IRAN Conferene A “GO” Today in Snowy Washington, DC


This conference will proceed as scheduled today — despite the weather.
The US Senate just informed us that they are open, caterers are there — and I’ll be there.
For those of you iced and snowed in, read Glenn Kessler’s piece today — and look for news from Flynt Leverett on this subject later today.
For others, here is the schedule:

The New America Foundation/American Strategy Program &
The National Iranian American Council cordially invite you to a full day national policy forum on
U. S. -Iran Relations: Collision, Stand-Off, or Convergence?
Wednesday, 14 February 2007
628 Dirksen Senate Office Building, US Senate

9:30 am
Registration & Coffee
Welcoming Remarks
Steven Clemons
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Trita Parsi
President, National Iranian American Council
10:00 am – 10:30 am
Ruse or Opportunity?
The Provenance of Iran’s spring 2003 negotiations offer
Flynt Leverett
Senior Fellow & Director, Geopolitics of Energy Initiative, New America Foundation and
Former Senior Director for Middle East Affairs, National Security Council
Col. Lawrence Wilkerson
Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Department of State
Trita Parsi
President, National Iranian American Council
10:30 am-12:00 pm
Iran’s Nuclear Challenge — Debating the Technical Dimensions
Bruno Pellaud
Chairman, IAEA Experts Group on Multilateral Approaches to the Fuel Cycle
Former Deputy Director General and Head, IAEA Department of Safeguards
Maurizio Martellini
Secretary General for Landau Network-Centro Volta
Consultant on Non-Proliferation, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
David Kay
Senior Fellow, Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Former IAEA/UNSCOM Chief Nuclear Weapons Inspector in Iraq
Joseph Cirincione
Senior Vice President for National Security and International Policy
Center for American Progress
12:00 pm-1:45 pm
A Consideration of US Policy Options Toward Iran
Steven Clemons
Director, American Strategy Program, New America Foundation
Keynote Pre-Lunch Remarks
The Hon. Jane Harman
Chairperson, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment
Committee on Homeland Security
US House of Representatives
Keynote Post-Lunch Remarks
Francis Fukuyama
Bernard L. Schwartz Professor of International Political Economy
School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
2:00 pm-3:45 pm
Iran’s Pretensions and a Turbulent Middle East
The Hon. Matthew Levitt
Director, Stein Program on Intelligence, Security & Policy, Washington Institute for Near East Policy
former Deputy Asst. Secretary for Intelligence & Analysis, Department of the Treasury
Daniel Levy
Senior Fellow, New America Foundation;
Former Advisor to Prime Minister Ehud Barak
Lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative
Dafna Linzer
National Security Correspondent
Washington Post
Trita Parsi
President, National Iranian American Council
Dr. Bahram Rajaee
National Iranian American Council

This will be a cool meeting — and readers of The Washington Note are invited to be my guest. We will have box lunches and refreshments at the meeting,
— Steve Clemons


23 comments on “IRAN Conferene A “GO” Today in Snowy Washington, DC

  1. selise says:

    howdy erichwwk –
    i also tried the capitol hearings link… apparently there was no audio feed. very disappointing… would have liked to listen to a live feed.
    on the bright side, it looks like the new america foundation will be posting audio/video links soon.
    here’s the webpage to watch:
    many thanks to steve for making it possible for those of us “outside the beltway” to have access to these lectures/discussions.


  2. pauline says:

    Craig Unger and Rick MacArthur were interviewed on DemocracyNow!Tuesday evening and covered Unger’s Vanity Fair article, “From the Wonderful Folks Who Brought You Iraq”.
    It’s definitely worth more than one video replay at —


  3. JoMoHo says:

    POA, excellent points on depth of lying in the Bush admin (and therefore of the entire GOP as its leading figure).
    I might still frame it as indifference to truth. To lie you must CARE about the truth, although in such a way as to have a prima facie desire to misrepresent it. These bozos have utter disregard for truth; in fact, they invent their own. Truth becomes relative — to be measured as “true” only in the context of the fantasy world that Rove et al. creates. The building blocks of their fantasy become untethered from the realm of reality rendering Rove FREE to build whatever edifice he should desire.
    On first glance this may seem milder than lying. I would argue that it is far MORE sinister. In our current post-modern world of dis-enlightenment style reasoning and relative values and truths the Rove story-mill seems a natural progression.
    Fear the liar, but be terrified of the truth-deaf fool who sucks a nation into his psychotic delusion.
    As an example of the delusion check this out:


  4. Easy E says:

    Wonder what Iran Invasion Plan looks like?
    The US invasion plan for Iraq envisaged that only 5,000 US troops would remain in Iraq by December 2006, declassified Central Command documents show.
    The material also shows that the US military projected a stable, pro-US and democratic Iraq by that time.
    The August 2002 material was obtained by the National Security Archive (NSA). Its officials said the plans were based on delusional assumptions.
    The US currently has some 132,000 troops in the violence-torn state……


  5. DonS says:

    And via Huffington Post here is a Yahoo news story on Flynt’s assertions. I’d say that fronting this issues may have been worth the price of admission (and braving the elements) alone. It would be nice if reporters did more reporting on this as part of a new effort to do their jobs vs practicing their stenography.


  6. Pissed Off American says:

    So Steve, I’m dying of curiousity. Did all the participants of the conference perform their expected roles, and sufficiently outline this year’s boogie man for us?? Or are you all still working on the manual for Bush’s next great deception?


  7. sdemetri says:

    Iran has proposed a referendum in Palestine in which all parties, Israelis and Palestinians, would participate to determine the form of government that should govern Palestine. As the state of Israel was plunked down in the midst of Palestine displacing anyone in the way, this proposal is on its face a democratic solution to the intractable problem of displaced people and appropriated land. Not likely to happen, but based on a populous, democratic framework.
    This referendum was mentioned in part of Mike Wallace’s “60 Minutes” interview of Ahmandinejad in Aug 2006, and again mentioned in Ahmandinejad’s Time magazine interview last year. It has appeared in several speeches made by Ahmandinejad at various conferences over the past couple of years.
    The government that replaces the “Zionist regime” would be considered the legitimate government of Palestine by Iran. Under this arrangement, the Zionist regime is “eliminated from the pages of time,” referencing the oft misquoted assumption that Iran wants to “wipe Israel off the map.” Indications are Iran would like to see the Zionist regime eliminated, not the Israeli people.


  8. Carroll says:

    The hearing made the news with the headline:
    Ex-Aide says Condi Misled congress on Iran overture
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Controversy over a possible missed U.S. opportunity for rapprochement with Iran grew on Wednesday as former aide accused Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice of misleading Congress on the issue.
    Flynt Leverett, who worked on the National Security Council when it was headed by Rice, said a proposal vetted by Tehran’s most senior leaders was sent to the United States in May 2003 and was akin to the 1972 U.S. opening to China.
    Speaking at a conference on Capitol Hill, Leverett said he was confident it was seen by Rice and then-Secretary of State Colin Powell but “the administration rejected the overture.”


  9. john says:

    Key Democrats in US Congress are seeking a way to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention camp by choking off its funding.
    Congressman John Murtha said Democrats were digging through defence department mechanisms to find a way of cutting funding to the base in Cuba, where terror suspects including Australian David Hicks are held.
    “We’re looking at a schedule – a reasonable schedule – to close it down in stages,” said Murtha.
    “We can limit the funds for it and that would shut it down.”
    The Pentagon declined to respond to Murtha’s plan, including how feasible the proposal was and whether there is in fact Guantanamo-specific funding that Congress could cut from future appropriations.
    Murtha, who retired after 37 years’ service as a Marine Corps colonel, has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war on terror.
    He has taken aim at the Guantanamo prison camps for suspected terrorists through his powerful perch as chair of the house appropriations subcommittee on defence.
    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shares Murtha’s “concern about the damage done to the standing of the United States in the eyes of the world by the lengthy detention of so many people at Guantanamo without resolution of their cases”, said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.
    So far, Murtha’s proposal to cut off funding has not gained traction in the Senate.
    But just 10 days ago, he sent fellow committee member James P. Moran, and staffers to tour the base with an eye to how to choke off funding for the sprawling, five-year-old detention centre, which now holds about 395 foreign captives.
    “They’re still working on the proposal for how they would deal with the detainees, but the plan is to shut down the detention part of Guantanamo,” said Moran spokesman Austin Durrer, who added that Moran had been “concerned about the situation for a couple of years”.
    And there is precedent.
    Congress earlier legislated that the Pentagon could not build permanent bases in Iraq, she said


  10. Freedom says:

    Ah well, Easy E! That’s the Internet for you! My comment has not appeared yet. I guess Steven will post it some time later (I received a notice that it will be and not to re-send it.) If it does not appear by tomorrow, I’ll repost.


  11. Freedom says:

    Easy E, I just entered a comment with regards to the piece you posted from Rosa Schmidt Azadi. I should have addressed the comment to you instead. Sorry about that!


  12. Freedom says:

    Mrs. Azadi, you wrote the following about the Holocaust conference: “As for the European Holocaust deniers who were among the speakers at the Holocaust conference in Tehran, I just can’t figure it out, unless Ahmadinejad is trying to win popularity points with pro-Palestinian regional populations by appearing to be unafraid of Israel and the US. Or he could be a fool and/or a religious fundamentalist (like some other presidents who shall go unnamed).”
    I don’t know whether you read the column by Stephen Gowans on this issue in which he wrote that Ahmadinejad might really have been trying to show the double standard of the West as regards “free speech” and not to question the Holocaust per se: “Last point: If the real aim of the conference was to call the Holocaust into question, it would hardly make sense to assemble a gang of hacks, flakes and whack-jobs whose credibility is nil. On the other hand, if the aim was to show that free speech doesn’t justify a repellent, silly, and disgusting display, inviting David Duke and his gaggle of misfits, was the right stroke.
    And speaking of Iran, here’s a little something to lighten things up a bit:


  13. JohnH says:

    Good posts today.
    Obviously, the Bu_Sh folks have to lie. They fully realize that most people would adamantly oppose their goals if they ever realized what they were. So the neocons create lies faster than they can be debunked. And even when they’re debunked the corporate media is all too willing keep repeating them.
    Meanwhile the realists have developed a Pavlovian response to the word Iran, parroting: “vital strategic interests, squawk, vital strategic interests.” Ask them to explain, and they look at you like you’re a bird of a different species. No wonder they have trouble winning the debate. At least the neocons are creative in coming up with plausible responses!
    And of course our beloved Senators and Congressmen are caught in the middle and paralyzed. They hear our demands for honest answers but are beholden to higher, special interests who expect to remain nameless.


  14. Pissed Off American says:

    More from ‘Frontline’ Interviews: Carl Bernstein on Nixon vs. Bush
    By E&P Staff
    Published: February 14, 2007 12:15 PM ET
    NEW YORK Part one of the new PBS “Frontline” four-page series on the media debuted last night, mainly looking at the Plame affair. As usual, only snippets from dozens of interviews will make it on the air, but is helpfully putting complete transcripts of many of the interviews up on its Web site (as we note in a separate article).
    Here is a brief excerpt from the interview with Watergate sleuth Carl Bernstein. The interviewer is Lowell Bergman.
    Q. Finally, I just want to get your reflections on the [famously contentious] relationship of Richard Nixon and the press. … How does that compare to George W. Bush and the press?
    BERNSTEIN: First, Nixon’s relationship to the press was consistent with his relationship to many institutions and people. He saw himself as a victim. We now understand the psyche of Richard Nixon, that his was a self-destructive act and presidency.
    I think what we’re talking about with the Bush administration is a far different matter in which disinformation, misinformation and unwillingness to tell the truth — a willingness to lie both in the Oval Office, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, in the office of the vice president, the vice president himself — is something that I have never witnessed before on this scale.
    The lying in the Nixon White House had most often to do with covering up Watergate, with the Nixon administration’s illegal activities. Here, in this presidency, there is an unwillingness to be truthful, both contextually and in terms of basic facts that ought to be of great concern to people of all ideologies. …
    This president has a record of dishonesty and obfuscation that is Nixonian in character in its willingness to manipulate the press, to manipulate the truth. We have gone to war on the basis of misinformation, disinformation and knowing lies from top to bottom.
    continues at….


  15. Easy E says:

    By Ray McGovern
    An understated headline moved me yesterday; it was atop AP’s explosively formed story about the “explosively formed penetrators” traced to Iran that are killing our troops in Iraq: “Democrats Skeptical of Starting Row With Iran.” Yawn.
    Webster’s: “row” – “a noisy disturbance or quarrel.” Yawn.
    What about starting another unwinnable war – this time with Iran? If you are a member of Congress, does it suffice to be “skeptical” about that? Hello?
    On January 19, Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W. Va., chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The New York Times he believes the White House is developing a case for taking action against Iran, even though U.S. intelligence is not well informed about politics in Iran. “To be quite honest, I’m concerned that it’s Iraq again,” said Rockefeller. “This whole concept of moving against Iran is bizarre.”
    Ten days later he told Wolf Blitzer, “I have a great deal of worry that this [escalation of the war in Iraq] could expand…into some kind of action with respect to Iran, which I think would be an enormous mistake.”
    Then why not stop it, Senator Rockefeller? Stop the war against Iran before it starts. You are chair of the intelligence committee. You don’t have to be stonewalled, as previous chair Senator Bob Graham was in September 2002. Yes, he voted against the war in Iraq because he knew of the games being played with the intelligence. But he failed to play a leadership role; he didn’t tell his 99 colleagues they were being diddled. It’s time for some leadership.
    Several of your colleague senators were reeking of red herring when they arrived home from yesterday’s talk shows. Many of them allowed the administration to divert attention from the main issue with Iran – its nuclear development plans. Instead, the focus was on explosive technology Iran is reported to be giving to Shiite elements to blow up U.S. vehicles on the roads of Iraq. This transport problem is compounded by the unfriendly skies there, where a handful of U.S. helicopters have been shot down in recent weeks. So the problem with “explosively formed penetrators” in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at roadside is real enough.
    Why not take the Army’s PowerPoint show-and-tell to Tehran, confront the Iranian leaders and demand they stop? Sorry, I forgot: we don’t talk with bad people. Well, we might try it, just this once.
    The real fly in the ointment – the real aim of the U.S. military buildup in the Persian Gulf and of threatening gestures elsewhere – has to do with Iran’s nuclear plans. Recent revelations that the Bush administration summarily rejected Iranian overtures in 2003 to include this neuralgic topic among others in a broad bilateral discussion strengthens the impression that President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney actually prefer the military option to destroy Iranian nuclear-related facilities. In any case, the recent hype and provocative actions are likely to end up with an attack on Iran, unless Congress moves quickly to head it off.
    Show Me the Intelligence
    Where is the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on prospects for Iran’s nuclear capability? You, Senator Rockefeller now have the power to ensure that such estimates are done regularly and in a timely way. An estimate is said to be under way, but at a seemingly leisurely pace completely inappropriate to the circumstances. And there has been no NIE on this key issue since spring 2005.
    As you know, the Bush/Cheney administration is no fan of NIEs, unless they can get the likes of former Pentagon functionary Douglas Feith and former CIA director George Tenet to fix the estimate to the policy – as the recent Defense Department Inspector General report’s proved.
    In any case, the 2005 NIE concluded that Iran would not be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon until “early to mid-next decade,” with general consensus that 2015 would probably be the earliest. Interestingly, since 1995, U.S. intelligence officials continually estimated Iran to be “within five years” of the capability to make nuclear weapons.
    The new NIE in 2005, though, was the first key estimate managed by widely respected Thomas Fingar, the State Department officer who took leadership of the National Intelligence Council earlier that year. Its key judgments were not welcome downtown, however, since they were issued at a time when Vice President Dick Cheney was warning of a “fairly robust new nuclear program,” in Iran, and was painting the threat – and particularly the danger to Israel – as far more imminent.
    Several patriotic truth tellers (aka leakers) told The Washington Post of the NIE’s main judgments. The exposure of the intelligence judgments came amid credible reports that the vice president had ordered up contingency plans for a large-scale air assault on Iran, that included tactical nuclear weapons to take out hardened underground nuclear facilities.
    The 2005 estimate noted indications that Iran was conducting clandestine work, but there was no information linking those projects directly to a nuclear weapons program. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) still has found no conclusive evidence that Iran is tying to build nuclear weapons. (Does that bring back painful memories of Iraq four years ago?) But unlike Iraq, which had been frightened into awarding full cooperation with U.N. inspectors in early 2003, Iran was far less than candid in responding to IAEA questions, and the agency has suspended some aid to Iran and criticized it for concealing certain nuclear-related activities.
    The ambiguities are such that, if we bombed Iran, we would once again be going to war in the subjunctive mood.
    The dearth of hard evidence shines through some of the more disingenuous pleading of senior administration officials – Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in particular, who have argued that with all the oil at Iran’s disposal it does not need nuclear energy. The trouble is that when Cheney was President Gerald Ford’s chief of staff, he and then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld persuaded Ford to give the Shah a nuclear program to meet its future energy requirements. There is even more credibility to that claim now. Energy experts note that oil extraction in Iran is already near peak and that the country will need alternatives to oil in the coming decades.
    In 1976, Ford reluctantly signed a directive offering Iran a deal that would have brought at least $5.4 billion for U.S. corporations like Westinghouse and General Electric, had not the Shah been unceremoniously ousted three years later. The offer included a reprocessing facility for a complete nuclear-fuels cycle – essentially the same capability that the United States, Israel and other countries now insist Iran cannot be allowed to acquire. This is, of course, no secret to Khomeini’s successors.
    What Can Be Said
    What Iran is seeking is an enrichment capability, and that capability would allow it eventually to produce nuclear weapons. Whether the Iranians intend to use that technology in the near term for that purpose is open to debate. But if they can develop a commercial/civilian enrichment capability, they will have what Israel calls the “nuclear option.” What cannot be honestly said at this point is what Nicholas Burns, number three in the State Department, has been saying: “There is no doubt Iran is seeking nuclear weapons.” You would think they would take care not to use the exact same phrases they used just four years ago making spurious charges regarding “Iraq’s nuclear program.”
    One can argue, as French President Jacques Chirac did in a recent moment of candor, that Iran’s possession of a nuclear weapon would not be “very dangerous,” because Iran is well aware that if it fired it at Israel, Tehran would be immediately “razed.” And the post-WWII experience saw mutual deterrence work for 45 years. But the suggestion that the Israeli government try to relax into the concept of deterrence in view of the formidable nuclear arsenal Israel already has, tends to fall on deaf ears. And, given memories of the Holocaust and the ranting of Iran’s current president, this is in some degree understandable.
    But there is an equally compelling reason to dissuade Iran from going nuclear. And that is the nuclear proliferation to which that would inevitably lead in the Middle East. The U.S. needs to engage in direct talks with Tehran; we do have common interests and concerns, and we could work toward devising ways to alleviate Israeli fears. But, given the testosterone and myopia that color the Bush administration’s behavior in that region, appeals to those realities and approaches seem to fall on deaf ears.
    Congress Must Act
    Please, Senator Rockefeller, the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran’s nuclear situation is said to be targeted for completion in March. That’s too late; you need to read it before the bombs and missiles start falling on Iran.
    An attack on Iran would bring catastrophe. Americans would want to know our reasons for doing so. “Explosively formed penetrators” are unlikely to persuade. Nor will a nuclear threat to the U.S. 10 years hence be found convincing. Iran poses no immediate threat to America. It is right that we be concerned about the security of Israel, but the burden of proof should be on those who argue that deterrence cannot work in that situation.
    Most important, bilateral talks with Iran are a sine qua non. Given the circumstances, including heightened tensions and the danger of miscalculation, avoiding face-to-face encounters makes little sense.
    Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC. During his 27 years as a CIA analyst, he chaired NIEs and prepared the president’s daily brief. He is now on the steering group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.


  16. Easy E says:

    ***IT’S TIME FOR A C-O-U-P!!!!!!!!!!!!!*****
    Bush continuing to claim IRAN is killing U.S. troops…
    despite DENIAL from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace
    Quote of the day from ‘shrub’: “Hard For Me Living In This Beautiful White House To Give You An Assessment”


  17. JoMoHo says:

    Alan de Bristol makes a good point: instead of being a LSOSA (Lying Sack Of Shit Alert) it may instead be an ABICA (Another Boob in Congress Alert).
    Citizens care about truth. Politicians care about getting reelected. Truth is NOT the goal for them. It is an accident if something resembling the truth comes out of these shitbags’ mouths. They are NOT liars they are absolutely INDIFFERENT to truth: they don’t give a fuck whether what they say is true just whether it gets them funds and votes and if it is true, great (for the single neuron worth of conscience they may have in their hypertrophied-shmooze-center based brains), if not who the hell cares (unless it affects funds and votes; then deny, deny, blame, change the subject and deny).
    Rove is quoted by Frank Rich to take it even further: (paraphrasing) “I make the truth”. They fabricate a VERSION of reality (i.e. fantasy) that can be spun, focus group tested, packaged, and sold to the idiot sheep who watch Fox news and care more about Pamela Anderson’s dildo collection than whether 600,000 Iraqis have been mutilated, millions more displaced and countless others psychologically traumatized from having to endure the reality of it all.
    Demanding “truth” from these boobs (right and left) is like milking a horse–maybe bioligically feasible but your probably gonna end up without milk and with a few broken ribs instead.


  18. Easy E says:

    OpEd News: Six Lies You Shouldn’t Believe About Iran, Especially Since, Hey, There’s People Down Here.
    By Rosa Schmidt Azadi
    It feels so different watching an aircraft carrier group coming toward you than watching it sailing away from you toward another part of the world.
    I’m an American who used to live in New York City. All my life, when I heard about warships, it was US warships going places far away. I never even imagined hostile warships sailing toward New York. Now I’m in Tehran, and aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis is heading our way. And as it sails, people are discussing Israel and/or the US bombing Iran as if my family and 69 million other people weren’t even here. I’m getting scared.
    Most Iranians that I know don’t worry about this as much as I do, though they’re wondering how the sanctions will affect the economy. Khomeini had a famous saying that we actually saw on a sign yesterday in another town: “America can’t do anything to us.” Some friends here speculate that Bush just needs an enemy so that he can continue his programs in the US, and that Iran is the enemy du jour. I wish I could believe that.
    The way I see it, somebody has to stop the US president right now, and it’s very upsetting that the Congress isn’t doing it. My frustration is greater because I’m in a country where the Internet is not completely available. For example, I tried to send a donation to Dennis Kucinich, but PayPal wouldn’t take it because of the embargo. I tried to write to my Congressperson, but the Islamic Republic blocked the communication, presumably because it was with the US government. (Sometimes news stories that I want to read are blocked, too, but there are ways around that.)
    If the US and/or Israel attack Iran, it will be a war based on lies, just like the Iraq war. Iraq didn’t have WMD, but Iraqis died in the hundreds of thousands. The lies about Iran seem intended to, first, make Iran look like the new Nazi state that must be bombed so as to avoid a new Holocaust, and second, make Americans fear that Iran will hurt our soldiers in Iraq or give nuclear weapons to terrorists who will hurt us in “the homeland.”
    History shows that Americans are very susceptible to demonization of particular leaders of countries that the US wants to attack. Remember Castro? Noriega? Saddam? Now it’s Ahmadinejad. Whatever people think of views attributed to Ahmadinejad, it remains the case that it’s not morally acceptable to kill people because of their president, whether that president be Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or George Bush.
    I want to discuss six big lies we are hearing to justify expanding the war to Iran.
    LIE NUMBER 1: President Ahmadinejad “has repeatedly threatened to wipe Israel off the map.”
    Even Al Jazeera English version based in Qatar keeps saying that. Why hasn’t this mistranslation been corrected after it’s been thoroughly exposed? (in the Guardianand
    Juan Cole, in Informed Comment, explained how “wiped off the map” was a mistranslation; Ahmadinejad was restating the official Iranian policy that the government system based on Zionism must end. And why the heck can’t newscasters learn to pronounce the man’s name? Anyone who knows Farsi could teach them in a minute. Why should we think they know what he said, in Farsi, if they can’t even say his name?
    LIE NUMBER 2: The Iranian government is run by 1930s-style anti-Semites.
    Last Spring, a story was planted that the Iranian parliament had passed a law forcing Iranian Jews to wear yellow badges. “Fourth Reich,” screamed a banner headline on one of the New York City tabloids. In a few days, the neocon source was disclosed and the story was completely retracted by the Canadian paper in which it was first published. The New York paper never apologized. When I mention the “yellow badges” to people here in Iran, they look incredulous. “But … that didn’t happen.” I know. But I’ll bet there are some Americans, and Israelis, who actually believe Jewish Iranians are walking around wearing yellow badges.
    LIE NUMBER 3: Iran is bent on wiping out the Jews.
    Maybe Americans should have a little humility and remember how recalcitrant the US was about accepting Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler during WWII. Iran has a very good history, under Cyrus the Great, of protecting the Jews. The long history of Jews in Persia is indicated by a monument to the Jewish prophet Daniel in the south of Iran. As for the European Holocaust deniers who were among the speakers at the Holocaust conference in Tehran, I just can’t figure it out, unless Ahmadinejad is trying to win popularity points with pro-Palestinian regional populations by appearing to be unafraid of Israel and the US. Or he could be a fool and/or a religious fundamentalist (like some other presidents who shall go unnamed).
    LIE NUMBER 4: Iran is causing trouble in Iraq and threatening Arab states.
    Everyone should be very clear: Who’s meddling in Iraq, who’s flying thousands of missions shooting at Iraqi citizens, who attacked whose diplomatic mission, who is detaining whose citizens, and who has announced that it is supporting subversive operations inside whose country and across whose border (from Iraqi Kurdistan)? Most likely some of the undemocratic and unpopular rulers in the Middle East are afraid that their own citizens may be attracted to the Iranian model. That may concern the US oil men and financiers who have business and military ties with them, but it’s not a reason for Americans to back destruction of Iran.
    LIE NUMBER 5: Iran is dangerous to humanity because it’s trying to get nuclear weapons.
    Other people who know more than I are writing about the nuclear issues. But regarding threats by Israel and the US to bomb Iranian nuclear research sites, that’s a violation of international law, not to mention a danger to innocent civilians. Regulating nuclear activities is the responsibility of the IAEA. So far, the IAEA has declared that Iran does not have nuclear weapons and is in compliance with the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. That’s more than we can say about the USA, which is supposed to be actively disarming its 10,000 warheads, not refurbishing them and developing new kinds of nuclear weapons. Though there are good reasons to think Iran does not want nuclear weapons, let’s imagine, just for the sake of argument, that Iran would someday acquire them. Humanity has managed to live with other countries having nukes. The only reason Iran’s having nukes would be of greater concern would be if the lies spelled out above were true. But they’re lies.
    LIE NUMBER 6: Iranians are looking to the USA to bring them democracy, just like the USA has brought democracy to Afghanistan and Iraq.
    I’m living here in Tehran, Iran, now, with my family, as are many other Americans, Europeans, Asians, and other foreigners. We are inviting friends and relatives to come and visit. The skiing’s fine. More democracy and more civil liberties would be better, but there are elections and there are laws and there are non-governmental organizations and you can approach public officials. Whatever’s not right with this country is the business of the people here to work on. Some Iranians living in other countries want the US to “save” Iran. I don’t know, but I suspect people like that would like the US to magically bring back the good old days when the US-allied Shah sat on his throne and the well-off classes had a fine life. If anyone finds any overseas Iranians who actually are willing to see Iran bombed, I hope the reporters ask them if they have any relatives currently living in Iran. I hope Americans don’t take these has-beens too seriously.
    Authors Bio: Rosa Schmidt Azadi is a long-time peace activist, an anthropologist, and a retired civil servant who’s also a wife, daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt, godmother, and the mother of two college students. After walking out of the smoke of the 9-11 attacks in New York City and returning to participate in the recovery effort, Rosa began working to prevent further death and destruction in other countries at the hands of the U.S. government. Participating in a peace vigil at the World Trade Center site for more than three years gave her the privilege of talking with thousands of people from all over the world about things that matter most. Dr. Azadi has earned two advanced degrees and is still learning. Currently, she’s splitting her time between Tehran, Iran, and upstate New York.


  19. Easy E says:

    IRAN also a GO for Bush:
    despite DENIAL from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Pace
    ***IT’S TIME FOR A C-O-U-P!!!*****


  20. erichwwk says:

    Capital hearings link not working for me.
    Any suggestions? selise?


  21. Alan de Bristol says:

    POA, maybe Rep. Wilson is so ill-informed that he still believes the ridiculous pre-war spin about Zarqawi’s group,Al-Ansar al-Islam, operating in Northern Iraq being a credible justification for war.
    When this was being spun in the pre-war period it indicated to me how baseless the administration’s case for war had to be. Such a ludicrous misstatement of the reality, transparently false to anyone with any real knowledge of the situation,would have been unnecessary if real substantive grounds had existed.
    I hope a majority of Americans do remember this lie and understand it to have been a lie.


  22. Easy E says:

    What would be the consequences of a US or Israeli attack on Iran?s nuclear energy sites?
    02/12/07 “ICH” — — At the 2006 Perdana Global Peace Forum, Australian medical scientist Dr. Helen Caldicott provided an authoritative analysis: [VIDEO – of the devastating impact on human life that would result from the radiation release from such an attack.
    Dr. Caldicott described the catastrophic deaths that would result from a conventional attack on nuclear facilities and the long-term increase in cancer deaths from the radiation release.
    Should the attack be made with nuclear weapons–as some of Bush?s criminally insane neoconservative advisers advocate–the populations of many countries would suffer for generations from radioactive particles in air, water, and food chains. Deaths would number in the many millions.
    Such an attack justified in the name of ?American security? and ?American hegemony? would constitute the rawest form of evil the world has ever seen, far surpassing in evil the atrocities of the Nazi and Communist regimes.
    Dr. Caldicott detailed the horrible long-term consequences for the Iraqi population from the US military?s current use of depleted uranium in explosive ammunition used in Iraq. Caldicott explained that ?depleted? does not mean depleted of radiation. She explained that each time such ammunition is used, radioactive particles are released in the air and are absorbed into people?s lungs. We are yet to see the horrific civilian casualty rate of the American invasion–or the true casualty rate among US troops.
    Dr. Caldicott expressed bewilderment why the rest of the world does not stand up to the US and force a halt to its crimes against humanity.
    One man heard her–Vladimir Putin, President of Russia.
    On February 10 at the 43rd Munich Security Conference, President Putin told the world?s assembled political leaders that the US was trying to establish a ?uni-polar world,? which he defined as ?one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master.?
    This goal, Putin said, was a ?formula for disaster.?
    ?The United States,? Putin said, truthfully, ?has overstepped its borders in all spheres? and ?has imposed itself on other states.?
    The Russian leader declared: ?We see no kind of restraint–a hyper-inflated use of force.?
    To avoid catastrophe, Putin said a reconsideration of the entire existing architecture of global security was necessary.
    Putin?s words of truth fell on many deaf ears. US Senator John McCain, America?s most idiotic and dangerous ?leader? after Bush and Cheney, equated Putin?s legitimate criticism of the US with ?confrontation.?
    America?s new puppets–the states of central and Eastern Europe and the secretary general of NATO, no longer a treaty for the defense of Europe but a military force enlisted in America?s quest for empire–lined up with McCain?s argument that Russia was in fundamental conflict ?with the core values of Euro-Atlantic democracies.?
    Even the BBC?s defense and security correspondent, Rob Watson, jumped on the American propaganda bandwagon, tagging Putin?s speech a revival of the cold war.
    No delegate at the security conference stood up to state the obvious fact that it is not Russia that is invading countries under pretexts as false as Hitler?s and setting up weapons systems on foreign soil in order to achieve military hegemony.
    The reception given to Putin?s words made it clear to Russia, China, and every country not bribed, threatened or purchased into participation in America?s drive for world hegemony that the US has no interest whatsoever in peace. Intelligent people realize that American claims to be a moral and democratic force are mere pretense behind which hides a policy of military aggression.
    The US, Putin said, has gone ?from one conflict to another without achieving a fully-fledged solution to any of them.?
    Putin has repeatedly stressed Russia?s peaceful intentions and desire to focus on its economy and to avoid a new arms race. In his speech on the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany, Putin said: ?I am convinced that there is no alternative to our friendship and our fraternity. With our closest neighbors and all countries of the world, Russia is prepared to build a kind of relationship which is not only based on lessons of the past but is also directed into a shared future.?
    In his 2006 state of the nation speech, Putin noted that America?s military budget is 25 times larger than Russia?s. He compared the Bush Regime to a wolf who eats whom he wants without listening. Putin is being demonized by US propagandists, because he insists upon Russia being a politically and economically independent state.
    The Bush Regime has taken the US outside the boundaries of international law and is acting unilaterally, falsely declaring American military aggression to be ?defensive? and in the interests of peace. Much of the world realizes the hypocrisy and danger in the Bush Regime?s justification of the unbridled use of US military power, but no countries except other nuclear powers can challenge American aggression, and then only at the risk of all life on earth.
    The solution is nonmilitary challenge.
    The Bush Regime?s ability to wage war is dependent upon foreign financing. The Regime?s wars are financed with red ink, which means the hundreds of billions of dollars must be borrowed. As American consumers are spending more than they earn on consumption, the money cannot be borrowed from Americans.
    The US is totally dependent upon foreigners to finance its budget and trade deficits. By financing these deficits, foreign governments are complicit in the Bush Regime?s military aggressions and war crimes. The Bush Regime?s two largest lenders are China and Japan. It is ironic that Japan, the only nation to experience nuclear attack by the US, is banker to the Bush Regime as it prepares a possible nuclear attack on Iran.
    If the rest of the world would simply stop purchasing US Treasuries, and instead dump their surplus dollars into the foreign exchange market, the Bush Regime would be overwhelmed with economic crisis and unable to wage war. The arrogant hubris associated with the ?sole superpower? myth would burst like the bubble it is.
    The collapse of the dollar would also end the US government?s ability to subvert other countries by purchasing their leaders to do America?s will.
    The demise of the US dollar is only a question of time. It would save the world from war and devastation if the dollar is brought to its demise before the Bush Regime launches its planned attack on Iran.
    Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.


  23. Pissed Off American says:

    Duty demands that I issue another “Lying Sack Of Shit Alert”.
    This morning, on C-Span’s “Washington Journal”, Rep. Joe Wilson, (R-South Carolina), stated that “Al Qaeda was in Iraq” prior to the invasion. Amazing that even after Feith has been investigated, and shown to be a damned LIAR, these treasonous frauds like Wilson are still willing to get on public TV and hawk the propaganda that the majority of Americans, and Congress, (Are they americans too? Are they ever going to act like it?), KNOW to be a lie.


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