The IAEA Iran Report


Here is a pdf copy of the “Restricted Distribution” report by IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei, “Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
These concluding clips from the Summary underscore that ElBaradei sees Iran moving in a positive direction and setting its nuclear program up for high level transparency that had not been previously the case:

22. The Agency is able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran. Iran has been providing the Agency with access to declared nuclear material, and has provided the required nuclear material accountancy reports in connection with declared nuclear material and facilities. However, the Agency remains unable to verify certain aspects relevant to the scope and nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.
It should be noted that since early 2006, the Agency has not received the type of information that Iran had previously been providing, including pursuant to the Additional Protocol, for example information relevant to ongoing advanced centrifuge research.
23. The work plan is a significant step forward. If Iran finally addresses the long outstanding verification issues, the Agency should be in a position to reconstruct the history of Iran’s nuclear programme. Naturally, the key to successful implementation of the agreed work plan is Iran’s full and active cooperation with the Agency, and its provision to the Agency of all relevant information and access to all relevant documentation and individuals to enable the Agency to resolve all outstanding issues.
To this end, the Agency considers it essential that Iran adheres to the time line defined therein and implements all the necessary safeguards and transparency measures, including the measures provided for in the Additional Protocol.
24. Once Iran’s past nuclear programme has been clarified, Iran would need to continue to build confidence about the scope and nature of its present and future nuclear programme. Confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme requires that the Agency be able to provide assurances not only regarding declared nuclear material, but, equally important, regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran, through the implementation of the Additional Protocol. The Director General therefore again urges Iran to ratify and bring into force the Additional Protocol at the earliest possible date, as requested by the Board of Governors and the Security Council.

This last section, however, is what the United States and France are crying foul over and which remains a major obstacle to more political progress:

25. Contrary to the decisions of the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities, having continued with the operation of PFEP, and with the construction and operation of FEP. Iran is also continuing with its construction of the IR-40 reactor and operation of the Heavy Water Production Plant.

What is happening now is that there are now at least three, if not more, divergent international tracks in confronting Iran on its nuclear program.
The IAEA track — which the Iranians themselves have now just applauded (which does raise questions actually) — is citing enough progress on transparency and possible cooperation with international nuclear protocols that the IAEA is at odds with the third round of economic sanctions that the U.S. and France are trying to rally against Iran.
Then inside American and some European circles, Iran’s failure to suspend its enrichment program requires toughened sanctions, each round of which becomes tighter — harming both Iran as well as firms in nations applying the sanctions.
And third, the neoconservative crowd simply wants to suspend all negotiations and begin bombing.
At a minimum, ElBaradei’s report probably stalls somewhat the neoconservative effort to start yet another war — but I think that the sanctions noose that Under Secretary of State R. Nicholas Burns is feverishly working on will continue.
And if there was a God that had ElBaradei working on one side of the process and Burns on the other — with the neocons somewhere very, very hot — I’d think that that was a brilliant good cop/bad cop strategy.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that such order and design exist in our universe.
More later.
— Steve Clemons
Paul Kerr has an excellent run down of the key questions that the IAEA is working through with Iran. Kerr notes that the line of work is leading to Iranian admissions relating to its current enrichment related R&D. His site is full of excellent material on Iran’s nuclear developments. Also see Jeffrey Lewis’ Arms Control Wonk.


19 comments on “The IAEA Iran Report

  1. Dan Kervick says:

    Steve writes:
    “At a minimum, ElBaradei’s report probably stalls somewhat the neoconservative effort to start yet another war.”
    Perhaps, but I doubt it. The administration seems to have anticipated these hurdles on the nuclear front, which is why they have shifted the propaganda focus of the war drive to alleged Iranian “meddling” in Iraq.


  2. erichwwk says:

    Steve writes:
    “This last section, however, is what the United States and France are crying foul over and which remains a major obstacle to more political progress:
    25. Contrary to the decisions of the Security Council, Iran has not suspended its enrichment related activities, having continued with the operation of PFEP, and with the construction and operation of FEP. Iran is also continuing with its construction of the IR-40 reactor and operation of the Heavy Water Production Plant.”
    So bully on the U.S. and its henchmen. The Security Council has ABSOLUTELY no authority to ask Iran to stop the enrichment program, when these countries (especially the US) are themselves in violation of the NPT and UN Resolution #1.
    I, for one, am grateful that Iran is not agreeing to the US desire to be the world’s nuclear strongman. It makes us ALL safer, to have a balance of power rather than a single nuclear strongman. How many world wars must civilians suffer, until they stand up to the greed of their leaders, and acknowledge that it is righteous behavior, and not military power, that makes one safe?
    Second,SC writes:
    “And if there was a God that had ElBaradei working on one side of the process and Burns on the other — with the neocons somewhere very, very hot — I’d think that that was a brilliant good cop/bad cop strategy.”
    We have relied far too long on misdirection, deviance, and deceit to pursue foreign policy objectives. While an argument can be made for withholding information in terms of capturing a disproportionate share of “consumer surplus” in a bargaining process, those arguments are counter-productive to the more important purpose of building trust and understanding. It is essentially credit (trust) that builds wealth and economic prosperity. The attempt to impose an embargo on Iran will have the same disastrous result in had in Iraq, and exceeds stupidity. Good policy is a function of clear thinking, and an understanding of the implications of action, not some clever, underhanded strategy.
    The next step towards stopping nuclear weapons escalation is in stopping the funding of the facility at Los Alamos (the CMRR cut by the house, but reinserted by Domenici on the Senate side, designed only to build new nuclear weapons. As all the ME knows (but many Americans refuse to acknowledge), it is the U.S., and not Iran, that is actively engaged in expanding the nuclear arms race and building new nuclear weapons.
    Iran is not the threat towards a nuclear holocaust – the U.S. is.
    It is high time to discard national interests, and but our humanity before our nationalism and think in terms of social justice.


  3. Carroll says:

    I am reading Woodward’s Denial part III. There is a interesting bit in it about the Saudi King sending Bandar to see Bush and show him a video of a Israeli throwing a old woman to the ground at one of the checkpoints and then kicking her.
    The King had instructed Bandar to read his message exactly as it was written. According to Woodward Bandar was shaking as he read it to Bush. It said ‘we are no longer friends’.
    Bush reportedly went into a panic and sent all kinds of messages about how the US was working on the Isr-Pal deal. But obviously nothing has happened to change things.
    With Iran now wooing Saudi, and no US bases in Saudi any longer, the King has more reasons to consider Iran’s overtures.
    The US put the Saudi throne at risk on the streets over the continuing Israeli occupation and all the imagines it generates to the Arab world and has tired to make them think they are at risk now that Iran is rising in Iraq. Iran however is offering friendship to Saudi, so why would Saudi not go with Iran’s peace offer and offer to share control of Iraq? ALQ has already gotten one demand, that US bases in Saudi be removed and isn’t half the threat to the throne as the street fury over Palestine.
    I am still hoping that what I suggested happens, that the Arab nations form their own alliences and treaties among themselves and not line up with any outside foreign power. If they unite against “outside” intervention instead of each other the chances of WWIII go down.


  4. easy e says:

    There is a lot that is fucked up about the United States today. At the head of that list is our priorities.
    Posted by: PissedOffAmerican at August 31, 2007 10:32 AM
    …..and our values. Rome ultimately fell because of flawed values, as will USA/Isr empire.


  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Gosh, Iran who? Is there such a place?
    I thought the universe revolved around an airport restroom in St.Paul. Just ask CNN.
    I wonder, do you think the last living thought of an American soldier dying in Iraq today will be….
    “Oh damn, Craig sucks cock.” (?)
    There is a lot that is fucked up about the United States today. At the head of that list is our priorities.


  6. General Confusion says:

    When the bombs fall over downtown Tehran, we’ll all be able to sleep better at night. Yeah, right! America’s insane boy king George is prepared to destroy our world just to prove he’s right. Merciful God in heaven, when are ‘we the people’ to be delivered from warmongering evil? We probably shouldn’t look to the Republicans or the Democrats to offer up any “salvation.” The ‘red’ dogs of war are salivating just as profusely as are the ‘blue’ dogs of war. Ding goes the war bell and mainstream media vomits up war’s propaganda as readily as the ‘sun also rises’. Anyone know what Andrea ‘boom-boom’ Mitchell is working on this day?


  7. Dirk says:

    Besides all the tactical issues with attacking Iran there are other issues as well:
    Hugo Chavez has said he will immediately cut off all oil shipments to the US in the event of an attack on Iran.
    There is a very good possibility that the Straits of Hormuz will be blocked which will shut off not only Iran’s oil but also that of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and about half of Saudi oil.
    People around the world will be extremely irate at the resulting chaos and economic dislocation.
    I can’t know for sure but the US and Israel along with perhaps the Marshall Islands, Palau and Nauru
    will be isolated in the world for some time with perhaps the UK and Australia providing lip service friendship.
    Good luck with your decisions…


  8. Marcia says:

    For sometime now the WH gang have been shifting and multiplying the reasons for their attack on Iran just as they did with Iraq, except that the shift went from WMDs in Iraq to removing an evil dictator to “democracy”. This time they have a closet full of reasons prepared in advance so the WMDs can play a secondary role. They certainly will try to circumvent the IAEA by any means.
    The basis of their reasoning, if it can be called that, is that we have the inherent right to intervene to change whatever government that is not to our liking by one that signs oil deals and is compliant to Washington.
    No one speaks of the recent Russia, China, Iran meeting. What will be the attitude of these latter? China is still holding our IOUs.
    That other neocon Kalizad seems to be working feverishly behind the scenes, appearing only to announce World III.
    Congress is wallowing in a warm bath of tepid speeches while American citizens are betrayed on all fronts and paying the bill. It is truely disgusting.


  9. Carroll says:

    Here is a bit on what Stratfor is saying..but you need to read the entire report from the begining to see all the complications going on especially with Saudi and Turkey. I will say this, Iran is being very ,very smart.
    “From this, one would think the United States is considering attacking Iran. Indeed, the French warning against such an attack indicates that Paris might have picked something up as well. Certainly, Washington is signaling that, given the situation in Iraq and Iran’s assertion that it will be filling the vacuum, the United States is being forced to face the possibility of an attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
    There are two problems here. The first is the technical question of whether a conventional strike could take out all of Iran’s nuclear facilities. We don’t know the answer, but we do know that Iran has been aware of the probability of such an attack and is likely to have taken precautions, from creating uncertainty as to the location of sites to hardening them. The second problem is the more serious one.
    Assume that the United States attacked and destroyed Iran’s nuclear facilities. The essential geopolitical problem would not change. The U.S. position in Iraq would remain extremely difficult, the three options we discussed Aug. 27 would remain in place, and in due course Iran would fill the vacuum left by the United States. The destruction of Iran’s nuclear facilities would not address any of those problems.
    Therefore, implicit in Bush’s speech is the possibility of broader measures against Iran. These could include a broad air campaign against Iranian infrastructure — military and economic — and a blockade of its ports. The measures could not include ground troops because there are no substantial forces available and redeploying all the troops in Iraq to surge into Iran, logistical issues aside, would put 150,000 troops in a very large country.
    The United States can certainly conduct an air campaign against Iran, but we are reminded of the oldest lesson of air power — one learned by the Israeli air force against Hezbollah in the summer of 2006: Air power is enormously successful in concert with a combined arms operation, but has severe limitations when applied on its own. The idea that nations will capitulate because of the pain of an air campaign has little historical basis. It doesn’t usually happen. Unlike Hezbollah, however, Iran is a real state with real infrastructure, economic interests, military assets and critical port facilities — all with known locations that can be pummeled with air power. The United States might not be able to impose its will on the ground, but it can certainly impose a great deal of pain. Of course, an all-out air war would cripple Iran in a way that would send global oil prices through the roof — since Iran remains the world’s fourth-largest oil exporter.
    A blockade, however, also would be problematic. It is easy to prevent Iranian ships from moving in and out of port — and, unlike Iraq, Iran has no simple options to divert its maritime energy trade to land routes — but what would the United States do if a Russian, Chinese or French vessel sailed in? Would it seize it? Sink it? Obviously either is possible. But just how broad an array of enemies does the United States want to deal with at one time? And remember that, with ports sealed, Iran’s land neighbors would have to participate in blocking the movement of goods. We doubt they would be that cooperative.
    Finally, and most important, Iran has the ability to counter any U.S. moves. It has assets in Iraq that could surge U.S. casualties dramatically if ordered to do so. Iran also has terrorism capabilities that are not trivial. We would say that Iran’s capabilities are substantially greater than al Qaeda’s. Under a sustained air campaign, they would use them.
    Bush’s threat to strike nuclear weapons makes sense only in the context of a broader air and naval campaign against Iran. Leaving aside the domestic political ramifications and the international diplomatic blowback, the fundamental problem is that Iran is a very large country where a lot of targets would have to be hit. That would take many months to achieve, and during that time Iran would likely strike back in Iraq and perhaps in the United States as well. An air campaign would not bring Iran to its knees quickly, unless it was nuclear — and we simply do not think the United States will break the nuclear taboo first.
    The United States is also in a tough place. While it makes sense to make threats in response to Iranian threats — to keep Tehran off balance — the real task for the United States is to convince Saudi Arabia to stick to its belief that collaboration with Iran is too dangerous, and convince Turkey to follow its instincts in northern Iraq without collaborating with the Iranians. The Turks are not fools and will not simply play the American game, but the more active Turkey is, the more cautious Iran must be.
    The latest statement from Ahmadinejad convinces us that Iran sees its opening. However, the United States, even if it is not bluffing about an attack against Iran, would find such an attack less effective than it might hope. In the end, even after an extended air campaign, it will come down to that. In the end, no matter how many moves are made, the United States is going to have to define a post-Iraq strategy and that strategy must focus on preventing Iran from threatening the Arabian Peninsula. Even after an extended air campaign, it will come down to that. In case of war, the only “safe” location for a U.S. land force to hedge against an Iranian move against the Arabian Peninsula would be Kuwait, a country lacking the strategic depth to serve as an effective counter.
    Ahmadinejad has made his rhetorical move. Bush has responded. Now the regional diplomacy intensifies as the report from the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, is prepared for presentation to Congress on Sept. 15.
    I have been reading also about Russia’s Sunburn anti-ship missiles. The best in the world, no one has anything to compare to them, not even the US, and Russia provided them to China also.
    The US says it has a system to defeat the Sunburn missiles but it hasn’t actually been tested against the Sunburn. So there is a question as to whether or not if Russia did sail into Iran they could blow all the US ship out of the water. If the US doesn’t have a system to defeat the Sunburn then the US Navy would be toast. According the f.a.s the response time to react to a Sunburn missile is 25 seconds.


  10. TonyForesta says:

    All we can do is hope and pray that the freakish and perverted god Bush supposedly speaks to in the WH hasn’t told him to attack Iran, – because the reprecussions and longterm hazards of that insane and pernicious act of fascist imperialism would make Iraq look like a “cake walk”!
    “Deliver us from evil!”


  11. Sandy says:

    August 31, 2007
    The War Criminal in the Living Room
    by Paul Craig Roberts
    The media is silent, Congress is absent, and Americans are distracted as George W. Bush openly prepares aggression against Iran.
    US Navy aircraft carrier strike forces are deployed off Iran.
    US Air Force jets and missile systems are deployed in bases in countries bordering or near to Iran.
    US B-2 stealth bombers have been refitted to carry 30,000 pound “bunker buster” bombs.
    The US government is financing terrorist and separatist groups within Iran.
    US Special Forces teams are conducting terrorist operations inside Iran.
    US war doctrine has been altered to permit first strike nuclear attack on Iran and other non-nuclear countries.
    Bush’s war threats against Iran have intensified during the course of this year. The American people are being fed a repeat of the lies used to justify naked aggression against Iraq.
    Bush is too self-righteous to see the dark humor in his denunciations of Iran for threatening “the security of nations everywhere” and of the Iraqi resistance for “a vision that rejects tolerance, crushes all dissent, and justifies THE MURDER OF INNOCENT MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN IN THE PURSUIT OF POLITICAL POWER.”
    Those are precisely the words that most of the world applies to Bush and his Brownshirt administration. The Pew Foundation’s world polls show that despite all the American and Israeli propaganda against Iran, the US and Israel are regarded as no less threats to world stability than demonized Iran.
    Bush has discarded habeas corpus and the Geneva Conventions, justified torture and secret trials, damned critics as anti-American, and is responsible, according to Information Clearing House, for over one million deaths of Iraqi civilians, which puts Bush high on the list of mass murderers of all time. The vast majority of “kills” by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan are civilians.
    NOW BUSH WANTS TO MURDER MORE. We have to kill Iranians “over there,” Bush says, “before they come over here.” There is no possibility that Iranians or any Muslims who have no air force, no navy, no modern military technology are going to “come over here,” and no indication that they plan to do so. The Muslims are disunited and have been for centuries. That is what makes them vulnerable to colonial rule. If Muslims were united, the US would already have lost its army in Iraq. Indeed, it would not have been able to put an army in Iraq.
    Meanwhile the US media focuses on whether Republican Senator Larry Craig is a homosexual or has offended gays by denying to be one of them. The run-up for the public’s attention is why a South Carolina beauty queen cannot answer a simple question about why her generation is unable to find the United States on a map.
    The war criminal is in the living room, and no official notice is taken of the fact.
    Lacking US troops with which to invade Iran, the Bush administration has decided to bomb Iran “back into the stone age.” Punishing air and missile attacks have been designed not merely to destroy Iran’s nuclear energy projects, but also to destroy the public infrastructure, the economy, and the ability of the government to function.
    Encouraged by the indifference of both the American media and Christian churches to the massive casualties inflicted on Iraqi civilians, the Bush administration will not be deterred by the prospect of its air attacks inflicting massive casualties on Iranian civilians. Last summer the Bush administration demonstrated to the entire world its total disdain for Muslim life when Bush supported Israel’s month-long air attack on Lebanese civilian infrastructure and civilian residences. President Bush blocked the attempt by the rest of the world to halt the gratuitous murder of Lebanese civilians and infrastructure destruction. Clearly, turning the Muslim Middle East into a wasteland is the Bush policy. For Bush, civilian casualties are a non-issue. Hegemony uber alles.
    The Bush administration has made its war plans for attacking Iran and positioned its forces without any prior approval from Congress. The “unitary executive” obviously doesn’t believe that an attack on Iran requires the approval of Congress. By its absence and quietude, Congress seems to agree that it has no role in the decision.
    In the improbable event that Congress were to make any fuss about Bush’s decision to attack yet another country, the State Department has devised legalistic cover: simply declare Iran’s military to be a “terrorist organization” and go to war under the cover of the existing resolution.
    The “Iran issue” has been created by the Bush administration, not by Iran. Iran, like many other countries, has a nuclear energy program to which it is entitled as a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency have found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program in Iran.
    The Bush administration has brushed away this fact, which should be determining, just as the Bush administration brushed away the fact that weapons inspectors reported, prior to Bush’s invasion of Iraq, that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
    The Bush administration managed to disrupt the work of the pesky IAEA weapons inspectors in Iran. Iran has been working successfully with the IAEA and has achieved what a senior IAEA official recently described as a milestone agreement. The Bush administration instantly went to work to discredit the agreement and unleashed its new lapdog, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to threaten “the bombing of Iran.”
    The Bush administration’s position is legally untenable and is really nothing but a contrived excuse to start another war. Bush claims that Iran, alone among all the signatories of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, must be denied its right under the pact to develop nuclear energy, because Iran, alone among all the other signatories, will be the only country able to deceive the IAEA inspectors and develop nuclear weapons. Therefore, Iran must be denied its rights under the agreement.
    Bush’s position on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is as legally untenable as his position on every other issue – the Geneva Conventions, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, habeas corpus, the constitutional separation of powers, and presidential signing statements that he cavalierly attaches to new laws in order to override the legislative power of Congress. Bush’s position is that the meaning of laws and treaties varies with his needs of the moment.
    Bush has declared himself to be the “decider.” The “decider” decides whether Americans have any rights under the Constitution and whether Iran has any rights under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As the “decider” has decided that Iran has no such rights, the “decider” decides whether to attack Iran. No one else has any say about it. The people’s representatives are just so much chaff in the wind.
    Whatever form of government Bush is operating under, it is far outside an accountable constitutional democratic government. Bush has transitioned America to caesarism, and even if Bush leaves office in January 2009, the powers he has accumulated in the executive will remain. Unless Bush and Cheney are impeached and convicted, there is no prospect of the US Congress and federal judiciary ever again being co-equal branches of government.


  12. Kotzabasis says:

    Once again Steve, to display your immaculate credentials for highfalutin diplomacy contra the crudity of war, you displace the real issue that if Iran, beyond its dissimulation, is not prepared to abide by the demands of the international community to suspend its nuclear programme,America will be compelled and will have no other option but to attack it militarily.
    To use the report of IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei as a credible report-whose stand on this issue has been discredited so many times in the past and who presently has fallen victim to the dissimulations of the Iran regime-that could prevent a FORCE DE FRAPPE by the U.S. against Iran, shows that you too are befuddled by the same dissimulations.


  13. Carroll says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican at August 30, 2007 11:22 PM
    Help is on the way….just years too late for the ME. This should have been written years ago.
    I pre ordered my copy but haven’t gotten it yet.I think it is due on the 4th.
    Buy this book and share it with everyone or better yet get everyone you know to buy a copy.
    I hope it also names names of all the treasonous congress critters.
    Iraq comes home: the war of ideas, by Philip Weiss
    August 30, 2007
    Serious. Cold. Stunning.
    Walt and Mearsheimer Arrive in Hard Covers
    Some time in the next few days the website will be activated–right now it’s a blank–and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, will be published by FSG. This is a historic book. The authors’ LRB paper last year created an intellectual sensation I’ve never witnessed, and notwithstanding the desire of the lobby that the book disappear, I imagine the splash this time will be mainstream. Walt and Mearsheimer will be on television. That likelihood is increased by David Remnick’s flat assertion, in an advance piece on the book that generally threw water on the scholars, that they are right to say that the lobby bears responsibility for the Iraq war.
    I’ve been reading the book this August and have three preliminary impressions: Serious, cold and stunning. The seriousness of the book is conveyed on every page. The arguments are calm and earnest, stripped of metaphor and coyness. These are mature men engaged in every sinew with a giant squid of an issue; and their 106 pages of endnotes are overwhelming, and give the lie to anyone who accuses these scholars of “shoddy scholarship.”
    Cold. The authors are conservative realists at heart. They see states as amoral and a little vicious, and they don’t overheat their arguments. There is no joy in the book, and the fervor is hidden beneath mountains of cold logic. They are reserved, and tactical. They refuse to really take on the dual-loyalty problem (just as Tony Judt refused in his speech at NYU last year) but you sense that they believe it’s a problem (as I do). They generally say that the lobby has every right to do what it does, but their underlying zeal comes out–I think, admirably–when they state that the suppression of free speech on this issue is inappropriate and undemocratic. David Remnick’s anger at the authors–he accuses them of wanting Israel to disappear– seems to me a response to that zeal, and though he misdescribes it, the reader can feel the great molten energy underneath the icy words.
    As for stunning, the argument they present is towering and clear and about time. The revision of Israeli history is stirring. The ways that the lobby has diminished the suffering of the Palestinians and enabled the occupation and settlements are starkly and even emotionally described. Most stunning is the argument that Remnick accepts: the authors’ description of the Iraq disaster as arising from the lobby’s pressure. I study this issue, and yet I turned the pages of this chapter with my mouth open, especially the pages dealing with the manipulation of intelligence, and evidence of Israel’s hand in the WMD lies. It is this section that should and must stir national debate, and now.
    “How did we get here? Our first guest is Dr. John J. Mearsheimer.”
    My main problem with the book is the one others have raised, that the word “lobby” is imprecise. How do you define this collection of forces and devotions? It is more a culture than a concerted lobby, an aspect of Jewishness and also an element of the American meritocracy and leadership that I am part of as a media Jew, but which that leadership has been absolutely incapable of examining. For instance, when the authors describe the neocon cipher Scooter Libby as part of the lobby, they don’t really have the evidence as to the workings of his mind. I am sure they are right about Libby. But they don’t prove it and I can do so only by speaking poetically, about the cipher’s emails to his friend Judy Miller about the shared roots of the aspens in their summer retreats. Something is going on here, but you don’t know what it is…
    This is where true insiders need to come forward and explain what befell us. When Thomas Friedman shows up in this book, quoted in Ha’aretz, amazingly, as saying the Iraq war originated among 25 neocons within a mile or two of his office; and when Remnick accepts Walt and Mearsheimer’s argument re the neocons–well, honey, the pro-Iraq liberal camp is falling apart. And explaining the Jewish rightwing klatch’s actions to the world is important journalistic work that awaits this country in the nightmare of the next few years. But J.J. Goldberg refuses to talk about Walt and Mearsheimer’s findings. Put on your spurs, J.J., the country needs you.
    I said there’s no pleasure in the book. The one exception is the book’s dedication, to the scholar Samuel P. Huntington, whom the authors have known for 25 years. “We cannot imagine a better role model. Sam has always tackled big and important questions, and he has answered these questions in ways that the rest of the world could not ignore. Although each of us has disagreed with him on numerous occasions over the years–and sometimes vehemently and publicly–he never held those disagreements against us and was never anything but gracious and supportive of our work. [my emphasis] He understands that scholarship is not a popularity contest, and that spirited but civil debate is essential both to scholarly progress and to a healthy democracy.” Beautiful and deeply moving, that is the credo of an American faith. Those words should be studied more than W&M’s descriptions of Israeli history.
    The Jewish meritocracy has always been about ambition. Worldly ambition mainly; we traded our ghettoized tradition of learning for position in the information age. Let us honor the grand intellectual leap of this book with an open discussion.
    Posted at 06:34 AM in Books, Israel, Journalism, Meritocracy, Politics, Culture, Religion, The Assimilationist, U.S. Policy in the Mideast | Permalink | Comments (17) | TrackBack (0)
    August 29, 2007
    ‘New Yorker’ Editor: Israel and Lobby Bear Responsibility for Iraq War
    In a remarkably-fair piece about Walt and Mearsheimer in the latest New Yorker, the magazine’s editor, David Remnick, summarizes part of the scholars’ argument:
    Israel and its lobby bear outsized responsibility for persuading the Bush Administration to invade Iraq and, perhaps one day soon, to attack the nuclear facilities of Iran.
    And then accepts it. “They were also right about Iraq.”
    I find this statement staggering. Remnick’s piece is hard on Walt and Mearsheimer, saying they are hysterical and have put together a “prosecutor’s brief” against Israel, and are indifferent to its possible disappearance. But this statement, that Israel and its lobby bear outsize responsibility for the invasion plans, is alive to the common sense of recent history and–as Fritz Hollings put it– to what ‘we all know.” Bravo to the New Yorker, for good sense and honesty.
    And again, I say: There must be a soul-searching within the Jewish community if the country is going to move past Iraq. Why were the “best and the brightest” of this disastrous war rightwing Jews? Why did DLC Jews join them in banging the drum? And why have progressive Jews given these war supporters cover, rather than exposing them? What are Israel’s regrettable policies toward the Arab world doing to our identification and citizenship?


  14. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Heres AIPAC’s contribution….
    Bush Warns of “Nuclear Holocaust” if Iran Gets Atomic Arms
    Bushehr nuclear facility
    In a major foreign policy address, President George W. Bush on Tuesday emphasized Iran’s negative influence in the Middle East and warned of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic. “Iran’s active pursuit of technology that could lead to nuclear weapons threatens to put a region already known for instability and violence under the shadow of a nuclear holocaust,” Bush said. “Iran’s actions threaten the security of nations everywhere, and that is why the United States is rallying friends and allies around the world to isolate the regime, to impose economic sanctions.” Iran has rebuffed multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding that it end its illicit nuclear program and faces more stringent sanctions as a result of its non-compliance.
    I wish one of these warmongering pukes would clue me in to exactly what is “illict” about Iran’s nuclear program.
    But hey, at least is an improvement over the out and out blatant lies AIPAC posts periodically, hoping to goad these assholes in Washington into sending our kids off to die for Israel.


  15. erichwwk says:

    “I am worried sick that Cheney will attack Iran. It looks like it may happen in a couple of weeks. Is there any way to stop this crazy act?”
    Sadly, the chances are very slim to none.
    If you recall, the invasion of Iraq happened once it became clear that ElBaradei might be successful in using facts to oppose the allegations that the neocons were spinning about an Iraq danger, and expose the US allegations as preposterous nonsense, the shock and awe campaign began.
    For how it looks to us in the part of the country being ignored, where new nuclear weapons are actually being built (Los Alamos), contrary to the hype in Iran click on URL:


  16. Carroll says:

    I was reading this over at Col. Lang’s site this morning:
    “Considering War With Iran”
    It’s worth reading the pdf file.
    All the idiots in favor of an Iran war think it can be strictly air strikes.
    And advocate that the air strikes “decimate” Iran ,not just the nuke sites…everything…. back to the stone age for Iran.
    The wur cabal is going to do this. The only thing that will stop it is if the military revolts…which the Marine commanders would ,but the AF commanders won’t.
    The air strike people don’t think we will need any troops on the ground…I guess they think the Iranians and the rest of Arabia will just be sitting in their ashes wringing their hands and not out and about attacking every US interest and Israel.
    Like I have always said the neos don’t know jack shit about human nature. Unless they nuke Iran into nothing the Iranians are gonna do just what any people would do…. crawl over broken glass on their hands and knees if necessary to kill every American they can.


  17. arthurdecco says:

    The only way for America to stop Cheney and his putrescent henchmen from destroying yet another country is for you drowned-in-violence lunatics to remove him.
    (yeah, sure thing – like that’s gonna happen.)


  18. Don Midwest says:

    I am worried sick that Cheney will attack Iran. It looks like it may happen in a couple of weeks. Is there any way to stop this crazy act?


  19. TonyForesta says:

    Let me guess. Everyone else is wrong, the fascist in the Bush governmet are right, we’re making progress in Iraq, the evildoers on in their last throes, the surge needs more time, and the wanton profiteers, – I mean the Bush government needs another $50bn supplemental for the war effort that they failed to account for in actual budget.
    “Deliver us from evil!”


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