be paid. Nothing is wrong with the system, it is us, us, US. One had a fire extinguisher in hand and could have put out the kitchen fire, but did not, and now the house is burning down and one is cursing the fire department! Don’t be so ridiculous.

    Reply

  60. Arun says:

    >>>>>What happened to America that our system does not provide adequate protections from, or structural checks and balances against fascists klans, cabals, coteries, cronies and criminals commandeering our government hurling the nation helter skelter into preemptive ill-concieved, incompetently planned, and unaccounted for wars, occupations, – without consent, review, recourse, by any other branch of the government, and in total disdain for and against the will of the American people!!!??<<<<<<
    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE GAVE THIS PRESIDENT A SECOND TERM, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS OBVIOUS TO ANY ONE WHO LOOKED that this was a government commandeered by cronies and criminals, etc., etc. The American people also in 2004 elected a Republican Congress and Senate which was well-known to be a rubber-stamp of the Bush Adminstration. For the American people to suddenly wake up in 2006 and claim that their system has been hijacked blah blah blah is HYPOCRISY OF THE WORST KIND. Even a BUSH is better than whiners like this.

    Reply

  61. Carroll says:

    Did I do a boo-boo? If so apologies. My frustration regulator is broken and all kinds of things are coming out.

    Reply

  62. TonyForesta says:

    Word Carroll.

    Reply

  63. Jack Ballard says:

    I think we need to remember that a fourth of the worlds oil passes under Irans guns. While they could cause all of the problems you list, just a single missle fired at an oil tanker could drive the oil futures market sky high and cause the complete collapse of Nato. If you think we have little support now just wait until it starts affecting bread on the table in Europe.
    jack

    Reply

  64. Carroll says:

    Intelligent people never resort to war. If war does one thing, it decimates a lot of less intelligent people.
    Posted by Wendy Connors at January 13, 2007 11:29 PM
    >>>>>>>>
    Depends on your definition of intelligence.

    Reply

  65. Wendy Connors says:

    Intelligent people never resort to war. If war does one thing, it decimates a lot of less intelligent people.

    Reply

  66. ... says:

    i agree with Bill Camardas comments… cheney will fight impeachment, but then he is screwing the country royally at present, so what are the alternatives?

    Reply

  67. Carroll says:

    What happened to America that our system does not provide adequate protections from, or structural checks and balances against fascists klans, cabals, coteries, cronies and criminals commandeering our government hurling the nation helter skelter into preemptive ill-concieved, incompetently planned, and unaccounted for wars, occupations, – without consent, review, recourse, by any other branch of the government, and in total disdain for and against the will of the American people!!!??
    Posted by TonyForesta at January 13, 2007 07:17 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>
    You know what happened. Look around. Who cares?
    We are all voyeurs. And when we do try to be heard we are ignored becuase we aren’t the money men. And we are too civilized and fraidy cat to go to DC and snatch the corrupt sob’s out of office and hang them.
    I will leave it to the self appointed analyst who enjoy their own verbose and oh so complicated explainations to explain that that’s just how politics works don’t ya know, and it can’t be changed don’t ya know…it’s all a game don’t ya know…and we have to work “within the system” don’t ya know…we comment on the game and criticize the game..we root for the red team or the blue team. It’s just a game where everyone can be an analyst and a commenator. It’s not about the country silly, it’s about my guys vrs your guys for even the not so brain dead. And god forbid we work “outside of the system” to change anything…that would detract from our commenting on the teams and the game.
    Well, at long last we have the fucking goverment we deserve.
    BURN WASHINGTON TO THE GROUND AND START OVER.

    Reply

  68. TonyForesta says:

    The day marshal law is implemented in America, will be the day the Bush government fascist totalitarian dictatorship pounds the final nail in the coffin of what was once America.
    It will also mark the day that I excersize my 2nd Amendment Rights, (revoked or not) to take up arms against my oppressor and protect the sanctity of my home. From that day forward, – all bets are off. Tragically, it may be sooner than we care to imagine.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

    Reply

  69. Nell says:

    How would an attack empower Ahmadinejad, as distinct from the mullahs? It would disempower all forces for moderation and democratization, for sure, but why Ahm. rather than the Council of Guardians?

    Reply

  70. bAkho says:

    Is Bush really interested in using his State Department? or is Rice running interference to prevent them from challenging Cheney? 2 more years of this.

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  71. pen Name says:

    Without a time table for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq no neogiations are possible with Iran.
    The President’s policy is mostly hot air to re-assure the despotic (religious or secualr – no matter) governments of Arabia, Levant, and Egypt. The pin-pricks against Iranian assets in Iraq will not change the strategic situation. Nor will a bombing campaign and I do not care how extensive it will be.
    From a US perspective the strategic prize is changing the orientation of the Iranian state in such a manner as to take into account US (and also Western) intersts. Bombing will not achieve that – it will make certain that the Iranian state will be opposed to US and West for decades to come. Iran is neither Libya nor Serbia.
    Any way and in principle, US cannot find a better friend in the Near East than the Islamic Republic of Iran .

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  72. SaveUsFromBush says:

    I just hope that Congress or somebody can stop Bush an Cheney before they make all of our lives miserable, which is what a strike on Iran would do.
    Congress should mandate that any funds used for any further operations be subjected to full Congressional review, starting with hearings on all the events leading up to the mess we’re in right now.
    Invariably, such hearings will uncover such disgusting abuses of power, we’ll see a line of impeachment and/or mass resignations that this country has never seen.
    And the world will breathe a sigh of relief. And party until the sun rises (which they will do anyway once Bush and Cheney are out of power)

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  73. wisedup says:

    Do you really think that Cheney is not going to fight against impeachment? He’d rather destroy the country with a declaration of martial law — his nuclear option — than permit impeachment.

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  74. karenk says:

    Since the Bush Admin is obviously incapable of any level of diplomacy, why wouldn’t Syria and Iran turn to military responses? Unfortunately they’d just be speaking to Bush and Co. in a language they understand.

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  75. Bill Camarda says:

    Of course it is impossible to implement a creative, bold alternative approach as long as GWB is in office. After the failure of James Baker & Co. to rein Bush in, this has become frighteningly clear.
    By all means let us craft an alternative approach. It’s crucial that we do so. But let us also be clear that Bush and Cheney must be impeached in order for it to be implemented before it is too late.
    Three months ago, I would have thought impeachment was impossible, and that discussing it was nothing but a pie-in-the-sky distraction. Now I think it is at least conceivable, and that Bush and Cheney have foreclosed all of our other options.

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  76. DonS says:

    This consensus that we need to muster to make the President and the Congress uniformly change course had best be a mighty one. This President is increasingly tone deaf. I believe it would be the Congress, and those (if any)particularly influential with the President who will have to lead. IF the President is not too far gone (in which case he must be impeached).
    While the Congress seems to be rousing a bit from its more supine posture, it is still questionable whether it can muster the vision to take the leap Steve suggests — a leap, by the way, which I believe works to America’s advantage by putting it’s power, so easily out maneuvered in post industrial conflict, in an entirely unexpected diplomatic direction where it could have some force.
    Now, is Congress all talk and bluster, or is it willing to act, with all its informal levers of influence? Not just posture, but push (and, I hate to be the scratchy needle here, but will it go against the grain of AIPAC. Damn, I wish we didn’t always have to contend with that reality.)

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  77. Den Valdron says:

    Late next week, a group of elite Iranian Commandos operating under the cover of a Mujahedeen operation will infiltrate Basra and take over a radio station, calling for an uprising against the foreign infidels. Luckily, quick response by American and British forces will catch the treacherous redhanded. After a pitched battle in which every one of the suicidal fanatics is killed, the plot will be unveiled.
    The ultimate proof? All the dead Iranians will be wearing Polish Army Uniforms.

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  78. TonyForesta says:

    As the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and rapturists fanatics in the Bush government feverishly work to provoke a Reichstadt fire like event providing the “casus belli” for an escalation, or more accurately – a conflageration in the ME involving Iran, and or Syria, and who knows who, – it begs the disturbing question – what can anyone do to prevent this madness.
    What happened to America that our system does not provide adequate protections from, or structural checks and balances against fascists klans, cabals, coteries, cronies and criminals commandeering our government hurling the nation helter skelter into preemptive ill-concieved, incompetently planned, and unaccounted for wars, occupations, – without consent, review, recourse, by any other branch of the government, and in total disdain for and against the will of the American people!!!??
    We are witness to, and the abused victims of the NAZIFICATION of America, and a leadership run amock.
    There is no stopping the despotic tyrants and fascist in the Bush government totalitarian dictatorship.
    It is full steam ahead, no matter how costly, bloody, or how intensely or pervasely opposed the American people are to the escalation of the horrorshow in Iraq and beyond.
    How do American restrain a fascist leadership mad with power, and drenched in our blood and treasure!!?
    American’s – the American people have no recourse, no remedy, no involvement, no say, and no hope for stopping, or restraining the criminal machinations and insane policies of the fascist warmongers, wanton profiteers, and fanaticus rapturist zealots in the Bush government.
    Voltaire is correct. The only hope for freedom, peace, and democracy is “…strangling the last king with the entrails of the last priest.”
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  79. Marcia says:

    If there is still the slightest chance for diplomacy to produce positive results naturally no opportunity should be ignored.
    One of the major impediments to any successful outcome is our own administration. We cannot believe a word they say, their duplicity is not reserved to domestic issues, so how can we possibly expect any foreign diplomate or head of state to do so?
    Our credibility is null. The mask has fallen. People world-wide see the visage of power-grabbing through brute force with no frills.
    Who is going to buy stock in such a regime? Already in the east other alliances are forming as well as in South America.
    Can Bush imagine he can go like Alexander into Persia before returning to cut brush on his “ranch”.

    Reply

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